Friday, February 29, 2008

I'm no Cinderella

It's come to my attention that I would make a really lousy Cinderella. For many reasons. . .

5. I can't dance.
4. I don't care for mice. If a bunch of them tried to hang out in my room with me, I'd probably freak out, not sing songs with them!
3. My charms wear off well before midnight. More like 10:00.
2. Glass slippers sound terribly uncomfortable. I'm all about sensible shoes.

But the reason that was most painfully obvious to me this week is this:
1. Scrubbing floors is hard work! I do not have the stamina for it. It took less than 2 minutes of scrubbing vomit off the carpet on Saturday to convince me that the life of the despised step-daughter is not for me. Nope, I think I'll stick to the life I have.

(So there you have it, readers, my third post in a week in which I use the word "vomit." Anyone think I need to find a new topic?!)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Speaking of Cleaning Up. . .

Over the past year or so, I've been reading blogs of some very frugal women. It's been a real education in how to stretch a dollar and get the best deals when grocery shopping. I'm no where near the expert that some of the ladies I read are, but I'm practicing. It's like a game, and I really get a thrill when I score a great deal. This weekend's shopping trip, although eventful for other reasons, was also good for some of those thrills.

Meijer had Chex Mix on sale 10/$10. I had coupons for $.50 off. Meijer doubles coupons up to $.50. We got 3 bags of Chex Mix, original price $2.59 each, our price: Free.

64 oz. Welches Grape Juice, Original price $4.09, on sale for $2.50, minus $2.00 coupon, our price: $.50

Perfectly good Romaine lettuce, reduced to $.08. Didn't even need a coupon for that one!

Grands Biscuits, original price $1.50, on sale for $1.00, $.50 off 2, double coupons, final price $.50.

Ok, I know I'm sounding like a tight-wad right now, but I really find this fun!

I've also been honing my CVS skills, though I've got a long way to go until I'm as good as Crystal. Apparently this lady never pays for any toiletries. She manages to get them all free. I had $7.50 in CVS Extra Bucks that expired on Sunday. I needed some makeup, so I headed over to redeem them. J really wanted to go along, and since I was sure this was going to be a quick trip, I decided it was ok. He hadn't thrown up in almost 7 hours, after all. When we arrived, I found that they had a special on Revlon: buy $20 and get $10 in Extra Bucks back. Sounded good to me. I had $4 in Revlon coupons, plus my $7.50 in Extra Bucks, so I'd be spending $8.50 and getting $10 back. Not a bad deal.

The girl at the register rang me up, and I happily handed her my Extra Bucks. She informed me that they now have a policy that you can only redeem one Extra Buck per transaction. (This is where I start to look really cheap.) I wasn't planning to come back and shop again before the end of the day, and I wasn't about to waste free money by letting it expire, so I asked if she would cancel that transaction and ring the stuff up separately. She rolled her eyes and said, "If you must." I told her that, yes, I felt I must. Especially after that comment.

Four transactions later, she handed me my receipts, but no Extra Bucks. I inquired as to where my $10 was. She shrugged and looked at the receipt. It said I needed to spend $8 more to get the reward. I pointed out that this was puzzling, since I had clearly just spent $20 (they count it pre-coupons) and had the receipts (all 4 of them) to prove it. She shrugged again and offered to call a manager.

The manager came up, looked over the receipts, and agreed that this was puzzling. She didn't, however, have any suggestion as to how to correct the problem. I think they were both hoping I'd just give up and go away at this point. I think J was hoping the same thing. He had clearly lost all interest in shopping for makeup long ago, and was whining loudly that he didn't feel well and wanted to go home. (I know you all think you know where this is going, but it's really not going there.) Little did they know my resolve and determination to get the bargain I was owed.

Apparently even managers at CVS have managers, because the first one proceeded to call her manager up. Again, we went through all the receipts. Again, he agreed that I had spent $20. Again, he was puzzled as to why the computer didn't credit me for it.

"Mommy, this is taking a really long time," J observed.

"Yes, dear, it is," I agreed out loud.

By now, they started debating the pros and cons of giving me the money on a gift card. Pro: the annoying lady will leave the store. Surely that's worth at least $10. Con: She can then come back later this week, spend $8 more on Revlon, and get the 10 Extra Bucks again. The manager's manager explained to me his concern. I explained to him that it wasn't really my problem. They advertised spend 20, get 10. I had spent 20. I wanted my 10! I felt like the kid in Better Off Dead: I WANT MY TEN DOLLARS! (I promise, I really did remain sweet and polite throughout the whole ordeal. I was only screaming in my head.)

He finally coughed up the gift card, and I left, feeling triumphant.

And slightly disappointed that J hadn't vomited on the display at the check out. I think it would have been a fitting end to the scene.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Quote of the Day

J: (Giggle, giggle) Mommy, I just burped out my bottom!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cleanup on Aisle 12

Background: Tums are like candy in our house. I can't remember exactly how it started, but somehow J got hooked on them. I figure they're basically just a calcium supplement and harmless enough, so we go along with it. (Not that a kid who goes through several gallons of milk a week really needs a calcium supplement). We did double check with the pediatrician and were assured that a couple a day were fine. And so, J gets "minty treats" from time to time.

I think I must have given him his first one sometime when he had an upset stomach. He developed a bad habit of going into "sick mode" and complaining that his stomach hurts when what he really wants is a minty. I've had numerous heart-to-hearts with him about not telling me he feels bad when he really doesn't. Mommy needs to be able to know when he's really sick. In my attempt to keep from rewarding him when he lies, I give him a minty if he just asks for it, but not if he tells me his tummy hurts. Makes sense, right? I'll give my kid medicine if he's fine, but not if he tells me he feels sick.

The story: Today I needed to do some grocery shopping. I hate to be gone from the kids for a long time during the day, I hate going grocery shopping late at night, and bad things happen when I take the kids by myself. "Wouldn't it be fun if we all went together?," I suggested to B. Good man that he is, he pretended it was a good idea and came along.

While I was getting the groceries, B and the kids were doing all the fun things there are to do at Meijer - playing with the toys, visiting the lobsters/fish/hamsters, riding the purple dinosaur. . .As I was nearing the end of my shopping, they met up with me. J had a bit of a pained look on his face, and said, "Mommy, my tummy hurts from walking and walking." My first thought was that he was angling to get some medicine when we got home. Then I started to say something about people's legs usually hurting from walking. But before I could finish the thought, he let out an enormous burp. Followed by a tidal wave of lunch.

Vomiting upsets J very much. He was crying and reaching out for me. I'd like to tell you how I forgot all about myself and how repulsive and foul-smelling I find vomit, how I scooped him up and comforted him. But that would be a lie. And since my dear husband reads my blog and was there to witness the event, I'll stick to the facts.

I wanted so much to be comforting, but instead I found myself jumping backward trying to get away from the spray. When it seemed it was over, I maneuvered behind him to try to help him without coming in contact with the stuff dripping down his front. The first words of comfort I managed to get out were, "Ew! Don't wipe that on my. . .Uck, too late!"

I could tell by the understanding smile on the face of the lady next to us that she was a mom too.

His mood improved significantly once he'd thrown up, so we completed our errands. All was well until we arrived home. I gave J a special box of treats to carry in the house for me. No sooner was he through the door than he got that look again. Then again with the belch. And again with lunch.

Was I super mom this time? No, I'm afraid this time the first thing I said was, "Don't throw up on the cookies!" So you see my priorities: Never mind the carpet. Never mind the clothes. Not to mention my poor suffering child. Just don't wreck my cookies.

The moral: Never give your children medicine as treats because then you won't be able to tell when you're really about to be thrown up on.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I Love Pears!


Children have a gift for deriving so much pleasure from such simple things.
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Saturday, February 9, 2008



This is what my son does for fun on the weekends. He's going to make some girl very happy someday.

Of course, he learned these skills from the man who makes me very happy now!
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