Saturday, June 30, 2007

Why spend thousands of dollars on a trip for the family....

Just take the kids to Ikea and they won't even know the difference. And they will tell you in a whiny voice how we need to get there earlier next time so that we can spend MORE time there.

The looks on their faces and the "Aaaahhhs" alone as the elevator doors opened to the "happiest place on earth" aka the second floor, were priceless. You would have thought we were entering Cinderella's Castle. I almost swear I could hear the voice of Ariel singing ever so softly in the background:

"Ah ah ahhh......Ah ah AAhhh. Ah Ah aaahh Ah Ah aah Aahh aahh Ah Ah AAHHH!"

Seriously, here's my list of reasons why Ikea is like Disneyland.

1. The arrangement of the furniture into little "houses" is like a little kid's dream. Some even resemble something you might see in Mickey or Minnie's house in Toontown.

2. They have a restaurant with fine cuisine from around the world ( ok, maybe just Sweden ) like you might find at Epcot Center.

3. You can enjoy the long lines at the check out like you do at the park in the middle of summer.

4. You need a map to get around.

5. Your child has to be a certain height in order to ride the rides. ( in the play area anyways)

6. Your kids still get tired and cranky.

7. They have bins of useless trinkets throughout to entice your kids to grab them from seated position in the stroller and beg scream cause they gotta have it.

8. You can see how some of the pieces could easily be mistaken for Tomorrowland.

9. They have teacups.

10. The place is "Fantasmic!" and when you get home, you feel like you need a vacation from your vacation.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The mystery of the whatchacallit thingamajig

After having kids, I have resigned myself to the fact that I'll have to wait to buy really nice stuff. Like a sectional with a recliner and a chaise for my family room. Something like that would just get thrashed to pieces in an hour.

But a few months ago during my nesting phase, I splurged and bought me one of these except mine actually has FOUR bags instead of three. The extra bag allows me to put off doing laundry for an extra day or two. Totally worth it.

I love the four compartments and the ease of taking off the bags and hauling them upstairs to the laundry room. See, there are these metal whatchacallits that hook onto the sides that you can pull off and use as handles. But mostly, I was jazzed about my new found organization capability.

One day about two months ago, from the time it took me to take one of the bags upstairs and empty it into the washing machine, one of the whatchacallits disappeared. I'm thinking it had to be somewhere. I mean, seriously....we're talking from my bedroom closet, up a flight of stairs and then about 5 feet to the laundry room. I thought it might have fallen into the washing machine or something.

But no.

I spent the next twenty minutes tracing and retracing my path back and forth dumbfounded that a little thingamajig could just disappear like that.

Then I remembered I had a little two year old who decided he wanted to interfere hinder help me around the same time as the disappearance. I figured he must have wandered off with it. So I did what any mom of a two year old would do. I had to look in the most improbable places... like inside the DVD player, in all the drawers, in the toy box, in the pantry, the toilets, the dishwasher, the know.....places a two year old has been known to put things.

No luck.

I figured it was a goner for good and the odds of finding it were slim to none. I was pretty sad that my slick, new hamper just wasn't the same anymore.

Then yesterday, I see Mr. two year old banging something against the wall. I looked closer and realized it was my whatchacallit thingamajig!

Could it be?

I ran to my room and took an inventory of the ones I had thinking he might have swiped another one. I, two, three, four, five, six, seven.......they were all there except for one!

I still to this day don't have a clue where it was. I'm just happy I've got it back and in its proper place.

It's the little things in life you know.......

Friday, June 22, 2007

I am SO totally a mom

And here's why:

1. I walked through Target, Costco and Walmart with a dark t-shirt that accentuated the spit up stains on the shoulder and didn't even know it. And if I did, I wouldn't really even care.

2. I caught myself telling my daughter to be sure to also comb the BACK of her hair.

3. I finish off the leftover macaroni and cheese in the pan.

4. I can nurse one child, read a book to another child, listen to another child's story about how I'm supposed to pretend to call her and ask for a pretend makeover while tuning out my other child who is frolicking on the furniture making assorted noises all while watching my CNBC stock ticker scroll on tv and making a mental grocery list in my head. ( Now.....about that makeover......)

5. I have items like a Bumbo, a Miracle Blanket, a swing, an Exersaucer, a play mat, Boppy pillow and a bouncy chair that take up more space than real furniture in my family room.

6. A good day is when I get a shower in before 3pm.

7. An even BETTER day is when I can get two kids to nap at the same time, use the bathroom in peace, and take a shower ( AND shave my legs! ) without hearing, "MOM!?! MOM!?! MOM!?!".

8. I have a shelf in my pantry dedicated to boxes of cereal. ( And have foraged through the garbage to pull an empty box out because I feel guilty if I don't cut out the "box tops" )

9. I admit to telling my kids that the dark M & Ms are nasty and they wouldn't like them. Complete with facial expressions and all for added drama. Then I hide my stash in the #10 food storage cans in my cupboard.

10. I say things like "Because I said so", "Because I'm the mom", "How do you know you don't like it if you haven't even tried it?", and "If I have to come in help me......"

11. I changed 3 diapers yesterday within 5 minutes. All from the same child.

12. People magazines have been replaced with Parenting magazines.

13. I drive an SUV. With car/booster seats in every space. And two different types of strollers stored inside at all times. The double pain- in -the -rear- to- get- in -and- out kind, and the simple umbrella stroller. Depending on the need.

14. I buy the kid's Halloween costumes for the next year the day after Halloween when they are on sale. Then as we get closer to the next Halloween, I start laying the groundwork by saying how cool it would be if they were a "butterfly" or a "dinosaur" for Halloween this year!

15. I know who Hannah Montana, Drake, Josh, Zack and Cody are. I can also sing along to the theme songs from Blue's Clues, Dora, Go Diego Go and "Life is a Highway" from Cars.

16. You can never have too much construction paper.

17. I give in and will take the kids to McDonald's only because they want the cool, new, worthless piece of junk Happy Meal toy.

18. I only buy my kids shoes if they have velcro instead of laces.

19. The music played in the car is either a CD of kid songs or Radio Disney.

20. My monthly diaper budget is almost a car payment.

21. Activities and errands revolve around naptime.

22. My kids think that a "fancy" dinner is when I put hot dogs in the macaroni and cheese.

And my all time favorite:
23. Having a child say, "Where are you going?" anytime I put on makeup or a bra.

Feel free to add your own.

Monday, June 18, 2007

You do the math.....

This entry is inspired by my trip to Subway over the weekend.

Remember back in school and your teacher tried to convince you that you needed to learn math because you would use it everyday? And remember how much you hated math and that you retorted or at least THOUGHT that you could just use a calculator? As if I really need to know what Pi is or the inside angle of a rhombus.

Well, here's a couple of reasons WHY math is good.

I worked in fast food once when I was 16. It was my first real job outside of babysitting on Saturday nights. It lasted two months. Right after my first pay raise review when I was told that I was too "slow" at the register and I wouldn't be getting a raise was when I realized I would much rather make $2/hour babysitting than working at McDonalds for $3.25. You might think that it doesn't make sense because I was taking a pay cut. But the way I see it....not having to wear that chocolate brown polyester monstrosity alone was enough to make up the difference. My only real memory of working there that summer was when I was mopping the floor and a little old lady came up to me and told me about a young gentleman who had been eyeing me. She gave me a little wink and went on her way. I wanted to be flattered but then realized how creepy it was that a kid could think I was even remotely attractive in that hideous getup. Oh, and I do recall a couple of mustard and ketchup fights in the kitchen with my twin brother. That was fun.

Back to Subway.

I had a fairly large order to make. A couple of six inch sub combos and three kid's meals. There was a line out the door so I really tried to make it easy for the employee. Remember, I worked fast food before and know what kind of private torture it can be. I had the two six inch subs made out of the same type of bread and made all of the kid's meals the same sandwich. And when she asked if I wanted my sub toasted, I said "no" knowing that it would just complicate things too much. As I made my way to the register, I told the girl what I had ordered and to make the two six inch sandwiches combo meals with the largest soda. I knew it was a risk but I really wanted a large diet Coke. I was told that they ran out of lids for the largest cup size so I was stuck getting the smaller size.

Uh oh. Things were already starting to get iffy.

Remember.... two six inch combos and 3 kid's meals. $27.69 later, I mentioned how I thought that seemed a little high. I was expecting it to be around $18-$20. So, I'm doing the math. Two bucks a piece for the kid's meals. Maybe $6.50 for each combo. So, I have her show me the receipt and first thing I noticed is a double charge for one of the sandwiches. Of course she didn't know how to reverse my charge and neither did the manager. He told her to just give me cash back for the overcharge. As she starts to count out the $3.69, I didn't have the heart to tell her that it should be $3.69 PLUS the tax. I knew she wouldn't get it. There were percentages and decimals involved and it wasn't worth the quarter to explain it to her.

A couple of weeks ago, I went over to LA Fitness to look into a membership. I had a membership at Ballys years ago and know the whole schpeel. You have to go in like it's a car dealership. NEVER accept the first price because there is always something better. After the tour, the man sat down with me to go over the prices. His first offer was a $149 enrollment non refundable fee then $39 per month. So with all of the confidence in the world I said,"Awe come on! You can do better than THAT!" I was more interested in the one- time- pay- in- full -with- the- shortest- contract deal. He had to "talk to his manager." ( the 16 year old girl at a desk behind him ). I hear whisperings and a little note taking then some giggles. Then he comes back and tells me about the great offer his manager is letting him give me. Wow! I must be special!

Remember those annoying word problems? Well, here is an example where that little bit of knowledge might have helped Mr. LA Fitness man.

This was my deal. I could do the $149 fee plus only pay $25/month! OR, if I wanted to pay in full, I could pay $449 for a one year membership.

You do the math.

I showed him that $149 plus $25 per month for a year is the same as $449. It took him a few times of me explaining it for him to get it. He even had to use his calculator accessory on his computer. And when he finally got it, he said, "Well wow!.....I got busted."

Yes. Yes you did.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I'm a year older now......

Let us please have a moment of silence.

40 is like the new 25 right?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Oh What Do You Do In The Summertime....

I don't know why this stuck in my head but I felt impressed to write my own words to the song, "Oh What Do You Do In The Summertime?".


Oh what do you do in the summertime
When all the kids are home?
Do you break up the fights
And tell someone, "BE NICE!
Or you'll spend the day in your room!"

Is that what you do?
-- So do I.

Oh what do you do in the summertime
When all the kids are home?
Do you go to the pool
And try to keep your cool
'Cause your 4 year old doesn't want to take lessons?

Is that what you do?
-- So do I.

Oh what do you do in the summertime
When all the kids are home?
Do you sign the kids up for stuff
Basically just time filler fluff
In order to keep your sanity?

Is that what you do?
-- So do I.

Oh what do you do in the summertime
When all the kids are home?
Do you count down the days
Till you can sit in your chaise
And watch what YOU want on tv?

Is that what you do?
-- So do I.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Born to shop the market

I know I've mentioned my love of the stock market before. Some women love to shop. Others love to scrapbook. I love to play the stock market. I know I've also mentioned that I like to watch "Mad Money" on CNBC with Jim Cramer. Well, the other day, after hearing the soundbite "BUY! BUY! BUY!" on the show, my two year old was heard yelling "BUY! BUY! BUY!" My little prodigy in the making......

I'm always looking for the next great stock to buy. A good deal if you will. And, like women, when you come across a good deal, you have to share it with all of your friends.

So, I could hardly contain my giddiness when I read an article about how both DiscoverCard and Visa were planning to go public sometime this year! Since I bought Mastercard when they went public last May, the stock has tripled. I can only imagine what Discover and Visa will do when they ride Mastercard's coat-tails. And lets face it.....women KNOW credit cards. I think both stocks will be a big hit!