Tuesday, April 27, 2010

On Reducing, Reusing and Trying to Sell All Your Crap

I signed up for a table the CTMom's 2nd Annual Tag Sale.

I was excited to get rid of some of the stuff that we have accumulated in the last few years, and I was hoping to unload a ton of baby clothes.

The tag sale, of course, coincided with the one weekend that both my husband and my mom were out of town. This left me to rely on my sister to watch my kids on Saturday. No easy task, when you consider that she has a two year old and an 8 month-old of her own. I have to thank her for picking them up, feeding them, keeping them entertained and making them nap. Especially, since the Little Lady has a bit of a cold and Lord knows, the Lady can have her moments.

Friday night was set up night from 6-9 pm. I had to have the new sitter come to watch the ladies. When I got to the church where the sale was to be held, they had double booked the cafeteria and I spent the next two hours sitting in the hallway trying to tag some of my items. I was however able to sell a couple of things to fellow moms and before the sale even started Saturday morning, I had made 22 bucks!

Now, I know that a tag sale is a place to unload your unwanted items. However, it doesn't mean that some of this stuff still doesn't have value. I priced my items pretty fairly, and not for nothing, a lot of my stuff was brand new and never worn, which is why I have to wonder why people feel the need to try and nickle and dime you over somethings. Case in point a woman came in and took almost everything off my table that still had price tags on it. Had I charged her the "full" asking price on these items, which was like $2-$5 each, it probably would have been like $75, still a pretty good deal for everything she was getting. I gave her a deal and told her she could have it all for $50. She tried to lowball me at $25. We went back and forth and I went as low as $40. She came back with $39. Really? Really? $39? You can't just pay the extra dollar?

The best part about it was she paid with a $100 bill and then came back at the way end of the sale looking for some more deals. I had already closed my table up by then. I mean, I am all for getting a bargain, but give me a break. At that point, I would have rather given everything to the charity for free then take another penny from that lady.

Anyway, at the end of the day I made about $200, which was about $50 more than I made last year. All the money is going toward our Disney World Vacation Fund. The Lady needs her Princess fix. . .

The Breastaurant is Closed

My boob hurts and my heart hurts a little too.

The Little Lady is done breastfeeding. I was planning on stopping around 9 months anyway, but I wanted to do it on my own terms. I was so worried about weaning her off and having her be inconsolable because I wasn't nursing her to sleep or able to comfort her the way she was used to. Turns out, after the biting came straight out rejection.

I don't like to be rejected, and quite honestly, my boobs rarely get rejected!

To top it off, I have one giant, hard, engorged boob that hurts. The right boob or "the milk dud" never really produced as much milk as the left. It is feeling fine, the left one, however, is noticeably larger than its counterpart and I can only be grateful that I can't remember the last time I got a haircut, because my hair is so long it covers my breasts and allows a little camouflage on the inequity in size.

I am feeling a little down about it. In the middle of a crazy, hectic day, sometimes breastfeeding was the only quality time the Little Lady and I had together. I guess it is best that she is the one who broke the bond, because now I don't have to feel guilty about cutting her off, and I will say that now that the breastaurant is closed it will be nice not to have to worry about production, pumping and scheduled feedings. It opens up my time a little bit more and it is nice to have that freedom.

I told the Lady that the Little Lady was done nursing. I overheard her telling her "No more boobies for you Little Lady." No more boobies indeed!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

More Free Stuff

Here is a link to some free stuff to help celebrate Earth Day.

http://green.yahoo.com/blog/greenpicks/278/earth-day-deals.html

Hider in the Office?

When I was driving into work this morning I passed by two cop cars right outside the office. The cops were outside the cars with a large dog.

Apparently, there was a bank robbery in the area and the K9 Unit traced the scent to the revolving doors at the entrance to our building.

Now, this building isn't that big, but the entire second floor is totally empty and it is a little scary to think that someone might be hiding out, ala Hider in the House, a movie that totally freaked me out.

I will keep you updated. . .

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On the Supermarket, No Naps and Biting Boobs

Yesterday was one of those days where I had to try and focus on the little victories.

I spent most of the morning entrenched in that dangerous dance of trying to get out of the house with a fully clothed two-and-a-half year old. We had one fairly large tantrum about getting dressed that was set off by the fact that I had picked out jeans for the Lady to wear. Jeans, to the Lady is like kryptonite. Literally, you can see her body breaking down into a jumbled mess of flesh and bones as she kicks and flails and then does the age-old slump to the floor like a sack of potatoes move, when you try to gently coax her little legs into those denim duds.

This tantrum was fairly normal, but I noticed that she started to take out her anger a bit on the Little Lady, who was all ready to go sitting peacefully in her car seat. After telling me "NO" she would run over to the car seat and hit the top of it with her hand. She never actually touched the Little Lady, but I could see that she was testing some boundaries. This little action led me to exile her in my room where she could calm down. The Lady has been having these little tantrums at least once a day and gets herself so worked up that she has started growling at me. It is always something new at my house.

Anyway, after a couple of minutes I went in to find the Lady, nude on my bed, with her little moon entirely too close to my pillow. I am hoping not to wake up with pink eye anytime soon!

I was finally able to get her dressed (in leggings--not jeans) and we left the house about 2 hours after I wanted to. I was able to bribe the Lady with riding in the shopping cart that has the car attached to the front. Are these cars akin to a petri dish filled with the most vile of all germs? Yes. Did I care at that point? No. Besides, they have Purell wipes at the entrance of the store and every time I walk in there I take about 15.

Now, I don't know if any of you have pushed these car-carts before, but due to the size of the car, the actual cart part is reduced. I then had to put the Little Lady, who had fallen asleep in her car seat, inside that much reduced cart space. I was not even able to use the top part of the cart because the seat took up basically all the space. The other problem with the car-cart is that it is top heavy. The weight of the Lady and the car actually force the front of the cart down and so I rolled into Stop & Shop on the front two wheels.

By the time we hit the deli counter, the Little Lady had woken up, but I had already slid a few things down into the nooks and crannies of available space in the cart so I didn't think it was worth it to try to get back to the car with the seat. I put her in the front of the cart, propped up the car seat and continued shopping. By the end of the trip, I had the Little Lady in the front playing with the puffs container, the Lady in the car with shampoo and Dora yogurt drinks (an impulse buy--but we had a coupon!), the car seat clicked into the end of the cart and hanging over the car and 14 Stage 2 fruits balanced on the roof.

Did I mention that there was not one tantrum, not one peep from either of the Ladies? That the Lady who usually drags her hands on the floor, stayed in her seat and besides the Dora yogurt (that I had a coupon for) didn't ask for anything that she wasn't going to get. That the Little Lady, despite only sleeping for 20 minutes and pushing lunch time--entertained herself in her maiden voyage in the front of the cart? And to top it all off--I saved $37.48 at the register. I know it isn't a ton, but I actually went in prepared to shop and it worked. I saved some cash. Ah the little victory.

I was so proud of me. I was so proud of my Ladies.

Then we got home. The Lady never took a nap. The Little Lady started biting me when I tried to nurse her. Let me be clear about this. BITING BOOBS HURTS. Now, I am not one to judge and whatever any of my readers do in the privacy of their own bedrooms is their business, but when an 8 month old with two teeth takes a nip at your tit there is nothing, NOTHING, pleasurable about it.

I forcefully told the Little Lady no. She bit me again. Then one more time. I cried. She cried. Ugh.

Luckily, both the girls were in bed sleeping by 8 pm. The Little Lady only bit me once during the last feeding before bed. I know that she is teething and that she doesn't mean to hurt me but just like trying to reason with a 2.5 year old, I have a feeling that somehow I am losing this battle!

Baby News

Oh Boy. . . Oh Boy. . .

I am happy to report the births of two new baby boys this month.

The first is a very fuzzy, dark-haired PA boy, with a novelists name and a very sweet big sister. We hope to meet you soon!!

And joining us today, weighing in at 7lbs 2oz. the newest member of Steadman's Army. May he be as lucky as his mom, as cute as his big brother and as mildly amusing as his father. Love you guys!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

On Flying, Squirming and Peeing in the Seat

We took the Ladies down to Dallas over the weekend. My hubby had his first event of the season and since his brother lives down there we tagged along to see the family.

The Lady was super excited to see her 4-year old cousin, who shares an affinity for all things princess and high drama.

But first, we had to get there. . .

Flying is a pain in the ass in general. And unless you are one of those super efficient fliers like my husband, who is accustomed to the ins and outs of the airport, who is Platinum on American and who doesn't need to carry a purse, diaper bag and a baby strapped across their chest, then you know what a hassle just getting to the plane can be.

We had one joint suitcase for the four of us, one carry on suitcase, the diaper bag, a clear, pink feather fringed backpack, a computer bag, a carseat, a infant carseat and base, an umbrella stroller, golf clubs, an infant carrier, two kids and hopefully enough snacks. This was for a grand total of about 3 and a half days.

We parked the car, loaded out the kids, the checked baggage and headed for the counter. I have to say that travelling with my husband does have perks. He is on the road often enough that his points have enabled me to fly free for the past two years or so and the luxury of skipping the line and heading to the First Class/Priority counter makes a world of difference.

We checked in and checked our bags.The Ladies and I hung out in the terminal while my husband went back to the car (it also helps if your husband's company pays for parking--this allows you to park in the daily lot and not have to worry about hopping on the bus from long-term parking), picked up the carry-on luggage and met us back by security.

Ah, security. The logistics of getting everything off, through and reassembled can be a bit of a challenge. I will have to say that I think we did a good job. Now, I am not skilled in a ton of things. I know I make good cookies, I am an okay writer and pretty good with trivia, however, since becoming a mother, I have honed the ability to do things with one hand and retrieve items with my toes.

I was able to get the Lady's shoes off and fold up the stroller with one hand, then was able to pick up a dropped princess, light-up sneaker as well as my flips with my toes, while carrying the Little Lady in one hand and Gerry, Moonie, Giant Gerry and Mr. Ducks in the other. For as much stuff as we had I think things moved pretty smoothly.

Since we lost some time waiting for my husband to make the second trip from the car, we didn't have enough time to feed the little Lady her breakfast, this meant applesauce on the plane. I was able to pick up an iced coffee, some yogurt, a bag of trail mix, a Powerade and a copy of Rolling Stone Magazine with the cast of Glee on the cover, but I also had to find a place to put all of it. I am sure it was a sight to be seen with the Little Lady in the carrier, trying to paw at the coffee and yogurt I was balancing in one-hand, while pushing the Lady in the stroller through the jetway with the other. Did I mention we were like three rows from the back of the plane? Oh yeah--we were.




I was worried about the Lady on the flight. I thought that she might get restless and try to escape her seat. I couldn't have been more wrong about her. She was actually very good, minus a few moments of irritability, and she actually fell asleep for about 45 minutes. The Little Lady on the other hand was a whole lot of wiggle.

8-month olds in general are starting to move and the Little Lady is no exception. She is constantly reaching for everything around her. This includes iced coffees, her sister's hair, safety instruction cards tucked in the back of seats and barf bags. She is nimble, she is dexterous and she is quick. Needless to say, she was a bit of a handful on the flight. She never screamed or was super fussy, she was just in constant motion. She also pooped on board and threw her pacifier, spoon and toys on the floor so many times, I thought I might have to burn them when we disembarked because Lord knows what kind of germs she picked up.

And speaking of germs on the flight and changing diapers . . . do not, in an attempt to get your 2.5 year-old dressed and out of the house for a 10:15 am flight put her in a pull-up when she isn't quite potty trained. This will only lead to not changing her into a diaper before the flight leaves, due to lack of time and hope of avoiding a terminal tantrum, and then realizing that she has peed through said pull-up, her clothes and all over the seat. However, please thank your husband for taking her into that tiny bathroom and changing her and finding a blanket to cover the seat with. Note to all travelers: DO NOT USE THOSE BLANKETS--you never know whose 2 year old peed on the seat and had to cover it up! I know it is super gross and makes me kind of skeeved out as a fellow traveler to know that there might be urine or worse on these seats, but such is life and at least she wasn't kicking the seat non-stop the entire ride or screaming crying.

When we finally made it to Dallas, we had to do the baggage thing in reverse. My husband took the Lady and the carseat to pick up the rental car, while the Little Lady and I waited on the luggage. He then parked, came back in with the Lady and helped us lug all the stuff out to the car. I do think that things could have gone much worse. I was grateful that we didn't have any delays, that there was no lost luggage, and that the Ladies were relatively well-behaved. That is of course until we actually got to my Brother-in-law's.

That however is another blog post. . .

Tax Day Discounts

Hope everyone got their taxes mailed out and will be getting a refund!

Here are a few links for some freebies and discounts today!

http://finance.yahoo.com/taxes/article/109323/smart-spending-free-treats-and-more-for-taxpayers?mod=taxes

Also, the Walking Company is tax free today if you order online and Kenneth Cole is offering a 41% discount plus free shipping on any order over $50.

Happy shopping and saving!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Guest Blog by Steadman's Army

Hey everyone,

Steadman's Army has given me another guest blog to post. Enjoy his random musings.

Random Musings

Its official, Notre Dame is cursed. On the other hand, if you die an alcohol related death at the age of 19, you probably weren't ready to be Irish anyway… I can’t stand recreational cyclists who need to don full spandex like they are on the European circuit. They walk around with great aplomb like they just broke a speed record while everyone else is throwing up in their mouths. It’s completely absurd and I really feel there should be more of an uproar on a national level… Water-boarding should be reserved only for those who schedule conference calls after 4 pm EST… Step Brothers has recently joined Zoolander as movies that are currently in the loop which I will watch every single time they come on. And by loop I am referring to the big 4: HBO, Starz, Cinemax or Showtime. If you only have basic cable than you can discuss how wonderful ‘Daddy Day Care’ was on TNT with your imaginary friends on a lesser blog… Is anything as odious as someone who stands too close to you on the subway when there is clearly plenty of room? Yes, the guy who smelled like he dumped his pants on the Orange Line yesterday… I can’t wait for beach season so I can stay inside and change diapers while everyone else is having the time of their lives… Hulk Hogan will suffer a massive stroke by years end. You heard it here first… Finally, does anything substantiate the existence of corporate brainwashing or widespread subliminal messaging more than the massive success of Michael BublĂ©? WTF is going on?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Once Upon a Time, Not So Long Ago

On Saturday I saw Bon Jovi. I am not sure if there are words to describe this, but I will try.


I will say that this concert experience was quite different than the first time I saw them in 5th grade, the Slippery When Wet Tour, Madison Square Garden. But it was still awesome.


When I got home the Lady asked me "Why you go to Jon Boni?" Well Lady, let me explain. . .


1. I got to celebrate the birthday of a really good friend.


2. An hour and a half in the car with three of my girlfriends, no kids, no kid music and plenty of uninterrupted chatting time.


3. An hour and a half mani/pedi with same said girlfriends, plus a lot of foot rubbing, hand rubbing and back rubbing (not by said girlfriends) but by the nimble hands of a certified nail technician.


4. Mohegan Sun--where the lights are bright, the drinks are cold, the arena is smack dab in the middle of the casino and where you could spend days and days people watching.


5. Forty-something ladies wearing tight, black, bejeweled t-shirts that said things like "Mrs. Bon Jovi."


6. A cold icy Margarita.


7. A woman in the bathroom with a can of hair spray, spraying her long, straight black hair. I mean really do you need hairspray for straight hair?


8. Suffering through the opening act of a band that we think might have won a radio contest and never told us its name. Also, remembering why you always go into a concert at least an hour after the time on the ticket. It would have given us more gambling time (even though I didn't put down one dollar) and more time for me to watch my girlfriend play Craps. I think I might actually lay down some coin next time on that game.


9. Three little words. . . Jon Bon Jovi.


10. The man still looks incredible and even though he changed his shirt like three times, he never once came out without wearing it unbuttoned to at least his navel.


11. Richie Sambora, still channeling the Slippery When Wet days, by wearing skin tight sparkly pants. Then donning the cowboy hat for "Wanted Dead or Alive." Classic.


12. Shot through the heart and you're to blame. . . darling you give love a bad name.


13. The woman on the opposite side of the arena waving a giant Bon Jovi t-shirt the entire concert--seriously lady, why didn't you just wear it?


14. The fact that Jon told the crowd that it looked like Cougar Town.


15. The couple two rows in front of us that were uncomfortably close, and sang all the songs to each other, while swaying, dancing and engaging in entirely too much PDA.


16. Did I mention Jon's exposed chest?


17. Hallelujah sung by Jon with David (the one with the perm) on keyboards.


18. The fact that I didn't know any of the new stuff, but since it is Bon Jovi and it all kind of sounds like Bon Jovi, it was still good.


19. Jon walking the crowd, singing with female fans and actually making them sigh and swoon.


20. Three amazing women to share, laugh, sing-along and snicker with.


So that's why Jon Boni, Lady, that's why.