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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Everything!

Sprouticus and his family wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday!

Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, Festivus or something else - we hope you have a wonderful time surrounded by your family and friends!

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Something Snappy

Thanks Something Snappy for the nice review. She is also giving away a Chocolate Lip Stuff for Crispy Kissers - so head on over there and enter!

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas Is Coming

One of the sure signs that Christmas is getting nearer is the appearance of the Christmas Book Box.

We have been collecting Christmas books since the kids were little and each year add at least one new one to the collection.

The box comes out after Thanksgiving and goes back into hiding on New Year's Day. In between, bedtime stories are given over almost completely to the exploits of Santa and the reindeer.

We have the classics, this AMAZING Pop-up version of The Night Before Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Little Drummer Boy, Frosty the Snowman...

But even more fun are the lesser known stories:The Christmas Crocodile ,
The Chicken Who Saved Christmas, How Santa Got His Job, and Olive, the Other Reindeer.

Now that the kids are getting a little older, they like more involved stories, especially if they have "extra" features. One that they have enjoyed for the past few years is
Dear Santa Claus, which has actual letters from Santa in little envelopes. They fight (of course) over who gets to read which letter and who gets to hold the tiny advent calendar and "Reindeer Guidebook" while we read.

Today, after we got the box out and placed it in its place of honor by the fireplace, we went out and found the book for this year. Santa Claus is a very impressive book with lots of fold-out sections that give lots of hard-core factual information about the North Pole and the "magic portal" that leads to Santa's headquarters. We only got through about four pages tonight, but we are all set to work on it for the next few nights!

The kids spent part of the afternoon sprawled out on the floor revisiting their old favorites. They love the tradition of getting the books out each year.

This made me think of the kids that First Book is helping, who don't have collections of books to bring out each year and pore over. I can't even imagine a life without more books than we know what to do with, but I know that there are lots of kids who aren't as blessed as we are.

It is easy for you to help kids get access to books. During this holiday season, as always, 2% of any on-line orders from Stuff for Sprouts are donated to First Book. In addition, you can add extra donations to your shopping cart. While everything is on sale (40-50% off!) you could consider donating some of those savings to helping make books available to needy kids.

You could also click through on any one of those links up above. Any purchases from Amazon through a link will result in a percent of the price of the book going to First Book.

If you don't want to do any of those things, and are donating gifts for children through some other organization, consider making books part of those donations. Kids who learn to love reading can learn anything.

And that is the best gift there is!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tagged


I think I am flattered to be "tagged" by Caroline at Shop Because.

That does mean that I am not entirely speaking to an imaginary audience here - which is cool. So, thanks!


I am supposed to reveal 7 things about myself here...and then pass the tag along to 7 others.

The pressure is immense to not make myself sound like the most boring (or most insane) person ever...s
o here goes with 7 things that most people probably don't know about me.

1) I hate top sheets and don't allow them on any beds in my home. If you are a guest, I let you have them - but people who live here need to suck it up and deal with a comforter.


2) I also don't believe it making the beds. Who is going to see them? You are just getting right back in. Big waste of time and effort in my opinion.


3) Touching slimy things skeeves me out - so it is a major labor of love that I cook chicken for my family. Because touching raw chicken? Yucky.


4) I love love love love love Christmas music. I have about 30 Christmas CDs and load them all on my iPod and subject my family to Christmas songs from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. I would start earlier, but Mike might leave...and I like him more than I like Christmas music.


5) I used to skip class in college if my hair didn't turn out right that morning. (Shhh...don't tell my parents)

6) I can't stop buying lip gloss. I've tried to convince myself I have enough. Can't.

7) I check People.com about 20 times a day - just in case something happened. But I haven't read a newspaper in about 10 years.

Link
OK - so who am I tagging?

Lisa - at DarlingLisa
Jamie - at J. Leigh Events
Colleen - at Classy Mommy
Janie - at Wee Green Toddler
Jenny - at Suburban Jungle
Margie - at Chesapeake Ribbons
Jamie - at Precious Peas

Tag-ees - you need to post a list of 7 things about yourself along with a link back here to this post. Then tag 7 more people and put in links to their blogs. Have fun ladies!

Can't wait to see what they have to say for themselves!

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Paranoid? Or really creepy?

I am all about customer service. I like being treated well. I try to treat customers the way I would want to be treated.

I like that the people at the Dunkin' Donuts know that I want a large iced coffee with skim and Splenda.

I like it when I get discounts at Old Navy and Target for using my credit card.

But faux-friendly marketing creeps me out. Like when the checkers at the grocery store read my receipt and call me by name (Generally pronouncing it incorrectly. BTW, I am NOT Mrs. Basic - I am actually quite complex).

This ad was in the middle of my Real Simple Magazine. It calls me by name (first name, very familiar) and points out a store near my house that carries this coffee machine (which does look cool - and yet - not the point!)

I guess the idea was that it got my attention. But it is, "Who are you and why do you know where I would shop?" kind of attention. Paranoid attention. Not good attention.

Now I would be a little frightened to go to Macy's. Like they are waiting for me and would immediately point me in the direction of the upscale coffee machines. "Ah, I see you got our note...right this way..."

Ick. Creepy.

I know enough about technology to see that this was easy for them to pull off. My name in the subscription file - a quick zip code look-up. Fairly un-scary technology. And yet - just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

I don't even shop at Macy's. Like - ever.

Now, if Target wants to send me a personalized note in a magazine, that would be cool. We are tight.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Anniversary

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of my last day of "real" employment. A whole year. Wow.

Looking back on the year, I wish I had done some things differently. Been a little more organized. Been a little more aggressive. Been a little more goal-oriented. Or maybe a lot of those things.

But overall, no major regrets. I am proud of what I accomplished. Excited for what lies ahead, whatever that may be.

And my hands feel great!

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Monday, November 10, 2008

You win!!

The winner of the second blog carnival is Kristan of Pierce Best Babies.

Thanks to all who entered!

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hello Early Show!



This gift basked went to the Early Show...no, I haven't heard from them...but a girl can dream.
See Sprouticus down there on the right?

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day Results

Unfortunately, Sprouticus didn't make it in his bid for the White House. Although I think he is probably relieved to not be the first President who is just a head with legs. He is better of focusing on his area of expertise - being cute.

Today marks the end of our Campaign to Conquer Crunchiness - although the campaign goes on in spirit with the big Winter Sale Days continuing...

Congratulations to our winners - Teresa Holder and Patricia Nieh. Each will receive a $50 Visa Gift Card and $50 in Stuff for Sprouts products.

And we now have 899 (!) people signed up for our newsletter...so that's exciting!

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Welcome to ANOTHER Carnival!


This is very deja vu...

I am participating this week in the Holiday Gift Fest Blog Carnival. You can click through there to see the other folks participating and enter their contests.


Our prize is the Stuff for Sprouts Nostalgic Memories Gift Set (pictured over there). A retail value of $43!

Let this set take you back to summer days at the seashore, playing out in the yard on a spring day, and picnics with your favorite lunch. Share these memories with your crunchy kid or keep them all to yourself!

Includes our cuddly Sprouticus Plush toy - a perfect gift for your favorite little Sprout!

This set includes:
Lotion for Crunchy Kids - Beach - 4 oz
Cream for Extra Crunchy Kids - Front Lawn - 2 oz
Lip Stuff for Crispy Kissers - PB&J - .35 oz
Sprouticus Plush Toy

All of our great natural skin care products for kids, together in a set to allow you to sample each of the fantastic formulas! The benefits of great natural ingredients for dry arms and legs, feet and hands, lips and cheeks! We've got you covered!

To enter the contest - comment on this post or come follow me on Twitter. The winner will be contacted on Saturday morning, November 8th!

Good luck!

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And the winner of the Blog Carnival is...

Jinxykb who joined us a a follower on Twitter!

Thanks to all who entered the contest - stay tuned for another one starting tomorrow!!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

BIG Winter Sale!

I just posted the information for our big winter sale!
40-50% off of everything on the Stuff for Sprouts website through the end of the year.

Go get some!

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Welcome to The Carnival!


I am participating this week in the Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival. You can click through there to see the other folks participating and enter their contests.

Our prize is the Stuff for Sprouts Nostalgic Memories Gift Set (pictured over there). A retail value of $43!

Let this set take you back to summer days at the seashore, playing out in the yard on a spring day, and picnics with your favorite lunch. Share these memories with your crunchy kid or keep them all to yourself!

Includes our cuddly Sprouticus Plush toy - a perfect gift for your favorite little Sprout!

This set includes:
Lotion for Crunchy Kids - Beach - 4 oz
Cream for Extra Crunchy Kids - Front Lawn - 2 oz
Lip Stuff for Crispy Kissers - PB&J - .35 oz
Sprouticus Plush Toy

All of our great natural skin care products for kids, together in a set to allow you to sample each of the fantastic formulas! The benefits of great natural ingredients for dry arms and legs, feet and hands, lips and cheeks! We've got you covered!

To enter the contest - comment on this post or come follow me on Twitter. The winner will be contacted on Saturday morning, November 1st!

Good luck!

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Monday, October 27, 2008

New Press...

I didn't realize these had been posted.

Thank you Urban Baby Buzz and Kids VT for the articles!!

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sorry!

Wow - I have been insanely bad about writing here!

I am plotting and planning something big...stay tuned!

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Are you doing it?


Today, in honor of Feel Your Boobies Week, I am giving a shout out (well, a whimper out to my imaginary audience) to Feel Your Boobies.

I know the founder, Leigh Hurst, from Ladies Who Launch. And I proudly have a FYB magnet on my car (which attracts lots of attention!)


Leigh started Feel Your Boobies when feeling her own helped her detect early breast cancer when she was only 33 (!) She made t-shirts for her friends with the irreverent statement "Feel Your Boobies" and they took off. Now she is spreading the word and encouraging young women (and those of us who wish we were young enough to be in her target demographic) to be familiar with their own bodies and know when something is not quite right.

I love all of her marketing tactics including the great graphics, cool t-shirts, and my favorite, The Boobies Bus. She even did a Boobies at the Beach tour this summer including planes flying along the beach with FYB banners. Too cool.

FYB is currently in the running for a MySpace Impact Award - so if you are a MySpace member (I became one so I could vote) please give a click to Leigh and her great cause.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Charitable suggestions?

I am looking for a shelter for women with children or a children's home where I can donate some of the older stock of Stuff for Sprouts (perfectly good, the labels just changed). I have contacted one, but they might not be able to take it...

Any suggestions?

UPDATE: We will be sending our excess inventory to the Navajo Lutheran Mission in Rock Pointe, Arizona. Those little desert kids are going to be happy!!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Congratulations!

To our Ecorazzi contest winner, Michele P. of Waterville, ME.

Your Lip Stuff for Crispy Kissers Gift Set is on its way to you!

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Weirdly good...

Today there were more orders for Stuff for Sprouts than in the past three weeks combined...so, yay!

AND two people sent in pictures of Sprouticus in their part of the US. Yay again!
Check them out...enter your own...there are still excellent odds of winning the contest!!

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Monday, October 13, 2008

I found it!

I know you were worried...


Now the holidays can happen...whew...

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Monday, October 6, 2008

By Golly - It really works!


I knew Cream for Extra Crunchy Kids worked on my Sprout. Crunchy legs turned un-crunchy. Itchy back turned un-itchy. Dry as a desert kid turned cuddly (well, she was already cuddly...but she got softer).

I knew it worked on other kids. I have testimonials and reviews that say so.

But last night, Tater had a red, scaly itchy spot on his leg. It had been there for a few days, I put some hydrocortisone on it, thinking it was a rash of some sort. Not really thinking, I guess. It wasn't looking any better. So, I finally realized - try the cream, silly!

And in the morning, no scaliness, no itchiness, much less redness. I put some more on this morning, and at bedtime, just a little pink, but smooth. Holy moly - it worked!!

I should have taken before and after pictures!! Rats!


Got any crunchiness going on at your house? You might want to try this. Remember, money back guarantee - I promise. If you don't like it - send it back!


Of course I have to say here that none of the Stuff for Sprouts products are medicated, and no medical claims are being made here. Your results may vary. But they might be the same...who knows!!

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Christmas Shopping

As much as I am somewhat horrified that there are people out there who are not only beginning to shop for Christmas, but who are actually done...I am thrilled that Stuff for Sprouts was recommended as a Christmas gift source on Shop Just Because.

Caroline also has some beautiful jewelry on her site - so check it out!

I personally can't seem to think about buying things for other people until after Thanksgiving. And I am frightened of Black Friday. Not that I am not shopping...just not gift shopping...

For those of you who are ready - let the gifting begin!

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's Beginning to Look...

a little bit like Christmas? (And, rats, I can't find my Christmas Stuff for Sprouts logo..)

I just ordered gift boxes to do gift sets at the Pixie Cowboy (where I am doing consignment). For anyone local to Chester Springs/Downingtown, the Pixie Cowboy is a super-cute children's shop with new and "vintage" kids clothes and accessories. The just moved to a new location, sort of behind Moore's furniture off of Rt 100. They are right next door to Make a Mess, which also looks like a very cute place for kids.

Anyhoo...getting things ready for the holidays. I can't believe it is already time!

I am also going to be doing a shopping event over in Byers Station at one of the model homes next week. I will post details when I have them.

Hope everyone is surviving the implosion of the economy... :(


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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pssst...contest alert...

You can go to Ecorazzi.com and enter their contest for free Lip Stuff for Crispy Kissers (critters?).

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Northern Exposure

I got an e-mail today from a shop in Oregon that wants to carry Stuff for Sprouts. They definitely can use it up there where it is so cold and blustery...hope it happens.

Fingers...toes...elbows...ankles...all crossed.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Well, hello there...


I just sent a newsletter to 477 people (!) Some of these people might come here to visit the blog. Some of these people (many of them, in fact) signed up for the newsletter in hopes of winning the big prize(s) to be awarded on November 4th to one lucky subscriber.

Those people have never heard from me before.


So, if you are one of those people, let me say - Welcome, new friends!

Thanks so much for taking the extra effort to click on over here and see what is up in the world of
Stuff for Sprouts!

Stuff for Sprouts is near and dear to my heart - named after my own Sprout and used in our household to keep the crunchies at bay. Shared with all of you so you can treat your sprouts, and yourselves, to great natural products that don't take themselves too seriously. Because chock-full-of-natural-goodness can still be fun!

If you wanted to try some products, that would be so totally great! We do have a money-back guarantee - so if your "stuff" isn't as great as you hoped it would be, send it on back. No hard feelings. (BTW - no one has sent anything back so far...knock wood...cross fingers)

If you want to just hang around a while and get to know us a little better, that's cool, too.

If you are just in this for the prizes, I totally respect your honesty and focus on the goal. You should take a picture and enter it in the Campaign Trail Contest - excellent odds of winning there since I am the only entrant so far :(

Whatever your reason for being here - thanks! And come on back...I appreciate an audience. Despite the therapeutic effects of journaling to myself, it is much more fun when other people read along!

All the best!

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Come be our Friend!

I finally managed to create a Facebook page for Stuff for Sprouts.
So please, come sign up as a fan.
Tell your friends!

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

America the Beautiful

I can't believe it's been 7 years since the horrible day when Mike and I sat in The Royal Treat in Rehoboth, Delaware and thought that everyone must be getting the news all wrong. Something with a plane, and a building? We were out for breakfast during our vacation with our, then not-quite-2-year-old, Sprout.

Finally, we figured out what had happened (and I still, to this day, can't completely get my head around it) and found a TV and watched in horror. Sprout kept pointing at the TV and saying "Fire!", which was our clue to turn off the TV and go do something else. I don't think she could have possibly comprehended what was going on, but we knew it was our job to make her feel safe, and watching the TV wasn't going to help.

I remember Mike standing in the street trying to get cell phone reception to check on friends who worked at the WTC (they were all OK - thank goodness!) And feeling like everyone was coming together (good) while everything was falling apart (so so bad).

We were especially freaked out when the outlets in Rehoboth were closed because they feared that anywhere with large gatherings of people could be a target. Since when does shopping for off-price clothing cause you to be a terrorist target? Well, since 9/11/01, I guess.

We stuck out our vacation, flying kites and playing in the sand and focusing on what we had - each other. Trying not to focus on what was, or could be, lost.

I remember spending the next couple of weeks waiting for the other shoe to drop. Anarchy. Looting. The end of life as we knew it.

Instead we saw a sea of American Flags. Everywhere we looked - more and more flags. And eventually we settled into the new state of things. Not completely safe, although I guess that was true before, we just didn't realize. But the world didn't end. And things got better.

And just about 9 months later...there was a Tater...how's that for faith?

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Aloha!

Hawaiian blogger love.

Thanks Busy Mama!

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Book 'Em

I have mentioned that I have piles and piles of books that I haven't read...but once upon a time (and still from time to time) I have read some good ones.

Much of my non-fiction reading for the past few years has focused on trying to find our what I want to be when I grow up. Two problems with that: a) Not sure I truly want to grow up and b) There are apparently no books that say what I personally should do, and how specifically to do it.

Can't find that book.

But here is a list of a few that helped open my mind to other options for work beyond the corporate world of cubicles and long commutes. Waiting until you are 65 to start living your "real" life just doesn't seem all that reasonable to me anymore.

Which isn't to say that I won't someday go back and get a J-O-B...but I hope I can maintain some perspective about where work fits in the big picture. If you'd like to gain that same sort of perspective - here are some good resources:

Making a Living Without a Job: Winning Ways For Creating Work That You Love

It's Only Too Late If You Don't Start Now: How to Create Your Second Life at Any Age

Live the Life You Love: In Ten Easy Step-By Step Lessons


Living Your Joy: A Practical Guide to Happiness


Live What You Love: Notes from an Unusual Life


I Don't Know What I Want, But I Know It's Not This


Ladies Who Launch: Embracing Entrepreneurship & Creativity as a Lifestyle


I also recommend joining the newsletter at ChangingCourse.com. Valerie does a great job of helping to see what it would be like to make your work fit your life (rather than the other way around!) Mike and I went to one of her workshops a couple of years ago and came away all fired up to do new things!

I have to say, although this entrepreneur thing hasn't worked out quite the way I had hoped, (please buy something...) the idea of building work that is more fluid and tailored to my interests and lifestyle is awesome.

I am still hoping I can get there eventually!

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sweet!

Congratulations to the Sweet Life in the Valley Give-Away winner - Pamela White of Marysville, WA!!

Your Lip Stuff is on its way to you. Pucker up!

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Start Spreading the News...

The love us in New York!

Thanks BeautyNewsNYC.com!

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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Out of Time

One more day before I have no excuses for not focusing on work. Rats.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Blogging 101

Wow - this is my 101st post. Check me out!

We returned from vacation today. School starts on Tuesday. Two more days of summer, and then back to 'reality', however we are defining that this year!

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Life is Good

Love this brand. Love, love, love it.

There is a whole store of it here in Stone Harbor and we have been there at least four times in the past four days.

Mike has four shirts (two purchased on this trip). Me, too. The kids now each have two. And I long for more (of course, this is a consistent theme that doesn't necessarily only apply to Life is Good products).


Perhaps a sticker for the car? A cute little bag? Hoodie? Thermal? As their product line expands, so does my need for more and more...

Despite the fact that one part of me feels like a suburban stereotype, the rest of me gets all caught up in the feel-goodness of it all.

Tonight the whole family was wearing Life is Good wear - all of us wrapped up in cottony-soft optimism.

Life really IS good.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

And, there it is again...

The working mommy guilt.

Now, let's remember. I am self-employed. I work at home.

I have been home with my children what feels like 24/7 for the past 2 1/2 months.
All the time.

Doing fun things with them.

Staying up until all hours of the night to get my work done.

But Sprouts gets SO angry if ever the work in any way interferes with my undivided attention on her.

I have been doing some freelance work - to get some actual money flowing in to the ever dwindling bank account. And every time I have had to take some time to work on the project she has been so very annoyed with me.

WHY do I have to do this project? All I EVER do is work (tell me about it!)

Tonight, in the midst of packing for our week-long vacation at the beach, I also have to do some additional work on the project I finished last week. Sprout was all tucked in and called downstairs, quite outraged that I hadn't checked on her (to make sure that no monsters had eaten her??)

I went up to her bedroom and she said "WHY haven't you checked on me?" and I said "Because I know you are fine. Safe in your room, in a house full of love. And I have a kajillion things to do tonight."

And she said "WHY are you always DOING SOMETHING???"

And that, is the big question. Why am I? But wouldn't I kind of always be doing something anyway? Even if that something was watching TV? Or reading a book? Or staring at a wall? Still something.

I had a flashback to her kindergarten graduation picnic. Back when I was still employed, although on a part-time basis, at a real job, surrounded by people who worked in their offices all day, every day and had no interest or concern in how available I could be for my small-ish child.

I took the morning off to attend her picnic at a local playground. But had to give a presentation an hour away right after lunch. So as the kids sat down to eat, I attempted to say good-bye. And then there was crying. And begging. And "None of the OTHER Mommies have to leave to go to work!" (Why don't they???)

Of course I went. And I felt awful about it.
But I had responsibilities on the other side of the fence, too.

I long for a life on one side of the fence.

But, you know, with income.

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Sweet Life Giveaway

Sweet Life in the Valley is giving away a Gift Pack of Lip Stuff for Crispy Kissers. Go enter their contest and you could be the big winner!

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Mommy Blogger Love

Right back at ya "A Window to My Crazy Life".

Thanks for the great review - glad your kids are less crunchy and crispy!

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Unapologetic - Sort of.


Stuff for Sprouts products are almost, practically vegan. Cream for Extra Crunchy Kids is. Lotion for Crunchy Kids is. Lip Stuff for Crispy Kissers isn't.

Beeswax.


Bees? Really?

I have no sympathy for the bees. None.

They would take our wax in a second (if we had some). They would buzz right next to our ears and scare us, and then sting us just for fun and then take our wax.

And laugh their little bee laughs (bzzz...bzzz...ha...)
.

So when anyone asks if the product line is vegan, I want to say "Yes", because really, bees? But I can't say it. Because it isn't true. And I tell the truth.

But seriously, bees?

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Split Personality

Now this is a little weird.

I am just one person. One brain. One set of hands. Writing two blogs. Pretty much at the same time. Same level of awareness when I sit down to write.

And yet...this here blog gets this:

blog readability test

And this one gets this:

blog readability test

Weird.

Even better, because I have to bust on my brother. His blog gets this:

blog readability test

Hee hee.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Watch this Space

Sorry I am not being good about posting over here everyday.
I am juggling.

Kids in half day camp, freelance project, inquiries related to the potential sale of Stuff for Sprouts, setting up the Baby Steals deal for next Wednesday, responding to sample requests from my latest press release, getting ready for parties this weekend, attempting to spend a moment with my super-cool husband (who is currently sleeping...as I should be).


Blaarrrggghhh...

But I am also posting over here...so check both...because you know you miss me.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

It's Genetic


I think it well established that I am a product junkie. I have more lotions and potions than pretty much anyone I know. And when I couldn't find things that I liked I actually went out and created some for my kids.

I think that the sickness has passed to the next generation.

Three pieces of evidence:

1) The "book" shown in the picture is the most popular toy at our house these days. Sprout saw this at the toy store and had to have it. Counted out her hard-earned allowance money and took her little silver wallet back to the store and snapped it up.

I gotta say I wanted to play with it myself! It has little papers with faces on them and real make-up to put on the pictures - like coloring, but better! There is a guide-book that tells you what shape of eyebrows, hairstyle, and blush application is appropriate for each face shape.

Of course, after she carefully applies the cosmetics to the pictures she wants to try them out on herself (and no, I don't let her go out like that).

Even Tater has gotten in on the act. Nothing cuter than a 6-year-old boy carefully applying eye shadows (to the pictures, we're not THAT progressive) and asking whether the colors look right. Maybe I'm a teensy bit biased.

2) We made a potty stop at the Ulta this afternoon (yes, I am familiar with the availability of restrooms in pretty much every store in the area). Of course, I conveniently realized I had a coupon for "2 Points" worth of free stuff. The two kids both followed me around and smelled and tried everything they could get their hands on.

They were comparing the merits of two different kinds of facial scrub based on which smelled nicest. Tried numerous eye shadows on their hands (attracted to sparkles...apparently also genetic). And, while I was checking out, doused themselves in a number of perfumes.

3) Both children have a hair product of choice that they are very enthralled with. Tater has been having some sticking-up-hair days. So we got him some "Morning Miracle" spray mousse from Snip-Its. He LOVES it. If not watched carefully, he will spray himself multiple times during the day. Gotta say this is a vast improvement over his previous attempt a couple of years ago to tame his hair by slathering a generous quantity of hand lotion on his head.

Sprout has somehow changed her sleeping habits such that she wakes up with a fully formed nest on her head in the morning. She has become quite devoted to both Aussie 3 Minute Miracle conditioner and Johnson & Johnson No More Tangles Spray Detangler. I don't know that there have been any miracles, and there are still tears, but the nest is gone before we leave the house!

So, there you have it. Evidence that personal care product addiction is genetic. Or just fun!


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Friday, August 8, 2008

Y'All Are So Awesome

Thanks so much to the people who reached out with ideas and contacts related to selling Stuff for Sprouts.

I so appreciate the support and good wishes.

And don't worry - I will continue writing (cause I know all of my imaginary readers would miss me so much if I stopped) and newslettering until the papers are signed and the door is bumping me in the backside...and then I'll be over
here...getting started again!

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Big Announcement

So, I have been letting this information out bit by bit...but I guess it is time to come completely clean (no, not pregnant...don't even go there).

I am going to sell Stuff for Sprouts.

Hurts a little to say it.

I spend 2 years developing the products and getting them to market. The last year has been so fun and challenging and exciting and crushingly disappointing and hugely rewarding. Business ownership is apparently much like Bipolar Disorder. But no meds.

But I am realizing that I do not have a) the time b) the money and c) the skill set to take Stuff for Sprouts to the next level of where it really needs to go to be successful. It needs to be in stores. Like, LOTS of them. So people can touch it and smell it and love it and tell their friends to go get some. And then they'll tell friends, and so on...

So, I am looking for someone who wants to hit the ground running with the product development already complete, website built, reviews posted...and take it to where it needs to go.

Sort of like sending kids to college so they can get to where they need to be. Not that I am even remotely ready for THAT. But philosophically similar.

If you know of anyone who might fit the bill - please send them my way!!

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Oh, Canada!

I started filling out the forms to make Stuff for Sprouts products available in Canada. Apparently in order to be able to sell things in stores in Canada, they need to be registered with Health Canada. Who knew.

People in Canada can buy from our website, but stores in Canada can't stock our products until we register. Which is cool. The forms seem fairly straightforward, the filing appears to be free.

This in contrast to proposed legislation in the US that will require businesses like Stuff for Sprouts to register products annually and pay $2000 per product annually. Which essentially would make the barrier to entry impossible for little guys like us to stay in business.

First Health Coverage and now this...hmmm...we might want to look to the North a bit for some better ideas!

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Monday, August 4, 2008

Burning Upon Re-entry


We had a wonderful trip to Florida to visit our friends. There are the kids at Siesta Key Beach with Flat Daddy.

All was wonderful except for the fact that Sprout and I both got sunburned despite wearing SPF 70 lotion...ouch!

I have to get the newsletter for Stuff for Sprouts out this week. Somehow July completely got away from me and we are due for a new promotion for this month!!

I did manage to get some pictures of Sprouticus in Florida as he was campaigning and making appearances at the Mote Aquarium. Have you seen him in your area yet?

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sprouticus Goes to Florida

We are taking Sprouticus with us on our weekend trip to Florida so we can get some pictures to post on the Campaign Trail page. Have to get something up there!

I probably won't post for the next few days - but I'll be back on Monday - all relaxed and tan (HA HA).

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Is it Just me?

Despite the fact that this is called "The Hugging Lion", and the fact that Meredith warns me that should have my tissues ready for how cute this is...when I see the lion running toward the guys, I think to myself "OH MY GOD, HE IS GOING TO EAT THEM!!"

And then he hugs them.

And then I get all weepy. Perhaps just relieved that I didn't see two guys eaten by their beloved lion...

Whew.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Where did July go?

Weren't we just on our way to the fireworks?
Didn't school just get out?
Shouldn't we be eating corn on the cob and tomatoes (local ones...not scary ones) and hamburgers from the grill every day?
Shouldn't we be playing in the sprinkler and going to the pool all day?
And eating watermelon?

Going to Dairy Queen?

Why does all that summer stuff always feel like what you should be doing, but you don't get to do nearly as much of it as you wish you could? And then it is August (but it can't be...because then it would be my birthday and I would officially be in the tweens of my 30s...and that is just WRONG.) School is looming on the horizon...

I am going to make a more concerted effort to spend the next 4 weeks being summery-er. Getting out of the A/C and playing. Making the most of "The SAHM Summer".

Hope you all are making the most of yours!!

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mysteries of Technology I

How does the printer know exactly how desperate you are to print things, so that it is able to run out of ink at exactly the moment that will make you scream into the heavens....NOOOOOO!!!! NOT NOW!!!!!!

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bad Business Decision?

A prostitution ring was busted in our town.

Their location?

Next door to the police station.

Hmmmm....


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Friday, July 25, 2008

The Name Game

When I was growing up I was seldom called by my first name. I was Wemmie, or Pinkie, or Ace. The neighbors actually thought for some period of time that my name was Petunia, and they felt sorry for me.

My brother was Jake the Snake (and no, his name isn't Jake), and Moo. He briefly had an alter ego called Skippy.

And now I have a daughter that I call Sprout or Lou, or Louisa, or Fredericka (the female of "Ready Freddy") or Julia (as in "Jump in Julia"). And a son that I call Tater, or Bear, or Mr. Bear, or Mr. Potato Head.

And they answer to them all.

My mom used to make up words (probably still does) and I didn't realize they were made up words. Ever heard of "greeblies"? I have.

And now I have perpetuated this made-up language legacy into my business. Stuff for Sprouts. Crunchy Kids.

Welcome to my world. Fun, isn't it??

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TGIF Love

Thanks Sage and Savvy!

We love you right back!

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Very Cool Idea

I just found this. What a completely awesome idea.

I am always worried about losing my Sprouts in a crowd.

I think I need to buy some!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Out of Commission

I am officially sick. Ear infection.

Never had one before.
Wish I didn't have one now.

Have to go to bed.
I will try to be more entertaining and informative tomorrow.

Peace.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hello, Ellen??

This is a picture of a gift basket that went to the Ellen Show a few weeks ago.
Sadly they haven't called me.
How could they NOT when they see that fuzzy little Sprouticus??




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Green Mommy Contest

Thanks for the post Green Mommy Guide!

Anyone who wants some free Lip Stuff for Crispy Kissers should go check out the posting and enter their giveaway!

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Nuthin'

I have nothing to say today...how sad is that?

I am getting a cold, which I somehow always manage to get in the summer.

My birthday is less than two weeks away...which just makes me feel old.

It is hot.

I am running out of fun ideas for how to try to convince people that Stuff for Sprouts is something they need in their store and for their kids.

I am full of negativity. And you don't need to hear that!

I will try to positivity-infuse myself for tomorrow.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Business Funny - 3 Times Removed

Business ideas from Gary Busey - reported by John Mayer - delivered by me!

Have a great weekend!

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Unexpected (and somewhat inaccurate) love

Not sure how we ended up on Red Plum - but hey, I'll take it!







For the record, Stuff for Sprouts is natural, but not actually organic.
Thanks Red Plum!

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

New Stuff


I got my new phone!

YAY!

Isn't he cute? Or, because I got a silly pink cover for it, she?

I am still trying to figure out what to do with it. And I guess I now have no excuse for not knowing where I am supposed to be when.

My favorite events are (in roughly descending order):

  • Getting a new baby (done with those)
  • Getting a new car
  • Getting a new phone or other gadgety thing
New stuff ROCKS!

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Booked

At one point a little while back, I made a list of all of the business related books that are piled up next to me that I haven't read.

I still haven't read them.

I also didn't get to finish reading the book for my book club (which met tonight).

I didn't finish the last book I was reading just for fun.

But I manage to check People.com about 50 times a day. I read the entire People magazine when it comes each week (although I AM allowing my subscription to lapse, so soon I won't be reading that either). I also read multiple blogs and obsessively check my e-mail.

I need to re-prioritize my attention. There isn't that much of it, and I don't think I am using it all that effectively.

I bet there is a book that would tell me how.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My ears hurt

I spent 2 hours listening to a recording and taking notes and I am on my second phone call of the day.

This is more listening than I generally do in several days. I am going to have to go on a silent retreat by the weekend.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Phone Call Induced Insanity


What is it about a telephone that causes children to utterly lose all sense of reason?

Why does a phone in the hand of a mother on a business-related call (during which the mother is unable to say "Excuse me, I must go scream at my children") cause otherwise intelligent and well-behaved children to go all kamikaze and insane?!?

At 2PM today I said to my children, who were mesmerized by Zach & Cody and the other gang at the Tipton, "I am going to go do a phone call. I will be done in a little while. You just watch your show and we will do something fun when I am done."

At 2:05 I look up and Sprout is putting a plastic sword in her belt loop as if preparing for battle. The sword that she got down from the VERY HIGH shelf where it is kept so that children do not use it to do battle. The man on the other end of the phone was telling me Important Things That I Need to Know. And I am mouthing "NO NO NO NO NO" at my child who smiles and then shrugs that she can't hear me, and walks away.

Yikes.

At 2:10 the doorbell rings. My children are familiar with the rule that we don't answer the door without a grown-up. And yet, the little chime on the front door rings, which means that children are escaping. So I have to say, "Excuse me for a moment, but I think my children are escaping", and put the phone on hold while I go round up the troops. Sprout felt that the mail couldn't sit on the front step and had to get it. I locked the door and whisked her back to the TV. The TV that she loves and can hardly be separated from. Unless I am ON THE PHONE.

I get back on the phone and apologize and the very understanding project manager says it is OK, he understands. He has kids, too.

At 2:20 there is a HUGE crash. And crying. Loud crying. So again, I must say, "Excuse me, apparently my children are attempting to kill themselves,"and again put the call on hold.

And Sprout is laying on the floor CRYING that the gate for the dog fell on her. So I get her an ice pack, and replant her in front of the TV and tell her that if she or her brother (who was climbing over the half-wall from the kitchen at the time) did anything else that caused me to have to leave the call, I was going to lose this job and that would be TROUBLE.

So all was quiet for the remaining 5 minutes of the call.

So I went out and lectured them a bit about rules being rules whether I am in the room or not. Regardless of the current position of the phone.

And I fully anticipate that tomorrow, when I have the follow-up call, there is going to be more insanity. But WHY???

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The Start of Something New?

I have started another blog over here to get started on my next venture. Short attention span...need new things all the time!

My friend, Esther, and I are working on a weekly newsletter with a plan for fun things to do with your kids each day. I know I would have signed up for such a thing if it existed before this summer. We are planning to model it after The 6 O'Clock Scramble, which we have already established is a very good thing.

Anyway, I am giving the idea (in it's roughest possible form) a spin this summer. And so far, it is completely awesome to have a ready answer to "What can we do now?"!


I am also doing some freelance work this month. Real grown-up type work. I hope I remember how!

I just signed up for a service that promises to bring 30,000 people to Stuff for Sprouts. I am curious to see how that works (if you are one of those 30,000 people - welcome!)

So - many irons in the fire...hope there are no burns!

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Did I have a wagon?

I fell off the caffeine wagon.

I stayed off caffeine for almost an entire week. It wasn't too bad. The headaches only lasted a day or so.

I drank a lot of water (which I do drink anyway) and a lot of unsatisfactory other diet drink options: Crystal Light, Sprite, Root Beer. And still the Diet Coke called to me...and the Dunkin' Donuts Iced Coffee.

And decaf versions didn't cut it...in fact they made me feel worse. Like my system was frantically searching for the caffeine and NOT happy that it wasn't finding any. NOT HAPPY AT ALL!

So I caved. And now I feel more like me. Whew.

I have cut back though. The first large iced coffee threw me into shakes for half a day...so I scaled back. Smaller sizes, less frequent, half-caf versions.

I don't smoke. I rarely drink. I don't eat (much) junk. A girl has to have some vice. This one seems minor.

But now I am considering vegetarianism...

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Organization or the lack Thereof

I seem to have lost all of my organizational skills.

Maybe this is because no one but me sees my desk? Maybe because half of the time when I am sitting at my desk it is dark? (Like now.)

Maybe because there is no "end of the day" to trigger me to neaten up before I "go home"? The end of my work day is either a panicked moment when I realize the kids are going to kill each other if I don't go supervise, or late at night when I can no longer see straight. So there is no orderly end-of-the-day routine of putting things away and organizing for tomorrow.


There are little bits of paper all over the place with jotted notes (written with the unsharpened pencil that is somehow the only writing instrument I can consistently find). There are product samples scattered about. The phone is somewhere around here. My Palm organizer keeps running out of power and dying. I forget to synch it, so the schedule on it is hardly ever accurate.

I still think if I had that new phone it would all be better :)

I think I need to take Monday and get things under control. There's something to look forward to. Not.

Hope you have a great weekend and lots of (better) things to look forward to!

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Back to School

Does it horrify anyone else that the stores are already talking about going Back to School?

We just got an entire catalog from Land's End of backpacks and lunchboxes (of course Sprout and Tater were all over it...picking out high-end versions of each).

The displays are starting to go up in my beloved Target of school supplies and fall clothes.


Um...it's July. Early July.

School doesn't start for 2 months!! I haven't even psyched myself up to buy a new bathing suit and they will be all gone. What's the rush?


But there is a good school-related summer activity that you can participate in and potentially make a big difference for your school (when school is back in...months from now).


I am sure you are familiar with the Boxtops for Education program. Our school collects the boxtops every year. I have to admit that I am not a full-on participant...I want to be, but I am not paying attention to the details when I am throwing things away and I hardly ever remember to take the little box top things off. I am thinking that one of our summer projects could be to make some sort of box to collect the boxtops in...so I will remember in my haste to get rid of the trash and rescue those little box top logos...

Anyway...collect the boxtops and your school gets cash for lots of good stuff.


BUT - this summer/fall it gets even better! Kimberly Clark is doing a big Sweepstakes and the winning school will get 100,000 boxtops of credit (equivalent to $10,000!) AND a concert by Jordan Pruitt (who I only know because my kids were mildly obsessed with "Jump In" for a while and her name is on several songs on the soundtrack).


You can register and vote for your school here. You can come back and vote daily until September 15th. The winner will be chosen at random and their school will get the big prizes.


And then who would be the coolest mom in town?

Well, still me. But you'd be good, too. :)

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Blank

I have no profound thoughts.

We just watched Team America: World Police.

I think I am in some sort of shock.

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Morning Love

Thanks to The Giveaway. Lovin' the love!

You may have noticed that many of these reviews include promotion codes for discounts on Stuff for Sprouts products...hint...hint...

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Campaign Trail Photos

As part of the Campaign to Conquer Crunchiness, we would love for people to send in pictures of Sprouticus at various places across America (or Canada - our campaign knows no boundaries!). If you follow the link you can print out a picture of Sprouticus - just take that picture to somewhere that represents your place in the US. If you have one of the stuffed Sprouticus toys, use that! Send me the photos via e-mail and I will post them.

I think it could be very entertaining to see where he shows up.

We do have customers and newsletter subscribers all across the country.

The most creative photo will receive a prize. I haven't decided on the appropriate prize. Any suggestions? I am thinking a gift card for gas? Something travel related seems to make sense.

While you are at it, sign up for our newsletter (see the little box on the left - just put in your e-mail) and you will be automatically entered in our raffle for a $50 Visa Gift Card and a gift basket of Stuff for Sprouts products valued at over $50.

And, you know, if you wanted to shop a tad bit while you are wandering around the web site...feel free!

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Monday, July 7, 2008

A Little More Blogger Love

Thanks Green Mommy Guide (you have to click on "Skin & Beauty" to see the Stuff for Sprouts section)!

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy 6th!

Hope everyone had a fun and relaxing 4th of July. We had a pretty low-key day, but it was nice.

We went to fireworks on Thursday night, which were awesome. Cooked on the grill for dinner, which is always good. Had my parents over for dinner, which was social. Burned a multitude of sparklers (and no children), which I would call a success. We have flags out in the yard. So we had all of the elements of the 4th.

This afternoon we are having some friends and neighbors over for dinner, just to cap the weekend off. Somehow these 3-day weekends always get away from me and we never have a real plan for what to do. So they just turn into extended lazy weekends. Which isn't a bad thing - just not all that newsworthy!

The kids are back to camp tomorrow morning. I think they are pretty psyched to see other kids and have some fun. I tried to be fun. Really. And I was, some of the time. But 10 days is a long time...and my fun only lasted so long.

I have to pry them away from the TV now and figure out something to do so that their little brains don't completely turn to mush.

Hope you had a great weekend doing whatever you did!

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Friday, July 4, 2008

Glad to be Me

I am so glad I am not famous. Famous sounds fun. And money would be nice, so I guess to the extent that famous = money I might not be completely opposed.

But the whole part where everyone knows your business and everyone is watching you and drawing great attention to every misstep, weakness or embarrassing situation that you experience...that part I am happy to go without.

It is bad enough to be falling on your face in front of people who know and love you. But having to think about what it is going to look like in the press (and paying someone to help minimize the damage). That must be no fun at all.

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Fireworks

I love fireworks.

They are the one thing I (sort of) don't mind having to wait around for.

I will sit out in the humid hotness, or the windy chill, or the bugginess.

I will endure the lack of bathrooms and knowing that the traffic to get home is going to be horrific.

I will let my children stay up WAY too late.


Because when else can you just sit there and ohhhh and ahhhh...and be amazed? Every time.

They are so dangerous and so beautiful at the same time.

I am not one to set them off myself, way to chicken for that. Sparklers have me all nerve-wracked and imagining the sparkler-shaped burn marks they will leave on small round faces.


But sitting out there in the grass, curled up in a blanket with the whole clan. Ohhhhh. Ahhhhh. Magic.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Day Three of the SAHM Experiment

Today we went to the Historic Vehicle Museum in Boyertown, PA. Tater was quite disappointed that they were all OLD cars and quite freaked by the automated lights that only came on when you approached a display (while the rest of the warehouse-like space was dark, and admittedly, creepy). So my darling children whined and complained about how loooong it was taking to look at everything (grand total - 20 minutes) and that there was nothing to DO there (except, you know, look at the old cars...)

And yet, they wanted something from the gift shop (no, we didn't get anything).

We came home for lunch.

We did a craft project where we made fingerprints and then drew faces and silly hair on them. We each made our entire family. Very cute results.


We took Sprout to her viola lesson (she also practiced quite obsessively throughout the day). I made the HUGE mistake of taking Tater to the toy store to "look around" to kill time during the lesson. He found a stuffed dog (to add to his collection of about 20 KABILLION stuffed dogs) that he felt he must have. I told him that if he still wanted it next week he could bring birthday money and buy it. This resulted in him asking every 30 seconds or so if he could just borrow the money and pay me back later. All night. Even at bedtime. Apparently he really wants this dog. And isn't going to forget about it (as I had hoped).

We went and played at the playground.

We went out for dinner (because we stayed too long at the playground and there was no way to make anything for dinner...).

I read 4 chapters of Harry Potter to two different children (Tater just started book #1, Sprout is finishing up #6).


I am exhausted. How do people do this EVERY DAY? Kudos, ladies (and gentlemen).
My hat is off to you.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Scramblin'

I am a time optimist.

I see no reason why I can't go to the pool at 5 and have dinner ready by 6:30...and yet...if we don't get home until 6:30 - how is that happening?

Luckily I have settled into a "system" where we have dinners planned out for the week. And although I don't always follow the plan exactly (we had Wednesday's dinner tonight because it was quicker to put together), it is hugely stress-reducing to know that I have all of the "stuff" to make dinners all week. Also money-saving, as the lure of take-out is somewhat blunted by the fact that I have already purchased the ingredients for dinner.

My mom always did this when I was growing up...and at the time it seemed so bizarre to decide a week ahead of time what we would be hungry for next Thursday. Now, it just makes sense.

I was spurred to realize the wisdom of my mother's ways (Hi Mom!) a couple of years ago when my friend recommended The Six O'Clock Scramble to me.

This is one of the best services ever. I freely recommend it and others who have tried it rave as well. I also have their cookbook and use it extensively!

Anyway - The Scramble sends you five easy, healthy recipes every week. Along with a shopping list, suggestions for side-dishes, health tips, etc. Very straightforward. Very focused. Very yummy.

Tonight I pulled out a recipe from one of their old newsletters that we had liked: Tortellini with pepperoni, gorgonzola cheese and artichokes. Quite delish - and took about 15 minutes to prepare - including boiling the water.

So that whole pool thing didn't seem so silly!

Now if only I could have a similar system for getting the rest of the things done that are stressing me. Could someone send me five stores to contact? Five huge press opportunities? Five big fat checks?

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