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...


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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.


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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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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.


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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


I have nothing to say 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!


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


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 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.


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 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 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.'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 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


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


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


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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