Thursday, March 10, 2011


Boxes of cereal purchased = 28

Approximate total before discounts= $98

Total after discounts ( buy 4 get $6 off) and
($15 in internet coupons) = $41 out-of-pocket cost

Additional savings = 7 catalina coupons printed from
register for free 1 gallon milk on a future shopping trip

Overall expense (subtracting the value of the free
milk) = about $17 for 28 boxes of cereal (a variety)

Number of wonderful babies who slept through it all = 1

Number of super, polite cashiers who made this possible = 1

Number of slap-happy Mommies who are about to drift off to sleep
counting boxes of Cheerios instead of sheep = 1

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Old phone, and new phone.

After three weeks, I am back in the world of cell phones. 

Three weeks ago, I put my phone through the washing machine and the dryer. As you might guess, that's bad for the phone. Really bad. The phone died.

Although there were definitely things that became difficult (like, you know, calling friends on the phone), I must admit that I did not miss my phone very much. 

The combination of lack of time and lack of urgency delayed the process of getting a replacement. I finally went on Saturday, and learned I was not eligible for an upgrade. Nor did I have phone insurance. That meant to walk out of the store that day with a basic phone (our budget does not have room for anything more than basic phones right now) would have cost about $200.

Unless I was willing to wait three more days to have a used phone shipped to the house for $75. I figured, what the hell, I've gone two-plus weeks, what's another three days? Well, another three days meant $125 in savings, so it was a no brainer.

So the phone came last night. My text and voicemail messages came in, but all my contacts were gone. It'll take a while to build the contacts back up (if you have my number, call or text me with yours). The most depressing message? The voicemail from myself, when my phone called itself while floating around in the washing machine.

whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh… bzzzzzippp.
and then… silence.

For three full weeks.

Monday, March 7, 2011


"could u pick me up a flat screen if ur still @ target?"

Ha ha ha! Nice try.

The message was from a friend in response to a text message I sent to a few friends who are fellow Target customers. When I sent my message I was at the entrance to our local store, list in hand. It felt good to be out of the house and about to cross another thing off my to-do list. The same big cloud was over my head once again though. GAS!!!!!!

(GROSS! Not that kind of cloud.)

Anyhow...I was thinking about the sign at the gas station I'd passed on my way to Target advertising $3.50 per gallon. Angry as I was, it became my inspiration at that moment and I had my big idea of the day: a shopping club.

If we all start consolidating shopping trips, either by car-pooling or by grabbing a few things needed for friends and family, we will all save a little time and money. I'm open to ideas about how to make this work. We'll figure it out. We HAVE to.

By the way, one friend took me up on the offer and, no, I did not buy her a flat screen t.v. (That was another very funny friend who was very out of luck.) No, I purchased something for a someone I'll see later today who has extended the same offer to me time and again.

That's what friends are for…passing gas!

Friday, March 4, 2011


We enjoyed an embarrassment of riches last night, to the point where we truly started to be embarrassed.

There was a special fundraiser held at the Robertson Elementary School in Warwick, R.I. for Mitch Levin and his family. Levin, whom we have never met, happens to be a patrolman on the police force at the University of Rhode Island, where I work.

Levin, who lives in Warwick, has been in the hospital since the day after Christmas with endocarditis. During his recovery, he suffered an aneurysm. Obviously, it's a tough time for the family.

A couple nights ago, the Wife mentioned going to the fundraiser, which a friend of ours - Pam - helped organize. Rhode Island being the way it is, I knew of the fundraiser because of work, so we decided to make a night of it.

Here's where the embarrassment kicked in. As part of the fundraiser, you bought raffle tickets, 20 for $10. There were about 30 prizes up for grabs, and you could choose to put your tickets in the drawings for the specific prizes you wanted to win.

Of the roughly 30 prizes, we won six.

It started with four tickets to a live show for Barney. Before they announced the winner, I turned to the Wife and our friend Alissa and said, "I'm going to win." We laughed a moment later when my prediction came true.

Then we won a $25 gift card to the Remington House, a local eatery. Next was a bucket of craft prizes donated by a Girl Scout troop. Then it was a gift certificate for two large pizzas from Dominos with a blanket. After that was another gift certificate for pizza place, with another blanket. Finally, we won a huge tray of cookies.

It got to the point where we were saying to ourselves, "Please don't win again. Please don't win again."

We didn't go to the fundraiser with the intent of winning a stash. With everything the Levin family is going through, it just seemed a little wrong for us to benefit so much.

So we paid it forward. We asked Pam, the organizer, to give the gift certificates for the Remington House and the pizza places to the Levins. Maybe a few nights of not thinking about food can help a little.

The bucket of crafts went home with Alissa, who in turn is going to give it to her friend, who has a young daughter. I think the Barney tickets will go to my brother and his girlfriend so they can take their boys.

Our goal in going out last night was to do a little bit to help someone else. Hopefully by sharing what we won, we are doing just that.

(By the way, International Pay It Forward Day is April 28, 2011. Check out this Website to learn more.)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Sometimes inspiration comes in the most unexpected places. Sometimes beauty sneaks up on us. Sometimes just listening makes all the difference.

Yesterday was one of those blah days we all get from time to time. It was the kind of day you just try to get through. By the end of the night I really needed something out-of-the-ordinary to turn it around.

Then, as I sat on the couch about to doze off, I saw a yogurt commercial that changed everything. Yes, a yogurt commercial did it. Greek yogurt. I could go on and on about the words I heard, but I don't think I'd do it justice. Instead, take a listen and see if this something small lifts you too.



Bathroom humor has always been funny.

It was funny two days ago, when I changed the Little One's diaper and was almost knocked over by the stench that came from inside. The nugget he created was unlike anything he'd done before, and I was shocked by the power of smell he could create.

Apparently my reaction to the smell was funny to him because the Little One smiled and laughed as I turned my head and said, "Oh God. That stinks!"

These are moments I've always found funny. What can I say? I am a male. Farts and bad smells will always be funny in a totally gross and inexplicable way.

This is nothing new. One of my favorite pictures from childhood comes from a cross-country vacation my parents took us on. I believe the photo was taken near the Grand Canyon, and it is me stepping out of an outhouse.

My mother, younger sister and older brother were all waiting for me, pinching their noses and appearing to be grossed out.

We learned at an early age it was okay to laugh at things and poke fun at ourselves. Life is serious enough. It's going to stink from time to time.

And when those stinky moments come, you can be sure that I'll be laughing.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


A major training session went on in our house recently and the Little One was not happy. Well, not at first anyway.

No, he isn't learning to use the toilet. That is years away.

He is, however, fighting another nasty cold. This time it has stayed in his nose, which is good news.... I guess. Dr. M. took a peek yesterday and proclaimed that all he needs is rest, snuggles and to learn how to blow his nose. Since that last part isn't happening any time soon either, she recommended attacking his congestion with saline solution and a bulb syringe. Not what the Little One wanted to hear.

He is not exactly a big fan of either stuffy nose tool. He tolerated both until winter came and brought the first of many colds. Now he knows the drill and starts to kick his feet and squirm when he sees me grab the saline. He has pushed my arms away, tried to cover his face and recently wrapped his "monkey feet" around my arm and pulled down to move me away from his nose.

Yesterday the Husband was on Little One duty for a big part of the day, which meant he would be the squirt and suction man. He'd mastered the suction, but hadn't tried his hand at the saline spray yet. The Little One was thrilled to have both of us crowded around him at the diaper changing table. He changed his mind though when he spied that little, red bottle in my hand. The poor kid looked back and forth at us and then tried to make an escape. It took us a full minute and a lot of energy to hold him down long enough to spray. He let out a loud grunt to complain, but recovered quickly.

When round two started and he saw the syringe, the Little One once again turned into a wiggly noodle. Not more than Team Mommy and Daddy could handle though.

The result? Well, as happens with every successful suction (and you know what I mean by "successful"), the Little One went from mad to amused in a matter of seconds. As gross as it is to us, at six months old, boogies are funny. Very funny!

And for that we are very grateful!