Archive for September, 2013

Sep 28 2013

ABC, sing with me!

Published by under Products/Shopping,The Boy

Update on the Charley Harper ABC book from our Citrus Lane box:

The Boy has started loving the alphabet, thanks to Super Why and Alpha Pig. He “says” the alphabet when prompted (“A! B! O! J! D!”) and now loves his ABC book, because I will open it up and make the letter noises for him. He can identify some of the letters. Today I asked him where the O was and he pointed to it. Same with J and V. Lots of people say TV is bad for kids, and I definitely think if you are parking your kid in front of the television all day, that’s no good. However, Super Why has been teaching my son about letters and words much more quickly than I’ve been able to. Now I just reinforce what he’s learned with books and real life examples.

Anyway, point being, he now loves his ABC book, so that’s another check in the Win column for the Citrus Lane box.

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Sep 25 2013

Curses, Foiled Again!

Published by under Friends,The Boy

Today, I drove two hours with The Boy in order to go to a huge sample sale that Macker’s company was throwing. We’re talking major deals, 7 hours only. I was so there. Mackers had sent me a map because the town she works in is a little on the dorkily-laid-out side, so once I got into town, I checked the map. Then I realized I have no “follow map” skills, so I punched in the name of her company to Google Maps and let the GPS guide me.

The GPS took me down a road to a building that had a tent set up in the parking lot. Big sale signs everywhere. Hey, I made it! I parked, got The Boy set up in his stroller with snacks, drink, and DVD (I don’t want to hear it) and we went into the sale, where the first thing I noticed is that the deals were not as great as Mackers had gotten for me in the past. This was my first time actually going to this sale. Usually, I give her a list and she does what she can (it’s samples remember, not a regular store sale), and she brings me awesome things and I give her small amounts of money. I was not finding those deals, and I wondered if those were employee-only deals that were only seen at the employee sale the day before. Nevertheless, I did some shopping and found two dresses and a shirt, and these things were marked down significantly, so I was not unhappy.

Pretty soon, Mackers texted me that she needed to run out to her car and could I meet her in the employee lot so we could chat for a few minutes and she could get a peek at The Boy? I was like, yeah! I just checked out, but I don’t know where the employee lot is. She asks, well, where are you right now?

Me: I’m in the lot across the street from the building.

Mackers:….There is no parking lot across the street from the building.

Me: Well, I’m standing in a parking lot, looking at a building, and the sign has all of your brands on it.

Mackers: And what is this building called?

Me: It’s called “City Brands Store”.

Mackers: Where ARE you? That is not my company’s headquarters.

Me: I don’t know! Google Maps took me here. I was kind of wondering where all the crowds were.

Mackers: I’m coming to get you; you’re downtown somewhere. How you got there I do not know. But I will bring you to where the rest of us are.

And she did. She came and led me across town to a much larger sale, and was like “Here, dumbass. Now you can shop.” And I was like “I really am a dumbass. Thank you.”

So, I parked again and got The Boy all situated AGAIN and we trundled to the very large tent sale that had blaring music and a lot of people. And we got to the entrance and the security guard said “You have to leave your stroller.” Uh, what? So he repeated “You have to leave your stroller” and he gestured to seven or eight other parked strollers. So, I got The Boy out of the stroller and said “Hey buddy, you want to walk for a bit?” And that’s when The Boy lost. his. mind. He was all done with this bullshit. Full on, screaming, hitting, no way no how am I going in that tent, you can just go to hell, put me back in the stroller with my snacks and my drink and my movie because I am OVER THIS MESS.

There was really nothing to be done, so I said “Ok, bud. No more shopping. I got the message. We’re going to Grandma’s.” Then I packed him up and we drove to my parent’s house, which was about 30 minutes away. No huge deals for me, but as I told Mackers, I’m counting this as the trial run. Next year I’ll know where the sale is, and I’ll know it is definitely not a kid friendly event.

And The Boy had a wonderful time at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, so his day turned around. All’s well that ends with a non-screaming baby.


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Sep 24 2013

It was a bad day.

Published by under Parenting,The Boy,The Man

Today was a bad day. I can’t say it was the worst day of my life, because no one died, except for one wild animal, but it was right up there in the top ten.

The Boy was great this morning. Everything went along just as it usually does. But when he woke up from his nap, someone had flipped the Demon switch. There was a tantrum – a long, screaming, crying tantrum in which he hit me at least six times. Then, after the tantrum and the calm down session, we played and watched TV. Normal. He jumped on the couch and when I told him “no”, he hit me again. At dinner, I accidentally gave him a bite of way too hot food, and he burned his mouth. More crying, on both our parts. Thankfully, The Man took a shift and gave me some down time before I left for book club. When I left for book club, The Boy cried again, which made me want to stay home, but I went anyway.

Book club was great, as usual. It was nice to be around other adults and discuss things that had nothing to do with parenting or children. I drove home in the dark, down a winding country road. As I rounded a curve, I could see there was something in the road. The eyes glittered. I assumed it was an animal crossing, so I slowed down.

The headlight etched the gory scene in my mind. It was a mangled raccoon, horribly still alive. Its tail was spinning around and its mouth was open in pain. Its back legs were gone. What could I do? I jerked the wheel and ran it over again, putting it out of its misery. Then I cried the rest of the way home.

I am so over this day.

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Sep 19 2013

Citrus Lane – September 2013 box

Published by under Parenting,Products/Shopping,The Boy

Citrus Lane is a subscription service for children from birth to 5 years old. You pay them money ($25 for a month to month subscription; discounts for prepaying) and they send you a box once a month with things hand picked for your child’s age and gender. These can be toys, books, body care items, food products, lovies…you just never know what you’re going to get. There’s generally a mix of things in each box.

We ordered Citrus Lane because The Boy is at an age where there aren’t a lot of things marketed to him in the stores. It’s like there’s a void between 12 months and 2 years where toy manufacturers go “I don’t know, kid. Here’s some blocks; call us in 6 months.” We do have various kinds of blocks for The Boy (these are our favorites because they are easy to grip and stack), but we wanted some ideas of other things he can be playing with that aren’t either 6 months behind or 6 months ahead of where he’s at, developmentally.

We got our first box yesterday. Let’s see how we did, shall we?

Citrus Lane Sept 13 box

Hape City Planner Blocks
Amazon price: $9.99
This is the first thing I saw when I opened the box, and needless to say, I was disappointed. MORE blocks? Ugh. However, these are well made, wooden blocks, and they are nicely sized to fit in a little paw. It’s a 15 piece set, and the size and number of the blocks mean I can throw them in a baggie and put them in the diaper bag to use when we are out places. Disappointing to get more blocks, but still something we will use.

Charley Harper ABCs
Amazon price: $7.96
New books are hit and miss with The Boy. We have to read them aloud, in his presence, several times before he will deign to show interest. This one is a pretty basic ABC book (A is for Ape, B is for Bird, etc). The drawings of Charley Harper are what set it apart. They are nice illustrations, but when I started reading it, The Boy said “No!” and closed it up. I’m not sure if he didn’t like the book or didn’t like the newness. Only time will tell.

Happy Family Organic Superfoods Super Toddler Bar – Mixed Berry
Amazon price: $8.78/box of 5
New food is even worse than new books for my kid. He wouldn’t even try this. I took a bite, though, and it was pretty tasty. It had a strong, pleasant berry flavor, and a nice light texture. It’s made with brown rice, which is a nice change.

Episencial Playful Wash (8 oz)
Amazon price: $9.43
Smells nice; haven’t tried it yet. We don’t have any allergy problems, so I’m sure this will be just fine for bath use. It’s a combo body wash and shampoo that smells like tangerines.

Nail Color from Julep
Amazon price: $14.00
I have to be honest, it ticked me off to see this. For one thing, I order this box for my son, not for me. I don’t need a gift. For another thing, what if I weren’t a mom, but rather a dad? The box is shipped under my husband’s name. For all they know, I could be the grandmother and The Man could be raising our son alone. Regardless of the presumption, I would rather have had another goody for my son rather than a gift for me. Anyway, it’s a fine nail polish. I put it on last night.

So, leaving out the nail polish, I got $29.14 worth of items for $25.00. That’s a pretty good value, and the items are of good quality. We’ll keep going with the subscription, and hope that future boxes are a little more innovative with the toys and a little less concerned about throwing Mom a bone.

Want to get $10 off your own Citrus Lane box? Click here!


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Sep 18 2013

Play date.

Published by under Parenting,The Boy

We had a play date today with Julio and her little boy, who is almost exactly a year older than The Boy. I don’t know what to call him…maybe Lil’ Scot because he looks exactly like his daddy. That’ll do for now.

Anyway, we started out at a park in my old hometown (where Grandma used to live). Our boys don’t really play together. They kind of walk around and try to escape and Julio and I have to constantly herd them back into the safety zone. After we were there for about five minutes, the Lutheran school across the road herded a whole class of preschoolers over. I don’t know why. The school has its own playground. It’s a nicer playground than the one we were at. The whole time the preschoolers were outside, no other class was using their playground. It was bizarre. They were outside for about 15 minutes, and every time The Boy or Lil’ Scot went over to an unused piece of equipment, 3 or 4 of the school kids decided that actually, THEY needed to use that thing RIGHT THEN, even though everyone had been ignoring it up until that point. It was frustrating.

Once the kids went back to school, we played for a little longer, but Lil’ Scot wanted to go to McDonald’s. Since it was almost lunchtime, we were game, so we drove to the next town over and had lunch. Then the kids ran around the play place. Well, Lil’ Scot did. The Boy split his time between standing at the glass door and saying “Bye!” to every car in the drive thru, and playing in the little toddler section they had. It was nice to just sit and talk to Julio and not have to worry about what The Boy may or may not be getting in to. But I realized while we were there just how unadventurous he really is. In the toddler area, there were two or three platforms that the kids could climb up to a very short slide. The Boy never even considered going up there until I walked over and showed him that it was OK to climb and he could go down the slide. Meanwhile, Lil’ Scot is climbing up to the top of the big kid structure and having a blast. My boy seems to be quieter, for now. We’ll see what happens when he’s 2.5 years old instead of 1.5 years old.

In the meantime, I obviously need to get him more socialized. He doesn’t know what to do with other kids. I don’t think he even realizes that he’s a kid himself. As I said to Julio, he looks at them as if to say “Is this what you call a hoo-man child?” Not exactly what you want to see, as far as a well-rounded boy is concerned. Now that he’s down to one nap a day and it’s happening around noon, we can do more playgroups and stuff.

When we got home, our first Citrus Lane box was waiting for us, but that’s another post.

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