Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The "Right" School Supplies

It's not even August yet and everywhere you go, you're bombarded by school supply deals. Tons of flyers are piled on my dining room table. I had no intention of beginning so early, but when I saw that some stores were selling supplies for less than a dollar, I began to pay attention.

I was lucky enough to have received a starter list from Potter's teacher before he left for summer vacation. However, in small print it warned that we will receive another letter in August and there may be additional supplies needed.

"Exactly how many supplies does one child need?" I thought. But I go with the flow, and try not to complain. That is of course until I get to the store.

The first thing on the list is a 4oz bottle of Elmer's Glue. Which by the way was strategically placed right next to the store brand. The difference? Oh, about 20 cents. Doesn't seem like much until I realize everything on the list is name brand. "What is going on?" And to top it off, the sale was just on the store brands.

So I leave my shopping trip dumbfounded and poor. I get that teachers would like to have all their students have the same supplies. But let's face it, when it comes to supplies the only thing we as parents are worried about are the words: "Non-Toxic."

I'm not done with Potter's list just yet, and Scooter will be going to Kindergarten this year. Can't wait to see that list. "Gold Leaf Crayons, anyone?"

Friday, July 23, 2010

Apron Extensions

I may have let it slip out. I'm unsure. But if the cat's out of the bag, I guess I can let you all know that I am in the process of opening my own business. Yep, that's right. Mommy Maestro is now wearing yet another hat. I have decided to open a cookie company.

While all the legalities are still in the process, I'm hoping to be up and running by September. I will be working in my home kitchen to start out. The idea was that I could work around my children's schedules and still keep myself busy doing something I enjoy. Just one problem.....I'm gaining weight.

As you all know, my goal this summer was to take the weight off. And I was doing OK. Not so much with weight loss as toning. But I finally gained some muscle in places I had forgotten I owned. I thought that maybe by September I may again recognize that part of my body once labeled a waist.

But then along came the cookie company. And hours of taste testing later, I am back to where I began. I still have plenty of varieties yet to test, and dare I say, I'm frightened! Thank God for long apron strings.

I began with good intentions. "I'll just take a bite," I would say. But then that bitten cookie would sit there (so lonely). I would continue the baking process: running around the kitchen, juggling baking sheets, and scrubbing bowls. Then suddenly, that lonely cookie would catch my eye. And before I knew it, I had consumed the entire thing. Not good. Or shall I say: "Yummy!"

And there I was, standing in the kitchen again. Finally satisfied with how my double chocolate cookie had turned out, and realizing I only knew that because I had consumed three of them.

Maybe the excitement of opening my own company will help burn off some calories. I guess there's always an alternative....Apron Extensions! (I know, you thought I was going to say: "Put the cookie down!") Really?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happy Birthday!

I decided to take a break from my normal storytelling this morning. And instead talk about someone I love dearly....My Husband.

See, today is his birthday. Hubby doesn't much like surprises, so I figured I would just send some love by way of my blog. And anyone who would like to join us, please feel free to leave him a comment.

I won't say just how old he is, just that he's older than me...teehee!

And while he still had to work today, we wanted to let him know that we will be waiting for him tonight with 39 birthday candles....OOps!

We Love You. Happy Birthday Bri. Love, Your Family: Wifey, Potter and Scooter

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Uninvited Friends

Five years ago, when we put in a pool, I never imagined the pickle I would find myself in.

Instead, I foolishly visualized my white pasty skin would somehow magically form a Caribbean like tan. The water would always be warm. A lifeguard would be on duty for when I needed an extra eye to be kept on the children. Salt would rim the glasses. And last but not least, that bikini that sat at the back of my dresser drawer for years would finally fit my body.

Oh wait. Time for a pinch. This really isn't a dream?

As you may have picked up over the years on my blog, aside from my loving dog Harley, I have never been a huge fan of animals. (That's right PETA, you heard me). So imagine my surprise when I found out that an inground pool (especially during this current heat wave) attracts wildlife.

Because we have such a small yard (honestly, the pool is the main attraction) I thought that maybe the animals would go and play in my neighbors yard where they could frolic and run the day away. (Frolic? Really? One too many fairy tales Mary). But as it turns out, the animals apparently enjoy a little pampering as well.

When we discovered that the bunny population was exploding, we decided to go and put special netting around the inside of our fence. Guess what? They ate it. Yes, apparently rabbits are not only known for their high speed reproductive systems, but also their innate ability to swallow property fence.

During the heavy snows this past winter we found deer and rabbit prints in our driveway. Rumor has it before the rabbits realized they could break in themselves, they called on the deer population to put a little spook on us. Seriously, it looked like the sequel to Bambi was being shot while we all slept that night.

Just two weeks ago I heard cries from my children's playground. "Hey Mom, what's that thing?" "It just ran under the bush."

After getting down on all fours, then grabbing the camera so that I could take a picture for my Dad (Self Proclaimed Wildlife Identifier), I came to find out we had a groundhog. While Pennsylvania may be known for it's famous groundhog, I seriously doubt Punksatony Phil traveled across the state just to take a dip.

And last but not least, let us not forget about the frog population. If there is one animal that grosses me's the frog. I don't want to look at them. I don't want to hear them. And I certainly don't want to swim with them.

It all started about 2 weeks ago. Right after the groundhog left us. I found a frog at the bottom of the pool. And since Hubby was at work that day, I knew I would be the one who would have to fish him out. But suddenly, as I tried to put the net under him, he swam away. Let me just say, how fast that guy could swim. He went back and forth from the shallow to deep end. Had he worn a pair of goggles, he may have been mistaken for an Olympic contender. Of course he was sporting his Birthday Suit, which I believe is an automatic disqualification from any event.

As it turns out, I did catch Laurel. Yes, I named him.

Why you ask? Well, because as it turns out, he returned the next day. And the next. And the next.

Then one day last week, as I went about my daily duty of fishing Laurel out of my pool, I noticed he had lost some weight. A lot of weight. Whatever secret he had, I wished he would pass it along to the loyal netter who has been saving his life everyday.

But then, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a shadow. It was Laurel.

Well then who was it that I was trying to get a net under?

From what I can figure out. Laurel now has a wing man. Somewhere during the last 24 hour period Laurel went to the local drinking hole, got thrown out, waited till dark, made a friend, returned to hole, and promised his friend that a cool chick would come along with a net and save them both. Lucky for them, I was home.

It's been tough watching my tropical oasis be turned into a wildlife refuge. But as I see it, so far, the animals have the upper hand. The groundhog may have left for cooler weather, but Laurel and Hardy (Yes, he earned a name as well), look like they're here to stay.

Just one warning boys: Friday is mowing day. You may want to be at the neighbors house then.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Trip to the Candy Store

Yesterday my Mom and I took a ride to Peddler's Village. It's a great place to walk around. There are so many unique shops. The only problem was that it was near 90 degrees and we had the kids with us.

There's something so ugly that happens to little ones after they hit a certain temperature. I have to say that despite this, they were doing their best at hanging in there. So to reward them for their good behavior we took them to the Candy Store.

The Candy Store at Peddler's Village is something everyone should get a chance to see. The smell of chocolate once you hit the door can make just about anyone immediately turn diabetic. While I may have initially had an underlining agenda entering the candy store (air conditioning), I soon realized what a gem this store was.

We ended up in the lower level of the store. It was literally candy nostalgia. Everything from candy cigarettes to Dots to Sky Bars was for sale. I couldn't believe my eyes. I was in Wonka Land.

Before I knew it, the store owner was showing my boys the ropes. Now remember, my boys are 6 and 5. They light up when anyone gives them attention and they generally hang on every word. And let us not forget, they believe just about everything they are told.

With that said. Keep in mind the following conversation.

Store Owner: "These are our top sellers. Lightning Bugs Gummy Worms. They fly off the shelf before we can restock them."

Scooter: "Wow Mom, I want a bag of those!"

And so I paid the $3.50 for the bag of Gummy Worms, and the .85 cents for the Candy Cigarettes for Potter. And after a wonderful dinner we traveled home.

Back at the ranch, the kids couldn't wait to open their candy. While Potter found easy access to his candy cigarettes, I watched as Scooter began to line up his Gummy Worms on the counter. And soon I found out why:

Scooter: "Mom, the lady at the store said these things fly off the shelf. Mom, they're not going anywhere!"

Try explaining that one to a five year old.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Welcome Home Stealth Puppy

Every once in a while when we go on a trip, we choose to board our dog. It's not like it's really a choice. If I could take her everywhere we go, I certainly would. But the housekeeping staff in Atlantic City would probably frown. I would certainly loose any comps I may have earned. (Oh what would I do without that $1.00 coupon for the buffet?)

When I dropped Harley off at the kennel, I made sure they had all the necessary directions: feed once a day, walk twice a day, give only the food we drop off, scratch belly until leg shakes uncontrollably, etc., etc., etc.

I was asked to take Harley's collar home since they would be using their own at the kennel. This always makes me nervous. Although the kennel seems completely safe, I liken it to going to Atlantic City without my wallet. Without I.D.- Do I really exist? I mean it's not like my image is plastered all over grocery store magazines. Aside from close friends and family, I don't have a huge fan base.

So I wondered. If Harley Dog decided to plan the great escape from her kennel; would anyone know she is gone? How would they break it to me? Would they even remember her name? Or would they just refer to her as that cute furry creature I dropped off Saturday morning?

Well as it turns out, Harley is safe. But for a while she was silent. See, all those ID tags that usually hang nicely around her neck were still in the car. And if Hubby had it his way, that is where they would stay. The jingle and jangle that usually followed Harley was nonexistent. If it hadn't been for the fact that Harley always greets me at the door, I probably would have a hard time finding her. It's funny how quickly we miss the things that annoy us so easily.

I watched her play for a while without her tags. She ran through the house at the speed of light- minus the speed of sound. She quickly earned the name Stealth Puppy. My Husband was in his glory. One can usually hear Harley coming from a mile away. But now she crept through the house almost reserved. This of course led to another problem.

Harley tends to follow me wherever I go. This is fine when I can hear her, but once she was put on mute, I had some problems. I found myself tripping all over the place. After about an hour, it was time to retire Stealth Puppies super cape and return her collar.

Well peace and quiet was nice while it lasted. But nothing compares to the real Harley Dog. Welcome home Stealth Puppy!