Archive for November, 2008

Black Friday As A Spectator Sport

Kudos to anyone who had to courage to venture out on Black Friday to snag some good Christmas deals.

Personally, I think this ought to be a spectator sport. I would like to see stadium seating in some of the bigger stores (Target, WalMart, etc.) for those of us who enjoy watching people act like insane asylum escapees.

Oh, the money these stores could earn on ticket and beer sales! Betting would, of course, be permitted (“I’ll wager $5 that the crotchety old man with the pointy elbows gets to that Dora doll before the tired-looking woman with three kids!”).

As long as we’re headed down this path, let’s have the same set-up at those bridal stores where they occasionally have those bum-rush-the-store sales and the primary goal is to get out with your nose intact and a marginally attractive wedding gown that is within 3 dress sizes of your actual size.

Solid family entertainment, my friends.

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I Was Denied A Free Diet Dr. Pepper And (Barely) Lived To Tell About It

I’ve been posting less because I’m sick as a dog and have been hiding from my children so I haven’t been witness to their usual shenanigans. Not acting like a mom = nothing to blog about.

I will, however, make note of one recent event that has scarred me for life.

I am a huge Diet Dr. Pepper fan. I mean huge. The craving started during my second pregnancy and has never gone away.

(Want to hear something really weird? I’ve met at least 3 other women who say they developed the same craving during their pregnancies. I became suspicious and actually Googled “Dr. Pepper addiction” and “Dr. Pepper craving” to see if I could find some conspiracy theories, but alas, neither Oliver Stone nor any of those “I was abducted by an alien” people has yet turned their attention to this matter).

Anyway, I pack the kids up and make several trips a week to Target because it is the only place in the vicinity of my home at which I can get DDP on tap, and the only thing better than a DDP is a DDP in fountain soda form. Something about that extra fizz just makes it taste better.

I buy the extra large size and meander around the store with my kids, pretending to need to buy things while enjoying my drink and building a good caffeine buzz. I walk long enough to drain my cup and get a refill. After that, I permit myself to leave. The caffeine buzz usually carries me through the next several hours and not only makes parenting seem tolerable, but downright enjoyable.

So back in May, Dr. Pepper made some weird promise about offering everyone a free Dr. Pepper if Guns N’ Roses released an album in 2008. Why anyone cares about GnR anymore is beyond me, but as far as I’m concerned, a free Dr. Pepper is sort of like the world’s best orgasm with a dollop of chocolate on top – unnecessary, but goodness, am I grateful.

Well, GnR announces in October that it will release its new album before the year ends, and Dr. Pepper says it will honor its promise and give out a coupon to anyone who can access its website or contact the company through its toll-free number on November 24, 2008.

I think you know how this is going to end. The website was an unreachable mess, and the toll-free number was busy every single time I called.

So I, the World’s Biggest Diet Dr. Pepper Fan, who have spent a small fortune on that liquid gold, did not get a coupon for a free soda. And I swear it made me just a bit sicker.

The Fates Are Messing With Me

Only hours after I posted my rant about Diaper Doublers, I received the following email on my moms’ club distribution list:

This might be a helpful tip to any moms whose diaper-clad babies or
toddlers saturate their diapers. [My son] was always waking up with wet
pajamas each morning until we discovered Diaper Doublers. It
essentially looks like a maxipad… it’s an insert for any diaper to
add an extra layer of absorbency. You can find them in the diaper
section of Toys R Us or Babies R Us, in a light blue and pink package.
At $2.99 for a package of 30, it’s a much cheaper option that the
specialty overnight diapers.

You know, just in case any mom out there might not know and wanted to jump into the bloody fracas over snagging the last few existing packages. Which, as you know from yesterday’s post, don’t really exist.

I responded to all that the product had actually been discontinued, which is true. I thought of adding that Diaper Doublers have been found to be toxic to anyone under the age of 96 and who didn’t speak a form of Ubykh, but I talked myself down from the ledge.

What Do Giant Maxi-Pads And Sasquatch Have In Common?

Let me introduce you to my ongoing hunt for the elusive “diaper doubler.” Are you familiar with diaper doublers? They are a fabulous little item that costs mere pennies a piece but can save a family trillions of dollars in laundry expenses. OK, perhaps I exaggerate the savings. But not by much.

Basically, DDs are like giant maxi-pads that you put in your child’s diaper to help absorb more, er, “liquid” so that you don’t need to change the diaper as often. I’m not kidding. Giant maxi-pads. I use them in Ginger’s diaper at night so that she can whiz to her heart’s content, puff her diaper up to the size of Texas, and not leak. No leaks = less laundry.

DDs come in cloth and disposable. Despite my green tendencies, and yes, I have them, I use the disposable ones. Please hold your hate mail because this will help offset my environmental sin: the disposable ones that I use have been discontinued.

Well goodness, we may be getting that pool we’ve always after all. Too bad it will be in Ginger’s crib.

So to avoid the structural damage to our house sure to be caused by having my darling angel wear normal diapers at night, my goal in life now is to buy DDs whenever I can find them at my local Babies R Us (“BRU”) while they are still available because I don’t see Ginger being potty-trained anytime in the next half-century.

Yes, my life is now focused on collecting giant maxi-pads. My parents must be so proud.

Well, it turns out that hording DDs is not an easy thing to do because apparently half the free world lines up at night in front of stores that stock DDs to buy them the moment the store opens. Ask your average 30-something SAHM whether she wants one child-free day with unlimited alcohol, a beach, a trashy novel, and a hunky servant named Luis to slather her with sunscreen every couple of hours, or a package of diaper doublers, and odds are she’ll opt for the DDs. Yeah, they’re that good. Why these suckers are being discontinued is beyond me because the manufacturer must be rolling in dough.

So recently I called my local BRU and was told that they had eight packages in stock. EIGHT! At 30 DDs per package, that’s 852.47 and 2/3 pi DDs total (my wild enthusiasm might be skewing my math a bit), which means that I don’t have to potty-train Ginger until she is 24! Jackpot!

GrumpyMomma (trying to sound cool, calm, and collected): can you hold them in my name until I got to the store to pick them up?

BRU sales clerk: Yes. Yes, we can.

GrumpyMomma: {doing happy dance and waving my hands in the a-yer like I just don’t ca-yer}.

So I load the kids up, which itself is an adventure, trek over to BRU and proceed to be sent all over the store in search of the elusive DDs. I ask several people for help and finally someone who seems to have some authority disappears into the back of the store.

A full half hour after I originally arrived at the store, she emerges to tell me that (1) they have nothing being held in my name; (2) they have no DDs in stock; and (3) they have no label on their shelving for any DDs so she doesn’t even know if they sell them anymore. Oh, and did I know they are being discontinued?

Talk about an Al Capone’s Vault moment.

After I stopped banging my head on the counter and corralled my kids, who at this point had practically set up residence in the furniture department because everyone knows that asking children to wait patiently for anything is like asking the sun to rise in the west, I posed the obvious question: how, over the course of a short period of time, did the store go from having 8 packages in stock to not carrying the product at all?

The employee simply looked at me and said, “I’m sorry.”

The thoughts going through my head at that moment are unprintable in this relatively family-friendly forum.

So my hunt continues. Occasionally I hear rumors of a DD sighting, but I no longer believe them. Sometimes I wonder if they never existed to begin with and I simply made them up in my desperate-for-less-laundry SAHM brain. If anyone has a photo of an unopened package, I’d love to see it because while The Truth might be Out There, the giant maxi-pads aren’t.

Stay-At-Home Moms Wear Their Jammies All Day!

I’m not going to lie: there is something very cool about being able to lounge around in your PJs all day long. Being a stay-at-home mom affords this luxury.

At least that’s what I thought before I had kids.

Here’s the deal. I was in normal clothing about 34 minutes after I gave birth (please note that I did not say I was in my pre-pregnancy clothing as I was still the size of a whale at that point). From the first moment I spawned, wearing my PJs all day just didn’t sit right with me.

First, with a newborn in the house, it was an accomplishment to find time to shower. A shower usually leads to clean clothing. So wearing clean, non-PJ clothing was almost like a status symbol amongst those in my circle of mom-friends. Non-PJ clothing? She must have showered! LUCKY!

Second, I defy any mom with a child younger than, say, 6 months to get through the day without changing her clothing. Aside from the unsightly stains that splatter across her shirt, there is the acidic smell that announces her entrance into any room and reminds people of her long after she leaves. Eau de Baby Vomit. No sane person wants to wear that all day, let alone sleep in it all night.

Third, I don’t know any mom who actually stays in the house all day (although I did meet a mom once who thought she was supposed to do that because she was a “stay at home” mom. I think my involuntary, hyena-like laughter killed any potential friendship there). The truth is that I spend most of my day trekking from one activity to the next. Who knew that a 2.5-year-old and a 14-month-old could have such packed social calendars?? Actually, I think I’m just jealous.

In any event, trust me when I say that showing up at some of these events without make-up, let alone non-jammy clothing, could be enough to blacklist your little angel for years to come. And we all know that reputations are set before you hit the big 36… months.

Fourth, when you are accustomed to dressing like a normal human being every day for 30+ years, suddenly not doing so just seems, well, weird.

I have a closet full of beautiful, immaculately-maintained work clothing that I occasionally look at and sigh. Gorgeous suits, designer shoes, lovely cashmere sweater sets… I really miss wearing those things. So the idea that I would stay in my PJs all day long just doesn’t sit well with me, no matter how much I fantasized about that while pulling 15-hour days at the law firm.

Recently, a friend of mine who is an attorney was asking me about my “fabulous” life of not getting up every day at the crack of dawn to go to work. I asked her who she was kidding. Of course I do that. I just look like hell when I do it, and there is a lot of screaming involved. Sometimes the screaming even comes from my kids.

Raging Flames Of Bright Blue Procrastination

I haven’t been able to blog as much recently because I had a Book Club meeting this week. You see, I’m one of those people who lets the assigned book gather dust on the nighttable for 27 days and then scrambles to read it in the 72 hours prior to the meeting.

Of course, there is a slight problem with this practice: while the other members of the Club are discussing in rich detail the plot and characters, I’m able to recite the name of the book and possibly the protagonist, if I’m lucky.

Let’s be honest: I am reduced to attending the meetings for the free food.

Maybe it’s because I spent a gargantuan amount of time reading as a government major in college and while in law school, but I just can’t motivate myself to read for pleasure in my spare time. There is always some easier way to rot my brain in my spare time, such as watching TV or flipping through the latest gossip magazine or surfing the net (or, as is most likely the case in this age of universal ADD, doing all three at once).

I’m fairly certain the fates once tried to teach me a lesson about procrastination. True story: when I lived in the city and was able to walk six blocks to work, I used a dry cleaner that was around the corner from my condo. One Thursday, I was walking home from a long day of harassing plaintiffs’ attorneys (i.e., making the world a better place) and was too exhausted to pick up my dry cleaning. I’ll do it on Saturday, I told myself.

Dontcha know the darn place burned down on Friday.

One piece of clothing – a suit jacket in a bright and never-before-seen shade of blue that could not be worn with anything other than the same-colored skirt that had been worn one time and now was a pile of ashes – survived. As for my other clothing, which I calculated to have cost upwards of $550, I received a little more than $10 from the dry cleaner’s insurance company. $10.27 to be exact.

I still remember this amount because I was appalled that all that lovely clothing was assessed to be only as valuable as two pints of Guinness at my favorite pub.

Hmmm, put that way, maybe it was a fair trade…

In any event, I guess the lesson is that I should read my next book club selection well in advance of the meeting lest my house burn down and the insurance company sends me a bright blue check for $10.27. Or something like that.

I Love You! And You. And You. And You.

One thing that has always made me a bit sad about my daughter is that despite being very verbal (very), she is not one of those kids who says “I love you” to us, no matter how often we say it to her. I’ve actually resorted to begging her to repeat it back to me, with no results to speak of.

Recently we ran to the grocery store while my in-laws were watching little Fred, and as we got out of the car, I gave Ginger a big kiss and said, “I love you!”

And she responded, “I love you!”

I nearly melted in the parking lot.

Then we heard a dog barking, and Ginger asked, “Where is the doggy?” I said that it was in someone’s parked car. Ginger paused a moment and yelled, “I love you, doggy!”

I was Queen of the Universe for about 7 seconds.