Adventures in Mom Land (please fasten your seatbelt)

It’s not even noon, but I’ve been fielding calls and texts from my kids all morning (and there are only 2 of them).

First up, my son, a college student, who generally only calls me directly if he needs permission to use the emergencies-only credit card, called to let me know he feels like he might be getting sick. Sore throat, stomachache; some people have food poisoning, but he thinks he might have strep.

Next up, my daughter, a high school freshman, begins a series of texts about how she’s not feeling well and she’s worried she’s getting sick.  Probably nothing serious and she’ll likely make it through the rest of the school day, but TGIF.

Second phone call from my son, who’s out of breath, which is rarely a good sign. He explains that he’s walking fast to make it to class in time and turn in something important , and that he’s walking because a car clipped the back wheel of his bike moments before. The bike wheel is bent, the bike un-rideable, but the son is unharmed (whew) and the !@#*% car just kept going.

Now, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’re probably saying, “hey, didn’t that kid have a bike accident before?” Yes, yes he did. In fact, he’s had 2 pretty serious bike mishaps, the first requiring 5 stitches to his chin and the second a broken wrist and a substantial bike repair bill.

Moms, I know you feel my stress because you’ve been there.  So please, help me out. In addition to being very very thankful that my babies are okay, should I:

a)      Change our home phone number and flush my cell phone down the toilet

b)      Send my son off to his sophomore year in a Hummer (expensive, but after you factor in bike repairs and medical bills, it may be a wash)

c)       Visit one of our lovely local wineries to stock up

d)      Other (PLEASE ELABORATE)

The Power of Waiting

Reading this post just might save you some money or get you something for nothing.

My husband and I graduated from the same college, way back in the Paleolithic Era. Each year, we have been dutiful alumni, responding to the college’s annual fund drive by sending in a small check. This year, however, with our son off to college, we are sending all spare change to a different institution and I couldn’t for the life of me come up with a good reason to send any more money to our alma mater. Undeterred by our apparent contribution snub, we’ve received numerous phone calls from perky students and the college has sent letters and emails detailing the importance of each and every contribution. We’ve ignored them all.  Yesterday they tried a new tactic, sending us a baseball cap with the school name on the front and “proud alumni” stitched on the back (along with a convenient return envelope for our belated contribution). Something for nothing.

Several weeks ago, I created some business cards on Vistaprint, but I didn’t order them right away. I went back and forth, tweaking and deciding exactly what I wanted. Had I ordered them immediately, I would’ve paid about $20, plus shipping. But, since I waited, Vistaprint kept sending me discount emails, until finally I only had to pay for shipping. Money saved: $20.

For weeks I’ve been trying to decide on window treatments for two sets of French doors we have in our kitchen. The stakes are high because window treatments are expensive and if you order a custom size, they can’t be returned. I made the rounds searching online and ordered swatches and samples from several different companies, but I still can’t decide. Indecision seems to be working in my favor. For every week that goes by without ordering, these companies send me more and more discount offers. I’m catching on. Waiting is good.

You’re probably wondering if we caved and sent a check to our alma mater. Well, last night as my husband walked through the living room wearing the new alumni cap, he said, “I’m going to wait until they send us a BMW.”

Sunday Specials

Companies are in business to make money and that often means creating products that solve common problems. I’m cool with that.

On the other hand, I couldn’t help noticing certain themes while flipping through the pile of coupon inserts in the Sunday paper, themes I’m not so cool with.

Theme #1: We have bladder control issues. On one page, Kirstie Allie is pushing Poise light bladder leakage pads. Take it from the Poise Fairy, period pads are for your period. Flip the page and there’s actress Lisa Rinna looking sexy in a curve-hugging black dress despite the fact that she’s wearing Depends adult diapers underneath (no word on whether or not she shimmied her diapered self into a pair of Spanx before putting on the dress).

Theme #2: We have a multitude of health problems. Heartburn? Save $3 on Pepcid! Allergies? Save $4 on Zyrtec! Itchy red eyes? Save $2 on Visine! Painful gas? Save $1 on Gas-X! Painful Feet? Save 50% on Therapeutic Cozy Toes – good for bunions hammer toes, toe cramps, plantar fasciitis and more! Arthritis pain? Save $2 while you put your pain to sleep with Pain Bust RII!

Theme #3: We must never ever succumb to reality by looking our age. Color your hair for 8 weeks of luminous shine and fade-defiance; slather on Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition for firmer, more supple and resilient skin; don’t forget Revitalift Anti-Wrinkle + Firming with stimuplex technology, followed by Visible Lift foundation and concealer for 5, yes 5, anti-aging benefits. But wait! How about saving $5 on DermaSilk 5 Minute Face Lift which exhorts us all to STOP LOOKING YOUR AGE (undoubtedly a deadly sin that will send you straight to hell)?

Theme #4: We exist on a diet of total crap. Want to save money at the grocery store this week? Clip coupons for Chips Ahoy cookies, Nutri-Grain Cereal Bars (don’t assume “nutri” equates to nutritious), ice cream, Ball Park franks (you don’t want to know what’s in hot dogs – trust me on this), candy, frozen Chinese food, and Grande tortilla chips.

Admittedly I ripped out a few coupons (I’m too lazy to cut them out neatly with a scissors and usually forget to bring them to the store) – I color my hair, pop antihistamines during pollen season, and sometimes eat stuff for reasons that have nothing to do with nutrition. Still, I refuse to believe I’m as pathetic as the coupon inserts suggest.

Here’s an idea. Instead of saving a little bit of money by using those coupons when buying those products, let’s save a lot of money by not buying the products at all! Who’s with me?

Define “Real”

They're real too, right?

In case you missed the Dr. Oz show yesterday, he featured the Real Housewives of Orange County, a collection of bleached blonde women (with one brunette thrown in for diversity purposes, I suppose) who range in age from 30-something to 50ish. They each shared their favorite non-surgical beauty secret.

Forty-something Tamra, who was recently featured on the show having her gigantic breast implants removed, demonstrated her favorite spray-on tanning product.

Thirty-something Gretchen touted Victoria’s Secret Bombshell Bra as her beauty secret, noting that she hasn’t had a boob job yet.

Thirty-something Alexis, who was recently featured on the show getting a nose job, recommended a facial mask product because she said she simply can’t afford to get a facial every single week.

50ish Vicki recommended a hair serum product to treat her aging locks and noted that all her hair is real, with the exception of a couple of hair extensions on the sides.

Finally, 30 or 40-something Heather, the lone brunette, brought along her favorite beauty helper, her celebrity plastic surgeon husband, who proceeded to inject Heather’s already perfectly smooth unlined face with Juvaderm while happily commenting that he doesn’t think his wife will ever need a face lift.

Real? I think not.

Better Living through Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

They are divine in their simplicity – yummy peanut butter gobs resting in lovely milk chocolate cups—yes, I’m talking Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (RPBCs).  Evidently, I have consumed more than my fair share because some sort of cosmic candy karma has rendered me unable to eat them anymore by cursing me with allergies to milk and peanuts.

Future home of the RPBC Petrification Project

Of course, RPBCs will live on in my heart and on my thighs, but that alone does not do them justice. No, I must find a way to incorporate them into my life, without risking an unpleasant outbreak of hives (or worse). Therefore, I have launched a research project to devise a way to preserve them in a petrified state so that they may live on. (As a bonus, I hear there are plenty of NASA engineers who will soon be unemployed and I’m excited to offer them uncompensated but much appreciated employment on the RPBC Petrification Project.)

I hear you. You’re asking, “So what the bleep are you planning to do with petrified RPBCs?”

I’m so glad you asked. I have grand plans for my petrified little RPBCs. As a DIY home decorating maven, I can think of dozens of uses for them. Here are a few projects I have in mind:

  • Replace all kitchen cabinet knobs with petrified RPBCs (P-RPBCs)
  • Create a kitchen backsplash using P-RPBCs instead of tile
  • String P-RPBCs with some Swarovski crystals and hang them delicately from the dining room chandelier
  • Hot glue P-RPBCs to the border of an otherwise plain mirror and hang prominently in the foyer

As you can see, the possibilities are endless. My ultimate goal, however, is my own HGTV show and perhaps a book, both entitled Better Living through Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, but at the very least I should be able to score a guest appearance on The Nate Berkus Show, don’t you think?

***TODAY’S SPECIAL***

On this historic day, otherwise known as Wednesday, 19 of your favorite humor bloggers are staging a WordPress coup.  We have banded together to address the important topic, Better Living Through Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Yes, you read that right.  Your eyes are fine.  Well, they may not be fine – I really don’t know.  But it does say “19 of your favorite humor bloggers” (or who SHOULD be your favorite bloggers).  We are all presenting the same topic, each from his or her particularly unique perspective.

Why this topic?  Why now?

Why not?

Click below to gobble up the entire, yummy bag of 19 posts. Bon Appetite!

The Big Sheep Blog

Childhood Relived

Go Guilty Pleasures

Fifty Four and A Half

Fix It Or Deal

Play 101

k8edid

Lenore’s Thoughts Exactly

Life In The Boomer Lane

Peg-o-Leg’s Ramblings

Refrigerator Magnate

Running From Hell With El

She’s A Maineiac

The Byronic Man

The Good Greatsby

The Monster In Your Closet

The Ramblings

Thoughts Appear’s Blog

Unlikely Explanations