cupcakes and zombies

because cupcakes are yummy and people aren't. unless you're a zombie.

Archive of ‘Random Thoughts’ category

How to give your kid medicine the wrong way….

So…let’s say your almost 8 month old has a nasty old double ear infection that’s affecting his eyes as well and the nice doc puts him on a really strong antibiotic. Then, let’s say this 8 month old HATES the way it tastes. Like HATES HATES HATES the way it tastes. Oh, but, you don’t know that yet.

So, you try to give him his first dose. It clearly says to give with food. You give him his regular 6 oz bottle. Then you start to give him his medicine. By start, I mean you put the medicine dropper in his mouth and he gags. So, you take it out. Then you try again, because, well, that was just a coincidence, right?  Nope. No it was not. Puke. Volumes, so much more than could possibly come from this little body. Ok, try again tomorrow.

Somehow your husband manages to get the full dose in no problem. Cool. Baby has a relatively good day at school, awesome. Baby pukes a bit in the afternoon and after the medicine at night, well, at least he sort of had one dose, right? You figure he’s draining all this gross stuff in his head, why wouldn’t it make him puke?

Fast forward to morning. Lots of gagging, coughing, choking, saline and suctioning. He only eats 2 oz. Then he pukes. And falls asleep. Husband tries to give him his medicine, but, more gagging. Husband tells daycare you think the antibiotic is making him a little queasy so please, for the love of unicorns, don’t feed him his whole bottle at once. They feed him his whole bottle at once. He pukes. On the Director. Daycare calls. You must pick up your son, we think the antibiotic is making him sick. Get angry calls from husband. Get frantic calls from husband. Puke, everywhere, gross, lots, over and over. Baby doesn’t look so good. Leave work to take baby to doctor. Doctor thinks antibiotic is making him sick. Interesting. So do I. Switch antibiotic to the yummy pink stuff.

Feed baby 4 oz. He happily drinks it all. It stays down. Get yummy pink medicine. Put dropper in baby’s mouth. Baby gags and spits up bottle all over jeans. Copious amounts of baby ick. Think rationally. You probably just put the dropper too far in the back of baby’s mouth so try again. But first, take off gross jeans. Put baby on lap and try again. Puke. All. Over. Bare. Legs. Gross. Disgusting. Horrid. How can one 16 pound baby make so much gross stuff.

Greet Husband and Older Son at door with gross pukey baby and no pants. Hand gross pukey baby to Husband with medicine and say you’re taking a shower. Take shower. Husband tries to get yummy pink medicine into baby. He pukes. Try to trick baby by mixing medicine with pear puree. Not fooling baby. Half an hour later Husband has succeeded in getting medicine into baby by shoving a spoon into his mouth and quickly replacing with pacifier so he sucks it down. Baby not happy. Husband not happy. Momma not happy. Older Son, happily playing with Baby’s toys.

Set alarm for half hour earlier tomorrow to account for spoonfeeding baby medicine “hidden” in food. Rethink and set alarm for 45 minutes earlier to allow time for a shower. Just in case.

Dear Cat….

Let me explain a couple of things to you, please, while you sit there for the next hour blinking slowly and staring at me for no reason. Which is creepy, by the way. But I think that’s why you do it.

1. Not every can I open is a can of tuna. In fact, I’d say, 9 times out of 10, its not tuna. It could be beans, or soup, or tomato sauce. Not tuna. If I tell you its not tuna, its NOT TUNA. So don’t turn up your nose and flick your tail at me when I put the can down and let you sniff it to assure you its not tuna.

2. I don’t want to share my yogurt, milk or ice cream with you. Nope. I just don’t. If I wanted you to have some, I would put it in your bowl. You know, that one on the floor. Not the one in my hands on the couch. Just saying.

3. Sometimes, I like when you snuggle up next to me when I am sleeping. You’re warm and I’m cold a lot. Let’s discuss what is not acceptable behavior if I let you into our room at night, because this deserves its own list:

  • When you jump up onto the bed, please don’t jump right up onto me. Its a king size bed, so trust me, there’s some empty spots to accomodate a cat’s leap. 
  • I do not enjoy being woken up by an 18 pound cat traipsing across my stomach. I’ll tell you why. It hurts. The end.
  • Please, please don’t tangle your claws into my hair. I know my hair is awesome and fun, but its not cool. And ditto for nipping my scalp. Why, kitty, why do you do that?
  • Don’t hide in my room until I get under the covers and start to drift off and then start meowing to get out. Just don’t.
  • Its not a free for all, take turns. Its extremely uncomfortable when the three of you need to sleep on me at the same time. It’s not necessary, you can learn to take turns.
  • If I want to turn over, I will. Its not cool for you to make yourself as heavy as possible so I have to squish and poke and prod you until you’re so irritated you move over an inch. Its MY bed. Not yours. So there.
  • I like when you’re happy, trust me, I do, but try not to show your affection by purring louder than an airplane, directly in my ear.
  • Never, ever, put your stinky kitty rear-end on my pillow. EVER.
  • And on that note, when you lay next to my head, please turn and face me.
  • If you wake up in the middle of the night feeling spunky and hunter-like, please recognize that I am trying to sleep and stop hunting imaginary mice in the room. And please don’t smack around your jingly toys either. I mean, you never want to play during the day, so why now??
  • Finally, do not let me open my eyes to see your face 2 inches away, just staring at me. That’s why cat’s get a bad name. Creepy critters.

4. I don’t really want to feed you at 5:30 in the morning. I do it because you are so annoying meowing as a trio outside my door. No problem on the weekdays, but on the weekends, couldn’t you sleep in?

5. Not every patch of sunlight is yours. You can feel free to share.

6. That fly is on the outside of the window. You can not catch or kill it. So stop.

7. Stay off the counters and table. Don’t think I don’t know. Who else leaves dirty paw prints, huh?

8. Flowers are not food.

9. You ripped a hole and shredded my armchair, what do you get out of that? Satisfaction? Not cool, kitty, not cool.

10. Why are you obsessed with crayons? I’m tired of chasing you around while you try to run away with them, and I would like to stop finding them in weird places.

11. You see this seat on the couch? It’s mine, not yours. When I get up, it is not an invitation to take my place, believe it or not.

12. And finally, I appreciate your consistency and all, but can you try to puke up your hairballs on the hardwood, and not every single carpet?


The Hand That Feeds You.


Not good enough…

Not good enough…

This is a phrase that I wish I could erase from my brain. No one, that I recall, has ever told me that I was “not good enough”. So why does my brain jump to that conclusion, sometimes over the silliest things? I realize that I can be my harshest critic. And I have NO idea where it comes from.

For example, today, Jax came home with a bag of Valentine’s goodies from his classmates. Cute, handwritten and decorated cards, little candies, a full sized coloring book, little goodie bags, you name it, its in there. I mean, Twizzlers and lollipops??? People give their 2 year olds Twizzlers and lollipops??? All I sent him in with today was a batch of teeny tiny little paper cards that had his name and his friends name on them. He wasn’t even wearing red, except for his socks, because they were the closest pair to me when he asked for them. It was like Clifford threw up on the toddler room. I felt like I didn’t do a good enough job. Really? Because the kids aren’t going to notice. And if the Mom’s did those things to show off, well, they have bigger issues than I do.

But the self-talk in my head goes like this:

I didn’t have any time this week to clean in the evenings. Not good enough. 

Didn’t get that problem at work resolved quickly. Not good enough.

Didn’t get to the gym more than once this week. Not good enough.

Didn’t eat healthy for dinner last night. Not good enough. 

Can’t keep up with…well…anything. Not good enough.

Really? No wonder why I’m stressed out and tired and feel like I’m not in control. I’m my own worst enemy. How about I think about what I have accomplished, instead:

Yesterday I woke up at 5:25,  showered, packed Jax’s lunch, made and fed Jax breakfast, filled my car with gas, got Jax to daycare, made it into work after an hour commute for an 8:30 a.m. meeting, had 7 other meetings, drove an hour home, picked Jax up from daycare, fed him dinner while changing for the gym (yes, in my kitchen), bundled Jax up and took him with me to the gym, got to the gym in time for my 6:15 class, worked out for an hour, and I don’t mean I just walked on a treadmill either, retrieved Jax from the playroom, got him home and in bed by 8:00. Made my dinner, ate my dinner, wrote out 13 little Valentines for his class, loaded the dishwasher, thought about making cupcakes, washed all of Jax’s dishes, made Jax’s lunch for today, wrote a letter, and was probably asleep by 11 or so.

Going down the list, all very trivial, silly every day things, but adding them up, that’s not so bad for a regular day, right? I mean I’m not winning any awards for my super awesome contributions to society, but it’s not like I sat on my ass eating bon-bons and watching tv all day either.

So my Valentine’s day present to myself is to love ME more.  I don’t need to do something memorable or meaningful every day. I don’t need to be perfect, or praised, or know that people are talking about me saying, “wow, how does she DO all that, she’s awesome!?” My gift to myself is to promise to be content with knowing that I’m doing the very best that I can, and my heart is in the right place. And that’s more than good enough for me.


Stuff I don’t like…

I have a pretty long drive home from work so it lends lots of time to thinking and naturally over-thinking things, because that’s one of my particular specialities.

So today I started making a mental list of things, silly, and not so silly, that I really don’t like. Just for kicks. These are the silly ones. I’m not in the mood to be serious at the moment.

Like tabs on soda cans. I can’t stand them. I can not actually drink a can of soda without twisting that tab off. I mean, it’s great to have it to open the can and all, but after that, it’s really served it’s purpose, you know? Unless it’s secondary purpose is to poke me in the nose when I am trying to drink. Which is not cool.

We already have established my dislike of Twinkies, in a prior post so I’ll leave that one alone.

How about people who don’t even pretend to reach for the “Door Open” button on an elevator when you’re trying to get on? I mean, at least make an attempt; almost, almost…OOPS…didn’t make it in time. Don’t just stand there and stare at me through the ever shrinking door gap as the doors shut. I am so good at pretending I’ve mastered reaching for the “Door Close” button and pressing it furiously instead while giving my best “OH NO, it’s closing and I can’t stop it even though I’m trying really hard” face. Shh. Don’t tell. And if I work with you, I assure you I would NEVER do that to you.

I am not “cute”. Puppies and kittens and tiny baby seals are cute. They are small and furry and have big sad eyes. They fit in the palm of your hand and blink at you and telepathically say “Love me, I need you, you’re awesome”. I am not small, or furry, nor do I have big sad eyes. While I admittedly do think some people are awesome, I most certainly would not fit in the palm of your hand, nor am I in the habit of sending telepathic messages. So stop calling me cute. I am a grown woman, and except in certain very rare situations, cute should not be used to describe me. I think people do it when they don’t want to hurt your feelings. Like when they tell me “Oh, I like your haircut, it’s so cute”.

Oh, my hair. Yeah. I am not so sure I like that right now. I need to create a dictionary of client to hairdresser translations so I can clarify that “You can take a few inches off, it’s way too long, but I definitely want it below my shoulders” does not mean to cut over 5 inches off so technically it is below my shoulders, but only just so. Well played hairdresser lady, well played. I suppose it will grow back. Eventually. Until then. IT IS NOT CUTE. Try saying that to me and then put me in the palm of your hand and see what happens.

I don’t like when people eat my Pop-tarts. And then don’t tell me. Ditto my Girl Scout cookies, ice cream, or any other treat that I want to save for a special occasion. Particularly when they buy it for me. Here is this delicious snack I bought because I know you like it. You have to eat it within 24 hours because if you don’t, I’ll eat it. The whole thing. And I won’t tell you. Until you really want to eat it and its 9:30 at night and you go to get it and its gone. SURPRISE!

Why do they make support columns that are larger on the bottom? I’m talking about the ones in parking garages. I mean, its like an iceberg, bigger below your line of sight so just when you think you have enough room. SCREECH. HAHAHAHAHA. You don’t. Yes, that has happened to me. Three times. It may have happened recently. It might all be in the same parking garage. Sigh.

And finally-I hate spam that is not even remotely geared toward my demographic. (I also hate Spam the pink meaty spread-no relation). No, I do not want/need Cialis, Viagra, fake Calvin Klein stuff, pretend Uggs, knock-off Prada, and I do not want to mingle with anyone, be they Christian, Single, or Farmers. Really? Have you seen me try to grow tomatoes? I am the opposite of a farmer. No Farmer is going to want to mingle with this. I’m seriously bad luck when it comes to growing stuff. Don’t believe me? Check back over the summer when I’m sure I’ll be blogging about my “Garden of Broken Dreams”.

Damn. I really want a Strawberry Frosted Pop-tart right now.








By now you’ve probably read or been the recipient of a slew of well wishes and auld lang syne themed everythings. This person wants to lose 5 pounds, travel the world, reconnect with a lost friend, or quit smoking. People hoping for the best year ever, celebrating the end of the best year ever, or waiting for the clock to strike midnight to erase it all and start again with a full year ahead to fill with anything better than the last one had to offer.

Nothing distinguishes this day from the rest other than someone chose it to be different, and therefore it is. It’s a fantastic excuse and just the impetus some folks need to initiate a change, to break out of that cycle and approach the next day with a little more ownership. Maybe you’re going out to celebrate it in style. Maybe it’s a quiet night at home by your choosing (or not). But either way, it’s a time to put the past year to rest and look forward to time’s never ending and lately, all too rapid, march into the future.

You can’t possibly hold a year in your mind all at once. It’s too much to handle. But what you do get to hold onto are moments in time. Moments that have meaning for you that don’t mean the same thing to anyone else. Or moments that are shared with others and are special to each person who shared that moment in a different way. Because they are YOUR moments, seen, heard, or felt only by you, in the way that is unique to you. It’s impossible to define what makes a particular moment more meaningful than another, and I assume it’s a factor, or factors of circumstance and a whole lot of “what ifs” happening at the same time to create this snapshot of human feeling and emotion that imprints a “moment” into your brain, sometimes forever. And that’s nothing that the end of a year can erase at the stroke of a clock. Nor should it. You don’t really live a year, I think, but rather, you live in these moments.

So my wish for 2013 is simple. I want more “moments”. More bits and pieces of time that I can look back on and hold in my heart and add up at the end of the year so I can look back and say “Wow, now that was a great year”. These moments are like my heart and mind’s photo album-and not one I stick on the shelf and never look at again. I can bring them out when I’m sad, or lonely, or just not feeling the best about myself at any point in time.

So tonight I am going to raise my glass of Prosecco to those moments that have passed in 2012-because I have some amazing ones to remember-and those moments yet to come in 2013, and know that I don’t have to look at a full year as being empty and needing to be filled with important and noteworthy accomplishments. I can look forward to those little snippets of time where happiness isn’t a goal I’ve set out to meet, but rather, an amazing convergence of “what ifs” that happen when I’m ready and willing to take notice.

So here’s to 2013-May it bring to you some of the best moments of your life.

Why is everybody looking at me?

Did you ever have one of those days where everyone is so obviously, not discreetly at all, looking at you no matter where you go? And I’m not talking about the “Yeah, I look hot today, no wonder why everyone can’t take their eyes off of me” kind of staring? Nope, I’m talking about the “Seriously, what are you looking at?” kind of staring.

It happens every now and then, for no particular reason, to the point where the first chance I get I have to get myself in front of a mirror to try to figure out what they see. My make-up looks normal, my hair-not bad, my outfit, well, maybe I’m wearing a few too many layers that may or may not have gone 100% perfectly together, but I never know what the “weather” in the office is going to be like. And speaking of weather, the weatherman said it was going to be close to 60 today but I wasn’t buying it for a minute, not after he teased me with it last week, so I needed that extra sweater, you know?

So, why were people looking at me? And don’t try to tell me they weren’t, because I flat out made eye contact with a number of people today who were looking at me before I looked up. So there.

Because you know much I love a good “Google”, describes paranoia as:

1. Psychiatry. a mental disorder characterized by systematized delusions and the projection of personal conflicts, which are ascribed to the supposed hostility of others, sometimes progressing to disturbances of consciousness and aggressive acts believed to be performed in self-defense or as a mission.

baseless or excessive suspicion of the motives of others.
Ummmmmm…so lets go with #2. Although I suppose it could be some sort of a projection of my personal conflicts although thank goodness I’m generally as “non” aggressive as it gets and really have no desire to go on any sort of paranoia cleansing mission.
But really, what gives? Low self-esteem day? (refer to my prior blog on how to be awesome to solve for that). Was it something in the fog today? Or maybe its just that I actually don’t really look up at all when I walk around and today my timing just happened to be spot on? Maybe I had one too many cookies yesterday, or am still shaking of the vestiges of the latest round of daycare supplied germs that hit me over the weekend. But something was off.
I just really, really hope it actually wasn’t me. I mean, I couldn’t find anything wrong with me. And I checked. Twice. Or possibly three times. But no more than that. Really, just the three times and the one time I accidentally caught my reflection in the store window. So it can’t be me, right? Wait, why are you looking at me like that?? Ummmm. I just have to go check on something really quick. I’ll be right back.



I am Insane.

Just so you know, I am completely insane. Let me explain.

Let’s play some “good news, bad news” Its like “good cop, bad cop” but without cops. There is definitely some confessing though. Ready? I’ll start:

Good news: my workout clothes fit just fine even after I haven’t thrown them on in oh, a month or so (ok, its been almost two). Bad news: they do not look like they did last time I had them on. My recent obsession with Dunkin Donuts’ egg and cheese on a croissant may have something to do with that. And consider yourself warned that the first person who tells me the actual fat and calorie count in my most awesome of breakfasts will get a suitable punishment. I will decide what it is as is appropriate given how well I know you, and my mood at the time. Knowing the calorie content of a food always increases the calories by at least 30%. You heard it here first.

Good news: I started up the Insanity workout program again today. Bad news: I started up the Insanity workout program again today. Let’s just call it a “modified” program because I’ve decided not to strictly follow the diet, since it doesn’t list “Naughty Nurse” as one of the “permissible” foods. Don’t get too excited folks, its a beer. A very delicious local brew, in fact. And, I just don’t have the energy/time currently to exercise like crazy for 45 minutes to an hour a day 6 days a week. My 2 year old and other obligations like buying food and going to work sort of get in the way. I’m insane, not crazy, remember?  So, you get my drift.  Any form of exercise will be so much better than what I’m doing now, which mainly consists…does carting around a 30 pound kid count as exercise? Or how about walking around the grocery store for hours because you’re so tired you can’t remember what you needed? I’ll put that down as maybe. But surely walking up the stairs 3 times a night to bring your son more water so he can procrastinate actually sleeping counts. Like I just had to do right now. The bonus was the conversation we just had about Dada making pumpkin pie (Dada does not cook. At all. Like barely even boiling water capable.)  And that there are stars and a moon on my robe. And any other little thing he can think of to talk about. But I digress.

So my idea was to get in great shape for snowboarding season. And you have to start somewhere.  Last time I did Insanity, I had amazing results. Like I wanted to write and tell the creators amazing. But that was in May. This time around, my cat was so bored, or perhaps horrified watching me, that he fell asleep after 3 minutes. I forgot how hard it was to begin. So imagine a video of insanely fit people jumping around and doing exercises that look easy. And Shaun T. is telling you to “dig deeper” and “go faster” and “you can do it”. So the cycle of my workout is kind of like this in my head:

:before workout: “Allright! Can’t wait to get started. Let me get my sneakers tied really tight. Hmm. Not tight enough, let me do that again. Allright! They feel great. Now let me tie my hair back. And get a headband. Ok good. Now let me get a glass of water. Awesome! This is going to be so great! Yeah! Now how do I put this DVD in this tv. Ok, Yeah! I got it! AHHH. Too loud, where’s the remote??? Ok, ok, there we go. YEAH! I’m awesome! Let’s go!

:warmup begins: “Whew. I’m starting to sweat. YEAH. This is great, I’m going to be in such good shape when I’m done with this. Wait, what are they doing? Let me stop and check where they are putting their feet, because something doesn’t feel right. Ok, now I get it. Oh, crap, they’re on to something else. Ok, ok, I got it. AHHHH can’t keep up, Ok, I’ll just do what I can. Yep, there I go, WOO HOO!

:2 minutes into warmup: “Um, is it over yet? Oh man, 37 minutes to go. Ugh. I’m so out of shape, but hey, I can do this!! YEAH!

:stretch: “Ok, that wasn’t so bad. I mean, I did what I could and all, so Yeah for me!

:Level 1 Drills: “I’m shooting the basketball! I’m shooting the basketball” I’m still shooting the basketball! Push-ups! Um. I can’t do those. Modified push-ups! YEAH! Wait, 4 in a row, then some running thing, then up and down and Wait! Wait! WAIT SHAUN T.! You’re going to fast!! Ok, I’ll just do it as fast as I can. Oh crap, they’re done.I’ll get it next time for sure.”

:water break: “Whew, I don’t remember it being that hard before. It must have been though. I guess. Ouch, something hurts. Oh, yeah, it’s called breathing. It hurts. Bad. 8 seconds left. Ok, HERE WE GO”

:Level 1 drills again: “I’m shooting the basketball! Not as high or as fast this time. But I’m doing it! And again! And….again…C’mon, there is no ball, I look silly. And I want to stop. But I won’t! I’m still shooting it! Push-ups. Not on your life. But I’ll get down on the floor and do something. It looks kinda like meditation, but I’m breathing so hard it feels like exercise. ALLRIGHT! Water break!!

:push to the end: “Jabs and uppercuts and “the attack” Yeah! work it, finish strong! I’m coming for you Shaun T. That’s right, I’m going to jab you in the stomach and uppercut you right to the jaw for making me do this. I don’t look like you guys!! What the hell was I thinking? Take that and that and THAT! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH YOU’D BETTER RUN AND HIDE, I’M COMING FOR YOU! THAT’s RIGHT, BE SCARED…Oh, its done. Oh, thank God.”

:cooldown: “Are my legs supposed to shake like that? And my hands? How can my shoulders feel like they’ve been judo-chopped? And what is that muscle that hurts? Is there supposed to be a muscle there???

:shower: “That water feels so awesome, let me wash my hair. Wait, I can’t lift my arms. Ouch, OUCH. Stupid shampoo, why are you all the way up there. ARGH. Oh, what did I knock over. I don’t care, I can’t bend down to get it.”

:dinner: ” Ok, I need protein. Too bad any thought of protein makes me want to gag. Ew. Urgh. PB& Banana, that’s got protein, right?

So excuse me while I don’t go back and proofread this right now as I need to go curl up into a little ball of pain in the corner and cry. Or more accurately I’m going to crawl over to the corner and cry because I’m so sore I can’t curl up into a little ball.

Can’t WAIT to do this again on Wednesday! It’s going to be awesome! 🙂



I have a confession…

I hate Twinkies.

I don’t like how they feel, kind of soft and squishy, but springy. They smell strange. Not like any cake I ever baked. When you first rip open the plastic, you get an overpowering whiff of…sweet. And then its gone. The filling could almost be tasty. Maybe. But the aftertaste is bitter, like you’ve just chewed a bunch of aspirin, (All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.) And the feel is kind of oily, like it coats your mouth and then hangs around. So it’s really not tasty at all. And what’s with the shape? Like a strange tail-less and head-less whale.

So it wouldn’t really mean anything to me if they disappeared. I’m not sure what all the fuss is about, really. I mean people are going a little nuts over this whole thing. They’re just chemically altered over-processed food products, right? I mean, it’s an almost completely synthetic, 39 ingredient, artificially flavored and derived icon of golden squishiness. So is it the principal that they are supposed to last forever and now they might vanish before we get the chance to test the “Twinkies will outlast the nuclear war” theory? Because I’m not even sure I’d want to test that theory. Yeah, I just decided, I definitely don’t.

But, If I’m looking for the moral of the story here, I suppose it would be that life is too short, so don’t let opportunities pass you by and go get those “Twinkies” while they’re still around to be gotten. Because apparently, nothing is guaranteed.

Not even Twinkies.

How to survive shopping at a “warehouse” store…

Ok. Losing all of your frozen and refrigerated foods to a hurricane makes you do crazy things. Like think its a great idea to go to your local BJs by yourself on a Sunday morning. A few weeks before Thanksgiving. After lots of other folks in the area probably lost their food too. Here are some things I observed, as well as some tips I have gathered, at my expense, for you to review before your next trip.

1) Make sure to carefully peruse the coupon booklet you get in the mail to judiciously select the coupons for ONLY the things you need. Ignore unnecessary coupons such as those for the big tub of biscotti. Unless its a really good deal and you remember what happened the one and only time you tried to make biscotti and some spatula throwing ensued. So if that’s the case, cut those coupons out, but put them in a separate pocket in your purse, or coat and don’t look at them again.

2) That reminds me, make sure you bring your biggest purse. This will ensure you maximize the interior space for your coupons to get lost in.

3) Make sure you grab a cart with a sticky wheel. Its not hard, because they all seem to have some sort of wheel defect. This will make sure you not only get exercise walking, but you will struggle pushing the cart and work out your arms as well.

4) Park at the bottom of a hill in the parking lot.

5) When you walk into the store, make sure you stop and grab the coupons they have up front. There might be something you didn’t know you needed there.

6) Get excited when you see the coupon for what I call the “Turkey Scavenger Hunt”. I’d almost forgotten about this! You get a flyer with a coupon for a free frozen turkey, 9-14 pounds, if you buy 4 of the items pictured on the flyer. The scavenger hunt begins as you to hunt through the store to find obscure items like frozen bread loaves. Which, after 10 minutes of searching, you realize your store doesn’t carry. And you can’t ask anyone for help. That’s cheating. The equally elusive frozen biscuits doesn’t seem to exist in my store either. But the big block of cheddar you can get instead will do wonders for your mac n’cheese.

7) If you spend the extra time to do the turkey scavenger hunt, don’t be foiled by the fact that they label all of their frozen turkeys $13, and don’t list the weight on any of them. Its a mind game.   Only the weak will pick the first turkey they see and run. The savvy consumer will stand there for 10 minutes or so eyeing the size of the turkeys, and lifting them in turn to compare. And then lifting some more, making sure you use the same arm to lift each, since you might be used to carrying your 30 pound son in one arm and not the other and therefore not feel the weight difference. Finally, a careful selection is made. Ignore the folks giving you funny looks as they grab their turkeys, hey, you deserve the best and biggest of the bunch for your effort. Which reminds me, I need to weigh that thing.

8) Make sure you have a good system for your coupons. When you get something pictured on a coupon into your cart, put that coupon in a specific pocket. Then 15 minutes in, forget which pocket was which and mix them up. It will give you something to do as you’re waiting in the long line at checkout.

9) Make sure you hungry so you can take advantage of the free samples. Realize that they don’t do many samples early in the morning. But enjoy the biscotti sample they do have.  Well played sample lady, well played. Since you have  a coupon, purchasing a tub of biscotti is totally justified. And besides, they’re gingerbread flavor. What?!?! Who would have thought of that?? You’ll never find those again.

10) Be prepared for your hoarding tendencies to be multiplied. By like 1,000. Bet you didn’t think you needed 25 pounds of sugar until you saw it. But its such a good deal. News Flash-you don’t really need it. I bake a lot and my 25 pound bag is still half full in my pantry. I bought it last year. Really. You don’t need it. PUT IT BACK! But go for the 3 pounds of ground turkey so you can make a batch of turkey burgers at once and freeze them to eat at your leisure. Even though the meat looks kind of grey, the date is good, it must just be your mind playing tricks on you. And it smells kinda funny when you get it home but you saw the meat guy putting it out in the case. And it smells worse when cooked but make sure you taste it. SPIT IT OUT SPIT IT OUT ITS NO GOOD!!! Call to complain about the $8 you spent and explain you can’t return the meat because you cooked it and threw them out in a small fit of rage. Plan to drive 20 minutes to the store to get your $8 back.

11) After you’ve found several things you didn’t know you needed in bulk like Scrubbing Bubbles to last you the next 5 years (COUPON!), potatoes (to replace the big bag that rotted on your counter with a bigger one) and 3 kinds of cheese, carefully maneuver your way to the check out to wait in line.

12) Sort your coupons while you wait. Realize you lost some and search through the pockets in your purse. And in your coat. Check your pants even though you never put anything in your pants pocket. Look through your purse again. Check your coupon pile and *Poof* they are magically, actually right where they are supposed to be.

13) After your coupons are secure, leave your cart in line (since you aren’t moving anyway) and go to grab some boxes. Pick through a dozen before you confirm they are all broken or just not the right size. Grab 2 that may, or may not work.

14) Get back to your cart and look for your membership card. Pull it out and realize it’s not yours, its your significant other’s. Hope it flies anyway since you just spent an hour and a half in the store (Damn You Turkey Scavenger Hunt!)

15) When the card is swiped and the cashier tells you your membership is expired do you want to renew it? Say “No, I’ll just go ahead and put all this stuff back where I found it”. Ok, don’t really say that. Pay the $50 and smile while thinking unhappy thoughts.

16) Hold back tears when the total starts climbing up over $300. Be glad there weren’t more free samples.

17) Admire the neatly packed boxes which worked after all.

18) Get past the bouncer at the door who punches a hole in your receipt. I have no idea what the hole is for. I guess its so you don’t waste time going back into the store and spending another hour and a half packing it full of the same stuff and trying to sneak out?

19) Wheel the very heavy cart with the screwy wheel through the lot and to the top of the hill. Start walking down the hill to your car. Walk a little faster. And faster. Um. The cart is really heavy. You’ re picking up speed now. Go! Go! Go! Go! STOP! Wait, I said Stop! Uh oh!! I can’t stop!

Stop just before you roll out into the lot.

20) Get to your car and start playing Food Tetris-you know, where you try to cram over $300 worth of groceries into a car that already has stuff in it? Because you forgot to take all the stuff out before you went to the store.

21) Masterfully fit in the loose stuff and tuck the first box neatly in. Grab the big box wonderfully packed by the cashier. Nothing happens. So grab it again and pull harder. It won’t move. Hmm. Brace your legs against the side of the cart and pull really really really really really really hard. It lifts about 6 inches. Which is not enough to get it out of the cart. Curse your faulty logic as you realize that 4 gallons of milk, a big bag of fish sticks, 3 blocks of cheese, some yogurt, bananas and jelly (ok, 4 jars of jelly) are too heavy for you to lift. Unpack it and throw the box in the car. Repack it. Sort of. What now no longer fits gets thrown in. Somewhere.

22) When you get home, ask someone else to unpack the car.

So, there you go. I hope this makes your next warehouse shopping experience just a tiny  little bit easier.

It’s time for a new blog…let’s talk about…hurricanes.

Yep. its about that time. Particularly since I have not much else to do except sit in the dark with my cats. So I’m back at my not so local Panera eating a cookie I’m not even hungry for just so I can feel ok about using their free wi-fi. Edit: this cookie rocks.

You may, or may not know, that we just had a hurricane over here on the East coast. Like a real honest-to-goodness hurricane. There was lots of scary stuff going on. It makes you realize just what you take for granted. Like, for instance. Showering. Showering is awesome. Especially when it is done in the comfort of your own home. Otherwise you have to shower in the shady gym at work, which is much less fun. Trust me. I know. And don’t even get me started about hand-washing. Which is challenging when you don’t have water. And you know how much I love hand-washing.

And then there’s electricity. Judging from the fact that even though I know I don’t have power and I still keep trying to flip the switches on, I take it for granted. Also, it’s damn hard to see by flashlight.

But, our house is ok, my friends and family are fine, and as soon as the power comes back on, it will all be in the past. I know some other folks aren’t as fortunate, so if I have to be a little chilly, lonely and wrinkled for the next few days, who really cares.

So stop taking stuff for granted. Say what you’ve been meaning to say, do what you’ve been meaning to do. Call who you’ve been meaning to call for forever. Heck, poke someone on Facebook if that’s all you have time for. And take a long hot shower the next chance you get. Just don’t take it for granted. Don’t forget, some folks never ever get to do that. So enjoy it.