Suddenly Chaos: Flipflops vs. Fiber

  1. loveValentine’s Day was this week and J and I decided to steal away for a night of passion Chinese food and Costco shopping. With wedding planning and grad school and three kids and the hour-long commute between us that makes weekends the only time we get to see each other, the impromptu Tuesday night date was pure luxury. Especially considering he is working all weekend and I’m playing single mom to two of the boys and a very muddy dog (more on that later.)

I’ve had tummy troubles all of my life, and J is convinced that my fiber consumption is to blame. Thus, during our Costco run, he insisted that we pick up a jar of adult gummy fiber supplements. You take two a day and it keeps things moving. Fine, I say to myself. I’m sure I can use more fiber in my diet and if it makes my guy happy, let’s just go with it. I even took the first dose in the car to show I was on board.

We drop the groceries off at home and got the kids settled in with pizza before heading out on our Valentine’s Date. The plan was to have Mexican, but our usual place was packed. I could feel the first signs of hangry coming to the surface as my normally sunny demeanor shifted to she-who-must-be-fed. We settled on our favorite Chinese place and had a truly lovely dinner. We talked, we laughed, and for a small moment in time we were just a guy and his girl out on a date. No responsibilities, no kids, no stressful jobs. Just love.

There is a certain dread to going home from a date night. The probability that there will be some kind of mess waiting is pretty high and that means taking corrective action with the boys. It’s the part of parenting no one warned me about. The cynic in me walks in the house looking for the problem. The optimist in me prays that there is nothing to find. The exhausted pigeon in me tries to ignore it. The teacher in me knows that this is a teaching moment. The struggle is real.

Generally speaking, the house was okay. I noticed, however, that the bottle of fiber gummies from earlier looked a little emptier than it had when we left. Apparently, Flipflops (who is 13, remember) thought they were candy and didn’t read the bottle. Then this conversation happened:

Me: Who ate the gummies?
Flipflops: …um, me?
Me: How many did you eat?
Flipflops: I didn’t count.
Me: Ballpark it for me, kid.
Flipflops: I don’t know…like, 10?

There was a moment of silent disbelief before J and I burst out laughing. The kid consumed five days worth of fiber in one sitting. While not life-threatening, we knew he’d be in for some major clean-out. It took a couple of days for his system to right itself, and hopefully the natural consequences will encourage him to read the bottle from now on.

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Ah, this is the life…

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day 25 | Monday Musings | of family ties, customer service, and a moment of remembrance…

Happy Memorial Day!

1) It was an emotional roller coaster of a weekend [more on that later] as I celebrated my birthday with a small fraction of my family. Though our numbers were small, I got to spend time with my oldest brother. Growing up, I barely knew him at all, as our age difference is a whopping 14 years. It wasn’t until I was an adult that we spent any significant time together.  Yesterday we had a chance to just spend a few hours sitting around and talking. We shared memories of our dad and different experiences we’d had with him.

True story, it was some of the best therapy I’ve ever had.

2) I don’t have many vices. I’m not into labels or having designer everything. I’d rather buy/wear pieces that don’t have to worry about. One major exception: I love Kate Spade. LOVE. If you tuned in to the list of things that make me happy, you probably noticed that a sale at Kate Spade is a happy trigger if there ever was one. I have a tradition of saving up and then buying a new bag at the Memorial Day sale, kind of a birthday present for myself. Each time I go in, the gorgeous bags and friendly staff at the Hagerstown, MD Kate Spade Outlet make my shopping experience one of perfection.

Last year I fell in love with and purchased this bag in a mere 13 minutes. I loved that bag.

And then, the unthinkable. The fastener broke. So much anguish. First world problems, you know?

So I took it back, a year later. I just wanted it fixed, but the awesome staff replaced the bag with one that I liked even better. They were professional and sweet and I was incredibly impressed with how much they care about their customers and stand behind their products.

This is why I’ll buy Kate Spade for life.

3) I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a minute to express gratitude for the men and women of the United States Armed Services who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure my freedom, as well as the families who must press on each day without their loved ones. I can never fully comprehend your sacrifice or demonstrate my sincere thanks.

I hope that the life I live, in some small way, makes the life that was lost lived, not in vain, but to fulfill a great purpose. It’s a heady responsibility to be among the living, but we owe it to the dead to take care of the country they died to protect.

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Monday Musings: Thanksgiving Week Edition – of shopping, menus, and kitchen disorientation.

How is possibly Thanksgiving week already?!  I swear it was just June and I was stressing about David and Maggie’s wedding and then it was September and my world was falling apart and not the Holiday Season is upon us!  I have one exam and one homework that I have to get through before I can unwind for the long weekend, but a quick update before I bury my head in the books for the rest of the day —

1) I have been known, in years past, to get up at the crack of 3 am to line up in the freezing cold to go Black Friday shopping.  These days, I look at shopping on Black Friday the same way I do hunting.  I have no moral objections, but I won’t be participating for the following reasons:

  1. It’s early.
  2. It’s cold.
  3. I don’t wanna.

I do however, take exception with stores who are opening up on Thanksgiving Day to jump start the consumerism that has become Christmas.  Besides the irony of pushing and shoving your way through a store to acquire more stuff on a holiday dedicated to being thankful for what you have; if you are in a store shopping, it means someone else must be working and not spending time with their family.  So, in honor of that auspicious idiocy, I’ve decided to take a pledge, and I encourage you to do the same. Don’t shop on Thanksgiving and let stores know that it isn’t okay.

2) I’ll be cooking the smallest Thanksgiving dinnerThanksgiving 2014 I’ve ever experienced, this year.  Just 3 (possibly 4) people.  I’m a little sad; I love cooking a huge dinner for a ton of people, but I think it will be nice, and it gives me an opportunity to change things up and make food that is a little less traditional.  Here’s our menu:

3) The other challenge is that I won’t be cooking from my home kitchen, but rather from my grandmother’s.  It’s not a huge deal, and it’s not the first time, but I’m feeling a little nervous about the disorientation associated with cooking in someone else’s kitchen.  It’s probably just my own special kind of ridiculousness, but it gives me pause.  I’m sure everything will be just fine.

From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving Week!!

Weekend Warriors…Birchbox

I have the death.  Seriously, I think this is the end for me….

Ugh.

In addition to whatever is ailing me, tonight is also the last night of VBS and I have two huge projects that have to go out the door today.

Stress?  Nah…

Anyway, in honor of my crazy busy life, I want to introduce you to an amazing…thing, this week’s Weekend Warrior: Birchbox (www.birchbox.com).  Before I go on, I should say that this is a non-sponsored post, and I’m not being paid to talk about this company. Good?  Good.  Anyway, Birchbox is a kind of product matchmaker.  Once you get a subscription to Birchbox, for $10 per month, they send you a box of generously sized samples of upscale lifestyle and beauty products.  Use them for yourself, give them to friends, the choice is yours.  If you like what you get, you can buy full size versions of these products from the Birchbox site.

But that’s not even the best part.  Seriously.

Hand-picked beauty and lifestyle samples, delivered to your door for $10/month.

Take some time to look around the site, and you’ll notice that the greatest resource is information.  Each product has a full ingredient list, plus tips on how to use it, and pairings with other products.  They also have a YouTube channel with tons of video tutorials on everything from smoky eyes to curling your hair with a flat-iron.

And for my male readers, Birchbox has a section for you too, stocked will all kinds of grooming, shaving, and lifestyle products.  They even have an entire section for Masters of the Grill.  So there you go.

You can also give a subscription as a gift.  Sweet!

The only catch is that Birchbox is invitation only (like Pinterest), but there is no way to get an invitation early, you just have to wait your turn (not like Pinterest).  From the time I signed up to the time I got my invite was about 2 or 3 weeks, so be patient.  Also, once you get your invite, you have 72 hours to respond before they move on to the next person in line. So be patient….and then GO!

Special thanks to Emily, for turning me on to this service (even though she waited too long and lost her chance!)

Have a Lovely Weekend!