Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Myself, reflected

Emily is very much her own person (trust me, she doesn't love making crafts because she sees me doing them), but part of the fun of parenthood is seeing your own sayings and arguments reflected right back at you. For what it's worth, here are some recent ones:
  • Mommy, you can't wait to go use the potty! You have to go to the potty right away when you feel like you have to go!
  • Mommy, you can't be mean to me, because Elliot will see you being mean to me and think it's okay for him to do it, too.
  • You did it, mommy! You practiced, and practiced, and then you did it! I'm proud of you.
  • Don't cry, mommy. I'll go get you something to eat!  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dear Extreme Couponers and Company...

Don't get me wrong – I admire what you do. I think on the net, you do save money, you work hard to save it, and it seems like you enjoy what you do. Good for you. But it is the way you talk about it that bothers me. You boldly declare “I only spend 50 dollars a week on groceries to feed my family of five. And look at all those silly people that actually PAY for peanut butter – I got mine for free!” Here's the thing. You may have paid $50 at the grocery store, but you did not pay $50 for the food you ate. There are all kinds of extra costs.

You did not just pay 99 cents each for those 12 frozen pizzas you bought. You are paying for the chest freezer that you are storing them in (several hundred dollars, depending on the size). You are paying for the utilities to store said pizzas in that chest freezer. Or the square footage in your house to have a large pantry. You are paying for the generator to keep said pizzas from going bad when the power goes out for three days. You paid for the newspapers you received to get those coupons, or the several computers you used to print out those coupons (2 per computer limit). And you paid the gas money to chase around to four different stores a week to get those deals. It adds up.

And have you ever gone to those sites that claim they only spend $50 a week on groceries, no coupons needed? When you read the fine print, there are all kind of extras. They don't pay for eggs because they raise their own chickens, and they eat eggs for breakfast several mornings a week. They have a bountiful garden and never have to pay for produce. But there are costs to doing that! Maybe you live somewhere rural with low property values, but I live on the East Coast. I have a tiny, shady lawn. Do you have any idea how much more I would have to pay to have enough property to grow the kind of garden that would satisfy my family's produce needs? Or to buy jars to can everything so I can eat fruit in February? Or to pull up the trees in my yard so there is a sunny enough spot to grow anything (we have a lot of trees out East)? Or how long I'd have to drive to work to live somewhere that my neighbors wouldn't kill me for having chickens? Yes, there are community gardens, but you pay for those, and spend gas money to get to them every day or two. Not to mention costs for fertilizer, seeds, bird feeder, pest deterrents, and the like.

Keep doing what you're doing – I'm happy for you. But stop acting like everyone could do what you do if they were motivated enough. I can't afford to save money like you do.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Dress Like a Cow Day

I just got the pictures off my camera from when we did Chick-Fil-A's "dress like a cow day" a few weeks ago. If you dressed head to toe in cow apparel, you got a free meal. I love free food, and I love being a spectacle, so naturally, I was in! Emily had a great time taping her spots to her cow costume and mooing in it, and Elliot was very admired in his costume from Halloween. In a room full of cow costumes, employees came out from behind the counter to admire his cuteness (score!). We enjoyed our food and the play place, and had a grand time!

I hesitated a little before putting this up because I didn't want it to be interpreted as a political statement or anything like that. For the record, I've eaten both Chick-Fil-A and Ben & Jerry's in the past few weeks. I think business owners are humans with the right to their own political opinions, and unless they are discriminatory in their business practices, I really only care if I like their product. So until Ben & Jerry's stops serving conservatives or Chick-Fil-A stops serving gay people, I'll enjoy both of them, regardless of my opinion on the issue.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Random Olympic Thoughts

  • There's no better way to celebrate the human body's capabilities than sitting in front of a TV for four hours straight eating a bag of chocolate chips and watching someone else use those capabilities.
  • I'm much more Team Mom than Team USA. Now that I recognize how motherhood completely alters your body, I find it massively impressive these women can come back and compete on that level. Move aside, little 16 year old gymnasts. Lashinda Demus losing 50 pounds after having twins and coming back to get a silver medal in hurdles - now THAT'S a woman. 
  • What's with the blue tongues? I keep seeing them. Too much blue powerade?
  • I want to love soccer. I really do. It is the great world sport that millions of people around the world love. But not me. It is the one Olympic event that bores me. And you're talking to the girl that gets annoyed when those 9 minute swimming races or 20 minute track races go to commercial in the middle.
  • It has been fun to see what my kids like. Emily loves the diving, and stalls her bedtime like mad every night to keep watching it. Gymnastics bored her death. She kept asking me "is she going to jump off that thing yet? Is she almost done?" She also loves it when the athletes' families get excited. Elliot loves the swimming. Especially the breaststroke. Every time someone pops out of the water, he giggles and declares "SPLASH! SPLASH!"
So if you're into Olympics, what have you been enjoying?