Saturday, December 31, 2011

#1 for 2011

The #1 post on my blog for 2011 was this one:

You know, where I asked for your opinions on whether I should go with a nose ring or not.

Overwhelmingly, the vote was for "go for it".

As you can plainly see from this photo:

I so didn't get one.

Not that I don't want one, I do.

I just got a ton of flack from my family about it.
Although I think the Aunt Erin was pro nose ring but then again, she has one.

At my age, 25, 30, 38, ok fine at my age of, ahem, 41, I feel I might be a bit over the age of appropriate nose ring peeps.

I could always get it & take it out, the hole closes, right?
Then again, at 41 & overweight, will people just think "Look there goes another fat, middle aged woman trying to recapture her young adulthood?"

Well perhaps 2012 will bring that nose ring.

Friday, December 30, 2011

It's his mission

Cheeks is on a mission.
His mission, which he obviously chose to except is to embarrass me at every turn.
This mission includes his father but not as often as me.

Most recent embarrassment happened Christmas Eve.
Yes folks, he doesn't even take the holidays off.

We were at Bobster's Aunt's house for a little soiree.
Bob's grandfather is still living.
Mine, unfortunately, is not.

Cheeks has meet Bob's grandfather but it's been about 2 years since he last saw him.
So in his 5 yo mind, "Pop" doesn't exist.

Well Bobster & I were making nice with "Pop" when our angelic boy walked up.
Bobster says "Cheeks this is your great grandpop"

Our sweet, innocent child takes a step back, looks up, cocks his head to one said & proclaims
"I thought you were dead~!"

Well after we picked ourselves up off the floor, both of us diffused the situation with Bobster's Pop.  Thankfully he is deaf as a doornail so he had no idea what Cheeks had said.
We explained to Cheeks that was not a really nice thing to say & that it was my grandfather who was in Heaven.

My grandfather would have gotten a kick out that had Cheeks said it to him:
(that's my Aunt Darlene & my Grandpop)

Anyway that is the story of our holiday embarrassment.

How did you holidays ring in?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

And it's over...

Christmas 2011 has come & gone.
I love to see it come...the anticipation, the preparation, the wrapping, card writing & sending.
All fun.
Then Christmas morning comes.

In over an hour the gifts are unwrapped & the house looks like war torn Beirut.
It's fun tho.

Cheeks couldn't contain himself.
He was so excited that he was getting up extra early in the days leading up to, asking me "Is it Christmas?' at like 5am.
Good times.

Christmas morning, he would open a gift, go "Awesome!" & run to me or Bobster to open it.
We would tell him in a bit, keep opening.

Finally his turn was over & he had to hand the gifts to his brothers.
He wasn't thrilled with that because that took away from playing.

He didn't eat all day except for 2 crackers & a cupcake.
Mother of the Year I am, no?
He's fine.
Trust me!

All in all it was a great Christmas.
I am blessed to have a close knit family and blessed that we are all healthy (for the most part) & all have jobs.

How was your Christmas?

Friday, December 23, 2011

How to embarrass your Mom #512

So this past weekend, I took the Cheekers to see a movie (The new Chipmunks...cute but not going to win an award...know what I mean?).

The ticket taker was a young African American boy with Vitaligo.
For those who are not aware of what Vitaligo is, it looks like this:

Now everyone is thinking Michael Jackson.
Come know you were.

Anywho, my son was handing the boy the tickets when he says:

"Hey you are two different colors! I've never seen anyone with 2 different colors, do you know you are 2 colors?"

At this point I was hoping the floor would open up & swallow me.  That obviously didn't happen.

So I sort of laughed and said "Hey, everyone's different. I look different, you do, those people do..."
Luckily the boy had a great attitude and he responded to my little guy "Yep, I think it's awesome"
To which Cheeks said "Yep! It is"

He proceeded to talk, loudly, all the way down the hall to the theater about the 2 different colored boy.
I proceeded to tell him it's not polite to comment on other people and it's really cool how that boy looks.

I've never pointed out differences among people to my son.
He is just now starting to notice.
I just never thought he would comment on it.

Thankfully everyone he's ever said anything to, has laughed it off & explained things to him.
People are good!

How has your kiddo embarrassed you lately?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mittens & Gloves with a Wish for a Merry Christmas

I'm thinking future rockstar!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Are you smarter than a Kindergartener?

Apparently, I gave birth (or they ripped him from my stomach…whatever…he was 11 pounds is the claim to fame) to a genius!

Tis true.

A few weeks back the Aunt Erin & Cheeks were having a discussion in the back seat of the mini van. Well it must have gotten heated because next thing all of us knew we heard Aunt Erin (who is 28) say “Oh yea, well spell “THE””.

Cheeks responded: T…H…E.

The next sound was Aunt Erin’s jaw hitting the bottom of the mini van.

While out shopping I let Cheeks throw a quarter in the fountain & make a wish. Aunt Erin asked him what his wish was. He said he wanted to save the world from peril.

Here is where Aunt Erin went wrong, she said that perhaps the world was not in peril & that Cheeks didn’t even know what the word peril meant.

At that point he piped up & said “Yes I do. It means someone or something is in trouble and or hurt.”

Again, a speechless Aunt Erin.

What has your little guy/gal said lately that shut you up?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Picking off Pixars!

Poor Cheeks.
The kid doesn’t know what to do.

Every year, we get the kids their own ornaments.
Cheeks picked out a Lighting McQueen ornie from Target.
Before it even got on the tree, the spoiler on the back was mysteriously broken.
We charged on & decided to hang it on the tree.
Within minutes, Lightening hit the floor & shattered.


Problem solved we will go get another ornie.
Saturday stopped at Target, Cheeks decides to get Buzz Lightyear.
This morning I asked him if he wanted to hang it on the tree before we left.
He hesitated & said he was afraid it would break.
Being the encouraging mom that I am I said “It won’t break, come on, put it on the tree! Anywhere you want.” So he did.
Very close to the end of the branch.
I encouraged him to move it higher up the branch.
As he went to move it

Buzz hit the floor & was decapitated from the waist down.
The carnage was awful.
Cheeks immediately sprang tears.
I calmed him down by telling him we would get a 3rd one.

I’m not going to lie, I was sort of chuckling to myself as I went to get the broom because I thought: Poor kid, he can’t catch a break.

Of course, this could be my fault for allowing him to hang a delicate ornament that should have been hung much higher on the tree.
Shh! We won’t tell anyone.

So, tell me have you had any casualties this season?

I’m off to Target for another ornie!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Out for a Spin

Whose that?
Isn't that Chippy The Elf & Macho Man?
Looks like that Elf is four wheeling with the Macho Man.

Chippy gets all the fun!

I am hoping the Elf being here worked.
No principal for Cheeks today.
That's actually a plus.
He was so excited when I got home.
He came downstairs & said "I have something to show you" & he pulled out the yellow slip that means he got on the yellow traffic light, not red which means principal office.
I made a fuss.
We are just trying to get him to not go to the Principal.
Once that happens, we will work on not getting the traffic light.

Any ideas on what to have Chippy do while he visits?
Do tell!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

The Elf, Chippy The Elf

He's arrived.
He's hear til Christmas Eve.

Made his grand arrival this morning by landing in our Christmas tree.
He even left his "story book" on Cheeks bed.
I was very surprised that he got it.
As was Cheeks because he knows I like this joint up like Fort Knox at night.
Cheeks told me it was magic that he got in the house.

I refreshed my son's memory on how the Elf, excuse me, Chippy works.
You know be good, Chipster reports back to the big man in red, yadda yadda.
You would think that would be motivation enough, no?
Yea, no, he went to the principal again.
Everyday since the start of school except for 5.
That's my boy! 

What's that keyhole cut out in his costume you say?
Chippy had a very unfortunate "burning" incident last year when he decide to try to get tan by clutching one of those light bulbs.
It is what it is.
I say the keyhole makes him unique, no?

Tell me, do you have a Chippy?
Is he mischevious? Or does he just hang out?

Friday, December 02, 2011

Buyer Beware, especially in this area....

So remember my customer service saga with Amazon and the seller, TechBargnz…yes, that was the third party sellers name.  The seller made good, charged a 15% restock fee + applicable freight out & back. Meh, on the restock but anything to get some moola back.  Still I would avoid Techbargnz in the future.  Especially since he was a little cocky in his reply email.

I digress.

Well I have another customer service doozy.  It’s especially imperative if you live in my area (South Jersey/Philly) that you heed the following warning.

Stay far, far away from Mini Trail Bikes in Lindenwold NJ.  Shyster is the only “clean” word I could come up with when describing this guy.
He states that he will service you even after the sale.
BAAHAAHAA (read that as a maniacal laugh)

Anywho, last week I had to purchase an item for a moped (don’t ask…long story & no, it does not involve me pedding around on a moped because that would just be God awful).  The gentleman assured me the part he was selling me would work for the moped.  I had the make, model & serial number for the moped to ensure I got the right piece.  The associate kept saying no, no, that won’t help me, I’m telling you this is the right part.  So upon looking at said part I asked “Um, is this used?” “Yes, but I only need it to repair a bike in the back…it’s good, I promise you”  Ok, give me the part…I was ready to get out of there.

Long story short, wrong part. I took it back & asked to exchange it for 2 items (correct item & chrome cover) that came in at a higher price.  I did this 24 hours later. The guy (same guy) was like “nope we don’t do returns” Right, I don’t want to return it, I want to exchange it…exchaaaaaange it…say it with me peeps!  This goes on for like 10 minutes with him using every excuse in the book, policy, shady individuals, raccoons eating product…you name the excuse, he used it. 

I left, with the wrong, used part in hand.  The kicker…I had to special order a part for the moped that he charged me for already plus he charged me freight to have shipped to the store…to the store! Not my home, the store.  Ugh.  I asked him to please ship it to my home since I was paying the freight.  The associate responded with…NO!

Ok, now it’s time to email the owner.
I did.
No response.
Emailed the owner again.
Again, no response.
Two more emails, two more no repsonsed.
I’m surprised I was this patient.
Third email to him, he responded “I’ll call you tomorrow”

I called him.  He didn’t call back.
Called again, got him, he’s too busy he’ll call me back in 24 hrs.
Today I got the call….5 days after he told me 24 hours.
He told me he thought about the issue of doing an exchange and he still says no.
No exchanges. I’m stuck with it.

Well, Ken of Mini Trail Bikes in Lindenwold NJ, your promise of “Parts, not promises. Service, not excuses!” really doesn’t resonate now does it? 

So if I were you & you are in need of mopeds, go carts, parts etc, go the store in Forked River, NJ… Cyclehouse…you’ll get way better customer service and won’t have to deal with shysters who have been in business as long as I’ve been alive.

Tell me do you have any customer service horror stories, I’d love to know!!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's a Parade!

Warning, heavy photo post.
Warning #2, photos taken with crappy cell phone.

Now on with the show.
Saturday was the next town over Christmas parade. 
Since we live about 2 mins from the town we took in the show.
What a show it was.

Check out the horse drawn carriage.

 For those who have been with my blog for away & have heard me talk about "The Mummers" here they are.
Well one band anyway.
Grown men, dressing up and "strutting" down the street.
It's a big to-do in the Philadelphia area.
Trust me.
 Who is this?
Wait a minute!
This is the adorable, yet overly hyperactive, son of mine.
This is really the only time he stood still.
Well that & when he dumped chocolate milk all over my tushie.
Don't ask!
 OOOH! A float!
 Or two!
 More Mummers!
Just so you know, women were only recently let in the Mummers.
It was exclusively men for years.
It was prob. in the last 20 yrs that women could join.
 Cheeks was confused why the men were wearing skirts.
This is the "Emerald Society."
Irish Bagpippers, not Scottish.
 I have no idea how Frosty didn't melt.
It was about 62 degrees outside.
Completely foreign for this time of year!
 The Collingswood High School Marching Band.
Bringing in you know who!
 There he is!
The big man himself.
So that's what we did this weekend, what did you do?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Customer Service: Good vs. Evil

For those of you who have read my blog know I work in customer service, so I expect a bit more than average when I call places.
I didn’t expect this though.

Today I had to do a return for The Grandpop. 
He bought me a Nook Color for Xmas.  The next day the Nook Color Tablet came out, so he got me that & decided to return the Nook Color.
The Grandpop purchased it from a third party seller on Amazon.
This is where the issue comes into play.

Being the dutiful daughter that I am, I went under his account & filled out the required request form to return.
Reason for return: “Do not want”
I was then to wait for a response from the third party seller.
About an hour goes by when I get an irate Grandpop on the phone.

The seller responded alright.
In his email to The Grandpop he stated “Buyer's remorse is not a legitimant reason for returning something. You bought it, you own it. If you don't want it, sell it.”

Well isn’t that a fine how’do you do?
The Grandpop requested I handle this with Amazon.
I gladly excepted because I had visions of the Grandpop doing the Army crawl into the sellers place of business and going all postal on his tushie.
Not a pretty picture!

I called Amazon, got the sweetest guy on the phone who was flabbergasted that this seller responded in such a way.
The Amazon rep told me “We are going to lay the hammer of justice down on him!
He filed a claim with their A –Z department who will contact the seller, inform him that he is to comply with Amazon’s return policy and see how it goes.  If the seller doesn’t comply, he will be kicked off Amazon.

Now the waiting starts.
It can take up to 2 weeks.
The Amazon rep can’t guarantee we will get all our money back but we well take what we can get even with a  restock  fee.
It’s only right.

On the good side (besides the awesome Judson at Amazon) was my experience with the Mattel Corp. today.

They were having a great sale on something that Santa wanted to pick up.
Well one of the items was the Buzz Lightyear Space Command Center.
It did not come with action figures but I needed to find out if the ones that were available would fit in this toy.
So I called their customer service dept.

The gentlemen spent about 10 minutes with me  going over the sizes of the action figures to make sure they’d fit.
He even offered to connect me to a dept that just measures what toys go with what.

After some researching we came to an agreement that yes, the toy action figures would fit.
So I ordered but not after asking him if he knew of a free shipping code.
He didn’t but I ordered anyway.

Later in the day, while blog reading, I see there is a code for free shipping with a  purchase of $25 or more.
I spent way more than $25 so I thought, I cancel & reorder.
Well I couldn’t find my order to cancel so I called Mattel.

I got Kirk on the phone.
Kirk, if you are reading this, you totally rock!

Kirk took the code, tried to apply but couldn’t.
He put in a request for me to get my shipping refunded after the order invoices.

Between the first gentleman & Kirk at Mattel I will highly recommend doing business with just them.
Talk about awesome customer service.

The third party seller at Amazon could learn a thing or two from Mattel.

That’s all I got.
My day of good vs evil.

How about you?
What do you have to share today?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Babble, babble, babble....

Not much to report on the home front.  Things are still the same.
Well not really the same but nothing exciting.

Cheeks behavior is still the same.
Principal every day.
Every day.
We started the process in September of getting him help.
It has yet to officially start.
We had a therapist come out twice.
She let me know the other day that she got a full time job & a new therapist would be coming out.  Fabulous, maybe this one will actually start "talking" with Cheeks.  Since the first two times the first one came out it was all paperwork.

The behavioralist was scheduled to come out last week.
She canceled about an hour before because she has not received paperwork yet.

Nothing like working with the state, eh?

Besides that Bobster is working like a dog.  Last weekend we were fortunate to go up to The Poconos to see him over night.  His hotel has an indoor pool, a highlight for the 5yo.  He's down the street from some outlets, a highlight for me!  It was some nice family time for us without all the distractions of "home."

Who can believe Thanksgiving is Thursday?
Holy cannoli, how did it get to be that time of year?
Aunt Erin is cooking this year.
Thank goodness.
I'd rather just bake my way through dinner.
Perhaps next year I will make a cake resembling a turkey & call it a day. 

That was enough babble for now, I am outty!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Please no photos!

Yours truly, little ole me, is featured in this months All You magazine!

Tis true.

I am famous now.

Tell me, have you ever been featured in a magazine?

I'm very excited!!!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Introducing the Autobot Family

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Dear Joan

I just wanted to let you know that you have nothing on me in the child rearing department.

Apparently, while trying to discipline my son by telling him he had to hold my hand I angered him.
I would not let go of his hand all the while he pulled & yanked himself silly.

I never raised my voice.
I never put my hand on my child.

I just kept calmly telling him that he needed to stand still & listen.

My neighbor, witnessing it all, asked my son "Why are you giving your mom a hard time?"

My son's response "I hate her"

Yes, Joan, I have risen in the ranks like yourself.
Merely by trying to calmly discipline him.

I handed him over to my neighbor (who coincindently walks him to school), fled to my mini van & proceeded to cry.

Some tell me if my son tells me he hates me then I am doing a good job as a parent.
Doesn't matter.
It still hurt.

You however Joan, as much as I jest in this letter to you, well you really are a bad parent no matter how you look at it.



Thursday, November 03, 2011

Confession to make

Not sure if you all want to hear this or not.

It's nothing like, I killed 35 people & buried them in my grandparents old house's basement (the stench is from the dog they used to have...yea that's it...the dog!) or I used to dance on a pole for money & I went by the name of "Tuesday Tata's"...I was young, I need the money.

It's more along the lines of something I am ashamed of, as if the above things wouldn't be enough, again didn't do either of them.

I am ashamed of being divorced.
Whew I said it.
I feel like this, a lot:

If only I was that skinny.

Anywho, don't think that I wish I was still married to that person.
I don't.

For those that have known me "on line" for years or for those that know me in real life, know I was blindsided by the whole "I want a divorce" that he said.

Believe you me, he did me a huge favor b/c now I have a great guy & fabulous children!!!

It's just that I feel, even after all these years, that I failed.
Like if I had done this or that it wouldn't have happened.

I can't really explain it.
I don't like to say I'm divorced.

I know people are.
I know it's not considered a rare thing anymore.

I just can't explain it & I finally admitted yesterday to my coworker, who herself has been divorced.

Perhaps I'm just feeling sorry for is pms week or maybe I just need therapy...either way I wanted to confess.

So there ya have it!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Let the sugar coma commence

I had one very excited 5yo today.
He got to experience Halloween in Kindergarten style.
Meaning he was allowed to wear his costume to school (side note: I came home early & he was still in it).

Can you tell he was ready?
Of course, he had to try out a few moves

Of coures, these moves result in this:

I let him have 4 pieces, 2 before dinner, 2 after.
Now he's going to have to earn the treats by behaving himself.
Wish him luck.

He's upstairs in his stuper sleeping off his sugar high.

Happy Halloween!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Haunted Houses

A little pre-Halloween festivities with the Cheekers.
Brownie Haunted Houses.

Which is his?
Which is mine?

Also please imagine they are right side up.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

They say it's your birthday!

When did this happen?
When did this kid:

Grow up into this kid:

Or should I say man because today is his 18th birthday!

Happy Birthday Tim!

*do not forget to enter my giveaway for 25 free Shutterfly Holiday Cards: Giveaway"

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Answer & a Giveaway...oh that's right...Giveaway!

So for those of you who read my last entry & tried to guess what machine was causing the students to sniff their papers it was:

That's was the Ditto machine.
I remember being in second grade & being alloweed to use the Ditto machine.
Ah I thought I was hot stuff.
Good times!
Good times!

No on another good time note.

Over at my other blog: Meghan's Mindless Muttering: Reviews & Giveaways I am hosting a giveaway via Rafflecopter for 3 of my readers to win 25 free Christmas Cards from Snapfish.

So get on over there & enter!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Can you tell me...

What machine causes the great smell that these students are sniffing from the paper?

I'll give you a hint...if you are a child of the 70's or at least a student in the 70's you may have been asked by your teacher to take the paper to the office & use the....

Do you know?

Come on...don't leave me hanging...give it your best shot.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Horror! The Horror!

I've done the unthinkable.
I've done the inexcusable.
I've done the #1 thing Mommies shouldn't do.

I threw a piece of Cheeks art away.
I got caught!

I know!


It had to be done though.
The art work is taking over the wall in the kitchen.

I figured he wouldn't notice.

Was I wrong!!!

All of a sudden from the kitchen I hear "MOOOOOOOOOOOOM!"

Then he comes in the living room, holding the paper plate art work, & says "Hey, you threw my Earth away! You can't throw it away."
His lip was 2 inches from the floor.

Apparently, I didn't push it down far enough in the trash can.

I apologized profusely & hung it up on the wall.

Well til he wasn't looking then I buried it in the bottom of the trash can.

Have you ever got caught doing something with one of your kids prized possessions?

Sunday, October 09, 2011

How to get a kid to eat

Have him make the meal himself.

He told me dinner was pretty good.

We had meatloaf.

Do you let your kids in the kitchen to help?