Category Archives: Suburban Madness

SHOPPING IN BULK. SQUEE!!

Oh, honey! That ain't gonna be big enough!

I love me some shopping in bulk.

Shopping in bulk makes me go boom. Yes, I’ve already established my first love is, and always will be, Target—my life, my passion, my love! Shopping warehouse style is not the light, bright, “cheap chic” social hour shopping experience of Tarjay. Still, something about buying in bulk puts some bounce in my butt. Something about cradling a 36 pack of individually wrapped cookies in the middle of a suburban concrete shopping jungle makes me wanna shout, “SNACKTASTIC!!!”

The warehouse club? It’s momma’s playground.

Warehouse “clubbing” (Yeah, new rules. New definition of clubbing. What? People call me ma’am now. I can’t go into a real club anymore. Come on, you know I’m more Irish pub anyway.) is pure shopping A.D.D. Or is it A.D.H.D.? Either way, it’s sensory overload in the biggest, most funtabulous way. It’s awesomeness in a box. A big, big, biggity big ass box. Everything is bigger. And better. And did I mention bigger? How do you not get sucked into paying a few bucks more than you would at a regular store to get a much larger quantity of something? This is to speak nothing of the vast range of goods and services all housed under one ginormous warehouse roof for your shopping convenience.

Leather furniture purchased in conjunction with a 200 pound drum of pretzels and a 30 pack of beer is what I call EEEE-fficient? And well? The ability to test out the sofa with beer and pretzels in sight? Now you are singing my song! Take THAT Ethan Allen!

Like Tarjay, there’s a $100 cover charge–$200 if you don’t keep your head down and your wits about you. When you walk in the door and grab two supersize boxes of diapers and a box of wipes (Sorry environment, I double pinky swear I’m so getting you back when everyone in this joint is potty trained!), you’re pretty much there. And that’s before you sample the jalapeno/artichoke/dip/spread on the new!/flatbread/toasty/bread/thingys or spy the 500 count daily mega vitamins for women–totally worth the price. (Health before wealth!) Speaking of 500 count? Give me summa those 500 count thread count sheets! (Oh, you’re dead to me Bed, Bath and Beyond, you’re so dead to me. But thanks for playing!)

 “I just know if I get some cute new workout pants it will really inspire me to get my Richard Simmons on,” I whisper out loud. “But, build me up butter cup! Is that a vat of olive oil the size a gallon of milk? A must have for a gourmet chef such as myself!”   Barefoot Contessa? You better put some shoes on woman, because I be coming for you! Fresh herbs? Bring it. I have  a year’s supply of EVOO and cumin for $14.99! And Giada, watch your back, girl–you and your beloved pancetta (I’m sorry, I mean, pannncheeet—ttaaaahh.) Yeah, me be getting some of that in bulk. So suck it!

30% off books? Should we take one more whack at the crock pot? I mean, 1,001 crock pot recipes for only $9.99–there’s gotta be something good! (Yeah….probably not..remember? Nothing good comes out of a crock pot!) 50% off cards? Oh squeeeee! Happy birthday to meeeee!

Need new tires? Have them put on while you snack on a  jumbo dog or ice cream while you shop for…face cream? Ray-Ban polarized sunglasses? Small appliances? Big appliances? And more! Oh, so much more! Deeeep breaths….deeeep breaths. Wait! I know! A yoga mat!

Every day could be a party at the warehouse club. With all the free tasty treat samples, they’re halfway to margaritaville!  Just uncork some of that wine in aisle 12 and call momma a cab! Who needs a club? Crank up the Bose in aisle 7 and we’ll get this party started. Sorry Pauly D, we’re beating up the beat without you, bro!

The worst part is, I’m so club crazy I have memberships to two different warehouse clubs. Costco I love for produce, meat, antibacterial wipes, and diaper wipes. Their frozen fish and wine is fab too, and last time the hubs got “lucky” there….no really, he did. But why do I have on dork jeans from Kohl’s today, but my husband is sporting Lucky jeans? Costco! Over the years, we’ve bought….a swingset.. a fridge.. a tv, too… oh, Costco, I’m just sooo in love with you! (But seriously? Selling fridges? That is kinda akin to a drug dealer selling you a container for your stash, no? I mean, I ended up buying so much meat, frozen fish, and drinks at Costco that we needed another fridge for the basement to store said bargains and OH, LO AND BEHOLD, crafty Costco happened to sell just the perfect one….I believe that’s called entrapment!)

But BJ’s, sweet BJ’s, I love you, too. So I guess I’m all about the two timing and some might even call me a warehouse ho. (Harsh, but true. I will slut around for the best deals.) But BJ’s is closer to my house, and carries diapers, food, and drinks the kids like. It also takes coupons. They send out their own every month–good ones too for like $1 to $10 that really add up–not these piddly ass buy five and save .35 cents nonsense—BJ’s plays to win on the coupon front. They also take  manufacturer coupons (but we all know how well those coupons usually turn out for me…remember?) But seriously, last week BJ’s sent me a friendly email saying based on what I purchased last year, I saved over $1,000 on grocery items alone. Whoa. If I saved a grand, what the hell did I spend? I know they thought they were being all smarty pants sending me that, but ho’ing it up big ain’t cheap apparently! Perhaps I should re-examine the thrill of buying in bulk?

And I will say I’ve figured out the hard way a bargain ain’t a bargain unless you really need it. I’ve been “Costcoed” and “BJ’ed” before. Have you? You get home and realize it’s not really cool to have two giant bottles of salad dressing that you don’t end up loving or 4,000 of the wrong size garbage bags. So I guess the lesson is, “caveat emptor” or let the buyer beware. Or I should say, bulk buyer beware! But… as long as you know the rules going in, oh what fun you’ll have playing the game!

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Filed under Awesomeness, Mom-ness, Retail Therapy, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!, Suburban Madness, Yo! It's a girl thing!

WEATHERNERD STRIKES AGAIN!

Dorothy, this ain't Kansas. But wait, is this big ass tree going to keep me from Facebooking?

This has to be payback. You know, for my letter to the weathernerd last month. (Click here if you missed it–it wasn’t, um, complimentary.)

Well, weathernerd struck again, and this time? Oh, he brought his A game, the rat bastard.

So, what I heard him say on the forecast yesterday morning was something like this, “Blah blah, a few inches of rain, a few inches of snow, blabbity blabbity, look at my FANCY map.” Insert cheesy knowing grin, clear throat for good measure and…..TADA!

So I’m minding my own biz last night, crafting a new blog post, Facebooking (Where I joked about building an ark and escaping with some smut mags and booze on the muffintopmommy page– but son of a bitch, there just wasn’t enough time! I swear Noah had a serious head’s up.), twittering, and enjoying me some Olympic figure skating when….BOOM!  The windows start shaking, wicked rain beats the house at a 90 degree angle, and the lights start flickering. I mean, it sounds all kinds of freaky like I’ve never heard it before. If I had been sitting in Kansas and not New Hampshire, I’m pretty sure I would have sprinted for the basement. (Maybe…if I were a little faster. And…if the basement had adult seating. And…if my arse wasn’t glued to the leather loveseat like a hungry college boy to a free buffet.)

The lights flicker again, and the hubs and I share a knowing look (and reflexively bolt to the thermostat and jack the heat up) and sigh, all “What what?” because, for once, it’s warm out. (And by warm I mean, like in the 30’s at night in New Hampshire in Februrary…a few more degrees and I’m totally rocking happy hour on the deck in some fleece.)

Hubs heads to bed, smart enough to realize it might be a long night. I press on with my regularly scheduled activties. Sure enough, part way through my blog post, right after souless, skimpy Cleopatra’s skating routine, the house goes completely dark. I’ve only the glow of my no longer connected to the internet laptop (so long, mommy’s playdate) and the flashlight my brilliant husband left by my side to guide me. 

“Seriously!?” I shout to no one.

See, usually this nonsense happens when it’s like 3 degrees out and there’s a vicious ice storm that weighs down the trees, which knock down the power wires, which….render us all Little House on the Prairie, minus the coping skills and that crafty Charles. Last time Mother Nature showed us who’s boss it was December of 2008. Eight months pregnant, with a 3 year old, a not yet two year old, no power, no heat and no cell connection—no, it did not make for a pretty scene. Hubs thought he saved the day by booking a room for us at a local well known chain hotel so once he got home from work, we blasted five miles over there practically crying for a hot shower. We pull up, and the hotel is completely shrouded in darkness.

“And how exactly does this help me?” I screech.

Hell hath no fury like an 8 month hungry, dirty, caffeine and booze deprived pregnant lady. I told the hotel that they– and their 1-800 schmucks down in Alabama or wherever we called (somewhere warm, damnit, I know it was somewhere warm) to make our FAUX reservation of a room with light and heat– could bite my back fat because I could go back to my own dark house and sleep for free, bitches!  After setting hotel chain straight, things went decidedly downhill as there was not a hotel room to be found in all of southern New Hampshire. For real. From there to the state border and beyond, not.a.room. Seriously? Mary and Joseph might have had an easier time finding a place to squat for the night. Okay, maybe not. (But ridic or not, in a moment of woe is me pity party, the thought did cross my mind. I know, what a whiny bag.) I realized while we sat smugly on our hotel rez all day, others in the area booked reservations at hotels that actually HAD power. None of our friends had power, our nearest relative was 40 minutes away and had no power, and, the highlight of an already fantastic day…. one year old booted up his Mickey D’s dinner all over me. Yup. Is there anything hotter than a puke covered, unshowered,  8 month pregnant woman waddling out of Mickey D’s?

Mother Nature broke me that night. I admit it. When we drove out of Mickey D’s with no place to stay, I started to cry. A little, tiny bit. Just as I hit rock bottom, the phone rang, and it was our in law’s saying they just got their power back. Phew! Who but family would take in a motley crew of pukers and dirty birds?

So, here I sit, over a year later. It’s been over twenty four hours, and still no power at home. It’s not freezing. I’m puke free. I’m not pregnant and exhausted. Yes, downed trees impede travel and progress all over my town. Something is hanging from the side of my roof and a section of picket fence litters my yard. 

 I’ve even seen a few huge pines on people’s homes. So it doesn’t really seem that big a deal that I got woken up by 2 year old last night, complaining it was “dark” because his night light was out. (And btw, how can the “dark” wake my kids? What about that makes any sense?)  Weekend plans had to get shuffled around. Stuff will get patched up. Life goes on. But livin’ on the Prairie ain’t easy……so we had to escape for warmer, brighter digs…with free internet and unlimited refills. And while we appreciate that there’s room in the inn again, I realize  as much as I rant about it, I miss the frat house already!

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Filed under Friends...you got what I ne-ed, Random Rage, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!, Suburban Madness, TMI? Says who!

REUNITED…AND IT FEELS SO GOOD!

 

Isn’t she a thing of beauty?

Never stop believing.

 

Dreams do come true! They do. And I’m living proof. Something really big happened last week. No, huge. 

My Lands End catalog came. No, that’s not the huge…stick with me! 

I like some good Lands End garb as much as the next suburban hausfrau, but I stood in my kitchen, preparing to be underwhelmed by my typical fleece and khaki wardrobe staples. (Let’s be honest, Lands End is the steady, not the flash.) So I flipped through it, simultaneously admiring and scoffing at the carefree faces of the catalog peeps. (Please refer to a post from last week, “I want to live in a catalog. Wanna come with?)  So, my blasé tude rendered me totally unprepared for the awesomeness that waited inside. 

Lands End, I will never take you for granted again. 

Wait for it……Tretorns! 

Yes, Tretorns! 

Holy mother of cool, old school kicks. Tretorns! 

Just let it sink in a minute. 

If you’re a woman who came of age in the 70’s and/or 80’s you know just what I’m talking about whether you loved them or not. Tretorns from my girlhood are ba-ack. Dude! I NEED them ahora! Is this just my 80’s shoe geek busting out? My repressed inner pink and green prep screaming to be heard? Lands End might have unleashsed a firestorm of repressed 80’s fashion memories. 

My world has been turned upside down. Right side out! Wrong side in! Old is new! New is old! 

What? It is THAT exciting. And if you disagree you don’t know from exciting! 

So, confession time. To put this in perspective on the outside chance you don’t share in my shoe crazy, I’ve had a shoe problem since the third grade. This is when I beat my mother down (not literally…hello!) into buying me some Nike Cortez sneaks. Do you remember them? Oh, they were the bomb! They were white leather with the red swoosh and kind of a semi pointed toe. I can still hear the woman, “I can’t believe I am buying you $33 shoes right now!” 

Totally worth $33! In today's dollars maybe....

Frankly, I can’t believe it either. $33 was a lot of money then. (Back in the stone ages…. I mean, the early 80’s.) I don’t pay much more for my sneaks NOW—sometimes even less. All I can remember is her muttering that I would one day be destined for a career in sales (who knew?) because she was buying them for me and didn’t even know why. Oh! And that I better not tell my father! (If my father ever reads this… mum, I’m so sorry I busted your cover. We had a good run though, didn’t we? And no, I really don’t know who hit the garage. Seriously.) 

After the Cortez came the Tretorns. And after the Tretorns? The Adidas Gazelles— sophomore year in high school. Rumor had it you could only legally buy them in Canada (High school urban legend?). Eh, that made them all the more alluring though. My friend and I couldn’t drive so we ended up taking the commuter train into Boston after school and then the “T” to South Boston aka Southie (If you’re not from Boston, three words… Good Will Hunting.) to score our green contraband. My mother was rather unmoved by my rabid shoe needs by then, and I know I bought them with my own money I made schlepping clothes at Frugal Fannies Fashion Warehouse. The floors were concrete….I needed good footwear to pound that minimum wage pavement! 

I would totally still wear these!

And no, they were not the last green shoes I’ve had. I have, in my closet right now, a pair of green old school Sauconys that I bust out on St. Patty’s Day. And, other days when I just feel like going green. (Kermit was right—it ain’t easy being green—I’ve suffered some slings and arrows over my kicks! Bring it! I apologize to no one for my rainbow coalition of old school footwear!) Converse Chuck Taylors? I have me summa them. And retro New Balance? Yes, please! 

It’s safe to say, next to my family, I live for shoes. It’s the little things—life is too damn short to not embrace footwear fun. And I never pay full retail.  Don’t you wanna know how I scored some Tretorns for $16.50? (6pm.com. HOLLA! I’m all about sharing the intel but if you buy up all the size 8’s I’m coming for you! !) I knowwww…was that a little McMeanie to find out about them from Lands End and then go carousing elsewhere? Um, $38.50 in my pocket says, ha-ell no!!! 

The shoe fetish is hard to shake—but of all my best shoe memories, Tretorns were my longest running fave. And why I feel compelled to share the love. Now, I usually like to write my own stuff, but I’m not so much into the lovey dovey stuff, and couldn’t articulate it any better than Peaches & Herb…so sing with me now.(Um, maybe in private. You at work? Just hum along, lest someone misunderstand. That’s how rumors get started you know!) 

“Reunited and it feels so good.
Reunited ’cause we understood.
There’s one perfect fit,
And, sugar, this one is it.
We both are so excited 
‘Cause we’re reunited, hey, hey..”
 

Peaches & Herb must have been clairvoyant to produce this hit right when Tretorns came into favor. Coincidence? You decide. Did they sense that a random girl would one day rediscover one of her first shoe loves? This song has depth. It has meaning. It speaks to me.  

No, I do not hear voices in my head, why do you ask? 

But Tretorns, my love, um…this is awkward, but I have to wonder, where have you been the past two decades? 

Okay, no, no. I’m not going to go there. The past doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been. It only matters that YOU CAME BACK! You came back for me! I don’t need to know the details of who you’ve been with or why. Bygones! 

When something so fantabulous happens, you want to sing from the rooftops, right? Well, I’m sort of afraid of heights, and honestly, we’re in the midst of a really crazy cold snap, so yeah, no. I did what any other modern day, fraidy cat, clutzy, cold hating whinybag would do…and I went on Facebook (where else?) to sing it, and to find out if others shared my undying decades long Tretorn devotion. I put out an APB on the muffintopmommy page on Facebook and hell yeah, there’s plenty of Tretorn love to go around. I knew this blog had fun readers who would totally get it! 

But wow, my question opened a Pandora’s box of 80’s pride. (And in a few cases, loathing. I cannot explain that which I do not understand. I am sad for the few Tretorn haters. I really am. They know not what they do. Some of them are my very best friends and I hold out hope they will see the light. It’s not too late!) So I have to ask…..do you share the love or don’t you? And don’t worry…this poll is totally and 100% anonymous (I think. I just figured out how to make one like thirty seconds ago, so you know, it also might not be. So watch your back just in case. I’m just sayin….this could get heated).

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Filed under Awesomeness, Friends...you got what I ne-ed, Retail Therapy, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!, Suburban Madness, Things that make you go....awwww, Yo! It's a girl thing!

IT’S JUST NOT COOL TO USE YOUR NEW BABY TO STEAL

*Greetings muffintopmommy readers! Before you read the post today, I want to thank all of you for helping spread the word about the blog–we have had an unprecedented amount of readers this week. You are rocking the top muffin style and I love it! If you don’t have a subscription yet, please look for the orange button to your right. See it? It’s right…there. See? Yup, right there. Don’t be afraid…just click it! And that’s the first step toward getting your 100% FA-REE, money back guarantee *(*just seeing if you’re paying attention…cuz sometimes the hubs smiles and nods too but I know he’s really watching the Bruin’s…) subscription. Anyway, once you hit the magic orange button, you can sign up to receive muffintopmommy by feedburner or email. Just don’t forget to verify your subscription once you sign up. (Does WordPress think I’d be shameless enough to sign peeps up without their express permission? Yes. You bet.) Several of you in your awesomeness have been kind enough to pass your muffintopmommy emails to your pals–and even some of your DADS and HUBS who now read the muffintop (How awesome is THAT? We’re not just for mommies!), but I would politely ask that you send them the link and ask them to click onto the actual blog so that muffintopmommy gets the official blog “hit” from it as that helps me out….”I want credit for the big salad!” , George Costanza, Seinfeld. 

Also, (I know, what a windbag I am today..mea culpa, mea culpa) we have a new muffintopmommy fan page on Facebook! So if you’re on FB, please join. Just type in muffintopmommy in your search box (top right where you search for your friends) and you should find it. My blog is a work in progress (Read: I have absolutely no natural ability at anything remotely technical and therefore seek help from kindly, tech savvy friends…) and soon I will hopefully have a badge right on the site you can click to join, and with any luck, some cool new graphics.

Enjoy the post. I started writing this long before I had a blog—when my baby was still little enough to be in the bucket car seat. (Sniff…where does the time go?) The material is timeless I think, so I thought I’d share…..

*******************************************************************************************************************

Sometimes I have to take all three kids to the store, and when I do, I don’t linger. If I linger, I run the risk of losing one of them, or my purse, or my mind, or all three. Usually I put the baby in the bucket in the body of the cart, my two year old sits in the front, and my four year old walks with me. This works out great provided I only need a “few” little things. Once you put the bucket into the body of the cart, there’s not much room left for “stuff”.

By the time I get the “few” little things that have multiplied before my eyes and engulfed every square inch of the cart (Please refer to, “Target: My life, my passion, my love!), and corral us all to the check out, my oldest is whining for Matchbox cars and my two year old is beet red, fuming like a major league ball player on ‘roids because I won’t let him open the Dora fruit snacks. “Open! OPPPEEEN! OPPPPENNN ITTTTT!”

Oh, the injustice of it all.

I don’t even get embarrassed anymore. Glass houses and all that. (Go ahead and judge me, I dare you…you know you’ll be there, too!)

By the time I pay, put everyone’s hats and mittens back on, and move the brood out of the store and to the car with all the efficiency of a clumsy snail, I usually get two of them in their car seats before I take the baby out of the cart and realize, sonofabitch, there were two items wedged behind the car seat that I forgot to pay for. Usually it’s something small like some Chapsticks (Why yes, I am an addict and no one can stop me. No one. I live for Crackstick!) and some chocolate.

Exactly. The important stuff.

Oh, the dilemma. Either I have to get the hooligans back out of the car, and schlep all the way back into the store and get back in line to pay the $3 or whatever it is for the stuff OR I have to just toss the bounty into my car and rationalize I will pay next time OR I have to just leave the contraband in the cart, and hope someone from the store spies it when they go to collect the carts and returns it to the store.

I’m telling you right now straight up, I am SO not schlepping back to the store with three kids in the cold for the sake of three bucks worth of stuff. When I had one baby, I always did it. Two kids, I sometimes did it. Three kids, oh no, that shit so ain’t happening. MAYBE if it were a $25 can of formula that I desperately needed to feed my innocent baby or felt too guilty to leave in the cart, then yeah, but you can be sure I’d bitch and moan the whole way back! And why does it always seems cold or rainy when I pull this stunt?

I’m also not taking the stuff, whether it’s three bucks or 25 bucks. I just can’t. Maybe it’s the Catholic guilt that lingers from childhood, or the fact that I was raised by a police detective and a second grade teacher (I know, what are the odds? Talk about bustometer–couldn’t one of them have been, I dunno, an accountant? I couldn’t break my curfew in HS OR spell a word wrong…don’t know how I made it….it was a rough life, you see.)  Anyway, since I never got away with squat growing up, I just know I’m not going to start now.  And even if I did, I’d obsess about it and replay it in my head til I drove myself crazy because deep down I’m a closet nerd. (Right— you’ve probably figured that out by now. Was it the Lands End shoes that gave it away or professing my love to a big box store?)

No, seriously though. Can you see me, looking over my shoulder in the Target parking lot, making sure no one saw me chuck the candies in the way back? And with my luck they would!

I can hear it now, one of the other moms whispering, “Wow, times really ARE tough! I just saw muffintopmommy lifting Dove candy outside of Tarjay!”

“Nooooooooo!”  the other mom would sniff, “as if she needs it too! *Snort!* She should be stealing Weight Watcher dinners, not caaandy, ma ha ha ha!”

And besides, if I’m going to steal and sully my good name, I’m going for the big haul damn it, not some Crackstick I could have paid for myself! (Real crack probably is outside my budget…so it’s nice I have my cherry alternative at the ready.)

So, out of viable options, I’m left to just dump the cart and run for cover, burning rubber out of there like a teenage wild child who just got his license.  This option I know is imperfect, because leaving the stuff in the cart essentially just makes it easier for someone ELSE to come along and take it, provided they share my affinity for cherry Chapstick. Hey, I did the heavy lifting and got the loot out of the store, and now it’s like low hanging fruit for the taking for any unscrupulous shopper that happens by! Now that I think of it, I could be charged with aiding and abetting.

I’m a criminal after all. Crap! (How much does James Sokolove and Affiliates get by the hour? Anyone know?)

I'm innocent. I swear. It was all a big misunderstanding! I can explain!

Do you think four Hail Marys and two Our Fathers will cover it? I don’t imagine a priest has ever found himself in this awkward position of moral ambiguity, being single and all. I think I should dole out my own penance on this one. Which has to be, listening to my kids when they find out there’s no candy when we get home. Yeah, that should square me with God I think.

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Filed under Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!, Suburban Madness

I WANT TO LIVE IN A CATALOG. WANNA COME WITH?

I mean it. I want to live in a catalog. Just for a day, I want to escape to the land o’ catalogs. Where the sun always shines. The kids never cry. The mom twirls in the kitchen in her $150 khakis. And the dad hangs the flag with junior on the wide, front porch with the perfectly coordinated wicker furniture and plantings.

The people in catalogs just look so…. happy. It’s not that I’m not happy. As I said before, minus my husband having an aversion to replacing the toilet paper roll (Please refer to, “Seriously? This is my life?”) and realizing I live in a frat house (Ditto for, “Oh no! I think I live in a frat house!”) I’m beyond fortunate.

But the catalog people? Oh yeah, they’ve really got it going on. They’re always flashing day glow toothy smiles about something—like they have some fun inside joke the rest of us aren’t privy to. They always have on stylish clothes that fit just right, not a hair out of place. You don’t see any of those catalog moms rocking the muffin top with spit up on their shoes.  Nobody has on a baseball hat with fringe sticking out because the kids started cockadoodledooing at 5 a.m. If they have a hat on it’s not a baseball hat and it’s on purpose—it’s strategically placed with just the right amount of styled—but not too styled—hair peeking out. And roots? Come on. Junk in the trunk? Um, no. Hello! Pick up a catalog lately? Do yourself a favor—don’t!

The catalog kids frolic in playrooms furnished more beautifully than my house, and none of the toys are strewn about like a stage five hurricane ripped through (please refer to photo above). All the kids color on paper—not on the walls. Nobody crawls into the pull out drawer under the stove and throws all the cookie sheets on the kitchen floor and then clangs them together the minute an adult conversation is attempted. Nobody unravels the toilet paper down the hall, squirts toothpaste in the toilet or boots up their dinner.

Nobody is screaming. Or crying. Or screaming crying.

“Is everything okay over there?” asks your kid’s doctor.

“Oh fine, just fine! Yup. Totally. ” Can you write prescriptions for grown ups? What’s it gonna take? $25 smackers? An even fitty? A c-note? Do you take plastic? What can you get me? And when?

“Oh, because it sounds like you’re having work done in your house. Are you having work done?” Because if not? I’m pretty sure you’re running an illegal daycare or are living in a McDonald’s play land. Where’d I put that number for social services again….

Sigh.

“No. Heh. Just the boys engaging in some spirited play! And that little one? Well, he sure has found his voice!” **Grits teeth.** These rugrats kick it up on command I tell you. They see the phone and they go all Pavlov on my ass—automatically screeching like hyenas in the outback. Or tweens at a Jonas Brothers concert. Or cougars at a Twilight movie. What-ever!

That would so never happen in a catalog. Never. Ever.

The catalog families never have a dated kitchen or a shingle loose. Emerald lawns are as perfectly groomed as their owners. Adorable puppies snuggle by fires on doggie beds that are nicer and cost more than my duvet cover! The catalogers throw parties outside on impeccable brick patios, where coordinating linens, glassware, and dinnerware adorn fancy pants tables made of exotic woods. They play lawn games like croquet. They sail on ginormous yachts (with those adorable puppies and angelic kids again)! But..rest assured it’s never too windy to muss up their hair!

You know what though? On second thought, I don’t want to live in a catalog. Not even for a day. The catalog people look way too perfect to be any fun. Smug even. Superior.

And if that’s superior, then I’m fine with inferior.

Yes I am!

I can hear you. I can. You’re sneering….jealous much?

NO! Who me? I am not. Oh no I’m not!

Yeah, they look good. They probably don’t shout. Or swear. Or shout swears. Or drink out of a red plastic cup on their Target chair on their hastily stained deck. They definitely don’t know how to score a bargain or belly up to a bar. They probably fold all their clothes right when they come out of the dryer. I’m sure they never mix whites and darks. They’d never eat a row of Thin Mints. Or three. They never screech stuff like, “Where the HELL did the bread tie just go? I JUST HAD IT RIGHT HERE!” I bet their socks never get eaten by the dryer either.

They’re…. “the beautiful people”.

Rat bastards.

They’re the croquet to my wiffle ball. The caviar to my hummus. The Banana Republic to my Merona. The Ketel One to my Bud Light. The…the…scone to my muffin. Top.

Pfft. Who needs ‘em? I might like to visit their world for an hour or two. But I ain’t staying. It’s just doesn’t seem that fun. I’m just keeping it real.

Care to join?

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Filed under Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!, Suburban Madness

TARGET: MY LIFE, MY PASSION, MY LOVE!

The one place I love to visit, and visit often, is Target.

Wait, let me start over.

“Hi, my name is Muffintopmommy, and I’m addicted to Target”, or as I, and seventy bazillion others affectionately (nay, lovingly?) call it, “Tarjay”. I know that to some Target might just seem like any other big box store, but to me it’s so much more. I would go so far to say it’s a huge part of my life right now. No, I am not kidding!

Really. Stop laughing, you! Come on, did you really think I was going to say Bloomingdale’s or some fancy pants place like that?

WE DON’T EVEN HAVE BLOOMINGDALE’S IN NEW HAMPSHIRE AND EVEN IF WE DID, THEY’D LOCK THEIR DOORS IF THEY SAW MY BROOD AND ME COMING!

“Henderson, cut the lights, lock the door…I see the bourgeois coming. Quick, quick!”

Target is where I buy a lot of household stuff, sure, but it’s also where I end up socializing, and for better or worse, buying a lot of my clothes. Now, this is partly because I can rapidly toss clothing items into a moving red plastic cart while I shop on the fly with the little scamps in tow…. and partly because Target really embodies ‘cheap chic’… in my humble opinion. I like to think I really am quite the budget fashionista—please, don’t tell Stacey and Clinton. (Or better yet, do tell.  I exaggerate my talent, and could use a $5,000 wardrobe makeover and some pointers on how to disguise the muffin top, because it is becoming abundantly clear that I am just going to continue to whine about it while doing nothing to change.)

There, I said it. I feel better now.

Please note for your shopping pleasure that Target really knows its audience. “A” for effort Target marketers—no doubt a team of savvy moms—you thought of everything. Frazzled mommies on the go rejoice that the big red shopping carts that restrain your crew can easily navigate their family changing rooms. Take that Bloomies!

Every time I hit Targ I run into other moms I know and end up yukking it up by the laundry detergent or seasonal items. I’m not going to lie to you, staying home with three kids four and under can make for long days, especially when those frosty New England winters hit, and I so look forward to my impromptu social hour. Don’t even tell me you didn’t know Targ was an informal social club? (Are you lying? Admit it— you’re right there with me.) They don’t advertise it in the Sunday flyer but it’s a well known fact among moms. You might have your water cooler, we have our aisle seven!

Target having everything I could possibly need under one roof is both a blessing and a curse. It’s fantastic because I only have to take the kids out of the car seat ONCE to do a million errands. What’s more flipping annoying than taking three kids, none of whom can buckle themselves yet, in and out of car seats on multiple errands? You might as well go have a tooth pulled then do that. (Although wait, I just remembered– that’s my vacation!)

Really, the only downside to my love affair with Targ (I like to abbreviate words. So fun. Go ahead and try it. Be a rebel. I dare you.) is that it is absolutely a threat to my household finances. But if posed with the choice, heat, light or Targ, I gotta admit, I’d have to think about it long and hard…..

Okay, I decided.

Who needs light when you can just go to Targ and enjoy all the lovely, fluorescent bright lights you want for as long as you want?! Lighting at home is so glorified anyway. So twentieth century. Laura Ingalls didn’t need light, so neither do I!

It is just so terribly easy to become derailed in Targ. I swear the orangey red décor riles you up into a spending frenzy or there’s some kind of secret old school subliminal messages in play. All I know is I might go in there for toilet paper and soap, a minor and necessary expenditure, and then come out with new wine glasses, some shorts, a frame, a book, bathing suits for the kids, tortilla chips, stationery, a purse and—oh, don’t forget the undies at the check out—seven pair for $6.99 with the fancy cursive writing on the band—sing with me now, “I’m bringing sexy back. Yeah!” 

But the kicker? I’ll get all that and then forget the toilet paper and soap that I went there in there for in the first place.

Oy.

I’m pretty careful with the household budget but in Tarjay I end up like a kid in a candy store and since most things are reasonably priced, I figure what’s the harm—til I get to the register and realize, omg, all this piddly stuff really adds up and did I really just spend that? If I get out under $100 bucks, it’s a good day. (My friend’s sister jokes that there’s a $100 cover charge at Target. I swear no truer words have been spoken.) I have no idea why each and every time I shop at Target what I spend astounds me. You’d think I’d learn some defense or something, or, gasp, just not shop there. But the fact is I don’t want to stop. I can’t stop!!!!

HELLPPP MEEEE!!!

I think I need an intervention.

It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one who suffers from Targ-diction. I’m not going down alone. As a joke, I started a Target group on Facebook. (What? I do too have a life!) Are you really surprised I’d be into Facebook?  I’ve already revealed that I’m a thirtysomething mom of three boys four and under, who has a serious muffin top problem and looks forward to socializing at a big box store. Should it surprise you some of my biggest socializing now occurs online? It’s not sad. It’s not!

But I’m digressing again (Adult onset ADD? I keep meaning to look into that…but then… I interrupt myself again and forget.). Just for kicks, I decided to see if I were the only loser, I mean, mom, who shared these sentiments about Target. I figured it would be a fun social experiment of sorts. Here’s the group’s description as I wrote on FB, and you can check for yourself, it’s 100% real and serves no actual purpose as evidenced by the fact that I put it under, “just for fun/totally random”:

MOM’S ADDICTED TO TARGET—ADMITTING IT IS THE FIRST STEP!!!

For all you moms out there who hit Target at least once a week…..if you go in with the intention of buying a ‘few’ things, and come out with at least $50 worth of ‘stuff’…..if you bump into at least a few other moms you know every time you go and love the little impromptu social hour by the cleaning products….if you can’t stay away from the pull, the glow, the allure of the orangey-red decor of Targhhhay….if you passionately tick off a laundry list of why Target is infinitely better than it’s dingy, unhip, uncool and no fun rival Wal-Mart, this group is for you! Target addicts unite! Admitting it is the first step to recovery….although, none of us probably want to recover…where would we go on weekday mornings then???

I’m proud to say, we are 63 members strong! And? We’re a geographically diverse group, having members from coast to coast, and even from Canada making us…an “international” group (That’s what I’m talking about; I like to foster international relations.) and  proving the Target addiction knows no boundaries, and targets (no pun intended) any mom, anywhere. Consider yourself forewarned!

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Filed under Mom-ness, Random Rage, Retail Therapy, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!, Suburban Madness, Yo! It's a girl thing!

COME ON. I’M WAY TOO YOUNG FOR A HEARING AID, RIGHT? RIGHT!!

I thought cardiac arrest had my number the other day. My four year old rushed up to me with his Transformer and shouted, “Mommy, Megatron can fly!” but what I heard was, “Mommy, let’s get drunk and high!” DEAR GOD! I was about to call that preschool and ask who he’d been cavorting with on the playground. (Was it YOUR kid? It was YOUR kid wasn’t it?!)

I did not sign up for this! I mean, I know at some point you need to address these issues with your kids, but for the love of all things holy, I hoped we’d at least make it through middle school first. Or elementary school. Or, you know, preschool?

I asked him three times to repeat himself. And three times I seriously thought he said “Let’s get drunk and high!” Panic set in. I ticked down the list of potential temporary hearing impairment causes….. Nope, I hadn’t been drinking. (It was a week day at like noon. Come on, give me some credit.) And yup, I’d had my daily coffee iv. Hungry? Um, no. (Come on, we all know I don’t miss a meal.) So if the whole hearing malfunction wasn’t alcohol induced or the result of caffeine or food withdrawal, then what was it? At four, the kid isn’t going to be winning any linguistics awards but I understand him 99% of the time so I couldn’t blame him either.

Ugh oh.

I shudder to say it—even think it. Could I possibly be losing some hearing? I am way too young for that! I joke I’m turning grey and begrudgingly confess I’m closer to 40 than 30, but that’s still way too young to be rocking the hearing aid with the silver foxes down at Bingo. (Although, I might as well confess. I really think I could get into Bingo…there’s yelling and gambling and probably some swearing. Throw in some beers and I’m ALL in!) Gert, you need an extra? Call me. I’m in the book.

And…maybe I’m not too young to be falling apart. Last year I succumbed to glasses. I’d been having a rough time driving at night and strained way too much to read street signs. I’d blamed the small New Englandy signs and dark roads for too long. I had to take action. But glasses? Turns out not so traumatic. Glasses are fun now. Funky! Stylish! Hip! An optical fashion genius (I’m not sure if that’s her exact title but it should be) helped me choose some fly (maybe I am old enough to be deaf if I’m still using fly as an adjective…) brown Burberry frames that were face flattering. (Read: didn’t make my round face look more dough girl…we went less dough girl…more glam girl. Glam girl, good. Dough girl, bad.) Gracias eyeball insurance!

I felt giddy when I picked them up. I’m not gonna lie, I preened in Lenscrafters and skipped out of there like a girl who just got smooched for the first time.  I drove home, modeled them for my hubs, went all Good Will Hunting and screeched that I felt, “wicked smaht”! When I wear them I feel studious, professorial even. It’s a good look I wear with pride at the grocery store and the preschool pick up line. I can sense the cashiers and other moms are trying to hide how impressed they really are. (They pair nicely with the rest of my ensemble from Tarjay and my Lands End Suburban nerd shoes.)

But my hearing? Unless Burberry makes a sassy match to the glasses for my lobes, um, I don’t think so. Just….no. Nooo.

It’s good to know I’m not alone in the resistance. See, the stubborn streak runs in the family. For years my dad has been struggling with his hearing. He’ll put his hand to his ear, we’ll shout, he still won’t hear us, and then he’ll bark, “You don’t enunciate!” or “The acoustics in this room are terrible!” (Apparently, they’re terrible in every room. In every house. In every city. In every state.)

But he’s an older guy, he’s actually pretty stylish (I mean fly) and you can appreciate him not wanting to put some clunky, uncomfy plastic thing on his ear if he’s not really hearing impaired. (Plus? Then he’d have no excuse to yell and what fun would that be?) When we suggested a hearing aid and he growled they’re for “old farts”, well, who could argue? (Did I mention he’s over 80?) So I’ll continue to scream at my dad and admire how spiffy he looks (cuz I’ll have my fancy pants glasses on—how better to see him with) in his button downs, cords and loafers, his white hair just so. And I won’t bust his chops anymore to get that hearing aid, now that I’ve had my own brush with the terrible acoustics in my home. (I regret ever doubting you, dad!)

When all is said and done, you just can’t fight DNA and dad knows best on this one. We ain’t going down without a fight! You all better just start enunciating!

P.S. I meant to mention in the post that my memory is starting to fail as well (so many possible reasons why!). But then….I forgot.

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Filed under Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, Retail Therapy, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!, Suburban Madness