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Dear Big Box Store Where I Bought Cheap T-Shirts This Weekend,

I hope this note finds you well, and that you had a nice weekend.

I am writing today to bring your attention to an area of your store near the registers.  It includes several rows of shelves with various toys, knick-knacks, clutter, minutiae, and other junk all inconveniently located 6 - 40 inches above ground.

While my boys and I waited to purchase t-shirts on Saturday, the boys were handling all of the knick-knacks.  Most of which look exactly like what they are (junk), so the boys quickly put them back down.

But there was one shiny little treasure, on the top shelf, that caught Bug's eye.  A Captain America wristwatch.  Bug decided right then and there that he needed that watch.  That that watch was absolutely the best watch that had ever existed.

I said, "Oh, well maybe you can ask for it for Christmas."

he cried.

I picked up this fancy little watch and checked its price: $19.99.

I decided that a whine-free line for the register was not worth forty dollars (because, as you probably already realized, I would have had to purchase a second watch for Squish), and I told Bug that I would think it over, and that maybe we could come back for it another day, but that we were not getting that watch on that trip.

He was unimpressed.

Deeply and seriously unimpressed.

He complained that he really wanted to get something for himself. 

He complained about never getting anything (even as I was in the process of buying him a superhero t-shirt).

He even complained that he doesn't have a watch (even as I pictured his Spider Man watch sitting sad and neglected in a drawer at home).

Yes, it was 11:10 am, and he was hungry.

Yes, he had been up too late the night before.

But you, Big Box Store Where I Bought Cheap T-Shirts This Weekend, you were doing this on purpose.  You put those little treasures on that shelf knowing that the 3-4 foot tall crowd has little to no impulse control.  Knowing how much they love super heroes and princesses and soccer balls.  Knowing that adults will pay money to stop The Great Whine Festival of 2014. 

Please remove your impulse buy section and send your apology note to me at your earliest convenience, or else I will start a social media campaign using the following hashtag:

#dwibs (down with impulse buy sections).



Research questions for you

A national publication is researching a story involving prenatal ultrasound, and is seeking feedback to these questions:

1)      Did you ever visit a non-medical ultrasound clinic to obtain 3D/4D images of your baby?

2)      Did you ever purchase a fetal heart monitor?

3)      Roughly (or specifically) how many ultrasounds did you undergo during your pregnancy?

If you would like to send me your answers (amommagrows[at], I will pass them on to the journalist researching the story.

Thanks in advance!

(and please know that I would love to write an actual blog post about my adventures in parenting, but that every time I have a free moment to myself, I end up binge watching a certain ridiculous yet surprisingly addictive television show about Upper East Siders...  the good news for everyone is that I have finished half of the show and might completely lose interest soon)


That time it was hard to get it right

It probably comes as no surprise that bedtime has been a challenge lately.  Especially with two-year-old Squish.

Recently, I have blamed the summer daylight hours.  Of course Squish would go to sleep, if only it were dark before 8:45.  Yes.  Sure. Of course he would.


Team Challenge - Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s endurance training and fundraising program

1.4 million Americans live with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

I happen to know and love at least a few of them, so when I got a note from Team Challenge asking me to promote their upcoming season, I was more than happy to.

Team Challenge is made up of individuals who have Crohn's or colitis, or who have someone close to them with the disease, or who just want to take part in something bigger than themselves and get in better shape at the same time by training for a half-marathon or triathlon while raising funds to cure Crohn's and ulcerative colitis.

In the 2014 Fall/Winter season, participants in Team Challenge will have the opportunity to complete a triathlon in Clearwater, FL or run / walk a half-marathon in either Las Vegas or The Palm Beaches.

Displaying tri.JPG
Every team has an honored hero whom they run for - usually a young person who has Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis and serves as a reminder to all of the participants that they are doing important work while connecting them to the mission.

Past participant Jennifer Lonschein sums it up when she says, "If someone was considering running with Team Challenge, I would recommend it until I was blue in the face.  I've run a half-marathon before, without TC, and it didn't even come close to comparing to this experience.  The camaraderie, support, and motivation you get from your coaches, mentors, managers, and teammates is what drives you to cross the finish line and get one step closer to finding a cure."

If you know someone with Crohn's or colitis and want to do something to help - 

or if you want to train for a big event while supporting a very good cause -

take a look at this link and learn more about how you can join Team Challenge.


. . . when I get older

Squish has realized that if he adds "when I get older" as a suffix to any request, he is far more likely to hear a "yes" than a "no."

"Can I drink coffee when I get older?"
  • Sure!

"Can I have a truck when I get older?"
  • Sounds good - why not? 

"Can I drive a motorcycle when I get older?"


Dinner - June 16, 2014

Maybe it was the week in Greece this spring (yes, week in Greece - a once-in-a-lifetime family trip for a wedding - it was accordingly amazing and wonderful - yet here I am about to blog about potato chips - some things are for us, and some things are for the blog)...

Anyway, maybe it was the week in Greece without bedtimes or meal planning or dishes or laundry or commutes, but tonight I think I really tested my comfort with a relaxed approach to parenting.

The boys and I came home around 6:20 this evening, and before I could set the bags down, Squish asked if he could get a yogurt.

Normal answer: You can have a yogurt with dinner.  Please be patient while I get everything ready.


Gate C52 offers moral support

Bug, Squish, and I flew home to Boston this morning after a quick visit with family.  As we pulled into the rental car return area, Bug exclaimed, "I want to ride in the shark stroller!"

Ah, the shark  stroller.  A purchase from the day before when we had gone to the zoo.

Why did we buy a stroller to go to the zoo?

Because when the three of us were trying to go from our car to Logan three days ago, I officially declared the stroller we have had since Bug was four months old broken.  Broken like the foot strap broke off a year ago.  Broken like some metal bar that seems important to the frame and general purpose of the stroller detached itself months ago.  Broken like every time Squish tried to sit in the stroller while we were in the parking lot at Logan, the stroller collapsed in on him.  Broken. 

I put the broken stroller into the back of the car, grabbed the baby carrier for my thirty-pound two-and-a-half-year old, and away we went.

So when we all decided to go to the zoo yesterday, I figured it was the perfect time to buy a stroller at a big box store.  A nice, cheap-o stroller that we could take to the zoo, and back on the plane, and on our big family trip to Greece in two weeks, and wherever else we want to go all summer long.

We bought a perfect stroller with a canopy that looks like a shark (with a fin that sticks up off of the canopy and teeth that hang below).  We arrived at the zoo, parked, and when I opened the trunk I realized the stroller had several plastic zip ties that warranted a pair of scissors or a knife before use.  So I closed the trunk, opted for a rental stroller at the zoo, and wondered if I might have some kind of predisposition to be just about 87% prepared for everything in life.

Back at the rental car return this morning, Bug exclaimed, "I want to ride in the shark stroller!"

This was not exactly what I had hoped to hear from him.  I had hoped that Squish would ride in the stroller while Bug walked calmly next to me to the baggage drop, through security, to the gate, all the way to the airplane.

Bug was insistent about the stroller despite my best pleas to his mature side.

I asked Squish if Bug could ride in the stroller while Squish rode in the carrier ("with Momma!" - as if being closer to me would somehow lure him away from the magical shark stroller).  Squish wanted no part of the carrier. 

I asked Bug if he could ride in the stroller until security, and then if Squish could ride from security to the gate.  He seemed willing to accept this offer.  I cut Squish out of the negotiations, and Squish went into the carrier, Bug went into the stroller, I put my enormous bag on the back of the stroller, and I managed to roll the suitcase all the way from the car to ticketing and the baggage drop.

This feat earned me something in life.  I have no idea what yet, but I feel entitled to something wonderful just for that twenty-minute period this morning.

Eventually, of course, Squish found his way into the stroller, and Bug found his way into a fit.  He kept up his fit all the way to Gate C52. 

"Momma, his turn is so long!"

"Momma, I want to be in the stroller!"

"Momma, you are ignoring me!!"

Well, yes, yes, I was trying to ignore the fit.  But apparently I had failed.

Somehow the tide turned, as it always does, and between claiming that I had been ignoring the pain of stroller withdrawal and waiting for Zone 1 to board, the boys were hopping around excited to fly home.

They were zooming around, arms outstretched, making airplane noises.  They were standing on the seats by the windows counting planes at gates nearby.

Zone 2 was called to line up.

Squish, standing on a seat by the window, had an accident.  As the pee became a puddle on the seat, Bug said, "Good thing he's wearing his rain boots!"


I got out about thirty-seven wipes and tried to clean the seat.  I looked back at Squish and saw that he had pulled down his pants and undies.  I turned my attention from the seat to Squish.  I changed his undies and pants.  I tried my best to dry the chair.  I grabbed our things, corralled both boys, handed over our tickets to get on the plane and said, "I'm not sure if this is your job or if you can even do anything about it, but my son had an accident in that seat over there, and I tried to wipe it up with wipes, but you might want to send someone over to take a look."

The gate attendant said, "What's that?  An accident?  What?"

I said "My son had an accident.  He peed his pants in that chair over there.  I cleaned it up as best I could, but you all might want to have another look.  [I am losing my mind, sir.  We are very close to being home with my husband, which is what I want very badly, but there was a moment, about three minutes ago, when I wondered if we were actually going to miss our flight because I was trying to clean urine off of a chair with wet wipes.  Did you catch that?  I was trying to clean urine with wet wipes.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that all the while my son was disrobing in public.]"

The gate attendant then opened his eyes wide and said, "Oh my goodness!  You are a Super Mom!"

With that praise, I smiled and schlepped down to the plane with Bug, Squish, my enormous bag, and our shark stroller. 

Thank you, man who works at Gate C52.  That was exactly what I needed to hear today.