Thursday, September 23, 2010

Free Ice Cream

I'm always up for free stuff. Free ice cream, free kid's meals, free $25 gift card with a transferred prescription, if it's free, I'm there. So when I was scrolling through every one's updates on Facebook this morning I was really excited when I saw that my friend Lori posted this:

I clicked on the link, read the fine print: Valid September 23rd only, 3oz scoop, one per person, yada, yada, yada.

I then texted my hubby to tell him where would be going after dinner, and a couple of other freebie loving friends.

I made sure that dinner was ready early so we'd have enough time to go out to Baskin Robbins, fight through the crowds with 3 little kids in tow, enjoy our ice cream, come home, clean up the kids, and still get them to bed at a reasonable time. When dinner was just about done I announced to Joey that we had a special surprise for him and we were going out for ice cream. His little face lit up. He loves going out for ice cream and he really loves treats after dinner. It was roughly 6:00 as we pulled up to the ice cream shop. "That's weird, there is like no one here," I said to Ron. "Maybe it wasn't as widely known as some of their other free scoop nights." He agreed, although we both began to think that maybe I got the wrong night or time or something. "Maybe not every Baskin Robbins is participating, maybe it's only a Connecticut thing," Ron tried to make sense of it all.

We hesitantly got the kids out of the car and went into the nearly empty Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Donuts shop. We both began to nervously chuckle about the fact that it really didn't seem like a free scoop night, and anyone that we shared the news with (my freebie loving friends and Ron's whole staff at school) was more than likely standing at the ice cream counter thinking the same thing. And blaming us.

Anyway, it wasn't long before I realized that it definitely was not free scoop night at Baskin Robbins. First of all, they didn't even have the new special flavor that was featured on the Facebook page. Secondly, there was only 1 person working there. On free scoop night they always have a ton of employees behind the counter. And lastly, there weren't any signs, decorations, or a whole load of people as there usually is on free scoop night. (I told you, I'm an experienced *freebie* getter... I know the what to look for.)

Nevertheless, I had to ask. Just to be sure. Here is how the conversation went:

Me: "Um, you aren't by any chance giving away a free scoop of your newest flavor today?"
Personality-less teenage Baskin Robbins Employee: "No."
Me: "Oh, ok. I saw some Facebook thing about it. Is it coming soon?"
Employee: "Nope."
Me: Nervously laughing, "hmmm. That's weird.... ok, well, I guess we'll have... um, Joey what kind of ice cream do you want?"
While Joey picked out his flavor ("da white one, banilla" -so original) I just couldn't let it go: "Has anyone else come in here asking the same thing?"

The kid behind the counter just shook his head, seriously annoyed and wondering why I wouldn't leave him alone about giving me free ice cream. If he had more gusto he probably would have said something like, "Lady stop. There is no free ice cream today. Or tomorrow. Or any other day that I've heard of. Are you gonna get those kids some ice cream, or not? Because if not, I'd really like to go back to texting my girlfriend on my iPhone."

Yea, that's probably what he wanted to say but didn't.

When we got home I immediately logged on to Facebook to find out WTF my friend Lori had linked to. While I waited for the page to load I kept thinking, "how could I have gotten this wrong? I'm never wrong." Once the page was up I saw it right away. It was the first word I read. Carvel. The Baskin Robbins that we visited was not participating in Free Scoop Day. There was no free ice cream to be had at any Baskin Robbins because it was free scoop day at Carvel.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Halloween Costume Shopping

Each year I begin planning for and thinking about Halloween earlier and earlier.  I love picking out costumes for my kids, and thinking about all of the fun parties, treats, and crafts that we will do together to celebrate the fun fall holiday.

I was really excited when I was contacted by the Costume Supercenter to review a costume and feature their great site on my blog.  The costume selection on their site is extensive.  It includes costumes for men, women, kids, toddlers, infants, even pets!  The site is well organized and includes excellent descriptions of each item, so you know exactly what you are getting.  I was overwhelmed in making a decision because they have so many costumes to choose from.  So I enlisted the help of my 3-year old trick or treater to pick out his own costume.  At first there was a lot of, "that one," "no, that one," and "I want that one too." But after a few more visits to the page of toddler costumes, his choice was clear. 

Don't you just love this Toy Story 3 Woody Costume?

It arrived quickly, and Joey makes a point to try on his Woody Costume most days.  I've been back to the site several times since receiving Joey's costume because pretty soon I'll need to make a selection and buy costumes for Katelyn and Olivia.  What do you think they should be?  Coordinated in theme with their big brother, or something different all together?

Either way, I'm pretty sure that the Costume Supercenter will have a suitable costume for my littlest trick or treaters.  And yours too!  So get shopping!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Baa Baa Black Sheep

Joey has recently started singing a lot.  Throughout the day, I'll hear him quietly singing a familiar tune to himself as he plays or reads a book.  It is really quite sweet.  After singing Baa Baa Black Sheep perfectly to my mom on the phone the other day, she encouraged me to get it on video while it's still cute and innocent 3-year old singing.

I took her advice, and here is what happened:

Yo Gabba Gabba! Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Tracy Knipper, comment #49, who said, "Follow #2 Love the fact that Brayden can speak, knows every character by name, but still calls Brobee "Green Guy"." You and your kiddos are the lucky winners of the Yo Gabba Gabba! DVD and Book Set!

Didn't win this time?  Awwww, too bad, so sad.  Don't worry, I'll have a new giveaway up very soon so stay tuned!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New Friends

One of the most difficult things about moving is having to find new people to socialize with.  The past 11 months (yes, it's already been that long) has really made me value all of my friendships, and not a day goes by that I don't miss my friends who are far away.  Going to a new place is exciting and adventurous, but it can also be very lonely when you step outside your house and don't know anyone who lives closer than 600 miles away.  Meeting people doesn't happen easily when you don't go to school or work every day.  You actually have to work at making new friends.  It takes time and effort, and often involves going out of your comfort zone as far as reaching out to people.  It's not like when I was 6 and would meet a fellow kindergartner on the playground and 3 and a half minutes later she was my new bff.  How do you make new friends as a 29 year-old stay at home mom of 3 little monsters?  Thankfully we have things like facebook,, and other social media networks that have helped me to form some friendships in my new location.

The best way to make new friends as a mom is obvious: join a mom's group and find some other mommies  that have kids close in age to your own kids.  So I did just that.  And I'm fortunate to finally have a sense of belonging again, and I feel like I'm really making some connections for myself and my kids.  (my husband is a whole other story, but I'm working on setting up some playdates for him too!)

I feel that Joey is at an age where he has the ability to make real friends for himself too.  It is no longer just a bunch of kids playing with a ton of toys and screaming "mine" at each other.  The kids are learning how to talk to one another, make each other laugh, and get along.  It is awesome to see him actually enjoying having friends too.

Last week we invited a bunch of our friends over to play in the back yard.  Joey and a couple of other 3-year old little boys had a fantastic time running around, climbing stuff, and spraying each other with his cool Buzz Lightyear Sprinkler.  My friend Christine told me that her son Christian was especially enthusiastic about the playdate and went on to tell his dad about it later that day.  The conversation went something like this:

Christian: "Hey Dad!"
The Dad: "Hi Christian, how was your day today?"
Christian: "It was great.  I played with a Buzz Lightyear Rocket Ship!"
The Dad: "Oh, really?  Where did you do that?"
Christian: "At my Orange Friend Joey's House."

My Orange Friend!  How adorable is that?  I just love that Joey already has his own classification in Christian's brain.  He is his Orange Friend.  That is just too stinkin' cute.  I hope they'll be friends for a long long time.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My Wish List

Now that I have a kitchen that I can cook in again (hurrah!), I've been eyeing some new cookware.  Sadly, I broke one of my most treasured casserole dishes a few months ago.  With Christmas (and my birthday) right around the corner, I decided that it wouldn't be a terrible idea to start making my wish list.  I like to be very specific when doing this, which requires me doing a lot of online browsing and researching exactly what I want.  I have been spending some time looking for dutch ovens to replace my long lost dish, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that CSNStores has a great selection to choose from!

One of my favorites is this one:

Isn't it so pretty?  I love Rachael Ray's entire line of kitchen products and CSNStores had a really great selection, with great prices and free shipping! 

At this time every year I start to think about gifts. I begin thinking about what I'll purchase my children for Christmas, what kind of home-made craft I can make for everyone in our family, and what I'll ask Santa for this year. As an added bonus, my birthday is only 1 month before Christmas (November 28th, for those of you who might want to definitely should send me a gift), so I get presents two months in a row!

So maybe my hubby will read this post and think about buying me a nice romantic gift.... Seriously, what says "I love you," better than an 7 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven Baker in bright orange?  I can't think of anything else.

What's on your wish list this year? 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Yo Gabba Gabba Live! DVD Giveaway

Do you Gabba?  We sure do.  Anytime I need 30 minutes to myself to cook dinner, do laundry, or complete some other very exciting task, I put on the TV, and find an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba! that I've DVR'd.  My three kids love this silly show.  They are mesmerized by the sounds, the lights, the music, and all of the funny and interesting characters.  Each show has an educational theme geared towards young kids, so I like that aspect.  But mostly I just like that it keeps my kids occupied so that I can get something done.
If your little kids are big fans of the Gabba Gang too, you'll be happy to hear that Yo Gabba Gabba! is on tour, coming to a city near you.  That's right, There's A Party In My City! Tour starts today, with 60 visits across the country this fall!  To find a show near you, click on this link.

I am really excited to be attending the show here in North Carolina.  The Greensboro War Memorial Auditorium has been kind enough to treat my family to some tickets so we can get our Gabba on.  The kids don't know yet, but boy will they be excited.

Want more?  Good.  As part of the tour promotion, Yo Gabba Gabba! has been generous enough to give away a DVD and book set to one of my lucky readers.  Released in June, "Yo Gabba Gabba! Clubhouse” - The Nickelodeon DVD features performances by musical guests Erykah Badu, The Killers, Jimmy Eat World and more.  The book, "Yo Gabba Gabba!, Party in My Tummy" - Based on the popular song from Yo Gabba Gabba!, Party in My Tummy makes healthy eating fun for little ones. This book is great for little ones with lots of lift the flaps, sing alongs, and fun pictures of our favorite Yo Gabba Gabba! characters.

Fun New DVD:

Lift The Flap Book:

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post, telling me who your favorite Yo Gabba Gabba character is.  Then you can earn a whole bunch of extra entries by doing some or all of the following:

(leave an additional comment for each additional entry.)

• Become a follower of Thou Shall Not Whine (3 extra entries!) *Just click the little "follow" button on the right-hand sidebar, then leave me 3 additional comments stating, "follower #1, follower #2, etc."
• Follow my blog on Facebook (2 extra entries) *click on the networked blog button on the right-hand sidebar, then leave 2 additional comments stating that you did!*
• Grab my button and display it on your blog (2 extra entries!)
• Mention this giveaway on your blog with a link back to it. (2 extra entries!)
• Leave a comment on a non-giveaway post. (leave an additional comment here to count as your entry!)

This giveaway starts now and will conclude on Wednesday, September 15th, at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be selected via and contacted via email. Winner will have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be chosen

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Princess Mommy

A few weeks ago Ron and I had the most amazing date night.  We went to see Jack Johnson in concert, and had several glorious hours to ourselves enjoying some seriously soothing music and delicious alcoholic beverages.

As the kids ate an early dinner, I went to quickly get dressed for our night out.  I tried to dress appropriately for an outdoor concert, and decided to wear a comfortable, long, flowy dress.  I don't often wear a dress unless we are going to a wedding or other fancy event, so my children rarely see mommy dressed up.  As I walked out of the bedroom to collect my things and kiss my babes goodnight, Joey's eyes lit up.

He said in his most adorable 3-year old voice, "Mommy, you look like a princess!"  My heart swelled at that.  I didn't even know how to respond to his sweet adoration.  He continued with, "dance, mommy.  dance like a princess."  I obliged to his request and did my very best spinning twirl, making my dress balloon out around me.  My little boy admired my less-than-coordinated dance moves with a sweet smile and big old hug with his arms wrapped around my legs.  "I love you so much mom."  "I love you so much too, Joey." 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Worst Blogger Ever

I realize that I've been horrible at updating my blog lately.  Sometimes life just gets in the way though.  I'm sure many of you can relate to simply not having enough time for everything that you want and need to get done in a day.  Here are a few updates for now:

1. We are all moved in and settled in our new home.  We had so much stuff that we had a tag sale shortly after moving in.  I spent a lot of time going through bins of baby clothes, baby toys, baby equipment and a whole bunch of other stuff that we don't have a use for.  Saying goodbye to my children's baby clothes is not easy for me.  I'll be the first to admit that I shed a few tears seeing the teeny-tiny clothes that I once snuggled my babies in.  How could they have grown so big already?  We really feel like we are done having children, so at this point why would I hold on to them?  They are no good to me or anyone else sitting in boxes taking up space in our garage.  So we had a tag sale for a few hours, cleaned out a bunch of stuff, and walked away with 350 bucks.  Not a bad deal...

2.  Shortly after moving in we had our first set of visitors.  My brother, sister-in-law, and their adorable 3 children came to stay with us for a week.  It was a fun, crazy time with 4 adults, 6 kids, and 2 dogs.  Great memories were made, and I can't wait to see them again.

3.  After they left town my children got sick.  They remained that way for what felt like years, but was actually a few weeks.  (still very tough on all involved)  Olivia had a sinus infection, Katelyn had an ear infection, Joey got a very bad stomach flu, Katelyn had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic which led to a few hours at the hospital, Katelyn had a new ear infection followed by a round of steroids and a new antibiotic.  I kid you not... this is how it all went down.  At the end of it all I felt like I had been run over by a truck.  A few times.  Finally (knock on wood) everyone is healthy and feeling good again, and I am getting a full night's sleep most of the time.

4. I've taken up a few more hobbies. Over the course of the last month, I have made 2 dresses, 3 bibs, 1 tutu, and a whole lot of adorable hair clips.  Instead of spending most of my evenings on the computer writing and reading blogs I've been sitting at the dining room table creating things with a glass of wine.  I'll post pics of some of what I've been making soon.  I'm toying with the idea of selling my stuff, but not really sure how I feel about that yet.

5. I am already thinking about potty training the girls.  Olivia pats her diaper and bangs on the bathroom door every chance she gets, and they both like to sit on the potty for a couple of seconds before bath time.  Nothing has happened yet, and I feel that we probably have a long way to go, but the idea of not purchasing diapers anymore has me really excited.

I think that's about it.  I promise to have more frequent posts on here soon... including some pictures and maybe even a giveaway or two....


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