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  • October 25, 2009 6:53 pm

clam-shell1

That’s a nice way to express the frustration that you might feel when opening these “clamshell” packages.  These packages that seem to mock you as you attempt to find their weaknesses.  Scissors?  No worries.  The sharp edges turn into weapons in seconds.  Knives?  Ha.  Say goodbye to the product the package is protecting.  Mere brute strength?  Think again.  These things will put any ironman to shame.

But, Real Simple has the solution.  A hand-held can opener.  Genius.  Simply clamp the opener on the top-right of the package, make sure it’s clamped appropriately, and cut your newly purchased product free. 

The days of cussing plastic while bandaging your cuts are over.  It’s time to celebrate with a trip to the electronics store nearest you.  :)

Disc Doctor

  • October 18, 2009 8:04 pm

disc doctor

About a year ago, our Guitar Hero Wii Game got scratched.  It was a sad day in the Scroggins house, one filled with tears and whimpers.  Now, I have a super-crafty-Mr.-Fix-It kind of husband, who immediately smeared Crisco on the CD to repair the damage.  While it might sound a little odd, I have to admit that this strategy has worked on many many occassions in our scratched CD past.  This time, it didn’t.  So, I suggested the Skip Doctor.  I don’t remember how I became wise with information that this product existed, but I knew Radio Shack carried it, and it would cost us about $40.  $40 that, according to my number-crunching spouse, seemed to be a gamble.  But, I persisted, citing that if it didn’t work, we’d only be out the $40 (less than the cost of a new game) and if it DID work, we’d still only be out less the cost of a new game, and the game would work.  On top of that, I’d be hailed a genius.  So, we made the purchase.

And, let’s just say, I’m a genius.

It’s amazing.  We repaired our Guitar Hero and Mario Cart games, which dried up those pitiful Wii-deprived tears, and I have faith it will work on movies and audio CDs too.  In addition to the Crisco smearing method, we now have this product to repair our precious media, and plan to be tear-free for many days to come.  That just makes everyone happy.

Allowance

  • October 10, 2009 8:03 pm

money

In the October issue of Family Fun magazine, there was a section on how to deal with allowance.  One such idea, submitted by a mom, was to keep track of each kid’s allowance in a ledger instead of actually giving cash to the kids.  By doing this, the kids always have their “money” with them (on the ledger or notebook stashed in the Mom Bag), and then can be held accountable to “use their own money” when out and about with the family.  She also noted in this increasingly cashless society, having a “mommy debit card” was good practice for having a mental picture of a bank account.

To me, this solution was GENIUS.  We are consistently inconsistent with allowance, always forgetting to get the $5-10 cash at the end of the week to pay the little hoodlums, to instill a pattern of saving, and of course, to put some back for charity.  But, this system gives me a tool to work with to be more consistently consistent, which is probably important when raising future productive members of society.  Plus, I decided to put a little note on my phone instead of an actual notebook to ensure that I have their funds readily available at all times.  The “Mommy Debit Card” is now set up and ready for use.

I just love good ideas.

Facebook

  • October 7, 2009 9:05 pm

I’ve been on Facebook for about a year.  In fact, it might have been around this time last year that I posted my first “status update.”  Since that time, I’ve found old classmates, connected with new friends, become a “fan” of just about everything, and learned a ton about myself through those super scientific personality quizzes.  Without them, I would never have figured out that I am a quiet observer with an obsessive sappy side.  Never ever. 

Everyone’s on Facebook.  Books, organizations, businesses, and flipflops.  This blog is even “on Facebook” with the link at the end of each post.  If you want to be connected, you’ve got to have a Facebook page.  There’s a “Circle of Moms” group, and probably even virtual playgroups out there.  The possiblities are crazy, and a little creepy.  I’ll admit when I first logged in, I was a little obsessed about finding as many friends as I could, and constantly checking in to see everyone’s “status updates.”  But, the newness wore off, and now I just check it when I have some time to kill in the school pick up line or at soccer practice.  It’s good for that, for being connected, for asking quesitons, and for finding lost people.

I’ve lost a lot of people in my life.  As a transient Military Kid, I clung to friendships I made at each base; but, through the years they dropped out of sight one by one.  When I first became an savy internet researcher, I tried to find some of my lost people, but never with much success.  Facebook has had crazy success.  I still wasn’t that awesome at finding people, not wanting to “add a friend” that might not remember me or even be the right person.  But, they found me.  Just a few weeks ago, one of my best friends from First Grade (FIRST GRADE!) linked to me asking if I was the “Danielle Miller from St. Joseph’s.”  And, I was!  We’ve chatted a little here and there since that connection, but even more than that, there’s an ENTIRE FACEBOOK PAGE about the school we attended.  When I “joined the group,” I had access to old photographs, old stories, and old friends, and I got lost in that, amazed at the technology, amazed at the connections, and amazed at my luck.

All because of Facebook.  Are you on?

Friday Night Knitting Club

  • October 6, 2009 8:25 pm

fridaynight

Friday Night Knitting Club was my Book Club’s pick this month.  It’s the story of a single mother who opens a knitting shop in New York City.  Through a series of coincidences, a little knitting group materializes, and begins to meet in the knitting shop on Friday nights (hence the title).  The bulk of the story takes the reader through the shopowner’s life conflicts, and the rest of the knitting group’s immediate experiences.  It’s a story of women, friendship, love, and motherhood. 

It’s also a  story I still can’t decide if I liked.  I finished the book on Saturday, and have visited it again and again, rereading passages and looking up specific points to the story.  I almost feel like there is more to the story that was left untold, or maybe I just want the story to be different.  But even though I can’t decide if it ranks as one of my favorites, I think because of my indifference it’s worth the read.  It will give you something to discuss with your girlfriends, mothers, sisters, cousins….It will give you something to think about.

And it might make you want to knit.  I kinda do.

Team Scroggins

  • September 30, 2009 6:00 pm

Recently, I was talking with some girlfriends about sibling relationships.  We all crave those sweet moments of calm and love between brothers and sisters.  We’ve even witnessed COMPASSION, GRATITUDE, and SYMPATHY between them.  I know it’s difficult to believe, but there are stories out there to prove it.  Unfortunately, we witness hate and discontent seemingly more frequently than brotherly love or sisterly compassion.  So, we set about thinking of ways to enhance the positive and minimize the negative. 

Here are some things we came up with:

-List 10 nice things about your brother or sister everyday! (or maybe just those days were the love is REALLY hard to see).

-Be a team.  I refer to our house as Team Scroggins all the time, especially when there is vocal discontent about doing chores or specific unrest between siblings.  Ready….Break!

-Post a positive quotation by the kids’ beds for them to recite before bedtime.  Before long, they’ll have the quote memorized, and you can call on it anytime to remind them about being “nice and loving.”

-Implement secret acts of kindness within your house.  Secrets rock.  Ask any kid, and to use them to foster love and joy between your kids?  Genius.

-Ask siblings to support eachother in their extracurricular activties (soccer games, baseball games, 4-H competitions, etc.).

-Rose, Thorn, Bud

-Let siblings read to eachother.  It’s always a kodak moment to see your oldest reading to your youngest, and they think it’s pretty cool, too.

What are your ideas?  How is your family “One for all, and all for One?”

HUGE Sale!

  • September 29, 2009 9:46 am

Old Navy is having their official 50% Clearance items sale.  I’ve stumbled upon this sale on occassion, and it feels like you get stuff practically for free.  Unfortunately, I can’t find validation of the sale online, so it looks like you will need to find an actual Old Navy store, but it might be worth it to score some $2 yoga pants, or a $5 sweater.  :)

Kudos to Comet

  • September 21, 2009 7:47 pm

I’m no Martha Stewart.  You may or may not have realized that by now, but it’s true.  I’ve tried to embrace some Martha-esque qualities, but they just haven’t taken.  The best I can do is buy a copy of Martha Stewart Living about once a year and realize my homemaking inadequacies in abundance. 

Because of my shortcomings, I have to problem-solve through some pretty basic home economic situations.  My most recent issue involved a wonderfully cute bohemian sundress, something that fit the mold of the Summer of 2009 Sundress.  You know the type:  long, wacky printed, empire waisted.  It took me a few shopping trips, but I finally found one that captured all the bohemian hippie qualities I love so much.  The last time I wore it was at a superfun festival-something I love almost as much as Bohemian inspired clothing.  I tripped on the long hem, and completely ripped the fabric at the straps-not the straps themselves, but the actual fabric of the dress.  I was absolutely beyond bummed, but because of the elastic smocking at the top of the dress, I thought it might be worth trying to fix.  I hoped that someone with the gift of home economics would come to my rescue, and return my newfound bohemian-festival-going outfit to my wardrobe.

So, I took the dress to the cleaners, Comet Cleaners in Decatur to be exact.  When I was in high school, my Dad always had to have his shirts altered, and I had a vague memory of the cleaners being involved in the process.  I explained my predicament, as well as my lack of Skills.  They accepted the challenge, but promised nothing. 

But!  I picked up my dress Friday afternoon, and it was PERFECT.  The rip was seamlessly sewn back together, and the dress was RESTORED!  As if that wasn’t enough to celebrate, the entire cost of the repair?  $2.42!   Amazing.

I may not be Martha.  In fact, half the time I think she’s speaking another language, clouded in home-making terms I feel I should know.  But, I am a problem-solver, and $2.42 for a repair on a wardrobe favorite works for me.

Flu Shots

  • September 15, 2009 8:37 pm

I saw tonight that this year’s flu shots are available.  I’ll be honest.  I’ve only had one flu shot in my life, and my kids have never even had one.  It’s not that I’m anti-vaccine, I’ve just always opted out of optional vaccines.  I did talk myself into the flu shot when my daughter was a baby, thinking I could keep myself super healthy that way.  I guess it worked, since I didn’t get the flu that year, but then again I may have only had the flu once in my life.  It was two years ago, and I didn’t visit the doctor to confirm my diagnosis.  I just survived the feverish delirium, compared notes with others, and lived to write this post about it.  It was misery, pure misery.  At one point in the week, my husband called to tell me it was snowing.  I stumbled to the window, pulled the curtains back, noted the two feet of Winter Wonderland, and stumbled back to my bed.  I didn’t have the energy to think of building a snowman, let alone the energy to dress myself and my children to make it happen.  So, I get it.  It’s a really yucky illness, but, my experience didn’t make me rush out the next year and get a flu shot.  I did my yearly research of the pros and cons, and made the same decision to opt out.  But, I always have a nagging thought in the back of my mind that maybe I should have opted in.  And now, with the additional swine flu vaccine, I’m in optional vaccine overload, wading through scores of information trying to sort out all the details and make another decision.

So, I’m asking the masses.  Are you in?  Or out?

Mute Button

  • August 28, 2009 7:33 am

mute button pacifierI saw a baby with this pacifier earlier this week and thought it was pretty hilarious.  My kids were never a fan of the pacifier, opting for thumbs instead.  I was always a little jealous of the magic quiet a pacifier would allow, and then the magic of simply throwing them away.  It’s a little harder to do that with thumbs-not that I didn’t try.  :)