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Archive for March, 2010

This blog entry began in my head this morning as the story of Walgreens, and the great customer service, and renewed hope of kind human nature, I encountered there this morning. It ended just moments ago as I wrote this in my head following a more than hour checkout at Walmart with a brand new checkout girl with no training.

Some stores get it right.  Today it was Walgreens.  The manager kindly asked if I needed help as I walked to the Coke products that were drastically on sale this week.  Then, seeing I had my hands full with a cart and a 20 month old, he asked which ones I wanted and placed them in my cart.

From there we headed to easter candy, where one of the cashier’s saw the boy, talked with him, and kept him occupied as I selected the perfect chocolate bunny for this weekend’s special basket.  She even let him help bag our items while I paid.  This was a HUGE help!

Lastly, as we left the store, I loaded the boy up, put the bags in my car, and a nice gentleman who was headed into the store offered to take my cart for me.  How kind!

At Walmart I encountered the opposite as I headed to grocery shop.  I waited at least 5 minutes before anyone showed up at the deli to help me purchase some deli meat.  When they did arrive, not a smile, not a how can I help you?  What we got was – – “what do you want?”  “where is it?”  Shouldn’t they know where a certain type of meat is?

When I asked the grumbly gentleman who worked near the meat department where the pepperoni was, I received the answer, not very kindly I might add – It’s down by the cheese (said with a snarl like I shouldn’t have been asking).

Which leads me to checkout, where a new cashier was working, and one of which had received no training I might add.  In front of me was a lady with 10 cats (I know how many because I asked her as I wondered based upon the case upon case of cat food she was purchasing).  Each individual small can was scanned (Why didn’t I switch aisle’s then?  Because only one that was not self checkout was open).

The next mistake I made was ever getting groceries at Walmart, not to mention her not wanting to take my coupons (which is one of the ways we afford for me to stay home), It took over 50 minutes for her to scan my groceries.  And to think this week I didn’t even have many compared to my usual trips.  I hate to think.  Normally, we tolerate going grocery shopping at this particular location because of a cashier which the boy loves, but she has been off work several times lately due to a sever illness in her family.  That being said, I believe we’ll be looking for an alternative beginning next week.

Stores need to realize that customer service makes such an impact.  Of course, this isn’t news to me. Whether you are in advertising, or checking out groceries, your attitude and employment culture make such a huge impact!

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Ketchup

Based on having two fairly picky eaters for parents, our child is facing the inevitable.  Of course what ensues is two parents searching for ways to get our child to eat.  The boy is a good eater, that being said even he has his moments.

He would eat a whole grapefruit 3 times a day, if I let him.  He would eat pizza every meal, just like his momma, if I let him.  He would eat sausage every meal, if I let him.  One of my “nevers” was that MY CHILD would never eat ketchup.  His momma doesn’t like condiments, including ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise, and seeing how even the smell of such items makes me ill, I was determined that my son would not eat ketchup either.

The joke is on me.  The kid LOVES ketchup so much that last night while my husband’s back was turned and I was in the other room, he managed to smear it just about everywhere on his body and high chair.  A bath occurred shortly thereafter:)

I guess if it gets him to eat, ketchup can’t be so bad, right?

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As soon as we decided I would quit my job, there is something I’ve been wanting which makes my husband think I’m crazy…A sewing machine.

I became the subject of jokes, about never using something so expensive, but my desire continued.

When I quit work the dilemma began.  Do I spend the money on a MacBook, or buy a PC and have money to buy a sewing machine too?  I decided on the MacBook and my sewing machine quest extended.  Until this week that is.

A birthday gift from my husband, parents, and in-laws, I was so excited to order my Singer Futura CE-250.  It will sew, it will embroider.  Now I just need to learn how to do both.

All week I’ve been checking the tracking information to see when it would arrive.  When I saw that it was in transit from a nearby town yesterday, I worried I wouldn’t be home to get it, and left a kind note on my front door to take it to my neighbors.  When I got home, I rushed to the front door to see if the note had been opened.  It had not, so UPS had not yet come.

Oh look - something for me to climb on!

All evening, I eagerly kept an ear out for the front step, and finally around 7pm, it finally arrived.  Today, while the boy was still sleeping, I carefully opened the box with excitement, and realized I am a bit intimidated.  Soon I will plug it in and begin to play…Soon.  I promise.

I think more than anything I need to prove my husband wrong…that I actually will use it.  Afterall, my treadmill, which he also said I would never use, gets used 3 days a week right (that after the first year of never stepping foot on it).

I’ll keep my blog readers posted as I begin to try to use it, and maybe even try some projects in the near future!

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I love those moments where you just have to laugh out loud. Here is what I saw when the boy got up from his nap a couple of days ago…

I just woke up from a long winter's nap!

I just had to smile, and of course that got him laughing pretty hard too! How I love being home with him for moments like this!

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How fast? M&M FAST!

So after this morning, I have developed a new phrase to express how fast our 20 month old son is.  How fast?  M&M fast.

This past weekend, my mom made me a birthday cake with m&ms on the top.  The bag remained on the counter after her departure, and our boy quickly discovered how much he LOVES m&ms.

Today, I was baking a vanilla mousse cheesecake and the boy saw the bag, instantly snatched it up and proceeded to pour the m&ms out on the counter and floor.

How fast did he move to get as many as he could in his mouth before mom could pick them up?  M&M fast!  Let me tell you – it’s faster than a race car driver during a big race.  Faster than a snake about to strike.  FAST.

I think he managed to get about 15 in his mouth.  The rest went into the trash.  I think there are still a few between the refrigerator and the cabinets to which he told me — “stuck”  one of his favorite words this week.

Above all, I discovered just how m&m fast this little guy can move!

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Wow!  What beautiful weather we had yesterday, and that is shaping up today.  We have had a great couple of days full of friends, playful activity, and happy kids!

Back before we had kids, when we didn’t ever plan to have any children, we used to say we couldn’t imagine having our driveway covered with less than perfect sidewalk chalk drawings.

Now as you can see in the background of some of the pictures below, we are blessed with what I now consider beautiful art from our child and neighbor kids.  Yesterday it was so great to see the sun shining, and five children being so good, drawing on the driveway (only one was ours, but he loves having kids at his house).

This morning was a play date with the boy’s good friend, the daughter of the fabulous couple who watched the boy some while we worked out childcare arrangements.  They had a fabulous time, and the boy is now taking a much needed nap.

They had a big time playing with the kitchen set, the blocks, the tunnels, and more!  I had a great time watching them, and I have to admit the time just flew!

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I haven’t posted in a few days, mostly because my dear husband has been off work for a few days, and we’ve had some great family days.

On Monday we got to take the boy to the Newport Aquarium near Cincinnati.   He loved it, and much to my germ phobias, he insisted on kissing each of the fiberglass frogs in a play area, each on the mouth!

Here are some of our pictures.  These days with all three of us are great, we even got to take a couple of good spring walks around the neighborhood since the temperatures were a little nicer early this week.  Not to mention we moved around bedrooms, and the boy slept in his new bedroom last night.

The boy poses for the camera, while beating the drum at the aquarium

We are so blessed!

Side note:  Daddy is back to work today, and we just left the library because the boy almost got kicked out of Mother Goose Storytime for being so disruptive to the other kids.  I say almost, because we left the room before it got any worse!

The momma and the boy outside the aquarium

2nd sidenote:  Just when you think you get ahead you take a step back.  Why is it that washing machines choose less than ideal times to quit?  The new one is coming shortly today.  What is on my agenda:  LAUNDRY!

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The boy gazes up at yet another airplane

I guess it’s a good thing we live partially in a flight path for the Louisville International Airport (SDF).

The boy has discovered he can now say “airplane” with ease, and just this morning I heard just that word over 20 times in 20 minutes!

Here is yet another picture of him gazing up at another plane.

We are so glad we’ve had a few beautiful days, and knowing the rain is coming in this afternoon, just had to get out and enjoy it for an hour or so, even delaying nap time just a bit.

Other new outdoor words from the past couple of days include “basketball” (Last night he wouldn’t even eat much dinner for a want to get “outside”- his other new favorite word, and play “basketball” with daddy).  Too bad the forecast calls for rain the next few, and then two weeks of below normal temps again.

We’re ready for spring!

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Shoes

Papaw & the boy's Shoes

My dad came to visit this week (the boy’s Papaw), and I was able to snap this picture while they were both taking a nap – scroll down to see the napping picture.

Shoes tell such a story if you think about it.  My dad’s shoes are boots really.  They have hiked many miles and the feet they protect are hard-working feet that are stood on all day.  They have played with grandchildren with lots of love, rested on the foot pegs of motorcycles with a feeling of freedom, carried my dad as he carried in fire wood with the blessing of a body strong enough to do that, and at the end of a long day, have sat rested upon a footstool with the feeling of relief.

The boys shoes tell a shortened story, but its a story also full of activity, love, and rest sometimes.  He’ll have many pairs of shoes in a lifetime, and his shoes will carry him near and far.  I can only imagine the stories his shoes will be able to tell.

The next time you encounter someone, maybe take a look at their shoes.  Not to see if they are the latest fashion, or brand, but to take a step into that person’s shoes for just a moment and know their story.  Are they shiny and brand new?  or are they dusty and scuffed?  Do they show the hard work that goes into each step? Do they seem to say – I need a nap?

The boy and his papaw at nap time - March 2010

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I got this recipe off Campbells.com as I was coming close to 4p and still hadn’t started dinner.  This recipe turned out great and was a hit with both of my guys:  the boy and his daddy.  For those who don’t do beef, I think you could probably use ground turkey for the same effect.

Another side note to the recipe below:  I didn’t use the enchilada sauce or onions as we don’t eat either.  Didn’t use the rice either, but would probably be really good with it!

Easy Beef Enchiladas

1 pound ground beef
1 package (about 1 ounce) taco seasoning mix  or burrito seasoning mix OR burrito seasoning mix
1 can (about 16 ounces) refried beans
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’s® Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup cooked regular long-grain white rice  (optional)
12 flour tortillas (10-inch), warmed
1 1/2 cup prepared enchilada sauce
Shredded Cheddar cheese

Heat the oven to 350°F.  Cook the beef in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until well browned, stirring often to separate meat.  Pour off any fat.  Stir the seasoning mix, beans, soup, onion and rice, if desired, in the skillet.

Divide the beef mixture among the tortillas. Roll up the tortillas and place seam-side down into a 3-quart shallow baking dish. Pour the enchilada sauce over the filled tortillas and sprinkle with the cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the enchiladas are hot and bubbling.

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