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Two Left Feet: Tales of a Clumsy Mum

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If you close your eyes and try to conjure up images of grace and movement, you might think of ballerinas, figure skaters, and ballroom dancers.  I would never fit into any of those roles, and have too many clumsy moments that would easily disqualify me from being called graceful.  Yet I have a part-time job in a boutique where 80% of its products are made of glass.  My latest bone-head move involves the destruction of technology.  So hug your Blackberry’s and iPhones close, there is a reason why I don’t own one.  Indulge me as I share my most recent hippopotamas in a china shop tale. 

I had a long shift at the home decor boutique that I work in.  It wasn’t a terrible day as far as serving the retail population normally goes.  My brain was already racing with the 50 things I needed to do in the 3 hours I had left before sweet girl’s bedtime.  As I was leaving work for the day, I had to retrace my steps back to the store no less than four times to retrieve forgotten possessions.  I’m sure my co-workers thought I was nuts.  On my final attempt to leave, I heard my phone ringing from the depths of my tote.  I am on a pay-as-you-go plan, so no one who knows me actually CALLS unless it is important.  I buy the unlimited text plan because it is so much cheaper.  Anyway, the phone is ringing “Owner of a Lonely Heart” (insert tune), I sweep my hand around the bottom of the bag, and pull it out by the case strap.  As I pull the case out of my bag, the phone flies out of the case, doing pretty little cartwheels through the air.  I attempted to catch it in mid-air, but only succeeded in giving it more momentum.  It hit the tile floor with a crack that broke the faceplate off, and the pieces lay directly in front of my left foot.  As I attempted to pick up the carnage that was my phone, I had a crazy knee-jerk reaction and kicked it.  This spasm sent it skidding about 2 meters away from me. It only stopped when it hit a metal tree pot.  The sight of a black projectile zooming on the floor and the resulting PING – CRACK, scared a group of seniors that were mall walking.  

The entire series of events happened in seconds, but time seemed to stretch and yawn.  I stood rooted in the spot I had first attempted to pick my phone up.  The group of mall walkers stood near the metal tree pot, and the air seemed to echo the sound of phone death.  One of them gingerly picked up the phone guts, battery, back plate, camera piece and walked over to me.  She handed me the pieces, it took two hands for her to transfer and two hands for me to grasp, and said; “There, there, I’m sure it will still work.”  I’m sure the look on my face was quite terrible. It was a mixture somewhere in between crying, embarrassment, and curiosity.  You see, I still don’t know who was CALLING me.  And since it was a pay-as-you-go phone, there is no contract and no replacement policy.  I turn zombie mom, and shuffle out to the parking lot where my husband is waiting to pick me up.  I got in the car holding the pieces and actually managed not to cry.  He took the pieces from my hands and began to put the phone back together.  As he was working, I told him about the cartwheeling phone, and my knee-jerk reaction.  By the time I was done venting, he had finished.  After taking a picture, he sent a text to his phone, and declared it fixed.  He said; “They make these things dummy proof and indestructible.  You know, because of all the walking and texting people do now.”  Gee, thanks (insert eye roll).   I responded; “I wouldn’t have even tried to answer it but someone was CALLING me.”  Hubby ignored my remark and began to whistle and drive.  His phone began to buzz and I picked it up to see if it was my text coming through.  It was my text so that was a relief.  While I was there I flipped to the call/message history.  I knew why he was so eager to help put my phone together.  He had CALLED me, because I had taken so long to leave the mall.

*stock photo by dreamstime.com

When I Learn How to Fly You’ll Be the First to Know.

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*Disclaimer* No innocent customer service employees were harmed in the production of this blog.  Only the lazy ones, no just kidding.  I have had a few retail and customer service jobs, so am well aware of how crummy they are treated at times.  I try really hard to be patient and kind with the front line staff.  They often take the brunt of customer complaints and general lack of patience.  Often, when mistakes are made by co-workers, it effects everyone on the team/department.  This retail experience was one of those examples…

I have been on a search for new furniture, specifically a dining room table.  This search has dragged over years, mostly because of a tight budget and the fact that most of our funds are now drained by the need for various baby gear.  I am even willing to get second hand furniture, but it has to fit in our tiny space and be in better condition than what we have.  I had my eye on a new 5 piece table set in my local department store.  Recently the price dropped for a two day sale, from $399.99 to $199.99!  Oh I wanted that table! 

 On sale day I walked over to the store and found that they still had one left, but the box was perched on a tall shelf.  At least 7 feet high.  That was a strange place to put a box that, according to details printed on the side, weighed 50 KG .  I had two issues; I needed to measure the box to see if it would fit in my hubby’s car.  Second problem; there was a man already standing under the shelf, staring up at the same box I was eyeing.  I didn’t know how long this man had been waiting.  I knew better than to try and look for an employee to help me with measuring.  I had worked in this store and knew that they were under-staffed in early morning hours.  I marched off to the hardware section to find a measuring tape to borrow, then grabbed a ladder to help with the reach.  Once again I thought; ‘Why would they put this box up here?  Anything over 70 lbs is supposed to be on floor level’.  I set myself up in front of the shelf, climbed up, and measured as best as I could as it was still out of reach. 

The Waiting Man was now sitting on a stool and reading a paper, looking out the corner of his eye once in a while.  Just as I was finishing my calculations, a store employee, I’ll call Joe came down the aisle.  Joe didn’t seem bothered at all by my borrowed items from the hardware department.  I guess he is used to customers taking things into their own hands.  I heard him tell the Waiting Man that he was unable to find the lift that would get the box down from the shelf.  The Waiting Man asked if he could buy the table set and come back when it could be rescued from its perch.  Joe said he was sorry but they couldn’t hold Door Crasher items.  Waiting Man was done being patient; “When I learn how to fly you’ll be the first to know, but I have been waiting here since the store opened an hour ago for you to get this box down!”  Joe apologized and wondered out-loud if a fellow employee was pulling a April Fool’s prank, by putting the box up that high in the first place.  The humor was lost on Waiting Man

I couldn’t stick around to see the resolution for this sit-com.  I had to start work soon, and I had recieved a text from my hubby.  It wasn’t the news I was hoping for…the box wouldn’t fit in our trunk.  As I was unpacking boxes at the home decor store I work at, I had a light bulb moment.  When break time came, I went back to the Department Store.  The ladder was still there, no surprise to me.  I found something to poke the box and climbed up.  *POKE POKE* Haha, the box moved.  It was EMPTY!  Which means it was the DEMO box.  The poor schmo that had been stuck putting that DEMO together, couldn’t be bothered to mark DEMO on the box before putting it out of reach.  April Fool’s indeed.  I wondered what the Waiting Man would have to say about that bit of news.

What’s For Dinner?

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The dreaded question that hangs over my head EVERYDAY…Whats for dinner?  This question is a pain in the rump!  

Lately, I have become more involved in connecting with other parents and visit a few online forums.  I had noticed an open chat about the importance of shared family mealtime and weighed in on how I felt about the issue.  Thanks to Everything Mom and Swiss Chalet I had the WFD question answered for me.  After participating in the online convo at Everything Mom, my name was picked to receive a $50 Swiss Chalet gift card.

I was thrilled to win, and even more thrilled that it would take a little pressure off me for at least one meal.  The gift card arrived in perfect timing.  Our busy life had become more chaotic when my husband’s grandmother entered hospital.  My hubby and I work opposite hours to avoid childcare fees, we each have volunteer commitments, and now added visiting sweet Nan to the crazy schedule.  One day before heading to work, I didn’t want to leave my WFD question until that afternoon.  I went on the Swiss Chalet website and discovered that I could pre-order our meal and get it delivered or choose the take-out/pick up option.  In a few clicks I had a Chicken and Rib Family Meal reserved for pick up at 6 pm.  It was a welcome treat after a crazy busy week.  Even better?  There was very little clean up.  We had enough food left for lunch the next day.  And we still have ‘money’ left on the gift card to fund another meal. 

Connecting with other parents on Everything Mom fed my need for social interaction.  Swiss Chalet fed our bellies and made a very happy mommy. 

*This blog is the authors genuine account of winning a contest and is not endorsed or sponsored by Everything Mom or Swiss Chalet.

 **photo is from Swiss Chalet  .ca

My Not-So-Secret Addiction

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Mabel's Labels Hoard

It all started with an order of Tag Mates and Skinny-Minis, but has quickly grown into something that can no longer be contained in my Buzzmama Welcome Kit box.  But I’m getting ahead of the story, let me rewind a bit…

Last year I was contemplating putting my daughter into childcare for my return to the full-time work force.  Being a preschool teacher for many years, I knew that personal items can go missing on a daily basis.  It was frustrating enough for us teachers, looking at ten pairs of Spiderman shoes in a size 7, and trying to figure out which child they belonged to.  Now I am a parent and really get the full spectrum of the cost of raising a child.  Of course you start out a school year with labeled clothing, shoes, and bottles, but labels made of masking tape and markers don’t last long.  So I had remembered in my adventures as a teacher, that Mabel’s Labels, made our lives a lot easier.  When I saw a parent arrive with their children’s items in those colourful, custom labels, I could breathe a sigh of relief.  In fact they could only make life easier if they changed diapers and wiped runny noses too.

So back to the beginning…I searched Mabel’s Labels on google, found them very easily, and within moments had placed an order for Skinny-Minis (custom sticky labels that are dishwasher safe) and Tag Mates (custom sticky labels for clothing that survive the washing machine).  I knew the Skinny-Minis would be small enough to put on my daughter’s soothers and the Tag Mates would fit even the smallest tag on her favourite sleep stuffie.  My order came in the mail, FREE of Shipping charges, later that same week.  I went on the site again and shopped around.  I soon found a link for something called the Buzzmama Program.  This peaked my interest.  So I applied and was chosen into this volunteer, word-of-mouth ‘club’ to receive perks for spreading the love of Mabel’s Labels

As you can see in the picture, I have amassed a small mountain of quality items from this Canadian company.  There are other items missing from the shot because they are in my purse or in use already.  Return Address Labels, Mama Cards, Shopping List pads are never out of reach.  The Buzzmama reusable canvas bag is folded and kept in my purse, which comes in handy very often.  I can’t seem to visit any friend without talking about it, and even have strangers stop and ask where I get those cute labels.  I had lost my daughters sippy cup in Zellers one day and didn’t know until my last name was announced over the store intercom…My husband thinks I have gone Mabel’s crazy, which reminds me.  I need to go check the mailbox before he gets home, I’ve got a Neat Freak Combo on the way…