Archive | September 2015

Sins of Slumberland


10 days out of the box… I call that poor quality

The sins of Slumberland – explanation below

  1. Coffee table that chips, scratches and looks like trash less than a week out of the box
  2. Shady sales tactic that push the ‘value’ of a $200 reduction in the form of a merchandise credit
  3. Lied about quality when asked
  4. virtually nothing in the store under $200, everything is very overpriced for the quality I experienced
  5. No reviews on their website – a real indication that they don’t care about the voice of the customer



The long version

A few months ago we went mattress shopping.  It was long, it was tedious and you know what we found out?  There are only so many mattress and LOTS of places sell virtually the same mattress.  Oh they might claim to be different mattresses to prevent direct comparison but if you find a mattress you like you can probably find its nearly identical twin at another store near by.

I say this because we were SUCKERED in by a $200 ‘discount’ in the form of a slumberland dollars (usable only at slumberland). We could have gotten a better deal by about $100 at other stores for the same mattress but I was tired of looking and also intrigued by the shiny furniture in the acre of show room.

When we went back to use our $200 we found not only did it have many many restrictions (unsurprising) but there was very little in our style that we actually needed and even less near the $200 mark.  We choose a coffee table because our 10 year old table from Target had just started to be unstable and we picked out this table – the Radcliffe Collection Coffee Table in Merlot – and in the store I asked about a small chip I saw in a different/similar coffee table and the sales person said something to the effect that ‘floor models get bashed endlessly, you should be fine’  basically lying to me about the quality of the finish because mine chipped within 3 days and was very chipped and scratched after 10.


this was the first chip, found 2 days out of box


scratches; >10 days in the house and found under a library book left on the table.

They took the table back – kudos to them – but now I’m more or less out $200 on the cost of the mattress because I fell for their incentive.  They gave me another credit but seriously, there is nothing there I want because I prefer my furniture to look like it hasn’t spent a year in a frat house.  I tried to talk to them, but they did not really want to talk to me so all I can do is hope that I save you from a similar fate by sharing this little story.  Make my $200 useful and listen to me – go to Ikea, go to the thrift store, go anywhere else.  I hope I cost them far more than 200 in lost sales!


Ps. If Slumberland reads this and actually wants to make this up to me let me know

A little less social meadia to keep social

Yesterday I praised the megga that is FaceBook but we all know it has its flaws (including the perpetual hoax that it is going to publicize all our posts).   One of the reasons I have a selfie of myself with the moon is because I took it to send specifically to my cousins.  Why?  Well – it ties into one of the main reasons why I blog – to keep in touch with my family in NY, HI, ME, and CA etc.  HOWEVER, due to who know why reasons my cousins do not write an equally verbose blog so I don’t know much about THEM.  I have two options; let my cousins drift off and turn into people I only see at funerals and occasional holidays OR do something about it.  What I decided to do was start a Sunday Text Share.

I got everyone’s number, held my breath hoping that they would go along with it, and texted a little intro and a picture of my kids on Sunday morning.

What followed was beyond expectations….  of 9 people on the list all but 1 replied.  And not just replied once like I hoped, many of them texted throughout the day and it felt like we actually spent the day together in a way.  The best part is that by reaching into each of my sisters and cousins lives I get to see their husbands and friends and kids so from a 10 person list we get a snippet of life from 30+ souls.  We all grew up within a mile of each other and now we live all over half the globe but on Sunday I feel like they are neighbors again.


kid cousins in the stream I played in with my cousins… Because we can’t do this often we can do the next best thing…

We have kept it up for a month now and I find myself taking extra pictures on Sunday to share and I’m always glad I have them later.  After I started this project I started seeing articles on the general subject of ‘keeping in touch’ (good old red-car syndrome) and the one that was most striking was that friendships are often about the little normal moments.  Of knowing that someone cooked steak or that just replaced a doorknob.  The mundane details that would never ever make a Christmas letter (of chit chat at a funeral…) but make a person real.  That’s what I’m looking for with my family and I think we are going that way.  Some of them are fantastic about posting on facebook, others not so much, but we can all* text and do 🙂  I hope we can keep this up, the technology is there and all my cousins have a phone so we are a very lucky 1st world family and this works for us.  I thought I might share since I know lots of families are spread out over the country and this is a way to use our current tech to keep in touch – who knows, maybe someday they will perfect the transporter and we can all do coffee weekly but until then this will have to do.


*ok, one cousin apparently can’t – you can lead a horse to water…. still not bad overall

The moon is what we are all talking about

There are many many reasons I like facebook.  The reason I like it today is because yesterday morning a friend posted a semi-mocking post about the upcoming eclipse but hey, that was the first I heard about it.  In my defence, I don’t get much time to read news and I don’t like to turn on the news when the kids are around for fear I need to explain what a triple homicide is, or, genocide – we have already had to have some of those discussions but I don’t want to make it a common theme in their life.  So if the news does not make facebook or the John Oliver show I don’t see it~  Back to Facebook, I heard there WAS a moon thing and then when I went out for a run I SAW the awesome full moon rise but all I had was my iPhone…  I took a few lame pictures and resolved to take a better one but then I got home and it fell out of my head.

IMG_6638 IMG_6640

Then after dinner, after kids in bed, after my shower I was scrolling my feed and another friend commented on how cool it was that everyone was posting eclipse pictures and I got up off the couch, in my pj’s, and went up on the ladder that happened to be up because I need to roof a bit, and took pictures.  None are awesome but it was fun that Lars and I stood at the top of a ladder, leaning on our roof, watching this event.  I messed with settings and things and the clouds held until the second half of the event so I have to trust that the moon came back 😉



So thank you Facebook and Friends that post cool things.  

Halloween costume time

I believe we have final decisions! 

I’m excited to get started 

Thankful Thursday (on Friday)

I had noble intentions about yesterday but that is how things go.

On the bright side yesterday night I got to go to my monthly Mom night out and one of my favourite Mexican restaurants and I had a beer and a coor’s light (nope, not 2 beers) and yapped with a fun group of ladies and we only discussed potty training for about 2 minutes and never mentioned diapers (except for our service project brainstorm – I think we will do a diaper drive for a local charity for very young single mothers).

Today is a sad day in the back of my mind because a friend died suddenly this day last year and I have Time Hop to ever remind me…  But, she was a person who didn’t like other people to be sad and went to great lengths to make sure they weren’t so I wasn’t.  I ended up baking a ton this afternoon while cleaning out the fridge and made a ‘chicken’ pie (using leftover pork roast and refried beans), I baked bread for our planned steak dinner, and brownies because we are going to a bit of a party tonight.  Regardless of how young she died I’m glad for the years I knew her.


And finally, Fiona and I had a fun week doing all sorts of little things.  Still so odd to just have 1 at home, by the time I get used to the solo kid thing its the weekend and I’m back to 3 :).  I’m thankful for the time with Fiona and for the time with all three.


excivating a dino




what if there were two Fionas?!?

Oh – And I was going through my phone I completely forgot that I came in 6th in a 5K, we found a new playground, we went geocaching and took a nature hike with a friend.  We also had a very successful dinner party followed by a revival of the nerdtastic D&D game – Its really not all that different from other board games, just lasts longer and there is wine and good snacks when you do it post high school….  Plenty of reasons to smile this week.

IMG_6591  IMG_6599

House happenings

We are moving into our 3rd week of school and (fingers crossed) the first 5 day stretch for both.  The first week was only 4 days, the second they each had a sick day and here we are at week 3…

I say it takes 2 weeks to get used to anything and you can get used to anything in two weeks.  Proven true again. Those first few mornings were crazy trying to re-remember how to pack lunch and wear socks and get to the bus on time.  There is a new bus protocol where we have to go through the daycare building rather than wait in the parking lot.  I’m still not ‘used’ to that nuance of annoyance but I’m working with it.  Homework routine is established.  The balance has now tipped and instead of Niamh being odd man out with homework and longing to go play with her sisters (for the record we usually let her and she did her homework in the morning, our bus comes at 8:40 we have time) – Fiona wants to join her sisters so I have to make up ‘homework’ for her as I help the other two.  Thankfully for Kindergarten and Second grade the homework is more a demo of what they are learning and a minor amount of practice and, if they just do it, it only takes 10 min or less.

During this transition 2 weeks I jumped back into business mode a bit.  The networking group yielded real results and I’m happily setting up a new client.  That did mean 3 meetings I had to wiggle into the schedule but most kids have 2 parents that work full time, mine can handle me being in or at a meeting a few hours a week.

What Fiona and I do all day is getting redefined too.  I’ve found I CAN do a bunch of housework so long as I’m within her sight and/or she leaves me.  She is not a fan of me going places without her but will often be happy to come with me to the laundry or pantry etc.  I basically CANT touch a computer unless she is asleep.  That shifts things around but I can work with it.  She is also growing out of naps.  She still needs them but has trouble getting calm enough to actually lie down.  The nap walk – me walking about a mile with her in the stroller – is our compromise and she requests the nap walk.  I am glad this works for now but I’m not sure about winter.  Given what I CAN do in the form of longer projects, we have been working on transitioning Fiona’s room from nursery to bedroom.  We got her a nice shelf to replace the changing table that has been nothing but storage for months.  We also convinced her finally that she could leave her crib.  She isn’t so sure about the lack of walls and she told me this morning her bed was too short but at some point you have to put the crib away.  Now I get to go on Pinterest and see what I can do with a crib 😉

I’ve also gotten sucked into these brain teasing games and I Highly Recommend.  They are on the gory side and a little creepy but clever and well done.  I used all my Fiona asleep time yesterday on one of these….  Sorry in advance about what you will now neglect because you are clicking clicking clicking….

That is the long and short of what I’ve been doing.  Weekends are getting to be the fun-zone time again since we can’t do many things during the week.  I’m still doing plenty of playdates with Fiona and the world is just easier with a single child **but only after you have had a bunch**  I’m sure an only child is a handful if they are all you know.  Kids are like goldfish, they expand to take up all the resources you possibly have.

I must get back to the list of things to do, that mail pile isn’t going to sort itself.