Thursday, November 18, 2010

Win a $50 Gift Card!

Back in July, when I participated in Do Good Day, I thought, Hey – this 77 Kids company is pretty awesome. I wasn’t 100% sure if their willingness to do such a charitable deed was purely charitable, promoting themselves, or a little of both. But regardless, it was pretty awesome. After the event, we got to go to the grand opening of the store and talk to some of the people from the company.

When they told us that 77 Kids planned on staying active in local charities, I thought “Sounds good, but time will tell if they really follow through” (what can I say, I’m cynical). So I was very pleasantly surprised to find out that 77 Kids has followed through with their promise.

Right now, in all the 77 Kids stores, they are asking for donations – for as little as 77 cents, you can purchase a snowflake, write you wish on it, and hang it on their wish wall. And every cent of the donations is going to Children’s Hospital. Your local children’s hospital. The money is staying right in the communities in which it was donated, which I LOVE! (Especially since Pittsburgh is one of the most giving cities around.

Now here’s the really cool part. Let’s say you don’t have a 77 Kids nearby (or you do, but are looking for an additional way to help). 77 Kids has set up a website where you can make a snowflake. It’s addictive – I can’t stop making them. In addition to the donations received in store, 77 Kids has pledged that if we can get 100,000 snowflakes made, they will donate an additional $25,000!

There is no limit to the number of snowflakes you can create – you only have to register once and you’re all set. So go make some, have your kids make some (it’s a great way to occupy them while you do dishes. Or vacuum. Or read. Or drink a glass of wine. Or two), have your family make some, you’re your friends make some. And while they are doing it, you’ll be helping sick kids all around the country!

And you could be helping yourself a little too. Because 77 Kids is giving away a gift card every day, plus a grand prize at the end of the promotion. And they have kindly given me a $50 gift card to give to one of you! You can use it in the store or online. And if you don't have young kids, you can use it at ANY American Eagle store!

Here’s how to enter my giveaway:

Go create your snowflake, then come back here and leave a comment. You can leave a comment for each snowflake you can create.

And you can get additional entries pretty easily, too:

1 - Follow 77 Kids on twitter (leave another comment and let me know you did)

2 – Check out 77kids on Facebook and “like” them (leave another comment to let me know)

On December 6th, I will select a winner via a random drawing from all eligible entries and someone will be getting the $50 gift card in time to do some Christmas shopping!

We went to the store this week to check out the wish wall, the fun window displays and the latest fashions, and let me tell you – 77 Kids makes shopping with kids EASY and FUN. They have activities in the store, like a chalkboard and games and the photo booth (the kids can take and decorate their photos and take them home) :

The dressing rooms are more like clubhouses:

And they have a “goody counter” that every kid can choose a prize from:

The winter window displays are cute and kids can “race” little skiing birds:

And the clothes are cute, age-appropriate, and good quality (apologies to those with boys, Emily took these pics & she doesn’t care about boy clothes):

So while you’re out doing your Christmas shopping, stop by 77 Kids and make a donations (remember – they can be as small as 77 cents), and in the meantime, make a snowflake (or 20) and maybe win a cool prize.

Fine print: I am being compensated for participating in th
e Wish-4-Snow charity initiative , but they were in no way involved in the content of this post. I am entirely serious when I say that 77 Kids is a great company who cares about the community. And if you visit their store, you'll see how much thought they have put into creating a great shopping experience for moms shopping with kids (also known as "Hell: Living").

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Roller Skate!

Even though she turned seven a couple weeks ago, Emily (yes - I used her real name - I'm getting tired of the anonymity) had her birthday party on Saturday at the local skating rink. She had a great time doing this:

And this:

And this:

And even this:

She had a great time with her friends, spent time making everyone feel welcome (she can drive me crazy, but she's very kind), and appreciated each and every gift she got.

Yesterday, we got up to get ready for a fun day at 77 Kids (more on that later - hint: GIVEAWAY!) and I asked her what she wanted to wear. Her reply? "Either the outfit Alexis got me or a meat dress."

Guess which one I went for.

Be sure to check back soon for a chance to win an awesome gift card!

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Friday, November 12, 2010


When did RSVP-ing become optional? I mean – I didn’t know that it did, so someone needs to educate me. Here I am, still calling and letting people know I will (or won’t) be in attendance and I had NO IDEA that I am so out of touch! But clearly – based on approximately ten years of throwing kids’ parties – either a) RSVP is totally optional, or b) people are TOTAL FUCKERS.

Go ahead and guess which one I am going with.

Every year I go through this. I invite a bunch of kids to a party. I practically beg people to PLEASE RSVP (seriously, I actually put the word “please” on the invitation in a larger font, bold, underlined, you name it), I give multiple contact options – phone, text, email, and then I wait. And people prove to me that they are – as I said – total fuckers.

And since I never know how many are coming, I have to plan for the maximum number of kids. Which means more food, more cake, more treat bags, and MORE GODDAMNED MONEY!!

And then people don’t show up and I am left with too much cake, too much food, too many treat bags and an empty wallet. Oh – and a delightfully bitter, spiteful, judgmental attitude that I have a hard time keeping in check.

So educate me – when did RSVP stop meaning Répondez S'il Vous Plaît and become RIYFLIOBIOSICSABOMBIHTPFTMNOPSIDKFSBDWAMALAYHBTATMYSF (Respond If You Feel Like It Otherwise Blow It Off So I Can Spend A Buttload Of Money Because I Have To Be Prepared For The Maximum Number Of People Since I Don't Know For Sure But Don't Worry About Me As Long As You’re Happy Because That’s All That Matters You Stupid Fuck)?

People? Total fuckers.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Today – at exactly 12:05 pm to be exact – my baby boy turns fourteen. FOURTEEN! I know what you’re thinking:

First, that he is not a baby. And to that I say, SHUT YOUR DAMNED MOUTH! He is MY BABY!

Second, you’re thinking, “Oh Gina, but how can this be? You’re much too young to have a fourteen year old!” You’re right about this one. I had him when I was 12. I was a real slut back then.

Anyway, I have decided that my gift on his birthday – what? I don’t deserve a gift on my baby’s birthday? I’ll tell you that I most certainly do. For one, I pushed his giant head out of my body (VAGINA!), and that did some serious damage for which I deserve a gift. And two, he and his sister both owe me big for what they have done to my bladder. Not to mention my sanity.

So my gift on the anniversary of my baby boy’s birth is the gift of humiliation. His, that is.

Happy Birthday, Boyzo:

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

How a Ghost Made the Puppy Shut Up, Already

When we brought Charley home, I thought I was prepared for the sleepless nights and the crate-crying, but I really wasn’t. We didn’t crate train Rocky (Big! Huge! Mistake!), and even if we had, he was older when we got him. My other dogs were all full grown when I got them, except for my very first, but 1) I was 8, so no late night responsibility fell on me, and 2) He was a rejected puppy, so he was weak and tiny and depended on us to be bottle fed, and to make him poop (totally gross), so he didn’t have much energy for the crying.

Needless to say, the first night in the crate was not a fun time for anyone – there was whining and crying and pathetic whimpering. And then he’d finally settle down, only to wake up to go out. I’d take him out to go, bring him back and put him back in the crate and we’d start all over. To say I was exhausted was an understatement.

And it got worse – as he got a little bigger and stronger, so did his crying – it became less “pathetic whimpering” and more “screaming like someone is stabbing me with eleven electrically-charged butcher knives dipped in sulfuric acid.” I thought it would never end and I would lose my mind and go running into traffic in the middle of the night to escape it.

Finally one night as I put him in the crate, I was near tears, just anticipating what was coming. I had reached that point of exhaustion where you feel totally out of control of your emotions – anyone who has had a newborn knows the feeling. And no – I am not comparing a newborn to a puppy. I know that babies are much harder than puppies. But – like a baby – he was waking up every 1 -2 hours, crying half the night, and making me feel like a huge failure. And to be honest, at that point, I wish he was also like a baby in that he could just go in a diaper that I could change in the comfort of my own room, instead of taking him outside in the freezing cold where under the dark of night, I could be murdered or eaten by a bear (What? I live near the woods - everyone knows bears and psycho killers live in the woods!)

Anyway – that night, I put him in the crate and steeled myself for the onslaught of murder-screaming. And as usual, he got right to it. I was trying very hard to ignore it – or at least not to cry, when a woman’s voice - very loudly and clearly, and coming from inside the room - said, “HEY!” And he stopped. He just stopped. My first thought was “YAY!!!!” But my second thought was, “WTF?” And I found myself lying there thinking that I should be scared, and yet I wasn’t. I don’t know if I somehow sensed that whatever said it was benign, or if I was just so happy that the puppy had shut up, that I didn’t care if Freddy Krueger, The Scarehouse Bunny, and Satan himself had come in and shut him up. All I know is that he didn’t make another peep all night.

Or the next night. Or any night since. He goes in his crate, gives a half-hearted whimper and goes to sleep.

I haven’t heard the voice since, but one day when I was working from home, I had to put him in the crate after spending half the day pulling contraband out of his mouth, and he was barking his fool head off (clearly he went for the nighttime sleeping, but daylight hours were off the table). I decided to go check on him, and as I was walking into the room, the radio came on in there. And as soon as he heard the music, he shut up. Again. Since then, crate training has been pretty good - minus the occasional accident, the pushing his blanket out of the cage, and the waking to go out. But I can deal with all that. I’m just glad somebody – whomever it was – dealt with the other.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

This time I really mean it!

You know – every time I post a new entry, I think to myself, “See – that was easy! I am going to blog every single day from now on!” And I totally mean it at that moment. And that night, something will happen that makes me think, :I should blog about that! Or that! Or that! (or any of the million things that go on in my life every day). But then the next day rolls around and I am tired, or cranky, or crazy-busy and I think, “OK – I couldn’t do it today, but I will blog tomorrow for sure. And the tomorrow rolls around and either a) I am as tired/cranky/busy as I was the day before, b) I can’t remember the million things I wanted to talk about, or c) I remember them, but suddenly they seem uninteresting and stupid.

So anyway…Hi! Here’s what’s been going on lately:

1. We brought the puppy home! Yay! We went through several (hundred) names before we finally settled on Charley. It suits him. He’s really cute and sweet and lovable and a big pain in the ass. I totally forgot about the getting up at all hours to take them out and the incessant whining. The whining/crying/screaming as if being murdered was the worst part, but luckily, he has grown out of that (thanks to my twitter friends for reassuring me on that). He still gets up to pee in the night, but it’s down to once. Still – interrupted sleep = me being even more forgetful and spacey than normal. Good times. Behold the cuteness:

2. Halloween! We went to the annual party that my niece Scabs throws. It’s my favorite party of the year. Mainly because we are an evil bunch who use Halloween as an opportunity to torment and ridicule each other. If you have ever done something embarrassing – it will be used against you on Halloween. One year, we all dressed as Scabs. One year (the year of the punching the crackwhore story), someone came as Drunken Poolrat Gina and someone else came as Beaten Down Crackwhore. This year, I went as Scabs. Now, it may seem repetitive, since we went as Scabs before, but this time around, I went as Scabs looking how she did when she earned her nickname. See – many moons ago, Scabs worked at a bar and she invited mr b and I to the bar’s Halloween party. Well, she had been drinking all day and by the time we got there, she was sitting at the bar, dressed as a clown, makeup smeared, cigarette dangling from her mouth and she croaked at us, “Where in the HELL have you been?” So from then on, She became Scabs, the Chain-Smoking, Hard-Drinking, Pissed-Off Clown. Thus:

Scabs (with a scary Nanny McPhee in the background):

Blind Ref:

Flapper (when she told her firends she was going to be a flapper, they all asked, "Who's Flapper?")

You're fired!

Snooki was there, too:

3. Football season is over! I repeat – football season is over! Finally a break from the constant cheer and band practices, games on both Friday and Saturday/Sunday, and driving all over creation to get to them! All season, I couldn’t wait for this moment. And yet – don’t tell anyone I said this, but I think I’m a little sad about it.

4. And speaking of football, our high school is getting a new stadium, and the last game in the current (70+ year old) one was a big event, with players from the very first game, alumni parties and former cheerleaders and band members on the field to participate. I joined up with the alumni majorettes and expected that we would be doing a simple salute to SSB & alma mater. Imagine my surprise when I got to practice before the game to discover we had an entire routine to learn. It was insane, but fun. And the boys won, meaning we won the very first and very last games in the stadium. Unfortunately, I put mr b in charge of taking photos, so I ended up with 65 shots of the fireworks and the backs of the heads of the people in front of him, but no really good shots of my super twirling skills. Sigh.

The closest thing to an action shot that mr b got - note the lack of zooming and the partial head in the foreground:

The boy and me on the field together. I love that he wasn't embarrassed that his mom was twirling.

5. Unrelated to anything else I have been talking about, I left my checkbook on the table yesterday morning, after writing one for the kids’ school photos, only to come home last night to discover that the girl had written herself a check for $1000.

6. Finally – go here and help the kids.

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