27 November 2009

Until next year, Black Friday

When last we left you, Kaitlyn and Daddy were sitting in their big comfy chair watching Playhouse Disney. Twenty-four hours later, it's much of the same.

Which is why it's also so very, very different.

You see, most years I would be out with the crazies, making my way through the maze of bodies that lay on the side of toy aisles with the red badges of courage, all of whom attempted to thwart my mission to purchase the much anticipated gifts of that year.

I was a Black Friday Junkie. Sales were my crack. To this point, they still sorta are (proper English be damned!). For the past four weeks I've had on the computer toolbar. If you have no clue what I mean, you are a novice. Wait 'til next year. I scoured the ads on Thanksgiving Day just because I still like having hard copies in my hand to help map my route for that evening.

I would make my way out of the house some years as early as 11 p.m. (Some malls open at midnight, you know) and would criss-cross the Triad region. Some Best Buys, Targets and Wal-Marts get busier than others, so you have to know which ones to hit. Or, depending on the deals, you bypass those altogether and hit smaller stores. One year I set up shop at Old Navy and came away with about 25 articles of clothing for $100.

From store to store, with coffee running through my veins like an IV drip, the thrill of the hunt superseded the dismay of long lines, pushy patrons and lack of sleep. Michelle never understood any of this, at least until I came home and she saw the rewards and the sales receipts. But she still doesn't understand the feeling of that immediacy to shop the biggest shopping day of the year.

But today I sit and watch Warehouse Mouse. Today I sit and drink my coffee not from an environmentally corrupt Styrofoam cup, but from a ceramic mug of shame. My adrenaline only rises when I refresh the CNN Homepage, hoping to see pictures of some crazy opening where novices are pushed aside, fear on their faces, as the veterans, my homies, get to the front.

My semi-retirement has a lot to do with this. My daughter has another part to do, since I'm not one of those crazy parents who take their children out on Black Friday. To those dumb parents: your 10-year old child doesn't "need" a laptop. They likely need some exercise. Get them a bike.

Another big part is the fact that there's not much I/we really need. I have televisions; granted, not a mac-daddy 50-plus-inch plasma or anything, but enough for our small townhouse. I have a Wii that we barely get enough time to play, so another game is unnecessary. I have a computer, a good one at that. So am I running out the door for a Blu-Ray player for $78? Nah, I can get one of those for $100 later. The $22 difference isn't enough to draw me out.

So here I sit, Mickey Mouse arguing with Pete about cleaning up Mickey Beach. Kaitlyn screaming "Oh Tootles." Drinking Folgers instead of Seattle's Best. I dream a little dream for Black Friday 2010, when I am drawn again to the crowds and the sleeplessness.

Maybe even a $50 Blu-Ray or a $799 Macbook. Then it's on like Donkey Kong.

26 November 2009

Kaitlyn's Turkey Day Special

So here we are at Thanksgiving watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on Playhouse Disney. Sort of like every other day. That is, until 9 a.m. hits.

At that point, we will introduce Kaitlyn to what I consider the start of the holiday season, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I think she'll enjoy it, considering the colors, music, floats and balloons that come across every 1.5 seconds. It truly is an ADHD wonderland.

Then it's off to Old Navy (Michelle doesn't know this yet, since she's still slumbering away) since there's some good deals and, if you get there early enough, some free swag before heading to YaYa and Pop-Pop's place for some food and football.

But the real reason for this post (and the holiday, lest we forget) is to give thanks for everything we have today. While I might be semi-retired and therefore a little lighter in the old wallet, there's plenty to be thankful for.

First and foremost, a wonderful family that is loving and supportive. It's been a long and tough road over the past seven months (God, really? Seven months?!?!) with some near misses, but it's all a learning process. Plus, as Michelle likes to say, there's a plan. Don't know what that is, but I guess if we knew we wouldn't learn anything.

Second is Kaitlyn. Granted, she's part of number one, but to have a daughter that is healthy, happy, adorable, too smart and funny as hell is more than I could ever ask for. Plus, without her none of you would have the pleasure of reading Growing Up Kaitlyn.

Third, I am thankful for Northstar Travel Media. What is Northstar Travel Media, you ask? Well, that is the company that pushed me toward semi-retirement. I am thankful for them because, without the salary they provided me for a year and a half, unemployment pay would be scarce and I would probably be asking everyone if they would like fries with their order. So thank you, Northstar Travel Media. Granted not for pushing me out the door, but at least for paying me close to what I was worth.

So from our family to yours (which is essentially mine since most of Growing Up Kaitlyn's readers are related in some way, shape and form), Happy Thanksgiving. And consider this my phone call, just in case the Tryptophan kicks in sooner than expected.

24 November 2009

Most Dangerous Toys 2009, aka "Ruining Christmas for Everyone"

It's Christmastime, which means that someone's got to ruin the holiday spirit by telling you what you should and shouldn't purchase for your children.

So thank you, World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc., for dampening our holidays and bringing unemployment to the elf population worldwide.

World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc., or WATCH, is a supposed consumer advocacy group formed by trial attorney Edward Swartz (cutting into business, aren't we Mr. Swartz?) to better inform parents about the dangers of toys.

Each year, this unholy despicable happiness-deprived watchdog group issues a Not-Top 10 list of the most dangerous toys known to man. This year's toys include a WALL-E foam rocket (eye injuries), a Curious George book of numbers that contains an abacus-like instrument (choking hazard), an infant musical instrument set (choking hazard) and, perhaps most perplexing of all, a Dark Knight action figure (potential for blunt impact and penetration injuries).

Please read that again. "Potential for blunt impact and penetration injuries." Those are not my words. Believe me, I have come up with lots of B.S. in my lifetime. I couldn't possibly make that one up.

Remember simpler times when you could just play with a BB gun and, after shooting yourself in the thigh, would get the stern "Told you, moron" look from your parents? Or when, along with your parents, you'd hurl child-sized javelins through the air? Now we're worried about something like this or this?

Editor's Note: This is normally where I would put a funny photo or clip or something, but unfortunately the good people at Saturday Night Live and have deprived us of video featuring Irwin Mainway and his Bag O' Glass and Johnny Switchblade: Adventure Punk. Thanks for nothing, SNL and Hulu, even though I still love you both.

22 November 2009

In Pictures: Burlington Christmas Parade

Michelle and I made a pact Friday night. We would close the computer on Saturday, not opening the laptop until Sunday came rolling around.

You see, it's very easy to flip some Playhouse Disney on the tube for Kaitlyn, allow her to fall into a Gabba Coma and check emails and play Bejeweled for a couple hours. So we decided to just shut down contact on the World Wide Web for 24 hours.

All this allowed for some Family Fun Time, which on Saturday meant heading to downtown Burlington for the annual Christmas Parade. Yes, I said that right: On November 21, five full days before Thanksgiving, we went to a Christmas parade.

Now Michelle considers me sort of a bah-humbug because of my distaste for the commercialization of Christmas. Fact is, while I'm no fan of Christmas starting sooner year after year (the holiday season started around July 4th this year, right?), I do love the holidays. Good food, lots of Family Fun Time, Charlie Brown. It's really fun.

Christmas parades are part of that. I especially love local parades, because (as you will see) they include great floats, local "celebrities" and, most of all, some of the wackiest things you could possibly include in a parade. But, in the end, they are all good fun and celebrate not only the holiday, but the community.

Michelle and Kaitlyn enjoying the festivities on Saturday

It wouldn't be a Christmas parade in the South without numerous crosses on pick-up trucks adorned with signs stating "Keep Christ in Christmas". This just so happened to be the first of many on the day

I'm not sure if the good people at Dave's actually registered for the parade or were just making a delivery along the parade route.

Somebody decided to get their employees dressed up for the occasion. Unfortunately they decided to get the costumes at a Furry convention

Cool. Cooler. Coolest.

My former co-workers, Jay Ashley (driving) and Frances Woody (passenger, local celebrity) represented The Times-News quite well during Saturday's parade. 

Nothing says Christmas quite like Cloggers clogging to Christmas music. 

This is quite possibly the best picture ever. 

18 November 2009

Celebrity collateral in the Nick Jr.-Disney turf war

As I've mentioned earlier, Nick Jr. has been slowly encroaching on my Disney Girl. Michelle and I (with some help from Nana and Pop-Pop this past week) have attempted to sway her to righteousness. But the allure of Gabba, Diego and Ming-Ming is too much to turn Kaitlyn's attention for too long.

And then there's Dora. Oh, you sneaky, sneaky Latina explorer. You've gained a foothold into my daughter's heart that is only matched by Tinker Bell. But Tink doesn't have the pop culture collateral that Dora can pull.

Even the NBA superstars are jumping off the Disney bandwagon and getting into the Nick Jr. Check out first overall draft pick Blake Griffin oozing all things Dora:

What's next? Will Super Bowl MVPs start chanting "Universal Studios" instead of "Disney World"?

And on a side note, in an attempt to capitalize on Dora's popularity, the powers-that-be at Nickelodeon and Mattel are whoring her out for your children's money updating her image, creating a 'tween Dora. What's next, I ask you?

17 November 2009

In Pictures: 'Cause I'm back from Lazy-Land, Part I

As you may have noticed, I've shirked my blogging responsibilities for the past couple of days. I don't know whether it was the Turnpike air or the pork roll, but I was lax in my duties.

Actually, as silly as it sounds, I really didn't like my parents' keyboard. Call me a computer snob, but I'm sorta used to the clunky Toshiba laptop I'm typing away on, and since the 'rents don't have WiFi (the horror!), I was relegated to either lugging the laptop to a Starbucks (never!) or writing on a foreign keyboard. So basically I cut the Internet time and drank it away at my old haunts spent it with my family, especially Kaitlyn.

When I last left you, I was prepping for a trip to the Crayola Factory. It was pretty sweet, as you will see. Since I'm still recovering a bit and I need blog fodder for the next week or so my creative juices have yet to recover from the 540-mile trek from Jersey back to North Carolina, I'm giving you some quick highlights from the trip. More to come in the days ahead.

Kaitlyn had no problem with the giant crayon she encountered, however Mommy was a little more frightening on this day.

As you may notice from the above pictures, Kaitlyn is a bit of a fan when it comes to arts and crafts. Her artwork will be prominently displayed in the Louvre, the National Gallery and, of course, the refrigerator.

This is our wonderful Aunt Jo Ann. She didn't know I was taking this picture. She didn't know I was posting this picture. She might not like me so much after posting this picture. This is our wonderful, wonderful Aunt Jo Ann.

While many of you (okay, all five readers of Growing Up Kaitlyn) know about YaYa, you have yet to be properly introduced to Nana. This is Nana, with an apple turnover the size of a manhole cover from Harold's. She didn't eat the whole thing. At least not in one sitting. 

11 November 2009

Greetings from Somerset Run

So I've been a little incognito the last few days, putting the finishing touches on my trip to the Home Planet, which has meant lots of packing, lots of cleaning (house and car) and lots of hair spray (to fit in, you know?).

If you've been following along, you know I've been dreading this trip, especially the whole getting to and fro part. Luckily, Kaitlyn was a saint, traffic and cops were non-existent and Michelle's bladder amazingly expanded to allow for limited stoppage. Long story short, House-to-House lasted a mere eight hours and change. Cha-ching.

So we made it in Tuesday night and did the whole sit around and catch up with the Nana and Pop-Pop, who gave the whole "We're glad to see you and Kaitlyn, but it's really past our bedtime and we can just do all this tomorrow at IHOP, right?" look. So Michelle, Kaitlyn and I kept them up for another two or three hours for gits and shiggles.

So on Wednesday, while Michelle and Kaitlyn criss-crossed Central Jersey to meet up with the women-folk, I grabbed my father and headed out to play a round of golf in that sub-50 degree weather. And by the way, who ordered the friggin' wind? He tried to wimp out on me before leaving, saying "I don't play in the rain" or something of the sort, but all I heard was "wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa" and it wasn't from Kaitlyn. I told him to grow a set and we made it around Fiddler's Elbow.

Nothing major going on with this post, just a little update since I haven't checked in for days. You'll get some later, including pics, since we're bringing Kaitlyn to the Crayola Factory on Thursday. Later, all.

08 November 2009

Cognitive Development, aka "Future Blue Devil Alert"

In honor of the start of college basketball season, we here at Growing Up Kaitlyn would like to introduce you to the future of the Duke Blue Devils.

When Kaitlyn was very, very small (which regular readers know wasn't for very long), Kaitlyn received what fast became her favorite book. Hello Blue Devil has been a regular in our book rotation since the early days and, for every Duke fan, it should be in theirs, too.

Even as I make this post, Kaitlyn is sitting next to me, pointing to the image of the book on the computer screen and saying "Devil right there." God love her.

And this being a Cognitive Development post, you know I'm about to show off some of that Kaitlyn brain power. The symmetry is perfect, since we're talk about one of the top institutions in the world and one of the smartest 22-month-olds in the universe.

On the Road Again: New Jersey-bound

It's November. It's 70 degrees here in the Land of Kaitlyn. We're broke. What better time to take a road trip to 45-degree New Jersey!?!

Well, that's actually not fair. Michelle's sister is prego and her baby shower is next weekend. So we knew Michelle was headed up to The Garden State with or without me. For Michelle, this is (hopefully) the last leg of a whirlwind schedule that has seen her travel to Wisconsin for a conference and head on overnights for work, not including the redonkulous amount of hours she's been putting in.

So as the NJ trip got closer, Michelle started getting a sinking feeling. The one where she doesn't want to leave her child for an extended period of time. Again. You see, YaYa wasn't taking Kaitlyn. Too much stuff in the car. Taking Kaitlyn adds "X" amount of hours to the trip. There will be too many people in your sister's house, which, by the way, isn't baby-proofed. 

All good arguments. Plus, I didn't want to go. Nothing against anybody, but I just hate driving the nine-plus hours, adding an extra day because we inevitably stop halfway to see Michelle's friends in Maryland, running around because we have to see everyone and Michelle can't say no to anyone. Plus, we pay the daycare whether Kaitlyn's there or not. And if she's not there, it throws Kaitlyn so further off course than a Northwest pilot. So she starts the hard sell to get me to go, as well.

"Wouldn't it be great to see your family again and for Kaitlyn to see Nana and Pop-Pop?" Translation: I don't want to stay at my sister's with everyone else, plus YaYa won't let Kaitlyn stay there even if she was allowing her to go. So I need a place to crash.

"Since we're not going up for the holidays, this would be a great chance to see everyone." Translation: I have Christmas gifts I don't want to spend the postage on, plus I want to make sure I can tell everyone exactly what to get me for Christmas so I get something good.

"You don't have a job anyway, so wouldn't it be nice to spend some time with your family?" Translation: You don't have a job anyway, plus I need you and your car to see the girls since I hate driving.

"Maybe my father and brother can get you a ticket to the Jets game." Translation: I know that I'm fighting a losing battle here, so I will attempt to bribe you with football and beer.

This goes on for days and Michelle is losing. But finally, as we were in Babies-R-Us checking out shower gifts, Michelle gives me a look like, I don't want to do this alone. Crap.

So the decision was made, the calls were placed and I'm now headed to New Jersey for seven days of Family Fun Time. I've already laid down some ground rules, but knowing my wife, none of these will actually be followed because she doesn't listen to a damn word I say. Remember? I wasn't even supposed to be going to New Jersey? How did that turn out?
  1. I'm not running all around the state to see people. If they're local or I choose to see them, fine. Otherwise, they will make their way to the Somerset section of Franklin.
  2. I am going to the GreaseTrucks at least once during this trip. I haven't been on any of the previous trips because Michelle finds my eating habits appalling. This time, game on.
  3. We're driving straight through. This was a bit of a battle, but this is the plan since I don't want to pull Kaitlyn in-and-out of the car and get her thinking, In the car, again? Better to get it knocked out at one time. Now only if I was able to get Michelle to drive through the night when Kaitlyn was asleep, we'd be golden.
So on Tuesday we're off to the Garden State for some Family Fun Time. And already, the week is being filled with family dinners, get-togethers and errands. So much for not running around. Two out of Three ain't bad, I guess.

Suggestions on where Kaitlyn's Excellent New Jersey Adventure should take here? Comment below.

07 November 2009

Daddy's genes and Brando's jeans

I talk a lot about my daughter being a little, well, healthy. Actually, a lot healthy.

You see, Kaitlyn is a little bit of a butterball. And I mean that in the nicest possible way. I think it's adorable at this age and don't care one iota. I'm not like some crazy, over-the-top parents. I know my daughter likes to eat and I'm cool with that.

Like on Thursday. There was no stopping her. You see, Thursdays are our little breakfast-for-dinner days. But not just any breakfast. Chocolate. Chip. Pancakes.

Kaitlyn digs the chocolate chip pancakes, so she began to devour them. Three adult-sized pancakes. Same as me. I mean, my daughter ate the same exact meal as me. She began to cry when we took her out of her seat, even though she had finished what was on the plate and was licking the crumbs off the tray.

Now, I don't know if it is the whole breakfast-for-dinner concept that draws her attention. Would she do this for an omelete? I don't know. Maybe the large dollop of Hershey's Chocolate Syrup that Michelle gave Kaitlyn to dip her pancakes in had something to do with her mood. I'm no expert. All I know is that it was tough to take her away from that plate.

But as I was watching my daughter compete in her personal IFOCE event, I couldn't help but think that I am partly to blame. You see, I don't have the healthiest eating habits.

Normal people will sometimes sneak ice cream for dinner; they don't have the entire half-gallon. Normal people get an Extra Value Meal at Mickey D's or maybe a dollar menu sandwich or two; they don't order four large sandwiches or three double cheeseburgers, two McChicken sandwiches, fries and a drink for lunch. Normal people have a cup of coffee, maybe two before noon; they don't finish an eight-cup pot before 10 a.m. and then get a large light and sweet from Dunkin' Donuts on his way to lunch.

Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.

Prime example is today's Friday's lunch. To your right, you will see the basics of what I ate today on Friday. It is called the Wise Guy Burger, found at that bastion of healthy fare, Red Robin. Here's the rundown from

In this particular nutritional nightmare, the Wise Guy Burger is part burger, part appetizer. And not the good appetizers like fresh crudites – we’re talking fried mozzarella cheese sticks on top of a burger patty. But that’s not all! Try pepperoni slices, banana peppers, marinara sauce and tomatoes all smothered on top of each other.

Too much for most people, right? But here's the kicker -- I modified mine. Subtracted the rabbit food. Added melted provolone cheese on top of the mozzarella sticks. Added the signature Red Robin steak fries under the burger patty (Don't worry -- bottomless fries!). Enjoyed and delighted in its awesomeness.

And I still weigh all of 168 pounds. Granted, I've never had my cholesterol checked for fear of giving the doctor reading the results a heart attack, but that's a conversation for another time. I have yet to physically see any consequences from my eating habits. I love food. I am a fit-looking individual. All is right with the world.

But then I see Kaitlyn. Poor blubbery Kaitlyn. Still a cute blubbery, but who knows if Ronald McDonald will be as kind to her as he has been to me. So I try to eat better with my wife, who's been on my case for years. We grill chicken and make Weight Watcher meals with reduced fat or fat free ingredients. But then there are times like this afternoon. Not to mention the three Whatchamacallits I had this evening. With whole milk. Mmm.

I don't know if Kaitlyn has a chance, but I do know she's enjoying the path she's taken. Even if that path has to be reinforced with steel.

Cognitive Development, aka "Know Your Animals, Part II"

06 November 2009

In Pictures: 'Cause I'm too lazy to write. Deal.

I think the header says it all, but I'll give you some basics: Michelle and I picked up Kaitlyn early from daycare and decided it was a nice day to go to the park. Plus, we feel like we've been neglecting our first child (Boo), so she got some playtime, too.

The name of said park has been omitted so not to have whatever government agency that operates the park go apesh*t and ban dogs and small children from their parks. Don't laugh -- they're rough down here in the South.

It's a nice fall day. What better way to spend it than outside freezing your tail off? I kid, I kid. It was actually warm outside, but Michelle's always cold. Then she's warm five minutes later. Then cold again. Then warm again. I can do this all day.

Kaitlyn loves her some slides. Unfortunately for her, daddy was too busy taking photos to catch her. Don't worry, the old saying is true: Kids really do bounce.

We decided to make use of an empty baseball field since, you know, it's November. Only morons and dorks play baseball in November.

Here she is, our first child Boo. Normally this dog can't be let off the leash, but we decided to give it a go today. The big fence helped in that decision.

Action shot!

(In a poorly-executed Steve Irwin voice) Now the small canine is stalking its prey, but this minx is too smart for her captor. Will she run and hide. Wait! She turns to fight. Crickey!

Breakin' the Law. Breakin' the Law. Okay, time to go.

05 November 2009

Cognitive Development, aka "The Stewie Griffin Conundrum"

Now I know every parent thinks their child is smart. It's almost a rite of passage for parenthood to build up your children only to have them shatter those dreams the first time they bring home an "F" or you hear they ate the entire stock of paste during the kindergarten open house.

But my kid is smart. She's not smart in a "My child is an honor roll student at (insert name of crappy boarding school here)" kind of way. She's smart in a "I'm going to take over the world and there's not a damn thing you can do about it" kind of way.

Hence, The Stewie Griffin Conundrum.

Now, I don't take this responsibility as lightly as dear ol' dad Peter Griffin does. Don't they know that baby talks, or what? I mean, he's telling you exactly what he's going to do every damn episode. And none of the main or secondary characters understand.

But then there's the whole "Lois Kills Stewie" episode where, all of a sudden, they understand? Or what about the "Road to Germany" episode where Mort understands Stewie just fine? Anyway, I digress ...

The point is, where is the line in the sand that separates Geez, my child's a genius and I need to cultivate this awesome brain power so he/she can become a doctor/president/astronaut/emperor and Geez, my child's a genius and they're building a particle separator in the backyard that's aimed in my bedroom. Maybe we should just plop him/her in front of the TV to rot some brain cells. Giggity?

I mean, she looks innocent enough. She says cute things like, "Daddy potty" and "Oh No Tink Bell Trouble." It's really cute stuff.

But is that her plan? Does she plan on pulling out her death ray when my defenses are lowered after a moment of weakness, like when she's building a tower out of the blocks? Or will she stab me with a Crayola when I'm fawning over her coloring skills?

I don't know. I just hope we do the right things and not piss her off when she gets to be a teenager, or else we're all doomed.

Oh hell. A teenage girl not pissed at her parents? Who am I kidding.

04 November 2009

Crashing the All-Girls Party that is BlogHer '10

I have to pass the credit for this brilliant idea along to a fellow blogger.

You see, I was checking out what my girl @MaryMac was writing about over at PJ&C when I saw that she was nominating herself for a speaking gig. Now, I have to say, I would pay to listen to her talk about writing because she's that good. Thank goodness I don't have to since she does it all for free. MaryMac -- don't pull a WSJ. I need my PJ&C for free.

Anywho, I checked out the NOW cult BlogHer '10 site to see what all the hub-bub was about. By the way, if anyone ever decided to start a BlogHim Web site and annual conference, how long do you think it would take before Martha Burk started picketing and trying to get the site pulled? Five days? Ten? But BlogHer is alive and kickin'. Which got me thinking ...

What if I pulled a Hugh Grant on this whole thing? I mean, how funny would it be for Growing Up Kaitlyn's 30-something male author to pull up a chair with all these blogging broads? Hmmmmm ...

So I have officially submitted my name into the running to speak at the BlogHer '10 national conference in New York City under the "Personal Identity" topic, with a session entitled "It's A Man's World."

Basically, getting a group of male bloggers who write about fatherhood and such in front of a group of women who probably think we have no business talking about child-rearing because we don't know what those first nine months were like. How friggin' cool, right?

Now, I have no linkjuice with these blogger types. I've only been Growing Up Kaitlyn for a few weeks. So if you know any female blog-types who would like the chance to oogle some thirty-something eye candy at their All-Girls Party in NYC, tell them to head over to Hunk-O-Mania over on East Houston Street (Note: I cannot vouch for the quality of Hunk-O-Mania. I merely did a Google search and found the first establishment on the results page).

But if they'd like to hear a thirty-something writer talk about how his daughter got him into blogging when nothing else could, tell them to drop the name Growing Up Kaitlyn to the BlogHer groupies.

Kaitlyn: The Gabba-Grooming Mash-Up

We all know about the Gabba Coma thanks to Kaitlyn. We all know how to properly take care of ourselves thanks to her grooming tips.

But have you ever thought of combining the two? Of course you haven't. But have no fear, this is why we keep Kaitlyn around.

03 November 2009

Growing Up Kaitlyn in syndication: Nov. 3

Some of you might not be aware of it yet, but those links off to the right (go ahead, I'll wait. Oh, back so soon? Okay, let's continue) are some really good reads.

How do I know this? Because I check them every day for new content and read each of them. Oh yeah, I also write for one of them.

Yeah, that was a long way around to tell you all that my latest for The Mommies Network is posted. But it is also a shout to some of the great writers out there who Growing Up Kaitlyn is proud to be reading.

Mostly, though, just wanted you to take a few minutes and read all about "My Fatty".

02 November 2009

Bottles are, like, so last year

There are always those moments when you realize that your kid is growing up. Hence, Growing Up Kaitlyn. I know, awesome name, right?

Anywho, it's been one of those weeks around the house where those moments are coming fast and furious. I don't know which of these moments really hits home more: The fact that Kaitlyn tells us when she's got to drop the deuce, or when she's trading in sippy cups for actual cups.

And since watching Kaitlyn sit on the baby toilet doesn't make for great viewing, here's the alternative:

The Search for Whatchamacallit

Ever since I penned my Halloween Missive, I've been craving a Whatchamacallit. And you know what happens when you want something at a very precise moment: That's right, you can never find one.

You see, the Whatchamacallit is probably the most underrated confection in human history. Now, some people might try and tell you otherwise, naming such sugary goodness as Snickers or Three Musketeers or the God-awful Almond Joy. Don't get me wrong; I love a Snickers. But as far as pure gold, there's no topping the chocolately-caramelly-peanuty goodness that is the Whatchamacallit.

I don't know when candy decided to get all serious, offering us 78% Cacao and ultra-rich dark chocolate on our Junior Mints, but in came the pretentiousness and out went the fun. I mean, how much more can you improve on a friggin' Junior Mint. Or a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. Or a plain ol' honest-to-goodness Hershey Bar. And by the way, Hersey: If you ever decide to pull a New Coke on me with your original Hershey Bar, I will lead the boycott. Seriously, I think I account for 12% of your gross sales alone. Think about it.

So I've been looking for a Whatchamacallit for the last week and a half, thinking Oh, it's Halloween. They'll be around every corner. Nope. Looked in the grocery stores. Nada. Checked out Target. Empty. Where the hell are the Whatchamacallits? I mean, if they can still sell Mounds and the God-awful Almond Joy, there still must be a Whatchamacallit somewhere. I mean, I feel like Charlie Bucket over here.

So since I've been awake since 4 a.m. thanks to a toddler's screwed up internal clock (thank-you, daylight savings time), I decided to find me some damn Whatchamacallits, even if it took me ordering directly from Hershey.

You know what I found? An awesome Hershey's search tool that provides you with the exact locale for any of Hershey's confectionery delights:

Let us help you find your favorite HERSHEY’S product. HERSHEY’S products are available nearly everywhere. However, if you’re having trouble finding one in the United States, we can help! Select the specific product, the zip code where you shop and the distance you are willing to travel to purchase that great HERSHEY’S item. With so many delicious choices, we are not able to include all of our products in this locator. If you are still unable to find your favorite, please contact us.

So thanks to Hershey's, I will be making my way to the local CVS after dropping Kaitlyn off at daycare. Whatchamacallit, you beckon ...