A New Way To Coupon

Do you use coupons? Of course you do. It’s free money.

You probably get pages of coupons with the weekend newspaper. How many coupons do you end up tossing away because your family doesn’t use the products?

What if there were an easy way to trade the coupons you don’t want, for more of the ones you do? What if it were absolutely free? Enter Coupon Whirl. A free online coupon exchange that makes it easy.

Coupon Whirl is SuburbanDaddy’s latest side project. I conceived it while watching an episode of TLC’s Extreme Couponing with SuburbanMommy. (Before you make fun and take away my man card for watching TLC, realize I have 4 kids and lost that card a very long time ago).

Give it a whirl and let me know what you think.

Back To School

It’s that time of year. Back to school is celebrated by parents everywhere. Today was open house where kids can meet their new teacher, find their desk, and get used to the fact that summer vacation is over.

Thing 1 got comfortable in a reading chair in his second grade (wow!) classroom.


Thing 2 tried his desk out in first grade.


A Worthy Investment

We’ve been having problems with the air conditioning system since, well, last year.? It’s been leaking refrigerant which we’ve refilled three times.? It’s probably not the best thing for the environment, especially since it’s an older unit and that type of refrigerant isn’t allowed anymore, but refilling for a few hundred dollars is much better than the replacement cost of a new A/C system.

But we realized we’ll have to do it sooner or later so yesterday we had a brand new, Carrier Infinity installed.? It’s the mac daddy of air conditioners home comfort technology.? It’s got a lot of whiz bang features like showing you the outside temperature on the thermostat and speaking of thermostat, it looks like an iPad hanging on the wall.

All that is nice, but last night I found out the feature that makes the hefty price tag worth it.? Apparently it does such a good job with its “home comfort technology”, that everyone in the house slept in until 6:30am!? At the same time.? You have to realize how amazing this is for us.? In the last 8 years, I don’t think we’ve ever slept that late.? We’ll see tomorrow if it was a fluke or the Carrier Infinity.

End Of An Era

Tomorrow marks the end of an era when Thing 4 graduates to the toddler classroom at daycare.

No more infant room. No more taking my shoes off to enter the classroom. No more filling out the sheet detailing when she last ate, last slept, and her mood for the day.

We’ve been in infant mode for pretty much the last 7 years. Bottles, baby carriers, pack and plays, spit up. It has become normal to us. I don’t remember life without it.

I won’t miss it a bit.

Advertising Works. No kidding.

Researchers recently found out that kids prefer the taste of food that comes in a package with cartoon characters. Really? I had no idea. Oh, is this the reason they put all the Sponge Bob mac & cheese boxes at knee level where Thing 3 can grab it as he is running down the aisles at the supermarket?

My kids are already well conditioned by brands and advertising. By the age of 3 they all knew Starbucks, McDonalds, and Target and ask for them by name. Except, of course, Thing 3 who defies any kind of conditioning and marches to his own beat. He absolutely loves Lucky Charms, at least we call them Lucky Charms, but in fact he will only eat the store brand “marshmallow oat cereal”. And trust me, he can tell the difference just by looking at the cereal in the bowl.

Anything Is Possible

There are some things I didn’t think were possible. I never thought we’d get as much snow in DC as we did last winter. I didn’t think the Redskins could get any worse, but they manage to do it every year, much to my enjoyment.

And, I never thought Thing 3 would be potty trained. But now he is! It’s something we’ve been working on for upwards of a year. It was going so poorly at one point we abandoned potty training completely, hoping he’d eventually come around. He was the only one left in his preschool class in pull-ups. Just getting him to give up diapers for pull-ups was an enormous struggle that took months.

Last week we went to Target and Thing 3 picked out the underwear he wanted. They were two sizes too big, but I didn’t care. He can wear a bra and panties for all I care as long as he doesn’t pee and poop in them. When we got home, we put all his pull-ups in a trash bag and threw them in the garbage. That was about 10 days ago. He cried for the pull-ups for a couple days but I told him they are all gone, he has to wear underwear now. We’ve had some accidents but for the most part he’s been peeing in the potty, especially at school. Pooping was where Thing 3 made his final stand, but I’m happy to report that tonight we had our first “splash down”.

We’ve been offering Thing 3 as many desserts as he wants for the last year if he’ll just use the potty. Tonight, we happily made good on the promise.

Vomit Everywhere

First, Thing 4 was sick with a stomach virus over the weekend. She was home sick from daycare Friday and Monday, and her classroom was like a scene from the Exorcist with so many of the kids throwing up.

Next, following his performance in the school concert, Thing 1 got sick in the backseat of my car. Lovely.

Then, an hour later, Thing 3 threw up in his bed all over Buzz Lightyear.

Laundry. Lysol. More of the same tomorrow I’m afraid.