Friendship, like love, is destroyed by long absence, though it may be increased by short intermissions. -Samuel Johnson

Holy cow! How have four months gone by since my last post?!?!? Whatever the cause (*cough-cough* Evie and Camie *cough-cough*), please accept my most-sincere apologies and know that I haven't abandoned Tricky Peanut! 

I think I've started to get a handle on this mother-of-two-toddlers deal (though it's been a rough transition to say the least) and hope to have more time to devote to writing, if for no other reason than I get to express myself as an adult here, rather than every sentence including words like "boo-boo" "wa-wa" and "deeeese" (which, for those of you who aren't fluent in Evie&Camie-ese, means "please").

I hope all has been well with you and yours during the past four months and that this special day when we celebrate our fathers/dads/papas/padres/peres/pops/etc, proves to be a source of countless good memories for you and your families. Yay for daddies! :-)

Part Two - The quickest way to know a woman is to go shopping with her. -Marcelene Cox

Well, since I gave face time to the Target Baby Sale a couple of weeks ago, I figured I'd give some equal time to the J.C. Penney Baby Sale, which runs through February 25th. Looks like lots of good stuff is available, so if you're expecting, or just want to stock up on swag for your bambino, be sure to click on over!

Hope y'all have a great weekend! ;-)

When someone asks you, 'A penny for your thoughts?,' and you put your two cents in, what happens to the other penny? -George Carlin

Wow! has some fantastic baby/kiddo clearance items available right now and I thought I needed to share. :-) Perfect for those of us who are snowed in!

Must. Not. Shop-'Til-I-Drop! :-) Stay warm, everyone!

And here's another item that should've been the lead story on every news program in the nation...

Last week, The Lancet, the world's most respected medical journal, retracted Dr. Andrew Wakefield's 1998 article that linked the MMR vaccine to increased rates of Autism. This is the study that has had parents second-guessing the advice of their doctors and the American Academy of Pediatrics for the past 12 years and caused an international spike in reported cases of measles--a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and in some cases, death.

I guess from the tone of the previous paragraph, it's not hard to figure out where I stand on this issue (though I am glad the "clean vaccine" movement brought about the removal of Thimerosol from most childhood vaccines--just seems like good juju to me). If you'd like some more information on the whole vaccine/Autism debate, iVillage put together a great presentation on the subject, which you can find here:

That's all I've got for today. Peace out!

A little shameless self-promtion never hurts. -Erin Hooper

So, as you may have noticed, my TrickyPeanut posts have been pretty few and far between lately. Part of the reason for my e-silence is that, though my growing daughters are a constant source of blogging material, they're also experts at eating up my available free time--gone are the bi-daily two-hour naps, gone are the days of a quick toy tidy-up after they've gone to bed. Oh well, worse things have happened--yay for busy toddlers! :-)

The other reason I've been m.i.a. is because the hubbster and I are dipping our toes into the bottomless sea of capitalism with the launch of our own cottage industry, the Tidy Peanut Ulti-Bib. It's a product born of necessity, as the girls have taken the art of messy eating to wholly unforeseen levels in recent months. They were our guinea pigs, used to help tune and refine our design until we were comfortable introducing it to the world. Some day we'll repay them for their service--I have glorious visions of saving up all our Tidy Peanut earnings and using that money to buy most of the text books the girls will need for their first semester of college. Used text books, mind you. And they might have to share a copy or two. ;-)

In all seriousness, though, while we aren't putting all our eggs in the Tidy Peanut basket, we are excited to see where this adventure will take us. Pat is constantly suggesting design tweaks to enhance the "performance" of the Ulti-Bib and I'm enjoying the autonomy that comes with "designing" a "fashion" line. Who says you can't pair pink terrycloth with a skull-and-crossbones print?!?!? That's right, I'm a rebel! And if nothing else comes of it, I'll still come out of the bargain with a brand new serging machine to play with, so two points for me! :-)

With that being said, I promise that TrickyPeanut is not going to become the Tidy Peanut blog. Though I've added a widget for our Etsy and facebook pages to the homepage's sidebar (after all, a little shameless self-promotion never hurts), that's all the Tidy Peanut propaganda you'll see mentioned here. I mean, I'll undoubtedly need a bib-free escape from the daily high-roller, mover-and-shaker grind that awaits me, right? And what could offer a better retreat than a few minutes of non-bib-related writing/venting here on TrickyPeanut? Sure, a pitcher of margaritas would do the trick, too, but I'm much more likely to sew my finger to a bib (*shudder*) if I go the drunken-stupor route--and then I wouldn't be able to write or sew!!! Cathartic blogging it is!

Now that's a tricky, tidy solution if I do say so myself. ;-)
The evolution of the Tricky Peanut Ulti-Bib!

The quickest way to know a woman is to go shopping with her. -Marcelene Cox

Hey Mamas and Mamas-to-be, I got an email this morning from Target previewing their upcoming baby sale (starts in stores on 1/31/10) and thought I'd share in case they didn't send an email to you! Looks like lots of great baby must-haves are marked down, so hopefully you'll find something that's been on your wish list, or something a Mama you know just can't live without. Happy shopping!

Baby Sale Sneek Peek 

DwellStudio Bedding Sale 

Baby Sale Deals 

Diapers & Wipes Deals 

Many items are tagged for free shipping with an order of $50 or more, PLUS, you can get an additional $5 off a $50 order when you use the code TCDWMNBF at checkout! :-)


How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. -Anne Frank

Haitian earthquake relief--if you can help, please do. And please make sure you're donating to a reputable organization. Sending money to the corrupt Haitian government that has mistreated its citizens for decades and created the deplorable infrastructure that lead to the disintegration of structures across this nation of 10 million souls will do much more harm than good.

Don't throw away your old shoes until you have got new ones. -Dutch Proverb

As I've posted before, Robeez baby shoes are one of our absolute favorite "baby bits," as they are the only shoes I was able to keep on the girls' feet for the first 18 months of their lives. And as I've also posted before, when you're buying two pairs at a time, the costs can add up quickly. So I was very excited to see this morning that Robeez is knocking off up to 50% on select styles.

There are some really cute shoes and boots available, and as always, you get free shipping if you purchase two pairs or more. So take a look and see if there's any must-have footwear on sale that your peanuts must have!

If Robeez's sale prices are still a little steep for you, though, consider Bobux or Ministar shoes. The girls have worn all three brands and with the exception of some differences in washability, we've found them all to be great footwear options.

Happy Tuesday and happy shopping, y'all!

Quick question...

I have in my possession approximately 475 lbs. (give or take 474.5 lbs.) of peppermint candy in various shapes and sizes thanks to the cornucopia that is Christmas. Any ideas for what I can do with it?

Thanks in advance for your minty-fresh help!

And she's back!

As my house is still dripping with boughs of holly and Santa-hatted creatures of all shapes and sizes, it seems odd to say that the holidays are over, but since yesterday was Epiphany, I guess I'm going to have to face the fact that Christmas is once again 11-and-a-half months away. And while I'll miss the heightened goodwill and eggnog, a year-long wait might be just what I need right now, as I'm gonna' need a few months to get over a rather unpleasant, eye-opening yuletide revelation.

What was this jarring realization, you ask? Simply put, I am now a Mom, and Christmas (or any other holiday/occasion that requires a lot of preparation and effort) can really be rough on a Mom.

Between my posts here and on facebook, my longing for even a smidge of Christmas Spirit during the holiday buildup was well-documented (once again, sorry for the repetition). Happily, I can report that on Christmas Eve, when everything was done and the girls were blissfully covering their beautiful velvet dresses with cookie crumbs, the spirit finally took over and I ended up really enjoying the final week of 2009. But as I reflected on my not-so-merry countdown to December 25th--hoping to figure out how I could prevent the same thing from happening in the future--I, quite unexpectedly, had a full-on "I'm The Mom" revelation.

Of course, this wasn't my first Christmas as a Mom, but for Yuletide 2008, the girls were perfectly content to lounge on their play mats or sway in their swings while I decorated the tree, baked cookies and wrapped presents. This year, however, the girls were slightly more interactive, happily unrolling countless tubes of wrapping paper, tearing up Christmas cards to their hearts' content and de-decorating the tree every chance they got. And all of that was awesome--really! Some of my happiest memories of this Christmas are the visions of my sugarplums exploring, enjoying and dismantling everything the holiday had to offer. But the energy it took to keep up with my peanuts and prepare a festive celebration that met my grandiose expectations meant that I spent a lot of the season in a less-than-jolly frame of mind.

I know I'm not alone in this struggle--looking back on my childhood, I can remember lots of special occasions when my mom ran around like a chicken with her head cut off, trying to ensure that everything was perfect and everyone was happy. She'd finally have a chance to sit down and let out a sigh of relief during the event in question--be it a birthday, holiday or dinner party--only to be up and running shortly thereafter, cleaning up and putting the compulsory party paraphernalia away. If I haven't said it recently, Wizard, thank you for being the best mom ever! :-)

Judging from the facebook status updates posted the week of December 21st, most of my friends were caught up in the same kind of holiday rigmarole, frantically trying to get one more batch of cookies baked, send out a few more Christmas cards, find the perfect gift for Uncle Mel, get the dog to the vet after it ate Grandma Rose's fruit cake, and so on. But as I've said before, I do not subscribe to the belief that misery loves company--I don't want my friends and family zipping around like decapitated poultry any more than I want myself to be.

So where does all this reflection and introspection get us? Do we pinky swear that we'll give ourselves a break when it comes to life's landmark occasions? That we'll focus more on the meaning of the event than on the menu and decorations? I know that's a gross oversimplification of life's realities--it's the rule rather than the exception that if Mom/Wife/Daughter/Sister doesn't take care of things, a lot of special moments would simply pass by unnoticed. I think for my own sanity and contentment, however, I'll try to take it a little easier at holiday time from now on. Maybe I'll switch to eChristmas cards next year, or cut back on the number of perfect stocking stuffers I want to find. And maybe, instead of waking up early on Sunday mornings to scour the newspaper for sale circulars, I'll wake up early and go to church--after all, personal enrichment is vastly preferable to the depletion of our bank account. :-) All it takes is a little self-awareness and a slight adjustment of expectations...

Speaking of expectations, has anyone been to recently? They've posted instructions on how to make your own candy jewels for Valentine's Day!!! They would look just beautiful on a from-scratch, four-tiered, fondant-enrobed Valentine's cake, don't you think? Now all I have to do is find the perfect cake recipe, buy the right pans, learn how to make fondant, watch a few episodes of Ace of Cakes, make the candy jewels and I'll be set!



Creative Commons License by Erin H. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Site Meter