Monday, February 28, 2011

Diapers for 7¢?


We all know people who spend tons of TIME finding the best DEALS. They clip coupons, look for deals and end up having the Target clerk give THEM money. I am not that mom. Not even close. I don't have that much time. I wish I did but I don't. However, I am learning to spot deals that are worth the time.

Have you seen those 20% or $10 off Amazon.com coupons in parenting magazines? I used to get them but haven't seen them in awhile. Then I came across a deal on a blog called Discount Queens with the headline "Hot! 204 Pampers Diapers Shipped for $12.26 or less." I was hooked.

***Warning: This entire process will take about an hour to complete. Proceed if you dare!***

People sell their Amazon coupon codes on eBay. Once you purchase the coupons the seller will email your codes within an hour (I got mine within 15 minutes!) The deal I’ve listed below use (2) 20% off Codes and (1) $10 Off Code. You can buy these 3 codes on eBay for between $9-12. This may sound expensive when you see the total savings you'll understand this is an AMAZING deal! I bought Pampers but you can buy any brand.

Be sure you buy (1) 20% off code that starts with YJ and (1) 20% coupon code that starts with YT. Some eBay sellers tell you which code they are selling but you may have to ask.

Here's a copy of my receipt:

Item: Pampers Baby Dry Diapers Economy Plus Pack, Size 5, 156 Count    $40.88
20% off coupon                         -$8.18
$10 off coupon                         -$10.00
20% off coupon                        -$8.18
Subscribe & Save 30% off    -$12.26 
Final price: $2.26 (Plus $13.42 in codes = $11.16 (only 7¢ per diaper!)

Important notes:
  • You need to make sure you buy (1) 20% off code that starts with YJ and (1) 20% coupon code that starts with YT
  • Make sure you sign up for Subscribe & Save  to save 30% on your order.
  • You can only use the 20% off coupons and $10 coupons once per account (you can use all 3 codes in on transaction but you can only complete 1 transaction per account). So if you have more than one set of these codes, you’ll need to create a new account for each order.
  • Check the expiration dates-I purchased codes that expire 3/31/11.
A huge thanks goes out to Discount Queens for sharing this amazing deal!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weekly Wow: 3 Redbox Rentals for only $1!



Ok, so I really like Groupon. What's not to like? You really can save A LOT of money if you purchase deals for things you would buy anyway. Get your Groupon!

Now until 11:59pm EST on Tuesday, March 1st you can get 3 Redbox Rentals for only $1. And you don't have to rent three movies at the same time; you can redeem across visits. If you haven't tried Redbox you really are missing out. You must have seen them--they are cute red boxes located inside grocery stores, Walmart and Walgreens.

How it works:
  • You can rent at a kiosk or avoid the pressure and reserve your movie online so it is waiting for you.
  • Every movie is $1 a night. Incredible. If you forget to return it you will be charged an additional $1 per night.
  • You can return the movie at any Redbox location. Again, so neat.

The fine print:
  • Offer expires Jun 1, 2011. Can redeem across visits.
  • Includes Oscar-nominated movies.
  • Limit 1 per person, may buy 2 additional as gifts.

Get your Groupon!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Please Like Me....Please?



Mommyhood in Madison is on Facebook!

If you like what you see, can you please take a minute to "Like" me? Please?

Ok, great. Thanks. Here's the link!

Target + Dr. Seuss = Free Storytime Today!

 

Load the kids in the SUV and head on over to Target. After you stock up on soap and beer take advantage of a free story hour. From 9am-11am you'll hear some Dr. Seuss favorites and get some coupons. Sounds like a great Saturday morning to me!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Family Adventure in Chicago

The minute Jason accepted his new job I told him we are going somewhere during his week off. The Dells? Naah, we had already taken c there three times. And he's only 19 months old. I can't remember who suggested Chicago but it was perfect. It was about time c saw where it all started. Sure, we couldn't take him to Cherry Red, the cheesy Lakeview nightclub where we met nine years ago because, sadly, it was closed. But we could show him the sights.

I went to Hotwire and found a 4 star hotel for $80. Sweet. We got The Allerton Hotel, on Michigan Avenue (the Magnificent Mile), an historic hotel in the middle of everything. I suggested we stay two nights because by the time you pack everything we need for c and drive almost three hours it was time to come home. Plus, we could take advantage of the time and see our friends.

The first stop was the Shedd Aquarium. I went there for the first time with my sister, Kim, and my niece, k when I was laid off in 2004. It was a great time to explore the city! The only memory that stands out is the amazing dolphin show. Unfortunately we got there at 2 pm and the shows were sold out. But it didn't matter. I expected to get in free for the Community Discount Day but this didn't include the really cool exhibits like the Caribbean Reef. Imagine a 90,000-gallon circular floor-to-ceiling exhibit with turtles, sharks and more. It was remarkable. Breathtaking. Usually I am distracted with whether or not c is having fun but I didn't care--I was having too much fun myself!



We then headed to the Polar Play Zone where I dressed c as a penguin. Here he is playing on the rock structure. It would look pretty authentic if it wasn't for the jeans and shoes. And the penguin exhibit was awesome! There were penguins everywhere. My mom loves penguins so I took lots of pictures. They were adorable. We also got to see the dolphins. I guess they were in-between shows. It was so peaceful to watch--I could have stood there forever. Ironically they had booths along the wall where a man was working. It was blissful.

If you go:
I can't believe I didn't see this on the website! The Shedd is offering a special deal for everyone who weathered the storm: Buy one Shedd Pass, get one free. Valid until February 28, 2011. Print your coupon.


Next stop: Chicago Children's Museum at Navy Pier with our friends Leah and o. c and I got there first and made our way to the Chicago Fire Department exhibit. It was hilarious! First, I put c in a fireman's coat to really get into the spirit. It is used as a teaching tool to show children what to do in case of a fire. c may be little but he knew exactly what to do when he got to the room with the pretend fire. They had gray netting to simulate smoke coming down from the ceiling so kids would be forced to crawl through. And c did exactly that.

c plays along in the "Get Low and Go" bedroom

Then we headed over to the WaterWays exhibit complete pumping water, squirting water, wheels and pipes. We followed the other children's lead by putting on a little raincoat but it didn't matter. C was soaked. Luckily, I have been carrying a change of clothes in my diaper bag since c was a baby. We had a ball splashing in the water and playing with little boats and rubber duckies. It was fun to watch the older children turn a huge water wheel to show how people have been generating energy for years.

Besides sightseeing c had a great time just strolling around the big city. He loved looking up at the big flags and building and watching the traffic. He was really excited about seeing fire trucks, too. Sad but he loves the sirens.


We met up with our friend, Emily, and her boys at Rainforest Cafe. Leah and o came, too. What a zoo! Picture a huge hotel ballroom with round tables and kids everywhere. I told a server they must really love kids to work here. She agreed enthusiastically. The food is average at best but the scenery is pretty spectacular. The gorillas are really life-like and freaked me out. Warning: The 'thunder storm' happens every 22 minutes. Our four-year-old dining companion was scared and wanted to leave before the next storm. c was brave but he wanted me to hold him. I can't blame them--it freaked me out!
Plan a Trip to Chicago
I get so sad when I hear Wisconsinites bash the Windy City. They complain about the traffic, the expense, the drive down south. I get all of that. But there are alternatives! You could take a bus or train to the city to avoid driving. Once you get there you can take cabs or The El train. As for the expense, you are right, Chicago is expensive. But you can plan a visit during off-peak times like we did to find deals on hotel rooms. And then search the web for deals like the Shedd BOGO I mentioned above.

Have you taken a family trip to Chicago? Please tell us about YOUR adventures on our Facebook page!

$16 for an Oil Change!

What? $16 for an oil change at West Town Monona Tire (453 S Gammon Rd., Madison)? Woo Hoo! That's a $32 value. I just bought mine. But hurry! You must purchase your Groupon by Saturday!

Get your Groupon!

The fine print:

  • Additional charge for SUVs and larger vehicles. 
  • Expires Aug 27, 2011
  • Limit 1 per person, may buy 2 additional as gifts. Limit 1 per visit. Valid only for regular oil change. Additional charge for premium or synthetic oil.  
  • Must use in 1 visit. Tax and gratuity not included. Not valid with other offers.
Get your Groupon!

    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    Amazing Hy-Vee Hot Deals: Thursday Only!


    Have you been to HyVee yet? It's like a little community in there---Caribou Coffee, Klinke Cleaners, a food court and more. 

    And these deals are too good to pass up. But remember, they are good for Thursday, February 24 ONLY!

    Era 2X Liquid Laundry Detergent
    96 Loads/150 ounces
    $6.48

    Charmin Ultra Soft
    9 large rolls
    $3.88

    Campbell's Tomato or Chicken Noodle Soup
    39 cents each
    (Limit 4)
    and more!

    Hy-Vee
    3801 East Washington Avenue, Madison WI

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    Monday, February 21, 2011

    Sunday, February 20, 2011

    WE LOVE ELMO!

    I think--okay, I know I enjoyed seeing Elmo more than c at the Kids' Expo this weekend. I think he was a little scared of the red guy. As we walked away I said, "We're your biggest fans!" A big thanks to Learning Express Toys for bringing him along!

    Organics on the Cheap(er)

    There are certain foods I like to buy organic...and most of them are for c. I used to always think organic = healthy but yogurt changed this for me. My friend, Anne, and I were talking about limiting sugar in our son's diet. I told her I couldn't believe how much sugar was in Stonyfield Yo Baby yogurt. Now hear me out--I give my kid sugar--but my theory is he will get sugar in plenty of other foods (Oreos) and doesn't need it in healthy foods like yogurt. I would rather buy plain yogurt and add fruit myself. I know a lot of people would prefer to buy organic food but money is an obstacle. So I have made it my mission to find the best deals on organics. Here are a couple examples:

    Horizon Organic Whole Milk plus DHA Omega-3

    I love this Horizon milk because it has DHA for brain development.

    Woodman's: $3.39
    Walmart: $3.98
    Target: $3.79

    Earth's Best Snacks for Toddlers Walmart: $2.19Woodman's: $2.79
    I started buying Earth's Best when c started eating solids. I really love their products AND the company. I opened a jar of baby food that was obviously bad and emailed them. A customer service rep got back to me immediately and sent me several coupons for free and discounted products. Awesome! They have several products including cereal bars c loves. I wish they had less sugar but there are worse snacks out there for kids!



    Annie's Macaroni and Cheese-5 Single Servings
    Target: $4.19

    I am lucky c loves the taste of sharp cheddar like me. I discovered this Annie's convenient food and have been in love ever since. It's only 75% organic but that's good enough for me. Try it!
     

    Friday, February 18, 2011

    Weekend Line-Up!

    Madison Kids Expo
    Saturday, February 19 and Sunday, February
    20

    10:00am-4:00pm 

    Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center
    1919 Alliant Energy Center Way

    Breaking News!
    Elmo will be making an appearance at the Learning Express Toys booth both Saturday and Sunday. They haven't released an exact time so be on the alert!

    Standard Admission:  Adults $5; Children $3 (kids under 2 are free!)
    With Charter Communications discount coupon:
    Adults $2; Children $1
    Sign up for the discount coupon!

    More info



    Rooftop Icicle Festival
    Saturday, February 19
    11:00am-2:00pm

    Madison Children's Museum
    (100 N. Hamilton St.)

    Bundle up and head to the rooftop of the new Children's Museum to make snow sculptures and snow-cones, learn about the sun’s energy and much more!

    No registration required; free for members or with museum admission.

    More info



    Madison Winter Festival
    Saturday, February 19 and Sunday, February 20
    Downtown Madison

    Head downtown for the Frosty Kids' Fun Run, Snow Carving Contest, an Ice Sculpture event and much more!

     
    Shrine Circus

    Yep, you've heard the commercials. The circus is in town!
    Friday, February 18th at 7:00pm
    Saturday,
    February 19th at 10:00am, 3:00pm and 7:00pm
    Sunday,
    February 20th  at 1:00pm & 5:00pm
    Alliant Energy  Center (1919 Alliant Energy Center Way)

    $16 General Admission/$18 Reserved Seats    
    (children under 1 are free)

     

    Kids in the Rotunda

    Saturday, February 19th
    9:30am, 11am and 1pm
    Overture Center
    FREE!

    One of the series’ most popular performers, Tom Pease engages children with imaginative songs and humor. Families around the world love his recordings, especially on long car trips! 

    More info

    No School? Take the Kids Out for a Day of Fun!

    Fired Up Pottery & Glass

    Take 25% off your total bill today, Friday 2/18!

    Glass fusing: Get 5 pendants for $27.25 with discount
    Paint a miniature picture frame $11.25 with discount

    4112 Monona Drive
    Hours: Monday to Saturday 9 am to 8 pm and Sunday 11 to 5






    Let your kids burn off some energy at Pop In Playtime!

    Schedule for Friday, February 18
    10:00 am - 11:30 am
    10:45 am - 12:15 pm
    1:00 pm   -  2:30 pm
    1:45 pm - 3:15 pm

    Admission is $8 per child (parents jump for free!)

    2911 Marketplace Drive, Fitchburg

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    Madison Women's Health: A Different Kind of Care

    I am constantly seeing posts on Moms in Madison for women looking for an ob/gyn. Well, stop the search. I have been to several doctor's offices in my adult life but have never seen a place like Madison Women's Health. You may have read that it offers delicious coffee in a state-of-the-art setting. But that's not why I went there. 

    I first saw Dr. Beth Wiedel (that's her up above in the bottom right corner) in 2006 after moving to Madison. My friend, Jenni, told me she went to Dr. Jenny Hackforth-Jones at Associated Physicians and loved her. I tried to see her but she wasn't accepting new patients. This lead me to Dr. Wiedel.

    I knew we would get along great after I found out we were both from Illinois. But it wasn't until I became pregnant that I found out what an amazing doctor she is. I came in to each appointment with a list of questions (those of you who know me are not surprised to hear this) and she took the time to really listen to me. I never felt rushed. I even joked that she probably dreaded my appointments but she said said she liked seeing me! I think some of my ridiculous concerns made her laugh. Unfortunately, she was on vacation when I went into labor. I knew she would be; that was my luck. But it gave me the chance to get to know the rest of the team, including Dr. Dickmeyer who delived c. When I was told Dr. Wiedel opened her own practice it was a no-brainer--I would follow these women anywhere.

    According to the website, "Madison Women’s Health, LLP is the dream of four experienced and respected women physicians in the area---to have a clinic devoted solely to women’s health care." It goes on to say, "We pride ourselves in taking the time to get to know you well enough that we can actually help you through the many aspects of your life."

    I know what you are thinking...all doctors say this. But this place means it. I am blown away by their level of service. The minute you walk in you feel relaxed--there is a quiet waiting room (with a kids' play area tucked away in the corner) and the receptionists greet you right away. I have been to the lab several times and have had the same person take my blood. Did you hear me? There weren't several lab techs and a waiting room full of people. You just ring the bell and a delightful redhead will greet you. You'll be in and out in minutes.  And the customer service doesn't stop there. If you need to speak with the doctor-on-call she will call you back after business hours. Don't believe me? I got a call at 8 pm on a Friday night.

    Have I convinced you? I hope so. They take the following insurance plans: Physicians Plus, Unity and Health EOS/Multiplan (including Aetna and WEA.)

    Madison's Women's Health
    5801 Research Park Blvd. Ste. 400, Madison, WI
     (Located on the near west side of Madison, near the Whitney Way exit off the Beltline.)

    For an appointment call (608) 729-6300.
    Visit the website
    See the full list of insurance carriers

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    Madison Kids Expo This Weekend


    I just found out the one-and-only Cookie Monster will be at the Madison Kids Expo this weekend. True, there will also be story telling and musical performances, and Bucky will be making an appearance, but Cookie sealed the deal for me and c.

    If you go:

    Madison Kids Expo
    Saturday, February 19 and Sunday, February
    20

    10:00am-4:00pm 

    Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center (1919 Alliant Energy Center Way)

    Standard Admission:
    Adults $5; Children $3 (kids under 2 are free!)

    With Charter Communications discount coupon:Adults $2; Children $1


    Parking: Unfortunately they don't include information on parking but Alliant's website cites a fee of $6.00 per car.

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Kids Eat Free at Chili's in February

    Head to Chili's on Feb. 15, 21 or 22 and children can eat free with the purchase of an adult entree. I called the Madison East Side location and the woman told me you have to sign up for the e-mail club to get the coupon.


    It says you get free chips and queso just for signing up. Dana-you are coming with me!

    Deal of the Week: Walgreens Diapers BOGO!

    Yep, you read it right. Buy 1 package of Walgreens brand diapers and get ONE FREE*! I have used these diapers and they work just fine...no leaks!

    Chose from:
    • 23 to 50 pack Jumbo Pack Diapers
    • 64 to 78 pack Wipes
    • 12 or 15 pack Sleep Pants
    • 19 to 26 pack Jumbo Pack Training Pants

    *of equal or lesser value

    Can purchase in-store or online.


    Also, you can get 4x6 prints for only 10 cents! 
    (Must purchase 75 prints or more.)
    Use the special code FIRST
    Editor's Note: It doesn't specify whether or not the prints need to be purchased online but I think that's the deal.

    Hurry! Both deals are only valid until 
    February 19, 2010!

    Saturday, February 12, 2011

    I have a logo!

    A huge thanks to Melissa Terrill for making a simple logo for my blog endeavor. Please take a moment to visit her non-profit's website: Mikayla's Grace. Melissa created the blog to help others who are affected by the devastating loss of their baby.

    $17 for a One-Year Family Membership at Henry Vilas Zoo


    I know what you are thinking. Why would I pay $17 for a membership ($35 value) if admission to the zoo is free? I'll admit it. I got so excited I purchased it before really thinking it through. But I a don't regret my purchase. Jason's grandfather, Clayton Dunn, was the chief-of-staff for Dane County and helped run the zoo. It will always be a special place for our family and I am excited to lend my monetary support.

    Still not convinced?

    Members h
    elp fund zoo expansion, outreach & renovation and also receive:

    • 10% off concessions and gift shop purchases
    • Free or discounted admission to many zoos and aquariums nationwide including Baraboo, Green Bay, Racine and Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago
    • Invitations to members-only events
    • Discounts at local merchants
    Zoo News four times each year
    • and much more!
      
    Haven't gotten your Groupon yet? Sign up now!



    Friday, February 11, 2011

    Celebrate Valentine's Day this Weekend!


    LOVE-song Sing-along with Carolynn Black
    Saturday, February 12th
    Performances at 10:30 am and 11:15am
    Happy Bambino (4116 Monona Drive)
    FREE!


    All songs in this interactive show include the word "LOVE!"   

    Coming up on Saturday, 2/19: Empowering Stories Story-Time with Laura Anderson

    Truly Remarkable Loon
    Saturday, February 12th
    Kids in the Rotunda-Overture Center

    Performances at 9:30am, 11am and 1pm
    FREE!

    Check out the stunts, sidesplitting comedy, gravity-defying plate spinning and spectacular juggling of Madison's craziest purple guy, the Truly Remarkable Loon!  From beanbag chairs to lamps to sporting equipment, if it isn't nailed down you can't stop the Loon from tossing it in the air in a hilarious juggling variety act that you and your family won't soon forget!

    More info


    Evening of Romance
    February 12, 2011

    Performances at 2pm and 7:30pm

    Capital Theater, Overture Center
    Tickets: $6 - $45

    Madison Jazz legend Jan Wheaton accompanies the beauty and intimacy of dance while lighting your inner fire on a cold winter's night. Whether you make it part of an evening on the town with that special someone or you attend with a friend or family member, we'll set the stage for a night to remember.

    More Info

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Madison Children's Museum: In a League of Its Own



    Parents just released their list of 10 Best Children's Museums for 2011 and the new Madison Children's Museum made the cut.

    Last August, I was one of the lucky ones to attend the Wonder Ball for the grand opening of the museum. Sure, the event was held outside--in the sweltering heat--but it was an amazing night and I was honored to be there. If you have only been to the old Children's Museum get that visual out of your head. The new museum is three times bigger and is a true work of art. Every detail has been carefully constructed with the Earth and small people in mind. It is a blast to see how they found a new home for abandoned items like an old gymnasium floor, salon hair dryer, phone booth, and much more.

    c playing the drums

     c in the Bone Bridge 

    My sister-in-law, Nicole, c and I went there shortly after the opening and were not disappointed. Nicole found a dress up area and put a cow vest on c and to our surprise he kept it on during the entire visit. We spent most of our time in the padded Wildernest exhibit, perfect for crawlers and new walkers. Then we went up on the roof to check out the children's garden and say hi to the chickens and pigeons. Bert would love it up there! Later we stopped by Bean Sprouts, a cafe that makes eating healthy fun for kids. And the food is delicious. (Editor's Note: The original Bean Sprouts in Middleton is now closed).

    When You Go

    Admission is $6.95 for children and adults, $5.95 for seniors and grandparents and free for kids under 1. You can also become a member. Discounts are available for adults and children utilizing WIC, Head Start, etc. If you're on a budget like me, plan a visit after 5:00pm on the first Thursday night of the month during Twilight Thursdays--when admission for everyone is free! There is a two-level parking lot with entrances on North Hamilton and East Dayton streets.  
    Madison Children's Museum
    100 N. Hamilton Street, Madison, WI 53703
    608.256.6445

    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    LivingSocial Deal: Legacy Academy

     
    LivingSocial is the newest 'daily great deal' guy in town. His brother, Groupon, came to Madison several months ago.

    Today's Deal:
    Get three Friday Parents' Night Out vouchers to Legacy Academy (2881 Commerce Park Drive, Suite G, Fitchburg) for $18 (a $36 value). Parents' Night Out is held the first Friday of each month. Available for children age 5-12 years old.

    -OR-

    Buy three general admission vouchers for open gym time for $7 (a $15 value). The open gym is available Monday-Friday between 10am-noon and between 12:30-2:30pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am-noon. Available for children age 1-12 years old.
     
    Get the Deal!

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    Meetup.com: A New Way to Meet People


    I think meeting new friends after college is like dating--but even more awkward. When I first moved to Madison over four years ago I wanted to meet my own friends. Sure, I had the luxury of hanging out with Jason's crew but I wanted to branch out. I was lucky enough to work with amazing people who quickly became my friends. But asking them to do something outside of work was so strange---it was like asking them out on a date! When I had c it was a little easier--I had a little person with me to give me the courage to initiate a conversation. I ordered free business cards from Vistaprint to give to potential clients and friends but I worried I sounded so desperate. "Here's my card," I would say to a cool mom. "We should have a play date sometime!" Nerd alert.

    I wish I would have known about Meetup back then. I first heard about the website when Madtown Moms of Madison signed up. Up until this point the group leader emailed members about five times a day with updated membership rosters and upcoming activities. It was a pain to get so many emails and I felt sorry for the woman who had to do all that work! I also joined the Madison Hip Mamas group. A few moms and I have started a weekly play date which I love!

    From the website
    ... Meetup is
    the world's largest network of local groups with over 7.2 million members. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. More than 2,000 groups get together in local communities each day, each one with the goal of improving themselves or their communities.


    I told my friend Jill about Meetup after she told me she was moving to Arizona. I explained that she could join a mom's group now and start going to activities once she moves. She has already signed up for two!

    Are you interested? Here are a few links to Madison meetups that you may want to join!



    Cooking Groups in Madison

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    Kids in the Rotunda: A Free Saturday Performance

     Children of the Sun

    Kids in the Rotunda
    Saturdays at 9:30 AM, 11 AM and 1 PM
    Overture Center for the Arts

    FREE!

    I can't stop telling people how lucky I am to be raising a child in Madison. I visit my parents in my hometown, DeKalb, IL, quite a bit and continue to be shocked at the lack of activities for children. I asked friends and searched the web only to find a one hour open gym on Fridays in nearby Sycamore and an occasional story hour at the library. [Sidenote: Today c and I ventured to the open gym only to be told it was canceled due to blizzard make-up classes. Lovely.] I am convinced stay-at-home moms in DeKalb are forced to literally stay home all the time.

    Anyway, the first time I went to Kids in the Rotunda I scanned the audience. It was like a popular happy hour for small people. Gleeful children were running around and tired parents were drinking coffee. I told the person next to me there was no way an adult would come here on a Saturday morning if they didn't have children. It was a madhouse. But very fun.

    Every Saturday morning from September-April the Overture Center presents Kids in the Rotunda, a diverse lineup of FREE local and regional musicians, storytellers, jugglers, theater troupes, magicians, and dancers. The 1 PM performance is sign language interpreted.

    If you haven't been to a show you really need to go. It's nice to have a Saturday activity during the long winter months and it's really fun. I have gone twice but grew tired of chasing c around the rotunda. We'll be back when he can sit still. At least for five minutes.

    Upcoming Performances

    February 5: Children of the Sun

    The first deaf and hard of hearing drum troupe in the country, Children of the Sun is a highly innovative African drumming troupe that aims to instill confidence and promote musical self-expression, appreciation and creativity while learning the discipline of music. 

    February 12: Truly Remarkable LoonCome see the wacky stunts, sidesplitting comedy, gravity-defying plate spinning and spectacular juggling of Madison's craziest purple guy, the Truly Remarkable Loon!  

    February 19: Tom Pease
    One of the series’ most popular performers, Tom Pease engages children with imaginative songs and humor. Families around the world love his recordings, especially on long car trips!  

    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    Dollar General: Have You Been There Lately?


    When I first went to a dollar store I think everything was $1. But that's not the case anymore. Sure I bought c a Pinky spongeball for $1 but most of the items I found mimicked Wal-Mart's prices.  

    Here are a few of my finds--all on sale!
    • 6 Pack of Dr. Pepper: $1.50
    • Era laundry detergent (150 oz.): $9
    • Hunt's Tomato Sauce (28 oz.): $1.50
    And this Saturday they are rewarding customers who stock up things like laundry supplies, toilet paper and pop with $5 off a $25 purchase. Oh, and they accept manufacturer coupons! Not too shabby.
     

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    Happy Bambino: A Mom's Paradise

     
     
    I think my family got tired of me saying the words "Happy Bambino" after c was born. Everytime I called them the store would pop up in conversation. I first went there to get Fenugreek, a herb that increases milk production, after a lactation consultant at Meriter Hospital recommended I give it a try. Due to my post-baby fog I didn't return until I enrolled c in Music Together when he was seven months old.  My sister, Kim, took my niece there and she loved it! It was a no-brainer--we were taking a music class. I figured Jason would cover sports (except baseball and the Cubs, that's my area) and I would introduce c to the arts. But it wasn't all about c--I needed to socialize with other moms. 

    The minute I walked through the doors--at their new location at 4116 Monona Drive--I realized there was something different about this  store. It wasn't JUST a store--it was an incredibly helpful resource for families. Not only do they sell locally-made products, green toys, books, organic food, and breastfeeding supplies but they offer classes for safe babywearing, cloth diapers, yoga, Music Together and even estate planning! They also offer parent and child play groups including a group for stay-at-home dads.

    The mission of Happy Bambino is "to provide a trusted source of information, adult interaction in a supportive community and access to smart, quality resources for pregnancy, birth and parenting."


    c the leprechaun playing a drum.

    c and I have been making music together with our instructor, Eliza, for almost a year now. Not only has it been a blast to watch c advance in his abilities we were lucky to meet our good friends Dana, Maisie, Jessica and Shamus. We all like one another so much we have been in the same class since day one! We also attended a playgroup until c started tripping over the babies.

    But the thing I love the most about Happy Bambino is that I feel at home there. Even if I have had a long, tiring day of parenting I know the minute I walk through their doors my attitude will change. The entire staff is helpful and warm; they provide information about cloth diapers, breast feeding and natural birth without forcing their beliefs on customers. 

    Need a baby shower gift? Having a baby? Then check out Happy Bambino.

    Just don't go today--it's closed due to the blizzard.