25 or 6 to 4

does anybody really know what time it is? does anybody really care?

today, I'd like to discuss what the hell is going on with pops. I am an avid cereal eater, and I have started buying boxes for work and eating that instead of a bagel or toast or whatever. anyways, so my m.o. with eating cereal is that I can't eat too much of any one cereal or I get bored, so I never buy the same kind in back to back purchases, or even in the same month if I can help it. having gone through cocoa pebbles, vanilla creme (how I hate that spelling) mini wheats, froot loops, golden grahams, frosted chex, chocolate lucky charms, and cracklin oat bran, I was looking for the next logical cereal step. I was at target buying flat fruit and I noticed a span of yellow pops boxes. I had already put a box of cocoa puffs in my cart, but I like to have choices in the morning, so I figured I'd pick up a box of pops, too. so I go to pick one out, and there are 3 different boxes. one was the old fashioned (aka, circa 2005) yellow box, and 2 were these pops-wallpapered monstrosities with POPS emblazoned on them in different typefaces. wtf is this?

naturally, the box selection, if there is more than one style of box, comes down to which one has the better games/prize/offer. but now with these pops boxes, there's also a question of typeface. so I chose the 80s looking one with the ice age 2 prize. (meanwhile, it says "FREE FLYER by mail" - which, I know they mean frisbee, but to say it like that, it sounds so fucking cheap. a flyer? aka a scaled down poster? what kind of prize is that? and by mail no less.) anyways, so I get the box to work and open it, and notice on the side of the box, it says:

to the bold, new look of
Kellogg's POPS.
3 unique boxes that
reflect YOUR bold,
individual style &
attitude. We are PROUD
of our look, but more
we are proud of our....
"Big Yellow Taste"

followed by pictures of 4 boxes (one is coming soon - I cannot wait) of pops. the first one looks sort of early 90s red typeface, and it is captioned "gaming". the second is a little more jazzy, with arrow heads on the loopy part of the P's, and I suppose looks sort of like graffiti. it is captioned "hip hop". the third, which is the one I actually have, is 80s-inspired early pong-graphic-y letters, and is inexplicably called "snow". the fourth, which I mentioned is coming soon, (one has to wonder exactly what the hold up was with this one - maybe the others were just so good they wanted to get them out there as quickly as possible) is more of an angular graffiti-like font and is called "skate". you can see them all on the kellogg's website here. you'll have to click on each category, though, to see the changed font.

the short version of my question is WHY? the longer version is much more complicated. sugared cereal is usually marketed to kids under 14, though lately, some general mills branded sugared cereals, like cinnamon toast crunch, are trying to capitalize on the largely underrepresented segment of adult consumers. (there are lots of us sugared cereal eaters that are over 14.) no one has really been marketing to teens - not really, anyways. you see some teens in commercials for cereal, but I think that's more of a "eat this cereal, just like this older cool kid that you want to be like" kind of thing. it's not really targeted to teens. but hip hop, gaming, and skate clearly are. I have no idea about snow - maybe they are also trying to access the untapped teen cocaine user market, or maybe canadians. weird, but whatever, I have to guess that they did market research and this is what it told them to do: market to teen boys.

but then simultaneously, the language they're using here - "bold", "style", "attitude" - while clearly not for the under 14 set, isn't really for the teen set either. it's kind of for the adults. and it seems so desperate. "we are PROUD of our look." it's like they got the focus group results back and found out everyone thinks the new boxes are stupid but they are so in love with their great branding idea that they do it anyway and now feel they have to justify it. let's not even get into what "big yellow taste" means, because that's even beyond this crazy targetting thing they have going on.

layer that on top of the aforementioned ice age 2 "free flyer" (by mail) - a KIDS movie - and it's like...dude. you're just cereal. no one expects you to be all things to all ages, especially just on your box. pick a demo and run with it. I loved you back when you told me, with a burst of pops from the O, that I gotta get....pops. I know times change, but this is ridiculous. and fucking with the logo of a brand, especially in 4 iterations (and even moreso when fucking with it in 4 iterations isn't part of a stupid contest) is like cereal shark-jumping. I hate it.

that aside, and that's alot to put aside...who the HELL did they use to write that copy? first, they want me to believe that my choice of cereal is an extension of who I am. okay, that's what they do, assign some sort of grandiose meaning to what I decide to stick in my shopping cart. but to further assess my choice in box as a unique way to reflect my bold, individual style? and my attitude? and then to actually write that out and print it on the box? when all I fucking want is to eat my cereal and maybe do a fun maze??

christ, these pops. anyways, they were good.

have a great weekend. nicole and mark and noah return tonight!


because you're all wondering, I'm sure

just how are the members of the milliceccobach household doing today?

well, since you're dying to know:

sean: well, I guess he's fine. we see each other rarely anymore. and when we are together, we're dividing and conquering. we really need to get a sitter or something or just make time to start talking to each other again.

trent: developing an attitude. yesterday, he didn't have school baseball practice, but he DID have connie mack league practice. he left his baseball stuff in his homeroom and didn't bother to mention it until 4pm. so sean had to drive him back to school, and luckily the janitor was there to let him into the room. he acted like it was no big deal. I tried to tell him that if that were me, my mother would have said "tough beans" and I wouldn't have gotten to go to practice, let alone go get my stuff. that happened often with books I left at school - if I left them, it was my problem. of course I don't want to do that to trent, but on the other hand, it pisses me off when he acts so entitled to one of us jumping up to rescue him. that's the tough part of parenting an older child...the balance of teaching without leaving him to twist in the wind.

bella: completely and utterly cranky. the dog bumps into her, she crumbles to the floor in a teary heap. you tell her she can't watch bubbies, she crumbles to the floor in a teary heap. you put the wrong piece of broccoli on her plate (not that one, THAT one) and she crumbles to the floor in a teary heap. and once she's on the floor, forget trying to pick her up. then she goes into kick and scream mode. I realize she doesn't feel well, but it's ridiculous. other than that, she's taken to being the boss of our dog, maggie. she tells maggie where to go and when to stop, which is often. maggie won't be doing anything at all and bella will say "NO, maggie!" she's also taken to saying "come here" to anyone she wants to follow her. so the conversation with maggie goes thusly:

bella: comere, madgy!
maggie: [slowly comes over]
bella: GOOGIRL! GOOGIRL! (good girl)
maggie: [tail sort of wags]
bella: NO, POOSH! NO!
maggie: [looks at me wearily]

that poor dog.

me: I am a mess. I thought it was allergies but I think I have a spring cold. which sucks big time. I went through an entire box of tissues yesterday. it's just neverending snot.

and that, my friends, is all. how about you? what are you up to?


I am meekly waving hi

oh god. I'm so sorry. I'm such a slacker.

here's a few reasons why: work is picking up both in terms of work itself and drama, and...well that's all.

guess what? bella's got a double ear infection. what's that you say? didn't she get tubes to stop that from happening? why yes! yes, she did. so, 10 days of antibiotics via mouth that will screw up her digestion, give her diaper rash, and cause her to be very unhappy. not to mention trying to actually give her the medicine. seriously, when I heard that she had them and has to take medicine, I just about cried myself. I just can't believe we have to go through it again. what's it been, a month?

ay yi yi. well, on the plus side, she's been doing alot of cute stuff. like fake sneezing ("ah-CHOO!") and then blessing herself ("bleshu!"). it started out as imitating me, as I sneeze on average about 10 times a day, more when it's allergy season. which is every season, but it waxes and wanes.

what I have also been noticing is that she is not a snuggler. it's amazing to me how different she is from trent. trent still likes to snuggle up, give me hugs, hold him when he's upset. for the most part, anyways. but bella? she doesn't snuggle in bed (which is one of my fondest memories of trent's baby and toddlerhood - our snuggling at night) and she doesn't like having anyone's arm around her uninvited. she doesn't always give hugs or kisses and she prefers to rub her own head, not have you rub it for her. she even started kissing her own boo-boos. not to say that she's not a loving child - she is, as witnessed by her bubbies and the two baby dolls she cares for every day - she just isn't a touchy feely kid. I'm a little disappointed, because as trent gets older and the snuggling gets more infrequent, I thought I'd have the snuggles with bella to ease that loss. who knows, maybe she'll become a snuggler..but I should get used to the idea that maybe she's just not like that.

anyway. gotta run. time's up!


it's so quiet...

I'll try to post more later, but I'm a little blue. nicole's going away to jamaica for a week, and both of my work friends are out today. jarrett will be out all week next week too. so much of a bummer. I rely on these people to get me through the week! lucky for me, I have the blogosphere. so you'll probably see more of me next week.

I'm also helping to throw 2 different showers - one baby, one wedding - so I've been pretty busy. sorry for slackin.

talk to you real soon, promise.


I wanna easta egg, I wanna easta egg, I wanna easta egg

which reminds me, I want the dvd of the "golden years" of looney toons.

10 minutes to post.

it was a good weekend, for the most part. saturday, I helped trent's dad plant stuff in his "front yard" - which is really a large flower bed. we planted creeping evergreen thingies and some red pansies. he just has to mulch and it'll look great. of course, my house looks like shit. but I scratched his back and so my turn is coming.

saturday afternoon was...I love sean's family and all but...horrendous. first of all, we got there early and it was more obvious than usual that sean's sister in law's family doesn't care about sean's side of the family at all. in fact, when sean went outside at one point to get trent and bella, and he had to walk through a tables of her family, not only did they not say a word in response to him saying hello to them, it got dead silent. like they couldn't speak AT ALL if he were there, let alone to answer his polite question. but the biggest pain in the ass was that we found out that jo-anne didn't come and didn't give a reason. the consensus is that it was because we were there. which may or may not be true. but if it is...man. missing your grandchild's birthday party because your son, who got mad at you for asking to return a christmas present, is there...that's insanity. so I feel like I have to stop the insanity, because I don't think it's fair for anyone to feel like they have to either invite us to things or invite her. it's ridiculous.

so anyways, after that atrocity, we went to franklin mills and then to find plastic eggs on easter eve. needless to say, it didn't go well. we got a bunch of oddly-shaped yellow eggs with various kinds of smiley faces on them. luckily, sean found our original egg stash, so we had plenty to hide.

on easter, bella did a phenomenal job of finding eggs. she even found eggs that I had hidden for trent, inside baskets and on shelves. we had to hide eggs several times that morning. she loved it. dinner was okay - a bit expensive, as trent decided (and we allowed him) to have surf & turf at market price, not knowing what market price is. (it's $52.) bella had the run of the 200-year-old inn, and she's lucky she's cute, because she was really running. she looked darling in a white pinafore dress, green crocheted (at first I typed "crotched") sweater, and pink leggings and these shoes. trent looked so much like a little man - he was wearing dress pants and a yellow pinstriped oxford. my kids. so cute.

in other news, I have horrible cramps and I guess I have to clear the air with jo-anne. so..wish me luck. time's up.


helping you put good food on the table

I was on my way to work yesterday when I heard another commercial for foodstamps. they've been running them alot lately, trying to let people (mostly seniors) know that they could be eligible for food stamps even if they have an income. I try to ignore them. yesterday, though, they said something that jarred something in me and I had a very emotional response. they said that they have done away with paper food stamps and now have a card with a pin number that you can use like a debit card.

I think I had an emotional response because getting food stamps at the bank with a voucher and using them at the grocery store was one of the most humiliating things I have ever gone through. you could only redeem your voucher for food stamps at certain banks on certain days within certain hours, and only at one certain window. that teller knew they were on food stamp duty and they'd always be awful. once in a while, I'd get someone who was more sympathetic, but most of the time, they would just be angry that they had to pay for my food...I know, because I'd been told that by the tellers themselves.

the grocery store was worse, because not only would the cashier know you were using food stamps, but the people behind you knew too. it didn't help that I also was using WIC (Women Infants and Children, a program in pennsylvania that provides free food to, well, women, infants, and children) and since only certain kinds of milk, cheese, and cereal were covered, and things weren't sophisticated enough in the grocery store to have the computer tell you whether something was WIC-approved, the cashier would just hate me because she'd have to look it all up in the WIC book to make sure it was covered. and the whole thing took forever, while I tried to entertain trent after having shopped for a long time. I'm not sure if the cashier was more annoyed or the people behind me.

so, I guess my response to the fact that they FINALLY started using cards was that maybe those people using food stamps were finally able to hold their head up higher when they went shopping. and they didn't have to deal with exasperated bank tellers anymore. I will never forget the little booklets of different colored "money", though...I always thought they looked kind of like european money.


bella has a huge scrape, bump, and bruise on her head. apparently yesterday, she was playing outside in the blue car and when she got out, she tripped and hit her head on the concrete. it looks nasty. seriously nasty. like, I wondered if she could have a concussion. of course, she didn't. it's right at her hairline and she forgets it's there and keeps hurting it. she likes to rub her own head (she'll push your hands away if you try) when she's nursing, rocking in the rocking chair, or drinking a bottle of milk. it helps relax her. but she keeps running her hand over the scrape and hurting herself, poor kid. if you ask her what is on her head, she says "bump." it hasn't slowed her obsession with bubbies, though. I hear "tinky winky, dipsy, la la, po!" in my DREAMS lately.


a look back, a look forward

I am giving myself 15 minutes to blog today.



last weekend, I spent saturday shopping for bridesmaid dresses again for my niece nichole's wedding in august. I think I mentioned before that the other bridesmaids (we're down to 3 of us now) are lithe, young, and skinny. but like a recent comment made on nicole's blog from boobecca, MY BOOBS ARE BIGGER. we picked out 3 different dresses that reflect our own tastes (jackie's was befitting a tan jersey girl, melissa's was demure with spaghetti straps, and mine was black pants and a sweater...well, actually, hid my stomach better than the others and had wider straps to accommodate my rack) but they were all the same color. now, I love my niece and I am so happy to be in this wedding, but THE DRESSES. they are FUSCHIA. I can't even fucking SPELL fuschia. bottom line, I need to get tan this summer or I am going to look like...I don't even know what I'm going to look like. a white whale encased in something fuschia.

then on sunday, after nichole and her fiance went back to virginia, I went back up to my sister's and made shower favors with denise, melissa, jackie, my mom, and nichole's fiance's mom tammy. my job was peeling off the stickers from the bottom of the votive candle holders. it was also my mom's birthday and my youngest niece chelsea's birthday was the day before, so we had cake. chelsea is 14 and sullen, so I saw her all of 5 minutes, just enough time for her to open my present to her. and then denise mentioned my blog to my mom, who now wants to read it.

I ignored her.

so, this weekend coming up, we are going to baby brigid's big sister mollie's 4th birthday party at sean's brother brion's house. all that convolutedness means that WE WILL BE SEEING SEAN'S MOTHER, JO-ANNE. for the first time since the whole "don't forget, you only have one mother, but I have 3 other sons" debacle after christmas. I did tell you about that, right? seriously, neither of us has spoken to her since december. it will be AWKWARD. especially since sean wants no parts of forgiving her.

real quick bella news: favorite words are YUCK! and yeah. I'm glad she is now using yeah instead of answering "no" to everything. bella, do you want a cookie? yeah. do you want to watch bubbies? yeah. do you love mommy? NO! oh well.

time's up. catch you later.


picture pages

back by popular demand. brought to you by the napping of bella an hour before the sopranos start.

first up, virginia beach. there's not much more to tell about my trip, other than the weather was cold, the beach was a little depressing (cue "boys of summer" playing in the background), and I tooled around norfolk, which seems like a sleepy town on sundays. I didn't even stick around for breakfast on monday (because sunday's buffet was horrid) and so I got on the road early, taking rt 13 all the way up DelMarVa. the end.

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my luxury room at the founder's inn

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closeup of the infamous wallpaper

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closeup of the bathroom wallpaper

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"THIS is my room?"

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begging for a caption

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silented ride pier

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where the chesapeake bay and the atlantic ocean collide

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sandy feet

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downtown norfolk

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ole pete takes a break in a flood zone

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chesapeake bay bridge tunnel

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where the south ends

and here are some other pictures...

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today is my mom's 63rd birthday.

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bella meets her new cousin, brigid

until next time...


virginia beach in 11 minutes or less

I have 11 min...make that 10 minutes to post today. DOUBLE YESTERDAY! woo.

so I never really went into detail about my VA trip. of course, the pictures are still locked inside my camera, but I'll share some random quips about the trip and the journey.

I set off after lunch on saturday, after dropping bella off with noah at casa de eggerts. it was dreary but I was ready for the drive. I did mostly interstate driving until getting into delaware. I got off 95 and onto scenic route 13. first place I stopped (having to pee and being hungry) was a super walmart. I had never been. I was just flabbergasted. it was HUUUUUUGE. I bought a skirt, earrings, a cheeseburger, a bag of chips, some milano cookies (pepperidge faaaahm remembehs), and a new eyebrow pencil. all at the same time. which isn't that big of a deal - you can do that at any walmart - but I could have also gotten raw chicken.

anyways, route 13 is really interesting. as you drive down through delaware and into the DelMarVa peninsula (so named because the peninsula is shared by delaware, maryland, and virginia) you see the difference between the top of the peninsula and the bottom. and the bottom ain't pretty. I was sometimes aghast at the conditions people were living in as I got into the "eastern shores" of virginia.

then, my favorite part: the chesapeake bay bridge tunnel. 20+ miles of bridges and 2 tunnels. something for every phobia - long stretches only several hundred feet above water, long stretches inside dark, stuffy tunnels. $12 (non ez-pass) of toll-roady goodness. I love it.

then, I was in virginia beach. I found my alleged 4-star hotel, the founder's inn, right along the highway, a good 20 minutes (by car) away from the beach. not quite what I had in mind. I tooled around the beach on sunday and then, as it was freezing and a little sad, I went into the city of norfolk. I found myself on a one way street that dead-ended in a parking garage (that you had to pay to get into) for a mall. so I went 300 miles away to go to a mall. I did buy a book and did some window shopping before heading back to my "hotel".

time's up. I'll tell you more about it tomorrow, including what I saw at the beach and how I spent my evenings.


how much can I blog in 5 mins?

I have ... well now make it 4 mins to blog. let's see how much I can cram in.

first. I found out today that my cousin passed away. cousin in law, I'd guess you say. my cousin's husband. we haven't been close in many years, but we were when I was growing up. he was in his 40s and so it was quite a shock. that area of the family has already been through hell.

bella and sean are both sick with...sorry steve, if this is TMI about sean...diarrhea. I hope they are both better by tomorrow not only to save our schedule from being derailed, but because I want them both to feel better. I don't feel those emotions in that order. I'm pressed for time, is all.

2 mins left.

I slept more than I was awake on saturday. I had 3 naps and then went to bed at 8 without having eaten dinner. I felt sick to my stomach at dinnertime on friday, saturday, AND sunday. and I can't seem to gather any energy. if I didn't know better, I'd think I was pregnant.

BUT I KNOW BETTER and I am not.

one more minute.

bella quickly became addicted to teletubbies over the weekend. she sings the song and asks incessantly for "bubbies". it was the first thing she asked for when she woke up this morning. it had me thinking that perhaps we will put a TV in our room with a dvd player and some bubbies dvds simply so I can get ready in peace in the morning.

time's up.

I'll catch you tomorrow.