Rockmont Brewing

Our friend Anthony is the Master Brewer of Rockmont Brewing Co. and brews some fantastic beers. Though his operation is currently being housed in the closet of his guest bedroom, it's pretty great. He is currently deciding on a logo for his brew and left it up to a vote. Once "the people" decided on a logo, Matt threw his hat in the ring and is challenging the people's vote with what I think is a pretty nifty logo.

So, check out Anthony's site and vote for the logo that you think is best. I think you know which one we Hannemaniacs vote for, and I won't pressure you because this is Illinois and we vote cleanly and fairly. Right? Only 24 hours to vote!

Expect to see this beer on the shelves one day, people. The guys behind Fat Tire love it, you will too. And maybe we'll be able to see Matt's logo on the bottle.

So Maybe I'm a Bit Obsessed

When I saw the ad last night for the SEASON FINALE of So You Think You Can Dance I almost started crying. We're going to be out of town. I actually told Matt that we should consider postponing our departure to the next morning. "Really, you want to push back the one vacation we've had in two years over a tv show? Don't you think that's a bit ridiculous?" I said no, but inside I was saying "YES!"

I'm sure people have postponed travel for much more ridiculous reasons, right?


Dear Naked Lady

Dear Naked Lady in the Locker Room:

I get it, I get it, you're one with your body. You're doing bikram yoga and are feeling the inner peace and strong body vibes. That's cool. And usually I'm fine with locker room nakedness, but you have crossed the line.

Strolling around the locker room, striking up conversation with people in the buff is a bit uncomfortable. Somehow you missed out on the unwritten rule of limited eye contact while in the locker room buff. Did you notice I buried my face in my towel? Well, that wasn't because I almost passed out during class, it's because I was trying to avoid eye contact. You attempted eye contact and I looked away, which meant I didn't want to chat. Nor did I want you standing in front of me to do some post-class stretching. You could have kindly faced the wall, rather than me sitting on a bench.

It's kind that you insist other people shower before you, even when you are clearly the next person who should hop in. But, really, I'm onto you. You're just trying to prolong your locker room nakedness. And when the lady was looking for the brush and you pulled out the lost and found box to help her go through it... That was nice, too. But, did you notice how quickly she mentioned it wasn't a big deal, she'd just buy a new one. She could have been looking for a diamond and would have said the same thing just to get away from having to look through the box you're holding conveniently below your breasts.

These would all be easy enough to brush off. However, there is one vision I can't quite bleach from my brain. And that is of you crouched underneath the hand dryer. I assume you were drying off your body after being soaked in sweat, but have you thought about using a towel? Did you notice the location of the hand dryer? It's the first thing that people walk into upon entering the locker room. You did notice that, right? Because I assume that's why you were there drying off in a number of unfortunate positions. That, my friend, is where you crossed the line.



Last Month of Year One

I can't believe we're in the last month of William Year One. William turned 11 months yesterday. It kind of snuck by me, like these days tend to do.

Cheers to our last month of Year One. And to the first 11 months of this little family.


Mom Confession: I Hate the Word Casserole

A friend of mine recently had a baby with complications, so I've set a goal for myself to make a meal for the family every week on Sunday night. If I double the recipe it's a good opportunity for me to make us a meal for the week, as well. And that's just what you do, right? Fix everything and comfort people with food or at least take one daily worry off of their plate.

Comfort food is an interesting concept. I'm from a family that uses food as a way of showing that they love you or like you, celebrating, nurturing... But never comforting. Plus, I'm having trouble figuring out what to make. I've already made my go-to baked penne and just find lasagna to be overwhelming unless I have a good amount of time, which never seems to happen. It's weird, but when crisis or stress hit, I tend to move in the other direction and not really eat. But, I've been a well trained American and know that comfort food means casseroles, which I have never made... Until now.

I consulted my friends at Food Network for some help. While I usually lean on Giada, Ina, or Tyler, there is only one person who truly embodies comfort food. Paula Deen, ya'll! She usually drives me crazy and I find her recipes to be the exact opposite of what I like to eat and cook, but if I'm going down the casserole road, I'm going all out. I found a recipe for Shrimp and Wild Rice Casserole, but swapped the shrimp for chicken, added more vegetables, and cut some of the butter and cheese. And it still came out incredibly cheesy. That Paula doesn't mess with the cheese or butter.

So, here I am making casseroles. Check me out. ME MAKING A CASSEROLE! I better get used to it, right?!?! It's like part of the job description for Moms, I guess. Which is probably why I've always resisted it, that and the fact that I hate the word casserole. So, I'm replacing the word "casserole" with "bake." Can anyone recommend a good "bake" I make in the next few months?

Party Like a Rock Star

A scary glimpse into William's future. I fear we may "accidentally find" photos of him like this in 20 years while "cleaning" his room.


Katy Perry's Life Wisdom

Katy Perry was on the Today Show today. I don't get it. She doesn't do much for me. Maybe it's because she was oddly flirting with Matt Lauer and made me uncomfortable. She is incredibly beautiful, but there is just something unsettling about her.

But I think this is the real reason. Katy Perry's is quoted: "If I don't make it by 25, I'll stop."

Well, I guess we all might as well quit while we're ahead. I mean, life is OVER after 25.

Thank you, Snack Trap

My new most favorite accessory for William: the Snack Trap. You can't really appreciate this genius piece of plastic until you have a kid who is obsessed with Cheerios, and William is one of those kids. The basic idea of the Snack Trap allows the child to feed themselves from a cup without being able to dump all the contents on the ground or take too much at once. William's little hands are still able to grab a fistful of his Cheerios, but I don't think this is the norm. Most other kids may not have this kind of determination in the face of food.

So, consider this my endorsement of the Snack Trap. It has made many car rides, dinners, and exhausted mornings much more pleasant.

Note: I was not compensated in any way for this post. Nor was I contacted by Snack Trap. I just really love this product.


Yard Work is So Cute

The other day Matt and I were doing some yard work. A neighbor waves at me and I walk over to say hello. It's almost been a year and this is the second time we've spoken.

She tells me that she thinks it is just so cute that Matt mows our lawn and cleans the gutters and that I'm trying to cut back a rather overgrown rose bush. "I just love seeing you two out there."

"Um, thanks???" is really all I could think to say.

So, let me tell you why this is so cute... Because we are one out of maybe five houses in our neighborhood that maintains the yard ourselves. Everyone else has a lawn service that comes during the weekday, so seeing us out there on weeknights and during the weekend sweating and swatting mosquitoes must be adorable.


Rock Me, Sexy Jesus

Tonight we watched Hamlet 2. All in all, not a great movie about high school drama clubs, but the last half hour was worth it.

5 Reasons we kinda liked this movie:

1. Rock Me Sexy Jesus Production- Jesus moonwalking on the water and talking on a cell phone with a swimmer's body while in a dago tee, skinny jeans, and cowboy boots - yes, please!

2. Elisabeth Shue - Something about her makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Maybe because she looks a lot like my friend Jaime and I have fond memories of watching Adventures in Babysitting again and again and again. She plays herself in this movie and is really great. By far the best actor in the movie.

3. Tuscon Gay Chorus rendition of Someone Saved My Life Tonight.

4. The beginning montage featuring the highlights of the main character's acting career.

5. "I'm in a cage. I'm Nicolas Cage... In leaving Las Vegas, starring my very good friend, Elisabeth Shue." Probably the funniest lines of the movie.

I'm not going to go out of my way to recommend it, but you get the idea. It's the kind of movie we both decided would get more funny with repeat viewings and less sobriety.


Hand, Foot, and Mouth

So, what I thought was the flu is something very different. I was talking with Emily on Sunday morning after the bachelorette party and she was telling me about his weird virus that Jackson had last month. As she described it I realized it sounded very familiar. Sort of like the same thing both William and I have had for the last week. So, I get home, turn to google, and have my self diagnosis... HAND, FOOT, and MOUTH.

So, I called the pediatrician this morning to see if they'd like to see the little guy. Nope. Just keep an eye on his throat and give him motrin for pain and popsicles, which I tried today and found quite entertaining. So, that's where we're at. The fever, the blisters on this feet, his crankiness, the sleepiness, his sudden refusal of the foods he previously enjoyed... And it explains my fever, sore throat, exhaustion, and headache I just can't shake. So, we're working on mending the health level over here.

Yet another thing that I never heard of before I was a parent: Hand, Foot, and Mouth. Now I know it all too well.


Guy's Night

With Lisa off at Stacey's bachelorette party, an all night event, William and I were on our own, so I thought a post from me was fitting. How does a guys only night and morning in the Hanneman house differ from the norm?

Cartoons...We don't let William watch much TV, but having not napped much, Dad treated William to a Sponge Bob Marathon after dinner, but before bed. Okay, the Sponge Bob was as much for me as for William, but it's certainly something Mom wouldn't do. Bedtime was pretty normal, but while William slept Dad worked on comics and listened to music. Morning included waking up to a treat finding a Warren Miller's Off The Grid, an extreme skiing documentary, on TV. I've seen this film before, but I must admit, I wanted to watch it again, lucky for me so did my little guy. As images of skiers jumping off cliffs rolled by, William danced in front of the TV to the loud thrashing tunes. That's my boy.


How Can I Hide Behind This Kid?

I was recently looking for a good picture of me and William and was confronted with a harsh reality: There are very few and those available are painful. I’m hiding. And when I’m not, I’m usually the one behind the camera. I know why I’m doing it, I don’t want to remember that 10 months after he was born I still am not even close to being back in my normal clothes, still not comfortable in my own skin. Yikes.

I know most moms go through this, but it doesn’t make it easier. It’s all harder than I thought it would be. No time to work out and no energy when there is time. When I think of fulfilling Matt’s Mother’s Day gift of a trainer, I also think of everything else I could do with that money. That could be the down payment on our fence or pay for half of re-painting the house or a new dishwasher or fridge. Or, dare I say, a few trips to Costco for diapers and wine and food. And when I do have time I feel like I should spend it with William since I don’t see him all week or do some laundry or open the mail or pay bills.

I have plenty of people in my life telling me that I have to make myself a priority, that the money and time would be worth it. I believe them for a moment and then look at our long list of to-do’s. And I think of the three weddings that I will be a bridesmaid in next year (with more possibly on the horizon) and the dresses I’ll pay for and then –eek!—I’m going to have to wear those dresses! And give speeches in those dresses and be photographed with no child to hide behind. Not to mention the wedding I have coming up at the end of August…

I guess I just don’t want to look back at pictures of the first year of William’s life and wonder where the heck I was. And I don’t want to look back at photos of my life and wonder what happened between the years of 29 and 32. Or hide the pictures that we do have, because I know I am going to be disappointed in myself that I couldn’t pull it together. I wanted to enter 30 like a bat out of hell and instead I sheepishly and quietly walked through the door, hoping no one would take my picture.

Am I making you cringe or feel bad for me? Please don’t. And, PLEASE, do not comment about how good I look. I don’t want to hear it. So, why am I posting this? Many, many reasons. And they all start with this one: I have no shame. But, more than that, I promised myself that I would be honest with new moms about what lies ahead and I know I have a lot of new moms or moms-to-be checking in on us here. There are things no one warns you about and this was one of them. Amy, my dear friend, did warn me that I would not feel like myself for two years. But, if you don’t have an Amy, then you’re not getting such kind, honest advice. Most important, I am posting this to hold myself accountable, so I can read this everyday to encourage myself to make a change for the better. Find time for a walk and then a run or some yoga or an exercise video. Remind myself that coffee is not an acceptable breakfast. Everyday needs to be something. I hope you’ll all hold me accountable, too.

Vote for Ade!

Dear SYTYCD Viewers,
What happened? How in the world did Ade end up in the bottom two males this week? I get the others, I do. And I'm OK with it, but seriously Ade is the best male. Brandon might be better technically, but Ade has strength, raw talent, and the personality that should be winning over America right now. Ade should win this season. I stand by that statement.

And now I have to start voting. I try to hold off, think I'll trust America and my co-viewers and obviously I can't. (I know, I sound like all those non-voters after Bush won for the 2nd time.) But, I mean it, I'm going to be a voting machine if that's what it takes to make sure this doesn't happen again.

You've been put on notice, America. Don't let me down. You broke my heart last year when Will lost, but I could understand that one. This, however, I just can't wrap my head around.

Let's not make the same mistake again next week. Thank you.

Trouble Ahead

He's getting mobile! Not walking yet, but getting too fast for his own good. And not scared to charge right at you. Look at the determination in his eyes. This kid is strong, like bull. And he belts out a very Braveheart warrior cry.


Good Deed for the Day

I found this on Chicago Moms Blog and felt the need to post. You know how I feel about supporting charities:

I am writing to your Mom's Blog on behalf of the Humanitarian Service Project- a non-profit organization located in Carol Stream, IL, serving the impoverished children and seniors of the DuPage and Kane Counties.

Right now, we are reaching out to the blogging communities to ask them to help us in their united spirit.

We conduct the Children's Birthday Project annually where we give needy kids birthday presents on their special days. It is heart-warming to see their faces light up when they receive their gifts.

We are in dire need of school supplies (backpacks, pens, markers, notepads, etc.) for the birthday packages and we are hoping that you would consider helping us collect new school supplies for the kids. You can conduct school supply drives, contact stores and shops and encourage them to donate, or just collect unused stationery from each other's homes.

If you are interested and have any questions, please feel free to call us at 630-221-8340 or e-mail us at hsp@humanitarianservice.org.

Our website is:
Any help is welcome! :)


SYTYCD Thoughts

First off, I love when Debbie Allen is a judge on SYTYCD, so I decided to blog while I watched. She is just amazing, child.

Best Debbie Allen quotes of the night:
"You handled your big woman."
"What were you? A pimp with a comb? Stay away from my daughter, honey."
"Honey, just go sew that dress back up, child. And let him tear it again."

Best Dance of the Night: Jason and Janine's Contemporary routine choreographed by Travis.
Thank you, Travis. BEST DANCE ALL SEASON! I just about cried, everything about that dance was beyond. WOW! We had to watch it twice and I'm saving it on DVR to watch again and again.

Best Solo of the Night: Evan
I just wanna give him a hug, don't you? Most original solo and most fun. I love contemporary, but the top 10 if full of them and I like that he brings something different.

Most Ridiculous Costume: Kupono
I don't really like him that much, but I think he had a pretty good solo while wearing the most ridiculous outfit. I get that he wants to be a costume designer, but what the???


Super Maniac Ice Cream

William tried his first real taste of ice cream at Kilwin's in Saugatuck, where we stopped on the way back from the wedding weekend. There is no other place that could serve as William's first ice cream location. You see, Kilwin's has a dear place in our hearts, as we've been going here for ice cream all of our lives. Danielle was in from Virginia and needed her fix of Super Man flavored ice cream. Yes, this is multi-colored ice cream and she is probably the only person over 12 who orders it. But, she was kind enough to share a little with William, who was crazy about it.
Prior to this, William's tasting has been limited to vanilla frozen yogurt from Homer's. But, there's nothing like the real thing.

Diaper Bag (Diaper Being the Most Important Word)

At the wedding this weekend we had a "New Parent Alert" moment, but I have to admit, I don't think we can play this one off. Not sure there is an excuse for this one.

We're at the wedding, enjoying cocktails in the beautiful weather. William is wet, so I take him inside, can't find a changing table, decide the floor will do, lay out the mat, reach in the bag for the diaper.... AND NO DIAPER. I packed him a light jacket, a heavy sweatshirt, three toys, cheerios, a mango, some other snacks, a book, socks... But no wipes or diapers.

If I was someone else I may have been embarrassed, but whatcha gunna do? If you're me, you look at your kind husband who agrees to head back to the hotel for these necessary items. Then you change baby's diaper in the car in lieu of changing table. Sometimes I wonder if we'll ever get it right, then I realize we'd have no stories if we did.

And, though he missed some speeches, Matt made it back in time for dinner.

Kid in a Candy Store

My friend Gina was laid off. Huge bummer. But, unfortunately, there are many Ginas out there right now. She told me a funny story about spending time with her niece, who is in the stage of asking question after question and listening and repeating everything.

She kindly said to someone, "Gigi doesn't have a job anymore." Of course, Gina then had to explain that she was recently laid off. It doesn't translate to the poor girl what her sentence really meant.

"I know what you should do now," she said.

"What's that?"

"Open a candy store."

"Would you come work for me?"

"No, but I'd come and eat all the candy."

This little conversation really has made me think tonight. This kid is wise. The more I think about it, the more I have to wonder if that is what went wrong. Did too many people open their candy store and then just eat all the candy instead of work and then share that candy under the table with their friends and family? Were too many living out the fantasy of a 4 year old?


Wedding Weekend

This past weekend we went to Grand Haven, Michigan for my cousin Matt's wedding. Beautiful weather, great town, and William's first wedding. We had a blast. I didn't get many pictures, because my camera was low on batteries, but I got this photo of Matt, Margy, and their cake (which was quite delicious):

And we got this photo of William after lunch on Sunday as we walked back to the car. He partied 'til he passed out this weekend. Welcome to the Baumrucker family, kid.

All in all, we had a great weekend, except we came home with an unfortunate flu bug, which took me down first. William is showing a few signs of fighting something off, so let's hope our tough little guy has his mom's immune system (flashback to October 2007 when I beat appendicitis and I'm kicking this flu's butt, too).


Just a Little Sleep Deprived

William hasn't allowed us to get much sleep lately due to a mixture of post surgery soreness, mommy obsession, and teething.

Here is a list of places I fell asleep today:
1. In the car on the way to work. (Luckily Matt was driving.)
2. In the dental chair while getting two cavities filled. (TWICE)
3. In the car on the way home from work. (Again, I was not at the wheel.)
4. While giving William a bottle before bed. (I opened my eyes and he was staring at me.)

And let me tell you it wasn't just dozing, it was falling instantly into a dream. We're both in trouble these days in terms of sleep, but this is the first time that I've actually had problems with narcolepsy.

Fit for William Consumption

I have been waiting for this to happen. It was only a matter of time before William ate some dog food. Flashback to this morning: He was in the kitchen while Matt was doing dishes, I was in the bedroom getting dressed. I heard him cough and my instincts were to run out there. But, William likes to cough for attention and likes when people mimic him, so Matt turned around and coughed back thinking it was a little game. Then I hear, "What are you eating?"

I run out to find Matt fishing in his mouth. Dog food. Yes, indeed he had been crunching a piece of dog food. Gross. Just totally disgusting. Howie likes to take pieces of dog food out of his bowl and bring them into the living room where they can hide nicely in the carpeting. Little fingers find these treasures and if it smells salty, then it's going in the mouth. Most things go in the mouth anyway, but not all are eaten. Luckily, we buy a high-end "fit for human consumption" brand for Howie, so I don't think it's necessary to get poison control involved.

It won't be the last time this kid nibbles on some kibble, might not have even been the first. And thus begins our list of gross things William has eaten: #1 Dog Food.


Adventures in Babysitting

It’s inevitable. The day will come when you have the babysitter. Let me first admit that we have not hired an “outside” babysitter yet. Lucky for us we have willing grandparents and Aunt Christina whenever we need them. And then there is the line of aunties and unclies who can’t wait to take their turn to babysit. (Yes, we realize how lucky we are.) First on the schedule is Auntie Kari in a couple weeks, which leads me to a conversation I had this evening with Lara, whose delicious son Jack is about four months old.

We were making plans and she mentioned that she needs a babysitter for the same night that I’ve scheduled Kari. I offer a college girl whose mother I know through work and trust would do a great job. She mentions that her cleaning lady of four years is dying to babysit her little Jack. Their cleaning lady is trustworthy, close to the family, has a grandchild close in age, and was there for the early days of motherhood, including some tears and breasts. Sounds perfect, but there’s a catch. Her English? Not so good.

“Do you think that’s a big deal?” she asks.

‘Well….” I really had to think about it, because it’s a good question.

Then I said this: “The only concern I would have is if anything happens and she has to call and explain to someone. How could she explain that to you?"

And then I went on to say: “Like, what if your hot water goes out and she calls and you can only understand hot and water? You’d assume Jack has been burnt and rush home, only to find that she wasn’t able to wash dishes.”

I kept going: “But, if it was a major emergency, she’d call 911 and they would just send an ambulance if they can’t understand what she’s talking about. Right? So, I think it’s OK.”

This is a conversation between two new moms. Insane, endearing, crazy, hilarious, but above all HONEST. Because as two new moms and new friends we’ve found that if we can’t be honest with each other, we’ll drown. I’m thankful for honest friends and I’m thankful for being able to look back on conversations like this and laugh at myself. I never thought I would be the kind of parent that would shy away from hiring a babysitter. I never thought I would be concerned about a language barrier, because (DUH) my grandparents’s English is not so good and my mom immigrated unable to speak English. It’s America, right? People of any language can get by. And I’m pretty sure I was maybe 11 when I was babysitting. I didn’t know CPR, I didn’t know how to handle a crisis.

But, all of that pales when it comes to entrusting our children into the care of someone and letting that person into our home, basically filling our role for an evening. So, yes, it’s a big deal. Their age, their intelligence, their English… Everything is a factor. And I have a very good feeling that Lara and I will be laughing about this in a few years when we leave our boys with the 11 year-old down the street to grab a glass of wine.


E - I - E - I - O

William's first 4th of July. Due to his surgery, we skipped the Baumrucker Family party in Michigan and cleared the calendar, in case he didn't do well. Grandma and Grandpa H came in for moral support/fun (depending on how everything went). Since William was doing great, we decided to have a last minute BBQ for the 4th and make a morning trip to Wagner Farms in Glenview. It's a pretty cool working farm that I've been excited to visit with William, plus it's free. I really thought he would be excited, and he was... As long as the animals made noise. So, chickens and lambs were a hit. Pigs and cows, not so much. Maybe when he's older and has a better attention span.

I have to admit that I did learn something from the farm visit. Not about animals, of course, but about being a parent. We say that we do things because we think the kid is going to love it, but really I think it's because we want to see our kids love doing it. Looking back, I really didn't think William would love the farm, but I so wanted to see him love it. He didn't, but luckily we were just ten minutes from home. I would have been really frustrated if it was a further trip.

Here are the highlights:

"I don't want to be a farmer! Stop trying to put me on this tractor. Geez, I just had surgery."

This baby cow takes his bottle with nearly the same enthusiasm as William. Sometimes I have to pull back with two hands, too.
The look on William's face: "What's that smell??? Kinda smells like my diaper after eating lots of green beans."

And here is his answer... Spooning pigs.

This is about as interested as we could get him, didn't last long.

New Patio!

Woo hoo! Home improvement continues (and continues and continues...) as we cross another item off of the "to do" list. New patio: Done (for the most part).

Until now the patio has been a pile of pea gravel sloping toward the house, which has meant water problems and lots of little pieces of gravel in our house. Replacing this space has been on our mind since we moved in, so Thursday night we finally pulled it together and went out to buy supplies with a borrowed SUV thinking we could haul it home and be ready for Friday morning patio building. Apparently, that's not quite possible when you have 150 square feet to cover in paving stones, which is more than a pallet, which is more than 3,000 pounds. Oops, not going to fit into a SUV.
After a fruitless visit to Home Depot, we went to Lowe's. They were less expensive and offered next day delivery. Yes, please. (Consider this a plug for Lowe's, our new home improvement store of choice! Home Depot, we never liked you that much anyway.)

Matt's helpers were Grandpa H, Grandpa B, and Josh. They built a fantastic patio in one day, just in time for our last minute 4th of July BBQ/New Patio Party. We have to finish the edges, but for now it will do. Like I said, one more thing to cross of the list. And we did it ourselves. OK, I had nothing to do with it, except begging Lowe's for next day delivery, but I feel that was a very important piece. Right?

Thanks Patio Building Team! You're the best.


Tonight we enjoyed left over 4th of July BBQ chicken for dinner outside. We could vaguely hear the beginning of a heated conversation next door, but still aren't sure what they were saying exactly. I do know this: It was about Israel.

Here is something else I know: Eavesdropping is not new to us. When we were living in our condo in the city (West Bucktown when you want to sound hip, East Humboldt Park when you're looking for some street cred) we did A LOT of eavesdropping, except it was very different. Back then we were listening to lots of random screaming for no reason, the frat boys next door drinking and grilling all day, and crackheads wandering around in the middle of the street. My favorite eavesdropping position was crouched under the window listening to the drug dealers on the front stoop next door. (I fought crime. Another story.)

Anyway, the point is we finally have the drama we've been missing and the screaming (tonight one of the guys called his kids to pack it up and left - WHOA!), but if it's between the two, I'll take a heated political discussion. Though I gotta say I miss the weird guy in the wheelchair using our alley as a bathroom and moaning. It's been so long since I've called the police... I kind of miss the high of justice. Sigh. They don't call me Alderman Hanneman for nothing.


Reply from Caribou

Here is the reply I received from Caribou. No joke. We're totally best friends:

Dear Lisa,

Thank you for taking the time to contact us and share your feedback with us regarding the changes in our scones, we are sorry to hear you did not enjoy them.

We appreciate our guests comments and we will share them with our bakery team.

To apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you I would like to offer to send you a Caribou Card for a replacement item of your choice. If you would like to provide me with your mailing address we can get this to you right away, however if you currently have a Caribou Card we are happy to apply a credit to a card number you provide.

Thank you again.If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via return email or by calling 888-227-4268 (option 2) weekdays between 7:30 AM and 4:00 PM CST at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,Caribou Coffee Customer Service

Caribou, we're friends, right?

I'd like to give a shout out to Caribou Coffee for their FREE WIRELESS service. Starbucks, you are dead to me when I have work to do. It drives me totally crazy that Starbucks charges patrons for internet service. Cheap jerks.

But, I must take issue with Caribou on one thing: The Reduced-Fat Cranberry Orange Scone has been changed and I am really disappointed. This used to be my most favorite morning treat, we got to know each other very well in my late pregnancy, early new mom days. My dreams of reuniting with my old friend today were shattered. They changed it on me! And the new version is terrible. Dry, tasteless, chalky. You better believe I sent a message to Caribou sharing my displeasure. I also politely asked them not to go changing the free wi-fi on me too. If you would like to share your opinion on the scone change (and I recommend you do) and thank them for the free wi-fi, visit this page.

OK, I'm working at Caribou this morning and just needed a break from going cross-eyed over a spreadsheet of over 16,000 contacts to clean up for a mailing. But, back to it...


The Summer Cut

This morning I dropped Howie off at the groomer and was reminded of a very poignant moment in my life as a new Mom. William was maybe three weeks old, Howie needed a "bath and trim," which I'm pretty sure is how I explained it when I dropped him off. They called a couple hours later to let me know he was ready. I head out to pick him up and am greeted by a shorn, tiny version of my gorgeous, fluffy Howie. (See above photo of Howie's Summer Cut circa 2008.)

"Oh, wow, um, he's short." I pull out my wallet feeling tears rise up. (Tears!!!)

"It's a summer cut. Doesn't he look great!?!" Apparently the owner is trying to talk me into this.

"We just don't usually cut him like this."

"No worries, it will grow back by Halloween."

I quickly pay and run to the car, only to dial Matt at work. He answers and I burst into sobbing, snotty tears and am rendered totally incapable of putting together a sentence. Never a good idea to start conversations like this when you have a tiny baby at home, because said husband will (and should) expect the worst. And with that kind of introduction, Howie's hair being short quickly receives a "No Big Deal" verdict.

But, it was a very big deal to me at that moment. You see, beautiful Howie used to be groomed by John on Ashland, but ever since we moved it was too hard to take Howie there anymore. (I know, John, I'm sorry we lied when we promised we'd still come.) John treats his dogs like a work of art and he's the kind of person who might say, "I don't want to disrupt the integrity of the dog's shape" or something like. I miss him and the way he made Howie look so regal.

Obviously I was crying over more than Howie's bad haircut. I can blame it on the haircut, but it was also the hormones and the new baby and the fact that we were living with my parents and had a new suburban status. It was a lot of things. But, today when I went in to drop off Howie, I told the guy to cut him really short, he's shedding like a maniac.

"Do you want a summer cut?" He asked tentatively, so I have a feeling there is a note in Howie's file strictly forbidding summer cuts.

"That's exactly what he needs." Hopefully when I pick him up today no tears will be shed.