Tag Archives: Buzz Lightyear

Happy birthday, little man!

Buzz Lightyear birthday cupcake

I need to thank Food4Less for making huge cupcakes with Toy Story decorations! You’re going to make a birthday boy very happy until his official birthday party next Saturday.

My son is turning four tomorrow, and I honestly have no idea where the past four years have gone. Everything has happened so quickly that it could easily look like a blur. And yet, in the middle of it all, some events are so clearly imprinted in my mind, they could have happened just yesterday…

The first sonogram and heartbeat sound, the first kick, hearing my son catch his first breath and seeing him out of my womb for the first time, the first time holding him and helping him latch, the day we took him home, the first weeks bonding as a new family, his first smile, the first day I left him at daycare to go back to work full of guilt, his first laugh, his first taste of rice cereal, his cute army crawl, the first time he called me (and his dad) “mama”, his first real hug and kiss, his first hand sign (“more”), his ever-expanding hand signs and spoken vocabulary, his first step (run, baby, run!), his first pretend-play with a phone, his first jet airplane ride, the day he met his little brother in the hospital, his first day at preschool, his first friends, his first jokes, his first dip in the pool, his first time on local TV, his first big boy bike ride, and even today, his first day at a new preschool… And there’s so much more to come in the years ahead of us!

Gosh, time flies when you’re having fun, so it’s important to notice and enjoy those special moments as they are kind enough to appear in time. As Mr/Ms Anonymous said it so well years ago, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

Carpe diem and happy birthday, little man!

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Best store to buy baby clothes, kid clothes and shoes

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Buzz Lightyear pajamas

With two young boys who often treat their clothes and shoes as commodities, I can’t tell you how many items we’ve had to throw away in just a few years. Of course, the cheapest way to get clothes and shoes is to obtain hand-me-downs from family or really nice friends (you can’t beat free!), or shop the Craigslist and Ebay ads, or frequent the resale stores. I would also recommend shopping the clothing clearance racks of major retailers and stock up on the bigger sizes to build up your inventory at a lower price. Shop in the store,or online with additional coupons you can find on sites like retailmenot.com and you can get some pretty sweet deals. I’ve managed to pay a buck or two for brand-new T-shirts and pants, not bad…

But the best deal of all is the Sears’ Kidvantage Club. If you’re a member already, you must be nodding right now. I found out about the program over a year ago, but I really wished someone had told me about it before. Here’s what you get by registering for the program (you only have to provide your phone number so remember which one you give out!):

  • A 15% discount for your next shopping trip every time you spend $100 on clothes or shoes
  • Everyone you know can buy clothes for your kids using that phone number, including aunts and uncles, grandparents, friends, etc, to help you reach that $100 purchase even faster.
  • Best wear-out guarantee: if your kid wears out the clothes or shoes you buy there before he/she outgrows them, Sears will replace them for free (same or similar item), and you only need to present a receipt for the national brand items, not the Sears’ brands. Warning: this only covers worn-out, not stained items – you can’t push your luck too far!.

Now, my only pet peeve about this program is that it doesn’t apply to online purchases, which I don’t understand because Sears should be able to tie in your store and online purchases with your phone number. But still, I don’t think you can beat that. With kids who love to make holes in the knees of their pants and the toe part of their shoes, I can’t think of any other store who lets me exchange them for free.

For more information, visit the Sears’ Kidvantage Club page and start saving!

If you know of other great savings deals on children’s clothing, toys, furniture, etc, please share it in the comments area of this page.

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Every day I see a cow

Several years ago, while I was listening to a popular morning radio show here in San Diego, one of the hosts mentioned a surprising fact. He stated that every day, each and everyone of us sees a cow. I burst out in laughter! Are you kidding me? I thought, I live in San Diego, not Kansas! He went on to clarify that it may not be a real cow, but the image of a cow, anywhere around us, which would include billboards, magazine ads, TV, books, products, etc.

I considered “every day” to be an overstatement so I decided to do some fact-checking. Boy, was I in for a ride! That very evening, as I opened my fridge, there it was, not one, but two cows in there! One on the milk jug and one of the yogurt tub, both staring at me with their tender bovine eyes. As the days passed by, I started to wonder, could this really be true? Well, so far it really looks like it is…

I live in California and for those of you who don’t know, over the past several years, the state has been promoting CA dairy products. Yes, you guessed it, the stars of the TV, print and billboard ad campaigns, are cows. You can visit the Real California Milk website and see it for yourself. Oops, did you click on that link already? Hmm, I guess you’ve exceeded your quota of cow sightings for the day!

By browsing the site, I found out there are actually six breeds of dairy cows in California:
1. Black and white Holstein
2. Jersey
3. Brown Swiss
4. Guernsey
5. Ayrshire
6. Milking Shorthorn

Happy cow plushies

Happy cow plushies

Who knew milk came in that many flavors, even before adding chocolate or vanilla to it? I continued browsing the site and viewed their most recent ad campaign, as well as the Happy Cows TV commercials, including the audition reels. For the hard-core Real California Milk fans, there’s even an online store. I’m thinking of getting the happy cow plushies. My kids could make up their own cow dialogues (I’m guessing cow poop would come up pretty quickly in the conversation, since they seem to enjoy this body-secretion stage right now). However, if I purchased the black and white plushies, I’d end up seeing even more cows than I do right now, so maybe it’s not such a good idea…

Last fall, we turned off our TV cable service after we realized that we never turned on our TV (look for an upcoming blog entry on this one!). I then thought that my daily cow sightings would disappear. Boy, was I wrong! Even though we don’t watch TV  and the milk we buy now doesn’t feature a cow on its labels, I still seem to bump into the long eye-lashed bovines every day. Why? Simply because I have kids who read lots of books, and somehow many of them feature cows. Books on farms? Cows. Books on trains? Cows, staring at the trains go by. Books on oceans? Cows. Alright sea cows, also known as manatees. OK, I’m pushing it with this one, but you get the picture.

And there’s my local grocery store whose manager finds it hilarious to place a giant (yes, giant!) photo of a cow head on the wall right above the dairy department. OK, maybe I’m overreacting here and they’re just providing a simple visual clue to their customers to locate the milk, but still…

The other night, as I lay down in bed at almost midnight from a long, tiring day, I couldn’t remember if I saw a cow that day. That’s strange, I thought, as I grabbed a recent issue of Money magazine. I flipped through the pages when suddenly, there it stood, a huge cow in the middle of a full-page ad. Hmm, why didn’t I think of that, a “cash cow” in a Money magazine? I can’t believe I could be tricked so easily.

Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story

Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story

Recently, I started having daily sightings of another character. I have two words for you: Buzz Lightyear. Surprisingly, my kids don’t watch TV and have never seen Toy Story 1, or 2, or 3, but they sure know a lot about Woody and the gang! It all started a couple of months ago when my oldest son came back from preschool and started talking about Buzz Lightyear. I guess one of his little friends had brought a doll at school, and that was the catalyst for our new space adventures! This somehow coincided with the promotion launch  of the upcoming Toy Story 3 (playing very soon in a theater near you) and a revival of the movie’s characters in our favorite stores (particularly Target and Walmart). As curious parents, we’ve embraced our kids’ interest in the characters and we now are the proud owners of several plastic dolls, books and even matching Buzz Lightyear PJs (for the kids, not for us, I need to mention). As a marketer by trade, I’m flabbergasted by the power of store displays to influence purchasing decisions of both my kids and myself (who doesn’t want Buzz tattoos) and the abundance of supplies. As a parent, I love watching my two-year old son hold Buzz Lightyear in one hand, Woody in the other, and create his own story, which usually ends up with one character tackling down the other. I think Buzz usually wins…

So for now and at least for the next few months to come, I can say that every day, I will not only see a cow, but also Buzz Lightyear. Hopefully, not on top of the cow, not a pretty sight…

June 27, 2010 update: they have cows at SeaWorld too!

September 29, 2010 update: Every day I see a cow, the French edition

DECEMBER 31, 2010 UPDATE – The brand new “Every day I see a cow” blog is up and running, just in time to document daily cow sightings in 2011! Take a look and let me know what you think. “Every day I see a cow” is also on Facebook, so feel free to visit the page, like it, and share your own cow sightings with everyone. The more, the merrier!

Every day I see a cow on Facebook

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