Sunday, October 09, 2011

Getting Free Stuff From Your Cereal Box is AWESOME!

A few weeks ago as Katherine was eating a bowl of "Frosted Mini-Wheats", I saw her reading the back of the cereal box intently. 

As we all know, reading the back of a cereal box during breakfast is a time-honored American tradition.  Almost as American as mom, baseball, and apple pie, some might say.

"Look Daddy!" Katherine exclaimed excitedly as I joined her at the table.  

On the back of the box in big bold letters were the words:  "GET AWESOME GRAND PRIX REWARDS!"

It was a free give-away to promote the movie Cars2.  Katherine explained the concept to me as intently as if she had just discovered the secret to the Grand Unification Theory.  

"You see, Daddy, you collect these codes inside the cereal box.  Then you type them in online on the internet.  Then they send you a cool prize!  Isn't that AWESOME?"

"It sure is awesome," I agreed.  "Which prize are you thinking about getting?"

Katherine smiled broadly and spoke with the confidence of a six year-old.  "Oh, I'm getting the Pocket Translator.  It will let me speak in six different languages!  I'll be able to speak to kids in Africa!"  

(Katherine had just learned about the continents in school that week, and Africa made a big impression on her for some reason)

"Very cool," I stated, as I turned my attention to something else. 

Fast forward about two weeks.  Katherine brought me an empty box of "Mini-Wheats".   

"Daddy, can we enter in these codes now?" Katherine asked. 

"Sure," I answered, as I logged into the website.  

After a few minutes of registering all my personal information and guaranteeing myself about a hundred more spam emails each day, we got to the point where you entered in the codes.  We proceeded to enter in the codes found on the inside of the box. 

Make that CODE.  There was only one code per box. 

For some reason, I thought there would be more than one code per box.  

"Where do we get more codes, Daddy?  Where is there more cereal?"  asked Katherine.  

Uh, oh.  Problem.  

You see, turns out Terri had gotten the box of "Mini-Wheats" on sale at a grocery outlet store where old boxes of cereal are sold.  The "Cars 2" movie had premiered in early summer, and we were now in October. 

While we still had until June 2012 to redeem our codes, we only had ONE code.  We needed five more codes to get that pocket translator. 

Now, at this point, let me confess that as child I was totally into free stuff that you could get for free from cereal boxes.  X-Ray goggles?  Got 'em.   Magic pen with invisible ink?  Had that.  Sea Monkeys?  Please.  

So when Katherine asked me how we were going to get more codes, I took it as a personal challenge.  My daughter was NOT going to have her first try at a free cereal box prize end in failure!  

I proceeded to do what any neurotic father would do in that situation.  I drove down our local supermarkets and systematically began to dismantle the cereal isles in search of the cereal boxes that might still be carrying the "Cars 2" promotion. 

At our local Safeway I hit pay dirt.  

Luckily, this Safeway does not rotate their older items up to the front of the shelves, but continues to stack new boxes of cereal in front of older boxes of cereal.  Hidden in back of the shelves I found what I was searching for.  

Box after box after box of cereal boxes promoting a movie that went out of theaters over two months ago. 

Below is a photo of the result of my quest.  I would write more, but I will be busy for the next few days eating cereal and typing in codes.  Important conversations with children in Africa awaits!!!

Speaking to kids in Africa is going to be AWESOME!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Ditching Dora

The girls were watching "Dora the Explorer" tonight. They've watched the show with less frequency over the past year.

Tonight, as the "Map" was going through his usual routine of repeating everything he says three times so that babies can follow what he's saying, Caroline exploded.

Sitting on the edge of the couch, and yelling directly at the television, she shouted:


I laughed out loud, and Caroline looked at me and said, "I mean, why does he have to repeat himself so many times? We're not stupid."

I think Dora and company are not long for our household.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

First Grade

It's been almost two years since I last posted.  The girls are now in first grade.  FIRST GRADE. 

Last night, before their first day of school, the girls went to bed very excited about starting school as "graders", as they called themselves.  (You know, "First grade, second grade, etc." as opposed to "Kindergartners"). 

Around 1 a.m., I was still up (night owl), when I heard a noise in the girls' room. 

I walked in to see Caroline sitting up in her bed, peaking out of her bedroom window from under the shades.  

"What's wrong honey, did you hear something?" I asked. 

Caroline turned to me quizzically, and said, "I'm just a little bit confused."  

I thought she might be dreaming.   "Are you having a bad dream?"

"No, I'm awake." 

"What are you confused about?"

"I'm trying to figure out when it's time to wake up," she answered. 

"Are you excited about school tomorrow?"  I asked Caroline. 

She broke into a wide grin and nodded.  

"ME TOO!" shouted a voice from the other bed.  Katherine popped her head out from under her covers.  

We all started laughing.  Then I laid down on the floor next to the girls' beds to help them fall back asleep.  

My "graders" on their first day of school as first graders: