Just a first time mom writing about the randomness of life and how being mom is full of laughter, tears, fears and happiness. Living it out one gray hair at a time.

Monthly Archives: April 2014

I have yet to get any sort of response directly from the Management Team at PetSmart in regards to my letter that I wrote them. You can read the 1st letter here and the 2nd here. I did, however, see a very helpful change today at the PetSmart where the original event happened. 

I needed cat litter and I was bored, so my kid and I got into the car and went to the pet store. I wasn’t going to go to PetSmart, but I was curious to see if any change was made regarding the hamster wheels since I haven’t received a response from the individuals I am suppose to be hearing from.

To my amazement, all the wheels had been changed in the cages! Yay! They went from this death trap…


To ones that they can’t get their little necks stuck into.


I felt very proud and accomplished when I saw this change. I’m actually a little surprised that this change happened. I’m hoping this wheel change will take place in other stores around the nation and not just this store. Please, if you see the metal wheels in the critter cages, know that they are potentially dangerous and life threatening to these animals. Trust me, I witnessed it for myself. Ask your local pet store to make a change. These little guys will thank you for it.



Easter day was fairly quiet around here for us. We did most of the celebrating the week before with my parents, sister-in-law and my adorable nieces.


There was, of course, an Easter Egg Hunt. 


Immediately eating the chocolate and other goodies in the eggs.


Little one tried to eat the egg itself.


Then there was the whole, trying to take a picture of the cousins. Much easier said than done.


The day before Easter, we spent it with my in-laws. We decorated eggs…



I wonder where my daughter gets her personality from…could it be…DAD! (this is the egg he made)


Then the Easter gifts. She was just a little excited about these. 🙂


And of course, the money she gets in her eggs from Nama and Papa. This kid LOVES money!


Then another Easter Egg Hunt. She made out good.


The day wouldn’t be complete without a comedy show and dance number.


This kid a total ham. She loves being center stage, definitely not a trait she got from this mama.

Easter itself has it’s own meanings to us. One of which is family. The weather was perfect, so we decided to go out for a nice little hike in our own “backyard”. Still within town limits, we found a park where there are tons of Redwood trees. It was absolutely gorgeous! I am not what you call an outdoor, woodsy person. I am your typical girly girl. It was a little bit of a surprise for me to see that my child is just like her daddy, (that part isn’t really a surprise. She is her dad.) she LOVES hiking and being in the outdoors.


Until she fell and scrapped up her leg pretty good and wanted daddy to carry her all the way back down the trail and to the car. Um…that’s a long way.


Oh well, she lived to tell about it. Her leg was pretty scratched up, but she walked the whole way back. What a trooper!

So, that was our Easter in a nutshell. Great family time with everyone and all the while feeling very blessed with all that we have.

This post was completed for a writing prompt from Mama Kat

Go to her site to see what great writing prompts she has for you!

On April 2nd, I had written a letter to PetSmart about a horrific event in a poor hamster’s life I personally witnessed. You can read that letter here . Below is the response I received from their customer service.

Dear Tammie,

Thank you for your e-mail and for bringing this to our attention. I have taken the liberty of entering a customer complaint on your behalf. Your complaint will be addressed by a member of our Management Team within 3-5 business days, and you can expect a reply at that time.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or frustration this may have caused you, and we appreciate the opportunity you have given us to set the matter right.

PetSmart Customer Care
Today is the 18th and I have yet to hear a reply from any Management Team at PetSmart. I believe I am well past that 3-5 business days point. I was at PetSmart yesterday to replace a goldfish that went to that big ole’ fish bowl in the sky after just a week of having him. I almost don’t want to walk by the critter cages, for fear I may witness the same event, but I took a deep breath and checked in on the little guys. Obviously my complaint wasn’t taken into consideration because the same “death wheels” (which is what I am now calling them) are in ALL the cages. Really Management Team?!? So here we go again. Letter #2.

Jeannie (or other customer service representative that may receive this letter),


I was told that my concern would be addressed by the Management Team and that I would hear a response from them or someone within 3-5 business days. That was on April 2nd and today is now April 18th and I have yet to hear if my concerns have been addressed. 

Let me familiarize you with what my original complaint was about.

On April 1st I visited store location San Leandro #55. While watching the hamsters in their little habitats, I witnessed a hamster get stuck between his running wheel and the bar that holds the wheel. The store clerk, that was next to me and witnessed this event at the same time I did, took her time getting the poor animal unstuck. The hamster appeared very sluggish after the event. She told me that this kind of event happens, in her words, “all the time.” I am absolutely appalled that the store clerks,

1) Admittedly know that this happens on a fairly regular basis.


2) That the wheels haven’t been replaced with ones that do not allow this to happen.

I was at this same store yesterday to replace a fish that I had only gotten 5 days before and noticed that no actions have been taken in replacing any of the running wheels.

I would like someone to please address this situation and I would like some kind of response from someone in a management position. I just can’t seem to understand that if this sort of event happens regularly, why hasn’t anyone taken any measures to prevent it. I’m sure a simple running wheel change, with the vast stock available at the store, would correct this issue and save the lives of these animals.

If I could please have an updated response it would be greatly appreciated.



Tammie Brown

So let’s see PetSmart. The ball is in your court. Will you make a change? 

My kid LOVES anything Disney related. She especially LOVES Frozen, as do most children right now. However, I wasn’t prepared for the next obsession in this child’s life. I, very unfortunately, found a series of videos on YouTube where people use dolls and make-up stories and film them. Seriously, someone take a spoon to my eyeballs right now! There is one in particular that is extremely annoying. It’s not so much the videos themselves, it’s the lady’s voice. Holy high pitch, screechy voice Batman! What is even more mind boggling is that this person has close to 300k subscribers. Come on, seriously? Am I missing something here? I figured I shouldn’t be the only one subjected to this kind of torture, so I decided to share a few of these with y’ all. I know, I am so thoughtful. 🙂

WARNING: Do not show these to your children! You may end up having to watch a series of these horrible monstrosities until A) Your eyes bleed or 2) Your sanity slowly slips away. I have already completed #2 long ago and fear the first may be coming soon.


Had enough? No?!?!?!? Glutton for punishment are ya? Okay, one more.


It’s the 15th, actually it’s not, technically it’s the 17th, but close enough…it’s Blog Hop time with our lovely hostesses with the mostesses over at Ketchup, Michele and Mel. If you haven’t checked out their blogs, you totally should (and by the word choice TOTALLY you can tell where I’m from). Just click on their names and you’ll be magically transported to their blog pages. See how easy I made that for you? While you are there, why don’t you link up a blog post of your own? You know you want to! These ladies have made the Hop super easy! Either link up any post you have done OR you can do the 10 minute brain drain, which is always fun. You never know what you are going to get (especially outta this brain right here). So go ahead, link up and tell’em I sent ya!

Ok, now on to my own post. I chose the 10 minute brain drain. Be afraid people, there is never telling where this stress filled mind will go. 🙂


10 minutes…okay…let’s see…what to write…what to write…OOOOOHHHHH…I know, I’ll give you all a good laugh at my self inflicted (mental) pain from yesterday. Everyone needs a laugh, right? 

So, yesterday after I had gotten home with my daughter from spending much of the afternoon with her cousins (who are 4 and almost 1) I was extremely exhausted, both physically and mentally. I had done house chores that morning, which in this house seems to take forever because we have a daily occurrence of Hurricane Emily (that’s my daughter for those of you who don’t know). It’s absolutely amazing at how much of a complete mess one little person can make in the matter of minutes. Anywho, when I had gotten home there was still laundry to be done and a kid to be bathed. So as I started laundry, only semi-paying attention mind you, and walked outside to water some plants. In the midst of watering the garden and flowers, I decided to have a water fight with my child which was hilarious because she didn’t actually believe I would squirt her with the garden hose. It was 80 degrees outside and she was being a pain in the butt, so I figured it would benefit the both of us if I just turned the hose on her. She was screaming and laughing and begging for me to do it more, which I of course obliged, that is until I heard a strange sound coming from the garage. Not knowing what I was going to find, I cautiously walked into the garage. Apparently I had loaded dish washing detergent into the laundry machine. So…yeah…if you want to smell like lemons, you are more than welcome to come on over and borrow some clothes. 


I’ve been looking for a spring/Easter project to do with my daughter. In comes good old Pinterest. I found this…Paint Filled Egg Canvas

Boy, did I pick the wrong craft to do with this maniac child. First let me show you how to do the project (if you would like to attempt this with your children) and then I will show you the aftermath of what happened.

1. Take your canvas and paint the whole thing with white paint. I use gesso acrylique paint because it is thick and absorbs quickly.


2. Then decide how many colors you want to use on your canvas. We chose 5 different colors. You will be using 1 color per egg.


3. Next, using a butter knife, lightly hit the top of the egg and create a medium sized hole. Empty all the contents of the egg. Clean the inside with soap and warm water and lightly pat dry.


4. Fill each egg with the paints you chose.


5. Now you are going to need tissue paper and a glue stick. Cut small squares, large enough to cover the hole and approximately half of the egg.


6. Put glue over the tissue and cover the egg with the tissue paper.


7. Now comes the fun, messy part. Find a good spot for the canvas. This is extremely important! Trust me, you will see later.


8. Arm your child with a paint filled egg.


9. Let it go! (No no…stop singing…or I’ll join in. Damn…too late)


10. You can throw the eggs multiple times onto the canvas. It takes quite a few throws for the eggs to be completely cracked. A little advice, the closer you stand to the canvas the better.



You end up with a really cool looking piece of art that you and your child can create together!

Now, going back to the whole…Pick a good spot for your canvas…bit. I placed the canvas on our top lawn against a tree. Paint would end up on the lawn. It was far enough away from the fence, or so I thought until THIS happened…




My daughter must have forgotten she was making art and not playing baseball. She was literally a foot away from the canvas and it ended up 4 feet away on my fence. Needless to say, I was a little irritated at this. Then she decided to wipe her painted hands onto her pants. So…now she has painting/craft pants and I have a new weekend project, sanding down my fence. Woohoo! 

I’ve been seeing a ton of DIY fairy gardens lately on Pinterest and other various sites. My four year old saw a picture of one of these and asked…

Mom! Do fairies really come if you build them a house?

Good question child. Of course I know the true answer to this (unless mythical little creatures do exist), but I couldn’t exactly say it to my little girl with her honest eyes full of excitement and wonder. So what did I do? Well, the only LOGICAL thing to do; we built a fairy home! I scrounged around the garage to find bits and pieces of what could make a fairy home for a deserving fairy. If you look around your home too, I’m sure you can find somethings that you could easily use. Here is what I did.

Step 1: Every fairy needs a home to rest their tired wings. At first, I was going to use an old flower pot that I had recently taken the flowers out of. Upon inspecting my pot, however, I deemed the pot in too good of condition to cut a hole in for a fairy. The plastic flower pot was actually in great condition and I really didn’t feel like cutting a “door” in it. So, what did I do? I found this…


It was an old plastic box that held those large drawing chalks. Big enough for a little fairy and easy enough for me to cut a door into. It just needs a little paint and…


BOOM!!!!! Fairy house! If you lightly paint it, you can leave some brush strokes that actually give it a wooden type of feel. It doesn’t look so “plastic” afterwards. All that needs to be done is to cut a little door in the middle so your fairy can enter. I suggest you cut the door before you paint. I had to do a lot of touch up when I cut the door out AFTER I painted it. You can also paint fancy designs if you are up to it to give you fairy home more curb appeal.

Step 2: Location location location! Find the perfect spot for you home. You want to make sure that it isn’t easily disturbed. No one likes unexpected surprises in their home or unexpected damage, fairies are the same.


Step 3: You will need a path. We have sidewalks, fairies have paths. We just so happened to have marbles and colorful stones laying around. These make perfect pathways. If you don’t have any of these around, they are relatively inexpensive if you don’t buy them at specifically designed craft stores. You can also just use pebbles or rocks. They make excellent paths as well.


Step 4: Start building! Start by placing the home in the perfect location. We put ours set back a little. My daughter also decided that our fairy needed a pool. Fortunately, I was able to find a small container to dig into the dirt and fill with water to accommodate this request.


Step 5: Building your pathway. My daughter really enjoyed doing this part! She was able to build her path whatever way she wanted.


Step 6: Every home needs some special touches. We added some “wishing” flowers next to the pool, a pine cone for fairy “rock climbing” and a pretty little flower on top of the house.


And there you have it! Your very own fairy garden fit for any traveling fairy that wants to rest his or her wings. This is a cheap (in our case, free) project for you and your child to enjoy. It’s fun bonding time and great to let their little creative minds go wild! 


I would love to see your creations! Feel free to share so others can see what you and your child come up with! Have fun!


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