Various wondrous things

Okay, “wondrous” might be overselling it a bit. There are varying degrees of wondrous. Like, there’s a whole spectrum of interesting that spans all the way from “truly wondrous” on down to “WTFness.” And I will leave it to you to place the following along that continuum as needed.

[Sidebar: Let us pause for a moment to acknowledge that anything you hear from me today or for the next several weeks will be completely allergy-addled. I woke up this morning and had to chisel my face open. For a few minutes I thought maybe I had pinkeye, but no, it’s just regular ol’ allergies. I guess. Everything and everyone I love is currently coated in a thin layer of yellow grit, and my eyes—long my favorite facial feature—are buried somewhere behind the crusty, puffy skin that has conveniently swollen to twice its normal eyebag size all the way to HOLY HELL WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR FACE. The pollen is taking over the woooooorlllld! And I am very cranky about it.]

Anyway. Wondrous. Wondrous! Yes, the miracles of ordinary life keep bowling me over. Allow me to knock you down with them as well. Don’t worry, there’s a nice soft pollen-drift right behind you to cushion your fall.

Really Quite Wondrous: On Saturday, Otto and I went to the Farmer’s Market and paid an excessive amount of money for a very small amount of food, plus I bought a headband/wrap thing (what?) because the teenager who made it seemed very sweet and my sense of what things should cost while I’m walking around the Farmer’s Market becomes completely skewed. “Oh, $5 for a handful of kale? OF COURSE.” I like to do this because rah rah local rah rah fresh, and let’s face it, I rarely regret spending money on FOOD. Juxtapose this with…

… while running errands the next day, the children and I found ourselves out of our element. This is to say, we’d wandered more than ten miles from home in our quest to Do All The Things, and I was clinging to the GPS for dear life. We’d finished our errands and were headed back home. And then I saw it: An Aldi. I’d never been to an Aldi before, though of course I’ve HEARD of them.

I swung the steering wheel back around and pulled into the Aldi parking lot. “What are we doing?” asked the children.

“We’re going to Aldi!” I replied. “I’ve heard they have really cheap groceries. Let’s go look.” There was some grumbling, but we headed in.

First of all—and I don’t know if this is all Aldis, or just the one we were at—the shopping carts are all chained up at the front of the store, and you have to put a quarter in to release one. I stood there, staring at the rows of chained carts, probably looking like a complete moron, while I wondered if I’d actually taken us to the airport. I have never seen chained up carts at a store, before. Then I started digging in my purse for a quarter, but a nice lady came up to return her cart and just gave it to us. “I can give you a quarter!” I assured her, still digging in my purse. But she waved us off and left. So now we had our cart and we could go in.

So, I guess the deal with Aldi is that they have naked, compromising pictures of all the bigwigs at various major food brands, because the food they carry there IS the regular food you see at the supermarket, but it has a different NAME, and then it only costs half as much. Weird. Like, we bought some bagels that were CLEARLY Thomas’ Cinnamon Raisin. The packaging was exactly the same. The ingredients were exactly the same. But the brand name was “L’oven Fresh.” (Fancy!)

I bought a container of rolled oats that was approximately the same size as Monkey. It cost $2. We got a few other things, too, but mostly I found the experience kind of overwhelming, because it was crowded (and these are not your ordinary shoppers, no, these people are HARDCORE about their deals) and also because my children were bickering and I was considering chaining them to the big line of carts out front. (I didn’t, of course, because how much would that’ve sucked for the unwitting shopper who then paid a quarter for them?)

Then we went to check out and it turns out that part of the way Aldi keeps the costs down is by just scanning your stuff and throwing it back in the cart. Then you have to kind of scoot off to the side to a counter there and bag your own groceries. Which… okay, I guess. I was prepared to deal with that (we didn’t have much stuff, anyway), but then it ALSO turned out that they don’t accept credit cards. LUDDITES. So I paid via debit card because if I have a dollar of actual paper money in my wallet it’s a good day.

Regardless, I shall return to Aldi again, better-prepared and less teenager-encumbered! I shall bring a fistful of cash and a desire to buy off-brand foodstuffs! Because I’m not kidding, those oats were practically free, and I’ll be able to make granola for a month with ’em. I cannot even bring myself to tell you what I paid for a tiny bag of granola at the Farmer’s Market.

Kind Of Wondrous (by which I mean, ewwwww): The garden is IN for the season; all of the boxes and containers have been mucked out and refilled and we went on several different garden-store missions to round out our plans for the year. The sacks of soil that so flummoxed Licorice have all been emptied into the appropriate locations. Seeds are planted, actual plants are situated, and I am looking forward to all the garden shall yield.

[For the curious: I have three raised beds, a large herb box, and an assortment of containers for the stuff that doesn’t fit in the raised beds because I always buy more than is reasonable. This year’s crop will include three kinds of tomatoes, hot and sweet banana peppers, jalapenos, bell peppers, Japanese eggplant, snap peas, bush beans, zucchini, cucumbers, and then basil/rosemary/oregano/thyme/mint. (If you are new here, please stay tuned for someone to yell at me that I should never plant mint in my herb box because it will take over the planet. It’s a little rite of spring which I enjoy.)]

I am always very pleased with myself once the garden is all set up—so pretty! such promise!—but then I remember that it requires regular watering, and that’s kind of a drag. I mean, you can neglect your garden a little more once the plants are all established, but in the beginning you really have to be vigilant. Sooooo every night I wander outside after dinner and commence filling up my watering cans from the rain barrels and dumping water everywhere. Um, mostly on the plants.

Last night I was doing my thing—filling the cans, walking up and down the beds while I water—and the spout on my can clogged. Leaves and twigs and pollen and stuff can get stuck in there, so I just shook the can a little and then upended it over the zucchini sprouts… and a large, bloated, very deceased lizard PLOPped into the garden box while I yelped like a little girl.

I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS. Did he somehow get into the rain barrels?? (Otto says that’s impossible, and I think that makes sense.) Was he in the watering can when I filled it up and I drowned him? (Noooooooooo!) Did he drown or die of natural (or Licorice-related) causes? Where did he come from?? I will never know.

But I did make Otto come remove the corpse for me. (You know, because I was still busy watering. And also because it was disgusting and I’m a delicate flower.)

Wondrous?: We have a problem. It turns out that Clocky is no longer waking Chickadee up. No, Clocky’s not broken. CHICKADEE IS. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that her bedroom and our bedroom are as far apart as two rooms in this house can possibly be—and, granted, we hardly live in a mansion, but still, GENERALLY SPEAKING sound tends not to travel quite that far in our home—and this morning Clocky somehow got stuck by her door, which meant that Chickie completely slept through the various beeping and booping and thumping UNTIL I ran upstairs and threw her clock at her. (Hyperbole! No clocks or teenagers were harmed during my tantrum!) Her clock woke US up, and she was still sleeping through it. I don’t understand.

I need a foolproof method of waking this child up in the morning, and short of stapling Clocky to her forehead, I am out of ideas. I don’t even know how a person sleeps through that level of noise. It is baffling to me.

Possible solutions:
A) Find an even more annoying clock. (Seems impossible.)
B) Arm Clocky with matches, and if she doesn’t get up within 10 seconds of it going off, it sets fire to her room. (Seems imprudent.)
C) Slip some cocaine in with her evening meds. (Seems illegal.)
D) ????

Listen, I didn’t include a picture of the bloated lizard, so I think it’s only fair that you solve this alarm clock problem for me because I was so nice.


  1. JennyA


    (Now that I’ve said that, I feel like it’s finally spring.)

    • Mir


  2. Helloheather

    Two Clockies? Sorry, I have no idea.

  3. CIndy

    I love Aldi! It’s my favorite grocery store. (possibly because I am currently share living space and dinner with FIVE males…..I have no idea how this happened, please send estrogen, STAT.)

    For waking up reluctant teenagers, I like to employ the strategy learned from my step-father, Maynard. My mom is a bookeeper/tax preparer and she works crazy hours from January to April. So that first tax season with us, Maynard explains that he is not my momma and he does things different and there will be exactly ONE call to get my lazy self out of bed. Sure enough, the next morning, he knocked and called and being a dumb teenager, I just rolled over and resumed snoozing. The next thing I know, the door is flying open, ICE COLD WATER is being dumped on my head, soaking my bed.

    I was outraged, my mother was totally unsympathetic and my stepfather? Gleefully entertained. I never EVER ignored a morning wake up call from that man again.

    Funny thing is? I just tell that story and I don’t have issues with my teenagers. You can indeed learn from others mistakes.

    • Therese

      My mother-in-law did the same thing, only she didn’t just water, she also added ice cubes for twice the fun.

    • Rini

      That was the threat that worked on me as a child, too. Not even a real-life story. Just the threat. “Time to get up!” “Mmmmmph.” “Hey, we’re going to be late!” “Nnnnnggggggh!” “Do I need to get the ice water?” “FINE, I’m UP already!”

      • Becky

        My mother used a spray bottle with water. Worked like a charm.

        • Jessica

          This is exactly what my mother did as well. Spray bottle with it set to stream, not mist (with ice in the water). Never failed…of course, she only had to do it once, and we never questioned again that she’d do it.

  4. Megan

    I have lots and lots and LOTS of commiseration on the sleepful teenager situation, and not a single useful suggestion. Because NOTHING WORKED. My teens even happily joined in the frantic search for Anything That Can Raise The Apparently Dead which included (oh god) making personalized wake-me-up clips that consisted of every last irritating song you can think of, a number of horrendous construction type noises, a 2 minute clip of BABIES CRYING and other things I cannot think of because I have blocked them out.

    On the plus side, none of them worked, and I can attest to that fact, so you will not have to live through them. On the minus side, out of sheer, bloody stubbornness we kept trying for several months and I think the mental scars will never fade.

  5. Melody

    I had a boyfriend years ago who slept like that. He told me his stepfather would pull him out of the bed by his feet and drop him on the floor. Woke him right up. :-)

  6. Joy

    I had a roommate in college with the same sleeping-through-everything problem (which was really a problem when there was a fire in the dorm, and the flashing light and sirens failed to rouse her.) Her solution, which only worked 10% of the time, was to have 4-5 alarm clocks set to go off, all at full volume, all around her room. Backup was to ask me or another roommate to please, please drag her physically out of bed if she had something she couldn’t miss. We lived in a 4th floor brick dormitory. Her alarms could be heard outside in the parking lot, let alone anywhere else in the building.

    The one that seemed to get her to respond at least a little was one of the old fashioned round faced ones with the clanging bells on either side that didn’t have snooze or anything like that. It just rang until it was done ringing. At the same time, that was the one that was hated most universally by every other mammal in a 1/2 mile radius.

  7. Brooke

    I’ve got no clue how to wake a teenager (I’m on the 4th one). Accept that it’s impossible and move on. ;)

    BTW: was a little disappointed that we didn’t get to see a picture of the bloated lizard. ;) heeheehee

  8. Atlantagirl

    I, too, love Aldi. Their fruit and produce is typically really good. Yes, they don’t accept debit cards and you have to bring your own bags and pay a quarter (that you get back at the end) to shop there, but the prices (as you saw) are so good! And apparently, unlike some stores (cough* Walmart *cough) they treat their employees very well.

    I found this alarm clock at Amazon that is ‘guaranteed’ to wake up even the deepest sleeper. Apparently it shakes the bed in addition to a super-loud alarm.

    • SillyMe

      YES! this one. It is already in my cart. I have a pre-teen and so far 2 alarm clocks and bright morning sun aren’t enough to wake this kid reliably.

    • bryan

      This is the one I was going to suggest as well. It has worked for my sister when she was having greater sleep issues (as in, unable to sleep until it was too late, then she would fall asleep and sleep and sleep.)

  9. Damsel

    ZOMG! NOT THE MIIIIIIIIIINT!!! (Insert Arm-Waving, Circle-Running Muppet Dance-of-Panic here.)

    My 8-year-old son has to be physically pried out of bed most mornings (and we homeschool, so that’s at the crack-o’-8:00). So I’m no help there…. sorry.

  10. PyroCrashtic

    I’ve heard, but haven’t used yet frozen marbles into the cozy warm bed. They’ll be wickedly cold and you won’t have any watery/frozen mess to clean up afterwards. Of course dreaming of this while my darling child was a wee infant was the sleep deprivation talking, but I’m thinking it’ll work out well.

    • Susan

      Just heard about the frozen marbles on the local radio station this morning!

    • Jenne

      DIGGING the frozen marble idea! Will report back!

  11. Dave

    As regards the alarm clock, I am currently the only human member of our family who does not sleep through the alarm. I’m envisioning a 300-horsepower V8 Magic Fingers. Something strong enough to make the bed dance across the room. Just make sure you properly vent the exhaust.

  12. Emily in IL

    So – my first thought when I went into Aldi for the first time was that I had stepped into an alternative dimension where the PICTURES on the boxes were the same but the BRAND NAMES were all different… I’m glad that I’m not alone!

  13. amy

    No help with the waking of the teenager, but the ice water trick sounds like it would work. I would love, however, your granola recipe if you would be so kind to share! Your hair looks especially lovely this morning :)

    • Mir

      I have been making granola for so long that I am now pretty much just throwing things in and not paying attention. I can tell you it’s loosely based on Ruhlman’s strawberry banana granola, but I put a couple of bananas, some coconut oil, cinnamon, ginger, and water in the blender as the pour-over portion. I no longer bother adding sugar/honey; the coconut oil is naturally sweet, and I add sweetened flaked coconut to the mixture, too. It’s sweet enough. The mixture to be baked is rolled oats, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, sliced almonds, coconut flakes, and then anything else I may have on hand (other nuts, pumpkin seeds). Once it’s mixed up and baked, I add dates and cranberries while it’s cooling.

      • amy

        Thanks so very much. Going to make some this weekend!

  14. Caz

    None of your shopping carts have chains on them? I’ve lived in both Australia and all over Canada and all of our grocery stores require quarters for carts (or $1 or $2 in Aus!!!) every grocery store ever except for Whole Foods mini-carts require quarters. encourages people to put them back and not leave them all over the parking lot or homeless people stealing them

  15. Corey

    While the alarm clocks (3) in my girls’ room, which they share, were clanging and beeping this morning, I told my husband that they clearly fail to understand what alarm clocks are supposed to do.

    Stuffed animal assault occasionally works. Water sprayer can be effective, but it comes with a side of surly mood–and potentially stuffed animal assault toward the sprayer.

  16. the Iowa Expat

    I love Aldi for certain things: raw nuts, raisins, oatmeal, fruits & veggies, and interesting German products, including chocolate & cookies. The rest of my fam likes the bread. Paying a deposit on the cart keeps people from leaving it in the parking lot, which I really appreciate, as it’s one of my pet peeves in this area (along with calling the contraption which holds one’s groceries a “buggy”.)

  17. B

    Alarm clock suggestion:

    This may sound weird, but in short: vibrating attachment goes under pillow and shakes to wake you up. You can also attach a lamp so your light will flick on and off. There’s also a regular sound alarm.

    I used this for several years, starting during college, because my regular alarm was annoying my dorm-mates. I didn’t necessarily find it more effective than a noise alarm, but it was much less annoying to other people.

  18. RL Julia

    I have a deep sleeping tween as well – she is a total night owl and hence is not so great in the mornings and always has a hard time getting out of bed. Here are her tips: 1. Make sure the person in question goes to bed at a reasonable hour. It’s really hard if your internal clock is set to party all night and sleep the day away, but practice makes perfect and even if you aren’t very easily woken up, eventually you will stop being tired – if in fact you got enough sleep. 2. Chickadee needs to figure out the best solution to this problem – and should direct you as to how you can help her get up (or not) – whether it be dragging her out of bed at an assigned time or whatever. Ultimately it is her problem, not yours if she doesn’t manage to get up at the assigned time. Who wants to end up in detention for multiple tardies because you missed the bus – or figure out how to get to school when you missed the bus? No one! I bet Monkey would be a real asset in the waking up process if enlisted.

  19. Jabberwocky

    If you haven’t planted Corsican mint, try that next year. It’s a little better behaved (here in Ohio, at least, perhaps not in Georgia) and the tiny leaves mean I don’t have to chop anything up.

  20. Korinthia Klein

    What about one of those clocks with wheels that roll around until you catch it and put it in her bed on a leash so it physically bumps her while it’s blaring?

    The first time we went to Aldi’s was when we gave a ride to someone in our building who needed more groceries that week than she could handle on the bus. She looked at us wide eyed and said Aldi’s was amazing because they had SCANNERS to read the prices on the food. LIke, uh, EVERYWHERE ELSE, so we were not impressed. We did find it interesting that customers scavenged loose boxes from everywhere in the store to use later to carry their purchases home.

  21. parodie

    There are apps that claim to monitor your sleep cycle and wake you at the most wake-able point – I used one for a while, and it seemed to work. You stick the phone on your mattress, and it extrapolates your sleep cycle based on your movement, and wakes you when you’re in a lighter phase of sleep within some half-hour window that you set.

    Might be worth a try.

    Alternately, I would suggest that you make waking herself up her problem. Or at least ask her to offer suggestions that you can try together!

    • Midj

      I use Sleep Cycle by to track my sleep and I have heard it is great at waking you at the best time in your sleep wake cycle though I am usually awake before the alarm. It does pretty accurately track my sleep patterns (I can tell because I get up at least once a night to visit the restroom).

  22. js

    I want to say that I am so jealous you can plant your garden already. We’re still expecting snow flurries! It’s just not right. All I can think of with the mint is a nice mojito so clearly I am ready for warmer weather.

  23. js

    We made a deal with my daughter that she gets up and then gets to take a few more minutes downstairs on the couch before she has to get ready. We also wake her up earlier than she needs so she has more than enough time to get ready. She is only ten and already a PLEASURE in the morning so I certainly do not claim to have all the answers but I like the water idea for her teen years, very much.

  24. mamalang

    M 19 year old sleeps like the dead, but for some reason there is a way that I say her name that wakes her instantly up. She recorded me saying it on her iPhone and uses it as her alarm whenever she has to get up and I’m not around. Of course, if she stopped staying up all hours, she would probably be able to wake up better, but since that isn’t going to happen anytime soon…

  25. MomQueenBee

    Oh, hey, have you seen Gimme Some Oven’s three-part series on shopping at Aldi’s? It’s made me into a believer, even though the nearest Aldi’s is an hour away. It’s here,, and this is not my blog and I received no compensation and blah blah blah.

    • Mir

      Holy crow, that is a marvelous analysis of Aldi. Thanks for the link!

  26. naniofthree

    Love Aldi! We don’t have them here yet, but lived off the one near my mom’s house in CT when I was getting it ready to sell. I often found people happy to give you their cart, too. Wish they’d open some up near here.

    re: Sleeping through the alarm. Could it be partly a medication-related thing, or has it always been like this? Prior to the medication I’m taking, waking up was hard, but now it’s really, really hard. The only thing I can offer is something you’ve no doubt tried: having Chickie come up with the solution. I don’t think adding another mechanical device into the mix will work without her input and buy-in. She’s a smart kid. Surely she doesn’t enjoy mornings that are rushed and unpleasant. She loves her friends, wants to go to school, so what’s her answer? I’d ask her to do some research and make suggestions so she’s invested in making them work. Good luck!

    • Mir

      She’s always been a Not A Morning Person, the medication definitely makes it worse. (But we’ve already tweaked her meds as far as all are comfortable; sleeping is hard for her, without them.)

      I appreciate everyone who suggests we make it her problem—my philosophy, as well—but she is just as frustrated and baffled as we are, so I thought I’d tap a few extra brains. (Clocky was my first post-medication solution to this issue. Now that Clocky has ceased to rouse her, we’re stumped, and I’m also not so eager to dish out big bucks for another gimmick clock if she’s going to learn to sleep through that, too.)

      • bryan

        One thing that helped us in the mornings was adding a very small dose (.5mg) of melatonin in the evening. . I don’t know how much that pings your tweak the meds radar, and I know if you have a Carefully Established Balanced Dosage Of Every Damn Thing (or it just feels that way), you don’t want to add this to the jenga tower, but that stuff saved my life. As in my daughter the aspie was 9 years old before she would sleep through the night with anything like consistency.

        Just wanted to toss that in hte mix.

        • bryan

          Okay, adding that I know you say she’s getting enough sleep, but it may be not enough good sleep? So the melatonin might help the good sleep. Shutting up now and going to sleep myself.

  27. Paige

    I second (third?) the comments about making it her problem. My husband was much the same way when we moved in together. When he realized I was not his mother (which I would have thought was obvious), he started to come up with his own solutions. Since most of the problem was motivation (why even hear the alarm clock? Eventually someone will turn it off for you and shout until you actually wake up) this worked better than anything I could have done.

    His first decision was to move the alarm clock across the room, ensuring that he had to get out of bed to shut it off. He had been in the habit of shutting it off in his sleep without knowing he had done so. Then he tried an alarm that played a cd of his choice, and changed CDs every few days so he wouldn’t get too used to the same song and sleep through it. By the time he was 21, he’d been through about a dozen other iterations. It seemed like changing things up was key.

    When our daughter turned out to be a light sleeper, he bought a vibration alarm, as others have mentioned. His is a wrist band connected to an app. It vibrates at the right time on his sleep schedule, but close to the time he set his alarm for. And in keeping with what he learned a decade before, he chose one that varies the vibration pattern each night. Plus his inner geek loves reading out the stats of how many times he woke, and how much REM sleep he got and for how long.

    • Kate

      What wristband did y’all go with? I’m looking at a couple, but I’m not sure which one I’m going to go with yet.

  28. Bob

    We’ve been going to Aldi’s for years during our visits to Missouri. The quarter to get a shopping cart (as was probably mentioned above) is to encourage you to return the cart to the front of the store (at which time you get your quarter back) or – some enterprising teenagers are usually around volunteering to return carts for the quarters.

    The same company owns Aldi’s as Trader Joe’s.

  29. Bob

    Also, since we shop at Sam’s on occasion, we were used to bringing our own bags to Aldi’s. (Which I figured you were already doing being a tree-hugging, granola-eating hippie?)

    • Mir

      Yep, I had my bags. I always have my bags. ;)

  30. Sheila

    My first time at an Aldi, I had no idea about the 25 cent deposit on carts. After parking my car and walking towards the front of the store, I spotted a somewhat-elderly lady loading her last bag of groceries into her car’s trunk.

    “I can get that for you!” I chirped at her, all helpful-like, as I grabbed her cart and wheeled it away, pleased to be saving her the walk back to the store’s entrance, for there were (curiously) no cart corrals in the parking lot to leave a cart in. I may have even added a modest, “You’re welcome!” as I absconded with her grocery cart.

    It wasn’t until my shopping was done and I returned my cart to the front of the store that I saw the 25-cent security system in place. Man, I bet that lady was pissed at me.

  31. Billie

    Ha! My 12 yo son knows not to mess with me. I walk into his room at 6am and start snapping my fingers. It only takes 4 snaps to get him up and out of bed. He knows I will drag his butt out of bed if he doesn’t do it himself. :)

  32. Brenda

    I keep a quarter in my car specifically so I can always use a cart when I’m at Aldi. I do most of my shopping there because it’s cheap and I like the food just fine. It took me a few times visiting there to get the lay of the land, but now that I’ve got my quarter and am comfortable using an empty box when I forget bags, I’m good.

  33. ste

    I’ve heard of things that are for the hard of hearing. The alarm goes off and it vibrates the entire bed. Then again, it could have been a lie that my student was telling me for why she missed SO many 8:00 classes!

  34. Michelle

    For all the recommendations of the vibrator type clock – sorry, BED SHAKER type clock, I can speak from experience. I’ve used one for years as I’m hearing impaired and when my 7 year old daughter has climbed in our bed in the middle of the night, it doesn’t wake her in the least. It can be an expensive clock and VERY easy to reach over and hit a button to stop the shaking.
    Would Chickie be sensitive to smells by chance? Having a spray bottle of some sort (Febreeze??) or smelling salts or a can of farts might be worth a try. I can smell TOAST being made and it wakes me up stat.

  35. Cheryl

    I had issues with meds making me sleep like a rock. Adjusting when I took them helped, as did an earlier bedtime (yeah, Chickadee probably won’t like that idea).

    This alarm is effective, but if she doesn’t wake up your neighbors might begin to hate you.

  36. Laura

    I have a teenager. My teenager also happens to have Down Syndrome, not that it matters, but it offers a bit of context. So, I will admit that a spray bottle filled with cold water has been employed to roust grumpy face out of bed in the past, but then over time even the mere threat worked wonders. Also, he loves his job training program and I have threatened that if he doesn’t get up on time after one warning, I will let him sleep through, he will miss his internship, and he will have to call in and explain why. It hasn’t happened yet, but I think he has learned (from being my kid for 19 years) that I’m dead serious. He would hate to miss his “school” more than anything in the world, so I think the threat is enough to get his butt moving in the mornings (it also makes him take responsibility for himself). Actually, as he gets older the wake-up routine has gotten much better so I would suspect there is light at the end of the tunnel for you guys as well. Hang in there! Of course you could always try my dad’s favorite technique, I have two words for you: more cowbell.

  37. Gaylin

    I live in Vancouver and all our shopping carts need 25 cents or a dollar (coin) to acquire!

    Years ago my roommate dated a guy who was impossible to wake up. She used to leave him in her room and go to work . . . Meaning I had to wake him up to kick him out before I went to work. I resorted to ice cubes. Throw them under the covers and run.

  38. Karen R

    Ah, mint. The small amount I saved in a pot after smothering the huge quantity that had taken over my garden continues to come up every year. Potted mint is the way to go.

  39. Sonia

    In my house, she would be instructed to go to bed earlier… And earlier…. And earlier until we find that magic number of hours of sleep required to get up in the morning and act reasonably human :)

    • Mir

      Yeeeeah, we’ve already back up bedtime multiple times. She’s getting plenty of sleep, it’s just a can’t-activate-the-morning-brain thing.

  40. Mary K. in Rockport

    The Bill Cosby remedy? Drag the blankets to the floor, seize a teenage foot, and pull.

  41. Rosie

    My solution for the waking issue: self-responsibility. When it becomes her problem and not yours, it gives her more incentive to wake herself up. So she misses something important? Thems the consequences.

  42. Michele

    Option 1: chain clocky to her FOOT. No staples needed!
    Option 2: Old skool alarm clock with honest to goodness brass bells. I have a nephew who is adverse to waking up in a timely manner, and it worked for him.

  43. Rebecca

    Oh lord, may I sympathize with you on the allergies? I woke up this morning and was treated to the lovely reminder that allergy eyes + rigid gas permeable contact lens = ooooowwww [insert expletives I don’t say on other people’s blogs].

    I would love to hear a solution for the alarm clock problem… I find it’s easier for me to set a series of alarms in intervals to help me gradually wake up. My problem is that I don’t seem to mentally associate the alarm with *actually getting out of bed*, so I end up sleeping like a sloth unless I actually have to be somewhere in the morning.

  44. Meg

    I’d go with the wake her up yourself for a while and remember that it is not forever. I have had to wake up 2 out of 3 of my boys as alarm clocks are just too easy to ignore and the high school start time way too early. The middle one is now in college and has solved this problem by scheduling later classes. Once she gets to college, it will truly be her problem but for now I don’t think it is a huge blow to independence if you have to wake her up. She has been dealing with a lot and is taking meds that may make it more dififcult to get up. I think a little help is called for.

    It may be a blow to your sleeping schedule, but so is listening to Clocky.

  45. mandy

    How is it that I’m the first to suggest pelting C with the bloated lizard corpse? Surely you could stash it in a zip bag in the freezer….. ; )

    • Lindsey

      This is my favorite response to anything, ever!! Still laughing, thank you. :)

  46. Beth A.


    Also, I about spit my Diet Coke (yes, I know…chemicals…cancer…asparatame…blah blah blah…ha!) at the screen when you implied that cocaine might be illegal.

    After reading all the above comments, I think the frozen marbles are the way to go…they will be cold. She will want away from them, but you won’t be stuck with a wet soggy bed afterwards.

  47. Jan

    This is not useful, but it’s AMUSING and sometimes you have to choose between the two.

    For a man who is sleeping through his alarm-that-could-wake-the dead: change the alarm sound to a recording of his wife whispering, “wanna do it?”

    Perhaps there’s an analogous solution for Chicky? :)

    • Mir

      “I have ice cream, don’t tell your brother.”

      • Jan


        I was thinking “bacon’s cooking” but then I remembered about the vegetarian thing.

      • Arnebya

        I just need to say it…this new avatar is cracking me the hell up.

  48. Arnebya

    I look at the Aldi every time I drive by it…to the Shoppers, Giant, or Safeway. I’ve always wanted to go in, but never have. Now? I want to MORE (especially after MomQueenBee’s link). Maybe someday when I’m sure I have quarters, and cash, I’ll venture in.

  49. Brandi

    Aldi is German. It’s a EU thing – most places you have to use a 1 euro or £1 coin to release the cart.. because then they all get returned!

    • Brandi

      Also, the waking thing: I have a fatigue problem (modern medicine helps! I can’t imagine what my ancestors, who I got this from, did..) and generally can’t wake up easily. I have an app on my phone that records my sleeping and give it a 30 minute period and it can wake me anytime there.. it chooses when it thinks you’re in the lightest sleep. It helps.

  50. Celeste

    Lo, back in the dark ages, Aldi didn’t have scanners. The cashiers and managers were required to memorize the prices and were tested about once a month. And they only took cash. They didn’t stock as many different things back then.

    I was glad when they went to scanners and taking debit cards. I’m also a non-cash-carrier and I never learn. It was smart of them to take debit cards, because I know I personally buy more when I don’t have to worry about not having enough cash.

    DH refuses to shop at Aldi. Personally, I like them but he does most of the shopping. The ex-husb worked there for several years as a manager. They paid very well but did not treat him well. Then again, I think I now better understand why. Back then I believed the “it’s not my fault they hate me.”

    • mamaspeak

      I was going to suggest that if she’s on any medications, there’s a good chance that may be part of the problem. I have fibromyalgia, and because of sleep related issues, I’m just like Chickie. Only two things work for me; someone calling me on the phone, and my younger child getting up. My kids getting up will get me up because I’m pretty sure she’ll try to cook something it’s an adult isn’t present.

  51. deva

    I undrstand chickie’s frustration. Is Licorice an effective alarm doggie? If I don’t get to the alarm clock fast enough in the morning the cats start yowling at me. We have four of them. I do not suggest CatAlarm unless in dire straits, but DogAlarm could work :)

  52. Melissa

    I have struggled with this badly at various points. You might have to experiment with moving the time she takes medication? That had always helped me when mornings become a little bit tough. Also, I find that I take longer to adjust to time changes when on meds? I sometimes use melatonin for two nights to adjust to the new bedtime.

    • Mir

      Licorice is so far proving useless, but our idea for tomorrow morning is that we sneak up there and cover Chickie in pepperoni, so we’ll see.

  53. Christine

    I couldn’t wake up without my bed shaker alarm clock – with it too far away to hit snooze without getting out of bed. I also has an audible alarm, perhaps the sustained multi sensory aspect would work for her…I got mine from Amazon and it wasn’t that expensive, mine is specifically designed for people who are hard of hearing.

  54. Djurdjica

    This is maybe a stupid suggestion, but try setting up something she really looks forward to, for the morning when she wakes up. She’ll subconsciously want to! It worked for me when I was feeling bleh, because let’s face it, nobody likes the thought of getting up for obligations and chores. But if you have something nice first thing in the morning, it makes things a little less painful and a little more hopeful. It could be a treat or an activity, anything.

    Then again, maybe teenagers are just genetically not morning people.

  55. JessH

    When I was a surly teenager, my father would bang a wooden spoon on a pan and sing very loudly, “Time to get up” of whatever came into his head that morning. Very annoying, but effective.

  56. suburbancorrespondent

    We actually discussed this issue of waking teen girls a number of years ago over at my place (and does it surprise you that I am not at all surprised that the clock woke you before it woke Chickadee?), and my commenters came up with a number of …um…resourceful…suggestions, that I compiled into a single list. You’re welcome.

  57. Deanna

    My daughter has a similar problem while on trazadone. We took to waking her up every morning, nothing else worked. Of course, now she’s either going to have to go off her meds, or take her dad with her to college, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it. Lol

  58. Crisanne

    Sonic Boom. That thing has changed the way our mornings go. ESP if she wants to change it and can’t do it on her own. It has a volume control, but honestly it’s the bed shaking part that does the trick.

    Went in an Aldi once and was too overwhelmed to buy anything. Maybe I’ll check out that blog link and give it another try.

  59. Kate in MI

    Peanut butter spread onto sleeping kid’s toes. Then let the dogs into the room. Works like a charm.

  60. Mandy

    We trained our dogs to “wake up the girls”. This involves them running in from their morning potty break outside – usually still wet from the perpetual rainfall we have here, jumping up on one girl’s bed licking and her face still she screams (rooting around under pillows and blankets if they are deployed as a defense). They then jump over to the other bed and start in on girl #2. So far, this has worked wonders on getting them up and the dogs think it’s a great game.

    The down side is that if for some reason we get up early and forget to close their bedroom door, they get an early wake-up call! We don’t have to do this with my son yet because, at 6, he still gets up way before we want him to!

  61. LizD

    What is this mysterious thing called “paper money” of which you speak? I only know from the plastic…

  62. Atlantagirl

    I forgot to post this earlier, but Aldi has just come out with a new line of organic products in their stores.

    I was inspired by this post to go to Aldi tonight on my way home, and bought 8 bottles of Mango Passion juice, which they hardly ever have but which is AWESOME. I also forgot my bags (seriously, we have 20 bags sitting in our dining room expressly for this purpose that I really just need to grab a few of and put in my car) and I found a present in my cart-4 Walmart grocery bags that I could use for my groceries! So that was great. I’ve swayed my husband over to the Aldi side. We’re working on paying off debt and shopping at Aldi definitely helps us save money! My only issue with Aldi is that they don’t open until 11:00 am on Sundays, and we like to go grocery shopping after church (around 9:30).

  63. Melissa

    I too have the ability to sleep through ANYTHING. I bought a Screaming Meanie (120 decibel alarm), and it worked… until it didn’t. I put it in the bathroom sink so that I had to get up and go turn it off… then I crawled right back in the bed. The current thing that is working for me is an app (there are several, but this is an android app called Alarm Clock Xtreme) that uses MATH problems to turn it off or snooze it. You choose the level of difficulty for the problems, can use any ring-tone, can set as many as 4 alarms, and adjust the number of problems to solve up to 10 for both wake and snooze. I change the ringtone every 3 days or so, and there are a TON of “loud alarm” tones out there. I use the operatic song from 5th element, and there’s one with Vuvuzela’s (SP?) and a very loud brass band that works as well.

    Oh, and Aldi’s is the BEST in both quality and price, and that’s coming from someone who works for their competitor.

    • Anne

      My daughter successfully uses this. The big problem is when she manages to get out the door with out totally disabling and I am stuck trying to solve math problems way over my abilities or listen to it go off all day long!

    • Wendalette

      Oh WOW! I totally could have used that! As math is not exactly my strong point, I might actually have stayed awake long enough to wake up. Ironically, I LIKED math so, I would have had the bonus of something to look forward to!

  64. Jen

    You planted mint! Now the ZOMBIES WILL WIN AND IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT!
    I’m late to the party, so someone else I’m sure has said this, but look for an alarm clock for the hearing impaired. It’s a device that goes under the mattress and vibrates violently. I’m thisclose to getting one for my son, but then think, eh, he’s homeschooled and I would rather have that hour of peaceful thinking. ;)

  65. Jessica

    I grew up going to Aldi regularly, but this was back waaaaay before reusable bags. We’d always have to be on the lookout for leftover boxes or hope that we wanted the last of something to steal the box for it. Our Aldi didn’t have a scanner until a couple years ago (the checkers had to remember every single code, but they were paid handsomely for that and tested on it before being loosed upon the masses), and I remember walking in with a friend when I was back home visiting and being overly excited that they had scanners. Ah, the days of taking our cart over to the long table thing at the back and loading up our boxes. (At one point, you could buy bags, but they were ridiculously expensive for paper bags.) But the carts have always been like that. It stops people from stealing them (to cart things back home instead of getting boxes or bags) and ensures that they put them back instead of leaving them in the (extremely small, for ours) parking lot.

    I have no idea about getting Chickie up. I wear earplugs to bed every night, and I still hear my own alarm clock, but I’m also a fairly light sleeper for the most part.

  66. elz

    I’ve heard there is a wristband vibrating thingy that wakes lazy boneses up. Also a jawbone?? Good luck.

  67. Anna

    Yep, all of my suggestions have been mentioned. The clocks for the deaf- shakers, lights, etc. The old-fashioned two-bell clock, too. I used it when my “slot” for the shower was 5 flippin’ 30 in the morning. Hmm. What about blaring some sort of obnoxious music? The Barney song? lol Good luck.

    My husband takes a muscle relaxant that knocks him out pretty good. He can take it about ten hours before wake-up and be okay, but if he waits until only eight hours, it’s very, very hard. I don’t know if her meds are similar, that maybe she can just take it an hour or so earlier in the evening? It’s worth a try.

  68. Aimee

    10 different alarm clocks set to go off at 1 minute intervals? But see, that’s not nice because then you and Otto and Monkey will all wake up and be going bananas and somehow I imagine Chickadee still snoring peacefully through the whole thing. Caffeine IV? Sprinkle kibble on her bed and let Licorice into the room? CD alarm clock set to go off with a song she REALLY hates but the rest of you all love?

    I wish I had the perfect solution for you. I will continue to ponder. But in the meantime, beware the mint.

  69. Aubri

    What you need is the world’s most annoyingly awesome Tigger Talking Alarm Clock. Right now, you can find two here:

    I was exactly like Chickie in high school. This was the only thing that woke me up. So, I say combine Clocky and Tigger.

    Also… MIIIIIIIIINNNNNTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  70. Kim

    Yeah, I sleep through my alarm clock too. Always have. I use my iPod now. I put it on “shuffle” and pick a really obnoxious band (Soundgarden, AC/DC, something HEAVY) and sometimes? About 3 times a week? I even wake up with the first song. The rest of the time, Maddy’s nurse knocks on my door to make sure I didn’t die in there. LOL (But let Maddy cough, or roll over funny and I am UP! And walking! Go figure.) I know, not particularly helpful for Chickie, but I wanted y’all to know that you aren’t alone.

  71. Shannon

    We don’t have Aldi’s here but it sounds like a horrible grocery store for people with young kids!

    Bag your own groceries while your little urchins cling to you and/or try to “help”. (Bonus that I assume you must bring your own bags…one more things to schlep into the store with you along with non walking children and the diaper bag).

    Come up with a quarter to get a cart…but oh no, you don’t have any change because your 18 month old emptied everything out of your wallet 2 days ago. Well, you’re screwed.

    Make the choice of returning the cart AFTER you put the kids in their carseats (but *gasp* you just left the kids alone in the car!) OR you can put all the groceries up, take the cart BACK to the front of the store and then carry and/or drag your children all the way back to the car without the handy cart to help contain one or more of them.

    Even if it’s cheap, you are making me glad I don’t have an Aldi’s nearby.

  72. Kim

    Imma go in the opposite direction. If Chickie is frustrated, too, then she needs help. When I studied overseas in England, my host father would bring me a cup of tea every morning witha cheery, “time to get up, Yank!” It sounds a little weird as I’m writing it, but he’d been doing it for years for his wife, and he incorporated me into the routine. It was *wonderful.* Does Chickie do coffee or tea? It is extra work for you, but if her sleep issues are a side effect, it just may be the easiest.

  73. Liza

    You should never plant mint in your herb box because it will take over the planet. (You’re welcome!)

    The fights about this in your comments are one of *my* favorite rites of spring and I’m sad that no one has done it yet in 78 comments!

    One of the rites of spring that I do not miss from Georgia is living with pollen as thick as snow flurries. On the flip side, today it is 37 and pouring rain in Milwaukee. So the tradeoffs are substantial.

    • Sheila

      Hey, Liza, it could become snow flurries. So be careful what you say.

  74. Jenne

    Aldi ROCKS! It literally saved my daughter and I when I was a struggling, bankrupt single mom. Now that I’m married to the chef, it’s only taken me 7 years to convert him.

    (In an interesting aside, his mother buys every-single-bleeping-thing-including-gifts at garage sales, but would only grocery shop at Jewel/Supervalu/the-most-expensive-grocery-game-in-town.)

    A few helpful tips: Aldi Triscuits are awesome; once you try them, you will never go back to Nabisco ones. I only use Aldi toilet paper; will drive past 3 Walgreens & 2 CVSs to get to Aldi. Aldi “Truvia” packets – you get more & SO cheap! Their pork loins – awesome! (Sorry, Chickie) Their biscuits – not so flaky; we end up with little hockey pucks, but it could be operator error. My dad LOVES their wine – it’s not my thing, so I can’t say. The sparkling water is excellent – same as WalMart. Their soda (regular cola, diet cola, clear soda) — no complaints, but I’m not super picky.

    I worked for McCain Foods (the french fry folks) and it’s 100% true — the same product goes in the Green Giant, Happy Valley, and Safeway bags.

    You must share your alarm solution – I hate feeling like such a bitch first thing in the morning. Definitely NOT in the running for Mother-of-the-Year by waking my child up by screeching and threatening. Sigh.

  75. Lisa Kay

    I’m another Aldi convert! So much so that I’m willing to drive 20 minutes to get to one!
    I WILL say that I put it off for years, until my kids were old enough to help bagging and not have to ride in the cart. There are very few things that they sell that I don’t like: if I’m making queso, I have to buy name brand Velveeta and RoTel tomatoes, and I don’t like their mayo. (But I was a mayo snob when I shopped at Wal Mart. It’s got to be Kraft or Hellman’s!) Everything else that I can think of is great! I now get resentful when I have to go to Wal Mart and spend as much money on one bag as I spent on a cart full at Aldi.
    I have a ton of bags that I’ve collected from Whole Foods (when I worked there. Can’t afford to shop there!), so I keep those in the car. AND, to solve the problem of needing a quarter, I keep one in a little nook in my car. Everyone knows DON’T TAKE MY ALDI QUARTER!!

  76. Gail

    I also used to be impossible to wake up in my late teenage years. I could sleep through multiple alarms, turn alarms off in my sleep, and apparently also have entire phone conversations in my sleep (I once called my doctor who was very confused because we’d already spoken that morning–except I was asleep the whole time). The retro-style hammer and bells alarm clock was the best at getting me up regularly, although it would also wake up everyone else on my floor. Changing alarm sounds regularly was also helpful.

    There is light at the end of the tunnel, though. I’m now in my twenties and the alarm on my iphone wakes me up successfully 98% of the time.

  77. Heather

    Pretty much all the buggies here are coin-release. Some are A DOLLAR. (We have the loonie, of course so that helps haha. Stuffing a bill in there could be tricksy!)

  78. Wendalette

    I WAS that teenager that slept like the dead. My mom tried all of the following, in various combinations:

    *shaking me awake
    *spray bottle of water
    *pouring ice water
    *pulling back all the covers
    *turning on all the lights
    *shining a bright flashlight on my eyelids
    *pulling me out of bed
    *a solid smack on the rear
    *singing loudly and obnoxiously

    These got me up…for those mornings only. The threat of repetition did nothing to help me get my own self up.

    For a while, she sat on my bed, stroked my hair and sang loving, made-up songs or song from my childhood. While that didn’t help me wake myself up, I also didn’t go back to sleep, it set a great tone for my day and helped us to bond. Until she decided that I was too old for it. That was a sad day.

    When I went away to school, I tried:
    *annoying alarm clock by my head (until the day I threw it across the room in my half sleep — the crash is what woke me up and the horror kept me up; I loved that little clock!)
    *annoying alarm clock across the room (less to make sure I got up than to preserve the clock)

    Now, I just set multiple alarms on multiple clocks and drink a lot of water or tea before going to bed.

    (@$$vice Alert!!!! That being said, if she seems really tired every few weeks, you might have noticed it’s “her time” coming up. That used to be my biggest problem — the week before, I was practically narcoleptic. Or, if it’s ALL the time, as I experienced in young adulthood, maybe get her checked for Lyme. I had it for years and never knew — never had the typical symptoms or the bullseye rash.)

  79. JenR

    I love the internet! I learn all sorts of interesting stuff, like how different grocery shopping is in other countries ;) Although I’m British I grew up in France, but returned to the UK 15 years ago. Shopping is pretty much the same both sides of the Channel. We have had to find coins for the trolley (i.e. cart) for years now. I actually have a keyring that has a detachable disc on it which replaces the £1 coin so I don’t have to remember to bring change. They have them in France too, to replace the 1 Euro coin. France did away with plastic bags years ago in an effort to save the planet, but the Brits are a bit further behind although some stores do now charge for bags to encourage you to bring your own. British stores have all kinds of amazing carts with baby seats – sometimes even two seats in case you have twins, and they have special parking areas with more room to manoeuvre for people with kids. They are closest to the entrance and near the trolley park. The French don’t have that – I don’t think they even have disabled parking actually. There is no one to bag your groceries in either country, although at Sainsbury’s they do ask if you’re ok and will get someone along to help if you need it. Oh and there is a big push towards self-service tills to reduce staff, although they always bug and you need someone on hand to help out, so it’s a waste of time (you always get announcements like “unexpected item in bagging area”). Aldi is German so it’s fun to see what German foods they have on offer. Personally? I prefer to do online grocery shopping because I have arthritis and it’s a struggle, and if I still had a little kid there is no way in HELL I would go to the store. Let someone else do all the hard work I say!

  80. gilly

    my suggestion is to have a very bright lamp on a timer to go on about 15 to 20minutes before she wants to wake up.
    Simulates sunrise in the bedroom and natural light which will prompt the body to automatically sense it is wake up time.

    I have a halogen type directed at the ceiling and have found it amazingly useful and helpful

  81. Lisa R

    Maybe a fan blowing in Chickie’s face would wake her up. Some people find that intolerable when they’re trying to sleep. You could put one on each side of the bed and plug them both in to one of those lamp timers to turn on at wakeup time.

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