Monthly Archives: June 2011

Fred Flinstone Feet

Since having Annmarie, I’ve let a lot of things go like getting my hair cut (my bangs are currently at that weird length where they are too long to leave down, but too short to stay back without a bobby pin), my eyebrows threaded and pampering my feet.

A part of letting this stuff go has to do with my questioning if they are worth the expense anymore.

Since I keep hitting stuff with my car (thereby increasing my auto insurance by $1k a year), I figured I should maybe cut back on the splurges. But now that the weather is warmer and I can wear flip-flops and other cute sandals, I’m looking at my feet a lot more. And holy hell, I have man feet.

This photo doesn’t even do my feet justice.  They are seriously jacked right now.  Here is another photo proving how man-ish my feet are:

When I initially looked at this photo, I thought, “Wow – Jeremy has a really wide stance”.  But then I noticed the toe on his other foot and realized I was looking at MY man foot.  Yowza.

(btw – isn’t my baby just the cutest?  And do you like how I’ve squeezed her into an obviously too small romper?)

I know that I could polish my own toenails.  But that good nail polishing gene that seems to be innate in most Asians?  Yeah – I think I inherited the white people nail polishing skills (thanks, Dad).  I was polishing my toenails in May but eventually stopped and removed the polish because I was just highlighting how jacked my toes looked.

I’ve also developed this weird fear of the nail technicians.  I had one bad pedicure (the lady made me bleed!) so my feet have become hypersensitive to the tools.  I shudder when I think about it.  But do I suck it up for vanity?  Or do my man feet somehow make me adorable?  “Aw – look at that awesome new mom and her man feet.  Isn’t she precious?

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Questions (Sometimes I Wonder…)

Because I really have nothing to blog about (except for baby stuff – but really, do you guys only want to read about baby stuff?  I’m trying to find a good balance) – I’m going to ramble about some things that have been on my mind lately.

Sometimes I wonder…

… if I’ll ever get a good, long, solid sleep (and past 6am) ever again.

… how I married someone into such dorky things like movies/shows about aliens (Jeremy is currently watching a dvr’ed episode of Falling Skies… and he likes this show)

… if we’ll ever be able to move out of the city anytime soon.

… if I’ll ever find a good work / life balance that doesn’t leave me feeling completely drained.

… if I’ll ever get up to running 6 miles.  Right now I’m at 4.5 miles.

… if I’ll ever be able to go full vegan.  Now that I have a baby – I feel like I can’t continue to lead this hypocritical “I don’t eat animals” stance while still consuming some animal by products (like dairy).

… if I’ll ever get a massage.  I’m so achy!

… if I should get a pedicure.  Is it worth the splurge?  Can I manage the up keep?  When did my feet become so sensitive?

… how hoarders can live in their conditions.  (Jeremy just changed the channel to Hoarders)

… what would have happened had I followed my original degree path of Psychology and pursued a career in that field.

… if and when we’ll have another baby.

… how hard it would be to learn to sew.  Right now I’d love to sew new curtains in the kitchen.  And I’d also love to sew some super cute baby girl dresses.

… if I’m doing any sort of parental thing correctly.  We introduced solids this week but I can’t help but wonder if we did it correctly.  Do you ever really know?

… how Annmarie can go several days without pooping and seem fine whereas I would die.

… how some babies look so much like one of their parents but Annmarie doesn’t look like either of us.  Did we take the wrong baby home?

… why some adults act like such babies.

What have you been wondering lately?

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Mean Mom (I Really Do Hate Being Mean)

 So I reread what I wrote yesterday and have realized that it was a little mean-spirited.  I hope my readers don’t think that I hate Jeremy or that he’s a terrible dad / partner.  He’s great.  (and no, he didn’t tell me to write that either)

I think becoming a mom has made me somewhat meaner.  I feel a sense of entitlement when I go out now.  I expect people to be polite to me.  I expect people to hold the door open for me.  I expect people to f’n help me lift heavy things when they see I’m balancing a tiny (well not so tiny) baby.  I expect people to get out of my way when I’m trying to push my stroller through an aisle in a store (or farmer’s market).  I expect decency from other people.

What I feel like I’m getting is the treatment of a leper.  Even though I feel I’m mean – I’m ridiculously polite to people now.  When I was getting THE WORST customer service all day on Saturday, I never once raised my voice or copped a ‘tude.  I smiled politely.  I calmly explained myself.  I thanked them for their service.

When some motherf’er did EVERYTHING in his power to speed around me on the road because OHMYGODIHAVEABABYONBOARDSIGN, I looked at him and smiled.

My friend who is a mom to an almost 9 week old (and my future son-in-law) and I chatted yesterday about people in general.  She said she has noticed the treatment of moms that I often complain about but said she didn’t see it to the extent to which I see it.  And that made me question my own perceptions.  I really think that I just expected people to continue treating me as nicely as they did when I was pregnant and when that stopped, I just assumed they were a-holes.  (either that or my friend is just a nicer person than me or people are just nicer to her)

So now back to Jeremy.

I’ve read lots of blog posts of women gushing over their amazing partners and what amazing fathers they are to their children.  And EVERY SINGLE ONE of those posts makes me roll my eyes.

Yes, Jeremy is absolutely fantastic.  He was my rock during my post-delivery care (seriously – the man deserves a medal for all that he did).  He clearly loves his daughter.  He does what he can to help (including lots of diaper changes, getting stuff ready for daycare, playing with the baby, etc. etc.). 

But come on!  I doubt anyone’s partner is perfect.  I want to read about how someone’s partner rarely offers to clean bottles for you.  I want to hear about how often he complains about being tired.  Or how he tells you how you should hold/play with your kid.  I want to hear about how he never does the kid’s laundry or even his own.  (btw – these are not all things that Jeremy does… or always does)

Considering that Jeremy is still in school (while still working full-time) – I think he really does go above and beyond what some other dads that I know do for their wives and kids. 

But I’ve come to realize that this is where I start to feel like a single parent.  There are nights when he has class and he doesn’t get home until after 9pm.  It was definitely harder when I was on maternity leave and he’d leave for work at 7:30am and not get home until 9:30pm (and I definitely now have a lot of respect for stay  at home moms)  Still – I think this is where I have my “whoa is me” moments and feel the heavy burden of responsibility.

I knew what I was in for when I said I wanted a baby and he was only halfway through his program.  I guess I just wasn’t prepared for how much work a baby truly is (however I wouldn’t change it for the world).  Or even despite the work – I still can’t take a long extended break for myself because my own body betrays me.  I can’t be away from my baby or a breast pump for more than a few hours at a time without feeling the pain of engorgement.

So bear with me – I have a lot of moments lately where I feel sorry for myself or I feel angry at the world for not treating me like a queen.  I’m trying to get over that and over myself because I don’t want to be mean or angry.  I don’t like it.  I feel like I’m experiencing some baby blues but very post-partum at this point.  Is that normal?  I really need a mommy group.

My friend, upon me telling her that perhaps I’m just a much meaner person now, said that while I may think I’m meaner I definitely don’t treat my daughter poorly or ever show her signs of irritation in the human race.  And quite honestly – that is what is most important to me right now.

Ugh – how Debbie Downer was this post today?  Geez.  Thanks for reading if you made it this far.

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Being a Bigger Person (I didn’t give a poopy diaper gift)

As disappointed as I was in my 1st Mother’s Day (I even declared that I was just going to give Jeremy a diaper full of poop) – I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t be a jerk.

For those of you that want the quick summary of what I did for Jeremy’s first Father’s Day, here goes:

  • Let him sleep later than me! I got up with the dogs and the baby.
  • Made him breakfast (blueberry begium waffles with fresh strawberries)
  • Planted some plants (something I had asked Jeremy to do 2 weeks ago and even worse? This was a project we started 2 SUMMERs ago). I don’t garden but I wanted to get it done before (1) it got ass-hot outside and (2) our neighbors woke up so I wouldn’t be choking in their cigarette smoke.
  • “mowed” the lawn. I used our weed whacker (my first time!) and trimmed the grass out back.
  • Used a power tool! Can you tell I’m not very handy? In looking at what I had planted (lavender plants) – we reassessed where we had placed all of our planters in the backyard. I took down several with the power drill. Go me.
  • Did all the crap errands sans partner but with a 17 lb baby strapped to my chest. This included a run to Home Depot for more soil (I bought 2 big bags WITH NO HELP FROM ANYONE in getting them loaded into the cart AND into my car).
  • Gave him sunglasses and a t-shirt.

I guess this is the point where I’m supposed to blog about what a wonderful dad Jeremy is to Annie but I’m just not that mushy. Yes, he’s a pretty good dad. He’s a pretty good partner (although there are times when I just want to punch him in the face).

I’ve heard a few people vent about their partners and I think that I’m lucky that Jeremy is attentive, caring, seems to geniunely want to hang with his daughter and even helps me with baby duties (because he believes that we should both be changing diapers, getting up with the baby, etc.).

Annie wanted to thank her dad too by giving him a picture of her footprint since her feet will never be this tiny again.

Happy Father's Day

And by thanking her dad, she spent the majority of this craft crying and struggling (as evidenced by the left footprint). She apparently didn’t like having paint slathered onto her feet in a bathtub with 2 women (my friend Kristin helped me to execute this craft). She’s such a drama queen, sometimes.

And here’s a cute picture of Annie from Saturday right before she became possessed by the devil (she was up off and on at night crying… this was a first since she was a NEWBORN).

Sweet girl

I posted about my exhausting night on Facebook. For those of you wondering – we think it was because she hadn’t pooped all day. And she definitely blessed me the next morning with several gifts of poo.

** Update **  Jeremy read this post and was a little peeved at the tone (and by how I may have portrayed him).  In my defense – I had written something different but decided to scrap the extra text but completely forgot that it mentioned some important facts… like how Jeremy had class all weekend.  So here’s Jeremy’s response to me:

Your post makes me sound like an “A” and not the letter grade “A”.  You forgot to mention that you were sans husband because he was in class all day and that I helped with planting duties by holding the baby and keeping her occupied.  And it hadn’t been two weeks that the plants did not get planted.  We bought them on 06/11 and they didn’t get planted due to bad weather and then class this past weekend.”

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Thursday Thoughts

I’m taking a page from Kt’s blog and am posting some random thoughts I’m having today (mostly because I don’t have anything substantial to blog about right now and its a Thursday).

  • I find myself appalled on a daily basis by some of the atrocious and what I deem inappropriate fashion of the women around my office.  They’re either too casual (seriously, a girl wore SHORTS to work – I do not work in an environment where shorts are ever appropriate) or scandalous (a girl wore a button down dress where the bottom of the dress was open to practically her crotch).  Am I getting really old?
  • I don’t understand women that wear high heels when they clearly cannot walk in them comfortably.  It is a pet peeve to watch these women wobble into the office.  I’ll take flats any day.
  • I’m determined to start using coupons.  I found some great coupon resources from this blog and will try my luck this weekend.  Apparently Whole Foods is having a sale on organic blueberries tomorrow and I should be able to use a coupon on top of that.
  • Speaking of saving money – I did talk the Craigslist ad poster (for the exersaucer) to drop the price $5.  Whoo hoo!
  • I hate Bruno Mars’ “Lazy Song”.  Hate it.  Rhyming p90x with sex made me cringe.
  • I loved this post on Baby Center about the mean mommy club.  What is it about being a mom that makes you so judgemental?  I’m SO guilty of this although I’d never dare make another mom feel like she’s doing something wrong – I just think it to myself and voice my opinion to my husband.  With that said, I also find myself feeling a great amount of empathy for moms who look frazzled when they’re out with their kids and the kids are crying.
  • I’ll admit that I watch The Voice.  Is it me or do Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine seem to genuinely not like each other?  So weird.  It is like they hooked up years ago and Adam never called Christina back.
  • The fact that I want one of these necklaces just further solidies how far I’ve come as a mom (I mean – I actually want a necklace that acts as a teether for my baby).
  • I just watched a bunch of trailers for the new Muppet movie coming out this Thanksgiving.  God, I love the Muppets.  Seriously.  I make fun of adults that are into Harry Potter but I will punch someone in the face if they say the Muppets are stupid.  The Muppets are awesome.

What’s on your mind today?

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Splurge vs Save (My Husband Thinks I’m Crazy)

I’ve blogged about how I’ve turned into a super cheapskate since having a baby but I’ve realized that I’m not consistently cheap when it comes to everything in my life.

Splurge Example 1:  My Groceries

Jeremy and I spend a lot of money on food every week.  I watch shows like Extreme Couponing (aka “Hoarders”) and think that I must be crazy to spend as much as I do each week (most of which gets consumed in a week) vs what these crazy couponers get for like $2.

But then I realize that we buy a TON of produce (and most of it is organic).  We also buy a lot of hippy dippy stuff that I like.  I never see coupons for these things (and I’ve never seen coupons for produce).

However, I don’t feel guilty about how much we spend on food because I think it is worth the money to buy good food since I am ingesting it.  If something is going in my body – I think it is worth the money (this goes for skin care as well).  I never understand people who buy crap food but splurge on clothes on material items.  What’s the point of looking good on the outside if you’re damaging your insides?  No thanks.

Splurge Example 2: Going Out to Eat

I know I just rambled about how I only buy “good” food but this dining out bit is completely unrelated.  I just realized that Jeremy and I buy lunches and dinners a lot.  I think a lot has to do with being tired.  Between having a baby, working and whatever else – sometimes I just don’t feel like making lunch or dinner on the weekend.  So we buy both.  Sometimes we buy good stuff but mostly we buy not so good stuff (lots of pizza).  We don’t generally buy lunch or dinner during the work week (I mean, those groceries we’re splurging on are for something) but the weekends are where we eat out ALL THE TIME.

Splurge Example 3: Vacuum

Okay, this isn’t a normal splurge item but this weekend we bought the Dyson Animal vacuum.  And let me tell you – it hurt my heart to spend that much on such a NOT fun appliance.

We had a $60 lightweight Eureka vacuum but it stopped working.  Jeremy kept insisting that we just splurge this once on a good vacuum instead of continually buying cheap vacuums every few years.  But have you seen the price tag on these things?  It physically hurt me to pay that much for something.  This vacuum cost more than our dishwasher (and that probably explains why the dishwasher isn’t that great).

Now onto how I’m a cheapskate…

Cheap Example 1: Baby Gear

I’ve mentioned how cheap I am but it has gotten much worse with baby gear.  Now that I realize how quickly my baby is growing – the idea of spending so much on baby gear seems absurd.  I’ve let go of clothes (mostly because there are so many inexpensive options thanks to Target) – but the toys and gear?  Oy!  Thankfully all of our toys/gear were given to us at our showers (the swing, the rocking chair, the pack-n-plays…) but now we’re looking at other toys like exersaucers.  I refuse to buy a brand new exersaucer so I’ve been scouring the parenting listserv for parents who are giving away or selling their used ones.  And every time I see a posting, I’m always too late to claim it!

I saw a post on Craigslist for a used exersaucer.  The poster said it was a “few years old” and that his kids had outgrown in (implying multiple children have played on this thing).  It supposedly retailed for $80 when he bought it but he’s asking $35.  I still think that’s a bit steep for a multi-kid several years old toy.  Is it ridiculous that I want to haggle him down to $25?  Jeremy thinks I’m crazy.

Cheap Example 2: Arguing for Store Credit

Further proving why I hate Babies R Us, we tried to return 2 unopened items from our baby register the 2 week of May.  Jeremy ran into the store to do the exchange and came back out to say that they wouldn’t accept the returns because it was past the 90 days of our registry date (Annmarie’s birth date).  We had missed it by less than a week.  I found that unacceptable and ridiculous.  I can’t remember the circumstances but I didn’t go into the store.

Later that month, I found the receipt to one of the items we tried to return (a $25 item).  I went to the store today to get store credit and they said they couldn’t take the item back because it had been over 90 days since the receipt.  I balked.  I wanted my damn store credit.  I wasn’t leaving without it.  They didn’t put up much of a fight (the girl called over her manager who not so nicely said they’d make an acception “just this once”) but dammit – I got my $25 store credit.

So what about you?  On what do you splurge vs. save?

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Fitness Friday (and other stuff)

Fitness

I’m still working out and following my basic same routine.  P90x strength training on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Running on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

But I’ve hit a plateau with running.  I’ve maxed out at 4 miles and can’t seem to break past that distance OR increase my speed.  When I first started running again (around the end of March), I noticed that my speed and distance were slowing increasing as I kept up my 3 times a week runs.

But these last 2 weeks have been difficult.  My last 2 Sunday runs have resulted in me only being able to run non-stop for the first 2 miles and then switch to a run 1 min walk 1 min for the next 2 miles.  The last 2 Tuesdays I’ve only been able to run 2 to 3 miles (on the treadmill) and they have felt HARD.  Strangely – the last 2 Thursdays I’ve been able to run 4 miles on the treadmill and feel fine.

I don’t know how to explain this.  I know everybody has a bad running day every once in awhile but I’m starting to wonder what is going on.  Why can’t I break past 4 miles?  Why has my speed stalled (in fact, I’ve gotten a little slower and am now averaging around 10:30 min/mile).

I was hoping I’d be up to running at least 5 miles or for 1 hour straight by now but can’t figure out what is happening and it is frustrating.  Any advice?

Other Stuff

I schlep a lot of stuff to work these days.  I was walking briskly past a woman wearing high heels and laughed at how silly she looked trying to cross the street at an increased speed. 

But then I realized that I look like an ass too because I carry no less than 2 LARGE bags every day filled to the brim with crap. 

Observe:

And this is a good day.  Twice a week I add a gym bag to the mix.  I realize I could probably not carry around the diaper bag as my purse (and in my defense, when I use this during the work week – I empty out the wipes and cloth diapers) but I hate switching between purses because there is always SOMETHING that you forget in one of the bags (like chapstick) and it drives you crazy when you need it and don’t have it.

While I can’t wait for the day I won’t need to carry around a breast pump anymore – I know I’ll miss the benefits of pumping (like how I’m burning up to 500 calories a day by just having milk sucked out of my body!  no huffing, puffing or sweating necessary!). 

And lastly – this is a question to anyone that is breastfeeding or has breastfed in the past.  Have you ever had any lumps in your breast? 

I recently felt a marble sized (and hardness) lump in my breast.  I googled it (because you know, Google = sound medical advice) and read a lot of breastfeeding forum posts around how women get cysts and small clogs in their milk ducts when breastfeeding.  Many women wrote that most docs ask for you to wait until you are done breastfeeding before getting it checked out.  However – I’m hoping that I can keep this up for another 8 months!  Right now I’m just keeping an eye (well, a finger) on it to see if it is still there.  I’m just a little worried.  Anyone have any experience with this?

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Ch-ch-changes (I hate Changes)

I have to break-up with my daycare provider and I am completely heartbroken and sick about it.  I knew that this day would eventually come but I guess I wasn’t ready to face it.  I actually get a little weepy when I talk about it.

Some of you may recall when I tweeted in a total panic about my daycare provider moving out of Baltimore?

She had told us that she and her husband bought a house in a suburban neighborhood located about 20 minutes south of Baltimore City (and it is actually in the same city as my parents).  They were planning on putting their home in the city but she said she would continue running daycare out of that home until it sold.  She even said she’d make arrangements to meet the parents at a pick-up/drop-off location after the house sold where she would take the children back to her new home.

We agreed mostly because we were kind of stuck.  I was coming back from maternity leave in less than a month and we really needed childcare! 

She’s been watching Annie for about a month now and I absolutely LOVE her.  She is one of the sweetest women I’ve encountered and she clearly loves Annie (and Annie clearly loves her).  She sends me picture and text message updates like these…

But I knew that she would stop running the daycare out of her Baltimore home.  Last week she called and said she would like to start running daycare out of her new home because the commute back and forth was taking its toll on her (and considering how little she makes, I completely understand).

She offered to meet at a halfway point between her new home and the city but that would require us leaving the city only to re-enter the city for work.  For anyone familiar with the traffic patterns in the Baltimore-Metropolitan area, you know that this isn’t ideal. 

The other family said that it was too far for them so they’re going to find other arrangements.  And because of this – I think she wants to be more accommodating for us.  She has offered to meet Jeremy in the city for drop-off if I was willing to drive to the suburbs for pick-up. 

I am really considering it because I just love her so much but at the same time – I know that I will tire of that commute as well.  I mean – I work less than 5 miles from my home!  I have it pretty good.  Do I want to deal with rush hour traffic again (I used to work 25 miles from my home and hated it).

Ugh – but I love her and this breaks my heart!  Jeremy just pitched the idea of seeing if she’d be willing to “nanny” at our house (we’d obviously pay her more) and potentially see if we can do a nanny share with someone but I don’t think she’d go for it.  I believe that she really wants to stay home but it is worth a shot.

In other changes news – my stupid f’n auto insurance, MetLife, sent me a letter the other day.  The letter was titled, “Notice of premium increase greater than 15%”.  With 2 accidents now on my plan, I wasn’t surprised.  But I almost choked when I read that they were jacking up my insurance 47%!  Even worse?  That rate hike was based on my November accident alone!  Yowza!

I started shopping around for other insurance plans and realized that we had it pretty good with MetLife (barring that we didn’t hit stuff with our cars).  Their rates were the lowest (thanks to a group discount through our employer) and their rental coverage was pretty good.  And now that I’m a “high risk” driver (one of the insurance companies deemed me as “uninsurable” after I submitted my information online for a quote) – I’m pretty sure we’re screwed.

So on top of now paying more for insurance, we’ll be paying more for childcare.  There is a HUGE difference between what our current provider charges and what others are charging (nearly $100 difference a WEEK).  Being an adult sucks sometimes.

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Tasting the World (A New Phase in Baby’s Development)

I’m just warning my readers that today’s post is yet another baby related post.  I meant to blog on Friday and I had something to write about (and I know it started with an F) but the day got away from me and then I received a letter from MetLife informing me that they were raising my car insurance by 47% (I wish that were a typo) based on my November accident (so god only knows what is going to happen once they factor in my most recent accident).  So I spent Friday kind of pissed off and worn down.

So I’m cheating.  Today is a photo post. 

Annie has reached that phase where she wants to stick everything in her mouth.  I’ve read on numberous baby sites and baby books that this is another way for babies to process the world around them (so instead of just their eyes, ears and nose… they now are trying to taste stuff). 

 
Stuffing her face series

Stuffing her face series

Stuffing her face series

Week 16 Outtake

(She’s trying to eat her shirt)

It is pretty funny and she ended up breaking one of her toys a few weeks ago (it was one you pulled down and it vibrated back up).  Because she was so intent on trying to up one of the legs of the toy in her mouth – it just ended up breaking the vibration piece. 

But the best “sticking stuff in her mouth” moment was when she grabbed Petie’s leg with one hand and then she turned on her side and grabbed the same leg with her other hand.  She then proceeded to move closer to Petie with her mouth wide open.  Jeremy pulled her away and said, “we don’t eat the dog, Annmarie”.  (I mean, she is a 1/4 Korean so perhaps she had a craving for dog?)

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Crap I Bought (and what I wore)

Remember when I mentioned some of the crap I wanted to buy?  Well I bought it.  The catalyst for me buying the stuff was my wearing a particularly revealing dress to the office last week.  I tried the dress on in a hurry over one of my nursing tanks and was too busy celebrating the fact that it zipped (it was a “skinny” dress) that I didn’t pay attention to where the v-neck hit.  I just threw the dress in my gym bag and headed off to the gym.  Only when I was getting ready for work and was getting slightly engorged (it was close to pumping time!) did I notice just how revealing the dress was and how awkward and inappropriate it looked.  I realized that I needed the secret cami!

Sorry – no picture of the revealing dress but here are 2 things that I remembered to snap a very grainy photo of this past week…

It is difficult to tell but this dress buttons all the way from top to botton in the front.  This is perfect nursing dress!  I also like that it is belted.  Since returning to work, I’m trying to wear more waist enhancing attire (anything that has a defined waist or can be belted).

Jeremy saw this outfit and said, “I know your secret” because he knew I was rocking the secret cami.  I felt like a giant turd snapping it over my bra but it was really convenient and helped me to feel office appropriate.

But now on to the other crap purchase… Easy Feet.  Save your $10!  While the bristles feel nice on my tootsies, this plastic piece of crap doesn’t stick to my tub!  And because it doesn’t stay in place, your foot kind of slides all over the place.  I don’t see how the elderly are the demographic for this product.  They would slip and break a hip!  I’m really mad about this purchase.  I was looking forward to pampering my feet in a convenient way to pamper my feet but instead am stuck with the world’s largest flip flop.

What’s the last crappy item you’ve purchased?

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