Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

It is officially the last day of 2007. It has been a big year for us. We welcomed Bear into the family January 31, 2007, 7 1/2 weeks before his due date. I got laid off from my job May 31, 2007. No big loss as I hated that job anyways. I started a new job July 16, 2007. A lot of other smaller things have happened but what amazes me is how fast this year went. Bear is 11 months old today. 11 months ago he was in the NICU hooked up to oxygen, heart monitors and other machines that go beep in the night. And now he is standing up playing with his Leap Frog activity table and yelling Dada at the top of his lungs.

As I look back on this year one thing is very clear to me. I want to be home with him. I have mentioned this before in more than one post but having spent more than half of the first year of his life as a full time working mom I see how much I have missed. If I am lucky I might get to spend 2 hours with him after I get home from work before he goes to bed. During that time we have to feed him, bathe him, read to him and get in all our cuddle time. That is if I ignore the mail, cooking, cleaning, laundry, paying bills, dinner, etc, etc until after he goes to bed.

I hate this. I know there were times during my maternity leave that I got a little stir crazy from being home all day but mostly that was when he was so tiny I didn't want to take him out in public for fear of him getting sick. Today we made a lovely trip to Target and I enjoyed being the Mom pushing my baby around in the basket stealing kisses while selecting 75% off wrapping paper. I enjoyed my time at home when I sat at the kitchen table drinking my coffee while he sat in his high chair eating cereal. I feel like I am missing out on so much and for what? A job that is ok but nothing spectacular? I don't love it, it is not my calling. It pays decently and provides insurance benefits that we need.

I am hoping 2008 will bring us a solution, such as a better job for my husband with better benefits. Perhaps someone with more courage would step out and trust God to take care of the details but I am just not quite that brave yet. Maybe 2008 will bring me courage. I also find myself itching to get pregnant again. I never thought I would be ready again so soon but who knows? I love the possibility that a new year brings. That is what New Year's is all about. I hope you all have a wonderful and happy New Year's Eve this evening!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Yes, Yes I'm still alive. I know you were worried.

Hello. Miss me? What? You didn't notice I have been AWOL for a week? Anyways, moving on. I am tired. So very, very, very tired. We have been going and going for the last week. I left from work at noon on the 21st packed up Bear and didn't come home until yesterday except for a brief stop Christmas evening to unpack dirty clothes and repack clean ones. When you are traveling with an almost 11 month old stops for clean laundry are mandatory. I got home yesterday and my in-laws stopped by for a quick visit and as soon as they left our friends showed up for pizza and the Alamo bowl on our recently purchased HD ESPN. I love that you can call the cable company and they can just flip a switch and turn on channels for you. I got to see my team lose in stunning new clarity. We have HD channels we just didn't have that particular package.

I did enjoy my time away. I spent days hanging out with my family, mooching free meals off my parents, watching hours upon hours of Lost episodes with my Dad, and of course, playing with all of Bear's new toys. Luckily my mom bought him a toybox which is now busting at the seams. I am glad to be back home watching Netflix with my husband and waiting for all my shows to come back from the holidays. My DVR is all sad and barren. I need to take down my Christmas tree and reclaim my living room but I am too lazy. I have an ungodly number of Google reader posts to read through. Don't you people take holidays? Geez. I just wanted to stop by and say Hi so you would know I was still breathing. I'll check back with y'all later.

Friday, December 21, 2007


I'm 95% ready to hit the road. I get off work in 31 minutes. The presents, pack and play, and Bear's bag are packed in the car. I need to run and pick up Bear from daycare and take him home so I can finish packing my stuff up. Then I grab the Puppy Chow (Chex Muddy Buddies mix, not Rocky's) and hit the road. I am super excited. I talked to my Mom this morning and she and my grandma can't wait to see Bear........and me, of course. Riiiiigggghhhttt. I'm just here to chauffeur the grandchild. I know my place.

My sister is turning 30 today. Ah, the glory of being the younger sister. I IM'd her this morning to wish her a happy birthday and ask if she feels as old as she is. I'm so loving, I know.

Anyways, I have 26 minutes until I get freed from my work prison. I must busy myself now with emptying my coffee cup, closing my blinds, setting my away message, and jumping with glee.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I am looking forward to the time off but I am not looking forward to the preparations. Luckily the Christmas presents are all bought and wrapped but I still have to make puppy chow (AKA Chex Muddy Buddies) tonight and get everything packed for me and Bear. Bear and I are heading to my Mom's house tomorrow when I get off work at noon along with the gifts for my Mom's side of the family and my husband's family. My husband has to work half a day Saturday so he will be meeting us there.

I am just tired today and not motivated for anything but sleeping. Although I am looking forward to taking Bear to see my Mom and Grandma. The fact that it is 80 degrees and sunny isn't exactly screaming Christmas cheer at me either. The office has been slow all week and I know it will be dead tomorrow morning with it being a half day and all. I just need to get motivated. I have to do all the laundry tonight, packing, sorting Christmas gifts, preparing things for the dog, cooking dinner, and straightening the house. Oh and I need to stop and get gas tonight on my way to pick up Bear from daycare. I don't mind being busy, I usually thrive on it I hope I will snap out of it by this evening so I can get everything done. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My favorite stand up comedy piece ever

Lynne Koplitz Stand-up

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I saw this years ago but I still find it hilarious.

Counting the days

2 1/2 days till I am off work for over a week! I am so, so ready for the holidays. My work told us this morning that we get half a day off Friday and then we don't have to be back until January 2nd. That is cause for celebration right there. The presents and family time are just the icing on the cake. I'm just kidding. Sort of.

Its been a rough past few months. Topped off by my visit to the dentist Monday where I found out I have yet another cavity. So January 3rd I get to have another filling. And my husband has pinkeye and Bear still has a nasty cough and is congested. BUT I can look past that and see the light at the end of the tunnel in the form of vacation days. My husband's boss still hasn't let him know what days besides Christmas day he will get off but hopefully he will get at least Christmas Eve and Christmas day.
In other news, I am officially done with Christmas shopping, wrapping, etc. I need to make one more batch of Chex Muddy Buddies mix for this weekend at the request of my brother and pick up two $5.00 Bingo gifts for the spirited family Bingo game this weekend but besides that I am DONE. We wrapped the last two family present's last night. I made up the teacher's gifts for Bear's daycare. Got together a gift for my student worker and my adopted elderly person at the nursing home.
I thought I would share a few pictures of the teacher gifts. I am not the creative, artsy type so I did the best I could. I made up a batch of Chex Muddy Buddies last night and put them in little snowman snack bags tied with curly ribbon.

Then I took an ornament I picked up at Target.

I took a small red metal pail I picked up at Target for 1.00 and clipped the recipe for the Muddy Buddies to it with a Snowman clothespin I picked up at World Market.

Then I put it all together

For the lead teacher I added a $15.00 Target gift card.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Giveaway at Musings of a Housewife

For those of you who have kids, want to have kids, or know someone who is then you should stop by Musing of a Housewife. She has FIVE Lands End diaper bags she is giving away. Stop by her blog and leave a comment to be entered to win.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well-fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2. 14-17)

In church this Sunday we were reminded of our duty to take care of those in need. My religion does not believe that you will get into heaven by your good deeds alone but this does not mean that they are not worthy and necessary. Our little church is struggling financially right now. We are not meeting our basic budget for survival but as our preacher pointed out this does not mean the church should hold off in sponsoring causes just because they need money too.

Our pastor reminded us that we could have been born in a different country with completely different lives. That we could be the one living in a place where our children are starving to death daily and being tortured, murdered, or made into child soldiers just because of what latitude and longitude in which they were born. And furthermore, while we are suffering and starving there are nations standing idly by watching and complaining about Christmas shopping, too many leftovers, and what we are wearing to the company Christmas party.

After service we were given the opportunity to sponsor a Hope Child from an African country. You know the ones you see on TV that you can help for just a dollar a day. Our church was given 100 children available for sponsorship and when I left yesterday 28 had been taken including the 3 the pastor took. What really broke my heart was when I was flipping through all the cards with the children's names and information and trying to decide which one to adopt I thought about my own son. What if it was Bear's name and picture there on that card and someone tossed him aside looking for a cuter kid or a more needy kid? I'll admit. I am no Mother Theresa. Not even close. I have fast forwarded on the TiVo past the children with the sad eyes and the big bellies. I don't know if it was the video the church showed or the bible versus or maybe the fact that now I am a mother but it absolutely touched me. Made me feel like a complete jerk to tell you the truth.

As you are doing your shopping, wrapping your gifts or preparing Christmas goodies for your family I hope you too will pause for a moment and realize how incredibly blessed we are. And try for that moment not to take it for granted.

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

If you are interested in sponsoring a child you can get more information at World Vision. 87% of the money you donate goes directly to the child you sponsor. You can check them out on the Better Business Bureau site if you are concerned about their motives or legitimacy. They can even do monthly withdrawls from your bank account or credit card so you don't even have to bother writing a check. And for those of you who need a little more incentive, it is tax deductible. They have children available all over the world. And if you aren't ready for the commitment of sponsoring a child with a monthly contribution you can make a one time contribution. They have it available for you to donate to buy a goat, school supplies, clothes, etc for a family in need too. They even help children here in the US if you prefer to keep your giving a little closer to home. You can even donate as a Christmas gift or in memory of someone.

God bless you.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cold weather recipes

Me and Bear have been a little under the weather the past few days and it is in the 50's and rainy outside. In light of that I thought I would share some of my favorite comfort recipes. These are from my favorite recipe website .

Flatlander Chili (from

2 pounds lean ground beef
1 (46 fluid ounce) can tomato juice
1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 cups canned red beans, drained and rinsed

Place ground beef in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside.
Add all ingredients to a large kettle. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

This makes a lot so I typically half the recipe. As a Texan I feel it is my duty to up the spices and add a chopped jalapeno or two but besides that this is a wonderful recipe. I serve it with Saltines and thick slices of sharp cheddar.

Tomato Basil Soup (as featured on

4 tomatoes - peeled, seeded and diced
4 cups tomato juice
14 leaves fresh basil
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup butter
salt and pepper to taste

Place tomatoes and juice in a stock pot over medium heat. Simmer for 30 minutes. Puree the tomato mixture along with the basil leaves, and return the puree to the stock pot.
Place the pot over medium heat, and stir in the heavy cream and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Do not boil.

I usually serve this with grilled cheese sandwiches. I make my grilled cheese with wheat bread buttered on the outside, thick slices of sharp cheddar, and garlic salt dusted on the buttered outside. Yum!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Photo, no go

Why is it that when you want to take a picture of your precious, darling, sweet beautiful child that he insists that if you make him stay still for even a second it will result in a complete and utter meltdown of epic proportions? GAH!!!!!!!! I just want ONE decent cute picture. Is that too much to ask?

I'm trying to get a picture to put on a photo card for his 1st birthday invitations. I don't have any current pictures of him that are birthday invitation worthy. So tonight I chase him all over the house on my hands and knees to try to get ONE picture. And all I get is the back of his head and hysterical tears because Momma is trying to make me stay still.

I probably took 100 pictures and I am ready to pull my hair out. The reason I need the pictures now is that Walgreens is running a deal for 5.00 off photo cards through Saturday. Tomorrow and Saturday we have stuff going on but I'll try again. The worst thing is that my piece of crap digital camera ruins every potentially decent shot by taking so long to actually take the picture that I swear he has crossed the room before the shot is taken....

Time for a new camera..

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bargain Hunter

I have to say that Christmas is not my favorite time of year just because of the holiday, the lights, and food, etc. It goes deeper than that. Right to the core of my little bargain hunter soul. It is my time of year to step up to the challenge of buying gifts for everyone on my Christmas budget set by the Grinch, er I mean my husband. We had a heated discussion the night before last regarding my Christmas spending. I kept trying to point out that Christmas gifts were not the only thing on the credit card. We also put daycare, Sam's, Netflix and several other places on there as well. So he asks me to total up my spending. He guessimates that I spent almost double the Christmas budget. I insist that although I don't know the exact number I did not spend THAT much.

So I pull up my online statments and start totaling. Of course the longer it takes to total the more certain he is that I have single handedly caused the financial demise of our family. I know I have gotten some incredible bargains this year but I have also bought for more people than before. Plus I have purchased things for my sister's December birthday, My Dad's January birthday, my twin nephews December birthdays, and Bear's January birthday. I added it all up and came up with actually less than I spent in previous years despite the increase in people.

Thanks to my friend Amazon and the supporting cast including Google, and many, many other websites with free shipping and no sales tax. This is the most I have ever purchased online and so far, knock on wood, everything has been delivered in one piece in a timely manner. And most importantly I never had to leave my couch. No malls, no crowds, no rude salespeople, no tired feet, and I still got some awesome deals. So thank you to the internet without which I might have had to pay sales tax, and shipping, and worst of all, FULL PRICE.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Feeling a little Grinch like...

I love Christmas. It is hands down my favorite time of the year. I love the lights, the smells of baking and pine needles. The nip in the air, the frost on the ground, shiny Christmas ornaments, bells ringing, the whole nine yards. The christmas tree has been up since 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. The presents are all purchased and under the tree. The Christmas music is in my cd player. Christmas cards have been sent complete with Christmas stamps.

That being said, I don't feel it this year. I feel stressed and hectic and downright Grinch like. There are so many things going on and more stuff is popping up every day. They decided today at work that we need to have a potuck lunch to celebrate Christmas and planned it for this Thursday. 3 days from today so I need to make something for that. Then there is the Christmas Party for volunteers at church on Friday that I got the invitation to last week. For the church Christmas party I need to come up with 2 white elephant gifts. Then Saturday I have a baby shower for the same neighbor that did the cookie exchange last weekend so I need a gift for that. We were invited to an informal Christmas Party at one of my co-worker's houses Saturday night complete with another white elephant gift exchange. I declined that invitation. Then next week I need to get together all the Christmas gifts for Bear's teachers. I am making goodies for them. We are also adopting elderly people at a local nursing home through my work so I need to pick up gifts for that.

One thing that annoys me about the holidays is white elephant gift exchanges. I don't understand the point of bringing your junk you don't want to trade for other people's junk you don't want. Last year my husband ended up with a tuxedo thong and junk from someone's junk drawer at a white elephant gift exchange. I understand doing a little something but I would prefer a small real gift exchange or an ornament exchange.

I also wanted to adopt an angel from one of the angel trees around town. This is something I try to do each year. I like picking out a Barbie doll, clothes, toys and such for a child in need in our local area. But I've noticed something over the past few of years of doing this. The requested gifts for the kids are moving out of my price range. They deserve to have a wonderful and special Christmas but I have a hard time looking at requests that include laptops, Playstation IIs, Xboxs, etc. Every gift request I looked at was outside of the price range I would spend on any member of my family including my own child. So I ended up deciding to adopt an elderly person instead. Their lists include items like sneakers, pajamas, nail clippers, sweat pants, etc. Then I can buy them an assortment of items that they need and I feel they will appreciate it. Perhaps this is rude of me and maybe I am being a little judgemental but apparently my version of needy is a little different than other peoples. Apparently, I am not the only one who thinks this though because I found a news article saying the same thing.

I need to snap out of my Grinch like mood and get more into the holiday spirit. I think I need a reminder of what the season is really about. It seems to be lost in the shuffle of parties, presents, and decorations. We went last week to see the presentation called the Star of Bethlehem. If you haven't seen it I highly recommend it as a way to refocus on what theChristmas season is really about. I think I will take some time tonight to visit with my bible and read the story of Christ's birth (Luke 2:1-21). tip

I just found out on Want Not's Blog that Amazon is selling Band of Brothers for $25.00 today. I already purchased this item after Thanksgiving for $32.00 and told her that to my chagrin. She was so kind as to email me and let me know that Amazon will refund my $7.00 if I purchased the item within the last 30 days. Apparently they have a policy to match the price if you find it lower on their site within 30 days of purchasing it from them. You can read all about this at Amazon's website here. I have to say I love Amazon and haven't had a problem with them yet. Knock on wood.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

One more cookie recipe

These cookies weren't the best cookies at the party but they were very Christmas-y and go great with coffee or cider.

Soft Molasses Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup sugar, plus more for coating the dough

1/2 cup molasses

2 1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 1/4 tsp ground cloves

3/4 tsp ground ginger

2 large eggs

3 1/2 cups un-bleached all purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the molasses while mixing at slow speed, then the baking soda, salt and spices. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated. Stir in the flour. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease (or line with parchment paper) two baking sheets. Shape or scoop the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll them in granulated sugar and put them on prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between them.

Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. The center will look soft and puffy, which is ok. As long as the bottoms are set enough to lift part way off the cookie sheet without breaking, they're ready to come out of the oven. Cool the cookies on the pan for 10 minutes before transferring them to a rack to to cool completely. Yield 44 cookies.

Cookie Exchange

I got home Friday evening and baked 8 dozen Oatmeal Scotchies (per Swistle's glowing recommendations on her blog). I took them to the neighbor's cookie exchange yesterday. I have never seen so many cookies in once place. They had spinach dip, vegetables, and meat trays but the crowing glory was the entire kitchen table covered in buttery, sugary, chocolately, pepperminty, peanut buttery goodness. I thought I would share some of the recipes I picked up in order of those I liked best. Oh, and the scotchies were a big hit. My pregnant neighbor couldn't get enough of them. My husband also loved them and he doesn't care for sweets.

Carmel Cookie Bars
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 box (16.6 oz) chocolate chip cookie mix
2 cups crisp rice cereal
1/4 cup butter softened
1 pkg (14 oz) carmels
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 11x7 inch baking dish. Beat 1/2 cup butter and the egg in medium bowl. Add cookie mix; beat until well blended. Gently stir in cereal. Remove 1 1/2 cups of the dough, set aside for later use. Press remaining dough onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes or until light brown.

Place remaining 1/4 cup butter, the carmels and heavy cream in sauepan. Cook over low heat 10 minutes or until carmels are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Pour over crust. Drop reserve 1 1/2 cups dough by tablespoons evenly over carmel mixture. Do not spread the dough.

Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 2 hours in pan on wire rack. Cut into 32 bars to serve.

Sopapilla Cheesecake

2 - 8 oz pkgs cream cheese

2 pkg refrigerated crescent rolls

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 c butter, melted

1/2 cup cinnamon sugar

Using a 9x13 baking pan, unroll one pkg of crescent rolls and line the bottom of the pan. Flatten mix together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth and spread over crescent rolls. Unroll the other can of crescent rolls and place on top and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Andes Peppermint Crunch Icebox Cookies

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter softened

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar firmly packed

2 large eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

3 1/3 cups all purpose flour

2 1/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 cups (10 oz) Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips

1/2 cup red decorator sugar

Combine butter and sugars in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until well creamed. Add eggs and vanilla, beating well Combine flour , baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, beating at medium speed. Stir in Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Crunch. Cover and chill dough 1/2 hour.

Remove dough from refrigerator and divide dough evenly in two parts. Roll into 2 (12 inch) logs. Wrap in wax paper and freeze until firm.

Place red decorator sugar in a shallow plate. Unwrap frozen dough and roll in the sugar. Cover outside of roll evenly with sugar and then slice and 1/4 inch slices. Place slices on easy release foil lined cookie sheets. Bake cookies at 350 degrees 350 degrees for 11 to 13 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let cookies set for 2 minutes on cookie sheet and then remove to wire rack and cool completely.

Friday, December 7, 2007

You might be a Redneck: Overheard today at a meeting at work

Woman #1: We picked up a bobcat off the road and had it stuffed. It was too pretty of an animal to let go to waste.

Woman #2: Did you see the wild hog with the coyote in its mouth over at the store?

Woman #1: No I guess I missed that.

Woman #2: Yeah that one was ours, we didn't have room to put in the trailer.

Woman #1: Our whole living room in the log cabin is full of animals. I think the only thing we don't have yet is a skunk.

What's under your tree?

I thought briefly about calling this post "I'll sh0w y0u mine, if you sh0w me yours" but decided the google hits that might attract were more than I wanted to deal with. So in keeping this G rated we will go with "What's under your tree". I've been done with the bulk of my Christmas shopping since the weekend after Thanksgiving. Since then I have been picking up little things here and there. Here is a run down of some of the items I have wrapped and under the tree or in shipment on there way to my house.

For Bear

Hasbro Playskool Let's Play Together Go & Grow Giraffe (this will probably end up a birthday gift in January)

Badger Basket - Barrel Top Toy Chest, Cherry (my mom bought him this but I picked it out)

Clink and Chew Keys

LeapFrog Learn & Groove Musical Table

Small World Toys Sunshine Symphony (Got on sale at a discount store locally)

Laugh and Learn : Learning Toolbench (I got this for $17.90 the day after Thanksgiving)

My Mom, Grandma, and My Step-Mother in Law

Leigh Gray Purses - $35.00 will get you a purse, matching cell phone holder or Key FOB and a matching makeup bag. They are really cute in person too.

Father in Law

Band of Brothers DVD Boxed set . This is an awesome series. If you haven't seen it, you should.

My Sister

The Glass Castle

Sephora Gift certificate (comes in a really cute compact with a mirror)

My Husband (I'm not done shopping for him yet)

An Inconvenient Book

The Sopranos - First Season

My Stepmom

The Ghost Whisperer - First Season (I did some shopping around to find a better price, is much cheaper than Amazon on this)

My Dad

Monk - Season 1

I also got him season 2 since his birthday is in January

My husband's nephew

Cold Nose Kisses Amazing Puppies - Beagle

My husband's niece

Cold Nose Kisses Amazing Puppies - Cocker Spaniel

My niece

Hello Kitty Clock Radio with Night Light

I also got some clothes for my nephews and a few other miscellaneous things. The prices on several of these items have gone up since I purchased them on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The Hasbro Giraffe was an awesome deal on Amazon today that I couldn't pass up. It was 30.00 on sale at Toys R Us today but it was only 10.00 on Amazon today.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cash or Credit

So my husband calls tonight to activate a new credit card that came in the mail about a month ago. It is not an account he uses much as it was an account I had before I met him. I use this account for just about everything. It is the only kind of credit card the daycare accepts and I have it attached to my online shopping accounts. When my husband called he didn't know any of the answers to the questions they asked him for security on the account. So the account guy requests to talk to me.

I get on the phone and answer all the security questions and the guy tells me my account has been compromised and he has to cancel my card number and issue us new cards. He starts rattling off all these purchases asking if I made them. I think I did but who knows, I have been buying Christmas gifts all over the Internet and they have been hitting my credit card as they ship not in the order I purchased them. Now my online account is locked out online so I can't really log online and go through the transactions and compare my email receipts.

I really, really appreciate my credit card company's vigilance but I have a sneaking suspicion that the fraud alert was triggered by my husband calling to activate a card that was mailed a month ago and not being able to answer the security questions. It is an annoyance I am willing to live with but it is going to be inconvenient as I now have to change my information in a bunch of places and if it wasn't my husband that triggered the alert then I have to worry that someone got a hold of my information.

On another note, the daycare lady never contacted me today so I think she picked the other couple. Go figure.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Daycare - Another Day, Another Drama

I'm starting to sound like a tired, old broken record regarding my child care situation. Or maybe it is more like the teacher on Charlie Brown. Wah, Wah, Wah. Anyways, I thought I had a solution to our child care woes. Thought being the key word. I have been searching high and low for a child care that meets not just our minimum standards of safety but also the amount of kids, the hours, etc. I can't find a single person who can recommend a child care center or an in-home daycare. Either they are keeping them a secret and only sharing with a few select friends or everyone is facing the same issues as me. The child care is ok but not ideal.

After extensively searching the Department of Family and Protective Services website and reading all the local child care provider's inspections and looking at things such as hours of operation, location, number of children, etc I found one that looked promising. This lady lives 5 minutes from us, only keeps 5 kids including her own, she didn't have any violations on her inspection which after reading some of the others, was a big deal. So I emailed her and she didn't have a spot open. But then she emailed me back the following day and said she said she had a spot opening up January 2nd and she was offering it to me first. I said great, when can I come meet you and check out the place? She said her first availability was Tuesday night (last night). I agreed to come by at 6pm last night with Bear and my husband. We met and saw the house and she gave us all the paperwork. We agreed that we would talk it over and let her know in the morning.

I wasn't 100% thrilled with everything but it was pretty good. She does take 2 weeks vacation during the year but we don't have to pay her for it. We just have to arrange for other daycare. She also takes 5 sick days per year, paid for by the parents (I have heard this from other parents too so I expected this), if the baby is sick or we take vacation we pay the full week (I currently only pay half a week for my daycare if he is out a week). She also has a 110.00 non-refundable registration fee which is a little higher than I paid for our current daycare. BUT on the plus side, he will be exposed to less germs, she reads with the kids, does sign language, talks Spanish to them, she is close to our house, and she charges 43.00 less per week than our current daycare which makes up for paying her sick leave and then some. So after much discussion last night my husband and I decided to try her out. So I emailed her as soon as I got to work and said we wanted the spot.

She emailed me this afternoon and indicated she was meeting with another set of parents tonight and she would let me know which one of us will get the spot. WHA? She told me last week that the spot was ours if we wanted it. I understand that she has a business to run and can't wait around on a maybe but I met her at her earliest convenience and gave her an answer the NEXT morning. Now all the negative things I overlooked last night are starting to crawl all over me. I am more than a little ticked that she didn't mention this last night. I didn't realize that we were competing for a spot. If she had said I need an answer today because I have another family I would have understood but that just completely caught me off guard today. I need to talk to my husband about it tonight and see if we want to wait and see with her or if we want to try something else.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Cookie Recipe Suggestions

I've been invited to a cookie exchange at my neighbors house on Saturday. I have several cookie recipes that I know are good but I was wondering if you guys had any tried and true recipes that are always loved and requested? I can bring cookies or bars. I am debating on bringing the oatmeal scotchie recipe from Swistles site. I made those over the Thanksgiving holidays and ate over 2 dozen of them BY MY SELF!!! I am a bit competitive and I want to have the best cookie at the competition, um I mean party. I also pulled a 5 star recipe for gingerbread cookies off the allrecipes site that might work. Your input would be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Kid tested, Pug approved

Hmmm....I wonder if he tastes like Science Diet
THAT doesn't smell like Science Diet

MMM.....finger licking good..