Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ode to the Van

Wednesday. One week. Five Work days. Till I get to be a Stay at Home Mom. I guess I should correct and say "Work at home Mom." The weather is fabulous here! It's very difficult to concentrate at work. Today at lunch I spent time out on the patio eating lunch and enjoying the sun. This morning when I dropped Ardyn off at daycare, the kids were playing outside. When I took Ardyn out to her teacher, Ava came running up to me from nowhere. I was so impressed that she knew right who we were! I didn't even see her until she was right in front of me. She said "Hi!" and I said "Hi Ava!" and she pointed at Ardyn and smiled and said "Baby!" and I said "yes! What's the baby's name, do you remember?" and I thought for just a second that I would have to remind her, and I could see the wheels turning, and she suddenly looked up at Ardyn and then at me, and said "Ardyn!" and I said "Good job! Her name is Ardyn!" She was so excited to see us. I wanted to scoop her up and give her a hug and kiss but thought that I might freak her out so I just grinned at her. She was so thrilled to be outside when Ardyn was. It was cute!

I am reading Water for Elephants for my online book club, which was started by the group of moms that I belong to (our kids are all the same age.) So far it's a good book. It's intriguing and I can't help but think something big is at the end. Or perhaps that the end explains the beginning. I also have a stack of about 7 parenting and kids magazines that I have to read, and since I keep not having the time, I made myself carry them around in my shoulder tote for three days, as penance. I feel guilty, but keep telling myself that soon I can relax and read up. I thought maybe if I carried them with me that I might have a minute here or there to pick one up, but no such luck. So finally I gave up and left them at home instead. Besides those things are HEAVY!

Last night we signed the paperwork for our new VAN! Can you believe it! After all those posts about how I will NEVER Drive a van, it came down to me begging for a van. Ha. Can I just say first of all that I heart Stow-n-Go? Ohhh Do I ever. So it's a navy blue 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan. We found it at Browning Dodge, locally, which was also nice. We bought it for about $4000 less than it blue books for, which was amazing. It has 25,000 miles and still has factory warranty. They sold it brand new off their lot to their office manager, and she turned around and traded it in for a new vehicle, so it has been taken excellent care of and has had all it's work done right there since she works there. I am thrilled. We looked at 2007 and some 2006 Models in Peru and they wanted OUTRAGEOUS amounts of money for them, and they were so basic with no options, AND they were filthy! Cigarette burn holes in the floor mats and carpet, stains, ACK. Not something I would pay the $20-27 thousand that they were asking! It was insanity. That's like $5-12,000 more than we paid! It has full stow-n-go, captains seats, power drivers seat, power sliding doors, CD and cassette, dual climate control, rear heat/air, read defrost, cruise and radio controls on the steering wheel, the whole deal. It's immaculate and Ardyn's car seat fits so wonderfully! And the stroller. I could actually GET groceries in this thing, and we can all fit! Right now, whoever rides in the passenger seat of my car, has to have their knees touching the dash and their head touching the ceiling/visor. It's crazy. So Saturday we pick up the van. Can't wait! The payments will be less than half what my car payments were. Ahhh. Now I get to sell my car! Today I called my insurance agent to add the van.

I am waiting on two Little Tikes toys for Ardyn. I sold some diapers on diaperswappers and had paypal, so I grabbed up a couple of used Outdoor toys online. Of course they are more indoor/outdoor toys, and I don't anticipate that we will ever leave them outside, because of their value and that we want to keep them clean and free of fading. I got two retired items, which were hard to find. The Little Tikes Peek-A-Boo Tunnel, and the Little Tikes Activity Garden. I remember babysitting for kids who had the Activity Garden and they LOVED that thing. I loved that thing! It's perfect for Ardyn right now, and the Peek-A-Boo Tunnel is great for crawlers and I think she will enjoy it immensely this summer. The Activity Garden I am tracking through FedEx. I feel like if I even SEE A fed-ex or UPS guy on my street I might tackle him. I saw one earlier in the week and it was all I could do to stay in my car. He.

Also new is Ardyn's 2nd tooth. Last weekend and the beginning of this week I made mention that she was really gnawing on my hand, and that the first tooth must be pushing through the rest of the way. Well, last night she smiled at me and there were two bottom teeth instead of one! I know for a fact that there was only one on Sunday night, so it must have came through either Monday or Tuesday. She also has started to make a pig sound in her throat, the first time I heard that was yesterday. It's too cute.

This weekend I am excited to see Carrie, and perhaps Angela if she ever gets her act together and calls me. We are supposed to get together this weekend and go out for supper, since Carrie will be home and Angela will be having the big 30th birthday next Tuesday. I bought her a card back before Valentine's day because I found the PERFECT one. Then I thought that her birthday might be March 28th instead of April 28th so I called her that day and she clarified. I sat right down, filled out the card, addressed and stamped the envelope. Then Evan kept asking me if I wanted to mail it, and I kept saying no because I wanted it to arrive close to her birthday. And now, I can't find it. Ugh! Did I mail it? Did I lose it? Jeez this is insane. I know she will laugh when I tell her this, but really, It's embarrassing.

Today I also grabbed Ardyn's newest shot records from the Dr. Office so that we are ready when we switch to a pediatrician this June. I also got paperwork to fill out for my exit interview at work. Paperwork Paperwork.

I have a new plan. Although I think it's probably too good to be true, I have used a giant wipe off board and tried to schedule certain tasks on certain days. I am hoping that this will keep me on track and doing a bit of things each day, instead of running around too much on one day. If I wake up in the morning and say "all I HAVE to accomplish today is vacuuming and washing diapers" or "All I have to do today is wash jeans and clean out the fridge" or "All I have to do today is get groceries and wash fruits and vegetables." I don't know how it will work. Or if it will work. But I will give it the best try I can. I have it pretty strategically planned. Clean the fridge out one day. Make the grocery list the next day. Get groceries the following day. Wash each type of clothes once a week so that I only have to do a load or two of laundry each day. Wash Diapers every other day. Wash the Dog Bowls once a week. Give them baths every two weeks. Change the bedding every two weeks. That type of stuff. And of course there will be instances when the plan won't work. When I have something going on and won't be home, when Ardyn doesn't allow me to accomplish much. But I think that I feel good about having a plan. Once I feel like the whiteboard plan is finalized, I will transfer it to paper and give it a trial run for a week or two and see if it is feasible or if it needs tweaking or trashing.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Been a while

Hi folks! It's been a while since I have written a substantial post. The internet via Comcast is still very poor and so I really don't turn on the laptop much these days... although they are supposed to be sending ANOTHER person out tomorrow night to assess the situation and fix it. If they don't have it resolved by May, I will probably switch to DirectTV or something like that.

Today I started reading Water for Elephants for a book club that I belong to online. I got really lucky and had an online mom friend who had the book and wanted to swap for a Jodi Piccoult book that I had already read and wanted to get rid of. Since Media Mail shipping isn't half bad, we just mailed them to each other. Water for Elephants arrived today, and I am already thoroughly enjoying the tone of the book, and so I have a feeling I will have it finished before May, although it's supposed to be discussed by the end of May. As long as I can remember it by then! Ha. I had visions of Ardyn and I lying in the hammock in the yard, staring up at the blue sky and reading. Ahhh. Peace and tranquility.

We had a good weekend. I had a gift certificate that I used to purchase a food processor and also some Ball Freezer containers (have you seen those? they are awesome) so that I cn make and freeze some purees and some baby meals. I have been on the search for tiny pasta stars, but have yet to find any. My mom believes there may be some at the store in Sterling where she shops... so in the meantime I will use Couscous. I am hoping to try it out tonight to slice some Strawberries that I bought. I usually would use the Pampered Chef Egg Slicer, but I would love to try out the food processor. I haven't had time to take it out of the box just yet.

Saturday we went to Peru to peek into a few vans, and also to go to Menards to get the hardware to hang Ardyn's swing, and to Target to grab a few things we needed. That night Evan stayed home after Ardyn went to bed, and I went to get groceries. at 10pm. I got home and had everything unloaded by about 11:45, and boy was I Pooped! We desperately needed groceries, but I think I spent too much. It's hard to make food a priority sometimes. Good thing is those groceries will last at least a month I hope. I had to get some things to keep at home for me to eat at lunchtime, seeing as how I will be home soon and need to eat my meals there.

Sunday I pretty much cleaned and played with Ardyn. Last night I cleaned the back porch (FINALLY!) and organized shoes on the shoe shelf. I ran the dishwasher, washed diapers and three other loads of clothes, cleaned Ardyn's room, washed all her 12 month size clothes and hung them up in her room (Evan added the second bar to her armoire yesterday) and I also fed the dogs, cleaned off my bookshelf, and scrubbed Ardyn's Foam playmat in the shower with the hose and some Clorox Green Works cleaner... and then dried it. I cleaned off the dining room table, washed and sanitized all the bottles and pump parts and Ardyn's food bowls and spoons, and unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher. I hung the rugs on the clothesline and put Garters on the sheets to keep the top two corners from popping off. I took a bath and Ardyn tried the Yo Baby Yogurt for the first time (It's crazy but the day Mylie's mommy was posting a comment here about trying the yogurt, I was already out buying some! LOL.) Sunday evening we went over to Evan's parents and cooked out and sat outside and enjoyed the weather. It was just beautiful and today was even BETTER.

I got the money from my nursing swimsuit refunded into my paypal account and was able to turn around and buy 6 more Thirsties AIO's in size Medium, which will bring the total up to 12. Thank God. I am so sick of washing diapers every night. We wear prefolds and MEOS at home, but if she wants to wear shorts this summer, they are wayyy too bulky to get her bum into unless she has the Thirsties on. Plus Thirsties are the diapers that dad can handle well, and babysitters, etc.

So tonight I am going to get a van to keep overnight on a test drive. I am really excited about the van that I have found, so please wish me luck that all goes well. I am really hoping that I can get it... and that everything falls into place. Everything ELSE has fallen into place lately, so I almost feel like it's not possible to have one more thing work out this well.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Random Update

Tomorrow is Friday, but I am more excited for May 1st to arrive. I have given my notice at work and April 30th is my last day. The day after I told my boss I would be leaving, she approached me and asked if I would consider continuing to design and update our website from home, as a contract employee. This, of course, is my every dream come true. I didn't mention it to them because I seriously thought they would never even consider it as an option. It has been approved by the CEO and Human Resources, and they are in the process of determining how to handle the pay scale and things. I will connect via a remote connection and do the web design and updates. Since then, they have decided to have me do some redesigning of the internal website as well. I also have a friend who has closed her own web design business and will be directing some of her clients to me for updates to their current websites. Evan and I will be working to put some more memory and a dvd burner in our home PC. The hospital may be providing me with the software that I will use to do their web design, which is wonderful. I am so excited about this... everything is working out wonderfully!

Ardyn is so amazing! Her babble "da da da da" has turned into a full blown daddy, and we are sure now that she has connected the word with the person. Of course we have been trying to get a "mamma" out of her, but she forms the 'm' with her mouth and then makes fart noises... so I guess we will have to appreciate that her first and only word is "daddy." She is clapping all the time now, and bopping to music. She also tries to snap her fingers, it's the cutest thing. She has really started to become mobile in the last week or so, rolling all over and trying to "get" to things. Evan and I are convinced that she will be crawling very very soon. She has especially shows a real interest in trying to get to me, wherever I am, and of course that's a great feeling. Lately she and I have been reading books before bedtime and then she sits on the couch and nurses and then falls asleep in my lap. She's at a very fun age right now. I can't believe she will be eight months soon, and a year isn't far behind!

We are about to add breakfast to her schedule, with some fruit and cereal, and probably baby yogurt. She enjoys pieces of fresh zucchini, apples, bananas, and the Gerber Puffs in fruit and sweet potato flavors. Last week she had some fun with a pickle when Evan and I took her to Townsend for supper after "school."

Last night was our second swimming lesson, and I got to be in the pool with her, which was fun. Twice I blew in her face to get her to take a big breath, then put her under the water. The first time she popped up and was surprised and giggling. The second time she wasn't as thrilled, Evan said she opened her eyes under the water and the chlorine burned her, and that might have been what made her angry. She wasn't doing as much kicking and paddling this week, but I think it's because it wasn't as new and exciting as it was last week. She did grab the boogie board, and the floating dumbell. They also did a "race" where all the kids tried to blow a piece of foam noodle across the water. She was more interested in getting it INTO her mouth. She can pretty much tolerate about 30 minutes in the water and then she seems to be ready to get out, I think last night she was just plain tired. As soon as I got her home and fed her supper, she was rubbing her eyes and falling asleep. That swimming is hard work!

I am packing up my office this week. This weekend we are planning a trip to Menard's to get a few things we need, especially some hardware to hang Ardyn's new swing (Thanks Grandma Deb and Grandpa Dave!) in the front yard. My dad also had a friend who gave him a rickshaw (a baby bicycle trailer) so I need to get myself a bike so I can pull it! Ardyn and I will really be living green now!

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Friend of mine, Tina (Atkinson) Moore has a boy in her third grade class with cancer. His best friend is also in her class, and he had a fund raiser for his classmate and has been chosen a finalist in Oprah's big give. You can vote once a day from now till Thursday. If he wins, he will get more money for his best friend. Log on to

Red entertainment tab


Vote for Trenton Niemeyer, finalist #3

Pass this on to anyone who will VOTE!

Here is a direct link to the voting page

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Singing in the Rain.... and in the Pool!

Well, things are going well. My stomach has been a little icky the past two nights, but I am about 99% sure it's because I have been eating nothing but CRAP for like 5 days straight. Ugh. Tomorrow. Salad. I swear.

Tonight was Ardyn's first swimming lesson and she "dove" right in. She started moving her arms and legs and kicking as soon as she got into the water. She LOVES the water, and everyone (even people I didn't know, and moms in the locker room) were stopping me to comment on how she's "a natural" and how she's "so cute." We had a great time. Evan got into the water this time and I played paparazzi. Next time we will switch. The one thing I can say is that the Metro Center swimming teachers were WONDERFUL and nice. But it was hotter than hell in that pool area. I was freaking dying. Literally sweating in a skirt and t-shirt. My forehead was beaded with sweat and I was not the only parent complaining of the heat. It was unbearable and in fact before we left I was nauseous from just the heat. It was crazy how hot it was in there. It is also difficult because I feel a bit like the pack mule. I had two bags, one with towels, suits, and a spare diaper, and another with my purse, Ardyn's coat and hat, our camera, etc. Plus carrying Ardyn. Evan helped when he could, but going in and out of the locker room and to the pool and back with her, I was like JEEZ! I bought was I THOUGHT was a huge Mesh bag, but I think I need something bigger, or about 5 more arms. Or a rolling cart. LOL.

Rotovirus is going around daycare now. Great. The toddler/2's room has had sickness abounding, but there is also one student from Ardyn's classroom that is hospitalized right now. I can't wait to get out of the daycare "germ" situation. We have been sicker this year than we have ever been in our lives. It's insane. I know it will start once she goes to school, but I would like a few years to ease into that. We are practicing obsessive handwashing, especially when walking out of the daycare facility and when changing diapers and such at home. I have always been pretty good, but now I am downright obsessive.

Rain is on it's way. It rained yesterday quite a bit, but tomorrow is supposed to be icky rain, thunderstorms, etc. Just check out the radar. You know I am in Illinois, so just see what's ahead for us tomorrow. I got to wear my galoshes this week already, and you can count on me wearing them again. Yesterday when leaving work I saw this umbrella in the parking lot next to my car. It cracked me up. I had to take a picture. Apparently it was abandoned when it turned inside out.

I sold all of the small diapers this week, so I was able to use that paypal to grab the inserts for the Motherease Diapers and a Little Tikes Peek-A-Boo Tunnel that is for toddlers to crawl through. I thought Ardyn might enjoy it this summer and it's small and sturdy enough to use indoors or out. I have been looking for one for a while, but they don't sell it anymore, and I couldn't find one locally, so I grabbed one on eBay. I am next in the market for the Little Tikes Activity Garden, another thing that they don't make anymore and is WAY overpriced on eBay. I found one locally but the lady is smoking crack and wants $150 for it, plus I would have to drive 40 minutes to pick it up (locally is a relative term here.) I can get one shipped to me from eBay cheaper than that, which is saying something considering shipping is about $35-40.

Target has free shipping on baby gear right now, so I am thinking that with my next paycheck I will buy our second convertible car seat. I am rapidly getting my list taken care of. Just don't ask me to buy anything that I don't have on my radar right now.

I hate the internet at home. I am trying to upload a few photos to Flickr of the swimming tonight, and I get one photo uploaded (this is on high speed) and the connection drops and I have to start the process all over. What should take a total of less than 5-10 minutes has been taking me HOURS and it frustrates me GREATLY. I need to go to bed and just forget the pictures. So maybe you will get some later in the week, but not tonight! Sorry!

Monday, April 07, 2008

It's a Beautiful Day To Quit Your Job....

Well, it's official! Last Friday I gave my notice at work, and as of May 1st, I will "officially" be a stay-at-home Mom! YAY! I will probably be doing a bit of web design on the side, but my primary goals will be to spend time with Ardyn, keep my house in order, get the laundry done, and keep up with the dishes! I also hope to get in more crafts and gardening, as well as some time outdoors for daily walks and some swimming too! I can not wait! I will miss my job but it was becoming too much to do everything and I just wasn't happy being away from Ardyn all day and not accomplishing anything. I know that moms everywhere work, but I have to say that it's impossible for me to work, take care of Ardyn to the standards that I expect from myself, and also accomplish anything for myself or my family. I can't wait. Let the countdown begin. To celebrate I got my first massage since back when I was pregnant, and probably the last one I will have until someone buys me a gift certificate (Mother's Day?) It was FABULOUS. A full hour long, and boy it's amazing how you can almost forget how refreshing you feel after a good massage. This time Tina used essential oils in my massage and it was just wonderful.So the weekend was great. Saturday the boys were burning the prairie and wildflower plots, and Ardyn and I went to meet some of Evan's family who were in town visiting. Then we went out to see the boys and visited at Grandma and Grandpas with more family. We had supper there and on the way home, Ardyn and I hit a skunk (eeww!) and Evan took my car up to wash it before we put it in the garage. It was pretty stinky. Sunday I washed two loads of diapers, and happily hung them out on the line. I have TONS of pictures on Flickr of pretty and colorful diapers drying in the sun. The sky was so blue with puffy white clouds. If the grass had been green and there were leaves on the trees, you wouldn't have even known that we just had a hellish winter that lasted forever. The diapers are just so fresh and clean when they come in from the line!I got some inspiration to make a clothespin bag, since mine is worn to hell, and I did the applique of a clothespin on the front, which still needs his "face" embroidered (see photos of the clothespin bag on flickr.) I will share photos of the finished product once I add one more snap to the center and embroider his face... It was super cute and slick... the Serger just makes sewing so much fun! I moved between the table to cut my fabric, the serger, and the sewing machine late last night, and finally FORCED myself to go to sleep about 1am. I actually woke Ardyn up and changed her diaper (we are fighting a bit of daycare diaper rash) and then nursed her and let her sleep next to me, because she sleeps longer and better there, and I wanted to get as much sleep as possible since I had been up late cleaning and sewing and had to work on Monday.I am feeling really good about how well I am staying on top of things. I spend pretty much every night after Ardyn goes to bed, picking up, doing laundry, and dishes. One night last week I did just do one load of laundry and wash just one sink of dishes, and then watch the two episodes of CSI Miami with Evan. It was nice to relax. I look forward to the time when I can spend more time relaxing and enjoying my family on weeknights and weekends, instead of trying to cram in all the "housework" into that time instead. I also look forward to writing more in Ardyn's baby book, and starting her scrapbook, which I am ashamed to say I haven't even begun yet.

Ardyn is moving into Size Medium Diapers now, and so I am about halfway through selling the smalls in lots. If they were diapers that I bought used, or that aren't my very favorites, I am selling them, because I don't know how well the elastic will hold up in storage, especially if the person before me used a harsh detergent or dried them in the drier. My favorite pocket diapers, and Especially the Thirsties AIO Pockets, I will keep for the next baby. But the rest I will get rid of and purchase more of what I really like. Today I sent her with Medium Thirsties AIO Pockets to daycare, and if I sell the 9 Drybees and 6 Snap-ez pockets that she is growing out of, I will then buy 6 more Thirsties AIO Pockets in Medium for daycare and convenience sakes this summer and fall. We are using lots of wool over prefolds and fitteds while at home, but I like to have Thirsties on hand to wear under clothes because they are so trim and comfy.
I have slid into my mom wardrobe. I have my two pair of khaki pants, and a pair of white pants that become capris, and three pair of shorts, and two pair of knit capris, and a pair of black gauchos. Pair those with any of my Nine v-neck shirts in a rainbow of colors, and you will see how easy it is to be me. LOL. I have discovered that the Unshrinkable T-Shirt by LLBean is freaking awesome, not only because it doesn't shrink, but because it has this water-repellent thing on it. When I get milk or water or anything on me, I can pretty much brush it off and I don't get stained. Last week I opened a container of sweet potatoes only to have them splash all over my shirt that I JUST put on, and they came right off without even really "touching" the fabric. It was awesome how repellent they are. I will definitely recommend them to other moms! I can't wait till I don't have to work, because then I can also slip into my rainbow of flip flops and sandals. Until then I am pretty much sticking to tennis shoes and slip on shoes, or my black rocket dogs.
Ardyn wore an outfit (That Aunt Liz bought her!) with Capri pants and her sandals to daycare today, she was so excited about it! It was like she couldn't get over the fact that even though she had her shoes on, she could SEE her TOES! She was thrilled. She was being a real ham this morning. She has kinda started to have the "stranger" fear. She knows who I am and wants to be with me. She is sometimes crying when I leave the room, and when we visit relatives and they hold her, she is starting to cry and crane her head around and reach for me. I can see the panic look on her face and I try to reassure her that they are safe and that I am not going anywhere. I think my mom and Evan's parents are the only people she hasn't been afraid of. Perhaps Evan's brother and my sister. She cried at Grandpa Dave at Easter, I think he scared her when she first saw him, and then she warmed right up and played with him all day.... but she was scared of Evan's uncle Dennis at first, and also of Grandma Mona and Grandpa Bob Sr. We just need to spend more time with everyone so that she is more comfortable with them.

Swimming lessons start this week. I can't remember if I already blogged about buying a new swimsuit? I don't think I did. Well, I debated for a long time. I have several suits. Two tankins. One missing the bottom and one missing the top? And the two suits that I wore before I got pregnant, are nowhere to be found (Another reason to stay home.... so I can clean out my closet and get a hold on all these different sizes of clothes!) and now that I have lost 46 pounds, and gone up a cup size from nursing, I decided it's okay to buy a new suit. Especially when I will need to nurse at the pool all summer. I heave heard lots of people say "just pull your suit down" and I want to say "yeah, that's discreet. Just pull down your suit." Obviously none of these people have hauled around a DD cup full of milk. Or nursed the evil genius who loves to "pop off and smile" at people. And honestly, it isn't ME I am worried about. It's other people. They tend to get all itchy and squirmy around boobs. Nursing boobs that is. I should clarify. Because flashing Mardi Gras boobs and classic art boobs and porno boobs and playboy boobs and topless dancer boobs show up and it's all "Whoo-Hoo! Random Shot of Boobs!" But I guess when the boobs are for nursing, it's all about scary. This world is pretty fucked up, isn't it!? So for everyone else's sake, I dropped $70 on a new two piece halter tankini, double layered for nursing, with a matching swim skirt. It's the most expensive swimsuit I have ever bought, considering that I bought my maternity suit on eBay (used) and every other suit pretty much came from Wal-Mart, with the exception of one that my mom bought my from JCPenney before I left home about 10 years ago. I bought it in Basic black, so that it stays in style, stays slimming, and can be worn hopefully through several years and through nursing several children. I did it all for you. Your welcome. The suit arrived from Motherwear today and I haven't had a chance to try it on yet, but I will. And I also got a second travel wet bag (identical to the one I use for dirty diapers but in a different pattern) so that we can put our wet suits and such in it for swim lessons, and for summer at the pool. It will also be nice to just have another wet bag in general, so that if there is one in the wash we have a spare.

I have four more things on my list that I need to get purchased before I cease to have any income. The first is six more Thirsties Diapers. The second is 13 Snap In Bamboo Inserts for the Motherease One Size Diapers that we already have. The Third is another Convertible Car Seat to use in Evan's vehicle. The Fourth is a set of Crib Rail Teethers to put on the crib in Ardyn's room. I would also be thrilled if I could get myself a new pair of New Balance Tennis Shoes, since I bought mine back when I got pregnant, and have been wearing them for over a year now. I would LOVE a new pair but this is not a necessity so much as a wish. And I would also love some new mascara as mine is getting crunchy... and some foundation as I am almost out of the Bare Minerals. I ran out of the color I wear a while ago, but had two containers of a color that didn't work, but I mixed it with some warmth to make it get me by, and now that is almost gone.

I will be switching to Wal-Mart purchased shampoo and conditioner instead of Biolage, and also dyeing my own hair now, to save money. That's cool with me. I will miss my complicated highlights that get me so many compliments, but not as much as I would miss my daughter if I had to work to support my beauty regime.

Oh and Comcast. Saturday morning when I got out of the shower my cable had been "Disconnected for non-payment" because I refuse to pay them for service I am not GETTING and because I have tried to explain to them a bazillion times that I am not paying and that they need to credit my account. So I called Comcast and within 10 minutes had $90 credited to my account for the months of February and March's internet service. And my cable and internet (or what there IS of internet service) reinstated while still on the phone with them. This morning Judy form Corporate called to check in, which was very nice and probably the best customer service I have gotten from Comcast so far. Everything I have heard, both from Technicians and from Customers and through the grapevine, indicates that they should have a handle on the "bigger issue" in our area in 1-2 weeks. Judy told me if it isn't fixed in two weeks to call her back and a supervisor would be sent to my area. I am pleased with the credits to my account. It's about time!

Well, I have exhausted my brainpower for now. Have a great day!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Update on Problems with Comcast, and other things this week.

Made it through another week! The countdown to May 1st Continues. Today I had the pleasure of trying to pay more bills than I have money for, thanks to the past two paychecks of mine being even SHORTER due to Ardyn being sick and us being out a total of 5 whole days and 2 half days from daycare/work, which can take a big chunk out of your income! It wouldn't be a big deal, but I am still trying to pay off the hospital bill, and the $400 a month power bill is still going strong, although I think that was probably our last month. Plus my husband thinks that it's better to pay $10 per garbage can (the penalty for putting out an extra can without a trash sticker) instead of dragging his butt to Casey's to buy $5 of stickers. Ugh. Add in the cost of daycare, a cell phone bill, and a cable bill where we are paying for service that we don't even HAVE.... and it makes for a cranky checkbook.

This week we have had two morning visits from Comcast technicians, both of them resulting in the exact same response, which consists of "There is nothing wrong with your equiptment or the lines to your home" and "The problem is purely Comcast's and they need to take responsibility for it." Then I get to hear about how the repair guys spend all day going to people's houses in this area, when they can do nothing to fix the problem, because the problem is really due to the re-routing of Cable lines so that we are at the end of the chain and all experiencing packet loss. After starting to investigate the problems, I have also learned that an accounting firm in the Peru area has hired lawyers and filed a lawsuit against Comcast for the problems with their internet service, which occurred unexpectedly and without warning, right in the middle of tax season. They are holding Comcast responsible for any and all filing difficulties they have had for their customers.

I have been in contact with Comcast Corporate. I understand that the problems are being worked on, but Comcast has still refused to take responsibility for the issues, and refund or credit customers for service that they are not receiving. My policy has been to refuse to pay my bill until I get a resolution. Their policy has so far been to deny or put off the issue, and to tell me that even though I have been missing service since the beginning of February at $44.95 a month, and now the cable has been glitching for two weeks, they can credit me for $15. Um. No. So I am about at the end of my rope with their inexcusable decision to charge people money that they don't deserve to be paid. I guess if I don't get any satisfaction from Comcast corporate, there is always the better business bureau. If I don't hear back from Corporate with a resolution and a credit on my account, that will be my next step. I have begun to gather names of others in my area who are also having this issue. Basically it is an extreme "packet loss" that gives you connectivity problems abounding.

I will be working in the next couple of months on some new presentations for the Computer User Group. I will be doing (FINALLY!) My Life Doc Presentation, showing the Life Doc Binders and what they can do for you. I will hopefully be also doing a presentation on the Wii, where we will put the Wii games up on the wall with the proxima and show how it works and how great it is to use. This was Dorene's fabulous Idea.

So what else has happened this week? I got all of Ardyn's 6-12 month clothes out and washed, and packed away some 3-6 month clothes that were too small. Ardyn has eaten lots of fun things like Apple slices, Zucchini slices, bananas, and sweet potato puffs. She is doing great with her "chewing" and learning to keep pieces of food to the front of her mouth while she chews. One bottom tooth is barely poking through and the other is right behind it... and I can tell that we will be moving to the Stage 2 foods soon. We probably could be already, but she does still have a few packs of stage 1 left that we would like to get through first. She also has suddenly started eating peas without complaining, and had a whole pack last night followed by an entire pack of bananas. She's a good eater.

We got an interlocking foam puzzle mat that we love. I put part of it in the living room so she can sit up on the hardwood floor without falling over and bumping her head. I plan on putting the other half in the basement sewing room so that I can sew during the day while she plays... and maybe eventually start working on the dollhouse! The best part of the foam mat is that it isn't one of those ABC mats, so the foam tiles are solid, which eliminates the choking hazard that the small pieces in the other mats have. It's so soft and cushy, she loves it.

Yesterday Ardyn turned SEVEN MONTHS OLD! Whoo! Amazing. We took pictures, and I started a new photo album on Flickr as I do each month. I can't believe how big she is! Man. She got a new pair of wool longies in the mail yesterday, to match her Cloth Diaper T-shirt in black- so she wore that last night and it looks awesome. When she wears black she is just so stinking cute. Evan always comments on how she looks like her mom in black because I love to wear black.

I am sad today because Ava has been sick and spent the night in the ER, and has been throwing up since yesterday morning and dehydrated. I hope she feels better soon. Anya said she was throwing up even when just given a tablespoon of water. Ugh. And a friend online whose son is Ardyn's age had to take him to the hospital because she found a lump, and then he stopped eating or drinking for 6 hours and they discovered that he need surgery for what (as of now) they believe is a hernia. That makes me so sad, and it makes me want to take Ardyn to our house and board her up inside, although I know that's just crazy talk. It's a horrible feeling to have a sick child and not be able to "fix everything" as a mom.

Well, this weekend is going to be BEAUTIFUL outside and I am hoping that I can get Evan to hang Ardyn's new swing so we can be outdoors a bit in the fresh air. We have no plans and I can't wait for that. I hope it can stay that way. The sun has surfaced and I am so happy! This should be a fabulous spring and summer!
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