Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Super Double Coupons at Kmart...saved $88!!!

"Americans are frightened right now"

No, Senator McCain, we're pi$$ed off. You need to recognize and appreciate the difference.


Myles' daycare called. Vomit, 103-degree temperature, and crankiness...and my resulting mommy guilt. The doctor has no more appointments today so we were directed to the emergency room. Should be almost as fun as sitting out in the rain watching Sam half-heartedly play soccer (an activity about which I now wonder "what were we thinking?").

Further exploring of the crap that is my life postponed until further notice. It's just depressing.

Wanna place your bets as to whether it's another ear infection or he caught his brother's strep throat?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Home invasion

Now I know what it feels like to be attacked in your own home.

Today we received some election mail. I can't believe the nerve of them sending this to our home...but there it was...

The front:
Vote "Yes" for Responsible Rezoning

Issue 19 is NOT a tax increase

The Township Zoning Commission voted unanimously 5-0, to approve the rezoning. Voting "Yes" on Issue 19 reaffirms their decision.

Voting "Yes" on Issue 19 will keep Township financially strong by providing much needed taxes and revenue to our community. That's especially important in a tough economy.

A "Yes" vote on Issue 19 will result in expanded wetlands and habitat for wildlife - helping make Township a leader in environmental stewardship.

On the back:
What is Issue 19?

Issue 19 is a ballot issue to reaffirm the recommendation of the Township Zoning Commission as adopted by Township Trustees to rezone 229 acres of land from R-1 to WM.

A "Yes" vote will allow the rezoning to occur as the Township Zoning Commission recommends. It does not guarantee a landfill expansion, which requires additional public hearings and approval by the Ohio EPA.

What does Issue 19 do for Township?

Voting "Yes" on Issue 19 means the community won't have to raise taxes or cut services to cover the loss of $532,000 annually to Township, City Schools and County. We can't afford higher taxes!

Voting "Yes" on Issue 19 protects our regional watershed and local environment. A "Yes" vote means the closed D Landfill can be moved away from C Creek to a modern, lined landfill with EPA oversight, at no cost to Township.

Supported by the Area Chamber of Commerce

Yes on Issue 19

Paid for by Citizens for Township, EJ, Treasurer (the landfill manager).

On the day that the stock market fell almost 800 points (the greatest single day plunge ever), we get to contemplate the total disaster that this house has become. The thing that gets us is that we weren't like those people who didn't plan ahead. We invested in this house not to make a profit but to make it our forever home. We didn't take any risky financial chances because it didn't even occur to us that we would leave here for many many years (if ever). Once again, we played by the rules only to find that it doesn't mean a hill of beans.

The simple fact is, despite the assurances by the landfill company, we don't trust their safety and we don't want to live by their dump...and neither does anybody else. A landfill expansion will render this house essentially valueless. Not our forever home...Not a re-sellable asset...

Everything we worked for...

I can't even think about it without crying.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thank you Secret Pal!

This lovely package arrived today just when I needed a pick-me-up. Thank you secret pal!

I'm not sure if you can tell, but the washcloth has a C pattern to it and the glasses say "ripped" and "frogged" (stitching terms)...so cute!

Miscellaneous thoughts

How soon is too soon to put up Halloween decorations?
This blog is a jumble of miscellaneous thoughts. Perhaps this particular feature is redundant here? C'est la vie.
I tried to knit myself a scarf and failed miserably. I think I'm finally giving up on knitting. It's just not for me. Now I need to find a good crochet scarf pattern...

Of course, there are SO many beautiful knitting patterns, I just might be motivated to try it again in the future. Who knows where time and insanity might take me!
This weekend is the showdown between mommy and Sam. His room will be cleaned or he will not participate in anything fun. In fact, he is not allowed to leave his room until it is cleaned. Should be fun.
Well duh!
On the same day WaMu goes under, I get this email from them...
With kids back in school and a nip in the air, we’re suddenly reminded that the holidays are just around the corner.

Even if you’re not ready to hit the stores, you can cut down on holiday stress by saving a little extra cash today. With Online Savings at an amazing 4.00% APY and great rates on Money Market accounts, we have plenty of ways to kick your holiday savings into gear.

Learn more about your options and these great rates for saving for the holidays.

Bare Escentuals cosmetic sales benefit UAN (United Animal Nations).

Today through November 13, Bare Escentuals will donate 100 percent of the net proceeds of its sales of Sanctuary Eyecolor to United Animal Nations.

The Sanctuary Eyecolor was created and named specifically to celebrate the relief that UAN provides for animals.

To ensure UAN receives the proceeds, the Sanctuary Eyecolor must be purchased at a Bare Escentuals boutique or on the Bare Escentuals Web site between September 26 and November 13.
I will never understand the American idea of capitalism that says we don't accept handing out cash to families facing foreclosure but do accept handing BILLIONS to the banking industry who got themselves into a mess. If I default on my mortgage, tough cookies. If the CEO who makes $40 million a year bankrupts the company...the government will save them. *sigh*
Anytime you begin to think the American public is smart enough to handle a Presidential election...visit the election twitter feed. It will alternately make you laugh and cry.
I desperately want to take a photography class.
The Friday before the local town festival is purple shirt day at Sam's school. It's a big deal and the kids win prizes, etc. Last year I was tie-dying a tshirt for him the night before because he failed to mention it until the night before. I had so much fun doing it that I planned ahead this year and bought supplies two days before...and planned to dye the night before without any stress.

Of course, with a six-year-old, nothing is ever stress-free. Sam didn't like the way the first t-shirt turned out..."not enough pattern" on it for him. He lost his cool and yelled at me...pouted and cried. I sent him to his room because I am so very tired of the temper tantrums.

I personally thought that the shirt wasn't quite the way I envisioned it and ran upstairs and grabbed a plain white t-shirt out of his underwear drawer and dyed it as well. It turned out great and I was so pleased...so was Sam once he was over his hysterics.

Today? Today he didn't wear either purple shirt! He blames his father for not "putting it out" for him to wear (despite it hanging in the bathroom in plain sight). And I am...in a word...pissed at them both. I turned myself inside out to make this happen...dealt with the attitude...and he doesn't even wear the damn shirt! I want to strangle him. No...I want to kick MYSELF for being a schmuck. Did I really think he would appreciate it? No...I knew it would be just another in a long line of things I do for him that goes without thanks. So why did I even bother?
How will the 2008 election affect your tax bill?
(of course this was formulated pre-trillion dollar bailout...so who knows if it's even applicable now)
As my mom always says...better to be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. Sarah Palin should stop talking.

Hurt feelings

I am not a confrontational person in my real life. When my feelings are hurt, I usually hide out and avoid the person while I stew about it for a good long while. After some time has passed, I will casually/sarcastically say something to the other person. Usually, his results in a definite lack of satisfaction in the area of hoped-for apologies.

I know the adult thing would be to address the person directly as soon as possible following the "injury," but I'm too afraid that my hurt feelings will come out as angry words and permanently injure whatever relationship I'm dealing with (as I type this I'm realizing there is a very different standard for my husband and I'm not sure if it's a positive or negative indicator of the status of our relationship). I've never had a lot of friends at any given moment in time, so I hold tight to the friendships I have. But while I'm stewing about my hurt feelings, I wonder what it says about me and those friendships that I can't be honest in the moment...that I can't say, "hey, this hurt my feelings."

Election Twitter

Oh NO! Now I'll never get ANY work done!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

$700 billion?!?!

And just where are they going to get all that money?

And exactly who is getting paid?

And who is going to be responsible for oversight of this mammoth project?
“Just as we should have asked more questions about weapons of mass destruction six years ago before we found ourselves in this war,” Mr. [Senator Richard J.] Durbin [of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat] said, “we need to ask questions today about where this is leading.”

The "plan" is three pages long. That's it. It started out as ONE page but was revised to add some additional language. $700 billion at stake and they only have time to think enough to write out three pages?!?! I deal with teeny tiny county contracts every day that have 40+ pages. Are our elected officials even doing their jobs anymore? It's clear they haven't put any REAL THOUGHT into this bailout plan.

By very crude math, I propose the following bailout...hand out $700 billion to the TAXPAYERS...every one of approximately 302 million people in the United States would get about $2300. I think that would stimulate the economy quite a bit. Don't you?

I'm going to be an aunt!

Quite honestly, I never thought I'd see the day my brother settled down to have kids. But he and his fiancee are expecting!

I know it's a long road and it's very early in the pregnancy (11weeks), but I can honestly say that I'm happy for them and the old demons aren't haunting me right now. I think I'm evolving!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sam has strep throat

And I haven't had a shower yet today.

Fun times.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dear Travis

I love you and I will never forget you.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Miscellaneous thoughts - Sunday edition

It's been QUITE a week. So let's see what my pea-sized brain can remember that was worth commenting about.
Female lawyers, on average, make 77.8% less than their male counterparts. Nice.
Steve was particularly perturbed at the tree that fell on his DISH Network dish last Sunday, knocking out television service just as he was settling in to watch the Cleveland Browns. In fact, he was willing to go out.in.the.storm.with.a.chainsaw to try to restore tv service. I gently reminded him (what-the-f***-are-you-doing-out-there-a-tree-could-fall-on-your-hard-head!?!?!) that it could wait and we would survive without television.

Electricity was restored on Tuesday evening. Wednesday morning's hot shower was WONDERFUL! Television service was not restored until yesterday and sadly for my tv-head family, I so enjoyed the week that I have now developed a plan to lessen the amount of time we sit in front of that idiot box.
Sam left school early due to illness for the very first time this week. He was out running around at recess (before lunch) causing his reactive airway to act up. When he sat down at the lunch table he was coughing too hard and he made himself sick. Poor kid suffered the second worst embarrassment one can face in elementary school (the first being the potty accident of course...I STILL remember Tracy Tinkles...poor girl...I wonder how she is today...we were so cruel).

It was, however, kind of funny because I had not been able to get Sam's medical permission form signed by his doctor and therefore was forbidden from bringing his inhaler to school. They still don't have the form but they have now allowed me to leave his inhaler for his use anyway. In fact, the nurse REQUESTED it. Guess a little vomit here and there can work in my favor.
I've been working hard on the MOM Project. This past week I sent out 56 Commemorative Birth Certificates and/or Recognition of Life certificates. I was feeling kind of burned out by this when I attended a seminar on effective communication for lawyers. One portion of the seminar was about persuasion and the inclusion of people in the decision-making process. People want to help others. In fact, helping other people releases serotonin in the brain making us feel good. I think this selfish desire to feel good (or at least better) is what has motivated me to keep working at these volunteer activities.
Also headlining my effective communication seminar...me in tears.

It is apparently impossible for me to "silently listen" to anyone talk about death or children. For some reason my brain switches into hyper-drive whenever one of these topics is brought up and I can't turn off the thinking. I'm not sure if my life experiences have re-wired my brain permanently (I hope not), but it is interesting to be aware of what is happening and at least have a chance to TRY to focus outside of myself. I was, unfortunately, not very successful at this exercise during the seminar and the voice inside my head screaming, "YOU CAN NOT DO THIS! YOU CAN NOT FACE THIS HERE!" got the better of me. Can I tell you how unattractive it is to snot all over a stranger?
I met the Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, the other day. I hope this year's election doesn't highlight Ohio's mistakes again (and I'm going to do whatever I can to help my county avoid any serious gaffes)...but if we do have trouble, I feel much more comfortable knowing the lady who is in charge. She is an interesting and smart lady.
I need a Jedi costume for Sam for Halloween...but I'm cheap. I wonder if I could make one?
Sam's not allowed to watch television until he cleans his room. He just said to me, "Mommy, Myles wants to watch a show...can I watch it with him?" My goodness, that kid is cute!
My CVS total out of pocket for this week was $41.96 for:
1 can powdered similac ($2 off coupon on can)
2 jugs premade similac (sale 2/$10.99)
1 six-pack premade similac individual serve
2 cover girl lip glosses (BOGO coupon)
2 glade apple air freshener (BOGO coupon)
Spent $9 extracare bucks and got back $3 extracare bucks
Myles' first trip to the beach was with Steve and Sam...and not me. *sigh*
Myles did a header on the living room laminate floor and gave himself a temporary fat lip. There was blood. It wasn't pretty and I learned a valuable lesson about putting him down on the hard floor (don't do it).
"Go wake your father up."

"Why, are we going to McDonalds?"

I think we go to McDonalds too much.
My aunt called to ask me if there is anything out of my grandmother's house I would like to have because they are "cleaning it out." I assume they plan to sell it for grandma since she is permanently in a nursing home due to dementia. She is my only living grandparent and it seems ridiculous to ask for a coffee mug when the only thing I would really like would be to turn back time for her...for all of us.
Sam joined the cub scouts and his first activity is selling popcorn to raise money for a campout. If anyone wants to order (I believe we're in the OH-Greater Cleveland Council), let me know via email.
A sick kid saying, "I think I need to throw up," can strike fear into the hearts of the most seasoned of parents. I learned that Sam, if nothing else, is a man of his word...he did have to throw up. I think I can live without eating cheese for a while.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Thank you!

Thank you Shanna!!! Not only does Sam LOVE it, but it arrived just in time to keep him warm while we had no power!


Pardon the blog silence. The power went out at home on Sunday evening thanks to the remnants of Hurricane Ike and was just restored last evening. A hot shower never felt so good as the one this morning.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mutt Monday


Friday, September 12, 2008

Frugal Friday

I did one trip to CVS this week...for me. Absolutely nothing we HAD TO have. But I justified it in order to satisfy my strong desire for candy and nailpolish.

CVS #1
2 Revlon Nail enamels
1 Renuzit Tri-scent starter kit
4 bags lifesavers candy
1 Hershey Cacao Reserve chocolate bar
$16.88 spent
$15.38 saved
Plus I received $9 in ECBs to spend at a later date.

I really need to get a handle on the grocery situation around here. I've been tired and running ragged so I haven't wanted to cook. That has led to too many meals out...which is far too expensive for a decent budget. This week I hope to get it back under control and get back in the kitchen.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where I show I'm not a nice person

"As for any concerns about the actual delivery process, Laila (Ali) is her usual outspoken self, laughing, "Now if I was the first woman in the world having a baby, I'd be scared to death!" However, she says she's feeling optimistic about the situation. "I have never experienced it for myself, but I see all of these other women that I know are nowhere near as strong as I am, physically, emotionally, mentally. So if they can do it, so can I."

"There's going to be pain," the 30-year-old says realistically. "My thing is learning the ways to reduce that pain, and be in control of yourself so you're not making it worse and working against yourself. I feel like I have an advantage just with my mind-set and with my experiences as an athlete and knowing my body."

And then today I read of her son's arrival today...and a rep's statement:
"Although mom and baby are both healthy and happy, there were some surprises during labor that altered Laila’s birth plan."
I not-so-nicely thought, "Now maybe she understands it's not about "advantages" and who is better prepared. I wonder if she'll talk about these "surprises" and acknowledge how absolutely arrogant she sounded before?"

Actually, I really thought, "Now maybe she'll shut the hell up."

Nice, huh?

Sometimes I don't like this new me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Welcome to the world Josephine Eleanor Maud!

6 lbs, 4 oz and 18 inches long

Congratulations Bon and the whole family!

Parenting question #96740576937

How do you make them understand the importance of school? homework? grades? the "permanent file?"

I have always felt stress over school. While I did reasonably well in the grade department, it never came easy like it did for some of my friends and I always felt like a bit of a fraud because of it. I could hang with the smart kids, but I wasn't as smart as they were...I'm still not. A's were work and I felt disappointment with myself if I didn't get them.

In college several professors tried to teach me that it wasn't so much about the letter grade as it was what I LEARNED! A novel concept that freed me only slightly from the stress of attending classes and feeling unprepared. I couldn't fully commit to the idea because, after all, if it weren't about the letters they wouldn't give them, right?

Things didn't improve as my education continued. My law school career was peppered with smart ass comments from colleagues who I knew would get bigger and better jobs than I would. I was fine with that. I had a husband and a job and my focus was split. As long as I passed, I was happy to be on track for my "good" job...but not a "great" job.

But that's me. Now I have a child and I have to figure out how to teach him about the importance of these things without setting him up for the stress I felt all those years. He's in first grade now and things are different. Homework counts. Remembering things is important. Being responsible for your own achievements is an important lesson.

Tuesday he went to school without his backpack because he had left it in the minivan after Monday pickup. Today he went to school without the homework that was due today because he hurried while getting ready for school in the morning and didn't actually get the folder IN the backpack (found it lying on the kitchen floor when we got home after school). He was apparently not the only child who forgot their homework today and the teacher is giving them a "second chance" to turn it in tomorrow. I tried to talk to him about it and he says he cares. But I feel frustrated that he's not getting the significance and he may NOT get the significance until it's report card time and it's just too late to do anything about it. I don't want to freak him out, but I want him to understand WHY he needs to do better.

aaagghhh! Why can't this parenting gig come with a manual?

Patience is a virtue

Or so they say.

So this morning I patiently wait for good news from Bon.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination: A Memoir, by Elizabeth McCracken

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

September 9, 2008 at 9:24 AM EDT

Perhaps it goes without saying that I believe in the geographic cure. Of course you can't out-travel sadness. You will find it has smuggled itself along in your suitcase. It coats the camera lens, it flavours the local cuisine. In that different sunlight, it stands out, awkward, yours, honking in the brash vowels of your native tongue in otherwise quiet restaurants. You may even feel proud of its stubbornness as it follows you up the bell towers and monuments, as it pants in your ear while you take in the view. I travel not to get away from my troubles but to see how they look in front of famous buildings or on deserted beaches. I take them for walks. Sometimes I get them drunk. Back at home we generally understand each other better.

So at the end of February, when I was seven months pregnant, we took the train from Albany to New Orleans, where I'd been invited to give a reading. …

At a reception that week, I was chatting with the exceptionally lovely, soft-spoken woman who'd donated the money for the program that had brought me there. We sat in folding chairs against a wall, a few feet from the buffet table. Just small talk. She asked me how my pregnancy was going. Then she said, “I was so sorry when I heard about your first child. My first child was stillborn, too.”

My heart kicked on like a furnace. Suddenly tears were pouring down my face.

“Oh no!” said the woman. “I didn't mean for that to happen!”

I laughed and grabbed some napkins from the table and tried to explain myself, though even now it's hard to find the words. What came over me was gratitude and an entirely inappropriate love. I didn't know the woman, but I loved her. I'd felt the same thing meeting another couple on campus, a professor and his wife who'd written me when Pudding died to send condolences and to say that they'd had a daughter who was stillborn nearly 30 years before.

All I can say is, it's a sort of kinship, as though there is a family tree of grief. On this branch the lost children, on this the suicided parents, here the beloved mentally ill siblings. When something terrible happens, you discover all of a sudden that you have a new set of relatives, people with whom you can speak in the shorthand of cousins.

Twice now I have heard the story of someone who knows someone who's had a stillborn child since Pudding has died, and it's all I can do not to book a flight immediately, to show up somewhere I'm not wanted, just so that I can say, It happened to me, too, because it meant so much to me to hear it. It happened to me, too, meant: It's not your fault. And You are not a freak of nature. And This does not have to be a secret.

That's how it works. When a baby dies, other dead children become suddenly visible: Daughters and sons. First cousins. The neighbour kid. The first child. The last child. Your older brother. Some of their names have been forgotten; some never had names in the first place. They disappeared under heaps of advice. Don't dwell. Have another child, a makeup baby. Life is for the living. But then another baby dies, and here they are again, in stories, and you will love them all, and – if you are the mother of a dead child yourself – they will keep coming to you. A couple I know just lost their baby. And you will know that your lost child has appeared somewhere else in the world. I know a couple …

All those dead children. Who knows what they want?

In our better moments, we surely understand that the dead do not need anything. Afterlife, no afterlife: the dead have their needs taken care of. Oh, but isn't wanting things something else again, and don't we talk about it all the time. It's what he would have wanted. Her last wishes. Thank God for the dead; thank God someone is capable of making a decision in the worst of times: He would have liked it that way.

But a baby. Who's to say? Babies are born needing everything. They're a state of emergency. That's what they're for. Dead, there's nothing we can do for them, and we don't know what they'd want, we can't even guess. I can pretend that I knew Pudding. No, I did know him, not with my brain but with my body, and yet I know nothing about him, not even the simplest thing: I have no idea of what he'd want. And so in my grief I understand that mourning is a kind of ventriloquism; we put words into the mouths of our bereavers, but of course it's all entirely about us, our wants, our needs, the dead are satisfied, we are greedy, greedy, greedy, unseemly, self-obsessed. If your child did not survive his birth, everyone can see that clearly. I want. I need. Not him. No pretending.

I thought stillbirth was a thing of history, and then it happened to me, and yet now when I hear of a baby dying I'm just as incredulous. You mean they still haven't figured this out? I want to hear about every dead baby, everywhere in the world. I want to know their names, Christopher, Strick, Jonathan. I want their mothers to know about Pudding.

The dead don't need anything. The rest of us could use some company.

From the book An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination: A Memoir, by Elizabeth McCracken. Copyright © 2008 by Elizabeth McCracken. Reprinted with permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York. All rights reserved.

(I copied this from the Globe and Mail so that it will be here when, in time, the Globe and Mail deletes it from their server. It shouldn't get lost and I want it to be a part of my archives here. I will be seeking out this book, for sure.)

Thanks to Kristen for pointing this article out.

Edited to add a link to the excerpt in O Magazine.

What inspires you?

As I drove to work the other morning, I saw the same four Percherons I see every morning out in the same field where I always see them. Only this morning, there was a fog just lifting from the field and they stood there seemingly surrounded by a cloud...and I felt inspired. I was sad I hadn't brought my camera with me because the urge to take advantage of the photo opportunity was almost overwhelming. It would have been a beautiful shot...

I've had a hard time writing recently. Mostly because I don't know what to write about. I'm not a creative writer and have, to be honest, always dreaded creative writing assignments. I would break out in a cold sweat in school when the English teacher would announce creative writing time. I am, I have discovered, an emotional writer. I write from a place of passion...writing with abandon about those things I care most deeply about...censoring out all the "irrelevant" bits of my life (I figure the drudgery of my life is enough while I'm living it that I don't want to re-hash it in words that will record it forever). When the writing comes easy it is because I don't have to think about what I want to say. It just happens because I am inspired.

So I'm left with the question...what inspires me to write today? Like those grand horses in the mist, I'm on the lookout for those moments that inspire me to form words into sentences and air it all out in the open.

I forgot my lunch...not much inspiring about that.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Thank you Secret Pal!

With school and soccer starting this past week, I totally spaced and forgot to send out a thank you to my Secret Pal! She sent me a great "take care of me" package with an adorable teabag charm and caddie, a lemon slice teapot drip catcher, some yummy Dionis Sugar Hollow Spice goatmilk soap, a Hershey's lip balm and a BIG bar of actual Hershey's (which was a little soft from shipping...but once it resolidified in the fridge was immediately scarfed down). It was just lovely and I really appreciate it. You've been a supremely wonderful secret pal sending emails and virtual cards and all kinds of wonderful things in the snail mail. Thank you! I can't wait to find out who you are and read all about you on your blog!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Frugal Friday

CVS #1
1 Covergirl wetslicks
1 Huggies sensitive wipes refill (184ct)
$9.63 out of pocket
$5.00 saved

CVS #2
4 Suave body wash
2 Newspapers
1 Playtex dropins refills (100ct)
$6.46 out of pocket
$17.15 saved

CVS #3
1 Huggies sensitive wipes refill (184ct)
$6.38 out of pocket
$2.00 saved

CVS #4
1 Huggies sensitive wipes refill (184ct)
$6.38 out of pocket
$2.00 saved

CVS #5
1 Suave hairspray
1 Suave shampoo
1 Jumbo Pampers diapers
2 CoverGirl outlast lip colors
$20.69 out of pocket
$17.87 saved

The rush this week was finishing the Huggies wipes deal before the end of August. Now we're all stocked up and this should be my last week of CVS deals for a while. All other toiletries are stocked for a two month supply also.

Grocery store (two trips)
Baby formula $14.52 (tossed the receipt before taking note of savings)
$46.44 out of pocket
Saved $8.77
We ate out three times this week. So while we didn't do much grocery shopping, and saved, we didn't save as much as we could have if we hadn't eaten out so much. Also, our savings could have been greater, but I bought Steve beer and splurged on the expensive hot dogs (without a coupon)...plus I HAD to buy some things to supplement my pantry and make complete meals.

I really do love the stock up mentality. I bought all our pepsi on sale a week or two ago and haven't had to buy any since now that the price is back up.

Miscellaneous thoughts - Political conventions edition

Check the facts and the candidates on the issues for yourself.
Got a giggle out of Campbell Brown asking Tucker Bounds to name one decision Sarah Palin has made as Commander in Chief of the Alaskan National Guard (about 2:15 in). For the record, I would have gotten the same giggle if it were a Democratic idiot doing the tap-dance.

And giggles...Jon Stewart...I must remember not to be drinking anything when I watch his show. I think I've choked on Diet Pepsi more in the last two weeks than I imagined I would in my entire life. Funny funny funny stuff.
Everyone should read this editorial about Sarah Palin and our reactions to her.

For my part, I will not question Sarah Palin's loyalty to her family...or the decisions she has made. I will not question whether she should or should not be running for Vice President. That is a matter for her and her family to decide. The fact is, she IS running for Vice President and we've got bigger issues to talk about.

Which brings me to the topic of "experience." We have, in our society, a strange sense of things. We claim that we do not like it when government operation is removed from the common person. But when a common person runs for office we yell and scream, "But...but...but...they're not QUALIFIED...they're JUST LIKE ME!" Elitism knows all political parties apparently.

Seriously...Obama isn't qualified by any standard I would use to hire someone. Neither is Sarah Palin. Hell, I probably wouldn't trust any of them to run my office if I were hiring. They all have problems with their resume that would cull them out in the first round of HR screenings. But if experience were to have been a requirement, it would have been written into the Constitution (it's not...I checked).

So...I make this pledge here...You won't ever hear me compare "experience" or "qualifications" of political candidates for office. Because, really, who among us is ever totally qualified (except maybe a previous officeholder)? I wasn't qualified for my job...but I do a pretty good imitation of someone who was. And sure, my job is different from the presidency/vice-presidency. But do we really think that those two positions are at the mercy of just those two individuals who hold those offices? I'm under no illusions as to how it works. Advisors, consultants, staff and cabinet members...those are the people who are running our country. I'm more concerned that Karl Rove will be invited back to the White House than I am who actually sits at the desk in the Oval Office.

Now let's talk ISSUES people!
My only comment on Bristol Palin's pregnancy...a comment TO Bristol Palin...

The world will judge you harshly, and for that I am sorry. This should be a time of happy dreams and plans for you. I hope you are able to find some of that with the people you love and the people who love you. Yes, your life is about to change dramatically...you have no idea how much. Most likely you are not ready...not because of your age...but because (if we are honest with ourselves) none of us is ever truly ready for parenthood. But no matter the path your life takes, you now and forever will be a mother. It is a magical journey and I wish you well on it.
The DNC "CHANGE" signs were cheesy, but the RNC "COUNTRY FIRST" signs with "PROSPERITY" on the flip side are just out of this world.
The NYTimes did a word cloud from the speeches of the Presidential candidates. That, in and of itself, says something about our society, don't ya think?
It is clear that even our political process has fallen victim to the easy laugh. When you don't have anything of substance to say, make fun...mock...use sarcasm. Now, I appreciate a good sarcastic sense of humor as much as the next person...but I'm pretty sure that's not the best quality for the leader of the free world (or his VP).
***the end of political talk for this edition of Miscellaneous Thoughts***
Yes, yes, I am the freak clipping coupons while sitting in my lawn chair at my son's soccer practice. Don't laugh.
Government office faux pas...no, you can NOT have an Obama 08 sign in your window.
To the man at the mall play place who asked me, a complete stranger, if I could watch his daughter "just for a minute" while he ran to Kmart...

It only takes a minute...you should remember that.
I find myself watching my son's soccer practice with a critical eye. It's not that I can do better...in fact, I know I couldn't. I'm not an athlete and I never played team sports. So I don't really have any right to say anything. But I seemingly can't help myself.

Oh, I'm not worried about his performance...though I do think he could stand to move a little more/faster and not be so timid when attacking the ball. I'm worried about his behavior. I find myself saying things like "pay attention" and "stop talking and listen" and "don't dig gopher holes in the middle of the soccer field."

My son is not what one would call attentive. He gets bored easily and tends to spout off his mouth at inappropriate times. Sound like anyone you know? Yes, he takes after me in all the wrong ways and it makes me really uncomfortable to see my bad qualities reflected in my son. I'm a stellar parent, obviously, and my child is going to need therapy before he's seven years old. *sigh*
Internal debate: Is it worth it to drive an hour to get double coupons up to $2 at Kmart? Could potentially mean cheap and free items...
Shipping a photo canvas via FedEx from here to Australia at the cheapest rate = $425

UPS was slightly more reasonable at $275.

No, I'm not joking.
Dying paper is tricky business. Must move fast or drips and smudges will ruin the end product.
Soccer at 9am in the rain when it's 74 degrees out...after a long night of dealing with a screaming baby...not so fun.

Do me a favor

After all what kind of person/god would make me lose my husband and then our baby within a few weeks of each other.

Please go over to The Tale of Two Coins and offer Jen some love.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


When you say bad things about "government" you are saying bad things about me. Because I am part of that government you despise.

I do not make a lot of money but I take very seriously the duty with which I am charged. I spend every day working to better all our lives.

I am open to suggestion but I do not take kindly to verbal attacks on my character or my motivations.

So watch the broad brush you use when you paint such an ugly picture of government. You may meet me in a courtroom some day. And while I always try to be fair...I am only human.

One of THOSE posts

This is one of THOSE posts. You have your warning.

The breastfeeding is...how shall I say?...done. Fini. The end. And while I could write all about how sad it makes me, I feel I owe myself the truth. It was time and I am glad to be done. Not so glad about the formula stains on the clothes (will definitely be taking a break from Gymboree...even second-hand Gymboree deserves better), but definitely glad to be done.

Breastfeeding this time around was easy. I attribute most of our success to my extreme gratitude. When you long to hold a baby...when you go through what we did...it's easy to slow down and savor every moment. I remember with Sam I was in such a hurry. I had so much to DO that I didn't want to be bothered with the nursing business. It took too much time out of my schedule. Looking back now, I realize I just didn't "get it." But this time there was none of that. The house isn't clean. The lawn isn't mowed. There is little progress on the crafting and other activities. It was nine months devoted to helping this new little baby grow. I loved it.

And now it's not like that because I'm ready to get going and, more importantly, because MYLES is ready to get going. He is no longer interested in the nursing snuggle or falling asleep at my breast (just typing that causes a tear to appear in my eye). He's ready to go go go and I want to let him. He prefers a bottle to my boob...to feed himself rather than snuggle in and be fed. I guess I'm just too lazy to fight him on it. Yes, there is a bit of the old failure-minded part of me that realizes I could have worked to continue providing expressed breastmilk (instead of formula) for the remainder of the "critical" first year. But all the breastpump was doing was creating stress for me. I could pump all day and not make enough for the three 8-ounce bottles Myles needs for daycare each day. It was frustrating and made me anxious...it's a relief to not have to deal with that anymore.

So a beautiful nine month chapter closes with some tears and a sigh of relief.

Here's to new adventures!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Heard at my house

Let's get something straight. Your father and I do not respond to a system of snaps or claps or snorts. If you want something, please use words...and your manners. Thank you.