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Showing posts from February, 2009

#9 way to change the world

This is for my friend, Kristin.

I know I don't REALLY have the power to take ownership of a day like this, but I hope you - and the universe - will forgive me for the taking the liberty of stealing away March 9th and asking if you'll consider engaging in a little random kindness that day.

March 9th, for those who don't know, is our son Thomas' birthday. This year would be his fourth.

In his obituary we asked if people would consider doing something good in his memory - no matter how small - because we thought he'd like that. A lot.

Every year since, we've asked people to keep up the wonderful and much appreciated good work by finding ways to make the world a little nicer, a little sweeter, and a little happier on his birthday.

Ripples into eternity, as they say.

It's impossible for your contribution to be too small. If all you do is make someone smile, that's enough. That's all we could ever ask for, in memory of our boy.

If you want to venture back here o…

Frugal Friday

Rite Aid Saturday night (last week's sale)
1 gallon 2% milk
15ct Claritin
2 Colgate toothbrushes
2 80ct Excedrin express gel
1 Pampers
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$23.96 out of pocket
$32.18 sale and coupon savings

Super Kmart Triple/Double coupon
1 Rubbermaid lunch container
1 Loreal kissable lip
1 Crest pro health rinse
2 Crest Whitening Expressions toothpaste
1 Gillette Fusion Power refill cartridges
1 Theraflu warming chest congestion
1 Maalox liquid
1 30 ct. Ludens
1 Johnsons Baby Powder
1 Lysol wipes
1 Pampers Jumbo
1 Chinet dessert plates
1 Clorox any surface spray
1 cheerios snack mix
1 Ocean spray cran-grape
1 Nestle break and bake cookies
1 Dole frozen peach slices
2 Freschetta frozen pizzas
1 Pedigree breath busters
1 Hershey's extra dark bar
1 donut
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Spent 51.79 out of pocket ($15 of which was those darn razor refills)
Saved $48.96!
Would have saved $5 more, if I'd had the brains to use a $5/$50 printable.

CVS
1 bag Lindt chocolates
1 Dayquil
1 Nyquil
2 Post Grape Nuts Trail Mix c…

All done

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Two years, four months...but it's done!

And because Sam is always wanting to snuggle with me under my afghans, we decided it was a good idea to make this one really big so Jackson and Anderson could snuggle comfortably with mommy.

I will try to get it sent out this week, Steph. I hope you like it.

Worry worry worry...then worry some more

Sam's teacher says he is really smart...and then she brings down the hammer...

loud non-stop talking
can't stay focused to finish work
disrupts other students


Sam has apparently had his desk moved out into the hall (on occasion...not a permanent relocation) so that he would shut up. But even then, he can't keep his mouth shut and he finds someone at the end of the hall to loudly jibber-jabber with across the distance. Yes, he is that kid. At least, that's what I would call him. That kid.

But even with this newest revelation at parent-teacher conferences last night, the teacher still didn't want to send home behavior reports because Sam "is possibly the smartest kid in the class" and she "has some students who have much worse behavior problems."

So...I'm gathering he's bad...just not that bad. Not bad enough.

And this idiotic determination that his bad behavior doesn't rise to the level of actionable just because he's smart...well...i…

Welcome to the world Baby Rosie!

Congratulations to Laura and the entire family on the safe arrival of Baby Rosemary!

Remembering Nicholas

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In loving memory of Julie's sweet baby boy, Nicholas, on his fourth birthday.


photo credit

Big news!

The MOM Project has officially applied for 501(c)(3) status! Signed, sealed, and dropped in the mail to the Internal Revenue Service!

That means if YOU make a donation (and you're a US taxpayer) YOU can take a tax deduction for a contribution to an honest-to-goodness nonprofit! How's that for awesome?!?!

It was a long road, but we finally did it! Yay us!

A link to the donation page can now be found on my sidebar (thanks for reminding me M!).

Do you refrigerate your rum?

It has been quite a day.

I got up early to go to an Animal Protective League meeting of the Board of Directors (of which I am now an official member...I guess that makes me a director). One member was voted off for failing to participate in any meetings since June (he was, no surprise, not in attendance). Another member (who was in attendance) was voted off for, shall we say, unprofessional conduct. Can you say awkward? (From the moment I was first approached about being on the Board, I got a bad feeling from this woman. But I figured it was just my social weirdness at play. Guess not.)

Before I went home, I swung by the bank and then, after a false start during which I realized I only have proof of insurance that expired LAST May, I went to the BMV.

The BMV is the entrance to hell. I'm sure of it.

I stood in line, presented my paperwork to renew my plates, and was told my driver's license expired on my birthday. Great. They don't take debit cards and the checkbook was at h…

#8 way to change the world

The Center for Grieving Children, Teens & Families, Philadelphia, PA.

The Center provides a safe and caring place where children, teens and their families grieving a death can find the support to heal and grow through grief.

In addition, the Center provides educational and training programs to professionals and others who work with children and teens.

For all my crafty readers...

Quilts, afghans, prayer shawls or lapghans can be sent to:
Angels Embrace
Peggy Wicker
2408 Hamilton Ave
Roslyn, PA 19001

Blankets need to be at least 45" square or a little larger...any type is okay. For older children and teens, a good size would be throw size of 50"x60".

If you would like your "cuddleghan" donated in memory of someone special, please let Peggy know and she will attach that information to your blanket before sending it to the grief center.

Miscellaneous thoughts

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Nobody in my house listens to me unless I scream. I don't want to scream. *sigh*
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I had several client messes to clean up and have been buried under the paperwork required for issuing subpoenas. I'm not entirely sure I like being an attorney this week.
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Public school Valentine's party means exchanging valentines with everyone in the class.

Valentine from a girl in Sam's class...

"I'm glad God made us friends!
Happy Valentine's Day!
The Lord loves us very much. PSALM 117:2 ICB"

Yeah...that's what I thought too.
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Recovery.gov

Say what you will about politics...this is an unprecedented attempt to actually inform the public about the activities of their government. We not only have the RIGHT to know, but our government is actually trying to be proactive and PROVIDE the information. Sure, it's not perfect...but I am impressed at the a…

Viral marketing

(I love that term "viral marketing." It's so weird...yet seems somehow appropriate for this.)

Tertia has written a book that is now available on Amazon.

Meet, marry and make a baby: That's how it's supposed to go, right? What happens when you start trying for a family ... and trying, and trying some more? How far do you go to achieve your dream of having children? So Close is the heart wrenching, exhilarating, devastatingly funny story of Tertia Albertyn's battle with infertility. Tertia wanted a baby so badly she went through nine IVFs. Most people give up after the third. I don't think I am being brave at all. I am just too terrified NOT to try again. In her worst nightmare she could never have imagined that making a baby would take her four years, each treatment bringing her and her husband Marko closer and closer to creating their family. During Tertia's journey everything that can go wrong does go wrong. Until, finally, everything goes just right. …

I want to blog

I want to blog but I'm currently buried under piles of laundry, dishes, and work-related crap. Send help. Please.

***I'm so desperate I'm crying uncle and letting the baby play with the dirty shoes. It makes him happy and I have to say "no" a lot less...a win-win.***

Happy Valentine's Day

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Nobody sent me a valentine.
I spent the morning doing dishes and straightening up the house.
My son went off to his uncle's for a sleepover with video games and pizza without so much as a "bye."
I had a very late lunch with Steve and Myles (that included pecan pie...yum) and resisted the urge to spend money unnecessarily on myself, though I did buy a couple small gifts for my brothers fiancee and their baby girl due in April.
I spent the evening sorting through toys destined for Goodwill.
I'm having a very late dinner (of boneless garlic chicken wings) and watching DVRed episodes of LOST with Steve.
I almost wish I was born during this time...

#7 way to change the world

Good Cause Greetings

Good Cause Greetings is proud to support nonprofit organizations throughout the world through the sale of our unique line of holiday greeting cards. The purchase of Good Cause Greetings helps end hunger, provide housing, medical care and education for world citizens and improve the environment for people and animals worldwide. Click on a charity logo to be linked to the collection of cards supporting that particular organization.

Good Cause Greetings works to support charitable and nonprofit organizations that meet high standards set by the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance (www.give.org) or the requirements for 501c(3) nonprofit status.

Miscellaneous thoughts

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At first I thought I had mysteriously come down with a weird case of eczema (never had it before in my life). But now I think I am allergic to my aluminum crochet hooks and yarn needles. When I spend a lot of time with either of these tools on my latest project, my hand breaks out in an extremely itchy rash wherever the hook/needle rests. I got a similar rash from a ring with an unknown metal content. I don't know...maybe it is just a weird case of eczema.
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A couple years ago we bought a used car. We have spent the last two years replacing almost every part in it. Does that mean we now have a new car?
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My colleague had her baby on Wednesday...weighed 6 pounds 12 ounces, 19 ½ inches. Mother and daughter are doing fine. It's now Friday and we still have not seen pictures.

A colleague in the criminal prosecution division also had a baby. Actually, his signi…

Frugal Friday

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Out of pocket $6.34
($2 of which was for the Valentine's suckers for Sam's class)
Total savings $27.80

Not so fast

I THOUGHT I could do something good for someone else. I THOUGHT I was strong enough emotionally to handle something as simple as giving blood. I mean, really, what's the big deal?

But when the nurse tested my blood and declared my iron level too low to make a donation...well...all the old familiar feelings of look-how-much-of-a-failure-my-body-is just came bubbling out. One drop of blood and I'm again lying prone at the bottom of the well of grief and self-pity.

Also on this fine rainy day when my body fails me again, I receive not one, but TWO job application rejections. As if the universe thought I could use an extra kick in the head...the ole one-two punch. I'm trying not to take it all personally, but for the love of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, enough already.

Much better

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So I read back over yesterday's post and laughed and laughed. I was feeling a bit whiney...did you notice that? But in the light of a new day, it's really quite funny when Murphy kicks your butt on the day after your birthday. Speaking of my birthday...it was lovely. Thank you for the well wishes.

The birthday recap:

Saturday night we took baby stuff to my brother's house and then went out to dinner at Red Robin (love the birthday coupon for a free burger!).

Sunday morning I got to sleep late and then went to lunch with my mom at Panera...then shopping at JoAnn's and the Baby Depot at Burlington Coat Factory (my brother's little girl is going to be SO spoiled).

When we got back to my parent's house, I dug up some old photos from their collections (school, attorney swearing in, baby shower...some big moments that I seemed to lack photos of myself). Things I noticed: (1)I have never had any fashion sense; (2)The lack of fashion sense extends to my choices in eyegl…

What a headache

I went to bed last night joking how I'd had such a nice birthday I didn't want to go to work in the morning. Enter migraine headache. So, I didn't go to work...but it wasn't exactly how I'd wanted it.

And then I dragged myself to work for an hour this afternoon with Sam in tow, to be told the clerk's office wouldn't accept my subpoenas because they have decided I should have used a different form. Despite the MANY times they've accepted handwritten crap from pro se defendants on spiral notebook paper...as formal filings...MY form isn't correct and they won't accept it.

Not to mention the entire time I was trying to sort out the whole mess, Sam could not stop talking. Seriously, could.not.stop.talking. But when we loaded up in the van to go home...not.one.single.word.all.the.way.home.

And now he has handed me a folder of 17 unfinished worksheets (some unSTARTED even). His immediate (guilty) statement? "I wasn't talking!"

When asked wh…

#6 way to change the world

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Valentine's Day Flowers from OrganicBouquet.com

We've chosen to take the high road in everything we do, from our relationships with our partner artisans and growers to our adherence to rigorous U.S. and international sustainability standards. We obtain our products from companies who provide safe and just working conditions and a livable wage, and partner with artisans and farmers who re-invest in their communities and take pride in their craftsmanship. And in an effort to create online connections and community, we share their stories. All our products are produced without animal testing or cruelty and are either vegetarian or vegan. We're a member of CO-OP America, the premier green business network in the United States.

Our responsible commerce includes:

* Contributing a portion of our proceeds to charitable organizations dedicated to supporting social and environmental causes. To date, we have donated more than $250,000 to our charitable partners.
* Meeting the hig…
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Cleaning house, birthday style

The crap is outta here!

Seriously, stuff is leaving my house at record pace this week...and I couldn't be happier!

Too many toys...adios!

Baby stuff...to my brother and his fiancee...baby girl due in April (I thought I'd be sad about that stuff...but strangely I am not).

Care packages out to soldiers in Iraq (they had been collecting dust on my table since before Christmas).

Secret pal package out to my secret pal.

There is room to move in my house again! I can even see the top of my dining room table! Yay!

La la la la la la la la (doing my happy dance)!

And while at Target this evening to get a windshield wiper for my minivan...I happened through the housewares department and found a universal pan lid! I've been searching for one of those for the past YEAR! And it was only $10!

Things are good tonight...even if tomorrow I will have 37 year old cleavage.

Are there enough exclamation points in this post? Yes, I've been drinking. Never drink and blog!...or blog and drink (as I …

Math practice

I like to share when I find good online sites to help kids Sam's age learn. Today we found this math worksheet generator. He love it...and so do I...it saves us both a lot of work. lol!

He thought he'd call my bluff

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Little did my six-year-old son know I had reached my absolute limit and I could turn into SuperBitch so easily (I honestly think I've been fighting my natural tendencies with him for way too long).

I said, "If you don't clean this up, I'm going to give these toys away to someone else who will take care of them and appreciate them."

And when he replied, "I don't care, give them away," I lost it. Really really lost it.

I threw everything that would fit into four trash bags. The bigger toys got carried downstairs to the staging area for re-homing.

And then I sat in the middle of the newly unearthed bedroom floor and cried.

What happened to my beautiful baby boy? my sweet and kind angel? It seems he's gone from happy little boy to sullen teenager in the blink of an eye. And he's only SIX!

I know a lot of this is my fault (yes, I still assign blame when things go horribly wrong). We overindulged him for several years as a way to mend our own broken…

Thank you Secret Pal!

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I received an "incoming" message from my Secret Pal yesterday...and then a package arrived on my doorstep! And I have to say that I loved loved loved it! A copy of the Amsterdam coat I've been eyeing...with enough yarn to actually make it! I laughed and laughed at the note included, explaining why two skeins of the yarn were wound into balls (overeager two year olds and yarn...I feel for ya). The candy is missing from this picture because...well...it didn't last long enough to take a picture of (I LOVE Cadbury).
And look! My very own birthday cupcake! I love it!

Frugal Friday

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Out of pocket: $1.76

This week showed me how bad our budget will be in the upcoming months. But with a little creative stockpiling during sales, I think we'll slide through until May (when we'll have an "extra" pay period to give us a little breathing room).

Miscellaneous thoughts

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Much has been made of tax errors made by Tom Daschle and Tim Geithner.

I have to carefully analyze what I think on these because one of my biggest clients is the county Health Department. I didn't know I needed a plumbing inspection after my home renovation. We all make mistakes that maybe we shouldn't. Now...if you want to make hay out of the potential conflicts Daschle would bring to the job, I'm with you on that.
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The link for this story is feds_padding_payrolls. I think that sums up the public's view of those of us who work in public service. But I just wish someone would take a moment and not spew such ill-though crap (and call it journalism).

I know a lot of private companies are "shedding jobs," but I have to wonder if that is because they don't have the money or if that is because they just want the money they do have to go to their CEOs and shareholders. See...where I work..…

If you pray

Please say a prayer for Rachel.

If you don't pray, please hold her close in your thoughts...send her love...positive thoughts...whatever you have in you to share.

I am a realist who believes in miracles. So I hope for the best and yet steel myself for the worst.

Thank you Newsweek

Web exclusive dated January 31, 2009: Family Portraits, by Claudia Kalb

From the magazine issue dated Feb 9, 2009: A Vast and Sudden Sadness, by Claudia Kalb

#5 way to change the world

Founded in 1987, United Animal Nations focuses on bringing animals out of crisis and into care through a variety of programs, including emergency animal sheltering and disaster relief services, financial assistance for urgent veterinary care and humane education.They have four main programs...all of which are amazingly effective for a mainly volunteer organization.

Premarin Awareness Campaign-Educates women about hormone drugs made from pregnant mares' urine (PMU) and helps people adopt the mares and foals cast off from this industry who might otherwise be at risk for slaughter.
Emergency Animal Rescue Service-Shelters and cares for animals displaced by natural disasters and other crises, such as criminal seizures and hoarding cases, in the United States and Canada.
LifeLine Grants-Provides funding to Good Samaritans, animal rescuers, non-proft organizations and pet owners to help them care for animals in life-threatening situations.
Humane Education-Fosters compassion and empathy for…