Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My first giveaway!

***edited to add deadline of Friday @ noon!***

I'm in the mood to share. Though I've never done one here before, I want to do a giveaway. You won't mind will you? It's cheesy...but so what?!?!

So let's see...what do I have to give away...? I know! Yummy smelling candles!

6 Partylite votive candles - Sparkling Amber scent (retired)
This romantic fragrance combines exotic amber with hints of cedar, spices, and vanilla.

6 Partylite votive candles - Black Orchid scent
Exotic and luxurious, this new scent takes its inspiration from the rare and beautiful Black Orchid flower. The result is an alluring, enticing fragrance with a rich floral flavor.

They are both heavier perfume scents. Lovely...just not my style.

Candles come in original boxes. The boxes were opened just to smell the candles...the candles are brand spanking new.

What do ya think? Anyone interested? If so, leave a comment on this post indicating which scent you are interested in. I will randomly select winners for each scent using my super-secret selection process (slips of paper in a hat).

This is fun!

But it's for charity

The hat's too big for the sweater size.
The sweater is too simple and boring.
The color and style say neither "boy" or "girl."
But it's for charity.

The yarn was impossible to work with and I wanted to throw the whole thing out the window on more than one occasion.
But I didn't because it's for charity.

The yarn was purchased for Travis.
But now it's for charity.

I want to keep it and I can't wait to get it out of my house...all at the same time.

I still have some yarn left from the skein and I don't think I'll be able to do anything else with it...even if it's for charity.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Frugal Friday

Walgreens #1

3 12-packs of soda
Spent $11.69
Saved $3.54
Received $5 register reward
Walgreens #2

Edge Shave gel
2 cans Pringles
3 movie theater boxes of candy

Spent $1.79
Saved $7.65
Received $3 register reward
Rite Aid

Claritin 10Ct+5

Spent $9.78
Saved $16.50
Will receive $5 rebate

Crest mouthwash
Edge Shave gel
Children's Claritin 10Ct
Clearance Easter candy (2 dozen mini cadbury eggs, peeps bunnies)

Spent $17.67
Saved $17.99
Received $7.89 ECB
Giant Eagle (groceries)

Spent $57.71
Saved $15.67
Received 2 free movie passes

School folder
CVS brand children's acetamenophin
2 snack packages of cashews

Spent $0.56
Saved $7.00
Vacation Fund Update $486.63

Interesting conversations (real and imagined)

Me: "I wrote that memo on the Z petition. If you could take a quick look at it, I'd appreciate it because it has to get on the agenda soon."

Boss: "I'm leaving for vacation tonight and won't be back until Monday. Why does this stuff always come up like this?"

Me: "Lisa's been out with her mom and stuff has kind of piled up while you were in your murder trial."

What I was REALLY thinking..."Because you take countless vacations...people actually joke about it...you don't keep any of us updated as to your vacation schedule...and...well...this is your JOB?"
Please help your child find pictures of two items in a magazine, newspaper, or catalog that each cost less than one dollar.
Yeah...right. Do you actually LIVE in that alternate universe of a school or do you visit the real world every now and again?

BTW...Kleenex and discounted plastic easter eggs. Thank you CVS and Joanns.
Sam: "Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know."

Me: (Thinking how I'd REALLY like to smack that smart alec little face off.)
Sam: "Uncle Matt said I was invited over to his house..."

Me: "Uh...actually...I think you invited yourself over to his house."
Coroner: "Well, I just wanted to call you and tell you my side of things, because I don't think it's right."

Me: "I don't worry about sides, I worry about what's legal. I will research this issue and let you know what the law says. Thanks for calling."
Baby screaming/screeching. Sam crying. Me finding receipts crammed into the checkbook and not entered into the register.

(phone rings)

Me: "What?!?!"

Mom: "Uh...hi?"

#17 way to change the world

The KAT 5 Animal Rescue Auction.

KAT 5 is named after Hurricane Katrina ("KAT" for Katrina), and category 5 storms, symbolizing any disaster. KAT 5 Animal Rescue intervenes to protect animals when a natural or man-made disaster strikes.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Miscellaneous thoughts

She's on maternity leave and yet stops into the office now and again to do a little work and, I suspect, get a mental break from the monotony of staying home with the baby. She stops in each co-worker's office to chat a little bit about the baby. Except she seems to pass right by my office. Despite having a toddler at home myself, I only get a "hi." It's weird, because she was fine talking pregnancy stuff with me. I wonder what it is about me...
Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium...is a fabulous movie!

I remember when it came out and Wendy's or McDonald's was handing out movie themed toys in their kid's meals. Sam got three or four inflatable blimps. I remember this because it was right at the time Myles was born and Sam came to the hospital with one of those blimps and I took a picture of him trying to blow it up. Isn't it funny the silly little things we can remember sometimes?

I didn't have the time or the inclination to see the movie at that time. And I probably wouldn't have liked it much then either. Maybe some of my magic is coming back. I really really hope so.
Me: Why are you yelling like a maniac?

Sam: Because I want to make sure you hear me...I usually mutter.
I can't look at black and white photos of babies without thinking of NILMDTS.org. While I love that the service exists...I hate that it has warped the photographic stylings in my brain.
I hate it when I accidentally publish something before it's done. grrr!
Susan Boyle. If you don't know the name, look her up on YouTube.

I am disturbed by something I heard on the local radio station this morning regarding her though. "Are we so fascinated with this woman talent because she's not what we would traditionally label as beautiful?" My gut reaction was, "yes...we are that collectively shallow."
Really, really, really want to get some gardening done. So, naturally, I wake up with a stiff/sore neck and shoulder/back. Irritating. Think I'll load up on Motrin and work it out anyway.
The baby has learned to screech. Earplugs anyone?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

#16 way to change the world

Knitting the World's Longest Scarf

Join in the fun of knitting the World's Longest Scarf while helping raise money to fight poverty around the world.

As part of the celebration of the International Year of Natural Fibres, Keep the Fleece in partnership with Heifer International is helping to organize teams around the world to knit sections of the World's Longest Scarf that will all be joined together at the New York Sheep & Wool Festival Oct. 17-18, 2009.

Our goal is to raise $250,000.00 that Heifer Intenational will use to donate fleece-bearing animals of all kinds to needy families all around the world. Heifer not only donates the animals, but provides the necessary training so that the families can nurture and grow their herds and become self-sufficient. (For more information about Heifer, please visit their website, www.heifer.org.

We ask everyone who participates to consider a donation of $1.00 per row knitted/crocheted or $10.00 per inch woven/felted. Keep the Fleece will collect the donations from the teams and pass it on to Heifer.

To get started, follow the links in the menu on the left, and if you have any questions, just click on "Contact Us."

Happy scarfing!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Frugal Friday

After a couple weeks off, the cupboards were pretty bare around here. And Easter dinner necessitated the first trip to Giant Eagle...So I'm a bit over budget this week. But not too bad...and we are stocked up on toothpaste for a while now.
Giant Eagle #1
3 2-liters Diet Coke
6-pack Yoplait kids yogurt
2 containers strawberries
6 bakery cupcakes (big splurge)
Sugar free Cool Whip

Spent $15.71
Saved $4.67
Colgate toothpaste
144-count Huggies wipes refill
2 12-rolls Charmin basic t.p.
2 16-count Always ultra
Playtex tampons
3 Dawn
1 2-pack Crest
big bag Whopper Robins eggs (splurge)

Spent $30.12
Saved $32.24
Received $2 ECB back
4 Tuf paper towels
Softsoap body wash
1 Folgers french vanilla
1 Oust
6 Garnier Fructis (2 shampoo, 1 conditioner, 2 hairspray, 1 mousse)

Spent $26.85
Saved $12.99
Received $10 and $1 rebates back
Giant Eagle #2
2 Yoplait gogurt
2 Uncrustables
Van de Kamps fish sticks
2 Hot pockets
Giant Eagle waffles
Gortons salmon
Hot pepperoni
3 Birdseye steamfresh vegetables
2 Pillsbury refrig. pizza crust
2 Sargento shredded mozzarella
Cheese slices
Hillshire Farms Kielbasa
3lbs ground beef
Bob Evans link sausage
Musselman apple butter
Nutrigrain cereal bars
2 boxes poptarts
Rigatoni noodles
2 cake mixes
2 easy mac
2 Chef Michaels dog food
2 cans Chef Boyardee
Spaghetti sauce
Can sloppy joe mix
2 jars pizza sauce
Vitamin water (freebie w/coupon)
4 boxes Rice A Roni
2 6-pack applesauce
2 bags 8 o'clock coffee beans
3 Crystal Light
2 Kotex tampons
Eatsmart veggie crisps
Hamburger buns
Light white bread
Dozen eggs
3 pears
Dozen red apples
6 Hershey's peanut butter eggs (easter clearance)

Spent $126.32
Saved $51.45
Giant Eagle #3

Spent $22.66
Saved $2.02

Monday, April 13, 2009

Thank you Cynthia!

My dear friend Cynthia sent me this lovely "just because" care package. It made me cry it was so lovely. You see, I was up all by myself early on Saturday morning, enjoying a quiet cup of coffee, when I heard the postal carrier drop this lovely box on my side porch. When I opened it, I couldn't help but think of how I first came to know Cynthia. Out of all the awfulness that was 2005 and 2006, the beginning of our friendship stands out as a true blessing. Her kindness (then and now) is inspiring.

Friday, April 10, 2009

#15 way to change the world

Donate to Laura's March of Dimes March for Babies effort...in memory of baby Hans.

It's America's favorite walking event! When you walk, you give hope to the families of babies born too soon or sick. The money you raise supports programs in your community that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies. And it funds research to find answers to the serious problems that threaten our babies. We've been walking since 1970 and have raised an incredible $1.8 billion to benefit all babies.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Welcome to the world Baby Liberty!!!

My brother's fiancee was scheduled for a c-section on Thursday but I got a text message from him at 3:45am this morning that said, "OK, so she's coming now I guess."

With bleary eyes and barely functioning fingers, I texted back, "How exciting! Give S our love and call if you need/want anything."

His response cracked me up..."S does not share your enthusiasm."

Yeah...this is the not-so-fun part for her...but it'll be worth it.

Update as I was typing this...

"It's a girl!!! 7lbs 19"long."

Monday, April 06, 2009

Miscellaneous thoughts - Monday edition

I'm drooling over this...

Isn't it GORGEOUS?!?!
Little Homestead in the City
Drama seems to follow our little family everywhere. Sam's Little League coach has decided it's not worth the hassle to coach in our league this year (drama with a member of the Board of Directors). He might be able to coach in another local league, but at this point, given the level of difficulty already involved in what should be an EASY activity, I'm doubtful it will happen. Sam's said that if he can't play for Coach Kevin then he doesn't want to play. I'm so glad these idiots are teaching my son such tough life lessons at six years old. Sam had the most insightful comment about it. He said, "Mom...I really wish some adults would just...act like adults!" Out of the mouths of babes.
Fantasy baseball season is starting! Steve and I have separate teams this year. My goal...just to finish better than his team, The Galactic Senate. Wish me luck!
I was gone to my first year of college for a couple months when I returned home to see my high school's fall play. Still knowing quite a few of the people in the classes behind mine, I wanted to support my friends. I couldn't even tell you what the show was now, but I remember this one moment following the curtain call when I approached the stage, as was custom, to hug and congratulate the cast and crew. A good friend, B, saw me, jumped down from the stage, and wrapped his arms around me in what was, quite possibly, the best hug I've ever felt. I still remember that hug. I still remember the shock at liking that hug so much. In that brief moment I realized I need people...maybe too much. A couple short months at college and I was literally like a junkie going through withdrawal...for people...MY people...people who knew me and loved me. In that moment I knew that despite what I put out there for everyone to see, I would never be able to survive without intimacy (not necessarily sexual). Yeah, the hard and crusty gal's world was rocked by a simple hug.

Unprovoked by any one incident, I've realized lately that I am feeling that same desperation. Not for a simple hug. Not for anything so easy to diagnose and treat. I miss having a connection with someone that involves more than conversations about poop and/or puke, household chores, and paying bills. I miss that feeling of knowing someone...enjoying their company...enjoying a shared (fun) existence. I miss surprises. I miss being able to just DO something without feeling the stress I imagine comes with the logistical planning for the invasion of a small country (seriously...how is it so complicated to get little people OUT of the D@MN house?!?!). Hell, I miss having the energy to really DO anything. Remember staying up all night and still participating in life the next day? without needing a nap?

And for reasons obvious within my own personal storyline, I miss myself. Though I'm not entirely sure if my internal absence is a result of circumstance or if I deliberately killed that other me bit by bit as some sort of unconscious desire to pay penance for my sins...perceived or real.

I'm tired and frustrated in a lot of areas right now and I don't know what to do about it. It seems wrong to complain about it. It seems wrong to even feel it. But I haven't worn a red dress in so long that I'm not sure that girl ever really existed in me.

Maybe this is what a midlife crisis feels like?

I KNOW this falls into the category of problems some women would love to have and I apologize if you've heard it before and think it enormously self-centered and stupid.
We hadn't been to a bookstore in a while before Saturday night. Come to think of it, our custom was always to ditch the kid(s) and go wander the shelves by ourselves. In fact, Steve and I wouldn't even really see each other too much while in the bookstore. Talk about a couple of romantics, huh?

Saturday night we discovered how much fun it can be to wander a bookstore WITH the kids. Myles was pretty content to be carried around in the sling...my little observer. He loved the little listening stations in the CD area. And of course, Sam went completely insane with the I-wants and gimmes. Did you know that easy readers are only like $4 each? He got three. Yes, I'm a pushover.

It was fun. And while it cost us a few bucks, I think it's something we'll probably do again.
No word on the job situation. The only thing I can do at this point is keep working and sending out resumes just in case. This stinks. It really really stinks.
Posting has been a little slow around here because...well...I've been insanely busy. And because it's "that time of year," I will probably not slow down anytime soon. I need to distract myself...stay busy...avoid the dark emotional pit I feel opening up under my feet.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Book review from a deadbabymama

OK...Twilight was light and fun. The next two were easy reads as well. But after eleven hours (split up between last night and this morning/afternoon), I just wish I hadn't picked up New Moon at the bookstore.

I don't want to spoil it for anyone. But if you're like me and at all sensitive about the dead baby thing...the complex feelings surrounding pregnancy and loss and motherhood...you may want to steer clear of the last book in the series.

There. Consider yourself warned.

Oh...and the Nora Roberts Pagan Stone trilogy...just...don't. Not unless you have some kind of superhuman emotional strength (which I clearly do not).

Damn books.

Saturday, April 04, 2009


Thanks to Donna at eco*noME for the 100 coupon giveaway! I missed a couple weeks of newspapers due to being sick and now I can fill out some of the deals I've wanted! Thank you so much!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Frugal Friday

Giant Eagle

Spent $80.84
Saved $14.90


Spent $31.09
Saved $29.99

#14 way to change the world

Handed down to me in some of my grandmother's sewing stuff were unopened packages of made in the USA Original Rockford Red Heel socks...the authentic sock monkey socks.

I was curious about Fox River Mills, the company who makes these socks. So I naturally Googled them (I actually used the Yahoo search, but I digress...). In cruising their website, I found this little gem and was inspired to make it my cause for this week.

Soldier's Wish List.

You can send socks and a personalized note of support right here via our website. If you have a soldier you want to support, simply place an order via our website. If the shipping address is an APO or FPO, Fox River will cover the cost of shipping. (Choose Free Option).

If you would like to send socks to a soldier on our wish list, click here to browse the wishlist. You can order the quantity you choose from any wish list. Again, Fox River will cover shipping costs.

Socks that make a difference.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

There's no place like home

I generally like it here. It's your typical rural county with very slow and straight thinking...not backwards but not exactly progressive either. And I can generally accept the way of life around here...I don't necessarily buy into it, but I can accept it without too much mental chafing.

So why am I so irritated by the fact that our library system does not carry a single children's book about evolution? (the entire system...not just our local branch...and yes, there are schools within our library system)

And why does it bother me that browsing the stacks at the local library reveals a special sticker designating "Christian" books?

Words on pages bound up in easy to handle form. Not inherently good or bad. Just books.

So what's the deal? What exactly is the criteria used to determine if something is a "Christian" book? I could mock and ask if it requires a certain number of references to Jesus...but I'm slightly afraid that is, in fact, one of the standards of measure.

And NOTHING about evolution? Really? NOTHING? By ignoring a subject do we make it disappear? Is that what people are hoping?

I may just be making a donation to my local library...very soon.

uh...wait one sec

So now the office will NOT be closed on Fridays. WTF?!?!

With all the bitching and moaning about "government" and "spending" and "blah blah blah," I just WISH people would realize that we're talking about real people's lives here. We're talking about MY LIFE!

I can not live in this limbo forever. I'm so sick of being considered "a possible layoff," as if losing the reference to my humanity makes it just a story...an OK situation. It doesn't and it's not. I'm irritable at the lack of certainty. Yes we can...no we can't...whatever.

And all the while, I'm supposed to be grateful to have a job. Sure there are intangible benefits that do somewhat compensate for the pitiful salary (pennies on the dollar for what colleagues doing the exact same job in much smaller counties are making). But you know what? Intangible benefits won't feed my family.

And if my phone rings and I don't answer it, people feel they can get SNIPPY with me?!?! I'm a public servant and I should be here to serve...and be grateful for it. Because hell..."they pay my salary!"

HA! Just...HA!

I'm feeling a bit like that rubberband you stretch and stretch and stretch...watching the rubber slowly pull apart...jagged bits popping up from what started out as a smooth surface...until finally...

...it breaks.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Office gossip

My office will be closed on Fridays for the remainder of the year (which amounts to a 20% pay cut).

My colleague who delivered a healthy baby boy two months after I lost Alex, announced that she is 14 weeks pregnant.

I guess long weekends don't sound so bad.

Thank you Rachel!

I love the books you sent! Thank you so much!

I still haven't sent Lucy's last gift. Sorry 'bout that. We're on the sickness-go-round again. Somebody get me off this crazy thing! Anyway...will get it out to you soon (with a little belated 30th birthday gift in there for you as well).

Thanks again!

Who am I? How did I get here?

When I was a kid, I collected unicorn collectibles. I have no real idea why. I think it started when someone gave me one as a gift and I sai...