Saturday, September 27, 2008

insurance, ice cream, and computers

I read an interesting article in the paper today. Basically, it said that PETA (strike 1) wanted Ben & Jerry's (strike 2 - I'm a Dreyer's/Edy's gal) to stop using cow's milk and use breast milk instead in its ice cream. What?? Yes, you read that right.

Now, I don't think I would purposely eat ice cream that was made with breast milk, and to be honest, I would probably avoid it simply because it was suggested by the wacky psychos at PETA anyway...but I have to say that I'm intrigued. How much would B&J be willing to pay for breast milk? Because, you know, I kinda have an abundance right now, and a little side job would probably more than pay for the housekeeper and new bedding that I want to buy. I'm just saying...


Ok, on to other topics. I am hereby writing this post on my new (to me) laptop. I'm so excited! The screen is way bigger and much clearer than my old machine. It's heavier and bulkier, too, but I guess that comes with the territory. And I need to mess with my router, because I'm not getting a very good signal when I'm upstairs (the router is downstairs)...but it's mine!! We slipped some cash to our friend, and it only took a little coaxing to get him to take it. And now I can surf and blog with the best of them!

So, that's what made me happy this week.


Here's what pissed me off.

We recently decided to make some changes to our insurance coverage. In the hopes of reducing costs, we switched to another company. No biggie for auto and home insurance, but we had to go through all kinds of crap for the life policy. And after all the medical stuff (interviews, exams), I got a call yesterday saying that they will write a policy for me, but I won't be getting the best discounted rate. Why? I asked.

The response? I'm too heavy and my blood pressure is too high (and what better way to elevate it even more, right??). I tried to stay calm and ask for some details. Basically, my BP is 2 points too high (the bottom number), and they expected me to have lost all the baby weight within 3 months of delivery. Yes, 3 months! Who the *O#$(&^ are they kidding?? Any doctor will tell you that it took 10 months to gain all that weight, it's not out of the question for it to take that long or longer to get it all back off. Oh, and don't forget that I'm still breastfeeding and each boob weighs a good 5 pounds.

Now, they are basing all of this on an exam by a travelling nurse who came to my house, took my BP at the end of a stressful day, and made me get on a scale while my son napped and my melons filled up. A single point in time on a random day on a scale that I don't know when was last calibrated. yada yada yada

Know what the nice lady on the phone said when I mentioned all this??? I can request to be re-evaluated in 2 years. 2 YEARS!! But, I'm stuck paying the higher premium until then...all based on a 10 minute exam. Oh, and who knows what my health will be like in 2 years...they may find other things to screw me on. I'm still fighting this. It's not over yet. They don't know who they're dealing with!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cubicle Living

I live in a cube farm at my job. There’s a very narrow aisle that runs through the middle of a bunch of very small cubes. The size doesn’t bother me since I’m not here all the time, and I don’t plan on bringing in a bunch of personal things. But, the narrow aisle is kind of a pain. If someone is coming from the other way, you have to duck into someone’s cube to let them pass…thing airplane aisle. Hey, maybe that’s why it’s so small…all these aircraft people designed it.

Anyway, I don’t have a ton of experience living in cubicles – I’ve spent more time in my own office or in an open office where we all sit and look at each other. So, I don’t know how common what I’m experiencing actually is.

There are 2 guys who sit right next to me and they spend a lot of time at their desks (and so do I right now). Well, I can hear both of them on the phone, even though they try to whisper. And I’m not straining to hear them, either. But, apparently, both of them are divorced with kids and remarried now. So, I hear things about “kid free” weekends and pick-up/drop-off plans and all kinds of scary things.

I know divorce is common, and maybe I’m just more sensitive to kids and divorce now that I’m a parent myself, but hearing this stuff just kills me. Those poor kids! Their parents are scheming to get “kid free” weekends and upset when it doesn’t work out. They’re constantly looking at calendars to keep days with their kids straight. And they’re CONSTANTLY on the phone, talking about personal matters. If it’s not kids and their exes, it’s golf and fishing and that beer festival or that political speech on TV last night. Now, you know that I spend my fair share of time at work NOT working, but I think these guys have me beat, by a lot!

All I have to say is that sitting by these guys sure does encourage me to keep things great in my marriage. I can’t imagine going without seeing my kid for days at a time or living without my husband or pushing and pulling kids between us. It makes me sad.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I got some sad news via email a couple weeks ago. And it was a surprise to me because news travels so fast these days. One of my favorite families and sweetest neighbors is moving away. They are heading back to their home state, to within 45 minutes of their hometown where they became high school sweethearts.

I’m so excited for them, because I totally know that feeling and want to move close to home, but I’m going to miss them so much.

They have been great neighbors and wonderful friends for the past 2 years. They are always the first ones to offer their help -- to move heavy furniture, to loan some random item (a potato, book, suitcase), to run home and make sure I didn’t leave the flat iron plugged in, to pick me up from the airport, to bring us food after I had a baby (even though she was 9 months pregnant!), and a million other things.

We ran to tell each other when we found out we were pregnant...and would have baby boys within 2 months of each other. We’ve called each other from the store to let each other know about some great deal. We’ve scrapbooked together. We’ve vented about all kinds of things to each other. Our dogs have run and played in the backyard (and the house when Max finds his way into our doggie door) together.

And now they’re leaving. And I’m so sad. Our neighborhood will not be the same without them. And I know I’m not the only one feeling that way. Their family will be so missed. Their 2 older kids are so sweet and kind and fun to chat and play with. I’ll miss seeing their costumes on Halloween and watching them love on their little brother and seeing their smiling faces holding out whatever fundraiser they’re currently working on.

But, we've known for a while that this was a possibility...I just chose to ignore it, hoping that our sons would grow up to be best buddies, running back and forth between our houses. Now, we’ll have to make that long drive to another state...but we will do it, and we will keep in touch. And I’ll be forever thankful for all that I’ve learned from our friends, and I will miss them!

And I've already informed them that they can not move unless they sell the house to another nice family. =)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Where I've Been

First off, thanks for all the comments on the bus thing. I was really just ranting a bit, but you all made valid points. I've called the district before about crazy bus drivers and they don't do anything about it (another reason to not put my kid on the bus). And I understand about the risks of kids standing at a bus stop, but most parents wait with them anyway (if they're young). The other thing with them stopping at each house is that the kids spend 1 1/2 - 2 hours on the bus EACH WAY to and from school...imagine all the time they'd save if they stopped only 3-4 times in my neighborhood instead of 20!

On to other things...

I've been a little absent from cyber space lately. See, I've had a laptop...until recently. And I had to give it back. It belonged to my old employer. I guess I should have volunteered it when I quit, but they didn't ask for it, and it was old, and I didn't want to give it up. But, they realized I still had it, and they called asking for it last week. So, it's gone.

BUT, I have good news. See, I told The Colonel that we needed another laptop. Our desktop is ancient (7 years old), and it's down in the basement and it locks up all the time. I started doing research on consumer reports and watching the ads. And then The Colonel did something brilliant. He called his good friend from HS, who's a computer guru, and asked him if he had an extra laptop in his closet that we could buy from him. And you know what?? He did!! Literally! He had a one year old, but never used, laptop just sitting there. And the best part? Our "price" is a beer when he comes into town this weekend...with my new laptop! How cool is that??

I'm so excited. And once it gets here, I'll be back to posting super cute pictures and video of my adorable son. In the meantime...miss me while I'm absent.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Wheels on the Bus...

go WAY too fast through my neighborhood.

I was almost taken out by 2 buses...on my own street, this morning. See, every morning, I rush to get out of my house by 6:25 am. Any later, and I’m not late for work, but I end up stopping 5 bazillion times behind the school bus as they stop at EVERY house where a kid lives. Maybe this is a slight exaggeration, but they stop at least 6 times in the quarter mile from my house to the main road.

I made it out in time this morning, but I had to dodge one bus that came flying around the curve a few houses down from mine, and then I dodged another bus that cut the corner going Mach 1 to turn onto my street. And I’m supposed to put my kid on the bus in 5 years?? I think not!

And this may make me sound old...but when I rode the bus to school, it picked up in one place in our entire neighborhood of about 1000 houses. I had to walk like 4 blocks to the bus stop. And now, they drop off and pick up each kid in front of his house!!! C’mon, they can walk one block to the end of our neighborhood, can’t they???

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


The rain has finally left our part of the country...for now.

After what seemed like forever, and was probably little more than a week or so, we finally saw sunny skies over the weekend. Of course, the sun didn’t show up until most of our part of town was flooded. I didn’t get out and take photos like Lindsey did, but it looked like that by our house, too.

There was only one way out of our neighborhood for a couple days, and to go north, you first had to go south and make a big loop. Not fun! The water has gone down now, and we were some of the lucky ones who didn’t have flooding inside our house. Just a couple miles south of us, everyone was flooded out. The Colonel came home from work early on Friday, and it’s a good thing he did because the roads only got worse as the day wore on.

Mom and Dad had some problems since their idiotic roofers, who cashed their check and promised to do the work over a month ago, HAD NOT fixed the leaky roof yet and the leak only got worse. Go figure! They should be there right now making it right…of course, making it right to me would be getting my $$ back, firing them, and burning their sign that’s in the front yard right now. Dad isn’t quite as mean as me, though.

BUT, Sunday was gorgeous, and yesterday was more of the same. It made me SO glad that I don’t work on Mondays. Lil Major and I took full advantage of the cool air and sunny sky. We went for walks and sat on the grass and pulled weeds (well, I did, anyway), and we opened the windows and pulled up the (very dusty) blinds. It looks like fall is here!

The only damper on the weekend was that the boy has his first cold, and his daddy is sick, too. I’m trying to breathe in other directions to avoid getting it myself...but my nose is runny today.

Even with his cold, the kiddo still smiles when he looks at Daddy and giggles when you tickle his feet…and he’s loving his jumparoo. Check it out!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Movin' and Shakin'

This is what has been going on in our house this week. Such excitement!

Lil Major is SO close to crawling. I'm proud and sad and scared all at the same time. I don't think I'm ready for a mobile baby!

Lil Major has started to LOVE his cereal. He almost attacks his spoon, and tonight I had to make more cereal twice - yes, the boy had thirds!

Giddy Up!

Daisy taught Lil Major a fun new game while we were in Bako. I'm not quite as good as it as she is, but we still try.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I drove to work today in much the same way I did that morning 7 years ago. Thinking about all the things I needed to do, not watching traffic as closely as I should. Wishing I had more coffee in my cup.

But, today I was thinking about that morning 7 years ago, and tears came to my eyes. I didn’t cry that morning. I was in shock and no tears came. They come now at the slightest thing – images of September 11, 2001, Alan Jackson’s voice on the radio, seeing photos of NYC before that day, seeing a military person at the airport.

After that day, we said that life would never be the same again. And in some ways it’s not…but in others, it seems we’ve gotten back to “normal.” Sure, we’re still fighting a war in the attempt to end terrorism…but most of us who are not directly involved in the war have gone back to our normal business. And there are days, probably even weeks, when I don’t directly think about 9/11/01…but still, I will never forget.

And I’ll always be proud to be an American.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Why now?

It’s been almost 4 months. Lil Major has grown and changed so much in that time. Almost every day I notice something different about him. And almost every day I see something that reminds me of Gary and Kim – my coffee cup she decorated for me, the fun magnets decorating my kitchen that they gave me, the crazy No Trespassing signs in the garage that used to hang in Kim and Gary’s house, their picture on my bookshelf…

So, why did I cry on my way to work TODAY? Why are those memories and feelings of loss coming back to me NOW?

Maybe it’s delayed. I never took it as hard (on the outside) as Jayme did.

But, I don’t think so. I think that because my son is reaching milestones like crazy right now, it’s making me realize all that he will miss out on by never knowing Auntie Kim and Uncle Gary. I look at pictures of Gary and Kim with their other nieces and nephews. They loved them SO much, and you can see the love on their faces as they hold them. It hurts so much that Lil Major will never have that chance. Uncle Gary will never teach him to say, “Uncle Gary is my favorite uncle.” Auntie Kim will never take the picture of her holding all her nieces and nephews when Lil Major is one of them.

I was going to leave out the tornado story from his baby book. Not that I would hold the story back from him, but just to make the book happier. But, I changed my mind. I want Lil Major to know how special he was to Gary and Kim before they even met him. I’m going to go back and include the story and pictures of Gary and Kim in his baby book.

G&K would be so excited to hear that Lil Major is eating cereal now, and loving it! And that his first tooth is about to pop out – you can feel its pointy edges just breaking through his gum. And that he’s going to crawl ANY day. He gets up onto all fours and rocks back and forth. And how he laughs like crazy when you buzz his neck or tickle his foot or poke his arm pit. I hope that they can look down from heaven and watch their newest nephew as he grows and changes.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

5 months

I can't believe I've been a mom for 5 months already. That's almost half a year! In some ways it feels like Lil Major just got here, and in other ways it feels like he's been in my life forever. I certainly could not imagine NOT having him here with us.

The kiddo turned 5 months yesterday. 5 whole months of feedings every few hours, of who knows how many dirty diapers and loads of laundry...and tons of smiles and coos and giggles and hugs and snuggles.

What better way to celebrate such a milestone than be experiencing some of the wonderful things that happen in the fall. Last night, Lil Major experienced his first high school football game. We started out the evening by eating yummy burgers at the local joint in The Colonel's hometown. We went with both sets of grandparents, and we gave them some photos of the boy for grandparents day (which is tomorrow!!). Then we headed over to the game with my parents.

Thanks to Gustav and some weird cold front from the north, it feels like fall is already here. The temps are kinda cool, and the rain has set in, so it really felt appropriate for the game.

We bundled up and braved the sprinkles and the cool breeze as we cheered the Fighting a terrible loss. They had it in their clutches (3 times!) to beat the defending state champions, but it wasn't meant to be. We still had a lot of fun though.

Lil Major stayed awake and took everything in until the start of the third quarter. By then, he'd seen half of a game, looked at all the people around us, and danced to the band...but his little eyes couldn't stay open any longer, and he napped with Papa for the rest of the game. And then he came home and slept for 10 hours straight!

After his long slumber last night, Lil Major, Mema and I loaded up and went back to The Colonel's hometown this morning for a the rain. They didn't cancel it, so off we went. Again, the kiddo just took it all in and had a great time. He had so much fun that he didn't complain while Mema, Grammy and I did some shopping afterwards. Way to go, buddy!

Here's one more photo for my buddy band of brothers...look closely, Jayme and I just had to take this photo for you (it's the high school football team on their parade float).

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sally, I miss you!

No, I don't miss me. I miss my Saab, my convertible, my namesake (in other words, my real name isn't Sally - you all knew that, right?).

About 10 months ago, I drove my little Saab to the car lot and traded her in for a mama car, an SUV, The Pilot. And I love my Pilot, and it's PERFECT for my son. I can change him in the back of it and even be protected from the rain or whatever by the tailgate (or whatever you call it). All 3 of my strollers fit into it (you never know which one you'll want to use). I can reach the back seat from the driver's seat, and I can climb over INTO the backseat while The Colonel is driving to get to Lil Major. It's great...


The top doesn't come off. And I was really ok with that until I got off work today. And it's 70 degrees. And sunny. And gorgeous. And I drove away like a mama nerd in my SUV with the windows rolled down and the radio cranked. Oh, woe is me!

And to add insult to injury...when I picked up my rental car last week to drive back to SoCal to fly home, the gal offered me a FREE upgrade to a convertible. In fact, she asked me to PLEASE take it. I've been offered a lot of free upgrades in my day (there was the time I got the Jaguar for free, and my boss thought it was so cool he asked me to drive him to our meeting...and then I forgot him at the hotel. Oops. And the time I got the free upgrade to the Land Rover in Houston), but never a convertible. And, I couldn't take it. I had to tell the girl, NO, I need a 4-door. Oi!

Add that to my 34th birthday yesterday, and I'm sounding pretty stinkin' old!

But, I have a beautiful son who I love with all my heart, so I guess it's worth it, huh?