Monday, March 31, 2008

Photobucket Meme

The youngest is asleep, the oldest is having lunch, I have a few moments of quiet to do something fun. Should I be devoting this rare quiet time to a meme? Probably not, but in the grand scheme of things, what's 15 minutes wasted? It's all Judy's fault! (just joking)

THE RULES:

you need 2 internet windows open to do it
1. Go to www. photobucket. com (don't sign in)
2. Type in your answer to the question in the "search" box
3. Use only the first page
4. Copy the html and paste for the answer.

1. What is your first name?

:(



2. What's your favorite candy?

Photobucket
This was the first picture that came up, I swear!


3. What is your current relationship status?

happily married
For 7 years but just realizing how good I actually have it!


4. What is your favorite color?

Blue Cornflower


5. Who is your celebrity crush?

harrison ford
Hail the return of Indy!


6. What is your favorite band?

Point of Grace

amy grant


7. What is your favorite movie?

Save the Last Dance

Beaches


8. What is your favorite pastime?

reading


9. What is your job?

Stay at home mom


10. What do you do for fun?

instant message

photography


11. What kind of car do you drive?

2003 Outback (15%)


12. What is your favorite TV show?

extreme makeover


13. One word to describe yourself.

lucky

Thursday, March 27, 2008

It's a Love Affair!

What do you do when your 4 1/2 year old daughter goes absolutely nuts when she sees...
Carter Oosterhouse star of HGTV's Carter Can and formerly of TLC's Trading Spaces?

I'm serious, if we see an advertisement for Carter Can, Caitlin gets all love struck--big eyes, breathless, you name and says, dreamingly, "Carrrrter!" Could it be love? Hey, at least the guy will come in handy for fixing the garbage disposal or unclogging a drain! Oh yeah, did I mention that he models on the side? Wait, this is about Caitlin's fascination...my bad!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Who Am I?

A pictorial look (a meme of sorts) at me, as a person. I highly encourage all of my blogging buddies to set aside a few minutes to do this. It made me think of the little things that celebrate and define who I am outside of a basic job description.

Detail-oriented and organized.
I'm not as anal as I used to be, BC (before children), but I'd still like for everything to have a place.


Bibliophile
I just love to read! This is my personal shelf in our "cabinet library" but only represents a fraction of what I've actually read. I just wish I had more time to indulge in my favorite pastime.

Library Lover
I love and support (with overdue fines) our local libraries. I love to find new libraries while out driving and making an impromptu stop. I always manage to find something special that I love about each library.

Happily Married
It's taken me 7 years to really, truly believe this with the inter-most part of my heart. It's been a rough journey, but I finally feel like I am with who I am destined to be with!

An Eeyore Freak
I adore Eeyore! He is me, as a Disney character. I, not only, have clothing, but a snowglobe, cross stitch picture, a watch and many other oddities in Eeyore.

And finally...a crusader for the cause. The site up on my MacBook is Gabriel's Life, a site for those suffering with hydrocephalus. I have given myself, endlessly, to making sure that everything that can be done for Cara is being done. I am currently trying to organize a support group for parents and children with hydrocephalus in my area.

Before I forgot, thanks to Judy, once again, for this idea!

Spring Fever

Unfortunately, I'm not talking about budding trees, baseball season or warmer days, I am talking about an actual fever, as in not feeling well. The stuffy nose, sore throat variety seems to have decided to make a stop on it's trail of misery. Caitlin has been hit the hardest so far, with a bad sore throat complete with swollen tonsils and lymph nodes and a nose that runs like a faucet. We almost make an ER run last night when her fever spiked to 102. Thankfully, she seems to be better today, slowly on the mend. I seem to have picked up with she has too, though a more mild version. I've been blessed with a stuffy nose and a very mild throat irritation. Cara seems to be unscathed for the time being and we are keeping our fingers crossed. Nothing is worse than a sick baby who cannot tell you, in words, what hurts.

But, yes, though, Spring is in the air around here. I looked out our bedroom window this morning and saw little green buds on the trees. The grass is also starting to green up and, it's supposed to be 70 degrees here today. Hopefully, we'll all be back to our old selves soon and able to enjoy this beautiful weather!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Unleash the Fury!

I was so upset yesterday afternoon and just have to tell the story. If it bores you, I apologize in advance.

It all stared in November-December of 2006 when I went to my local hearing center to purchase two new hearing aids using the pay-out I received on a Public Employees Retirement Account I had while working for the Department of Corrections. My old aids were about 5 years old and showing their age. I thought, this was a rare opportunity (never in my life have I had this kind of money at my disposal) to assure myself the best, highest quality of hearing available, given my degree of loss. After much deliberation, and about 4 hearing aid trials later, I settled on two different models of Siemens aids. A fully programmable digital version for my left ear which has slightly better hearing than my right, which got a digital analog aid (not programmable). The total bill was...$3400. The aids came with a one year limited warranty and a 90 day trial period. For starters, I cannot tell you how many times I was in to the hearing center to have both of the aids adjusted when I got them. I just know that I couldn't compute the total by counting on two hands. I especially had problems with my right aid because the compartment that holds the battery and provides contact between said battery and the circuitry that allows me to hear wouldn't stay shut, thus making the hearing aid cut in & out. This problem was noted numerous times and the audiologist and a hearing aid technician have tried to fix it a few times, without success.

Guess what happened last week? Go on, I bet you can guess...Yep, the right aid broke as in it totally stopped working on Monday! I know it has something to do with the lack of contact between the battery and the circuit. Anyway, I called and tried to get in to see the hearing aid technician. The earliest appointment they had was yesterday afternoon. I piled the girls into the Subaru and drove the 30 minutes to the office. When we arrived, the technician took my hearing aid into the workroom to take a look at it and try to repair it to working order. About ten minutes later, she returns to tell me that she cannot get it to power on. Not only that, but in order to get it fixed, I would have to spend $240 to send it to the Siemens repair factory for them to look at. I have to pay because it's out of warranty. Just out of the warranty mind you, because every time I had a problem, the warranty "renewed" from that day, so it had only expired at the end of January.

You can imagine how upset I was upon hearing this. True, I should have known about the warranty but, I figured given my history of problems with this aid, that the repairs would've been done without cost. Nope, no can do. The technician said that she could talk to the owner to see if the cost could be discounted, but couldn't guarantee it. Excuse me?! I just brought $3400 worth of products from you and you can't cut me a break? That was the first thing that set me off. Then, I come to find out, that if it's the circuit board on the hearing aid, Siemens may or may not even fix it since it's expensive and about 80% of the cost of the aid. Usually, when it's something that major, they just return the aid and tell the customer to get a new one.

Whoa, hold on! I just bought this aid a little over a year ago and it might be broken beyond help already. Can anyone scream--LEMON?! My goodness, you'd think for $1700, that it would last a tad bit longer than 15 months! Oh, I was infuriated and felt like I got ripped off by Siemens. And this is supposedly a reputable company that has been in business for years. In my opinion, something as expensive as this hearing aid, should have come with more than a year warranty, but that's a whole other can of worms. After feeling bad for getting emotionally upset at the technician, I realized that it wasn't her fault, except for selling me a piece of junk, and that I needed to direct my anger at who was at fault.

I requested and promptly (I think she was scared of me at that point) received the customer service number for Siemens corporate and fully intended to unleash my fury upon them. Unfortunately, I did not return home until 4 o'clock MST and unfortunately, the corporate office is located in New Jersey. Lucky for them, because I had a few choice words to say, to say the least. Now, I have to wait until Monday and in the meantime, I will be gathering up documentation of how many visits I've had, the serial number for my hearing aid, etc. I will be armed and ready and probably a little bit calmer. My goal, you might ask? To get a verbal apology for selling me a piece of junk, possibly getting the repairs done for free and maybe, just maybe, a discount on a new aid, if it comes to that. I will not rest until I feel satisfied that they understand how upset I am. Do not sell me junk, I just won't have it! The little bit o' Irish in me can go a long way!

Oh yeah, and due to my hearing aid being non-functional, I have not been able to fully hear for almost a week now and by the time I come up with the money to have it sent in, it will be 3-4 weeks minimum before I can hear fully again. This is so very frustrating when I'm supposed to function as a wife and a parent. It's hard enough wearing aids, because of their limits, now add insult to injury by only having one "working" ear. It sums up to pure misery...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Day Out With Mom

Remember me talking about needing to spend some one-on-one time with my oldest daughter? Well, we got the chance to do just that this past Saturday. We got up and dressed and headed out to start the day together.

We began with a wonderful lunch at one of my favorite Chinese places, Pei Wei. Caitlin had been begging for Chinese for awhile, so I figured that this was the perfect time to honor her request. We ordered sweet & sour chicken, an order of crab-cheese won tons and a cup of their kick-butt won ton soup. Caitlin & I split the order of sweet & sour chicken, in which Caitlin ate more than I did, while I enjoyed the won tons and soup. We took our time eating, attempted to eat with chopsticks, had a wonderful, off-the-wall conversation and finished our meal with fortune cookies and orange wedges (for a sweet life).
It was decided, in this conversation, that Cait got to choose all of the day's activities, within reason so...here's how we spent the remainder of the day--

Next, we decided to walk around the pedestrian strip of stores called the Lowry Town Center (yes, Coloradoans, this is the former Air Force base)in search of a place to have some dessert (Caitlin having being asked if she preferred to have tea or ice cream...). We came across Fergie's Frozen Custard and new that we had found just the place. Caitlin had a single scoop of cherry with sprinkles while I indulged in a single scoop of banana fudge marble. Both were delicious! With our bellies full, we decided to further walk around and see the shops. Leave it to Caitlin to find both a pet store, with the cutest dog treats (think pupcakes and cookies), and a very unique local toy store--Timbuk Toys. Caitlin had the time of her life playing with various toys while I just sat back and watched, taking notes of course, for her upcoming birthday! After we were done walking, Caitlin requested a visit to a bookstore, so we loaded ourselves back into the car for a trip to Northfield to go to Borders.

Once there, Caitlin picked out a Barbie Mariposa story book complete with stickers and an "I Spy" early readers book. We also sat around reading other stories and looking over Borders' Disney princess story collection. We paid for our purchases, slung the bags over our wrists and walked around yet another pedestrian mall. In no time, Caitlin managed to find a little train that takes it's passengers on a short sight-seeing tour around the shops. Of course, we HAD to buy a token so that Cait could climb aboard. It was a beautiful day for a train ride and she had a wonderful time--even had the train to herself.

We also took a time out to play on some bear sculptures in the children's area of Northfield. Cait managed to scale a couple of the bears and sat on top of them, Jungle Book style. I sat, snapping pictures and reading the latest installment of Kids' Pages.

We walked some more before the next request came in from my 4 1/2 year old. She was curious to see what was inside Outdoor World, could we go, please?! Sure, why not. It just happened to be the weekend of the Fishing Expo, so there were all kinds of things set up outdoors. Caitlin got to fish for the very first time ever in a little pond that they had set up and filled with bass. With coaching from an Outdoor World employee, Caitlin caught her FIRST FISH! She was so proud of herself and of course, we had to call Grandpa McLean and both of her uncles to tell them. After the excitement from fishing, Caitlin decided to try out some ATVs for size. We've decided that the green one (I forget what it's called) would make an excellent first car!

Somewhere, in the midst of all this fun, I managed to lose my car keys, so we spent the last part of our day out backtracking all through Northfield. Thankfully, I had left my keys at Borders where they were safely waiting for me to pick them up!

All in all, we had a wonderful time together, so wonderful in fact, that I had tears in my eyes when telling Ben about our day. I cannot wait to do it again! These are the times that memories are made of.

Click here to see the pictures for our day out!

Cara Walks...with some help!

Thanks Aunt Effie, Uncle Kofi, Aunt Susan and Grandma Ogoe for this wonderful gift! As you can see, Cara is getting lots of use out of it.
She just might be walking by her 2nd birthday! Woo hoo!
video

**Seems to be a problem with the video, I will see if I can fix it or if it's a Blogger problem. Check back soon!**

Monday, March 17, 2008

Another bullet dodged

We met with Cara's occupational therapist last week to discuss whether or not Cara would benefit from a soft-form hand brace to help her keep her palms flat, especially when she crawls. We were concerned because Cara tends to crawl using her fists or with her fingers partially curled up.
Her therapist decided that, hopefully, in time, Cara will open up her palms on her own as she gets more proficient in her crawling and used to bearing weight on her palms. She said, that if Cara didn't open her hand up for other activities (such as clapping, waving, etc) that it would be more of a concern but that since Cara does a lot of "open hand" activities, we could just take the "wait and see approach". We are going to give Cara another month of so to see if she starts crawling with her hands open. If not, we may readdress the need for braces.
Another adaptive device ruled unnecessary! Keep up the great work and progress Cara!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

9th Grade Memories

A little trip down memory lane. I actually liked 9th grade, for the most part, so this should be fun...thanks for the idea Judy

THINK BACK TO 9TH GRADE, BUT IF YOU ARE IN 9TH GRADE PLEASE DON'T DO IT. THERE'S NO FUN IN IT THEN.



Let see how much you remember--


Who was your best friend? Jen Ellswood


Who did you go out with? No steady boyfriends, much to my parents' relief, I'm sure.


Did you have a crush on anyone? Oh yes, I think his name was John. He looked like Zack from Saved By the Bell for those that remember.

Did you buy your lunch? On pizza days, yes. Otherwise it was those fake onion ring things, chocolate milk and honey buns. I also packed my lunch most days.

Did you skip? Heavens no, I would've been in deep trouble.

Did you get suspended/expelled? Goodness no. I like my freedom, I would've been confined to my bedroom if that had happened.

What was your favorite class? I've always liked history, so that's a safe bet. Of course, I loved Mr. Todd (Life Science) too, he was my absolute favorite teacher.

What was your mascot? The Stevenson Saints

Did you go to the dances? I don't think so. I have two left feet, so never felt very comfortable at dances.


If you could go back would you? Heck no, I can do without the constant peer pressure.


Where did you sit at lunch? We used to eat in the halls, in Mr. Todd's room or in the home ec room.

Who was your science teacher? Mr. Todd and Mr. Klein. Mr. Todd had a big nose and was always wearing disguises.

Who was your English teacher? I can't rightly remember if she was 9th grade or not, but I remember Ms. A and how "odd" we all thought she was. There was Mr. Maury too, but I think that was 7th or 8th grade.

Who was your history teacher? I couldn't tell you without looking in my yearbook.

Who was your math teacher? I can't remember the spelling of her name but I think she was nice. Otherwise, it was the really hard, mean, pain in he butt Mr. Middell!

Did you think you were cool? Moderately so.

Describe your outfits in ninth grade? Rolled up pants with the socks over them. leggings...trying to copy what was in Teen magazine.


Who was your favorite teacher? My science teacher, Mr. Todd.


What was your most memorable moment? Throwing a birthday party for my friend Natasha. We totally got her, filled her locker with stuff, etc.

What were your least favorite memories? Any test in math or having to run in P.E.


What was your best accomplishment? Yeah, probably just surviving.


What action do you regret the most? Umm, I'm sure it was something petty, but I just can't remember.


What did you spend the most time doing on weekends? Hanging out with Jen and Tasha, and babysitting.


Did you make any lifelong friendships? I was friends with Jen until a few years ago when she decided to take advantage of me. I realized I didn't need friends like that in my life.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Sense of Humor

When this couple had identical triplet boys, the father's comment was, "And who says God doesn't have a sense of humor?" I have to agree! Good luck to them, they are going to need it in addition to extra sets of hands and lots, and lots of patience!

Here's the story from ParentDish.

From Trash to Table?

How far would you go to save some money on your family's food budget and help reduce consumption and wasteful spending?

I recently watched an episode of Oprah where they had a woman on who will even take people on tours of NYC's best dumpster dives and teach them how to be Freegans. What is a Freegan, you might ask? Paraphrased from Freegan.info: "Freegans are people who employ alternative strategies for living based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed." The story on Oprah was both interesting and disgusting (to me) at the same time. Check it out--HERE!

I don't think that I could sneak out at night and hit the dumpsters in my town, even though, I realize, that a lot of perfectly good foodstuffs get thrown out. That doesn't mean, though, that I don't shop around, look for discounts and try to buy locally, when possible. I am a member of my area's Freecycle group and have both received and given away a lot of good-quality, gently used items. I have been trying hard to live a relatively simplistic lifestyle despite the media's constant swarm of ads and the competative nature of motherhood (who has the newest, most up-scale stroller? You buy your kids' clothes from WHERE?! That's a whole other post). We are by no means high up on the scale of being an earth friendly, green family, but hey, we're trying. I really don't want my kids leaving surrounded by trash from my generation but, I have my limits when it comes to what I'll do. Hit the thrift stores, heck yeah! Buy discounted meat, produce and bakery items at the store, reduced for quick sale, without a doubt! Proudly making a meal that I gathered from the dumpsters behind the neighborhood 7/11, not likely.

So, tell me, how far would you go? What do you currently do to "be green"?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

It's all about me, then you!

Thanks Judy, for giving me something to blog about. Things were starting to get a bit dry around here!


Copy this entire list of questions and change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then tag and pass it along to other blogging friends. Let’s see how well we can get to know one another!

1. What is your occupation? Mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, nurse, maid, event coordinator, appointment scheduler, child care provider, chef, taxi driver, creative consultant (do you really want me to go on?)...

2. What color are your socks right now? Plain old white with gray toes.

3. What are you listening to right now? Kids chattering and Cara's Pooh Tree house making music.

4. What was the last thing that you ate? *blushes* Chicken nugget value meal from McDonald's though I was so busy getting the house picked up for a therapy visit that I doubt I tasted it. It went straight to my thighs though.

5. Can you drive a stick shift? Umm, was that your transmission back there?!

6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? A cornflower blue or china blue. Any shade of blue, really.

7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My husband, last night. I don't talk on the phone unless I have to.

8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Yep, I just love reading her blog...I always get to chuckle or nod my head in agreement.

9. Favorite drink? Sweet tea

10. What is your favorite sport to watch? Baseball (GO ROCKIES!) or figure skating


11. Have you ever dyed your hair? No need to--yet!


12. Pets? No, not yet. Would love to have a goldfish or maybe an guinea pig some day.

13. Favorite food? I'm a carb-aholic, you figure it out!

14. Last movie you watched? Game Plan w/ The Rock and No Reservations

15. Favorite Day of the year? Start of Spring

16. What do you do to vent anger? Blog

17. What was your favorite toy as a child? My Cabbage Patch dolls or Strawberry Shortcake.

18. What is your favorite, fall or spring? Both, I love to see the buds appear on the trees and see that it is staying light longer but I also love the changing of the leaves in the fall.

19. Hugs or kisses? I love me a good old bear hug!

20. What kind of pie? Key lime or my mom's apple.

21. Do you want your friends to email you back? Email what exactly? Maybe this began as an email meme?

22. Who is most likely to respond? Oh gosh, this has the tune of a MySpace bulletin.

23. Who is least likely to respond? See above.


24. Living arrangements? Too many people crowded into a very small space. I want the ones who are not of blood relations to LEAVE!

25. When was the last time you cried? Last week, when we received Cara's cerebral palsy diagnosis.

26. What is on the floor of your closet? Carpet

27. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending this to? Hmm...that will actually read this, probably Lauren or Mary. I'm not exactly sure who's reading my blog...so ID yourselves!

28. The friend you have known the shortest amount of time that you are sending this to? Anyone who's stalking my blog but not commenting!

29. Favorite smell? Warm Vanilla Sugar and Johnson's baby lotion on freshly washed children.

30. What inspires you? So many things...

31. What are you afraid of? Of something happening to one of my children to take them away from me.

32. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? Never plain but they can't be too spicy or my bowels won't be too tolerant. You just wanted to know that, didn't you?

33. Favorite car? Something fun, small and fast but, I really do love my Outback!

34. Favorite cat breed? Don't know enough about cats to really say.

35. Number of keys on your key ring? Oh gosh...too many to count. There's our house key, my parents' house key, parents' mailbox key, Outback car key & keyless remote, Ben's car key. I guess I did count them, huh?

36. How many years at your current job? As a wife-7 years, as a mother-
4.5 years, daughter-almost 30 years, sister-24 years.

37. Favorite day of the week? Friday, because it's the end of the work week so Ben will be around. I miss him a lot during the week.

38. How many provinces have you lived in? Sorry, I do not reside in Canada or any other places that have provinces.

39. How many countries have you been to? Mexico and Canada--across both borders and of course, the good old U.S of A.

Now that I've done it, I'd like the rest of my blogging buddies to do the same!

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