Thursday, August 30, 2007


alana tagged me. this is for her: pppbbbttt!

7 P's about me - not an easy task!

P: PPPbbbttt! aka Bronx cheer.

P: Princess Picky: one of my favorite children's books. i read it aloud in sPeech class a couple of years back and got an A. thanks Tyler! who brought it home from the library. check it out at

P: Positive Thinking. i try really hard on this, b/c i don't want to live in fear, and don't want to be a grouchy old lady, so i'm trying to train myself to think Positively!

P: PB&J. everyone in my house (except LaLa, so far) loves PB. Da Boyz even created PB&C: cinnamon sugar on the PB. it's quite good, changes the texture!

P: Presbyterian. i'm so Proud i'm a church member again.

P: Practically Perfect in every way. (Pause for laughter) major Julie Andrews fan, does that count? i have fallen asleep during Mary Poppins more times than i can count, and finally figured out why - she sings that stupid lullaby halfway through it! zzzzzzzzz

P: Persistent. aka nag.

and an 8th P: Please comment!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

didn't win yet...

We didn't win PowerBall. No requests for contributions are necessary!

However, we have everything else in life we need and want, so we're pretty happy. Wouldn't trade our lives for even $300 million, so that's saying something.

Big kids went back to school yesterday; #1 son wants to run for school president (5th grade). I encouraged him but have NO idea how to help him with this! suggestions welcome! LaLa and I stayed home and enjoyed starting a new routine. now if only i could get more hours in...

We de-listed the house yesterday. Plan is to stay here through the school year, re-list in Jan/Feb or so, depending on mortgage market and our credit status. DH is excited to look at housese again; I am NOT. in MY mind, we're still going to buy the same house we had under construction; it may be a different house, but the same plan. whether this remains the plan in future is uncertain and irrelevant; i'm having enough trouble staying calm about losing the contract without uncertainties!

The grandparents went to Richmond yesterday for the duration of their trip; my mother's father lives there, as do aunts and cousins. and Uncle Skip, who fished me out of the Green River in Utah last summer when i fell in (on a 0.5 rapid). after 19 years of marriage to my aunt (they got married in '87, i was already a teen), I'm finally calling him UNCLE. cuz he earned it.

we didn't get as many photos as we'd hoped; LaLa reached her saturation point too quickly. but i think we have some nice ones of her in her christening gown, (note to self: get it cleaned and returned to owner!) including a shot with its original wearer/owner, who started kindergarten yesterday.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

evil shots update

it took DAYS to get over being needled. and all she wants is to sleep, on mommy or daddy. or grandma! thank goodness we don't have any more for two whole months - our reactions could be completely different by then (or the same, but we're trying not to think that).

as mentioned, my mom is visiting, and we've had lots of fun spending her money. we went to michael's and bought beads and she is having fun making necklaces. we worked on one she can wear to church tomorrow for LaLa's baptism. also, she and my dad had their 40th anniversary today.

we (DH and I) bought lottery tickets with the #40 in them as a tribute, since powerball is up to $300 million. can you even THINK of that big a number? promised mom she can retire if we hit the lottery.

Friday, August 24, 2007

more on spandex

or Ace bandages, as you probably call them...

took it off yesterday and couldn't find it again. some aching and clicking, but improved generally from before i started wearing it most of the time. woohoo! just found it this morning at the desk (what a strange place to wear spandex!).

and i found fabulous headbands that are elastic with rubber feet run through them, and they don't hurt my head and take a while to slide out of my hair (my head is larger than average, and that extra 1/2-inch makes headbands hurt and/or slide out, depending on design). Goody for me!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

cruel torture

LaLa just got her shots Tuesday. They make mommy hold her little legs, and tag team her; two nurses come in, and shoot her twice each, but simultaneously so she only gets two "ouches."

oh, the agony! her little legs are knotty and swollen, and she's very unhappy. spent 24 hours straight refusing to be put down, wanting nothing more than mama. grandma is visiting and she is an acceptable alternative (yeah, grandmas!). spit up all day, but kept the tylenol down (yeah, tylenol!).

then when she was VERY uncomfortable yesterday at bedtime, refused to nurse. and refused and refused, despite being hungry. well, her tummy didn't feel great after a day of spitting up, so who can blame her? finally calmed down, had a short nap, asked for a binkie, and then took the breast.

why do we stick needles in our babies' legs? there MUST be a better way! if they came at you or i with a needle proportionately as large as these, we'd kick them too, and run!

Friday, August 17, 2007

font change

after two years with the blog, it was time for a change. whether it lasts or not, who knows? but i just figured out HOW to change the color scheme and font for each object, had to try it out. (i'd always wanted to make my subtitle more readable.)

comments are welcome, suggestions as well. (i may not TAKE your advice, but you're welcome to give it!)

*edit* apparently almost THREE years, not two. i was overdue for a change!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

housing developments

well, we've lost the contract on our new home. it wasn't looking good anyway b/c we had no interest in the old home from buyers. still, i'm pretty dang bummed about it.

apparently one's credit scores can drop without reason. i've gotta follow up with the credit reporting agencies. regardless, we can't get a mortgage with the numbers as they are now. further, lots of mortgage companies are going under and/or experiencing extreme hardship due to the slump in the housing market AND formerly liberal lending policies. these two problems sound like they're going to feed one another.

since school is starting in about 10 days, DH doesn't want to sell the house in the middle of the school year, just to stay in an apartment locally thru the school year. i told him we should leave the house listed but not market it aggressively (note to self, tell agent that!), so we wouldn't miss a potential sale. sounds like our plan.

if we aren't buying the new house, which was a higher payment due to our poor credit anyway, we can afford for me to work part-time and do more to keep the house and the kids and the DH happy. a year from now, many things will have changed, the nature of which we know not now.

i was REALLY upset about this and couldn't even talk about it - it's been weeks since we found out. but we're finding the silver lining.

the REASON we had time to talk about such issues was car troubles. i got to drive to chapel hill yesterday to pick DH up - there went three hours of work time i should have gotten done. but it was a blessing in disguise; we're determined to view it as such. and just move forward.


Annual Stella Awards. Law and the Courts in the USA.

For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald's in New Mexico where she purchased the coffee. That's right, these are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts that happened in the U.S. during 2006. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head. So keep your head scratcher handy.

Here are the "Stellas" for the past year: To kick things off the right way, there was a three-way tie for 5th place.

Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas , was awarded $80,000 by a jury ofher peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who wasrunning inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was Ms. Robertson's son.

Also in 5th place is Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles , California - you knew California had to be in the list somewhere, right? - who won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps. Go ahead, grab your head scratcher.

The last of the 5th Place winners was Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, Pennsylvania, who was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to subsist for eight - count'em, 8 - days on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner's insurance company claiming undue mental anguish. Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish. Keep scratching.

There are more. Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, garnered 4th Place in the"Stellas" when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor's beagle - even though the beagle was on a chain in it's owner's fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite, because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun. Grrrrr scratch, scratch.

Third Place went to Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on soft drink and broke her tailbone (coccyx). The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument. What ever happened to people being responsible for their own actions? Scratch, scratch, scratch.

Hang in there, there are only two more Stellas to go.

Second Place: Kara Walton, of Claymont, Delaware, sued the owner of a night club in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000 ... oh, yeah, plus dental expenses. Go figure.

Finally, (may I have a fanfare played on 50 kazoos please) this year's runaway First Place Stella Award winner was Mrs. Merv Grazinski, ofOklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motorhome. On her first trip home - from an OU football game, no less - having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Don't look so incredulous. Remember, we're talking about Oklahoma here. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually leave the driver's seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her - you are sitting down, right? - $1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might buy a motor home.

PS - i don't really care if these are all true (though i suspect they are, human nature being what it is) - they're funny enough to post regardless! oy ve!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

on aging

it's weird, the older i get, the more varied an assortment of braces and wraps i accumulate...

the latest one is a wrist brace. apparently, the way i'm holding LaLa when i nurse is aggravating to my wrist. very shortly after she was born i started noticing my wrist hurt. then it would wake me up. it's progressed to locking when i'm asleep, catching lots of the time, feels weak, and i don't dare lift anything with it!

so i'm wearing the cussed wrist brace most of the time, and not feeling pain, mostly. you wouldn't believe the assortment of elastic i have around the place!

stinky talk

dont you HATE when companies discontinue products you're addicted to? like Tato Skins in the '80s, which have come back under TGI Friday's label... i used to go on treasure hunts for those things when they were on their way out!

back to the present, i've been battling a continuing problem with deodorant. i was on almay for a while, which was really nice b/c it had nothing "extra" in it. i loved the soft solid, like a cream that dispensed through a standard-shaped deodorant tube.

the local stores stopped carrying, that so i stocked up the last time i saw it. then i tried secret clear, which also dispenses through little holes in a tube, more like a gel. don't like it as well, but it was close enough. except i became allergic to it before long.

so i switched to Dove deodorant, which was a new product a few years ago. they had the soft solid and i LOVED it. then target stopped carrying it so i bought it online, and wherever i saw it, and several tubes at a time.

and now i have been searching for MONTHS and it's no longer made. i actually went to (they had it for sale there previously), and it's discontinued and they have no back stock. ARGH!

ran out a month or so ago and bought regular dove deodorant. it doesn't work as well as the cream! i'm so frustrated!

i finally went and bought more deodorant when i wasn't out - i got a Degree "little black dress" stick. and it works! this has been years in the process.

i'm sure hoping degree doesn't change their formula any time soon. if the stick can hold up to a sleeveless top and running lots of errands, in and out of the heat and humidity, it's a good one. plus, it really IS "body heat-activated;" when i would normally start feeling sticky, i noticed the fragrance would intensify, but i didn't get sticky.

so, when they discontinue YOUR favorite item, i recommend Degree.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

pottery-based quiz

1) Harry begins Hogwarts and sorted into a house. Which house do you think you would be sorted in?
Gryffindor = Brave
Ravenclaw = Smart
Hufflepuff = Loyal/hardworking
Slytherin = Sly, looking for the easy way

Ravenclaw, probably, or maybe Hufflepuff. Everybody wants to be in Gryffindor after reading the books, but I doubt I'd be brave enough. Then again, I've never been good at knowing myself.

2) The Mirror of Erised, instead of showing a reflection, shows what the subject wants more than anything. What would the Mirror show you?

A stack of cash and a carefree life... A big house (not bigger than needed, just big), everyone I love living near me (which is a physical impossibility, but this is fantasy), sunny days... Guess I'm still wanting to live on Sesame Street!

3) In The Chamber of Secrets, Harry’s new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is a celebrity with an overdeveloped case of ego. Which current celebrity do you think is overblown?

Paris Hilton has always irritated me the most, but everyone who's made the tabloids lately deserves to be there, seems like. The biggest waste to me is Lindsay Lohan, who has wasted her talent and her career.

4) Harry calls Fawkes (Dumbledore’s phoenix) to him by exhibiting loyalty. What non-family member would be able to call your phoenix?

Tough question. Hayda and Beth, Sue and Jessica.

5) In The Prisoner of Azkaban we first see a Boggart, which takes the form of whatever the person fears. What would your boggart turn into?

My biggest "fear" is being out of control. Yes, I'm a control freak (*gasp*)! Spiders definitely still wig me out and probably always will, but if I'm thinking about what I dread the most, it's a control issue.

6) Harry is able to fight off dementors by using a patronus charm which calls upon a very happy memory. What would your happy moment be?

I think our last vacation was one of our best ever, sunny days (sensing a theme here!), no demands other than baby, spending time with our family and our kids and not lacking anything that counts. So I'd draw on that. (I REALLY enjoyed maternity leave!)

7) In The Goblet Of Fire Fred and George try to put their names in the goblet even though they are not old enough. What “mature” activity did you try too early?

Marriage, clearly.

8)In The Order of the Phoenix Harry discusses what he wants to be when he gets out of school. What did you want to be when you were 15?

At 15, I think I still wanted to be an astronaut. I also really wanted to be a pilot, but I couldn't see paying for lessons and hoped to go into the Air Force. They wouldn't teach me to fly because my vision was too bad (so I left THAT thought behind). My first hit against life's realities and disappointments. I'd still love to have gone that route.

9) The kids take their defense against the dark arts in a room of requirement where the room becomes whatever you need. What would your personal room of requirement be–when would it appear?

A sound-proof room with Time-Turners and computers - I could work in peace, get in a nap, and not miss anything!

10) In the Half-Blood Prince we are exposed to Felix Felicitas, a potion that will make you have a wonderful wonderful day. Tell us about a day that you would like to live over again–a wonderful day.

I think I answered this one up above, with my happy memories.



11) In the Deathly Hallows, Hermione blanks her parents' memory of her existence. Is this something you would do to protect those you loved?

This would be so hard, because nobody's ego wants them to be forgotten; the ancient Egyptians believed that their spirit lived as long as they were remembered, and I've embraced that thought for years. But in the end, yes, I'd do anything for my babies (as I've proved lately), so I'd have to do this too. But I'd cry. Lots.

12) We find that Dumbledore entrusted Snape to kill him. Do you have anyone that you would trust enough to kill you if you asked them to?

Since we've had the discussion about pulling the plug, I'd trust DH and he me. I think anyone would have to know why to do it a la Snape, and knowing why, finding someone who COULD follow through would be the hard part, IMO.

13) Many beloved characters do not make it to the end of the book. What fictional characters' deaths affected you (besides the ones in Harry Potter)?

The dogs in Where the Red Fern Grows, even though I'm not a dog person. (will add others as I think of them, I'm sure I'm missing some...)

Friday, August 10, 2007

back to work

i've been back at work a week now. i knew before i went out on maternity leave that when i came back, i'd have all new accounts. this is a REALLY big deal. it's like having all new work, all new rules, and still trying to produce at the same rate. that's really impossible; there's a transition period before production comes back up, while we learn the new rules.

i'm no longer feeling completely adrift. all this transitioning taken together has made it difficult to get hours in - i have to put the baby down, and neither of us likes that much. i CAN wear the sling and work for an hour at a time, which helps us both, but babies usually don't like that when they get a tad bigger and don't sleep as much.

this is neither amusing nor inappropriate, just my life, such as it is. :D no apologies here!

i'm feeling lots happier and more patient than i have in a while, too. i'm sure my sons are thrilled! i took them to the used bookstore yesterday and picked up a set of LOTR books for #1 son; he's deep into The Hobbit already. it's good, b/c he likes to read, but lacks the attention span for heavy projects. they intimidate him, i think. he's been SUCH a big help with baby, this is his reward. (#2 son wants to read these books, too.)

i'm also reinstituting bedtime stories, which had gone when they both learned to read; they need more mommy time, and i can't think of a better way to give it - or a better time! only NOW we'll be reading the HP series together!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


At Last! this Hot Topic has been much-requested and I've been "too busy" to put my thoughts together. Since I've jump-started my brain upon returning to work last week, I'm going to compile data here.

Since I started working from home 10 years ago, I have been asked on a frequent basis, "How can _I_ work from home doing your job?"

The simple How-To answer is here! Most companies do not train their own employees anymore; they want someone with a certificate or experience, or both. The company _I_ recommend for certification is Career Step ( My sisters have both completed their program, and one is employed full-time, with very good earnings. (My other sister has just taken the final exam, and I'll be updating her status in "Comments.")

People ask me if it's worth the investment. I truly believe it is. I'm sure my sisters would agree with me!

After becoming certified, you'll need to apply to companies for a job. Career Step will help with that process, too! I'm employed by MedQuist (, and my sister works for another company. Both of them give us bonuses for referring you, so please contact us before applying so we can get credit for you! (contact info. available at my Career Step page,

Working from home isn't for everyone. It can be tedious, frustrating, and lonely. However, if you knew my personality, you'd NEVER think _I_ could do this! So you really can't tell who will be successful, and who will just get by, working from home. You do have to be disciplined to earn income, so I would caution you not to decide to do this without giving it some careful thought.

This job requires you to listen and type at the same time, while operating a foot pedal. You also have to have good grammar skills, to be able to spell, and to be able to learn words with Latin and Greek roots. You will get doctors with heavy accents and you will need to be able to figure out what they are saying - practice helps a lot with this!

There are many rewards to working from home, too! Your schedule is flexible, you don't have to shower before work, you don't spend money and time commuting, you can eat lunch less expensively at home, your kids can be around (depending on their personality and demands) while you work - or they can be at daycare, if that's a big benefit to you! And companies now offer benefits to us, which is a more recent development. I've really enjoyed the years I've put in, both from home and in the office.

If you have questions or comments, please post them! I welcome your input!

as if that weren't enough...

DH is a jokester. he likes to break wind and blame pets, children, anything in the vicinity.

last night, he blamed Angela. at least, so i believed. it really was her - this skrewt is LOUD! explains her discomfort, that degree of pressure and volume of gas.

she toots away, and i tell her we're having a farty party. this is the life of a newborn's mother. at least they're not stinky YET. *eyeroll*

Monday, August 06, 2007

new nickname

Angela's latest nickname: BLAST-ENDED SKREWT.

anybody need an explanation? think Harry Potter...

weird wild stuff

if you're not aware, i'm an obscenely fast typist. over 100 wpm, and it's been YEARS since i was tested. i could be even faster by now! (flutters eyelashes for false modesty) (the true modesty is that i thank God for the gift, b/c it has facilitated my lifestyle, working from home, which helps me be closer to the kind of mom i want to be. so there.)

but i've never taken two months off before. *gasp* and when i went back to work on Wed. last week, my fingers didn't work normally. i was making typos, and just did not feel the rhythm.

it's finally back today. it's weird how something like that feels like part of you, and when you miss it, you REALLY miss it.


another weird thing is the fan. my computer keeps my work space warm. so i put the fan on. did you know my fan has two distinct pitches, when on high and low? i didn't. and when i turned it down, it was exactly a "third" in interval between the two pitches. (think of the first two notes of an arpeggio - that's the tone.)

more weird thoughts as they pop up!

Friday, August 03, 2007

miss monkey butt

if you're following the saga of the baboon butt redness, here's the next installment.

some improvement with triple-coating diaper rash treatment, but not healed. at her one-month checkup, dr. agreed there was a component of yeast, and added twice-a-day yeast cream. some improvement again, but lots of back-sliding. red, raw, and bleeding.

it's heartbreaking to have your baby's butt look like a baboon.

fortunately, we opened a package of PAMPERS SWADDLERS that was gifted us. they were size 2, so i hadn't used them before. (the NICU recommended this brand, gave us a couple packs of itty-bitty ones, but they got used up fast with frequent newborn poops.)

they actually wick away not only pee, but also baby poops - the yellow, bilious, breast-fed baby poops that burn her butt - they're no longer in contact with it for more than a few minutes. and after TWO of these diapers, we had GREAT improvement.

so i went and spent LOTS of $$ on pampies, and i'm changing her EVERY time i feed her, even if her diaper is only a little soiled. no more raw and bleeding! still pink, and hoping to improve that soon! STILL triple-coating her heinie every diaper change.

TMI? maybe. but i'm a Pampers fan now! my baby brother couldn't wear anything but Pampies - they must be doing SOMETHING right to remain the best almost 30 years later!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

i've been tagged!

if you weren't already tagged - TAG

1) caring for my (first) newborn son
2) living in West Chester, PA
3) took one of many trips to Cape May, NJ (just returned from second trip there with a newborn, she being #3!)
4) working from home full-time, same job
5) suffering from postpartum hormones and isolation (associated with working from home)

1) Double-Stuft MINT Oreos
2) Nacho Cheese Doritos
3) Flat Earth fruit crisps
4) Bear Claw ice cream
5) anything else crunchy

1) various lullabies
2) far too many church songs
3) Candle in the Wind
4) Disney theme songs (yes, i LOVE Hannah Montana!)
5) Disney movie songs

1) pay off all our debt and drop the angst! (live lots longer as a result)
2) donate a dozen "Bili Beds" to our local NICU
3) buy a bed-and-breakfast in Orlando to host Make-A-Wish children visiting Disney

(sounds like i've got a major Disney thing, but i swear i don't!)
4) hire someone to work there so we can TRAVEL!
5) buy Richie a membership to various golf courses
(some of these require more than one million!)

*post in progress, need to work!*
1) procrastination!
2) i'm always right, but i don't believe it's a bad habit...
3) i expect 100% of myself, and of everyone else. everyone else is a bit surprised by this expectation.
4) no self-control, but i'm trying (and improving, suprise!)
5) TMI!

2) talk
3) play the piano
4) play with my babies
5) bake yummy fattening snacks

1) size 5 jeans, just b/c i could squeeze into them
2) size 7 jeans, which fit
3) a thong
4) someone else said fur, but i disagree; if it's old fur, why make those animals' deaths in vain? wear it proudly and tell everyone you don't kill mink now, but see no reason not to wear those that already died!
5) most of the fun trends that look foolish on olllld ladies.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


(With none of that Sissy Crap!!!!)

Are you tired of those sissy "friendship" poems that always sound good, but never actually come close to reality? Well, here is a series of promises that actually speak of true friendship.

You will see no cutesy little smiley faces here - just the stone cold truth of our friendship.

1. When you are sad -- I will help you get drunk and plot revenge against the sorry bastard who made you that way.

2. When you are blue -- I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

3. When you smile -- I will know you finally got laid.

4. When you are scared -- I will rag on you about it every chance I get.

5. When you are worried -- I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be until you quit whining.

6. When you are confused -- I will use little words.

7. When you are sick -- Stay the hell away from me until you are well again. I don't want to catch whatever you have.

8. When you fall -- I will point and laugh at your clumsy ass.

9. This is my oath..... I pledge it to the end. "Why?" you may ask -- "Because you are my friend."

Friendship is like peeing your pants: everyone can see it, but only you can feel the true warmth.