Friday, July 31, 2009

BlogHer@Home

So the BlogHer conference was last weekend. I have to say I'm sort of glad it's over now too. I am new to the community of bloggers and I was totally unprepared for the energy the event created in the blogsphere. I never would have considered going this year. Next year, maybe. We'll see. It's in NYC and I love NYC but before I consider going to meet awesome people I haven't seen in real life yet, I'm going to make a trip to Denver to see my girl Vivien first. After that, we'll see.

The awesome part of the blogsphere last weekend was BlogHer@Home hosted by Nic and Jenn. I had no idea it would be as fun as it was to participate but it really was a blast. It's also been interesting to read about the drama and fun from ladies who went to Chicago. All that estrogen in one space - whoa. From what people reported, it sounds like some attendees shoved their class up their ass. I'm not sure how I would've responded to that kind of non-sense.

Anyways - while the Chicago BlogHer chicas were getting cool free stuff, Nic & Jenn put together a lot of giveaways for us at home too. And hot damn, I won a $50 Starbucks gift card from Ali! How freaking cool is that? It arrived in my mail box today, all shiny and red and waiting to be used. I'm totally saving it for our vacay in a few weeks so I have some yummy caffeination for the mornings when our kids are up super early after not going to bed until really late. (for the record I am expecting Bear to be sick at some point on the trip. It's apparently how he rolls as evidenced by last August's trip to the ER and this past January's ear infection while staying in a hotel for the first time. Can you tell I'm super excited by this? I am planning ahead on where the nearest pediatric ER or urgent care centers are gonna be. I figure if I plan for it it'll never happen, right? Time well spent, time well spent.)

Anyways - Thank you Nic and Jenn and of course, Ali for sponsoring my awesome prize!!

Unwinding



So it's Girl Talk Thursday... on Friday. Kinda like recording your favorite show and watching it the next day without the commercials.

I promise not to advertise anything in this post. So... we're cool, right?

This week's topic from Maria was "how do you unwind?"

Today, when I finally had time (like 5 minutes ago) to think about it, my first thought was "Dude I need to get a beer and then type this." So yeah... alcohol. Not much. One beer, a glass of wine, just one drink is enough for me. I think just having the comforting weight of a goblet or bottle it in my hand is enough, an instant happy hour, or happy minute in all reality.

Planning or making lists of things that need to be planned is good, but weird. Sometimes I have to get the thoughts of "holy shit I still have this to do" out of my head and written on paper and it's enough to calm me down and let me focus on the present.

Cleaning. I hate cleaning. But looking at a tidier play room, having the laundry folded and put away instantly makes me feel like I've accomplished something and helps me relax.

Time out of the house without the kiddos. 'nuff said.

Comfort food. (You know, the bad for you shit that tastes so good and isn't really.) Not exactly the best stress relief to eat good food but I'll own the comfort food eating. It's something I need to change anyways.

Blog hopping, the internets, & mindless, glorious television.

Crafting - This is sadly the thing I have the least time for these days. I love to sew, paint, do woodwork, make little snowmen out of claypots and wooden beads and things like that. There is a PILE about 2 feet tall (for real) of the fabric and patterns I have sketched out on brown paper bags of the things I want to sew or make. It's collecting dust. Sometimes it calls to me and I'll make time to cut out said patterns on the cloth, then the time ends and I fold up the fabric neatly and come back another time to prep another step. One day I'll bust out the sewing machine and have like a day of sewing to finish them all. Someday, maybe when the Bear doesn't need constant supervision for fear he'll destroy something.

Photoshop projects. Seriously this is my favorite piece of software ever and I have only scratched the surface of what it can do. Since I've been teaching myself (since Photoshop 3!) it's a slow process. But yeah, if I have a photo project (for me, not work) to do then I am super happy and chill.

So I just want to know, if unravel is a synonym for unwind, how come it means two completely different things to say I'm unwinding vs. I feel like I'm unraveling? If I am unraveled I have to unwind.

The English language is too confusing for my tired brain.

Now, that beer...

Cheers!

Sleep

There are many things that are over-rated.

Sleep is not one of them.

Sleep is never over-rated.

When it took Bear 13 months to sleep through the night I'd consider those 13 months without decent sleep to be some of the darkest nights of my life. Days too in fact. Did I love being home with my boys, sure. Was I zombie with poor social and coping skills? Absolutely.

Back then I averaged 4-5 hours of sleep a night, broken. I function best on a solid 7-8.

But lately - lately I've been bad about getting to sleep before midnight. And the Bug usually is crawling in to our bed anytime between 6-6:30am. I feel tired around 10pm. Why don't I go to bed at 10pm then?

Because I work full-time from home now. And I spend a good 2-3 hours most nights parked on the sofa, laptop perched on my knees, watching mindless (addictive) reality TV, working.

Somehow, despite being tired all the time, I don't feel like a zombie now. I think it's because my mind is engaged and I have an identity that isn't defined by dirty diapers, potty breaks, ABCs and mac-n-cheese.

I needed this. I think I needed this more than I needed sleep.

But I do need more sleep.

Trying to find the right balance...

Monday, July 27, 2009

I ♥ Faces - Beaches



I ♥ Faces wants beaches and faces. No problem for this Florida Girl & her family! Here's my little Bear running along side me down the beach just a few weeks ago. He couldn't stop laughing and I managed to get a non-blurry action shot of my chaos-in-motion-man.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Quirkiness



This week's Girl Talk Thursday is about quirks. It'd probably be easier to get my husband to post about me today since I'm having trouble differentiating between quirks and normal routine.

For instance...

Showering: I have to wash my hair first in the shower. Then I shave, then wash the other body parts that haven't been shaved, then I wash my face last. If I go out of order I might forget something, but more importantly, I still feel dirty.

Eating: I eat corn on the cob like a typewriter; straight down one side, twist, back to the beginning and nom, nom, nom in the same direction as the first pass. I didn't think this was a quirk until last year when I witnessed people (my husband, sister, and others) eating it round and round in a spiral. This prompted a hugely unsuccessful poll on my old blog asking people how they ate their corn. Of all the people polled, me, my husband and two other friends, I came in last and therefore eat my corn on the cob strangely.

Traveling: When I fly I have to do these deep breathing techniques as the plane takes off and lands in order to relax. I have to be exhaling when the plane's wheels leave the earth, and also when they touch back down.

Fingernails: I absolutely can not have my finger nails be different lengths on the same fingers. If I break a nail on my index finger on my left hand I must immediately get the nail trimmers out and cut the nail on the right index finger to be the same length as the broken nail on my left hand. Also, if one nail gets too long, I have to trim all the nails back to be the same length.

Toes: My Grandma Jeanne used to tell me that I should go on David Letterman for his "stupid human tricks" for this one. On my left foot I can keep the big and little toes completely still while I wave the middle three together. Why I know I can do this, I have no idea, but I can. And since I know I can do it, well, I do it all the time, especially when I'm lost in thought. And so, since it's Girl Talk Thursday, I'll leave you with a video of my toes. Disregard the lack of pedicuring... please.



What are your quirks?

Monday, July 20, 2009

I ♥ Faces - Feet



This is my first entry for I ♥ Faces. It's a photo I took of my husband holding our first son's foot two days after he was born. I have it framed in our bedroom alongside one we took, very similar, when our second son was born. Seeing this photo every morning when I wake up makes me very, very happy.

 

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Black Thumb, Greener Feet

I have an incredibly black thumb.

This bothers me.

I love seeing beautiful gardens. I want to have a lush backyard with hydrangea bushes, roses, and ferns and lilies. I want the cute little benches to sit at and commune with nature. Actually making that happen requires something I don't have however. I really don't enjoy gardening. It's because I don't have the eye to lay out a good, really good design, I know nothing about plants, what needs full sun, partial sun, is cold hearty, can withstand the heat, etc, etc, etc. I've got great books on the subject. They make sense. But making it all come together, I just don't get it. So we have simple flower out front, mixed in among the sprouting weeds that scream to me to pull them while I make my will save and head inside to get online. Alas...

I also can not keep a houseplant alive to save my ass. In recent years the only thing I have been able to maintain is this awesome woven bamboo plant. But even that has leaves with brown tinged edges from all the times I forgot to water it.

I know that watering plants isn't hard. I FORGET.

I also know that houseplants improve the air quality in a home. I want this. I want to contribute to clean, healthy air for the planet too.

I just can't keep them alive. And I hate it.

So about a year ago I decided that if I was going to have a black thumb I was going to do my best to improve how green my footprint was. You know, my carbon footprint for this third rock from the sun. But gosh, do you know how expensive it is to Go Green?! Jeez. So it's been a slow process to get going.

Prior to this revelation though we were well on our way to a decent start. We both drive fuel efficient 5-speed manual transmission vehicles. We purchased an energy efficient washer & dryer combo (LOVE THEM), we replaced all the bulbs in our home with CFLs. I don't flush the toilet at night for only pee. We recycle everything we can from our product packaging. I use phosphate free dishwasher soap, and other environmentally friendly cleaning products. I use reusable shopping bags, even for Target and clothes shopping at the mall. We're doing ok. But I want to be better.

Two weeks ago I up and decided to follow through on a plan to switch our family to cloth napkins. With two small kids we were using up paper towel rolls in droves. It was ridiculous. I figured that washcloth like napkins wouldn't take up that much more space in my wash, so with a 20% off coupon in hand, I bought 20 simple, cheap cloth napkins for our family to use for meals, spills, etc. I even bought a cute little basket to keep them neat in a cubby by our kitchen table. I have not been sorry for the switch either! It's so much easier actually and today, two weeks after staring this new effort, it was the first day we had to change the paper towel roll. Previously we were going through 1 paper towel roll every 4-5 days. What a huge waste! If you haven't considered doing this yet I encourage you to go for it.

My next two projects are to install a clothesline outside to line dry my clothes, or at least all the bath/beach towels, jeans, uniforms and blankets/sheets we use in a week. If I can line dry even two loads a week I'm using less electricity and producing less heat that just gets vented outside to the atmosphere. My plan is to get a retractable line to our privacy fence, and have a removable post of some kind for the other side. That way we don't leave the line up (annoying neighbors), nor have something the kids can trip over when we play outside.

After that I hope to get a compost pile started. They make these awesome compost bins with a spinner on it but wow, they are expensive too. One of the blogs I follow promised to put up a tutorial of how he made his compost bin for like $30, with a spinner. I am probably going to do that instead. Everyday we have a ton of leftover food waste that would be perfect for a compost container. I know I don't garden but compost soil is amazing and it's a much more environmentally friendly option for your food to degrade than heaping it in a landfill with everything else.

So these are some of things I am working on. What do you do? Leave me some comments and inspire me with what you do to leave a greener footprint each day.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Friends of Maddie

Several months ago my friend Maria updated her Facebook status to say something to the effect that she was sobbing and was sad for her friend. Almost immediately I popped open my Google Chat window and sent her a message. And that's when she told me about Maddie Spohr. I couldn't get to Heather's blog that day because, like most of you know, her site couldn't handle the traffic with everyone seemingly in the world wanting to know what happened, and wanting to support Heather and Mike. Being the over emotional, empathic, soggy person that I am, I started following Heather and occassionally writing comments on her blog just to give her support. She didn't know me but I didn't care.

I never want to know what she and Mike are going through, losing a champion-fighter, beauty of a child, but I've sat and imagined it. I have had daytime nightmares, lost in a maze of "what ifs", usually ending with me in tears. I don't know why I do this to myself. But I get to wake up from the terror. They don't. I have witnessed grief first hand for dear children, Jake & Josephine, and we lost our own child, Noah, in a complicated pregnancy. Grief sucks. And without support and love from your friends, family and even total strangers, it's just not possible to cope.

Today Heather & Mike launched the Friends of Maddie organization. To quote Heather:


After we lost our Madeline, we didn’t know what to do with our lives. Everything we did, we did for her. Our lives, once focused on our wonderful daughter, were adrift.

Too devastated to plan our child’s funeral, our friends did it for us. So unprepared for the financial burden of paying for it, thousands of people from all over the world made contributions big and small to assist us. There was more donated than we needed.

So what to do with that extra money? We knew right away.

Today we are proud to announce Friends of Maddie, a non-profit organization we’ve started in honor of Madeline. (read the rest of Heather's post)


So I'm blogging about Friends of Maddie today (with Heather's permission) because some of my IRL friends who follow my blog don't know about the Spohrs and their daughter who beat the odds in the NICU. Some of you have had NICU babies and know how much support you need to get through. Some of you don't have kids yet so you don't know about this world of mommy bloggers who, without even meeting each other, support each other to no end. It takes a village friends, not only to raise your children, but to survive being a parent. Which ever category you fall in to I'm asking you to please go support the Friends of Maddie. It's $25 to supply a family with a NICU survival kit. It's only $5 to enter a contest to win a Dell mini computer. That's small considering what this organization aims to do.

Note: Their tax exemption status is pending approval so donations right now are not tax exempt. BUT, that isn't the reason why you should donate. Donate because you care and want to support families in need. Donate because the world needs a little goodness and compassion. The economy sucks right now, but I can guarantee most of us have a lot to be thankful for, and $25 will make a difference to a worthwhile organization.

Please be a friend to Maddie. You won't be sorry.

Turning Me On

So I didn't participate in Girl Talk Thursday because I am a chicken shit. If you want to know what it was about, click the image below and go check it out. Or, don't and just read here and this week's post.

This week: What turns you on?



To start - my husband - with his amazing eyes and smile and rock solid legs and ass. For sure. Plus he's brilliantly smart, and interesting, and funny. Love you babe!

And then there's other things, here, in no particular order (and by no means a complete list):

1. The smell of clean laundry.
2. OMG CLEAN SHEETS ON THE BED.
3. A few drinks - being tipsy not sloppy.
4. A clean and orderly house - Sooo... like I'm never gonna get this one but the idea of nothing hanging over my head at night, no dirty dishes, no crumbs on the floor, no cluttered countertops, no goldfish crumbs in the carpeting, a clean bathroom, laundry all folded, hung and put away... OMG I'm dying. I could relax and get a little funky. Seriously.
5. Sleep.
6. My husband going to a bachelor party last weekend and telling me about one of the pole dancers who flipped upside down and danced with her feet on the ceiling. Yo. I, like, wanna go see that.
7. Going on dates with my husband - oh to be away from the kids for just a little while, love them as I do, is so nice.
8. Sexy movies.
9. Watching amazing athleticism (not in a bed) - like professional dancers, gymnasts, swimmers, divers, horseback riding. There is something raw, emotional, watching these people put themselves out there and have it be art in motion.
10. Music - not the bow-chicka-wow-wow kind either. Music that changes, is fast, slow, hard, soft, that flows seamlessly and makes sense, is sensual... definitely a turn on when something cuts deep like that.
11. Laughing, like rolling on the floor, can't stop laughing but can't breathe either.
12. Vanilla candles, clean smells, men's cologne
13. Sleep. I know I said that already but being well rested just makes EVERYTHING better, ya know?
14. A small amount of privacy. Being a mom to small kids means I don't get privacy unless they are sleeping and my husband is at work. But that usually means I'm working and/or cleaning. Just the idea of personal time, to myself, is hot.

So what turns you on? Come on, you know it was this post, right?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Weekend Wonders

Here are a few random things that happened this weekend.

1. While grocery shopping this morning Bug was analyzing the juice display and pointed to a bottle of V8 and said "Mommy, I want to try that one." (omg! I thought! he sees the veggie pictures on it and still asked to try it!) I told him we had that at home already and we'd try it later. "OK!" Later, I busted it out and put a straw in the little metal can and he happily came over to take a sip. He got it in his mouth and immediately asked to spit it in to my hand. Then he started coughing. So I told him to go cough over the bathroom sink. So he went running with Bear following in his footsteps. And when he got to the sink, he threw up... his lunch... from 4 hours earlier. He never actually swallowed the V8 juice. The amount he put in his mouth was about the size of a nickel. My child will not eat vegetables. Bear's response? "Whoa."

2. At the gas station this morning a car pulled up at the pump diagonally across from me and I noticed an elderly man get out of the car smoking a cigarette. He proceeded to put the pump in his car, about to pump, and horrified, I said "you need to put the cigarette out before pumping gas!" He glanced over at me and said "I always put it out before I squeeze the handle." And I responded with "ok, that just kind of scared me." (HELLO!?) Well the driver door opens and out pops the crazy elderly wife. Who totally went off on me for telling her husband to put out his cigarette. So I responded with "Well, first of all, it's against the law, and second, my kids are in the car and I have a right to protect them, don't you think?" Well her response "I don't give a crap about your kids. My kids are all grown, I have nothing to worry about if something happens to me." Well on that note, since I was done, I got back in the car and drove off, not without giving her the finger inside my tinted-window car. Psychotic bitch.

3. The speed-limit on the road outside our neighborhood was increased to 45mph on Friday. Previously the speed limit was 30mph. Guess who got a speeding ticket last year for going 42mph in the 30mph section but who honestly thought the limit was 45mph because a little father up ahead it was 45mph. That would be ME. (I know I'm Captain Obvious, right?) So it was an extra kick in the ass because the road SHOULD have been 45mph and obviously the city thought so too. A year too late for me. Damn.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Morning Reading Time

So this week is really not indicative of the quantity of my video recording. It seems to come in waves. This month I've been recording them every couple of days. Other months, well, there are just gaps in their videos. :) But, here is another one of the boys this morning. They both LOVE to read and love to look at books. So I had to capture it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Boys Being Boys

Bug has been particularly difficult lately. He's 3.5 years old. He's pushing every limit possible. He's whiny, demanding, bossy. He's also super cuddly and busts out with "I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH!" a lot (especially when he knows he's pushing it).

Today, since it rained pretty much all day, we didn't go out at all. And that resulted in particularly stir-crazy little boys. I changed it up and let them play in our room while I attempted to fold laundry (snort!) but that resulted in too much monkeying around and Bear fell off the bed. I thought the "new room" to play in would help. No. Fail.

They didn't want to play with me when I wanted to play with them. But as soon as I walked away and left them to their contraptions, the whining, clining, Mommy-calling mayhem began all over again. I couldn't win. I finally busted out the camera late in the afternoon and recorded them being goofy with eachother. They are constantly wrestling (hence the falling off the bed incident) and here is their nonsense.



I totally love how they both start saying "Cheese!" when I directed the camera at them.

A few minutes after stopping the camera the laughing deteriorated in to screaming and crying. So, even though dinner wasn't ready, I strapped them in to their chairs and stuck the trays on, then made them sit nicely for 10 minutes while I prepared their food. Having them in one space, not bothering each other was delightful. 100% delightful.

 


Those smiling little faces are just a fraud. Only minutes before snapping this they were monsters!!

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Phone Calls

Does anyone else get phone calls from the Fraternal Order of Police soliciting donations? We used to get these on our house phone all the time and now we get them to our cell phones. And it DRIVES ME CRAZY.

Two months ago the friendly police hit my husband and I up separately, within an hour of each other, on our cell phones. Both of us agreed to make a donation although I agreed to more than him. We didn't tell each other about the calls (we have two kids, when do we actually get to talk?!), until I received TWO envelopes in the mail two days later. So I went back and tracked who got the call first. Since it was my husband, I paid his amount of the donation and sent my form back with a letter of explanation. Sorry, but I would have given you the higher amount if you had reached ME first but I sure as heck am not going to combine the two totals and send that over to you. I think it's WRONG that you called both of us. WRONG.

PLUS - I hate NOT giving to you oh Fraternal Order of Police (or Firefighters when you call) because I have this sinking feeling that you'd mark our address, our drivers' licenses, our files and somehow not respond as quickly as you might for someone who shelled out $20 or more to you when you called and, dare I say, bothered (gasp!) them. See I can't use that word "bother" since you might think I'm "bothering" you if a robber smashes a window in my home to gain entry, or another creepy re-po man shows up on my porch looking for Megan Young and that creep doesn't take "she doesn't live here" for an answer. See the things you force me to consider when you dial my cell number, an unlisted number, a do-not call number (which doesn't matter since you're "not for profit") and ask me for my financial help?

I actually don't mind making a donation to the police of fire departments AT ALL. I respect them because I sure as heck wouldn't want to do their jobs, they scare me to death! I support them. I pay my taxes and I don't really mind paying my taxes either. So please, when you call, call only one person per household, per address, call only once a year, not every couple months, and don't lay down the guilt that we're not supporting you if we don't contribute financially. We support other organizations too that also need help finacially, like the March of Dimes, the Lymphoma Society, and the American Red Cross. And quite frankly, we're supporting our families also, just like you, and there's only so much to go around.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Pea

My kids are difficult eaters. They weren't always that way. I made their baby food and they'd eat pretty much anything, green beans, corn, peas, carrots, sweet potatoes and every fruit I'd throw in to the processor too. I fed them avocados. They loved avocados. Now, those days are but a distant memory fading from my over-tired brain.

Bug has been known to try vegetables in recent months. But he wants to spit them right back out, and any attempt on our part to get him to swallow the vegetables results in him throwing EVERYTHING back up.

I'm convinced Bear watches everything Bug does and does not try and acts accordingly.

Here is a little clip of me trying to get Bear to eat a pea. One little pea. Make sure to listen close around the 0:42 mark. You'll get a good idea of how vegetables really affect my little Bug, even when he's not eating them himself.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Bye Bye Bump

So, if you're going to have surgery for anything, this was the way to go. Aside from the dead arm until 3:30am the next morning (from the nerve block) it was no big deal. The dead arm was kind of funny though. I had my arm in a sling and if I reached down for anything my arm would slip out and sort of hang there. I hated that. I also hated how HEAVY my arm was. Holy smokes it was crazy.

So here is the before picture of Mr. Bump...

 


And here is my battle wound. The purple lines are where the doctor drew on my arm with a purple sharpie marker.

 


There were a lot of amusing things going on in the surgical clinic that day. For instance, the doctor marked my upper arm with a red sharpie with the date and his initials. Apparently that was the mark for which arm they were supposed to operate on. EVERY doctor or nurse who saw me kept asking "where's your mark?" Funny thing was it was completely hidden by my hospital gown. I should have written "Don't cut this arm off" on my right side before I got there just to see what they'd say. Hindsight... I'm telling you, they obviously mark for a reason.

The nurse who (attempted to) put in my IV played at roto-rootering my veins in my hand for a while. Two times she could start the needle in the vein but couldn't thread it past the valve (which she blamed on me). Both times HURT LIKE HELL but I didn't flinch, just contored my face. She ended up having to call the senior nurse on staff that day over to put the IV in my inner elbow, the place where the doctors hate to have it. And let me tell you, every doctor was like "Why is your IV up here? That makes it so much more difficult." Damn, SORRY! I'm valvey apparently.

My anethesiologist was named "Dr. Feir" pronouced "fear." That was cool. Last year the first year resident of note was "Dr. Killman." This surgical center needs to screen their candidates better me thinks.

Every doctor and nurse tried to push more drugs on me. I swear they were hard core dealers there. No I just want a nerve block. "WHAT? Are you SURE?! How about for the nerve block? That can be VERY painful. How about a mild sedative to help wtih that?" I finally caved and let them administer the mildest dose of sedative possible, which was 1/4 the strength of a regular dose for my body size. And then the doctor stood around and said "well, she didn't want any more so keep an eye on her." Yes, the nerve block stung, for like 15 seconds and it was waaaay less awful then the nurse who roto-rooted my veins. And I didn't have sedation for that you freaks!

The actual surgeon only worked of my for 15 minute and later told my husband that the bump "popped right out." I got to see it in the jar while they were closing the incision. It was way cool. It looked like the biggest booger you've ever seen in your life. Maybe dinosaur booger size. Yeah, that'd be close.

I left the center 30 minutes after leaving the OR and we were home a few hours later. Yesterday I had some pain, pretty much when Bear stuck his fingers in to the dressing (he was so fast!). We took the dressing off last night and today I'm fine. I even went running. I just can't swim for two weeks which totally sucks.

So that's it. Bump gone. I'm excited to have a normal looking arm again. Well, they did shave half my arm so it looks silly now. I'm debating on doing the rest of my arms with the Smooth Away hair remover, since I told Maria I'd write a review for it for Your Mama Reviews. Good timing, no?

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Shoo Fly, Don't Bother Me



Ok so this week's Girl Talk Thursday (by Mommy Melee <-- she rocks) is about shoes.

Shoes in general are wasted on me. I love to be barefoot, especially in the summer and in the winter I don bright, colorful, fuzzy, warm socks. That's just me.

For special occasions I had a few dress shoes, nothing that would make you stop and look at my feet, some cute strappy sandals in various colors that sadly, didn't fit me anymore after two pregnancies. I recently gave these classics to my mom and will have to go shoe shopping for something for the next big event. My shoe shopping trip will invariably take me to Rack Room, Payless, JCPenney and if those don't work some other generally inexpensive shoe shop. I just don't really care to spend a lot of money on shoes I will wear once or twice.

For work I wear black or brown wedge, open toe, sandals. I love them but they are more about comfort that fashion, despite being cute. In the winter I have brown and black low rise, heeled boots. Luckily I don't go in to an office much anymore so I don't wear these that often.

Where I spend my money on shoes is running shoes and Birkenstocks. I don't mind spending over $100 on decent running shoes. I have so many joint problems that good support and structure in the shoe is really important to me. My current running shoes are also purple and silver and I.LOVE.THEM.

I also don't mind spending $100 on Birkenstocks. Putting on my Birks is like going barefoot to me. They are natural, they fit my foot and provide good arch support and they are seriously my shoe of choice for everything. I do try not to wear them in the rain since they are leather and cork but it happens.

With running shoes I usually get a pair every year, and every other year with my Birks so yeah, I'm not really investing a ton of money in shoes when it all comes down to it.

The other shoe I've begun to love, despite the raging war of "who cares if your feet are comfortable, they're butt ugly," is Crocs.Dude, they are comfortable! And completely awesome in Florida. I wear them on rainy days. I wear them to the beach. I wear them in the yard with the kids. We take walks in them. They are awesome. I pulled the heel straps off my mary jane type Crocs and I love them even more now as slip ons. I want to get a pair of flip-flop Crocs when we eventually make it to the St. Augustine Outlets. The other great use for them, airports. You have to take your shoes off and have them scanned, right? And need something easy to put back on that you can walk a lot in... these things fit the bill. So get over the ugly factor if you're on that bandwagon and slip them on. You won't regret it and the price is awesome. They are also making some really, really cute ones, dressy and strappy and all the same comfortable awesomeness.

So I fail in the girl category for shoes. I want comfort more than fashion so I don't bother looking for much else.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It was right there all along...

 


See that? I never noticed that before today but yeah, I guess that's why customer service reps are just hitting me up this week. I left the bank today feeling like a complete idiot and wondered if it was stamped on my forehead. Yup, there it was when I got home. Buuut... that crazy loon of a bank teller was WRONG and I was RIGHT and I just love that. Come on, it's really nice to be right once in a while.

So I went to deposit some checks today and get cash for the babysitter plus cash for our trek to Gainesville tomorrow for my little surgery op thing. I rushed to fill out my deposit slip because there were suddenly several cars behind me despite NONE being there when I pulled up. I made one minor mistake on the slip and crossed it out, initialed it and then put the checks, the slip and my ID in the bin and sent it on it's magical tube ride. A few minutes later I get the container back with a check and a pen. Whoops, didn't sign one. Send it back. See the man behind me tapping his fingers on the steering wheel. Sigh.

A few minutes later the little girl in the window tells me I did my math wrong and that I am supposed to get DOUBLE the cash I inteded to get back, back. (I just wrote back back.) Knowing how rushed I was to fill out the bank slip and how bad I am at quick math without a calculator, I figured she must be right and didn't think much of it. But I told her to go ahead and apply that extra to my savings, just give me the original cash back amount. (I'm so good.) I get another magical tube container because I have to initial the changes she made on the slip. But she sends me an envelope of money with it, but no ID. Ok. I send back the slip, then get the ID. And ANOTHER envelope of money. Um... so I count it. It's now 4 times the amount I originally requested. WTF? So I press the call button and am pretty sure I see STEAM coming out of the ears of the guy behind me (who's blocked in, remember?). I tell the girl "Um, I have two envelopes of money now." She is HORRIFIED, I see her dilated pupils from 20 feet away, and she asks me to send them both back so she can count it. okaaaay. Almost 5 minutes later I finally get all my receipts and correct amount of cash and I move along. I call my mom. I vent.

An hour later I get a phone call from the teller. Guess what? My math was CORRECT and she screwed up and yeah, she has to remove that extra savings deposit now. I was pretty livid. So she apologizes and then promises me a letter from the branch manager to verify it was her error. Not trusting her I called the bank back and spoke directly to the branch manager, who, you got it, didn't have a clue what I was talking about. She was very nice though, was also horrified that this happened, and told me she'd call me back. 30 minutes later she did and she figured out why the airhead teller messed up. It was the line I messed up and CLEARLY CROSSED OUT and initialed. She ADDED that line in and boom, double the cash back. I thought tellers were supposed to count the actual checks and cash, NOT go by the slip... Hmmm. And we wonder why banks fail? That also didn't explain why she counted out TWO full cash back amounts (according to her calculations) and sent them over to me in the magic tube when I told her to apply it to savings instead though.

So friends, if this week's theme hasn't taught you anything yet, CHECK EVERYTHING, at least twice. These companies are out to screw us over somehow.

Just sayin'.

I'm thinking maybe I should go ahead and remove my idiot stamp and send it in the magic tube over to her.
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