Friday, June 19, 2009

I Love Being Wrong...

I had a minor electronic gadget emergency the other day. I define this as an electronic gadget emergency because the emergency was that my cellphone kept turning itself off randomly and refusing to reignite in any way shape or form until it was damn well ready. Really? Not an emergency, but in this day and age being without your cellphone feels like an emergency, especially when you've given up the good ol' landline in favor of the portable variety, and no one can get a hold of you without it. So after a week of being ready to run to the AT&T store and then having the damn thing magically heal itself, I had had enough. The phone was only a little over a year old and hadn't suffered any my knowledge anyway, I suppose with phone loving little ones running around you never truly into the store I flew, on my lunch break, and by the time I got there, I was not. happy. FEAR ME.

Cellphone salespeople have taken on a certain type in my mind, pretty much the same type as the used car salesman. Anyone who shouts at me and tries to sell me something as I'm walking through the mall with my two children, juggling goldfish, a sippy cup, and a leaky lemonade immediately goes on my shit list. (Also on my shit list? The nail file and hand lotion toting salespeople at the mall...but that's a different post on a different day.) I just knew, before I even entered the building, that I was going to be told that my phone was worthless, no longer under warranty, and that I was going to have to buy a new one. Knowing that I was not yet eligible for a "free" phone, as my contract isn't up yet, I was preemptively internally seething. Scam artists!! I thought, and I reluctantly walked up to the service counter and waited.

A few minutes later a not-really-noteworthy looking guy walked out of the back storage room and asked if he could help me. I hoped that he could. I told him the symptoms of my emergency and, taking note of his immediate frown, dreadfully followed him to his desk. A couple fiddles and faddles with my phone later, my worst case scenario was confirmed. Upon investigation, it appeared that the "moisture sensor" inside the battery compartment shined a brilliant shade of hot pink, which immediately told us two things: 1. somehow my phone had gotten wet inside and was dying a slow death (drool anyone?) and 2. the warranty on the phone doesn't cover this problem, and I was SOL. Lovely. So I swore. I really didn't mean to do it, but when the guy told me that I wasn't eligible for a free phone and that the warranty on my current phone was done-for, I let one slip. Yeah, the guy said to me in agreement, and for a second I questioned my automatic tagging of all cell salesmen as bad. Maybe this guy was decent...and then he talked some more...

Guy: Hey Girl, (I can't remember her name, but she was a salesperson sitting at the desk behind him) can you look this account up on your computer and tell me when her husband is eligible for a free phone?

Girl: Sure, it's October.

Me: Ughhhh. So I'm January and he's October. (knowing in the back of my mind that a new phone just really isn't in our budget at the moment. Crap.)

Guy: Umm, yeah. Hmmm...

Girl: Hey, you know, an older gentleman brought in a phone yesterday because he was having trouble hearing on it, it should still be on your desk. Works fine...doesn't have a battery cover though, so it's in a case.

Guy: Oh yeah. (finds the phone and picks it up.) If you want to use this one until October you can do that.

Me: *warily* What do you mean it doesn't have a battery cover? Cuz...uhhhh...I have small kids... (visions of my cellphone battery being tossed around the room filling my head...walking into the living room to find Little chewing on it...hmmmm)

Guy: *Laughs*Yeah that wouldn't work. I bet I could find a cover in the back...

And with that he got up and walked back into the rear store room, emerging a few minutes later with the phone...with a cover on the back. For me. FREE.

Guy: It doesn't have a camera, but you could have it until you can get a new one for free in October.

Me: *feeling guilty about only minutes earlier pegging him as a swindler* That would be great!! Thank you!!

Guy: OK, the I'll transfer your contacts over...just take a second...

And that was it. I walked out of there without them trying to sell me a single thing, with a phone that works fine, and a big smile on my face...and it didn't cost me a dime. Sometimes I LOVE being wrong.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Let Us Define Emergency...Shall We?

Well, the girls sleeping in the same room experiment has proven to be deceptively successful. Hubby and I had braced ourselves for a disaster of epic proportions when we moved Little's crib into Big's room a few days ago, but after 17 months of having her in our room, we knew it was time to bite the bullet and justdoitalready! Little is seriously the worst sleeper in the whole wide world, and we were just sure that she was going to wake up a dozen times a night and take Big's sweet, dream-filled slumber to hell with the rest of us, but that's not at all how it's happened. Contrary to our hypothesis, Little actually sleeps better in the same room as Big than she did when she was in our room, essentially going to sleep on her own. Color me shocked...and *delighted*! The first 2 nights of the experiment, they both fell asleep without making a peep and...wait for it...slept all.night.long. We're the people who only get to sleep through the night 3 times a week, remember?? I'm seriously still in shock. Warm, fuzzy, well rested shock. Sweeeeeeet.

The third night wasn't quite as good as the first 2. Little woke up around 10:30 in hysterics and refused to settle down on her own. Hubby (because he loves me and I was already in bed) got her out of bed and rocked her for 15 minutes. It was our first attempt at rocking Little to settle her down. Yes, ever. We braced ourselves...expecting the worst...and were overwhelmed with delight when it seemed to do the trick. She went back to bed without complaint and slept the rest of the night without a peep. Wonderful. Really, could we ask for more?? Didn't think so.

Gleefully, we allowed ourselves to cross our fingers and hope that we were headed into some sort of new and improved bedtime routine with the girls, in which everyone gets to sleep through the night and Hubby and I get to have our room back to ourselves. Three nights in a row without major incident, it was going so well...but it's what happened on the fourth night that really took me by went like this...

Everyone went to bed on schedule. Teeth were brushed, stories read, and two little girls went into their beds without complaint. All was quiet. Hubby and I joined them in slumber a few hours later, and passed out in our usual exhausted way. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

At approximately 3am I heard cries over the baby monitor that I keep next to my side of the bed. It was Big, and she was frantically calling for me. My stomach turned. When Big wakes at night, it's usually something pretty serious, and for her to be calling for me, knowing that Little was asleep in the bed next to her, I knew it had to be bad. In a fury of worry and fear, I leapt out of bed and ran to their room across the hall. Filled with dread of what I would find when I opened the door, I took a deep breath and turned the knob. I looked to my immediate right and saw that Little was, indeed, awake in her bed, but as of yet still laying down quite sleepily. All seemed OK with her, so I moved on to Big.

First things first...a quick survey of her and the bed proved to show that she hadn't had any kind of bodily fluid spill (as all parents know are the most frequent and most dreaded cause of middle of the night awakenings). I breathed a sigh of relief, and then knelt down by her bed and began the interview.

Me: What's the matter sweetheart? Why are you awake? (stroking her head)

Big: *sleepy whimpers* Mama, my feeeet! (points to her feet)

(And by this time Little is standing up in her bed waiting for her turn to converse with Mommy. Jumping. Cooing. The whole 9 yards. Great.)

Me: But what's the matter, honey? What's wrong with your feet?

Big: They're uncovered, Mommy! Look! (more pointing)

And sure enough...they were. Peeking out from under the covers were Big's ten little painted toenails, staring at me. So I covered them back up. And that was it. She woke us all up and called me into her room at 3am, because her feet came out from under the blanket. Seriously.

So, the emergency was averted, toes were once again covered and, aside from some crying from Little as I left the room, everyone was alive and fine. A few minutes later, the world went back into happy, sleep mode, and I once again joined Hubby back in our bed. Awake and worried, he asked me what had been wrong with Big...and when I told him, we both laughed until we were gasping for air. Ah, and death I tell you, those cold feet. Quite the emergency.

So Hubby and I have been in talks, and I think we're going to put out some sort of memo defining what constitutes an emergency in the middle of the night...maybe follow it up with some TPS reports on the subject. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Well, I suppose it was inevitable the we would eventually run into someone who would have come down with the H1N1 (aka swine) flu. My poor niece Mari came down with a high fever and cough on Monday after school, and has felt completely miserable ever since. A quick nasal swab at the pediatrician's office this morning confirmed it...she has the dreaded swine flu...or at least that's what we've been told. My pediatrician's office was quick to point out that it takes 2 days and a visit to a lab for a diagnosis of the swine flu to be confirmed. Technicalities, the other pediatrician says. I'll be safe and go with her.

So aside from feeling horrible about my niece's misery, this diagnosis also sparked something else within me...fear....anxiety...and all out panic. The diagnosing pediatrician recommended that my sister call me immediately and tell me to get my girls into our pediatrician for the Tamiflu vaccine, like STAT. I don't do well with STAT. Due to the fact that we had been with my niece on Saturday at the infamous birthday party (that I was so cool at, ha!) we've now been exposed. Oyyyyy. Given my girls ages and Little's cardiac history, they very easily find themselves in that danger zone for flu complications...which is why I always get them a flu shot...except when it's a completely new strain of flu and there IS no freakin vaccine. Then we're just SOL. Supposedly this Tamiflu stuff is supposed to help lessen the effects of the swine flu, should you be exposed and come down with it and be on the list of people with possible complications, like children under 5, and those with chronic cardio issues...see me hyperventilating??? get my hands on some...

So, that's how I spent my first day back at work after our little vacation...endless hours on the phone, 2 calls to the pediatrician, 3 calls to my sister to get details and facts that were requested by our pediatrician, and 3 calls between myself and one of our cardiology nurse later...we're not getting the Tamiflu. After all that, whyyyyy???? you ask? Well, because our cardiologist says that since Little's heart is working so efficiently and she is so healthy now, she feels completely confident that if we did come down with the oinky flu at our house, that Little would have no problem getting rid of it just like any other healthy kid. ::insert triumphant smile here:: You hear that world??? No special circumstances!!! No pre-existing conditions!!! I really don't think I've ever been so happy to be shot down!

As for the rest of us, both doctors that I spoke with today assured me that this flu is really nothing more severe than a normal viral flu strain...nothing that our bodies couldn't handle getting rid of on their own...especially Big, whose body has always been strong like bull. Excellent news...stupid media circus. In addition to that, we're currently more than 96 hours post exposure and *knock on wood* so far we're still healthy. This is very good for our anti-flu odds. I'm hoping that if we just keep knocking of wood, and crossing our fingers, and most of all praying like crazy, we'll all come through unscathed.

As for my niece, she's feeling much better if only the rest of her siblings can go without... Ack. Siblings.

Go away oinky flu!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Still Around

Yes, I'm still around. I know I haven't blogged since writing about my craft project plans and, well, I didn't want anyone to think that it had killed me. The hair pins actually turned out really cute and were the hit of the 10 year-old partay! (if I may say so myself *ahem*) And it actually only took me 2 hours (9pm-11pm) to make 25 of them! Who's shabby? Not me apparently! All fingers are still accounted for and only one of them suffered any burns, which is absolutely a new world record for me. So, aside from the fact that I discovered that 2 hours of non-stop hot glue fumes make me wanna barf, all was well. As for pictures, I was too lazy, er ahh, busy to take any before we got to the party. I've been promised a few to be emailed to me by my sister, but we'll see if that actually happens. (she has 4 kids, yo...some things don't happen, who can blame her?!)

So what have I been doing that's kept me away, you ask? Well Hubby and I just got back today from taking the girls to an indoor water park hotel for 3 days and 2 nights. It! was! AWESOME!!! for Big! She literally ran around the place and stuck her head/face into every stream of water available. She was my idol. Little was like, "eh...the water gets in my eyes and that's kinda uncool, man...meh." and Hubby and I were like, so in love with our children that we braved the nights of interrupted sleep, the flying elbows in the face from Little at 4am (when God sent us a thunder storm??? REALLY God????) and chasing Big and Little in different directions all over that freakin frackin place for what felt like an eternity...but it was all worth it to see their beautiful smiles. Of course leaving didn't come without drama, but we expected nothing else. It was very likely the best 3 days of Big's life to date...them's the hard parts. Right now Hubby stinks like chlorine, and my hair is supremo greasy from the pool water and all the extra washing...but that too shall pass...

So what do crazy people do when they get home (exhausted) from taking their 3 and 1 year-old's to a water park for 3 days??? Move the baby into the older sib's room, of course! Dear God, why?????? you ask? Because we like pain...and crying...lots and lots of crying... OK, we don't...but yes, we're really moving Little into Big's room today!!! We figure that they shared a room for the last 2 nights, so this is a window of opportunity to keep it going rather than having it be something totally new and weird. So, here we go...just shoot me now...

Friday, June 5, 2009

I'm SOOO not crafty.

I'm just not. Never have been actually. The realization that my sister got the crafty gene and I didn't came early to me in elementary school art class. My sister's projects? Made it to the shelves and walls in my parents' house. Mine? Didn't...except a few that had mercy display written all over them. It's just not who I am. I am not artistic, I've embraced it. But sometimes, in a moment of insanity, I forget the details of my 30 years of past artistic failures and attempt to take on a craft today.

Tomorrow is my niece's 10th birthday party. She's at that awkward age when kids get difficult to shop for...too old for a toy, too young for make-up...I believe the popular word for it these days is the tweens. Well I'm apparently not good at shopping for a tween, because I have no idea what to get her for her gift. Until now, I've always been the cool aunt, who loaded the little ones up with nail polish and stylish clothes at an age when nail polish and brand name frocks weren't something my sister would consider buying for her own kids...but now, it's not so easy! I try to win them over with a mini-mani and my nieces look at me all oh nail polish? That's so, like, last year auntie Jen...and all of a sudden I find myself dangerously close to no longer being the cool aunt, but more the aunt who thinks she's know that one? EEK! But I'm only 30 dammit, I'm still way cool...and to prove this to everyone, I've decided to take on a bit of a project (aka potential craft disaster) as part of the ultra cool birthday present I'm giving my niece tomorrow: hand made embellished bobby pins. Random you say? Ah, would seem that way, but this morning when I discussed potential girl gifts with my sister, I was informed that my niece had only recently taken on the habit of putting such decorative items in her hair as a new hair style (see what I mean about the whole tween thing?) and it's such a recent style development that she really has none. SWEET! I thought...perfect! gift!, off to Target's hair accessory aisle I went, to search the rows and rows of hair thing-a-majigs, and when I got to the end of the embellished bobby Wasn't it only, like, 2 years ago that everyone was wearing those in their hair?? Well, apparently Target thinks it's a trend that's passed (and been replaced by the weird beady double comb up-do thingy? Whatever, Target!) which brings me to my grande scheme to win back the love and admiration of my niece...I'm going to make some!

So, crafty I am not...but I can totally hot glue with the best of them. (Can I do it without burning the crap out of my fingers? No, but who can really?) So what I decided to do was to buy a 90 pack (!!) of plain bobby pins and then take my sorry butt to the local craft store, where I would purchase a variety of glimmering, fancy, girly embellishments to hot glue onto said bobby pins, and voila! I'm back in the inner circle. So that's what I did...this morning. Embellishments purchased...extra hot glue sticks secured...and a 90 pack of bobby pins just waiting for me to burn the crap out of my fingers while I pathetically attempt to decorate them. Did I mention that the party is tomorrow? And that I have 90 bobby pins? And did I also mention that I have a history of getting grande ideas and biting off more than I can chew? Something tells me it's going to be a long and painful night... blog post to include pictures of the finished product...and a detailed description of my niece's reaction. Pray for me.

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