Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Blast from the Past!

Last night I reconnected with my best friend from high school. I've tried to find her in the past a few times and have been unsuccessful. Reunions were of no help since our class council was, and still is, useless (they're the ones in charge of that, you know!). Thankfully Denise always keep looking for me!

We talked for such a long time last night and it was so nice! In high school we were like sisters. We were into so many things. Most need to stay between us! ;) (I don't want to think about Grayson and high school right now!) I had forgotten some of what we did but we talked and laughed and it felt great. And, we found out that we have some similarities even now in life. How great is that?!

I have made a conscious decision that we are going to keep in touch. I hate that we lost touch in the first place. We live in such a mobile society now that it becomes difficult to maintain friendships without that conscious effort. She now lives in Columbia SC where all of my relatives are!! Her daughter is in Rock Hill where my parents are! What a small, small world. Here's looking to seeing her soon! :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Kill the computer!!

My husband is a computer programmer. As such, we collect computers. That's ok. We made a deal when we got married - he doesn't comment on my shoes, I don't comment on the number of computers. So far, so good.

Today, without any prompting from me, Jeff decided we needed to rebuild a computer for Grayson. One that would actually work, have all the keys, and, in a pinch, be used by us as well. So out came three computers we had laying around the house. After figuring out which one is best for the job, he started taking this and that from each one. Next step - destruction!!

Grayson and Jeff had a fantastic time destroying the computers!! Heck, I've wanted to do this same thing to a computer before! It was definitely a moment worth capturing. Enjoy the photos. (Disclaimer - we in no way condone the mindless destruction of technology. And, as always, safety first!) :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

You have GOT to be kidding!?

Jeff was laid off yesterday. But here's the thing. In the last month, they have been hiring programmers. A new guy just started two weeks ago and a woman was slated to start work Monday. Not anymore. The ENTIRE programming group was let go. Why? The company wouldn't be able to make payroll in a couple of months if they stayed. So now the company has decided they will use the existing program, as is, and only keep one tech support person. No upgrades.

At noon, the team was called together and the president announced the layoffs. Are you ready for this? He then took them to lunch. At lunch he told them that the company would give them a call when they get "back on their feet". Riiight. Like the employees are going to jump to work there again.

It gets better. Because the company is small, they can cancel health insurance immediately. Which they did. We found out today, after MANY calls, that Jeff can maintain insurance by paying the premium to the company. And there is a grace period before the premium is due. We should receive a letter very soon on this. We'll have to do this for the short term. Jeff can't be uninsured. Not a good thing. But, the premium is higher than being self insured (we know from past experiences).

Here's what I don't understand. How can you possibly hire when your financial income is so dire? Is your head stuck up somewhere it doesn't shine? Are you simply ignorant of the most basic of money management? Do you balance your checkbook? Seriously? It's not rocket science. You need money to hire people. If your long term financial is not strong enough, then you don't hire. That, to me, is the most basic tenement of owning a business.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Guilty Pleasure

I confess I have a guilty pleasure. No, not chocolate - that has health benefits. Wine? Nope - it also has some healthy benefits. What then, you ask. Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood. (http://www.oxygen.com/tvshows/torianddean/)

I know, I know. I'm embarrassed. But I can't help myself. I never watched 90210. I don't get People Magazine (although I do peruse it at doctor offices, etc). I rarely watch Access Hollywood or Entertainment Tonight. So how could I have possibly found this? Summer TV. That's how. There's really nothing on in the summer. And as I was flipping channels, there it was. The first episode no less. I stopped and watched. Really there was nothing else on. I had a book to read but sometimes you need the mindless blob that is the TV.

Here's what I discovered. I like her and her husband. I could be her friend. Sure they're flawed. But aren't we all? She works hard to earn money. She also spends money like no one else I know. Of course, she's used to a certain lifestyle. Her daddy was WEALTHY. Not just a tiny bit wealthy but seriously loaded. She doesn't spend like you might think she would but it's still a lot. She and Dean clearly love each other. One of her best friends is gay. She is adored by "my gays" (her words). She and her mom have a bad relationship. Did you know she only got approximately $800,000 from her dad's $500 million estate? Her mom kept the rest. Isn't that nice?! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tori_Spelling)

OK, I have now aired my dirty laundry. What I'm willing to admit to, at any rate. You didn't think we Southern girls shared everything? Honey, we may talk a lot but we don't tell 75% of what we know.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I love you more than God

Lately Grayson has become very lovey with me. More than usual. He has even told Jeff that he loves me more. Thankfully my husband is a good sport. He knows a lot of it has to do with me staying home. I'm with him all the time. And I'm guilty of hugging and kissing him A LOT. (He's so darn cute I can't help it!!)

This week though he told me he loves me more than God loves me. Now we all know that just isn't so. But in his world it's possible. As my mom put it, I'm his universe. Which is nice. My heart swells that he loves me so much. The downside though is that I get no personal space. None. Potty time? He's with me, talking. Shower? Yep, he has something to tell me that can't wait then too. On the phone? Are you kidding - that's when he REALLY has to talk to me.

I know that one day I won't be the universe. And he won't be as openly affectionate. I'll probably hear the refrain of "Mooom! You're embarrassing me!!" So for now, I'll grin through the constant touching and cuddling and talking. Because, one day, I'll miss this more than I can imagine.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

All Girl

I love girlie stuff. I don't mean sickly pink and frou frou stuff. I mean shoes, purses, jewelry, makeup, house decor.....

Knowing this, you can imagine how excited I am about Lush opening a store here. (http://www.lush.com/) My husband introduced me to Lush a few years back. He had business in Toronto and brought several bath bombs back for my Mother's Day present. At first I was slightly annoyed that he brought me bath stuff for Mother's Day. Seemed a little casual. Did he not think being a full time mom was hard? That a few bath bombs would tell me how much he appreciated my efforts?

But then, one smell and I was hooked. They aren't cheap. But oh how they smell. And fizz and foam. I don't often take a long leisurely bath. At the end of the day I'm pooped. And just somehow not often in the mood. These bath bombs will do it though. And it's all natural. How can you not love that?!

I won't go to the opening Saturday. The mall is a madhouse on weekends anyway. I'll go sometime next week. Perhaps a girlfriend can go with me. One who also loves the woman inside herself. I know I'll find my way there many times over the next few months. Perhaps even do some Christmas shopping there. :)

Boys will be boys

Today I watched one of Grayson's best friends while his parents went to a funeral. After about an hour of Star Wars light saber fighting (the noise!!), they moved on to Legos. Grayson loves Legos. Seriously loves Legos. I like them too. They encourage imagination, dexterity, and spacial thinking to name a few. They are also a QUIET toy. So, while the two boys have played with the Legos, I have paid bills, read some, cleaned the kitchen, and finally, wrote this blog. Happy day.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm SO big!

Today we bought a backless booster for Grayson. I'm not ready for this move but Grayson is simply too tall for his current booster seat. He measures somewhere between 46-48 inches tall. (One of his best friends is 48" and it's hard to see more than an inch difference in their height.) So off to Target we went.

He wanted the orange booster. He wouldn't even wait to get home before trying it out. I had to take it out of the box and install it right there in the parking lot! What can I say - he's excited!

I still think he looks so very small sitting in it. And I worry that he isn't protected enough. A majority of kids are in these backless boosters at 5 years old though. And I know that his pediatrician would tell us it's safe to move him. It's just hard though to see how much your baby has grown!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Not a good night's sleep

Sometime yesterday our upstairs air conditioning went out (we have dual HVAC systems). Almost four years ago to the date, we replaced this air conditioner. So you can imagine my irritation. And, as luck would have it, it hit 99 yesterday. So it was bloody hot upstairs. None of us slept well since it never got cooler than 86 on the top floor.

We have been paying one of those general home warranties for the last few years knowing that a lot of the big ticket items are 12 years old. And it has come in handy many times. Each year we have either broken even or come ahead. We would never have guessed though that the new unit would need work before the 12 year old one! Luckily, the problem was covered under warranty so we were only out $50.

The bad news is that the repairman told me that we probably have a slow leak somewhere. And, with the rising costs of HVACs, warranty plans like ours are finding more and more loopholes to get out of paying for new units. He recommended we get on a maintenance plan with someone. The repair and charge will easily get us through the rest of the year and, hopefully, all of next summer too. Then, when something does happen, we will have maintenance records to prove we have been taking care of the house.

We haven't been the best with regular maintenance on the units. We've done them, just not the recommended twice a year. We've had other things take priority. Now though this will take priority. Fun huh?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Lowes paint is...

crap. Sorry, no other way to put it. The guest bath is finally finished enough where I could paint the crown molding. The paint I chose for our molding 5 years ago is from Lowes. Years ago their paint was not too shabby. Somewhere along the way I think they have changed their formulation. I should have known better. I encountered this problem in December when I painted the dining room a lovely rich red. Then, after 4 coats of paint from Lowes, not including the primer coat, I went to Sherwin Williams. Their paint gave me great coverage in one coat.

So why didn't I go to SW this time? Good question. I was hopeful? Well, never again. Seriously. Never. The paint didn't want to adhere. It's a new can (well a month old). Should not be a problem. The crown molding was already primed. After three - 3- coats, the crown molding is painted and looking good!

Now, to tackle the ceiling paint touch ups, caulk, get the light fixture centered on the wall....This bathroom has some seriously bad karma!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Tax Free

This is NC's tax free weekend where you can by a ton of different things and not pay sales tax. I haven't participated in this for the last four years. Why? Well, I've always found better deals either before or after the weekend. The tax is only 6.75%. Plus, in the past, most stores did not run big sales in conjunction with the tax free weekend. This year stores are running some sales but not huge ones. People aren't shopping as much and store sales are suffering.

Will I go this year then? No. We just don't need anything. Not really. And the only thing I can think to buy for the future are more shoes for Grayson. His shoe size hasn't changed yet but it's been 6 months. It will happen soon. However, I'll do it online. He likes the running shoe he has now. I'll just order one size larger.

I'd like some more shoes myself. But, I won't join the masses this weekend. I love shoes and can think of several more I want but it isn't an actual need. And, while I'd love to spend the money on shoes for me, I really want us to go to DC this fall more. I want us to have a family vacation. Just the three of us. Something that Grayson can remember years later.

So to all you tax-free shopping fiends - be safe, have fun, and find good deals!!