Tuesday, July 31, 2007

School Shopping

Last night Bird & I went school shopping at Targ3t for the very first time. She only needed a backpack, a lunchbox, and a pair of sneakers. The backpack was easy - pink - but the lunchbox took some deliberation. She first opted for a pink number that was way too big, then moved on to a pink one that was too expensive. (It was about now that the Goldilocks story popped in my head). Finally we settled on a purple Princess one and a separate purple water bottle (cause she is all about matching).

But then we hit the shoe section, and discovered that all of the sandals are on clearance. To my girly girl, this is nothing short of heaven. Half an hour later... we had 3 pairs for $10, including her first pair of flip flops (purple, cause the pink ones weren't on sale).

At home, she ran inside to show Husband what she'd picked out. She was so proud, and is so excited to be going to school in the fall. I pray that preschool is everything she hopes for and more.

When I checked on her at the end of the night I discovered she went to bed with the purple flip flops on. :)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

When did that happen??

We discovered an unused gift certificate buried on my desk, so we went to Macaroni Grill for dinner last night. While perusing the menu, I discovered that they now offer caffeine-free diet coke, which thrilled me to no end.

Immediately after, several other thoughts slammed into my head:
1. When did no caffeine at dinner become a priority?
2. When in the world did I turn into my MOTHER?? (Both of my parents have caffeine free diet coke in their veins instead of blood.)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Quoth the Bird

While I was at those computer trainings earlier this week, the kids were home with a sitter. This particular girl is quite good with the kids, and they do love to play with her. She did, however, introduce a new movie into their repertoire - The Jungle Book.

When I got home and asked them what they did all day, Bird showed me the video box. (yes, video!! we have lots of old stuff on VHS.) So, being the logical person that I am, I said "oh, you watched the Jungle Book."

Bird: "No, we watched the Jungle movie!"

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Good and Bad

Good: I just took 3 computer training sessions at school, and I learned an awful lot of useful stuff, er technology, that will be very helpful this coming year.
Bad: I just spent the last 2 days at school, even though preplanning doesn't start until next week.

Good: One of the classes was a refresher on Power Point, which I haven't really had the resources to really use in the past. It came back quickly, and now I remember how to do it all again.
Good: I almost finished an entire chapter's presentation.
Bad: It took 3 hours to do one chapter. I am supposed (self-imposed) to be doing this for 2, and possibly 3 textbooks. I'm hoping I get faster with this!
Bad: School has PowerPoint 2003. I just realized I have 2000 at home. Which will read the file, and I can continue to work on things, but is not nearly as easy to use, nor does it have all the features.

Bad: School accidentally threw away old chemistry books.
Good: School decided that instead of replacing old books with more old books, that they would go ahead & just order the new books. While this will be painful in the short term for me (cause I have to prepare new curriculum), I do feel that this is a good book for the students.

Good: Publishing company sent me preview copy of the teacher book I chose for the honors class. They also sent a very useful CD.
Bad: Nobody at the company ever mentioned that there was a new edition coming out this year, and our order would be this different book.
Good: They sent a new teacher book & CD for the new book.
Great: I was lazy.... no... I enjoyed my summer and didn't read the old book, so I have nothing to fix! :) Procrastination finally pays off!
Questionable: Will I regret not doing any work this summer? (I hope not!)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

High School Remembrances

A bit has happened in the last couple days, but I just haven't had the energy to blog about it. (Nothing bad at all, I promise!!). We finally have our AC back though.

So, in the interesting of keeping up the posting habit, I'm copying out dcrmom's meme on high school. Cause this one looks like a bit of fun!!

High School Spirit Meme

1. Who was your best friend? Marian (hmmm.... might be a good thing she doesn't know about this blog yet, cause I think that's the third time I've linked to her this week!)

2. Did you play any sports? I was on the bowling team. And I was really good.

3. What kind of car did you drive? Mom's Oldsmobile, when she let me borrow it. I didn't get a car of my own till after my second year of college.

4. It’s Friday night. Where were you? At home, watching bad tv. Sometimes it was 'scary' bad tv. Occasionally I was on the phone as I watched scary bad tv.

5. Were you a party animal? Not at all.

6. Were you considered a flirt? Nope.

7. Were you in the band, orchestra or choir? Nope.

8. Were you a nerd? It's starting to sound like I was, doesn't it? But honestly, I wasn't.

9. Were you ever suspended or expelled? No.

10. Can you sing the fight song? actually.... I think I can?! just about!

Old (Hometown) High School/Proudly we honor & praise you/Time will not change you/Your spirit will never die/We're here to BOOST you, on hmm hmm & hmmm too/You are to us our own our wonderful (HOMETOWN) HIGH!!!

11. Who was your favorite teacher? hmmm.... I really admired my calculus teacher, and I liked my chemistry teacher a lot.

12. What was your school mascot? Green devil

13. Did you go to the Prom? Actually I did. I decided on the Wednesday before prom that I wanted to go, and got a date (friend from work), a dress (a pretty purple number), a hair appointment (updo w/ curls of course!), and transportation in time for the big event.

14. If you could go back, would you? No.

15. What do you remember most about graduation? Hmmm.... It was warm and we were on the football field in super thick green robes. Oh, and all of us were holding a marble to give to the principal as we shook his hand. (Last person had a jar)

16. Where were you on Senior Skip Day? Sigh. At school. My parents wouldn't let me go, and I had a history test that day.

17. Did you have a job your senior year? Yes, I worked at Kenny Rogers' Roasters. I quasi-affectionately refer to it as the 'chicken joint.'

18. Where did you go most often for lunch? Back field (we were allowed to eat outside! promise!)

19. Have you gained weight since then? Close to 40 pounds, but that was directly related to pregnancy (well, 30 of it anyhow)

20. What did you do after graduation? Can't remember!!

21. What year did you graduate? 1996

22. Who was your Senior Prom Date? A friend from the aforementioned chicken joint. He was a year younger than me & bent on joining the Marines when he graduated. I kept in touch with him my freshman year of college, but haven't seen or heard from him since.

23. Are you going/did you go to your 10 year reunion? I did. Can't say it was much fun though. Went to Husband's the following weekend; his was more fun, but that's cause he knew everybody in high school. (he was one of THOSE guys :) )

If you'd like to play, consider yourself tagged.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Six Flags Over Georgia

I've been so consumed with the AC that I haven't chronicled any of our vacation yet!! And since I am not going to be scrapbooking this anytime soon, I better start journaling now.

Our first day out, we drove to Atlanta to visit my oldest and dearest friend. (I link cause I love, though she does not update often.) We've known each other since 7th grade. (wow! almost 17 years now!). She has 2 boys, J7 and N5. (now I'm getting creative; the nickname is their initial and their age, though N is almost 6).

Anyhow, she homeschools her boys, and they were involved in some reading program that allowed them to earn tickets to Six Flags Over Georgia (SFOG). The boys did so much reading, in fact, that all 8 of us got to go for free!! (well, 7 of us. Bug is still free cause of his age.) Yay for us!!

(seriously, what is up with the parentheticals today?!)
Anyhow, I think a bulleted list will work well here.

The Good
  • The weather that day was very overcast, and they were predicting rain. This had 2 benefits for us: it really wasn't that hot, and it scared most people away. I don't think we waited more than 20 minutes for anything, and we walked onto quite a few things.
  • There are the typical photographers at the entrance to the park, and they were kind enough to take a group with my camera as well as theirs.
  • Good - Lots of roller coasters!! Even better - Marian & her husband do not like roller coasters. So they would watch the kids on occasion so Husband & I could ride them all - together!!
  • I got to experience a standing and a flying horizontally coaster for the first time. All I can say about Superman is WOW!!!
  • Their new coaster (Goliath) was absolutely amazing. What I found particularly scary is that you only have a glorified lap bar for this ride - no shoulder harnesses here! And yet the trip was extremely smooth & fun.
  • There was a neat kiddle land (Bugs Bunny World) that had all sorts of age appropriate things for our kids, like airplane rides, cars, boats, etc. Bug was too short for most of it though he did have a great time in the carrot patch.

  • Also in Bugs Bunny land, we were floored when Bird actually went on this:

  • There were tons of characters all over the place, and they were out so much it was really easy to get to them and take pictures. In the case of Porky, he snuck up on us & jumped into a pic I was taking of all 4 kids!

  • They have these misters all over the place - easy way to cool off.

  • They also have a mini water park in the back with all sorts of stuff to cool you off. (included in ticket!)
The Bad
  • Parking is $15. This is more than any theme park in Florida. And you are stuck there unless one member is dropping you off & not staying with you at the park. (There are gypsy lots & roads nearby, but this is not a great neighborhood, so they are never recommended)
  • You get nothing for your parking price. The lot is big, but there is no transportation to the front gate.
  • They are not kidding when they say that NO OUTSIDE FOOD is allowed into the park. I was allowed to bring in milk for Bug (thank heavens everyone's sandwiches were in that cooler!), but they did ask me to throw away the snacks I'd packed into another bag.
  • The food you can buy there is typical - overpriced and lousy, as we discovered at dinnertime. I think our family spent about $30 at dinner for some burgers, fries, and drinks. (and we only bought 3 dinners!)

Anyhow, I will leave you with this particularly endearing photo of Bird on the carousel. She kept yelling "no Mom! Don't take my picture! You need to get on your own horse!"

At which point my head exploded.

Yes, I am still complaining about the AC. It's been over a week now and the heat is getting to me.

* * *

At 10am on Friday morning, since I had not yet heard back from the warranty company, I called them back up to see what the status was. Got myself a new representative (since they won't tell you their actual names or numbers)... and she had no idea what I was talking about.

Clearly the girl I talked to Thursday evening must have been IMing instead of actually typing my comments & concerns out.

So I may have been a tiny bit impatient with Girl #2. I might have yelled "I need to explain all of this to you AGAIN?!", because she was looking for a supervisor rather quickly. Again, she couldn't seem to find one, so she said she would put my name in the supervisor queue and that I should hear from one soon. Provided them with my cell phone number so that I could actually leave the house (which was already about 85F).

An hour later.... no call. So I call again, only to be told "oh, yes, you are in the queue, but they have 24 hours to call you back."

This is when my head really started to hurt. And when I really started getting cranky. I guess I was convincing, because after a 5-minute hold I had myself a supervisor.

But they sent me Atilla the Supervisor. A very wooden lady who would say only 2 things:
1. Any and all typewritten company litany. (at times I think I heard her flipping pages in the company manual)
2. "I am not going to discuss this with you further."

I tried to appeal to her heart. (she didn't have one)
I tried to appeal to her human side. (might have told her she had no soul)
I tried to appeal her business sense. (which, clearly, she doesn't care if they lose money)

I am now praying that the repairs on Monday don't work. Because clearly their definition of "working AC" and mine are miles apart.

Why oh why did I not listen to the repair guy we had last year? He told me to take a baseball bat to the whole thing.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Brain Dump

I just finished reading Harry Potter #5. I started to read it a bit before lunchtime today. After I finished the last bit of Harry Potter #4. I'd planned on reading HP #1-6 on our vacation, but I forgot to pack the last 3. So now I'm trying to get them all in before Saturday. One day ought to be enough for #6, right?

* * *

Got a call from school asking me to trim my lab supply requests, as I was clearly over budget. Packed up my 2 and 4 year olds, only to discover that they have no idea where my list is, nor will anyone who knows where the list is be in the office before Monday. It's on my school computer, but I'm not authorized to put it back together over summer holidays. Whatever. It's not like I actually NEED lab supplies when school starts. And they threw away my chemistry books. Cause who needs books?

* * *

AC company called today. They will be out Monday to fix everything. (what is it about next Monday?!) Providing, of course, we have not totally melted by that point. I immediately called the warranty company & demanded a whole new unit (amongst other things). Nice (sounding) customer service rep said she could do nothing until she actually spoke to AC compnay.

"But, Mrs. X, you do realize that your contract states that if an item can be repaired, it will be repaired and not replaced?"

"Yes, but do you realize that you have spent more money repairing this thing than you would have if you'd just replaced it the first time we called?"

She swore up & down that she would call me back once she talked to the AC company. I told her I didn't believe her. I'm not so sure I get any points for that one.

Hoped to spend tomorrow at the splash pool. I may be stuck at home (er, this temporary sauna because ewww.... we are super sweaty around here!) on the phone with these people all day.

Maybe I should try for a hotel suite. After all, an employer who tried to force his employees to work in a 90-degree office for one day would be sued. These people are forcing me to live in a 90-degree house for over a week simply cause they don't want to replace the AC.

How To Keep Cool

Ways to keep cool when the thermometer is your house reads 90F (32C), and you fear that it only reads that because it doesn't go any higher:

  • Spend the morning at playgroup at someone else's house
  • Go to local mall, and window shop in lovely air-conditioned stores
  • Hit craft store in mall and stock up on scrapbooking paper (6 for a $1!! and I got some really neat looking ones too.)
  • Take children to Chick-fil-a, buy yourself a (refillable) drink, and let them play on the playground for a couple hours cause they have the place to themselves while you call friends on your cell phone. Relax and enjoy how amazingly cold it is in that restaurant.
  • After children go to sleep for the night, run out to 7-11 and buy a big slurpee. (in this case, I think the heat is a bit of an excuse cause I'm always looking for reasons to buy slurpees!)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Ding Dong, it's not quite dead

The AC, that is.

After 2 reparimen have come (one last night, & one this afternoon), did all sorts of things with thermometers & other tools, the latest guy concluded that the outside part of the AC no longer has a working motor. Unfortunately, just about everything else seems to be working, so they will only be ordering replacement parts.

In the meantime, I worry that we might melt! Our house is currently 85F (high 20s for my non-US readers). Playdate anyone? At your house, of course. :)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Fingers crossed...

I had planned to start blogging about our trip today, but one of the things that greeted us upon returning home was a broken air conditioner! The repairman couldn't come until dinnertime tonight, so it was just too dang HOT around here to do much on the ol' computer.

Unfortunately, the repairman did not label our AC as "dead," which is what I was really hoping for. I know that sounds weird, but we've been renewing our home warranty every year in hopes that this will be the year that the AC finally kicks the bucket. In the almost 6 years that we've had the house, we've had to call on it 4 times, and each time the repair guy just patchwork fixed it. (The last guy told us to just take a baseball bat to the unit to kill it, but I think they might figure that one out!)

However, the very nice repair man still has no idea what's wrong with it this time, so he did a slight patch job, and told us to call tomorrow if it still does not seem to be cooling.

He left the thermostat at 70 degrees.... 2 hours later we're still hovering around 80... I am so hoping this thing is finally dead. It is such an energy drain; I would love to have something more efficient (so perhaps one day I can set the thermostat below 80).

Saturday, July 14, 2007

We're Back!!

We made it!! It was questionable at times, but a wonderful trip overall! Hoping to be up & about my favorite Internet (and real life!) haunts soon.

I have lots of blogging material for the upcoming days, but here's the jist of our trip in numbers:

15 - days of vacation
45 - hours of driving during this vacation
9 - different US states that we drove through
34 - different US state licence plates that we saw (+ 2 from Canada!)
6 - different locations that we slept in
24 - hours that we watched TV in the car (I want to hide Elmo in Grouchland, Cinderella, and Annie for a while!)
7 - hours that Husband or I was squished between the carseats as we drove my mother in law for one segment of the trip

4 - eyes that were infected with pinkeye
3 - different walk-in clinics (in 3 different states, no less) that we had to go to in order to treat the pinkeye (and the subsequent ear infection & tonsillitis!)
2 - family members who will never eat dried apricots again now knowing that they are AKA "colon blow"
2 - parents who came down with some nasty cold/virus (but at least it was on different weeks. I think? that might be a plus)

5 - cuddly loveys that we had to keep track of in so many different places
23 - hours we spent at various theme parks (more to come on that!)
17 - family members who gathered for a 4th of July cookout
2 - different friends we got to visit with (one of whom we got to meet for the first time!)
6 - playgrounds that we found to help the kids run out of energy

0 - nights that either child got to sleep on time (I think 9pm was an early night. ouch.)

1 - highly touted Holiday Inn Express cinnamon roll that I finally got to try. (very tasty)
16 - oz of M&Ms I consumed during the trip
2 - free slurpees for the kids (lasts all month!)

3000 - miles driven (more or less - time to get the oil changed again!)
782 - pictures taken (and that doesn't include the ones I deleted straight away!)

Anyhow, I must get back to unpacking!!