This is my site where I will be sharing my thoughts, feelings and happenings. In the words of Austin Powers, "It's my happening, baby, and it freaks me out...yeah!" Enjoy!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

My Car

I took my car into the shop the other day for the 90,000 mile maintenance (a bit late on that scheduled maintenance as my car now has 93,000 miles on it). They always wash my car when I take it there (even for just a quick oil change). However, I always forget that they wash my car since I don't go very often. This time it was a very pleasant surprise as my car REALLY needed to be washed. I had planned on washing it in our driveway days earlier but didn't get around to it. It had a thick coating of yellow pollen and tree junk all over it, as well as the typical dirt and bird droppings.

Oh, speaking of my car...on my way home from church Sunday I decided to stop by the park to see what time the city Easter egg hunt started. I could see the roped off areas but the place was deserted. I parked and got out of my car to go read the signs that had been hung by some trees. I got back in the car and backed up to leave. I was thinking deep thoughts or something and didn't totally look behind me as usual. I ended up backing into a tree! What was a tree doing at that part of the parking lot?! The crunch was horrendous even though I was barely moving. I thought for sure the trunk was all dented in, making it hard to open. I parked and got out to look. Luckily, no one was around to see my carelessness. I was surprised to see that there weren't any dents...just some scratches and a bit of paint scraped off of the lower left side of the bumper. If you step back, it just looks like it's dusty (white dusty, like from a gravel road). Whew.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hassle with Bananas

I went to Wal-Mart this afternoon with Alisa. I had 18 items in my cart so I got in the checkout line for 20 items or less. The girl had scanned all my items except the bananas (which aren't scanned anyway). When trying to ring up the bananas she kept getting an error that said the scale wasn't attached. She pushed a few buttons and jiggled the scale but she couldn't ring them up. She called for help and the lady that monitors the self-checkout lanes came over. She tried to ring up the bananas and got the same error so she said I had to go to another register because that scale was messed up. I asked if that meant all my items had to be scanned again and re-bagged at a new register or if they could pull up my transaction on their system and finish with just the bananas. I was remembering the time when someone had pulled up my transaction recently at a different Wal-Mart when I left my wallet in the diaper bag in the car. She didn't really give me a clear answer...just said something like it's my choice...that I could forget the bananas or go to another register. I was kinda surprised they didn't just dismiss the error and throw the bananas in for free. Anyway, I asked the question again but she didn't directly answer it so I said I would pay for everything that was already scanned and then I'd take the bananas and ring them up myself at a self-checkout lane, which was one lane over.

I had to wait on a lady to finish her transaction at the self-checkout lane. Alisa started crying because she saw me take a credit card out of my wallet and she wanted to hold it. It was almost naptime and she's more dramatic when tired. She was crying very loudly and tears were streaming down her cheeks. I wouldn't let her hold the credit card though. I tried to get her interested in her toys or the paper I had given to her earlier to hold but she only wanted the credit card. I had to just tell her no and let her scream. I was not about to take her out of her seat to calm her down because the lady would be finished in just a minute. I quickly rang up the bananas which were 97 cents. All that extra hassle for 97 cent bananas! Geez. Alisa loves bananas though and wants them nearly every morning for breakfast. She actually wanted them as soon as she saw me put them in the cart so I had to distract her and hide them (they aren't ripe yet). Alisa fell sound asleep in the car as soon as we left, but her crying was still ringing in my ears. Not a good way to end a shopping trip.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Church Videos

We liked the first small group (Bible Study) we went to after choosing a church so we've gone back each week. It meets at the house of the guy in charge of Spiritual Formation & Administration at our church. He has a son that is 4 months younger than Alisa. Currently, there is no babysitter so Alisa plays with toys on the floor in the room with us during the meeting. She has done well being around all those strangers.

Each week at church there is a video (created by some members of the church) that goes along with the pastor's message. This video is from his "In God We Trust?" series about money. It's especially hilarious if you are familiar with the 80's/90's commercials for the Playskook "My Buddy" dolls.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Beauty of a Small Company

EasyTEL Communications, the phone company I have been working for the past 5 years, has stayed small with 30-45 employees during that time. There are many benefits to working at a small company. We all know each other by name (as well as personal info about those we work closely with) and we know what each person does at work (so when we need to call another department, we know exactly who we are's not just a name on a list), we celebrate birthdays monthly with cake and other goodies, and so on.

In my position, I have to deal with many other local phone companies each week as their customers are leaving them to be serviced by us or vice versa. I get frustrated because most of them are difficult to work with. Most other companies are bound by some automated system of some sort and so their activities are restricted. Some can't process more than one order at a time for a customer (the pending order has to complete first, which usually takes days). Some companies are so stinkin' picky with parts of an order that they will reject it if you abbreviate Suite as SUIT instead of STE (you have to know which company prefers which abbreviation) or if the letter of authorization from the customer is more than a week old. Some companies have a lot of rude and unhelpful employees. Some companies seem to want to waste your time by rejecting orders for ridiculous reasons (don't they realize that it wastes their time too?!). Some companies make it VERY hard for you to get ahold of someone on the phone to ask them a quick question about an order. Some companies transfer your call to 3 different departments and leave you on hold for an hour before you get to talk to the right person. Some companies don't update their records when the customer requests it so then it delays your order.

We at EasyTEL can do anything...we are not tied down by systems. Call us at a moment's notice and we'll do it. We are very nice people too. We will not be rude or send you on a wild goose chase. No one is as easy to deal with as we are. We are relaxed and not picky about minor parts of orders that others send us. I work for a truly excellent company with a wonderful owner and employees! I am very very very thankful.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Minga is 2 Years Old Today

Craig put part of Alisa's toy on Minga's head to serve as a birthday hat:

Alisa removed the hat, but then put it back on:

Minga's favorite activities are riding in the Jeep, playing fetch, swimming, and walking/running in the woods and creek:


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Toenail Drama and Blueberries

Today I went to pick Alisa up out of her crib when I jammed my toe on the drawer under her crib. I wasn't rushing and didn't seem to kick the drawer very hard but a lot of my big toenail ripped off. It wasn't ripped all the way off was hanging on by a thread. It looked awful and was torn all jagged and in layers in some places, but my toe didn't bleed or anything. I was mostly upset by the fact that now I'm in danger of getting an ingrown toenail as it grows out. I had problems with ingrown toenails in college because I kept clipping my toenails too short (mostly the big toenails). It got so bad one time that I had to soak my feet several times a day and put ointment on my toe where puss was coming out. It hurt all the time--even more when wearing shoes or when walking. If I bumped my toe or if someone stepped on it, I would really scream and be in a lot of pain for a long time. It was horrible, but eventually (after many many months) it healed itself. I've had reoccuring trouble with various toes, but nothing as bad as that time in college.

You know how most people think of tomatoes as a vegetable but they are really fruits? Last night I dreamt that blueberries were redefined as vegetables. Weird. I probably dreamt about blueberries because I just read that kids under age 3 should not be given whole blueberries because they are a choking hazard (you just have to mash or cut them up).

Friday, March 07, 2008

Alisa is 11 Months Old Today

Alisa gained 1 lb 4 oz this month--she went from 20 lbs 7 oz to 21 lbs 11 oz. Her hair is even longer with a more curls at the bottom (especially when it's raining outside). Her 3rd tooth (1st on top) is starting to cut through the gums and her 4th tooth (2nd on top) is getting ready to cut through.

She was sick this week after having been briefly around another baby at the end of last week who had been sick and still had a runny nose. She had a fever for 2 days and a runny nose and occasional cough for over a week. Her spirits were pretty high most of the time and after a few days of me constantly clearing out and wiping her nose, she stopped resisting and just let me do it.

This week she went back to sleeping 12 or more hours each night and taking 2-3 naps (about an hour each).

She outgrew all her 9-month-sized feety pajamas so I bought her some "big girl" pajamas, which are short-sleeved tops with matching pants or shorts.

She wasn't as interested in food this month as last month. She didn't finish many bottles and refused a lot of spoon foods. She never refused finger foods though (Cheerios, fruit puffs, bananas, pears, mango). We gave her some apple juice for the 1st time and she guzzled it down.

Eating Cheerios at a restaurant (2-27-08):

She can walk much better now while pushing her Walk 'N Ride toy around or while holding onto your hands or the table or ottoman.

She enjoys taking baths so much that if you take her in the bathroom while the tub is still filling with water she will scream and cry and try so hard to get in the tub immediately (before the water is the correct temperature). She stands up in the tub a lot and has stomped her legs quite a bit. She has also plopped down on her belly and excitedly kicked her legs and moved her arms almost like she's swimming.

Alisa's latest bathtime discovery is that it's fun to wave the washcloth around and slap things with it (water, walls, herself). It gets things really wet, including any bystanders (3-05-08):

Alisa loves feeling the various materials on the quilt Grandmom made for her (2-13-08):

Valentine's Day with monkey from Grandmom and holiday bib:

Alisa frequently does this leg lift (2-14-08):

Alisa loves bubbles (2-20-08):

Fun getting dirty at Lake Ella (2-29-08):

Alisa likes to stand under my desk but soon she won't be able to because she will be too tall (2-25-08):

Alisa's favorite spot under Craig's desk is the shelf that's supposed to be for the tower (which Craig doesn't need because he has a laptop):

Getting a closer look at the crib mobile animals (2-07-08):

Playing with my old stuffed animals for the 1st time (2-25-08):

Playing with her stuffed animals in the morning (mostly the penguin in these pics):

Craig bought Alisa a soccer ball (2-26-08):

Last time to wear this warm outfit (2-27-08):

Winter dress:

Enjoying the sunshine and flowers (2-19-08):

Enjoying her books:

Looking at the photo book with family pictures so she will recognize them when she sees them again (2-25-08):

Alisa loves looking at magazines...after while she will rip a page out and carry it--or more often, a piece of it--around for a long time:

Playing with the plush ABCs (2-18-08):

Playing with little dolls that each get tucked under their own little blanket on the larger blanket Aunt Janet made for her:

Silly doggie (2-26-08):

First day she constantly practiced standing up without holding onto anything--she used Craig's legs as a pushing off point (3-02-08):

New umbrella stroller for times when we don't need the big and bulky stroller (3-05-08):

New outfit for spring pictures (3-06-08):