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!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


I was rooting through out the diaper bag at home after church today and realized Alisa's new teething ring was not in it. Apparently the girls in the church nursery took it out of the bag and didn't put it back or tell us so it was left behind. Also, when we dropped Alisa off, the girls didn't ask if she would need to eat and we didn't think to tell them that she would NOT need a bottle (we usuallly tell them but we were out of practice because she hasn't been to church in several weeks and I guess I assumed they would realize she didn't if we didn't specifically say that she did). Well, when Alisa started crying 10 minutes before the end of the service they tried a few things (probably the teething ring) and made her a bottle with the stuff that was in our diaper bag (it's always there just in case). She didn't want the bottle because she wasn't hungry, she was just tired, I think, because she fell asleep right away in the car. So, that was formula for a 6-oz bottle down the drain (because you have to dump any leftovers an hour after she puts her mouth to it).

I bought a large box of baby wipes yesterday (8 packs in it, I think) and realized today that they didn't make it home. Craig helped unload the groceries from the car so I didn't notice it then. I bought them at Wal-Mart and usually I load the groceries in the cart from the spinning bag holder as the cashier fills the bags, but this time there was an extra person at the register who was bagging the items. She loaded the cart and I didn't pay close attention. I did glance at the bag holder before walking away and I didn't notice a large box sitting on top so the cashier must have put it in a bag and it was overlooked. Dangit! There goes $12 down the drain.

Another disappointment of the weekend was that I made a large purchase at a scrapbooking store yesterday and the girl who rang up my stuff didn't mention that they have a frequent buyers club (it was my 1st time there). I went back to the store today to get a few more things and the girl there today mentioned the club, signed me up and said I will get 15% off after every $150 I spend, plus other coupons throughout the year. I would have gotten 15% off today if that other girl would have signed me up yesterday (the girl today said she couldn't add in my purchase from yesterday for the discount tally)! I would have saved more than $10. Phooey!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Stupid Bank Fees

We were charged a $5 maintenance fee on our savings account this month at Bank of America. I check my transactions online every few days and as soon as I saw that erroneous charge I called the bank. The guy who answered said he couldn't refund it and he gave me the number of the people who could. Turned out to be the 800 number on the back of my debit card. It was an automated system and I was getting nowhere in trying to get to an actual person. After many minutes of listening to options and pushing buttons, my call was disconnected prematurely. That made me mad! I asked Craig if he could watch Alisa and I raced out the door to go to the bank in person. They closed in 15 minutes so I had to hurry. (Another thing I hate is that the lobby closes at 4 PM).

I was waiting in line when the greeter lady asked if anyone had a transaction not involving cash. I did because I just was depositing some checks and asking for a refund on that stupid fee. She said she could help me at the customer service desk so I went there with her. She gave me a receipt for the deposit and then looked at the issue about the fee. She said we were charged a fee because we didn't make a deposit to our savings account that month (a requirement for our account). I said that we had automatic deposit set up for the same day every month so that we would never be charged a maintenance fee and it had been fine like that for over a year. She looked closer and said our statement this month closed 1 day before the automatic deposit went through. I thought, "Now that's a dirty trick!" She said she' d go ahead and issue the refund this time as a courtesy to us. Oh geez, a we didn't deserve it and won't get it next time something funky like that happens. She ended up changing our account from a Custom Savings to a Regular Savings so that wouldn't happen again. She said the interest rates are the same but now we can make more than 1 withdrawal per month and won't be charged a maintenance fee as long as we have a balance of at least $300.

After all that was resolved, she got really excited and started telling me about a credit card offer that appeared on the computer screen. She acted like it was such a great card and great deal that that I would definitely want to get it. Craig and I have a joint account but when she clicked over on Craig's name he also had an offer, but it was slightly different so she was comparing the two. I almost laughed at her speech and attitude because she was so excited but I was not impressed at all. First of all, we already have 2 credit cards from them (used them for 0% balance transfers for a year and don't use them now but just haven't cancelled them yet) and we get offers all the time for more. How can one company/bank keep offering you more and more cards when you already have 2 of theirs?! (Her reason was that this card was better...that you earn reward points faster. Well that may be true, but if you are constantly seeking a better card then you'd be opening a new account every year and that is not good for your credit rating.) Second, the limit on these new offers was for $2,000 and $3,000 (we're used to $10,000 and $12,000). Third, the 0% interest rate was only for 6 months (we're used to 12-18 months with no transfer fees).

It stinks that Bank of America charges monthly maintenance fees to have a savings account (unless you meet special requirements) when the interest earned is so puny. I miss Tulsa Teachers Credit Union in Oklahoma. They never charged me fees and they had better hours. The best savings account I have found is with ING Direct (online account that can be linked to your local bank account) . I opened an account in 2003, and their interest rate has been mostly around 3-4% since then (that is AWESOME for a simple savings account!). There are no fees or required minimums on my account. I love it! (Note: If you want to open an ING savings account nowadays and have $250 to put in it, I can send you a link that will get you $25 free...just let me know).

Friday, April 11, 2008

Strange Feeling

I'm so used to being near Alisa that when Craig took her to the store with him a little while ago, I kept thinking she was napping in the next room and that I had forgotten to turn the baby monitor on. He has only taken her with him a few times so it is VERY rare for me to be at home without her. It was a strange feeling.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Alisa is ONE Year Old Today!!

It is hard to believe that Alisa is now ONE YEAR old! She survived her first year without any major mishaps. What an exciting--and tiring--year it has been...full of many new things for all of us!

Alisa's eyes are still blue so there's a good chance they will stay that way--hooray! I love blue eyes. My eyes and Craig's eyes are hazel (green with brown around the center, to be exact).

Alisa gained only 2 oz this month--she went from 21 lbs 11 oz to 21 lbs 13 oz. She grew about an inch taller, making her 29 1/2 inches. She is in the 50th-75th percentile (closer to 75th) for weight and height, which surprised me because she is so much chubbier than all the babies I've seen around town so I thought she was above the 75th. Her hair is longer with even more curls by her neck, but there's still not enough on top to put in a barrett or little pigtail. She has 4 teeth coming in at once on the top (with one further along than the rest). She helps us dress her by pushing her arms through the sleeves now.

She has been sleeping 11-12 1/2 hours each night and taking 2 naps (about 1-2 hours each). She has been protesting naps recently but usually only for 30 seconds, starting right after we put her in bed and are leaving the room. We put her on her back and she used to roll over right away and get comfy while sucking her thumb, but now she sits up right away and cries really hard and loudly.

She has enjoyed all the food we have given her--she didn't want a large amount of baby food in a sitting at the beginning of the month, but by the end of it she wanted a lot most of the time (even after an 8 oz bottle). She especially loves finger foods. We finally started feeding her some food from our plates (chicken, steak, tomatoes, sweet potato fries, tortillas, mashed potatoes, pasta, etc.) and she really enjoys that. I know she will now come begging for us to give her some of our food when she sees us eating it (just like our dog Minga does) since she's tasted the goodness. We will be introducing her to whole milk this week and make the switch away from formula and the bottle. She's learned how to drink water and juice from a sippy cup.

Alisa still pays attention to little details--she will find the smallest speck of dirt on a hard surface or piece of fuzz on the carpet and pick it up. She knows where certain foods and toys are kept so she points to them (or the area they are kept) when she wants them. If she sees an object she wants, she will often cry if she doesn't get to have it right then (oh boy).

This will be my last monthly post about Alisa. If you want to keep up with her happenings from now on, you can go directly to her website (which is updated frequently). The link to it is in the "links" section in the right-hand column on my main page, in case you hadn't noticed it before.

Alisa loves looking at and carrying this large card that Grandmom sent for Valentine's Day:

Standing on her own (3-13-08):

Mmmm, kiwi (3-17-08):

Alisa's favorite place to stand in the office (it's Minga's favorite place too so they are often both there side by side):

Walking practice (3-19-08):

She actually stayed asleep in her carseat when we brought it in the house and she even slept for another hour because we set it in her quiet room (3-21-08):

Her shirt says, "He's not just my Daddy, he's my hero!" (3-21-08...before Craig had his morning coffee):

Yes, she sometimes wears a dress (3-22-08):

Happy Easter (3-23-08):

She seemed afraid to put her leg in the grass because she kept it up in the air like this most of the time:

Last year's Easter basket from Grandmom:

New booster seat with toy tray, which is handy in restaurants when she's not eating (3-23-08):

Craig's friend Tory gave Alisa this funny pacifier (3-26-08):

At Maclay Gardens, which is just up the road from our neighborhood (4-01-08):

First birthday! (4-07-08):

Lying by her many presents:

Birthday card and wrapped present from Nana (Alisa enjoyed the stickers on the wrapping):

Birthday dance with Daddy (a new tradition):