Monday, December 29, 2008

Pleasant surprise...

Well, today is my first day back to work after having a week off. Besides having two weeks worth of work to do, my coworker is off this week, so I have to deal with the customers and phones as well. In addition to that, it is end of month and end of year - two huge billing crunches all rolled into one.

Needless to say, I was not looking forward to coming in today. And don't let the title of the post fool you, the pleasant surprise was not that someone did my job for me while I was off. I don't think I would be able to write this post if that happened. I would have gone into shock and had to be rushed to the hospital had that happened. Just wanted to stop you from thinking that right off the bat.

So, let me back up a bit to say that I have a key to the office. And the alarm code and all that. I rarely have to use it in the mornings because I am rarely the first one here. I have to use it at night a lot because I'm the last to leave a lot. So, when I couldn't find my regular keys this morning after about 10 minutes of searching for them, I just used my spare set for my car and came onto work. I was thinking that my boss, or one of the techs, or even one of the sales guys might be there to open the office. Well, when I arrived at 7:50 am, not one single car was in the lot. In the 9 + years I have worked here, I have been the first to arrive maybe... oh, let's say... 5 times. So, I was hoping that today was not one of those days.

I called my boss's phone and got his voicemail that he would be working at a customer site all day and would not be in. I called our tech manager to see if he was on his way (it wasn't quite 8 and he's not known for getting in early either), but he was at a customer site all day as well. I asked about the other techs who had keys, and they were on customer sites as well.

ACK! So, I pulled out of the parking lot, intending to drive home and frantically search for my keys. I could not for the life of me imagine where I put them. I usually put them in my coat pocket or my purse. I had checked both. As well as counter tops, desks, and a few drawers during my search that morning. So, while driving down the road, I dumped my purse out on my passenger seat. And there they were! Yay! I didn't have to drive all the way home.

So, I finally got in the office and went to my desk. There was a neatly wrapped gift and a gift bag sitting there. No name tag, no "To" or "From" anywhere to be found. I wasn't really expecting anything from anyone, I mean... come on. I work with a bunch of men. I have worked with these same guys for 9 + years (except for one, I'll get to that in a min), and they aren't that thoughtful. Not that my boss isn't thoughtful - he is, really. But he usually gets us gift cards or something, and honestly with the economy the way it is, I was not expecting anything. And this was a nicely wrapped present - and in the gift bag (yeah, I did look in it) was socks, lotion, and girly stuff. NO WAY did any guy who works here get that stuff.

So, I was hesitant to open it - I wasn't really sure it was for me. Yeah, I'm weird like that. The sales guys arrive at 9ish and I don't think anything of it. We have inter-office instant messaging, so I messaged my boss and asked about the gift. He said it was from him, Josh, and Gary. They went together to get gifts for the two women in the office. Here is about how the conversation went:

Me: Wow. No way.

Me: I'm in shock.

Boss: Lol why?

Me: No way did any of you three pick out this gift. The gift has a female written all over it - did Lisa put it together?

Boss: I think it was Josh's sister.

Then Josh comes over and asked if I liked the gifts - and to make sure I got them. I told him I didn't know who they were for or from, so I didn't open the wrapped one yet.

It made my day. I didn't care what the present was (even though I liked it), the pleasant surprise is that three men I work with went together and got gifts for us. It really made me feel a bit better about this place. :)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

Ughhhh. I'm still full 5 hours after eating breakfast. Maybe that's because I keep going back and grabbing a piece of bacon, or a little piece of waffle. As with every year (it's a Family Tradition - love that song!), we had breakfast at my house this morning. I made sausage, bacon, biscuits, gravy, eggs, hash browns, waffles, cinnamon rolls, and my mom brought her hash brown casserole that everyone loves. Bernie (my step mom) brought a cherry pie.

But... that's not really why I'm writing this post. I'm writing to tell you about the conversation between Jeff and me a couple of seconds ago. Before I forget. Jeff took a nap, and as always, when he woke up he was a bit groggy. He was trying to ask me questions, but he wasn't making much sense. Maybe in his own head he did, but he didn't clarify anything. Come to think of it, he doesn't need to have just gotten up to make no sense to me.

Anyway. Allie and Ceara went to my sister's house after breakfast, and Ceara had called while he was asleep. Here is the conversation:

Jeff: "I wonder what Ceara wants?"

"She wants to see if you will take her to see Grand-dad today."

"They are all sick over there."

"I know they were last week, but they might be better today."

"Think they're OK over there?"

I took this to mean Allie and Ceara being OK at my sister's house. So I said, "I'm sure they're OK or Molly or Jeff would have called to tell us to come get them. Or they would have brought them home."

He gave me a puzzled look. "I meant my dad, Benetta, and Warren. Where did you learn to communicate? Tard school?"

"Obviously not, or I might be able to understand you better."

Then I laughed for a full 5 min while he tried to think of something witty to say. Which he did not come up with. Hahahahahahahahahahaha

I'm still laughing.

Hope everyone is enjoying their Christmas today!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sitting on Santa's lap

All the kids got the opportunity to sit on Santa's lap at our family dinner and talk to him about what they want for Christmas. What's the first thing that Conor asked for? A puppy. Thanks to Pete - who, just like last year, put the idea into his head.

video

The entire evening was great. Filled with a lot of laughter. I don't think Ceara asked for anything. Clothes she agreed to. And I think a laptop - but that's not happening. :)

video

Allie asked for his bunny.

video

The videos take forever to upload, so I guess I won't be putting all 16 on here. :) I hope I picked the correct three. Otherwise I'll be editing soon! Hope you enjoy them!

It's Christmas Eve!!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

2008 Family Christmas

I've never uploaded video to my site before, so consider this a test. Of the Emergency Santa System. Or something like that.



We had our family Christmas party at my aunts house this year. Santa came to visit the kids, and he was GREAT! He was funny, he did some magic tricks, and he had everyone laughing. I, of course, didn't take my video camera because the battery had died while I was filming the Christmas play Allie was in earlier, and I forgot to plug it in. So I took several small videos with my camera. I have 12 altogether, but it took so long to upload this one... I don't even know if you will watch them all!


video



So, if you want to see more... leave a comment and let me know. I also have pictures... Oh, OK, twist my arm... here is one:

And, yes, that is a little white (REAL!) bunny rabbit on his lap. And Ceara is wearing Allie's glasses because ... I think because they look cute (which they do). And no, she's not going to hurt her eyes! While they are prescription glasses, they are not THAT kind of prescription. Oh, I don't know how to explain it. They are prisms that "move" objects so that your eyes don't strain so hard. Or something like that.

Anyway, Ceara has contacts because she REFUSED to wear glasses. Hated em. And imagine that, she likes em now. Wonder if she wants some of her own...

Anyway, that is all the time I have to write right now.

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! Don't for get the reason for the season, either! (That was a song in Allie's play that stuck in my head, too - really catchy tune.)

I have baking and cleaning to do now. And Taxi service.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! (Just in case I don't get to tell you that again. I probably will, but you can't say it too much now, can you. Which reminds me, I need to put my Christmas CD on to listen to.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas

I've been reading some blogs (yeah, I still read them, I just don't post myself! wanna make something of it?) about their wants and desires as children. What they asked Santa for but never got it under the tree on Christmas morning. THE toy of their time that didn't end up under their tree.

I don't remember any such toy for my childhood. I really don't remember asking for anything and being so concerned about it that it scarred me for life and I always remember not getting it. What I remember about Christmas is family. When we got to go to Grandma's house on or near Christmas Eve, and everyone exchanged names. I remember a lot of laughter, games, fun.

I remember sneaking down the steps at our apartment, with my sister, to see if Santa had come yet. That is how we found out that *gasp* our mom was the one who put gifts under the tree from Santa. And you know what? We didn't tell her we knew - not for a couple of years anyway. I don't know what Molly's reasoning was, but I remember thinking that if that was something she didn't want us to know about, then she would tell us when she was ready. I also loved and admired her even more for all the sacrifices she made for us to get us gifts from Santa. Seriously. I DID! No, it wasn't about the fact that we might get less presents if we fessed up to knowing she was Santa. I think that was Molly's motive, but not mine.

And oh, while we are on the subject of Molly... I love my sister. I do. I love her a lot. But, she does have flaws. As we all do, of course, I just feel better discussing her flaws here than I do discussing mine. Anyway, for as long as I can remember she has always COUNTED the presents to make sure we got an equal amount. Yes. I'm serious. I'm sure there are other neurotic kids out there like her, but I wasn't one of them. This is the same person who encouraged my cousin to PEE ON MY HEAD (he was on the steps, and I was innocently playing below him). Molly was just mean like that.

Oh, wait. This isn't supposed to be about all the mean things my sister did to me when we were kids. This is about Christmas. *ahem*

I do remember Christmas mornings as well. I remember getting a Snoopy Sno-cone maker. I remember some of the things I got, I just don't remember if I asked for them or not. I've never really been real big on asking for stuff. I honestly don't care if I get anything or not. I just want to spend time with my family and friends.

I've been reading a new blog lately (yeah, I know! you don't have to say it!) and she posted about what she wanted for Christmas as a child and did not get. Then there are all these comments that I read (because I love to read people's comments, even on other sites!) where her readers didn't get something they wanted as a child. AND THEY REMEMBER IT! So.

Here is where I am going with this... Conor wants a dinosaur for Christmas. The D-Rex. It is all he has asked for and he really wants Santa to bring him one. Jeff and I already decided not to get him one - they are too expensive for what it is and it will just be something he uses to terrorize the dog, and it's just not in the budget this year.

So, am I just asking for a Jerry Springer-ish confrontation at some point in my future when he is an adult? Or will he be more like me and not even remember asking for stuff because spending time with his family will be what stands out most in his memory?

I need to ask Allie if she remembers anything that she asked for but didn't get.

Come to think of it, I think I could have a Jerry Springer-ish confrontation with my sister. Did anyone else's sister encourage boys to pee on their heads?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Trying to post...

I have several posts started, but not finished. I keep trying to tell you guys stuff, but then I get side tracked and forget to come back and finish.

So. Much. Going. On.

But there are a couple of things I wanted to share with you before I totally forget about them.

1. Last night Conor took all his cloths off except for his underwear. I asked him why he was getting nekkid. He said: "Because I'm hot. Not boyfriend hot, but hot hot." I totally cracked up. That is the result of having two teenage sisters.

2. My grandma found a Sears and Roebuck (no idea if I spelled that right!) catalog from 1902 and passed it around on Sunday for everyone to look at. It was AMAZING. You could buy a couch for $8.45. However, if you wanted a bike? It was $10.85. Seems kinda expensive to me. To pay more for a bike than a couch? Oh, how fun it was to look through that. To see the prices, as well as see what all could be bought at Sears back in the day. You could buy an Optometrist kit. Diagnose yourself and all your friends! It was a "big money maker" according to the add. Which totally would justify spending $29 on it. I did a google search on it and came up with this! I didn't get to see the undergarments page when I was looking through on Sunday... but the example in that article? Being considered ... um, I don't want to type that word on my blog... so... pron. With the o and r turned around. That is HILARIOUS. And it just goes to show that there were some ridiculous lawsuits back in 1902 as well.

Hope this post made you laugh at least 3 times!

And have a Happy Thanksgiving!!! (In the event that I don't get to post here again before then... I will TRY!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Brain Overload

I don’t think it’s gonna end anytime soon. Grin and bear it. That’s my new motto. Better than crying in a corner, ya know?

I've told you all how I got assigned to our KY branch a few months ago. And then asked to train as a tech in my spare time. And then asked to do our California branch stuff. Well, they asked me yesterday if I would be able to cover for another admin when she goes on maternity leave for about 10 weeks or so (no exact date of return) by running a few reports. I said, "Sure, no problem!" I don't want to be accused of having a bad attitude and not being a team player, plus it's only a temporary thing. I'm getting a little bit more familiar with our KY branch, so it's not as time consuming as it was, and hey... is it a compliment that the branch manager in the Michigan office thought of me to cover? She knows my work and wants me to help her out... or is it that I'm the only one left in any branch in this company besides the admin in Michigan?

I should have known better than to think it was really just a “few reports” – I have a ton of stuff I have to get to know now. I received training via phone this morning on all the admin stuff in Michigan and Toledo (she currently covers 2 branches). Which, most shouldn't be too hard, I just am not sure what kind of time I’m gonna have for it. And the reports all have deadlines, so I will have to make time and let something else slide.

So, she just sent me documentation on all the stuff she does... and it seems to me like it's a full time job. Oh, right... I didn't already have one of those, so it should be no problem.

Hey, that's how I deal with stuff! Sarcasm! At least they asked this time instead of telling me that I had to do it to be able to keep my job. That's a plus. Anyway, yeah, it's gonna be an interesting couple of months!

Grin and bear it! :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A First!

Conor lost his first tooth today - at the day care he goes to after school. His teacher said he was very calm about it. He walked up to her and said, "Mrs. L, my tooth fell out."

She said he had blood dripping down his chin. He didn't freak out about that, either, he just said, "Oh."

I think that may be because he doesn't feel well. He didn't look like he felt well, so I said, "Are you OK, honey?"

He said his stomach was hurting.

His teacher asked, "Did you go to the bathroom?"

"Yeah, but I couldn't poop." Yep. Little boys aren't very discreet. heehee

We came home and he laid down on the couch and went to sleep. He also misses his dad. Since Jeff works nights and has had a lot of school work to do this week, he didn't get to pick him up from the day care to do stuff with him. And he leaves for school or work right before or after we get home.

Jeff had an interview last week and they said they were going to give him the job, they just had some paperwork to do and he had to OK it with his boss. So, we are very hopeful, but cautiously hopeful.

OK, short and sweet. That's all I have for today. :)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Tis the Season...

"It's the most wonderful time of the year..."

One of my favorite Christmas songs, but every single time I hear that line? I think of the Staples commercial with all the parents dancing in the isles because their kids are going back to school. =\

I must say, whoever thought up that ad? Genius. And the "That Was Easy" button? Another good one. I wonder who their ad agency is? They are pretty good.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Halloween Pictures!

Yeah, I'm finally loading them on here! :) The first few are when we were carving pumpkins the night before beggar's night. Conor picked out wolves to do, of course, because they are his favorite animal. But, he just picked it out. He got tired of "carving" right away. And when it came to cleaning out the pumpkin? He grabbed one scoop full of seeds and slime and declared that he "wasn't touching that stuff anymore."

Allie, playing the part of a deranged pumpkin killer. Oh, I didn't tell you she dyed her hair black? Well, yeah. She dyed her hair black. We'll maybe discuss that another time.

Ceara was on the phone the entire time, I think. It's a wonder her neck didn't get a kink in it.

Here's my... errr, Conor's pumpkin glowing in the dark:

And Allie had some technical difficulties so she went with I "heart" bat('s).

Ceara chose the skull crossbones pattern, but was unable to finish it because Allie broke both carving knives. I guess she didn't want to try with a real knife.

On beggar's night (or Trick or Treat night), Conor choose a ninja costume.

It went really well with the Casper bag I got for him... lol
Some of my neighbors dressed up to hand out the treats. Conor wore his mask for all of two houses before handing it to me to carry.
We met up with Haley (a little girl from Conor's school) and she walked around with us.
Conor was more interested in petting the animals when he saw them at the houses we went to.
Gage also went with us, but the one picture I got of him by himself didn't turn out. He's the one dressed as a football player.
We also ran into his friend Gunner, who also had some issues with the mask he was supposed to wear.
Here's Conor and Haley. She was dressed as Hanna Montana. Her parents and grand parents that were along kept trying to get her to sing into her microphone "Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!" But she refused. He even offered her a dollar to do it, but she declined. Conor jumped in and said, "I'll do it!"

Allie was our treat passer-outer. She sat at the end of the driveway with a book and a blanket.

It was fun, but now we have a TON of candy. And all I hear is, "Mom. Mom. Mom... can I have this? Or this?" (referring to a piece of candy from his loot he got) I think Jeff gets more of it than Conor does, so I'm sure the chocolate stuff will be long gone soon. Then it will just be all the non-chocolate stuff.



Hope everyone had fun on Halloween! We did! :)

Random Thoughts

Outside of my office is a spider. I saw it from my car - sitting in his web (or her) in a bush near the door. Yeah, it's a pretty good sized one. It is also the same as the spider we have at home in a bush by our driveway. Black and yellow one.

We have a ton of mosquitoes around our house right now, I've never seen anything like it. You walk through the grass and they all stir up and fly around. I figure the spider is there to take care of the mosquitoes, so I leave him alone. As much as I hate spiders, as long as he doesn't try to come into my house I can leave him alone.

So, I started thinking about bugs in general, and how many different kinds of bugs there are in the world. And do we really know what all the bugs in the world are? Who has the job of discovering and naming them? Is this really a job someone has? And how often do we get new bugs because of ... the species intermingling? Say a grasshopper and a cricket have an affair...

Yeah, I really had these thoughts today while contemplating the spider. I know I'm weird. You don't have to tell me.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Hmmmm

Or should I say mmmmmm? Do you know how weird it is to look at and read about food that I have never had a desire to try and suddenly I want to try it? Because of the writing and the pictures, and everything else?

In this blogging world I have followed links to, I have found several cooking sites. And then more cooking sites from links on those cooking sites. And so on. So much so that I can hardly remember how I got to these sites in the first place. Not just sites where they post recipes, but where they describe the flavors of these foods. It has become quite addicting to read these posts, even about food I have never tried and may never get to try, but I like reading about it.

I planning to try some of this food. Aren't your taste buds supposed to change every 7 years or something like that? Or is that just some old wives tale that isn't true? I think it's true. Maybe. But how do you really prove it? Something you used to like you suddenly don't like anymore? Like that colored sugar you get as a kid with the little candy stick to dip it in? I used to like that. I can't imagine eating it now. I'm sure there are probably better examples...

I used to like peas. But then my sister didn't like them and I decided if my sister didn't like them, then I certainly shouldn't like them. Right? Child-like thinking. Oh, wait. I was a child. That thinking has stuck with me though, and I haven't eaten peas since I was very young. But driving home the other day, I suddenly had a craving for peas. Is that weird? I haven't had any yet, but I still think I want some. I wonder if they taste the way I remember them tasting? I'll let you know if I do eat some soon.

I also need to get a 3 ring binder going for all these new recipes I'm printing out. That way I can make notes in the margins and hand it down to my kids some day for them to try.

And yeah, I know I owe some pictures at some point. I did finally figure out the problem with PhotoShop, but have not taken the time to work on the pictures I have to post. They have piled up now, and it just seems like an enormous task!

It's voting day here in the US, time to get out there and cast your vote to see who will be our next President of the United States! That sounds a little bit like a reality show line, doesn't it? Like, say... American Idol? I don't even watch reality shows...

This election will certainly be a historical moment. Whichever side wins, we will have a "first" in the White House. So don't forget to vote so you can say you were a part of it! :) Another thing I have read lately on many blogs is how important it is to vote. And really, it is.

I will be standing in the voting line after work tonight to cast my vote - I've seen the voting places, and heard all the tales from those people in the office who have already been. I'm hoping everyone is getting there early so that the line won't be too long when I get there tonight!

Yeah, this post is kinda random, but... that's the kind of day I'm having so far.

Have a great day!!! :)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

My Photoshop is broken

:( It won't let me edit the pictures to make em all nice and pretty. :( It has worked up until now, but Jeff said they have seen a lot of it at his work. People having problems with Photoshop and Vista. I have a whole bunch of pictures to post, so you may just have to see them in their dull form if I don't figure it out soon. I don't edit them too much, just make them a little brighter or crop them.

In other news, Conor and I are making cake balls today. They are all the rage right now! Two of my favorite bloggers have made them this week! Only I'm not sure what kind of decorating I'm doing on them, I'll decide that if they actually turn out right!

I'm not doing a step by step of how we are making them, you can read that on either Bakerella's site or Pioneer Woman. I'll just post pictures.

I do know that I'm making them with spice cake, though. And cream cheese icing (I'm making the icing as I don't like the canned cream cheese that I've tried.)

So, off to making them now!

What are you guys doing today?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Blog Material

I haven't had much material lately to blog about, or I just felt it was too boring to tell ya'll. Last week was a very busy week for me, with two birthday celebrations, a trip up north for a farewell luncheon with some of our techs who got hired by the company they were working onsite for, and Ceara leaving for Washington DC.

Here it is a week later and I do not remember what happened on Monday and Tuesday of last week. On Wed, I used my lunch hour to go get the girls cell phones - which they have been begging for a lot lately. I figured I'd give them another chance to see how they do now. They are a little bit older, and hopefully a little bit more responsible.

So, Ceara was leaving Wednesday night on a trip to Washington DC with her school. We had dinner with my mom for her birthday right after work, then Ceara and I rushed home to get her things together in the car to get her to the bus. We were trying to program her phone with some phone numbers, but it kept saying that the SIMM card was missing or broken. I tried to take the darn thing out, but the way it is in there I could not get it out.

So, we called the place I got it from and they said to bring it in. We were in a hurry to make the bus, but it wasn't too far away. We loaded the car and went to the store. They were able to get the SIMM card out and it was actually in the wrong way. No, I didn't do it, they had set them up when I bought them. So, it was quick and easy, and we got on our way to the school. Then we realized she forgot her pillow and blanket - which she needed to sleep on the bus on the way there.

So we ran home and got them. We had to also stop and buy some shampoo and conditioner that she forgot as well, but we did make it on time. We met up with her room mates and they got all of their things sorted and onto the bus, and they were off.

Allie and Conor had went with my mom to have cake at her house, so I headed there to get them. Conor was tired, so we didn't stay any longer and I took a piece of birthday cake home with me.

At lunch on Thursday I went to the grocery. I needed to get some apples to make a couple of pies. One for my mom for her birthday - a day late, but a surprise - and one for my former work bud who I was having a farewell luncheon with the following days.

So, the kids and I spent Thursday evening making two apple pies. We took one to my mom that evening, and I took the other one to my work bud the following day. I was very worried about it, though, because I have never. ever. followed a specific recipe for making my apple pies. I throw it all together and just put whatever looks right to me for the filling. Even though I did take measurements for the post I made on here? I don't follow that. It's kinda a starting point for people who don't know how to make pies! Not for me to look at and measure stuff.

So, sometimes my pies are too sweet. Sometimes they are too tart. They all get eaten usually though. You can put a scoop of ice cream on top and it balances either way. :)

But, my family are the only people who I have ever made pies for - so giving one to someone else and not being able to try it before he did, or be there when he tried it... made me nervous!

OK, onto this luncheon we were having. My boss had this idea to do a cook out at a park close to their work site. That's almost 2 hours north of our work site. So, he put his grill in the back of his truck and tied it down. And we hauled it north. In the rain.

I did a few twitter updates about that day - it was cold. Very cold. Insanity was what it was. Why couldn't we just have pizza somewhere?!?!

The park, however, is beautiful. Even in the rain. I did take a few pictures, but I haven't had the chance to load them onto my computer yet, so I will do that later.

The guys brought desserts, and we all gathered under the shelter to eat and talk and try to find a little warmth. I was the only female there, so I was way out numbered!

After the food and fun, the guys gave our boss a "farewell gift" - one of the gifts was a few lottery tickets. Dave set them aside to rub off later - probably didn't want to rub it in if he actually won. But they wanted to see him rub them off.

So, after someone said something to me while we were loading stuff into cars, I told him to rub them off. There was a lot of ribbing and teasing going on during the scratching off of the tickets. Dave claimed that he would split anything he won, and they all, "you're not going to win anything big enough to split.."

"You never know, I could just hit this $10k right now. I've got 2 already, just need one more... OMG, there it is. I just won $10,000! OMG, look at this!" as he proceeded to show them all his winning ticket.

Then reality set in and he read the back of the ticket. "You can redeem this ticket at Santa's Workshop, the Tooth fairy's house, or Yo Mama's house" and stuff along those lines.

Yep, they bought him a fake winning lottery ticket. And they told me that while we were loading the cars. Their intention was for me to prevent his doing anything stupid (like quitting his job, or telling his boss off) when he saw the winning ticket.

I told him to scratch them off so that the guys could see his reaction in person.

Yeah, it was fun.

So, I know Monday and Tuesday were busy as well, but... like I said, I don't remember! The week flew by though. Friday night was Austin's birthday party - just ice cream cake and family though. They went out to dinner and we met at my sister's house for dessert.

So, this has been quite long enough, and I will just end it here. I will try to put some pictures up soon, too. :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Mom

I have read several posts lately where the writer does not have a good relationship with their mothers. Reading these posts have made me realize how lucky I am to have my mom.

My mom has always, and I mean ALWAYS, been there for me. I have made many mistakes in my lifetime and there have been times when I was afraid to tell my mom about those mistakes. Afraid of disappointing her, but also because I believe that if I made the mistake, it is up to me to fix it. Sometimes I was able to fix it, other times I needed help. Either way, she has always been there to help me no matter what. Even through the big mistakes that I had to eventually go to her on anyway.

When I got pregnant at the age of 19, of course she was a bit shocked and maybe a little disappointed in me. Mainly all I remember about my pregnancy is how much she was there for me and how much she supported me.

She has been a huge part of my children's lives as well - spending time with them, picking them up from wherever they are when I need her to, babysitting when I have something to do, taking them to appointments when I can't make it.

She has helped me move several times as well - packing, moving, unpacking.

She has been there for every major event in my life - good and bad. And she has also been there for all of the non-major events.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I love my mom very much. I appreciate her for everything she does, and I don't know where I would be without her. I know that I can go to her for anything at any time.

And today is her birthday. So, I thought it would be a good time to publicly announce some of this sappy stuff.

Happy Birthday Mom! I love you! :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

My Baby Fix!!!

Well, we had a small family reunion of sorts on Saturday, and I got to get my baby fix! Meet Morgan - a distant cousin - from our Indiana bunch. I was so excited to see a baby when I got there!

She was so fun to play with and watch. She laid on the floor, starting out on a blanket, and rolled around. She's 6 months old, and she will be crawling before her parents know it.

She laid on her belly and would put her arms out and lift her legs. Gage (my nephew) said, "She wants to fly!"

She laughed and watched everything.

And would try again. Over and over she tried to take off.

Then she would get worn out and rest, while sucking on her fingers.

Oh so sweet.

She would stick her little bottom up in the air, and it looked like she might crawl, but then she would give up.
Here is her big sister, Rory. She's the oldest of 3 girls.

And her big sister Isabel. I think that is how you spell it, I didn't ask.

Isabel, Rory, and Conor spent a large part of the afternoon walking round looking for bugs.

Which would be why she's looking at the ground in these two pictures.
Rory and Conor found a spider after Isabel gave up and went in. Both were afraid to touch it though. I certainly don't blame them! I guess they just wanted to see the bugs. Not actually play with them!I wasn't the only one who wanted to hold her. Conor is our youngest kid in our Ohio family, so we all were wanting a turn. But I got her more than the others, so ... HA!
I did offer her to my uncle for a little bit. He likes to pretend like he's mean and all macho. But he's a big softy for kids.
Didn't stop him from complaining a bit when he was holding her.

But when I offered to take her back? He would not let me.
He fed her.
And burped her. And made faces at her. Until she needed changed. Then he handed her over and I got to change her as well.
Then she had to leave to go back to Indiana. Her wrap and hat were so cute as well!

We discussed who should be having a baby in our family since it has been almost 6 years since we had a little baby to pass around at Grandma's on Sunday. Two of my cousins got married within the last 2 years and we are waiting on them. They seem to be taking their sweet time, though.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Management by Fear

So, I have this job, right? I loved my job when I started it in 2000. My coworkers were great, we had fun, and we always got our job done - since we loved our jobs, we went way above and beyond to make sure we did them, and did them right. But now, it has slowly deteriorated into what it is today. A corporate America job where all they care about is money. How much they can save by letting people go and making the ones still here do more work. How no matter how much work they pile on you, they give some corporate line of "in this economy, be happy you have a job" and "it could be worse, you could be one of the ones let go" and "would you rather I fire you?" I have heard these three phrases so much over the last 3 months that I'm immune to their effect.

It started a few months ago. The manager of our KY branch applied for and got a new position in the company. Well, rather than replace her, they decided to assign that branch to my boss. They can save money that way, right? Well, I've written about this branch before, I had to help out with it previously and it is still a mess. And since my boss is the manager now, I'm the one doing all of the administrative stuff for it. Job security, I'm was told. Since they had done some layoffs and were looking at our branch and trying to get rid of one of our admins, I was told that this would make my job more secure.

So, as much as I didn't want to, I accepted it.

Then, 2 months ago my boss came to me and said that I needed to train with the techs in my "spare" time so that I could work on computers in the back when the techs weren't there. He needed for some of my time to be "billable" so that he could defend my position if they asked that he get rid of me. So that some of the work that I do pays for my salary. I was very incredulous that they could even question if they need me or not, and what kind of spare time do I have??! Not much, I'll tell ya. In the last 2 months since I was supposed to train, I have maybe had a total of 1 day to go back there and train. And this wasn't "spare" time. It was me just doing it and letting some work slide.

I was not thrilled with this new turn, but I decided to look at the bright side and think of it as more training I could put on my resume, in case they did decide to remove my position.

However, I have always been a perfectionist with my work. I want it done, and I want to do it right. I was always a control freak of sorts. When I took vacation or sick time, I would log in from home or on my laptop so that I could stay on top of what needed to be done. I didn't want anyone else messing it up.

Now I hardly have time to do the work, let alone try to see if it is getting done right. One of my jobs is to make sure invoices get invoiced when they are supposed to and that they are correct. The billing is all done at our corporate offices, so they do not know our contracts as well as I do and they sometimes invoice for something they shouldn't. Or at the wrong rate.

So, when my boss came to me on Monday to tell me that they had found a way to "solidify my position in the company" by having me take over the California branch as well, I was livid. And I got all the standard lines, again. "In this economy, we have to do what we have to do to keep our jobs. What would you do if you lost this job?"

My response? "Maybe I would go out and find a job where I only had to do the work of ONE person instead of FOUR."

So, after all the lecturing about how happy I should be that I have a job, I just looked at him and said, "Fine. I'll do what I can."

Then I went out to my car, got on my cell phone and called my "former work bud" to vent. Although he had no solutions other than my moving 2 hours north and coming to work there, it did make me feel better to just talk about it. I calmed down and went back to my desk to work. I'll do what I can in the time I have and if it doesn't get done, they can let me go and try to find someone else to do the work of four people. Or - hire someone in the Philippines for 6K to replace me. Which is what they want to do anyway.

I'm not sure if they are trying to push me to quitting so they don't have to pay me severance or unemployment; or if they are piling on the work so I won't do a good job so they can have a reason to fire me. Whatever happens, it happens. It will be hard for me to not be able to do a very good job at all the jobs I have to do, but I will do my best.

What's that saying? If your best isn't good enough for them, tell them they can kiss your @$$. Sorry for that. But. I'm pretty much beaten into submission at this point. It is very hard for me because I can't just not care, so it makes it very stressful for me.

This post is just me venting about the way the company I work for is treating its employees. I'm not the only one, and they are probably not the only company doing this right now. I just think it is wrong.

And yeah, I am looking. But he is right - there isn't much out there right now.

I did go play the lottery that night, but no luck. I day dreamed about being able to go in the next day, pack my personal stuff up and sing "Take This Job and Shove It" while I was doing it. It didn't happen though. Good thing, I guess, becaues I don't really know all the words to that song. :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Ceara

Yes, I know it is a late birthday post! She turned 14 on October 7th. We celebrated her birthday on the 11th, though, at her Nana's house. That part was kinda a surprise to me, and probably to Barb as well. I thought we would have it out our house. It was just a small party, family only.

Barb innocently sent an email to Jeff and me asking what time the party was going to be at. I replied and asked what time Jeff thought because he had to work that day. He responded and said, "I was thinking around 3pm at your house, Mom."

I thought he was playing with her. But it turned out he was serious. Which was an excellent idea and I think we should make her have the parties more often! She decorated a table for the event, and made games, and had prizes! I would have never thought of any of that.


Ceara is not my biological daughter, so I don't have a story to tell about how I went into labor or anything this time, but I do tell everyone that I have 3 kids because I have known her since she was 5 years old. I have helped raise her for the past 9 years, and I do consider her one of my kids.

I have watched her grow into the level-headed young woman that she has become and I certainly love her as if she were my own. She has become the middle child at our house and at her mom's. She is very easy to get along with (for the most part, she does have her moments, as we all do) and she is helpful around the house as well. She is also very sensitive. She is the one who cries with me during sad movies.

For the party, we had pizza and cake. Barb decorated with the beads she got at Mardi Gras - and we all know how you get beads there!
OK, just kidding on that part. But it was very festive at her house!

For an October day, it was certainly hot outside. We hung out under the shade tree for the most part, while Conor and Gage played in the yard.

It was a pizza buffet! Three kinds of pizza, cheese sticks, chicken fingers, chicken wings...

Jeff just sat at the table with all the pizza, scratching his head and wondering which one to eat first. It's a good thing we all got ours before he sat down.

And he is so gonna yell at me for this picture when he gets around to reading my blog. He has no clue I took it. I was giggling with his mom when I did it.

Ceara doesn't even like cake, did any of you know that? It might be a recent thing, but she did manage to choke down a few bites. Had she said anything BEFORE the party, I would have made a cookie. But when I asked her what kind of cake she wanted, she said white with white icing. Not sure how she is related to Jeff when she doesn't like chocolate cake...

Brother and sister hanging out together. Conor just wanted a piece of cake I think.


Both boys did. Corner pieces with a lot of icing. Because that's all they eat, you know. The icing. They don't bother with the cake part.

She got a lot of money for her birthday, which she is going to be using to buy new tennis shoes, and some for her trip to Washington DC that she is going on next week. Oh, wait... next week? Wow I forgot it was coming up so soon!

She also got a digital camera for the trip. She asked for it, I'm sure it is so she can take pictures in the mirrors of the hotel in Washington DC, rather than the sites.
She also got a photo album to put all those pictures in when she takes them.

And lots of money.



Conor insisted on counting the money. He is obsessed with money and loves to count it. It has made him rather good at math, though, so I don't mind. He always asks to count the money in my purse, but since there is never much in there, the birthday money gave him a challenge! lol

One of the games Barb had planned for us was for us to draw Ceara. Only one person drew her head, one her body, one her legs, and one her feet. You couldn't look at what the other person drew, but had to just draw your part.

It is hard to see in the bright lights of the sun, but it turned out pretty well.

My mom did her head, Jeff did the body, Allie did the legs, and I did the feet. It turned out pretty good, but I think the feet just made the whole thing look good. I did an excellent job on those. Even painted her toenails.
I don't think I officially was declared the winner of the contest, which I think was just so the other three didn't get their feelings hurt. Come on, Barb... you can tell me. Mine was the best part, right?
Happy Birthday Ceara! May you have many, many more!