Friday, October 29, 2010

Haven't blogged in days

Since I haven't blogged in days, I thought I'd just catch y'all up on a few not interesting things.

Wednesday, I had a job interview that I'd really been looking forward to. It is a church secretary position. Great interview, looks like it would be a great job..... 2 large hitches. #1 It's a 40 minute drive one way from my house. That would mean an extra hour apart from my kids each day. #2 The job pays $10k less than I make now. With two kids in daycare, and some small cuts to our budget, that means we would have just barely enough to get by. So perhaps that lovely looking job is a no-go. Even if they raise the pay, I'm not sure I want to drive that far each day.

On the way home from that interview, I became really ill. I had to pull over and have Hubby come rescue me. I threw up for several hours and had severe chills and a raging headache. Definitely not morning sickness. Things were some better Thursday, but I was really behind on my eating. I stayed home and recuperated. No one else has been sick at home.

Twice in two days, it has been EXTREMELY handy that I know how to parallel park my big ole Lincoln. It has saved me time, stress, time, and stress. I KNEW that would come in handy. It only took me 15 years to learn, but hey! I 've got it now!

We've got tons of company coming in this weekend for my husband's best friend's wedding. My Father-in-law and brother-in-law will be "camping" in an airstream out back, using our bathroom and shower facilities. A friend, his girlfriend, and her 18 month old little girl will be in the house with us. I'm all excited about how prepared I feel to host an 18 month old over night. I'm very excited to meet the friend's girlfriend as well. I'm looking forward to getting their names straight as well. Whenever I ask my friend what their names are, I get 3 or 4 versions of Elizabeth or Isabel. Like the girlfriend's name is Elizabeth, most people call her Izzy, but our friend calls her Lisa. Or is the daughter Izzy? Our friend says he is actually Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, which just confuses things further.

With as much time as I've spent away from work this week, and the short-timer's syndrome that keeps getting worse, I really just don't want to be at work. Some of our guests are already at the house and I wanna be there. But I have to work today and then I have tax class tonight.

I obviously skipped tax class on Wednesday, so now I'm behind. Or I should say, more behind. The homework for each class is taking longer and longer to complete and right now stands at about 4 hours of reading and exercises. Exactly when am I supposed to spend 2 hours a day working on this ...stuff? Just skip 2 hours of sleep a day while I'm pregnant and seem to need about 12 hours of sleep per day? Skip work and get in trouble or get my paycheck shorted or both? Skip time with my sweet son? Absolutely not! And looking ahead, it doesn't appear to get easier. Soon we will stop filling out tax returns by hand and start filling them out on the computer, but I bet that won't cut down the time it takes to prepare for each class. If anything, it will reduce the flexibility of being able to do homework anywhere. But if I ditch the class, then I ditch my Plan B of working tax season and still having income while I'm pregnant. I still have 17 classes left. The mid-term is next Wednesday, just after we've had all this company.

And because I was so sick on Wednesday, I didn't take my medicine Wednesday night. That means I skipped an anti-depressant pill. Which means I'm a little down on top of all that previous paragraph.

Anyone got a super-duper solution to my hours in the day and tax class problem? Maybe someone farther away has some better perspective.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Good News!!!

Our car insurance people got back to Hubby this morning and it was good news!!! Finally! Some good news. They're going to give us $5100 for our 10 year old Grand Marquis!! Fantastic news!! We're looking at a 2004 Grand Marquis for sale for $7500. So we won't have hardly any car debt.

Also, there's good news on the nutty neighbor front. Since we moved in, we've had a nutty neighbor catty-corner from our house. In his yard, just for fun, he keeps a 6 foot Jesus, 4 foot angels on either side of his driveway, plus a smattering of 5 or 6 foot tall angels scattered around the yard. Also there is a nice collection of tombstones (no joke) both in the front and back yard. Each tombstone, upon installation, creates a flurry of wheel barrow and shovel movement around the yard. Last time, though, I strongly suspected that there was nothing in the wheel barrow, he just kept moving it and walking around with a shovel. There's a 40 foot wooden cross in the back yard. There's an enormous eagle sculpture on his roof where the eagle is just about to land on a huge sphere. He has slowly formed a mosaic over the majority of his driveway. He has installed stepped terraces over his whole yard. Just after the birth of my son, he installed two coup-alas on the top of his house to look like church belfries.

Please understand, he is not religious. He's just a nut. This is the same guy who during neighborhood yard sales will loudly advertise that he has underwear for sale. He refuses to shake hands, too.

We have a home owners association that prohibits all of these items and they're sufficiently scared of him and wouldn't say anything to him, much less fine him, for years. Finally, there has been a court order forcing him to remove all that stuff. And the amazing thing is that YESTERDAY HE MOVED ALL THE STATUES, TOMBSTONES, CROSSES AND THINGS!! It took him all day with one hireling and they took a sledge hammer to a couple of the tombstones.

All us neighbors were calling each other to report what we could see out of our windows while peeking and not obviously staring. I set up my camera and would zoom so I could more closely examine things. Awesome!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Why I hate Obama (today)

Here's the stupid aspect of the tax code for today. Yes, I'm wasting 11 minutes when I could be studying to tell you the utter idiocy of the tax code. I have just barely resisted the urge to have a daily stupid tax fact aspect of my blog because really, who cares. It will only spread my anger for the tax code to other people and I don't need to spread the hate.

A few definitions first:
AOC = American Opportunity Credit (and education credit)
MAGI = Modified Adjusted Gross Income
MFJ= Married Filing Jointly (get your mind out of the gutter!)

The following is directly out of my income tax course book. Things in parenthesis are my commentary. The rest is actually in the book, I swear.

Calculating the AOC

The AOC is available up to $2500 per eligible student on the tax return. The amount of the AOC is the sum of:

1. 100% of the first $2000 of qualified education expenses pad for the eligible student
2. 25% of the next $2000 of qualified education expenses pad for the eligible student

The maximum AOC which may be claimed for 2009 is $2500 times the number of eligible students on the tax return. (In case you've got more than one kid in undergrad work at the moment)

Up to 40% of the AOC may be a refundable credit.

(Translation: We thought it would just be too d*** easy to calculate something with either a flat maximum or a flat percentage so we threw in both. Because we certainly don't want to make this easy for anyone, right? Let's make the tax code sooooo complicated that people just stop reading it and then we can put in whatever stupid s*** we feel like, including a raise and nuclear missiles for my buddies. And instead of just choosing refundable or non-refundable with no consideration for logic, let's make it a percentage refundable!!! That will really make people throw up their hands and stop trying to get this credit. Yeah, let's make it even more complicated so we never have to pay out. )

(Then it gets better!)

Income limitation

As mentioned on page 9.3, certain levels of the MAGI reduce or eliminate the AOC. We covered the definition of MAGI on page 9.3. Now let's look at its effect on the AOC.

The AOC is phased out for clients with MAGI between $80,000 and $90,000 ($160,000 and 180,000 for MFJ). THe AOC is not available to clients with MAGI above $90,000 (180,000MFJ)

(So instead of just picking a MAGI and saying "above this number, you can't get this credit", the decided to phase it out. That means there's this complicated formula that only applies to people who have a MAGI within this $10,000 range. )

(It then goes on to explain the forms - yes multiple forms - you must fill out to calculate all that crap. Keep in mind, determining if the student is eligible is easy. Determining if this expense is eligible or not is easy. It's all the crap later!!)

(And this WHOOOOOOOLE thing is only valid for tax season 2009 and 2010. That means only between when the obimination was elected and the mid-term elections. Hopefully all this stuff really WILL go away in 2011, but I bet not. That would be too sweet.)

Smaller things

Thursday, I had two job interviews so I wore a suit. A suit which oddly shrank during the day in the belly and thigh area. Perhaps it was that entire bag of candy pumpkins I've eaten over the past 4 days.

So the first interview turned out to be a pyramid scheme. I realized this about 5 minutes in and didn't have the guts to be rude and just leave. They were selling investment products which were only a little fishy at first glance, but might have been legit. But there's this one word that never goes with my personality: sales. So I listened to her pitch and enjoyed the manicured landscape outside. On my way out the door, the threshold bit my foot and broke my shoe. So I had to leave there barefoot. Thankfully, the parking lot wasn't hot to the touch.

In a nutshell: waste of time and broke my shoe.

I repaired my shoe admirably with some black duct tape back at the office.

My second interview was with H&R Block. They had a job fair and interview session. Thankfully, I was #8 on the sign in sheet and was in the first wave of interviews. I might have been the only one there in a suit. The interview was really more like a visit. My interviewer went from sitting forward tensely writing to leaning back, shoulders down and writing when she found out I had my masters. She asked me 5 questions off their interview questionnaire and I got a ranking of 3 on all of them. Hopefully, this was on a 3 point scale.

I was so tired when I got home at 7pm. Quint had just gone down for a nap and he didn't get up again before 9pm. I sooooo needed some down time so I refused to study and just read my Diana Gabaldon book in my fuzzy, comfy sweats. I was trying to think why I was so tired - I got a great night's sleep last night.

Oh yeah! I'm pregnant! When I was pregnant with Quint, in my first trimester, I would come home from work, hold down the couch for 4 hours and then go to bed. Now, instead, I'm going to class or playing with Quint. That might be it!

Hopefully I'll hear the heartbeat on Monday and it will all seem much more real. Some days I forget I'm pregnant. And a lot of the time, I'm just uncomfortable which makes me really not look forward to the next 8 months. But once I view the baby as a baby, I'm sure that will improve my outlook.

This morning Quint and I got up early so we could play some. At one point he was toddling across the living room, and I asked, "Can you come give me a hug?" He grinned, toddled over to me while flapping his arms like a bird, and crashed his head onto my lap in a big hug! Awesome!!! I don't know who taught him that, but that is awesome!!! So my morning was better for a few baby hugs.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tidbits of good news!

On my H&R Block Tax Preparation course, I will be able to use my text book on both the midterm and the final! This is by no means a guarentee that I'll ace it, but it certainly does help! So now I know I can highlight the fool out of that book and make sure I know where to find everything.

My other good news is about Ivy Pearl. Last night, Hubby and I were driving in our rental car/pimp mobile and we went over a bouncy part of the road. I felt the walnut size fetus and placenta bobble up and down! You know those pink, hard rubber balls that everyone had as a kid? It felt like that was inside me bouncing around. That's my baby! When I was pregnant with Quint, at my 8 week appointment....skipping parts..... I felt the walnut size hard ball which held my baby and was sooooo excited!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

And then....and then.....

Oct 19th, Tuesday morning, I rear-ended two SUVs. Stop and go traffic. They stopped, I went. Couldn't swerve because of stopped traffic in the lane to the left and large SUV in the lane to the right. One passenger went to the ER, but her car companions didn't seem that worried about her. She had lower back pain and had been sitting in the back seat.

Quint was home in bed. My cell phone was on the coffee table at home. So I borrowed the off duty cop's cell phone and woke up my husband. So he had to dress himself, and Quint, and then take Quint to Priscilla's before he could come rescue me.

The car did its job. This is why we buy big huge cars. With this much damage, I didn't have a scratch. The airbags deployed but didn't scratch me. The wheel did not touch my belly at all. The worst that can be said of the car's performance was that the airbags caused a whole lot of smoke. That's what drove me out of the car at high speed.

Hubby had a feeling that I'd have a wreck that morning when I was about to leave. He didn't say anything about it because I've been kind of fragile lately. You know, extra hormones, extra stress, etc.... Hubby handled it extremely well. No (extra) guilt was induced. He was light hearted (proportionally), matter of fact, logical, and let me cry on his shoulder. Usually when he's concerned about something that he can't control, it comes across as angry. There was none of that. I had told him on the phone that the car was probably totaled, so he was ready for that. But his first view was of the back of the car.

He said, "Honey, that doesn't look so bad. Why do you think it's totaled?"
I said, "You haven't seen the front yet."
When he did see the front, he said, "Oh."

So we're shopping for another Grand Marquis. In our married life, we've had two Grand Marquis, one Crown Victoria, and one Lincoln Towncar. If you think about it, those are virtually the exact same cars. We really like what we like.

So I'm OK, the grape is OK, and Quint and Hubby were home in bed when it happened.

Baby names

Alright, alright. Here are some easily pronounceable, yet fake, baby names so we can refer to my little lentil more easily. Tomorrow, it will be a grape, by the way. And the grape is doing great, despite any traumatic activity involving air-bags. This is the safest my baby will ever be.

OK, so for a girl, let's call her Ivy Pearl
For a boy, let's call him Murphy or Marty.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Family Resemblance

The Daddy
The Mama


Easily walking

Here's a recent video of Quint easily walking. He now frequently will walk about this far and when he falls, complete the journey crawling. He seems to only start a walking journey when he was standing anyway, like playing at the coffee table. So far, he doesn't seem to go from sitting to standing to walking, yet.

If you haven't seen the pumpkin patch pictures, look for the next oldest post!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pumpkin patch - 13 months old!

Quint is 13 months old! So here's his photo shoot.
My church has this annual pumpkin patch in the front yard. It's a busy road and they bring in huge 18-wheelers of pumpkins that they sell as a fund raiser for the youth group. Each year, the photo opportunities seem a little nicer than the last. Or perhaps I've just noticed that because I now have a child to photograph there. This top one is the best of them. They had this scene all set up. All I had to do was plunk my son in the middle and hand him a warty pumpkin to distract him. This was also the best looking straw I had ever seen! It was practically white it was so clean and fresh.

Below is Quint at one month old, last year. It's hard to get good shots with a baby who can't hold up his head or smile yet. Pretend he's mid-operatic monologue.And now back to smiley pictures!

Find the baby!
We're all a bit disturbed by a pumpkin as big as my son.

The end!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Baby Names

Hubby was apparently horrified that I had put tentative baby names on the blog. Apparently, he thought it was a big secret to keep until the actual birth. It would help if he would tell me what the big secrets are.... He's all concerned about someone stealing the name or trying to talk us out of whatever we pick. So for everyone who remembers the names that we thought was a good idea a few months ago, please mentally replace them with Ganieda (girl) and Seamus (boy).

I should have known better than to tell him anything about the blog. He disapproves of almost anything I put on here. Including, I'm sure, that sentence!

We've been talking about girl names for years because the boy name was already decided. Here's the rejects:
Any flower names
Any spice names
Anything that you have to correct the pronunciation once people read it aloud.
Anything that you have to immediately spell aloud if anyone is writing it down.

You've always got to make sure that you don't give a child a name that they'll live up to. Madeline (Maddy) could really live up to her name as a teen. Constance could be a deceitful witch. I don't like the name Devon because it's too close to demon.

OK, I've just spent 6 minutes looking up bad baby names. Here are my favorite
Mitermayer - it's another word for thingamabob but seems like it should live on my dad's toolbench.

Murphy (comments by someone else)
It's just one of those names that's fun to say and will fit on basically any type of man: alcoholic, saint, young, old, mysterious, open...

Yes, the first association I want with my little baby's name is "alcoholic." You can never be too prepared for the future!

Really Tired

Really tired here today. But it's my own fault. I've been going to bed late and then inexplicably waking up early. Like 5:30. Occasionally I manage to get up and do something productive like study, but not that often.

On the other hand, I watched Groundhog Day again last night. I love that movie. I love the different phases he goes through. The one night stand phase. The try to get Andi MacDowell phase. The suicide phase. The piano phase. The saving folks phase. And finally the benevolent phase which finally gets him out of the loop.

Hubby is in Ohio for some Masonic thing. I have a friend coming over tomorrow evening for a girl's night visit. Hubby will be back Sunday, probably before noon. Quint gets tubes in his ears on Monday. I have an interview with AccounTemps on Tuesday. An interview with a temp agency is a very different kind of interview. There will be testing and long conversations about what I'm looking for. They'll try to find me a temp job, permanent job, or a temp to perm job. Thursday, there's the job fair with H&R Block which will be more like a real job interview. I've borrowed two suits from a friend so I'll even look nice!

I'm starting to suffer from short-timer disease which is really not good 8 weeks before my last day on the job. Also, they're replacing my computer on Monday. I really wanted them to wait until after my last day, but no. So I've got all my music (which really piles up over 5 years) on thumb drives and I need to go through and preserve my internet bookmarks today. Especially my job search ones.

In just 10 days I go to the doctor and maybe will get to hear my baby's heartbeat! That will make it much more real. Let's focus on that.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Yeah, don't have a good title for this one. Or a good, cogent plan here at the onset. And this is likely to be depressing for all you loyal readers, but maybe I can put some hysterical spin on things and cheer myself up in the process.

So what I really want right now is a big, swinging porch swing to put in front of my house where I have no, real porch. I could really use some downtime with cookies, gently swinging, watching leaves fall, while my son does something safe and fun nearby. Several problems with this plan. I don't own a swing. Or a porch. So it would have to sit in front of the garage door very near the cat pan. And my son doesn't know what to do with himself on an aggregate driveway. And our lawn has no grass. Our lawn is patchy moss, sticks, leaves, mud, and a smattering of pretty green weeds.

Last weekend when I needed to hose off several things in the yard, I took him with me. I brought along the awesome table of musical buttons for him to play with. But he's seldom been in the front yard. Mainly because of the lack of a lawn. So he hung onto the little table and watched every move I made instead. At times I would relocate him and sit him down somewhere else, and he would not move a muscle. Well, OK, he did pick up a stick, wave it around, and then try to chew it. And aggregate is heck on the baby knees, so I don't see him crawling anywhere on that stuff.

Anyway, I need at least a 30 minute vacation. The combination of emotional things is not really working for me right now. That's the combination of being out of work and being pregnant minus the joy of having heard a heartbeat or something else doctor approved/verified. Very stupid and despairing conversations run through my head.

Emotional me: WWHHHHHHHHHYyyy haven't I found a job yet?
Logical me: Because you've only really been looking for a week, dingbat!

Emotional me: WWWHHHHHHYYYYyyyyy don't I feel pregnant?
Logical me: Did you forget the weakness and nausea from this morning?

Emotional me: WWWWWHHHHYYYYYyyyy haven't I felt the baby move yet?
Logical me: Because you're not even 7 weeks pregnant!

Emotional me: WWWHHHHYYYYY can't I seem to get anything done?
Logical me: Have you forgotten that you're pregnant? Lower your standards - NOW!

Emotional me: WWWWWHHYYYY can't I visualize this new baby yet?
Logical me: Because it's barely a tadpole! And it's not like you recognized Quint when he first popped out of you! You knew he'd be a baby, but you were surprised that you couldn't have picked him out of a lineup at 5 hours old. The baby is a THING UNSEEN! And it won't be seen until at least May!

Emotional me: WWWWHHHYYY am I so tired and fatigued?
Logical me: Has anyone told you that you're pregnant, loosing your job, and perhaps you're a little down?

Also, some realistic, if a bit discouraging facts:
After Thanksgiving, I probably will not get a job until January. No one really hires during the holidays.
If I find no other job, I'll have this job until Dec 10. Then no one will hire me until January.
I might get hired somewhere between January and whatever point it becomes obvious that I'm not just fat, I'm pregnant. No one will hire me at 7 months pregnant.
I don't really want to start a job until 6 weeks after the baby is born.
So, in all likelihood, I might find a job between now and Thanksgiving, between New Years and March, or after July.


Here's a completely un-related funny! Scott here at work and my boss are very firmly Democrats. My boss is also black, so during the Obama campaign, she and Scott would chatter on and on (and on!) about how wonderful Obama was and wouldn't it be great to have a black president and blah blah blah. Everyone remembers those conversations. They both knew that I was a Republican and very politely left me out of the conversations. At times I would enter into the race conversation and say things like, "Does it have to be THAT black man? How about Eddie Murphy? How about James Earl Jones? I might actually vote for Morgan Freeman!" She was bouncing off the ceiling for WEEKS after the election. And yes, it is a very good thing that little black boys and girls can now dream about being president one day. If there's a country left by the time they become of age...

I think we can pretty safely say that most everyone is disappointed in Obama as a President. I feel much, much, MUCH more strongly about that of course, but I won't get into that. Scott and Jackie have been exceptionally quiet about Obama for over a year now.

The dollar taker on the coke machine is busted once again. I keep a box of change on my desk for just such emergencies and currently, I have nearly $40 in quarters in that box! There are three whole rolls of quarters in there. There's a sign on the machine that says that I have change.

Scott opens the box today to get change for his dollar. He sees all the rolls of quarters there and says, "Now THAT'S change I can believe in." I tilt my head at him. "Have you been disappointed by other change, Scott?" My boss snorts in the cube next door. Very, very long pause. Scott says, "I choose not to comment on that subject." I say, "I completely understand."


Stupid aspect of the tax code for today:

Tie-breaker Rules
If a parent can claim the child but no parent does claim the child, the child is treated as the qualifiying child of the person who had the highest Annual Gross Income for the year, but only if that person's Annual Gross Income is higher than the highest Annual Gross Income of either of the child's parents who could have claimed the child. If the child's parents file a joint return with each other, this rule can be applied by dividing the parents; combined Annual Gross Income equally between the two.

I have come to the conclusion, just one week into this class that the government is the largest producer of red tape in the world AND if you just look at the tax code, the government would like to encourage all of us to live a more Jerry Springer-style lifestyle.

So in the above example, if a child lives with someone other than their parents, that guardian can only claim the child on their taxes if their AGI is less than either of the parents. I think that's right. So only if the keeper of your child makes less than you can they take the child credit. That's just great. Let's shaft the person who is being responsible enough to care for a child who isn't theirs.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Priscilla and Uncle Vester

On my ever growing list of things to do before baby #2 arrives is to finish Quint's baby book. One of the things I still need for the book is a picture of Quint's first care-givers. So I brought my camera to daycare today. I asked Priscilla and her husband, Uncle Vester, to stand beside each other and pretend like they like it. Easily done! Quint's in the highchair to get his breakfast. Please notice what Uncle Vester is doing. He's got the mallet from one of those pound-the-peg toys and is pretending to whack Quint. Priscilla is defending him. These folks are great. They love my son and manage to force him to eat solid food while he will only eat goo for me.

One of the things I force myself to refuse to think about each day (lately) is what if I'm out of work for so long that I have to give up Priscilla and loose our place there. She's very close by, she's wonderful, she makes him try new things and lets him try new things. Would I really be willing to let a 13 month old child finger paint?! Of course not! There's only 12 kids there, of every age, race, and even one special needs child. She's cuddly for Quint. Both her and her husband are really funny and joke with the kids. He takes fewer naps there because he can't stand to miss out on the more friends and better toys. To guard against me forgetting to pay each week, I keep a checkbook in the bag with a whole bunch of undated checks filled out for the right amount. She puts the receipt in the baggie with the checkbook. Keeping him there is even cheaper than the baby-warehouses where there are 12 children of the exact same age in the same room, with 4 revolving workers throughout the day. We would have paid MORE. When we first visited when I was still pregnant, Hubby and I exchanged one look and basically lunged for the application form and waiting list.

So basically, I really, really, really, really hope that I either find a job before I start showing, or that Hubby gets some other job in January that makes a little more so I could just stay home for a while.

Everyone's praying for us and our jobs and our babies, RIGHT!!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

South Pacific

A friend of my sister's (who I've never actually met) said that the old movie South Pacific was really really great. As great as the Sound of Music and he didn't understand why more people didn't know this. It's even Rogers and Hammerstein!

So I ordered it from Netflix. A friend came over and we watched it. Now granted, we were playing with my 13 month old for the first hour of the show. But soon after the baby went to bed, we were laughing hysterically for all the wrong reasons. We had trouble following it while the baby was up because we couldn't understand the words of the songs very well. When a very large number of people are singing, the singers have to make a conscious effort to enunciate or it all just sounds like a great tune with mush for words. The first couple songs on the beach with a huge group of men (with bare, spindly hairless chests!) were great tunes of mush.

Maybe the 54 year time gap was to blame, but we had a hard time following the plot. There were lots of things that it seemed like we should have known what was going on, but they never actually said. Several times, when one character was asking another something like, "but honey, what's wrong?" we were thinking the same thing. And they never actually said. Finally, when they got to the song about "you're not born with this idea, you're taught to hate" we finally figured out that the whole movie was about overcoming racism. She couldn't hack it that he had Asian kids.

Things we thought were funny/mysterious which were not meant to be funny/mysterious:

The large tattoo of the of the ship on the one guy's belly was mysteriously missing for most of the scenes when he was in the yellow inflatable boat.

What's the deal with having an unbuttoned shirt tucked into your pants?

Why was ship-tattoo guy on the plane with the hole it it that he had to bail out of?

Why were there no permanent dwellings in the whole movie?

Is it really that common to use a tree with swinging grass doors as a shower in the South Pacific?

Why did some guy retrieve dinner mints out of a man's coconut bra at the end of the folly's show?

Why was it no big deal to be shot in the butt with a six inch long dart?

When Bob tells his sweet young thing that he can't marry her, why does he seem like the resulting drama with watch flinging has nothing to do with him? And what's up with the watch flinging?

What's with the finger-puppets song that the sweet young thing signs to Bob while her mother (who is partially bald with an extremely tight bun) sings?

The "French" plantation owner with the Asian kids is oddly multi-cultural - not merely "worldy" as the Netflix blurb says. He has an Itallian or South American name, an Italian accent, speaks "French" to his children who sometimes answer in Spanglish. ("no comprenno" seems a lot like Spanish, but not quite, and certainly isn't French.) The French guy seems to "lik-a da pasta" and have an accent like that. He typically calls one guy "my frien-da Bob". Why is that French?

Why do clothes washing machines live on the beach within about 10 feet of the surf?

What the shmo was the super duper secret mission?!

Maybe we'd understand it more if we were Asian. Or were 75 and remembered that time. We had a really good time for some really wrong reasons. ("Wow, look, another unappealing shirtless man!") We really thought we would enjoy a Family Guy version of South Pacific.

Friday, October 8, 2010

In the cat-bird path

Our kitty has been most interesting lately. I swear she knows I'm pregnant. Last time when I got pregnant, she started being a lap cat for the first time ever. Now, any time the baby is 3 feet away from me, she wants to lay on my lap, despite the fact that I may be standing. So that's really sweet.

On the other hand, she recently peed in the pack and play! Me and my super-duper pregnant nose figured this out pretty quick, but not quick enough to rub her face in it and spank her. Tomorrow, I need to pull the "mattress" out of it and hose it down in the yard.

Last night, she didn't come home. Typically, when she doesn't come home at night, she arrives then next day with either A-some wound from a fight (usually minus her collar) or B-with some dead or partially dead heartfelt gift which she deposits 6 inches from the door RIGHT WHERE your foot normally lands.

Since she didn't come home last night, I just put some kibble out for her in the usual place in the garage and went about loading up Quint for the day. After everything's in the car, I hear her collar bell jangle. I start to call her and notice that she's quietly sitting by the back garage door. Odd that she's not meowing to get in or get attention.

Then I see it.

She has something fist sized and brown in her paws and mouth. With dismay in my voice, I start thanking her for her lovely gift when.... it up and flies directly for my head! I have this clear image of a bird in flight with it's beak pointing directly at my eyes, it's face therefore looking like a big target! I duck, yell, and run out of the garage and start to laugh. (Of course our nutty neighbor is in his yard!) I look back at the cat. One very proud meow. THEN her eyes widen at a spot just behind me and she bolts straight for me! I leap out of the way! I see her climb the nearest tree in a flash of light and obviously attack the bird, which I can't decipher from the bark of the tree.

She fetches it back down and holds it down for me to appreciate. I laugh some more, thank her, again get in the car to leave. The last I saw of the bird - and the cat - the bird had made a low altitude flight to the side yard and Callie had arrogantly strolled after it, smugly smiling at the bird's fate. So I fully expect to find a dead bird near the back door when I get home.

I really wish she would just COME HOME at night!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Quint's illness & H&R Block

Little Quint is finally better!! Tuesday he went to the doctor and they gave him round 3 of antibiotics which seemed to clear up his gooey eye infections instantly. He seems like his normal self now!

I started the H&R Block Income Tax course last night. They'll have text books for me tomorrow. There's a job fair Oct 21st which includes interviews for current students. The difficulty level is about high school level, so the hardest part will be being apart from Quint. That and controlling what my facial expressions say in class. I would find my eyebrows would be out of control when someone asked a seemingly easy question in class. I've got a buddy in class who recently finished college who made class last night better. I have not yet admitted in class that I have my MA. There's one attorney in class, oddly enough.

To get a job at H&R Block, I'll need to make an 80% on the final, which is mostly multiple choice. I can miss up to 9 classes out of the 30-odd classes. My teacher is Hispanic and English is her second language. Her California-Spanish accent (as opposed to Texas-Spanish accent that I'm used to) is at times hard to understand. Exemption, exception, and extension all three sounded the same last night. Sitting in the back, me and my buddy help each other figure out what she said.

Interesting tidbit from last night: alimony is unearned income and child support is earned income. Makes perfect sense to me, but other folks in class couldn't see the difference. Alimony is getting something for nothing. Child Support is getting money to support the child which isn't cheap.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Lap-band update: Here he is in June.

And here he is in September, 30 pounds lighter.

I applied for 11 jobs on Monday and 9 jobs yesterday. There's a church secretary job in a nearby town that looks perfect, so I'm hoping for that. I also signed up for the H&R Block Income Tax Course. It's an 8 week course that ends the last day of my employment at my current job. If no other job turns up for me, then I can take this course, get certified, and hopefully start working at H&R Block in January. The tax season will be over in April or May, by which time I'll be big as a house and getting ready to pop. I'll have my baby in May or June, and then can work on what to do next. The timing is perfect. The class is cheap ($199) and the only down side (so far) is how much time I'll have to spend away from Quint in the evenings. But that will mean Quint gets more time with his daddy, which is not a bad thing. I will desperately miss kissing his sweet little cheeks on those nights, but income for my family is incredibly important as well. I'll see less of him for 8 weeks, and then after December 10th, I'll be with him night and day for several weeks, catching up on cheek kisses.

Quint's illness:
Hubby took Quint to the doctor today and found out that he STILL has an ear infection. AND he developed gooey eye infections while on his second round of antibiotics. I'm starting to think he's immune to antibiotics. We got a different kind of antibiotics which the doctor said we should see rapid results with. Quint got a dose sometime during the day and his eyes stayed mostly clear all evening. Also, for the first time in weeks (since his birthday party Sept 11th) he was feeling good enough and was happy enough that I felt the need to get out the video camera. So we've got a couple minutes of him hamming for the camera. We've got an appointment with an ear specialist on Friday to talk about tubes or something.

I'm nearly 6 weeks pregnant. The fatigue has certainly showed up and I yawn non-stop. I'm a bit bloated. He's nearly lentil size!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


So I've had one heck of a week. (We're trying to break ourselves of cussing now that small fry is imitating our words.)

A week from last Friday, we had our Lincoln leave us stranded in traffic. This delayed our road trip, but thankfully only cost us around $514 in repairs.

We had a lovely trip to Ohio to visit my in-laws and that whole side of the family.

Monday, I returned to work and they told me that I'd be loosing my job in December. They gave me the rest of Monday off, with pay. A few minutes later, Priscilla at daycare called me to come get my sick child.

I spent the next several days at home wiping his nose and administering OTC medicines.

Lately, I seem to have more faith in Murphy's Law (anything that can go ironically wrong, will) than faith in God. I really gotta work on that. I'm thinking of starting a new blog about my faith journey. Anyway, based on Murphy's Law, what do you think would happen next in my "heck of a week"?

That's right. I'm pregnant.

Thursday morning, in those early morning, half-formed thoughts, I started to wonder when I should have started my period. Wasn't I supposed to have started while we were in Ohio. Hmmmm. When did I start last month? The 26th, I think. What day is today? The 30th? Oh crap.

So I went and took a test. After I had started the test, I thought, "maybe I don't want to know this today. I'm going back to work for the first time since they've emailed the whole company saying that I'm loosing my job. And last night, Hubby really talked down to me about why I'm loosing my job. " Too late to worry about that.

When I saw the two little blue marks, I let out a little shriek of surprise. Thankfully, I didn't wake up my husband with my little shriek. I trembled through the rest of preparing for work and left without telling him. I just didn't have the guts.

I had an appointment with my GP that morning anyway for a followup for some of my medications. His nurse is a sturdy black guy. He asked me how my day was going so far. I emphatically said, "not good." He paused in his blood pressure taking and looked at me funny. I told him that I found out on Monday that I'm loosing my job and I just had positive pregnancy test. He gave one small snort of amusement and then said, "Mazel tov!" throwing wide his arms for a congratulatory hug. Three times while I was telling him the details of my wonderful week, he would hug me, say "Mazel tov!" By the third, I was nearly weeping on his shoulder. He kept patting me and telling me that it will be OK, you'll have some great stories to tell in 20 years, children are a blessing, and other encouraging phrases that did not sound corny. (Other folks told me the corny ones.) At one point, I referred to the pregnancy as "the baby" and realized that I didn't mean Quint. That hit me like a blow to the stomach.

I told the GP as well. He said his youngest three children were similarly close together, but the last two were twins. Yikes. I told him and the nurse that I hadn't told my husband yet. At one point, the GP suddenly stopped listening to my chest and said, quite alarmed, "You have told your husband about the job, right? It's really not nice to hit a man with both on the same day." I assured him that Hubby knew about the job. He told me to make an appointment with my OB/GYN and try not to worry about it. Things will work out alright.

I left and went to work - my first day back since they had sent around an email saying that I would be leaving. I was dreading having 15 people drop into my guest chair and caringly asking me if I was OK and saying they were sorry and all the sympathy you would expect at a job you've had for nearly 5 years.

As soon as I got to work, I put my stuff down and went to the desk of my best friend at work. She's the first person I told about my other pregnancy, she lent me maternity clothes, a breast pump and gave me tons of advice. I drop down in her guest chair and request a piece of paper and a pen. She gives me an odd look and hands me some scratch paper. As I'm writing, she asks me if I'm OK. I just grunt. I hold up my sign saying, "I'm pregnant" and then immediately start shredding it. I hold up my trembling hand which she takes in hers. She asks me if I'm alright and I say "NO!" She hugs me, then holds her head up - fingers on temples - and keeps saying "are you f***ing kidding me?" over and over. I've had similar thoughts!

While we're still sitting there in shock, a co-worker comes up to her desk and wants to know what we think of the news on the email. What news? We look and it seems that one other person has resigned, and another person who was not well liked seems to have been fired. Of course the firing was reported quite diplomatically and politely, but does anyone resign - effective yesterday - on their own?

So because of this new news, my job news was no longer the latest news! There were by far more (gleeful) hall conversations about the firing than folks stopping by my desk. I was quite relieved. I was delighted that Quint had been sick and put off my return to work until that day.

Throughout the day, I just barely resisted the urge to beat my head against the desk at our stellar pregnancy preventing skills. Near lunch time, when I probably needed protein the worst, I was nearly in an all out panic. I went on a walk, called a friend and basically freaked out screaming "what am I gonna do?!" After some acknowledgment that this might not be fantastic news, she answered my question. "You're going to look for work and have a baby." Of course, I am. My take out lunch hit bottom around then and I started to think rationally again. She was very reassuring and peeled me off the ceiling again. I was worried that Hubby would think he needed to bolt right out and get a different job that made more money, or would head into a spiral of "we're going to be destitute FOREVER!" or some other non-helpful over-reaction. He works in politics. It's an election year. He may start to talk to folks about theoretical jobs, but none of those will be hired until January. And none of the maneuvering can start until after the election anyway. Conversations along the lines of, "if I get elected and I could offer you blah, would you be interested?" have, in my experience, been the most useless conversations ever. Contingencies based on 3 maybes are pretty much pointless to discuss, much less count on.

How on earth am I going to tell my sister and friend who have been trying to get pregnant for so long?! How do I tell them that I'm knocked up by accident?!

When I got home at the end of the day, Hubby had a friend over to have a fire in the firepit. Quint was out there with them and was a snot covered mess! I took him in and gave him a bath, hosing down his gooey eyes and nose in the process. Hubby's friend left while we were in the tub.

As Quint was playing on the living room floor, oscillating back and forth between his parents, I asked Hubby to mute the national news. My heart was pounding. I said, "I have good news and bad news, which would you like first?" He made three guesses as to bad news about my job. I finally said, "it has nothing to do with work." He thought for a second and then said, "you're pregnant!" "Yes."

His first reaction was a thrilled, double fist clenched, "YESSSS!!!" which relieved me to no end. It took him about 60 seconds to get down to the, "oh crap, what does that mean for our money?" (The answer to that is "nothing good".) But joy was the overriding emotion. We talked about things for a few minutes and then he excitedly said we should go for a walk. Great idea. He asked if he could call someone (I forget who) and I asked if we could just own the news for the duration of the walk, and then tell people. He agreed.

On our walk, we had a very good talk and there was no extreme drama on his part. There was no panicked reaction like "I need a job" with him grabbing his keys as if he's going to bolt out the door and go find one this instant. He took it quite well and my own joy started to take over.

We now need me to have a new job sooner than later. We need to check to see if I could still get my severance pay even if I left before December 10th. We will need a double stroller. Quint will be 21 months old when the new baby is born.

When we got back from our walk, I fed Quint and he and I went to choir practice. We called Hubby's mother before I went to choir and we called my folks after I got back from choir. I tried to be all casual with my folks, calmly asking Dad to come to the phone as well, talking about Quint's sickness while I waited. I said, "we've got some news." and mom blurted excitedly, "you're pregnant!" Well, yes! We had a fun conversation.

Throughout the weekend, we told just about everyone else. I'm sure we missed someone, but I'm not sure who, seeing how we were both making phone calls. We would tell them about my job, then ask, "then what do you think happened?" and nearly every time, people would guess that I'm pregnant. And then laugh like hyenas.

Here are the frequent questions:
Were you trying? No.
How long have you suspected? I suspected about 15 minutes before I found out.
Are you going to go back to work after your job ends? As our money stands now, I have to.
When are you due? June 2nd.
What are you going to name her (everyone thinks it's a her!)? Charlotte Rose was what we talked about a few months ago.
How did Hubby react? see above. Also, when I showed him the stick later, which he insisted that he didn't need to see, it seemed like it electrocuted him a bit. I said, it seems a lot more real when you see that, huh?

So, we're going to have a baby. Last time, we found out we were pregnant and Hubby got a job three days later after months of being out of work. This time, I find out I'm losing my job and three days later we find out I'm pregnant. This supports my sister's theory that you can only get pregnant when one of you is out of work.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sick Boy - Still - STILL!!

Our wonder boy - bugger boy is his official name now - is still producing vast amounts of snot, his cough still sounds pretty bad and - drumroll please..... he's cutting four - count 'em FOUR!!! new teeth. And I'm not counting the one that popped it's head out last Thursday. So within a week here, we've gone from 6 teeth to 11.

It's been one heck of a week.... more on that later...