Saturday, May 31, 2008

US Cellular is UnReal!!

Completely!!! They apparently think it's cool to harrass customers who aren't even a week late with their bill!

I'm running behind on bills. It happens when you live paycheck to paycheck and things come up.

Our US Cellular bill was due on 5/26. I figured that it was a nonessential and I could pay it a week or two late. Last night - at 4 days late they called with a recorded message saying to call their 888 number. I called and gave them all the info, and then they wouldn't talk to me about a payment arrangement because the account is in my husband's name... so I handed the phone to him, but they had hung up.

So today - at 5 days late - they called my cell phone with the recorded message again. I figured I should just go ahead and pay it online - go cheap on the groceries and gas this week.

During the time it took me to pay online, they had called my cell phone once and the house phone once with their recorded message.

A few minutes after I was done paying online, they called both the cell phone and the house phone again (at almost the same time no less!). I immediately called back the 888 number to report that I made the payment online. When I entered the info the account balance stated by the recording was "0 dollars and 0 cents." I went ahead and waited on hold to talk to a representative to make sure they had received the payment, and once again they wouldn't talk to me (security measures, I do get it - but they couldn't even let me report a payment) so I handed the phone to my husband for him to repeat the same information I gave them. He also told them they needed to stop calling.

Not a minute had passed after my husband hung up with them, when they once again called the house phone!

Is that unreal or what? 6 calls in the span of about 15 minutes.
How Freaking Obnoxious!!
I mean really! The bill was 5 days late! That kind of harrassment is completely uncalled for and uncool. I would so switch service providers if there wasn't a contract breaking fee. I'm quite disappointed in US Cellular. And if you are considering cell providers, I would really suggest that you go with one that doesn't harrass their customers when they're less than a week overdue with their bill.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Day Off!!

How did I miss Wednesday? Sometimes I wait all week for Wordless Wednesday... all week I was running through all the pics I've taken over the past couple of weeks trying to think of the perfect pic(s) for this week... and I missed it! :) It wasn't until I went to leave my info on the wordless wednesday headquarters that I realized wednesday had passed and today is actually thrusday! It was probably the monday holiday that threw everything off for me...
Oh well. Better late than never :)

Wordless Wednesday

This is what happens while catching up on blogs...

Next stop: hardware store to get a lock for the outside of the bathroom door.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Travelling again

Well, I went AWOL again :) My husband had a work meeting an hour or so away from our house up north, so we all went up again under the premise of getting some things done at the old house.

I think we've finally found a groove in travelling. The key is leaving early in the am. It's a 7-9 hour drive including all the stops we have to make. It always seems to get completely crazy around dinner time, or dusk. So we decided that the earlier we left the better - and it worked! Of course there were still minor meltdowns and minor fuss fests, but nothing like the 40 minute scream fests we had on our last trip up north.

We got invited out to eat with our old neighbors. And we had a great time! It was amazing. 6 kids between us, and all of them behaved very well. I had tried all afternoon to get D to nap so he wasn't cranky for dinner, but he just wasn't going to nap. But that worked even better - he crashed out the second he hit the carseat and slept for the 25min drive to the restaurant, then was sleepy and dazed for dinner. He actually ate something, didn't spit anything out, and didn't throw anything until the very end. Baby B was great too! And I actually got to eat! And we had good conversation. It just turned out amazingly well.

Baby B had her first visit to Lake Superior! We went up Thursday to pick Dad up from his meeting and played at one of the playgrounds there while Dad had a conference call.

Baby B started pulling herself up on Mother's Day! And she just finally took her first crawl steps yesterday! She's an expert scooter though.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Puttin Some Stink On It

First read this, then look at this (scroll down for the pic of my son sharing dinner w/grandma's dog-[OK, he didn't really eat or drink from the doggie dishes])....

Now play this...

This is Sally "putting her stink on it" she does this to blankets, pillows, and bones. I'm so glad she taught D to do this ;) Thank God she's a girl dog.

Now for some things to chew on...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Mockery

The little man is teaching baby girl to mock me.

And they think its hilarious!

They are conspiring against me already.

Now D has been yelling at himself for quite some time now. Which was kind of nice because he would yell at himself for doing something before he did it. It was like a heads-up. He'd yell "don't twow" before he flung a toy across the room. "No clmin" before he'd scale the back of the couch or the tv stand. But lately, his yelling has taken on a different tone. That of mockery. He'll throw all his food off the high chair, all the while saying "twowin naughty, twowin is a naughty, don't twow." And he will look at me with ? satisfaction? sass? anticipation? It's like he wants me to yell at him so much that he's doing it for me - and he's so pleased with himself. Sometimes I swear he's being naughty just so I'll yell at him. Because he thinks its funny. Sometimes when he does something really naughty and I yell at him, he will yell the same thing back and he's totally making fun of me. Sometimes he even laughs about it.

But yesterday - I was nursing B, and D was in his toybox and getting a little too close to the power cords, so I yelled at him to get away. I probably yelled a little louder than I meant to and my voice cracked a little. He immediately started immitating me yelling at the top of his lungs "gi way" but only he was doing that sucking in kind of yelling (kind of like when Danny's talking to his imaginary friend Tony in "The Shining"). And then baby B looked at me, smiled, and joined in! D has been doing that to me off and on ever since. And once D does it, B follows. Then they both look at me and laugh. I can't wait until they're teenagers.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wordless Wednesday A Plenty

So many pictures, and only one Wordless Wednesday a week ;)

I should have uploaded pictures sooner- this picture would have gone great with yesterdays post Sharing the love and the toys
And this one is my favorite - saw this on a car at a gas station during our travels:
A car for the anally retentive

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Doggy Days

I never should have laughed at my son when he started eating like a dog. But is was so darn cute and funny. And it was getting him to eat something.

I don't know how many times, out of frustration with D's not eating anything, that I thought of Judy Blume's Fudge books - how the mother said "Eat it or wear it" (if I'm remembering that correctly) and Fudge ended up wearing his food... of course I would never do such a thing, but boy have I thought about it ;) maybe even muttered it to myself while trying to get him to eat something.

I have been reminded again of the Fudge books by my son's behavior. For the past couple of months he has been mimicking the behaviors of the dogs. Sally, the weiner dog, shakes her ears, D shakes his head. Sally eats a piece of cereal off the floor, D throws a piece of cereal on the floor and eats it. He shares his chips (on the floor) with Sally. Sally wags her tail, D wags his little booty. Sally runs into the kitchen, D gets on all fours and runs to the kitchen. Sally gets under foot, two minutes later I step on D who is now under foot.

I have tried not to promote this kind of behavior. It can be quite frustrating and embarassing. A couple of weeks ago, in a room full of family - they said hi to him, and what did he do? Got down from his chair, got on all fours and started wagging his booty. Last week I was running late to pick up M from school, and I could not get D to stand up and walk to the car. He refuses to walk up the stairs for naps and bedtime. He crawls through the hall to the bedroom.

Last night I couldn't get him to pick up his toys. Out of frustration I told him that good little puppies pick up their toys. It did the trick, he immediately started picking up his toys---with his mouth!! It was awful and funny at the same time - it was so hard not to laugh, but I didn't want to laugh because I really want him to quit behaving as such. But it seems that he's taken it to a new level.

That was when I was reminded again of the Fudge books. In the first one, "Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing," Fudge went around acting like a dog for a while. For some reason I was thinking that Fudge was older than my D (yes, I do know it's a work of fiction) - so I was thinking that D was just too young to be going through this as a phase - but in reading through some reviews of the book Fudge was also a 2 year old. I guess he's right on track ;)

I'm wondering if I should be worried about his behavior. I keep telling him he's a big boy, and big boys walk - but it hasn't seemed to make a difference. I suppose, as in Fudge's case he will eventually outgrow this behavior?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day Musings

Well, my mother's day was better than some other mothers'. Not the greatest, but not bad. We spent the day doing nothing but lounging around and recuperating from the events during the past couple of weeks, which we all really needed. It's been a really difficult couple of weeks for reasons I will not blog about.

Really it's been a difficult couple of months here. And to be brutally honest, I have not been the best mother lately. I do not deal with stress very well. I withdraw. And I've been entirely too withdrawn for the past couple of months. Since our big move. Things did not go well and haven't really gone well since. And instead of trying to do something to make things better for everyone else, I just check out and become non-functional. I spend my time idly blogging about trivial fluff. Why? Because I need to write. I need to keep writing. I need to pretend like everything is fine. Like I am fine. I'm an expert at avoidance. I can avoid my problems forever and pretend like everything is just perfect.

Visiting our house back up north I realized how much I really missed living there. It certainly had its drawbacks, but it was our house. It was spacious. And we had a nice fenced yard for the kids and dogs. We were really just starting our home there. It was really sad leaving it again. Funny, because I was all too eager to leave it a couple of months ago and not look back. I was looking forward to how great our life would be in this new small town, new community - where there was a school and park and downtown area, and grocery store. A nice little community for my children to grow and be a part of. A job that my husband would enjoy and a place where I could feel connected. I could find other moms to become friends with so I wouldn't feel so alone. I could become a better mother. Take the kids on walks to the park, downtown, to the theatre, to the bowling alley... get involved in the school for my older daughter... let her get involved in things at school...

I thought the problem was the place. When all along the problem was me. I'm the same here as I was there. I realize now, too late, how comfortable things were there and that I could have easily made some changes there. It just would have required some effort on my part.

I feel so selfish. Of course it was shared decision between my husband and myself. His job wasn't great up there. But down here, his job is actually quite a bit worse. And my 11-year-old daughter is not happy with the move either. She misses her friends up north and wants to go back. Of course that's not really possible, so we all have to make do.

Through the events that have transpired over the past couple of months, I know that I do not have things bad in the least. Sure we've had challenges and rough spots, but really things could be so much worse. I am blessed to have 3-sometimes 4 wonderful children along with a great husband. He has so much more strength than I can ever hope to acquire. And he is one of the most loyal people I've ever met. I am so thankful to have what I do. I just need to step up, check myself back in, and be the mother that I always wanted to be.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I am so completely frustrated with everything at this moment.

I've done good all week keeping my pigsty of a kitchen clean! That's the one good thing this week. Oh, and I actually maybe took 2 showers so far this week - which is probably a record! ;)
But I have this long list of things I really wanted to get done today - which includes things that I have been meaning to do all week or for weeks... I did manage to get a few things done today, but at this point I'm just tooooo frustrated to do anything but blog about it.

I found a job posting yesterday that I really want to apply for. I spent almost the entire day yesterday doing the online application. I really hope that they aren't keeping track of how long each applicant is logged into their system... It took all day because it was fairly involved... spent hours copying and pasting info from my CV and looking up info online and in my pda to fill in the gaps. It also took all day because I had to stop about every 5 minutes for damage control (to pull D off of table, off of back of couch, keep him away from my computer, keep him from laying on top of baby B, keep him from throwing toys madly around the living room), to feed diaper or clothe one of the little ones, or let one or both of the whiny dogs out. I've seriously about had it with the little wiener dog!!! Yesterday I was about ready to boot her in the behind (and that's putting it mildly). Half of the times she whined at the door she didn't even have to go to the bathroom! She wants to go outside and sun herself or chase squirrels. I really miss our fenced in yard!

So I finally finished the online application just in time to fly out the door to pick M up from school and go pick up husband from his sucky new job. His starter went out a few weeks ago and we just haven't had the time or money to fix it yet... and that's so far off the point, but it adds to the little daily frustrations.

So today on my priority list was to scan my transcripts to attach to the application. Update my CV and cover letter - also to attach to the application. I managed to almost get those two things done between breakfast, loads of laundry for M and about 3 or 4 diaper changes. Then realized that I did not have my signature jpg file attached to the cover letter - going back and forth from laptop to desktop emailing stuff... ugh... couldn't find signature jpg, decided to quickly do a new one... got it scanned and emailed to self. Then all hell broke loose while trying to download it from email!! And of course that was when both of the little ones decided to have dueling meltdowns.

Computers and kids crashing at same time = complete and total insanity!

Closed and re-opened writing program several times to try to recover my new and improved cover letter to attach my signature jpg... cursed at computer and damn near killed it. Closed everything out and tried again. Restarted computer. Went outside to regain composure.

Calmly made lunch and waited for everything on computer to reload. Finally got my signature attached, wondered if it was really all that important anyway. Went back to job application online, looked at the job position posting, clicked apply for this position. To which it pretty much tells me: ha ha you thought you were done, but here are 5 brilliantly devised essay questions that you must answer before your application is complete! Ugh! I hate these questions. Why couldn't they have included these in with the regular application? Why wait until the very end of the process to spring this on your applicant? Why wait until you have already uploaded your application to the vacancy listing? Because then I just had to hit the withdraw your application from this job listing & Yes I'm sure buttons so I can spend another day or two crafting brilliant answers to those questions.

The funny thing is that this community college was the very first one that I applied to after I got my MA. I was faced with those very questions 4 years ago. And I did spend an entire uninterrupted day crafting beautiful answers to them. And back then it was online also. And somehow when I was finished and submitted the information online, I didn't save it. I tried to go back and get it and it was gone. Their online system was different and impossible to retrieve info once you submitted it. I regretted that so much after working on sets of similar essay questions for community college application after application (I did save the second set and just kind of revisited and tweaked them for following apps). Now, more than ever, I wish I would have had the foresight to save those answers! Now I'm going to have to go back and forth from desktop to laptop again sending myself saved answers that with a little tweaking will hopefully cut it.

I just don't have the energy to do that today. I spent most of the afternoon going up and down the steps trying to no avail to get D to take his nap. I give up! :) For today anyway.

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