Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Huh (from the Boys Will Be Boys file)

Chuckles is mildly amused/interested in/obsessed with the little door that hides where you put the gas into the car. I keep finding little trinkets in there (like small cars, scrub brushes, weeds, and today teh cap for my watering can).

On the plus side, this means my car is back and it only cost thirteen hundred and change. Well, that's quite a bargain, isn't it? Chuckles and I walked the two miles to the car dealer (ok, I walked while he sat in teh stroller and told me to go "more fast" and made truck shifting noises). It was 90 degrees out. On the way, we stopped at Chuckles's old day care to say hello to all his old teachers. I genuinely think they love him. I really do. He's loveable and was very affectionate and easy to care for. Miss Melissa almost cried when he left. Plus they had air conditioning and by this point (1.6 miles into the journey), I was not-so-fresh.

So, car's back. Woo Hoo.

Fun with math

So, the reapirs to the car are $1500. At $15 a week for grass cutting, I would have to cut the grass every single week of the year for two years to pay off those repairs. Hee hee.

Prognosis for my Car

When the guy from the car place called yesterday, I had Mr. Long-Suffering call him back, because even though I am enlightened and super technical and all, I am, still, a blonde woman with a toddler in tow. For that, I believe there is a flashing neon sign over my head reading: SUCKER. So, Mr. L-S called because I was sure they'd tell me I needed to rebuild my power-transfer shaft (which by the way, is a made up part, but if they told you that, would you fall for it?).

So, Mr. L-S called and they told him I needed $4200 in repairs. That's right. I said FOUR-THOUSAND TWO-HUNDRED dollars. Oh yes, baby. Car repair guy needs a new pair of shoes. Let's call the car repair guy Bill. I don't think that's his name, but Bill sounds rather typical, no? So, Bill and the Mr. were talking and going through all the things Bill wanted to do to my car, which by the way only has about 50,000 miles on it, despite being almost 6 years old.

So, anyway, we picked out the eleven most critical things that are either currently broken or are imminently about to break and fail catastrophically. So, yes. The mister approved these repairs at 3 pm yesterday and they were all done by 11 am today. So, right. That's really not that much labor since they close at 5 and reopen at 7:30. Six hours of labor max, and you cannot tell me parts are that expensive. Someone is grabbing their ankles and thinking about Oklahoma on this one.

So, my car is done. Chuckles and I can take the stroller up there after nap and get it. We probably will not wait for the mister to come home from work to do this since I don't think he's coming home for a few days. Something about a business trip to Toronto. Whatever. He called this morning to say his flight was cancelled and rerouting through Nome to do something something but Chuckles was screaming, so I am not entirely sure.

So, bottom line is $1500 and I will have my wheels back. It will be good to be done with the stick shift loaner cars so I can get back to multi-tasking and don't have to spend all my time in the car, *gasp*, driving.

Pretty Neat

As much as I hate the fact that my car is still in the hospital, I do like that it forced me to figure out that I don't need to drive to get Chuckles to nap. We both sit in the car for about 7 minutes, he drinking a cup of ice cold milk and me reading something. My reading material runs teh gamut from Working Mother Magazine (which I believe I mentioned makes me feel like a fraud) to Cosmo to Really Boring Science Magazine (but which has super technical want ads in teh back).

Job Offer

I got a job offer this morning. My father-in-law offered to pay me $15 a week to cut his grass. I almost thought about taking him up on it. I mean, I'd get a solid hour of someone else watching Chuckles and I'd get exercise for free. I am pretty sure there'd be lemonade for me afterward too.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Long Weekend

Had a good time. Traveled. Ate. Ate. Drank. Ate. Ate. Slept a bit in (since child was up WAY too late two nights in a row). Viewed a parade. Ate. Drank. Jumped on a trampoline. Did ficking tricks on a trampoline. Whee. Did not get injured on the trampoline. And, oddly enough, the drinking was in no way related to the trampoline.

Took Chuckles to the Illinois Railway Museum to "ride da choo choo at da train staysh". He was in heaven as was Mr. Long-Suffering. I enjoyed myself. We went with friends. Had a good time. No steam engines were running the day we were there (trolleys, street cars, interurbans, deisels), so we may make a day trip to The Hesston Steam Museum, perhaps for Father's Day because I am an excellent wife.

Look at me, my face is red

I got screwed on ebay. I paid $50 for that inflatable bed and it never came (nor did the person ever respond to my email or ebay messages). I've opened a claim with paypal. I also bought the other inflatable bed from amazon, who I doubt will screw me. Oh well. I learned some lesson here, though I am not sure what it is. The seller has a rash of recent "non-deliveries" in the last two weeks. I wonder if someone highjacked a perfectly decent account. The account was 100% positive feedback until about 3 weeks ago (right around the time I did my thing) and it's all been bad since. Or maybe the person does this...makes a good account and then BAM and screws people. Whatever. I hope I'll get my money back and I'll get a bed. Bummer.

Irony met Hubris in my garage

Friday morning Chuckles had his 2-yr ped visit. It was at 10 am about 5 minutes from teh house, but we had new insurance, there are train tracks between here and there, and it was raining, so I went to leave at 9:30. Load boy into car, get ready, click-click-click. Car wouldn't start. Now, there wasn't enough time to walk to the ped (in the rain), so I called MiMi (my mom) to take us. They charge you if you cancel within 24 hours of the appt, you know. Anyway, my big worry was not the was....THE NAP. What would I do if the car didn't start? Oh No! So cocky, I was. Just ride in teh car until he dozes, blah blah blah. ohmigawd. So, we sat in the garage in teh car seat while the car wasn't moving. And would you believe he fell asleep. Well, he did. And we've done it two more times since (because my car is still not well). He almost even seems to fall asleep faster sicne there is nothing at all to see or watch. Only this's fricking hot today and it's only bound to get worse. Can't very well sit in the garage then. I have no idea what to do then. We'll keep sitting in the garage without running the car until it gets too hot. Then, I guess we'll move teh car seat into the house somewhere and sit? I have no idea what next, but baby at a time.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

IRS Note

For the record, if your medical expenses in a tax year exceed 7.5% of your AGI (and you file long form 1040), you can itemize and deduct your medical expenses. This might seem like a lot, but check out these scenarios...

You make $50k, you only need to spend $3750 in the year on medical expenses, so two root canals, an eye doctor appointment and contacts, and 12 months of birth control pills. BINGO, you're there.

You make $100k, you only need to spend $7,500. You and your husband are infertile and need IVF (with ICSI) for $15,000. You hit it and them some. And heck, throw in a high-deductible health insurance delivery of your IVF twins via c-section, and you just played the taxation lottery and won. But, let's say the people in this example didn't have all the money right away, so they did egg retrieval and ICSI in November and babies weren't born until the following year. That twin delivery via c-section (and possible NICO stay for preemie babies) would have to exceed 7.5% again for them to deduct those expenses. Timing the expenses is critical. There is a reason doctor's offices and dentist's offices are full in January.

A little snark from people who have been down the ART road

Read this blog post for more on the woman who had twins at 60

60-year old woman has twins

Feel free to read the whole story (or better let, let me summarize and snark for you):

About her husband, the wife said: "He sort of pushed me in this direction." That doesn't seem like a good idea, as you are the one enduring pregnancy at SIXTY (or twice as old as I was when I had a baby or three times as old as my own mother was....older than MiMi is now.

The older, adult children talking about their parents' decision: "My mother is too old, for health reasons and for lifestyle," Alana said last night. "I don't think she's thinking about the future - being 80 or 90 and having a kid." She said her brother is worried they will end up taking care of the babies. "He's against it even more than I am," she said.
Well, someone is thinking into the future.

The couple on their other options for family building: "They considered adopting, but had heard too many horror stories." I can tell you plenty of stories of assisted reproduction (like IVF) with less-than-happy endings, so let's just say that without additional details, this doesn't persuade me.

On whether she used her own eggs for the IVF (which for the record, I do not believe to be physically possible): The new mom played coy on whether she used her own eggs, which had been frozen years before, or eggs from a donor. "I'm not committing to an .answer to that," she said. "I just want people to know there are many options for women out there." Technically speaking, eggs are not frozen, embryos are, so technical details aside, even if she had frozen embryos from her first IVF 8 or ten years earlier, she still would have been in her 50s. Healthy pregnancies that go to term are not usually achieved after a woman is 45 and most clinics will not let you do egg retrieval for IVF after 43 because of diminished egg quality (high FSH levels if you are keeping track at home).

There are real risks (for younger women and for older women as well) to undergoing fertility treatments and carrying a twin pregnancy. Those risks increase with age. It's silly to pretend that this is strictly a matter of a woman's choice. There are real consequences and real children to consider. Hers is a happy ending story, but she could have gone into labor at 23 weeks and delivered terribly ill and premature babies instead of 4-lb 11-oz darlings. She is at higher risk for blood clots, stroke, seizures, and a whole host of complications that risk not only her health and life but the health and life of her babies. I certainly don't know what the cut-off age should be, but I am pretty sure, I would put it under 60. I'd put it at 48, I think, but maybe 50. Not sure. I would not want a woman of age 50 to undergo a twin pregnancy, but as teh success rates at that age are so low, it would be hard to convince anyone to undergo single embryo transfer (oh, the technical points to this...all highly technical but I know I covered it before during March of Dines Prematurity Awareness Month).

Crisco's shelf life

Make a note of it: Crisco does not last for 6 years. If you try to grease a loaf pan with 6-year old Crisco, the entire crust of your baked bread will tast like acrid sewage. But, if you cut the crust off, the bread is just fine.

Let's talk Money

Milk: what is going on? The sale price on milk has been at $2.50 or higher for the last three weeks, but the price for the 56 ounce Breyer's ice cream is only $2.38 (down over a dollar since last year). So, milk price up, ice cream price down. Makes no sense.

Orange Juice: Did I miss the news of the frost? OJ has been super expensive (sale price of 2 for $6 instead of 2 for $4) for over a month now and I don't like it.

Fruit: Oh my word...when is summer coming? Apples are over $1/lb, strawberries at $3/lb (although two weeks ago, they were $1.25), peaches are $1.50, cherries are $7. So, we're having bananas at 46 cents/lb (only 25 cents a month ago) and grapes for $1.49 this week. C'mon summer.

Gas: Uhm, well, last week is was $3.33. This week the E-85 flex-fuel is $3.33 and regular unleaded is running about $3.59. Summer driving season, summer pollution control formula, fire at a refinery, blah blah blah. Until the price of gas makes me and other Americans chage our behavior (like car pooling or walking places or figuring out how to nap boy without the car), I vow not to complain about the price. I may make note of it, but I am not complaining. I walk quite a few of our errands (post office, Target, library, park, supermarket if I am not getting anything refrigerated), so there is not a whole lot of driving I could cut out of my I will not give up the can pry the car keys out of my cold, dead hands before I give that up.

Let's Talk about Lybrel

Lybrel is a new, continuous low dose oral contraceptive with NO OFF WEEK AT ALL. That means: no periods at all. It's not dangerous to forego a period when you are on the Pill because your lining does not "build up" and back up on you or anything and having a period while on the pill is more of a cultural thing than anything.

I cannot believe how many stupid newscasters kept asking their in-house doctor correspondents about this today. It's pretty common knowledge among women, or so I thought. The really fabulous news is that within 3 months of going off of this pill 99% of women were either pregnant or at least ovulating. So, that's good news. However, this tells me that no women with anovulatory conditions (like mine) were included in the study trials...or were they and this cures them? No, they probably weren't. If I were making the trial, I would include women who were healthy, non-smokers who really did not want kids now so they would be good about taking their pills and making my numbers look good.
Technical info on the drug available HERE.

Need a little help here

I saw this job ad and I'd like to apply, but uhhh, it says to send resume as an email attachment to the recruiting firm, but gives no email address. Am I an idiot and you can see it?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Shield your eyes from the cute

My garden is in

That's a field of cilantro in the lower right of the garden (for dinner tonight: guacamole and salsa). Chuckles "helped", and yes, those are my hot legs in the photo too. I have five tomato plants (four of which I grew from seed by letting the tomatoes drop to the ground at the end of last season...they just come right back up in the spring, I thin them and put cages on them).

It's like Wild Kingdom around here

I showed you the yellow birds, here are some ducks waddling down my driveway.

Question: Of What Are Little Boys Made?

Answer: Dirt

This doesn't look right

I am changing the accent color on my house from red to blue. So, I am painting around the windows. I think the window on the left is too dark, and I think the windows to the right look like they have a box floating around them. What should I do? I was thinking of taking one of the two right windows and putting a lighter blue inside teh dark blue (Where the white is now) sort of like the matting you would put inside a frame. help.

There are reasons I brushed my teeth in the bathtub

  1. It's fun.

  2. It takes me back to college when all my toiletries were in a shower caddy.

  3. It makes Chuckles brush his teeth.

  4. My bathroom is a construction zone.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

How is this possible?

I have no ground beef in the house at all. I have a deep freezer in the basement. I guess taco night will turn into steak or chicken fajita night since I know I have those.

By the way, last Saturday was Letter Carrier's Food Drive day. I gave away four cans of refried beans and two boxes of vegetarian meat substitute along with a jar of olive tapenade and some poppy seed pie filling and four cups of sugar-sweetened apple sauce. Random times. Random. Imagine the meal someone will make out of that.


per gallon for gas. I get about 20 mpg. I drive about 3-5 miles for each nap. Let's say 5 miles. So, in a seven day week, I drive 35 miles for naps. So, I spend about a dollar a day (a little less). So worth it. If I drank Starbucks, I'd be willing to give it up to pay for nap. I love nap.

When we don't get nap, Mr. Long-Suffering comes home from work to find me crying, with a migraine, reaching for a beer. I need nap.

Rudy Guiliani

He said that he personally is opposed to abortion, but that he belives that other Americans with good conscience could make other choices and that it's not government's job to decide what is best for people. I ...heart... Rudy (on this topic).

All Hail the White Truck of Joy

My new dryer came. I can wash towels again. Well, I will be able to once my husband hooks the dryer up, but we're closer.


So, in my spare time, I paint onesies for the babies of our friends. It's my creative outlet, I suppose.

I bought about 5 packages of onesies and some paint when my sister was pregnant and made the shower guests decorate them. Some were good, some notsomuch, but since they are undershirts, all that matters is the love. I try to make mine neat, clever, and legible. I think I do OK. But it had been a few months since I pulled the paints out and I had a couple of misfires, so definitely not my best work, but not too bad at all. If you have a baby, maybe I'll make some for you.

Monday, May 14, 2007

How I spent my Monday

The photos are called "Before, During, After, and Three and a Half Minutes After We Started". I'm pretty sure his favorite part was washing his hands after we were done.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

'Scuse me while I kiss this guy

From the mis-heard lyrics file...

Golden Earrings's (also covered by White Lion) "Radar Love" says:
Radio plays a forgotten song

Brenda Lee's "Coming on Strong"

According to the True Oldies Channel, which is preset number 5 on my car radio, Brenda Lee was immortalized in that song, and yet, no one still knows the song. I heard the song on the radio the other day, and I am telling you there is a reason no one remembers it. It's just not good. The 50s and eary 60s must have been an awful time for music because it's just plain bad. She was one of the most popular recording artists in the era (#4 behind Elvis, Ray Charles and The Beatles). This is the same era of music that had Lawrence Welk topping the charts with polka, so that that with what you will.

Anyway, about the mis-heard lyric. For years (years!) I have been thinking that "Radar Love" says something like "Radio plays a forgotten song/Revelie's coming on strong" or "Ramblings coming on strong". So, now you know.

Spring Breezes

are drying my laundry outside.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Life is Good (in two parts)

Our next door neighboor gave Chuckles a bird feeder for his birthday. It's a feeder where the birds eat upside-down (see photo). I'm trying to figure out what kind of birds they are but I can't decide if they are chickadees or goldfinches. If you know, please tell me.
I spent a long time trying to get these photos today with the camera on max zoom through the dining room window (the haze is the dirt on the window...I can't help it, I clean these windows twice a week and then Hurricane Chuckles comes along with a graham cracker/goat milllk paste and the windows are all smeared again...or lately, he's been asking for "triangle chips" which are cinnamon things I made using Carly's recipe...a recipe which I give out frequently as it is so easy, but don't tell anyone).

Our shirts say "Half Full". Mine is a cup (of milk, if you ask Chuckles...something else if you ask me), his is a sippy cup. Shirts courtesy of Jenn.
You can shop for your very own Life is Good clothing at Jenn probably won't buy it for you.

Blog Notes

If you look over to the right, you see there is a link to Julia Here Be Hippogriffs. Well, she's this lady named Julia Litton. Oh just go here to Redbook magazine where she is now featured (but I knew her when).

Anyway, her husband has mutant sperm that cause defects to the fetus that are incompatible with life. She's had something like 14 miscarriages and one perfect live son, Patrick. She keeps moving forward trying to have another baby because as she says, the pain of not having another child is greater than the pain of continuing to miscarry. Well, the news is, she is pregnant, again. They did genetic testing (PGD) with IVF this time, so ostensibly, the embryo is genetically normal, but PGD is still somewhat experimental with these kinds of genetic problems, so it's possible she will miscarry again, but heck, maybe not! And that's optimism.

I am going to buy this

I believe I mentioned I will never travel without the crib again. Never is such a strong word. I am going to experiment with this Amazon 5-star rated bed at home and if it works, I will travel with it.

I currently have a bid out on a Winnie the Pooh inflatable travel bed. I am the current high bidder but there are still 2 days left on the auction so I doubt I'll win, but if I do, I won't be buying the bed from amazon, so wish me some kind of luck. I don't know if I want to win or if I want the Aero Bed. Decisions!

SarcastiCarrie now $aving you more

Sign up for 10% off coupons from lowe's and home depot (very useful for me right now since the dryer died and I am gutting my dryer being purchased tomorrow on the Discover card where I can get double cash back on Maytag).

I'm looking for Menards too, but I don't see one for them (it'd only be good on tube socks and BBQ sauce any way).

Info on Discover card:

The Election was Cancelled due to Lack of Interest

I went to vote on Tuesday, but the whole place was not a polling place. It was just a school on a Tuesday and the lady at the front desk of the school told me it wasn't even election day (oh, I beg to differ, ma'am). I called the Board of Election. The election in my ward was not being held as the only candidates on the ballot were running unopposed. I still thought you at least had to have the election (like when Saddam was "president" and used to say that 100% voted for him).

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Chuckles is now officially Two

As of Saturday, I have a 2-year old in teh house. There was a party with cake and ice cream, singing, presents, pinata. All the stuff that there should be. It was good. Even I can't complain about anything, so that means it must have been pretty good. It's a shame it was so short, but with naps and everything, I couldn't very well have it much longer. Actually, I could have started it earlier, but people are always late to parties anyway (so Annoying).

Red Alert - No Nap Yesterday

If we have a repeat, I think I am going to quit this job.

My Dryer Died (RIP 1969-2007)

And there was a load in teh dryer and one in the washer, so I just finished hanging up two loads of laundry.

Unfortuantely, there are three loads waiting to be washed, so I think I am going to ask my backyard neighbor if I can use his line until I get a new dryer.

I have 80 of my very own clothes pins (all currently in use plus clothes on hangers and draped over the ironing board). Each sock and pair of underpants needs its own pin, so what do you do? And the towels will be so stiff, but whatever. It's better than mildewing the clothes or trying to keep Chuckles entertained at the laundromat.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A year ago today

I had my appendix removed. I don't miss it at all.

I always think of Carly when

I make cinnamon-sugar covered tortillas and today I made them. Thinking of you.


According to a sign at my grocery store, Monster energy drink is no longer covered under the food stamp program. Please make a note of it.