Thursday, March 30, 2006

Some parents

I am amazed at all of the wonderful, generous people that I meet in life. I am also amazed at the people who try to take advantage of others and seem to have no compassion or understanding for anyone besides themselves.

My son is on a t-ball team and the coach and the team mom are married. They are wonderful, generous people and very devoted to their kids. This couple happens to have 3 kids under the age of 4, they both work, and they are both volunteering their time for the team.

It all started with collecting the money to pay for coach's gifts, the team banner, names on the back of their shirts, and snacks at the games. It was $50 a team member. I know the team mom felt bad, but there were only 10 kids on the team this year and frankly, that's just how much it cost.

One of the kid's dads sent out emails questioning the $50, wanting a break down of each item, wanting to know where his registration money went, etc. Fair enough. Team mom sent out the budget and then he argued with $20 for coaches gifts, $10 for snacks and water, and so on. The team mom was infinitely patient and kindly responded to each interrogation.

Things died down until today. Now he's upset because his kid didn't get his bottle of water at the last game (not that he asked for it either). And now someone else is upset because her kid didn't like the snack. I wanted to blast them, but instead my dear friend Sara helped me draft a nice email. However, it was not nearly as satisfying as telling them all to grow up.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Picture of the kids

Taken November 2005. It is the most recent one I have in my office.


It was six months in the making, but we finally closed on the mobile home park yesterday. Now the real fun begins!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Kid's weekend

We had non-stop kid fun this weekend. Friday started with swimming lessons, then a quick shower, and on to the carnival at the boy's school. We happened upon our friends who their daughter is the girl's best friend and the son is in the boy's class at school. The boys loved the silly string fights and the girls loved the moonwalk.

Saturday was the opening day for baseball. The teams marched in a parade, played games, and had professional pics made in their uniforms. After a brief rest at home Saturday afternoon, it was birthday party time. I took the girl to the party and it turned out that she had an older brother who was friends with the boy. So, hubby brought over the boy. Then it turns out that the father is a flight instructor, building up time to become a commercial airline pilot, which is hubby's job.

Sunday, we headed over to a friend's house (the same ones from Friday night) and packed a picnic for a family concert in their neighborhood. After the concert and playing at their house, we all went out to dinner.

I did find the secret to well behaved children- keep them busy and entertained every minute of the day and make sure they are in constant motion.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Compass Bank


I haven't been this angry with a bank in many, many years. Total incompetence at each turn. First off, if you go in, it takes about an hour before someone will see you. Even if there are people sitting in their cute little offices. Then, they don't follow through on some very basic instructions. Um, I am sitting here with a CHECK that I want to give YOU. How about some service?

And their website? FUGETABOUTIT! After clicking around in circles for about half an hour, I finally call. And then finally get through to a real, living, breathing person. And they explain in order to set up an online business account, I have to talk to someone either on the phone or in person (hello- WHY do you think I like the internet???), fill out some forms and then they'll get back to me. Say what? So, after getting transferred 3 times, wait on hold for an hour, I finally am transferred to the 'right' person. And the dude disconnects me!!!!!!!!

If anyone wants a bank that has their chit together- I'd recommend WAMU or VirtualBank.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

PLEASE talk to me!!!

I am so bored right now and I keep checking and no one is commenting and I am starting to feel alone in this great big world so PLEASE talk to me!!

I feel better now. Rant over. Carry on.

But the NERVE of you people to be busy!


Spring is here! And so are the crazy times that go along with that.

Saturday was t-ball practice, birthday party, night out with friends. Sunday was errands, family bike ride, date night with hubby. Monday night we had hubby's parents over for dinner. Tuesday night was a birthday party for my mom at her house. Wednesday night is the first t-ball game of the season. Thursday is free!!! YIPPPEEEE!! Friday is swim lessons for the kids and the carnival and the boy's school. Saturday is opening day for baseball complete with a parade and another birthday party.

I am so tired, and the spring season just begun.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Prepare for Easter

For some really odd reason, it won't let me link to this....

Monday, March 20, 2006

Dance, chicken, dance!

I had way too much fun with this.

*Tip from Sara.


What a loaded word! What does feminism mean to you?

I will tell you what it means to me. To me it means choice and respect. The choice to live your life as you see fit, not as someone else sees fit. To respect other's decisions even if they are the polar opposite of your own. The word feminism means to me mostly to respect other women for the decisions they have made. It also means being an equal partner when in a relationship. Hubby and I had a discussion a long time ago with friends of ours from college. They believed, as many do, that the husband has the final say- he sets the course and direction of their life with input from the wife. They stated how can you follow on a path if two people are both trying to lead the way? Someone has to have the final say.

That explanation did not make sense to me at the time and it still does not make sense to me today. I think of marriage as a partnership. There has to be compromise, and sacrifices on both sides to further the greater good- the family. Sometimes I give more, sometimes he does. It all balances out in the end. A decision is not final until both parties agree with the decision. And the decision is typically better in the end because of the give and take and because both people have equally contributed in the process. That is what works for us. We have similar values, similar goals, and similar dreams. And we both agree that we are equal partners in this journey.

How about them Aggies?

It is the first time in nearly 20 years that Texas A&M has made it into the NCAA tournament, which might also explain why I have never watched a college basketball game. I grew up glued to the Rockets, but that never translated into watching college ball. I finally decided to jump on board last week. Thursday we surprised the nation by taking down Syracuse. We happened to be at a friend's house Saturday night when the we were playing LSU. Did I mention that these friends are Syracuse fans? And that my son wore his A&M jersey?

There is about 5 minutes left in the game and I am completely stressed out so I volunteer to pick up the pizza. We're up by 2, then LSU hits a 3 pointer. 3.9 seconds left and that's it. No basket. Game over. At least the pizza was good.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Life in the cubes

I presume cubicles are great if you need to hear what everyone else is doing and you don't actually have to concentrate on anything. The guy on the other side of the wall is looking at installing an instant hot water heater in his house, in case anyone cares. Which I don't.

Living on the edge

Hitting 'next blog' is a dangerous activity at work.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Coming from the back seat of the car this evening:

The Girl: I'm going to throw you in the toilet.
The Boy: UH! That's not very nice. I'm going to throw you in the trash.
The Girl: UH! That's not very nice. You make my mommy upset.

I had no idea siblings started this so young...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

It hurts

I finally have real work and it actually requires thought and engineering skills. Ouch- it hurts! It hurts!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Birthday party season

Last fall, I began stocking up on kid's birthday presents because I was tired of getting the invitation the week of the party and then worrying about getting a present. That was about the time that the parties stopped. I went on faith and bought more gifts in January. And finally, birthday season has begun. One every weekend for March so far. And I know there are a few more coming this month alone. I may have to restock quickly.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Everyone wants some

It has not been fun adjusting to the new budget, the greatly reduced budget. Before hubby got the "Big Promotion", we never had to worry about the leaks here and there. We never bought anything extravagant, but we also never worried about eating out once or twice a week, buying things for the kids, buying gifts, and so on. Now is a different story.

And it seems everyone is always asking for money. We get letters home from the school several times a week- yearbooks! t-shirts for camp! donations to the school! more donations to the school! buy wrapping paper! buy candles! more more more more donations to the school! Others may be sorry that girl scout cookies are gone, but I am glad. I felt so bad walking out of the grocery stores with their cute little faces looking right me - would you like to buy some girl scout cookies? How about a donation? On average, twice a week, a neighborhood kid comes by selling something or asking to be sponsored. It is worse at work. Not only requests to sponsor walks, bike rides, runs, but then for all their kid's stuff. And the office is always asking for money to sponsor something or someone. It is all so overwhelming.

I am not saying I don't give to charity. I give a portion of my paycheck to United Way. I donate to Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Purple Heart, Salvation Army, and my alma mater. But I also get several phone calls a month asking for more, several letters a week asking for more. I have no problems saying no but I do not enjoy it. I want to help everyone. But I can't.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Tonight was open house at the boy's school. We sit through the PTA meeting, buy a few books at the book fair, and chat briefly with his teacher and head back to the car. When we get in the car, hubby turns to me and says "a girl came up to me and said you don't recognize me with my clothes on, do you?".

Thinking I misunderstood, I ask him to repeat. He says the same words again. My heart starts racing and I am not sure how to react. Then he says "it took me a minute to realize she was talking to the girl."

It was her swimming instructor.

5 things you may not know about me

1. I can't dance. But I think that I can.

2. I don't believe in god. If you have been reading my blog, you already know that. However, most people do not, including my family. I tried to talk to my parents about it one time and they became angry and it ended with my father telling me that someday I would.

3. I am scared to fly. Not so much scared, as in every time I step onto a plane I think that is the day it is going to crash. And I'm married to a commercial airline pilot. Ironic.

4. I have always wanted to learn to play the drums.

5. I am an engineer who loves to scrapbook. I even plan vacations around cute stickers that I find. Sea World has a great set...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Interesting Tidbit

Apparently, 20 minutes to quitting time is the sweet spot for hitting the restroom. A line in the women's bathroom?? A line? I work at an engineering company. There isn't supposed to be a line in the women's bathroom. No line, just like at a Rush or AC/DC concert.

What would happen if

What would happen if we gave up our large suburban home and traded it for a simpler home in the country on land

What would happen if I gave up my stressful, high paying job in exchange for living simpler

What would happen if the kids had more time in nature and the world, rather than behind a desk, computer, or TV screen

What would happen if we suddenly stopped juggling all the balls and just let them drop

What would happen if we had more time on our hands to fill as we wished

What would happen if we moved away from our tight knit family

What would happen if we moved away from our friends

What would happen if we stopped eating crap from the grocery stores and starting eating food we've grown and nourished with our own hands

What would happen if we moved far away from world class medical facilities

What would happen to my brain and psyche if I no longer was surrounded by coworkers

What would happen if we moved the kids away from their friends, their life, everything they've ever known

I worry that so much of our life is passing by while we check off each of our activities. I know that we are a happy family, that the kids are happy. We are all just very tired. Is the grass greener? Would we be happier? Would we be safer? Knowing that one of the best children's hospitals is within 30 miles is reassuring, especially since my little girl has been hospitalized twice in the last year for asthma. But would her symptoms abate in a healthier environment? How would I handle the lack of intellectual stimulation that comes with my job? We are surrounded by so many wonderful friends and all of our family. The kids love their school, their teachers, playing t-ball, taking swimming lessons, doing stuff with family. We live in a wonderful neighborhood with a lake and beautiful walking trails. Why do I feel like something is missing?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I'm gonna cry

Or so it sounded when I spoke at a school district board meeting last week. It was not my emotions about the elementary school rezoning, but nerves. I thought to myself that I should join Toastmasters and work on my public speaking skills. I didn't think about it until I received a broadcast email from work about a Toastmasters club that meets every Tuesday during lunch. So I went today and am planning to join. I feel like I have limited time here at work and I had better work on all of the skills I will require to survive when I transition from employee to entrepreneur, investor, and hopefully eventually employer.

Monday blues

I didn't fall of the face of the planet, I called in sick yesterday. I had a nice four day weekend, as Friday was an official off day. I decided to call in not just because it was a Monday, but also because I was tired of rescheduling big jobs around the house. Without the hubby and the kids around, I was able to file the huge stack of papers, purge three bags worth of paper out of the files, purge the kid's toys and fill two huge garbage bags, and catch up on my accounting.

Not too bad for a day's work.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The little thrills in life

I went to the county courthouse a few weeks back to file a deed transfer for one of our properties into our company's name. The lady at the desk asked if I worked for that company. I said yes. It gave me a little charge that someone recognized our company as real (even though it is and we run it as such).

I have decided that hubby and I view the world entirely different than most. One of the guys he's in training with almost bought an investment property but then he and his wife talked themselves out of it because of fear. Fear of having bad tenants, fear of not having tenants, having to fix things, etc. Hubby tried to explain that it's just like flying. You have to fly in all bad weather conditions, not just clear blue skies, because it's your job. The guy just looked at him blankly.

I think the late night TV ads and the email solicitations to Make Millions In Real Estate Without One Dime!!!! make it look like a cake walk. It's hard and requires time, commitment, patience, and mostly creative and positive thinking. We have worked hard on overcoming fear and not letting fear drive our decisions. And we still continue to do so.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The lone wolf

I sometimes feel like the only blogger that belongs to Homespun Bloggers who is not a conservative Christian. I joined when I first started blogging (nearly 2 years ago!) and I was introduced to it by my friend and coworker, Michael at Chasing the Wind. It seemed like a great way to network and "get myself out there". Unfortunately, I do not have that much in common with many of the bloggers in the network and in fact, find several of them down right offensive.

But I haven't left and I don't think I will. I've never been afraid to be one who sticks out, the one who doesn't quite fit in. It is obvious by looking at the people I choose as friends. I enjoy having people in my life who have completely different views from myself. I think it makes me a better person.

Life Path

Your Life Path Number is 1
Your purpose in life is to lead others.
You have great drive and determination. Nothing is going to stand in your way.You seek out challenges and the spotlight. You'll take all the work - and all the glory.Status and success are important to you. You demand the best from everyone and everything.
In love, you tend to take a protective role. You enjoy being the provider in relationships.
You expect others to be like you, and as a result, you are often disappointed little selfish and vain, you always put yourself first.Remember, everyone already knows you're great - you don't need to remind them!
What Is Your Life Path Number?

Well, I can't say that I agree with this. I do like to lead, and well, maybe I do expect others to be like me as far as I expect people to be compassionate and am often disappointed. I used to have recurring dreams where I was protecting either my mom, my husband, or my kids from some psychopath. I do not agree that status and success are everything, well possibly success. I try not to put myself first, although if I don't, who will? So, maybe it is like me. What do you think?

Thanks to A Curate's Egg for the link.

Running out of ideas

I'm ready for my next assignment as I have run out of ways to keep myself entertained. I had to stop with online training when I found myself arguing with the material being presented. I can't shop because hubby got a promotion and along with it a 2/3rd's pay cut (don't ask). I can't eat because I'm trying to finally shed the baby weight. I can't exercise (much) because I don't have any energy because I can't eat. I've visited the ends of the internet and now I'm just plain bored with it.

My last project brings up moments of insanity (like the past two days) but I put out all the fires and am waiting for the next. I probably should be doing something productive, I'm just not sure what.

Easter baskets

My son is very interested in god, heaven and the devil. I don't want to discourage his interest just because his father and I don't believe in god or organized religion as it does not necessarily mean that is right for him. However, I don't want him to choose his path without knowing his options. I found a book on religions around the world that I purchased to help with this journey. What I do not want for my children is what happened to both myself and hubby. I was baptized in the church at age 13. I knew then that I did not believe in god and I did not want to go through with it. But I could not stand to disappoint my parents and at that age, was not strong enough to stand up for what felt right to me. Hubby went through a similar experience with his bar mitzvah.

Oh, and the easter bunny will be giving the boy this book. I can appreciate the irony.