And down our street as well…

So, since the satellite view was new, I just decided to check out the street view as well…


My first simultaneous thoughts were “YAY! A picture where the grass is finally green!” and “Wow, it’s been since we got the new car!” (Which seems like yesterday but it’s already been 1-1/2 years!)

The clues:

  1. We got the car in January 2012.
  2. Old photos show the water-sprinkler seal in use on April 17, 2012; this corresponds to when my mom and Dave were visiting—April 14–21, 2012—as she gave him the seal.
  3. The backyard pool went up on May 5, 2012, and I think we got rid of the seal then.

So, the best I can date this photo is April 17–May 5, 2012.

ETA: I checked the street view online (vs. mobile) and it says it was generated in October 2012…so I went back and checked my photos and yep, we had the seal out then, too.

Google maps has been overhead recently

I was checking Google maps today to see how many in-ground pools were in our subdivision (for no real reason other than it’s a question that popped into my head while driving to Costco) when I realized that our satellite view has been (somewhat) recently updated.

I love how much I can determine from what we can see:

Previously, our view was fenceless. Now? The shed is there (so, after April 2012) but there’s a dead spot in the backyard grass where the pool was (so, after October 2012) but wait!—that’s not Tom’s car OR my car in the driveway!—whose is it? Aha! Dad and Linda’s minivan! And they were there in February 2013. And from the amount of stuff on the curb, it looks like garbage pickup day so it’s a Monday morning. And Tom’s at work (hence his car not being there) and since my car isn’t there I’m guessing I was running errands.

Looking back at my calendar, Katie had a 9:00 appointment for her flu booster on Monday, February 18…so that’s when Google got us.

Creepy or cool?


I’m not voting this year.

Well, turns out I’m not voting this year. :x

I swear I filled out the necessary stuff online to get the packet because Tom specifically sent me the link. And I didn’t think about it—yes, even with all the political crap and election coverage and primaries—until Tom said he had to mail his ballot in. Wait, what? I didn’t get mine.

So I went back to look to see what exactly I did…and his email was in May, and I went to the website and it looked familiar…except now I see a spot that says “You still need to contact your local voting precinct to register as an absentee voter.” Huh? I definitely don’t remember seeing that. And then I looked at the PDF that I had likely printed—which looked familiar as well—and apparently that had to be sent in somewhere else? Or to my own voting precinct? But then why would I still have to contact them if I mailed this form in? Needless to say I’m still confused.

So the short of it is I didn’t request the ballot and now it’s too late. I should have just called the damn office instead of using the link Tom sent me, because that messed me up. And then Katie came along and my mommy brain got even worse…

I’m bummed.



Project 365 is an iPhone app designed to help you document your life by taking one photo a day for a year. I’ve been using it for just over two years now, and you can see all the photos at the link above or at the static link in the rightmost column.

Here is the first month (July 2010):

Here is the last full month (June 2012):

Happy Mothers Day


:heart: Happy Mothers Day to five new mothers who will benefit from the Clean Birth Kits I just donated… :heart:

The Mommyhood Memos Bloggers for Birth KitsBloggers for Birth Kits is a simple initiative to rally bloggers to reach out and help mamas in Papua New Guinea. These women may seem very different to you… but they are mothers with the same heart—mothers who desire to deliver healthy, thriving babies just as we do.

Every minute a women dies of complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. Ninety-nine percent of these deaths occur in developing nations. For every woman who dies in childbirth, another 30 women incur injuries and infections, which are often preventable. (Source: World Health Organization.)

Clean Birth Kits
Photo from

The specifics:

  1. Soap (for the birth attendant to wash her hands). Use a hotel-size soap or cut a regular bar of soap into 1/8-sized pieces. (Microwave the bar of soap for 30 seconds to soften it for cutting).
  2. One pair of plastic gloves (for the birth attendant to wear).
  3. Five squares of gauze (to wipe the mum’s perineum and baby’s eyes). Gauze pieces should be about 10×10 centimeters or 3×3 inches.
  4. One blade (to cut the cord). You can buy individually wrapped sterile blades at the pharmacist or buy utility blades (much cheaper) at the hardware store. We teach the women to boil the blades for sterilization, so utility blades work just fine.
  5. Three pieces of strong string (2 for tying the cord, 1 for “just in case”). String should be about 30 centimeters or 10 inches long.
  6. One plastic sheet (for a clean birthing surface). Sheet should be approximately 1×1 meter or 1×1 yard and can be purchased at your hardware or paint store.
  7. One sandwich-size ziplock bag (to pack the contents).

I strongly urge you to visit the site and make a donation for yourself…and other mothers who are less fortunate than you.

Buh bye, Irene.

Well, we’re here.

We went to our friend’s house last night for a hurricane party (basically a potluck dinner!)—something that’s a bit of a ritual, and which actually has been good luck for us as we don’t get hit with much of the expected weather. By the time we were leaving around 8pm, the storm had already been downgraded to a Cat 2 from a Cat 3, so that was good news.

If you hadn’t heard a hurricane was coming, you’d probably not even have noticed—there was just some light rain and a little bit of wind. By the time we went to bed around 11:30, we could hear it getting a bit busier, though some of that might just have been since we didn’t have the TV on anymore. :)

I woke up about 3am to go to the bathroom and it was definitely more fierce and I slept fitfully until 5:30 when the power went off (at which time Tom had to get up and turn off all the UPS backup units because they beep to let you know they’re using internal power—we had thought about turning them off before we went to bed, but we really didn’t think we’d lose power), and then I didn’t get much sleep until we got up at 8 (when we both woke up with a start with a huge blast of wind that shook the house).

Owen was a little cranky because he couldn’t understand why he couldn’t watch his shows or play with his puzzles (iPad), so we tried to explain that the big wind and big rain made things broken. He had his snack as normal and I tried to keep him occupied with his train set, some puzzles, and a few new toys. He told us when he was ready for breakfast and he had a normal breakfast (PB&J and yogurt!), played some more, and then went down for his nap at his usual time with no problem.

Tom wasn’t feeling well and had a major headache so he was already napping when I came in after putting Owen down. About 15 minutes later—after I had JUST fallen asleep—the power came back on (noon) and got us excited…except, of course, it woke us up from our naps because the house alarm was beeping an annoying “I’m ready again” beep and one of the UPS units upstairs was beeping. By the time we got them both fixed, the power was off again. I had just fallen asleep AGAIN when Tom’s cell got a text—which beeped twice because he didn’t look at it—and he was sleeping so didn’t even hear it (and hadn’t turned it off after the last beep which woke me up—GRR). So when the power came back on at 1pm, I had to go down and reset the alarm again…and my shot at napping was over since I had been awoken three times. Tom and Owen had no problems with their naps.

So for the rest of the afternoon we just kept our fingers crossed that we didn’t lose power again…and that the cable stayed intact (I was actually surprised it was up and running). We have a small tree blown over across the street and tons of leaves and small twigs around the yard but not anything I’d consider actual damage. The only thing somewhat “damaged” was when the screen came off our sliding screen door.

We did post this photo to Facebook about our damage… :p

Hurricane Irene Damage

We haven’t even really seemed to get that much rain—probably because it was coming down slow enough that the system could handle it (usually when we get a thunderstorm deluge, the drains back up and the streets start to flood—but we didn’t even see that). The rain and wind mostly tapered off before dinner.

A surprising thing? Maggie, our scaredy cat little dog who trembles at the mere thought of rain? She apparently can sense that there’s no thunder with this system and is pretty damn calm. She even went out twice to pee!

The best thing? Other than our house is still standing with no damage…we can return the $800 generator! WOOHOO!

I’m just curious…

So, if your spouse said to you while grabbing the clean sheets from the dryer: I’m going to go upstairs and put these on the beds. — Would you assume he/she actually made the beds? Or just threw the sheets in a crumpled mess on the beds?


(I still love you, babe.)


I love colorful graphs. And seeing interesting stats like these.

  • I have averaged 3.3 tweets a day and 70 tweets per month.
  • Most of my tweets are around 3pm (237) with 10am and 11am coming in a close second and third (217 and 215 respectively).
  • Most of my tweets are on Wednesday (432).
  • Replies (retweets) account for 13.08% my total tweets.
  • The person I’ve retweeted the most is @SelfishMom (10).
  • The person I reply to the most is also @SelfishMom (34).
  • The top five words I’ve tweeted: Owen (230), www, took, main, mugshot.
  • The top 5 hashtags I’ve used: #yelp (83), #cutetoddler (28), #iphone (25), #hmdwl (23), #ugh (20).
  • I have had 85 twooshes (a 140-character tweet)!

Babies ‘R Us frustrates the hell out of me.

So there’s a toddler slide we want and it’s cheaper there than Amazon, plus I have a gift certificate, plus there’s a current B1G1 sale on toys of that brand.

Except NO local stores have it in stock so I try to buy online, where—bonus—shipping is free over $100 (up to $20 credit). Okay, fine.

So, they’re not on any rewards sites (like ebates) which is a bummer, but still nothing to kill the deal.

So, even though the B1G1 is limited to “products up to $50” you’d think if I bought something for $90, I could get the $50 (or less) item free, right? No.

Okay, so I think I’ll just buy the two items—totaling $110—to get the free shipping. Except somehow shipping is $42, which I assume is due to the large slide, except the slide page shows NO info regarding “additional shipping costs” that I can see—and in fact even has the “ships free with $100” logo on it. So free shipping really still costs me $20. Um, NO.

Screw it. This is why I buy from Amazon and pay a bit of a premium.

Amazon selling!

Sale #1

About three weeks ago I bought a ceramic flat iron when Amazon was offering it for a great deal. I didn’t really need it—nor did I need to spend the $50 on it—but I did, thinking I could likely resell it (or worst case, actually use it when mine dies since it’s a better one). I listed it on Amazon for $149.99 (it supposedly retails for $249)—and it sold within a few hours!! After Amazon fees and the original cost, I made $80. I knew I should have bought a handful of them! :up:

Sale #2

I had a baby/toddler toy that is kinda big that I wanted to get rid of. Owen still liked it and played with it, but we’re trying to downsize (and he has enough other toys). Checking Amazon, they are apparently no longer available (though a newer, different model is) but there were two sellers: one for $100 and one for $300 (88|) so I figured What the hell? and listed mine at $99.99, fully expecting it to just sit there. I also listed it on Craigslist for much less since I wouldn’t have to worry about shipping—because Amazon doesn’t give you a fair price for shipping costs. But, I figured, even with the fees and S/H, I’d still make a fair amount.

So imagine my surprise when it sells…a day later! 88| YAY! But then I had to pack and ship this huge 14x18x18 thing! It has its own box but needed a shipping box, which of course we didn’t have, so I had to cobble together two boxes (which ended up to be 18x18x24) and use about a roll of tape. Fortunately, shipping only ended up to be like $5 more (instead of the $15 more I was thinking) and the tape was free (leftover from our military move)…so long story short, I paid $30 for it at Target a year ago and will have made, after fees and charges, $50! :up:

Who says I’m not working and making money? :b

I am not a mind reader.

I’m all about customer service during an ebay auction, but really? You want ME to tell you the differences between MY item and some random one on QVC?! :??:

I am comparing your butler tote to the one that is being advertized on QVC. Granted, yours is larger, but it is also more expensive to ship. I have never seen the “Nelle” organizer tote. I am considering bidding on this. What is the difference? I prefer zip top as opposed to a magnetic clasp.

I did check QVC, and there were three bags, so I was apparently ALSO supposed to be a mindreader. My response:

I’m not sure what bag you were looking at at QVC (they have three Butler Bags currently). Mine does have a magnetic closure, but it works quite well. Unfortunately, it is more expensive for me to ship a purse since I’m not a huge corporation that gets a discount on shipping. Since the auction has ended, let me know if you are interested, and I will list it again. Thank you for looking at my auction!

What do you bet I don’t hear anything back?

I’m Comic Sans, Asshole.…5comicsans.html

Of course, I can’t figure out how to write this blog post in Comic Sans, so it takes a little bit away from it, but you can read it in its correct format on the linked page!

I’m Comic Sans, Asshole.

– – – –

Listen up. I know the shit you’ve been saying behind my back. You think I’m stupid. You think I’m immature. You think I’m a malformed, pathetic excuse for a font. Well think again, nerdhole, because I’m Comic Sans, and I’m the best thing to happen to typography since Johannes fucking Gutenberg.

You don’t like that your coworker used me on that note about stealing her yogurt from the break room fridge? You don’t like that I’m all over your sister-in-law’s blog? You don’t like that I’m on the sign for that new Thai place? You think I’m pedestrian and tacky? Guess the fuck what, Picasso. We don’t all have seventy-three weights of stick-up-my-ass Helvetica sitting on our seventeen-inch MacBook Pros. Sorry the entire world can’t all be done in stark Eurotrash Swiss type. Sorry some people like to have fun. Sorry I’m standing in the way of your minimalist Bauhaus-esque fascist snoozefest. Maybe sometime you should take off your black turtleneck, stop compulsively adjusting your Tumblr theme, and lighten the fuck up for once.

People love me. Why? Because I’m fun. I’m the life of the party. I bring levity to any situation. Need to soften the blow of a harsh message about restroom etiquette? SLAM. There I am. Need to spice up the directions to your graduation party? WHAM. There again. Need to convey your fun-loving, approachable nature on your business’ website? SMACK. Like daffodils in motherfucking spring.

When people need to kick back, have fun, and party, I will be there, unlike your pathetic fonts. While Gotham is at the science fair, I’m banging the prom queen behind the woodshop. While Avenir is practicing the clarinet, I’m shredding “Reign In Blood” on my double-necked Stratocaster. While Univers is refilling his allergy prescriptions, I’m racing my tricked-out, nitrous-laden Honda Civic against Tokyo gangsters who’ll kill me if I don’t cross the finish line first. I am a sans serif Superman and my only kryptonite is pretentious buzzkills like you.

It doesn’t even matter what you think. You know why, jagoff? Cause I’m famous. I am on every major operating system since Microsoft fucking Bob. I’m in your signs. I’m in your browsers. I’m in your instant messengers. I’m not just a font. I am a force of motherfucking nature and I will not rest until every uptight armchair typographer cock-hat like you is surrounded by my lovable, comic-book inspired, sans-serif badassery.

Enough of this bullshit. I’m gonna go get hammered with Papyrus.

Kmart online. NEVER again.

Kmart. Need I say more?

Yes, I know I am spoiled with Amazon Prime and their two-day shipping, but seriously. We are going on THREE weeks since I ordered, and I still don’t have my items. When I ordered, I expected to have the items within a week (that’s what their estimator told me). It took FIVE days just to get a shipping notice. And then I waited. And waited. And checked tracking. And checked tracking. As of today, the package is still in INDIANA. We’re leaving for a week, so will be a PITA to receive now (haven’t been able to ask a neighbor to check mail yet).

So I call to see if I can get a discount on my order or s/h charges reversed. The lady first asks me what store I ordered from. Huh? I ordered online. “Yeah, but what store?” WHAT? ONLINE I say again. Then she argues with me that my order number is incorrect. Apparently, the order number in my email was NOT the actual order number. |-| Due to them being Sears/Kmart things are screwy, I guess. The email said “Thank you for ordering from Sears” and then later it said “Item provided by Kmart.” WTF?

So the CSR finally finds my order by phone number and I tell her my story and looks it up and says “It will be there tomorrow” with a finality that she’s done her part. Okay, that’s NOT what I asked for at all. I can follow tracking as good as you can. So I tell her that it’s ridiculous that I’ve had to wait this long, yada yada yada (staying nice) and she tells me she’s sorry, but it will be there tomorrow. I ask to talk to a manager.

I wait on hold for FIFTEEN minutes and go through the entire thing again with him. HE tells me it will be there tomorrow. You’re kidding me with this, right? He goes on to tell me that it was out of stock at the warehouse so they had to outsource it to [somewhere, another store maybe?] so that’s why it was taking longer. Okay, I said, so why wasn’t I made aware of that? Well, he says, they’re working on a new system to better streamline this sort of thing. OH, WHATEVER. So it comes down to what I am asking, and he doesn’t even say “We’ll refund your shipping” or anything. I HAD TO ASK FOR IT. Then you can hear in his voice like he’s really not happy about it…but he will refund the shipping.

Lord have mercy.

I will never shop at Kmart online again. I only did it because I didn’t want to go to two stores to get what I needed (I called, and each store had one and I needed two) so I thought it would be worth the $7. Ha. HA HA.

American Express Rocks!

I am signed up for paperless statements via email notification and it stays in my Inbox until I pay it. Well, I got the March statement and it says it’s 30 days past due. Huh? What? I check my email—even my deleted folder—and there’s NO email from them. I have the End of Year statement email and the January email, but no February email. So there’s a whopping $39 late fee plus interest, and you know it jacks up everything for months afterwards.

So I sent them a stern email explaining what happened, and mentioned this isn’t the first time I have missed an email—and what is the point of offering paperless statements if I don’t get the notice?—and asked to be refunded the late fee. I also told them I paid the bill in full that day and I would set my own reminder to pay the bill so this didn’t happen again.

Imagine my surprise when their reply email mentioned not only removing the late fee, but any and all interest associated with the resulting fee, AND removing ANY notation of anything being paid late so it would be as if it never happened.

So it sucks that the original mistake was made, but kudos to them for fixing it.

Happy Halloween!

Gramma Jean made this video initially, then I tried to redo it with different pictures, but it turned out about the same. Owen just takes the cake. This makes me smile and laugh each and every time I watch it…

Edited on November 10, 2009, to say that I finally broke down and bought the actual video for $5—I figured it was worth it for something that brought me so many smiles. :D So now it’s uploaded at YouTube instead of just having a link.


Monster Mash Screenshot