Monday, March 30, 2009


This morning when I woke up, Tyler mentioned that Lincoln had developed a cough overnight that didn't sound good. We googled it (of course) and pretty much everyone said take the baby to the doctor. So, Tyler had a deposition 2 hours away, so I got to take my precious baby into the doctor and hold him while he cried when they drew blood. So, so sad. I might have cried, too. But when the doctor came back in, he said it's definitely a virile infection and contagious, which sucks because it means we need to work our schedules so we can work at home as much as possible for the next 7 to 10 days.

While I was in the area, I decided to pop in at Roper Automotive and see how genuine the VW estimate of needing my battery replaced ASAP was. Turns out, I'm good for a few more weeks at least. Yay! And blessings on Jeff's head for fitting me in.

Now the reason for the title of the post. Blessings. While I was in the waiting room, I had 3 bags (my purse, the diaper bag, and my catch-all bag), and my purse spilled out and everything went rolling across the floor. This was pretty much par for the course, so I didn't freak out or anything, but it did get me talking to the lady next to me about all that's been going on. And I mentioned that in church yesterday, I'd started a list of all the things that have gone wrong in the last month, and my husband asked if I was masochistic. This good woman's response humbled me exceedingly: "At least you have a husband that goes to church with you to sit next to you." Oh, I do. I have a wonderful husband and a wonderful life. I have (and Tyler has) a good job where our bosses are understanding and sympathetic, and we can make liberal use of the leave we have. I have amazing friends who (apparently) are just waiting for me to say the word so they can help with whatever they can. I have insurance and a home warranty, which has saved us a fair bit. We have a credit card, which though we don't LIKE to use it, we CAN use for emergencies. We have wonderful families who love and support us. There's so much to be grateful for, and while I tend to be overwhelmed by all this junk happening at once (I mean, seriously, the AC, the water heater, the washer/dryer, the dishwasher, hail damage on the roof, a leaking skylight, AND a pressure relief valve? not to mention my sick baby and my own neuroses), I'm grateful for the reminders in life that it could be oh-so-worse. I'm excited for next month when my husband will bless our baby. I'm excited for ALL the family that will come (can you say par-TAY?).

And I leave you with this picture of my adorable son. I pray God's blessings on you, and that you'll recognize them when they come. And if you can't recognize them, that he'll help you see them as often as you need (I need that help a lot!).

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Murphy's Month Continues

I PROMISE I'll stop whining soon, but I'd really like your input. Every time I turn around, there's something else that takes up both time and money. Put that together with a new baby and postpartum hormones, and I'm quickly nearing the end of my rope. So I want your suggestions for destressing. I've got:

-ride it out. It will pass eventually-do service for others; that often takes your mind off your own problems

-pray (like it's going out of style)

-read the scriptures

-get enough sleep (Tyler's being a gem about this, but that doesn't change the fact that there's a new baby in the house)

-exercise (see previous)

-fast (not really an option since I'm also trying to get my headaches under control, and I can only fast when they are WELL under control)

-A spa day one of these days; if there's EVER time

-Taking a few minutes to read a book or magazine

-A nice soak in the tub while listening to good music
-Listening to relaxing music.
What am I missing? There must be something else. I'm afraid it will all go back to the first one - ride it out. But if y'all have some wisdom for me - I certainly would appreciate it. And before you suggest it, yes, I've had plenty of good cries. :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Few New Pictures

I FINALLY added some new pictures of Lincoln. Look in the facebook album named "Lincoln" on the right side of the screen. Let me know if you have problems seeing them.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Don't Be Fooled... the lack of new pictures of Lincoln into thinking we don't take TONS of pictures. The problem is that we both spend all day at the computer at work, so it's pretty much the last place we want to be when we get home. But I finally at least put the pictures ON the computer last night. Hopefully tonight I can tweak them and then post some new fun ones to facebook. Oooh, and maybe I'll wait until the weekend because Lincoln's 2-month checkup is tomorrow! I can't wait to see the official stats on how much he's grown, but I'm not much looking forward to shots. Are there shots at 2 months? Or do they wait until 4 months?

So speaking of pics, some of them are of him using the Podee I blogged about last. Shannon's comments were helpful, so I think we're making some progress with that bottle (1 oz. the night after I blogged, and 3 oz. last evening). It's just nice to hold him and cuddle with him and not have to worry about keeping the bottle in the right position. I think we'll get the hang of it.

And I've had Sophia back for going on 30 hours now, and she seems to be working perfectly. My next project is to either successfully fix the glove box (it IS just the catch on the handle, after all), or have to replace the WHOLE door. What a pain.

Does anyone know where the folks on HGtv are always coming up with these tile remnants for kitchen backsplashes that were $15/square foot, but because they're remnants, they were able to get them for $1/piece? Cause I SO want a tile backsplash in my kitchen, and there's not THAT much square footage, but I can't pay $15/square foot, that's for sure.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Digy and Bottles

Lincoln is a prodigy. He rolled over by 2 weeks. He CLEARLY said Mommy at 5 weeks. Basically, we've got a Carl Sagan on our hands. Mom decided to nickname him "Digy" while she was out here. Short for prodigy. She and Tyler thought it was a great, and I wasn't so keen on it, so part of the fun for everyone was when they would call him Digy, and I would cringe dramatically. (Confession - people think it's super easy to push my buttons, and sometimes it is, but most of the time I just give them the reaction they want because then everyone's happy.)
I have every intention of posting some recent pictures of our sweet little prodigy. Until then, check out the links on the side to the facebook albums; I think that's where we'll post most pictures. Let me know if the links don't work. You should be able to see them even if you don't have a facebook account.
Has anyone had success with any brand of hands-free bottle? I was super keen on the idea (seriously, my goal was to have him holding his bottle by himself by 2 months. We have 5 days.), so I ordered one of these. Sadly, it didn't work as advertised. Not sure if I'm doing something wrong. Anyone else used one? Have some advice?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sophia - Just a Quick Pic and Story

So I realize I've been writing these novels as my blog posts lately, and those can get VERY boring, so here's just a quick pic of Sophia, so you can all appreciate my sadness that she's been sick so very long. Notice how pleased and proud I am to show off my new car.

Side note: Because I can't resist telling the story of how this picture came to be taken. When my parents were stationed in Hawaii, Dad got deployed to Iraq. On the way over there, he had a few days of training in South Carolina. SO even though it was a 3+ hour drive for each of us (one way) we drove to Atlanta to meet at an Outback and have lunch and see each other before he went to war. It was a good day. Plus I got to show off my car.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sophia, Part Three - The Saga Continues

I was all excited yesterday because my car was finally fixed, and VW really had treated me well, and then when I got in my car to go home, lo and behold, it had a rough time starting and the engine light was back on. So I took it straight back to VW. It's a different sensor, but I think the warranty will cover it AND waive the deductible since so much has been going wrong lately. So my car's STILL in the shop. And I'm getting more and more neurotic by the day.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sophia, Part 2 - The End

I finally have my car back! Yay! And I'm not quite sure what the big deal was. The dealership accidentally put the ORIGINAL part back in, and it works just fine. So what was wrong with it? Dunno. I'm guessing it was a wire, though. I'm still glad I took it to Roper Automotive first because there were some other things that needed doing, and the dealership would have charged me a LOT more for those. They probably would still have tried to when I finally brought it in except that I was, by then, barely civil, and they most likely wanted me out of their hair. But I had to eat some humble pie when they were able to fix it in the end, the way they wanted to. So, I didn't get to say neener-neener. Sad.

Anyway, through this whole ordeal, I've learned some important life lessons:
1 - When your car is acting funny, take it to a mechanic you can trust.
2 - Any work he recommends for maintenance (like, hypothetically, replacing your timing belt 12,000 miles later than recommended), go ahead and have him do it, because he's the mechanic you trust to recommend only the necessary work.
3 - When he tells you that the other, more major work that needs to be done is covered under the extended warranty you wisely (it turns out) purchased, suck it up and take it to the dealership for the covered work. Especially with a VW. Even if you hate that dealership because you feel like you need to work the system in order to get anything done without being fleeced.
4 - Learn to work the system. When someone gives you an answer you don't like (like the warranty company telling you you're out of luck), politely (but perhaps with a slight edge) ask for his name, write it down, and then ask to speak to his supervisor. This makes you a squeaky wheel - and the squeaky wheel gets the grease. His supervisor has the authority to make happen what you want to happen, and he'll do it if he can.
5 - While I think it's important to be kind, sometime you have to be politely persistant. See #4 regarding the squeaky wheel.

Any other lessons anyone can think of? I spent the last few blog posts venting and saying unkind things. Usually I limit the number of people I vent to because it limits the number of people I have to go back to later and say, "Sorry, I was just flaming mad. He wasn't such a jerk after all." But since I publicly lambasted VW in Huntsville, I'll recant that with the caveat that you probably still need to know how to work the system. But I won't be as resistant to take my car there if I need to again. Though hopefully I can just get it through 2 more years...

Speaking of which, I need to fix the glove box. Who designs a glove box where when the LATCH breaks, you have to replace the entire door? Volkswagon, that's who. I found a tutorial on-line that shows how to fix it yourself without replacing the door. I figure it's worth the effort because at least if I end up ruining the door completely, I'm just back where I started - needing a new door. :)

This blog has taken a serious tangent from what it was intended to focus on - our adorable son. So, don't worry. We're working on putting the finishing touches on his room, and we're still taking tons of pics, even though I'm slow to post.

Tomorrow we're doing yard work if anyone wants to come help pull out bushes and shovel dirt? No? "Yeah, I didn't think so." (Props if you get the quote, as usual...)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sophia, Part 1 and some Happier Thoughts

Well, I've been putting this blog post off for a week because I wanted to tell the story all in the PAST TENSE. Unfortunately, it's still an ongoing trauma, so I'm recording it for everyone to empathize and tell me how sorry they feel for me. (As a side note, there are all kinds of things in life I vowed never to do. In fact, that's what our first post was about. One of those things was posting whiny blog posts. So, if they annoy you, just don't read this. I won't be offended. But I would prefer not to be judged. This is my story, and as usual I'll do my best to keep some humor in it. But this is the way life is going right now, and I want to record it so that in a few months I can look back and laugh, and appreciate how being dramatic is one of my defense mechanisms.

This post is all about the car. You can catch up on the first week of the trauma/drama in my last post here. To continue, we took the car back on Monday (the 9th) as planned. Jeff was a trooper, said he'd take of everything. Later he said that the part that they'd replaced was faulty. Since it was the supplier's fault, he'd reimburse Jeff for the labor cost and we'd all win. Yay. But the same problem happened with the second Cam Shaft Sensor they installed. Not good. Jeff and his team looked deeper, and it turned out that the computer which was identifying the problem WAS, in fact, the problem. So I needed a new computer for my car. See, the news just gets better and better.

Jeff found a used computer which he was willing to sell for a GREAT deal (if anyone is looking for a good mechanic in Huntsville, go to Roper Automotive - 533-9095) and said he could get it by yesterday (the 16th). Great. Only when they installed it, the car wouldn't run. They did some research and apparently the computers have to be specially programmed by the VW dealership (which I'd been avoiding like the plague, because dealerships are NOT YOUR FRIENDS). So I called the VW dealership, and low and behold, they won't install a used computer. Jeff checked out my extended warranty (which thank goodness I'd purchased), and it looked like it should be covered. So they had to put the old computer in the car, and I booked it to VW dealership last night (tough when you can't go above 3000 rpm, in case anyone is wondering) but made it at 5:29 when the service department closes at 5:30. (If accused of breaking any traffic laws, I'll deny it.)

So then today I called to check on the car, and he says, "The problem's not the computer. It's the cam shaft sensor." I came close to losing it at that point, but kept my cool, informed him that my mechanic had already tried to replace it twice, and maybe he'd like to call Jeff so they could discuss the nuts and blots of the problem. BUT wait there's more. Jeff had charged the warranty company for the replacement (duh. he replaced it), but so now the VW dealership is saying I'm going to have to go back over to Jeff's to get it installed because the warranty company won't pay THEM for the same work. Let's not forgot that we tried that TWICE and it DIDN'T WORK. So basically this guy is managing to tell me with presumably a straight face that I need to drive my unfixed car off the lot and back to Jeff (presumably after paying the $100 deductable for a service he "noticed I needed and took care of since it was covered under the warranty"). This sounds a little disjointed, and that's because it is. It's a fiasco. This should not be as difficult as it is, but the postpartum hormones, taking care of a newborn, the washer/dryer fiasco, getting back into the swing of things at work, trying to manage my headaches, and dealing with the fact that my grandma's health is failing are all contributing to me having to exercise serious self control not to swear a LOT.

And there you have it. Me whining. Shamelessly. In fact I might prefer if no one reads this and discovers what a negative person I am. But later in life I can look back and hopefully reminisce fondly. And maybe some of you can be more sympathetic to how crazy I am, and MAYBE even feel a little better about whatever traumas you're dealing with. Not because mine are worse. But because they're different.

So now I'm sure you've all been wondering about the title of the post. Sophia is the name of my car. My car before her was Ruby, a '92 Mazda Miata I loved dearly but went the way of all the earth two years ago. She was a part of me. I referred to her often by name in the third person, and all my close friends knew "who" I was talking about. I cried when she died. But then I bought Sophia, a 2003 Volkswagon Jetta. And I love her. She's fun and sporty, and I don't get wet when it rains. But I do NOT love the VW dealership.

In closing, I'd like to leave you all with some good things in life and blessings I'm grateful for:
-my wonderful husband, who tonight when I was apologizing for being in such a foul mood said, "it's ok, honey. I didn't just marry your good moods."
-my handsome son, who's healthy and smart and a joy in our lives.
-my parents and my parents-in-law, who gave us examples of how to be good husbands, wives, and parents
-friends and co-workers who put up with my mood swings and just roll with the punches and love me anyway

Now some frivolous ones:
-technology. "I love technology." (Props for those who get the reference.) But seriously it makes keeping in touch with friends and family so wonderful. and my Jack Johnson station. I love the music of Jack Johnson. It soothes me.
-caffeinated beverages. That's right, my friends. I love me some diet coke, diet coke with lime, diet mt. dew, and diet dr. pepper.
-running. it's a stress reliever. I'm thinking I'll train for the Air Force Marathon and meet my dad in Dayton, Ohio in September. Any takers?

Hopefully my next post with have good car news and all sorts of rainbows and butterflies (again, props for those who get the reference...).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Murphy's Week and SOME good news

Warning: this will be a whiny blog entry. There's no help for it. The last week and a half has been brutal. I'll do my very best, however, to make the tale amusing. And, not to spoil the ending or anything, but it really did turn out all right in the end.

First of all, some background info. We got our washer and dryer from Tyler's parents. They're ridiculously generous people anyway, and they CLAIMED they (the washer and dryer) were old (but still worked) and were just taking up space in their garage. This was close to two years ago when I bought the house. Fast forward to about 3 months ago. The dryer started fritzing. It would just stop and then start again randomly. Usually it was great for about 3 loads, but the last 2 or three would take a few hours while it took random breaks. No big deal right? A little inconvenient, but certainly not the end of the world. Then last Saturday Tyler noticed that there was a burning smell in the laundry room when the dryer was on AND it was still doing the fritzing thing. This was more of a fix-sooner-rather-than-later situation now, because who wants to save a few bucks on the dryer at the expense of burning down the house? Not me. So Friday we bought a new dryer and went ahead and got the matching washer. It's an investment, right? They'll last for 15 years. Plus then we only have to arrange for delivery once. (Dude, and they HAUL AWAY THE OLD ONES! I love Lowes.) Moving on...

My mom stayed with us for 4 weeks after Lincoln was born. BLESSINGS on her head. It was a godsend. It was so nice after a long sleepless night with Lincoln to be able to walk into mom's room and announce that it was Nana's turn and then go sleep another 4 (blissfully uninterrupted) hours. Don't worry, I KNEW how great it was. But it had to end and mom left last Monday (the 2nd). Before we were supposed to head to the airport, I decided to run over to Walgreens really quick and pick up some prescriptions (ok, and a diet mt. dew, cause I was craving one). And, oh look! the engine light was on, the car was making funny noises, and it took 4 tries to get it to start. So I left the car running in the driveway, loaded up my mom and her bags and the baby, and headed to the airport. Praying the whole time that my car wouldn't just stop. We got there ok (thankfully), but then on the way home I realized that this was really something I needed to get taken care of because Tyler was going out of the town the next day (See? The fun never stops). So I called my friend Denelle, and, blessings on her head, she agreed to watch Lincoln for an hour on like 3 minutes notice. Autozone checked the problem, and it was bigger than just replacing a quick part, so I took it to the mechanic and had Tyler pick me up. Please note that all this took WAY more than the hour Denelle had agreed to, so three hours later I finally got my child back.
Ok, so next day Tyler leaves. The night goes ok. Wednesday goes ok. Just sleeping when I can, you know the drill. Then Thursday I took Lincoln BACK over to Denelle's cause I had a doctor's appt (SO SICK of Dr.'s appointments, in case anyone was wondering). I got my clean bill of health to start work on Monday (the 9th) and had a contraceptive implant (the kind that goes in your upper arm) inserted. (By the by, the information packet LIES about how long it will hurt.) I mention this (the implant, not the pain) because it will be important later in the story.
Friday we went to pick Tyler up, buy the washer and dryer, and went and got my car. Yay and joy, it was in worse shape than before (wouldn't accelerate past 3000 rpm, engine light still on, airbag light on now, and still having trouble starting). So I made plans to take it back to the shop on Monday. Meanwhile, I found out that the paperwork I had gotten at the doctor's on Thursday to return to work on Monday was the WRONG paperwork, so I would need to go BACK to the doctor's on Monday and wouldn't be back into work. Not a terrible thing, just a hassle. And in the midst of all this trauma/drama, the hormones from the implant and just general postpartum hormones were wreaking HAVOC with my emotions. Poor Tyler. Such a trooper. So, sob, sob, sob, I got things taken care of on Monday, then found out that there was an error in payroll, and I got about 10% deposited to my account that I should have. I won't even go there.
And in the midst of all of this, let us not forgot that I'm a little neurotic because I get headaches every day. I went in to my neurologist yesterday (Yay! Another doctor's appointment) and explained to him that I needed a miracle drug to solve all my problems. Luckily he knew I was being facetious, but we are working to get me back on track.
I probably forgot something. Oh, I know! My neurotic/psychotic breakdown about things not fitting because I don't want to wear maternity clothes but I'm too big for my pre-preggo clothes. Such a disaster! Starving children in Somalia would be sympathetic to my plight! I decided on an interim solution that doesn't involve a whole new wardrobe (Tyler was relieved); it involves making my own BellaBands. $26 dollars? Seriously. Just get some jersey knit and sew a few straight lines. Which I did. And now I can achieve a super-swanky layered look. I'm the coolest kid in school. And I'm calmer and less neurotic, so it's basically a win-win.
Oh, and the news on the car? Since I needed Tyler's car for my errands on Monday anyway, I went on-base and got a sticker for his car, so now I can use his car to get to work when needed. And I heard back from the mechanic, and the problem was the part. Since it was the suppliers fault, they'll cover all the expenses and pay Jeff for his time. So everyone's happy, just a little inconvenienced.
And now I think I've blabbed enough. WHY did I blab so much? Not to complain, not really. Sometimes I need to hear a "poor, baby", but I don't need them TOO much. Life is life, and we've weathered it and things are good. No, it's because it makes me feel SO much better when other mom's say, "Oh, I know EXACTLY how you feel!" It helps me feel less crazy and more normal. (Reassurances to that effect would be REALLY welcome.)
So, now the good news you've all been waiting for: VIZIO is giving away free tvs! Just go to their website and sign up for the drawing. Then understand realistically that the chances that you'll win are virtually nill, but it's still fun to dream, right?
Whew, I warned this would be a long one. And kind of whiny. But it's been a while since I updated. Next time I'll tell you all how fabulous Lincoln is. In the meantime, check the sidebars cause I'm going to try to create links to our facebook photo albums. And you WANT to see those albums. Lincoln's adorable. :)