May 29, 2007

I spoke too soon

Six days of spotting later I have still not started my period and I had a negative blood pregnancy test this afternoon, I will call Monday to see if the doctor will order me some Provera to start my period. I am on day 52 of this annovulatory cycle from hell.

May 25, 2007

FINALLY!

I finally started spotting, which means I am due to start soon, which means we can start the clomid soon and hopefully the IUI and with any luck maybe soon be expecting!! If it works the first time, Matthew can expect a little brother or sister as an early birthday present! And I would get another great early birthday gift, just like the one I got in '05! :) The odds are low, only about 20%, but one can hope, right??

School's out for summer!

School let out for the summer yesterday, and today is my last day watching Baby A. I am excited, for purely selfish reasons.... I get to sleep!! Of course if this morning was anything like this summer will be, Isis may not let me sleep in, she was up at 5am wanting to go out. ::roll eyes::

This year was a great year for Austin who made honor roll all but one quarter, and even then he was close. He made president's honor roll and even got a certificate from the white house. In order to make this honor, you have to have a 3.5 GPA all year long. This quarter he made Gold honor roll, wherein the other quarters he made silver, so he did not get the Golden Eagle award, but I am still immensely proud. Austin will be in middle school (6th grade) next year.

Christopher's grades.... well he did not fail anything, however he could have done a LOT better. He had a lot of Cs, some Bs and As. I do wish he had tried harder just to feel the pride of being honored in an assembly for his grades. To be fair, this was Christopher's first year with letter grades, a tough (great) teacher, and Christopher still has a TON of maturing to do. Christopher will go into the fourth grade next year at the same school.

Overall I am satisfied on how the children did, next year is another year and another opportunity for a fresh start.

PayPerPost Direct

There is a new program available from PayPerPost, called PayPerPost Direct which is a really neat addition for anyone interested in paid blogging. First, I will explain PPP and paid blogging; if you are a blogger with interesting material and have a blog older than 90 days old and you update it regularly you can sign up for PayPerPost to review websites, services, products, etc on your blog to receive compensation ranging between $4 and up per post. Unlike other blog advertising companies which tell you what to write about, PPP gives you the freedom to chose what content you want to put in your blog.

Now PayPerPost offers a new program called PayPerPost Direct. Basically, PPP Direct is a program you can install in your blogs to allow advertisers to directly approach you to offer you an opportunity to write about in your blog. This allows Posties and Advertisers to directly hash out a deal and set their own terms without involvement from PayPerPost.

Other pay for blog websites, such as ReviewMe, can charge as much as 50-100% markup, which is CRAZY! Why should I do all the work while someone else makes just as much as I do for being the middle man? With PayPerPost Direct you truly are your own boss! Now I don't mind the 35% markup from PayPerPost, they do have a staff to pay, they do send me Tax Returns, and they do secure more advertisers than any other paid blogging website I have seen, however, the more money I can keep in my pocket the better... which is where PayPerPost Direct comes into play.

PayPerPost Direct will still offer marketing, they will still offer the security of me not having to put my email address out there and wait for advertisers to connect to me, they still make it super easy for me to get opportunities and for advertisers to find me. It is important that you claim the money you make to the IRS, and PayPerPost does that by sending you the forms you need for tax purposes, however even with PayPerPost Direct they will continue to track your earnings and send them out to you in your end of the year tax statement. Seems like a WIN-WIN situation to me!


May 22, 2007

A Series of Unfortunate Circumstances, Part 4

Continued from Part Three...


I got to the doctor’s at 1:15 but after I parked, I could not get the key out of the ignition, so I ended up leaving the key and locking the van by arming the alarm and rushing to the appointment. The doctor said it was most likely a strain, but to bring him back if he was not walking by Friday or Monday. When I got to my van I could not remove the key or start it, so before calling roadside assistance I called Bobby who laughed at me asking if I still had it in gear, I fiddled with it a bit to find that it was in gear, even though it appeared to be in park.

While at the doctor’s the weather turned cold and foul and Matthew was underdressed so I felt guilty taking him out in the rain in shorts. Next, we went into Walgreen’s to get some Motrin (we only had Tylenol and Motrin for colds); with the rest of our luck it was no surprise when we went to pay and the cashier’s scanner was broken. I ended up not getting a couple items because she could not get their codes to work.

I was so relieved to be home without any more drama, I got Matthew inside, gave him his medicine and let the dogs in the house… and of course, both dogs were soaking wet and muddy… leaving massive muddy dog prints all over the formerly clean carpets. Bobby told me to watch a movie and relax and he would pick up Subway for dinner and let me relax the rest of the evening; I have such a darling husband, he is so good to me. Other than losing power for 10-15 minutes or it taking me 3 hours to watch 2 hours of my movie, “Memoirs of a Geisha”, the last couple of hours have been uneventful.


So that is it, my sad tale of woe... My baby still cannot walk, my older two boys have no clue the meaning of the word "quiet", and it is almost 7 pm and I have survived the day without blowing my eating plan.

A Series of Unfortunate Circumstances, Part 4

Continued from Part Three...


I got to the doctor’s at 1:15 but after I parked, I could not get the key out of the ignition, so I ended up leaving the key and locking the van by arming the alarm and rushing to the appointment. The doctor said it was most likely a strain, but to bring him back if he was not walking by Friday or Monday. When I got to my van I could not remove the key or start it, so before calling roadside assistance I called Bobby who laughed at me asking if I still had it in gear, I fiddled with it a bit to find that it was in gear, even though it appeared to be in park.

While at the doctor’s the weather turned cold and foul and Matthew was underdressed so I felt guilty taking him out in the rain in shorts. Next, we went into Walgreen’s to get some Motrin (we only had Tylenol and Motrin for colds); with the rest of our luck it was no surprise when we went to pay and the cashier’s scanner was broken. I ended up not getting a couple items because she could not get their codes to work.

I was so relieved to be home without any more drama, I got Matthew inside, gave him his medicine and let the dogs in the house… and of course, both dogs were soaking wet and muddy… leaving massive muddy dog prints all over the formerly clean carpets. Bobby told me to watch a movie and relax and he would pick up Subway for dinner and let me relax the rest of the evening; I have such a darling husband, he is so good to me. Other than losing power for 10-15 minutes or it taking me 3 hours to watch 2 hours of my movie, “Memoirs of a Geisha”, the last couple of hours have been uneventful.


So that is it, my sad tale of woe... My baby still cannot walk, my older two boys have no clue the meaning of the word "quiet", and it is almost 7 pm and I have survived the day without blowing my eating plan.

A Series of Unfortunate Circumstances, Part 3

Continued from Part Two...


Today, I knew it would be a difficult day from the start. The dog and cat kept waking me up, first when the cat was licking a plastic grocery bag, next when they started fighting, again when the cat wanted out, and finally I just gave up and got up when the dog started nosing around and whining.

The day started out normal enough, A. cried for a while, laid down for a nap before Matthew awoke, so I was able to sneak in a nap of my own. The phone waked me up once, but I was able to fall back asleep for a few more minutes before Matt started crying. His leg was still not any better so I called the doctor to make an appointment for 1:20, the only appointment left for the day. Of course, at the time it totally slipped my mind that I had furniture I ordered over a month ago coming from Denver between 11:45 and 2pm and it was too late to cancel. I figured I could get A.’s dad to stay if I needed, but then he called around the time he was supposed to be here to inform me he would be late and to take A. with me to Matthew’s appointment if he was not home.

By this time, I am in total panic mode so I call Bobby begging him to come home and help, but he has an appointment at 1 pm also with a General. While all this is going on, I remembered that I had forgotten to deposit a check yesterday and I had not balanced my account, so it was really no shock to learn that I was $12 overdrawn. While I was trying to get both babies ready to go the furniture arrived so I was thrilled one thing was taken care of, but I also had the matter of having 15 minutes until I had to leave, the check needing to be deposited and the little ones to keep occupied. Thank goodness for the Deposit at home feature, even if I did keep giving me error messages. A.’s dad arrived when I was depositing the check, I had to set her down on the carpet for a moment and of course, she screamed like a banshee. Matthew had managed to crawl downstairs in the meantime, so I carried him back up in major panic mode that it was 12:55 and we were supposed to be there at 1:05 for our 1:20 appointment. I came up to my diet peach tea spilled all over the carpet I had just cleaned, put the dogs outside and rushed out to the van.

To Be Continued...

A Series of Unfortunate Circumstances, Part 3

Continued from Part Two...


Today, I knew it would be a difficult day from the start. The dog and cat kept waking me up, first when the cat was licking a plastic grocery bag, next when they started fighting, again when the cat wanted out, and finally I just gave up and got up when the dog started nosing around and whining.

The day started out normal enough, A. cried for a while, laid down for a nap before Matthew awoke, so I was able to sneak in a nap of my own. The phone waked me up once, but I was able to fall back asleep for a few more minutes before Matt started crying. His leg was still not any better so I called the doctor to make an appointment for 1:20, the only appointment left for the day. Of course, at the time it totally slipped my mind that I had furniture I ordered over a month ago coming from Denver between 11:45 and 2pm and it was too late to cancel. I figured I could get A.’s dad to stay if I needed, but then he called around the time he was supposed to be here to inform me he would be late and to take A. with me to Matthew’s appointment if he was not home.

By this time, I am in total panic mode so I call Bobby begging him to come home and help, but he has an appointment at 1 pm also with a General. While all this is going on, I remembered that I had forgotten to deposit a check yesterday and I had not balanced my account, so it was really no shock to learn that I was $12 overdrawn. While I was trying to get both babies ready to go the furniture arrived so I was thrilled one thing was taken care of, but I also had the matter of having 15 minutes until I had to leave, the check needing to be deposited and the little ones to keep occupied. Thank goodness for the Deposit at home feature, even if I did keep giving me error messages. A.’s dad arrived when I was depositing the check, I had to set her down on the carpet for a moment and of course, she screamed like a banshee. Matthew had managed to crawl downstairs in the meantime, so I carried him back up in major panic mode that it was 12:55 and we were supposed to be there at 1:05 for our 1:20 appointment. I came up to my diet peach tea spilled all over the carpet I had just cleaned, put the dogs outside and rushed out to the van.

To Be Continued...

…And now a word from our sponsors

One of my favorite memories of childhood were the trips I took to Hawaii when I was a young girl. The first time I went, I imagine I must have been about 8 or 9 and we camped on the beach, for a week and then we got a Kauai vacation condo and stayed at Lawai Beach Resort. I saw so many neat attractions, like Spouting Horn, Mount Kilauea, and Fern Grotto.

The next time we went, we stayed in a hotel in Oahu, and then back to Lawai Beach Resort where my parents had previously purchased their time-share Condo. They offered classes on lei making, hula dancing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and many other neat classes. My parents took a helicopter tour through the canyon that I missed out on because I was sunburned and feeling queezy.

I hope someday to take my own family to Kauai, Hawaii, Maui, and Oahu. The cultural experience I gained from our trip will last me a lifetime. I loved the people, the sounds, the sights, the food, and most of all the memories my family shared.

...And now a word from our sponsors

One of my favorite memories of childhood were the trips I took to Hawaii when I was a young girl. The first time I went, I imagine I must have been about 8 or 9 and we camped on the beach, for a week and then we got a Kauai vacation condo and stayed at Lawai Beach Resort. I saw so many neat attractions, like Spouting Horn, Mount Kilauea, and Fern Grotto.

The next time we went, we stayed in a hotel in Oahu, and then back to Lawai Beach Resort where my parents had previously purchased their time-share Condo. They offered classes on lei making, hula dancing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and many other neat classes. My parents took a helicopter tour through the canyon that I missed out on because I was sunburned and feeling queezy.

I hope someday to take my own family to Kauai, Hawaii, Maui, and Oahu. The cultural experience I gained from our trip will last me a lifetime. I loved the people, the sounds, the sights, the food, and most of all the memories my family shared.

A Series of Unfortunate Circumstances, Part 2

Continued from Part One...

So the food is great, the company is better the kids are all outside on the deck happily eating when one of the women there hears one of the little ones crying. She rushes outside and sees that it is Matthew and he was on the trampoline with some of the big kids.

After trying to calm him for 30 minutes, we decide he is hurt more than we thought and we decided I would take him to the ER and Bobby would catch a ride home later. To make a long story shorter, they found nothing broken, decided it was a contusion, and sent him home four hours later. The staff was all wonderful, especially the admitting team. I spoke to a couple different nurses, and the doctor twice, but the young lady from admissions spent the most time with us. Around midnight, we left the hospital again and I had to get Bobby who got all the way home before he realized he had not brought his keys.

Sunday and Monday were spent carrying him around since he cannot bear any weight on his right leg. Yesterday was more difficult than Sunday because I had so much to do and I have A. in the morning and could not hold him the entire time. Luckily, Bobby was working from home and was able to help for the two hours I spent cleaning the carpets. I also had to run Austin up to the middle school for more testing, so I did not have to wake Matthew or take Christopher.

To Be Continued...

A Series of Unfortunate Circumstances, Part 2

Continued from Part One...

So the food is great, the company is better the kids are all outside on the deck happily eating when one of the women there hears one of the little ones crying. She rushes outside and sees that it is Matthew and he was on the trampoline with some of the big kids.

After trying to calm him for 30 minutes, we decide he is hurt more than we thought and we decided I would take him to the ER and Bobby would catch a ride home later. To make a long story shorter, they found nothing broken, decided it was a contusion, and sent him home four hours later. The staff was all wonderful, especially the admitting team. I spoke to a couple different nurses, and the doctor twice, but the young lady from admissions spent the most time with us. Around midnight, we left the hospital again and I had to get Bobby who got all the way home before he realized he had not brought his keys.

Sunday and Monday were spent carrying him around since he cannot bear any weight on his right leg. Yesterday was more difficult than Sunday because I had so much to do and I have A. in the morning and could not hold him the entire time. Luckily, Bobby was working from home and was able to help for the two hours I spent cleaning the carpets. I also had to run Austin up to the middle school for more testing, so I did not have to wake Matthew or take Christopher.

To Be Continued...

A Series of Unfortunate Circumstances, Part 1

Author's note: I am splitting this story into several smaller entries to make it easier to read. I apologize if it makes it harder to follow.

If you are reading this entry hoping for a happy story of butterflies or cute fuzzy puppies, you better hit your back button right now, or better yet, click the X in the upper right corner of your screen.

In order to tell you this sad tale of woe, I have to go back, back to Saturday the 19th. The day started out ordinary… I slept in, woke up and ate lunch, went to my acupuncture appointment and then came home to relax on my day off. We had turned down the request to baby-sit baby A. that evening because we had plans with our dear friends to have a Chili potluck and we have not seen this group of friends in almost/over a month.

To Be Continued...

A Series of Unfortunate Circumstances, Part 1

Author's note: I am splitting this story into several smaller entries to make it easier to read. I apologize if it makes it harder to follow.

If you are reading this entry hoping for a happy story of butterflies or cute fuzzy puppies, you better hit your back button right now, or better yet, click the X in the upper right corner of your screen.

In order to tell you this sad tale of woe, I have to go back, back to Saturday the 19th. The day started out ordinary… I slept in, woke up and ate lunch, went to my acupuncture appointment and then came home to relax on my day off. We had turned down the request to baby-sit baby A. that evening because we had plans with our dear friends to have a Chili potluck and we have not seen this group of friends in almost/over a month.

To Be Continued...

Easy to Book!

I have always wanted to see Europe, I could totally see myself spending the summer backpacking through Europe living out of hotels, taking pictures of everything I see. Today I was visiting the website www.easytobook.com/ and admiring all the beautiful hotels and other gorgeous pictures. I would love to go to Amsterdam, not for the *cough* Coffee Shops *cough*, but for the people, the architecture, the history, and the Anne Frank house.

Barcelona is another place I would love to visit. While there I would love to visit the Picasso Museum and the Olympic Stadium, in addition to many other tourist attractions.

And of course, what is a European vacation without a trip to Rome, with the Vatican City and the Parthenon to name a couple, I could easily sightsee every day for a month and still not be able to take it all in.

If you are considering a vacation in Europe, stay tuned, Easy to Book is adding new cities to widen it's net.

*This is a sponsored post.

Easy to Book!

I have always wanted to see Europe, I could totally see myself spending the summer backpacking through Europe living out of hotels, taking pictures of everything I see. Today I was visiting the website www.easytobook.com/ and admiring all the beautiful hotels and other gorgeous pictures. I would love to go to Amsterdam, not for the *cough* Coffee Shops *cough*, but for the people, the architecture, the history, and the Anne Frank house.

Barcelona is another place I would love to visit. While there I would love to visit the Picasso Museum and the Olympic Stadium, in addition to many other tourist attractions.

And of course, what is a European vacation without a trip to Rome, with the Vatican City and the Parthenon to name a couple, I could easily sightsee every day for a month and still not be able to take it all in.

If you are considering a vacation in Europe, stay tuned, Easy to Book is adding new cities to widen it's net.

*This is a sponsored post.

Movie Highlight: Raising Cain

I watched the movie last night Raising Cain: Boys in Focus and I was AMAZED at some of the things I saw and learned. This movie talked about many issues facing boys and young men from censorship of violent stories at school, an education system that does not understand how to teach this complex gender, peer pressure to conform to others to fit in, to how being fatherless or impoverished can affect our young men. If you have sons, are an educator, or work with boys, this movie is a must see. Even my husband found a lot of the information helpful, even if he did keep telling me I told you so.

The main focus of this movie is that we are not raising violent men by allowing violent writing and violent play. Boys who pretend to be cops and robbers, Sir Lancelot, Luke Skywalker, or a sub-machine gun wielding robot DO NOT turn into violent men. In fact a child is more likely to be permanently damaged by being told he cannot play these natural types of games. This carries into writing and reading as well and this is where the most profound quote hit home.


"Boys lag behind girls in literacy because schools discourage the things that they are interested in".

This was said by Thomas Newkirk, who wrote the book Misreading Masculinity as he was explaining how the public school system is failing our boys by discouraging books that may interest them, or disallowing full creativity of stories that may be offensive to others. He goes on to say that boys should be allowed to write about things like death, or murder, as long as the subject of that story is not a classmate.

They showed an example of a young boy named Seth, who was in a pre-school or kindergarten where the teacher would sit down with each student and they would write a short story. At the end of the session the teacher would read the stories out loud to the other students in circle and they would discuss it. Seth wrote a little story about a unicorn and a horse, and a mean man killing the horse, so the unicorn turned around and killed the mean man. The girls were all very upset over this story, as horses should not be killed they said. Seth seemed heartbroken and they made a rule that stories could not be about dying, just fainting. The next day Seth could not focus during writing time and the teacher said the boy who normally would come to her with a story in mind without hesitation, suddenly had writers block and had a hard time coming up with anything to say. So the teacher talked to the children once more and they all agreed that it was OK for them to write about 'bad guys' dying, or getting killed; just not the 'good guys'. Seth seemed pleased with this answer and his writers block cleared.

Now, imagine if your own 5 yr old is told to censor his writing, and that he cannot play with weapons, and he cannot ready books about magic and dragons because they are too violent. And this continues through age 6, 7, 8 and so on. Your child is told in order to get a passing grade in school they have to read from an approved list of books that are on things like horses, or living on a prairie, or the trials and tribulations of first grade, when they really want to be reading about knights and dragons, shark attacks and hacking and slashing through piles of venomous snakes to find the lost treasure. Can you see how through time they may lose their interest in education all together?

Boy are also active, where schools want you to sit down, stay still, and listen. Active boys need active play in order to keep their mind focused. When the movie talked about how schools are lessening or taking away recess time and how this is causing boys to have a harder time focusing, it made me think of Cesar Millan, the dog whisperer, who is always preaching that in order to calm the mind, you must exercise the mind. I think this is true for children too, and when we take away games such as tag, or football at recess, or take away recess all together, you are setting boys up for failure in school. It is no wonder when boys are asked their favorite subject in school they respond Gym, Lunch or Recess.

This year, Austin was fortunate enough to be in an all boys classroom, taught by a male teacher who focused on boy centered learning. The school has seen increased test scores from this program and Austin has seen grades higher than he has ever achieved before, from some B's, but mostly A's. I think this is a direct result of boy centered learning and I really look forward to when Christopher will also get to be in this same class.

Anyways, please go see this movie, either borrow it from the library, Netflix it, or even buy it. The wealth of information received from this documentary has been invaluable, and reassuring that I can be a good mom to these sensitive young boys in a world where public education and society is failing our sons.

May 17, 2007

Child Support

Austin's birth-mom is almost $3,000 in arrears on child support. This is money she owed from before the adoption was finalized; today I spoke with my Child Support Caseworker and she said that bio-mom has court next week in which they will require her to explain why she has not made any attempts to pay it. I hope the courts can work out a fair agreement for the money to be re-paid so this can all be over with once and for all.

Child Support

Austin's birth-mom is almost $3,000 in arrears on child support. This is money she owed from before the adoption was finalized; today I spoke with my Child Support Caseworker and she said that bio-mom has court next week in which they will require her to explain why she has not made any attempts to pay it. I hope the courts can work out a fair agreement for the money to be re-paid so this can all be over with once and for all.

IUI Consult

Today Bobby and I went to visit my OB/GYNs office to learn more about starting intra-uterine insemination (IUI) next cycle. As soon as I get my period I will call the office to get my Clomid ordered, a very mild fertility medication. As soon as I get a positive Ovulation Prediction Kit (OPK) I will call the office to schedule insemination.

The only thing that is stopping me now is that I am late, probably because I don't think I ovulated last month, the 2nd time since January '06, figures it would be the month I want my period early. I am starting to get crampy, hopefully it is not just wishful thinking.

Oh, I almost forgot, I am also getting a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) around cycle day 5-7. I had this done back in 1999 and although it was somewhat uncomfortable (I mean it IS dye being inserted into the uterus and fallopian tubes though a catheter) it was nothing that I cannot handle and has a side effect of slightly increased fertility for a few cycles.

Grammar Police

I am not a grammar snob by any means and my spelling and grammar is far from perfect, but I REALLY hate when people say ax instead of ask. In the video below a teacher is getting heat for teaching seminars on anti-slang language usage in high school and college students. The reason why people are upset? He is African American and targeting young black youth whom he says are most at risk for speaking incorrectly. I don't get it though, what is wrong with someone trying to rescue children of their own race and help them succeed in the workforce?

May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope all you mothers have a great day, celebrate it by hugging the little darlings that made this day possible.

I had a nice day, I asked for the gift of time so we painted our living room, it looks really nice. I am not quite done so I have no pictures to share yet, but once we pick a color for my fireplace mantle I will post some pictures.

I hope all you mothers got what you wanted and had more of a relaxing day than I did.

May 12, 2007

Just call me a pincushion

Today I went in to have my first ever acupuncture and wow did it feel neat! I feel energized and relaxed and calm; like I have a new lease on life as dramatic as that sounds. I read a bunch of research the other day on the effects of acupuncture on unexplained infertility and decided to call the acupuncturist that works with all the doctors around town that do IVF and booked an appointment with her office. If anything I feel like I am doing something to aid in conception since nothing else seems to be working. I also asked him to poke me in the weight lost area to give me a little more motivation to start working my butt off, literally.

I also got my lab slip for my HSG today, I am not quite sure where to get that done but I will call on Monday to make an appointment with the Nurse Practitioner to start down the road towards assisted reproduction, with IUI being the short term goal.

May 9, 2007

Phone Call

The more I think about it, the more irritated I am about the phone call from BM. Not because what was said, but because what was not said; it has been almost 4 years since the last time she spoke to Austin on the phone. For 6 months I would call her so she could talk to Austin and she never returned my calls. She never attempted to write/email/call or talk to Austin at all about the adoption. She does not owe us a thing, but I do think Austin should at least get a simple explanation. I am not angry, or bitter about the past, I just don't understand how people can let so many years pass by without a phone call, and then casually talk to them as if they have always been there.

Maybe I am being sensitive or overly critical, but I guess I am kind of hesitant to trust that the psychological head games will not resume if she starts contacting on a regular basis. On the other hand, I think after going so long without a relationship with someone, it may be best to just let sleeping dogs lie. I guess if it does not hurt Austin I will try to get past it, but I also have not had a chance to talk to him about how it made him feel. If he was not bothered we will allow it in the future as long as she doesn't start back into old habits. If it did bother him I will put my foot down and ask her not to call.

Phone Call

The more I think about it, the more irritated I am about the phone call from BM. Not because what was said, but because what was not said; it has been almost 4 years since the last time she spoke to Austin on the phone. For 6 months I would call her so she could talk to Austin and she never returned my calls. She never attempted to write/email/call or talk to Austin at all about the adoption. She does not owe us a thing, but I do think Austin should at least get a simple explanation. I am not angry, or bitter about the past, I just don't understand how people can let so many years pass by without a phone call, and then casually talk to them as if they have always been there.

Maybe I am being sensitive or overly critical, but I guess I am kind of hesitant to trust that the psychological head games will not resume if she starts contacting on a regular basis. On the other hand, I think after going so long without a relationship with someone, it may be best to just let sleeping dogs lie. I guess if it does not hurt Austin I will try to get past it, but I also have not had a chance to talk to him about how it made him feel. If he was not bothered we will allow it in the future as long as she doesn't start back into old habits. If it did bother him I will put my foot down and ask her not to call.

File Security

With all the buzz about online scammers, hackers, malicious programs, keylogging programs, etc., it is nice to know that there are ways to protect your files and increase your data security. One of these programs came from a surprising source, PKWARE, the makers of the program PKZIP that I used for a great number of years and is the only zip/unzip program that comes to mind.

The newest zip program, SecureZIP is a very simple download, and for a limited time can be downloaded for free; this is the full version, not a trial version. Secure Zip encrypts and compresses files for fast and secure transfer, this program is great for business projects, sensitive files that may have personal information like a social security number or banking information, or anything that you would not want to fall into the wrong hands. This data security program is also great for protecting your own personal files stored on your hard drives, portable media, or laptops. SecureZIP - The next generation of ZIP.

Within two minutes of submitting my email address, SecureZip was downloaded and two minutes later was registered and up and running. The program is easy to use and is also integrated into Outlook Express which makes it super simple to email encrypted files. You also want to check out SecureZIP's impressive review over at PC Magazine.com, they made 4 1/2 marks out of five marks, and have great raves.

Check this program out, it is a great asset in total data security.


File Security

With all the buzz about online scammers, hackers, malicious programs, keylogging programs, etc., it is nice to know that there are ways to protect your files and increase your data security. One of these programs came from a surprising source, PKWARE, the makers of the program PKZIP that I used for a great number of years and is the only zip/unzip program that comes to mind.

The newest zip program, SecureZIP is a very simple download, and for a limited time can be downloaded for free; this is the full version, not a trial version. Secure Zip encrypts and compresses files for fast and secure transfer, this program is great for business projects, sensitive files that may have personal information like a social security number or banking information, or anything that you would not want to fall into the wrong hands. This data security program is also great for protecting your own personal files stored on your hard drives, portable media, or laptops. SecureZIP - The next generation of ZIP.

Within two minutes of submitting my email address, SecureZip was downloaded and two minutes later was registered and up and running. The program is easy to use and is also integrated into Outlook Express which makes it super simple to email encrypted files. You also want to check out SecureZIP's impressive review over at PC Magazine.com, they made 4 1/2 marks out of five marks, and have great raves.

Check this program out, it is a great asset in total data security.


May 8, 2007

Happy Birthday to Austin!

Today is Austin's birthday, he is now 11. My god he is getting old! He was so funny this morning because I asked him how he felt and he replied "I feel ooooold", you know because 11 is almost a senior citizen and all!

He had a nice day, after school he went to Taekwondo; their Master likes kids to come on their birthday, he gives them birthday spankings with the kicking paddles. As he was walking in the door he got a call from Grandpa (my dad) to wish him a happy birthday, then from his grandma (Bobby's mother). After TWD we went out to the restaurant he chose, Red Lobster, where we all enjoyed a family meal. Austin got crab legs, Christopher got chicken fingers, Matthew got macaroni & cheese, and Bobby and I got crab, lobster & shrimp plates. Austin and Chris got smoothies too, so they will thrilled.

During dinner the phone rang, and Bobby almost did not answer it because we were eating, but he did not recognize the area code, so he stepped out to answer and it was Austin's birth mother. She wanted to let Bobby know that she was late mailing Austin's birthday card and asked if she could wish him a happy birthday. Bobby agreed and gave Austin the phone. Here is what I heard:

"Good"
"Thank you"
"Good, I am a green belt now"
"Eating dinner"
"Love you too, bye"

And that was that, maybe 60 seconds total. She then spoke with me for a few minutes about some pictures I asked if she could take to get scanned for me to have copies since I have almost no pictures of Austin as a baby. She stated it would a few weeks before she could get them because she needed her husband to go with her and she won't have a babysitter for a few weeks.

When we got home he opened his presents; he is really into Star Wars, so we got him a new light saber, a nice Anakin Skywalker figurine for his dresser (the boys got new dressers over the weekend that were delivered this weekend, real wood), a Pirates of the Carribean chess set, some Yu-Gi-Oh cards, some cars, etc. We are also giving him his favorite gift, cash, to spend this weekend.

After gifts, Grandma (my mom) called to wish him a happy birthday and they got to talk for a while even though his attention was probably on the light saber. The kids all finally went to bed around 10:30; I could not believe how late they stayed up!

Happy Birthday to Austin!

Today is Austin's birthday, he is now 11. My god he is getting old! He was so funny this morning because I asked him how he felt and he replied "I feel ooooold", you know because 11 is almost a senior citizen and all!

He had a nice day, after school he went to Taekwondo; their Master likes kids to come on their birthday, he gives them birthday spankings with the kicking paddles. As he was walking in the door he got a call from Grandpa (my dad) to wish him a happy birthday, then from his grandma (Bobby's mother). After TWD we went out to the restaurant he chose, Red Lobster, where we all enjoyed a family meal. Austin got crab legs, Christopher got chicken fingers, Matthew got macaroni & cheese, and Bobby and I got crab, lobster & shrimp plates. Austin and Chris got smoothies too, so they will thrilled.

During dinner the phone rang, and Bobby almost did not answer it because we were eating, but he did not recognize the area code, so he stepped out to answer and it was Austin's birth mother. She wanted to let Bobby know that she was late mailing Austin's birthday card and asked if she could wish him a happy birthday. Bobby agreed and gave Austin the phone. Here is what I heard:

"Good"
"Thank you"
"Good, I am a green belt now"
"Eating dinner"
"Love you too, bye"

And that was that, maybe 60 seconds total. She then spoke with me for a few minutes about some pictures I asked if she could take to get scanned for me to have copies since I have almost no pictures of Austin as a baby. She stated it would a few weeks before she could get them because she needed her husband to go with her and she won't have a babysitter for a few weeks.

When we got home he opened his presents; he is really into Star Wars, so we got him a new light saber, a nice Anakin Skywalker figurine for his dresser (the boys got new dressers over the weekend that were delivered this weekend, real wood), a Pirates of the Carribean chess set, some Yu-Gi-Oh cards, some cars, etc. We are also giving him his favorite gift, cash, to spend this weekend.

After gifts, Grandma (my mom) called to wish him a happy birthday and they got to talk for a while even though his attention was probably on the light saber. The kids all finally went to bed around 10:30; I could not believe how late they stayed up!

May 5, 2007

YAY!! Birth Certificates!

Take a look at my updated adoption time line, I finally got Austin's birth certificates in the mail today after begging for an expedited processing last month. I need it to register Austin for school, send him to visit Grandma this summer, etc.

In order for them to rush it I had to overnight an overnight envelope and a letter with proof of why I needed it rushed. It was more costly, but having (almost) everything done was worth it!

YAY!! Birth Certificates!

Take a look at my updated adoption time line, I finally got Austin's birth certificates in the mail today after begging for an expedited processing last month. I need it to register Austin for school, send him to visit Grandma this summer, etc.

In order for them to rush it I had to overnight an overnight envelope and a letter with proof of why I needed it rushed. It was more costly, but having (almost) everything done was worth it!

May 4, 2007

An update on Isis

Isis has spent the last two nights in our room and has been doing fantastic. No chewing, no accidents. I guess she was just lonely; I have to remind myself often she is still just a baby. We picked up a new bed for her, I finally found one big enough at Walmart, and it may actually be TOO big, at least for our room, not for her... she will grow into it. It is roughly as wide as a twin bed and half as long. I need to get a picture of her in her bed, she curls up and looks like an egg in a huge nest, or stretches out and looks like she is going to hang off both ends.

We are also switching food again, from the Canadae to California Natural. I would eventually like both dogs on the same food and I love that the California Natural has no grains, fewer ingredients (eight + vitamins & minerals). My Golden Retriever has allergies and is overweight, so I am hoping that I can slim her down, fix her allergies and eventually get both dogs on the same formula.

An update on Isis

Isis has spent the last two nights in our room and has been doing fantastic. No chewing, no accidents. I guess she was just lonely; I have to remind myself often she is still just a baby. We picked up a new bed for her, I finally found one big enough at Walmart, and it may actually be TOO big, at least for our room, not for her... she will grow into it. It is roughly as wide as a twin bed and half as long. I need to get a picture of her in her bed, she curls up and looks like an egg in a huge nest, or stretches out and looks like she is going to hang off both ends.

We are also switching food again, from the Canadae to California Natural. I would eventually like both dogs on the same food and I love that the California Natural has no grains, fewer ingredients (eight + vitamins & minerals). My Golden Retriever has allergies and is overweight, so I am hoping that I can slim her down, fix her allergies and eventually get both dogs on the same formula.

May 2, 2007

Chewing!!

Isis has been SO destructive lately. When she was teething, I forgave the loss of my only-worn-once $60 leather shoes.

Now that she is 6 months old it is CRAZY! Bobby's $100 shoes, books, papers, toys, etc.

I want to bring her back into our room, but Bobby is against it after waking up twice to explosive diarrhea. We tried leaving her with rawhides and kongs, but apparently Christopher's library book is a lot more fun.

She still does not do well in a crate, and Bobby thinks a muzzle is the solution, but I don't see that working.

How can she be fine for up to 8 hours when we have left in the day/evenings, but freaks out for the 5 hours I sleep at night??

Chewing!!

Isis has been SO destructive lately. When she was teething, I forgave the loss of my only-worn-once $60 leather shoes.

Now that she is 6 months old it is CRAZY! Bobby's $100 shoes, books, papers, toys, etc.

I want to bring her back into our room, but Bobby is against it after waking up twice to explosive diarrhea. We tried leaving her with rawhides and kongs, but apparently Christopher's library book is a lot more fun.

She still does not do well in a crate, and Bobby thinks a muzzle is the solution, but I don't see that working.

How can she be fine for up to 8 hours when we have left in the day/evenings, but freaks out for the 5 hours I sleep at night??

In a nutshell

Since I have been neglecting my blog for the last two weeks, I will make a quick update on each of us (in chronological order).

Bobby just finished another semester at school, he made the Dean's List for his grades. He is getting ready to start an Algebra class, which I think he is a bit apprehensive about. He will do well, I know he will. He started teaching a new group of GI's today; for those of you who don't know, Bobby is a civilian military instructor. He also got his annual raise this week, it is hard to believe it has been almost a year since he started working there. I love his employer, he loves his job, we are both thrilled he was able to get it. Oh, and he has cooties! Just kidding, but he was diagnosed with shingles, poor guy, he is in SO much pain.

Pretty mundane update for me; I found out that my face has been swelling due to inflammation of the parotid gland, which in under my ear and wraps around my jaw. We still don't know WHY it was swelling, or why it would only swell Saturday mornings, but the antibiotics I was given at the urgent care center gave me my first swell-free weekend in over 2 months. Let's see, I also got a cavity fixed, got 4 inches of dead ends cut off, and ordered a new loveseat and chair for my sitting room/front room. Oh, and I got a new baby! Bobby got my a 30GB iPod, and I already have 6GB of songs on it, (which reminds me, I am overdue for a good Synching)! Last night I had a horrible migraine that finally went away after laying down for a few hours (and popping massive pills, but declined one of Bobby's). I sent a letter to Austin's birth mother, pleading for copies of pictures and keepsakes from his first years.

Austin.... where do I start with this one. After some allegations that Austin was the one who instigated the bully, and accusations that Austin used racial slurs, the school has decided not to return my phone calls. Needless to say I am less than satisfied with how the school is handling all this, and I really want to move NOW. He brought home another mosquito fish from school yesterday, my fish tank is so overrun! He also had his placement test for middle school next year, and we are anxiously awaiting the results and placement; he was one of the first to finish and feels confident with how he did, so we will see. Austin will turn 11 this month.

Christopher... his updates are always the hardest. No calls from his teacher lately or notes home that he has not been turning in his work. He is still misbehaving at home, well, not so much misbehaving as he is just not doing what he is told to do, when he is told to do it. After a big lecture after lying to me, he has been VERY honest (Austin thinks TOO honest I am sure), and we are really appreciating it. Overall he is a bright, articulate, sweet boy; he tends to be a little lazy, and is a bit immature, but I do not doubt he will go far in life.

Matthew has backed off on potty learning a bit, which is OK... He is also talking like crazy, I am amazed how many words he can say already. He is a parrot and has a larger vocabulary than Austin and Christopher did at this age, combined. He is also using a lot of signing, and picks up on signs that I don't even remember using. He is still strong willed and knows what he wants, but is a lot more flexible lately and does not throw the tantrums nearly as bad as Christopher did at this age.

The animals are driving me nuts, not all, but one. Isis has started chewing stuff at night. I won't repeat myself since it is on my other blog, but it is really irritating me. By the way I figure it, she has exceeded $300 in damages and desperately needs a job! I will be making her an appointment soon to get her rabies shot and get her spayed, I can't believe she is almost 6 months already!

Still watching baby A., she is also 6 months and watching her has been easier than it has when I started, but I am still non-functional having to get up with her; only 3 1/2 weeks until summer, I am SO happy for that. I still have not started watching my friend's little girl, M., but that will be changing soon. Grandma has been watching her, but she has surgery tomorrow, so I will take over childcare while grandma recovers.

So that is it, maybe not so much in a nutshell, but that is what has been going on.