The Pea Incident

Ever since Jay's 4 month check-up, when the doctor gave us the "okay" we promptly started introducing him to baby solid foods, primarily veggies to start with.

I picked a Gerber Nature Select pack at Sam's that had 6 jars of sweet potatoes, 6 jars of carrots and 6 jars of peas.

Having been warned he might not like the peas, I started him with the sweet potatoes (which might I add, actually tasted pretty decent for being baby food!). He seemed to like those a lot!

Once we finished those with no allergic reactions we gave him the carrots, which he also seemed to like!

This is the result of Jay trying to "help" mommy put the
spoon in his mouth - carrots EVERYWHERE, lol...

Then, once those were gone, we got to the peas...

and boy did he NOT like those!

He took the 1st spoonful just fine, but the 2nd one he started fussing about, and by the time I attempted to get a 3rd spoonful in him he was spitting out at me and screaming bloody murder (I swear he was cussing me out in baby speak, lol...). I called my mom for advice and after hearing him scream in the background told me just to save them and try again in a few weeks as to not force it into him and turn him off to eating the solid foods, so I fixed him another bowl of rice cereal for dinner that night instead as I needed to go get some more non-green veggies for him.

Sleeping in the high chair
I got about 1/4th the bowl of cereal in him before he passed out in his high chair for a good half hour or so - he wore himself out screaming over the peas! LOL...

So apparently Jay does not like baby food peas!

http://c3.diapers.com/images/products/gb/gb-082_med2a.jpgSince the pack at Sam's only has the 3 flavors in it I went to Walmart to stock up on other flavors - in addition to carrots and sweet potatoes I grabbed some squash and sweet potatoes with corn (which he finished off this week just fine!). I also grabbed some fruits too so we can start those next week - he has apples, bananas, peaches, and pears waiting for him to try!

I like the Gerber Nature Select foods as they come in a 2pk plastic container with snap on lid for just under a $1 and it's made with 100% natural fruits/veggies, with no added sugar, salt, starch, artificial colors or flavors! He also eats the Gerber brand rice cereal too. He's definitely a Gerber baby!

Baby Mozart

Since I've been getting more and more hours/shifts at work lately, Jay's been spending quite a bit of time over at my mom's house lately.

I sat down on one of my breaks last week and got a text from her - my sister sat Jay down with her at their piano, he watched her play for a few minutes and decided to try it himself!

Check out my little Baby Mozart, playing away at the piano!

Baby... talk?

I think I'm going crazy and hearing things.

I was sorting through our mail & Jay decided
he wanted a piece of mail to call his own, lol...
Last night, as I put Jay down in his crib for the night he was all being squirmy wormy trying to settle in. Not expecting a response I asked "Hey buddy, where do you think you're going??" He turned his head, looked at me and I SWEAR he said "Up" before going back to squirming around!

Completely baffled me!

I texted hubby, once Jay got settled and began drifting off to sleep, to tell him and much to my surprise, he told me he coulda sworn he heard Jay say "momma" the other day when he was with him on the couch while I was in another room!

How crazy is that?! Jay'll be 5 months on Monday and we both swear we've heard him say a word!

I did a search online and they say that words like "mama" and "dada" and other 2 syllable sounds/words can be heard as early as in the 4-6month age range, so I guess it IS possible... but still! Wasn't expecting that!

I also *finally* find something that helps his mouth when his teething pain becomes unbearable - baby tylenol! I had asked the pediatric urology specialist if stuff like baby motrin was fine for him to take for him gum pain and he said yeah, so I stopped at Target the other day to pick some up. The closest they had was the generic baby ibuprofen - I ran into one of the pharmacists though, explained what I was looking for and why and she suggested the generic baby tylenol at the lowest dosage amount would be best, as the ibuprofen is only for high grade fevers.

I went to pick him up from my mom's as she was watching him while I went and got my Mother's Day mani-pedi that morning and he was fussing in pain cuz of his mouth, having trouble drinking his bottle, so I gave him some and it seemed to work immediately, as he finished his bottle with ease and just kinda vegged out with no fuss for several hours! I gave him another dose later in the evening, as the pain seemed off and on all day (he was having a real bad time earlier that afternoon but it hadn't been 4 hours since his last dose so I couldn't give it to him yet, poor kiddo!) and once again, it seemed to work like a charm for his mouth pain!

This weekend should be interesting - hubby and I are dropping Jay off at my parent's house for a few days tomorrow once he gets home from work as we're going to a wedding up in Minnesota this weekend.

This'll be Jay's first extended stay away from mommy and daddy... as much as I wouldn't mind a getaway with just myself and the hubby, I know I'm going to miss Little Man and that it's going to be weird not having him with us for a few days - I'm still debating about just taking him with us!

Anyways... I hope everything goes okay and he doesn't give my mom too much of a hard time. We'll be gone roughly 48 hours, as the wedding is on Friday and we need to be back in town before 5pm on Saturday since hubby couldn't get the night off work. He's only been away from us overnight once and that was when we were moving and he was getting a bit anxious and antsy to see us again within 24hrs and was extremely confused that night when neither my husband or myself came to pick him up from Grammie's...


Our 1st Official Father's Day

This past Sunday hubby got to celebrate his first official Father's Day as daddy! (Last year he sorta did, as we broke the news to our families that we were expecting).

It was also Baby Dedication day at our church too, so we were able to get Jay dedicated.

It was a very long day for all of us - we got up early as we had to be at church early. Then we went out for Father's Day lunch with hubby's dad, mom and younger sis (our treat). We took a bit of a nap in the afternoon before heading over to my parent's house for Father's Day cookout. Then we watched the Game of Thrones season finale, with Jay passing out for the night very early!

All in all, it was a fun day though!

We got hubby several gifts - from Jay he got a cute little card, a picture frame (that I let Jay pick out for daddy) with hubby's favorite photo of Jay so he can put it on his desk at one of his jobs, and the Adam Sandler movie "Big Daddy." From me I gave him a funny card, "Tron Legacy" on Blu-Ray and a Black&Decker cordless drill with a pack of drill bits.

I'd say he had a pretty good 1st Father's Day!


Need your help - Please vote for Jay!

Hey everyone!

http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/253165_10150195748012946_513447945_7271237_6547052_n.jpgJay's photo has been chosen to compete this week for a finalist spot to be on the cover of Parent's Magazine!

I need your help though - he needs plenty of votes this week to make it into the top 10 in order to move up to the next round!

By following this link, please take a second (each day if you can!) and vote for him! This round ends on Sunday, the 26th, so any help/votes would be much appreciated!



Wee Bit Wednesday

{one} what color best describes you + why?
Hm... I guess maybe brown? It's a neutral color, down to earth, laidback... like myself.

{two} how have you changed in the past year?
This is an easy one - I became a mommy! Life and your priorities change as soon as you know you're carrying a little one and then they take precedence over thing once they're here in the flesh!

{three} have you ever had any surgeries?
Yeah, I had a LEEP done in December 2008. It went well, I healed just fine, recovery only lasted a few days at home, taking it easy since it was an outpatient procedure.

{four} why did you start your blog?
Well I started back with some old form of Livejournal back in the day, just type, vent, share, that kind of thing... that got carried over to Myspace and eventually I decided to make an actual blog here on Blogspot. I also use it as a way to connect with people who I have things in common with.

{five} what are you looking forward to this summer?
Lots of things! Tonight we just had our family portrait professionally taken for the new church pictorial directory - I remember the first one my family participated in when I was in grade school (and the 2 times since then), looking forward to the day I'd be getting it done with a family of my own! We have a wedding out of state we're attending in a few weeks... looking forward to Jay's 1st 4th of July and then taking him to his 1st time at the fair in August. And I guess my 27th birthday at the end of August too.

{six} do you have any family traditions for the 4th of July?
Cooking out/eating grilled food. After I quit working at the theater I was able to resume seeing the fireworks somewhere every year too! Not sure what the plan is this year though - it's our year to go out to my in-laws, but they have a lot of pets at their house right now (2 of their dogs gave birth to litters of 7 on the same day!) so I'm not sure if we're still going or if we'll just go for the day or if we'll stay in town again this year or what the plan is yet...
{seven} what’s something new that you’ve tried in the past few months?
sushi! I tried it once before I got pregnant and thought it was just okay, but then I was introduced to sushi rolls which are awesome! We usually get sushi twice a month! I like the California rolls and the Bagel/New York rolls (pending where you order from, as they're called by different names at different places).

{eight} what is the perfect a/c temperature?
72 is what I like to keep it at

{nine} what was the last movie you saw in the theater?
Fast Five - it was pretty good, liked the whole heist aspect added to the franchise

{ten} what song do you think everyone should hear at least once?
I have no idea, lol...


Jay's meeting with the pediatric urology specialist & official diagnosis

So I'm sure everyone is wondering - how'd Jay's appointment with the pediatric urology specialist go today?

Seemed like it went well and was very informative.

They weighed him to start and checked his vitals - his blood pressure was good and his weight is up to 13lbs, 2.8oz so he's gained some since his regular check-up he had last week.

The specialist went over the scans from the testing they did back in April and explained more of what it showed and what it meant.

Jay's official diagnosis now is that he has a UVJ ureter obstruction. Below is the diagram that the specialist drew me for to sort of explain what's going on:

On Jay's right side (the left side of the image), his kidney and ureter look perfectly normal, going into the bladder as it should. On his left side though (the right side of the image) the part of the ureter tube that feeds into the bladder (the UVJ) is tapered off so much that nothing can get out (or in) and a bit deformed.

I asked what causes this and he said what happens in these cases generally is that at about 2-3 weeks after conception is when the bud of the ureter tube is formed on the bladder and branches out to form the tube up to the kidney. Basically, his left one was just a dud and didn't form properly.

He said that while it still is possible that it could grow and open up on its own as he grows, he said he doesn't want to get our hopes up and said that realistically he'll probably need the surgery to fix it. He said it's basically a problem that he has "bad plumbing" and that he can fix it, as he has plenty of times before and says the surgery is almost always successful (of course they can't say it's 100%, as there's always that slim chance something could go wrong, but he seemed very confident that it was just a simple, minor procedure and nothing to get worried about). He said what they'll do is they'll continue monitoring it via renal ultrasound every 3-4 months and when his bladder is big enough (usually between 1 and 2 years of age), he'll do the surgery, pulling out the ureter tube from the bladder, cutting off the bad part and then reinsert/attach it to the bladder.

He said other than the UVJ obstruction, everything else about Jay looks 100% - he said even the kidney that's blocked looks to be completely healthy, and while you only need 1 kidney to leave, just in case something happens down the road to the one, he'd like to have the other one fully functioning as well so we don't have to worry about it then.

He said another option they could do if it became necessary (ie: something happened to his right kidney and we needed the other to function asap), they could do a temporary ureterostomy where they make a hole in him and the tube is sticking out onto his belly and that everytime he pees it would drain out onto his belly... yeah, that just sounds messy, and gross and more of a hassle than we need, so we're not planning on doing that.

He also put him on another antibiotic, taking him off the amoxicillian, so that he doesn't get any long-term effects of the amoxicillian (I guess it's been known to give stomach problems and can cause diarrhea) and this one is more to prevent and treat any possible UTI infection (basically, it's more specific than the amoxicillian).

So... I'm doing alright. Not thrilled at the fact that he'll probably have to have the surgery come 2013, but it is a ways off too so it's not like I have to think about it. He'll probably have the scar from where they go in on the left side to get to it though for awhile... the doc's confidence though at how well the surgery goes seemed to put me more at ease, so I guess we'll just deal with it when the time comes.


A busy week is upon us...

I must say, we have quite the busy week!

Today we're heading up to Madison for Jay's appointment with his new pediatric urology specialist, as his local urologist isn't a pediatric specialist (he's a urologist with some background in pediatrics, but he isn't a pediatric specialist) and has deemed Jay's case to be a little more severe as the blockage being down near his bladder instead of up by the kidney is a little more rare and uncommon.

Then I am on call at work from 5-10pm, which I have a feeling I might be needed as we're in the process of changing the store over for our Back to School collection.

Tuesday I am also working from 4:30-close.

Wednesday we have our family photo for the new upcoming pictorial directory for our church, as they put one out every 5-10 years or so (last one was during my early college years). I'm pretty excited to get a professional family portrait of the 3 of us, as it'll be our first official one and we get a free 8x10 of it too, not to mention being in the directory with my now intermediate family is something I was always excited about getting to do someday when I was a younger and now that day is here!

Thursday and Friday we have nothing really planned (that I can recall), aside from Friday being payday and I'm looking forward to a decent sized check considering how many hours I got to put in last week.

Saturday I'm working open til 1:30 and being on call til 3.

And Sunday is another big day - hubby's first "real" Father's Day (last year we made the announcement that Jay was on the way) and Jay's Baby Dedication at church. We have to be there at 915am, which is early for us, as usually we're strolling into 2nd service at about 1030am, just before the actual sermon starts (service itself starts at 1015). After church we're doing Father's Day lunch with my inlaws at Famous Dave's and then I'm assuming we're grilling or something with my family for dinner later in the day.

And of course I should be in bed, as it's going on 4am and I need to be up around 830am or so as I have to get myself showered and ready to go before Jay's up so I can feed him his cereal and bottle before we hit the road to Madison (which takes about an hour and half drive, but I want to give us at least 2 hours in case we hit traffic - his appointment isn't until 12:20 but I want to aim to leave around 10am so we have plenty of time). I find that I can *never* fall asleep at a decent time the night before a busy day... so annoying! I just hope there's a point to this doctor's visit rather than just driving all the way up there for a simple meet and greet with our new specialist that could have been done over the phone.

Kids Say the Darndest Things

As I once overheard a friend tell her fiance, I'm sorta of a queen when it comes to getting stuff for free or cheap. My "secret" is I have a few good survey sites I regularly take surveys for rewards and stuff and until it recently shutdown I was also a regular on VH1's focus group VH1VIPs where I was VIP of the Month or a runner-up multiple times, getting various Amazon.com giftcards.

The one rewards site I enjoy doing surveys on is called eRewards and while you don't get cash, you can earn giftcards and the like. I often get Gamestop cards or Borders Rewards points on that one. This last time I "cashed out" though I had about $80 worth of points to redeem, with $70 that would expire in the next few months if I didn't use them, so I cashed out what I could (you can only get 1 Gamestop giftcard per quarter and I think Borders is the same too). Since I had some spare points that were "use or lose" I decided to spend some for a year subscription to Parents magazine.

My 1st issue came just the other day and I flipped through it the other night (with Jay grabbing or kicking at *every* page - he's such a little stinker, lol...).

On the last page there's a section where parents can submit funny things their child has said - here's some of the more amusing ones:
Sight Seeing
We were out to dinner when a man with a spiked Mohawk walked past our table. My son Jack, 2, pointed at him and yelled "Dinosaur!"

Dirty Laundry
I was in my bedroom when my 2 year old daughter Peyton came in and asked what I was doing. "I'm changing mommy and daddy's sheets," I said. She replied "Oh okay. You pee-peed on them too?"

Acting Out
My 5-year old son Matthew came out of his bedroom holding his Star Wars Monopoly game which we keep on top of his tallest mirrored dresser. I reminded him that it's not safe to climb on the furniture and asked if that was what he did. "Nope," he told me with a grin. "I used The Force, Mom."

Watch Your Step
I asked my daughter Avery, 3, if she could behave while I hopped in the shower. She looked at me, terrified, and said "Please don't hop in the shower mommy. You might get hurt!"

Make Room
My husband and I were getting ready for vacation when I said that the only thing left to do was pack the car. My 2-year old son Isaiah started laughing and said "Mommy, you're so silly - the car's too big to fit in the suitcase!"
-From Parents magazine, July 2011


Why I'll Never Buy Another Apple Laptop

Last week, after Apple announced it's new iOS5 there was a lot of talk/debate between Apple fans and those that aren't.

http://www.dantynan.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/apple-skull-and-bones-275p.pngComing from a family with multiple relatives in the wireless communication industry, we're all avid Android fans, as anyone can easily read up the differences between Android and Apple's iOS's and see which is the better product/OS.

Unfortunately though, iZombies will be iZombies and refuse to look past the Apple label.

Having used Apple products in the past, I wouldn't say I'm anti-Apple, but when it comes to phones, hands down Android is the better OS of the 2 (and yes, I looked into both, as originally I wanted to wait til Verizon got the iPhone to get a smartphone for myself), and as far as laptops go, I will NEVER again waste money on one from Apple, as it proves to just be a money pit.

After I graduated from high school my parents let me get a Dell computer of my own for when I went off to college that way I could do email and write my papers and online research from the comfort of my own dorm room at my convenience rather than have to do all that during the open hours of the computer labs around campus. They tried to talk me into a laptop, since it was smaller and portable but I opted instead for a slim desktop.

Flash forward 2 years later, I was just finishing up my first year in the art program and getting ready to start my graphic design classes in the fall. A few other graphic design majors in my art classes were talking about getting Mac Powerbooks for the fall so that we could take our work back and forth to class with us and not have to rely on using the computers in the computer lab. Also, all the graphic design majors I worked with on the school newspaper had their own, older generation Powerbooks and talked about how much easier it was to do their work and how having one of your own was a must and also showed the professors you were taking things seriously.

So I looked into getting one myself that spring.


At the time, the G4 Powerbooks were the newest laptop Apple had and was the first laptop of theirs that was offered in the 17" model. The 17" was too big for my liking, but the 12" seemed too small so I settled on the 15", which was also within my approved credit limit, as the thing cost so much (almost $2000 with no addon options, aside from a mouse!) that I had to open an Apple credit line with my mom as a co-signer since I had no previous credit.

It arrived within a week and I spent the last few weeks of the spring semester getting acquainted with it. I also got some of the student software, such as Illustrator and Photoshop, from the VisCom computer lab. Over the summer I had an internship as the graphics intern at my city's newspaper and learned some Illustrator while there. When the fall semester started, I was all set with my new Powerbook.

I was one of 4 in my class initially that had one and we had a laptop station setup in the middle of the computer lab where our class was held. It was a pain though as at the time, they didn't automatically come with a wireless card so we had to take turns hooking up to the ethernet cable to pull images from online. But it was nice not having to rely on our work being saved on the lab computers or trying to store everything on a Zip disk.

The no wireless card though was becoming quite an issue though so I ended up asking for one for Christmas - more money spent the thing.

Later, when I started playing World of Warcraft, I started using my Powerbook to play it on as the graphics and drivers and everything on it were much better than those on my desktop PC (playing on my PC was a nightmare, as the drivers got so out of date).

Eventually though, 2 things happened.

1) Half the keys on my keyboard broke. I made due for awhile, however it got to a point where it was so annoying that I had to give in and fix it - something I had put off for awhile as I got a rough estimate from the people at the Apple store that it was going to be a few hundred dollars to fix and replace. So there went $300 towards that.

2) The thing got really hot and I got some nasty burns on my legs from keeping it on my lap. Eventually the burns died down and we bought a laptop "lapdesk" thing to put between me and the laptop but yeah... $20 there.

Eventually I had to upgrade my RAM too, as it only came with 256mb, so there went money into that.

Also, I went through several powercords, as the connector tip was very fragile and could get broken easily. Or eventually it would just die. I never bought these through Apple though as they wanted at least $60 for it. Instead I found a few tech sellers on eBay that could sell me the N-tips and power adapters for under $30. I went through 2 of these I believe, so again, more money.

And then my battery died.

I tried to see if I could just swap it out with Apple, but they had a recall on them previously which I had used and so I wasn't eligible for a battery swap. So I went online and found one for around $50, which was about $50 less than what Apple charged on their site.

http://www.giantmike.com/reviews/picts/panther.jpgAnd then the software... my Powerbook came with Panther and by the time I needed to upgrade they had just released Snow Leopard (I think). Unfortunately, due to my specs, I couldn't upgrade that far up, but I could upgrade through the next OS, which was Tiger, so I found a version of that for cheap ($50 or so) as I had to upgrade my OS in order to do anything - WoW, Flash website, etc.

The final blow came soon after when the part inside my Powerbook that connects the powercord to the battery and charges it crapped out, only working half the time if that. I looked into it, it would be another couple hundred to get the part and get it fixed/repaired. We ghetto rigged it for awhile with electrical tape, but that only lasted so long.

After 5 or so years I had enough. I was upside down on my payments on it too, as in college I only ever paid the minimum, forgetting how high the interest rate was (19.99%!) and owed more on it than it was actually worth and need to put in more money than it was worth to keep it running. For that price, I could easily get a newer and better PC, which I eventually did. And the Apple Powerbook has been sitting for nearly a year and a half, collecting dust.

So basically, I don't recommend spending $1000+ on an Apple laptop if you can help it.

Sure it might be tempting - they're sleek, trendy, neat and expensive. But they're also expensive to maintain if anything breaks or goes wrong with it and it will quickly be obsolete as Apple's always coming out with a new OS every year or so!

Now don't get me wrong, I liked the iPods back in their heyday and had one and occasionally still use it (although my Droid kinda made that obsolete as I can easily store all my music on there or stream it from our desktop computer's external hard drive) and if I ever get back into doing some regular design work I wouldn't mind a spiffy, pretty iMac as Mac's are the preferred machines when it comes to graphic design and the iMacs I used in my college's visual arts labs were pretty nice, however don't waste your money on a Mac laptop - in the long run you'll just be putting more money into it when you could just get a brand new PC laptop.

Honestly, I love my Dell PC laptop I got last winter. It has Photoshop and Illustrator on it, and while it's different, it's not *that* different from casually designing stuff on a Mac and it gets the job done. Plus it runs WoW soooo much smoother than my Mac ever did. Not to mention, 10 years later, people still use Windows XP for their operating system.

And he flipped again!

Hubby's  been on vacation from UPS (his 3rd shift job) all week this past week and so he's been spending more time with Jay, working on him flipping.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, he can flip from his tummy to his back and is doing it regularly.

This past week hubby's been putting him on the floor on his back, trying to get him to work on flipping from back to tummy... and this morning he finally did it!

He's been close for weeks, trying ever since he started flipping the other way. And this morning, while I went to go make his rice cereal, hubby watched him in bed and he flipped back to tummy twice!

Hubby said he did it this afternoon too while I was work... unfortunately I have yet to see him do it (I've only seen the aftermath), as he couldn't quite get the final push over when we had him on the floor to show me tonight. Hopefully I will soon though!

His main hang-up is getting his arm that's underneath him straightened out, as he often rolls back onto his back when trying to pull that arm out from under.

He's also eating his sweet potatoes regularly - the first and 2nd night, for dinner, he ate half the jar and then the 3rd night he ate the whole jar!

So proud of him!

As far as the insurance fiasco, I spoke to a lady the other day who was real helpful and she talked to her supervisor about the fact that when I called on March 17 and asked that I was told the children's hospital in Madison was in our network so they said they would look into and pull the call and find out what happened and told me that and why and get back to me about it sometime this week. She also looked it up and was able to confirm that there are no pediatric urology specialists in our network within 30 miles of us so she told me what we can do is apply for Gap Exception Coverage so that we can get the in-network rate for whoever we see for that as there is none nearby in our network that we can go to. When I called to apply for that they told me it has to go before a review so we won't know til sometime after his appointment on Monday if they'll give us the in-network rate or not, but I guess we'll just go and find out and see. Hopefully they will though as it's not like there's a closer option for us.

They also seem to be finally giving me actual hours at work this week, plus they've used my on-call hours twice this week as well, so I'm working like 3 shifts a week now, up from 1! Guess I'm doing something right!

And call us crazy, but Jay sorta has his own smartphone now! Hubby's day job is working for a premium Verizon Wireless retailer and he got a Droid Incredible that can't be activated to use as a phone as it's missing an ESN or whatever. But you can hook it up via WI-FI to download apps and watch videos and do stuff online. Since Jay loves the Multi-Touch Visualizer app as well as watching Sesame Street videos on Youtube, we made sure those are both on there. It's pretty amusing, lol...


Wee Bit Wednesday

{one} how many times have you been a bridesmaid/maid of honor?
Technically once - I was a Junior Bridesmaid in my aunt's wedding like 14 years ago... but I'm going to be a bridesmaid in my former roomie/college bff's wedding in August 2012! Yay!

{two} what’s the last thing your do before you fall asleep at night?
Check on Jay one last time, climb back in bed, turn off the light on the nightstand curl up in bed with my pillow, snuggled under the blankets

{three} you just won your dream vacation, all expenses paid. where are you going?
Europe with hubby!

{four} what is your favorite outdoor activity?
I guess going for walks, or cooking out with hubby as that's been pretty fun so far this summer too!

{five} as a child, what did you want to “be when you grew up”? did you end up there?
I wanted to either be a singer like Amy Grant (I LOVED her when I was like 5) or a kindergarten teacher. Neither happened, but I guess I can be a bit of a teacher to Jay =)

{six} what are 3 things your dream home would have that you don’t currently have?
A fireplace, 2 car garage, a formal dining room
{seven} what’s for dinner tonight?
Thursday... normally we eat lasagna on Thursdays but I think we're going out tonight...

{eight} if someone stopped by your house unannounced on a typical Saturday night, what would they find you doing?
Is it early evening or late evening? Early evening I would be hanging out with Jay, maybe napping or watching TV or playing or something while we wait for daddy to get home. If it's later in the evening we'd either be eating our Saturday night Taco Bell or hanging out downstairs in the basement watching a movie or playing a video game.

{nine} what’s your average monthly water bill?
No clue - we have yet to receive one! I called last week though and they said it should be arriving in the next week or so since they had to get us on the cycle or whatever... so I guess we'll find out soon!

{ten} what do you do to relax?
Nap, read, watch movies, play video games

4 Month Check-Up and then some!

4 months old already!
Just realized I haven't really posted too much on here lately.

Honestly, there hasn't really been much to post about.

Jay's still flipping from his tummy to his back and he's been working on going back to tummy and getting pretty close! He gets stuck on his side though, as he doesn't seem to be quite able to get that last push over.

He's fascinated by our smartphones still - hubby found this app, Multi-touch Visualizer - where when you press the screen a colored circle and line crosshairs pops up. You can touch several fingerrs to the screen at once to get multiple colors. Jay loves it.

He also loves this Youtube video of Elmo playing "Elmo's Song" for Big Bird and Snuffy, although he tends to get fussy when Snuffy's on screen and Elmo isn't, lol...

He's still working on that first tooth coming in so not really much progress there.

Today (Wednesday) we had his 4 month check-up. He's up to 13lbs even, which means he's doubled his birth weight and is in the 25th percentile. He's also 25inches long. Doctor said he's looking healthy and was impressed by how well he was holding his head up and keeping control of it, as well as how strong the rest of his muscles seemed.

He said we can start him on the rest of the solid foods, as it seems like he's eating just fine, so we gave him some sweet potatoes to eat for dinner. I think what we'll do is give him the full serving of rice cereal he's been eating at breakfast, bottle for the afternoon, sweet potatoes for dinner and then just a bottle before bed. He seemed to like the sweet potatoes pretty well though, eating about half a jar before not wanting anymore and just drinking the rest from the bottle.

He also got boosters of the shots he had last time, which he wasn't happy about. Took a good minute or so to get him to calm down afterwards - I let him cuddle with me, Elmo and his binky for a minute or so before I get him ready to leave the doctor's office. He's been sleepy most of the night, taking a long evening nap and going to bed a bit early - we're pretty sure it's just the shots making him sleepy.

But the doctor said he's doing well, which is good news, and he said the only issue we seem to have to worry about now is just his kidney blockage as his growth and eating are just fine!

Also, tomorrow I have to call our insurance company and maybe bitch them out.

A week or so ago we got a rather high bill for Jay for the testing on his kidney they did up at the children's hospital in Madison back in April. We were a little confused as we had already met his out of pocket expenses this year due to the week long stay in the hospital back in February, but today we got an "explanation of benefits" notice which explained it. Apparently, the children's hospital in Madison is out of our network! The problem, is that when Jay's urologist wanted to send us to one of the nearby children's hospitals to do the testing they had me call our insurance and find out which of the 2 nearby (Madison and Chicago) were in our network, as they would prefer us to go to Madison, but said that for some people it's out of their network so we could do Chicago instead if that was the case. So I called when we got home and the male representative I spoke with confirmed that the children's hospital in Chicago was in our network but had to check the one in Madison. He spent a minute or so pulling up the information and confirmed that both were in our network so going to either one was fine.

So yeah... not sure why they're saying suddenly it's out of network now when I had called and specifically asked if it was and was told that it was. Obviously if it wasn't we would have gone to the one that was! Kinda miffed... and right now I don't know what we're going to do about his appointment up there on Monday as his urologist in town is now referring us to the one up there since Jay's case is a little more uncommon - if this new doc isn't in our network I'll have to cancel and let the urologist's office here know that and have them set us up with a doctor in Chicago (despite the fact I had *just* confirmed his appointment on Monday earlier today! Grrrr).

Oh and his doctor said we can give him water or pedialyte too while we're out to keep him hydrated, as he said he doesn't have any problem with that.

So that's how things are with us!


Topher Grace's hilarious Disney audition

I'll admit, I'm a bit of a TBS junkie and when it comes to late night shows I tend to watch Conan O'Brian most nights.

A few weeks ago he had That 70's Show star Topher Grace come on to talk about his new HBO project and I gotta admit - his interview was pretty funny!

Below is the whole 8 minute video, including where he talks about running into Scott Bakula as a child and then years later as an adult as well as his recent audition to be in an animated Disney film (starting near the 5 minute mark of the video).

In the interview he mentions that when you audition for an animated Disney film they want to see if you can sing so part of the audition includes the actor/actress singing a song of their choice from the Disney catalog. Watch the video below as Topher hilariously shares what song he did!


My brief affair with Soaps

It seems the age of Soap Operas is finally coming to a close as ABC announced it would not be renewing their remaining soaps this fall due to decline in ratings.

Believe it or not, I was briefly hooked on a soap one summer - All My Children to be exact, which will be ending its 41 year run this September.

http://www.wchstv.com/abc/allmychildren/i/AllMyChildrenLogo.gifIt was the summer of 1994, I had just finished the 4th grade and was on summer vacation. My mom regularly watched All My Children, however due to running me around from one thing to another she got in the habit of recording the day's episode and watching it later at night (usually after my sister and I were in bed). But there was going to be a tornado on an upcoming episode and since we live in Illinois where tornadoes sometimes occur in the warmer months, mom wanted me to see the episode just to get some idea how serious a tornado can be and the destruction it can cause.

Of course the actual tornado happened at the end of the episode and in order to see the aftermath I had to watch the next one too...

...and see how it affected the lives of everyone on the show so drastically, I had to keep watching to see how everyone eventually came out the destruction and moved on in their lives.

Plus, one storyline had a girl (Julia) who had a chandelier fall on her during the tornado, badly scarring her face and she ran away soon after. I recall a guy she met on the street (Noah) found her and took her in and they started to fall in love. This was quite controversial though as Noah was a black man and Julia's family would be appalled at her for being in an inter-racial relationship.

This was also one of the seasons where Sarah Michelle Gellar (in her pre-Buffy days) played Erica Kane's long-lost daughter Kendall Hart, who during the tornado got trapped under a fallen beam.

Looking back, I don't remember too much, just that that summer I was hooked following the plotlines that resulted due to the tornado that shook Pine Valley, Pennsylvania.

I think my mom was glad when school started back up in the fall - I don't think she wasn't too thrilled that her 9 year old daughter was hooked on a daytime soap opera, lol...


Easy Canvas Prints giveaway

Ever since moving into our new house I've been spending a good amount of time (and money!) making it look nice and homey. And I also love pictures and displaying them around our home as well.

Tara's giveaway couldn't come at a better time!

On her blog - Fabulous But Evil - Tara is giving an 8x10 Easy Canvas Print canvas of your choice. What Easy Canvas Print does is take an image of yours and puts it professionally on a canvas.

I first saw these when we were getting married and a lot of photogs offered them as an additional product to your wedding package. I thought it was a neat idea but they were ridiculously expensive so I never bothered. But, Tara's giving one away for free! Can't beat that!

And I say it's perfect timing for us too as this month our church is taking family photos for the new, updated church pictoral directory and we plan on having ours taken for it - it'll be our 1st professional family photo with Jay. I want to get a 8x10 portrait of it to display in our home, but having it on a canvas might be even cooler! Or! My mom had painted canvas prints of my sis and I done when we were babies - might be cool to have one of Jay to continue the tradition.

Regardless, if you're interested in entering in the giveaway also, go to Tara's blog and follow the entry instructions. It's open until June 8th! Good luck!


101 in 1001 progress update #4

Well May (and April since I forgot that month's update) have come and gone - it's officially June 1st! Wow!

Let's check my 101 in 1001 progress for April/May

#4 - Watch at least 2 Netflix DVDs and 2 Instant Queue movies a month (9/66, 10/66)
As I mentioned in my last update, in April via Instant Watch we watched The Other Guys (which had its moments but overall wasn't that great). I also watched Toy Story 3 with my mom and sister as my mom hadn't seen it yet. I also watched Old Dogs with them in May. Old Dogs was pretty cute, as it's about Robin Williams being a former pro-athlete and John Travolta as his agent and the 2 are in business together and about to close a major deal with a company in Tokyo when Williams' ex wife whom he was briefly married to says she has to do a few weeks of jailtime and is desperate to have someone watch her kids (who are actually his kids!). It's basically him adjusting to fatherhood with Travolta as the "honorary uncle" sidekick while the 2 continue to close their business deal. It was cute and had some good laughs! As far as physical DVDs, we've watched The Social Network (which I thought was interesting and LOVED the music by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross), Salt (which was kinda meh), and Little Fockers (which was just okay - the kids were cute but the plot wasn't much).

#10 - Go to 10 restaurants we haven't been to before (3/10)
 Mommy and daddy got a night out and went to this Asian Bistro downtown called Bambo where we met up with some of hubby's UPS co-workers and watched some of their co-workers play in an acoustic 90s coverband. We didn't eat dinner there but we had dessert and it was pretty good!

18 - Read at least 15 (non-children) fiction books (3/15)
I actually read 2 in May! I finished the latest Sookie Stackhouse book, which came out at the beginning of May, and it only took me about a week and a half which isn't bad considering I don't get a lot of time to myself lately. I also downloaded Switched, the first book in the Trylle trilogy, to my Kindle app on my phone. It was a pretty easy read - I read it in a couple of days while Jay was napping or before I went to bed. Both were good reads.

26 - Get my bass guitar back
My sister showed up with it the other day - woot! Only took 9-10 months, lol...

29 - Have a date with hubby at least once a month (3/33)
Our night out to the Asian Bistro counts as this one, not to mention we also got away for an evening to catch a movie together (we went and saw Fast Five).

41 - Make said house “homey”
I'd say for now our house is about as homey as it's going to get! I'd say things look pretty nice and we got all the major stuff for the house on the inside that we need right now. Now it's time to work on the outside!

53 - Visit in person with a friend once a month (5/33)
I've gotten Jay and I in the habit of meeting with one of my close friends at least once a week to go for a walk. She has 2 young kids as well (a 4yr old and a 1yr old) so we push the kids in the strollers while we walk and talk for a bit.

55 - Have a movie night with mom or sis once a month (2/33)
As mentioned above, we watched both Toy Story 3 and Old Dogs together.

57 - Have family over for dinner once a year (1/3)
We hosted a Memorial Day cookout the other day for our family as hubby's parents were coming into town anyway since it's Monday night and his mom's gotten in the habit of spending Monday evenings with Jay and my parents always cookout on Memorial Day so since we just bought a grill of our own, we decided we'd host it at our new house this year! It went pretty well! We all pitched in some meat, I made the corn and brownies, my mom brought her awesome potato salad and my mother-in-law brought chips, some beverages, beans and a dessert (Sin a Bowl aka Death By Chocolate). It was a good time!

60 - Go to church at least once a month (2/33)
In April we went for Easter service since Jay's big enough now and in May we went at least twice.

63 - Donate clothes to charity twice a year (1/6)
We donated more than just clothes too as when we moved we found a bunch of stuff in storage as well that we never use so figured might as well give it away!

75 - Try the 30 Day Shred
I mentioned at the beginning of May I had started this... unfortunately it only lasted a week. I had to stop as apparently I have bad knees and just the up and down of the circuits as well as some of the cardio exercises were just too much for them - they'd hurt so much and I'd have trouble walking a bit afterwards too so I figured it'd be best to stop before I messed my knees up anymore. I've been going for walks at least once a week though, pushing the stroller and I probably should do some weights and ab exercises too. It's a great exercise if you can do it! Unfortunately my knees won't let me =/

78 - Go for a walk at least once a week when weather is nice
Been doing this! And even if it's not nice out, if my friend is available we'll go and do laps around the upper level of the mall for an hour at least.

79 - Exercise at least once a week
Walking counts!

92 - Host a Mary Kay party once a year (1/3)
I did this one in May and it turned out pretty well! Everyone seemed like they had fun and I got stocked up on my make-up and earned some goodies for free too! Seriously, if you need make-up, host a Mary Kay party! They have this option where you can get $75 worth of product for $35 and you earn a percentage of products based on sales from your party. For $44 I got like $150 worth of make-up! Talk about a deal! I highly encourage you guys to do this - if you're in my area lemme know and I'll give you my rep's name!

100 - Go shopping at Woodfield Mall once a year (1/3)
We did this in April while my sister was on spring break - Jay and I joined her, her boyfriend and my mom and went shopping for the day. I got myself a nice special occasion dress I wore for Easter and we took Jay to Build-A-Bear and got him Jedi Bear! He also behaved really well, not really fussing much at all, and spent most of the time in his stroller playing with his new stroller bar toys!

Our recent problems with Comcast/Xfinity

So from time to time I give my opinions on products or services I've had recent experiences with. This post is one of those.

I must say - since our move, my already negative opinion of Comcast has gone down even more, if that's possible! I figured with them becoming Xfinity perhaps maybe their service would be better, but unfortunately it's still "Comcrapstic" (a play on their "It's Comcastic" ads).

If you can avoid using Comcast as your service provider, I would highly recommend doing so!

I first got stuck with them when I was in college, when we moved into our apartment. I knew not to expect much as everyone I knew that already lived in apartment said their service was pretty terrible, but unfortunately unless you want to go the satellite route (which here in the Midwest, it isn't recommended!), you're kinda stuck with Comcast for cable and internet. Anyways, it wasn't too bad although it did get frustrating some nights, late at night, when my roommate and I would be playing WoW and our internet would start slowing down or even go out completely. I called them on it several times and eventually they flat out admitted that our area of town (which was one of the more heavily populated areas as it was where most of the apartments and townhouses near campus were located) is all on the same grid which is overloaded so there will be times we will be without service as it rotates people on and off the grid.

Say what??

I was baffled, as why the hell are we paying for service that they are purposely dropping us from every so often? That's completely stupid and in poor service!

I was looking forward to having a different cable provider when I moved back to my hometown, as for the longest time they had Insight Communications, however about 6 months prior to me moving back, Comcast bought out Insight and were in the process of switching everything over. I recall my parents saying they weren't too thrilled, as the rates were much more expensive too.

We didn't have any issue with our cable TV, however our internet would randomly go out throughout the day, sometimes being off for just a few minutes to several hours. It was quite annoying. By the time we moved out our modem was pretty much shot - had we stayed any longer we would have brought it in to have it switched out as it was constantly dropping our internet.

But since we've moved, things have only gotten worse - MUCH worse.

At the time of our move they had a really good online deal for new customers - $69.99 for cable and internet plus 6 months free HBO. Since it was a better deal than what we were currently paying, not to mention at the time the account was in my maiden name, rather than move everything over we just signed up for new service in my married name. I set the order up online and the rep I dealt with was really helpful and even went out of his way to check for special deals and coupons that could work with our order to see about getting us an even better rate. I was quite pleased with the service.

Anyways, we set up the installation date at our new house for the day after what was supposed to be our original closing date, however the week before we found out our closing date wasn't going to be until the day of the install so I had to reschedule. I opened up my confirmation email and clicked the link provided in case a reschedule was needed and it set me to another chat with another representative.

And I can say that representative should be fired! The guy clearly didn't know what he was doing as he would take overly long pauses/breaks, sometimes going 5-10 minutes with no response. All I wanted to do was simply reschedule my appointment for a day or so later. After 20 minutes he informs me I gave him the wrong last 4 digits of my SSN, so I quickly correct it. I don't know what he was doing the 20 minutes prior to that! After 40 minutes of him doing absolutely nothing I was getting impatient (and it was cutting into our dinner time, which for us is usually 9pm on the weeknights). I requested he give me a phone number I call to reschedule, as all the email provided me with was a link. He apologized and said he was working on it, however he never did give me the phone number. It took just under an hour for him to reschedule the appointment. I gave him negative remarks on the survey afterwards and went on their site to file a complaint.

So I thought it was all good, right? Wrong.

The morning of the original install I get a call from the technician confirming our address and the appointment. I inform him that no, he's not supposed to be coming until tomorrow, as I had it rescheduled since we won't have the keys to the place until after hours that evening. The tech checked and there was no reschedule listed but he put me in touch with a rep that took care of that for me. So not only did the stupid online rep waste an hour of my time, but he didn't do a damn thing he was supposed to! What the hell was he doing that entire hour?!

So the installation tech comes out and I got no complaints about him - he arrived on time and did his job, which too longer than usual as we have sooo many freaking cable outlets in this house (half of which we found out are for satellite) and he was having trouble getting an HD box to work (he ended up getting the 3rd box he tried to work). The only complaint I do have is that the guy that put in the initial order somehow left out that we needed 2 digital adapters for our TVs upstairs as when the installation tech came he said his order sheet showed we only requested the digital receiver - it didn't say anything about the adapters for additional TVs. He told me who to call though to have them sent out to us.

So we get our digital adapters in the mail and I hook up the one in the bedroom right away so I don't have to sit in our 50 degree basement to watch TV all the time. No problems with that one.

I go to pay our 1st bill online - a partial one for April -  and I notice that even though I thought I set up our new account to show up under my current login info, our old account is the only one showing up. I get online in a chat with another rep and they explain that for our new account I need to login using my new Comcast email ID, not my old one (which is my current/main email address). Annoyed, I asked if I could change it as the tech set it up and it's not really one I would use or remember off the top of my head. She says no, I have to use my Comcast email address to login to view the new account. Eventually I figure out I can change my userID while logged into the account so I do that. Even though I told the rep I just did this, they proceed to spend 20 minutes, insisting I do each step to confirm setup and that it works (even though I had just logged in and out of the account using the new userID I had changed it to). Like I said, it took 20 minutes and by this point my baby was screaming to be fed as he woke up from his nap. I was a bit annoyed at having my time wasted like that as the rep took 20 minutes insisting I do something I already told them I did. As if that wasn't enough, I started getting phone calls from them saying that I had to login with my Comcast email to access my account online - I told the guy (after he called 3 times in 1 week - I screen my calls) I got the message when I spoke to the rep online prior to his phone calls so I would appreciate it if he would stop calling already - it was getting annoying and clearly it worked as I had paid my account!

Then I get our 2nd bill for the month of May, due at the end of May and on it are partial charges for DVR services for April and full charges for May. I specifically told the guy that placed the order for us that we did not want DVR service. I call and inform them of this and they say that their system is showing that the HD box we have hooked up is an HD DVR receiver. I explain that the tech tried several boxes as he was having trouble getting them to work and whatever one we have is the one that he got to work. I told them we were not aware it was a DVR receiver as we never used the DVR features on it and did not want DVR service in the first place. They say they'll credit us the charges and ship us out a normal HD digital receiver that we can hook up and include a paid UPS box to ship the current one back in.

Okay well, the new one comes and hubby finally gets around to hooking it up... and it doesn't work. As we can't get a picture or any channels to show up onscreen (not to mention there was no box to ship the previous receiver back in) I call up the customer service and they try to do some stuff... their system is showing our service is active... the gal tries sending some signals to the box, etc and decides it needs some software installed on it but since it's after midnight that system is down and we need to call during the day to have them try sending that to the box. Well the next evening we try again and we can get some channels, but not all, HBO being one of them and our OnDemand isn't working either. They don't know what to do so they say they'll send out a tech.

http://paidcontent.org/images/editorial/f_small/comcast-s.jpgThe tech comes, promptly on time, and hubby and I aren't completely sure what he was doing. He messed around with the cables on the main switch and "to satisfy his curiosity" he insisted on checking out where all the other cable jacks in the house were as well as checking our attic for any cables up there. By the way, the entrance to the attic is in Jay's room, and since hubby was home and Jay was awake I was playing with Jay in his room keeping him occupied while the tech was here. When the tech insisted on going up there, he didn't realize how much installation stuff is up there - when he opened up the attic door a ton of it came tumbling down, which anyone knows, that stuff is not good for babies! He picked most of it up, apologizing, after finding nothing up there. Again, we have no clue why he needed to even go up there. And it turns out, the HD box wasn't working because no one on Comcast's end activated the box when it was sent out or checked to see if it had been when we called several times! The tech didn't even think to check it until after he made the installation mess in my baby's room!

So disappointment there, but we figured we were done as everything seemed good.

Until we got out bookshelves installed over the weekend and finally got around to hooking up the TV in the living room upstairs. We did it just the same as we did with the TV in our bedroom, however it would stop working after it loaded up and on top of that, after trying every code in the guide for the remote with our TV, none of them would turn the TV back on after turning it off. We called, they tried to send signals and stuff to it to test the box with no luck and decided we needed a service call.

The techs get out here and we learn right away that the cable jack we had it hooked up to doesn't work, but the other one on the other side of the wall does. An easy fix, however we didn't think to try that and none of the 2 reps I spoke with on the phone suggested trying a different cable jack either. Yet the tech claims it's a "failed self installation" and said they have to charge us $25 for it. How stupid is that! I'm tempted to call and point out to them that 1) if they had filled the order correctly the 1st time the initial installation guy could have hooked it up for us and 2) when we called the other night about it, NONE of the 2 reps we spoke with suggested trying a different outlet.

Also, these 2 techs, they were here from about 3pm til 430pm. I have NO CLUE what the hell they did for nearly an hour, as they insisted on taking apart all the cables on the main board and figuring out what goes to what (as there is a bunch of them) and then they wasted about 20 minutes outside. Not sure what that had to do with hooking up the TV in our living room to the correct outlet, but I did have other things to do today and they basically wasted a good chunk of my time when I needed to get ready to go to my sister's graduation tonight.

Hubby and I find it funny that whenever we call about a problem lately they offer us telephone service. 1) we both have cell phones and have no need for a landline and 2) if we're having these many problems with their cable TV service (and their internet service in the past) why in the world would we sign up for their phone service???


If I had another option for cable TV and high speed internet I would take it. Unfortunately the only other options in our area are satellite which hubby refuses as he's had satellite in the past and in bad or windy weather it was unbearable. Comcast has the monopoly when it comes to cable TV & internet service in our area.

Avoid them if you're fortunate to have another option.