It Builds Character

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

New Things

Here's a post I started on May 31, and just tonight, June 11, I finally got around to finishing it.

I'm all about the little things in life. Good thing, since I can't afford most of the big things. In the last few days, I've acquired a few new things that I'm kind of excited about. By the end of this post, everyone will know what a sad little life I live.

The other night I went to Kohl's to use the gift card my mom and step-dad gave me for my birthday. Actually, I went to Kohl's right after I got it in April and intended to use it, but decided to open up a Kohl's charge instead, thereby saving myself 15%!!! So anyway, I had this gift card burning a hole in my pocket, so off I went. First of all, just let me say, "What happened to Kohl's?" The place was trashed! The dressing rooms were loaded with all the things that other women tried on and did not like. I mean loaded! There wasn't even anywhere to hang the things that I brought in! And the rack that they keep outside the dressing rooms to put unwanted items had crap totally heaped on top of it. I wasn't impressed at all. And even before I went into the dressing room, I was really disappointed in their selection of shorts. (The main thing I was looking for on this trip was shorts.) There were some here and there, mostly in sizes 4 and 16, of which I am neither. The racks were practically bare! I found a few pair in my size to try on, so I waded through the dressing rooms and had at it. I think I tried on 3 or 4 pair and was really only happy about one of them. Typical woman, huh? Oh, I forgot to mention that when I got into the parking lot, I searched through my purse for the gift card and it wasn't in there. I only had a merchandise credit for $17.40 for something that I returned a couple of months ago, so I had to be careful about how much I spent. In other words, 1 pair of shorts was my limit. So I found a pair that I could live with for $17.99. I only had to dole out $0.59 of my own money. Woohoo! I wore my new shorts the next day while I was vacuuming out my van. As I'm vacuuming, I came across a metal button that said "Lee" on it. Hmmm...wonder what that's from. Oh well, whatever it was is probably long gone. I threw it away. All of a sudden it hit me--my new shorts are Lee's. I looked down and the waistband was fine, but one of the pockets on the side was missing the button, so I had to fish it out of the garbage. The bright side here is that I could still locate the receipt since I had owned the shorts less than 24 hours. I guess if it's gonna happen, sooner is better. Later that night, I headed back to Kohl's to try again. I knew that I wasn't going to find the same pair in the same size since the selection had been minimal the night before. I had found my gift card on the kitchen counter before I left, so this trip was going to be a little more fun. I fully expected the dressing rooms to have been shoveled out, and just assumed that they had just been short-staffed the night before. Wrong. What a pit! If I wanted to try on clothes surrounded by mounds of other clothes, I'd do it in my own bedroom! I found a very comfy pair of shorts, and let me tell you that when I wear them, I can hardly tell that I have them on. They're so comfy and stretchy! They're similar to
these, but mine are khaki and don't have the pocket on the side. Love them. I also bought a couple of shirts and the sandals pictured below. Cute, huh? And I even ended up with $10 left over! Hopefully the next time I go back, the place won't look like a tornado went through it.

Another little goodie that I've accumulated lately is Dove Energy Glow lotion with self-tanners in it. I just bought it last night and used it this morning, and already I think I can see a difference. As I was putting it on this morning, I was thinking that it smelled pretty good. Later in the day, I started to smell a little more like I'd been in a tanning bed or something, but it's not too bad. I've never used a tanning lotion before, so I'm not sure if they all smell like that or not. It was a little expensive at $6.49 for an 8oz. or so bottle, but if it works, I'm all for it. So as I look down at my arms, it's not totally obvious that my skin hasn't seen sunlight since last August.

In addition to these things, I also got some new blush, nail polish, regular lotion, and some Veet hair remover so I don't have to shave everyday. I'm a little afraid of that one. I'll let you know if it burns my legs beyond recognition. In a nutshell, it makes me happy to buy things, even if they're small and mostly insignificant. Imagine how ecstatic I would be if I could actually afford some of the finer things in life!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Oh yeah, THAT'S where I put it

Do you ever misplace something and wonder where the heck you've put it? I don't mean like your car keys or an important paper that you need. I mean something that always belongs in and stays in one room of the house. For instance, for the last couple of months, I have been wondering where my 1 Cup measuring cup has gone. At first, I assumed that Jason simply put it somewhere that it didn't belong, and I'd eventually find it. I had looked pretty much everywhere I thought he might put it, with no luck. One day I finally asked him if he has seen it. He said that he'd been wondering where it was too. Hmmm...strange. Well, whatever. We have another one that I don't like as well, but 1 cup is 1 cup, right? Fast forward to yesterday. Lauren was visiting her new favorite place since potty-training--the bathroom. She usually uses the big potty, but at this particular time, it was in use by another family member, so she used her little potty chair. You know, the kind where you take the little bucket out after using it, and dump it into the big potty. Here is a photo of it:

Cute, huh? So she did her thing, and when she finished, she took out the little bucket thing to dump, and this is what I saw.

Oh yeah. Now I remember! I left it in Lauren's little potty chair! How silly of me not to remember putting it there. The barrette inside the measuring cup was Lauren's touch. I had not been looking for that. Next time I misplace something small, I know the first place I'm going to look.

On a separate note, I have a new "Laurenism." The other day, we were getting ready to walk out the door to go to daycare/work, when Lauren was giving Alex a hug. She pulled away from him for a second and sneezed a couple or 17 times. (She takes after her Aunt Sharkey. Neither one of them sneezes a normal number of times. It'll more likely end up being at least 8 times--no kidding.) Anyway, she was using her best manners and covered her mouth while she sneezed. When she was done, she said, "Ooh, I snoozed on my hand!"

I think she was looking for the past tense of "sneeze," and it came out "snoozed." So of course, that's what we say now when someone sneezes.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Have you ever seen anything like this before?

As I was clicking around the internet tonight, I decided to check out the St. Paul Pioneer Press. I came across this article, and was flabbergasted by the size of the shoes and the difference in the size of the men. The photo looks like it was Photoshopped or something. I've actually seen this guy in Rochester--in Wal-Mart, I think. You don't mistake this man for someone else. It's the type of situation where you know that it's rude to stare, but man! The dude's huge! And not just his body, but his head alone must weigh 20 pounds! I bet he's grateful for this shoemaker!


In my last post, where I talked about the Kenny Rogers/Chris Cagle concert that I had tickets to, I forgot to mention a funny little tidbit. You know the Kenny Rogers song called "Lucille?" That line that goes:

You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille
With four hungry children and a crop in the field

Replace "four hungry children" with "four hundred children," and that is what I thought the line was when I was a kid. No wonder she left him.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Will wonders never cease?

So a couple of amazing things have happened around here lately. The first thing, I thought I had no chance in hell of having it happen, and the second thing, well, I thought there was no chance in hell of having that happen either.

About a month ago, I got an email from
K102, the country radio station that I listen to out of Minneapolis. It was an email letting me know that there was a concert coming up that I was eligible to get tickets for-- earlier than the general public, because I'm a member of the K102 Country Club. WooHoo--it was one of my very favorite singers, Chris Cagle!!! He was going to be Kenny Rogers' opening act at Grand Casino in Hinckley, MN. I love love love Chris Cagle, and even Jason says he puts on an awesome live show, even though he (Jason) could take or leave country music. So the tickets were going to be available at 10am on this particular day. So, here I am, at work on that day, 9:58am, and I'm checking my Ticketmaster account to make sure they have my updated address and my correct credit card number, and I'm just ready to spring into action, with my fingers poised over the keyboard, just waiting to be the first one to get the best seats in the house. So the time comes and I enter that I want 2 of the best seats available. They offer me a couple, and they're pretty good. But it's 10am on the 1st day of the presale--I can do better than that! So I declined those seats and tried for 2 more. Crap! Those seats were worse than the ones they just offered me! I shouldn't have been so greedy, and just taken the first ones! So I try a few more times, and I come up with what I realize are the best seats that I'm gonna get, so I take them. They were in the 15th row of the center section. This is an outdoor concert that will go on rain or shine, and my seats are in a covered area. Works for me. The tickets were $35 each, which I didn't think was too bad. So I'm all excited that I've got my tickets and that it's a done deal. It's on my calendar, and I can't wait to see him again! Then about 2 weeks ago, I was listening to the radio, and I just happened to catch the tail end of the DJ talking about some concert tickets going on sale the coming weekend. I didn't catch what concert it was though, so I went to the K102 website to check out the upcoming concerts to see who it was. It was Brooks & Dunn coming to the Minnesota State Fair, but that's neither here nor there. What caught my attention was the entry on the website that said "Grand Casino-Hinckley presents Kenny Rogers with special guest Crystal Gayle." What? Huh? What the hell? So I checked the Grand Casino website, and that confirmed the change as well. So I called Grand Casino, hoping that it was all just a horrible misunderstanding. At that point, I was also thinking about the almost $90 that I paid for the tickets to this show that I no longer wanted to see. (Yes, the tickets were only $35 each, but Ticketmaster charges all sorts of "convenience fees," and my total ended up at like $89.75!) So the lady I talked to at Grand Casino said that, yes, Chris Cagle had to cancel for some medical reason and that the show was now going to include Crystal Gayle. CRAP!!! Now don't get me wrong, I like Crystal Gayle, and I remember many of her songs from when I was a kid. If I had brown eyes, they would have most definitely been blue at this point! (They are already blue, by the way.) The lady told me that I would have to take this up with Ticketmaster because that's who I actually purchased the tickets through.

Immediately, I thought that I might as well kiss my 90 bucks goodbye! There's no way that Ticketmaster will refund my money, just because an opening act changed. It's not even like the show was postponed or cancelled--just a change in the measly opening act. I called and talked to a very nice customer service representative who said she would have to check with her supervisor to see if my money could be refunded. After being on hold for what seemed like an eternity, she came back and said that since there were still tickets available for this concert, yes, they could give me a refund. Hallelujah!!! She kept me on the line while she went through the process of crediting my credit card. "'s not letting me do it," she said. That didn't sound good. Back on hold I went, as she checked with her supervisor once again. When she came back, she said that they needed to check the refund policy of the promotion company that booked the show. This is the point at which I felt that I was totally screwed. Now Ticketmaster has a scapegoat. "It's not US that can't give you your money back, it's THEM!" She told me that they couldn't reach this promotion company by phone, so they had to email them, and that they (Ticketmaster) would call me back within 48 to 72 hours. Feeling no confidence whatsoever, I thanked the lady and hung up.

About a week later, I thought, "Hmm...Ticketmaster never called me back--that's probably not a good sign." It was up to me to make the call. I pretty much got the same response...had to check with supervisor...yes, you'll get your money back...need to contact the promotion company...couldn't reach them by phone, had to send them an email...will call you back with an answer by the end of the day. This time they actually did call back, and miracle of miracles, they got the go-ahead to refund my money!!! Well, almost all of the money. Of course, they were not able to refund all the "convenience and processing fees" which came to about $7. At this point, I did not care in the least! I was just so grateful that they were going to give me most of the money, and not make me sit through Kenny Rogers and Crystal Gayle, as good as they may be. Turns out that Ticketmaster is not as evil as I always thought! Whew!

Wow, that took a lot longer to explain than I thought it would. On to the 2nd miracle that has taken place recently. Lauren is officially potty trained!!! Hooray for her and for us! Now we can take the fortune that we used to spend on diapers and Pull-Ups and buy, oh I don't know, groceries or something! She's been wearing Pull-Ups for quite a while now, and would tell me everyday, "Today I'm going to stay dry for you!" Yeah, right. Two minutes later, she would be wet. It is very frustrating, but the key is to not make a big deal out of it. That is really hard sometimes. So I'd had enough screwing around with the Pull-Ups, and went to Target to buy some "training pants." Basically, they are "big girl" underpants with a little extra absorbency so the "accidents" don't completely run down her legs. She did really well, and when she did pee in the underpants a little bit, she absolutely hated the feel of it and would cry and walk all stiff-legged to the bathroom. That part was kind of funny, and that's also how I knew that it was working. She did poop in the underpants on Saturday and Sunday, but was doing pretty good with the peeing.

All weekend, she kind of got treated like a dog, which, I think was kind of funny, and she really didn't seem to mind it. We got new furniture and a new rug in the living room last October, so I really didn't want her sitting on either of them with just her underpants on. It was too early to trust that she'd use the potty when she needed to. So if she was going to watch anything on TV, I laid out an old towel on the rug that I made her sit on, just in case. I can't believe that she actually stayed on it.

Monday morning when I brought her to daycare, all the teachers made a big deal out of the whole thing, and she was very excited, but she had yet to poop on the potty. I sent like 3 extra pair of underpants and regular pants, just in case. When I got there to pick her up, I wondered how many of the extras she had gone through during the day. Much to my surprise, she had on the originals! Yea!!! She has not had one accident since Sunday, and finally today, after holding it for two days, she pooped in the potty at daycare! Woohoo! People who don't have kids have no way to comprehend just how exciting this is. If only everyone could experience this kind of joy. I fully expect there to be accidents here and there, and we'll still keep her in a Pull-Up at night, but man, what a great, freeing feeling to be at this point with Lauren!

By the way, I realize that I started no less than 10 sentences with the word "so." So what? Make that 11.