Thursday, August 31, 2006

Awww, what a cute baby...


When you have a baby, especially your first baby, a lot of people buy you (much appreciated) presents. And a lot of those presents are baby clothes. Sweet, cute baby clothes.

There were several outfits (including the mandatory sailor suit) that J.J. received as gifts that my husband was determined his son wouldn't wear, due to their "feminine" appearance. Apparently, it's ok for daddy to dress as Tinkerbell on live television, but a powder blue gingham romper might encourage Joe Jr. to bat for the other team.

Despite his father's concern, J.J. has worn all of his outfits, and has grown out of all of the "questionable" ones. Heck, he's grown out of pretty much everything.

So, Joe stopped at Kohl's last night to look at ties. I told him to check out the sales racks in the infants department and get anything in a 12 or 18 months that he thought would be good for J.J. I figured he'd enjoy picking some cute (sports-themed) rompers for his little guy.

He got home and showed me all of the outfits, one by one. A cute pin-striped baseball jumper, a pair of Halloween pajamas, things that make you go "Awwwwww!".

One of the things he got was a long-sleeved blue and white body suit.

With a butterfly applique that says "sweet thing".

And a ruffle at the collar and cuffs.

After he showed it to me, he asked (with some concern), "Is this for a girl?"

I said, "Well, it's blue, but yeah, it's pretty girly."

His response?

"Well, J.J. will still look cute in it."

So, be sure to say hello if you see me around Nashville. I'll be the one with the cross-dressing baby.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

a ding ding ding ding ding ding a ding ding...

See that? Up there? ^^
That's my very own crazy frog!!! On my very own desk! Well, technically, he's "the Annoying Thing", and the desk belongs to the company I work for, but I have a CRAZY FROG!!! He even sings the Crazy Frog ring tone (actual song starts 19 seconds in). I'd take him home, but I have a feeling he would make JJ cry.

Got a few seconds?

Then go here.

If you have more than a few seconds, come back and tell me your number.

I'm nosy.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

At least he's not sleeping in a drawer...

As if he would FIT in a drawer. JJ Dubin is a hefty 18 pounds, just shy of being 4 months old. That's THREE TIMES the size he was when we brought him home.

Seriously. The kid is already wearing 12 months clothes. But that's another story...

Talk about getting off on a tangent.

That crib I've been trying to put together? We finally received the replacement crib. Well, who knows when we received it - we found it last Wednesday - AFTER it sat outside for at least three days (it had been rained on and didn't it rain last Monday?)... The UPS guy left it behind our side porch and we had no idea it had been delivered.

What can brown do for me? Brown can leave a note on my door!

Anyway, the crib parts made it inside by Thursday. The box barely made it to the porch. Crib assembly took place Sunday. I was able to get to the next-to-last step before I realized that both of the rails that make the crib look like a sleigh bed were cracked. I tried the rails from the first crib; they were a completely different color and didn't fit (on a positive note, the replacement crib is closer to the same color as the "matching" dresser).

After calling the crib manufacturer 17 times (15 busy signals and one dropped call...), I was told they did not have the rails in stock to match my manufacturer code, but they would gladly send me another crib... Putting together a third crib just was not an option for me. So I told them I'd wait the month out for the parts to come in.

Meanwhile, JJ has spent the past two nights sleeping in his new (rail-less) crib. He's perfectly safe, and hasn't complained about the lack of aesthetics. I had thought about putting the cracked rails on until the replacements come in, but I think I'll be more motivated to install the new ones if I don't have to un-install the cracked ones first.

I'd post a picture, but I'm three months behind on getting the files out of the camera/off the memory cards and onto my flickr page... I'll try to work on it, but my helpers have yet to arrive.

100 things

  1. I used to cry when school let out for the summer.
  2. I've been to New York once as an adult. I don't care to go back.
  3. I've never rollerbladed.
  4. I've always wanted to play the cello.
  5. I took the SAT in 6th grade.
  6. I prefer plain cheese pizza.
  7. I used to get so carsick as a child, they put me in the "way back" of the station wagon. As if riding backwards didn't compound the problem.
  8. I rarely listen to current music - and never "on purpose".
  9. I prefer my margaritas on the rocks, with salt.
  10. I've never played softball.
  11. I'm terrible at calling/writing/emailing friends and remembering birthdays.
  12. I make a mean bloody mary. Once a year at my Mom's New Year's Day brunch.
  13. I am one of the worst singers in the world.
  14. I really don't care for chocolate.
  15. I won the botany award in high school, but I could not keep a house plant alive for more than a few months if my life depended upon it.
  16. Coke. Never Pepsi. I'd rather drink water. Or lemonade.
  17. A lot of people think I'm stuck up or mean, but I'm really just slow to warm up to people.
  18. l get choked up when I hear the national anthem performed live.
  19. Horror movies give me nightmares.
  20. My favorite breakfast at IHOP is Cheese Blintzes with a side of extra crispy bacon.
  21. I am terrified of driving on the interstate.
  22. I've never been arrested.
  23. I think I might win the lottery someday. Someone has to. I'm not banking on it, though.
  24. I take my coffee black.
  25. I hate surprises.
  26. I can't stand light beer.
  27. I was a paste eater.
  28. I was president of the student council in junior high.
  29. I was born in Dover, Delaware.
  30. I get my hair cut maybe twice a year.
  31. I played clarinet in junior high. I wanted to play the trombone, but my arms were too short. That, and mom found a cheap clarinet in the classified ads.
  32. My favorite part of elementary school was arts and crafts.
  33. I've never seen the Grand Canyon. Not even from a plane. I always seem to be on the wrong side.
  34. My father invented stove top stuffing. We used to have to eat it for Thanksgiving. It sucked.
  35. I never stayed in the hospital overnight until JJ was born. Then we were there 4 nights.
  36. I'm the biggest lurker in the world.
  37. I can't stand those really big-holed ear piercings (do they have a name)?
  38. I went to IU (partially) because I was a basketball fan; I didn't become a fan as a result of going to school there.
  39. I love watching fireworks.
  40. I tried to go snorkeling once, in Belize, and had a panic attack. I've never been snorkeling or had a panic attack since. If you need a "gently used" snorkel set, let me know.
  41. I can't stand reality television.
  42. I'm a middle child.
  43. I once replaced the muffler on my car by myself.
  44. I have a tattoo of a bluebird on my stomach. No, it didn't get all distorted when I was pregnant.
  45. My birthday often falls over Memorial Day weekend. May 24th - write it down.
  46. I don't like ranch dressing. I hate it when people say, "But everyone likes ranch!".
  47. I used to want to "retire" at the age of 45 and open a restaurant. Now I just want to be a mom.
  48. One of my favorite memories from childhood was going to my aunt and uncle's house in Maryland. They would drop us off at the dock with frozen chicken necks and string and we would catch blue crabs and steam them for dinner.
  49. I have been in 5 weddings. 3 of them were my own.
  50. I've broken practically every one of my fingers (not at the same time).
  51. I will not eat crunchy peanut butter.
  52. I never spend my change.
  53. I don't find Steve Martin funny at all.
  54. I wish I had studied computer science in college.
  55. My parents didn't give me a middle name. I'll show you my birth certificate if you don't believe me.
  56. Speaking in front of a crowd doesn't phase me, but pull out a camera and watch me freak out.
  57. I won a trophy for my golfing skills once. I think I was 8.
  58. I cannot stand to have a fan blowing on me. Ceiling fan, window fan, car fan - they all suck.
  59. Just because you're in the elevator with me doesn't mean we have to talk.
  60. I've lived in a total of 16 houses/apartments.
  61. I won a contest in the first grade to name the PTO (PTA) newsletter: The PTO Report Card.
  62. I was disciplined once in school - I had to stand against the wall in the cafeteria because I was talking during announcements at lunch, but it wasn't my fault. I was trying to tell another girl to be quiet so she wouldn't get in trouble.
  63. I've never seen an episode of The Waltons or Little House on the Prairie. We watched The Dukes of Hazzard in our house.
  64. I wouldn't mind wearing dresses every day. Except for the shaving my legs thing...
  65. I watch Jeopardy and Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and think to myself how stupid the contestants are.
  66. I feel sorry for our puppy, because she only got to be the baby of the family for a few weeks.
  67. I am horrible at remembering names. Doesn't matter if you're my neighbor or a movie star.
  68. I love making "to do" lists and crossing off each item as I finish it.
  69. I hate yard work. If I could get away with paving our yard and flowerbeds, I would.
  70. I hardly ever change my jewelry or purse. I'm just not into accessorizing.
  71. I grew up taking lessons: piano, tennis, swimming, gymnastics, horseback riding, skating, golf…
  72. I have never kissed a girl.
  73. I went snow skiing on my first date. I broke my arm. I didn't tell my date I broke my arm.
  74. I was the only kid on the family to have braces - and the first of two to get glasses.
  75. My favorite teacher ever was Miss Olley in the second grade.
  76. It upset me when that woman on Romper Room never called my name.
  77. I really need to get my brows waxed.
  78. I like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for breakfast.
  79. I brush my teeth with hot water, not cold.
  80. I spent an entire semester in high school eating lunch alone in the gym.
  81. The only perfume I wear is "Happy" by Clinique.
  82. I had grey hair in the first grade. I was a stressed out little girl
  83. The best skittles are the green ones. Then orange, red and yellow. I throw the purple ones out the car window.
  84. The glass is always full. Not because I'm an optimist, but because I'm a scientist. To be empty requires a vacuum and you can't have a vacuum in an open-ended vessel.
  85. I'm very stubborn and impatient.
  86. I get really bad reactions to mosquito bites.
  87. I lived in Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey, and Indiana before I moved to Tennessee.
  88. I can never keep up with fashion trends - and don't try to.
  89. I played intramural football and euchre in college.
  90. I refuse to watch a movie I haven't seen unless it's at the VERY beginning. Please don't try to "catch me up" on the first 10 minutes.
  91. I find small talk incredibly tedious.
  92. I used to sleepwalk as a child.
  93. I can watch my son sleep for hours at a time. I can and I do.
  94. My favorite children's movie is Monsters, Inc.
  95. I've returned to several of my childhood homes/neighborhoods and they're all depressing.
  96. I clip coupons and match them to the sales ads.
  97. As a child, I would sit in the yard and hope a cloud would land on the grass next to me so I could go for a ride.
  98. The second album I owned was the soundtrack from Sunshine. John Denver is awesome.
  99. Although I'm a big college basketball fan, I don't watch the NBA.
  100. I wear nothing on my feet but sandals from April through September.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Blogger beta... my review.

Observations after my first day with Blogger beta (I only use Firefox):

Here's my initial feedback.

If you opt to receive an email every time someone leaves a comment, the email now links directly to the specific post the person commented on. Yay!

The blog title (up top) used to link to the blog home page - I believe most if not all blogger templates work(ed) this way. Not any more. And, when I'm using the drop-down list for my archives, you can't select the current month. Well, you can select it, but it doesn't do anything. Because of both of these things, I added a "home" link in my "Check out my stuff:" link list.

I can't get my Google Adsense (it's supposed to be below where it says "Please click" in the left hand column) to work - I even went to the Adsense site and generated fresh code.

It's FAST. I used to wait FOREVER for my site to publish. This could be in part because the beta is only available by invite, but let's hope it will stay this way once more blogs migrate over.

The quick edit buttons for the page elements gave me a lot of errors at first, but seem to be working now.

I'm really itching to edit my raw HTML...

I wish the "add URL" functionality was the same in a link list page element as it is within a post.

The "Edit Posts" page has changed... I'd really like to be able to select multiple posts from the list and add labels in bulk.

I used the "Minima Lefty" template and customized my colors and fonts. I used to use the "Minima" template. There are 7 versions of the Minima template, which is pretty flexible. Other templates have several versions too.

I'm impressed with the user interfaces for editing the page elements and fonts and colors. And I'm picky.

The spellcheck has been changed too - it's very similar to gmail's spellcheck. One bad thing about it is you can no longer add words.

I give it a B+.

Want a gmail account?

Blogger beta won't let me add a "mailto:" in a link list widget (it prepends "http://" to whatever you enter in the URL text entry box.

However, I CAN add a "mailto:" link in the URL text entry box when I "add a link" within a post...

So, I'm creating a post so I can link to this instead of adding a link to send me an email in my "Check out my stuff:" list... Because I still give out a lot of gmail accounts.

So... that said, if you want a gmail account, just let me know!

Blogger beta: first glance

Well... that was easy.

To start working in Blogger beta, I had to upgrade to a new template. I could have selected one that looked just like my old one (without my custom colors), but I went with a slightly different layout. Within a few minutes, I received an email that my blog was ready.

The "about me" and "blog archive" section automatically showed up in my left nav. I still have to manually move all of my links and blogroll and other stuff, but I added my site stats using the new interface and it was simple.

Since Blogger automatically saves your old template (I had made a backup copy "just in case"), I was able to use it as a reference and enter my custom fonts and colors - I even made a few changes since it was so easy to preview the changes:

Although there are lots of page elements you can select and customize using the interface above, not all elements are in the list (e.g., how links appear when one hovers over them). The ability to edit the raw HTML is not yet live, but I'm guessing I can do it there.
If you're logged into Blogger and view your site, there are additional edit buttons, which give you one-click access to change the appearance of the page elements.

Other stuff:
  • Labels can be added to each post (text entry box, not drop-down selection - although I haven't added any labels yet - it would be nice if Blogger puts my labels in a drop-down and allow me to either select from my old labels and/or enter in new ones... I'll let you know).
    Update: The label functionality is pretty slick.
  • You can subscribe to a feed for the comments on a specific post. That means if you leave me a comment and are waiting for my witty reply, you don't have to come back every 4 1/2 minutes - just enter the feed into Bloglines, Newsgator, FeedDemon, myYahoo!, your personalized Google home page, or whatever you use to aggregate feeds.
  • While you're creating a post, the "Preview" is still a generic preview, not custom to your blog. That's the way it's always been, but it's one feature that I'd like to see added...
Let me know if you use Blogger and are curious about a specific feature before making the jump... This is just my first stab.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Under construction...

Please excuse any mess you might see here... I'm about to try the new Blogger.

See you on the other side.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

62 questions

Because I'm a lemming.

1)How old do you wish you were?
I'm ok with 35.

2) Where were you when 9/11 happened?
Washington, D.C.

3) What do you do when vending machines steal your money?
I leave a note for the vending guy asking him to give me back my money.

4) Do you consider yourself kind?
Not always, but I do consider myself truthful.

5) If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be?
Where it already is.

6) If you could be fluent in any other language what would it be?

7) Do you know your neighbors?
Yeah - but supposedly, so do all those people on the news who say they "never would have suspected...".

8) What do you consider a vacation?
Beach. Sun. Alcohol.

9) Do you follow your horoscope?

10) Would you move for the person you loved?

11) Are you touchy feely?
No - I'm more like a porcupine.

12) Do you believe that opposites attract?
Yes. They can also wear each other out.

13) Dream job?

14) Favorite channel(s)?
GSN The Travel Channel.

15) Favorite place to go on weekend?

16) Showers or Baths?
If I had the time, baths.

17) Do you paint your nails?
Does clear count?

18) Do you trust people easily?
Until they prove themselves untrustworthy.

19) What are your phobias?
I have an incredibly intense fear of losing my sight.

20) Do you want to have kids?
I'd like to have one more. Another boy, please.

21) Do you keep a handwritten journal?
Not anymore.

22) Where would you rather be right now?
South Florida.

23) What makes you feel warm and safe?
My guard cat and guard dog. I can't even try to keep a smile off my face when I type that...

24) Heavy or light sleep?
Used to be heavy; now I seem to always have an eye and an ear open.

25) Are you paranoid?
No... should I be?

26) Are you impatient?
Yes. YES. YES!

29) Have you been burned by love?
By love? No - but I've been singed by lust.

30) Whats your life motto?
"It's not like I have a choice..."

31) What's your main ringtone on your mobile?
A "classic" telephone ring. You know - the kind on phones they don't make anymore.

32) What were you doing at midnight last night?
I was asleep.

33) Who was your last text message from?

34) Who's bed did you sleep in last night?
If you ask Lillie and Zitty, they'd tell you I take up WAY too much space in their bed..

35) What color shirt are you wearing?
Navy blue.

37) Name five things you have on you at all times?
1. deodorant
2. concealer
3. mascara
4. lotion
5. glasses or contacts

38.) What color are your bed sheets?
Ivory with mud-toned paw prints.

40) What is your favorite part of the chicken?
The breading.

41) What's your favorite town/city?
Depends on my state of mind... Chicago, Denver, Key West...

42) What happened to this question?

43) Who got you to join myspace?
Never, never, never. Unless it's still around by the time JJ can use a computer. Then I'll have to "friend" him and keep an eye on things... Strike that - my child will never go online. Ever. In fact, I'm throwing away the home computer.

44) What did you have for dinner last night?
Tuna casserole. Glamorous, huh?

45) How tall are you barefoot?
5' 09"

46) Have you ever smoked crack?

47) Do you own a gun?
Does a staple gun count?

48) What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
Mimosas. I usually settle for black coffee.

49) Do you have a secret nobody knows about?
I think all of my secrets are shared by at least one person... Oh - except THAT one.

50) Do you have A.D.D.?
Nope. I think I'm the only person in our family without it.

52) Current worry?
That JJ will suffer irreversible developmental damage because I have to work and he has to go to daycare.

53) Current hate?
Whoever is responsible for the construction projects on Elm Hill, Briley and I-40.

54) Favorite place to be?
At home with my family.

55) Where would you like to travel?
I'd like to go to Egypt.

56) Where do you think you'll be in 10 years.
Dropping JJ off at his first day of fifth grade.

57) Last thing you ate??
A cherry lifesaver.

58) What songs do you sing in the shower?
If JJ's in the car seat on the other side of the shower door, I sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" or one of the many songs I have made up just for him...

59) Last person that made you laugh?
JJ Dubin.

60) Worst injury you've ever had?
I fractured my eye socket.

61) Does someone have a crush on you?

62) What is your favorite candy?
Chewy Sprees.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Happy Birthday Zitty Kitty!

Zitman Riley Dubin (we just call him Zitty) is 14 today!

For his birthday, we're getting Lillie Biscuit fixed - no, she's not broken, but I have a feeling Zitty would agree that one puppy in our house is enough!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Just wondering...

Does anyone else find that Hardee's Milkshake commercial a tad bit... disturbing?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Round and round and round...

Our puppy spends a considerable amount of time chasing her tail. Even once she catches it, she'll spin around for a while longer, proud of her conquest -- that, or she's just not sure how to stop. Either way, she seems to enjoy it.

I, on the other hand, do not see the fun in chasing one's (figurative) tail. Especially after spending most of my "not working" time yesterday doing just that:
  • Called insurance company A (for the third time) to confirm that yes, they still are the primary insurance for JJ so they can send payment to the hospital.

  • Called insurance company B (for the who knows how many number of times) to confirm that they are still my secondary medical insurance coverage (oh - if you're going to have a child, I highly recommend having as many policies as you can to help defray the costs) and could go ahead and pay their part of my bill, as company A has already paid their part. And oh joy: next month, I get to call them again once company A pays their part of JJ's bill (assuming I'm not already calling company A to remind them they are still the primary for him)...

  • Called the crib manufacturer to let them know the piece they sent to replace the defective piece on the crib I bought does not fit said crib. The holes on the new piece are 2 inches apart and the piece they need to connect to has holes 4 inches apart (or is it the other way around?). Good news: We're getting a whole new crib! Bad news: I have to start crib assembly from scratch... Oh - and I'll also have to send a (non-defective) piece (that they will specify) from the original crib back to them. Because, you know, I have nothing better to do than scam the crib manufacturer to get a 2 for 1 special. Poor JJ will be in a bassinet forever.

  • Talked to the IRS (yet again) to explain that the payment they received from us on April 17th in the exact amount they say we owe them means that we don't owe them anything. The ridiculous part? When I offered to read them the receipt number (note to self: if we ever owe again, send a hard copy paper check instead of taking the "easy" online payment option) the agent's reply was: "No - I don't need the receipt number - I can see the record of the payment attached to your account". OK... what am I missing?
Gotta go - there's my tail...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Yeah, I know...

My comments are broken. All of them. Not just current posts.

I don't know if it's a Blogger-wide problem or just me... Anyone?

Update: It looks like it WAS a problem last week, but was "fixed".

Friday, August 04, 2006

Linda 7.0

I used to joke that I needed a clone of myself. One would do nothing but work, and the other me would go about my normal life.

I realize now how ridiculous that idea was.

You see, if I were to be cloned, I would need at least 6 more of me... Just for a month.

Clone #1 would be responsible for my day job - the one I get paid for.

Clone #2 covers general housekeeping: cooking, cleaning, and doing the laundry.

Clone #3 deals with the errands: dry cleaning, groceries, household shopping (why are we ALWAYS out of birdseed and dog biscuits?), car maintenance, and sorting through my entire wardrobe to decide what to trash, what to donate, and what goes to consignment.

Clone #4: Yard work. Granted, my hubby takes care of mowing the yard, but she'd take care of everything else - weeding the flower beds, getting bulbs planted, replacing the mulch with white marble, taking care of the weeds growing through the sidewalks and driveways, the vines that have taken over our fence...

Clone #5: Household projects. Like fixing the gaping hole in our family room ceiling, getting the drapes up on the sliding doors, installing the rest of the plantation blinds, shelves in the nursery, curtains for Hannah bear's room, furnishing the living room, setting up the workbench in the garage...

Clone #6: She'd take care of me. Doctor's appointments, dentist, waxing, manicures, pedicures, haircut, working out, and anything else I've neglected. Maybe even a week on the beach if she could swing it.

Everyone will share the responsibilities of tending to the pets, and if any of those girls has free time, I fully expect them to fill in the gaps by taking on a part-time job. We have bills to pay and savings to build, you know!

And that leaves me.

I'd pitch in and take care of those bills, get the budget ironed out, apologize to my husband for being such a raging bitch the past few weeks, and (most importantly) take care of JJ.

All I'm asking for is just one month...

You know it's been a long day when...

You spend your lunch hour searching for dinner recipes that call for a cup of wine, leaving PLENTY for yourself.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I wonder if she's bringing Chuey?

Hey - did you know Chelsea Handler is at Zanies this weekend?

A few weeks ago, I found her show as I was flipping channels and was immediately hooked. I had never heard of her, because I had never seen Girls Behaving Badly.

But, she is abso-freakin-lutely-HI-larious.

And, not only do I have a babysitter, a date, and tickets for Thursday's show, I'm well-aware of Zanies tip-gouging scam, which should get me an extra drink or two without breaking our budget!