Sunday, December 30, 2007

This what greeted me the other day when I came home from work.
Guess who found a scissors and felt the need to cut his hair?

I quickly returned the gesture with my own scissors and trimmer.

He doesn't quite look like the same boy....
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Saturday, December 29, 2007

I got some shoes!

I will be starting the new year off right with my new Brooks Axiom running shoes. Thanks to an error with purchasing a left handed golf club for my husband, we had some extra funds that I was able to buy me some new shoes! It took 2 trips to Oshkosh but a very helpful young man (that runs an insane 90 miles per week!) at Run Away Shoes, researched for us to find us some size 11 shoes for my HUGE feet. I am SUPER excited.

In the sport of triathlon BRICKS are what they call it when you do one exercise block immediately followed by another. Such as biking and running or Swimming and Biking.

Today I did my first training Brick of the 2008 season. (I am beginning early) I am hoping to get 3 workouts a week and one Brick a month. Gradually getting longer on each brick.

I can tell the 'Resolutionist's" are starting to come out in full force too. (Hey Julie- Jason is back at the Y again, just in time for the new year) When I arrived just about all 20 of the ellipticals and Arc Trainers were full. There was only a handful of treadmills open.

But... the bikes were just about wide open.

I signed up for the bike and the treadmill. Just as I was finishing up on my bike, whad do you know... some one was on MY treadmill. Luckily many more were open than when I arrived, but Geez, Did nobody explain the theory of signing up for the machines to this guy??? It's not even the new year and I am getting shorted on my treadmill!

Today's workout was only a 20 min bike and 20 minute run, but total it was 40 minutes and that was hard enough.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Will I ever come out on top?

Aunt Sara is the Best. I don't know how she does it. She just has this knack for gift giving...
She seems to tower over me.

I asked the boys how they liked Christmas this year they said 'Great.'

I asked them what gifts were the best... Here they are...

1. StarWars Battlefront 2- Aunt Sara
2. Civilization Computer game (Thanks Aunt Jill!)
3.MP3 player- from Me

1. Lego Airport-Aunt Sara
2. Helicopter (Thanks Grandma W)
3. All the other gifts

1. Airport play set (At least 1 got one right!)

Zeb didn't have any others. He just began naming everything he got. (I think he said the airport toy because Reece named a different airport toy, but I will take it)

Maybe it is the stigma of the 'Parent'.

Money, Money and More Money!!

So I had purchased this MP3 player from the internet.

I had thought about the IPOD and the Zune. Both expensive.

While working out these days I see all kinds of music players on the arms of fellow YMCA'ers.
I thought there has GOT to be a way to put music on those non specific machines.


Wrong! Not an easy way, at least. is BAD for songs. Any songs you BUY WILL BE DRM PROTECTED. Meaning you can not use them on any other system. Even though you PURCHASED IT! is also bad for songs. Any songs you will BUY will be in .RAX format, also is DRM protected. Great.

So far Zero for two.

Ok. Enter in the google search for WMA converter to MP3 and Convert DRM protected music.
I found many websites willing to sell my a DRM converter for the low price of $14.99. I was able to find a very helpful website called SWITCH that helped me convert some WMA's to MP3's but was useless since I needed to remove the DRM protection. I tried another one called tunebite (I think) but it only let me do a 60 second download??? Who wants sixty seconds of music? That really helps... Not! So, I tried looking up, again "pay me". No thanks!

Mind you I PAID FOR THE MUSIC ALREADY. Why do I need so much grief to play MY music on my son's IPOD?

Ok. So I was VERY tempted to download one of the DRM protectors that I saw, but it was the principal of the deal. I had already paid for the music. They didn't need anymore money.

It took SO LONG to download the tunebite software and so many of those VISTA flags kept popping up I am thinking with have a good chance of having some spy ware on our computer somewhere now. I will fix that later.

Ok. On with the story, I finally decided to see if I could convert my I tunes to MP3's.
I stubble on this wonderful site that describes how you convert a song to MP3 format by burning it to a disc and importing it back as a Mp3, Now I will have 2 of the same song, but at least one will be in the correct format. Sheeesh.

Needless to say 3.2 hours later, I have downloaded 1 song on two the Mp3 player.


Monday, December 17, 2007

A New pet? I dont think so!

Saturday night I was awoken from my sleep by my family to tell me that we acquired some new pests, er... I mean pets.

Duner went out to the Fridge we have in our garage to get a beverage, when he heard a noise. The kids soon joined him and located the source of the noise.

Our Dogs food bag.

We have 2 labs that stay mainly outside or in our garage, in the winter. We keep their food near the coop. We do have a storage container for it, but that is more effort to use in this cold weather than any of us want to fumble with, so we just open the bag and dig out their food when needed.

We feed them twice a day. Once in the am and once at night lately.
I had given them the usually nightly feeding that night. I noticed nothing.

The mice must have an internal clock and know when to hide out and wait.

It was 2 mice.

Both in the bag. Duner grabbed a empty milk gallon and tried to coerce them into the empty gallon. No takers for the first one. The kids said his butt was too big.

Need a bigger opening. Ok, so he grabbed the container we use to give the dogs water and gets one in. He actually got him to go right in!
The next one was a little more involved. The second mouse had fallen between the wrappers of the bag.

Those of you that don't know large dog food bags frequently have multiple layers of paper to keep the food contained. The second mouse had a hole in the bottom that they must have been using to negotiate a trail to and from the food source. He didn't want to come out of the layers but Duner squeezed the layers to make the mouse go in the correct direction.

Once both were in the water bottle the boys found a cover and sealed them in the container (since the mice were just about jumping up the 9 inches of the container!), to figure out what to do with them in the am, since they woke me up to ask me what to do with them and all I could say is 'I don't want them here. I don't care how they go away, just not here.' They were trying to tell me how cute they were. Did I mention it was around Midnight? Yes they are CRAZY.

No pets.

My thoughts briefly flashed back to my own experience with a mouse when I was 6 yrs old or so, I picked up a mouse that I thought was my neighbors hamster. It didn't appreciate me and bit me. It was squashed with a broom, so we were even.

Anyhoo, The next morning I woke and asked the kids about the mice.
Reece explained how Brock was worried about them so he put some water and food in the container so they would be ok overnight.
Yes, Brock was FEEDING the pests.

Reece went to go check on them shortly after that.

They were dead.

The water that Brock put in the bottom was a little much and they were FROZEN TO THE BOTTOM OF THE CONTAINER.

Great! Problem solved.

Thanks Brock!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ventilation, Time to exhale...

I work at a doctors office. We get crabby people somewhat frequently.
But today was a extra special.
What people don't seem to realize, yes, they only see the Doctor for X # of minutes, but they don't realize the work on the back end. Lab testing, possible x-ray testing, calling in med's, and the dictation the Doctor will do on you that with recap the ENTIRE visit. Not to mention the phone calls, and faxes from pharmacies, nursing homes and hospitals. *that do usually need to be signed or replied to in some way.*

Then add in the time spent making specialist appointments or testing that will need to be done.

Not to mention any prior auths for the meds that were called in!! (Gotta LOVE medicaid)
A 'Prior Auth' is when your insurance says 'Uh huh! We like this med, use it first." or 'Patient had to have tried and FAILED on X, Y AND Z before we will CONSIDER your request'. Even with that some STILL get denied.
Doctors do make a LOT of money. I agree. But on days like today. NO Thank you!
Oh yeah, I almost forgot the perks like going to go deliver a baby after the office closes or having to spend the night in the hospital just in case the woman delivers since your home is 30 minutes from the hospital.

We saw over 30 people. Between 8am to noon and 1pm to 5pm.
Basically 15 in the am and another 15 in the pm. That is 4 people per hour on the average. Not bad. BUT WHEN YOU ADD PEOPLE IN THE ALREADY OVER BOOKED SCHEDULE TO HELP THEM OUT....
DO NOT COME TO THE OFFICE EXPECTING TO BE SEEN WITHIN AN HOUR!!!! You are the exception. We are STUFFED! We tell you that when you call. We are WORKING YOU IN!!! No whining allowed!

My personal fave is the patient that asks to speak to the Dr because 'US STAFF' are useless, or the person that calls the Dr a 'Quack' because he won't prescribe pain medication. How old are we? 5 or 8?

I like to go to work to not have to listen to the whining!!!

ah, hm...

Thank you for listening to my small tirade. Carry on...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Brother Power

We finally were able to make it to Target to make use of a gift card and some money Reece received from his birthday.

We HAD to have everyone with to help him pick out a gift, of course.

We head right away to the toy department. Specifically Lego aisle. After much pondering, it was decided to not get Lego's and buy a R/C helicopter. We stopped over at my parents house and he immediately asked for batteries, it worked Great! We left the batteries there, and headed home, since I had some at home.

He played with that for a good hour or two, then....

...the driving gear shifted. It wasn't working right. It couldn't fly. Reece, (AKA- Drama King), immediately began the tears and sulking.
... and more tears.
... and more tears...

I told him we can see if with can exchange it tomorrow. He was better. In the meantime Brock, who desperately wanted the board game Risk, was bending Reece's ear about what fun the game Risk is. Brock is not one to mention something only one time. You can expect to hear things over and over and over and over, again. Poor Reece probably had Brock whispering that in his sleep!

The next morning we took the kids sledding at a local park. They had fun. Zeb was all by himself on an super tube. He loved it. He would put his belly on the edge and leave his feet drag behind him and that was how he went down. Over and over again. He would use his legs to direct himself. He was quite good.

Brock and Reece went down together, Brock had taken off his coat he was too warm, he got knocked off the tube, but Reece got some 'Snow Burn' and out came the 'Drama King' in him. He was Waaaaaaaayyyy down at the bottom of the hill and we could hear him just fine. Kids on the hill were stopped looking at him to make sure he is ok. Brock was fine and he walked up to Reece and stood there trying to get him up. We knew Reece was fine. Brock would have tried to get our attention right away, but he just kicked the tube a few times trying to get Reece off to bring it up to the top of the hill.

After 10 minutes of ignoring him, Reece realized that no one was going to come to him and walked up making Brock carry the tube alone! Brock should have left Reece down there to carry the tube up by himself! We let the boys continue for 30 more minutes or so after Reece had some time in the truck to regain his composure.

After that we dropped the boys at home and brought in the helicopter.

They let us return it! Yay! We tried to get a new one but they were out. Reece was bummed. He tried to find something else to buy, but everything he thought he wanted was more than he had.

We happened by the game of Risk just happened to be on sale. After a quick phone call to Duner and Aunt Sara (got voice mail), to figure out if that was the game she had gotten him, I realized I must have deleted that email so the boys wouldn't find out what she bought them. Argh!

I think she had gotten that for Brock for Christmas, but after much discussion I couldn't talk him out of getting it. (Sorry Sara!)

So he brought home the game Risk and some Lego Clone Troopers.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Where is it all coming from?

I don't remember a December that we had so much snow within a week!
Granted, we didn't get it yet but wow! I love it!
Yes, the roads are bad and it is so much work to clear up... but we are heading to a WHITE Christmas!!
Talk about holiday spirit.

The boys got some gifts from St Nick last night, much to Brock's Dismay St. Nick did not drop off a game boy Pokemon game. Bummer. Considering Brock suggested it the night of St Nick visiting I told him right out; "GOOD LUCK, but it wont happen."
They each did get a mini Lego set, PJ's, Hershey kisses, mini peanut butter cups, an ornament, a flying saucer toy and a lifesaver holiday book.
Brock was showing me the life savers he has left, I was amazed to find out he hates CHERRY!! YUM!
Those are my favorites! His favorite is GREEN! I told him I hated those I used to throw them away.
Geez, Kids these days!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy!

The weeks are flying by.
I am barely able to get the 'normal' stuff done! Then add to that decorating, Christmas cards, tree trimming, baking oh, and why not toss in the volunteering at the school!
We came home from the water park and Duner had the house picked up and looking great, so all we had to do was unload and put away our stuff.

I can not tell you how happy was on Monday to find a lost video game and card that we temporarily misplaced!

Reece school needed some school supplies for kids in a foreign country, Zebs needed food for the local food pantry and if Brock's needed something I don't know. He hardly drops me piles of paperwork like the elementary schools do. Thank Goodness!

I did manage to grab the kids gifts and wrap them safely without them around. That is one reason why I love school for them. Yay!
I was just finishing wrapping Brocks when Reece and Zeb came home. Brock can't wait for St Nick to come tonight, he was begging me to fill the stockings last night. He said "If we can open presents on Christmas Eve then we can have St Nick come one day early too!".
Nice Try buddy!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

So far, SO GREAT!!

So, What do you do when there is a winter storm warning on the horizon?

Why not head to a water park? We did. Especially when you son's birthday was the occasion, Not like you can really say 'lets do a rain check on this ok?'

It was a little over an hour away, but the drive went quick as the snow began to fly. The kids were occupied as they played their game boys. As we got closer Brock was our navigator. He did a good job since we made it directly to our location.

As we pulled in the kids were in awe of the mere size of the place. Enormous. We pulled in to check in to the place. As we walked in some valet's acted as Doormen for us, the kids were impressed with that. The lobby was impressive. 3 stories tall, with a huge staircase going up to the second floor. It was decorated with trees and garland all over. In the center they have a neat fountain with dolphin's the kids liked.

Thankfully, We were early to check in but we were still able to get a room. Our room was on the 4th Floor, it had a vaulted ceiling, a small living room area, two queen beds, small fridge (but nice size, bigger), microwave, granite counter tops, and 37 inch TV with Nintendo Game Cube. The kids loved it. Reece said he was in heaven. After changing we head down to the water park. The have 7 water slides. Two that you use with an intertube, 2 body slides and 3 kiddie slides that Zeb LOVED! I think I spent an hour watching him go up and down those alone.
They have a huge tank that holds 1000 gallons of water and dumps it every 10 minutes or so. By 4pm Zeb was ready to take a break at the room. We headed up an let Reece and Jake play one more hour. There were lifeguards all over and they were mainly playing with the slides and the water toys. They were having loads of fun.
We ordered Dominos pizza and one hour of playing time from the Nintendo game system to give time while we waited. When our pizza arrived, I had to go down and get it. But they had about 10 drummers from a local school in the lobby doing a small show. It was packed. It was neat to see but I didn't even know it was going on! The room was quiet. It was neat to see. Zeb helped me bring the food up to the room. Thankfully I had brought the laptop and the free internet was a help for giving us quiet time before we go swimming again. By 6pm they were ready to swim again. I wasn't going to get into my wet cold swimsuit, so I just staying in my clothes. I knew Zeb would probably be using the slides mostly anyway. There was not a lot of people in the Water park this time. It was very nice.
We were able to see some snow lighting and hear some thunder, even over the noise of the water park.
Zeb was being chased a lot by this one little girl that he didn't appreciate. He kept running up to me to ask her to leave him alone.
By 8pm, we headed back to the room. In my search for a water machine, I learned they had Milk and cookies for the kids and they were reading them a story on the steps of the lobby! I quickly grabbed 4 cookies and a big glass of milk for the kids before she was putting it away.
I noticed they had an ice cream and dessert shoppe, so we headed down there for some ice cream. Reece picked a vanilla cone, Zeb had bubble gum ice cream in a dish, Jake had orange cream dream in a dish and Brock had Maple Nut in a dish. I just got a bottle of water. I knew Zeb wouldn't finish so I just waited for him to give it to me.
After the ice cream, we checked out the arcade. Zeb's first choice was a driving game, no surprise there. The chair you sat in actually moved when you hit a wall, It was neat!
We headed back to the room and the kids played more on the internet, and watched a Harry Potter movie that happened to be on TV. Zeb was tired but he had a hard time drifting off to sleep with the boys talking and the lights on.
Currently we are waiting for the time to pass until they can go into the park this morning. This morning's breakfast consisted of leftover pizza. I had thought about getting room service, but I figured we will just get a nice lunch instead.
Well, the toilet had been unclogged- Thanks to Brock and Maintenance (later...), and the boys are ready to go, so I better change myself and head down to the water park.