June 30, 2008

It seems many people are blogging about the books they have been reading…herehereherehereherehere…I think you get the idea. Since it is the last day of the month and I’m not sure what to write about…I will also be writing about books.

I got quite a stack of books for Christmas this year (I also think this was the case the year before too!). Two were craft books and some others had to do with parenting. I finally decided I should try and read them instead of just using them to support the remote control on my nightstand! I actually went through the craft ones right after Christmas and marked a bunch of ideas that I want to try. To date I have only tried to make one thing though!

I have these two books:
99 Ways to Cut, Sew & Deck Out Your Denim
Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt
Both books are full of fun ideas and many that I want to try. I just need to find some time to get all the supplies out and actually work uninterrupted. Hmmm One can dream right?

My Mom also gave me these parenting books. The first one I finished right before vacation and the other I read and finished while on vacation. They both had LOTS of information and will be on our bookshelf to refer back to later. There is no way anyone can remember all the stuff they told you to do!

Praising Boys Well: 100 Tips for Parents and Teachers

Raising Happy Kids: Over 100 Tips for Parents and Teachers

My sister-in-law sent me a book to read to give me some insight on the idea of adoption. I got in in the mail right when we got back from vacation and started reading it. It took less than a week to read (not reading everyday and usually only reading at night before bed). It was a good read and did help provide some insight even though the child adopted in this book was adopted at birth and we will be adopting a child that is already born and likely a couple of years old. The second book is one she also suggested that I read. I have just started it but hope I can read it more over the next week or two.

Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother
Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew

Old Navy Bust

June 29, 2008

I was actually able to make it to Old Navy yesterday but by the time I got there…there were VERY FEW solid color flip flops left. In fact I could only find some in kids/toddler sizes. I was able to get Little Monkey a black pair that hopefully will fit next summer. I also got him a pair of socks on clearance for 19cents. I have heard of many people going early in the day to their stores and it being swamped with people. Most of them either got some flip flops or that the flips flops were already gone, but it didn’t stop them from spending plenty of other money on clothes. So Old Navy’s marketing ploy did work on many people but not so much on me! I would have loved to get more flip flops. Big Monkey even requested a pair (He has somehow lost his black ones and cannot find them anywhere!). Oh well!

Go to Old Navy Today!!

June 28, 2008

Today, Saturday June 28th, Old Navy is selling solid color flip flops for $1! Each customer may buy up to five pairs. So get over to Old Navy and stock up! Flip flops are a part of your year round wardrobe here in Florida and you can never have too many pairs. If it were me going to Old Navy (I don’t know if I can make it to one on Saturday since we don’t have one right down the street!) I would get BLACK, RED, WHITE, some color that would match my new bathing suits and probably some other fun color like a BRIGHT PINK.

Poor Squirrels

June 27, 2008

The other day I looked out our front window to see a little squirrel laying in the road. He looked pretty stiff and didn’t move at all. I decided to move him so he wouldn’t get continually run over and then be mush in front of my house. I got a shovel and scooped him up. I placed him in a trash bag. How is one supposed to get rid of a squirrel? I just ended up putting him in our trash can.

Today I was driving home from Grammy and Pops’ house (They are taking Little Monkey to the beach for the weekend.) when a squirrel came running zig zag into the road. I tried to miss him but apparently he zagged when he should have zigged. I looked in my rear view mirror only to see him in the opposite lane wriggling all around. I’m pretty sure he’s not going to make it. He couldn’t even get up on his feet. Poor guy. I wanted to go pick him up and at least get him out of the road so he didn’t get run over more, but I didn’t. And honestly, getting run over again might put him out of his misery faster.  :(

HP Called Today

June 26, 2008

A lady from HP that I could hardly understand called to inform me that the card reader Oscar had ordered for me would not be coming as scheduled. It was supposed to be here today. I’m told there is a backlog for this type of matter and I should receive the card reader on or before July 10th. By the time I get everything resolved with my computer (IF that ever happens) my warranty will be expired! Hopefully the part will get here and work just fine. Man…why do computers have to be so problematic. Weren’t computers made to help make life easier!

Vegas Vacation-Day Five-Sunday

June 26, 2008

We got up around 7, showered and packed our car. We had discussed the night before about not stopping for breakfast right away since we had a long drive. We stopped by our lodge cafeteria and got a big cinnamon roll to have on the road. We met up with the other car and Grandpa switched over to ride in our car. We headed out of Grand Canyon National Park. Apparently the others decided that waiting to eat was just not an option and we’d stop quickly for some coffee and danishes at a little cafe by the IMAX movie. There was a McDonald’s across the street, so we drove over there to get Little Monkey a hash brown. This is probably the most expensive McDonald’s EVER. I got him one hash brown (not two like at home since they are two for $1) and that ONE hash brown cost $1.89+tax! Crazy! This ended up NOT being a quick stop for breakfast, but oh well. After breakfast, Big Monkey went next door to the fire department to see if they had any shirts. This time they were in quarters but they no longer sell shirts.

We spent the next couple of hours in the car driving towards Flagstaff and then into Sedona. We drove through Oak Creek Canyon and stopped at a scenic view point to get out and stretch and take pictures. There were many tables set up with local Indian artists selling jewelry and other crafts. Aunt K got a necklace. We continued through the canyon, quite a winding road to get down and through the mountains. All of a sudden, with absolutely NO warning, Little Monkey threw up all over himself. I yelled to Big Monkey, “He’s PUKING!” and Big Monkey assured me there was nowhere to pull over. I told him that he better find a place. Within a minute, there was a spot to pull over, so we did and got him cleaned up and changed. Poor guy, he was doing so well with the ride too.


We got to our hotel without any other motion sickness issues and got checked in. We put our stuff in our rooms and then headed back to a shopping area for lunch. We found a little cafe to eat at and while waiting for our food, Little Monkey threw up again. Poor guy apparently all the motion wasn’t out of his system yet. He drank most of a bottle of water the rest of the time we were out and seemed content. We did a little bit of shopping but it was REALLY hot there. Not hot like in Florida hot, but hot and dry and when there was a breeze it didn’t even feel good. It felt like you were standing behind a bus! We decided we would go back to the hotel for Little Monkey to nap and others to go swimming. The Fire Station was right next to where we parked, so Big Monkey tried to get a shirt from there, but no one answered the door.

Back at our hotel, Little Monkey took a nap while Aunt S and I read books on our balcony. Aunt K and Uncle K tried to take a nap but ended up going swimming in the pool. Big Monkey and Grandpa worked to get all of Little Monkey’s clothes, blanket and carseat cleaned up from the earlier puking incidents. They also worked to clean the rental car because some of it had seeped all along the carseat, making a ring on the seat. Grandpa asked the hotel cleaning staff if they had anything that might work, and sure enough, they did. After he was done with the cleaning, Big Monkey and Aunt S also went to the pool. I continued reading my book waiting for Little Monkey to finish his nap. He got up and we went right out to the pool. He loved swimming and was quite brave jumping in the pool without his float ring on. Everyone hung out at the pool for awhile until we decided we better look into having something for dinner.

Everyone showered and cleaned up nice for dinner at the hotel. We sat outside and had a great view, well Uncle K and I didn’t have a great view because we were the last to get to the table and got stuck with crappy seats. Dinner was really good. I had some kind of pasta with crab meat in it. It was quite yummy. They also had a special for very cheap appetizers and desserts since there is construction going on on the road leading to the hotel. So we had three appetizers and three desserts, which ended up being four desserts because the waitress got our bill wrong and when she went to fix it she brought us a free creme brulee.

Once we had stuffed ourselves to the brim, we went back to our rooms. Uncle K and Aunt K entertained Little Monkey so Big Monkey and I could pack most of our stuff up. We had planned to leave bright and early since we had a long drive to get back to Las Vegas. We checked out our GPS system and some maps online to find an alternative route to Las Vegas that would keep us out of the winding mountain road that Little Monkey got sick on. Uncle K, Aunt K and Aunt S all planned on sleeping in and leaving for Las Vegas later in the morning. Big Monkey was meeting a friend in Las Vegas, so we were trying to get there earlier so they could meet up and have their fun and not take up too much of our family time. We headed off to bed but sat on our balcony while Little Monkey fell asleep. Uncle K and Aunt K had gone to the hot tub to hang out for a while. We could see and hear them from our balcony but they didn’t seem to know that we were there. It was interesting to hear their discussion and their points of view on some things.

The New Toy!

June 25, 2008

Since some of you were so eager to learn about the new toy…here you go!

It is not just a toy. In fact it is a mode of transportation. After much talk, Big Monkey decided to buy a scooter. Yes…a scooter. We like to call it a scooooter. :) It is supposed to get as much as 110 miles to the gallon and the gas tank holds about 1.5 gallons. We have not driven that far yet so we’ll have to wait to calculate our actual mileage. And just about anything will be better than the truck’s mileage I’m sure. The scooter is to be used mostly by Big Monkey. He will be driving it to and from work, as well as the gym and other short trips in the area. I have ridden it once so far around our neighborhood to try and learn to ride it. It is a little nerve-racking but I did okay. I am not ready yet to take it out on any major roads though so I’m holding off on taking it to the gym or even CVS.

It has two places on it for storage, well three technically I guess. There is a small box on the back that locks and also the seat opens up for more storage (it locks too). At the front of the scooooter, there is a spot you could also slide some things into, like a folder or notebook. Big Monkey puts his work radio in there on his way to work. We both got helmets for the scooooter so that if we were to fall, hopefully that will help protect us.

Big Monkey is so far enjoying the scooooter quite a bit. We are holding onto the truck for right now, but if all goes as planned with the scooooter use, we will look at selling the truck. Then we will either have just my car and the scooooter, or we will buy a smaller cheap car to have on hand if we decide we need a backup of sorts. If we do sell the truck, Big Monkey could feasibly quit his job at the hospital. Right now he works there two to three times a month and it is just about what his truck and insurance payment equals. No truck=no must have money for truck and insurance payments.

Here is Big Monkey on the new scooooter. Please don’t laugh too hard and not to his face. Although he claims to not care about the jokes and all because it is saving us money (There is a little bit of debate on this matter, but in the long run…it should be true.).

Will the Laptop EVER get fixed?

June 25, 2008

Before we left for vacation, I spoke with Oscar at HP about my card reader that was still missing. Since Best Buy did not have the card reader, I asked Oscar again if he could just send me the part. It is not rocket science to install it. And if they just have to have it their way, send it to Best Buy and I’ll go there for the Geek Squad to install it. Oscar said he could send me the part and I should have in within two days. Sounds good. Except that we were going on vacation.

So when I returned, I expected to find a note from FedEx that they tried to deliver but couldn’t since no one was home to sign for the package. There was no such note and no package. There was an email and also a voicemail from Oscar. He called while we were gone to say that he was following up on my case and was wondering why I hadn’t sent my computer back to them for them to fix it! WHAT?!?!?! They were supposed to be shipping me a part, not me shipping them a computer. If I was going to ship them the computer, I would have done it while I was on vacation in hopes that it would be back by the time I was.

I called Oscar back to discuss the issue with my computer. He was on another call and I was told I could call back in about a hour if I wanted. I did not want to do this, so I left my name and number for Oscar to see that I had called and he should call me back. He did not call me back. A few hours later I did receive an auto email from HP letting me know that they have ordered the part and they will be shipping it to me. It should be here by Thursday. And then I should be able to just slide it into my computer and be back to normal. Well, normal is a relative term. When we came back from vacation, I turned on my computer and once again it told me that my copy of Windows was not genuine. Thankfully it did not take much work and about five minutes later, the computer was working okay again.

Vegas Vacation-Day Four-Saturday

June 24, 2008

Uncle K and Aunt K were going on a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon, so they got up early to watch the sun rise before they left. Aunt K called our room at 6:30am because she couldn’t find her driver’s license and thought maybe it got lost in our room the night before. The phone call woke up Little Monkey, who had slept the entire night still in his own bed and he didn’t go back to sleep. So we got up and watched VeggieTales and got ready to go have breakfast. Aunt K ended up finding her driver’s license in the shorts she wore to dinner the night before. We went to our lodge and had breakfast with Grandpa and Aunt S and decided to take a ride on the train that night after dinner. We also decided that we would meet up with Uncle K and Aunt K when they got back and take the free shuttle to see more of the Grand Canyon and to go see the IMAX movie.

We rode the shuttle up to Hopi Point, with stops along the way. We got out and walked around and took pictures. Many of them seem to look just like all the other pictures of the Grand Canyon. It was cool to get to see some other points though. After getting up to Hopi Point, we took the shuttle back to the starting place and got on a different shuttle that would take us to just outside the park to the IMAX movie. We bought tickets for the movie and then went across the street to eat lunch at a place called “We Cook Pizza and Pasta.” It was recommended to us by some people we met on the shuttle. They are living at the Grand Canyon right now, doing some volunteer work. It was very good.

After eating lunch, we went over to watch the IMAX movie. Little Monkey couldn’t sit still to save himself. He walked between all of us for a while and even threw a water bottle. Thankfully it landed on Aunt S and me and not someone else in the theater! He eventually sat down in a sit and watched the movie. At one point in the movie, it was showing different animals. The theater was VERY quiet and a large spider came on the screen. Little Monkey sees it and goes, “Ribbit!” very loudly. Lots of people laughed and he said it a few more times. Closer to the end of the movie there was a hang glider flying around the Grand Canyon. Little Monkey kept saying, “Whee!  Whee!” the entire time it was going on. After the movie was over, we went next door to the fire station so Big Monkey could see about getting a shirt. The fire truck was out on a call though, so no luck there. We caught a shuttle back to the park and split up. Uncle K, Aunt S, and Aunt K went to look at another section of the Grand Canyon, while Grandpa, Big Monkey, Little Monkey and I went back to get ready for dinner and get Little Monkey a nap.

We all met back up for a nice dinner at El Tovar. Unfortunately, Aunt S was not feeling well during dinner and left early with Uncle K to go rest in her room. She ended up missing the train ride since she wasn’t feeling well. After we finished dinner, Big Monkey, Little Monkey, Grandpa, Aunt K and I went on the train ride.  We were hoping to see lots of wildlife but only Grandpa and Big Monkey ended up seeing some deer. Little Monkey enjoyed the ride and loved sticking his head out the window. We had a good time just hanging out and chatting while looking at the scenery.

When we got off the train, Grandpa headed back to his room for the night, as did Aunt K. We took Little Monkey with us and got some ice cream and bought our souvenirs. We also packed our stuff, condensing some luggage, to make leaving in the morning easier.

Interrupted, Fondue, Locked Out

June 23, 2008

Sunday was an interesting day. It started out like most normal days but did not quite end up the same way. Big Monkey came home from work and we all got ready to go to church. During our drive, we were listening to the emergency tach (like we often do-it’s the nature of the job) and heard of a fire in the next town over. It was a commercial fire and had been going on already for about 15 minutes since the first engine was dispatched. Before we went in for church, the command had pulled all firefighters out of the building and were now staging a defensive attack. The building was pretty much not salvageable at that point, but the goal was to get the fire out and not have it spread.

We went into church and during the music, a local fire chief got a phone call. He went out to answer and then came back. A few minutes later Big Monkey got a call; he went out and answered it and then came back. The fire chief’s phone went off again and he left, only to return to give his wife his keys and then he left. Big Monkey’s phone continued going off a few times and he answered it. After coming back the third time, his phone went off again just as he was sitting down. I asked if we should just go and I’d drop him off to meet the fire truck. Obviously the fire was not going well and they were calling in more help. We left church too and I got Little Monkey out of class and headed to the car. We were in the first row and the second row was totally blocked. There was no getting out. We were trying to decide who owned any of the cars, but we were not sure on any of them. Thankfully someone else apparently decided to leave church for some reason and they were parked in the second row. Very carefully we made out way through the row and somehow managed to get out between the other cars and the fence. We drove out towards the fire to meet the fire engine. The fire had now been going for over an hour. Big Monkey’s truck was actually going to go cover the area for medical and other fire calls. Most of the cities trucks were at the fire, along with many of the county trucks as well. Big Monkey had not had breakfast yet, so we dropped him off at McDonalds. He was able to get his food, and food for the guys on the truck, eat his food and then get picked up by the fire truck. They had grabbed a change of clothes for him and all his gear. Little Monkey and I headed home to try and get him a nap before Big Monkey’s family came over.

Little Monkey decided napping wasn’t really what he wanted to do and he sat in his bed for about 45 minutes singing and talking and then crying. I went in a got him to calm down, reread his good night book and he went to sleep. 20 minutes later, Grandma (Big Monkey’s Mom) arrived with Amos. Even though they were very quiet, Little Monkey still woke up. That was the end of nap time. (Surprisingly, he was really well behaved the rest of the day.) We hung out with Grandma and Amos and also spent some time getting ready for dinner. Aunt K, Uncle K and Aunt S had not arrived yet, so Grandma decided to take Little Monkey swimming. He needed to first finish his Cheerios. He was quite happy to shove as many Cheerios as he could into his mouth. It was entertaining but I was a little concerned he might choke on them. Off they went to the pool.

A little while later, Uncle K, Aunt S and Aunt K showed up. We hung out while Grandma and Little Monkey stayed in the pool for a bit longer. Then we were all getting hungry so we did some prep work to get dinner going. We were having three courses of fondue. Cheese fondue, Broth fondue, and Chocolate fondue. Big Monkey still wasn’t home yet but we were hungry so we started without him. The cheese fondue was great. We dipped two kinds of bread, apples, and broccoli in it. During the cheese course, the fire truck actually dropped Big Monkey off at the house. This was quite helpful because we would have had to go pick him up! He finished off some of the cheese fondue and then we cleaned up. During the break between cheese and broth fondue, we had some Dance Dance Revolution competition. It was quite entertaining to watch the others dance. Aunt K and Uncle K were actually both pretty good at it (on the beginner level).

After playing that for a bit, we sat down to have some broth fondue. We cooked chicken, beef, mushrooms and broccoli in the broth. This one was a little more time consuming because it takes a while to cook the meat. Thankfully the pot we used for this course was electric, which helped to move the process along a bit faster than if it was just on sterno. Everyone ate too much but enjoyed it. We took another break, cleaning up all the dishes and getting the dessert items cut up and ready. In the meantime, Big Monkey took Aunt K, Uncle K and Grandma out to test drive the new toy (This is a post in itself; hopefully I can get it written later today.). They all liked it and Grandma is thinking about maybe getting one if she sells her car. After that fun, everyone decided they were ready to have the chocolate fondue. It was SO yummy. We dipped pineapple, strawberries, pound cake, bananas and Rice Krispy Treats in the chocolate.

We had a group effort to get things cleaned up and in the dishwasher or put away. Once the cleaning was done, we got to go outside to join Big Monkey, Uncle K and Little Monkey. They had been playing in the drive way. We had moved two cars across the street into our neighbor’s driveway (They are NEVER there and their brother told us we could use the driveway if we wanted or needed.). Uncle K, Aunt S and Aunt K decided they needed to head home so they left. Just as they were leaving our street to exit the neighborhood, a car pulled into the driveway where they were parked. Our long lost neighbors had returned.

 I told Big Monkey to go say hi to them and then move the car. We had never actually talked to them before. Big Monkey said no because its not a big deal that Grandma’s car was there. Eventually I got him to go over there and say hi. We had been watching them and they were not able to get in the house for some reason. They were trying to get in via the garage door keypad. They told Big Monkey that the code was not working. We decided to replace the battery just to see if maybe it wasn’t working because of that. This did not solve the problem. Big Monkey moved the car and got a flashlight to help them look around. Apparently they did not have a house key with them. They found a couple windows they thought they might be able to get open without breaking it too badly but did not have the needed tools. Big Monkey called the guys on duty and one of the deputies to come over. They did but also decided that even with their tools, they would do more damage than good. A locksmith was probably a better option. We called Pop A Lock and they said it would be within the hour. We offered for the neighbors to come in but they said they should watch for the locksmith. We also offered them some camping chairs but they said they had been sitting for the 14 hour flight back from Germany. We cleaned up our stuff to go inside for the night and Grandma left to go home. The neighbors came over with two beers. Big Monkey thought he was offering them to us for our help but actually he just needed a bottle opener so they could have a drink while they waited! It was pretty funny. The locksmith showed up about 30 minutes later and they were in the house. We haven’t talked to them yet today but they said they were planning to be here for about three weeks. We plan to talk with them a little more this time around.


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