February 25, 2008
I’m stuck on the letter Z but decided that I just need to get it out of the way! So here goes:
Zoo: I like the zoo and we got to take little monkey to the zoo a few months back. It was to the Tampa Zoo. Little monkey’s Dad and I actually didn’t end up seeing much of the zoo, but little monkey got to check it out with his Pops, Grammy, Grandpa and Mimi. From this pictures I saw, it appeared that he had a great time. He was also asleep in the car within about five minutes of leaving the zoo! Little monkey’s Dad and I went to a meeting for families and people living with PKU. It was very informative and helpful to us to attend. I hope one day to take little monkey back to the zoo, so we can experience it with him.
Zayre’s: Do you remember this store? I have a vague remembrance of it. It used to be very close to the home we grew up in but now the land is an on ramp to a toll road. When I was younger, Zayre’s went out of business and everything was being sold really cheap just to get rid of it. My mom took us to the store and we walked around looking to see if there was anything we wanted to buy. I found some Pound Puppies (which of course were cool then…and apparently are becoming cool again). I ended up buying one Pound Puppy (I believe he was a larger grey one…possibly the one we found while cleaning out the storage unit at my parents house.).
February 20, 2008
As previously noted, this blog was ready to go last week, but events that I thought were going to happen, had not. They have now occurred and therefore I am going to go ahead and release The Letter U.
USAA: Our bank…at first when little monkey’s dad said he wanted to keep them as his bank, I was a little concerned. Where we live there is not a local branch and the closest one is hours away. All of our deposits are mailed in to the bank in Texas. The down side, no depositing cash and there are restrictions to join. The upside…there are many. They have amazing customer service, great online banking, you can use any ATM and as long as it is within their limits they will pay you back the fees that any other bank ATM. They also have great insurance prices. They also have staff available for free to help you with things like travel arrangements and deals. We used them to book our upcoming cruise. All of this to say, while I was worried about not having a bank I could walk into and talk to someone, I am thrilled with using their bank and all available services.
Union: This is a new one for me. Little monkey’s dad and his fellow firefighters just went union. There were many reasons to do so and hopefully going union will pay off in the end. As I am typing this, I am under the understanding that the Chief and the city have yet to find out that this has occurred. The guys should have their completed paperwork from the state tomorrow and will be presenting it to them on during the day. (At least that is the current plan.) So anyhow…we’ll see what good becomes of the union once it is in place. We are hoping for better benefits.
Universal: Not quite as cool as Disney…but they do have some pretty cool roller coasters. I think Disney is more for the younger crowd (kids) and the older crowd (who grew up with Disney long ago), while Universal is for the teens-thirties crowd. I’m sure Universal will not like my target group because they want to appeal to all people, but oh well. Most little kids either can’t or won’t go on the roller coasters because they are too small or too scared. But teens think they are invincible and are willing to do just about anything. Anyhow…we’re getting off topic I’m sure. I do like Universal but I would likely prefer to spend my day at Disney instead.
February 18, 2008
Yogurt: Lately we have been on a yogurt kick at our house. Little monkey’s dad with eat the fruity kinds, while I’ll only eat vanilla or the Whips kinds. Usually I’m buying the yogurt in 6-10 container increments. It doesn’t seem to take too long to get through those either. Thankfully (not that they are THAT expensive) they go on sale quite regularly between the acceptable grocery stores.
Yahoo: Did you just sing it?? Yaaa hooo! Crazy commercial…but I’m sure everyone remembered the item they were advertising by it. I use Yahoo for my email and I also am a part of a few Yahoo groups. Sometimes, when I’m trying to stay awake and I am bored waiting for the kids’ mom to get here, I will play some Yahoo games. These days it is usually just the crossword puzzles, which I’m not that great at, but I used to play some of the other games too.
Yellow: Probably the least flattering color for ANYONE. I say this even though I do have a yellow shirt or two in my closet as we speak. But really yellow just isn’t that flattering. It’s good for daisies but not really for people.
Yankee Candle: While most often I do think Yankee Candle is over priced, I don’t mind getting it as a gift or with a great coupon. A year ago, maybe more, little monkey’s dad got me a tart warmer. I do not use it as often as I should but I do enjoy it when I do. If I could just remember to plug it in and replace the tarts every once in a while I’d be doing good! Some of my favorite scents: Buttercream, Christmas Cookie, Clean Cotton, Cranberry Chutney, Sparkling Vanilla, Sweet Strawberry and Vanilla Cupcake. Anyone see a trend here?? Most of my favorites are food related and even more sweets related!
February 18, 2008
Xylophone: Little monkey got a xylophone for Christmas from his Great Grandparents. He loves it. Of course he seems to love anything musical and has now figured out how his slide whistle works. He enjoys all of his music toys and likes banging on the xylophone. Sometimes I wish we didn’t tell people he wanted musical instruments for Christmas. At least he doesn’t have a drum set.
X-Rays: I cannot even tell you how many x-rays I have likely had in my life time. It is a lot. For instance, when I broke my upper jaw bone, I had tons of x-rays done. I’ve also spent plenty of time in and out of dentist offices; visits which often include x-rays. I recall also in elementary school that I complained that my back was hurting a lot and well it was. Eventually though we went and had an x-ray done only to be told that I was growing.
xavierenigma’s white dwarf: Do NOT click on that link unless you have time to waste. Someone sent me this game and it is a huge time waster. The idea of the game is to run around and collect the green dots. To earn points, you then want to run into a blue dot. The more green dots you have when you hit the blue dot, the higher point value it will be worth. The harder you run into a green dot, the closer to the center it will become attached. If you just bump into the dots gently, then they just barely cling onto the other ones. If you run into a red dot, you lose points (more if you have lots of green dots) and the game is over. So if you have time to waste, and lots of it, go ahead and play away!
February 16, 2008
WildCam Africa: This is a site that someone posted on another site I frequent and I think it is pretty cool. It isn’t always live as they say it is but it is still cool. There are elephants, birds, monkey, zebras, and other wildlife. Check it out sometime.
L /JXQ;/;; <====This is what happens when little monkey tries to type! Maybe we should call this part WRITING: I don’t know that I’ve ever thoroughly enjoyed writing but here I am doing it anyhow! I’m hoping that little monkey will learn to write and actually like it. It’s kinda hard to believe that I have spent as much time writing these posts as I have and someone out there is reading them and actually enjoying them. Maybe you aren’t enjoying them, maybe its the worst part of your day (if this is the case…why do you even bother coming?), hopefully you are enjoying it or getting some insight or something.
Winter Garden: Where we live, there isn’t much…okay there is more than some smaller towns but still…not much. Winter Garden is about 20 min from us (by toll road) and recently they opened Winter Garden Village at Fowler Groves. It is not 100% finished yet but so far, so good. They have MANY stores, most of which we do not have in our town. We do have a Lowe’s and a SuperTarget but that’s really it. Maybe a couple of the restaurants too but seriously we don’t have much. I really like going there, better without Little Monkey though since things are so spread out. I haven’t visited any of the smaller shops in the front section yet either because most of them haven’t been open. Hopefully soon everything will be done and all the shops and restaurants will be open and it will be an even nicer place to spend the afternoon. Although you can’t stay too late in the afternoon because getting back to our town is a mess with everyone commuting home from work in Orlando and Kissimmee.
February 14, 2008
Vacuum: I recently bought myself a new vacuum. I bought the Dyson DC 14 Drive on clearance at Target. They are expensive vacuums but I have only heard good things about them. We’ve had our old vacuum almost five years now and it is definitely past its prime and then some. I brought home the Dyson and left it in the box for two days before taking it out. I was afraid I would have buyer’s remorse from spending that much money on a vacuum. I actually only had to pay $28 for it, after Christmas money, leftover vacation money, and gift cards I had. So yes I did spend more than $28 but the other money came from other people. So far it is very well spent money. Our carpet looked horrible and appeared to be needing replacement. Our living room still does because of the stain marks it has (Anyone have some great idea to get out old stains that wouldn’t come out in the first place or that were here when we moved in?). The other rooms look practically new again. The Dyson did an amazing job at lifting the carpet back up to where it belonged and pulling out all kinds of dirt/dust I didn’t want to know was there! The carpet feels really nice now when we are barefoot, you can tell a difference. Hopefully everything they say about this vacuum is true and we’ll have it for a long time to come, longer than the last one!
Vision: I was the last person in my family (Mom, Dad, and Sister) to get glasses. I probably needed them awhile before I got them but I never noticed. The summer before my senior year of college, I took a class at UCF as a transient student. It was biology and we met in this huge auditorium. There were well over 100 students in the class. The professor said we were lucky to have such a small class for a general education course. This was surprising to me because the most students my classes had were about 30. The class was a lecture class with notes on PowerPoint. I sat in the second row and still had problems reading the words without them being fuzzy. Come to find out, yes I did need glasses and so now I’ve had glasses for almost six years. I asked about getting contacts but was told that since I have astigmatism, it’s not the best idea. Even though they now have special contacts for astigmatism, my eye doctor says that they still aren’t the best thing because they can turn while they are floating around in your eye and that makes things go blurry. So for now, I’m stuck with glasses until I can afford and decide to actually have LASIK done.
Vegetables: I only like a few vegetables. I like raw broccoli, corn, green beans, peas in the silver can, celery, potatoes, lettuce and tomatoes (but that’s really a fruit). That’s all I can come up with at the moment that I do like. Little monkey has no choice but to like vegetables and so far he’s doing okay. He will only eat carrots, sweet potatoes and squash as baby food so far. He will eat corn and potatoes. He mostly prefers fruits though. I’m hopeful we will get him to come around and try out some more veggies and like them (of course since I don’t like them I don’t know how much hope there really is!).
February 14, 2008
I have written the Letter U post already….however I am currently unable to post it because of some time sensitive information in it. I’m sure that has your curiosity up…but you’ll just have to wait. I had expected the events to take place earlier today but that didn’t happen. As soon as I am able to go ahead with that post, I will add it in.
February 13, 2008
Third Watch: When Third Watch was still on tv, it was practically a requirement to be home and watch this show(We didn’t have DVR or TIVO then). It was quite addicting but we liked it. Well little monkey’s dad LOVED it and therefore we watched it. I came to like it though. It is now available on DVD and I probably should have picked it up for little monkey’s dad for Valentine’s day. Anyhow- Third Watch is about the FDNY and NYPD staff who work third shift-usually the shift that sees the craziest stuff. At the time, little monkey’s dad was an EMT and then also a Paramedic. He is now also a Firefighter. So there was plenty in the show for him to relate to and some stuff I would rather not–but such is the life of emergencies apparently.
Taxes: I’ve been trying to work on our taxes for over two weeks now. I had problems with little monkey’s dad’s w-2 form because one came with incorrect information. He went in to work and let them know that it was wrong. They gave us a new “corrected” copy and a refund check for withholding too much. This new copy was also wrong and we sent it back. Finally, yesterday we got another new copy and finally they claim it is correct. I don’t really think so…but it is fixed in the major problem areas from before, so I guess they are right. I’ve also managed to get all but one of the statements of Dr. payments and I figured out mileage for each trip to the Dr. minus the one I don’t have a statement from yet. Now if I could just find the checkbook register from the last set of checks, we’d be almost set. I need that to see the amounts we paid for our health insurance last year. I can’t wait to finish this stuff and get it filed so that we can get our refund–I’m pretty sure we will be getting one…I’m just not sure how much of one it will be.
Trips: We try and take a least one vacation a year, not including trips to the beach. This year we are going on two trips! One with little monkey’s grandpa and aunts and uncle to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. The other trip is for our anniversary. We are going on a seven night cruise of the Mexican Riviera. We are sailing with Royal Caribbean and I am actually getting excited about going. This will be my fourth cruise and little monkey’s dad’s third.
February 11, 2008
Sewing: A couple of years ago now, little monkey’s dad wanted me to make him a blanket with a bunch of firefighting shirts. I didn’t have a sewing machine but posted on Freecycle to see if someone had one taking up space in their house that they wanted to give away. And sure enough someone had one and they gave it to me for FREE!!! It is a pretty old machine but it works and that’s what matters. Since getting the machine, I did make his blanket, some purses and few baby gifts. I now have lots of fabric and other items waiting for me to get started on projects. Now if we can just get the office/guest/craft/piano room in some sort of order, I might actually be able to work on stuff again!
Shows: I like watching musicals. I think they are the best stage shows. I would much rather watch a show that was a musical than a show that is just a regular play. I have seen Les Miserables, Miss Saigon (twice), Man of La Mancha, and Grease professionally done. I’ve also seen Guys and Dolls by a community theater group. I really like musicals and yes–even liked High School Musical, High School Musical 2, and Hairspray. If you’ve never seen a musical, you should. It doesn’t have to be ON Broadway but maybe one of the traveling shows. It is a great experience.
Shopping: I really like shopping. I’m sure this is not a huge surprise because many women do like to shop. I however try my hardest to get just about everything on sale. Some folks think the shopping and sales may be a bit excessive but it is not. I actually haven’t bought any shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrushes, hand soap, bar soap, razors, deodorant or hair styling products in probably well over six months. Every time we need something we just go to our shelves in the garage and pick out what we need. All the items that are out were either free or VERY cheap. Now we don’t have to run to the store to pick up any of those items because we ran out and now have to pay full price (which is more than it should be even for making a profit). This process has saved us a lot of money by taking advantage of sales and coupons and stocking up when we can at a cost that is acceptable to us. Today I went to Belk because the one in our mall is closing. Everything in the store is on super sale. They had stuff that had been marked down and then was an additional 70% off of that price!!! I tried on a bunch of stuff but unfortunately only one dress worked out. It was $10.63 after tax. Not too shabby for a dress that was originally $65! Usually being on the smaller side of sizes is good because there is always stuff left. Today, however, that was not the case. There wasn’t much at all in my size but plenty in the 8,10,12 range. Yes I’m sure some people don’t like hearing that those sizes don’t fit me but there’s not much I can do about that!
February 10, 2008
Reading: I don’t often have time for any real reading but I was given multiple books for Christmas. I have only started to read one of the books. I am about half way through The Fireman’s Wife. I so far have been able to relate very well to the book. It talks about how families feel when their fireman goes out to work each day and what fireman go through to even get their jobs in the first place. This is not how little monkey’s dad got his job but I do understand the points. I also got 99 Ways to Cut, Sew and Deck out Your Denim and Generation T. I’ve managed to flip through both of those books and mark the pages that I want to try out.
Rearrange: Today we rearranged almost every piece of furniture in little monkey’s room. His Grandma bought him a toy organizer for his birthday. It was one I had picked out to get but was waiting for it to get marked down more. We went through all his toys and got rid of a couple more and then grouped the remaining items. I actually think it seems like there is more space in his room now, even though we are still covering the same, if not more, floor space. I used to love rearranging my furniture when I was in college. I think it was mainly a reason to not be studying or actually doing my homework. With the past month, we also rearrange the furniture in our master bedroom and I like it much better now.
Reading Rainbow: Is this a bonus….I’ve got TWO R’s! When we were growing up we watched Reading Rainbow. Go ahead, sing the song, you know that you still know it too. “Take a look, it’s in a book, Reading Rainbow. Reading Rainbow” Okay so there is more to the song but right now I can’t think to make sure I have all the correct lyrics (I better not audition for Don’t Forget the Lyrics)! Anyhow back to the point, while recently going through items in my parent’s storage unit we can across a TON of books. I went through a small portion of them and boxed them to save for little monkey when he is able to not tear the paper pages. One of the books I found was A Chair for My Mother. This book was a Reading Rainbow book and I remembered it. I pulled it aside to save for little monkey. Maybe one day he will like it too. I wonder if they will have Reading Rainbow when he’s able to read that book. Maybe it is available on DVD?? The book is good, but I remember it most from also seeing and hearing the story on the show.