Thursday, November 06, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
The All Pro Dad Father & Kids Experience will be held at the Cincinnati Bengals' Paul Brown Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 4 from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. The event will include an afternoon of fun activities for dads and kids, as well as helpful tips for being a better father.
If the dads in your life need a little extra encouragement, Bengals Hall-of-Famer Anthony Munoz will be in attendance as an official spokesman of the All Pro Dad program.
Bengals Hall of famer Anthony Munoz to host All Pro DAD
FATHER & KIDS EXPERIENCE Presented by hhgregg
Cincinnati Dads and Kids Invited to the Paul Brown Stadium on
Saturday, October 4th, for an afternoon of Relationship Building and FUN
limited space available
CINCINNATI, OH. -- (Sept. 24, 2008) – Pro Football Hall of Famer, Anthony Munoz, will be joining Cincinnati dads and their kids as host of the All Pro Dad Father & Kids Experience to be held at Paul Brown Stadium on Saturday, October 4th from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. The event, presented by hhgregg, is an afternoon of fun activities, including tips on being better father.
Founded with the help of Tony Dungy, the All Pro Dad fatherhood program helps to educate fathers on the best ways to become an “All Pro Dad.” Fathers are encouraged to bring their children to the event, where they receive fatherhood tips and participate in special activities with their kids, while rotating through football-themed learning stations located around the field.
"Thousands of men around the world are becoming better husbands and fathers by joining our All Pro Dad team,” said All Pro Dad spokesman Anthony Muñoz, “To become an All Pro Dad, we encourage men to spend one minute a day reading our free daily email - The Play of the Day, one hour a month participating in an All Pro Dad's Day breakfast, and one day a year taking part in our All Pro Dad Father and Kids Experience."
A $15 fee per family includes admission for dad and up to four kids. This event is recommended for children ages five and older. Register online at www.AllProDad.com or by calling 1-800-956-8300 ext 309. Advance registration is required.
The event is being presented by hhgregg, Wal-Mart, National City, Mercy Health Partners and Prasco Laboratories. WKRC-TV and 1530 Homer the Sports Animal are media partners for the event.
“All Pro Dad Father & Kids Experience” is the football-themed event of All Pro Dad, the fatherhood program of Family First, a national non-profit organization based in Tampa, Fla. It was launched with the help of Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy in 1997, features 55 NFL Players, coaches and alumni who speak out on the importance of being a good father. In 2008, All Pro Dad currently has events planned with nearly half of the NFL teams. For more information, please visit www.AllProDad.com.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Once I had kids I suddenly gained the same freaky irrational fear that my mom carried through life. My husband constantly reminds me that worrying doesn't do any good, so just let it go. Fine. I'll try.
Today I took my three girls and three dogs on our typical nature hike in the woods that we frequent, on the path that we always walk on. The nice thing about living in Cincinnati is that we almost always have the trail to ourselves. (Not a hiking population in Cincinnati)Today we came across another dog, a German Shepard to be exact. He was barking at our crowd the second he spotted the dogs and he started running for our leashed set of three. My dogs get a little defensive when they are the only dogs on a leash, so I grabbed the two biggest dogs and let my oldest daughter deal with the smallest and loudest barker. The German Shepard continued past our largest dog Max (see November post) and Max had just had enough of being taunted while on a leash by another huge dog, so he got up from his sit position and decided to take control of the situation by barking at the visiting dog. When he got up to bark, he lurched back and sent my two year old daughter flying through the air, on the only section of the high path that was missing about 3 feet of guard rail. She sailed through the air to a landing of a rock filled dried up stream bed about 10 feet below. It was all slow motion. I saw her sailing through the air for what seemed like 5 minutes.
I screamed. I screamed to the owner of the dog, "my baby, my baby is down there". When he finally realized that I wasn't saying, "my Puppy is down there", he flew down the steep slope to retrieve my stunned but alive child. I truly couldn't believe she was alive. She started crying, which even in my total state of panic, I knew it was a good sign- if there was to be a good sign. It was a straight fall down into the rocks, she didn't hit much on her way down, if anything and all day, after the trauma, I've kept saying to myself that I can't believe she is still alive. I just can't believe we still have our youngest. I saw her life pass before my eyes today and I haven't really been able to stop crying about the incident.
I carried my crying child, with my shaking legs up the path to our cars. The dogs were confused since they have never had such a short hike before that they hesitated to get into the car. I called my husband Michael, took the older kids home and drove the baby to Children's hospital. Michael and the girls met us there shortly after we were admitted (amazing when you tell them your baby fell from about 8-10 feet, you get treated immediately. While we waited for our second check-up of the 3 hour visit, my daughter was playing with some toys in the exam room, and was making the people fall from high places, so I know she grasped the concept of exactly what had happened. Now I'm wondering if she too will carry the gene of being afraid of heights, or will she now embrace them knowing you can survive from a high altitude fall.
And to think I was telling some friends this summer that parenthood just keeps getting easier. Really, I need to take that back. I'm questioning my qualifications altogether.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Join the Campaign for Change at Fountain Square for a free public Watch Party. Come meet fellow supporters and watch Barack's historic speech.
Here are the details:
Ohio Campaign for Change
Acceptance Speech Watch Party
Thursday, August 28th
SEE YOU THERE!!!
Monday, July 28, 2008
My good friend's husband said that even his adorable neices and nefews who are as sweet as can be have moments that they think, "wow, this kid is CRAZY." He mentioned that there are times when even kids that seem perfect most of the time, there are weeks when no one wants to spend time with these kids. Obviosly at our house, we had a week just like that. After a week like last week, I simply need to step back and remember the amazing times that we do have and reflect on those. I also happened to pick up a few parenting books this weekend to brush up on my skills. It never hurts, I know I have plenty of room for improvement.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
The Ergo Baby Carrier, I have often said I should start selling this product since I must be their biggest fan in the world.
I can't tell you how much I have loved this baby carrier over the years. It takes a little bit of confidence to use, but the benefits far outweigh the need for a spotter the first time you use this carrier. It fits easily in a suitcase, unlike most back packs and it is so much more comfortable than the standard hard frame pack.
Oh, and another thing, you can carry a child up to 40 pounds in the pack, without killing your back like the front carriers. We take this on all hiking trips so even when my four year old gets too heavey, I can throw her in the pack and let the baby walk for a bit.
Best thing yet, this website allows you to try it for free.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
July 2nd- The Water Horse- Legend of the Deep
July 9th- Alvin and the Chipmunks
July 16th- Shrek the Third
July 23rd- Bee Movie
July 30th- Surfs Up
August 6- TMNT
After playing in the pool for hours in the morning, we sit down to eat lunch at the poolside picnic tables, and suddenly they are willing to eat anything in front of them. They have no other choices, they eat what I bring, which is ONLY healthy food. They'll eat dinner that is cold from the night before. They'll eat cucumbers, cheese, fruits, veggies, and whole wheat crackers. Of course they look in the cooler to see if there is anything else and when they see there isn't, they hunker down and finish what is on their plate.
I love the summer! It makes me feel like I'm doing a better job parenting, even though I know it has little to do with anything other than endless jumps into the pool creating hungry bellies.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Bring the Family to a Born Learning Trail Near You!
On June 21, the longest day of the year, United Way of Greater Cincinnati (UWGC) will join United Ways across the country in its first annual United Way Day of Action. This event is part of United Way’s new LIVE UNITED campaign and serves as a call-to-action for individuals to come together in collective efforts to make needed changes in their communities.
“Advancing the common good means recognizing that we are all connected and interdependent. It involves creating opportunities for a better life for all. When individuals, organizations, governments and businesses set aside their special interests and work together, we can make a difference. Living United means being part of the change,” says United Way of Greater Cincinnati president Robert C. Reifsnyder.
UWGC will unveil five brand new Born Learning Trails across several counties in celebration of early childhood education. The project was completed in conjunction with community partners Cincinnati Parks, City of Bellevue, City of Covington Parks & Recreation, Boone County Parks Department, Grant County Parks & Recreation, and corporate partners Citi and Toyota in Northern Kentucky. Born Learning Trails provide fun, physical activities to turn everyday moments into learning opportunities for our community’s children.
Besides walking the trail, families participating in United Way Day of Action will discover a variety of activities to entertain and inform them about community resources helping kids grow into successful adults. The Born Learning Trails and the times of their events are:
• Drake Park in Kennedy Heights from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – The Nutrition Council, a United Way agency partner, will be whipping up a healthy snack station, where kids and parents can create their own tasty treats while learning about good eating habits. Children can also meet Kennedy Heights police officers and firefighters and check out all their gear and safety equipment. The Kennedy Heights Art Center will give children a chance to get in touch with their creativity through a fun art activity.
• Bellevue Beach Park in Campbell County from 9 a.m. to noon – A dental van will be on site to offer key tips and tricks to keeping those pearly whites shining. Children and parents can also enjoy cornhole, a coloring station, and kids can enjoy other fun activities.
• Central Park & Arboretum in Boone County from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Cooperative Extension will offer a number of snacks that showcase nutrition education. A library mobile unit will make a stop at the park, handing out free book bags and offering story time to entertain children. Experts from the Boone County Health Department will be on hand to give out free children’s dental kits and educational information to families.
• Devou Park in Covington (near Beringer-Crawford Museum) from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Local songwriter and performer, David Kisor, will belt out popular children’s tunes while your kids sing along. A dental van will be on site to offer key tips and tricks to keeping children’s teeth shining. Children can also take advantage of a puppet show, face painting and other fun games and activities.
• Grant County Park in Crittenden from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Parents and children can pick up some free books and tasty food. The fire department will be on hand to show off the big ladders on their trucks and investigators will demonstrate a mock search-and-rescue dog demonstration. Families can also make hand puppets, practice letter writing with shaving cream, win door prizes and enjoy a drive-in movie at dusk.
Our community will be joining people all across the country who are going to take action on June 21—the longest day of the year—demonstrating how they LIVE UNITED by giving, advocating and volunteering.
United Way is also asking people to spread the word about a valuable service in our community—United Way 211— as part of this Day of Action. United Way 211 provides assistance to countless individuals throughout our region each and every day helping ensure they have opportunities for a good life. It’s an easy to remember telephone number (dial 2-1-1) that, where available, connects people with important community services and volunteer opportunities. Visit www.uwgc.org/dayofaction to learn how you can participate.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
So today is the first day that I'm writing them down. Six years into the child rearing business and I'm just now realizing my memory isn't what it used to be. Seems I best be writing just about everything down.
So here goes cutest thing number one. I'm certain you won't find it cute, so feel free to switch to another blog--I'm a firm believer that stories and photos of children are never as cute to someone else as they are to the parents, so really, feel free to read the New York Times instead.
Today I was washing my dishes in the sink as usual when I cut my finger on a glass. It didn't hurt, as clean sharp cuts often do, just lots of blood. All three of my girls were in the kitchen when it happened and they all wanted a close up look at the red puddle forming on my finger.
They were truly fascinated. I dried up the blood with a handy dish towel, brought it into the laundry room, then stood there looking at the dishes while the baby kept repeating, "Band aid, band aid, band aid." (I am forever applying band aids for them but almost never for myself since I rarely fall down or one of the millions of reasons I get out band aids for the girls.)
When it finally registered what she was saying, I got out a Dora the Explorer band aid and she said, "I do it!" A behavior she always does when she thinks she needs a bandage.
I said, "No, Mommy needs to do it herself," and so I did. Then came the sweet part. My oldest daughter asked in such a sincere tone, if I was okay and if it hurt.
I replied "No, I'm fine, but thanks."
Then the baby said, "I kiss it? Kiss it?"
And then she ever so gently kissed my Dora band aid. It was then that I took a step back at the moment and thought I really want to remember this morning forever. I cut a finger and I have the love of three wonderful girls to ensure I survive the tragedy. It was so sweet to see how involved and concerned they were since they never see their mom injured in the same way I see them so often with a skinned knee or cut finger.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
We've all been there on either side of the conversation. I remember raising my nose at a mom for suggesting that she took her child to fast food restaurants everyday after preschool since he's SOOO hungry. Wow I wish I could take back my snubbing and politely add that yes, my daughter is famished too, end of topic. So why am I writing about this again you wonder? Well I'm really using this as a place to vent my frustration at such a bragging mom. I know some parents do have gifted children, and that is great. Mine are not gifted, I think they are really smart, but I know that is because I love them so much I can't think differently. But I was completely pushed over the edge this past weekend by the stereotypically over proud mom.
Don't for a second imply that your children eat everything and anything because you are doing everything right as a parent! I felt my head start to boil I was so ticked off over the comment! I can not tell you how many books I have read and strategies I have tried on tips for getting my kids to eat different things. Most nights, 8 out of 10 they go to bed STARVING, like tonight.
I can't cook a kid meal every night, out of my two oldest girls, only one of my kids likes pizza, the other won't touch it. One likes pasta, the over gags over it. One likes mac and cheese, the other would rather go to bed hungry. These are kid friendly meals that are rejected most nights. Wait, there are fish sticks that everyone likes. Great- not so healthy. Luckily the baby still eats anything, she loved the mushroom spinach risotto with toasted pecans, bless her heart, but I'm certain once she realizes that hunger isn't so bad in this rich country then she too will join the ranks of the other two. Wait until breakfast, things are always better then.
I give up. I'm a good mom, I have tried, but don't tell me your kids eat everything without giving me some brilliant suggestions because frankly, I REALLY don't want to hear it.
Brag to me all you want about your kids, I can take it, but DON'T brag about their ability to eat anything you put in front of them. I think it can make just about any mom feel on the edge of insanity.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
The last day of kindergarten was another story. I was a mess. I had spent a good deal of time with her classmates volunteering weekly for the better part of the school year -This is why we need stay at home mom's! So I really felt that I was going to miss the students but I was really surprised over how attached I became to her teacher. Is this common for stay at home mom's? Seeking the adult interaction we all crave that we are willing to hang out with anyone over the age of 20, as long as they aren't an ax murderer? It was such a sad day for me, not only because I dropped my daughter off 9 months ago and she seemed so little, hardly old enough to ride a bus let alone walk through the halls and staircases of the school to find her way to the bathroom the next floor above. But really it was the same shock I had all over again when she turned three, I turned around from a world of working full time and suddenly had a three year old that I hadn't spent as much time with as I had wanted. This school year flew by so quickly and I missed my oldest growing significantly all over again.
I'm looking forward to the slow summer ahead where I can get to know her again and spend some time reconnecting. It will be fun going on nature hikes with her on the hot summer mornings since she is my most motivated hiker, next to the dogs of course. During nap time for the younger two she won't spend the whole time in quiet time (although she can happily spend hours in her room alone without a complaint) I have many plans to spend the time playing games and reading books together and giving her attention that she missed out on this past year being a big kindergartner. But something tells me even after our summer together, she is still going to grow so fast that I can't mentally keep up. I guess this might be why so many of her classmates had new siblings this year -a new baby makes it a little easier to swallow the reality that they just grow faster than any parent could want.
Monday, May 12, 2008
It is the law of our school that kindergartners must be with their parent or caregiver at the bus stop for pick up and drop off. After that, first-graders and on can wait out by themselves. For some reason I have always had a bit of an issue with it. At first it seemed like such a big step letting her ride the bus since I lived in fear of her not figuring out where to go when she got to school, but oddly enough, she figured it out. Then as the school year progressed, I started thinking it was crazy that I had to wait outside with her at all. She is a wise girl, or at least as wise as a kindergartener needs to be, so I thought, next year, she will be waiting alone. She will know to walk back home if her bus doesn't come. She will know not to get into a car if a ride is offered by a stranger. (Next year she will not have a bus option, she will have to walk since the school district is moving the school a few blocks away from our house.)
Standing out at the bus stop one morning I asked the other parents if they were going to let their kids walk to school. (I didn't mention that I was thinking my first grader was going make the short journey alone since their kids are in 5th and 6th grade) But they said no way, it's just not safe, any creep could have their way with their child as they walked to school. So I soon felt like the bad mom not wanting to walk to school in the morning, but really, I just don't think there is much that could go wrong and if there is I certainly don't think my child is going to be the victim of an unusual crime on her walk to school.
I will walk her the first month or so to ensure she knows the route, but after that, she need to do it alone. There will be crossing guards to make sure she isn't plowed down by people who are in haste to make it to work. So really, what could happen? Someone might steal her lunch, but chances are they will only do it once when they realize it's not as fun of a lunch that the other kids take to school. No lunchables or other pre-packaged stuff.
Check this out article if you think I'm being a little carefree. Suddenly a short little walk in the city of Cincinnati doesn't seem so bad. This mom is my hero! We can't keep our kids on such short leashes if we want them to grow.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
The baby doesn't know it's her birthday, so she will get a cake, a few gifts (or shall I say a few boxes to unwrap) and of course, no friends are needed to make it complete, just the in-laws- and I see them enough I don't need to clean for them.
The middle child was easy to convince that she is having the first birthday sleepover by having a camping birthday. We invited all of our camping friends with kids, so it will be a simple celebration. Again, I need to make a cake, pack for camping, wrap a few gifts.... so really not so easy, but at least I won't need to entertain the kids which I always find the most stressful of it all. It's hard to keep up the energy going from craft to game to food for two to three hours. HOW DO SCHOOL TEACHERS DO IT?
So my advice to those who haven't had kids yet, given a choice in the matter, spread out the birthdays a little. It may seem like a good idea to have birthdays close together, or spring babies, or whatever was going through my mind every two years, but for the sake of birthdays, have a winter, summer and fall birthday, it will seem a bit more special for all involved.
Wendy, the blogging woman wrote an article about taking your kids to work day as a stay at home mom, and won the contest- pretty cool.
Saturday, April 05, 2008
I've been a single parent for the last week, husband traveling, saving money for the company by spending the weekend in Europe... Not a problem, I can handle it. I used to stay at home full time without help, I know I can handle a few weeks without help in the evening. Well, tonight is the night that has made me doubt whether I can handle this mom thing at all. Bless those true single mom's out there. I really don't know how they manage.
Around dinner time Saturday night I had had enough of the endless fighting. I offered pizza as the main course tonight with a fancy side of cantaloupe, who wouldn't love the lack of green vegetable, right? I was instead greeted with tears over a new found hate of pizza. Not to mention the constant request for a veggie burger instead, I was just about over the top. I had reached my limit of unhappy children and I was not about to accommodate any requests for another option. It was going to be another night of putting the kids to bed hungry- they will survive.
After dinner I suggested that if the girls took a quick shower without fighting and tattling, then I would let them watch a movie we picked up from the library. Midway through the shower they started fighting, so that was it, no movie allowed. They started crying, but I held firm, sorry, no movie tonight. They wailed while putting on their pj's, I chose to vacuum while they got dressed in effort to drown out the tears. Then while the dirt was being removed from carpets, they decided to become friends instead. They got together and discussed that if they were sickly sweet to each other, which I so often praise, then maybe I would change my mind. I was so enjoying hearing them working as a team that I decided to finish vacuuming the upstairs, and heck, if time allowed, I would even vacuum a staircase or two.
Briefly turning off the vacuum to swiffer the hardwood, my oldest daughter came in to announce that Audrey was putting toothpaste into the baby's hair. I scolded her tattling, then continued to vacuum. I finished the room I was working on then headed off to see the mess in the baby's hair (trying to make it seem like I was heading that way anyway, rather than a result of tattling). Wow, was it ever a mess. Audrey had managed to squeeze out the majority of the tube all over the freshly showered baby. At this point no amount of vacuuming was going to drown out the mess. I lost my mind. I was truly shocked over the white creamy paste and just how much is still available from a tube that has been around for 6 months. Rather than harming my child, which was what my mind was telling me to do, I instead sent her straight to bed, after she changed into fresh toothpaste free pj's.
Wow I could use a husband right about now, because a walk with the dog on this warm spring night sounds like more fun than cleaning the kitchen, which is another story, but trust me, don't leave my three alone at the table for ten minutes while chatting out front with a neighbor when really, they hate pizza these days.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Call this number 1-888-567-8688 to put a stop to the mailings. They ask for your social security number and birth date, but you can just skip that part and they will still take your info out of their system for 5 years!
Here's the website just to make it easier.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
A friend sent me this article.
If you have ever spent an afternoon watching the lunch crowd and seeing the garbage generated one would easily jump on board for the waste free lunches. It's shocking how much garbage one small school creates at lunch with milk cartons, "lunchables", pudding cups, need I continue? It's a challenge since it's so easy to assemble lunches with prepackaged foods, but it's worth it. Less trash, healthier foods.
Saturday, February 09, 2008
My husband got hooked on this food tracking website a few months ago and it started getting on my nerves as of late. Right after eating every meal- at least at home, he spends time on the laptop (yes, our piece of junk Dell Alienware laptop) entering what he ate, and getting a "BLI Index" score. It's been a great thing in our house since the site has been teaching him about what foods are bad, without me nagging, and that you don't have to be totally stuffed after a meal to consider it being over. But what had been getting on my nerves is obviously not how much weight he has lost, but how much time he spends entering all of his information. So last night I chose to join him. Isn't it something like, if you can't beat them, join them? Right?
So the first thing they ask is if you are trying to lose weight or eat healthier. So I said to myself, I eat great (or so I thought), so maybe I should lose a few pounds. Why not, it sounds like a fun challenge especially since I have weight a comfortable weight of 142 for the last 10 years, excluding a few pregnancies and months of post pregnancy pounds. So I said, how about 7 pounds by June first. Not too much to ask of myself.
So the competition began last night. My husband and I are both going to lose our pounds by June 1st. I try hard not to be competitive, or I sort of try, but it's sadly in my blood somehow. So the first thing this morning I poured half and half into my coffee knowing there are some things in life that can never be sacrificed, but be happy to know I skipped pancakes for Quaker Oatmeal and yogurt--so it's not all bad.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
So it's proven, we are more forgetful now that we have given birth. This article helped me feel better about my lack of memory that is so obviously tarnished.
Not that I'm claiming to have ever remembered anyone's phone number or name.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
It's a day where three o'clock comes around, naps are over and you can't believe it's more than three hours until bedtime again. Three thirty, I'm starting to gear up for dealing with a long evening. Afternoon caffeine never hurts. Luckily we get a phone call from a friend who asks if they can come over and play for an hour to kill some time before dinner. I'm trilled to pieces and just know having a bit of adult conversation is going to make the evening manageable. So rather than playing for an hour I invite them to dinner. I'm needing a bit of motivation to spark me into motion to cook, so what better reason than dinner guests?
I see my friend and her two kids walking up the street and I meet them at the door to avoid having to listen to the dogs bark endlessly from the door knocker. To my utter shock the two kids arrive with HAMMERS in their hands. These are not plastic kid safe hammers, but the real thing. I have sudden visions of the damage that a kid with a hammer can do in a matter of a seconds when our backs are turned- and usually they are turned when we get together and are deep in conversation. So rather dramatically I request that the hammers stay outside. Their fears of thievery allowed them to stay in the vestibule, but I still wasn't going to allow them in the house, no way. So how can this be a story you are wondering? The evening did end with the hammer hitting our glass front door, but it was a light enough tap to leave the glass standing. But the good thing that came out of it all was that the kids had taken a really great class at Lowes and wanted to show off their new stuff and what they had created.
They built a tool box out of real wood and got to paint it too. They were also gifted with the hammers, aprons and safety goggles. This was a free class and I got the impression that everyone left with the loot, not just my friends' kids since she's a cute mom. The classes are FREE and the next one is for Valentines day- Feb 9th 10am make a Valentine's Day mailbox.
Friday, January 25, 2008
So would I make the switch again? No I would not. I would go with a company that has been around longer than Virgin Mobil. Not that I have any idea how long they have been around, but I sense it is a matter of months. I have not been impressed with their customer service, if anything they should have left me with not only my twenty dollars on the phone, but free 270 minutes, since that is how long I spent just trying to set my phone up. I do get the sense I'm not their target audience, so maybe they could care less about keeping this cranky mom using a Virgin Mobil Cell phone. Go figure.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Readers and friends, thanks for your comments and concerns. It seems like this has become a hot topic around our circle of friends so I thought I would do a quick recap of the situation.
We never did hear back from Dell once we sent our original invoice out. We figured since the laptop was old- now three years, which my hubby is in the technology business, he insists is old for a laptop. So he figured Steve from Dell who feels that laptops should only last a few years too, took one look at the invoice date and said "Hey, they got their use of it". But I still stick to my original suggestion not to buy from Dell or especially Alienware. They have horrible customer service especially since our complaints a few months after owning the laptop were answered by having us spend more money on a non working system. Ah live and learn. For those that asked, I'm writing this on a sweet HP system. May not look as good, but it doesn't shut down randomly.