Saturday, January 26, 2008

Leave the Hammers Outside

My husband is out of town for a fun filled three day weekend with the guys, so today, Saturday seemed to be an incredibly long day. He took the minivan with him so I can't legally drive the kids anywhere since the three car seats don't fit in the car. We are stuck in the cabin.

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

This is NOT a Technology Website, Really

Rather than smashing my new Virgin Mobil phone with a sledge hammer, I figured I would vent my frustrations over the Internet instead. Less clean up, less violent. Oddly enough I have found the need to vent about technology once again. The issue this round is not my crappy Alienware laptop, but my great money saving plan of switching cell phones. My contract with Verizon expired a few years ago and I just never got around to switching to a better plan. Over the Christmas holiday we had some extra time on our hands so my husband found a cheap plan that seems to suit my needs. The plan WAS with Virgin Mobil. It took about two hours of phone conversations with Virgin to get my number switched from Verizon. A few days later my new phone was ready to go, but was claiming that I needed to send more money to activate, which we already did. So I thought I would call them while the kids watched a quick show before bed. Was that ever a mistake. After being on hold for 40 minutes with a young girl occasionally asking me a question, I was disconnected. Don't forget, it takes 7 minutes to finally get live help on the phone. Second attempt I was disconnected again after 15 minutes only I was smart enough, I thought, to give them my home number this time so they could easily call back. I waited for my return phone call, which didn't happen, so I called back once the kids were in bed and once I got a live person I rudely asked to speak to a manager. The manager was able to instantly fix my issue and now my new cheap phone is up and running.

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

A Follow-Up to the Dell Alienware Laptop Post

Speaking of Laptops- Don't buy a Dell Alienware Laptop

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.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Less Junk Mail

I wanted to follow up with the great success I've had from Catalogue Choice the website that automatically cancels your unwanted subscriptions to mail order catalogues. So far I have cancelled 23 different catalogues and they still keep coming. Now that I have a bookmark on my computer, I instantly check to see if it's on my cancelled list. The pottery barn seems to be holding on the longest, but they do mention that it can take some time to get off their lists, so any day now I imagine I will not be receiving them either. My only regret is that I didn't do it before we moved from our last house. Luckily environmentalist bought the house so most likely they have cancelled them by now.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Such a Sweet Gift

I had a birthday a few weeks ago and my two oldest daughters were very excited about the idea of buying me a gift. I insisted that I would love just a painting or something else that they could make, but they had visions of spending some time with Daddy taking them shopping with the purpose being my birthday.

So the big day came and they were besides themselves with excitement. From the moment they woke me up, they kept asking if it was time to open my gifts. They truly understood the meaning of giving. They couldn't wait to see my happy face when I tore the paper off my new earrings or my Fiesta Taco Bar. Sure the earrings were nice, I could wear them to the office, nice and corporate looking. The Fiesta Taco Bar on the other hand I couldn't help but want to return it. I kept wondering if they would notice if it made it's way back to the store, the price was still on at$19.00. The main reason I wanted to return it was that I knew it would take up an entire cupboard, which it did. But I hung onto it like a good gift recipient. I couldn't get rid of it when the oldest kept asking when we were going to have tacos. "Mom, is tonight a good night for Tacos?"

So two weeks later I announce it's taco night. It was great fun. Well worth the $19.00 and cupboard space. The girls meticulously washed the Taco bar in warm soapy water then dried it. They then took turns filling each of the little bowls. They found it funny that I kept having to refill the cucumber holder since they were eating them all, which was my plan. But the cool thing about it all was that they hovered over the bar eating taco after taco as if they hadn't eaten in a month. Taco's are usually eaten after plenty of negotiating but with this crazy pottery space sucker, we were able finish off a box of 10 taco shells, only to open a bag of tortilla chips for finish the rest of the veggie meat.

So the moral of the story- don't look to return everything that you know you just don't need. You may find it's worth at least one night of bliss, although rather frivolous. Oh, and you can find the bar on Ebay if you too want one - but you'll pay a bit more. They are going for $24.00, plus shipping- so really it was a bit of a deal to boot.