Friday, September 30, 2011

Link Round-Up: Attack on Yuppies Edition

In lieu of your regularly-scheduled blogging, I'm providing some links to places on the web where I've been wasting time lately.  Today's theme is what the the title suggests; all the following links tie in to the permeating cluelessness of the bourgeoisie.

And, as always, 8PP is in no way affiliated with the following sites, and therefore does not endorse 100% of their content.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I'm kind of a big deal.

There are so many things about being a Mom that are just...awesome.  One of the coolest unexpected perks though is when your kid gets to that just-perfect age where they become convinced you are superhuman.

My son is at that point, that wonderful, brief time where Mommy and Daddy are magic.  I love it.  There are so many little, basic things that I can do that leave my son in awe of me, and that is incredible.  Here are some examples.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Military Girlfriend

Post contributed by Hilton Miranda

This military girlfriend thing is about to kill me. James has been in the field for 9 days and I have had absolutely no contact. My only saving grace is that I spent all of last weekend with him in Virginia and stocked up on quality time together. I am so proud of him, though, this is all worth it. I find myself writing emails that I know he won’t read until he returns to the base, but it’s my daily way of filling him in on life. This has become routine for me when he’s in the field, but last month when he returned to the base, J had a surprise for me. We could skype using the Satellite TV they have on base! He was reading my emails on a timed computer and was only allowed 5 minutes to read everything since all the guys needed access. But, with this, we can have up to 15 minutes to talk to each other face-to-face and catch up! Gotta love technology. Hopefully this will make the next year go by faster.

Straight Talk No-Contract Plans

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Straight Talk for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Most of you have seen me write about my money stress.  Between student loans, medical bills, two cars, a mortgage, and a toddler, it seems there's only ever enough money to cover the basics.  And it would be so nice if I could keep more of my paycheck.  That would mean extra money to save more my son's future college fund, or for a rainy day, or even just for a family treat, like a nice vacation.

Every month, I wish like I had just a little bit extra money to put away in savings.  I clip coupons so I can save on grocery bills, and I try to minimize my energy usage so I can save on electricity.  Cutting down on expenses is a great way to make yourself just a little bit richer each month.

One thing you can do to help yourself is switch to Straight Talk.  You can get everything you need, without a contract.  And you can cut your phone bill in half.  That's extra money you can spend on things besides being locked into an expensive phone contract.

It's easier than you would think.  There are no credit checks, and no surprise bills.  The coverage is great, and the phones are first-rate.  Call a friend from your new LG, Motorola, Kyocera, Nokia or Samsung phone.  Great options in smartphones, (including Android on Straight Talk) touch screen phones and app capable phones, including all the perks like voice navigation, camera, camcorder, music player, IMing, and Bluetooth compatibility.  Or save even more money buy purchasing a reconditioned phone, starting at just $10.

You may be thinking you can't get a great plan for so little money, but I can tell you you'll get plenty of bang for your buck.  Deals range from the "All You Need" plan, which includes 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts, and 30MB of web data, to the amazing Unlimited Monthly Service, for only $45!  It includes free 411, and never any activation, reactivation, or termination fees.

Think about what it would mean to cut your monthly phone bill in half.  What could you spend that extra money on?  A couple of extra cases of diapers, or paying off those student loans a little faster.  Or, if you're sick of being responsible and want to reward yourself a little, maybe actually have a nice night out with your hubby once a month.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

And now a break from the hiatus...

Sorry for the lack of blogginess lately.  There have been a series of personal crises in my life in the past week or so, and the resulting stress (combined with a nasty lingering head cold for my little one and I) have put posting on the backburner.  Probably won't be writing much for a while until some of the issues are resolved, but I can give you a couple of brief updates on what's going on.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My 2-year-old best friend

Like any working mom, I sometimes have to go pick my son up from daycare because he's sick.  There have been other times, however, fortunately few and far between, where I have to go pick my son up from daycare because he's tricked his teacher into thinking he's sick.

Yesterday was one of those days.  I got to his classroom, and he was just sitting on his mat, eyes downcast.  When he saw me he came running over and buried his face in my leg, hugging on for dear life.  I picked him up and he laid his head on my shoulder, whimpering pitifully.

"He's been like that all day!" his teacher exclaimed.  "He hasn't had a fever or upset stomach, but he just keeps crying, and won't nap, and he wouldn't even eat lunch."

My son continued to cling to my neck, face buried in my collarbone, while we walked out of eyesight of his teacher.  By the time we got to the stairwell, he was sitting up in my arms and giggling.  At the top of the stairs, he squirmed down and wanted to open the door for me.

Out in the hall, he started that stream-of-consciousness chattering of which only toddlers and teenage girls with webcams are capable.  As we walked out the door to the parking lot, he shouted, "Let's go!  Let's go take a ride in mama's car!"  (Phonetically, "Go take wide in mama cah!")

Monday, September 12, 2011

I just don't like your uterus...

This past Thursday, after much encouragement (and, okay, nagging), I finally called my OB-GYN to schedule a preconception visit or, as I call it, a why-can't-I-get-pregnant appointment.

To my surprise, they had an opening available just a week later, this coming Thursday.  I wasn't prepared to be coming in so soon.

I also wasn't prepared for the forms the scheduling nurse told me to fill out ahead of time, and couldn't understand why she told me I might want to go ahead and get started.  What?  I couldn't just fill out their little questionnaire in the waiting room?

No, not so much.  I had to log on to the clinic website and fill out roughly seven pages of highly detailed medical (and some not-medical information).  They asked everything.  They wanted to know my sexual orientation, and my partner's sexual orientation.  (Maybe they get a lot of confused lesbian couples who don't know where babies come from?)  They wanted to know whether I owned or worked with cats, or had ever had chickenpox.  They wanted to know every surgery I had ever had, and every surgery my husband has ever had.  (I have no idea how the metal rods he had put in to rebuild a broken arm are affecting our fertility.)

They wanted to know everything I had eaten the prior day, and I had to resist the temptation to lie.  (I had worked through lunch, and therefore my meal plan consisted of yogurt, black coffee, and Monster energy drinks.)

In between the questions of whether I worked with hazardous chemicals, had ever been exposed to rubella, or am of Eastern European Jewish ancestry, I was really looking for a little comment or suggestion box, something that asked, "Are they any other factors that may be affecting your fertility?"  Because then I could get to what I, at least, in my uneducated opinion, believe is the real issue:  I only have one fallopian tube and half an ovary, and they're pretty much held together with my uterus via scar tissue.  But, sure, ask me some more about whether I've ever lived in Africa.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wendy in Neverland

When you're young, growing up is something to be alternately desired and feared.  Growing up means getting to do what you want, and no one bossing you around.  Growing up means being old and boring and never going to concerts anymore.

Of course, we all know that growing up isn't the same as hitting level 85 in World of Warcraft.  No beams of light shoot out of your body, and no one hands you a gold medal that reads "Unlocked Achievement:  Adulthood".  No, one day you're just going about your business, thinking really hard about how ordering a pizza for dinner would be nice, but then you remind yourself that you still have to make the car payment next week.  All of a sudden it hits you that you're making this decision because you're a grown-up, someone with a job and responsibilities.

You try to think back, but you can't remember the exact moment when you became a grown-up, because you've been so busy with all the things that being a grown-up entails.  When did it happen?  Was it when you got your first apartment?  When you got married?  Bought your first house?  Became a parent?  Then you start panicking, thinking things like, "HOW DID I HAVE A KID AND I DON'T EVEN REALIZE I'M A GROWN-UP?  WHO LET ME HAVE A KID?  HOW IS SOMEONE WHO CAN'T MAKE HAMBURGER HELPER ALLOWED TO BE A MOM?"

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me...

If you're a total Joss Whedon nerd (like me!), you probably recognize today's blog title as lyrics from the theme song to "Firefly".  For the uninitiated, "Firefly" was a space-western that ran for one season, much to the lament of its diehard core audience.  Eventually, to appease the nerd masses, a major motion picture was released to tie up the loose ends, and was titled "Serenity".  (To explain the titles, the ship is a model "Firefly", but her name is "Serenity".)

To many fans, "Firefly" had the potential to be the greatest Joss Whedon series ever.  All the other people not watching it were too busy trying to figure out what a "space-western" was, and why the name Joss Whedon sounded familiar.  ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer", "Angel", and the worst "Aliens" movie.  You know, the one with Winona Ryder.)

Anyway, last night my husband was cooking dinner, and I had to find something for my son to watch to keep him distracted.  (We don't let him watch much t.v., but we find it helpful to keep him occupied while he awaits food.)  I simply could not take another episode of Spongebob (there's only about 6 different ones available online), and Hulu offers little options.

Then I saw that they had every episode of "Firefly".  It was time for my son's nerd initiation to begin.

Friday, September 2, 2011

El Dorado in Garner: Don't go if you like eating or sitting.

My husband, son and I went out with my parents, sisters and their kids (my son's three cousins) for dinner last night.  Everyone had agreed on Mexican, and one of the closer places that we've visited a few times over the years is El Dorado in Garner.  We piled the six adults and four kids into three cars, and caravan-ed over.

My parents beat everyone there, so they went ahead and got a table.  The first sign that we might have problems was when we got to the table and they didn't have enough chairs for all of us.  The waiter asked how many more chairs we needed (hint:  enough for all the people still standing).  Then they didn't have enough high chairs, because I guess they've never had four whole kids in the restaurant at once.  Fine, we just switched the two older toddlers to booster seats.

Eventually, everyone had somewhere to sit, and we let the kids dig in to the chips and salsa.  Our waiter, who was tragically born without a personality, eventually came and took our drink orders.  Our drinks arrived, and we were ready to order.

Unfortunately, our waiter was apparently not ready to take our order.  As our drinks ran low and we ran out of chips and salsa, he continued to walk by us to the kitchen or other places, not glancing our way.  Look, I've waited tables and I know no one is thrilled about getting the table with all the kids, but he was treating us like we had leprosy.

Also, this was a Thursday night in a small part of town.  They were not busy.