Tuesday, June 29, 2010

breaking the law

We had a thing going on at work a week or so ago and I had to purchase something out of my pocket to make it work. "No problem," said my boss, "Just submit an expense report and I'll approve it."


So I bought the thing and submitted receipts for the thing. My awesome rock star administrative assistant did her thing and I received notice via email that the balls are rolling in the right direction for me to be reimbursed.

Badda-bing, badda-boom, baby. There's motion in the ocean.

Yesterday right before I left work I received an email that the expense report had expired. Hmm, never received one of those before. So on my way out the door I forwarded it to my rock star administrative assistant because I knew she'd know what to do with it. I also cc'd it to my boss because I noticed that it wasn't her name listed as my boss - it was our medical director who was listed.

This morning I opened my inbox to find a series of emails between my rock star administrative assistant and my boss and the people in the finance department trying to figure out why this even went to the medical director. This was all being done without him being included because, well, he's the medical director and he has bigger fish to fry than my expense dilemma. Also because this isn't a program he uses more than once a year (and even then only with great assistance).

An hour or so passed.

Then I get an email from the medical director saying, "Is this a scam?"

Maybe I should allude to how much stress the office is under this week. There's new tech, new drama, and everybody has a problem that needs to be addressed five minutes ago. So when this email came across my screen I couldn't help but to laugh so hard that tears came to my eyes.

Really? On top of everything else, now he's alluding that I'm trying to steal money?

I replied, and cc'd my rock star administrative assistant and my boss, "No, this is not a scam. ____ is taking care of it for us. PS: You should know that if I ever consider embezzlement, it will be for much more than $15.87."

I was quite amused. So amused, in fact, that I relived the scenario to several people in the office. Their eyes were glazed over from other people's problems, too, so they weren't as amused as I was.

Looking for someone else to share my amusement I emailed the scenario to my sister and to another friend, Jane. They were busy, too, and didn't reply.

I tried to relive the story to Baby tonight, but she was more interested in looking up, pointing and saying, "Light! Light! Light!"

We spoke to The Hater briefly tonight on the phone. He'll be back tomorrow. I'll tell him the story when he gets here, but by then I'm sure most of my amusement will have withered. Especially with inflation and the current economy.

So I'm left tonight with my own amusement that my doctor thinks I tried to steal $15.87 from the work account.

It still makes me laugh.

Tomorrow my goal is to be accused of espionage.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

gimmie sum

The Hater was adventurous yesterday in the kitchen and whipped us up some shrimp dumplings for a dim sum luncheon treat. They were oh so yummy, but it made a lot. Baby ate half of one. The Hater and I both ate a plate full, and we ended up throwing some away. It was very, very good, but we won't be eating steamed dumplings for a long, long time.

Not to mention that it made us think of an excellent Japanese scary movie about, well, dumplings, and things that would never fly in the American movie market. It's called Gaau ji, and Angry Dissenter made us watch it one time when we went to visit him. I'm not necessarily suggesting you should see it, unless you're a self-touted scary movie nut who likes Japanese scary movies and doesn't mind reading subtitles.

Meanwhile, Baby turned 15 months old this week! Crazy how time flies when you're having fun. She saw the doctor for a check-up and three booster shots on Friday. We survived. She passed all of the tests. They think she's about the most adorable little girl they've ever seen... it about broke the MA's heart when baby blew her goodbye kisses after she gave her the shots.

Baby is picking up on counting her toes. She can go to five, but apparently does better for daycare than she does for us. She's also got about 30 words in her vocabulary. She can stack five blocks at a time and is throwing and kicking the ball. She has started climbing and tries to climb everything.

Her newest trick is that she'll walk over to a cabinet or the door or the table - something hard, and bang her forehead until she hits it hard enough to make her cry. Sometimes she'll just lean down and hit her head on the hardwood floors. As a mommy this is terrible to try to ignore. I told the pediatrician about it, and he very nicely told me that I should continue to ignore her. I asked him not to call DHS on me when we end up in the ER needing stitches because she's konked her head. He's sure she won't take it that far, but she already has a cut smack-dab in the center of her forehead where she bangs it all the time. I hate ignoring her hurting herself, but I can only hope this stage goes quickly. (but not so quickly because only a fool would wish for them to grow up faster)

I took the crib pad out of the crib this weekend. Although it's the kind designed so that they can't suffocate because of it, and it's built in a way where they can't use it as a stair to climb out of the crib, we figured that she's big enough where she really doesn't need it anymore. The first night I immediately remembered why I really liked that bumper - because months ago when she threw her foolers, they didn't fall into the floor. They acted as a perfect barrier and we could always find them in the middle of the night without having to turn on the light. ... When she started screaming "baby" before I could even get out of bed I thought, oh no, without the bumper her baby doll has fallen out. Sure enough, her baby wasn't in the crib, and she thankfully fell asleep without me having to turn on the lights and totally wake her up to find it. Last night there wasn't a problem with her baby, but if she consistently loses it this week we may put the bumpers back on next weekend for the sake of a better night's sleep.

1-2-3-4-5 fingers crossed that we sleep well tonight.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


0608 Grab baby and gear. Open door to garage. Oppressive heat slaps me in the face. It’s even hotter in here that it is in the house.

0610 Pull out of the garage. Geronimo says it’s 89 degrees in the garage.

0614 Thank you, Sweet Jesus, for air conditioning in the car.

0620 Geronimo says it’s 80 outside. It was hotter in the house than outside the house. Blah.

0621 Feeling sorry for The Hater who is stuck in the house today. Never been so happy to go to work. Marvelous, wonderful, work where it’s frigid.

0622 Feeling guilty for being so happy to go to work in the AC when The Hater is stuck at home in the sauna.

0623 Remembering our sauna conversation last night:

genderist: Maybe this won’t be so bad?

The Hater: This is terrible.

genderist: You’re the one who likes the sauna!

The Hater: That’s different! The sauna is something you get to do for 20 minutes, then take a cold shower. Then you’re done with it. This has no relief. Not like a sauna at all.

genderist: Just think. Some people pay good money to sweat like this.

The Hater: It’s not the same. Calling it the same doesn’t make it any better.

0624 Thinks it really was like a sauna. Very much like being locked in a dry sauna without the steam. Mental note to remind The Hater that Baby’s hair was curled on end this morning, like she’d been in a sauna, if this comes up again. Hopes it doesn’t.

0631 Called home. Telling Dad about the drama. He’s half awake. Ask them to pray for The Hater for having to sit in the sauna until someone can come fix it today. Wondering what he’ll remember of the conversation and what details he’ll add that I didn’t say.

0648 I think I’ll make a timeline to document my thoughts about the situation. This will be a good project to start during my 7 o’clock meeting.

0712 Her belt is huge. It looks like a weight lifting belt. I should not say this out loud.

0714 Is this fashion-forward? The belt is OTT. Seriously. It has to be 4.5” wide, but the clasp is about 1” wide. I can’t concentrate on the meeting or thinking about the AC because her belt is wrong, wrong, wrong.

0716 I should link back to the series of posts from when we lived in the apartment and the AC went out.

0734 Today I will not complain about the office being too cold.

0759 Sent The Hater a txt msg telling him to come up here when he can because there’s a tv he can watch and wireless internet he can use. He says he’s waiting on the AC guy. No idea if he’s talked to them today. I send another txt to ask, but don’t get a reply.

0802 The Hater replies that the AC guy is on his way.

0834 I want to call The Hater to see if the AC guy is there yet, but don’t want to be a pain. Sending good vibes instead.

0900 I want to call The Hater, but don’t want to pester him. Trying to be hopeful.

0928 Tick, tock, tick, tock…

1102 Good news. My goddaughter’s eye pressures were good under anesthesia. Bad news is that there’s scar tissue problems in her left eye from previous surgeries. Very hopeful that a week of pupil dilation will help the problem. Stupid congenital glaucoma!!

1108 More good news. The Hater just called to say the AC guy is at the house and is hopeful they won’t have to tear up the roof to fix it! I tell him the good news about eyes, too. I call the guy back who told me he could be there but not before 1800 tonight.

1130 Considering calling for an update, but don’t want to be obnoxious.

1145 Considering texting for update, but don’t want to be obnoxious.

1205 Noon meeting starts. The lady with the belt is at this meeting, too. The belt continues to distract me from the meeting. I’ve made a mental note to tell The Hater about the belt later.

1220 I can’t stand it anymore. I send The Hater a text message fishing for an update. I know it’s rude to send txts during meetings, but it can’t be any more distracting than that belt.

1225 The Hater has called back! The AC man is our new hero; it is fixed!! I could think of more than 625 other ways I’d rather spend $625, but very few of them would bring as much comfort.

1227 Sending txt msgs to friends who were worried about our AC.

1335 Noon meeting gets out more than a half hour late. Boo. Just called The Hater to make sure he’s left the house. He has. There is much rejoicing.

muggy update

The Hater and I decided that if baby could sleep, we could make it work, too.

We blew up the twin bed mattress for me in the living room next to the floor fan. About 2am I woke up to pee and found The Hater asleep on top of the guest room bed. About 3am Baby woke up and I changed her diaper. She's damp with sweat, but went right back to sleep.

I set my phone alarm to ring, but with the fan I was sure that I wouldn't hear the usual song. So I picked "older phone" thinking that something that obnoxious would surely wake me up.

Not so much.

I dreamed I was at work and there were about five phones on the desk that kept ringing and I was trying to answer them all. And three of the phones were like house phones, not work phones, so I couldn't transfer anybody. And we were having a reception that hundreds of people came to, and I was the only person at the desk with the damn phones. Everybody else was outside trying to fanagle people. People were everywhere. Our bathrooms were a pit. People were being rude. It was hot. And I could hardly hear over the phones. I was trying to be nice when I answered them, but it was staticy, and I could hardly get through to them that it just wasn't a good time. I could look out the window and see that my coworkers outside were as miserable as I was. And then in my dream I remembered that I had set my cell phone to sound like this ring, too. And after trying to call the hospital operator to call security STAT to come to our area because there were two men fighting over a pregnant lady who was about to pop about who was baby's daddy, and trying to yell it to her over the noise of the crowd and the other phones.... I finally looked at my cell phone and woke up to hear the phone alarm going off... which sounded like a phone ringing.

It rang for 17 minutes before I actually woke up.

I can't decide if I feel like I've been working all night or camping all night.

Counting my blessings right now - that we have electricity; that this didn't happen in August; that although this was like camping, there were no bugs; that although The Hater stopped up the toilet and I had to plunge it at 2am, we have indoor plumbing; that the AC guy is coming today; that my boss offered the room; that Baby slept as well as when the house is a cool 71 degrees, our usual sleeping temperature.

It's 85 degrees in our house. As long as you don't move around much all is well.

I'm also thankful that I have to go to work where it's nice and cool. I hate it for The Hater, who will be stuck here until the AC guy comes and at least until a plan is put together.

Off to shower. Don't know if the phone ringing fiasco will be enough to make me miss my 7am mtg. (Typing this post didn't help, I know, but I thought the phone story was too good not to share.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Our hail storm adventure continues... I'm hot and tired, so I'll try to go over the highlights.

We finally got the insurance adjuster to look at the roof. Had several roofing companies come look at it, too. It's a total loss, plus they're going to replace the gutters. Yay? Idunno - are you supposed to be excited about that?

The Hater took the check to the bank yesterday to get them to put it into our bank account so we could pay the roofers. Long story short he spent several hours at the bank ... come to find out they shorted us $8K when we went back to look at the account.

Oh yes.

Several phone calls and panic attacks later the account says it's "pending".

I'm sure the bank manager is tired of hearing from us.

Meanwhile, the roof guys were here today and have finished our roof. In doing so they have punctured the coolant line that goes to the AC.

So the house is a hot sweaty box. I'm a mad hen in a hot sweaty box. I was cocked and ready to tell them that they would be putting us up in a hotel tonight and every night until this was fixed. I wasn't going to be ugly, but I was certainly going to call an ace an ace.

The roofing guys have come and looked at the boo-boo. They say we need to call the builder, that it's the builder's fault that the line that's supposed to be "6-12 inches" from the roof is actually right next to it. The roofing guys did their job right - and it would've all been peachy if the builder had done the right thing to begin with.

The problem is that the builder is out of business.

But the good news is that the roofing guys said that if the AC guy (who comes tomorrow) has to take off part of the roof to fix the problem they'll replace that part of the roof for us at no charge to us. I'm gagged, but at least they're living up to their BBB status.

Meanwhile, it's hot. Baby is down. She's woken up once, but went back to sleep on her own. If she can suffer through, so can we.

If she can't, my boss has already offered a room in their house where we can stay tonight.

So now we're hoping that the "depreciation value" check that we'll end up getting from insurance will cover the AC guy fixing this. (At this point we think he'll just have to sauter/sauder/fix the hole and add new freon/coolant/magic. But we don't know nothing 'bout birthing no babies.)

To sum up:
Hail storm. Bad.
Insurance. Good.
Bank screw-up. Bad, but has been reconciled.
Credible roofing company. Good.
Stupid bankrupt building company. Bad.
AC Repairman.... to be determined...

* The Hater and I are reminiscing memories about being young and staying in houses where there was no AC. Where you cracked the window and had a floor fan in the hallway. Where you didn't sleep that great. Where taking a bath after supper was really a moot point because you sweat all night in bed. It was terrible... and tonight we get to relive those precious memories, complete with not sleeping in our own bed because that room is the hottest room of the house. ... It's a beautiful day to be thankful for working ACs.

* Poor baby. I put her down after she chugged a sippy of milk with red, flushed cheeks. I covered her in corn starch before I put her down - she already has some heat rash on the base of her neck before today's fiasco. I can only imagine what it'll look like in the morning. Meanwhile, it looks like she's inherited Mommy's and Aunt Sister's propensity to glisten. Maybe someday she'll be glad for her efficiency, but I doubt it.

* I've had to move my Synthroid to the fridge because it loses efficacy in the heat. Unfortunately, I bet I have to totally get a new bottle because it sat in the heat for 5 hours before we moved it to the fridge. I'll ask tomorrow in the pharmacy, but I'm thinking this will be another $30.

Monday, June 14, 2010

didn't wash away

For those of you who saw that OKC received about 10" of rain today, I'm happy to report that we did not wash away.

Last night I watched the news before I went to bed. I don't usually do that, but for some reason I thought I should watch the weather. This was random for me because I never watch the news at night. Anyway, on the news it said we'd get a storm in the early hours of the morning, but then would have a 30% chance of rain for the day. It was storming bad in the panhandle, but weren't supposed to have anything bad in the city.

They lied. It started coming down about 7:30 and stormed cats and dogs and iguanas. I was a nervous wreck at work. Everybody kept asking me why I even came in, why didn't I stay home. I called day care to ask why she didn't tell me to just turn around and go back home when I dropped off Baby this morning. She was as surprised as I was that it was coming down in buckets.

I left work between waves of storms around 11 this morning to get Baby before the next wave was supposed to come through. I ended up having to take several U-turns and get home in different ways, but we got here. Baby was screaming in the car seat by the time we got here though. (She's still not a fan of riding in the car for more than about 10 minutes.)

Apparently the 5 consecutive hours of morning storms caused the fronts to change and now the wave of bad rain that we were supposed to get is actually hitting about 50 miles south of us. Good for us because we couldn't take the rain and hail combo right now. Not too terrible for them because in the morning rains they didn't get much.

Tomorrow we're supposed to be back to just normal summer rain showers. I have full intentions of taking Baby to day care and heading to work like I did today... but I may look at the weather in the morning before I leave the house first.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

just kidding

I dressed Baby in a sweet little pink hand-me-over sundress that still had tags on it this morning for church. She was in a good enough mood. We headed down the street and pulled into the church parking lot at 8:05 for the 8:15 service.

She sat quietly during the prelude. Played with a bear during the special singing, but before it was over she promptly let her toddlerhood show and started screaming. I picked her up and took her into the hall, where she continued to be unhappy.

I decided to take her back in during the introductions, where everybody shakes hands with each other and says hi. There's commotion, and I was sure we could sneak back in without much fuss.

We did.

But before the first hymn could be announced she started sceaming again. Screams that were not thwarted by a sippy cup of milk, cereal bites, or the special book that only comes out at church. The preacher was trying to tell about a sign-up sheet he was going to pass around where people could sign up if they'd like to volunteer to help with special music programming.

She screamed louder.

I scooped up her and the diaper bag and tried to gracefully exit. These were tear-inducing massive screams. People looked. Some of them smiled, some of them glared.

It was silent except for her screams.

I said as I carried her down the side back to the exit, "It's okay, honey. It's for volunteers. You don't have to sign up." Some people giggled. I heard the preacher say as I was walking out, "She'd probably like it because she would be around the communion juice."

I had her strapped back into the car seat and we were pulling out of the church parking lot at 8:30. This must be a record.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

up on the rooftop, reindeer paws

Not exactly reindeer paws, but the first of many roofing companies doing recon on the roof and quoting us a price. He said our neighborhood was the worst roofs he's seen in town, and that our roof was the second worst he's seen overall after this storm.

Apparently there are a myriad roofing defects - something about not enough vent boxes on the roof. He says that made them hotter, which made them break more. Also, he says that when they laid our shingles they put them straight down onto the plywood without the tar paper (or whatever the black lining thing is called).

It'll be interesting to see if the next roofers say the same thing.

The insurance guy comes to see the roof on Saturday. More on this story as it develops.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

weekend roundup

I was in the middle of a fantastic post that I could've sworn that I published. It was just the right amount of intrigue with just the right amount of funny... but it's gone forever.

It's been a good weekend.

The Hater went to the after-hours clinic on Friday because he thought he had bronchitis. Turns out it wasn't that or his asthma... but just really bad allergies. The doctor told him that it's the worst that Uglyhoma has seen in years, that even people who don't usually have allergy problems are having attacks. So he's now on steroids, more allergy medicines, and super-duper cough medicine at night. He says he's "on 'roids and narcotics, just like all the home run hitters in the 90s".

Some good friends dropped in yesterday afternoon. They're looking at houses. I think it'd be six colors of awesome if they moved into this neighborhood!! We gave them all of the Dt Dr Pepper that Sister didn't drink while she was here. They are DP people by default.

Baby has kept us very entertained this weekend. She loves to back up and sit on her potty, clap her hands and "YAY!" for herself. We, of course, clap our hands and sing YAYs, too.

Her newest trick is kicking and throwing fits while trying to change her diaper. It's such a mess. When you think you've figured out how to contain her legs and start cleaning she tries to roll. This has been going on for a few days. Screaming, tears, kicks, rolls, and a very frustrated Mommy who ends up wearing a whole lot of diaper rash cream. ... Today I figured out if I use the straps on the changing table and cinch her down she can't roll, which means I can just focus on keeping her legs in check. She was still screaming and kicking, but it was much easier. She fought so hard that she stripped the screw that holds one of the straps in place.

Baby is dancing all of the time now, too. She loves swaying back and forth and jumping all around. Her big finish is spinning in circles until she's so dizzy that she falls down, followed of course by clapping hands and "YAY!".

The upcoming week should be another doosey. The Hater has a long week ahead of him with late nights of work. I've got a late church meeting tomorrow night and a late work meeting Tuesday night. We've cooked a few meals ahead of time so all we'll have to do is nuke them later in the week.

The insurance adjuster is supposed to come inspect the roof this week, too. All of our neighbors have gotten total losses after the storm, so we're expecting the same. Then it'll be a matter of calling around and seeing who can give us the best deal. We're hoping that we'll be able to afford the artsy-fartsy hail damage shingles instead of the standard shingles that we had. We'll be glad when all of this is behind us.

I'm also sick of roofing companies ringing my doorbell at all hours to tell me how great their company is and why we should choose them. Blah. Between them and the door-to-door exterminators I'm about ready to get a NO SOLICITATION sign and putting it in my dead asparagus ferns at the door.

(Yeah, they're dead. I've not gotten around to replanting those yet. Or any annuals this year for that matter. We've been busy... then we've had allergies... then we had the storm... and now it's crazy hot outside... )

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

duct tape dresses: lessons learned

So you want to make a dress out of duct tape. Nevermind that you have no experience in such things. Nevermind the naysayers that are convinced you are simply nuts. Determination and several rolls of duct tape will you get you there.

First you need to do several internet searches about duct tape projects to get the basics down. Once you have a slight idea about how everything is put together, find a pattern to use.

I wanted to make a dress for my daughter, so I looked for an "easy-sew" pattern for a little girl dress. This was my first experience going through patterns. Each book had a section for what were supposed to be "easy" things. I found this one there and it cost about $2.

Next, buy tape. I had no idea how much I would use. I overbought because I wasn't sure. Her dress ended up being two full rolls of 22yd Duck Tape brand white duct tape, plus a little of a third roll. I've also bought one roll of flamingo pink tape and one roll of blue and green tye-dyed tape that I plan on using for embellishments at a later date.

First we measured baby to see what size dress to make. This seemed simple enough. However, I did not take into account that each piece we cut had a 5/8" seam allowance, so the little summer dress looks more like formal wear (way big on baby, but that's fine; she'll grow into it).

I wish I had pictures to document the next parts, but I don't because I was not that forward-thinking. If I ever do this project again I'll do better about taking pictures.

My Sister helped with this project. Next we took long pieces of duct tape and overlapped them, sticky side up. About every foot we went over the sticky part with cling wrap. We did this until we had one large sheet of "material" to use. The pattern told us how big of a piece we needed. It took us about two hours to make a 4.5'x4.5' piece. (I can't imagine doing this by myself - it seemed like a two-person job to us.)

At this point Sister declared she couldn't have any more fun playing duct tape games with me and I was on my own to interpret the greek that is reading a dress pattern. Honestly, I halfway read the pattern and halfway just used common sense to figure out how the pieces went together.

When choosing the pattern I did not look closely enough to see that parts of it were actually ruffled. When I came to that part it took me a little while to figure out how to ruffle duct tape. I ended up making pleats and holding them with scotch tape and then attaching it to the dress with duct tape. It was an adventure, and finished it, but I felt like I was reinventing the wheel throughout the process.

(back of dress - note the tie!)

(close-up of collar)

Another unforseen problem with a white dress out of duct tape is that it's very difficult to photograph. Light bounces off of it, making it look shiny. Nice, but loses all detail.

(front of dress)

I should note that initially baby was afraid of the dress. I tried to show it to her and she turned around and ran in the other direction. This happened several times that I tried to show it to her on Saturday after we finished it.

However, last night she put it on and pranced all over the house. It was huge on her, but she didn't care. We kept telling her how pretty she looked and she owned it.

Totally fierce.

Would I do it again? Yes, but not for a while.