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November, 2011:

Metal Mouth

It finally happened . . . my Dude got braces. We went for his consultation on Friday the 18th after school, and he got his braces Monday the 28th before he went to school. When we left his consultation on the 18th, he said “Wow. I left school without braces, and when I go back, I’ll have braces! That’s weird.” He was actually kinda bummed I think that he wouldn’t have the chance to tell any of his friends he was getting braces because we were leaving for MN for Turkey Week!

Here’s my Dude pre-braces – as handsome as ever :-)



Here’s my Dude with braces – still smiling and still as handsome as ever :-)


So far, no significant pain – just a little dull annoying pain in the teeth. The worst pain was mental, when he read the “Do Not Eat” list, which included popcorn and gummy candy!!! I’m sure he’ll survive the next 18 months, but it’s gonna be tough since we just got a bunch of Boy Scout popcorn :-)


I’m pretty sure all of us would jump at the opportunity to save $55 on something. Last week I tried to do just that.

I had purchased QuickBooks Pro 2012 for our home business at Sam’s Club a couple weeks ago. It was about $174 before tax. I didn’t get around to installing it, and was happy about that when I got an email from Sam’s Club with an ad for $55 instant savings on QuickBooks Pro 2012! The next day, I grabbed my receipt and my unopened box of software and headed to Sam’s to get my $55 :-) The lady at the counter was really nice . . . she tried to refund the amount. That didn’t work. So she decided to return the box and just ring it up again at the discounted price, but when she rung it up, it came up with the regular price. She asked how I knew about the sale. I told her I got an email from Sam’s Club about it.

She looked at me weird and said “Did the email come FROM Sam’s Club or someone else?” Um, I just said it came from Sam’s Club. “It came from Sam’s Club.” I could tell she didn’t believe me . . . so I yanked my trusty smartphone out of my purse and found the email to show her.

Hmmmm . . . very interesting she says. So she tries to scan the box again. Amazingly, in 5 minutes time, the price in their system hadn’t changed. She determined it must be an online only deal.

I was quite done at this point, so I decided to just let it go. Can I have my money back so I can buy this online and save me some moolah? Sure – I get my money back.

I go home, get online, and order the software with the $55 discount. At checkout I laughed out loud when I saw my option for free in-store pickup. Seriously? I have to order it online to get the discount, but then I can go to the store to pick it up almost immediately instead of paying for shipping and waiting for it?

Had I known that, I would’ve stood in the lobby and ordered it on my phone, walked back to the counter for my pickup and been on my way!

I order, I set to pick up at the same store the next morning. So I end up driving back into town to pick up what was probably the exact same box I’d returned the day before! At least I had to be in town anyway so I didn’t waste any gas . . . but still? Did it really have to be that difficult?

Spelling Tests …

. . . are a great time to brown nose the teacher!


The Cat Made Me!

What makes you think that I smudged the paint?


Pros and Cons of Working at Home

In June, Hubby and I decided it was time for me to quit my outside the home paying job and work for our own company at home. In the spirit of full disclosure, the decision may have happened something like this . . .

I get the kids on the bus. I go to work. I am home 15 minutes after they get off the bus. We do homework. We think about food. We do a family evening activity. We go to bed. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Add into that a perpetually stressed out Mommy who is frustrated at work (love the coworkers, boss, and company – just not everything that’s happening), is grumpy when she gets home, and has no time to do any of the “stuff” you have to do at home when you have 2 kiddos and a husband who runs his own business and also has another job. Cooking dinner, cleaning the house – at all – playing with the kids, keeping up with volunteer activites (which I love and will not give up) . . . all of these things were taking a huge hit. Quite frankly, I was not being a very good wife, mother, or friend.

Ultimately, we decided it wasn’t worth it. We have enough work for me to do with our company, which I am now the CEO of (ha!) and I was also approved to work 40 hours/month for Hubby and his buddy’s company, which is doing awesome. AND, I’d have time to keep up with the adult stuff you need to do when you have kiddos and own a home as well as continue with the volunteering stuff we do.

Do I love my new gig? Absolutely! Do I miss some things about leaving the house every day? Of course!

Pro – I don’t have to be up and ready to walk out the door before the kiddos get up in the morning. I can sleep a little longer and actually make them breakfast in the morning if they want me to.
Con – I don’t have to be up and ready to walk out the door before the kiddos get up in the morning. This means, that on any given day, I may not shower until after lunch. Working in fleece pants and a t-shirt is pretty darned comfy!

Pro – I am home when the kiddos get on the bus and at the bus stop when they get off. This has really always been the case – I’ve had awesome employers who were flexible with my hours – but it’s nice to not have to worry about those days when I had an early meeting or a late phone call. I just don’t schedule them for those times.
Con – There is no con for this. It’s always been important to me and will be until the day my kiddos graduate.

Pro – I can take Duma on her run/walk every morning. This has been awesome for getting myself exercise every day, which was not happening, and also for getting her exercise every day.
Con – Duma’s expectations for how often and how much she should get to exercise is directly proportionate to the previous week’s activity 😉 I can no longer get away with no exercise for her for a couple days if we just can’t fit it in. This is a good thing, I guess, except for when 9:30 p.m. rolls around and she wants to play ball!

Pro – I’ve saved quite a bit of moolah and time not having to commute to work. My commute involves me walking downstairs :-)
Con – I don’t get to see adults as much as I’d like. Maybe that’s not true – but I don’t get to interact with other adults that have things to talk about other than their kids. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kiddos and I love to talk about them and their friends and what they’re doing . . . HOWEVER I’m still my own person and I like to talk about adult things. This, I miss. I have to make more of an effort to connect with my adult friends.

Pro – I am not such a bitch. For me, the amount of stress I feel is directly related to the amount of sleep I get.
Con –  I see no con for this. I’m a much better wife, mother, and friend nowadays :-)

Pro – I can read! And do many other things I want to after the kiddos get home from school. Where I used to come home from work and have to try to figure out how to get my other stuff done around the house while still spending time with the kiddos, now I do that stuff during the way. The work stuff and the non-paying jobs. I LOVE reading again. Been awhile since I’ve had enough energy or felt I had the time to just read for pleasure.
Con – I find myself maybe quite possibly wasting some time here and there since it seems to be so abundant compared to previously.

Pro – I get to spend more time with my kiddos. Plain and simple. The older they get, the more the need me. Not necessarily to do things for them or even with them . . . but they do need me to be available more often.
Con – They think I’m available and at their disposal 24/7 because “I’m around” all the time. So not true. I find myself reminding them that I still have full days and lots of work to do. They get it and they understand – most of the time :-)

Pro – I get to chat more with Hubby. It used to be that we were both so involved with just trying to get everything done that “we” came last. Don’t get me wrong – we’ve always done lots of family stuff together, but it’s been nice to just get to sit and chat and do what we want every now and then. Me taking over our tiny little business has taken a little bit off of his plate so he can concentrate on his other two jobs :-)

Pro – I have more time to think about and cook dinner at home.
Con – I have more time to think about and cook dinner at home :-)

I could go on and on. Obviously, the pros outweigh the cons. I am so thankful that we were in a position to make the decision for me to quite my “other” job and work at home. I am even more thankful that I have a loving, understanding husband who realized that the change needed to happen and was willing to change a few things to make it happen.

Shark Attack!

I posted photos of my Princess a week or so ago when she was ready for a Halloween party. I’m finally getting around to the photos of Dude and his buddies. Being 11, he decided it was time to go with his buddies rather than his parents and sister! Who was I to say no? He’s got some awesome friends, and, believe it or not, they’re all very good kids and responsible. I loved his costume this year. It was actually a birthday gift from QT. A sweatshirt that looks all normal until you cross your arms in front of you with your elbows one above the other . . . then you’re a SHARK! You move your elbows up and down and it looks like the shark is chomping. Hilarious! The boys loved it, and Dude decided it would be his Halloween costume – yay!

Here he is with his buddies before heading out. Can I just say that I LOVED Oscar the Grouch?! He is Dude’s friend who has he exact same birthday – turns out, his mom and I gave birth to both boys in the same hospital on the same day about 3 hours apart – and now we live 3 houses away.

Anyhoo – back to Halloween in 2011 :-) The stick figure was awesome as well . . . it’s difficult to see in the light, but in the dark he was hilarious walking around!


I also got Dude a man eater hat so he had a little more to his costume. We attached a pillow case to his shirt so when he went to a door, the people had to put the candy in the shark’s mouth :-) HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Another photo with Oscar standing.


The boys had a great time and made a haul!!! People ask how old is too old to trick or treat. My answer has always been and will always be if they take the time to actually dress up in a real costume, they can go out as many years as they want :-)