Wednesday, February 28, 2007

If you're going to complain to me about something,

then I'm going to assume you are volunteering to fix the problem. So think twice before griping to me.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Am I glowing yet?

March 2005, I broke my foot pretty ferociously (2nd, 3rd and 4th metatarsals, if you were wondering). The next six weeks were a morass of pain, follow-up doctor appointments and x-rays. First couple were at the ER. Then I had at least 2 a week for the next 4 weeks (I wonder if my breastmilk was radioactive...) It was lots of fun, especially considering I'd given birth February and didn't have anyone to help me on day to day stuff... but I digress.

Something has been a little bit wrong with that foot ever since the break healed. That little bit wrong has escalated to a whole lot wrong (including grinding, popping and pulling sensations plus considerable pain). So I go back to the doctor on Thursday where I will get yet another in a continuous series of x-rays on my foot. Anyone have a geiger counter for my foot?

I've been doing some online searching, because I strongly suspect my foot's going to have surgery (please, please not that!), and I will not go through another 6 weeks on crutches! I found this lovely gadget:

It looks like the perfect solution for a brand new mama who is trying to care for her baby while staying completely off one foot! I would have happily paid for this contraption myself even if insurance would not.


I hate the news

Link to story:

That isn't the base where my dad has gone, but still...


Monday, February 26, 2007

Groan Quotient 2007-02-26

Compliments of my sister:

Three little pigs walk into a restaurant and take a seat. Their waiter arrives promptly to take their drink order.

The first little pig says, 'I'd like to have a glass of tea.'
The second little pig says, 'I'll have a Coke.'
The third little pig says, 'I want a big glass of water.'

After bringing their drinks, the waiter asks them what they would like to eat.

The first little pig answers, 'I'll have the steak and mashed potatoes.'
The second little pig replies, 'I'll have the chicken and grilled vegetables.'
The third little pig adds, 'I need a huge glass of water and keep it full, please.'

The first two pigs enjoy their dinner while the third pig drinks glass after glass of water.

After a bit, the waiter asks for their dessert orders.

The first little pig says, 'I'll have the peach cobbler.'
The second little pig says, 'I'll have the chocolate brownie.'
The third little pig says, 'I'll have another glass of water.'

Intrigued the waiter says to the third little pig, 'I don't mean to pry, but I notice your friends have all had a great dinner while you've done nothing but drink water. Do you mind telling me what is going on?'

The third little pig replies, 'Ah, it's nothing, I'm just the one who's supposed to go wee-wee-wee all the way home.'

har, har.

Party on the Brain!

S. is getting ramped up with excitement over her upcoming birthday party coming in April. We've given her the latest Oriental Trading Co. catalog to look through for theme ideas while riding to and from school. She is too cute flipping pages and oohing over each and every party theme. Reminders that she can only pick one theme are met with everything from open defiance to bargaining.

We consistently remind her that she can always pick something different next year. This doesn't always go over well, LOL.

Since my dad headed back to Afghanistan, she's latched onto a rather clever way to pick a second theme. She wants us to throw him a welcome home party when he gets back home for good.

So Dad, if you're reading this, S. wants to have a princess welcome home party for you so that she can turn around and have a horse birthday party for her. How do you feel about crowns and princess dresses?


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Too tired for this

We have had a lovely windstorm (no rain, thank goodness), and Mr. W. called me (at work, of course) to tell me we had shingles coming off our roof...

Friday, February 23, 2007

I am my father's daughter

I guess it was bound to happen. Dad's got a terrible case of acid reflux, and I take after him in a lot of ways. My recent dips into 10-12 hour work days are tearing up my stomach. The last 3 mornings, I woke up with stomach acid churning. blegh

This schedule cannot keep on forever. I have got to get these projects out the door before I do permanent damage to myself...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Vital Stats - 2 year checkup

Weight: 28 lbs - 70th %ile
Height: 34.25 in - 75th %ile
Head: 19.5 in - 85th %ile

L. had her 2 year check up this morning (I love 7:30 appointments) where she was a complete clown through the whole thing. Dr asked her to open her mouth, she clamped down on the little wood popsicle stick chortling away. She giggled through the whole checkup and wasn't the least bit nervous with Nurse B (our favorite) or the dr. She did have to get one shot and gave a pretty good long howl of protest. It was over just as soon as Nurse B slapped on the band-aid.

S. was very well-behaved too. She sat still and waited her turn to talk while the dr ran through the standard 2 year well visit interview.

Afterward, I loaded the girls back in the van, and S. (the elephant) announced, 'The heart lollipop reminds me of Valentine's day.'

I answered with, 'That's nice, S.'

She came back with, 'So are you sorry you threw it away?'

Monday, February 19, 2007

Games we play

Many mornings on the way to school we play 'guess that animal.' The rules are fairly simple:

  1. Describe an animal.
  2. You are not allowed to change the animal once people start guessing
  3. The person who guesses the animal gets to go next.

Simple, right?

S. is pretty good at picking out obscure animals (kimodo dragon, anyone?), but she really had us stumped this morning.

Her description: It's all white, it has a long straight furry tail, very short stubby little legs and a long body.

Mr. W. and I tossed out white wolf, snow rabbit, kitty cat, possum and other assorted critters that could be considered 'white' to no avail. We eventually gave up and asked S. what her animal was. Her answer: I don't know.

Any takers on what she was describing? Was she just making it up?


Updated: It was a ferret! We figured it out on the drive home last night. Applause to Mayberry!

But I still had ten minutes...

Argh! Server backups start at 8:00 PM, so why, oh why, was I kicked off at 7:50?

You gotta love S.

Little miss S. has a really bad habit of not giving a care in the world for the consequences of her actions. Friday night, she snuck some candy out of her Valentine stash. I caught her shoveling Nerds in her mouth just as fast as she could while hunched down in a ball on our couch. I marched her little self to the bathroom and made her spit everything out. After I checked that all sugar substances had been flushed away, I brushed her teeth. Then, we marched to the kitchen where I picked out three items from her stash and threw them away. After a suitable period of wailing, I marched her to bed, kissed her, said prayers with her and threatened her with Daisy removal if she got out again. Laying there snug in her blankets and cuddling her stuffed dog, she peered up at me through those long lashes and said, 'Mommy, why are you angry?'

I sighed, and said, 'S. I am angry because you did something you absolutely knew you shouldn't have done. I love you. Now go to sleep.'

I will not give up on parenting this child. I will not give up on parenting this child. I will not give up on parenting this child. I will not give up on parenting this child. I will not give up on parenting this child. I will not give up on parenting this child. I will not give up on parenting this child. I will not give up on parenting this child. I will not give up on parenting this child.


Birthday baby

L.'s birthday party went off without a hitch on Saturday. Well, except for the part where Mr. W., my dad and S. went to run a couple of quick errands. Two hours later and 45 minutes before the party was supposed to start, they dragged themselves back home with lunch.

It was great having my folks, my sister and her boy, plus Mr. W's family, our 'surrogate' grandparents, and a couple with kids close to our kids' ages over. I made a wacky cake (made with flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, vinegar, vanilla extract, oil and water) that people enjoyed well enough that we only had 1 piece left over!

The kids were great. L. handled having a house full of people (some of whom she did not know all that well) with great composure. She's at that odd age where she flips from being afraid of everyone back to her normal trust everyone in sight self. She was a little nervous about my folks, but she got over it pretty quickly. S. was her normal raucous self, and oddly enough, provided a little comfort for the friends who brought their boy over. Somebody's mother in law left her daughter in law feeling insecure about her son's behavior. She was on the receiving end of, 'If you'd put him in daycare, he would learn to behave better.' (What a way to compliment someone's parenting... not!) A.'s parents were kind of glad to see S. exhibit some of the same behaviors (and she's been in daycare since 6 weeks). And it wasn't like the kids were being awful. Normal stuff like screeching just for the sake of trying to burst ear drums. Dumping a basket full of toys all over the floor after having been told not to. Running laps around the living room. None of that is indicative (in my not so humble opinion) of a serious behavior problem.

During the party, I told them that I didn't see anything wrong with A.'s behavior. He is a bit like S. in that he has no fear of authority, and the consequences for bad behavior just don't phase him very much. We really need to get A. and S. to play together more often. They are almost always really good together.

They did have one minor altercation during the party. S. and A. had been playing in the girls' room when A. came out demanding that everybody stop. When every adult was looking his way, he said, 'S. hit me in the head with something.' Since he wasn't crying, and S. hadn't run out first to try to head off his story, I didn't think it was all that serious. A.'s earnestness did give me a fit of giggles.

L. was great fun opening presents. She played with everything that she got right away, and each of our guests felt good that they had picked out something she liked. Of course, this kid has never seen a toy she didn't love, but we don't need to get into that.

S. has a giant squishy stuffed dog named Daisy. The older L. has gotten, the more they fight over Daisy. When Mr. W. brought out a somewhat smaller version of Daisy for L., she squealed with delight, dove onto the dog and rolled around hugging him/her tight. I'm hoping we have a little puppy peace for a bit.

Happy birthday, L. I love you to the moon and back.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Mr. W's truck hates me and other trivia

It's time for the V-Day recap! Yay! (please note the sarcasm)

In a mild attempt to scrape up a tiny little bit of the Valentine spirit, I decided that I would order appetizer salads from Outback carry-out. Mr. W. was steaming shrim, and I thought I could contribute at least a little bit to the meal in my own special way.

I called in my order, and it was to be ready about exactly ten minutes after I planned to leave the office. Perfect! I packed up my stuff and walked out to the truck.

Because Mr. W had the kids, and their carseats won't fit in the truck, he drove the van, and I drove his first love. Okay, well, it's the first new vehicle he ever bought, and he is deeply attached to it. Mr. W's truck and I have never gotten along well. The silly thing shocks the living daylights out of me (and nobody else!) on a really regular basis. Plus, the seats are at exactly the right angle and shape to send my back into spasms and shooting pain down the back of my right leg within 30 minutes of sitting. On top of that, the driver side door will not open normally for me. I have to beat on the thing before it will open while Mr. W just pulls the handle and poof! open sesame. In other words, we both sacrificed in order for me to drive that truck yesterday.

The truck lulled me into a false sense of security by starting right away, and not even shocking me very much when I climbed in (I think it already knew what was in store). When I arrived at Outback, I put the rotten thing in park and switched off the engine only to discover that the steering wheel had locked in such a way that I couldn't jiggle it in order to turn the key. After a minute or two trying futilely to get the thing unstuck, I decided I'd go ahead and pick up our order. Maybe the truck would forget it was me driving, if I gave her a couple of minutes. I opened my purse and found... no wallet! I had left the confounded thing back in my desk at the office. Furious digging hoping to find just one little credit card was fruitless and the steering wheel was still stuck.

After hitting the steering wheel a few times, I called Mr. W and told him he needed to come get me. Sounding tired and testy, he asked me if I'd jiggled the steering wheel. I yelled back that of course I had tried to jiggle the wheel, but it was stuck. Mr. W said they were already home, but he would come on out. Because I was so teed off, and he sounded so tired, I gave it one last try. I pulled the key out of the ignition, swore to the truck that if it didn't start, it's next home would be the junkyard and beat the ever-living-daylights out of the steering wheel. Miraculously, the threats and beating were enough to cow it into (temporary) subservience.

I wound up calling Mr. W back and asking him to just head back home with the girls. I'd run back to the office for my wallet, pick up the takeout and head home.

Meanwhile, the truck ate the keys I needed in order to get back in the building. I could not find them for anything once I was in the office parking lot. Praying for mercy from the security guard, I walked up to the front door only to find it was still unlocked! While disturbing from a security standpoint, I was sorely tempted to blow raspberries back at the truck.

I dashed back to my desk, found my wallet and scurried back to the truck. Armed with the knowledge of how to tame the beast, I gave it the junkyard warning complete with pounding on steering wheel. The truck started right up, and my keys popped out from under the console!

The drive back to Outback was uneventful, and the truck didn't even need reminding of its place when I cranked it back up to drive home.

Halfway home, I realized the little orange line thingy was sitting on 'E' as in , I'm going to strand you on the side of the road. Thinking I didn't need to push my luck that far, I stopped in at the gas station. After putting $30 worth of gas in it, the truck paid me back by shocking my hand so badly, it still hurt 30 minutes later. Stupid truck!

After spending 2 hours enduring my little comedy of errors, I got home only to realize why I'd felt itchy most of the day... I'd managed to put my underwear on wrong side out and not realized all day long.

I wonder if it would behave any better if I conveniently left some salvage/junkyard ads laying around inside the cab...


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bah... Heartbug

It's Valentine's day, and I'm perhaps the biggest V-Day scrooge on the planet.

I hate February. It is the 'ugly stepsister' month of the year, and I hate it. My friends are well aware of this sentiment (my grandmother joined me when my grandfather died in... you guessed it, February) and somewhere I have a comic strip that shows the eleven normal months of the year wearing Roman togas and looking handsome and polished. At the tail end is February, who's sporting a hump on his back and extra hair and moles. It pretty much summarizes my feelings on the subject.

My loved ones and I better be appreciating each other all year. Devoting one day a year to acknowledge those you love is a cop-out. Buying their affection with some jewelry, flowers or candy is not enough. I want special attention all year, and I better, by golly, be giving it right back. Plus, if I never see another 'Every kiss begins with K' commercial again, it will be too soon.

I'm tired. End of year work related crap and ensuing fall out are still kicking my butt. My 12-16 hour work days (plus another 6-8 hrs on weekends) leave precious little time for me to fuss around with valentines and special treats. I don't think the kids have been scarred, yet.

Mr. W. has a card that I haven't written in yet, and I've done nothing for the kiddoes. Heck, Mr. W. signed the valentine cards for the kids' parties, baked the cookies for S.' class and bought the pretzels for L's class. Looking for a candidate for mother of the year, anyone?

Maybe I will leave work close to on time today so that S. and I can make valentines together. It'd sure be nice to be home for dinner for a change...

Oh, and did I mention that L. turns 2 on Sunday, we have a pile of people coming to stay at our pigsty, er, house, and we don't even have a birthday present for the girl?


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Dumb things I already knew

  1. The magnet in your cell phone's speakerphone speaker will pick up a paper clip. How many of you with speaker phones are going to try this?
  2. A Cartesian join does bad, bad, bad things to servers that have limited capacity. Specially when one table has 1,000,000 rows, the second table has 300,000 and the third table has 3,600. For those of you non-techy: I was supposed to pull back 775,000 rows. Instead, my procedure tried to pull back somewhere in the neighborhood of 775,000,000,000 rows. Big, stupid!stupid!stupid! difference.
  3. Programmers who get called in the night because their job blew up because your query has a really, really, really stupid basic mistake aren't always in the best mood.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

You're taking this too personally...

Today I stuck my foot in and my neck out further than I have in a long, long time. Let’s hope I still have a job tomorrow. For what it’s worth, I know in my deepest heart that nothing I did today was done out of malicious intent.

Yesterday afternoon, Department Head gave me the green light for talking to Deciding VP regarding what I need to be doing differently in order to be better qualified for the manager training program. Unable to catch Deciding VP by phone, I sent him an e-mail asking when would be a good time to discuss my training program application. 11:15 this morning, he called and asked if now would be a good time to talk. I (naturally) answered yes, ran a brush through my hair, grabbed a notepad and pen and walked down the hall to his office.

While more productive than the meeting I had with HR Director, I still left it with a somewhat unpleasant taste in my mouth. I told him I was looking for areas to improve in order to enhance my chances next year. I was told I needed to take a more active role in presenting findings present in my analyses (true!). He commented that I would do 98% of the work and then let someone else present (like my Department Head). My response was (and I can’t believe I actually SAID this to him), ‘So my habit of trying to make those I work for look good has bitten me on the butt.’ He responded, ‘No it hasn’t bitten you on the butt.’

Deciding VP then went on to say that it came down to a choice between me and Other Guy, and Other Guy had certain qualifications that I don’t and would have come out ahead even if I had presented more of my findings. Two big issues I have with his comments are 1) I have comparable, if going in a slightly different direction, qualifications and 2) at least one of those qualifications is at least 2/3 a lie. It really burns me up when people cheat and get away with it. I was assured that I am very well respected blah-blah-blah can almost guarantee I’ll be in the program next year, blah-blah-blah. Plus, I'm taking all this way too personally.

After meeting with Deciding VP, I visited with Supervisor, and gave her the highlights. I also said that I doubted anyone in the company had ever looked at Other Guy’s transcript. When she asked me what I was saying, I responded with, ‘I’m not saying anything.’ She later went to Other Guy to ask him how things were going, and somehow got him to tell her about the lie pertaining to his qualifications. I don’t know what she will do with this bit of information, but I do hope the final result is that Other Guy understands that lying to your boss and the company is a bad idea. It’s not like the truth would have hurt him three years ago when he first applied to the company, but the lie could really damage some reputations. We shall see.

On a roll, I went to Department Head’s office and asked if he had a few minutes. I told him I spoke with Deciding VP and gave Department Head the highlights of our conversation. After we talked about it for a bit, Department Head asked me what I felt was the most unsatisfactory part of my meeting with Deciding VP. I told him the fact that it had taken an entire month to happen. If it hadn’t taken so long, I probably wouldn’t have been ‘taking this way too personally.’

I also asked Department Head if there was anything being done about the first name, last name thing for our clerks. I told him I was concerned that it seems our most conscientious clerks are the most upset about this, and I fear they are going to leave the company. He agreed with me and said that the concerns were not being completely ignored.

Then I asked him if I could close the door to his office, because there was something I needed to discuss with him. He made a wisecrack and then told me it was fine. After I sat back down, I told him I was worried about our secretary, and he needed to make an effort to be nice to her. She is afraid of him and is taking his inherent rudeness personally. His response? ‘So you’re saying I need to stop acting like myself.’ My answer, ‘Yes. She has had a hard time recently, including a divorce, and it would make a difference to her if you would be pleasant to her. If you are looking for a topic of conversation, she does have two cats she adores.’ I told him I had broken a large number of confidences coming to him about this, but I felt he needed to know. Department Head seemed to take everything I said with good grace, but he can be funny (and very rude). It doesn’t really bother me, since I have relatively thick skin, but I would hate to lose a pleasant and hard working secretary.

That’s all I’ve been up to today. Let’s hope I find my patient, pleasant streak again tomorrow. I’m set to have a marathon series of phone calls with several sales managers…


Wednesday, February 07, 2007


My dad has a teasing streak a couple hundred miles wide. This made for a somewhat rocky relationship between us during my teenage years. His inability to refrain from teasing me, and my inability to not rise to the bait led to many, many episodes of tears and slammed doors. (Did you know that doors hung on those old-style door hinges popular 100 years or so ago pop right off if you slam the door hard enough?) He never did learn his lesson, and the teasing continues to this day. However, vengeance is sweet. Especially vengeance that resulted from a cooperative effort between me, my sister, K, and Mr. W.

Dad decided to take advantage of my huge aversion to motorcycles earlier this week. He told K to call me up and tell me all about how he and Mom were going to buy Harleys and go cross-country cycling. My sister is quite convincing, and I came pretty close to buying her line. However, she went soft and fessed up that Dad was merely trying to get my goat.

After a few minutes discussing Dad's little habit of picking on his children, we came up with the perfect payback prank.

K. called Dad and told him she had fed me the line like he asked, and I was upset. In fact, I was so hysterical, that she couldn't be the one to tell me it was just a joke. In fact, she said he had to call me back and confess all, because she sure wasn't going to. When dear old Dad called back, I had Mr. W. answer the phone. In a very disappointed, serious tone, Mr. W. told my sweet father that I was very upset, and he needed to talk to me.

The phone was passed to me, and in an Oscar-worthy performance, I told Dad how very worried I was. I told him all about my co-worker's mom who is currently paralyzed and dealing with a life-threatening infection all resulting from a motorcycle wreck. Dad finally fessed up that he was just kidding around. I told him it was not nice at all to upset people like this. How on earth could he think this was funny?

About that time, Dad became very dejected and apologized. Once the apology came out of his mouth, I busted out laughing so hard I nearly peed myself. His (classic) response? 'Okay... okay... okay... okay...' ad nauseum.

Mom says he is now plotting and scheming to get back at us. Good luck, Daddy, dear. We outnumber you!


Monday, February 05, 2007

Pretty Much What I Expected

E-mailed HR director again this morning asking when we could meet. Meeting was scheduled for 3:30. When I arrived at 3:30 (promptly), he was on the phone. After about 5 minutes listening to him complain about some 48 hour tummy bug thing, I was ready to run far, far away. When he finally hung up, he asked me into his office (I had been sitting on one of the chairs just outside his office).

Short answer: He hasn't worked with me and doesn't know my work. When I answered that I understood two VPs who are very familiar with my work were on the deciding committee, he didn't have an answer. When I pressed for an area where I could stand to improve in order to qualify next year, he responded that I needed to do a self assessment. We went round and round for 20 minutes or so before I gave up and started asking him what skills the training program was intended to impart.

What a crock!


Friday, February 02, 2007


Q: How much blood will a split lip drip, if a split lip did drip blood?

A: Judging by the amount on L., the carpet and me after she bit her lip, quite a lot.


Beginning to think he's avoiding me...

January 11 - I received notice that I was not accepted into the manager training program for which I had applied. I e-mailed our hr director asking what weaknesses lost me this opportunity.

January 12 - I find out a certain other co-worker, who has considerably less experience than I (among other things) was accepted into the program. No word from HR director. (fade from disappointed to angry)

January 15 - 19 - still no word from HR director.

January 22 - e-mail sent to HR director, again asking for feedback. This time, I copied my direct supervisor as well as department head.

January 23 - HR director e-mails me that he wants to talk to my supervisor and department head before he visits with me. Please note that they were not on the deciding committee, while HR director was. (Supervisor and department head declined speaking to HR director.)

January 24-30 - no word from HR director.

January 31 - I am home sick (stoopid sinuses!) and HR director leaves a message on my voice mail about setting up a meeting on Feb 1.

February 1 - Meeting is arranged for 2:30, pushed back to 3:00, pushed back until later, never heard back from HR director the rest of the day. He was, however, chitchatting with someone else at 5:10 pm when I stopped by to drop off my signed copy of the latest security policy. Meeting rescheduled for February 2 at 10:00 am.

February 2, 10:00 am - HR director's office is dark, and the secretary informed me he has called in sick for the day. (nice how he thought to have his appointments rescheduled?)


To add insult to injury, HR director spent most of January 30 and January 31 giving 'customer service' presentations. Included within those presentations were the statements that our fellow employees are our customers, and that as HR director, all other employees are his customers. I'm thinking his actions (or lack thereof) toward me do not exemplify the height of customer service.

Of course, this is the same person who announced that from here on out, we are to give our first and last names when answering the phones. This includes the clerks who take some pretty nasty calls from irate policyholders. When concerns were expressed regarding our clerks' safety, his response was, 'I've never heard of anything like that happening, and if it does, we will deal with it at that time.' His sensitivity has created an environment of fear and anger. Fear from our clerks who take the occasional threatening phone call on a rotating basis, and anger from those same clerks whose safety concerns have been completely brushed aside. I am angry on their behalf.

Fellow co-worker asked me what I wanted to hear from this interview with HR director. My response? I want him to give me one area where I can stand to use some improvement, but where my co-worker, who made it into the manager training program, excels. That's really all I want. Somehow, I doubt I will get it.