Showing posts from January, 2008

the winding road

When I took Jordan to the mall play area the other day, about a half dozen teenage boys walked in. At first, I thought they should not be there since they were quite clearly over the 46" height limit. But once I saw one of them with a little boy who was probably someone's little brother, that concern disappeared. Unfortunately, it was replaced by something far more agitating: the realization that I was old enough to be the mother of these boys. When I was in high school, chances are these boys were not even born. And for whatever reason, that disturbed me.

Actually, when I think about those boys, I am reminded that at some point during my senior year in high school, I decided I wanted to be a teacher. This was after years of toying with careers in acting, biochemistry (without ever having taken a biology or chemistry class), law, social work, psychology, and I cannot remember what else. I ended up choosing high school English for a number of reasons: I really liked my English …

Dave's baby steps

So I am probably about 2/3 of the way through Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover, (thanks to my friends Ashley and Heather sending me a copy). The good news is I have already achieved baby step 1, which is to have a $1,000 emergency fund. For someone like me, who obsesses about money and cares very little about material things, this was not difficult to do. I think having an emergency fund is very important, and I do agree with Dave that you should get one started even if you have debt, something I disagreed with probably six months ago until I read an article he wrote in Readers Digest. Emergencies can and do come up, so get to it if you are not doing it now.

Alas, step 2, snowball all your debt but your mortgage as fast as you can, is where I start to run into trouble (yes, I did not get very far before hitting a roadblock). I have accumulated more than an emergency fund, but according to Dave, I should use some of my extra money to pay off my non-mortgage debt. The thought o…

Feeling lucky?

Do you consider yourself a lucky person? Years ago, I was on some kind of a roll, where I won a lot of things. I was engaged at the time, so like many other brides-to-be, I went to a handful of wedding shows/expos. I won a lot of great prizes including cookware, a basket of makeup, and more. It got to the point where I just assumed I would win a prize. In fact, at one bridal show, I really wanted to win a gift certificate to this certain bridal shop. So when the MC announced that prize, I kid you not, I stood up. I seem to recall my mom telling me to sit down, but I was so convinced I was going to win. And within seconds, the guy said my name.

One of the best prizes I won was during a raffle/drawing at the Head of the Ohio, or whatever that fall rowing event is called. I ended up winning a day at Steelers training camp. Two and a half weeks before I delivered Jordan, Mom and I got to watch a highlight video, see the Steelers practice, eat some good picnic fare, and receive autographed …

Super Bowl and Sibling Rivalry

I admit it, I am jealous of Tom Brady, which is kind of odd since I am a woman and will neither play pro football nor date a supermodel. I just did not want the Pats and Bellicheat to get to the Super Bowl. Again. But I told myself last week if the Packers made it to the big dance as well, perhaps they would win, and Brett Favre would end up with a nice ending just as the Bus did. Who can forget player introductions during Super Bowl XL when Joey Porter held back the entire team so the Bus could run out first, alone. And, doing my best Dick Vermeil impersonation, I cried after the Steelers won, and the Bus said, "The Bus stops here." Or something like that. But, alas, it was not meant to be for the Favre and the Packers. And since I read last week that Favre might not retire after this season anyway, well, I don't feel so bad. Plus I really would have felt sorry for the Giants' kicker had he missed another field goal. Sheesh.

And this brings me to today's topic: s…

Friends, family, and I'll be okay

I was recently reading a comment to a post of a former coworker's blog. The original post was about new year's resolutions, which, by the way, I have not done in years (not sure I have ever actually kept one for more than a couple of months at best). But this person's comment was about things not being as bad as they seem. True, but all too often, I forget that thought until after I had just spent hours (or days) worried about something. To paraphrase Ally McBeal (I miss that show, except for the last season) when asked why her problems always seemed so big, "Because they are MY problems." But it's true, really. When I was going through something in the fall, I kept thinking, "Why me?" Fortunately, one particular friend was there for me to vent to. Looking back now I wonder how I let myself get so worked up. You just get through things. You move on. And more things are thrown your way. And you get through those as best as you can. All that said, whe…

kindergarten already

Next week are sign ups for kindergarten at Jordan's preschool. I think it is awfully early to have to register. But the Catholic school that we are also considering sending J to has early sign ups as well. I was really hoping to delay this decision until at least April, but I may not be able to.

Jordan's preschool teacher said she is ready for kindergarten as a next step. Part of me wanted the teacher to say that she was not, so I could feel good about not sending her only a few days after she turns 5. After all, this is going to be quite a transition going from two days of preschool and extended care (plus two days at an at-home daycare). But if she is supposedly ready, should I hold her back? I am almost decided on keeping J at her current school, where she would go to kindergarten for 2.5 hours a day as opposed to the 6.5 hours a day kindergarten at the Catholic school, which is actually about $135 cheaper a month because of fewer extended care hours needed. (Half-day kinder…

my views on politics

I thought I would write about Britney Spears. Just kidding! No, today's rambling will be about my views on political issues. I have taken a couple of those "find your candidate quizzes" and even when I answer questions differently at different times, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mike Huckabee, and Duncan Hunter tend to end up in my top four, in different orders, though Paul is often first. About the only republicans who never seem to show up as being aligned with my views are Romney and Rudy. I consider myself a moderate conservative, but some would disagree, I am sure.

I feel the most strongly about keeping and increasing tax cuts, keeping/getting the economy going, and limiting federal spending. I am a capitalist, and I don't think the rich should have fewer tax cuts, as some people do. But I also don't like caps on things once you make a certain amount, so long as we have the awful tax system we do now. Seriously, where does our money go? PA is pretty bad when it com…

Only child

Most of my friends know I don't really want another child. I was spouting off the reasons to two of my dearest and oldest (not in age) friends over the weekend. I told Chris I probably have about 53 reasons, but only about a half dozen I could come up with at that point:

I don't really like babies unless I can hold them for a bit and give them back when they cry. I remember holding a coworker's baby when I was about six months pregnant. It felt awkward, and I looked as if I was in pain. It is easier to keep track of just one kid; I was freaked out enough when I took Jordan on her first airplane ride. If I had two, I probably would have been weeping the entire time. People are more willing to watch only one kid. I can hold my one kid relatively easily (though not for long); I watched my niece and nephew beg to be held by my then eight-months pregnant sister-in-law last month and wondered how she handled it. And with more than two, that is more hands than you have!Once you ge…

technology and football

Generally speaking, I am not a big fan of technology. I like email, but sometimes I miss the days when college friends and I would mail each other letters over the summer. I am glad I have my cell phone, but with many minutes and free long distance, it is no longer $ keeping me from calling my faraway friends, just time (and that laziness thing again). I like auto bill pay and paying bills online because my memory is awful and I like scheduling and paying a bill when it suits me. But even with my limited technology prowess (I hope this is the right word, but I am sure one of my wordy friends will correct me if not), I think having a blog will just give me one more reason to be on the computer every evening.

Like I just had to write another post today because of football. The Manning I thought would be playing next weekend will be staying home instead. And the Manning I thought would be vacationing next week will instead be heading to Green Bay. I did not catch too much of either game, …

true ramblings

Cursed insomnia visited last night. I do not do well on four hours of sleep (or anything much less than eight most nights really). I fell asleep before 11, having a caught a few minutes of Bob Pompeani's Nightly Sports Call (or whatever that is called), but could not bring myself to stay awake for the end of the NE-Jax game. I was pretty sure I knew how that was going to turn out. But when I woke up, wide awake around 11:45, I had to turn on ESPN to confirm what I was dreading. And, yes, Bill Belicheat and his Pats won. How can a quarterback be so nearly perfect? For one thing, not being with your child's mother and up every time your baby gets up probably helps. And why does Belicheat always look so grumpy? Is it because someone cut off a few inches from his sweatshirt sleeves? I would rather watch Jack Del Rio wear suits on the sidelines (or JoePa wear floods).

I guess I am a little bitter still about the Steelers not being in the playoffs. But that was a great game. Well wor…

my first post

I will keep my first post short and sweet. Anyone who knows me knows that brevity is not my strong spot.

It is a fairly warm day (40s) for western PA in January. Hubby, daughter and I had a nice walk in the park, although that reminded me that I have not been to the gym for probably 10 months now. Not sure why I avoid that place, other than I am lazy. For the love of pete, it is five minutes from my house. But I am not lazy about exercise in general; I walk at lunch with my buds most days. I try to park as far away from most stores as possible. And, I am also not one who loves to part with my money easier, and yet I continue to pay $17/month for something I never use. Maybe the couple of years I went six days a week and my membership was something like $9 somehow balances it out?

Well, I am hungry (what else is new) and should probably check on my kid who has been watching Scooby-Doo for over an hour (bad parent).