Thursday, December 31, 2009

Finally, Kameron's Christmas!

Since the weather poo'd on our Christmas plans last week, we didn't get to see Kameron. That means, we missed her birthday AND Christmas. We hadn't seen her in 2 weeks. Today, we picked her up and we get to spend the whole weekend with her! WooHoo!

We got her some clothes and jammies for here, and two bigger things: One for her birthday and one for Christmas. One is a toy that she can walk behind to help her learn to walk, or you can convert it into a ride-on toy. She likes it both ways. She's walking ALL over the house behind that thing.

The other is a toy that shoots balls out the top, and they then go down a chute and around a ramp until they shoot up again. She figured out how to turn it on (it goes for about 30 seconds each time) within the first two rounds. She's having fun with it, too.

Now, she's had her bath, is lounging in warm jammies, and is just hanging out with us. She's talking more and more, and sometimes she surprises us by talking, rather than jabbering. Natalie reached her arms out toward her and said, "Wanna come here?" Kameron reached up to her and said, "OK!" We laughed so hard. Her vocabulary has probably doubled in the last couple of weeks, although there is plenty of jabbering still going on.

OK, back to the festivities!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December 29, 2009

Well this year is almost gone. I say, "Good Riddance."

So much illness and death at work. So much financial turmoil. So much heartache for friends.

I try not to wish my life away, but it's only 2 days, so I'll say it:

Come on, 2010. Let's do it!

I need a change.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Raising the Flags

Since I've moved to the front counter, I've assumed responsibility for the flags. We have an American flag and an H&H flag. We put them up as long as there is no precipitation. We don't leave them up all night, since we don't have a light on them, and one was stolen once.

I take the flag responsibility quite seriously. When no ONE person was responsible for the front counter (we spent over a year with rotating schedules for coverage) the flags didn't make it up as often as they should have. They were forgotten, or left up in the rain (only once) or something, but most people thought it a hassle to deal with them.

Not I. I love the fact that I can show the respect that my company has for the US flag. I've subscribed to an email service that tells when it should be half-mast. I check the forecast daily before raising them, and I make sure they are raised before the doors are opened each day, weather permitting. I love it, and I've had comments from coworkers, appreciating seeing them when they drive in.

I am reliable enough that, if I warn Dan (the boss) that I may be late, he says, "I'll know if you're here by looking for the flags." Yeah, I know. I just love making sure they're up, no matter the temperature.

This morning, I had heard that the sun would shine today, despite the temps. WooHoo! I headed out at 8:00 this morning with the flags in hand. This is when I had the thought, "You can't get there from here." The drift around the flag pole was higher than my knees, and I only had the one pair of shoes!

I told the maintenance supervisor, Scott, that I had a low-priority request. (Low priority because they were working on a paper processor, which would stop production.) I asked if he could make a path, even if it was only the width of the shovel.

I felt bad about him having to walk out there and do this, after that's ALL they'd done all morning to prepare the parking lots and walkways for employees, but I appreciated it, too. Before long, I had my path. He's so good to me.

I used that path to raise those flags, and it made me happy and proud. They flew all day. SO worth it.

Well, it was worth it to me. I hope it was worth it to Scott.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Long Weekend is Over

We survived, but barely.

Thursday, the girls and I shopped. Friday, we lazed around, ate to much, and found out our guests couldn't make it, due to the roads. It snowed a lot and the wind blew like crazy and the roads weren't being cleared very quickly.

Saturday, we lazed some more and ate too much again. Mom and Dad came by for a bit, and then it was back to just the 4 of us, eating and reclining.

Today, I woke up early, took a shower, and climbed back into bed to watch CBS Sunday Morning. After that, I ventured into the living room and sat. It was shaping up to be another day like the past 2 had been.

I made potato soup (my best effort ever) and we ate that. Finally, we decided we'd seen enough of these walls (and each other) and got into the Smokin' Hot Neon to hit the streets. We went to Wal Mart, stopped to say "Hi" to Brett, and he loaned us a movie. I'd been wanting to see The Hangover for a long time, and it finally came out on DVD.

Back home, we ate again (I know...*sigh*) and Kevin and I watched the movie. SO good. I laughed so hard. I'm glad I didn't anticipate that movie since it's theater release, just to be disappointed. We never see movies until they're released on DVD, and this one was VERY worth the wait.

Tomorrow will find me back at work, and I'm ready. I know, crazy, huh? I can only take so much of being at home. So much lazy. So much food.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Cancelled Plans

The plans were: Brett would pick up Kameron and come out tonight, both of them spending the night. Early in the morning, Kevin's sister's family, plus his Mom, would head up from Carthage and be here mid-morning. It was a good, solid plan. Much junk food was purchased/made.

Then, my wish for a White Christmas came true. Kami's mom doesn't want her out on the roads, Brett could barely get a couple blocks from his house earlier today, and we just got the call that Kevin's family is staying off the roads. No visitors.

We were all mighty bummed. Then, I made the announcement that with nobody coming, we may as well eat some of this food. Moose Munch Crunch was opened, bread sliced, chili heated, and cookies consumed. We're feeling a bit better, now.

I wonder why we're overweight?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009

Well, we did it. The girls and I left home around 7:15, stopped at Mom's for the $$$ she was giving the girls for Christmas, and headed to the mayhem. Gordman's was our first stop, and the girls got some clothes. From there, we headed to work. Yeah, that's right.

I called to confirm my suspicions that there were only about 10 folks working. 3 of them were working for customer service, so that I wouldn't have to. The girls and I stopped at QT to pick up winter treats for everyone. 4 mochas, 4 french vanilla cappuccinos, and 2 fat free vanilla cappuccinos. Yup, we walked into the lab with 10 hot drinks.

It was so fun to pass them around and wish our friends a Merry Christmas. It alleviated the guilt that I had for playing while they worked. LOL The best part, though, was seeing my friends and coworkers smile that big. I work with some cool people.

After that was WalMart, which was chaotic, and we stood in line for 45 days. From there, we went to lunch at Red Lobster, and I married a cheddar bay biscuit. Sorry Kevin, but I LOVE those things.

After that was Target in Blue Springs. We hadn't been there yet (they opened recently,) so we gave it a shot. Shopping wasn't bad, but the lines were long. I was there for 34 days. After we got in the car, I realized that I didn't know how to get out of the parking lot. I drove in circles for a few minutes, and Natalie suggested calling Fox 4 Problem Solvers. Fortunately, we didn't need to.

After we collected some Sonic "happy hour" sodas, we came home. Kevin promptly left to get groceries. Yes, another store trip. He took my car "just in case" and it was a good thing. By the time he headed home from Richmond, it was freezing rain instead of rain. He got groceries, a few necessities, and gifts for the girls to give to me.

Yes, he's worse than me about not being able to wait...they gave them to me tonight. I have a CAMERA BAG! Sweet! Also, I have some kick-butt head phones like his, that I kept borrowing. I suspect that I received those so he could get his own set back, but that's just a guess. Thank you girls, and thank you Kevin!

Now the wind is howling, the ice is flying, and snow is already in KC, almost to arrive here. It WILL be a white Christmas! YEAH! Unfortunately, if it does as they say it will, Kameron's momma doesn't want her traveling, so we may not get her. I just hope the roads are clear, so she can come. I'm not upset at her mom for this: I'd rather her be over-protective than to be neglectful.

OK, I'm rambling. The girls got their hair dyed tonight, we're all snuggled in and waiting for the snow, and I'm listening to music with some AWESOME headphones. Merry Christmas to everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Attention: Kevin Conway!

Busy season is over. I have 4 long days off. I'll see family, eat too much, and relax. Life is good, my friends.

There is this guy. His name is Kevin. He worked at H&H for 147 years. He stops by from time to time to see this person or that person. Now that I'm at the front counter, I see him when he comes in. He's an awesome Teddy Bear of a guy, and I like it when he stops by.

He came by today, and we made some small talk while he waited for the person that he came to see. He said that he loves my mom's blog, and he reads it all the time. Then, he mentioned that he also reads my blog, but my mom's is better.

Yes, Kevin. That's for you.

It's weird how he found Mom's blog. He saw her comment on Pioneer Woman's blog, way back when, and checked her out. While on mom's blog, he saw a picture of me and made the connection! Weird.

At 4 today, I took my computer and a bunch of other stuff out to my car which was parked on the street, so I wouldn't have to carry everything out at 5. I heard a car running (Kim, from work) and knew she was soon to leave. I put everything in my car and locked it up, as I heard her car pull away and pass behind me.

Knowing I was safe, I shut the door, turned around and started across the street...right in front of Kevin's car. He could have run over me, but instead, he rolled his window down and told me that with 4 days off, he'd better see 4 blog posts.

OK, Kevin. Here's the first one!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Last Day of Fall

Yes, Winter begins tomorrow. I'm cold from October until March, so it makes no never-mind to me, but the days will start getting L-O-N-G-E-R! I'm all for sunshine.

Natalie spent the night with a friend on Friday night, while Monica slept over at grandma's. Natalie called Saturday morning to ask if she could stay another night. Both girls know the rules: If you want to stay a second night, you come home for a few hours, shower and get more clothes, and then you can go back.

Natalie came home to fulfill this obligation and Monica got an invite via a phone call. What? 2 nights with no kids? Weird. Natalie's hosts were taking her with them to a Christmas party, and she had a ball. She ate a ton of junk food.

7ish this morning, Kevin got a text from Natalie, asking him to come get her. She didn't feel well. Apparently, she texted me, too. I was too deep in slumberland to answer. (sorry, Nat.) Anyway, Kevin got her, brought her home, put her on the couch with a quilt, and placed a trash can near her.

It wasn't much later that she went into the bathroom and threw up. Oh boy. Here we go. She slept most of the day. Kevin and I went grocery shopping and I made sure to throw some 7-up into the cart. All she's held down all day is 7-up and a few crackers. She tried to eat a hot pocket, but that didn't last long. *sigh*

Monica's hosts invited her to stay another night (since there is no school, and her hosts are moving in 3 days,) but you know the drill. She must come home to get supplies and shower. She did, and Kevin took her back over there around 5.

Survivor was good. The season is over, and I lost a bit of respect for Russell, the way he was pouting. Whatever. He's a millionaire anyway. We listened to much of the Chiefs game on the radio, and it was as annoying as a puking kid, a whining reality-show guy, or a mountain of laundry that I can't overcome.

This week has been a long time coming. I'm looking forward to some slow-down, and looking forward to my grandbaby turning 1, my in-laws coming for Christmas, and having a 4-day weekend. I'm looking forward to sleep.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The End of Busy Season

Hello, Blog. How've ya been? I've been either working or sleeping lately, and haven't been around. By Tuesday, the craziness at work will come to an abrupt halt. The phones will quiet down as customers take time off during the holidays. We will go from absolute insanity to spare time to clean our desks, all in the matter of 24 hours.

The best part of all this is that I can go back to working only 8 hours per day. It is going to feel like I'm there no time at all! Then, conventions start up and we'll all be covering for those who are gone. I don't have any trips for January, but I go to South Carolina the first weekend in February.

OK, Edna, there's your update. LOL I'll be around more often again, now. Before long, you'll be seeing pictures of hotel room carpet. Excited? Me too!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The School's Winter Concert

Tonight was the school's winter concert. I knew about this. I've known about it since...oh...about 9:00 this morning. That's right, if it weren't for those texts from the school, I still wouldn't know. Apparently, the girls told Kevin. From know on, they are to tell ME.

Anyway, so after waking at 4:15, leaving home at 5 and working until 5 pm, I had to get home by 6 to get Natalie to the school by 6:05. No problem, if traffic would cooperate. It didn't. There was a wreck. *sigh* I got past the wreck and drove like an idiot, but by Oak Grove, I was back on schedule.

All this time, I'm doing "phone parenting." I do a lot of this. I do it before school, and I do it after school. Give her the remote back. Your shoe is in the dining room. Did you finish your science? (not today, she didn't.) Quit lecturing your sister. etc. Tonight, it wasn't so easy to parent via phone.

Natalie couldn't find the purple shirt. I can't help her from the car, so I advise her to find a different shirt. 15 minutes later, she'd found the shirt, but she didn't have the proper undergarments that wouldn't show. Find a different shirt, says I. *sigh*

I got home to find that there was weather I wasn't expecting. Apparently, an after-school tornadic storm tore through my living room. I flipped out, but I had to flip out quickly. We had 6 minutes to get to the school, so I completed my ranting on the way. We were 2 minutes early.

Soon after arrival, Natalie informs me that her clarinet is at home. *sigh* Back home I go, ready to cry. I notice that my gas gauge is flirting with E. I skipped that stop tonight in order to get to the school.

Kevin arrives and joins me in the CafeGymaTorium, and we're ready. I quickly tell him of my troubles, and his pea-pickin' heart leaves to go fill my tank at the next town over. That saves me a stop that I do NOT have time for tomorrow. Thanks, honey. I stay and watch a bunch of kids I don't know.

The kids I don't know get done, and half the place empties out. I don't blame them. Their kids are done, and they probably haven't had dinner, either. It's Natalie's turn. Her group goes up and gets started, and Kevin gets back.

The elementary is done, and it's time for Jr. High choir. Monica's turn. Next is High School choir. No kids of mine in there, but they were GOOD. Then comes Jr. High band. Monica's turn again. They're better than last year. They finish and we RUN! We didn't stay for the High School band. Sorry, guys. I'm HUNGRY and I haven't seen my home in over 13 hours.

Back home, we start dinner at the ludicrous hour of 8:30. It's 9:00 and we're finally eating. I have to get up in 7 hours, and I'm just now eating. I'd blame this for my weight problem, but it's probably has more to do with burgers and Doritos. I'm just sayin'.

All of that being said, I'd like to add this: I truly admire and appreciate the teachers and staff at the school for putting these things together. It's got to be a ton of work. I enjoy it, but it's so hard on the evening schedule. Working an hour away doesn't help, but most people in this town who work have a long commute.

I guess I just feel like less of a mom on days when I parent by phone. I want to HELP them get ready, not try to problem-solve via T-Mobile. I want to drop them off and pick them up when it's bitter cold, yet they walk and call to let me know they've made it. I want to have dinner on the table at a reasonable hour, yet we are eating at bed time.

Maybe we can do next years concert on Saturday? In my living room? A pot luck Christmas program! SCORE! I'll bring the Doritos.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Playing with the blog

So, I played around with some blog backgrounds, and this is what I landed on. I'm not sure if I like it, but it's staying for now. If I rearrange furniture in the house, it usually takes 2 or 3 days before I like it, so I guess this is the same.

I'm trying to get rid of my signature, and I can't! I mean, I can delete it when I start a post, like I did with this one, but I want it to stop showing up for now. I even went to the live signature site and deleted it, and it still shows up.

Too bad I can't speak HTML.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Freaking Fabulous Friday

I did it. I made it through another week of VERY long days. I cannot complain, though, knowing that my friend Melodie is working 13 hours a day or more, and my friend Lee is working 16 hours or more. I will cherish the fact that I'm only doing 11-12, and I see my kids when they're awake.

I'm just sayin'.

We have one more real tough week coming. After that will be a decline into 4-day weekend bliss. Company coming from Carthage. Life is good.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A post about the weather.

I would tell you all how cold it is, but I won't. I could tell you about the snow-packed roads this morning, but I won't. I could tell you about the incidents that almost happened in this mess, but I won't.

Actually, if I hear "cold enough for ya?" one more time, I may shoot myself in the knee cap for distraction and something to talk about. "Wow! Look at all that blood. That was good shot, huh?"

I don't mind reading other's takes on the weather trends, I just don't want to post my own. I pumped gas after work and started thinking about how I could do a blog post about frozen body parts. Then, as I went in to pay for the gas, I heard 7,304 conversations about the weather, and changed my mind.

And then I shot myself in the knee cap.

Ever seen a shot as clean as that one? Straight through. Neat little exit wound, huh?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The blizzard is here! Board up your homes! Stock up on batteries, water, and tube socks! We're all gonna be snowed in.

Or not.

This always happens, and I didn't expect much, but I *did* expect a flake or two. Nothing. All day. It rained. Yes, it was a COLD rain, but rain, nonetheless. It rained on me most of the trip home. The roads were fine, and speeds were normal.

When I was about 10 miles from home, it turned to sleet. I got home fine, but now it is sleet and snow. Quite pretty, actually. I tried to take a video, because the sleet sounded so pretty. By the time I replaced the batteries that someone (Monica) ran down, it was more snow than sleet and snow isn't very loud.

I had lunch with SIL Susan and Niece Beth today. It was nice to see them, and had been too long. Lunch was only OK, but the company made up for it. Work was crazy busy, and 11 hours wasn't quite enough to get it all done. That means that, at 6 in the morning (if roads allow,) I'll be behind. *sigh*

Job security ROCKS!

I was messing with the dish, via remote control, when both TVs lost signal. Charlie Brown Christmas was on, so this was a MAJOR foul. Monica yelled out, "You've ruined Christmas!" LOL That was pretty good. Turns out, there was snow on the receiver. Whatever.

I want Pringles. (oops, did I say that out loud? Hmmm, gotta work on that.)

Oh, and the BS has started at K's work. He was sent home at 1:00 due to no business. So much for guaranteed 40 hours. Maybe they'll make it up to him, but bear with me if I don't hold my breath.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Oh. So. Tired.

I can remember my Grandma Wood telling me that I could walk to her house after school any time I wanted. Any time at all. Any day. Except Monday.

I thought that was odd, but Mom explained that work wore Grandma out, and Monday's were just harder. I accepted that and enjoyed going over there on other days. I could wear her perfume (Taboo) and wear her shoes (they fit for about 3 months of my life. Size 6. Sheesh,) and bake a cake if I felt like it. Any day but Monday.

It doesn't seem weird to me any more. I am only up until 10 on 2 work nights per week. Sunday ends after Brothers and Sisters. Thursday ends after Private Practice. Other than that, I go to bed at 9. That's EARLY, compared to what most folks tell me about their schedule. I need my sleep!

Monday is always tough. Gotta get back into the routine; gotta make sure things are set for the week; gotta make sure things are flowing to make life easier for the rest of the family. Monday is rough.

Add to it that my job is in the middle of "busy season." It is crazy busy, and I have a gazillion projects going. I am keeping up, but barely. I arrived at 6:30 this morning, but couldn't even start working until 7, so I only had 1 1/2 hours of "phone free" work. I plan to get there earlier tomorrow.


I better go to bed. LOL I am so thankful to have a job. I love my job. I never dreamed of this job, but if I'd known, this would be the one I dreamed of. I get paid to talk. I get paid to be social. I get paid to post to a blog, facebook, and twitter. I love it. ZZZZzzzzzzz

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Shopping, Fierro style

I am sitting in the recliner, in a warm home, while the cold wind blows outside. I'm happy. Kameron is asleep in my room, Kevin is snoring peacefully, and Natalie is on the computer and singing. Peaceful stuff. After the crazy week I had, it was nice to have some "me" time.

Today, we picked Kami up around 10 and headed to the Independence Center. Don't get me wrong, I STILL hate to shop, and we didn't plan to shop. We went to enjoy watching Kameron look at the lights and sights. The typical rude people were out and about, but it was OK. We took our time and strolled around.

We shared a pretzel from Auntie Anne's, walked through the pet store, rode the elevator, and blew some money on the kids. Unfortunately, Monica was at a friend's house, but this particular friend is moving from the area soon, and they want to spend time together. I'm OK with that.

Brett came over tonight to see Kami, and was here to feed her dinner AND change a messy diaper. SCORE! He's out of food, so we loaded him up with some bachelor goodies before he left. Ramen noodles RULE! LOL

We wanted to get a picture of Kameron with Santa, but it was a scam, I tell you! You were not allowed to take your own pictures unless you bought something from them. The line was long, and as we waited, Kevin asked about prices. $20 was the minimum! To pay that and find out that she cried or something would have been disappointing, so we didn't do it.

Stopping at WalMart for groceries, Kameron promptly fell asleep, sitting in the cart, with her head on her hoodie on the handle. Good thing we had the hoodie! Even when she's tired, she's so good. It's fun to have her around.

OK, now for some pictures from the mall:

Natalie found a hurricane simulator. You don't understand the concept? Let me help. You stand in a booth and let the wind blow on you...for $2 of your Dad's money. The end.

Later, she had the chance to spend more of her Daddy's money on the bungee bounce thing. It turns out that it's fun, but it hurt her thighs quite a bit, so she was ready for it to be over.

We took Kameron on the carrousel, too. I stood by her while Natalie rode the tea cups. I'm surprised that Nattie didn't puke, as fast as she was spinning. Kami had a ball, though, and each time we passed her grandpa, she laughed and laughed.

It was so hard to get a picture with it moving, but Kevin nabbed a few as it slowed to a stop. You can see Natalie in the background of these.

OH, and while she bungee bounced, a guy approached and asked if I'd take a shot or two of his (tiny) son, and email to him. Apparently, they didn't realize they would have a photo op, and didn't have a camera with them. I agreed, but the pics sucked. I'm sending them, anyway, with a note apologizing for the bad exposures.

They were a nice family, and that boy was cute as a bug, and half as big. It was a Christmas miracle! OK, not really, but it was fun to bump into someone nice.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 1, 2009

So, it's December 1. That's right, boys and girls, it's not November any more. No more Mr. Nice Weather. Those cold mornings we've been having? They'll continue. Those warm afternoons we've been having? NO SOUP FOR YOU!

It's fixing to get cold. I hate wearing a coat. I especially hate wearing a coat when I drive. This is quite inconvenient, since I'm VERY cold blooded by nature. So, I freeze for the first 5 miles of my commute (each way,) until my car warms up. Thank goodness it warms up fast!

By the time I get to work, I've fiddled with the heater vents 500,203 times. Defrost until there is no fog on any window, panel until the chill is gone from me, floor for about 3.5 seconds, until my feet get hot (I HATE hot feet) and back to defrost. Half defrost and half feet for a while, and then panel/feet. Yeah, I have a problem.

Still, if my biggest problem is what setting to use on my car's heater, I think I win. Seriously! I've driven cars with no blower motor, cars with no a/c, a conversion van that took the entire hour commute to heat up, etc. I'm good.

The Smokin' Hot Neon and I will be JUST fine, thankyouverymuch.