Monthly Archives: January 2009

A few weeks of … Rest!

The other night we had a scare as we approach our baby’s due date. I had some very strong Braxton-Hicks 3 to 4 minutes apart and felt them for an hour. It was scary. I was sure I was in labor but alas, it was false labor. Nonetheless, it was a scary thing- I was not feeling well at all, felt lethargic, felt like I was also coming down with general illness that was going around my office a few weeks ago, and to top it off, was having false labor. It at least opened my eyes to the realization that I needed more rest and this was confirmed by the midwife I saw the next morning. Needless to say, she said I needed more rest, more hydration, and needed to listen to my body. She was right.

Now came the dreaded part, talking to my boss about possibly working part-time, working from home, or doing some combination thereof. This conversation I dread because I always feel like a needy whiner when I ask for something especially since women have babies daily and I feel like I should be stronger and not so weak. It is, after all, a man’s world and you do not see many men asking for bed rest. Of course, when I see a real man (not that hokey “man” I saw on Oprah), give birth to something the size of a bowling ball from something which starts off as the size of a pea, then I will be impressed and be ashamed for asking for rest. Anyway, the moment came. I talked with my boss but fortunately, the big boss walked in at the divine moment and approved my request on the spot – he thought it was a no-brainer. Of course, he is a new boss and what a refreshing one at that. It was nice that he thought of me as a human being instead of a machine, a robot hired to do work. It was quite nice and since then, I am just trying to get some rest, and stay focused on the thought that there are still at least two or three more weeks to go. My due date is 3 weeks away but the longer the baby stays in, the better off the baby will be. I am prone to having small babies, and therefore, it is even more vital that this baby go as long as possible – 39 weeks or more is ideal.

This incident was eye opening and I am glad that I was able to react immediately and start doing what my body needs otherwise, it could carry some bad consequences. I look forward to the R&R and trying to stay healthy for the next few weeks – now, if someone just had a magic cure for this horrible upper respiratory infection, that would be great!

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Biggest Scam Ever- Home Buyers Warranties

I have wanted to write about this for sometime now – we bought our home in April 2006and our realtor thought he was doing us a favor by getting us a Home Buyer’s Protection Warranty. He did not do us a favor. After further assessment and continued review of this Warranty even after coverage lapsed this past April, I have come to the conclusion that Home Buyer’s Warranties are the biggest fraud/scam perpetrated on the American home owner since …. well, since sub prime mortgages. Anyway, here are some experiences and observations: When we were under warranty, our washer and dryers were not covered. Apparently, appliances are extra and our realtor did not fork over the extra money. Then, there were tons of loopholes so when we had to fix a faucet in our kitchen which was literally leaking buckets, that was not covered because it was a leak. What?! Aren’t leaks a problem? Nope- not covered. We had to buy our own fixture and hire someone to put it in. After this incident, I was not sure I wanted to keep paying $60 a pop for someone to come out and tell me it was not covered so I woulkd not even bother.

Our garage doors may have been covered if they fell off or something but a garage door opener is not covered. So, other than like a mass failure of the entire home it was covered and even then, there are aggregate limits associated with what they will pay out – so they will not pay more than $XXX amount per item- not per event, but per item TOTAL. What that means is that say your furnace needs a repair and it costs $200, and then later despite said repair, it goes out, they will only pay $1300more to replace the furnace cause they already forked over the $200. This is amazing to me! Needless to say, I was not impressed with the home warranty and would not encourage others to get one. There are too many loopholes and conditions and even at a $100 per year, it is not worth it. I’d rather have the realtor pay me $100 so I can use it later when the house starts falling apart which it inevitably will. Home repairs are a pain in the ass as it is and then you gotta deal with red tape with a warranty company? Come on!

Obviously we did not renew the policy and now that we are facing some other major things like a new furnace, we were wondering if we made a mistake by not renewing and the answer is overwhelmingly – NO! I looked at the lapsed contract and realized that if we wanted to get the furnace replaced, we would need a company of their choosing to come out and tell us that it needed replacement. If, however, repairs could be made to keep the 19year old furnace going, repairs would be made and we would only get up to $1500 because that is the max under the contract for the furnace – so if it really did break down in the dead of winter, we’d be SOL. Yep! Thanks home warranty people for being there! To all home owners and buyers out there, beware and read the fine print. A home warranty does not assure you anything especially not peace of mind.

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Reunions

Lately, I am amazed at how many people I have come into contact with that, but for technology, I would not have. For example, on facebook, I have reconnected with people I went to Junior High School with, High school, college, and friends I have lost touch with over the years. It is strange to me when someone I cannot remember adds me as a friend. I may confirm but it is odd nonetheless. Technology, frankly, is bringing people together that perhaps it should not. And in other cases, it is amazing to reconnect with people I have missed in my life over the years too.

This past weekend, I attended a conference and ran into some familiar faces. Like facebook, I had to filter who I talked with. I did see one woman I remembered working with in 1999 at my first duty assignment but did not find it worth the time to even say Hi because frankly, she was an odd duck. But then I saw others that I was excited to see- people I had worked for and worked with back in the day, people I had attended training with, and friends I had partied with on the 3 month long trainings with the Air Force. Needless to say, it was nice to see them. I was happy that others that I did not want to run into were not there as well. It is always nice to dodge the uncomfortable moments.

While technology brings people together, I think it has the disadvantage of overloading us as well. I think it would be nice to keep in touch with only those people you want to stay in touch with and not have it forced upon you through the obligatory, “You’ve got mail – add me as your friend!” But at the same time, if I can get back in touch with just three friends that add value to my life, it is worth it. So, far, I can say the reunions have been valuable.

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Where is Colorado again?

Today I had to call T-mobile customer care. I dread calling them but sometimes I just have to – for about a week or more now I have experienced difficulty with texts and checking my remote email on my phone. So I called the customer care lady. She was a customer service provider right here in America- I think out of Iowa. I know this because I had to ask after the conversation we had.

She asked me some troubleshooting questions and told me that T-zones was down and she would credit my account for the month. I was greatful but asked her about text messages and why they would not send. She said something about the entire network being down and that we could not send pages or picture messages either. She asked me where I was located. I told her Colorado. She responded, “yeah since the 19th we have had trouble because of the Inauguration and the east coast.” I was thinking to myself – OKAY, whatever when she asked me the following question: “Colorado is on the east coast, right?” I was driving at the time but I remember precisely what I was doing at the exact moment she asked me that because I was so mortified by the question. I told her Colorado was in the west and borders New Mexico to the South, and Kansas to the east. I then had to ask her where she was mainly because I did not judge this woman in case she was working a call center in England, India or China or somewhere. Nope- good ole American gal.

This got me thinking- how is it that Americans do not know their own country? It is really appalling and confusing. I mean, you do not have to know the exact location of the State- after all, the U.S. is vast. But at least know that Colorado is NOT on the east “coast”. My God! Granted, I do not know world geography very well, but I can name each state capital and give you locations of the States of my country. I then started wondering if I were talking with a call center operator in another country, would they know more about America than its own citizens? Needless to say, this was an eye opening call for me and I realized that future generations of Americans are geographically inept and clueless about the world around them and that we still had some work to do… til then, Where is Colorado again? I need to go home.

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A full-time job with the best rewards

Yesterday I took the day off, not just to watch the festivities but we were having an issue with childcare anyway so I decided to spend the day with my daughter and President Obama. It was a good day but there were moments when I thought to myself…. “I am such a bad mom, I cannot do this.” It just seemed like my daughter would not slow down. She wanted to watch Elmo, then she wanted me to read Elmo, and wanted banana chips and nothing else. Of course, we ran out so that spelled trouble. Then, lunch time was trying. What do I feed this child? I mean, she snacks all day as it is, drinks milk non-stop, and then now I gotta figure out breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hmm… wow! It was hard, sure, but I gotta say, as the day wore on, it was fun too. For example, we went for a nice walk in the beautiful weather and she played at the park. She wore me out more than she herself got wore out. We were at the park a good hour but she did not understand the concept of “it is time to go home now”. She did not want to leave and it took some manipulation to get her home… for example, I had her running and we did a pretend race and then, we slowed down to take in the water stream and things like that – otherwise, she was not leaving that playground!

Stay at home moms have a tough job- they are constantly in a routine dominated by their children. If they have multiples, it is even harder I am sure. As a parent who stays home, you have to be mindful of many things for the care of an infant and young toddler: diaper changes (your sense of smell better be intact or else), feedings (not just basic meals but snack time too), play time (this may or may not include an outdoor play regiment – depends on weather really), and the ever important nap time(s). If the child is younger, they may take multiple naps. If the child is older, you may be lucky to get them down for an hour. Then in the evenings, you have to also focus on bath time and sleep time routines. Since I am a working parent, on most days, I have to try to get dinner and that usually means frozen stuff or going out to pick something up or ordering in, and give my daughter a bath and then try to get her down at a reasonable hour which these days has turned in wee hours of the night. Routine is not that important because I have to adjust it to meet my schedule some days as well. But, as a stay at home parent, I can see where routine is not only helpful, it is a must!! Without a nap routine, a feeding routine, or changing routine, you are truly run by your child’s schedule and as a stay at home parent, for your own sanity, your child needs to be on a timetable. I gotta say, I am looking forward to maternity leave, and after I work out some kinks in the system, I am sure I will be returning to work—right as I start getting used to being a stay at home mom. Go figure! All in all, I think parenting is the best job in the world – it is the hardest job but the one that yields the best rewards too! I cannot wait to follow the progress of my child as she grows into what I hope is a great person. Til next time, Happy Parenting!

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