Thursday, March 20, 2014

MILP Roundup #338

RG did this week's MILP Roundup! Yours truly has joined the crew, so check back here every Sunday (or Monday) for the link up. Except next Monday. Next Monday, I will presumably have survived the Chicago to Paris flight and will be eating croissant and coffee.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Take off in 2 days!

LAS --> ORD 24 hour break  ORD -->CDG  7 days  CDG-->DFW  DFW-->LAS

with an almost 3 year old

I have prepared the following devices in order to keep a semblance of sanity: 

1) an iPod classic, loaded up with all the children's movies we own. I would have done this on an iPad, had we decided to purchase one. But, if there is an iPad in the room (my Mom's, B's sister's, anyone else's) Mia is completely obsessed with it. We vowed never to have one permanently in our home for this very reason. PS, yesterday, we added Frozen to the collection. We, along with the rest of the world, are totally smitten by that movie. When I was checking out at target, both of the people in line ahead of me had a copy too! I also have some children's ear phones for said iPod.

2) in lieu of said iPad, we opted for a LeapPad2. We purchased that very pink, very girly one for the same price as the regular one. While I usually like to buy more gender-neutral versions of these types of toys, there is no denying that that very model would delight and thrill Mia the most. We decided this would be her birthday gift, she is just getting it 2 months early. Plus, I am not showing it to her until we set foot on the first flight.

3) A pack of crayola color wonder paper and markers. Have you parents out there used these yet? They're actually really great, and Mia loves them. I have a brand new pack, that I intend to bring out at some point during the flights. The packs are especially handy, because they give you the colors that you would need to complete the drawings - if your kid cares about coloring everything the proper color, which... my kid does not.

4) Dollar aisle junk. This is another tool that I will bring out every few hours, to break up the very lengthy flights. In my arsenal, I have some fruit roll ups, a candy necklace and bracelet set, a Jr. Slinky, a pack of Memory Game cards.

5) Also, I bought her a spanking new backpack [packpack, in Miaspeak] from DownEast Furniture and Clothing. Now, I am not familiar with this store since a location just opened up here in Las Vegas, but if you have one in your area, go in there right now and go to the backpack section. They have PB Kids rejects for about $7.50-$10.00. They are straight up rejects, and have already been embroidered with a usually odd name, but that embroidery will come right up with a seam ripper. I managed to find a very cute polka dot one with just a 3-letter monogram on it that came up with about 15 minutes of work. You can barely see the outline, and Mia is thrilled with it! I'm thrilled with it because it seems like good enough quality to last at least a few years.

Here's hoping that'll get us through the very many hours of flying time.

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Whether it's because I'm going on vacation next week, or whether it's because it's an especially busy time, I'm having some satisfying work days.

I have always found a certain amount of dissatisfaction with my job. I don't have a particularly exciting position, I don't strictly do legal work, I'm alone in my office, alone in my department, and I don't get a lot of interoffice interaction. But, over the past few weeks, I've found myself more interested, more motivated. There has been a bit of conflict between managers of different departments lately, and I've been attending a lot of the operations meetings as a sort of mediator. To keep everyone in check, to keep the meeting itself on track, and it's been pretty fun.

Not only have my days been a bit more diverse than they generally are, I'm finding myself actually understanding so many parts of this Company's business better than before. And finding it pretty interesting. I used to sit in on meetings with the billing department and completely glaze over as they talked about billing codes, and reimbursements that absolutely meant nothing to me. Now, almost 5 years into working in the Healthcare field, I'm actually understanding what they're talking about. Let me tell you, it makes it significantly easier to mediate an argument between two people who are arguing about things if I have a clue what they are talking about.

I've gone through so many ups and downs at my job. I'm glad I'm in an up. Here's hoping it lasts.

Also, how much nicer is life now that we've sprung forward? It's so much more enjoyable to pull into our street when it's not completely dark out.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Bullets!

Working on Fridays really stinks. Yesterday, when I was shutting down for the day, I seriously, seriously considered taking a vacation day today. But, I've got two 10 day trips coming up in the next few months, so my non-impulsive side won out. I've spent the morning enumerating the things I need to get accomplished this weekend, and am really wishing I could get started.

  • Mia starts in the 3 year old room, today! Officially! I guess they had started moving her up for part of the day earlier this week, but I was told that today, it would be permanent. How did this happen? It feels like she was just moved up to the 2 year old room. Mia's birthday isn't until the end of May, but I think we are starting to get a taste of what three looks like. Two wasn't bad, I think. While there were a lot of irrational reactions, she was still very happy and sweet. As we approach Three, we are definitely seeing some strong opinions, but she is getting easier to reason with.
  • Have you shopped TWICE yet? I just realized that I have a package of two beautiful sweaters waiting in my mailbox that I FAILED to check yesterday. Another thing to look forward to at the end of this workday. Sign up through my link and we both get a $10 credit! I sent in some handbags that I no longer use (and will not use again since they are not baby-snack or emergency diaper friendly) and got $60! At this point, I think I am shopping there almost exclusively, and feel zero guilt about it. (also, free shipping this weekend)
  • We leave for France in exactly two weeks and I am obsessing slightly about my packing list. There's the myriad of random things I need to bring when traveling with an almost 3 year old, but mostly I'm focused on the clothes. I always feel unhappy with the outfits I have available to me at about day 2 of traveling, so this time, I am determined not to let that happen (for me, or Mia!). I may or may not have a chart. I'm also a little bit worried about the weather - this Las Vegas winter has been seriously mild, and March in France can be cold, snowy or rainy, and we are just not equipped for such weather conditions.
  • B is having a going away party with his co-workers while I am gone. Initially, I was all for it. It's nice that he'll have a little thing to do while we're gone, a few people to have dinner with. Now, it's turning into a big party that ALL his co-workers are going to, they're coordinating designated drivers and asking him with his favorite drinks are -- and I'M MISSING IT. Oh, it's not about me? I forgot for a second there...
  • I've been reloading my Etsy Shop with some new items, so swing by a take a look! 
Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Queue Wars

I remember reading somewhere, back when Netflix was DVD-only, that couples would break up over a re-ordered queue. Well, as one of the only remaining DVD subscribers out there, I still feel this pain. While it'll certainly take more than a DVD queue to break us up, I do think a penalty system should be implemented for changing the order of the DVD queue. And that penalty should be doubly imposed when the movie that does show up sucks. SUUUUUUUUCKS.

I have tried, for ages, to convince B that we no longer need to include the DVD option in our Netflix subscription. I mean, who has time to watch 2 full length movies anymore? B strongly opposes the downgrade of our subscription. With the streaming TV shows, movies and now with the addition of HBO Go, it is seriously unnecessary and I will continue to fight this $15/month battle.

As you can gather from my above paragraph, I no longer care for the DVD rental option. Hence, I completely neglect the queue. Very occasionally, I will log on and add a few movies here and there that I can't get on HBO or on streaming that I definitely want to watch. The most recent example, Austenland. I honestly can think of nothing else that I still have on the DVD queue, since my silly husband is continually messing with the queue's order, putting newer movies that he "really wants to see" at the top, and pushing those he "doesnt really want to see" further and further back. I am confident that whatever movies I add, they will be showing up in my mailbox when hell freezes over. Also? I won't notice, because... I won't care.

With Austenland however, I did care. I love Keri Russel, and I love all things Jane Austen. This was up  my alley. I added it, and waited, and waited. Last weekend, I asked B about it. Why haven't I gotten Austenland yet? I put it on the queue ages ago. I checked the red envelope on our entrance table: Riddick. Seriously? The 4th movie in a series of terrible movies? He defended himself: "You saw the first one and didn't hate it!" I sat on the couch, on a Saturday night, with my knitting project, and watched Riddick.

15 minutes in
Frenchie: This movie isn't very good.
B: Yeah, but it's only been like 15 minutes. Let's give it a chance.

45 minutes in
Frenchie: It's getting worse.
B: Yeah, but we're already 45 minutes in. Let's just watch the second half. I think the ending will redeem it.

End of the movie
Frenchie: That was awful. When is Austenland coming?
B: Hmm. You're right, that movie wasn't very good. Austenland? I don't know, let me check. [Clicks a his mouse a few times] Next week!

Great, I get to watch a 4th sequel to a movie I didn't hate, instead of watching a movie called Austenland. My penalty proposal: Everytime you rent one awful, terrible movie, you are banned from reordering the next 3 DVDs. I think that's fair.

He [re]reordered the quene to bring Austenland to the top, and we watched it. It was good! Not fantastic, but certainly better than Riddick. 

OMG, don't watch Riddick.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Bank Manager, JD

My husband, my dearest husband. He and I graduated law school at the same time. We took the Bar Exam, and passed it, at the same time. We got sworn in to the Illinois Bar at the same time.

But he, unlike me, couldn't be unemployed. I didn't find a job until 9 months after law school graduation. I had my parents, my parents condo to get me through. They gave me what I needed to get by. B couldn't wait for an entry-level lawyer position to open up. After spending a few months working retail, he got an opportunity to work for a Big Bank, as an entry level banker. The pay was decent, only slightly less than an entry-level associate at a small firm was paying at the time, and... it was a good job. A banker? That's pretty well-respected, and he felt that he could proudly take the title and go into work every day.

And so he did, working for a Big Company, without any flexibility, but with good benefits It's a great company to work for, really and he's been happy there. Occasionally, he still has his moments of inadequacy. Feeling like he's not doing as well as he should be, that he should try to get back into law. While the 2nd set of student loans is still (and will continue to) haunt us, how can we wish he had done things differently? Without him attending law school, we wouldn't be where we are, we wouldn't have our perfect little Mia.

But last week, B was offered a position as a Branch Manager, something he had decided he wanted to do about 2 years ago. He's been working towards it, sacrificing some of his commission to take on more behind the scenes work, going through several rounds of interviews. He's going to be great at it, and he's so excited! I am also so excited, and I am so, so proud of him. Things are looking good, and hopefully he can continue to grow throughout the next few years at Big Bank. Next time I stop in to make a deposit, I'll just let them know that I'm with the manager. Maybe they'll let me into the safe!