Monday, January 21, 2008

January Hum-Drum

I wish I could say all has been quiet and peaceful here, but no such luck for this past week. Now that Dan leaves for work about 7:15-7:30am-ish, Russell has been throwing tantrums as Dan leaves. He wants Dan to play with him and hates to see him go. Dan used to leave for work about 5:30am so it wasn't an issue. In addition to the tantrums, Russell has also been quite clingy, wanting me to carry him around the house, to the car, and out running errands (mail, Target, etc.). He also cried when I left him at the church nursery on Thursday- a place that he usually loves. Hmm. Since Dan has been home over this long weekend, Russell has been his usual, charming self. On Sunday, when we got to the nursery, Russell ran into the room so quickly we didn't have a chance to 'label' him with his associated pager number. Yeah! I'm hoping tomorrow morning when Dan leaves that he'll be okay.

Next Monday, the 28th, Russell and I will be flying to see my parents. We'll be there until Saturday, the 2nd, and then my Mom is coming back with us to stay for a week! Yeah! I hope the weather picks up because we have a little place and the fun is being outdoors.

The other trip we have planned is to see Dan's parents over the long weekend in February (16th-19th). Since we fly a lot, we wanted a better way to travel with Russell. I have wanted a 'Sit & Stroll' Carseat for a few months but they retail at $250 so that wasn't going to happen. Last week I found one on Craigslist and Dan went to check it out. Yeah! Now we have one more piece of baby-stuff to store;-) I will pat myself on the back and say that I do give bags of stuff to the GoodWill, and other items I want to keep, I lend out to friends with young children. We only have a carport so anything to be stored must be somewhat important.

The last couple of Sundays, the pastor has been speaking on the Parables of Christ. This Sunday, the key verse was, "The last shall be first, and the first shall be last." (Matt. 20:16) What this meant in my childhood was that the first person to race to the front door of the house after arriving home from church would have to stand aside until everyone else had gone in. I suppose it wasn't too different from the parable Christ told about paying the workers of the vineyard the same amount of money for unequal amounts of labor. The laborers were graced to accept the work and pay the landlord had for them until they looked at the other workers and became envious and discontent. Needless to say, it is so easy to compare ourselves with others that are in our lives. Whether lifestage, health, personality, home (biggie for us), wealth, or cooking abilities, we are only unsatisfied when we take our eyes off God and what He has done for us, and instead, compare ourselves to others. Hmm. This will be an ongoing trial, I think.

Well, that is all for now. Happy MLK Day!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Blue Washcloth

When I start to make supper (about 5pm) Russell thinks it is instantly time to eat. He says, "eat! eat!" at the top of his lungs as he attempts to climb into his booster chair. Since even a tired mom can only take this for a few minutes, I start to get annoyed and try and divert his attention away from food- not easily done in our little place.

When this was happening on Tuesday evening, I was about to confine Russell to 'room-time' in his crib with his toys. I had reached into the linen drawer to get a washcloth when I looked down and saw a newly laundered blue washcloth stuffed into the drawer. My 'mommy-heart' melted. We (yes, Russell LOVES laundry and he helps) had done a load of laundry earlier in the day and I had not finished putting it away. I suppose at one point, Russell had put the washcloth in the linen drawer like he has seen me do many times before.

When Dan asks what Russell does all day, I tell him that Russell is my shadow. He is always two steps behind me. I guess he is learning more than I am teaching him...

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Junk Mail

With exception of the month of December and all the lovely Christmas letters, cards, and pictures, most of the mail we receive is 'personalized' (i.e. personally addressed) junk mail. Yup, all the credit card applications (at least 5-6 per week), catalogs (I haven't ordered from Victoria Secret in years), and solicitations (especially the Christian non-profits). So, enough is enough. When we received a letter from the post master that our box was too full and we'd have to order a large post office box, I was/am on the war path. We will not pay for a larger box to accomodate all the junk mail.

Last fall, Dan and I listed our SSN's with the Opt-Out credit list and that has helped a lot but we still get some offers. Each time the mail comes, I sit on the couch and watch Martha Stewart and have the phone to my ear as I call the 800-numbers associated with the recently received mailings. I've found that even some companies have options listed in their menus for discontinuing magazine mailings. If they don't, I call the 'order' line and get direct, prompt service.
The recent January issue of MS Living also has an article about junk mail. The tips are listed:

1. "Opt out"- when you join a club, register for a conference, etc., tell the organization not to sell, trade, or rent out your contact info- especially financial institutions.

2. "Donate anonymously"- at . The group will send on your donation but not your name and contact info.

3. "Wary of warranty cards"- if you must mail them in, only put on your name and address and facts about the purchase. Most warranties don't work anyway, so don't bother!

4. "Credit cards"- go to or call 888-567-8688 to end the offers (5-years or permenently.)

5. "Cancel them"- go to to search and select the catalogs you no longer want to receive. Or call the 800-number on the magazine.

So, here is to a new year of decreased junk mail. It takes a little time out of my day but since I'm only watching TV anyway, it's not too painful;-)