Saturday, November 15, 2008
I've been thinking a lot about what I should do in regards to acknowledging friends and family this holiday season. Given the tightness of my budget I have been thinking about giving Photo Cards not only to have a memory of the year with my children, but to share that memory with long-distance friends and family who haven't even met the baby or seen my other children in years. We don’t have any pictures of the five of us together so I think it’s a good idea
It's easy to order paper products of any kind from VistaPrint.com. Not only do they have a large selection of products to choose from, but when you order something it's always saved in your order history so you can go back and update, revise and re-order whatever you need. Take some of the hassle out of this holiday season by using VistaPrint to order your holiday cards or any other product you need like calendars, business cards or invitations and announcements.
If you aren’t interested in giving photo cards for Christmas then maybe you would consider a 2009 calendar that features pictures of your family. Whatever you choose to do, VistaPrint has exactly what you need and it’s easy to use.
(Oh, I didn't tell you she passed her driver's test on the first try!)
It was nice to ride, read and check out the scenery. I chatted with my teenager and listened to music. When we started out it was very cloudy -- it had rained all night -- but as we neared our destination the sun broke through and the sky cleared. So, I tried to capture of picture of it for you. You can't quite see how colorful the trees are against the sky, but it was a beautiful sight.
Right now I'm relaxing on the couch, watching Animal Planet and enjoying the breeze coming in the door. Maybe I'll take a nap in a little while. This wasn't what I'd planned on doing this weekend, but I am enjoying myself.
I hope you're having a good weekend.
BTW: I said "inappropriate" in the beginning because of some of my blogging friends' loving comments on my recent post - Betrayal, disrespect, rejection & disappointment. Thank you everyone for your love, concern, opinions and advice - I really appreciate you!
Friday, November 14, 2008
WARNING: This is really long so please be patient with me. Thanks for reading.
About a month ago I met my husband's girlfriend. Yup, you read that right. It wasn't a planned meeting. The car the future ex drives (I say it like that 'cause it's in my name) broke down on a day he had the children. He called to tell me that I "need" to pick them up 'til he figures out what's wrong with the car.
During our conversation he offhandedly mentioned something about a friend coming to pick him up. It was something about the way he said it that I started to think about after I got off of the phone. A friend, huh? That's what I thought to myself. Interesting, I said.
When I arrived at the location (a Wal-Mart in a nearby town) I called to tell him I was there and he came out with the children, but no one was with him. He buckled the children into the van and I said, "Where's your friend?"
"Your friend. Where is she? Well, it's a she, right?"
"Is this someone your dating?"
"Yea, it's been two years. That's why I said we need to get the divorce papers..."
I didn't correct him and let him know that our youngest child isn't even two years old yet. I just said, "This has nothing to do with the divorce papers; this has to do with someone being around the kids. Spending time with the kids and we didn't discuss that."
The last time he and I had a discussion about it it was about me and someone else. I told him that I wouldn't have anyone around the kids and, if so, I'd let him know. I also said, "I don't plan on dating anyone and even if I did they wouldn't be around the kids."
He told me, less than a year ago, "I'm honoring our marriage vows."
Guess he changed his mind.
I was a little hurt and I sat down to evaluate my feelings. Was it because I really wanted him back and to work on our marriage? Nope. So, I guess it was just the simple fact that he had a girlfriend and he was allowing her to spend time with our children when we are still legally married.
And, to make matters worse, the girlfriend came out with an attitude.
I told him. "Why doesn't she come out?"
"What? You wanna meet her?" He said and gave me that challenging look.
"Yea, why not?"
"Right now?" he asked.
"Yup." Oh, before that he said, "Why you sound hostile." I just laughed and said, "Don't make this something it's not. I want to meet someone who's with the kids. This is something we haven't talked about."
So, she comes out with an attitude. Rolling her eyes and couldn't even look me in the face. I tried shaking her hand and she was like a wet fish not wanting to touch me.
AND she's 28! (I found that out later from his mother!... But that's an entirely different story.
I said to her, "I heard you two are wanting to move forward."
"Yea, something like that," she says rolling her eyes.
"I just wanted to meet the person who would be spending time with my kids."
"Oh, I understand," she says with a little attitude in her voice.
I wanted to spit on both of them. But I didn't. I just looked at him.
I think we -- as women -- should really show each other more respect. She doesn't know me, but she does know he's married. Regardless of what he's said about the situation why would she want to be with someone who hasn't finalized a previous relationship? If she'll do it with him, she'll do it to him. Well, that's what Dr. Phil would say.
That, like I said, was several weeks ago.
Today, I call a friend of mine that I've known for 26 years. More than half of my life. I really wouldn't call him a friend, but I don't have another word for him besides my first love.
Yup, 26 years later I am still in love with the man. We've seen each other a couple of times in passing a couple of months ago, went out together about four or five weeks ago and hung out a couple of times about three weeks ago.
I hadn't heard from him in three weeks so I call to say, "What's up? Just wanted to see how you're doing."
I won't bore you with the entire conversation, but when I asked, "What's new?" he told me that he'd been dating someone for the past three weeks.
"Oh." My response was something like that.
I kept my cool fairly well through the rest of the conversation, he was working and couldn't really talk but I told him good luck with that. He said, "We'll talk."
"There's nothing to talk about," I say. What possibly could we have to talk about. For 26 years, minus maybe the first year, he has rejected me and hurt me regardless of whether I've tried to be his friend, lover or anything else in between.
When I mentioned to him (awhile back) that I may be moving he said, "I'm gonna need you to stay in Georgia." If I ask him why then he doesn't really give a reason just says he wants me to stay. There is absolutely no reason for me to be here. I have no one in Georgia, outside of my children, that gives one damn about me.
Even after all of these years his rejection still hurts like hell. I really don't have to be with him in the couple sense of the word, but I do like spending time with him and I enjoy his company. Although, it's possible, that I would like more I would take what I can get. Now, I just give up. After 26 years there's not going to be any Oprah-like story that tells how a couple who fell in love when they were kids married 30 years, two marriages and seven kids later.
There's no happy ending for me. I know my MD BFF (yes, Frankie) who is the absolute best man I've ever met is going to be extremely mad and/or upset to read this. I have a friend in New York (his name is Lewis) that says Frankie is the man I should be with. I know you wouldn't know it from reading this, but I don't want to be in a relationship. I don't think I'm ready to be in a relationship and... well, it's complicated.
From now on I'll just concentrate on working to take care of myself and my children as well as maintaining the three healthy, loving friendships that I have. (Frankie, Lewis and my BFF Michael who is Amber's godfather. Well, there's also Patrick, but that's an entirely different story. We're friends, but in a different way.) An-t-way, nothing else and no one else is worth my time. Oh, beside you -- my wonderful blogging friends -- who continue to come by and show me blogging love. Thank you.
I am sorry this is so long and I hope you hung in for the entire episode.
Stay tuned for another In this Woman's World column next week and to read others, click here.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
We've decided to go online and check out the insides of rooms and buildings at Mercer, and if she's still interested in attending then we'll try to set up a personal tour. I think everything they showed us we could have found out on the Internet.
The trip wasn't totally wasted though because we went to Warner Robins the night before and spent time with Amber's godfather. His house is just 30 minutes from the college so we got up Saturday morning, went to the tour and then hung out with him for the rest of the day.
I was trying to set up a tour at the University of Georgia for us to do in a couple of weeks, but all their tours are booked through January. That's not good 'cause their application deadline is January 15th so I'm going to call the visitor's center tomorrow and see about doing a self-guided tour along with going to their admissions seminar.
Whew, I tell ya, this college planning stuff is tough... and a little fun (I must admit.) Stay tuned for more tour updates.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
These types of deals definitely appeal to me so I browsed at Kmart.com to see what kinds of products I could find for the loved ones on my holiday list. This is what I found: a 18-piece Craftsman screwdriver set that would be great for my stepdad - it's just $23.99; I could get a couple of Urban Fitness Oversize Fleece Throws, that are just $6.99 a piece, for my daughter who'll be going away to college next year, some stylist pajamas for my mom and the choices were less than $15; and there were tons of toys, games (like the LeapFrog Leapster Learning Games) and clothes for my younger kids.
You can check out these deals in store, but so you don't miss out on what's coming up be sure to sign up for the latest Kmart news via e-mail. It'll include updates on special store hours, in-store deals and online-only sales to find the best value during your holiday shopping.
When we arrived, I signed Andre in and told him and his 3-year-old sister to sit down. They did as told and the baby, not wanting to be left out, followed along. Here they're watching the television... well, of course, the baby isn't but I wasn't about to complain about that since they were all sitting and quiet.
Well, the quiet didn't last long and again I was fooled into thinking the kids would be on their best behavior. Anna, the youngest, figured out how to open the door and kept running out into the hallway. A couple of times I didn't go out there because she just wanted me to chase her and I figured she'd come back if she didn't see me. Didn't happen. She's as stubborn as ever and would just stand there in the hallway and smile.
Inside the room, the girls played and danced. They spun around, laughed and screamed. When the physician's assistance came into the room she said, "It sounds like a daycare in here!"
My big boy sat quietly on the examination table and waited. He laughed at his sisters, but I didn't have to tell him to be quiet or be still or run after him. Maybe it's because he wasn't feeling well or it could be because he's been trying to be good when his sisters are acting up.
I think the nurses should expedite the families that come in with more than one child. We waited so long that I would have been surprised had my children not gotten restless. Needless to say, though, I was extremely exhausted by the time I dropped the two middle ones at their school. AND I was extremely disappointed that I missed the cutoff time to drop the baby at daycare.
Even with all of that, at least this mommy survived another day. :D
Oh, in case you were wondering, the kids are fine. Andre just had a cough that he'd had for awhile and Anna had her regular checkup. She's tiny for her age (17 1/2 months) - just under 20 pounds - but she's healthy and getting taller. The PA said her weight could be a result of how active she is and since she was a preemie she just wants to see her growing steadily.
This is what they call their doorbuster sale, and I am sure there will be customers waiting outside the door before the store opens to take advantage of the great sale prices on items like Sylvania 32 inch class LCD HDTV for only $429.99 (there's only limited quantities of this one) and the Nextar 7 digital photo frame for only $39.99. I'd really like to get that television for us because we have a very old TV (I think it's 17 inches) that doesn't show the picture well. The image is distorted and everyone looks like they're either really long or really wide. I think that frame is a great idea for a holiday gift at a great price. In fact, my teenager was asking for gift ideas for her boyfriend and I suggested she get him a digital frame (oops! I hope he doesn't read this.)
Regardless of whether you're looking for something for yourself or for a gift for someone else, you must check out this sale. I know if I get my hands on some dough I'll be waiting in line to get in too. Happy shopping.
You've probably noticed that I've been somewhat absent around the blogosphere. Between running my children and myself to various doctors' appointments, carpooling and dealing with my own recuperation and illness, I have simply run out of time at the end of each day.
Although this blog and my wonderful blogging buddies are both important to me I realize that I just can't do everything. That said, not too long ago I shared with you my posting schedule and if you happen to come by on a day that I said I would post something and it hasn't been here then I want to apologize. Like I mentioned, that schedule is somewhat fluid - you know, dynamic/ever changing - and although I'd like to keep up with it it's often impossible.
Now, how's that for a mental health update? :)
I know some of you have been anxiously awaiting my weight-loss update, but - unfortunately - there's little or nothing to report. I am still stuck at 170 and haven't been able to exercise in a little over a week because of the procedure I had. My healing seems to be somewhat slow and I don't want to hurt myself by moving too quickly. I'm just going to take it easy and hope I can consistently get on my exercise bike soon.
There are some of you (especially Tammy :D) who have been anxiously awaiting my weight-loss update because of Sensa, the weight-loss system, I have been using. Unfortunately, I have been a little lackadaisical with the usage of the product and that may (or may not!) have to do with my lack of results lately.
Sensa is a weight-loss system that uses Tastants to curb your appetite. According to TrySensa.com the scents from Sensa Tastants travel through your nose to nerve receptors, the receptors send signals to the brain that stimulate the olfactory bulb, the olfactory bulb then signals the satiety center in the hypothalamus, which signals the pituitary gland that triggers the release of hormones that suppress
hunger and appetite. Got that?
Try Sensa for yourself
Sensa has been so generous to offer everyone a 15 percent discount on any order and free ground shipping. Just use the code ROCKETXL at checkout.
Don't forget to tune it (click in?) next week to see if I remembered to sprinkle my Sensa, recuperated enough to exercise and lost anymore weight.
Enjoy the rest of your week.
Along with their expert advice and fun, Celebrations.com has a plethora of information about party ideas including Holiday Party Games. I can just picture Amber, who is growing into a beautiful, smart and successful young woman, hosting her own party that's organized, fun and perfectly decorated.
Not only can she find the party tips and help she needs, but she can also join this interactive community and share her own party ideas, recipes, photos and videos. With the help of information like that provided on this site her dreams of having her ideal holiday celebrations will definitely come true.
Monday, November 10, 2008
As I often do I started my Monday not feeling particularly creative. I've spent most of last week and all of the weekend recuperating from my procedure and an ugly chest cold so I haven't thought too much about creativity.
Then something dawned on me: The lack of a muse or the beginning of creativity starts with a blank piece of paper, a blank screen, a blank thought... therefore that -- in essence -- could make blankness fuel the thoughts that will end in something marvelously creative.
Instead of thinking of my blank screen (or paper) as something I dread looking at; I will gaze at it with expectancy knowing that something beautiful will soon be birthed.
I've heard of Dragon Naturally Speaking and when I saw this great video and the discount being offered I had to share it with everyone. I would love to have this program for myself and I think that it would be a great gift for someone on your holiday list. (Perhaps a blogger. Hint, hint!)
You have to take advantage of these deals: 25% off Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 Standard and 10% off MacSpeech Dictate, and try Dragon NaturallySpeaking out for yourself.
Drew of the BenSpark has put together a great little video demonstrating Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10. Drew has been blogging for quite some time and he might just be one of the best mobile bloggers that I know. He is probably more famous for his picture a day work as he is an excellent photographer. But I can't help be amazed at how much content he creates and the high level of quality in that content.
Nuance is allowing us to offer our readers a 25% Discount Coupon CODE Exclusive for Dragon Naturally Speaking, but you must click the image below and use this code (DNSMSBG) Together. Code will not work from other sources.
He's definitely a blogger that employs best practices when he finds them, and based on this video, it looks like he might see some potential in Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Now I am not trying to put an endorsement in Drew's mouth. Time will tell, but I do think he is off to an excellent start.
You'll notice in his video, that the sound quality of his video is excellent. That's actually an important aspect for Dragon NaturallySpeaking. I don't mean that you need good video quality or sound quality in a video to make Dragon NaturallySpeaking work. However you do need a good microphone, and it should be a noise canceling microphone at that. The better the sound quality, and the better able your microphone is to remove other background noises, the better your system will be able to recognize the words that you say as fast as you say them and transcribe them accurately.
Now Dragon NaturallySpeaking comes with a noise cancellation microphone that works very well when you buy it out of the box. Drew is working with a download version that does not come with a microphone, and so he had to supply his own.
As I write this article, I am using a wireless headset microphone from Logitech. I've been using Dragon NaturallySpeaking for almost two years now, but I've just recently untethered myself from Dragon NaturallySpeaking and started using a wireless headset microphone with noise cancellation capabilities. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 does have the capability of working with Bluetooth wireless microphones, but my particular microphone runs on 2.4 GHz wireless technology. Now if you live in a household or work in an office environment where there are a number of systems or phones or microwaves, you may experience some interference with this particular headset. In that case, you will probably be better served with either a Bluetooth headset or a headset that is capable of being plugged directly into your computer through the microphone plug or through USB. I don't have that issue, and so I do get excellent quality with little to no interference at all.
So if you take an interest in Dragon NaturallySpeaking and want to try it for yourself, I highly recommend that you get a boxed version of the software which you can order from Nuance online. You can even get a good deal on a Bluetooth wireless headset and a bundled option from Nuance. If you're looking for entry level pricing, you can start using the software and get a headset microphone for as little as $75 if you act fast and use the coupon code with our links in this article available exclusively to blog readers.
To put that in context, I've taken three typing classes over the years to boost my typing speed and spent essentially three semesters practicing at typing. It wasn't the only thing that I studied, but I spent a lot of time building up my typing skill. With Dragon NaturallySpeaking, you can invest $75, invest an hour installing the software (I'm being very conservative with that time estimate) and as little as 10 minutes training the software to recognize your voice. Then you will be off and running typing at 150 words per minute!
That is pretty amazing, and well worth the value of $75($99 with the exclusive discount coupon code DNSMSBG for 25% off if you use the clickable image in this article, but act soon before the code expires!). Not to mention if you spend a little extra and get a wireless headset microphone, you can pace around your room or your office, you can exercise, or do a number of different things other than sit at a computer desk staring at your computer all day long. :-) $99 basically gives you your freedom with a Logitech headset.
My name is Brett Bumeter, and I wrote the article above and 4 1/2 minutes. The article is about 659 words long, and that translates into 144 words per minute. Add in two minutes for editing, and that's still 100 words per minute!