Thursday, April 30, 2009

I feel good danna danna danna dah!

Ship present to friend in Indiana - CHECK!
- did anyone watch Men in Black II, remember that scene where Tommy Lee Jones instructs everyone on how to properly prepare a package for the United States Postal Service? I got that speech today, apparently USPS will not ship any package with another courier's packaging so I had to rebag it in a USPS bag.

New hair cut - CHECK!
- I love Nina, my hair stylist, to bits! Husband had a class tonight and since Nina's been asking me to bring Charlotte by I took a gamble that she would help me entertain Charlotte while cutting my hair. Worth every penny that lovely gal is! She made over Charlotte the entire time and picked up all her toys. I'll never go to another hair stylist again.

Lost weight - CHECK!
- I am not responsible for this one! Seriously I have not dieted nor exercised. I did stop breast pumping recently, maybe that's the reason?

Wore favorite pre-maternity pants for the first time in 18 months - CHECK!

Got flu-meds - CHECK!
- Thanks to worried call by mom, double follow up from a favorite blogger I went BACK to the doctor get Tamiflu.

Cute baby photo - CHECK!


How did I celebrate? By getting Chick-Fil-A for dinner.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pantry Food

Have you ever looked in your pantry and found a lot of food that is collecting dust?

This is the last week of the month and I announced we were over our $400 monthly grocery budget so husband decided we would not go shopping and use what is in the pantry. We've had great meals and I've only cheated on two small items:

tortillas $1.50
avocado $1.00

The temptation to run out and buy more food is so strong. I'm used to making a detailed menu and then buying all the accompanying groceries. It was a challenge to follow this directive but like I said, we've had great meals!

I just read about the world food shortage through the Compassion website and it made me feel good about using up our pantry food this week. My family is blessed with excess food, many in the world are not. I strive to live a simpler life this year and count my blessings.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pre-trip prep

things done:
- packed pile of clothes
- doctor visit to secure Ambien prescription - I don't take any chances when it comes to sleep in the opposite time zone
- test run on SKYPE to confirm work and home laptop can see each other, baby seemed puzzled about my voice coming out of the computer
- purchased one book - this will be an accomplishment for me, I usually pack 3-4
- buy mother's day cards

things to do pre trip:
- pick up prescription
- mail mother's day cards
- bills
- ship bag of bigger sized toiletries with company weekly package to Hong Kong on Thursday, including razor since I can't take it in carry on
- take video of Charlotte on the beach - I'll do this on the weekend
- finish packing
- schedule hair & pedicure appt. - I can't go to Asia looking as scruffy as I do now!

things NOT bought:
- new luggage
- sandwich ice pack bag
savings = $100.00

Before every major trip I freak out and want to buy stuff. This trip I desperately wanted a polycarbonate HEYS case that is 5lbs. It would be easy to lift above my head and into the overhead luggage compartment. And it comes in Turquoise. Then I packed my clothes and realized I could make do with my laptop carry on bag (which weighs 10lbs empty). I'm packing a small pile of clothes, polyester skirts and such and I plan to utilize hotel laundry. Photos will follow once I prove I can get 1.5 weeks worth of travel gear in this laptop carry on. Oh I do love a challenge.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The shrieking level has increased dramatically

The cause is our new Baby Walker - compliments of Charlotte's grandmother.


I'm sure the new found freedom is a partial motivating factor in shrieking every minute but did I mention we have 4 pets to chase? I haven't had this much fun laughing in a long time. She wobbles after each pet with shrieking giggling glee, chasing them up onto bookcases, or in the dogs case, pinning him in a corner. The looks of horror as all pets attempt to comprehend this new found terror. I've been trying to get looks of horror all day but it's really hard to get fast moving pets and baby walker into a proper photo.

Finally when she's done, she just tugs on my skirt.


Since the walker didn't wear her out we move onto the bedroom where I can photograph the entire outfit.


3pm nap time starts, and thus my internet time begins but after an hour I'm off to take my nap!

5 minutes later - scratch that, she's awake, guess I'll make a pot of coffee. What happened to 2 hour naps???

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Asia trip - soon!

I'm going back to Asia in one week. It's been 18 months since my last trip in October 2007 where I wrote one post. I should have written more, I even went to Macao and got to stay at The Venetian!

In the last 18 months I've incubated a baby for 8 and now she's 10 months old.

This will be a short trip, 1.5 weeks, I used to go for 3-4 weeks. Packing should be rather easy. I'm wondering if I can get all my stuff in one small carry on bag?

I leave May 4th for Hong Kong, going into mainland China for one day on May 8th, May 10th spending my first Mother's Day in Hong Kong - oops, poor planning on my part, I'm not used to doing anything on this day except sending a card, not that it would have mattered. I'm going because my bosses daughter is celebrating her Catholic rite of passage, she's 9 so that would be???? I can't remember the word. Anyway, he has to stay because it's a big deal! Then Monday, May 11th I'm off to Vietnam for two days.

This is my first trip to Vietnam. Research has so far shown there are no Compassion offices in Vietnam - is it because the government is Communist? - and that Vietnam closed adoption to the US in April 2008.

I have a return from Vietnam that gets me back to Hong Kong at 11pm - who wants to wait for luggage at that hour? The following morning my US return flight is 10am so that's a tight time line. I wonder if the airport hotel makes sandwiches? I could order one for the plane so I don't have to eat crappy food for lunch. Has anyone invented a sandwich ice pack? There should be a thermal wrap or glove that one could put a sandwich into. Oh look what research has unearthed, CRYOPAK™ Ice-Pack Wrap.

It's settled, I'm packing my laptop, clothing, two books, ooooohh here's the kicker - if I take one carry on bag on the plane, I have to get 1.5 weeks of toiletries into one quart sized bag. Can she do it? Yes I can!!! Because there is no way in hell I'm putting a bag under the plane just so I can have more quantity of toiletries.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mixed results day

My brand new camera purchased just in time for Easter refused to retract the lens. The horror! I always have a panic that the store will refuse to take the product back and will blame me for the problem. I hold my breath and walk up to the counter, baby on hip, maybe she will warrant sympathy - or garner suspicious glances. The Best Buy girl takes my camera and walks into the back - I panic some more, maybe she's checking with managers who will say hell no, she has a baby, it's definitely a deliberate break! She comes back and rewards me with a clean return. Huge sigh!

Baby and I progress onto to Macy's to return concealer that's been in my purse for over a month! They pressed this new brand on me and I got home and hated it. The box is scratched up from riding in my purse pocket for a month - don't hate me retail workers! I'm just a panicked mom trying to get my money back. The lady is really sweet and does the return with no hassle - I love you Macy's!

Oooohh, I haven't shopped for new clothes in 10 months, scratch that, I bought a Lucky Brand sweater in January. So baby and I browse through DKNY and other brands - everything is really flowery (not my style) but also beachy and hippie, lots of love & peace shirts. It's kinda cool stuff but needs to be on sale for me to buy it. We progress to a selection of Lucky Brand umbrella's - beautiful (husband take note!) and a little itty bitty baby sized tamborine with no price tag! Oh it's so perfect, I give it to baby and she shakes it, bops me in the head, it's adorable! I must have it, it will go so well with her tie dye clothing. I track down a sales lady and she will not sell it to me or give it to me. So sad. I'm home now and just found it on the Lucky Brand website - they sell it with purchase of necklace for $32.00 (husband take note!)


Obviously my priorities have changed

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day 2009



Mid morning, my husband called to say the truck was overheating and he was nearby. Bottle somehow didn't make it's way into baby's diaper bag and so he stopped by my work to drop off the baby while making a quick run to the store. Somehow having baby in the office seems to break the shock of the morning as she giggled at everyone and crawled all over the entire office ignoring all toys. Seriously what baby comes to a toy design company and ignores all toys???

It was a nice break mid-day to visit with baby and husband. After her lunch, which she ignored due to all the excitement of visiting mom at work, I followed husband to the mechanic and then took them home.

I don't think I got much work done today. I watched alot of TV - put away emails, blanked out. No one's thought to cancel the cable service yet.

My camera broke - it's less then 30 days old so I can take it back. Yeah!

It's 11:30pm, I should go to bed. Can't put off the inevitable of going back to work.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Joy

In case you hadn't noticed, I get the greatest joy out of my daughter. She's such a doll. So entertaining, even when she's really mad I don't mind. Other parts of my life are total havoc - like job. Tomorrow is D day. I have to let one of my girls go and after months of agonizing, I've made the right decision. It's going to be a real awkward day - we will be down to 3 mgt and 4 staff and each staff remaining will be in some sort of furlough position. It's one of those days that separates management from staff. I'm glad I bring my lunch every day. I don't think I'd be welcome in the commiseration lunch. My boss still speaks in big terms like so and so needs to pull their weight - after they've been furloughed - I've mastered the head nod with serious eyebrows. I wonder if I'll still be ordered to have daily meetings so I know what myself and one other staff is doing? It will be nice to come home to husband and daughter, they are my biggest fans.

Baby's first sugar high!

Tonight we went to Joe's Crab Shack and baby ate the following:

5 animal crackers
1 slice of lemon
several bites of key lime pie with whipped cream
several bites of bread pudding
1 slice of lime
2 bites of french fry

time 10:00pm (1 hour past her "normal" DEAD TO THE WORLD bedtime)



Earlier in the day...
MIL is feeling much better today - YEAH! They went to the beach. Charlotte fell into a hole - no one has explained why a hole was dug next to the towel - suspicious eyebrows raised!


Monday, April 20, 2009

Oh NO!!!

My mother-in-law is sick, and possibly with food poisoning. I swear I had nothing to do with it. We ate at Tijuana Flats last night and no one else got sick. Egads! Now husband and I will not get a date night away from the baby while baby sitters are in town!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday with the in-laws

I don't have photos because I forgot the camera so I'll summarize. We went back to Deerfield Island because the week prior trails were left unwalked due to our busy grove picnic celebration. So I packed the entire family in their rented Earth Destroyer 2010 black 8 seater SUV and departed after a quiet morning of skipping church - sorry God, it was quiet nice to buzz around and do chores and get caught up on blogs.

The trail takes about an hour to walk and it was a completely raw trail. You know how many nature trails in the US are wooden walkways? Not this trail, we had to take baby out of the stroller and carry her. It was almost relative for a mountain bike trail in parts due to the amount of coral rock and debris strewn about. We saw two raccoons and smelled one skunk.

The second stop was the beach. In the drive Charlotte fell asleep so I put suntan lotion all over her face. I'm sneaky that way. We set up on the beach and Charlotte did her now usual puttering about, looking for cool shells, favoring anything black and random objects like a rusty old bottle cap that I had to pry out of her hands. She also did her typical climb over people's legs by which her only known decent is to land face first. Mother-in-law did not realize she would actually land face first in the sand by which she came up sputtering a face full. I can understand the first time but then it happened again! Yes Husband, your mom let Charlotte land face first in the sand TWICE! Actually I now think it's impossible to take her to beach without getting a face full of sand because she either falls on her face, or drags a sandy hand over her eyes or flips back the towel full of sand into her face as you let her do last week.

Disclaimer: on the off chance that my mother-in-law might read this blog I hope she will realize I'm not upset.

I played hooky from church today

I hope God doesn't mind.

My relatives called and they slept in - don't think they really wanted to do the church thing - ha! Does anyone do church on vacation?

So far I've fed baby twice, gotten her down for first nap, done 3 loads of laundry, bills, cleaned the toilet, chased the Princess cat off the fridge and counters 5 times, placed big boxes on counters and fridge to block cat and made breakfast smoothie.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My day - so far...

7:30 - feed baby
7:45 - make coffee
8:00 - This is how I eat breakfast, I present baby with a new toy every five minutes.



8:15 - go to baby's room and let her romp around the room while putting away her clothes and cleaning.

9:30 - she's ready for 2nd bottle, try to hold her out a little longer so she will get really tired and sleep long enough to qualify as a nap

9:40 - she's really mad and insisting on bottle, also overheated because I foolishly let her play in her pajamas and she's really hot!

9:45 - bottle, she falls asleep

10:00 - I carefully lay her on the bed and clip 6 nails before she wakes up

10:00 - 11:15 - I spend this ENTIRE TIME trying to get her back to sleep, we alternate between very bitter tears, sleeping for 5 minutes, waking as soon as I lay her down, more bitter tears and fury, more determination to get baby to sleep so she can wake up a nicer person - is that mean? I need to eat because my nerves are frayed - remember guests are coming today. I might need drugs to calm down - or food.

11:15 - success, sweep bathroom, assemble all trash, take out to dumpster

11:45 - start lunch just as she wakes up, put her in high chair and feed her animal crackers


Quesadilla sticks to the pan, scrap out all chicken and cheese and start over.

Surprisingly she plays sweetly the entire time I make lunch and eat it. It's so confusing. Such a range of emotion.

ps, I was kidding about the drugs, really I don't have any. Sometimes I fantasize about going to the doctor and saying I need something that will help me chill but I never do.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pre-visit jitters

I get really nervous when people come to visit, my house is never clean enough - nervous is the wrong word, I panic. Seriously. I might execute calm control at work but in my personal life I completely panic and hyper ventilate. Usually it's due to circumstances that am not thrilled to live with but grit my teeth and deal with but am horrified at guests having to witness same circumstances. Earlier this year I had a friend visit and my mom - total panic for both visits. After both visits more panic on how to solve the problem.

Right - I'll get on with it. We have a plague of fleas in our home. We've been dossing the pets for over a year now, washing the dog every two weeks and washing all pet bedding constantly but it's not working and lately it's gotten worse. After more panic and many frustrated conversations about bombing the garage - which seems to have the plague - and my further panic over chemicals from bomb and reading internet stories of failed bombing attempts which mostly seem to stem from stupid people setting off more bombs then what are necessary for space required and we are not stupid people so we came up with the following strategy:

* book hotel room
* put the 3 cats in different cat carriers and line them up into truck
* can't find lid to dog's carrier so throw him in back of truck
* put baby in her car seat carrier
* pack over night bags
* set off bomb in garage
* depart for hotel at 9:30pm at night because wife worked until 8pm which was a really lousy choice considering evening plans

The above was executed last night without a hitch. Cats did not freak out like they normally do when placed in cat carriers. It's like they knew we were saving them from a life of pain and misery. They happily went to hotel room and were quiet the entire night. No one jumped into the babies travel crib. Baby stayed awake throughout the entire adventure to hotel room and blew way past her bedtime but fell asleep without much trouble upon arrival.

This morning we extracted all four animals and baby within 45 minutes of baby waking up. We are stealthy like that.

My mother-in-law arrives tomorrow afternoon. I don't think she will notice the vacuum cleaner in the hallway, or the broom in the living room, or the chairs turned over, or the 3 cat carriers in the dining room - well maybe I can do a little cleaning up before she gets here but I'm sure she will only have eyes for her granddaughter.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Angry Post

At least it was supposed to be one. Earlier today reports indicated protesters were going to dump 1 million tea bags into the Potomac River in DC. I was furious at the pointless waste of tea. We are in a recession and I'm here writing down every single dollar and penny spent on every single thing I buy, adding it up almost every day and sticking to a budget with an iron fist. What kind of insanely reckless person/people would throw away 1 million bags of tea? I don't care about reason or symbolism it's just wasteful. I was going to write about stupid conservatives and how disappointed I am in my party. My exact words were to be IT'S OVER! Then I read the DC police did not allow the party to start. The tea showed up and was turned away because someone didn't get the appropriate permit. And it rained really hard so not more then 1,500 people showed up.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter

I love Easter but I say this about every major holiday because it's just so much fun to celebrate milestones!

We started the day at an outdoor Easter service - I got baby a new hat which was TOO BIG but it was the only white hat I could find - after spending an unreasonable amount of time looking the day before.


For the day's entertainment I wanted to do something different because past experience has taught that the beach is packed and unless one wants to spend an agonizing amount of time finding parking then sitting really close to lots of people it's best to be avoided.

Online research unearthed an island with a free boat ride and free parking! It's kinda silly because as you can see, the island is within a stone's throw of the mainland.


But on a tight budget, free free is a dream! Once we were on the island we were surrounded by so many trees and plants that we couldn't hear boats and mainland noise. We felt so isolated - it was great!

Following is the best photo of the day, meet Tarzan and Baby Jane.


Introduction to an Australian pine.


After picnic she has a blast with my gatorade bottle.


Things got really hot and sticky, we'd been outside for almost 4 hours with one tiny nap in the car.


It was time to move onto to Easter entertainment.


But it's not real unless one adds some real grass and leaves.


Last photo on the island, we leave at 3pm. Maybe when she get's older we will stay longer but she's refusing naps and getting really tired so it's time to head home.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I've gone a bit backwards

In my quest to save money. I must confess - I upgraded to faster internet service. I just couldn't take DSL Lite any longer. It made me cry, play entire games of Solitare while I waited for pages to load, force baby to sit longer in high chair then necessary, stay up too late at night while I just viewed one more blog!!! It's a necessary splurg.

6 months ago

In an attempt to SAVE MONEY I purchased lots of dried beans. I've used them less then 5 times.

Good Friday

I took the day off ya'll! The significance is that I work M-F and husband works Saturday and Sunday - every week. We rarely get a day off together.

For all you international readers, the USA may be termed a "Christian" nation but we do not have public holiday's for Easter. I get really bitter about this every year as I watch our Hong Kong office take off Friday and Monday, Vietnam as well, along with all clients across Europe and Mexico is so religious they take the entire week off! We get NADA! Nothing! It is so bizarre.

Anyhoo! On with my lovely day off with husband and the delightful Baby Mondue!

With no rain on the horizon a beach day is obviously the way to go. Having husband to carry stuff is great! And I learned a second set of eyes to keep baby from eating hair balls and small shells is really super helpful!!!

Baby Mondue's campaign to prove the uselessness of my job continues as she plays with found objects from our beach bag:


And we get the growl face with camera case:


Hubs cannot resist the urge to plant her in the water and it's cold! We get the O face after a wave has washed over her


One of the fun parts about bring husband is someone gets to take photos of me with baby!


After the water play it's back to playing with randomly found objects


And upon leaving she examines the stunning beauty of a shell


Our "exhaust the baby" plan worked and she was in bed by 8pm leaving us to watch the final episode of "The Sarah Connor chronicles". I'm a cool wife, I like Sci Fi.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Has anyone figured out how to cook with one arm?

because my 9 month has decided she hates her high chair and screams a creative variety of wails until I pick her up.

Example:
8:00 - start dinner, after spending 1/2 hour bouncing baby around while looking at recipes, begin with homemade rattle, small plastic bowl with a few almonds inside:


We progress to homemade drum of tin pie holder, see that CeCe, it says Texas on the side, husband and obviously his relatives are from West Texas


Clearly the drum is leading to more aggression so I offer the spoon


8:15 I complete dinner and rescue peanut from her highchair of doom!


Here is the recipe that took 15 minutes to make:
Chicken and Black Bean Chili
1 can of Chicken 12.5oz (from Costco
1 can of diced tomatoes 14.5oz
1 can of Rotel with green chiles 14.5oz
1 can of black beans 14.5oz (washed, remove can juice)
1 Tablespoon Chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen red pepper diced

Dump everything in one pot, on medium to low heat, walk away for an hour and forget about chili while playing with baby then watching 1/2 hour show called "parks and recreation". Suddenly recall Chili and turn down heat to simmer. Put baby to bed, add fresh avocado & cheddar cheese, eat chili.

If you really want to make this, 1/2 hour cooking time will suffice.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

You can lead a horse to water

but you can't make him or her drink.

Knowing the end is potentially near for a dear employee I've worked with for 5 years, I took it upon myself give her a wake up call. Last Friday we went out to lunch and I preached the need for her to get her portfolio updated, stop walking around with a scared stunned look and take action. Dust off the resume. Take your furloughed day off and spend it in the office gathering portfolio pieces. Treat your day off as a job, get back that spunk you had while in school and were finalizing your portfolio. Take action!

Today was her day off and she couldn't come in because she had a doctor's appointment in the middle of the day. So come in afterward, stay late I advised. Nothing doing.

At lunch another one announces that she's recently done her finances and was surprised to see she spent $1,000 per month on groceries and eating out.

A month ago I led a lunch discussion about the need to save money, make changes in daily spending habits due to the wildly unpredictable year. All but one said they were making changes to spending habits. The one who said, huh I haven't changed a thing is the same who is spending $1,000 a month on groceries.

For God's sake people WAKE UP! How can you watch our biggest client lay off 450 people two weeks ago and think that's not going to trickle down when they stop giving us as much business! HELLO!

Did you notice your former co-workers depart recently due to a drop in work? Did you notice the factories going out of business due to lack of work? Did you happen to notice 1/2 the staff is on furlough schedule? How could anyone feel safe in 2009? Even my boss, the company owner is freaked out about the potential of losing his job, ie. having to file bankruptcy.

Well there you have internet; I've already vented to husband and boss, perhaps you can also share in my indignation and shocked outrage.

Monday, April 06, 2009

I'm heartbroken

Husband called to say he had bad news - my heart dropped - on the first day of bloom, my Amarilis flowers had been mysteriously severed from the plant. SOB!!


Back story:
My dad was an artist who worked manual labor his entire life - as a truck driver delivering animal feed to farms, construction worker and painting airplanes. His joy in life was to create beautiful flower gardens. Every year we had tulips, rhododendrons, tiger lilies, roses, panseys and many more. One of his favorites was the annual Amarilis. He'd buy them in the winter and carefully store the bulbs when they were done blooming and then bring them to life again the next year.

Last year I proudly bought my first Amarilis in a glass pot - charming idea until the flowers died and the bulb got slimy. I re-potted it in a clay pot and throughout the summer it sprouted very tall leaves and got quite bushy. I called my mom and gave her regular updates and she told me these flowers love summer - I live in Florida so it was a happy plant. Then the baby was born and I largely ignored it.

The leaves started to wilt as did most of our plants as we cared for our newborn and forgot to water them. Then one week ago I spotted new leaves, and suddenly a flower stem! A year and 4 months later my Amarilis has bloomed again!

I left work and the flower was intact, now it's broken.

In the grand scheme of things it's just a flower - I'm reading many blogs that present monumental family tragedies and problems. My life isn't tough - yet.

The company I work for is considering bankruptcy or cutting the office staff in half (I’m in the half that would stay). I’m optimistic that he will choose the later but neither is ideal. After a long meeting we left to have cake and celebrate a birthday. I spent my time trying to stay upbeat with this terrible knowledge.

I've spent the past 3 months hibernating from stores and saving money in every way possible. My husband and I have devised a backup plan should things go awry. We are tough, don't despair our situation, but I'm sure you can understand that when I got the news of the flower accident, I cried a little. But I got these pretty photos to enjoy.


Flower in baby food jar sitting on red wood slab my dad got when he visited the great red wood forest of California


Flowers in mason jar with river rocks on red wood

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Saturday at the beach

Several years ago, a co-worker exclaimed that he would not be able to go to the beach for a year because his wife had just had another baby. And it was too bad because the first child was already walking and the perfect age to take to the beach. I scoffed and said no baby would ever stop me from going to the beach.

And she hasn't - BUT - it is definitely challenging to do it alone! I still scoff at any set of parents who find the beach to be off limits. Two parents can handle setting up an umbrella, lying down the beach towel, reining in the baby while the other takes photos, etc.

Here's how I did it alone -

10:00am - arrive to beach (it took me 2.5 hours to wrangle her out of the house + 30 min drive)
I arrive without any consideration for packing swim diapers or swimsuits! The last time we came it was enough to just play with the cooler and the water's been really rough lately.

Then I spot the beautiful placid water - I want to run home and get our swim suits, it's perfect!

Look - green flag and the sign says OK!


I guess we can come back next weekend with swim gear. Here's baby crawling directly onto the sand as I set up the umbrella.


And she's off like a rocket across the sand.


Take photo, pull her back to blanket. After about an hour of playing in the sand I get really desperate to check out the water. Remove silly dress and prepare for water baby.


And now for the money shot


We are both totally covered in sand, I didn't bring enough water and probably could have planned for a better post-water outfit because tight fitting onsie over a sticky salty baby is not a good idea!

Friday, April 03, 2009

I've narrowed the gap of areas left to save money in

I have the following left to tackle:

1. Truck Insurance - my truck is 9 years old, I need to research the absolute necessary insurance because $71 per month seems excessive.

2. Baby's Insurance - at $500 a month, I'm anxious to find a better plan. Florida ChildNet will not consider her until she's a year old - which happens in 3 months.

3. In May my condo association is forcing us to take down our DirecTV satellites and switch to the condo approved television service Comcast. I'm psyched because it's half the price.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

$1.00 for an avocado!!!

At lunch I stopped by my favorite grocery store. It's located in a predominately older folks area and most of the employees are senior citizens and very sweet.

As today is the first of the month I'm at the start of my monthly food budget and ready to splurge on an avocado to go with my quesadilla for lunch - which I brought from home (I've banned myself from going out to lunch except for birthdays).

While paying the older lady bagging my avocado looks at me and says, "you better eat this real slow!". I paused and looked at her hoping for further explanation. She repeats her self twice. The cashier looks over and says "tu habla espanol?" I speak English, I say. She then tells me the lady is trying to tell me one avocado for $1.00 is very expensive so eat it slowly!!! I smile and tell her that I'll split it into 2 meals and she tells me I'm smart.

More on how Americans feel about cutting back here:
http://abcnews.go.com/PollingUnit/Story?id=7227897&page=4