Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Name Challenge- guest post

The Name Challenge
(Guest Post)
We all know that choosing the name of our baby is a big decision, and one that shouldn’t be done at the drop of a hat.  Some of us instantly know the name we are going to choose for our baby, whilst others take months to decide on the name, maybe not even choosing until after the baby is born!  Choosing the name for your child is a challenge for any of us, so what exactly can we do to get to a decision?  There are so many things to think about!

Family connections

First of all, perhaps you need to take into consideration your family.  Many of us have parents or grandparents that have had a ‘family name’ passed down to them.  Some of us might even have family who expect us to continue this trend and pass the name down through the generations.  So if you have had crazy Uncle Bob come up to you and say ‘don’t forget that Bob is a family name, I’m expecting great things from the next one’ don’t feel pressured to use it!  For others you might be seriously considering a family name to pass on to your child.  This can be really special, and as long as you are happy with the name, I know I wouldn’t want to call my baby boy Cuthbert, then go for it!  Something that your child can relate to with another family member can grow a really strong bond.

Celebs and Names

Secondly, and this is a major talking point nowadays, the trend of celebrity baby names to infiltrate the general public.  You might have come across a baby name that has been chosen by a celebrity recently, and really love it.  There is no shame in that!  For example, there has definitely been an increase in baby girl names being chosen due to celebrities, Harper is definitely going to be more popular this year!  With celebrities choosing stranger names, year on year, then finding a unique name can also be a challenge.  There is no doubt that you can pick a unique name if you want to follow that trend, and with the millions of baby names that you can choose from you will be able to pick a name that hasn’t been chosen by someone else.  In fact, you could potentially start your own trend!

The challenge of naming your baby is not one you have to take on alone.  There will be plenty of people who want to have their say, but remember, the final decision is with you.  You get to choose the name, and with all the trends that are around at the moment, you can be sure that you have a huge selection to choose from.  Remember though, that your child is stuck with this name for the rest of their life.  So perhaps choosing a name such as . (and yes this has been chosen before) is not a great start to their life!  Make sure you have fun choosing the name, and enjoy the challenge!

*Just to clarify, she's saying that someone actually named their child ( . ), the period symbol. Not sure how you'd pronounce that.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Papergirl, what a strange turn of events

Remember the video game Paperboy? I loved that game and I was pretty good at it. On one of the games you can even play as a Papergirl!

As Seen on YouTube:

*Random example found, this is not me playing nor is it my video.

John has been turning in applications left and right trying to find a job. It's getting even harder now that he started school last week.

For about 6 months or so I've been curious about trying a paper route. I thought it would be a great home-schooling/responsibility adventure to involve the kids in. I've seen the ads in the paper and kept thinking maybe I should call. But I didn't.... until a few weeks ago.

And then I kind of forgot about it until I got a call back. I was told about the paper route and that the job was available immediately. I was sick at the time.. got the call on a Wednesday, returned the call on Thursday. She wanted me to start Friday. That was my youngest daughter's birthday and Saturday was her party. I asked if I could come in on Monday.  She agreed.

I had asked my husband before if he would help me with a paper route. He said no, he'd leave me hanging, or something to that effect. But he's a kidder and said yes of course he'd help me. So I took him in with me last Monday. It was kind of weird, I mean, no intereview process or anything. I wasn't even asked if I had a valid Driver's License on the phone, just if I had insurance. Well that was that... we started last Monday and I was still sick, but I knew that this was not a job where you could call in sick. (without a sub to take your place)

How weird that my husband is capable of a million jobs with no one calling him and here I get a paper route. (But I am the one who called and it goes to show how EASY it is to get one.. so if you or anyone you know needs a job or extra money, I would suggest looking into a route)

I have not had a "job" since my oldest son was 1 and he'll be 15 in March. I was more excited than nervous and it's been really fun. Well until we did our first Sunday delivery. First of all, you have to prepare the papers with inserts and all that. Well on Sunday you have the comics, classifieds, ads, etc. We got those altogether which took awhile since we had about 600 papers to prepare. Then we had to wait for the papers to be delivered so we could put the inserts in the actual newspaper. The truck was late! Then we were told it would be another 45 minutes. We have until 6:00 AM on weekdays to deliver and until 7:00 AM on Sundays. By the time the papers got there and we still had to add the inserts, fold and bag, etc. it was between 6:00-7:00 already. We did not get done until after 10:00 AM. We were exhausted. We had only gotten a few hours of sleep Saturday night, needing to go in super early to prep. I was soooo overwhelmed. I thought "What did we get into?" And we weren't even doing our whole route yet.

Overall though, I really like it. It's perfect for me, really. I'm more of a night owl anyway. I hate people watching over me. We have a good amount of freedom in the route and when we come in as long as the papers are delivered on time. I have a hard time getting up in the morning, but somehow I'm able to get up in the middle of the night and be alert. Yes, I have to go back to bed for awhile after and feel a bit zombified, but I think it's getting better. Another perk is that when you're up that early, you can get your grocery shopping done when the store is CLEAN and the clerks are still smiling and there are NO lines.

It's been really cool to "work" with my husband. We actually worked together in high school at Nickelcade. Fun times! We really make a good team. I read the directions, grab the next paper and he drives. If the house is on his side, he'll throw the paper, if it's on mine, I'll throw. Same with porching the paper. We are getting good at cutting our time down.

Our kids have come along for the ride, and our girls love it! Jessica especially loves to come along and loves to be the one to put the paper on the porch. She actually cried because she couldn't help us on Sunday. It would have been way too much for her, plus there were so many papers in the van, there wouldn't have been room for her. Jeremy gets bored with it. We will pay the kids for helping as soon as we get paid, but that's not even enough incentive for him. Maybe because he wants the money NOW.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fed up with unemployment, food stamps, etc.

What a flipping rollercoaster we have been on since John was laid off in October.

We went in right away to apply for Unemployment and ended up applying for Food Stamps and Medical Assistance as well.

Things went smooth for about a week. We got the unemployment, food stamps and medical for our kids. John and I don't get medical. Because John is a Veteran, they say he has "other insurance" and can go to the VA hospital for everything. Not sure why I couldn't get anything.

So we're set up and things are ok and then all of a sudden I get a notice saying that my son is no longer eligible for Medical and will only be covered for the month of November. However, my girls get to stay on. What the hell?

In fact, here's the notice:

We have made a decision about your eligibility for benefits. Below is a summary of the eligibility results.

Childrens Health
10-24-2011 December 2011 Change
Children's Health Insurance Program
There has been a change to the Household benefits for this Program. The following individual(s) remain
eligible for this program:
Please review the following information for details:
• The above individual(s) will be enrolled in the Childrens Health Insurance program. Their
enrollment will continue until the end of your current eligibility period.
Please note that the change to Household Members may show the removal of a member
and at the same time, an addition of a different member.

• The number of eligible persons in your household has changed.

This made no sense to me. It doesn't explain WHY. Nothing had changed, and yet to them the number of eligible persons in our household had changed. After some digging and decoding and hours spent either on the phone, online chat or in the office, we find out that THEY thought our son had other insurance. But rather than calling us and clarifying it, they make a decision and send us a notice that is as clear as mud.

Our food stamps have been messed with as well with UNCLEAR notices. Then we clear them up and all of a sudden there is another problem. And of course, we are sent a very vague notice.

Calling and chatting online is a joke, if not a nightmare. First you get to wait at LEAST 30 minutes for either. Then you end up speaking to someone who doesn't know what's going on and has to decode someone else's notes. The only way we get things figured out is if we make the 30 minute drive to the office. BUT, even then, they are not the ones that send the notices, so they have to do some decoding.

Hubby and I feel like we are jumping through hoops. Not just any hoops though, hoops on FIRE! And every now and then we get burned.

I tried chatting twice last week and waited about an hour each time even thought the wait was only supposed to be 46 minutes. One time they closed the chat on me without even starting the session. The other time, no one ever came on. I've been waiting to chat as we speak since 12:55 PM. It was supposed to be a 26 minute wait. It's been about 43 so far. Makes you feel like a really important person. To top it off, I'm sick right now. Don't have much of a voice or patience for calling in and don't feel good enough to make the drive over. So this sits unresolved for awhile.    :(

It is time consuming, stressful and frustrating! All we want is to get back on our feet and have a little bit of help in the meantime. John is even filling in applications for jobs that pay very little just to stay honest. However, NO ONE is calling him back. No job offers... nothing! That's ok though, because he will be starting school next Monday. My baby's going to college. I think I mentioned that if I could figure out how, I'd like to go too.

That hasn't been easy either- figuring out all the school stuff. We thought we had it all figured out, but have had to re-do a few things. We're getting closer though. This will be a cool experience for all of us. Plus he's using his GI Bill, so he's getting PAID to go to school. Can't get any better than that, right?

Oh hey- someone is acknowledging me on chat...49 minutes later. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hello (2012) Goodbye (2011) A year in review through pictures

A photo timeline of 2011

It has taken me longer than I wanted to get this done. But here it is finally...
I apologize for the amount of pictures, believe it or not I had plenty more to share. Sometimes I put a caption at the top of the pic, sometimes at the bottom. Hope you can figure it out.


My sweet precious girl turns 7 on January 6, 2011 and wanted to celebrate at Build A Bear. Meet Sugar Puppy.


We love froggies!

Superman spotted in our basement

 Jeremy turned 14 on March 4, 2011

A Pirate Birthday Song

Saint Patrick's Day Breakfast

A few visitors stop by...

Momma and her girls...


Happy Easter 2011


 And 2 go down. Best part! (video above)

Loved that tub!


Nice time to pet a bunny. (at my Aunt's house)

 Teenage Cousins- The first of Grand-kids on my side of the family. My how they've grown!

 My cousin Lindsay LOVES her picture taken!
Cousin Nick and his wife Stevie- they're so cool they got married on our anniversary.
And my girlies- Tristan and Jessica.

Still May- A Field Trip Downtown to Taffy Town

Uncle Jon, Mommy Connie and my sweet little Jessica

The girls do a photo shoot with our dog, Skittles.

 Cousins born 8 weeks apart- Jessica and Tatyana.
Tristan- hanging out at Grandma's playing the Wii.

The Reeder Boys. I think this was Father's Day.

Still love him so!
Momma gets a vanity!

Good time for gardening....

Our pregnant Dalmatian Molly Dotty (the white one)

And then.....


Tennis Anyone? With Grandpa Don

Bound and determined.

At the Sandy City Fourth of July Parade...

Some bum who wouldn't stop talking to me. (LOL)
Mommy Connie, Uncle Jon and my son Jeremy

 John's sister Toni and Mom Wendy
John's Dad Tom in the background

Me and my Sweetness (looks a lot like that Bum, huh?)

 Iron Man stopped by for a visit.

   Dotty and some of her babies

The Babies.


Went to Salmon Idaho for an adventure...

Natural Hot Springs where Jeremy said "OH nice, it's cold, I mean hot."

My pal at Benihana's. Me and hubby go there for our anniversary. This year we went for my birthday because we get these awesome FREE $30 gift certificates and I only had a week to use it. (Usually we can use them for the whole month of September and our anniversary is also in September)

Peach Day Parade ON my birthday. NOT what I wanted to do on my birthday, but still had fun. I'm the one wearing the hat by hubby in Camouflage.

Celebrating our anniversary in Mesquite, Nevada:

A fat little toad we found while checking out the pool and spa area.

The only thing Johnny wasn't quite able to plank.

 Ready for our massages.

Las Vegas Benihanas

Johnny's most impressive plank yet!


Like Mother like Daughter

 Handsome and rugged, Indiana Johnny!  :)

Ah, the joys of dressing up together!

Showing our Military/Navy Pride on Veterans Day

 Another impressive plank.

Christmas Eve

Tristan holding sweet little Bonnie.

He loves babies and kids! A very playful uncle.

Christmas Day:

She'd been asking for this Spin Brush since last Christmas, finally got it!

 Me looking somber
 Little Jessica got me this AWESOME Coca Cola Bank for all my spare change.
 Johnny got spoiled with Fox attire
 Come here puppy, time to open your present.

Now she can rock out with us.

 Santa Grandpa
 Jeremy and his little buddy. Elijah was studying Jeremy's every move and copying him in the cutest way.

 Jessica (My youngest daughter who will be 8 in 2 days) takes over my camera... and does a mighty fine job of some snap shooting....
 My brother Christian and his nutcracker. Our grandparents give us all nutcrackers every year.
 My niece Sierra
Mac and "cheese" ha ha ha.

 Shannon and Kathie (my Step Mom)
 Johnny playing Uncle as he does best
Up close and personal

 Isn't she beautiful? My lovely niece Meijken and my Dad.
 Cousins- Maddie and Kennedy
 Cousins- Sierra and Tristan born 6 weeks apart

 Me and my sister

Mommy Connie enjoying a Christmas card and Jeremy counting his Christmas Cash.

Crap, I realized I can't find pictures of my daughter Tristan's Birthday. It's December 14th and she got her nails done with her cousins.