Saturday, September 24, 2011


No one ever told me that there was a good chance my feet would grow a size larger after I got pregnant. After Monkey girl was born, I noticed my shoes were a bit snug. However, after Bro Bro monkey was born, I knew there was no way I could wear most of my shoes again. Apparently the weight of carrying a baby around can flatten your arches. I'm now a full size bigger than I used to be. So the hunt began to begin a new shoe collection (gradually). I know you feel so sorry for me that I have to build a new shoe wardrobe. Though truth be told, as much as I love buying new shoes, I still have my old favorites sitting in the closet, but I'm going to have to part with them soon. The other big difference is that my favorite strappy heels and pumps that I used to wear are now being replaced by loafers, ballet flats, and athletic shoes. Just the other day I was browsing and decided to purchase a pair of driving loafers (the ones pictured above). And so continues the metamorphosis of my life.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sirius XM Radio

I mentioned that we bought a new car a few weeks ago. It happened to come with a free preview of XM radio, which I didn't think I'd care much for. However, with all the chauffeuring I'm doing, and the lack of radio stations that I enjoy in San Antonio, I found a couple of stations on XM that I liked. Anyways, the free preview ended and we had gotten several pieces of correspondence asking us to subscribe. I finally buckled down and mailed the check for a year's subscription. Mind you, the multiple items of unsolicited mail we received had an account number and an amount due for the year just like ordinary bills. They cashed the check shortly after it was sent and ten days after that we still didn't have the service. We called and they apologized for not starting the service for us and that they would activate it immediately. The next day we still didn't have service so we called again. We were then told that there was a subscription fee that hadn't been paid. We told them we could fax them a copy of the letter that said how much a year would be and that it said it included all taxes and fees. A few hours later, 2 levels of supervisors, and they finally conceded that our account was paid in full for the year. I'm not sure how they keep a business afloat when they send you a bill, the consumer pays it, the company doesn't uphold it's end of the bargain, AND wants to charge more fees?! At the end of this year, I'm pretty sure they won't be getting my business back. I'd consider cancelling now, but wouldn't you know... there's a $75 early termination fee.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Give Us Rain!

Well, that was close! A few days ago, we were coming home from the vet and noticed the traffic was heavier than normal, fire trucks kept passing us, and ahead in the distance was a whole lot of black smoke. As we neared our neighborhood, we saw that one of the major side streets was closed and that the fire was less than two miles away from our home.

We pulled into our driveway and many of our neighbors were in their driveways packing to evacuate. It wasn't mandatory at the time, but it was too close for comfort. So we immediately headed in and started packing a couple of suitcases so we could head out. We grabbed the important paperwork, a few sets of clothes, many toys and movies, and departed on back roads to a nearby town where we met a friend at Dairy Queen to discuss what was going on (and enjoy a Blizzard of course). By the way, we found out later that in these situations, you should also bring a utility bill as proof of residence. And something that has moved WAY UP on my To Do List is to buy a safe so we can keep important things in a convenient, centralized location.

It was surreal as we sat there watching the smoke around us. We were still close enough to smell the smoke in the air and see ash flying around. Another friend invited us over to watch the news and hang out until we decided whether or not we could head home or if we should get a hotel room. Thankfully, a couple of hours later, it was deemed safe enough to go home. We kept our bags in the car just in case we needed to make a quick exit, because the winds did shift a few times and the neighborhood across the street was ordered to evacuate.

The drought conditions, here in Texas are beyond horrible and I've never seen a population wish so intently for a hurricane to head this way. I know my friends back home in the mid-Atlantic would love to ship us some of  their rain and we'd gladly take it. The forecast is slightly humorous at this point because someone called it 'wishcasting'. The last day of the 10, or however many, day forecast is the only one calling for a 20-40% chance of rain. Then as the days go by, that day continues to slide to the last day of the forecast. It's been that way for quite some time now. Anyways, I'll mark this down as another experience we've gone through with lessons learned and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for multiple days of rain.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Annual Carpet Cleaning

So it's time for our annual carpet cleaning experience. With multiple dogs and two small monkeys, we make sure to do this every year. We used to use Steamers, and they were great, but we got a brochure on our front door a few weeks ago for a new company. As a side note, I frequently debate putting up a no soliciting sign, but every once in a while, someone worth while comes along. This advertised deal was really great and useful for our needs. They're going to clean 5 rooms AND our couch. I can't tell you how badly our couch needs it. As a bonus, the company uses an all natural system so it's safe for the kids and pets. As a second bonus, the owner said when they made the switch to the natural system, they noticed that it actually did a better job than the chemicals. I'm excited to get the carpet/couch cleaned and to see how good of a job they do. We have one nagging stain that disappears each carpet cleaning only to reappear about a week later so that will be a real test for them. Hopefully, we'll be able to get our downstairs flooring replaced, but for now I'm really looking forward to this cleaning.