Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cashing In

So back during my junior year in high school ('92-'93), my project won the school science fair. I made an airfoil similar to that used on a P-51D "Mustang" in WWII, stuck it in a small wind tunnel at Vanderbilt University, and measured the coefficients of lift and drag at various angles of attack (it was my dad's idea and he pulled the strings to get me in at Vandy).

Since it won at my school, I got to go on to the Middle Tennessee Science and Engineering Fair. I didn't win like first place there or anything, but I did win three prizes from random groups. The Society of Women Engineers gave me $50 (cash) and a t-shirt (that I still have and wear), NASA gave me a certificate of achievement (which I also still have), and Textron Aerostructures (now "The Aerospace Company," I think) gave me $250 in savings bonds. We checked their value the other day and discovered that they were within a few dollars of reaching their full value. Knowing that it would take another 15 years to reach that value, we decided to cash them in.

It took a couple of trips since they're written out using my maiden name and my parents address (we had to bring our marriage license), but I cashed them in today.

$239.60! $50 of that went to recharge our laundry card (communal facilities that take a card now rather than quarters), and I'll buy this week's groceries with cash tonight...but after that, I'm thinking I should spend frivolously. Or at least buy _something_ for me. I need new running shoes. burning a hole in my pocket. :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Through No Fault Of My Own

So today, at approximately 2PM, I put Joanna down for a nap. Why is this important, you ask? For two reasons:

  1. Until he was well into solid foods, we never put AJ _DOWN_ for a nap. Very occasionally he'd sleep in his bouncy chair and sometimes I was able to remove the off-brand Boppy from my midsection with him still on top of it and place it someplace other than my lap (which occasionally led to him sliding off the bed, but that's another story), but mostly he had to be attached to me and being held. It continues to amaze me that some babies (like my sweet Jo-Jo) will just fall asleep with little-to-no fuss. And then after falling asleep, will actually allow you to transfer them to someplace other than your arms - like their bed. And then will sleep there for longer than 5 minutes! It's amazing...and a HUGE blessing! My arms feel so empty when I put her down...but at the same time, it feels so freeing! A baby that you can put down! Woohoo!
  2. AJ's nap starts at 1 and ends at 3 or whenever after 3 he wakes up.

So I, through no fault of my own, managed most of an hour without "having" to hold a baby (or listen to one whine or scream). What did I do with this blessed time? I baked cookies. How domestic is that? They're even edible! Which is really good since they're meant (mostly) for a friend of mine who just started a second round of chemo last Friday. Well, cookies and a "Lentil Casserole" that I made earlier today.

But back to the point, I have achieved the mythical nap coordination! Babies that not only sleep, but sleep at the same time! It's mommy nirvana!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Odds and Ends

So my local grocery store (Giant) has occasionally been sending out these special coupons that triple coupons up to $.99. The latest round expired today and I had a (rare) opportunity to go to the grocery store sans kids, so we made good use of them. My favorite deal was the Ziplock containers I got. Regular price: $3.50. After two tripled $.75 off coupons, they were $1.25 each. That by itself was a great deal, but then when I scanned them at the check out, the Catalina machine printed out a coupon for $1.50 off your "next" order (as a "thank you" from Ziplock), which made them $.50 each. I'm a little proud of myself. :) If only they had been on sale too. That would have been the ultimate jackpot.

In "good"-ish news, we paid off our other car yesterday! We've been socking away the dough the past few months and had built up a decent "down payment" fund (and by "we," I mean my darling financial whiz of a husband). But then we realized how impossible it would be to sell our current place even for what we bought it for (making the "down payment" fund into the "closing costs" fund)...and given that even refinancing right now would cost us most of that fund...we began looking for other possible uses. The car payment was the clear winner since we have no other consumer debt (this just leaves us with student loans and mortgage - go us!). Adding to our decision was the phone call I had with my division directors and HR contact at work on Tuesday. They just don't have any work for me right now. They hope to really soon, but nothing right now. So they're moving me to "occasional" status which means that instead of being salaried, I only get paid for the hours I work. They'll (theoretically) move me back to salaried once they get work again that will fill my time. So, given less money coming in, even though it took most of our nest egg, we figured it would be a good idea to get rid of a payment if we could. And we could. So we did. And we're staying in our tiny little condo for the foreseeable future. But looking on the bright side, we just paid off our car! Woohoo! :)

And two rants:

Like it wasn't bad enough hearing the stupid commercials and PSA for the "great changeover" to DTV for like a year and a half (believe me, I wish I were exaggerating)...but now they decide to _extend_ the deadline to June?!!! Another FOUR WHOLE MONTHS? Please just shoot me now.

And finally, why can't websites just _tell_ you that your login ID is your email address? I mean seriously. Every single stinking website nowadays wants you to register and while I have the same login info for most, there is _NO_WAY_ for me to remember which websites actually use a login ID, and which use your email address instead (and don't get me started on trying to remember which ones require a number and/or uppercase letter...). I vote that the websites that use your email address change all of their "login ID"s to "email address"es. And state their password requirements next to the password box. It would save everyone a lot of "lost" passwords.

Thank you, and have a nice day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


So today is the third anniversary of the day that VNB and I got married! That makes it the "leather" anniversary! Woohoo! ;p