Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Lesson on Internet Purchases

When we knew we were moving to Virginia, I had to have a big backyard. The "shared" backyard in Jacksonville was fine for the time we had it but I needed room for the kids to run -fenced in. Luckily, I found it! 

Next on the list was to hunt around for a play set to give the kids some fun. Since October, I've been trolling craigslist for something affordable, something not too old (since we would have to move it) and something fun enough for the kids to use for about three years.

Finally, after a few months of searching, I found a deal! There was a listing on craigslist for a direct buy from ebay through a company. I contacted them, a few days went by and I received an email with a link. Sheepishly, I followed it. Right in to a trap! A fake ebay site listed a play set for $700. For the first time EVER John and I saved and planned to purchase something like this. The money was there; all I had to do was spend it. I wanted to make sure I got the biggest bang for my buck so I thought this deal was IT!

After we paid via a PayPal Green Dot Money Pack (something like that), we waited for a confirmation email...and never got it. All at once, the red flags finally hit me. The direct buy, the weird link that no longer worked and then, a conversation with my Dad (about how my Aunt was conned out of $3,000 for a car).

I wasted an entire day (this is about a month ago) calling ebay, paypal, our bank, filing with the police and something called 

Basically, we had to eat it. Our bank is fantastic and was able to give us some money back for it, through our insurance. Thank God for tax money.

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Nothing like this will EVER happen to this family again. I can promise myself that. 

Oddly enough, the amount of people that have had run-ins and either got conned or saw the red flags are much more than I thought. Almost everyone I've talked to said "Oh my gosh, you'd never guess what happened..." Or, " I know so-and-so and they followed a link, too!" 

Any way, we finally purchased another play set. John told me to go back to searching on craigslist! Not a chance! This time, I wanted to see the transaction and load the play set in the truck. I found just what I was looking for at Sam's Club and John and our friend, Dan, spent the better part of three days lovingly constructing it slat by slat.

Even Deacon helped!

Poor 3rd kid: eating out of a pouch! Unheard of! 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

This Weekend in 2005

( the new look?!? My rad friend, Christine, has mad photoshop skills! Thanks, Christine!!!)

We were living in Japan and John was gone. SURPRISE! So, I marched my happy self to MWR (Morale Welfare & Recreation) and found a trip to take. Just so happened I hopped a bus to a Fertility Festival! (Ok, so it seems my pictures are a week off as the festival is held March 15, but let's go with it...)
Tori gate entrance to the festival.

Wooden plaque called 'ema.' You write wishes on them and leave them at a shrine.

Early cherry blossoms.

According to locals, you crawl through this for good fertility luck. Well, shoot. It worked...

Vulva, people. Follow me with the theme of the day here.

Touching the penis for fertility.

Large wooden penis.

More touching for good luck. Again, I'm certain it was not needed. 

Phallic reference of the nose...

Pretty sure this one speaks for itself! 

There are always parades for pomp and circumstance.

This held the new wooden penis for the year.

Japan has some spectacular street food! This was some of the less random foods available: fried rice!

Is that a banana in your pocket? 

The mochi (pounded rice) formed in to balls. It was being thrown from a roof for God knows what reason. I stood under an awning to avoid being pegged with this 1,000 pound 90 mile and hour fastball. Then I ran to pick one up to pose for a picture!! 
 The same weekend, I went rock climbing somewhere on Kanagawa prefecture. I wish I had blogged then so I could remember the name of this place. It was beautiful. I had a great work out and met some new friends. 

We were climbing the walls on either side in this gap.

It seems after all that fun, I still had energy to come home to take "MySpace" pictures for John. Check out the hair!! ...and the FIVE head!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Before I Had Three Kids

Hello, and thank you for joining me on the third installment of "Before I Had Three Kids." 

Today, I'll tell you that before I had three kids I never realized one could be up every hour of the night with a different child. ALL.NIGHT.LONG. 

Even Eli agrees. This is what he looked like after "waking up" in the morning.

It started with the fateful decision to crash early. John and I were just falling asleep after cleaning up for the night and thought we'd turn in early. 

 It's the Murphy's Law of parenting: go to bed early, it's bound to go awry!

Deacon was up at 10:38, obviously not happy. He'd nurse, then pop off. Fuss, repeat.

I finally put Deacon back in his room when we received a visit from Turner. He is refusing to wear his "Under Jams" so is trying to learn to wake up to pee. Well, his bladder failed him. Twice. He had peed his bed and this make-shift bed on the floor, soaking through several pairs of pajamas. When we returned him to his bed, he was not happy. So, as he's protesting, Eli wakes up pissed off at the world. 

I brought Eli to our bed thinking if the big boys were separated, at least someone would sleep. 

Wrong again. Eli is not the best bed buddy. It's too novel for him now. 

Deacon wakes up to nurse again but goes back to his bed without a fight.

Turner was still protesting sleeping in his bed or on the floor (he was requesting the guest room...and can you blame him? He kept peeing where he was supposed to be sleeping!) Eli was thrashing around. 

Turner finally passed out somewhere upstairs, John came back to bed, Eli was NOT settling down. 

Deacon is back in my bed, nursing like a venus fly trap. Painful. Eli "accidentally" slaps Deacon in the face and, after the longest breath in, the baby is now screaming.

John brought Eli back to bed, there was a protest. 

Turner's awake now, too. 


John leaves the grumpy old men upstairs and, eventually, we hear quiet. Literally 30 seconds later...

Deacon is screaming. What the WHAT? (In his defense, I think he's getting sick).

I brought him back to bed to nurse and returned him to the crib at 5:37. 



Really, people. All I thought of the next morning is how thankful I was to have John around. This same situation happened while he was gone in January and there was vomiting added to the mix. It sucked. This time, however, I had back up and that's a powerful thing.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Knock Knock

Who's there?


Boo who?

Aw! Don't cry; I'm right here!

It seems like I just can't get it all done these days! Keeping with my "focus" theme this year, I have just been trying to pay attention to the things right in front of me. It just so happened that while John was gone I was able to neurotically list all the things I wanted/needed done in this house.

Rockin' 80's country theme (before). See the monster shelf in the right corner? 

Ah, a bit more my speed. Light, new, and CHEAP. I spray painted a bunch of stuff
I already owned, made the fabric panels on the wall, painted the CRAZY brass fire
box and sewed new pillow covers (you can see the first colorful cover peaking out).

I've been working on a lot of school stuff for Turner, baking and dinner making, playing out in this gorgeous weather and hanging out with my dudes! I have missed out on a TON of sleep as Deacon finally got two more teeth but we've all been quite well!

John ran a marathon!!!