Sunday, June 29, 2008

Baby shower ...

SUPER fun, yummy food, so good to see the folks who were able to come ... awww ... I love you guys.

I'm going to have to take pictures of the clothes and show a picture of the goat (yes, a goat), but I can't upload them through this computer, so I'll have to do that with the other computer eventually ... And show pics of the cute stuff Dawn sent me, too.

Hubby and kiddo and I went to see Wall-E afterward, which was really great, but I ended up with horribly swollen feet and ankles. This morning, after the swelling had gone down, hubby told me they'd kind of scared him because they didn't look real. I thought, "Yeah, I know. They were SCARY!!!"

And to those worried about preeclampsia, if I'd had facial edema or the pedal edema hadn't gone away, I'd've had him take me to L&D this morning for a BP and protein check. ;)

Friday, June 27, 2008


awww ... a friend of mine (Stephanie) just dropped by (with her 5 kids -- very well behaved! totally impressed, hadn't met them all at once before) to give us a gift since she won't be able to come to the shower tomorrow. She embroidered the little dinosaur on the blanket, then crocheted around the edges. SO cute. Hard to tell in the picture, but there are little blue stars on the front and stripes on the back. The outfit is overalls and two different stripey shirts. LOVE them. So boy-ish. lol.

Should've taken pics of Stephanie and her kids, but didn't. The older four went to the park with DD while we chatted and her 18-month-old got into everything he possibly could. Which she apologized for, but I thought was great -- shows me what I need to baby proof! hehehe. WE've known each other since we were 12 but haven't seen much of each other since high school ... realized how much I miss her. awww.

These onesies Steph brought by a while ago ... LOVE them. They are so cute. The first one is the alphabet, but says "I heart you" in the middle of it ... and the other one is a little truck that says "vroom vroom" on it. And there's a pair of stripey pants that matches both onesies. Too cute ... can't wait for baby MoJo to get here ... see what fits and take pictures of him in them! lol

anyway. I gotta get to work!!!

Friday Fave Five!!!

1. Tim McGraw. The guy he pulls onstage was roughing up a woman, according to a news segment I saw. He was escorted out by security. Tim, you are my hero. lol.

2. Cheddar Jack Cheez-its. Yum.

3. The most comfortable item of clothing I own these days is a stretchy black skirt I bought from Old Navy before I ever got pregnant. It is NOT maternity but fits quite well and still has room to grow, amazingly enough. I love it. Wish I'd bought 6 more so I could have a clean one to wear every day of the week. lol.

4. My niece, Ra. I asked if I could borrow her Fabelhaven books (she loaned me the first one earlier in the month), and when I showed up at my sis's yesterday to pick up Munchkin, she handed me a big bag full of books. Not just Fabelhaven, but Artemis Fowl and some other fun stuff. Wheeeeeeeee!

5. My awesome friends -- throwing/attending baby shower (tomorrow, squeeeeeeee!), bringing books and movies and presents for baby and goodies for mama, cleaning the house, taking Munchkin so I can rest ... I love you all.

And if I had a 6th thing for my FFF, I'd say bribery. Bribing kiddo to do the dishes and laundry and picking up around the house ... ahhhh ... I'm such a good mom.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Got the most random email from my husband's baby sister the other day (she's 23 I think). I'd sent her an email asking for her folks' address for baby shower invites, and her response was:


Haven't heard word one about the guy from her, let alone anyone else in the family. The only person who knew they were serious was the married sister in Spokane. None of the brothers really knew. She hasn't responded to my demand to SPILL yet. But the sister did give me some info, and the oldest brother at least gave us a name ... lol

Confusion. I'm seriously going to have to come up with code names for all of them ... I have code names for almost all of my own brothers and sisters and their spouses ... hmph.

ANYWAY. Hopefully he's going to treat her right, 'cuz otherwise hubby says he'll be breaking the guy's fingers.

Soon-to-be BIL, be afraid. Be very afraid.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Must be haircut season

Kiddo had been growing her hair out for a long time. She liked the long hair, but wouldn't brush it out all the way and wouldn't let me do it. Then her friend whacked hers off into a cute bob right at the end of school. Kiddo asked me if she could, too. I said no, thinking it would pass. She's still been fighting me on brushing it and still asking to cut it. So, today after her dentist appointment I took her to Great Clips. (Yes, I know I'm supposed to be on bedrest and have been in bed since we got home around 11:30).

Voila! The bob!

And yes, she is wearing her baby doll pretty much everywhere since she learned about house fires destroying everything you own. Thank you State Farm commercials on TLC.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Kiddo just ran in my office. "I'm glad I don't have a mother for a scorpion." I cocked my eyebrow at her. "I mean, a scorpion for a mother." lol

"Why? Do they eat their babies?"

"Yep." *giggle* "If they stay too long!"

I made hungry, growling noises. "Get me a knife and fork!" More giggling.

"I'm just kidding." Then she gave me a hug, still giggling, and ran back out. lol.

She's watching Animal Planet. It's educational I guess.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Good Timing

So, I'd asked Prism to come over last week and help clean my house because it's driving me crazy, and I know she can use some cash to get back home in two weeks. We decided Friday was a good day just in case we had a weekend showing of the house. She came yesterday and while she was here, the realtor DID call with a showing 2 hours later. So I had her stay and do more than I'd planned on having her do, and the house looked pretty good when we all left. I was trying not to overdo, but had to put stuff away and pick up things and whatnot, so ... yeah, ended up with contractions half the night. Sucked. *Sigh* I couldn't sleep, so I finished kaje's favorite book, Watership Down. LOVED it.

Recorded Camp Rock from Disney last night for kidlet. She's watching it now ... guess I should make/eat some breakfast or something. *hungry*

Friday, June 20, 2008

Return of the Bearded Lady

So, I love my epilator (torture device) but only mostly use it on my legs and underarms.

I'm just a hairy monkey in certain areas. My face is what is driving me crazy these days. I have a hairy chin anyway, ever since I had kiddo, but it's gotten worse with this pregnancy.

I am so getting electrolysis after this baby is born ... ugh.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Hubby had only felt the baby move the one time, but we were snuggling last night and I put his hand on my belly, and MoJo kicked lightly. I said, "Did you feel that?" and then MoJo slammed his foot into daddy's index finger -- hubby didn't even have time to answer me before MoJo made sure his daddy felt him. Hubby was so excited to feel him move again. It was so cute.

Hubby was being silly yesterday right after I got home from the doctor but made me cry. He said something like, "From here on out, I love you." He was laughing while he said it, but I was like, "So what have the last 2 years been?" *sniff* "You knocked me up before you loved me?" lol. geeze. He doesn't usually tease like that, was just in a weird mood. So a few minutes later, we were talking about nightmares and how he has this one where he's suffocating. I said, "I guess I should quit putting pillows on your face." lol. I guess I was still a tad irritated with him. *snort*

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

TMI Post -- OB appointment today

Had my OB appt. He says everything is fine, to keep monitoring contractions and baby movement, swimming is okay, sex is still not (but only for 2 more weeks since 50% of babies come home with their mommies at 34 weeks, lol), I'm still supposed to take it easy, and I'm now on 2-week appointments instead of monthly. Wooo.

Oh. And I'm measuring 2 weeks' big. I thought for sure it'd be more. lol

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


After my divorce a lot of my single friends asked me what causes divorce. A couple of friends of mine are now going through divorces, and ... Recently having written about bitterness, I figured this would be a good followup, especially after talking at length with one of them today.

Plain and simple, divorce always boils down to selfishness. Fights about sex and money and friends and claims of incompatibility and even affairs and abuse are really about one or both partners being selfish. There is no room for that sort of selfishness in any good relationship, let alone a marriage! Obviously, you do have to look out for yourself, too, but in the interest of the marriage, your spouse does need to come first, whether or not you are very religious or even believe in the Bible. That's what even secular marital vows mean -- you'll be together and work things through and put your relationship above every other relationship (aside from yours with God, if you're inclined to believe that way). And if you're LDS and married in the temple, those vows and breaking those vows are more serious on an eternal basis, and destroying a temple marriage will have longer lasting and farther reaching consequences than you can begin to imagine.

One of the couples is facing an extramarital "affair." He says he did not have sexual relations with that woman, but he still put the other woman ahead of his wife and *cheated* in an emotional manner, making her his confidant and best friend. Dangerous territory, my friends. He'd eventually fallen in "love" with this friend of his, so whether or not there was sex, he still was not faithful to his wife.

The whole friends of opposite gender thing is a HUGE deal for a lot of married couples. I have *one* guy friend I still keep in contact with, and even that is sporadic. But he and I never "dated" and neither of us ever thought of the other in a boyfriend/girlfriend way. I have one other guy friend who contacted me about 5 months ago -- my husband can't STAND him and hasn't since the night they met. The friend had liked me at first, but I never returned the feelings. In a roundabout way, he got hooked up with his wife because of me. They got married almost 3 years ago, and ... he still treated me like a confidant. It was weird for me. I didn't believe the things he was saying and doing were appropriate, and trust me when I say nothing physical ever happened between us. My husband would get so annoyed even by his name, that I decided even before we got married that having my husband feel safe and comfortable in our relationship was more important than maintaining a friendship with someone who put me in that situation, and I quit answering his phone calls. When he emailed me recently, he was all apologetic he hadn't talked to me for a while and said some other weird stuff. I just told him how happy I am and that I'm pregnant and we're doing great. Never heard from him again. Part of me wonders if he's not happy in his marriage (as he had previously suggested during talks when he wanted a confidant), so he was reaching out to see if I was unhappy in mine. Several of my girl friends who know him agree this is the case. My husband has NO friends who are girls, except through work, and he doesn't socialize with them outside of work and doesn't get close to them at work. Not because I insist, but because that is what he believes is right. We don't go looking for the newest and better version of our spouses, because we made vows and covenants to make our marriage work.

Another thing people who are being selfish do not see is that their behaviors will affect their spouse/partner. They don't understand why they should, especially in the case of the man putting his friends ahead of his wife in his priority list. He's still married to her, right? Wrong. Whether you like it or not, your behaviors, beliefs, decisions, words, and actions will affect/bother your partner, whether for good or bad, and they have an impact on your entire family as well. And in all honesty, he is the one pushing for the divorce. So his feelings are no longer connected so much to his wife, and he doesn't understand that hers are still there for him, even if he is destroying them day by day. He still wants to be her "buddy" and he's tearing her up inside because of his selfishness.

Even if someone didn't want a divorce, but woke up one morning and decided, "I am getting my own way on everything, come hell or high water ..." or, heaven forbid, really felt that way every day ... Oy. Just for example though, let's say I decided today to be a selfish biotch to my husband or belittling or demeaning to him, I could really do some damage to our relationship, whether I *think* it should or not. And it would have impact on all 3 of our kids, too. But if I decide to be kind when I mention things I need done and make an effort to take care of *his* needs as well, and make sure I'm being loving to him even when I'm upset, things go better between the two of us, and that still has an impact on our kids and our extended families as well, but a positive one instead of a destructive one. We have still had fights about his gaming and my spending (and various other things), but he's learned what I need and I've learned what he needs and we *try* to accommodate each other. And I've learned somewhat how to express my displeasure with certain things without being harsh or accusatory. Not that it always happens! We are not perfect! I cannot emphasize that enough. We have our share of problems. But we keep trying and keep working, and somehow even through all the bad stuff, we make it through.

So there's this week's lecture. lol. I'm going back to bed.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Morons at Church, updated pic (31 weeks 1 day)

This has been bugging me and I guess I need to vent. I dunno -- I know I've gained weight and I know my belly is HUGE. I went to church yesterday for the first time in a month, just sacrament meeting because I know it's stupid to push myself beyond that. My neighbors are expecting as well, about a month after me. She's a lot smaller than me, but she was smaller to begin with. Anyway. I ran into her in the bathroom, and she asked how much longer, and I said two months. She asks *every* time she sees me (so does everyone else) because she can't believe I really have that long left and/or can't remember we're due about a month apart. THEN I ran into her husband, who said, "so you're due any day, right?" "No. I have two months left." His jaw dropped and he started to say something else. I turned and walked away. *every* person who saw me asked how much longer. I get that my belly is huge, but my hell ... who gave these people license to comment about it? Granted, a lot of the women were sympathetic and kind, especially those who know about all the preterm labor crap we've been dealing with, and all of their loving kindness made me cry. The morons are the ones who made me pissed off. lol.

My former co-workers have said things before, but they asked to see an updated picture (they live all across the country, and we still talk even though few of us work for the same companies anymore). So I showed them this one. They were very gracious and said, "It looks like you've only gained weight in your belly -- it's all baby!" Which it really is. That and boobs (which look even tinier Steph, and they're bigger!). My hips have spread a bit, but that's pelvis separating. Hubby agrees it's all belly and boobs -- he says my butt and legs haven't changed much at all. And after all, who sees me naked and knows where the weight is? Geeze ...

Can you tell I'm annoyed? That would be the other reason I didn't go to any of the other meetings. I saw enough people who made enough comments to last me the rest of the pregnancy, didn't need to see the rest of them.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Had a horrible nightmare, had to check on Kidlet, so here I am now that I can't sleep ... lol.

The contrax have slowed down unless I try to *do* anything. Steph came over and cleaned on Saturday for a couple hours, then mentioned IKEA had a sale on a dresser I'd been eyeing for the baby, and since we have nowhere to put his clothes/dipes/anything, we headed up there. It's less than 20 minutes away, and she made me borrow a wheelchair from IKEA and pushed me around the store in it. Kiddo pushed the flat cart (we got her a dresser too since hers is really old and falling apart), and we chilled with hot dogs and cinnamon buns after. Even doing just that much tuckered me out the rest of the day and I did have some contrax later, so I've been trying to rest the rest of the weekend. We did go see FIL, but I parked my butt on a couch and didn't move unless I had to pee -- hubby got me food and drinks and catered to me even though it's Father's Day. LOL. I did make a peach cobbler last night (like, super easy) because it's FIL's favorite dessert I've ever made for them. We bought hubby some computer components a week or two ago, and that was his present from me. Small Fry called him (shocker, she hasn't the last two years for Father's Day!) so that was good to hear from her. And kiddo made him a card and a little key/money/pen/pencil holder out of a can (from the peaches for the cobbler, lol) and drew pictures and stuff for it. She did a really good job. She's been super helpful and well behaved as well. She's used up all the Sculpey, so I need to try and get her some more (and maybe see if kipluck and/or steph can help her since I am not that kind of an artist). And she's been learning to do counted cross stitch, too -- making a little Nemo thing for her brother. hehehe.

Two 29-oz cans sliced peaches, drained, reserve juice
1 c flour
1 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg

Spray a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick spray; put drained peaches in bottom. Sprinkle peaches liberally with cinnamon. In a small bowl, mix dry ingredients. Add egg and some of the reserved peach juice, enough to make a brownie/cake batter consistency (about 1/2 c?). Spread all over peaches and bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes. Serve with whipped topping or vanilla ice cream. YUM.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Fave Five, plus Sense and Sensitivity, a.k.a., Happy Father's Day

1. Cherries. Again with the juicy goodness. hehehe. I've eaten pounds of them this week ... lol

2. Friends coming to the rescue. Seriously, when you have friends who bring you cookies and books and food, life doesn't get much better.

3. Family coming to the rescue. Same thing. I've been fairly spoiled.

4. SCULPTEY!!! Okay, kiddo LOVES crafting. LOVES it. She makes ginormous messes and wants to create things but doesn't have the correct materials or the learned skills to do things with. So this summer, she's tried crochet (horribly frustrating to her), counted cross stitch (horribly frustrating to me since she keeps putting knots in the floss), and finally ... sculptey. Bought the kind that you create and bake, and then it's still bendy and you can play with it! She loves it. I'm going to have to either send hubby for more or try and get to the craft store on my day off or something. Sorry the picture is sideways. This is Pigwidgeon from Harry Potter. She made him yesterday. I have to glue his head back on though. lol

5. Paying off bills and catching up on tithing. Somehow we got behind on tithing, but it'll be caught up Sunday. And I paid off 3 credit cards this month ... only to realize I forgot to pay two other ginormous bills. I did catch one up, and will get the other soon. Wheeeeeeeeeee. Love being brain dead.

And because I'm not sure I'll be on at all this weekend ... some deep thoughts. We'll be taking peach cobbler to FIL for Father's Day, and hubby's computer components (to his tower which still isn't working *sigh*) are his Father's Day gift. So ...

Happy Father's Day to all you bio-dads and step dads and foster dads and granddads ... not that any of you read my blog, but whatever. I've just been thinking about some stuff, and the daddies who take care of kids, whether theirs biologically or not, are on my gratitude list.

When I was a kid, I only knew a couple of kids in homes with divorced parents. I didn't know the correct terminology to refer to their step-parents or bio-parents, and years later, I found out I'd really hurt someone by referring to her bio-father as her "real" dad, and her step-father as her "fake" dad. I was mortified I'd ever said such a thing.

Her step-father had been married to her mother for a long time. He helped raise her (and her siblings) and take care of her and was a father to her in all but the biological sense of the word. Her bio-father was involved in her life, too, so perhaps the more respectful term to use would have been "step-dad" in that case.

This was brought home to me again recently when someone referred to my ex-husband as kiddo's "real" dad. It hurt me a lot (and I did later talk to that person about it; everything is fine now). In our house, we refer to him as her biological father and recently she started calling him her "birth father." Which is a good term for him. My ex was there to make her and stayed for me to birth her, but he has never been involved in her life, nor has he ever paid child support. Her REAL dad is my sweet husband -- the man who loves her and provides for her and takes care of her and holds her when she's sad and disciplines her when she makes bad choices. The man who baptized and confirmed her and says a family prayer with us twice every day and tucks her in when I can't and listens to her prayers at night, too. The man who stayed through her not sleeping through the night for months after our wedding, being woken up two or three times between midnight and 3 a.m., which is when he had to get up to go to work. The man who has never once complained about her (or me) being a financial burden to him. My husband wants to adopt her, and we do need to look into that, but for all intents and purposes except biologically speaking, he is her REAL father.

These days, kiddo is definitely not the only child of divorced biological parents in her class. Some have been through 2 or 3 divorces. Kiddo's kindergarten class asked her repeatedly on the day we did her spotlight where her dad was. We didn't even know my husband yet, so she just kept telling them, "I don't have a dad." Well. Now she does.

So, to my childhood friend (who will probably never read this blog either), again, I am so sorry. I never knew how hurtful my words were to you until we grew up. And I hope in the future I can be more aware of the words I use so I don't hurt people like I did then or have since then when I'm being stupid.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Twilight, The Host, bitterness, and real life love.

Okay, yes, I finished The Host in less than 2 days. I read. Fast.

I enjoyed this rather a lot more than Twilight.

First, in Twilight, the vampire/human thing has no acceptable outcome. DisGrace pointed this out to me long ago when I was reading another vampire/human love story and reminded me of it recently, and it's so true. Edward is not going to turn Bella, his love, into a vampire voluntarily, even though she is completely willing to become one (and leave behind her family and real life) to be with him. And he's going to exist forever, but can never truly be alive again.

Second, the whole teenager "he's more important than anything" angst is completely romanticized in Twilight. I *remember* having a boyfriend at that age. And I married my ex-husband when I wasn't much older. Drama and angst and giving up everything to be with someone? Yeah. Not cool. I remember what it's like. The angst and all the torment ... isn't healthy. Maybe it's a stage of life that most of us have to go through and mine just carried out too long, but if Bella does succeed in forcing Edward (or any of his vampire family) into making her a vampire, she'll be in that *stage* for ... ever. This really bothered me.

To be fair, I have not read New Moon or Eclipse. Maybe she grows out of it? But then where would the story be. Because of how my brain works (wants to know the end of the story), I will probably read them and Breaking Dawn as well. *sigh*

Also be fair, I would do just about anything to stay with my husband. We've been through couples therapy, counseling from our bishop, and a whole heck of a lot of crap to stay together. We're both committed to making our marriage work. But we're both human and we're married and I'm not a teenager anymore. IF my family was toxic (and they're not, mostly. :P) I'd stick with him over them. But abandoning your family for a man/woman? It's not healthy. True, once you're married and in a good marital relationship you probably won't spend as much time with your family of origin/birth as you do your family you are creating, but that's to be expected. It is not expected that you disappear off the face of the earth in their eyes.

UNlike Twilight, The Host has an acceptable solution for an alien love interest. I'm not going to spoil it for those who haven't read it, but there was none of that teen crap in this book. Granted, The Host was written for adults while Twilight was written for teens in the midst of all of that, but I don't think it shows them anything healthy at all.

ANYWAY. In The Host, I loved the descriptions of other planets Wanderer had been on. Loved how being human was different and more difficult for her (and other aliens) than any other race/species they'd occupied. Loved how she learned about relationships and interacting and healthy love. I rather enjoyed it, even the creepiness of an alien race occupying not just our planet but our BODIES, so if you have any inclination, I'd recommend the Host.

Because of these sci-fi love stories and some interesting conversations I've had of late ... there's a real-life problem I'm going to discuss: Bitterness and finding your eternal companion.

I'll admit to my fair share of "Bitter, party of one," after my divorce. For years. And then I couldn't understand what my problem was, why I couldn't find a man who would treat me well and love me through and through in spite of my flaws. Why I had a lot of "one date wonders" or why some of these men who claimed to be righteous Priesthood holders thought "divorcee = easy lay." I dated a lot for about a year and then gave up. I didn't get LESS bitter while trying to date. I got more. I'd said things like, "I'm just looking for someone I can stand to spend more than an hour at a time with." Or, "Just hook me up with Keanu Reeves: Mildy cute, not too bright, and loaded with money." Yes, the last was a joke, but only partly. I'd been mean and rude and snotty to men, and yet still kissed them or made out with them (and they had no respect for me or themselves either), then whined to my girlfriends about my singleness. Finally, I realized I needed to be a better me.

Over the next couple of years, I worked on my relationships with God, my daughter, my family, and my friends, on my career, and on becoming the best me I could be. Several months after I bought my condo, I decided I was okay and doing fine, and could live with or without a husband but wanted to find a good man to share my life with. So I started exploring options and going places where single men were. And then I found out about my heart surgery. I completely shut down. I wasn't going to burden any man with that drama.

It is part of the natural grief process when you learn something like that about your body to shut down to some extent -- it failed me and I needed major surgery to fix it, so I needed time to process that. It really bothered me on some level that I hadn't met my husband yet and he would never know my body UN-scarred. I have the best scars now though ... lol.

While going through that grief process and realizing I would be okay but needed to have that surgery to stay okay, I kept working on me and those relationships and doing things I loved, and spent a lot of time with my family. So when DisGrace called to see if I'd be interested in going on a blind date with a friend of her husband, I thought, "What the heck. A date isn't going to kill me. It could even be fun." I knew my BIL wouldn't set me up with just anyone. The guy had to be pretty great for him to even consider introducing us. I didn't expect it to turn into an eternal relationship, nor was that what I was looking for that night. I just wanted to go out and have some fun, meet a nice guy who wouldn't try and grab my boobs or get into my pants, thinking if a spark wasn't there, I'd have a great guy to hang with. He, on the other hand, knew we'd get married the first night we met ... lol.

My point is, I wasn't bitter anymore. I knew marriage would be work, but I'd learned that any good relationship takes effort from both parties, whether it's a dating relationship or a friendship or what have you. Someone is going to annoy another person at some point, but if you care about the person and your relationship, you work on it. And marriage requires MORE work than any other earthly relationship. When I did meet Mr. Right, I was willing and ready and equipped to put forth the effort it would take to make a marriage work because I'd spent the time working on relationships the previous years -- family, friends, God, and my relationship with myself.

Neither of us is perfect. I am still a work in progress. So is he. Our life together has not been perfect. We've been through things together that I wouldn't wish on any of my loved ones. But we did it together and are committed to each other, even when one of us cries all the time (me, pregnant) or one of us gets worked up over computers (him). At the end of the day, even when we've been arguing, we hug, we kiss, we have a prayer, and he goes to work. And in the morning, he comes home to me. We've learned that no matter what happens, as long as we face it together and keep God in the picture and bitterness out of it, we'll be okay.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hilariously Funny

And TRUE. I've played this piece before ... in my former life as a concert pianist. Only I didn't have to use wood blocks.

Monday, June 9, 2008

You may be wondering ...

WHY the big huge post earlier. I may be publishing the Dell saga on geek websites, but wanted it all documented in one place as of today since things got very ugly. lol

Munchkin got her glasses adjusted today! So happy. Came home from that and a couple other things (minor; i was mostly behaving) and Kaje had left The Host and COOKIES!!! Oh ... such good cookies ... from a REAL bakery (which I'd never even heard of before ...) Evil, evil Kaje. ;) Thank you!!

Anyway. If you see anything else titled "Dell" or "Dell Saga" please don't feel obliged to read. lol

The Dell Saga

We bought my husband a new Dell Inspiron 531 computer last fall (October) for his birthday. It worked fine, but eventually ... somehow ... we misplaced the password. That part was completely our fault. The rest of this mess is not.

There were no instructions anywhere in any of the paperwork or when we turned on the computer the first time to make a boot disk, which was the first question out of the tech's mouth when we called in. We had never purchased a computer before (my husband built his, and I've not had a PC, just used my company's computers for work), so we didn't just automatically know this needed to be done. Because it was loaded with the "awesomeness" of Windows Vista, there is no way around the password (trust me. we tried. dell tried, too). The monitor had also died, but when we called tech again, somehow it started working again randomly. So, eventually Dell said they'd just reload the OS and everything and it would be fine.

It killed the machine.

They sent out a tech, who tried replacing the hard drive. That didn't work either. So the tech called Dell, and said they'd send us an exchange computer that was built exactly the same as the original.

We were thrilled to get the new computer on June 4, 2008, hoping it would be the end of the problems. Unfortunately, it was just the beginning.

We noticed the CPU was a different brand than our original CPU. The original CPU was an AMD X2 5600+ 2.80 GHz CPU. The one they replaced it with was an Intel E4600 2.40 GHz.

When my husband called Dell that night (June 5, 2008), he was on the phone for about 1-1/2 hours. They pushed his call back and forth between technical support and customer service. Not one person on the other end would give him their ID badge number. And when he asked to speak with a supervisor, they put him back in the main phone pool. He finally spoke to someone else and again asked to speak with a supervisor. They put him on hold and when the phones switched over at 8:00 p.m. MST, he was disconnected. He tried calling back, but could not get through. He had spoken with 8 or 9 different people, very briefly, during that 1-1/2 hours.

The next morning, June 6, 2008, I called Dell myself. I spoke with a very polite gentleman in Customer Service, who insisted the 2.40 GHz processor was an upgrade. But he also told me the original CPU for the original computer was supposed to have been a 2.91 GHz. Their tech had also noted this when he came to replace the hard drive, and documented it on the paperwork he left with us. I explained to the CS rep my understanding of the current problem, and he finally admitted that he is not very knowledgeable about technical things and sent me to the technical department, which is the number I'd dialed to begin with, but whatever. I again spoke with a very polite gentleman in tech, who also insisted the 2.40 processor was an upgrade. I told him that wasn't true; it's a lesser piece of equipment. He told me to go to Intel's website and look at the benchmarks for performance on that CPU and see how it compared to the Athlon processor on their website. Both websites are biased toward their own product, of course, so it was hard to get a good answer to this. Then the technical support guy transferred me to his manager, who told me the same thing: The Intel chip is better basically because it is Intel. They both also assured me they would email me so all I would have to do is reply to that email if we had further problems and they would call me back.

I never got the email. I checked my inbox as well as trash and bulk mail folders repeatedly the next two days and it never came through.

When I told my husband the results of that phone call, he called them back. He spent nearly 4 hours on the phone, again being transferred back and forth between CS and TS, and everyone saying they couldn't give us a 2.8 processor. You know. The processor we chose and paid for to begin with. They kept insisting the 2.40 GHz processor was an upgrade and we should be happy. Dell's policy is to replace a computer equally or with an upgrade, but this was NOT an upgrade. They sent an inferior piece of equipment. He finally got one person to say, "Okay, we'll send the 2.8," and transferred him to the wrong department. The person in THAT department said the 2.8 processor is incompatible with the 530 machine we now have. What? Why do we have a 530 when we purchased a 531? Because Dell discontinued the 531 between the time we purchased it and the time the machine died. We were not told there would be a switch -- I was assured the computer would be the same or better than the original computer. My husband asked if we could just return both computers and get our money back because we obviously don't have what we paid for. He was told we were outside the 12-day window for refunds since we purchased the computer last fall, and there is no way we can get our money back at this point. The manager at this time told my husband someone would be in touch within 48 hours, got our contact information, and disconnected. The next morning, another manager with Dell called us. He told my husband they don't *have* a 2.8 processor, which we later found both the statement about incompatibility and the statement that they didn't have one to be lies, per their own website. They spoke for about 30 minutes. That manager gave my husband his email address so we could email him, but also said he'd call back on Monday (June 9, 2008).

We were told to look at the L2 cache for both processors because then we would see that the L2 cache on the Intel chip was better than the AMD chip. That was also a lie: They are both 2 MB.

We did turn on the computer that day. But guess what? The monitor was dead again.

My mom works for Intel, so we asked her opinion. We have nothing against Intel at all, just want the same clock speed on our processor that we'd paid for in the beginning. She did some searching and came up with one independent comparison website, told us what she'd googled, and we did some searching as well.

The site we came across said the Intel E6600 2.40 GHz with a 4 MB cache was comparable to our original CPU. Not the same chip as the one they sent us. Dell doesn't offer the 6600 as an option. (The site also lists the 4300 and 4000 series as the less expensive options).

They do offer the 8300, which is a 2.83 GHz processor with a 6 MB cache. The cache isn't as important to us as the clock speed, but the difference on Dell's website between the 530 computer with a 4600 2.40 GHz processor and the 530 computer with the 8300 is FIFTY DOLLARS. We sent an email very early Monday morning to the manager my husband spoke with on Saturday and showed him both of the above links.

"Dear Sir:

Per our discussion, we have been talking to people and doing some research. Before I go any further, I am extremely frustrated and very angry after finding the following options on the 530 on Dell's website.

You said a 2.8 is incompatible with the 530 system. That was a lie. The above link clearly shows a 2.83 GHz processor, E8300, as an option for the 530. Since the 531 with the 2.8 CPU was discontinued, this is the processor that we should have received -- Dell sent us an inferior piece of equipment, not an equal and not an upgrade, which by your mouth and the paperwork we've been sent is Dell's policy. The following information proves this processor is inferior.

You asked me to look into the cache capacity and said the E4600 cache was better. The cache on the AMD processor is exactly the same as the cache on the E4600 processor: 2MB. Your claimed that the E4600 is a comparable or better processor is incorrect, as shown in the following independent study, which my mother-in-law, who works for Intel, showed me.

It lists the E6600 processor, which is 2.4 GHz, as the comparable CPU, and it has a 4MB cache. Furthermore, the L2 cache and the clock speed (GHz) function very differently, but work together. So if the L2 cache is the same between two processors, the clock speed is what will make the difference in how the computer functions. That is why we chose the larger processor and paid more money for it to begin with. Your customer service department also told my wife that our original computer should have had a 2.91 GHz CPU, not the 2.80, and the tech you sent out through Banctec also mentioned the same difference to us and documented it on our paperwork.

Dell never notified us that they had discontinued the 531 and sent us the 530 without explaining why. Dell also did not give us any options on this exchange. My wife was reassured that it would be the exact computer or better for the exchange. The machine we have is an inferior product to the one we purchased. It is a $50 difference per Dell's website for the E8300 and the E4600 that you sent me, and the E8300 is the processor I expect. If we were purchasing the computer today from Dell, the E8300 is the processor we would choose. Is that $50 really worth Dell's reputation?

One more thing of note, the 20" flat screen Samsung monitor that came with the computer is dead. Again. I do expect this to be replaced as well this time, since there is obviously something wrong with it as it has stopped working twice now.

I expect a timely response and resolution of this matter. Thank you for your time."

As of now, June 9, 2008, another hour has been spent with Dell. The manager said he didn't get the above email at first, but eventually he went and checked his email. Bear in mind, we've been told different things, repeatedly told we'd be emailed and never saw those emails, and yes, my husband is angry. We believe the reason they want to keep this all on the phone and refuse to email is so there is no legal standing for us to take the matter further.

He put my husband on hold to check his options and came back saying he wants to refund our money, but with a 45% depreciation rate, and not including the monitor, which they will not do anything about. For the $850 or so we spent just on the tower, we'd only get about $470 back, which obviously isn't enough to buy a new computer. Then he said he might be able to work a deal for us for only a 40% depreciation rate, which is still only about $510. He's also informed us that our Samsung monitor now needs to be fixed or replaced by Samsung and we have to deal with Samsung only, even though we purchased it through Dell.

He asked us if we wanted to keep the 530, because that will resolve their side of the issue. We don't want the 530 with the processor that is in it, which we've repeatedly told them, and he avoided discussing the actual problem, which is the processor being an inferior processor to the one we purchased. We've explained why the 2.80 or 2.83 is better for the reasons we bought the computer (online gaming), but he refused to discuss it, just said he believes he's correct. He could not show any proof, unlike our email to him which included their website and the independent studies. On pushing the issue, he said that they will send a technician out to "attempt" to fix the 531. They had already told us they don't have the AMD parts, but he said during this conversation they have them even though he already told us they don't have the 531. The CPUs are not interchangeable because the motherboards are brand specific -- they don't fit. They want us to ship back the 530, which is fine with us, but only if they really fix the 531.

We spent nearly $1150 on a machine that is now worthless, got an exchange computer that is inferior to what the original was supposed to be without being notified there were any changes to begin with, and the monitor is gone. Thank you for flushing $1150 down the toilet, Dell. Rest assured, we will not purchase another computer from you in the future.

ETA: Okay, Samsung? They rock. 10 minutes on the phone including hold time. They knew exactly what was wrong with the monitor. They are sending a new monitor to the UPS Store around the corner, so all we have to do is take the defective monitor to the store and exchange at the store. No cost, no depreciation. THAT is customer service.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Yet another reason I heart my husband

Okay, so the dishes and laundry aren't done and haven't been this week. BUT, he took the grocery list with him to work last night, *didn't* lose it, and bought the groceries this morning, making sure he got plenty of all of the things I'm craving this week (cherries and ding dongs and strawberry kiwi juice). He bought all the stuff I'd put on the list and he didn't spend a fortune. Just thankful for him today for taking care of the things I can't do like I used to.

And when he came home and saw me in the doorway of the bedroom, all sleep mussed and makeup smeared, wearing just a T-shirt over my G's, he smiled and said, "you look good." And that's the second time this week he's said so! He loves me no matter how ginormous my tummy gets. awwwwwwwww.

Now I just need to figure out a way to get him to do the dishes and laundry ... mwahahahaha.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Bedrest is Boring

But we all knew that right? Since my sister dropped off books Sunday night, I've read FIVE. Four were just regular sized novels, but how on earth did I read Twilight in one day? Oh, right, because I've been lying down so much. Woooo. I need hubby to go to the video store something major. I was so tempted to go to the store this morning and get some juice (hubby went to Costco a couple days ago, but the juice I want isn't there). I'm not going to, but wow, the temptation was huge. lol. I'll see if I can get hubby to go later on today. I *do* need to get to the school and pick up something for kiddo from her teacher, but she does know what is going on, so when I call in a minute, I'm going to ask her if she'll meet me outside so I don't have to walk in the building.

Kiddo has been at DisGrace's since Sunday and I miss her lots. They are supposed to come over this morning, either for a visit or for her to stay until Sunday, then go back for a few days. We'll see.

I did pretty good yesterday ... Monday I'd rested most of the day because any time I stood up or sat up, I got contractions. Wooo! I rested a lot yesterday too. I didn't have many contractions yesterday, until last night when I was trying to sleep. lol.

Today is my day "off" work, but I'm still going to try and work some -- we really do need the money. Don't worry. I'm not pushing myself much at all. :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

"modified" bedrest, and an update

This really means I'm in bed as much as I can because any time I work or sit or do anything for more than an hour or two at a time, I get hit with contractions. They aren't super bad all the time, but I did have one just a few minutes ago that took my breath away. I'm trying to figure out where to get a bedside table like they have in hospickles (only less expensive) so I can work from bed.

As far as Small Fry goes ... Hubby decided we weren't bringing her out here for the summer. After he explained his reasoning, I completely agree, and am entirely at peace about this.

Just to recap: After not hearing a word for 2+ months, we sent a card to her gramma's house. We'd been told previously not to contact the gramma at all because of how things are between her and Small Fry'smom. They called the Wednesday after we mailed it, and are now living in a motel after an apartment fire and some drama involving the landlord. They had "lost" our phone numbers. Again. Which is why we give it to them every dang time we talk, but whatever. Small Fry's mom hung up on hubby because he was pushing for full custody, so we figured we weren't getting her even for the summer.

Small Fry texted me Friday to tell me school is out this coming Wednesday. Wait, what? So I tried calling Friday and Saturday and finally texted her mom that I need to talk to her about the text ... So after two hours of phone calls and texts Saturday night, her mom lying to me, me calling her on it, etc., that's when hubby said NO. With the pregnancy and baby coming and and money and gas and plane tickets being how they all are ... and how stressful last year was with the girls fighting and Kidlet being a different kid altogether the entire time Small Fry was here ... and the fact that we tapped out our financial resources to get her here last year and then suffered through hell for 6 weeks ... He said it was just too much and we need to take care of *our* family, because as long as she's living with her mom, she'll never really be part of our family. And with the lies her mom is feeding her about him, the fact that Small thinks her dad is always mad at her or hates her isn't coming from us, the lack of rules she has with her mom and disrespect she has for both of us, etc., it's just too much. I did tell Small Fry we're not having her for the summer and she says it's okay. Munchkin got hysterical, but that was to be expected. She, however, slept through the night for the first time in weeks that night. I think she was stressed about it, too, even though she wants to see her sister. And ... hubby has been doing better, too.

MoJo is still kicking like crazy and wiggling all the time, so even when I'm having contractions, I know he's doing okay. He's going to be a big boy -- he's got his feet in my lungs and likes to poke my bladder constantly, so he's already pretty tall. OH, and the other day at the hospickle, he moved away from the heart monitor and started hiccupping, so all it was picking up was the hiccups. So cute. Really funny. He already has his definite likes, dislikes, and personality ... lol