Wednesday, April 28, 2010


They suck.  That could be the end of the post right there. Or, I could elaborate a bit.  Think I'll go with the second option.  I never had migraines until I moved to the town we live in now.  Before then, I had some headaches, and but not migraine status headaches.

I've learned some things that trigger them.  I know when a bad storm comes through I'll probably get one.  If I get stressed out, or have a serious lack of sleep, one will probably start.  I also have TMJ so if I clench my teeth I'll end up with one.  When it's from the last type, chewing gum helps.  It forces me to unclench my jaws and relax.  Stress or lack of sleep can be somewhat easy to control.  Storms?  Can't control those, just have to deal with it.  Some strong, over powering smells can also trigger a migraine.

That's what happened today.  A lady came in to give a presentation today wearing way too much perfume. It was a strong scent and she must have been wearing half a bottle.  The presentation lasted 1 1/2 hours, and it was a small, closed room.  We did leave one door open, at the back of the room, and that's where I sat.  It was still awful!  I know that five of us left that room with bad headaches.  I smelled her perfume when we got back from lunch and she was two rooms away. Knowing what was coming, I took a headache pill before I ever walked into that meeting.  It helped some, but not nearly enough.  I actually had to leave work, come home and change clothes.  I could still smell it as if it were clinging to my clothes.  I'm not sure if it was or if it was just all in my head, but that and laying down means my headache is starting to get better.

I have two different migraine medicines.  I have one that I can take when it starts, or when I think one may be triggered.  Today I knew that there as a 99% chance I would get one from that perfume so I took one before the meeting.  I even gave one to a coworker.  She has a prescription for the same one, but had left hers at home.  She shares with me if I'm out at the office; it's nice that both of us use the same medicine.  The other I have is only for when it gets too bad for the first to work. I can't keep it at work because once I take it, I pass out within 15 minutes.  If it starts to get that bad at work, I leave before my vision gets blurry and I can't see to drive home.  I'm hoping this one gets better before I need to pick Paige up from daycare.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Magic Tree House

I should probably start this by saying we are a family of readers.  Think about it, we named our daughter Paige.  And that's not just because of Paige on Charmed or because Ronnie insisted we have a P name for her middle name.  (Her monogram is STP, you know, like the band.)  Thanks to this blog by Jonah Lisa we have discovered The Magic Tree House books.  Her son, Huck, is the same age as Paige and I decided if he can sit through several chapters a night, we would try it too.

At first I tried to get these from the library, but then realized that was too slow.  They didn't have them in order, or would have to get them from another branch.  We're going through them at a rate of 1 book every 3 days and the library just couldn't keep up with her.  I've taken to buying them in sets of 4 from Barnes and Noble.  I love their pick up service.  Find the book I want online, reserve it in the store, get a text telling me it's ready, stop by and pick it up.  No having to search for it, or have a wasted trip.  

To say Paige has become hooked is an understatement.  She absolutely loves this series.  I'm sure she doesn't understand quite all of it yet, but she will.  One of the good things about owning the series is she can go back and re read them for herself when she gets older.  The series is based on a brother and sister, Jack and Annie, and their adventures in a magical tree house Annie finds in the woods.  We usually read 3 chapters a night for 2 nights, then finish the last 4 chapters on the 3rd night.  Sometimes on weekends we cheat and read some during the day plus our usual chapters at night.  You know it must be good when your 4 year old brings you the book and asks you to keep reading.  

We started book 9 last night, Dolphins at Daybreak.  Paige has already pulled out book 10, Ghost Town at Sundown, and asked how many more nights until she can read that one.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

April, In Pictures

Things are settling back down to normal around here.  Tax season is over and we're getting back into the routine of both Mommy & Daddy being around.  I do realize I haven't posted many pictures lately, so here's our April, in pictures.  Prepare for picture overload, and enjoy.

Paige in her Easter dress with Star the unicorn at the botanical gardens.

Paige and Daddy relaxing with books in the spring/ summer ready back yard.

The Easter Bunny was good to us.  To all of us.  First to Paige.

And also to Mommy, Daddy, and Grammy.  Mommy got the Kinder Egg, Daddy got a Perry, and Grammy got a selection of sugar free candies.  We all got bubbles.

Daycare had an Easter egg hunt and party.  We both took off work to make it and had a blast.

Easter Sunday was spent with Ronnie's Dad and Step Mom at their crawfish boil.  The drive to New Orleans was completely worth it.

Paige decided she wanted to learn to boil for herself. 

The weekend after Easter Paige needed a new bike.  14 inch?  Legs not fully extended. 16 inch?  Legs still not fully extended.  18 inch????!!!!????  Yep.  

That weekend was also Girls Day with Grammy, Aunt Glennis and cousin Nicole.  We made a trip to Bellingrath Gardens to see the azaleas in bloom.  Paige got to meet Aslan from Chronicles of Narnia.  To be honest, I'm not sure what the lions name is supposed to be, but that's what we've named him.

April 16th is my birthday.  We had a few friends over that Saturday.  Ronnie and Paige baked my cake, as usual.  This year I asked for a cake I had when I was a kid, R2-D2.  Same cake pan by the way.  It's a 30 year old cake pan and used sparingly these days.

Paige and Daddy planted me some pretty flowers for my birthday since they'll last longer than cut flowers.  They even planted my favorite- daisy's.

Most recently, Tia Patti and Uncle Hal celebrated their 15th anniversary with an awesome party.  It was an 80's theme, at the skating rink.  Paige started learning to skate.

I think that catches you up on our April so far.  We'll close out the month with Relay for Life Friday night.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Children's Place follow up

I received a call yesterday from the regional manager.  When I called customer service, I left my name, but not my phone number, email, or address.  I wasn't calling to complain so they would send me coupons.  I wanted them to know why I was no longer shopping there.  Because I've purchased from them online I guess, they were able to get my phone number.

The manager was very nice.  She wanted to hear what happened in my own words.  I went through it all, starting with the first shopping trip on Friday.  She was amazed at what happened.  She was also rather unhappy I couldn't give names, since they never wear name tags.  Oh, they're supposed to wear name tags, but no one ever bothers to.  The manager thanked me for my call and said if people don't call they can't know exactly what's going on.  When she shows up in a store, things are immediately done correctly.  She likes to receive the feedback from an everyday shopper.  Even if the feedback isn't positive she likes it, so she can correct the problem.

I was informed that they've had issues and complaints about this store in the past.  A new manager was moved into the store about a month ago and is trying to improve it.  Nothing was said about the employee who checked me out Monday other than she has been identified, and appropriate actions are taking place with her.  The new manager is trying to hire in new employees and retrain those already on staff who want to learn the proper way of doing things.

I've worked retail, a lot, and I know it isn't easy.  That's one of the reasons I try to be polite when I'm shopping.  Other than it's just nice to be nice to people, I know they have bad days and days when customers just aren't very nice to them.  I always get off my cell phone before checking out.  I make sure I say thank you.  Little things; common things to me.  Maybe that lady was having a bad day.  But even if she was, there was no reason to take it out on me.  That quota she mentioned?  Yes, they try to get 30% of all customers to give their email address.  They do that so they can email you coupons tailored to your shopping interests.  BUT, and here's the kicker, the manager I spoke with said they do not lose their jobs if they don't get that 30%.  They realize that a lot of people won't give it out.  As long as they are asking each person to give the information, then they are doing their jobs.

I was asked to give Children's Place another chance.  I'm being mailed a coupon to come back and visit. I may or may not use it.  I haven't decided yet.  I did tell her that if I do go back, it won't be for several months.  I will give the new manager time to make changes in the store before going back.  No point in going in there now and getting frustrated all over again.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Children's Place lost my business

Yes, that's right, I'm no longer shopping at Children's Place.  I find it sad since Paige is most definitely still in their size range.  She wears a 5, so we could have shopped there for years.  But, I'm now boycotting.  It all started Friday.  I posted on the stores that gave me attitude when I declined to give my email address, and phone number.  One of them was Children's Place.  We were back in there Saturday to exchange too small shoes, buy water shoes for the summer, and a new pair of jammies.  Yes, I love  their sales.  The clothes are good quality, stand up to lots of wear, and the sale prices are great.  I declined to give my information on Saturday as well.

Monday, I had to make another trip there; luckily the mall is right next to my office.  The cat had chewed up a pair of flip flops and I promised Paige I would replace them.  (At a sale price of $2.50 and not being her fault, I had to replace them.)  I got the new flip flops and went to check out.  Once again I was asked for my phone and email.  Once again I declined.  This was met with a loud sigh.  I went to swipe my debit card, only to have the terminal jerked away and turned to face the cashier.  She then put in her email address.  I asked why she did that, and the answer was less than nice.  I was told they have a quota of information they must get each week and month.  That not enough people will give their information, so the cashiers have to put their information in so they can meet their quotas.  And it wasn't said in the nicest of ways either.  

I can honestly say that if I hadn't promised Paige those flip flops, I would have returned them.  I wasn't going to let her make me break a promise to my child. Thanks to the wonders of the iPhone I left the store, sat on a bench, looked up the number on line, pressed it, and called customer service.  I reported the store, the employee thanks to the code at the bottom of the receipt, and told them they lost my business.  I will say that the lady at their corporate office was very nice and apologized a lot.  She seemed genuinely appalled at what happened to me.  And she said if that was company policy it should never have been stated to me and certainly not the way it was.  She did ask me to clarify what email address was put in the terminal, and I was able to give it to her.  She said they could search the database by email address to see how often it was being used.  

It was never my intention to get anyone in trouble.  I simply wanted a pair of pink "Rock like a Princess" flip flops for my pink haired girl.  That's all.  I do realize that customer service has really dropped off recently.  But I don't think it should.  The economy may be getting a bit better, but it's still not great.  Where I spend my money should be a place that wants my business.  Obviously, Children's Place is not one of them.  That's fine.  I'll keep my money and spend it elsewhere.  I can't tell you where to shop, but I will suggest you look at your customer service. Do you decline your personal information?  Do you get attitude?  Does the cashier chew gum like a cow in your face?  You may want to consider shopping at new stores.  And if you make a decision not to shop in a certain store, I encourage you to call their customer service line and let them know.  I think the more we as consumers stand up and demand better service the better service will get.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Coolest Parents of the Year

And the award goes to US!  Here's why.




Paige and Mommy both have pink hair now.  How many parents let their 4 year old have pink hair?  It's only a temporary.  It will wash out in a couple of weeks with regular washing.

Friday, April 9, 2010

My email address

Like most people I know, I have more than one email address.  I have my work one, of course, and a main personal one.  Then I have the one I created for this blog, one I use for my Mommy Boards, and a couple of throw away, junk emails.  Most of them have the same variations in them, something with my SciFiMama name, my real name, and a different username I created for a board, and at different free email services.  Some are gmail, and yahoo, and an old hotmail or two just floating out there as well.  I can give you an email address at the drop of a hat.  Which email I give you is based on my level of trust with you.  If you have my email with my real name in it, I really like and trust you.

Sometimes though, I think it goes too far.  I did a bit of shopping today when I got off work.  Nothing too big and fancy.  I stopped at the mall for some light shopping.  There were a few necessities at Target to start.  I was headed further into the mall when I noticed the sale sign at Children's Place.  I got Paige her new summer flip flops (on sale 2 for $5) and her bathing suit (on sale for $10).  As I was checking out I was asked for my email address.  I politely declined.  I got a rather nasty look at my "No, thank you."  Oh well, she can get over that, right?  I got my bag and walked on to my next destination.  Picked up a few things and went to check out.  Again, I was asked for my email address. Again, I declined, saying they already had it.  This was met with "Well, if you give me your email we can update with what you purchase and give you more relevant coupons."  I know that's why they want my email address, but to put it so bluntly?  Maybe it was the way I took it.  Or maybe how she said it.  I'm sure it wouldn't have sounded nearly as nasty if she had stopped chewing her gum like a cow.  I don't want my purchases tracked.  Why do they need to know I just bought 2 new pair of panties at Victoria's Secret?  The world doesn't know that; only the part of the world that reads my blog!  I was using a coupon they sent me, so they know enough about me to know my email address and that my birthday is in April so they sent me the $10 off birthday coupon.  They don't need to know what size and colors I bought, or even what I bought.  Knowing I shop there should be enough.

I share my email address with lots of people.  And I could have given them a fake email or one of the spam emails.  But it was the point.  They just don't need it.  When I register at a website then I can give it.  If there's a good reason to give it out to a store, I will.  But really, I don't want someone somewhere to track everything I buy.  My bank knows what I use my debit card for, and I think that's good enough.  Big Brother is watching over us enough as it is.  I don't have to make it super easy for them.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

All about me

After reading MinneMom's blog today I realized I never shared my background.  This started as just a blog for me and a few close friends and family.  Others are now wandering in, and I really like that!  Those of you who have known me for  a while can just skip this post.

I'm from a small town called Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  It's on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and is known as a small artist community.  We moved a lot, going from California to Florida, and always back to Ocean Springs.  Most of my family lives within 4 miles of each other.  That's what happens when your Grandparents give all 8 of their kids property on the same road.

I joined the Army when I was 20 as a broadcast journalist.  It was the job I always wanted to do.  Not only did I get to do it, but I also got to travel.  I was stationed in Panama, Honduras and Germany.  I was given a medical discharge because of a knee injury.  I don't have a lot of cartilage in my left knee, and what I do have is wearing away.  Also, now my knee cap doesn't go up and down like a normal person, it goes diagonally.  I don't run anymore.

After I got out of the Army I lived in Texas and Miami before returning to the Gulf Coast.  Ronnie and I married in 2004.  We were both married before, but neither of us had kids.  Ronnie and I first met in junior high and he was my first boyfriend.  We settled down not on the Gulf Coast, but over in Alabama.  We're close enough to home to drive over on weekends.  We would like to move back there eventually, but not right now. We both enjoy the jobs we have and aren't looking to change.  Paige joined us in 2006.  She was born twenty years, almost to the day, from when Ronnie and I first met.  That's a bit crazy even to us!

You may be wondering where my blog title came from.  It started from a screen name I used on a Mommy board.  I have a love of most things science fiction.  Star Wars is my favorite movie series of all time.  My first crush was on Spock.  I could happily watch the SyFy channel for almost 24 hours a day.  I would have to turn it off when they play wrestling though.  Favorite TV show of all time?  The Twilight Zone.  Rod Serling was a genius writer who put a lot of thought and political commentary into his writings.  Paige's name is Serling Paige, after Rod and Paige from Charmed.  If we ever have another little girl her name will be Piper, also a sister from Charmed.

When Paige was a year old I decided what I wanted to be when I grow up: an accountant.  I finished my degree and all the requirements to sit for the CPA exam.  Now I have to actually sit for all 4 parts of it.  Overall I enjoy the work and the hours, when it isn't tax season.  My current favorite shows are NCIS, Dr Who and Torchwood.  I'm a constant reader.  I have to have a book to read or I feel lost.  Two of my favorite authors are Orson Scott Card and Stephen King.  I could read Ender's Game over and over.  Just pick it up and start anywhere, I'll know where I am in the book.

Oh, and my opinion on Twilight?  I enjoyed the books.  They were a nice, easy, fun read.  I read all four books in a week.  The movies?  I haven't enjoyed as much.  And for the record, vampires don't sparkle in sunlight.