Tuesday, May 31, 2011

dear ebay seller, we think you're making too much money. stop it.

I use ebay. To sell things mostly. (Although sometimes I buy stuff like orange crocs for toddlers). Annywaay..


I'm not really in love with selling on eBay, but when I have extra stuff, or want a little extra money, or whatever.. it's a viable go-to kinda website. For the most part, I've found, it's the easiest way.

Buuut.. it's also really really irritating. Really. Buyers can be demanding and picky. Overly so. I get weird emails. It's stressful working within eBay's rules and jumping through hoops to make sure I am protecting myself from dishonest folks. 99% of the time it all goes smoothly, but every now and then I run into something that makes me bang my head against the wall and swear off eBay "forever".

When you are selling regularly on ebay, especially items that don't individually garner you hundreds of dollars in profit.. you have to streamline everything. Every minute you waste on creating a listing, taking pictures, editing, answer questions, dealing with nonsense, going through the shipping process.. is time out of your real life. And I do have one.

I'm not a full time ebay seller. This isn't my whole life. It's just an extra. I'm one person, not a corporation. And I would think that that is the case of most using the site. (Or maybe I'm wrong. I don't know.) But for some reason no one else seems to realize that.

Well, there was a new one for me today. In which eBay itself became the irritant, and not the people using it. I tried to list an item, only to discover than I had a selling limit on my account. What? "We're sorry but we'd like you to slow down making money for yourself (and us).. try again in 30 days." But actually.. "Or if you are really insistent that you make more money, ask us and maybe we'll raise your limit." Honestly.

I guess you can't just email them, which seems crazy to me. So I tried their Live Chat. Which was fine. Except they couldn't actually help me. I had to call in. Call eBay? Am I the only that thinks that strange? Like calling Twitter. Or YouTube. Shouldn't you just be able to send an email?

Soo.. I called. And it went as most things seem to go these days. Lots and lots of script reading. But worse. Worse to the extent that I could hardly even follow along. I stated my problem, and before she even responded to it, she asked if I had any other questions before she helped me. What?

There were several points where I couldn't even hear the woman that took my call. Or understand what she was talking about. Which was fine because she was doing so much script reading that she was practically talking to herself.

She put me on hold- after I thought she had said she wasn't going to place me on hold because she didn't want to lose my call.. and all I could think was "what the heck is going on?" I had to answer two "security" questions about myself before they would consider increasing my listing limit. Do they get a lot of complaints from people that have had others increase their limit without their knowledge? So weird.

We left it at me getting an email in 24-72 hours with approval. Or not. Such a bizarre process.

Monday, May 30, 2011

don't hate. specifically, don't hate toddlers.

I love looking at the search results that bring people to Team Tantrum, but today..? "How to not hate toddler".. What a horrible thing to have to search the internet for. Unless they were looking for information on getting a toddler to not hate things (and not how to get over hating a toddler). I'm not sure if toddlers really hate things or if they are just constantly trying to exert their ever growing toddler independence.

I think the reader was taken to this post.. about a(nother) day I could not get Lily out of the house to get to the post office before they closed. It was a good post for someone that might feel they are too frustrated with a toddler, because when it comes right down to it it doesn't matter if you never set foot in a post office again.. these little people that love you unconditionally are the best thing ever. Ever.

Ever.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

memorial day weekend

I went out early this morning as I usually do on Sundays. And it was hazy. By the time I got home a few hours later, it had almost completely cleared up and the sky was blue. Afternoon came and it was warm. Then it got warmer. We went out for ice cream (and it was pretty much the best day of Lily's life. Ever. She was dancing in the ice cream shop.).

When we got back home the house the horribly warm. Opening every single window and turning on every single fan.. did.. nothing. For hours. And it's still pretty warm even now. At 11:00.

Made me miss this..


And this..


Right. Happy Memorial Day weekend. It's only going to get worse (before it gets better).

Saturday, May 28, 2011

the squeaky wheel gets the sales

I've always kind of had a soft spot for old Massachusetts- there's no where else I'd rather live. The winter's are just "harsh" enough and the summer isn't anymore unbearable than I can usually tolerate. Usually. Gush gush gush. It's pretty awesome here. (And well, of course, there lots and lots that is not awesome here, but that's not the point.) It's that I would totally rock this..


..handmade and sold on Etsy for $55. (Oh ya, there are some other states too.. 49 or so.. for all those poor folks not from Massachusetts). And actually there are several other designers making nearly identical items too. It's such a beautiful, and simple, idea. The "heart" trend is cute. I heart this, I heart that. I don't want to hear about it endlessly, but in small doses.. for a few things, it's cute.

Buut.. Urban Outfitters got quite a lot of flack recently when one Etsy seller (the one that made the necklace above) accused them of stealing her design. As I was reading some of the press, all I could think was, haven't I seen stuff like this before though? Yes.. and other people did too. On Etsy even. And for years. Hmm.

Putting a heart on something to show your love for it isn't any brand new revelation. Sucks to have an idea copied by someone else making a bigger profit from it (presumably), but isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery? Perhaps not after all. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Can't we all just get along?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

subway tile backsplash

I cannot stop thinking about remodeling. I cannot stop thinking about changes and fixes and..

Everything I look at in this house isn't even as it is anymore. I feel like it's all got a sheet of acetate over it with arrows, measurements, color swatches, whatever. Most on my mind right now is the kitchen. And a kitchen backsplash. There is one there right now- and it's brick. Goodness knows how long it's been there.. since the kitchen was created I assume. I've had so many ideas about what to do with it over the last 6 months or so. Should it stay or should it go? I am not fond of it at all and cannot get my mind off it. Can it be painted? Would it look ridiculous? What if it just got a watery white wash to tone it down a little and make it look a little less "bricky"..?

That was my best idea after just removing it all together, because  I didn't know how difficult it would be to take it down. Gouging holes in the wall isn't going to make anything look better. And then suddenly all the brick in the kitchen downstairs (which is being redone) was just gone one day. "Oh my goodness, look at that!" I said to myself- "that was the banging I heard." (Or maybe I said it out loud, whatever.) The walls were clean and white- it looked so much better even before a layer of patching and some sanding.

So it's possible. Probably just a crowbar and a hammer.. and the job'd be done in an hour or so. Mostly. Hmm..

I could do that. And then what would I put in my kitchen? Backsplash, backsplash, backsplash, hmm.. what about just a white flat tile with black "grout"? That might look good (of course all the cabinets and the counter needs help as well, but that's another day dream)- and I started looking into it online because why spend money on design magazines when you can look it up on the internet for free!


Turns out that effect is being referred to as a "subway tile backsplash". I don't know where this picture came from, but it does look a little bit awesome to me. In this picture, it might be more shiny and less flat than I was thinking, but it's pretty close. Is it too harsh? I don't know. I'd like a kitchen, not a laboratory (okay, maybe I want a laboratory too).. so maybe a color would be better. But which one?

Although, a super white kitchen with a black counter could be nice..


Which also brings to mind the cabinets again. In theory, I like the idea of window cabinets and seeing into the dishes. You have to have good looking dishes though I guess. I choose mine in many different colors because I'm a dish rebel.. and that would really be a focal point in white kitchen, eh?

I can't believe I'm talking about kitchens. White kitchens. My awesome dishes as a focal point because I'll have see through cabinets in my kitchen. Who is this person?

"Thankfully" I still have so much time to think about it. Where are my idea boards?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I had a really good title for this post, and then instantly forgot what it was

I have a lot a lot a lot of anger. Towards this guy- a so-called relative. That called my daughter stupid. And so on.

There. I said it.  It's not such a secret, but.. when he took to the internet a few months ago to make some nasty remarks about my 2 year old.. it was pretty much gloves off. I don't see how a mom gets over someone calling their toddler stupid. Oh hey, ha ha, remember that time..

A few weeks ago, The Bad Moms Club posted an article about something unrelated, but there were a few paragraphs that struck a chord with me about my own "mama bear" anger- and I realized that's really what it is: "When someone picks on a child, their parents’ response isn’t to say “oh, yeah, hahaha, that’s funny! And so right! I am going to totally change my ways because that bully is totally correct!” Our response, instead, is to behave much as the bull who’s just been taunted with the red flag. We don’t listen to reason. We go, proverbially, or perhaps literally, in to a state we call Mama Bear. We anger and protect and defend." 

And that's it. I've gone Mama Bear. This immature guy makes some nasty comments to his, presumably, equally immature friends about my daughter.. and suddenly just knowing he's within 15 feet of me totally enrages me. "And from then on we walk around with our hackles raised.."

"Maybe you never had a Mama Bear. Maybe you have never seen a Mama Bear in action. Maybe nobody stood up for you when you were little and instead left you to be eaten by the wolves, wolves who were never taught themselves that it’s not cool to pick on someone else."

This afternoon he and his charming girlfriend were standing in the kitchen eating fruit cups- while I was trying to make lunch, with Lily by my side. Just standing and eating and standing and standing and eating. I don't let her near them anymore. And when they wouldn't leave the room.. we did. Even though I was in the middle of cooking. I can't even look at him anymore for fear I might start snarling. Possibly only in my head, or possibly literally.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Two months.

Someone told me "two months" today. Two months until we will go from being 7 people and three pets living in one home.. to just 3 people and 1 pet living in one home.

"Ya right." I've been hearing that for I don't even want to tell you how long. It's been too long. (I can keep saying that if you want..?) And everytime I cannot help but get my hopes up. Like this time. I'll never learn.

But, my word, I hope it's for real this time. Because I've had way too many adult-living-in-a-small-space-with-too-many-other-adults tantrums lately.. and I don't know how much more of this I can take. Dishes piled up in the sink. Counters covered with dishes, food wrappers, pans, and more. Constantly full trash. One bathroom for 7 people? Hangers and clothes everywhere.. in the laundry baskets, waiting to be washed, hanging on the back of the door. Living with people that live their lives so much differently than I want to live mine.

And water. All over the floor. Constantly. One of the quickest ways to enrage me. Lily has run into the kitchen in front of me several times only to slip and smack the back of her head on the floor. Screaming: hers from pain, mine preparing to wring someone's neck.

I miss my things. I really truly do. I miss living like a real person. An adult. I miss pretty much everything. But soon. Soon enough. Everything that had to get packed away will come back out. And find where it needs to go. And we'll be normal again. Or. Close enough anyway.

I cannot wait. I cannot. Freaking. Wait.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Scheduled Backstabbing

I am scheduled to be stabbed in the back this week. How's that for a statement? Just my way of making less out of a procedure I will be having to hopefully (fingers crossed) make all this pain go away. Or at least "away" enough to no longer be chowing down on pain meds 2 or 3 times a day.

I've known about it for a few weeks now, but really haven't thought much about it until last night. I'm not obsessing about it. Or worrying. Or wondering about how much it will hurt. Etc.

Mostly I was just thinking about the list of medications I cannot take at least 6 days before the scheduled "stabbing". That's it. And I kept thinking it was Vitamin C supplements I wasn't supposed to have (and I've purposely avoided even having orange juice the last week), turns out (when I reread the paperwork this morning) that it was Vitamin E.. geesh. I'm such a well prepared patient.

I'm allowed to have a "liquid breakfast" the day of- so that should be fun. Do they make breakfast soup? Cus soup is on the list of suggested foods. However, so is coffee.. I'll be fine.

Yesterday was a disaster and I really got nothing done. Today I had thought I would just take it easy. But then.. haha.. I remembered I had a toddler who, surprisingly, doesn't understand that "mommy has a lot of things to do." By the time she fell a sleep for a nap, I wanted to as well.. but ended up spacing out to last night's episode of House instead. And drinking coffee. And blogging.

So all in all, here's to getting stabbed in the back. I hope it's everything I want it to be. Goodluck me.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

On being too big for a stroller

I recently came across a website whose sole purpose seems to be to pick on little kids and the parents who love them. (more about it here) And I guess to also get a rise out of anyone that's ever had a child (the author of the site not included, because she's young, naive, single, and childless- which is obvious without her even stating it outright)

She posts a closeup picture of the offending too big child in their stroller, puts a snarky little one line comment under it, and lets her readers do the rest. Ug.

At least half the pictures were from Disneyland.. as you could see the wordings everywhere on the large rented strollers.. intended to give those little people a break on touring the massive park all day.

The rest of them..? The very first thing that came to mind after looking at only a few of the pictures (and ya I went through all 8 pages) was that most of the kids were clearly too big for the stroller. Clearly too big in the sense that it obviously was not their stroller. To me, it looked like shots of an older child perched in their younger siblings stroller while everyone around them was standing still, sitting down to eat lunch, or my favorite.. a boy of about 9 or 10 sitting in (or more likely "watching") the stroller outside a woman's bathroom by himself, presumably while his mother took a younger sibling inside to help them use the bathroom/change a diaper.

So simple to crop the heck out of a picture as to not give the entire picture (ha ha) of what was going on. And also.. it's a picture. One frame of time. Taken by a passer by with absolutely no clue as to what was really going on.

Such a waste of someone's time.

But ya know I never gave something like this a thought. Never at all. When is too old to be in a stroller? I have no idea. My 2 1/2 completely rejected her stroller for the last time more than 6 months ago. But she's a totally independent little thing. (And do I ever wish she'd just sit still in a stroller or carriage while I'm trying to get grocery shopping done- instead of trying to run away from me, pull things off the shelves, etc.) For the first few months of her life she had a pacifier in her mouth practically 24 hours a day. And then suddenly between months 3 and 6.. she decided she wanted nothing to do with it anymore and we never looked back. However..

In the last year I've seen a boy, at least 6 or 7, carry on a conversation with full sentences with his father.. and then pop his pacifier in. I was surprised. One day at Target a little girl of about 4 (with a pacifier in her hand) was trailing behind her mother and wailing "Can you buy me more pacifiers?!" Which also surprised me. But.. I'm not going to start an anti-pacifier-after-age-4 blog. We all have our own "pacifiers" and "strollers".. Well, except Miss Anti-Stroller who is going to be blessed with being the perfect parent.

Longing for the farmer's markets..

Today was the first farmer's market in our area. And I cannot even explain how excited I am that it's farmer's market season again here. However..

The farmer's market today was about 3 town/cities away and was not one we've ever been to. It also starts at 7 o'clock in the morning and only goes to about noon.. which is three strikes against it.. and we didn't go. All our regular ones start over the next few weeks and Lily and I will be visiting again soon enough. 

My favorite market is in a beautiful location, near the water, and is a really nice drive through woods and past lots of huge historic houses (when I don't get lost). I can always find yummy, photogenic lettuce there, as well as some of the most delicious bread I've ever eaten.

And talking about it is making me really hungry..

Friday, May 13, 2011

The continuing saga of my iphone life

Well, nevermind that the iPhone 4 I had last week was already my 4th or 5th due to manufacturing/electronic issues (thank God for Apple Care protection).. as upset as I was, I couldn't really get too sentimental about it.. because I couldn't even remember what number I was on. But, I still was devastated that my phone was totally smashed and destroyed. For some reason, Apple Care doesn't cover stress-induced-leaving-of-phones-on-car-rooves-and-driving-on-the-highway.. weird.

So my husband got me this..

Which cheered me up.. but also made me feel bad, because well.. normally someone would buy this for someone that experienced the death of a human being.. not an iphone being.

However, the card was followed up by..

The awesomeness of which is hard to deny. Unfortunately, the unawesomeness of having to pay full price for it is even more difficult to deny. Aaand.. the fact that he followed up that purchase with an insurance policy for it.. just proves he knows I'll probably end up doing something stupid like leaving it on the roof of my car (not that that's exactly what I did or anything).. again.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hide. And seek.

I don't know how it started. Or why. But the last few weeks have been full of hide and seek. Not only does Lily hide for us to find her, but Jason and I have been hiding for her to find us as well.

Most of the time we all kind of hide in plain sight- but it's actually fun. For a few minutes. Lily would probably play for half the day. Everyday. If we let her, but we've got to eventually more on to other more important things. Like Play-doh. Or Candy Land.

She used to "hide" in the closet, with the doors partially closed. Then fling them open while screaming something like "HERE I AM!" It was cute. And probably what led to our current hide and seek obsession.

Jason and I pretend to look around a small room for her. Behind the couch. Under a pillow. In a shoe. And you can hear her laughing with glee the entire time.. until we find her. And then it's her turn. She even counts fairly well, while covering her eyes. And even if she can see you while she's looking for you.. she still pretends to look for us in different places, which is unbelievably cute as well.

Her apparent understanding of the game "rules", ability to count, take turns, and even "humor us" while she seeks us (even though she can usually plainly see where we are) is totally amazing to me. She's a really clever and intelligent child.. and I know that's only going to become more of an awesome "problem" as she gets older. And more clever. And intelligent. Makes me proud.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ah mother's day.

Lily and I have an accidental Mother's Day tradition of going to our local park and sitting on a specific bench. Then I take our picture with my camera phone. We've done this for three years now. And from what I can remember all three years haven't had the best weather.. overcast and windy.

And that was about the extent of my Mother's Day this year. Well, also Jason made me breakfast- scrambled eggs, which are my favorite. And Lily demanded 100 things of me before I even set one toe on the carpet. Then I did dishes, and laundry, folded clothes, made the bed, vacuumed, and all sorts of other mommy stuff that didn't let me forget what life is like the other 364 days of the year that are not Mother's Day.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Actually, I'm having an awful fucking day thanks..

To say that my life is a little stressful is an understatement. And it seemed like each day was just getting a little worse. Truly. And now I have proof. For anyone that may have doubted my stress level.

On my way to my doctor's appointment this morning I was listening to NPR and learned that Osama  had been killed. Wow, I thought.. seriously? I blindly felt around for my phone so I could tell Jason. No phone. Hmm. At the red light I looked in my bag and on the seat. No phone. Uh..?

When I got to my appointment I turned the car upside down. No phone. Oh. My. God! (which I said about 200 times). My mind flashed back to the thunk I heard on my roof about a half a mile into my highway drive. Oh. My. God. (Really. My God, I can't believe this.) I must have put my phone down on the roof of my car when I asked Jason to throw my medicine cabinet full of pills out the window to me- I can't remember doing this, but obviously I did.]

What am I supposed to do?!- I can't even call someone to freak out at..  If I didn't go to this doctor's appointment, I wasn't going to be able to get an appointment for another month. Literally.

I went to the appointment.

And then I went home.

Where I broke down in tears.

And changed the passwords for everything that my iPhone had access to. GMail, Yahoo, Twitter, Facebook, my apple id, etc.

Jason called our carrier and reported my phone lost. And then the highway department because I had seen someone in a truck collecting the bagged up trash along the highway.

We got in my car and redrove my route. (But first I lost my keys between closing the front door and sitting in the car. Where were they? On the roof of my car.) And sure enough, about half a mile onto the highway, Jason spotted this..


I fucking quit. I'm never leaving the house again.
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