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My kid tells folks I'm 24. You gotta swap those numbers, kiddo. :-)

Monday, August 01, 2011

We are looking forward to school starting in less than two weeks. It is really sneaking up fast! We've had our supply list checked off since the end of May. I've had so much fun picking out the Bug's backpack and lunchbox and pencil case and towel and all that other cool stuff big girls need for school. And it's all pink, of course! Who knows how I'll feel that first day when I walk with her up to the front door, but right now, we're all just bouncing around with excitement.

I had an interesting birthday Saturday. It started with taking my daughter to TKD. It's our tradition that if she has a good class, we get smoothies on the way home. She always gets a Sunrise Sunset (orange, mango, strawberry and banana). As I'm turning onto the main drag, it falls out of her cup holder and lands on its side in the floor board. So I pull into a parking lot and start scooping smoothie out of my van with my hands. I had tried to salvage what was left in her cup and put it back in her cup holder. And after destickifying (thank you, Universe, for making Wet Wipes!), we were on our way... Until my kid lifts her cup to take a sip. The straw had punched a hole that I didn't notice in the bottom of her styrofoam cup. So now she and her booster seat are covered in fruit juice. We get home and I strip her down to put her uniform in the wash before anything stains, then head up to my van with a roll of paper towels to try and clean it up. I have to wash her seat cover and clean the seat base and cup holder, which was half full of smoothie. All the while she's freaking out that she won't get a smoothie that morning. And this was all before 10:30.

So after that, all I really wanted to do for my birthday was get my van detailed. (BTW, did you know that you can get a free car wash at Anthony's on your birthday? I didn't, but you can. :-) But we had already made plans with my in-laws. After cleaning everyone and everything as best as I could, we were off. Lunch at, wait for it... Mt. Fuji, where I had the sushi/sashimi combo, and the family had a great time. Then we went to my MIL's for cake and presents.

Can I just say that I am a very lucky person with a wonderful and generous family. And it's not over yet! Wednesday is lunch with my parents, and knowing my mom, more gifts! One of the best gifts I got was from the Bug: The Biggest Loser for the Xbox Kinect! I can't wait to break that baby out and work off all the carrot cake!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DARLENEK04 8/1/2011 3:31PM

  H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y !!!

Bug may be right...24 is a good age.......and you sure don't
look any older than that.

Hope you have as lovely time with your parents as your inlaws.


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Friday, December 04, 2009

This is a vent, pure and simple. It is *another* in a line of blogs that is simply me blowing off steam, which is exactly what I didn't want my blog to become. But I've got to get this out, and this seems to be the only place to do that. As always, I expect no one to want to read my negativity.
My hubby's sick. So when he's not working or sleeping, he's wanting to go out to eat. I love him, but he's killing me with this! Chili's, I can deal with. I have my Black Bean Soup or Carne Asada to choose from, but Chinese? Mexican?! I'm trying to make healthy choices wherever we go, but sometimes it's hard to do. And next to impossible to track. Not to mention how unhealthy my daughter's eating is at these places. And the money we're spending?!?! Ugh! I understand that he's looking for comfort through the food and service, but I have gained back 2 pounds since my last weigh in less than a week ago.
This is not about my wanting my husband to feel better, which I do. In fact, it's because of my sympathy for him that I don't put up any kind of fight when he says, 'How about we go to such-n-such for dinner?" it's about how I feel about myself as a result of how he's feeling. I was so proud at my progress, now I feel dumpy and sad.
This will pass, and I will take off those 2 pounds and, hopefully, then some. But right now, I'm just a little frustrated with the situation...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GENTLEMAN_IN_AL 12/5/2009 1:48PM

    If he wants Chinese, make unfried rice (google it), if he wants Mexican make healthy tacos. Try to include him in finding creative healthy alternatives to the eating out favs. Good Luck!

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LUCKYGIRL1 12/4/2009 2:05PM

    If he's looking for comfort food - why not offer to make him a wonderful meal. That way you can control the nutrition and calories while still making him feel a bit better (hopefully)

Hope he is better soon - for all your sake's!

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Does anyone actually read anything anymore?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Example 1.
You all know and do this, too. I log my food. I try to keep track of everything I eat to keep sodium and cholesterol consumption down and protein and calcium consumption up. So whenever we eat out, I go online to find nutrition information for the restaurant we are patronizing. Some restaurants just don't have it. They're too small, or don't have a website or whatever. But most big chains like Chili's (and ALL fast food places) do. If they don't, I send an email asking them to consider making that information available.

We went to Logan's Roadhouse the other day for lunch. Logan's has a section of their menu called "Health Nuts", with the menu heading stating that each item is less than 500 calories. That's a start, but that's all the nutrition information they give. So I go to the website. No info. So I click the "Contact Us" link and send this:

"While I appreciate the "Health Nut" section of the Logan's menu (both my
husband and I ordered lunch from it today), it would be very helpful if
the full nutrition information, not only for this section, but all items
on the menu were available on your company website. Many people not only
try to watch their calories, but also log and are concerned with other
aspects of their dietary intake, including such things as fat,
carbohydrates, sodium and cholesterol. I enjoy having meals with my
family at Logan's Roadhouse and think we would be able to enjoy it more
often were this information more readily available. Thank you for your

I got this back:

"Thank you for taking the time to contact us about the nutritional
information of the menu items served at Logan's Roadhouse. While we are
working on being able to provide our guests with nutritional
information, we do not have this information available at this time. I
understand that this is a need that many of our guests have and we hope
to be able to provide this in the near future. We strive to maintain a
broad menu of choices so that our guests can find the foods that they
want and need. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Again, thank you for taking the time to write to us.

Tanya Ethridge
Guest Relations Specialist
Logan's Roadhouse"

When Ms. Ethridge's response showed up in my inbox, I noticed that I had kept another email from her dated Sept. 3, 2008. It is as follows:

"Thank you for taking the time to contact us about the nutritional
information of the menu items served at Logan's Roadhouse. While we are
working on being able to provide our guests with nutritional
information, we do not have this information available at this time. I
understand that this is a need that many of our guests have and we hope
to be able to provide this in the near future. We strive to maintain a
broad menu of choices so that our guests can find the foods that they
want and need. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Again, thank you for taking the time to write to us.

Tanya Ethridge
Guest Relations Specialist
Logan's Roadhouse

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 9:01 PM
To: Guest Relations
Subject: Logan's Roadhouse contact form

I was wondering if you've considered making nutrition information
available on your website. We often go to the Logan's I've mentioned
above, and it would be very helpful in choosing healthy menu items in
advance. With so many people concerned about making healthy choices
these days, I think it would be advantageous to your company to supply
this information to the consumer. Thank you for your time!"

Notice anything? The responses are word-for-word identical. I wonder what Logan's definition of "near future" is.

Example 2.
Thursday evening, the Bug and I decided we'd enter a picture of her Halloween costume from last year into a costume contest sponsored by PBS Kids Sprout. Sprout is a national channel similar to Disney Channel or Nick. Jr. geared toward preschoolers. The Bug's costume was picked and featured on air the next morning. We never anticipated winning, much less not even 24 hours after entering. In short, we missed it. We didn't know until I got an email Friday afternoon asking where to send her prize. Now I'm left trying to find a copy to show the Bug, who was hysterical that she didn't get to see her picture on TV and thought she didn't really win. Here's my email and the response from Sprout:

"I understand that Sprout cannot make and mail out dubs for 22 different winners, but I was wondering if the announcements (videos from the Sunny Side Up Show of the "pick of the day" winners) might be made available online. If not, do you use or know of a service such as Metro Monitor, Inc., where a copy of a specific clip might be obtained?

I received an email the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 9, that my child was a "pick of the day". I hoped that meant it would be announced today since we weren't able to watch Friday. However, after today's announcement of another winner and going online to see my child's picture already posted, I'm afraid that we were notified after her entry had already aired. We never really expected to be picked, much less for her costume to be picked the day after it was submitted. You guys were just too quick for us!

{My daughter} was very upset that she was not featured today as a winner. She thought it meant that she hadn't really won a prize. It would mean a great deal to her, and to my husband and I, if we could somehow show her that she did, in fact, appear on The Sunny Side Up Show as a "pick of the day."

Thank you again for choosing her costume, and thanks for any help you can give us in this matter."

"Dear Sprout Viewer,

Thank you for your interest in The Sunny Side Up Show. We love receiving submissions from loyal viewers like you!

Unfortunately, we are unable to release show tapings and we don't rebroadcast any live episodes of The Sunny Side Up Show.

Thank you again for sharing with Sprout. We hope you'll continue to grow with us!


What bothers me about this response is the obvious brush-off of the second paragraph. Everything else is form, I'm sure. The second paragraph didn't address anything I asked. In fact it only reiterated what I said. I already stated that I didn't expect to receive a tape FROM SPROUT. After some 15+ years working in TV news, I already know dubs for viewers simply can't be a priority, otherwise the folks who work there would be doing nothing else. Thus the creation of businesses like Metro Monitor who do nothing but archive print and broadcast news stories, making them available to anyone who needs them. Though it may be unlikely, it isn't outside the realm of possibility that something similar may exist for other types of broadcasts. To me, it's worth asking. And it certainly isn't outside the realm of possibility that Sprout *might* post the 30-second announcements on their websites. They are dealing with kids, and their parents, who might like to see it, especially if the parents weren't notified beforehand that their child would be featured as a contest winner. Since the response didn't actually address the website, I can only assume it is covered in the "we don't rebroadcast" statement.

Example 3.
So here I am, scrambling to find a copy of Friday's announcement on Sprout. I make it my Facebook status update. (Thanks for the response, Jay. I appreciate the thought.) I post it on Sprout's Facebook fan page. I even post it to Birmingham Freecycle, a Yahoo group I belong to where people in need of something can get together with people who have something to give away. Here's my post:

"Sent: Mon, Oct 12, 2009 2:17 pm
Subject: [BirminghamFreecycle] Wanted: Recording of Sprout programming for Friday, 10/09/09

My daughter was the "pick of the day" in Sprout's Halloween Costume Contest this past Friday. Unfortunately, we were not notified until after the announcement had already aired. If anyone happened to record Sprout Friday morning between 10:30 and 11:00 (The Sunny Side Up Show when The Berenstain Bears and PicMe are scheduled), I would greatly appreciate it if we could figure out a way to get a copy so my daughter could see it. She was very upset that she didn't get to see it and thinks she didn't really win. I have already contacted Sprout and was told there was no way they could provide a copy and had no plans to post the videos on their website. Email, snail mail, pick-up, whatever it takes. If you have a copy to share, please let me know. Thanks!"

By 3:30, I had two responses in my inbox.

"You might try to contact the network that aired the show. They might have a digital copy somewhere. Good luck!"

"Have you checked the website, some shows will put the shows online and you can get tit thru there, or you can contact the show and ask for a copy of the show.

good luck"

I appreciate the effort to help. I do. But both those suggestions were covered in one sentence in my original post.

So it would seem that it's not just 1000's of pages of health care bills that don't get read. It's responses to "we welcome your suggestions," and desperate pleas from a mother trying to comfort her disappointed child. And most likely early morning rants in an online blog . :-)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BILLTMAN 12/15/2011 9:45AM

    Hey Wendy, Long time no see. I came to your page to see where you've been. Hope everything is all right. Good blog by the way I agree on all.

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JENVOSE 10/28/2009 3:54PM

    No one reads, no one does simple math, no one knows how to figure out a simple bill. Welcome to the so-called "information" age!

What an adorable pic of your daughter; I hope that the two of you will be able to find a copy of the program to keep for a great memory.

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HOTMAMA1980 10/13/2009 9:41AM

    That pic is ADORABLE :) As for your blog, so much for customer service! It's terrible everywhere. It's shocking that business owners and corporations wonder why they get so much "complaint" mail. It's unfortunate, but complaining often gets a better response than making a friendly request. The automated reponse technique infuriates me as well. It's too bad we can't use your post to train customer service reps to read everything carefully!

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Moving my ticker... in the wrong direction.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

So I weighed myself for the first time in quite a while this morning. Ugh. I knew I had put back a few pounds. I could tell in the way my clothes fit and by what I saw in the mirror. In fact, I can tell by comparing the top two pictures on my Spark page. The top picture was taken just two weeks ago, the next was taken five months ago. In that five months, I have added six pounds to my frame. (I don't have the heart to check the tape measure. It's enough to see the increase in the muffin top.) So, before I wind up leaving 150-ville in the wrong direction, I am renewing my commitment to a healthier lifestyle. Regardless of the other "stuff" that's going on in my life, I have to take care of myself. Period.

I'm asking any who happen to read this to hold me accountable. Hound me. Don't let me give in or give up. Just a little poke to help keep me on track. If you find the time, I thank you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGARSHOCK 4/9/2009 1:34AM

    this is an official spring time poke in the can do it !!!!!
miss ya...
sugarshock emoticon

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DOWN2SEXY 2/22/2009 7:06AM

    Consider yourself poked.

I'll poke you if you'll poke me. My ticker's moving the wrong direction, too!


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MICHARM 2/21/2009 7:30PM

    I'll keep checking back...I've been where you are too...and I still fight everyday to keep my ticker going in the right direction!
YOU Can DO this!!!!

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My apologies to my Spark family...

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Hey folks. I've been MIA for a few months now and I owe you all an apology, especially my Birmingham Team, who I feel I have deserted at a time when you need someone to help get the team active again. A leader who disappears with only the occasional drop-by is not what you deserve.
The truth is, what started out as "I won't worry too much about it 'til the holidays are over," has become a complete surrender to "life". We are in the midst of house-hunting, along with other time-consuming life issues, and my own health, weight loss and Spark have fallen very low on the priority list. I am working to rectify that, I'm just finding it much more difficult than I thought it would be. In the meantime, I hope you will all bear with me until I find the strength to get life back on track.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MY_AGREEMENT 2/17/2009 10:14AM

    I just dropped by because it was so great to see you post again. I missed you! Hope your stress level goes down soon and you get yourself back on that priority list. --Marsha

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NHSLP1 2/2/2009 12:00AM

    Sometimes, proto, life just happens! You can do this thing, girl...If I can, anyone can...I know what it is like to fall off the wagon. I did that for half of 2007 and all of 2008, but I am back and you will be too...I am sure of it.

Good luck with the househunting.


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