Friday, December 22, 2006

Today is your birthday blog!

Wow! It seems like everyone's blog is having a birthday, including mine! We must have all gotten bored the week before Christmas last year too!

My retrospective won't be as good as others because 1.) I'm not a writer 2.) I'm leaving for vacation as soon as my paycheck gets here 3.) My blog is pretty boring.

My first post was about the big change in our life, moving to Florida! Now, one year later, I am getting ready to visit Ohio for the first time. I still don't miss snow - not even for a minute!

I keep hearing a lot about this Festivus, but I don't understand what it is or it's origins, so if you know and can explain it to me before Saturday night - I'd appreciate it!

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Hi Julie aka "Queen of Harpers"! Did you find your way to the current entries yet?

P.S. Stay off the strip poker porn sites, they're bad for your health!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

444 Profile Views and other Misc

I had cookies for breakfast again. I gotta stop this cycle soon.

I had cookies for breakfast because I locked Emily in the car again. I gotta stop this cycle soon too.

No, seriously, I think I have a problem. Today made 2 out of 3 years of Emily's life that I've locked her in the car the week before Christmas. The first time, she was almost 6 months old and she was in her little seat in the middle of my Grand Prix. I had gone shopping with the Park family, and somehow while we were unloading everything, the doors got locked. It was cold (because it was Ohio), and she was actually asleep through most of the ordeal. When she did wake up, we were almost done, and I remember her crying and I remember having Allison running inside to make a bottle so we could feed her the minute she got out.

Today, it happened in front of her daycare. I knew it was going to happen because the new Jeep I bought has the locks that automatically lock when you hit a certain speed. And when you open the door, only the door opened unlocks. And, the lock sits right where your damn elbow sits, so it gets locked almost constantly while getting out of the car. I am still trying to get in the habit of unlocking all the doors when I stop, but apparently, I'm still learning! Anyway, she's ok, it took about 30 minutes to get her out (5 once the locksmith arrived - and he didn't even charge me MERRY CHRISTMAS!) She had a glass of water and went to school like nothing happened. Kids are resilient.

So, it's off to find out how to get an extra key...

Monday, December 18, 2006

Things on my Mind

"Stolen" from Gina, and you can trace the chain from there...

My nagging headache, aching back and developing cough. I am slowly falling apart, and I don't like it one bit.

Whoops! My fax didn't go through. Be right back.

Why is it that everytime I tell a story at work, someone has to one up me? I was in the middle of this great story about the time that Olive Garden burned to the ground during my 17th birthday party and then my co-worker has to tell a story about melted butter causing a flash fire in the kitchen of a restaurant he used to manage.

I wish I would have thought of that gift for Jeremy's dad a few weeks ago. Ebay is CRAZY right now!

My eyebrows are uneven and I can't seem to fix them myself or with professional help. When someone asks me what is the first thing that I notice about other people, I always want to answer "their eyebrows" because it's true, but I don't because I don't want to be labeled the weird one.

I want to ask to go home early today, but I won't do it because I have too much work ethic and know that I will feel better about sitting here blogging on company time instead of going home and taking a nap.

It's 80 degrees and sunny. Are you sure Christmas is next week?

Emily picks her nose and sometimes I catch myself doing it too. Did she learn it from me?

Great! The fax went through...

Reason #9 that going back to work Full Time is good

#9 Mrs Fields cookies arriving with the morning UPS shipment from one of our vendors

Nothing like mini triple chocolate cookies for breakfast!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

My Life Test Results

Kristen posted her results with an analysis, so I've decided to follow suit:

My quiz was one of the first posted, and my answers are not ambiguous like some of our fellow quizzers have been accused of. It's either right or wrong. You know me, or in some cases, you don't.

Where did Jeremy and I meet?
Jamboree in the Hills - Everyone got this one correct (except Kristen, but then again, she doesn't even know that I only listen to Country Music, sooo....)

When did we move to Florida?
2005 - 72% Correct! Angela guessed 2003 which kind of makes me wonder if she's Hiro in disguise because I was still her neighbor in Columbus, OHIO for most of 2003...

What is my brothers name?
Craig - just over 50% of you guessed that one correctly. Maybe I should talk about him more?

What do I do in Florida?
Boat/RV Finance - Since I typically describe my job as daycare for grown men, I'm not surprised that 1/3 of you missed it!

What is Emily's middle name?
Sue - Really? Does Emily Anne Park sound like a good name? Say it out loud, you'll realize your mistake

My favorite type of music is?
Country - The two people who missed it have never really "met" me, so I forgive them

Pick the name of the cat that I DIDN'T have...
Princess - This question wasn't to test if you remembered the names of my cats, because I don't even remember the name of your children or husbands most days, but more of a "do you know my personality type" question. I would never in a million years name an animal Princess, Joyce!

Jeremy's hometown is located closest to what city?
Cleveland, OH - I can't blame the 30% of you that missed that question. I once thought that Columbus, OH was "on the way" from Jefferson, OH to Wheeling, WV

I am a fan of what team?
Ohio State Buckeyes - Audient, you should be ashamed of yourself! I had no problem with you missing the other 7 questions, but really? You think that somebody who is obviously cool would be a 'Nole?

Anyway, I hope fun was had by all, and I enjoyed your quizzes much more than my own!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tips on Buying a Car

Since we just went through the process of buying a new used car, these ideas are fresh in my mind and I thought I would share with you...Some people are extremely intimidated by the process, but now, you don't have to be!


Have an "idea" of what you want vs what you need. For example, you know that you want an SUV and it must have 4 wheel drive and a V6. But, are you flexible on the options? Do you need leather seats? If it doesn't have power windows and locks will you be happy?

Have an "idea" of what you want to spend. Use on of the many free payment calculators available online and know what you can afford. Play around with different terms, different interest rates and learn how the extra $1000 in taxes, dealer fees, registration, etc is going to reflect in the payments. Consider pre-arranging financing so you can go in with a check. Just be prepared that you do lose some bargaining in the price with that option, because dealers make money by obtaining financing. It's called commission and they don't like when you bring your own money to the table.

Do your research. Again, with the internet, information is available and it's fast and free. Compare different models within the same make to see what Limited vs LX really means. Compare similar makes to determine if perhaps the slightly less popular make can save you some cash.


So, you woke up this morning, checked out your favorite car buying website, and Whammo! There. it. is. It's what you wanted and more, it's in your price range and it's even your favorite color!

1. Be prepared to be there for hours. Bring a bottle of water. Crayons for the kids. Some aspirin. A flask. Whatever you need.
2. Go early. Once the dealership starts getting busy, everything gets backed up from the finance desk to the detailer.
3. Eat. It's hard to stay focused on the task at hand on an empty stomach.
4. Find a salesperson you like. If you're a young couple and the old man makes you feel inferior at "hello", then tell him you're just looking and wait for the next guy. Better yet, walk right into the dealership to the big desk in the front and ask for the sales manager. Explain to them that you're here to buy a car and can they match you up with the right person?
5. Drive the vehicle. I know it sounds silly, but before you get wrapped up in details, make sure you like it. It may look great on paper, but the minute you sit down, your knees start to hurt.


I know a lot of people who hate this part of buying a car. But, if you are prepared, it can be fun. By this point, you've done your research, you know what you can afford, you know what you would be happy paying, you know what the vehicle is worth.

Nowadays, its very common that negations skip over the salesperson and go right to the finance person. They will ALWAYS present you with a full price scenario even though no one in their right mind is paying full price. Take that opportunity to look at what fees they are charging and ask them what fees are negotiable. For example, title fees. Most dealerships finance it in. Now, why would you finance $100 for 5 years when you could pay it out of pocket today or better yet, in 30 days when your tag comes in?


Now you have a clear picture of what this vehicle is going to cost you. It's time to start thinking about negotiations. Save everyone some time and don't play games. Take a few minutes to talk it over with your partner or to think it out without the salesperson/finance person staring your down. Take your old car around the block if you have to just to get some space. Figure out what you would be happy paying. Not necessarily just in monthly payments, but overall. Once you have that magic number - tell them. Don't wiggle. If they can do it, they will. If they can't they won't and then you can decide if their best offer is good enough. Here is a sample.

Asking Price: 11,900
Trade Value: (1,500) *negative equity - this is not good, but it happens
Dealer Fee: 600
Taxes: 700
Title Fee: 140
TOTAL AMOUNT: 14,700 plus $1200 cash down

After your private moment, you decide that since Christmas is just days away, you would really like to save your cash, and you really hadn't intended on the value of your trade to be so far below what you owe. So, you counteroffer:

Price: 11,000
Trade Value: (1,500)
Dealer Fee: 600
Taxes: 700
TOTAL AMOUNT: 13,800 plus title COD

Notice - this is a difference of $2100, or approximately a 15% reduction.

As mentioned above, if the dealer can do it, he will, if not, he won't.

The moral of the story is to know what you want to spend, and don't be afraid to voice your expectations and possibly even leave without the new car. Wouldn't you rather be unhappy for a day then the next 5 years?

Monday, December 11, 2006

I've done it now

I've finally joined the ranks of suburban moms across the country. Finally, I'll blend in with all of the other soccer moms and I won't ever be able to find my car at the mall again. I am now the proud owner of a white SUV.

Now, I don't want anyone to think that I'm made of money, so I will disclose that its a 2002 Jeep Liberty with plenty of good miles left on it. We are happy with the price paid and we don't have to make too many adjustments to our lifestyle, which is good.

We are heading back to the land of the snow (NorthEast Ohio) in a few short days, so maybe Jeremy will get a chance to use that 4x4 afterall!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My Life

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Post #100

I've been debating what to write about on this all important Post #100, and I can't say that I've come up with anything good. It's been almost a year since I started this blog, and honestly, I can't believe I've kept it up AND managed to post an average of twice a week. I think I do it because I've always liked talking and I write just like I talk. I spend most of my time browsing others blogs, and feel that I should keep mine sort of current, so that when I post comments on other people's blogs, they have something new to read. Isn't that why we all do it? All of us bloggers want to share our lives and be a part of others lives all at the same time.

Since I still haven't figured out how to edit my sidebar, here are some of the blogs that I browse on a regular basis that keep me coming back to here.

Kristen - Can be counted on to post on a variety of topics, sometimes sparking comment debates that are better than anything else I've ever read, funny or serious

I'm nosy so I read a lot of Kristen's friends blogs and hope that they don't mind! They include Audient, who does a Tuesday talkback that continously reminds me of how stupid people can be - and not just in Cleveland. And through him, I've remembered how much I enjoy Wendy's chili. I also browse Gina and Brian who I gather are "writers". I could spend hours in their archives reading their short stories, etc. I always wanted to be a writer, but never followed through with it. And, then there's Tam. I like her blog because like myself, she is the mother of a young child too. Plus, she is sarcastic as hell, and I love that! I stalk the others too, including Melissa, Anne and Hiliary, but maybe not as prominently since I don't remember their addresses off the top of my head.

Outside of my stalking group, I like to read about Leroy's Adventures in Customer Service. He is a customer service rep and always tell funny customer stories. And, on the other side is a customer who always seems to get bad service.

For my reality TV fix, I visit Jackie.

And I have faith that my JITH friend Poycer will get her blog rolling and continue to entertain me with stories about her job as a college professor.

I guess that's about it for Post #100. Any bets on whether or not there will be a #200?