Sunday, April 30, 2006


Yesterday we realized we were victims of credit card fraud. We had just signed into our credit card account online to check on something since we were going to book our trip to Disney World (we have a Disney rewards Visa and get certain benefits and such). Imagine my surprise when I see our balance (our only debt that we are busting our asses to pay off), and I also see over $3,600 in pending charges.

Now, the last time I used my card was at the post office on Thursday, and looking at our transactions, that had already been posted to our account. The last time Mike used it was for gas, which also posted. I knew right away something was not right, so Mike got on the phone immediately.

The customer service rep starts naming off these pending transactions - 2 transactions for some tshirt place, Sharper Image. I'm talking purchases that were $500-$600 each. He didn't go further than that before he transfered the call right over to the fraud department.

Our account was immediately closed, the transactions were flagged as fraudulent and we were told that we'd be issued entirely new cards/account and that if any of these charges appeared on any statements that we were to disregard them as we were not responsible. (Thank Goodness!!!!)

However, let me go back a couple weeks. Mike looked into switching our cell phones to Verizon. He called, spoke to a representative and went over everything we'd need, etc etc. Got a quote (which they took his credit card for -- I told him later that I thought that was strange -- but he figured it was for a "credit check" of sorts), and decided against switching at that moment.

We attempt to use our credit card a day or two later to get gas, and it declines. We have plenty of available credit, it's paid on time, and this is the only card we ever use. So I called. I was prompted to answer some security questions (asking if I recognized some attempted charges) and I was transfered to a rep. They explained that there were authorizations to the card from Verizon Wireless, and as she's looking through, she's counting them .... "Yes, there are 25 attempts" .... WHAT?!? So that's why our card was declining -- our credit card company froze the account because all those attempts raised a "red flag".

I should have known better at that moment and had them close to account, but no charges actually went through (they were all "authorizations", but had not actually gone through or been posted).

So, my immediate thought when we find out about all these bogus charges -- I know who did it.

We did some leg work of our own - got some information from one of the companies that some charges were made to. Got the person's name and address of where the merchandise is being shipped to. Mike knew from speaking with the Verizon rep that he was in PA, and oddly enough, the address the merchandise is being shipped to is right in MA (not far). Too many similarities for me to just consider this a coincidence.

We filed a police report with our local authorities and Mike spoke to a detective in MA as well. The officer who came out to our house to file the report said that unfortunately, credit card theft/fraud happens all the time, and it can be a long process.

All I know is that I'd like whoever did it to suffer the consequences. My husband and I don't both work full time jobs, busting our butts, for someone else to buy tshirts, posters, CDs and God only knows what else, with our money. If you can't afford the luxuries you'd really like -- too bad. That's life. It doesn't give you the right to steal from someone else.

Grow up, get a job, and get a life.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Star Spangled Banner in Spanish???

Last night I briefly caught the results of a local news channel's "Voice Your Choice" on the issue of the Star Spangled Banner being done in Spanish. 91% of those who voted were against it.

I debated on even blogging about this, but it's an issue again that has my mouth hanging open in amazement at what this country is becoming.

Yes, yes, we are the "melting pot" or whatever else you'd like to call it. Founded by immigrants, etc, etc, blah blah blah.

BUT .... here's the thing. Would Mexico or Spain or any other Spanish speaking nation agree to having their national anthem or another symbolic song of their country redone in English? Honestly, I highly doubt it.

Why is it everything is Spanish this, or Spanish that? Why am I given an option when I call my credit card for Spanish or English?? Why am I not given an option for Italian, Polish, German, French??? Everywhere I turn there are signs in TWO different languages .... English and Spanish. Did we forget about those from Russia, Poland, Greece, Italy, China??

If we are going to "cater" to those who speak Spanish, why not do it for EVERYONE that speaks a different language? Honestly, I feel that English is the primary language here and if you feel this country is good enough to live in and work in, then you should feel it is good enough to learn it's primary language as well. Don't get me wrong ... I don't feel people should "forget" or "lose" their heritage - it's fine to be proud of who you are and where you came from. No one is asking for people to give up their native tongue - it would just be nice for those people to actually take the time to learn the primary language for the country in which they are living.

I would never move to a foreign country without the expectation of having to learn the primary language there. If I made a decision to pull my roots from US soil and establish myself elsewhere, I'd know that there were going to be differences from my former country, the spoken language being one of them. And I can't even imagine contemplating having one of their nation's trademark songs to be redone in (gasp) English! Then again, I also wouldn't be living in another country and soley fly the American flag outside my home or on my car. But that's another issue and I've had enough politics for tonight.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Nothing much to say

I'm afraid I haven't had much to say lately, thus the reason for my lack of posts.

It's just that I'm having a battle with myself - again. This time something different. It's this whole weight loss thing. I've been at it now for 15 weeks. I have never stuck with a "diet" or any attempt at losing weight for this long. I should be proud of that alone.

However, the past 2 weeks I've gained weight. Yes, I gained 2 pounds at my 14 week weigh-in and 1 pound this past one. So, 3 pounds total have found their way back to my midsection (or perhaps my face, or my thighs, or my butt, or ....).

How much have I lost? My total - even with the 3 pounds that I did gain back - I've still lost 26 pounds. So what is my problem? That's exactly it. I shouldn't have one. I should be damn proud of how much I have lost. Because I know myself that it's so much harder to have lost weight, only to have gained every single pound back (and maybe even MORE) in no time, starting back at square one, that to be in my situation now where I've gained a few pounds back but that I'm still nearing the 30 pound loss mark.

That's HUGE. I've gone down clothing sizes and I've been feeling so much better about myself. I've been keeping up with photos of myself to track my progress and the feedback has been tremendous. Granted, it's from friends and family, but the positive remarks are my fuel.

It's going to be a long road. I started this weight loss endevour with hopes of dropping 75 pounds. I'm not even halfway. But, as much as I feel like quitting, I won't. I'm going to do this, not only to better myself, but to prove to myself that I can do this.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter!

This morning the kids were up bright and early, so they jumped in bed with Grandma & Grandpa while daddy and I went downstairs to hide the eggs. We had wanted to do it outside, but it rained overnight, so we opted for indoors.

The kids were adorable, though. Kaelynn found the first eggs and was so excited! They quickly found all 24 that we had hidden and then had us count up their change to see how much they got (the 'Easter Bunny' fills the plastic eggs with coins - they got dollar bills inside a bigger egg which was left in their baskets).

They got lots of goodies from that silly bunny. No one heard him hopping around at all last night, but if only the cat could talk ....

And once it was time to get ready in their Easter best, I wanted some pictures and it was like pulling teeth to get them to sit still and smile for me. Finally, I got a couple pictures worth keeping.

All in all, it was a nice day with the family.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Hump Day Ramblings

Nothing of utter importance to write about, really.

I am now officially in my upper 20's now. Although, I suppose some would say I'm in my MID-twenties now. Regardless, I turned 26 yesterday.

It was a good birthday. Woke up and was given cards from hubby & the kids (I already got my gift a couple weeks ago -- another lens for my camera), got a present from the kiddos and from my parents. Headed to work, and at lunchtime the manager and I skipped out of the office for a few hours for a bit of shopping & she treated me to lunch at Chili's. Good deal. Plus, the weather was beautiful. We've been having temps in the 70's and it's just gorgeous.

No plans for tonight other than showers/baths for the kids & myself, watching American Idol and perhaps finishing off the book I'm reading. Tomorrow night is our night out to see Dane Cook. Should be a fun time; I'm very much looking forward to it.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Where'd the time go?

Somehow Easter just snuck up on me. I'm normally very good about getting things done on time and being prepared. I kept thinking, "Oh, I've got a couple more weeks" and now here we are quickly approaching Easter Sunday.

I haven't taken the kids in for Easter portraits and they didn't visit the Easter bunny either. I have bought a few things for their Easter baskets, but haven't sat down and gone through it all to make sure I've got everything yet.

We just decorated our eggs tonight. I'm hoping that I can get over to the mall with the kids this Friday so they can have their picture taken with the Easter bunny. And I figure, as for portraits, I'll just try to get them in soon - even if it's just spring photos and not Easter themed.

It's hard to believe we are 10 days into April already. Time is flying. I'm not sure I like it.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Get your drink & dance on!

Just a few weeks ago my bud and I hit a local bar/club for some drinks and dancing. It was a B L A S T.

I hadn't been to a bar or dance club in years. You see, I'm an old married hag now. Okay, so I'm not really, but sometimes I do feel like it. I just feel a little "left out" at times. So it's great to go out and enjoy an adult evening where the drinks are not served in sippy cups and the music has nothing to do with the ABCs, Fruit Salad, or How to Get to Sesame Street.

So Saturday night the husband and I went out with my best bud and her hubby. We hit the Bamboo Room for some booty shaking. The place was >>packed<< People everywhere. Hands, armpits, butts all in your space. I don't like my space invaded unless I'm into the person invading it. ;) It was fun, but much too crowded for my tastes.

I'm thinking that this should become a regular outing .... I could stand a night of a few drinks & dancing every few weeks or so. My birthday is next Tuesday, so I'm trying to get my bestest bud (hint, hint, Kat) to go out this Friday night. So what do you say my sexy mama -- can we go shake our boo-tays for a girl's night out?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Spring Has Sprung

So it looks like it is officially spring here. We're currently under a Tornado Watch until midnight. I hate this weather like no other. I admit, I have gotten alot better about it than I was like 12 years ago. But it still freaks the hell out of me. And I have errands to run in less than an hour once I get the kids to sleep.


Feeling "Lost"

I'm not even quite sure what words I want to put down. It's hard enough for me to even make sense of what I'm thinking, how I'm feeling.

I'm extremely proud of my accomplishments in my almost-26-years. But for some reason I just feel there is something more, or something I'm missing, or maybe that my life is in need of some change. I can't quite put my finger on it; my thoughts, my feelings, my gut are all in turmoil. The past couple days have been intense. I don't know if I'm coming or going, happy or sad, empty or fulfilled.

Perhaps my feelings lie strictly in my age - that I am going on twenty-six - and am living the life I have.