It's official!

It's official!
David Stubbs Photography

Monday, January 27, 2014

Robbed by hillbillies!

I've been robbed! I've been robbed by....hillbillies?

When I woke up yesterday and checked my cell phone, I had a text message from my Discover card. It said that they detected unusual activity on my account and wanted to know if I'd authorized a $637.97 charge at I pressed "N" for no only because they didn't have a "Hell No" option.

Oh, and I also found out the robbers tried to make other charges at the Des Moines Inn and "1SaleADay," which is a daily deal site. I guess after a long day of hillbilly online shopping, they wanted to crash at their favorite Iowa hotel. Although I'm not exactly sure why that charge was only for $3.10. Perhaps the hotel was offering a special "January in Iowa During the Polar Vortex" deal for $3.00 a night plus tax.

But let's get back to the Wal-Mart charge. I've seen the merchandise crap they sell at Wal-Mart, so what in the heck cost $637? Did they buy they entire toy section? Or perhaps they stocked up on rifles, Cheetos, Daisy Duke shorts, Busch beer and salami? Hmm. Let's ask these Wal-Mart shoppers and see if they know...

Well, fortunately Discover quickly caught these charges so I don't think Charlene or Bubba got away with any goods. So I guess Bubba, you'll have to keep digging in your pants to see if you can find any money there because you ain't gettin' mine.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Getting pregnant at 35 versus 25

Well, that was sure fun. On January 4, my husband and I celebrated 10 years together by finding out the gender of our baby. We had an ultrasound a few days prior and had the tech write down the sex on a piece of paper. Then that night, we went out to dinner and opened the envelope. It's a boy! It was pretty darn cool. (And a surprise! We both thought we were having a girl.)

Along with our big surprise, we decided to announce the pregnancy on Facebook that night as well. Our immediate family and a few close friends knew, but that was it. The reaction we got was overwhelming...

511 likes and 189 comments! I couldn't believe it! It was almost as if I was Kim Kardashian who had just posted a post-baby selfie. At one point I said to Mike, "Do you think we'll get 500 likes?" and then boom, it happened. It's our new Facebook record.

I also told him, "You know we wouldn't have gotten this kind of response if we were 25."

See, here's the thing about announcing a pregnancy at 35...everyone is so darn excited for you. No one said it, but I'm sure many people had given up hope on us and figured we were a couple who didn't want (or couldn't have) kids.

I also got to thinking about why getting pregnant at 35 is WAY better than at 25. So here you top 10 list on the advantages of waiting:

1) When I was 25, Facebook had literally just been invented that year, but it was only open to college students. That means I wouldn't have been able to post my announcement and get such great social media loving. (511 likes and 189 comments!) Likely I would have sent out a mass e-mail with about 25 percent of them shooting back to me as undeliverable because people change e-mail addresses like they change shoes.

2) By the time you're 35, your friends have more money, so let's just say it: they give better gifts. I laugh about me in my 20's when I thought the only wedding present I needed to give was me being there. Ha! No gift, just Jeannie Crofts doing the Macarena.

3) When you're 25, you still want to get dressed up and go out with your girlfriends. And let's just say, a woman tends to feel cuter in a short skirt and heels than she does wearing a belly band and maternity pants.

4) Drinking. Oh god, I miss it so. In my 20's I was simply not ready to give up alcohol.

5) By the time you have a baby at 35, you literally don't need to buy a thing. I have people coming out of the woodwork offering me cribs, strollers, bouncy seats, you name it. When I was 25, the only thing my friends could offer me is a used futon and a Barenaked Ladies CD.

6) As you get older, everything aches anyway, so the fact that I wake up with a sore back and stiff legs is nothing new. Winning!

7) We finally have good health insurance. Seriously, for the first time in my life it doesn't cost $900 to get a flu shot.

8) At 35, you have a savings account and a 401K. At 25, you have credit card debt because you really, really, really HAD to have that Kate Spade purse.

9) At 35, your husband is ready to be a dad. At 25, the only thing he's ready for are keg stands and all night poker games.

10) And finally....when I go to the doctor's office for check-ups, I'm considered to be at "advanced maternal age." I'm not sure exactly what that is, but I think it means I'm smarter.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Empty store shelves

When my husband and I worked as extras in the TV show "Chicago Fire" a couple of summers ago, we pulled an all-nighter, so the crew ordered us pizza around 2 a.m. As we stood in line, we saw person after person grab 5, 6, 7, even 8 pieces of pizza, so by the time we got to the front, there was nothing left except for a few abandoned mushrooms or chunks of cheese. With mouths watering, we watched as all those people ate 2-3 pieces max, and then trashed the rest. Some even complained about how full they were. I told my husband that if the world was ever coming to an end, we were screwed, because clearly people hoard and only look after themselves in a time of crisis.

Flash forward to the winter of 2014.

This week, I've seen photo after photo from grocery stores in Indianapolis, Chicago, Minneapolis and many other cities that are experiencing brutal winter conditions, and I'm instantly reminded of that night. It's clear that when the snow is coming, people think they need 8 pieces of pizza when they probably only need 3.  

So let's break this down. When bad weather is approaching, people always go for milk, bread and eggs. I wonder how these three items became must haves. It's like if the weather dips below -10 below, we just can't live without our morning cereal or french toast? I wonder how many of these people stocked up on bread when normally they don't do carbs.

Let's take a closer look at the empty dairy aisle. What this means is that people not only stocked up on milk, but they just HAD to have whip cream, half and half, coffee creamer, Velveeta and cream cheese?

And in the egg aisle, if they eggs were gone, they were like, "Screw it. I'll get egg beaters. This
will get me through the storm."

And in the bread aisle, if the white and wheat were gone, they made due with english muffins and onion bagels.

The sad reality is, I wonder how much of this stuff is going to end up in the garbage by the end of the week?

The next time Hercules or Zeus or some other Greek storm is bearing down on us, let's try to
remember what really matters. Like not losing power so we don't miss a minute of the Bachelor.

(Photos courtesy: Charley Hofsteadter/Chicago)