Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Waiting Game

I've been in a bit of a slump these last few days. I think I'll call it an "end-of-the-year/probably-moving-in-seven-months-but-don't-know-yet" slump. I still haven't seen those packages I was waiting for. I did end up making a claim with Amazon after the delivery date came and went. They nicely offered to send me replacements for the two boxes that didn't arrive. I had to make separate claims for them, however, and they have so far only sent me one shipment notification for one of the replacements. That was a week ago, so I'm not sure if that means it was never sent, or I just didn't get the email? So, still waiting for something, anything, to show up here.

 I am trying to be patient about it. This is, after all, only the second issue I've had with something missing in the mail (and the first one had some real doubt as to if it was sent at all), and also the first issue I've ever had with Amazon, the company we use far more than any other here. So, I'm gritting my teeth and checking the mail every day. Hopefully, something shows up eventually.

On a brighter note, Christmas was fun. As usual, it's been exceptionally quiet around here. Anyone that can get out tends to do so. I kind of like that about this time of year. (Although, to be honest, if you just visited here, you'd probably think it was absurdly quiet all the time.)

We gave our boys lots of books and LEGO sets, so our house has been a mess of LEGO bricks the last few days. I typically enjoy building their sets and try to get to them first so I can do that, but by the end of the day, I was actually a little tired of it. I'm sure I'll get over that, though.

The funniest thing that happened was when Wyatt opened his gift his grandparents and aunt sent. It turns out they sent the exact same gift we still had for him under the tree: the big space shuttle set from LEGO. We looked at each other in shock, then let him open ours anyway. This was the thing he'd wanted most, and he didn't seem to care at all that he'd received two of them. He actually thought it was rather cool.

I did try to convince him that we should return ours so we can get him something else he might want, but he wasn't interested. I put it aside, anyway, so I could try to change his mind about it. Then, the next morning, while we were still sleeping, he pulled it out, opened it, and built the rocket himself. So, now we have plenty of spare parts, and if his brother wants to play, no fighting.

This situation does illustrate why I always tell people to get our kids LEGO when they ask. Because even if it's  a repeat, our kids don't mind having two, and you can always build something else with the pieces.

Now that Christmas is over, we're all waiting for the big event - our trip to Legoland. We also rented Dolphin Tale to watch on Christmas Eve, and realized at the end that the dolphin with the missing tail, Winter, is actually at an aquarium about an hour and a half away from there. So, we're going to go visit her after our time at the part. I'm kind of excited about this.

Now, if only my stuff would come in the mail...

P.S. I'd like to thank Amazon for providing all the free wrapping paper. And the guys who packed all our stuff to move us here. Seriously, who needs to buy fancy paper when you are swimming in free paper that can be easily drawn on? Because it's not as if the kids care in the least what the paper looks like. They only want to see what's inside!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Boxes in the Mail - MIA

Mail here is rather maddening odd at times. I can typically order something online, and it will arrive the next week after I receive the shipping notification. Unike most military addresses, ours has a much shorter route to take. It goes to Florida, then is sent to somewhere (I really have no idea where, and I'd love to know) where it gets put on our plane whenever possible and sent over.

This system works for the most part. Tracking packages, which most places don't do anyway because it's the USPS (still don't really understand why not), doesn't always help me much when I'm trying to figure out when it will get here. I can see it's made it to Florida, but then it can be any number of days before it makes it on the plane.

The biggest problem happens when there is a large load of mail. The things that don't fit get left behind for the next trip. Except, the next trip doesn't prioritize the mail that got left behind. I don't know how they decide what goes, but it happens sometimes that a package will get pushed aside and will sit there for a long time before it finally goes.

I'm dealing with a situation like that right now, and it's driving me crazy. I ordered four boxes to sort they boys' LEGO bricks over two weeks ago. Amazon broke the order into three shipments (there were a couple other things included in the order), one of which went out a couple days after the first two. As of today, I've received the last box that was shipped, plus everything that we've ordered since, including a book I ordered last weekend that came in this morning.

I totally get that it's Christmas and there's a ton of mail, but I find it weird that my fairly light packages are still not here, yet the 35 pound boxes of wheat and flour did. I wish there was some place to call, but there isn't. All I can do is sit here and wait, as patiently as I can manage.

I really hope they get here soon, though. I was really hoping to get it all done before the Christmas influx of new LEGO sets. Sigh...

Monday, December 12, 2011

LEGO Ideas Book Update

So Wyatt's birthday is over and done with. We've had time to play with the LEGO Ideas Book a bit, and I'm happy to say it's been popular around here. The models depicted are of a huge variety, from tiny to fairly large (yet nothing that's so over the top you better have a basement full of bricks to build it). There aren't any instructions, but some of the models have different views that allow you to figure out easily how to build them. The rest is all about sparking your imagination.

I think the boys' favorite has centered on the spaceship section, which has a few pages of mini-ships to look at. They spent this last weekend building their own fleet of mini-ships. Here's a pic of Oscar continuing the work this afternoon while Wyatt is at school:

Incidentally, I am planning a post on our latest LEGO organization method, some of which you can see here. I'm still waiting for the other boxes to come in the mail so I can finish the sorting work, but I'm excited to finally get it set up in a way that will make it fun for all of us to build. At the moment, I hate it when they ask for help because it means spending hours digging through the pile to find the right bricks (and has anyone noticed how freaking loud LEGO bricks are when they hit against each other? I always feel a little deaf afterwards). After going through three or four different systems to this point, I think we may have finally found one that will last for a long time. We will see...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Vitacost Ten Dollar Coupon Code

I picked up a code off someone else's blog that gives you a ten dollar coupon off an order at Vitacost. com.  I'm getting desperate to find somewhere else I can order the peanut butter we like. The only kind I can get here are the standard brands, but we've been eating natural peanut butter (basically, just peanuts) for years. It's impossible to go back! I used to get it through Tropical Traditions, but they've been out for months. The only other site I've used, Nutsonline (which is an awesome company, by the way), has a pretty steep shipping charge for FPOs, so I'd prefer to do something else.

Enter Vitacost, a site I've admittedly never heard of. The coupon is good no matter what order size, and shipping is only 5 bucks (even for us far-flung sorts), so I think it's worth the risk. I ordered four jars, which with the coupon and including shipping, will end up costing twenty bucks. That's actually what I pay for it normally, but these jar sizes are four ounces larger. So, yay!

Hopefully, they don't take too long to get here. We're down to our last jar, and it's less than half full. Eek! I definitely put this off too long.

Here's my link for a coupon. If you use it, I get another coupon, too, so obviously I'd love it if you did!