I've never been a big fan of gambling.
The first time I ever gambled was at midnight on my 18th birthday. Some friends and I drove up to Grand Casino in Hinckley on the evening of May 8. We had dinner, played pool, and did some other under-18 activities. The moment I turned 18, I proudly brandished my ID and spent the next few hours playing a nickel blackjack slot machine. By the end of the evening (morning, technically), I was up about $13.00. Cool, I thought.
Since then, I have gambled a few times in casinos, but when I start to lose money, I become really miserable. And I'm not talking about hundreds of dollars here...I'm talking about 3 or 4 bucks. If I'm down $4, I start thinking about what I could have spent that $4 on, and I get mad at myself.
Also, as many of you know, I worked in charitable gaming for about 3 years when I was at CLIMB. I worked in a bingo hall for about 2-1/2 years and spent about 6 months working a pulltab booth. I actually liked both of these jobs, for the most part, and enjoyed getting to know many of the customers, but it really solidified my own personal distaste for gambling. I've played bingo a couple of times; it's fun, so I feel like to an extent I get my money's worth in entertainment even if I don't win anything. But overall...not a fan of gambling.
So when Geek Squad called a couple weeks ago to tell me that the Level 2 techniques they used in the attempt to recover my files from my damaged hard drive had failed, and they would need to move on to Level 3 which required another $1000.00 deposit (on top of the $250 I had already given them), and how even this might not produce any of my important files...I had a bit of a panic attack. I was being asked to gamble $1250.00 in the hope that I might get some or all of my family photos and videos (plus music and other stuff) back. If I said no, I was out $250 and all of these irreplacable memories. If I said yes, I might get everything back...I might get some stuff back...or I might get nothing. And it would cost me a minimum of $1250 regardless of the outcome (more if they recovered the files).
I went for it. I gave them a credit card number for the $1000. And then I cried a bit.
The story has a good ending, though...they called a week later and said they had managed to recover every single file, undamaged. And on Wednesday, I got them all back. $1700 later, plus another $75 for a second hard drive (you'd better believe I've already back all that data up to another source and put it in a safe place so I never have to go through this again!!), so it hurts a bit financially...but at least I got everything back. Huge sigh of relief...done.
Cori has said her first word. Yes, she's been saying "dadadadada" for a while when she's happy, and "maaa-maaaaa!" when she cries, but I'm calling the first official word for this kid: "uh-oh." About 2 weeks ago, she drops a toy while sitting in her blue chair, and calls out, "Uh-oh!"
Me: Did you just say 'uh-oh?'
Me: (pause...a test) Uh-oh.
At this point, I wonder if it's a real word with meaning, intent, etc. Then later that day in church, she's playing with a toy, drops it the ground, and loudly calls out "Uh-oh!"
Everyone laughs a little, cause it's cute. I grin proudly. Check out my talking baby!! She doesn't walk yet, she doesn't have any teeth still, but my baby says uh-oh. Woot!
We had Cori's second appointment with her pediatric pulmonary specialist, Dr. Pryor, a week ago. Based on the last three months, he has officially ruled out reflux, which means no more Prilosec or Xantac. However, this pretty much leaves us with asthma. This can't be officially diagnosed until she's older, probably around 5, because the tests needed can't be done with an infant, and it's possible she could outgrow the condition. Her cough isn't too bad right now, so we are currently medicine-free, but we have a treatment plan (essentially more Albuterol and Pulmacort) as needed. For now, though, we are a simply enjoying not having to use the nebulizer and hoping for the best.
And because I know everyone is missing pictures...here's one I took last night of Cori having her last bottle of breast milk/formula mix EVER! Yes, folks, she starts drinking whole milk today; she's likely already had a bottle or two at daycare. I will still continue to breastfeed if she's interested (mostly we only nurse when she wakes up in the middle of the night; otherwise she prefers the bottle), but she'll be 1 on Wednesday and formula is expensive and the breastmilk has been nearly gone for a couple of months now...so whole milk is on!
I have lots more I could write about (Cori and Romelie got baptised! Uncle Paul was in town! Volleyball...our house...Romelie!), but we also have Halloween and birthdays coming up, so I'll save more news and try to write again soon.