Monday, March 30, 2009

The Acceptance Letter

Calvin got the equivalent of a Harvard Acceptance Letter.... A Pre-K Acceptance Letter!!! YAY! We are soooo excited! Calvin has been telling everyone his BIG news! :-)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ramblings From An HGTV Goddess Wannabe

I am a self proclaimed HGTV junkie. I love everything HGTV! Apparently my obsession w/ HGTV led to a belief that I actually knew how to remodel/decorate/paint/etc like the stars. I'm no Vern Yip or Genevieve! Seriously, what was I thinking?!? I am here today to tell YOU that just because those HGTV shows make a project seem simple, it is not! ;-)

I am no good at painting. I had no idea. I'd never painted a room before... much less a whole house! Yes, we painted our entire house. There is no room unpainted. It has been just over a week and already every room is painted, and now we're finishing up the trim. Ok, not "we" - "they". Today, I am at the old house doing hours of homework and taking a minute to document life for me right now. It's all so random, so bear with me.

  • Menards... ugh... NOT happy with them right now. I spent 2 hours there and got little to no help. It was ridiculous. And they wanted an arm and a leg for hinges! Crazies!!! We are now doing our business through Effingham Builder's Supply. They have been FABULOUS so far!
  • Today is my baby sister's sweet 16. :-) She'll get her license on Tuesday. Warning to all: Stay off the sidewalks! j/k! ;-)
  • Don't skip 2 out of 3 Speech classes in one week. It's not worth it. I went on Friday to find out that on Wednesday they passed around a sign-up sheet for next week's speeches. By Friday the only spots left were for tomorrow. Kharma.
  • If you push my buttons long enough, I will go crazy on you and it will be ugly. I think someone learnt that lesson the hard way today. Seriously people, I'm a little crazy! Don't mess with us crazies, you never know what we'll do next!
  • I'm tired of fast food.
  • Family and friends ROCK! We've had sooooo much help! Thank-YOU!
  • I'm totally overwhelmed with house projects, school, and parenting. There aren't enough hours in the day to get it all done. The bad part is that Calvin hasn't been getting nearly enough quality time with us. Can't wait to get moved in so we can spend time with him.
  • I have a couple special intentions that need prayers. I'm not going into details because of privacy issues. If you could add them to your prayer list, it would be greatly appreciated.
  • Buying a house without your Dad's help/input is weird. It just doesn't seem right. This past week I've broken down so many times. It's been on an emotional rollercoaster.
  • Wednesday is Moving Day! :-)
    • We will still have some paint touch-ups and closet doors to paint when we get moved in... but that will be okay.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Destined To Skip School Today

I tried to get up early so we could go to Menards before school.  I didn't get up early enough which led to us rushing around Menards looking at door knobs like chickens with our heads cut off.  We didn't even find "the one".  So, I get to school.  It was too late for me to sneak into my 10:00 class.  I decided to skip it and head to Home Depot to check out their door knob selection.  I got back in a jiffy to take advantage of some extra time to work on projects for various classes.  I park my car.  Look around...  there was no backpack.  No books!  WTH?!?  I left them at home!  I am sooo stupid! 

Ugh

Now, I'm checking emails and doing a few things on the computer before picking up Calvin and skipping the rest of the day.  I'm just not supposed to be here. 

Monday, March 23, 2009

Baby Brayden Turned 1

Two Sundays ago friends and family celebrated Brayden Heath's 1st Birthday (a week early). His Grandma Stephanie decorated the community center with 100's of balloons that lifted to the ceiling. The cake was perfect... Curious George of course - w/ a small one just for Brayden. The party was a wonderful celebration of the miracle that is Brayden's life.


Yesterday, he officially turned 1. It's hard to celebrate on that day... the anniversary of his mother (my cousin) passing away before he was born. You can read the story here.


Today while in Wal-Mart (gasp!) I saw Brayden and his Daddy across the aisle. I rushed over to hug and kiss little Brayden. He looks so much like his Mommy with his sparkling blue eyes and bouncing curls. He is so precious. He is the miraculous blessing that Heather gave to the world.

Home Ownership

Friday morning by 9:00 a.m. Chris and I signed our lives away for 30 years...  yes... we're Home Owners!  We quickly raced to our new house... our house... not anyone else's.  I got emotional as I walked through the house.  Then, there it was... a bottle of wine and a touching note from the previous home owners (Chris's cousin and her husband) on the fireplace mantle.  I bawled as I read the note.  They are sooo thoughtful.  It made it all real.  We own a house... we're growing up... we're adults, now.  :-) 

The weekend is somewhat of a blur.  Here's a quick recap. 
  • Paint's not near free! 
  • Colored primer is pretty cool. 
  • Popcorn ceilling really sucks! 
  • Friends and family rock! 
    • HUGE thank-you to sooo many people for their help! 
  • 1978 wallpaper... shiny. 
  • Our garage bar is already a hit. 
  • A space ship can be primed over. 
  • Whoppers... yummmm! 
  • How many beers does it take to paint a house?  ;-) 
Overall, our house is becoming our own.  Can't wait to show pix when we're finished!!!  :-) 

Thursday, March 19, 2009

"Creative Destruction"

I just finished a short research paper I titled, "The Truth behind Wal-Mart’s Impact on the Economic Downfall in the United States and Around the World"


I am appauled at my findings. Wal-Mart is BAD! Really bad! I am a Republican... and Republicans usually favor Wal-Mart's anti-union notions... but I am still anti-Wal-Mart! I had no idea how low their wages were. Or how they import 70% of all goods on their shelves from China where 40M peasants are tediously working for subpar (to say the least) pay! Let me give you an idea of exactly how much Wal-Mart imports from China: If Wal-Mart was its own country, it would be China's 8th largest trading partner!!! That's craziness!


Now you're wondering why they import so much. Well... good ole Same Walton lived by his theory of selling more goods than selling goods for more. He believed in cutting costs down to the bone - and then finding a way to cut them even more. This led to producers that supply Wal-Mart with goods, to have to outsource the work because they couldn't afford to pay American minimum wages or expected pay salaries - and - be able to sell the products to Wal-Mart at the prices Wal-Mart was demanding. And even now, Wal-Mart expects producers to find ways to lower costs of production every year.


Here is a list from Wake-Up Wal-Mart.


Joseph Schumpeter summed it up best when he coined the phrase,
"creative destruction."


Will I go back to Wal-Mart... honestly, yes. I am an awful American. I wish our town had more accessibility to small town businesses instead of major big box retailers like Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, there just aren't many options here. I will however think first. I will visit local retailers when possible. Maybe we local peeps could come up with a list of places we could go to get what we need other than from Wal-Mart.

  • If you're in Effingham, I encourage you to visit the local downtown stores like Over The Moon, Midwest Office Supply, The Last Straw, and Cradle Plus.
  • In Effingham and need tires or an alignment, visit Al's Tire Mart!
  • If you're in T-Town, swing by Fuddle's for your weekend beverages!
  • If you're in Newton, eat at The Freeze and shop for tires at Newton Tire Center!
  • If you're in Dieterich, shop at Wright's Furniture!

Lets try to keep what's left of our small town stores open!

I could go on and on. I have a lot to say about this. But, I'll leave you to do your own research and form your own opinions.


My question to you - and don't be afraid to be honest: Would you pay more for American made goods that supported our own economy? Or, would you chose to pay less at Wal-Mart?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Piggy Bank Savings

Yesterday a very proud little boy (Calvin) strutted into the bank with 3 sandwich bags full of coins and dollars that he took out of his piggy banks.  We ran the change through the machine and were given a receipt for $60.44 in change!!!  I was shocked - and so proud of him for saving so much.  We took the receipt and the remaining cash to the lovely bank teller.  Calvin deposited a total of $96.44 in his savings account!  That's a lot of money for a little boy to save in his piggy banks!  The bank tellers all praised him for a job well done.  They even gave him extra smarties. 

This morning Calvin and I went to the bank to make our weekly deposit.  As we got out of the car he said, "Mom, they're going to be sooooo proud of you for saving your money!"  This sweet comment helped to start my day off right.  I am smiley, cheerful, and full of energy! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A VA Kind or Victoria's Secret Angel??? I Think Not! ;-)

I had a CT Scan at the VA Hospital today.
I signed in, waited, and was called back - even early! :-)
The nice gentleman that called me back had a couple questions for me:


"Is there any chance you could be pregnant?"


Me: "No."


"One more question... Are you wearing a bra?"


Me:

"As opposed to not wearing a bra???"


"I get a lot of 83 year old women in here that don't wear bras with their's hanging down to here."
As he smiled and acted as if he were holding two boulders down to his knees.


We both laughed.


"So, what kind of bra do you have on?"


I guess I was caught off guard so I answered,

"Victoria's Secret."


He laughed so hard. I laughed out of awkwardness.


"No, like what type of bra?"


Me: "Oh, wire. Is that what you're talking about?"


"Yes. Can you please step into this restroom and remove your bra from under your shirt? Then, come into the other room for your CT Scan."


I was prepared. Last time I went to the VA for x-rays I had to remove my bra. So, I made sure not to wear a white shirt today. I was prepared in grey. :-)


Even after the CT scan, the guy shared how the office staff found laughter in my Victoria's Secret reply. I guess I was quite a hit!


Later I saw this nice guy outside the canteen. He smiled, laughed, and called me the "Victoria's Secret Girl." I am so flattered. :-)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Do you text and pee?

Over the last week, I have been in two different public restrooms where fellow pee-ers were texting while they pee'd.  I wondered how many people text and pee... Do you? 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

"Mashmash"

Calvin's speech has quickly improved since his 1st and only session with a speech pathologist a couple weeks ago. Remember: He was advised to see one after pre-K screening.


Now, he sounds out words and syllables. I'm so proud of him. Just one problem: he quit saying my favorite word. "Mashmash" That's what we call the mustache mouthwash, milk, ice cream, etc leave behind. I love the way he says mustache, "Mashmash." Chris and I even call it that, now.


Today, Calvin insisted on saying it right. "Mom, say 'Mus - tash'" He is growing up... he's outgrowing baby words like 'mashmash'. I should be excited, but instead I'm a little sad.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Buick Century Owner's Club

Last week I walked into the bank, paid off my car, and walked out a proud member of the Buick Century Owner's Club! ;-) It feels good to have my car paid off. Let's face it, my car's nothing sporty, fancy, or my dream car... but it is what I have... and now I own it! No more payments!

Just my luck that now my car makes a clicking noise when I drive it. Chris suspects it's the CV Shaft (?). Whatever that is. He said it won't be too hard to fix. But still... it's the point that everyone was right when they told me as soon as my car would be paid off something would go wrong with it!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Fresh Paint

Chris and I have exciting news to share with everyone...
We're buying a house!!!

We've known for a couple weeks. I've been dying to share the news to all of my Blogger pals, but hesitated until everything was secure. We really are buying a house! We'll have a home we can really settle into. Better yet, we didn't compromise on the school district. We found a house perfect for us in T-Town school district! YAY! Go Wooden Shoes!

We close towards the end of March and will be moved in by Easter. I already have dozens of paint swatches and ideas for the house. Can't wait to get started! Do you love to paint??? C'mon over the week of the 22nd and help out... free beer (or sweet tea) in it for you ! :-)

We went furniture shopping on Saturday. It will be 4-6 months for our new living room furniture to arrive. That's a bummer, but oh so worth it for Natuzzi leather straight from Italy! I'm so excited about our new sofa and love seat. They are going to be gorgeous!

Can't wait to share pix of our new place after we get settled in.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

"Looking for Mr. Far Right" by Meghan McCain

Meghan McCain has in interesting Love Connection post on her blog today. It was so interesting to me that I had to read the article she originally wrote at the Daily Beast that brought up this "Finding Mr. Far Right" conversation.


I find this particularly interesting because well... you all know I love the McCain's... not in a stalker way... you know what I mean. I followed Meghan's blog through the election. She gave such insite to the campaign trail. She gave the real info... the behind the scenes, this is how our family really is - side of the story. I loved it!


Another reason this article is interesting to me is because... well, I did let politics be a part of who I decided to marry. At the end of my first date with Chris, as we sat in my driveway, I asked him, "I have a question for you. It is a deal breaker. Are you a Republican or a Democrat." Obviously he said Republican because we're still together. ;-)


Enjoy this article that I copied from the Daily Beast that Meghan McCain wrote. I hope you enjoy it.



Somewhere in between college and the election, I started allowing politics to dictate the kind of men I date. And the worst part is, it’s not just Obama supporters who turn me off—it’s often my father’s.


The election killed my personal life.


OK, maybe killed is a bit of an exaggeration. But it does seem to be on life support. Of all the things people warned would happen post-election, no one ever said anything about how complicated dating would become. Especially if your dad loses the election. There are things that have been difficult, but nothing quite as tough as dating. I fear the election has destroyed my ability and desire to date. Now, I cannot say at any point in my life that I have been very good at dating. But I have become something I used to despise: people who let politics dictate his or her attraction to someone.


One extreme fan of my mother’s recently told me I could be “his Cindy.” And then asked me if I ever wore pearls because they probably would look as good on me as they do on my mother.
I am a person that has always prided myself on keeping politics out of my relationships. I think I would have probably graduated from Columbia friendless had I made politics a focal point in any of my friendships during college. I have many friends who openly voted for Barack Obama (many of them also didn’t). Who my friends voted for is of no concern to me. I am adult enough to understand that people vote for their own personal reasons, and I know how personal politics can be to someone.


This is how I expected my attitude to remain after the election. And it has continued that way with my friends. But when it comes to dating, it's become an entirely different subject. And I promise, no one is more surprised by this revelation than I am. If I am adult enough to understand that voting is one of the most personal things a person can do, why am I letting it affect how attracted to someone I am? I know that no one can really explain sexual attraction and why you are drawn to someone or not—but at this point in time, nothing kills my libido quite like discussing politics.


Here's the biggest surprise: I am not only turned off by people who voted for Barack Obama, but I am also turned off by people that voted for my dad—or more so, obsessive supporters of my dad. Recently, over dinner, a guy started explaining his reasons for supporting President Obama during the election (I didn’t ask, I think the poor guy felt guilty) and I immediately found any attraction I had previously had dissipate. But same thing happens if a guy starts talking about all the reasons why my father should be president. I have the ultimate Catch-22 in post-election dating. So where does that leave me, and who exactly am I attracted to? Let’s just say I’m spending a lot of time writing and even more time with my girlfriends.


Like many people, when I meet a new friend in real life, we also become Facebook friends. And when I friend someone on Facebook (especially someone who is interested in going out on a date), I read their profile to learn more about them. This seems to be where my problems start. Most people list the candidate they supported during the election. Some have joined the group “A Million Strong for Obama.” Some are even part of the group “I have more foreign-policy experience than Sarah Palin.” When I see this type of information I immediately start thinking: How liberal is this person? Do they know I am Republican spawn, against everything that this person believed in during the last election? How important is politics to this person? When I find my father’s face staring back at me on a potential date's Facebook page I am equally put off. I don’t want to see my father’s picture near any picture of a guy I am attracted to, especially if we haven’t even had dinner yet.


Going on actual dates is even harder. One way or another, the election always comes up. If a guy starts speaking strongly in support of President Obama, my mind starts wandering. If he's such a huge supporter, how much does he dislike my father? Is he a huge anti-war advocate and does he know I have two brothers in the military? But then, again, there go my father's supporters. Now let me be clear: My family and I will always be grateful for all the wonderful people who supported my dad and the campaign. Still, when it comes to my personal life, I don’t want to date someone who idolizes my dad.


Nothing makes me more ill than the idea of some guy bragging to his friends that he was going to go on a date with “John McCain’s daughter.” (Unfortunately this has happened more times than I would like to count and each time I can sense it within the first 30 seconds of meeting them.) One extreme fan of my mother’s recently told me I could be “his Cindy.” And then asked me if I ever wore pearls because they probably would look as good on me as they do on my mother. No, I'm not kidding. Any guy that has a fetish for older women in pantsuits and large pearls obviously only finds my last name attractive about me.


But the real problem with men who voted for my dad is that I never know to what degree of a fan they are of his. Are they so extreme that they would date me no matter how much they may or may not like me just to meet my dad? Once I went out with a guy who said the food I had ordered was a “maverick choice” and proceeded to tell me, “Wow, straight talking must run in the family.” It’s like someone taking Lisa Marie Presley out on a date and singing “Hound Dog” in the middle of dinner.


I know that during the election, I was quite visible and campaigned very hard for my father. During that entire time, I did not go on a single date because I was too busy. And too paranoid about getting set up for some sort of weird "gotcha" moment. I just assumed that would all go away once the election was over. Little did I know, dating would become much more complicated and much less fun than it was in college. I am sure I am not being fair to all the men out there, but my recent experiences have left me scarred and wary of dating. At this point, my biggest aphrodisiac is an apathetic attitude toward politics.


So to all the fathers out there: If you want your daughters to be single in her 20s, I can say this—run for president.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"You look like a mom"

Monday night Calvin and I were snuggling on the couch. He was being extra sweet. Rubbed my back, brushed my hair, and gave me lots of hugs and kisses. At one point he gently grabbed my face with his two tiny hands and said, "You look like a mom."

I smiled. He must have meant that as a compliment. So, I asked, "Is that a good thing or a bad thing?" As he softly ran his little fingers through my hair, he explained that it was good, that I was pretty, and that I look just like a mom. He compared me to other moms he knows, and said that they don't look like moms because they have 'snake hair' (I'm guessing a ponytail). He said I am the only one that looks like a mom... just me. I guess I am the only mom for Calvin. :-)

Fruity Pebbles Breath

Random notes from our last few days: 

Calvin is feeling soooo much better!  No fever since Sunday evening!!!  Woo-hoo!  He stayed home with Grandma on Monday.  Everyone can use some TLC from Grandma when they're sick.  He felt well enough that night to go to Caleb's basketball game... where he totally creamed the other team!  :-) 

Yesterday Chris took me to my physical therapy appointment at the Marion VA Hospital.  The local VA clinic I go to insisted that I have x-rays done of my back since I've had back pain since June.  Just as I suspected, there is absolutely nothing wrong with my back.  It is indeed stress related.  He urged me to try to avoid stress... ummm... that's nearly impossible for me.  The physical therapist gave me some stretches to do daily that should help.  I was embarrassed when he asked how often I exercise.  I answered, "Like never.  Does chasing a 3 year old count?"  He strongly suggested I get out the jogging stroller... and actually use it for its intended purpose.  Tiffany P and Sarah B, watch out!  This Spring I really am going to start jogging! 

Want to know what Fruity Pebbles' breath smells like??? Ask my husband.  I can't post it here... because he said so.  But, it caught me way off guard, made me laugh, and reminded me that my husband thinks like a man.  ;-) 

Sunday, March 1, 2009

When will his stupid cold go away?!?

It's Sunday. 
Calvin still has a cold and a temperature. 
He's been sick since last Tuesday. 
For him, this is a very long time to be sick. 
He gets bursts of energy where he's hyper and plays.  Then, he poops out and is back on one of our laps.  Last night we took him bowling with Phil and Ashley.  Great time!!!  I won't go on and on about how I kicked everyone's butts in the 2nd game.  Anyway, Calvin had a blast during the 1st game but by the middle of the 2nd he was exhausted and the cold was setting in again.  Ugh. 

Today I thought he was much better.  That is until he took a 3 1/2 hour nap and then begged me to lay on the couch with him.  That's just not like him.  Right now Calvin and Chris are playing hide and go seek inside.  I'm sure it won't be long before he's worn out again.  Taking these few minutes to work on homework and say hi to my Blogger pals.  "Hi!"