Sunday, July 25, 2010

I've Moved!!

My blog has been moved over to a new site.

Please stop by to visit me.  I'm still finishing up things like the blog roll.  You'll find all my old posts have migrated over as well as all comments.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

I still haven't made a decision on the blog move yet.  I really like the app.  Now to research how easy it will be to migrate over to a new place.  No, tonight's decision is what to take to Antique's Road Show tomorrow.  They will be at the Biloxi, MS coliseum taping for early next year air date.

My family still lives along the Gulf Coast, and my Mom has always wanted to go on the show.  A friend from high school posted months and months ago that it was coming to the Coast and how to apply for tickets.  I think I applied for tickets in January or February, and winners were chosen in March.  The show uses a lottery system.  You apply for the event you would like to attend, and if your email address is chosen, you receive 2 free tickets.  Mom and I were lucky enough to get tickets.

Our ticket time is 2 pm, and we can arrive up to thirty minutes early.  We plan on arriving around 1:30 or so.  We can each bring 2 items with us.  Mom is bringing 2 violins that have been in my Dad's family for ever, or so it seems.  We've also picked a pair of pocket watches that were wedding gifts to my Dad's parents.  That leaves one more item we can take.

We had decided to take a set of dishes.  Ronnie's grandmother has been saving this set of dishes for him.  Every time she goes to give them to him, she changes her mind.  They are fragile and something could happen to them.  We've heard different stories about these dishes.  Our favorite is that Maw Maw's aunt brought them over on the boat from Sicily, and that she had hand painted them.  Sorry, Google search reveals they were made in Japan and sold in mass production.  Turns out the dishes were wedding china for Maw Maw's sister.  We think they were bought at Sears.  Either way, the dishes are still, well, ugly.  We've decided not to take them tomorrow, but as a consolation prize we will bring them out and use the ugly dishes for Thanksgiving.  It's never a traditional meal in our house so maybe they'll be fortunate enough to be used for a taco dinner or maybe chicken wings.  The menu is still undecided.

I called Mom and told her what we decided. Now she's trying to figure out what else she would like to take.  There's a couple of other contenders:  a music box my Dad bought in Japan in 1951 while he was there in the Navy as part of McArthur's honor guard.  Or there's my Great Grandmother's ugly vase.  When she passed away no one in the family wanted it, they all said it was too ugly.  My Mom took it and found out it's a Hull vase, whatever that means, and is a collectors item.   Mom gets to narrow it down and we'll make a final decision tomorrow.  I don't think my 3rd grade baton twirling uniform, or Ronnie's dog head bong he made in high school would be interesting to take.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Peep Toes

I think it's well established that Paige has a shoe fetish.  She has been obsessed with shoes since she was around a year old.  It really is all about the shoes in this house.  Some mornings I let Paige help pick out my clothes.  It's not a big deal to me.  Especially since I have a hard time deciding some mornings exactly what I want to wear.  Paige has been picking out my clothes based on what shoes I can wear with it.  She has to ask what shoes go with something before she picks it out.  At this point she's mostly figured out what type of shoe goes with what type of clothing.  She knows tennis shoes do not go with a dress or skirt.

Lately Paige has been completely fascinated with my peep toe shoes.  She keeps picking out dresses and skirts that will work with the peep toe shoes I have.  I have a pair of blue and white spectator style pumps with the ankle strap and peep toe.  Then there's the 4 1/2 inch black Candies' patent leather peep toe pumps.  She's picked those out twice this week.  I'm going to have to buy something else to go with the blue and white shoes.  They only match one dress, and I'm getting a bit tired of wearing it frequently.  It's also a bit dressy for work.  The other problem with that is my knee.  The arthritis in my knee doesn't like all these high heel peep toe shoes.  I'm glad tomorrow is casual Friday at work.  I get to wear jeans, a t-shirt and my Converse.  Sounds great to me.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sci Fi Actors

I found this link from another blog.  It's all about great Sci Fi actors who were also war heroes.  You can read all about James Doohan, Rod Serling, Alec Guinness and a couple others.  I'm sure you already know I'm a HUGE fan of Rod Serling.  After all, I did name my child after him.  I already knew about his war hero status, which just makes him even more cool.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Considering a move

Not from my house or anything.  It's a bigger decision than that.  I'm thinking of moving my blog to Word Press.  I have no issues with Blogger at all.  I've heard some complaints here and there about it.  I've also heard some complaints about Word Press.  Why am I considering the move?  Because there's an app for that.

There's an iPhone app for Word Press, but not one for Blogger.  I've tried to blog from my iPhone, but for some reason Blogger doesn't work well on it.  I have no idea why that happens either.  I can create a new post and title it, but I can't actually write anything.  It makes no sense to me.  I write all of my posts on my MacBook in Safari.  I use Safari on my iPhone.  But for some reason, it just won't work.  I would like the option of being able to blog from anywhere.  There are days at work when I could blog at lunch or when the computers are down.  I would like to be able to blog from a road trip while Ronnie is driving.  I just can't do any of that with Blogger.

I haven't decided yet.  I'm still in the research phase of this decision.  I want to see if I can move everything successfully to Word Press and if I can create a blog that looks appealing to me.  I've already secured my blog name, and that won't change.  If I do move, I'll still be SciFi Mama.  Any thoughts?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Diet Time

It's not so much a diet as a complete change of lifestyle.  Ronnie has had high triglycerides for a while now.  He's changed his diet and started working out.  He's running at least three times a week.  We do try to eat healthy around here.  Most meals are made fresh, no pre packaged meals and lots of fresh veggies.  It wasn't enough.  At his last check up the triglycerides are higher than ever.  And now it's time for a complete change.

We've cut pork from our diet.  Good bye bacon, my friend, I will really, really, really miss you.  Also gone are most of the starches, red meat and sugar.  We're now on a diabetic, heart healthy diet around here.  We're going for more of a natural change instead of a medication induced change.  The medicines have too many side effects.  A change of diet and more exercise will give make all of us healthier.

And let's be honest here.  I'm not going to be following Ronnie's diet completely.  Bacon?  Bacon is still my friend.  Paige is not giving up her bacon completely either.  I still drink my 1 can of Coke a day.  There's no way I give that up.  I tried once.  By the third day a coworker put a Coke and told me to drink it before he poured it down my throat.  Mommy needs caffeine.  But I will follow it pretty closely.  Hopefully we can get a little healthier. And just maybe I can lose these last 12 pounds.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Blueberries and more blueberries

Blueberry picking season is in full swing.  Most of our blueberries have been picked for us.  A family friend enjoys picking and picks before most of us can get out there and do it.  That's actually OK with me, for the most part.  It's really hot out there.  Last week my uncle delivered a Walmart bag full of blueberries to me at work.  We ate and ate, and I gave some away.  Then we froze the rest.  

Yesterday we went to Grammy's house.  Grammy gave us a gallon bag of blueberries.  When we left her house we went to Aunt Glennis' house.  We picked from only 3 of her trees and got another gallon of blueberries.  We've given one gallon away to Aunt Wii.  I still have a full gallon of blueberries sitting in my fridge, and I'm about blueberried out.  We're having a luncheon at work next week and I'm thinking of making blueberry cobbler.  That should get rid of some of them.  

Any suggestions?  I need to either use them up or freeze them soon.  We've had blueberry pancakes, muffins and straight from the fridge.  Now I'm thinking maybe a parfait or an afternoon smoothie.  And of course the cobbler for the luncheon.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Creative Gas Mileage

I was filling up my van this afternoon and thinking about what kind of mileage a mini van gets.  Definitely not as good as Ronnie's Accord.  But I love my van and I don't want to give it up.  I may cringe when I fill it up, but I still love to drive it.  I could do the regular math involving miles driven and gallons used.  That would be easy. 

Or, I could use some creative math.  My van has a nifty feature with the clock.  I can see how long the van has been on since I last reset the counter.  I reset each time I fill up the van.  I don't want to tell you how many miles I got to the last tank, but I can tell you I got 8 hours and 25 minutes to the last 14 gallons.  When I look at it that way, I get pretty good mileage.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Grilled Veggies

With summer grilling season in full swing, I thought I would toss this idea out there: grill your veggies.  I get odd looks when I mention we do this.  Grilled asparagus, grilled Brussels sprouts, grilled squash, it's all good.  And as an added bonus Paige will eat any vegetable we grill.  Even the ones she won't normally touch, put it on the grill and suddenly it's her favorite.

This is actually a very easy and healthy way to cook your veggies.  For most veggies, just a quick prep is all you need.  Asparagus is probably the easiest: cut the bottom from the asparagus, toss in a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Put on the grill for a few minutes, turn, leave for a couple more minutes and remove.  Asparagus is done.  Squash or eggplant requires a bit more cutting.  Cut them the way you would like: either long ways or across, which ever you prefer.  Once again the olive oil and salt and pepper, then grill just like the asparagus.  Brussels sprouts takes a bit more work.  First, you blanch them on the stove for about 5 minutes.  Remove from water and cut each one in half.  Add olive oil and salt and pepper.  Put them on the grill for several minutes, then flip.

Grilling your veggies is quick and easy.  As long as the grill is on, you may as well add something else to it, right?  Give it a try.  Maybe you can get your kids to try something they normally won't eat.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 3 No Voice

Yes, I still don't have a voice.  When I got off work yesterday it was just as bad as it was when I woke up Monday morning.  Only now it was also hard to breath and swallow.  It was time for a trip to the Doc in a Box, or Urgent Care, whichever you want to call it.  Some of my symptoms could be pointing towards strep.  I certainly didn't want to give it to Paige or Ronnie, so off to the doc I went.

I got a very thorough check up, and was told it probably wasn't strep.  I did ask to be tested just in case.  Have you been tested for strep lately?  Very uncomfortable!  Yuck!  The test came back negative luckily.  As the doctor and nurse practitioner were waiting for the results they looked at the Buffett concert pictures on my phone.  They both agreed that the concert was worth it.  The diagnosis? Laryngitis.

I was given a steroid to take now.  I give that a couple of days and if my voice isn't better I get to start an antibiotic.  I'm also not supposed to talk.  I'm supposed to rest my voice as much as I can.  That's OK at work, to a point.  I've had help in taking and placing phone calls to clients.  I email and text message my coworkers a lot to avoid talking.  At home is another story.  Do you know how hard it is to not answer your 4 year old?  Paige talks a mile a minute and requires an answer.  She knows I've lost my voice, but doesn't quite understand what that means.  When she talks to me, she wants an answer.  And while it's OK to text Kelli on the other side of the office, I fell odd texting my husband on the other end of the couch.

I'm doing my best and my voice is slowly getting better.  I will say though, that concert was worth the laryngitis no matter how long it lasts.  It was wonderful.  Being there watching Jimmy Buffett play for 2 1/2 hours with friends around me was a great time.  I would go back again right now and yell some more. What's a few more days of laryngitis?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Embrace your Inner Geek

Today is Embrace Your Geekiness Day.  There's still some time.  You don't have to actually embrace the Geek inside today.  Let's take baby steps.  Let's start by admitting you like something Geeky.  It's OK, you're at home.  No one has to see you.

Stop and think about it for a few minutes.  It may be something more mainstream like Star Wars or Star Trek.  It could be something more recent like TORCHWOOD or Eureka.  Well, TORCHWOOD is probably a bit out there for you.  I understand.  BBC America does like to push the envelope.  But they are considering an American version for Fox, so maybe it will appeal to more audiences over here at that point.  You could prefer books like those by Orson Scott Card, Stephen King, or Greg Bear.

It could be that you aren't into any of these things.  That does make me wonder why you even read my blog, but that's OK.  We don't all have the same tastes.  Since today is about Geekiness, maybe you could try one of these things.  A trip to the library would get you Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.  Flipping through the TV would probably get you one of the movies or shows.  Try something new.  You may thank me.

I mentioned Card a couple of times to a friend.  And then someone else mentioned him to her.  She finished Ender's Game and emailed me how good it was.  I shipped out the rest of the series to her.  In a book exchange of sorts, she sent me The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.  I devoured the book and can't wait for the sequel.  It's a book I never would have found on my own, so I'm glad she sent it to me.  Trying something new has found me a new author that I truly enjoy.  You don't have to go far out on a limb, maybe just push your comfort zone a bit.  Give it a try and let me know what you find.

It finally happened

The day people probably said my husband would enjoy: I have no voice.  It's the result of yelling, screaming, and singing for 2 1/2 hours Sunday night along with Jimmy Buffett.  Monday was a day of recovery for me.  I took the day off from work and literally lounged around the house.  I only got out of my jammies long enough to take Paige to daycare and then pick her back up.  I have absolutely no energy.

Thanks to Dr. Google I know what I have is hoarseness not actual laryngitis.  That's good, it means I don't need to go to my doctor or get antibiotics.  The old saying of gargle with salt water?  Dr. Google says that won't really work.  Dr. Google says to rest my voice.  After a day of resting it today, it's still no better.  All phone conversations were held by text message.  I haven't quite resorted to pen and paper to hold a conversation yet.  Of course after Paige got home that went away.  There's nothing like a 4 year old to get you chatting, whether you want to or not.

I also spent my day hydrating.  I've been lethargic all day.  Even after drinking as much water in one day I usually drink in two, I still don't have energy.  I'm hoping it comes back to me very soon.  I have to go back to work tomorrow.  I don't see me taking very many phone calls.  Hopefully things will be back to normal soon.  For now, I'm not sure if Ronnie is enjoying this or not.  He seems a bit frustrated by my lack of being able to actually speak.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Buffett was Awesome!

I could spend a lot more time trying to figure out a more clever title.  Or, I could go with the simple truth. All of my highs and lows of getting and not getting tickets became obsolete Saturday afternoon.  A good friend, Tim, called with the best news.  Tim had scored 4 VIP wristbands to the concert.  Tim is a member of the National Guard who was activated on May 1st.  He's been down on the beaches working to clean up the oil since the beginning.  I'm not sure who's idea it was to give the National Guard guys the VIP tickets, but I can tell you they enjoyed themselves.

We took a little road trip down to Gulf Shores with a van full of Parrotheads.  Deciding what to wear was the hard part.  Something comfy, and cool, but still provide coverage so you don't get too much sun.  I finally decided on my average beach attire: sarong, tank top, and flip flops.  Ronnie went with a Red Shirt from Think Geek and shorts.  Red was a good choice.  With his height, 6'3, and a red shirt, he was easy to spot.  Pig tails for me completed the outfit.  Being the OCD person I am, I packed extra sunblock, emergency rain ponchos (predicted 70% chance of rain), and chap stick.  I was ready for the day.

Once we got to the concert we found out what VIP wristbands meant:  We had a special barricaded off section close to the stage.  We were about 40 years from Jimmy Buffett.

That was a wonderful thing.  We were very close to the stage, with lots of room around us.  Not a lot of people were in the VIP section so there was room to dance and move without bumping into other people. We were in a larger group of other National Guard members and their guests.  But, the very best part of VIP wristbands?

That building you see?  That's an actual bathroom.  With stall doors, sinks, everything you would expect in a bathroom.  Yes, no port a potty here.  We got the real thing.  Is it sad that a bathroom at a beach concert made us all so happy?  Ronnie and I had a great time.

The concert lasted the full hour and a half broadcast live on CMT.  Jimmy Buffett then took a 5 to 10 minute break and came back out.  He played for another 45 minutes to an hour just for the 35,000 fans on the beach.  Some people have complained on Facebook about there not being other big name acts like Kenny Chesney or The Zac Brown Band.  These people have said they were disappointed in the concert.  I can say as a Parrothead, I was going to see Jimmy.  He did have some big names: Allen Touissant and Mac McAnally and Jesse Winchester may not be names that were recognized by the average concert goer.  But, they were recognized by those who like jazz (Allen Touissant is a New Orleans musician), country fans ("Down the Road" was a hit duet by Chesney and McAnally), and we all knew the songs written by Jesse Winchester, even if we didn't know his name before.  I can say that I was not disappointed in the least.

I yelled and screamed so much that I have no voice at all today.  Paige heard me talk and asked what happened.  I try to explain it to her.  She just looked at me and said, "Silly Mommy.  Next time remember to put your voice back in your mouth!"

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Reusable grocery bags

I've used reusable grocery bags off and on for years.  I just hate that collection of plastic bags I would get.  Now, I don't claim to be completely green around here.  I do make an effort to be more green though.  I have a stack of reusable bags that I love to use.  I also have a sleeve for plastic bags.  I use them in my bathroom trash can.  Perfect size and free is the right price.

When my sleeve of plastic bags gets low, I stop using my grocery bags and get the plastic bags until I fill it back up.  Once it's full, it's back to my own grocery bags.  One of the biggest downsides to bringing my own bags is the cashiers.  Almost none of them know how to bag groceries.  I grew up in Granny and Paw Paw's grocery store.  I can bag some groceries.  My eggs are never crushed, my bread isn't smooshed, and everything fits nicely.  Most of the time when  I tell cashiers I have my own bags they roll their eyes.  The ones that do that I won't offer to bag myself.  The ones who cheerfully say it's great, I'll offer.  I'm a bit sadistic that way.  Truth is, I prefer to bag my own.  I can get more groceries in a bag than they can and all without ruining anything.

I have a new favorite bag.  I got this from my favorite website, Think Geek.  By purchasing other items from them I had built up Geek Points.  I traded in my points for this super cool shopping bag.  It's been amazing.  It clips onto my purse strap, so I always have it with me.  Yesterday after Tae Kwon Do practice we decided to stop for groceries on the spur of the moment.  Unclip my +10 Bag of Groceries, and loaded it up.  By the time we were done it held: bag of carrots, coffee, baking powder, large bag of all purpose flour, eggs, chicken nuggets and French fries.  And there was still plenty of room to spare.  The only thing I purchased not in the bag was the gallon of milk.  It already has a handle, so no need to put it in a bag.

I will admit, since I clipped this on my purse, I've gotten lots of compliments.  Also, it's a very versatile bag.  We're getting ready to head down to Gulf Shores for the Jimmy Buffett concert.  This bag packs up so small I've got it in my flight bag.  You never know when you'll need an extra bag for the stuff you pick up at a beach concert.  This one is super small so it's very easy to take with us. That left enough room in the flight bag I'll carry for sunblock, keys, ID, and an extra sarong.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Highs and Lows Updated

And for another high:


The same guy who was going to sell them to us offered them again.  The other people decided they just couldn't pay the $50 a ticket he was asking.  He offered them to us for $25.  We said yes.  Aunt Wii is lined up to watch Paige Sunday afternoon.  Mommy and Daddy will be headed to Gulf Shores, Alabama for the Jimmy Buffett concert.

Check for pictures on Facebook! Yes, I'm very excited.  I haven't seen Buffett in probably 7 years now.  I need a live Buffett fix.

Highs and Lows

This afternoon was a roller coaster of excited and sad.  It started with a text.  A friend of a friend had purchased tickets from a scalper for the Buffett concert.  Because the concert was postponed and now he can't go.  He was willing to sell the tickets for $25, half what he paid for them.  I got excited.  Yes, the concert is supposed to be free.  But he's a local guy who bought them from a scalper.  It's his bad for doing that, but at least he was willing to sell them for cheap.  I was so excited!

Then, came the low: his friend sold them for $50.  Given the two offers, of course he took the higher offer. He's not making money, but breaking even.  I get that. But it doesn't mean I'm not disappointed.  I will not pay that much for the tickets.  He does have a few other friends who may not go, so he'll let them know if they need to sell theirs.

Then, another exciting moment: Paige got her first stripe in Tae Kwon Do!  Before she can test for her belt, she must do 5 things to prepare.  Reaching these achievements is marked with electrical tape on the current belt.  She got a green stripe for knowing all 5 stances.  Saturday she'll recite the white belt verse, about honoring your mother and father, and will get her black stripe.  We have to work on the next items to learn.

Also, you'll notice a new blog on my Blog Roll to the right.  Please stop by and visit.  It's a friend of mine.  He's a stay at home dad with 2 little girls. I've been following his more personal blog for a couple of years now.  The other was dedicated to his daughters medical problems, and oddly enough was hysterical to read most of the time.  So, stop by SAHD but not Unhappy when you get a chance.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I've been off my Wii Active for several months now.  Of course, I'm starting to feel like a fat slob again, right at bathing suit season.  Last night was my first night back on a 30 day challenge.  My thighs are so sore today!  They've hurt all day.  Moving in certain directions isn't fun at all.

On the plus side, my knee seems to be holding up so far.  Only one day, but at least it held up.  The arthritis in my left knee has been very bad lately.  I've upped my arthritis medicine, added two more, and been given pain killers and a muscle relaxer to help with it.  For me the fact that I exercised last night, and my knee isn't swollen to twice it's size and not bending in a normal manner is a big plus.  Let's see if this can keep up!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fun Sticks

This project is mainly for Mommy to do.  I modified a couple of ideas I've seen floating around the web to come up with it.  It's based on the wish jar and wish sticks.  Here's what you'll need:

  • Jar
  • Craft sticks or popsicle sticks
  • Pen
  • Paint, I used different colors
  • Glass discs, marbles, pebbles
  • Ribbon
  • Foam stickers

    I started with a larger hurricane glass used for candles.  I let Paige pick the ribbon from the ribbon bag.  She picked the pink flowers and butterflies, of course.  I used foam stickers to put her name on the jar.  If you have more than one child you could do a jar for each, or put Fun Sticks or your last name on the jar instead of a child's name.

    Once the name is on the jar, hot glue the ribbon along the top and bottom.

    Pick your activities.  Mine are varied and include crafts, skating, going to the park, riding the carousel at the mall, getting a Starbucks, and movie time.  Each child is different, so think of what your child enjoys most. I first tried to write with a Sharpie on the craft sticks.  I quickly found out that they bleed too much and are very messy.  I ended up using a Vision rollerball pen, and it worked great!  If I wrote a craft on one side, I put where the directions were on the other, such as the website, or what craft book and the page number.  This way, when the time comes to do the project, I won't have to rack my brains trying to figure it out.

    Paint the ends of the sticks. It's not important that all sticks be painted to the exact same point.  Mine are all varied, depending on how much was written on the stick.  I found turning ramekins upside down and setting the sticks on them allowed both sides to dry quickly and not get paint everywhere.  I used different paints, painting 3 sticks each color.  This gives us some variation and color in the jar.

    I let the sticks dry overnight.  I used glass discs in the bottom of my jar.  I found a bag of red/clear at Walmart for $3.  It was the closest I could find to pink.  I put a few in the bottom of the jar, and started putting in the sticks.  Once all sticks were in, I filled in the rest of the discs.  I didn't want Paige to start recognizing the words and picking out the sticks she wanted each time. 

    Our finished project.

    I ended up with close to 40 sticks when I was done.  I made a stick for each activity I could think of.  There is definitely some cheating going on.  If I know money is tight, before I let Paige pick a stick, I would remove the Starbucks and the carousel sticks.  (Not that the carousel is expensive, but if we go to the mall she'll want a cookie and a Starbucks.)  If it's raining outside I would remove the ride bikes or go to the park.  The only set rule is once you pick a stick, you do what's on that stick.  There's no putting it back and picking another one.  

    Sunday, July 4, 2010

    Craft ideas are coming

    Paige has finally gotten to the age where we can do really cool crafts together without Mommy getting upset at her non-listening skills.  I spent yesterday going through books, and my Safari bookmarks scoping out ideas.  I was looking for something to do on Monday when we have Girls Day.  I ended up with more ideas than we can possibly use on one day.  I stopped looking when I hit 20 ideas.  Those should keep us busy for a while.

    We did our first project yesterday: Fun Sticks.  It seems that when we have time to do something fun, we have a hard time coming up with ideas. But when we don't have time to stop and play, like in the middle of running errands, I come up with the best ideas.  Now, those ideas of fun things, including crafts, are all written on sticks.  How to make the jar and the sticks, complete with pictures, will be posted tomorrow.

    Most of my crafts that I've picked are geared towards the 4 year old age group.  There are a few parts, like using the hot glue gun, that are just for Mommy to do alone.  I have a very full to overflowing craft cabinet, which makes these pretty easy for me to do, and for cheap.  I didn't get it all at one time.  I've watched sales at my two favorite craft stores: Hobby Lobby and Michael's, and stocked up when I could.  Like paints.  You could buy the Crayola kids paints, getting a box of 4 small jars for $6.  Or, Michael's regularly puts their very large jars of washable tempra paints on sale for 99 cents each.  Other things that I consider part of a basic package:

    • Googly eyes, wiggly eyes, whatever you want to call them
    • Pipe cleaners, chenille stems, same thing
    • Foam stickers
    • Glue
    • Pom pom balls
    • Construction paper
    • Thicker card stock for scrapbooking
    • Ribbon
    • Cardboard tubes from paper towels and toilet paper
    • Stick on jewels
    • Alphabet beads
    • Colorful beads
    • Bead string or fishing line
    • Craft sticks, or popsicle sticks
    Those items will get you through the majority of the craft projects I have planned.  Another great place to stock up on some basics is Dollar Tree.  They have a small craft section where you can pick up some good stuff.

    Saturday, July 3, 2010

    Movie Etiquette

    There are some things that we all know are common sense and common courtesy, but not everyone seems to follow.  I hope when you go into a movie you turn your cell phone to vibrate, or turn it off.  You know not to leave your phone on ring, and at the loudest volume possible.  Another one we all know is not to repeatedly kick the seat in front of you.  A few bumps here and there are expected.  But sitting there bored and kicking the chair?  Not a good idea.

    I saw Eclipse Friday afternoon.  I didn't see any of the other Twilight movies in the theatre.  Honestly, I didn't think the movies were that good.  I did read the books, and absolutely loved them.  Eclipse is my favorite of the books, so the one I decided to see on the big screen. I won't give out spoilers, but I will say I'm glad I saw it on the big screen.  It was definitely a good movie.  But, after seeing both Eclipse and Toy Story 3 recently, I think maybe some people need a refresher in movie etiquette.

    • Put your phone on silent.  We don't want to hear it.  If you may have a call you must get, you can put the phone in your lap or back pocket, you'll feel it vibrate.
    • Don't text during the movie.  That huge screen you love on your iPhone?  It's really bright.  When the rest of the theatre is dark, and it's a night scene in the movie, your phone is even brighter.
    • Don't kick the chair in front of you.  Bumps here and there are OK.  If you're bored, go wait outside, don't just sit and kick the chair in front of you.
    • Don't take kids to a more adult movie.  We each raise our kids our own way, but I somehow doubt a 4 year old really needs to see Eclipse.  Especially when she gets scared during a fight scene and screams.  We don't appreciate it.
    • Don't talk.  If you just have to talk, try a whisper.  I don't want to hear your conversation.  It's not that important to me.
    • Along with the above one: If you've read the book, you don't have to prove to us that you've read it and how much you remember.  Comparing the movie to the book during the movie, just annoys the rest of us.  And here's a hint: You aren't the only one to have read Eclipse.  I promise you aren't.  A lot of us have read it, but we manage to keep our mouths shut.
    • If you're going to see a sequel, like Eclipse, and you haven't seen the first two movies: don't go!  Granted, you probably don't have to see Toy Story 1 and 2 in order to really understand what's going on in Toy Story 3.  But, if a movie is billed as a saga, and if you don't live under a rock, you know Eclipse is the 3rd installment of the Twilight series.  
    As I'm sitting there watching the movie, an older lady behind me kept asking her friend questions.  Without giving away any spoilers, if you have to ask who Victoria is, and why she wants to kill Bella, Eclipse is not the movie for you.  Start with Twilight and work your way up to it.  You really will enjoy it more. Probably the worst time this happened was when I went to see Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.  It was the midnight opening of the movie.  Some guy obviously wanted to make his date happy by taking her to see it.  It was obviously her idea.  We get to the part of the movie where Arwen, Liv Tyler, is having a vision of her future, and sees her husband and son running through the woods.  It's beautifully done.  This guy who had been asking questions during the movie started asking who Liv Tyler was supposed to be.  I'll admit, I started the popcorn throwing.  He got the hint and didn't ask another question during the movie.  It may not have been as annoying as that, but still, see all the other movies first, don't start almost at the end.  

    If you can't follow some basic common courtesy, you probably shouldn't go to the movies.  Movies are getting more and more pricey.  I don't pay to see one on the big screen only to hear your conversations and watch you text.  I give you the same courtesy since I'm sure you don't care who's picking up my child from daycare or what we're having for dinner.

    Friday, July 2, 2010

    Playing Paige Style

    We encourage Paige to be creative.  Her idea of playing may not fit in with what every 4 year old girl normally does.  Last night we went bowling.  We didn't go with a huge group of people, just me, Ronnie, Paige and a couple of other adult friends.  Luckily, our adult friends are as warped on SciFi as we are.

    Paige and I were wearing our Silly Bandz bracelets.  I'm currently wearing the Princess collection, and Paige is wearing the jungle animals collection.  One of my bracelets is a shoe; one of hers is a bug.  I'm sure you can see where this is going.  She took off the bug and had it attack me.  I certainly didn't want bug on me, so I took off the shoe to smash the bug.  It seems smashing the bug wasn't enough.  Paige pulled my iPhone out of my purse, opened the Sonic Screwdriver app, and used it on the bug.

    Yes, my child used a Sonic Screwdriver app on a bug Silly Bandz bracelet.  Normal? Probably not.  Fun?  Most definitely.  We were giggling and having a great time.  At least she was being nice about it.  She didn't open the phaser app and set it to kill instead of stun.  That would have been worse.

    Wednesday, June 30, 2010

    I Said WHAT???

    As a parent I've said things I never thought would come out of my mouth.  One of my favorites has always been "Don't lick the dog."  Another of my favorites is "Cats don't wear chapstick."  After those words escaped my mouth I immediately threw away all of my chapstick.  You know, just in case that wasn't the first time she had tried to put it on the cats.  Especially since she was trying to put it on the cat's butt.  Gross.

    Today was another of those priceless expressions.  We were getting ready for Tae Kwon Do and trying to get out the door.  Paige stopped at her toy box to pick something to bring with her.  She decided she needed a pink princess tiara to wear during class.  I actually said the words, "Sorry, Paige, but we can't wear a pink princess crown during Tae Kwon Do class."

    How many parents have said that one?

    Sunday, June 27, 2010

    Toy Story 3

    **There will be NO spoilers here!**

    I must start this with a disclaimer:  I love Disney.  I'm a huge Disney fan.  Disney can do little to nothing wrong.  Mickey was probably one of my first words.  I've lost track of the number of times I've been to Disney World and Disneyland.

    That being said, Disney sequels usually suck.  The Little Mermaid was great.  The others they've made?  Not so much.  Most of the time I feel they make a sequel just to make a sequel and try to get more money.  Not that they need it.  It was 4 years between Toy Story 1 and 2. I thought both movies were fantastic. I was waiting and waiting for a third.  And we finally got it.  I've waited 11 years for the next movie.  I was not disappointed.

    Toy Story 3 was high on our list of must see movies this summer.  Honestly, we don't see many in the theatre; it's just too expensive.  For us to go to the theatre, it must be a really fantastic movie to us.  I wondered about a friend when she told me she cried at the end.  Another told me the same thing, but seeing that she's 23 weeks pregnant with twins, I chalked it up to hormones.  As we close to the end, I started to tear up.  As the movie was ending, I was wiping my eyes.  I tried to wipe them quietly so no one would notice.  I glance over at Ronnie, and he's wiping his eyes as well.

    At just under 2 hours it was a challenge for Paige to sit through.  There at the end she got a bit restless.  Luckily a children's movie is an OK place for her to be a bit restless; she wasn't the only one.  There were a few kids moving around.  Having her keep on her 3D glasses through the entire movie was an even bigger challenge, one that we didn't succeed in.  Paige had her glasses on and off throughout the movie.  And in case you don't have kids, it's OK, you can still go.  There were lots of adults there without kids.  The ones, like us, who had waited as long as they could to see it.  They were going to see it in the theatre and not wait another day to do it.

    Saturday, June 26, 2010

    Tae Kwon Do

    A couple weeks ago we switched from the first karate place to a different one. This place teaches Tae Kwon Do.  We made the decision for several reasons, one of the largest being we just couldn't afford the first place long term.  The $29 trial special with a uniform was great.  The $500 for 3 months, not so much.  We just couldn't afford to keep her in the school.  We found another place that teaches 4 year olds, and it was the place that had been highly recommended by several friends when we started the search for a school.

    All 3 of us just love the new school.  Her teacher, Mr. R, is fantastic with kids.  The first school taught only offensive moves.  Mr. R teaches both offensive and defensive moves.  I think both are important.  I do not want Paige to start a fight, but I want her to be able to defend herself and finish the fight.  Mr. R starts each class with the kids reciting his school creed, which includes never using Tae Kwon Do for bad, and to always do good to change the world.  Each belt requires learning different things, and each belt has a different saying.  White belt, Paige, has to learn honor thy mother and thy father.  Yellow belt, the next step, is the golden rule.  

    Paige is learning more in his class than I can imagine.  Her attention span has increased, she is more patient, and her attitude has improved.  Today there was a new boy in class, Matthew.  Matthew is a bit shorter than Paige, but has to be close to the same age.  Paige is taller than most kids her age, so I can't use that as a guide.  He didn't pay attention very well and Paige kept trying to copy him.  I called her over and talked to her about this wasn't play time, but serious time, and she needed to pay attention to her teacher or we would leave.  She definitely did not want to leave, and was very attentive the rest of the class.  Matthew sat out the rest of the class on his dad's lap.  

    The important thing is that Paige enjoys the class and wants to keep it up.  After the summer special rate is over, we'll see if we continue.  I would like to see her keep it up.  Tae Kwon Do has been a very good influence on her.  If we continue will be up to her.  The price is affordable for us.  She'll be starting ballet again once the school year starts.  We are encouraging Paige to try different activities, and we'll try to afford what she wants to do.  Our only requirement is she finishes what she starts.  After the summer special is over, if she doesn't want us to renew the classes, we won't, but she will finish out what she's started.  What classes are your kids taking?  

    Friday, June 25, 2010

    Breakfast for Supper

    This is probably my favorite supper ever.  There's just something about eating breakfast at the wrong time of the day that makes it super yummy.  Ronnie thinks I'm a bit odd for it.  For me it's great memories from my childhood.  My grandparents own a little store, and on nights when I would "help close" we would get home late.  They got home late every night and supper was usually somewhat fast.  Granny and Paw Paw would make breakfast for supper, and we loved it.  Paige is definitely my child, loving breakfast foods and always willing to eat it, no matter what time of day.

    Around here breakfast is fast during the week.  We have cereal or Special K breakfast bars usually.  I know, not super healthy, but daycare does serve a good healthy breakfast, so it's mainly Paige's first breakfast to hold her until her second breakfast.  (Have I mentioned I'm raising a Hobbit?)  Weekends we go all out on breakfast: hash browns, eggs, bacon, sausage, homemade biscuits, pancakes, waffles, grits, omelets.  The works.  Not all at the same time of course, we do watch our cholesterol.  Paige usually picks the breakfast and always requests bacon and grits.

    A friend posted about this on Facebook and it started a whole discussion on grits.  Another friend admitted to putting syrup on her grits.  Now, I must say I was born and raised in the Deep South.  The Gulf Coast and the surrounding area has been my home for most of my life.  I have never put syrup on my grits, or known anyone who did.  Bacon, butter, cheese, yes.  Syrup, no.  In our house syrup goes on pancakes.  I'm wondering if syrup on grits is a Northern thing?  How do you eat your grits?  Feel free to comment away.

    Confession:  I don't like butter.  Butter to me is yucky.  My grits are made with salt, pepper, and crumbled bacon.

    Thursday, June 24, 2010

    Earning Shoes

    We've been trying to figure out when Paige could have her shoes back.  She's been good here and there, but nothing super special.  Most nights she has a melt down over something horrible, like her peas and carrots are touching on her plate.  Oh!  The horrors!  Peas and carrots touching!  They came frozen that way in the bag, and I'm not separating them out.

    Aunt Wii's sister was over last night and suggested giving her back a pair every 3 days for being good.  Definitely a good suggestion.  I told Ronnie about it and he gave Paige a list of things to do every day.  If she does them every night, then she can pick a pair of shoes from the overflowing Olive Garden take out bag.   Nothing too horrible; in fact very simple things.

    1. Eat supper 
    2. Wash her hair
    3. Bathe herself
    4. Brush her teeth
    5. Listen to bedtime stories
    All of that must be done without whining and complaining.  Once she's told to brush her teeth we don't want to repeat ourselves five or six times. 

    Tonight Paige did all of these.  Whining was kept to a minimum.  Actually, it was more speaking that whining, so it was acceptable.  Paige picked her sandals.  She's been wanting them the worst.  Every morning she's asked if she could wear them.  Tomorrow she gets to wear them.  With a dress.  Since she got dresses back on Sunday she's worn a dress everyday.

    Another incentive we've put out there is a movie.  If Paige can be good every day from yesterday through Saturday, then on Sunday we'll go see Toy Story 3.  We've planned to take her to see it, but we think she should earn it.  Especially with the attitude we've been getting lately.  I hope she can make it.  I really want to see that movie.  I've waited 11 years for it.  

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    Jude Bowling

    Last night was Bowling Night in this house.  Most of us went: Paige, Ronnie, me, Aunt Wii, and Ryan.  Only Unc stayed home.  We took Paige's friend, Korrie Jane, and met up with Paige's boyfriend Jude and his parents.  We took up 2 lanes and had a blast in our little corner of the bowling alley.

    One of the great things about bowling with small children is the bumpers.  When we get there the guy goes and pulls up the bumpers so that the kids don't get gutter balls every time.  Mommy and Daddy like it too.  It's nice for helping get the pins on the very corners without worrying about the gutter.  Watching the kids bowl is fun.  They each have their own unique little style.  Paige puts it on the floor and pushes it.  And a few times she's tried to kick it like a soccer ball.  Korrie Jane throws it; the ball lands with a thud about half way down the lane.

    Jude? Jude is special.  I wish I had video of him bowling.  I may try to get one next time.  Jude bowling looks like pinball.  He lobs the ball as hard as he can.  It travels pretty fast down the lane.  It literally bounces from one side of the bumpers to the other all the way down the lane.  It's like watching a pinball game.  He's very enthusiastic about his bowling.  When it's his turn he runs up there, grabs the ball, and runs to his lane.  I love watching him bowl.

    On a side note, we won't be attending the concert.  The tickets were free, but you had to get them from Ticketmaster this morning starting at 10 AM.  The city of Gulf Shores was releasing 35,000 tickets.  There were 8 of us at work trying to get tickets.  We were all on the website hitting refresh at 9:59.  None of us got tickets.  None of us.  I did find some, on eBay, for $1800.  I wish I was kidding, but I'm not.  eBay has since pulled all of the tickets for the concert from their site.  I tried hard, but no tickets for us.  Maybe we'll all get together and watch it on CMT.  Maybe not, we haven't decided yet.

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    Jimmy Buffett- For Free!!

    I can feel the green with envy vibes coming through my computer.  Jimmy Buffett is giving a free concert in Gulf Shores, Alabama.  That's most definitely within driving range for us, so we're headed to the concert.  Gulf Shores is one of the areas affected by the BP oil spill.  It's very much a tourist summer town on the Alabama Gulf Coast.  The people and businesses down there make the vast majority of their money on the summer season.  The beaches don't have oil on them, but people are staying away.

    Jimmy Buffett was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi.  As a child his parents moved him a whopping 30 minutes across the state line to Mobile, Alabama.  Like most kids who grew up in Mobile, he spent quite a bit of time during the summer in Gulf Shores.  His sister Lulu owns a restaurant down there.  In an effort to get people into Gulf Shores to spend money, he's giving a concert on Gulf Shores Beach.  For free.  Oh, and he's bringing a few friends as well.  You may have heard of them: Kenny Chesney and The Zac Brown Band.

    I'm a huge Parrothead.  Jimmy Buffett coming to the area is a huge deal for me.  Ronnie isn't a big fan of country, but he can deal with Kenny Chesney and Zac Brown Band.  We've lined Aunt Wii up to pick up Paige from daycare and babysit that night.  We'll have to leave early in the afternoon to get down there for the 5 PM start time.  I've taken the next day off from work, giving myself a 4 day weekend with the July 4th holiday observed Monday at my office.  Ronnie has to work the next day, so I'll drive home while he tries to rest in the van.

    I try to keep the blog without expressing my opinion on hot button topics like politics, religion, and some current events.  No matter what you feel or think about what's happened, the concert is a great idea to get some business down there.  There was some grumbling on Facebook yesterday about how this should be taking place at ground zero in Louisiana.  Gulf Shores businesses are just as empty as anywhere else because of the spill.  Any other area is welcome to do the same thing.  Louisiana has some big name artists that came from there, I'm hoping they'll help out.  If you can't make the concert, you can watch it live, with no commercials on CMT.  Gulf Shores City Council is hoping to bring in more concerts over the summer to increase tourism.  There will be a special concert t-shirt designed and sold at the concert and online to raise money for the local businesses.  And if you can go, tickets are required, even though it's free.  They go on sale tomorrow morning at Ticketmaster.

    Monday, June 21, 2010

    Remember, she's only 4

    I keep repeating this phrase to myself over and over.  She's only 4.  She's only 4.  It has to get better.  We've had some trying times lately, and I see us getting onto Paige more and more often it seems like.  I thought about something Beth posted in a comment about getting perverse pleasure in being more stubborn than her kids.  I realized this is partly true of me as well.  I'm stubborn.  Ronnie is stubborn.  So it shouldn't surprise me that our child is stubborn.  Genetics works folks.  Over the past weekend I actually stopped and asked myself if I was getting on to her about something that was justifiable or was it just to be more stubborn.  It was almost all justifiable.  If she has a friend over and won't share toys, she can sit in her room until she's ready to share toys.  She can't order me around the house to do her bidding.  I will not be spoken to that way.

    Another thing that made me stop to think this morning was my Facebook status:

    Thank God it's Monday. I can take my grumpy, PITA 4 year old to daycare and go to work. Or, as I like to think of it, my 9 hours of not being a Mommy. Yes, she's been that bad this weekend.

    A friend of mine in town for a few days commented on it asking about a lunch date.  That really made me stop to think.  Here I am complaining about Paige not acting right and here's my friend who lost her child suddenly at 21 months.  That lead me to think about my cousin who lost his 3 month old to SIDS.  Just after her funeral my uncle (the grandfather) was walking into Walmart with my aunt when they watched a grandmother yelling at her  4 or 5 year old grandchild.  The child had gotten fingerprints all over the clean windows after being told not to.  My uncle walked up to her and reminded her that glass cleans, she should be thankful she still has her granddaughter, since he had just buried his.  He said the look on her face was worth it, because it seemed to hit her what he had said.

    Paige was over tired this weekend due to staying out past her bedtime both nights and not sleeping any later in the morning.  She still takes naps but didn't nap any longer either.  And somehow she's gotten this idea into her head that she can order us around the house like her servants.  That's not going to happen and needs to be stopped immediately.  Also, throwing toys and talking baby talk will not get her what she wants.  Unless what she wants is either a spanking or being sent to her room.  In that case, she got exactly what she wanted.

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    More Creative Parenting

    Paige came back from Grammy's house with a bit of an attitude.  She got in trouble Sunday night for talking back and yelling at me.  She got in trouble Monday for throwing things.  She saved the best for Tuesday.  Tuesday was field trip day at daycare; they went to the skating rink.  Paige was bad.  Not a little bad, a lot bad.

    She didn't listen, ran wild, and yelled.  She even bit the new boy.  Paige said the new boy was mean, but I really don't know since I haven't met him.  I will say his name is usually associated with bad boys, at least in my experience.  Either way, biting is never acceptable, unless you're eating lunch.  Paige was even so bad she got moved from the 4-K room down to the 3 year old room.  If she couldn't act like a big 4 year old girl, she didn't get to play with the big girls.  I think she hated that more than anything else daycare could have done.

    Ronnie picked her up and got a full report on just how bad she was.  When they got home he tried to talk to her and find out what happened, and why she acted the way she did.  She refused to talk to him.  Instead she kept picking up her rain boots she had worn to daycare that day and tossing them around.  He sent her to her room to stay until we got her for supper.  By the time I got home supper was mostly cooked and sitting in the middle of the table was an Olive Garden to go bag.  It was full of shoes.  Ronnie left Paige 3 pair of shoes and packed the rest away.  She gets her dresses back Sunday.  She gets her shoes back when she can act nice.  Paige threw an absolute melt down tantrum when she saw her shoes packed away.  As Ronnie told her why they were packed it got worse.  This morning she really wanted more choice in her shoes and hated to get dressed.  She keeps looking into that large Olive Garden bag and trying to pet her shoes.  Either this will be very effective, or it will scar her for life.

    Our Little Ballerina

    Angie Camera 068
    Originally uploaded by scifimama2
    I finally got around to downloading the pictures from my camera the other day. I tried not to laugh too hard while Paige was dancing since I didn't want to ruin the video. My little girl is the second from the left.

    Unfortunately for her, I think she got her coordination from Mommy. If so, she can look forward to lots of bruises with no clue how she got them. She'll bump into so much stuff she won't even notice after a while. We're hoping that ballet will help with that. Obviously, it hasn't helped much yet.

    Sunday, June 13, 2010

    Back to being parents

    We picked Paige up from Grammy's house this afternoon.  She said she didn't want to come home with us, she wanted to stay with Grammy.  She only cried for us once the whole weekend, and that was only because she thought she was in trouble.  Paige had pulled something from the back of Granny's computer.  My mom, Grammy, didn't know how to fix it, so she told Paige they would have to get Uncle Kenny.  Paige was afraid he would be mad at her and started crying for us.  Once he told her she wasn't in trouble she happily went back to playing and didn't want to go home.

    Ronnie worked yesterday and I enjoyed my day to myself.  I spent the day reading, relaxing, and just recharging my batteries.  This would have been better if my arthritis was under better control and I wasn't hurting quite so much.  I finished one book and started on another.  Ronnie got home last night and we just spent the evening watching a movie and enjoying the quiet.  This morning, we did something we don't normally get to do.  We slept past 6 am.  I can hear the other parents of small children wishing for the same thing.  We slept till 8:30 this morning.  And a big thank you to Ambien for that pleasure.  Our anniversary dinner got moved to an anniversary lunch.  Ronnie got home from work too late to grill last night.

    This morning we relaxed more and watched another movie.  Our Netflix que is completely caught up for the first time in a long time.  We had a leisurely lunch of rib eyes with grilled asparagus and Brussels sprouts and sauteed onions and mushrooms.  After eating we went to get Paige.  We missed her and were ready to get her back.  We get to the store to pick her up and she was happy to see us, then let us know she wanted to stay with Grammy.  Of course she did.  She gets away with so much more at Grammy's house.  After the evening we had I'm sure she would like to go back.  Paige had an issue with talking back and sticking her feet in my face.  After some reinforcing of the rules around here, we're back on track.

    Tomorrow morning it's back to the normal routine around here.  Paige will go to school while Ronnie and I go back to work.  We have a meeting Tuesday night about Paige staring K-4 in the fall.  I can't believe my baby is already starting school.

    Happy Anniversary

    It's our 6th anniversary today.  Paige is still at Mom's house; we'll pick her up later.  First we plan on celebrating with a really good lunch.  We're having rib eyes, baked potatoes, and grilled asparagus and Brussels sprouts.  One of our favorite meals of all times.  We wanted to have a meal of just adults before our little munchkin comes back.

    Ronnie and I met in junior high.  He was my very first boyfriend.  Paige was born 20 years almost to the day, after we first met.  In between he and I married other people and traveled. We each divorced our spouses just after 5 years.  We're celebrating making it to 6 years and still liking each other.  Looks like the others were just a practice, and we got it right this time.

    Happy Anniversary, Ronnie!

    Saturday, June 12, 2010

    Bumper Stickers

    I live in what's affectionately called The Deep South.  You've heard of the place.  When you order tea in a restaurant it's very sweet, fried pickles are an appetizer, and we know y'all is singular, y'alls is plural.  We also tell who and what we are with bumper stickers.

    Take our cars for example.  Mine tells I'm a fan of my Apple products, I'm a Parrothead (dancing parrot stickers) and I'm a Star Trek fan (white sticker of Enterprise).  Ronnie's let's you know he's a pirate (skull & crossbones), he likes Thundercats, and he's a Star Trek fan (Klingon symbol).  We tend to stay away from the political stickers.  People driving down the road don't really need to know who I voted for 6 years ago or how I feel about abortion rights.

    I've seen some really good bumper stickers lately and thought I would share.  These are not necessarily my views, but bumper stickers that amused me in some way.  I tried taking pics with my phone, but they didn't turn out very well.

    • God bless our troops.  Especially the snipers.
    • Your mama was pro choice, dahling.
    • I'll keep my money, guns and freedom.  You keep the change.
    • If you are opposed to logging, try using plastic toilet paper.
    • Your proctologist called, he found your head.
    • PETA: People for Eating Tasty Animals.
    I have to say, I think the fourth one is my favorite.  Plastic toilet paper?  OUCH!  Most of what makes me giggle about these is the cars they're on.  The first was on a large F-150 with oversize tires.  The second was on an RV, the third was on an F-150 with lots of other pro military, anti Obama stickers.  I've seen this one quite a bit more lately.  I do like how the person who came up with it is playing on Obama's campaign slogan.  I think the stickers and the cars go together very well.  I'm never quite surprised by what I read on certain cars.  I haven't seen a Cadillac driven by an old lady with a Porn Star sticker on it before.  That would probably make me worry.

    The ones that always make me laugh are the ones that say "I Love My Wife".  I always wonder who put that one on.  Was it the wife?  Was it him?  Was it a practical joke?  What do the guys say about it?  We usually make up a story about them when my friends and I see one.  Was the guy seriously in the dog house and trying to get out?  Or maybe his wife put it on there and just dared him to take it off, there by proving he doesn't love her.  I wonder if he tells the guys the wife did it so they don't give him too hard a time about it.  

    So what does your car say about you?

    Wednesday, June 9, 2010

    Weeks half way over

    More or less.  Paige has been having a blast at VBS this week.  The first night she came home so hyped up on sugar and wasn't listening at all.  We had issues with brushing teeth and going potty.  Paige was told one more chance, if she was like that on Monday night, she wouldn't go back again.  Problem solved, Paige was much better the other nights.  Ronnie and I have watched a couple of movies from Netflix that were gathering dust.

    This morning Paige and I were going over her schedule for the rest of the week.  Today was water day at daycare, then karate this afternoon, and finally VBS tonight.  Tomorrow she has a field trip to a bowling alley, then the final night of VBS.  Friday is ice cream day at daycare then she goes to Grammy's house for the weekend.  She's really looking forward to that.  She's especially excited about working in Granny's store.  Paige asked me this morning if she would be the boss.  I laughed and told her Granny is the boss.  That actually disappointed Paige. She was looking forward to being the boss and telling everyone what to do.  I didn't want to tell her that as a great grandchild she can get her way more than she realizes.  I'm not about to tell her that.  She has to figure it out for herself like the rest of us did.

    Ronnie and I are trying to decide what to do for our anniversary.  It's a big one for us, number six.  Both of us were married before, and both of us divorced just after five years.  We're definitely celebrating making it to six.  We have decided on small gifts for each other.  Ronnie's is back ordered, but he said he's willing to wait.  This is what I'm getting him.  It's perfect.  As much as I plan everything else, our celebration is still up in the air.  We haven't decided if we're going out or staying in.

    Tuesday, June 8, 2010


    This one has been a topic of discussion among my friends off and on for years.  Since Ronnie is a chef we tend to hang out with a lot of restaurant people, including servers.  I know the general guideline is 15 to 18%.  I also realize that servers are working for $2.35 an hour plus tips.  From the server side of things, I get it.  But let me try to explain it from a parents side of things.

    My general experience can be divided into two categories: with kids and without kids.  When we go out with Paige our servers tend to be less attentive and the service is usually poor.  When I've asked server friends about this they've freely told me they hate getting stuck with the kid section and when they do get this section they say their tips are usually bad.  Here's why: the service is bad.  Not all servers feel this way, and some servers have been great with us when Paige is out with us.

    See, I feel that a tip is to be given for good service.  If I get good service, I give a good tip.  If I get bad service, I give bad tips.  I feel like my requirements are rather simple.  Friendly is good.  Getting my order correct is really good.  My tea glass not being empty for more than say, 5 minutes, that's super bonus!  If I have to get up with my empty glass looking for a refill, your tip just went way down.  Oh, and extra napkins.  I really like extra napkins.  We get a bit messy.  We even ask for them when we order.

    I have left as little as 2 cents on a tip.  That time the server took our order and brought the check.  Another server brought our food, refilled our drinks, and did everything else.  That server I tipped in cash at the end of the meal. The 2 cents I left the other server was to round up to a dollar and make my checkbook easier to balance.  Ronnie and I have also tipped very well.  There's a difference in a bad server and one who just gets behind.  We recently had a server who was late to work because her child was sick.  She got stuck with tables no one wanted.  She had 2 tables in a section, 2 more in a different section, then 3 in the smoking section all the way across the restaurant.  She was good.  Even with all the running she did my tea glass never got empty.  She was very friendly.  Ronnie asked her what was up since it looked like she was all over the place, so she told him.  We tipped her very well.  She was a great waitress who was trying her best.  And she was literally running around the restaurant doing her job.  She's the kind of server we tip well.

    When we don't have Paige with us, we seem to have much better service.  I chalk this up to what servers have told me, people with kids don't tip well.  They work hard serving the table for a small tip.  When we go out by ourselves, the service, in general, is better.  I expect the same level of service when Paige is with us or not.  I don't think our demands are too unreasonable.

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Childless Week

    This week Ronnie and I are getting a break from parenting, for the most part.  It's almost like our own little summer vacation.  This week is Vacation Bible School, VBS, with Aunt Wii.  It's Sunday through Thursday nights, 6 to 8:30 PM.  Ronnie will get Paige from daycare, and feed her supper before she goes.  Ronnie gets off work a few hours before I do, so I won't get home till close to time to leave for VBS.  I'll still get her up in the morning and get her ready for school.  By the time she gets home in the evening it will be after her bedtime, so it will be a quick bath, then off to bed.

    This coming weekend is our 6th anniversary.  Paige is having a sleep over with Grammy.  When I get off work Friday I'll drive her over and drop her off.  We'll go back Sunday afternoon to get her.  Paige is looking forward to this sleep over.  My grandmother, Granny, owns a store and Paige will go work in the store for a day.  I'm sure she'll love pretending she's the boss.  Ronnie has to work Saturday, so I'll get the day to myself.  I'm still trying to decide what to do with myself.  I've got the obvious covered: sleep late and read.  I just need a few other suggestions.

    This is Paige's 3rd year going to VBS.  She really enjoys it each time.  She comes home talking about the things she did that night.  I'm glad she's going and having fun.  Each time as VBS is starting I keep thinking about how nice it will be to have a small break.  By the time the week is close to over, I'm missing her.  And feeling guilty, I hardly see her and don't really feel like Mommy.  I'm sure she'll have fun and enjoy herself, and that's what matters.

    Sunday, June 6, 2010

    Now that the recital is over...

    The recital was good last night.  Paige did an amazingly cute job, of course.  I'll download the video from the camera tonight and post it soon.  We left at intermission.  Maybe not the best show of good sportsmanship, but something we had to do.  Now that the recital is over, I'm free to tell the rest of the story.

    I blogged that Ronnie wrote a letter to the teacher explaining why we would no longer be using her services after the recital.  I spoke with her later that evening, as I've also blogged.  I did readily admit on here to being slightly sarcastic while on the phone with her.  I kept getting an attitude from her when I asked for things such as an address to her studio.  Well, after that conversation she changed the Wednesday practice to Tuesday, and didn't bother to tell us.  Paige missed it.  Also, on Tuesday we got a letter from her in rebuttal to Ronnie's letter.

    Now, we've had Ronnie's letter read by unbiased third parties, such as the daycare director, my boss, and a teacher at the daycare.  They all agree that his letter was very professional and to the point.  No finger pointing, just we aren't using you anymore and here's why.  While I agree her rebuttal had some valid points, the entire tone of the letter was unacceptable.  I asked back in April about recital fees and ticket prices and was told there were none.  The recital information sheet said fees were due and tickets were $8 a piece.  Ronnie listed this as proof of miscommunication and changing requirements in his letter.  The rebuttal letter said we were ignorant to think there were no fees.  She really did say we were ignorant.  Several times in her rebuttal letter we were told we were the minority and basically to deal with it.

    The first two pages of her letter upset me.  The third page of the letter sent me over the top.  The final paragraph told us that recital is a privilege, not a right.  That she was considering telling Paige "not to bother showing up" as she put it.  She then went on to say that security would be present and that she "would not hesitate" to kick us out.  That we were to be on our best behavior or we would be taken out of the building.  She also said we "are obviously extremely negative people who enjoy spreading negativity around."  At that point I was very negative in my feelings and had the recital been then I would have to be escorted out because I didn't have very nice things to say.

    I don't think of us as negative people.  Ronnie is probably one of the easiest going, laid back people you will ever meet.  He calmed me down from reading the letter and things went well last night.  We will be going to the Better Business Bureau and Chamber of Commerce to file complaints.  Not that we expect anything from her.  We just want to warn other people about her attitude.

    Saturday, June 5, 2010

    Sprucing up the place

    I'm doing a bit of cleaning up around here.  You've probably noticed the updated background.  Paige loves pink and pirates.  Seemed like a really good background; at least for now.  I'm not sold on it, so when you come back tomorrow you may find it changed to something else.  The banner is also a work in progress.  I'm not sold on the pictures, so I'll have to do some more digging in one of three computers and four hard drives floating around here to find some I'm in love with.  I am in love with the one of Paige laying in my bed reading though.  That just shows how much she's me.

    You'll notice I've cleaned up my blog roll.  I've finally admitted that some of the bloggers have completely stopped, and added some that I've been reading.  I even updated my book list to what I'm currently reading, and my favorite authors.  I'm not currently reading To Kill a Mockingbird, but it's one of my favorite books of all time, and I pick it up again at least once or twice a year.  Orson Scott Card is by far my favorite science fiction author.  Twilight books sucked me in completely.  And Paige is all about Curious George and The Magic Tree House books.  We read some from the Tree House books every day.

    I'll be playing with the format and changing things up a bit.  Please remember I'll be doing this in Safari, and checking it in Firefox as well.  I do not have Internet Explorer.  If you use IE and it loads funky for you, please let me know.  You can either leave a note in comments or email me.  The email is scifimama at gmail dot com.

    Tonight is Paige's recital.  Wish us luck.  First that she does well.  Second, that we make it through the performance tonight with no drama.  There are more issues with the dance teacher than I've posted here. We were told if we didn't play extremely nice Paige would not be allowed to dance and we would be kicked out by security.  Ronnie's letter got a scathing 3 page reply that got mean and nasty.

    Friday, June 4, 2010

    Summer Movie Time

    Going to the movies has become very expensive.  Just a matinee for 2 and popcorn will cost close to $25.  Adding in a child and 3D glasses makes it closer to $40.  (We sneak in our own drinks, but SHH! don't say anything.)  Ronnie and I sat down last month and decided what movies were coming out that we wanted to see.  We have a small-ish list:

    Iron Man 2
    Eclipse (I'll see it with girlfriends and not make Ronnie sit through it)
    Toy Story 3-D
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt 1

    Harry Potter isn't coming out until November, but it's still a movie we want to see this year.  I haven't enjoyed the Twilight movies a lot, but I have really enjoyed the books.  Eclipse is my favorite, so I'm hoping the movie is really good.  The only one Paige will go see with us is Toy Story. Now that we have seen Iron Man 2, we have no objection to Paige seeing it.  She likes the first Iron Man and actually asks to watch it.  Hey, my kid has a thing for super heros.  What can I say?

    Popcorn is just as expensive as a ticket almost.  Carmike cinemas has offered up a popcorn bucket.  For less than the cost of 2 large popcorns, you can buy a large plastic reusable bucket.  Refills are $2.50 each until December 31st.  We did go ahead and invest in the bucket thinking it will save us money in the long run.  We're also getting our moneys worth by loaning it out to friends when they go to the movies. It's nice to help each other out.  And there's no rules that say we are the only ones who can use it.

    Thursday, June 3, 2010

    Shuttle Launch

    There are only two more shuttle launches.  Ever.  Yeah, you read that correctly.  Two more launches, and the space shuttle program will be retired.  And with the state of the economy, I'm not holding my breath that funding for the last launch will still be there.  The space shuttle is old.  It wasn't intended to be used this long anyway.  By now NASA had hoped to have a replacement ready to go.  The replacement was supposed to look more like an airplane than a shuttle.  That hasn't happened yet.  After the last two launches, American astronauts will hitch rides on the Russian launches to get to Mir.  My hopes of seeing a moon landing, or a Mars landing, are getting smaller and smaller.

    When I lived in Miami, I could see the launches, sort of.  I would watch it actually launch on TV, then run out to my front yard.  From there I could see the white trail of smoke, and the orange-ish color of the booster rockets separating.  That's definitely not the same as seeing it in person.  Ronnie has never seen a launch at all, but has always wanted to.  Paige has most definitely never seen a launch.  With only two launches left, what are we to do?

    You guessed it.  We're going to a launch!  The next launch is September 16th, with the final launch happening sometime in November.  A definite date can't be set this early, but will be set soon.  You can check out all the details here.  It's a Thursday launch.  Living in Alabama, we're close enough to drive to Kennedy Space Center.  I booked a hotel room in Cocoa Beach, about 15 minutes away from Kennedy, for a great price.  We could have stayed closer, but what we're paying for our three night stay is cheaper than a one night stay closer in.  This trip is definitely on a budget.  And ours is close to the beach, which is important.  A shuttle launch date is tentative.  If something happens with the shuttle or the weather, the launch is delayed.  We'll arrive on Wednesday afternoon and stay until Saturday.  That gives us some wiggle room in case the launch is delayed.  Staying on the beach means we can play there for free.

    Tickets for the launch won't go on sale until closer to the actual event.  I've signed up for emails letting me know when they go on sale.  And I will keep checking in as well.  They should go on sale within three to six weeks of the launch date.  This is a once in a lifetime event for us, since it won't be happening again.  If you can, try to make it to one of the launches.  You still have time to plan for the one in September.

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010

    Summer Bowling

    It's going good.  We've been a couple of times now.  While we get the lane rental free, we still have to pay for shoe rental.  By checking out a local sporting goods store, I realized how much cheaper it would be to buy our own.  Shoe rental at the bowling alley is $4.63 for a pair of shoes.  Academy Sports has shoes for $19.99 a pair.  I really tried to squeeze my feet into the $9.97 clearanced shoes, but they were a full size too small.  Shoes for Paige would need to be special ordered online and are a bit more expensive.  Overall, I think it would be beneficial to buy them for her, especially since her feet seem to have stopped growing for the moment.

    We've made a standing date with a few other families to get together a set night.  It's nice for the adults as well as the kids.  The kids get to play with each other and bowl when they remember it's their turn.  Us adults get to watch the kids and talk.  That's right, actual adult conversation.  And it doesn't revolve around just work or kids, we can talk about lots more things.  The bowling alley is loud enough that most other people can't hear us.  And the managers are pretty smart.  They keep us all together at one end of the alley away from the other bowlers.  We bought the family pass so up to 4 adults can bowl for free as well as the kids.  Our bowling alley never checks the names of the bowlers, so we could have others bowl who aren't listed on the coupon.  So far that hasn't happened, as most of the regular adult bowlers can make it.

    If you haven't signed up yet, there's still time.  Check it out here.

    Monday, May 31, 2010

    Recital Pictures

    Paige's first dance recital is coming up this Saturday.  There's no way we could make the recital pictures they had planned for us. Especially since the date and time of the pictures is constantly changing and we still don't have a set time other than sometime Saturday.  That wasn't going to work for us, so we took Paige to get recital pictures taken somewhere else.  We used Portrait Innovations instead.  Here's my favorites from our session on Saturday.

    If you haven't tried them yet, you should really check them out.  They have lots of backgrounds, encourage outfit changes, and are very reasonably priced.

    Friday, May 28, 2010

    How to make your business fail

    We've been having some issues with the ballet school Paige attends.  Granted, I didn't do any research before starting, so bad Mommy.  But, well, the convenience factor won me over.  There is a teacher, I'll call her M, who started her own ballet studio.  She decided to increase business during the day, when most ballet studios are closed because parents are at work, she would go to local daycares and teach classes there.  I pay the same price as you would in the studio, but she comes to us.  Very convenient for Mommy and Daddy.  Paige begged to take ballet, and she really loves it.  I'm not so in love with the teacher.

    I haven't had a lot of interaction with M as she teaches ballet to Paige at 2 on Friday afternoons.  I'm most definitely at work then.  I do understand that this is her first year with her own studio, but she's been working in other studios for years.  You would think she would know how they work.  Obviously not.  I was told in February that by the end of March I would have all the information for our recital, which would be at the end of May.  Wonderful.  I'm a planner in case you hadn't noticed.  March comes and goes.  Now we're into April.  I get asked by A, our daycare director, if I know of anywhere to have a ballet recital.  M hadn't bothered to book a place.  And, if you can imagine this, by mid April all the usual places were booked.  Of course they were!  There are tons of ballet studios and all of them hold recital at the end of May.  I suggested a few places, and A was off once again to try to book a place.  And no A does not work for M at all.  She was just being nice and helping out.

    April ends, and we get into May.  Now I'm really getting nervous.  There are ballet pictures, costumes, everything.  Finally, I get a picture of the costume.  Completely adorable, and I love it.  It's pink and brown polka dots.  Wonderful.  Finally, just before Mothers Day we order them.  When is the recital you ask?  I'm glad you mentioned that.  It's now the first Friday in June.  Grandparents arrange work schedules and life is good.  Yesterday we get notified it's been changed to Saturday, pictures are now at 3 pm on Tuesday, and extra practice at the ballet studio on Wednesday.  Um, what was that?

    Let's break that down.  We get an "Oops, sorry, I gave you the wrong date" on a new information sheet. Call grandparents to tell them of the changes.  OK, done.  Next on that list is pictures are Tuesday at 3 pm.  Well, since I work 8-5 I think we'll be missing those.  Done.  Extra practice Wednesday at 4.  Ronnie gets off work at 3, so he will be able to make it.  But where is the studio?  The address is given as "above such and such gymnastics studio".  Wonderful.  Would someone be so kind as to tell me where that is?  Please?    Finally we got costumes today, a week before recital.  I googled M's studio phone number.  Left a message as instructed, being rather sarcastic as I did.  You see, there was no greeting other than "leave a message".  I had no idea if I called a business, a personal cell phone, or Mir Space Station!

    I did get a return call, so luckily it was the studio not Mir.  I asked a question about the headpiece that goes with the costume.  And then I asked where the studio is located.  I was once again referred to the name of the gymnastics studio.  I asked her to pretend I'm not from our city, that my husband is from New Orleans and I most recently lived in Miami before here.  I got an address after that.  Then when I mentioned the costume isn't like the picture we saw, it's in fact black with pearls, not pink and brown polka dots I was informed she ordered the wrong one.  When I mentioned I really liked the other costume, I got an "Oh well, I like this one better."

    So, how to ruin a business in it's first year:

    1. Don't talk to parents.  Here's a hint, we write the check. Not the 4 year old.
    2. Have no communication skills.  
    3. Blame others.  Sorry that I refuse to believe it's my daycare directors fault about picture time.
    4. Be unorganized.  March should mean March, not May.
    5. Be rude to parents.  Refer to #1, I write the check.
    I must say, her totally freaking out and having a hissy fit about Paige's hair cut made me not like her even more.  Sorry Paige's hair doesn't fit into your idea of what it should be.  Get over it.  I gave birth to her, I have more say than you do.  M has already been told Paige will not be attending her studio next year.  

    Wednesday, May 26, 2010

    Geeky Alphabet

    I haven't been Geeky enough lately.  A friend of mine posted this on Facebook this morning and I instantly fell in love with it!  Here's the Geek Alphabet.

    Geeky Alphabet on Geeks Are Sexy.

    Now, I'll admit I fall into many of those categories.  What letters fit me you ask?

    A- this was my birthday present
    D- David Tenant is still my favorite
    E- I use them all the time :)
    G- I'm a Gadget kinda girl
    H- I like taking things apart, and putting them back together!
    i- As I type this on my MacBook, text on my iPhone, and listen to my iPod
    K- Gotta use one
    L- I was her one year for Halloween, cinnamon bun hair and all
    N- Hoping to see the next launch in person
    O- I do like to use it
    R- I could do this all day every day and be happy
    S- I do like that class
    T- Also good for crafts
    U- Things are always changing
    V- It makes things work
    W- I sue it frequently
    Y- I feel it's my duty to raise the next generation of Geek.

    Wow, 17 out of 26, not too shabby.

    Sunday, May 23, 2010

    Wreck This Journal

    Have you discovered this book yet?  No?  Check it out here.  I picked it up the other day when I needed a stress reliever at work.  Now it happily sits on my desk waiting for me to wreck it.  I must say, it goes against everything I believe in with a book.  I don't even turn down the corners of the pages, much less break the spine.  But, the book does instruct me to break the spine so I tried.  I didn't do a very good job, but I can keep trying.  Here's what my book looks like to start.

    All nice and clean and pretty.

    That's my actual book, propped up on my desk at work. When I need a little break, I just open to a page and do what it says.  So far I've numbered the pages, written out a few negative thoughts, and tried to break the spine.  There are suggested materials you can use in the book.

    And there's a few instructions.

    I won't carry the book everywhere with me. It sits on my desk patiently waiting for me.  There are a few things I can't do with the book at work.  Things like take it in the shower and sleep with it.  After I do everything I can at work, I'll bring it home to finish it out.  Expect to see some updates on here as I destroy the book.  I have to admit, it's a lot of fun!