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.