Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tired of it all

Why do people do this to themselves? Dig themselves into a hole that they can't get themselves out of? Why do people do it? Live way beyond their means? [sigh]

Why must you have a bunch of things? It frustrates me to the point that my head feels like exploding.There really is no need in my own frugal opinion to have 15 designer handbags. No need to have the biggest plasma screen on the market. No need for a huge vehicle with shiny rims. There's really no need to have a closet busting at the seam with clothes. It's amazing to me that folks get caught up with buying things that their friends and neighbors have. Keeping up with the Joneses. Crazy silly.

The latest thing that has gotten under my skin? The fact that this housing "crisis" happened. Now if the old approach of requiring 20% down on a home were still in effect, our country wouldn't be in the mess its now in. Seriously. That's what I think. Why did people (and you see how I'm not pointing fingers here) make loans accessible to people who didn't have the funds to pay for a home? When people have 20% saved for a home? You KNOW that these folks seriously want a home. They've saved money for years to get those funds. YEARS. So this shows their dedication to a dream of owning a home. [sigh]

The Hubs and I did save for years to own a home. Years. We were serious. And we moved to where we're at now because the cost of living isn't so astronomical. We've been able to purchase a spacious home. We got the biggest bang for our buck here. Our neighborhood, which I've raved about before, is just the kind of neighborhood any parent would want their child to grow up in. It's not exactly where I want to live (I'd prefer to live near my family), but it's a place where we can afford to live. Maybe one day we'll be able to live near my family in California. Maybe one day. But right now we can't afford to go that route. We're living within OUR means.

But for us? Now that the financial market is so volatile, my biggest change will be to put more into our savings. Stash stuff away. I'm not moving banks. I'm not worried about covering our mortgage. I'm still going to do activities with the kids. I'm just going to spend less on myself (my $tarbuck$) and shift that little bit to savings. A small change but a conscious one.

What about you? Has your family re-evaluated its spending with the way our economy is going? Do you live within your means? Are you adjusting your spending habits based upon what's been happening on Wall Street?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cranking the tunes

When we're all in the car - the Hubs, the kids, and myself - we tend to talk.

When it's just the kids and myself in my car? We have the music on. And usually? It's either the High School Musical 1 or High School Musical 2 CD that's playing.

I hate to say it but the Princess is kind of tone-deaf. She's usually a little flat when she sings. And her transitions are usually strange (not on the beat) and definitely off-key. But she enjoys singing so I don't correct her at all. She's always having too much fun just singing.

But can I say that my son? He can sing up a storm. Yes. He can belt out a song and is basically right on the money with the notes. He even gets the "Ohhh's" and "Whoa's" in the songs. Now his words can sometimes be off, but with him being on tune? You'd never know his words are sometimes a little wrong.

So when we go to and from school? We're all singing at the top of our lungs in the car.
It's the start of something new...It feels so right to be here with you...
So the music is on and playing as soon as we back out of the garage. Together in my Freestyle. My modern station wagon. And because we're all singing? We end up being in a good mood. No time to argue. We so ROCK out. The kids and I bopping from side to side with the music.

It's nice. It's a really nice way to end our time together in the morning. A good way to send them off to school. With their blood flowing from singing and with smiles on their faces.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Party results?

A good group of kids showed up at the party place. The kids had a blast! A couple of the kids even showed up right after their soccer games! Now THOSE are some good friends.

They ran around and jumped and screamed. They bounced. They slid down the slide. They had races through the obstacle course. They boxed. They played jumpy basketball. Two people from the place stayed in the room to oversee what the kids were doing. They were there to make sure the kids followed the rules. Of course, I chimed in when I was nearby and a kid was obviously doing something they shouldn't be. And the rest of the parents? They all got to sit on the benches in the room and chat.

Yes. My ILs were there. They showed up about a half hour late. But since I was walking around the room and supervising the kids, I didn't sit down and chat with them. The Hubs wasn't roaming the room so he was responsible for his family. Of course, they did come into the far end of the room to say hi to me.

MIL: Grace? Does everyone need to be wearing socks?
Me: Yeah. If you're in here.
MIL: Well, not everyone is wearing them.
Me: Okay....
You see, everyone who is in the jumping area should be wearing socks. The Hubs asked his family to bring socks. You know, just in case they'd get roped into jumping with our kids? So basically my MIL was letting me know that she wasn't pleased that she brought socks and not all the adults were wearing socks. The parents who were sitting up front on the benches were not wearing socks. Why? Because they were staying up in the front near the shoes and hadn't meandered down into the jump area...like SHE did. Whatever! Now I was wearing socks. And did I jump with the kids? Yes.

But the kids did have a blast. They all got hot and sweaty. And they were SO ready for pizza, drinks, and cake when play time was over. I had 14 kids, so I ordered four pizzas -- 2 cheese, 1 pepperoni, 1 with sausage, green pepper, and olive. This last one is what I considered the "adult" pizza. The bouncy place had placed a slice of pizza on a plate with a juice box on one long table. They put groupings of water bottles on the length of the tables. So the kids just piled in and sat and munched away.

Once the kids settled into eating, I made sure to walk around the room and approach each parent to let them know that we had enough pizza up at the front of the room for them along with sodas (Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite). So they knew that it was okay to eat and that we'd thought of them as well. The adults all sat at the set of tables parallel to the kids table. It was nice that we were close but at a separate set of tables. Gave the kids the space they wanted. You know, 3rd graders? They're at that point where sometimes they act little and other times they act older. [sigh]

Let me tell you though that the soda did end up in a couple of kids hands. There were 3 brazen youngsters who came up to me when I was getting my own drink and asked if they could have some. Yes. They came up to me while I was getting my stuff. Thankfully, they were each polite about it.

Ms. Princess Mom? Can I have some Coke?
Ms. Grace? May I please have some Sprite?
Of course, I turned around and looked at each parent.

Is is okay for [insert child's name] to have some?
Invariably, each parent said it was okay. So 3 kids ended up with soda. Not all 14 of them. But it's funny to me that each child approached me versus their parent. I guess they knew who the "queen bee" was. Ha! Some kids also requested a second piece of pizza, like the Bear. But some kids decided they'd keep space for cake. Which was actually a cupcake cake! I love cupcake cakes. SO much easier to handle at parties. No knife needed. Just take hold of the paper-cup and pull that cupcake away from the mass. What I also like is that our grocery store will let a customer choose the kind cake you want. Half chocolate-half vanilla? 20 chocolate-10 vanilla? Not a problem.You can see how we've got a mixed it in the photos.

It was FUN, FUN, FUN! All the kids had fun. And the Princess had fun as well.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Party time once again

The Princess is having her birthday party tomorrow. Woohoo!

Kids from her class. Kids from the neighborhood. They're all good kids.

My FIL, who spent this week in San Diego, will also be there. Yeah! But he'll have my MIL and SIL in tow. Ugh. Definitely NOT my favorite two people to socialize with. So it'll be interesting if they draw attention to themselves. Like they normally try to do with their LOUD voices. When they call the Hubs, I know its them on the phone. Why? Because I can hear them screaming in the Hubs ear.

The party is going to be at a bouncy place - I probably mentioned this in an earlier entry. For those of you who watch K&J+8, it's like the place they took Leah for her special day. We'll have our own room, so that'll be fun...and contained.

I think I've got everything ordered & verified:

* Juice boxes & water bottles? CHECK
* Pizza order? CHECK
* Gift bag elements? CHECK
* Gift bags? CHECK
* Cupcake cake? CHECK

Did I miss anything that I still need to get done? Hmmm...I think I've got everything.

Now there is a little bit of guilt I'm feeling. The gift bags aren't those plastic things with some character on them. We're actually giving out paper bags that are normally used for lunches. Yes. Those little brown paper bags. I mean, most kids just throw the bags away right? But the Princess is decorating the outside of each bag with her personalized touch. She'll be putting the "stuff" into the bags after school today. She loves doing it. Gets her excited about the party each year. It's her way of physically contributing to the fun at her party.

And the water bottles? Yes. I had to buy those plastic water bottles that we try to refrain from purchasing. But I HAD to buy them. We live in Arizona and most everyone gulps down water like there's no tomorrow. But I plan on having a plastic bag labeled with RECYCLE on it. That'll definitely take the edge off the guilt I have for buying the package. [sigh]

On the topic of party drinks...what do YOU supply to your kids' parties? I mean, my daughter is now 8. And I'm providing Capri Suns (the 25% less sugar ones at that) and bottled water. Do you just have juice boxes? Or do you have sodas available? I'm not talking about family parties. I'm talking about kid parties. You see...last week the Bear attended a school friend's party. It was at his Dad's house (his folks are in the midst of a separation). For drinks? They had some water bottles. But mainly they had Sprites and Cokes in the cooler. Sodas as the main beverage for a 5 year olds party. Do you think that's a little weird? I mean, I'd be less on edge about it if they had Hansen's sodas since those don't have any caffeine or preservatives in them. But Sprites and Cokes? Talk to me people! What do you say about this drink issue?

Anyway, on the Princess actual birthday earlier this week we had a tiny family celebration. The morning of her birthday, I asked her what SHE wanted for dinner. Guess what she said? Hotdogs! So the Hubs grilled some dogs when he got home from work. We had fries and salad with it. I think we'll make THAT a tradition. Let the birthday kid tell us what they want for dinner. Good idea? I mean, we've only got two kids so it won't be difficult to pull off twice a year. I also bought a teeny-tiny cake and put candles on it. The kids scarfed down the cake in no time flat. We generally don't have dessert in the middle of the week, so they were excited to have it. The Princess also opened up a small gift from us.Yes. It was a small little family moment but one that I know the Princess (and the Bear) enjoyed.

Hopefully, the Bear, the Princess and her friends will all have a blast tomorrow.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Completed and mailed

I'm kind of surprised how easy it was.

Remember earlier in the month when I couldn't get something out of my mind? I requested a mail-in kit from Michelle's site. And I've done it. I've sent in my information to get on the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) Registry.Yes. I plan on donating blood cells or bone marrow to anyone who matches up my genetic make-up.

It turns out about 70% of the time, donations are through the withdrawal of blood at a apheresis center. When a match is made, a donor takes a daily injection of filgrastism starting 5 days before the blood is taken. The filgratism is taken to increase the number of blood-forming cells in a donor's bloodstream. The donor's blood is passed through a machine that separates the blood-forming cells, which are what the patient receives. It's kind of like the process for donating plasma. The other 30% of the time, a bone marrow donation is needed. Yes. It's actually a surgical procedure. Doctors take hollow needles and take liquid marrow from the back of a donor's pelvic bones.

I can't help but feel the need to be on the registry. There is such a need. I couldn't ignore it. In August 2007, there were 6,745,950 donors on the registry. A further analysis of the donors found 37,336 Filipinos registered -- that's 0.7% of the entire registry! Only a drop in the bucket. There were 391,128 Hispanic donors (7.1%) and 511,622 African-American donors (9.4%) -- a much more plentiful pool of donors. It's only when you add up all the Asian/Pacific Islanders that you get up to 455,494 donors in all -- 8.5% of the registry.

Since I requested my mail-in packet, something happened. One of Michelle's friends, Khanh, lost his own battle with cancer. In just the 3 weeks since I found Michelle's site, her friend died. It's amazing how quickly this happened.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Another year on my girl

The Princess will officially be turning 8 at 9:37pm today.


Eight years ago, I started having contracts on Friday night. Contractions came between 10 to 15 minutes apart all night. Far apart, right? I was able to sleep once I got used to the pain. The contractions didn't stop. They continued throughout Saturday. The Hubs and I hung out at home watching the college games. Once the contractions got to about between 5-7 minutes apart, we headed out to the hospital in the early evening so that I could get checked. Alas, I was only dilated about 1.5 centimeters. So they sent me home. I had another uncomfortable night. We watched the pro games on Sunday.We headed out again in the late afternoon around 5pm. They checked me and guess what? I was only dilated to a little over 2 centimeters. Once the she told me the number, I knew they were going to send me home. The nurse was about the strip my membranes or whatever you call it. And miracle of miracles, the nurse accidentally ruptured my bag. Ta-da! That was the only reason I was allowed to stay. They took me to a room. Got me as comfortable as they could. They monitored me for a bit. But they soon determined that my little one was in distress. I needed a c-section. IMMEDIATELY. You should have SEEN how quickly they moved. I think I was the only gal in labor that night. I was in the operating room in no time flat. And then there was my little Princess. She was in the world. Breathing air into her lungs for the first time. A tiny little thing. Only 5 pounds 9 ounces. Crying like a champ.

And now? My girl? She's just over 4 feet tall. She's still lanky and built like the Hubs. Smart as a whip. Shy like I was when I was a kid. A good kid overall but sassy when she's tired. My girl. She's EIGHT!

Happy Birthday my Princess!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Checking backpacks

This morning I approached a Mom (Mof2) of two twin boys (C & T) in the Princess class.

Me: Hi. Good morning!
Mof2: Hi!
Me: Are the boys going to be able to make it to the party this Saturday?
Mof2: Oh...I need to check with my husband. When is it again?
Me: It's this Saturday from 9:45 to noon.
Mof2: And it's where?
Me: It's a Pump It Up on Frontage.
Mof2: Okay....

I saw this look of uncertainty in her eyes. One of her boys was hovering nearby. Her son that I gave the invitation to two weeks ago.

Me: Can you come over here buddy and turn around? I want to look in your backpack.

I open up the front pocket of his backpack. You know, the tiny front pocket that most backpacks have in addition to the large compartment? I look in there and pull out the invitation.

Me: Here it is. It has the directions to the place and the time of the party and all that.
Mof2: Okay. Yeah. When you talked to me about the party last week, I wasn't sure what you were talking about.
C: Mom. It's a secret!

Great! I gave the kid the invitation two weeks ago and he failed to give it to his Mom. Because it was a secret! Oy!

Lesson? Check your kids' backpacks thoroughly. If not every day, then at least weekly. Please.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Making Mommy Laugh

The Hubs and the Bear went to a college football game on Saturday.

They came home around 10pm so I didn't chat with the little guy. I just gave him a quick bath and put him to bed.

Sunday, he told me all about the game.

Me: So did you have a good time bud?
Bear:Yup! We didn't see many fireworks though.
Me: What did you eat for dinner?
Bear:I shared a cheeseburger with Dad! It was SO good.
Me: A cheeseburger? Did you have lemonade too?
Bear:No. No lemonade. Water.. And some giggles!
Me: Giggles?
Bear:Yeah. The candy?

I look at the Hubs for help.

Hubs: Skittles.
Me: Oh. Skittles, huh?
Bear:Yes. Skittles![laughing at himself]
Me: Were they yummy?
Bear: Yup! They were SO good.

Yeah. Giggles. Giggles are good.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Another trip to my favorite bulls-eye

The Princess and I went on one of those specific visits to Tar-jay yesterday.

Did we stay on track on WHY we went? Yes. We actually did.

Now why did we go there? We were hunting down Halloween outfits. Yes. Halloween outfits! We actually ended up purchasing two mighty cute looking costumes from the array that were on display. Out of all the fairy and witch items in the girls' aisle? The Princess selected a leopard inspired dress with headband ears and a tail. Yes. Of all the things available to her, she is choosing to be a leopard girl.

After we spent about 20 minutes of looking at everything and talking about her options, we then focused on what the Bear would want. The boys section? Less spectacular than the girls. But that's to be expected, I guess. We settled on a cowboy outfit. One with a long faux chamois jacket with a hat, bandanna, vest, and sheriff badge.

Here are a couple samples that are similar to what the kids got.

And WHY did we get the costumes so soon? Because on Friday, I went and got a present for the neighborhood gal who had a party yesterday. I ended up purchasing a Cleopatra outfit for her. A full-length gown with wristbands, a neckband, and a crown-like thing. Our neighbor girl tried on the outfit and all the other gals at the party were ohh-ing about how nice it was. I mean, it was FULL length. Not just barely covering her behind.

The Princess was drawn to it when she was it when I was wrapping it yesterday morning. So that's why we went to Tar-jay. She wanted to see the costumes that were available. I mean, even though the Princess is on the verge of turning eight, she still adores getting dressed up. But all her current dress-up items are SO SHORT on her. What's nice to see now? Is that there is a bunch of low-cost (under $25) items that I can get her and that'll keep her occupied when she's stuck inside.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Loosing a neighbor

We lost our first neighborhood family about a year ago. It wasn't a move too far away either. The Mom (a new realtor) bought a new house a few miles away. Far enough so that her daughters had to change elementary schools. She bought her new house without a contingency. Little did she realize that the market was going down and that she wouldn't sell her house near us for a year. Yes. She and her husband had two mortgages to deal with for an entire year. But these two are now in a divorce situation and THAT needs to be explained in an entirely different entry.

We're losing another neighborhood family in the next couple of months. A family that I so thoroughly enjoy. The couple's first daughter is about 5 months older than the Princess. Their second daughter is about a year younger than the Bear. They just had their son 5 months ago. Their son was born the same day as their first daughter -- 8 years apart!

Anyway, the Mom has been up for a position for about 6 months now that would have taken them across the US. Just two weeks ago, she was approached regarding a new position that would take them across the Pacific Ocean. And guess what? She was selected for the job that would take them across the deep blue sea. Yes. The evaluation and selection for this second job only took two weeks! Thankfully, the job doesn't start until January 2009 but there is a LOT to do before then. They've got to find a place to live. They've got to enroll their girls into school. They've got to find out what stuff they can bring with them. But at least they won't need to sell their home. The company is going to pay for their housing out there. They'll be able to keep their house here in our neighborhood. They plan on coming back to visit at least twice a year. And the guy's sister lives in our neighborhood so she'll be watching over the place. The job has a 2 year commitment, so the family plans on returning here.

But we are going to MISS family terribly. You see, this is the only Filipino gal that I really know here. And to have Filipino kids in the neighborhood is a rarely here. [sigh] What's the big deal about having a Filipino gal as my neighbor? It's about all the stuff that I don't need to explain to her. When she says certain stuff? I laugh becuase I know exactly where she's coming from. The hugely strict parents? Growing up with just sisters? Yeah. Both of us come from that situation. Her love of plain steamed sticky rice, which her husband doesn't eat because he's a triathalete. Her adoration of fried $pam with rice with tomatoes. The weird superstitions that Filipino parents have. All that. I'm going to miss having a kindred spirit near me.

Monday, September 15, 2008

An unexpected morning surprise

This morning the Bear was having his standard cereal breakfast. The Princess was eating pancakes. The Hubs was washing up some dishes and I was getting the trash ready to take to the curb. Then the Bear came up to me.

Bear: Mom! Look! My tooth is even looser! [happily shaking his lower tooth]
Wow! Check it out!
Am I doing good?
Buddy. You're doing awesome taking care of that tooth.

He stops. He looks down.

Bear: Mom! Look! [he's holding out his hand]

The Bear is holding his little tooth in his hand! He had shaken it so much that it just dropped out of his mouth! YEAH!

So I've placed the tooth in a tiny ziplock with his name and date. It's now ready for the "Tooth Fairy" tonight. He's anxious about the entire process. It's his first time! Of course, he's been quietly chatting with this sister about what to expect.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Dazed and confused

Um...that would be me.

Yesterday, Saturday morning I had my day planned out in my head. Clean the house a bit, shower, and then head on over to the Bear's friend's 5th birthday party. I cleaned. I showered. I got the Bear dressed about 30 minutes before we needed to leave. Then I took out the invitation to look at the directions.

Me: Honey? What's today's date?
Today? Oh, it's the 13th. Why?
Dang it all to heck-a-doodle! [yes...I did use that phrase]
What's wrong?
The party for O? It's TOMORROW! The 14th!
No way!
Bear??? Bear??? Your friend's party isn't until tomorrow...

Of course, there was pouting and stamping of feet. He was SO looking forward to the party. And I seriously thought it was on Saturday. I mean, who generally has a kid's birthday party on a Sunday? Isn't that normally a family day? So we ended up running errands with the Hubs and the Princess with pouty Bear in tow.

Today....the Bear and I did attend the party. And he had a blast!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A little treat for myself

Yesterday I dropped by my bank to drop off a check. Afterwards, I decided to head into $tarbuck$ that is located just next door to my bank.

My eyes LIT up when I saw the chalkboard. Why? Because they had their WINTER offerings! Woohoo! Of course, I had to order a Pumpkin Spice Latte with whipped cream. Oh..YUM! I then decided to purchase a pumpking loaf as well. I don't know if they've done this on a national level, but it had pumpkin seeds on the top. A little crunch for that nice moist loaf. It was great!

Now what's YOUR favorite drink at this particular coffee shop?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I'm gaining another...

year soon.

Yes. My birthday is a few weeks away. And as always, the Hubs asked for ideas on stuff that I want.

Here's my list:

Tote Acme Bags - EarthTote shopping bag (beige - reusablebags.com)

Suede Faux Shearling Mule Slippers (any color #24317-3AD7 - landsend.com)

Suede Mule Slippers (any color #18141-4AD9 - landsend.com

Quilted Knit Short Wrap Robe (medium - cream or red #24915-6AD4 - landsend.com)

100% sheepskin/leather seat covers (cream - costco)

Boring? You think? I always ask for practical items. I do. No fancy $200+ purse for me. No $150 shoes. Please. I work from home so I don't need anything fancy dress-up stuff. But expensive homestuff? Oh...I LOVE that stuff. One year I had an $80 toaster and a $100 iron on my list. And y'all, the entire family benefited from those items.

Now what do you get for your birthday? Do you ask your spouse for a list and you pick out stuff? Or do you get them one specific big present? Or do you just go out on a limb and get them whatever?

Right now? I'm thinking more about the Princess birthday party than my own birthday. She is going to be eight. EIGHT! My little 5 lb 9 oz baby is going to be 8 years old. Hard to believe. But it's reality. I'm getting older and I love watching my Princess and my Bear grow up.

Our first conversation

Today I had a serious discussion with the Princess. On the drive into school, she noticed that the firehouse and the stores along our normal route had their flags at half-mast.

Princess: Mommy? Why are the flags at half-mast?
Well honey...something bad happened seven years ago. This is a way for everyone to remember and to be respectful and to think about what happened.
Oh...like how we show our respect by flying the flags at half-mast when a President or a police officer dies?
What happened?
Oh. It was something really horrible. I remember that day too. I was up early watching the news and thinking about your first birthday party. There were some bad people that took control over some airplanes crashed them into a few buildings.
Did they have parachutes?
No honey. Those bad people stayed on the planes and died when the planes crashed. The first plane crashed and that was what I was watching on tv. Then I saw the second plane crash into the building next to it.
You did?
Yes. I saw it. And a lot of Americans died because the buildings caught on fire and ended up collapsing.
Princess: [shaking her head]
I can't believe there are people who would do that kind of stuff.
Yes, sweetie. There are bad people out there in the world. That's why we support the people in the military. They help keep our country safe. Like Mr. P. Remember how he was gone for months on end? He just got out of the military reserves and when he was gone he was helping defend our country.
He's such a nice man. He's like a hero.
Yes. He is.

Yes. This was our first major conversation about what happened 7 years ago. Now that she's almost 8? I think she'll be able to hear about it. But my little guy? I don't think he'll be able to really comprehend it. Did you talk to you kids about this stuff? What age were your kids when you had the discussion?

Almost the end of another session

Even though school started the first week in August, I continued swim lessons for the kids. This week marks the 4th week in the class. Next week will be the end of the session. It's been a good one.

Yes. Swim lessons in September. In an outdoor pool too! Ha!

The Prin was back in it after taking the summer off and dedicating her time mainly to Y camp. She's SO happy to be refining her technique and get stronger. The Bear has finally got his timing down taking a breath. He's been like a rock the entire summer. Sinking when he takes a breath. But he's been kicking more vigorously and has been able to stay afloat while he takes a quick breath. Yeah! This is a MAJOR accomplishment for him.

Watching the kids at lessons always makes me lament about us not having a pool. I mean, we don't even live in a subdivision that has a community pool. And I had to invite myself to other people's houses. But one day I dream of having one. But right now? I am SO happy that the kids have progressed as much as they have during this year's lessons. They both love being in the pool now. Remember how I told you that the Prin has never enjoyed water since she was a baby? I can remember at the beginning that she wouldn't even jump into the pool without holding an instructor's hand. Now? She's able to swim the long way (on a regular sized backyard pool) with ease.

But what's after swim lessons? I'm thinking about martial arts. Specifically, Chun Kuk Do. It's actually a combination of a few different techniques such as Taekwondo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Tang Soo Do, and some wresling thrown in. It sounds really interesting and I think the blend of a variety of arts would benefit the kids. Give the Princess some defensive moves -- wrestling/judo type balancing moves -- since she's so slightly built. Get the Bear some practice at handling his body as I'm sure we'll be getting him in some football in the near future. Both the kids are good listeners, so it'll be easy for them to concentrate on the intricacies of the moves.

Now what are your kids in? Individual sports like gymnastics and swimming? Team sports like soccer and football? What do you like best about the experience for your kids and you?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I wear lipstick, should I be insulted?

I don't know about y'all but when I put lipstick on it makes me feel pretty. It makes me feel complete. I feel like my face is brighter and I'm just ready for the day.

So should Senator O's comment yesterday insult me?

"You can put lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig."

His comment might have been a mistake. A Freudian slip because Governor P had a statement at the RNC about lipstick. But still. It makes me wonder. Was his comment really a mistake? Or was it calculated?

I know when I've made a mistake and said something that I apologize. And then I let it go. I don't ignore it. I face it - even though it may be embarrassing to point out. This way the other person knows I didn't mean it.

Has anyone heard an apology?

I don't care how influential a person is. If you make a mistake, you own up to it. You're responsible for YOU and what you say. Own it. Be in charge of yourself. And if you don't want to apologize? Then don't say anything hurtful. That's something that I try to teach my kids.

Should we expect to hear an apology? Or is this firestorm of controversy on the comment continue to rage? It's just an interesting situation.

You know what? If he can make a comment like that as he's running for the Presidency? What kind of slip-ups is he going to make as he's speaking with foreign dignitaries and heads of state?

Okay .... let's get back to WHAT you're going to do for our country and how you're going to lead !!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

This isn't my usual thing but...

Normally I stay away from political posts, but this one has really got me interested.

The fact that McCain (JM) has selected Palin (SP) as his running mate.

I'm amazed by the focus that the television broadcasters, blogs, newspapers, and radio have decided to discuss. I don't understand. I really don't. There are certain things I find important. Other things I don't find essential. I am SHOCKED that people are attacking SP for being a parent -- all the various elements of being a Mom.

As a parent of 5 children: I was amazed by one person who called into Bill O'Reilly and said something along the lines of "...As a 44 year old woman and mother of 4 healthy children, SP is selfish and irresponsible for having another child. She should know better..." WTF? Isn't it each couple's choice to decide on how many children they want? Some couples choose to have one. Some couples choose to have three. Some couples choose to have sixteen! But who cares if she has young children? I mean, there is her awesome looking husband who may take the role of stay-at-home parent. And that would be so WOOHOO to have a representative like him for all the stay-at-home Dads. And how old was Chelsea Clinton when her father originally ran for president? Twelve? Thirteen? How about George's twin girls? Did anyone ask either of these guys on how the campaign trail would effect their daughters?

As a parent of a special needs child: Let me say that I do not have a special needs child. But how much different is SP's four month old baby than any other four month old baby? All babies do is eat, sleep, and cry. At this point, the baby doesn't any special help other than someone to hold and comfort and love it. Right? It'll be further down the line that this baby may require additional support and help. I mean at the convention last night, the baby was asleep!

As a parent of a pregnant daughter: What do you think would have happened if SP had allowed her daughter to have an abortion? That would not be along the lines of her political party. Now THAT would have been a tremendous issue for the party. Her daughter having the baby supports SP's pro-life stance. It does. And the fact that her daughter got pregnant? We cannot be with our children 24/7. No matter who we are. We can guide them, but we can't live their life. We can't protect them from living. They need to make decisions as teenagers so that they become adults who can make decisions. It's when people are teenagers when they learn about consequences of their decisions. And it looks like SP's daughter is making very adult decisions.

As someone who has not been a member of Congress or the House: SP comes into the race with no experience in Congress or the House of Representatives. That's fine. It's not like she needs to have that experience. She's been involved in government. She served 4 years on the Wasilla City Council, served 6 years as the Mayor of Wasilla, and now almost 2 years as the Governor of Alaska. As a Mayor and a Governor, she was THE decision-maker. She was the one who made the hard choices. She couldn't vote one way and hide behind a group of people, which can happen in Congress of the House. She cleaned house! The buck STOPPED with SP. Can other candidates say they were THE decision maker?

As someone perceived as out-of-date and not very nice: What? I don't care if this lady puts her hair up in a bun or pinned back. Does her hair effect her ability to make decisions? This one boggled my mind this morning. Her hair? Seriously? And what are the cracks about her not being nice? She's making clear-cut decisions. No one would object if a man was behaving the same way. They'd just give him kudos for cleaning house and standing by his party. So why isn't the same credit being placed with SP? I'm confused! When I was working, I was a decision-maker. If you did not complete your deliverable? I'd be the first one to call you on it. But that's the way I am. You need to do YOUR work. The people I worked with knew I was a nice person, but that they needed to give me something that it better be completed on time.

Stay on the issues. Don't press into family matters. Even though it's my hope, I'm sure it won't happen. People are going to dig. People are going to make horrible comments. People are going to do what they do because they're happen trashing others. [sigh] What ever happened to not crossing lines of conduct? Gone....it's too bad. Because all this ugliness is NOT a very pleasant example to show our children about how politics runs.

Can you help out?

I found this site recently. As someone who is already registered as a bone marrow donor, I didn't think much of it when I first saw the site. But I went and browsed around...but later I realized...I couldn't get the site out of my mind.

Why? I guess because it reiterated how few Asian donors are on the list. What makes it difficult for Michelle is that she's half Chinese and half Vietnamese, so it's been extremely difficult to find a match. With my kids being half Filipino and half Hispanic, this cause hits close to home. What if my kids needed a donor? Would we be able to a match for them?

How about you? Can you take some time to find a donor drive near you to provide a sample? It only takes a few minutes. Can't find a donor drive in your area? If you live in the United States, you can get a free home test kit! Yes. It's that simple.

So if you have the time and want to do something for another person that NO ONE ELSE in the world may be able to do for them....then please take some time to consider being a donor. A source of health. A source of life.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Did you see the "Kids"?

I didn't know it when I turned on the tv...but the "Kids" were on The View this morning.

Kids? Yes! The New Kids on the Block!

But in reality? They are men. They are fathers. It was so NICE to see them. What was cute was watching the fans standing in front of the stage. These weren't little girls. These were young women. It was too cute watching them sing with the guys.

The guys performed a new song and and oldie -- Step by Step.

Now I'm not sure if I'm going to go out and buy their CD, but I think it'll be nice to hear them on the radio. Nothing degrading in their words. Nothing too overly sexy. It'll be a good change versus some of the [cough-cough] stuff being played on the radio.