Friday, January 30, 2009

Momma, he (Blagojevich) lying!

In an effort to expose my kids to the political events of the nation, we listen to C-SPAN Radio on XM in our daily commute. I never know how much they retain since they sometimes sleep in our half-hour travels. Nonetheless, I have continued this routine, at least I can listen in peace.

At dinner earlier this week, my niece (age 11) recalled the Washington Journal show where the topic was the Ecomonic Stimulus package and whether people were for or against it. She wanted to discuss a caller who claimed he had to wait three weeks for an unemployment check. Along with Hubby, we explained the call. It was great that she was actually listening and wanted to discuss it further.

On the way to my mom's house yesterday afternoon, we listened to the impeachment proceedings from the Illinois state congress, I explained to them the purpose of the event. Explaining the role of the governor and the charges against Rod Blagojevich, they seemed interested, especially my son (age 7). He said no more of it as we were later heading home hours later. After listening to the Governor's speech for a few minutes, my son says out loud, 'Momma, he's lying.' This comes from the same kid who claims a classmate lies better than he does. I had to smile as I asked him why he thought so. To my surprise, he repeated many of the statements we just heard and said they were not true. Then he asked me, 'Momma, is what he said true?' All I could say was, 'I don't know yet, I'll have to research first.' We continued to listen for the rest of the ride home.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Obama signs "South Paw" Executive Order


By the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, in order to reduce the chances of carpal tunnel, to reduce the damages to suit coat cuffs, to reduce incidences of arthritis, to reduce the pain in the deltoids caused by the strain of signing executive orders on the right side of portfolios, and to stop the attention from the media and bloggers that the president is a lefty, I hereby order as follows:

Section 1. Revocation. Executive Order Right-sided products, is revoked. All executive directives, orders, and regulations inconsistent with this order, including but not limited to those issued to or by the whoever made this decision to have products designed only for right-handed citizens, are revoked to the extent of their inconsistency with this order. Heads of departments and agencies shall take all necessary steps to ensure that all directives, orders, and regulations of their respective departments or agencies are consistent with this order. Upon request, the Attorney General shall provide guidance about which directives, orders, and regulations are inconsistent with this order.

Sec. 3. Standards and Practices for development of products used by body part, hand.

All products developed in or imported into the United States that will require usage by the body part, hand, shall be independently tested by Consumer Reports to prove its effectiveness by usage by the left hand compared to the usage by the right hand. Only products that are rated to have equal effectiveness by both hands and with equal or no discomfort by both hands shall be used within the United States and its territories.

Sec. 4. Prohibition of Certain existing products.

All existing products current in the marketplace or have already been manufactured may be delivered to consumers for a grace period of the next 90 days. After the 90 day period, any products in the marketplace must be returned to the manufacturer for modification of ambidextrous usage or be destroyed.

Sec. 5. Special Interagency Task Force to monitor the enforcement of this executive order.

Establishment of Special Interagency Task Force. There shall be established a Special Task Force to oversee testing by Consumer Reports and the removal of existing products by the end of the grace period.

Sec. 6. Construction with Other Laws. Nothing in this order shall be construed to affect the obligations of officers, employees, and other agents of the United States Government to comply with all pertinent laws and treaties of the United States governing products used in the United States and its Territories. Nothing in this order shall be construed to diminish any rights that any individual may have under these or other laws and treaties. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity against the United States, its departments, agencies, or other entities, its officers or employees, or any other person.


January 24, 2009

You know this is satire, right.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Goal: organization

Just a quick note on progress. It is being quickly discovered that there is lack of organization in this household and it is my fault. I have allowed myself to be loaded with tasks because I tend to want things done a certain way. So the best way to get it done was to do it myself. That is changing.
This weekend I have been working with son on keeping his room organized. Developing specific locations for all items. We're not done yet, but progress is being made. Since he loves reading, I plan to dedicate reading time AFTER room cleaning time. Hopes this encourages actions to clean as you go. As with my niece, there is still some skills to be achieved as a young lady that I would like accomplished before (if?) she returns to her previous caretaker. It's a daily battle.

Regarding goals:
Windows, SonRoom: I did put up blackout panels in son's room for heat conservation and rearranged furniture around the walls to open play space in center. Haven't found reasonably priced Transformers comforter and curtains set yet, so the blackout panels will suffice for now. At least the paper shades are gone.
Purchased rods, ring clips, and blackout panels for niece's room but not put them up yet. Could probably handle the rod installation for the 6ft double window on my own, but the second rod for the palladian window above it, will require some grownup assistance.
Need to kick-start my GetFit goal, been mainly stagnant. I have been invited to a 40th B-Day party in three weeks. Would like to have some improvement by then. Next task for this goal is dedicated routine workouts on HealthRider and TotalGym.

A good thing about turning 40 late in the year, many of your friends turn 40 before you.

on the eve of an era of hopeful change

As I sit here on the eve of a historical day, I reflect on how I truly feel about this moment. I was not born when Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous I Have A Dream speech. I was not even a thought when he gave his Mountaintop speech in Memphis, TN. It was in the year before I was born.

I have no recollection of my parents discussing the tribulations they experienced, I have only historical media to teach me, which is known to not be accurate. So I have no tangible experiences to compare life 40+ years ago and now.

From the general election to now, I have wondered why I don't have the enhanced spirit for the President-Elect as it appears others do. Is it because of my age? the lack of comparative experience? That can't be the case because there are so many younger than I who are hyped for the pres-elect.
Is it because of my lack of knowledge of all the actions of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches in this nation's capital? Surely I can't be the only one have life activities that prevent reading political periodicals all day.

So what is it? Why do I feel this way? I do know that hubby and I have full-time employment that supposed to be "good" jobs, but we are both concerned about stability. Next term, son will be back in public school, since current school is only primary education, and we're concerned he will be taught to just to pass the test. We are concerned about medical expenses. New ones are created as others are paid.

Maybe time will tell. Until then, I'll live day by day in prayer and hope to do the best of my abilities.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Goal: Not much in the last week

I have worked on a few goals in the past few days. This process is easier said than done.

I cheated a little. Had cheese on my homemade hambugers this week and had a few sips of Kool-Aid a few times to pass the urge. I have avoided full glasses of the sugar-loaded refreshment, though.

Cleared two wardrobe boxes out of the garage. Found several winter coats that will be handy this week. Thankfully was able to donate two large trash bags full of clothing, including coats and jackets, to the Macon Rescue Mission. They should be able to make use of them or put them up for sale.

Surviving the urge to get a relaxer touchup. The six-week relaxer touchup is supposed to be today. I expected to hear from my "beautician" with information on what to do during this transition to natural, but have not. Wonder what that means...

In all, I am moving on with these goals and that this blog keeps me accountable.

BTW, my builder has filed bankruptcy so I am scrambling to get all my documentation together to try to get any available funds to finish the outstanding issues with the house. Lovely.

Paying It Forward

I've discovered my love of writing in the last two years. Before blogging, I mainly kept my wandering thoughts in my head not feeling comfortable to share. Since then I've become more comfortable in accepting who I am and what I am capable of accomplishing. In my first blog post, I quoted, "Do what makes you happy". Blogging contributes the the peacefulness of the mind in my pursuit of happiness. I could not have done this alone. There have been those that have encouraged and inspired me to write from the heart without fear of responses that may be received.

I have been blessed again by Revvy Rev @ The Certain Sound with another blog award. At times, we may not give thanks to those that motivate us to follow the call of our heart, but I am humbled to do so in this post.

Receiving the Emblem in recognition for your mentoring, support, and encouragement to a fellow blogger is no small fete! It is evidence that you have gone well beyond the call of duty by your continued efforts to "leave the pile higher than you found it"! It is further evidence that your blog(s)has been identified as the epitome of excellence and is certainly admired.

Thank you for your inspiration.
1. Raw Dawg Buffalo
2. LoveBabz: A Life In Transition
3. The Prisoner's Wife
4. Miz's Write For Life
5. The Rich House

Receiving the Emblem from a seasoned blogger is a testimony to your that you're on the right track! That your voice is being heard. And there are those out here in the blogsphere that recognize your potential even if you don't. Keep up the good work, and remember to "Pay it Forward".

Even though you may already be "seasoned", continue to inspire:
1. Any way I have to
2. What About Our Daughters
3. The View from Here
4. The Sowing Circle
5. that which awakens me

The Rules:

1. Select 10 bloggers: 5 you consider your blogging Helping Hand then "Pay it Forward" by extending your "Helping Hand" to 5 additional bloggers in support and encouragement for their efforts.

2, In passing on the Emblem, each recipient must provide the name of blog or blog author with a link for others to visit.Each recipient must show the Emblem and put the name and link to the blog that has given it to her or him.

3. Link the Emblem to this post: Helping Hand: Much Obliged and Paying it Forward so that others will know it origin and impetus.

4. If you have not already done so, show your recipients some love by adding them to your blog roll, Technorati Favorite list, or in any other way to further let them know that their blog voice is important to you and being heard.

5. Add your name to The Helping Hand meme and don't forget to leave a comment as a permanent record of all Helping Hand recipients.

6. Display the rules.

Friday, January 9, 2009

We are proud Aunt and Uncle

Niece received her report card this week also. We did not expect the same grades as our son, since one of the reasons she is living with us is to improve on her academics.

Despite the fact that Hubby and I have been trying to figure out what have been going on in her classrooms because she doesn't have any homework, we were pleasantly surprised with her progress.

In two of her classes, the second grading period grades were 5 points higher than the first grading period. One class was 7 points higher and another one was exceptionally 15 points higher.

The joy I feel is just as great as for my son but different. She had to work significantly harder to achieve those marks. It's a little validation that the decision to have her with us was a positive one.

We still have a way to go, but this is a wonderful start.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

We are proud Parents

Son brought home his report card today. It was highly anticipated since the school started a new policy that did not record the grades from their first grading cycle. They called it the Readiness Period, a time for kids to get introduced to new topics for the year. The first official grades on his report card for the second grade:

95 Reading
93 English
96 Spelling
90 Mathematics
S Science/Health
S Social Studies
S Physical Education
I Handwriting

I can't blame the handwriting because I have the same problem of my hand can't write as fast as brain sends information. Of course I can't tell him that. He has to try to write neater.

He still has to improve on working independently, listening attentively and completing and returning homework, but with all A's, it has been hard for hubby and me to sternly discuss it with him. The 'omission' of homework assignments was discussed in a recent Parent-Teacher Conference recently, so there was no surprise. Imagine his grades if he had actually completed that additional work.

We have been grinning all evening. Hubby even gave me kudos for helping son to get to this point. That was nice too.

It's great to go to bed smiling even though you are exhausted.

Nite, Nite

Goal: Time for Sacrifices

Goal: Get Fit

Just a quick note tonight. In developing a new eating plan to complement my exercise routine, I knew there would have to be some sacrifices made. Taking the time to exercise on the Total Gym before dinner may be difficult on cooking night but I'm willing to try.
Regarding the eating plan, the first two cuts are Kool-Aid and cheese (well not totally with the exception of a sprinkle on a salad). Until my metabolism has sky-rocketed, no more mac-n-cheese, cheese toast, deli sandwiches with cheese, etc.

I've eliminated dairy products before so I can do it again.

This should be interesting.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Off the hook in 2009 (follow-up)

Thanks for the great comments the original post.

Here is my new plan that has organization, rewards and penalties.

Each child will receive a list of daily/weekly chores. For each week, the child could earn up to a specific maximum amount. For any chore that was not completed, a set amount would be deducted from the maximum potential amount. The net earned income would then be paid.
Each week the shared chores would be swapped with the other child.

Sample shared chores:
Kitchen duty (tables/floor/garbage)
Bathroom duty (cleaning/tidying)
Laundry duty (folding/put away)
1st Bath duty (yes, they argue over who's last)

Sample individual chores:
Bedroom floors clear at bedtime and before school
Beds made each morning
Be home before streetlights fully lit
Clear yard of toys/games each day

This may actually work. The other day, son (age 7) griped when I told him to fold the cleaned laundry. He perked when I told him that I would pay him. He seemed cool about the idea of swapping duties each week. Niece, age 11, doesn't know about this yet. She's been at a weekend sleep-over.

Hope this works...

Goal: No Heat is Good

Goal: Hair

In my research so far, it has been consistent that no direct heat is to be applied to my hair during this transition time. For someone who keeps her hot curling iron always handy to "bump" her ends, this will be a major hurdle. I have not discarded it, but at least it is out of sight with the flat iron and crimp tool.

Other critical steps in this process are to moisterize and condition regularly. I am taking notes on recommended products and have consulted my beautician, haven't heard back from her though. In the meantime I am using my current conditioners.

I'll try to add pics of my hair throughout this transition. It'll be cool to see how many times I change my mind.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Off the hook in 2009

I must be a softy. Son and niece had been on punishment since mid-November. The deal was that they would have it gradually reduced if they consistently did their chores and followed household rules without reminder.
Well, it did not work as I planned. They did earn back their TV privileges and access to satellite, but no bikes and permission to leave the yard.

As a gift for the new year, I have postponed their "sentences" indefinitely. The punishment was sustained so long, it became a way of life. It wasn't punishment anymore.

Now I trying to think of a new approach to encourage these young'uns to want to follow rules and behave responsibly.

Any suggestions?

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