Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wardrobe Wednesday

Inspired by Aliceson over at Feet Off the Table.

My daughter is creative in her dress. And also practical. Notice the layers. It was a cold day.
She likes to mix it up. Though, most of the time, it isn't too clashy. I need to catch her photo on her mismatched sock days. She does that on purpose, because she has a friend who liked to wear mismatched socks and, so, she will mismatch her socks. Then we have trouble keeping the matching pairs together. A bit annoying.

And one result of our economic stimulus:

The glasses are new, the skirt is new and the tennis shoes are new. She's very excited about the tie tennis shoes. She has been practicing constantly. We haven't let her wear the new ones to school yet because of rain and mud. Oh, and the socks, she picked those out to go with the outfit she put together here. I think they accent the whole very nicely. She had the butterfly shirt already and it was one of the tops I was envisioning when I went ahead and bought the skirt. It's a very put together outfit. The very large sunglasses weren't my first choice, but she seems to like them.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Economic Stimulus, anyone?

Well, it's been several months since I let us out of the house for some major shopping. Just as long since we've driven to the larger town 20 miles away with the Super Walmart, larger ShopKo, medium sized mall with Kohl's, JCPenneys, and Sears, and, who could ever forget, Target!

I think it's safe to say that we stimulated the economy today. Rainy day, kids can't play outside, I figure, heck, time to make that trek, get some new tennis shoes, because the kids' shoes were just awful, worn to nubbins on the bottom and splitting at the seams. Looked for jeans for WC#1. Do you know it is next to impossible to find size 10 jeans, which are long enough, but in slims with adjustable waists? Kids must be huge around these days because all I find are regulars and huskys. Fortunately, we went through WC#2's stash of summer clothes. Much seems to still fit, or at least she has a goodly amount in her drawer. But I still couldn't resist an $8 skirt with shorts underneath for her. And it will go with all manners of pink and purples in her drawer. Many of her sweatpants and stretchy pants from this winter are worn in the knees(!), and/or have lots of interesting stains from markers or dirty floors and grass. They will not be garage saled nor given away, they are nasty.

I got myself some decent looking capris from TJMaxx, both under $15 apiece. We got an electronic scale (you know I'm serious now, see here), and another cabinet for the bathroom, because the first one doesn't seem to hold enough stuff. Party supplies for a birthday coming up, presents for a party invite, laundry and dish detergent, a new umbrella, because mine broke. New rugs for the bathroom, because the other ones were falling apart. A new tablecloth that looks more spring-like, rather than our darker fall-like colors.

Busy, busy. Now, the biggest coup was finding a polo style shirt in a certain blue color for WC#1, for a picture I have in my head I want to get taken of the kiddos. It was not an easy task. The colors were wrong, or there were only stripey shirts, or the logo was too big or just plain weird. The last store, Kohl's, Mr. Wild gave us 10 minutes and we found one that we could all live with.

When WC#2 was 3 months old, she had an adorable little bright pink dress. Her big brother had a blue polo shirt (from the gap) with a teddy bear where the logo goes and tan shorts. We went to the Picture People and got a cute little triptych of them. One of him alone, one of her alone and both of them snuggling together. It is my intention to get something similar done this early summer and create a similar triptych again. If I wait another six years, I don't think they're going to want to wear those colors again, her at 12, him at 15, but I could give it a go. They may think I'm weird, but, maybe when Mr. Wild and I are older and they have kids of their own, maybe they'll carry the theme and get pictures for us for Christmas.

If you couldn't tell, we also have our tax refunds, which I think also prompted me to go a little crazy. Mr. Wild didn't want to hit Old Navy, because he loves that stuff. I said he could go ahead and get something. But then we started talking about a flat screen TV and whether we wanted to spend money on something like that. He then declared he'd rather have a flat screen than new clothes. He was talking about one of the shows that we watch and we can't see what's on part of the screen anymore, because we don't have the movie screen ratio on our old TVs. It's crazy, this planned obsolescence.

If you've checked your recent paychecks, there is money not going out to the federal government. My last two paychecks had $0 contributed to federal taxes. So we got out there and spent a little more and even dropped some money for some dinner. We didn't get the Starbucks fix we were hoping for this afternoon, but I truly got to shop until I nearly dropped. Dinner revived me, but not the rest of the family.

Ah, well, I thought it was a good day.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fun movie for the family

I thought it would be outrageously silly, but it was the right amount of comedy for all of us. There have been better movies for family, but this one was enjoyed by all of us at different levels. I can't say the acting was outstanding, or the jokes were totally knee-slapping, but well worth the entertainment for a family with a kid as young as almost six. Younger, though and it might not be appropriate and as enjoyable. Also, you might want to see it before your kids do. Nothing offended me per se, but romantic overtones were involved.

What movie you ask?

Bedtime Stories, which we watched at almost bed time. They were good stories, and the kids giggled the whole way through. The buggy eyed guinea pig was helpful in that respect.

I was worried Adam Sandler would be over the top, but he does a good job of being just mellow enough for kids to handle. It was quite enjoyable. Now if someone could give the goof ball a better hair cut in this movie, I could have liked it more.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

New look, new additions

You've probably noticed I decided to play with my blog elements. Just to shake things up. I've also decided to track some exercise and weight goals on another linked blog. You may join me in checking out my progress. They are modest goals and mostly for health than losing weight, but the weight loss, I hope, will be a nice side effect.

And I am giving a shout out to the Cutest Blog in the Block for making the easiest background additions evar! A couple of my bloggy friends got some, so I checked it out and darn if it ain't cute!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Thar she blows!

Oh, the joys of home ownership. I was on the phone with a friend, when all of a sudden my downstairs toilet was making loud splashing, almost flushing noises. When I looked, water was spitting out the sides. When I pulled up the lid, it came splashing up from the bottom of the bowl.


I quickly shut the lid. It quit after a few more minutes. What was wrong? Then I scrambled for my home repair guide. Nothing about toilets spraying from the bottom up. Is it my sewer line, is it clogged? Then the kids:

WC#2: (laughing her head off) Mommy, you got to come upstairs and see this.

Me: What?! What happened? Is it the toilet?

WC#2: (still laughing) the bathroom is all wet.

Me:(mad dash upstairs)

Only to discover the lid was up on this toilet and the floor was covered with water. Lucky for us, nobody forgot to flush. And I just cleaned this toilet yesterday, so it should have been relatively clean. But, eww! And ick! No sewage in the sinks or tubs, no backed up water in the basement.

More trying to find something on the internet about spraying toilets. NOTHING!

So, I call Ace Hardware. Beyond them, I should call a plumber. I call the plumber. They get back to me, as I'm heading to Walgreens to get a printer cartridge refilled. I see some city trucks on my street. Hmmm.... I point this out to the plumber. He says they could be flushing the sewer main and this can happen. Only a one time event. He suggests I call the city to see if that's what it is.

When I return home, I call public works, tell him what street I'm on and what happened. "Oh, yeah, they might be working over there today."

Nice, they don't even know what they're doing. Yeah, and I did see them going down the sewer hole.

Now, wouldn't it be nice if they put up signs that say they might be flushing sewer mains and you could get toilet blow?

So, for those of you that have wondered, I'm going to put a sentence in here, so when you search for "toilet spraying," "toilet spray from bowl," "toilet sewer spray" or anything like that, hopefully you'll find this blog entry and know that your municipality is flushing the sewers and didn't bother to tell you!

Monday, April 13, 2009

You would think on Spring Break

I would have more time to post. Actually, I don't have a spring break--my kids do. I took some time off, but things got thrown out of kilter. Our spring break was exactly one day. Well, okay maybe three, because we did visit with friends for dinner Saturday, and had Easter yesterday, with a mini egg hunt.

Spring break started on Good Friday. I am thankful that next year, spring break has nothing to do with the Easter holiday. It is difficult for me to take time off in April, because we have training I must run at work and I really can't be gone. But next year will be better.

We took our kids to a children's museum and a free zoo not too far from our town. The weather was a bit windy, but still warm enough. The children's museum was really set up for kids from toddler age until maybe seven, though they claimed it was for up to twelve-year-olds. Did not entertain my nine year old at all and I felt bad for him. Not to mention it was overrun with moms who brought their babies and toddlers. I know he didn't feel like he fit in. We spent less than two hours there, but it was only $5/person, so not really complaining. Less than a movie.

The zoo was better. It was the city's free zoo and they really are working hard to spruce it up and improve it. I was there two years ago with WC#1 on a field trip. They were working then, too. We got to see the play area done that they were putting in at the time of our first visit. It was a great play area! The animals were in good form, the ones that were outside. The polar and brown bears did some swimming and playing. The otters did flips off the wall. The tiger paced right in front of the clear window while we stood next to it. Most of us did, poor WC#2 hid behind me. It was a bit nerve racking to see the big cat right there next to us. We were disappointed we couldn't find the lion. We saw rhinos, giraffes, buffalo (bison actually), prairie dogs, snakes, frogs and lizards, and we were in the primate house, where the poor chimps were in their fight mode, but couldn't attack us, so they were on guard. We saw porcupines, flamingos, wallabies, kangaroos, penguins, an emu, meercats, and a capybara. We skipped the bird house, and I think the farm animal exhibit was on hold, as they try to make new habitats for all the critters. The only issue I had, is that the restrooms near the giftshop, which is at the main entrance for the zoo (though there are others), was closed and poor WC#2 had to run to the restrooms in the middle of the zoo, which I wasn't entirely sure where they were and didn't have the time to stop and ask for fear of an accident. We found them and we made it, but bad planning on the part of the zoo. Open the restrooms up during spring break at the main entrance, duh!

Being in the "big city," we got our restaurant eating in, stopping in at Noodles and Company and Chili's for supper. WC#2 declared Chili's her new favorite restaurant; they served mandarin oranges and corn on the cob with the kids' meals. Both were a hit with WC#2. We also got a little mall time, and I even found a last minute Easter dress for my youngest. Actually, it is a color that I was looking for, as I want the kids to get a photo where WC#2 is in a bright pink sundress and WC#1 in a blue polo shirt, almost exactly like the clothes they wore when she was 3 months old and he was 3 years old. I'm hoping I can get this to turn out.

So the Saturday before Easter, we spent with friends, which was a really good time, and Sunday was pleasant. I finally got it straight. Instead of making a huge meal which Mr. Wild and I eat only, I made homemade chicken strips (with a melba toast crust, baked, less fat), mashed potatoes, corn and rolls. Almost all of it was eaten and everyone was satisfied. I was glad to not have the usual food whine at the table. Then I took the kids with me to do a major shop at Walmart. Hadn't done a major shop in a long time, and we'll have to do another one this spring to put clothes on our children for the summer, especially shoes. How do they grow so fast?

So, Mr. Wild is going to work for the census, and this whole week he is training. Which is really bad timing, because it is spring break for the kids. I took the first two days off, thinking we'd do more day trips as a family. Instead, I'm taking care of the kids (and scrubbing the shower and toilet, making homemade chicken stock, washing stained clothes and dishes) the first two days, then right back into training staff for the season. Which goes through this Saturday and into next week.

Oh, and did I mention that my in-laws are coming Thursday and staying through Monday? And Mr. Wild is trying to see his best friend, who lives in New York state, but is in our state for one night on Saturday. Could we pack any more in? Fun times!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

1930s Movie Star

Even before I finished this quiz, I knew I would be:

You are the original "independent woman", refusing to depend on anyone else to get where you are today. You don't care what other people think about you, and are never afraid to share your opinions with the world on just about any topic or situation. You're cunning, witty, and most of the time a gem to be around, a real class act if you will. Naturally athletic you love playing sports, though your true love is drama. Having won the most Academy Awards (4) of any woman in Hollywood history, it's also no secret that you're admired and regarded as one of, if not THE, most talented woman in film.

Try the quiz out here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Justice and law prevails in Iowa

My home state. I always believe there are sensible people there. They are pleasant to their neighbors and fellow citizens. They also have a good sense of justice, separating government from private concerns, and believing in the democratic process. I know some people are not too happy with what just happened there today, but the Supreme Court Justices worded it exactly how I feel.

Supreme Court Justice Mark Cady, who wrote the unanimous decision, at one point invoked the court’s first-ever decision, in 1839, which struck down slavery laws 17 years before the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of a slave owner to treat a person as property.

Iowa’s gay marriage ban “is unconstitutional, because the county has been unable to identify a constitutionally adequate justification for excluding plaintiffs from the institution of civil marriage,” Cady wrote in the 69-page opinion that seemed to dismiss the concept of civil unions as an option for gay couples.

“A new distinction based on sexual orientation would be equally suspect and difficult to square with the fundamental principles of equal protection embodied in our constitution,” Cady wrote.

The ruling also addressed what it called the “religious undercurrent propelling the same-sex marriage debate,” and said judges must remain outside the fray.

Some Iowa religions are strongly opposed to same-sex marriages, the justices noted, while some support the notion.

“Our constitution does not permit any branch of government to resolve these types of religious debates and entrusts to courts the task of ensuring that government avoids them,” the opinion says.

The ruling explicitly does not affect “the freedom of a religious organization to define marriage it solemnizes as unions between a man and a woman,” the justices stressed.

You can see the original article at the Des Moines Register. Italicized emphasis is mine.

Civil marriage, the partnership of two people who have decided to create a household together and share in economic as well as emotional and spiritual needs together, is not the same in my opinion as the religious marriage that is sanctioned by many different types of religions. Europe has had couples perform both ceremonies, such as the law in Luxembourg. A religious ceremony cannot happen until the civil ceremony is performed. A religious ceremony does not have to happen either, but the union is a legal state under the law of Luxembourg.

If there's such an uproar about wording, then all of us who got a piece of paper from the government declaring that we were a couple, should have those unions called civil unions, no matter who we are. Then, those churches that want to perform "marriage" ceremonies for their select group of people may. It's all semantics though. What is handled by the government should not be informed upon by religion. Couples recognized as such by the state should not be discriminated against for sex, race, religion, creed or likewise. At one point in time, a black person could not marry a white person. We have deemed that illegal and the Iowa State Supreme Court has also found discriminating against people because they both happen to be men or both women is just as illegal. It makes sense to me.

Once again, the world seems to be getting closer to what I believe it is in my head.