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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

You've been Momnotized!















JMonster, you are feeling v e r y sssslllleeeeeppppyyyy. I-| When I count to 3, you will listen to and obey my every word.

If I give you vegetables at dinner, you will say, "Thank you, Mommy!" and eat them like they are candy.

If I ask you to do something, you will respond with a "Yes,ma'am!" and do it promptly.

If I tell you NOT to do something, you will respond with a "Yes, ma'am" and NOT do it.

If I'm acting grumpy, you will tell me how beautiful I am and that I'm the best mommy in the whole entire world.

If I'm acting happy, you will tell me how beautiful I am and that I'm the best mommy in the whole entire world.

You will behave at school, at swimming lessons, and at the park. You will tell others how wonderful your parents are and how blessed you are to be our kiddo.

When I snap my fingers, you will wake up and not remember what just happened here.


Snap!

Don't we wish it were that easy? ;)

Monday, March 30, 2009

I Pledge Allegiance...

JMonster saying the pledge. **== Remember, he just turned 3! video

Notice the flag behind him! That was one of the presents he asked for for his birthday.



We tried getting this last night before he went to bed. He was tired and, well...here are two of the attempts. I'll let you see for yourself! video
This first one is HILARIOUS! JMonster at his best.



video
He tried VERY hard with this one. It was late and he just couldn't stand in one place. :o)

None of these take very long. Hope you enjoy!

Please leave a comment telling JMonster what a great job he did!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Something to think about...






















This story goes back a couple of months, but I wasn't blogging at the time and it just re-entered my mind. A reminder of the innocence of youth...

JMonster and I were driving from his swimming lessons to BJ's, a warehouse store similar to Sam's Club or Costco. On our way we passed a young woman walking at the side of the road. She wasn't wearing exercise clothes and she was carrying a large purse and another bag besides, so I assumed she was headed somewhere for work. I passed her, but then realized how far we were from anything resembling a business...at least 1.5 - 2 miles. I backed up and asked her if she needed a ride.

I know, I know! My baby was in the car and there are crazy people in this world, but if we can't be the hands and feet of Jesus, who will?

She jumped at the chance and climbed into the passenger seat. After a couple of miles, she had me turn into a small montessori school. Mind you those couple of miles were filled with HUGE hills; we DO live in Atlanta! Along the way, though, she told me her car had been wrecked and she didn't have another way to get to work. When I dropped her off she was about 10 minutes early; she would NEVER have made it to work on time. She thanked us, and went inside.

After we pulled away from the building and began our drive to BJ's, JMonster asked, "Mommy, why did we give her a ride?" I explained that her car was broken and that she was having to walk to work. You could see his little forehead furrow and the concern for her in his eyes.

"Mommy. We should buy her a new car. Her car is broken, so we should buy her a new one."

At that, my eyes filled with tears at the kind heart my little boy has. I pray he never loses it.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Initials

My friend Baloney does the craziest quizzes. In fact, she drives me CRAZY on Facebook with all the darn quizzes she takes. But I thought it would be fun to do this one. It takes your initials and supposedly tells all about you!




You Are Influential and Ambitious



When You Are Comfortable:



You are a glamorous, social person. You love being the center of attention and an object of adoration.

People see you as charming and charismatic. You are naturally dazzling. You are ambitious, and find it easy to get ahead in life.



When You Are At Your Best:



You are a carefree, adventurous person. You love excitement, and you enjoy being in a changing, dynamic environment.

People find you to be funny, generous, and competent. You're well spoken, and you know how to wow people with your words.



When You Are in a Social Setting:



You are a hard worker. You need security and stability in your life, even if that means putting in long hours.

People see you as solid and dependable. You are always able to see the good in situations. Other find this comforting.

Georgia Aquarium!

JMonster and I headed to the Georgia Aquarium today with our friend Swimming Sarah and her sister Beth, and Sarah's "nephew" Not a Chevy. :o) A grand time was had by all!

JMonster at the aquarium for the first time since he was a very little guy.


This pic is a little blurry, but look at the sweet way the boys interact. JMonster kept calling Not a Chevy his big brother.


On the moving sidewalk going through the glass tunnel...they laid down to watch!


Not a Chevy, Sarah and JMonster


I was taking the pictures, so this is the only one with me in it.


All four of them trying to make grouper faces!


This was actually taken through the glass!


At the end of the trip...they were both exhausted and falling over!

Friday, March 27, 2009

When Mommy's sick

I had a short-lived virus yesterday. Started feeling puny around mid-morning and went downhill from there. Aches, chills, and fever. Not a high fever, just enough to make me want to crawl in bed, pull the covers over my head, and sleep until my eyes go ding.

Unfortunately, JMonster was NOT sick. He was fully healthy and energized. Including his bowels! Instead of taking his usual 2 hour nap (which would have allowed me almost a 2 hour nap!), he got up about 20 minutes after I put him down and announced he needed to poopie and tee-tee. Okay. Now back to bed.

Halfway through his nap, same thing. I told him he'd better "produce" or he would be in big trouble. "Why are you angry, Mommy?" I guess my snippiness was showing...I wanted to be in bed asleep and I couldn't do it with him needing my help and NOT SLEEPING.

About an hour and 20 minutes into his usual 2 hour nap, he announces he's done and that he AGAIN needs to poopie and tee-tee. "You're not angry anymore, are you Mommy?" "No, buddy. I'm not angry. Just tired and I don't feel well." "WHY don't you feel well?"

But, Why? By the way, we've reached the WHY stage and it is driving me beyond bananas! I try to answer most with a very scientific answer, but a lot of the time it comes down to me either ignoring him or telling him he needs to ask God why he's making it rain. Or not rain. Or grass grow. Or...

We spent the evening watching The Wild, a Disney movie, in the media room. I let him eat dinner (waffles with cream cheese and fruit...no veggies) in front of the TV. I then gave him a bath, let him play until the water was freezing, got him ready, and watched MORE TV. I don't think I'm going to win mother of the year for this!

I feel better today. No fever, few aches, and I'm not falling over wishing someone would whisk my child away so I can sleep in a cocoon in my bed. Just a minor headache and some residual achiness (I know, not a real word).

The real question here is: what happens when MOMMY gets sick?
The answer: Nothing.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Quotes on politics and the economy

I thought I'd put some quotes on politics and economics out there. Feel free to add yours to the comments section and I'll be updating this post with new ones every so often.








“We're lost, but we're making good time.” ~Yogi Berra (not political, exactly, but kinda fits don't ya think?)

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. ~Mark Twain

Truth is not determined by majority vote. ~Doug Gwyn

We have, I fear, confused power with greatness. ~Stewart Udall

Politics, n: [Poly "many" + tics "blood-sucking parasites"] ~Larry Hardiman

Taxation with representation ain't so hot either. ~Gerald Barzan

America is a land of taxation that was founded to avoid taxation. ~Laurence J. Peter

Did you ever notice that when you put the words "The" and "IRS" together, it spells "THEIRS?" ~Author Unknown

The point to remember is that what the government gives it must first take away. ~John S. Coleman, address, Detroit Chamber of Commerce, 1956

The government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. ~Ronald Reagan

I don't know if I can live on my income or not - the government won't let me try it. ~Bob Thaves, "Frank & Ernest"

A fine is a tax for doing something wrong. A tax is a fine for doing something right. Author Unknown

Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a refund from the IRS, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with. ~Author unknown, from a Washington Post word contest

"In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other."
-- Voltaire

"You can't get rid of poverty by giving people money."
-- P. J. O'Rourke








"Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it."
-- Thomas Sowell

"A government policy to rob Peter to pay Paul can be assured of the support of Paul."
-- George Bernard Shaw

"To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, 'the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.'"
-- Thomas Jefferson

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
-- C.S. Lewis

"Collectivism doesn't work because it's based on a faulty economic premise. There is no such thing as a person's 'fair share' of wealth. The gross national product is not a pizza that must be carefully divided because if I get too many slices, you have to eat the box. The economy is expandable and, in any practical sense, limitless."
-- P. J. O'Rourke, "How to Explain Conservatism"








* "You cannot bring prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further brotherhood of men by inciting class hatred.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."
-- Rev. William J. H. Boetcker (This quote is often erroneously attributed to Abraham Lincoln)

How can limited government and fiscal restraint be equated with lack of compassion for the poor? How can a tax break that puts a little more money in the weekly paychecks of working people be seen as an attack on the needy? Since when do we in America believe that our society is made up of two diametrically opposed classes—one rich, one poor—both in a permanent state of conflict and neither able to get ahead except at the expense of the other? Since when do we in America accept this alien and discredited theory of social and class warfare? Since when do we in America endorse the politics of envy and division?” –Ronald Reagan


Now add your own!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

COUPONS!!

I am the coupon queen. I buy 2 Sunday papers (almost) every week, cut out the coupons I need, then switch sets with 2 of my friends in the neighborhood. I use coupons for groceries, I use coupons for house staples, and I use coupons for eating out.

Once upon a time I was embarrassed by coupons. My mom (and if you're reading this mom, sorry for outing you!) was a huge coupon clipper...except she kept PILES and PILES of coupons around the house. And God forbid if you moved one of those piles. You might lose a limb...or two!

I'm not as bad as my mom was, though. I try to go through them on Monday and then get them to one of the girls soon after that. I even try once every 2 or so months to go through ALL of my coupons to throw out any that have expired. Good organization, right?

My favorite thing about coupons, other than stores that double or triple them!, is using them at BJ's!! BJ's will take more than one manufacturers coupon plus one of their own coupons on a product. Wahoo! Score! I can leave BJ's for 1/4-1/2 off of my bill on a good day. On a bad day, I'll leave around $10 or so off...but those are the days I'm mostly buying produce and other items that don't have coupons.

There are some amazing coupon sites out there for printing and cutting coupons. I'm just getting into one that puts coupons on your store card (i.e. your Kroger Plus card) and you use them straight from the card. No printing and no clipping.

And let's not forget Walgreens rebates! They put out a coupon book once every month and a half or so. It ALWAYS has free items in it, plus a host of other items at a fraction of their retail cost. Add some manufacturers coupons in plus 10% for putting your rebates on a Walgreens card and they PAY YOU to walk out of their store with great items!

Am I a coupon nerd? No. I'm the COUPON QUEEN!

The Money You could be Saving with...COUPONS!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Say it isn't so!

I realize this is a day late, but I have little time to sit down and read the Sunday paper...until Monday afternoon during JMonster's nap time. Sorry!

Rule book may guide passage of health bill

Wall Street Journal

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Washington —- Congressional Democratic leaders and the White House are likely to use a parliamentary procedure to win passage this year of a national health insurance program, people familiar with the discussions said Thursday.

The tactic —- allowing legislation to pass the Senate with 51 votes rather than the 60 needed to overcome a possible filibuster —- has been used by Republican and Democratic administrations to secure major initiatives, from Bill Clinton’s tax increases in 1993 to George W. Bush’s tax cuts in 2001 and 2003.

Employing the tactic would almost certainly lead to more partisan clashes as President Barack Obama’s budget starts down the legislative path in coming days.



It's true that this type of stunt has been pulled by both parties in the past, and I realize it will probably continue to happen in the future. However, if Congress and the President feel that this is an important issues, and an issue THAT PEOPLE WILL SUPPORT, then this type of funny play should be unnecessary. Right? If you believe you will get the votes you need, why turn things around so you don't NEED all of the votes? And if you are not sure you're going to get all of the votes you need, why not figure out what is wrong with the bill you are trying to pass rather than manipulate the voting structure?

I ask this of the current President and Congress, but I also challenge all future Presidents and members of Congress to see the logic in what I am asking. Just because you feel something is important for America and your constituents does not MAKE it important to America or to your constituents. Listen to the people. And remember that just because something is legal, doesn't make it right.

cartoon archive at funnytimes.com
(Not EXACTLY the same issue, but still funny!)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Whose choice should it be?

I was just perusing the internet and came across an article discussing a court case in London. The article discussed the rights of parents to make the ultimate medical decision for their child...to keep the child on life support indefinitely, or be forced to "pull the plug".

The High Court ruled that the ventilator keeping a 9 month old boy alive was to be turned off. A ruling counter to the desires of his parents.

Doctors treating him had said the boy's life was intolerable and his disability was such that his life had little purpose. But his parents argued that he experienced pleasure and had long periods when he was relaxed and pain-free.

During a 10-day High Court hearing in London last month, footage had been shown in which Baby OT was seen being cuddled and kissed by his parents. The child, who was in a cot filled with toy teddy bears, was shown sucking his mother's finger as she sang to him and stroked his head.

However, a doctor, identified only by the initial C, had told the hearing that he was certain Baby OT would be dead by the age of five. "What we are looking at is the quality of his life," he said. "Yes, I can understand that the parents may get tremendous pleasure from their interaction with him," the doctor said, but added: "How much pain and suffering should he be made to bear when the pleasures he gets from life are few and far between?"


This is not a US case, but the idea that a parent's decision for their child is not the FINAL decision is intolerable to me. Read the whole story, and then give me your opinion.

I pray this is not where THIS country is headed.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Discipline

When The Rev and I got married, we had the discussion that most couples planning on having kids in the future have...DISCIPLINE! In fact, we had it all lined out that our discipline would consist of the following characteristics:
1. Be Firm
2. Be Fair
3. Be Consistent

We even got down to the spanking issue, which I have to admit I can't remember what we decided back then. I've always thought I'd be a spanker, but honestly draw a blank on that part of our conversations.

JMonster has hit a rough patch in his growing up. He is struggling with independence, and wants to assert the fact that he is a BIG BOY in every aspect of our day. He wants to get his own breakfast, get dressed by himself (he's not physically capable of this, yet), decide when and what he snacks on, lunch...etc... If he doesn't like something that The Rev or I tell him, he will emphatically tell us he is NOT doing/eating/saying whatever we have told him to and with hands on hips and eyes not blinking dare us to counter him.

We've put him in time out. We've taken away things. And now, the child who has rarely been in trouble in the past, has gotten a spanking.

And I thought the TWOs were going to be terrible. No one warned me about the THREEs!


http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=bstn201

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Swizz needs...

My friend Baloney did a funny post where she googled her name and put needs at the end. Baloney needs... and listed the top 10 answers that made sense. I thought I'd do one, too, it was so funny!

Swizz needs...
1. all your love and money an ugly millionaire (I'll take the love and money part!)
2. clearly needs demystification to help her recognize that she is much better at understanding language than she is at...(I'll let you figure out the rest of that one!)
3. someone like me now (huh?)
4. to take her own advice (okay, I probably could have told you that one!)
5. our prayers (I can ALWAYS use your prayers!)
6. a Chris Young Hugg! (Whatever that is!)
7. to help Clinton clear the debt (Really!?!)
8. your votes (if I was running for something...I sure would need your votes!)
9. a bone marrow transplant. (I hope not!)
10. a wheelchair. (And definitely not!)

Now let's see YOUR list! Feel free to post it in the comments section for laughs!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Time to rethink taxes!









As we come to "tax time", I think it is time that we take a good, hard look at our elderly and cumbersome tax system. In my opinion, we need to break away from the typical system of taxation and look at the FairTax!

Straight from the FairTax website:

What is the FairTax plan?

The FairTax plan is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes with an integrated approach including a progressive national retail sales tax, a prebate to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue neutrality, and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment.

The FairTax Act (HR 25, S 296) is nonpartisan legislation. It abolishes all federal personal and corporate income taxes, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, and self-employment taxes and replaces them with one simple, visible, federal retail sales tax administered primarily by existing state sales tax authorities.

The FairTax taxes us only on what we choose to spend on new goods or services, not on what we earn. The FairTax is a fair, efficient, transparent, and intelligent solution to the frustration and inequity of our current tax system.

The FairTax:

* Enables workers to keep their entire paychecks
* Enables retirees to keep their entire pensions
* Refunds in advance the tax on purchases of basic necessities
* Allows American products to compete fairly
* Brings transparency and accountability to tax policy
* Ensures Social Security and Medicare funding
* Closes all loopholes and brings fairness to taxation
* Abolishes the IRS


If you have questions about this system, PLEASE go the website and read all of the information provided. There are myths which they discuss, budgets, and stimulus versus taxation. It's all there and available for anyone and everyone to research.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A few pics from JMonster's Birthday party

Here are a few pictures from JMonster's Birthday Party. We had homemade pizzas that our friends got to put their own toppings on. Then we played, had a treasure hunt, and decorated cookies. After most of our friends left we finally let JMonster open his presents. It was a blast!

HOMEMADE PETIT FOURS!

More of the HOMEMADE Petit Fours!

Friends!

Friends

More friends...

And even more friends!

Swizz with the Petit Fours

The treasure box from our treasure hunt...held the cookie toppings for decorating!

"Happy Birthday to You!"

Eating the Petit Fours

Decorating star cookies :)

Chatting with his "big sis"

Reach, JoJo, Reach!

Opening presents!

Funny dinosaur present

Opening MORE presents!

Cutie patootie!

JMonster and some of our friends

Some of the kids at the end of the party...

OUR BABY IS THREE!

Happy Birthday to my Dad...




Happy St. Patrick's Day! Today would have been my Dad's 84th birthday. He loved birthdays and celebrating with his family. My brother wrote a wonderful tribute to him when he passed...please go read the whole thing and enjoy the story of a remarkable man.

We miss you dad. Happy Birthday!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Puppy love!



The grandmas leave tomorrow, so we took our last evening and went to dinner at a local italian restaurant. Our waitress was Katie, a cute young blonde that JMonster took a liking to the moment he saw her.

"Where did Katie go?" was the refrain of the evening...every time she happened to step away from the table. "Where is she?"

Somewhere toward the end of the meal we figured out that Katie had a 9 week old baby...and was married.

"Why is Katie married?" "But, why does she LOVE him?" looking crestfallen like his little heart had been ripped from his very chest. These two were repeated at least 10 times the last 5 minutes. He finally stopped Katie when she walked by and asked HER.

"Katie, why are you married? Do you HAVE to be married? (Head hanging down and lips pouting) But WHY?!?"

My now 3 year old just had his first crush...and his first broken heart. All in the span of a dinner.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Success

I just put JMonster to bed. It is 9:15 and a good 45 minutes past his usual bedtime. We have a very hyper and charged up kiddo...but he had a wonderful birthday and birthday party. A huge success!

The pictures will be posted tomorrow, in the meantime...here are a few more of JMonster's pics from his new camera. He's getting better in just one day!


kitchen

His G-ma

His little table

It's fun seeing the world from his angle! Enjoy!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JMONSTER!!

Today is JMonster's THIRD birthday! Below you will see the first few pictures he took with his new camera. Mind you, he was running and taking the pictures so they aren't even of anything, but it is exciting and he wanted to share them with you.

light in kitchen

refrigerator

The Rev

Swizz's tushy

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JMONSTER!!! We love you!!!!