Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Downright terrible horrible no-good very bad year

Dear 2009,

Please come promptly. 1201am on January 1 works fine for me, my schedule is wide open. Feel free to leave your disowned 2nd cousin- twice removed, 2008, behind. He is not welcome in my home, life or family.

2009, I ask you to bring us luck of some kind, just not the bad kind. I need a little boost in that department, as everything seems to go opposite of good. Some financial wiggle room would be wonderful. We are willing to work with you, making sacrafices and planning better- in return for freedom. Also, a large dumpster would be great. We are in need of some downsizing when it comes to unhealthy relationships, unnecessary drama and lifes failures.

Look at all you have to look forward to, 2009! President Obama takes office, though slow- an economic upswing, a more earth friendly year, the new Disney movie 'Up', the start of the 3rd season of 'Big Love', and a fresh slate of opportunities. Share the wealth, will ya?

We will do our part '09. Please, do yours!

Love-
P, K, G, P

Looking for a home

Since we haven't heard anything about the move, I am going to continue moving forward as if we are staying in Arizona. Regardless of where, we are moving, and the thought exhausts me.

I have been hard core searching this week for places to live. We found some places, and looked at 2 yesterday. One was good, except the placement of the house in the cluster of homes was all wrong, and half the home was wasted space with a ginormous loft. The other home was missing a bedroom, but otherwise perfect! Looks like MLS advertising is subjective......

We found the perfect place though. Just perfect. Location was exact for us, layout was amazing, custom paint was our style. There was an open den off the family room, perfect for MaggieMoo and a playroom. The upstairs had all the bedrooms and a loft, plus the laundry upstairs. It was great size, and the price was perfect. AND we would be able to bring our dog! WELL, I told my real estate agent yesterday I felt I needed to look at it immediately. I would almost be tempted to make an offer sight-unseen, just based on the floor plan from Shea homes I got and all the pictures. She told me she didn't have time and wouldn't show it after 5p since it gets dark. I was unsettled by this. Sure enough, in perfect line with everything else I have dealt with this year, she called at 615p and said she got a call from the agent to that home, stating the owners decided to not rent it out. UN-F$&%ING-BELIEVABLE. I was crushed. It was seriously perfect. Story of my life, though, right? And this is why I TOLD hubby I didn't want to start looking until Jan 1 because our luck!

So we are going to look at 4 more tomorrow, January 1. That makes me extremely nervous because I will only have 30 days to secure a place starting tomorrow! Rentals here go quick, so we will see if we can find a good one!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Stumble Saturdays

AMAZING images called 'Gateway to Hell' http://officeofstrategicinfluence.com/gates/

Mind cleansing sand game with no goal http://andyslife.org/games/sand.php

Can you beat the computer at this box game? http://www.athey-educational.co.uk/games/game5/game5.htm

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Catch-up!

Wow.... seriously. It is so hard to focus on the true reason for the season when there is so much to do. I have been trying very hard to keep focus on the reasons for long lines at the store, mall traffic, and dwindling checking accounts. As quickly as the holiday comes, it is over, and because of that I have tried to savor all the moments of innocence and childhood wonder my kids are experiencing as they get older.

Last Friday, our little clan finished up Christmas shopping, which was such a relief! We went to Target and the mall, with a dinner trip to Famous Dave's in between. (um, yum!) Our hope was to wrap that night, but that didn't quite happen.

Saturday was a much more productive day! Hubby too BabyGirl to dance class while I went grocery shopping with LilMan. We got our Christmas feast purchased, along with other groceries we needed, all saving 41%! When we all met back at home, we had nap times and geared up to leave! We headed to the mall to see Santa and put in our requests with the big guy. He was 30 minutes late coming back to his throne, and looked as if he needed a bit more to eat to fill that suit, but we got to see him! BabyGirl told him all she wanted, Hubby and I got pictures with him, and LilMan wanted nothing to do with the bearded wonder. We grabbed a quickie but yummy dinner at Johnny Rockett's and met my LilSis and her hubby in the parking lot of the mall. We all piled into my van and went cruising for Christmas lights! So much fun, and some really amazing displays! That was a late night rolling in, and again, no wrapping was done! Eeek!

Sunday we all slept in, Hallelujah! Hubby and LilMan stayed home to clean while BabyGirl and I went to LilSis's house to make cookies! I made my Crybabies and sugar cookies, using cookie cutters my mom inherited from her family. My sister made Snicker doodles, chocolate Andes mint cookies, fudge and Oreo balls. My mom made her fantastic chocolate coconut macaroons- to DIE for! I was so sick by the end of the night from sugar, I could hardly stand my skin. BUT when we got home, we finally wrapped all the gifts left to wrap!

Today is Monday, and I hate knowing that in just a few short days all this preparation and celebration will be over for another year. There's nothing like Christmas. The sounds, smells, lights, atmosphere..... it really is unlike any other time of the year. I wish I could say the people, but most people seem to be especially pissy this time of year, which annoys the heck out of me!

We typically spend Christmas Eve by going to church for service, and then heading over to Hubby's side of the family's celebrations. We sit around and eat and watch movies and play white Elephant until midnight when we give eachother hugs and Christmas wishes and open presents. The kids are always such troopers through this! And with Christmas being so tight this year for everyone, I am sure opening won't take AS long as it normally does. But, then again, we all still love to buy for eachother! Christmas day we will spend the morning with just our little foursome and then I personally will spend the rest of the day in the kitchen. LOL... my side of the family will come over (still don't know what time yet!) and we will enjoy a Christmas feast and time together! With a little present opening on the side. LOL.

I wanted to wish everyone who may take time to read my blog a Merry Christmas! I hope you are able to sit and relax and soak in the moments created together with family. Eat, drink and be merry!

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Stumble Saturdays

I am going to start a new weekly blog edition called Stumble Saturday. It will be filled with neat websites I stumbled on and want to share with others!

Find any song in the world! http://www.justhearit.com/

Make a cereal box wallet http://www.replayground.com/pages/diy/wallet.asp

Direct numbers to humans, no more recordings! http://www.dialahuman.com/

Surprising expiration dates you might not realize http://www.realsimple.com/realsimple/content/print/0,22304,676079,00.html

Handmade Waterballoon Luminaries http://www.candletech.com/techniques-and-ideas/water-balloon-luminaries/

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Say goodbye to options and variety

So there's this new law called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), that our ever so ASSHOLEish president has passed, that could potentially stop my little side-business/ hobby from happening and limit choices parents make for their children. (excuse my anger, but this has rubbed me very wrong and reminded me that the last 8 years have been downright pathetic!). It will prevent parents across the nation from buying and selling their gently used baby items, purchasing unique and handmade toys and clothing and accessories for their kids, or even donating old clothing and baby items to Goodwill- they won't be able to resell them!

This law is 'protecting' our children from Lead and Phthalates. I am a mom, and want the very best and safest items for my kids. But this is excessive, to the -enth degree. There are other ways to go about choosing items for your children such as don't buy things from China, seek out items certified as organic, avoid items containing BPA and buy your own lead testing kit. I don't discredit the need for extended safety, but this law is broad, foggy and lacking specific details. Give parents options, don't take them away!

My only assumption is that the options for items will be smaller due to many companies being wiped off the slate. Instead of having 10 brands of sleepers to choose from when you go to Target, you may only have 2 or 3, depending on what companies survive this new law. Prices are obviously going to go up, to assist large companies in covering some of the testing costs. Thats exactly what America needs, higher prices. Especially the new parents of America, because adjusting to the financial life of children is SO easy. (sense my sarcasm, please)

Chances are, if this law doesn't change, I will be closing my MaggieMoo Designs come February 9th (monumental as my first items went into my shop on February 10, 2008). You will, from February 10th/ National Bankruptcy Day forward, have to be condemned to the life of plain knit, thin burp cloths and rough, corny bibs from WalMart instead of having the option to buy soft and absorbent, handmade with love items from myself and other WAHM's like me. This law will apply to all preexisting inventory, which will cause thousands of companies to simply have to trash their stuff if they cannot afford to test it all.

Items that I have purchased/ love/ support that will be affected? Check them out:

ZadyBall funky and fun toys, made by a mom
MyEmmyBaby custom shirts for the kiddos, made by a mom
Mamas Girls Bows adorable bows, made by a mom
Arden Nichole Boutique super fun tutu's made by a rockin' mama
NikiPetz Crochet Toys yet another momma giving you unique toys
Goodmama half of my cloth diaper stash comes form her
Muttaquin Baby the other half of my stash comes from her

Some blurbs showing how many people this will affect:
Intention isn't everything, and apparently, just slapping a "not for children under 12" tag on your product won't solve the problem.

CHILDREN’S
PRODUCT.--The term “children's product” means a consumer
product designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger. In determining whether a consumer product is primarily intended for a child 12 years of age or younger, the following factors shall be considered:

(A) A statement by a manufacturer about the intended use of such product, including a label on such product if such statement is reasonable.
(B) Whether the product is represented in its packaging, display, promotion, or advertising as appropriate for use by children 12 years of age or younger.
(C) Whether the product is commonly recognized by consumers as being intended for use by a child 12 years of age or younger.
(D) The Age
Determination Guidelines issued by the Commission staff in September 2000, and any successor to such guidelines

All products that are marketed or could be perceived as being marketed to children under 12 years old. This is NOT limited to toys. It includes many items including clothing, jewelry, shoes, books, innerware, hair accessories, sunglasses, furniture, art materials, and musical instruments to name a few.


An easy way to contact the big guys in suits about this? CLICK HERE and it will only take you 30 seconds.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Beautiful Mess

Hubby and I sat for a while Saturday night looking at our tree. When he said it looked like a 'beautiful mess, just like our lives', I couldn't have agreed more. Our tree is ginormous, 2 ft taller than the tag said. The branches are just everywhere, and sticking out in the oddest places, some areas bald. The top is so crooked, it took 15 minutes of bending to get it to stand semi-straight for our tree-topper. We have 3 strands of multi-colored dome LED and 3 strands cool white mini LEDs, alternating. We don't have a single matching ornament, only ones that have a history, and have a random blue and silver garland around it that doesn't even go to the bottom of the tree. But its gorgeous. It has character. It speaks. It seriously is just like our lives.

This year has probably been the biggest test of us as humans, and us as a family. We have gone from multiple car accidents, to deaths of loved ones, to incidents involving authorities, to daycare issues, to loss of relationships, to the short-sale of our home, to numerous medical issues, to struggling faith, to LOTS of drama (98% of it pointless and unnecessary), to major financial hardship- all in a years time. We look at each incident that has happened in the past year, and are in shock to see ourselves still standing where we do. I have no clue why or how God put us on this track of the struggles we have faced this year.

I can look back to this past year and count how many things impacted our lives in a positive way. Sad, because our lives should be filled with constant joy- too many to count. But if it weren't for my 2 precious children, I cannot say where we would be right now. There's one thing to be said though, about this beautiful mess we call our lives. Our marriage is strengthening. While having our babies, and our focus was forced into another direction, we let that focus on eachother be shadowed. We have readjusted our sight, and naturally, we are focusing on eachother again, little by little. Relationships take constant work, and we have finally started to balance out that tricky ratio of marriage and children.

I plan on making a laundry list of changes for 2009. Although we thought 2008 was our clean slate, and we wrecked our car 12 days later- we have nothing to loose by hoping the best for 2009. How much worse could it get? So I will make these slight adjustments to my little family and our life, some affecting the people around me, and some only staying within the walls of my home. But it is time for a change. (yes, I voted for Obama, too... lol). My children deserve to grow up in a home and life that is not filled with constant dispute and drama. In one that is financially organized. One that is filled with happy times more than stressed times. One that is surrounded by love.

I have quoted this before, but I have to do it again.
"No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way." (Hebrews 12:11, NIV)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

December 11, 1960

Today would have been my dad's 48th birthday. He died at the young and promising age of 35. Hug your loved ones tonight, life is so short.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cancelled TV Shows

ABC

"Dirty Sexy Money" – 5 episodes
'The Plan' airs Wednesday, 12/10 at 10pm ET
'The Organ Donor' airs Wednesday, 12/17 at 10pm ET
Three more episodes will air after that, dates TBA


"Eli Stone" – 7 episodes
'Help!' airs Tuesday, 12/9 at 10pm ET
'Owner of a Lonely Heart' airs Tuesday, 12/16 at 10pm ET
Five more episodes will air after that, dates TBA


"Opportunity Knocks" – 6 episodes
No air dates have been announced, but they are likely to air over the summer.


"Pushing Daisies" – 5 episodes
'The Legend of Merle McQuoddy' airs Wednesday, 12/10 at 8pm ET
'The Norwegians' airs Wednesday, 12/17 at 8pm ET
Three more episodes will air after that; dates TBA


CBS

"The Ex List" – 0 episodes
After airing only four episodes, it's very unlikely that CBS will bring this romantic comedy back.


The CW

"Easy Money" – 0 episodes

"Valentine" – 0 episodes

"In Harm's Way" – 0 episodes

The CW rented three hours of their Sunday night airtime to Media Rights Capital (MRC), but instead of filling the timeslots with established programming, MRC aired three original shows that failed to attract viewers. The shows were quickly pulled from the lineup and have since been replaced by CBS' cancelled drama "Jericho" at 7pm and various movies between 8pm and 10pm.


FOX

"Do Not Disturb" – 0 episodes
Three episodes are all you're going to get out of Fox for this comedy.


NBC

"My Own Worst Enemy" – 2 episodes
'Love In All the Wrong Places' airs Monday, 12/8 at 10pm ET
'Henry and the Terrible… Day' airs Monday, 12/15 at 10pm ET

"Lipstick Jungle" – 3 episodes
'Chapter Eighteen: Indecent Exposure' airs Friday, 12/12 at 9pm ET
Two more episodes will air through 1/9; the show will not air the last two weeks of December.

"Crusoe" – 6 episodes
'Heroes and Villains' airs Saturday, 12/6 at 8pm ET
'Name of the Game' airs Saturday, 12/20 at 8pm ET
'Smoke and Mirrors' airs Saturday, 12/27 at 8pm ET
'The Hunting Party' airs Saturday, 1/10 at 8pm ET
'The Traveler' airs Saturday, 1/17 at 8pm ET
'The Return' airs Saturday, 1/31 at 8pm ET

"Knight Rider" – 17 episodes:
The show's season (and possible series) finale will air Wednesday, 2/25. Low ratings have prompted NBC to trim "Knight Rider's" order from 21 episodes to 17.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I failed. And I'm Cheating.

NaBlopoMo...... This weekend was entirely too busy for me to even turn on my computer! I went strong for 26 days on NaBloPoMo, but missed the last 4 days!!!!!!!!!!!! I am going to back-post though for those days, so I will be a cheating winner. LOL

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