Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Simple Things in Life

We could buy Connor all of the most expensive toys.

OR, we could let him play in the diaper box we just brought home. Diapers out, Connor in.

And I could put him to work in the yard.

Big surprise here, but I prefer the second option.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Well, folks, it's a WIP

Not sure if it was purely an attempt to be politically correct towards unsuspecting children or what but one of my elementary school teachers would scribble either a "+" or "WIP" on the top of our assignments. I did misbehave quite a bit in elementary school but never was I whipped (maybe I should've been, that might have made things turn out differently...) SO ANYWAY, I either went home with a big smile on my face because I received the esteemed plus sign on my paper or I went home and showed my parents my "WIP".

WORK IN PROGRESS. That's what it meant. It obviously scarred me because I still remember that Mrs. Fales (what a name!) graded our papers that way.

Now to the burning question: What does this irrelevant story have to do with anything?

Nothing, really.

Please forgive the changes that are going on with the background, sidebar, etc., on the blog. I'm not sure how it'll end up but I'm in the process of updating it. There will surely be quite a few snafoo's along the way so brace yourself. Don't you like that white blurry building on the left? That's my barn. In my pretend world, where I have a barn. Or maybe it should be a billboard.

Please pardon the mess while we (I) work to improve your blog-viewing experience. Thanks, Management.

It's a WIP, people. Take a chill pill and call me later.

Wish Someone Told Me This Earlier

And, yes, this is one of Connor's favorite TV shows. I swear.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

You should be scared. Very scared.

It is understandable that you may have missed the important news earlier in the month that affects your healthcare and the healthcare of the ones that you love. I mean, Lindsay Lohan and LeBron James were the focus on most of the major networks, instead of this little-broadcast-but-very-important update to Obama's healthcare agenda. What is this change, you ask? Dr. Donald Beswick was appointed by Obama as the head of Medicare & Medicaid without going through the normal process of appointment. Hmmm... sounds very similar to the way that the Healthcare Deform Bill was passed. Just forced upon us.
When Linda O’Boyle was diagnosed with bowel cancer, her doctors told her she could boost her chances of survival by adding the drug cetuximab to her regimen. But the rationing body for Britain’s National Health Service, the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), had previously ruled that the drug was not cost-effective and therefore would not be paid for by the government. So O’Boyle liquidated her savings and paid for the drug herself. But this is not allowed under NHS rules. When government bureaucrats found out that O’Boyle had purchased the drug with her own money, she was denied NHS treatment and died within months.
As Americans, we have overlooked and dismissed the notion that such an atrocity could take place on our soil. After all, we have the best healthcare in the world. People pay out of pocket to travel here and receive services that they cannot get in their own country. It is not without flaws, but it is far superior to any other option that is available out there. And, lucky for us, Donald Beswick is out to change that for us.

Again, we see evidence of the promised "change" we heard so much about during Obama's campaign. Hopefully people are starting to realize that "change" isn't always for the better; the "change" we will see in our healthcare is far from being beneficial. It's down-right dangerous.

OK, so why is Beswick so bad for our health? He has - on numerous occasions - talked about his love for the British healthcare system. He said, “NICE is extremely effective and a conscientious and valuable knowledge-building system. … The decision is not whether or not we will ration care – the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”

You are probably thinking, well, that sucks. But it won't affect me because I have insurance through my employer and I won't need to be on the government plan. I'm young and won't be on Medicare for a long time, either. Plus, Obama said OVER AND OVER that if I like my current insurance, I can keep it. Unfortunately, you are wrong. Dead wrong (pun intended).

Without getting lost in the murky details, up to 69% of employers - up to 80% of small businesses - will lose their "grandfathered status" by 2013 and therefore be forced to drop the insurance they once provided for their employees. If you had to take a wild guess on what percentage of American work for a "small business", what number would that be? 20%? 50%? No, try 80%. So, 8 out of 10 of us work for what is referred to as a "small company" and 8 out of 10 of those companies are going to be forced to drop insurance for their employees because of Obamacare. Looks like a lot of us will not, in fact, be able to keep the health care that we currently have - - even if we like it. Looks like another broken promise. But, he has kept his promise that we will see "change"...

Yes, my point is to scare you. And to make you aware of the changes that you are going to see - or your family members on Medicare or Medicaid will be realizing - in the very near future. Sitting around and thinking about it or hoping that others will do something is not enough. You need to be involved and know who you are voting for. We need to elect strong conservative candidates to replace the Democrats (or Republicans, in some cases) that ignored the American people's cry to stop Obamacare. Email your representatives and do you research, which includes more than listening to the main media news outlets. Unless, of course, you'd rather focus your attention on what Lindsay Lohan did in court or what is going to happen now that LeBron James went to Miami. And if that's your focus, then I guess you deserve what you'll get healthcare-wise. Please pay attention and let's get politics out of healthcare.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Power of a Sale

It's really amazing what the word "sale" does to me. It has this crazy, uncontrollable effect on me that makes me BUY BUY BUY. Who cares if I need it? It's on sale and therefore I. must. purchase. I don't recommend that you stand in between me and a sale sign.

Poor Dennis was an unsuspecting victim of the most recent sale purchase that I made on Groupon. Coming in at less than half price, I purchased two tickets to the North Georgia Canopy Tour. And the tickets were purchased for two people who are scared of heights: Dennis and me. Ziplining. Yes, you read that correctly: ziplining.

Three hours, 12 ziplines and 4 hikes later, we received our certificate of completion. We enjoyed our day outside, in the canopies, swinging like monkeys from tree to tree.

When you are strapped in by about 30 different ropes and gadgets, I guess the fear of heights dissipates because we had no trouble on our "tour". Or maybe our ferocious sale activist side pulled us through and helped us to navigate through this adventure ... we can - and will - do anything if it's on sale.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Birthday

To Stephen (today), our country (tomorrow) and my most-favorite-dad (day after tomorrow).

Technology is what I have to blame for not having a cake prepared for any of these celebrations. Well, that, and the fact that I don't really cook. A good woman never takes responsibility for her own actions (or lack of)... she finds something else to blame it on. Regardless of whether or not I made up that rule just now, it is definitely a valid one.

Cards aren't in the mail yet and birthday gifts have yet to be purchased. And yes, technology is my excuse and I'm sticking to that.

I am blaming technology because it distracts me from almost every task at hand. I try to do work and then I end up playing on my blog or going on the Internet to search for something really important, like plastic cups for our margarita machine rental business. Or looking through websites for ideas on how to arrange storage in Connor's play room. The improvements we've seen in technology in the last few years has opened so many doors and allowed me to do so many more things that I never could have done before. But, as I said, it ALLOWS ME TO DO SO MANY MORE THINGS THAT I NEVER COULD HAVE DONE BEFORE. These things suck up my time like our Dyson vacuum does to Echo's pet hair. (More on that later, but let's just suffice to say that I. LOVE. VACUUMING.)

"What type of things does technology allow us to do?"
, you ask oh-so-politely? Things like Connor's book of his first year. Or the DVD that I made with a collection of Connor videos up to this point. Or, type up a blog post on Margaritas. All of these things are great and wonderful but take time. So, please be patient with me as I try to learn to be patient with myself.

So, back to my excuse. I am behind on shopping for two of my favorite people because of technology. I've been distracted by technology and this almost-walking-and-oh-so-active little man in my house. I love you both, though!

Friday, July 2, 2010

"The Most Exhausting Meal I Never Had"

In June, we went with the Martins on their annual beach trip. One of the highlights of this trip is usually a very relaxing and enjoyable dinner at a nice restaurant. Notice the use of the word usually in that sentence.

Around 5pm, we all loaded up and headed to the restaurant. I forget the name, but it was a nice Italian restaurant. And yes, we had to get there for the senior citizen special because Connor doesn't do well when he's hungry and he usually eats around 5:30 pm. Come to think of it, I don't do well, either, when I'm hungry.

Anyway, we walk into the restaurant and Dennis points out a fish tank in the entry way to Connor. Connor is impressed and everything is set for a relaxing meal together.

As we sit down, Connor decides to yell, "BAAAHHHHH", in the most polite way possible, of course, every single time that the waiter leaves our table. So, people start to notice us in the restaurant at this point.

Then, he starts to fuss a little bit (his chicken strips weren't ready soon enough) so I took him outside to walk up and down the sidewalk. About 10 minutes later, we re-enter the restaurant.

We sat down and got comfortable again. Well, we almost got comfortable. Within what felt like seconds, he started coughing. I mean, REALLY COUGHING. Oh, I forgot to mention that we took the balloon decorations from the hostess stand to our table to distract Connor. So, we're at the table and he's coughing. And we have balloons at our table. In a nice restaurant.

Dennis takes a turn to pick Connor up and takes him outside. Long story short - - and I mean, LONG STORY short - - he almost chokes on one of the stars that were on the balloon decoration at our table.

After Dennis calms down our coughing (choking) child, the two of them re-join the group.

We are drinking wine quickly at this point and trying not to be stressed. But, it's not working.

About 10 minutes after the hoopla with Connor almost choking, a lady at a nearby table turns around and says, "My husband is in respiratory. You should give your son ice now because he throat is probably inflammed." First, lady, thanks for piping up now. I mean, couldn't she have said something WHILE we were trying to help our coughing, choking son? And, second, lady, what do you mean that your husband is "in respiratory"? Lastly, PLEASE don't look at my husband right now because he is giving you a look that says SHUT THE #$%&&* UP. He means it in the nicest way possible, though.

The chicken strips arrive. SWEET. We start to feed Connor and he manages to grab his glass of whole milk and pull it towards himself. And it goes all over him. I don't think that a drop of milk avoided his body. No way, 100% of his whole milk went straight onto his lap. An entire cup of milk on Connor translates to a blood curdling scream.

At this point, we grabbed Connor and went to the car. The Martins said that they would get our food to go. As we left, laughing, Dennis told me, "that was the most exhausting meal that I never had".

We pulled up to the beach house after a short drive and realized one more thing: we didn't have a key. And the doors were all locked. NICE.

We busted through a screen door on the patio and through a window into the kitchen. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

It was the perfect ending to a perfect night of chaos. Fun, perfect, stressful, chaos. So, it's official. We were THOSE PEOPLE at dinner. But, y'know what? There is no one else in the world that I would have rather been.