Thursday, February 28, 2013

Singing Sensation

I know that I told you that I would blog everyday in February.  At that, I have failed spectacularly.  Mainly, it was because I failed to take into account the fact that we'd be in Illinois for nearly a week.  As an added bonus to our vacation, all three of us got sick while we were there, but I got the worst of it.  (That's pretty unusual.  I'm normally the healthy one who gets to take care of everyone else.)  Once we got back, I still wasn't really feeling like doing much of anything, so no blogging happened.  Then I just became complacent.  Now it's the last day of the month. :)

However, to reward you for your patience with my unreliableness, I shall show you a video.  It's James, naturally, and he's singing I Love To See The Temple.  If you know the words, you can pick out what he's saying, even though his singing style is a bit crazy.  I tried to get him to sing another song, but he started making up stuff at that point.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Long Day, Again

I'm not trying to complain, because it was a productive day, but it was pretty long.

We ran around doing lots of errands to get us ready for our trip tomorrow and my mom came over after work to help me get things together.  James did great napping and was pretty well-behaved, so that was a super big plus.  We're ready to go now.

Now we're watching the teen Jeopardy tournament before turning in early.  We're so awesome.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Laundry and Packing and Tantrums, Oh My!

That about sums up my day.

Since we're leaving for Illinois on Saturday morning, I spent the day doing laundry.  Naturally, everything was dirty, so it truly was a day-long event.

I have successfully packed our whole suitcase, sans toiletries, and laid out our clothes for the trip.  All that is left to do is grab the last minute everyday-use things and hit the road.

I'm not sure if James was just acting up because Daddy went to work, or because I was paying too much attention to the laundry, or because he was just having one of those days.  Whatever it was, it wasn't much fun for either of us.  I was able to successfully divert him a number of times by employing his help.  This included having him match socks with me and bring me clothes hangers and letting him play in the empty laundry basket, but these things were pretty short-term solutions.  By the end of the day, I think he was just as tired as I was.  He crawled into bed all by himself and I didn't even have to remind him about the staying-in-bed rule.

We definitely need this vacation.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Our Day

Blogging everyday means that I don't always have something exciting to say.  So today, I'm just going to tell you what we did. :)

This slide was clearly labeled as
being for 5-12 year olds. This makes
no difference to my dare devil.
Today is David's day off.  We started out the morning by playing with Legos.  (This is always a hit.)  After that, we decided to venture out and get a few things done.  Since we're going to visit David's family in Illinois this weekend, we decided that we needed to finally put those two new tires on our car.  If you remember, we had to replace two of our tires last month and have been running on our spare (albeit a full-size tire, but still...) since then.  We figured it was time.  We went in to the shop and set up an appointment for 3:30 this afternoon.  After that, we went to run more errands and then went to a new place for lunch called Graffiti Burger.  It was really delicious!  After running some more errands, we finally took James to the park so that he could play on the slide.  Going on slides is one of his favorite things to do right now.  He was pretty upset when we had to leave, but we had fun anyway.

After all of this, we came home and napped.  Right now, our car is getting its new tires and we're watching... wait for it... Brave.

Later, my mom is coming over for dinner.  All in all, I'd say a pretty good day.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Doctors

Can I just say that I do not like dealing with doctor's offices?

I have not had very good experiences since we've lived here while dealing with our various doctors and their staff.  It's not like their mean or anything, but I haven't really felt like we actually matter to any of them.  Just a random rant for today.  Today has been rough enough for other reasons, but this was just another thing that would have been nice to avoid.

Monday, February 4, 2013

James' Latest Obsession

Just like anyone else's child, James goes through phases of obsession.  Usually, he gets obsessed with something on TV or a book.  Occasionally, it's a toy or a song.  But mostly, it's something on TV.  I try to limit James' amount of television each day, but some days are better than others.

Right now, he's completely enthralled with the Disney movie, Brave.  I'm not exaggerating when I say that we've watched it nearly every day for the past month or so.  But you know what?  This is one movie obsession that I don't mind at all.

I absolutely love this movie.  This is way better than when he was obsessed with watching Cars 2 every single day.  I think he gets his Cars fix from playing with his plethora of Cars toys.  I like it that way.

He's also in love with the cartoon Super Why! right now as well.  It's not as bad as Brave, but he'll usually ask to watch an episode each day.  Some days, I'll let him.  His maximum TV time for each day is 2 hours (as that's the recommended limit set by the AAP, so I adopted it), which means that him watching Brave and Super Why! in one day makes for 2 hours of TV.  I try to keep it lower when I can, but since he's such an active boy and since we read so much, I don't feel bad about it, especially since his TV time is scattered throughout the day.  And some days, we don't watch any TV at all because we're running errands or playing outside or doing something else that distracts James from the television.  I try to make that happen at least once a week.

So, what are the obsessions in your house?  I can't be the only one with this phenomenon.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Where Have All the Good Men Gone?

Lately, I've been seeing a lot of relationship posts on Facebook.  I see people complaining about boys (or girls) in general.  Okay, fine.  I see complaints about how frustrating the dating game can be.  I get that.  But recently, I've been seeing an inordinate amount of posts referring to the poster's baby daddy drama.

I've got one thing to say about this...

I am so grateful for my husband.

I have a seriously attractive husband who is kind, faithful, hard working and dedicated to our family.  I'm not trying to rub this in the face of people who aren't fortunate enough to enjoy this blessing, but rather emphasize how important it is to find a mature man with whom you can create a stable, loving family.

I don't want to go into this in length, because I'm pretty sure that my blog readers aren't any of these baby daddy drama posters, but I just wanted to let everyone know how grateful I am for my wonderful husband.

That is all.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Being Moderate in An Extremist World

For those of you who read my blog, you know how it goes with me and "issues".  I get pretty passionate about the things that I believe in.  But that's pretty common in today's political climate.  If you aren't passionate about your views, if you don't speak up about what you believe in, you're likely to be trampled under the feet of louder voices.

Most of these louder voices, however, tend to come from ends of the political spectrum, rather than from the more reasonable points throughout the center.  You hardly ever see people posting picture quotes about how politicians should focus on working together rather than focusing on winning.  It is the very reason why Jon Huntsman didn't win the Republican nomination last year.  Voices of reason are easily drowned out by irrational extremism.

You may or may not know this, but I am a huge Aaron Sorkin fan.  He writes intelligent, thought-provoking television, including two of my favorites shows, The West Wing and The Newsroom.  When I think of my own political views in comparison to the extremist views that are bouncing around out there, I think of a quote from The West Wing.  In one particular episode, President Bartlet is interviewing a judge for possible appointment to the Supreme Court.  This judge, who is a moderate, makes a statement about his moderate views.

He says, "There are moderates who are called that because they're not activists, and there are moderates who are called that because sometimes they wind up on the left and sometimes on the right."

I think that calling myself a moderate can be quite a bit misleading, because that quote is completely accurate.  When politicians think of moderates, they think of how they can sway these weak-minded, apathetic individuals to their way of thinking just long enough for them to cast their ballot.  But what about those moderates who actually do care?  What about those of us who actually have an opinion on specific issues, but don't fit the typical Republican or Democrat molds, sometimes ending up on the left and sometimes ending up on the right?  It can be difficult to get other politically-minded people to take you seriously.  Why?  Because extreme conservatives will alienate you as soon as you come down on the side of a liberal idea, and the extreme liberals will do the same to you when the opposite is true.  This has happened to me many times, even amongst dear friends.  Very few people want to hear what you have to say unless you agree with them all the time.

And if people only want to hear what you have to say if/when you agree with them, what is the point of a political discussion anyway?  If Facebook serves as any example of our society (which, let's face it, it kind of does), then is the point of a political discussion simply to try to shout your view the loudest and shun all of those who disagree with you?  If so, we are in a very sad state.

This country was built on conservative values and liberal ideas.

Extreme Republicans:  Do you think that we'd even have this wonderful, free country of ours if our ancestors sat around, all over Europe, thinking, "Welp, this is the way it's always been.  These are our values and nothing should ever change.  We shouldn't even try."

Extreme Democrats:  Do you think that we'd have such a solid foundation in this country if we casually discarded our most fundamental values simply to accommodate the whims of the masses?

Extreme Everybodies:  Do you think that if you shout over the other guy's ideas that it is going to make you look intelligent?  Do you think that if you shout loud enough and long enough that anyone will just stop and say, "Gee whiz, why didn't I see that this side had a super rational take on the situation?  I should change my point of view immediately!"

Um, no.  Actually, mostly never.  Almost no one is going to be swayed by yelling or extremist behavior.

Extremism doesn't fuel good political commentary; it fuels fire from embers that already exist.  If you don't already hate/worship the President, you aren't going to be swayed by someone who is shouting about how you should.  You could, however, be swayed by someone who presents a thoughtful, intelligent argument with facts and legitimate examples.

Now, I do want to say that you can possess mostly conservative/Republican or liberal/Democratic views on political subjects without being an extremist.  No matter where your ideals lie on the spectrum, you can be reasonable, thoughtful and refrain from spreading hate.  It's entirely possible (and highly encouraged).  However, if you repeatedly share misinformation about "the other side", spread hateful remarks about the President (past or present) or say anything else that serves no real political purpose other than to fuel unnecessary fires and "win the partisan battle", I'd advise you to reconsider your actions.

As a Christian, I am encouraged to stand up for what I believe in.  This is what I believe in, and it is the strongest conviction that I have, next to my testimony of the Gospel.  If we continue to tear each other down, if we continue to shout simply for the sake of drowning out others, if we continue to spread animosity through our words, we will no longer have the Spirit of the Lord in our lives.  We will not have His direction.  We will not, as a country, be able to accomplish anything of worth until we learn to listen to each other and work together.  No dictator or oppressor ever came about because everyone was working in a spirit of love and cooperation.  So even if you dislike our Democratic President or our Republican Congress, there are still ways to have your voice heard while still supporting our leaders.

The goal of political activism is not to win for your party.  It is to win for the people.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Welcome, February!

Who else finds it hard to believe that a month has already gone by since the beginning of the year?  Seriously.  Whenever this happens, I feel like I just missed out on something.  This time, I'm pretty sure I let my blogging slide.  So this month, I'm going to do a Blog-A-Day run again.  We'll see if I can keep it up like I did last July.  This will be my post for today.  (I'm already so on top of things.)  I'll start things off tomorrow with a lovely political post that's sure to cheer you all up!  Here we go!