Friday, December 28, 2007

One quick thought...

A two post day, I know. But I was taking the time to read some news that didn't involve Britney, Paris or Lohan and I was reading a little more about the death of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto:

Just thought it was wildly interesting that in an area of the world that we in the US associate with constant persecution of women, they can still bring forth this hero, the first female prime minister of any Islamic nation while we in the US sit on our high horses and declare ourselves the best. Sure they have a ways to go, but they aren't still debating whether they are ready for the first woman president. Sheesh, America. Get over it already. The rest of the world seems to...

**not endorsing anyone in particular, just the principle of the matter...

Holiday Chaos: the End is Near

Isn't that the best news of all? Your credit card can start to be paid down, you can stop insanely buying stuff just to have more stuff to give, and you can go back to being...normal. It is beautiful.

Some highlights from the celebrations:
* We got to see Will's school play on video over at the Cumberland's and snow from Vermont too
* Matthew came over to spread Christmas cheer and the common cold...mostly the common cold
* Christmas BBQ with Dad, Judy, etc
* Dylan's tool belt and hard hat over at KT's and Paul's, construction begins in January and he is ready to pitch in as needed
* Family pj night
* Christmas morning: I say "Hey, Dylan smells like poop." Jason points out the trail of poop that is falling out of the side of his pajama bottoms next to wrapped goods as he walks. We strip him down to find an insanely full diaper that has burst. Now that's Christmas cheer. I then take obligatory naked pics next to the tree and then get him into new pj's from under the tree.
* We appear to be celebrating Hanakkah. Dylan would get so interested in his gifts that he wanted to play, not keep unwrapping. There are still three gifts wrapped and ready for him, we are on day four of unwrapping them. Shalom.
* Size 3T scrubs embroidered with "Dr Cumberland" from Grandpa Jim. Best. Ever.
* Dylan decides to seize his bike handlebars and ride an imaginary bike around the room when it takes too long to put together his Fisher Price Smart Cycle. Hilarity ensued.
* Watching Shrek 3 five times in a row with Mom and Jim, Andrea and Chad, Dylan and Jason. Oh, and Bryan. How could I forget that?

I want to try and keep this short out of politeness to anyone who reads this, so I am limiting the pics to as few as possible...and yet still too many

Christmas cards (I still had a stack after this was done, so all the late senders didn't make it!)
2007-12-10 Xmas Decorations Card Pan

Jason's dad's surprise from us - the photoshoot with the boys:
2007-12-23 Xmas Will 010

Will's surprise plate for his mom:
2007-12-23 Xmas Will 005

Carrier monkey that got me and my family sick (because why would my brother warn us?)
2007-12-24 Benny BBQ 008

Men at work:
2007-12-24 KT Papa Paul 026

Family pajama day:
2007-12-24 PJ night 5

Lumps of coal:
2007-12-25 Christmas Day 021

Tears of joy:
2007-12-25 Christmas Day 027

Don't want no scrubs:
2007-12-25 Christmas Day 062

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cumby for Prez...2016

Watching "Meet the Press" on the TiVo and wondering why I put myself through this. I like to pay attention to politics because I think everybody really should, but I loathe the state of our nation. This pic fulfills its 1000 words and beyond:

James Madison: "Strongly guarded . . . is the separation between religion and government in the Constitution of the United States," Madison wrote, and he declared, "practical distinction between Religion and Civil Government is essential to the purity of both, and as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States."

Thomas Jefferson: "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."

Religion is an opinion and a personal one at that. The only political relevance is that you personally can worship however. I think it is ridiculous that presidential candidates give political speeches in churches across America, they should be in colleges, sports stadiums, other public places. I don't think it is right that as part of almost every debate these puppets yap about their beliefs in God and as such either gain or lose votes as a result. I think it is wrong that people judge Mitt Romney just because of his affiliation and focus the debate on whether Mormoms are religions. Debate that at after church Sunday coffee, let's keep our eyes on the prize.

Presidential Candidates, Lady and gents, please remember that this is really what the American people should base their decisions:

1. Public education is subpar - we need to do something.
2. There are too many people without health insurance - we need to do something.
3. Illegal immigrants - get them on the books, have them start paying taxes, amnesty on having been illegal since they are coming and signing in. End of story. Don't send them back and don't pretend that any American is in the mood to do the jobs they do. I do not want to pay to find them, pay to send them back, pay to block them from getting back in and pay to send them back again when they make their way back in. I am sick of my taxes paying for their children to go to school and use medical resources. Get them paying into the tax pool and let them be the Americans they want to be!
4. Abortion - leave it alone. If you don't want one, don't get one. It is a personal decision, so take it or leave it but mind your own business. Also, remember Baby Grace and her dead body floating in Galveston Bay in a Rubbermaid container? Take your pick - abused and murdered children or abortion because these people fighting this are doing nothing to protect or take care of all the kids in the system or in the homes of idiots like Baby Grace's mom.
5. Which leads me to the kiddos - gotta be a better way to watch and protect the kids of this nation. I mean, other than prepping the poor ones to join the army for college money to fight for oil.
6. Stem cell research - they are all over the place and they can help people. Get off your soapbox, stop talking about God's opinion on it. My understanding is that stem cells can come from a lot of places like cord blood, etc; furthermore, there are doctors fertilizing eggs in petri dishes in labs all over America and no, they do not all get used. Some are *gasp* unused and disposed of. I'd volunteer all the eggs I have left if it helped sufferers of Parkinson's,
7. Between 1996 and federal Fiscal Year 2006, Congress funneled over $1.5 billion dollars (through both federal and state matching funds) to abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. Abstinence is pleasant but is not the full story. If the government wants to take action against teen pregnancy, kids need the full story. Pills and Condoms don't tempt kids to have sex - they have the films, music and other kids tempting them to do that. And some are. And some are getting pregnant. Give them real choices. And give me that $1.5 billion dollars so I can spend it much more wisely.
8. Iraq - write them a check and get out. We shouldn't have gone there and we shouldn't still be there. Things are getting no better there, but they are getting worse here. I would be much more concerned with the safety, education, public works etc in Post-Katrina New Orleans than Iraq. Don't fight for the freedom on non-Americans using American money until everything's working out on the homefront. That's common sense, babe.
9.Same sex marriage - separate is not equal. Remember black schools? How'd that work out? Look at civil unions that same way. Want to maintain the institute of marriage? Keep divorcing at a rate of 50%. Gays and lesbians aren't killing marriage, heteros are. If you take out everyone in the debate who is divorced, cheating on their spouse and so on, you will end up with a handful of nice Christian people who think gays are going to burn in hell and a group of gays and lesbians who are in love, want to live out the same dreams others do and deserve the same rights as any other loving couple such as benefits, etc. I'm going with the gays on that one.
10. Accept that America is not #1. If we were, we would not have abused, starving kids. We would not have veterans of war on street corners, they would be the true royalty of this nation and not Paris Effen Hilton. Patriotism is freedom of speech and true freedom is seen most vividly in dissent. No one would be debating whether they can afford to have health care or pay the mortgage. We would not hate on people simply for being different in any way. We need to be humble, admit our shortcomings and improve ourselves.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Everyone loves a tea party

...especially my son, it would seem. Last weekend we went to an amazing little birthday party for Dylan's cousin Danica who turned two. It was at this little kiddie boutique in the Heights called Olive Anne's, and proved that awesome children's parties can happen inside town. I had no idea what to expect, and we got there and were taken back to the girliest room ever - bright pink, feather boas at the door, dress up in the back and two of the barber chairs for hair styling. At first I wondered what all the adults and little boys were going to do with themselves, but I must have forgotten this is the Cumberland crew and this group always makes a fun time for themselves.

Basically, it was a combination free for all and structured play. You could go get your hair dyed and glittered, you could play dress up, you could eat and at the same time there were structured activities like building castles out of sugarcubes and icing, making foam crowns and of course the tea party! Here are some pics...

Mama Angela and the Birthday girl:
2007-12-02 Danica 2nd Bday 071

Will's Castle:
2007-12-02 Danica 2nd Bday 068

Very cute girl playing dress up:
2007-12-02 Danica 2nd Bday 059

Jason getting his hair did with Aunt Jeaneane:
2007-12-02 Danica 2nd Bday 055

and then with Will (matching, of course):
2007-12-02 Danica 2nd Bday 112

Adorable cake:
2007-12-02 Danica 2nd Bday 087

Wonderful tea (Dylan was the last man standing and pretty much had to be dragged away from the tea table):
2007-12-02 Danica 2nd Bday 089
2007-12-02 Danica 2nd Bday 086

And it ain't a party without dancing:
2007-12-02 Danica 2nd Bday 125
2007-12-02 Danica 2nd Bday 120
2007-12-02 Danica 2nd Bday 124

But Dylan was already dunzo:
2007-12-02 Danica 2nd Bday 019

And new faces --- finally got to meet Baby Troy who is not 15 months old (and probably lives 10 minutes from us...)
2007-12-02 Danica 2nd Bday 094

Anyways, sorry for the pic overload but I just thought this was the cutest party and I am thinking Shana needs to have Madeleine's birthday party here next...

Other than that, just gearing up for another busy weekend. I am having a much needed girls' night tonight and then Will is spending the night Saturday night before the big annual Cumberland Christmas party. Being part of that family is so cool, and I am excited to bring the Chicken Chipotle Salad -- love that stuff. Oh, and Dylan learned to say "fart" yesterday with his daddy, I thought I would die laughing. Happy weekend!!