"Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely."

Friday, January 30, 2009

A Special Award

I was recently given the lovely honor of receiving a blog award!
Thank you Shannon!
Shannon is a very talented lady with a beautiful and charming blog, LilyHavenCollection. I would highly recommend taking a peek... her posts are always a breath of fresh air, and her creativity truly inspiring.Proximidade is described as follows:
'This blog invests and believes in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes for self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!'
This blog award should be sent to your favorite eight bloggers and they, in turn should forward to eight of their favorites. You should include the text for Proximidade (above) in your announcement blog.
Here are my eight picks:
I picked these eight blogs, because whenever I read them, I feel a connection of friendship. I always relate to their tales - whether funny or touching, and somehow leave feeling a little better about life! Some of the ladies that author these blogs have been close friends for years, some I knew for a period of time during my single/college years and then later found through blogging, and one I haven't even seen for over 10 years! But each is dear to my heart, and brings goodness to my life. So thank you, you each SO deserve this award! (Too bad it doesn't come with money or chocolate, huh?)
I really do appreciate you.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CPSIA: pay attention!!

It is easy to become overwhelmed with all that is going on in our government - I make a concerted effort to stay informed, and yet still find myself dizzied in the swirl of information about new laws, bailouts, "stimulus" packages (which should be renamed "spending" packages in my opinion), and the like. While it is easy to be overwhelmed and thus actually do nothing, the CPSIA is something that simply CANNOT be ignored. The remainder of this post is actually copied from the blog of a dear friend of mine. I myself had planned on writing something, but she did such an excellent job that I decided to just copy and paste. Please read this through - you will be glad you did!

As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on February 10, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:

Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:

Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.Article from the American Library Association CLICK HERE.

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:

Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:

Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:

Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Environmentalist:

Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away.

To the Antique Toy Collector:

Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.” CLICK HERE to read an article from the Wall Street Journal.

To the American Economy:

Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:

Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses. If you think this is exaggerating, here is the most recent article of a 3 part series from Forbes Magazine HERE.

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law

If this upsets or alarms you, please react. One thing that I have personally done is contact my US Representative.

Make sure your voice is heard as well.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Toddler Induced Mania: Confessions of an Otherwise Sane Woman

I have to admit, there are a few things that make me absolutely insane...
For instance, when Weston's love of nudity gets out of control. He can now remove pretty much any article of clothing on his own, after which he pushes his diaper down until eventually he can step out of it. For some reason this trick has become an obsession. The first time was kind of funny, but after the sixth time in the same morning, it gets to be a little annoying.Once Weston discovers something that he likes, it is almost impossible to deter him from it. He never forgets, and he is not easily distracted. I think this tenacity will be a great asset later in life, but for now I could do without it!
Like when we went to Chuck E. Cheese recently. He was so obsessed with riding the same two little rides that when we pulled him away, he screamed like he was being stabbed! What awful parents we are - yanking him away from a ride he had already gone on like 60 times to go be tortured with pizza, cake, and a bunch of other little kids having fun!He also has some other obsessions, like vacuuming, which aren't so bad. I know Weston is just testing his boundaries and acting like a typical 22 month old (I can't believe he is almost 2!!) BUT, I am truly tired of sounding like a broken record. Here are a few phrases that I never imagined would make up the bulk of my conversation in an afternoon:
*Boys who hit their mommies have to go to their room.
*Do not rub your dirty face on the couch again!
*Don't you dare even think about taking that diaper off again!
*Do not pee on me! Boys who do not use the "big boy pottie" must pee in their diaper!
*Only bad boys disobey their mommy.
*Do you want to go to the room?
*Okay, that's it, you're going to the room.
Alas, gone are the days of lecture halls, political debates, and frequent conversations of the intellectually stimulating variety. However, I must say that the joys do outweigh the frustrations.
Here are some things that bring me much happiness and satisfaction, especially as of late:
1. Reading with Weston.
2. Playing the piano. This is the piano I learned to play on... my mom had it since before I was born, but recently bought a new one. Which means this beauty is now in our house! I play every day, even if it's only for a few minutes here and there. Amazingly, I can already tell that my skill is improving!
3. A husband who does lots of lovely things for our family - you know, like bring home the bacon, do the yard work, and make delicious veggie juice for us. (He adds fruit in too for sweetness) Doesn't this pitcher full of juice look beautiful? I thought so, that's why I took a picture of it!4. My sweet boy (yes, he is still sweet most of the time), who does this pose a lot. I think he really wants to do a somersault, but instead he usually just falls over. Doesn't he look a lot like a stink bug in that position?4. The many natural waterfalls Las Vegas has to offer:Ha ha ha! I'm obviously kidding, but isn't this a gorgeous picture?