Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Swine Flu and the world's worst week

I know I'm supposed to call it H1N1, but "Swine flu" just rolls off the tongue!

We have actually been Swine Flu free for nine days...kinda sounds like an AA meeting.

Our week went like this...

7:00 am Aiden wakes up with a headache and sore throat. No fever, so mom sent him to school.
3:30 pm He gets off the bus looking like death and clocking in at 102.7...why he didn't go see the nurse is beyond me.
That night I have a headache and my throat is't be.

7:30 am Aiden stays home from school and Abbott is totally jealous. He has no symptoms, so an entire day of Mario Kart is out of the question.
8:15 am I admit to myself that I feel horrible. I take my own temperature. At 99.9 it's not overly impressive, but it's enough to make me want to crawl back in bed. (FYI, no I did not get to crawl back in bed...I had three kids to take care of)
11:00 am I take Aiden to the doctor, hopeful that my swine flu gut feeling was wrong. Nope. Rest, fluids and decongestants.
1:00 pm I get a call from the school nurse to come pick up Abbott. Hmmm...could he have pulled off the whole thermometer-to-the-lightbulb-thing? I get to the school and he doesn't look great, but he is grinning from ear to ear.
The rest of the day was a bit of a blur. I know that my foggy brain was in charge of medicating 3 people. I know that I didn't go to my meeting or take Aiden to scouts that night.
I also know that my microwave wasn't working. Seriously. I am so sick that I am barely upright. I have two sick kids and two little kids. They all expect me to feed them. And my microwave picks now to stop working?
We yanked off the door out of spite. Not really...I just wanted Aaron to prove he could get the old door off before I bought a new one.
10:00 am- Aaron heads off to work. He let me sleep in, but he has a huge thing Friday to prepare for and can't stay home. Luckily, I knew ahead of time about the huge thing so I wasn't too upset with him.
We are all pretty sick still so we don't do much. My foggy brain is still in charge of keeping 5 people alive and medicating 3 of us. Isn't there some rule against mom getting sick?
On the up side, we borrowed a microwave from some friends...thanks Binghams! Of course our door was not in stock and it will be a couple of weeks before we get it.
I learn that my dear husband is still planning to go to the Razorback game on Saturday and leave his swine flu infected wife home to take care of the kids. I'm not thrilled.
7:00 pm- A huge storm blows through.
7:15 am Aaron goes to work to do his huge thing.
Aiden and I start to do a little better. Abbott is completely recovered and having a blast playing wii all day. He lucked out with a mild case.
3:00 pm Aaron gets through his huge thing and Karma strikes. Headache- check, sore throat- check, fever- check. Razorback game? No check. I told him that he got sick because he was going to abandon his sick family.
5:30 pm Our neighbor Flynn knocks on the door and asks us if we need help with our trampoline. Huh?
That is our trampoline. That is Flynn's yard.
It had been there since the storm the night before and we had no idea.
Really? We have the swine flu and our trampoline picks now to blow away? Must be in cahoots with the microwave.
We sat at home.
We sat at home and watched a lot of football.
We all felt better and had been fever free for 24 hours, but we sat at home to be on the safe side. This was actually a really fun day together.
Everybody went back to their normal lives. One week exactly.
The miracle is that these two little angels never got it.

End of pity party post.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Healthcare "reform" will reduce the deficit! Hooray! Who believes this stuff?

I haven’t written a political blog since the election. At first it was depression that kept me from the keyboard. Then came the shock and outrage. After almost a year I have decided that it is time to again share “Aubrey’s Opinion” with the world.

Why now?

I was searching the friendly World Wide Web for information on the current healthcare “debate”. I was amazed (more upset than amazed) to find that it was VERY difficult to find actual information. Everything is presented to us through a lens…what “they” want us to see. “They” being the media, the current administration, the progressives-take your pick-that are trying to hijack our country.

And I remembered why I started my political blog in the first place.

1. An outlet for me to vent my ideas and frustrations.
2. A way for me to help my friends and relatives (and total strangers that find my blog) know what’s really going on in the world. It’s hard to find the truth, so when I dig it up, I want to share.

So here goes…

If you have been following the healthcare mess, you’ve probably heard about the report released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) about a week ago. The major news networks joyfully reported that the CBO found that imposing government run healthcare would REDUCE the deficit by $81 billion dollars over 10 years. Hooray!!

Really? Is there anyone in America stupid enough to believe that bunch of hooey?

If you got your information from CNN or NBC, that would be the end of the story. The Baucus bill will save us money and reduce the deficit. Yeah! Let’s pass it now!

Umm…not so fast…

The CBO set the 10 year cost (2010-2019) at $829 billion. The thing is, the coverage won’t START until 2014, but the $11 billion in tax increases will start NOW (2010). Do you get it? Over this 10 year period they are collecting taxes for 10 years and implementing the program for 5 years. So on paper they can make it look great!

CBO report on the Baucus Bill:
*2010-2019 decrease deficit by $81 billion
*2020-2029 increase deficit by $1.2 trillion (yes, trillion with a ‘t’…somehow this number-in the same report-didn’t seem very newsworthy)

Here's a pretty graph that I found in case all of these numbers are making yoiur head hurt.

And those numbers assume that the cost estimates are accurate…a HUGE assumption! In 1965 it was projected that Medicare world cost $12 billion in 1990. In reality, Medicare cost over $100 billion in 1990. It’s pretty safe to assume that the numbers are hugely underestimated.

Is anyone curious where the money is coming from to pay for part of this disaster?

According to the same CBO report:
$4 billion- tax on individuals who don’t buy government qualified coverage
$23 billion- tax on employers who don’t offer government qualified coverage (which will mean employers will have to lower wages or lay off workers…good plan)
$200 billion- tax on health insurance plans. This includes a 40 percent tax on sales by insurers of ‘Cadillac’ policies and fees on health insurers, drug companies and device manufacturers, all of which will ultimately be passed on to consumers. (Side note…many of you probably have “Cadillac Plans”…this is any family plan deemed to be worth over $21,000 per year)

I haven’t even gotten to the best part!

The Joint Committee on Taxation says that 87 percent of the tax burden will fall on Americans making less than $200,000, and more than half on those earning under $100,000.

Didn’t a certain presidential candidate say something about not raising taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 per year? I must have dreamed that.

In addition to all of the tax/fee increases, the rest of the $829 billion will supposedly come from Medicare cuts and provider payment cuts. Seriously, do you think the politicians will vote to cut Medicare payments to old people right before re-election? I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether the $400 billion in cuts will ever actually happen or if we will just tack it on to the deficit. I mean, what’s another $400 billion in debt to pass on to our kids when we're already passing on trillions a year, right?

So what does our $829 billion buy us?

The accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers released a study that predicts that the Baucus plan would increase premiums for an average American family by $4,000 per year.

The Obama Administration’s response? Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform:

“Clearly this is not their area of expertise.”

You know, those accountants…they really need to stay away from numbers…they have no experience with money or anything like that.

Bottom line.

We are being led to believe that the end goal is to “reform” healthcare and make it more affordable and accessible. If that were truly the case, would we see all of these taxes, fees, and cost increases?

I don’t think so, but clearly this is not my area of expertise.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

80's Party II

If you read my last post, you know that I threw myself a big 80's themed birthday party. What I didn't mention was how sad my kiddos were when they found out they weren't invited!

They have been watching me plan this party for months. Buying goodies and party favors and prizes that they thought looked like a lot of fun.

The look on their faces when I told them they weren't going to the party broke my heart! So I promised them that they could eat all of the leftover junk food and we would have our own 80's party.

So we strung some neon tulle around the house and Abbott pulled out toys that he thought seemed 80's (that boy is all about parties and decorating...I think he's going to take after his mama!)

Aaron and I pulled out our outfits and put them on the kids. Adeline is wearing my shirt as a floor length dress. She has on my belt and heels and she's wearing my green earrings as bracelets! Anna loved my lacy black skirt and leg warmers.

Abbott was really excited to wear the rocker hair and tattoo arm! That boy is crazy! He danced like a maniac and beat his dad in the air guitar showdown.

Aiden is a little more reserved than his brother, but he looked great in the leather jacket.

We played a game with all of the 80's pictures that I had printed off to hang on the walls. They tried to guess who or what the picture was of. They got a Mr. T. Some of their guesses were hilarious. For Madonna they guessed Taylor Swift, for the New Kids on the Block they guessed The Jonas Brothers, and for an Atari they guessed "the original wii"...we had to give them that one!

We had so much fun playing and dancing to some great 80's music and I gave them leftover slap bracelets and sunglasses. They have asked to have another 80's party every single day since. I think I made up for not inviting them to the party.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Old Enough to be a Senator...Partying Like a Rockstar!

Did you know that you have to be 30 to be a United States senator? It's true, and as of August 28th...I qualify! (Don't worry, I'm not planning a senate run, although beating Blanche Lincoln would be better than winning the lottery.)

So far I think 30 is pretty good. On the eve of my birthday my friends vandalized my house with beautiful decorations.

The morning of my birthday Aaron set my alarm to wake me up to "My Next 30 Years" by Tim McGraw and Bethany called and played "Happy Birthday" by NKOTB into the receiver. Another friend watched my girls so I could go to lunch with Aaron. And when I went to wash "honk I'm 30" off of my van, the guy running the carwash gave me my very own sucker. How's that for feeling special!

I had a wonderful birthday, but there wasn't too much time for relaxing!

I decided that for the big 3-0, all I wanted was a big party. I threw myself a huge 80's bash! So Friday and Saturday were spent preparing, but it was so worth it!

I reused the decorations that my pranksters made for me...thanks!

Everything was done in neon pink and neon green. The tables had bright tule with bright roses, surrounded by a variety of items from the 80's. Luckily my sister is a collector, so she supplied a lot of old (well, not THAT old) toys.

On the walls I had a bunch of old movie posters and pictures of people, events, and things from the 80's. Food was done by chik fil a...not 80's, but yummy! We also had cheese balls and cool ranch Doritos, which felt 80's to me! And there were plenty of Reese's Pieces and Pop Rocks on hand to satisfy a sweet tooth!

We started out the night with a "name that 80's TV theme song" and I was pretty impressed. Many of them were guessed after only a few notes. I think Dane got the cartoons after one note. I had a lot of fun going through all of the shows from the 80's.

I was like 10 in 1989, so the closest I ever got to Madonna was the tape that I played in my brown Fisher Price cassette player. I crimped my hair and tight rolled my jeans and used way too much hairspray on my way too big bangs. But I never got to wear gobs of makeup and piles of jewelry and fishnets and lace and miniskirts and heels.

Until now...

I got to be an 80's rock star and my wonderful husband (yes, that's Aaron in those purple snakeskin pants) was right there with me! Doesn't he look like he stepped right our of a hair band?

Here he is without the jacket...gotta love the tatoo arm! I kept asking everybody "is my hair going flat?" And they would look at me and just laugh. Dana thought I was wearing a wig from a distance. It didn't even begin to go flat! I have the perfect 80's hair. It is super thick and naturally wavy frizzy. I keep hoping that the big hair will come back with all of the other 80's fashion. I do big hair well!

We had so much fun putting our costumes together! I insisted that everybody come dressed in full 80's style and my friends did not disapoint!

My mom and sisters

Bethany and Matt

Sharon and the "Save Ferris" shirt!

Amy O., Amy B., Stefani, Me and Nicole

Pedro and Melissa

Cori and Shelly

Lindsey and Brett

We danced and danced and danced! Everybody had a great time breaking it down to some old favorites. 80's music is the best!

Of course we slowed it down for a little "You're the Inspiration".

Lindsey taught us the thriller dance

Aaron was a great MC...

The Air Guitar Showdown was the most hilarious thing I have ever witnessed. Dane and Jeff were the awesome winners! With air guitar skills like that it was impossible to pick one winner.

Dane's skills are highlighted in this video

I had a trivia game and a Rubick's cube game that we didn't get to. I planned a bunch of games in case my friends were wallflowers, but I need not to have worried! Everyone (well maybe not EVERYone, but most) really knew how to bust a move!

The winners of the costume competition were Jessica B. and Ard H. who were dressed at completely opposite ends of the 80's spectrum!

The whole crew

The gals

They picked me up...they actually picked me up!

The dudes

I will add a picture of the cake when I get one from my was the best cake I've ever had!!!

Thank you everyone who attended! It was so much fun and the perfect way to celebrate my new decade! Even better...the hotel took care of the clean up!

I would love any additional pictures if you have any.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Anna's Turn!

We sent the boys off last week, and now it is Anna's turn to go to preschool. She is going to the same preschool that she went to last year and she LOVES it! She only goes on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, but she would go everyday if she could. I'm glad I have one more year with this beautiful, headstrong, sassy, loving little girl.


Of course, Adeline wanted to go as well. She insisted on wearing a backpack, which she didn't take off all day. We had to pry it off of her at bed time.

I love this picture because Adeline is looking adoringly at her big sister. She was so sad when she figured out she couldn't stay at preschool. It broke my heart!

In other news...

BOTH of my girls got their first haircut today! Anna is 4, and since she had the most gorgeous ringlets, I never cut her hair. We have been talking about getting it cut for a while, and everytime she reminds me that it's not a cut, it's a TRIM. This princess likes her long hair!
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She got 3 inches off, but you can't really tell!

Adeline enjoyed the airplane chair.

The lady made three snips, and said that she couldn't do a bob because she is too young to sit still. That was quite a waste of $11.00 (plus tip). She made three snips and Adeline's hair looks exactly the same! I was pretty disappointed, but she's so stinkin' cute, it's ok!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Etch-a-Sketch Brain

As we have been gearing up for school to start, I made my boys do a few math sheets. (At the beginning of summer I swore they would practice math every day...somehow that didn't happen?) Aiden did pretty well, but I discovered that Abbott has forgotten quite a bit!

On Saturday we went to Silver Dollar City in Branson to have a little fun before going back to school. Here is the whole crew (plus cousin Lexi) with the rocks they just panned for.

I am NOT a roller coaster gal. Usually, I stay with the girls while Aaron rides crazy things that spin and go way too fast with the boys. This time they talked mom into riding. It was fun, but I felt like my brain was shaking around in my head. I was a little concerned about my kids' brains, so I asked them if they felt like their brains shake on the rides.

Abbott said "Yeah! Maybe that's what happened to all of my math facts! They all got shaken out of my brain!"

Apparently Abbott's brain works like an etch-a-sketch...when you shake it up, everything disappears! I'm thinking no more roller coasters.

So it's a really good thing that they went back to school yesterday. They were both really excited. We switched elementary schools this year so they were a little nervous too, but mostly excited.


I thought the girls would be sad to see them go...but I actually think they're happy to have the house to themselves again! We watched Dora the Explorer for the first time in months!

We walked in the school and decided to go to Abbott's class first...and Aiden tried to dart up the stairs! Can you believe it?!?! Go to class on the first day of school without mom? No way. So we drug him to Abbott's class.

Abbott knows a couple of kids in his class and he was excited to break open that brand new box of crayons.

Then we walked upstairs to Aiden's class. There were no parents in the room and the kids were already busily working (at 7:50...sheesh...overachievers). I decided not to go in the room and embarrass him. I promised him that if he let me take his picture outside the class, I would leave the camera at home next year when he starts middle school. The picture is blurry because I was trying to snap it fast!
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When they got home they both had lots of fun stories to tell. We had such a great summer, but I think everybody is happy to be back to school.