Sunday, April 23, 2006
"It's a waterfell!" (waterfall)
"Them got..." (they have)
"I play five minutes. Okay? Okay." (self-explanatory)
"Play ____(fill in the blank)____ first. Then, we go. Okay? Okay."
The train ride was about 20 minutes. Afterward we got our picture taken with Thomas while he was in the station. We aren't the type to buy those pictures, but I wanted to see what they looked like anyway. I handed the slip over with our photo number on it and the woman said, "Congratulations! You've got a sticker on your sheet - you have won a free 8x10!" So the photo below is of our free 8x10 picture.
It turned out cute, for sure. We spent most our time at Greenfield Village in the train area. Roman wanted to see the roundhouse and we had lunch. It rained all afternoon, so we were rather bedraggled by the time we hoofed it back to the car. We had a great time, though!
Friday, April 21, 2006
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Otherwise, on our list of possibilities is the Children's Museum, Museum of Natural History, zoo which has a special Rainforest exhibit - and train through the Australian Outback. Also a "farmpark" and/or Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, of course. Got a lead on a couple restaurants too, one on a ship in Lake Erie, another with a World War Two aviation theme. Cheesecake Factory is always a hit, too. We're looking forward to just being away from home, away from phones, and just enjoying each other.
Friday, April 14, 2006
It's a Pontiac Aztek. I love it already. It is taking some getting used to. I have had small cars my whole life; from the Escort, to the Cavalier, to the Focus. The Aztek doesn't feel large inside, but the length is something to get used to. I'm used to whipping in and out in traffic and parking lots - It's going to take some adjusting. So for now, parallel parking is out!
Swim season is over and our team was undefeated. I got thrown in the pool after our win Wednesday night, very refreshing. I am officially on Spring Break now. We're heading to my parents' for Easter - high hopes that Jeff and his family will join us Sunday - and then a relaxing two days before we head off to Cleveland. More exciting details about that later.
Roman is getting to be such a big boy. He talks nonstop, just like his Mama. He is also getting close to obsessive about poop. He doesn't want to do it, he lies when it's in his diaper, and he's concerned about eating or drinking things that may cause it. For example, I made the mistake of mentioning that he couldn't have prune juice because we save it for when he needs to poop. Now he points to any dark juice and asks if it will make him poop. The other day he leaned over at breakfast, peered into Daddy's bowl of cereal, and asked if Daddy was eating poop. Really! After break we're throwing underwear on him and starting training in earnest. Daycare will follow along, so we'll see! I expect lots of laundry. I leave you with a most adorable photo taken April 1st of my two favorite guys.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
I was asked about teacher's unions, which, unfortunately, I am a member of. The reason I remain a member and do not, because of personal beliefs, pay dues is because of the line of work I am in. I am a dues-paying member of the PCEA for one reason only - because the clientele I work with could damage my entire professional career with one complaint. I greatly fear one wayward comment by an angry or revenge-seeking 12-year-old and I would have no defense but my good word. And we all know that historically, accusatory children are given more preference than a teacher.
So if it weren't for that, I would have no need for my union. I went to one union meeting for a contract renegotiation and had to walk out to calm down, I was so angry with the spewing. I'm of the firm Republican belief that you rise and fall based on your abilities, and you succeed based on your own hard work, not by any assistance from a union. I do not use my health care, Doug's is better. I do not plan on my pension as a given - Doug and I assume there won't be any Social Security by the time we retire, so a pension is not on my radar. It's nice to have my breaks, but I work close to 60-70 hours a week (even including breaks and summers!) anyway. I teach because I love working with the kids and I love the subject matter I am talking about.
Now, historically it was important to have standardized pay, hours, and work atmospheres for factories and the like, and I support that. But teaching is a strange lot; anything run & paid for by the people through state government should not also be unionized.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
But worse--prepare yourself. Doug's former employer closed its doors with a BANG at 11:45am with an all-hands meeting announcement. The owner, Bob, had been trying to buy back the manufacturing plant for some time from his partners (Meridian) and it just wasn't happening. He decided to close up, move some of the current projects to the new company (where Doug works now) and say "sayonara" to the mess in Detroit. How absolutely horrible. Every single person there, from CAD designers, program managers, to sales and accounting, are out of work. Well, sales and accounting are employed for 2 more weeks to do all the closeups and transfers, THEN they're out of a job. The only three people still employed by Bob are Doug and his 2 coworkers. Scary. Feels like we dodged a bullet. Automotive is going down the sh&$%er, folks.
My parents-in-law are back from traveling the SW and something my mother-in-law said was interesting. We keep hearing on the news that we're out of recession, that jobs are growing and unemployment is going down, and MIL says that's very true from what they saw, everywhere else but Michigan. That's what comes from basing an economy totally on one product, and allowing unions too strong of a hold on said economy. I understand that people who have put their time into a company expect something in return based on hiring agreements, etc., but the damn pensions and health insurance and God knows what else is bleeding this state to death. Themselves and their generation may be set until they die, but the future of Michigan is bleak. Nobody new coming in, and existing large companies laying off or closing altogether.
A union worker was quoted in the paper a few months back as saying that he was being denied the "American Dream" by his automaker company. He explained what that American Dream was - a nice home, a vacation home up North, and a boat. Honest to God, he felt he was entitled to that. Disgusting.
So anyway... Monday will bring interesting things, as Doug is curious who from the old company (sales and accounting) may show up at the new company to finish things off. Only 4 more days until my break, too, thank goodness. Doug's grad class will be done a week from Tuesday, swimming is done Wednesday night, and we can get back to normal!
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Roman has a new passion - Winnie the Pooh. Not to the level of his trains yet, but he sings the Tigger song constantly and we are different characters - most the time I am Kanga and he is Roo, although tonight I was Pooh and Daddy was Eeyore. We alternate "The Many Adventures of" and "Tigger Movie" every day. Roman's phrases are all grown up now, too. We here "That's alright, Mama" and "Of course!" Another favorite is "oh, all right." He insists on doing things himself. He closes his door to take his clothes off, and last night told me to stand in the hall while he brushed his teeth. Sunday afternoon he put himself to bed for quiet time, it cracked us up. Took off his shoes, told us goodnight, and went to bed with a book. Didn't nap, but it was cute.
My mentee and his wife had a girl, Kaelyn Elizabeth. She was 4 lbs so stayed in hospital for awhile. All is good and besides constant feedings, they are all doing well. Patrick is in charge of 10pm and 1am feedings, so he's pretty tired.
Lastly, tomorrow evening we are going out to test drive a newer car for me - an Aztek. Doug will take my Focus. Gas isn't going to get any cheaper, so it's time he drive the communter and I get the one that will pull the popup.