Sunday, April 17, 2011

Homies Helping Homies

I can't avoid it any longer. The kitchen counters are in serious need of decluttering, and the pantry and the fridge need to be culled. Because I'm determined not to let my children skate through their youth thinking they get a free pass with the housework, I request their assistance quite frequently. Getting them to cooperate, though, is usually more trouble than it sometimes feels worth. For every one thing they seem to clean or put away, three other things revert back to a state of entropy. Plus, there's the battle that almost always ensues between myself and one or both of the girls. And I'm too tired to continue engaging over even the smallest things (please throw away your granola bar wrappers). Battle fatigue has set in with no chance of immediate reprieve. So when I get a child to cooperate, I'm happy. When they take the initiative to go above and beyond, I'm pleasantly confounded and extremely grateful.

Enter Sofia.

This morning I tasked her with clearing off the kitchen counter. I was putting away pantry things and left out dishes, she was supposed to throw away the banana peels and wipe the chocolate syrup off the counter. But then she decided she wanted to be a super duper helper today, and put away her toys that were in the kitchen, then help me wipe down the breakfast bar. Wow!

As we were spraying and wiping she said to me, "helping each other is a really good thing, isn't it, mommy?"
To which, of course I replied, "indeed it is, Fi." And then she said, "Homies helping homies. That's how it should be, huh?" I laughed, and once again agreed. "Absolutely."

As I feed Gwennie (and work on this blog post waiting to see if she's finished or not), Sofia continues amaze me in the kitchen. She's put stuff away in the pantry, swept and is currently rockin' the wetjet on the kitchen floor. All of her own volition.

I love it when my homies come to my aid. And I love it even more when those homies call me "mom".

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Win a 2011 Maclaren Triumph Stroller

Baby Gizmo is giving away a 2011 Maclaren Triumph Stroller for this weeks giveaway. It's a great site chock full of reviews on all kinds of baby items. I just recently found it but wished I had sooner!

Anyways, check them out to see how you can enter to win this lightweight stroller. Hurry, contest ends tomorrow. Don't forget to use my name in the referral space and GOOD LUCK!

I want to win a Maclaren Stroller!

Friday, April 8, 2011

You're Toooooo Late: Military Pay Already Effected by Budget Impasse

Military members have been anxiously keeping their eyes on the news recently to see how the impending Government Shutdown of 2011 will play out. There's a lot at stake here. The very least of which has anything to do with ruined vacation plans (due to National Parks being closed). Our Troops and their families going to really feel it where it hurts- in their paychecks.

Let's get one thing straight, right off the top. Military members will still be paid for their service. They just won't receive any of it after April 9th if the government shuts down Midnight, April 8th, for however long the shutdown lasts.

Half the day is over, but apparently, it's too late to avert any financial fall-out for our Troops (many of whom are currently deployed to war zones, helping to pave the way for Democracy in other countries).

Military pay statements are out, and from what I can tell, they've already been cut in half (meaning they've only been paid from the 1st of April until today). How long will it take for them to reverse this if Congress reaches an agreement by midnight tonight? Who knows. Anyone with experience getting back pay from the military knows what a pain in the ass it is.

Here is the official line from the Defense Financial and Accounting Services (the ones who officially handle the paychecks):

Government Shutdown Impacts on Pay
Due to the government shutdown, the Department of Defense has no legal 
authority to pay any personnel - military or civilian - for the days during which the 
government is shut down.  The shutdown will not affect payments to retirees and 
annuitants as those funds come from a retirement trust fund.  Below is the effect 
the government shutdown will have on active duty military, civilian personnel, 
retirees and annuitants, and DoD contractors. 

Military Active and Reserve military members will be paid on time for pay earned prior to 
the expiration of the CRA (midnight April 8) -- approximately half of their normal 
mid-month payment.   Active duty military and on-duty reservists cannot be paid 
for duty performed after the CRA expired, until additional legislation is enacted.  
Once another CRA or an appropriations act is signed into law, normal 
disbursement of pay will resume for pay earned after employees return to work. 
Military members who perform duty during the shutdown will be entitled to 
retroactive payments. 

Check out this link for the full FAQ: DFAS Government Shutdown FAQ

So, here's the bottom line- from a Veteran of the USAF, and current military Spouse, thanks, Congress for nothing. 2012 is an election year, and I damn sure will remember.