Friday, September 21, 2012

Politics Schmolitics

I have tried to stay away from this topic. It can get heated, cause anger, and generally get messy. I didn't want to mar this site with something so divisive. Avery is really cute, and politics are anything but.

However, I simply cannot stay silent any longer. If you don't like what I have to say, you are welcome to leave. No one is making you read this, or be my friend.

We live in Iowa, and it is currently a swing state. We are seeing more negative ads, candidate appearances, and fundraising events than other areas. As per usual, I am ready for the debates, and election day. However, the ads, the mis-information each candidate slings at each other, and the posts on Facebook, Twitter, and the Internet in general can go away now.

I am a registered Democrat, but don't always vote with the ticket. In fact I voted for Governor Branstad (R) during the last election, as I truly felt he would do more good for our state than the incumbent Democratic Governor Culver.

I agree with many issues on both sides. What I cannot stand is the party platform that each candidate must abide by to get funding, court voters, and have the backing of the "party". Mitt Romney used to be a Massachusetts Moderate, and this campaign has changed that. Obama is Obama. What {or who} is a socially liberal, fiscally conservative, woman supposed to vote for?

I believe that welfare is broken, and being taken advantage of by many of the people it is intended to help. I really feel that the true victims are the children of said individuals, who have no choice in the matter. That whole argument that "I have to take a urine test to have a job and contribute to your welfare, so you should take a urine test to get it"? Yeah, that makes sense, and I agree with it... until a kid is denied food and shelter because the parent is on drugs, or refuses to work. Then it gets messy for me. I still don't know where exactly I stand, but it is a discussion worth having.

I believe in Gay Marriage. Love is love. Gay people are entitled to the same civil liberties I am. Marry who you want. Save the argument: I said "who" not "what". No one should be able to marry a toaster.

I believe that the government needs to be smaller, cut spending, and reduce the national debt. In my estimation, neither side has a perfect fix for this mess.

I believe in a woman's right to choose. And when did the word "choice" become synonymous with "pro"? I choose that I don't want an abortion for me. Granted, I have never been in a situation of an unwanted pregnancy or rape, where I needed to make the choice. I hope my daughter is never in that situation either. A woman should be in charge of her own body, not the government. Avery should be able to make her own choices Seeing this below really burns my ass.

I have seen it on my commute a few times. Again, "CHOICE" does not automatically = abortion. 

As with most people, I am forced to choose which cause is the most important to me and vote with that. Not one candidate hits all of my beliefs, and I don't know that I will see one in my lifetime. What really bugs me, is that I don't think I am alone. I cannot be the only 30 something woman who is fiscally conservative, and socially liberal. Where are these candidates? They don't follow the party platform, so they don't get backing, funding, or media coverage. They are average Joe's and Jane's, and they probably govern locally and on a small scale. They get elected because of their common sense, but rarely ever rise to higher profile politics. 

Don't even get me started on Congress. When did it become a bad thing to compromise and work together? Are none of our Representatives and Senators married? Married couples compromise and work together everyday, because they love each other. I am not asking each member of Congress to love each other, but come on, love AMERICA. 

Ok, I think my rant is over, and I am sure you can tell which way I am going to vote. That is ok with me, I usually don't keep it too close to my vest. Unless I am at work. Work is not the place to discuss politics...or religion.

Note: These opinions are all mine. Tony and I don't always agree on politics, and we have some excellent discussions on issues. We agree more than we disagree, but everything stated here is my own. 

Also: I love that I am married to a free-thinking, incredibly smart, liberally conservative man. He is also very attractive!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sewing & Craft Nook

The first part to getting the nursery set up is to remove all the current stuff in the there now. 

Since we are converting our guest room to the nursery, that means I need to move all my sewing/craft/art supplies out of there. My parents were in town this past weekend, and my mom and I set to work on setting up a new space for me in the unfinished basement. 

My priorities were to make a functional space for as little money as possible. I prefer to spend our budget in the nursery, rather than a temporary work space in an unfinished basement. 

We had the tv stand from Tony's college furnishings. We inherited the table from a friend. The tall cabinet was from an office move, and the countertop was from a job site where the homeowner upgraded to granite. 

Total cost so far: $0 dolla dolla bills y'all!


Starting to come together

This is all in progress, and there are still items to be moved down there, but it has helped my motivation a ton to get this kind of start. 

I got some power strips, extension cords, and organizing containers to hold my pins, needles, thread, bobbins, etc. 

Total cost so far: about $50

Here are some other shots of our weekend. 

Avery was so excited her Papa and Memaw were in town. She knew right away that Papa had some candy for her too. 

My mom is the best. She comes down here, helps with Avery {who adores her}, cleans my house, makes me laugh, and helps me with projects that I have been too lazy tired to do. I do not know what I would do without her. She is truly the best.

Papa telling Avery to step on a bug. Hilarity ensues...

More progress posts and pictures on the basement and nursery as I get more work done. 

{It looks like I might need my mom to come down every weekend from now until the baby is here.}

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Entering the 3rd Trimester

Pregnancy this time around is different. Not only am I older {slightly}, but I am chasing a toddler. I am more sore, and uncomfortable already at 26 weeks. We have now entered the third trimester, it's getting real. Really real. 

Hormones are a b*tch. I am up, down, and all around. Poor Tony...sometimes I get mad at him, and he has no idea. I start to cry for no reason. I get over it, and he still has no idea. I am moody. It is better now, but I was emotional.


My sweet tooth is Out. Of. Control. I already inherited my dad's sweet tooth, the man eats candy like he is 12, and I can't get enough. Mike and Ikes, and Hot Tamales are my drug of choice. Oh, and Breyer's Reese chocolate peanut butter ice cream....and cookies. That's it though...I swear.

The waddle has started...and it is ugly. U. G. L. Y. you ain't got no alibi, you UGLY

 My hair is better this time around however. When I was pregnant with Avery, my naturally curly hair went frizzy, straight, and just gross. With this pregnancy, it is still curly, probably curlier, and is looking and behaving quite nice. I will take it! 

We started work on the nursery this weekend. I cleared out some of my sewing/wrapping/craft/art supplies to the basement, where I am creating a nook. My mom and I bought fabric to make drapes for the room, and I have more of a plan. Pictures soon, promise. 

{not gonna lie, it is weird for me to post without pictures. This pregnant, hormonal, waddler does not care though. Sorry!}

Friday, September 14, 2012

Playdates and Playhouses

Avery told me the other day that her baby wanted pasta for dinner. Funny since that is Avery's favorite meal. 

I told her to go ahead and put her baby in the booster seat and we would cook her pasta. 

Once I told her that, she decided that baby wanted to help her cook too. 

So we got out the cheese. Doesn't every meal use cheese as it's main ingredient? Avery's does ;)

Somehow after this, Avery lost interest in cooking, and what Baby wanted to eat. Imagine that. 

A while ago, our friends were in a bind and needed us to watch their little girl Claire for a few hours on a Thursday night. We were happy to help, and thought Avery would love to have playmate over for a few hours. 

The girls having some dinner. 

A few days later Claire was over again. This time was an all day playdate with Avery, while we went to the Iowa State football game. 

First we had a little project to do though. 

Our very fun and generous neighbors gave us this playhouse for Avery. Their girls don't use it anymore, and they were upgrading to a larger play set for their backyard. 

We bribed our friends with breakfast to help us before we left to go to the football game and tailgate. It was some heavy lifting, but they had it up and back together in record time. Having our neighbors dad, who built it, help also greatly increased productivity! 

It is a very welcome addition to our backyard. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cooking at Casa Bower

I have been cooking a lot more recently. Cooking more new recipes to be exact. 

Tony got me this for my birthday in June, and almost every weekend, I flip through and look for something to make. 

A lot of it takes more time than we have in the evenings once we get home from work, but I did manage to make the fried chicken tacos. I didn't follow it exactly, but they turned out pretty good. I would recommend them. Tony was a big fan. 

I also found a recipe for biscuits and gravy to make for breakfast. It was so easy! Read THIS for the recipe. I altered it a bit, and browned up uncooked sausage. It was easy, fast, and delicious.

Another recipe I have made is a new one. I just made it up. It turned out really good. Tony wanted a chicken  gravy open face sandwich. I will try to re-create the recipe for you, best as I can. It was pretty easy to do, and just what we wanted on a cool drizzly day. 

Bower Chicken Gravy Open face Sandwich

  • 20 ounces of chicken diced and cooked. I used a tablespoon of canola oil in a skillet.
  • 16 ounces of chicken stock/broth
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • fresh ground pepper :: to taste
  • Jane's Krazy mixed up salt :: to taste
  • Rent a Chef seasoning {found at hy-vee} :: to taste
Once the chicken was cooked, I added the stock/broth and brought it to a boil. I shook in the flour and started to stir. I added the milk at the end to thicken it up a bit. The seasoning was added along until I got the taste I was looking for. 

I had potatoes boiling while I was making this so I could have it with homemade mashed potatoes. I would say the whole meal took about 30 min. to make, so this is totally doable for us on a weeknight. 

This will definitely be added to our rotation of meals, since it was easy and good. It even got the Avery seal of approval. 


Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Day in the Life of Casa Bower

A blog I read, Where we can live like Jack and Sallyis doing a feature with other bloggers to recap a day in their life. I thought it sounded interesting enough that I wanted to join in. 

Below is a recap of Friday 9/7/12.

Here is what a day in the life of Casa Bower looks like:
6:00 Alarm goes off, and I hit snooze several times. I finally make it to the shower around 6:30.

Avery wakes up around 6:50 and wants books.
This kid loves books, and she would be in heaven if we read to her all day long. She is truly my daughter. 

We dress in ISU gear for the day in prep for tomorrows big game

This is my business casual, Cyclone appropriate, semi maternity wear. I worked with what I had. 

We watch the news in the morning, and I catch up on Obama's speech from the DNC the night before...

We are now running behind schedule, and make a promise to leave the house earlier next week. It is past 7:30 at this point. I drop Avery off at her daycare where all the kids are in their Cyclone or Hawkeye gear.

and I rock out on the way to work...

At work now and it is catching up on emails, and going over the list of houses I currently am coordinating. More emails and for trim ideas on a new house that is under construction.

I start to work on stair spindle designs for the same house. It is a "T" stair case with open railing and 2 sets of steps from the main floor to the upstairs, and I need to work out the pattern to make sure it flows.

Around noon, I grab lunch to eat at my desk in hopes of leaving early for our block party at home. I was lazy and grabbed what was closest to my office. 

At 1:30 I go out to our housing development to visit with trim carpenters on the house they are currently trimming out to go over the stair spindle layout, trim ideas for the mantle head above the front door, and other details I am in charge of.

I also stop in and check on one of the model homes in case it shows this weekend to make sure it looks kept up. Sometimes other Realtors show it and things get tweaked and can look funny. You would be amazed at what we find in some of the model homes after showings. 

Back at the office it is more paperwork and emails.

I get an email that I have been tagged in photos from Avery's daycare on Facebook, so I check in and see all the fun that she has been having. I copy a few and pass them on to Tony since he doesn't do Facebook.

At this point it is not looking like I will get to leave early as I wait to hear back from a vendor about an appointment with a new homeowner for Monday morning. I was hoping to have it confirmed by 4 so I could leave, but no dice. 

Around 4:55 I leave the office to pick up Avery and get home for our block party. 

We get home around 5:35 and get our food and gear ready for the party. 

I add the peppers to my pasta salad that I was too tired to do the night before at 10:30 pm.

Avery has a snack while I get our stuff ready. She sits on my N/A beer. 

Classy momma right here, I am nothing if not classy.

Around 6, Tony gets home and we head over across the street to join the party. 

This is the first one that we have had in the {almost} 3 years we have lived here. We made it a pre-tailgate party in honor of the big in-state rivalry game that weekend.

We put Avery down around 8, and brought the monitor back out with us. We stayed until around 9, and then we called it a night. 

So that is a somewhat typical day in the life. Rushing to get out the door both at home and work. 

The Cyclones won on Saturday by the way! Whoo-Hoo!