Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Raising Minimum Wage

A major component of the Obama/Biden economic strategy is to raise the minimum wage (don't take my word for it, it is clearly stated on the Obama website). Let's take a moment to digest just how exactly an increase in minimum wage would affect our economy.

How will employers pay for an increase in the minimum wage? Do we honestly think that businesses such as Wal-Mart, Target and all our grocery stores will just eat those added payroll expenses out of their own pockets? Of course they won't! They will either need to lay off employees, cut back hours or RAISE PRICES to compensate for a higher minimum wage. The alternative for most small businesses would mean going out of business completely. Meanwhile, there are those Americans who get paid a salary. Americans earning a salary will not benefit from a minimum wage increase whatsoever. Higher prices and inflation will make a $50,000 a year salary seem like much less. As for those who will be receiving higher wages due to this increase, well their budget won't get any better either. Higher pay doesn't matter much if you just have to spend more!

I just don't see how fewer jobs, higher prices and a decrease in the value of our dollar is going to help anybody.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Speech Therapy for Bradlee

So, as most of you know, Bradlee has no desire to speak. I have been doing my best, but it hasn't been working. I took her in to have her development evaluated, and sure enough, she is 1.34 months delayed in her speech (I actually thought she was farther behind than that). Anyway, I went in today to talk to the speech therapist to set up some goals and what not. The therapist will come to our house every Tuesday to work with her for half an hour, and then she will attend a playgroup with her peers on Fridays. I hope it helps!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Thumb Sucker!

I have been trying to get a picture of Brock sucking his thumb all week, and I finally got it! Most people know that I sucked my thumb until I was like six. Hopefully, we will be able to break him of it a few years before that, but in the meantime...I think it is super cute.

I Got Tagged!

So, here's how it works...You are supposed to take pictures of all these items or places in your house AS IS! That is why this is called "KEEPIN' IT REAL". No cleaning or tidying...JUST TAKE THE PICTURES.
Favorite Pair of Shoes: These are my favorites, but I probably wear them the least. Bradlee is too freakin' fast!
Kitchen Sink:
Nothing to report.

Not that exciting, but still kinda gross all at the same time.

Laundry Room:
I made sure I took a close up of just the washer and dryer. We use this room for storage too, so it is pretty, um....let's just say...busy!

Any Bathroom in the House:
This is Bradlee and Brock's bathroom. It is also the only bathroom that you can really get a decent picture of.

What your child is doing right now:
Let me break this down for you. Apparently, while in the process of getting undressed, she decided she was going to get into something in the kitchen. Once she saw that she was caught, she just stopped where she was and acted like nothing was out of the ordinary. Good thing I caught her!

My Side of the Closet:
YIKES! These are all my fat and pregnancy clothes still. I haven't brought all my regular clothes up from the basement yet.

Favorite Room in the House:
I used to hate being downstairs, but after spending a lot of time down there this summer, I have come to appreciate it. I know having the treadmill out in the open like that is ghetto, but I like to watch movies while I run, so get off my fat back!
I tag: Hannah, Lindsey, Megan and Jennifer.

Close Call...

So, this is what happens when B. Rock is not properly secured in the bouncer. A couple more seconds and he would have worked himself completely out!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bradlee Update

Bradlee is finally struggling with this whole new baby thing. She has mixed emotions about him. She has recently found out that is pretty easy to drag him around on the hard wood floors when he is on a blanket. The other day I went into the living room to get Brock from where I had left him, and he wasn't there! Bradlee had dragged him into the kitchen with her to watch tv. However, she HATES it when he cries. Usually when he cries, she will tell him, "that's no no!" A couple nights ago when she was already in bed trying to sleep, Brock started crying really loud. All of a sudden we hear Bradlee yelling at him from her room, "HEY!! Shh!" She just kept yelling that over and over again. I thought it was pretty funny.

Brock Update

Brock is rolling over like crazy now. He does it all the time, but he hates being on his stomach, and he hasn't figured out how to roll back over. It is pretty traumatic for him. I spend much of the time rolling him back over to his back. He is also laughing all the time now. We have lots of people tell us that he is the most smiley baby they have ever seen.

Our Weekend

Friday night we had an Elders Quorum activity. They had a couple Wiis set up with projectors and big screens. There was also a BBQ. Tyler was super stressed out about the activity all week, but there was a really good turn out. I think it went really well.

Saturday night we went to the Greek Festival. Greek food...not my favorite. Tyler said, "Gyros are okay. They wouldn't be my first choice...or my twelfth".

After that we celebrated our friend Heather's birthday. They had a chocolate fountain and lots of yummy food to dip in it. It was really fun.

Here are the Cuppys, Bangerters and Tyler at the Greek Festival.

The Birthday Girl! She's gonna love this picture!

Mandy and Michael. Clearly, Michael had been enjoying some chocolatey goodness.

Bishop and Brock. Bishop spent most of his night either holding Brock or reading to Bradlee. It was pretty cute.

Friday, September 12, 2008

McCain on Health Care Reform

Let me preface this post by saying, that Tyler and I are painfully aware of the flaws in our country's current health care trends. We pay $650 a month in premiums for a $4,000 deductible. After we have met our deductible, we pay 20% of any additional medical expenses. As you may or may not know, we had a baby this year. I talked to our health care providers on Wednesday and, in total, we owe nearly $6,000 in medical bills. Keep in mind, this is in addition to the $650 we pay in premiums every month. I tell you this because I feel my opinion is more valid if it is made clear that our current health care system is not working for the McLachlan family either. In fact, we will be selling a car to pay for all our expenses.

"John McCain Will Reform Health Care Making It Easier For Individuals And Families To Obtain Insurance. An important part of his plan is to use competition to improve the quality of health insurance with greater variety to match people's needs, lower prices, and portability. Families should be able to purchase health insurance nationwide, across state lines" (http://www.johnmccain.com/convention.htm).

Feel free to research McCain's ideas for yourself, but in a nutshell, he will enable American citizens to have more of a choice regarding their health care plan. They would be allowed to cross state lines in order to find a plan more customized to their individual needs. This will also increase competition between insurance providers resulting in more competitive premiums.

Tim Johnson, an ABC News correspondent and Democratic enthusiast, had this to say regarding the McCain health care plan,

"It's much easier for people to have group insurance through their employer who does the hard legwork in negotiating with the insurance companies and then presents you with some choices. The idea that individuals are going to have enough knowledge, and enough savvy, and enough insight, and frankly enough guts to make choices all by themselves is pretty much a pipe dream."

This view of the American people is an outrage! The idea that we as a people are neither educated nor resourceful enough to research and purchase our own health care plan is 100% asinine. It is this view that makes me the most scared of the realization of socialized health care. Many Democrats are pushing for this in our country. Because they believe we are not smart enough to make our own decisions, the government will step in and take away our right to choose by making our decisions for us. Where does it stop? How does this idea and trend separate our country from any other communist or socialist country? How will this effect the quality of health care providers in this country?

I would sacrifice any car or material possession any day of the week, rather than sacrifice my freedom to choose.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Celebrity Endorsements of Political Candidates

Last I checked, celebrities are not the most educated of individuals (unless an extensive knowledge of hard drugs and alcohol magically gives you that distinction), and they definitely don't know what it is like to raise a family on an average American salary. So, who are they to tell me who to vote for?

Don't get me wrong, I have just as many Kanye West songs downloaded as the next guy (edited, of course), but does wearing pink shirts and excessive use of the F word really make someone a suitable political endorsement? I think not.

If anything having the majority of celebrity endorsements is a sure reason not to vote for a particular candidate. The last thing we need is for Washington to be more like Hollywood.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New York City

Tyler went with his parents and Collin to New York City over Labor Day weekend. Tyler is a HUGE Yankees fan, and as you may or may not know, "The House that Ruth Built" will be torn down after this season. They are building a new stadium right across the street. Anyhow, the first thing on Tyler's bucket list was to visit Yankee Stadium, and as we are nearing the end of the stadium's last season, he had to go! His family was kind and supportive enough to make the trip with him. From what I hear, they had a ton of fun!!! CAUTION: Lots and lots of pictures... Time Square
Statue of Liberty

Manhattan Temple

Now...here is the whole reason for the trip! They all went to see a game at Yankee Stadium.

Derek Jeter

Biggest fans ever!

Here is the new stadium, located just across the street.

Here you can see both stadiums side by side.

On Monday morning Tyler and Collin went back to the stadium to take a tour. Here is the view from the press box.

Here's Tyler catching a fly ball in the outfield.

Tyler in the dugout.

Tyler's up on deck!

Tory's Tunes