Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Library

I am feeling very political today. I found out this morning that Governor Ted Strickland's proposed budget for 2009-2011 includes cuts to many, many worthwhile and vital Ohio programs.

The ELI (Early Learning Initiative) will be eliminated. There will be cuts to mental health funding. Physically and mentally handicapped individuals will not receive as much aid as they currently do. It sickens me that the people who need help the most are the people who are losing the small amount of help they already have.

One issue stuck out as directly affecting me and my family is the 50% cut to the Public Library Fund. This would cause many libraries to close, cut hours, cut programs. We attended a program today and the librarian told us they already have a book buying freeze. This cut would eliminate way more than just new books.

I emailed the Governor, my representatives and the budget committee members. I also emailed the director of the Toledo Lucas County Library to see if there are any plans for a rally to bring more attention to this issue for those who don't know what is going on.

The budget needs to be finalized by June 30. There is only seven days to make your voice heard, so email or call if you feel strongly about this.

In case you are curious, this is the email I sent. Usually, when I write about issues I send form letters. I'm lazy like that, and it's all politicians do in return anyway. This time, I actually wrote my own letter. Must be a special cause to me, eh?

I am saddened to hear of the proposed cuts to the Public Library Fund in the Governor's 2009-2011 proposed budget. I understand that cuts need to be made somewhere, but I feel strongly that this is not the place to make them. The library system is not a luxury, an extra piece of fluff that can be cut out. The library is important to many people for many reasons, myself and my family included.

With the economy in the state that it is, our state can not afford more job loss. Our unemployment rate is nearing 11%. It is at the highest point since October 1983. Cutting funding to the PLF would not only add to the unemployment in our state, it would also limit access to necessary resources for those who are already unemployed to look for work, including the Internet and resume writing materials.

The library system is important to families. I have a four year old daughter who is already reading. If not for the story times, programs and reading materials available to her, I do not think she would be this advanced. Being summer, a loss of programming would hit us especially hard. While I am lucky enough to have my husband gainfully employed, times are still tough for us. The library affords us the opportunity to attend programming that is both fun and educational without taking money away from our budget. Just today, we attended a program at the Sylvania Library which kept her entertained and out of the ninety degree heat. She absolutely loved it and is ready to go back next Tuesday to see what the new program is.

I realize making a state budget is hard work. I realize there are cuts that need to be made. Please don't make those cuts to our library system. Libraries are not a luxury - they are a necessity. Don't take this valuable resource away from our families.

Thank you,
Jamie Ritchie

Friday, June 19, 2009

I'm taking my toys and going home!

Or, in Ivy's case, she's leaving and going to Guh Guh's.

Guh Guh is my mom. It started when Ivy couldn't say Grandma... but now all the other Grandma's are "Grandma" and my mom is still Guh Guh.

Ivy plays ToonTown online. I wish I would have never let her start playing, but she loves it and I supervise her while she's playing, so what's done is done. She loves her some ToonTown so it makes a fantastic bargaining chip. Not listening? No ToonTown. Won't pick up her toys? No ToonTown. Won't give me a massage put her plate in the sink? No ToonTown.

So last Sunday, she wasn't listening and the computer was shut off for the day. She huffed away, then came back and asked for a pen and paper. Then she huffed away again.

She returned with a paper rolled up like a scroll and told me solemnly, "Tomorrow, you have to take me to Guh Guh's."

I could see where this was headed, so I reminded her that she had swim class the next day.

"Fine, you have to take me the next day."

"But the next day you have T-ball AND swim class."

HUGE SIGH. "Fine. Next week."

She gave me the paper and told me not to open it until she left forever, but of course I did. And then I scanned it. And then I posted it on the internet so I can make sure I have a record of it for the future.

Click image to see it larger. It's freaking hysterical.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Anticlimactic much?

Sooooo.... three months later, here's the follow up. Totally not important anymore, but I know y'all are hanging onto the edges of your collective seats.

Ivy was obsessed with the toilet. For a good couple months, whenever she couldn't find something she would ask, with tears in her eyes, "It's not in the toilet, is it?"

Of course, it never was, and she is basically out of this phase. At the time I wrote the last post it was really a major concern to me. She was SO preoccupied with the toilet. It was actually disruptive to our existence. But things have balanced out and we rarely get asked if something is in the toilet. Ahhh, kids.

Sunday, March 08, 2009


I have a post brewing in my head, but I need to post this story first, as I THINK it is the cause of the next post.  Clear as mud?  Okay then, just listen to the story.

About a month ago, Ivy and I went to Cici's.  As mentioned before, she always gets a toy out of the machines when we leave.  This particular trip, she got a bracelet that was made of little teddy bear beads, maybe half the size of your pinky nail, if that.  Teeny tiny.  In the car, she was pulling on it and snapped the elastic.  She was sad, but was okay once she realized she could play with the teddy bears.

I really thought nothing of it, as she is FOUR YEARS OLD and has never been a child that mouthed things a ton.  So we came home, I settled down to watch Guiding Light in Erin's room and she played in the living room.  Next thing I know, she's in Erin's room, saying she can't find the teddy bears because she swallowed them.


Apparently, she put them in this little horn that she has and was going to try to blow them out.  When she inhaled the big breath to then blow the bears out, she sucked them in instead and swallowed them.  She was soooo unbelievably upset.  I was worried she was going to die instantly of lead poisoning, being pieces of a  made-in-china-only-cost-a-quarter-bracelet had just been eaten.  I called some people for advice and we all concluded the bears would pass on their own.  So then I had to explain THAT to my child who actually said she was going to go puke so she could get the bears out.  

We had a brief anatomy lesson about small "intenines" and large "intenines" and Ivy learned that everything you eat comes out in your poop.  And then she asked me to get the bears out of her poop.  I politely declined, in case you were wondering.  I didn't think the teddy bears were worth it.  Were it my wedding ring, or a million dollars or something, I may have considered.  But not for two plastic teddy bears.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I quit

I've smoked on and off since I worked at Six Flags the summer after my senior year.  That's nine years.  I'm quitting on Monday.

It started as a financial decision.  Nathan's child support just jumped from around $330 a month to $980 a month.  First of all, holy shit, man.  We have to find $650 extra dollars a month.  While it seems like he makes good money, the more you make the more you spend.  There's the health insurance we can actually afford now, the 401K he can contribute to.  But there's the day to day expenses, too.... the preschool tuition, the house payment, the two cars we need to have.  My lease is up in April, so if we can reduce the payment on my car, that will be a big plus.  But if we both quit smoking, that will save about $7 a DAY.  That's over $200 a month.  And without all those trips to the gas station for cigarettes, we probably won't spend as much on other things, like coffee.  So it will definitely be a big help.

Lately, though, the health thing has been weighing on my mind, too.  Don't get me wrong, I've never been ignorant enough to deny that smoking is bad for you.  But taking a step back and looking at all the people in my life who have been affected by cancer is really quite devastating.  Not all of them smoked either.  Grandpap, way back in 8th grade.  Grandma.  Uncle Ernie.  Aunt Marge.  Uncle Thom.  Bob Pay.  Grandpa.  My odds look slim.  Why raise the chances by putting poison in my body?  Just last week, Andrea's sister in law had a tumor removed from her brain.  From two inches inside of her brain.  She has a metal plate in her head because they had to remove part of her skull.  She is 25 years old.  I mean, GOD.  How can things like that happen to young people who don't make bad, unhealthy choices?

I thought I would write this all out so that the eight people who read this can hold me accountable.  I don't want to die in 10 years.  I want to see my baby grow up.  I'm not going to consciously put that in jeopardy any longer.  I know there are other things that need to change in my life, too, but I have to do this one step at a time.  I think this is a good first step to take.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Good thing she's still innocent

The scene: Leaving Cici's Pizza with Andrea after lunch.  Ivy always gets one of those quarter toys out of the machine when we leave.  Today, she had gotten a tiny monkey.  Here's what she had to say about him:

"Oh, my monkey is just so cute.  He is so tiny.  And he is unbreakable, because he is made of rubber.  RUBBERS NEVER BREAK!!"

Uh, sorry, kid, I'm sure there are plenty of people in the world who who beg to differ on that one.  Don't worry, I didn't explain that to her.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Happy Birthday, Husband

Nathan's birthday was yesterday.  We had a really nice day as a family.... well, I had to do an audit in the morning, but after I got home, it was a nice day.  Ivy helped me decorate Nathan's cupcakes, then we went out to eat and bowling.  Apparently that is the new birthday tradition around here, since it's the same thing we for my birthday last year.

On to the cupcakes.  I have these brilliant ideas in my head that just don't come out right.  Let's start off by saying that Ivy decided the frosting should be pink.  In my head, it was white, so it matched, but I was happy to let her help and just have the frosting (the yummy homemade delicious frosting) clash.  BUT, I have decided I am going to take the Wilton cake decorating class so that I don't keep embarassing myself with the lack of decorating skills.  Things tase good, but just aren't so pretty.  Take, for example, what YOU may inturpret as a steaming pile of pink dog poo.  Really, it's just the first cupcake I frosted, before I said "ohmygodIneedtouseadifferenttip!"

After that, things looked up.  Here's the display both on fire and not.  I couldn't afford as many candles as Nathan needs these days, so I just went with 12.  I loved how they matched my like fondant streamers.


Happy 37th birthday to the love of my life!