October 2, 2015

Then The Claydough Turned One

Miss America happened, and then Clay turned one. My timeline for things is intense, yes?

Sickness hit our house just in time for Colt and Clay to get sick one right after the other. But, this is nothing new to families with kids; I am preaching to the choir there. Clay is a sad sickie. He is just sad. Puppy dog sad. Rip your heart out sad, and it was on his birthday. I tried so hard to do a cake smash and some other pictures all by myself, and he just sad there and sobbed. I think I might be confusing some of you. No fit throwing, just ugly girl crying THE WHOLE TIME.

Luckily, Colt stepped in. He was willing to do anything if I would let him go at that cake. As you can see, I took advantage of that. It kind of encouraged Clay to enjoy it a tad, but not the dream happiness you hope for. Eh. Oh well.

September 12, 2015

Miss America 2016

It's on Sunday at 9/8 Central. This year is a big deal, and I could write all kinds of "train of thought" blurbs, so be patient. I don't know what I want.

First and foremost
I want you to know that I went to San Antonio and threw my bikini on and did a little homage to Miss Congeniality on the stage that they filmed the swimsuit scenes. It's exactly like Sandra's. 
Or it is exactly Sandra... 
Me after security told me to take my rocking bikini body elsewhere. 

Who I am putting in as my Top 15
I have given a lot of thought to this, and even still, there are about 3 I am really unsure about. SO night of, maybe I make a gut decision and you will see a change in my final results. 

New Jersey
South Carolina
*again, subject to change. I go with my gut, and sometimes my gut needs the stress of the last min judgement call. 

Oh man. I am nervous. Here are some factors that went into my decisions. Past winners of Teen Titles, one, Florida was Miss America's Outstanding Teen. Preliminary winners. Usually, picking them is a solid choice. New Jersey, Tennessee and Alabama were the Quality of Life finalist. What that translates to (for my own point of view) is and award for their work with their platform. OR a small glimpse into their interview. For me, someone that has it going on with their platform the reflects a lot of work ethic and substance as a person. GREAT qualities for potentially nailing an interview.

Lets talk about Idaho for a min. I am not generally in the habit of listing my home state just for the sake of nostalgia. This time however, I have solid reasons. The number one being she was the Miss National Sweetheart last year. This pageant consists of the first runners up from each state so they have a chance to kind of play out a "what if" scenario. She is one of 12 contestants in the 2016 class that competed for the Miss National Sweetheart title. She has been on the radar of other's top lists, and frankly is just a very talented well rounded person. AND her platform is about vets and the military- one of the judges is Taya Kyle, the wife of Chris Kyle (American Sniper). I feel they will have a lot in common. Kevin O'Leary is also one of the judges. Being a BIG shark tank fan myself,  I can see his style of questioning will work in her favor because she has treated her preparation for Miss America much like investing in herself as a brand. Really all I am saying is, don't discredit her. Idaho is ramping up the pageant world lately.   

For those of you who wish to try your hand at predicting for yourself, here is a copy of my prediction sheet
 I made for this year: 
*It's also really late for me, so if you find some typos, I don't care. Use white out.
 I can't spell worth beans, this is no secret to anyone. 

Start with the top 15/16 and as they call the actual top 15, fill in the "result" column. THEN use the top 15 to narrow down to your 12 and so on and so forth. DON'T Just fill the whole thing out. The point is to play as you go. I will post how mine turned out next week, most likely Monday when I am confused and disgruntled it didn't go my way, because I never actually pick the winner.

The Preliminary winners have been filled out for you to help you have some educated guesses. The four points award hasn't been announced yet, so I left it blank. Impatient I am.

Even if you aren't into the Miss America Pageant, aren't you a little itty-bit curious how it will go down with Vanessa Williams as the head judge? It's not a year to miss as far as pageants go!

For those of you that are still with me here and need more information in order to be WELL INFORMED here are some pageant tidbits

All this information can be found at www.missamerica.org

National Judging Process

Miss America is both a business and a culturally specific brand that transcends being just a beauty pageant. Miss America herself is a critical member of the Miss America Organization marketing team and works to advance the business of scholarship and community service for women. The Miss America judging system distinguishes Miss America via a form of Olympic scoring where each contestant competes against ONLY herself.
Preliminary Competitions Scoring
The Miss America Preliminary Competitions and their weighted score values are:
  • Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit - 15%
  • Evening Wear - 20%
  • Talent - 35%
  • Private Interview - 25%
  • On-Stage Question – 5%
Finals Competition Scoring
The scoring for the Miss America Final Competition is weighted accordingly:
  • Composite Score - 25% (Top 15)
  • Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit - 10% (Top 15)
  • Evening Wear - 15% (Top 12)
  • Talent - 30%  (Top 10)
  • On-Stage Question - 20% (Top 7)

Top Five Final Ballot

Once all On-Stage competitions are complete; Talent, Swimsuit and Evening Wear plus the Composite Score, the auditors determine the Top Five contestants. At this phase, all previous points are discarded and each of the Top Five contestants now has zero points.  Each judge is then provided a Final Ballot to list the contestants in the order they believe the contestants should finish: 

1 st place vote is worth 10 points 
2 nd place vote is worth 5 points 
3 rd place vote is worth 3 points 
4 th place vote is worth 2 points 
5 th place vote is worth 1 point 

The points from each judges’ ranking are totaled, and these points alone determine the outcome of the pageant.


When did the Miss America Competition begin?
It began in 1921, when East Coast newspapers sent their city representatives to the Second Annual Fall Frolic as special guests. For more information, click here.
What is the Platform?
In 1989, the Miss America Organization founded the platform concept, which requires each contestant to choose an issue about which she cares deeply and that is of relevance to our country. Once chosen, Miss America and the state titleholders use their stature to address community service organizations, business and civic leaders, the media and others about their platform issues. Since 1989, Miss America titleholders have appeared at thousands of public speaking engagements and charitable events to generate awareness for a variety of causes, including homelessness, HIV/AIDS prevention, domestic violence, diabetes awareness, character education, literacy, etc.
What does Miss America do after she is selected?
After Miss America is selected she embarks on a year-long national speaking tour. As a national spokesperson and advocate, Miss America travels approximately 20,000 miles a month, to a different city every other day, addressing diverse audiences, increasing awareness and promoting her chosen platform.
How old do I have to be to compete in the Miss America system?
Contestants in the Miss America system are between the ages of 17 and 24. For more information on becoming a contestant in the Miss America system click here.
Can I represent my state at the national Miss America Competition more than once?
To become Miss America, a contestant must first win a local competition and then compete to represent her state, a process requiring personal commitment, hard work and talent. A woman may compete at the state level more than once, but may only represent her state in the national Miss America competition one time.
Is there an entry fee to compete in the Miss America system?
No, there is not an entry fee to compete in the Miss America system. For more information about becoming a contestant click here.
Is the Miss America program different than Miss USA?
Yes. In 1952, Catalina Swimsuits founded the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants as product promotion tools. Developed by the Miss America Organization, the Miss America program exists to provide personal and professional opportunities for young women to promote their voices in culture, politics and the community. Almost all contestants have either received, or are in the process of earning college or postgraduate degrees and utilize Miss America scholarship grants to further their educations. The Miss America Organization is the leading provider of scholarships for young women in the world. Although some young women compete in both Miss America and Miss USA, the two systems are completely separate.
Are scholarships available for those who are not awarded a title?
Yes. There are all types of scholarships available at the local, state and national levels of competition. Even if you do not win a title you are still eligible for scholarship assistance. The Miss America Organization is the leading provider of scholarships for young women in the world. Each year, the organization makes available millions in cash and tuition scholarship assistance.

July 4, 2015

Disneyland 2015

Guys, we went to Disneyland. To nobody's surprise, it was awesome! If I am feeling ambitious, I will write my own version of "how to" for children. For now this will be our journal entry of sorts. FYI, there are a lot of pictures to scan through so I will write here and then small captions below where needed. We went with the McKies which meant 3 grandchildren and lots of adults. I got told once by the cast members, so I think I was somewhere in between technically.

I did it all, matching shirts, brought the stroller, photopass the works. WORTH. IT. 

Things that won:
Cars Land. Slow clap Disney. Truly magical. Enough that my 4 year old that struggles with language woke up one morning and insisted that we go there and that he liked it. I don't ever get conversation like that with him really, and this made me tear up a little bit.

Pooh Bear. He is my son's hero. We brought his "love-ie" Pooh Bear and the experience is going to get it's own post. 

Single Rider line. Not sure how new this is, but I don't recall it from before. Awesome. 

This is the ultimate win.

Bubble Guns. You know that stop smoking comercial where the smoke becomes bubble instead. I feel like I lived the euphoric happiness of living in a land of bubbles floating everywhere. You are never too old for bubbles, and you are NEVER sorry you bought something that blows them for you. 

Because it was the Diamond celebration, they had all kinds of special commemorative items for sale, including a $2,000 pair of Mickey ears. I re-learned about myself that I like sparkly things. IF I had all the money in the world, I would buy all the sparkly things. 

*if you make it to the bottom, I included a gem.
I did make all the shirts, thanks for wondering

Loved all the photo-ops set up around the park.

One child left this ride with a fear of waterfalls, one child didn't mind it.

Colter is literally trying to determine if Lightning McQueen is alive or not. It was later noted that he is. 

First ride
First time meeting Sleeping Beauty for me. Moments before I sprayed
Dr. Pepper all over myself. This did not stop me, I am a die hard. 

This is our buddy Carl and his children. We were plane ride buddies.
Disney brings everyone together.

Colter and Jack are in the back- first roller coaster. He was convinced it was fun, this lasted the whole trip. 

I have saved this picture in so many places, there is no way I can lose it. This is why Disney will always have my vote.

I also made these shirts. I found character signatures and then drew them on there myself. I am in love with these. 

They took being monkeys in the monkey car very seriously. It was adorable!

Hands down his favorite ride.

after  A LOT of attempts to coherse him to wear the glasses and some hard "NO!!"s, it took halfway through one ride to figure it out on his own stubborn timetable. THEN we couldn't stop ridding this one. 

We reached our peak for "smile" that he got creative

One of my favorite pictures of us. 

These are them, the $2,000 beauties. 
Now that you have made it to the bottom, here is a sweet treat of a story for you.

Colter is stubborn. He also doesn't try new things, usually until forced to try and then SHOCKER he loves it. This included most characters and rides. We tried to get on the storybook boats that have all the Disney stories represented by mini creations of locations i.e. Tiny castles and cottages where characters live. You start this ride by floating through the mouth of the whale from Pinocchio.

 Colter was almost uncontrollable as we got on the boat. He was SCREAMING and tried to leap out of my arms off the boat into the water. BUT like good parents we sat him down and forced him to ride the ride, knowing he would like it. This display lasted until we entered the mouth of the whale and IMMEDIATELY Colt stops, and says "oh, we're not dead." and then happily listened and experienced our guided tour.

He literally thought we were going to die.

One day, we will get to the point where he will know how to express his unique thoughts and fears. It's gotten so much better since pre-school started. Still trying to decide if this was another parenting fail to add to our long list...