Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Martha Stewart ain't got nothing on me...(except jail)

...and her own line of shit for sale...but that isn't the point!

Like everyone else lately I am obsessed with Pinterest and all the cool things on there. You can find ideas for anything on there, and I want to try every.single.one. I'll be honest, some of them are things I want but totally intend to make C try. It's totally his fault he can build absolutely anything. I intend to use that my advantage forever. Anyways, back to pinterest. I am so not crafty. I want to be, I do, but I'm just not. I see things and I love them and think OH I'd love to make that, or I get this picture in my head of what I want, then I try to make it and it never works out. It may be a patience issue, but mostly it's just that I suck at all things crafty. Til now!

I found this awesome burlap wreath on pinterest, and thought now THIS is something I can do. I mean you can't mess this up. So I make a trip to Michael's and pick up the supplies. The wire wreath thing, two things of burlap (10 yds each I think), some wire and some ribbon to make a bow. The wreath went together in no time at all. Maybe 15 minutes total, because I didn't always like how the stuff came through the wire and I was tweaking it, but super easy. The bow was by far the hardest part for me. I can't tie a pretty regular bow to save my life. I don't have a bow maker. I watched and read 216548 tutorials online and couldn't for the life of me figure out exactly what half of them were doing, despite step by step instructions. It just didn't make any sense and my fingers weren't working like theirs were. Then I found this one, and voila! A bow! I tied it on and ended up with this, which I was more than thrilled with.

I also made Paula Deen's crunch top apple pie this weekend for my in-laws, who were super impressed with my baking skills. I was pretty proud of it too, though it wasn't my first pie rodeo. I've made this pie numerous times and everyone always talks about how good it is, but I don't eat pie, or baked apples, so I have to take their word for it. It sure looks pretty though :

I'm hoping my Martha side continues to show and I can get a few more Pinterest projects done in the next week or so. I'm all about decorating for Christmas right now, and love this time of year <3

Friday, November 16, 2012

Shit just got real for the Honeybadger....

So the honeybadger has been having some issues this school year as far as behavior goes. He's a pretty spirited child, full of energy, wit, sarcasm, and mouthiness. He's sweet as sugar when he wants to be, and cute as a button, so he thinks at times he can get by with anything. He has constant issues with being loud, and is constantly being told at home and school to be quiet, stop yelling, etc. I have no idea where this loud part comes from...I mean, it's not like I was chosen for speaking roles in our schools PTA plays based on the fact that i was just, well, good at projecting my voice :). He also has the inability to walk in the hallways. Always running. Turning circles. Walking backwards, and then into someone who has stopped. Sliding across the walls. Anything but what he's supposed to be doing. Same thing in class, up, down, up, down, not in his seat, not correctly in his seat so he falls in the floor, not keeping his hands to himself.

This has been a constant battle, and one that I want to nip in the bud now before he ends up a 3rd grader and still doing this stuff, landing him in the office everyday. I hate to see this kids' behavior report come home everyday with frowning faces on it. Frowning faces means his color chart at school has changed from green (good) to a not so good color. This week it's been red, a lot. It makes me sad, and I have no idea how to fix it. We have tried all kinds of things. It's most frustrating I think because he knows HOW to behave. He knows the rules, he knows what is right and wrong, he can tell you those things, and he can tell you what he is supposed to be doing instead. But he has ZERO self control when it matters. He even had a super good day about two weeks ago, where he got all smiles on his report, and they made him star student of the day. Made this huge deal about it, made him feel special and awesome. But the next day....back to the regularly scheduled honeybadger. I should mention this kid is usually good at home, the issues seem to be at school. He gives me lip, and attitude, but for the most part at home he's well behaved. He has some 5 year old moments, but when he's told to tighten up, he does. I don't know why he can't manage to do this at school.

Like I said we have tried all kinds of stuff (and are open to any and all suggestions). The kid loves his cartoons right before bed, we've taken those away, we've taken away the whole tv. We've stopped visits to his Papaw's house because that is his most favorite thing ever, and he tends to get away with so much there sometimes and be treated like royalty regardless. He hates having that taken away from him, but not enough to change his behavior for any length of time. We've taken all his favorite toys, made him help bag them up, and put them away, telling him he has to earn them back. He hasn't. We talk to him, tell him why we're doing what we're doing, he understands, and he says he knows he has to be good at school too, he just doesn't seem to care. This past Tuesday he had a rough day at school, and daycare in the afternoon on top of that. His sister got to go play bingo at the Moose, while him and I went home. We'd told him that until he gets his act together there would be no fun for him. That he was going to put in work for the amount of misbehaving he does, and that all things fun in his world would be gone. I took him home, fed him dinner, and then he swept, he mopped, and he washed all the dishes. "Mopping is fun mom" he said. I told him (half jokingly in my mind) that it was good he felt that way, because if he kept on acting up at school he'd clean the whole kitchen floor with a toothbrush..."can I do that now mom?" he says. *this is me pulling my hair out*.

Last night after parent/teacher conferences, and a whole week of bad behavior reports, we packed up all of his toys, and made him help. All of them. His room now consists of a bed, a dresser, and a bookshelf with books. That's all he's got. Even packing them up he didn't act all that concerned. At one point he said it made him sad, but he wasn't acting sad about it at all. Then we loaded them into the truck, and were on our way to take them to the in-laws. I meant it when I said he'd have to earn them back, and if they're not in the house, he can't get to them at all. So we load them up, we're driving, and he's chit chatting away. C and I start talking and Honeybadger gets real quiet for a while. All of a sudden he pipes up with his mad voice and loudly states that HE is playing the quiet game, and goes about pouting with his chin in his hand, propped up on the carseat arm. That's the moment that I think this stuff got real for him. I think he realized in that moment that we were 210% serious. That all of his fun was really going away. He still wasn't thrilled when we unloaded them into the in-laws basement. I hope he's unthrilled enough to get his act together. I'm at a loss as to what else to do from here if this doesn't work, short of hanging him up by his little toes. (JOKING!)

This is just a phase....this is just a phase...this is just a phase....a really long one.........or so they say. "They" also say that I should just keep telling myself this. I'm not sure at what point it goes from being just a phase, to being something else, but I hope it's over soon.

Friday, November 9, 2012

I want a frying pan cake.

The older I get the more I wish I had paid more attention to things growing up. More attention in school, more attention to my surroundings, more attention to my feelings, everything. This past week or so I'm really wishing I had paid more attention in my grandma's kitchen, especially to her cooking and canning.

I was lucky enough to grow up in the mountains of Virginia, on one of the many dirt roads in our county, about 30 minutes away from our small, one stop light town. My grandparents owned over 100 acres of land, and you could see their house from ours which was right down the road. My grandpa owned a small dairy farm, and my grandma was a stay at home wife/mother for almost her entire life. You know, that's just how it was back then. They raised cows and chickens and pigs, and there was always this huge elaborate garden. I always spent my summers at my grandparents house after I started school, and they were the ones that got us on and off the bus everyday until we could be home by ourselves. I loved it there. I'd ride my bike over and just hang out, and in the evenings after dinner (I call it dinner because you have, breakfast, lunch and dinner, my grandma always called it supper, breakfast, dinner and supper, old timers jeez...) I'd watch for my grandpa to come driving around the road to check the cows. I'd flag him down outside our house and he'd let me sit on his lap and drive. I liked to hit every hole in the road, and he'd let me even though he'd fuss at every one.

I spent lots of time in their garden, and our own, and tons of time in the kitchen of their house, but I wish my grandma had put me to more work. She'd just let me play and do whatever, graze on whatever was close, and run off when I got bored or tired of it. My grandma could make anything, without a recipe, and it was always good. Oh how I wish I'd have "learned" that. My dad mentioned the other day that she used to make this amazing sweet potato butter. It's like apple butter, but with sweet potatoes. So I went searching the internet and found a recipe. Then I had this bright idea that I'd can some. Let me just tell you, I've never canned anything in my life, despite the fact that my grandma canned EVERY THING! They had a store house FULL of canned food, and I was around for a lot of it being done, but never paid attention.

So needless to say my first batch didn't seal, but I re-made some last night, and it was a success. I was so proud of myself I've claimed that I'm going to start canning all kinds of stuff. We'll see how this works out. I'm pretty late in the game this year, but next years garden will be more put to use than this last one was I promise. I would give my right arm to be able to can green beans like my grandma, and I know they're far more work. Not that hers taste any different than other peoples.

Thinking about her last night and this morning reminded me of this amazing skillet cake she used to make. We grew up calling it a frying pan cake because that's how it's made, in a cast iron skillet, baked in the oven. She made this chocolate sauce to go over it, and right out of the oven this stuff was AMAZING. At some point I'd had her write the recipe down, and I hope my mom still has it. She tried to tell me the whole, oh, it's just a little flour and some oil, and ....... but I needed measurements! I'm on a mission this weekend to find that recipe at my moms, my kids need to experience this cake. And they need to experience some of my grandma's stuff that I experienced. My mom is nothing like her mother and does none of the stuff Granny used to do, and while my Granny is still living, she's not the Granny she once was, and can't do the things she used to do. That generation is almost gone, but I want to do my part to keep it going, pass down things like that. We can benefit from it so much and families were closer back then. Or it seems that way anyways.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Part-time parenting.

This is a subject that really chaps my ass. And unlucky me gets to deal with this on a very regular basis. I have an ex you see, who is one of those parents who only bothers to even see the kids because he has to pay support for them.

Nothing is ever done on his part that doesn't coincide with his schedule, or what he wants to do. The kids go with him every Wednesday night, and every other weekend. And by weekend I mean a 30 hour stretch. Saturdays at 1 until Sundays at 7. Hardly a weekend, especially for someone who sat in court and argued for 30 minutes that he wanted the kids 50/50.

Now before you get all, well see he obviously WANTS to parent/see his kids on me, understand this....the ONLY reason he made that argument is because if he could get that type of visitation he wouldn't have had to pay support. We'd been down this road before you see, he gets some crazy schedule close to that, then doesn't pick them up, and I'm stuck.

So that idea or request of 50/50 gets shot down in court, much to his dismay. The judge tells him that it isn't going to happen but he can have them every other weekend and one day a week. So then the part timer chimes in that he works every other Saturday, until 12. Um ok?, you still have one weekend where you don't work at all, so what's wrong with that weekend? God forbid you lose half of every other Saturday to work, and the other to your kids....that would be just awful huh? Hence more arguing from the part timer, that isn't enough time for me, how would the judge feel if someone was telling him he could only see his kids that often? So the judge tells him that he can have them from Friday evenings to Sunday evening. No thank you says the part timer. Say wha?? Even the judge looked at him like he was a total douchecanoe.

It's now several years since this was implemented...and lets take a look shall we? Every Wednesday he picks the kids up from daycare, and promptly drops them off at his aunts house. She feeds them, often bathes them when they actually get bathed on wednesdays, packs snacks when needed, then the part timer picks them up and puts them in bed. Same thing on the weekends, unless some of his friends with kids are doing something, and then he'll show up with the Princess and Honeybadger and try to look like father of the year.

If anyone ever nominates him for that award I hope they consult with me before he gets it. Honeybadger has a book-it form in his daily folder, to read books, and if he reads 20 a month he gets a free pizza. The part-time parent apparently likes to fill this in, but not actually read to the Honeybadger. I guess this is a step up for him, because he never even bothered with that when the Princess had reading logs. The princess has been involved in cheer, basketball, and baseball for well over a year now, and the Honeybadger in soccer so far this year. Let me tell you how many games of either he's been to. Zero. He did take the Princess to one basketball practice last year, made a big point to ask the coach for a schedule, and still didnt' show up to any. The kids dread having any sort of practices or events on Wednesdays, or even "his" saturdays because they know he won't take them.

I don't understand at all how one can be so uninvolved. How a parent can just not care about what their kids are doing. How what they have going on is never important enough to show up, or to postpone whatever you just "have" to do. I promise nothing is that important, every single week. I don't know how these part-time parents have some people fooled into thinking they're actual good parents, and how the feel good about themselves. I don't know how one says they want their kids as often as they can get them, but never ask for more time with them, and routinely cancel the times they're scheduled to have them. Never to make it up. It blows my mind, and routinely pisses me off.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Things I hate...

I've sucked at this lately, and it's been almost 2 weeks since my last post....let's see if I can get my head out of my ass and get back on this wagon...

Things I hate:

1)Bicyclists. I'm all for saving the planet, being green, hugging trees, saving fuel...whatever. I however, work in a college town, and these fuckers can't decide if they want to be treated like cars or pedestrians. They are everywhere, sidewalks, parking lots, roads, bike lanes, everywhere. Some of them act like cars, go with the cars when the lights change, stay in their little lane when appropriate, all that jazz. Others however, act like pedestrians and go with that flow, cut across the parking lot in a mad tizzy with no defined direction, and act like a cat on crack just darting all over in front of whatever. Can we get some uniformity? All of you either do one thing or the other, preferably the first?

2)Mopagans. You know these guys. Sometimes they come in pairs, sometimes clans of 3 or more. Riding around on their VIP scooters, all up in the way of real cars going down the road, refusing to pull the eff over and let you by. And what makes anyone think 250+ pounds on a scooter that's lucky to go 35mph on a good day is a good idea? And why do these guys usually have their plus size girlfriends clinging onto the back of the thing? Get a real car and your drivers license back, go the speed limit, or get the eff over when you're holding up a line of traffic 20 cars long, or get the hell off the road.

3)Sucky youth sports coaches. My son got stuck with one of these this year, and lucky for me we get to do an evaluation. I hope this lady never gets to coach again. She spent the majority of the kids practices not practicing soccer, or the actual point of soccer (to move the ball downfield and get it in the goal) but playing red light/green light, and just kicking for the hell of it. These kids didn't know what the hell was going on when they got to their first game, and lost every game but one. They scored one goal ALL season, and I'm fairly certain the stars had aligned just right at that moment. They spent their last game playing a game of 3 on 10 because the other coach had every single kid on their team, other than the goalie playing offense, while our coach was yelling at our offensive players to stay up field when they had the ball on our side, and all of our defensive players to stay back when we had it. It dawned on her at the beginning of the 4th quarter to let all of our kids play offense as well but we were already down 8-0 and they rightly didn't give a damn by that point.

4)Fast food workers. I know it's so hard to listen to that headset and punch in my order, when your cell phone is beeping, and your BFF Janie is having a crisis, not to mention, Jake that works there is just so damn dreamy with his greasy clothes, and pimped out Chevette in the parking lot. You might only make minimum wage, but you signed up for it, and I don't care that it's not Burger King I still want this shit my way, and all there, in the bag with some ketchup, the first damn time. I said I wanted a Coke 3 times, just for you to ask me at the window what my drink was again. Focus here. I know it's hard for you, but if you can't keep up go work at the goodwill sorting clothes or something, at least then you're not fucking up someone's food, and providing piss poor customer service.

5)Listserv's. A million pointless, irrelevant to me emails I have to delete. Ugh.

6)Winter time. It's coming, and it's totally on my shit list. No matter how many pairs of socks I wear, no matter how many layers of clothes I put on, I'm still going to be cold. I'm going to want the heat cranked in the car 95% of the time, and C is going to want it off, with the window cracked. My feet are cold just thinking about it and I think it's like 72 degrees outside today. Give me sunshine and hottness any day over some cold, dreary winter time.

I think I could continue my list but that's probably enough ranting for one day. Hopefully I'll have something more to write about tomorrow....or the next day...since I'm so good at keeping up with this

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dentists, cleanings and fillings OH MY

The kids have a dentist appointment today, and I'm not sure who is dreading it more. Thankfully it's just a cleaning appointment today, but the Princess needs work done, and that makes me dread ALL of the appointments.

Their last set of cleanings went well. No tears, no fuss, just in and out. Princess though needs several fillings and two caps, and at the time needed two baby teeth pulled. The first follow up appointment wasn't bad at all. Numbed, tooth out (only one because she was blessed enough to lose the other prior to going back), on our way. The next visit not so much. The Princess freaks out about EVERYTHING. She is emotional and dramatic about things that aren't even important. Ask her why a paper isn't where it should be in her school folder, and she'll cry. It's just how she is. So she was already freaking about her second appointment. C goes back with her, and they get her all ready. Nitrous hooked up, though obviously not cranked high enough, and on her nose. Napkin around her neck, numbing gel on her gums. Tears already in her eyes.

I was in the waiting room, playing on my phone, when the nurse comes out to get me. Hello, panic mode. I thought for sure something was terribly wrong, and I was wondering where the hell Cricket was. The nurse tells me that, Princess was very upset, that they couldn't get her numbed with the needle because she freaked out on them. Then she asked me if they could restrain her, and she explained that once they started they'd have to finish. I know the Princess, and putting a weighted vest on her that straps her to the chair with her arms by her sides was NOT a good idea. She was already crying so I couldn't see it going anywhere good if I let them do this to her, regardless of how OK we'd tell her she was.

I hope somehow though I can find a way to get her to make peace with her stresses. To not stress about when she has to do things like this, things that have to be done one way or the other. It pains me to see her hurt about things that are really so small in the grand scheme of things, things that won't kill her, even if they hurt a little at the moment. I especially don't want her hating the dentist forever. She inherited my awful permanent teeth, and is definitely going to need braces, and most likely a permanent tooth or two pulled to get them straight. So the dentist and the orthodontist are something that are in her future a lot in the coming years. The last thing I want is to have to actually restrain her to get work done, talk about breaking my heart :(

Friday, October 5, 2012

It's Still A Mans' World - Updated

I hate people, men in particular who think women know nothing, who think certain things are only a mans' work, and who will not take suggestions or listen to what women say. I can't do everything, but let me tell you I CAN do a lot. I know things about a lot of stuff. I've done a lot of stuff, I've seen a lot of stuff, and I will be the first person to admit when I don't know something. I will also take suggestions from people regardless of gender.

I can not say the same for the lazy jackass UPS Freight driver who came to our office yesterday. This guy is a piece of work. I've been at my current job since May, and he's been here a handful of times. We have a loading dock outside, visible from my boss's desk, and trucks back in there numerous times a day. Big trucks, tractor trailers, from all of the various shipping companies, all with full size trailers and truck cabs.

The first time I encountered this particular driver he was delivering a pallet to us that had a some expensive lab equipment on it. He came upstairs and told us that he couldn't get to our dock, his trailer is 54' and it's IMPOSSIBLE to get in there (now our building has a building next door, but no other freight carrier has a problem getting in our loading dock. Our maintenance guy was nowhere to be found, so we were left (an office of 3 women) to deal with this jackass on our own. He says he can get the pallet off with his lift gate and sit it out front, but it won't come through the door and we'll have to deal with that. We asked him numerous times to just back up to the dock, and he tells us he can't, and even if he could his truck sits 3 feet higher than our dock and we still won't be able to get the pallet off. "This stuff weighs 800 lbs" he says. So rather than continue to argue with this man, who I know is wrong, who can back up to our dock, and we can lay the dock thing down on his trailer and wheel the equipment right off, we let him unload it in the parking lot and park the pallet at our front door. We then have to get facilities to come take out the door separator so we can get this pallet through the door. Once we get it inside, we realize that this pallet that he says is 800lbs, is obviously not, because we slid it around in the hallway with very minimal effort between two of us women. Whatever right? So we grumble a bit about his stupidity and go about our business.

Fast forward a few weeks and we see this driver outside, backed up to our dock, with his truck, delivering something for another department. I took pictures, to have as evidence the next time he showed up, claiming it was "impossible".

Fast forward another week or so, and we get a phone call from UPS Freight. We have a delivery on the way, and the driver says he can't get to our dock, can we have a fork lift ready. I asked the guy on the phone, why he couldn't get to it, when we'd just saw him a week or so before back into said dock. Oh, he got a new trailer, this one is longer. Hmmm, so he had a new trailer the last time too, as opposed to the one he was driving for the first delivery? This one also conveniently doesn't have a lift gate, so this time he can't even drop it in the parking lot for us, and guess how much it weighs? 800lbs. Really? Everything these guys deliver must weigh 800 pounds. So we run around the building to find the maintenance guy and ask him to go find the fork lift so we can unload this shipment. I've never in my life known a freight company to not be able to unload in some way (via lift gate and pallet jack) what they have on their truck. So we get that delivery dealt with, grumble some more and go about our business.

Now we're at yesterday. I'm sitting in my office and my coworker comes in with UPS Freight driver behind her. She asks me to look up the shipment, I do and then I call the guy it's for to meet him downstairs. The driver then asks us where we want the shipment. On the dock. Where we always want them. I can't get to your dock he says, yes you can I say, every other truck can back in there. "My trailer is 54' and my truck sits too high" he says, EVERY other delivery can get in there we tell him, and we can LAY THE DOCK PLATE ON YOUR TRAILER!!! "But I'll block traffic" he says. WE DON'T CARE about traffic. They can go around the other side of the parking lot. "I'll get a ticket" he says....UM, NO. You won't. Not in a parking lot. On campus. Making a delivery to a department. "Well I'm not going to hurt myself getting it off" he says. At this point my coworker looks at him and asks if he see's us, that we're not going to hurt ourselves either, and it's not like we're asking you to pick this thing up by hand. Jackass. He's still standing here giving us lines of total bullshit that he can't get back to our dock, when our maintenance man walks into our copy room. We yell for him, and he comes over. Tells the UPS man exactly what I had just told him, about being able to get to the dock, and get the stuff off, and what does he do? He walks right outside, backs his 54' trailer up to our dock, and unloads our shipment.

Apparently he just needed to hear it from a man. You know, us women have NO idea what we're talking about when it comes to trucks and stuff like that. I was quite aggravated at this point because he'd given us so much shit with prior shipments and then did exactly what he'd told us he couldn't as soon as a man told him the same things. I commented that I was going to email his boss, I'm much calmer and reasonable by email than I am on the phone, and my boss said she'd do one better and call. She can hold her cool when people are idiots and on the phone I struggle there. So she calls his boss.

She tells him everything the driver always tells us. Then boss man asks her if she's ever driven one of these trucks before. This is where I wished I had called, I would have told him that YES, actually I have. Overseas, fighting a war, defending your freedom and right to act like a jackass to me right now. My boss had to tell him that no she hasn't, but she watches EVERY. Single. Other. Freight Company. Back up trucks the same length to our dock day in and day out, and none of them give us problems, except this driver of theirs. She tells him that we asked him to try numerous times and he told us no, but as soon as a man asked him he did it. After telling us it was impossible. His boss man then tells her that he's driven our route before, he knows exactly where we are and that it is impossible. It's impossible to get a 48' trailer in there, and that he didn't have a 54' trailer. Ok, so you're telling us you both flat out lied to us about it? Because he JUST backed in there. In his fictional 54' trailer. And unloaded our shipment, so why all the flack everytime he's here about not being able too? Where the hell is their customer service? If a man was in our office every day telling him this stuff would he just do it then? No lip, no excuses? His boss continued to be hateful and rude to my boss, and she told him that maybe we'd find another shipper. He told her to go ahead. Really? You don't need our business? Do you realize our sales reps arrange shipping for this entire campus? Hmmm. She tells him that she'll do that and then asks to speak to HIS boss.

Bigger boss man gets on the phone and tells us he doesn't realize what our problem even is if we got our shipment delivered and unloaded. No, I'm sorry. No, we'll talk to the driver and get this straightened out. No caring or worrying at all about their customer relations or service. Baffling. I've working in some form of customer service my entire working life, and regardless of what you think or how ridiculous you think the customer is being, if they aren't yelling obscenities at you and are expressing some sort of concern over your services or products you at least try to appease them. Even if it's all smoke and mirrors. You try to keep their business. Who just readily says to take your business elsewhere, especially in today's economy? We have other options. We see other companies daily. Those companies never give us shit about our deliveries, they do their job and they do it well. I don't know if these 3 menin-particular just have issues with women or what. The first two jackasses (driver and first supervisor) especially, with their we aren't doing anything you ask attitudes, and we're going to tell you that you're wrong regardless attitudes. I'd like to show them both that women (this one right here and I'm sure many, many more) can do their job, do it well, and do it better than they ever dreamed of.

This was yesterday, all backed in, fine and dandy. This man better not dare walk in here again and tell us he can't do this. I might lose my shit on him, and so will my boss, and my coworker. UGH.

End Friday's rant. Have a good day peeps! And may your Friday and weekend be blessed with zero encounters with idiots and jackasses!

Update: The UPS man gave us another visit today. Told us that he wanted to apologize for being harsh and difficult, they didn't tell him to, but he wanted to on his own. (uhhuh...sure) That he's been doing this for 15 years and they preach safety, and not to do anything they don't feel is safe. Apparently backing into our dock isn't safe, but to me if you've been driving a road tractor for 15 years it shouldn't be a problem given there is plenty of room. Anyways: he brought us this to say he was sorry...a tiny pallet of sticky notes :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

STMMDT

This weeks STMMDT : slept away the majority of my childhood.

I'm all for a good nights sleep, you know, the recommended 8 hours and all that. My mom however apparently needs/needed way more than that. This woman can sleep more than anyone I know, and not because of any medical reason, she's been checked. She's just lazy, and sleeps, and sleeps, and sleeps some more.

She's worked the same 1st shift schedule for most of my life, 6:20am to 2:40pm. I remember being little and rushed around at the ass crack of dawn to get ready, because she was "running late". She's one of those people who likes to hit the snooze button a hundred times and then yell that they're late and have to be in such a hurry. It didn't help that we lived an hour from where she worked. So rush rush rush, and off we go. In the evenings she'd pick us up at daycare or my grandma's and go home. Then the first thing she'd do when she got home was nap. Not a 20 minute power nap, we're talking an hours on end nap.

So we're home by 3:45 or so and then she'd sleep until 7, 7:30, 8, sometimes later. Sometimes my dad was home and he'd deal with the dinner stuff, sometimes he wasn't and we'd just have to wait on her to fix something. Or when we got older we'd just fend for ourselves. It didn't matter how much we tried to wake her up, she just wouldn't have it, and bothering her would just cause her to lay on the couch longer. At some point she'd finally get up, throw something together to eat, get some coffee and then back to the couch, this time watching tv or reading a magazine. By 9:30 or 10 she was ready for bed, go to sleep for the night and then repeat the next day. In the cases where one of us had a practice she'd somehow manage to get us there most of the time, but then just napped in the car, and resumed the rest of the sleep cycles once we got back home.

While there were days that she'd stay awake in the afternoons to cook dinner at a decent time, they were few and far between, and usually only occurred when my dad was home. She's still like this as far as sleep patterns go to this day. Though on some level it catches up to her. She works, naps, and then bitches that she can't sleep at night. Well hello, I wonder why? It's not like she just exerts herself to no end at work, she works in a factory, when I was little she worked at a seated job inspecting bearings, now she works driving a fork truck most of the day and cleaning trays. She's not just SOOO exhausted that she cant' stay up, she just doesn't want too. She spends all of her days off sleeping the day away and then complains she can't get anything done. It just baffles me.

It also baffles me that she has the nerve to say some of the things she does to me. This past Tuesday the Honeybadger had a soccer game, at which she graced us with her presence. His game was at 630, and the Princess had dance at 515pm. C always picks the kids up, gets them ready, does drop off at dance and then I meet them at home, or the field. Most days we don't have time for dinner before all the events are done for the day. The kids get snacks in the afternoon at daycare, and usually again at home before activities or between things to do, when it's all said and done we grab some dinner, either out somewhere or at home. It's just life. So the Princess is yelling she's "starving" as soon as she gets to the soccer field. Honeybadger asked my mom if they'd like to go eat with us, to which she tells him that she'd already eaten, she "can't wait that late to eat" and "I can't believe your mother doesn't feed you before all this stuff". Excuse me? Their mother works until 5pm. They get lunch at school and then at least one snack in the afternoon, how the hell am I supposed to work dinner into their schedule BEFORE all of their shit happens? At least I'm not home asleep on the couch! They're not starving, and they don't have to wait until 8pm to eat every day of the week. And who the hell are you to judge what time I feed my kids dinner, especially when there were many days as a child I didn't eat until that late, even with nothing going on! C had intervened and said the majority of that in a much nicer fashion than was running through my head but I have no idea where she gets her nerve. Sometimes I think she's delusional about how she acted when I was a child. I'm fairly certain she has this fairy tale version in her head about how life was then and how she was, or wishes she was, and that's just what she chooses to believe.

Friday, September 28, 2012

STMMDT (on Friday because I suck)

I don't entirely suck, yesterday was my birthday and I had taken the day off to spend with C, and just be lazy. He ended up having to work, and I ended up taking the new puppy to the vet. He has parvo, and is currently receiving IV fluids and care at the vets office. I then got to spend my day bleaching the entire house to kill that stupid shitty virus, so that if he makes it through we can bring him home and not have him get sick again. He's doing ok, and we caught it really early, so he's looking like he'll pull through. I sure hope so due to the amount of upset I was over him yesterday, which is totally unlike me, but apparently I'm emotional in my 30s.

Anyways...back on track...

I'm going to mix old with new for this weeks shitty thing/s my mom did. As I said numerous times, yesterday was my birthday. One particular birthday sticks out in my head. The year I turned 13. My parents had just separated earlier in the summer and my mom hadn't seen or spoken (or tried to speak to me) to me since. Doing the awesome motherly thing, she sent me a card. It couldn't just be a normal birthday card no, she had to add her own personal flair to it. From the outside it looked normal, it wasn't a mushy card nor all that funny, just a normal happy birthday card that looked innocent enough. I was a kid, so you know it was all about the money for me anyways. I read the front, opened it up, saw no money and kept reading.

When I got to the bottom I noticed she'd written me a note. Sweet right? Reach out to your daughter on her birthday, tell her you love her and you miss her....that's what you'd think right? Not my mom. Nope. Instead she told me how shitty she thought my dad was. How he sucked as a father (totally not true because he'd always done everything for me) and how could I go with him?. Then she said happy birthday, and that was it.

I kept that card for a long time, and I would tell you all what it said exactly except I can't remember anymore, and when I finally cleaned out all of my shit in storage I finally threw it away. I didn't need it as a reminder any more as to how crappy she was, because she was and still is giving me plenty of reasons to remember. I will always remember that card to some extent though, and I'll always remember that particular birthday.

Fast forward to this year. My dad, my brother, my sister, and most of my friends called or texted to tell me happy birthday. The honeybadger had a soccer game last night, and my mom and stepdad always come. It was raining so she couldn't be bothered to get out of the truck so she watched from there. Even though it has stopped raining before the game ended she didn't get out, and didn't make any effort to get out and see the kids or me afterwards. So as we were going to the car I sent the kids over to tell them bye. The princess comes back and says "granny said happy birthday". Really? She couldn't even be bothered to walk 10 yards and say it herself? Or pick up the phone even? Why bother? I mean I'm 30 years old, happy birthdays don't really matter and I don't get upset if people forget. Hell I don't even get upset if I don't get presents, and everybody loves presents. I feel as if I'll always tell my kids happy birthday though, for as many years as I'm able too. And probably get them cards....none of which will ever say horrible things.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The big 3-0...

I turn 30 tomorrow, and from what I've heard up until now it's supposed to be some milestone of sorts. I'm not one of those people (girls) who has been freaking out about it for the last year or so. It's just 30. I might feel old sometimes, and act old, but I'm actually far from being old. I'm not going to go running around swearing to everyone that I'm still 29. I'm going to rock this shit. I'll probably still be rocking it when I turn 40, but that's a while from now so we'll see.

Anyways, I thought for my birthday I'd make a list of 30 things I'd like to do, most of which I'd love to accomplish in the next year, some of which I probably won't. I didn't set the bar crazy high or anything, so don't expect some extravagant list. Some might have to wait due to money, and some well, I'm sure I'll just procrastinate on and not finish. It's what I do, so if I admit that now, I wont feel like such a failure when it happens.

1.) Go camping. I love camping, real camping in a tent in a remote area, RV camping, cabin "camping" at a lake or something....any of it. I haven't been camping since the kids and I met up with my awesome friend from NY and her family, and that was like 3 years ago.

2.) Run a 5K. This will be a feat because I hate to run. I do however want to start running, because it's super good exercise and I need the cardio. I ran in the Army, I know I can run, I just hate it. But at some point I'm going to make myself love it. And I figure if I can get my ass in gear I can run a 5k fairly easy, finish, and feel good about it.

3.) Lose this damn weight. I'm at the biggest right now that I've ever been, including both pregnancies. I'm not huge, but I'm far from comfortable with myself and I want to go back to how I felt 20 pounds ago. I've started, and I'm down a couple pounds, but I'm determined to make it all go away. This is one that I want to accomplish this year, no question.

4.) Do a pull up. I have never in my 30 years on this planet been able to do one single pull up. My upper body strength has always sucked, even when I was playing sports in school and while I was in the Army, no matter how hard I worked at it. Maybe I just suck, but I'm going to manage to do at least one at some point.

5.) Play golf with my dad. My dad used to live to play golf, it's his most favorite thing to do, and he's good at it. He taught me to play when I was 8, and we used to spend a lot of summer afternoons at the golf course putting, and practicing. I haven't played a round with him in a handful of years, and I miss it a lot. He hasn't been playing as much lately due to back surgery and some other stuff, but he's been cleared to get back at it, and I want to get in at least one more game with him while he can.

6.) Go on a trail ride on horseback. Something else I haven't done in YEARS. Talk about relaxing. Nothing like riding a horse through nature leisurely and just listening to the peacefulness.

7.) Take a vacation weekend, with just C and I. We get one night a week, and every other Saturday alone, but I want a weekend of just us. No plans, no kids, just us, away from home, doing any damn thing we please.

8.) Go to 3 concerts. This is definitely a "do in this year" thing. I love concerts, and we usually hit up as many as we can. Kaylee got to go to her first this year and she LOVED it. We had pit passes to see Billy Currington and she thought it was so awesome (minus the fucktards right beside/behind us). So I want to go to at least 3 this year, and take her along if we can.

9.) Buy an iPod. I have my iPhone, but with apps I'm pushing my 16GB limit, so there isn't a ton of music on it. I've wanted one for a while, I just never buy much stuff for myself, and I'm totally behind the times.

10.) Go on a cruise. I would love for this to happen after we get our taxes back, but realistically it might have to wait, as that money (if we get any) is already planned to be used for other stuff. I want to see something tropical though, because I never have. I'd also like to make this a family thing. I think the kids would love a Disney cruise, and I never got to do stuff like that when I was little. Myrtle Beach was all I knew for vacations.

11.) Tandem skydive. The thrill seeker in me has been dying to do this for a while. I have a friend who's been several times, and I know I can find a deal on Groupon for where she goes. Hopefully she'll go with me, because most of my friends are chicken.

12.) Get my tubes UN-tied. This is a biggie. C and I really want a baby. I'm hoping to go for my consult by the end of this year, and if the surgery is an option we're hoping to do this early next year. (I told you that maybe tax money was already spoken for!). 30 year old me is cussing 25 year old me for deciding to tie them in the first place, but at the time I was done and it was the right decision. Hopefully life doesn't tell me too effin bad and we can make it happen.

13.) Carve a pumpkin. My kids are so deprived. I remember doing this ONCE as a kid, and it looked horrendous, but I enjoyed it so much. I've had grand plans every year to do this with the kids, but procrastinator me never follows through. This year I will.

14.) Ride a train. A real one. Even if it's just at Dollywood or something.

15.) Go to 2 amusement parks. I <3 roller coasters. We usually hit up Carowinds at Halloween, so I hope to get another in at some point. Cedar Point and Six Flags are both on my list of want to visits.

16. Scrapbook. Even if it's just one page. I am not crafty, even though I really want to be, and then the whole procrastinate thing comes into play here too. I even have supplies at home, so there is NO excuse.

17.) Buy a new camera. A DSLR, not just another point and shoot. I take pics of EVERYTHING, but I want to take better pics. Especially action pics. I'm hoping this one happens at Christmas. :)

18.) Look at the stars with a telescope. I have a telescope, at my dad's. I just need to get it to the house and figure out how the eff to work it.

19.) Decorate a cake. I loved catering class in high school because we got to do this, and with the right tools I was fairly good at it. So I want to do this again. Maybe even take a class. But I want to make something awesome.

20.) Make a quilt. Remember I said I wasn't crafty? I can't sew either. Well, I mean in a pinch I can close up a hole, or maneuver a button, but that's about the extent of it. My grandmothers both used to make quilts all of the time, and my favorite stays on my couch 24/7. I don't want to do anything extravagant but I would love to make one, just to say I did it.

21.) Learn to sew. This will help immensely with #20. And by learn to sew, I mean with a machine, I'm not about to hand stitch anything that takes more than a few minutes.

22.) Keep up the blog. I'm doing ok now, so hopefully this one won't be hard.

23.) Read 4 books. Real, adult books, not bedtime stories to the kids. I love to read, I've just been far to busy for the past year to really do much of it. There's a book by the bed now that I haven't touched in months, stuck on chapter 8. I want to finish it, the other one on my dresser that follows that one, and at least 2 more. It's a nice little escape from the day, to lose myself in a book before bed, and I miss it.

24.) Go back to school. Even if it's just one class, even if it's a non credit course. I really want to get my bachelors, but finding the time is the hard part. Even if I can find a good online program, I'll have to sacrifice a ton of sleep and husband time, and that's precious as it is. I know I can do it though, I managed to finish my Associates while being a single mom of two small kids, and working full time. I can totally do this.

25.) Fix my credit. Like lots of other young people I was very irresponsible with money and credit in my younger days. I've started trying to clean it up, and it's getting better. I know it won't get perfect in a year, but I can totally get a good jump on it.

26.) Buy some stock. Nothing profound, just a few shares of something. I'm not looking to get rich off the stock market by any means, and god knows we don't have tons of money to invest. It seems like a real adult thing to do, and I want to be able to say "we have some stock" if people ask about investments and stuff.

27.) Take some "wedding" pictures. I guess I should say have some taken. C and I got married at this nice bed and breakfast, by the woman that owns it. It was just us, her and her husband taking a few pics for us. We both had on jeans, and we didn't tell anybody we were doing it. I'd like to have a "real" wedding, but they're expensive and we have other more important things to pay for. I would however like to find a nice wedding dress (fairly cheap), and have my most favorite local photographer (who does all my kids/family pics) take some "wedding" pics of us. Maybe even at the B&B where we got married. I'd like to do it for our anniversary in March, but we'll have to see how that works out.

28.) Do a family tree. As much of one as I can anyways. My mom has some books with our lineage for her side of the family, so I can go back pretty far with those. My dad's side is more iffy, but I'd like to do as much as I can. That stuff fascinates me. I want to know who and what we come from.

29.) Decorate the house. Not just for Christmas, I mean pictures and knickknacks, and stuff on the walls. Flowers and shit I have to dust. Ok, maybe I didn't think this all the way through, cause cleaning the house is a pain in the ass already, but maybe I can make the kids dust it all.... I don't want some magazine worthy house, but I want it to feel homey, and welcoming. I always feel that way in houses that are decorated nicely. I don't want a bunch of stuff the kids, or company can't touch, but I want STUFF.

30.)Stop yelling. This should be number one. It's something I struggle with daily and want to change. I get this from my mother. Ugh. I hate it, but it's like i just can't stop. I hear myself and say in my head to STFU but my mouth never listens. It drives C nuts, and the kids hate it too. Sometimes it's warranted but sometimes I get loud and yell about shit that doesn't need to be yelled about. I promise I'm going to slowly work on tackling this, I know it will take a while.

I guess we'll see how I do with this list as I go. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

School Meetings, Naturals, and Animals.

Last night we had a meeting at the elementary school with Honeybadgers teacher. Not a bad meeting, and not a parent/teacher conference, but a meeting with all of the Kindergarten parents in regards to SOL's and what they do all day and such. It's a way for them to get all of that stuff out of the way, so that when they do actual conferences in November they can focus specifically on what the kids are doing (or not doing).

We got to hear again how much Kindergarten has changed over the years, and even since just the Princess was there. They told us all the required benchmarks for the SOL testing stuff, and the PALS test. I'm not sure if they do those everywhere but it's to assess their reading and letter/sound/rhyming recognition and such. They showed us the smart boards (these things are awesome, and I was in total awe when I saw my first one in action last year), the computer center (his class has about 10 computers, and I felt really old remembering that we only had one per grade, starting when I was in 2nd or 3rd), and they have a new "smart cart" which is much more advanced than the smart board, but they haven't started using it just yet.

We got to see their daily weather graphs, and calendars, and then she showed us their color charts. This is their behavior chart, and conveniently Honeybadger has NOT mentioned this at home. They get asked things twice, and then they have to change their color from green to yellow, and then yellow to red. These have not changed much over the years, we had a bear chart when I was in Kindergarten and we called it "pulling bears" instead of changing colors, and I had to pull one the first week of school for telling the teacher to move. As soon as she started talking about this chart, and how some of the kids regularly have to change their colors I knew my son was one of these. Then it was further confirmed when she said if they stay on green all week they get a prize from the "treasure box". When we picked Kai up I asked him how often he changed his colors and he answered with the standard I don't know. Then I asked him how many times he'd gotten a prize and he told me "none" in a tone that indicated I should just KNOW that! Luckily we've only had one incident at school so far that warranted a note home, so I guess he's not being too bad, but I wish he could keep his act together for at least one whole week.

In other news, The Princess started dance. The teacher told her she was a natural then moved her up to the next class. I'm still confused as to whether or not they really watched her. I mean I see this childs' grace and clumsiness on a daily basis, she actually just fell off the porch a few days ago, and was doing nothing but leaning against C. Hopefully I'll be pleasantly surprised at her recital in October, and again in May. And maybe it really will help with her coordination.

We also got two new animals for the house in the past week. A new kitten named Thunder

And a new puppy which is a puggle/terrier mix, named Atticus:
I haven't yet decided if the kids or the animals are more work. Shew.

Friday, September 21, 2012

God I'm old....

I turn 30 next week, but not only do I feel older than that, I act older than that as well. I blame this partly on C. I've told him since we first got together he's an 80 year old man, stuck in a much younger body. I mean how many 25 year olds do you know that can name every little section of not only your county but the neighboring county as well. You know, the sections that have roads named after them, the sections of the county that the old folks refer to by name, but leave you going where??? Yeah he can name those. He's old fashioned about most things, including technology and he will tell you he should have been born decades ago. These are all things that I love about him. And if you'd ever meet him, you'd get it, and it suits him so well. The rest I blame on the kids, because we all know they age you.

Acting old involves a lot of different things. First off, neither of us have a Facebook. Can you imagine!?? Now don't get me wrong, we used to, both of us. Then we got married and mutually decided that we didn't need it so we both deactivated. I have to say, I don't really miss it. We live in a small town, with several surrounding small towns, and it's all drama. And no matter how much you try to stay out of it, some of the shit people sling and piss poor attitudes, always manage to make it's way in some form, around to everybody. I can tell you that while I miss reading lots of other peoples drama, err....life details and accomplishments, that my personal life is much more peaceful minus the Facebook. But how many 30ish year old people do you know that don't have a Facebook? Two now, but before that, what zero?? See...old. Hell, even my dad has a FB, and he's 73. So I'm unofficially older than 73.

Off tangent of being old, but still in regards to FB, you find out who your real friends are when you don't have Facebook. You'll have all these people who will tell you when you see them out places, that they just miss you so much, and blah blah blah. Who act like because you don't have FB, that you're unreachable. Said people ALL have my cell phone number, but guess how many call or text? Yep, I can count them on one hand. Hell, I can count them on just a couple fingers. If they missed me so much you'd think that they'd pick up the phone, but nope. And I know it works both ways, and I do make an effort to talk to some of these people, but I am always the one to initiate, and it's rarely reciprocated in any way. ...endrant.

We also joined the Moose Lodge. I hope all of you know what the Moose Lodge is, but for those that don't, it's mostly old men, and their wives, who drink beer, smoke cigarettes, sit around and talk, and play card scratcher/pull-tab gambling games. They have dances, and bands play, and they serve super cheap bar food, but you have to be a member to get in (or go with a member). I'm sure they do other shit too (fundraisers for good causes and shit), but that's the gist of it. While I admit that it was Crickets idea to join (what normal 25 year old acts like this??), I must tell you that I'm super excited to play bingo. Bingo has always constituted an "old person" game in my book, so therefore I must now be old. C fits right in with the old men, and he's super stoked to have an establishment to go to that he can smoke inside of, and drink beer.

Also in my old age, I long for the bed way before midnight. It used to be nothing for me, or us to stay up til the wee hours of the morning, hanging out, drinking beer, doing whatever. Now, at 9pm I'm yawning and it's all I can do to hold my eyes open til 11. I mean, wtf happened? A year ago I wasn't like this. I don't have any deficiencies, I've been checked, so what gives? I guess just the fact that I'm old. I guess work, the kids, C, and all the running we do is just catching up to me, or maybe my old lady like actions are the cause? I do know that I now have wayyyyy more respect for the fact that my dad was 43 when i was born. How the hell he managed to keep up with all of it, and still be kicking is beyond me at this point. I feel like this at 30 I can only imagine how he felt. Now...is it bedtime yet?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

STMMDT

This weeks shitty thing my mom did is a recent one. As in this week recent. I've accepted that this is just how she is. She's never going to be different, she either doesn't care or just can't help it. Probably the first one. Even though I know this, it doesn't stop it from stinging just a little bit when she acts like she does. I just put on my big girl panties and deal with it. I shoot her a look and walk away, and curse her when I get to the car, or whenever I get out of earshot of her. I accepted that she's always going to do shitty things and piss me off. Whatever.

She's always acted like I owed her something. Like I'm not the kid she wanted, so I need to make up for it in some way. On top of that she's always been ungrateful of things I have done for her, like buying her shit for her birthday, or Christmas, or just because. It's never oh thank you, gosh I just love this....it's usually more like, well you could've (fill in the blank).

This week was no different. While at our local flea market, we stop to talk to some people that C knows. While talking I notice some plates and coffee cups that match a set we had when I was little. A set that I know is no longer complete. This set to be exact:

We had that set, and a set with a blue pattern. Both of which I know my mom still has, because at one point I asked if I could have them. She told me no.

I paid the lady $2, and we left the proud new owners of 4 Corelle pieces. C asked me what I got them for, and I told him we were going to give them to my mom, since I know she has some like it. Nice enough right? So Sunday we take them by after we pick up the kids. We walk in and C hands her the bag, and she's like "what is this stuff?" She opens the bag and then proceeds to tell me that, she does NOT have any of this pattern stuff. "Your daddy took all of that set when he left, what I have is blue, and that doesn't match anything I own!" Really? Hmmm.

First of all, I know her statement about my dad isn't true. I left when he did, and I now own all of the dinnerware he's had since then. Second, while this conversation was going on my stepdad was sitting on the other side of the couch, eating a bowl of soup. Out of a bowl that looked just like this:

Even my stepdad looked at her like she was nuts. Because well, she is. And she can't even admit when she's wrong. Still oblivious to the bowl she was. I asked her if what she said was the case, and my dad took "all of that when we left", then how come her husband was currently eating out of a bowl that matched that stuff. She looked over, saw the bowl, and said "oh", and then started talking to the kids to divert from the subject. Never a oops, or a sorry, or a I fucked up and was wrong, nothing. Not even a thank you for her new plates and cups. I'm not even sure why I half expected one. I should just always know better, she's never going to magically be different.

Anyways, I hope she enjoys them, and the rest of her set that she has but doesn't admit to. And I'm glad that I didn't spend any more than $2 on her. I mean is it really that hard to say thank you? To be grateful for something, no matter how big or small? To appreciate shit that people do that they don't have to, or do just because they think you'll enjoy it? Obviously I was wrong thinking she'd see it as a nice gesture or that she'd find something nice to say about it. I don't know why I even let it bother me, but it always does. Every. Single. Time.

This probably seems really petty and stupid, and it kind of is. Interacting with her is challenging for me. There's always tension between us and there probably always will be, no matter how hard I try. She's my mother, and I do my best to have some kind of relationship with her, but it's totally one sided. I try to deal with it, for the sake of my kids at least. For the most part she's good to them, and I want them to have a relationship with all of their grandparents while they can. But it's very hard for me at times.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Appreciation

I swear Cricket is the best man on earth. Next to my dad, who will always top my list, but Cricket is right there with him. This man can do it all. He jokes that I only have him around to take care of things (at least I think he's joking) and to keep me warm at night. I swear this is not the case.

The princess started dance yesterday. Class starts at 5:15, and there's no way in 40 hells I could get her there so that gets left to Cricket. He manages to get her there on time, and dressed with tights,(hello I struggle with those damn things and I'm a girl) leotard, and ballet shoes, and never bats an eye. I'm fairly certain if her sperm donor was assigned the same task he'd have to pay someone to help him. Or he'd just not take her, which is his usual MO.

After dance she had to go straight to cheer practice so we just threw her sweats on over her dance stuff, put on her tennis shoes and rolled out. Right before the end of cheer she said she had to go to the bathroom so Cricket walked with her. She went in and promptly came back out holding her hands out and said "what am I supposed to do about this??". It took him a minute and then he realized she was talking about her dance stuff. He assessed the situation and realized her leotard had to come off, so he takes her into the boys bathroom and helps her get out of her stuff.

This is about the same time the Honeybadger yells at me that he has to pee RIGHT NOW. It simultaneously dawns on me that the Princess was still in her dance gear and I better go help. I couldn't find them in the girls bathroom or the hallway, so I marched in the boys bathroom right behind the little. Let me tell you, boys bathrooms in schools still stink just as bad as they did when I was a kid. Ewww. So I walk in and there's Cricket and the Princess, leotard slug over his shoulder, sweat pants back on the girl, and fighting with tennis shoes. All while she's trying to just not touch anything at all. I was just glad it was over when I got there and I didn't have to spend more than 30 seconds in that stinky ass bathroom.

Sometimes I wonder how I managed the single mom thing as well as I did for so long. But then I remember that when you're stuck with something you just make do. You don't even think about it you just DO it. Like Nike. The thing I love the most about Cricket is he isn't "stuck" with anything. He does all he does for us because he loves us and he wants too. I never have to ask him to pick up the things I can't do, or to pitch in and help, he just does it, and he does it with a smile on his face, and talks about how much he loves it. Practices, dance, school drop offs/pick ups, laundry, any of it. He'll fix the drain, and practice cheers, kick soccer balls and adjust bike seats. He makes me incredibly thankful that I'm not doing it alone anymore, and that I won't have too, and I'm proud that he does all he can everyday to teach the Honeybadger what it means to be a man. A real one. Not just one that's a "man" because of their age, but one who is a man based on their actions.

Friday, September 14, 2012

All kinds of miscellaneous stuff...(or not really...)

The school and sports seasons just started and I'm already worn out from all of it. I think I started it already exhausted so it's bound to never get better. I mean, face it, all the sport seasons just run together, and the school year spans the majority of that shit. Then it's summer time, and there's just as much shit going on in the summer. No breaks for us. Though i do cherish my 8 hours at work every day.

Honeybadger is currently playing soccer, with practice 3 days a week. Two of which start at fucking 5pm. That's what time I get off work, 40 minutes away. Thank god Cricket is self employed and can act as chauffeur for all of the goings on when I can't. I don't know how other working parents do it. I suspect they're like I used to be and bribe the grandparents to shuttle the kids when they can, or work through lunches at work to be able to leave early and in time to be able to get them there. Ugh. Luckily his games start next week and none of them start before 5:45, so we're good there. He does have like 3 a week though, so there is no resting for us.

The Princess is cheerleading, and also has practice 3 days a week, 2 of which conflict with the honeybadgers. C and I see each other in passing on those days, when we're doing the hand off of her to me, while I preform the drive-by pickup at the soccer field, and rush her across town to her practice. Her games start Saturday, with 2 games a week. Lucky for us only two conflict so we can't make it to all of both games. On top of that she starts dance on Monday. (I know we bring all of the rushing around and having no free time on ourselves, but I do love it. And the kids love it, they aren't forced to do ANY of this, the moment they want to stop doing SO much we'll stop) I hope like hell dance can help this child with her rhythm and coordination, because she has none. Like zero. She can not stomp and clap at the same time. She for the majority of the time can't manage to clap in unison with the rest of her squad. She's far from the only one on her squad like this but it pains me.

I know all kids aren't athletically inclined, but coordination is important. You know to keep you from tripping all over shit. So you can walk and talk and not fall down, and stuff like that. It's just useful. And the Princess, part of her problem is she's just lazy, and distractable. Mid cheer, she's that kid who's like OH LOOK a butterfly! And next thing you know she's tripping over her own two feet, and unable to recover before she faceplants in the grass. Anyways, we're hoping dance will help her, and even if it doesn't, she's thrilled about the fact that she gets to wear leotards and tights, and prance around like a ballerina. And I'm sure in her mind she'll be just as graceful as the pro's in the Nutcracker.She was beyond thrilled to come home last night to find this:

(it had her tights and leotards, and a tutu thing) Now mom has to figure out how the hell to get her underwear not to show out the legs of the damn leotard (any suggestions appreciated).

Honeybadger is destined to be the next big artist. He brought this home last night from art class and was overjoyed when I told him I'd hang it on my wall at work. He said all my friends would love it.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Shitty Things My Mom Did Thursdays

So I started a post the other day about my mom, and how I'm envious of people who have good relationships with their mothers. I have never had that. In fact I've had the opposite of that my entire life. In short my mom wanted a prissy little girl who she could doll up, and who would be prim and proper and quiet, and china doll like. She did not get that at all, and for most of my life I've felt what I guess is best described as resentment. Well, that post turned into a freaking book, so I decided I'd hit it in snip-its. God knows I have enough material to last a while, and she keeps giving me more.

I guess I can start with a small back story: I'm the youngest of 4 kids for my mom. Her first born J, was a son who was born with a heart condition and only lived for a few days. G, her second born, also a son. They were both from her first marriage. Along comes my dad, who has a daughter from a first marriage, P. Then comes along my older brother D, and myself. Not one big happy family. I have memories of happy times, but the bad ones far outweigh the good. I think the first mention of divorce from them came when I was around 6, and they finally followed through with it when I was 12.

I guess for today I'll talk about that, the divorce. My mom and I had never been close, I was not the little girl she wanted and she made that very clear. I was a tomboy and a daddy's girl through and through, he did everything for me and with me. There was always love and affection from him, and understanding, and all the things I rarely got from my mom, discipline too when I needed it. So at 12, when they finally decided they were done with the bullshit, and actually separated, it was no contest who I was going to live with. The state of Virginia gives you a choice at that age, as long as there's no reason to NOT let you go with a particular parent, so there would be no fighting about custody. My mom never asked me to go with her, never made any indication that she'd want me to. I'm not sure why it even needed to be spoken, but at some point she made me come out and say that I was going to live with my dad. And from that moment things went from already bad to worse. She completely disowned me. (We do speak and see each other now, but didn't from the time I was 12 until I was 18, and I made the effort; she never would have) She stopped fixing me meals, she stopped taking me to sports practice, she stopped doing everything for me. She actually made to to where I couldn't get to the food in our house. It's not as ghetto/redneck as it sounds but we lived in a trailer when I was a toddler, and then built a house beside it, instead of doing away with the trailer,they connected the two with a hallway. To give us more room, because we didn't build a huge house (3br/1bath), so since we already had a kitchen in the trailer, there wasn't one in the house section. The section with my bedroom. They instead turned that into a laundry room. (I wish I had pictures of it, because it was actually pretty nice, and not nearly as ridiculous and hideous as it sounds lol). The trailer section had a separate set of locks and keys, and my mom considered the trailer section "hers" since it was where she was sleeping for the time being.

Can you see where this is going? Yeah. She took my copy of that particular key and locked me out of "her" part of the house. The part with the kitchen. And the food. My dad and I were moving in about two weeks if I remember correctly (it wasn't long regardless), and she was supposed to be gone to where ever she was going before that. But until then I was just shit out of luck. My dad worked 3 shift swing, and we lived in the middle of BFE, so there weren't a whole lot of options or things to do. So I ended up with a cooler full of ice, with some milk, and some lunch meats, and I got to live off of that for the most part, while my dad was working. Even my brother wouldn't let me in when our mom was gone to work. She also neglected to pay the power bill, so one day while I was home by myself the electric company guy came by and asked if my parents had left me a check. My dad didn't know that it hadn't been taken care of so obviously he didn't. And my mom was having nothing at all to do with me, so of course she didn't either. So he didn't have a choice and there I was with no power either. At that point my dad took me to stay with my aunt and uncle until we could get moved, but I'm still shocked to this day that she did those things.

I'll never understand how a parent can act that way to their child, or to one child in particular and not their others. Many times my mom has blamed me for how she acted, and has never once owned up to anything she did or said, or continues to say. I dealt with my "mommy issues" a long time ago, and I have zero expectations of her now, and haven't for a long time. Somehow she still manages to get under my skin (maybe I still have issues? I don't know) so I think it's kind of my own therapy to get it out here. I know for sure I'm not alone in the shitty parent recipient boat. But she did definitely teach me one thing and that's how NOT to be towards my own children.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembrance

Like everyone else I know exactly where I was 11 years ago this morning. I was 18, working at Kroger, and leaving for Army basic training in two days. Talk about scaring the hell out of someone. I was getting ready at home, to go meet my boss for lunch, since I wouldn't be seeing them again until I was home after my training. I remember getting out of the shower and turning on the radio to get ready. I wasn't paying attention to what they were saying but I was agitated that none of the stations were playing music. Finally it dawned on me that something was going on so I turned on the tv just in time to see the second plane crash. Holy shit. I had no clue what was going on, but I finally did hear the mention of a terrorist attack. Amidst the tv blaring I finished getting ready and then listened in the car for the 45 minute drive to meet my boss. We were the only two people in the restaurant when we got there, and every television in the place was on CNN and all of the staff was watching with us. It was so surreal.

I remember being terrified of leaving for basic. Shit like this wasn't supposed to happen. I knew in my gut this was going to send our country to war, and ultimately I was going to end up going to war. I mean, you sign up for that stuff when you sign up for the military but kids my age didn't really think about that aspect. Peace keeping missions elsewhere sure...but not war.

9/11 changed history and my life. I left for training on 9/13/01, 8 weeks of basic and then I left for Ft. Lee, VA to finish my AIT training for my military occupation specialty. One of the first days at Ft. Lee, one of the drill sergeants asked which ones of us were going to be stationed at Ft. Stewart, GA. A handful of us raised our hands, and were then told to expect the base to be a ghost town when we got there, and to not get too comfortable. Ft. Stewart is a desert operations support base, so they're some of the first to deploy to anywhere with a desert. I finished up all of my training, and made it to Georgia. It wasn't quite a ghost town, but we knew from the beginning that at some point we'd deploy. I got the news on 12/31/02, new years eve, from a CNN reporter no less. I was home on Christmas leave, and the store I was in had a television on CNN. They reported that the 1st Brigade Combat Team, of the 3rd Infantry Division had received orders to deploy to Kuwait by the end of January. I had to wait til he repeated it to be sure of what I had heard. That was me. My division. My brigade. My unit was leaving, and I was a hot mess.

I got my shit together mentally, and literally by the end of January and we left for Kuwait. The war started, we crossed the Iraqi border, I saw lots of things I never wanted to see and wish I hadn't seen. I got separated from our convoy (had been attached to another unit) and was left in the middle of the Iraqi desert with 3 other soldiers. I made it safely back to my regular unit a little tougher than I was when I'd last seen them, only to learn that two of mechanics were MIA. Two guys that I worked with every day. We later learned that they'd both been killed in the convoy that was attacked, where I think 7 soldiers were captured. The most famous being Jessica Lynch. They had stayed back to help repair vehicles and ended up losing their lives in that attack. I think at that moment it became the most real for me. That could have easily been myself and my squad leader. It could have been any of us.

We spent 8 months in that hell hole, and not a day goes by that I don't think about my time there. It made me tougher, on the outside and in. It made me thankful for all the things I have, and that we take for granted, you know, like hot food, and running water, air conditioning, and a decent bed. I'm very thankful that I got to come home safe to my family. My two friends did not. It's my only deployment (I was honorably discharged when I got pregnant with my daughter), but it changed my outlook on life, and my appreciation for damn near everything. This day will always for me bring back memories of my time in the military, and my two dear friends who lost their lives with countless others defending the freedom that we have here. May you forever rest in peace SSG George E. Buggs, and SGT Edward Anguiano.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Nicknames

Yesterday I decided that I needed better nicknames for the K's....big and little. Not in real life just here. You know, because I can share all kinds of things about our lives here, but you can't REALLY know who we are!  I'm Alex, and no that is not anywhere close to what my real name is. It has significance though, kinda, in our weird little world. C, I can actually tell you what that is for, because well, it's no where close to his real name either, though it is what he goes by to most people. Unless you know us in real life though you will most likely never find us. C, the amazing husband and step-dad is Cricket. Don't ask....it's honestly not even a funny story how he got that name, but he's gone by that for years and years and even has a cricket tattoo.

I think I've decided Big K will here on out be referred to as the Princess. Because she thinks she is one. She could also go by the drama queen depending on what her mood is. My Princess is 8, in the 3rd grade, and I have no earthly idea where she got all of her priss from. She's everything that I was not as a young girl. Pink, frilly, dresses, skirts, shiny, purses, lip gloss, cheer, if it's girly you name it and it's her. She is what my mother wanted me to be as a child. I on the other hand had other plans that involved dirt, jeans, and sports, with the least amount of girly she'd let me get by with. She's also sensitive and sweet, also things I struggle with. And she's touchy.....as in she is ALWAYS wanting to hug somebody. I try to humor her, but this child does not understand that mommy does not like people in her space 24/7. She always wants to hug and random times, which also drives me nuts, like you know, when Cricket and I are trying to have a serious conversation in the kitchen about adult stuff...bills and such. She always wants a hug. God love her little sensitive girly heart. God was laughing when he gave her to me, he knew I wanted the opposite of her and thought he'd teach me a lesson. Well suck on that God...I've got this, even though I struggle sometimes.

Little K is here on out going to be referred to as Honeybadger. Why you ask? Because Little K is just like the honey badger, he don't give a shit. About anything. Please tell me all of you have had the lovely experience of the honeybadger...if not watch this...
He is totally the most fearless animal in all of the kingdom. He doesn't give a shit and he'll just take what he wants. Tell him no, he doesn't give a shit he'll just do it anyways. Time outs, spankings, taking things away, nothing can stop the honeybadger. Fierce battles between Mom and the Honeybadger often result in at least a tie, but I'm sure that the Honeybadger always thinks he wins. He's still just too little to understand that all of this stubborn strong will he has mostly came from me, and bad ass as his little Honeybadger ass might be, I will always prevail. At least til he's 6'3' and I can't physically restrain him anymore. Anywho... Honeybadger is 5, started Kindergarten this year, and was in school exactly one week when he had his first trip to the principals office. Hopefully with the fear of god that was placed in him when this event occurred he won't be a repeat offender, but it is totally in him to act up so I won't be surprised if many a blog post are dedicated to his shenanigans. We also refer to him as our little Ethiopian child (no offense to real live Ethiopian children), because he is all skin and bones, and sometimes pokes his belly out. He eats non stop yet I swear he will never get to 40 pounds, and standing still you can count every rib and vertebrae this child has. Cricket often jokes that he's going to make a commercial for him, with a fresh new shaved head and tell people that for just .12 cents a day you can help our child.

I think that's about it. Other things for reference I guess would be that we live on what is referred to as "The Tract", and we live in "The County". The ONLY one according to Cricket, it's the one he grew up in, and is superior in his eyes to all other counties in the world. I have a special place in my heart for the one I grew up in not far away, with it's one whole stop light and small town appeal. He's still trying to convince me that his is better, and while I love it here, and I tell him it's great I still think mine is better.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cheer Pracice Drama...and not from the 7-9 year olds!

I waited a week, ok so almost a week to post this. Partly because I've been super busy, and I'm a slight procrastinator. And well, I told myself if it was still funny in a week I'd post it, if not I'd let it slip past my blog radar.

So Big K has cheer practice 3 days a week, at one of the local elementary schools. Said school has a "U" shaped parking lot, with a concrete median, so you drive in the entrance and there is parking to your left on your side of the median, or right, with the parking on the right pulling up to a big sidewalk that runs in front of the huge field the girls practice on. C being the wonderful husband and step-daddy that he is took Big K to practice last week, while Little K (I need to come up with better blog nicknames for them) was at his practice with my mom and step-dad. He was the first person to arrive other than the coach and her daughter, and backed into a spot that pulls up to the sidewalk/field area. Logical to me, seeing as how he has a ladder sticking out of the bed of his truck, and people always complain when stuff like this is sticking out of the beds of trucks into the driving area of a parking lot. And even though it was sticking out over the sidewalk there was still plenty of room to walk by the truck, ON the sidewalk, or even the field. So we're hanging out at practice watching the girls practice their dance, sitting a little ways from the truck just talking, and here comes a mom bebopping up the sidewalk. Mt. Dew can in one hand, cell phone in the other texting, obviously NOT paying attention to where she was going. (You see where this is going don't you) We didn't notice her until it was too late (we being C, because I was looking at him talking about something obviously unimportant because I can't remember what it was), mid sentence C gets this look on his face and tried to get out what I think was "WATCH OUT" but sounded more like WWWAAaaa...owwwww. I turned just in time to see the lady run smack into the ladder on his truck, with the side of her head. Mt. Dew goes flying and she obviously embarrassed (I would be too if I'd just walked into something obviously visible by the other people who'd walked by) yells out "Who the FUCK would park a truck here". Um.....in a parking space? Where it's supposed to go? I have no idea who would do such a thing!! She walks on and goes up near her car, and I promptly start laughing because what else would someone do who'd just witnessed this. I mean there was no blood, she didn't knock herself out, and was OK enough to walk away, so I can't help myself. We then hear her on the phone yelling to someone about how some dumbass parked their truck in a parking space and how they were obviously at fault because she wasn't watching where she was going.

So before practice is over my mom and step-dad show up to bring Little K to meet us, and C goes up to talk to them. Since he had to walk by this lady and her car he stopped on his way and asked her if she was OK. She informed him, still teary and half crying, that NO she was NOT OK, and that she was going to have to go to the ER. Um? Excuse me? Really? Is the ER necessary when no blood is involved and you're quite visibly OK? I mean maybe she gave herself a concussion but what are they gonna do tell her that and send her home? I concluded that she must be on medicaid and one of those people who is partly the reason that insurance is so damned expensive, and the reason that you have to wait for hours on end when you have a real emergency and need to be there. Jeezus! C then informed her that he was sorry, but usually grown people watch where they're going and plenty of other people had walked by his truck with no problem. I was still giggling about the whole visual at this point and minding my business down in my chair. Honestly I still giggle when i think about it now, a week later, and wish I would have gotten it on video.

For reference here is C's truck (later that night because i didn't think to take a pic at the practice) with the obvious to most people yellow ladder sticking out of the bed.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ready....GO

It's that time of year.....you know everyone is talking about it, blogs, Facebook, work....time for the school year to start. I'm with the group that just can't believe it. Little K starts Kindergarten tomorrow and I can't for the life of me figure out where the past 5 years have gone. Big K is going into 3rd grade, and her past 8 years have flown by as well. She's definitely growing up and I'm having to grasp that and come to terms with it, and prepare myself for the preteen years that will be here before we know it and all that ensues with that. I drive myself crazy everytime I think about the fact that talks about boys, and periods, and S-E-X, and all the shit kids hear through the grapevine at school, are just around the corner on a more serious level than they have been, so I try to just not think about it. For now anyways. I got a pang in my stomach this morning when I dropped the kids off at daycare. I had forgot to pay them on Friday (HELLO story of my life!) so I needed to go into the main building and drop off the check. Little K yelled at me as i walked towards that door "MOMMY I don't go in that building no more!". ANY more child, and I KNOW! He sure wasn't going to let me forget. Boy was it weird to drop both of them off in the schooler classroom and leave for work, on this transition day before school starts tomorrow. To sign them both in on the same sheet, as opposed to separate ones. To have them hang out in the same class all day...I'm pretty sure I reminded them both 20 times this morning not to be fighting with each other today. Big K swore to me they wouldn't, and the teacher heard as well, so she better have kept to it. I just can't believe tomorrow morning I'll put Little K on the bus for the very first time, they grow up so damn fast. But we're ready, we'll start this next chapter of our lives and enjoy all that comes with it. And part of me is very excited, along with the part that's rather sad my babies are both growing up so fast.

Life gets busier this time of year, gone are the lazy days of summer. If I can even call them that since I work 40 hours a week, as does C, and we rarely get a chance to be lazy anyways. Not only do we get busier with school work, and science projects and all that but sports start this time of year too. Little K is so excited he's finally old enough to play something, so he's starting soccer with practice 3 days a week for now. Big K is cheerleading again and is super excited that we moved to the school district with the two colored skirts and pom poms. Add in 3 days of cheer practice, and we get one day off during the week with no practices. Until games start that is, then I don't know if they'll keep up practicing or not. Shew, I'm tired just thinking about it, but we love to see the kids having fun.

I'm not sure C will ever know just how thankful we are to have him in our lives now. He has been a life saver to me and the kids absolutely adore him. I'm just glad he's here to experience all of this with us, and undoubtedly help out, because I for sure can't be in two places at once, and have no idea how I'd make all of this work without him <3

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Failure

Like everything else I start in life and then push off to the side to never be finished.....

I'm sitting at work, obviously not doing any actual work, and remember that in the craziness of these past few weeks I hadn't posted. Even though i swore to myself THIS time I was going to keep up with this shit. Who the hell was I kidding? Oh, but here I am....owning my failure like a champ. Point for me! Take that universe. Maybe this time I really will finish something I start, or at least keep it up on a somewhat regular basis. I can't even tell you exactly what has been so hectic these last few weeks but I feel like I've barely rested, and most of it's a blur. Maybe it's because summer is coming to an end, and school is about to start for the kids, so we've been trying to get all those last minute (like everything else) school supplies taken care of and all that. Maybe it's also because we're broke and stressing (re: arguingallthetime) money, and my husbands work is slow (the joys of being a self employed small time contractor!), and even though I should get paid at least 10K a year more for the awesomeness that I do when I'm actually working, I can't convince the powers that be to just give it to me, never mind all that budget BS they have to adhere to and the like. Maybe it's also partly because little K, as sweet and loving and cute as he can be, can not for the LIFE OF HIM manage to make it an entire day at daycare without needing more than 1 timeout. He sasses, he plays rough, he throws toys...you name it he does it, but mostly he sasses, and short of duct taping his mouth shut forever we can't make him stop. He starts Kindergarten in two weeks and i can't believe it. How did he grow up so fast, and what did I do as a child to have gotten a child that I'm sure will be in the principles office once a week? That's optimistic me talking, pesimistic me says that I'm totally underestimating that and he'll be there at least 3 times a week for sure. I guess we'll see. Thank god they'll have C's number to call when he does.

Maybe I'll manage to post again before school actually starts, and if not maybe I can post about the beginning of the school year. Oh...there's optimistic me again :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Drug Deals....

So Tuesday on the way to take the kids to swimming lessons C had to run through town to pick up some stuff from his sisters. We live about 5 minutes outside of "town" in this nice peaceful little country community (it even has it's own name!!), but our road runs straight into main street. On the way into town limits you have to pass some shady and questionable living areas, where there's always some sketchy people walking down the sidewalk, and people sitting on their porches looking like they're methed out of their minds. So C, and both K's are riding through and there are two cars parked in front of this house, and a gaggle of people standing around. Little K, my 4 year old son says "what's that....it looks like a car wreck", C tells him that no it's not a car wreck and little K proceeds to argue with him, because the kids question everything we say. C then in true form informs him that it's a drug deal. (welcome to the real world son...get used to it). Little K then asks him what a drug deal is, god love his innocent little self. C informs him that a drug deal is when really bad people do really bad things, things that we will never do (hopefully), and things that people who have no self worth about themselves, and don't care about themselves or the people around them do. Drugs are bad boy, you hear that?? BAD! And your momma better not ever catch you involved in that shit. Then as little innocent kids do that don't understand what they've just been told....Little K says "you didn't need no drugs?" I'm sure at that point C just started laughing and changed the subject. I hope he remembers this though, so that when he gets older he'll remember to 1)not do drugs 2) drugs are bad 3) how to spot a drug deal and meth heads and 4) if he does spot one to at least cross the road and get away from the bad people. The world's a scary place.