Archive for February, 2013

27
Feb
13

That Overprotective Parent She Doesn’t Want

Tonight, Brittany had an event at the high school for band. It was one of the events that was sprung on me yesterday and Britt told me that parents were not able to attend, so I dropped her off and planned to be back around 8 to pick her up at the completion of the event.

When I arrived, the band was still playing. I went inside to find my daughter and was able to catch the last few minutes of their performance. She finished up, and we headed out to the car.

As we walked out of the school, Britt came up on a friend of hers that was waiting outside for a ride. We stopped to chat with the girl, Rachel, for a few minutes. My daughter has a small circle of friends. Rachel and my daughter became friends quickly last year despite the girl being painfully shy. As they became better friends, we learned that she has had a painful childhood and had been taken from her mother due to her mother’s drug abuse. Her grandparents eventually became her guardians. She lives with countless other relatives including her father that does not have custody due to his alcoholism; her grandmother cares for Rachel’s cousins and special needs uncle. The grandparents do not have much, but the grandmother obviously loves her family and tries.

It was dark when we left; it was cold and it had been raining on and off all day. Rachel had no jacket and no cell phone. I offered to call her grandmother, but she did not remember the number. Luckily, she had texted Britt earlier in the day, so she had the number of a relative that lives with them. She called and was told that her grandmother was on her way.

Rachel said we could leave, but I hated to just leave the kid standing outside. It is not a bad neighborhood, but still, it is cold, and dark. I would not want my child alone out there.

We continued to wait and as more time passed, I really started to wonder where the grandmother was. I asked her to call the house again and see if someone there could give her the cell phone number for the grandmother. Once we had the number, I called to offer to take the girl home.

I do not know where the grandmother was, but she was not on her way to pick up the child. Apparently, she had asked another family member to do so. No one knew where he was. I went ahead and drove her home.
This is the second band performance I have gone to where this girl has needed a ride. The last performance was across town and she was going to walk to the site. She was almost at the event when my daughter told me what was going on. She did have a ride home from the event.

When we got home, I was talking to Britt about the girl. Britt was sharing how, while the people are very nice, they do not take good care of the girl. I shared that I felt really pushy staying as long as I did when the girl kept telling me that we could leave and how I started to worry that I was embarrassing my daughter. It was not my intent to make the girl feel awkward, but I just couldn’t leave not knowing where her ride was. I think my daughter understood; her response to my actions tonight was, “Yeah, you are like that over protective parent that she doesn’t want.”

My teen might not have meant that as a compliment, but that is how I am taking it. What she calls over protective, to me, is simply doing what a parent should and making sure that my kid is safe and well cared for. Tonight, I am glad did what I felt was right. Now, her friend is at home and I know she is safe. I know she is warm and dry; I can sleep a little better knowing that.

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26
Feb
13

Calendar Hog

I really thought this week was going to be easy. Sunday, I wrote out everything we had going on and our family’s schedule was surprisingly simple.

Then, Monday happened. It started out as a normal Monday. I worked through lunch and left early. Monday is my day to pick up kids from play practice; I arrived early and camped out waiting for the girls.

The time for them to get out of practice came and went. Then, I started getting texts from the mom of the other girl I pick up on Mondays. She wanted to know if I had her child because her daughter didn’t let her know about track. Moments later, she texted me again that she was at the school as well and had my daughter. We met briefly in the lot and I took my kid and hit the road to get my other child for her music lesson.

While in the car en route, my teen rambled on endlessly alerting me to the evolving schedule that I was going to have to navigate through. I was informed that track try outs begin this week, tomorrow in fact, and that she would be participating. She also has band practice tomorrow night immediately following track. So I have to leave work early, pick her up, take her home to change, deliver her to band practice, and later pick her up whenever they end which means I am on call. Oh, and she has to be dressed in concert attire. Guess what I am supposed to be ironing. Lucky me!

Wednesday was supposed to be covered. My teen has another play practice and her friend’s mom was supposed to pick her up. Supposed to is the key word here; her friend is not required to be at practice. Guess what that means; yep, I have to at the school for pick up again.

Thursday is another band practice. Pick up at 5pm.

This morning, all I had on the calendar was today’s events. Now, I have a calendar full of crap. Thank goodness my employer is willing to be flexible; I guess I will be working through a lot of lunches this week.

As I updated the calendar tonight, my Calendar Hog noticed that Friday and Saturday were empty and asked what our plans were. She was informed not to ask for anything else. After turning my calendar upside down, the girl better just be happy for a day or two and let me recover.

26
Feb
13

Moving In The Right Direction

It has been a while since I updated on my diet progress.  I weighed yesterday and was down!  Only 82lbs to go!  I know it is a lot, but considering the struggles I have had recently getting the scale moving in the right direction, I am pretty pleased.

I have been doing better watching what I eat; really, I didn’t feel like eating much at all over the weekend.  I am trying to be better with planning our meals and snacks.  Jeanette asked moments ago for a snack and, when she asked how much she could have, I directed her to go by the serving size on the box.  I think portion control has been a big part of our issue.

Yesterday, I worked my rear off in our backyard taking advantage of the pretty day.  My legs have been aching ever since, but it is a good ache.  I have needed to get outside and missed my yard work.  I have been longing to get out and walk/run.  I think the weather might start to work in my favor for this endeavor and I can get Brittany to join me.  She is trying out for track at the middle school; hopefully, she will learn to love it and not have some of the struggles I have with exercise.

Despite the fact that I haven’t really lost a lot, my clothes are fitting differently.  My jeans that I bought in the fall are falling off of me; or being pulled off of me as Larry finds it hilarious to do when I am standing at the sink washing dishes (he is so mature).  I was determined to get a new pair of jeans and actually fit a pair two sizes smaller than the ones that are falling off.  I am not sure that it isn’t a fluke, but will count it as a win.

Guess that about covers what has been going on with the diet.  Hopefully, I will have more good news to report in my next installment.

21
Feb
13

The Not Vanishing Deductible

Back in 2010, I had some damage done to my house following a lot of rain when a neighbor’s tree uprooted.  At the time, my insurance company referred a company to repair the damage.  The work was done and the company went on their way.

I had never filed a homeowner’s claim until then and I understood that I owed a deductible, but never received an invoice.  I waited for one to come from the company or my insurance provider, but one never did.  A few months later, I went in to speak with my insurance agent about another matter and mentioned it to her.  She was not able to tell me why I had not been invoiced or access which provider had done the work, so she just said to let it go until they made contact.

A couple of weeks ago they finally made contact.  They sent me a letter threatening to take me to court over the balance.  I had filed my taxes and knew I owed them, so I was just waiting for the money to come in.  I wrote the check out the other night and literally have it in my purse right now.  I knew I owed them and would have paid it long ago if they had ever tried to contact me; threatening to take me to court was not necessary.

So today, I returned to my desk after lunch and got a call from the contractor.  I had missed the call and listened to the voicemail from a girl in their office.  The girl was very unprofessional and wanted to know why I hadn’t paid and went on to tell me they would take action if payment arrangements were not made.

There are a lot of things that I will let slide, but I hate to get personal calls at work-especially that kind of call.  I called the girl back and told her that I would have gladly paid if they had ever invoiced me before and that I would be sending payment.  I let her know that I would have done so without being threatened with court.  I went on to ask how they had gotten my employer’s information and apparently they had a couple of numbers for me.  So they decide to call me at work first?  Why didn’t the call at any point in the past two years?

Maybe I am crazy, but I do work in sales.  I have a few suggestions for the contractor:

  1. Invoice upon the completion of a project.
  2. Follow up with clients in a timely manner, especially if a bill is unpaid.
  3. Train your staff on how to speak with clients.

I was not unsatisfied with the job that the company provided.  But their business acumen leaves a lot to be desired.  While I could not remember their name before I got the invoice, I definitely remember it now and would not recommend them to anyone.

21
Feb
13

Awkward Conversations

Today, Jeanette wasn’t feeling well.  It started before she left for school, she was complaining about her stomach.  As a mom, I am a skeptic when it comes to morning aches and pains-my dramatic girls have pulled a few over on me over the past few years.  I sent Jeanette onto school and headed to work only to be called to pick her up before my workday began.

Jeanette didn’t have a fever yet she was obviously not feeling well.  I took Jeanette to the sitter and went back to work.  I called to check on her later in the day and found it was a good thing that I had picked her up as she did, eventually, become ill.

I laid down with Jeanette for a little bit at bedtime; by this time she was feeling better.  Jeanette confessed that this morning it could have been nerves that made her feel bad this morning, but she was glad she had gone home since she did throw up later.  Apparently, there is a lot of drama going on in her little circle and Jeanette found herself in the middle which upset her which played a factor in her feeling bad, but she did have a bug as well.

Jeanette went on to tell me that the nurse asks some weird questions while she was waiting for me to arrive.  I am not sure why she would need to know about my daughter’s menstrual cycle, or lack thereof, when she is claiming a sick stomach, but there are some things a ten year old just doesn’t want to talk about with an almost stranger.  As if feeling bad and tween drama was not enough to make the ten year old cry.

I, eventually, decided that it was best if I left so Jeanette could get some sleep.  But not before Jeanette informed me that she was not eating my biscuits in the morning for breakfast because she believes they were the root of her illness.  She also agreed to avoid the nurse tomorrow as to not have another awkward conversation.

18
Feb
13

Daily Prompt: Far From Normal

I have wanted to participate in the daily prompts, but haven’t been inspired much until this morning.  I thought this one looked like fun, but it was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  Honestly, I really don’t think that any of these things are particularly odd, exciting, or unique, but they do help to make me who I am, so I guess it should count for something.

  1. I am a natural red head and we are just as awesome as you have heard.  One of my daughters is as well.  Needless to say, this is the cause of a lot of friction in my household.  One hard headed female is bad enough, but two can be just plain dangerous.
  2. I care way too much if people like me.  Always have.  My grandma told my kids that when I was little, she would take me to the park and I would run up to other kids and ask them to be my friend.  If they said no, I would just cry and cry.  I like to think that I have gotten a little better over the years, but I still care way too much.
  3. I love old stuff.  I probably should say antiques, but, really, that doesn’t cover it.  I love anything different and love it even more if it has a story.  I love Target and Wal-Mart, but I want I don’t want my house to look like it came from there and look like everyone else’s.
  4.  I once stalked Jason Aldean through a Pac Sun store.  For those of you who do not know who he is, he is a country singer.  My sister is obsessed with him.  We were in town for his concert and killing time until gates opened.  I spotted him, but could not be sure, so I wandered around discretely behind him until I got brave enough to approach him.  He was pretty cool and took pictures with us.  Later, at another concert, he signed the pics for us.  Yeah, I am the best sister ever.  (Can that count as number 5?)
  5. I love being outdoors.  I love gardening, camping, rafting, you name it.  Or, if there is nothing else to do, I am happy just sitting in the sunshine.  Being cooped up all winter kills me.
  6. I long to run away.  I have an awful flight response especially when under stress.  I ran away ever weekend for almost a year after my ex died.  I just couldn’t stand to be home.  If it was not for my kids, I would sell my house and move miles away in a heartbeat.  Lately, I have been wondering if they might not appreciate a change of scenery themselves, but I really doubt I will be going anywhere any time soon.  Most of the time, my longing to run can be maintained with a good road trip which during the summer ends up with me outside somewhere.
12
Feb
13

Tuesday, It’s The New Monday

Mondays are tough.  No doubt.  But really, it is Tuesdays that I dread.

Tuesdays we have our staff meetings.  Painful staff meetings.  Nothing starts the day better than hearing that you are behind your goals.  Every.  Single.  Week.

This morning’s meeting just ended.  It was relatively short and painless, but I did have a couple of observations to share while they are fresh on my brain.

First, the word awesome is extremely overused.  This word was used at least 100 times in our meeting.  According to my coworkers EVERYTHING is awesome.  Frankly, I call bullshit and suggest that they all buy a thesaurus.

The second is actually more positive in nature.  One of my more enlightened coworkers mentioned that we should all leave a positive impression.  What a great thought.  We should all strive to leave everyone we come in contact with feeling better about something.  I think we all forget at times just how powerful we all are and how simple little things like a smile or thank you mean to people.

The same coworker mentioned a saying he had recently heard, “Hope is not a strategy.”  LOVE this one!  It will be my mantra for the day; I am not going to simply hope to get through this day.  In the meeting, I created one heck of a to-do list for the day; I have my strategy plan in place.  Now, onto the execution of said plan; hope your Tuesday is fabulous (anything but awesome)!