Archive for March, 2013

29
Mar
13

Band Geek

Britt has finally decided to commit to playing in the marching band next year!  I know, she will be a band geek.  I will even get to start using the, “One time, at band camp” line!  But really, it is a great thing for the kid.  They start practicing in the summer which gives her something to do rather than sitting around and watching television.  It is exercise, it keeps her involved in school and practicing her instrument and it looks great on college applications.

We have talked about marching band since last fall.  She has gone back and forth on if she actually wants to participate next year.  Most of the band is already in high school, so she will be one of the youngest members as she will only be in eighth grade.  But her concerns are for other reasons; she wants to participate in volleyball or cross country.  Her main concern has been that she isn’t able to hang out with friends at football games.

Today, however, she decided to commit.  The people from high school came to recruit new members.  They assured her that, if she decided to do either sport, they would work with her.  They got her excited.  Now she is even talking about being a band major here in a few years.

I am going to pay for the deposit to hold her spot tomorrow.  I am not going to give the kid a chance to over think her decision.  I am looking forward to lots of football games and band competitions later this year!

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27
Mar
13

A Constant Reminder

Britt’s cell phone stopped working last week.  It really wasn’t a huge surprise; she is unbelievably hard on the thing-it is constantly in use, being dropped, getting tossed around in bags, etc.  She is also constantly adding and removing apps and will often run out of memory.  All of this led me not to think much of Britt saying that it wasn’t working.  We did some troubleshooting for the phone and determined we needed a professional.

I have been carrying the phone with me for a few days now.  Britt actually has done remarkably well without it.  But I had promised her we could get it fixed this afternoon.  I actually almost forgot, but she didn’t, so off we went to the store with a repair shop.

Luckily, it was an easy fix and they did it at no charge.  Unfortunately, all of Britt’s memory was lost.  She had a backup through Google, but was clueless as to her username/password since I had set it all up.  Of course, that was months ago and I could not remember any of it.  I promised to look into the matter later.

When we got home, Britt changed.  She happy to have her phone back girl became a demanding little snot.  It did not matter what I was doing (making dinner, sweeping floors, working on projects due this week), she wanted her phone fixed pronto.  We had lots of fussing, huffing, and just overall grouchiness at the casa tonight.  None of which are great motivators for me.

Britt finally gave up on pestering me around her bedtime.  She sat the phone by me at my desk and went onto bed.  Once everything else was done, I started researching to see how I had set up the account.  I had to reset all of the passwords to both her Yahoo and Google accounts to get it to work.   It was not difficult, but more time consuming than I planned.  I also went into her phone and set it up using the new sign on information so she would be set for tomorrow.

I really do not mind doing things for my kids, but I like to feel like it is appreciated.  Tonight, in retaliation for her bad behavior and lack of appreciation, I decided to remind her of how awesome I am.  Her new password for both accounts-m0mr0cks.  Now, every time she signs into either, she will be forced to remember.

26
Mar
13

Reaching For the Stars

My teen has been set on stardom for a while now.  She is constantly talking about talent shows she can participate in, model searches that are coming to town, if it gets her in the limelight, she is all about it.  I try to be a supportive parent, but I also try to keep her feet planted firmly on the ground.

We have spent a lot of time talking about her search for stardom lately.  Last week, the school announced a talent show.  She started working on an act last year, but quit mid-way through practices as she was not truly prepared.  She was hoping to try out again; however, I fear we will be in the same boat.  I explained that I did not believe she was really ready again and suggested that we look into drama and/or voice classes.

This afternoon, she came in wanting to try out for a local television station’s talent show.  The winner gets to be in commercials for the news station.  She was all about it.  But, we ran into the same issue, she has nothing prepared and the contest is next week.

The contest got Britt searching the web for other contests.  Then she stumbled onto pageants.  Insert dangerous dun, dun, dun music here.

I have never wanted to be a pageant mom.  It has never crossed my mind to put either of my girls in such a position.  I want them to be appreciated for their brains, to understand that it takes hard work to achieve goals and that there is more to this world than superficial beauty.  I also find the amount of money people put into pageants outrageous.   That all being said, I also try to support my children in whatever endeavors they are led to try and because of this I started researching local pageants.

I was able to find a pageant that is not too far from our home.  It is put on by a Christian organization and entry fees are reasonably priced.  Luckily, Britt does not want to try a glitz pageant.  If she had been set on this, I probably would have declined her request.  But, this pageant encourages age appropriate dress, hair and makeup.  No midriffs can show, no tear away outfits, or talent routines with a dark undertone.

The other great thing about this pageant is it is months away.  I am not able to register yet because it is so far away.  This means she has time to prepare!  This also means, if she changes her mind in the next few weeks, she can do so without consequences.

I believe some good can come from letting Britt participate  The event gives Britt something to work for.  Now, she has to practice her instrument this summer and prepare for her talent competition.  She can help come up with the money for her outfits.  Maybe, this will actually help to teach her some responsibility along the way.

I am worried about how Britt will take it if she does not win, but, really, that is part of life.  She has tried out for sports and solos at school which she did not get selected for.  I am confident that she can handle whatever decisions the judges make.

I am really surprised by how excited I am over this, but Britt’s enthusiasm is contagious.  I am looking forward to the next few months and preparing her for the big day.  I guess I am going to be a “pageant mom.”  If she keeps reaching for the stars, heck, I might even be Miss America’s mom one day.

24
Mar
13

Entitlement

I will probably not win any friends with this post, but I think it needs to be said.  As many of you may know, I am not a huge fan of Facebook.  Primarily, because some people use the site to voice opinions that I feel should remain silent.  This afternoon, this was posted on a “friend’s” wall.

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Here is my problem with the post….

  1. The person posting has been on public assistance herself.  She has admitted this before in other posts; apparently, SHE is entitled, but no one else should have access.
  2. The poster has never been responsible for securing her own housing or pay for her own insurance.  She is clueless as to what it truly takes to make it in the real world.
  3. The poster doesn’t work despite being told by the courts that she has to get a job and contribute to the support for her own child.  Her excuse?  It is hard to find a job with kids.  She found a sugar daddy and gets to stay home and spend his money all day rather than work, or at least she did until the recent court’s decision.  So, it is not her tax dollars that are going to supporting these programs.  She has her own support program-child support, a sugar daddy, and parents that give in to her every whim.

Obviously, you can probably tell by the tone so far that I am disgusted by the post as well as the poster.  It just amazes me how ridiculous some people can be.  How does one perch themselves on a pedestal so high that they lose touch with reality?

Luckily, I have not had to go on public assistance, but I feel I am walking a tightrope and could have to at any time.  It is hard to make it nowadays which is a fact that a kept woman would be oblivious to.  I pay more monthly for my insurance currently than I did in my previous apartment for rent each month.  I have decided to keep the insurance rather than risk something happening due to a preexisting condition for one of my children.   If I lost my job tomorrow, I could possibly keep my house for a little bit while I looked, but it would not be a far stretch before I had to decide between housing and putting food on the table.  Yes, I do feel like I am entitled to those benefits.  I have paid into them since I was of working age.  My parents have contributed for their adult life.  I pay in so that others have the resources in their time of need, as well.

I will be the first to admit that our public assistance programs need work.  However, I would much rather have the programs in place and have a few taking advantage of the system rather than someone that truly needs something going without.

 

 

22
Mar
13

Hard Decision

The stomach bug claimed another victim last night.  Jeanette finally succumbed to the germs.  I knew that it would likely happen, but I was totally bummed that it did when it did.

Jeanette won her class spelling bee a month ago and today is the school’s.  She is supposed to represent her class and, if she wins, move onto the city competition.  She has been so excited.  She has studied daily and has been truly looking forward to the event.  It broke my heart when she cried her little heart out over missing the competition.

Jeanette has not gotten sick for a few hours.  I had originally planned to keep her home today, but the school called to see what our plans are and it made me wonder if it would not be okay for her to go on in-just for the competition.

I have decided to be one of the parents I typically hate and take her on in for the competition.  She has worked too hard to miss out on the opportunity.  It is a very hard call for me to make, but I don’t know when she will have the opportunity again.  Some days, parenting is way harder than it should be.

19
Mar
13

Attack on the nostrils

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For as long as I can remember, I have had a weak stomach.  I had to leave the room when my mom changed my brothers’ diapers.  One is in his thirties and I can still remember…  When I was pregnant, the smell of my husband’s breath could make me ill.  It is a wonder that I made it through changing the diapers for two kids, but, somehow, I did it.

Then, we got the dogs.  Our first dog wasn’t so bad.  Yes, housebreaking was a chore, but at least he wasn’t a vile disgusting creature.  A little bit of time and a lot of scolding later, and he was, virtually, accident free.

The other dog, well, he is a different story.  Our second dog came straight from hell.  He has earned the nickname Devil Dog.  He refuses to be housebroken.  No matter how much scolding, begging, pleading, treat offering, or whatever else we can try, he refuses.  Why?  He loves poop.  The dog plays with his poop.  He hides his poop.  He eats his poop.  Hell, he will eat the other dog’s poop.  Yes, I have really enjoyed this animal.  I am such a lucky pet owner.

Brittany came home early today with a stomach bug.  I was not terribly surprised that one of my kids caught the bug; both were exposed to the bug over the weekend.

Britt came home and went straight to bed.  She was armed with an empty trashcan, just in case.  She wanted to rest, so I went off to start some work in the other room.

As I was working, Devil Dog was messing.  He got into Britt’s laundry; I wrestled her dirty underwear out of his mouth.  He then went to looking for shoes, which I moved out of his reach.  Eventually, I thought the room was doggy proof.  That is when he disappeared behind the chair.

That was when I started to smell the smell.  It took over the room.  My nostrils burned; my stomach churned.  Then, the gagging began.  I started fussing at the dog as I looked for where he had hidden while he did the deed.  He ran back towards Britt’s room.  I followed.

As I got closer to the room, I realized the smell was growing stronger.  It was not my dog that violated my house and overloaded my sensitive senses, but my daughter.  I was shocked.  Holding my breath, I opened a window despite the 30 degree temperatures outside and overloaded the house with air freshener.

Then, I began to feel a little bad for fussing at the Devil Dog.  Only a little bad; he managed to get a hold of Britt’s dirty underwear that I thought had been put out of his reach and the pursuit began all over again.

I am still in awe that such a vile smell can come from a human.  I was certain that Devil Dog was to blame!   Hopefully, the worst is over for Britt.  Now, I am just waiting to see which of us will succumb to the bug next and dreading what affect it will have on my senses.

16
Mar
13

Savings Success

Some of you probably have followed me long enough to know that I am on a money saving kick this year.  I am not, by any means, trying to live like a pauper.  But, if I can maintain my quality of life and save, why not?  I had a few really good successes and thought I would share a few with you.

Insurance

When I started working on my budget, Larry pointed out that I was paying a lot more for my coverage than his was.  Upon a little research, I found I could save by changing.  I called around, but was not impressed by the other agent’s customer service (not one place I called for a quote returned my calls).  Finally, I went to my agent to see what was up.  Apparently, I was grandfathered into a plan with more benefits-benefits I was paying for but not using.  I got them to give me a new quote on auto which saves me over $20 per month.  I also had them check on my homeowners plan; there, they were able to save me around $300 annually.  My total savings-over $500 a year.  Not too shabby!

Beauty

I am not one to spend a lot of time or money on myself, normally, but on occasion, I do love a mani/pedi or to get my hair done.  My favorite nail salon offers deals periodically and I purchased one before Christmas for a gift only to find that I could not print it out the way I wanted.  I kept the package, a mani/pedi for $25 (usually $40-$50), and was able to treat myself this week.

Also, this week, I got my hair done.  This was done with a Groupon.  I was able to score a haircut, style, and highlights for $29.  The deal was actually for $39, but they were doing a promotion where they gave $10 for coming back to them.  Great deal for me, and they did a good job.  I will probably go back.

Shopping

If you have never been to Khols, you are really missing out.  I had two great trips over the last few weeks.  First, I was able to score bras for my teen for less than $3 apiece.  They were on markdown with an additional 25% off.  Added bonus, I have an awful time buying bras for my teen because she is an odd size and she actually likes them!  I am going back to see if I can get her a few more.

My second Khols experience was a total fluke.  I did not plan to go or plan to be shopping at all, really.  My brother needed to run in and, while he was looking, I found household clearance.  I was able to get four plates (which I really needed), a bathmat (another necessity), and a new shower curtain.  As I wandered I also found some earrings for my grandmother and a cosmetic gift set that is going to be super cute in my teen’s Easter basket.  Everything was on sale with the additional 25% off coming to just over $30.

I mentioned above that I will be going back to for more.  You are probably wondering why.  Well, I got a coupon in the mail for 20% off and, then, my mom gave me two coupons for $5 off on any purchase.  I cannot resist!

Entertainment

This is one area that I usually do not get to use a lot-either full price or otherwise.  I generally am a homebody anymore which is kind of sad because I love to be out and about.  That is probably why I am so excite about these finds.

First, we have a great music festival coming to town this summer.  It was announced a while back and, I was able to score tickets before they went on sale.  Doing this, I was able to save $10 a ticket.  I would have gladly paid the full price which I thought was not bad either at $35 per ticket for a day of music.  But, because I was actually paying attention, I got them for $25 apiece and I cannot wait for the show!

The other deal that I got on entertainment will, hopefully, get used tonight.  Our newspaper has a deal of the day sort of like Groupon.  This week, they offered tickets to hear bands play at a local vineyard which just happens to be one of my favorite places.  Pairs of tickets are half price at $10 apiece and you could get two packages.  Weather permitting, we will be there tonight and still have a cheap date night (or girls night out) for later on.

You can live well and not spend a fortune.  It is totally worth your while to check out the deals around town and to do some research.  Hopefully, I will have more to share in the coming weeks and months on what I have saved!  If you have found a great way to save, please share; I am always looking for new opportunities to improve!