Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Whatever deity you worship, pray to, whatever, please do whatever it is you do.  If you read this post, surely you'll remember the little girl who was in foster care.  Long story short, her parents suck.  Sorry to be blunt, but they do.  I'm sure that I know way more than any volunteer should know & as a result I'm emotionally invested in this kid but there is a special place in hell for people like this little girl's parents.  Judge not lest aside.  If you don't want to have kids don't.  They don't deserve to go through what this child has.

Anyway, I found out tonight that she's being sent to another foster home.  Her teacher had told me before Christmas that she was up for adoption & then a couple weeks ago, that she was having issues in her current home & was acting up.

So, she's off to a new home in another school district.  Sunshine had donated some of her old books to this child's teacher & she told me she sent them home with her to keep.   It makes me glad to know that but I still pray that little Miss M. will find a forever home where she is treated the way a child should be treated & loved like there is no tomorrow.  And know that she is loved & valued.

Monday, February 18, 2013


**DISCLAIMER**  I wrote this blog last month and saved it rather than publish it due to people who aren't able to discuss this topic with respect to other people's opinions/choices.  Comments are OFF for this post.  If you feel the need to discuss it with me, feel free to call me, shoot me an email, message me on FB.   If it offends you, you might want to dig deeper into yourself to figure out why a decision that my husband & I have made upsets you.

I have absolutely NO motivation today.  And it's not as if I have nothing to do.  There are bathrooms to be cleaned, a dishwasher to be unloaded, vacuuming to be done beds to make.  I also have some paperwork to be entered onto the monthly financial for the PTA.

But so far, I've watched DVR'd shows.  Today was Hoarders  and Southie Rules.   Hoarders usually inspires me to get off my butt, clean until everything sparkles and to purge anything that I don't feel is necessary to keep.

Not today.

I'm blaming the weather since it's grey and gloomy outside.  There's supposedly a huge storm working its way here.  Another school district has announced they're releasing early in anticipation of this storm.  So far, nothing from our school district. We'll see what unfolds.

Yesterday,  I had a hair appointment (annual straightening) and as a result had a lot to sit around.  I received a message from an online friend who is taking a Women's Studies course.  She has to write a paper on oppression and the myths/stereotypes of women who stay home vs. those who work.

When I was pregnant with Sunshine, Hunter and I decided that it would be in our family's best interest for me to stay home.  We knew it wouldn't be easily financially but it was something that was important to us.  At the time, he was on a year home/year gone rotation.   Staying home was incredibly difficult for me at first.  I was used to going to work every day.  I was used to having my own money.  I was used to spending that money however I saw fit.  My time off from work was my time.  All of that changed in April '04.  And ilke some life changes, it was a major adjustment.  I wasn't prepared for how difficult it is to care for a newborn.  No matter how prepared you are for motherhood, you're not prepared enough.

When Hunter returned to Iraq in January '05,  Sunshine was 9 months old.  I had settled into a routine, had other mommy friends whose babies were roughly Sunshine's age and was slowly getting back to being myself.

But, I kept thinking that maybe I'd go back to work while he was gone.  Surely I could get a job on post.  Surely I could put Sunshine in daycare on post.  We'd be able to live off my income and save Hunter's.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I DID work.  I did have a job.  Raising a child is no easy task.  Raising a child while your husband is in combat is no easy feat.

I've been criticized for staying home by people who really have no business to criticize my choices.  Really, unless you're paying our bills, raising our child with us and/or living with us, it's just none of you business.   I've been told I "just don't get it" when it comes to balancing a career and  family.

No, I don't, because I've never been in that position.  The people who criticized me?  They "just don't get it" when I talk about what it's like to be home with your child for a year or more (as was the case with Hunter's deployment in '07) when your spouse is in harms way.  

Now that Sunshine is getting older we've revisited the idea of me working outside the home.  We come back to the same conclusion--we want Sunshine with us after school.  It's not gotten easier financially, but it's something that Hunter and both agree with.  Last time I checked, we were the be all, say all when it comes to her well being, not the nay-sayers.

I've talked about my volunteering with the PTA at Sunshine's school and the number of hours I spend at school or working at home on various projects/responsibilities.  I don't get paid but I do derive a sense of satisfaction that the time I give makes a difference for roughly 600 kids.  If I can plan and execute an event that makes them smile and have a memorable time, I've done my job well.  I hear the excitement in their voices when they see Book Fair posters.  Or when they get a balloon to carry in the balloon parade.   That is my paycheck.  That is what makes it worthwhile to me.  I'm not just making SuperAwesomeSchool a better place for my daughter, I'm making it a better place for all the other kids.

We have a few dads at our school who stay home for various reasons.  Some are in between jobs, some are  retired (medically or otherwise), some have just made the choice to stay home.  Why is it our society feels the need to demean the choice of SAHMs but a stay at home dad is seen as a great dad?  Or an involved dad?  Aren't most parents involved in their child/ren's life/lives?  

Which leads me back to my disclaimer---why are people who aren't involved in the raising of my (or anyone's child), sitting in judgement?  Surely they have their own issues they need to address.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Check List From. . .

you know where.

I was doing so well until Mini-Book Fair hit.  I was caught up on my Treasurer's stuff, my house was clean & I was riding the tide into the fair.

Monday when we closed it up & I got home I realized I was exhausted.  And I had a stack of paperwork to be entered onto my computer.  And somehow there was an insane amount of laundry to be done.  There were 600 pictures uploaded to my computer that needed to be edited & sent to be printed from the Father-Daughter Dance (I may or may not have edited & printed my own.  Please, it's a job perk.) And I needed to do the financials for the Mini Fair.

But, I needed to help assemble the lolligrams for Valentine's Day.  And I needed to distribute them on V-Day as well as get things for Sunshine's class for their party.  Some of this stuff needed to wait.

Today, I managed to close out the Mini Fair online---all that is left is to write the check to Scholastic & mail in the report.  Check.

I also have done 4 loads of laundry with the 5th waiting to go in.  I organized my shoes in my closet & got some things hung up/folded in there.  Check.

The deposits/check requests will have to wait until Monday or Tuesday, but they're ready to go.

The pictures may get worked on this evening.  Sunshine was supposed to have a sleep over with a friend from school, but her mom called earlier to say she's coming down with something & it's coming on fast so our sleepover is postponed.

I'm debating whether to run to the grocery store now rather than tomorrow. . .maybe a check.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


While I'm no longer a practicing Catholic, I do find myself observing certain practices with which I was raised.  Giving up something for Lent is still something that I do.

In years past I've given up various things---fast food, staying up late, swearing, sweets--the usual sort of things.

Over the last year I've given up fast food (with the exception of the once a month salad at Chick Fil-A during Sunshine's SuperAwesomeSchool's Spirit Night), & Diet Coke on my own.

As we know, I tend to not curse anyway as I have little ears in my house who like to copy Mommy's actions.

Last year I made an effort to be in bed by 10 every night & with a couple exceptions, stuck to it.  And it's stuck---I try to be in bed by 10 on school nights.

So, what's a girl left to give up?  Sweets?  I don't eat enough of them that it would be a sacrifice.  Chips & the like?  Again--I don't eat enough of them for it to count.

It narrowed down to wine/alcohol, garlic stuffed olives (don't knock it until you've tried it!) & my 2-a-day Sweet-n- Lows in my morning coffee.

Well, a girl's got to have once vice & really, while I enjoy my cocktails/wine I don't drink regularly enough that it would be a hardship.  Garlic stuffed olives are medicinal with the garlic, right?  So, it came down to the Sweet-n-Low.

Before you judge me for my 2 S-n-L's please remember that I'm diabetic.  Those 2 pink packets in my coffee allow me to enjoy a sweeter version without the sugar that can be detrimental to my health.

Or are they?

Is one & a half teaspoons of sugar in my coffee really going to be that bad?  Especially considering the long term health problems associated with artificial sweeteners.

So, 40 days without pink packets.

I'm pretty sure I can do it.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Two years ago when I got roped, volunteered to be the Book Fair Chair Media Center Liaison, SuperAwesomeBookatarian & I were talking at the end of my first book fair.  Did we want to go for a drink or munchies to celebrate?  Maybe go knit & enjoy some quiet non-school time?

We found ourselves at an establishment found nationwide, ordered the Presidente Margarita, some food & thus, a tradition was born.

This month's Book Fair is my 7th.  During the past 6 fairs, we've had only one rule for the post fair celebration--you must volunteer at the fair in order to be invited to the celebration.  Some celebrations have been just SuperAwesomeBookatarian & myself.  Others have had more participants.  One thing is always the same---the Presidente.

Yesterday was hectic & tiring to say the least.  I had an 8 am meeting with our Principal, PTA President & the VP.  When he emailed us the night before, he said he had some things to discuss with us.

I don't care who you are, or how old you are----you get called to meet in the Principal's office & your first thought is "What did I do???!!!"  After multiple texts among the 3 of us, I was nominated to text the Principal to make sure that 1) we really weren't in trouble (we weren't) & 2) that 8 am would work for him.

Turns out, he wanted to know how much financial support the PTA could give to the 5th grade's overnight trip at the end of the school year.


Not that I've done anything that would get me in trouble, but one can't be too sure!

Our meeting ended at 8:15 when my first class was due in the Book Fair---I came up for air at 10:30 to grab a quick snack & then again at 12:45 when we had a break from classes & I had lunch.  Sunshine got out of drama at 3:45 so we rushed to Starbucks so I could get some liquid energy for the evening.  Then home for a quick dinner for me, showers for the 3 of us, & to get Sunshine & I ready for the evening.  She & Hunter went out to dinner before the Father-Daughter Dance while I dried my hair, got dressed & headed back to school for 2 1/2 more hours of Book Fair.

We did more (in sales) in those 2 1/2 hours than we did from 8am-3pm when we closed.  Daddies spend a lot of money at Book Fair on their little girls!

So, as the dance was ending, so did Book Fair.  We straightened up, counted down the cash drawer & headed out to our post-fair celebration spot.

To the victors go the spoils!

Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Why Are We Waiting For Daddy?

Yesterday afternoon I was in Barnes & Noble with Sunshine picking out some new books.  She's currently reading Julie's stories from AG & I am SO excited to say, has developed a love for the Who Was. . .biography book series.  Sunday night, she dug out her Who Was Queen Elizabeth? book & came into the living room going "Mommy, listen to this. . ." and proceeded to read aloud to us for almost half an hour.

So, we're in B & N where we picked up Julie's 3rd book (Happy New Year, Julie) as well as Lanie's two books. All of them are AR books which is great.   While we were in the kid's section, there was a mom with her infant in the stroller & toddler son who was playing with the train table.  I say "playing". . .really he was throwing the trains.  Mom allowed it to continue by saying "Son's-name-here, stop it"  "Stop."  & "Stop it or else we're leaving"

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Big surprise, they never left.  Not before we did anyway.  She did escalate the empty threats to the all time classic "Wait until we get home & tell Daddy about this."

I don't get the whole "wait until your father gets home" & "wait until we get home & tell Daddy" thing.  Why is Daddy the bad guy?  Why does Daddy have to dole out punishment hours after the offense?  Is Mommy unable to well, mommy-up so to speak & be the parental bad guy when it comes to discipline?

And if so, what message are you sending your child?  I don't want to get into the whole "man as head of the household/submit to your husband" thing.  Whatever your religious beliefs are, good for you.  Glad you've got them, glad they're working for you.  In my house, Hunter & I are both in charge.  There's a co-sherriffing if you will.   There are times he's the good cop to my Mel Gibson bad cop ( except for the anti-semitic rants).  There are times I'm super good guy (girl?) Mommy to the rescue when he's the bad guy.   No one wants to be the bad guy/cop but this isn't a house plant we're raising.  It's a human being.  It's an impressionable, always learning about their world around them little person.  They need structure.  They need boundaries.  They need discipline when warranted.  And they learn from our behavior more than we realize.  

When Sunshine was 3, we were in the kitchen fixing dinner. I dropped something & said "damn it".  For the next couple weeks, Sunshine would drop something & in this little voice say "dammit"  My fear was that she would say it at preschool.  I spoke to her teacher about it & she put me at ease by saying that "damn it" was probably the least offensive curse she'd heard in all her years of teaching preschool.  And that so far, she hadn't heard Sunshine utter it.  PHEW!

That night I told Sunshine that Mommy had said something naughty  & that I shouldn't have said that.  And that I wouldn't say it again.  And I'd appreciate if she wouldn't say it either.

Seven years later I find myself only saying "stupid b...." in my head when such incidents occur.  Things like "good grief" "holy chowder" & "dang" cross my lips at times when more colorful words would work but be very inappropriate.  Sunshine has adopted "holy chowder" & added an s, because apparently chowders is more serious.  Holy guacamole is also a favorite of hers.  Not bad for an almost 9 year old kid.

Wow, 9!  I can't believe my baby is almost 9!  We've started to plan her birthday party & the other day I ordered the party favors.  It's hard to put together a cute favor bag for $3/girl so these are great.  I added in a little cupcake shaped lip gloss & might put little sleep masks for the girls as well.  I'm torn on making party invitation vs. buying them.  I picked up some cute doll size invitations to go along with the ones for the girls when they were on clearance at Michael's.  Why I didn't pick up the girl size ones at the same time is beyond me.  I was looking at some on etsy but $15 for invites is ridiculous to me.  I know it's someone's time, creativity & work but still.  It's a 9th birthday party, I can find different options.  There are some cute AG ones but they say "craft, create & celebrate"  & I'm not planning a craft at this party.  The party venue has a Wii or some other such game system & the parties we've been to there, the kids have just danced & played. Maybe I'll offer this pen craft as our "craft, create" portion for the girls who don't feel like playing dance party.

This week is busy---Mini-Book Fair starts on Thursday & runs through next Monday.  Yesterday I got the last minute stuff done--made/hung posters around the school, got the teacher's sign up sheets posted in the lounge & distributed the wish lists for teachers.  Today is the PTA board meeting & then tomorrow is book fair set up.  Friday is also the Father-Daughter Dance.  Sunshine's dress, shoes, & stockings are ready to go.  We'll just need to rush home from Drama Kids to get her ready to head out to dinner w/ Hunter before the dance.  And give me time to eat something & freshen up to head back to the evening portion of the Book Fair.

I'm not waiting for Daddy to get home, I'm waiting for Saturday!!