Thursday, May 31, 2012

Grounded Again...

I know I'm late in posting this, but for those on my Facebook page, this is old news... Princess went over 2000 sent texts again. When we got the bill mid-May, she was at 2503 sent (we don't count received; she has no control over those). Now, if you remember, I said the phone would be gone for a month if she went over 2000 texts after the last incident; no early earnbacks. I sat on the couch and told my husband that I felt bad. Her grades are great, her social skills are where they should be, she's an active part of her rec league soccer... she's an all-around great kid. The phone isn't interfering with her doing what needs to get done. He said, "You grounded her the first time & told her what would happen if it happened again... but you're in charge here; your decision." So, being the mom who always follows through on her promises, and never makes a threat without meaning it, I walked into my room (where she was watching t.v.) and said, "I have good news & bad news." She looked at me and said, "I don't like bad news." I had to chuckle at that... "No one likes bad news, mija. So, the bad news is you went over 2500 texts last month." She got up, grabbed her phone from my dresser, turned it off, and handed it to me. Then she said, "I'm sorry mom. I didn't keep track." So, I said, "Ok... and the good news is that, once your grounding is over, you will no longer have that stipulation. As long as your time on the phone doesn't interfere with your real life, we won't worry about how many texts you send." She goes, "Really?" "Yes; you've earned it. Just don't disappoint us." This was on the 16th. Every day since, she's turned it on in the morning, texted me when she gets to school, texts me when she leaves school, and texts me when she gets home if I'm not here yet. Then, she turns it off. She told all her friends within a couple days that she's grounded from it, and they were given our home number & her email address. She hasn't asked to use her phone for a music player on field trips (they're allowed to use electronic devices with earbuds or no sound), to take to friends' houses for overnights, not even when she spent three days over Memorial Day Weekend with my mother & her 4 1/2 yo cousin. I've raised her to understand that most things in life are negotiable... but not this one. She's taking it like a champ.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Just Takes One

With Spring soccer season coming to a close, I felt the need to broach a certain subject: TEAMWORK. I've been in charge of organizing snacks & drinks for the girls' games for many years. I've tried a couple different methods of assigning snacks & drinks to parents, but the one that works best is to list out the game dates/times, and ask the parents to give me two or three games that work best for them and which they'd prefer to bring. On the whole, parents are very willing; most of them usually tell me "Doesn't matter; you put me where you need me" (which really makes scheduling easy). But, occasionally, there's one parent who doesn't want to, or can't afford to, participate. The not-affording, I get. The not wanting to, I don't. Seriously? How hard is it to go pick up a box of Capri Sun or snack crackers? The worst offender was this year... To make it worse, he was an official assistant coach. Here's how that all went down: About two weeks prior to the first scheduled game, I sent out an email blast, introducing myself, and asking for game dates and if they preferred snack or drink. I specifically said, in that email, that we had 16 girls and only 7 scheduled games. That works out to 7 snack families and 7 drink families; leaving out two families. I decided that the main coach's family and the family of the girl who broke her arm shouldn't have to provide drinks or snacks for the girls, plus I said I'd bring snacks for the first game (Princess' friend, KB's, family said they'd bring drinks). I got a response from 12 families. I waited a couple days, and sent another email to those four who didn't respond (one was the parents of the girl with the broken arm, one was assistant coach "Jackhole"). I got a response this time from three of those four... Jackhole's response was "I'm an assistant coach, and I don't think I should have to provide anything." My third email to him (separate from the third one to the others) stated that I need all parents to help provide snacks & drinks, and why I left out Coach and broken-arm girl. Then, I sent a fourth email to everyone, assigning each family to a specific game, and a drink or snack for each girl. Jackhole (assigned drinks for one of the last games, btw) sends back, "I'll see what I can do." Um, excuse me?!? What part of "we're a team, it's called teamwork" do you not understand, ASSISTANT COACH JACKHOLE?!?! I talked to Coach about it, but said that I was going to see what happened when I sent his reminder email (which I send two days prior to each game). The Thursday prior to our Saturday double-header, I sent the reminder. Remember, part of the reminder is "If you are not able to provide for the girls, please let me know so I can assign someone else..." I got ONE response (I sent email to four families -- two games, snack & drink for each); one of the moms said, "Great! See you there!" Saturday morning came... no Jackhole, no Jackhole's daughter, and no drinks. Snack parent brought theirs, but Jackhole didn't show, and didn't even have the courtesy to send a "sorry, we're not going to be there" email to me?!? Luckily, all but one girl brought their waters. I spoke to Coach at the second game, and he had a theory about the whole thing, but was super-irritated and said, "I'll talk to him." Apparently, he kind of called him out in front of the girls after the second game. His first response was, "Well, I'm an assistant coach, I bring waters for the girls' practices in case they forget theirs, I shouldn't have to provide drinks after the games, too." Coach kind laid into him a little, and he then said, "Well, I'm taking my kids to get fro-yo after this game; if anyone wants to come, I'll pay for theirs, too." We didn't take him up on it, as we had plans that afternoon... I'm curious as to who *did*. Regardless, I complained (and I think Coach did, too) about Jackhole's lack of teamwork & commitment to the team, and I don't think he'll be assistant-coaching again. Let this be a reminder to you all -- sports isn't about winning & losing a game. It's working as a team to make the girls' experiences be the best they can be! Side note -- I wonder who's going to take over as SNACK PARENT next year (most girls are moving up to Select!), since my daughter has decided to do cheerleading?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fluff Post

For the last few months, our DVR has been somewhere in the 85-100% full range. We have (I'm not joking) 17 episodes of Fringe on there, plus I have it set to record new programming on CBS for an hour on Mondays (in case I'm working late), all new Jeopardy episodes (sometimes I'm working, sometimes I'm otherwise occupied), & Grey's Anatomy (although I usually end up canceling the recording, 'cuz I just watch it). But, Princess likes to record her new shows on NICK on Friday nights when she's not home, and every summer, she gets into America's Got Talent but her bedtime is before it's over, so we let her record the last half of it. I would be all caught up on Fringe if it wasn't for Ace. He loves this show & watches with me, so I have to wait 'til he has time & want to sit down to watch it with me. Currently, my t.v. viewing is down to this: Sunday -- Once Upon A Time (season's over) & Desperate Housewives (series is now over), Monday -- Big Bang Theory (season's over) and Two Broke Girls (season's over), Tuesday -- Last Man Standing (Princess loves this show; she's turned into a huge Tim Allen fan), Wednesday -- Suburgatory, Modern Family, and sometimes Don't Trust the B., Thursday -- How I Met Your Mother (series now ended), and Grey's, Friday -- Fringe (always DVR'd), and Saturday -- Suze Orman. I just find it funny/interesting that I watch so little t.v., yet can't even find/make time to keep up on some of it. I'd hope that with summer coming, we can get caught up on Fringe and clear out the DVR for A.G.T.; we'll see. There is that bathroom remodel we're about to start, as well as a smaller job going on at my studio sometime this summer...

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Bit Of Catch-Up

Since I haven't posted anything since my anniversary weekend, and I finally have some free time to do so, I figured I'd catch you all up on what's going on around here. BATHROOM REMODEL: (1) After multiple trips to multiple tile suppliers, as well as trolling online, we've narrowed down our bathroom tile to three choices. All are a charcoal color porcelain with a slate look, but one is about 1/2 the cost of the other two. Since our bathroom is small, it won't make much of a difference, but is something to consider if, once we get the final bid, we want to cut costs somewhere. (2) We had Kristen (install contractor) come out last week to do the measurements for the cabinetry. While she was here, Ace decided to run all our other plans by her, and asked her to do a complete bid (minus demo & painting) -- just so we have a jump-off point. As I said before, we may just let them do it; save ourselves the hassle of coordinating the plumber, electrician, drywallers, tile guys, H.D. (for cabinets), etc. (3) The toilet (in three boxes), the sink, the sink's special stopper, my requested faucet (one of my must-haves for this remodel), and the new mirror are already ordered and waiting in our garage. (4) We went to see Julie today. She had a basic mock-up of plans, but after talking about an hour with her, she had more "homework", so she said she'd take care of the list and get back to us within a week. We need her to check out other suppliers of solar tubes (we have a specific one we're looking at), the specific countertop we want (the same as the kitchen), & frameless glass, plus configure the tile into a few different patterns we can choose from. (5) If they do the job, they'll supply the "Honey Bucket", but we'll be out the bathroom for at least three weeks. Luckily, Ace can shower at work, and Princess & I can shower at my mother's. WORK STUFF: (1) We went to IKEA a couple weeks ago, and bought a few things for the house, as well as my new chair & two new cushions for my work. I have plans to redecorate my studio; a complete overhaul. I will blog about that on my work blog (HERE). (2) Since my interview, I've been super-busy at work (another blog I'm working on). This is great for business, but my clients are going to have to get used to booking ahead, not a day or two prior to the day & time they want. I am currently booking into AUGUST!! (3) My price list for 2013/2014 is done, but I won't be printing it until November (along with new business cards). However, I *do* have revamped "Promo Cards" (which go in the envelope with my gift certificates) in the works (thanks to Megan at the UPS Store near my house). FAMILY STUFF: (1) Still not getting any parenting time with Squeeks, but we *do* chat, game, FB, & text with her on a very regular basis (she wished me a "Happy StepMommy Day!" yesterday via our DRAW SOMETHING game). She's been working her tail off; training/teaching dogs on Saturdays (with her mom) and cleaning houses on Sundays. She officially was given a promotion at her mother's business. We also gave her a cash gift (in an amount equivalent to what we were going to spend on a laptop for her -- her grad gift, just a year early). She should have enough for her own car by summer's end! (2) Princess is doing great. Her Spring soccer season is about halfway over; their last game is June 2nd. Also, her (last) student-led conference (of elementary school) was last Thursday. She was only two points away from being above level in state reading, above level in math (she's been working independently, with a small group, with a higher-level book than the rest of the class, for a few months now), and at level in writing . Her teacher recommended her for the higher-level pre-Algebra class for 7th grade (there is the basic 7th grade one, and one higher than that). I could not be prouder of her. (3) GamerBoy is adjusting, mostly, to being on his own. He mostly focuses on work, school, homework, sleeping, & gaming. He's never been a social person (gets that from his father... lol), so he's not inclinded to spend time hanging with people IRL. I suppose, in his "world", online is easier. With our child support payments (which he finally got transferred to come directly to him instead of his mother), his paychecks, & his grant/scholarship funds, he's supporting himself & his schooling very nicely. He's at a crossroads now, though; trying to figure out what's next (after Spring term). We gave him some advice, but this is *his* path; the choices he makes are his, alone, to make. He must make them based on funds (as much in grants & scholarships, and as little in student loans, as possible), class requirements, interests, etc. He may even decide to take some time off, to figure out what he wants to do, & just focus on working & saving money. That's a perfectly acceptable route to take. I also reminded him that (according to Suze Orman, whom we follow pretty closely), he should focus on getting the best education he can afford, and afford to pay back... NOT the best education money can buy. (4) Ace has been getting some great/long rides in on his motorcycle. He's riding every day to work, and if he can, he takes long breaks to get some riding in. Since the weather's been so warm, a LOT of bikers are on the road, so here's a little reminder: They must follow the same laws & rules of the road that passenger vehicles do. BUT, *YOU!!* need to give them a bit more room. Stop getting up on their tail, turning when you don't have the right of way, etc; you are endangering not only your own lives, but those of the bikers. Not every biker is "an asshole who drives like shit", but they can't stop or turn as fast as you can; one T-Bone accident will kill a motorcyclist. PLEASE be on the lookout for them, and drive safe! (5) My life lately has been a whirlwind of working, classes & shows, bathroom remodel stuff, work remodel stuff, Bunco nights, taxi mom, soccer, etc... As far as the ex goes, {a} I've yet to be reimbursed for his half of Princess' contacts costs (his wife thinks he doesn't have to pay me because she feels that the contacts aren't a "necessary medical expense"; perhaps she needs to reread the court order. Mine doesn't say anything about that; only that he has to reimburse me 1/2 of ALL her uninsured medical expenses.), {b} he still owes me for her mental health appointments from three (or was it four?) years ago. Not a big deal; whether they *think* they don't have to pay it, those bills (as well as child support arrears, and all the attorney's fees judgements) are all accruing interest of 9% per year. {c} The child support has been randomly paid, at $50 each time. I got a $50 payment in November, December, January, two in February, one in March, and one last week. Personally, I think he's either trying to keep his driver's license or (and?) trying to keep his ass out of jail. {d} He hasn't called since Santamas. Yup, that's right... December 25th; four and a half months! {e} He hasn't come to any activity since her last soccer game in early November, either. I don't know why he hasn't just given up all his rights, yet... (You just watch; as soon as his wife reads this blog, he'll start calling again for a while... until he loses interest in Princess again, anyway.) OH, yeah! I almost forgot to mention -- Princess & I went to her new (next Fall) middle school for their Open House last month. They had a scavenger hunt for the sixth graders, and Princess won a lanyard. Last week, we got the planning sheet for next year; she's chosen Art and Life Skills as her electives. I was hoping for a beginner's Spanish class (as it was mentioned in the handbook), but it wasn't on the planning sheet. I sent a note to the counselor, asking about it. Just waiting on an email back, and the finalization of all that...

Friday, May 11, 2012


It was mentioned to me recently that I haven't posted anything on here for a bit... I want to quickly apologize, as I have been super busy. Work, bathroom remodel plans, classes, etc has Ace & me running around quite a bit; I promise, I will catch you all up soon. I have some time off next week, so hoping to do so then.