Saturday, April 29, 2006

the girl who is humiliated

That's really how I feel. Humiliated. Ashamed. DCF (Department of Children and Families) came by today to "investigate" my youngest's escapades the other morning. She came by right after lunch. The dirty lunch dishes were all over the counter, the laundry I needed to fold was piled on the loveseat, and, since all three kids were home today, the living room and bedrooms were liberally strewn with toys.
She comes by and we show her the locks we installed on the windows. The three locks on the front door, the two locks and bar on the patio door, the lock on the screen door to the patio, and the gate in the backyard. The safety lock on every door, drawer and cabinet in the house. She takes pictures of these things. She asks us questions, "Do you have any mental health problems?" "Do you have any substance abuse issues?" "How do you discipline your children?" Then she takes my 7 you (who, for some reason, was listed as a "victim" to our "neglect" even though he was in school at the time) into his room and asks him questions without us present. I asked him after she left what they had talked about and he "couldn't remember." Which is the response I usually get from him when asking about anything more than five minutes old, so I know better than to push it. But I really wanted to know!
Then she says she's not even our case worker, she's just here to file the initial report and we'll be hearing from our actual caseworker sometime soon.
Great. Another "surprise" visit to dread and agonize over.
And I was starting to feel better today.
Today's picture is of youngest again, swinging on the playset in my parent's backyard in Texas. You can tell it's in Texas because everything is brown, instead of green like here in Florida.

the girl who just wanted some comfort food

What is in Subway sandwiches? Is it crack? Are there subliminal messages in their advertising? Whatever it is, no matter what kind of crappy service I receive, I seem to always go back.
Last night I wanted a meatball sub. I had a bad day (see previous post) and had made the executive decision to cut myself early from work. I was on the way home and just wanted something comforting. So I stopped at Subways. It's a Friday night and whoever the brain trust of management staff is for this store, they decided one, single, solitary, slow employee was perfectly adequate. After waiting half an hour (no exaggeration) and pulling up a chair to wait in line (my feet hurt) it was finally my turn.
They were out of meatballs.
Can my day get any worse? I tried to have the guy make me something different, but it was a mess and I finally told him, stop. I was really trying to restrain myself from saying anything because the last time I was in there, I might have made a teeny tiny little scene over something similar. But my mouth opened and I found myself saying in a disappointed voice, "This is the third time in a row I've come in and you've been out of meatballs." And the guy says "It's not my fault."
Now why did he have to say that? It's a huge pet peeve of mine. Don't shift blame, don't pass the buck, just apologize, offer something else and move on! I was very restrained, just muttering about how it's never ANYONE'S fault who worked there, and left. But I was pissed. I don't know why I get all kinds of upset over crappy experiences at fast food joints, but it truly bothers me and I will probably dwell.
Anyway, at least I got out of work early, even if it did take an hour and a half to get home between travel time and stopping for food (since they were out of meatball at Subways I just got hubby's sandwich. I ended up stopping at Sonic on the way home for me.). Hopefully today will be better.
Today's little ones playing at the firestation in San Angelo. My brother-in-law is a firefighter so we had full run of the place!

Friday, April 28, 2006

the girl who is a bad mommy

I awoke to a parent's worst nightmare this morning: a policeman pounding on the door asking, "are you missing a child?" And I was! And I didn't even know it!

The day started like most. my eldest woke me up at 8 and I looked over his homework, made sure he had his snack, checked to make sure he was wearing underwear (the boy likes going commando) and sent him off to school. Then, blissful silence. The other two were still asleep. So I figured I could get a little extra shut-eye, and went back to bed.

An hour later, I'm woken by the aforementioned pounding. Apparently my youngest had opened the window and pushed through the screen (Thank God we live on the first floor!) and been wandering the complex. Naked. Oh yeah, he's going through a nudist phase and everything was stripped off--including his diaper. From what I can figure, he had gone a building over, climbed the stairs and been trying to open the door to a neighbor's condo. (She doesn't speak English, so I got this all through simple Spanish words and pantomime.) She enlisted the help of another neighbor and they apparently tried to knock on our door, but since our bedroom is in the far back, we didn't hear it. They finally called the police.

Can you imagine how terrible I felt? Not only that, the officer is immediately questioning why he's naked, why we didn't know he was gone, and why our middle guy has on a dirty diaper. I work nights. I get home very late and then tend to stay up another hour or two eating "dinner", watching something tivo'd and unwinding. If I get the chance to sleep in because my children are, I take it. I am not going to wake a sleeping child. Well, now I feel completely selfish for having that attitude.

This isn't the first time he's "escaped." We have THREE locks on our front door, two locks on the back door, in addition to the lock on the screen door and a child safety gate. Now we have to add extra locks to the windows. The officer was saying there was no way he could have opened that window by himself--implying, of course, that we opened it and left two small children unsupervised--but they don't know my son. He is completely capable. He surprises me daily with what he can do that he isn't "supposed" to be able to. Our house is like Fort Know, and it isn't to keep people OUT, it's to keep my youngest IN!

Anyway, my ulcer is tearing me apart and my hair is probably three shades of gray. I don't know whether to spank him or hug him. Anyway, here is a picture of our Houdini.

Monday, April 24, 2006

the girl who is sharing a laugh

Today's picture is of my nephew playing on the ruins of an unrestored building at Fort Concho. Fort Concho is in my hometown of San Angelo, TX and is the best restored, oldest Western Fort in the United States. We visited there while I was home last month, and, surprisingly, everyone seemed to have a good time!
And the Dad sent me this and I thought it was too cute not to share!
Here's a truly heartwarming story about the bond formed between a little 5-year-old girl and some construction workers that makes you believe that we CAN make a difference when we give a child the gift of our time.
A young family moved into a house. One day a construction crew turned up to start building a house on the vacant lot next door. The young family's 5-year-old daughter naturally took an interest in all the activity going on next door and spent much of each day observing the workers. Eventually, the construction crew, all of them gems-in-the-rough, more or less adopted he ras a kind of project mascot. They chatted with her, let her sit with them while they had coffee and lunch breaks, and gave her little jobs to do here and there to make her feel important. At the end of the first week they even presented her with a pay envelope containing a couple of dollars.
The little girl took this home to her mother who said all the appropriate words of admiration and suggested that they take the two dollar "pay" she had received to the bank the next day to start a savings account. When they got to the bank, the teller was equally impressed and asked the little girl how she had come by her very own paycheck at such a young age.
The little girl proudly replied, "I worked last week with the crew building the house next door to us."
"My goodness gracious," said the teller, "and will you be working on the house again this week, too?"
The little girl replied, "I will if those assholes at Home Depot ever deliver the f****g sheet rock."
Kind of brings a tear to the eye, doesn't it?
Lol! My Dad has the most warped sense of humor--I come by it honestly!

the girl who got a massage

shhhh! don't tell my hubby! Today was employee appreciation day and they had the staff from our sister hotel's spa come over to one of the boardrooms and give 15 min massages! Whoa! How have I lived my life until now and NOT gotten a professional massage? It was heavenly, but...a little like sex. You know how when your partner is doing something that feels so good but you just know if he just moved little up, or a little to that side or was just a little bit softer or more's good and you enjoy it, but...
Well, my massage was like that. It felt great, but I didn't want it to end because I thought maybe she'd hit just the right spot if she kept on a little more. I also understand that it isn't polite to give instructions..."yeah, that's good...a little more...just a little higher...little higher..THERE! Yeah baby! That's the stuff!" Whew! I need a cigarette!
And, since I recently emptied out my digital cam, I'm going to share pictures every day until I run out! lol! So here's today's pic. THis was taken at the underwater dolphin exhibit at Sea World. Didn't manage to catch the dolphins in the pic, but I love this anyway. Why are all my favorite pictures of this boy taken from the back?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

the girl who is a little late

I know Easter was last week, but I wanted to share these pictures of my eldest and I dying eggs. They turned out so fun! Makes me want to scrap! Sorta. I have been sick and home from work the past three days. YOu would think that I would get tons of scrapping done, but, no. I just wanted to veg. No ambition at all. Finally, I forced myself tonight, and actually ended up completing three layouts. But they seem kind of blah to me. I guess when the mojo isn't working, you shouldn't force it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

the girl who is feeling the weight of the world

sick. yuck. can't stand being sick, I have too much to do! Cut out of work early tonight and missed entirely today--which does not bode well for next paycheck. Had the "talk" did not go well, but it cleared the air a bit. Feel like a bad mommy, feel like a bad wife, just plain feel bad.

Friday, April 14, 2006

the girl who is warming up

for my foray into the MMM contest. Got to get that scrap mojo working ya know. Anyway, I did about four lo's and posted them at 2Peas, but not much response...makes me start to doubt myself, ya know? I know it's not about the's about the memories. But I really like the praise! It's my gold star, ya know?

Anyway, my fave of the four, simply because of the picture. My little guy was soooo disappointed he couldn't play outside. Am I a mean mommy for not letting him play in the rain? I'll wait for a mid-afternoon shower for that. It came out a little differently than I initially envisioned, but I love it.
I have also come to the conclusion that I need a sewing machine for this entry. Every lo in magazines seems to have sewing on the pages and I don't want to be left out! Besides, I like the look. If anyone knows of where I can get a decent one cheap, lmk. I bought a janome last year and it never worked for me. Soooo, disappointed!
Going to have a come-to-Jesus talk with hubby tonight about certain things. It may not be pretty. Grant me patience and tact and the courage to issue an ultimatum. It needs to be done.

Monday, April 10, 2006

the girl who has a mentor

I am doing it. This is my year! I am going to get published, get on a design team, and get my name out there. And to that end, I asked the great ladies of the Pub at 2Peas for a mentor. THe fabulous creativekelli responded and now I have someone to give me a "been there, done that" view of the scrapbook publishing universe.
Now she's asked me to take a look at my stle and define it. I clearly have no idea! Basically, I'm a good scraplifter when it comes to details and techniques, but rarely lift a whole layout. I like mixing papers, but that's fairly recent. I also think I'm "photo inspired" but don't know if that's really a "style" or not. A little help? Anyone have any ideas for what my "style" is?
Oh, and I think I'm going to go for MMM...although I really don't expect anything to come of it. I can't post them online, but would posting them in a private album count? That way, I can ask a few, select people for their opinion, but it won't be "public." Do you think this is within the rules?

Friday, April 07, 2006

the girl who is exhausted

SO the expo came and went and it was FANTASTIC!!! I got to crop with the amazing Jens and met Milissa and Brieanna, her daughter. Milissa is the owner of Serendipity Scrapbooking and amazingly talented. She was very honest when I asked for critiques of my layouts and was very helpful. Her daughter--at 14--is shaping up to be an awesome scrapper herself! Who knows, HOF may have an even younger winner next year!
This is the layout that my table helped with...specifically the lettering on "best" I was using some bright blue tailored letters from scrapworks (the negative image) with strips of Danny O underneath. They convinced me that the blue didn't work and so I switched to the Rusty Pickle bingo chips and...well, BINGO! it worked! I've entered layout contests at every Expo I've cropped at, but never placed. I always thought I had submitted good pieces, but recognize that most of the lo's submitted were more CM style than Pea-style. SO I wasn't optimistic. I don't even know what won this time around, except I placed first! WoW! I was flabbergasted! My face was beet red, I'm sure. I could feel the heat! I won the complete "Love" line from Ki Memories. It's awesome, but I don't know what I'm going to use it for. Some project will come up, I'm sure.
Now, on to why I am exhausted. I helped chaperone my middle man's "exceptional education" pre-school class to Sea World today. It was hot, it was crowded, and it was chaos. I didn't really have a good time, and I'm not entirely sure if he did either. DH and I had reservations about him going, but I was guilted into it by his teacher. Then I had chaperone because that's the only way we'd let him go! Never again.
There was this one mother there who had styled herself as the queen bee of the chaperones. It was amusing and annoying at the same time. It was like watching highschool all over again. She was bossing everyone around and every once in awhile would come up to me to make some comment about another child or parent's behavior. It was deja vu...15 years ago deja vu! Of course, this woman was so classy that when a bathroom was a long walk away, she told her son to just "whip it out" and pee there. He did! And not in the bushes either! In the middle of a lawn! And then she nonchalantly asked him if he was done when the Sea World staff brought him back to her and diplomatically pointed the way to the restrooms. It was a farce.
I did manage some pretty awesome pictures though. Will post those later after I find my usb cord.