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PMS Pickles

By M Davies   /     Mar 19, 2017  /     Mommyhood  /     4 Comments

Parenting has been a challenge as of late with my daughter. It’s really hard coming to terms with having a pre-pubescent/pre-teen on my hands, and one with my attitude to boot. It’s like dealing with a shorter smarter-assed (is that a word?) version of myself. Allow me to lay these three short stories on you so that can see where I am coming from. And as you read, just imagine, from afar my mother is sitting back and smirking knowing that she’s finally gotten her revenge on me.

 

Story 1:

I had off from work on March 8th because I was managing an assembly at Owen’s school. My husband happened to travel to Allentown for work that day. Owen had stayed home sick from school because he was running a fever. I left the house for an hour to head to Ross. When I got back home, it was around dismissal time. Owen and I waited for Gabby, but she was late. We thought that maybe her bus had some trouble, but after a short while, I started to panic. I texted my husband and asked if he had signed any permission slips for her to go anywhere, or if he knew of any trips she may have been going on. He didn’t respond. I tried to call the school, but no one was answering. Then I called the transportation department at the school – no answer. At this point, I was ready to call out the FBI, National Guard, have helicopters swooping with search lights and an amber alert called. I tried to remain as calm as humanly possible which wasn’t going well. I flew over to the school and flagged down the first adult I could find in the building (which was essentially a ghost town except for some kind sports practice going on inside of the gym). I really don’t even remember what kind of sport was being practiced, that is how upset I was at the time. The coach somehow managed to determine that my daughter was one of the children who participated in the Science Olympiad which was being held at Penn State Wilkes-Barre. He then called the instructor that was over at the school with the kids and confirmed that Gabby was indeed there. My heart attack turned into rage. I drove over to PSU WB where I found my daughter sitting in the bleachers with the rest of her class.

I mean, what’s my angle here for this parenting disaster? Do I scream at her in front of her friends for making me have a damn near panic attack? Do I ground her for the rest of her life and turn her off from participating in any extra-curricular activities? Do I just hug her and be grateful she’s somewhere safe? How do I handle this?

And to make matters worse (for me, not her) she won a damn medal! I am proud of her, yet SEETHING with rage.

She came in 4th place for one of the activities they participated in – I believe it had something to do with a hoverboard or hovercraft.

And the little shit was on TV for a few seconds.

I had a discussion with her teacher after I managed to find her in the crowd. Gabby was supposed to bring home a paper giving us all of the details of what was happening the day of this event (what to wear, when to be picked up, how much money to bring for lunch, etc) but, she never brought it home to show us, so neither my husband or I had any idea it was going on. I was perfectly fine with her participating, it was just a shitty way of finding out. It would have been nice to actually see her at the awards ceremony! Fricking kid.

 

Story 2:

We were just recovering from the fallout of story number 1, when THIS happened: My daughter decided to crawl out of her window.  Let me set up the story for you first before I tell you WHY she decided to do this. The Friday after story number 1 happened, 3/10, we got 6″ of snow. School canceled classes and both kids were home for the day. I was off and my husband was working from home. Owen decided to hang out in the basement and play video games, Rich was also working in the basement, I was watching TV in the living room and Gabby was in her room most of the day drawing and playing on her tablet. At some point, she decided that she wanted to go outside and play in the snow….which is fine. Except, rather than going through the people sized hole in the house (otherwise known as a door), she decided she wanted to go through the cubby sized hole in the house (otherwise known as the window in her bedroom). I am not sure the logic of leading up to this decision. She told me that she didn’t think we’d allow her to go out and play, so she took it upon herself to crawl out of her window. Her cunning plan had one huge flaw. She underestimated the height of the window from the ground and couldn’t get back inside. Another flaw: Instead of walking up to the people sized hole in the house and knocking on the door to be let back in the house, she decides to carry a huge outdoor chair across the yard and places it up against the side of the house and uses it as a ladder to crawl back inside. Now mind you, this all happened while she was wearing no coat or shoes and in broad daylight. I can only imagine what my neighbors were thinking.

And to top it off, rather than tell your parent about what stupidity you just have gotten yourself into face-to-face, you send it via text message, because of course.

I used to call her Houdini because she would manage to find a way to take off her poopie diapers without taking off her footie pajamas in her crib. It seems she’s graduated into houdining out of houses.  Ugh. I could literally just kill her. Not to mention that we don’t have health insurance for two months because of Rich changing jobs. Now is not the time to start working on scaling the facades of houses, kid.

 

Story 3:

This one is more of a icky girl problem thing and I’m sorry in advance of the TMI nature of the topic. BUT ANYWAY, last year, Gabby got a visit from the monthly crimson fairy for the first time. Now even at my age – 36 – I still hate and have issues with my monthly visitor. You’d think that over the years, handling it would become easier or second nature. YEAH NOT SO MUCH. I am barely able to deal with my menses, now I have a mini me walking around that I have to deal with as well. Needless to say, it hasn’t been a fun year for me.

Ooooh and does she get ever so moody every month. Slamming doors, back talking, correcting grammar, and fighting her brother. Although I can’t tell if it’s the PMS, the teenagerhood onset or the fact that SHE HAS ALWAYS BEEN THIS WAY SINCE SHE COULD TALK. But, I digress….

I noticed recently that we are going through jars of pickles like water. I usually buy the large jar of mini gherkins by Mt. Olive from the supermarket. Before kids, we could have that jar of pickles for weeks before finally killing it. Now, it’s like we could go through it in 3 days (maybe less). I know we all love the pickles, but really? As an experiment, I bought two of the large jars during a recent supermarket run. That lasted about a week. Finally at dinner one night I asked, where are all of these pickles going? I really wasn’t expecting to get an answer, but the sass queen volunteered that she was eating them all. Owen chimed in and said “YEAH SHE DOES EAT A LOT OF THEM WHEN SHE GETS HOME FROM SCHOOL!” After Rich yelled at her to stop eating so many of them because it would ruin her dinner, she informed us that her friends told her that eating pickles during your time of the month works better than chocolate because you won’t get zits. Who is perpetuating this rumor!? No chocolate!?! Whaaaaaat? I think I laughed so hard that I snorted. Is this something that they read in Seventeen or Cosmo?

Hence the title of this blog entry – PMS Pickles.

Period.


 

At this point, I think the warranty is up on this child and I lost the receipt to return her. I guess I’ll just have to float her up the river like Moses.

This parenting thing is for the birds.

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Will Ferrell

By M Davies   /     Dec 22, 2014  /     Mommyhood, TV Rants  /     11 Comments

In tonight’s awkward parenting moment, my son asked me if I ever met Will Ferrell at my current job.  I have to assume it’s because he and Gabby watched “Elf” for the first time over the weekend.  I caught bits and pieces of it in my various levels of lucidity with my early AM weekend work shift.  It is a cute movie, but for the most part, Will Ferrell’s humor is ehhhh at best for me.  There were some good moments and some awful moments I’ve seen out of him.  Personally, my favorite Will Ferrell moment was when he impersonated Harry Caray on SNL.

 

I had a friend going through a rough patch and was in rehab at the time these skits were on SNL.  It was one of the few things that kept him going and laughing.  To this day, we still joke about it.  “If you were a hot dog and starving…would you eat yourself?”  Hilarious.  I won’t name who it is, but if you are on my Facebook, I just posted one of these videos to the person’s wall.

 

But anyway.  No kid, I never met Will Ferrell at my job.  Sorry to disappoint.  This is Northeast Pennsylvania, not 30 rock.

 

The closest I’ve ever come to “meeting” Will Ferrell was when I was in the same room with him at the Ed Sullivan theater in NYC.  I was in the audience for a taping of “The Late Show with David Letterman”.  Twice.  Once was right after I graduated High School.  Once was right after I started @ epix Internet Services.  The only proof I have of this are some pics I took outside of the theater (no flash photography is allowed inside, probably some union rule) and a t-shirt that I bought at the CBS Store down the street.  The store which was located at the corner of Broadway (53rd) and 7th now appears to be closed.  Boooo, CBS.  🙁

 

The first time I went to Letterman, I went with “Frog” (aka Mike, aka my prom date).  We got our photo taken with Rupert G from the Hello Deli.  The guests on the show that “night” (the show is taped at approximately 4pm EST…ahhhh the magic of TV) included the Piedmont Bird Callers and June Carter Cash.  June sang “Ring of Fire” with an autoharp.  I am blessed to have seen that as she died a few years ago.  Also, after watching “Ring of Fire” and “Walk the Line” and learning the story behind how her and Johnny Cash’s lives together came to be is incredible and should be a model of what true love really means.  The show aired on June 30, 1999.  I graduated from High School on June 6, 1999.  Season 6 / Episode 181 / Episode 1246

 

Here are some of the pictures I took that day:

 

The second time I went to Letterman wasn’t until the next year.  I started @ epix Internet Services on 4/3/2000.  I was stuck at a desk taking calls when suddenly one came in that I not only wanted to take, but NEEDED to take.  It was from the Late Show staffers.  They had tickets and I wanted them.  I knew that Ben Folds Five would be playing on an upcoming show due to my awesome newsgroup (DATING MYSELF HERE) alt.music.ben-folds-five.  I made sure to get the ticket reservation for that day.  Little did I know Will Ferrell would be there as well.  After the show had ended, me and my boyfriend at the time, Rich (now my husband), rushed outside to catch a glimpse of Ben before he got back on his tour bus.  Everyone else crowded around Will Ferrell to get his autograph, but I wanted to see Ben.  Going back in time, I still don’t think I would have changed anything knowing how successful Will has become.  The date was July 19th, 2000 which also is the date of my parents wedding anniversary.  Season 7 / Episode 179 / Show 1441

 

Here are the few photos and mementos I have from that day:

 

Yeah, I sent the photo into the Weekender.  That was before the Weekender went to a pile of shit.  Sorry, I’m not sorry Mom and Dad about saying that, but that’s a blog post for another time.

 

So back to the story….no kid.  No, I didn’t meet Will Ferrell at my job.  But I was in the same room with him.  Once.  I could have met him and got his autograph.  Once.  But I didn’t, and even if I could go back and change things, I still wouldn’t.

 

I just watched the end of the Craig Ferguson show.  I never really got into the show, but when I did catch it – it was gold.

 

On May 20, 2015, Letterman will sign off for the last time.  I’m fortunate for these memories that he’s blessed me with.  I’ve always been a fan of his awkward humor as is my Grandfather.  I always wanted to take him to see the show.  I will try once again for tickets and see if I can make this happen.  At this point, with the show being so close to ending, it’s probably going to be damn near impossible.  But all you can do is try.

 

I think the greater story here is that my son and his generation will never truly appreciate Letterman because they will be too busy watching “Step Brothers”, “Blades of Glory”, or even worse “Zoolander”.  With respect to Will Ferrell, of course, those movies just aren’t my cup of tea.  To be honest, I’m lucky if any movie is my cup of tea.  I have the attention span of a fly.

 

So like, how do I even start to tell an 8 year old THIS story?  Ugh.  Maybe I’ll just hand him my blog card when he turns 18.

 

For good measure, I would be remiss without including one of my favorite Ben Folds songs (a duet).  My kids LOVE this song, BTW.  Whenever it comes on in the car, they stop their bickering and sing along to it.  And I’m supposed to believe that cutting back on music programs in schools is a good idea?  Nah.  Try again.

 

 

Wow, this is the first time I’ve ever watched the video for this…HAHA.  Excellent.

Anyway, until next time…thems all I got.

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WTF is Minecraft?

By M Davies   /     Mar 10, 2013  /     Mommyhood, Technology Hates Me, TV Rants  /     5 Comments

I once called my kids’ Nintendo DS a Gameboy and they looked at me like I had three heads, but sit them down in front of the game Minecraft (graphics created circa 1985) and they’ll play that shit for hours.

 

We *ahem* Santa bought *double ahem* gave my kids a Google Nexus tablet for Christmas to share, and ever since then it’s been Minecraft all daylong every day.  While one kid is playing the tablet, the other kid is on the computer looking up videos on Youtube of other kids playing Minecraft.  Maybe I’m getting old, but I just don’t understand the appeal of this game.  Get off my lawn!

 

As I said before, the graphics are just plain awful.  I’ve seen better animation out of my 8 bit Nintendo.  Think I’m kidding?  Here’s a screen shot from PCGamer.com (by the way, that’s supposed to be a sheep):

 

minecraft-faceing-sheep-01-1024x607

 

Am I missing something?  I asked this question recently on Facebook and Twitter, and received a ton of replies from my friends, who are also the parents of grade school-aged children, wondering the same thing.  Why is this game so popular?

 

According to fellow NEPA Blogger Thomas Tomeo:  “Minecraft is basically Legos meets The Legend of Zelda meets The Oregon Trail. They scrounge around the world for supplies to build buildings, tools, weapons, and hunt for food. Then, when night falls, you have to protect yourself from the various evils that stalk the wilds.  It’s an enthralling experience for children young and old. I love the hell out of it.”

 

I don’t love the hell out of it.  It turns my kids into fighting zombies for hours at a clip.  “MOMMY!  IT’S MY TURN TO PLAY!”  “YOU ALREADY HAD YOUR TURN!”  “I WANT TO PLAY!”  My brother suggested that I buy some legos for my kids to address their need to build things.  Trust me, they have a bunch of sets.  Gabby usually bosses Owen around until it is built and then it’s back to Minecraft.  Maybe the solution is to buy another tablet so they don’t fight as much, since the game seems to be semi-educational and semi-promotes creativity.  I just don’t want to encourage their heathen brattish behavior.

 

Any other parents out there feeling my pain with this one? Leave me a comment to discuss!

 

Hey kids!  You want to build something?  Here’s some 2x4s and some nails and a hammer.  I expect a shed in 12 hours.

 

You want to survive the evils that stalk the wilds after nightfall?  Mommy will bring you to her work to camp out overnight!

 

Problem solved.


 

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From the Mailbag: Miffed Mom Mouths off about Membership Dues

By M Davies   /     Nov 14, 2012  /     Annoyances, Mommyhood  /     4 Comments

It’s that time of year again.  PTO Membership Drive time!  I’m all about giving my children every benefit that I can to succeed, and if my membership dues allow them to have a book fair, go on a field trip or have an otherwise good time at school, you can count me in.  However, I noticed something this year that perturbed me.

 

My kids go to two different elementary schools within the same school district and I noticed that the PTO dues for one school were more expensive than the other school.  At Ross, I was able to join the PTO for a family for $5.  At Lehman-Jackson, they wanted $5 for a single person membership.  If you wanted a family membership it was 3 dollars extra.  Since my husband does not participate in PTO events, I decided not to make the splurge.  The membership is cheap in comparison to some other things I could buy that my children would get enjoyment out of….candy for example…

 

I decided to send a nasty gram to the offending school where the dues were more expensive:

 

 

A few weeks ago, I received the following email in my inbox:

Good Morning Michelle-

 

I was just finishing up the L-J PTA membership drive for the year and wanted to respond to your note that was on your membership form.  In reference to the cost in dues in comparison to Ross Elementary, L-J is a PTA that was established in 1976.  Ross Elementary is actually a PTO. (And I am no familiar with when they were started)  As per guidelines set forth by the National PTA, our dues are $5.00 per member. (That is actually their cost, and we are told we could ask for even more to make a profit in which we do not.)  You can visit the PTA website online to see where the dues are applied.  As a PTA, we have discussed over the last few years converting over to a PTO.  There is a process involved in order to do so in which we are currently looking into, but it isn’t as easy as just changing to a PTO without losing all of our organizations funds that were collected while being a PTA.  I hope I have been able to answer your statement about why the difference in cost and if you have any further questions about it, please feel free to contact me either by email or you can call me at XXX-XXXX. Thank you for joining the L-J PTA, and we look forward to your help during the school year.

 

Sincerely,

Name Withheld

Membership Chairperson”

 

Ok, so I didn’t realize there was a difference between a PTA and a PTO.  I just don’t understand why there cannot just be one type of an organization throughout all of the elementary schools to make life easier on everyone.  Does it really make a difference?  Just another thing to make my already complicated life yet more complicated.

 

Anyyyyyyywayyyyy…. I volunteered to be the website coordinator for the Ross PTO.  I’ve been working feverishly on that with my spare time (…what spare time…?)  The website is hosted though this company called “Digital PTO“.  You can register your PTO’s website for free using it.  It is a WordPress platform based system.  I guess if you are completely clueless about websites and blogging, it does the job….I just find the platform to be extremely frustrating and a rip off.  It is a hugely stripped down version of WordPress.  The free WordPress blogs have more customization than Digital PTO’s format.

 

What’s that?  You want to embed a Youtube video?  HAHAHAHAHAHA, what are you thinking?  That will cost extra.  You have a Google Calendar with important upcoming events that you want to display?  Yep.  That will be extra.  You’d like to create a custom header image with your logo on your page?  You guessed it, extra.  What a rip off!  Thankfully, the Ross PTO did not pay for any of the “extras” and I have been able to find HTML ways around the embedding in most instances.  I don’t think I’d feel comfortable knowing my membership dollars were going to that con-artist company.

 

Here are the fruits of my labor, if you care to look.  Just don’t mind my afterbirth:  http://rosspto.digitalpto.com/

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Teachers are sadists

By M Davies   /     Sep 30, 2012  /     Annoyances, Mommyhood  /     0 Comment

Gabby’s art teacher sent home a project about a month ago for a pumpkin decorating contest.  Of course, there is a twist on the decorating theme.  It’s too cumbersome to decorate an actual pumpkin and bring it into school, apparently.  So….the pumpkins in this contest are actually “rocks”.  And if you were wondering…this is a mandatory contest that counts toward a grade.  If you ask me, the paper should have been titled “Pumpkin Stone Mandatory Project for Grade” and not contest.

 

From the paper:  “Instead of pumpkins, students will find, paint, and decorate rocks to look like Jack-O-lanters.  The rocks should not be larger than a softball because they will be displayed in the showcases for the month of October.”  The school will vote on the categories:  Scariest, Funniest, Most Creative, Prettiest and Best dressed.”

 

You’ve got to be kidding me.  Not only have I been assigned a “mandatory” art project….ahem….contest, but now I have to find a smaller than softball sized rock and decorate it.  Aaaaand I have the comfort of knowing that my work will be judged by the rest of the elementary school.  Fantastic, because I have so much time on my hands these days.  After talking with Gabby, she told me she wanted her pumpkin rock to be dressed in a peacock halloween costume.  Easy enough right?  Wrong.

 

First of all, I had to find the rock.  We have no rocks in our yard that fit the criteria of the pumpkin rock paper.  I actually had to take a rock from my brother & sister in-law’s yard.  Then I had to get online and research what a peacock looked like.  I had a general idea, but I wanted to make sure I bought the right kind of craft supplies.  Oh and by the way, crafty I am not.  This thing is sure to come out looking like a 2 year old made it.  After a trip to Michael’s I had all the supplies I needed to get started.

 

The supplies sat around for weeks, because I have been busy with BlogCon, Blog Fest, School and Work.  I haven’t had a minute to myself in about 30 days.  I fantasize about beds.  I salivate over sleep.  The last thing I want to do when I get a few minutes to myself is to paint a rock.  Anyway, I decided to take the rock to work with me on a Sunday morning and painted it there.  It took 3 coats of acrylic blue paint to get it all covered over.

 

      

 

Now for the hard part (a.k.a. the part I waited until this evening to do), attaching the “accessories”.  Obviously the stupid thing had to have eyes, feathers and a beak.  Just go ahead try and imagine how much fun it is trying to get elmers glue to adhere to a rock.  Right now I have the glue drying, it takes about 35 minutes until it bonds well.  I hope that it holds at least until she brings it to school.  I have my doubts.  Does it look like a peacock at this point?  I don’t know.  I don’t care.  I’m too tired.

 

     

 

My daughter didn’t help me with much of this project.  How many of these take home projects do teachers expect the kids to actually do 100% themselves?  My daughter has the attention span of a fly and is not capable of glueing arts and crafts supplies to a rock.  I’m lucky if I’ll even be able to pull it off.  I mean really, lets face it.  These projects are more of homework for the parents than for the kids…which is what makes them sadists.  I’m tired, annoyed and have about 6 pounds of glitter under my finger nails.  She better get an A on this damn thing.

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Imagination Deprivation

By M Davies   /     Dec 12, 2011  /     Mommyhood  /     3 Comments

In my Black Friday adventure (which you can read about here), I noticed that a lot of the stores we had traveled to had the following item as a doorbuster sale:

It is the "Discovery Kids Cardboard Color Me Play House", here's the link to the Amazon Product Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Discovery-Kids-Cardboard-Color-House/dp/B0045H4GNG/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

For the low low price of $27.99 this piece of cardboard can be yours for you children to decorate as they see fit.  Are.  Ya.  Kidding.  Me?  Whatever happened to normal cardboard boxes?  My brother and I were entertained for hours by old cardboard boxes from the grocery store or old appliance boxes.  We could have a fort, clubhouse, rocket ship, a car, or a castle all at the blink of an eye….and need I mention, it was FREE.  What the hell is wrong with these kids today?  Do they not have the imagination to come up with these ideas on their own? 

You know what I should do?  I should market a box containing pillows and blankets and call it "build your own fort" and sell it for 50 dollars.  Of course, now that I told all of my blog readers this, I'll have to kill you all.  Don't even try to steal this get rich quick scheme…IT'S MINE MINE MINE MINE.  ALL MINE.

Needless to say, my kids will not be getting a 28 dollar piece of cardboard from Santa this Christmas. 

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