Thursday, October 30, 2008

Big Scary Kitty Cats

Yesterday a lady and her husband came to visit me about keeping their 15 week old baby boy. It went well at first, then enter Louie, our Siamese Cat. He is about the most docile and friendly creature on four legs if I do say so myself. They were concerned about him being in the same room as their baby if he were to stay with me. Now, I know that all people are not cat people but come on... Would you be scared by this???

Let's take a closer look at that BIG SCARY FACE...

All that superstition about cats taking the baby's breath is just nonsense. When I was pregnant with Harrison people actually asked me if we were going to get rid of our cat (not Louie, but another Siamese we had that has since passed away, Nigel). Uh, NO! They are my four legged babies. I don't buy into all that hoopla about cats and babies. Louie wouldn't hurt a fly. Now, he might do some damage to the cave crickets (Sprickets) that live in my basement, but not a baby. He loves my kids and they love him. He is most tolerant of being picked on my the two 1 1/2 year olds I keep and they do like to pick at him. Mostly tail pulling.

Oh well, to each his own I guess. I have met a lot of strange cases in this business. I am convinced that some people just need to suck it up and stay home with their own children because NO ONE will ever measure up to their standards and it is not fair to expect someone to. I was actually asked if the cat would be in another room while the baby was here if they were to chose me. Uh, just how would I make that happen? Really, I have no hard feelings toward this couple. They were at least honest with me from the start, which is WAY MORE than I have gotten out of some people. I just thought it was funny. They have a dog, but it stays outside. Probably a Pit Bull. Anyway, good luck to them in their search for the perfect childcare provider. I am way better off without uptight people. I just don't need the drama!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A few Gripes about Cell Phones

I typically like to keep my blog rather positive. I am sure plenty of people out there have no interest of hearing me bitch and moan about things. However, consider this a public service announcement.

First, If you are in your car, DON'T I repeat DON'T gab on your cell phone. The ear piece things, however ugly and annoying they are to people not on a phone, are OK. I guess. You are still diverting your attention but at least your hands are free. I have been behind or near far to many irresponsible drivers in the past week who are gabbing away on a phone with absolutely NO INKLING as to what is going on around them. Speed Limits?? HA! They seem to set their own, to Hell with anyone else. Driving in the wrong lane, not paying attention to lights that are changing, lane changers, or anything else for that matter.

Second, if you are in a grocery store DO NOT block up the aisle discussing on your cell phone what flavor brownie mix to buy with your boyfriend. I was behind a girl who could have cared less that she was in my way. She knew I was trying to get around her; I even went so far as to give her cart a little push so I could get around. She still didn't move it. Can we say RUDE?? Believe it or not, you are not the only person that inhabits the earth. She proceeded to talk on her phone, the hand held kind, the entire time she shopped with very little concern for anyone around her.

Third, if you are in line at Panara Bread to buy food, do you not realize how rude it appears when you are on the phone having a personal conversation that some may not want to be privy too?? Chris and I were there this past weekend, and I tell you, EVERY GIRL under say 22 in the joint must have been talking on a cell phone. Take it outside, step away from the line, go to your car, whatever, its just that I DON'T WANT TO HEAR YOUR PERSONAL CONVERSATION! Period.

Fourth, DON'T you REALIZE how stupid you look walking around Target/Wal-Mart/Fill in the blank with any location talking into one of those earpieces?? You look like an idiot. Enough said.

Fifth, DO NOT take me into the restroom with you if I happen to call you on your cell phone. I have been into far to many restrooms only to hear someone in the stall next to me yakking away. COME ON!!! Please conduct your personal business and take your conversation elsewhere. I have NO DESIRE to hear your bodily functions while I am talking to you. GROSS.

NO, I do not own a cell phone. I do not WANT a cell phone. Yep, it is your right. I just personally don't want to be connected to a phone all the time. I hear it ring enough at home. If I want you to know where I am I will let you know before hand. Otherwise, leave me alone. I can only think of a few instances where one would come in handy. On a long trip, when my hubby is on call, a trip alone, and a few others come to mind. BUT NONE of them involve just feeling the need to be "connected". Give me a break. Get a life. I sure as heck don't want to hear about yours when I am out in public.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

WARNING - Children May Cause Premature Aging

Warning!!! If you have a SMALL child, say under the age of 2, you may want to stop reading here. That being said, I have had one HELL of a time with my son lately. Almost 7, he has picked up some very bad habits that I am not real proud to write about in a blog for people to read. But, I need to vent, so here it goes.

He has been having trouble in school. Trouble focusing. Lets start there. Give him something he enjoys (science, math, art, music) he is golden. No issues out of the ordinary. Reading, which he has had some trouble with, but quickly improving, is a different subject all together. The boy just simply checks out. Leaves planet earth. I understand that it is normal for them to do this for things that give them trouble, as a way of shutting it out. BUT, the question lies in how do you fix the problem?? He is in several intervention type of programs and I have seen dramatic improvement in this area but he still seems to have trouble focusing and staying "checked in" during certain parts of school. He is also making some bad choices overall in school, resulting in a moved puzzle piece down the discipline board. Four spots yesterday and two today. I got a note home both days and demanded an explanation as to what he did to get it moved and then asked how he could have made a better choice. He didn't have a clue. He simply said, he got in trouble. End of subject. Said he didn't do a thing. OOOOKAAAAAY. Yesterday, he actually looked possessed when I punished him and said he was so mad he just wanted to bite me. He hit at me and cursed me. Try as I might, I could NOT get that bar of soap in his mouth without fear of breaking his jaw or getting bit by him. He got a spanking. (All those who don't approve of spanking, keep your comments to yourself). I am just not sure where to go from here. I have discussed it with the pediatrician to no avail. I know Halloween/His Birthday/Christmas are all right around the corner and it seems to be a phenomenon that this type of behavior typically occurs in conjunction with said events. I am hoping.

As parents, you just want what is best for your child and I feel EVIL and horrible when I have to punish him, spank him, force soap in his mouth, etc. But what else do you do? Some will say private school is the answer. NOW, I KNOW from personal experience that some of the worst kids come from private schools in our area. Kids there are disciplined the same way as kids in public schools. Its not like kids get to run wild in public school, so I am not really sure why people think this is the answer. Believe me, I have felt judged on more than one occasion by people close to me for the way my son acts. I have had more advice than I can handle dished out by well meaning friends. Fact is, he is MY son and I have to do what works for us. I feel as if people think I am not doing all I can to correct his behavior. Of course I am. It is simply easier to dish out advice and tell how you would do it when the child is not your own.

I know deep down that H. is a good boy. Very sensitive, almost to a fault, and loving. He is just a boy that is almost 7 who happens to be spoiled rotten. I can deal with those types of behavior problems. I just don't know how to keep it from affecting him in school. He likes his teacher and classmates and most of the kids in his class are good kids. I want him to do good and be successful in his classes and with his peers.

Anyway, I know this blog just rambles on and on and on as if I myself have "checked out". I just needed to vent. I do take small comfort in the fact that a friend of mine that has a daughter the same age as Harrison is going through some similar issues. We laughed today that kids should really come with a warning. We just weren't prepared to deal with this kind of thing that no one tells you about. Taking care of a baby is a piece of cake. Wake me up in the middle of the night, changing diapers, having someone so small totally dependent on you for EVERYTHING is suppose to be so hard. Well, I am here to tell you that JUST AIN'T SO!! The real work really doesn't being until they are old enough to have an opinion and be brave enough to voice it to you and stand up to you. Oh, you people with little ones... Just wait. Enjoy all the sleepless nights and diapers, formula, nursing, dependency, etc. Your day is coming.

Now, I must go Kiss my baby boy and tell him how much I Love Him and how blessed I am to have him in my life, good times and bad times.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ahhh, Fall in Virginia

I think Fall has finally arrived. For a minute there, I had to double check. We were moving along, summer clothes were packed away and then BOOM! We had a week of 80 degree weather. NOT LIKING that in OCTOBER!! Anyway, this past weekend, I did my normal photo shoot of the kids. We headed down to Concord after church on Sunday and after the Kids had some lunch I tried to get some photos of them in the mountains where my Mother in Law lives. Around the pond, on the rocks, etc. One thing I didn't plan for was the mid day sunshine. I got a lot of glares and shadows, but I still like them. Maybe a professional wouldn't think they were so good, but I think the shadows kinda add something to them. Not really liking the harsh light on some where it is so washed out they are white, but hey, I am not a photographer, and have a very pitiful piece of equipment that I am working with. I got semi-cooperation from the kids. Maia was so not feeling the photo shoot. Copped a major 'tude on me at one point.

All dressed and ready for church. She thought she was SOMETHING in this get-up, esp. the new shoes her Grammie got for her. She had been wanting high heels and The Children's Place came thru for us with these cute ones. She said people would be calling her "Sparkle Maia" because her shoes, tights and dress all sparkled. AND ALL THIS AT AGE 5!!!

Sitting pretty on the rocks at Grammie's House.

She wanted me to take a photo of her gazing into the "gazing ball". Wonder if she sees her future in there?? Wonder if she sees money in mine??

With the pumkins they picked out the day before at Sprawl-Mart.

OMG! She melts my heart. Is she not the sweetest thing you have ever seen???

He is so proud of that missing tooth. His second one to lose.
My preppy, handsome Momma's Boy.

My little tree hugger. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this photo of Harrison.

Anyway, we moved on from there to the Old City Cemetery. Seems to be a favorite of photographers, professional and amateur alike, these days. I got a few decent ones of the kids and some of the pretty fall colors of Virginia leaves. I don't have much to say other than "WELCOME FALL"!!!! I am sooo glad you are here. Enjoy the photos.

Fall foliage in Virginia. Pictures don't do it justice.

So sweet. As much as they fight and pick with each other, they actually do like each other
most of the time.

Maia was NOT into this photo at all. Harrison was all smiles though.

My favorite of Maia

So handsome. He is gonna be a lady killer one day.

All together now, say, "AWWWWWW".

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Today was Rough

No photos to post, just a bit of griping/unloading before bed. I had a crappy day. There, I said it. C-R-A-P-P-Y. Or S-H-I-T-T-Y, would be more appropriate. Crappy just doesn't do it justice. The day started off "ok" for the most part. Nothing out of the ordinary, kids up, ready and out the door for school as my daycare kids showup. Same ole same ole. Most of the morning was ok too. Other than the fact that I have laringitis that has lingered for going on 7 days now, I was hanging in, doing ok. I am generally grumpy, due to the fact that I have not been able to talk above a whisper for 6 days, but hey, I am dealing.

The crap started around 10:30am when JP Morgan called me about my Paypal MasterCard Debit card. To authorize a charge. In the amount of $350. That I didn't make. FRAUD. Well that is just one fine and dandy piece of poo to be delivered on a silver platter to me. I was just about to transfer my paypal balance to my checking account to cover some purchases made this past weekend on my shopping trip with Maia. Well, now the money is gone and will not be recovered for about a week. That sucks for several reasons that I won't get into. Basically, my checks could turn to rubber because of this. Maybe not, but it is possible. I have a few saving graces, but I won't count chickens before they hatch. That ALWAYS gets me in trouble. The good news is, they were able to deny the charge, thus preventing it from ever hitting my checking account at or local bank. I did not have that much in Paypal to cover it. That is good. Card was cancelled, new one reissued, bank notified, etc. Oh, if only the drama ended there...

The rest of the day went OK. At 4:45 one of my mom's showed up to pick up her son, Xavier. He has been with me for a few months. She told me that he would be leaving in two weeks because the daycare her 3 year old son is at had an opening and it would be easier to have the both a one place. No arguement there, but it would have been nice to be told a long time ago he was on a wait list so I could have been prepared. She gave me a two week notice, which is more than most have done in the past. No hard feelings here, Promise. It was just the icing on my cake today. Now, in less than two weeks time, I have lost TWO kids. That is HALF OF MY INCOME PEOPLE!! That SUCKS, no matter which way you slice it! This seems to be a trend with me come October. Never fails. Right in time for the holiday's. Thank God for the In-Laws who are more than willing to help out in the Santa Department. Else, Santa would probably be skipping by our house this year.

So, now i am on a quest to find not one, but TWO replacements to make up the lost income. My little guy, Zander, is leaving to stay with his grandma for free. Can't blame mom for that one at all. I have had him since he was 6 weeks old, so he is like my child. It will be hard to see him go.

Oh well, That's how the cookie crumbles, I suppose. I am going to bed now. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Mr. Mantis Makes Another Appearance.

...this time, Louie was not around. Mr. Mantis was just chillin on my porch furniture. Isn't he cute? He was looking right at the camera. Probably freaked out after his last experience on my porch!

Fire Station Fun for TC Miller Kindergarten Students!

Today, I got to go on my Maia's first kindergarten field trip to the Miller Park Fire Station #6. I remember taking a field trip here myself as a kindergartner so it was pretty cool to get to go there with her.It was just a 2 minute bus ride to and from, as it is in the same neighborhood as the school. The kids got to hear all about the fire station, fire equipment, what to do in case of a fire, and even got to go inside the firetruck and rescue squad. Big stuff for a little person. Both kindergarten classes went and several parents.

Miller Park Fire Station #6 est. 1914

We learned that it is the oldest operating fire station in the city, having opened in 1914 and the only one that still uses a slide pole. Pretty cool stuff. The rookie fireman on staff today actually showed up how he slides down the pole. The kids loved this.

"Engine 6"

"Medic 6"

Of course, leave it to my camera to run out of "juice" as soon as we got there. It never fails for me. The only time I lose battery power is when it is something that I really want to get photos of. Happens on all the field trips and school events I have been too. Lucky for me, two other moms I know had their camera so I am hoping they will send me some good shots. I was able to eek out a few, so I will share those here. (I did not take the three of the station, firetruck and medic unit, I "borrowed" them. Shhhh don't tell)

Maia and her friend/classmate, and our old neighbor, Paola.

The kids watching and learning. No, Maia is NOT picking her nose, but it sure does look like it. (I really don't have a good choice of images to include since my batteries wouldn't work!)

Station 6 firemen. The rookie, Gavin, is on the far right. The Captain is the short bald guy!

Watching and listening to a talk on the Medic unit.

Getting all set to fight fires! Capt. told us the equipment weighs 50+ lbs.