Friday, March 30, 2007

I'm On Vacation!

I'm on vacation! woo hoo! I can't believe this week has finally passed. I know that my week off will pass quickly too, but I'm trying not to think about that right now.

Twelve got an "A" on her Science test, so she is feeling duly rewarded for her effort. Ten had a great baseball game this evening, so he's feeling good about how he played. I'm feeling relieved that I won't have to go to work next week.

There is so much that I wish I could accomplish this week, so much that I think I should accomplish this week, and realistically only so much that I will accomplish. The trick is to figure out a way that I won't be disappointed or frustrated when I don't accomplish many of the things that I want to. It's hard to look at the mountain of "stuff" on my desk, and not feel stress. This is one task, that if completed, would give me alot of satisfaction. Unfortunately, I know that I don't have enough time to be able to dig through all of the clutter currently on the top of my desk. I really don't even know where to begin. I look at my desk and become overwhelmed.(all that comes to mind is that I need to take a shovel (or backhoe) and throw everything in the trash). I know that cleaning off my desk is not something that I will be able to complete and cross of my list of things to do. So... realistically, I'll end up settling for doing some of the other things on my to do ... knowing that even if I cross off 25 items on that list, I will not be satisfied because my desk will still look awful!

Quite the dilemna! Do I partially do the one task that will leave me feeling satisfied, or do I pick a task that I will be able to complete?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

I Couldn't Dance Tonight

I am so disappointed! The Board of Directors annual meeting for the association where I live was held tonight. I got snookered into being on the board 7 years ago. For the past 6 years, I have said that if someone else wanted to be on the board, I would happily step off. For the past 6 years, no one else has been dumb enough to want to run...until this year. There are two openings on the board this position, and the board presidents position. Two people, plus the board president were vying for for the two open positions. I have been counting down the days until the meeting tonight where I anticipated being relieved of my board position.

The voting was by secret ballot. What this meant was that people filled out their ballots, put them in an envelope, and put that envelope into an outer envelope that contained their name, address, signature. Unfortunately, someone at the management company made a mistake and accidentally opened up the outer envelopes. When these outer envelopes were delivered to the "election ballot counter" she could not verify that there wasn't any ballot tampering. (you must be kidding me...the future of the free world does not hinge on this election!) So the election could not take place tonight. It has to be postponed until the end of April. I remain on the board. Darn it...I wanted to dance with joy out of the room tonight... now, I have to wait two months until I can dance.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I Need A Vacation

I am so stressed out at work that I can hardly think straight. This has been an emotionally challenging week and I just can't wait for it to be over... my mother keeps telling me not to wish my life away...I'm not, I'm just wishing this particular week away. I definitely need a vacation! Fortunately, I will be off of work next week. Nothing special planned since Ten and Twelve's vacation does not coincide with mine. (phooey)

The door has been ceremoniously rehinged. Twelve certainly put forth the effort to study for the Science test and earned the door back. I told her that I am proud of her effort. When I asked her how the test went today, she said that it was really easy. (amazing what studying can accomplish!) I really don't care what grade she gets now on her Science test, although it would be nice for Twelve to be rewarded with a good grade on the test, since she actually studied for it. Hopefully Twelve learned something this week, and hopefully it will stay with her. As for will not be Friday soon enough!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Parental Tantrum Time

I feel like whining, stamping my feet,pouting, and acting like a two year old...thanks to Twelve. Here's why... Twelve has been taking an acting class once a week. This is the third session that Twelve has participated in. The first two sessions ended with a regular class...nothing more, nothing less. Tonight, right before Twelve got out of the car to go into the class she told me that they were putting on a performance tonight and she did not want me to come.

Now keep in mind that every week, I am the only parent who sits in the car outside of the studio and uses that hour to read a book, or catch up on phone calls. All of the other parents, drop their kids off and leave (probably to be much more productive than I am!). So, when Twelve told me that she did not want me to come to the performance tonight, I assumed (foolishly) that none of the other parents would be there, and that Twelve didn't want to be the only student with a parent there. WRONG!!!!!!!

As I sat in my car, speaking on the phone to a friend, I watched as the 4 other students parents arrived at the studio and all lined up to enter and watch the performance. And let me tell you, I was hurt and pissed off!!!!!

I felt that I couldn't enter the studio, because Twelve had specificially told me that she didn't want me there, but boy did I feel like cr*p! I felt rejected (which I was), I felt angry that Twelve didn't give a damn about my feelings, I felt unappreciated, andI felt hurt.

At the end of the class/performance, Twelve came bounding out to the car and started telling me how she did a great job and didn't forget any of her lines. I couldn't help myself...instead of supporting her in how well she felt she did with her performance, I let her know that what she did to me was very hurtful and rude. I told her how difficult it was for me to sit there while every other parent was invited into the performance by their child. Twelve said "I'm sorry, but if you would have been there, I would have been too nervous". We had quite the dialogue about support and expectations. (I questioned her re: her perception of my support and whether she felt that I expected her to be perfect.) We had quite the conversation, and although she apologized about 3 times, I wasn't ready to accept her apology.

Twelve knew that I was hurt and pissed off and tried to make it better by offering to help with dinner. To be perfectly honest, I didn't want her anywhere near me and it took all of my self control to allow her to help me. Do I think that this was Twelve's way of getting back at me and punishing me for removing her door? It may have been, but that doesn't excuse the behavior, and it certainly doesn't make me feel any better. The bummer is that now Twelve wants me upstairs to help her study for her science test tomorrow and I don't want to. I'm hurt and I'm mad and I don't want to be near her right now! I know that as a mother, I have to suck it up, go upstairs and help her study. I do have to help her right? (please say I don't have to, please don't make me do it...I really don't want to!) What I want right now, is some time away from her, and a good pouting, crying, yelling, weeping session.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Still Unhinged

Here's the most recent door update. Twelve completed (although reluctantly) all three of the extra credit projects (it turned out we had to go to the teaching zoo this weekend, because the quarter ends this coming Friday, and the extra credit stuff needed to be in before then). Twelve turned in all of the papers/receipts which served as proof today. (I think her Science teacher was surprised!).

Twelve had quite the attitude last night when I told her that I expected that she would attend the Science study session today after school. ("I'm not going"..."Oh yes you are"...was the theme). You would think that she'd want to attend since getting the door back now "hinges"(groan) on how much effort she puts into her Science test.

Checked my calendar during work this morning...realized Twelve had a doctor's appointment right after school today (doop!). Had to e-mail Twelve's 7th period teacher to ask him to please let her know that she would not be able to attend the Science study session today and that I would pick Twelve up from school.

Twelve looked none to happy that I was parked right in front of the school to pick her up today (too bad!)...but I did detect a smug look on her face...who could blame her, since she ended up getting her way (which was to NOT attend the study session)? Twelve knows that I expect her to study for the test on Wednesday. Fortunately for me, Twelve has an acting class that she takes on Tuesday nights, and she loves this class. I told her that if I ask her questions from the study guide tomorrow afternoon, and she is unable to answer them, she will not be allowed to go to her acting class tomorrow night.

Currently, she is upstairs "studying"...I hope she gets her science grade soon... a lot "hinges" on it.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

An Analytical Mind

It was pointed out to me recently by Patti of Late Boomer Bloomer that I appear to have an analytical mind. Although Patti and I have only recently met as blogger pals (as opposed to pen pals), I think her observation is very "right on".

For my whole life, up until now, I've been interested in why things are the way that they are, why things happen, and how things work. For me it's never been enough to just observe something, I've always tried to figure stuff out...whether it's been something mechanical, emotional, or just part of everyday life.

Up till now, this has served me well. I can change a door lock (but not pick one, although if I had been inclined to learn how to pick one, I certainly could have "picked that skill up"), I seem to catch on pretty quickly when someone explains something new to me (as long as what they are saying is logical)...although I'm not as quick as I used to be. So far, I am pretty much able to keep up with new technology (although I'm finding that Ten and Twelve are not so far behind me!).

I'm also finding that there is a part of me that doesn't seem to care to figure everything out anymore. I can't seem to work up the energy to want to. The need to understand how and why things are, the way they are, is lessening... This worries me! Does this mean that my mental capacity is deteriorating, that my ability to learn new things is diminishing, that I am losing my mind, brain cell by brain cell? Could it be that I am becoming less analytical? Could I be relaxing more as I get older? Or...could it be that am I just getting old?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Twelve's Questions

Twelve has some questions she would like answers to...

1. Why do those signs say "In Case of Fire, do not use elevator"? How would you put out a fire with an elevator?

2. Why do people constantly return to the refridgerator hoping that something new to eat will have materialized?

3. How come people tell you to stay a kid as long as you can, but the moment you do something childish, they tell you to grow up?

4. Does water float?

Answers to these questions will be appreciated.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Unhinged Door - Update

Here's the update...

1. Poor attitude + disrespect = Door unhinged.

2. Door unhinged + time to realize that she blew it = 180 degree turn in attitude .

3. 180 degree turn in attitude + all three extra credit assignments completed = door will be returned.

By the way...did I mention that the visit to the teaching zoo won't happen until a week from this Saturday? It's going to be a long week! C'est la vie!

The Unhinged Door

By the time Twelve comes home from school today it is quite possible that I will have removed her bedroom door. Yep, taken it right off the hinges...and the way she is acting right now, it may not go back up until she moves out of the house.

Twelve received a "progress note" for her Science class yesterday. She needed me to sign it, which I did. She had currently earned a grade that let's me know that she isn't even trying in that particular least not on her tests. It just so happens that earlier in the day, I was speaking with Eventempered's mom, and she was telling me about three different opportunities for Twelve, and her daughter, to earn extra credit points totaling 25.

Twelve gave me the major eye roll and arms crossed across her chest attitude. Mind you the activities that Twelve can participate in are "fun". She can help clean up trash around the school this Saturday, for two hours, with classmates, family, friends, neighbors...(latex gloves supplied), that would earn her 10 extra credit points. She can go to a local teaching zoo and earn 5 extra credit points. The third extra credit opportunity, in which she can earn 10 more extra credit points is to create a menu for the family, which must include 3 meals for one day and be part of a balanced diet.

I have already emailed the teacher in charge of the "Clean-Up" day and told her to expect Twelve, I've also penciled in a time on my calendar for her to visit the local teaching zoo, and I'm sure that you can guess what Twelve and I will do when she gets home from school today. That's right...plan 3 well balanced meals for the family.

On one level, Twelve may be acting "typically twelve" but I feel so frustrated! I really don't know what, if anything, I can do to motivate her to care about school....Any suggestions?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Building Confidence

The girls in my Girl Scout troop are putting on a one day event (the actual event will last for 2 hours) for the service unit as their Silver Award Project...(at the risk of being redundant, the Silver Award is the highest award a Cadette Girl Scout can earn). The actual event has been broken into various parts, with each girl having the responsibility for completing their specific parts of this project. They are also allegedly working together to help each other least that's what they're supposed to be doing. Twelve and her friend Eventempered have been involved, so far, in making registration and promotional fliers for the event. They have worked well together and can now check that part off of their "Things To Do" list.

Another item on Twelve's "To Do" list was promotion of the event. One of the things that Twelve had to do was contact the troops who had not signed up for the event to see if they might be interested in attending. I think that speaking on the phone can be a difficult thing for some people, calling a stranger can be quite intimidating...especially for a twelve year old. So Twelve and I spent some time reviewing proper phone etiquette and then I placed one phone call so that Twelve could hear the conversation and make her "script".

As we started, Twelve was very nervous. She sat right up against me (under the auspices of wanting to hear what I was saying...but I think being near me helped calm her nerves.) The first couple of calls that she made were tough for her, but great learning experiences. As she continued with the calls I watched her body posture and confidence increase. At one point I watched as the "aha" light bulb, lit up above her head, and her voice and speech went from tentative to exuding confidence. Now that's what Girl Scouting is all about!

Can you remember any of your "aha" moments? Are you willing to share?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Fraud Alert - Update

Called the credit card company and spoke with "Julie" in the fraud division. Julie asked me when the fraudulent charges started. I told her the date on the current bill and asked her to please check our previous bill as my dh had also complained last month about the size of the bill, but no longer had a copy. Sure enough out of 8 charges last month, 5 were fraudulent. Then had her check the month before that and all was well. "Julie" told me that she would send out some paperwork, which I should receive in 7-10 days, and that we should also be receiving our new credit cards about that time.

I then asked "Julie", how, if we both still had our credit cards, and neither of us ever go inside the gas station, but instead opt to use the "slidey thingy" at the pump, how someone could steal our credit card information. She told me that the theives are very sophisticated and they have something that they put into the "slidey thingy" which "reads" the information from the last credit card's that for technology?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Fraud Alert

Last night dh opened a gas credit card bill statement and just about had a heart attack! The bill was for almost $700. (we both drive a lot but not that much!) As he looked closely at the statement, he noticed lots of gasoline charges for gas stations in areas where we don't drive to, or fill-up at. (sorry about the dangling participle). About $500 worth of unauthorized charges. Both dh and I checked our wallets to be sure that we were both still in possession of our credit cards...which we were. I then immediately called the credit card company to report that our credit cards had been used fraudently and to close out the account. They took the information, closed the account and told me that I would have to call customer service on Monday to file a fraud report.

Everytime I go into this brand of gas station, the machine at the pump always asks me for my zip code. I assumed that if I put in the wrong zip code that it would not allow me to pump gas. Now I wonder. How is it possible for someone to charge over $500 to our gas credit card if they don't have the card with them? Are thieves so sophisticated that they are able to make new cards? How could they have gotten our number?...and what a pain in the neck for both dh and I. This one gas station is the most convienent for us to use. It is the one located right when we get off the freeway. Until this mess is settled, and they send us new cards with a different account number, we will have to either fill up with a different brand of gasoline, or use cash...( with the price of gas these days, I don't think I want to carry enough cash to be able to fill up my car.)

Both dh and I are angry. Hopefully we will be able to resolve this matter, and not be responsible for the charges that are not ours. Now dh has to look at last months bill (which was higher than normal) to see if there were any fraudalent charges on it. Has anyone else been a victim of credit card theft? Did you still have your cards, or were you cards stolen? Did you have to jump through hoops to get the matter resolved or was it a relatively painless process? Any suggestions on how to deal with the credit card company? Help!

Friday, March 16, 2007


The Girl Scout meeting is over (thank goodness)! Twelve, Eventempered, and a third girl worked well together on a portion of their Silver Award. All were in jovial moods! The girls worked hard and a lot was accomplished! The meeting was a success! Now I can girl scout activities this weekend... in girl scout activities planned...until the "extra" meeting, next Friday. All the troop will be attending...and won't be at my house!

Walking A Fine Line

I think I actually did something right in Twelve's eyes! Needed to have an extra girl scout meeting this afternoon with some of the girls, because they are the members of one committee that is working on a particular portion of their Silver Award. It turns out that the girls who were able to meet, just happened to be girls that Twelve likes.

Eventempered's mother (Eventemper happens to be the one girl in the troop that Twelve likes the best) offered to pick the girls up at school and have them meet at her house. Mentioned that to Twelve, and she said "Why can't they meet at our house?" After the last fiasco ,there was no way that I was going to offer our house...which is just what I told Twelve. Twelve's comment was "No mom, really, it's O.K., I really want them to meet here". I let Twelve know that I was just trying to follow her "list of do's and don'ts" and that if there was a change to said list, that she had to amend it and sign it. (that earned a closed eye roll in my direction)

Yesterday, I was speaking with Eventempered's mom, and with some trepidation (o.k. much trepidation!), I offered to let the girls meet at my house after school. This would allow the girls to walk, instead of being picked up, hopefully they will burn off some energy on the walk, and then I offered to work (or deal) with these sweet angelic young ladies. (I am using the term "young ladies" loosely). Eventempered's mom said that was fine. (I think that she was somewhat relieved that she wouldn't have to deal with them at her house.)

I find that I am stressing, worrying about all the things can can go wrong between last night and this afternoon. Wish me luck...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I don't know the root of my "quirkness" but I am ready to share it with you...maybe someone can help me find a cure. When I go to the store for something, often I will buy more than one of the product, even if I really only need one. I could say that I do this because I am a busy mom and I don't know when I'll find time to return to the store, so I buy extra...just in case. I think that reason sounds good, and sometimes it is even true, but often I buy extra for a totally different reason....I'M AFRAID THAT THE STORE WILL RUN OUT OF WHAT I WANT, they won't carry the product that I like anymore, or the manufacturer will discontinue making the product.

I don't have any idea where this irrational fear comes from. Actually, it is probably not so irrational. There have been times when I have found a particular product that I really like, only to return to the store when I am running out to find that they no longer carry said product, or that the manufacturer no longer makes the product. I find that quite frustrating. It's not that I am a rigid person (I like to believe that I have great flexibility), but I know what I like.

Today, I went to a large store (think red bullseye) to buy some cleaning supplies. While I was there, I passed the deodorant aisle and thought to myself..."I could probably use some more deodorant". Not that anyone is interested, but I have used a deodorant stone for many, many, many years and recently switched to a "roll on" version of the deodorant stone. (See, I am flexible). Well, when I went to look for the "roll on" version, all I saw was large quantities of a "spray on" version. Until I got down on my knees and looked waaaaaay in the back where I found two lonely roll-on versions. Needless to say I bought them both.

Does anyone else have quirks? Will you share yours with me? I promise I won't tell anyone...Girl Scouts honor!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

From Baseball To Girl Scouts

I have so many thoughts right now, I don't even know where to begin. I guess I'll start with baseball...Saturday, Ten had a baseball game. He decided this year that he wants to pitch. He has a coach who thinks that it's a good idea, (which is very different from last year, when his coach wanted HIS son to pitch along with the other coaches son's and didn't let Ten pitch). For me watching Ten pitch is very stressful... there is so much pressure on the pitcher, and it bothers me that the pitchers gets blamed (by the parents in the stands) for runs that are scored against them, which are due to errors made by the infield and outfield (missed catches, dropped balls, overthrows). (not that the pitchers don't make bad throws...they're ten years old for crying out loud!)

Ten seems somewhat oblivious to it (thank goodness)...but I can't(won't) keep my mouth shut! So...when one of the mothers at the game on Monday started blaming our loss on Saturday, on the pitching (Ten was one of 4 pitchers) I had to speak up! (Her son was one of the kids, dropping balls, missing catches, overthrowing balls) I smiled sweetly (actually I was probably grimacing) and said in the sweetest voice that I could muster (sweet, yeah right)..."I think that we have some really good pitchers...too bad that they aren't getting back up from the other kids. All of those errors, that the rest of the team are making, are really allowing all of those runs!" Then I smiled.

Now for the Girl Scout cookie boothing update... Called the Service Unit Manager...she didn't remember the story about the lady, her daughter and the bad checks, but she told me that I absolutely did the right thing and that she was going to get the word out to not only our service unit but to the other neighboring service units. Hopefully with a concerted effort, this woman and her quest to steal from Girl Scouts (and whoever else) will come to and end. One can only hope.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Just In Case

Spent 4 hours boothing Girl Scout cookies today. Two hours into the "wonderful" experience, a lady and her daughter approached one of our tables. For some strange reason, alarm bells went off in my head and a story that had been told to me two years ago at a service meeting, immediately came to mind.

The story went something like this...Two women, a mom and her adult daughter were buying cookies from the girl scouts in a neighboring county. They would go to different stores where the Girl Scouts were boothing, and they would buy lots of boxes of cookies and then write a check. Everything sounds great here...except, the checks that these women wrote, always bounced. At the time I asked my service unit manager what I should do if these women approached my girls during boothing. She told me that I should just accept the check, and that the council would deal with it. Now I will tell you that when I heard this story (it is not an urban legend!) these women were described in greater detail than I wish to share. Let's just say that the thought of people ripping off anyone, much less a non-profit organization really burned me up, and so I stored this story somewhere in my brain.

Fast forward to today. I am sitting at a table with two of my girl scouts (and two girl scout dads), when two women approach the table. (Now please keep in mind that in all the times that I have "boothed" with my girl scouts, hundreds of people have approached the table and I never before had the following reaction.) I looked at these women and warning bells went off in my head. (if you've been reading my posts, you know that I am overstressed and tired... so the fact that my brain was registering anything was pretty amazing).

I don't know what made me do it but I turned to one of the dad's that was standing next to me and I whispered...."They're going to want to buy lots of boxes of cookies and they will write a bad check." He looked at me like I was nuts. I continued to watch these two women tell my girl scouts that they wanted this box and that box until there were 20 boxes that these women wanted to buy. Having been told by my service unit manager to go ahead and sell the boxes anyway, and realizing that I could be wrong about these women, I was fully prepared to accept their check...but these women kept asking which county we were located in. Then they started asking my girls to do a bunch of stuff (having to do with purchasing cookies) that I won't even go into. I became very uncomfortable and would not allow my girls to comply with these women's requests, because they were unreasonable requests. I absolutely intervened and explained to the women that what they were asking was unreasonable and that they could do what they were asking my girls to do, themselves. By this time I wanted them to either give me the check and take the cookies, or leave. (They were making a scene, and scaring my girl scouts.) The situation finally ended with the women telling me that they hoped I had a rotten day... and they left without purchasing any cookies.

I know that I have left out alot of information. I guess it's because I don't want to inadvertently say something that could get me in trouble...not that I did anything wrong. I had two adult witnesses who were there for the whole situation. They both told me that I handled the situation beautifully. I need to contact my service unit manager on Monday and let her know what happened. Tomorrow morning I will contact the leader of one of the troops who I know will be boothing at the store we were at today...just to give her a "heads up" as to what happened today.

A long time ago, I learned to honor and listen to my "intuition". Something did not feel right today from the moment these women approached our table. Is it possible that I lost a big sale for my troop for no good reason?...yes it's possible. Is it possible that I saved my Girl Scout council the hassle of having to go after these women for having written a bad check?...yes it's possible. Do I feel that I handled the situation inappropriately?...absolutely not! Am I glad that I am done with boothing? bet I am! Did I write down their license plate number...just in case? bet I did.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Sometimes I Am Not A Nice Person

Another Girl Scout meeting finished! My co-leader and her daughter were not able to make the meeting today, so it was two moms, 7 girls, a "new girl and her mom" who came to the meeting to check out our troop, plus me. New Girl is currently in 6th grade and is looking for a troop in our area. New Girl seemed very comfortable with the 7th and 8th grade girls in our troop. New Girl couldn't keep her mouth shut! New Girl reminded me of the Flinger when she was younger. New Girl kept speaking out of turn and interrupting. New Girl gave me a headache.

Twelve and Eventempered both liked New Girl. Twelve and Eventempered both said that New Girl is really nice. What is wrong with these girls? Couldn't they see that New Girl is Flinger reincarnate? Couldn't they hear that she was interrupting what was being said and disrupting the meeting? Couldn't they read my mind as it reeled in horror at the thought of another Flinger in our mist?

I spent part of the meeting speaking with New Girls mom...explaining to her that my troop is finishing up their Silver Award project, and that I really don't know what next year will bring as far as the troop goes. I tried to let her know that some of the girls will be moving on to high school and may not want to continue as Girl Scouts. I even looked up the names and phone numbers for the leaders of a 6th grade troop at our school. In reality, I tried everything, other than coming straight out and saying it, to discourage this mother from having New Girl (or Flinger 2) join our troop. I am hoping (wishing, praying) that the mother and New Girl decide together that maybe our troop would not be the right one to join. Sometimes, besides being a wimp, I am not a nice person!

Public Service Announcement...

Daylight savings time is coming to parts of the United States and Canada this Sunday morning. There has been alot of media hype about all the things that can go wrong with cell phones and computers. This reminds me of the Y2K hype, which never amounted to anything. However, just in case there is something to this, the technogeeks at my work sent the following link to go to if you have an older computer (one that doesn't have the DST upgrade in it) that is running Windows XP or Outlook. (Just so you know I went to the website and my work laptop already had the upgrade.) Personally, I can't imagine that it matters if my computer says it's 6:54am and it's really 5:54am but maybe somehow it is important. So in the spirit of community service, I am providing this information. This concludes this Public Service Announcement

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Freedom and Independence

When I was younger, I used to enjoy driving my car for long distances, just to go and explore. Usually the driving did not involve traffic or time constraints. I find that as I've gotten older, I still enjoy driving, just not as much. I think that part of what I enjoyed about driving when I was younger was the feeling of both freedom and independence that I got from being able to jump in the car and drive, just because I wanted to. Now when I drive, it is usually for a purpose...I am trying to get from point A to point B in order to accomplish one thing or another.

Today for example, I drove to School #1, then back home (I had left something important at home). Then I drove to School #2, back to School #1, then to School #3 (for a BORING meeting), and then finally home. All in all I put close to 90 miles on my car. What did I accomplish with all that driving? It's really hard to say. Do I provide a valuable service with my work?...Absolutely! Do I derive any satisfaction from my work?... Sometimes. Do I feel overworked and overwhelmed with all that is required of me?... Most definitely. Do I need a vacation?... You bet I do!

Sometimes, I just want to get in my car and I used to do when I was young. Back when I could fit all of my belongings into my car... each time I moved. Back when I felt a joy that came from knowing that my life was my own. I could come and go as I pleased. There was no one to answer to, no one needing me for something. Sometimes, I wish that my life wasn't so complicated right now and that I didn't have all of the pressures and responsibilities that I have. Of course, back when I had all of that freedom, I often felt very lonely. I remember hoping, wishing, praying for a man to love... who also loved me. I longed for children to love. I know that if someone were to offer me that time of my life again...I wouldn't take it.

I love my hubby..I love my kids...and I really wouldn't want to be without any of them...I guess that sometimes I want to re-feel, just for a moment, that sense of complete and utter freedom.

Could this be a midlife crisis coming on? Could I be hormonal? Could I just need a vacation? Maybe yes to all three... all I know is that today, all that driving really got to me.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Stop The Presses!

Stop the presses!!!!!!! Twelve told me that she loved me this evening. Yep...the words "I love you mom" actually passed from her lips. I know that I heard her correctly because, after I lifted my jaw off of the floor, I looked at hubby ( who was standing there with his mouth wide open) and I asked him if he had just heard Twelve say "I love you mom" ?

I couldn't believe my ears. I hadn't just given her anything, or done something for her. I was just standing in the kitchen with hubby and she walked by and said those words all sweet and innocent-like... After the week that we just had, I can't help but wonder if there is some ulterior motive. I mean, what does she want from me?...What could have possibly compelled her to utter those words?...Could it be that she was feeling bad about the way she acted this past week (as in, she has a conscience) ? Could she actually feel some appreciation for all that I do for her? ( yeah, right)... Could she just have had a momentary "brain fart" and forgot that she is twelve years old and her job is to hate me and drive me crazy? (that's a possibility)... or could it be that the sweet little girl, that I have loved for all her life, decided to come out to remind me that she's still in there somewhere, and that I should hang in there, even when the going gets tough.

I guess what matters is that she said the words. Despite all that has gone on between us, I will choose to believe that she actually meant them...and I will revel in the warm feeling those words gave me. That is...until she decided that she hates me again.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

She Had Me Fooled

"Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies... well, thanks anyway." Four hours of hearing this over and over and over again... think I need some Advil.

Just got home from a boothing session (this is where the troop sits outside of a grocery store for a set period of time with boxes of Girl Scout cookies and accosts...I mean asks politely... if people would like to buy some cookies). The troop sold about 165 boxes of cookies and collected donations for 45 boxes of cookies to be sent through our Girl Scout council directly to our servicemen and servicewomen overseas. From where I was sitting, Twelve seemed to be having a good time...turns out she didn't. Twelve told me that she "didn't like being around the other girls in the troop" and she can't wait to be done with the troop. Clearly Twelve is a great actress...she certainly had me fooled.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Calm Before The Storm

After the Trilogy (see here, here, and for part I was due for some rest and relaxation...Twelve figured otherwise. I gave her the assignment that Joan, The Erstwhile Librarian, suggested in her comments to have Twelve come up with a list of things I'm allowed to do and a list of things that I'm not allowed to do. Twelve decided that we had to discuss the lists last night. Spent one and 1/2 hours discussing my obvious short comings...and the ways that Twelve feels I need to behave in order to improve my ratings as a mother. Can't tell you how thrilled I was to finally be given the magic prescription to being a "good mom" a twelve year old no less! (please note the sarcastic tone in my voice). The good that actually did come out of this was that Twelve had my undivided attention for one and 1/2 hours and she felt that I finally took the time to "listen to her"... I, on the other hand, had the opportunity to really "hear" what's been going on in Twelve's mind... I think that it was a good learning experience for both of us. I guess this was the silver lining in the cloud...oh who am I kidding...this was probably just the calm before the next storm!

Friday, March 2, 2007

Part Three Of The Trilogy - In Which The Meeting Takes Place

Part Three of this trilogy sees me waiting at the flagpole when the girls get out of school. Four girls place their backpacks in the back of my van...Twelve walk by me...shoots me a dirty look and says "I'm walking". I ask her if she would like me to take her backpack...she continues walking away looks back at me and shakes her head no. Move to scene Two.

Three of the girls ask me why Twelve is walking, I tell them "because she wants to". They say "We want to walk too." I say "Go right ahead". They run to catch up with Twelve. The rest of the girls get in my van. Co-leader shows up and wants to know why some of the girls are walking...My brillant response was "Because they wanted to". Co-leader bothered...she wanted us to drive the girls because they would get to my house 5 minutes faster. I was on a different melodrama plane...I just ignored her annoyance. (There is no way that she can possibly compete with Twelve!)

Arrive at my house. Walking girls show up 3 minutes later. Twelve is walking by herself with her arms across her chest and a mad look on her face...not a pretty sight! All the girls enter my house and proceed to the dining room table. (At this point I was tempted to tell the girls "Don't touch anything in the house"...that might have made Twelve happy) . Didn't bother saying anything because as soon as Twelve walked in the house she went straight upstairs to her room and closed the door. (So much for being a sister to every girl scout). Started the meeting. Twelve's one friend in the troop...I'll call her Eventempered asked me if she could go up to Twelve's room and talk to her... thought about offering her some body armor but I didn't have any in her size. Next thing I know, Twelve and Eventempered are downstairs and have joined the meeting in progress.

Addressed why "Flinger" (see here) is no longer in the troop. Addressed that it is unfair for any of the girls in our troop to take their anger or frustration out on Twelve...that Flinger was out because of her unacceptable behavior...end of story. Girl that had been very mean to Twelve is suddenly acting especially nice to Twelve...Twelve is ignoring Mean Girl. (who can blame her?)

Meeting continues...we all get through it without any additional meltdowns. Drama unfolded...meeting over...disaster averted. End of story.

What's A Mother To Do? -The Continuing Saga

Twelve informed me this morning that we should have the meeting in our garage! She reiterated that she is walking home alone, and that she really, really, really doesn't want the girls in the troop in our house, and that I just don't listen to her. I told Twelve that I would not volunteer our house for anymore meetings. She said "I don't care, I don't want them in our house today either...let's just meet in the garage." I told her, "No problem, we'll meet in the garage." Twelve said "You're being sarcastic right?". I said "Right." All of this before 7am! I will be leaving soon to head over to her middle school to pick up the girls backpacks (they each feel like they weigh about 50 pounds!). Can't wait till Twelve walks out...should be interesting...I'm taking two Advil...wish me luck.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

What's A Mother To Do?

I'm in big trouble now! What you ask yourself, could I have possibly done that would get me in such big trouble. Well lest you forget, I am the mother of a Twelve year old...need I say more?

My co-girl scout leader and I decided to have an extra meeting, this Friday after school, in order to help the girls establish a time line for their Silver Award project. Foolishly, I offered up my house for the meeting. Now please note that in the past, Twelve liked when the meetings were at our house (I think it gave her a sense of control). In fact, in the past she has complained that too many of our meetings were at my co-leaders house...and she wondered why we couldn't just have everyone come to our house.

So...foolish me... I assumed that Twelve, of course, would still feel this way (after all she was complaining about a meeting we had a few weeks ago at someone elses house). Well, Twelve sat down across the table from me tonight and told me that she did not want the meeting at our house. She said that she didn't want all of these girls touching her things (somehow the dining room table has become one of her things). She told me that she is walking home alone and will not join the other girls on their walk here, and that she wants to have the meeting up at the park. Then she stormed upstairs and has now disappeared into her room, where I am sure that she is mumbling about what a terrible mother I am, and how dare I invite these girls into "her" home without asking her if it would be all right. My head is spinning...I feel a headache coming on... and I know that tomorrow will be a continuation of today...and the meeting will be full of melodrama (Twelve's) and stress (mine). What's a mother to do?