Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Nothing good to report

I know the post's title grabbed you. Feel free to go on to the next blog or check out your FB account. I will understand.

Honestly, I'm not even sure I can bring you up to speed so much has happened over the past two months. However, one major event and not necessarily a good one, is the fact that I brought my mom for her annual mammography and one year to the day...they found a malignant tumor. It has been removed and the surgeon got all the "bad" cells. Now, she is going for radiation. Rather, I will be bringing her to radiation everyday for the next 5 or 6 weeks. Of course, I don't begrudge her the help, I just wish the responsibility of the transportation didn't fall all on me. However, my sister the CPA - well, need I say more? It IS tax season. Army wife, lives upstate and is geographically unsuitable to provide assistance. Finally, there is Red. My sister, Red will help if she isn't working. Honestly, being a SAHM I am the logical choice. Right now, I know I am feeling overwhelmed. I'll be fine.

It doesn't help that one of my mother friends is being snarky. I'm partially to blame because apparently I just don't know when to stop talking. I was speaking to a friend of my friend and all of a sudden I said too much. Maybe you've been there. You're comfortable, relaxing and chatting then words are coming out before you can censor yourself. I like to call it diarrhea of the mouth. The thing that really bothers me is that it took her a week, 7 days!, to tell me. Is it asking too much to expect people to be "adult" and say "hey, you hurt my feelings" or "you were out of line" when you said this. Instead, she waited until today, when all of a sudden she laid into me. When she clarified her issue with me, I apologized immediately. However, I can't help but feel I'll be doing penance for this one for a while. I should mention that I noticed that she and I were "off" but didn't know what was bothering her.

One of the churches I work for is cutting my pittance of a salary in half. It's the one where the director challenges me musically. The pastor met with me and the other ladies who sing tonight. The economy...blah, blah, blah. Can't say I'm happy about it and I can't say I'm definitely sticking around for it to "get better". He (the pastor) is a good actor, he had the right catch in his voice and looked distraught. I have to admit, he had his part down. Well, we'll see. I'd like to think about this. If I do leave, I will miss the director (who fought against our pay cut). He really is an awesome musician and an upstanding kind of guy.

Monday, January 4, 2010

That Damn Tree

Happy New Year! I hope that 2010 brings peace, joy, and good health to you and your families.

I love Christmas. I enjoy the greeting cards, the hustle and bustle of the season, the music and the children's excitement as Christmas day draws near. I even enjoy decorating the house and the Christmas tree. That is, I used to enjoy it...

Due to the fact, that I have three children and my husband had become concerned about potential fire hazards of a live tree, a few years ago we purchased a pre-lit artificial one. If we were going to make the investment, I insisted that the Christmas tree meet a couple of my criteria. One was that it had to be "fat". I wanted it to have some shape. Secondly, the tree had to have A LOT of light. I love a well lit tree. Fortunately, that Christmas tree did exist and we bought it. It's been a pleasure having this tree. It's easy to assemble and the lights haven't given us a problem. However, for the last two years, my children have asked to help to decorate the tree. Actually, they insist on helping. Last year, I thought it was fun and they had such a wonderful time. However, I secretly cursed them when it was time to put everything away. This year, well, let's just say I've been working on removing the ornaments for the past 6 hours and I'm not done yet. It's true, I'm a bit obsessive about putting the ornaments back in their proper boxes. After all, if they are packed neatly and I'm organized about it, it should be easier to decorate next year. Right? The problem is that when the kids help, I have no idea where anything is. Plus, placing 2 or even 3 ornaments on one particular branch, doesn't make it easy to find the ones that are hiding in the back. Inevitably, it's a smaller ornament hiding behind a much larger one! Well, back to work for me...that damn tree won't take itself down.

Oh, I just realized today is my blogoversary! This blog is a whole year old. Wow. It's true how time flies. I'm not going to resolve to write more often, but I will try. Thank you to all who read and all who take the time to comment, I appreciate it. And, if you are one of the "lurkers", please take a moment and say hello.

Friday, December 11, 2009


In my last post, I wrote about my son's speech teacher (Mrs. D) and how she began our parent-teacher conference inappropriately.

Personally, I don't like confrontations, never have. My stomach gets all twisted and knotted inside and I cannot eat. I have to make an effort to focus on tasks. But, I knew I had to do something about that comment. I left her a note asking her to call me. When she returned the call, I was not home and she sounded puzzled as if she had no idea why I wanted to speak with her. The ball was then in my court and I placed a call to her. After trying to reach the teacher, the school secretary took a message. Finally, last Friday morning, she and I spoke. I wanted to go in and meet with her face to face. However, she pushed the issue and I had no choice but to speak with her then. Thinking about the situation, it didn't matter if we spoke in person or not. I started off by saying, my son has made wonderful progress in his speech and articulation. I added that my son also initiates conversation, whereas he never did before. Then, I added, but I want to help your relationship with him and his relationship with you. Up until that moment, I had no idea how I would handle the problem. She had to have had a "heads up" because when it was her turn, she apologized profusely and admitted she should have found another word for "whining". I wanted to say, "Well, yeah, ya think?" but, I retrained myself. She told me that he plays nicely with the other children in the session and how he helps them with certain things. Mrs. D. continued our conversation with her admitting she was wrong and thanking me for speaking with her directly about this. Seriously, I could have gone to the principal with this, but I chose not to. I truly believe in going through the proper channels and "telling on her" would not have solved anything. In fact, (while it is unlikely) it could have made the situation worse for my son.

I'm not one to give myself a pat on the back, but I did for this one. I showed Mrs. D. I was looking out for the best interests of my son and proved that I wouldn't be walked on and take comments such as the one she used. All the while using appropriate language and teaching her that even parents can be professional.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Well, it has been a busy month. I survived my first Book Fair, parent-teacher conferences for the Mayor and Computer Boy and Thanksgiving with my Mother-in-Law. But, now I'm sick, I'm fighting laryngitis. Just great for a professional singer...(she says sarcastically).

I can't complain about the Book Fair. Scholastic delivered everything as promised and the Friday prior to the event we set up the room. A fellow PTA member, Donna, helped out. Donna is very efficient and when she does a job, it is done well. Many people don't like her, because she is opinionated and while she is knowledgable, when she shares information she sounds as if it's her way or no way. Personally, I don't mind her. It might be due to the fact that she is so informed. She is truly a wealth of information. Or it may be because I only have had to directly deal with her this year.

Book Fair was held on three mornings the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving. Students only have half days that week due to the fact that parent-teacher conferences are held in the afternoon.

While I am on the subject...parent-teacher conferences. As expected the Mayor is doing very well in school. In fact, I would have been extremely surprised if she hadn't done well. My son's...let's just say...didn't go as smoothly. The classroom teacher offered CB's speech therapist the opportunity to speak first. She started by saying my son whines. Yes, you read that correctly. She would have been better off starting off on a positive note. How he's made progress with his language. I'll be honest with you, I know why he whines. He senses that she deson't like him. That's right. A boy with social difficulties, on the autistic spectrum, knows when someone doesn't like him. I digress, that comment made me feel as if a black cloud was hanging over the rest of the meeting. The classroom teacher offered her the opportunity to leave, but she said she would like to stay. I didn't think anything of it, but she probably was just being nosy. I will speak with her about this, I haven't decided if it will be face to face in a meeting or if it will be on the phone. Part of me, wants this to be over with and discuss this on the phone. However, the other part of me wants to look her in the eye and confront her on this (nicely, of course). Unlike her, I will start of a positive note and then get into the fact that her comment, while true, made me feel uncomfortable in an already "tense" situation. Any suggestions or comments on how to handle "her" are welcome.

After Book Fair and my parent-teacher conference, Thanksgiving was uneventful. Since I sang Wednesday night and Thursday morning, we went out to a restaurant for dinner. My meal was very nice, the children were behaved and best of all, I did not have to cook or clean afterward. :) An added bonus, my mother-in-law behaved herself. She didn't embarass anyone by screaming across the room for the server and made polite converation. It was a pleasant day.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Meme

I don't do memes very often. To be honest, I don't post very often either. In fact, Suzanne tagged me a while back and before I had a chance to do her meme, my life became a bit busier than usual. However, I thought it would be fun to do one. This one is courtesy of Natalie.

The idea is to answer the questions with one word answers only. I'm not going to pass it on, but rather if you'd like to do, please feel free to play along.

1. Where is your cell phone? charging
2. Your hair? brown
3. Your mother? living
4. Your father? passed
5. Your favorite food? chocolate
6. Your dream last night? children
7. Your favorite drink? tea
8. Your dream/goal? millionaire
9. What room are you in? living
10. Your hobby? baking
11. Your fear? alone
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? debt-free
13. Where were you last night? home
14. Something that you aren't? tall
15. Muffins? blueberry
16. Wish list item? health
17. Where did you grow up? suburbia
18. Last thing you did? laundry
19. What are you wearing? jeans
20. Your TV? on
21. Your pets? none
22. Friends? supportive
23. Your life? busy
24. Your mood? anxious
25. Missing someone? dad
26. Vehicle? Honda
27. Something you're not wearing? jewelry
28. Your favorite store? Target
29. Your favorite color? red
30. When was the last time you laughed? yesterday
31. Last time you cried? yesterday
32. Your best friend? husband
33. One place that I go to over and over? Florida
34. One person who emails me regularly? Ralph
35. Favorite place to eat? out

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Why ask?

I am someone who is naturally curious. I enjoy learning about different things. Consequently, I ask a lot of questions and usually receive a lot of answers to those questions. When I ask questions, I want honest and correct responses. So, I would expect someone to want the same of me. Apparently, that is not always the case.

Why ask me a question if I'm not going to give you the answer you WANT to hear? Have you ever been in this situation? You receive a phone call, exchange polite greetings and then you're asked a question...of course, you give an answer to the best of your ability...only to be told "Oh, well, I'll call (so & so). Truly, I wanted to reach through the phone line and scream "Then why didn't you call her in THE FIRST PLACE????!!" (Rant over--thank you for letting me vent.)

People, I'm sorry. I give honest answers. Is that a problem? Should I just tell you what you want to hear only to find that I was correct in the first place? That seems to be a waste of our collective time. When I don't know the answer, I take the time to find the right answer for your purposes. I offer for your consideration this post. The one in which I was tied up in knots, but I managed to get answers for the people involved. By the way, Dinosaur Rocks! is a definite go for the second graders. Whoo-hoo! I'm thrilled and truly hope the students enjoy the program.

My other PTA responsibility is the Book Fair. My chairperson and I met today and worked on the letter inviting the students and their parents to come "check us out". Scholastic has an entire program in which they offer all sorts of suggestions and assign a sales representative assist in planning and coordinating your fair. This year's theme is "Read Around the World". We have a month and a half to plan, coordinate and line up volunteers to help. Since the students visit during class time, we need volunteers to assist the children in selecting a book (or two) to purchase. I've already made a mental list of people I want to help us with the fair. I'll keep you updated on our progress.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

PTA stuff

It has been one heck of a busy week. For a couple of days, I was in PTA (well, there's no other way to say it) hell. This year, I am co-chair of the Book Fair. Hopefully, I will learn all I need to know for next year, when I chair the committee. (Oh, joy!)

However, most of the angst I felt this week was due to the Cultural Arts committee (also known as Arts-in-Education) of which I'm the chair. Essentially, Cultural Arts helps facilitate the students' educational enrichment. Mrs. W (who happens to be the Mayor's second grade teacher from last year) always brings in this program on dinosaurs to culminate the unit. Since it happens so early in the school year, it can be tricky to coordinate the vendor and Boces approval. If you're not familiar with Boces--they (in this case) are the overseers of the various enrichment programs. It just so happens that Dinosaurs Rock! was not included in the Boces list of programs last year. So, my predecessor asked the PTA if we would agree to fund it. Of course, the members approved to do so. (I'm glad too, my daughter LOVED it.) This year, Mrs. W asked if we could once again fund the program if Dinosaurs Rock! was not one of the approved vendors. I called a Boces representative who told me that they once were on the list but weren't currently. Then, I decided to take the proverbial "bull by the horns" and call the people at Dinosaurs Rock! Once again I spoke to a lovely and helpful woman who indicated to me, she was mailing off the form within a couple of days. In the meantime, we had a PTA meeting pending, so at that point, I decided I would ask the Executive Board if Boces wouldn't pay for it, if our funds could do so. I shared the total cost and reminded them that we did this last year. Unfortunately, for me, the school principal spoke up and didn't know why we should pay for it. I tried to speak, however I couldn't find my voice. This happens to me when I am scared or shocked. I saw the writing on the wall-this teacher was NOT going to get her program and the principal didn't care. As luck would have it, we have some out-spoken members (and in this case-it worked out for me), the past treasurer added that it doesn't make a difference. She said that we either pay now or we pay later. This is a correct statement, because if we go over budget we have to pay Boces back. However, it's good, because they increase our budget for the next school year. But, back to my problem and the meeting, the principal said he would take care of it (meaning he'd talk to the teacher), but we didn't vote on it. So, in my mind, the principal was cancelling her program.

I barely slept that night, thinking that I failed the teacher, the second graders and my job to make enrichment programs happen for all of the students. Ready to quit, I finally called the PTA president who said she'd check into it. When I saw her later in the day, she told me that she'd speak to the principal after the dust settles and if we had to do a vote by telephone we could do it. A phone vote means that I would call all the members (with a witness present) and ask them to approve paying for the program. Fast forward 24 hours, when I called Boces and was told that Dinosaurs Rock! is an approved program. Quickly, I fill out the paperwork online and email it to the appropriate people. Hooray! Hooray!

Not for nothing, I hope this gets easier. I will keep you posted.