Joke’s on You

To the person who keeps stealing packages off of our front patio: when are you going to realize that we don’t order anything fun from Amazon? Just because it’s heavy, doesn’t mean it’s not shampoo. Or diaper rash cream. Or a fan for the dog crate.  So get it through your thieving little brain; we’re boring. We order boring things. Our kids are smelly and have diaper rash so we’re going to continue to order boring things. When you see a package on our patio, just keep walking. Unless you have diaper rash. Then you might want to consider snagging it.

Dear Parents

Dear Parents of School Age Children,

I know for a few parents, this is your first year of your kids being in preschool or kindergarten. I leave out the parents of older kids because they’ve clearly gotten the memo on what I’m about to tell you.

No matter where your kids go to school, public, private or charter, you are going to be asked to make a donation to the school or the classroom. Now, when I say donation, I don’t mean that it’s optional, I mean that it’s tax deductible. If you need a receipt for the $30 that the teachers of your child’s class are asking for so that they can develop film and hand you a beautiful book at the end of the year with pictures of your child through out the year, that’s just dandy. But please, under no circumstances should you think you are going to get the beautiful book without the donation.

Why? Because it is not up to the other parents in the class, the room parents, the teachers nor the school to provide the “extras” for your child. The donations is what makes those adorable and fun extras possible.  It should be noted that I am not talking about parents who are in difficult financial positions. In my experience, those with difficulties in cash flow are the first to respond. I’m talking about the rude parents who refuse to donate and go as far as sending nasty emails regarding the donations because they don’t like being required to make a donation and thus leaving the teachers and volunteers to cover the costs.

Listen, if you’re fine with leaving your kid in another classroom for the day while the entire class takes a field trip, that’s fine by me. I would suggest putting the $5 you should have spent on the field trip towards future therapy, but that’s just me.

So as one of the volunteers who “keeps sending you annoying emails” please note that your name will be left off the Christmas, birthday and end of the year gifts to the teachers. Even if that means I have to write out 25 names so that I can leave yours out, I’ll happily do it. Because you are what is wrong with our school system. You are the reason that our teachers are underpaid, under appreciated and most likely why your kid is a jerk.

Also, please don’t be surprised when my response to your emails is in the same nasty tone as your original email. I’m a volunteer, I don’t paid to be nice to assholes. And please expect that I’ll continue to send you those “annoying” emails, notes in your kids cubbie and in the check out folder – I think it’s important that you’re reminded of what a jerk you really are.

Kisses!

Beth

It’s the Little Things

Robert Earl Keen got it right. It is the little things that piss me off.

We were getting to a point in our house where the list of things that didn’t work was greater than the list of things that did work. Ok, not really, but you know what I mean. Every night I had to look at the hole in the wall that I created in a fit of frustration trying to re-install the curtain rod that Auggie had managed to pull completely out of the wall. I got a little over zealous with the drill and anchors….and well the result was not good. Peter finally stopped me and mysteriously fixed it all (I think there was some glue involved judging by the stain on the curtains…). But the holes and white patch remained.

Similarly, the weather stripping around the back door that had once been painted and was now chipping off was equally as taunting. All of the little things were easy enough to fix, if you had an hour or so of uninterrupted time. Which let me tell you how many of those hours I have.

I lamented to my friend Beth M about it and explained what I really needed was an older relative with a lot of time, know how and love for me who would come and putter around and fix stuff for free. She agreed she too needed such relative and we agreed to start looking through our respective family trees for candidates.

During a full there is too much to do and not enough time in the day Jessie Spano level melt down, I made a decision to just call the handy man and get some of this stuff fixed. Thankfully, our handyman has become family friend too – he’s a great guy who is wildly trustworthy and just really good at fixing just about anything (he just doesn’t work for free – so close to the dream!!). I made Rick a list and turned him loose with a box of paint and weather stripping. Two hours later, he was done, the house was cleaned up and he mentioned that he had fixed about 5 other small things (like the fact our front door wouldn’t stay shut unless it was locked) for me too. And his bill didn’t make me want to throw up, so that was a nice bonus. Thankfully he has known us long enough to know that I’m not entirely insane so when I got so excited about the painted wall, he doesn’t immediately call in the men with the giant butterfly nets and padded rooms.

The moral of the story? Life is too short to live with ugly weather stripping and to loose your sanity by trying to do everything yourself to save a dollar. Throw a little money at the the little stuff and enjoy some playtime with the kids.

Manic Monday

Rain

Picture day at school – hair dried and brushed to perfection

First day in God knows how long I have to wear professional clothing

Juggling baby, four year old, umbrella and heals trying to keep the above looking decent

Rain

Baby with a stuffy nose who “slept” in two hour or less increments all night

No construction on water company because of…you guessed it, rain

Rain

Two doctor’s appointments

Crabby baby who is a wiggling, screaming mess  at my doctor, perfectly nice at his doctor

Four year old who is not sick, but sans nap which has made her hyper rather than tired

No ear infection, just teeth which means no end to stuffy nose or lack of sleep

Rain

Sinus infection

Doctor who is less than pleased about the crazy four year old and screaming baby

Stupid HSA account that is supposed to save us money on our health insurance will. not. work.

Finally changed into casual clothes, errands and appointments done, dinner ingredients obtained

Sun

I’m not sure who I pissed off, but apparently I made someone in the weather department angry today…

There’s Something On The Wing

You know when you are flipping through channels and come across one of those strong man competitions and you see the guy with some enormous harness strapped to him and that’s strapped to a 747 and he’s trying to pull it? That pretty much sums up how I feel about life right now. It’s all. just. taking. so. much. work. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a great gig and I happily take my problems over 99% of the world’s problems. But….it would just be nice if something, anything would go down without a struggle.

Until then, all I’ve got to do is iron my super woman cape and get to pulling. Fingers crossed for a strong tailwind.

capes

Meet Matthew

I got a text from PW last weekend that said Matthew is here and he looks AWESOME. Before I could text back Who the hell is Matthew??  I realized he was talking about the damn deer he hunted in November. And by here he meant on our living room wall. And in our freezer. Yea…..

Meet Matthew

matthew

Matthew is named after our friend and the guide of the hunt. It’s an homage to the great tracker that he is. Baylor is in love. She greets him when we walk in, pets him randomly throughout the day, says goodbye when we leave and is chowing down on the venison pepperoni sticks. She is, in a word, a traitor.

Dear Costco

Along the lines of my Dear Cashier post from this week, Lindsey at SMB hit the nail on the head with this post! As well written and true as her article is, it’s the comments on her post that blew me away. “You should hire a sitter if you’re unable to perform simple tasks with your children present” was the first negative comment and it went on from there. As a former retail employee myself, I can say that her assessment of this person’s life is probably accurate – or at least some of the time. But I think the bottom line is this, the guy’s job is to be helpful and he wasn’t and that’s not ok. It is hard to be a parent and it’s really hard to accomplish a simple task like a Costco run with one kid, let alone two with one in the baby Bjorn. Trying to keep everyone happy, quiet,  from running away or being stolen is a job in itself – add lifting heavy objects a good foot from your body is damn near impossible.

PS – what the hell is wrong with people?!

Check out Lindsey’s post on Scottsdale Moms Blog and if you agree with me, let Lindsey know!

Dear Cashier

Dear Cashier,

First, lets talk about what your job requirement ARE: greeting customers, ringing up sales, making change, bagging items and occasionally smiling at a customer.

Second, lets talk about what your job requirement IS NOT: commenting on customer purchases would be one amongst others I’m sure….

Now, that said, lets address the later. Yes, I am buying probiotics for my baby. Yes, it is a small bottle. Yes, he does have colic. Yes, it is quite expensive for such a small bottle. No, he doesn’t sleep very well. That’s very interesting that when you had children SIXTY YEARS AGO that you just toughed it out when your baby was colicy.

So now that you’ve gotten to offer your opinion, I think it’s only fair that you listen to my opinion: your opinion is not valid in this transaction. Please stop talking, ring the item and hand my receipt. Oh, and try to act like and adult when I say this to you rather than a petulant three year old. I already have one of those.

 

Sincerely,

Beth

Spelling Lessons

Apparently I used the wrong version of counsel when writing an email to Peter and my mom this week. This morning I got a post it note on my desk:

I thanked Captain Spelling and then went back about my business. He then proceeded to make fun of my spelling abilities, which, he has known for the last 13 years are less than stellar. I told him that the way I would remember the difference between council and counsel is that the S in legal counsel is for shithead.

That was enough to make Captain Spelling retreat from the office. And gave me an excellent pneumonic device for remembering the difference between the two words.

Buyer Beware

Last Sunday we headed out for our annual trip to Montana. We go to the (step) family’s ranch, Hubbard’s Yellowstone Lodge to ride horses, fly fish, hike, row a boat, eat, drink, watch B run around with her cousins and spend lots of time with my mom. It’s not a relaxing read a book on the beach vacation, it’s an action packed, fun filled whirlwind of a trip. And it is awesome.

For the second time, we flew out of William’s Gateway Airport on Allegiant Air. It’s a relatively new airline at an airport that has only recently become commercial. It’s much further than the main Phoenix airport, but we can fly direct to Bozeman and it’s a much better price than the major airlines. On this trip, we learned that discount airlines means more than limited flight times, paying for bags and seat choices, but it also means that when there’s a problem, you’re shit of luck.

Here’s a timeline of the events of last Sunday:

3:30pm – we get three bags checked, three carry ons, a car seat and a three year old through security with only one bathroom break and one change of clothes. Yes, 5 minutes into the trip, B has a minor accident. I should have recognized it as an omen.

4:00pm – flight to Colorado Springs is moved to our gate. Plane is loaded and takes off.

4:30pm – our scheduled departure time. However we are not on a plane because there is no plane.

4:45pm – a person who looks like they work for the airline cruises through the terminal. 25 passengers tackle him and ask why the board is still reading “on time”.

4:50pm – announcement is made that the flight is delayed until 8:30pm. Airline / airport employee promptly disappears.

8:20pm – no plane.

8:30pm – no plane and no personal.

8:45pm – I march to the other terminal, nab a counter agent and demand answers at our gate. Snivley little weasel waltzes to our gate where he informs everyone that he doesn’t know what’s going on. Why? Because he doesn’t work for Allegiant. In fact, no one works for Allegiant  in the airport. Allegiant employees work on the plans only, not in the airport. If we want answers, we have to go on line or call the customer service number.

8:50pm – security is called due to the amount of irate travelers.

9:00pm – announcement is made that the flight is now delayed until 10pm. Oh, and there was no plane coming at 8:30. They just told us that (seriously. That’s what they said).

9:15pm – another mom hosts a dance party for all the kids at the gate. I start crying at the thought that we might miss our vacation.

10:00pm – no plane.

10:15pm – delay moved to 10:30pm.

10:20pm – announcement that a flight has arrived and they are giving us the plane. 100 people rush to pack up and run to the neighboring terminal where we stand and wait.

10:45pm – plane is finally boarded and we are headed out.

2:00am – we arrive in Bozeman and the lovely, lovely people at Hertz rent a car are there waiting with our car.

*4:00am* – our tires hit the familiar dirt of Tom Miner Creek Road.

Lessons learned:

– we have a really, really, amazing kiddo. She never once cried, melted down or acted out. She was sweet, cooperative and a trooper. She smiled until she fell asleep on the plane, the car and finally in her pack n’play.

– check the incoming flight arrival time. If the plane you are supposed to take is late, you are going to be late too.

– over packing is essential when traveling with a munchkin. I wouldn’t let her play with her Minnie Mouse backpack leading up to the trip because I was loading it with new goodies. Little figurines, markers, coloring books, magnet boards, fun headphones, Goldfish, fruit snacks, suckers…a thousand things that might entertain her and every one of them came in handy!

– humanity is not all bad. I was shocked at how nice the other passengers were, especially to two wheelchair bound older ladies. I thought they were traveling with a group, but it turns out the people helping them were just kind strangers who offered to buy them dinner, a soda, walk to the bathroom or stretch their legs. Parents shared toys, snacks and entertainment with other kiddos. The same mom that hosted the dance party also set up their Ipad with a movie for all who wanted to watch. When the gate attendant announced that priority boarders would go first and then passengers with medical needs and parents, the crowd of exhausted passengers unanimously yelled back to take the two older ladies and the parents first.

– The entire time we waited I was drafting a scathing post in my head. I am decidedly NOT thrilled with how the situation was handled by Allegiant . But I can say that at least they did fly (they only fly twice a week to each destination – if we missed our Sunday flight, the next one wouldn’t have been until Thursday) even though it was horribly late.

– Allegiant has a lot of work to do to handle their customer service better (two phone calls later and there is no compensation offered. No discount, no free ticket, no nothing) including having gate agents who know what the hell is going on. So if you are going to be flying with them, check the flight info, have the customer service number in your phone and bring lots of entertainment!

Despite our freakishly late arrival, we had a great trip! And I have the nearly 200 pictures to prove it.