Thursday, February 23, 2006


I guess technically it's Thursday, but to me it's still Wednesday. I say TGIW because it's now the beginning of my weekend. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH...........made it through another week. It was fairly uneventful, which is nice for a change. No one was taken to emergency for any reason including illness, and the week just seems to be floating by swimmingly. I am, however, extreeeeeemely thankful that my weekend is here. It takes everything I've got to make it through each night at work, and by the time Wednesday comes around, I'm ready for a break. I am fully aware that I'm not handling these night shifts well. Although planned with good intentions, it's just not what I thought it would be. It's so not worth it to be this tired, to be missing out on everything between dinner and bedtime, basketball practice, and of course, my shows. I'm going to miss being home during the day once I go back to days in May. I'm going to miss my soap, and definitely TPIR (The Price Is Right), but I can't have the best of both worlds. I'm looking forward to the change, and I've also asked for my Sunday shift to be changed in the meantime so I'm not working until 1 a.m. I'm trying to get 5 - 11, which would make a world of difference on Monday mornings. Of course, no one could make any guarantees for me, but I'm staying optimistic. That would mean I'd only be a bitchy zombie 3 days a week instead of 4. I'm sure everyone is now being optimistic.

I'm very much looking forward to the weekend. I'm going for a massage on Thursday and then to a movie, I have a very early appointment on Friday morning, but that's no big deal. We'll probably rent a couple of movies on Friday night if we can't get to one over the weekend...(this is an unobvious hint that we would like a sitter for anyone who is reading this). Kelsey has basketball playoffs on Saturday - one game for sure, possibly two depending on how they do, and then back to work on Sunday (boooooooooo!!!!!!). And, of course there is all the other stuff in between. But, it will sure be nice to not have to go to work for a few days.

I haven't posted anything in a while, and I know this isn't the most exciting post, but I felt the need to update.

If I don't talk to any of you (hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!! As IF!)..have a great weekend!

Monday, February 20, 2006

This Is Funny

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A Jake Story

Jake went upstairs to go poop. He came back down and I asked him, "Jake, did you get into anything?" He looked at me and said, "Nooo". As he was saying 'no' in typical Jake fashion, his eyes shifted away from me. So, amazingly enough, I wasn't sure I trusted his answer. I went up to the bathroom to find the unflushed toilet, toothpaste smeared all over the sink and his Aerochamber, and all the electric toothbrushes were on.

But he didn't get into anything.

Oh yeah, we need to buy more toothpaste.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy VD

And by that I mean VALENTINE'S DAY. Not Valentime's Day, and not Balentime's Day either (by this, I'm referring to the way adults would say it, not kids). It's a day that is should be filled with love and chocolate. Nothing else. Just those two things. I think I'll wait until tomorrow when everything is 50% off and then buy some goodies. Or even better, Thursday when it's 75% off. Why not? Kenny and I aren't celebrating until Thursday anyway, so why not save a few cents?

Anyway, that's all I have for today. Not much, huh?


Monday, February 13, 2006

The Day After

Okay...well....the party was a hit .. I think. The girls all got along, and they did everything "girlie". They acted silly when presents were being opened, and then once they retreated to Kelsey's bedroom and I thought they were singing karaoke, they came downstairs one by one to show me the horrific makeup they had each applied to their faces. I could not believe my eyes. Even that was upsetting to me. Kenny would have had a coniption if he saw that. They looked like they were getting ready to go to the bar. I had flashes of what it's going to be like when they're 18 years old. I just smiled politely and told them they looked pretty. They did NOT look pretty. They looked like tramps. 10 and 11-year-old tramps.

Anyway, they headed back upstairs, and THEN the karaoke started. Two of the girls came downstairs and were whining because they weren't being sent to Hollywood. I guess they were playing American Idol, or Tramp Idol, or whatever. Then they hid on the other girls who came down the stairs looking for them. I pretended like I hadn't seen them (???). How they were found is beyond me...our house is so huge. Too many places to hide. Anyway, after they were found and all the screaming and screeching stopped, they went back upstairs and continued to sing.

Kelsey came downstairs at about 8:45 to tell me it was time for me to go to her room for the night. I asked permission to wait until 9:00 (so I could at least watch the end of my show), and permission was granted.

The girls were in a hurry to get into their pj's, and apparently they had all washed their faces and were peeling off a mask that one of the girls so graciously provided for all of them (how old are they again???) So, I went up at 9:00, and they watched Sixteen Candles, ate junk food and I thought they were settling down for the night. Kelsey came upstairs at about 11:30, and my plan from the start was to tell them to shut it down at midnight. I'm sorry, but NO ONE needs to deal with a tired 10 or 11-year-old girl the day after a sleepover. I promised the parents I'd shut it down early. They all said things like, "Good luck!", or "How are you going to do that?" They obviously don't know me all that well after 6 years. Anyway, when she came up, I told her it was time to start "winding it down". She said "okay", and that was that. I went to bed shortly after that, and fell asleep right away, as all was quiet on the main floor.

All of a sudden, I woke up completely startled because I could hear from the main floor screaming and laughing and more screaming, and yelling, and talking, and screaming. It was almost 1:00. I was NOT impressed. So, I called Kelsey. She didn't answer. I called again. And again. Finally it was very quiet, and I could hear footsteps coming up to the second floor. I told her once, and once only...."time to shut it down". See, before it was "wind it down". I was giving them time...but now it was time for the party to be "shut down" for the night. And that was the end of them.

7:45 a.m....laughing, screaming, talking, yelling, screaming, started all over again. I guess they just needed time to close their eyes for a bit before continuing the previous nights' events. I so thought that I'd be able to sleep in on Sunday, with Jake being away and all...but no. Not a chance. I laid there until 9:00 when Kelsey came up. "MOM! MOM! We're hungry...can you get up now?" So, that was it. I was up cooking breakfast. And, of course they wanted bacon AND French toast. No big deal. Really. While I was making breakfast, they were watching TV. First it was videos. They criticized each and every one that came on. They commented on commercials, sang the jingles, and recited word for word their favourite ones. Then came the big one. The one comment I will never forget as long as I live. Picture this...a bunch of know-it-all pre-teen girls, in the same room, trying to be the coolest one of all of them, watching videos. The Madonna video. "Oh my God!!!!! Look at her FLAB!!!!!" Says one of them. I almost got whiplash. I wasn't sure I was hearing correctly, so I listened in a little. "Yeah! Oh my God! Look at it!" says another. "Blue and pink? Oh my God! Blue and orange would have looked SO much better with that outfit!" "Oh my God! I know! And a pink belt!!" "Oh my God! Look at that! She's like 50, and that guy is like 28!" I couldn't help it. I hadn't said anything about anything until now. I just said very calmly, "Look at her flab?" They all piped up, "Yeah! She's got flab!" Right. And I'm the Queen of England. I didn't say anything more about it. They don't know, and it's not their fault.

Then they started looking for (get this)... infomercials. There was one for a ladder that they've all seen before, and they couldn't believe how much this ladder cost. It was something like 4 payments of $69.99, and they were trying to figure out if that was a good deal or not. They figured it wasn't because that price was in US funds, and then you'd have to pay for shipping and handling. So, the general concencus was no..not a good deal for a ladder.

I couldn't make breakfast fast enough. It was more like breakslow. But, they ate, everyone was happy, pick up time was to be at 11:00, but of course, the last girl didn't leave until almost noon. Good thing for a pick up time.

I think Kelsey had a good time. I'll have to interview her about it after school on Monday to get the whole deal after everyone has, or hasn't talked about it all day.

She got some beautiful gifts like always, and the whole experience made me realize once again that Kelsey has a really nice group of friends.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

'Tis The Season

It seems as though in our family there are a few "seasons". There are two birthday seasons - the February season and the October season. Then there is of course the Christmas season. Right now we're coming to a close on the February birthday season. Kelsey, Jenn and Mom. Tonight should be the final occasion for this birthday season as Kelsey is having her party with her friends. There will be five 10 and 11-year-olds sleeping over at our house tonight. This means 5 girls who normally get along with no issues, except (I'm predicting here) for tonight, and I'm going to have to be the referree. I hope like crazy nothing happens, but it's just a recipe for disaster. One of the girls is so unbelievably sensitive, one doesn't see them as much any more because for the first time since Kindergarten, she is not in their class, one thinks she is better than everyone, and two of them are very mature for their age and don't do anything to rock the boat, so to speak. Should be interesting. I could be way off here, and quite possibly there won't be an incident to speak of. I'm imagining fighting over what movies to watch, what songs to sing karaoke to, who has been hogging the microphone, and who sounds really bad. I know Kelsey isn't thinking this at all, but as a parent, I can smell it. I can only hope the night goes off without incident, the girls have a blast, and no one needs me to call their parents in the middle of the night because they're either sick, or miss their own bed. Yes, believe it or not, it still happens at this age.

I don't think I've ever seen a group of kids so babied and spoiled as I have with this group. Not necessarily only these ones, but the others they go to school with as well. It's too bad really. It's to the point where the young teens in the area won't babysit any child who is under the age of 4, because they don't want to have to change a diaper. Give me a break! I dont' know of any of Kelsey's friends who have chores, or any responsibility. Kelsey is somewhat a part of that group, I do admit, but she has some responsibility where her brother is concerned.

Anyway, I'm just thankful that this group of kids are extremely nice, polite, and respectful, and I have no problem with Kelsey being friends with any of them. Kelsey is a good enough judge of character, and has strong enough opinions to not hang out with people she is not fond of, or who are not the best influences. So far, I don't have to worry about that.

So that's Birthday Season #1 of the year.

The next one comes around in October - Amy, Jarret and Jake. So far, we haven't had to go through any issues with kid birthday parties for Jake and his friends, but I know that's soon around the corner. He'll be starting school this fall, and I'm sure the invitations will start coming in the same as they did for Kelsey.

We actually have a third Birthday Season in November that we don't think of in that way because all three birthdays are for adults in the family. Kenny, Grandma, and Denise. It doesn't mean they're less important birthdays, but we don't normally have a party for the adults, unless they're turning 80, right Grandma? (I know she'll probably never see this blog, but I had to say that anyway).

I don't know about anyone else, but I love my birthday. I always have, and I'm sure I always will. I know I whine and complain sometimes about getting older, but when it comes to my actual birthday (I think it's May 30th if I'm not mistaken........Mom...?) I look forward to it. Maybe because it's one day out of the year that really is about me, and I don't have to feel guilty about it.

Anyway, birthdays are very special days, and it seems to me like there are more and more for people we know these days. EVERYONE is having's so awesome, but it's like an epidemic. Jenn knows one person who just had a baby, and someone else who is expecting, Chris & Denise know someone who is expecting, we know someone as's crazy, but in a good way. Babies are good.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Mom Jeans

I was at work tonight and was walking past my team leader's desk. She stopped me and said, "Charlene, I LOVE your hair!!" So, I politely thanked her and was about to continue walking, and she started talking again..."You look just like TINA FEY!" Well, I took that as a huge compliment. Before I continue, I should mention that my hair dryer broke this weekend, and the only way I'm able to style my hair so it looks nice is to put rollers in after it's washed. This results in a style similar to Tina Fey's, although this is not what I had in mind. I was pissed off that I couldn't just dry my hair and be done with it. It is such a pain in the arse to "roll" my hair. Although in the end it turned out nice. Also, I just dyed my hair over the weekend, so the colour is a bit different. I guess the fact that I also wear glasses similar to hers helped.

Anyway...I thought that was a great compliment. I love Tina Fey. I think she's hilarious. I don't know much about her except that she writes some pretty funny stuff. One of the funniest commercials she wrote for SNL was called "Mom Jeans". It was based on an incident that actually happened to her, and she wrote an extremely funny commercial about it. I think the term "mom jeans" is self-explanatory, and every time I see that skit, I find something new to laugh at. What I learned about Tina Fey tonight after going on a website about her, is that she is only a year older than me. Interesting. Why I find that important is unknown to me right now, but it meant something anyway. Oh, AND she was born May 18. So, almost a year to the day.

Later on in my shift, my team leader came to my desk and said that she "loved the colour". I told her I did it myself, and she seemed very impressed. Needless to say my ego is a little inflated right now. It will deflate after I go to bed tonight and realize I'll be up in about 4 hours' time. Now, there's something to look forward to!

One thing to mention before I finish here....yay to Amy for being able to get her tea set and tutu back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Monday, February 06, 2006


Now that I've bored the shit out of everyone with my last post, I should probably think of taking a reprieve from blogging for a short while. There is always something going on, something that's happened to me or the kids, or something to plain old complain about. I just wonder how much of it 4 other people can stand reading it since I talk to all of you regularly anyway. I think I need to come up with a different approach to my posts. Until then, I'll be talking to you on the phone. This post is addressed to Kenny, Jenn, Mom, and Chris. I honestly don't think anyone else has ever been on here.


Friday, February 03, 2006

To Reward or Not to Reward?

At the start of the school year, Kelsey came home and said that her new teacher (who is a new teacher - first teaching job) has a system when the students don't complete their homework, she sends home a note for the parents to sign. I guess this is so we know that our child has not done their job. I have no issue with this.

In September, Jake was in the hospital, and we all know what it's like when this happens. Everyone's lives are turned upside-down. Someone has to get Kelsey from school, bring her to the hospital, and sometimes she stays overnight with someone, or sometimes not. Sometimes she doesn't get home until late and then she has to go to bed. So, during this particular hospital stay, Kelsey had homework to do, but because of what was going on, it was impossible for her to complete it. We sent a note to her teacher explaining why she couldn't do her homework, and the next day, she came home with a homework note to be signed. I thought this was just a formality, and didn't really think much of it.

There was another time Kelsey did complete her homework, but forgot to take it back to school with her. It was over a weekend, and to be honest, I think she left it at one of the grandma's houses. Anyway, she came home with a homework note, and in turn we sent a note of explanation along with it. If the teacher didn't accept that, I'm okay with that. It's up to her to make sure it's brought back to school.

Anyway, Thursday morning everyone was getting ready for work/school/day care, etc. Kelsey says, "you know what happened at school yesterday?" I told her I didn't, and then she said in the morning the teacher asked the class, "Who has never received a homework note?" So, some kids put up their hands, and some did not. Kelsey did not because she was being totally honest. Then the teacher says, "For those of you who have never received one, I'm buying you all pizza for lunch today!!" So, some of the kids had a pizza lunch, and the rest of the kids had to go down to the lunchroom and eat the lunches they brought from home.

Before reading any further, please keep in mind that the school has a strict policy that the kids are NOT to hand out birthday party invitations at school, for this may cause bad feelings for the students who are not invited to these parties. This is printed in the school's monthly newsletter that is sent home to each family. on...

I wonder how that made the kids feel that had to go to the lunchroom? Did that give them incentive to never miss doing their homework again, or did it make them feel like shit because they weren't allowed to have pizza?

In case you aren't sure which way I'm leaning, my opinion is the second one.

I couldn't leave this alone. It just seemed so wrong. I've never done this before, but I called the school and spoke to the principal about this and nearly lost my mind when I heard what he had to say (I'm getting pissed just thinking about it).

The principal told me that the teacher discussed this with him at the start of the school year, and that the students were aware that there would be a reward involved for those who did not get any homework notes. They didn't know when this would be happening, or what the reward would be. He went on to say that he fully supports the teacher in her decision to reward the kids this way. He also went on to say that throughout life, there are going to be times where certain individuals are rewarded for their hard work, and some will not (insinuating in the "real world", which shouldn't apply at age 10, I'm sorry to say). I felt compelled to advise this person that I have been in the workforce for many years, and I'm fully aware of how rewards and recognition work. I then verbalized the fact that I am dead set against this system the teacher has introduced, and made a suggestion. Perhaps as an alternative, look at the class as a whole, and if, say, 75% of the class has never received a hoemwork note, reward them together. Just a suggestion to ensure everyone is included, and to give them incentive that maybe the next reward level is raised to a higher percentage. If the class meets it, they get pizza. If not, they don't. The principal pretty much told me without actually saying the words that I didn't know what I was talking about, and that my idea was a bad one. He then added to his comments to say that in that type of scenario, there is always going to be that "one kid" who will sabotage this by purposely not doing their homework, and to make sure they are always the one to receive a homework note, just so no one else could be rewarded. I then said to the principal in a case like that, that would indicate there is an underlying problem, and that if this student does that sort of thing, then maybe the parent(s) should be advised that their child is somewhat disruptive, and this is where report cards come into play. The principal agreed that report cards should definitely be based on individual performance. Then it was my turn. I didn't want to go here, but I had to. I said to the principal that what I meant by this was that Kelsey's first report card of the year was much different than it had been in the past, but not in a good way. She had never received such low marks in certain subjects, and when I asked the teacher about this during parent-teachers, the explanation I was given was that she gave everyone that mark because the class as a whole was lacking in these particular subjects, not just Kelsey, and they need room to improve as a class. I then said to the principal that this contradicts this whole "reward" system the teacher has implemented.

At this point, the principal fell silent. The only thing he could say to me was, "I certainly hope that was a miscummunication". I said it wasn't, because this was the only explanation the teacher had for Kelsey's low marks.

He then said that he would clarify this with the teacher, and either he or "madam" would get back to me to discuss it further.

I have no problem with a student of a classroom being rewarded and/or recognized by thier teacher and the students for a job well done. But to divide them into groups of two, reward one group and not the other....I have a problem with this.

The other problem I have is that the principal didn't back me as a parent for one second. He seems to think that "madam" is doing a fantastic job considering it's her first time teaching. I tend to disagree.

I have one more problem, believe it or not. I think that if the teacher was putting this plan into place, then some sort of communication should have been made with the parents about it at the start of the year. I honestly don't think I'm the only parent who feels this way, and if it had been at least mentioned to us, we would have had the opportunity to voice our opinion about it before the fact, rather than after.

I made this phone call to the school on Thursday. Kelsey told me Thursday evening that her teacher pulled her aside and said she's going to make the pizza lunch up to her because her mom (me) phoned the school and explained the situation behind the homework notes she received. This is NOT why I called the school! I made this very clear at the start of the conversation with the principal...I wasn't calling because "there was a pizza lunch and MY KID didn't get any!!!" I was voicing my concerns as to the effects this may potentially have on the kids who were on the short end of the stick here.

Was it inappropriate for the teacher to tell Kelsey that her mother called the school, or is it just me?

I've never called the school about anything during the 6 years Kelsey has been a student there. I feel so strongly about this, and I feel like I've run into a brick wall. I just don't understand how these teachers and administrators cannot see the harm that they could be doing. I don't know where they think the kids' best interests are a priority in this situation.

Maybe this is my parental overreaction for the decade, but I will stand up for Kelsey and all of the other kids who didn't get pizza the other day.

I didn't hear back from either the principal or the teacher on Thursday or Friday, and at this point, I probably won't. As far as I know, there is another pizza lunch in the works for the kids who don't get any homework notes in the next little while. I hope now they're thinking twice about actually doing it.