Friday, August 28, 2009

I'm gonna lose some weight!

Quick post: I've created another blog to record my journey to losing weight, not just to enhance my appearance, but to live a healthier life. If you'd like to follow it, click here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What's my name again?

I have a wonderful mom. She works from home and has volunteered to pick up "Em" from Kindergarten and keep her with her at home in the afternoons. It's awesome! Gone are the days of paying $800 a month for preschool (yes, it's pricey, but it kinda has to be if you want your child to be prepared for school). I can finally really start saving for a down payment so Em and I can have our own place.

Having free, familiar childcare is great. However, there is one event that can happen: your child calls you by the caregiver's name. Or just the opposite, your child calls the caregiver, "Mom."

I've been through this before, when my daughter was at an in-home daycare when she was a toddler. She would call "Annie" "Mommy." Some other moms I knew got upset when their kids used the wrong name for them. For me, I shrugged it off, knowing that Em knew I was her "Mom" and that Annie was someone who took care of her. At that young age, the word "Mom" didn't mean anything more than "woman who feeds me and makes sure I don't hurt myself." In my heart, and hers, I was more than that, but she didn't have a different word for it.

Now that Em has started Kindergarten, she's mixing up her names again. She'll mistakenly call me "Grandma" and call her Grandma "Mom." Sometimes she catches herself right away and giggles, "Whoops! Sorry!" Sometimes we see how long it takes her to realize what she said. It's actually kind of endearing. And I'm sure my mom doesn't mind. Em's as much her kid as she is mine, since we've been living in my folks' house since Em was a little over a year old. She has three "parents" but she definitely knows who's who when it comes to genealogy.

For me, it means she's comfortable where she is. Since I know she's getting the same kind of care from my mom as she would get from me, she's welcome to call my mom "Mom" from time to time.

So thanks, Mom! I mean, Grandma! Wait, what's your name? What's mine?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Score one point for Mommy!

I got my license! Woohoo!

Four weeks ago I took my California Life-only and Accident and Health insurance license test. I passed on the first try!

Today I've officially received my copy of the license. It's so pretty!

What I'm going to do with it is still up in the air, but at least it opens up a lot more opportunities in my department and company.


My "Mean Mommy" moment

Where did my 5-year-old go? From princess dress-up to being grounded in no time at all.

Yesterday we had a pretty laid-back day planned. Church in the morning, quick lunch and a nap, then head to Disneyland to celebrate our associate minster's birthday ("Em" and I have become very close to "Opal" since she came to our church a little over a year ago).

I told Em to lay in her bed and stay quiet until I told her it was time to get up; I didn't mind if she didn't nap, but I knew I needed one before we headed to The Happiest (and most tiring) Place On Earth.

When I felt refreshed enough, I went into Em's room to let her know it was time to go. Just as I pushed her door open, I saw her roll over onto her side facing away from me as fast as she could. Uh oh. When I said it was time to get up, she slowly rose from the pillow looking groggy and said, "I didn't even hear my alarm go off." Double uh oh. Two lies in 10 seconds.

I called her on it and asked what she'd been doing when I walked in. "Napping" she said. When I asked her not to lie to me and tell me the truth, or we weren't going to go to Disneyland , she told another lie, that she was trying to see what time it was on her clock (which was behind her before she rolled over). She went through about 3 more lies before I gave up trying to get the truth out of her.

So, I had to pull the "mean mommy" card and not take her to Disneyland. Big bummer for me because I wanted to go play again (even though I'd been there twice in the last week already) and celebrate Opal's birthday. "Everyone" was going, but it wouldn't sit right with me if I gave Em the reward of Disneyland for her lies. So I "grounded" her. I told her why we weren't going to Disneyland, that it hurt my feelings that's she'd lied to me, and that she had to stay in her room until dinnertime. She could read her books or play with toys that were in her room, but not come downstairs to play, watch a movie, or play on the computer. She's 5 after all, I can't ban her to her room and make her do nothing all day. She'd fall asleep from the boredom and miss the point alltogether.

It took her about an hour to apologize and tell me the real truth (she was looking at her books on the bookshelf). We discussed that she wouldn't have been in trouble if she'd told me that right away, but now she was grounded because of the lies she told. We also discussed that while telling the truth won't always keep her out of trouble, if she lies, she'll be in even bigger trouble.

By the time dinner was ready 5 hours later, Em told me that she didn't like being grounded. I asked her if she remembered why she'd been grounded, and she replied "because I lied."

Sweet! Lesson learned....I hope.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


"Em" returned from her dad's house this past weekend; she officially came home Monday night after spending the day with me at Disneyland.

Every summer after she's been with "Jake," my parents and I have to essentially "re-program" "Em" back to normal. One year she came back from her summer visitation responding to every request with, "I can't, I'm too little." Another summer it was a not-so-cute saying; if you complimented her on how cute she looked, she's flip her hair with her hand and say, "And I know it!" Oy. Last year we didn't have any major re-programming, but we did have to re-cut her hair after she cut it while at "Jake's" house.

This year, it's tears. Every little frustration or when she doesn't get her way, she cries. Not quite temper-tantrum, but rubbing her eyes, face scrunching up and water running down her cheeks; enough tears that she needs a few minutes to compose herself. Wrong pajamas: tears. I give her the wrong stuffed animal: tears. I suggest she use a different box to store her earrings: tears.

I'm assuming that while "Em" was visiting "Jake" and his parents, she cried a couple of times and saw how quickly they tried to appease her. And just about every parents knows what happenned then: she learned that tears=what she wants.

We have one week until school starts and I am desperately trying to get her back to normal. When she was little, the rule was she had to sit in the penalty box for disobeying or deliberately doing something she wasn't supposed to. And it worked; she quickly learned how boring it is and doesn't do it anymore. So I'm hoping that a few times in the penalty box will fix this little problem. 5 minutes is a long time for a child. 1 weeks is even longer for this mom (and grandparents!) if it takes that long to go back to normal.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I'm going to protect her as best I can...


...Even if that means pissing off my ex-husband.

This year, for her summer visitation with her daddy, "Em" went to Washington by car instead of airplane. Her paternal grandparents took her up there, and her daddy will bring her back down. For as long as we've been discussing her return (since before she even left), "Jake's" sister "Alice" was going to come down with them and we were all going to go to Disneyland together when they return.

Yesterday I got to speak to "Em" on the phone (YAY!!) and then talked to "Jake" about the details about their return. They're leaving on Friday late afternoon/evening and should be in Orange by Saturday night. They may drive through the night, they may stop in Oregon for the night before resuming the drive Saturday morning. "Em" will stay with "Jake" and "Alice" at their motel until Monday night, when she'll come home after Disneyland.

When I asked "Jake" if "Alice" was going with us to Disneyland, he said, "No, 'Alice' can't come." That was it. I prodded further, asking if it was going to be just him and "Em" then. No, it wasn't going to be just the two of them. "Jake's" mom's best friend's fiance was coming with them.

WHAAATTT?!?! A man I've never met and Em's only known for four weeks, staying in a motel room with my daughter for 3 nights?!? Excuse the language, but HELL NO!!

Now, I didn't say it like that to "Jake," but I did tell him (as my mom said last night, "Like Simon Cowell, the truth but with no diplomacy") that I don't know how well "Jake" knows this man, but I don't know him and that he was going to have to get his own motel room because I wasn't going to let him sleep in the same room as my daughter. My FIVE-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER!

Both my mom and my dad agreed that I could have said that in a nicer way, to not sound like I was demanding "Jake" to get a separate room from the man, and that I really don't have a say in what "Jake" does during his visitation with "Em."

I kind of see their point, but my instinct says, "No, I'm right." "Jake" may still share legal custody (getting to make decisions about her care) of our daughter with me, but excuse me, I'm the one who is raising her. Not him. He sees her a few weeks every year, by HIS choice! He doesn't want to raise his own kid, what gives him the right to change plans on me WITHOUT TELLING ME UNTIL TWO DAYS BEFORE THE TRIP, and what in his history gives him the right to make the decision to have a stranger sleep in the same room as my daughter? This is the same man who let my daughter, when she was THREE-YEARS-OLD watch the first "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie! I love that movie, but it is in no way appropriate for a three-year-old to watch. A rating of PG means that as a parent you need to use your judgement before letting your child watch that movie. Sorry, but that judgement was lacking then, and I personally think it's lacking now. I have half a mind to take tomorrow off and fly up to WA to pick up "Em" and spare "Jake" the drive down, just so I know she's safe.

I may have not been diplomatic in telling "Jake" that the man traveling with him and "Em" is not allowed to sleep in the same room as my daughter, but I will do WHATEVER IT TAKES to protect my daughter. And if that means he's pissed off at me, so be it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Things I Remember...I Think

I'm hoping that I'm not alone in this little annoyance I have discovered; if I am then I should make an appointment with my doctor IMMEDIATELY!

I remember things, things that the people in my life say haven't happened to me.

One of my memories is being in a house/cabin with snow outside when I was little. I remember coming in from the snow and my Auntie "B" serving me hot chocolate in a mug with a candy cane as a stirrer. Both of my parents adamantly swear that I have never been in a cabin/house with Auntie "B" where there was snow. We were at her house once for Christmas, but it wasn't snowing.

I also remember a birthday of mine when I was young. I was in our house on Cleveland (meaning I was at least 5 or 6, if not older), lying on my parents' bed, watching the after-lunch special on Nickelodeon. My birthday is in April, and occasionally (ok, a LOT) it landed during Spring Break, so that explains why I was home instead of at school. My dad walked into the bedroom with a small dish of tapioca pudding with a single lit birthday candle in it. I don't remember if he was singing "Happy Birthday" to me or not, but knowing Dad, probably not. Again, both of my parents adamantly swear this never happened. Mom can't figure out why she wouldn't have been home for my birthday, and Dad doesn't remember this at ALL.

Last night after dinner, my folks and I discovered another "discrepancy." When I was a senior in High School, I took drama and dance classes. The annual "PG-14" concert was coming up and I was scheduled to work over the weekend on our big dance number. But my folks and their friends were going to Las Vegas. I remember being in the drama room crying over the cell phone to my mom because if I had to go to Vegas with them, I couldn't be in the performance the next week for having missed rehearsals. Mom didn't think it would be a big deal if I missed a rehearsal, that I was going to Vegas with them NOMATTERWHAT. I knew then that Mom and Dad didn't want to leave me at home by myself because I was dating a MAN (he was 5 years older than me). But I remember being very upset, and it still upsets me now, that my parents didn't care that I failed a portion of my class for a trip to Vegas. Mom doesn't remember that conversation, or that performance. I remember the performance: I was standing in the back of the auditorium watching my classmates perform the dance I'd worked very hard on. But Mom insists that she'd remember if she pulled me away from a class for a family trip.

I wonder how many more of these "memories" I'll discover in my lifetime. I've "remembered" these incidents ever since they occurred, so it's not like I'm just now "remembering them." Only the High School one is most recently to have been discovered as possibly incorrect. But the other two have been a source of amusement for my family for years. Glad my misfiring brain can provide some entertainment.

My fearless child, friends and I on Tower of Terror at DCA

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