Friday, December 30, 2011

Lots of stuff, but more importantly...cake. And pictures of cake.

I got stuff done today. Hooray!

Robert and I moved some extra dressers downstairs and sold them on a yard sale website. So that helps with de-cluttering. I actually went through most of the paperwork downstairs and sorted it. Don't tell Robert, but I actually filed some as well. Go me!

I went to the commissary, got some cleaning done, went to a good bye lunch for one of my favorite YMCA workers, then came home and baked Robert's birthday cake. Since he won't be here for his birthday, we celebrated early. I got to use my new Pampered Chef pans (sooooo awesome) and cranked out a red velvet cake and some killer cream cheese icing.

What's that? You'd like to see pictures as proof? I'd be delighted to share!

Love this picture. The kids could hardly stand it. 

Last year for Robert's birthday celebration, we all ended up with the stomach flu, which is why Robert wanted red velvet instead of his normal chocolate. Works for me!

So we had a yummy dinner of lean steak cooked to perfection on the grill, veggies, and red velvet cake. Not too shabby. 

Six more months of this (productivity, not red velvet cake) and I may actually be ahead of the game. 

Hey, it could happen.

The day of nothing.

Today? We really did nothing. I think it was mostly because we were all tired of being in a car and possibly we were even tired of being together in close quarters.

The kids have been delighted to play with all the toys they got for Christmas and Robert and I have been delighted to let and watch them.

Now that the year is ending, I realize that my New Year's resolution needs some re-visiting. Over the last year, we made serious progress with our de-cluttering. Unfortunately, it (and by 'it' I mean crap) comes in faster than we can process it.

Well, okay, that's not entirely true. I hate to file, so that's piled up. I'm making memory books for the kids with their school work. I kinda sorta failed on the baby book thing, so I'm trying to keep some work from each school year for them so they'll have something to look through when they're older. At least, that's my current attempted project. But for every piece of paper I keep, I need to get rid of about 20. Add Sara's tendency to be a pack rat and the tendency of all of us to just pile stuff up where ever, the house is looking pretty cluttered again, although all the closets have been cleaned out and look pretty darn awesome.

I'm going to get this all done. If it's to the point that it's irritating Robert, then it's absolutely time to start sorting and streamlining.

So I'm all over this.

Starting tomorrow.

Because today? Is the day of nothing.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Elf on a shelf? Psh! Santa on a stand!

We made it home safely. How we got everything in the car is still pretty doggone amazing. Because, believe you me, there was a lot of stuff to be packed.

One of the things I was really hoping to bring back with us was a Santa I made back in 2005. My cousin Debbie is wicked talented and crafty and went through a phase where she was making Santas. When I say making, I mean sculpting their faces out of clay and building them from the ground up. My cousin Marci and I begged relentlessly convinced her to help us make one and she finally gave in.

Here were our results (with more than just a little help from Debbie):

Somehow, someway, we made room for my Santa in the car. Even though we are taking down all our Christmas decorations, I think I'll leave Santa out for a while. He's spent too much time in a closet since 2005!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's Christmas Eve!

Tonight Robert, the kids, and I went to our family Christmas Eve gathering.

It hit me tonight how much smaller my side of the family has gotten. My grandfather was one of 13, so holiday events were always crowded. Tonight there was room to spare, but no less love.

I wish all of you a wonderful, joyous Christmas filled with love, laughter, and happiness.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Twas the night before the night before Christmas

Traveling makes me tired. So does going to bed late and then getting up early. Yeah, yeah, I'm a wuss. I'm okay with that.

After getting up early to go and have my hair done, Robert picked me up and we went to get the kids from Mom's house. Then it was off to the grocery store, the assisted living place to drop something off for my grandmother, and then to the Fansler's who are friends of mine from high school.   

My plan was to make red velvet cupcakes using MaryBeth's mixer. I'm a mixer miser. Muaahahaaaa. 

In between lots of talking, a quick tour of the updates they'd made to their house, and watching their son Josh complete an amazing cake he was making for their Christmas celebration, I somehow got the cupcakes made in between munching on homemade Chex mix (so much better than the store bought kind) and losing count of what I was measuring. No matter, the cupcakes turned out amazingly well and it was quite flattering to see kids converge out of nowhere to try them (and also to have improved an opinion or two about red velvet cake). 

After we finished and cleaned up, we just sat around talking and looking through yearbooks. Reading what I wrote in Donovan's yearbooks was both hilarious and embarrassing. Good to see I had a lock on saying a lot without actually saying anything that early. Also? I do not - at all - miss high school. Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. But I do miss good friends, just like these...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Oh yes you DO need color!

Whenever I'm in town, I try my very best to see my former hair dude.

This is the guy that cut my hair short (when I was convinced I'd look awful with short hair) and made it work.

This is the guy that convinced me to color my hair a deep reddish brown (when I swore I'd never voluntarily color my hair any version of red) and love it.

This is the guy that can get my thinning, fine hair to look ten times it's volume.

This is the guy that will fit me in when I'm in town, has fixed my hair from some pretty serious disasters (South Dakota mullet maker I'm talking to YOU), and always told it to me straight.

For example on my first visit to him he said, "Babe! This (with a grand gesture to my hair) is terrible! Never, ever perm your hair again. Never." And I haven't, but I'm not sure if it's because he said so or because that perm was so hideous I'd pretty much already decided not to get another one. Evah.

In short, he's a total rock star and other than Jennifer Temple (who I cannot ever imagine being pushed out of my all time #1 spot), I've never, ever loved a hair stylist more.

This morning I called him and discovered the announcement on his voice mail that he would be out of town until Monday.

Well, that's not what I wanted to hear. Fudge!

Imagine my surprise when he called back a couple hours later! (Huge!)

Me: Hello?
W: BROOOOOOOKE DAHL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's Wayne, baby.
Me: Wayne! What are doing calling me back before Monday?
W: I'm working my ass off. Are you here?
Me: Yep. I thought you were out of town.
W: Not me, I'm working like crazy until Friday.
Me: Sweet!
W: You need to see me?
Me: Uh, yes. Yes I do!
W: What do you need?
Me: I really need color, but I'd love color and a cut.
W: When do you want to come in? How long will you be here?
Me: We're leaving Monday.
W: When do you want to come in?
Me: Whatcha got and I'll make it work?
W: Um.....Tomorrow at 3?
Me: YES!
W: See you then!

As I was doing my little happy dance, reality hit - we have plans tomorrow with some friends. I've missed them the last couple times I've been in town, so I really, really am looking forward to seeing them.

Since we were fairly close to his studio anyway, Robert and I just dropped by. I also intended to bribe him with some cookies, cause I'm all smooth like that. I explained that I wasn't thinking in days of the week as in tomorrow is Friday and on Friday I have plans at 3 already.

Instead of kicking my hiney out the door, he looks at me and just rolls his eyes.

W: When ya wanna come in?
Me: When can you fit me in?
W: (walks me over to his receptionist/salon manager) Hey - book her for whenever she can come in. She's been coming to me forever and let's make something work.  (Discussion between him and the size zero supermodel that runs his salon ensues about his schedule for the rest of today and tomorrow.)

Me: Well, I don't have to have color, you can just cut it.
W:  (laughing loudly) Baby, you NEED color.  (to the supermodel) Book her for 8:30 tomorrow. I'll come in early and do her.
Me: Are you sure?
W: Baby, I cannot let you walk around looking like (gesturing at my hair again) that.

No argument here. Look for before and after pics on my blog tomorrow.

Never a dull moment

The family and I headed out earlier this week to North Carolina. It's quite warm here considering that it's almost the end of December. This time last year it was freezing and over four inches of snow fell at Dad's on Christmas day. Great for photos, not so much for driving.

Today, the kids slept in and hooo boy - we let them! Once we were all awake (and I still say it was our radiating giddiness about their sleeping in that woke them) and ready to go, we headed over to Mom's for most of the day. After lunch, we went to visit my grandmother in her assisted living facility. Tucker and Sara were excited about going, more for the ice cream machine in the parlor (do people even use that word anymore?) than for visiting purposes but hey, it got them there voluntarily and in a good mood.

My grandmother has Alzheimer's so she has good days and bad days. Two things are guaranteed to perk her up - kids and men. And that's really as far into that as I care to delve. So when she saw my kids, she perked up a little but still refused to walk with us from the common room to her room or the parlor. Mom, trying really hard to be patient after repeated attempts to get her to budge, asked one of the nurses to help us convince her to move.  I tried first and had no luck. The first nurse tried and had no luck. I tried again. No luck. Richard suggested we walk away for a few minutes and then try again. Works for me. At that point, the second nurse walked over to try and darned if she didn't get right up and come along.


We visited with her for a while and then tried to get her to walk back to the common room with us. She was as reluctant to return as she was to leave. Not willing to push the issue any further, we got ready to leave. I picked up Sara and walked over to say goodbye. I'm not sure what about that got to my grandmother, probably nothing, but she perked right up and wanted to hold Sara.

Sweet, right? But the thing about Sara is that she marches to the beat of her own drummer and at that point, she'd been mostly ignored by my grandmother. Not with any ill intent, but Sara is firmly of the "I will not be ignored" school circa Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. After trying to get attention and not getting it, she was a bit averse to getting what at that point was unwanted attention. And we all know Sara can be a bit stubborn. ::Snort::

So when my grandmother suggested that Sara sit in her lap, Sara buried her head in my shoulder and tightened her arms and legs around me.

That just made my grandmother repeat her request for Sara to sit in her lap. I tried explaining that Sara was heavier than she looked (which is true). But aside from that, my grandmother doesn't do too much moving around these days and I was worried that Sara sitting on her would hurt her in some way. Plus, Sara just wasn't interested.

We went back and forth for a bit over this - my grandmother would ask to hold Sara, Sara would shake her head no and clutch me tighter, I'd try to explain that we were concerned Sara would be too heavy.

Finally, Grandmother got tired of this and decided she wanted to go to the common room. You know, the one she had just insisted she didn't want to relocate to. So we walked her in and when my grandmother sat down in the common room, she started asking again for Sara to sit on her lap. This time, though, she asked Sara directly. It went a little like this:

G: Come sit in my lap.
S: No. I'll sit right here.
G: Come on and sit in my lap.
S: No. I'm too heavy. I might hurt you.
G: Come sit with me.
S: I'm sitting right here.
G: Come and let me hold you.
S: No thank you.
G: Come and sit in my lap.
S: That's okay.
G: Sit right here, honey. ::pats her legs::
S: ::sighs loudly:: o-kay.
Gets down and climbs up into Grandmother's lap.


G: UNH! You weigh a ton!
S: I told you.
G: Oh! My legs!
S hops off and looks at me. Can we go now?
G: (loudly) She's heavy!
S: ::rolls eyes::

So, uh, yeah. Time to go.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Motivation Monday

The six week Free* program ended yesterday. Thanks to double workouts and some extra volunteering, I was able to reach my 3500 point goal early last week.

It felt pretty darn good.

So what have I learned in the last six weeks? A lot, actually.

It's easy to get bogged down in the details and lose sight of the overall picture. I've switched my focus from numbers on the scale to my actual health - both physical and mental.

I mean, let's be real for a second. I'm going to battle with my weight no matter what the number on the scale reflects. I battle to lose weight, I battle to keep it off. Lots of battles with no end to the war in sight. That's just the way it works for me.

But what I can be, what I am going to be, is healthy. I honestly could care less about the number at the moment. I think that's a pretty good start to the rest of my life and a great ending to Free* because I do, in fact, feel free.

But I realized that I need to keep myself challenged. Starting January 1, I'm entering a fitness challenge through I have to submit before pictures and then pictures each 30 days. I can't tell you how excited I am about having to post pictures of myself online. ::eye roll::

With Robert deploying soon, I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to participate in the mini triathlon, but I'm going to keep training for it anyway. Worst case scenario, I'll find someone to time me on the sections when the child care center is open. Robert and I can run it together next year. I really kind of want to wait and do it with him anyway. We'll see.

We ran sprints yesterday. Today, my body thanked me with sore feet and tight leg muscles. It's a little sick to admit this, but I'm loving it. You know what else I'm loving? Being able to go to Zumba six times a week. I'll have to cut the number down next month, but for now I'm living the dream.

What was your favorite workout this week?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Who needs an elf on a shelf when I have so many elf turds?

Today was one of those days when I would have been better off staying in bed.

Well, if I didn't have kids and two million things to do.

I started baking this morning before 8 am and wow! It did not go well.  I have a scoop that I use to make all the cookies the same size. Today, they never melted down, which means that somewhere along the line I put  in too much flour. But they look like little elf turds or something. Which should be funny...trays full of elf turds - happy holidays, everyone!...but really was just frustrating and annoying.

I took the brownies out of the oven too early and had to pop them back in for a few minutes, which messes with the texture somehow.

I couldn't find the recipe I had bookmarked for pumpkin muffins when I got ready to make them. (I ended up finding a copy of it, but by then had lost all motivation.)

And can we talk about the tantrums? Oh em gee.

I get that Sara is higher maintenance and needs more attention than Tucker. With Robert deploying soon, it's going to be an adjustment. I've already backed way, way off on my volunteer stuff. I don't want them to ever think I'm not available for them - whether Robert is here or not.

But the resident diva? She's having a really hard time with the upcoming deployment. Unfortunately, she's showing it by frequent meltdowns and tears and an attitude that would make Mariah Carey go, "whoa!".  And I'm just tired of dealing with it. So this afternoon, when I got smacked in the head with something (still not clear on what it was) hard enough that I saw spots, I needed a break.

Fortunately, Robert was home from work so I had the luxury of going into our bedroom and crawling back into bed for about an hour.

It wasn't enough time, but I sucked it up and made it through the rest of the evening anyway despite the complaints about dinner (Tucker basically said I needed to manage my time better..LOL!), the synchronized meltdowns over not getting to eat unlimited elf turds, cookie samples, and the HORROR of having to brush their teeth with....toothpaste.

I can't make this stuff up.

Elf turd and milk, anyone?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Strong arm-ing it.

In high school I dated a guy who constantly made me laugh (and roll my eyes) when he would tell me what diseases he picked up during the course of the day. (He never did.)  And I seriously doubt you can get hepatitis from having a drop of water splash up into your face when you wash your hands after going to the bathroom at school, even if you cut yourself shaving that morning. Unless, of course, you washed your hands in a vat of hepatitis, which I don't even think is possible.

After we parted ways, we stayed friends for a pretty good while. I knew he had met the girl of his dreams when she turned out to have the same "I have (insert disease here), wanna know why?" affliction that he did.

I never really understood that until I had my first health scare earlier this year. Since then, every once in a while, I worry about what may be.

My most recent bout with the "I may haves" is a concern over a pain in my neckshoulder area. I'm fairly sure it's a combination of a crick in my neck, an over-enthusiastic free weights workout, and the fact that I'm a little stressed right now. Oh, and a routine or two in Zumba that is apparently supposed to make your arms fall off.

But every now and then I wonder if its a blood clot or a torn muscle or an artery about to burst open. You know, shiny happy thoughts.

Which it isn't, of course. But I think for a while at least I'm going to stop looking things up on WebMD. And maybe skipping the arm routine in Zumba.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Motivation Monday - Free* Week 6, Day 1

This is the last week of the Free* program at the Y. I'll make my 3500 point goal around Friday, I hope.

I can honestly say motivation is mostly back. I think I'll back down my exercise to a hour or two a day versus my 2 and 3 hour sessions. I'm a little tired.

I'm disappointed that I haven't lost more weight, but my clothes are all looser, so I'm okay with that. Progress is progress and I'll take it in just about any form.

We'll be traveling next week and over Christmas. It's nice to know that I have a bit of a break in between the Free* program and the fitness challenge I've committed to begin on January 1. I'm going to do my best to workout every day when we are on the road, but I'm not going to stress if I can't or don't feel like it. In all honesty, it probably wouldn't hurt to take three or four days off.

I've strained a muscle in my neck/shoulder and I'm hoping that some rest and relaxation next week will help that out too. I can't even type that without laughing....not sure how much relaxing is even possible since we'll be running around like crazy people.

So! For the January fitness challenge I've teamed up with the incredible Vicky Denny, and I am excited to start kicking some fitness butt and to get a chance to win money while in doing it. If you are interested in this program for your own weight loss/fitness goals or just to follow my progress, go to and look up Vicky, who is a coach. Consider joining her team. There are free and paid programs. (With the paid programs you at least get a fitness video series of your choice - P90X? Slim in 6? Hip Hop Abs? Alllllll there!) There are five or six of us at the moment who are going to be doing this together. Join in officially if you like or create your own program and do it at home. Please consider posting your updates in the comments section of the Motivation Monday posts. I'd love to be able to cheer you on! And hopefully give out some prizes or something.

Have a great Monday everyone! Get out there and be healthy!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bring out your dead...

You know what would be just awesome to watch tonight? Monty Python and the Holy Grail. 

As a matter of fact, I'm going to go see if it's on iTunes right now. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I was gonna do a bunch of stuff, but I got high...

Now wait a's not what you think.

Getting out of the shower this morning, I was hit with a sudden, staggering, overwhelming pain in my chest.

That can't be good.

I tried to remain calm, breathe deeply, and objectively assess the situation.

I needed to get Tucker off to school, I was supposed to attend a board meeting first thing, and my list grew from there. But it hurt, especially when I would breathe, and when I took my blood pressure it was higher than it should have been. My heart rate was strong and regular, which was good, but still...

I ended up calling Robert and asking him to come home and drive me to the ER. Tucker was able to go to a neighbors house until it was time to catch the bus and Sara came with us.

We got to the ER and they took me back immediately. My EKG's were normal so they moved me into a room and continued to try and figure out what was going on.

But the pain...oh my goodness! The pain. It would not go away, it would not ease up, and on top of that, my head started to pound which just made everything worse.

The nurse put in an IV, took a bunch of blood, and dosed me with some sort of pain killer and an anti-nausea medication. I also had to chew two baby aspirin which tasted absolutely no better that I remembered from my childhood. You'd think with all the improvements in medicine and technology that baby aspirin would taste better by now..especially since you aren't allowed to actually give aspirin to babies anymore.

I don't know if I was unknowingly participating in some sort of medication study in which some patients receive a placebo, but whatever pain medication she gave me didn't do a thing for my pain level. If anything, it got worse. After about an hour, the nurse gave me a Vicodin pill.

When that didn't help, they nurse finally gave me a shot of something. I think she said it was dolophine. But I don't really remember because about two seconds after she pushed that plunger into my IV, I was floating. I was flying. I was...high. And I mean, never having been a drug user, I never understood what people were talking about when they talked about the rush.

I get it now.

I had to get a chest x-ray almost immediately after getting high the dolophine, so all I remember is the pain easing up significantly by the time Walter wheeled me into the x-ray room about 45 seconds later.

It took all my restraint not to shout WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! as Walter, the x-ray guy, rolled me back to the room.

And let me just tell you, it was fun to color when I was high. Even with Sara, who is notoriously controlling and obnoxious about sharing crayons.

About 30 minutes later, the doctor came in and said that by process of elimination the problem was most likely that the the lining of my lungs was swollen and/or inflamed and causing the pain.According to Dr. G, my lungs were clear on the x-ray and my heart health was excellent. I was sent home with an anti-inflammatory to take for three days and a prescription for Vicodin that was so strong that the base pharmacy doesn't even stock it.

I have a follow up with my cardiologist on Thursday and until then I can't do anything strenuous. Which sucks because I missed Zumba tonight.

But I'm going to bed early....because I got high.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Motivation Monday - Free* Week 5, Day 1

Heeeeeeey! Hoooooooooooo! It's Monday again.

I worked out six days last week, most days I worked out twice a day. I went to five Zumba classes and honestly? I've never been happier or felt more fit. And that's saying a lot because parts of last week were really crappy.

I jogged up three flights of stairs to an appointment last Monday and expected to be out of breath at the top. I was not. I would have jumped up and down for joy, but I wasn't in the sort of place where that would have been the best idea. Inside I was doing the Balkian Dance of Joy, though.

Then, last week a former manager of mine posted on Facebook that she's starting a fitness challenge on January 1st and is looking for five people to join her.

I. am. in!

I am now all registered and ready to go as soon and Robert takes my 'before' pictures. Entering this challenge/contest gives me the chance to win up to $100, I'm going to do everything I can to increase my chances. I also think I will find it easier to stay on track since I'll be accountable to my team.

Even without the fitness challenge, I'm now entering week five of Free*. I've had several people comment that I look smaller. And while that's great, feeling better has been a much better reward. Much, much better. Maybe even better than Cheesecake Factory red velvet cheesecake.

No, not maybe. Definitely. Def-def-def-def-definitely.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's all about the Kool-Aid.

Christmas card time, since we've had kids, has traditionally included a photo card. The easy part is sending out the cards. The hard part is getting the kids into cooperative picture mode.

For day-to-day pictures, they are generally pretty cooperative. Of course, with day-to-day pictures I'm not ordering them about like a drill sergeant or being particular on where they stand or what they wear.

For a potential Christmas card picture, sometimes the best way to show off our festive holiday spirit is to declare a tiny little war.

Well, okay, maybe not war...maybe just the smallest, tiniest of standoffs about something random and surprising.

In today's case it was over changing his shirt. When Tucker got dressed this morning (we hadn't sprung the whole picture thing on the kids yet because we decided it really late last night) he put on navy sweatpants, a red Mario Bros. shirt, and a black Wake Forest sweatshirt.

I should have left well enough alone, but noooooooooooo..........

I asked him to change into dark grey pants and a cream colored top. He changed his pants with no problem, but apparently the shirt I asked him to wear was made of bumblebees because he freaked out and refused. Robert was upstairs with him during most of the hoopla, so all I heard was Robert raising his voice, and Tucker's stomping around and yelling, "NO!" and then the crying.

Good Lord, the crying. Sigh.

I hear Robert tell Tucker that he can't be in the picture if he didn't stop it. It, of course, being acting like a maniac about putting on a beige shirt. I stifled a giggle because if Tucker was throwing a fit about changing clothes, the LAST thing he cared about was whether or not he was in the picture.

I finally called upstairs and told Robert it was okay if Tucker didn't want to be in the pictures. No point in forcing the issue when he was so upset. Worst case scenario, I'd just use a picture I already had of Tucker.

Within 20 minutes of Robert, Sara, and I taking pictures, Tucker came thumping down the stairs, intent on being a big ol' spoilsport.

Turns out the entire problem was that he wanted to wear his purple Kool-Aid shirt. In the scheme of things, I could care less what he wears for the most part. If he had said he wanted to wear that particular shirt to begin with, we could have negotiated...most of the pics in his clothing choices and hopefully some of the pics in ours. Not that big of a deal. Instead, there was a whole lot of this:
Some of this:

And finally a wardrobe change and this:
All's well that ends well, right? I'll scan and post the Christmas card I created when we get them.

Good times, people. Good times.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Time's a Wastin'

Robert got deployment orders about two weeks ago.Time is in a flat out sprint towards d-day and I'm not ready for him to go.

He on the other hand has probably been too busy to think about it too much. Plus dwelling on such things isn't really his style.  It's one of the things I admire about him - that ability to just accept and deal with news.

Last week he came home and told me that several people in his area are getting PCS orders for short tours to Korea, and some of them have been here for less time than we've been here.

I have no desire to go to Korea, and even if I wanted to go, we'd have to request an extended tour there which would mean two years instead of one. Worst case scenario, Robert will deploy and then end up in Korea for a year after his deployment ends, which means he'll be gone for close to two years.

Obviously, I'm not a big fan of this possibility. But if it happens, then it happens and we'll make the best of it. I am confident in our marriage and we've been apart for extended periods off and on since we've been together. My main concern is about the kids and how they'll handle it.

We've talked to the kids about it, but Sara is already showing some stress over the changes to come. Between the dependable friends I've made here and the school being very aware and in tune to deployments and associated effects on kids, I know that there will be a lot of support available.

I signed up for this life knowing the possibilities, so I'm actually doing okay with this. Of course it helps me that both kids are older, potty trained, and we live in an English speaking country where I can get to family if I have to.

Therefore, my focus is on the kids. Tucker had a really, really hard time with Robert's last deployment, and while he seems okay so far, Robert's still here and any effect on Tucker won't show up until after he's gone. My plan is to keep the kids (and myself) busy. I'm grateful this is beginning during the school year. I think it would be more difficult in the summer. Hopefully by the time summer rolls around, we'll all be in the groove and the transition will be smooth.

We'll see.

Meanwhile, the click is ticking and I'm trying not to obsess over it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Give an inch and be pushed a mile

I may have to re-think this whole niceness thing.

And by re-think it, I mean it may have to be earned rather than freely given.

Here's why.

On Tuesday, I had volunteered for an actual shift at the Y in the child care room. The difference (to me) in offering to volunteer versus volunteer for a shift is simple. If I'm working an actual shift, I need to go in at a certain time and stay until a certain time. When I just volunteer, I show up and stay if they need me and leave when they don't.

I was supposed to work 4 - 8, but a friend of mine wanted to go to Zumba at a different Y that night. I told her that I'd try to get someone to take over that last hour for me, but I couldn't guarantee it.

Because I really, really wanted to go to Zumba as well, I offered a co-worker some money to work for me. I've heard her talking about how much she needs money lately and I thought it would be a win-win situation. She'd earn some extra money, I'd have my shift covered, and I'd get to go to Zumba. I guess in that way it was a win-win-win.

She wanted to think about it, which is understandable and agreed to do it at the last minute. I went to call my friend to tell her we were clear to Zumba, only to find out she had texted me earlier to cancel. She constantly cancels on me, so I wasn't surprised.

So then I wavered a bit about whether or not to go. My co-worker in all honesty obviously wanted the money but didn't really want to work that extra hour. By this point it was about 10 after 7, and I needed to book it if I was going to make it, so I asked her to make a final decision. She said she'd do it.

I left and booked it to Zumba.

The next morning, I went in to workout and to give her the money I owed her. The manager asked me about it because she heard me offer money to complete my shift the night before and I told her that yes, I'd offered the money and that my offer had been accepted. Her comment? I shouldn't feel obligated to pay her because she got paid for staying anyway.

Perhaps, but I offered and I was going to follow through. The co-worker heard this conversation and said she didn't want the money because we were friends and she didn't feel right about it.  I asked if she was sure and offered again. Her reply? She didn't want to take my money and she didn't want to get in trouble.

Alrighty then. Works for me.

Today, I went to the Y to workout, as usual. The childcare center was busy, so I helped out for a bit before I worked out. When I finished my workout, Sara was helping decorate the Christmas tree in the lobby so we hung around for a little while longer.

When I got in my car, I checked my phone since I rarely take it into the Y with me. I had a voicemail and a text from the co-worker.

She asked me for the money and wanted me to put in her bank account for her because she'd written a check that was going to bounce if I didn't.



I took umbrage over this.

1) I don't want to know anything about her bank account, especially the account number. That's just foolish and asking for trouble.
2) I showed up, money in hand, and offered it to her. Twice. She said no. Twice. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!
3) I am not, now or ever, going to run errands for her. I have plenty of my own stuff that's not getting done because of my volunteer commitments right now.
4) On general principle? Girrrrrrrl, please! Do not EVEN try to make me feel guilty because that's just going to backfire. I may be too nice sometimes, but I'm generally not too stupid.
5) Don't write checks your account can't cover and especially don't tell me you only have $124 in your bank account, agree to work for me for a specific amount of money, then refuse the money (twice!!), then call and ask for the money and sing me a sad little tune about the possibility of a bounced check if I don't go put money in your account for you. I pay way more attention than you obviously think I do.

Hello. Good morning and welcome to the Judgemental Show. I'll be your host today. Whee!

I went home and got Sara sent off to pre-K. During which, I thought and thought and thought about this. Then I called Robert and expressed my irritation over this whole ordeal. I do realize that I had quite the hand in creating this, so I'm just as much to blame as anyone else. Lesson learned.

So here's what I decided.  I needed to go to the post office and do a few other things so I could easily swing by and leave the money for her at the Y. After all, I did offer her the money and was absolutely prepared to follow through. However, I'd be subtracting the $5 she borrowed from the amount I offered her because I'm pretty doggone sure I'll never get it back otherwise. And yes, she did ask for the whole amount. I'd then text her and let her know where (and how much) the money was and everything else was up to her.

I dropped off the money at the Y, went back to my car to text her, saw that she had phoned and left me another message. Since I hadn't listened to the first one yet, I listened to both of them.

To quote Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman..."Big mistake. Big. Huge." listening to the messages, that's when I realized she wasn't asking me to go to the bank for her, she was EXPECTING it. By 4pm.

As if.

I wisely tried to busy myself because I was really, really, really irritated.  After I ran a few errands, I texted her letting her know that I left her the money minus the five she already borrowed at the Y and that I wasn't comfortable having her bank account number, I wish she had just accepted the money the day before, and that I didn't have time to go to the bank for her today.

And that was as nice as I could manage to be about it.

She texted back a few minutes later, but there's no need to go there. This post is long enough already.

And when she calls me next week and asks me to work for her? I'll be politely saying no.