Archive for parenting

Ho. Lee. Cow.

I am SORE. Not fun sore. SORE sore.

Tonight was my first night working a section by myself (third day, no shadowing, I RAWK!) and it was insanely busy. Normally we have a menu, plus a daily special, that residents can order from. Tonight, however, was “Theme Night”. Set menu. Only two choices in main dishes, starches, veggies and desserts. Truth be told, it was swank.

The meal started with smoked salmon with a dill cream sauce, then they got a shrimp bisque that was to die for, followed by a salad our manager (from here on out known as JD) got from Bon Apetit  (the December issue if you’re a curious little foodie). Entrees were either rack of lamb or sea bass. Starches were mashed yukon gold potatoes with leeks and garlic or Hassleback potatoes (which looked better than they do in this blog’s pic but that’s the best I could do). Vegetables were roasted root vegetables (onions, carrots, parsnips, etc) or wilted spinach with almonds. For dessert they had white chocolate tiramisu or cappuccino creme brulee. The residents started the night with wine and cheese outside the dining room, and then migrated in.

Told you it was swank.

On a normal night we can put in our orders via computer and tell the chefs when we want them. Not tonight. Tonight, as soon as it went in, it came up. The chefs were not playing.

The sections are usually just four tables, my section was four tables at the farthest end of the dining room. This meant a lot of dodging other waitstaff and residents. And because everything was served in a specific order, it also meant a lot of running back and forth.

I messed up the order for the first table (I wasn’t sure what to put certain items in as). They all wanted the root vegetables and ended up with spinach. JD, bless his big Greek heart, helped me a lot with that one. He ran back into the kitchen and got their vegetables for me. After that, though I was pretty well on a roll.

At one point we ran out of salads, then at the same time salad dressing. Then we were out of soup cups. This set me back with my last table so they ended up not getting their meal until late. Oops.

The great thing is that most of these residents are really cool people. They’re really involved in the day-to-day functions of the facility (it’s independent care, which means they can take care of themselves but need a little help now and then) and as soon as they found out I was new they cut me some serious slack.

Unfortunately today I finally discovered the downside of my new job: it’s taking the time I normally spend with The Kid.

I work from 4pm-8pm. The Kid gets out of school at 3:20. This means as soon as I pick her up, I drop her off and split; and as soon as I get home, it’s her bedtime. The Man sent me a text message this morning telling me that she cried last night because she missed me.

She’s used to having me around during the evenings. Even when I worked at the shawarma shack I was home by 5:30 and the rest of the night was spent together.  Now the job takes away that time. I decided to talk to her teacher about spending a few days in the classroom as a volunteer. This way I’ll be spending some extra time with her and she’ll feel special because her mom is in the room.

BTW, my kid will be student of the week in her classroom next week. Rawk on. 🙂

Been a long time…some thoughts and stuff.

Yeah I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been meaning to, just like I’ve been meaning to actually work on my book blog, but I can’t get to the fucking computer for more than 15 minutes without The Man bugging the hell out of me to get off.

The Job

I’m going to find another job soon. I’m being criminally underpaid. He decided (remember I’m off the books, as is everyone else I work with) that $50 every two weeks was ok. Now, I’ve taken on an extra day. Initially I was doing a 20 hour week. Now it’s 26. I should be getting $138 every two weeks. I’m being jacked for $88. Here’s the problem, if I go report him, everyone I work with gets in trouble because no one is paying income taxes at the moment. We never filled out a W2 so we don’t get W4s. I’d be happy to tell The Boss to go fuck himself and sic the IRS on him (and MiOSHA) on the sly, but that would put my coworkers (who really don’t need/deserve that sort of stress) in harms way. So I’m stuck. If I complain to a Labor Board, Cook, Mel, Mo and The Amazing Beulah (who I’ve found isn’t really so scary after all) all get caught up in it (S1 and S2 have both quit, S2 didn’t last her first week).

So I decided (and I told Cook today) that I’m only going to stay there a little while longer, then I’m going to try to find another job. Whether it’s waiting tables or something else, I don’t care (well…I won’t work fast food, that’s just something that’s not going to happen), I need to get out of that place. I don’t need the drama.

Have I mentioned that we haven’t had Coke there since the 6th of this month? And that our CO2 tanks are now empty as well, and have been for over a week? We’re a restaurant that serves pop but has no pop to serve. How in the hell does that make sense?

So I’m restarting my job search. Now that I’m in the work force it should be a little bit easier.

Revelation

Since getting back to work I’ve realised something: Being a stay at home mom made me disgustingly dependant to the point where I lost sight of myself.

Let me state right now that I don’t regret being a SAHM. Not in the least. I loved watching my daughter grow up and discover something new every day. That look she gets when she gets something makes me feel like I’m on top of the world. No, I wouldn’t trade that time for anything.

I’ve always been a really independant person. It’s just part of my nature. I started working as soon as I could so I could get what I wanted when I wanted it without having to wait for someone to be nice enough to give it (or the money for it) to me. I hate feeling like a charity case and I hate it when I have to depend on others to take care of my needs. That is what happened when I became a stay at home mom. I became dependant. I couldn’t buy groceries because I didn’t have money because I didn’t have a job. I couldn’t get things for the house because I didn’t have money because I didn’t have a job. I couldn’t…I couldn’t…I couldn’t… I can go on forever like that.

This isn’t to say my husband didn’t take care of us. He did. And he did an amazing job doing so. He has no college education, works (mostly) part time at a job that pays under $12 and has no health benefits for anyone not full time (and then you’re paying so much that you may as well get private insurance on your own). And he’s been working his ass off on his music career and has made some big moves of late. Yet and still we’ve never gone hungry, we’ve never been without the necessities. The Kid has always had clothes and shoes that fit. She’s never needed for toys, or books, or crayons, or some sort of entertainment. We’ve always made a way no matter what happened. My problem is just that I hate asking people for what I need. I feel like a child asking if I can have some money to get a new shirt, or a new pair of shoes or jeans. I get eaten by guilt spending that money on myself. I look and see a bill that needs paying, or something The Kid or The Man may need/want and that becomes priority. Spending on me can’t happen without spending spending on them first to assuage my guilt, and my feelings of being greedy for not being happy with what I have.

Since starting at The Job I have rediscovered my independance. Even if just a bit. It’s an important bit. I feel like an adult. I feel like I actually bring something to the table in this relationship. I feel like less of an undue burden. I can feel myself regain some self confidence that I lost when my Demon decided that my being unemployed (even if it was by choice to raise my daughter) meant that I was less than, that I was a disappointment to everyone around me and that I was nothing more than a bother and burden.

Of course, intellectually, I knew I was something something very important by being there for my daughter and raising her. I knew, intellectually, that there was no job in this world that can pay me better than seeing those beautiful brown eyes look at me and watching her as she sat up on her own, took her first steps, said her first words, coming home from her first day of school, watching her write her name for the first time. All these big things and all the little things in between. No office or cubicle or promotion or paycheck could ever replace that. But intellectual knowledge, and all the love I have for my daughter, can’t stand up to the steady, repetitive drum beat of my Demon slowly erroding the wall intellect and love build up.

Not being able to actually get a job for almost a year didn’t help matters any. In fact it seemed to confirm everything my Demon told me. I was worthless, useless. No one would hire me because I wasn’t good enough to be hired. It’s hard to fight that and not put in applications thinking “I’m not going to get it but why not.”

Slowly, slowly, I am beating back my Demon. I am regaining confidence lost over the years. It is taking time, but I am finding who I am again. I’m rediscovering my personal light and path.

Slowly, slowly.

I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB!

I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE A JOB!

Can you tell I’m happy? Give me a week, I’ll be bitching.  I’m slinging shawarma at a local pita joint. I had worked there for a week once but, on the same day, my babysitter dropped out on me and my car stopped working.  What’s funny is that the cafe is sort of famous (fame being relative here).

They’ve remodeled the inside recently, a little less seating than before. And it seems they letting people smoke hookahs at the table (O.o) which I’m sure violates the Michigan ban against smoking in restaurants, but this could be on their outdoor patio so who knows. I guess I could start carrying a lighter just in case.

I won’t start until the 19th, that way I know everything is set and in place (babysitter, The Man, etc etc). Because the man doesn’t always work days (and I’ll be working days) babysitter won’t always be necessary, but it’s helpful to have.

Get the fuck out of here with this bullshit!

Tomorrow is The Kid’s 5th birthday and she told me weeks ago that she wanted to have a red cake with chocolate icing. I can do that. No problem. Except I don’t have a cake pan (I lent it to someone who moved). And I just found that bit of information out today. And I’m broke. So I shoot a message to the two local Free-Cycle groups asking to borrow cake pans.

No response, I can deal with. But this? This is too damn much

if i may make a suggestion………..if we give gifts throughout the year ….then we would be following our perfect model……Jesus …..because he talked about the traditions and doctrins of this system which are created be man and not by God himself………the question is: would you rather be doing things that come from your heart on any given day or by some one telling you…. it’s ony authorized on a certain day, the Bible tells us “A name is better than good oil, and the day of death than the day of one’s being born ” Ecclesiastes 7:1…..that’s why we don’t know the true birth day of Jesus because he said that was not important to one’s life………but what is……..what type of name did we make with God……..this wasn’t meant to offend you and if that is what you thought…….i’m truly sorry……..it was just a friendly suggestion to look real close at your Bible and see if you see the same thing……..do have a blessed day……vrsp kandi

Now, my knee jerk reaction was “Bitch, who the fuck do you think you’re talking to? You don’t know one damn thing about me and you presume to tell me what I should and shouldn’t do for my daughter on her birthday. Kiss the length and width of my ass.”

But I didn’t. I was a good girl.

1. I’m not Christian. My religion, or lack thereof, is not your business.
2. I just want to make a cake for my daughter. That’s all.
3. You have no idea what I do for my family on a day to day basis. So
you can keep all your self-righteous preaching. Until you LIVE my
life, you don’t COMMENT on it.

That was as civil as I could have gotten under the circumstances. I just wanted to make my kid a cake and you want to preach to me about Jesus? Yeah. No.

I know she said she didn’t mean for it to be offensive, but I find it VERY offensive. You know nothing about me, or my life and you want to tell me how to live it? Hell no.  Hell no and kiss my ass, fuck you very much.

Sorry for all the cussing but you have no idea how much stuff like this irks me. I asked to borrow a cake pan not for a fucking sunday school lesson.

The Noggin Channel Scares Me A Bit

There. I’ve said it. And if you watched Nickelodian’s Noggin channel (it’s repository for Nick’s Nick Jr. content), you’d feel the same way.

While I do like Noggin much more than Sprout (PBS’s cable/satellite channel for children’s programming), the only show I like on Discovery Kids is Peep and The Big Wide World (I think I like the theme song, performed by Taj Mahal, most) and Toon Disney never finds its way onto my tv screen (Disney = Devil), there are a few shows that either scare me…or make me scratch my head.

I like a lot of Noggin’s programming. Backyardigans is my favorite (mostly because The Kid gets up and dances along with it), and I loooove Little Bill. Maggie and the Ferocious Beast; top marks. Oswald gets a vote from me too.

Then you have shows like Max and Ruby, which features two bunnies of the approximate ages of 3 and 7 (respectively) and their day to day adventures. What’s wrong with this? Max and Ruby have no parents. All their friends have parents, and there are adults who occasionally drop by, but Max and Ruby’s parents are never, ever, around. This leaves Ruby in charge of her little brother Max. They run errands together by catching the bus (I don’t even want to know how Ruby gets bus fare). They do have a grandmother, but she lives on the other side of town, which means taking the bus there too. Now and then Ruby mentions their mother, usually in reference to something else  to explain a situation (i.e. “Mother said we have to spend the day and Grandmother’s house.”). Beyond that, Max and Ruby are on their own. Don’t they have laws against that in their little bunny world?

Then you have shows like Franklin and Little Bear. For the most part, there’s nothing wrong with these shows. Maurice Sendak (Where The Wild Things Are) illustrated Little Bear so, really, you can’t put too much of a knock on it. And I actually do like these shows. The head scratching comes in when they start talking about pets. See, Franklin and Little Bear are largely centered around anthropomorphic animals, though Little Bear does feature two human characters.  I’ve never understood how animal cartoon characters can have pets. Isn’t that sort of akin to slavery? Franklin’s best friend is a snail, yet Franklin has been known to own a fish. Little Bear has a friend named Cat (who is a cat, duh), yet Emily, the human friend, owns a dog for a pet (the dog, unlike Little Bear and Cat, cannot talk).

Then there’s Yo Gabba Gabba. This show…it scares me. I can not express how much it scares me, but it does. If you have seen it, you’d be scared too. It’s like HR Pufnstuf toned down and without the (obvious) drug references.

It featurers five Pufnstuf-esque creatures that are meant to be like puppets manipulated by a “puppet master” named DJ Lance Rock, who is a skinny black guy in a bright orange, and very tight, jumpsuit, with an equally bright orange fuzzy hat and 80’s Run DMC style glasses. Part of me wanted to scream racism when I first saw the show. But I also knew that would be totally false. There’s nothing even minutely racist about the show. It’s just the fact that a skinny black guy clad, head to toe, in bright orange scares me for some inexplicable reason. The show features music, “dancing” (there are people in those suits, you really can’t call hopping from foot to foot while waving your arms wildly dancing…unless you’re white….KIDDING!), the occasional “guest” (Elijah Wood [HOBBITSES!] and Biz Markee have made appearances) and life lessons for the 3-5 year old set (like sharing, and not biting others).

One of their more disturbing skits deals with eating. One or all of the creatures gather around for meal time and start singing “There’s a party in my tummy!” and, out of nowhere, the food on the plate grow faces and respond “SO YUMMY! SO YUMMY!” They then call out the name of each food (or drink) before “eating” it. Once eaten you get an inside view of the creature’s stomach so you can see the food “partying”. I should mention that the food is completely intact, which means it was swallowed whole with no chewing involved. This includes items like chicken legs. The other day, while watching this show (actually I was walking by the tv while The Kid was watching it and was forced to stop and stare…there’s something about that show that makes you do that) I disovered one of the creatures actuall has THREE stomachs.

Inevitably, the creatures leave some bit of their food on the plate, and as they walk away the food begins to cry. The creatures walk back and ask the food why it’s crying only to get the reply “We want to go to the party! The party in your tummy!” (suicidal food?), and they are rewarded by being gulped down in the same fashion as all the other food was.

Don’t believe me? Watch this:

See what I mean? SCARY STUFF! Honestly, who the hell thought this was a good idea?

So, yeah…Noggin programming is scary stuff man.

Birthday and forced labor

Last monday was my birthday. I am now the disturbingly close to 30 age of 27. I always said I wouldn’t be one of those people who over analyzes everything on their birthday, but the older I get the harder that becomes.

Tuesday I dropped H off at the airport for a trip to…erm…somewhere. Who the hell knows. Then headed out to Detroit. The week before I got a call from my mom, “What are you doing from the 1st to the 7th?” Um…nothing I think. Why? “Good, you’re coming down here to help me clean up the house.” *pause* O…k…

This is my mom. What am I going to say? “No clean your own damn house”? That whole giving birth and raising me thing sort of makes it hard to say that.

So I spent the last week cleaning my mom’s house, hanging out with a childhood friend, and shuttling between my sister’s house and my parent’s (which sucked up a LOT of gas). It took us the better part of two days to clean my mom’s kitchen. This included cleaning out the cabinets, removing their handles and shelves, washing EVERYTHING (including walls and ceiling), sorting though dishes, glasses, mugs, sliverware, and cooking utensils, hauling bag after bag after bag after bag of garbage to the big dumpster they rented when they had the siding on their house redone. Not to mention cleaning out their refigerator (which REALLY needed it), washing the floor, soaking and scrubbing the cabinet handles in a mix of LA’s Totally Awesome All Purpose Cleaner (the ONLY cleaner I absolutely SWEAR by…even though I’m certain the fumes have erased a few much needed braincells) and water; which removed not only years of grease and oil and dirt, but also the finish from the handles.

Thursday we took care of most of the dining and living rooms, Friday we finished so my parents could bbq and have company over. I also cleaned their bathroom, moving all unnecessary items from the back of the toilet to a shelf in their linen closet. Saturday a few of those items were back on the back of the toilet and I gave up. Sunday I went over to my sister’s house to help her prepare for a bbq. This mostly entailed running errands. More gas guzzling.

Today I’m supposed to get H from the airport…though I don’t know what time. I’m exhausted but I still have things to do before I can lay down and rest.

I need a vacation.

Black folks, gather ’round. We need to chat.

Now, before I start let me say, I love the black blogosphere. I really do. Intelligent, witty observations, sitting side by side with insightful commentary dealing with everything from world politics, feminism, religion, all the way down to local happenings. I love it.

However…

Some of ya’ll…you’ve gone off the nut this week. So let’s chat a bit, shall we?

The Obama Father’s Day speech. If it doesn’t pertain you, your father, or the fathering style of your male friends..why be upset? Yes he did it while campaigning for President. Yes it reeks of political game playing. But was it really wrong? Was anything he said actually incorrect?

Not from what I heard.

Though I will say, I hope that, after they’re elected, Michelle Obama does a Mother’s Day speech that goes after Baby Mamas the way Barack went after Baby Daddies. In all honesty, it needs to be done. It’s long over due.

Let’s stop deifying single mothers like they’re infallible. Please. I don’t mean all single mothers. As someone who has friends and relatives who are/were single mothers, I can say for certain there are many who deserve nothing short of sainthood.

However the ones I’m talking about are the Baby Mamas. The ones who make good single mothers cringe. The ones who take their child support payments and use it to get their hair and nails did. The ones whose kids spend more time with Grandma than they do with their own moms; not because she’s out working her ass off, but because she’s out shaking her ass at the club. The ones who lie to Friend of the Court and use their children as pawns to manipulate fathers who, otherwise, would be more than happy to be in their child’s life as more than just a name on a check. The ones who spend more time looking for a man to “take care of” them instead of taking care of their children.

These triflin heffas need to be put in check. Being in ownership of a uterus does not give you the right to reproduce just for the hell of it or to manipulate someone.

Forget about the father for a moment, consider the child in the middle of all this. You bring a life into this world for petty and selfish reasons, lie to it, manipulate it, expose it to a parade of temporary daddies and “uncles” but never to its birth father. Basically you treat this life like an object; like some thing with no thoughts, no feelings, no desires, no wants or needs. Just a thing for you to use, and, if you don’t get your way, use against someone. You take a blessing and twist it into a punishment. But then can’t figure why, for the life of you, men don’t want to stay around your triflin ass. Why they’ll screw you but not marry you.

Yeah, these chicks need to be chin checked. Hard.

I love my single parent sistren and brethren who take care of their kids. Seeing you juggle all those responsibilities and wear all those hats give me hope for this sad excuse we call human kind. I love single fathers who struggle to be more than just a Baby Daddy, especially in the face of a Baby Mama who does everything in her power to make it hard for him to be even that much. It’s heartbreaking to hear stories from men who want to be there for their kids but the mothers block access to them unless they play by their rules.

So I say, whoever the next First Lady will be (please God not Cindy McCain…if she can’t be trusted to not lie about a damn cookie recipe, I don’t think she can be trusted to do anything this important), she needs to do a nationwide address calling out Baby Mamas and demanding reforms in the legal system so that it stops leaning so heavily towards the mother always being the victim of some unscrupulous man’s penis.

Even if you can’t donate, a prayer, a good thought, anything is appreciated

A friend of mine put a message on a board we both frequent about her granddaughter. She’s just over a year old as has been battling a rare form of ocular cancer since she was 10 months. If you are able to, you can send a donation to kylieseyes (at) gmail (daht) com through paypal. If you can’t, any positive thoughts or prayers you can give will be greatly appreciated.kylies eyes

The Kid, the end of the school year and the impending summer of terror

Thursday is The Kid’s last day of school. For whatever reason they start preschool a month late and end it a month early. It’s insane if you ask me.

For the last few weeks I’ve been looking for a day camp for The Kid. There are none. Oh there are day care centers, but I don’t want her to be at a day care center. I want her to be somewhere where she’ll learn something. If I wanted her to sit around indoors doing nothing, I’d keep her home. But camps for four year olds are few and far between.

A local university was doing a reading enrichment program for kids her age. But it was one hour a week and they wanted over $230

There’s a indoor rock climbing gym that has summer programs for kids her age, but it’s at the end of the summer and $165 for a week. Initially I was considering them because their website had up their spring program where it was $130 for 10 weeks of classes. If they had done something like that for their summer session, I’d so be there. But it’s a bust now.

So we have no idea what to do with The Kid, who has asked me to put her back in school once school was over because she didn’t want it to end. God I hope that holds all the way through high school. (please?)

I’m growing resentful of my disease.

My mind is clearer now…at last, all to well, I can see where we all soon will be…

I’ve been on anti-deps since August, and with my meds and time there has come a lot of clarity and discovery. The one thing that I have recently begun to understand fully is that my depression has had an affect, not just on me, but on my whole family.

Four years. I lost four years of my life to my depression. Oh, I’ve lost more than just that on the whole, but those four years were the most important. Four years of a new marriage. Four years of new motherhood. Four years that I spent living in a fog, detached from the world around me while I drowned in this disease of mine. My husband, the sweet darling he is, stood by me patiently and helped me through those four years, rough as they were. In the mean time he sacrificed so much personally for me to get to where I am now.

My daughter suffered also she saw some of my worst behavior when I was in the depth of my depression. Imagine the earliest memories your child has of you is you screaming, crying and flying into irrational rages. I saw her face one day when one of these episodes happened and she looked at me as though I were a total stranger. And I was. I couldn’t even recognise myself when I was raging. That look was what convinced me to get on meds. I was slowly destroying my relationship with H and my daughter.

Now I look back and see what damage my depression has done. Some of it is totally irrepairable. There is damage to my marriage, damage to my relationship with my daughter, damage to friendships.

I hate that I have been given this disease. I hate that I allowed it to control me like that. I feel weak when I think about it. Like some stupid puppet; out of control of myself and my actions. I hate that I’m going to be on medication for the rest of my life. But I know it’s for the best. There is no cure for depression. You don’t grow out of it or get over it. You either handle it or let it consume you.

This is my life. The only one I get. I won’t live it ruled by this disease. I won’t let it decide how I feel everyday. I won’t let it destroy me, or my family any further. My goal is to repair and rebuild. My foundation will be the knowledge that I am not my disease. I am not the person it made me be on my worst days. I am better than that.

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