Aug 30, 2007

I Just Can't Do This

Dear God,

I just can't do this. I've got people scolding me because Katie's not potty trained by now; I've got other people scolding me that I "shouldn't push it". (What the fuck is 'pushing it' anyway? I'm not forcing her to sit on the seat, for God's sake, and all the books say it may take several days for them to actually go in the potty.) I can't seem to please anybody, including me or Katie or John. Doesn't matter whether I do it or not; I lose either way.

I've cleaned up 5 pee puddles yesterday and we went through 8 pair of training pants. She sits on the toilet for 10 minutes willingly but won't pee. She won't tell me when she has to pee though sometimes she'll tell me that she made a mess. She just peed on the couch and John is going to be furious. It's not her fault though I can't figure out why she just won't tell me she needs to pee - I mean how hard is it to associate the feeling with the icky feeling of the fluid running down her legs?? I don't want him to be mad at her and I don't want him to be made at me either, God. And I know he thinks I must be doing something wrong or she'd not be peeing all over the place. I was potty trained by 16 months and John was potty trained by 2.

She just won't pay attention to me either when I'm talking to her about telling me when she has to go pee. I've tried offering rewards (she gets to splash in the sink, which she adores, only if she's gone in the potty). She just doesn't get it. I'm sobbing and she's saying "Mama crying. Big hugs?" It's sweet but I'm crying because of her and utter frustration. She just doesn't get it, I guess.

God, I can't make this work; I just can't do it. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.



Aug 28, 2007

Kicking To-Do List Butt!

  • I got the cords and ribbons bought that I needed to finish 4 necklaces that have been sitting on my desk for 7-8 days now.
  • I finished the 4 necklaces.
  • I finished my first assignment, just about, from my jewelry teacher.
  • I had a brainstorm about how to get all those damn invoice line-items into my database (get an intern from the high school)!

ROTFLMAO. Ok, what I mean by that is that all the jewelry that's been photographed and priced is up. I have a bunch that needs to be priced once I get those damned invoice line-items into my database and then photo-ed and then put up. I also wanted to put some 'true' content on there - like descriptions of the main stones I use and what cane glass/sterling/etc. is. But, yeah, I'm a little pleased with myself. Of course, I got nothing done around the house and the living room/sunroom/dining room look like the toy bin, block bin, and stuffed animal bin exploded simultaneously and with great verve.

In other news, my new glasses are here!! They look like this in color 1015. I am very glad to have them; my eyes were getting wicked tired in my contacts. (The combination of myopia and astigmatism in my eyes means they can't get my prescription quite right in them, unfortunately.) These are easily the funkiest glasses I've ever had (yes, I know, but, honestly, I've really always had very boring glasses) and I really like the wide lenses.

Did I mention my website is up-to-date?

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Aug 22, 2007

How Do *You* Spell Relief?

Well, it turns out that someone didn't intend to steal $165 from my bank account; it was an honest mistake. Someone with the same name as me asked a bank teller for her account number and they gave her mine instead. Go figure. I am, to be sure, quite relieved. Not only that someone isn't running around with my personal information but that I don't have to change my account number!

In other news, I've started a Habit of Attraction process. The idea is that you get what you focus on. So, I'm focusing on jewelry design success!

And, now, because I liked SmileyMamaT's meme responses so much, I'm going to do the meme even though I wasn't tagged (is that a breach of netiquette?)!

1. Who was your best friend? Maggie and Nora - jointly - we'd been friends since elementary school when we called each other Smelly, Snore, and Maggot.

2. Did you play any sports? You have got to be kidding me. I think coaches would have paid me NOT to try out for the teams!

3. What kind of car did you drive? Well, I didn't have my own car but I did a lot of sibling chauffering in a silver blue 2 door Datsun 310 4 speed. Underpowered, tiny, but loved.

4. It's Friday night. Where were you? Home. I was rather a social pariah and, besides, wasn't Remington Steele on on Fridays?

5. Were you a party animal? See #4.

6. Were you considered a flirt? Nope - that would've required me to talk to boys!

7. Were you in the band, orchestra, or choir? We didn't have an orchestra but, oh yes, french horn in band (first chair, senior year!) and both choir and special (jazz choir).

8. Were you a nerd? Absolutely. I didn't get cool until I was 30.

9. Were you ever suspended or expelled? Oh God, no. My mother would've killed me.

10. Can you sing the fight song? I don't think we had one. I can sing the alma mater though!

11. Who was your favorite teacher? Mr. Biviano - English teacher. Very cool (even if he always did park in the no parking zone) and very understanding of geeky young kids that love to write.

12. What was your school mascot? An eagle.

13. Did you go to the prom? Both junior and senior year, with the same guy (much to his mother's eternal chagrin!). Wore the same dress both years but pulled the shoulders down the second year to make it look new. He wore a white tux with a ruffled shirt - ah, the 80s!

14. If you could go back, would you? No, no, no, and Hell No!

15. What do you remember most about graduation? It being an anticlimax. I guess I expected to feel more triumph or something - just another day in the life...

16. Where were you on Senior Skip Day? In school. See comment above about my mom.

17. Did you have a job your senior year? Yep. I filed repair orders, did basic administrative stuff, and ran the cash register at a car dealership.

18. Where did you go most often for lunch? No choice in our area: cafeteria all the way.

19. Have you gained weight since then? What do YOU think??!

20. What did you do after graduation? Worked all summer. Oh, and tried to take up smoking. It was just nasty.

21. What year did you graduate (HS)? 1985

22. Who was your Senior Prom date? My boyfriend of a year who I figured I was destined to marry but, no, I was only destined to date him for a couple years listening to my sister call him "ape man".

23. Are you going/did you go to your 10 year reunion? They had a picnic. I went. It was ok. I still feel awkward around them all though!

See, now, Graymama, 23 things isn't so hard if it's direct questions! ;-)

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Aug 17, 2007

Misadventures in Banking

Sometimes people just astound, and horrify, me.

I checked my business checking account online last night. Hmm, said I, what is this $165 "check withdrawal"? I'd bought a fair amount of supplies lately so I checked all the invoices - no $165 even. Now, I know that, in the general way of things, $165 isn't considered a lot but, you know, I'm a microbusiness; it's over $15% of my checking account balance so, by now, I've started to get a little concerned.

And, it turns out, I had right to be.

Someone walked into a branch of my bank and withdrew $165 from my checking account. They spelled my name wrong on the slip, the signature doesn't match mine in the slightest, and the driver's license number doesn't match mine. Fortunately.

I am also very fortunate to know the branch manager personally. I can't swear to this, obviously, but I'm pretty damn sure I wouldn't have gotten the help and belief I did from a customer service rep on the 800 number. They'll credit my account with the money (eventually) and they're going to try to track down the thief.

Unfortunately, unless they do catch her, I will probably never know how she got my business checking account number. I don't use but 2-3 of those checks a month and don't carry the checkbook with me. So the simplest conclusion is that either (a) one of the companies/offices to which I wrote a check has a dishonest employee or (b) someone I welcomed into my home copied the number down from where my checkbook sat in my back hall. And the kicker about the second one is that only friends ever get into my back hall. I'd really prefer to believe that none of my friends would be so despicable.

Assuming it wasn't one of my friends (please, God!), and barring anything really bizarre, it was probably, then, either someone at our town tax collector's office or the secretary of the state's office. While that, too, would be despicable, it at least wouldn't be quite so personal. Also, if it is that situation, she's probably doing it to more than just me.

The whole situation just makes me feel slightly sick.

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Aug 13, 2007

23 Random Things for the Easily Entertained

because, Lord knows, they sure aren't terribly interesting otherwise! Honestly, I wouldn't be subjecting y'all to these if I hadn't been specifically tagged (and then reminded).

1. I won 3rd place in an energy use awareness poster contest in 5th grade. My poster featured a duck outline with various energy saving ideas inside and the headline "If we don't save energy, we're all dead ducks!" I won a yellow clipboard folder that I had for many, many years and, actually, I think I still have it somewhere.

2. I really don't want to review the contract I am reviewing. Reviewing contracts is BORING.

3. My shoes had to be special-ordered when I was a kid because my feet were so wide.

4. I have a high tolerance for mess but, after a while, the mess makes me feel frantic.

5. I've finished reviewing that contract and have no excuse to not do this meme.

6. My daughter has a really obnoxious toy that goes off randomly at night and freaks me out.

7. When I was single, I used to take The X-Files on Friday nights and watch it Saturday mornings because it freaked me out too much to watch it alone at night.

8. In between my sophomore and junior years of college, my friends and I used to go and hang out at the Perkins a couple of towns away - it was open 24 hours and we'd sit there drinking coffee until 2 am and then I'd have to get up at 5:30 to catch a ride to work with my parents. It was the Summer of Caffeine.

9. A couple of times when we were there, someone egged my (parents') car. I always wondered why someone would feel the need to be that mean to me.

10. I accidentally punched Julie P in the boob in 9th grade homeroom.

11. I am really stretching here...

12. I love licorice allsorts, toffee almond crunch, and buttered popcorn jelly bellies.

13. My c-section scar still bothers me (physically) sometimes.

14. I absolutely loathe mushy bread-type foods - from stuffing to bread pudding - YUCK! The same goes for virtually all custards/souffles/creme brulees/etc. The texture makes me slightly sick.

15. The song on my iTunes at the moment is Semisonic's "Closing Time". "Time for you to go out to the places you will be from... Gather up your jackets and move it to the exits; I hope you have found a friend... every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

16. I actually kind of like "Goodnight Moon" but I really dislike that Pooh book with the sounds.

17. I'm not good at meditating. I'd like to be but I just won't put in the effort needed to get there.

18. If I could do any job I wanted in the world, I'd be torn between Broadway star, astronaut, and fighter pilot.

19. When we were young, we had an enormous vegetable garden which we kids had to weed. Our neighbor, Mrs. Swift, used to call my mother and tell her when we were goofing off instead of weeding. Someone who would go away on vacation and leave food on the stove in pots really had no business doing that! (We used to water their plants and feed the poor fish/hermit crab du jour.)

20. Up until the moment I got my diploma, I was sure that Smith was going to realize that admitting me was a mistake and tell me to finish my degree somewhere else.

21. I have come to peace with being the ornamental child. So has my mother. Finally.

22. I have not come to peace with my weight. Neither has my mother.

23. I am still not going to send my Pelikan to JerseyTjej. Sorry, JT.

Ha! I'm done! Woohoo!! (Except that now I have to go enter invoices into my jewelry parts database - doesn't *that* sound like fun?)

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Aug 12, 2007

I Can Space Again!

I suppose I shouldn't be nearly as excited about having my laptop back as I am. But that's just too bad. Because I am very excited - the Comfy Chair in the sunroom is much easier on my behind than my office chair and there is no good place to put my feet up in my office.

A big shout out to Fujitsu as they turned my laptop around in approximately 2 business days from when they received it. Worth buying the 3 year warranty, I tell ya. Of course, it cost $26 to ship my laptop there but, hey, I've got to bet it would've cost me a lot more to have the keyboard replaced locally.

So, what's been going on?

Well, I did well at the show in Cape May but, as I think I told y'all, my daughter ripped the drapes down in a restaurant. It was a stressful weekend but at least marginally profitable and very emotionally profitable in terms of positive comments on my jewelry and sale of one of my couture pieces. I always hate to see those go but this young couple were so sweet and she loved the necklace so that it was worth it. That piece never made it onto my website (in fact, the photos are still in my camera!) but I'll get it up in the "favorite sold pieces" gallery soon.

No sooner had we come back from Cape May than the whole no-space-bar thing happened. By the time I got the laptop packed up and shipped out, I needed to pack myself and ready the household for my 3 days away at a company retreat for my part time job. I went off to a resort on Sunday afternoon and didn't return until Tuesday night. I had the first 24 hours predominantly to myself. It was the first significant "alone" time I've had in 2 years. So, what did I do? This is a tad embarrassing but, well, I put on my PJs and plunked myself down on the couch in my hotel suite with a borrowed laptop to write. I didn't even turn the giant TV on, didn't surf the web. Nope. Coworkers stopped by to see if I wanted to go out with them. Nope. I drank wine, ate junk food, and wrote. It was absolutely wonderful. That story will probably sit for another 2 years until I get more alone time but, hey, I made a start at least.

I do feel vaguely guilty that I didn't miss my daughter and husband more but, man, it sure felt good just to be *alone*! I am a solitary beast by nature and all the enforced sociability just grates on me after awhile.

So, I get back on Tuesday night and immediately have to jump into Director of Music Ministry interviews/auditions on Wednesday, then I have to prep for houseguests that arrived Friday night for a party on Saturday. We had a blast - my sister and her friend are a lot of fun and we read Tarot cards, drank a *lot* of booze, and ate and she sold purses and life was grand.

I finally unpacked my suitcase today and got my bedroom at least marginally tidied (the dresser top will have to wait for another day, I'm afraid). I have the office to do yet - for the last 3 weeks, all incoming supplies have been heaped in a pile on the client chair and there are stacks of crap everywhere. 3 weeks ago, my office looked great - but with the coming and going and then the frantic shifting of stuff so as to be able to use the desktop computer from the other side of the desk (so I didn't have to move the chair back and forth over the desk (small office) each time I wanted to use teh jewelry bench or computer) and then the shoveling of all the crap from the kitchen into my office (to hide it for the party) - my office looks horrific. I shudder every time I walk in there. I have so much jewelry to make to bring stock levels back up but I think I'll take tomorrow's naptime just to tidy and organize my office.

And that's all there is. G'night everyone!

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Aug 1, 2007

Don't Judge Me and I Won't Judge You, Sister.

Got my laptop shipped out for repairs today (you may have noticed that there are spaces in this post ;-) ) Should be back in about 3 weeks (week out, week there, week back). Working on the desktop now - short on programs but moderately functional as long as I don't need to do any web-work or connect to my server for my contract administration job.

In other gripes (yes, I'm whining again!)... My sister thinks I'm depressed. She's full of shit. I'm not depressed; I'm overwhelmed with everything I have to do. I've got 2 businesses, a half-time job, and am a full-time mom hopped up on fertility drugs. Her response to that is that other people have other stuff that fills their time and they don't get overwhelmed. Well, I'm sorry - somehow I don't see filling one's time watching the nightly lineup on cable whilst having a well-earned margarita as being terribly overwhelming! She works fulltime and her kids are in daycare. She can go to the doctor's in the middle of the day by herself. She can have her nails done on lunch - by herself. She can drive in her car - by herself. When I talked to her, she was on her way to the gym - by herself. I would not trade my daughter (or any other children we manage to have) for the world but 24/7/365 gets a little oppressive and I am heartily sick and tired of people who work fulltime, don't have primary childcare responsibilities, and get their evenings to themselves because they're not working at night thinking my life is a bed of fucking de-thorned roses.

I think it all comes down to the fact that society in general doesn't see being a stay-at-home parent as being work. Somehow, the fact that they have to pay people to do what I (and others) do daily for longer stretches for free never seems to occur to them. That, for some, what I do daily is a career, albeit a very poorly paid one, never enters into the collective conscience.

I think a mitigating factor is her guilt about not being home with her kids (she's stated that she wants to stay at home with them a number of times) and, by putting me down, it makes her feel better. Whether that holds for the general population, I don't know; I suspect it does.

SmileyDad is right, of course, in his comment on my immediately prior post: there are much worse things that could be happening to me. But, somehow, it's the ducks that nibble me to death.