Monday, September 24, 2012

Brighter Things

TR started her first day of preschool today and loved it!  The teachers and parents told me when I arrived to pick her up, that she'd had a great day.  One dad told me she had eaten a lot. I think she is a social eater.

She did not want to leave.  It's not the park and I have to leave home and drive but, it's great to see her have playmates again.

I will also say that once Mr A.' mother began stalking our apartment building I was nervous about the kids being at the park.  You never know what hate can ease a person into.

Mr A and I toured a great school today.  It was nice.  I think we might tour two more.  It's amazing how expensive these schools are.  I saw a teacher I knew on the tour.  You know pubic schools are in trouble when public school teachers won't send their own kid to a public school.

I liked what we saw.  I wonder what it's like to be sheltered from all the hood behavior I experienced. Elementary was fine because back then kids had parents and we lived in a small neighborhood where everyone knew each other.  Middle school was different. Middle school was my introduction to urban poverty and failed families.  I am sure a good number of those kids, raised themselves.

The school librarian pulled out a map when we were in middle school, and told us to tell our mother that we lived in the boundaries of another school.  I told the librarian I had asked my mom if I could go to the other school, that prior summer, and my mother said no.  I had actually been programmed to that school but my mother said the school we attended was closer to home.

My mother was a public school teacher and believed public had greater resources.  That may have been true back then, but now the resources are strained. I think the environment makes a huge difference.  It's easier to learn when kids have eaten, have been loved and when parents support education.  In too many urban schools, kids have so many challenges that have to be addressed, so teaching comes in third or fourth place.
While that hood experience was valuable, in hindsight, I would like my kids to have a less shocking experience.

More insanity

The only reason I would never wish, pray or hope for the death of another is due to my belief  that such things backfire and would fall upon my house.

I have blogged about Mr A.'s mother.  Here.  Well this *insert harshest phrase you can think of* left a voice mail, saying she had seen the photo of TR at preschool and she hoped no harm came to TR and that I would see how it felt to lose a child.  She then made comments about my deceased brothers.  She was talking to someone else on part of the conversation, probably Mr A's father.

What mother leaves her son a voicemail that talks about harming his daughter?  How hateful can one trash heifer be.

I just don't know what the appropriate response is when some old angry depressed paranoid bitvh threatens your 4 year old.  I do not know why Mr A f-ING pretends that his f-ING family is not insane, along with her. One of those f-ERS showed his mother the photo on his fb and she took it as some offense.  On the voicemail, she kept saying my name.

My instinct is to get in my car and only hit the brakes when the car is placed in her cheaply built, tick tack house. Then set fire.  If I burn in the flames, I am fine with it.

Threats to my baby.  The Lord is great because he is helping me to hold my piece.

I feel like cursing Mr A out for leaving his mother.  He should have either married that psycho b, or did whatver else she wanted.  Pulling an innocent bystander into his chaos was wrong.  He knew she was crazy and now my babies have to exist in the madness that is his deranged mother.  I wonder if she would settle down if he gave her some dick.  I should call and ask her, if that is why she's mad.  

Why is that b* obsessed with me? Last week I actually had a nightmare that she showed up.  I really 
feel like I should find her before she finds me.  You cannot hunt my kids.

I want to tell my mother but I am not sure. Right now I am upset with Mr A, cause all this ish, came with him. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Finally Fall/Autumn

I think I figured out how to post photos to this blog, using my iPad.  I'll know when I hit publish.

Below is a photo of a portion of the living room window. We have bay windows and views of bridges and city lights. Instead of a wall in the living room, one side is all window.  We can see the bay from certain locations. Because we are on a hill, with no houses level with us, I leave the bedroom blinds open and I enjoy the night view. It's as if we are alone up here.






The next two are photos of the kids room. One is taken at night, another taken in the morning. As hard as I try, the room is never as neat as I want. They play in there so, until I serve them with eviction papers, I probably can't expect much more.



The kids planted flower bulbs last month.  The flowers are in bloom and it's inspired me to plant more.


This is a photo of flowers I'd like to plant at home.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Party Over Here

I drink my water from a goblet.  I think it stays colder that way, but mainly I like to entertain and it makes me feel like I am entertaining myself.  No need to wait for guests to party. I set my flavored water out on most days and every day I have the glass water dispenser out.

Who better to treat like a special guest, than the residents? 

I liken it to women who wear sexy lingerie despite having no one to appreciate or see it.  You treat yourself well first. I don't have to entertain guests to do the fancy home preparations.

A few nights ago, I put mint leaves in simply lemonade, put saranwrap over it and chilled the glassware in the freezer until dinnertime.  I am working on my B. Smith style and I enjoy it.  I love mint, it's gives that hint of sweetness without the guilt of sugar.

Next I need to get our  office designed.  I started calling the office the dungeon because all we do is work when we are there.  If we get some comfy furniture we (I) might not mind working in the room.  
I have been able to separate our work office from our home office, which is great.   The home office is in the desk armoire and house bills, etc is handled and kept there.  The business office is all work and that is a relief for me because I can't mix tasks and end up spending work hours on personal tasks.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Playschool

So TR, QT, Mr. A and I did a trial run at the preschool today. I told TR it was play school and she got excited.  This morning she brought a photo to me of a little (black by coincidence) girl in a classroom.  She told me she wanted  me to find her a school like that.

TR has been to a few preschools to visit and so far only two preschools left us (Mr A and me) smiling and excited.  The first was in L.A and it was play based and we were wait listed.  This current school is playbased and we are in! The school is pretty near a secret.  Mr. A and I happened to talk to the teacher.  I can't find the place on the Internet.  It's a word of mouth from mom to mom, school.
 
We toured a school this summer and they had an opening for TR because the kid who had the spot had not gotten potty trained and because we were flexible with the days.  The building was beautiful but it was not playbased.  It did not give the parental unit that needed feeling.

After about 20 minutes in the class, TR had grouped with 3 other girls and was directing games.
The other kids attended last year.  TR is the only new person.  It's good she is social and independent.
She enters new situations easily.

I also appreciate that the school requires parents to work a few times a month and attend meetings.  I believe the parents are more important than the school.  If you have a school of involved parents,  you will have a great school.

I think a preschool/ playschool co-op fits us.  We'll be able to be hands on with the kids first school experience.

Now that I am happy with the preschool, I can focus on finding the kindergarten that fits our family. This really will be a challenge.  The bay is big on gender i.d. and sexual preference, and it is spilling into public and private school.  I can't focus just on the academics and teaching methods, I have to consider how my kids will socialized/indoctrinated.

When did schools become social and political incubators?  Teach my kids how to learn and send them home.

5 in the fall

I am/was considering enrolling TR in part-time preschool. I asked her if she wanted to start school.  She told me that she will  go to school when she is older.  She asked me what would she do if she did not like it and I told her I would bring her home.  She told me she does not have my phone number and cannot call me to pick her up.

I started teaching her my number at dinner .  Last week, I discovered that she knows our area code.  I want to teach her two phone numbers, so she will have a back up person to call. I don't know why figuring out which number to teach her first, is stress inducing-for me.

The other dilemma with preschool is, school will reduce the time we have to explore.  The school is 3 hours, 3 days a week but it's an interruption.  If we want to do an activity, it will have to be mornings on school days.

School means, no soccer, no art class, and no unplanned outings.  I just bought a membership to the zoo.  School will restrict our spontaneous zoo trips.

The main reason I am pondering preschool, is because we are applying for kindergarten next fall and I don't know if these schools prefer preschool. The school in L.A. was play based so skipping preschool was not an issue.

I have been reading up on preschool and it seems, the preschool advantage is limited to families who do not have resources or time for their young children.  I think schools may prefer kinders who they know, will enter, sit down and follow rules.  I know TR can do that because when we visit museums, she does the circle time easily.  The schools we are applying to want preschool recommendations.

It's all so frustrating.  It makes me want to either homeschool or hire a tutor for kinder.  I think a tutor might be cheaper,  especially for two kids.

I read that having conversations with your children is very beneficial.  I think private schools should view that as a positive.  Maybe my school search should be on schools that value my methods.  I'll probably dislike a program that only wants kids who attend preschool.

I have to find and choose the program that fits my child and family.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Waffle Maker

I make waffles- thanks to Cuisinart.  We had bought a few packs of frozen waffles and it occured to me that its probably cheaper to make waffles than it is to buy enough to feed a family
 of four.  I searched online to decide on one to purchase and remembered I have seen
 a waffle maker at my mom's.

My mom gave me the waffle maker and this morning, the family gobbled up piping hot, 4 inch thick and tasty waffles.  These were far superior than eggos.

So in addition to a tea party, I now want to host a waffle breakfast or maybe a chicken an waffle lunch.  I'll have to experiment and figure out the Rosoe's recipe.  Waffles are a fun food to make.  The resort in Aspen has a waffle iron and homemade waffles brings back pleasant memories of making waffles before hitting the slopes.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Porches

Today I did neighborhood canvassing for a local campaign. The porches were so inspiring.
I love porches that are inviting.  People had nice chairs, plants, tables, wind chimes, and other cute accessories.

I enjoy walking neighborhoods, and taking a peek into how different homes are built, designed and furnished.  The houses we visited today were all uniquely built.  I would guess the neighborhood was built in the 1920's.  I saw lots of tomato,mlemons and other fruits and vegetables growing in front yards.

I also saw a dead rat and I am praying I do not get hantavirus.

I feel sorry for any woman who thinks she can have a relationship with Ursher.  His mother is married to him and Usher does not seem to know it.  I am glad Mr A believed in leaving and cleaving.

I will try to be sure I do not do my son, like some black mothers do.  I don't know if it's a single mother issue or just an odd mother-son dynamic.

I liked seeing how various homes were designed and saw lots of hardware floors and space.  I don't feel bad about having a sparsely furnished living room.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Journey to Frugality

I am not a recreational shopper so I don't tend to shop just to have things to do.  The issue with my shopping is when I do shop, I like pricey products.

The bank shut down my debit card last week. It tagged my $20 trip to Walmart, my  $10 trip to Foodmax ( a low price grocer) and some gas as suspicious.  Mr A usually gets gas, I usually shop Whole Foods of non chain local grocers and I shop at Target.

My bank is now meeting my frugal side.

Tonight I made popcorn for QT and me.  We do not have a microwave but we do have an air popper. It's much cheaper than microwave bags.

I am stepping my snack game back up. The kids love it when we have snacks packed.  They like fries but they won't eat other fast food, so failing to have snacks is hard on them.

Today QT went to football with Mr. A.  I took Bart to pick QT up and saved that gas.  No need for both cars to make that drive.  I am trying to recall other ways I was frugal recently. I am going to start writing these things down and tracking.  We don't seem to spend frivously. Fuel and food are huge expenses.

I want to stockpile money to make it through the coming financial depression.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Deck the Halls and Stuff

TR and I hit Target yesterday (tuesday) before her gymnastics class.  I was tempted to purchase Halloween decorations but I was strong.  There is a Michael's in the strip mall, so that helped me stay strong.  Michael's has better decorations and selection.

I'd love to host something, but we do not know enough local kids.

We went back to the zoo today. We had a great time.  The school district  had a professional development day today at the zoo,  so we  were able to visit my mom, who was in attendance at the professional development event.

TR found a group of girls to play with and had a great time.  I prefer not to  mix in with pre-formed groups.  TR joins in and has a blast. I like that about her.  She takes after Mr A in social settings.

It's so hard not to buy home items.  I win the battle because having a place to live is more important than having fabulous decor and getting ousted because all the money was spent on decor.

The people who refinanced to remodel or buy furniture are my cautionary tale.

Gym Moms

At the kids gymnastics school, the competitive kids practice on one end of the gym and the recreational kids practice on the other.  This results in the parents being on different sides.

When the kids went to a trial class, I had a nice chat with a mom. Her daughter and TR were in the
same class.  Now she sits on one side watching her kid and I sit on the other watching TR.  I could go chat but 1) I enjoy watching TR and 2) she already has a mom to talk to and they have both been at
the gym at least 2 years.

So I don't want to stop watching TR to interrupt a conversation on the other end of the building.

I eavesdropped on the conversation of the parents with competitive kids.  They were discussing the recent meet.  It was different.  I also noticed that the director seems to spend much of her time
engaging with the parents of the competitive kids. I had thought she enjoyed TR but I think she gives
special attention to all the competitive kids.

TR asked if she could live at gymnastics.  She loves her classes.  I look forward to seeing the kids on the bars doing the fun stuff.

It's all very different.  They discussed the hours their kids spent at the gym and how many of the kids were home schooled.

It's funny because in our search for private schools we discussed the home school option.  Mr A was opposed.  I think it would make sense for the parents to chip in and hire a teacher. It's a bit scary to realize that because your kid has an interest and skill that you either give them the opportunity to pursue it and cause them to miss a big part of childhood or you don't let them pursue it to protect childhood.   Either way you lose, IMO.   Competitive gymnastics is too time consuming to allow development of skill and let the kid have free time. I hear the kids miss family vacations because of the time needed to practice.  I wonder what happens to sibling relationships and parent-child relationships, when the kid is spending so much time practicing.



Monday, September 10, 2012

Sizzle, sizzle, fry

I am overwhelmed!

I have denied that I have too much going on and have delayed ridding myself.  I want to help everyone but I have accepted that I cannot help everyone and it's better to say no and allow people to find someone who has the ability to help.

I need to get my life back and then I will tiptoe into work.  I keep promising myself that I will not take any more lawsuits.  Once I free myself of these  3 suits I have, I am out! Done!  No more new filings for me.

My brain is sizzling and frying. Its overheating.

Today I bought a zoo family membership. I think we'll go twice a month. QT loved the animals! It's an easy outing.  TR seems to prefer aquariums.  QT has patience so observing slow moving animals is interesting for him.  TR is impatient and fast moving fish are her speed.

We still have to decide on a children's museum to join.  I make my money on my memberships.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Most Host

I I finally made my home comfort dream come true! I purchased a lovely drink dispenser.

In my head I had envisioned keeping ice cold fresh squeezed lemonade in it.

The A family hosted on Labor Day and to avoid lemonade being spilled on the floor (I did not know if kids were coming), I put ice cold water with sliced lemon and mint in the dispenser .  

The water was a hit! I put the lemonade with mint and sliced lemon in a glass picture and we had sodas.  The sodas went mostly ignored.  The lemonade was popular, but the water went fast.

I also discovered that my kids love being able to access their own liquids. I have put the water out everyday but one and the one day I did not make it,  QT asked where the water was.

I love it when home can be visually appealing to me and allow my kids their independence.

Next I intend to host a tea party, then maybe a book club meeting. I think we might do either Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Mr A and I are the hosts with the mosts.  I say that because people come to our events and stay. Whether in an apartment or a house we do it well and we don't have to break the bank to show our guests a great time.  TR really loves to be hostess. She enjoys people.  


I am actually enjoying being back in the bay.  When Mr A spends hours at football, I don't (usually) mind because I have lots of options.  Of course the mileage we have to drive is frustrating but the views are great, the air is clean and the drives allow me to appreciate what a great architect God is.