Tuesday, November 29, 2022
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No Dinner???

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How does your child talk to your ex? Do you know? Do you care? I always suspected that there was some misinformation on purpose, but last night was when I heard it on my own.

“What are you having for dinner, “I heard my ex ask my daughter?  She began to laugh, “Oh it’s too early. I am not allowed to ask until a little bit later”.

 I turned my head laughing and said “What?”

My daughter continued on, “yes, if you ask mom too early then you have to listen to her say that she just got home after working all day, and now she has to walk the dog. She will say she has to sit and rest for a little bit before she can make dinner.”

Naturally I playfully turned around and smacked her gently on the head. “You are going to get it now.” I said laughing.

“Oh what did we have for dinner last night? We didn’t! Mom didn’t cook.” Ok now that was the last straw. Now in my mind I was thinking he must think I never cook for her.

When they finally hung up, I said “do you know how that sounded to Dad? First you didn’t tell him the whole story. We get home at 4:15 every weekday and you want me to make dinner.  I have just gotten home and it’s too early. “

“Mom I did say that, I said it was too early to ask you.” She said laughing hysterically.

“Second “, I continued, “we didn’t have dinner last night because we had a late lunch after attending a late Church Service so we both agreed that we were not hungry at a normal dinner time.”

That got me thinking. How many other things does she say that can be misunderstood? I would bet a lot.

Well the evening ended up with us having left over night because Mondays seem to always be so draining.

Anyway I found it amusing and we had a good laugh over it. I know I feed my daughter and she’s growing fine. I know I am a good mom.

Have any of you ever come across a circumstance or conversation like this? How did you handle it?

Math Dilemma

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We all want the best for our child, which goes without saying. But I was left at a loss of what to do when the school counselor called to speak to me about transferring my 13 yr. old daughter into an honors Math class.

My immediate thought was yes of course we want to move to an honors class. Why wouldn’t I want her to have the best, and then I spoke with my daughter.

“Argh! “, she grunted when I mentioned it to her, “I asked the counselor not to say anything to you”, she seemed very frustrated which was actually my feelings when I realized that a teacher had spoken to her, but she had failed to mention the conversation to me.  Is this part of being a teenager – just hiding things?

“Mom, please”, she begged,” I don’t feel comfortable the class I am in now and I don’t want to go to honors, plus it will change my entire schedule and I am happy with my schedule.” She continued to plead.

“Ok let me just talk to her at least and find out the details. And if it’s not right, we won’t do it”

“Thanks, Mom”

You see ever since my daughter was little, she had to be pushed into doing new things and then she was happy that we pushed her telling her she had no choice. But this time was different, if she didn’t feel comfortable in the class that she was in now, she wouldn’t do well in an advanced class, but my thoughts went right to if she stayed in the regular class she should get all A’s right?

Well I spoke with the counselor who said that a new class was just started yesterday and it was a high school credit. My daughter had qualified for it from her past scores from last year and it would be good to go into.

It would change her whole schedule and she was on track now for High School, this would just be a plus. I spoke with her dad who said, yes, she must go into this new class.

Now it was time to talk to my daughter again. Actually it turned out that she really did want to move to the new class but was afraid. What if she couldn’t do it, then she would begin High School next year with a bad mark against her already? I assured her that if I needed to get her a tutor than I would, but I was able to make it through college algebra two years ago so I was sure we could get her through High School Algebra.

She wrote down the Pros and cons but they were equal. That was not a help.

Then my neighbors High School daughter said she would tutor her that Algebra is her best subject and it looks good on college admissions applications. That put two more on the Pro list and put us over the edge.

But I could see how her attitude changed. She suddenly seemed stressed out so I couldn’t in good conscience make her change her class. After all it will not affect her negatively if she stays where she is.

“How bout we make a deal”, I said. “I will let you stay in the same class since you have been so dedicated to doing your homework but you must start attending the Teen Youth group at Church again.”

She thought for a second and then said “yes, you have a deal!”

That’s when I knew the honors class would be too stressful if she was willing to make deals with me. I made the decision right there and then to keep her in the same class and not disrupt her schedule.

So I went through the rest of my weekend, believing as a good mom I hadn’t pushed her and made her do something that would cause her stress.

Monday at lunch time I received a text from my daughter…

” Mom, I really want to go into the honors class. Can I?”

“yes, you have my permission. I made it through college algebra recently so we can get though through high school honors in 8th grade.

“Thanks Mom!”

The Dreaded Move

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Are you in the boat with me renting for a number of reasons? Maybe low credit or maybe you just don’t know where you want to live. My lease is up and I may be moving again so I wanted to mention a few ideas that may help you in a moving situation.

You may hate this advice, but one of the best times to get the best deals on rental properties is November or December, because no one wants to move during the holiday season. Once you are in you can always negotiate to move the lease to Jan . 1st. No one wants to move then so that is what makes it the best time if you can deal with moving over the holidays.

Make sure it makes sense to make the move as it will cost several hundred of dollars to pay for the move, deposits, and the wear and tear on yourself. If you are only moving because your landlord is raising the rent $50 then you may want to reconsider. However these days many owners are downsizing and moving back into their rental properties and you may find that you must move.

Here are some of the things I do when I find myself in the position of having to move.

1st- write down everything you need to change during the moving process such as your address, your utilities, your cable, etc. If you have moved several times, keep a list of your addresses as you may need them for credit reasons.

2nd Go through every room packing and lableling your items. If you find items that you have not used either give them away or sell them. These are items that you have not used in a year or know that you will not be using any time soon. This is the best time to sell or let go of items that you no longer need. It’s hard I know but let them go…

Go from room to room packing your Bedroom, living room, kitchen and so forth.

For me, I know it is easier on my health and well being to save money and hire a local mover, but when I was younger I always paid friends or people I worked with to help me move. Either way, you have to take some money and put it aside for moving, even if it’s only for a truck if you have the advantage of having people who will move you for free.

Something to always keep in mind is that if you choose to use a moving company, make sure you have a contract in place. Yes, I am one of those tragic stories where I used a large company and had a quote over the phone. Everything was fine until we got to my new location and then they wouldn’t unload until I paid an extra 500.00 which was not part of the deal but I had no signed contract to refer back to so I ended up going to get a payday advance just to get my furniture and boxes off of the truck. I will never make that mistake again. Even filing with the BBB didn’t help me get my money back so always have a contract.

Be a chauffeur

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A chauffeur is a person who is employed to drive and transport people around.

If you have a tween that is going through a stage or moment where they do not want to confide in you what is going on in their lives then, be a chauffeur. This means acting like one- keeping your thoughts to yourself and your mouth closed. You will be paid in the knowledge that you earn.

My daughter tends to forget that I am in the front seat driving when she is in the back seat with her friends giggling about this and that. That’s when I find out who likes who, or what happened in Science today. Now don’t get me wrong, my daughter tells me quite a lot every night at dinner time, but she tends to leave things out.

That’s when I take the advantage of being the chauffeur to find out what is going on in her life.

Do I feel that I am ease-dropping or overstepping my limits a a mom? No, I don’t. There is too much going on in this world these days to let anything go without paying attention too. My daughter got mad at me recently and walked off into a very large crowd in the evening one night. Everywhere there is a problem of human trafficking, but especially in south Florida which is what started a very serious conversation once we got home.

I believe that you should have a good relationship with your child first but there are always times where your child may not want to divulge certain aspects of their lives. This is when the Chauffeur comes into play.

Many times we are just being a parent and driving kids around is just part of the job, but if you are one of those parents that tends to let other parents drive, jump in and volunteer. Who knows what you will learn on your trip.

The Drunken Crab Man?

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seafood

I stood there silently as the man in his late 50’s yelled at the man behind the seafood counter at the local grocery store. He was dressed in pajama bottoms and a worn out t-shirt that had a picture of a beer bottle on it while wearing a dirty baseball cap. I’m not making this up, this was what he was wearing -I swear.

“How much is one pound of stone crabs!” he yelled!

“i’m not sure, but we can put some in a bag and see how many you get,” the counter man said.

“Who can tell me- if you cant!”, he said with a slur. He had been obviously drinking by the way he leaned into the glass covering the seafood and slurred his words.

The older latin man proceeded to put 4 crab legs into a bag and tell him that this was 1 pound.

The man was outraged, “You don’t know what you are doing”, he screamed, “get me someone who knows what he is doing.”

The man then leaned close to me to say the man didn’t know what he was doing and I should beware. The meat manager came out all while I stood there smiling at the counter clerk to reassure him that all was alright.

“What can I help you with?”, the manager said.

“I want to know what one pound of stone crab is”, the man said.

The manager said almost exactly what the counter man said and put 4 crab legs on the scale telling the customer that this was one pound. The customer said “great…I’ll take it.”

He left with his crab and I ordered my stone crab which was on sale, but I told the manager that the counter man had done exactly what he had done and had suffered a verbal beating because of it. The store manager replied I believe he has had a bit to drink and it was best not to have a relationship with him.”

I took my crab and walked to the front to see the drunken man walk around the counter and out the door. He didn’t even pay for his $25.00 stone crab. I was so aggravated that first he proceeded to yell at the counter man and then he didn’t even pay that I ran to an employee and told them that the man had not paid for his seafood. Everyone seemed to agree that he had been drinking and did not want to approach him.

But now I had paid and was in my car on the road with this drunken jerk. I saw him drive off and he didn’t seem impaired, he just seemed like he was a jerk.

What would you have done in this situation? Something my Dad taught me a long time ago was to never deal with a drunk or stupid person and I felt this man was both so after telling the store clerks, I let it go but I had a bad feeling in my stomach all evening as I thought about it.

Would you have done something different? If so, let me know in the comments by clicking below.

Be sure to tell your friends to follow me on www.dramafreemama.com

The Chair

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So my girlfriend and I sat on a park bench watching our girls practice volleyball the other evening and were finally given the time to catch up on what was going on in our busy lives. The conversation turned into the challenges we were having with our twelve- year olds- Mine almost 13 and reminding me of it daily.

I was upset because my daughter was not in the mood to help clean the house the other day. I am talking about dusting, vacuuming, and laundry. My girlfriend said I had it good if she was ever doing that. She was having problems with her daughter’s room. “Why are their rooms a mess?” She asked. I have to say my daughter usually keeps her room with a clean floor except that she tries outfits on in the mornings and puts the outcast outfits on the floor until she gets home at night. It turned out my girlfriend’s daughter did the same thing. What is up with that I asked? I do the same thing getting ready for work in the morning, but my extra clothes go on my bed, not on the floor. I spend hundreds of dollars on these clothes for me and my daughter and it is hard to imagine putting the clean clothes on the floor.

That’s when my girlfriend told me of “the chair”. Oh yes, her daughter claims that every child their age has a “chair” where all the clothes are allowed to go so that you can easily get them for school the next week. I laughed because I had to admit that my daughter does have this famous chair in her room too. The clothes can be on the hanger and are still slumped over the chair instead of just put in the closet. I tend to allow it because at least they are not on the floor.

But I had to laugh that this seemed to be a tween movement of sorts-“the chair”.

Recently for school I have bought her nice clothes that she asked me for. Certain brands and while I had to pull from resources that didn’t come comfortably, I was abe to it. My daughter was aware of the money that was spent and that it was difficult for me. I haven’t found any of these clothes on the floor, only on the Chair in the mornings. Does this mean she didn’t respect my resources or my rules of the house? Or was she just being a lazy tween?

I have told her that I won’t buy these nice clothes again if I find any on the floor and if she is only going to wear one or two over and over that I will take everything else back. She has promised that now she is a seventh grader, things will change. I have a stake in this too. I have promised that I won’t come in nagging about the room unless there are things on the floor and food containers left in her room. Eating in her room is a privilege as well as having decent clothes to wear so hopefully this has been a learning lesson.

How many of you have “the Chair”?

 

 

Divide and Concur

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cleaning

Recently I spent several days on vacation with some close friends. Even on vacation I realized quickly that the boys were doing more chores than my daughter the same age was. Of course she threw her trash away, but that was about it because I do everything at the house.

It was mentioned that I really need to start making my daughter do more. I sat back and had to agree, not only would it make my life easier, but it would teach her responsibility. Maybe she would even appreciate all of the things that I did on a daily basis as a single mom.

I did a little research and found out what the normal chores are for kids her age:

 Chores for children ages 10 and older.

  • Unload dishwasher.
  • Fold laundry.
  • Clean bathroom.
  • Wash windows.
  • Wash car.
  • Cook simple meal with supervision.
  • Iron clothes.
  • Do laundry.

Now  here comes the hard part, how do I get her to do the chores such as dusting, laundry and so forth. She had to learn that work leans to rewards and privileges. So I’ve established a rewards system.

First I wanted to make sure we had the idea of taking care of her own things down. Yes, I am sad to say that many times if I am going to do laundry I end up picking up a few items from her floor and putting them in the hamper just steps away. So now this made me think of different chores such as:

  • Make bed
  • Put clothes away
  • Change sheets
  • Sweep or vacuum bedroom
  • Put items where they belong

And what about her dog? Why did I always find myself walking and feeding him?

We ended up making a list of everything that needed to be done and then she chose what she wanted from the list. We were both responsible for our own rooms and bathrooms, even though I knew she would need a little help in the beginning. The idea is not to clean perfectly, but to learn and become a responsible person and to have respect for our things.

My Scariest Health Moment

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stroke

“I need to send you by EMS to the hospital right away.” I could hear my doctor saying this to me. My head was not only hurting like the intense pain I feel when I am having a migraine, but now it was spinning and I didn’t understand. When I get migraines I get weakness on one side so I can’t take so many normal migraine medications but my headache this time was because my blood pressure was so high. I had checked it as soon as I had woken up with a migraine.

“Can I just have a prescription for my blood pressure?” I asked. Thinking this could not really be that serious.

“No, your EKG is not good and your pulse is very low. We cannot let you leave.” I didn’t use good judgement, but I knew I could make it to the hospital down the street by myself. I was thinking as a single mom, I needed to have my car so I could go pick up my daughter after school. I signed myself out against medical advice and proceeded directly to the Emergency room with a copy of my EKG in my hand. I had a plan in my mind anyway.

In retrospect this was a dumb idea. What if I had of had an episode and crashed my car into someone else. Believe me, the nurse let me have it once I got to the hospital.

As soon as I walked into the hospital about 12 minutes later, they took me immediately and did another EKG and said I was to be admitted right away.

” No really I am ok. I just don’t feel good and I just need some medicine to make my blood pressure go down”, I reiterated to the new doctor and now several people taking care of me. The doctor firmly said “your blood pressure is 190/110 your pulse is 47 and with all the other symptoms that you are having, you must be admitted.”

Now my mind started racing. Who would get my daughter, who would take care of the dog? No one has an extra key so what was I going to do?

Now I will tell you a secret, this has always been a deep fear of mine with my migraines. I have always been afraid that one day I would have a stroke and be alone in my apartment or worst in front of my daughter and nothing could be done. I kept a house key in my office at work and had told the office manager that if for any reason I did not come in to work one day and didn’t call, to please use my key to go to my house that something wasn’t right.

Now the day had come. While series of tests were run, a woman walked in with some stroke pamphlets. I honestly thought she had left them for the wrong person but seeing that I was in a private room, I wanted to believe it, but knew deep down that things were worst than I thought.

So it turns out I had had a small stroke a TIA is what they are called and if I didn’t get my health in better shape, I was going to have another one that might not be so small.

This really scared me. The doctors asked what my migraine triggers were I told them: Stress, sleep deprivation, and gluten. Hormonal changes will also trigger them and I have taken every medication that I could and even took Botox shots years ago before it was the norm but noting helped until I cut down on my gluten-Wheat, Pasta, breads.

I did some research from many different sites and here are some signs that you need to watch for:

Certain chronic conditions increase your risk of stroke. These include:

  • High blood pressure

  • High cholesterol

  • Diabetes

  • Obesity

Yes, I fit every category. It was definitely time for changes. It has been a long process to get back to my energy level to work out again. I had just started eating better and working out with a trainer when this all happened. I guess you would say a little too late for me, but I still have time and have no choice but to make some life changes.

As a single mom, I cannot let my kids down and I don’t even want to imagine what it would be like to have my youngest come in and find me. This scares me every day.

Have you taken a look at your health lately? I mean a really good look? I hope that this will alert someone else to go to the doctor and make changes if needed.

Lunch Money

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Every day one of my coworkers, who happens to be a very close friend as well, tells me I am wasting my money on lunches. This particular coworker brings her lunch every day and only on special occasions might take the chance to go out. We have worked together for over 20 years and she is still bringing her lunch.

Yes, it’s true even though I have to be cautious of my spending, I do usually eat out for lunch. I guess I never really added up the cost of eating out 5 ways a week, but I am spending anywhere between five and ten dollars a week. Now realizing how long I have worked with my coworker, I realize just how much I could have saved in 20 years.

What is wrong with me? I just know that in the past if I bring something for lunch whether I have just made it or it consists of leftovers, when it is time to eat, I always cringe at the thought of eating what I have brought which sends me  running out and grabbing something that is close by.

Now this causes two problems-(1) I end up eating something that is not healthy and (2)-the money each day can really add up especially when I am on a specialized diet and can’t just run out for a $2.00 Hamburger.

There was a time many years ago when we all went out in groups for lunch. I looked forward to where our group would go and tell jokes. A great way to break up the day and give yourself a little stress relief.

Another reason to change my eating out ways is my current health which is not good. Its time to take some time and take care of myself. Health data.org says that over one third of adults are considered obese. Mainly because people are going for the quick fast food because of the low cost and quick availability.

This also leads me into the fact that I like to be organized and having everything prepared. If I take the time to make my lunch as I am making them for my daughter, I am really saving time and money. I have found I like to fill my little containers on Sundays with things that I can just grab and put into my lunch box. This initial preparation has helped me immensely with a nutrition plan.

So I have made a decision to do my very best to change my ways. A challenge of sorts, if you will. I have stated to bring my lunch daily. To introduce this concept, I bought a new lunchbox (the JAXX one shown and I love it.  Tipp:I bought it off of of Amazon). It has already it has paid for itself in one week. It has been fun using my new lunch box. It has now been several weeks since I have started my lunch money challenge. It looks so nice, my daughter asked me when I bought a new purse.

My plan consists of making a meal plan for the week, going grocery shopping and saving Sunday afternoon for making some meals for the week days I know I am going to be running behind.

Do you take or lunch or eat out? Many meals can be made healthier and more cost effective than something you would pick up at the last moment. It just takes time and a little preparation.  Even for snacks, I cut up vegetables and make containers of hummus for a little snack in the afternoon.

But I “Googled” it!

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So believe it or not, I had been walking on a fractured ankle for a month. I knew there was a problem. I had walked with a neighbor two miles as we normally did every night and we had gone so fast that I suggested we do another round around the park – another two miles. At the end of the four miles, I felt something hurt, like a snap in my ankle and I barely made it home. I put ice on it of course and put it up and luckily my daughter offered to take our dog out for a walk as I laid in pain. Maybe I can get used to this I thought to myself. No conversation over who was taking the dog out.

Finally, after a couple of days I googled my immediate symptoms and it seemed like I had Achilles Tendinitis. It made sense to me, I had every symptom, so I made my daughter keep walking the dog and kept ice on my ankle every night. But then it started to hurt in the middle of the night so after listening to friends telling me to buy new shoes, shoe inserts, and so on, I finally listened to one friend and went to see her ankle doctor. He kinda laughed at me as soon as he saw my swollen bruised ankle. I don’t think you have tendinitis, it doesn’t swell like this, he informed me.

“But I googled it.”, I stupidly replied. Really I am going to tell the doctor I googled my symptoms and I know what is wrong with me?

“Thank you, but I am sure an xray will show you have a small stress fracture” he replied.

I was in shock, but sure enough I left with a boot on to keep the ankle straight for it to heal and I did have a stress fracture.

What was the worst part of this? I had just been given a new position at my job of 22 years where part of my job was to walk the entire 110,000 sq foot warehouse. So basically, I went to my doctor appointment at lunch and came back with a cast on. My boss immediately questioned what had happened.

“Well remember when you said I needed to have my foot looked at? I went at lunch time and he took xrays and it turns out that my ankle is fractured and I have to wear this for about 6 weeks.”, I explained.

I cannot even explain the look on his face.

I went home depressed and texted my girlfriend. Who told me that our neighbor had a knee scooter from when she had broken her ankle and maybe I could borrow it. Immediately my neighbor brought it over and I was able to go to work the next day with a plan to cover the warehouse. It’s always good to come up with a plan B for everything you do.

My daughter thought my boot was fun and exciting even though it hurt me more keeping the ankle in one secured spot. At least she volunteered to take the dog out, get me drinks, and food, but wanted to know when she could wear it. Kids?

So the moral of the story is while google might be great, rely on your own senses and always have a plan B.

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