Friday, September 21, 2012

The expenses of a child....

Ever since Kylee went to Kindergarten and began cheerleading, each day is a new and unplanned expense. When we signed Kylee up for cheerleading I was hesitant for many reasons. I assumed when I wrote a check for $125 it would cover more than the pom poms. Pause for laughter. Every week we are updated with fundraiser obligations, snack sign ups, drink sign ups, homecoming mum costs, homecoming gift costs, and don’t even ask how much I spent on creating her cheer bucket that isn’t even complete yet. Not to mention that all of her games are 30+ miles away so there’s the cost in gas and the parents have to pay to get into the games! I wasn’t aware that at the ripe age of 6 we were encouraging our kids to do and participate in festivities that high school students are doing such as Homecoming. Pause for additional laughter.

Of course buying Kylee a mum for her homecoming game was optional. But I would be the only parent who didn’t see the detrimental need for her child to have a mum (that will end up buried at the bottom of her closet), and I couldn’t allow Kylee to be the odd man out. I’m completely outnumbered by the seasoned cheer moms and the lengths they are willing to go for their daughter’s cheering careers.

The expenses don’t stop at cheering. Kylee comes home every day with another Schoolastic brochure with overpriced books and order forms. She circles the ones she wants and naively believes she is going to get them while I secretly throw them in the trash when she’s not looking and cover them up with mashed potatoes. The other day she came home with a coupon book that sells for “only” $20 but has $10,000 in savings inside, or some drastically unrealistic figure. The letter accompanied with the book was encouraging all students (a.k.a MOMs) to sell as many books as they can and the proceeds will go to their school.  The fundraisers are everywhere and they are endless. My career is in sales. I sell every day. The last thing I want to do is push my friends and family into buying $5 raffle tickets for a $1 off their meal at Spring Creek BBQ, or begging them to buy a coupon book that always ends up in the floor of the back seat and never used all for the sake of helping her school and cheer squad. Don’t get me wrong, I want to help both but I am a tad curious where the funds are actually going. The coaches don’t get paid, I’m still shelling out money at almost every single cheer practice and being summoned to join the PTA for more fundraising meetings. I’m one flyer away from sewing a DO NOT SOLICIT sign to Kylee’s backpack and uniform!

Of course picture day accompanies more expenses because you will be exiled to the island for terrible parents if you don’t buy one of their inflated photo packages. Yesterday Kylee came home and said she has to wear purple. Why? She doesn’t know. All she knows is if she doesn’t wear purple she might be kicked out of school and never welcomed back until she slaughters a baby sheep. It is that dramatic. I explained that the school always calls when something important is going on that the parents need to know about. She overruled my attempt to calm her down and begged me to stop and buy her a shirt before we went to cheer practice. So we rush to Wal-mart for a purple polo. Fail. Academy, fail. Children’s Place, fail. She settled for a maroon polo. This morning she comes out in a blue polo. I was confused.  I reminded her that just 12 hours prior she was certain her academic career would fall to shambles if she wasn’t wearing a purple shirt and her reply was, “I think if it were really important the school would have called you.”


Friday, September 14, 2012

The Redbox Fury

I’m impatient by nature. It runs in my family. Waiting in long lines, on people, for lights to change, for the oven to preheat, all of these things make my foot tap at a fast rate.  I can’t help it. I discovered two things today. 1 Redbox triggers my impatient-ness and 2. I’m an idiot. I’ll explain both.

First of all, I never have good luck at a Redbox. Ever. In theory it’s a great invention. $1 per day and movie rentals that you can keep as long as you want with no late fees, no sign ups, nothing? Sign me up! Figuratively. But the truth is it’s not just $1 per movie, it’s $1 and some change. Then they’re always out of the movie you really want. When you hit the jackpot and your movie is actually in stock, you get home, pop the corn, pour the wine and settle in and you get 20 minutes into the movie and it’s scratched and skipping.  Night ruined. In addition to the labyrinth of obstacles you have to jump through to successfully rent a movie, there is always a line of indecisive and inconsiderate jack holes who will spend 20 minutes browsing new releases, reading the reviews and shrugging their shoulders at the impossible decision of whether or not to invest their hard earned $1.07 in this uncertain suspense thriller of Vampires VS. Strippers. And if they do know what movie that want, then it’s the swiping of their debit card that completely blows their mind and they have to concentrate harder than when they took the SATs. Side note: Redbox and grocery store self scanner operations need to be added to the SATs. My presence always goes ignored as I cough and sign frequently. Their focus cannot be disrupted!

This morning I decided I would reserve the movies online and go to the kiosk later to pick them up. I’ve made some evolutionary progress when renting from Redbox and knew better than to go to one on a Friday night unprepared. I pull up to the Kiosk and spotted the above mentioned fruit nut that hangs from the Redbox like a monkey and you can tell from afar they have no idea what or how they got there. These people are usually in house shoes. I wait in my car for the lady to retrieve her 5 (FIVE) discs and I go in. I choose the option to pick up my reservation, I swipe my card, and I get an error message. Huh? I repeat a few times before I realize I probably look like one of the above mentioned fruit nuts…. Whoops.  

I pridefully call the customer service number and sit on hold. As I’m sitting on hold, tapping my impatient foot and cursing the inventor of Redbox I decide to check my email confirmation to make sure everything went through okay. The email clearly states to use Kiosk B. I was on Kiosk A. I cowardly hang up the phone before the disgruntled rep realizes I’m a complete twit. I retrieved my purchase, hung my head low and got the H outta there!!  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Parent Report Card: Needs Improvement

I’m not even gonna sugar coat this… My weekend sucked. My kids were possessed and hell bent on driving me insane. If I didn’t know any better I would think someone was bribing them with tickets to Disneyland and cotton candy in exchange to see my head go straight thru the wall. It was nothing short of Godly intervention that kept their heads from going thru a wall.

Kylee had her first cheer game Saturday morning. We started with a tantrum appetizer because her shoes felt too tight. We followed that with an entrée of sibling squabbles topped with screaming and yelling. Dessert was served with a wooden spoon. This was all before 10am.

The Texas heat took a hiatus for the weekend and gave us some beautiful, sunny 80° weather. We actually needed jackets that morning. It was a nice preview to the fall season on the horizon. I had a crazy notion that the nice weather would adjust the kid’s horrifying moods and we could spend as much time outside as possible. HA.

First attempt: Sidewalk chalk and bubbles – FAIL
It was like a Mexican cock fight in a dark ally. I want the purple! NO, I had it first! Ahhh! Give it! STOP!

Second Attempt: Take a walk and go to the park – FAIL
Kylee wanted to ride her scooter and Logan wanted to ride her scooter. It didn’t go well and the walk was about 7.3 minutes total.

Third Attempt: Take a nap: FAIL

Later that afternoon we had plans to go to a friend’s house for a BBQ. So I gathered my grumpy, no napped children and prayed they would put on their fake angel faces and behave for the next couple of hours and not embarrass me. But apparently their terribleness knows no bounds. There was fighting, there was screaming, there was pouting, there was no end in sight. I also had to keep my nephew that night so it was 3 against 1. I was outnumbered.

Being the oldest of all the cousins, Kylee feels a divine privilege to boss everyone around which typically ends in fighting and tear shed. A lot of my evening was spent refereeing until they thankfully passed out.

If there was a parent report card for my weekend with the kids it would look a lot like this


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Extreme Makeover: Soul Edition

There are some areas in my life that I have welcomed the Lord into and opened the doors and rolled out the red carpet for Him. He graciously set up shop in these places and wrecked house. An extreme make over: Soul Edition. But I resisted His presence in certain places that I kept blocked off from the outside world. Secret closets and rooms deep inside that I decorated with smiles and laughter and hung images of healing. Just in case anyone ever found these secret rooms, they would look nice and neat and organized.

My opposition to letting the Lord into these places was rooted by fear that by acknowledging them would resurrect them. I had mastered the art of burying my insecurities, fears and hurts that if I shed light on them I would somehow give them power to rule over me again.
There was a time in my life when the buzz of a cell phone would strike up a paralyzing fear that plagued my every thought for the rest of that day. Satan 1: Me 0.

There was a time in my life where being left alone with my newborn depressed me. The fear of messing up was sickening to me.  Satan 2: Me 0.

There was a time in my life when an argument with friends, family or my spouse would leave me snuggled up with a grudge for weeks. Wreaking havoc on my relationships. Satan 25: Me 0.

I’m at a place now where the buzz of a cell phone doesn’t make my stomach tense up every time, I don’t fear messing up as a mom constantly and, well I still hold grudges longer than I probably should but I’m working on it. Satan: 25 Me: 32 – I stopped keeping score.

This post doesn’t really have a meaning or a point. Mainly just to vacuum these thoughts off the floor of my mind.

Today when I was dropping Kylee off, she made a comment that her friend Anthony was so lucky because his mom sits and eats breakfast with him in the cafeteria before school. I know in her heart she didn’t mean to jab at my many shortcomings as a mom. But it really hurt my feelings. There’s nothing I would love more than to have the first meal of the day with her. My feelings were riding pretty close to the surface this morning though. Probably due to the mini fit Logan threw over skittles and the fact that we were already 5 minutes behind schedule. I know she can’t fully comprehend that being on time to work is detrimental to the food she consumes daily or the gas that gets her to and from cheer practice. I can’t help her understand the why’s and the why nots of my choices; All of which are made to benefit her and Logan. 

I still feel insecure, worried, afraid, curious and nervous about stuff. And innocent statements like that invite my insecurities out to have a field day on my heart.  

Today my prayer is that God will adopt my fears and concerns and replace them with His confident love and assurance for me. I am constantly reminded that my feelings simply cannot dictate my life but the facts from God are what I can lean on and trust. Fear and anxiety have no place on His plan and purpose for my life.

I need to reboot today and start over.