Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Address

Hi all. I'm going to start posting on a new site:

Once I figure it out, I'm going to have this site feed directly into the other one, but I'm struggling with the tech side of it. Shocker. So if you want, just set your reader to that page.

xoxo gay

Monday, December 26, 2011

Dec 26 more counting down. Unless we start all the way at 365..... 

As expected:

Dallin and Porter loved Christmas. (skateboard, shoes, jacket, umbrella)
Deeter took one look at the present Santa left him (a train track already set up) and never looked back, not even  to come open more presents.
Kaia slept through it all. (cabbage patch doll)

Not expected:

I learned this year to throw perceived notions out the window: I'll take sunny and 75 over a white Christmas. Every year.

I conceded to go to church on Christmas- should be an obvious, unfortunately it wasn't. Guess what? Loved it. Wish every Christmas would fall on Sunday. Felt good to eat my words.

Santa pulled through and brought magic.... magic eight balls. Magic worked in my favor. Dallin ended Christmas night very tired tears. He had asked for an Ipod and headphones (???) and didn't get any. We sat cuddled on the couch and I was just letting him cry it out. He suddenly popped up. He grabbed his magic. "I'm going to ask my eight ball if I can have an Ipod and headphones." I let out a long breath, feeling pretty defeated, preparing for the next round of sobs. He gave a shake shake as he asked the question. An answer popped up: outlook is not good. "Well...I'm asking again. " So....he gave a shake shake as he asked the question. And an answer popped up: Definitely not. We both sat there bewildered, Dallin tensing up, me slowly relaxing. "I'm asking ONE MORE TIME." Shake shake. Question. Reply: I doubt it. 
And just like that the problem was resolved. Without me saying A SINGLE WORD.

And now.....the real vacation begins. No obligations, no mile-long to-do list, no school. Fingers crossed for no rain, no snotty attitudes, no sickness, and no whining.  Oh yeah, and lots of eating out, and going out with friends, and laughing, and........stairs. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Strong Arm

I hear all kinds of unfair bargaining going on in my house. Most of the time I bite my tongue and let them develop their negotiating skills without any tutorial. But sometimes I just can't help myself. And this usually occurs by butting in and helping Porter 'know his rights' against the power of his older brother. 

I don't know whose been mentoring Porter, nor do I know if he knows he walked away with a killer deal but today I became aware of one of the most recent barters. Porter walked into my room wearing Dallin's shorts, asking me to help him. I said, "Oooohhh, did you ask Dallin if you could wear those?" Yes, boys have this issue as a point of conflict also believe it or not, and recently it's been more present in our home. It seems, though, the boys have next to squash it already. "Oh yea, we made a deal," Porter said. "I get to wear any of his clothes I want whenever I want. Except for his Colorado jersey {which conveniently Porter has a twinner one} and his Colorado bracelets.  And he gets to play my guitar everyday." Ummmmm, yes. The guitar he received when he was ONE year old. And in the past year has only been of interest to him for ONE day. Must have been the same ONE day Dallin took interest in it as well. And in exchange, Porter got a new wardrobe. It looks like we have a negotiator on our hands- he knows the secret....timing, timing, timing.

We're getting excited for this weekend...ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I put it in the predictions folder last Friday {thanks for the concept, Jono} that I think Yosh has done well this year. He's real hit and miss. One year an all-edge brownie pan, the next year a trip to Paris. So you never know. Now I wish I could remember exactly what happened for me to add this note to the folder, but I can't remember anything specific. That might be for the better. Because then based on whether or not I'm right, I would be looking for clues next year to make a judgment call, but Yosh would know what I was or wasn't looking for, and then try to act or not act accordingly. Which would totally throw off the authenticity of my judgment. You get what I'm saying, right?

The kids are going to be in Christmas heaven {and completely self-entertained for hours, inducing mama heaven!} and I'm so ready to see their cute faces with looks of glee glued on!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Where's the Magic?

Does the magic of Christmas really lie in your heart or lie to your heart?
If the magic of Christmas lies in your heart, then "The List" I received:

Christmas List
the Force

(Which I of course instantly translated to read:)
Christmas List

......then the list I received will be accepted with absolutely no question. I am sure there is some connection between list 1 and 2 and since I believe, the kids will, too.  And we'll all be happy and satisfied. They won't pout like spoiled children because the requested list wasn't fulfilled to the tee. And I won't have to tell them that no there's really NO SUCH THING as the Force, magic, OR crystals (the magic kind at least.) And- heaven forbid- I have to tell them there's no such thing as....that one guy.  

But if the magic of Christmas lies to the heart, well then by golly, we are in full Christmas spirit over here at my house. Because it has turned me into a lying machine and I AM NOT A LIAR {except when door-to-door salesmen stop by, then one or two might slip out.} I have a real problem with this. I hate feeling like I'm feeding my kids a load of crap every time anything on the subject comes up. I'm avoiding eye contact, mumbling off unfinished sentences and doing everything short of running out of the house- screaming- with my arms raised in surrender. If they had just an ounce of innate lie detection, I would of been a goner a long time ago. Now don't go "Bah hum-buggin" me for all this. I have NOT let the cat out of the bag and I don't intend to. I'm all about the real meaning of Christmas, the idea of increased giving but my gosh there's gotta be some way to remedy my poor conscience and let her enjoy the Holiday too instead of being trodden down with guilt. In an attempt to relieve pressure, I've already reduced Santa down to the man who brings ONE gift. Shoot, I can't remember if he fills the stockings or not. I have about 3 days to figure out if that's him or us........ ONE gift from Santa. The rest from mom and dad. 

And that doesn't take away from the magic of Christmas at all. When else in the year do you have brownies and cookies and treats every time you turn around? And twinkling lights dancing to your Christmas playlist as you drive around the town admiring the adorably decorated houses? And gifts LOADED under the tree just for you? There's no way to disguise the magic of Christmas season. And just in case Santa is the underlying thread that ties all this together for the kids, I'm gonna keep my lips zipped, deal with a guilty conscience, and just dream of singing "The Magic of Christmas......lies in MOM and DAD."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

If you're feeling chubby right now.....

....raise your hand. I know, me too. 

When was the last time you tried a new food- when visiting the Indian restaurant down the street, or the Thai one next door; it could be when traveling to a different country, continent, or whatever. Shoot, you don't even have to go to a different country. Travel down to the south and your body'll think it's somewhere out of this world. So will your ears. But the point is...the food. When was the last time you tried a new food... and the introduction didn't go off seamlessly? It left your stomach feeling a little torn up and probably even landed you in the bathroom with a 'come back for free all day' pass.

Well that's about how my poor body was feeling yesterday. And the foreign cuisine was..........apples, oranges, broccoli, grilled chicken....all kinds of crazy food.

I should've done this post a week ago for my own sake, because that's when the food comatose started. Because of the poor food choices. And the lack of self-control. And abundant sweets every time I turned around. And a strong commitment to never say never no.

So in no particular order, I'm reminding myself of a few of my secrets on how to feel good, look good, and still partake in everything edible....especially during the Holidays. 
A good friend introduced this book to me and it has become my only go-to health book. If you've ever had more than one conversation with me, chances are I've referred to this book. It preaches the principles of listening to your body and loving yourself and creating a healthy (not guilty) relationship between you and food. Take a glimpse at what's inside here if you want.
{I secretly wish I had a stack of this luscious read sitting around so I could gift it every chance I got.}

We know all meals are necessary and it's basically been drilled into our little minds from a young age how important breakfast is. Quite a few days during the last couple weeks, we've had a reoccurring scene. I don't eat breakfast- bc my stomach is hurting from the night before's poor choices. Somewhere between 11 and 12, I'm famished. Anything in my reach is inhaled with no thought for what, how much, etc. I need food and I need it now. And a lot of it. And then at 4:00....repeat.  If our bodies know they can count on all meals at more or less the same time of day, they are content, calm, secure, FUELED machines. We need to give our them a little bit of routine and dependability to work with so they don't FREAK OUT!

As my everyday mentality, I take the approach of concentrating on what to eat, instead of what not to eat. I eat veggies all day long. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks...veggies. I'm kinda exaggerating but only kind of. If I have the option of veggies, I take it every time. And I add in other fresh foods- chicken, almonds, yogurt, and sometimes even fruit (not my strong point). I focus on getting those things in my body and whatever hunger remains, I fill it with WHATEVER I WANT. Oreos, frozen yogurt, cookies, Root Beer floats...whatever sounds good at the time. S'mores with Reeses. I'm not lying. I eat it all. {Revert back to Intuitive Eating book. This will teach you to listen to your body and OBEY when it says STOP- YOU'RE FULL.}
I've never been good with commitment- such as committing to eat NONE of something or only 1 sweet/day- so this approach works great for me. Shoot, have your cake and eat it too!

Exercise is good for the mind, body, and soul. Most people know that but if you don't, I'm not lying. "Exercise" is an open definition that can be custom to each individual. But do something that makes you feel good about yourself and feel strong and gets that heart a-pumping. SPOILER ALERT: Everytime you finish a good workout- whether 10 minutes or 2 hours- you walk away feeling you-can-conquer-the-world empowered. Go move your body!
 {I've been dying to do a post targeted towards beginners. I need to get it done!}

So here's to getting back on track... Treating our bodies good so that they can actually enjoy the {smaller amounts of?!!} CRAP that we're putting into them!

If you're not wanting food to be your demise,
Fingers are crossed to maintain a similar size,
These are the tips that I strongly advise, 
That'll make you happy, healthy, and wise!
~a girl named Gay

Monday, December 19, 2011

8 years ago today, I married.......

..........a stranger. I remember calling my older brother to tell him I was getting married and his exasperated response was, "To who? Cesar?" {the guy I was dating before}. It'll remain a mystery if he really didn't know who my current boyfriend was or if he was making a point. But after 3 1/2 months of dating, 2 months of engagement...he was all mine. Thank goodness that the both of us apparently have a knack for picking strangers.... who would end up being an impeccable companion? I'll take it.

I was thinking back to "the beginning" and felt myself getting a little embarrassed at the immaturity of the relationship, our shallow understanding of the inclusive definition of marriage at the time. I recognized the progress we've made since then. I think in doing that, it sparked an 'ah-ha!' wasn't immaturity per se all those years ago, it was simply the starting line. If I looked back and didn't feel a comparative sense of immaturity and shallowness, THAT would be a problem. Because it would hint at a lack of growth. And that's really my goal in all of this...growth, slowly pressing forward toward a better me, a better us. So there's absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about! It's not so important our current stationary point on the graph, but rather the direction we're headed.  I think the path we're on has us moving upward and- with no comparison necessary- that leaves me satisfied.  That, and the fact...that he's definitely no longer a stranger.
{PS Doesn't it kinda look like Yosh is coming at me with a windpipe or something?!!}
{PSS You're not getting sick of this sweater yet, are you?}

Of course we'll be celebrating. At home. With 4 kids. And cereal and milk. Unless one of us has a baby-sitter and surprise up their sleeve. I don't. But Yosh, you still got time...!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I'm no Fashionista....

...and I'm sure not a model. But a girl's got to get dressed and might as well enjoy doing it. 
Christmas season = parties = getting out of a t-shirt and jeans.
 Ok, busted. Maybe not the jeans part but I ditched the t-shirt and tried cleaning up the look to more than everyday casual. Wanna know another one of my unique talents? I can casualize anything. An outfit, an event, a situation. You name it, I'll casualize it. Look that word up. You'll find it's not there. Created, incorporated, and a girl named Gay.

On to the parties. Numero uno. A church dinner party.
Perhaps the animal print scarf makes it look somewhat sophisticated? {and hides the jeggings?}

Party numero dos. Work party at the bowling alley. 
 Well let me tell you something....if I was feeling good wearing it Wednesday night, there's no reason to not wear it Thursday night also. With different accessories of course. Whole different outfit if you ask me {and hopefully anyone who saw me both nights would completely agree...}
And can we not forget to comment on the cheerleader-like smile? You all, I never made it to that place in high school and perhaps a little glimpse of living that out comes from time to time through the smile.

Party numero tres. The after party. 
A friend's 40th birthday celebration. I figured it was a little more dressy so I got out of my jeans and into my workout leggings.  Are you sensing a pattern here? Must wear one piece that's already been worn at a previous party.

 And after the party it's the hotel lobby....

Just kidding just kidding. A little R Kelley from back in the days just took over for a small second.

But we're back. 

Hope everyone's enjoying their parties, finding something fun to wear, and feeling H-O-T in whatever it is you choose. And just remember...casual can be hot too!

Post-edit note: I've added a little box in the sidebar to ease my conscience about "not finishing conversations"! Ashley, there's the answer to where I got the stockings.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Santa Monica 4th st stairs

I've only been hearing about them for next to forever. 

I pulled up to the spot all fresh and peppy. I found myself in the midst of other pansies all huffing and puffing, drenched in sweat. Have these people never worked out before? We're just running a few stairs here. So, I took my place in line- 
Wait wait wait. Stop right there. In line? Really? To climb stairs? For fun? This doesn't make sense. 
Anyway, there I was ready to make my debut on the infamous Santa Monica 4th st stairs. And I take off, conquering those stairs one at a time. Only slowing to wait for a gap to pass the slow pokes and wishing I had some type of a horn to warn them out of my way. I went for the pass and made sure they knew they were getting passed- wishing I had a way to advertise the fact that I'm also a first timer none-the-less. I felt like yelling, "All night long baby...all night long" just to rub it in even deeper. Instead I just breathed steady and swung my arms like a sprinter.  Which was probably defeating the desire to have them know I was a first-timer. Because I'm sure I looked real professional. 
I made it to the top, winded but proud. Whoa whoa whoa....this wasn't the top? Follow the curve, Gay Gay. There's another set. But I'm young and fresh and peppy. Another set can't defeat me. So I regrouped as I walked to the first step and took off, admittedly as a slower pace. I reach in my bag of tricks for a survival tactic. And start counting the stairs, "" This would usually be distracting...but I reach somewhere in the 30's,- panting like a dog in heat- look up to find the finish line. Which proved to be a huge mistake. I was met with a view of stairs....that had no ending. So I slow even more but am holding on to that inkling of determination. And to the fact that I'm a first-timer. "I mean, how was I to know? This is only my first time. This is pretty good for a beginner, right?"
I shouldn't have wasted an ounce of energy hoping people knew I was a first-timer- that cocky sprint up the first half-set had first-timer written all over it. 
By the time I reached the real top, jello thighs had already been achieved. Which proved to be a bit of a hiccup on getting this body back down the stairs. Walking down a steep set of stairs with NUMB legs feels anything but natural. Ripped that security blanket right out of my hands.
And to think that I had committed to doing this 3x. I'm sure it comes as no surprise to hear that by round #3 I was strategically taking my place behind the 65-year-old with heavy metal blaring from his head phones, praying I'd be able to keep up. And then if these legs gave out on me- as was a real possibility- and I fell face first that I puh-lease wouldn't bring him down with me. Prayers were answered and we all survived.

{On the way home I for real felt like I was going to throw up. I don't remember ever feeling like that after working out. Combine it with the crazy, turn-y canyon roads I was passenger on for a whole 2 minutes, and I was done in. This is us pulled over, jacket stripped bc I'm hot as a meno-pausing mama, and needing nothing less than fresh air.  I heard Christy shuffling around as I was hanging my head out the window. I assumed she was checking her emails or maybe freeing her hands to kindly hold my hair back when the vomiting started. Huh uh. Shout out to a girl always looking for the next story. She thought I was getting ready to puke and ....pulled out the camera to document. Sorry to disappoint...we evaded the vomiting. And she didn't catch me w my head out the window}

The Santa Monica 4th St stairs. I finally did them.

Truth be told, they did me. And did me in.
Tell me you've found yourself in a similar predicament before........
That I'm not the only one whose blood is drenched with pride and ignorance running through the same vein...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Puppy Love

                                                                   Yosh: "Oh I love this girl."
                                                                   Me: "A lot or a little?"
                                                                   Yosh: "A lot," all sultry like.
                                                                   Me: "More or less than Kaia?"
                                                                   Yosh: ..................................

I'm in a losing battle, folks.
Does the puppy love ever wear off or is it here to stay?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tis the Season... start receiving the old owner's Christmas cards. Year number 3. We still have some stragglers that refuse to accept the fact that they moved. Thankfully only less than a mile away. So maybe we'll spread the Christmas spirit and once again deliver the cards to them instead of the trash. Don't judge me for being honest. 

So guess what baby #4 brought? Permission to get personalized stockings to keep for the rest of our lives. For whatever reason, I wouldn't even consider getting matching monogrammed anything til the fam was complete. Please be complete. And if it's not, baby #5 don't hate me for having a mismatched stocking.
Don't you love coming up with fun little gifts for Xmas? When an idea naturally comes to me, I love it. If one doesn't... well then no one gets a fun little gift. We're hit and miss in this house. That's one thing you can depend on us for.
This year I did s'more kits. Obviously inspired by the addition of our fire pit out back. Is that a little weird? We get a fire pit, I buy you gear. Any get-togethers will come with the reminder "BYOS...bring your own s'mores stuff." {Yosh I know what you were just thinking right cussin on my blog!}

And ps....If you don't get a Christmas card from us, it's probably cuz we sent it to your old address. Hope your new residents are as nice as us!

Monday, December 12, 2011


Does 10 1/2 months qualify for 12ish months? Because I'm sure I read something very professional that said "Babies should start drinking cow's milk at 12ish months". I know, very loose language. But I went with it and am hoping I'm not jumping the gun. I wish you could have seen Kaia with her first bottle of whole milk. She took a few swigs, pulled the bottle out of her mouth, looked at it, and..... literally giggled. Capture that on film and you have a commercial that sells itself. But...I think it gave her the Diarrhea word so we're gonna hold off a bit longer.

Why is Deeter's talking so much fun right now? Well he's a great talker with a great vocabulary but....he's only 2 1/2. Which means context is usually off...which means we do a lot of laughing at/with him. Love that lately when I say, "deeeeter, I love you," he says, "Yea you do."

Porter's teacher told me that the other day he was drawing a stick figure on their discussion board. Porter got all excited and said, "I know what that is. That's a missionary......" No one knew what he was talking about...except the teacher. So he went ahead and drew on a name tag and let that little stick figure be a missionary.

So, I don't know if it is just me, but I am getting the hugest kick out of Dallin's upcoming winter performance. Take a sneak peek:
A proud day in the life of Adam Sandler. I can't imagine that when he was recording his spoof that he thought it would find it's way into mainstream public school music performances. But here it is- 2011- being sung by the masses {ok, well at least in my little town}, representing the Jewish nation. I would of never guessed that in a million years! So tell me I'm not alone....this is hi-larious, right?!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

why i blog

It's a relevant question being as I've decided to move it up on the totem pole of priorities. As I read my list, I wonder why it wasn't at the top sooner.....

1)Truth be told, every since I started blogging........I subconsciously think in blog posts. Weirdest thing ever.

2) It's cheap therapy. These last couple months of consistent blogging have rid me of weight I didn't know I carried around everyday and has also infused happiness into my veins.

3) I remember a couple years ago realizing this was what I had to offer my kids and family. I don't scrapbook, I don't do great with taking candid pictures, I barely decorate for the Holidays, etc. There's a lot of things I'm not good at it. But through these notes, they'll know and understand their Mom's life better, which will in turn help them to know their childhood. Because right now, they ARE my life. Recording life is what I can offer them.

4) This is my medium for touching life; life that is all-consuming and constant and passionate and enveloping. So much so that I have trouble taking it in. And appreciating it. And remembering why it is so amazing. But I want to remember it and appreciate it and soak it I write. It's the tool that allows me to reach out and touch moments... and thoughts... and insights that are whizzing past me in the blink of an eye. It provides the clarity for me to search out these moments that capture the life I'm trying to create- to hold my focus on what I choose to. To remember those brewing thoughts in this mind of mine. To make sense of problems I'm trying to solve. Writing becomes my net, to catch the beauty of life in my hand and admire it for as long as I want. And then go back a week later, a month later....and admire it again. It gifts me this time and time again.

5) I didn't get the draw for my number 1 pick... to come to Earth as a hip-hop dancer. Fortunately, choice #2 is working out alright....a writing Mom.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Can I just tell you it is a frozen food kind of week. I say that as if the rest of my weeks aren't like this, but truth be told, we're probably not far off from par. Maybe the difference is by Monday I already had thrown in the towel. Now don't you for one second think frozen dinner sacrifices deliciousness. Huh uh. Not necessary. I take any of these frozen dinners, add a fresh something or the other to it, and you would have thought Applebee's just delivered to your house. 

First up, we got TJ's (Trader Joe's) gnocchi.  They also have a cheese variety that we prefer. These things are SO good. I'm talking so good that one night when we had people over for dinner, I had made these for the kids instead of our "adult" food. Well, before the night was over all the parents were oooohhhing and aaahhhhing about how amazing these gnocchi were. Now I don't know if that has more to say about the quality {or lack of!} of the adult food or the quality of this frozen dinner...but it's a keeper. For sure.
Not to be outdone by TJ's gourmet flatbread pizza. Wild mushroom & truffle? No, I am not kidding. Luxury at your table in 6-8 minutes.
Every time alcohol starts calling my name, I reach for Jack Daniel's beef brisket, generously distributed by Costco. Microwave this for 5 minutes, throw it on a fresh hamburger bun or eat it as an open-faced sandwich on a piece of toast....either way you won't be disappointed. 

 Some other must-haves I'm discovering for the house. So I'll have you know that I always thought I wasn't a fan of Ranch dressing. GASP. I finally found the nerve to mention this to my avid Ranch-loving friend a couple years ago and she handled the situation very maturely. Instead of cutting off our friendship right then and there, she breathed deeply and calmly informed me that I wasn't a fan of store-bought Ranch, but that I did like restaurant Ranch. Well by golly, she was right. Don't know how she knew that about me. But in the last couple months I stumbled on a Ranch that has passed the test and become a house staple. The same friend was at my house partaking of my veggie tray and stopped dead in her tracks to get more info on this Ranch. She approved. And yes, it was store bought. And side bonus- super low calories and fat. Yea baby, drench those veggies!
This next item will become a staple....these pistachio nutmeats {really? do we have to call them nutmeats? a little unappetizing...}. Turn a salad from mediocre to out-of-this-world with just a shakey-shake from this bag. Amazing. I kid you not.
 Now you would think with eating out of my freezer all week that my grocery bill was next to nothing. Incorrect. This bag FULL of chocolate did not pay for itself. And you're just looking at the top layer. Take your pick of this goodness....and BAKE. You all, I don't know what has happened to me but I feel like Betty Crocker herself has come back from the dead {is she dead?} and taken residence in MY BODY. I am doing nothing but baking this week. By choice. Which is probably why we need to eat all these frozen dinners. No time to cook, I'm baking like a mad woman.
You need 10 dozen cookies? I'm your girl. A thousand pretzel hugs? Done and done. Brownies? Reeses? More cookies? Move over and let me get my apron on. I got work to do. 
{all my frozen cookie dough balls waiting to get thrown in the oven on Saturday}

Wow, all this talking about food and baking got me a little too excited. I'm going to go on ahead and calm myself down. But if you're looking for more baking and less cooking, take some of these suggestions and you'll be happy as a clam that barely cooked at all.

Birthday BUST

How would I describe myself in most situations? Calm, cool, collected. One place I am NEVER those three things...the Sprint store. What is it about dealing with cell phone companies that comPLEtely sends me over the edge. Every. Single. Time. It's embarrassing. And hopeless. Please tell me you kind of feel the same?

Yesterday, I threw Yosh's iphone 4S at him. "Happy Birthday. You better like it." Why the lack of enthusiasm? Oh don't worry, Sprint had already told him what he was getting for his birthday... 5 days early. Totally busted the surprise. And all my hard work. I wasn't shocked at how it ended after everything I've been through with them these past couple weeks. Including the day before erasing a message off Yosh's voice-mail that would have ruined the surprise 6 days early instead of 5.

I racked my brain and came up with a great gift for Yosh's birthday- trade in his crappy barely working Blackberry for the Iphone. I called Sprint to see if he was eligible for an upgrade- which I knew he wasn't- but hey, it never hurts to check. Somewhere in that conversation, the lady tells me he's eligible for $150 off. Oh really? Great. I double check, and triple check, and ask her if it's noted so that when I go into the store they'll know. She says it's all in the account. See, it never hurts to ask. {Thank you, AJ, for that life lesson.}  

A week and a half later I go to the store. With two babies in tow. But I've already done all the footwork so this is going to be a piece of cake. Right? A salesperson helps me right away, we go through the story, and.......he says he sees nothing like that in the account. That I will have to call. So I sit myself on the ground- still calm, with a smile on my face- go into mom mode, entertaining 2 kids while making a 20 minute phone call. In the Sprint store. To Sprint. We go through, once again, the same conversation. The guy does in fact see in the notes where the lady told me we had $150 towards a phone. Which is weird because that policy is gone but of course they will honor what she said. My sales guy is listening to this conversation. He hears what they've told me. My sales guy just needs to call account services from the store finish things off. 
My guy calls and.........tells me there's nothing he can do. No, in store he cannot get me that $150 off.  Can I tell you I was about to blow a gasket? Like, that quick. Cool, calm, collected to ready to EXPLODE in 2 seconds flat. What kind of a hold does Sprint have on me? OH it's going to make me CRAZY.

He literally will do nothing to remedy the situation. Doesn't even try. Doesn't suggest another avenue to make things right. He won't even look me in the eye. Just stares off and kinda says sorry. So I leave FIRED UP. And I'm kinda shocked. I thought I had taken all the necessary steps to avoid this disaster. {Yes it was a disaster and don't try to tell me otherwise even tho we're only talking about a phone}. Pretty quick, I'm on the phone with customer service demanding a manager. And that's when Brad enters my life. Sweet Brad who knows how to calm a completely erratic, enraged, WRONGED woman. We went through the same conversation AGAIN, he asked a couple more questions and before I knew it, this sanity-saver was telling me for $45 I could buy out the rest of my contract and get my upgrade. Bottom line, my $650 iphone was now only going to cost me $250. What would you do to save $400? Apparently, a near-heart attack is valued at a low $400 to me. PULL IT TOGETHER, GAY. Although I really want to say PULL IT TOGETHER, SPRINT. And maybe I did tell them they needed to do that....more than once...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Welcome back, Saturdays

For fear of messing with any Elf voodoo, this is where Henry spent the rest of his day. The boys found him this morning on our doorknob, which I thought was absolutely brilliant. Apparently, his gymnastic skills weren't quite up to par and pretty fast he found himself face first on the ground. Man up, Henry....we need a STRONG elf in our house!
Great news...starting this week we have our Saturdays back! And Thursday nights! And Friday nights!!! Yes, football and basketball season have come to an end.
It was sweet- the coaches handed out the trophies individually and said something about that player.
Porter- to our strong player who was making shots from way back out by the end of the season.
Dallin- to our player who did it all- dribbled, shot, rebounded.
Porter- this young man was not even on the team at the start of the year. He started coming to practice, even if his brother couldn't make it, and turned into a good player and someone that was important to the team.
Dallin- this was someone that I've been with for three seasons {right then Dallin stood up to take the stage!}. He's always been a critical player and someone I've been able to depend on to get plays done for me.

One thing about getting older...I love seeing and really grasping the details and sacrifice and recognizing all the little work that goes into making this world go around. Love these adults that take a few hours out of their week to make my kids feel like a million bucks. They've been right all really takes a village.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Before our school gets fired!

So this here incident... I want to give more details of what happened, what I did, and why.

Kindergarten dismisses the students to go to their after-school STAR class and they literally walk 20 ft to some tables where a STAR teacher is waiting. Simultaneously, parents are picking up their kindergartners and walking out a gate. Porter got dismissed to his class. He did STAR all last trimester, so he knows the drill. It was the first day of the new trimester for his skateboarding class. He saw that most all the other kids had skateboards and he didn't. He was embarrassed, and rather than talk to a teacher, he hit the road to avoid the confrontation.

After he came home and the shock wore off and the actuality of the situation sunk in, I asked more questions to make sure I was prepped with the full story. Due to the nature of it all, for better or worse his one-sided story was going to be the bulk of information. So after that, I came up with my plan.

Which obviously started at home. This was a huge indication of Porter's lack of confidence, which I've always been worried about, but this solidified that I had reason to worry. Imagine never having walked home alone and knowing that you shouldn't but still choosing to do that rather than talking to an adult because you feel out of place. That's a problem. And that's the main problem. He consciously made a decision to go against the rules and I really feel like the fault fell on him. He didn't 'get in trouble', but we helped him understand why he shouldn't do that and what he can do in the future. We're going to take a more pro-active approach is giving him opportunities to gain confidence and use his bravery to do HARD CRAZY things for good. Instead of just for running away. We made sure he knew our phone numbers and obviously he already knew our address and how to get home!

I called and talked to the STAR director who was obviously mortified. They had him marked absent and didn't follow up on absences that day which is protocol. I then talked to Porter's teacher. Before telling him what Porter had done, I asked him about the previous day's dismissal. He said he released him to STAR and even specified the class, which meant- according to my detective skills- he clearly remembered. I then told the teacher what happened and he about passed out as he saw his family, his living, and welfare flash before him. At that point, the STAR director joined me and I addressed my issues with the hole in the transition process. I talked strongly and confidently {without addressing Porter's responsibility} but without completely blaming them for the situation. I didn't 'let them have it' or fly off the handle.

So why did I take this approach? A couple of key reasons. While the school does not hold the kids' hands every step of the way, they had a program that was functioning rather well. All the years in operation, I'm guessing this is the first run-away case. Porter is in kindergarten, not pre-school. I think expectations along with shown actions indicate most Kindergartners are capable of navigating that 20 feet alone. And if they don't have the ability {which is different from choosing not to}, then I personally don't think they're ready for Kinder. Secondly, I was not going to wring the school's neck in front of my child for HIS poor decision. I think that sends a terrible message. Like I said, I firmly made them aware of their fault in the system but I'm a big believer in ownership and responsibility. I think it would have been a horrible precedence to show Porter that he can make decisions on his own but his parents will act as a buffer and blame someone else when it turns out to be a poor decision. The flip side of both points- expecting the school to hold my child's hand every step of the way and  blaming the school for Porter not doing something that he's proven capable of doing the previous 3 months- are evidence of a growing problem...youth gaining independence. I have a saying in regards to this issue- "The older they are, the harder they fall." I'm hoping to help my kids avoid some of those bigger pitfalls by learning at a young age to be independent and responsible and take ownership for THEIR actions. I will help them along the way and provide them with all the love and support in the world but I have no intention of carrying them when they can walk on their own and acting as a crutch. This was as good as time as any to teach that lesson.

The school also needed to take responsibility for THEIR part. Within 2 days an email was sent out remedying the problem. It was taken care of that quickly and efficiently without making a huge deal of it.

And, just on an ending note, after all was said and done, I was super proud that little Porter Pistol Pope knew how to navigate his way home. These past three years of stopping at the same driveways, having the kids look both ways, pushing the buttons, learning to follow the traffic all paid off. I didn't think he was capable to be honest. I would have never administered the test this early  and this doesn't grant him permission to EVER do this again in the near future but in case of an emergency, he's equipped and that makes me confident and proud. And as parents, isn't our ultimate goal to prepare them for productive, positive, independent adulthood? That's definitely my goal and shows we're making forward progress in that area. 

Ok, I'm stepping down from my soap box. But I would genuinely love your opinion/perspective on all this!