Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dear Obama

This was emailed to me. It is a forward and I don't know where it originated, but it is damn funny....and sadly true.

Dear President Obama,

I wish to thank you for helping my neighbors with their mortgage payments. You know the one's down the street that in the good times refinanced their house several times and bought SUV's, ATV's, RV"s, a pool, a big screen, two Wave Runners and a Harley. But I was wondering, since I am paying my mortgage and theirs, could you arrange for me to borrow the Harley now and then?

P.S. They also need help with their credit cards, when do you want me to start making those payments?
P.P.S. I almost forgot - they didn't file their income tax return this year. Should I go ahead and file for them or will you be appointing them to cabinet posts?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My battle With Public School...Act One, Scene One

As many of you know I've been frustrated with our public school system for some time. Today I was at Mackenzie's school as a parent helper and happened to get a chance to sit down with the principal for a few minutes to discuss some of my concerns. After our meeting she emailed the teacher I had some issues with and that teacher called me in to discuss it. I met with her and we had a good conversation that basically ended in us respectfully disagreeing. She called me later and told me that she had emailed the principal back with the results of our discussion and then the principle emailed her back with some things. She wanted to clear up some points and informed me that she would be emailing the principal back and she would copy that email to me. Well, she ended up sending me the entire back and forth emails between the two of them. I was annoyed that the whole high school nature of the emails and decided to respond in an email sent to both of them. I thought I would share all the email fun with you guys! Let me know what you think!

Here is the first email from the principal (Kitty) to the teacher (Deb):


Mrs. Tiffany Dxxxx stopped in today. She would like to meet with you. She is concerned because she feels that the standards have dropped in your classroom. She gave specific examples such as the journal does not have to be completed any longer and that students do not have to complete the agenda book. Please call her at XXX-XXXX. She would like to meet with you any day after 12:30.


Email #2

Thank you for the information. I meet with Mrs. Dxxxx after school today. We had a pleasant conversation regarding the changes in expectations for daily journal writing and signed agenda books. She expressed that although she has certain expectations for Mackenzie, she understands given the reasons I shared.
Mrs. Dxxxx also shared that she went to talk with you, instead of myself, because she wanted to express her frustrations with the school, as a whole.


Email #3

When Mrs. Dxxxx entered the main office she explained that she did not know with whom she should talk. Mrs. Shumaker ushered her into my office. In her conversation with me, Mrs. Dxxxx did not express any concerns with any other teacher or school items with the exception of your classroom. She shared other parents have come to speak with you and they did not feel that you heard their concerns.


Email #4


I just got off the phone with Mrs. Dxxxx and I am courtesy copying her in this correspondence. Mrs. Dxxxx shared that today she walked into the office for the purpose of scheduling an appointment. She found out that you had 10 minutes or so and shared with you at that time that she probably should have had conversation with me first. She did not feel that she probably had sufficient time to "get her thoughts together." She confirmed that she gave specific examples of changes in the classroom, but maybe you "just didn't get" that she had concerns about the school and with other staff. She did not confirm your statement that "other parents have come to speak with...[me]...and did not feel that...[I] heard their concerns."


And here is my reply with I emailed to both the teacher and the principal.

Mrs. Zxxxxx & Mrs. Hxxxxxx,

I do not wish to engage in a "he said, she said" kind of discussing. I am sorry for any confusion. I will address my thoughts to both of you in this email so we are all on the same page. First of all, my concerns are with the overall education system that we have experienced, but the issues I have discussed with both of you from Mrs. Hxxxxx's class are specific examples. I am not trying to assign blame, rather I am trying to point out areas that I feel need changed or improved upon.

I am disappointed with the expectations for my (step) daughter. At the beginning of the school year, I was satisfied that the work level and the classroom structure established was appropriate and that the level of communication would be high. I was very pleased with the way the agenda book was to be handled. My step-daughter is very bright, but we are continually battling with her responsibility and communication skills. I was relieved to know that both the teacher and I would be required to sign the agenda book daily so that I would know if she was missing work or having trouble in any areas. I was also happy with the nightly required reading and journal entries. There was also to be a small amount of take-home homework each week that could be expected. In the beginning of the year she was managing her time with these assignments because she knew they were required. Now that all of these things have been dropped as requirements, she complains that I make her do them anyway when they aren't graded or counted for credit. I feel that these are important or they wouldn't have been started in the first place.

It is my understanding that there are some students whose parents do not help them at home and that because they cannot meet the requirements (through no fault of their own) the requirements have been dropped. While I understand this, what it means for my child is that the expectations for her have been lowered. I realize that there is no perfect solution that works for the entire student body. My concern with the education system as a whole is that as the standards are continually lowered to make every child able to succeed in every situation, the students are no longer challenged. Why can't exceptions for those students without parental support be made instead of changing(lowering) the expectations of ALL the students? Why not require the students to read nightly and fill out a reading log without parent signatures? This way the requirements and expectations are put on the heads of the students without relying on the parents. Those students without parental support are going to have to do homework someday, why not begin teaching the responsibility now? I want my daughter to be prepared for the years that lie ahead.

While I am airing my thoughts, I have one other thing to share that I haven't discussed yet. In another of Mackenzie's classrooms some politically slanted comments have been made that I do not appreciate. Mackenzie came home to tell me that "President Bush was the worse president ever". When I asked her why she felt that way, she didn't have an answer other than that is what her teacher told her. When I asked her why her teacher thought he was a bad president, she said that the teacher didn't say. I don't think it is a teacher's place to express their political or religious beliefs to students without at least sharing both sides to the argument. As a fourth grader, my daughter believes that teachers are always right and she doesn't completely comprehend the difference between a teacher's opinion and fact. Mackenzie took the statement that her teacher made as a fact, not the teacher's opinion. I wasn't there and I don't know exactly what was said, but from several things Mackenzie has told me throughout the year, I know this teachers political views and I know they have been filtered to Mackenzie. I believe she should be learning about government and politics from a bi-partisan viewpoint.

In conclusion, I do not want to point fingers or criticize. I do want to express what I see happening and how I feel about it. I don't think I am the only parent with these concerns or frustrations. When the community is standing at the polls, making a decision to vote for or against the levy, these are the things that affect that decision. I am concerned that as the public school system lowers expectations for students, those top students will move to private or home schools, starting a trend that will be the eventual downfall of the system. I am a product of Greenville City Schools and would like to continue to be proud of that. I want to see the school system succeed and improve. I would like be confident that my children will receive a quality education that challenges them and helps them grow and prepare for "the real world."

Thank you both for taking the time to address my concerns. I hope I haven't come across as "just complaining", but rather as trying to express some issues that I (and others) feel are important. Please feel free to contact me with any further concerns or questions.

Tiffany Dxxxxx

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I'm Not Ready For My 4th Grader to Learn About Abortion...Public School Outrage part 2

My step-daughter came from school with a project to do a report, oral and written, on Gloria Steinem. Now I'll be quite honest, I didn't know jack about her. Sure, I've heard of her, but I couldn't remember anything specific. Anyway, Kenzie gets started on finding all of the information that must be in the report. She hops on Wikipedia and starts gathering the usual stats...place and date of birth, education, family, ect. When she gets to the part of having to explain "What are they famous for?" she calls to me for help. I go to the computer to help because she "doesn't understand what these things are." Wikipedia says, "Gloria Marie Steinem (born March 25, 1934) is an American feminist icon, journalist, and social and political activist. Rising to national prominence in the 1970s, she became a leading political leader of the decade, and one of the most important heads of the second-wave of the women's rights movement. She is the founder and original publisher of Ms. magazine, the founder of the pro-choice organization Choice USA, co-founder of the Women's Media Center, and was an influential co-convener of the National Women's Political Caucus."


How to explain this to A FOURTH GRADER.

Call me uptight or old fashion, but I just don't think that my fourth grader is ready to have pro-choice explained to her. Actually, I think fourth grade is a bit young to be explaining feminism to.

It gets worse. Here are some Gloria Steinem quotes we found while searching...

"A liberated woman is one who has sex before marriage and a job after."

"A woman reading Playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual."

"Pornography is the instruction. Rape is the practice, battered women are the practice, and battered children are the practice. "

"The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off.”

She was quoted in The New York Observer saying "getting rid of George Bush, by any means necessary short of violence,” because, obviously, it affects everything else. “We are not in his control,” Ms. Steinem said, “so I say, fuck him. You can write your article, I can write my book. He can’t do anything about it."

And in the same above mentioned article she was asked to give advice to young women of today. Her response? To do "whatever they fucking well please".

She is also noted for her opinions on women's rights, the "sexual revolution," consumerism, and the "Playboy philosophy".

As a parent, I am outraged that a teacher would give this person to my fourth grader to go research. Trust me, all of the above took me less than 30 minutes to find. There is a lot more where that came from. Luckily, I was there with Kenzie and was able to stop her research before she found the above. I sat her down and explained that I don't want her to work on this report anymore. I told her that I don't think that Gloria Steinem's accomplishments are something that she would be able to understand very well and there are things about her that are not age appropriate.

Tomorrow, I fully intend to go to Kenzie's school and have a "chat" with her teacher. This is the same teacher I complained about here .

What do you all think? Am I right to be upset about this? Should I confront this teacher? What would you say?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

True Cowgirl

Charlie got her first pair of REAL cowboy boots today. She's had cowboy boot-like booties, but these are actual cowboy boots. Ropers. She was so proud of them!

She liked them so much that she didn't want to take them off. She finally agreed to take them off and go potty, but she had to hold them.

I finally managed to get her in her pjs, but she ended up back in her boots. She decided to wear them to bed. That, my friends, is a true cowgirl at heart!

** The picture quality is bad b/c I had to take them from my phone.

Friday, February 6, 2009

It's Friday Night and My Mango Margarita is Gone

Hey guys!! It's Friday night and I'm the only one left awake at my house. Tonight my favorite blogtalkradio show had a Stickam party and it was a blast! If you haven't listened to Uncorked, you should go check it out. Kadi and Danielle are the hosts and they are hysterical. They talk about sex and all sorts of other fun stuff. Basically it is the kind of conversation you would have with your closest girl friends. It's exactly what I need after a full day of kid conversation. I get adult talk...it's great. I will warn you...it is definitely not a show to listen to around your kids. It's strictly adult conversation. Also...it is not always PC and not always clean language, but that is what I love about it. There next show is Monday, but you can go back and listen to the past shows. If you are fun and daring or want to be, I highly recommend it!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Go Bucks!!

I came across these pictures they other day and thought I would share them. To really appreciate them, you have to be an Ohio State Buckeye fan. This is from our county fair in August 2008. My hubby helped his daughter get ready for the fair parade and this is what happened...

Note the detailing... the stripes painted on the horses back match the team's football helmets.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Someone Diagnose Me Please

I'm feeling overwhelmed this weekend. I sure there is probably some diagnosis a mental health doctor could give me. I'm not ready to go there yet, so I thought I would let you all take a stab at diagnosing my disorder.

Here's my problem. I overextend myself and then get so overwhelmed that I just don't do anything. It's like I go on strike from my life. I quit worrying about housework. I quit all my projects. I just sort of drift while chastising myself for being so behind, yet I don't actually do anything about it. Eventually I snap out of it, and then I go to the extreme in getting everything back on track. I'm the type that just can't bring myself to do chores on a daily basis. I wait until I can't stand it anymore and then I go on a cleaning spree. Same with projects...totally procrastinator. I've been like this for as long as I can remember. When I was little I would wait until my room was a complete disaster and then one day I would just go crazy cleaning....and rearranging furniture. When I was in college I would wait until the night before a big project was due and then pull an all-nighter. It always worked for me. I got A's in school. But now that I'm in real life with kids, a husband, a job and tons of other stuff, it's getting to be too much. How do I make myself be motivated all the time instead of just sporadically? Intellectually, I know that doing one load of laundry a day is much easier than doing 7 on the weekend. Still I put it off. I've thought about this all weekend (instead of cleaning) and I still can't figure out why I'm like this.

Any suggestions? Are any of you like this?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I Think He Likes Joe

My husband is a quality engineer at a Japanese owned company. Last night we were invited to a dinner party at his co-worker's house to welcome two new employees from Japan. I was a little nervous because I don't speak Japanese and I don't know much about Japanese culture, so I didn't want to do anything to offend them. I got a quick lesson in the basics from the hubby. I knew to be sure to bow lower than they bowed at me and to take my shoes off when entering the apartment(thank God he told me that before we left the house so I could put on matching socks without holes)

Luckily, I had nothing to worry about. Even though I wasn't able to understand the majority of what was being said, I still manage to have a good time and feel at ease. The guys spoke a little (very little) English and they tried very hard to use it as much as possible. Also, there was alcohol served. Lots of alcohol. Apparently it is custom to arrive at a dinner party with a bottle of alcohol for the guest. The problem is that no one gets together beforehand to coordinate this so you end up with a really random stash of alcohol that doesn't always go well together. Unfortunately, it is also custom (at least to these guys) to drink the above mentioned gifts. All of them.

Inventory of the gifts: 2 different types of beer, 4 random bottles of wine, a bottle of Jack Daniels, a bottle of tequila and saki.

Let's just say that it was not pretty. Luckily I was driving so I was able to nurse a beer and a couple glasses of wine. Hubby, on the other hand, wasn't so lucky. He got to "try" to keep up with them. As fun as the party was, the drive home was even better. My hubby, who is usually pretty quiet, would not shut up. He talked my ear off the entire way home. He kept telling me over and over about how much he really respected and like this one guy, Joe, from work. About how smart he is. And how much he likes him. And how much he respects him. Oh yeah, and how funny he is. And how smart he is. And how much he likes him.

And then he gets the hiccups. The really loud, body racking hiccups. But does that stop him...no. He continues to tell me (hic) how much (hic) he really likes (hic) Joe. And (hic) respects him. (hic) And how smart (hic) he is.

I finally had to stop him and clear something up. I asked him, "So honey, do you think Joe is smart? Do you like him?" Instead of getting the joke he says, "Yes, I really do." And then went on and on some more about it. I was laughing so hard I almost had to pull over. Funny shit. I don't know, maybe you had to be there.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

How We See Ourselves

I've been thinking a lot lately about my self esteem. I recently joined True Femme and started following their blog and listening to their radio show. I've never had the greatest self esteem, but since the birth of my child it has plummeted. I go back and forth with it. I am self confident and somewhat satisfied with my self, but I hate my body right now. I had always been the skinny girl who could eat anything and never gain a pound. Now I'm a good 20 pounds overweight and I'm just not comfortable with my body anymore. I know I am way harsher on myself than other people are. Most people would not consider me fat...just average, but when you've been tiny your whole life, 20 pounds is a big difference. I've come to the conclusion that I need to take charge and get back into shape ASAP. That's the other thing...I've always been athletic and now I am becoming lethargic. I need to get up and moving and start feeling better about myself. Anyone else have fitness goals they want to share??

I wrote a "poem" about self esteem. Actually, I just took the Christmas song, "Do You Hear What I Hear" and came up with new words. I sent it to one of the authors at True Femme and they posted it!!!! Go check it out here and let me know what you think!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ummm....Gagging here...Don't Read This if You Don't Have an Iron Stomach!

This just disturbs me. You HAVE to check this out and let me know what you think. Seriously...what next?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Newest Addiction

If anyone needs to reach me on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays from 2 - 2:30pm (Ohio time) that's just too damn bad. You'll just have to wait. Two of my favorite bloggers, Kadi and Danielle have launched a new website and radio show on blogtalkradio. It is seriously the funniest thing I've listened to in a long time. It's not a show for the kiddies and that may just be what I like the best about it. They cuss, they're crass and they would both know right off the bat that those are compliments. They talk about real stuff and put it all out there. As a mom of three, it is so nice to get a dose of "adult conversation". Now, it only they could do the show EVERY day for about 12 hours!

Check out the upcoming event!! (details copied from their blogsite)

Friday: We will celebrate the launch of Uncorked and the pre-launch of True Femme. The night is ours to hang out and get crazy! Trisha, of MomDot, will be joining us for some uncensored fun and live webcam action. We will be confessing our deepest secrets, unveiling the new BloggersGive venture and giving away prizes! The party starts at 6pm PST on www.stickcam.com/uncorked. You can RSVP here, using Mr.Linky. We hope to see you all on Friday night! Anybody who links back to us or blogs about this, will get an extra entry to win a special prize during the show!

Check them out...I dare you not to shoot milk out your nose!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I Might Have Found Charlie's Pony!!

I'm so excited! We have been looking for a pony for Charlie to get started riding on. I want something small enough for her, but big enough to last her many years. I want something slow, quiet and broke. I don't want to spend too much money and it wouldn't hurt if it was cute. Not asking for much, am I?

I think I may have found her! She is an eight year old cross between a pinto and an appaloosa. She is kind of palamino in color (my favorite). She has been owner by the same family for the past 6 years. Their kids ride her and she is very broke. The mother was in an accident and no longer rides, so her kids have lost interest. I talked to her on the phone and she has sent me videos and pictures. So far everything sounds great. Unfortunately it is a 3 hour drive to go see her and the weather here SUCKS. As soon as the weather breaks, we are going to go check her out.

What do you think?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Why I'm Slowly Going INSANE!

This is a really cute toy car that Charlie got from Grandma and Grandpa for Christmas. Awww, it's so cute.


Now it is driving me crazy! To get the full effect of what I deal with, turn your speakers ALL THE WAY UP and then replay about 100 times or so. I'll wait.

Yeah...not so cute now, huh. Told ya.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I am the World's Worse Step-Mom

That is according to my 6 year old stepson.

Because I made him eat one more bite of his mac and cheese.

I know I shouldn't get bent out of shape by a child's comment, but it really kind of stung. I had to leave the room and cool off because it really got to me and my knee-jerk reaction was to tell him just how horrible I could be and ask him if he REALLY wanted to know what having the worse stepmom was really like. Not a good reaction.

I knew this would happen eventually. I mean even bio-parents get the "I hate you" comment sometimes, but I wasn't expecting it yet and certainly not from him. Luckily, hubby came home shortly after the comment so I went to the barn to take it out on some dirty horse stalls. (Ahhh the power of manure therapy). Now that I'm back, the shock and hurt is worn off and been replaced by concern. Hopefully this was just a bad day for him. I worry though because at 6 (and being male), he's not very good at expressing himself and there has been a lot of change in his life this year. I will have to keep a close eye on him and work on drawing him out of his shell and making sure he is not keeping too much bottled up.

I'm sorry, but it's funny.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Crying in my Cheerios

My Buckeyes lost :(

It was a great game though.

Do You Have a Map? I Need Direction!

I started this blog out just to get my feet wet in the blog world and try it out. Now I'm finding that I would like to get more serious about it, but my current blog is very random with no real focus (ya think?). I'm think of starting a new blog with a more specific focus, but I can't decide which way to go. Here's a list of things I'm considering. I would really appreciate any comments...let me know which ideas you like and which ideas suck.

#1. Something horsey. I grew up with horses and they are a huge part of my life.

#2. Focusing on step parenting. When I met my hubby I was thrown into a foreign world of step kids and baby mama drama. I've done a lot of research in order to make our lives as drama free as possible, but there are tons of great stories here.

#3. Something political. I'm hesitant about this one. I'm passionately conservative but I don't have a big knowledge base here. I do however have common sense which is all it really takes (in my opinion)

#4. Keep the same single blog, but focus on a different one of the above topics on scheduled days. For example...Horse post on Monday, Step parenting post on Tues, ect. Do you think this would be to chaotic?

Thanks to everyone who replies!!

Why, why why?

I love my kids, but for the love of Pete, why do they have to drive me so freaking nuts?!? We recently got a wii-fit and I've been trying to get them into playing it so they can be more active while it's winter and they can't play outside as much as usual. I've been trying to squeeze my own workouts in when they are busy elsewhere. So this evening I want to work out. I ask them if they want to do it too...NO. They most definitely do not. They want to play in their rooms. Sweet. Perfect.


Not 2 minutes into my workout and ALL THREE brats are practically on top of me, firing about a gazillion questions a minutes at me.

What are you doing now?
Why are you using the boy trainer instead of the girl trainer?
What's that?
Can it be my turn now?
I wanna try it.


Do you have any idea how hard it is to do balanced yoga, push ups, sit ups, ect while three kids bounce all around you? When I want to play with them, they want nothing to do with me, but the minute I want to be left alone they crawl up my ass. Ugh.

I love my children, I love my children. Rinse. Repeat.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Do Babies Get Hangovers?

I've puked on New Year's before. I've held the hair of my friend's while they puked on New Year's. What I didn't expect was to have anything to do with anyone puking this year. There I go thinking again.

This year hubby and I decided to spend New Year's playing cards with my parents. Yeah, exciting stuff, but shouldn't involve any drunkeness or puking. We just wanted to be able to spend time with our baby girl and not have to worry about being on the road. (my parents live beside us)

So we had a great, quiet evening playing cards and eating yummy treats. Charlie had a blast playing with her toys and sampling all the tasty food. She ending up falling asleep on my lap before the ball dropped. We brought her home and put her straight in bed. About an hour and a half ago I heard her coughing and then saying, "potty". I went in to check on her and she had puked everywhere. Apparently cocktail wieners, meatballs, chips and dessert + toddler = Nasty. Puke is my least favorite thing in the world and I am a sympathy puker. I managed to get everything cleaned up and get her pj's changed just in time for her to yak again. Nice. So once again I got her all cleaned up and decided to lay down on the couch with her. I put a towel under her and we snuggled in. Just as she is about to drift off she has a coughing fit and manages to turn her head just in time to yak all over in my hair. Yuck, yuck, yuck. Sooooo nasty. I just had to strip us both down for a shower...at 2:30am.

Anyway, she is squeaky clean (for now) and tucked into bed (on top of a towel & FAR away from my hair) in her third pair of jammies tonight. Cross your fingers that we are done with puke fest '09. Sorry for the disgusting post, but it was so ridiculous that I had to share.

Lesson #1 learned in 2009...don't let the toddler eat EVERYTHING she wants just because it is a special occasion.

Dig in...