Sunday, December 25, 2011

Holiday Miscommunications

Some how I ended upon YouTube the other night in the wee hours.

Yeah good times, good times.

I stumbled upon multiple "responses" to Katy Perry’s California Girls video. Some of them are even from outside the US. I am talking as far away as Northern Ireland and South East Asia. It was touching.
Of those that I watched Minnesota Girls is the best. "Waterproof boots & flannel on top." Hahahahaha

So awakening quick the next morning on the couch I ran up stairs to share with the young ladies. My daughter and her Bestie were having an extended sleep over which meant I barely saw them. 

I thought they would get a kick out of it. I further reasoned that it would be helpful in really having a glimpse at what girls in another places have to say for themselves.

I loved the girl power aspect of it all. The videos and lyrics are creative and funny. They reference local culture and the high lights of the various locations. 

In Maine they sing “You could travel the states but nothing comes close to the girls…” they point on the map to that little spot way up high on the eastern peninsula.

With all these thoughts in my head I stopped to start my Oil Pulling ritual so I could not talk when I knocked on the closed bedroom door. I could hear the girls inside awake, chattering and listening to music.

I pointed to my cued up laptop and turned down their radio. “Turn the radio back on we were listening to that song my daughter said. I complied thinking maybe it was a new hit they had been waiting for. I was in no rush. My daughter did not let up. I tried to use American Sign Language to give her some clues about what I wanted to share.

She wasn’t really getting them and she didn’t like the opening scene of the video so she harassed me until I left the room. 

Oil pulling takes 20min so I took a shower and did a few other things. I tried to figure out how things had gone so wrong.

As soon as I could I called a meeting and we went to sit in the car. I don’t know if that scared her that I called a meeting or if she had been feeling bad but right away she apologized. After which she said she woke up a little cranky and tired. 

She was across the room sitting in a chair by her mirror about 1/3rd of the way through straightening her hair. So it was not like she was still under the covers with her eyes half open.

Mamma was born at night but not last night. "A 2 min video is not worth alienating your mother over" I reminded her. 

"I was not interested in some random lame parody of a song I like" she countered second. 

"It was not that either" I told her.

"If you are really just not in a mood, maybe we both need to learn how to say that nicely. Otherwise can I have the trust and respect as your mother that I might have some things to share and add?" Especially when you invite friends over. 
"It can be helpful for us to act like we are on the same team and not adversaries." 

I think we ended okay.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Joy

Here I am desperately seeking a menorah and the daughter went to Walgreens with me where she decided she had to have a Charlie Brown Christmas tree for her room.

We went with her Bestie to finish up Christmas shopping for the other relatives so I was distracted. Well I was really distracted shopping for myself. 

With the previous trip to the same store had come some Jingle Cash which was expiring. I want to get us both new digital clock radios preferably with cd players. I thought they would have them but sadly they did not.

Then I saw they had a projector on sale. I wanted that. They were out of them. I was not sure what else we needed and there was a minimum I had to buy to get the Jingle Cash discount.

With today being the last day of my discount availability I went back to the original store we shopped at and returned the items we were disappointed with.

A pair of frog slippers the daughter got for her step sister were missing an eye on one foot. I bought individual toe socks but the toes were too generic and tiny, she got two shirts for her baby nieces but was over charged at check out.

The original shop on Watt, across from Metro where I needed to pay our phone bills because they were off, did not have the projector either. It also listed that the deal they had posted in last weeks ad for it had ended.

I wondered if I should have asked for a rain check the night before. We had been at the Walgreens at Antelope. Heading off to the one on Greenback was my last hope. 

They had all I wanted and more…hahahahah
When I finally looked and saw the pitiful little tree I had to laugh and give in. They are discounted down to $5.Squee!

I think she will be delighted to have it in a few days. Tonight she is busy with the Bestie still…
They are hanging outside with friends.

I took the uncooked Thanksgiving turkey out of the freezer. Yesterday I made fudge. Today I bought cookies sheets and cream cheese cookie press cookies are planned for some time in the near future. I really can’t wait too long. 

One of my friends invited me over for Friday tea and cookies. She invited me but suggested I should bring the cookies. LOL

I have silly friends. I don’t think the teen will be joining us for tea. She has become extremely picky about which of my friends (even those with kids her age) she can abide…

She can be a doll however. On the first day of Hanukkah she gave me a mom diary for the coming year. I love her giving heart. When she is flush with funds her thoughts run to family. Even the grown ups have gifts from her this year.

We left one store without a small wall hanging she purchased and got home too late to go back or call. The next day I dropped by. The teen assumed it was gone. 

The store said “Oh no the cashier realized as soon as you were out the door. She told us you might drop in, you paid by check and this was your item.” They had it in the back room on hold.

Blessings Everyone!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Lasagna Thanksgiving Feast

Is there anything worse than holiday family drama? Only if it is non blood family holiday drama. My poor young lass.

Our Thanksgiving feast is translated! Maybe I need another word for that but I can’t think of one. 

So the deal is this, with all her culinary skills and ambition I asked my daughter if she wanted to do the honor and cook the Thanksgiving turkey. She signed on for the job.

Last Thursday as we headed to see Contagion at the theater in Sunrise mall we discussed the menu and guests. She was talking a host of sides. Some I have never made or even heard of before.

Mashed Potatoes



Hot Salad (Never heard of, don't eat spicy things...)

Lumpias (Yikes time consuming. I have never even tried)

Macaroni Salad 

Bread Rolls

Sweet Potatoes

Pecan Pie bought not homemade

We do not have a roasting pan much less pots and containers enough to prepare all this food. PLUS she wanted to cook it all on Thanksgiving. 

I began to throw up red flags about her 'fly by the seat of her pants' plans and she began to get annoyed. We still needed to shop. We switched to the invite list. 

Turns out she wanted to invite her two step sisters. Both sisters have boyfriends who they live with and baby girls. No my house is not toddler or baby proof. 

Still I threw out the crazy idea that seeing as none of our three families have cars they could all come over tonight and sleep here to avoid public transit tomorrow.

Step sister #2's relationship is volatile. I already told step sister #1 and company, "Abusive boyfriend is invited to my house any time for a good old fashioned exorcism lol (intervention) with some modern twists like water boarding." Mamma don’t play enraged drug addicts attacking family.

Still with my iron will, a room with a door and a walk in closet I figured I could brave the 6 of them if they all decided to attend.

If you can imagine…things are too hot all over for either side to make it. My daughter came home from being with her father all upset.

“I tried to call step sister #1 and she wouldn’t answer her phone.” she told me. 

“So I called her again and again.”

Yeah that is her type all indignant because she is being “ignored”.

Both sisters eventually declined our invitation for holiday dinner and it hurt her feelings. She quit the turkey roasting gig and wanted to just forget the whole thing.

To put a positive spin on the day I asked her if she would settle for what she has been craving Lasagna.

I offered for us to make it from scratch but she declined.
The donut shop across the street says it will be open 4am-2pm tomorrow. If we get up early and feel interested we can head over there.

I made two batches of pudding and bought a 3rd. I have one more to try and then there should be a post on my results on this blog or the main one. I bought a New York Cheese cake too, so desserts are covered. 

The only thing we are low on is juice. When that runs out we will make tea. My kitchen is full I do not want to have to grocery shop for anything besides bottled water until the second weekend in December. We will see how that goes.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Our 31st Quiet Night

My mother liked to say I was part of the counter culture going left in a right leaning world just to be odd. I would cock my head and stare at her. I am always going my own way usually forward into bold new territory. I do not just go along to get along. At the same time I do not want to do things just for the sake of not being normal. 

It has been my choice to opt out of Halloween. If my daughter were younger I am thinking we would have planned something fun to do at home. The weekend and month have been a little stressful it would have been nice to host some friends for fun. I have started giving her money to buy things for herself so the most important thing was a costume. She wanted to be a Pirate Chick but found a French maid meets Strawberry short cake outfit instead. Then we had to buy crazy shoes to match the vision she had for it all. The good news is they fit me should I need costume high white platform heels. You just never know about these things. Hahahahaha

I do not support the idea of this holiday. Still I am all about fellowship fun and community. My mother, who called this evening to fuss at me about how I am mothering, never wanted to do anything while the nation was celebrating. We did not want to totally miss out. 

Fall is a great time to serve cider or our home made special cocoa. Even the iced favored coffee I made for the dinner when the boyfriend was over would have been good. The bestie was here last night and today just like back then. Last night they dragged me back across the street to GoodWill to pull together an outfit for her. 

I forgot to snap photos. Hope they do not come home all wrecked. Daughters step sister was hosting a party and then door to door they planned to go. I might have to hide the stash but I decided to let her have this experience. It is a first. I never took her or made a big deal about getting dressed up. We had our fill, if there is any such thing in girl house world, of dress up and make up through the days. 

The good news is her schooling is back on track. Between that and the note I thought a special occasion with an outfit already bought warranted letting restriction up for a night and a half. We have all of next year to basically spend together. I asked her if she was cooking the Thanksgiving Turkey and did not get a straight answer.
I want to…yes wait for it I will say it…make some fruit cakes!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cautiously Optimistic...

I love getting letters from my daughter. They are rare but ALWAYS great!

This week after the weekend fiasco our sleep schedules are all flipped around so we are actually going to bed before midnight. This means we are awakening with the dawn. It just feels so weird. lol Never the less it is an interesting adventure. Inadvertently one of us falls asleep before the other. I woke up one morning to a WONDERFUL response to my ranting screaming tirade. Whew

Just when you think you might have scarred them for life or that they are never going to get it. The caution however is that as mature as we know they are, they are still growing. It will not be over until it is over. The thing is I do really know this kid. Half the reason she has been allowed to get away with so much is because she is for the most part a great child to be raising. I can see all this potential in her. She has a lot of self determination. She just needs the right mix of freedom and external motivation. I might have found her currency with no phone, tv or sleep overs.

I did write back. I do not think she has ever asked that before. 

Dear Mom,

I am so sorry about the whole issue this weekend. And I am also sorry you had to repeat yourself about keeping you informed. I understand I was wrong. I know I've been slacking w/ the house/school work as well. I've been screwing off and not focusing lately, but if you hadn't noticed I've been (slowly, but surely) trying to do better w/ both. I'm already miserable w/o my phone, and it's only been 3 days..(miserable face) X[ Next time I will be more than sure that every detail is understood by both of us, so this NEVER happens again!... <3

I love you Mom, and I never meant to worry or infuriate you in the slightest.. To be honest I had no real purpose in it, I was just sort of along for the ride.. And I have OFFICIALLY learned not to take supplies or finances you leave for the house on my adventures...

I am really sorry Mom for everything.. I really don't like arguing w/ hurts me. This is the last time we will be talking about this. Have a good day at school and write back soon. 

Your (All Grown Up) Darling Daughter..

Love "Full Name" <3

Sunday, October 16, 2011


My daughter wanted to have a friend spend the night for her birthday. Things could not be worked out for that to happen.

This weekend the plan was for my daughter to go sleep over at the girls house instead. 

This is a friend from her step family life. Okay so yes this IS outside my comfort zone.

Then there was drama about the pick-up and drop off. Could my daughter just hitch a ride on the bus at least half way was some kind of last minute plan…. (We were car less)

Finally my daughter leaves and plans to be gone two days. Hours later I get a rather frantic call.

Mom…we decided to change our plans. 

We were going to spend the night with one of my step sisters. That went sour so we were headed to the sleep over friend’s house again.

The grown ups her almost 18 year old friend live with... had already made new/other weekend plans and could no longer host us… 

Frantically my daughter called her father who could not host them either. She was calling to ask if she and the friend could come back to my house. I agreed. 

When she arrived she was so mad she couldn’t really explain to me what had gone on. 

With some strange new young woman in my house from said other house hold I did not want to get into too much of a discussion. I was just glad the young women were in my home safe.

When my daughter finally calmed down more she explained a bit of the story. It is a crazy tale… The more I think about this the worse it sounds.

I wouldn’t be blogging about it EXCEPT where did my daughter spend the next night? There!!! 

I want to send her to boarding school. J/K Gramma would take her to Georgia.(Not kidding!) 

Young women are just too naive and forgiving at times. In her mind since I had given permission for her to spend the weekend with the other family one night is as good as two. 

She is in trouble with me starting at changing her plans on where she was staying without so much as  text or a phone message. 

Then there is the whole issue of heading off to the home of people who less than 24 hours before did not care if a 15 year old had a place to sleep for the night.

Maybe they thought since she was with her step sisters she was with parents or care takers. 

I know this sounds crazy to the authoritarian parents who think more like the parents I had growing up. I know it is a little crazy no matter who is reading. 

My vision is for the future.

Having learned her lessons at home, she can go off to college and work full time not thinking she is missing the youth social scene.

These are the days times and situation when my daughters behavior just confounds me!!! lol sigh 

I never spent the night at friends’ houses as a child. My mother thought…maybe I would end up like Cybil or that girl from the Exorcist I guess. 

If she had not known the parents for YEARS there was just NO WAY. 
My mother was too strict.

Sometimes I lean the total opposite way. Sometimes my daughter just goes off in left field. Eke!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

She writes!

This hand written printed, penciled note arrived:

Dear Mom,

I know I have been quite a little brat lately, and I'm sorry. I am also so sorry for condemning your life style simply because we are different. I'm no better than you, nor you from me, especially based on how organized you are. I know I have not been doing my best in my studies, and I want to do better, but even as organized as I like to be I don't like schedules or routines :P However I will figure myself out Eventually! lol (= I woke up staring at my baby picture of us, and w/ as much as we fight I forget/ignore how much you devoted to be a young SINGLE mother, and for that I say thank you. I love you <3 Sincerely Love you Lots

Full Name

Oh I am telling you these are the moments that break my heart AND make me want to leap for joy! I remember being a new mom. Months into it or even that first year or so as her personality began to develop. Into her toddler years when she began to talk before age 3 it hit me. She will not remember back this far. All my love and labor she will have no conscious memory of. The same way I did not. At age about 8 one night in a tiff I told my mother she did not care about me.

She slapped my face and put me out on the porch in my pajamas. I kinda understood more of why in that moment. Still I realize even more now we were not speaking the right languages to each other. I wanted more than she was giving and it was painful.

Still I am delighted that my daughter is experiencing having a part in watching her baby nieces and younger step, half siblings grow up. Already she has that awe of how fast things move and the protectiveness of an elder over them. It is a good and weighty thing.

She woke up seeing that old picture of her as about an 8 month old that we have in our up stairs hallway because she had taken to crawling into my bed to watch tv. Invariably I would fall asleep on the couch and she would clutter up the space with her snack wrappers and other things. Both of us lights on with the tv watching us.

Something broke and trigger which I am so thankful for. Dealing with that angry hurt I do not care personal is almost enough to break me. Who is this beast??? Where is the child I have poured my heart and soul into all these years is the only thing I can think when we go snarling to separate corners. 

It is not usually anger at each other it is just rage and pent up frustration about life mixed with miss understandings and annoyances. Still she reacts to it like she would rather walk on razor blades bare footed. It is almost like she believes if we do not agree we are not a family.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Parenting @ 2am

Like my other blog name suggests; I keep odd hours like the college student and internet junkie that I am.

Thus it was again last night that the darling off spring and I wound up…discussing house keeping after midnight.

SMH This kid and I. Some days it is like neither of us seem to have a road map. I catch myself now at least. Some where along the line my strong assertive have no fear little girl turned into a sensitive young woman.

When she was a toddler and I would try to distract her from harm she would ignore the sound of my voice until I moved in her direction. Later when the neighbor girls would come to play they would cry at my words. She would just stare defiantly at me.

Now she cries when I tell her she is misbehaving and I am not happy about how things are going in the house between us. 

BREATHE BREATHE like labor these things too shall pass. 

Some days I wish I could get inside her head. Other times I figure no, not really.
She hates me 
she hates her life 
she doesn’t think enough 
of herself or 
understand her own potential.

Again these things are normal. 

It would be like peaking into the coffee maker while it is brewing. Water and grains, murkiness. Not the deep dark rich finished product. 

I know she knows I love her. 

She just has this notion that it means we would never fight. Half the time I do not even think we are arguing. 

There are issues of wrong and right. There are her personal preferences that fall some where underneath. I have a strong voice. She has one too. 

I think it will all be beautiful one of these days. Teen angst is all but unavoidable I think is what I have come to the conclusion of.

We still do not have a schedule down for housework. 

What we have instead are fall checks from school and the beginning of getting back on track in that direction. We need a car. 

I had to buy a replacement laptop. 

I told her to make a budget and I would give her cash for toiletries and personal items so she can learn to budget and shop for her own needs. 

I also told her I want chores done for the first time in her life.

I guess I have to be more constructive with my directives. Her room is too hot, so she was downstairs watching tv, her chores are not getting done. 

I fell asleep on the couch last night. I woke up at 2am and told her "Go to bed". 

"Not tired" she says to me. 

Well that is great seeing as the house is a mess, I am thinking. 

"Okay well then go get some housework done" I say.
"I will do it later" she tells me.

"You will do it now Ms. Not tired at 2am, with undone housework and homework."

Oh the tears as I then canceled her weekend plan to sleep over at her sisters tonight.

If I had the Total Transformation I guess I could have worded my chastisement of her to let her convict herself. 

It was 2am. 

My patience was low. 

She cries because it bothers her that I confront her with her faults. If she would have apologized I would have stopped talking. She hasn’t figured that out yet either.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Our Adventures @ 3 a.m.

At 3:30 a.m. this morning my daughter is accosting me. “Where is my camping chair?” Our home is not that big so this is kind of a silly question. The odd hour of it all is not disturbing. I wanted to laugh but the mood was quickly serious because the house is a mess and I have been waiting on her to clean up portions of it...

I start to fuss at her about the lack of respect it shows me when I ask for things to get done and have to keep waiting but her life goes on as usual. She is listening to me but suddenly some neighbors are arguing louder than us. We pause to ease drop. We reiterate that it is 3am and I start laughing.

She makes me laugh this kid. She is bigger than me in almost every way. I think her core is still a tad bit smaller but curves and height wise she is a few inches ahead. She will be 15 in less than three weeks. This kid is almost grown.

It has taken me this long to figure out how we can work together to keep up with house work. I grew up with a minimalistic neat freak and I could not be more opposite. My daughter says she leans more in that direction. She definitely wants to throw out my stuff that is for sure. I tell her it’s mine and I am attached to it.We are hilarious like the Odd Couple.

I collect papers and trinkets. 

She leaves her wrappers and dishes all over the house. 

Never mind all the hair thingies and mini bottles of whatever in our shower. Food trash I can throw out no problem. I wash the dishes. When it comes to the rest of the house, I need a personal assistant for my papers, phone calls and appointments. My daughter has me as Mom the maid.

I think as a team this could work. I had her separate my papers from the news paper collecting all around. I let her throw out the sales ads from the paper and now I need to organize, the papers I want to keep. They include things from school, bills and other information.

Fast forward to the end of the day: I had a nap on the couch and work up around 3am. She never slept and was up until a bit ago when she fell asleep on the stairs. She went up stairs to bed and now she is back asleep on the stairs. Yes we are little odd ducks.

We were supposed to get up and go downtown to the Chalk It Up event we look forward to every year. I barely felt like it anyway. Maybe we will tomorrow or Monday when the designs will be closer to finished. 

The camping chair was in the down stairs closet under the stairs. That information was divulged after the bathroom was scrubbed and papers were separated. As a bonus she cleaned her room (the one thing I will not do) and even cleaned out the refrigerator.

I know she has this stuff in her. I just need to regulate how it comes out.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Weird Fiery Communications

Dear L, 

Mama loves you fiery one. I am sorry for our poor communication lately. 

I should not rant. I have only used certain new/old words for your amusement and so you do not have to drag out your dictionary to keep up with what I am saying. 

One of the things I love about our home is that we break some of the rules. Case in point studies say eating dinner around the table as a family is a great thing. We have never done that and we are still amazing.

Have we ever had a kitchen table to sit around? I only remember clearing off the one we had for dinners with Dallas & Oliver. 

Now we do not even have one. The problem we run into as a family is when you do not understand the boundaries. 

There are lines to be respected especially when it comes to what we show about ourselves to the world. We have to balance normal against what feels comfortable to and makes sense for us. Staying up late is ok. 

All night for days at a time is not. Patterns show us where we are headed. It takes work and or contiousness to change. BIG HUGS I want us to be able to have fun and enjoy my days off from classes this quarter. We have been through a lot and it has been stressful.

I am still very very proud of you. I love your strength and passion. I see your heart and potential. It is good to see you and your dad establishing some sort of communication.

Work on getting your assignments up to date for the next meeting with your teacher. Uncle K is out running errands but should be spending the night again. 

Love Always 

Weirdly Maybe 

Mamma T 

PS Why is some randomish boy named Scott texting my phone?