Monthly Archives: August 2008

Advice lifted from Carolyn Hax

The following resonated with me.  Sometimes I get frustrated with the way Eduardo is and think to myself… Well I will just treat him the same way I perceive he is treating me and he will see how that feels like.  But in reality,  I don’t think Eduardo is trying to be mean/rotten/thoughtless or whatever attribute I am thinking.  He is simply a different person and different things are important to him.  Rarely has my treatment of him resulted in anything other than me feeling like a bad person because the fact that I didn’t do X is simply not a big deal to him.  Of course… there are exceptions…. but maybe I shouldn’t be doing tit-for-tat except in exceptional circumstances where talking doesn’t seem to work. 

My husband, after about 10 years of marriage, gradually stopped
saying hello when I came home, kissing me goodbye, etc. For a while I
felt like, "If he won’t do this, then I won’t either, that’ll show
him." Then I realized I wanted to live in the kind of home where people
showed others these small courtesies. Can’t do much about what he
chooses to do; can do a lot about my own actions. When you make a
conscious effort to do things you want — because they are important to
you rather than because you want to manipulate the actions of somebody
else — most of the resentment just evaporates. It’s the realization
that you have choices, and you are acting freely.



You wonder what is becoming of your world when you take a second look at the sign at the gas station that is advertising 3.49$ for regular and your first thought is… WOW! I didn’t think I would see it go down below 3.50$ again.

School Supply rant

We got the list of school supplies from our step-son’s elementary school.  At least it wasn’t a total shock to me because I had heard on a parenting blog that I read that school supply lists were common and the items on them were things like paper towels and kleenex in additional to the more traditional consumables.  I am also being told that not a single one of these items belong to my child.  Not the scissors, the notebooks, the pencils or the crayons.  They are supposedly all put away in a common place for the teacher to get out them they need them.  And not one of these items will be returned to us at the end of the year.  So where do 30 pairs of scissors go at the end of the year?  Fiskar’s Graveyard?  Hey Mom/Dave… did this happen in Canada when we were growing up?  Does it happen now?

So we went out and bought the school supply part of the list.  36 pencils and 72 crayons.  There are less than 40 weeks in a school year.  Are you trying to tell me that Piero is going to use a pencil a week?  Kylie and Piero colour every single time they are at our house.  When we looked after them 5 evenings a week,  they often coloured 5 evenings a week.  Those two children, over 8 months,  have not even used enough of my already used 96 crayons to peel off a wrapper of a single crayon.  So if 2 kids over 8 months don’t even use enough crayons to peel a single wrapper off of a crayon – WHY OH WHY AM I BUYING 72 CRAYONS for a single child?  They have also asked us to buy a ream of copy paper.  Are we seriously supporting the ability of the school to send work sheets home with our child?

And then we get to the part of the list that we left for Kelly to buy…. multiple rolls of paper towel, liquid soap, hand sanitizer, boxes of kleenex, plastic cups, baby wipes?  Baby wipes????? We are buying things for our child to use at school that aren’t even on the radar for use at home.  I feel as if I am purchasing bathroom supplies for my child.   Where did my property tax dollars that I paid when I didn’t even HAVE children go?

And I will say that I am not complaining about the cost.  All told,  it probably isn’t going to cost more than 60$ for the school supplies between both of our families.  That is assuming that we don’t get any requests to top up the supplies (as someone suggested you might).  The issue at stake is the principle of the thing.  I pay outrageous property taxes to the tune of several hundred dollars a month for our little pipsqueak one bedroom condo.  One top of paying those dollars out of my hard earned salary… I NOW HAVE TO BUY SUPPLIES THAT AREN’T EVEN JUST FOR MY CHILD?  It would be much, much easier to swallow if I was buying crayons and pencils and papers for my child to use in the school but I am not.

WAAAH…. zzzzzz

Friday night was a bit of a disaster when it first started.  Eduardo was grouchy… his bad mood was infecting me and the kids were rambunctious beyond belief.  They wouldn’t be quiet.  They wouldn’t quit running around in the condo and they wouldn’t stay off the furniture.   ARGH!!!!! So I snuck off down to the pool to see if it was open.  It was so I returned to the house and suggested we all go the pool.  Eduardo didn’t want to go which made Piero cry and beg for him to come (ARGH!!!! again).  So he went to the pool too.  Eduardo didn’t even come dressed to go in.  I came dressed to swim and stuck my toe in the pool and declared it WAY to cold to go in… even to amuse the children.  My basic goal was to just wear them out so they would quit running around and driving us nuts.  To that end… we played a game.  I stood at the edge of the pool and threw the beach ball at the children.  If I hit them,  I won… if I missed them… they won.  So they swan around trying not to get hit and then swam some more returning the ball back to me.  8pm rolls around and we are back at the house putting them in their PJs.  They are blessedly tired.  I suggest I read to them until it is time for bed.  I spend an hour reading multiple books.  I tell them it is time for bed and immediately Piero starts crying that he doesn’t want to go to bed (ARGH!!!!).  He wants to watch a video… WAAAAHHH…. so I tell them I will talk to Papa about setting up the portable DVD player.  I go out to ask Papa do said thing; he walks into the bedroom and returns… apparently,  Piero is asleep!  I don’t know how he got from crying to sleeping in under 2 minutes but I wasn’t about to argue with divine intervention.

The strategy didn’t work quite as well the second night… such is life.

Are they indestructible?

I generally wear contacts.  In February,  I quit wearing them and went back to glasses.  I just felt so busy that I was procrastinating on putting my contacts back in after I took them out for cleaning each weekend.  I don’t like putting them back in so it is not hard to procrastinate.   So I returned to glasses….

A couple of months ago,  I took my glasses off and put them on the couch next to me.  Timmie jumped up on the couch and I hear a little ‘crunch’.  Yep… that was my glasses.  She snapped them right at the point that the arm connects to the front piece.  There was no way I could fix it.  So I have been without glasses waiting for my 1 year to be up so I could use my insurance again.  At long last… I had an appointment Wednesday and selected a new pair of glasses.  The arms are completely and totally bendable.  The bridge is also bendable although not to the same degree.  They are light as crap.  I am not sure you could even notice that you were wearing them.  This I like very much because I always have a problem with the arms pressing against my head and hurting.  This is usually why I end up taking off my glasses all the time and leaving them lying around.   These are rimless glasses so they are almost invisible.  The frames are a plum colour.  Purple is my favourite colour so this is a nice touch.  I could have bought a soft gold colour that completely disappeared into my face but I went with purple because it is a little different.

So… will they survive the cat?  And does this mean I have to go to Confessional Sunday for the EcoChallenge to confess my expenditure?  I really do need to wear glasses to drive if I want to read road signs and drive at night.  I think this makes it a necessity and not a luxury.  Ok… Ok… I could have bought frames for a 1/3 of the price so they are a bit of a luxury.  Hopefully,  I will enjoy these frames and they will be with me for years to come.  No need to replace the frames if I am happy with them even if my prescription changes.  That would make it better than cheap glasses that I hate.  Right?

This is 911. What is your emergency?

It came to my attention that we should probably be teaching Piero what 911 was all about and teach him things like his address so he could use it in an emergency.  The attention grabbing moment was reading a book on safety to Piero while we were waiting in the doctor’s office.  He now knows that if there is an emergency and his parent(s) are incapacitated that he should dial 911.  We taught him that the first thing he should say is… "I speak Spanish.  I need help"  Until his command of the English language gets better… it is probably best that he relay information in Spanish.  I hope that is the right decision.  We did a practise phone call on our cell phones were Eduardo dialed me and Piero was supposed to pretend that I was a 911 operator.  Unfortunately,  Piero didn’t understand that it was me and he thought he was calling the real thing.  I didn’t understand why his voice was so stressed when I asked him for his address and he didn’t know it.  Now I know… he thought it was for real.  He did find out at the end of the call that it was me.  Our next step is to teach him our addresses so he can guide the rescuers to our houses.

I have to say that he was a real champ on the phone and I am very proud of him.

Eco Challenge

I try to be consumer conscious.  Does this mean that I never buy new? Absolutely not!  Hopefully it means that I buy what I need and don’t buy what I don’t need.  If I choose to buy something I want,  I try to think long and hard about what it is I am buying before I buy it.

Is it working?  I sure hope so.  I have certainly cut down on my clothing.  I have definitely cut down on my ‘laying around’ stuff.  We don’t own a lot of gadgets and we don’t buy a lot of toys for the kids.

My last major purchase was the car and my last minor purchase was a bra.  Both fairly necessary for a variety of reasons.  My next major purchase that I am planning on making is a new sewing machine.  I have been waiting for a year to save up the money from my allowance to replace my 25 year old Pfaff.  This isn’t a need but most definitely a want and a useful want at that as I can mend clothes, make new clothes and make other things such as curtains and quilts and such like.  I don’t know when I will be purchasing it but it won’t be until September or October.

So what is the Eco Challenge all about?  I have joined up for an Eco Challenge on Crunchy Chicken’s blog (no URL at the moment) to not buy anything new for a month(August) outside of necessities such as food and gas.  If I must buy something,  then I must buy it used or barter or do something along that line.   I make the caveat that I am not responsible for my husband’s purchases.  He wasn’t interested in the challenge and I have little to no influence over how he spends his money.  So far I have failed just once…. we purchased KFC for our aborted picnic.  I was willing to purchase food from the grocery store but he really wanted KFC so we purchased it.   I think restaurant/take-out food will be our downfall as we do occasionally indulge.  Outside of that?  I don’t purchase much in general as a frivilous consumer so I suspect this Eco Challenge will simply turn out to be every day life for me.  We shall see.