Thursday, August 15, 2013

I've Been Busy Making a Baby!

A few people have asked why I haven't written anything in forever, especially when I have so many exciting things going know, like the fact that I'm pregnant!  I've wanted to, I've thought about it, and I've even started writing many times.  But it's such a crazy, emotional, exciting, and overwhelming time for me that it's hard to write clearly and stick to one topic.  But I'm willing to try.  I can't guarantee this post won't zigzag around.  I can't guarantee you won't get confused or simply think "WTF?"  But I'm going to try.  And if you think this is all mishmash and crazy, you should hear what I'm like when you are actually talking to me.  I sound like a bi-polar lady on meth....I go from super excited, to what scares me, to what confuses me, and to how happy I am every 5 minutes.  Just pity the lovely people that talk to me frequently and somehow follow along even if after the talks they need a nap!

It took a while to make this baby.  I had to stop seizure medicine and give my body enough time to ensure that it wouldn't go crazy and I wouldn't start having seizures again.  Once everything was safely out of my body and the doctors and I felt that things were going to be fine, we could actually go ahead with the plan. 

I feel like I knew right away when I was pregnant for the simple fact that I was so fucking exhausted I couldn't even function.  Everybody has heard about it, but damn, I didn't appreciate it until it happened.  I wasn't worried of being "tired,"  hell, we've all been tired before.  But this was different.  I felt like if I put my head down anywhere, at any time, I could have easily fallen asleep.  That was my first sign.  

I went to get pregnancy tests on a Monday, while sitting home alone.  It was a few days before my period, so I didn't really think I'd learn anything from them, but well....obviously I did!  I sat there, surrounded by 3 tests with 2 lines each, and said "Oh fuck.  You got what you wanted.  Now what?"  It was exciting, and I was petrified!  I had talked to a few friends that day, but didn't mention anything.  I couldn't say it out loud until I had processed it myself, which sometimes takes me a while.  

Finally, Justin came home and I still didn't say anything.  I was acting weird and giggly, but just couldn't say it.  So I texted the pictures to Michelle.  I was worried that I imagined it or was seeing things that weren't there.  My phone blew up from her texts, she was so excited.  I'm pretty sure that at that moment, only 4 weeks pregnant, Michelle was already planning the first tea party for my baby that she insists is a girl!  Her excitement and encouragement allowed me to finally tell Justin.  Actually I chickened out of saying it, and simply told him to go into the bathroom and look!  It's not that I was worried, we both wanted this, but it's like I couldn't say it yet! 

Justin was excited, I was excited, and we both tried to live life like normal for a while, a while being a whole 12 minutes until I took out baby books and looked at them and freaked myself out a bit more.  I'm not good at just letting things happen.  I like to know everything about something so I can then over think everything.  I have found that I pretty much HATE most baby books as they freak you the f*ck out.  And all the contradicting information you hear and read is stressful and drives me bonkers.  I've gotten better at not learning too much because I think that I'm much calmer this way!  

The worst part, for me at least, was how long you have to wait for actual proof of a baby.  I know that I had pregnancy tests (both at home and at the doctor.)  I know that my boobies hurt like hell, and if you accidentally bumped me I'd punch you.   I know that I was beyond exhausted, yet woke up at 3 am for some reason.   I know that I was a bit moody (haha...a bit may be a matter of opinion  and cried very easily.  I know that soon I started being queasy often and I needed to eat NOW or I'd be sick.  I know that the smell of some things quickly turned my stomach and left me fairly sure I was going to puke everywhere (the grocery store was the worst!)  But even though I knew all these things, I still didn't believe it to be true.  I am not the type to just accept that everything is OK and calm down.  I wanted an ultrasound.  I wanted to see the heartbeat.  I wanted to know that it was real!!!   

Those 8 weeks waiting for the ultrasound were awful.  It's hard because you are excited, but most people don't know why.  You are tired, moody, hungry, and overwhelmed yet you look normal so it seems that everything is normal!  But your body (and mind!) is going crazy and you have very few people to talk to about it.  Even on the day of my ultrasound, I sat there cautiously waiting, really worried that I'd get in there and they'd tell me I imagined it all.  It's insane what your mind can do to you! But then we saw a real baby!  It was so exciting!! Justin and I both stared at the screen trying to figure it all out because honestly, ultrasound pictures are confusing the first time you see them.  I know that I've seen a few and was fairly sure a friend's baby was an alien.  Or I couldn't find the head in the picture!   I found the flickering heartbeat on the screen and was instantly calmed.  I was calmed until the tech said "I have to go show the doctor and I'll be back."  Perhaps this is standard, but nobody told me that, and I panicked wondering why she needed to show a doctor!  (It was normal, and everything was fine!)

Since that day, I've been much calmer and more relaxed about being pregnant and the fact that in January a little baby will be making it's entrance into the world. It helps that people know now, and I am blessed to have some amazing friends that check in and remind me that everything will be okay and this is all normal.  They calm me down when I look at baby registry lists and freak the f*ck out because I don't know what half the shit is or if I actually need it!!  They also calm me down when I'm ready to kill Justin (or anybody else for that matter---I'm talking to you lady that made my iced coffee wrong!!)  over some trivial thing that to me, at that moment, is A REALLY BIG DEAL!!   

It's 16 weeks now.  I'm feeling better, I have energy.  I don't stand over the kitchen sink dry heaving waiting for my toast to pop up from the toaster so I can shovel it in my mouth and make the nausea go away! (That's a big plus!)  And you can kind of almost tell that I'm actually pregnant.  But not all the time.  And not if you don't actually know!  But I hear it will happen soon and I'm honestly really excited for that day to come!

That's all for now.....hope you could keep up with all this rambling.  In a few weeks, I will finally know if what I (and almost everybody I know) believe is true, that's there's a little baby girl in there.  Or is it a baby boy?? We have to wait and see! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Choose to be Happy

Yesterday, I wrote on my Facebook that I hope all of my friends get to experience true happiness at some point in their lives.  It sounds like such an easy thing, being happy.  Sadly, it's really not that easy and there are far too many people who aren't  happy and whether they realize it or not, it shows.   I've been there myself, just kind of living life, but not really happy with my existence.  There were times when I could find somebody to blame for my unhappiness, when in reality, it was mine to control all along.  At the time, I'm not sure that I fully realized or appreciated how unhappy I actually was, but looking back it's pretty obvious to me.  Hindsight and what not.

My life isn't perfect.  My life hasn't been easy.  There was no silver spoon and nothing has ever been handed to me.  I have bad days like everybody else.  I encounter people that piss me off and I'd like to smack them. Sometimes I envision doing it in my head.  But they are irrelevant to me.  A small blip in my day that I'd like to skip, but unless I live in a bubble (which I do not) I don't have a choice about encountering. There are tons of things that I'd like to achieve, things I'd like to change, and things that just downright piss me off sometimes.  But the difference now is that these things don't overtake my life.  If something goes wrong, or somebody does something that makes me upset, I try my best to let it go.  Not because I don't care, but because I am choosing to be happy.   I've given up on trying to change things that can't be changed and trying to change people that can't be changed.  And the past....god the past...people need to learn to fucking let it go already.  It's over. It's history.  It can't be changed. It's not worth letting it rule your life.  Although I don't always agree with people in my life and the things they do, I have decided that it's their life and I can't control it.  But I do have the ability to control how their actions affect  me.  I try not to let other people upset  me enough that they affect my day in a bad way.  Why let them?  Why let people that treat you badly or take out their anger on you control anything in life? 

 There are a lot of things that I choose to laugh about instead of getting angry about these days.  Some people I deal with are just ridiculous, in my opinion, and although I'd love to try to get them to see things my way, or have them at least compromise on a decision, it can't always be done.  I know that now.  And I just leave it the way it is.  Not because I let people walk all over me, because if you know me well, you know I'm sure as hell not  that type.  I do it simply because their anger and negativity can bring me down if I choose to play into their crazy games.  So I don't.  Sometimes I smile and nod and just accept that they have their opinion and I have mine.  Other times, I look at the situation and honestly laugh.  The things some people feel the need to make into BIG issues is laughable when you actually think about it.   I laugh, and then I often feel bad that they are so unhappy that a minor issue can seem so big to them. 

One of the best decisions I've ever made was to let the people that only bring negativity into my life walk out of my life.  Or I've pushed them out.  Either way, they are gone.  It's not easy to do for everybody and some people probably think I'm a mean person for alienating some of the people that I have.  But it's my life.  They were making my life unhappy and I don't need that.  There was no good that came with the bad, so why bother with them?  To me, it seems so simple now, but it wasn't always as easy.

Obviously there are people in my life that I have no choice in dealing with and some of them are the type that if I had the choice, I wouldn't let them in my life.  These people drive me crazy, but I want to be happy, so I handle it as best as I can and I move the fuck on.  I don't sit and dwell about the conversations we've had, I don't sit and try to find out why they can't see things any other way but their own, honestly, I don't think about them at all, except when I have to deal with them.  I find this works for me.  I have friends that hear about some of these people or situations and they get themselves so angry about it.  They wonder why I'd put up with some of this stuff, and how I do.  It's not that I want to do it or enjoy doing it, but what I get from some of these situations is more important than putting these people out of my life.  And most of all, I am genuinely happy in my life, and I enjoy being happy, so their negativity doesn't affect me. I don't let it for more than 5 minutes or so.

I don't want there to be any misunderstanding about what I mean by happy.  Do I walk around every day smiling like a freakin' lunatic?  Do I smile and act polite to every person that is rude to me?  Do I never get impatient or mad when I'm sitting in traffic or a slow moving checkout line?   hahaha...Yea, fucking right.  I get mad all the time.  I'm not walking around on a constant drip of happy pills.  I'm a human.  I'm emotional.  I get upset.  I get angry.  I get impatient.  VERY IMPATIENT.   But the difference now, for me , is that I also get over it very quickly.  I laugh when I hear people tell me a story from 2 weeks ago about how they felt mistreated in some way and they are still visibly angry about it.  Or they read something that made them angry and they still are angry.  It's just not worth it.  All that extra energy we spend being angry could be used on much better things.  Or nothing at all if you choose. Your decision, your life.  I know that for me, I'm going to try to just put those things that make me angry out of my head and do something I enjoy instead.  Why bother being mad, staying mad, and carrying it around with you?  It doesn't change anything.  The situation is in the past and it won't change if you stay mad long enough.  All is does is drain you.  It makes you unhappy about your life and most likely this will lead to you being angry about other things that are quite trivial, but since you are already angry, they will seem far worse than they actually are.  

So just let it go....out the fucking the bridge....wherever.  Take a deep breath.  Move on.  Choose to be happy. Let go of what and who brings you down.  You deserve it!!  

Thanks for reading!  As always, I would love to see your comments HERE on my blog (it's super easy!), but I appreciate any you give me, no matter how you do it!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

School Vacation, Snow Days, and Unreasonable Parents

I'm supposed to write my "part 2" story today....but I don't feel it right now and the only way for me to write it is to "feel it."  I will get to it though, I promise.  Thanks for your interest. 

Here is what is on my mind vacation, snow days, and parent's inability to be pleased (or so it seems from some of what I've seen today!)  I have an incredible urge to comment every time I see one of the posts where people are just bitching without offering a solution to the problem.  I want to tell people that if they really believe the entire school system is "stupid" and they have a better solution, they should get their kids out of that school system and start their own.  But I'm not a huge fan of arguing over any social media site so I don't say anything.  I just write about it on my own page! 

I've read and heard numerous times about school districts considering cancelling April Vacation to make up for some of the snow days so that kids won't be in school so long at the end of the year.  From what I understand, whether it's cancelled or the schedule is kept the same, parents just aren't going to be happy.  It makes sense; plans are made, vacations are booked, child care is planned....I get it, I really do.  But what I do not understand is what parent's think is the solution.  I've yet to find anybody that has a solution that can please everybody because there isn't one.  Some people already have plans for April vacation, so cancelling it would affect their plans.  Some parents have plans for the middle of June and the extra days in school are going to affect those plans.  There are many people affected by this, but the fact that so many people are being totally unreasonable about it is what has caught my eye.   One of my absolute favorites about this is a variation of this comment:

"It will be way too hot for the kids in school in June.  They cannot handle that without air conditioning."
Ok, maybe I'm wrong here, but's New England, it's summer....many millions of children have lived through the month of June IN THEIR HOUSES....WITHOUT AIR CONDITIONING...IN 4 DECKER APARTMENT BUILDINGS and they lived.  All of them.  Hell, it's not like it's August when shit gets real hot and nasty around here.  Seriously?  Your kid won't make it in a classroom without air conditioning?  Does your kid play outside in the summer, you know, when it's hot??  Or do you follow them around with an air conditioner?

"Great, now my kids will have no summer vacation."
What??  There are still like 8 weeks where they won't be in school, and 90% of parents are going to be totally frustrated by their "bored" kids after the second week.  These same parents will be complaining that they "Can't wait for school to start again" in mid-July. 

The other part of this that makes me laugh is what was posted during all the snow this winter.    

 I feel like people are forgetting that the superintendent of the school is a human being too.  A human who can only make a decision based on the information that he/she is given at any time.  And since we all live in New England, we should all be fully aware of the fact that the weather is pretty hard to predict.  Storms are often hit or miss and where you live in this state plays a big part of that. 

Here's what I've seen myself and what I think about it:

"What the hell? They cancelled school again? We didn't even get much snow!"
Yet, the forecast called for 6-10 inches and it was snowing at the time when the superintendent had to make the call to cancel or not.....I assume most superintendents aren't psychic and all they can go on is the information that they get from the weather reports.  Maybe at 8am they should have updated everybody that there actually is going to be school because the storm turned east and went offshore?  Is that easier to handle?

"It's snowing out there so bad right now.  I almost crashed my car getting the kids to school today.  What kind of idiot doesn't cancel school on a day like today?"
The poor guy was probably sitting at home, reading the thousands of angry emails he got from parents the previous week when he did cancel school and said "Fuck it.  They get pissed off if we cancel school as a precaution when the weather report says we are getting 8" so I guess we will have school so all the parents are happy."  But they weren't then either.  Poor Guy!

Obviously not everybody is handling this as badly as I explained above.  Most people are fairly reasonable and understand that the school systems are making the best decision that they can right now.  But there are always those people that are totally unreasonable and I just cannot understand how they can be like that. 

What do you  think?  Can you solve this great crisis??

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Fear Deep Inside of Me

I wrote this long, crazy, emotional blog recently.  I go back and forth about sharing it.  But I've decided I will share it and so here goes.  I'm going to break it into two parts, the first which is below, is about fears.  The second part is going to be more about Hylan and how we changed me and gave me confidence in myself.  I hope you enjoy it.  It was really hard for me to share it because I'm a pretty confidant person and fear is something that I don't handle or share well!

I became an accidental step-mom.  I came across this phrase today and it kind of fit perfectly.  Hylan coming into my life is truly one of the best things that has ever happened to me, but it was totally unexpected.  Before him, I truly was petrified of the idea of having kids.  In my twenties, it was never a thought, it was only a "hell no."  As I got older, those feelings changed because my life changed, and I grew up a bit.  But I was still scared.  I never had parents that showed love or cared for me as most parents do.  Deep inside of me was this overwhelming fear that I couldn't possibly be a mother because I would have no idea what to do.  And  I don't mean the normal "holy shit, we have a baby, now what?" that most people go through.  I mean that I worried I wouldn't be able to love a child right, whatever 'right' is.  I wouldn't know how to show them that they were loved.  I never saw that myself, or felt it, and I had no faith that I would be able to show it to somebody else.  I knew for a fact that I knew what NOT to do.  I had an entire childhood of experience in that department.  It's odd because I feel like many people worry about having kids and the costs, time, and effort are their big concerns.  Obviously everybody wants their kids to have more than they had, to go to good schools, become successful, live a happy life, and becoming overall good people.  None of those are that big of a deal for me.  This is not to say that I don't worry about things like that, but I think that like everybody else, I will figure it all out.   I will do my best and it will work itself out.   My fear is so much deeper than that and it's often overwhelming.  I worry that there is some "bad-mom gene" and maybe it was passed down to me too.  In my case, regarding my parents, I don't feel that they ever intended to actually hurt me in the ways that they did, but they did.  They were not mentally able to care for themselves fully, never mind to care for a child.  And that's the honest truth....and it's fine....I survived and became me.  I can't change any of that.  But I can hope to do better for my future children.  But you see, I say "hope" like I doubt that I can.  Which is stupid because I know that I can.  I know that I would never do any of the things my parents did to me to a child.  But there's always this little line of doubt running through me about it.  I have this fear that my child won't know that I love them, that I won't show it enough and they will not feel it and their lives will be all sorts of fucked up because of it.

And in walks Hylan...thrown into my life unexpectedly and of my own doing.  I was the one that called Jen (his mom) and talked to her to work things out and made it so he could come see his dad.  I was the one she trusted with her son at first because the hate she felt towards Justin consumed every thought that ran through her head.  I was also the one who realized it was actually going to happen, then said "Oh shit. What the hell do I do with a little boy in my house?"  I was clueless.  I was scared.  So freakin' scared you have no idea.  At the time, I didn't know what would come of it.  I didn't know if she would let him come here once, then never again, or what would happen.  And I truly didn't ever anticipate that the love I would have for this kid would be as strong and deep as it is.
Come back to read the rest of this story tomorrow......

Thanks for all your comments and feedback.  It's greatly appreciated! And may I suggest the bloglovin app for your phones.  It makes blogs easier to read and you can comment right from the app itself.  

Dish Customer Service--They can't fix shit, but they will make you repeat yourself a lot!

I switched to DishTV recently.  Personally, I've found that the service is just dandy.  I haven't had any issues with the receiver or losing signal or anything else.  I'm not in love with the way their DVR and recording options work because it's not as easy to "stop" a recording and fix conflicts, but I can figure it out.  Their customer service on the other hand, is awful.  Totally awful.

Dish's customer service, like so many other companies, just sucks!  They have this protocol that they have to follow and instead of actually listening (or reading if you are doing live chat) to what you say, they go down this obnoxious list of stupid and irrelevant questions that aren't related to your actual issue.  I understand that there probably are people that call and cannot make their TV work because it's on the wrong input, but I am not one of them.  If they listened to me, they'd know this wasn't the problem.

This is how the conversations went, when I both chatted and actually called:

"Hi, I'm wondering if there is a way that I can change the time for the auto-update of my receiver because 1 am is not convenient for me. It's annoying that I have to run into my bedroom every 2 minutes around 1 am to 'catch' the update warning and stop it if I'm going to bed soon and want to watch TV."

"Sure, I'm sorry you are having this problem and can help you correct it. So, can you verify that you TV is on channel 3, and when you push the channel up button that the 'sat' button lights up for me?"

"Yes, I can do that, but that isn't at all relevant to the issue I'm having.  The issue I'm having is that the auto-update happens at a very inconvenient time and I'd like to know if there is a way to change it."

"Yes, well this step is part of the process."

"Oh..umm...ok then I will do it...yes, it is."

We went over a few more basic things, with me explaining that they weren't relevant, but going through the motions anyway.

"Ok, bear with me here, while I look into your problem."

Waiting. Waiting.

"Ok, so go into menu, then settings, then updates.  There is an option for inactivity timer.  Please set that to disable."

"Umm...the inactivity timer is not the problem I'm having.  I have a problem with the time for the auto update."

"Yes, miss, I do understand that.  This will solve the issue of the TV going off."

"Sure, ok, let me disable it.  But you aren't addressing my issue.  Fine, It's disabled."

"Ok, so now you shouldn't have a problem with your TV shutting off because that is now disabled."

"You do realize that I do not have a problem with the fact that the TV shuts off when I don't use the remote for 2 hours, correct?"  You do realize that the problem or the simple question I have is if there is a way to change the time that it automatically checks for updates, correct?"

"Yes, miss, I do.  What we just did will correct that problem."

"Yea, ok, sure it will. Thanks. Bye"

Imagine my shock, when at 1 am, I raced into my room, slid across the floor and almost fell on my ass just to catch the message asking me if I was OK with an update now or if I wanted to skip it.

For some reason, I thought I'd have better luck making the phone call. Apparently in the middle of the night I really enjoy repeating myself. So I called.  I told them the whole story, what I already did, and again, asked my simple question.  The phone call went the exact same way that my online chat did.

Can these people not simply listen????

So yea, the dish TV service itself is great.....the customer service is essentially useless. Woo Hoo!!

After 3 phone calls, one today, hoping that maybe the day people actually listened, I got an answer.  At this current time, because the hopper software is new, there is no way to change the time on the auto-update.  It is an issue they are looking into and will hopefully have addressed soon.  I got a guy who listened to what I said when I called!!!   He also read the notes, and was as confused as I was about what the hell they were doing.  Good to know I wasn't just crazy.

All I hope is that I don't ever decide to call them in the middle of the night again because I have a better chance of fixing the problem by asking my cats what to do. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Things I wish customers at restaurants understood

In today's world, with social media, there are plenty of places for those of us in food service to share their opinions.  I feel like some of them are written in a very negative way and give us all a bad rap. Most of us that choose to work in the food service industry do so because we get off on the thrill of it.  The crazy chaos and rush of it all is exciting.  And we do like people!  I meet tons of awesome people at work and the majority of people are nice and good people.

I feel like everybody should have to work at a restaurant at some point in their lives.  The experience will give you a new-found appreciation for what people actually do.  I'm not here to say that my job is harder than yours or more stressful, or anything like that.  Every job has its own set of stressors, good parts, and bad parts.  But I feel like many people have no idea how a restaurant works and have unrealistic expectations about what we can and can't do in a short time frame.

Where I work, we have a menu unlike any other local menu. We also have an open kitchen, with 3 people at most working at any time.  Everything we do is right out in the open, right there where you can watch it all happen. This is good and bad.  It's not a common restaurant with your average food items and therefore it's confusing to many people.  And that's fine.  I know the menu, I can explain it to you, I enjoy suggesting items to you and telling you what you really should try!  But it'd be nice if when people asked questions they listened to the answer too.  That would make things run much smoother, that's for sure.  When you say you want pork ribs, and I ask which pork ribs, and tell you the two options and you answer "Yes," or "the pork ribs," we aren't getting anywhere.   Same goes for if there are 3 of you ordering together....if you are all getting ribs, and I asked one person which ribs, I'm going to ask you too.  Maybe have an answer ready? Or make me repeat myself to every single person with you.  That's fine too.  I can do it in my sleep.  But your order will be put in quicker if I don't have to.

Here's a few other things that I wish I could say, but don't because you are the customer and I am here to work and help you:

  • When we are really busy, please don't take offense to the fact that we cannot engage in a full conversation with you during the entire time you are here.  I assure you that if you come in on a day where we don't have a line out the door, we will discuss your trip to Kansas City, how your ribs were, and your grandmother's grits recipe.  But when we are crazy busy, talking to you or anybody that much just isn't an option if we want to actually get everybody's food ready in any sort of a timely fashion.  You may not realize but at every second we are concentrating and have a running list 15 things long of what we are doing or will be doing next.  It's difficult to break that concentration, figure out where we were, and start over while getting your food ready quickly enough that you don't get angry. We can either chat with you about your life, or get food cooked quickly.  Although you may not be in a rush, the other people waiting may be.  If you want to fully chat, come when it's slow! We will talk with you, we'd love to!
  • When there is a line out the door and you wait twenty minutes before it's even your turn to order, please know what you want!  If you have questions, that's fine, but when it's your turn and you haven't looked at the menu, you are holding up everything and everybody.  The urge I have to say "Go to the back of the line and come back when you are ready" is overwhelming.  The urge the other people in line have to say that to you is probably stronger than my urge.
  • If we run out of something, we are out of it.  We try our hardest to never let this happen.  But we also cook fresh food and sometimes the demand is far more than we anticipated.  We feel awful when this happens.  Yelling or being rude about the fact that we ran out of something isn't going to make it magically appear. Whining about it is even worse, especially if you are a grown man.  If your entire day is ruined because we ran out of something, maybe call before you come so your day isn't ruined next time.  Same with driving here.  We love that people drive over an hour to come get our food.  That's awesome.  But if there is only one thing you like, maybe call before you make that drive, just to be sure we have it.  Also, when we say we are out of something, we are actually out of it....even if you can see it. The reason there is probably some left is because all the people in front of you ordered it and  I haven't finished packing their orders yet.  I'm not holding out on you waiting for you to express anger or whine before I will give it to you.
  • When you are standing with 30 other people waiting for your food, I assure you, we are doing our absolute best to get everything out quickly. Although you can see the cook, asking him, or anybody else where "YOUR" order is isn't going to make it any quicker. Everybody wants their food quickly, and we are trying to please all of you, not just one of you.  First of all, I don't know where YOUR order is because I honestly cannot remember who YOU are. There are 30 of YOU that all want your orders.  Secondly, if I have to go through all the slips, find "yours" and try to guess a time, everything is going to be held up, including YOUR order.  Have a little faith that we are working as fast as we can (which you may have noticed while watching?) to ensure that you have good quality food, and we put your entire order together correctly.  We are doing this for you and everybody else standing near you.  If wait time really is a big concern, it may be best to call your order in before you come.
  • We have our full menu available online. If you are going to phone in an order, please know what you want.  Read the menu, pick your fixens', write it down, then call.  I cannot read the entire menu to you when you call. What you can't see is the 20 people waiting to order their food and the 20 people waiting for their food to be bagged while I sit on the phone with you.  We can answer questions without a problem, then you can call back when you know what you'd like.  Please don't call and continually say "hold on," while you read off things to your family and they decide what they want. Also, if you ask how many people something feeds, and I tell you an answer, say 4-5, trust that I'm not lying.  Remember, I work here and I know how many people our dinners feed.  When I tell you this and you tell me about your family, in depth, and how much they eat, then ask me again, I want to hang up on you.  I don't know your family.  I do know how many people our food can feed generally.  You probably know how much your family eats better than I do. Figure it out and call back.
  • Groupons have a price amount on them, for example $45.  The entire menu has prices on it.  Simple math can help you add up these items before you are ready to place your order.  If you do this, you won't have to wait at the register, trying to spend $15 more by adding 1 of everything on the menu.  You also won't have to continually ask, "what's my total?" after every item. Another great idea is to ask how you can spend it.  I always offer a half rack of ribs, cold, that can be used as a quick dinner later in the week when you are rushed and haven't made any food. It's quick and easy for us and you too!
  • If you are in a rush, let us know when you order.  We can suggest things that are very quick and can have you leaving soon. If you are in a rush and order the things on the menu that take the longest, you are going to be waiting. Everybody is busy and has places to be.  I'm not able to put your order first, unless you'd like to ask everybody else waiting if they don't mind because you are in a rush!  It can go either way, and you can decide. Either order what I suggested will be done quickest, or order what you want and wait. It can't go both ways.   
  • If you ask me what's good, I will tell you what I honestly think is worth eating!!  It's all good, but I will tell you my favorite.  Try it!!  I'm not lying! Don't make me go through an entire suggestion for your family for you to simply say "No, we want....blah blah blah" If you knew what you wanted, why bother asking me???
  • If you don't like something, let us know!  We want everybody happy and we think our food is great.  Maybe you don't.  If you come and tell us why you don't like something, or that something is cooked wrong or doesn't taste right, we can give you something else to try. But we have to know.  We can't just guess.  If you don't tell us, then go and write a bad review that isn't really giving us a fair chance.  Let us fix it.  
  • Keep in mind that we are all only human.  We do our best every day.  We work our asses off and we sit afterwards and think of where we messed up or what went wrong and how to fix it for next time. I'd love to say we go home and forget about this place, but that's a lie. We all get upset when we hear bad things, or we know the night just didn't go well.  We try to get everybody's food quickly and correctly, but on some occasions, like events ending, game days,etc., everybody has the same great idea to eat at the same time.  And you all come at once.  And order at the same time. And want to eat at the same time.  And there is only so much we can cook at one time. So give us a little bit of extra time. You can see us working our tails off.  Interrupting up or giving us death stares doesn't help you get your food quicker.
  • Lastly, although we may know all of you by face, we don't all know what you order.  Please be helpful when you order and tell us what you want.  If you think the cook knows and feel the need to not tell the person taking your order and simply say "he knows how I like it" the chances you get it that way are slim.  The person cooking may not even see you standing there, may not remember how YOU like it, or may not even know which slip is yours because we are so busy. And yelling it out to the person cooking isn't going to help.  It will slow them down, and by time they even get to your slip, they probably won't remember.  But if it's written on the slip, when you order your food, they will see it. So tell us any changes or specifics when you order.   It's not personal. We appreciate that you think we can remember 100 people and the specific way they like their food, but really, we aren't that good!  Sorry.  

That's all for now folks...what did I miss?? Obviously, I missed tips, which itself is a different story for a different day!  Anything else?? Share it in the comments, I'd love to hear it!

Bedtime routine gone wrong

Look at her in all her chunky glory.  You just have to love her.

Today I am going to share a story that will make me look like a crazy cat lady...110%. No doubt. Let it be known that I actually do have a boyfriend, a life, a job, and friends.  I know reading this story you may really doubt me, but I swear, I'm actually not a crazy cat lady.  But my cats do rule my damn house and I have no control over these things anymore.  I can't stop this. It's been going on far too long and there is nothing I can do. Plus, I love my kitties and well, this is how it is.  It's a bit too late to try to solve this problem. 

Off to bed we go.  Sunshine has slept in my room with me for all 14 years of her life.  She has no intention of stopping now.  She sleeps next to me, cuddled up against me and after an hour or so has almost my entire half of the bed because she stretches herself out. Whatever, I can handle that.  What I can't handle, but still do handle every night, is the "bedtime routine."  It's worse than anything I've dealt with involving kids.

True story, every single night at bedtime....
I head into bed, and grab Sunshine.  She is old, fat, and has arthritis, so jumping into my fairly high bed is a battle for her.  She basically hooks her claws near the top and climbs her way up.  So bringing her into bed seems like it'd be the logical thing to do.   But she won't stay in bed.  That would be far too easy.  

Off she goes to eat something and do whatever around the house, while we fall asleep.  About 15 minutes after I'm in bed, about to fall asleep, the crying begins.  This cat doesn't even know how to meow, and makes some odd squeaking noise, REPEATEDLY walking through the house. It's loud. She makes it sound like she is dying because she is so lonely.  I call her from the bedroom  because apparently she has forgotten where we went and is devastated about being alone in the house.  She slowly walks into my bedroom with her long nails clicking across the wood floors.  I can hear where she is the entire time because she WILL NOT let anybody clip her nails.  When she's close, I tell her to jump into bed.  She stops walking, then it goes silent.  (I'm pretty sure she is just sitting on the floor, making sure I almost fall back to sleep before her next move.)  Once it's been a minute or two and I'm almost asleep, she goes over to the plastic trash barrel under my nightstand and bangs it against the wall, repeatedly.   This is usually the point where I get mad.  But I can't yell because she will run away, do her scratching routine elsewhere, and come back to start over the entire process.  She's trained me over the years.  It's just easier to do it her way and I will get to sleep earlier.

Generally, at this point, I can convince her to jump on the bed.  It's a 50/50 chance that she will listen and do her half jumping/half climbing thing.  If not, I usually will untangle myself from Justin, roll half way out of bed and pick her up myself.  She likes to back away from me as far as possible during this, just so that I almost fall face first out of bed. 
Finally, she is in bed.  But it's not quite over.  If I don't pet her, she will go stand on my nightstand and stare at me.  It's freaky.  So I usually half ass pet her for a few minutes until she lays down. I keep the blanket over my head before if she can see my face, she will lick my entire face.  It hurts! And well, I don't actually enjoy getting my face licked clean before bed. Who knew. Then finally, she lays down.  She's just like Justin in the sense that in about 30 seconds she is sound asleep.  On my arm.  All 15 lbs of her.   And my arm falls asleep. EVERY.FREAKING.NIGHT.

Yep, and I let this happen....because this cat knows all my secrets.  She lived with me through my twenties and may even remember things I can't remember.  It scares me. She could start her own blog and I may be in a little bit of trouble!  

But really, she's a sweetie.  Every night she pisses me off.  Then she comes into bed and purrs so loud and is so happy to lay next to me.  I'm a sucker.  I fall for this every night.  The odd part is that she has really become Justin's cat.  She is with him anytime he's home, but for some reason, she's all mine at bedtime.  Awesome. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A letter to any new neighbors...that I probably can't send

Maybe you've heard about my neighbors and all the drama.  I really am considering giving anybody else who moves into this neighborhood this nice little letter, maybe with some editing?!  I sound so mean, and  like a total bitch.  I'm really not. But I am at the end of my rope dealing with the people that move into that house across the street.  I moved out of the ghetto, to the country, for a reason.  I don't want to be dealing with those issues anymore.  This letter is meant as a joke....maybe.....

Dear new neighbors,

Welcome to the neighborhood! We are writing this letter to let you know a little about the neighborhood and to help ensure that you become somebody that we like (we are pretty fun and nice if we like you,) and not somebody we will all equally hate with every ounce of our being. You may first read this and think that your neighbors are uptight assholes, and I assure you that we really are not!  We've had numerous bad experiences with the house you are moving into.  It may actually be cursed, sorry about that, but maybe YOU can break the curse! We are all rooting for you!  Here are the highlights of the last 3 tenants, so you know why we are writing this:  one who gave her "services" for a fee, one left her dirty diapers on her front yard and let her dog run in my yard to poop, and the last ones....where most of this comes from....they were obnoxious, loud, rude, took in borders, and that list goes on and on.  Please understand that we are all sick of drama from that house and really are hoping that YOU will be a cool person that can fit in. To ensure that everybody is on the same page, I figured I'd write a little list to help you out.  If you read this list and think "What the hell?  Why would they need to tell me not to do this?"  that may be a great sign.  These basic things were so foreign to the previous tenants that we decided to write them down, you know, in case you moved from someplace where respect wasn't common.

Music--We love music! In the summer, most times when we are all outside, there is some music playing on the radio.  It will be loud enough that I can hear it in my front yard or wherever I am.  It will not be loud enough that you can hear it inside your house, over the sound of your own TV, or so loud that it stops you from being able to read or hold a conversation with anybody.  I expect the same from your music. If you are unsure how loud the music coming from your house is, my suggestion is to walk outside, walk around the neighborhood, and LISTEN.  If I cannot sit in my front yard, reading a book, without hearing your music interrupting my every thought, your music is too damn loud!  Keep in mind that I may be understanding the first time, especially if you notice the problem, apologize, and correct it.   If you continually do it, remember that I have 1 car, 1 van, and 1 truck in front of my house.  I can easily turn them all on and drown out any and all noise coming from your house.  I assure you it won't be music you like either.  Let's not have to resort to that.

Respect--We are a friendly neighborhood, and kinda all wander from house to house in the summer, especially when the kids are out.  If you are the type to yell and scream over everything all day and night, please keep your windows and doors shut.  Same goes for when you are getting in and out of your car.  Remember that my bedroom is facing your parking spot.  If you yell every morning or night and wake me, I will make your life a living hell.  Nobody in the neighborhood wants to hear you swearing and yelling all day.  And we have little kids.  If we are outside, enjoying some fun time and the sounds coming from your house make us wonder if somebody's life is at risk or you are just being downright rude and obnoxious, it won't be good.  I may be nice the first time, and simply give you some sort of death stare and the opportunity to take your drama elsewhere.  I may just call the cops because I'm so sick of that behavior and don't want my days off ruined by you. We work hard, when we want to relax and enjoy our days off we would love if you were part of it, not ruining it.

Trash--YOU are in charge of ordering your own trash barrels, and paying the bill.  You are also in charge of picking up your trash barrels when the wind blows them around, or the trash guys leave them someplace other than their normal spot. If your barrels were full when they got blown around, be a decent human being and pick up the trash that blew everywhere too!  If you leave your barrels in the middle of the road, and your trash blowing around the road (and thus into a neighbor's yard) you are automatically moved to the black list.  It's pretty basic.  Take out trash bags from inside your house, tie them, place them into trash bin, close lid.  If you have any difficulty with this, I'm willing to show you. When we come home from work and our yard and driveway is filled with trash from your house, it makes us very angry.  Please don't be lazy, pick up after yourself, and we won't have this problem. 

Parking--Your designated spots are in front of YOUR house.  Keep in mind when parking that you are parking on a narrow road. Also keep in mind that there are driveways on each side of your parking spots.  Do not park your car in such a way that people cannot easily get in and out of their driveways.  The neighbors are all nice, but also one step away from crazy and if you continually do this, your car may get rammed repeatedly one day. Please don't even consider parking in front of the house across the street or in front of the gate at the end of the road.  Your car could get towed.  Note that if you become a nice neighbor and are liked, if you plan to have people over, you can ask to use our spots.  We will most likely let you if you are respectful to us.

Kids--The neighborhood has kids, and if you have children that can play well with others, they are encouraged to play!  Please do not just toss your kid out of the house when you see us outside with our children. Call first, stop over and ask if we mind watching your kid too, or just come outside with your kid.  It will not be my responsibility to ensure that your kid doesn't get hurt or gets home when we decide to go inside or leave.  Also keep in mind that if your kid is playing at my house and is a little shit, he/she will be reprimanded.  I promise you that I love children and would never harm one.  But I also believe in discipline and manners in children, so if your kids lack that, I'd suggest you teach them. If the kids are running around, and you'd like to bring out a treat that is super.  But please do not bring 50 sugar filled treats for 4 kids.  I don't want to deal with the sugar high or intense low that comes from it. It's also best if you are around when your kids are playing outside because I do not pay attention to tantrums or crying for attention.  If your kid does this as part of their normal behavior, I will send them home for you to deal with.  Now here's the thing....I sound mean. I'm not.  I love kids and although I'd like to ignore your child if you choose to ignore them, I will not.  I will make sure that somebody is there if I am leaving and make sure they get home. I will make sure your kid is safe and loved.  But I will also call DSS on your ass if you continually ignore your child or put them in harm's way, this includes screaming at your child or hitting them.  If I can hear your kid screaming like they are being harmed when I am in my house, every day, there is a problem in my opinion. Lastly, there is a lake!  Watch your children!  IF they are wandering around and not being watched they can fall into the lake and get hurt or drown. Let it be known that if you do work out and we like you, we can easily work it out so that if I'm outside you CAN call me and ask if your child can come play while you run errands or clean your house.  I will do that and won't mind at all.....if I like you and your child. If I don't, don't think I'm the babysitter. You will be wrong.

Clothing--I understand the summer is hot.  Please keep yourself and your visitors fully dressed when they are outside.  It may be normal for your family to walk around half naked with all their nastiness hanging out for the world to see, but it makes me vomit.  I don't want to see that. Nobody wants to see that. Dress appropriately outside of your house.

The Lake--We have access to the lake at MY HOUSE.  There is fishing, boating, and other fun things you can do.  As of right now, YOU do not have any access to the lake from my yard.  You are not to be in my yard, unless I invite you.  You cannot go and use the boats, or fish, even if you see other neighbor's doing it. I will decide if I'd like to extend that invite after your trial period.

So that's about all.  Hopefully, you work out and we get a neighbor that is awesome and can be part of our neighborhood gang.  It's all pretty basic stuff...respect for neighbors, respect for your home and the neighborhood (don't have tons of shit in your front yard!), no screaming obscenities every time you open your mouth.  And drive cautiously on these roads, the kids play on them and if you hit one of my children or the ones I love like my own, you will die.  Even if I did like you! 

Much love,
Your new neighbors

Thank you to all of you that have read this and sent me messages!  I really appreciate it.  I know many of you have tried to post comments on here and were having difficulty.  I'm not exactly sure why it's not working well for you, but I appreciate the effort. I know that you have to  click on a "profile" from the drop down menu under the comment box, before hitting post, so make sure you are doing that!  I recommend writing a comment, then copying it before you try to post it.  That way, if for some reason it disappears, you can simply paste it back and try again.  Thanks again! 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Video Games, Dressing Rooms, and 5 year old words of wisdom!

Hylan was here for a good part of last week because of school vacation.  We had a good time, and for the most part everything went well.  He got a bit sad when Justin finally came home on Friday after work and then got another call and had to leave again.  Hylan is so excited when his dad gets home and loves playing with him.  As much as I play and interact with him all day, I'm just not as cool as his dad.  It made me sad when Hylan cried because dad had to stop playing with him and go back to work.  He's at an age where he can't fully understand they "why" and I did my best to explain it.  During the day we had gone shopping and out to lunch, and I explained that for us to do those things, dad had to work and earn the money.  He kind of understood it, at least as much as he can, and calmed down.  Luckily Justin's call was close by and he wasn't gone very long.
I absolutely love talking with Hylan and spending our days together.  The things he says really make me smile and the innocence in what he says is beautiful.  And often hysterical. 
Here are a few favorites from Hylan:
While watching me put on makeup, which he does every day:  "You don't want to put on too much because then you look like a clown, and you don't want to look like a clown unless you have a funny hat too, right?"
He helps me pick out which colors to wear for eye shadow, which perfume for the day, and which outfit I should wear.  He also really prefers my hair when it's down and I put "Jello" in it because I look much prettier.  (His dad doesn't quite love the idea of him learning about makeup & hair so in depth, but I think the time and interaction together is most important, no matter what the topic is!)
While in the dressing room with me when I was shopping for a new pair of skinny jeans since mine are all too big now and aren't tight like they should be:   Loud Giggles, then "It's so funny how you have to jump up and down to get those pants on.  Giggle Giggle"
Thanks buddy, I was really hoping every other person in the dressing room knew that my pants wouldn't fit over my ass unless I hopped a bit to get them up!  But dammit, they look great and fit great and I bought them! Bonus points for the running commentary of the entire dressing room process.  People were wondering if the pattern on my underwear was cool (it was), if you could see my butt in the other mirror (you could), and if my tattoos looked colorful (they do!)
While telling me a story about how he knows that you shouldn't show your butt to anybody, he says, "I shouldn't show my butt in school right, because then I'd be abareassed?"  His version of embarrassed perfectly sounded like a bare assed and I tried like hell to not laugh and just help him say it correctly.  But he was actually correct in what he said too, he would be bare assed.
We had a fun week.  One day we went to my work and got a corn dog because he loves them.  Hylan is quite fascinated by my boss Brian, and he is somehow his new favorite person.  He told me that Brian is his best friend, and he loves him 100.  But have no fear, he loves me 107 because I take care of him!  Funny he said that though because as we were driving home with our corn dog, I was saying how big it was and was worried about him being able to eat it all.  He told me had plenty of room in his belly, which made me realize I hadn't fed him breakfast.  OOPS!  But look at that, I still got the extra 7 points for "taking care of him!" Even if I can't remember to feed him.
I'm still working on the video game battle.  I'm so up in the air about it.  I really think he's too young to have the DS attached to him at all times.  When he's at home with his mother, he can play video games all day and all night.  I don't like that idea and I feel like he should be doing other things that engage him more.  I try to have him look through books daily, color, and play other games besides just video games.  I want him to do things that help him learn and exercise his brain.  I use video games as a treat for him, or sometimes for me....when I need a break and need to accomplish something in peace.  I know he will leave me alone for a while if he's playing.  But that's also why I hate them so much.  He gets so entranced by them that he's oblivious to everything else.  Then I also contradict myself if Justin is home.  When he is here and plays video games WITH Hylan, I feel like that is better.  I don't know though.  To me, the fact that they are interacting with one another, showing each other things and strategizing, and just spending time together is better than when Hylan is playing alone.  I don't know though....I still would prefer if he was spending more time doing other activities.  I think it will be better in the summer.  We are pretty good about going outside still, even if it is cold, because well...he's a kid and kids play outside.   But it's been pretty cold, so we don't stay out as long as we do in the summer.  This leads to more time being stuck in the house, which isn't always as exciting.   I'm working on a solution that makes me feel comfortable.
That's my story for the day....Do you let your kids play video games?  Do you limit them? Do you have a funny story you want to share about your little ones?  Leave me a comment here and share it!  It's quite easy if you have a google account of any sort, and you can simply log in and share with me!

As usual, thanks for reading, sharing with your friends, and all of your comments, texts, and emails about my blog!  I'm trying to get everybody to comment here, on this blog, because when I go back and read them the comments make me smile too!  Give it a try!  Thanks!