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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mom, I'm bored. Can you come over?

Apparently the daughter is having second thoughts about mom and dad being so boring. With only 55 min. left of 2009, she and her friends are sitting on the couch, at a friend's house and bored. Could we run over the fireworks left over from the fourth?

No, actually, we're not getting back out on the road this late at night (just returned from dinner and a movie, which we invited them to, but was declined).

Moooom! No. Sorry, you had your chance to spend the countdown with us. We're not getting back in the car.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Why not!!

Because the rental car (when Gary got rear ended last week) is not ours and you're not supposed to be driving it.

Insert sulk here.

Unf. Gary got an automatic and J's practically drooling over the fact she might be able to drive it. Not today, and certainly not in the dark on wet roads.

They just to go to jamba juice and she's still sulking.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

So can we get a new kittie?

That was the second words out of my daughter's mouth, after we mourned the fact that Oscar, AKA spawn of satan, hasn't shown up yet.

He's been gone since Sunday, when we went up to mom's for a belated x-mas.

Sooo, I'm off to search for the cat again, which has no collar, and is just as inclined to bite a would be rescuer as purr.

Damn cat.

Stop playing like that

That order came from my mother on Sunday, as we gathered to celebrate a belated christmas at her house.

My daughter and I sometimes wrestle and poke and even faux slap at each other, and yes, sometimes throw food at each other, laughing all the while. But it obv. bothered my mom, who told us to knock it off. The final time, I could tell it really did bother we looked at each other and then stopped.

"It really did bother her," jennifer said later. I agree, and I have no idea why. Sometimes my dad and I would wrestle like that, laughing all the while. Until he started using some military style moves on me, where I'd just say forget it, and run.

But we were both laughing all the while. I guess in some ways, mom was not the playful sort.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Why does this always happen to us?

On Christmas eve, Jennifer insisted on making a last ditch effort to buy the rest of the gifts (I'd banned her from the mall, to no avail) and just as we were leaving, 5 cop cars rush by, a police helicopter starts buzzing overhead as we pick our way into the TJ Maxx parking lot (we were gonig to Trader Joes in Federal WAy).

The police locked down the TJ Maxx and people started coming out of the store with their hands up, and inside, we could see the police, guns drawn at the front of the store, with other officers searching the aisles, and the guys, one by one.

Apparently, 6 kids got in a fight at the food court across the street, ran out through sears and into this store. Eventually they got them all, but not before alot of excitement.

"Why does this always happen to us," says daughter who insisted we go and investigate. The events always happen around us, but never "to" us, thankfully.

We were in the same mall 16 Christmases ago, and Jennifer started to fuss, badly, so we left. 15 minutes later, bullets were flying in the place gary and I were standing.

"See" J smirked. "i saved your life."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Presents under the tree

Or in this case, cars.

Three of Jennifer's quite well-off friends are getting beamers for x-mas. One's outside now, showing it to her. I'm about ready to tell her to get herself back inside so we can finish watching West Side Story AND remind her : she's not getting a beamer as her first car. Even if we had the cash, and we don't, I think it's a mistake to give a kid a car where one will fuss over every scratch.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Finally x-mas break

And finally time to decorate the tree. Jennifer's notion of cleaning the living room was throwing all the clothes on our bed. Not quite what I had in mind.

We have the tree in the house, just no lights and the only decorations are stuffed marine-life animals, with an octopus I threw on the top in place of the angel. My family doesn't approve. But as usual, Christmas comes, ready or not, and it turns out alright.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dont' ask me to do this again

I was running late in picking up Jennifer as usual. And Gary calls - he's headed to safeway, do I need anything. Yes, peanut better..and you're daughter needs some eyeliner - give her a call.

Later I pick up Jennifer - happy that I saved myself a trip to the store for once.

"Mom, don't ask me to do this again. OMG"

"I spent the first 10 minute telling him there were more colors than black and brown and he kept insisting that's all there was in the Top Food cosmetics aisle. Then I finally get him to turn to the right, and he keeps wanting to pick up pink liner or dark blue."

Eventually Gary arrives from the story with electric blue (her choice) and a russet one that i will probably use.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Shoudl really never let J shop with dad just before payday

First, we're usually short on cash, and second she always seems to weasel out a top or something from him that she KNOWS I'll say no to. This time it was 2 A/E shirts and some makeup.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

High kicks, donkeys, sheep, camels oh my!

We went and saw the Rockettes X-mas show at the Paramount last night, and it was great. Typical fare from what we could tell - lots of glitz, santa and high kicks by women with 2 percent body fat and arms that even Michelle Obama would die for.

But the most surprising part of the show was at the end, when they announced they were going to do a tribute to the true spirit of the season and do a living nativity.

"With the Rockettes?" my daughter wondered. "What are they going to do, step kick past the manager?"

No, actually better. All the Rockettes played various parts in the play (tho Joseph looked suspiciously like S. Claus) and they led in Mary on a real donkey. And then sheep. And then when the 3 kings came...real camels. Damn. This is definitely worth the ticket.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

*&^%$. The Christ Child has just shown up. OK, you can have a manger if you go through a metal detector and background check first

Hello? Mombeforeyousaynopleasehearmeout.

This rush of words surged into my ears just before I left work last night. And of course, I tensed. What exactly was Jennifer going to ask? Unlike what I thought (going out with a boy I'd never met, a new sweater, spending the night somewhere) she had an entirely different request that left me speechless. At the "nos" to the predetermined requests faded.

"I was wondering if Jason could sleep over tonight."


As a back story to this, I'd heard about Jason before. He's a friend of Jennifer's. Almost b-friend, but then they just decided to be friends. Jennifer's described him as a male version of herself. He's with a foster family now - who from varying reports, sometimes treats him well, sometimes not. His birthmom is a drug addict, in jail, I think and at one time wanted drugs so badly, she gave Jason to the dealers as collateral. Jennifer said he wont' talk about that part of his life. Just that he'd been abused.

Anyway, long story short, his foster family had left for the night (no, she didn't know what left meant) and Jason didn't have a key to the house. All his guy pals, his wrestling coach, everyone, refused him a couch. He was going to spend the night in the park, before Jennifer heard of this plan and said she'd see if he could stay with us.

Great. Now,sleeping in a park at these temps or any temps really was out of the question. Buying him a hotel room was out of the question, and yes, my church in currently hosting Kent's homeless guys in an attempt with other churches to sort of duck the city's stupid zoning laws. But that seemed chickenshit. But the real question, was could he sleep on our couch and come into the home for the night.

*&^^%$. How was I going to tell me daughter, who has seen me insist that the true test of one's faith is how you deal with inconvenient instances, "no" to this. Yet, I'd never met this guy. I was was vaguely wondering..ok, not so vague here... if we'd be safe with a kid that had obviously gone through some horrible experiences in his life. Lock J's door. Hide the knives?Fuckfuckfuck.

"He's not allergic to cats or dogs is he," I ask, with a shameful amount of hope in my voice.


OK, fine. He can come, but let me ask your dad first (who is usually the no of last resort). But of course, Gary said yes. That's one of the reasons I married him.

"Wait, you mean his foster family just left him w/o a key?" Gary said.

Well, yes, they did. And no, I dont' know why.

Oh, Jennifer adds on another phone call, he's at a wrestling tourney until 9 pm tonight, could we go pick him up. And he has to be back at the school at 5 am on Saturday, but Jason says he'll walk back to school (yeah, right, an hour walk in freezing cold temps. not likely).

Fine, fine fine. We'll pick him up, we'll drop him off. Has he eaten anything lately?

So about 9:30 pm, Jason arrives at the house (he's found a ride from a friend) and promptly talks non-stop about wrestling. Nope, not hungry. Finally about 11 pm, I order them to bed, saying at this point we're all getting 4 hours sleep. He looks at me, surprised. I get the feeling he doesn't get too many orders to turn off the tv and get to bed.

I later realize that he's probably as wary of us, as we might be of him. J told me this morning that he lay away for 2 hours after he flopped on the couch. I also had a renewed appreciation of my hubby's manners, when I almost fell into the toilet this morn, because Jason had left the seat up.

At 4 am, the alarm rings, gary throws on his clothes and warms up the car today. I crawl out of bed, well aware that my hair is standing on end and the sash for my robe is actually a scarf- I can't find the tie. I tell him he's eating b-fast for fuel and make him eggs, 4 strips of bacon and toast, which he wolfs down. Gary makes him drink oj.

Then off they go into the night. Later, Jennifer said that Jason wistfully asked if he could stay over again sometime. He had fun.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

You never give me my allowance

That was tossed my way tonight, as we headed out of Target, where we had just dropped $60 on a hair straightener (her old one died and she just can't live w/o it) and new mascara, since she had used all of mine.

"$10 of your money is going toward that straightener," says I, still griped by the fact that she refused the $19 model for the $35 model she just had to have.

"I never get an allowance anyway," she shot back.

"No, maybe not in $$, but you get it in skirts, in shirts, in sweaters and trinkets that I gladly buy you," says I.

"Not the same," she sniffed.

I pointed out that I could, in annoyed enough, just say "sorry, you've used up your allowance this week, you'll have to wait until next. or give you the $10 each week and from that, you'll have to buy your wish list. Silence.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Why don't you tell me to go to bed?

This is my daughter grumbling at me this am, as we're both hung over from watching too much tv.

I can usually snap back after one good night's sleep, but not so her.

And as usual, it's my fault, as I didn't tell her to go to bed on time. OK, I'll make note. Next time I'm in bed ,and I still hear that faint hum of the tv on, I'm going to use those words, walk into the tv room, click the set off and order her to bed.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Girls' night out

Jennifer and I have started a new tradition - as of this year.

The one thing we're both mulling over tho, it whether to invite dad to the party.

We had a great time in Seattle last night - despite the COLD weather, flitting from shop to shop, buying up trinkets that caught our eye (although I said no the $350 ring at Ben Bridge she had her eye on) and then noshing at our favorite nordstrom's restaurant. Then off to the Christmas Concert at Benaroya Hall, with PLU's Choir of the West.

Great evening. And we plan a repeat next year, maybe with sensible shoes this time. And a packet of $1 bills for the homeless, the street musicians, the homeless selling newspapers, $ for the carausel, and money for the homemade donuts and roasted chestnuts (they don't take visa or mastercard).

If we hit seattle earlier in the day, we may even take in a movie.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mom doesn't matter if it's cold outside

I had just advised Jennifer against wearing what she plans to wear to the concert tomorrow, to which she retorted that in fact, she never goes outside, so it doesn't matter what temperature it is. Fine, but we'll still have to go outside to walk store to store. And she's going to freeze. She considers it he price of being fashionable.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Being the bad guy, or gal

I'm always delighted when Jennifer finds a ride home through a friend, or via a bus route, and I don't have to do the mad dash from PLU to the coffee shop where she sits for a few hours until I can get to her (at least I don't have to worry about day care fines anymore).

But when she casually mentioned last night she had a ride home (great!) but that it was with Ryan (hmm, not so great), I first said fine, but then realized, I hadn't met the guy. And the more I thought about it, the more concerned I became. I'm sure he's totally nice and a good boy, but again, I hadn't met him to take a read, and while I doubt he would zoom down Auburn Way North toward our home at 80 mph, but I didn't know that for sure. He's 17, and has his own car ( this will all go away when J gets her own, sometime next month I hope).

Anyway, back to the ride home. After some thought, and kicking myself, I had to tell her no. If ANYTHING should happen, I would kick myself, and I'd hate to think about the tongue lashing I'd get from my hubby, who is a bit edgy about a boy he does know driving her home.

So I reversed myself, which was worse than saying no in the first place. Needless to say, the ride to school was a bit chilly this am, and it had nothing to do with the freezing temps outside. Even Starbucks didn't warm her up.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sick day to be with ailing friend

I learned that Gary had already said "no", so I wasn't going to countermand that.

But Jennifer's friend Jordan was having knee surgery today, and wanted Jennifer to come with her to the hospital and then home for support. She had already missed some school of late, with doctor's appointments and all, and so Gary put the nix on that. I found out this am and it gave me pause.

It probably took a lot for Jordan to ask that, and she'd asked another friend, whose parents had also said "no." And as for a support system, sometimes I get the feeling it's not necessarily there for Jordan from her parents. The weekend fiasco where Jordan was supposed to go away with us for a weekend at Great Wolf Lodge, only to show up the next day late, because the parents seemed incapable of finding the place, or going down the freeway at 30 mph (we couldn't figure out which), seemed to prove that.

So the next best thing transpired. J's going home with another friend, who lives near jordan's house and they'll walk over together in the pm to cheer her up. But still, I wish Jordan had had a friend to go with her to the hospital.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Studying Chemistry huh?

My daughter had gone home with a friend last night, and about 6 pm, asked me to call her dad (her phone had died), to pick her up later. She and Ashley were in the midst of studying their chemistry homework and didn't want to break the flow.

I was monitoring a memorial services at PLU for the four slain police officers, so I "sure, fine, whatevered" her off the phone, and then dialed Gary. He was just pulling in Ashley's driveway and was in no mood to come back. What he did find when he knocked was that the girls were indeed studying chemistry, but not one she was going to have to pass to get an A in that class. Two boys had dropped by. They were chatting in the living room, and the chemistry books were forgotten in the kitchen.

Gary was so pissed he wanted to ground her and called (again interrupting the prayer service) to see what i thought. I hissed through the phone to ground her if he must, and give her a lecture on lying (if it's boys, say so) but I had to go.

He called back again to say he planned to jerk her chain, pretend she was grounded and then let her off the hook...this time. Fine, whatever..I'm about ready to ground you both or block you if you call again.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Off to the races

Jennifer was just determined to go hit the stores early today. She wanted to do the 3 am madness, but I talked her into 5:30 am madness,and then, after not getting asleep until 3 am (must have been reg. coffee?) I begged for an extra hour or so of sleep when she went bounding out of her bedroom like a kid on Christmas morn.

Annoyed, she went back to sleep. But I could hear her counting the minutes, so at 6:30, I gave up and told her to get ready. We were at the mall by 7:30, so no doorbuster gifts for us, but at least the parking gods were kind, and we found slots easily, and managed to avoid the horrific Kohls' check out line, but purchasing a single piece of jewelry and then sitting in that line for 10 minutes instead of 60.

Nordies Rack for a pair of my shoes, and then she picked up something at Macy's (shoes again), and then home. And bed again.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Being thankful

I'll prob. be napping, cooking or cleaning up tomorrow - or taking the dog for a walk to walk off the pie.

So I start being thankful tonight.

For my daughter, snarly tho she was today because she was tired. And thankful she is a good kid, with manners (well some manners at least) and that she is looking forward to going to college - tho not nec. one she gets a discount for.

I'm thankful that she has confidence, not seriously involved with a boy, and really doesn't want to be.

And I'm thankful she will do chore (when nagged), and that she still leans up against me, sometimes, and calls me "mommy." And sometimes, it's not when she wants something.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Where the kids hang out

I guess Gary and I are getting that rep.

Tonight at the movies, we arrived to dutifully go to "Blind Side" while J went off with friends to New Moon (verdict, acting bad, but eye candy with the werewolf pack good) . She joined up with the 2 of her friends, who were joined by 4 more friends.

We decided to stop by I Hop on the way home, and suddenly, J and friend turned into J and 3 friends, which we just shoved in the back of the civic. One mom called to figure out where her girl was (hadn't met her before) and she said she was with Jennifer's mom and day, was that OK?

Apparently it was. That seems to be becoming shorthand for a. they'll get home safe and b. usually fed too.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Off to the football game

Ahh silence.

That's what I'm hearing as my hubby and daughter are off to see Auburn High's football team try to beat Vancouver's team in the quarterfinals for state.

Luckily, it's not raining, as the guest side of the stadium has no bleachers (scum). So gary insisted she bring two coats and one rain cover Of course she swore she'd wear none of it, but at least they have it. OK, time to check in on line and see how they are doing.

Did I mention I really like hearing the silence - except for my 85 rottie snoring.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

From scratch

That's the way our daughter wants to cook our T-day turkey. I usually, since I work until next thursday- go buy and pick up the precooked meal at Safeway. But Jennifer has been watching too many cooking shows - Bravo and HGTV.

I don't think she realizes that they chefs take HOURS to produce the end product, that's all nealty wrapped up in a one-hour show. And you don't see them cleaning up the mess. That's what production crews are for.

However, I hate to snuff out this interest in cooking, since it would be nice to come home to a meal once and awhile, so let's start unthawing that turkey.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Digging herself out of a hole

Next time I might think twice before allowing J to be sick for 4 days (as if I had a choice), It's only now, a week later, that she's taking her last make up test. And some of the teachers are grumpy about it, some aren't.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Glitter sale, maybe next year.

The Goodwill Glitter sale took place this weekend, and Jennifer and I drooled. But alas, the week before payday is as usual, slim, so we took a pass. But we plan to go full bore next year.

And actually she suggested it (the pass) and I was glad to hear it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Were you awesome?

There's a new website that I highly recommend called My Parents Were Awesome. Were? As we tell Jennifer, we still are. And since you like That 70's Show, you probably would like these pictures too.

And there is a sadness when you look at them. They were young and in-your-face once too.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'll cook tonight!

At first I thought I'd misheard. My daughter wanted to cook dinner.

And even more astounding, she wanted to good breakfast for dinner, an idea that I love, but she's firmly resisted.

Apparently staying home all day for Veteran's Day got to her, so she started watching cooking shows, which got her in the mood for cooking, so she asked me to get the ingredients for French toast, my fav. on the way home. I happily obliged, however, the bread needed to be stale, or staler to not go soggy in the mixture.

But the family, hungry, wolfed it down. And yes, she did a Julia. We cooked with butter.

Monday, November 9, 2009

H1N1 hunt

I hate this.

After peeling through about 10 pharmacies that were SUPPOSED to have the vaccine, I finally found one in King County that was taking names a least. So at 10:30 am on Thursday, Jennifer's getting vaccinated, like it or not.

She whined that she'd have to spend 4 hours in the weight room to make up for the v-ball class she'd miss, but too bad. I had to hunt for that damn vaccine, and now she's getting the shot.

As I was walking by the H1N1 line at PLU, where I work, the nurse poked her head about from behind the screen, and saw there were no students lined up. Could we find one more, she asked to no one in particular, so they could give out the last dose? I asked if I could have it (no I don't look 24 and under) or take it home to J. Her look gave me my answer.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sportsmother Nazis

I had just dumped off the kids in front of the gym for the divisional finals that our v-ball team at Auburn Senior High had made it to. It was pouring.

So I gave Jennifer my last $6 and some change and drove the car to the back 40 of the parking lot. And walked to the front door again, semi-wet. And there was the sign, no checks allowed. Great, I had $4.50 and the cell phone wasn't connecting inside the gym.

"I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do," said sportsnazi mom. "I have to have cash or nothing."

"Oh common," I protested. By then the rain was coming down in sideways sheets. "I'd have to go out through THAT, and all I need is to go through and find my daughter inside. I promise I'm good for the $7"

"Nope, nothing I can do."

I should have just barged in and forced her to call the sports police, but I went out to the car, out to the nearby story, got the bank machine to cough up $40 and went back. By this time everything was fairly damp to soaking wet, including the $20 bill I threw at the sportsnazi.

"Listen, here's your money, but you could have just let me in so I wouldn't have to get soaking wet," I shouted at her. I'd already missed most of the Auburn match.

"Sorry, nothing I can do."

"Fine, since that's all you seem to be able to say, give me my damn ticket and change," I said as I thrust a soggy sleeve through the window.

But her sportnazi ways didn't end there. She kept shooing people away from the entrances, saying there was plenty of room in the bleachers (there wasn't) and that she was sorry, she HAD to say this.

Then she told one of the teams, no there wasn't any more chairs for their team to sit in, and that was the rules. The asst. coaches ended up sitting in the bleachers to make room. And she went by at least once, making sure the back of the chairs all lined up perfectly on the black line between the bleachers and the v-ball court.

Okay, obviously it wasn't just me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thicket of no's and yes's

Jennifer had been sick the past 2 days, but recovered today enough to go to school.

But on the way home, she buzzes me up.

"Mom, I know this is last minute, but can i spend the night at jannelle's? Pleeeeese?"

But you've been sick.

"I know, but I feel better now."

Fine, we'll figure out when we get home.

Oh, and can I fit five people in the back of the car tomorrow (her friend's she invited to a divisional v-ball game)

"no, it's unsafe, and no"


"So what about the sleepover?"

Gary was no help, so I said yes, as long as her mom was okay with a newly not-sick person in her house. She was, so I was left with a yes.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The flu

OK everyone, if you're scare the begeebers out of us with the H1N1 scare, would you please have the vaccine available. I've been calling J's doc for 3 days in a row now, hoping to squeeze in for an appointment, and lo, nothing.

Yesterday she called (could barely hear here) and begged me to come home with supplies - mainly chicken soup and sunny D - and to come home some. Oh, and some ice cream would be nice. Luckily I work for a great and flexible boss, so I set up shop at home.

She's just gotten over some crud (was out of school yesterday and today) and will give school a try again tomorrow. But I'm not sure how I feel about that since the virus is probably binging from kid to kid.

Note to self: Call doc's office again tomorrow. As for myself, for the first time, I've gotten a general flu shot, but since I'm not in any risk group, I"ll just have to tough it out.

J's all grown up

After I put the last post on my FB page, lo' was flooded with comments underneath on a. how beautiful Jennifer was and b. how grown up she is.

Most of my friends, who I see about once a year, haven't seen Jennifer in awhile, she's long since decided all my friends are old and boring. So the last time she was in their vicinity was when she was about three feet tall and had scuffed knees.

If she has scuffed knees now, it's because she's taken a dive for the volleyball and she's not happy about it.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Prom day

Actually, I was rather glad when we finally got the Wicked Witch of the West out the door, and dropped off at a friend, so she could turn into her fairy princess self.

And she did. After getting all dolled up, out to dinner and then to the dance, where she later complained that her date followed her around all night.

"Well, isn't that what he was supposed to do?" my hubby asked.

"I know, but he was like 10 feet away from me the entire time!" Jennifer whined.

"Would you rather he flirt with other girls, like one of your dates did," I asked.

That shut her up a bit.
And the group (as you can see, six of them went together, thanks to parents willing to drive - I don't think there's a driver's license in the bunch) had a pretty good time. I wince however at how much this good time cost, since we're talking $150 for the dress, $50 for the shoes and $50 for the formal pics (think we could have skipped that).
Oh, and $80 on the makeup through an ill fated trip to Sephoras. Won't make that mistake again. The guys paid for dinner and the tickets, and the flowers. But I"ve told Jennifer this is it. If she gets asked to another dance this year, she can take her pic from dresses, and shoes, and makeup she already has.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or treat

I definitely decided I was getting tricked most of the day, as my daughter, stressed out over going to Homecoming, started acting like the wicked witch of the west, to both my hubby and I.

At 2:30 pm, she started nagging me to get off my volunteer for the fish/salmon duties and get thee home to take her to the hair dresser. Then she chewed on her father, because he wasn't there to trade off the car in time (don't ask, men have to clean their cars to feel better about things).

We finally handed her off at about 4:30 pm, brought home hamburgers, and were, somewhat relieved.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lost in translation

"Mom, where is he!!!"

"Where's who?"

"Dad, he's not here,and they are closing down the gym and shutting off the lights!"

Taking the phone away from my ear, I flashed on two things. Gary would never just leave Jennifer at her volleyball game (I'd just gotten home from work when I got this annoyed, panicked call), so he must be a. dead, b. mugged in the parking lot and almost dead or c. passed out in the bathroom from a heart attack and almost dead.

So I told Jennifer I'd be there in a bit, and called Gary on his cell. If he didn't pick up, I'd be dialing 911 next.


"Where are you"

"I'm waiting for Jennifer's bus to drop her off at AHS"

What no one bothered to tell Gary was was there was no bus today and the kids had to get home on their own.

Again I was holding the phone away from my ear as he started to swear. Apparently both then blamed the other when they met back at the neighboring school's gym and started to yell....followed by sullen silence. She stalked back to her room when they got home, and Gary harrumphed around the kitchen, making himself a sandwich.

Eventually he apologized, but Jennifer wasn't in the mood. Unf. they both have to have the last word and both aren't nec. the best as saying they are sorry. As I finally told them separately, hey, it was a mix up, not intentional, move on.

But there will be a next time, for both of them, unf. They are both too much alike, too temperamental and did I mention both like to have the last word?

Monday, October 26, 2009

What excuse are we going to use this time?

It was raining, hard, and I was trying to figure out if I should really call in sick.

I felt like crap, but I had a deadline this am, and an interview this afternoon. Ick. But we got out of the house late, due mostly to my dawdling, so I decided to go by the store, get a goodie bag, with Jennifer for her secret pal on the v-ball team, and the coffee she wanted.

"So what are we going to tell 'em today?" said Jennifer, sipping her white choco mocha, with raspberry.

We've done dentists, really so many times, I think they are going to start checking her teeth, and so many docs appt. they might think she's going to chemo.

"How about allergist?"

Okaay, we' haven't used that one before . And "heck," I added, "that opens us up to an entire list of specialists."

I said this as we were heading in the front door, and unfortunately Jennifer started to giggle. Which got me going. So we are doubled over and I gasped out "allergist" to the puzzled student trying to write her a note.

I don't think he believed either one of us.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Back to door # 1

She decided to start dating Anthony again, unf. I not sure that's a good idea. Neither is her dad sure about this. And neither is Jennifer.

It's not anthony, but his mom that seems to be the problem.

She's made it clear she doesn't like Jennifer (I don't think she likes any girl he brings home). I told JEnnifer she may want to consider that as she considers how close to get to him. Helicopter moms can be real bitchy.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm at church

You could have pushed me over with a feather.

I was calling my daughter to see if she wished to be picked up after a sleepover Saturday, and she explained that she couldn't. The family she was with just were walking out of church (an evangelical and conservative one to boot) and now they were going to brunch and then Costco.

Fine, you never go to church with me, I pouted.

She promised to come next Sunday. Promise. I intend to hold her to it.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Guys are weird, Part V1

"Mom, guys are so weird."

I guess I'll have to turn the radio off more often, as it seems to encourage my daughter to talk more on the way to school. At any rate, I said yes, and it really doesn't get any better. After knowing Gary for 25 years, yes, he still does stuff that surprises me, pleases me, annoys me or has me scratching my head. I told her this and asked her then, what was she referring to?

"Well, Anthony still wants to go out with me, Eddie has told me that he likes me, but has asked another girl to homecoming and I think Gunther's bf wants us to get together more than either Gunther and I do."

So, in other words, the Anthony that wantsyouwantsyou, until of course you're his girlfriend is back texting you, Eddie, who wants you as long as you're unavailable is now cooling, and Gunther, well, you're still texting him,but not as a potential boyfriend?

"Yes, that sums it up."

I told here there are some guys that like the chase, more than the actual girl, and it seems like she might have two of those in this mix. And besides, Anthony's mom seems WAY too involved in his dating life, I'd stay away.

"No shit! What is it with parents?"

I don't her I didn't know. Now if she brought a potential drug czar home, yes, I'd probably step in front and center, but as far as I can recall, my parents stayed out of my dating life, with the exception of telling me I couldn't bring boys back to my room and close the door (a policy I've now instituted with J, even tho she hates it as much as I did).

As for the guys that like the chase, more than the girl, stay away from those. I just attended by 30 year reunion from high school. Some of them never grow out of that.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Strong girls can't worry about being liked

Bitch, bitch bitch. She's a total bitch!

So, honey, how was your day?

Apparently a girl named savannah, who had dated one of J's exes before, is now eyeing another of her boyfriends past.

Savannah had asked about ex Anthony, only to be rebuffed by jennifer. Didn't want to talk about him. So she complained to whoever would listen about J. Of course J found out and confronted her. And now J is mad that she's mad at her and badmouthing her further.

"I don't know, Jennifer, you just might want to let it drop, she's gotten the point"

"You really weren't part of the drama crowd in high school were you?"

No, not really.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Same boots, $100 less

That's what went through my mind as Jennifer was holding up some ugg-looking boots at Target, for $22, versus the $140 to $160 for the ugs, at Nordies.

"They won't last as long," she sulked.

"No they won't, but we can buy 5 pairs and still be out ahead," I shot back. "Besides they look the same."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Yep, we're going solo

Susan just called, and when she found out about the Homecoming shopping trip, she wisely, I think backed out.

Homecoming dress

But you promised!!

Yes, in fact, I did. I'm going up to meet some gal pals in Issaquah today, and Jennifer wanted to come with me , no so much to see my friends, but because on the way back, we could go shopping for a Homecoming dress.

I'd already forgotten about the car pool situation with another friend going up, so figuring she didn't want to shop for a Homecoming dress for my daughter, I let her know so she could drive herself up.

Still waiting to hear back.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Grumpy daughter

Gary and I had a date night tonight, tho really didn't plan it.

J. had called earlier in the day, said no, she hadn't gotten her chores finished, but could she still go over to a friend's house (whose parents we haven't met). The answer was no, and of course, immediately she wasn't so chatty any more.

Was sulking in her room when we both got home, so we gave up, got her dinner at the rest. and left her. She was in a better mood when I got home.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Off to football

Picked up Jennifer and her friend Jordan at school, and then home, where I swore Jordan to a non-disclosure agreement before she entered the house.

The girls then showered, put on their make and took a looong time getting ready for the football game. Gary arrived home and was ready in about 3 min. flat. At 6:20 pm he starts tapping his foot. He wants to be there for kickoff time. Jennifer's still flattening her hair.

It's now 6:25 pm. Gary's really starting to look impatient. She's brushing her teeth. Slowly. And refusing to take a coat, it will be uncool, even tho it's supposed to drop into the 30s tonight. But since the students are so packed together, and jumping around, maybe she'll be okay.

At 6:30 pm, Gary orders her out of the house. They pile into the truck and off they go. I'm left at home prepping for a talk ,and get the tv all to myself.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Back to stag, or stagette

Apparently Jennifer's going to be going to homecoming in her wonderful purple dress, once we find it, with just her gal pals after all.

Eddie, her hold out in case a guy from TJ didn't ask her, has decided she's just not the one for him. or maybe he's afraid she'll say no, but for whatever reason, the school grapevine has gotten back to her that he's a "no."

"I guess he decided I just wasn't worth the trouble," she sighed.

That, and maybe that he was #2 on her list. No one likes that designation.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

No makeup? No way!

My daughter woke up today, complaining that one of her eyes hurt.

It did look a bit swollen around the edge. My hubby declared that it must be the makeup and give her face, and eyes a rest for the day. Go to school w/o makeup, he declared.

My daughter gave me this stricken look over his shoulder. He might have just suggested she run naked through the lunchroom.

"Well, maybe you can use my foundation and mascara today, I just bought them," I said.

She quickly snatched said makeup out of my hand - after first making sure that her father had left the house - and started working on her face.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Wisdom lost on youth

Bill Gates Sr (the dad of the rich guy) came to the PLU campus last week, and while 20-something students grilled him about his book, mostly asking looong drawn out questions about what should they do to live a passionate life (I was more interested in BG as a kid), I could tell that he the in some cases they were missing the point of his book "Showing up for Life".

He said again and again that raising a family and spending time with your kids is probably the most important thing you can do with your time. But since none of his questioners, I was the reporter there, had kids, this went right over their heads.

But in seeing Jennifer dive headlong into being 16, I can vouch for Bill Sr's wisdom. It is the most important thing you will do.

The guy also has a Facebook page, check in out!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Current events

It's 10:15 pm, and I'm helping Jennifer with her homework. I'm beginning to wonder whether advanced AP classes and sports are going to work.

To this point, she still has 3 trig problems to work out (sorry, this late at night, I'm useless at this). But I can help with current events. I'm still a news junkie. So now their are going into the Great Depression, and she needs a world event that's related to discuss. I find her something on financial reforms.

She gives me a puzzled look.

"OK, it's mainly saying you can't make loans to folks who KNOW are going to default," I said.
"If that hadn't happened, I doubt we'd be in a depression now."

She gets it. Good. We can go to bed.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Morning checklist

Which was actually stolen, okay borrowed, from another blog I love. (can't decide what the name of the blog is, but I think it's "mommy needs a latte" or it might be from stage dives to station wagons)

My checklist, unlike hers, doesn't have 2 boys and chickens involved, but it does have a grumpy teenage daughter and 3 cats, one needy ocd dog and a lizard involved. And a hubby who can't seem to find his belt (s) to save his life.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Can you pick me up at 6 pm?

I've decided that part of being a mom means being a full-time chauffeur, always on call, or juggling so your kid doesn't end up sitting on the sidewalk.

Now, if ever, I'm pushing my darlin daughter to get her license and then pushing both her and dad to find that perfect first car and get on with it. I'm done.

Apparently while I was on a business trip, Gary again was talking about getting a car next year sometime, to which Jennifer put the kibosh on quickly.

"You have no idea of the headaches of pickup and drop off," she groused.

"Yes, I do," he protested. "What do you think I'm doing now?"

Yeah, for all of 2.5 days. Try it for 362.5 days and we'll talk.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


It's gotten to the point that unless the homework is done, no shopping, no friends over, and no hanging out with friends. Period.

I'm so pretty

Reading as usual before I go to bed, and as usual, the daughter plops on my bed to talk about boys.

How, now, that she's dumped Anthony, the other are starting to circle around and drool. There's the faithful friend guy, the guy from the other high school who is "the bomb" and another guy that's been drooling from afar for about a year. Plus others.

"I'm considered the bomb at school," she brags.

"Well, being smart, and kind is more important than looks, tho you have those too," I said, rolling my eyes at her unabashed vanity, that she only shows to me at these times.

"Yes, but it's nice being pretty too," she pouts.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Traveling on biz

But before I take off on the trip could I:

A. Drop off the daughter to school. (yes)
B. Take her a permission slip (since the airporter is showing up in 5, no)
C. Get some more catfood? (see above)
D. Pick up some stuff at the store on the way home (read the above guys, I don't think the airporter will be willing to make a swing by Top Foods)
E. Bring me a travel goodie (this request from the daughter...yes)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Meet the teachers

It was open house at J's high school last night. And since Gary went last night, my turn.

So that meant arriving late, as usual, and then trying to find her class in the maze that can be this Auburn high school.
First up was her history teacher, which Jennifer and I agree gives off the vibes of a lost puppy. But he has a love for vintage guitars, and jazz, and he's a lute, and his wife is going through chemo right I told Jennifer to have his back and be nice to him. I like him.

Math teacher is her v-ball coach, and when I asked about ways to push Jennifer, she rolled her eyes.

"Frankly, she's so good at math, I'm not sure you can push her now," Ms. Farris said.

Great. I'm not going to tell J that.

Chemistry check, senior project group (led by the lead football coach) check, and French teacher, check. Alas, most of the time is was a handful of us showing up for these meetings, maybe 6 or so. Sometimes as few as 3. And I could tell that we weren't the parents that really needed to show up.

In fact when Farris asked her class if their parent were coming tonight, J raised her hand along with a few others.

"Of course," she said, looking at Jennifer. "Your parents are always there."

Finally, last check in.

It's her AP lit teacher, who seems like a sharp man. Of course no one asked questions but me, usually (I asked gary if it was the same for him last year and it was)

But after his speeal, I came up and asked him his favorite books or book and how many times he'd read it (for me and J it's GWTW, I've read it 4 x, she's read it 2x).

He looked at me blankly for a second and then sputtered out The Great Gatsby, and a few others that I can't remember, having read them in college but yeah, that was about it. When I asked what he liked about it, I could tell a. he'd never been asked this before and b. certainly didn't want to engage in follow up questions.

OK, fine. Time to go home anyway and engage myself in the mindless TV program of dances with stars.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mean people II

Wondering what i'll find in my yard tonight, since I flung the ripped out honeysuckle vine in her yard (yes, I know childish).

"You know mom, I just could have tp'd or egged her house for you. It would have been more effective," J. said.

yes, I know, but not the point I want to make.

First car

The Toyota corolla had been parked at a next door neighbor's house for about 3 weeks.

It was blue, and a bit of an icky color, but it was an automatic and seemed in good shape. new tires.

The off putting issues were the price $5400 and the miles - 126,000. However, when the owner dropped the price to $3200, I stopped by on a dog walk/run and chatted.

She's been it's only owner. She's just put on new tires. Only had to spend on maintenance. It has airbags.

I ran back to the house and told Gary to take a look, but at first he refused. Too many miles My counter: One owner. Does it have airbags. yes. Apparently cars of this model do have problems with the alternator, but we'd have our mechanic check this out.

Then the kicker.

"Well, I don't think our daughter would like it. It's not very sporty looking."

"Do I look like I give a damn about what she thinks about it's looks. It's her first car. It's supposed to look like a piece of crap. As long as it runs OK, I don't care what it looks like and she doesn't get a vote!"

I think Gary was a bit surprised by this outburst. Then I realized, he doesn't want his daughter driving a geeky car. Ugh. Guys and their anthropomorphism with their damn cars.

His next objection was that she doesn't have her license yet. Well, no. But she will soon. By October at least. OK, how about $1,000 for insurance. True enough, but if we buy the car now, we can let it sit until we get insurance, and she gets her license.

When I told Jennifer about this back and forth, she wrinkled her nose.

"Really? That car's ugly."

"Do you want a car this fall or not. If you want cute, it's prob. not going to be until next year."

She's thinking about it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dealing with mean people

I'm probably not the best example of this right now.

Went out to the garden today to find that the neighbor, who had been working out there when I got up this am, had pulled out a honeysuckle shoot that I had laced our side of the fence. She didn't just clip off the offending part, she ripped it out of the ground, broke it in half and threw it on the other side of the fence.

Backstory: She moved in about a year ago to the guy's house next door. She had walked out on him earlier for another man, 20 years ago and apparently that didn't work, so she went back to her first sot of a hubby, C. Who took her back. Since then she's been very martha stewartish in fixing up the yard, the house and cliff, who now seems to disappear with his golf buddies when he can.

When she built a fence down our yard, without telling us and the crew let our dog out in the process, I confronted them both. Last year. We haven't exchanged words since. Or really interacted until now.

So I come fuming back into the house, ripped out plant in hand and said a few choice words to my daughter. I'm really trying to set a good example here. But it's hard.

"Mom, I'm in high school. There are cheerleaders and bitches everywhere. So you don't have to tell me there are mean people in this world."

OK, but how does one deal with them? How does one set an example? You can't exactly slam them on MySpace.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Get out of the car, now

I was already late to to a WWEE meeting that I'd promised a close friend I'd attend, and write a check to this worthy organization.

But my fashion plate daughter was busy separating her eyelashes one by one before she stepped out of the car and into the espresso house I was dumping her at 'til school started (hey it's within walking distance)

"You can do it in in the coffee shop! Now get out"

"I love you too mom, is that the way to speak to your only child."

"Prob. not, but we were late getting up, you just had to iron your hair and this breakfast benefit starts in 10 minutes, which means I'll be 20 minutes late at least. Out."

With a flounce, she was gone.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Where ARE you??!!

And hello to you too.

I had just picked up the phone to get directions to my daughter's v-ball game in Spanaway, when the phone buzzed, and you could almost see it steam.

Puzzled, I picked it up and told her I was just leaving work and I'd be at the high school in a few.

"What do you mean you're just leaving? I'm here are the school and YOU should be here by now"

The time was 5:15 pm

"The game isn't 'til 6 pm, what's the problem" I snapped back, beginning to feel annoyed.

"Mom, the game isn't 'til tomorrow. It's Wednesday"


Monday, September 14, 2009

Switching teachers

Jennifer's decided that as much as she feels sorry for her history teacher, she'd had enough. She's dumping him for another teacher - in the same times slot I guess.

"You're really going to leave that poor guy to the wolves," I said in the Top Foods check out line.

"Mom, he's ...he's just odd," she said. "Today he scribbled something on the board I couldn't even read...and told us to study it."

"Number 9? What's the frequency kenneth?"

"You are just about as weird as he is and I have no idea what you just said," she snapped. "Can I have lunch $$ for tomorrow."

Sure spawn, don't laugh at my jokes.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Editing an essay about what makes my daughter tick

And I'm under orders not to discuss it with dad. OK

Or do any more than correct misspellings or run on sentences. OK

But the essay assignment was brilliant: What makes your tick, why are you the way you are and what pressures you face.

I guess some parts that threatened to bring tears to my eyes (aside from the fact she got this 6-page masterpiece done on Saturday's due Monday) is that she learned her love of animals from me, and considers me a writer.

Nice to know.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I think her history teacher is dead meat

While shuffling to get out of a trig course with a teacher who wasn't that good, Jennifer ended up in a history class, not AP, where the teacher seems to be ....intimated by the class.

From J's description of her first period class, most don't want to be there, but are just taking it to get the credit out of the way. I told her to pay attention and consider this an easy A. And try not to get mugged the way to second period.

He seems to be trying to use self-effacing humor to loosen things up a bit, but the kids might just see him as an easy target for ridicule. Really?

An example: He asked them not to carve (insert his name here) in the desks and that he sucks like the last class did. And when explaining something on the board, he misspelled alphabet.

This doesn't look good.

And the kids might not know how to spell alphabet either, but they can smell fear. Believe me.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Back again with the b-friend

I just lost a $5 bet.

I said it was unlikely, after all her rejections that Anthony would keep asking her to get back together. But by crackie, he persisted and they did yesterday.

I guess boys have stronger egos (or just the ones that date my daughter) than they did in my day.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First day of school

And as usual, not much to say.

Each class was 15 minutes long (because the freshmen had the run of the place in the am) and then practice went long (I was late, so it worked out).

A couple of the moms on Facebook said they sniffled as their darl'n daughters or cherished sons left for school. Um, I was ecstatic and can't wait til she's taking herself to school via her own car.

She threatened she'd disown me if I made a scene the first day of school anyway, so it's just as well that the sentimentality faded in about 7th grade.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

So much for that boyfriend

After a month, already broken up.

This news came at 10 am, 2 hours before she was to be at high school at v-ball practice. Mandatory.

"Couldn't you have waited 2 more hours to break up with him," I said.

She didn't think it was funny.

Fortunately, the Kent teachers are still on strike, which means an admin assist. who works for the district was home. She Coni was able to take her to school.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

On being 16

She dressed to the 9s and went out with 3 of her friends to a fancy restaurant (dad and I picked up the tab).

Turned a few heads, these beauties did, as they sashayed in and out. I told the waitress to put a candle on her cake and sing her "happy b-day" which they did, over Jennifer's objections.

Today was the day that her b-friend and her boyfriend and I were supposed to go up to Seattle and shop, and explore, while I stayed at a discreet distance. Didn't happen, due to the 2 friends getting grounded. So Jennifer sat in her room and sulked, until she came up with plan b, that we go to the mall and shop, which we did.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Flirting and football

Came in to the house tonight to find 3 girls in the bathroom, J's volleyball buddies, all taking a shower, putting on makeup or straightening their hair.

We keep pointing to the clock, but they didn't care. Being perfect was more important for the first game of the season than being on time.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What do you mean you bought her a top?

This was the incredulous query I threw out at my husband as he cam back from shopping 2 days ago.

I'd just given my daughter $200 to buy her school clothes, with the understanding that we'd buy shoes, bras, a coat etc.

So when she pulled 2 tops out of an A/E bag, I assumed she'd bought them. But oh no, why buy something with "your" own school $$, when dad's around to bamboozle.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September, my own personal new year

And my daughter's too of course.

She becomes a sophomore in high school next week. She'll get her driver's license, prob. get a job and start looking for colleges. In other words, growing up and out of the house. Three more years, she's off to college, two more years, she's considered technically an adult. I stress the word technically.

So in the next year, I'm going to write every day here, before I wrap up this blog for good. Alien Nation started 3 years ago when she was a tween, and just testing out her snarkiness and growing into the woman she will become and in many ways, is.

I might start a new blog once she turns 17, tho gawd knows what I'll call it. But she'll be a little more human and a little less alien at that age I think. I hope.

Meanwhile, I plan to publish this in a book and give it to her on her 17th b-day. I'm wondering what she'll think of my musings, some she knows about, and others she does not. Then I read this New York Times piece about memoirs and kids getting pissed. Of course this piece deals with a mom writing about her son's drug addiction. I don't think I'll be writing about that.

Well, I hope she doesn't have that reaction when I hand her the book (self published of course). We'll see.

Monday, August 31, 2009

I wanna be a 60s child

Jennifer is pretty frustrated she was born in 1993, making her 16 this next Saturday.

She'd rather the birthday read something like 1943, making her in her 20s during the love, sex and rock and roll 60s.

We had just finished watching the History Channel's take on Woodstock, and we were both impressed, both with Woodstock and the 60s in general.

But I had to remind her, that one of the reasons that Woodstock came together was that little "police action" known as the Vietnam War. And then there was the assassination of the Kennedy brothers, racial violence, war protests and the Manson family.

True, it was the era of change, of shaking things up, of when all things (including walking on the moon) were possible and I think that's what appeals to her most.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Birthday plans

They keep a changing for her 16th.

First it was going to be a full blown party, then a party with 2-3 friends, and now one friend, with a day trip planned to seattle. No play, no makeup party, just a trip up to shop, eat and while the day away.

Oh, and can I have a car?

You've been watching reality TV too much (those sweet 16 parties that the very rich throw is one of her faves) and no, you're not getting a new jag rolling up to the front door of our 1968 rambler.

But grandma has donated $500 toward the cause. We have about $2000 saved up from Gary's retirement check and an uncle may donate some more. So maybe late this fall she'll get her car. A used car with prob. a lot of miles on it. No jag. Unless we win the megamillions this friday, and still then, prob. no jag (too much maintenance)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

She got on the jv volleyball team

Yeah. I was hoping she would.

Of course, as she explains it, it sounds like they will call her in for a specific spot (digging in the back) and then she's out again.

Oh well, if she's happy, I'm happy. Although I still wish she'd take up soccer instead of v-ball, given her 5.2 height. With soccer, there would be no question she'd be on varsity. But she's just not going that route. Even her dad as given up with the argument.

Checks, and more checks

It was registration day at my daughter's high school yesterday, and all I seemed to be good for is writing the checks.

Yearbook...$60. $63 if you wanted a name plate

ASB card...That will be $130 please. $50 for a replacement if you lose it.

Sports card...(yes, there is a difference) $30


And if we want a discount to all the games all year long, a family pass if you will that will be $180.

And this doesn't count the $$ for the school clothes shopping and the school supplies.

That sucking sound you here is my bank account.,

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What a grouch

Waking up the daughter is hazardous business, esp. when you're asking her to do her chores (in this case, clean up the dinner dishes).

So she comes out and gets it down, grumbles when I try to give her a hug and stomps into the TV room to switch the tv off my program (had to take the dog for a walk anyway) and watch, or some such reality tv show where people with way too much $$ and time are followed around by camera.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Touch phones

Gary and Jennifer were busy arguing over which new upgrade to get on the I-phones last night. She actually had poached the upgrade I was supposed to get,and transferred it to her phone. Thanks. What if I want apps someday?

But transfer she did, and now she has a phone that can have apps (she'll have to pay for them out of her allowance) and pay an extra $20 for the upgraded phone, which still has keyboard for her texting fetish.

However, surprisingly, she's getting tired of texting, she said. She just likes talking on the phone now.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Blah, blah blah

You know the Charlie Brown cartoons, where the adults are talking to the kids and it's all "blah, blah, blah"

There's some truth to this I learned.

My entirely honest daughter, as I was gushing on about some History Channel flick, finally turned from her computer and said "mom, I've tuned you out. I have no interest in what you're saying."

So I cut to the chase, and her eyes showed a flicker of interest, before she turned back to her Zune downloads.

Over lunch today (we split a cheeseburger) she mentioned that when people yammer at her too much or nag, she tunes them out. Happens with her dad alot, she added.

Seeing my look she said "I know it sounds mean, but it's the truth, that's what I do."

Well, at least she let's me know when she's about to flip the switch.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Social Media attacks again

After a bit of a hiatus, the social media bug has bit my daughter again.

It's been about a year since she last begged for a MySpace page, noting that I was on every social media product known (from Facebook, to this blog to Twitter). Sure enough, was my reply, but I'm almost 50 and you're almost 16. There's a diff.

Not in her eyes.

Of course not a whit of this conversation is taking place in front of her father, he seems to hate social media with a passion when it comes to his daughter. Now when she was 12, 13, or even 14, I admit, too young to have the common sense on what to post and what not, and what is basically and invite to the pervs on MySpace saying "come find me!"

But in a few weeks she'll be 16, and not that she's totally aware, but in 2 years, she'll be 18, and won't be asking my or Gary's permission anymore. I'm leaning toward guiding her now (don't put bikini shots, your home address, real age or name and announce when you're going to be at a football game), but do chat with ONLY friends you've actually met at school. No friends of friends.

But GAry's just not buying it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Now what?

To my surprise, Gary actually let Anthony drive Jennifer home last from his house (on the back roads, 5 min away as it turns out).

He wanted to meet Gary. Gary, tired, asked if this momentous event could wait to the weekend. Apparently, not.

So we quickly cleaned up the house, just in time for the two lovebirds to appear on our porch and walk in the door.

I introduced Anthony and Gary. Then we just sort of looked at each other. Usually, when there is another parental unit in the room, we can strike up a conversation and ignore the kids. But I was getting the feeling, to his credit, that A. wanted to make a good impression and a connection with G.

We didn't have any iced tea or pop ready, and no dessert (again, this was last minute).

So after a bit, he smiled and he and J. went out to chat on the porch.

"Was he expecting us to invite him in and have something to eat?" I asked later.

I'm afraid by the look Jennifer gave me, apparently so.

The problems of the pretty people

I didn't know how to advise my daughter in this, as she sat and bemoaned the fact that it isn't always easy being popular and pretty.

(Since I was neither in high school, this was a bit beyond my reach, like questions on 00 sized jeans)

"Since I've been dating anthony, all these other guys have been calling me up, asking me if I'd like to go out," she said, as she perched on the counter, watching me clean up the kitchen (wait, isn't this her chore?)

"Guys generally like what they don't have," I said.

"Yeah, I know," she pouted prettily

"Listen, you're with anthony for now, be with him, and if this doesn't work out, you have back ups..assuming that these guys texting you are not jerks."

Ah, the problems of the beautiful people.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Size 00

My daughter popped out of the dressing room, complaining that the pants she tried on were too loose. They were size 0.

So up to Southcenter we went, to the A/E there, and found the 00s.

They fit perfectly. Jennifer caught my glance. OK, how much do you weight right now? She guessed about 107, which is 5 lbs lower than last we visited the docs.

She went to b-ball camp and broke up with a boyfriend, so that accounts for some of the loss. But still 00?

"Well, you were skinny when you were my age (true), and what size did you wear?"

I don't think they had 00 then.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What are you doing up so late?

Of late, my daughter has been a bit of a night owl.

So again, this am, when I heard her rattling around her bathroom, and annoyed I was up too, I poked my head in.

"Jennifer, I thought I told you to get to bed my midnight. It's 2 am!"

"Mom, one of my friends told me about the meteor shower tonight, I wanted to stay up and see it."

So what are you going to say to that. I gave my blessing to keep staring at the sky and went back to bed.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bushel and a peck

Jennifer and I were watching Julie and Julia last night when the "Bushel and a Peck" song from Guys and Dolls came on.

"Mom," she said after the movie, which we loved, and were determined to buy butter and celebrate Julie. "That's the song you used to sing to me when I was little."

Was indeed. And my mom sang it to me, tho I just remembered the first verse "I love you a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck."

But the entire song was sang during Julia. Very cool to hear.

We'll prob. be humming it as we cook with butter tomorrow night. We'll probably stick to desserts and skip the lobster scene tho.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Rod who?

Maybe she still ticked at the front lawn scene mentioned below, but jennifer has rejected going with us to Rod Stewart tonight. Even tho the tickets are free (given away by 106.9 in a teddy bear swap)

Her response was "boring" and "Rod who?"

Answer your phone

"Next time you'd better be dead or in a coma, but that's the only reason I'm accepting for not answering our phones or pages."

This rant, directed at our daughter in the front yard of our home at about 10 pm last night, was also in front of her boyfriend (I guess you can call him that now) and his entire family.

Jennifer started to do her usual rebuttal, but then took one look at my face and, surprisingly shut up.

The beginning of this saga began about 3 hours earlier, when the young couple had gotten bored at the Kent STation offerings, and Anthony's mom decided to pick 'em up and take them out to a soccer game withe her in Tukwila.

Fine. But as the hour hand started to creep by 9 pm, and Jennifer stopped answering her texts. We began to worry and kick ourselves.

We hadn't asked for an ETA, but it was assumed it would be sometime around 9 pm. We also realized that we didn't have Anthony's cell, or know the name of his mom (remarried) or her cell. In other words, no way to track her down if we had to.

Gary was just putting on his shoes to go to said Tukwila soccer field, grumbling that our darling daughter would be sorry (after he found her alive) when he showed up, when finally the home phone rang. It was the awol daughter, saying she'd be home in 10 minutes.

So I sat out on the porch, (yes, I really did), and rehearsed by lines when the SUV pulls up. I give them my contact info, introduce myself and try not to sound too much like a crazy mom. And I must note, they did seem like a nice family. As you'll notice, Gary's not in the picture, he's gone to bed, knowing I'd do enough chewing for both of us.

Later, I explained to Jennifer that given this relationship was soo new (like last week) and we hadn't met the parents yet, she really, really needed to have the phone at hand, and not drop it in the bowels of her purse.You have 2 former cop reporters as parents, you'll just have to live with our natural paranoia, as she started to protest.

Otherwise, she was grounded next time when we text her 3x and call her 4, and no answer.

I could tell she was about to say something.

"One more word and you're grounded now."


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Will this work if the pull date was 1998?

That was the question that I was asking myself as Jennifer and I peered into the medicine closet at 3:30 am this morning.

She'd woken me up, complaining of a bug bite that just was itching so much, she couldn't sleep. She if she can't sleep, why should mom?

Benadryl? Well, that had a pull date of 2007. The calamine lotion. Dated 1998. Antibiotics from 5 years ago when I had the flu, and from 3 years ago when Jennifer had the flu.

I tried to remember the dear abby remedy of baking soda (or is it powder) and vinegar. But when you put those two together, it foams up. Meanwhile in the background, Jennifer is still itching, and now Gary's up, insisting there is some current benedryl in the cabinet. (no, there wasn't).

Finally, I tell her to try the lotion, and didn't say it was 10 years out of date. It worked, or at least got her back to sleep.

This weekend tho, that medicine cabinet gets restocked and the old stuff thrown out.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Yes, I have to meet him

Jennifer is so over Leif. And now it's apparently on to Anthony.

He's a sophomore, looks Greek or Italian and from Auburn Mountainview hs (I didn't know inter-school dating was allowed)

And they are on date #2 tonight, watching "the proposal" So we met down at the Kent AMC, with strict instructions that she now go anywhere in his car, and they stay at Kent Station. AND I had to meet him first.

Insert appalled look from daughter here. But that was the deal. Any creepy vibes, she was going home with me.

"You can't tell me your parents did this with you!" she whined.

"Well, actually they didn't."


"They made the young man come to the house first, meet them both and come in chat with them a bit....every single guy who wanted to take me out, so consider yourself lucky."

"Any chance you could just drop me off and wave as he walks up."

The silence was her answer.

As it was Anthony had a firm handshake and looked me in the eye, so he passed that test at least.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sometimes I'm too tired

To be a chauffeur.

Such as tonight, when Jennifer wanted to go with a friend to a bonfire in east Auburn.

The answer was no. No good reason, I just wanted to give the taxi service rest.

Mom, it can't have hurt that much!

Jennifer and I had a go at parakeet rescue last week, during the heat wave, when I managed to spill her entire Starbucks drink onto the drive way, and saying a few choice words, marched back into the house to get a paper towel to clean it up.

When I came out, a parakeet was in the middle of it, helping himself and didn't seem to have any intention of flying away.

I finally caught the bird, who was happily snacking away on our lilac tree, when it first went limp (oh gawd, I killed it) and them promptly bit me. Dammit.

It flew away into the nearby pine trees, and finally flew down, only to have the neighborhood cat swallow it whole (or try). Jennifer rushed over and told fat millie to "drop it" which, surprisingly, she did.

The slime-covered bird looked dead, but when Jennifer handed it over to Gary, it promptly bit him. Back up into the pine trees it went.

Eventually we found the owners, who came to look. No bird. But finally Jennifer spotted it again, sleeping on the ground (not wise for a cat-heavy neighborhood like ours). She picked it up with the towel (which it constantly tried to chew through) and gave it back to the Latino family down the street.

The young man took it, it tried to bite him. But he couldn't chew through the callouses. Back into the cage he went.

Next time we try to rescue a bird, Jennifer lectured, suck it up and keep a hold of it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Jennifer you don't need to dry your hair!

It's 85 degrees in this house, 100 outside and I need AC to finish up some work NOW!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The art and panacea of shopping

It did seem to do the trick.

After going to Nordstroms and oohing and aaahing at things we couldn't afford (I set the budget at under $35), she found a nice skirt (bit short, her dad pointed out) and a bangle. Suddenly the world seemed a kinder place.

Then it was over to her best friend's house to start drawing up "I hate Leif" posters that she said (jokingly I think) she and Ashely planned to plaster all over town.

The one smudge on a good 'I'm going to make myself feel better" day was when she told me they texted the ex, and asked him in detail why he broke it off.

NO, NO NO I stated when she told me this as we walked through the frozen food aisle at Tops.

"Look, no matter what answer he gives, unless it's "I've changed my mind," is going to make you feel better, so stop it. Stop texting him now!"

She sulked.

Then I reminded her of a couple of scenes in "he's just not that into you."

I think I made my point.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dumped again

As soon as I picked up Jennifer from her b-friend's home, they'd just gone to a movie, and I saw the tears in her eyes and blotchy face-it came to me. The summer romance had ended with Leif.

We cheered her up some by taking her out for ice cream (I know old fashioned, but it works), but alas, she was busy holed up in her room, texting and crying her eyes out to friends for the rest of the night. I poked in once, brought her dinner and then ordered her to EAT, waving her fav chinese dish under her nose. I don't think she ate a bite. Another time, I came in, and she was talking to her ex.

At this point, I ordered her OFF the phone, and dragged her into the tv room for a talk (her dad had already gone to bed, realizing he couldn't fix this) and let her wail. This was the 2nd of 2 b-friends to dump her in the last year, and WHAT WAS WRONG WITH HER!!!

Nothing, I said. Welcome to dating 15 and 16 year olds of the male species. Apparently the ex told her she was too emotional and heavy lifting for a g-friend (which is prob. a bit true, but then was not the time to bring that up) and again WHAT WAS WRONG WITH HER, or WWWWH for short.

Nothing, I purrred into her hair as she sobbed on my lap. The cats all left the room, as they do when any drama occurs.

And I began to recount (in fact surprised, once I added them up) how many b-friends had dumped me during high school and college. All except 2 or 3 I think. And it's painful. And you feel like shit for a bit. Then you shake it off and move on. Unf. the only thing you can do in the feel-like-shit stage, is just that. Feel bad, talk with your loyal pals to cheer you up, conclude the guy is scum, eat a bit of chocolate ,and go shopping, which we intend to do today. Maybe watch lots of 30 Rock reruns.

I'll let you know if this works. We didn't have 30 Rock when the boys were busy dumping me. But we didn't have text dumping either, which I supposed it a good thing.

I hear that Nordies has a new line of "Twilight" clothes out. The movie sucked, but maybe just walking through the shoe dept. will cheer her up. Always works for me.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Back home, and gone again

It was good seeing Jennifer again, after a week away. But it quickly reverted to form: me nagging her on cleaning up after herself, or cleaning at all (no piling your dirty clothes in the middle of the living room is not an option, neither is forgetting for flush the toilet)

She had to get up early this am for a docs appoint, but then promptly went to bed until noon. Now, instead of going to a movie with us, she's out with the b-friend until 8:30 pm.

Welcome home.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


That was the only diagnosis I could think of as I took the second call from Jennifer last night. I think she's counting down the hours until b-ball camp is fini. Her dad's on his way to pick her up now.

6:15 pm, call number one: hey mom, how are you doing? How are the cats? The dog? The lizard? My feet hurt and have blisters all over them? Did you tivo that gossip girls episode I asked you to? The food up here is great, but I"m soooo ready to go home. So tired. OK, talk to you later.

9:40 pm, call number two: (there were about 3 texts to her dad in the 3 hours prior) Hey how are you doing? Are you asleep yet? This freshman on our team is driving us crazy. She's snotty, she won't do the freshman chores, and she's insulting to the other girls and won't apologize and the coach doesn't seem to notice. Did I tell you I had more blisters on my feet. When's dad coming up tomorrow? Can he make it earlier?

Okay, see you tomorrow. Can I pick what we have for dinner? Can we stop by the outlet mall on the way down (no). Can we go see a movie (on the weekend). Ok, bye.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mom my throat hurts

Alas, there was little I could do about this, since Jennifer is 200 miles away in b-ham, at a basketball camp.

I told her to ask the coach for a throat lozenge, but aside from that I was stuck. Apparently Gary has been texting her several times a day (Dad just can't stay out of touch for long) and she has been texting him back, prob.when she doesn't think her friends are looking.

I think she misses us, although she'd never admit it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hey mom, you up?

These charming calls came at 10:30 ish pm every night that my daughter was up at a b-ball tourney in Anacortes this last week. I'll be interested to see now that she's keeps it up now that she's a a full-week camp.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sticking with Harry Potter

Ok, I'll admit it.

Harry Potter 6 at the movies is not my fave. And it didn't help last night that Jennifer started having stomach cramps 1/2 way through the movie, but still insisted on staying. Go? Stay?Go? Stay?

I can't say I really paid accute attention to the plot,which was good, but wasn't great. For some reason, they left out all of Tom Riddle's back story. Isn't that the point of the book.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Could so see my daughter doing this

CNET reported yesterday that a teen girl walked right in, and down, a manhole, while she was trying to text (no reports if she texted for help once she was 4-feet-under, sharing the sewer with the rats.

Can totally see Jennifer doing this, as she's texting in the car, while watching tv, sometimes at dinner, definitely while putting her makeup on. The only place she doesn't text is in the shower, for obv. reasons, although I think if she could figure out a way to do so, she would. She does keep her phone on the towel so when it buzzes she can hear it, and it doesn't vibrate its way onto the floor.

I can also see my hubby doing this, as he's become addicted to his blackberry. So sometimes I"ll be watching tv, and the texting clicks are coming in stereo.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Do teenagers use twitter?

Apparently not, according to this article.

However, I would argue, after watching my daughter text, pretty much non-stop, all day long for 2 weeks while I've been home on vacation, that they twitter all the time. It's just called texting in their world.

And when she gets on my case about being on twitter, facebook or e-mail, I shoot back that observation, saying that in essence, twitter is a grownup texting, since I can't stand texting on my phone.

She usually just scowls and goes back to texting.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mom, can you move over?

This request came at about 2 am last night, when my daughter finally decided to go to bed.

But she wasn't feeling well, and so she crawled in the single bed in the spare bedroom(gary had snored me out of our bedroom, again), and nestled under the tangle of covers with me and planted her cold feet on mine.

The book I was reading was digging into my ribs. Sometimes I put it on the floor, and sometimes I just stuff it against the walls (don't ask). I wrapped my arms around her, and she quickly fell asleep, and started turning into a 100-lb, 5.1 heating pad.

Then Gary woke up and noticed that the b-room light had been left on, along with the fish tank. I could hear him mumbling to himself as he turned them off, and then poked his head into her bedroom. I could almost feel the panic begin to crawl up from his stomach.

"Gary, she's in here," I chirp out helpfully. In pokes his head, and he asks how she's feeling. Then he goes back into our room and I can hear him snoring in about 5 minutes.

"Do you think dad would get me a drink?"

Too late for that honey. I'll get you one, but first, let me out of this bed.

Water in hand, she falls back to sleep and I head into her room.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Away from me

I'm going up to spend a "girls night out" with my cousin in Everett, but I can tell that Jennifer (nor my hubby) aren't exactly happy about it. Now true, this leaves dad open to Jennifer working her "I'm you're only child, daughter" magic on him and getting $$, where I would say no.

However, when I'm gone, there is a hole, and I don't like creating it. But every once and awhile, I need to I guess to recharge. And I guess I like it too. I wouldn't want the opposite of "oh, you were gone" or after talking with a childhood friend recently - actually my oldest friend - Dawn and listening to her recount how her 15 year old is now running away (sort of). Like spending many nights on a friend's couch after fighting with dawn.

True, sometimes Jennifer declares me the worst mom ever..but she knows she'd never get away with the I'm leaving routine. Gary and I would hogtie her before that would happen.

So in one way, it's nice to be missed.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Chores, please do them

My best friend of 40 years may arrive tomorrow (I say may, because the appearance of Dawn is always a crap shoot).

It was like that when were young and it is now.

Nevertheless, I'm trying to convince my daughter to clean up the bathroom, and I"ve actually tackled the rat's nest under the phone, which will probably start growing again 9 am PST tomorrow. But for now, it's clean.

I know and Dawn knows I'm not the best of housekeepers. But I figure it's been 3 years since I"ve seen here (she lives in Denmark with her family), so I'll make the effort.

Getting this house clean means making an attempt to clean up the small piles, not the entire house. That would just be too discouraging.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

What does it matter to you?

Maybe she was just in a bad mood.

Or maybe she was just tired of listening to me gripe every time I see a woman in a chador in this country.

One was walking into Top Foods and gary and I started talking about her, and her...attire, which shielded her entire body in blue cloth.

"I don't know why you are upset," Jennifer piped up for the back. "This doesn't affect you. She can do as she wishes. Why do you care?

"I care because I doubt she wants to wear something that puts sweat, snot and recirculated air back in her face," I snapped back

"Maybe she wants to do this."

"I doubt it. Would you?"

"Again, this doesn't affect you," she said.

"No, but neither did the laws against sitting in the back of the bus, or now laws that prohibit gay marriage or the protests in Iran, but I still care."

She grumbled something I don't think I wanted her to repeat.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Things that go boom

Out to make are regular pilgrimage to all things that sparkle and go boom.

My hubby doesn't approve, but he's out there with a bucket, and lighting the fuses each July 4, as Jennifer and I haul home our loot from the res. This time it's $63 work, and I put this in the staycation budget, so I basically told Gary to suck it up.

When he found out we were at the res, not at the safe and sane fireworks stands, he began to try and convince me not to buy anything there.


Because the cops are telling us they are going to crack down.

OK, well, I don't see any cops stopping people at the gate or the city limits to Auburn. And besides, we're packing this stuff to Kent, where things can still go up in the sky.

Well, I'm just saying.

OK, we're just going to look anyway. (I can hear an eye roll on the other end).

And of course we end up buying stuff. We kept running into kids going to her high school, so what were we supposed to do. I felt proud we kept it under $75.

And we'll just have to make sure we keep out of witch lady's yard.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Staycation, Day 3

Working away at the list J and I made, when I stayed home 2 weeks to chauffeur her back and forth between b-ball practices and games. The practices have since been canceled, but the staycation is on.

We plan to:
Eat at greasy spoons.
Run in the am (prob. after the greasy spoons)
Have a root beer float, with real ice cream
Walk the dog to starbucks
Watch GWTW and West Side Story each, at least once.
Watch ER reruns, the ones that still had that edge
Go to the perfect tree in auburn
see a flick gary wont' go to
Fly a kite
Bake brownies