Sorry about some of the feeds….

Apparently I accidentally set off a whole bunch of old posts being sent out to one of the two feeds for this site accidentally last night. Sorry about that!

I’m in the process of trying to regroup a bit on design with the categories, and trying to keep the books from overrunning the place… and in my messing with things I combined a few smaller categories together.

Apparently a change in category is enough to trigger attention as a new post for one of the feeds…. which I wasn’t aware would be an issue.

Will have to try to find some sort of way around it better before trying again on messing with trying to sort things more.

Really bad phone system

I discovered a new definition for a really bad phone system today.

First, they sent me a letter, telling me to call, instead of giving me an option to do it by email of their website.

So I try to call… and it takes me about 10 minutes to not get a busy signal. I take this as a sign I might get a human… nope.

After I finally get a ring, it tosses me into a phone system. After pressing that I speak English, and that I didn’t accidentally call there when I meant to call their other automated number, it puts me into silence for about 2 minutes… without telling me it was doing so or even acknowledging that I had hit “2” to continue.

Next I get to hit, again, that yes, I needed to speak with someone at this number, not the other number or the website, which i actually would have preferred to deal with. It warned me I might want to use the website anyway… then put me on hold for more than 12 minutes. I again falsly assumed this was a sign I’d be getting a human.

Nope. When it pulled me off hold, I got into another system to enter my soc security and such. Then hold again for a few minutes…

And then, after 18 minutes on this call to a non-toll free and non-local number, after 10 minutes of trying to get this number to even answer… it tells me that they already have several people on hold, so in order to minimize my hold time, I need to call back at a later time or use the website.


Seems like it might have been easier on their phone system to have it answer and tell me that right off about half an hour ago! Or, like some places, let me key in a number to have the system call me back when I’m next. OR actually have an option for this on their website they keep suggesting I use.

I’m going to stop by the local office later. If the letter isn’t something they are able to pull up and deal with from there, I guess it must not have been too critical in the first place. Maybe the next letter from not dealing with it will tell me what it is that I’m not dealing with… besides their awful phone system.

Dinner annoyance

So, I was down at my mom’s house to ask her a question a few minutes before I went to go pick up my daughter.

Mom tells me to pick something up to feed her on the way home. (Kiddo is usually back and forth… and sometimes will choose to eat down there instead of whatever I’ve made.)

I reply that when she ends up back down at my house hungry I will microwave her some of the pizza rolls from the freezer. I had stuff to do, and wasn’t doing anything that required much effort for dinner, but then, I wasn’t going to get fast food for her either.

So then mom decides she wants burritos from a local mexican place… gives me her debit card for her personal spending account. Specifically says it has a set amount on it.

It didn’t. So…

1. I’m annoyed I get made to look like a doof when it gets declined

2. I’m annoyed that I’m paying for dinner that I didn’t want in the first place, and had made other plans to avoid buying… and a few days before payday in the same pay period as a trip with unexpectedly higher expenses than planned, and medical expenses on top of that… and for a greatly higher cost than the happy meal I didn’t want to buy to start this whole discussion off with.

Whatever…. this is life with my mom… I oughta know better. So I shake it off, get the food and head back, not really sure if she’s trying to make some sort of passive aggressive point with this or just another round of irresponsibility.

I go into the kitchen to get a plate for my daughter to get hers on… and there on the stove is a pot with water in it. I ask why it’s sitting there… and get told it had been for spaghetti.

I then noticed over on the table she had already set out a jar of spaghetti sauce…. and not one but two of the normal sized bags of spaghetti.

There is only two of them living there. Even had my daughter decided to eat with them, one package would have been more than enough.

So… the sum total of what she needed to do to make a ton of dinner would have been to turn the stove on, dump things in, and drain water off.

Instead, she makes a point of telling me to get fast food for the kiddo.. and pulls this whole burrito thing.

This is a whole new level of annoyance even for my mom.

I just thought I was done…

And now round 2 of the school supply battle goes on….

Opps… the note doesn’t say why, but they apparently forgot to tell us they needed 10 glue sticks. So now they want them… for tomorrow. Don’t give us notice to get them when they were on sale a few weeks ago, ask for a whole pile of them, and now expect them purchased instantly.

Strike two… they wanted a particular brand and style of notebook. The list just said “notebook, 70 page” but apparently we were supposed to read their mind. Well, actually, we were supposed to pay the pto extra to buy them for us… but I already vented about that one in the previous post.

Strike three… “folder with pockets, 1 red 1 green” did not specify anything about having brads or no brads…. I’d intended to get no brads, but apparently the red one I got had been in the wrong pile. Apparently the brads being there somehow change the ability to put papers in the pockets? Had the teacher sent it home I would have simply taken the staple out, thus removing brads, thus removing issue. But we just sent the note instead.

And strike four… “pencils, 4 sharpened”. Now this one I did fine on… actually, I sent 8 pencils, because kiddo didn’t know if she wanted the package of 4 hannah montana or 4 high school musical, so figuring some would be lost, I threw in both.
However…. drama ensued. Apparently, the kids all share pencils, so they were told to put them all in a bucket. This was fine with most kids, as they had the plain pto pencils…. not so much with my kiddo who rather liked her pencils and doesn’t want to just use a plain one out of a bucket while other kids use the ones she brought.
And I suppose I understand. Had I known they were going to do that, I wouldn’t have gotten the ones she liked. But, given that they asked for her name to be on everything, and the kids have normal desks in her grade, I’d assumed that we were past the stage of collecting all the glue bottles and giving the kids one at random.
Which makes more sense with glue than it does with pencils to me. I understand the kleenex and the clorox wipes being for general use, and already assumed that the dry erase markers and the post it notes were actually for teacher use… along with the 2 packages of copy paper. But when it comes down to a kid not being able to have a pencil to call their own consistently…. i don’t really get it. Especially as many kids chew pencils and tear up erasers even on ones they have some ownership of… now to make the next kid to get that pencil have to deal with.
Ironically, they also collected the markers and glue, but not crayons. Which, to me, would seem like the most obvious thing to share given that each kid only uses one color out of the 16 at a given time.
And, they collected her extra eraser. Why? Only thing I can assume is to give it to a new owner whose parents didn’t bother with the 50 cents to get one. Its another of those things where if I had known, I would have left it home, but I’d figured since she had a required pencil box, and would likely need the other eraser from the package eventually, I might as well send it to keep in the box in the first place rather than having it get lost.

So i’m annoyed. not that theres anything i can do about it… the annoyance is just there.

I hate the PTO

I know…. i try not to “hate” people…. and I try not to stereotype.

But seriously…. my daughter’s school’s pto… never fails to get on my nerves.

Part of this is kinda to be expected. She attends a traditional magnet, and a very small one… only 2 classes of each grade with 25 kids each.

What sort of people send their kids to a traditional magnet? Those with more traditional values.

As such, most of the moms clearly are stay at home moms. Actually, I was really beginning to wonder last year if I was quite possibly the only single parent in the kindergarten, based both on the attendance at evening open house type things and by the lack of accommodation.

So, we live in different worlds.

This became apparent first on day 1…. kid send on the wrong bus, to home, instead of to daycare. Office seemed clueless.. what do you mean you can’t wait 2 weeks for a bus transfer to go through when you had the right address on the forms you filled out at enrollment in the first place? (Fortunately, a couple of older kids from the school do go to the same daycare… so it wasn’t like there wasn’t already a bus going there that she rode to get to school in the morning….)

Next major round…. cookie dough. No, I can not pick it up during the day friday. You may feel its accommodating to allow me to pick it up morning or afternoon before 5, but for parents who work full time, it is not. Nor is leaving it with the secretary for me to pick up during the same time frame monday. Next time, if you can’t schedule an evening pick up time for your fund raiser, let me know in advance so I can be sure my child does not participate.

Then there was the conferences. You can pick what time you want me to meet with you all you want, and send home notes 2 days in advance all you want, if its in the middle of the day on a day I work, I will not be there. Even if my child doesn’t have school that day. Again, the concept of daycare.

So anyway…. that was last year.

So I got to enrollment. And really it wasn’t so much the actions…. it was the looks. And yes, a few comments.

My hair is tossed into a pony tail, I’m wearing a renfest tshirt, stretchy jeans, and crocs. Clean… just not exactly high effort. The mother at the entrance probably spent more time making her hair perfect this morning than I’ve spent on mine all week, including time spent washing it. Just a look from her… I think she wondered if I was in the right place.

The next one was exchanging paperwork packets sent home and filled out with folders of info. Have I mentioned we have 4 cats? Well, one of them ate about an inch of the corner of my top two sheets. Nothing essential lost… just looked funny. She gave me a look, I joked about the cats practicing for eating homework, and rather than even giving me a weak smile at the bad joke, I get an eye roll. I swear, I’m a bit surprised that she didn’t hold my papers at a distance by the very tips of her fingers.

So then comes number 3… miss supply packet seller. She has her daughters along to help hand things out… all three of which look like they’ve never seen a mud puddle and have hair that looks like a rehearsal for prom night. The deal with the packets is that they buy supplies in bulk, and make packets of them… so that you can buy it all together and then only have about 6 more items on your list to purchase.
Honestly, looking at the prices it isn’t that great of a deal, but the actual reason why I wasn’t purchasing the packet was because they only take cash.. which I did not have at hand and the trip to go get cash and return would be more of a pain and time-taker than just grabbing the supplies myself at walmart.
But apparently I’m the only one who doesn’t just automatically pull out the wallet and hand them a 50 from the stack of them kept there. I got this patronizing tone…. yes I understand what the packet is… just give me the list of what my kid needs. And actually, they didn’t even have just a plain supply list, what they handed me was a list of what the packet includes and what I would still need to buy on my own. Whatever… its a list… but still…

So then comes the volunteer table. Pages and pages of things I could sign up for. Huge table filled with sign up sheets. Overly helpful lady high pressure to get me onto some committee…. until I asked a vital question… are there any that are evening only? Um…. um….. um…. oh there is skate party, but thats already filled. Yes, a grand total of one thing I could actually volunteer for as they ask that didn’t require missing work to do so. Which yes, she actually did suggest.

The lady handing out laminated, perfectly cut out colorful paper animals that identify which bus a child goes on didn’t seem to appreciate my asking her if my daughter’s red scotty dog meant she would be on the bus to daycare this year instead of the bus home. The best she could come up with was eventually figuring out that her scotty dogs meant a certain route number…. which was not 7. So hopefully the numbers haven’t changed from last year, as while I never did get the right card for her bus route and times last year, I know 7 was the original and wrong bus.

So enrollment is done.

I’ve met my quota of making myself feel like random clueless trash mom for the next half decade or so… but of course, the school year is only beginning.

But I can’t help but remember when I did enrollment with my daughter from pk, both in the suburb district and in the neighborhood school she is assigned to if she didn’t attend the magnet. Neither one had the same effect.

While the suburb was still a touch soccer-mommish, they had a connection with reality. And the neighborhood school volunteers were grateful I spoke english and understood the process. Racially 1/3 hispanic, 1/3 caucasian, 1/3 other…. nothing was a given… forms usually came home with 2 languages on front and 2 others on the back. Though interestingly enough, in spite of my daughter’s class last year being almost 1/2 of asian and mideastern decent, I didn’t see a single other language on a form that I remember. Maybe more oddly, all the pto moms I’ve had issues with have all been white in spite of less than half (41%) of the school’s kids being white.

I suppose this is what comes with the curriculum though… the fact that the others attracted to such curriculum live on a totally different planet than I do.

At least the kid whose hyper-roommother mom made her valentines out of fully scrapbooked pages (with like 4 different sets of doilies and hearts and several pictures of her daughter looking like an angel) and hosted like every class party is in the other class this year. 2 classes… was a 50/50 shot.

Mother annoyance, camera edition

My daughter’s birthday is in January. So its usually a good plan to do shopping plans for both Christmas and birthday gifts at the same time.

So I decided this week what she would be getting for both.

And for a couple of the items I expect to be harder to find, I already bought them.

I mentioned to my mom that I bought my daughter a new digital camera, because this year polaroid has a new kids camera that actually has decent 3mp resolution this time! ( camera ) AND ITS MAC COMPATABLE! YAY!

My daughter already has 2 digital cameras actually. One is a kids one that takes horrible pictures but is basically indestructable, and one is a cheap one aimed at older kids that also takes horrible low resolution pics.

So, she usually wants me to let her use my camera. Which I have actually done on occasion… setting things up for her with the autofocus on and letting her go.

So I was pretty happy with the stats on this version of a kids camera… and figured she would be thrilled, especially with her going along on the cruise in July.

So, I told mom about the camera I bought on Thursday.

Today is Sunday. And here comes my daughter, home from my mom’s house, with a brand new Hannah Montana digital camera that Grandma gave her today.

For no special reason. With the same crummy pics as the other two cameras. And its not mac compatible on software.

A very good part of me is really mad. But of course, when I so much as ask why, I get treated like I’m just a mean mommy (in front of the kid no less) for spoiling the fun for the kid.


This is the essence of the battle with me and my mom, though usually the undermining is a bit less obvious. We sooo need to move out of state somewhere.

Ah well though. At least she did it now… while it still has a long time to lose the new-ness and for her to get annoyed with the awful pics that she can only download at Grandma’s house anyway. (Yes I have bootcamp installed and running, no I’m not installing it anyway given the circumstances)

Plus, I’d already planned to delay it as a birthday item anyway, so Christmas gifts will get a chance to erase the Hannah Montana from memory too.

But it still drives me nuts.