Sunday, December 27, 2015

Elf on the shelf

I, like I'm sure everyone who is reading this, has undoubtably seen the elf on the shelf pictures all over the interwebs. Charlotte is 3.5 this holiday season so I thought she'd get a kick out of it! Prior to starting it out, I posted in a moms group I'm in "elf on the shelf, yay or nay?" And received mixed reviews. I figured, why not? Let's try this thing out! 

To start, I feel like the Elf is a little pricey. But what are you going to do? I added a little skirt for our elf, because obvi. She comes nicely packaged with the book, which was important for us, as we didn't know all the rules. 

The first thing the book instructs you to do is make the Elf. What did Charlotte choose? Elsa. Of course she chose Elsa. Other rules include, no on can touch the elf or she loses her magic, she can't talk back, but likes of you talk to her so she can report to Santa every night. 

Well, coming up with ideas wasn't too difficult, because Pinterest. But existing them was a different story. Also, sometimes I'd get ready for bed, and be excited about finally sleeping and then forget the stupid elf and have to get out of bed and come u with something fun! 

The elf is not poseable. Pinterest lies. And her hands were sewn together, so I did cut them at some point. A lot of people I know where more clever than I and added some small wires into the arms/legs to make the elf more flexible. This single mom does not have time for that. 

Overall Charlotte really enjoyed having Elsa around. It actually helped us in the mornings getting ready for school/work, because it gave her motivation to get moving and get downstairs to find Elsa, so that was a plus. 

Honestly, as annoying as it was, it was also incredibly fun to watch her little face light up! I'd do it all over again, and now have to next year, because she's already talking about it haha! Here's the kicker though...I LOST the damn elf. She's somewhere in the house, but not sure where? I moved her and then had to set up a giant castle, and have no idea where I placed her...oops, but I figure I have a whole year to find her right? 

I'm sharing some of Charlotte's favorite elf mischief :) if you're on the fence about doing it, just go for it, nothing beats the look on her face in the mornings :) 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ice Skating!

So in an effort to post more regularly here  I am! I'm hoping to at least post the BIG things. And today, I felt like it was a big day for my kiddo! 

Ever since seeing Frozen, she's been asking and begging to go ice skating.  Last winter she was 2.5 and I just didn't think she was ready, but I figured it would be worth a shot this year! Well, I did what any good, terrible ice skating mom would do, I reached out on social media for help from you guys! Luckily my friend Stephanie, or Neph, as Charlotte lovingly calls her, answered my call for help (luckily lots of others did as well, as I foresee a lot more ice skating in our future)! She happened to have her nieces/nephews in twin this weekend, so we planned an outing! 

I wanted outdoor skating so we hit up Glen Burnie ice rink. It was small, but not tiny. It was a little wet thanks to the glorious sun we had today. I felt their prices were reasonable, and, the young guy behind the counter was so sweet and let Charlotte skate for free and free skate rentals because it was her FIRST time, and she was just so excited and smiley! 

One of the good things about this place is they had tiny size skates, starting at toddler 7, which is her size! Another place I looked at started at size 9, how bummed out would we have been had we showed up and they didn't have her size?! We got the double blade skates, which was a huge help. 

She loved putting them, and walking to the rink in them. Charlotte is a very cautious young lady, she doesn't jump right into things, she watches and then does, and doesn't always go all in, so I was afraid she'd miss the experience. Also this was my first time in the ice in YEARS so I told her I wouldn't be able to skate with her at first, not until I got my bearings. I was afraid she'd throw one of her three anger tantrums about that, but she was happy to skate with Neph, until I was able to get situated. 

She took to it right away! At first only walking on the ice, but later was learning to glide :) they had little buckets the kids could push around and that worked well too. She even wiggled her hips to learn to go backwards. At Glen Burnie, you pay to skate for 2 hours, she last 1.5 hours which was wayyyy longer than I expected. 

After skating we walked next door to food lion and got some mini cupcakes TREAT YO SELF! 

Everyday I am amazed and proud of this kiddo. I know I say it in every post, but seriously, how amazingly lucky did I get in being her mommy? I love her more than the whole world and am extremely proud of her for sticking to something she really wanted to do, and proud of her for listening to instructions from those around her to do it well and learn how. We will definitely be skating again this winter :) 

And yes, I am "that mom" that made her kid wear a helmet. #sorryimnotsorry 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

How to balance being a working mom

I'm so sick of seeing these articles EVERYWHERE. This one popped up today and drove me nuts. It's provides 10 tips, to balance work and mom life. I call shenanigans. Below are their "tips" and my comments, as well as a link to their article. Sorry for my rant. 

1. "Let go of the guilt" - IMPOSSIBLE. Absurd. Moms will always have guilt, working moms, SAHM, WAHM. All of them. This article suggests that to let go of it, focus on what you're contributing, extra money for important educational classes, college, fun things etc. oh and to be happy with your "choice". Let me be clear, I'm working to SURVIVE (and some days barely making it) also, if I had a "choice" believe me I wouldn't be busting my ass working two jobs. 

2. "Find quality childcare" - obviously the writer of this article doesn't live in Maryland, if so, pretty sure they'd understand that the better the quality the higher the price tag, and even the shittiest of daycares cost about a mortgage payment sooooo 

3. "Make the mornings easier" - no matter the amount of prep work I do the night before (like the article suggests) mornings are always hectic. Have you tried to apply mascara with a toddler sitting on your lap screaming about not wanting to go to school? Have you ever tried to reason with a 3 year old about why they need to wear a coat in 30° weather, and wrangle them into it?! Because I have. And frankly it should be an Olympic sport. 

4. "Create a family calendar" - ok, this is important. 

5. "Communicate with your employer" - I'm not sure where the author of this article works, but I've never had an employer be like, oh you miss your kid? Ok cool take the afternoon off. It basically always involves me requesting PTO in advance. And calling out because my kiddos sick? Not enjoyable. 

6. "Stay connected during the day" - ok, maybe this is easier at some jobs, but let me be clear, if I get to shovel food into my mouth before 2 pm at my desk while answering phone calls and emails, it's a good day, so honestly I don't have time to FaceTime/Skype/wtc with my kiddo during the day, because working. 

7. "Limit distractions and time wasters" - this one discusses not talking with coworkers, not taking long lunches, etc. again, not sure what the author of this article does, but obviously it's not a stressful job, because sometimes I NEED to process the tragic events of the day, or something gut wrenching a client tells me. For my own sanity. Also, see above, I haven't had a lunch break in a year ha! 

8. Create special family activities - ok this one I agree with. People say to me all the time, "wow you guys do so much stuff!" Yea. I do. Because between two jobs and shared custody, we have limited time together, so I like to make the most of it 

9. Spend time with your partner - don't have one of these, so I guess I can cross it off the list. The article did a great job of reminding me "this is the number one person by your side", thanks for the reminder that I'm alone in this Parents Magazine. Much appreciated. 

10. Create moments for yourself - IF ONE MORE PERSON SUGGESTS A FUCKING SPA DAY IM GOING TO LOSE IT! Yes, a spa day would be GREAT, but I refer you back to point number one, I'm working to survive. Who has the money for a spa day. I haven't had a haircut in over a year! A YEAR! If I had the money or time for a spa day, believe me, I'd have one. But if I can't find the time to get a haircut, how do you expect me to have a spa day? 

Here's the recap: being a mom is hard. Being a working mom is really hard, being a working single mom is really really hard. Is it any harder than being a stay at home mom? I have no idea because I'm not one. I might be? But it also might be easier in some ways. Who knows. What I do know, is that being a mom, while really really hard is FUCKING AMAZING! I am an incredibly fortune person to be in the position I am in. Seriously, have you seen or met my kid? She's amazing. It's been a lot of hard work these three years, but I'm proud of the little person she has become, and proud of the working mom I am, proud of the hard work I've put in that has contributed to her being so amazing. I love being a mom. 

Here's my tips. 

1. It's ok to feel guilty, don't stop doing it - yea it makes you feel crappy sometimes, but it's how we know we are human, it's how we know we are hard working, it's how we know we are doing a good job. If you never felt guilty, you probably only care about yourself, and that's stupid. 

2. Sometimes mornings will suck. Kids won't want to wear socks. Or coats. Keep a kit kat or diet coke in your purse. (For yourself, not them)

3. Stop reading stupid internet articles. Even if they pop up in your newsfeed. Unless it's a link to my blog, than You'll be happy you read it

4. Do whatever you want. Most people are doing a great job and don't even know it (Sometimes even I forget, then Someone reminds me and I'm like oh yeah I AM an awesome mom) so, you're already likely doing a good job, and doing what works for you, so just keep doing it. 

That's it. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Where have we been?!

The question should be where haven't we been! I'm terrible at updating. I know! But we have been so busy! Everyday I have with this little one, is such a gift. It's cheesy I know but true. 

She's cracking me up lately, she's almost three and is constantly talking, she loves to make up songs. She made one up about "big cookies" for her birthday party, which is her latest obsession. She is so excited for her party. 

Watching her grow has been such a joy, but sometimes I am often overcome with sadness, when did my baby get so big and so grown up, time really does fly, I sometimes think I'm strange when I pick up a toy she no longer plays with, or a onesie whe no longer wears and then cry a little. I can't be the only one right?! It's hard to watch our babies become big kids. 

For now I am enjoying every moment we have together. She's amazing. I always say I hope she does great things one day, but truth be told she's already done great things, she's changed my life completely. 

Here's to you my peanut :) 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Music and bedtime stories

Charlotte loves music! She dances and sings in the car and even plays some air guitar! She knows all the words to let it go, but here are her favorite songs to listen to in the car:
Mob goes wild - Clutch
Shake it off - Taylor Swift
Crazy? - Sam Smith (she goes nuts for him!)
Uptown Funk - Bruno Mars

My favorite part of the day are before bedtime cuddles! She's had her toddler bed ("big girl bed") for about two weeks now and is doing great! Her favorite books to read are: 
The Gruffalo
Edgar gets ready for bed
Nighty Nighty little green monster

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Christmas Part Two

Yea yea, no Christmas Prt one yet, but I still haven't uploaded my camera pictures yet :) I'll get there! 

We had christmas prt two today with my brother who was out of town for Christmas. 

Charlotte is growing and changing every day, she was a cutie today and said some funny things. She talks so well and so much. 

I think her favorite gift might have been the whoopie cushion. She thought it was hilarious. She got her first care bear and of course more frozen paraphenila. We had Chinese food, and she played mom moms organ. 

Quick post, but that's today's update :) 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Screwed by Verizon

I'm having issues with my VerizonFios services and equipment. I've spent HOURS speaking to people on the phone, as well as as reaching out on facebook and Instagram. It has all ended in what I view as unsatisfactory resolution. After commenting to them on facebook, I did receive phone call from a nice guy, who was also unable to help me, however he suggested I reach out via social media platforms, and hope that someone "higher up" see it and assist me. So hear I am, reaching out via social media. 

Let me tell you my story, I will try to keep it brief, but it's been a long road, and I'm upset so I tend to ramble. A few months a go one of my cable boxes broke, it said err4. They guy I talked to was nice and sent me a new one right away, but no return label. I requested a return box several times via their chat support, no dice, so for at least 6 months, I've paid the monthly rental for four boxes when I've only had 3 that are working. Fast forward 3 months, another breaks same err4 message (I get it, they are old, I've had them for YEARS) anyway, I do the chat, say they are sending a new one, no dice, so now for 3 months, I'm paying the monthly rental fee for four boxes when only two are working. Fast forward again, Monday, another one is broken, same old err4 message. 

So, on Monday I call. I waited on the phone for 30 minutes to be told theres a long line of callers, but they'll call me back. They did about 30 minutes later. The first woman I spoke to was incredibly rude. Incredibly. She was of no help and transferred me to someone without even saying good bye or indicating I was now being transferred. Anyway, the next person I talked to (after an hour of talking) said she'd send two new boxes and return things for 3 boxes, and I'd have them Tuesday.  She told me she'd call me back in an hour to confirm (she never called back, and I waited up until 11:00 pm for her call) I did get an email confirming they'd put an order in for the return boxes. 

Tuesday arrives. No boxes. 

Wednesday arrives. No boxes. So I call and call and call, talked to several people on Wednesday, explained my frustration. Am assured that a technician will be at my house this evening between the hours of 5-7pm. 7:00 pm comes and goes with NO technician. 

I call back. Make several calls, spend more hours on the phone. Am finally transferred to a customer service person, who informs me the best they can do is send new boxes...which will be shipped to me in 7 business days. Now it's Wednesday, rather than Monday, extending the time it would take me to receive them. 

I reluctantly agreed because, well I have no other option do I? That's what they tell me, this is my best and only option. Lame, that after being promised I'd already have working equipment on two separate occasions, that I'd now have to wait an additional seven days. 

It sucks, but it is what it is. Here's the kicker folks. I get an email confirmation "thanking" me for my order and a breakdown/total of my bill. The amount I'm being charged to replace their broken equipment is insane to me. Never in any world would I expect my bill to increase, because their equipment broke. Never in a million years would I expect to have to pay them more money, after being misled by several employees that already told me this issue was resolved when it wasn't. 

The cost increase pushed me over the edge, never in my life have I been treated like this by a company. I asked several employees to speak with a supervisor, and was directly told no, I couldn't speak with a supervisor. I also asked several times to speak to someone about my bill, and information about canceling my account so that I could have all my options, and was directly told no again. 

So those of you that know me, know my situation and personality, those that don't (and let's hope some new people are reading this and it catches Verizon's attention) let me break it down for you. I'm a single mom to an amazing 2yo little girl. I work two jobs. I in no way say these things to make you feel bad for me in anyway, but say them so that you recognize how precious and limited my time and finances are. I've wasted hours on the phone, I've kept a poor tired 2yo up passed her bedtime waiting for a technician I was promised would show that never did. The worst, is that I pay money to this company (for four years) and am treated rudely, am misled, charged extra money and provided no answers to my questions. 

Since when do companies treat customers in this way? Since when is it ok to blow off people, who give you their hard earned money? What I've learned from this experience is that customer service is gone. Especially in big enterprises such as Verizon. Do I imagine that Comcast would treat me any better? Unclear. 

All I know is that, I asked for a refund, of the two weeks, I can't watch tv, of the box rental fees for the boxes that aren't working. I didn't ask for any extra incentives or extra refunds for how rudely I was treated, or for all the time and effort I've spent dealing with this.  I was told "once you get the new boxes, call back and let them know what you've been through" I've said several times, why can't you, the person I'm speaking with right now resolve this for me, and I've been told because that's their policy. 

I've been told by Verizon to take to social media to see if I can catch someone's attention, so they could change the way they do business. So here I am, on social media, asking that you leave me a comment or share this on your page, to see if we can get Verizon to be able to permit employees to discuss bills, ending contracts, give customers refunds for services not received, asking that we can't get these big companies to treat us a little bit nicer when we call at 7:30pm inquiring as to why a repair man didn't show up during the scheduled time, while we have our babies screaming in the background, and dinner burning on the stove. 

If you read this, thanks, if you read part, thanks, if you know someone at fios who would actually read this, from one annoyed consumer to another, thanks!