Friday, March 28, 2008

catch'in up

me and cc on my trip to visit her

it's been 10 days since i've posted last! my goodness! well, let's play catch up...

i've been busy, well, busy for me. last week juan and i snuck away to carmel for 2 days for a little midweek romp and it was so nice to just be away. he had to go for work, but had set it up so that he really didn't have much to do, so we were able to spend most of the time together. carmel is a quain little seaside community just south of monterey, while still in the monterey bay area. it's absolutely gorgeous! the beauty of the redwoods and monterey pine trees, the mountains are covered with them. rich and deep greens and emeralds against the blue sky. my simple words to describe the majesty just aren't adequate at all. breathtaking.

so we strolled along the streets filled with boutiques, eateries, unique stores, and galleries - galleries, and more galleries. i think this place has more galleries per block than anywhere else in the world! we did a little shopping, which hubby loves to do...for me. we stopped off in the store anthropologie i love that place. we, or i should say he, picked up a couple of sweaters that i just love, but each one is a hundred bucks. i haven't taken them out of the bag. i just don't feel right about those sweaters. money isn't tight, but i am not one of those frivolous spenders. i actually don't like to shop. also, i'm only just now starting to get back to work. and really, i'm still not supposed to be working. but that's another post that i'll be doing very soon. i feel guilty because i just spent a small fortune on a ton of craft stuff, plus i got my new cricut die cutting machine (yipee!!). so i feel like i better cool it. especially when i look around my house and see all the stuff we need like new bedding, towels, and a washer/dryer. here's another wave of guilt as i type this!

anyway, as soon as we got back from carmel, i heading off to pasadena the very nexdt day to visit my very good friend cc. we are very close, like sisters actually, and are so similar that it's scary. we met about 12 years ago while working for the same company, and we've been inseperable ever since. she has 2 kids, her son and ladybug are the same age, and her daughter will be 2 in may. we are so close that i am her daughters god mom - her 'nouna', which is a big deal in the greek culture. i am honored.

going to pasadena was a major deal becasue it was the first time i was truly by myself in close to two years because of my health. it was exhilerating!! it was scary. i am so proud of myself. and of juan. i know it was so very hard for him to let me go. it almost broke my heart, and i'm getting teary now thinking about it, watching him watch me standing in the line at the airport. the look of fear in his face, uncertainty in his eyes. he could'nt take it anymore and barked to the skycap to get me a wheelchair "right now!". but i got over my heartache the moment he drove away!

i was all by myself! my self. just me. yes. i told the wheelchair pusher to stop for a moment. right in the middle of all the chaos of the oakland international airport terminal 1. we stopped. and i closed my eyes and inhaled. i just breathed and began to pray. i thanked god for my life. and all that is in it. it felt great.

so pasadena was really nice and the weather was fantastic - the mid 80's. cc was there for work ans had a few days off while there. we hung out ans just walked around pasadena - no kids, just us 'girls'. we went to santa monica and walked around too. while we were in pasadena, a bently pulled up and parked next to us. so we snapped away! just fun! juan scheduled an appointment for me to see a naturopath/iridologist while i was there as well. now, in full disclosure, i am very open to natural and alternative medicine, and in fact, see an accupuncturist and chinese herbalist, along with the tons of other things i do in conjuction with the western medical treatments. with that said.... this guy was a quack! totally. it was so ridiculous that it was just plain funny. i think the guy prays on elderly women and is not use to 'patients' asking questions. in my search for health, i have come across some crazy stuff, but this guy takes the cake! cc and i are still cracking up about it!

well, that has been my last 10 days or so. in between all of that, i am still dealing with the school situation (see previous post about inappropriate touching), in the midst of re-launching my life coaching practice, and seriously thinking of starting a crafting mini-business.

how's my health you ask? well, i'm feeling good. not great. just good. and tired. but, as you can see, i've had/got alot on my plate. my plan, or goal, is to have several of the things on my plate cleared off by april 15th. there. i've put it in witing. what are the things on my plate? that's another post too!

be well :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

a "glo" day!!

i'm still 'glo-ing'!

there's a good friend whom i think i've mentioned here before. glo. we met by chance. fate really. in the scrapbooking section at our local michaels. not that long ago. oh, i don't remember how long ago now. but it doesn't even matter, really. it was love at first sight. she had (has) a genuine tenderness that i could practically touch. that i remember.

well, we exhanged email addresses over some scrapbook info, and we've been chatting for a while now, via email, ever since. we chat about cardmaking (she's excellent and thoughtful cardmaker), scrapbooking, and we'er constantly discussing what we're making/eating for dinner. wich each reply, we'd share more and more. with each reply, we get closer and closer. she has blessed me so often, without even knowing it. a little piece of wisdom here, a joke there. and usually at times when i need it.

so we hung out the other day at one of the cutest little tea 'cotteges' you've ever scene, just down the street from my house. it was wonderful. i got to hear her comforting voice. look into her beautiful eyes. and laugh with her.

there wasn't enough time. it felt so good. like a 2 hour hug. i missed her as soon as we finished our last sip of tea. but ah! she's not like some of my other 'email' or 'blog' sisters, mothers, friends whom i long for (like babz). she's right here. in my backyard!

and another reason why i am such a lucky, lukcy girl. well, truly blessed really.

be well!


hey there!

i have been so very busy, and i'm sorry! the whole situation with ladybug has taken up so much of my mental energy. more than i expected. i'll post about that later. what i'm here to do now is to show you what i've been doing to aliviate some of the stress.

I HAVE DISCOVERED STAMPIN UP! and i'm in love. i went to my first workshop about 2 weeks ago, followed about another soon after. i was hooked! the stuff is just beautiful! it has taken my card making to a whole new level. and i've connected with a new group of wonderful women who are so creative and fun. i ordered a ton of stuff. i fell in love so hard that i signed up to be a STAMPIN UP! demonstrator, which means i help other's find their creative inner goddess. i don't know about that, i'm still looking for mine. she's there though. somewhere.

so with that said, here are some pic's of what i've been up too, and the mess i make while doing it! enjoy :) ** yes, i'm still working on how to post pic's **
be well!

p.s... yes, that's ms. oprah in the background. my name is angela, and i am an oprah winfrey addict.

Friday, March 14, 2008

you may not agree, but...

ok, i just LOVE oprah's sattelite radio station "oprah and friends"!! i just discovered that we get it through our sattelite cable company. omg, her 'friends' are fantastic. gail is a bit goofy, but still good. dr. robbin is awsome!!! i really like the rabbi shmuley as well. and the series with life coach marianne williamson (the age of miracles) is so very intriguing! she has other friends as well, nate burkis, and other's, like the english clutter guy who's name escapes me.


and in listening to the station, it occured to me that, i think, oprah really acts like gail. all of oprah's little 'isms' and mannerisms and what nots are really gail's. well, they seem to me to be more truer, more authentically gail's, than oprah's. i'm thinking that that may be why so many (black folks) have issues with her and can't seem to put their finger on why. like a friend once said.." she seems so, well, i don't know what, just not her, like she's trying on someone else".


be well!!

Friday, March 7, 2008

a very good friend speaks my mind

one of my FAVORITE blogger-ista, lovebabz, had a post on her site the other day that had me blinking hard and saying 'AMEN!' because it was what i was, in part, some of what i was going to post about today. it seems as though i'm connecting with many many women, through my professional life coaching practice, or friends and family, or just in the local whole foods (something about me!?!), who've seem to have fallen into this, well, hmpf .... i'm struggling with what to call it. but whatever you call it, it's not right. not right for you, ladies(!!).

in my practice i work with women who've lost themselves, or are in the process of losing themselves, to so many things - they're families, work, shopping, eating, and love-yes, love. and it happens all too often because they settle. quietly,oh so quietly. they settle. in this post i was going to use this and segway into talking about love relationships. yet my big sis lovebabz has done it for me, and so cogently, succinctly, and of course.... eloquently! please enjoy her words....

"...I know too many women who are not happy in their love lives. I know too many women who are settling for crumbs of affection. Why do we set ourselves upon that path? What is it about love that we believe is so illusive that We will accept so very little from someone. Believing if we ask for more, that it means we want too much. And who are these men who are offering so little and why? I only know that I can't be that woman who accepts scraps. When you are a beggar at the table of love, You will always come away feeling hungrier than when you showed up and in that hunger you will accept any old cut of meat. My Sister-friend JB says we have to order different...better cuts of meat...and she's right....."

yes. yes. i will continue this line of blogging later, for i am exhausted, still, and not feeling well at all. i'm off to do dome self care my friends. but i'll be back so very soon, to fill you in for the ladybug drama, what i've been cooking, and my new adventures in cardmaking that i just haven't had the time to do! i've been away too long, and i miss you all.

be well!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

just don't know where to begin

you have no idea, i don't think. at least i hope not. not about this.

ladybug is a freindly and overly helpful child. a pleaser as well. just as sweet as can be and everyone loves her. she's exremely popular. it shocks me sometimes how much so. it's like she's a rock star. everyone know's ladybug. don't get me wrong. i know my kid and it's not always goodnes and light. she can be a real pill at times too. she's been here before (and it shows) and she lets you know that. she know's her mind, and isn't a wallflower. not afraid of much at all, yet is sensible. overall,we are so very blessed because she is so good. we have little to no problem putting her to bed, giving her a bath, eating her veggies or trying something new (well, sometimes!), combing her hair, doing her homework and cleanig up her room (again - sometimes). i don't think we've even had a "real" temper tanthrum yet and she's 6. i feel guilty sometimes around other mothers when they're talking about their kids. hubby and i are kind of holding our breathe, waiting for the shoe to drop... "aaahhh, now that looks like a 6 year old!!"

**** sorry, had to go play a hand of computer solitaire*****

ok, now, i don't remember how in detail i went in explaining some of the issues ladybug had been having with a couple of girls in her class, but, i had always felt that she's a tough cookie, and can handle herself. but was/am still concernced because, eventhough she's quite mature in some ways, she's quite young in a social way(recently turning 6), eventhough she's a social butterfly, and the youngest in the class. you see, what i mean is that she's not good at catching on when girls are doing the "mean girl" thing to her. she just doesn't get it. all she knows is that they're not being very nice to her, and/or she feels uncomfortable and she's not sure why. it's because she just doesn't get those "games" they play. plus, many of the girls in her class, and brownies too, are "older" in many ways. they've been exposed to things that ladybug knows nothing about - slang, or reenacting behavior from certain tv shows (ala hanna montana) and/or music videos. plus many of them talk to they're parents with a freeness that is not done in our home and family. every once in a while ladybug "tries" it. you know, tries to test her newly observed behaviors. of course she would. we just check her.... let her know that that is not something, as she already knows, she does. just because someone else does it, says it, doesn't mean that it is ok to do or say. she gets it, but of course wishes she had the same freedom and doesn't understand why she doesn't. oh well...

am i babbling on?.... sorry, there's just so much background that's (to me) relevant.

now there is one girl in particular, we'll call her 'leah', that really doesn't treat her right - calls her names, wants to hug her constantly, but pinches her, or squeezes her too tight, hit's her. in additon, the poor girl is overly sexual. i've observed it, plus ladybug comes home and show's us what 'leah' did today. for months ladybug has been coming home saying that she likes 'leah', but she (leah) isn't always nice to her, and that she doesn't like the way leah hugs and touches her. well, juan and i just kept telling her to just tell 'leah' that she doesn't like it or to just stop it. we've also abserved 'leah' mistreating ladybug, but you know, kids (especially girls) are kids. we're big believers in trying to let them work it out. we've told ladybug that 'friends' don't treat each other the way 'leah' does, and that she should really think about that.

also, the father of 'leah', whom i'll call 'gene', seems to be socially akward (well, i think he's jut a bit on the not so nice to be around side), and can be/has been quite abrasive to kids and to me peronally as well. i know of a few parents who've had run-ins with him over the most silly of and weird things. really. and we've had words with him in the past for speaking a bit too harsly to ladybug. my mother has as well during the schools oktoberfest and holloween party. not only is 'leah' in her class, but she's in girl scout browines together as well. so juan and i just deal with lauren, herbehavior, and how she interacts with 'leah'. we feel that's the best we could do. how do you tell someone, whom you don't really know, and would rather not have to interact with, that they're daughter is a bad influence on your child and that you don't like how they treat them??!!?? ........ right.

so fast forward to this past saturday, march 1st. ladybug is a first year girl scout brownie and we are neck deep in cookie sales. which means that we're hocking cookies in front of the local grocery store at 8am . yeah. fun. now there are two shifts, but me an dmy mommy brain didn't realize that there were 2 two hour shifts to be done at different timees/days. so we were there from 8-12noon. yeah. fun. well, the second shift was 'leah' and her parents. the first hour was her mother. the second was her father. it was a hoot. he was constantly after 'leah' like a circus hawker to talk to customers heading into the gorcery store, and he handles her in a peculiar way. i'm still trying to process how to describe it exactly, but there is definately a bully quality with a bit of a a tone of 'ownership'. basically the way 'leah' deals with ladybug.

the mother and i seperated the girls because they, 'leah' more than ladybug, were completely lost in each other, seeming to forget the purpose for which we were all together. but they are always like that. then ladybug is ready to move on. which is what happened. but, 'leah' seems to not be able to get enough of ladybug, she continued to try to get her attention way after ladybug had tired of her. as ladybug sat next to me, practically in my lap, 'leah' tossed some paper at her, to get her attention. she didn't see this, and thought that 'leah' had just dropped it. so, because of her nature, ladybug got up to give it back to her, and that's when 'leah's ' father, 'gene' snapped at her. he said something like "just sit down, be quiet, and leave her alone", along with some other comment in which he used ladybugs name, which confirmed to me that he actually was speaking to her. i looked down and saw that her eyes were full of tears. i immediately said "hey!! DO NOT speak to my child like that!!". i continued, in between his snideness and claims of ignorance, saying something along the lines of "... you've done this before; don't talk to her, or me as if we have a tail; you may speak to others like that, but you will not speak to her that way; look, let's just get through this sale and be done...". and so it was. akward a bit. but i, certain in my conviction, was calm and sure. however didn't tell juan right away when he came to pick us up, for i was also certain that a scene would be made, and lauren was already disturbed at how 'gene' snapped at me. so i really didn't want to upset her more, so we loaded helped the man load up the remainging boxes into his truck. no problem. but juan is at times beyond an expert in the art of perception, and knew right away that something had happened. there was still evidence in ladybugs eyes.

i told him as we left the parking lot. "what!!" he said. he hit the brakes. looking for 'gene'. but he was gone. juan called him as soon as we got home and he denied any wrongdoing, as he usually did. juan made it clear to him, whether he denied it or not, that he'd better be mindful of how he speaks to ladybug (and anyther child), that it must stop, and that it better not happen again. in his way, 'gene' said "or what?". juan just said don't let it happen again. then i get an email from the mother the next day explaining awful we behaved. how unchristian. un catholic. along with a few other things, she said not to bother responding if i don't have an appology. so. i didn't respond.

then the shit started. first thing monday morning, 'leah' tells ladybug that her mommy said that she was mean and bad and that she was not going to be her friend anymore. petty! then i get an envelope in ladybug's monday package. 'may' (the mommy) sent back to me what she thought the cost of the hot chocolate juan got for us all that saturday morning. petty!

but, it gets better! we find out monday afternoon, when we picked ladybug up from aftercare at school, that 'leah' had 'poked' her in the vagina. (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) HUH?!? no one told us that. ladybug told us. she said she told the yard monitor, who told the director. now the director is anal about telling us every little thing she does, but didn't mention this. we were concerned.

we get home and i ask ladybug to "show" me what 'leah' did. and she did. unacceptable. OMG. she had been telling me for months that she ddidn't like the way she touched her, squeezed her. it never occured to me to ask her to show me what had been going on, not just the poking incident. OMG. "show me your stockings. oohh, neat. what kind of panties are those. oh really. what's with your belly button (touching it)? (lb has an outtie with a herniated tummy) ah, boing!" ('leah' takikng her finger and tracing down from her belly button to her vagina). OMG. ladybug told me how she doesn't like how 'leah' squeezes her when they hug. "show me how she does it baby". she showed me how 'leah' squeezes her butt cheeks, and rubs them. OMG.

i went to speak to the director the next day (tuesday). she was told second hand, and says that she just didn't realize the nature of what happened. she thought it was a "i'm not gonna play with you anymore so there! (read poke). but the vagina? what sense does that make? but it slipped past her. it probably would have slipped past me.

i believe that we as adults, tend to be the ones to put these crazy ideas in childrens heads. not that they come up with them on they're own. especially sex. how would a 6 year old know how to hold and stroke an outtie belly button like it was a penis? really.

so, the director and i go to the principal. OMG. what a dum dum. she just didn't get it. i had to tell her what should happen. which was to call the girls in and speak with them to figure out what happened. so she did on wednesday. but keep in mind that 'leah' by now is harrassing ladybug. i stop and think about that word, along with the word bully and hostile, to see if it fits. and yes it does. not in the overt and obvious way. but in a "don't tell on me and i've give you my juicebox" or "please be my friend, i'll stop pinching you" kind of way. it fits. so, back to me telling the principal what to do. yeah, she called both girls in to speak with them. but not seperately. together! ladybug was a bit uncomfortable, and did not want to talk. she says that it was because 'leah' was there.

i went back to the principal and spoke with her for a second time, and told her that i really didn't think she had a full apprieciation of the situation. i asked what was her reasoning in having them both there together and that i was disturbed by that. the whole of her explaination was that it wasn't like they were 15 year olds...... that was it. i asked if anything else was going to be done besides speaking to the girls, and she said "like what?" ARE YOU KIDDING ME LADY?!?!?!?!?

i left. more upset. because you see, if 'leah' had been a boy, then you can bet your life that all hell would be braking loose. what the hell?!?!? i just want to wake up from all this. or crawl under a rock until it all passes. i just want lauren to go to school, have great time, in a safe and protected environment where she is liked and respected. i like the school, and the community (see august post). i don't want any problems. really i don't. i'm sick. i am just starting to turn a corner. they maybe talking remission for me. i am driving a (very) little bit. c'mon poeple!!!!

well, juan, my hero, is putting a period on this crappy drama. after lauren came home yesterday in the funkiest of funks, which is so not like her! and not wanting to go to school or aftercare anymore, again - not like her!! juan said "fuck this" (and he's not a curser), i'm going to talk to the principal and request a meeting with her, us, 'leah's' parents, and the school minister as mediator, since it appeared nothing esle had been done, or appeared would be done. yes, my hero! well, what do you know? principal dum dum ( i really shouldn't say that, but i'm just not phappy with how she's handeld this, she really could be a wonderful perosn for all i know) began telling us about all that had been done: a letter had gone home to the parents, and the 1st grade teacher spoke to the parents the day before. whuh?!? why didn't she say anything before? why did the teacher say something, and not her? afterall, i had been dealing with her!

all i can say is that i am just spent. really. i am near tears right now, and i've never cried about this. ladybug is just fine. she's not traumatized or anything. she's just tired of 'leah' being hostile to her in her sneaky little way. but hey, aren't many first graders sneaky? not lauren in that way. yeah, she's sneaky... sometimes she tryis to sneak and get crackers, or gum from my dresser, or shoes from my closet to play dressup. but not sneaky in that mean way. that's not her. she's not slick. she's obvious and at times can be naive. sorry, off on a tangent.

as i was saying - here come the tears now - i am spent. i am hurt at the thought of my baby being on the recieving end of meaness. i am frustrated at the principals inability to truly hear what i am saying and understand it. to blow me off, acting as, like my good friend BOTW calls her, "glenda the good witch". i am disappointed. my confidence in her, therefore the school, is shaken and am feeling lost in what to do and how to keep my child protected.

i started this post on tuesday march 4th, and it is now after midnight on friday the 7th. i'm tired. so tired. tired of this drama. tired of the petttiness of the parents, via the child. tired of the non responsiveness of the school via the principal. tired.

but yet, in all of this, i am blessed. and there have been angels. one in particular. my friend BOTW. she has been there steadfast with the best words of support, solid advice and suggestions, and lots of hugs. i love her, and her love for me was especially felt. as well as someone i consider to be a good friend too, she's honest and sincere, and has quietly given me a kind of support that means so very much to me - "special k". i've come to admire her quite a bit, and i'm am doing my damnedest to keep her out of the middle of this mess as she is very indirectly involved. and then of course my girl "d". she was ready to open up a can of whupass for her godchild if i needed, and of course provided lots of laughter inbetween her sage doses of reality. i love her. plus there's all the angels here and there who knew something was "up', and would quietly check in with me, not necessarily about this, but for me. babz - i love you, glo- you always unknowingly new when i need to hear from you just to chat. then there's the obvious. dear hubby and ladybug. my god i love them. (now i'm about to really cry). they have no idea. he is just amazing when it's time to be. and she continues to be this wonderful child. how did i get so very lucky. ok, i'm getting corny and mushy. next......

i pray for peace in this, acceptance in this, and stillness in my spirit for this. i pray for a revelation because of this and a resolution for this, that is in the best interest of all those involved, especially the girls. please lord.

be well.