Insomnia or Boredom?

I’ve been up since 5 am and while this may not seem too early for many of you, it’s early for me. I normally wake up around 6:30-7 to get my daughter up and ready for school. My husband works near the city, so he does “off hours” where he goes in late and comes home late. It’s not ideal, but it’s what works for us at this point in our life.

 

Except that my body is broken. I’m falling asleep on the couch by 9pm and waking up at 5am. I’m up before anyone so I can’t really make noise (damn 1 level house) and I fall asleep early so I basically have no time with my husband at night.

I can’t seem to get myself to stay up any later. The problem is just getting worse and worse. Is it daylight savings? I don’t know.

I think it’s that I can’t focus on TV and my husband has been watching his political shows every night. I need a hobby (other than work). Ideas? Suggestions?

Daisy Scouts: Tips for New Leaders

I’m pretty new to scouting. I wasn’t a Girl Scout when I was young, but my daughter wanted to join, so I signed up as the troop leader. Because I’m crazy.

Anyway, it turns out that being a Daisy Scout leader – or I’d imagine being a new leader of any level – is the most maddening process ever.

If you’re thinking of jumping aboard the crazy train and taking this mess on, here are some tips for new leaders that I’ve learned over the last few months to help you get started.

1.) Get trained ASAP. Because the trainers will probably flake out and cancel your training at least once. There is basically 3 steps to becoming a leader: Paperwork, online training, face-to-face training.

2.) Know that by training, they don’t actually mean training. You will not learn anything remotely useful during training. There are 5,284 rules in Girl Scouts, none of which are even remotely enforced. Training would be about 1,000 times more useful if they actually trained you on what to do with the kids, not what you can’t do.

3.) Get your bank letter ASAP. It takes a while. Get your bank account set up as soon as humanly possible so you can minimize out of pocket expenses. Put your own dues in first so you have something to work with.

4.) Aim high on dues. Like really high. We did $30 a girl and I’m wishing it was $40. Of the $30, $10.50 per girl has already gone towards petal badges and membership pins. I bought birthday badges out-of-pocket before we had a bank account. Theoretically, I should have $19.50 left per girl for supplies, but not all the girls have paid their dues yet. They still needed patches, pins and supplies for crafts, so the bank account is looking pretty low right now.

On top of that, the parents didn’t get all of the required uniform components, so we’re looking at spending more from troop funds to “finish off” their uniforms.
5.) Over communicate with parents. I can’t say this enough. When I told the parents to get the uniforms and listed out what they needed, I should have also given them a handout and a follow-up email. Perhaps a diagram too. I think we only had 1 parent get EVERYTHING on the uniform. Council didn’t help – the women at the store told parents the troops were responsible for insignia tabs and world trefoil pins which I did not take into account when setting dues, so the parents are expecting another $5.50 worth of uniform items per girl, which brings down our supplies budget even more.

The same communication rule applies to meetings. I don’t care if you meet the 2nd Thursday of every month, parents won’t know when to show up. Give them a handout with meeting dates. Email them. Text them. Post it on your troop’s Facebook page.

6.) Fall in love with Pinterest. If your local council and local troop leaders are as helpful as mine, you’ll have zero help getting started. It’s like getting thrown into the deep end of a pool when you don’t know how to swim. Luckily, some very wonderful troop leaders have put plenty of activity ideas on Pinterest to help you run your meetings smoothly.

7.) Find your happy place. Things will go wrong. Girls won’t show up, parents will have unreasonable demands, the power might go out. There’s a million ways your meetings might not work out the way you think. Be flexible, find your happy place and let it go. If every girl doesn’t earn every petal, that’s not a reason to have a meltdown.

Remember that you’re a volunteer. If the parents don’t like how you’re running the show (you’ll run into this at least once, I guarantee it), you need to hold firm. I had one mother that wanted the meeting date and time changed before her daughter even joined! I told her no – because at the end of the day, I picked a day and time that worked for me and I’m the one volunteering my time, not her.

Blogging Challenge (Day 30): Kohls

This is the last post in my blogging challenge, so yay for that! I only missed 1 day – not too bad.

Now, on to the real news. Kohls.

Oh, my God, I hate them. I used to love them and now I hate them. Their new policies and promotions make me want to strangle myself if that’s possible. It’s the most frustrating company ever and they outsource their “help” to people that struggle with reading and writing. That’s so much fun when you’re using an online chat system!

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On Black Friday, I did their STUPID FUCKING PROMOTION for small appliances that had rebates attached. OH MY GOD. I wish I had just taken the money and bought a belt to go hang myself. What an annoyance that has been.

The promotion required me to fill out 3 identical rebate forms found on receipt paper. Then, I had to rip off the UPCs from the boxes and include those in envelopes with the little rebate receipts and forms and mail the whole shit-show in.

I did that. All 3 in one envelope, because WHAT FUCKING COMPANY HAS MORE THAN 1 ADDRESS FOR REBATES?!!? NOBODY!

So of course, that was wrong. I didn’t think to read the size 6 point font on all of the receipts to carefully compare the numbers of the P.O. boxes to make sure they were the same.

It turns out that 1 of the 3 items were supposed to be mailed to a different address. Ok, simple mistake… should be easy to fix, right? WRONG!

I got on the chat and explained to the person that I mailed 3 rebates in together, 2 were received and processed, but the 3rd was supposed to go somewhere else. I asked if it would be forwarded to the correct department or if their policy was to just throw incorrectly addressed rebates away.

She told me she could easily change my address.

Fantastic, but that’s not what I asked.

I repeated my request. She asked when I mailed the rebates in. I told her about a week ago and the first 2 were received on 12/12.

She said I just needed to send it through my friend’s account.

WHAT???

I repeated my question. I had a sinking feeling that if this nitwit was handling the rebate, I wouldn’t be seeing the 2 that were already processed either.

She came back and told me that because my rebate was sent to the wrong address, it was not valid for the promotion.

It was like chatting with a team of Mensa members. I was shocked and astounded, but not in a good way.

I understand that, so what did they do with the rebate? Does it say? Did they toss it out or send it on to the correct department for processing?

She told me to mail it in its own envelope.

I kindly (ok, not so kindly) told her that I did not have the UPC, rebate receipt or form to mail, because I’d already sent it in to the wrong address.

Make a copy.

Of what??? MY ASS?? I’ve gotten more intelligent answers from my 3 year old.

I finally told her I just wanted to know if the toaster rebate had been thrown away or not. She said she did not know.

Well thanks, I’m so glad I killed 40 minutes on the chat with you for that enlightening answer. You could have led with that and saved us both the trouble.

So Kohls, for your pain-in-the-ass rebates and stellar outsourcing of your customer service, I’d like to award you with the “FUCK YOU” award.

It almost makes shopping at Walmart seem enjoyable.

Blogging Challenge (Day 29): Planner

I need some planner recommendations. The year is almost over and I haven’t picked up a new planner for 2016. Here’s what my needs are when it comes to a planner:

  • Work (I need to write down project due dates and have a list of daily to-dos, basically. I don’t plan by the hour.)
  • Household stuff (like chores you don’t do every day, bills, reminders for flea treatments, doctor’s appointments, etc.)
  • School stuff (I’ll have 2 in school next year, so space to write down events, reminders about library books that are due back, fundraisers, PTO meetings, etc.)
  • Girl Scouts stuff (I’m a leader, so a reminder of troop meetings, which parents need to be emailed, etc.)

I basically need a planner with a large to-do list area for work, 3 small areas for other stuff, a weekly grocery list area and a space for stuff that I need to remember to follow-up on. Stuff that I can’t put in yet, but need to take care of, like making appointments or scheduling meetings that I can’t schedule yet because I’m waiting to hear back from an email.

So, any recommendations or should I go design my own and have it bound at Staples? If you’ve made your own, what program did you use?

 

Blogging Challenge (Day 28): PSA

I have an important PSA for all of you people struggling with having others speak badly of you.

Stop acting like an a**hole.
Certain portions of my extended family are angry that other people (not me) are saying bad things about them. Instead of being outraged, I’m just over here like well… stop acting like an a**hole.

Then I realized – this works for literally everyone. Whether you’re the leader of a country or a staunch supporter of a certain political party, stop being such a giant dick if you don’t want people to speak ill of you.

Decide if your ideals, desire to sleep around, monetary ambitions, etc. are worth your reputation and go from there.

If they are, suck it up buttercup – people are going to talk about you. If not, stop acting like an a**hole and you’ll be amazed at how quickly the chatter about you stops.

You’re welcome.

Blogging Challenge (Day 27): Cleaning

Guys, I hate cleaning. Hate it. Like it will always be last on my priority list if I can get away with it because I dislike it that darn much.

I’ve tried cleaning schedules, check lists, inspirational bloggers, putting it in my planner… everything. I just can’t seem to make myself want to clean and to actually do it.

Now don’t get me wrong – we’re not living in a squalor. I do the dishes, I wipe the counters and I keep up with the laundry, but the kids’ beds are never made, the closets are a disgrace and I don’t vacuum nearly as much as I should because there’s nearly always a toy apocalypse going on.

I wish I could hire a maid. Extra income would be so wonderful, particularly during this time of year.

If you don’t have a maid, work from home and have little kids living with you, what’s your secret to keeping your house clean. The kids are too young to be much help and the husband isn’t usually helpful either. I need tips people! It seems like they mess it up faster than I can clean it and it’s getting discouraging! We have a ranch style home with living room on one end, kitchen & dining on the other… bedrooms in between. Dirt gets tracked from one end to the other with regularity. It’s just a mess!

Blogging Challenge (Day 26): Chicken Update

I posted on this blog before about my back yard chickens, but it has been a while since I’ve given an update. We’re up to 15 birds now, 2 of which are roosters and one that hasn’t started to lay yet. The roosters are getting along just fine for the time being, but the chickens are allowed to free range on about 1.5 acres, so they really only see each other at night and don’t sleep in the same coop together.

Anyway, my oldest birds that are now 1.5 years old have gone into a molt. They don’t lay eggs when they’re molting, so egg production has dropped dramatically. I consider 6 eggs a really good day, but usually only get about 3. Between the molt and the length of days decreasing, the chickens are hardly laying.

I’m looking forward to the spring when things pick up again.

Blogging Challenge (Day 25): Nothing New

We’re still on edge. We’re still trying to make it through until the holidays. Nothing is new on that front, but the husband has stopped putting out resumes.

This happens every time. He get all pissed off or worries that he’s going to get canned, puts out 2-3 resumes (this time 4) and then stops. It takes too long. He hates what he does and wants something different. Nobody is getting back to him (after a day and 4 resumes), so he’s giving up.

Jesus, if he can’t even stick with this, no wonder his job is getting frustrated with him. I want to kick him myself!

Blogging Challenge (Day 24): Still on Edge

I missed yesterday’s update. Things have been crazy around here and unfortunately, I still don’t have any answers. Or maybe I do and I’m just waiting? Either way.

My husband did not get fired on Monday like we thought he would. In fact, his boss just acted like nothing had happened at all. I don’t really know what to make of that, other than maybe they’re putting it off until after the holidays?

Speaking of holidays, my husband put in for 2 weeks of vacation around Christmas and New Years. His boss approved it on Monday. That doesn’t seem like something they would do if they were planning to fire him before then. Maybe I’m wrong?

On top of that, I think I mentioned before that I do copywriting for the company. I got an assignment yesterday that’s due on the 14th of December, so I don’t think they’ll fire him before then, but that still leaves a week between when that’s due and when his vacation starts.

Silver lining: I’m down 3 pounds in less than a week from the stress. Guess I’m getting a jump-start on my New Year’s resolution to lose the last of the baby weight.

Blogging Challenge (Day 22): Feeling Nervous

Today is the moment of truth. My husband just headed off to work and in a few hours or 8 – you never know with his company – I should be finding out if he is getting fired today or not. My nerves can’t take this!

On the bright side (because there is always a bright side, right?) he put out 4 resumes last night. Sure, they’re for lower-paying jobs, but they’re in the south! Fingers crossed! I would be beyond excited if he heard back from one of them before his current job gave him the axe. Three of the jobs are in Texas and one is in North Carolina. I told him I’d go to Texas since that’s where he really wants to go. We’ll see.