Tuesday, September 30, 2008

not another Parent Moment

I have always been annoyed by the people who advocate censorship on TV. People who get all whipped up when 2 people in a commercial kiss while they wait for a bowl of rice to be done in the microwave. And now they are really excited about their rice, because they are kissing again.....
To be honest, not only have those people irritated me, I would think to myself, Self, why can't these morons just change the damn channel? Please get over it, the TV is for all of us.
But ya' know, there is this one commercial, that I hate beyond belief that I have to say this but God help me, this commercial is just too much. This particular commercial I think, belongs on Cinamax (I have also heard that channel referred to as Skin-i-max). We have 2 young adults, like 19, trying to go up stairs and take off their clothes at the same time so they will be good and nekked by the time they get to the apartment. I think this commercial is for jeans.
Now, my girls are young enough to think that those kids are trying to take off their pants because they are in a BIG HURRY to get to the potty. This, they can relate to because they frequently wait until the last possible second before rushing in to the potty. To make a pee that is.
But in a few more years, they are going to start getting a good idea of what those teenagers are trying to do. And soon they will figure it out. Now, instead of explaining the birds and bees, I can say to them hey kids, watch this commercial and you will know most of what you need to know.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Peace and.....

My house is quiet. I am the only person in it. I love quiet.
I am a person who has no problems with being alone. I enjoy solitude. I have an older cousin who is the opposite and to this day will go to a family members house or to a friends if her husband is out of town. Why am I reveling in my alone-ness? Why is there no one else here?


The girls went to visit my parents for a few nights about 150 miles away but today The Husband had to go and get them because they have been asked to leave early.
Yup, kicked out of Grandma's house.
My Mom and I talked for about an hour last night. She had my 16 month old nephew for the 3 days before my girls got there and so she claims she was exhausted before my kids even arrived. Then she says Genea has been great but Teena has been a handful. During the conversation I heard my mother firmly directing Teena no less than 17 times. Get down from there. Why are you playing on the stairs. Go sit down. Get your feet off the sofa. Etc. I know Teena has just been on a rampage lately, ever since Genea started school without her, but she had settled down at home.
This is how Teena is sometimes. There are kids on this planet, many kids even, who when told to Go Sit Down, go and sit. Teena will skip or frog walk to the chair. Then she will turn the chair around. Then she will try to climb it backwards. She will test to see how far she can lean. She will sit on her knees. She will sit with her feet on the chair too. She will tap on the side of the chair like it is a drum. She will lick the back of the seat and try to jam her fingers in openings to see if they will fit. This is just how she is sometimes. It can be maddening. We load her up with plenty of discipline and redirection and positives and all the rest of it. At the same time I have to admit that I love this about her. She is creative and independent and fearless and (pardon my cliches) she thinks outside the box. She is whip smart and is teaching herself to read. She is 3 1/2 and I caught her the other day sounding out the words on some of my old therapy cards of feelings. She does not do things the regular way. She puts her own spin on just about everything. When she starts to go too far, some time on the Bad Baby Rug will usually straighten her out quickly.
I think my mom wants to have the girls and just have fun. She does not want to get into discipline with them, she wants to be the Grandma and spoil them rotten. Which is great, her mother was that way with my sister and I, and we adored her. But with young children, I think you just have to lay down the law a few times and assert your boundaries. I don't know how to impress this on her other than telling her over and over. To be honest here folks, this may not be pretty but I need a break from these kids once in awhile or I am going to jump off a bridge. My parents are the only people the girls can stay with overnight and I neeeeeeeeed this desperately. Desperately!
My mom said on a previous visit....." Teena is soooo smart. She does things most kids would never even think of". I chose to take this as a compliment but maybe I should have taken it more as a warning!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Unexpected Milestone

Wow, this was a total surprise! Genea came home from a school field trip missing a tooth! I was not expecting this for another year. I had no time to talk up the tooth fairy and she didn't know about it. The things she doesn't know about still catches me off guard. Her class went to an apple orchard and she tells me all of a sudden her tooth was just gone! I can't believe she just went about her day. Yesterday she had a meltdown because I gave her too many oranges for a snack. Suddenly realizing that a large chunk of your mandible is mysteriously gone leaving a mildly painful hole, NO PROBLEM!

Now I have to decide if I should slip some coins under her pillow. I think I will, I think she understood when I tried to explain fairies flying around kids houses looking for teeth! I love stuff like this- so much fun.

Since I was doing a picture I thought I would add this one in just cuz it is so cute. They both insisted they did not need a nap. I love how their hair mingles in the middle and you can't tell the difference!

If the pictures come up too small you can double click them to get a really big shot (Ihope).

****Note from the next day 9/25, we talked up the tooth fairy all night long and I did slip 4 quarters under her pillow. She was really surprised and came running out of her room all excited this morning. After about 2 minutes she looks at me and gives me the "you don't think I'm falling for this" look and says, "It was you guys, wasn't it? C'mon tell the truth!"
She is SUCH a linear little thinker and just so danged SMART!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Mind Works in Mysterious Ways

I have the type of brain that sort of free-flows along and wiggles around little idea's all day. This happens whether I want it to or not (actually this is called Adult Attention Deficit Disorder, Primarily Inattentive Type). So I could be talking to The Husband about what time he will be home which bops to dinner on a plate, to: Fiesta Ware just came out with a new color, to: I still want to paint the laundry room to: I think a cat pee'd in there to: there is pee in my carpet to: I need to send the kids to my parents this weekend so I can douse that disgusting nasty carpet with loads of chemicals and rent a shampoo-er and have all the stink and toxins out by the time they come home. Really, it goes about exactly like that, only in a nano-second. Like, in the time it takes The Husband to finish telling me what time he will be home, I am already washing the carpet.

That leads me to the subject here. I was wiping my butt today and I was thinking, this TP sucks. I know there is way worse, I mean it is not like using a coffee filter, but this is Charmin and should be cushier at least. It was on sale which is why I bought it at all. It is the basic model, no bells or whistles. I usually buy the extra soft which suprisingly, turns out to be really much softer than the regular.

Then I thought about people cutting back on expenses these days with the economy and price of gas etc. And I thought to myself, Self, I don't care how bad things get we will skimp on bread and buy generic peanut butter but if this country continues to bleed money all over the world the black market thing I will risk prison for is going to be that lovely extra soft Charmin.

Anyone else have a luxury item worthy of risking prison?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tourette's Syndrome and the Library

Attention grabbing title hey?

We went to a different library for a story time, Teena and I, much smaller and more diverse. Unfortunately it looked like a day care was there for the story too. The first time we went, was to the library that, well, let's just say Brett Favre's kids would have been there if they hadn't so suddenly picked up and moved to New York.

This was a different library, and there were 2 or 3 adults that appeared to be in charge of about 9 kids. These were not your average 9 kids either. 2 of them, named STOP-IT-DEVIN and KNOCK -IT-OFF-PAUL fought most of the way through. Not ordinary kid fighting, but real, in the ring, Mike Tyson, gonna bite off your ear hard core fist fighting. Another boy we'll call The Perp actually picked up another little girls skirt from behind and she never noticed. There was one little boy who sat in between 2 of the staff who yelped every 4 seconds or so unless he was being fed a green tic tac (great example of Bribe and Threaten child care). Then there was a little girl who said YAH YAH YAH every time the yelp-yelp boy got going louder. She had to sit on the other side of the adults. All the other kids were on a rug together, and there were several other children who were there with parents as well as Teena and I.

This was a rockin' story time, holy crap! I was alternately watching to see what would happen when the tic tac supply ran out, and making sure ThePerv was not anywhere near my daughter. When the tic tacs ran out, (he must have been chewing them, they only brought half a box but still went through them really fast) the boy who I think probably has Tourette's got progressively louder, and his yelping pattern became much quicker and everyone is politely trying to ignore him and the other little girl who is YAH-ing and suddenly he gets up and lurches forward but the staff person grabbed him by the shirt and contained him. By now, the story has stopped because you could not hear it anymore anyway. The reader-lady was really good about getting the kids attention and moving into a song or dance when it got too loud. None of this seemed to bother the kids at all.

Is it weird that I wanted to knock out The Perp for looking up some other little girls skirt? He had to be about 5 years old, old enough to know he should not do that, and old enough to be deciding he would do it anyway. I wanted to reach out and smack him but settled for monitoring him closely and ready to give him the stink-eye if he even looked at me or my kid. Ready to jump in and snatch my child out of harms way if need be.

Wouldn't you know, in the end none of it mattered, and my efforts to protect my child's innocence, purity and under-garments were useless. Or maybe the word is pointless. Teena pulled up her dress herself and announced to all the fascinated participants, that she is wearing MISS KITTY UNDIES TODAY!

Monday, September 22, 2008


(slow paced rant warning)
I am tired.
This morning The Husband was going into work later than usual and I smelled an opportunity to go to Target and get some returns taken care of that would be hard with kids along, as well as run some errands. Alone that is. So, I asked, and we arranged, and planned and I left at 10:45 and needed to be back by noon (I thought it was noon).
I used up too much time coupon and clearance shopping for a bunch of crap I did not even want (windex, shit like that) and got to the register at like 11:45. So now I am really frustrated because that is not enough time to stop at Starbucks and that is the one thing I was looking forward to until, like, Thursday when the new season of Survivor starts. I have this one last little thing I do as a normal person, not a child-centered or house based or husband-considering action, just me going for a damn overpriced but so good cup of coffee. I am unloading my cart when The Husband calls. Now, even though I am trying to rush I have to stop what I am unloading which is a bunch of shit I don't care about and pull out my purse and try to find the phone in its little pocket while standing there in line to answer to someone else in the middle of what I am trying to do. I am so pissed off and disgusted that I just turn it off and pick up the message as I am leaving. "Uh... don't know where you are, I am worried that you are not back yet and I was supposed to leave at 11:30 so call me back. "
I don't know why, but this was the last straw. I am livid and frustrated and overwhelmed that I cannot even spend a stinking HOUR in the stinking TARGET without having to ASK to go and ARRANGE it around someone else all to buy a bunch of CRAP that I don't want because it is just a bunch of stuff to use to clean up after everyones MESSES that they don't clean up themselves.
I'm TIRED of having to ASK to go out anywhere
I'm TIRED of not getting enough sleep because someone is snoring or someone is having a nightmare or someone woke up way too early and doesn't want to be "alone" or a cat is trying to sit on my head so he can lick the bed frame.
I'm TIRED of having to move a step stool every time I want to use the sink or toilet.
I'm TIRED of having 4 people using one bathroom because the other one broke over a year ago and we still don't have the money to fix it.
I'm TIRED of being interrupted at everything I do to take care of someone else OR deal with their tantrum when I DONT allow them to interrupt.
I'm TIRED of people asking if I am done yet and I am not done yet, because that person keeps interrupting or humming or chattering or singing and so I canNOT concentrate.
I'm TIRED of PEE everywhere. In the carpet, on furniture, somewhere in the kids room I have not figured out yet, and next to the toilet.
I'm TIRED of putting away the same stupid laundry I just put away last week.
I'm TIRED of being followed every single time I get up or move and being followed so closely that I either trip or run over a kid and then they cry or they step on my foot and I cry.


And, yes I know I am blowing this all out of proportion and I should probably be grateful for having a toilet to stick a stool in front of with 2 beautiful children and all that other stuff. I am. But today, I am tired.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Learning curves

I thought I was prepared to adopt a 4 year old with special needs while also having an ahem, "spirited" 2 year old in the house. Really, I thought, if the average child takes 6 months to settle in, then we should be good after about 3 months. (Seriously, I was THAT DUMB!) After all, we had read all the books and done everything possible to facilitate the move. We had teams of therapists and psychiatrists. We had transition visits and objects set up and did everything we were told to do.
Evidently, no one told Genea.
So when she arrived finally for good, last June, it was about 2 in the afternoon. Our honeymoon period lasted until after her nap. She then went WILD. Pointing these factors out is my little way of excusing myself for what comes next.
I was exhausted. Within a few days, I felt like a zombie. We had built up some structure and it was dinner, jammies, tv/ play time, then bed. In the evening The husband and I had put on one of our favorite shows, Law and Order. Since in our experience our 2 year old only watched tv if she heard elmo or a tele-tubby and she would go into a trance but otherwise could not care less.
Without my even noticing, the character Lenny said something about someone "talking out of his ass". My new DD immediately turned around, looked at me and clearly confused, said "talking out of his ass? Nooooooo!" At this point I am laughing too hard to intervene with an appropriate redirection because she has bent over and sticking her butt up in the air, and grabbed her butt cheeks. She is upside down and trying to talk out of her rear end and I am picturing in my head how her little concrete- thinking brain has to be visualizing all this.
Ah, I was SO not prepared!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Financial Destruction

I don't have any money.

Between my husband and I, we have about .47 cents saved in an actual bank. As for investments, we have tried to stay away from the stock market, mutual funds or CD's.

OUR money is secured in a bunch of crap from the Dollar Tree.

As the economy of this country flops around like a dying fish on the ground, my family has tangibles. Actual things of value. That value, of each thing is of course, one dollar. And so, when we watch these disasters occur it is very much at a distance. We knew a lot of people who lost everything when Enron collapsed and I am sure that a lot of people we know will be effected by these newer problems. Just not us.
We never had the money in the first place.

In other news, these 2 girls of mine are just hilarious sometimes. Genea still misses the meaning of words when they sound similar, and of course Teena then will use the same phrasing pattern. For example, Genea would say she needs a "brand new" when she needs a "band-aid" and she and Teena both still put the emphasis on the second syllable so it comes out "band-AID". I recently put up a mirror in their room and they both immediately went all girly girly on me and several times a day, go in to look in the mirror to check their "brains". At first I didn't get it, but then Genea asked me to fix her brains and I realized she was saying bangs, as in her hair. And I still can't get her to hear the difference which sounds so cute and makes me laugh every time!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hating Sarah

My goodness that went quickly! From Sarah the Admired to Sarah the Palin Asshole in just about 2 weeks time.
I have a few opinions.
First, I would like to say that I don't think Obama made the pig and lipstick crack deliberately. But if he did, OMG that is SO FUNNY!!!
My MIL has been quick to jump on the bandwagon regarding Sarah Palins inclusion in the presidential race. She just "can't stand that woman" and is not sure why. This is how women wind up holding each other back. My MIL will find something, as will many of us, to hang the dislike on. She used the word GOD in a speech! She has ugly hair! She can't take care of kids and a country! And then we wind up undermining each other without really meaning to. Sarah Palin is the kind of woman other women like to hate.
She has confidence. A lot of confidence. She is assertive, almost aggressive. She has strong opinions and is not shy about it. Outspoken, and slightly obnoxious. Dare I say it? Yes.
If she were a man it would be different.
It was different with Hillary Clinton. She owns authority. Look at her and listen to her and you know she will kick everlovin' ass if needed and she will do it without ever raising her voice or wrinkling her suit. She doesn't have to talk over people all the time because no one interrupts her! They are too scared!
Sarah Palin gives the impression she will out- shout you to make her points and that if you don't agree she will yell you into compliance and you will wish you were upside down on a water board somewhere in Cuba. You WILL agree and you will do it to make her finally shut up!
A few other random thoughts.
When I was a kid, I want to say 8ish or 10 ish, I thought Amy Carter was the coolest. I was in awe of someone my age living in the White House with her Dad being president. My dad had to use a special soap over the utility sink to get the dirt off of his hands every night. I looked up to her. I wrote her a letter and someone even wrote me back!
Last thought for today.....
I wonder if the republicans take this election, will we see a surge in education spending for children with special needs? And when they grow up and cannot live on their own, then what?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Genea goes to school

Genea leaving for her first day of school a week ago. She was really good in the morning, obviously jittery but handling it ok. We did practice runs all night and she picked out her own clothes.

This is Genea getting off the bus. I think she had held it together as long as possible and she maybe had 3 seconds left of control. She has serious issues with separation and doesn't like anything new so this was a BIG deal for her.
She could not have gotten off that bus any faster. I saw her shove her way past another kid and a teacher to get OUT! Once at home, she fell apart into some good old fashioned meltdowns every day for about a week, but no worse than the usual.
I do have to say, I am so proud of her! She has handled school beautifully. I think she will excel with the structure and schedules and rules. When she came to us last year when she was 4, I was fairly certain she would not be ready for school in any way or form until she was at least 6 and then probably in special education with ancillary therapies. She was so delayed then, she was playing peek-a- boo and crawling around on the floor. She rarely talked, and intelligibility was about 25%, and social skills were an atrocity. She had never interacted with other kids after leaving Ukraine, even at the day care. Oh and was she tiny! She had Failure to Thrive developed AFTER coming to this country. She was 30 inches tall and the size of my 2 year old. She wore a size 4 toddler shoe! In just one year, July to July, she wears a size 12 shoe, and grew just over 11 inches. That's about 1 inch a month. As her therapist pointed out, hair only grows a 1/2 inch a month. So she doesn't even stand out. And she did, if you knew she was supposed to be a 4 year old, her delays were obvious. You can look into her classroom now, at 5 years old, and she just blends right in. Really, it can take a minute to even find her.
She has come so far!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Strange Compulsion at the Library...

So, it was really wierd.
Teena and I went to story time at the library today. Since Genea started school Teena has been demanding, attention-seeking, bossy and an overall butthead. And, insisting that since she has no one to play with, that I, her mother, needed to STEP IT UP and STEP IT UP NOW or she would go into turbo brat mode. Ya' know, when you look into a room and expect to see 6 poorly behaved children, and there is only one and she is yours? THAT bad. After 4 days, I started cruising the internet for some kind of something for her to do where there would be other kids, and I could listen to podcasts, and this is what I came up with. The library. Which was good. It was fun for her and age appropriate and I could sit back. I couldn't quite get away with the ipod but next time I am sure I can wire it up through a big sweatshirt.
Across the room was a late 40's ish man sitting with a little girl who looked about mmmm, 2 ish. She looked just like Genea did at that age. Genea looks extremely Ukrainian. Not maybe Russian or Ukrainian, just straight up, obvious where she is from. Ukraine. And this little girl looked just like her.
And the man, he was your average white American type. A mix of some European countries, mostly western.
The compulsion to commit an act of rudeness pulled at me. I wanted to know, was this child adopted? And if so, internationally? Because she could be my little girls sister and other than this little biscuit over here, I don't know if she has any siblings. I watched her, and there appeared to my specifically trained eye, to be delays developmentally in this little girl. Nothing that particularily stood out, just the sort that if you have seen a lot of kids you know what to look for. She probably had low muscle tone, poor eye contact, an odd way of showing distress. I wanted to know so bad if this kid was adopted.
Without my ipod, I had some time to think about it. Aside from the exceptionally high level of social inappropriateness, what would I gain? Nothing. The chances that this kid was adopted and any relation to my daughter was not even a percentage. It just was not going to be that way. But what if there are siblings now? Does the bio mom wonder if she has siblings now? I wonder if the bio mom even knows she was adopted, let alone to the U.S. Birth-mom would obviously be 5 years older, maybe married now, with more kids.
How do you wade through all these thoughts when finding the answer is not even a little possible. And right now, this is just me wondering. When Genea can fully let her mind wander into this territory how will she think about it? Because right now her little kid brain is closed to just about everything but today. For her, there are only 2 types of existence. NOW, and NOT NOW. And she is firmly living in NOW. Most days I have to give her cues to remember what she had for lunch 3 hours earlier.
Ah, much more thought needs to go into this!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Hello Hello Happiness

Isn't that line from a song? It has been running through my head ever since I thought about this particular blog entry. If I had just a hair more skill at this I could embed the song somewhere to start playing when it is opened. Not yet but maybe in my lifetime.
No, this is about the differences in my 2 daughters. I am well aware that a parent is not supposed to compare their children. Sue me.
When Teena was a baby, people used to comment how happy she was. She would smile all the time and at everyone. "What a happy little girl she is" people would say and I would think to myself, she doesn't get that happy people-liking shit from me! Must have been all the Zoloft when I was pregnant (JK). She came by it naturally, and it must have been her fathers genetics because on my side "caustic" is used more often than "happy". When she was in day care, no matter what room she was in or what teacher she had, she was always the favorite.
Now, at 3 1/2, she is about the same. She laughs a lot, easily and loudly. It takes so little to get her going. A smidge of a tickle, a quick stick out of the tongue, or a funky sound. Happiness floats off of Teena.
I guess adoptive mothers all go through this, especially when the adoption is of an older child. I wish I wish I wish I could have had just a small window into Genea's babyhood. Because even though it has gotten much better, sadness is what I see most often in her. The first fifteen months of her life may as well have not happened. Did anyone care when she first smiled? Did an orphange worker stop what they were doing to respond and interact with her first smile? Did anyone notice? Did happy get her anything? If Genea smiled at someone did she get fed? Or did only crying work? What was more important, the interaction or the relief of a discomfort? She craves gentle touch and when she is most relaxed she will pick up my hand and lightly stroke her face with it and then I will continue. I think this is when she is most happy and content. But it is only on her terms. If I try to initiate it, mostly she will pull away or ask me to stop.
The day Teena finally pulled off a crawl she was so excited! I was coming in from work and she saw me. She started that hilarious rocking motion and all of a sudden *poof! she was moving! She giggled and smiled and we all cheered. We called grandma's all over the country and they cheered!
I watch Genea crawl when she is playing sometimes, and it is a clunky distorted movement, strictly functional. What happened in Genea's orphanage the day she learned to crawl?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Happy School Starts Week!

I have been reading from a number of people who are having sad moments wistful for time gone by with children old enough to start school, whether kindergarten or high school...
I cannot relate to these women.
I can relate to the woman on http://www.manicmommies.com/ Big Tent group who took a picture of herself waving the children off to school while holding a bottle of champagne (yes this gives her 3 arms but please don't be cruel about it).
I am so happy school started that I am having my bloody mary straight up, no floating xanax!
My girls have been beasts for about a week kicking it up to high gear over the delightful 3 day weekend. Absolutely Vile. So bad that it became apparent this was not an issue of behavioral choices, but clearly required a call to the Vatican. No thank you Dr. Psychiatrist, we have a priest coming.
Genea in particular has been a ping pong ball with hair. Her stress level exceeded her ability to cope with just about everything. Juice with breakfast? She wanted MILLLLLKKKKKKK. Can I have a candy before lunch? No? WAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH! I picked a movie to put on and now I want a different one but the first one is still on.....BAAAWAAA YOU RUINED MY LIFFFFFFEEEEEE.
Want to throw yourself off of a bridge yet?
And with all the fuss surrounding Genea starting school and getting new clothes and her own box of crayons, Teena has lost her shit as well. They are reasonably well behaved by my low standards when they are apart. Together, they are Damian's twin sisters (from the Omen movies).
Genea started school yesterday. Coincidentally, Teena chose this opportunity for a review of the house rules. Being a bright child, she has exceptional powers of recall and has been able to challenge just about every rule of civilized society as well as those of our home which are considerably looser. (Don't bleed. Don't kill your sister. When you decide to turn on your parents as a teenager kindly give us a chance to run, you can have the house). She has tested everything and has quite a skill for getting right up to the point of earning some time on the Bad Baby Rug (YES! I use the word BAD to describe BAD behavior) and then pulls out a SWITCHEROO to the next grating behavior.
Hmmmm, maybe I will float a xanax in my bloody mary for breakfast.


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