Saturday, January 31, 2009


Teena at the dinner table: I not like this (fill in the blank, I don't even remember) food!
Me: Oh, that is so sad for you.
T: Do I have to eat it?
M; No
T: Can I leave?
M: NO, we are all gonna damn well sit here and ENJOY each other right NOW so quit complaining and knock it OFF


T: are you done enjoying me yet?

Genea had a field trip a few weeks ago. It was a big one that involved a half hour bus ride and bringing a lunch. Now, Genea would do just about anything to avoid changes to her little life schedule. About the only thing she would not mess with is FOOD. DO NOT mess with her food schedule. And bringing a lunch messes up her food schedule. I did every crazy thing I could think of to help her through this one. She was sooooo nervous and soooooo worried about it all. We planned that lunch out for days and days ahead of time. The night before I was tucking her in to bed. I was giving her a pep talk, you can do this, you are such a smart kid you will be just fine etc. I said, you know if something terrible does happen, the teacher will call me and I always have my phone, always (I don't always answer it, but thought, hmmm, maybe not the time lol). I told her, if something happens that is really bad, I can even grab Teena and we will run down there to get you and bring you home. I told her this, thinking she would find it comforting but she didn't, she thought that was kind of a bad idea. I was a bit confused because usually she likes to explore all possible options. But, she told me she did not want me to do that. It would take way to long you see, it would be better if we used the car to drive to get her. You know, instead of running LOL!!! She is the most literal kid I know!

Friday, January 30, 2009

stress and stress

Heavy. Sigh.

Genea has strep again. We noticed it so fast this time that even the Doctor said he did not see the usual signs but sure enough that gag stick came back infected. Sigh. But you know what is funny, funny interesting not laughing funny, in the car on the way home I was thinking, this poor kid, she got my susceptibility to strep obviously. Oh yeah... lol... not likely.

Teena told me I look like a penguin doing yoga. She wants a wand that works for her birthday. She has several fairy princess wands, but none of them actually work. You know, like people don't disappear or turn into amphibians. Speaking of yoga, Perky Instructor has a new name. Vicious Yoga Bitch of Pain. She decided to throw in some pilates for class the other day. Pilates sucks. Good crap, who does that to themselves?

My children's grandmother (my MIL)is coming to visit next week, for about a week. She stays in a hotel which does a lot to take the pressure off of me when it comes to the house and such. She however, seems confused as to why I am not channeling Martha Stewart since I am a SAHM mom now. Like the day after my job ended, I should have had an apron ready. Like I even have one. For Christmas she gave me a beautiful cookbook by Oprah. The pictures are gorgeous but other than that, I cannot even imagine what in the world she was thinking. Not one of Ope's pretty dishes had a dancing rat next to it. And you would have to live under a rock in Siberia to not know how I feel about cooking. Sigh.

Segway opportunity to all the other reasons I am not having fun right now. It is cold and it is staying cold and we are all stuck in the house and especially me and Teena because we spend all day every day together and the weather is awful. But, I won't go on. It is all so tedious I will fall asleep from boredom even trying to describe it.

I have a good thing coming up that I am excited about. But, also a little scared of, so there is a stresser there. I asked for cash for Christmas and pooled some other things together and later next month I am taking myself to a Beyond Consequences seminar by Heather Forbes. She does free talks for parents about once a month all over the country, free for parents that is. I wanted to go to to one sooner rather than wait until July for her to be in my area (and Genea would be 6 months older). Since I was going to go, and would have to fly and use a hotel no matter where I went, I thought to myself, Self, why not go to California in the winter! So that is what I am doing. But I am really nervous about going and doing all of this by myself. It has been years and years since I travelled alone. I suppose it is too much to hope anyone reading might be going?
She is a mom who adopted 2 kids internationally and takes a totally different approach to attachment. It all sounded a little too lovey dovey hippie to me at first, but as I was reading her book I noticed there were several times she had written exactly the same thing almost word for word as I had either written myself, or said to someone. So I gave her techniques a try a few times with Genea and it worked. But I cannot just leave that sort of thing and say, woo hoo, I have something cool here. I need to go balls to the wall and understand it all from the neurology to the physiology etc. The why's and how's and so on. (did I sound really smart there?)

ANYway, the cheeks are tightening. Have I mentioned it is not necessarily a bilateral thing? Yeah, so as I am typing, my left buttock has firmed and clenched and I am sitting like 2 inches higher on that side. A little crooked. Off center for sure. Huh. Imagine that.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Yoga again

I went back last week, to my yoga class, and I have another one (pre-paid) coming up. I have decided I like it quite a bit more. I did some practicing at home with a new DVD and with Teena who was kind enough to point out to me, twice, when I was not doing ''the movement like on the tv''. I also discovered accessories come with yoga!!! And to top it all off, I can knit a bag to carry my new little mat in! (no way was I going back to the park district mats everyone else stood on with their disgusting ugly naked feet). Knitting and accessories, woo hoo! Seriously, add in a Starbucks or a bar and I could live in yoga world!

(mat bag still needs a strap and blocking to flatten and even the stitches but not too bad from no pattern)
(If nothing else, the yoga supplies will be able to keep the step aerobic stuff company in my garage where I am going to park my minivan too, if I become anymore of a sahm stereotype).

It occurs to me that I might be able to make some improvements on this yoga business. I mean, if it is thousands of years old, maybe it is time for some pop culture updates. There are a few things that don't make sense to me. They don't, we'll say gel, with my knowledge base and the visual input of the (alleged) physical action. So I will be thinking of some of the poses in better descriptive terms. Giving Birth, that one is obvious. Then, The Dreaded Yearly Exam. Teenagers Having Sex, that's another one. Anything with warrior or hovering in its name can just be referred to as The Drank Too Much because I am wobbling with convulsive muscle spasms and still trying to stay up. Laying on your face and kicking feet and hands for a locust pose, I will call the Don't Take Xanax When You're Drunk.

It does have its positives, truly it does. I have discovered that the Other Accidental Mommy (Sasha) was right, it does get easier and can actually be pleasant and relaxing in a way. It really helps if the student gets off her royal ass more often than twice a month and puts some effort into it.

There is just one thing. Yoga requires a lot of boring hanging around. Pose and...... and...... and..... nothing... keep holding and.......and.....and..... shift. My brain does not hold well. Stuff bounces around like racquetballs are in there. My brain does not pose and it does not hold. It does not relax or calm without sedatives. It might get better with some more ritalin, but that might also make the wobbly drunk effect worse. So, to occupy it in there, I mentally compete with the others in the class. Come on, I can't be the only one. Since I would just about always come in, well, can we just say not the top, in any real competition, in my head I can look around and pull out little victories for myself that deserve a trophy. See, that used car salesman did not lurch as far as I did on the lurch move. Might be too worried about his comb- over flopping. Whoops- granola lady is using her arm to balance, that's cheating, I may be wobbling like a Weeble with muscles frantically quivering not in a good way on this one, but I am not cheating! Bring on my trophies!
(uh, no need to engrave my accomplishments, I will remember and just tell folks myself thanks just get my name right).
There is one move that I excel in. I kick ass, literally, all over the room. All over the park district for that matter. I might even call up the Packers coach and offer up some assistance. I could kick ass all over the NFL too. This move is like a squat sort of. Perky Instructor calls it chair, sitting on a chair without a chair so this is one that already has a good name but what the hell. My improved name for it is, Using A Public Toilet. You know, where you suspend yourself in the air about 4 inches from touching anything while you pee. So here is a truth. A truth that I will only be sharing with the Internet People of the Air. If you know me in Real Life as a Person of the Floor, do NOT expect to have a chatty little coffee clutch with me on this subject (both of you).

I hold my stress in my butt.
A stressor or an irritant comes along and before I even notice, I am hauling 2 big round rocks behind me (yes I said round and I am sticking with it, you don't know you can't see me). As the kids start to fire it up, or The Husband hasn't answered me 3 times in a row then asks me the question, or the damn cat puked again, I can feel the cheeks start to pull and tighten. On a really bad day you could balance a potato chip back there. I know, many people hold their tension in their shoulders. Or the neck, or across the back. A lot of people get stomach aches or head aches. I get most of that too, it just starts in the butt. So when the time comes to sit in a chair that is not there, I want to order a pina colada cuz this here is my pose and I can hang here all night!
So I have hopes for all this. The getting out of the house part rocks. Not so much on the talking to other non-short people, but I can be happy entertaining myself alone in my brain (scared are ya'?).

A short diversion...
Oh yeah, this is the cutest picture ever! Seriously!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


One step forward, 8 steps in 8 different directions that swing out like an octopus's tentacles. Up, down and all around. This post is a continuation of the last most recent one, right down there, under here.

I went to pick up Genea from the bus yesterday. The bus drops her and the girl across the street off in the middle of our block. Genea comes barreling off the bus, as she does every day, as if she has not seen me for a month screaming 'mommyyyyyyyyyyy mommyyyyyyyyyyyy'. I grab her hand, and since it is winter and the cold is unholy, we walk quickly to our driveway and into our house. The other little girl goes either with her mom back into her house, or a few times a week her dad waits for her at the stop in his car, and they go to his house. Yesterday must have been a Dad day again, because he was there waiting on the street in his red car.

ANYway, while Genea managed to be appropriate at her friends house the other day, she has blown up the whole thing into practically getting married to the girl and moving in to their house to be BFF's. Emphasis on the last F (Best Friends FOREVER). Naturally. When you have a kid who has been passed around like a hot potato, and someone shows a smidge of interest in her, she reacts in a disproportionately elevated way. Like she is in love. Like so in love they are selecting china patterns together (go for the Fiesta Ware, always fashionable). Spending the rest of their lives together in sickness and in health. Sure, a lot of regular kids act like this too. The difference here is no one, let alone this unsuspecting 5 year old girl, can live up to the hype. No kid can maintain the opposite half of what Genea is expecting. This will crash and burn. Regular kids would experience a disappointment in each other and learn and move on. They might 'fight' and make up, or get jealous of each other spending time with another person, but they would get past it. Genea is going to have to be coached in every single facet of this relationship in the hope on the wing of a prayer that she will not be scarred by it. She will not learn experientially. She will learn only with very specific teaching to each situation as it occurs.

We were walking up our driveway and Genea was telling me all about all the things she and her friend will be doing. She tells me she is going to a sleepover, next week is a party, etc. She tells me she is going over to her house again today to play and I tell her I don't think that will be today, because I just saw your friend going to her dad's car. Genea turns to look, it takes her a minute because she is stuffed into 70 pounds of snow gear, she sees what I am saying is true and she begins this pathetic brain crushing howl. When the choices are fight, flight or freeze, she will freeze. She stops in her tracks like she has suddenly frozen to the ground. She cries out her friends name and she is loud. LOUD. And I am somehow off my game and not expecting this reaction (silly me!) and all I can think is, oh my unholy hell get her in the house before someone hears her because if one of the parents hears this they are really going to think something is weird. Just because something IS weird, I was hoping to get a little further along before everyone knew. Before I had to start making explanations that I can barely explain myself. Cover! Protect! Save her! Only now Genea is fighting me and howling her friends name as loud as she can and refusing to walk any further and so I grabbed the back of her hood and start pushing/ dragging her into the house, she tries to stop at the door jam and seriously, this other kid is not even in her dads car all the way yet and she is going to hear this any second and get fuh-REAK-ed out and so I gave Genea one last shove into the house and threw my front door shut. Phew. I think, I think we made it. My poor kid is still crying and I am trying to explain to her that her friend goes to her Dads house sometimes, she knows that, and remember I said we would invite her over next week. The Husband happened to be home and he comes to talk to her too, and I am hugging her, then he is hugging her. Then he asks her, did she think her friend was going away forever and not coming back?


Sheesh. Tragedy over. Or at least, tragedy bypassed this time.

And, if I may, I do have a brag. I decided my girls should both learn to spell their full names and learn our phone number (on the ball this mom is lol). Genea already knows her name, but not the number. So, I made little cards for them both to practice with and memorize the information. We have never tried this before, we have had bigger things to tackle honestly. I sat down with Genea to show her what I do to memorize things, and in under 2 minutes, seriously, we repeated it less than 5 times, she had it down. I asked her again 15 minutes later, and she still knew it. Smart little thing!

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Big Day

In the middle of all the news this week, an event that probably seems small to the rest of the world, went unnoticed. This event, to those who experienced it, was extraordinary. I guess what with all the new president stuff, and news media stories about how nothing actually did change over night, but they were still waiting, there was not any room for a local story. A little human interest story.

On Wednesday, my doorbell rang. I have mentioned before that my doorbell rarely rings. It is either UPS (good!) or some overblown person running for the school board who wants to tell me how great they are (not good!), or folks who would like to include me and my family in the competition for the 144,000 most likely to get to the top spots in the afterlife (considerate!). It was none of the above. It was 2 little girls from across the street who wanted to know if Genea could come out to play.


The little girl goes to school with Genea, and the other is her sister. They came by once before, months ago, when Genea was on a tear. I had to tell them no, she could not come out. Part of it though, was at the time I was really startled to find kids on my doorstep! Our learning curve here is skewed off in all kinds of wonky directions. Most moms, and definitely Super Mom, have planned this out in their minds years in advance. You know, like, when I have kids I am not going to let them cross the street alone until they are 9. My kid will only drink water and eat healthy bran flakes and twigs and never shall sugar cross her lips. Or, my kid won't wear make up until she is 14. Stuff like that. I never planned for kids in the first place, let alone what to do with them. Then, I went and jump started things by having 2 kids in 2 years but one was already 4. So I am learning, as these things come up, how I will handle the situations.

ANYway, so the little girl across the street is in the same class with Genea and they sit at the same table in class. She came by months ago to play and never came back. I remember being a kid and my sister and I had friends all over the block. We would cut through yards, get in all kinds of trouble and do all the things we were not supposed to when our Mom could see us. It is soooooo important for kids to have friends. I would be so thrilled, really, for each of my girls to have a good friend! So I hollered up the stairs to Genea that her friend was at the door and did she want to go out to play? Genea floated down the stairs to put all of her snow gear back on and off they went. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, Genea has never been in a social situation that I was not monitoring closely, or at school with professionals. There are a lot of really good reasons for this. A lot. We have only had her for a year and a half. Kids who are 5 have had 5 years to grow and develop and be age appropriate and be goofy 5 year olds with 5 years of experience. Genea has had 18 months. An automatic disadvantage. Especially when the first 6 of those were spent in a grief filled state of terror. But this has been a ''lights-on'' week for her. There are weeks at a stretch where she has difficulty with everything in her path, and there are weeks where she does just fine. We are in a just fine week. And so, I had a second to decide what I was going to do, and my decision was to let Genea go over to her friends house across the street. I ran back upstairs to a dark window and plastered my face to it. Every few minutes, I went back up to make sure nothing bad was going on outside the house. I don't know what, but the first few things that come to mind are an ambulance arriving, fire shooting into the sky, loud cracking sounds, those sorts of things. Supermom would have had these folks social security numbers with copies of the drivers licences of all adults in the house. She would have them on speed- dial, heck, she would probably have gone over there with Genea, left handouts on various disorders and brought Teena too, to supervise. But my instinct that day was that Genea needs to be normal and needs to experience normal and she was ready for it. And so I let her fly solo. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

Well, I let her fly solo to the extent that I was crawling out of my own skin and had to bite the bullet after a half hour and went to get her. She was fine. She did not want to go home, she said, but in the driveway she admitted she was ready to come back. They had just played like regular kids do and everything was fine. They have some unusual animals at this house, which reportedly scared Genea to the point that it was mentioned to me twice already by the adults. But otherwise, just fine. JUST FINE!!!!!

So, the next time the news comes on to announce that today is the first time 3 consecutive days have passed with an African American President in the White House, remember will ya', that the real news, is going unreported.

( no disrespect intended to the new President I just think most of us have figured out by now that he is the first African American President and other things can be reported on)(and I was watching Nightline and the dumbass reporter actually said, on Wednesday, that basically despite all the promises of change, it is still hard to alter your mortgage!)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Meme

I got a meme tag!

I don't know what that is but I can follow the directions!

I am excited!
From Rachael at

The rules: 1. Grab the nearest book.2. Open to page 56.3. Find the fifth sentence.4. Post the text of the next 2 to 5 sentences, along with these rules.5. Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual book. Pick the CLOSEST!6. Tag five other people to do the same!
My lines:

"The barite mine where Dad worked had a commissary, and the mine owner deducted our bill and the rent for the depot out of dad's paycheck every month. At the beginning of each week, we went to the commissary and brought home bags and bags of food. Mom said only people brainwashed by advertising bought prepared foods such as SpaghettO's and TV dinners. "

Fortunately, the nearest book was The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. I found it a unique book, as the author describes her rather horrible childhood conditions but with highly intelligent and creative parents. My other closest book was Vogue Knitting Stitchionary of Cables. That would have been boring as each page is one type of cable, no narrative even.

So the other people I think should do this are:


Stephanie Hoover



---------- 1 slot left open for anyone who wants it!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Dear George,
I watched you get in to that big helicopter. I kept my eyes on the doors. They stayed shut. You did not sneak out.
I watched you fly away, on that big helicopter.
I yelled buh bye as loud as I could, to my television screen. Maybe you heard me.
I waved as you left, my finger held high.
Good luck finding another job. I hear it is tough right now. You should probably tweak your resume.

The Accidental Mommy

***some content removed for excessive obnoxiousness on my part***

Monday, January 19, 2009

If I didn't have kids....

If I did not have kids, I would not be here right now.

My life, before I got pregnant, was totally different. The appearance of Teena ground to a screeching halt almost all the aspects of life as I knew it. Mostly, I didn't even notice. There have been a few things, randomly, that I have felt I missed out on. And I missed out on them because I had kids.

Here in town is a big 4th of July party. Bands up and down all the streets, food vendor's (DUDE get your fat ass out the way of my funnel cake booth or I cannot be responsible for the loss of your balls SERIOUSLY) and craft vendor's and boat loads of alcohol. And boats on the river. Not to mention the fireworks. The first year, we took Teena in her stroller and it went well. The second year, not so much. We took the girls 2 summers ago and spent the time watching, sigh, the clown band. And the guy with the balloons. Then left. This past summer we did not go at all. That is one thing that I miss that I do not do up in all its glory, because I have kids.

Then there are the day to day things. I miss, desperately, being able to pop into my car and go where ever the hell I feel like going. The grocery store, the mall etc. If we are out of milk, I would rather just live without milk than hassle around for a half hour getting the girls ready and into the car with all the car seats and buckles and straps, just to get there and do it all in reverse, then back again. Forget it. We will drink water until we need more than milk.

I miss growing my handbag collection. I love Coach bags, ever since I got one as a gift in college. One bag however, costs the equivalent of a month of day care. So, the collection (investment, really) grows much more slowly and only in gift form. Growing my antique depression era dishes and glassware collection? Enough said. Reading a book and leaving it on the table while I get up and do something else and finding it still there AND on my page when I return, that I miss.

Ok, so that is not a tremendously long list. I don't wish I could have gone to medical school or joined the Peace Corps. Mostly I have my kids and we do kid things and that is that. If anyone is waiting, I am not going to go into a long tangent about how my kids are all worth it and my love for them is so strong blah blah blah. Whatever. It is assumed.

I felt it hard, hard, when Barack Obama won the presidential election. We were just returning from a trip to the southwest with the girls and on the day of the election we were traveling home. We were at O'Hare airport in Chicago when we found out Obama had won (of course we absentee- voted). Frazzled and exhausted from 8 hours -and counting- of travel with 2 young children, I wanted nothing more than to grab a cab, catch a bus, something, and buzz on over to Grant Park. I love Grant Park. I grew up in the Chicago area, and I went to every Blues Fest for 10 years. I love the city. Love it. I would have ditched my flight in a split second. Cell phone and a credit card. That is all I needed.

It did not happen of course.

We slogged our way back to Wisconsin, collected our 400 bags of luggage, and went home. And I watched the President Elect give his speech on TV. I watched his beautiful family (2 girls!!! Who else has 2 girls? Wait, oh yeah) join him on that stage. I felt such a pull, an overwhelming want, to be there in the ice cold with all of those people, in person. The excitement, the joy, came through even on tv. The thrill, the hope and the collective electrifying energy. It was one of the few times in the past 4 years since having Teena, and then Genea, that I have really wished I had a different life that would have allowed me to ditch my flight, put my stuff in a locker at O'Hare, grab my cell phone and a credit card (maybe a lipstick and comb too) and just GO.

Today, tomorrow, I would love to be on my way to Washington DC for the inauguration. Surely I would not have had an invitation to any parties, but I wouldn't have the clothes for one anyway. I have never been at a point in my life, kids or not, that I would have been able to afford what a hotel room has to be going for this week. If I were in college, or even fresh out, I would be there. I would not change my underwear for 3 days and take a bus and not sleep the whole time and I would be there. Standing in the street, snaking my way up as close as I could possibly get to the action, to be able to see, no matter from how far, to be able to watch this happen. This time, right now, this moment in the history of this country.

Instead we will watch it on tv. I will try to explain to my kids why the day is such a special one and what has changed in the minds of the people of this country. What we have been through starting before they were born and what we hope will change. They will not understand yet. And I will wish I was there.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Regression and Recovery

Yesterday was weird. I was thinking through a post on how we are trying to teach Genea normal. Regular. Ordinary. I am a hair ruffler. When I walk past a kid, I ruffle hair. I pat a shoulder, rub a back, whatever. Genea has always had the reaction of recoil and grunt, which I ignore and pat again the next time I walk by. Touch is hard for her, I know that. But it's also my job to help her with it. I know she wants the attention and I know she needs the sort of physical validation. Anyway, I finally sat down and explained to her, most people find this nice. Most kids feel their parents love them when they get a shoulder patted. It makes most kids feel good and happy. Evidently I should have pointed this out to her long ago, instead of just a few weeks ago because that is all it took. Now, she looks up and smiles when I ruffle her hair or give a quick scratch to her back. Somehow it seems she got in a habit of squawking and lurching away. She has done that since I have known her. I don't know where it started.

We went out to dinner last night, to Texas Roadhouse. If you don't have one, they are loud loud loud, with cheap steaks and unbelievably fabulous rolls. We have all been there a bunch of times together. Tonite, Genea was off. She was distant and vacant. When we sat down and got settled, I looked at her and realized she had swiped a roll and stuffed her mouth with the entire thing. She never would take food like that right in front of us. I am watching her, and she has become spacey and her eyes are glazed over. I try to talk to her, and she looks at me blankly and gives the minimum possible answers. It is so hard to describe when this happens because it is almost like she turns into another person. She sat quietly and colored on her book. Her eyes are vacant and she is barely responsive. It scares the living shit out of me when it happens, which is probably less than 10 times total, so not terribly often. So what is my complaint, right, she sat quietly and looked at her color book from the hostess. I don't know. It just isn't right, it isn't her. If Genea is sitting where she is supposed to, being quiet and calm, focused on a task and concentrating on it, something is wrong. She has folded herself into a dissociative state. Her regular, aware and dysregulated state is what we live in. Her real self is in there when she is jumping around like a ping pong ball. Isn't it?

Anyway, she continued like that all through dinner. She had an old fashioned meltdown right there in the booth when she finished her chicken things and asked for another order, of mac and cheese. We were like, what? Where did you get that idea? Her entire face forehead to chin widens and opens and spit flies everywhere and she melted down. Of course she had sucked down her juice when we weren't looking, and stuffed food the whole time she was eating. The melt down ended when I pointed out she could chew her ice.

She recovered when we left. The brutal cold of whatever, like 4 degrees, seemed to snap her out of it. When we got home, she went to bed. I found her on the floor a little later when I checked on her, sleeping with her eyes open. All night I could hear her, calling out, moaning, flopping around. Nightmares on and off for several hours.

This morning, she is back. She is back and she is great. She woke up first, didn't wake up anyone else with a fit. She got up and went and ate (on Sundays I set out the girls' food for them so they can eat and we can sleep). She was quiet and happy and calm, and in a good way. Not the freaky scary way. I don't know what triggered her last night. Usually its obvious. I guess maybe all the rough changes in schedules combined with being in the house for several days straight, combined with the loud crazy restaurant did her in. I don't know. Maybe that should be the title of this post, "I don't know"!

Friday, January 16, 2009


It is -18 degrees today. That does not include the wind chill, which I believe is at the -30 to -45 point. Does it even matter? It would have to get more than 50 degrees warmer to be above freezing.
School was cancelled again.
And I am tired of trying to pretend to keep a positive attitude.
EVEN MY CUTICLES WANT TO LEAVE TOWN! They have risen above and away from the rest of the skin I own. I don't know what is holding my fingernails on anymore.

Today, this is what I have been thinking about. Part 1.

My bra collection is terrible. What I have are a bunch of highly technological and architecturally advanced pieces of construction that contain enough metal to be stopped by security at the airport and enough padding that I don't care if they pat me down. They are made of shiny luxury fabrics in beautiful colors and prints. The Sears Tower does not have the advances in physics that most of my bra's have. And that is how it feels wearing them, like I strapped the Sears Tower over and around the back to clip it on.

The problem seems to be that most of these boobage enhancers were made as an investment before I had children appear all over my house. Back when I cared. Back when I would go out to dinner and care. Back when I would go to work, and care. Back when I would answer the door and care. I no longer care. My goal is not to continue to perpetuate the illusion to the general public that I am nicely endowed with a body in proportion. I just want to be inoffensive. In other words, cover and smooth. That's it. Disguise any THO's, especially with this cold. That is all I care about. Oh, and not visible in color, shape or shadow under clothes. So. I would go shopping, but unfortunately, I do not care enough. There are the super expensive fancy bra's, of which I already have plenty, and bra's for those of advanced age, with the super wide bands criss crossing all over like a tic tac toe board. Or chicken wire. Don't want those either. And don't have the energy to seek out other options. I just need a regular, boring plain bra. No architecture. Cover and smooth.

Part 2

Genea does not like change, I believe we have covered that. So yesterday, when we had the snow day because it was too cold out for kids to go to school, I decided to have a low key and low expectation day. Relax, watch some Dora, play with stuff, watch some more Diego. It helped her maintain calm to keep things quiet. When I say it helped, I mean she only pee'd on my couch (in my spot, feel the love) one time. I let her play her Leapster game as long as she wanted, and kept myself and everyone else, including cats, calm in the face of meltdowns and provoking behaviors. But none of us can keep it up like that forever. And definitely not for 2 days. Going crazy would be a relief. But, I can't go crazy because I am the only adult here. Now with the weekend, we have 4 straight days together. Locked in the house. Together.

Today, Genea is a toe- walking pageant winner. Even when I remind her, she only lowers her heels briefly, then ping, back up there. Her calves are like rocks, seriously. She is sucking on her hand hiding behind the furniture. She is asking nonsense questions to bring attention to herself. Points at a table and asks me, what is this for? What is this? Snorts down all her milk in one shot then chokes and gags. I found her sleeping on the floor last night, a sure sign of stress. Stalking me. There comes a point where she does not perceive a difference in attention. Positive or negative is not relevant, she seeks all attention. Compulsively following me. Compulsively pulling on her shirt. Cannot, CANNOT occupy herself. Any ability she has developed to self direct- poof! Gone. All controls, structure and balance have to be provided for her externally. But she is trying. Me too.
*This just added... I forgot to mention the mouth thing. When stressed from an uncontrollable, Genea's mouth hangs open and she parks her tongue between her lower teeth and her lower lip. Which makes it look like she has a gargantuan tongue. Not a flattering look for anyone.

Today we are making Thank You cards for all the people who gave the girls gifts for Christmas but we were not able to see them. Because we were chasing vomit at the time, so, a lot of people. They are having a blast with it. I used stamps to put Thank You on the front of the cards then let them go to town with watercolor paints. Next step is stickers after the paint dries. Then names etc.

2 and a half days to go until Monday and back to school and routine and sameness. I may, or may not, make it. The Husband will be home in a few hours, providing adult coverage and someone who can dial a phone. Maybe I will go crazy. Ahhhh, craaaazy.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

lies lies lies yeah- heah

OK, I think that is a line from an old Thompson Twins song. It fits.

I have had a glimpse into my future and it is a scary place. I see myself crumbled against a wall wearing clothes from the 80's and a stunned haunted expression as hordes of wild teenagers run through the burned out shell of what was my home.

Yesterday, as we were getting ready to go to the Doctor to follow up with Teena's x-ray and pee- test, she 'fessed up to what really happened the day before she became so sick. She and her sister were at a sitters for a short time so I could spend my efforts, time and money on their cute little butts for Christmas, Santa and the rest of it.

But, I am going to delay your gratification for a minute, cuz I can. My kids are home today because it is -16 outside and school is closed. Therefore I have some pent up feelings that need a passive-aggressive place to land.

When it comes to lying, Teena has always demonstrated significant skill. Someday, she will have the potential for a great career in the Criminal Arts. When she was a littler little kid one day I came home from work and The Husband had been home with her all day. My make- up had been used to decorate the sink, counter and cabinets in the bathroom, and not very well. She was so little at the time, her eyes just barely skimmed the counter top. Teena straight up denied that is was her, but being as she did not talk yet, the details were unclear. I went in for further Crime Scene Analysis and what did I see laying down by the drain of the sink but a pacifier. It was the evidence that sank her.

Now Genea, she will lie with the truth in her hands. Her first automatic reaction to any hint of trouble is deny, deny deny. However in my opinion at least she has an excuse. For her it has been survival. When the choices are fight, flight or freeze she will freeze as solid as your nose hairs outside today. When you ask her, what happened here, she will freeze in position, look straight up at you and lock her eyes with yours, then lie. There is nothing you can say to her to convince her that lying is a really bad idea even when she is standing there holding the truth in her hands. She will not. waver. end. of. story.

Through trial and error, I have gotten to know her 'tells'. So actually Genea is easier to handle when she is lying, because I know her well enough to know it is happening. I am also very lucky, in that while her first response is to lie when cornered, I can tell her I am going to give her a few minutes to think about what her final answer is going to be. She will generally approach me in under 5 minutes and say something like, uh, mama? I have to tell you sumfin'. I have had to treat all of the factors here like a Faberge egg. It is one heck of a balance to keep up. She will freeze if she fears a danger and will confess if she feels safe. And yet, I cannot let the lying and the original offense go, so there has to be a consequence to the action and the lie. But it has to be gentle enough that the next time it happens she does not freeze. I have to sort of delicately lead her to a point where she feels safe enough to be honest while simultaneously taking the situation into account that led to the confrontation in the first place and coaching her developmentally and emotionally to grow. Balance. Yikes.

Teena's account of the day before she got sick goes like this. She is at the sitters house, and the sitters little boy who is 3, and she have snuck into the kitchen. He has gone into a drawer and pulled something out. In her words, ball things like snow. Here is the rest, in Teena's own words.

"He gave me one to eat so I did but it didn't taste very good and then I ate another one and it didn't taste very good either and then I ate another one and it didn't taste very good either and he gave one to Genea but she didn't eat hers she gave it to me. But don't tell anybody." Did he eat any? No.

So you can see where I might be having some problems in about a decade or so. Here is Teena, confronted with a photograph of the inside of her, clearly showing she ate these little balls of something (still don't know what). She lies, says she did not eat anything. She is confronted with going to the hospital. Still lies. Now at the hospital, they are giving her shots (taking blood). STILL lies. The one fear that will send most kids over the edge into nun- level truth- hood, a shot, has no effect. Continue on and she has to sleep in the hospital away from her bed and her house and her family and her stuff. CATHETERIZE HER. Still, nothing. Lets her parents hold archaeological digs through her poop for weeks. Lies. Looks us straight in the eyes as innocent as the day she was born and lies her little face off.

Trying to look on the bright side, I can think of several profitable career choices for Teena. Obviously, acting or politics. Ya know how they say, find something you are good at that feeds your bliss and find a way to get paid to do it! Lawyering, that's another choice. Crime, breaking and entering, she could be good at that but I would be concerned that she is too messy of a person not to leave a bunch of evidence all over. Cons, banking, finance, different ways of blowing smoke up the butts of customers, there are some possibilities there. OOooo, customer service, that's a good one. No wait, no money in that. Yeah, good money in investment bankering these past few years, and she loves numbers. Genea is going to fulfill my unfulfilled dreams of being on Broadway and living in New York City. This kid can sing, have I mentioned that before? She really can. Just as soon as we work through all of her emotional disorders we are trying out for Americas Most Talented Whatever, the one with David Hasselhoff and Sharon Osborn.

ANYway. Teena ate some white snow looking-ish balls from a kitchen drawer at a sitters house that another kid had the sense not to eat but gave to her. They are gone from her based on yesterdays x-ray. Still no word on what it could have been.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dude, yoga hurts!

Hmm, seems I may have made a mistake with this yoga business.

Ok, so I know people are going to laugh at me, and not in a I- solicited- it way. I totally thought yoga would be relaxing. I was sort of tipped off by a comment from sugar-n-spice, but did not fully process the information until later. This is what I thought. I believed when my little 45 minutes of class were over, I would feel as though I had stretched out my entire body after a nice long nap. This is not the case.

I went to my first yoga class last week. I went of course, to the wrong building, so had to make another trip across town and be late. Stress. The first day. And when I finally got in and looked around the darkened room, what I saw was no place for me to go. I tried to cram myself in to the back, I was even willing to scoot myself into smelling and seeing distance of another persons naked feet to avoid the wide open range of space in the front (and I HATE feet). So the little perky girl in the front hollers out- ''There is no more room back there, you will have to come up here''. To THE FRONT of the room! Next to PERKY girl, who is the instructor. BAH!

I unrolled my little mat in the front of the class where I could not see anyone but the PERKY girl to my side. Now, I don't know anything about yoga really. I thought it looked what, non stressful I suppose. And after all I had done pregnant yoga in the privacy of my own home so I thought I understood what was going to happen. PERKY girl twists around randomly sticking out an appendage or two and saying things like, ''Plank" and "downward facing dog" and then just hanging there for minutes at a time. It is hard!!! Really hard, and intense. See, when I was doing the dvd yoga, I would fast forward over boring parts, and anything that took too long, or hurt. And I rested a LOT, while the nice ladies on the DVD did most of the hard stuff for me. Now stop laughing and pay attention, I think my biggest error came from doing most of it on my bed or holding on to something big. Turns out this yoga business uses a lot of balance. Balance is NOT a great area for me and I sit down a lot because of it. No sense falling over all the time, I will go ahead and just sit before I tip over. Save some trouble. Thinking ahead.

So I cannot see myself, being way too far to the side and front to catch the mirror (probably a blessing) and I cannot see anyone behind me either. I am trying to imitate The Perk but she is doing this stuff and I am trying desperately to keep my balance and not humiliate myself although my muscles are quite literally quivering and NOT IN A GOOD WAY and I am thinking oh crap I may have misread that little flyer about this being a beginner to intermediate class and mistook watching my DVD for actually participating. I despise being in the front of anything, I try to be last or at the end or in the back. So half of my focus is going towards the moves and the other half is trying to imagine how I look from behind doing this stuff using a big chunk of concentration on not offending all the people back there and not humiliating myself what with the no balance and the quivering and all. I would guess I looked like a rather dense Weeble (weebles wobble but they don't fall down- thankfully), and not as I fantasized, like Samantha and Carrie (Sex and the City). (NO I do not believe I watch an excess of televised entertainment thanks for asking).

The good news is there were obviously a few people who made the same mistake as I, and there was in particular another woman who looked confused and off balance too. I am going to stake out a spot by her this next time. About half the class was men, and as happens in this crazy town, several people knew each other. But not me.

So when the class was over, I asked the little Perky girl if she could bring me some information about what I am supposed to be doing. See, I thought we would be learning about the poses and stuff and gently moving in to the actual doing of the poses maybe in a few weeks. It was not until I got into my car that my poor underutilized muscles stopped vibrating -again, not in a good way- and I went home to rest. I have been trying to rest ever since. It has been painful and I believe I heard my body creak like a haunted house. This yoga business is HARD.

It is probably good that they made me pay up ahead of time. I go back tomorrow. The pain finally subsided yesterday.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I really hate that I have no pictures of Genea as a baby. She was originally adopted from Ukraine when she was 15 months old and there is one picture of her there. That picture is of a naked, happy looking 6 week old infant. It is actually a really cute photo, and it is obvious that it is her, her toes are unmistakable. It is maybe 1 inch by 1.5 inches, tiny.

Genea is "star of the week" at school, and we can send photo's to be put up on the wall along with some things she likes and basic family information. This is the first time we have had a school issue come up related to her adoption. I have maybe 5 photo's of her up until the age of 4. There is a small album that a day care provider put together of her from a time frame across a couple months. Another burst of about 12 pictures of the original adopting family in the week before she came to us. That is probably more than a lot of people have who have adopted older kids. But it still makes me mad. It is not fair and it is not right and it pisses me off. And I feel like a 5 year old myself, whining about it like that.

I love baby pictures. It blows my mind how different people look from the time they are born and into adulthood. I enjoy looking at my own even. There are pictures of my mom when she was in grade school and she looks just like Genea does now! My older half- sister has only 2 or 3 pictures of her life into grade school. All the pictures of her were burned up in a house fire. The few left actually have scorch marks. Whenever the subject of childhood pictures comes up, she mentions this, 40 some odd years later it is still enough of a factor in her life that she talks about it to this day!

I guess I am probably lucky to have that little naked baby picture. But I think it just sucks ass that it is the only one on the planet.

I know that this is a boring post but it is late and I have been putting together a collage of photos of Genea to take to school tomorrow and put up on that wall. I bulked it up with photos from the past year and a half. So I am tired, and this is on my mind.

About a month ago Genea and I were playing around with her hair. I call it her crazy rock star hair because it is wildly curly and shoots up all over. Her hair is actually longer than halfway down her back but sits just below her shoulders when dry. We decided to straighten her hair with my flat iron for fun. WOW what a difference, she looks like a teenager!

Friday, January 9, 2009

tough love

Yeah, we know, we brought it on ourselves. With the holidays and the puke a la palooza festival, combined with crummy weather and time off from school we are all a bit frazzled in my house. This is my excuse.

We have been pretty lax lately around here. Children who act out are spoken to, running inside is warned against, and the kids have had the privilege of their own tv for movies. We did not wind up with 2 children grateful and appreciative of the relaxation of the rules of our house. No one said, hey thanks momma, for giving me a break when I was sick, I really needed that.

So The Husband and I have been discussing the behavior of our children and how it has come to be that both girls have a charmless similarity to Veruca Salt (from Willy Wonka movie see We do not want demanding and out of control children, we want nice ones. We decided to give the old 'token economy' technique a try. The Husband and I are reasonably compatible when it comes to rules in the house. We agree on the big things and most of the small things. Where we run into problems is in the what to do about it. Then we bicker back and forth while the offending child smirks and tries to slither away unnoticed. So I have been making an effort to not jump in when The Husband takes a stand. His method is to talk to the child until her ears actually fall off, then she has to pick them up off the floor and go to a time out. My method, known as Bribe and Threaten Parenting is more direct It goes like this:
"knock that off right now or you are going to time out" only you have to imagine my voice sounds like a shrill blender with ice cubes in it after repeating myself 400 times. I admit to having been less than consistent.

Anyway, we have agreed that both of our children are smart little girls who know what the rules are, and know what they should be doing. They also have no auditory disturbances or blockage, therefore there is no excuse for not listening. We have concluded that our children are deliberately ignoring us and doing whatever they want.

Coincidentally, late this afternoon Genea had put on a movie on their little tv and it was not working. The Husband administered his techo- o- geek proficiency to the problem and discovered that their movies had fingerprints and scratches all over them and they have not been putting them away, they have been stacking them together naked. We decided immediately to suspend their movie watching. When they cried and made lame excuses, we decided to take away all the toys that had batteries. All the little things that make noise and move around or dance, gone. Until we decide what nasty chores they will need to do to get them back. And then, they are going to need to earn the movies back and earn the ability to watch one as well. So we are tightening up! Implementing Tough Love! Much hysteria and crying ensued! The trauma! The sadness! The pant load of crap!

I put all of their little electronic toys in a cardboard box and left it where they can see it (no use them forgetting about the stuff). I went in to the kitchen to open a bag of pizza puffs to go in the toaster oven. Oh yeah, and I cooked beans too. Unloading the dishwasher. I hear the girls going back and forth. Genea in particular has a hard time getting herself something to do. Teena can spend an hour telling a story to her fork, Genea needs more direction and concrete ideas or she will pace back and forth. I can hear The Husband getting on them to find something to do or play with, then comes the tough love. He says, in a punishing tone, meant to convey the seriousness of his message and his frustration too, ''girls, stop crying and go watch TV until we decide you can behave''. Sigh. We have some work to do.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Bad Mood

How bad does a mood have to get to be a clinical issue? If the owner of the mood has dreams of a nice long rest alone on a lovely psych unit somewhere, is that bad? We need to work on that stigma in this society.

I started today with a shower and when I opened the shower I found all the remnants of Teena's bath last night. Finally got that cleaned up and started my shower and picked up the shampoo bottle and there was a soggy earwig under it. It looked already dead but I chased it down and smashed it just in case. I shoved it to the side where there is not any water, but really, can a person be expected to enjoy their shower with a wet dead earwig staring at them from the edge? Really? But ya know, I was ok. I managed to get through it and move on.

Teena had a doctors appointment and she still has a slight urinary tract infection. And even though The Husband and I, yes and I, have dissected every turd to leave our child's body, we still do not know what she could have swallowed that could have caused the blip on her x-rays. I just know one thing for sure, whatever IT is has not vacated the premises. Ugh. As nasty and gross as I thought that glamorous task would be, it was 10 times worse. Anyway, off to My Beloved Target for another round of antibiotics for Teena.

I have a thing about parking lots. I need to have the best space. Not just a good one, the BEST one. If it is a little small, or cockeyed, well that is ok I am not driving a Cadillac. I take into account all entrances, sides of the rows, side of the car to get out on, etc. Like I said, a thing. I was jacked today, out of 3 spots, the last 2 because some 2 jerks in a row decided to use the spot I wanted to turn their stupid asses around instead of going to the end like people in normal society. The second time the dumbass behind the wheel started to wave me in and back up, like I am now going to back up down the row to go in. I suspect he was able to read lips based on the expression on his face. However I moved on.

When it is time to get Genea from the bus, I wait at the door and when the bus turns the corner I scurry out the door to the stop as fast as I can. The stop is a few doors down, which is a huge improvement over it being a block away in this weather. Weather which has clearly conspired against me and has turned everything to ice. Sooooo, in trying to haul ass, I landed on mine. What was my first thought? Not ow! OMG Did anyone see? Then ow, then aw hell, my hand is bleeding. The other fun effect of this weather conspiracy has been cuticles so dry they are pulling away from the rest of my skin and actually get caught on clothes. eewwwww. I put stuff like lotion and burts bees on them but for crying out loud, is it supposed to be a part time job? Anyway, the result has been I look like Michael Jackson with my fingers covered in band aids only my band aids have Barbie on them (his might too, I am just taking the position that I do not know).

Tonite I start a yoga class. I did video yoga (alone) when I was pregnant and it was great. I hear it is also relaxing. Plus I need to get out of the house. Plus I am tired of only talking to short people. I need to meet other people, but who is going to want to talk to the chick with the Michael Jackson fingers? Now I do not want to go. When I have a lot of stress I have some odd physical symptoms. I get a gross rash in my hairline. Acne in places you would expect, others not. Can't sleep. And the thrill of getting a monthly visitor perks up and appears early by up to 2 weeks. Great. This yoga business has no idea what it is up against. We'll see.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Blog Questions

I have heard about blogs for a few years, but I sort of thought the idea of a web log sounded lame. So I never looked at any unless they showed up in a search and then they usually were lame. I had no way to find where any of the good ones were at the time so I ignored the whole thing. Now I find I do not know the etiquette for blog related things, not that I am a great follower of etiquette anyway, but if I were to try it would be nice to know what I should be doing.
When I first started this blog, I thought that people would appear from nowhere. See, I heard people say things like, ''oh I wrote about that on my blog'' and '' I just blogged my vacation'' and so I thought if it was blogged, someone was reading in the air somewhere. Very quickly I noticed that did not seem to be happening. I installed a visitor counter which confirmed that yes indeed, I was writing to myself. This seemed pointless. I went looking for tips and hints and put my link out there on a few list-serves that I had been on all along. It worked in that a good many people came to look and a discouraging lot of them never came back. A few did, and I really was quite grateful! Then I came across some of the good blogs and I commented and some of the writers came to visit me, and some of the other commenter's came to look too! AHA!
Back to the etiquette thing, I did not know what I should do in regards to listing blogs I like. At first I just started plugging them in. Then it occurred to me that I probably should ask the writers, being as they might not want to be associated with me, for permission to list them (I am fine if someone does not want my blog associated with theirs, I use bad words and say rude and sarcastic things, my humor is not for everyone!). Everyone said, okay sure! And then like, TWO, listed me back. Fortunately those 2 totally rock, Kids Special Needs and Parenting the Hoovers.
Along comes this following business and I do not really get that either. I have a blog list, and I have this subscription dealy up (does anyone use those?) and now followers? I have been embarrassed to say that for the longest time I only had ONE follower. ONE! Mind you I have always been very proud of my follower and I very much appreciate her and you should know immediately who you are. Just last week some one else joined to be a follower so now I have TWO! Still, 2 does not sound like a lot, there is no getting around that fact, and I will feel kind of silly putting up a follower list with 2 stickers on it. Especially because there is a blogger whose little kid put up a blog and like in 10 minutes had 900 followers! I do not really know either, should I just sticker myself onto other peoples blogs? Is that polite? I went searching yesterday and got myself a pretty sticker, different color stairs going up with a white background. Appropriate as my blog description ends with..." and things have gone uphill from there". It is sure to be complimentary to anyones color scheme.

So, I guess this is partly a warning. I am tired of trying to find people all the time going back through comments and into my saved favorites etc. I am going to put you on my blog list if I read you and I am going to sticker myself on you, like it or not (with the exception of aforementioned child, whose wonderful mother probably does not need her daughter reading my sassy language).


And if I miss anyone, feel free to speak up!!!!
And a little housekeeping, I did rearrange the furniture in here, not sure yet if I will keep it. I also added my title onto my signature to be Essie the Accidental Mommy. There is another blogger who travels in the same circles with the same name, so I decided to be more specific as to avoid potential pitfalls.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Master of Something...

This is the girls in front of our little Christmas tree. I only just bought a tree last year so this is our second year with it. I LOVE the little ornaments Genea made at school! We made a bunch of ornaments last year using clear glass balls, paint and glitter. We have not bought any ornaments from the store. So our tree only has what we have made, or what people have given us. Feel the love.

We did our family Christmas on New Years Eve at my mom's house, with my sisters family. We had to reschedule because of Teena being sick on the holiday, and the few days later. So on the drive which is about 2 and 1/2 hours, you would not believe what happened, and I am deadly serious, I am not exaggerating or making anything up, Genea puked all over herself in the car. Seriously. My entire life revolves around puke these days! And then about a half hour later she made That Sound and gave a 2 second warning and I ripped apart my seatbelt and flipped my body simultaneously twisting and ripping my own muscle tissue from the front seat to retrieve a plastic bag from under the seat and to her in the back seat and she puked again but this time it was a lot of puke. And you know how plastic bags often have tiny pin prick holes, well it started coming out the bottom but she was still hurling into the top so there was nothing to do except... jam my coffee mug under the dripping bag to contain the goop.
Got me a new travel coffee mug today.
No worse for the wear, here they are in front of my mom's tree. I like to call it her Marshall Fields tree, but Fields is gone and was sucked up by Macy's. The girls got these beautiful dress- up dresses as a gift. I could have made them eat a healthy dinner, clean their room and do their own laundry for the reward of putting on these dresses.

Genea was fine once we got to my mom's house thankfully! I was hugely worried that she might have gotten what Teena had gotten, but she didn't. We think it was either nerves, or motion sickness. Maybe both.
My goal for 2009 is to go puke free!


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