Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Do as I say, not as I say

In Genea's world there are no shadows. There is black, there is white and there is nothing else to talk about. Thank you, good night.

(gross warning)

We were at the park recently and we had a minor meltdown. All approximations of a meltdown result in great gobbers of mucus, spit, tears and fluids on Genea's face. Seriously I have never seen anything like it. The second she perceives something that could lead to an excuse for crying, this stuff starts shooting out of her. Now in the past month or so she has started making enormous progress in having proportionate reactions. Instead of going from 0 to 60 immediately over the most minor of things (you have to wear this white sock instead of this other white sock because that sock has a hole in it but they are exactly the same otherwise.....) she has started to really try. Instead of exploding into a full blown meltdown, she tries to hold it off. Regardless, any sign of provocation sends her brain screaming into total freak out wango tango mode, and the fluids start a-flowin'. Get your buckets.

Anyway, back at the park, something happened that started the fluids going. Right away we started pushing the wango tango back with breathing, shifting her attention, turning it around etc. But it was too late for the fluid flood and there were goober blobs everywhere on Genea's face and no place to put them. No handy box of tissues at the park. I even looked around for dead leaves to wipe with. Nothing.

So for one time, just this time. Only today, right now and never again for the rest of your life, I told Genea to use the bottom of her t-shirt to wipe up her face. BUT never again. EVER. This time only. ONLY because she had tried so hard to hold herself together and she DID it and so we DIDNT want to leave but we still had this face full of booger snot to deal with so in this one emergency situation we will wipe it on your shirt and NEVER AGAIN.

There is this concept called "generalization". Basically it means the ability to take one learned concept and apply it to other similar situations. Some kids have huge problems with this. Other kids take the teeniest tiniest little break from the standardized rules of the world as permission to proceed directly to anarchy.

So at dinner that night, Genea reached down and pulled up her shirt to her face to wipe off the spaghetti sauce. I had food in my mouth at the time but my eyes bulged out so far that The Husband noticed, realized what had happened and proceeded to remind Genea why she had a napkin next to her . Her head whipped around to face me. In fact I think it actually turned a complete circle prior to flashing me with the most accusatory, how- could- you- let -this- happen, shocked and spring loaded facial expression she could pull up. Clearly expecting me to correct Daddy on his egregious error.

AND of course it led to a meltdown when I didn't.

(but they really are getting waaaaaay better!)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

No Teddy Grahams in Jail

Sorry kids, they just don't serve Teddy Grahams in jail.

Someone, as per my children, evidently sneaked into the house (their grammar) and this person, despite all the opportunities available to her, decided to do something odd. This person thought it would be nice to have some juicy lips. Yes indeed, sounded strange to me too.

So this person, sneaked into the girls room when they were sleeping. This person went into the stash of chapsticks and took one out. At this point, the person with the dry lips got distracted. I still am not clear on the details since they don't make any sense, but the person with the dry lips got distracted by the floor. Specifically, the rug on the floor.

And apparently, though this person who sneaked into our house was suffering mightily from dry lips, so much so that she risked the police being called on her by sneaking into our home, this person with layers of dry skin peeling off her mouth and flapping in the wind decided it would be a good idea to draw on the rug with the chapstick instead. Pink chapstick. Yup.

Not my kids. A person who sneaked in. That is their story and they are sticking to it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I Was High

Yep, I was high. Flying. It was lovely. Lovely!

Genea has recently surpassed her own self in greatness. She has achieved the holy grail....... *trumpets blaring*..... of all seriously disordered children. Normal. I have seen flashes of normal here and there through these past couple years. Maybe a half a days worth of just regular, normal boring kid stuff. But it has always been like a "normal for Genea" type thing.

In the past few weeks she has hit her regular low period and it was the most mild low ever. Instead of cranking lower and lower into the constant state of panic, depression and fear that usually comes on, she kept the depths at bay and pulled back out. And that is when it happened.

Normal. Wow.

Last Friday was the last day of summer school. Coincidentally I had given Genea 2 capsules worth of flax seed oil, hidden in the bread of her peanut butter sandwich at lunch. I poked holes in the enormous capsule and dripped the oil out onto the bread. The Husband came home later that day and made this comment:

"What did you do to Genea? Did you give her a Valium or something?"

(please be mindful that is a joke, we do not dose our child with stray medications)
(our lives would be so much easier and I would have nothing to blog about, that is my statement)

I looked over and there she was, I had not even noticed. What I should have noticed was that I was not noticing anything! There was a regular, calm and content child sitting in Genea's body playing quietly with a game. Appropriately with the game I should note.

Well, you all had better believe I went off the deep end myself finding more places to sneak this flax oil in on her! She strongly resists anything of the sort. All the ways on the planet to get ahold of an Omega 3-6-9 fatty acid type thing. Olive oil. Eggs. Butter with it added. Eggs with it added. Flax seeds (found out those don't take later). Almonds. I have been trying on and off to use these foods for that purpose since I have heard from several sources that the Omega's could help smooth out the barbed wire in her brain (my interpretation and summary).

I decided to play to her strengths. Genea does not like things that are new. She only likes things she has met before, and of those she is still pretty finicky. So, we have been on an --all peanut butter and flax oil dripped into the bread for every lunch -- diet for a week. And I thought it was working. A real normal kid came out for 3 whole days straight. NOT "normal for Genea" normal, but normal for any kid normal. NORMAL! Regular! Goofy! BORING! She did normal dumb kid things. One night she thought the bathroom mirror looked dirty and sprayed water all over it and everything else and tried to go to bed without mentioning it. "OH!" she says, "I forgot" (head tilt to the right, pupils dilated, dead eye stare uh huh). A few nights later I found black stuff smeared on the sink. Again, Genea got into my make up and decided to see for herself how it works. If she could make the sink look decorated.

Okay, now as I am writing this I realize that kind of thing is normal for a 2 or 3 year old but take my word for it, it is the most normal mis-behavior I have ever seen out of Genea.

Unfortunately, with every high comes a low. This awesome mom mentioned recently that she feels the regressions harder now that there has been strong progress. The higher you fly the farther the fall and this most recent fall for us has been one of the worst. Genea came after me yesterday, for probably the 3rd time ever, the first 2 being when she first arrived (not to worry, I have taken down bigger and better many times). So what was working? Was it the flax seed? Was it the end of school and now the lack of definition is throwing her off? What caused it and how do I get it back. It's a process, okay, I know. I get it, one step forward, 2 steps back. Progress and regression.


Today, she is back on track. The bottom of the pit lasted just 3 days but ooooooh was it a whopper. I swear I am going to figure this shit out or die trying. I don't want to be one of those parents dragging a 12 year old to the Mayo Clinic because they are unable to accept the truth. But that does not mean I will rule out the trip.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Crystal Methampheta-webkins

WHAT is up with these things?

Genea got this little blue stuffed animal that looks like a hippo, for her birthday. She was told by the giver that it is a Webkin, you go on the internet and look it up by a little tag and it will have a story and some games and stuff.

Sounded harmless.

Unusual for Genea, she remembered that she had been told to look on the computer well after the fact. So she nagged her Daddy for weeks to help her. Her Daddy tried to suggest that her Mama could be the one to help with it. Her Mama reminded her Daddy that it was his mother who had given the gift, therefore his responsibility. Her Mama was genuinely shocked when that tactic actually worked.

So, do these things have heroin stuffed in their little hairs? Are there subliminal messages on the website? WHAT IS UP with these things, my girls have turned into total WEBkin- Heads! Soon, their little teeth are going to start falling out! (Oh wait, that is supposed to happen). They are going to start listening to long drum solo's and enjoying them. It's like they are jonesing for crack or meth. Their shaky little voices saying "must have more webkin, need to get well"!

What is worse, is that The Husband has been similarly sucked into the world of Webkins. He is having just as much fun (though will deny it) playing the games and getting points for food money, and feeding it etc. Mind you, this is all just fine with me! Occupy all 3 of them at one time, obsessively trying to figure out how to buy a bed for this vermin- NOT a problem! Take your time! Check its little water meter thingy!

The thing belongs to Genea, but Teena is similarly obsessed. She asked her Daddy to go to Webkin World approximately every 3 minutes for 5 hours straight. It is unbelievable to me that we let her live. She even begs. Her Daddy suggested we get her one of her own. Her Mama mentioned something to the effect of 'over my dead body', something else about 'are you an idiot?', and the idea was shelved.

I am not complaining, I am just documenting for a future DSM category. Webkin Compulsive Checking Addiction Disorder. I don't get it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Family vacations

Earlier this year, Cousin Payola asked us when we were planning to take our kids to Disney in Orlando, Florida. He said it as if it were an accepted sort of standard for everyone with kids. Like, when are you planning to feed them? You ARE going to feed them right? I mean, you HAVE to!

Well he is right. I have been thinking about it since Teena was born. I want to take the girls when they are old enough to remember it. Old enough to appreciate it, and old enough to keep the whining about .... well, about all the stuff they whine about, to a minimum. I remember going as a teenager with my parents. My parents who innocently, (or frugally/psychotically), decided that the best way for a family of 4 to get from Chicago to Orlando was.... in the car. Right, A CAR! Nine days of driving, 3 days of frantically having FUN and nine days back. Yikes.

(Okay, slight exaggeration on the drive time, but if perception is reality then it is accurate)

Anyway, my favorite was Magic Mountain which is at the Magic Kingdom park. I think we waited in line for like 3 hours but wow, was it cool! It is an up and down roller coaster ride that takes you through this mountain (hence the name!) and feels like you are going to knock your head in at any moment. Fun! Of course, that was about 100 years ago so I am sure there are even more cool rides now and you can get fast passes, stuff like that. And back in the day, I remember that I just loved Epcot Center too. Right, it was all futuristic at the time. Now, it is the future! I can't wait to see what is all there now!

(I mean, I can't wait to show my kids all the great things. The children, it is all about the children).

Back to Cousin Payola, he wants all of us to go together. My parents want to go, my sister and her family, he and his wife and their 2 little kids. So I was thinking about it. I really thought it would be way too expensive to go this year, but I was looking around and found out that the price of admission to all the various Disney parks is a lot more reasonable than I would have thought these days. Basically it looks like the price has not gone up for many years. Then you can get a package deal on passes for all 4 of the parks like here:
Disney Tickets
The deals are good but they get better, way better, the longer you stay.

Lets see, we could stay at my aunt and uncles house. That would be Cousin Payola's parents, who moved right outside Orlando about 2 years ago. That would be awesome, but..... oh yeah.... none of them are currently speaking. Then, there are in- laws in Florida, but...... even though they are not mine, well, in-laws are in-laws. Seriously. We could probably do a supremely cool house rental for all of us, divided 14 ways that could be an idea to knock back the cost. But then, do I really want to stay in a house with 6 kids between 18 months and 6 years old? Mmmm. More details to arrange. And a flight. For real. Sorry Mom, I know you will have had your heart set on us all driving together. Ahem. They have these fancy things now, they call 'em rental cars. No really!

Anyway, this coming winter, Teena will be almost 5, and Genea 6 1/2. Is that old enough for the first trip? Cousin Payola's kids are younger than mine, but he is coming from a position where he can afford to go every year if he wants. We will probably go twice between now and the day Teena turns 18 (moving day lol). Next winter they will be obviously a year older each and that would definitely be old enough to have a blast, still be captured by the "magic" of "Magic Kingdom", appreciate and remember.

This post brought to you by the website:
Disney Tickets
All of my content is, as always, true and the link is paid.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I have finally mastered the "smokey eye". After approximately 20 years of effort, I figured it out. The trick seems to be to over- apply. Over- apply, then use a real make up brush instead of that cheap foamy thing that comes with my cheap make up, lightly swipe over what you just put on. That will smoodgie it and leave a gradient effect.

So what, you are thinking? Yeah, me too. Who cares.


Does the little boy at the gas station register care that I have mastered the smokey eye? How about my kids pre- 4K teacher? The brats at the park? The smokey eye is not generally appropriate in daylight.


(I would have pictures but still have not dealt with my broken camera and extra purchased warranty.)

And you know what else? If I did have somewhere to go, not that I am admitting this happened but, if I did have somewhere to go I bet I would realize later that I had a great face full of sophisticated make up but it was all negated by the large yellow Big Bird hair clip on the back of my head.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tee hee

My sister text'd me this joke last night and I thought it was hilarious.

Why did Tigger stick his head in the toilet?

Cuz he was looking for Pooh!!!


Ok, now back to my regular grown up content. Ahem.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

One Last Worm

This is not good. I have to add on to Eating Worms from last week.

Genea's psychiatrist had a stroke last week the day after we saw him. I am going to tentatively and very hopefully say that he seems to be recovering but initially things were bad.

The poor man! He is almost 80, and he is the only male doctor I have ever met that I have had any use for. No offense to all the great male doctors out there who I have never met of course. But the ones I have met have been useless. Except this one! I worked as a therapist with many of his patients so I have known him for about 8-9 years. Brilliant. I have watched him crack the chemical code for so many people and if he can't help, he keeps trying.

He gets Genea.

He does not give the look of "you are a horrible mother and you have ruined your daughter so go home and live with it" that one usually gets if ever one is brave enough to try to describe how things really are. You know that look? The "hasn't the poor innocent darling been through enough now she has this witch of a mother what did she expect". He does not say things like "maybe she is just trying to please you" (read: you controlling unfeeling bitch).

He is a genuinely nice, considerate person and he cares. He cares if she gets better. He doesn't look at Genea like an interesting case or rattle off some stupid inaccurate diagnosis because he wasn't listening and hand out a bag of meds ignoring us the whole time. He listens, then we discuss, then act. He was just thrilled last week when I told him how well Genea is doing. Like I said he is really old, so his idea of a pop culture reference is to bring up Shirley Temple and he thinks Genea looks like her and mentions it every time. So this last time I taught Genea the Good Ship Lollipop song and had her sing it for him. He was beside himself! (and it was actually really darn cute if I do say so myself)

The first time I brought Genea in to see him, he said this. There is no precedence for this, but I am going to try to help you. And help he did!

So I am sending all my positive thoughts and energy off across the Fox River to the hospital where he has just been moved out of ICU. Save the brain people, save the brain!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dani's Story

If you happened to watch Oprah last Thursday, then you have already seen this story. The episode was centered on the life of Dani, a girl found "living" alone in a room. In squalor and without interaction, Dani endured the most extreme neglect and survived.

I have not been able to find a link to the actual video, if anyone knows I will happily post it. This is the link to the story on Oprah's website and a link to the website of the family Dani now has.

In particular, several slides in the middle are from Dr. Bruce Perry and one shows the effect of neglect on the brain of a 3 year old child from an orphanage, compared to one of an average 3 year old. It is an MRI and it looks how I have always pictured Genea's brain might look. Like there is barbed wire in it, or similar to one of those old steel- wool dish pads.

I see Genea there, the similarities are striking. Of course the situations are vastly different, but the effect of extreme neglect, of unmet needs has comparable results.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Eating worms

If I remember it right, there is a line in a children's book about a kid who feels sorry for himself and says, I think I am going home to eat worms. That is where I am. Eating worms. Having myself a pity party. Wanna' come?

My camera broke. For once I bought the stupid extended warranty that the little teenage boy at the register convinced me was a good idea. Sure it was, but now I have to deal with all the mess of that. I would rather have a working camera.

Got no car again and can't go anywhere. I am torn because we could trade the old crummy car in the cash for clunkers program and get the $3500 and I have some money from one of those credit card programs for another $3500 to get a new car. Or, we can repair the old car again and hope it holds together this time. A lot of people think buying a new car is stupid but it is my opinion that you pay either way. You buy a new car and you make payments, or you have a used car and you make repairs. Payments or repairs. Which do I want.

My girls were supposed to stay with my parents for a few days. But, Genea had an unforseen visit from The Crazy and it freaked out my parents so bad that they were sent home early. I really, really, was looking forward to that break. The Husband and I never even had a chance to go out to dinner. Pity. Party. The good part is that my mom finally got a good close up look at The Crazy, (even though it was mild). When she was done describing it, I told her Mom, that is how she always is. She holds it together when we are out places but when we are home that is how she is. My mom said, you mean her happy smiling self, that's not how she is all the time? No. It isn't. Oddly enough, it will be nice to have an end to the comments such as "no wonder the pharmaceutical companies are so rich" and "what ever happened to talking about your problems and going on". It has been 98% my own fault. I don't like to talk to actual people about how things really are with Genea because I know how it all sounds, and I know how she looks to them. Instead, I like to hope that people will give me the benefit of the doubt that I know what I am doing and would never do anything to hurt her. This has been a tall order for most people.

In other Genea news, she is better than she has ever been and this is the longest stretch of manageable behavior we have had. She dried up with the P during the day around mid- May. In mid- June she started having dry nights and we did away with the you- know- whats (dreaded dasterdly pull ups). Dry as the Sahara around here until this past Friday, Saturday, Sunday...... etc. So back to diapers at night, which we practically have to duct tape onto her being as we bought the biggest size they had at Shopko but they are still too small. We are making NO issue of it at all. Told her everyone has accidents. Daddy had an accident with his car. Mama had an accident and hurt her toe. Genea p'd the bed, it happens. I am trying SO HARD to force new directions into her brain and her brain is trying hard to fall back onto the pathways it has developed for the past 6 years.

A bit of cuteness to sneak in.... when Genea realized she and Teena were coming home early from my parents house (which was about 3 hours after I told her on the phone lol), she went into the bedroom they use, packed up their suitcase, dragged it down the stairs and parked it against the door. Happy to come home? A bit?

To my great discouragement, I was kicked out of the ad program I had on here for some unknown reason that they will not tell me. Not that it was gaining me anything, but still.

Summer school ends next week. 6 weeks until school starts again. With nothing to do and nowhere to go. Fun times a comin'.

You know what would make me happy? A great new handbag. A really expensive salute to consumerism and materialistic selfish shallow me-ness. And again I must point out, a well made quality handbag is an investment. A far more stable investment than some silly stocks that wind up valued at less than a penny and then the government has to buy the company with my taxes and in the end everyone owns it. You don't see Coach or Fendi looking for a bail out do you? Unfortunately, I have to be a responsible adult and parent right now even though I don't want to. Sigh.

So, serving up Worm Soup on a hot day here at my Pity Party. Hungry?

Friday, July 3, 2009

*shudder* Going off the grid

Horror of horrors! We are going to Chicago for the weekend for my grandmother's 90th birthday party. We will be staying at my parents house down in The South of Wisconsin and they have- get this- dial up internet. Oh yeah, its true. The last time I tried to use my moms computer to check email it took over a half hour to load the page. Horrors!!!! To use a cell phone I have to go to the 2nd story of the house and stand where I can see the window and aim towards it, but NOT standing next to it. They barely have electricity at all. It's like Little House on the Prairie, but not in a cool way.

When I got the invitation to this party, it said "Surprise Party for Grandma's 90th Birthday". My first thought was, oh no that is not a great idea. I don't think it is ever a great idea to surprise someone that old. All kinds of things could happen from a small bit of leakage all the way up to a coronary! No good things! Turns out though, that the surprise is some old relatives from out of state are coming. The relatives of someone 90 years old have to be in that age range. People on that side of the family don't drink alcohol which dulls things a bit, but I am bringing a bottle of vodka and one of rum so either things will liven up, or pissed off teetotallers will be interesting. I think I win either way.

This is the side of the family where the women folk are expected to do their householdly duties and the men are expected to lay on their butts watching their cheeks expand. (On the other side, the expectations are basically the same but, we all complain about it voraciously. Here, we are supposed to be quiet about it and just do the so called womanly thing.) (really one of these days my womanly foot will land where the sun don't shine).

So, things will be desperate for a bit. I can pick up my email from my cell phone and so can get comments that way. I was devastated to discover that I could not pick up on my phone! How the hell am I supposed to obsessively read every little nuance of Michael Jacksons life after death without the internet? I found out I could get twitter updates, but they are sadly short and unfulfilling. I will get them on my phone anyway since they are all I will have. I am having to sacrifice. *sigh*

Worst of all, at this party I am going to have to talk to people in their faces. Seriously, who does that anymore? I will have to turn my head to look at people and flap my gums to communicate with others. I mean, come ON! Are we going to listen to 8-track tapes of Blondie and drink Tab?

Anyway, I will update with twitter a lot, and got it back up on my sidebar. I will make the effort again to figure out how to respond to people specifically instead of to the whole world. The wonderful part is the girls will stay with my parents a few days while The Husband and I go home and party down. Which is to say, we will stay up until 10, or even 11 and eat stuff we don't want to share. This is strange but honestly it is one of my favorite parts of having the kids gone. I can first of all focus on a book. I can read more than half a page without being interrupted. Then I can set it down, leave it there, and come back to it. It will be where I left it AND still open to my page. Woo hoo! Rock on!!! No sleep 'til Monday!


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