Friday, April 30, 2010

Pre-verbal trauma that sticks

Around here, we have plenty of odd behaviors. Calling them "odd" may sound off-putting but the fact is a lot of this stuff is downright lunacy. Crazy- Bizarre would not be too strong and would be accurately descriptive as well. So. Odd. We got odd. These are things that I believe Genea developed as a result of living in an orphanage from the day after she was born until a year and a half later. They served a purpose, absolutely they did. The result has been that these functional behaviors which were learned as successful ways to manage and survive neglect, are now burned into her brain. Seared into a pathway permanently.

Throughout the past three years whenever we see one of these odd behaviors emerge we have confronted it head on. It would be nice to be able to be polite about it. If we could discretely let Genea know that we see what she is doing and quietly cue her as to what might be a problem, we would be all about it. We tried it that way. It was like Genea was standing on the other side of Chuck E Cheese on a Saturday afternoon. She could see our lips moving and hear us shouting without any idea of what we were saying or why. When we started redirecting her it sounded something like this: "Honeysweetiedarling, being first sure is great isn't it! We love that you assert yourself and we can clearly see your emerging leadership skills! Honeysweetiedarling, that other child, the one crying after you knocked him across 3 tables? He was obviously raised by wolves and has terrible manners to be tattling about you to the ambulance driver but mmmmmmm, lets think for a minute, Honeysweetiedarling, ummm, if you could consider the possibility of letting another child go first it might possibly help one of those other children with the ridiculously high expectations of others, it might help one of them to feel more positively towards you. Honeysweetiedarling, it's just that this isn't Darwins island,  and there is no survival of the fittest here". Quickly that tone was left in the dust to accommodate the more shrill "knock it off right stinking now!".  In the process of refining our approach, we found that confronting Genea directly, clearly and head on was the best way to go.

Take for example Genea's tendancy to choke herself on liquids. She will drink as fast as she can until she begins choking and gagging and turning red. She is spitting liquid out of the corners of her mouth and coughing all the while trying to force more down her throat. My theory is that this is a learned behavior. I can imagine her as an infant in an orphanage. Instead of someone picking her up and rocking her while feeding her a bottle I would guess that a worker probably propped up a bottle in the bars of her crib and she sort of fed herself. I can visualize her there like that, her sadness streaming around her, no one coming to hold her or talk to her or touch her and I imagine that one day she gagged a little, maybe coughed while she was feeding and the worker rushed to her crib to take care of her. Make no mistake Genea is a smart little girl and if that is how it happened she would repeat it as needed. But being also a traumatized and neglected little girl, her miswired brain trapped that bit of survival information and has held on to it to this day. It took me awhile to realize when she was gagging on her drink that she was doing it on purpose, that she had complete control over it. In my defense, who imagines a 4- 5- and now 6 year old child would deliberately do that? I think one day I noticed that at meals, whenever I turned my head or spoke with another person, she started to gag. No parent on the planet can hear a child gagging and not immediately be alarmed so I am sure it was self- reinforcing in that way too. So I began to confront it directly. "Genea, I hear you gagging. I know you are doing it to get my attention. I know that you can stop it. Here is your attention". Then, I would look at her silently which evidentally made her uncomfortable. Yes, that is giving her what she wants. Yes, strangely enough it worked to stop the problem.

We have a night-time ritual that is probably going to sound like a bad idea in the extreme. Once Genea gets in bed, we have a contest to see who can kiss who's nose first and who can do it the most times. It has become this amped up hysterical and chaotic thing we do that involves severe tickling and laughing. When it's done, we have our official "good night" with a real hug and a real kiss then I get up to leave. Without fail, Genea breaks out a desperate request for another hug. She has done this regularly throughout every day since she came to us, mostly when she is in trouble and often when someone needs to leave the room and she wants you to stay. She sits part way up and sticks her arms straight out level with her shoulders. She usually says nothing, occasionally she will say merely "hug". But it is a crushing, begging, last child on the Titanic sort of plea. It has an "if you don't I could die" feel to it, and when you reach out and hug her back she clutches and drags you down, holding on like a snapping turtle until she decides it is enough. Then you get a rapid release and you are dismissed.

I imagine that this is a holdover orphanage behavior as well. A baby in a crib who gets little to no attention will try anything to pull in an adult, another living breathing body. On a regular basis when our bedtime ritual is done, Genea reaches out in this desperate plea for human contact. I began to understand that it had become a habit and I spoke to her about it last week. "Genea, you don't have to pull me back in anymore. When you were a baby you used to not have enough people to love you and so you needed to try to hold on to people. But you have a lot of people that love you now. You have a whole family full of people who love you and want to take care of you. So you don't have to worry that when I leave no one will ever come back. I will be here in the morning and I will see you. I will be here all night across the hall. I am here".

"Okay" she said, "good night". We continued the grand finale of bed time, yelling back and forth as I walk out of the room and down the hallway.
"I love you!"
"I love you more!"
"Have sweet dreams!"
"You have sweet dreams too!"
"Have a fairy princess dream!"
"Have a pumpkin mystery butterfly dream!",
and so forth.

And that's the end of my story because that is all there is. The sinking Titanic hug -for -dear -life is gone. I think I will miss it a bit but it is such a huge step in acceptance and security I can't wish for it back.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's Not Fair and it's Not Going to be.

Here are a few things that are not fair in my house.

Teena is a year and a half younger than Genea but Genea goes to bed at 8 and Teena at 9.

Genea could not handle the kind of birthday party where all the girls in her class come to our house for a party. Ditto for having a party somewhere else. Ditto for having just a few girls over. She is doing so much better and I expect within a few more years she will be able to handle this. Until then, neither girl will have a birthday party with her friends. We have small family parties instead.

There is an insane lack of judgment and impulse control in both my children.  Does one drive the other? I don't know. But Genea, she really has reduced reflexes and decision making. We have no sidewalks in our neighborhood and neither of my children will be learning to ride a bike any time soon. I have to beat off offers with a log from people who want to give them bikes, along with the chorus of "but- what- abouts". You know, like "but what about taking them on a bike path?" and "but what about using training wheels?" etc.

Teena has no friends in the neighborhood, but Genea does. Genea gets to play with her friends and sometimes I make them play with Teena too. Sometimes Teena doesn't get to play with anyone. 

Last summer I had both of my daughters out at a local park. It was *sigh* one of those *sigh* days *sigh, pass out from lack of oxygen*. I was giving myself an enormous headache, certainly not helped by all the sighing, over being fair to the girls. There was a time when I struggled massively trying to make things fair for them both. I wanted to be an even handed parent, one who distributed evenly love, attention, affection and consequences. A parent who approached both children the same, or as similarly as possible. That day at the park I was trying desperately to be fair. Trying to juggle a million things in my mind ensuring equal treatment. I realized I was doing neither of them a favor, and making myself crazy in the process. I was trying to compromise constantly so that one or the other would not feel left out, or that one was getting what the other wasn't.  Parents are supposed to be fair right? Life may not be fair, but parents are expected to try.

My daughters come from diametrically opposed backgrounds. I have to shove one to get her to try anything, I have to yank the other back from trying anything. So I gave up the idea of being fair that day in the park. I don't get to be one parent either. I get to be two different Mom's to two different children. Makes life more interesting. You know, in a crazy sort of way. I think I am remembering all this because it is getting nicer out and people are trying to give us bicycles again. Anyhow, it's freeing, giving up on that pressure and letting the expectation go. It's not fair. It's not going to be.

Ps, please don't suggest all the options we could use to balance any of the situations I wrote about at the top. We have thought them all through, we are okay with our decisions and it will change in a year or two anyway.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Half Day at School- conspiracy?

Today we have one of the dreaded half- days of school. For those in 4k, that means no school at all. For those in 1st grade, that means you go to school until 11:00 am.

Some time ago, I started to wonder about these half days. They seem hardly worth the effort, the bother. For the teachers, they have to compress the day into short little classes. They have to adapt their lesson plans to crunch up into the shorter time slot. The buses all run. Then for the kids, why get the kids up and dressed for just a few hours only to send them home again, all dizzied up over the change to their little schedules? This time, I'd like to point out that our ELEVEN day spring break only ceased draining my brain earlier this month!

For one particular kid, the half day is not just one change. Oooooh no. It results in about 100 changes, of which she likes to have exactly zero changes. Therefore the half day is about 100 changes too many. We. No. Likey. Change! How many times do I have to say it? Genea has the rest of her life scheduled to be exactly the same as yesterday come your hell or your high water. Why do they mess with her like this?

Although I have to say, she has gotten  much better about a change in her life of scheduled events. It used to be that any change knocked us out with a double whammy. See, say there was a half day on a Monday. This would suck giant athletes toes. It would suck for the many days that led up to the day of the change, the day itself would be better (why? Right, like I would know!), then the many days after the change would suck as well. But then, remember my favorite phrase, Genea has the rest of her life scheduled to be exactly the same as yesterday. I don't just say that for fun (although it cracks me up). She will include the half day thing in her repertoire. Then, when the following Monday is a regular day, that is another change and all together now... We. No. Likey. Change! See how the half day got included in her permanent rotation of events and then changed again?

So as I was wondering about this half day business, a few things started to click into place. Then it was like exploded hot lava smoodging across the landscape it decimates. I got it. Work with me here a minute.

When school starts in the fall, the kids in our district actually don't have a full week until about a month and a half has gone by. After 2 months of school, the district has a half week off. Right at Halloween time, the kids get 2 and a half days off while the teachers go to inservices or whatever it is they do. That cannot be a coincidence. After 2 months of school, parents start to ask questions. Why does my child have 40 minutes of recess? I KNOW there are only 4 food groups, stop telling my kid there are 5. Why can't my child say any words that start with T? What's with the 56 state capitals? You teachers made up all those new dinosaurs, tell the truth! Who is that brat distracting my child and ruining her chances at an Ivy League college?

I think these scattered half and full day breaks are specifically designed and strategically planned to knock parents on their asses with all of them there fancy questions. I have figured this out. These little breaks are the Department of Public Instructions way of saying "Hey you, Mommy with the big mouth, you think you can do it better than us? Go ahead! Try!". Then they all giggle hysterically for hours and go to Vegas on vacation.

It's either that, or the half day is the invention of Satan. I am 50- 50 on that.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Curse (not that one)

Everyone knows about The Blog Curse right? The one where as soon as you say something positive is happening The Fates turn and spit a smokers loogie directly in your eye?  Sigh. Allow me to quote myself....

"I don't covet much. I'd love a Corvette and a beach house. Oh, and a team of nanny's and maids. Otherwise, meh, we're barely squeaking by but we are squeaking".

Dear Blog Fates, I am so so sorry for my presumptive attitude and irresponsible keyboarding behavior. It was late! I was tired! My keyboard mis-clicked! We're not squeaking by, I swear it. We are so poor I served the children twigs for dinner and mmmmm yummy, everyone loved it because it was so much better than the asphalt I served the night before.

We have two cars in our family, a 5 year old car and an 11 year old car. You can read about the many dysfunctions in the older car here . It's pretty funny if I do say so myself, the Car Fates chose an interesting combination of features to break. Anyway, so we decided  (coincidentally almost exactly one year ago) to drive the old car to the grave. We would only put enough money into repairs to keep it limping, then we would call Dr. Kevorkian. And then get a newer, functional car with stuff that works.

But no. I had to go and tempt the Blog Fates to point fingers and laugh after giving me a good ol' fashioned bitch slappin'. Yesterday The Husband called from a local gas station to tell me the car had died after he filled it up and he was stuck. I won't go into the many things he thought might be wrong as opposed to the one thing I thought was probably wrong and was right *ahem*, but suffice to say we no longer have squeaking room. The repairs are just enough to cost a bunch but not enough to give it up and buy something else in better condition.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Too True Tues(day) #18 Multiple Choice

Too True Tues(day) is your chance to tell it like it is. Let it all hang out on (mostly) alternating Tuesdays and the occassional extra day thrown in. This week, due to potential delicacy in subject matter, we will have multiple choice topics. Here they are:
  1. The best secret you ever kept from your parents
  2. Worst date stories
  3. Annoying Significant Other stories
  4. What I wish someone would have told me before I got married
So, while neither my husband nor my parents read my blog, I have to assume they will after I go on Oprah. Unfortunately that means I have to wait to bust out those stories until after my episode airs (I've decided I would be willing to be a guest if there is no other way).  They will read my blog once, and never again. Ergo, worst date it is!

Fresh out of college, I was living in St. Louis with a friend and her family. I had met a cute boy at a bar and we exchanged numbers and eventually made a date. The day of the date he calls me and asks if I mind if his friend comes along. I was well put out by the question and told him heck no! He tried to make it into a group date thing with my roommate, but she had other plans.

He shows up at the door, with his friend in the car. Okay. Not a good start. We go to the car where I get into the back seat, alone. His friend is driving and my date was in the passenger sear. Sure. We had decided to go downtown to some clubs which meant about a 20 minute drive. Well I was treated to a drinks and a show in the car while driving on the highway. Yes indeed. This date was so long ago that the movie Wayne's World had been out within a year or two. There is a classic scene in the movie where the two main characters start singing, head banging and playing air guitar to the Kiss song Bohemian Rhapsody (very long song). Don't you know, my date and his friend totally rocked out to the song doing their best Wayne and Garth impressions with the sound cranked as high as it would go. But wait, it gets better because they began handing back and forth a bottle of rum while they were singing and head banging! I don't care for rum personally but began to think some hard liquor might not be a bad idea. 

We got to a bar where my date had to use the ATM machine to get some cash. Problem was, the machine would only give him $20.00. He actually had the nerve to blame me because on the night we met he had been buying my drinks and had taken extra money out that night! WELL! We shot some pool and I began to have a lot of drinks. Cheap ass. He had to borrow money from his friend ha ha ha.

Several hours of that shit passed and mercifully it was time to go home. I don't remember much about the evening except that my date's date was more fun to be around and more entertaining too. I'm pretty sure I beat them both at pool. On the way home we decided to stop at a Denny's for food. While waiting for our order, the boys started telling this lengthy story about a three-some they were in together with a girl they knew. Uh, yeah. They gave me plenty of details until I finally said, "EW! Enough!". Well then I became the weird one! Seriously! Suddenly I was dismissed, and I realized what the intention had been, what with my date bringing his own date and all. EW! Luckily a group of people we knew showed up and sat with us and were a lot more interesting.

They drove me home and I never saw or spoke to either of them again. Thankfully.

So there you have it! Go to your blog and tell your fun story from the multiple choices above. Link to my blog and Too True Tues(day) then come back and enter your information in the Mr. Linky deal down there.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Behold and Be Alerted!

I don't covet much. I'd love a Corvette and a beach house. Oh, and a team of nanny's and maids. Otherwise, meh, we're barely squeaking by but we are squeaking. However, I have seen bloggers with these cute little badge type things they call "blog buttons" floating around and so I tried to make myself one. Ummmm, no. It's the sort of thing that is not nearly as easy as it looks. After about 6 weeks of screwing around with it trying to make my own button, I finally contacted the nice folks at to make me a cool button, which they did. Then since I was there, I decided to get a new header thing too since again, looks easy, isn't. Here is my button, which I'm sure you'll agree is just perfect.

Now, don't you just HAVE to have it on your blog too?  All you have to do is copy that little bit of code there, down on the left hand sidebar into a gadget or widget for pictures and PRESTO! You have your very own button to gaze at! And I will be happy to display yours too!

So, tomorrow is going to be Tuesday and since I messed up last Tuesday and forgot to be Too True, I am going to do it tomorrow instead. I asked for suggestions, and here is what I got from Eileen at .

"Hmmm, 'bout the worst (best?) secret we ever kept from our parents. As in, they still don't know about it. And hopefully don't read our blogs. *cough* Worst date stories? How we deal with the most annoying habit of our significant others (and hopefully they don't read our blogs, either :P )? "Things I wish someone had told me before getting married"? "

I actually liked all of those ideas. But, some people's Moms read their blogs. Some people's husbands read their blogs. Some people's kids read their blogs! So I had an epiphany..... how about a multiple choice TTT! You can pick from any of the above subjects for Too True Tues(day) this week. And, if you still cannot pick a subject because there are too many people close to you that you don't want to find these things out, well, might I suggest you kick your family off your blog. Or maybe it's time to come clean about your life anyhow. After all, that's the intention of TTT in the first place!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

You Wanna' Have Some Stress, Mister?

About 100 years ago, I fell on some stairs. I was actually at the top of the stairs (of course) when I slipped and tumbled down, literally bouncing on several of the steps until coming to a stop just one step away from the bottom. Who puts carpet on their stairs? A crummy apartment building in Ohio, that's who. The stairs were also oddly built, maybe an inch or two shy of the typical length the horizontal board would usually be. I think that's why I fell. I wasn't drunk.

Fast forward 9 years later and I still have some constant lower back pain from the accident so last winter I started to see a Chiropractor. I liked him in that he did his cracking quickly, he laughed at my jokes, and he didn't care if I brought Teena to my appointments, even offering to have his front office staff watch her (yeah, I don't do that to the unsuspecting innocents, she came in with me). But he has always been somewhat hindered by the huge pedestal he has to lug around to put himself on every day. Oh goodness this is a person who thinks highly of himself. And a yoga mat toting granola too. Anyway, so I saw him a bunch of times, got better and didn't go anymore. But then....

Then, a series of unpleasant circumstances caused me to STRESS out from head to toe. And in between my head and my toes is my back. During this time frame I carried an extreme level of tension and every muscle I had was taut from it, causing the injury to shriek whenever I moved. So I called Dr. Pedestal and went in for a crackin'. When he asked me what I thought was causing the flare up, I told him. Stress. Lots of ugly mean stress. K. As he is doing his business, he is giving me one of those generic "Dad" types of lecture. Blah blah blah everyone has stress. Blah blah blah you just have to learn to deal with it, it is part of life. Unh huh. I let it go. Just like if it really was my Dad, I partially ignored him, partially resented the comments and partially felt irritated that Mister Doctor Pedestal Lugging Know it All Talkie McTalk Talk was going to lecture me on handling stress.  I did however, let it go. And people, that is not something that is easy for me. I do so enjoy wobbling peoples pedestals!

I would say I probably deserved a medal or something for the colossal effort my self control took except he did it again. My cracking was over with and I was standing at the door ready to leave when he started back in. Repeated the whole lecture. Stress happens to everybody in life. You have to learn how to handle it. You can't let stress bother you in life. I hate when people want to tell me about "life". So. I let it rip.

"Yeah, I understand that" I said to him vaguely looking around the room as I spoke. "Normally I would agree with you". I went in for the game ending shot, blistering his eyeballs with my stare "but you see, a grown man has been stalking my 6 year old daughter, he is living across the street and has been taking photo's of her and watching her from his house and we are trying to get a restraining order on him, so my stress is a little more than the every day sort of thing right now".

Silence. Incoherent mumbling. "I didn't... I can't imagine... why... how did.... gosh". 

"Yeah, so this is more than the usual. Buh Bye now"!

Jack Ass is still across the street. I have to say, it just tweaks my nerves to even see his effing truck in that driveway. Every time. I want to scream and exercise my middle finger until it cramps. The Husband just commented earlier this week that he hasn't seen Jack in person for a while. Then we had 2 violations in a row, where Jack was standing in the driveway just watching my house. Not doing anything but standing there. Staring. Both times we were taking Genea to school and he never even moved, not blatantly staring at any of us but not looking away either. I called the police to report it, and they lost our Order of Protection record. Again. So I went to the station to show them our paperwork and report both violations. An officer explained some things. If Jack is at a bar, and we walk in, he doesn't have to leave. That's how the law is. Then, when there is a violation, nothing happens. We report it to the police, and the police report it to the District Attorney's office. The DA decides if they will do anything or not. So far, not. We have reported 4 incidents. I guess I thought the police would talk to Jack whenever there was a violation and give him a ticket once in a while, but that is not how it works. The officer also let me know that the District Attorney's office has some big crimes to work on that take priority. I thought to myself, no they don't. Not only do we have almost no crime this week, a grown man stalking a little girl sounds like big news to me.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Suck it up, suck it in

Teena has been taking swimming classes at our YMCA for several months now. She loves it, she loves water, she loves a bath, she loves the pool. Love, love love. This week was the last in this rotation of classes and wouldn't you know, as an extra special treat for the parents, parents get to go in the pool with their kids. Woo. Hoo.

Now I know we have already established that I am extremely hair-removal impaired. So, just the suggestion of getting out a bathing suit sends me in to a panic attack. Then, as is historically required for Women of the North, you know, a person gains a few when the temperature is nothing or less. Temps lower than zero degree's would be illegal in my perfect world, but it is really unfair that the frigid cold forces a persons body into triggering some weird hibernation mechanism from a million years ago and creates an extra load of weight apparently designed to sit just exactly over the rim of a persons jeans. Okay, I made all that up but it sounded like a great excuse to cover for all my cookie eating these past few months.

I have two bathing suits. I bought them both about a year after having Teena when I realized that no bathing suit would ever be my friend again. They are "tank-ini's", which is a cutesy thing to call a one- piece suit cut in half, and they both have matching skirts- just in case. Oh yeah and, neither one has ever been wet, although they both have visited many forms of water. See I love to go to the beach and I love to go to the pool. Nowhere in that sentence does it say I love to go in the water because I don't.

As much as I didn't want to, I knew this was one of those things I was going to have to suck up. I have dreaded it all week. Not only do I not care for swimming but I really don't care for a bunch of 5 year olds splashing around and getting me wet. Ugh. Then with the shaving, and the sucking it in and my personal changing room phobias. But it also was one of those things, Teena would never forgive me if I forgot or blew it off, and Teena would remember it the rest of her life if I went in the pool with her during her little class. I knew she would love it even more than cake.

Today was the last day of the class so I knew that this was it. We missed the last parent day because we were on vacation but this time, there was no excuse. I tend to mess up things like this, I forget to write it down or I write it down and forget to look so I even went out to the pool and asked for confirmation. Indeed, today was the day. All right. Stripped off my clothes and stuffed my dignity into a half sized locker. Sucked in the marshmallow that lives over my waistband and went out with Teena, who was indeed beside herself with excitement.

I was the only one. I was the only parent who remembered and the only parent who sucked it up and went in the pool. ARGHHHH!!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Adoptive Mom Sends Back Russian Son

Wow, just..... wow.

Here is the article on The Huffington Post.

I am really interested in what people think about this. Take out the obvious, sending a 7 year old alone on an airplane is wrong, wrong, wrong. Handling a challenging adoption by sending your child alone on an airplane back to his country of origin, there will never be an excuse to justify it.

But I wonder, how many levels of failure had to take place in order for a family to get to the point where they felt this was the best choice they could make after living with the boy for 6 months. We don't know what kind of help the family sought and we don't know what the quality of the help might have been. Actually we know next to nothing about the adoptive mother, though I am sure that will change quickly.

So, what do you think?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Oprah Fail

It's the Live Your Best Life Weekend with Oprah! Oprah is putting on a party in New York at the beginning of May and is giving away tickets in her magazine, O, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory style.

Just in case your eyeballs do not naturally go boogedy on their own, this is what that box on the bottom says:

"We're bringing 10 readers to New York for a weekend they'll never forget. If you found a ticket in your February issue you may be one of them. Enter your code here"

OMG, look at this! It so happens that my February issue of O Magazine actually DID have a ticket!!!!! WOW! Holy Cannoli! I don't have any other plans for the weekend of May 7-9! I have never been to New York City and it is on my Bucket List!!! Seriously!!! And let's face it, who could use more help living their best life than me? NO ONE! On a good day I am "Living My Meh Life" so I raced to enter my little code on the website.

Sadly, that wonky looking font is speaking no good. It says, "Sorry, thanks for trying!"
Then it says "While you didn't win the Live Your Best Life Weekend Ticket Give- O- Way, tickets for the event will go on sale March 15. To find out all about the event click my butt".

However, since I won't be going anywhere cool and certainly will continue to Live My Barely Meh Life, they have helpfully included some suggested reading for purchase instead. Good Housekeeping, Country Living, or Good Housekeeping And Country Living. What do you think they are trying to say? Combine that action with the little quip above about "fun with your family, turn off the TV". Um, DUH, how am I supposed to watch Oprah with the TV off???? Put tin foil on my head? I'm just not sure about these people. I wonder if Oprah even knows about this.

A side note, on the website where all the other losers got their bad news, is a message board. The board is full of ungrateful greedy people who think by virtue of Oprah having money that they don't have, that she should sponser a lot more than 10 guests. There are a bunch of ugly posts about how Oprah has so much money she could put up hundreds of people in a hotel for the thing. Well guess what people, Oprah works her butt to the bone. She is smart and she is talented but so are a lot of people. She works at it hard and she does an enormous amount for people every day. Just because she has money and you don't, doesn't mean she should give hers to you!

(OF COURSE unless it were me. Let's be REAL people! I wouldn't be a jerk about it!)

Monday, April 5, 2010

I'm Not Dead

I figured I should start with the good news. I'm not dead.

We have just finished day 5 of our ELEVEN day spring break. ELEVEN days where the children of north east  Wisconsin are not being educated. Fulfilling a stereotype? Dunno. You tell me. (No, no one actually goes out with cheese on their heads. That is only at Lambeau and only on a game day).

It has been really nice out, in the 70's, so the girls have been spending a lot of time outside and we go to the park. They are getting along. Rain and general crappy weather comes back tomorrow.

Today, the toilet overflowed and I was the only adult home. That actually was the worst part of my day. SO effing gross. GROSS.

The Wango Tango has put in only one appearance or so per day at this point. Minor appearances. Guest spots practically.

Tomorrow we are going to The Mall. I hope we do not get attacked by a gang or something. Teenagers around here are off school too. Genea needs all new clothes since she grew so much again! Plus shoes, sandals etc.

Later this week I am taking the girls to get their hair cut. Genea's hair had been cut many times and actually had always been kept ultra short until she moved in with us and I let it grow. But Teena has never had her hair cut. Ever. I waited for 2 years for that child to grow hair. TWO years, that I bought pretty hair clips and ties with no hair to put them on. But, she's 5 now, and it has gotten to be painfully unmanageable and Teena dear has stretched her vocal abilities. The bits on the end of her hair have been with her since before she was born. It's all loopy curls at the bottom and a little wild looking, so it suits her. But she can't comb it and I am tired of the daily whining fits. So. Haircut. Coming up!

We also will be taking a trip to Up North, which is how everyone around here refers to any stretch of territory north of Green Bay. I am the legal guardian of a young woman who lives in a group home about 30 miles from here and I like to take the girls to see and visit with her often. She is close to the cognitive level of the girls right now, so it is fun to watch them play and talk together.

That takes care of 3 of the remaining 6 days of this social experiment also know as the Spring Break of Doom.

Okay! I will keep working on the surviving thing!

Friday, April 2, 2010


There are a few things that all kids ever born on the planet have in common. They all mess up words. Whether in a song or a prayer or a pledge, little kids learning to recite big words can turn in to funny things to giggle at. When I was a kid I was pretty literal and if I didn't understand the words, I just sang along to whatever it sounded like, real word or not.  I asked my parents what "burginity" was a half dozen times after hearing a song from "Grease". Like most kids in my area I learned to recite The Lords Prayer and was awfully confused for a long time about the artwork going on in heaven while they all ate their bread on Halloween. And of course, our nation in the Pledge of Allegiance was at the time one nation invisible and I never really understood that because I could clearly see it where I stood.

Teena came home from her intensive academic training in 4- year- old- Kindergarten to tell us a rhyme, and she was so proud of herself that to this day if we so much as think about correcting her, she goes ballistic.

Fee fi fo fum,
I smell the blood of an English bun

Genea's school has this unbearable "Hero's Pledge" thing every day that she sings for us whenever she feels our attention may have strayed from her. It is all about being considerate and helpful and showing kindness to others and it probably is a very nice thing but it is just sooooo "Barneyesque" that it makes me want to hurl. Especially because she has no idea what she is singing. Anyway, if that fails to get our attention she moves right in to the Pledge of  Allegiance, which they say after the Hero's  Pledge. She ends it like this....

One nation, invisible, with liberty and justice fr-og.

I asked her what the frog had to do with it, and she told me with all the righteous indignation of a teenager (gah!) that's just how you say it Mama, as if she were talking to a rather daft old lady. Hmph. Say it that way then!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

TTT Follow up and .....

Well blast my pale crusty toes, it seems there has been a heinous error made in this weeks Too True Tuesday! A really super bad error and it is all my fault (allegedly, I will try to blame The Husband but can't think of anything just yet).

According to Dreag21 (see comments of prior post), who is both appalled and horrified with me on multiple levels, the episode of the TV show I referred to called "Friends" actually presented characters with a List of FIVE! I had only remembered a List of Three and so you can see where that could be considered an extremely serious mistake! The List of 5 being the 5 celebrity-ish people you could take a vacation from your wedding vows for and not go to hell (well, according to the script writers). Well Dreag21 was so upset with me (justifiably) she researched and found her evidence, documented and presented her findings! She quoted sources people! Sources!

However, most of the people who participated cheated their cheating little cheat fingers off anyhow. Some made two, or even three lists. Some just listed whoever they could think of, 6, 8 people, whatever. One person noted 3 people I had never even heard of and I think she made them up! So, here is the deal. Everyone who participated (and anyone else who wants to) and who did it right the first time (which was the wrong way) gets to add TWO new people to their list! So here are mine:

1. The Guy Who Plays Reed on Criminal Minds
2. David Cassidy (shut. up. now.)

Just stick 'em where ever you please. Comments, your original post, the fridge, I don't care.
While I am talking about other people, I got 2 new awards that I am posting! I love awards, they make my day! I sit here and type to myself with no other adults to talk to for days at a time. So getting an awesome award is my feedback if people want to read or if they are thinking who does that dumbass Accident lady think she is William Hung? (massive freaking bonus points to me for mentioning Ricky Martin and William Hung within spitting distance of each other).

So here is The Beautiful Blogger Award from Rachael. at

Then, from  Eileen at Giving Her All She's Got, is this one.

Okay so speaking of rules, there are a bunch of them. I should say a bunch of happy things and make a list of things about me. So I am combining for efficiency sake. No one wants to have to read all that at one time!

1. I love cheesecake
2. Watching my girls sleep is beautiful
3. I always think tea will be great then I make it and it has that nasty tea taste.
4. I love cats and would have 10 if I could pay someone to clean the litter boxes 5 times a day.
5. I love to go new places and try new things within reason
6. I love to drive
7. I suspect my Roomba and I will get married someday.

So of course along with getting the awards comes the FUN part of GIVING them away to other people! I like to go with themes, usually new bloggers or fun crazy blog titles. This time I am going to pass on either award to all the people who dug deep and spoke their minds and hearts recently in a response to a post about what we think people should know about adoption of traumatized children.
So, you can pick which award you want to post up. Then tell us 7 or so happy things, or lovely things and pass on again! Here you go:

Linda at Faith Makes Things Possible
Diana at Gold to Refine
Mom at The Accidental Advocate
Jennie at Peace in Puzzles

(I feel like I missed someone, if it was you, you should speak up!)

There you have it! My girls start Spring Break tomorrow. For ELEVEN DAYS. ELEVEN. In my opinion that is clearly the Department of Public Instruction giving parents a long, drawn out kick in the ass. Sideways. With boots on. So I may be slow posting or quickly jumping off a bridge. Fair warning.


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