Sunday, May 30, 2010

Is it bad?

Out driving, I sometimes hear fascinating conversations from the backseat. Mostly, I hear touching violations, or angry eye crimes being reported but today, I heard a good one.

Genea: I can't use this one, because it's bad. I don't know why but my friends at school said so.

Teena: How can it be bad?

G: I don't know. It doesn't make any sense to me but they all said so.

T: What makes it bad?

G: I don't know. My other fingers aren't bad, just this one.

Pause. I look in the back and there are middle fingers flapping in the breeze all over. Inquisitive eyes are checking out their collection of fingers.

T: I don't think that's true. Look at my pinky, is it bad?

G: No, just this one (waves it again)!

Me: Daddy, you want to take this one?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

You are SO going to wish you had my life!

In the morning The Husband gets up with Genea, feeds her, waters her, yells out constant time reminders and drives her to school. This guarantees that he gets up, feeds and waters himself, and gets out the door to work at a reasonable hour. Teena stays asleep a lot and that helps quite a bit to keep the maneuvering down to a minimum. Often, The Husband puts Teena in bed with me and they leave. Generally though, the process wakes Teena up just enough that when The Husband leaves, she begins poking me. Literally poking me. This is something she finds hysterically funny. Me, not so much. But she considers this her special extra fun playtime until I get to the point where I am ready to chew off an arm for her to poke at if it will just make her be quiet and that's when I head off for the coffee pot.

This morning though, I had drifted back to sleep when I heard "Maaaaaaaaaama" coming from downstairs. I thought that could not be right, so I ignored it. Again..... "Maaaaaaaaaamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa".  Well, I get irritated with the girls who think nothing of shrieking across the entire house in tones indicating an emergency has occurred, so I snapped back at her "WHAT?".

"I have poop on my foot!"

Oh. bloody. hell. Please. no.

Our cats have been sick lately. Want to know why? Because The Husband bought them the wrong food. He bought the same brand of food, but a different type. He bought the blue bag any cat kind instead of the green bag fussy little old man cat kind because the store was out of the green bag kind (maybe they would like to sanitize my house, that would teach them to maintain their inventory more responsibly!). And so...... they have become averse to their litter box. I should say averse to the inside of their litter box, because they are leaving their wares within a 24 inch radius of the box. Which would be, on the floor.

What was Teena doing downstairs alone, without notifying anyone? She wanted to wave goodbye to her Daddy. Awe, that is so sweet. Fact is though, she can't see him and he can't see her once they are in the car. Nice try though. And pray tell Teena, what were you doing in the hall where the cat boxes are? Practicing my jumping, she says.

So there I am, in the throes of my amazing life. First thing in the morning, glasses on, haven't even pee'd yet. No coffee in me. None. None at all. Prying cat diarrhea out from between my daughters toes. Amazing how much stuck to her foot. Even more amazing when you note that she tracked it up and down the hall, over the throw rugs, on the tiles, etc.

Uh huh, yup, I know you are jealous. I know it!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hoping it's not too much to hope for.....

I think it's possible that Jack Ass might be looking for a couch in his parents basement soon. Work with me here (foreshadowing use of the term work, lol).

(Briefly, my daughter Genea was adopted by us from a disrupted adoption. The "father" of that family, now divorced, has moved in across the street from my house. We got an Order of Protection against him saying his living there was emotional child abuse. Here are a few posts for more detailed background of the hell we have dealt with in this situation. The day I found out, and what happened next, then going to court.       . BTW, I swear we don't have stuff like this going on in our lives normally! We like boring!)

When Skank and Jack met, he was employed at a decent job. Jack was fired however, because Skank called him so often to come and take care of her kids. She would be "sick", and as he said, someone had to help her and take care of those kids. So, he lost his job because he called off so often to take care of Skank's kids.

I'm thinking he got unemployment. I'm thinking it was probably for 6 months and now it is done. He is certainly not working because he is never gone from that house unless for short cigarette runs.

Now, no self respecting skank is going to let some able bodied man live off of her disability payments. Right? I mean, won't the other skanks kick her out of the club for that sort of thing? Take away her tanning card and hair spray?

I have been getting inklings that Jack is trying to get some clarification on our Order of Protection. The judge sent us a letter in one instance, and a phone call came in to me from a trusted source in another. I initially thought he was trying to get the term "child abuse" off of his record. I suspected he was getting jacked up (lol!) for jobs because of it showing on a background check. This would have been good news because of the above. If Jack can't find a job he is totally useless to Skank. Right?

Then, one day The Husband happened to get ticked off at the sight of Jack in his front yard. He may have elevated his voice and become highly insistent that Jack get his ass back inside that house. Jack did, but Skank came out to talk to The Husband. Defensive at first, she quickly and quietly asked The Husband to call her because she was getting worried. Worried that there was more to the story than she was getting. Worried about her children being around Jack if there was more that she did not know.

Hmmmm, I said to myself. The Husband wanted to be polite and call her like she asked, though he would just repeat what he told her at the time which was, this doesn't involve you Skank, and he was not going to discuss it with her, but there were things that had happened and Jack knows what they are. I told him, first of all, let this fester. Let her imagination run. In addition, I think she has Borderline Personality Disorder and there is one thing I have learned about that one, which is NEVER FEED THE BEAST!

*warning, massive use of profanity ahead. Scroll to the next asterik if you want to avoid it*

Sure enough, a few days later Skank called The Husband saying..... why haven't you called me, you said you had to tell me something! Once again, he wanted to be polite and call her back to which I said.....


So he said, okay.

*reasonably safe here to continue*

The Husband has been driving by and staring at Jack. Today, I shit you not, Jack called and asked The Husband to stop glaring at him all the time. Then asked him to agree that he Jack had never hurt Genea. The Husband told him at least 3 times that he IS hurting Genea, that what happens in our house is our business but she is suffering for this. Then Jack tried in a circular sort of way to get The Husband to say that Jack never hurt Genea in the past. The Husband just said, you and I both know what is in those medical records and you know what happened because you were there. Then things sort of fell apart, there was yelling, and Jack hung up after saying The Husband had anger management issues (snort!). RIGHT! WE BOTH DO!

Does that sounds to anyone else like I think it sounds? Like Skank is looking for an excuse to throw him out and has latched onto the child abuse record? Common skank-club ploy, to say she has to put her children first and their safety is her world (snort!), I've seen it pulled out for convenience dozens of times.

I'm hoping it's not long now......Maybe, just maybe, the whole thing will self-combust.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Progress measured in years

It's been 3 years now, since Genea came to live with us. Three years since the day we brought her home from McDonald's, put her down for her nap, and found the raging ping pong ball with hair who took over for the polite, withdrawn child we had "visited" with the preceding 3 months.

I haven't been writing much about Genea lately because she has been doing okay and I did not want to curse her progress. My restraint is no longer necessary, ahem. She had hit a streak of progress that started around the holidays late last year. With the massive dive she took in mid- January, she recovered after about a month and went back in for another round of progress. Now I am guessing with all the unavoidable changes that the world is so rudely foisting on her with the end of school, she is coming apart for it. But we'll get back. 

I think a lot of kids from traumatic backgrounds have a problem with play. Genea has never been able to pretend. She could not pick up a doll and do anything with it other than maybe use it as a pillow, or to knock something over. She will pace back and forth and pretend she is doing something. She will sprint off without warning into the next room as if she just remembered something crucial, but there is nothing. She cannot, cannot occupy herself. In three years we have found exactly one thing that she can do, do it by herself, do it without wrecking it or asking a hundred questions about it, or dropping it to the side after 5 minutes, and that is her Leapster game. She will ask for things to do that she knows she can't have, then starts a fit then a tantrum then a visit with the Wango Tango. So this has been a tough area for her.

She has started trying to pretend. I hear her, with a few stuffed animals, making them talk in a high, sing song voice. Mostly they say "hello" a lot, and introduce themselves. Sometimes she will make a stuffed animal talk to me and it will say hi, and introduce itself. I look directly at the critter (oh how those things multiply in the night) and say hi back, while introducing my own self. Sometimes the animal will inquire as to my health  and say, " how are you today". More often than not though, Genea will have started to get nervous. She lets the animal flop over to the side, sits herself straight up and leans in closer to me piercing me with her eye contact. "Mama", she whispers with spit and voice "Mama, it's just really me, Genea talking. I was pretending". Oh, I always say. Phew, I'm so glad you told me!

I took what happened recently as a sign, a real sign that we were finally getting somewhere. I have not cried once in the past three years, but I came darn close that day. I have choked on it, I have cut off my own oxygen supply. I have done everything possible other than cauterize my own tear ducts. Because if I cried I would have to acknowledge how really really bad things were. If I did that, I would have to do something about it. And there are not too many choices in the "doing something about it" category. So no matter what has happened, however frustrated, angry, depressed, guilty, furious, whatever feeling whisked through I have forced it to keep going on. Totally unhealthy. Really bad. I know.

I came as close as I think I have gotten to letting the flood roll when I found Genea's beloved Henrietta. This is a pale blue web kin thing, that looks like a porcupine to me but is evidently a hippo. You'd have to ask it to be sure. Anyway, of all the toys that she doesn't play with, she has hung on to this hippo on and off. One day a few months ago I found it on her bed with a blanket on it. Purposefully placed, delicately draped over the body and head of the hippo so it could still see.

She had done this with deliberation. With caring. It was obvious she had taken a few moments out of her hurried morning to set Henrietta down and be sure she would be happy and comfortable for the day while Genea was at school. It sounds so small, like such a little thing and I suppose it is. But I felt it so strongly, a wave and a rush, that Genea can make it. It is in there. I always thought, intellectually thought, she could make it but an awfully long time really has gone by without a lot of confirmation. So, like I said, I took it as a sign that she will make it. It's been years, we are taking our progress in years.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Too True Tues(day)

Hey guess what? It's time again for TTT! I don't remember what number this one is, and as Kate  lovingly pointed out my numbering skills are so sad anyway, I would probably get it wrong. Too True Tues(day) is your chance to tell it like it is! Break down those barriers! Let it all hang out and set your spirit free by confessing your super secret secrets on alternating Tuesdays and sharing it with the world! This week we are letting the world know how cool of parents we would all be if it weren't for these children we have. For example, I am so cool I let my children have lollipops for no good reason except I love them and they love lollipops and one of them did not finish so she tried to hide it in the back of her closet for later. It was a good hiding spot except for if you happen to be an ant, in which case you found it immediately.

Here I go.

I figured I would be the sort of cool parent who doesn't mind a mess. The sort that lets her children express their artisitic souls without tether to earthly concerns. Art is not precise! Art is beauty and charm and grace and love and expression of the mind body and spirit! It is not organized! It is not bound by rules!

The beauty and grace and charm in mountains and valleys made from glitter however, is questionable. The first person to call it innovative sculpture gets a visiting kid for summer vacation. And while I may have spent an hour trying to take a cool looking photo of glitter, this picture is merely wishful interpretation. Because the real Glitter City was built on my floor. My thirty year old parquet floor. Not old as in antique or pretty. Old parquet as in chipped and grooved with perfect glitter holding ruts. For oh, about the next 100 years. Because if there is one thing guaranteed to outlive roaches and plastic, it's glitter. It doesn't go away. And in the quantities and scale we had, it will never go away. We could move, but unless we left in haz- mat suits, it would cling to skin and clothing and come with us anyway. Red glitter. For anyone who is wondering by the way, I was not the parent in charge and I was not the parent who okay'd the use of glitter..... ever.

So there you have it! Now what you do is tell your own funny story about how you were supposed to be a cool parent but your kids or your dog ruined it for you, on your own blog. You link my blog and briefly describe TTT. Then you come back here and fill in your information on Mr. Linky there. Fun! Also, I am probably going to retire TTT in the next few weeks so make it a good one!

I do believe that if you are using a reader you will have to come directly to my blog to see people's links.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Most Beautiful Baby (and her Auntie)

Here we have the most beautiful baby and her Auntie. You'll notice the baby is sleeping.

updated: the Auntie is me!

The only way this beautiful baby would hang out with me was when she was asleep. When she was awake she clearly despised my deodorant and let it be known throughout the land that she thought my brand stank. I'm going to assume it was my deodorant because otherwise she just didn't like me. Anyway, she is very much Mommy's Baby and I am very much Not The Momma!

Here we have Daddy of the new baby, being the post in a swing ride from the carnival. Only there was no carnival and no swing ride in my Mom's house. Just him! Yes, he is hanging four children off of himself and giving them a ride. You know those "World's Strongest Man" contests where men compete pulling a semi-truck loaded with goats by strapping a chain around their heads? He used to win them. All of them! Now he is the post.

Now isn't this cute? Teena with the new baby. Teena could not wait to meet the baby. Genea, not so much. Although I thought Genea might be upset meeting someone who could out-cry her, she appeared not to notice. She was nervous however, and while she did not handle herself well, she recovered without a spin into the Wango Tango.

 Last thing. Tomorrow is Tuesday and time for Too True Tues(day)! And guess what...... there has already been a secret preview of the topic. The last post about how I could have been a cool parent and let my kids do..... blank.....if it weren't for these kids *making such a mess* or *making a mile out of an inch* or *the whole thing backfires on you* or *then there was a fire*, you get the idea. If you are child-free, then what did you always think you would let your dogs do. Such as sleep in your bed until you found out it would eat your comforter and pee on the pillows. Ok, then if you are pet free, you can write about how you think you will be a cool parent and allow your kids to do blank and everyone can giggle! Won't that be fun!


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Reason #719

Reason #769 why I can never be a cool parent with these children. Why I will never be the cool parent I assumed I would be.

What is that festering stick laying on the floor you ask?

Why, it's a lollipop! It's a lollipop festering on the floor of the closet of my girls! How on earth did that happen? I let the girls have a lollipop each one day but I know I said to throw it away when it is finished. I KNOW I never said put in on the floor in your closet.

And oh my gracious, what is THAT bit of nastiness?

Why yes, it IS an ant!

See, the nice thing about that picture is that when the ants heard I was coming back with my camera they all scurried their little selves off.....somewhere else and left this one to die alone. Before I warned them I was coming back there were probably 15 ants feeding off this thing.


Ya know, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. I stuck a couple of ant killing bait traps in there with the lollipop. Normally no self respecting ant I have ever met would be caught with its pants down near a bait trap, but this appears to be one powerful lollipop.

You might be interested to know that no one did this. Mmmm hmmm, I thought that was strange too. But my children do not lie and they both insisted they are not responsible. So. That's all I know.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New and Interesting Stuff

Have you all been to ? They are a group that focuses on attachment. Learning about it, preventing disorders of it, treating disorders of it, educating people about it. I get their newsletter and a couple of weeks ago I recieved one about Developmental Trauma Disorder. It said that they are supporting the inclusion of this diagnosis in the upcoming revised DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, considered the defining text on mental illness in this country). Since I had never heard of DTD, I looked into it a bit. I went in to the website of the folks who have put together the criteria for this as a diagnosis for children and found their proposal. They are The Trauma Center and are part of Justice Resource Institute.

I should warn people that the paper is 33 pages long, but it is very readable, especially for this sort of thing. It really is probably closer to 28 pages and me personally, I skipped all the tables.  So actually maybe more like 25 pages.

It is here.

So, what do you think?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The IEP Cometh

Genea has delays. She has delays in her development, in her speech, in her learning, in her physical abilities. We knew this when we met her, before we met her actually. So, not only did we expect it we have watched for it. Genea however, has had different ideas and has spent the past 3 years busting her ass to catch up as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. Regardless she has been sort of "on the fence". She has just enough sensory integration issues to be a  problem. Just enough speech and language issues that she fit in with the kindergartners last year, but at the bottom of the range of acceptability. Fine motor deficits to make her handwriting atrocious but she always gets her letters in the lines. She is clumsy and knocks into things. She falls standing still, those sorts of things. Socially, about a year behind her friends. But always just toeing the line which cut off a delay from being an addressable problem. Never quite making it over the edge into an issue that might interfere with her academic learning.

So I knew and accepted, that Genea's issues separately were not going to raise any flags, although I always brought up my concerns at the conferences. Despite the fact that everything together presented a significant compounded problem, I was fairly sure the schools would not be lending us a hand. And the truth is I could have gone out and gotten her Speech Therapy myself. And Occupational Therapy, and a few social skills classes, and the rest of it. We didn't do it. We chose to focus on our bit instead. Our relationship as a family, our emotional bonds and attachments without racing back and around to therapists.  It was a choice, a decision and a roll of the dice, to provide as much as we could for her at home.

I have gone into Genea's conferences with my fighting pants on, ready to insist on IEP (Individualized Educational Plan, generally for children who need special help) services and with threats all set to whip out, only to find she has been within the range of normal with her class. That she had room to improve but the gap between her and the rest of her class is not nearly what I would have thought. Part of it is I think, that she does the Miss Perfectly Perfect Girl shtick at school and I get the compressed result of 12 hours of fits that waited to happen at home in my 6 hours. With no major behavioral concerns, she does not stand out. Anyway, her speech and language is one of the concerns and I suggested a speech evaluation  when school started this year. About three months in, the teacher noted a possible problem in her fluency. After the holidays the Speech Pathologist sat in on our conference to gently and delicately tell me about the "minor lags that sometimes maybe happen and sort of can hold things a bit to where we could benefit from some you know, extra time spent addressing it" (not an exact quote but you get the idea).

By the way, I realized that while I have a degree in Communication Disorders and can spot an articulation disorder underwater and from 4 miles away in another kid, when it comes to mine I don't hear it anymore. I can't, even if I try. I only picked up on some of Genea's speech hesitancies because it takes her so long to finish a sentence and she talks so much.

So the Speech Pathologist called last week to set up a meeting (May! It's May and I brought this up in September! Whatever!) to go over the results and discuss the findings and whether we will move into an IEP with Genea.

I did not feel happy about it. I discovered something.


It was weird! Not only have I been expecting this, I have been waiting for it. In fact, I thought it would all come much earlier. I want her to get extra help in school and an IEP will help her to access it.  So why did my stomach contract like I had just eaten a ball of styrofoam? I'm not even sure. I had a moment on the phone of, don't  YOU tell me anything is wrong with her, there is nothing wrong with her, maybe there is something wrong with YOU, as I sit typing on my blog that I spent the past two years with writing about Genea's issues. Go figure. It hit me quick, and then the abrupt brick- to -the- gut feeling was gone. I'm left with a lingering sort of unease, a discord. I can't define it any better than this.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mothers Day

This may or may not have been said in a house near mine.

It's Mothers Day- that means you go get on Daddy's nerves today!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Continuing with the A's from the Q's!

Moving right along....
From BT
My question: Can your conniving brain think of anything all of us followers of yours could do to help get you on Oprah

Ya know, I wish I had a good idea, or even a crummy one. I got nothing! Well, I mean people could take out a full page ad in the Chicago Tribune but that is going to be pricey. Anyone?

Rachael asks
Ok...I thought of a better question:
When you were a kid, what did you imagine you would be when you were grown-up?
And, similarly...

What career do you imagine Teena and Genea in as adults?

I don't remember exactly what I wanted to be. I think I wanted to be independently wealthy, seriously! When I was maybe 12 or 13 I read the book "One Child" by Torey Hayden and then I wanted to be her. Which, I sort of did. I also vaguely wanted to perform on Broadway with no real or imagined talent.
I imagine Teena as a lawyer but the other day she was talking in her sleep and was saying "make the numbers come back, bring the numbers back" and she loves to do math (brag alert: she is in 4K and can add 3 numbers together in her head, like I tell her 8+ 6+ 3 and she gets it right! brag over). So maybe medicine? Genetic research?
Genea, I was laughing with someone that she will never move any further away from us than the garage. We have good colleges here in town thankfully! I imagine her strongly being a good lawyer also, probably a prosecutor. Maybe a doctor, she is always interested in medicine and she never gets sick. I would love for her to sing on Broadway (brag alert: she really has an excellent singing voice, not just saying that as her mom! brag over) and live my unlived dreams. Obviously I would have to go with her.
Why law or medicine? I don't know, I just realized that now!

Ashley and Henry write.....
Hi! I've been reading your blog because I'm very interested in older child adoption and adoption from disruption situations.My question is: When you adopted Genea, did you change her name? If so, did she help choose the new name? How did you transition her to a new name?

HI! How exciting for you both! Okay, "Genea" and "Teena" are the girls stage names. Genea came to us at the age of 4 so she was pretty attached to her real name by then.  Here is how it goes.... "Genea" is the slightly Americanized version of the name her Ukrainian birth mother gave her, the original adopting parents kept it that way. Her middle name, we'll say it's Violet, was given to her by the original adopting parents to honor the fathers grandmother. Then we gave her our last name. So I thought it was really cool that she had a name from each of the significant families in her life. But now I wish we would have changed the middle name because the previous adopting father is such a vile piece of it.

Secret Pepper Person asks......
Um...What's your favorite color?
Do you like Thai food? 
If you were stranded on a desert island what vegetable would you choose to be stranded with?
Oh, I'm sorry...were these questions supposed to be related to your post?

It was purple but now that I swim in pink and purple, it's turquoise!
Not sure. Probably.
Hmmmm. Is chocolate a vegetable?
Nope. LOL!

It's the Wife says.....
What does your husband do for work? What's going on with that crazy guy across the street? Do your kids know about your blog? Maybe they are too young to understand what a blog is...? Does your family/friends know about it? Do they read it? What do they think about it?

He sells insurance!
Jack Ass has been laying really low. I have legally inappropriate fantasies but I probably should not say any more.
My girls are too young to understand "blogging" for what it is, they know and complain about my computer time though!
A few family and a few friends know and read. Mostly they don't say anything to me about it although my sister read that I wanted a new Coach handbag yesterday and called my mom to tell her. So my mom calls me to tell me she has a coupon and I was like, WWWWWWWWWWWWwoooooo hooooOOOOOO, but then she said I would have to pay her the cost after the coupon. Totally deflated my high. Anyone?

Forty- something Chick saysssssssssss
Also wondered if you could use your previous experience and cater towards families with newly diagnosed autistic kids who aren't in school yet. That way you could do that during the morning hours, maybe write the book in the afternoon!

Hmmm, that is a great idea!

Kate strikes again with....
What is your least favorite body part? (I meant on people in general, not on you.)

On anyone, me or anyone else, FEET are my least favorite body part. They should be covered at all times in my opinion. Everyone who owns feet on the planet should be required to learn how to knit cute socks and keep those nasty things covered with pretty hand knits. 
Of course the exception is babies. Baby feet are adorable. The age that they get ugly depends on the child.

Here is J......
It's not witty or funny but, Would you ever learn to cook?
Sigh. SIGH. Triple triple triple sigh. Okay J. I am going to make a confession here. I don't want this getting out and I will know who did it if I hear it mentioned on the news or something. SIGH!!!! I can cook. I know how to use my oven. I can make pretty food, nice food and good tasting food. But if people know this they are going to expect me to do it, so for the love of lettuce  DON't tell anyone! Honestly, it got out that I can make chili and now people are like rabid about it and I have to make it all the time!
Food should never take longer to cook than it does to eat, and in my house that is 15 minutes.
I don't like it and I'm not going to do it. Just because I CAN jump off a bridge doesn't mean I SHOULD!

OKAY then, that about wraps it up for this years round of questions! Quite a few people mentioned writing a book which is SO COOL! And a LOT of people had fabulous compliments, which I love and adore and re-read all the time. So, if you think of something last minute that you want to know you can get it in on the comments of this post, otherwise you will have to wait until next year. Don't even ask what color my eyes are come June, cuz I am closed!
(But, I'll forget I even said that come July, so you know, just hang in there!)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Q & A part 2

Okay, here we go. I'm just going to get right to it.

Lisa says.....
Me thinks you should write a book. And I expect the first autographed copy.

Well now THAT's a cool idea. I am going to think about that!

Mom In the Trench says.....

Have you considered plopping yourself right at the door of CPS or some over zealous therapist or some international adoption agency and staying there till they grant you a two hour time slot twice a week to educate PAPs and APs on the realities older child adoption? You could call the class, "Essie the Effing Enlighterner" or something.

I have not considered that, however I do love the class title suggestion. It might be worth it just to use that name somewhere!

Maury says.....
Are you as funny in person as you are on this blog? Are we just the special ones that get to be entertained each day??

Yes, you are. If you need clarification you can ask my mother who has said to me repeatedly throughout my life "you're not funny". LOL!

K Mom says....
Have you considered writing a book? Something like Our Awesome Beautiful Colorful world of raising Alphabet children. [Sorry, just woke up...need coffee]

I'm considering it even more now! I need more coffee too!

De says.....
Would you ever consider homeschooling?

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEigh! The thought! It's burning my brain!
*Sigh*, yes actually I have considered it and would do it if one or both of my kids would benefit from it. I actually wrote a post about that a while back, I'll see if I can find it.

Rachael has a few questions......
What is your educational background? (That's not my "question" question...I'm just thinking about this book idea...) I think you definitely could write a book: something along the lines of how you used humor and common sense and empathy to keep yourself sane while healing your traumatized child and excorcising the wango-tango.
Question: How does parenting affect your relationship with your husband? Do you see eye-to-eye on dealing with the wango-tango? Does it put stress on your relationship? If so, how do you handle that? Oh, and does your husband read your blog?

Hope that's not too personal. If so, then multiple choice: What's your dream vacation, or...tell us about that handbag obsession.

I have a Bachelor's degree in Communication Disorders and Sciences (didn't think I would say that did you, lol!)
Definately thinking about a book now!
Yikes, The Husband thing! Well truth is, we are quite similar on parenting and we balance each other well. If I am getting too punitive he will often step in and take over and vice versa. I tend to go easy on the "soft" things, like not eating your food because it smells funny or has "crumbs" on it (texture issues) where he  is like, try the stinking food kid! But definately when the kids are stressing me out, the Wango Tango has been going on for hours, I will take out my frustration on him and he does not appreciate it. Likewise, and vice versa again. But, as time goes on we react less, the kids are getting much better, and we try to see the humor in it all which helps a lot. He does not read my blog that I know of but he knows it exists.
As to part two, I would love to take a Mediterranean cruise for like, 2 or 3 weeks. Otherwise anything involving a beach, awesome warm weather and cheap drinks will work.
Oh my handbags. I loooooooove a Coach bag and have been using them for about 20 years (eek!). Dooney and Burke, and Kate Spade come in #2 and 3. Were you thinking of donating to the cause? Because there is a Coach bag (the Julia op art in yellow and silver) that I could die for. The Kate bag I was dying for is evidently sold out which doesn't matter because it cost $500!

Okay, phew, more later!!!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Answers Part 1

Ok, I am going to divide this up over a few posts so it doesn't clog your reader in one super extra long post (it will clog you for days on end instead). So I am starting with the first and will just keep going! You can still get a question in whenever you think of one (you know who you are.... all of you).

Givingherallshesgot says......
How did you get to be so awesome? No? Not qualifying as a question? OK...
What is the ideal job you can imagine right now? Like, all reality and economy aside.
Have you tried to dye any rugs or other furniture/accessories lately? *snort*

 Have I ever told you you are my favorite?
Reality and economy aside I would love to work as a TV Reviewer! Brownie Taster is another dream job.
Does my hair count as a rug? Because I am having trouble dying it lately, to cover the rapidly increasing grays.

GB's Mom says......
Have you considered with Genea entering serious school, you might not want a full time job right now? And the insurance thing is still out there. Maybe trying to be a freelance author would suit you. Just questions...

Excellent points, no great answer! I know the insurance thing is such a wretched situation. If I do look for a job it is going to have to be flexible with hours, which is not easy. Freelance writing would be awesome, I would just need to be paid.

Mama Drama Times Two says....
Insurance, employment options...I dunno. What I do know is that I am so very grateful you blog and keep it real (and funny as hell) for all of us crazy Mommas!
I dunno either! Seriously!
And, thank you so very much! Same to you!

Advocate Mom says.....
What work did you do before? Can you imagine going back to it?

Ah, my dear, dear Advocate Mom. My old job was as a therapist for 2 intensive in-home therapy programs. One was for Autism treatment, the other for Severely Emotionally Disordered children and teenagers. Yes, I would go back to it and have even been invited. However, most of the kids are seen during after school hours and I would much prefer daytime so the girls would not have to be in a child care situation again.

Kerrie says......
1. Do you want to hang out over Christmas? We spend it in Menominee and always venture into GB for the annual Chuckie Hell visit.
2. Is that considered stalking?

TOTALLY! I would love to hang out over Christmas! I don't know what Chuckie Hell is but it can't be worse than these endless school vacations. No I don't think that is considered stalking but if it is, I will just add you to the list ha ha.

Kate says......
Hey, now. I'M all over the world. Don't I, loyal reader that I am, count?
I zoned out during the math part.
How many different times/ways have you contacted Oprah? Have you asked to be a guest?

Yeah Kate, I know you are all over the world. YOU are who I was talking about when I said I wanted to be a world famous blogger and have readers all over the world! Well, you and Canada makes all over the world.
I zoned out during the math part too. It took me 3 days to write it.
Mmmm, Oprah. Okay, I have emailed letters, and called, and filled out the forms on her website for specific shows. It's not really set up to suggest myself as a guest however that is my last choice anyway. I would be terrified to be an actual guest but would do it if it were something important. Such as older child adoption, attachment disorders and/or disrupted international adoption. You know, light subjects.

Okay, that's it for today. More to come, and don't forget you can still get a question in before I close it all off for another year!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Today may be Tuesday but......

Today may be Tuesday but this week I'd like to play a different game. More on this later.

I am coming up on the 2 year anniversary of my blog! Funny that when I started this blog I really thought I would never run out of things to say. Quite the opposite of many beginners who say they worried they would not have enough to say! It's not that I am low on material, I do think though that maybe less interesting things happen daily and instead we have some big and bizarre things going on. Regardless I still thoroughly enjoy this little blog of mine!

When I wrote my first entry I was leaving my job of 8 years to stay at home with my children. Because I wanted to? No. Staying at home to "Mom" my children was the last thing I would ever have wanted to do. Yes I know that makes me evil and a horrible person and someone should have clipped my ovaries long ago. They didn't and it's too late now. I can say for certain that the job has gotten easier and I definitely am more comfortable with it. I am more organized and have more of a routine going. I hate it less.

I left my job due mostly to our health insurance situation. Premiums that year were raised 18%. Because I went down in hours our pay- in went from roughly $400 a month to roughly $850 a month. With a $5000 deductible and $25.00 to $50.00 co-pays for everything from office visits to medicines it went beyond ridiculous and into obscene. So in a year we paid $10,200 straight up. Then, we had to run up bills in excess of $5000 for the insurance to kick in except for the occasional thing they paid out with no logic I could determine. Let's say 3 office visits per year per person, that's $300 in co-pays, plus medications of 1 per person per month, lets estimate $1800 a year for those co-pays. For a grand total of.......$17,300 in yearly health insurance costs. No dental. No vision. When I quit my job we then had only one working person in the family and his status is self- employed. Thanks to the wonderful governor in this state we were able to qualify for the state program for people like farmers and such who are self employed in order to get health insurance. We would have had nothing otherwise. 

FYI, I used a calculator to do the above math.

So here we are, careening down to the fall- when Teena starts regular school hours- the time when I had decided I would start looking for a job again. Two years ago when I made the decision to leave my job, there were plenty of jobs available. Now? Not so much. The "Employment" section of our newspaper used to be it's own section. It is now one half of one page and is in the combined homes for sale and cars for sale sections. I have always been very lucky that I have been able to find a job doing something I enjoy. My jobs  may not have paid well but they paid enough to eek by on and I never had to do anything dreadful for any length of time. I temped doing customer service for a holiday catalog and for a few different health insurance companies and I thought I would blow up my own head. WOW that sucked! So, no potential jobs I would want, no potential jobs that would suck but pay bills. I guess we'll see what happens in the next 5 months! Oh yeah, I did use my time wisely trying to become a world famous blogger which, right, I have readers all around the world. Next I need to make this pay the bills! And my other endeavor, becoming an audience member on Oprah, well I still have hope for that.

Anyway, on my other anniversary I opened up the floor to questions. Then I hoped really really hard that someone would ask one! So, in honor of my second blog-aversary I would like to welcome any crazy assed question you might have, and boring ones too. If you don't want to know anything because you cannot imagine what might be left unsaid at this point,  just leave a note saying HI so I know you are out there!

Okay, but seriously, ask a question. Please!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Dear Blog Fates,

Dear Blog Fates,

Up your nose with a rubber hose. I confessed to my egregious error in judgment (where I admitted we were barely squeaking by but by "squeaking by" the Blog Fates took to mean trumphilton- rich). I posted publicly my shame. I apologized and I presented a sacrifice. What more do you want?

It was not funny to mess with our old car, forcing several hundred dollars of unavoidable repairs. However at least you left our "good" 5 year old car alone. But then you thought you would be funny and mess with it as well. WHY? Why would you break the window switch with the window down? Could you not at least break it with the window up? We were able to jack around and get the window back up but can no longer use a drive thru for our meals. Who is supposed to feed these children now I ask you? Hmmmmm?

What I really do not understand however, is what I have done that is so bad I deserved what you sent next. Blog Fates, I am certain you did not strike my youngest child down with a mystery fever-vomit illness, that would simply not be playing fair. The thing that bothers me is how you used her illness to ruin my couch. Just so we are all on the same page, Teena was sick and fell asleep on the couch. I went to get some towels to put under her "just in case" and when I did I saw and smelled the rancid swamp that now covers my couch. Seeing as it has already been turned over 2  3   4  7  19  a few times,  I believe it to be a dangerous bio-hazard. The last time it was thoroughly vomited on, we flipped it and vowed to replace it. As it is we have all refrained from breathing while sitting on it after our lovely children took 2 years each to potty train.

I can't afford TWO sets of car repairs AND a new-used- picked couch!  Yer killing me here Blog Fates, killing me! Oh yeah, and because Teena bawled her fool head off that the funk couch was potentially going out the door for Big Garbage day, The Husband refused to drag it out there! Yes that's right, the Couch of Rancid Funk lives on because The Husband could not stand the sight of his daughter crying.

Now please Blog Fates, your revenge is complete!

ps. I will be sacrificing Too True Tues(day) this week for the Blog Fates and will have another feature instead.


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