Saturday, August 28, 2010

Up Creek Without a Paddle

Despite all of my good intention and preparation and maneuvering, The Crazy bus has arrived and I think Genea threw herself under it. I KNOW all this is hard for her. She can't take the anticipation of the start of school being close. She can't take it being a long way off either. She can't take it that a change is coming and she can't take it that she can't control it. She is trying and I am trying but ooooooh, there is only so much trying that can be done.

Genea has been getting up in the night and having a buffet. She wanders the house in the dark, takes food from the kitchen and brings it back to her room to eat in her bed.
She is also binge drinking water while everyone is asleep.
She hit me a few days ago.
She threw rocks at me.
She cannot walk, she can only stomp.
She tried to trick her sister into taking some of her medication.
She is stealing. Then, she is lying.
She pea'd on herself at the park.
She pea'd on my couch.
Then she pea'd on her bed.
She is enjoying some extended time with the Wango Tango. We all are.

She is a train wreck and there is nothing I can do about it until school actually starts and the anxiety of waiting is over. In the meantime, I am trying not to hold Teena back, but Genea's losing out too. I know this is something that everyone struggles with. Genea was having an awful day, but I had told Teena we would go to the park. So, we went. Then rather quickly, we left. I needed to take them both out for school shoes, but by the time I could do it Genea was in no condition to go along. So, I took Teena after The Husband got home and she got really cool shoes and I picked out Genea's for her.

I hate this. I hate that she is having such a serious regression. Yesterday we were sitting on the couch together reading and having a good conversation. It was the best part of that day honestly. Suddenly Genea flew up and raced to the bathroom and when she came back she asked me to help her with her pants button. Well she can do that button easily but I agreed to help her anyway and as she came near I could smell the urine on her. She lied but later admitted (when faced with the wet evidence) that she had already pea'd on the couch when she jumped up. I sent her to her room to lay down for awhile and when I checked on her later I found her laying on her side sucking on her fingers. It was warm in her room and her little curls were stuck to her sweaty face. Her eyes were vacant, the "dead eyes" that kids with reactive attachment disorder often get when they are scared or stressed. My stomach clenched into a rock that has not let up. It's times like this that I realize just how seriously disturbed she really is. It's terrifying. And I hate it but I wonder, can she ever come out the other side of all this? Will we ever get her through it? She wouldn't make eye contact or even respond to me. I discovered that she had pea'd in her bed as well. She got that cleaned up, but she never really snapped out of it until this morning.

And you know what else I hate? I hate that my "baby" Teena is starting kindergarten and I can't even mourn that like a normal person. She is having her little stresses too and has been edgy, prone to outbursts and miscellaneous fits. The vast majority of my brain is focused uselessly on trying to keep a calm going for both kids and I don't have anything left to waste on silly stuff like feeling sad that my littlest little girl is moving on with such a huge childhood milestone.

This *should* all calm down once school starts. If nothing else I will be better able to take on The Crazy after getting a break from it. Then, I can breathe.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This is not about earwigs.

This is not a post about earwigs. This is a post about hair. But first, I am going to discuss earwigs.

Does everyone know what an earwig is? It is a bug. I would post a picture but the last time I did something like that I was reamed 5 ways from Sunday (I don't actually know what that means) and people had so many tantrums, there were actual hissy fits left in my comments. You would think I had massacred tiny kittens by the reaction of some folks! So here is a link to the all knowing source of all knowledge, Wikipedia. Now you have choices.

Nasty ugly bugs can be seen and defined super exhaustively here.

They look like a cockroach with pinchers. Yes, pinchers. They are known to crawl in a person's ear and lay eggs on your brain. Alternately, they may eat your brain or snip all your neurological pathways apart with their pinchers. Wikipedia, and a few other sources, say that is not true but I think it is. Why else would they carry the equivalent of kitchen tongs around on their butts? Hmmm?

I am not a person known for a love of insects. Mostly, you have to have 2 legs if I am going to put up with you (even then, you know, it can be questionable). 4-legged things that are cute and furry and can take care of themselves more than half the time will be considered. For a brief time ants did not bother me. They went and put out that lovely movie about themselves called "Ants", so that was nice. Then, they pulled out all the sand from under my driveway and patio and since then I..... well, I'm not going to say what I have done to them but suffice to say we are at war.

This summer has been incredibly wet. Green Bay blew out the average rainfall for the entire summer before the month of June was over. Wet, rainy and hot. This apparently is the exact condition that earwigs love for a vacation. They have come from all over the nation to relax and have pina colada's in our yard waste, under rocks, and in the kids swing set. Their parties got a little crazy and now there are billions of earwigs living here in town! Word got out about the fun to be had here I guess. Maybe earwigs are Packer fans. I just don't get it myself. Anyway, they thought if the atmosphere was so nice outside it must be fabulous on the inside. And inside they came.

These earwigs have been roaming inside my house for months now. They get in damp rags, towels, under dishes on the counter, in any place they like. They especially love the bathroom. All those delightful dark, damp places. Wheeeee! I have to shake out my towels and my bathrobe before I take a shower. I have to knock things around to be sure there is not an earwig hiding under my glasses. I found one last week sitting on the toilet seat, waving its pincher's at me! Or maybe it was giving me the finger. I have to even move the shampoo bottles around in the shower just to be sure nothing is going to jump out at me in there. I just have an aversion to bugs with pincher's while I am naked. Call me uptight.

So anyway, I was taking a shower the other day. I do that. Shower. I got some of my favorite grossly overpriced shower gel recently as a gift, and it doubles as shampoo. Mmmm, it smells so pretty! It's the good kind because the scent doesn't hang on you all day. You don't walk around smelling like a fruit salad or gardenias. It smells its pretty smell and when you rinse it off it leaves with just a hint of scent. Actually I can't smell it at all later but the label says it will linger with a hint so I believe it. I was done in the shower and had retrieved my towel and as I was taking care of business, all of a sudden I fuh- REAK-ed out because there was a huge-ass  kitchen-tong- toting earwig on my back shoulder!!!!!!! Right by my head!! And my EAR!!!!

Well, thankfully it turned out to be a long clump of hair instead. But it could have been an earwig  And I was as freaked out as if it had been. Which in my mind warrants an extra long blog post. About hair.

And THAT is why I need an Oprah Makeover.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Cool Kids (and me!)

The time winding down to the start of school has got me feeling more and more irritable. I don't know why, I would think that the big day being so close (9 more of them!) would have me elated. It hasn't. I am at the end of my rope and feeling just..... irritable. I am trying really hard to keep it together and not let my frustrations show, but I find that I generally think I am doing a much better job of that than other people do. Teena talking and whining and doing her own thing makes me want to scream. Genea trying to control every facet of our days and me trying to Be The Mom instead of her is exhausting.

I've been tired. And I am whining! My house is a wreck because I keep thinking..... I will have all day to do that very soon. I am putting a big effort into having cool projects for the girls and making our days relaxing and interesting with little surprises and a few days of super big fun. 

So this weekend has been a fabulous one. Okay, check this out. I got to meet the real Corey from Watching the Waters. Seriously, in person! (btw y'all, she is a tiny little thing! Super secret tidbit from an insider!). And, I hung out with Sarah of Five Frozen Chamorros who lives here in town with her 5 kids and here is a super secret tidbit about her.... she handles her 5 kids and a bunch of strays, including mine, like some kind of Mom- Savant. I swear, like Rainman could brilliantly add and multiply a billion numbers I never even heard of, that's how she is as a mom. We hung out at Sarah's house on Thursday with Angie (who is in the pic and who also lives here and knows Corey) and then Angie had us over to her house for dinner in the evening. Folks, I tell you, Angie has a house that could be in a magazine and she can make a grand margarita! All this courtesy of Corey's Mom Matching!

Anyway, there were a few other people at Angie's house for dinner and they were adoptive mom's too. Now I know I have read a dozen times from other bloggers who have adopted traumatized children and they all say the same thing- it is such a lifesaver to be able to be around people who get it. Oh my goodness, how true that is!  When you are around people who "get it", you can let it all out. Like other mom's get to do on a daily basis because their stuff is "normal". Our stuff is "not normal".

What I didn't expect is that there was almost no lag time. We introduced each other and exchanged basic pleasantries, then we were all off and running. All of us mom's sat down at the dinner table and talked and talked and talked like we had known each other for twenty years. It was amazing and fabulous and wonderful.

Corey and Sarah and Angie went off to run a marathon on Saturday. I'm guessing I don't have to discuss the many ways in which that was not going to include me. 

Today, we met at Sarah's house again for a big barbecue. We had 2 dozen pictures taken on various cameras. I made a point of saying that whoever got to make a blog post fastest would get the pic up first. I also duly issued the disclaimer that I reserved the right to put up the pic where I looked the best. Sorry if you were picking your nose.

Sarah, Stephanie (who is a blogger in the area but I could not find her blog to link in the post), me (yes, I know, if this is the best pic then I really need an Oprah Makeover), Corey and Angie.

Monday, August 16, 2010

T Minus 14 and Counting

Last year and the year before, the end of summer was a very difficult time for Genea. To put it clinically, she went off her rocker. Whenever she would hit a rough patch I usually felt like it was she and I against The Crazy.  However. In the last month or so of summer Genea took a turn that was so far out there that she was practically in another universe. The Crazy, the Wango Tango and the time winding up and winding down took over everything and it was awful. She could barely function and the rest of us went down with her. The primal shrieking, the constant labile mood, the extremely disproportionate reaction to everything and anything, it was enough to make you pull your hair out or become an addict.

Very late last summer, I picked up on one small thing Genea said to me that would change my understanding of her thought process and subsequent reactions. It would then change my entire view of her issues and over the next few months things would start to slowly click into place in my own brain and a pattern came out that went against every parenting tip I ever read and made perfect sense once the pieces went into place.  No, I realize that sounds terribly dramatic but I have had all these concepts rolling around in my head that I need to put down and finally I decided to just start. So I am.

As the first day of school got closer and closer, I did what I had been told. I made a calendar, I counted dates with her, I planned with her, I practiced routines with her and we watched the day get closer and closer. I had pretty pictures on the calendar and colored blocks representing time, it was a nice looking thing. Colossal mistake. Huge. Ridiculous! I was going on what I had been told, which was that knowing ahead of time and giving her a "visual" support, such as a calendar, was going to help her feel more safe and in control. That in turn was going to give her less anxiety and make her feel more calm in general about starting school again. It. Did. Not. Work. That. Way. Yikes, I went back and re-read this post and about needed a Xanax Bloody Mary from the time prior to school starting last year. And I called that an improvement? I'm thinking there must be some massive part of my brain that has died because I barely remember it. This is how things went the year prior, for kindergarten when I was also doing the "visuals" thing with constant clear reminders for a smooth transition. Sigh.( Also, I need to come up with something better than my bloody mary bit. Maybe Ativan and tequila).

Finally a few days before school actually started Genea calmed down a lot and when I asked her why she was more calm now that the day was closer she said, because it is almost here. When she didn't have as much time to worry she then had less to worry about. It was the anticipation of school starting more than the actual event that was stressing her. Doesn't that fly in the face of everything you would have thought? Isn't it logical that as the day got closer she would get more nervous? But that's not it. Waiting for a major change to occur was what caused her fear. All those days to wait were unstable and unpredictable and that flared her up. So what had I done? I had unknowingly and with fabulous intentions, battered and rammed her fear and anxiety over her head for a month.

Change is bad because it is unpredictable. Even good change is unpredictable. What my daughter craves most is rock solid stability and if she cannot predict an outcome she will forcibly make a predictable outcome occur. Kids don't self sabotage before something fun like an amusement park because they feel they don't deserve it. It's not because they are afraid to have fun. It is the loss of a predictable routine. It is because it is a change and change causes fear and anxiety because it is unknown. This is why big events don't work as a reward for a kid. If you, Kid H, get all B's on your report card we will take you to the beach. Kid H freaks out, not knowing for sure if she can pull it off. So, she makes a move that guarantees a certain, stable result and messes up a class. Now she knows what is going to happen and she feels safe. That's just an example and I hope it makes sense.

This year, I have not told Genea when school is going to start. We have our little daily routine and that is what we stick to. She knows it is getting closer, but has not asked when the day is so I am leaving it be. In comparison to the past 2 years, she is practically a different child. She throws a fit or two a day just to make me happy. They last less than 10 minutes and then we move on. She is moody without being off the charts. I am keeping things low key and predictable. It is working for us this time. So far.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Mom in the Trench from gave me this beautiful award! And it is, literally, beautiful!

I love and appreciate awards in a huge way. I am basically blogging to myself over here, and have no way to know if I sound like an idiot or if any of this is of any interest to anyone.  So awards and comments are it for me! MitT is one of those Mom's who has a hundred kids with massive issues who loves so strongly she keeps bringing home more. She attacks the RAD with a vengeance that should have the RAD shivering in its stinky boots. And to top it off she has a sense of humor about it all, even when she is swimming in pee (and we all know that is NOT a metaphor). So, here I go passing it on.

First, to Annie at because not only is she a beautiful blogger but she will also beat me up if I don't pass it on to her. And folks, I am scared of her. She works at a church and has close access to the people in charge of random lightning strikes. But beyond that her posts are always so well thought out and reflective and well, beautiful! I look forward to every single one and would suggest she post more often if it weren't for the fear.

Second and third, to Claudia at and to Lulu at What Now? . Both of these women have adopted recently and both produce some incredibly thoughtful posts that are well- written and make you think. Their thoughts on their children, adoption, and motherhood are not at all typical. They are different people and in vastly different circumstances not to mention on different continents, I am grouping them together because I love to read them for the same reasons.

Kim at The Courageous O'Connor's has a full house and a lot to say! With both written posts and great photo's, she is another honest blogger who tells it as it is without forgetting to mention the piles of good stuff too! OOoh and you get to oogle pictures of her beautiful new baby too!

If you haven't already, you really should go check them out. Read! Comment! Follow! They are awesome! There are always people I forget, and then there are the people I can't find because they hide their blogs from me (ie, their blogs are not linked to their profiles or signatures). If that is you, please consider making it possible to find you!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Oh yeah! Oops!

See, I wrote the whole post (see previous post) about feeling sorry for myself over not going to New York City with (most of) the rest of the female people on the planet late on a Saturday. Then, I packed up myself and the girls and went to visit family in The South of Wisconsin. One might assume that proximity to Milwaukee and Chicago would assure a person access to things like technology and other such new-fangled crap. Unfortunately my parents insist on living in the Blair Witch Project and as we all know, there were huge problems there. Ha YOUUUUUge problems, and no internet. Although I knew that, I had not considered that people might want to know the answers to the true or false list of fun things I was doing in place of not going to the big fancy BlogHer party! I got distracted by the 74 hours of driving, the 179 hours Teena spent talking, and the 171 hours Genea spent trying to control everything when no one else was looking which made me sound shrill as shit. So, here it is.

I took a nap. I was poked no less than 4 times by bratty children who had been watching a Care Bears movie for the 89th time this week. One time I was poked because one of them had poked the other and the first one was tattling.
YES! I let the little demon's watch that swill and they pay me back by periodically poking me to tattle on each other. All that crap about sharing and caring makes me want to scream and it didn't even work. The TV is meant for baby sitting children. Where did I go wrong?

I smoked a few cigarettes. They were disgusting and yummy at the same time. 
Mmmm, oh yeah, I did it. I don't smoke anymore but sometimes you just gotta' say, WTF. 

I tried to find a way to get vodka into a juice box. I have been so far unsuccessful. However, I found that sucking the vodka straight from the bottle is just as efficient. Probably more so.
Sadly I just cannot get really toasted with these children living here since they require all my powers of observation be on them and focused at all times. I have not actually tried to get vodka into a juice box but I think it is a brilliant idea that would not require too much effort. Maybe a super tiny funnel or one of those great syringe things for liquid medicine.

I wore a fancy new dress "donated" to me by a super fancy dress designer in the hopes that I would wear it and describe it on my blog. I wore it to do laundry, specifically pee laundry. There. I described it.
 Grrr. No one donated anything to me. No one ever wants me to write about their crap on my blog. I was reading a post where the author was going to receive practically a whole wardrobe from donors to wear to the Big Parties. She had posted 3 pics of the dresses she was hoping a designer was going to send her to wear, and I started to seethe. That's right, seethe. With jealousy. I don't have a lot of jealousy and I rarely seethe so it was memorable. I did do a mountain of pee laundry though.

I turned the lights down at dinner to pretend we were at some super fancy NYC restaurant paying a billion dollars for our tap water. But the kids bitched that they couldn't see what food they were complaining about so I turned the lights back on.
I drink a lot of water and my kids complain about their food a lot, but I kept the lights on and did not try to pretend anything had a real or even perceived value.

I demanded The Husband drive and let me sit in the back so I could pretend I was in a taxi. He let me call him "Driver".
*snort* Not true, but the idea makes me giggle every time I think about it. I might still do it though since it sounds like fun.  Maybe I'll get him one of those hats too.

There you go! I should probably start saving for next years conference now. With my luck it will be in Idaho or something. (No offense to Idaho really! Just seems like it would not be too much better than where I am already!)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I'm Not at the BlogHer Party and Neither Are You

Sigh. I really wanted to go to the big BlogHer conference in New York City this weekend. I wanted to go so badly that I have barely been able to read the blog posts of the bloggers who I knew were going. Even if they posted about the crummy garbage cans they had to clean before they left, I could not stand it.

I'm not there.

Neither, most likely, are you. Or you would be off having some stupid great time and certainly not reading material that created the network in the first place.Whatev.

Here is what I am doing instead. I mean, here are the super cool things I am doing to take special time for myself. My "me time".

I took a nap. I was poked no less than 4 times by bratty children who had been watching a Care Bears movie for the 89th time this week. One time I was poked because one of them had poked the other and the first one was tattling.

I smoked a few cigarettes. They were disgusting and yummy at the same time.

I tried to find a way to get vodka into a juice box. I have been so far unsuccessful. However, I found that sucking the vodka straight from the bottle is just as efficient. Probably more so.

I wore a fancy new dress "donated" to me by a super fancy dress designer in the hopes that I would wear it and describe it on my blog. I wore it to do laundry, specifically pee laundry. There. I described it.

I turned the lights down at dinner to pretend we were at some super fancy NYC restaurant paying a billion dollars for our tap water. But the kids bitched that they couldn't see what food they were complaining about so I turned the lights back on.

I demanded The Husband drive and let me sit in the back so I could pretend I was in a taxi. He let me call him "Driver".

Okay, which of these is true and which are false? Who wants to play? Make your own list if you want and link back! No one is going to comment and no one is going to play because no one is on their computers. I'm posting to myself. Maybe I'll comment a few times to myself just to make it look good. Maybe I should just go to bed and quit here. Yeah.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Unbalanced, unfair reporting

I realized that I write more posts about the cute little things Teena does,  compared to the number of posts about cute little things Genea does. I try to balance it out and tell embarrassing stories about both girls evenly so that when they take my blog to their respective therapists as teenagers, hopefully they will see that I produced equally damaging material on both. That I took the time and energy to fairly share their personal garbage with the internet world. I balanced out their need for privacy with my need to laugh hysterically or crash and burn myself straight to the psych unit. The long term forensic lock down unit with the helicopters and dogs.

I digress. Anyway, here's why. Genea does cute and funny things too, but to tell the stories about her in a funny way feels a bit like pointing at a kid with cerebral palsy in a wheelchair and laughing (my brain is trying to leave my head just for typing that). She's not playing on the same field as other kids. We cannot see her disabilities, and it feels like it could be mean as shit to giggle about some of the things she says and does. Right? I mean, what exactly is there to laugh at about Childhood Bipolar and Reactive Attachment Disorder? What Genea does that is funny tends to be silly or a misunderstanding, more like a toddler would, while Teena's things tend to be funny because they are clever or unexpected. I try to find the humor in all of it in order to survive but some things would just come off wrong in writing. That said, Genea does say and do funny things at times like any other kid but with her goofy Genea spin on it.

My husband is a Regular Man. By that I mean, like most men he spends a good hour or even two on the throne every day. I have shrieked at him for years, if you know you are going to be in there a long time you should ask others if they need to go. Common courtesy in my (right) opinion. But it wasn't until there became 3 of us shrieking at him, that he realized my rightness was also a good idea and important for the self preservation. So he does. He alerts us all when he feels like he is going to be more than a minute in the bathroom. He specifically asks the girls if they need the potty. Or, if they feel they might need the potty soon. Or if they think there is a potty need in their futures. I imagine it is kind of unnerving to be in there relaxing when suddenly the door is shuddering from the frantic banging and the strident voice of a child is calling out..... "Daddy? I have to go.......!" It doesn't happen to me because I am reasonable and make efficient use of my time.

About a month ago, whenever The Husband went in for his time, after about 10 minutes Genea would start doing the potty dance and would make dire comments about having to go real! bad! right! now! I will say this, The Husband responds far more rapidly than I would even have imagined (I envision a catapult type of reaction) and Genea can hustle right in there. However, it started happening often. So The Husband started having her go in first, and she would and that was fine except it did not solve the problem. Somehow, after he had been about 15 minutes, here comes Genea needing to go again. Right now! Real bad! Didn't you just go? Yes, she'd say, but now I need to go number 2 (or number 1, depending on which had already been eliminated).

Finally I pointed out to Genea that these sudden, abrupt needs to potty on an emergency basis seemed a little odd. It does still tend to surprise me, when I just go ahead and ask Genea why she is doing something that could be perceived as odd, how often there is a logical answer. Well, I mean an answer that makes kinda sorta sense if you know her and have the warped and battered mind I have been left with.

"Why" I asked her, "why do you always have to use the bathroom when Daddy is in there?"
Are you ready for it? This is what she said.

"I like to go in there when Daddy has just been in there because the seat is warm".

HAAAAA ha ha ha,  LMAO, haaaaaaa ha ha ha
Okay, got it!
*snort* HA HA HA!


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