Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Teena Tornado

That's what I've always called her. Teena Tornado. This kid is a twirling entity of hilarious, crazy and wtf every single day. Here is the latest example.

"MAMA LOOK AT ME I made a smell guard so I don't hafta smell the rice cooking LOOK MAMA LOOK"!!!!!


When I say every day, I mean Every. Single. Day. ALL day.

Here is her writing fort. To the unafraid eye, it might look like a pile of trash. For the love of xanax, never-ever say that. Keep only thoughts in your head as to the brilliant nature of her structure. Or she will know. And you will pay.

If you're wondering why a few "bricks" on the side are wonky, I better make it clear that it was MY FAULT for trying to walk in my own house to sit on my own couch. And I ALMOST RUINED it, only barely redeeming myself by sort of fixing it but not- as- good- as she did it.

On a few occasions, I've been forced to dismantle a fort despite my strong sense of self preservation. The result is a child screaming as if I'd just mislabeled one of her myriad my little ponies. Which is the same level of fury/despair most folks aim at ohhhhh I dunno,  Mexican drug cartels.

I like to take selfies. You know, where you use your phones camera to take a picture of yourself? Well, Teena and I were set up to take a few nice ones. This happened instead.

Sigh. Double sigh, double sigh.

Friday, October 25, 2013

You. Are. Gay.

Genea has been having trouble with her friend across the street. The girl, we'll call her Dippy, lives in the house the Skankenho and Fucktardmoron moved out of. I'm wondering if it is cursed. Anyway.

Dippy seems to have a few of her own issues with impulse control and judgement. And lying and overall buttheadedness. She's also know to "flip" in a second. She is Genea's friend, then not, and back. While a lot of that is normal for girls their age, for Genea each tiff is the equivalent of waterboarding. She comes home and freaks out and I found out recently, then begs Dippy to forgive her. Of the nothing she did. Normally, Dippy forgets she is pretending to be mad about the made up event and is fine the next day.

I tell my girls they don't have to be nice, but they do have to be polite. Dippy is not a good friend, focus on the girls who are real friends. Say hi, and move on.

However, for an unknown reason, Dippy has been amping up her buttheadedness level with Genea on the bus. Of course, a school bus was the inspiration for the book "Lord of the Flies" and I believe the scene with the heads on spears actually happened in a city nearby. A friend of mine knows the person who heard about it. The bus is a shrink wrapped microcosm for aberrant child behavior.

At any rate, Dippy was supposed to hand Genea a cracker from another kid and instead tossed it on the ground and stepped on it. Genea said, that was rude, and now Dippy is refusing to speak to her etc, etc. All the usual buttheadedness. So Genea is already on edge (don't ever mess with her food!), when some stupid boy says to her "you are gay". Stupid Boy then sticks his foot 2 inches from her face. She replies "no I'm not", and kicks him.

(By the way, we have her convinced the bus driver stealth calls us. There have been other incidents when she was standing on the seat, jumping, throwing stuff out windows and so on and almost lost bus privileges but it mostly stopped when she realized we kept finding out. Truth is Teena races home first to tattle).

Okay! Probably I should be coming down on her for being physical. Instead I just asked her what the rules say she should have done. Secretly, I'm impressed. I hope she kicked him hard. Little shit.

All this history brings me to the part I do have a problem with. I don't know if Genea is "gay" or not. I am certain though, that Stupid Boy was not being conversational with his comment. Picking on Genea for her reaction is like going to a canned hunting farm. Easy, and not really fair. She's quickly flustered, struggles with word finding, and her emotional meter is set at 8 out of 10 most days. She's sweet and tries hard to be friendly, yet often comes off more awkward than anything.

The Husband and I discussed the behaviors of everyone involved and gave her suggestions on how to handle it next time. She demonstrated for us how school has taught her to put her hand up and say, "stop" and I almost went into a full body cringe. It's a good idea, ok, just somehow it looked and sounded bizarre when she did it. Almost guaranteed to create more problems. Anyway, that part is handled but calling someone gay to be mean is not acceptable. Now, how do I separate that out?

Just about every response I can think of would be exponentially worse.
"I'm not gay but why would you care?"
"Gay is not bad but acting stupid is"
"Get your head out of your ass idiot, your brain is suffocating".

I want to make the point to her that gay is how people are born and it's not a thing. It's not a thing to use to insult people with.  It just is. Calling a gifted child a smarty-pants as a taunt is similarly ridiculous. Why do some kids feel such a need to go after non-normative kids? The comments are meant to degrade, maybe to forcefully shame one child into acting within the groups parameters. Or something anthropological. I really don't know.

What I do know is that yesterday was not the time to go into human sexuality, but I can't leave it alone either. I'm planning to discuss with her again what gay is, and why it's not an insult and should never be used as one. We've discussed it plenty of times and so the facts will not be new. Kids shouldn't be taunting others regardless.

Is it enough to tell her why and be done? With another child it might be different but I can't imagine coaching Genea to tell the kid that gay is not an insult and he shouldn't be using it as one. I think I want her to stand up for other kids, other people, but as of yet she's not good at standing up for herself. As I write this right now I realize therein lies the answer. We have to work hard on what I suspect will be a long-term challenge for her, being picked- one, taunted, bullied. I can give her the facts, logic and knowledge but I guess we should probably hold back on defending others until she is better at managing herself.

As for Dippy, I sigh. We're telling Genea, stay away and don't bother with her. You are a good kid and a great friend and you don't deserve someone being mean to you. Genea's need to repel rejection is burned into her brain. Dippy's need to control and manipulate seems to be strong as well. I'd been letting Genea handle that "friendshit" (baaaa ha ha, that was a typo but I'm leaving it ha ha ha), with close monitoring but it seems time to squash it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

today's winner....

So, the last time I was giving away a book, we had a family emergency and had to go to Chicago for a few days. Now this time, I had a dental emergency and did not get any good drugs. Bah!

Anyway, the winner of the book "Full Circle" by Dee Dee Hixon is..........

building tension

drumming up anticipation

now just being annoying

distracting now with the cute picture of Genea selecting the winner

(those papers on the table are her homework, not entries that fell out or anything ha ha)

(yeah, she's doing homework with a space heater next to her. It's October and I refuse to put on the heat. However, I hate to be cold and so does she. Hence the robe over her clothes too. It's freezing out- literally.)

So, just email me your address and I'll get it right out to you!

Thanks for playing!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Barbie's Pony Tale- with a DISCOUNT

I am only going to write about a product if I like it. So if you are seeing it here, it's because I think it has value.

Barbie has a new movie coming out this week called Barbie & Her Sisters in a Pony Tale. They all go off to a riding academy and, as would happen with my girls, all four sisters have different ideas of what to do. It's a rocky start, but the sisters work it all out.

We were sent the dolls from the Gala Gown Giftset, and they are adorable. The dresses are cute- and age appropriate. Two other things I really liked- their shoes stay on! I can't count as high as the number of doll shoes that disappear into my carpet. Also, the dolls hair is soft and shiny and easy to play with. I don't know if my memory fails or if something was changed but it seems a higher quality then from my childhood (maybe because mine were mostly hand me downs with haircuts that never grew back).

Here's the thing. There are a lot of creepy looking, grotesquely disfigured dolls for girls on the market. Distorted bodies, overkill make up on, hootchie clothes. These are not them.

The best though, is that there are "kid" dolls. Barbie is an adult, Skipper appears to be a teenager and the 2 younger ones are kids. It is SO hard to find dolls that are the ages of my girls (or close), especially in this size. I've tried to find similar-aged dolls over the years and either can't find them at all, or they are super expensive.

Which leads me to the next part---- WE HAVE A DISCOUNT CODE!!! Use the following links between 10/21/13 and 10/24/13 for a $5.00 discount. Use the code PONYTALE at checkout to apply the discount.

Barbie and Her Sisters in a Pony Tale Train and Ride RC
(this is really cool, the horse can be trained to respond to Barbie)

Anyway, my girls love all things Barbie and I super love that they play with them all the time (staying occupied!!!). There has even been Barbie and Her Sisters- dedicated artwork:
(and you- know- who is beyond thrilled that her art is being shared for the cause).

Monday, October 14, 2013

"FULL CIRCLE" giveaway!

I received a copy of this birth mothers memoir, Full Circle by Dee Dee Hixson to review. Now that I'm done reading it, I'm giving it away!

The subtitle to the book is "The Real Story behind My Fairy Tale", and it certainly is. Like most of us, the author had ideas for her direction in life. Things did not go as planned.

The author discovers she is pregnant at a young age, and decides to give the child over (I hate the phrase "give up" but that's just me) for adoption. She describes the legal issues of the day, including birth records that would be sealed for 99 years. With no such concept as open adoption, she was able to only briefly see her son after his birth. Difficult emotions are well-described and explored. It is not a decision she makes because it's what she wants, and it's devastating.

As much as the author struggles during this time, she is able to return to her "normal" life only she is profoundly changed. I think she attempts to get back on the path she expected, or felt was expected of her, only to find it unsatisfying. I don't want to give anything away, so I will just say the middle of the book holds an event that had me careening through emotions as well. You know it's a good book when that happens!

The author seems to find her voice towards the end and begins to search for her first child. Sealed records hold firm however, and the search does not go well. The final paragraph of the book contains the line, "There is more joy out there if you just stay strong a little bit longer until it shows up".

SO! Who wants to read this book for themselves? Leave a comment! Do you see the full circle? Someone gave me the book and now I'm giving it away! I try to be slick like that!

 I will draw a name on Sunday, October 20th. Actually, one of the kids will do the name pulling to keep it fully random.

A few other links:
Kindle copy of Full Circle
E- reader copy of Full Circle from

ADDED: I opened up anonymous comments for entries. Please, if you are using it, specify some way to identify you from other people!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

twerking my nerves

Ya know, I don't consider myself to be an out- of- touch person. I like to think I keep up with current trends, pop culture and irrelevant gossip about people I'll never know. However, when this "twerking" thing came up, it was news to me.

What is twerking? It appears to mean to convulse one's buttocks in a seizure-esque way to look hot while dancing. I can't speak to whether or not it works. I'll just say it doesn't float my boat.

I've heard a lot of stupid shit in my life, but this is like the fresh shiny steaming bit at the top of the turd pile.
Seriously, twerking????

It occurs to me that we people have the power to change this word. We people made it up, and we people can eradicate it. How, you ask? How could one accomplish such an amazing feat?

The answer is so simple. Moms take over the word. It's bad enough when a cool phrase goes mainstream, and boring average people start using it. But let a bunch of mini-van driving, yoga pant wearing (despite those pants never ever seeing a downward facing dog), used tissue in the sleeve/ pocket/ handbag carting, MOMS start to say it? Forget it. It's over.

I even thought of an acronym- Moms Opposed (to) Mouth Stupidity!
Ok, I'll work on it.

So that's my plan. MOMS take over that idiotic word. We twist (twerk?) the meaning to: an extreme irritation. As in, that is getting on my nerves. Now would be, that is twerking my nerves. Added bonus- horrifying any teenager in a 3 block radius, double bonus points if the teen is related.

Currently twerking my nerves are people who want to video their brilliant child (not as brilliant as mine though) in some performance. They raise arms holding an ipad just like John Cusack and his boom box in Say Anything. The damn ipad obscures the view of parents such as myself for 5-6 rows back. The annoyance on those faces is clear, partly because the ipad proceeds to illuminate everything for a half mile behind the offender.

  like this only not nearly so cool, not cool at all

Showing off not only their technical prowess but their financial exuberance, the ipad user wants everyone to know he/she has an ipad and won't hesitate to use it. A mighty pride obscures common sense and it twerks my nerves.

THIS awesome blogger had another point, which is that twerking looks suspiciously like a child throwing a tantrum. Therefore, I've started using it there as well.
"She had a raging twerk last night".
"I got to enjoy a full out twerking fit".
"She was so mad she was twerking across the floor".

Please, do share. What twerks your nerves?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Math during a meltdown?

The brain is fascinating. I've spent a lot of time over the past six years trying to understand more about it and how it works. My personal brain works like a plinko game. Ideas bounce and jump, flip and flop, twist and contract. I often have no choice. When my brain finds something to latch onto, it wrestles it to the ground pummeling it into oblivion leaving a soggy mass. For whatever reason, when the motivation behind an action does not make sense, my brain hijacks the facts spinning them until I get it.

As one might imagine, my brain hit the motherload when Genea came.

I can't pretend to understand neurology, not even the tiniest thinnest bit. However, I read a lot and sometimes I find research that might apply to my daughter, even though it was intended for something else. Lots of research being done on PTSD in the military overlaps, for example. This study done by Stanford University was designed to determine the function of the posterior medial cortex (PMC) and the connections it makes.

I'll try to summarize (my apologies to the brilliant team at Stanford).

Math cuts off memories.

Yeah, okay, maybe a little more detail.

Actively doing math disconnects the brain from its memories and the energy goes to the area solving the math problem. You can do math OR you can explore your memory but you cannot do both.

The PMC is strongly activated when a person is remembering their past. However, activity in the region is strongly suppressed when the person engages in math.

I took this tidbit and considered it. Memories in traumatized children can occur on a repeating loop, as if they were burned into a pattern.  A child can have difficult memories of past abuse lodged in there. Perceived wrongs, distorted injustices, real wrongs, real injustices. The unfairness of having peanut butter and jelly for lunch when she wanted macaroni and cheese. It's a primal need that's been effected (predictability = safety), but it's the current memory of the unwanted sandwich causing the issue. Doing math tosses up a big brick wall in front of the PMC. It forces out the memory by moving the energy away from the PMC.

(This does not necessarily match up with the research study, I've extrapolated. The experiment subjects were not children or neglected or traumatized. I could well be stone cold wrong. Peruse the link above for all the specifics).

I'd like to point out that the child still has the memories. They've not been eliminated.

So when Genea is having a meltdown, I ask her easy math questions in a soft, calm and pleasant (no matter how I am feeling) voice. If she refuses I can do 2 things. I do a problem wrong. For example, 2+3=4. She may not respond but she knows it is wrong and bada-bing, focusing on math. It's a quirk specific to Genea, she cannot stand something being wrong. She has almost a compulsion to fix it, and so this gets her attention.

The other way is to do simple math, that she understands, near her. She hears it and bada-bing again, focusing on math. Her hypervigilance requires she focus intently on me, so I use it to her advantage. Often she'll scream over any attempts to help her with traditional calming techniques. Counting, breathing, telling her to "be a balloon Genea, be a balloon" (per a crappy-and fired- therapist), she will shriek her toenails off over all of it. Once, when I asked her, "What's 3+3" she screamed back "I know you know what it is!", but then she answered. Sometimes, she can't get to the answer right away, her neurology has become scrambled eggs. I watch her eyeballs vibrate with the effort it takes and give her a minute. It gets her unstuck.

 I can tell you this- the biggest, ugliest tantrums she has can be brought down this way within minutes.

Note, the purpose is NOT to teach her new math or to develop skills in math, or test what she knows in math. It has to be obvious trying to do that would be more frustrating, but I feel compelled to to write it anyway.

You still have to deal with the issue, dig out the current reason for the meltdown and figure out which primal need was offended upon causing the whole thing in the first place. Maybe she is screaming about wanting to play outside in her pajamas, but the real problem is she had a substitute teacher at school. Substitutes are a change and they never know how to be exactly like the regular teacher. What if she didn't know when to send them to lunch? Primal needs- food, safety.  But if you can get her to shift, you won't be trying to talk to her lizard brain with your prefrontal cortex. Math causes a shift.

If you try it, I would love to hear how it goes! Good or otherwise! Or does it sound ridiculous and stupid? Regardless, what's working for us may not work for anyone else. What works for us may not work for us tomorrow! I just like to share when I come across something that helps that I've not heard about before.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Excuse my delay but....

We have a winner!
Teena selected the slip and the winner of Jump Starting Boys is................

BETSY, who has 3 boys under 5 bless-her-heart-and-sanity, wins the book. YAY 

So, send your mailing information to-
and I will get it out to you right away.


eta: if you did not win this book, I have another one coming up. A memoire written by a birth mother.


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