Saturday, June 30, 2007

in the long run

4 loops of the back alleys around my subdivision
sunny and breezy
13k in 1hr 50 minutes of mostly running
I think I could have maintained a faster pace but I kept taking frequent walk breaks to ease out the ache in my left hip, hard surfaces just aren't all that good for me.

Running with a cotton surfaced athletic top/bra is dippy. Once it gets soaked it then chafes your underarm. Sort of like having a diaper rash and I treat it like one, smearing Penaten cream on it.

Mild shin splint on my right leg. A little tender to the touch.

Sometimes, I think about trying to diet myself to a faster me but not very often - instead I think I will just keep moving :).

One of my loose toe nails - I can bend it almost completely off but it is still firmly attached at the base, was wiggly enough that it kept sawing away at the toe next to it.

Carried and consumed a litre of gatorade, 1 pk of cliff shot bloks, 2 - 300ml bottles of water.

Mentally and spiritually it was very refreshing.
Which is the most important thing about WHY I do this.

I'm slow and being fast is what is considered being good a this, but it really doesn't matter because I like doing it anyway.

Also made it out to the little independent running store in town and bought new shoes!
It was a very good experience because all though the guy who helped me (the owner) was taciturn he was quite knowledgeable, took time with me and listened to me. I feel quite pleased with the shoes, a brand I had never heard of before, Etonic.

Also picked up a trial pack of electrolyte/ salt pills and toe socks!

Someone really gets it! On Princesses and manipulation.

I have just read all three of the past posts from Yondalla's blog out loud to my husband and kept interrupting myself to embrace my computer and exclaim "she gets it!!!!!"

I can't tell you how much that means.
I think the princess behaviour is so hard for me to emotionally deal with because
1) of what Yondalla says about the difficulty of HOW to modify it
2)how hard it is for anyone else to see how awful it is and why it should be stopped!

When Monkey first came to us, she asked me if she could be called Princess.
She had been before, that was what birth Mom, birth Dad and Birth Grandma all called her and it is how they treated her and trained her.

It is not cute to live with especially because it is very hard to find someone to vent to about it.

Some people think I am nuts when I have tried to talk about it, or even point out the behaviour. How they can fall for it all is almost beyond me, but they do and look from the little, adorable girl with the beautiful, huge, trusting eyes and think there is something really wrong with me.

But see, most of the time I have to be on guard, constantly evaluating if the little girl I am seeing right now is the real child or the fake princess one, because damn it, it is my job not to let her grow up to live a life of manipulations instead of relationships.

It can be exhausting and worse confusing because I am constantly double and triple checking myself to make sure that I have read the situation right and I am responding the right way - I don't want to become jaded and simply assume that she is the princess all the time and therefore hold her at arm's length.
She is also my child and a littlish one at that and I want to give her the love she needs too.

Here are some examples from the last few days -

*talking to her and the other kids at the dinner table about why somethings that day upset me.
When I asked if they understood what I was saying, the other three nodded or said yes but almost before I was finished speaking - Monkey made eye contact with me with her most innocent expression on her face and asked me to pass her more food. When I asked her she had even heard what I had been saying, she said, "Yeah, can I have the food?".

*when caught doing something dangerous at the playground the other day and told that she had to come play on a blanket right in front of me, she cocked her head, widened her eyes and said plaintively, "does this mean I can't even play at the playground?". There was an audience of course but I have also been at this game with her long enough to pick up on how mad she was that I was upset with her. And she stayed mad for the night and into the next morning. How dare I?

*Yesterday in the car, I hear her brother Buddy say to her, "Monkey, can't I please have the bottom bunk in the trailer when we go camping next week?". Her answer? No he can't, she wants it. I break in to ask why they thought the decision is up to Monkey any way, because usually the way it is decided is that the biggest person gets the bottom bunk because it is slightly bigger ( they are both roomy).

*The other morning I hear Buddy ask Monkey if he can use some of her hair gel, she says no.
I interrupt to tell Buddy to come into my room and I will put my gel in his hair for him and Monkey, true to form races to prevent that from happening. "No, no he can use this stuff!"
I ask her why and get her to admit that the gel in her room isn't hers, it's theirs, she has just been storing in her room instead of in their bathroom.

It is hard because Buddy is used to asking her for things or worse simply assuming that she should get first pick all the time. It can drive me crazy and it certainly doesn't help her.
Everyday things like when they go up to brush their teeth after breakfast, she will be behind him but telling him that she is going to use the bathroom first (to brush not for any other pressing reason) and he says OKAY!

Celebrating her birthday can be a bit of nightmare because the behaviour is untrammeled.
Her oldest brother gave her a present that he had thought hard about and spent his own hard earned money on - she was thrilled with the package, not so much with the actual present under the wrapping and tossed it aside without so much as an insincere thank you and started demanding (in a terribly cute way) the next gift.

I was horrified and we stopped the process right there.
She didn't get it, exactly but she tried to fake her way through it but she still wasn't impressed with the gift, an age appropriate game for her new game boy thing.
She hurt his feelings and even when it was explained to her, didn't get why she should care, there were more presents to be opened.

Sunny was embarrassed and unhappy about the whole thing.

A few months later, Monkey was chattering to me about how much she likes the game, how great it is and I reminded her of how she behaved when she got it, and she didn't like that.

Again, it is about how she feels about these things, not how other people feel and that is hard to break through.

But you know what?
She is in there.
The real flesh and blood human who needs and wants to be valued for who she really is, to learn how to talk about how she really feels.

There is a lot of pain and survival that went into becoming the Princess.

After all, sometimes when there wasn't much food or anything else, she got to eat and he brother Buddy didn't.

How is that for reinforcement?

Friday, June 29, 2007

These Shoes...

Buddy found the shoes he wanted.
We talked and he agreed that it would make sense for him to pay for these shoes, I also reassured that I would happily buy him new indoor running shoes for the gym in the fall.

He also got three pair of smooth socks without "toebites" - these occur when there is a seam or other irritant inside the sock, usually in the toe box area.

Happily all was on sale and he came out happy at having gotten a "deal".

At one point Monkey ostentatiously announced to the family at large that she was "very happy" with her old shoes and "loved them very much".
You know, underlining what a pain her brother was, with all his carrying on about shoes.

Gearing up for our camping trip that will be happening in about a week. The kids are all excited. This will be a marking of our one year anniversary together!


Obie called to cancel a visit because he had gotten drunk and "fell" and his face "was really messed up" and he didn't want the kids to see him "that way".

So he called them up before bedtime to tell them about it. Well he told Buddy, and he was supposed to call back and talk to Monkey a few minutes later (as she was indisposed) but never did.

Had I known he was going to tell Buddy, I would have intervened.
Here is hoping for a nightmare free night.

Fourteen years old, people, fourteen years old.

I'm not engaging.
I'm not getting involved.
I'm not reacting.
But my heart still gives a little shudder.

If you are the praying kind or could lend a thought to his well being....same story, second verse, same as the first.


Link to Parents that get it

Wonderful and touching article about a family where the youngest child 6, is transgendered and how they are working to allow her to be herself....

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Monkey, 8, really does seem to adore her big sister Bunny, 13.

She loves to spend time with her, she looks up to her.

Sometimes you might not know that though.

Tonight, Cabana Boy and I came in from running errands, and as usual, before I am even in the door properly, Monkey starts to ask me for something.
This time it was a snack.

Okay fine, but I did ask her why she was asking me for one right now, instead of asking Bunny for something before we got home.
And yes, I was mildly irritated, because it felt like a bedtime delaying tactic - so Monkey went into deflection mode, using her patented huge-eyes-in-troubled-expression technique.

"I did ask Bunny but she said that I had already had a popsicle after dinner." It is hard to describe the way she uses her voice, if you are not used to it, you really believe that she has been hard done by. Even now, I still am sometimes halfway taken in.

Turning to Bunny, I demand to know why she did not feed this poor small child, who has already known too much deprivation.
Bunny is stunned - "uh, I did say that about the popsicle but I was just reminding her of it and then I asked her if she was hungry and she just sort of wandered I didn't think it was a big deal!".

My stomach starts to churn and Monkey can see it in my face -
"Oh!" She says hurriedly, "I guess I didn't hear you Bunny! Next time I will listen more carefully!" and then she tries to slide out of the room.

This is one of the hardest things to know how to deal with when it comes to my youngest.
It takes me a while to recover from, I wish it didn't but it does.

Mostly I try to be calm and describe exactly why I am upset and be clear that she understands what I found to be wrong.

I also try and be just as clear about all of the things that she does right. Unfortunately, it is the annoying and upsetting stuff that seems to take centre stage.

Unlearning how to be manipulative will just take time.


Buddy has a thing about shoes.
Last summer when they first came, I bought them both sandal type shoes and running shoes of their choice, at our local little department store.
When they wanted the trendy crocs a month later, I had them use their own money (future allowances) to buy them.
The deal here is, Mom and Dad will buy you shoes when you outgrow them or they are worn out and if you want any others, well - that is why we give out an allowance.

So in the fall, when he needed a slightly bigger size sneaker, I bought him a pair, again he was there for the choosing etc. Then in the spring, Monkey needed new sneakers, hers were actually so small they were cramping her toes up.

That is when things went a little crazy.
As soon as we hit the store to buy them, Buddy started going on about how much he needed a new pair, how worn out his shoes were.

I looked at them, they were fine, yes their was a tiny, pencil eraser size hole in the side of one, but they fit and would be great to "wear out" over the summer, I explained this and said no.

He was really unhappy and sulky at the time and then over the next weeks, I noticed he was not wearing his sneakers at all, ever, always the crocs, which aren't always that appropriate, like at church or on a chilly or wet day.

When I asked him about it, he would get sulky again and describe how horrible his shoes were and pick at the hole in the side of them as he showed them to me.

This happened a number of times but I held firm and one day he actually wore them, I think he forgot that he hated them. Later, when I asked him to take them out front to knock some dried mud from them, I think he remembered again, because I had to do an intervention, he was so violent with the darn things and he starts in on me again - they are terrible, they suck, he is never going to wear them again!

Now I lose my cool. Fine! Fine! We will just throw them out then and I do.

Now he has been down to one pair of shoes only, the crocs. Today, the strap on one broke while he was scootering and now they are no good for running in.

Tomorrow we have to figure out how to handle this.
I think he is going to have to pay for his own pair of shoes if he wants another set.
I don't think he is going to like it.

(BTW he has a very generous allowance and has a great deal of money saved in his bank account, so this is not a hardship case.)

And yes, in his past, he has had to stay with one pair of shoes for way too long and they would hurt his feet, etc. etc. so I know some of why shoes are a big deal to him but I don't think we would be helping him by buying him a pair everytime he thinks he should have a pair.
I really don't.

But I kind of want to anyway.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Despite being a bit chilly and grey, our day was actually pretty good for the kids and I.

We went to the park and met up with other families and all four of them seemed relatively content.

There was black forest birthday cake to eat, and I did, three pieces.
It was my drug of choice.
Although to be truthful I am doing better than I have been and my hive has been fairly low key. Not gone but better than it could have been.

As the afternoon wound to a close, there were only a few other parents and kids left at the playground and I had already made one trip home to drop off the two older kids, one older friend and two kids who wanted a ride to our neighborhood.

Made it back in ten minutes, thanked the Mom who watched my youngest too and headed off to make use of the nearby bathroom, just out of sight on the other side of the play structures.

There, I found my 8 year old daughter, barefoot, standing on top of one of the many tall picnic tables bolted into the concrete, preparing to leap four feet to another table.

I thought I was going to fall over.

It is important to note, that although I did raise my voice somewhat, I did NOT freak right out and shriek or anything of the nature.

Well, maybe I did, but I did it quietly and calmly, for the most part.
Something along the lines of :
"No you DON'T young lady! You come down off of there right now, put on your shoes and take your toys (she was supposed to be playing with her polly pock*et dolls with another little girl) and you go over to our blanket, that is where you are going to play now."

She was pretty startled, her eyes huge and she snapped to attention.

I checked that she understood why I was angry, oh yeah, and then ducked into the washroom.
When I came out, not two minutes later, there was Monkey asking me if I meant that she could n't play in the playground.

She had gotten over being cowed and was now mad at me for being upset with her.

Fun and not productive.

To say that she knows she isn't supposed to try crap like the table jumping is beyond understatement.

Maybe tomorrow we can try and talk our way through it.
Tonight was just a bust for anything like that.
I was too upset and her "I don't care" attitude was not going to make it any better.

The remaining time at the park was spent under my very vigilant eye (she didn't like that), then in her room till supper was ready and then to bed 45 minutes earlier than her next older brother (that was tough because they usually go at the same time).

It wasn't punishment, not really, I just had no idea how to react and needed to have her as far away from me as possible.

Jeez, that kid.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


What is red and puffy, itchy and tender all at the same time?

My hive.

This is the second time in my life that I can remember getting a hive.
If there isn't a third, I'm okay with that.

At least this one isn't on my face, although I have to say that my upper chestal area isn't a wild improvement.

I have tried some of the leftover cortisone cream we have kicking around the house without much effect - that was when I still thought it was some freaky allergic reaction to something unknown.

Then I realized that it was bigger and less pleasant when I was more tired and stressed than usual.

Let's see in the last two weeks:

- there was my uncle's death, shock and grief
-my father's manipulative behaviours,
-the discovery that a friend has a very serious medical issue
-the reappearance of Obie
- a few incidences at my church that remind me once more that no matter how much I want it to be otherwise, that community is fallible and very short sighted when it comes to many things but in particular, the children of our congregation.
Which is of course, the area I am most heavily invested in.
- my brother's phonecall that included the information that he and his wife thought about asking me to look after their oldest daughter for a few days while they were called out of town but chose my father instead.
I live 5 kilometres away and have never used a belt on anyone, let alone a child and have never thrown my brother out onto the street at any age, let alone when he was 15.
My father lives 6 hours away, and well you can glean some of the rest.

So, hive, I understand where you have come from, but I would like you to go away now.

Lying in bed this morning thinking about it, I reminded myself that I would get to a point where I felt normal good again, it would just take some time.

Actually it was a bit like a conversation:
Me: I know it will take some time, but can't it be really short,?I'm ready to be over it now.
Me: You need to let yourself feel the pain before you can let it go.
Me: Yeah, but um, I've felt it, notice the hive? So I'm all about being done with this.
Me: Well it is healthy to not want to hang onto pain and that is a good sign - it will leave when it is ready.
Me: No, it will leave when I am ready but I get that it might not be as fast as I want.


Gotta go and NOT scratch it.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Life IS Good

A small list of the good because otherwise it sometimes doesn't sound like I know that my life is good:

-my oldest taking his two youngest siblings to mall 5 blocks away, on foot, just cause they wanted to go and I didn't feel good.

-my older daughter making me laugh, a lot, much of the time....reading aloud to me from a book about knitting hat patterns: "Here's one!! This one looks like a pineapple! How nuts is that! (reading)* We dare you to not feel cheerful and happy while wearing this hat*" her response? a vehment "I accept that dare!"

-my younger son reaching out gently one of my calves (on my leg - this was right before a long, long race that I was going to run and I was really nervous) in his hand and saying. almost reverantly, "You have such beautiful STRONG legs Mom!". That kept me going. It really did.

-my youngest child, at eight she is better at and more conscientious and thoughtful about taking care of our pets than many adults. It is near amazing to see a kid like that deal with the may things that many pets bring, in such a matter of fact way. And she is so gentle with them.
Worried that the dogs might have gotten into chicken bones (!!!!), she monitered them all day.
Checking them for any symptoms that might mean any of them were having trouble.
All day. From breakfast to bedtime. She's only eight!

-they usually don't fight much with each other. They usually get along okay.

-they all are willing to forgive me for the mistakes I make and they love me and rally to me and I am humbled by them all the time.

-my husband is pretty good too. I said to the kids yesterday, after listening to a goofy pop song about love on the radio that one thing about their Dad is that he has never hurt me on purpose and that is a pretty good thing.

-4 dogs, a guinea pig, homeschooling, friends (online and not), health and enough abundance that we have food and good food and get to shop at Goodwill whenever we want and if we don't find what we need there we can shop at a retail store.

There is just so much and wallowing in the good really does help me when I am wallowing in the other stuff.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Obie, once again

Obie is fourteen, my younger kids' brother, a ward of the government and more than a bit of a mess.

And he has reappeared in our lives once again.

He is in a halfway house for teens and we saw him two nights ago for an hour and we are still dealing with the effect that has on Buddy and Monkey.

This is where I plaintively squeak about how sometimes open adoption is hard work.

And now, now is when I give myself a good shake and talk about how much harder a closed adoption would be on my kids.

We do need to figure some stuff out though.

From a selfish point of view, having kids who lie awake at night worrying about if their brother is doing drugs or worse, is not conducive to my sleeping and that is not good at all.

If I weren't so directly involved, or didn't have a heart, it might be interesting to watch the odd interactions between the three of them.

For instance, we opted to take them to a playground for their visit because we know that they will start to rough house almost immediately.
Taking them, as a group, into a restaurant or even a donut shop is an exercise in frustration for all of us - they do not, perhaps they cannot, handle more than about ten minutes before they are jiggling and poking each other, climbing on each other...
and yeah, I do enforce my very strict rules about appropriate behaviour but that does not make for a comfortable and happy time.

Obie doesn't talk to Buddy or Monkey.
When Buddy has tried, Obie gets physical or switches all his attention to Monkey, who is still young enough to think playing non stop is great.

Which means that we are left with two very wound up kids and it takes days to unwind them.

So how to make it work?

Right now, I am thinking that Cabana Boy and I take Obie out on his own and talk to him about it and with him set up some very basic rules for visits.

It might work.
It might also trigger something in him and he will run again.

We are feeling our way along here and I just don't know.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tough Week

Usually when I have written about having had a rough go for a few days, it is because of something going on with the kids -

Not this time, it has been me.

Angry, growly, grumpy, snappish, testy - call it what you like and I probably would have answered.

Today it is better, finally better.

Why today?
I don't know for sure it just is and I am so damn grateful not to be looking into the black hole.

Sure I feel vaguely icky in a headachey, queasy kind of way, but it is such an improvement over the emotional morass that I was dabbling my toes in, that I actual welcome it.

My uncle's death did shake me up, grieving is really never anyone's idea of a good time but it was my interactions with my father that gave it all an extra hard spin.

Maybe what has helped is reading my uncle's obituary, well it was an article really, that ran in the small, small hometown newspaper:

Uncle Gawdess passed away at the hospital in faraway city.

He was born in small, small town in 1954.

He will be lovingly remembered by his siblings.

He also will be missed by many nieces and nephews.

He loved sports; he played fastball with the Tiny Town Team and umpired in the district. He also was known as a pretty good curler and a good stock car announcer, and was active in the Social Club.

He worked in smallest town and in slightly farther away small townf before moving to the faraway city in the 1980's.

He enjoyed people very much, and always had a smile and a story or a joke to tell. We all know how much Uncle Gawdess loved to sing and recite his favourite poetry.

And my favourite line of all)

Uncle Gawdess has come home!

I don't know - I just find it hard to feel too unhappy after reading that.
Sure I cried, a lot.
But I also laughed.

How could I not?

My uncle "has come home!", complete with exclamation mark.
The local paper said so.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ultimately for my uncle

It is easy for me to forget sometimes, in the hustle of everyday life with four kids and four dogs, that building a bigger family, a newer family will inevitably involve stories of the older family.

The family that I came from.

The family that I am estranged from.

Estranged, is a word that I am used to seeing in descriptions of movies of the week in the tv guide or on the back of the book blurbs of the paperbacks that you can buy at the grocery store.

Not something that would seem to apply to ordinary me.

My Dad could not cope with my existance very well.
My Mom has said to me that she thinks he was very jealous at the amount of her attention that I took up.
I don't know about that.
I can say though, that I figured out very early that I was a wrong thing, as far as he was concerned and nothing I did seemed to change that.

As an adult I had to force myself to learn not to flinch and cry when my husband would take off his belt, that dishes could be washed in water that didn't burn my hands, that it really was okay and rational for me to not like certain foods, that it wasn't okay to stay with a boyfriend who punched me.

There are other little things that I struggle with on a daily basis.
Yelling at my kids.

No, I mean really yelling at my kids.
I can be so loud, even when I don't mean to be, I project incredibly well.
Part of me also knows that when I do it, I am being overwhelming.

Anyway, I made a choice, over the course of being a mother, slowly and painfully, that I would have very little to do with my father.

I have tried from time to time, but the games he plays are just too much for me to deal with.

An aunt "finds" me through the internet, like I am "long lost" to tell me how sad they all were that I wasn't able to make it to the big family reunion, that Dad never invited me to.

My brother tells me how devastated my father was at that Christmas when my family and I just didn't show up, of course we were never asked.

At this moment, I have an email from another aunt, sitting in my inbox, telling me how good it is of me to come to my uncle's funeral on Friday. My father told her I was coming.

I can't go. It is just not feasible, and I have told no one that I could for sure - I was hoping to be able to fly out and then drive to it with my brother but those plans changed (from his end) and it just isn't feasible for me to go.

So now, instead of just sending deeply felt condolences, I also have to send an awkward apology for not being able to attend.

I have also been sent spiraling down a rather dark hole into my past and I am really looking forward to climbing out. I hope I can.

My uncle was important to me, when I was a kid.
Not much older than be really, maybe 11 years.

He was fun and cool and nice. Happy to see me, always had a joke, willing to take me to the rural dump on treasure hunts, showing me the northern lights. The man could smile and his eyes twinkled.

He had troubles as an adult. Emotional and mental. He lived far away from me and I realized that he felt awkward around the grown up me.

But he sang me songs that his father had taught him and couldn't sing to me, the first grandchild because he had died.
And he loved a little girl who needed it.

And that little girl loved him right back.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

A Year Ago Today

What I wrote after meeting my youngest children for the first time:

They are beautiful, bright children.

Of course.

Buddy is quiet and somewhat reserved.
Monkey, bouncier and more outgoing.

It was a good two hours. Not too many awkward moments. We were so busy going through the album that we made for them and looking at their life books and then watching them play in the pool and getting splashed and playing catch that the two hours went by very quickly.

Monkey gravitated towards me and very much wanted all my attention and she wasn't as interested in my husband , which meant that he spent more of the time with Buddy.

At one point Monkey hugged me and said that she thought she would like living with me. Even better than where she is now. I think I surprised her when I didn't hug her back and when I told her that I thought that it would probably be pretty good most of the time but that I imagined that sometimes it wouldn't be all that good either because everyone is grumpy or unhappy some of the time.

She thought about that and then said, "Well I better get used to the idea anyway."

I thought that was pretty telling.

I mentioned already that they are beautiful children, but that doesn't capture at all how utterly gorgeous and appealing that they are.

Bright, funny and captivating.

We get to see them again on Wednesday evening and we, the adults are looking forward to it. I hope that they are too.

Here is something I didn't expect, I am a little overwhelmed at how wonderful their foster home is. Foster Dad is as nice as Foster Mom. They are retired and live on a farm, they have a heated above ground pool, a jaw droppingly beautiful playhouse in the yard and more movies on video and dvd that I could shake a stick at. I am feeling a little guilty about taking the kids away from what is obviously a wonderful and loving home.

I am grateful for it too.

The other news is that our social worker has decided to allow us to take the lead and homeschool them if we feel that is in their best interests!

It is nice to be beyond the first meeting.
It was a very special thing.

Yondalla asked what I think of my first impressions NOW, a year later -
I guess that I am slightly surprised at how accurate they were, in some ways.
Monkey is bouncy and outgoing and uses it to hide that thick, icy, protective coating she has around her heart.
Buddy is quieter and a bit reserved in many situations and yet softer too, than I expected.

Bacchus wanted to know if it felt like time has flown by:
Yes, yes, yes!
Almost too fast at times and at others, like when I am sleep deprived, not fast enough :).
Can I believe that it has been a year since we met them?
In my heart it feels like they have been mine forever.

My husband and I are so grateful that we had the support of our social worker to homeschool them. We think that it made a HUGE difference in the time it has taken for all of us to assimilate into the family that we are today and are continuing to become.

No, I am not advocating it as a cure all for attachment woes or anything like is just that for us and for our kids, it is something that works well and something that we can do.

Friday, June 8, 2007


I am in that surreal state, I feel sort of floaty and detached when I look at the heaps of soil and clay piled up away from the trenches that have been dug around the house. Putting in weeping tile is the right thing to do, as evidenced by the standing water that we found in the bottom of one of the excavations yesterday.

Obie phoned yesterday.

He sounded ...rough.

"Where are you?" I asked and quickly amended it with "if you can tell me."

He named a place that I a familiar with because a relative worked with that agency for a number of years.

My heart sank.
Funny I didn't think it could have gone any lower.

Did I mention that the motel that the government had put him in originally was a John motel?
Yeah, I know I did.

From what Birth Grandma told me, Obie had been taken under the wing of one of the young prostitutes who lived there and she turned him onto a supplier of, well, harder substances, and that was the beginning of this particular descent into Hell.

I can speculate about what that ride down looked like.
I don't want to go there though.


I want to save him.

I KNOW. Okay?
I do know that I can't.
That it isn't about me and that I have to focus on the children that I have at home and everything else that is sane and intelligent.

But I want to anyway even when I know that it isn't up to me.

Just so you know.

But I want to make it easier for him and kids like him not to be victimized by their own governments.

That much I can do.
That much is up to me.
It is up to all of us.


Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Here's one that takes the cake, or to be more topically correct, the loaf:

Today at lunch -in front or our sleep over guest - my youngest daughter Monkey, wrinkled her nose at the small chunk of chocolate banana bread on her plate and asked if she could give it to someone else because -
she doesn't like banana bread.

o what?
I can hear you thinking that to yourselves, I really can.

This is the same banana bread that she insisted had to be baked for Dad, the evening before his birthday.
The stinking hot evening.
So hot that I felt too sick to eat.
So hot that I asked her if we could do it another time because I didn't want to turn on the oven in the house and instead of answering me, she simply turned her huge, pain filled eyes on me and quivered her lower lip.

Which of course means that I did it.
Even though I was really unhappy and grumpy and I shouldn't have.

Anyway, she has never, ever indicated that she doesn't like the substance before.
And it has been a subject of discussion because neither of my older two kids like banana anything (except Bunny who inexplicably loves the fruit itself) and we found it interesting to find that the younger too did like the stuff.
A lot.
Or so I thought.

I don't know what expression was on my face, probably a cross between utterly flabbergasted and intense frustration - but she began to talk at top speed -
"I made the banana bread for Dad!!!!! He likes it!!!!"

I had to send her to her room, just until I got over the urge to freak right out.
Even though we had company.

I also had to check with her brothers and sisters to ensure that I wasn't hallucinating about the "she has said that she likes banana bread before right?".

After they vindicated me, I managed to go upstairs and talk to her.
(Calmly, Yondalla, aren't I great? And I diffused the situation too and I didn't yell for my own rush.)

This isn't the first time.
It won't be the last time.

I don't think it was a coincidence that our guest is a member of the family that was there in our car at Easter when Monkey decided to talk about how much she hates swimming and is afraid of going in the water.
I kind of wish that she had remembered that all the times that she made me crazy about wanting to go to the pool! Can't we go to the pool? You said that we could........

The weirdest things push my buttons these days.
I honestly never thought banana bread would be one of them.

Monday, June 4, 2007


It is hot, I am sticky and probably wracked with PMS.

I say probably, because of course, I never think I am, all my mood swings and deep offenses that I take, all seem perfectly valid to me.

And I am thinking, at least a little bit, with a part of my mind that is in the back of my head - about Yondalla's post
wherein she says this brilliant thing about reacting to our kids when we are upset with them:
"It can feel strange though, because it also defuses me. In dealing with it that way I am cutting off my own opportunity to rant and yell at them. I am not telling them how angry and disappointed I am that they have lied or done whatever they have done. They know though.

Now it is good that it defuses me. Not escalating, simply imposing consequences is a good thing, but it can still feel strange. It feels like there is this other part of me that wants to yell, or at least lecture, dying to get out."

h how I struggle with this.

There are many, many times when I am a appropriate and more than adequate and react (or don't react) in just the right way to diffuse a situation.
I know how to do it.
I have practiced how to do it.
But sometimes, I prefer the yelling and screaming.

At least that is the way it seems.

Because prefer isn't the right word.
Intellectually and emotionally I do not enjoy it, but it is in some ways, a comfortable and familiar choice - because it is how I was parented.

Because sometimes I do take it personally, I do feel hurt and I do want to get some of my own back.

Oh the humanity.

It occurs to me, as I write this, that maybe why I slip into it more these days than ever before is because my two youngest kids evoke so strongly that time and place of my own childhood.

Maybe it is my own post traumatic stress disorder reaction.

Which is not to excuse what I do, when I make these dreadful and thankfully, temporary blunders.

Rather it is to help me keep finding my way.
Keep holding on to myself.

I need that.
Because all my kids need me.
I have to be strong and smart and help them, all of them, find their way.

Tough things lately, besides the birthday meltdown last night (btw a very happy birthday to my darling husband - oh my heart, how I love you!):

-Monkey plaintively telling me that she wished the view out her window was as nice as mine. This irritates me because we both look out onto the same backyard, she got to choose which bedroom she wanted because Buddy would only defer to her, and because her sister who had that room before her, used to love the view out that window with the tree full of birds outside.
What Monkey said she saw was only "dog poop".
Is better now, but took a while, and there have been a few other incidents that revolve around the "poor me" attitude.

-My oldest Sunny, needs some more time and attention. Even sixteen year old boys need that parent time and I must find a way to have some with him. Perhaps tomorrow evening would be a good time to try and go for an icecream together.

Good things:
-great days at the pool and the park. Oldest daughter is having a friend sleep over and it is going well for both of them, I think. This is her first in years and is very exciting.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Triggers - pull one and boom!

Birthdays are a trigger for my youngest boy.

Now I thought that his first birthday with us way back in January would be the big one.
After it was on one of his birthdays that his birth Mom left him and his little sister and never came back.

Looks like I was wrong.

My husband's birthday, that was/is today, was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay worse.
For some reason, as of this writing, still somewhat inexplicable to me, was really hard on Buddy.

We have had, he and I, one of our seriously loud, seriously emotional tempest/talk it out/forgive and hug squalls, just a few minutes ago.

So, I think it is okay now.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Blogging for LGBT Families

Tried to get the logo here but don't think it worked so I am going to refer you to the wonderful Yondalla, to have a gander at the one she has up.

Why blog for Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender families?

Because mine could be one.
That's it.

I want for all families what I want for my own.
I want for all children what I want for my own.

Love, acceptance and support.

I like what Jo said too:
"I refuse to feel threatened by other people loving each other."