Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Home Again.

Went away.
Ran in my race, 10 K.
Had a really nice time, mostly.

Missed my kids VERY much.
Took stupid amounts of pictures.

Spent time on the way home, knitting. looking at photography magazines, snapping pictures out the window of the van and praying to my own personal Higher Power that we would not crash into anything.

Friend who provided transportation, drove with one hand most of the time, when not drinking coffee or Pellegrino, eating chocolate, gesturing, trying to find the right cd or song or clapping both hands together when delighted about something.
All this, on an UNdivided highway, at speeds of 125 - 130 km/h.
(This picture was taken from the van when it slowed down to 80k/hr because there were horses loose on either side of the road. They were very, very close to the road. I am still surprised and grateful that we didn't hit one.)

If I spoke to her about anything, I was in the back seat, she would swivel to make eye contact with me.
At one point, coming off of a ramp, she decided to merge into a brief opening in the traffic, and in doing so, managed to make every unsecured thing in the vehicle, slam with force into the opposite side of the van.

And finally...
I like Steve Earle but not that much and not that loud.
When the pauses between songs would come, my ears would ring from the vacuum of noise.

More than happy to get home.

All my kids missed me.
Monkey was very teary this morning, unusual for her to be emotional, and kept coming to me to be reassured with hugs.
Buddy kept grinning whenever he looked at me, and he did a lot, and told me he felt insecure while I was away.
The older kids too, made it plain that they were happy I was home, too.

This week, tomorrow even, our garage is supposed to be torn down.
A significant event.
Especially considering it is mostly still full of stuff.

Gave my husband a quiz to see if he was a workaholic - he scored 81% on it.

No, I am not surprised but I did cry because I felt a bit vindicated.
Try talking to someone about living with a workaholic.
There is usually less than no sympathy or understanding.

Over the years I have been told that I am too needy and perhaps ungrateful for what I have.
Where to go from here?

I don't know.
I woke up and wrote this out because my lower back was spasming.

So, I guess we will just have to wait and see.
Only, I'm a little, tiny bit worried that this will all be too little too late.

Probably not.
That is just the way I am feeling.

I keep thinking about the truth that "love is just not enough to fix what is broken."

Why yes, that is my lower back going into spasms.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What's Up

For the last few days, every time I shut my eyes, even to blink - all I could see was my Monkey's little body falling, head first, into the ground.

Now that is easing off a little bit.

Whatever I can give thanks to for that can have it.

It still makes breathe a little funny to think about how badly hurt she could be. She should be, frankly, if she hadn't landed on this kind of stuff.

When I reached her, she was sitting up!
Crying and with the wind knocked out of her but she was sitting up!
I was so freaked out, eight foot dive into the ground and she was sitting up.
She should have had a concussion and critical neck and back injuries! At least that is what I was expecting.

The pediatrician at the Emergency Room said that there was just no comparison between kids who fall on the rubber stuff and on almost any other surface.

Well, I am a believer and would gladly become the official spokesperson for the compressed rubber playground matting industry.


Our 16 year old son wrote the test for his learner's license and passed it yesterday!
So proud of him!
Not even for the passing part, simply for the being calm and mature and not having even the most minor of meltdowns in approaching it.
He is a perfectionist and has a lot of anxiety about this kind of thing and he handled it all so well.
Cabana Boy (my husband) can barely wait to take him out and let him drive in the newest vehicular addition to the family.
Meet Smartie:My husband is deliriously happy with his new Smart car.
And I think it is the cutest thing on wheels.
It seats only two people but is very roomy, my husband is 6"2 and great for commuting and running errands in the city and incredibly cheap to run.
This is a diesel version which won't be available in North America anymore because the American market does not seem to want anything but gasoline fueled vehicles. Diesel is very inexpensive. To fill the car cost $5 and it will give (so far nearly 200km) to the tankful.

My lovely oldest daughter is still struggling in the throes of being 13 and the pounding surf of waves of hormones rocking through her.
It is tough on everyone, her mood swings and unhappiness but toughest of all on her. She tries hard not to be plain nasty and miserable and likes to spend huge quantities of time, alone in her basement bedroom.

It has been tough enough, that my oldest son talked to me about it. Concerned that this was not a "normal" thing.
I smiled, I couldn't help it!
He had been H*ll on wheels for nearly 5 years. I reassured him that it was pretty normal and what he had gone through (and put me through) was very similar.
He took a deep breath, sighed and looked into my eyes.
"I am so sorry."

Who knew I would ever hear such a thing from him?
Oh how he seemed to despise me during those early teen years.


Buddy seems to be on a fairly even keel these days.
He really is the most marshmallowy of people. Soft and sweet natured (I will miss that a great deal if it disappears during his adolescence), it tears at my heart to think of him ever have been neglected or harmed. There are moments when I am filled with such rage about it.
Not often, because those experiences are really not about me. But damn!
If you knew him, you would be blown away by his resiliance and his fluffy headed ducklingness.

The amazing and wonderful news is that he has made friends.
Real friends.
It took him a long time to figure out where he fit in with the other boys in our homeschool circle but it was certainly worth the wait. I think he is just more ready now, to believe that this world he has been living in for over a year is the real world. That it is safe to make connections with other people.

Last night was incredibly special.
He and his younger sister talked for the first time ever about their memories of their birth Mom and the different people they have lived with before they got here.

Let me emphasize that.
THE FIRST TIME they have ever talked about anything like this.

They play together very well and a lot, giggle, run around and be silly or sometimes argue but they have not every spoken about their shared experiences with each other, on their own.

I have been encouraging it for the last year. Not pushing, just letting them know that they could. Telling them that their stories will be very different, even though they have both been through the same situations and usually together.

They were sitting at the table doing crafts after supper and I could hear them telling each other things, sharing their feelings.

I look at these words I am typing and know that there is no way that they convey the miracle of it all.

But it is.


Monkey is having a lot of trouble going to sleep at night right now.
She will be rigid with unexpressed rage and all sorts of other emotion.
Trapped with it, because she has so few skills and so little practice in letting it out.
What an inspiring kid. And frustrating too.
Make no bones about that.
In the past month she has been able to drive me crazier, faster than anyone else in the house, as she pendulums back and forth between what she knew before she got here and trying to do what she things she is supposed to now.

I would say that watching the movie Uncle Buck was the trigger for this round of upheaval. That was nearly three weeks ago and the ending scene, with a mother and a daughter, previously estranged, embracing and the mother saying everything is going to be different now...well that set her off.

Which is good.
Better being expressed than not.

But it has all been exacerbated by the finally seeing Obie again last week.
We haven't seen him, nearly all summer. Not our choice. But he is a fourteen year old kid with a substance abuse issue and we leave it up to him to contact us now.

That is tough enough. Monkey worries about him and is sad that we can't save him and fix him and she does seem to really understand why that can't happen. She is also angry that he uses drugs and alcohol but feels that she can't express it to him, because than he might disappear from her life.

She is only 8.

Birth Mom using Obie as a go between to try and see Monkey and Buddy, isn't a good thing either.

Cabana Boy and I are trying very hard to not respond through Obie, to not use him, but it is hard.

Right this minute, I don't think we have to plan much for her actually contacting us through the post adoption registry at social services - but never say never.

But on Sunday night, she had Obie call us to find out how she didn't know how to find the post adoption services.

Allow me some bitterness here.
She could figure out the system well enough to put Obie into permanent full time care when he was 10 but not this?

I don't think she is ready yet to actually pull this off by following the rules and we have decided and took Monkey and Buddy's opinions into consideration too, so they are a part of that decision, that if she isn't following the rules than we don't have anything to do with her.

A lot huh?

And I haven't even left for my two nights away yet.

That will be interesting.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Fall should only about the leaves!!!!!

Lunch with Obie and then a short visit to a nearby playground before we take him back to his group home and go pick up Bunny from her art lesson.

Me, camera in hand, kids playing tag on and off the playground equipment and then...

my youngest daughter is falling, headfirst from the top of the 8 ft slide, having slipped under the guard rail

she hits the ground, I see her neck fold and her back crumple and

I am flying to get to her and I can't get there fast enough...

and thank God and all safety minded pencil pushers and rule makers that the surface she hits is made of recycled rubber because after a long trip to and a long time spent in the hospital she is home and fine except for a little bruising.

This evening finds me grateful for so much.
My Monkey is home with us and all in one piece.

Her hard headedness, that I have complained about so often?
I am so glad for it right now.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Paved with...

I do have the very best of intentions...
dear god, did I finish cleaning up the smoothie from the couch or was I distracted by the pictures that need to be hung that I saw as I was using toilet paper to dab the smoothie from the plug in port hole things on the side of my laptop?

No, I have not finished cleaning the smoothie from the couch...
and I am going to type this instead of leaping up to do that.


You know how you fantasize about somebody just handing you money and what you would do with it?

Well, in a small way we have been living the reality of it here for the last week and it just isn't as good as it might sound.

My father in law died almost exactly, a year ago and oddly enough on the anniversary of his death is when my husband recieved his inheritance.

It was a pretty sad occasion for everyone anyway and the money just seemed to exacerbate that feeling.

Yeah, we'll get over it but it is a strange experience to go through.
Everytime we use the money for anything, I feel sad and think about how much I would give to have the man with us, instead of a part of his estate.

And this is ME saying it.

I didn't even like him that much.
Or him, me.

But my husband did.
My children did and
he loved them.

We miss him.

Monthly lunches at an all day breakfast place, thoughtfully considered and painfully purchased birthday and Christmas presents, funny cards - just knowing he was there and that he cared.

now onto birth parent relations and how they will play out in our situation.

To be honest, I have no real idea.

I contacted our old social worker right away and she said use the service that the government has set up, where pictures and letters can be sent, from either side, and forwarded on.

That makes sense to me.
And works for my comfort level too.

I would be lying if I said I didn't feel a little threatened at the prospect of BMom showing up in our lives.

I do.

They are MY kids. MINE.

But mostly, what I want, with both my heart and my head is for BMom to be healthy and stable enough to be a constant in their lives.

So in order for that to work, I do have one big requirement that BMom will have to meet if she actually wants to start seeing them again:
-she has to be clean, not using drugs or alcohol and she has to be somewhat stable, hopefully not living on the streets

Damn, but reading that makes me sound so judgemental.
But it has been four and half years since they last set eyes on her and I am not ready to deal with the fallout that seeing her would have on them, without some sense of her good intentions.

Right now, as far as I know, BMom is in jail and is telling Obie (older 14 yr old birth brother in care - which means a combination of living in group homes and on the street) that when she gets out, she will get an apartment and Obie can live with her and that he needs to ask me to give her our phone number.

Okay, so I am skeptical.

But I do have this fantasy, where she is a part of their everyday lives and is healthy...and I will continue to hold it carefully away in my heart.

BTW I have talked to all my kids about this stuff.
I figure they should now as much as is feasible for them to know.

Right now, neither of them want to see her.
they have both said, in different ways, that they are just worried about how hard it would be to do right now.

So I am encouraging them to think about letters or cards, picking photos to send and when I get to it, soon, I will print out and frame some of the recent pictures we have of her with Monkey's eyes and Buddy's smile and put them up on the family picture wall and hope and plan for it all to work out.

Thank you for your thoughts about birth family relations it is always helpful.
Now here is something else to ask for help with:

My two youngest kids are of native heritage, something we call Metis, I don't know if there is the same thing in the states or not - anyway I want to honour that and have it be a part of their lives but I also am very aware that I don't really have a clue what I am doing -
any suggestions on how to do it right?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

When your laptop is in the shop

It is harder to do anything with a blog, like post a new entry or anything like that.

Much has been happening, of course, with kids how could it not be?

We are mulling over a request for contact from Birth Mom, for instance. She sent the message not through the regular channels of social services but through the kids' older brother.

How is that for something to think about?

When I am not using my husband's laptop to try and hurriedly check in, I will expand more on that.

Other huge(ish) happenings - we are preparing to demolish and then build another garage in our backyard, my husband is deeply happy with a new possession (pictures in the next post - I think) and I am taking more pictures and will post more to my private picture blog soon and ummmm.....
well more stuff later.

Hoping to fit a run in and then at some point, catch up on other people's blogs and even (gasp!) upgrade my blogroll - so if you aren't there and should be, please drop me a line.

Oh, how miss my macbook, this is my 3rd day without and all it needs is a new and bigger hard drive.