Friday, November 30, 2007


(tap tap tap)

Is this thing on?


Ahem....It is the last day of (Inter)National Blog Posting Month.
Each and every day I wrote something and clicked on the PUBLISH button.

There were a number of things I didn't write about.
For instance, sex, politics, rock n' roll, religion...
uh, okay I didn't write about sex or rock n' roll...
But I'm not going to start on those subjects now.

Instead here is a picture to express a little of how I feel to have made it through to this day. (Please standby while I go and look for one in Iphoto.)
Here it is:

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Steady on.

Our oldest son slept over at at friend's house last night.
This morning, I only just realized that I have been waiting for him to get up and come and touch base with me, because that is what we do most mornings.

When I pick him up today, close to lunchtime, he will likely be surprised to find out that his youngest sister missed him very much last night. Even going so far as to write him a letter to tell him so and to apologize for the times that she has made it hard for him to look after her.

I made a concerted effort to make last night special for the three kids who stayed home. Particularly for our oldest daughter.
One thing that came out of her counselling session on Tuesday was that she has suffered the loss of two things in the last year and a half. The first and most obvious is about the changes in our family structure and trying to figure out how she fits in now - the other is the loss of her friends.
For years, she and her brother would hang out with the same kids, all of them boys, and talk and play and run and share birthdays. Usually she was the only girl, but that just didn't seem to matter to any of them.
Until the boys started growing older and their interests started changing and their awareness of girls as being different and other began to increase.
It wasn't helped by one of the other mothers also making it clear that it wasn't appropriate to have a girl over for visits or birthday parties now either.

I just didn't get how hard that has been.
What a loss it is for my daughter.

Because the boys are all still around, they haven't disappeared or anything, they still call and come over - only now it is for my son, only.

I can't fix it.
But I can honour it and recognize it and validate how she feels.

And when her brother is invited to a birthday sleepover that a year and a half ago would have also, naturally, included my oldest daughter...
...we get a movie and chips and pop and ice cream and eat our dinner in the living room and make it special here.

Last night, she really did well, and I think she really did enjoy the time.
Before bed, she looked straight at me and told me how she hated that she didn't exist for them anymore that she wasn't invited, that she really, really hated it...
but that the movie and everything else was really, really nice.

"Thank you Mom, for this."

Oh baby, you are so welcome.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

That colour blue, in the early morning sky, on a cold and not too sunny day

Last night I gave notice to my committee that I won't be returning to the kid's education program in the new year.
I am a little sad.
I just don't feel that I had any other real choice.
So I am quitting a job I love because to stay would mean that I would continue to be a lighting rod for one person's odd but convincing, political/emotional machinations. One POWERFUL person.
This is church for pity sakes.

Which, unbeknownst to me....I apparently want to take over and make into my own mini empire and to do so I will stop at nothing!

Wow, I didn't even know that about myself.
But apparently most of the church board does.
Apparently they were okay with it though, I mean, being a sneaky, morally bankrupt person who is attempting to manipulate the entire congregation for my own twisted and deeply hidden reasons - that doesn't mean I shouldn't be working unsupervised with their children.

Okay, so I'm a little sad and bitter.

And yeah, I kind of get why it has been happening.

Our church doesn't have a minister and can just barely afford one. Some people in the congregation have it as their strongest desire to find this professional leadership and the person spearheading this particular drive is scared to death of having anything divert attention or funds from this all important finding of a minister.

Enter, me, with my talk of expanding and improving the areas of the church where the children and youth programs are run - that is expensive and distracting.
Don't forget that I also keep mentioning that any renovations that we do will only be temporary and really, we do need to look at moving to a bigger, possibly newer, definitely more pricey space.

ooops gotta go. 10k run at -15 is beckoning.
Thanks for letting me vent.

You know what else?
I'm actually damn good and appropriate when I work with kids.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


While I'm driving yesterday-

Child:"I don't really want to go and see the therapist tomorrow."

Me: Um. Why not honey?

Child: "I don't know! She kind of treats me like I'm a little kid."

Me: Oh. Well, could you give me an example?

Child: "She says things like -We don't have to talk right now if you don't want to, you can have time at the sand table- "

Me: like the sand table a lot, don't you?

Child: SIGHING "I guess so."

Me: how about if we talk it out more later and then we can figure out what to do next?

In the living room around 9pm-
Me: Come sit beside me.

Child: "No, no, I'm just getting my dog and then going to bed."

Me: Please? (PATS COUCH) Come sit and we will talk for a bit about the therapist stuff.

Child: (Reluctantly sitting next to me.)

Me: I'm worried about how sad you are and I think that it might be possible to use this counsellor as a tool to help with that...what do you think?

Child: (Shrugs)

Me: So we could ask for ideas on things that might help us figure out what is going on, why you're so sad....

Child: "I don't know! I'm so sad all the time, nothing makes me happy, or if it does it is for barely anytime at all! (Crying) I don't even care about eating - I try to avoid it and that scares me!!!!!!"

Me: (Freaking completely internally but outwardly remaining calm and reassuring) I think this is definitely something to talk about with the therapist tomorrow. Do you mind if I come into the appointment with you? Maybe if we are both there we can figure out what to do next to help you to feel happier some of the time.

Child: (Crying) "I was happy today for a little while. When you played that game with me, I was so happy to spend some time with you. (Crying harder) "Being with YOU makes me happy!"

There was more of course.
About how she feels guilty and selfish for wanting time with me, when her younger brother and sister actually really deserve my attention and need it far more than she does.

As hard as it was to hear, I am hoping that making some changes and booking time with just her - is going to help.

There is a whole lot more I could write about feeling guilty and inadequate but um, that seems kind of pointless and a bit like wallowing, so I won't and will actually try and move past that stage into the actually doing useful things one.

Edited to add: Oh, but I am so sad that my kid is so sad and that I just haven't been there for her like I should have been.

Monday, November 26, 2007


In my cold addled state of the last few days, I know I have not mentioned that we are in discussions with my friend N. to start providing respite care, on the order of three hours a week, for us!!!!!

Yes, yes, I have been, at least in my mind, doing the Snoopy dance of happiness.
All my kids know and like N., so it is a really good arrangement and it doesn't hurt a teeny tiny bit that she has experience.

I am looking forward to going out with my husband and oldest children a few time, being able to leave all the kids at home and know that my older children are not having to be the parent substitutes and...

I'm really looking forward to getting into my bedroom with my husband!!!!
I'm even going to provide pictures of that happening.

Calm down, this is not suddenly reverting from a family blog to a, um, naturis*t one.
I have been reading this book

and sitting in my bedroom when I do it.
Although our house isn't as bad as some he describes, it isn't great either and I would like to try sleeping on my bed without a small to middling heap of laundry on my feet.

So before and after pictures will be taken and posted (I think, if I am brave enough).

And finally on the domestic IT FIGURES front - this is the message that w8 watchers had for me this morning, after I entered my weekly weight:

WELL DONE! You've recorded a loss this week. That's great news!

However, we notice that you've lost more than an average of 2 pounds per week over three or more weeks. This rate is too rapid — it may be unsafe or unhealthy.

While we're proud of your achievements and pleased you're making changes in your life, we need you to concentrate on one more thing: You should slow the pace of your weight loss to no more than 2 pounds per week. Click here to read more about the effects of rapid weight loss.

Here are some tips on slowing down your weight loss this week:
  • Make sure you're not skimping on your meals. If you've been saving your weekly POINTS Allowance, try using some this week.

  • If you're exercising a lot, try to swap some (or all) of your bonus Activity POINTS values for food.

Allow me a moment of frustration here.

Last week I was told to eat less and this week I'm supposed to eat more.

Thank you.

I do get it though. And am glad that this company does warn about losing weight too fast, because they are right, it is not a good thing on a body.

I also know that because I am upping the intensity of my workouts that I am burning more calories - I think I might be starting to train for a 50k trail run in May, but I am not sure yet.

You know, 50k, just sounds so freaking insane.

Because, um, it is.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

more head cold free association

The head cold situation is somewhat better, maybe because I am doing nothing more than lying on the couch in front of the fire and someone else made me a grilled cheese sandwich and brought it to me, along with copious amounts of Bengal Spice herbal tea (Thanks to my husband!).

Ah, the tea!
It is seriously good stuff.
If I let it steep for the rec. amount of time, it doesn't need sugar!
And I have such a sweet tooth, never really met any food that was too sweet for me.
Been drinking a lot of it now that I have been doing this watching of weight thing.
Speaking of...tomorrow is weigh in day.

To give it proper credit, my clothes are all getting quite baggy on me...

Ooooh and my husband and oldest daughter just arrived back from a foray out to obtain chinese bbq pork! Mmmmm nummy.
Bet that isn't in the points guide online and I think my pants are getting tighter again.

Can you all hear that?
The sound of the Canadian Football League's big playoff?
Why it is the Grey Cup!!!!!
Edited to Add: Why yes, if you can't tell by the screaming and celebrating noises that are rocking this hemisphere, the Riders Did WIN.
Now normally I don't care (and to be honest I don't give much of a fig right now either) but my husband can sing the Saskatchewan Rough Riders' fight song! He is a part of what is known of the Rider Nation.
You can take the boy out of Saskatchewan but you can't take the Saskatchewan out of the boy.
And there is the game, in 42inch colourful glory.

Uh-oh, I just went and checked it out, that bbq pork is one points expensive food choice.
About 2 ounces comes to 4 points.

I think we can all see that I have not achieved fully functional brain operation yet.
But I am posting and that is something!

Oh and I need to go and work on my "I'm quitting" letter for church.
Considering I want it to be gracious, succinct but not the kind of thing that will leave any bridges smouldering.

It is kind of sad that this is the only real path I can see setting my feet to.
At the same time, I feel lighter too.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


I hab a horrid code.

I also like that affected way of writing as if my fingers are somehow stuffed up too.

This morning we had our annual Homeschool Kids craft sale at my church - three of my kids had pottery first and we ended up being almost late to this particular event that I was supposed to be hosting.

It all worked out though.
I spent a hockey sock full of money on all sorts of handicrafts and treats made by every child who was participating.

Urgh. My head is all sinusy achey.

After the craft thingy we all got into the van and drove an hour and a half to go to a deep fried turkey dinner/ my husband's university classmate reunion thingy and that was okay.

Whew, my vocabulary is just dwindling away here as more of my brain cells clog up.

I'm not so good at some of the small talk/schmooze stuff sometimes and I do feel planets removed from most of the other people that were there, but my husband was very happy that we went and has said I don't have to go again any time soon.


I'm giving up on this post business for the moment.
Must go and see if I can remember all the things that I shoved in my mouth for W*eight*watchers now.
I doubt I will be able to do it.

Friday, November 23, 2007

How it was resolved...

On, um, uh....Wednesday! Yeah, on Wednesday I posted about my 8 year old and how I was totally stumped as to what to do next with her....

(and I rec'd some wise and useful suggestions too)

Now it is time for the rest of the story...

She was in her room when I came home, I called her down for a snack and sent her back up while I put out lunch fixings, I called her back down for that and then up she went and she came down again a little later for her piano lesson and then back up.

I was angry too and a one point, when she was making a face at me on her way back up to her bedroom again, I snapped at her that "she had decided that she wanted to be angry before I got home, so she was also getting lots of opportunity to be angry at me now that I was home!".

No, I know it wasn't helpful to anyone and I felt bad right after, as she put a little more stomp into her step.

This all lasted for about two hours.
Shortly before 3pm she came and asked me, eyes flashing and mouth pinched, if she could go outside. I said no and go back upstairs and then I turned away. But not before I saw what looked like tears in her eyes.

Hmmm. Maybe it was time to try talking to her again.
Pausing just outside her door, I could hear her talking outloud about "Fine, I won't go outside, you don't care about me!!!!" as she moved stuff around.
That is when I stepped in and told her I did care about her very much, I was just so confused about how to help things change and I was frustrated and despite all that, I loved her to bits and would never stop.

She started to cry in earnest and threw her arms around me.
We sat on the bed and talked for a while about:
-how it is not okay to mess with other people to distract yourself from feeling sad and scared
but it is okay to talk with them about feeling sad and scared
-her oldest brother loved her very much but now he felt sad and upset and confused and worried that she didn't care that her behaviour had hurt him and would, until she could talk to him about it herself
-Birthmom left because she had huge problems that had nothing to do with her kids and I am lucky enough to be able to deal with my problems in different ways. (We actually went in depth a bit about this and I made sure that there was no badmouthing of birthmom at all.)
-how I often leave her home during short errands because I think she will get bored and cranky but that if it makes her feel better to come with me, then she can most of the time. That would be fine with me.

She actually seemed to feel quite bad, sincerely, for her behaviour. (Although I did take that with a grain of salt.)

She did end up coming to her brother's shinny game with us, and has asked to come next week as well.
Yesterday I took her on a brief errand to the library and store with me.
She was frustrated because she wanted to go into the library and look at books and we didn't have time (which is a huge difference from a year ago when she didn't have a clue what to do with herself there!).

At supper, Oldest Brother talked about being frustrated and unhappy and feeling like he didn't do a good enough job taking care of her, and that she really didn't care how she felt.

She said she was sorry but otherwise seemed unaffected.

Before bed though, she was quite upset and sad.
That is kind of her time for thinking and feeling about things that she has successfully distracted herself from all during the day.
She started to cry again and talk about feeling really bad about how she had made her oldest brother feel.
So I hauled her downstairs in her pjs and plopped her beside her oldest brother on the couch and she tearfully apologised and told him she would try to not mess with him anymore.
He was honestly touched.
Hugged her and told her Thankyou and that her really appreciated her saying so.

She went to bed.
Took a long time before she fell asleep.

Last night my husband and I went out for 7pm with plans to be away till 10pm.
Youngest daughter was tucked into her room right before we left - instead of being allowed to stay up as she usually does.
She was allowed to keep her light on until we came home, unless she started messing with anyone and then it would be lights out.
She called 3 times to my celphone, but other than that, there were no problems.

I will continue taking her with me on errands etc. only leaving her home when I MUST.
Yesterday, I also emailed my friend who used to come and do respite care for us, to see if I can set her up to start coming again.
We have the funding, we might as well use it.

When I left the house last night, in gold heels and jewelery and makeup, I kept giggling a bit giddily. It felt so unreal! Going out! With my husband!
We went to the fundraiser cocktail party, said hello to who we knew and couldn't find a place to sit...looked at each other over our tiny plates of bulk prepared Costco like hors d'oerves
and decided to slip out and have dinner at our favourite restaurants.
It was really, reallly nice.
And we were home before 10.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

and now...I'm hungry

Having visited a lot of the American blogs on my daily reading list and of course being subjected to lists and lists of foods and drinks that are being prepared and consumed, I am literally drooling.

And because I am NOT eating dinner so I can spend my Weight*Watchers points at a fundraising cocktail party I am going to tonight...I am really aware of the fact that I am not eating anything anytime soon.

A quick scene from my dysfunctional family life as of this morning:
I yelled at both my daughters (in the parking lot at the grocery store) that I loved them both and nothing was going to change that, so they might as well stop competing with each other and learn to live with it.
Further I pointed out that both of them spend so much time keeping score about who I am giving attention to and spending time with that they don't even enjoy it when they are on the recieving end of that which they seem to crave so much.
(The yelling wasn't the really loud other-people-are-staring-at-us kind, more it was the vehement sotto voce kind)

Yes they will be warped.
No, I probably shouldn't be allowed to parent but that's what I'm doing anyway.

Oddly, they have been nicer to each other for the rest of the day.

Which, they probably shouldn't do, because, um, it just reinforces my bad behaviour.
They should know better, tsk.

Now, I must go and cut hair of youngest son, then slip into a bath and emerge BEYOOTIFULL
enough to wear the little black cocktail dress and choose between my black heels or my gold ones.

Ooooh, I just had a weird moment of trying to figure out if I am really me and writing about going out with my husband to a grownup thing...shiver....

So, Happy Thanksgiving American peoples and

I'm still hungry.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Princess in a tower

if you had a little girl, who despite all your best efforts and intellectual strain, waited till you walked out the door and then turned around and started giving her oldest brother as much grief as she could -
-because she is angry that you, her only (current) mother figure has left her - and she would like to take that anger out on the brother who is her designated caregiver because that is better than being sad....
...even though you have talked it all out before hand, shown her the cel phone you carry at all times and agreed that she can call you at least 3x if she needs to be reassured that you have not disappeared into the ether never to return....
....and when you phone home to tell the kids that you are returning, just like you said you would and you find all this out:

-would you agree with your son to stay out for another hour so as not to reward her poor behaviour choices with your coming back?
-when you get home, would you have her stay in her room, come out just for a snack and send her back up to her room?
-even after your oldest son tells you he feels bad for her having to do that because she is only 8 years old and has had a lot to deal with in her life?
-would you say to him, in tones loud enough for the little girl to hear, that it doesn't matter what she has had to deal with - she still has to learn to not mess with other people just because she is unhappy?

-if you did all of that above, would you be torn about sitting her down and talking it all out with her AGAIN or would you be worried that you are simply feeding into her behaviour by giving her undivided attention and that is all she cares about?

-so other than lunch, do you leave her in her room (albeit one that is well furnished with books and toys and creature comforts) other than for mealtime and when you must go out to take her other brother out to hockey and so you will be taking her with you?

-and would you feel conflicted and guilty about it all, like I do know?

All of the above is not hypothetical and for the moment I am stumped.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

About a boy

Because I coudn't carry you when you were a tiny infant.
Because I wasn't there to wrap my arms around you and pick you up when you fell, or bumped your head or lost your favourite toy, or had a bad dream, or were sick or just felt sad or bad, or after you had a tantrum or just because we could...

I am trying to teach you now, what to do with a hug.
So I pull you against my chest and settle your head against my shoulder and wrap your unsure arms around my body, and then wrap them again and murmer right into your ear to leave those arms there and to try and squeeze me back a little.

Because you are "ALMOST TWELVE!!!"...
...I know you feel a little sheepish and unsure --
-but I can see in your eyes and feel through your backbone that you don't want me to stop trying
and sometimes
you give me a squeeze back or hang your arm around my waist, briefly and
I want you to know that

Monday, November 19, 2007

Keeping Track

Since the beginning of this month I have:

-(edited to add a confession) finally gotten off my butt and done something about the box of rolled coins that my Sunday school kids and I collected for Unicef for Halloween TWO YEARS ago - so to clear my lazy self's conscience, money has now been donated to them through their online site

-become resigned to that fact that our garage is going to cost close to $30,000.00 - not accepting of it mind you, just resigned

-discovered that my darling, precious 14 year old daughter has some kind of low grade depression

-decided to quit my job at my church (and for the most part the church itself) after being involved in it for the past nine years

-entered into counselling with my husband

-started weight watchers

-applied for funding from my province to help provide counselling etc. to my two youngest children

-realized, with great reluctance that both of my youngest children are showing signs of that most dread of conditions - puberty - just flashes mind you but terrifying none the less

- been confronted with the fact that my two oldest dogs really are slowing down and aging, a lot, I hate that

-lost five pounds

-become aware of how much of my life is NOT intentional

-really enjoyed my mealtimes with all my kids

-heard my oldest son talk about being able to figure out why his little sister is behaving in inappropriate ways while he is taking care of her and hear him deal with her with compassion and insight. My oldest son, the one dx'd with a social processing disorder when he was six.

-said "I am not going to dwell in the petty ugly stuff that is on the periphery of my life (like at church) because I live a life of everyday miracles within my own family" and for the most part - I MEANT it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

What do you want for winter festivies

so I am finding this Weight Wat*cher's thing hard right now.
In a given day, I get like, um, 25 points to eat my way through, yesterday, I ate like, 47.

And I did not feel particularly over full, you know, like when you eat just way too much - okay so, I didn't feel great but still...

What is up with that?

Okay, it might be hormonal.
Or maybe it is just that I wanted to eat hotdogs and cheese and some cookies and some potato chips ....


So distract me, what do you want for the winter festivities?
what are good, possibly inexpensive, gift ideas that I might encourage my kids to possibly get for me?

Oh I hope this counts as some kind of actual post thing because it is this or some going on about my kids or church - so I'm quitting my job there at the end of this month but shhhh, it is kind of a secret.

Edited to add:
I also want and suggest as gifts for other people (bearing in mind that I have some of these things already and therefore know I like it) the following:
comic strip books - Funky Winkerbean, Stone Soup, Crankshaft, For Better Or For Worse, Dilbert, Bizzaro, Fox Trot, Baby Blues, Zits and Pearls Before Swine
other books - The Story of Art by E.H. Gombrich
almost anything by Miss Manners - unstuffy etiquette that the world needs now.
The War on Women: Elly Armour, Jane Hursham, and Criminal Domestic Violence in Canadian Homes by Brian Vallee, heard this guy interviewed on the radio today and he is really interesting, his book sounds very good.
drugstore type stuff - Burt's Bees lip shimmer minty, tingly, pretty and inexpensive.
Dr. Bronner's and Sundog's Magic organic lip balm and body balm/tattoo polish particularly in Naked - I can honestly recommend this stuff as good for even the most sensitive skin and it works well too.
Moose Smooch - some of the best lip and body balm - unfortunately hard for me to find in Canada but worth buying a lot of it when I do find it.
clothing - running socks - wait, wait, read on. Even if you are not crazy enough to run around for no other reason than to run, running socks can be a great gift for anyone who is prone to athelete's foot or blisters. They are designed to prevent those things and they work well. So good for many. Same goes for hiking socks, the cushiony, technical fabric ones? Great for anyone who is on their feet for a long time.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I have my front teeth PT. 2

Ah, yes the dim, grey light of early morning and perhaps I will have the time to get this post in before any of the atheletes awaken and the manipulation olympics start again.

I think we were at the number four. (Isn't that the height of laziness? I'm not going to even do the two mouse clicks it would take to go and check. Tsk.)

4. In my view finder. I have taken up digital photography in the last few years and not only have I found it to be a great artistic outet and a marvelous way of documenting the life of my family but also a very efficient and convenient way of ridding my life of money that might otherwise clutter it up.
A)If it were forced upon me, as a gift, I would of course graciously accept the newest Canon 40d. I don't NEED it mind you, but it would be a thoughtful little something in my stocking. (Snort!).

B)Back to the realm of what my kids could actually afford is this lovely little gadget. The Manfrotto 484 mini ball head. I like just saying the name, over and over. It is simply just an easier to use thingy for tripod work.

C) Although I am not attending my documentary film class anymore (I think I have gotten everything out of it that I could and there were too many nights where the biggest question on my mind was "Is it too cold to fall asleep in here or not?"), I would still like to try my hand at the 5 minute one that I have in my head. Although at $3000.00, even if all 4 kids pool their money, I'm not expecting to see it under the tree.

Must go and buy milk for breakfast, veggies for the potluck snack for games day this afternoon and dog food.

Oh, and gird my loins for when my other three children awaken.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I have two front 1.

In the next few days, I'm supposed to have a list available to my children, of what I want for Christmas.

So here it is and it counts fully as a blog post and I had to work hard at it to insert all of the pictures and links.
Yes, it is too likely the most self serving thing you have ever seen - but it was also a good distraction for a little while, which I did need but does add to the self serving aspect of it all.

l) If it is good enough for Picasso, it is good enough for me. The daily one and in red. It is a limited edition after all. Moleskine

2) Blue plate special. I've got a thing for colour. My grandmother made me pancakes as big as these plates and then piled the bacon on too! Can't get it in Canada either that I know of. Oh, and make it the new stuff please because then my kids can actually eat off of it without me freaking out. Fiesta.

3)Sticks and stones won't do me no good, but sticks and string will!
Exhibit A:
One of the coolest books about anything, even if you never have knit and never will.

Exhibit B:Made from a musk ox! Supposed to be nicer than cashmere. And I love me some cashmere. Qiviuq yarn.

Exhibit C: These might be more ephemeral than useful. Glass knitting needles . Pretty though, think of them sitting in a glass vase in a sunny window. I like the WOW factor but I would be just as happy with the shiny coloured aluminium kind too. Cheap and cheerful and sturdy too. I always look for them when I am in a thrift store.

Tomorrow the list may grow....

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


The gawdess is in a pis*sy mood.


Could be hormonal.

Could be that we are hemmoraging money.
(Guess how much it cost to have shots done for 4 dogs? Yeah, you in the front row? $400? How did you know that?)

Or it could be spiritual in nature.
Church sucks butt.
This is not a new thing but yesterday it got ratcheted up a couple of degrees.

Turns out that somecow is telling the board that I maybe trying to rewrite my job description (I co-ordinate and teach Sunday School) without consulting with anyone else.

It is all a bit crazy, but what it comes down to, is that my interest in expanding the from just working with children at church to working with youth and adults, messes with this other person's agenda about what is most important for the church.

Silly me, I figure that finding out what the congregation wants and NOT manipulating it for my own weird personal gratification, is most important.

Anyway, I will be putting in my resignation at the end of this month and right now I feel a peculiar blend of unhappiness and relief.

And I feel kind of stupid.
I wanted church, this church and this place to be different.
Lifted above the morass of petty oneupmanship and of course it isn't.

And I want to smack some people and have a dramatic showdown with lots of cool cutting comments (on my part of course) and leave justified devastation behind me.

Fantasy is a good thing sometimes.

Tomorrow, the gawdess will strive to be happy once again.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Unbearable Lightness of Being with pictures.

Hot Damn, it worked.
Here is a picture of the buy one/donate one laptop that I was on about yesterday - and that I will be waiting impatiently for to get here so that I can play with it.

Yeah, yeah, it is meant for the kids but I am young at heart.

Shut up.

Maybe I will let them play with it.

Anyway go to and spend some of that money that is just lying around on it.
Go now.


At this time of year, daylight* is in short supply where I live.

This is what it looked like at 4:30pm yesterday, on our way home from our park outing.

Before supper and the sun was already setting.

Usually I don't mind, I think it is kind of pretty and I am, apparently a unique speciman, and I like the winter and it being cold and the less sunshine the less chance I will be sunburned.

Right now, however, I am basking in the glow of the litebook.

Which cost a whole bunch more than you probably think it did.
And is something that I have scoffed at more than once as being proof that there is one born every minute.

But then,
but then....
the therapist that my oldest daughter saw for the first time today said the word Dysthemia
to me and suddenly spending $200+ on it seemed like not such a bad thing to try.

I made the appointment because nothing I was trying at home seemed to make a dent in this depression that my lovely girl has been in and you want to, you know, make sure you aren't missing anything or making it worse...because this is your kid after all.
One of pieces of your heart that walks around outside your body.
You know?

So this, because her bedroom is in the dim recesses of the basement and when she really feels she must be cloistered down there and...
because it made me feel like I was doing SOMETHING to try and help.

There was a moment when I did get to use one of my favourite lines of all time from the movie Arsenic and Old Lace.
Therapist, earnestly: does depression run in your family?
Me, laughing in a slightly peculiar way: Runs? It practically gallops!!!!!! (Heh! I kill me.)
Therapist, looks at me blankly.
There should be a new descriptive term for owning something that costs a great deal of money.
Wait! I think I have one!

So, it isn't catchy - it is damn accurate.
By the time it is done, that glorified shed for cars and yard junk is going to have cost us....
yes, yes, it will be almost $30,000.00.
And no, I don't want to talk about it.

Even if this morning I had a very positive meeting with a social worker from the supports for permanency program our province runs for adoptive parents so that uh, well it is kind of self explanatory...
still though we will be given financial assistance, no not to build the garage, but to make sure that we are never in a position of real monetary hardship because we adopted kids with expensive needs. In the last two months alone, play therapy for my youngest two has come to over $600.00 bucks.

Yes, I feel a teeny bit weird about being funded by the government to look after my kids but not conflicted enough to not jump at the opportunity.

So there.

Monday, November 12, 2007


This morning at 6 am, when I wasn't sleeping, I had a great post all written out in my head.
I am sure of it.
I can't find it now, but I am still sure of it - instead I will present a series of not necessarily related thoughts:

-today I ordered one of these (argh I found a cool picture but have not yet been able to make blogger show it! So click on the link below and go look at it!) for our house and donated one to a child in the developing world. Check it out at . Such a great thing to do, it's cheap and a good cause and it looks like it will be a blast for my kids to use too.

-just found out that my youngest son has been having "conversations" online with friends he knew before he lived with me - this is on a site called runescape - now I don't have a problem with him keeping in touch with them but he only just let it slip out that he has been doing it and I feel really uncomfortable that he has kept it quiet. I want all my kids to tell me if they are chatting online and with whom - it is about making sure that we are clear about internet safety! Argh. Now I have to think it out and see if I am being unreasonable or not.

-standing on the teeny tiny scale that I bought at Goodwill, squinting down at the dial, I discovered that I lost no pounds this past week, despite being on weight watchers.
What is up with that? I'm guessing that although I am very strict about tracking my foods and my intake, I also exercise a lot (tues/mon or fri /sat - usually an hour on the elliptical and thurs- is a kilometre swim) so I have been building noticeable muscle in my arms and legs and of course that weighs more than fat - right? Right?
I feel weird about doing weight watchers btw, it has been good for helping me be conscious, dare I even say intentional about what I am eating in the last two weeks but it does freak me out to be in a program that puts so much emphasis on being skinny as being the most important thing.
I don't want to be skinny. And it would be kind of a moot point anyway, given my broad shoulders, tall stature and of course my large chest. A good, stolid peasant frame is what I have and I'd be gaunt instead. NOt a good look for anyone.
One thing I can say though, is that I don't feel deprived in watching what I eat - just a little boring maybe ....

must herd 3 of my kids to park, our oldest daughter is staying at home - solitude is her muse or is that the computer?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Remembrance Day

Today is Remembrance Day in my country.

At church I asked that we observe 2 minutes of silence at 11am to remember and think about the sacrifices that so many have made for our country and for us.

The people doing the service today, we are a lay led congregation, hadn't planned for it and I think were a little taken aback when I brought it up.

Even in the midst of preparing for a service on peace, centred on the songs of Pete Seeger, they seemed to have forgotten about those who this day is meant to recall.

Or perhaps the waters are so muddied now, that they felt that Remembrance is all about glorifying war.

It could be just an oversight, because getting ready to do a service is all about a million details and even the most obvious things can slip right past without notice.

It is quite easy to forget that this is not an ordinary day.
(The stores are filled with Christmas decorations, I guess it would be hard to try and sell Remembrance knick knacks, the profit margin would likely be much smaller.)

Maybe in some ways that is alright too.
That we live a life of such comfort and safety and freedom that we can let it pass by without much notice.
Isn't that why wars were fought?

All the congregation stood in silence for two minutes.
Tears came to my eyes as I thought of my grandfather, who suffered from shell shock in WW2 and of my husband's grandfather who lay, wounded, on the beach in Galipoli with water soaking his wedding picture and a letter from home in his pocket.

I nearly lost it when on of the little ones said Daddy? Daddy?
and he answered that he was right there, because so many never could be.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Worse than columbus

My husband and I are struggling through on the marriage thing.
Not in a bad way, but it is emotionally and thus physically exhausting.

So a small story about what a goof I am, as a distraction.

On Thursday I packed up 3/4s of my brood (2 boys and youngest girl) and headed out into the open prairie that surrounds our city.
The sixteen year old was the designated navigator and he had very detailed directions on how to get to our friends acreage, clutched in his hand.
I wasn't that concerned anyway, because although it is a bit tricky to find, I did have my trusty cell phone.

Which showed us that we had no service as soon as we got within six km of her house. And we ended up driving around for nearly 30 minutes before we through sheer accident happened upon her home.

Okay, maybe the fates intervened too, because what with me and my darling oldest son being dyslexic, neither of us realized that we had made a crucial turn as a left instead of as a right.

Our arrival meant rejoicing all around and we had a lovely visit.

And then, a few hours later with the shadows of early evening lengthening on the land, we prepared to go.

This time, not only did my friend draw a map and go over explicitly, every twist and turn in it and make us repeat it back, she also had her husband do the same - with both me and my son.

So, you may ask, how is it that we ended up driving for a full half hour in the wrong direction?
Even after I called my husband during one of the few moments that my cel phone had service to ask for help?
Even after he managed to tell me that I was east of the city which was my hoped for destination?

I don't know.
Some things are not meant to be within the ken of humankind and that includes how I could then announce to the car at large that we were east of the city which meant to get to the city we needed to keep driving east.

Yup, I'm a dork.

And my son comes by his navigational deficits honestly.

So boiled down:
-it was pitch black
-we were travelling far off the beaten trail
-and had we not decided to aim for a cluster of lights that slowly became a town - we would probably be stuck out in a ditch somewhere, even now.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Now and then...

I cried this morning with a mixture of relief and rage over the news from Navigating.
Relief that their daughter Danielle is NOT being removed from their home right now and rage at the lies her social worker and therapist were caught in.

Years ago, back when I had two little kids and had a dayhome and volunteered at our local women's shelter - I had someone phone in a false report to social services about the dangerous state of my house....
fortunately the investigating worker called my supervisor at the dayhome agency first and that wonderful woman, M, managed to convince her that there was nothing wrong and to back it up, M would and did do a surprise visit early the next morning - with her own supervisor, the head of the agency, in tow.

It was embarrassing, I answered the door in my pjs because I had no dayhome kids that day and we were have a seriously do nothing day - and it was horrifying, MY GAWD WHO COULD POSSIBLY WANT TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS? - and it was terrifying.

Mouth drying, heart hammering, blood pounding in my ears, terrifying.

What if, based on this call, an overzealous social worker had come straight to my messy house, found me not even properly clothed and my children with the food stuck to their faces and possibly wet diapers and had taken them away?
Even just for a day?

Taken my children away to who knows where and who knows what?

For the first year we had my two youngest, I lived that fear almost daily. They were in a limbo of not mine but mine, I wasn't even their foster parent or guardian, I was known as and told to fill out legal documents as being their pre-adoptive parent.

I lived in fear of actually having to visit an emergency room with them, all that year. Because that would have meant a phone call to social services and a worker to ask about how they were hurt and why and what if the answers just didn't seem good enough?

My youngest daughter actually gave herself a black eye by running into our front door.

No! Really she did!

And if asked what had happened to her face, with the awful purpling bruise up into her eyebrow, she would stare blankly and say nothing till I prompted her with a "you ran into the door honey, remember?".

Think about how good that sounds.

It doesn't here and it didn't to me, so I can just imagine how badly it could crash it burn in front of a suspicious worker.

It was an awful time and yet, unlike for foster eema, foster abba, and "danielle" most of it was only in my head.

Letting out a shuddering breath.

BTW, I did figure out very quickly who had made the phone call.
Let us just say that the women's shelter was the rather dysfunctional private empire of the executive director and my husband, recently elected to the board of directors, had instigated (as part of the duties that the position legally required of him) the first annual review of the exec. director that had happened in 7 years.
Yes, I am saying that she placed the phone call.
And that is just one of the spiky tips of that ugly iceberg.

Yay to the Navigating family!
I know it's not over yet and I will keep pulling for you.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


I keep checking over here.
Hoping against hope and reality that there has been a last minute reprieve for this family.

Other wise I have been snappish and grumpy at my children this morning and I am not sure why exactly, although there are plenty of little things going on.

My oldest daughter is scheduled to meet with a therapist this upcoming Tuesday morning, I just don't know if as sad and withdrawn as she can be is "normal" or rather, is it safe.

-argh, I really am unlivable, snarling away at my kids for really stupid stuff just now-not stupid stuff they are doing-it is me being that way-

dogs are booked in for their overdue shots appointment next week, the repair guy is scheduled to come out on Monday and see why our Bosch dishwasher takes 2-3 hourse to wash a load....

it is going to be an expensive month.

Which is great (not really), because we just paid the bill for having the concrete poured for our itty bitty back drive way and the garage pad and it came to nearly TWICE what we had originally be quoted for it.

Where I live, we are in the middle of a huge economic BOOM so building materials have achieved the status of rare jewels.

12,0000 bucks for a double garage worth of the grey stuff.

Keep an eye out for engagement rings set with polished chunks of cement is all I am saying.

Money money money

I keep checking over here.
Hoping against hope and reality that there has been a last minute reprieve for this family.

Other wise I have been snappish and grumpy at my children this morning and I am not sure why exactly, although there are plenty of little things going on.

My oldest daughter is scheduled to meet with a therapist this upcoming Tuesday morning, I just don't know if as sad and withdrawn as she can be is "normal" or rather safe.

-argh, I really am unliveable, snarling away at my kids for really stupid stuff just now-not stupid stuff they are doing-it is me being that way-

dogs are booked in for their overdue shots appointment next week, the repair guy is scheduled to come out on Monday and see why our Bosch dishwasher takes 2-3 hourse to wash a load....

it is going to be an expensive month.

Which is great (not really), because we just paid the bill for having the concrete poured for our itty bitty back drive way and the garage pad and it came to nearly TWICE what we had originally be quoted for it.

Where I live, we are in the middle of a huge economic BOOM so building materials have achieved the status of rare jewels.

12,0000 bucks for a double garage worth of the grey stuff.

Keep an eye out for engagement rings set with polished chunks of cement is all I am saying.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

PLEASE stop buy and give some support

My blog friends over at Navigating The Maze
are in a terrible place right now, tomorrow their foster daughter, their daughter that they want to adopt is to be removed from their home, her home...
and no reason is given at all.

She is not going to a different home, there aren't any, she may end up back in the temporary shelter....there is almost nothing right about what is going on....

Stop over to give them some support, say a prayer, keep them in your thoughts.

They are fighting for their family and knowing that many of us are pulling for them can't and won't hurt.

Thinking of you Foster Abba, Foster Eema and "Danielle", thinking and praying and hoping....

Much love.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

How to Win Stump The Mom Game?

Easy, ask the kid for the answer.

It took a while till I was able to trust myself to talk to my youngest child about her getting up and partying in the middle of the night in her brother's room - but when I did it was very worth it.

She said:
"during the day I am focused and busy and I can not think about my birth family and sad/bad things, at night I don't have any distractions and I can't not think about it and I do whatever I can to make that go away"

So now we are trying to set aside a chunk of daytime for her to do things that are all about her birth family. Yesterday before supper, she got out markers and paper and drew pictures of her sad cat who missed her, her old house that was upset because it missed her family and an upside down little girl - because that is how she feels right now.


Last night, she did managed to stay in her own room.

Yeah, yeah, I know that there will be more stuff coming down the pike, but I am going to savour this moment for a little while.


What a kid.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Stump the Mom!

There is our exciting theme music and that means it is time once again for North America's best loved game show:


She is adorable and she is 8 and why yes, she does have trauma from having been left to the indifferent mercies of the fostercare system ("awwwwwwwww") and yet...
does this mean that she should continually get up in the middle of the night and go into her brother's room to wake him up, laugh and giggle and jump around?

Mom says: No!
Child says: well, nothing but she sure is cute the way she tilts her head and innocently blinks her large eyes.

So far Mom has stomped loudly and nearly naked into brother's room, stating loudly that "you are in such trouble now!" then slightly more quietly turned out nightlights, turned on hall light (because nightlights are not there for ambient lighting for personal parties at 1:30am) and insisted that "you guys had better go to sleep right now, I don't want to hear it, I love you! Good night!"

Not sure if volume or near nudity was the most effective, perhaps was hair and condition of face.

Fast forward to this morning.
Mom cannot finish her work out because her back is spasming when she starts trying to figure out how to handle the whole thing.

Still haven't figured it out.

Back is still a mess.

Youngest children have been fed and are entertaining themselves, individually in their rooms.

Score so far:
Mom is stumped.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Snow on the roof

The garage is still unfinished.

For the sake of myself, I am not going to even go there as to why we are in the first week of November and have a garage with half of a roof on it...I probably will some other time but I won't right now....

So, our guy is supposed to come over, four minutes ago by my clock and probably try and convince me that it is totally safe for him to prance around up there in the slippy stuff bodily dragging heavy 4 x 8 sheets of strand board -

There are reasons NOT to hire a friend to work for you.

My back is a tiny bit less spasmy today, we are seeing the counselor tomorrow and the husband, younger children and I are visiting with the semi-delinquint birth brother this afternoon.
What with him being out of the pokey and all and staying in yet another lovey motel with a special ambiance, all of its own - Johns are so colourful after all - and no I haven't done anything like talk to the minister of social services about it yet - there was a big expose in the paper a few months ago about it and I expected that to have an effect ....
it didn't.

Did I mention the big doofus pulled a knife on a police officer?
While under the influence of drugs of course.

La la la la la la la la la la la....

must eat lunch, am on Weight Watchers online so no meetings for me and yes, I think I signed up because during the visit with my Mom - she commented on how I get being heavy and big from my Dad's side of the family.


Saturday, November 3, 2007

When are you guys going to see the marriage counsellor?

My oldest son just asked me that.
The question that is the title of this post.

So, to review:

-my mother: she lives much closer to us now - only a twelve hour drive in a minivan stuffed with two adults, two surly teenagers, two seriously freaked out ptsd tweens and two dachshunds (and by the way a minivan is called mini because there is no space for crazy stuff like oh say, luggage - and wants us to visit and so we did in mid October and my back has in spasms ever since.

-church has been a source of stress- there are nice people and good things happening but I seem to keep tripping into the pools of serious, whacked out dysfunctionality and I think I am at the end of my rope, very nearly.
I lead a youth group and the theme this year is "What do you stand for?" and I know I'm in trouble because I keep asking myself that question and coming up kind of empty when it comes to me in the church.

-home has been one too (oldest doesn't want to talk about growing up because it overwhelms him, elder daughter is in the throes of intense and worrying angst over everything and doesn't like leaving the house at all, younger son can be sooooooooooo unfocused and is entering the just because I used to think it was cool doesn't mean I do anymore phase of life and then there is the youngest, melting and refreezing ice princess)

-homefront 2: (husband, workaholism and huge changes on his work front) and that has meant many tears and frustrations and misunderstanding on both sides but we are going to see a counsellor, obviously...and no...this will not (hopefully) become a marriage as slowmotion train wreck blog - although it would probably increase readership!

-and finally, people keep driving into me!
Geez Louise! First someone drives smack into the back of my van smashing our stryofoam bumper and gutting themself on our trailer hitch, that was a month ago and then today some seriously stupid weeeeeeenie changes lanes into the back side of the van and then drives away!

Pass the muscle relaxant, please!

BTW 3 down.


Friday, November 2, 2007

birthday brief

Our oldest daughter turned fourteen today.
She is taller than I am, and probably smarter too.
I dragged her unwillingly to Old Navy, she doesn't like to shop, because she was in dire need of jeans to fit her long legs.

We are watching The Addams Family on dvd, she has just finished off a bag of bacon flavoured potato chips and is fiddling with her new ipod nano.

Not bad.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Desperately Seeking Words

About NaBloPoMo
Post every day for the month of November. That's all you have to do.

All I have to do.
Post every day for the month of November.

I don't even get to brush my teeth every day!

It has been really busy.

Sitting in the midst of piles of paperwork, some kids in therapy, another waiting for me to get on the ball and book her into her own therapy, dogs have shots and exams overdue....
stay tuned ....
I'm supposed to be back by tomorrow at the latest!

Participating in