Thursday, January 31, 2008


I am still in my pajamas!
It is one minute before noon.
They are pink flannel pajamas with cows and moons on them, the shirt part has a cartoon cow with a night cap on and the words Pasture Bedtime on it.

Three of my kids are in the basement playroom.
I have no idea what they are doing, except that a moment ago, Oldest Son came up and said, "Hey, OD and YS are bonding in the basement."
After turning that over in my head carefully to make sure that he hadn't said that there was "bondage" going on - I said " that a good thing?".

He gave me a weird look and said that yeah of course it was and then back down he went.

The fourth kid, YD is on the computer playing something, I'm not sure what and I really don't know if I am going to go and check, and has been for an hour.

I have done absolutely no working out, but I did eat a delicious poached egg on toast with a goat cheese bechamel sauce, and I have no plans to make lunch anytime soon.

It is oddly contenting (I know I made it up and no it doesn't mean camping with convicts) to know that I have nothing to do for the rest of the day.

Okay, yeah the kid's bathroom upstairs really does need some work but I don't actually have to leave the house until about 5:45pm.


I don't actually want to think about going out tonight.
In keeping with my theme of all glamour all the time, my husband and I have an appointment with our marriage counsellor - wooohoooo.
It's been going okay, at least up until the last session two weeks ago.
During which the therapist got all "you are a traumatized person" on me.

Like, I know - I was the one who told her.
I've done the tour - out patient, month long every day intensive group therapy, followed up with 7 months of weekly one on one.
Been there and relived that and it isn't the kind of thing that you forget.

Besides what being a traumatized person has to do with me talking about something that my husband does that drives me crazy - other than make me feel that what I am saying isn't valid and that everything that goes wrong in our relationship is all my fault - I don't know.

Seriously though it knocked me for a loop and hard.

I know a fair amount about who I am and why.

I don't like people touching me, unless I really know them and feel we have a trusting relationship.
I don't deal well with being startled by loud noises or being bumped into, it takes a huge amount of control to manage my flight or fight impulses in those cases.
I NEVER want to live that life of being powerless and victimized, ever again.

I also want everyone to like me and I want to make everyone happy and I want to inspect everything and every interaction completely and exhaustively to make sure that I am not the cause of other people's unhappiness. I am way too hard on myself because I think that somehow being perfect or as close to it as possible will give me some sort of a sense of control over my life. Which I know is artificial but that is where it is at.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A blog post, only not here

"But we have to go out to the park this afternoon, don't we?".

You have to forgive her, Oldest Daughter only just got up, yes, it is ten minutes after noon, but that is just the way it is.

Nope. We don't have to go anywhere today. Not when it's minus 30.5 C before you even factor in the windchill, and you should and the roads are still a disaster from the storm yesterday.

She sighs a big, breathy gust of relief.

A good sign.

She is even supportive of this picture and post over at my 365 blog (a photo a day for the year).

Maybe you will be too.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Regular Programming

My husband took the story book I had just read to the congregation, out of my hands - as I was on my way down to teach Sunday School.

He smiled a happy, little smile as he looked from it up to me and I shrugged and left it with him.

Last night, he brought it into the kitchen where our 14 year old daughter was poking about and asked her if he could read it to her.

"DAD!!" She said in that loud, aggrieved way that only teenagers in the centre of the heart of darkness can.

"Just a page or two," he begged, "and if you really can't stand it, that will be it...okay?"

He told her about how when he saw it at church, it brought back so many memories of him reading it to her when she was little and that she was still his little girl and he would like to read it to her again.

Perched side by side on the tall stools in the kitchen, he carefully read each page - "Katy was a beautiful red crawler tractor. She was very big and very strong and she could do a lot of things." Then he would tell our daughter how he loved that description and it always made him think of her.

Sitting on the couch in the living room, I could overhear all this

That this man realizes the gift that he has in his children and takes the time to show them how much he loves them.

How lucky they are and how right this is.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Blog For Choice LOOK AWAY! But isn't that the problem right there in a nutshell?

Blog for Choice Day

How many years ago was it?
I know actually, how many years, how many months, how many days - I am not stupid and despite what I was told from the beginning, I have never been stupid.

I have been young, ignorant, unaware, overwhelmed and in over my head - struggling with the fallout of being sexually, physically and emotionally abused.

I spent too much time trying to find my value in what other people thought of me.
But I didn't know it at the time.

I thought that was what I was supposed to do, try and make other people happy no matter what it cost.

That is what I had been trained to do.

I have been pregnant when I didn't want to be.

And I made choices as to what to do about it, that were based on everything I knew about myself and all my experiences.

No one else could do that. No one else should do that.
The presumption that anyone else could or should, is about controlling and owning someone else's body and that is slavery.

Be it an individual who wants to do that or a church or the state.
And that is shameful.

I don't see abortions as shameful.

Private, yes.

Emotionally excoriating, yes.

But so have each of the times that I have chosen to have children.

Even if I had grown up in the most supportive of families and societies, with love and support and knowledge of risks and how to stay safe - even if I had been that woman - perhaps a woman like my daughters will grow up to be - even then -

the decisions about my body should be mine.

I'm glad it was, I will fight for it to be that way for other women now and in the future.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


I would give my eye teeth (whatever they are, I will look it up sometime) for respite care.

Or some other not completely essential part of my anatomy could be put to the cause.

But I won't send my kids out for it.
I can't.
I have nothing against families and providers who offer respite in their homes, it is just not the right fit for my kids and my family.

So that leaves us with in house care and I just don't have that.

Or rather I do, My friend N. is experienced and capable and likes the kids and knows them and they know her and are comfortable with her - but she is not available and probably won't be for a while because of family issues.

For now we will just have to hold steady I guess and try and forge ahead.

We even have funding for it, that it isn't a problem, which is nice of course - it is just trying to figure out where to find someone who meets all the above criteria.

It would be great if that happened sometime soon - before I get stretched too thin.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Good Morning Mom

When my youngest child calls those words at me down the stairs - my inner response is usually one of irritation, or anger or resignation.

Sick? Yeah.

But if that is what you're thinking, you probably don't have a kid with the gaping holes in her attachment like mine has.

At least, I think it is mostly the attachment troubles that are at the root of most of her manipulative behaviours.

For my daughter, the good morning almost never seems to be a genuine greeting. More, it is a throwing down of a gauntlet. Sometimes I get the sense that she is angry or annoyed that I am up and downstairs, possibly spending time with someone other than her.

A big chunk of it could be all in my head too - I know that and I want to work on it some more except that sometimes I also just don't want to have too.

Deeply moving and thoughtful post, huh?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A step forward

Last night was something of a near miracle for my house.

My youngest daughter managed to get to sleep and stay asleep through the night - and this after a phonecall from Obie. He was calling from jail, he is in solitary confinement right now.
His phonecalls often have an upsetting effect on YD.
She is frustrated beyond compare that he hasn't clued into drugs and alcohol are bad things and get him into trouble.
The first time she realized that he "used", her mouth dropped open in shock. "Didn't he learn anything from what happened with our birth parents?!?".

When she woke up this morning, she told me that she was very upset and angry and wanted some "couch time" with me to help her talk about it.


That is amazing.
And it didn't stop there.

She ended by saying that she was so glad that she could talk about this kind of thing, because she didn't think it was good for her or anyone not to be in control of their emotions.

Remember folks, this is the kid that I could barely muster up any "like" for last week.
I will hasten to repeat what I said last week, I LOVE her, just had trouble "liking" her.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Darling Boy

I am full of contradictions about him.

I wish I could have held him from his first moment, yet how he came to be my son is an important story and journey wouldn't want to change.

He is mine.

And now he is twelve years old.
A year and a half and the second birthday since I met him.

"Next year, I will be a teenager Mom!" Grinning slyly, dancing around me.

"No you won't! Not if I refuse to accept that, now shut up and don't talk about it anymore! You are my little boy!" Turning my back to him, or leaving the room.

He wants to be a cook, to move to another province, another country, to travel to learn - all when he "grows up".

But, "I will come back Mom, I will only go away for a little while at at time."

He'd better.

Because I can already see, in the set of his twelve year old shoulders and that strong chin that he is going to keep growing up.
No matter that I haven't had him as my child for anywhere near long enough.

I am so proud of him.

Happy Birthday my bright eyed boy.
Oh how I love you.
Don't grow too fast, okay? We have time to make up.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

joint's a jumping

This morning, I left the children in the waiting room and dashed into the playtherapist's office, flung myself on the overstuffed couch and demanded that she tell me whether or not my littlest girl was one of the most manipulative creatures on the face of the earth or not.

Pathetic of me, I know.

But I don't care, because when she laughed and reassured me that it was indeed the case, I felt a weight lift off of me and I was able to, almost immediately, become a better parent again.

So few people get it what it is like to swim with a shark 24/7 when everyone around you is cooing at it like it is a baby duck.

And after a while, my coping technique of "screw 'em and feed 'em fisheads" just doesn't cut it.

So at breakfast time, I didn't like the kid, didn't know how I was going to manage for the next ten minutes without snarling at her or running away from her and by lunch time was capable of not just loving her but liking her too.

That ain't a bad thing.

Youngest son is winding himself up, his birthday is Thursday and that would be an intense time for anyone who has been through the fostercare/loss of birth family warp that he has - except his is even more intense because it is also the 4th anniversary of his bmom going AWOL and he and his sister being taken into fostercare.
He is holding up pretty darn well, considering - even using words to come and tell me about his fear of losing everything that hits him hard around this time each year. What a kid.
Anyway, I figured out that going out to a photography club meeting on the evening of his birthday might not be a wise idea and when I checked that out with him today, his eyes went very wide - "I would freak RIGHT OUT!".
Yeah. I get it.
I am staying home.
No skin of my nose.

Having both the older kids home is ssooooooo damn nice.
Love it, don't know if I will ever be ready for them to be gone away again.
Hoping to make more time to spend with them on a weekly and daily basis.

Oh and I did okay on the not yelling anymore thing, except, um....on Sunday night when I ended up shrieking at my husband.

So, so far 0 yelling at the kids, 1 yelling at the husband.

And I gained two pounds.
Dang it.

But like, it doesn't actually matter either.
This weight thing does weird things to my brain.

Okay, I think my brain was kind of weird to begin with.
But I want to stop buying and eating products with aspartame in it.
I don't think it is good for me.

Hopefully going for an outside run tomorrow, if it all works out.
Husband had his first day of teaching students at the local post secondary institution today.
It was a big deal for him and I am proud of him.
He is sort of the professor to my gilligan.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

pinging someone else's bandwidth

Is it wrong to catch a free ride on someone else's wireless internet connection?

Okay, so I am doing that right now, if I wasn't I couldn't post at all - ours is down, for whatever reason, and until and if the repair person shows up tomorrow - we are without.

Except um, there are unprotected networks all around me...
and I am thinking about it as I opportunistically blog away.

And since I am asking ponderables, does it count calorie wise, if you chew a food, say milk chocolate covered almonds and then spit it out?
Not that I have done it or am even really and truly considering it - just wondering, you know, if anyone has ever had a research grant for this kind of thing?

Another thing, where is my self control at anyway? I have been looking around for it and it just isn't here, not in the kitchen, not between the couch cushions....very annoying - especially as I really could have a used it last night when I snorfed down an entire (170g) bag of gummi candy.
If you are keeping count that is 10 points over my actual allowed amount of W8 watcher points!
Tomorrow is my weigh in day. Urgh. Will those gummies come back to haunt me?

Ooooh. And guess what I am listening to?
Go ahead, guess.
Okay, Cyndi Lauper sing Torch Songs from her album At Last.
Oddly compelling, she can sing and with an accent.
Sometimes I find some of her interpretations of these standards kind of annoying, but I am in just the right mood for it today and have had it on extreme replay.

What have you been listening to lately?

Saturday, January 5, 2008


There is a weepy, adolescent girl lying on the couch beside me.
Last night she called in tears because she was feeling ill and didn't know what to do and felt guilty about leaving her brother to do dog/house sitting on his own.

Cabana Boy went and bundled her home.
She has the flu and she was homesick and hadn't been sleeping well the last few nights.
Now, I think her weepiness is a combination of hormones and low blood sugar (because her stomach and hurts and she feels barfy, so she hasn't been eating) - I have been wondering about hypoglycemia and if that could be a problem for her. Something to look up.

On Monday I will be trying to set her up with a new therapist.

My youngest daughter has been much on my mind lately.
Sometimes I worry about where she is really at.
How much of her behaviours are organic?
Is she Fetal Alcohol Spectrum disordered?
Is it learned behaviours? Coping mechanisms?

There are moments when she is staggeringly bright, asks thoughtful questions, comes out with astute observations and others where she seems - I don't know - utterly and completely locked into being four years old on all possible levels.

The four years old part makes a lot of sense, because that was the age she was taken into care at.

It is hard because I just don't know.

Of course it being the holiday season, it isn't exactly the best time to be expecting her to be at her best.

Cause, you know, I'm not, particularly hitting all my spots either.

The youngest son is doing well, he got a little wound up yesterday after Obie called to tell us that he had been thrown out of his motel (the home that the government has provided him with) and so now he has to go back to jail.


He is fourteen years old.
And I feel so damn helpless.

Our sixteen year old called this morning, he is feeling gross, so Cabana Boy went over to stay with him.
Armed with Pepto Bismal, acetaminiphen and ginger ale.

Friday, January 4, 2008

small plans

No yelling yesterday...although it is still too early to make any promises about this day.

Truthfully it would have been difficult to yell yesterday given my choices. My two oldest children are still away dog/house sitting and oh! how I am looking forward to them coming home in two days - for many reasons but even just because their two dachshunds will then no longer take up all the room on my bed at night.

My youngest daughter was up barfing late on Wednesday night, so much time was spent lying about in her pjs and robe and staring at Sesame Street dvds. The old shows that I remember from being a kid. She wasn't up for doing much that might cause me to yell at her. Although I did try to bribe her 5 buck to wake Dad up from now on, when she is sick in the middle of the night - she just laughed at me.

Youngest son was quiet and low key, his highlight of the day was watching more Have Gun Will Travel episodes with Dad and I, and there was popcorn too.
He will be 12 so very soon.
Seven days to go, I think. When he gets up this morning, I am sure he will let me know.

My hope is to spend the next hour getting organised, our schedule is filling back up again and then get the kids up and feed and medicate them.

A picture of light and snow. Two things that I love about where I live.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Oh Woe Isn't me.

No laptop of my own since the black screen of death.
Waiting to hear back from the apple store to hear what the diagnosis is.

No place to download my pictures to. Especially since I have been playing with my new flash!

Consoling myself with vietnamese food and good company.
And warm puppies and the insane game my oldest daughter gave me for use on the Wii and the the Dance Dance Revolution Game that Santa brought.

It has been odd with my two oldest children literally living away from home for the last week as they dog/house sit. I miss them and find to my slight surprise that they are managing just fine - thank you very much.

I didn't mean to blink and miss it when they became capable and nearly utterly independent.

Things are going fairly well on the not yelling front, of course we do have a house guest kind of limits me in an artificial way.
Hopefully it will continue on anyway after his departure.

Ran a bit today and signed up to try and run the 50k again in May.
Up to 17lbs on the weight loss scene.

I still don't think I look different but one of my running friends mentioned to me this morning that my running tights, um, aren't tight.

Being me, I now worry that I will continue to whittle away, my legs and butt becoming thinner and thinner and my large shoulders, chest and mid section staying the same and I will become the frightening wedge shaped woman.

Okay, I have better things to do than imagine this kind of thing.
Happiest of New Year tidings to you all!