Thursday, May 31, 2007

Dominyk's Song for Today

It's my party and I'll die if I want to....

A Mother's Heart

Mike got kicked out of school today. The social worker called me saying that MIke was begging to talk to me. Of course, Bart is out of town because he always is when this stuff happens, but I agreed to meet with the two of them. She he can't be on school property I had to meet them on a street corner.

I said, "Well, Mike, I'm sorry you've put us in this position. What can I do for you?"

He said, "I guess take me down to the county or whatever."

He looked horrible. Black eye, dirty, smelly... runny nose from crying. Of course, I wanted to bring him home, give him a shower, a hug and kiss, a hot meal, and put him in bed, in that order. Even though I am "the meanest mother in the world" I'm still his mother.

But he's burned those bridges.

I said I was there for him to talk to. He said he didn't know what to say. I reminded him that his Dad and I would do anything we could to help him as long as it didn't involve him living with us or us giving him money.

I talked to him about qualifying for services based on his FASD diagnosis. He told me "I don't have FASD." I explained to him that it was a medical diagnosis and he did have it whether he wanted to or not.

Now, only a person with a mental illness or FASD would say they didn't have it. Because if they didn't have it, they would be able to acknowledge that they had it. But those don't have it, wouldn't need to admit it anyway. Wow what a dumb paragraph. Get your head around that.

So, anyway, he says he can't get a job. I told him that he needs to go with one thing or another. Either he has a disability that keeps him from getting a job, or he needs to get one.

I suggested he go to AA or NA and get a sponsor. He says he isn't using and he doesn't need AA. Interesting how it was the answer to all of his issues four months ago and now he doesn't need it at all. I just mentioned it might be a place to get some support.

I gave him names of people who could help him. He says he's not interested. He told me to give him a ride to a park. I did. As I drove away he sat at the picnic table and cried.

I almost caved. Almost drove back around and said, "OK, MIke, come on home." But I didn't. I can't. Dominyk obsesses for an hour about him every time his name is mentioned or we see him on the street. "You're not going to let him live with us again are you mom? He steals from us. He brings weird friends over. He takes our stuff. He takes drugs. He sneaks his friends in. I don't like it when he's home, etc. etc. etc."

It was like he was a very little boy, 4 or five, that had gotten hurt when he was lost in the woods and all he wanted to do was come home so his parents could make everything OK. But we're way beyond that and it was VERY hard for me to drive away.

It's the Inconsistencies

Yesterday morning went perfect here. I woke Tony up and reminded him that he would have to start getting ready by himself because Dad was gone. 20 minutes later he was showered, perfectly dressed, teeth brushed and ready to go. Everyone else was chearful and mellow and it went very very well.

This morning I did the exact same thing with a totally different result. Tony did NOT get up and I had to wake him up a second time, this time not quite as nicely. Hopefully the rest of the kids won't follow his lead...

Busy day preparing for Rand's graduation open house tomorrow night as well as attempting to get work done, etc.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Variations on a Theme

WIthout me mentioning it, tonight Dominyk sang the heavy metal version, complete with electric guitar sound effects...

I haven't seen my scrotum

nyeer, nyeer, nyeer, nyeer

I haven't seen my testes

nyeer, nyeer, nyeer, nyeer

I haven't seen my penis

nyeer, nyeer, nyeer, nyeer

since i was a little kid


bu bu da ba dum


bu bu da ba dum


ba bu da bu dum



testin' my testes,

nyeer nyeer nyeer nyeer

ba du ba du dum.

When the Gunk Gets All Over You

I have to quote Cindy this morning when she was talking about one of her kids and said, "Common refrain: Like THAT's the real issue."

Sometimes when you put on too much pressure at the wrong time things explode. Whether it be a child or an adult, it works the same way.

It's like this squishy that Kari bought me this summer. It had all this gooey junk inside and I put pressure on it for quite some time and it was fine.

And then I hit just the wrong spot at just the wrong time and exploded the gunk all over me.

But I didn't create the gunk and I wasn't the one who put the gunk inside.

This happens with my kids all the time, and apparently Cind's kids too. And many other adopted kids. As parents we are required to apply pressure -- whether it's to say no to a request, or expect cooperation, or anything else, parents apply pressure. That's our job. And when it happens in just the wrong spot at the wrong time, it explodes and gunk gets everywhere.

But we didn't put the gunk inside. It was put there by all the abuse, neglect, genetic predisposition, mental illness, organic brain damange due to FASD . .. all that gunk was put there by someone else.

It's the same thing in my job and I had to remind myself of that this morning. I have to apply pressure in order for the system to work to get kids home. I try to do it gently, I try to do it kindly. I try to give people plenty of time. But sometimes, the pressure is applied at just the wrong time to just the wrong person and the gunk explodes all over me.

But I didn't put the gunk in there. I'm not the one who assigns impossible caseloads. I'm not the one who creates, maintains, or perpetuates the broken system. I'm not the one who creates a work environment that is incredibly stressful. But sometimes I am the one who applies the pressure, and then the gunk explodes.... all over me.

But like I do with my kids, I'll wipe off the gunk and keep doing what I do. Because it's about the kids, and not about me. Because the alternative is to walk away and I can't do it.

I think there are three categories of people involved in the Child Protection "system":

1) The kind who really care. A lot. About every aspect of their jobs. And they do so very intensely and can only do so for a short period of time and then they burn out and either quit the field or change jobs.

2) The kind who have made themselves stop caring. They either were able to separate themselves from their work from the beginning, or they started caring and realized they couldn't any more. They can stay on forever, but aren't very effective.

3) The kind that really care and still stick around a do it. And these folks have hard lives. They truly do it for the kids and they put themselves out there every day for an ungrateful bunch of people.... who criticize and complain. And so when I apply pressure and it gives the impression that I don't think they care or that they are doing their job, it makes me feel bad.

So, today I'm tired. Last night my kids gunk got all over me. Today people I work with got gunk on me.

But to stop squeezing means there will be no progress.

So I'm off to the metaphoric shower to get off the gunk so I can start squeezing again.

The Guy From The Mall

Last night I was having a nice dream. One of those take you back in time, feel good kind of dreams. I was young and thought I was in love with a guy named Chris who worked at the mall. He had promised me a nice kiss, but we kept getting interrupted. First it was my mother. Then Dominyk came in (yeah, I get my worlds mixed up) and wanted to trade Pokemon cards with him, which he was willing to do.

Right before we were to meet at a secret place for that promised kiss, Tony, who was sleeping with me because Bart is out of town, fell out of bed with a bang.

In a half sleep, I said, "Great, Tony, now I'm NEVER going to get that kiss." He's been teasing me about it all morning...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Takes After Me...

I was reminded after Dominyk's song tonight that my brothers and I used to come up with songs.

Remember "I drink Dr. Pepper and I'm proud"

Here is our rendition:

I drink Rat Poison and I'm proud
I'm part of a diminishing crowd
If you look around you these days,
there seems to be a Rat Poison craze.

I'm a dying, he's a dying, she's a dying, you're a dying,
wouldn't you like to be a dying too,
be a dying, drink Rat Poison,
be a dying, drink Rat Poison.

Doing the Right Thing?

The police officer called tonight. Had Mike in custody. He's got no permanent address. They need to send court paperwork somewhere or else he has to hold him.

I wasn't sure what to do. Was letting him use our address enabling his lifestyle? Was not letting him use it cruel and unusual punishment.

I let them use it. He'll have to call here to see what it says.

Those calls are always such fun ones to try to make when you have a house full of people, including guests, and you're 11 year old is chanting in the background, "We are siamese if you please . . . we are siamese if you don't please."

I told him, "Could you please not sing that song when the police call. They were asking how we were able to find a talking siamese cat."

He replied, "Really???"

Health Education

Apparently, Dominyk had what used to be "5th Grade Health" in 4th grade and he learned about parts of the body. For those who offend easy, stop reading.

He made up a song this evening and sang it for me several times. I can't remember exactly how it went, but it was sort of like this:

"I haven't seen my scrotum for a long time,
I haven't seen my scrotum since I was skinny.
I'd really like to see my scrotum and my testes and my penis
cuz I haven't seen my scrotum for a long time."

He then asked me if it would be OK if he yelled to the motorcyclist next to us, "NICE TESTES." I assured him that it would not.

Heading Towards the End of the Year

Kari blogged today about structure and transitions and I must confess that I'm not looking forward to the upcoming move towards summer. If yesterday was any indication of how our summer is going to go, I'd like to find a large hole in the ground to crawl into and hibernate until school starts again.

Now that the kids are older you would think they would need less direction and help enterntaining themselves, but the opposite is proving to be true. They bicker and argue and the fight pickers pick and the recipients of the picking fight and scream and they name call and pinch and yell and eat all the time if nobody is watching. Fortunatley we have PCAs this summer, or I would have to take a leave of absense from my job.

In addition, we do not have any money for extras at this point and so entertainment that costs money is not possible. So, I'm goinig to have to be creative, which, in this arena, is not my specialty.

We still have four days this week and three and a half days next week before we're done. I'm really hoping that I can come up with some structure just like Kari's doing. But I'm feeling much more optimistic about her success than mine.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Oh.... my...... goodness

Rand's scrapbook is done. It has eighty pages. Thirty six of the pages I had done as a paper scrapbooker in the past and they were scanned in the last 48 hours. Forty four of those 80 pages I did as original digital scrapbook pages in the last 48 hours. I know. I"m an idiot.

And all of them are very simple EXCEPT for the one above which took me over an hour and then I was quite mad at myself.

But it's done.

And now I just have the video to do in addition to all the party preparations alone.

But just like I did this, Ill get that done as well.


Yesterday turned out to be a pretty pleasant day. Church was great, as always, and then we had chinese buffet with our friends, Tim Sue and Sarah. The afternoon I spent doing multiple scrapbook pages for Rand's graduation scrapbook and in the evening Mike and Kari had us over to sit on their beautiful patio and eat supper. The weather was beautiful, the kids played together nicely and had a blast, and we enjoyed adult conversation. In fact the whole family came (often at least one of the girls will opt not to go somewhere with us, but they both came and seemed to enjoy themselves).

Last night, more scrapbook pages (like the one pictured here). I have finished scanning all of the pages that I did over the years, and I am now making new digital pages of the things between then and now. And that is what my day holds today. It's my goal, in addition to making a grocery list for the week (Bart's going to Annual Conference tomorrow and I have to cook again), to get the scrapbook done and a video we will show at the open house).

If I can accomplish that, while parenting, I'll be pleased.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

it's the Little Things

I already did a post about this a couple weeks ago but it got lost when I got booted from the computer.

I explained that while the big things are exhausting for a time, it's the little things that really exhaust you and get you down. Like

  • pee on the toilet seat
  • sunflower seed shells under the couch when sunflower seeds are not allowed in the house
  • boys wearing my socks and making them crusty and holey
  • warm milk because somoeone couldn't put it away
  • phone calls after ten
  • pee on the toilet seat
  • rotting food stuffed in the cup holders in the very back of the van
  • notes written in planners from school
  • finding my t-shirt on a teenage boy
  • pants that sag
  • when you're boys shirts hang lower on their bodies than their sister's skirts
  • pee on the toilet seat
  • the dog pooping in the house because nobody can let him out but the parents (guess you have to be registered to vote to let the dog out)
  • barf in the middle of the night
  • fights over the front seat EVERY time we get in the van, even if the trip is only a mile
  • the word no used after every parental request
  • pee on the toilet seat
  • and I could go on and on and on.

And finally, for today, trying to find out who used my toothbrush!

Radio Preachers

On Sunday mornings, while Bart irons his clothes, he likes to listen to a church service. This morning, it was a program dedicated to the return of Christ.

While I'm sure he was speaking metaphorically, I laughed for a long time when he closed his sermon this way:

Jesus is returning in less than an hour!

Until next week, this is Pastor ______.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Rand's Success

On Thursday I promised good news. Today I'm finally posting it.

Rand presented his Sr. Project on Thursday and did an awesome job. Everyone at the school is SO proud of him. And, the most importantly, he did this with no help from either Bart or I all year. He did a project on the Navajo Indians to learn more about the kids that my mom works with at Sun Valley Indian School. It required him to put in 300 hours of work and clock them all. He did all kinds of things -- built a hogan, built a weaving loon, did a weaving, did a powerpoint with over 60 slides, and did tons of research. And never once did we have to remind him.

His presentation went very well. He only has to go to school for a couple hours a day next week and then on June 1 he will graduate.

The amazing thing is that I had a revelation a few weeks ago. We knew by reading paperwork that he had been drug exposed in utero, but there was no mention of alcohol. But when I was working on his scrapbook, I looked at his baby pictures and immediately emailed Kari and told her to look for facial features for FAS. She saw them right away. A few days later she was presenting at a training and was talking about ears sticking out as a characteristic of FAS and I remembered that Rand had has surgery to so that his ears wouldn't stick out.

I have asked myself many questions about the difference between Rand and Mike and their level of success with the same diagnosis. Is it because Rand's IQ is so much lower? Because we never knew Rand had it and didn't talk about it? Because Rand came to us at 11, and Mike at 8? Because of their histories (Rand's on paper was MUCH worse?

But I've come to the conclusion that it is solely the amount of attachment we have and how much Rand trusts us. From the very moment he moved in he trusted us and never doubted that we had his best interest in mind. He has been directable and when we give him advice he believes it's true. Sometimes we have to repeat things, and sometimes he doesn't get it right, and he has had to work hard for what he wants, but he trusts us.

He's graduating this week. He's going to live with us and go to college. He got the job I told him to get did a good job, and kept it until he got laid off because they had to do staff reduction.. Now we're finding him another one. He's done very well considering his disabilities. He's going to live here while he goes to college and run errands for me in exchange for his rent.

It's working because he trusts us. His history is worse. His IQ is lower. His disability may be more severe. But he loves us and knows that we love him.

And I'm beginning to believe that's all that matters.

Snippets from Last Nights Dreaming

I got to sleep a long time last night. It was wonderful. And there's nothing like waking up to the sound of a husband vacuuming. Wow do I love that man.

Anway, here are some snippets from my active dream life last night. Sorry, nothing is as hilarious as the Chimichanga dream you can see by reading the things that happened to me last night why sometimes I wake up exhausted, even after 10 hours of sleep.

1) We found out that we misread our tax statement and that we actually owed Uncle Sam $6900 instead of $69.00. We had no way to pay it. People in our church were trying hard to help us figure how we could do so without having to sell the house or leave the church (they had many creative ideas) but I was the one, of course, with optimism and faith that it was going to all turnout OK.

2) I was at a house, not hours, with a bunch of teenagers and found Mike in a room with Salinda and her new BFF who was in Mike's arms. It was alarming to say the least. Then he got in a car with me to "talk again" about coming home, and I had to make him get out of the car.

3) I was riding my bike outside (OK, yeah, so I knew I was dreaming) and all of the sudden I realized I was on the wrong bike. I was in a strange urban neighborhood and many people were stopping me and saying "That bike's not yours. It belongs over at the group home." So I head back to a group home for Developmentally Delayed adults and all of them are stopping me. "oooooh. you have Mar-tin's Bike. Mar-tin will be mad. Mar-tin is not going to like you. Why do you think you can ride Mar-tin's bike. Where did you get Mar-tin's bike? Who said you could ride Mar-tin's bike? I'm going to tell Mar-tin?" Thank goodness I got out of the neighborhood before Mar-tin came home.

4) Finally, I was showering in the front yard of a house on a busy street. I got out of the shower and started drying myself off and thought to myself, "Wow, this street is busier than usual. Must be holiday traffic. Maybe I should go inside the house to dry off and get dressed."

Another night inside my head...

Friday, May 25, 2007

And the Theme of the Day is...

When you have a kid with OCD who gets stuck on something and can't let it go, life can be very interesting. Last Saturday's theme was, as you can see in the picture, was rocks. Dominyk found several rocks at the park where Ricardo's soccer game was held and it was all he could think about. He was going to cell them, they were pure crystal, he would have a stand in the yard, or maybe sell them on ebay, they had to be worth a lot, he was going to become rich, and on and on and on.

Last night, I turned my back for a minute while we were having pizza at the park and he took a swig from what he thought was an energy drink that he found in the park trash. As you already have guessed, it contained alcohol.

One of the things that we stress often to our children is that you can't be an alcoholic if you never take the first drink. We have explained to them in detail that they may have an inherited disposition to alcoholism and addiction and they need to stay away from it.

Well, last night, as soon as Dominyk had that first drink he was convinced he was an alcoholic (guess I didn't think about that literal twist on my logic). He could not let it go. First he spit the stuff out multiple times, demanded two pops to get the taste out of his mouth (one of which he splilled, demanding a third, which I didn't give), and then spent the next hour obsessing on how he had to have more alcohol (guess he was forgetting the bad taste). He was now an alcoholic and so the theme of the night was how he NEEEEEEDED another drink (can we stop at that liquor store, how about that one, oh I really need some alcohol, a beer maybe, or wine, you don't understand, I NEEEEEED some, I need, I need, I need, give me, give me, give me (a line I wished he hadn't picked up from What About Bob.

And in addition to the noise, it was a little disconcerting to have our 11 year old's breath smelling like that of a common drunk.

Another day in the life....

Things that Go Bump in the Night

At 3:55 this morning I was sitting on the toilet (which I do a few times during every night) and I heard Salinda's alarm go off. Someone turned it off right away. Then I heard a noise outside and immediately drew my conclusion. Mike had talked to her when he called last night and I figured they had planned to meet up so she could give him some of his stuff. So I went into her bedroom to confront her.

Boy was she confused ... apparently Sadie had set the alarm wrong. She denied anything when I told her my conclusion about MIke. In fact, I overheard her telling Sadie in quite the disgusted voice about my error last night. So I think she was telling the truth.

But it's no fun to live wondering, and it was hard for me to go back to sleep...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Twice in One Day

Bart has blogged twice in one day. If you're ready to put on your analytical thinking skills cap (which you never need for my blog) you can read his posts here and again here.

When You're Out of Chances

Mike called twice tonight. He is pleading to come home to live here. He's messed up his ankle and he can't get a job without a permanent address.

I told him I felt bad for him. And I do. I told him that I love him and that it is hard for me to say no, which is true. But I told him that we could not go through the cycle one more time. I told him that we would be willing to help him find another treatment center, that we could tell him who to talk to at the county to get services, that we would give him a ride to Job Corp if he could get in. But we could not give him our money and he could not live here.

He said the same thing he has said for the past 3 years. If we let him come home, THIS time he won't use. THIS time he won't drink. THIS time he won't steal from us. THIS time he won't be out past his curfew. THIS time he will follow all the rules.

But we've heard it all before. And now that he is 18, he is out of chances. But the problem is, he never was before. We always gave him just one more chance . . . and now we have to put the younger children first. And even though he doesn't believe me, they have all admitted to me that it is very stressful for them when he is living here. Not knowing where he is, what he's doing, or if their stuff is safe wears on them. Having him ask them to cover for him when he is breaking the law or getting high is too hard for someone who is 11 or 12.

So I had to tell him no. I was glad that he was not mean . . . he was despondent and sad. But maybe that makes it harder.

I think he thought he had an unlimited number of chances. But he didn't and now he's out. And I'm not sure which position is harder -- the one who hears the words "you can't come home" or the one who has to say them.

Compounded Pressure

The after school lengthy discussion with two of my children about their confusing lunch line at school that has resulted in over $200 extra in charges for meals was very annoying. The issue I always have with my children is that regardless of the situation the anger is at me.... like I was the one putting extra food on their trays....

In the middle of this lovely conversation the police department called looking for Mike. Apparently he has been spraypainting and fled he scene. I tried to help, but I don't know where he is.

We're also facing some financial pressure and I placed a sibling group of six (which is GREAT news -- ages 5-17, the 17 year old less than a month away from his birthday). But the paperwork for a case like this is enormous. I am feeling quite stressed about all I need to get done and I didn't sleep well.

I'll save the good news for another blog entry when I have time. Why ruin a good whine fest?

Phone Calls in the NIght

Three times in the last two weeks Mike has called and woken me up. The first time was 5:20 a.m. and he said nothing. The next time it was 6:25 a.m. and he asked for Salinda, but I didn't let on that I knew it was him. Last night at 11:35 I finally said, "Mike, Salinda is asleep." He hung up. A minute later he called and said, "So, what am I supposed to do?" Half groggy I said, "Well you can stop calling in the middle of the night and asking for your sister." He responded, "what should I do to talk to do you and Dad." I said, "Call during the day while the other kids are in school like I asked you to before."

If he calls back, what will we say? The list of what he needs to do is not short, but it is simple. Stop using drugs. Get an NA or an AA sponsor. Go to meetings. Get a job. Stop breaking the law. Finish school. I know he is getting desperate, but I am not going to by the "I have no place to live" line when he's been in town for nearly 2 months and seems to have taken care of that part pretty well."

You all know why he can't live here . . . I don't need to go through that again. But it is hard for me to know he is out there and not do anything for him, yet doing something for him will only enable him to continue using. They call it Tough Love.

So today, amidst my appointments I will wonder if the phone will ring and if it does whether or not I'll answer it and if I do, what I'll say. Because the message, "I love you but you can't live here" is never easy to deliver.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The End of a Long Day

It was a long day, but a pretty good one. I spent the day in the van again -- but had a great time shopping with John. He's so fun to be with when his meds are stable and he's feeling good about himself. He withdrew money from his account and we went clothes shopping. He is so proud to be spending money he has earned and we worked together to find some clothes he really liked and got good deals. We had lunch together and every moment we were together was just relaxing and fun. He took the news that we weren't going to be able to come this weekend well.

A post placement visit and the writing of a homestudy have consumed the rest of my day in addition to a trip over to the church to supervise my children while they had a pizza party. They actually did fine and would have without me there.

Tonight I'm tired, but it's been a good day.

A Day Away from the Desk

I'm heading over to our old stomping grounds today to do a post-placement visit and I'm also going to visit our son John and take him to lunch and to do some shopping (he wants to spend some of the money he's earned). It will be fun to see him, but having travelled the equivalent of a trip to Winnepeg just on soccer trips this past weekend, I'm not thrilled about getting into the van again.

But I will do so as I know it is important for him to see me. We're trying to figure out a way to afford for all of us to go see him, but gas is so expensive and a hotel for all of us almost impossible financially for us right now. I had intimated before we might be able to, so I have to break the news to him.

I'll be gone from 7:30 a.m. until about 5:30 p.m. today and most likely come home quite tired.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Teaching Values Part II

I was raised in a very conservative home and there were very strong values spoken and lived there. Most of the specifics have not followed me into my parenting, but there are a few things that I stress. One of them is clear priorities.

Sadie spent the evening begging to go away for Memorial Day Weekend with a friend, thus skipping church. We have never allowed our kids to do that, and we're not going to start now. It may seem harsh to some, but our reasoning is that we need to make a clear statement about priorities and this is one way that we do it.

I owe a great deal of my ability to be strong and non-conforming to my parents who never hesitated in having us toe the line when it came to priorities. They were clear and they were firm.

I never realized how difficult it must have been for them in having to set those and keep them with us. It's no fun to be the "reason" your child is miserable. But we're not parenting for the todays, but for the endless stream of tomorrows that follow childhood....

Bart Blogged It Best

We heard this news this afternoon.

It completely shut me down to the point that I had to lie down. I couldn't even function.

Total Commitment -- Or Why I'm NOT a "Soccer Mom"

I have been amazed lately by how much every single activity that children are in requires "total commitment" from the family. Since most people have 1.7 kids (or 2.4) or whatever the average now is) it is reasonable (in the minds of the leaders of these activities) to ask the family to make a total commitment to that activity.

However, I cannot make a total commitment to anything -- one child and that one activity cannot be our whole lives. Right now Boy Scouts and Competitive Soccer are the activities that we're finding are most insistent that we are at EVERYTHING. And, that just can't be. For example, on June 1st Rand Graduates from HIgh School. That weekend Tony has Tenderfoot Camp and Ricardo has a soccer tournament 90 miles from here. We can't do all three, something has to give.

As you know, in the past 3 days Ricardo has played 5 soccer games and we have travelled 540 miles in these three days to get him there. He is VERY good and has a lot of potential and a true love for the game, otherwise we would have never made this commitment. But if you add the extra food costs, gas, and the fees we've already paid, this is tourning out to be a very expensive, not to mention time consuming venture.

It's not that he's not worth it, it's just the expectation. Why aren't car pools organized? Because what GOOD parent would ever miss a SINGLE game? And so they all drive up separately and most stay in a hotel and eat out all weekend. It's not like our family could afford to do that.

And this is the first time that fellow players and the coach are really stressed when one of my kids can't be at the game -- he's that good. Just wait until next weekend when we tell them that we are completely skipping a 10:30 a.m. Sunday game because church comes first.

I know, I'm ranting a little. . . I get the point and how sports teach values and how important parental support is, and I'm not faulting anyone. But it is just one of our forays into attempting normalcy that shows once again that the life we have chosen is not like every one else.

Monday, May 21, 2007

What About Bob Again

Last year I posted about the movie What about Bob?. I recently found it on sale for $6.00 so I bought it and the kids have been watching it non stop. Even though it is 16 years old, it is still so hilarious. Some of them practically have it memorized...

But again, the frightening thing to see is how the psychiatrist gets progressively more crazy. This is totally what happened to me over the first 5 years of adoptive parenting. In my attempts to change my children I nearly went insane. I think a breaking point for me was the time I chipped a tooth grating my teeth with anger at Mike for who knows what.... I was SO determined that i was going to teach these kids and get them to change.

Now, I look at it a bit differently and try (though I still have a 50-75% failure rate each day) to accept them the way they are and enjoy their idiocyncracies. And whether or not this approach will make a difference is yet to be seen, but it still makes me feel a lot better.

Some Progress

I have an annoying personality. I know that it annoys many others, but at times it is most annoying to me.

You see, I can't give up. I have to finish something. I have to keep trying one thing or another to try to make something work. It becomes especially annoying when I can't get one of my technological devices to do what I need it to do.

Saturday and Sunday nights I had a very large fight with both my printers trying to get graduation announcements done. Bart told me that I should give up. He told me I had invested way too much time in it.

Now since when is the fact that I have invested a lot of time a reason to give up? That is the reasont to try HARDER to get it done right so that I don't look back and think that I wasted all of the time for nothing.

At 9:45 I had a breakthrough and actually got them to print. And we got half of them done before I ran out of ink. So, I will be going to the store (in addition to the psychiatrist twice and an MD for two kids) this morning to get another cartridge. By 4 p.m. the stupid things will be in the mail.

I kept plugging along trying one more thing, researching one more troubleshooting website, checking one more message board trying to figure out the problem. And wouldn't you know, it finally paid off.

I think this is why I can continue to parent kids with multiple challenges. It's that hope that if I keep learning, keep looking for it, keep researching, keep trying new things, that eventually I will reach every kid. I see every morning as an opportunity to try again when I have failed, every day as a fresh start, every week as the beginning of possibilities for each child.

And with that attitude, even though at times it annoys the world, these kids will reach adulthood. And I'll still be alive as well.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

My Deepest Apologies

I didn't blog today. I left at 8:15 to get gas before church and after church we left for Ricardo's soccer tournament -- I mean we RAN out of the church and he was still 20 minutes late. But I'm not going to let sports be more important than church -- it's a family value we try to reinforce often.

Got home at 6:45 and started working on Rand's graduation announcements again. The printer still will not work. I am beyond angry and frustrated. I have tried everything I can think of and it is not working.

If I have time I'll tell you the whole pathetic story of the Rand's graduation announcement saga. It will most likely take you to beyond angry, just like me. Or maybe it won't.

But I don't need stress about little things like this to add to bigger things.

So, I'm sorry I've been a bad blogger.... I'll do better, once I get these stupid announcements done.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


I could spend a long time talking about how irritated I am. Rand's graduation announcements never came, so I am scrambling trying to get them done on my own... and that is annoying.

And my internet connection has been nasty bad.

And I have been up since 5:15.

ANd lots of things have not gone all that well today.

BUT, Ricardo scored three goals in the tournament today.

and we had a good enough time.

And Bart is finally home.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Poster Child for ODD

I am going to make it. I keep telling myself that I'm going to make it.

But Tony may just push me over the edge. He has been oppositional all week long about everything. He ha a therapist and she sometimes just stares in awe of how oppositional he is. Her mouth hangs open. She laughs. She is amazed.

Tonight he insisted that we rent a movie. He had a major meltdown because he really wanted one. I figure hey, Rebox DVD at Mcdonald's, $1.00 and I will buy two hours of him being quiet. But then Dominyk had ot pick one. So, I figure hey, Redbox DVDs at McDona'ds and $2.00 and I will buy two hours of them being quiet.

So, we get in the van to come home and then it is an argument about who is going to watch which movie where. Of course, they both want to watch it upstairs at the same time right away. So I finally convince Dominyk that he can watch it downstairs, to which Tony says, "I WANT TO." So I tell Dominyk he can watch his upstairs then. Tony screams NO, I want the upstairs. Trying to be mature and help alleviate stress, Dominyk finally offers to wait and watch his tomorrow morning on our trip. But then Tony begins a major meltdown about how it was HIS movie that needed to be watched tomorrow in the van.

So, you guessed it. Neither of them ended up watching either movie tonight. And tomorrow we will start it all over again. Although I'm thinking about "forgetting" Tony's movie -- as I know he won't remember it.

Tonight he just about pushed me over the edge with torturing everyone older than him that was home tonight. One by one he pushed every one of them to the point that they wanted to kill him. And then he started in on me. When I physically escorted him to his room he was screaming bloody murder and said "I hope the neighbors hear me."

And all I could think to myself was, "If they heard you all week long through the windows, they'd surely think you had it coming."

At lesat he listens to his Dad . . . not all the time, but moreso than he does me.

His plane is coming home in 24 hours. I can't wait.

I Can See the Finish Line from Here

Well, tomorrow morning at 5:45 we will leave for Ricardo's soccer tournament. JImmy, Tony, Dominyk, and Sadie will be going with me. It's a 1 1/2 hour drive. We have games at 8 and 12.

Bart's plane comes in at 10... and he is planning to join us at the 12:00 game. I can't WAIT to see him.

This week has been fine -- the kids have been really good, but the week has lasted forever.

Sunday night's radio broadcast.

Save the Date
Sunday May 20, 2007

You Gotta Believe! The Adopting Teens and Tweens Radio broadcast is hosting another great radio support group show.

This Sunday's radio broadcast will be our support group show. Pat Dudley the Director of the Long Island office and also a seasoned adoptive parent will be hosting our radio broadcast along with Chester Jackson.

This weeks studio guest is Danielle Skelly. Mrs. Skelly is the adoptive parent of two and also a professional in the field of Child welfare. This awesome trio of adoptive parents and Professionals will be available to answer questions and provide support. Callers are welcome to call into this live broadcast at (631) 888-8811.

You Don't want to miss the Adopting Teens and Tweens Radio broadcast !


just so you know, i did blog this morning. And it was good. and It didn't get published. And I'm annoyed.

I lost it all.


Thursday, May 17, 2007


Walked into the coffee shop this afternoon and ran into Kari's Mom and Dad and the first words she said were, "You haven't blogged yet."

And it reminded me that I hadn't.

Lately if I'm not taking time to do a good post, I'm just choosing not to post at all. Which I suppose is lazy on my part, but I would hate to bore everyone.

Another uneventful night last night, and a good morning this morning, so things are going well. I was struggling with not getting much done in my office, so I thought a change of scenery might be good, so met Kari for lunch and we didn't even know her folks were here.

Now I'm going to try to get a few things done before I pick up the kids from school. Just 48 more hours and Bart will be back...


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Concert Pictures

Apparently in order to get good pictures at a school concert, one needs to have a much better camera than my $400 one. Guess after I buy that IPhone I'll need to start saving blog income for a new camera.

Here's some pictures of the two concerts I've been to in the last week.

As you can see, getting a good shot is hard.

Unless you wait until after the concert...

Good News

Uneventful morning with the kid, but some great news this morning has made my day.

I haven't announced this yet, but we're getting a new youth pastor at our church AND the big bonus is that one of my favorite poeple from one of my jobs is his wife who is going to be working with me here, in person, instead of from afar. And that is cool news. They should be moving in June and then you will hear much more about them I am sure.

But how cool is God? Sending really quality people, married to each other, to come and join Bart and I in our collective and separate missions in life.

Can't get much better than that...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Full Day

It has certainly been a full day. . . with so much activity I can hardly find the energy to blog it all. It concluded with Salinda's choir concert and an IM conversation with Bart, finally, who even blogged some of his observations tonight.

Kari and her husband made supper for all of us at their place which was so awesome of them.

I was feeling pretty squirrelly tonight and told them that I thought my mission statement for life should be

My mission is to provide an opportunity for those with the gift of servanthood with someone to serve.

OK, i know. Rude and silly, but sometimes I crack myself up.

And then, something happened at supper that was so funny I laughed so hard I snorted, but Bart says it is naughty and I know he wouldn't want it posted.

So, a full day. Music, and sport, and work, and laughing til you snort, and good friends, and lots of activity.

So, for a day away from the best guy in the world, it wasn't half bad.

And I Pay for My Mistake

I know there are some general rules about parenting kids with special needs. One is that you don't change the routine unless it is absolutely necessary.

This mornign I was tired. Tony did a great job of getting himself ready for school yesterday, so I decided to get him up and then go back to sleep instead of showering before waking anyone up. It felt so good to sleep that xtra half hour and I was so proud that Tony was able to do what he was supposed to do (or so I thought) and let me sleep. So, I get up to say goodbye to him as he leaves for the bus to see that he only walked down to the living room, laid down on the couch and fell back asleep.

So, the price of my changing the routine? A very quick, very cold shower and a trip to school in the van that I would have been able to avoid.

So, even though I travel around telling pre-adoptive and adoptive parents that you have to have structure, structure, structure, and don't ever waiver from routine, everyonceandawhile I decide the kids are old enough, mature enough, ready enough for me to change one little time.

And then I pay . . . and hopefully remember for a long time.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Viene Ricardo con la pelota y . . . GOAL

Ricardo's got the ball and ti's a GOAL. If you've ever watched soccer on TV in Latin america you know how this sounds.

Score was 3-2, we lost, but Ricardo scored the first goal and it was awesome. Jimmy and Dominyk were well behaved (OK, so compared to their normal selves they were). Friends helped out with Tony and scouting and I was able to go without fear.

I stayed up way too late (can't ever make myself go to bed when Bart isn't here). But I need to or I will be way too tired tomorrow.

Two down, four to go

Two nights without Bart are gone. I didn't sleep well, but it had nothing to do with Mike.

Process left a comment about our safety and a restraining order. We looked into that, but in order to do it we have to have proof that he would do something. Since aggression isn't his issue, I don't know that we could prove that we needed a restraining order. It isn't so much that I am afraid of what he will do, it is just unsettling to know that he might show up at any time that makes me feel uncomfortable.

The other really nice thing about our lives is that Kari shares her awesome husband Mike with me. We saw them again last night and I thanked Mike for being the kind of guy that I knew would get up and come over in the middle of the night if I called him. It's great to have friends like that. They live less than a mile away and I know he'd be here in three minutes even if I called at 3:00 a.m. Fortunately we haven't had to take advantage of that blessing, but friends like that are awesome.

Today we have four eye doctors appointments to start our day, then I have a homestudy visit, am traiing a new PCA and tonight we're heading to the twin cities for a soccer game. Our wonderful friends Tim and Sue are covering the boy scout meeting for Tony...

Some days we could really use more parents in this family.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day Musings

It's Mother's Day. Should be a simple day, one would think. Just look at the Hallmark commercials.

But it isn't an easy day for everyone. Multiple thoughts run through my head each year.

First I think about my own mother, a most amazing person, who without knowing it did exactoy what she was supposed to do to assure that I was healthily attached and secure from before my birth. A person who, without fail has lived all of her 77 years and 360 days with integrity, dignity, compassion. My first thought on mother's day are of my own mother and the extreme gratitude I feel towards her for all she did for me as I grew up.

And then I think about my children. My first thought on Mother's Day is of their birthmothers. I think about what life must have been like for them on the days that they gave birth to my children... the bleak world they must have lived in, the struggles they had, the unfair hand they had been dealt. And I think of their pain on this day to not be with these amazing people whom they gave the gift of life.

And then I think of the birthing process and how I have never been through it. I did not go through an infertiility struggle, just got so busy parenting to even care if I could have children. And I think of how I do not know how i could love a child any more than I do my children who someone else gave birth to.

And then I think of myself as a mother -- all my failures, imperfections, frustrations.

And then I think of God, my father/mother who loves me perfectly.

And then I decide to stop thinking and not focus too much on the day, because it's all so complex.

I call my mom, I wish her a happy mother's day. I expect nothing from my children who struggle with this day, and am thrilled with everything special they do for me.

And then I ralize I've made it through another year and move on.


Last night the person Mike is staying with called. As predicted, he had told her something quite untrue. He told her that we had said to him that he could not talk to us for one month. As you know, that was not quite how things went. I explained a few thingis to her, but we had peope over and the conversation was confusing to say the least.

But last night several unsettling things happened. Dominyk said he saw MIke jumping up to look in my bedroom window in the middle of the night, but that was most likely a dream. The porch door was open -- but that was most likely the wind. There were lots of noises during teh night, but I think it was some of the other kids going to the bathroom.

But it's still unsettling to know that one of our children is very capable and almost predispositioned to break into our home and steal our things. When Bart is here, I know he would deal with it, but when he isn't it falls on me, and there aren't any of my older kids here that would be able to help deal with it.

So..... I made it through the first night. Only five more to go.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

160 hours left.

Bart will be home in less than 160 hours.

Tony and Dominyk have been trying to outdo each other in being agitated, annoying and volatile. Tony broke a window. Dominyk has been screaming.

It hasn't helped that I stayed here today and tried to clean and get things done.

Tomorrow we're going to do something OUTSIDE of this house.

miss you, Bart.

Facing the Week Ahead

Bart is taking a personal vacation. He is leaving today and will be gone a week. He is going and doing all kinds of things I don't care to do, so I not really wishing I could go with him as I know I'd ruin his trip.

BUT, I am sad he is leaving. I do okay without him, but it's a lot of work. The way we have things divided as far as responsibilities in our house isn't "normal." I work 2 jobs, he works one, but it is very full time. In addition, he does the grocery shopping, the cooking and a bulk of the cleaning. I do laundry on weekdays (and have kept up lately) and I take care of scheduling, appointments, therapy, psychiatrist, doctor visits, IEP meetings, school stuff, transportation to and from events.

WHen I go out of town I take care of everything ahead of time, but I can't ask him to cook all the meals ahead of time. SO when he leaves, I have to grocery shop, plan menus and cook. Every part of that is annoying to me.

But the biggest reason that I don't like it when he goes is that I miss him... not the things he does, but him. He is bright, funny, witty and can make me smile inside, even if not outside, almost every time. He has a different perspective than mine, and so we balance each other out. And, at night, just knowing he is with me here in the house makes me feel safe.

But I am committing myself not to whine too much and make him feel guilty and ruin his opportunity to see historical sites and attend a geneology conference with joy.

I know the week will be OK. I just need to take it one hour at a time. It is packed and busy, full of end of the year activities at school, soccer games, four eye appointments, 3 doctors appointments and 3 therapy appointments.... I am not worried about being bored.

Have a great time, honey!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Fun in the Park

The Kari's and us went to the park for pizza and this great "Buster Bar" dessert that Kari made. It was awesome and we had a great time. I was the one who wimped out and said it was time to go because I was cold, even though the most of the boys were in the lake. BRRRRR.

Final list of Top Fives

Well, my ODD is really kicking in.

Not only does my husband not like it that I'm posting here but Jack is warning me that I might get banned by google for doing so.

Now isn't that clever? What a great way to get more traffic to your website! Tell everyone who is trying to get traffic to their blog that they shouldn't be linking Darren's contest winners.

And, I must say, Jack, that you certainly did not read my post that you commented on, or you might not have called me "Dude."

So, to annoy my husband and to spite Jack (because lately my google rating is the last thing on my mind) here's the last section of Top Five contests.

  • Top 5 Ways To Plan an Easy Move by Single Ma

  • Top 5 Italian Words You Really Don’t Want to Mispronounce by Sognatrice

  • Top 5 technology websites by Jaganath S R

  • Top 5 Things To Do Online Before Your Trip by Maria Paz Luque

  • Top 5 Reasons Bill Gates Can’t Get No Respect by Great White Snark

  • My top 5 single sentence movie reviews by blaiq

  • Top 5 Ways Humanity Will Use Blogging to Evolve Our Species by Jesse S. Somer

  • Top 5 Birthday Cards Design from Pigeon Card by Pigeon Card

  • Top 5 livros essenciais by Ibrahim Cesar

  • 5 Lessons Learned From Pitching VCs by Benjamin Yoskovitz

  • Top 5 Things To Do in Istanbul by Mert Erkal

  • Top Five Uses For Magnetic Bracelets by Forest Mitchell

  • My Top 5 Most Important Comics by Lew Newmark

  • Songs That Make Me Insanely Happy - The Top 5 by Jester

  • My Top 5 Wordpress Plugin Ideas by Tech Lemming

  • O Top 5 dos… Top 5! by Rafa

  • Top 5 Hollywood actors of the last 30 years by Biby Cletus

  • Avoiding the Chemical Sandwich of Doom…Plus 4 More Tips from The Practical Archivist by Sally Jacobs

  • The 5 things that Helped me Finish the Ironman by Triathlete Dad

  • 5 Benefits Podcasting has helped my business by The Freq

  • I Fly Free & Get Paid To Have Sex by Jeffrey Strain

  • Turn Your Meager Blog Income into a Million Dollars by Chris B.

  • Top 5 Blogs by Musicians by Emma

  • 5 reasons why Hollywood should spend less money on their movies by Patrick Rijnders

  • Top Five Acne Treatments by Maggie and Will

  • 5 Easy Daily Habits To Put Your Weight Loss On Autopilot by Time To Get Fit

  • Top 5 Most Wanted Answer in Physics by LaymanSc

  • Alguns títulos longos by Alexandre

  • Top 5 Ways To Get Your Baby To Fall Asleep by Moxie (of Ask Moxie)

  • How I look at life now that I am half a century old by Christina Kong

  • 5 Sympathies For The Devil by msierra

  • 5 Great Sites for Landscaping How To Videos by Paul Sayer

  • Five things to remember when you adopt an older child. by Joanne

  • The Top 5 List of Top 5 Lists on Blogging by Cristian

  • Men’s Deodorant is Better Than Women’s … Top Five by Toonses

  • Top 5 Ways that Real Estate Can Help You Become a Millionaire by Saving for Wealth

  • Top 5 Ways To Always Have a Job by Justin Driscoll

  • Top 5 Ways to Find What Makes You Happy by Shannon Turlington

  • Five things that I love about camping by Steve

  • No sex yet? You still should sleep together! by Angel Cupid

  • Five (Free!) resources for the burgeoning art student by Max Lawson

  • Five Ways to Make Money Scrapbooking by Todd

  • Top Five Little Known Wordpress Plugins by Pallab De

  • Top 5 Reasons to Participate in Probloggers Group Writing Projects by Lynn Terry

  • 5 Reasons Why Stand-Up Comics Make Better Copywriters by Roberta Rosenberg

  • Top 5 Reasons Why I Started a Personal Finance Blog by Dy Phan

  • Five Steps to Start Working From Home by Char Polanosky

  • Top 5 Reasons I Should Be Have My "Grown Up" Card Revoked For Being a Moron by zoot

  • Top Five Values that You Can Learn from Wine Corks by Buda Baby

  • Top 5 Reasons You Should Be Grilling by Grill Maestro


  • Top 5 Latest New Jersey Controversies by Deb/Jersey Girl

  • Top 5 Video Games that should be turned into movies by betshopboy

  • Top 5 Reasons You Should Stop Calling Yourself a Writer, Right Now by Jeff

  • The Top 5 Things That Will Check Your Pre-Wedding Bliss by Never teh Bride

  • 5 truly talented artists you’ve never heard of. by Conscious

  • Top 5 places to eat gluten free by Lucy

  • Top 5 US President Bankruptcies by Ian

  • Do It All and Still Stay Sane by Kathryn Lang

  • Top Five Reasons I Look Great on a Gluten Free Diet by Natalie

  • Five strangely named websites that made it big by Dhruv Kumar

  • Save money on the Top 5 Most expensive things in your life by Marshall Middle

  • Top 5 Super Foods by Melanie Thomassian

  • Top 5 Reasons to get outta bed in the morning. by rel

  • Top Five Ways to Turbo Boost you Mac for Free by Kenny Roberts

  • Top 5 Reasons To Start A Business by Jason Drohn

  • Five essential skills for blogging success by Shonnie Lavender

  • Five Killer Apps That Keep Me Using Kubuntu by Chris Rohde

  • Top 5 Reasons Why Wives Love Radio Control Airplanes by The Hobby Guy

  • Top 5 Signs You’ve Graduated to the Copywriting Big Leagues by Dina Giolitto

  • Five People for Your Success by Milo

  • Top 5 reasons getting a fire-fighter by Wolfgang Maslo

  • Top Five Bible Verses On Money And Stewardship by Savvy Steward

  • Top 5 reasons you should not listen to finance professionals by Nordicmoney

  • Top 5 Internet Marketing Mistakes by The Internet Marketing Monitor

  • Top 5 Free Ways to Promote Your Writing Business by Yvonne Russell

  • top 5 things my pantry needs to have by Loretta

  • CelebrityCatch & 5 Hottest Celebrities by Cindy

  • Top 5 Worst Jobs I Have Ever Had by Angela

  • Big Fat Deal’s Top 5 Size-Positive Songs for Girls Who Rock Their Curves by Weetabix

  • TOP 5 - People I respect in this World by Philip Yong

  • The Top 5 Google Tools I Use Every Day by Hugh Hollowell

  • Top 5 Reasons to Visit and Subscribe to ecocheap by Char

  • Top 5 reasons why it’s bad to be a good listener by Jude

  • Five Things Pediatricians Do That Drive Me Crazy by Terri Mauro

  • The Top 5 FREE Software Programs Every Writer Should Have by Rob in Denver

  • 5 top reasons to market your business on the Internet by Andrew Timberlake

  • Top 5 worst things about blogosphere by Pavel

  • Want To Make Real Change? Stop Making These 5 Mistakes by Melissa LaRose

  • Top 5 Things to Do With an Idea by Andrew G.R.

  • Top 5 Reasons Writers Should Procrastinate by Alicia Sparks

  • Top 5 Reasons You Should NOT Make Money Online by Ryan Ambrose

  • A world fit to be conquered: Five steps to total real estate listing dominance by Greg Swann

  • Top 5 Money Making blogs I Envy by Ramanujam

  • Top 5 Favorite Disc Golf Courses by Jeff Sill

  • Top 5 Things That Hurt Your Online Advertising by Chris Cagle

  • The Top 5 Websites that are Changing Aging by Eric Schubert

  • Why build a boat… blog? by Bruce C. Dillahunty

  • Top Five Misconceptions of Puerto Rico by BW

  • Cman’s Top 5 Tips for Building a Profitable Blog by Johnathan Long

  • The secret is out! The top five things guys really want by Bruce Mulkey

  • Top 5 Newsletter Design Tips by Martin Reed

  • Top Five Methods to Check How Physically Fit You Are. by Harikrishnan

  • Top 5 Tips for the Potential Pushy Parent by John Parsons

  • Top 5 things I look for in a blog by Bengt Wendel

  • Photoshop Lightroom: Top 5 Features & Tips by Ryan R Dlugosz

  • My Top 5 Favorite Flowers by Lynda Walldez

  • Top 5 Herbs in my Herb Garden by James

  • Top 5 Tools to Build an Online Community by Joseph

  • Top 5 tips for getting backlinks to your websites by vijay

  • Top 5 Tips For Better Photographs by Joe Szymanski

  • Green Ignorance: Top 5 Mistakes I’ve Made While Trying to Be Earth Friendly by Billy Shih

  • Moving online journalism to Linux: Top 5 programs by Megan Taylor

  • The top 5 lessons I learned at Kindermusik by Alli Crumley

  • Top 5 Drunk Celebrities Caught on Video by Chris

  • WiFi in the Wild! by Valerie

  • 5 Incredible Things You Can Do After Divorce by Helene Taylor

  • Top five reasons why ‘Ignorance is bliss’ by Amit Sethi

  • Camels, donkeys, and sheiks oh my! by Lady Macleod

  • 5 reasons to use Ubuntu and not Windows by Tim Fuchs

  • My five favorite 100-calorie meals by Sarah Lewis

  • Top 5 Muscle Cars Of All Times by Quais Waseeq

  • Top 5 Autopilot Moneymakers for Your Website or Blog by Toivo Lainevool

  • Top 5 browsing tips for safe online life. by Ramanathan

  • Five Inspirational Quotes For Conversational Blogging by Dawud Miracle

  • Top 5 Author Blogs by Todd

  • Top 5 steps for bloggers to get written about in newspapers and magazines by hobbit hob

  • Top 5 Timesaving Google Shortcuts and Search Operators by Marc and Angel

  • Top 5 Greatest Collaborative Renderings Of A Fictional Male Character In Movies or TV by Todd Howard

  • Mamas! Read your blogs! by Shawn

  • Five Favorite Comic Strip Characters by Neal

  • My Phabulous Philly top 5 by Stargazer

  • Top 5 property investing tips by Rod Thomas

  • Top 5 Fantasy Baseball Minor League Prospects by Knox

  • The Ultimate Top 5 Reasons to Teach English Overseas in Korea! by Gdog

  • Top 5 of our favorite "Top 5" Memes by Elastic Waist

  • What is the Point of Your PowerPoint? (1 of 3) by Alan Bradford

  • The Top Five Ways Nakedpastor Stays Naked by nakedpastor

  • The most ridiculous items on eBay that I must have by shawna

  • Top 5 Recent Movies that Have Influenced Me Spiritually… by Carlton Matthews

  • Those Lazy Days Of Summer - Got A Pet? - Keep It Safe by Ruth Bird

  • Top 5 Skincare Tips by Rhonda

  • Top 5 ways to entertain yourself when you are bored [at work] by elysa

  • Top Five Challenges Newbies Face Online by Gaya

  • Top 5 Linux distributions by Linux Operating System

  • Stránky o regresní terapii (top) by Martin

  • 5 tipov ako zarábať na blogu by Jaro

  • The Top 5 Films You Never Thought Someone Would Produce (But Thank God They Did) by Vishal K Bharadwaj

  • The Five Best Brain Teasers of All Time by Dr. Kaplan

  • The Top 5 Reasons Chocolate Lovers Love San Diego by Carole Lane

  • Top 5 Forms Of Website and Blog Monetization for 2008 by Adnan

  • Top 5 Ways to Get (and Stay) Fit!! by Adrienne Saia

  • Top 5 Reasons Why I Love Being Plus Size by Sassy Sarah

  • My top five Chattanooga choices for Mother’s Day lunch by Alicia Crumley

  • 5 Reasons Dogs Can Be Annoying (And Why We Love Them Anyway) by Rhona Sutter

  • (Re)Fill Your iPod: Top 5 Ways To Find New Music by Neal

  • Giant Jenga Game Saves the World, One Page at a Time. Wait. What? by Riley LaShea

  • Mortgage 101: Top Five Signs of Predatory Lending by elle mackenna

  • Top 5 Ways To Break Out Of A Boring Life by Ray Dotson

  • The Easiest Meditations by Nneka

  • 5 Ways Criminal Thinking Can Make You Happier by Maile

  • A top (4+1) ways to face rejection by RJ Light

  • Congestion Pricing–5 Pros, 5 Cons by Claire Deveron

  • StumbleUpon Quintuplet From The King Of Blogging Gobshites by Andy Beard

  • 5 Things Moms Do RIGHT by Jordan (MamaBlogga)

  • More Money: 5 Ways to Earn Extra Cash in Your Spare Time by J.D. Roth

  • 5 things you should know before dating a journalist by Tom Chambers

  • High Fives and Other Small Moves with Big Impact by Andrew Barbaccia

  • "When It’s Time to STOP Writing" by Kristin Gorski

  • Top 5: Razones por las que quiero ganar este concurso by El Bloggero

  • 5 Low-Cost High-Impact Relatively Immediate Search Marketing Tactics by Sasha

  • Top 5 Reasons to Marry a Geek by Eric Giguere

  • Top 5 Reasons PHP Developers Love Rails by Patrick Reagan

  • Five essential tools make blogging fun and easy by Brad Grier

  • Top 5 Filipino Bloggers by Jaypee Habaradas

  • Separated at Birth: Top 5 Song Mashups by Megan Gilbert

  • 5 Reasons why luxury pashmina is the Ultimate fibre by Sylvia Ellis

  • 5 motivos para fazer um top 5 em 5 minutos by Daniel Rodrigues "Cobalto"

  • Your Small Business is Worth More than a Free Email Address by Joe Rawlinson

  • Top Five Reasons To Work At Home by Laura Spencer

  • TOP 5 somethingVERTISING ads by Michal Pastier

  • Top Five Ways to Promote Your Artwork by Laurie Harshbarger

  • Top Five Celebrity Faux Paus by Denise Grier

  • Orgy Invitation: Top 5 Ways to Get One! by aag

  • Riding the Waves of Change aka Hints on how to deal with change by Adrienne

  • The Top 5 Emotional Intelligence FAQs by Galba Bright

  • The 411: The top 5 kids crafts websites by Alicia Crumley

  • Top 5 tricks for taking professional looking photos with your digital camera by Samir Bharadwaj

  • Top 5 Kuwait T-Shirts That Should Be In My Closet by

  • 5 Tops Ways to Use a VA by Kathie Thomas

  • The Top 5 (of 12) Steps to Market by Patrick Nolan

  • The Top 5 Supporting Characters on NBC’s ‘The Office’ by Myles

  • Top 5 Applications Every Gamer Should Have by Mike Raffensperger

  • The Rule of the FIVE by Austin Realtor’s Wife

  • Top 5 Pagan References On Screen by Johanne Drever

  • Top 5 Productivity Enhancing Ideas For Busy People by Chris Pangburn

  • The Top 5 Things You Can Do For Your Kids…EVER by Aaron Emerson

  • The top 5 things about Glasgow that make me want to kill myself by Jon Kane

  • Top 5 Reasons to Save Your Grandmother’s DNA by Blaine Bettinger

  • Five TV Shows on the Bubble That Should Be Saved by Jason - The TVaholic

  • Top 5 Reasons to Close a Trade by Babak

  • Top 5 Ways to Increase Your Revenues while Decreasing Your Effort by Jim

  • Five Podcast Categories by dpeach

  • Time Is Money: My TOP 5 Time-Saving Pro Blogging Tips by Easton Ellsworth

  • Its Time For Another Round of ‘Things that Have Come Out of My Mouth Today by Erika

  • Top 5 ferramentas Linux para Desenvolvedores by Rafael Schouery

  • Top 5 Action Steps to Build an Online Business by Derrick Markotter

  • My Favorite Standby Knitting Projects by Tricia

  • Top 5 Ways to Improve Your Rock Climbing Skills by Ryan Bombard

  • Top 5 Things I’ve Discovered My Mom Lied About by Brian Metzger

  • The Top 5 Mistakes English Speakers Make When Speaking Spanish by David Grove

  • Fantastic Five: 5 Freeware Apps You Don’t Know About by Tyler Cipriani

  • Five Ways to Improve Your Photography by Mike Rothermel

  • Top 5 Ways to Get a Good Photo by Joodie

  • Nancy Drew, 5 Reasons Your Mom, Sister, Wife, and Daughter Want to be Her by Heidi Fournier

  • 5 Future Events That Will Rock by Ian Byrd

  • Top 5 (+20) Ideas to Break Your Duck by Prince John

  • Top 5 Ways to Avoid E.Coli in the Workplace by Joe Raasch

  • Top 5 navegadores web by Matheus Smythe Svolenski

  • The Top Five Things You Can Learn from Rosie O’Donnell by Winnie McCarthy

  • Top 5 Self-Help Myths by Peter Haslam

  • Top 5 Intimidating Male American Gladiators by Dan Engler

  • Top 5 Ways the Internet Can Save You Money by junger

  • Five Hotels in Buenos Aires I wish I could afford to stay in… by Alan Patrick

  • Five Under-Emphasized PowerPoint Best Practices by Jim MacLennan

  • 5 Song Titles by 5 Singers That Tell A Story by GoingLikeSixty

  • Top 5 Indicators of Sustainable Coffee by Bird Barista

  • Mensagem do Dia Das Mães - Top 5 habilidades desses seres maravilhosos by Alex Alvarez

  • As Cinco Melhores Coisas Para Fazer na Cama by Dnara

  • Top 5 TiVo Hacks (for non-hackers) by Dave Zatz

  • Top 5 - Erros que se Cometem Com o Primeiro Blog by Nospheratt

  • Top 5 Reasons Why Building is Better than Buying by

  • Top 5 Desserts on by Sarina Nicole

  • Top 5 Emerging Blogs by Dre

  • Top 5 ways I’ve made money as an indie artist by Des

  • 10 Embarrasing Things I Spend Money On by gregg o’connell

  • Top 5 Board Games I Grew Up Playing by Tahir Fayyaz

  • Top 5 Slept-On Grunge Classics by Martin Skivington

  • Five Easy Ways to Grow Your StumbleUpon Network by Maki

  • Top Five Things You Probably Don’t Know About Alberto Gonzales by Josh Nelson

  • 5 Reasons You Should Learn A Craft by Donna

  • Pastel de Vento TOP 5 (movie soundtracks) - As trilhas sonoras favoritas do Pastel de Vento by Fritador de Pastel

  • Top 5 Reasons Everyone Should Own a Home Business by Danielle Chonody

  • Top 5 Things I Should Have Told You, But Didn’t. by Hopkinscutie

  • The Top 5 Reasons Darren Rowse is a Marketing Genius by Kent Newsome

  • Top 5 American Idol Parodies by Thomas McMahon

  • Why Life = Paradox: Top Five by Lauren Oujiri

  • You’re Fired! - 5 Reasons Blogging Leads to the Unemployment Line by engtech

  • Top 5 reasons more black bloggers are needed by Glen L Johnson

  • Top 5 Ways to Spark Your Creativity by CJ

  • Thank You, George Bernard by Mandy Muse

  • 5 Fashion trends we hope we never see again by Cecil E. Rudd

  • 5 Ways how I personalized my Internet by Stijn Vogels

  • Top 5 Young Entrepreneur Projects by Dennis

  • Top 5 Gluten Free Foods To Make Your Mouth Water by Karen

  • Top 5 Defining Songs by Madame Pocklock

  • How To be More Sexy - Latina Style by Eliane

  • Top 5 Things to Consider When Thinking About Starting a Business by Amanda G

  • 5 Things I’d Do With An Endless Supply of $ by One Frugal Girl

  • Juggling Frogs: I’ll show you mine if you show me yours… by Juggling Frogs

  • Top 5 Things to Avoid Saying to a Lady by Joel Corriveau

  • Top 5 kitchen tools that bring me joy by wingerz

  • Top 5 Strategies to Google Adwords Glory by Benjamin

  • Top 5 memorable moments from the U.S. naturalization process by Jim Gibbon

  • Photo Kayaker Top 5 Tips for Shooting Paddlers by Marek Uliasz

  • Top 5 Web Addictions That Keep Me From Productivity by Laura Law

  • Top 5 Ways to Discern Between Humans and Zombies by Andy Fry

  • Five Forgotten Forms of Forestalling Filling Out Probloggers "Favorite Five" Post by Matthew Anderson

  • Top 5 Real Reasons Venezuela Kicked Out the IMF by Joey

  • Top 5 Reasons Cyclists Shave Their Legs by UltraRob

  • Five things I wish someone had told me by phoenix

  • 5 Simple Deer Repellent Tips by Repellent Review

  • Mission Imblogable: 5 tips for parents of young bloggers by Chris Wondra

  • Five easy pieces of white by Kim B.

  • Top 5 Rules For Making Your Blog A Success by Gleb

  • Top 5 Ways To Use Your Senses To Achieve Your Fitness Goals by Fitness Mantra

  • Top 5 Tips For Handling Collection Agencies by Kimberly Fry

  • Top 5 Easiest Ways to Solve Almost Any Problem by Batronyx a.k.a. "Barry"

  • Top five thoughts I have in my head right now… by Remi

  • Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Become a Co-op Blogger by Will Chen

  • 5 Steps to Getting the Man of Your Dreams by Terry Ng

  • 5 Things I Learned Between Naps by Susan

  • Top 5 Mistakes Made By Real Estate Investors During the Housing Bubble by Joshua Dorkin

  • 5 Things You Can Learn About Marketing From Pro Wrestling by Paul Nilsen

  • Top 5 destinations for upcoming music artists to promote their music by Ashish Sinha

  • Square Root of 25 Reasons to ‘Start my own blog’ by Tyson

  • Top 5 Natural Health Essentials for A Happy, Healthy Dog by Renée

  • The Top 5 Best Ways To Advertise Your Blog If You’ve Only Got $10 by Cory O’Brien

  • Top 5: Moving Beyond The Wrong Relationship by Meg

  • The Great .com Scavenger Hunt - Part 1 by Robert Tatum

  • Top 5 Reasons Your Girlfriend Shouldn’t Act Like Your Mom by Brandon Allen

  • Five Great Adventures by Tina

  • The Top 5 Steps to Job & Joy by Joerg Weisner

  • Blogging is Quintessential! by Evelyn

  • Top Five Ways To Make Money Online by Jaya Lakshmi

  • 5 häufigsten fehler in der hundeerziehung by Manfred Huszar

  • Top Five Things a Credit Card Must Offer by Jaya