Saturday, January 31, 2009

A wonderful quote from my husband

"I am cro-magnon while you are only neanderthal."

And I had to ask him how to spell it.

So he responds, "See? Cro-magnon knows how to spell."

ANd, as I'm blogging:

"I can't say anything. Its like being married to a court reporter."

I have to Share This Blog

Because it's awesome in so many ways.....

I'm sure you'll agree.

A Real Family.

The Start of a Great Saturday

There are only five children here this morning, and four of them are still asleep at 8:10. RIcardo and Leon are at an away wrestling match for the day and Rand is at work. Salinda has gone to spend the weekend with her boyfriend's family. I slept until 7 a.m. in my own bed and it felt wonderful. I got up an lazily finished the book that I started on the plane. Bart is in the kitchen with Dominyk making waffles and sausage for breakfast and I'm in the recliner unshowered, contentedly smiling.

Salinda didn't do too bad during her first week of online school. There were a flew technological glitches that I am ironing out ... only have one more that I have to contend with today and we should be good to go. She got most of this week's assignments done -- and she has until Tuesday to complete them, and her grades are mostly Bs. I know she can do better but she seems to be satisfied and it's her life. As long as she's following my guidelines and getting the work done, I'll not start to complain unless they are lower than the grades she was getting in public school.

I only have one email in my inbox that I can't take care of until Monday. Each night this week I have worked until it was all caught up and it's such a great feeling. Today I have new software to mess with and might just give myself a true break and allow myself to do some fun things. Next week I'll be back at it hard with meetings and home visits every day.

But for today, all is well.... my favorite kind of Saturday is me at the computer with new software, kids in and out, maybe a trip to the store with them....

and a husband in the kitchen.

It just doesn't get much better than this.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I really oughta pay attention

I was in TGIFridays at the airport. Content. By an outlet. Nice table. Settled in getting lots of work done. I look at my watch and oh no... it's only 40 minutes until my shuttle. So I hurry scurry pay the bill go get my luggage and head to the shuttle and then realize that I forgot to change my watch.

I coulda had another hour at the restaurant. But no. Now I'm sitting in some dumb chair with my laptop propped on top of my heavy suitcase and a glare on my screen. No refills, Nothing. Nada.


I need someone detail orientated to move into my head and remind me of things....

This global thinking stuff isn't worth beans when you travel...

Five nights, FIve beds, Ready to Go Home

I'm heading to the airport in a few minutes. I'm ready to be home. The way the trip ended up I've been in a different bed every night this week and I'm ready to crawl into my own tonight.

It's time to go back to reality where people call me mom hundreds of times a day and I get to sleep beside the most amazing man in the world.

Travelling reminds me that there is a great big world out there with millions of people with a life very different from mine. And while breaks from reality are fun, but really, the more I think about it, the more I realize I don't want to be anyone in the world besides me.

My life might be challenging and difficult at times, but I wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

From another Atlanta Hotel

I spent three hours at Cindy's today. Got to meet the famous Emily as well as see Yolie and her two kids and Sarah and her two kids. It was great fun to do so. Cindy asked me if I wanted to stay for supper.

I said,"Girlfriend, I have a hotel room paid for where I can be alone from 4 p.m. until morning. do you THINK I wanna stay at hour house for supper?"

I left as she was leaving to get the kids from school.


from my iphone from central, sc

Havent been online for fourteen hours. Might be a record. Heading to breakfast with my friend pete and then driving to cindy's for a viisit. I'm looking forward to a day of fun and a night to get caught up on work before I head home in the morning

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

We're at that stage...

Where we keep finding more and more mistakes and it's driving me nuts. I am definitely a global dreamer, not a nit-picky perfectionist.

And we are certainly at the latter stage and I'm getting quite tired.

Thanks for your input. The powers that be did not agree with you or me -- I liked the all white as well.

But we went with a blue textured background and I'm actually liking somethings about it more.

You may want to check out the resources link. There's some good stuff there.

Adoption Advocacy of South Carolina
. Check it out.

My Version of Site Seeing

I'm not a tourist. Don't enjoy it. In fact, this is my definition of seeing the State Capitol building in Atlanta. Well, I guess that's what it is. Now watch, someone will point out that Atlanta isn't the capital of Georgia or something and I'll be really embarrassed.

Anyway, I took the first two pictures from the rental car (also posted here) and the last picture, well, that's me realizing that I shouldn't be taking pictures in rush hour traffic.

But now I can say I've been to the Georgia state capitol. Isn't that great?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Support Group Cancelled for Tomorrow

Bart has a bit on his plate this week with me being gone so he is not going to be able to have spport group this week. We will let you know February's schedule soon.

I need Opinions, and since You're all Opinionated

I've been here working on a website for an agency.

Which one is better?

The all white one?

Or the one with the blue background?

Leave your comment to vote

Monday, January 26, 2009

Long but Good Day

Picked up my suitcase at the airport, got my rental car and then drove through Rush Hour in Atlanta and finally arrived in Greenville at 11:30. The people I am working with were ready to go and we got busy. Worked for several hours and then I headed to the hotel. We're making good progress on our project.

I just cranked steadily for 2 hours and got my inbox back to zero. Now I"m going to work a while on the project and then might even take it easy for a while.

Everything seems to be fine at home based on Bart's reports and I'm happy to be getting things done.....

Even if I never did take time to change yesterday's clothes.

And by the way, the folks down here are wimps. It was shorts weather and they are walking around in winter coats.

And there is green grass and leaves on the trees. What in the world????

It's 44 degrees

Which sounds cold to some but I will bask in it as if I am in Cancun since it's 44 degrees cooler at the moment where my family will soon be waking up.

It doesn't take long to get ready when you just have to shower and put on yesterday's clothes. I'm off to the airport and hopefully will be able to find my suitcase, rent my car, and be on my way to South Carolina....

My inbox is empty again. :-)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Devil is in the Details

Well, I'm in Atlanta. My suitcase, however, is who knows where... and let's just say our friend Murphy has been applying his law all over the place.

i still don't know where my luggage is. I need to call Delta. But i was in a hurry to get on the shuttle and apaprently the guys in Jackson Hole, Wyoming decided not to put half the luggage on a flight from there because the plane was too heavy. So the line at the Baggage Service was so long, and my shuttle was waiting, so I just skipped it and decided I'd call and then check in the morning when I go to rent my car.

So I got to the hotel to check in and I was at the wrong hotel. But since there were two Hiltons with similar names, the shuttle driver just went ahead and gave me a ride here.

And fortunately there's a gift shop with food items and toiletries that I probably just paid $30 for .... because with no clean underwear I was fortunate enough to receive a surprise a few days early.....

And I arrived here planning to blog about this but Bart beat me to it.

But it could be worse. Much worse. I could be without my laptop.

As long as I've got my Mac, life's good....

Final Things

I'm going through the final things I need to do before church and then, after church, it's lunch, and the shuttle. I'm loading my Ipod with episodes of Grey's Anatomy (pathetic I can't even watch one TV show without having to download it) and I have a book. I have a notebook as well, which is all anyone who likes to write really needs.

My bags are packed and I'm ready to go....thank you John Denver.

It's always nice to get a way for a brief time to a different place with different responsibilities. And I'm always glad to come back home.

I'll attempt to post more later today.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Empty Inbox!!!

A victory that has not been achieved since July 16, 2008.

OK, bring em on smart alecs....

The Countdown

I am leaving tomorrow after church, so today I begin the countdown that includes a to-do list and my need to click off so many things before I go. I get like this often before trips -- determined to have certain projects done so I don't have to come back to them. I started the high expectation to do list on Monday and made good progress until I got to the Salinda School Crisis which took up a good bit of three of my days.

However, she had an excellent day yesterday. We finished her enrollment and we withdrew her from her old school, turned in her books, and cleaned out her locker which didn't take long. She was up on her own before she would have been had she had to go to school and cheerfully helped around the house without being asked. We had a very good conversation about online schooling and my expectations as well as hers on our trip to her boyfriends where she left me with a smile and a hug.

Now I get to remember her that way for a whole week -- at least that mental image -- so that is a good thing. Things are set up for her to begin on Monday and when I receive paperwork today I will do some additional preparation to make sure the technology is working on the computer she'll use and give her some extra things to do during a slow week as I understand the first week is not really full time.

I have some ideas of how this can really be a good thing for her. Her inability to make friends because she refuses to initiate any kind of contact has caused her a great deal of stress. So maybe taking that stress away will make her more pleasant. I'm actually thinking of a few ideas of ways this can be an even better experience for her.

And now, today, I will make every effort to finish the projects I had in mind and head to the airport tomorrow with a sense of relief instead of already dreading my return because I left so many tasks undone. Here's hoping....

Friday, January 23, 2009


I spent a lot of time with Dominyk yesterday. In fact, four hours and twenty three minutes straight, most of them one on one, to be exact. And I promise you that his mouth never stopped moving for more than 15 seconds in that entire time period. It was either making noises or it was saying words.

And example one of his profound comments? "I'm thinking about becoming a hobo when I grow up to avoid taxes."


Tonight the van was revving high and I mentioned that it sounded like a jet. "Maybe it's the engine" Jimmy replied.


I bought pajamas with lace all over them today at the JCPenney Clearance sale. They were a size XXXL. My daughters where a size zero. Tony asked, "Who are those for?" I simply responded, "Dad."


Before praying the other night Bart said, "Can't I just say ditto." I said, "I'm so going to blog that." He called me a name. I'm not going to tell you what it was.

Expect Disrespect?

The decision has been made regarding Salinda and online high school. She wants to do i and we are doing the enrollment paperwork this morning. She seems a bit excited and I am thrilled with dread. I need that break from all the kids to focus on my work and now she will be in the house, so either I am going to have to get myself and my feelings under control or I'm going to be miserable.

The key is that I cannot let myself expect anything but disrespect and a lack of cooperation. But I will be stupid enough to expect her to try to please me. I will be stupid enough to expect some respect and cooperation because of the choices and sacrifices I'm making. I will be optimistic enough to think that she will keep the guidelines that we are setting up together.

And that just shows you that I'm a complete idiot. What I need to do is prepare myself for disrespect, lack of cooperation, "forgetting" guidelines, and a daily battle. And the key is that I need to align my thinking so that none of this gets to me. Otherwise, I'm going to have one of the worst semesters of my life.

The sad thing is, she really couldn't care less about me, or my jobs, or my schedule or what I need to get done. And she'll do what she's going to do and it's basically out of my control.

So I guess once again I'm the one who will choose how miserable I'm going to be based on my expectations and my responses to what occurs.

I wish I was dense enough to not understand this and be able to blame the world, but I gotta own it and deal with it.

I'm off to wake up the children and begin a day of withdrawing and enrolling someone who will not appreciate my sacrifices today and will most likely spent a portion of it being rude to me.

Is it healthy or unhealthy to expect that?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dominyk Being Quiet so I can Work

"Do you have a protractor on you?"

"Is that a tea bag? Do they re-use those? They don't? Can I have it when you're done with? Oh crap that's hot" Did you know you can re-use that t-bag five times?"

"Can we go buy a protractor?"

"I need snowpants and a hat and mittens and boots by Thursday."

"Cory (PCA) said you can reuse t-bags. So don't question him."

"I miss Shannon" (Our PCA who is doing her internship)

"Oh man, my coffee's gone. I shoulda savored it. That stinks."

"The force, I must use the force within."

"Am I distracting you?"

The Never Ending Saga

I have found an option for Salinda. It's Online High School which would mean she would be home all the time but I would not be responsible for her education. It actually sounds like a good option for her but I am in the middle of writing an agreement to have her setting her own hours and coming up with her own consequences. I am willing to give this a shot for two reasons:

1) She is seeking an alternative to quitting school and she is smart and has potential to go to college. She wants to work as a probation officer or a social worker of some kind and she could probably do a fairly good job. I hate to see her feel like she has no choice but to rebel and drop out of school.

2) In the long run it may actually save me time and energy if she can work the program well.

She was open to hearing about it after school and we just may make it work.

Bart had a lengthy and not so positive conversation with Mike while I was dealing with Salinda's drama. What a day!

But now I'm at Dunn Brothers with Dminyk so he can get help with his homework and I can get him out of the house where he often rages about homework. I tried to explain to him that I came here often and that I really didn't need his instruction about where to sit or what to do. He said, "Yup, Mom. youre' right. You're the expert and I'm the learner."

Now if I could just get them all to realize an acknowledge that!


I realized that this is the exact issue that many of us are dealing with today. After hearing face to face and reading several accounts of frustrating situations like Kari's and Cindy's today I realize that this is the most frustrating thing happens to us. We get into situations where we have no options.

I am scheduled to leave town on Sunday. I have a list of things I have to do before I go but I cannot focus. After a completely silent evening and a wordless ride to school, Salinda started texting me today saying that she isn't going back to school. I simply texted, "Please do not text me during my work day when you do not talk to me when I have time for you. My battery is dying, I'm turning off my phone."

Fortunately it is true. I don't have my charger and my battery is almost dead. And no, I didn't plan that. But what I hate about all of this is that I feel trapped. She is stating that she will not return to school on Monday. But she is not going to want to go to any of the schools in town. Her goal is to go to school with her boyfriend 75 miles from here, but that obviously is unreasonable. I do not want to leave Bart here with everything else AND her refusing to go to school, but what are my choices? Do I insist she come with me? Do I let her stay here and then every second I'm gone worry about what is happening?

I know what I need to do. I need to tell her that she can choose to go to one of the two high schools in our town or she can choose not to go and be truant. But the stress involved in waiting for her to decide and the way she treats everyone when she is in this mode is almost unbearable. I suppose I could consider homeschooling or online high school but that makes me feel like I"m going to puke just thinking about it.

But it's the trapped feeling I hate. No options are good. She has held us hostage with her silence, her attitude, her control for the last three years, jerking us around with her drama. We've tried everything from playing hard ball to letting her make her own choices and everything in between.

But when I get in a corner where I feel like I have no good options, it gives me a panicky feeling that I do not like. And I KNOW that there are so many of us as adoptive parents who have been there multiple times. Held hostage by our children, trapped by their choices, their mental illnesses, their emotional problems, and their organic brain damage, and then to add insult to injury, blamed by the very system that gave them to us in the first place.

And very few people besides those of us who have been there know how it feels. But those of us who do hate that trapped feeling and lack of power more than anything else. Well, i can't speak for everyone, but for me this feeling is the worst.

It's Really My Fault

I am realizing now that the first 75 minutes of my day are over and I am drained that a lot of this is my own doing. I allow them to get to me. I choose how I respond to them. I haven't worked out in weeks, I'm eating the wrong foods, I've slipped up on everything, and now the stress is overtaking me.

Will I do something about it? Maybe ....

When I get back from my next trip. :-)

Anti-Suck Protection

I live in a house full of vacuums. And it never fails. As a parent of multiple teenagers, many of them with issues, I simply cannot stop myself from getting sucked in some times. I try. I do all the self-talk in the world. I coach myself. I deep breathe. I ignore. I joke. Everything that I know to do, I do it, but there there are days.....

Yesterday was one of those days when I got sucked in to drama. Salinda spent the whole day texting me between classes about how she needed to transfer schools. The threats and demands and insolence popped into my phone every 45 minutes or so and by the end of the day I had cleared an hour in my ridiculous schedule (caused by some unforeseen minor work crisis) to spend time talking to her. But when I picked her up, she refused to say a word.

I worked myself out of the desire to explode and calmed myself but I'm still agitated by the experience. She is unpredictable and who knows how she will be this morning. She may be up and ready early or she may refuse to go to school. And I could do without the stress of her drama for sure.

Another person who constantly sucks me in is Tony. Inevitably each day he will say or do exactly the thing that pushes me over the edge -- or at least to the very end of the edge. He has the skill of either consciously or unconsciously saying just the wrong thing and I find myself having to almost physically restrain myself during particularly stressful moments (mental image of myself attempting to restrain my own body in Jim Carey-like comedy).

And then there is the 175th time that Dominyk announces that he needs a vitamin water (he's no longer allowed to have pop). I think my limit might be 173.

It really shouldn't be that someone is required to use all of their emotional energy during the first 75 minutes of their day. But lately mornings have been like that.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Famous Fletchers

This time it's mercedes...

Been Missing that Salinda Drama?

I bet you have. I haven't, but I bet you have. It's good reading.

Today she wants to transfer schools. A big long text argument from who knows where during her lunch break. I think I'm just going to let her. She refuses to take direction and the more I insist the harder she'll fight. It would be a bad decision to go back to her old school, but it beats dropping out or running away or any of all the other stuff she'll threatening to do.

But the bottom line is it will make my life easier in a way to have her back at school with all the others. What she doesn't understand is that internal change is the only thing that is going to fix her.

I read a great story once about a kid who was running from place to place trying to hide from a monster. And he went and hid in a closet and locked the doors. And then he realized that he had locked himself inside with the monster, because the monster was inside of him.

That's Salinda. Her inner monsters won't go away, no matter where she goes..... and she is convinced that if she just finds the right place then they will go away.

Mike always believed that too.


Living WIth Dominyk

Last night, Wilson put this on his head and Dominyk said, "Look, Wilson's the pope."

And then, last night, when I went into the bathroom, these notes were on the mirror.

Gizmo is, of course, our dog. Loosy is the cocker spaniel across the street. I think she might spell it differently though. :-)

Support Group Today

Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Better Blogger than Me Today

Bart blogged tonight .... an update on Mike.

Bedtime Prayers

Bart and I have developed one good habit over the past nearly 13 years We pray together every night before falling asleep when we are both home. Sometimes our prayers are long, sometimes they are short, and their content is often the same, but sometimes he surprises me.

Last night, he began as usual but in the middle of his prayer I burst out laughing. "Lord, thank you that we are all healthy. Thank you that none of our children are facing eminent death, except at our own hands"

(now please don't tell me I have to explain this as simply a joke and remind you not to call CPS.....)

Sometimes you just gotta laugh....

Monday, January 19, 2009

If I've Done Nothing Else for these Kids

I've given them an amazing father.

Check out what he did with the kids today.

No School Again and Right Now I'm Glad

The first two mornings of days with no school are quite nice, thank you very much. I am not missing the morning routine and the drive today. I have been quite sick of it since we went to two vehicles. If it weren't for our neighbors we couldn't manage it, but with their help I can do all the driving without asking Bart to give up some of the most productive hours of his day. So I leave here at 7:30 and I arrive home between 8:10 and 8:20 depending on road conditions and traffic.

This morning however, I was at my desk a little after 7 and everyone is still asleep. So for the next two hours or so I will be grateful that there is no school today....

I spent the weekend working on a couple projects, one of which is a movie to promote the book that we wrote that is in the editing process. I have a friend who has agreed to write the background music so I will wait to show it to you when it is completely done, but my part basically is. I'm excited about it.

Bart has some plans for a family MLK Jr. Day family project and I have much to do today, including scheduling all my visits for the next three weeks as next week I'm heading south...

Better jump into that email box. It's actually under 100 and I don't think many people are working today which means it won't be filling up.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What Happened to Us?

I have been enjoying Facebook and reconnecting with folks from college that I haven't seen in over 20 years. But every time that I add a new friend and look through their pictures I ask myself, "what happened to us?" All those skinny guys with six packs and fulls heads of hair are at best a little saggy and at worst .... well, let's say overweight. And bald. And the women? Our faces look so much older .. well except for a few who are just unnatural -- you know who you are -- those people who have always been beautiful and always will be with the perfect metabolism and faces and bodies that don't age and hair that doesn't fall out.

And most of us have teenagers, college students, or young adults and some of us are grandparents already Our lives have taken twists and turns that nobody expected and here we are.

But inside I don't feel any different than I did when I was 25 -- I forget that I"m 45 most of the time when I'm not looking in a mirror -- sure, I'm older, I'm wiser, I have a different perspective of life.

But really, I'm just the same girl. I wonder if I'll feel the same when I'm 80.

Reminds me of this song by Twila Paris that I have thought of often since it came out in 1992:

Same Girl

“Same Girl”

“Picture with me if you can a little girl in a younger land
Running, playing, laughing growing stronger.
Now the aging limbs have failed and the rosy cheeks are paled
Look behind the lines till you remember.

She’s still the same girl flying down the hill.
She’s still the same girl memories vivid still.
Listen to her story, and her eyes will glow.
She’s still the same girl, and she needs you so.

Picture with me if you will a long white dress and a wedding veil
Two young dreamers pledge their love together.
Now her lifelong friend is gone, and she spends her days alone.
Look behind the lines till you remember.

She’s still the same girl walking down the aisle.
She’s still the same girl with the shining smile.
Listen to her story, and her eyes will glow.
She’s still the same girl – same girl.

She’s still the same girl wiser for the years.
She’s still the same girl stronger for the tears.
Listen to her story, and your heart will grow.
She’s still the same girl, and we need her so.

She’s still the same girl, and she needs you so.”

Saturday, January 17, 2009

We are Really Interesting People

I'm sitting by the fire where I worked last night and really liked it. First time I had been warm in a week. And Bart is making another one today and I'm going to work from right here with the laptop on my lap. But I am sitting next to a bookshelf of very interesting books. Here are some of the interesting titles we've acquired over the years:

The Penguin Dictionary of Twentieth Century Quotations

Several Harry Potter Books

The Happy Hollisters

New Choices in Natural Healing

The Bobsey Twins

Judy Blume's Fudge-a-mania

Great Health Hings and Handy Tips

2400 Outlines, Nots, Quotes and Anecdotes for Sermons,

Treating the Unmangeable Adolescent

WWJD for kids

On Their Own

and of course, "holy Humor"

We are certainly an eclectic bunch of humans.

And we have hundreds of books in our house. And I've read some of them twice!

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Kids Aren't the Only Ones

Kari explained our school schedule this week so I won't reblog it. But while the kids do need structure, they aren't the only ones. I really need it too!

Since our kids need routine I have gotten to the point where I really need it too. I have always been a person who likes a fairly rigid routine, and Bart has loosened me up a little bit because he likes to be spontaneous, but I still prefer to plan my days, my weeks, and follow the plan.

I'm just exhausted from the whole week of being the wrong places and the wrong times and nothing being as it should be.

And I'm cold.

Really, really cold.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Yes, It's Cold

And I had to get up because I have to make a home visit today several miles from here. I have 90 minutes at my desk before hand.

There's no school today, and teh kids are very excited.... I enjoyed missing the morning routine and Bart will be here for the bulk of the day while I travel.

And just so you know, I realize my blog has been fairly pathetic lately. My apologies. I have started a few entries that just don't seem to get posted. I'll cycle back to good blogging, I promise -- so hang in there.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Possibility of a Success Story

The Semi-Annual Review for John went very well today. He is making good choices, he is taking ownership of his school work, and has plans to join the military after graduation, which would be a very good choice for him.

It may be that all our hard work in coming up with a good transition plan will pay off, though he is the one who has to make it or break it. And HE gets that. ANd so now it's on him and we will see how it goes.

But it would be nice to have a success story...

When I Wish for It....

I had a rough night -- didn't sleep well so for once I was hoping for a 2 hour late start which would ahve given me reason to skip a meeting that will take most of my day.

So of course school is on time.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bart's Gonna Be on TV

Apparently the TV show we taped when we were in NYC in August is finally going to be aired. You can watch it on line by clicking on to the cable access station's website next Thursday, January 22nd at 11am or 7pm (your central time) here: Then click on BCAT 2 under the words "Watch BCAT LIVE online:"

They quoted me a lot -- but Bart's reflection is aired in full I guess.

I'll try to remember to remind you again.

Support Group Cancelled for Tomorrow

Unexpectedly, both Bart and I will be gone tomorrow so we'll have to cancel support group. Sorry -- we enjoy the time but John has a review in Rochester that I have to attend and Bart is out of town.

Thank Yous are in Order

I thanked my kids last night for being so well behaved. It was wonderful to have a day like yesterday where for nearly the whole day everyone was being cooperative and calm. Bart had left, school was out for the day by 11:30 for elementary and 12 for the rest, and it was a recipe for disaster. But they all did so well. Even Tony worked hard to be good and succeeded in having one of the best days he has had in weeks.

They let me work yesterday and I got a couple important things done that were hanging over my head. I felt much better by the end of the day.

They are all still asleep except Rand who is at work. Soon I will wake them up and we'll get the morning routine going and then I'm heading to work at a restaurant today. Need a break from my office and maybe I'll get more done.

But after a horrible day like Sunday, I needed Monday to be good. And for once everyone cooperated in making that happen.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I Think She Enjoyed it

Kari wanted to be the one to call me today and tell me school was out early. I think she enjoyed it.

Bart is on his way out of town for 3 days and Rand won't drive in the snow, so I am here alone doing all the cooking and all the driving for three days. And there is early out today and a scheduled late start tomorrow, even if the weather is good.

Fortunately I seem to have hit my emotional bottom yesterday so I may be able to handle this day....

Always so much to do......

Speaking of that, the dryer just beeped.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I Love My Husbands

Yes, you read it correctly. Kari and I share husbands. Now, before you head in any kinky direction, just stop yourself and don't go there. Really, don't.

Anyway, Bart does a lot of cooking for our families together and Mike does a lot of repairs and Kari and I? Well, Kari and I, we basically just tell them what to do.

My morning was horrible and after the stressful work week I had, i really couldn't handle the crap that I got from Tony and Dominyk. I had a complete meltdown before church, started crying during church (I think only one person saw me though), and then lost it with Bart afterwards. You'd think after all these years of parenting tough kids that the two who had been here longest would not be able to push me over the edge.

But here I was, hitting bottom -- and Bart came along and offered to take Tony with him to a meeting at the church and had a long talk with him and he started to act a bit more respectfully. And then Mike, yeah, the other husband, called and offered to take Dominyk sledding with him and Ben.

And the rest of the kids that remained, hearing me have a huge screaming meltdown of my own about the filthy house, worked together for a half hour and it's much better.

And now I'm back to trying to get my desk cleaned off and my email done.... but feeling much much better. And, on top of that, Rand is currently at the store and buying chips. Chips solve everything.

Cutting Corners and Multittasking

I have found myself recently in a position where I have no margins left in my life and I am simply too busy. I need to cut back on something but there is nothing to cut back on. And so I try to multitask and I am forced to cut corners.

Yesterday Dominyk was having his typical "i'm bored" metldown in my office and I tried to multitask it, after 4 straight hours of rapid emailing.... and in the middle of it all I mistakenly deleted a folder that had a few things in it that will have to be rewritten.

I backed up that folder -- in late October.... sigh.

So I feel a little like I worked my hardest for a week to only be farther behind... the light at the end of this tunnel revealed that immediately following this tunnel is another one.

I'm going to have to figure out a better way and I just can't multitask meltdowns any more...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Not Quite the Day I Planned

Since it took over 80 minutes to go 40 miles yesterday, we realized we'd never make it to John's IEP meeting. And since later we were given a call indicating that the reason he might not graduate is because he is skipping classes and failing a couple of them, I'm glad I didn't head over there to make a stink....

Salinda got an unexpected ride from her boyfriend's mom, saving me a 90 minute trip...

Came home to hours of emails again and to working on some other things..... ending the day with a late dinner and a fire.... which was supposed to be cozy and fun but which simply turned into Dominyk obsessively attempting to touch the flames in unique ways and Tony yelling at him for it.

Eventually I gave up.

But today I'm back and hopefully will budget some time for a decent blog entry...

Friday, January 09, 2009

So I wake up this morning...

Delete my junk mail and I'm back to 140. SIgh.

I have to take a break from it as well because John is having an IEP meeting. After being told for a couple years that he would graduate this month, his new school is now saying he might not even graduate by the end of the year -- they are declaring he is short on credits. This is a kid who HATES school and has been forced, because of residential treatment, group homes, etc. to go every summer of his high school and now they aren't counting the credits.

So I will spend four hours in the car today with his case manager (who I have a blast with at least) to go and attempt to persuade the school to be creative and have some compassion. Otherwise I am tempted to find a school that will and transfer him, though that would be a tragedy -- since he has never had success in public school before.

So that is my morning. And while I wait, people all over the country will be sending me email after email, flowing into my box. But at least I won't know it.

I"m taking my laptop to work on a couple reports while we drive.... so at least I won't feel completely unproductive. And I'll have my Iphone so I can delete emails -- and even answer a few if necessary ....

Stay tuned. I know you'll be so interested to find out how many emails are in my box by the time I get home at noon.

(Ok, so sarcasm doesn't transfer well in written form).

Thursday, January 08, 2009


I love Statistics. Except this week.

If I say I am drowning in email, nobody believes me.


Tuesday morning I started the day with 106 emails in my in box. I worked on email all day. By the end of the day I was up to 112 emails in my in box.

Yesterday morning I started the morning with 126 (after deleting junk) and ended the day, again after working on email all day, at 140.

This morning, I deleted my junk and started at 142. Again, I have done email all day. I have sent 155 emails so far. I currently have 127 emails in my in box.

i feel like I am swimming with a weighted vest.

And no, that doesn't mean I don't want fun emails or blog comments. It just means that some days, if I say I am drowning in email, believe me.

It's That Time of the Month

not THAT time you silly people ....

Matching Bash time -- the time where social workers send me profiles of kids, I get them posted, and we try to find families for them.

It's also the time where even I, the one full of optimism and hope, get very discouraged. Some of these children I have been trying to find homes for for 3 or 4 years. Some of them are difficult, some of them are not. Some are just older, or have a diagnosis that scares people .... but as I try year after year I see their futures get more and more dismal....

I am fed up with children who have been adopted get angry and punish and blame their adoptive parents while some children who are actually very loving and want a family more than anything somehow fall through the cracks and end up without anyone.

And I won't even get started on the many things in the system that make successfully placing and parenting these kids such a difficult task....

And finally, I'm amazed that this issue is one that is overlooked by so much of society... and how government seems to turn a deaf ear to the most marginalized populations, further compounding the problem.

The children whose pictures are in my email inbox this morning -- the teens and hard to place children -- are tomorrows inmates, tomorrows unwed mothers, tomorrows homeless. They are tomorrows unemployed, tomorrows institutionalized, tomorrows mentally ill, tomorrows disenfranchised, tomorrows marginalized adults who cannot, often because of situations out of there control, be contributing members of society.

And we all know that just because they are adopted does NOT mean that they won't turn out that way anyway, but they deserve a chance to be shown a different side of life. And even if they end up that way, doesn't every child who becomes an adult deserve to have one parent committed to love them unconditionally for a life time?

Most of us got that without asking.

A friend I was talking to recently is from England and now lives in the U.S. He was talking to a friend of his, who is in the military, about the conflict in Kosovo, and the conversation they had has stuck with me for weeks... and his answer seems to be the only answer to the situation with damaged foster children and a complex child welfare system. It is the only answer for us as adoptive parents when things seem bleak and hopeless.

He said, "Why would you continue to invest time and resources for decades in a situation that seems hopeless ?"

and his response was, 'Because we have to try."

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Support Group Today

Support Group Meets today at 11:15 ... see details here.

Email me if you're planning to attend.

Every Day's a New Day

Yesterday was one of those days. I was emotionally drained to begin with and then talking to friends and hearing about work situations, plus just an incredible volume of emails and paperwork made me nuts. The laundry pile, created by massive room cleaning binge on Sunday afternoon is still piled high even though I've been doing it nonstop. Bart hasn't been feeling well lately, so I try to make sure I help out more than ever and the combined stress made me very irritable yesterday.

But every day is a new day, and this one is a full one -- maybe even to include a few happy moments as I am placing kids today. And the majority of my day will be spent occupied, not leaving a dent in the email.... but I'm not going to complain.

Our lives are pretty good right now ... yesterday is over .. and every day is a new day.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Just Don't Get Me Started

I have not blogged today, because if I blog I will rant.

And if I rant I will violate other people's confidentiality.

And I can't do that. They are there stories, not mine.

But I really really really want to rant.

LIving with a "Realist"

Bart makes fun of my optimistic disposition. He says that he is a realist....

I have talked to two of my friends today who are having a very hard time. I won't tell you their names, but you may know them through the blogosphere....

I was explaining to Bart how awful things were for them. I said, "See, our lives aren't that bad!"

His response, "Not Yet."


Back into a Routine

It was nice to be back into a routine, though we were a little confused yesterday with who needed to be wear etc. after school. With all the rides I had to give and errands I ran it ended up with me being at the computer very little. However, I did get more done from 5:30 to 7 yesterday morning than I got done for the rest of the day.

Today I am trying the same approach -- up early, work before the kids get up, then head to the Y at 8. I still prefer the early morning workout time, but it's too dark and too cold to do that right now. I blogged about yesterday's Y visit here. But it's boring. May not even be worth the click.

Maybe if I can get organized here I can actually prepare a real blog entry for today -- instead of the short boring snippets I've been casting before you lately....

Monday, January 05, 2009

Just a Few More Hours, That's All the Time We've Got...

and they'll be back in school.

For some reason the past few days have been very long for all of us and it's time for everyone to get back into the routine. And I have to get myself back into some pattern of self-discipline or I am going to push myself over the edge (is that even possible).

Sometimes I get caught into a very deep rut -- and the past few weeks I've been in one. So today is day one of a different life. I was awake at five and couldn't go back to sleep, so by 5:30 I decided to get up and head to my desk. I have changed the laundry (because of the intensive room cleaning there may be 12-15 loads on the floor, spilling out into the hallway). I am going to head to the Y after taking the kids to school and workout. And my plan is to put in a very concentrated hour of work before I wake kids up this morning (as soon as I finish reading blogging and reading blogs of course).

So anyone else make new month's resolutions? How are they going?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Exactly What do you Say to a Drama King Extraordinnaire

Five times this Christmas break Tony has broken something and needed immediate medical attention... preferably the E.R. or admission to a hospital room -- in his opinion of course. He'll never move that part of his body again. Long intense crying fits, filled with curse words and accusations.....

and within 20 minutes of the occurrence it's completely fine.

He's almost 14 and the screaming accusatory sobbing fits whenever he as much as stubs his toe (which is basically what happens tonight) have gotten me to the point of extreme cynicism. I can't really be sensitive and caring when he is cussing me out and throwing things at me...... and I know that the pain will be forgotten in a few minutes.

Anybody else ever feel not so nurturing?

Wow, what a Day....

I started wondering to myself what the point is. Why do we do what we do? Do our kids ever get it? And if they aren't going to get it, why are we trying so hard? Reading about Cindy's grown kids I remember when she first started blogging and I would tell people that I read her blog because she had successful grown kids and it motivated me.

Since then more and more of her grown kids have been driving her nuts and I KNOW she's been a great parent who always holds high standards, is an excellent role model, and continually teaches and motivates. So I ask myself if it's worth it.

Today was one of those days where I started to ask myself why any of us bother -- any parents -- when it seems the kids are bound and determined to learn the hard way and will mess up anyway....

But I was very tired of the disorganization of bedrooms today so I declared that things would get cleaned today before anything electronic was turned on. I started by trying to dig Wilson and Dominyk out of their hole -- TOny's still isn't done!

The big boys room took hours..... And I was caught up on laundry until this brilliant room cleaning idea. SIgh.

And then I headed to take Salinda's boyfriend home, but his mom called and said to turn around because the roads were too bad.

And in the middle of it all, lots of techinical difficulties trying to set up one of John's Christmas gifts, and it never did get fixed so he could take it with him.

Tony's behavior of late has been so difficult and unbearable for me that sometimes I just don't know what to do.... I need to figure that out before he drives me insane.....

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Movies, Lockins, and Little Sleep

Kari already reported to the whole universe that I cried at the movie yesterday. Tattle.

Four of the kids had a lockin last night and Bart did communion for them at midnight and didn't get to sleep until after one, so I got up to give them a ride home. Was thinking about going back to sleep, but didn't want to disturb Bart as he is sleeping in, which is rare.

So I was at the computer by 6 on a Saturday... and am still here though I may have to figure out how to nap at some point. ..

Friday, January 02, 2009

A Friend Asked Me to Get the Word OUt

Open Up magazine is a magazine of art, poetry, and stories about mental illness written entirely by children and young adults under 21.

New submissions are being sought by February 13, 2009.

Click here for more information

It's About Empowerment

This morning I wrote about empowerment on my weight loss/dieting blog. I'm determined to once again feel the energy and power that comes from taking on my own self and winning. i have known the feeling -- from March to September of this last year -- the feeling of being my own master. And I liked it. I need to do it again.

I have a full day planned -- taking some time out to spend with the girls. Salinda's last crisis could have been escalated into horrible stress here, but my learning to keep my mouth shut and letting her work through things seems to be helping. She is gradually starting to do what she is supposed to do and will most likely be on track if I can just leave her alone it seems. So, after my journey to the Y and then a home visit for my job, I will take the girls to lunch and then to see NIghts of Rodanthe (coming Kari -- waited until today for you) at 1. Then we'll spend some Kohl's cash before it expires and then call it a day -- come back here and try to get my work done this afternoon and tonight.

In my experience, January is one of the busiest months for me professionally. It is as though everyone who has been taking time off comes back energized and ready for another year.... so I know the next few weeks I'll be swamped.

But if I can keep on top of my diet and exercise and feel like I am in control of myself, I know I will be more productive and a better parent...

Now I just have to figure out how to empower my kids...

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Even Tony Got in on the Christmas Sentiment Action

This sweet card was the one Tony bought for us:

Mom and Dad,
whenever we get together,
the laughter flows,
the stories never end,
and the feeling of fmaily
fills my heart
with so much love . . .

At Christmas
and always ---
there's no place like home.

Love to both of you,

and he signed it

Mom and Dad, I love you,
Tony Fletcher

Just do it with me for a month

It's been a while since I've set New Month's Resolutions and I am disappointed that I stopped doing them because they were helping me quite a bit. So my only New Year's Resolution is to do at least one New Month Resolution every month in 2009. Would you care to join me?

I like monthly resolutions better because it is easier not to give up so quickly. A year is a long time to do something. 31 days isn't so long. So, I invite you to set one with me and leave it the comments section. You can blog it as well, but please put a link to your entry in the comments section.

I am going to set just two this month:

1) To get my computer organized so I have more disk space. I really need to delete some things and make some progress with that.

2) To work out at least 5 times a week for the month of January. Of course, this week is almost over, so I have to give myself some grace, but starting Monday .....

What is everyone else going to do? Come on, it'll be fun. really it will....