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Friday, October 31, 2008

How I feel today...


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Testing, testing one-two-three...

VERY busy days ahead!
Today one makeup parent teacher conference, a frig and dishwasher delivered...but first...
Testing.

That's the fun thin about Doctor visits, at least at our house, they are followed up with tests. So today I get the car again...yay?
Eldest is scheduled for an EEG and EKG and a full battery of blood work. So she misses more school today. *sigh* well it easily could be worse, so I wont complain. Well, too much anyway.

It's funny, I will have to read back up on EEG's because suddenly the only definition I can think of for them is how they are used to discover and chart Extra Sensory Perceptions, or Talents as they are called, in Anne McCaffrey's books!
Somehow I don't think they are looking for that on Eldest...

Speaking of books, I was disappointed with my library visit, but check out my reading list...
Thought I should keep track of what I'm reading.

Last night she went to a Halloween party and tonight the whole family has another one. and for the first time in about 3 years of teaching, not enough kids singed up for My Love's art class, so he wont be teaching it this semester. So when I have time I'll write about all that as well.


Got more to do then hours in a week, so in honor Mr. Hillerman... Walk in Beauty!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Of Cars and Angels

On Saturday My Love and I embarked on The Quest for the New Car! Oh and let me clarify I call all motorized ground transport with doors a car. I prefer to dedicate the brain cells that would otherwise be employed to differentiate and distinguish and discuss accurately the 'correct' names and terms of said vehicles to other rather more pertinent matters.
Drives the boys crazy, too! *evil grin*

A Friend drove us around town, all the while expounding on the idea that we really would be better off going to the city, more selection, more deals, yada yada... Nice guy, though. My Love had found a very nice Ford Explorer, it was even forest green and had leather seats! You know how I love green! and Leather? Oh what a perfect combo! Except the whole uses as much gas as a small country thing. LOL! WE decided that would be a last resort. If every other car place in town had nothing that worked then we'd go back for it.
WE went to about 3 places and then as we drove by another I told them to go back for I had seen what we were looking for! I had spoken, therefore we went back.
My criteria was rather a short list. Not white. That's it. My Love wanted a Mini van with decent gas mileage. Now that is kinda a problem, the fox had better gas mileage the anything we had ever heard of! We made it to Denver and back on half a tank of gas! So to tell you the truth I have no idea what is considered good gas mileage now. Also he wanted captains chairs, that makes no sense! It's a car not a ship! and really, how how can you have more then one captain? (no I'm not being serious :P) and a cd player...I'm sure My Love had other criteria he had in mind but wasn't sharing, he gets very introverted in times of stress...which mean always.
We pulled up and lined up all nice an neat were 5 minivans of various makes and models and years and a traveling van, that's the one that caught My Loves eye. I being how I am, and not really caring if there is a protocol, got out of the car and walked right over to the vans...leaving the boys standing by the car saying, "Are we supposed to check in with the office first?" I figured we're on a used car lot it should take all of 2mins (the country being slower then the city and all) for the sales men to converge like sharks scenting blood. Sorry to say I was right. Less then 2 mins and the general manager was by our side answering questions.
After questions and answers we had it narrowed to 2 vans..both white. A test drive and we made or choice. So after loads of paper work we drove our new car home.
Now for me to try and convey my...feelings about this car... this should be interesting.
You see My car is a '84 Subaru stationwagon. My car died a year ago (at least it feels like it). I really loved that car. Yes, shifting into 3rd was hard cuz of my arm, but it had loads of room to haul hay, yup I could get 3 bales in it, yes I said in. I could haul enough firewood in one load with the kids in the back to heat the house for 3 days and I could haul the whole family and enough groceries for a month... and it wasn't white. It was silver, in fact her name is Silver Wing (I named my bird rescue after my car). She was unique. Yes, her parts are expensive new and the junk yards laugh, actually laugh, when I call looking for her parts... but I loved that car.
Now I have this big white minivan, a '04 Chevy Venture. It has power everything. the radio can tell me what song is playing and the doors open on remote control! I am so cautious about it! It has a computer chip brain and I can't drive in it without having scenes from Maximum Overdrive go thru my head! I keep trying to slam the sliding door shut, which it really dislikes me doing and makes noises to show it hates me! I don't have anything against technology, I just get along okay without it. Of course I am open minded (in a stubborn way) so I may change my mind. Today I get to have some bonding time with it as I need to take Eldest to the Doctor... I made My Love PROMISE to paint a few things on it so it wouldn't be white...and look like every other car I see! I may have been seduced into getting a minivan but I refuse to conform! :P
Great just realized... Monster wants to take soccer. Does this mean I'll end up a Soccer Mom in a mini van getting drive thru that you hear about on the 'average' description! NO!!!!

Okay I'm being dramatic and silly. It's allowed, cuz I said so.

Oh one redeeming quality, and why I pick it, cuz yes I had the final say on which car we got. It seats 8. All the others seated 7. I like the option of being able to take along more people. Opens doors on activities and friends.

So we had our new car and were heading home. We really needed to go to the store but we decided to go get the kids and take them with us. I think My Love wanted to show off the car to them. :)
As we rounded one of several curves in the road the mesa beside out house came into view and I pointed out to My Love the smoke that was raising up over it, "That's not right! That can't be a good thing." we said. The next cure brought us around the mesa and in sight of our house. What we saw is one of the many nightmares that swim before a parents mindeye as they worry about life... Fire trucks, the sheriffs... and flames... lots of flames, blackened ground and smoke billowing toward the clear blue sky!
The back field was on fire!


I didn't wait for the car to stop before I was out and rushing up the stairs... I could care less about the sheriffs who where talking to my neighbors, or anyone else! The front door was unlocked! That was not right... tv on but no one in the living room...it seemed so empty... I yelled for the kids and we about ran into each other as they came out of the kitchen and I ran into it. They each had a plate of french fries and had been watching the fire together at the kitchen window!

The story goes that one of them had seen the neighbor boy looking in our mailbox so all three had rushed out to get the mail so he couldn't steal it, this is a problem we are having. Then they saw the neighbor kids all playing out back and one had a lighter. Our kids had a movie they wanted to watch, BraveStarr had come! So they were inside. Eldest, being in charge, decided to make french fries and sandwiches for lunch. So she was in the kitchen. Thunderous One came in to bug her cuz he was hungry...but saw something odd outside so went to look out the window.

The neighbors say their kids lite a pile of trash on fire and then went inside. I don't know how long it was before someone saw the fire. But our neighbor about 1/2 a mile away heard the call on his scanner and walked up, saw the fire and opened the fence before the Hellfighters got here.
I can't imagine what that must have been like for them! To look out the window and see nothing but flames and smoke! I do know that Eldest has been having some new issues since then and Thunderous One wont play in the back now...
Eldest kept the kids together and before they could call 911 the Hellfighters had already shown up!
It took hours to get it all contained and all the hot spots and smoldering to stop.Then we looked out back to see the damage and were met with a very odd sight.

You see, we live kinda in between two small mesas. The wind comes roaring down out of the valley between them, across the field, and hits the back of our house, hard. We just had to replace the kitchen windows and a bedrooms windows because a wind storm had knocked them both out. So the wind blows toward our house.

The chard and blackened earth covers about an acre and a half, all the grass and sage brush that once was there is nothing but ash. I haven't walked it yet so I'm not positive how far back it goes. But here's what has us in ... awe..
There is a line, almost straight that is even with our fence..if you drew a line from the fence between our house and theirs back across the field you would find it lined up with where the fire burned.
None of the fire came to our side, none came at our house.
Some how the wind changed directions...or something... and the fire burned away from all the homes and toward the mesa.
My kids where not home alone that day.
I don't think they ever are.



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The parent teacher conferances that weren't

Thursday (last) was Parent teacher conferences and payday... YAY PAYDAY!
Unfortunately, My Love and I had not been seeing eye to eye this day so we weren't on the same page. :(
Due to not being on the same page he did not cash his check before coming home so we had to pile in the Fox and cash it on the way to the conferences. On the way there, I commented I could still smell anti freeze, he didn't believe me...I should give him the benefit of the doubt, perhaps he didn't hear me... I was mumbling in my irritation after all.
Got to the bank, I didn't want to wait in the car so we all piled out and went in... then back in the car... yeah I like pain, why do you ask?

The kids were getting all excited. Payday means we get to eat out! Once a month we get to eat out, it's usually Papa Murphy's or Don Gilberto's and this month we ALL wanted Don Gilberto's. So the kids were hoping, since we were close, that we could go now!
Which means they were excited kids...
and excited = loud,
and loud + excited + rushed = mom is not happy.
The Monster was about to jump out of her skin in her excitement/anticipation. She really wanted to get to her parent teacher conference and go out to eat, but she didn't know which she wanted more, as she loudly explained to us all, while making wild gestures to accentuate her intense feelings. I couldn't get them to calm down.
So I tried to ignore them.
Yeah, that worked.


As we pulled out I smelled anti freeze a lot stronger. As I said earlier, My Love and I were very much not on the same page that day, to the point that he was going to The Eldest's conference and I was going to the other 2's in my mind. So when the smell of antifreeze was finally enough even he could smell it and I pointed out the plumes of smoke coming from under the hood of the car he drove past the younger ones school and across town to the Eldest's school! I had no idea what he was doing, so how can I give support?

car smells funny + car is smoking + car acting odd+ excited kids = Hyper-crazy-excited-you-wouldn't-wish-on-your-worse-enemy kids!
Yeah, that was fun.

I'm not exactly sure if he parked or the car died, I do know we were at Eldest's school and the car would not start again. My Love raised the hood and we all got to stand on the sidewalk while the plumes of vapor roiled out.

My Love did stuff with the car...yes, stuff. It's not that I don't know what he was doing, I did, I just wasn't giving him all my attention. My inside clock said if we left now we could walk to the other school, have the meetings that were scheduled, and walk back and have the Eldest's meeting. So I was getting the kids to get their stuff so we could go. I told My Love my plan and told him he could stay with the car if he wanted and see if he could get it fixed. The look on his face changed my plans. It was a look that said, "Don't go! I need you!" So even though I had been miserable all day because of our misunderstanding my heart melted and I stayed.

He added coolant, found a crack in the radiator in the top and the Thunderous one found that the gas tank was leaking! I pulled them all reluctantly from the car and herded them to the school.

Upon entering the doors we were met with a line that crossed the cafeteria and stretched almost to the doors! It did stretch to the door as soon as we took our place in it. My Love accuses me all the time of being unrealistically optimistic (I call him all kinds of names too) but I laughed because he was the one holding onto the hope that we could get thru the line talk to the science teacher, get the car going, and get to the Monster's conference in the next 30 mins!
Okay I admit, I was hoping that as well.
We got though the line in 10 mins, I had to sign for her report card, they wont send it home, a parent must come to the school and sign for it. Then we rushed back to her classes... they don't let you have one on one conferences with the teachers, an irate parent about 13 years ago saw to that. So we had to hunt down the classroom that her teachers had gathered in. I didn't really like that, I want to see the classrooms, get a feel for the teacher that way, find where your kid sits so you can see the room from their perspective. Nope. Go into this room, get handed a file folder, "Have your child discuss the contents with you and if you have questions let us know." Here's a question, "Who are you?" oh never mind, as I talk to the back of your head.

Because it is a room, with other people in it, My Love and the Thunderous One will not enter it. *sigh* I tell myself it's okay... maybe he will track down some coworkers and get help on the car, it is an unfamiliar environment (well for the Thunderous one, My Love works here) with uncontrolled human interaction after all. I know they are close because every kid that walks by says Hi to My Love. It's hard being a town hero :)

Eldest's body language says she is unhappy. She has A's and B's and one glaring F. Resigned that I must at least try to follow the format they want us to, I go thru the folder with her page by page... she is defensive and responding with answers that don't fit what I'm commenting on...perhaps she thought I was torturing her as I started with her best subjects to review first, saving the F for last?

I keep looking at the teachers huddled together at the front of the class, hoping that they will read my mind and GET OVER HERE! No such luck. I know I wasn't trying all that hard, as I felt the pressure of the car and time pushing on me. Finally a teacher comes in with what look like smoothies for the rest of the huddled teachers, this seems to revive them and soon they are scattered through the room helping and talking to parents. As much as I tried to like the one who came over to us (I was never clear on what classes she taught my child) She drove me crazy in that she felt she had to explain everything to me again that I had just read.
YES, it is a great personal pet peeve of mine that many teachers discount my years of homeschooling and the fact that I understand how a grade rubric works and it's purpose and why they use it, because by golly I've used it too! And then they go on and on and when you say you understand that but have a question about this over here, they just start over! SO don't interrupt! Smile and nod! That way everyone feels sooo good that you were listening... Okay I feel better.

She wasn't too bad, but she wasn't the science teacher, which is who I needed to talk to. I did notice some thing... as she talked, being sure to include Eldest in the conversation, the Eldest got even more defensive.
The teacher asked her to go find her science notebook from the pile on a desk. My Love saw her and came in. Eldest could not find her notebook. I'm not sure who found it but Monster, My Love, and the teacher all were looking as well.

I got to look thru it...
I can't tell you how obvious it is to me that something is up. This book follows them through 3 grades. Her writing from last year was neat and complete, the art very beautiful and colored so well, her artistic side shining through! This years work... oh my. It really doesn't look like the same child. The hand writing is chaotic and words are missing, not one complete thought in the pages! The illustrations are unrecognizable and no color! You can not see her AT ALL in this work!
But I don't comment, I exchange a meaningful glace with My Love, and let the teacher just talk.
And watch Eldest.
Her body language changed, shoulders pulling forward, slipping down more in the seat, hair falling forward, eyes... oh I know that look... she pulled a lock down and the teacher had no idea! She just kept talking! I applaud their effort to find a way to pin point and solve the problem... but how come they didn't see when they had lost her? In fact watching the teacher's body language I really don't think she ever notice. She and I spoke a little and she went and told the science teacher that as soon as he was done with the parents he was with we wanted to see him.
We had to get her out of lock down, and find out what time it was, the clock in the room proudly said it was 12:43...maybe I need to ask for watch for Christmas? So I asked her to show me the Personal Shield that she had made in Lang Arts. My Love had already seen it, it hangs by his office, and it made him worry...
So we went to the hall, she unlocked (thank goodness) but was still very unhappy. I got to look at her shield and was very surprised... it really was barely a shadow of what she could do, I wont rip it apart here, but it added to my growing concerns. She told me about it and then we glanced at the other ones and went back to see if the science teacher was available, My Love and Thunderous one left to see if they could get the car running, if not they would come back. I don't think they could handle a room of people again.
We walked back in and the science teacher was waiting. He is taller then My Love! and almost perky... how annoying LOL! No, he was okay, I liked him. He basically explained to us the EXACT same things the other teach had...cuz well we are parents and we don't ever understand anything the first time. But At least when I had a question he didn't start over, he actually answered it!
Unfortunately Eldest locked down right away this time.

Needless to say I came away from the parent teacher conferences rather dissatisfied.

WE rushed out, Eldest was unhappy about that as well. She wanted us to talk to her other teachers... I think she was hoping I would tell the choir teacher a few things... like maybe the kids should be allowed to sing louder and how Queen is NOT Heavy Metal. Every seen the Pacifier? Well, her choir teacher is very like the Drama director in that one :)

The car was working, thank you duct tape!
We jumped in and prayed the car would get us home. Monster was crying because we had missed her conference, Thunderous wanted FOOOD, and Eldest was ready to strike out at anything for any reason. We got home and the fox was parked and hasn't moved since. The horse needed feed so My Love had to find a ride to the feed store before they closed and we did something we never do... WE ordered Pizza for dinner. The kids went nuts! We saw spaceships while waiting for the pizza to come. That must be why the driver got lost so it was late and the kids had it devoured before I had a piece. Darn spaceships.


My Love and I stayed up very late that night talking about Eldest, funny not so much about the car, that was shelved. We both see something... we think they are warning signs, but warning signs of what? What do we do? Will it be like last year? Will it be worse? Last year... was bad.

mixed together Got to say... I can't put his puzzle together. It feels like I have the pieces to two or three puzzlesin front of me, some pieces missing, and no idea which one of the puzzles I'm putting together, what it looks like.






Monday, October 27, 2008

Passing of one of my Heros

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/28/books/28hillerman.html Tony Hillerman

Today I am very sad. I just found out he passed away....

Tony Hillerman, whose lyrical, authentic and compelling mystery novels set among the Navajos of the Southwest blazed innovative trails in the American detective story, died Sunday at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, The Associated Press reported.


Kelly Campbell/HarperCollins, via Associated Press

Tony Hillerman, author of the acclaimed Navajo Tribal Police mystery novels, died on Sunday.

He was 83 and lived in Albuquerque.

The cause was pulmonary failure, according to the AP report.

*****

My bird was named for one of Hillerman's characters.
When I wrote him a letter and he actually wrote back! A real hand written letter :)

I can't really think of what to say...

I will really miss his writing!
I loved his world :(


Friday, October 24, 2008

Pie RULES!

I told you how the girls and I were going to a Mother Daughter dinner. I really wanted to go, so to ensure I got to I signed up to bring a pie, I happen to be devious in ways even I wont admit to, at least not consciously.
Can't even tell you how crazy yesterday was...and no...no I was not surprise, Chaos is my way of life. I had made the crust following my mom's recipe and set it aside... things got crazy... we got behind.
Parent Teacher conferences were at The Eldest's school tonight, My Love had escaped work before being asked to help with the set up,lol! So the crazy plan was bake the pie (4pm), go to the conference(5pm), talk to her science teacher in particular, then drop the girls and I off at the dinner (6:30)while the boys go home and fend for themselves (stifling maniacal laughter here). My Loved asked if the pie was necessary, I as adamant it was.
I asked the girls to peel the apples while I went to take a shower. The apples had been a gift from one of My Love's co-workers. I had missed the opportunity to pick apples from a neighbors Orchard because of my back getting hurt, so the co-worker had sent a large bag of them to us. Of course the Ninja Pony received a good portion of them to his immense pleasure. As I was in the shower I did not hear the excuse or reasoning the Monster used on her Dad to get her out of peeling, but somehow she managed to not help. The Eldest peeled them all on her own. I had thought there were enough apples to make 2 pies, but by the time I had them sliced there was barely enough to fill my pie crust... "That's okay," I thought, "There are always left over at potlucks." My Love likes pie almost as much as I do and he wanted to have a piece too.
I was not so happy as I mad the pie, the kids had disappeared to play jump rope outside instead of doing the chores I had asked and My Love was caught up in what he was doing. So I didn't really measure I think it was somewhere between 1 and 1 1/2 cups of sugar, about half my jar of cinnamon, about a tsp of salt and I was getting really frustrated that I couldn't find my nutmeg so I skipped it... I'm pretty sure that was all I added... oh wait I threw in some flour, can't be sure how much... I then tossed in the apple slices and tossed them all together till the slices were well coated. I poured that into the pan then ran out side and told the kids to get inside and cleaned up! Somehow jump rope had turned into pull-eachother-thru-the-dirt!

Why is it when you are in a hurry, stressed, persistent, or trying to maintain a schedule everyone is against you? Kids, Spouses, Murphy's law, Time?

I was expressing my disappointment/frustration and the adjustments I thought we should make to...well the wall apparently, as no one responded. I have a problem when I cook, if I am talking or thinking hard I often forget to stop an action... in this case I was adding real butter pats... so as I expressed myself to the wall I was cutting butter and putting it on top of the apples slices, alot of butter... when I snapped out of it I had used at least half a stick of butter! I was annoyed and frustrated so I really didn't care. I quickly rolled out the top crust and put it on. The girls appeared at my elbow I had one get me a knife and the other a heart shape. I pinched the crust to seal it as they watched mesmerized (I realize now I am just that good at apple pie, I love apple pie I learned to make it when I was little because it is my favorite thing to eat, yes favorite! I had put this whole pie together without even really thinking about what I was doing...usually that spells doom, or more accurately DOOM. I am not trying to brag, I am just that amazed to realize this!) They gave me the knife and heart shape and I used the heart cookie cutter as an out line to put the slices in the crust. Eldest looked like it I had stitched a heart into the crust, she loved it, the Monster thought I was odd, why cut up a perfectly nice crust... I forgot to explain why as I threw a hand full of sugar on the top. They gasped at how beautiful it was all sparkly! Then I stuck it in the oven... and suddenly forgot at what temp I wanted to cook it! I sent them to get ready to go (never happened) and looked up the temp, 350. :)

I went to calm down and finish bossing everyone around...that's what it seemed like I was doing as the next hour was spent herding cats,
invisible cats
that could walk thru walls.
Grrrrr.

Because cats are so hard to herd I ended up in tears (been doing that alot lately, no good reason for it) and hid in my room so noone would know. Of course that didn't work, My Love always knows and came back. We decided to skip the parent teacher conference.. turns out that they were Wednesday and Thursday, Eldest was just trying to manipulate us into going when she wanted us too. Not sure why.

We loaded up and Eldest held the pie on her lap. I told My Love I could smell anti freeze, he said all he could smell was the pie... apparently the smell of cinnamon apple had him hypnotized, LOL! I kept smelling anti freeze and he couldn't. "Great," I though forlornly, "The pie smells like anti freeze."

When we got there we discovered that Eldest hadn't held the pie level and had poured the lovely syrup all over her coat! I think I was almost in tears again! It was only on her coat so she just threw that in the car and went on.

I made sure as I hung up my clock and hat that I change my mood. It was just us girls! We put the pie with the other pies and then filled out name tags, they list who you where, and who your mother or daughters were. Then we took a guess at how many candy corns were in a jar, I guessed 150, Eldest 500, and Monster 1000000000000 till she ran out of room to write 0's.
We picked a place to sit, saved the seats then wondered around to look at the displays, Eldest fell in love with a dress that was hanging on the wall, I helped her track down the lady who made it and she told her how much she loved it, would she sell it? She was flattered and would let her know, but was called away right then...

I was soon sitting by myself, as Eldest and a friend had flow together and were now walking around gossiping and Monster had organised the other smaller kids into a game of freeze tag. She a bit like me in that wearing a skirt is no reason not to run or climb trees.
Suddenly the Hostess announces that a few of the chillies didn't have names on them would you please come up and make sure your chili was registered? It was a Chili Cook-off, I watched the ladies go up and register... I was really hoping someone had made a good white chili! Then she went to the desert table...ummm why? OH look some of the pies and cobblers haven't filled out their registration either... WHAT!?!

Turns out I had entered a pie contest! I have NEVER done that before! I have avoided such contests as a rule, I don't really enjoy the pressure. So I walk to the table to register kind of stunned..I hadn't even tried to make the pie good or special, it was supposed to be a diabolical trick to ensure I was able to go out, not turn on me and make my pie a... beauty contestant! I called the Monster over and told her, she went crazy! She was so excited! She ran to check out the competition, she told everyone she saw, and several that she never saw as her voice was so loud, the She had a pie in the contest!

The dinner was starting, I track down Eldest and pried her from her friend, you see I irrationally decreed that you sit with your mother at a Mother Daughter dinner. She sat slump at her spot, devastated to hear about the contest. While the Monster could hardly sit still she was so excited about it and wanted to run over to watch the judging that was going on, the Eldest moaned that she knew we would lose, she has nothing but bad luck and she help more with the pie then Monster had so it would have more bad luck then good in it.

They didn't tell us before we went thru the line who the winners were, but you could tell the chili winners by the fact that by the time I got there the best white chili was already gone. Eldest had a hot dog and Monster declared that all she wanted was her pie! She got a piece. We all went and sat, trying not to obsess about the contest we had accidentally entered. We had drank a large glass of homemade root beer while we had waited to go thru the line, it brought back excellent childhood memories. The Eldest loved the story I told them about how my mom made witches brew (root beer) on Halloween and how cool I thought it looked. Monster took a bite of 'her' pie and declared that it was terrible and we would lose for sure! She was in tears and no longer hungry. Somehow hearing the pie was terrible made it so Eldest and I could forget about the contest and actually enjoy dinner and company. My white chili wasn't what I liked, it was more like a chicken and white bean soup then chili, kinda disappointing in the chili sense but not to bad for a soup. I wished they had thought to have a corn bread contest as I love cornbread with my chili, but no bread of any kind...unless you counted the hot dog buns.

Finally the announced the winners: They had an award for most original, hottest, overall, and white in the chilies. In the Pies and Cobblers there weren't as many entries. Interestingly the lady who won most original chili also won most original pie/cobbler! There was the best over all Cobbler, it had butterfingers crushed up as the topping. Best Crust and Best Fruit filling.
Shawnee almost fainted in anticipation and then... The Best Fruit Filling... US! We let Shawnee go except our award, a jar of apple butter with a blue ribbon on it, you would have thought it was the academy awards! She was very proud, Eldest laughed in joy and lend over to me and said, "I wont bug her that all she did to help was hand you the heart shape!" Eldest was very proud as well.

After the joy of winning the Pie contest it didn't phase us that we didn't win the most look alike Mother Daughter pair contest or the corn count. I chatted with the ladies at the table while the girls went to do some crafts, I joined them and we made enough corn cob shaped pillows for the whole family! I laughed when Monster chose a yellow material for the Thunderous one's corn, he hates yellow.

We had a ride home with a friend of mine and I let Eldest carry our award home and present it to DAD. Unfortunately, there was not one crumb of our pie left to share with him!





Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Only Time

Today's theme song is Enya



It's been very busy around here this week!
Last night was My Love's birthday. I made a cake... that was funny! I had planed to make a cake shaped like a football. I had it all worked out and was excited to try, he went to the store with me and got the cake mix, *gasp* I know it just gets worse... and his favorite icing, whipped cream cheese, and the stuff for his birthday dinner. We have a tradition of Birthday person gets to pick anything they want for dinner on their birthday. His menu... oven fried pork chops, mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, corn, and ranch rolls.
What he actually got ...

He called at about 11 and wanted me to ready to go with him to run errands as soon as he got home, which means I needed to have diner ready to put in the oven before 2. But I was in the middle of my work so I couldn't start till after 1. LOL!

You have to love days like that, they just test you to see what you are capable of :)

So I mixed up his cake...oh the CAKE! Remember how I said I wanted to make him a football shaped cake? We'll... he didn't want that...
or the jersey...
or the DeathStarr...
or any idea I came up with.
Do you know what he wanted?

Once I say it those who know My Love will laugh, because it is SO him...

He wanted a chocolate cake (from a mix! the horror!) with white frosting... A Square cake with white frosting.
SQUARE?!?
I don't know if I have a square pan!
What about sprinkles?
No.
How about icing using the #16 star tip?
No, smooth.
????!!!!!???!!!!
No shape? No color? No taste? No texture? Who
are you, the Thunderous one? But this is for My Love... so I do it.

I find a square glass casserole dish thing and use it. The cake is in the oven! So, I do the dishes while planning the next steps. Which is where I hit a snag, dang it! R2 died a few days ago so I can't make ranch rolls! Without R2 I need more time then I have, I shall morn R2's passing in another post... I'm still distraught. I decide, well we are running out so I guess I can pick up some rolls...*sob*... and reheat them... okay next step. Pork chops. Need to cut the pork Chops as we buy the big lions when they are on sale, buy one get one free love that! Run into the usually issues of the knife not sharp, sharpen. End up cutting more chops then planned so there are seconds, it's a birthday dinner after all.
Mushroom gravy. Where are the mushroom? I had bought quite a few, I know I did! Turns out the other night when he made dinner he used them all ...ALL. I couldn't believe it! Of course I had no Cream of Mushroom soup on hand, had used it as well in another meal. Fine. Not Mushroom Gravy, just gravy. Oh look! It matches his just square cake!
Corn. oops grabbed the wrong can... he likes creamed corn right? Yes. Oh good! I planned it that way...sure.

Before I'm done he is home! What? Apparently time moves fast when you have a dead line... yes I know that, but I had hoped...

As soon as he gets home, and I really do mean as soon as, we were still hugging when the phone stated ringing! It didn't stop for almost an hour (lucky me :)) It was just friends and co workers calling to wish him a happy birthday. So I finished up the cake, set it to cool and toasted some bread in the oven for the coating (yeah, we don't have a toaster... that would be practical and easy) We end up not going to run the errands, which is fine :)

When the kids got home they all wanted to help decorate the cake and all were stunned that Dad wanted a plain white cake! What on earth was the point of a plain cake? What about them? They needed something to decorate! Come on! It was a birthday! What was he thinking!?
"Only crazy people want square white cakes!" the Eldest said in shock over and over through out the evening.

Since they couldn't help decorate the oddest cake they had ever seen I put them to work helping with dinner, I must say I am impressed with how quickly and quietly the Thunderous One managed to disappear.
The Eldest cleared the table (so she could keep an eye on her dad) and when he wasn't looking (she wasn't really very sneaky about it either, he was wondering why she kept looking at him) she hung up a huge poster banner she had made. It says "Super Happy Birthday Steelers DAD" and she drew a terrible towel and a picture of him in a Steelers away jersey with the number 38 on it. He loved it! Actually, everyone did.

It was a nice dinner, everyone had too much to eat and had fun singing Happy Birthday to DAD. I had to send the kids outside to run off the cake energy, and then when they got back in they tricked Dad into letting them have another piece! My Love is far to easy *sigh*

I am behind, gee are we surprised? Eldest went to her first school dance and tonight we girls have a Mother Daughter Dinner to go to, can't forget parent teacher conferences with the Eldest being tonight before the Dinner and the other 2 tomorrow. Early release today (Thunderous one home 'sick') Half day tomorrow and no school Friday... but maybe a date! Wahwhooo!
I'll write about it all as soon as I can...if I don't forget.

and will someone please tell me why to-mar-row is spelled with no A's!?!




Thursday, October 16, 2008

Just My Kid

This morning as I hugged her goodbye and she walked to the bus stop (I stood on the porch and watched) I began to think... she not my bi polar child, she's just My Child. It really doesn't matter what extra challenges she faces; she is, was, and will always be My Child.

Last night she and I went to an Achievement Night at church for the young women. We were terrible! We whispered to eachother the whole time! I learned a few things from her, amazing what talking and listing will do isn't it? (even if it is in the middle of something you should be paying more attention to) :) Like, she wants to learn to cook and sew, not as interested in learning musical instruments anymore, but wants to sing... she has a choir concert tonight... she is shy and reminds me alot of her dad in social situations, though he is a Stoic Indian and she's not quite that bad. She is crafty and creative, but needs direction or will get lost...

We also talked a bit about her skin. WE both have sensitive skin, but she has eczema as well. I found out a kid at school commented on her zits, she doesn't have any. It's the eczema, it's all over her checks. She has been washing and moisturizing like she should but the eczema is out of control. I know it usually flares when she in a bad place anyway, but this time though she seems to have become more balanced the eczema hasn't cleared. Things like that are important to a young lady, are they not? SO I'm calling her doctor today for a check up and we'll ask for a reference to a dermatologist.

Such normal things. I don't exactly forget the bi polar or autism... but to me that is normal, that's just how my kids are. I don't see these incredible challenges as some kind of reflection of me or 'bad' parenting, it has nothing to do with me. This is just how my kids are, nothing big. Yeah we may have some things in our life that others don't have to deal with ...like manic weeks because of a lose tooth, or the need NEVER let pop in the door unless we are fully ready for the backlash, or even the mass amounts of pills and attention to diet... but doesn't everyone have things like that in their life? Things that others see and think "What?" Things they are used to and barely notice because it's just the way you are.

Yeah, I may be planning dinner in such a fashion that I can sneak some flax seed in and I may be trying to figure out how to set up her day planner to out line what she needs to do everyday in a way she can understand and wont make her feel like she is stupid... But she is still just my kid, and that's all she is.

Not my bi polar child, just my child that I Love.

I forgot... this is her song of the day... and I guess I better keep an eye on her anger? LOL!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Theme Song

I usually have a theme song of the day or week, the last song I posted still applies, but when I heard this this morning I was "OH that is SO what is going on right now!"
I'll share it with you in a bit, but first...

Quick update on Eldest...
We have been intently working on her bedroom so she has a place to be calm. She tired to build a fort in the corner so she had a quiet place to go. That doesn't fly when you're 12 and share a room. So we put sheets up like curtains around her bed, not hard , she's on the bottom bunk.

She is a little more stable, but I notice if I don't stand there she doesn't take her pills. She is eating and sleeping better and that helps, after school is still that hardest time of day for her.

She made an observation while we cleaned and
decluttered this week... after finding yet another item that had a story attached to it that had "You broke it..." in the telling.
She said "I sure do destroy
alot of things. I wonder if I can ever stop?" That made my heart cry.

She hadn't been talking in her sleep for days which is a good sign, but now I am a little worried, she woke up with scratches on her face. Not terribly bad, but still I worry about her sleep. She said she couldn't remember her dreams, usually she can and they are so vivid she has a hard time excepting they aren't real.

Must go, lots to do...
I leave you with this song....


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Election News

Hello My loyal readers,

There's an effort to elect an unknown person as President... and it's someone we know! Watch this online video about the surprising new nominee:

http://www.tsgnet.com/pres.php?id=370743&altf=Ujqj&altl=Ipnf

Jot back a note and leave me a comment to let me know what you think!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday and we are all still alive :)

Thursday
Got a phone call 8am that the maintenance guys should be over to do all the work and we would have an inspection on Friday.
WHAT?!?
I had plans ALL day... a lunch date with a friend, a morning chat with a neighbor who is needing my impute, an IEP meeting for the Thunderous One, and a Pizza and Math night with the youngest class for dinner!
Make calls and rearrange all I can...
Kids all very upset we don't go to Pizza and Math night, grudgingly attempt to clean their rooms...
the maintenance guys and landlord NEVER show! No call either!
I called him twice and left unhappy messages.
So mad can't talk without yelling by this point so I called (going over the Landlords head) and reschedule the inspection, no problem they tell me, it works better for them this way.
Can't recall what I forced everyone to eat for dinner, must have bee terrible.

Friday
Kids still upset about last night but we have big plans tonight!
Movie and Pizza to kick off FALL CLEANING WEEKEND (everyone does better if you give it fun names, like "destroy the kitchen" is always a hit, oh that means they make dinner). My Love felt so bad about missing the Math and Pizza night that he has made a deal with the kids that if we can get everything on our part taken care, they work hard, and no major fights, then he will take everyone OUT to a Movie! This is Huge as we usually only go to the movies once a year and we had been to see Indian Jones this year. The kids are thrilled! We have no tv so have No IDEA what will be in the theaters, but small details like that really are insignificant. They want to rent Gremlins 2 and get Papa Murphy's... they already know what pizza's they want.

The Maintenance guys show up and start strong... only to leave for a break and never return once they find out that I rescheduled the inspection! AM SO MAD!
We run over on grocery shopping so in our hurry to get to the feed store, only to find that a rancher has bought out the feed we need, we forget to get pizza and can't find Gremlins2, we see alot of the movies that where in the previews and movie posters when we saw Indiana Jones are out on DVD, we pick The Golden Compass.
So we have Hot Dogs and a movie. Everyone is excited to get the house fixed.
The only thing the Maintenance men had managed to do was kill a fish and cause major chaos, the kids are not taking the disruption to the house well, neither is My Love.
Yes, I am skipping ALOT! If I was to go into it my back would start to spaz out again!

Saturday
Eldest hates men, really. She can't handle being around them unless accompanied by Mom or Dad. I soon have to leave the house because of the dust and stuff in the air, she follows. Soon Thunderous One is outside with us. Eldest is muttering about what stupid people they are and Thunderous One and Youngest have their feelings hurt as they were told to go outside because the maintenance guys don't like kids "on the work sight". My Love goes off on them pointing out that they had over a month to do this, it could have been done while the kids were at school, and it is their house!
I love My man! I think I had said most of what he had said when I was venting earlier.

Okay, I can see a rapid spiral taking place... Eldest muttering and destroying of sticks is getting more intense, Thunderous One is starting to withdraw and lock down, and Youngest is stealingcheese sticks from the house and feeding them to the cats and goose! First things first, a snack! What else? We get the cheese stick instead of the cats and goose, the goose is disapointed.
Everyone is a bit better after the snack.
So I challenge them to earn money. Money? Eldest is intently interested, Thunderous One making eye contact... these two like money. Youngest:"I'll think about it."
SO here's the contest I will hold this trash bag, you each pick a spot in the yard. You have to bring me one piece of trash for every year old you are. First one to me gets some money. After convincing them it will not be $100 we start!
On your mark, get set, GO!
I can't tell you how well this worked! THEY ALL DID IT! They was laughter as someones area was cleaned out and they ran around like crazy to find a new place, a lively debate on whither feathers count as trash, bonuses for glass and big pieces of trash. I have never seen then work so hard so quickly! I lost track of how many rounds we did! It was a blast, the neighbor kids were jealous at all the fun we were having picking up that they tried to do it to their yard. It wasn't as fun, they got in a fight and their mom yelled.
We filled 3 trash bags, raked an area clear for the new shed to be build, and Eldest hauled off all the old hoses! It was great, she had just enough direction she wasn't lost, the instructions were simple so she didn't get confused, and she was able to creatively accomplish her task... and best of all she earned enough money that she will be able to get snacks at the movie! They all did, though the Youngest was content to only earn enough for a pop, not materialistic that one.

The maintenance guys leave for lunch (and still haven't come back)
So we head inside. The kids help dad finish, they hammer in the nails on the carpet strips, and Eldest used her artistic ability to lay out some of the title.
But we make little head way on the bedroom. It seems anytime I clean in there and leave asking them to continue with something they undo everything that was done! It was so frustrating. We asked the girls to separate the laundry in colors and whites... come back and Eldest is under the bed cleaning it out and the Youngest is ... I don't know what she was doing, she had on fangs and her wolf ears and seemed to have somehow gotten herself barricaded in a corner. Reset them to task, return Eldest arranging stuffed animals and Youngest locked in the bathroom. I give up!

Sunday
My Love tries. Eldest loves to 'clear paths' so he asks her to clear a path to the window, so we can put in the storm windows. Strangely enough they cleared a path to a different location, and their brother helped, so My Love and Thunderous One remove some broken doors that they cleared the path too. Finally a path is cleared to the window, we put the windows in. Eldest keeps coming and asking me to stay in there room. I finally go. She explains she can't work unless I am right there, she doesn't know what to do unless I stand there and tell her. I am really surprised that she has figured this out on her own! I had just recently came to the same conclusion, but was in a project of my own so I hadn't been able to act on it. So for the next hour I stand in the doorway and one piece at a time tell her what to pick up. It really isn't as easy as it sounds, you see my words for things are not always her words. Like, pick up the book, it's not a book to her it's a notebook or folder or something else. Also, once you pick something up you have the sometimes excruciating task of finding its 'home'. She had to put everything in a home, she wanted to put just about everything on her desk, she would clean that last... I had to take a few breaks so I didn't start yelling in frustration.
Finally we must go to bed! it's 9:30 and she has school the next day (she has decided she wants to earn perfect attendance, we are supporting that whole heartedly) but she doesn't want to stop! Youngest has climbed into bed crying, she is exhausted. I shut the light off. Eldest finally, stops and gets ready for bed. I heard her talking in her sleep for a few hours in the early night, but this morning she seems like she slept well. She makes a card for her bus drive while the other 2 are herded out the door. She asks me to come to the bus stop with her. So I do. No big revelations, she just is very chatty today.

So I learned something this weekend. Her mind runs too fast for her to do any task that has more actions then 2 (pick up, throw away) unless she has constant support. Being the support is harder then I thought. Just deciding what to pick up and find a home for next was too overwhelming. I also learned that if she has the support she can sometimes see what she needs and I need to listen to that.

She mentioned glasses a few times, we still haven't been able to afford then yet. That is next on the list. I think she will feel good when she gets them.

I have My work to do now, as the maintenance men never came back, and My Love finished ALL their work (except the outside). I have a great deal of cleaning to do before the inspection... oh I called and rescheduled it again.. but have told no one!


Today's theme song:

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Work in Progress

Yeah... not going so well.
She is not liking all this managing of her life...
we are hearing alot of "My friends don't..."
Still is avoiding the medications as they make her stomach upset... I think if we change it to with a meal or before bed that will help. I've been spiking the food heavily enough that My Love offered to make dinner so I couldn't slip any more in :)

AND there is alot of repairs being done on the place (FINALLY!!!! Windows, floors, bathroom..)
so that is upsetting everyone's scheduled and mood. Did I mention they don't do well with change of any kind?
My Love also went and 'cleaned' the girls room. They are still thrown off by that.
Add to all that that we have decided to find the Ninja Injun Pony a new home and you have more Chaos then the Chaos Theory can survive.

I will get a better post up soon... probably Monday LOL!

Till then... I may need to invest in some serious chocolate reserves... so much for all the weight I lost ;)


Oh yay maintenance men here...

wish us...
Luck? Peace?