Thursday, September 27, 2007

Adoption Update

First, I need to apologize to my Mom for scaring her to death yesterday with that post. Sorry Mom (but I have to admit I got a HUGE laugh out of your reaction......)

I haven't written much lately on the adoption front because I really didn't know much. Several weeks ago we learned that PBJ's case had been sent to Minor's Court for an investigation. No one knew why but our Good Agency got right on it. They even hired an additional lawyer who had different contacts in PGN to investigate. (At no charge to isn't that refreshing!) What they found was not good, not good at all.

Here is the story:

In Guatemala there are people who go out into the country and look for women who want to relinquish children for adoption. They look for young unmarried women, women who already have many children and women who are economically unable to support a child. They bring the women into the facilitators who handle adoptions and assist in geting the women back and forth for all of the appointments, etc. For this they get a fee. For lack of a better word, I will call these people 'handlers'.

The handler for PBJ's birth mother realized that soon the adoption process in Guat was going to change and their money source would be drying up, so they came up with a plan. They first convinced one woman who had recently relinquished 3 children, to protest the adoptions and reclaim her kids. The handler then took the woman and children to a different facilitator to relinquish the kids and get more fees paid. That facilitator checked and found open cases for the kids and called the police. The two women were arrested and the poor kids placed into a state-run facility. I can only imagine how the adoptive families are feeling right now. This is everyone's worst nightmare. My heart breaks for them and those precious kids.

This handler also convinced PBJ's mother to sign a protest, which is what PGN saw and sent our file to investigation. Fortunately the handler was arrested before it went any further, so PBJ is safe and sound in her foster home. The agency told me the plan is to bring in the birth mother, an interpretor (she doesn't speak spanish) the agency coordinator and our attorney to appear in front of the Minor Court judge this week. The birth mother has been quite cooperative so far. She is young, uneducated, doesn't speak the language and must be so scared. I hope the judge can find out if she really is OK with giving up her daughter for adoption and if so that our case can proceed. If all goes well and the judge signs off, then our case can go back to PGN and hopefully be completed quickly. The birth mother may reclaim her child or the judge might just sit on the case for months.

Amazingly, I am dealing with this better than I thought I would. I have a sense of peace right now that I haven't had in a long time. Maybe I am just so overwhelmed with this that I am unable to grasp the severity, or maybe I have just finally lost the last shred of my sanity. Either way I am OK. Don't get me wrong, I am still angry and upset, but it hasn't taken over. I hate it when the negative feelings overtake everything else in my life. Right now it is OK. It's better to know than just wait and not know. Knowledge gives me strength.

I ask one thing of all of you. If you could, just say a little prayer for PBJ's birth mother. She could sure use it right now. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I'm a Grandmother!

It happened yesterday at 4:07 pm. Baby Jake was delivered to my 15 year old daughter Katie.

Do I have your attention yet?

Are you wondering what you have missed? Baby Jake is a 'Baby Think It Over' computerized doll that is used in Katie's school to try and show kids what it is like to have a baby. The dolls are incredibly sophisticated. The student is assigned the baby and has to care for it from the end of school one day until the start of school the next day, and they have to do this several times throughout the semester. The babies cry, burp, coo, scream, etc. It is up to the student to figure out what the baby needs and fill that need. The student wears a bracelet (un-removeable) with a sensor in it that has to be swiped across the baby's chest when it begins to cry. This insures that the baby cannot be passed off to someone else to care for. Everything the baby experiences is recorded and the info is then downloaded by the teacher. Response time, how long the baby cried, if it's head was ever moved in an un-safe manner, everything.

Katie took Jake to a school volleyball game yesterday evening, but she got worried becasue it was so noisy in there she couldn't hear if he cried. So her group of friends decided to go get a bite to eat instead. As soon as they arrived at the restaurant, Jake began to wail. He cried off and on all thru dinner and had to be fed, burped and rocked the whole time she tried to eat. (Boy does that sound familiar!)

She went to bed at 10:30pm, but Jake woke her up at midnight. He finally went back to sleep around 2pm, but was up again at 3pm. This time he was back asleep by 4:15 and she was able to sleep until about 7am. She was trying to get ready for school but he needed to be fed and burped, so she was struggling to take care of him and still get ready in time.

Her first comment this morning: "I am not having kids for a very long time!"

Good job, Jake. Good job!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

All Boy, All the Time

Levi is all boy. I remember when we had the 20 week ultrasound for him and they told us he was a boy, and my first thought was, "How am I going to do this? I don't do boys?" Now granted, my two girls were very active, bright and quite spirited, but with them I knew how to play and dress and bond. But a boy? What did I know about snakes and snails and puppy dog tails? In the four years I have been the mother of a son, I have learned a few things. Boys turn everything into a weapon. They throw, hit or shoot with anything they can get their hands on. We don't model this behavior (although I have been known to kick a few things) so I have no idea where he gets it from. We have had to put away everything that resembles a sword, including the extendable duster I bought and which promptly got bent when he used it to start whacking the sofa. I managed to clean ONE ceiling fan before he broke it.

Boys smell. They sweat and get grimy and they stink. Everything he wears gets filthy even if I never let him out of the house. How does he do that???? He also rips holes in his clothes, wears out shoes and has even managed to tear up pajamas (again, how???) Thankfully he has recently begun taking baths again. Thank goodness! We had gotten him to stand in the tub and get scrubbed or take a shower, so he was getting clean, but just last week he decided baths were fun and he sat down and played. For those of you counting, that was from the end of June until now. He is also stubborn. I repeat, stubborn.

He is more cuddly than my girls, but also more likely to accidentally give me a head-butt and crack my nose. He climbs everything like a monkey and then wants to jump off. He is fearless and coordinated beyond all measure. He is loud and makes sound effects for everything. He spontaneously throws himself to the ground making explosion noises, rolls around and then jumps up and runs off. He likes to ram his head into things.
But one big surprise about him is that at the miniscule age of 2 years old, he named his little manhood. Toot. He and Toot have a close relationship. They have shared many fun times, such as the day he tried to hold a paintbrush with Toot and help me paint, or the day Toot made an appearance to wave Hi to the family. He speaks about Toot as though it/he were his best buddy. Toot tells him things and he relays the messages to us. Toot doesn't like underwear. Toot has a boo boo. Toot this, Toot that.

On Friday, Nanny was changing the baby's diaper when Levi asked why she didn't have a toot. Nanny explained that boys have toots and girls don't. He looked serious for a minute, and then said, "I don't think my Daddy has a toot". Ummm, I think we will just leave that one alone.......

Hey Levi, do you want a Dum Dum sucker?????

Monday, September 24, 2007


We keep a jar of Dum Dum suckers on our kitchen counter. I admit we use them as rewards, bribes, tantrum breakers and anything else that can get us a moment of peace and quiet. I recently discovered that someone (who shall remain nameless) has figured out how to help himself to them. Only problem is, he can't seem to remember where to put the sticks when he is done.
Note the sucker stick on Max's back. The sucker jar now has a new secret location.

I was working on our back patio recently and realized we had a lot of spider webs and lots of dead bugs hanging around. It was looking might shoddy so I grabbed my jug of Bug-O-Cide and began to spray. As I sprayed along the bottom of the patio, a large spider fell out of a crack under the siding. I looked closer (from a safe distance) and this is what I found. Anyone? Anyone? Beuhler?

As much as I hate snakes, Black Widow spiders make me cringe in fear. My insides turn into jelly, I break out in a cold sweat and I want to run away. Don't they look incredibly evil? Here is a second one I also found. I ended up spraying the entire outside of the house 3 times with bug killer that lasts for months. If anything can live in the cracks now it would be a miracle.

I think this picture is just incredible. I can actually see the joints in her legs and the fine little spicules on the backs of them. Just looking at it makes me want scream.....

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I have pix!!!

This was the scene early one morning two weeks ago. The rain had barely let up and magically grass had appeared. Many, many large pallets of freshly cut St. Augustine grass. My heart beat a little faster.......
We watched the road with excitement and soon a truck appeared. Sleepy men climbed out and unloaded a fork lift. They set to work and our yard appeared where before had just been mud. Life was looking really good!

It took 2 days to lay it all, and ever since we have been watering fools, but it is soooo nice. No more giant doggie doodie on the driveway. No more soil sliding into the ditches. No more rain. yep, that's right. The rain stopped. Not one shower since the sod showed up.

Dear Abby,

My son has a thing for my shoes. Should I have a cocktail?



Quit looking cute and tell me what you are up to! I actually had a doctor explain to me that Levi would need to be protected from the sun and I would have to be diligent about sunscreen. Um, lady, you are preaching to the pigmentally-challenged here. Duh!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Snakes and such

Yesterday we got a company wide e-mail saying there had been a couple of snake sightings outside of our building. They calmly explained that although the snake was 5 feet long and non-venomous, it was still an aggressive kind of snake and might go after you and hiss a lot. I contemplated calling in sick today. I don't do snakes. Yes I've held one, and learned about them, and know they are good little critters, but snakes are just not my cup of tea.

Snake encounter #1: We had just moved into a house that had sat vacant for many months. The pool was in sad shape and needed serious rehabilitation. More of a cement pond thing. We got it up and running and it was my job to go out each morning and night and empty the skimmer baskets. One evening, with two little girls in tow, I reached my hand into the basket to snag a large lump of leaves, and something wriggled in my hand. I dropped it like a hot potato and then realized it was a teeny little snake about the size of a pencil. Putting on my best brave-mommy face, I grabbed the little bugger, showed it to the girls (didn't want to pass on my snake terror) then pitched it over the fence. I told the story later to my hubby, and when asked what the snake looked like, I described the pointed head that pinched in at the neck. With horror, he gaped at me. "That was a water moccasin, a very poisonous snake. What were you thinking?"

Snake encounter #2: I was weeding my flower bed one day, when I noticed that the soaker hose I had wound in amongst the plants was looking rather shabby. All stretched out and like it was about to split. I leaned down to pick it up and the hose moved. The HOSE moved, in my HAND. I landed about 6 feet away, on my feet in my best fight or flight pose. I ran to the garage and got a hoe, with which I snagged the thing and dragged it out of my flowers. It was 17 feet long (OK, maybe more like 4) and fat. It's beady unblinking eyes bored into me as it wiggled and twisted trying to get at me. It wanted to eat me (or maybe just escape) I hate to say that in my adrenaline induced psychosis I killed that snake. I was sure it was deadly. Later I learned it was a rat snake that eats rodents and is considered a good snake (is there such a thing???) Um, sorry snakey.

Snake encounter #3: When I first worked in Arizona, our lab was located in a temporary building with a wooden deck on the front. I worked with a fellow from China who also was new to AZ. One day he headed out, only to come back in the front door a minute later. He looked kind of flustered as he explained that "There is snake outside. It make noise at me". We opened the door and there, cooiled up on the deck in the sun was a large rattlesnake that appeared quite pissed. It seems that this fellow had stepped over it to leave, causing it to become defensive and begin to rattle. He was so perplexed by this that he stepped BACK OVER the snake to come inside and tell us. It's a miracle he didn't get bitten.

So snakes, I apologize, but I don't like you. Not good snakes or bad snakes or pretty snakes. Well, maybe stuffed snakes.....

Kitting update: I decided to buy a kit for a sweater. Take a lot of the guess work out of my first real project. Here is what I ordered. It's listed as Easy. Plus it was cheap ($16 on sale) I also ordered several 99cent patterns for easy projects.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Stop Thief!

To all of you who knit, I am still cracking up over some of the stories the Yarn Harlot told. She hasn't updated her blog with her Houston stop yet, but when she does I will point out my group in her sock photo.

When I told Katie I wouldn't be home that evening because I was going to a book signing by my favorite knitting humorist, she looked at me and said, "Mom, why do you have to be such a nerd'. I was instantly inspired to knit her a Christmas present. And it will be intentionally hideous. And I will post pictures of her with it on the internet. Bwah hah hah...don't mess with Mom!

Back to the topic of the title. I grew up in the midwest, born to thoroughly midwestern people of a truly good and decent nature. I reflexively hand back money if someone hands me too much change. I wait politely at intersections for the people on my right to cross first. I always use my turn signal. I have never cheated on a test. I guess you could say that my sense of right and wrong is well developed (actually the little voice in my head, which sounds surprisingly like my mother, would never leave me alone if I did something wrong intentionally) I strive to be a good citizen in all ways.

Yesterday after work was one of those crazy-errand running chicken/head cut off kinds of nights. My last stop before dropping Katie at cheer practice was the grocery store. Herd kids in, bark orders, grab needed items, throw in more un-needed items, dash to checkout, pay, remember to get cash back to hand out lunch money and head for the parking lot. Everybody buckled in, begin to back out, guy beside me backs out. I stop and wait. Then guy behind me takes turn. (I am already partly into the row) I wait. Then old man walks behind, and while I am waiting on him, third car pulls out behind me. At this point I am growling and mumbling but I finally get backed out and Katie blurts out, "That man is stealing something!"

I look towards the store and there is a 20-something guy, long hair, scruffy clothes, clutching something under his shirt and running out of the store. He keeps looking back over his should, and then he dives behind a car and climbs in. Without even thinking, I gun the engine and drive my mini-van right behind his vehicle and park it. There is a pole in front of him and me behind him. The older guy driving leans out of his window and looks back at me, and I have to say he was a scary kind of guy. Katie shrieks something about 'What if they have a gun?" and I snap to my senses. What am I thinking? Am I going to jump out, grab the guy by the collar and march him into the store? I don't think so! So I pulled forward and the guy shot out of the spot and took off, too fast for me to even get his license number. Arghhh!!!

I was sooooo angry! Not only did he steal something from the store I frequent, which ends up pushing up prices for the rest of us, but he did it in front of my kids! I want to kick his scruffy little arse! If only my husband would let me get that Hummer with the missile launcher on the top, then I could get me some vigilante justice.....

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Knitting with a little k

I knit this blankie for PBJ and she loved it. It is soooo soft and snuggly.

Last night I went to a book signing by none other than Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka The Yarn Harlot. (Starfish, you may be the only one out there who knows who this woman is) This lady has written 4 best seller books about knitting. Yep, you read right, knitting. And not just knitting, knitting humor. She spoke for 90 minutes prior to the signing and I am telling you my sides hurt from laughing so much. She has got to be one of the funniest people I have ever heard. Her books are laugh-out-loud funny. The kind of books you shouldn't read in public because the noises you will make will get you lots of funny looks. She is a serious, serious knitter. She knits things that I cannot even pronounce. She is a Knitter with a capital K.
I knit one project 16 years ago. I can tell you exactly when it was because I was pregnant with my first child and I had the overwhelming desire to hand-make something for this precious child. A friend took me to the store and I bought horribly cheap yarn and a pair of stainless steel needles. She helped me cast on, showed me how to stitch and away I went. Apparently I am an anal retentive Type A personality, because I knit that sucker with such high tension that my baby blanket turned out the size of a placemat and was almost un-bendable. Although I enjoyed the process of knitting, my failure in creating the loving gift for my child traumatized me to no end. I pitched the placemat blankie, the needles and all hope of being a knitter. I just wasn't talented enough to knit.
Then last year, my friend Connie began bringing her knitting to work on during our lunch hour. She was making hats for chemo patients. Each day as I watched her clicking away, creating beautiful little hats out of the softest yarn, I became more and more intrigued. I began to ask questions. Why do you have so many needles? How do you shape it? How do you know what to do? She patiently answered all my questions and the tiny flame of knitting desire was lit.
I bought yarn that was fat and soft and would knit up fast. I bought smooth plastic needles that felt cool in my hands and I once again started on a baby blanket (this time for baby #3 who was more of a little boy by that point) I made a conscious effort not to pull the yarn horrifically tight, and off I went. It knit up really fast and the instant gratification hooked me. My son loved it and wanted more. Make me a greeen one, make me a yellow one, pweese Mommy?
I bought more needles, different yarns, learned to knit on circular needles, made countless scarves, hats, blankets, etc. Nothing too hard, just mindless relaxing knitting. I found a charity called Warm Woolies that provides wool clothing to children in impoverished cold climates and I am working on making a box full of donations to send to them. I can knit, I can purl, I can increase and decrease, I can pick up a dropped stitch. I am a knitter with a small k. I am ready to try something new now. Maybe a sweater for one of my little ones, or maybe some socks. I haven't decided yet. I can't start something new until I finish my box of charity work. Then I can embark on a true project. Something challenging, with a pattern, something that will make me a better knitter. Something I might actually be able to wear in public........

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pre-school dilemmas

Last year Levi went to the methodist church 2 days a week for a few hours of pre-school. He loved it! He never cried, although he was quiet the first couple of times. After that, he was having a blast at school. He brought home art work and worksheets, stories of his playing with friends, and a big smile.

Then, this year, in my infinite wisdom, I decided to look at different schools that had longer hours. The thought being that soon Nanny would have Peri Brynn and it would be more difficult for her to take and pick up Levi. If he could go 2 full days a week, then I could drop him off and pick him up. I set out on my search. I found a school near our house, talked to the director, took the tour, etc etc. (I talked to many, not just this one) I liked what they said, I liked the curriculum and I liked the staff. I signed him up.

He was quiet the first two days but excited to go. He seemed to have fun and be adjusting well. Then on the third day, they were having an end-of-summer party day. All the kids were there (there seemed to be twice as many as I had ever seen before) and they were crazy with excitement. By the time Levi was picked up, he was a scared mess. He was biting his fingernails, had his head down and had backed into a corner. This was not my happy, out-going boy. This was a child in shut-down mode.

The next time I went to drop him off, he screamed bloody murder, begged not to go, and pretty much ripped the heart out of my chest with his sobbing wails for Mommy as I headed out the door. I talked to the director and she assured me she would spend extra time with him, and any time he felt overwhelmed he could go hang out in her office with her. Around this time, the teacher in his room changed too. After another two days I asked if he was getting overwhelmed and went to the office. He told me the teacher wouldn't let him go. He continued to cry and beg not to go, and not in an unhappy way, in a terrified scalded-monkey way.

Last week Nanny was on vacation, so for three days he was going to go to a friend's house. He doesn't really know these people, but I do and it was a good choice for the days nanny was away. On the mornings he went to their house, he jumped out of bed all smiles, got dressed, brushed his teeth, combed his hair and we headed out the door in record time. He was all smiles and laughter. Note, these people have 4 kids and each day there would be there 4 and most of the neighborhood kids all playing together when I got there to pick him up. Lots of noise and craziness but Levi was loving it. But on the two days he was to go to school, again we had the battle royale.

I had thought that he just needed time to adjust to the school, that he got overwhelmed one day and it would pass. I was ignoring what my gut was telling me. This school just wasn't a good fit for him. Tomorrow Levi and I are going to go check out a new school. It is a lot smaller, has a class size of 9 kids (not 15) and an indoor gym/playground. Levi is excited about checking it out. That alone tells me something. He likes the idea of school. He liked his old school. He liked going to the other house and being with other kids. He is very specific about this, though, he does not like this school.

When I discussed the problems he was having with the director, she implied that it was my fault he was not adjusting. That I needed to be more consistent, bring him each day at the same time, drop him off and walk away. Staying to help him transition (I stayed 5-10 min) was wrong. If he was crying, they would take care of it. She talked to me like I was an idiot and didn't know a thing about kids. I looked at her and explained that Levi is not my first child, nor my second either. He is my third child so I have experience with school situations. I also told her that this is not the first time he has gone to school and that he has never had a problem before. It was only THIS school he seemed to have trouble with. That's when she promised to let him be her little buddy and help him adjust. As far as I know, that didn't happen. He says it didn't and he tells the truth (he hasn't learned about lying yet)

So it's Hasta La Vista crazy-wild school and onto greener pastures. See ya!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Teen Labor

My kids have it pretty easy. (Stop laughing Chris!) They have a Mama who loves to do things for them and they take it for granted. They still have certain things they are required to do, but I will admit they are a bit spoiled in this area.

And then, every once in a while, I have a moment of brilliance that hits me like a bolt of lightening. Saturday was one of those days. My daughter and two of her friends wanted to go see a movie Saturday night. Since none of them are old enough to drive and they didn't have any luck conning anybody else to take them, they asked me if I would drive them. And BAM, it hit me. Make a deal with them! All three had to clean my house and then I would run them around. I would provide a list and they had to do everything on it. They readily agreed and I set about making the list. Here is what I came up with:

Gather all dirty laundry and take it to the laundry room
Put away all clean clothes
Pick up and empty all trash cans in house
Vacuum upstairs, the stairs and downstairs
Clean the girls bathroom (floors, toilet, mirror, counters and shower)
Clean Levi's bathroom (same as above)
Sweep the entry way
Sweep sunroom and kitchen
Sweep front porch and back porch
Wipe off kitchen counters
Wipe down dining table
Wipe down kid's play table
Bring down all clothes, shoes and other items no longer wanted so we can donate them
Move new vanity to Katie's room, organize her stuff in it

There are probably a couple other things in there I have forgotten. It took them about 2.5 hours, they missed a few areas and sped thru others (Chris says they just need more practice), but overall it was amazing. They were even happy and laughing as they did it. I then quite happily handed Katie movie money and drove them to the mall. You want to know what was really funny? One girl's mom called to make sure her daughter wasn't being a bother. I told her, nope, not at all, she was actually scrubbing a toilet right that minute. I don't think her mom believed me until she talked to her daughter. I think she thinks I have some kind of magical influence over these girls. Nope, I was just really lucky, and they really wanted to see a movie.

Life is good.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

It's Dead

No, not our adoptions. Our home computer. It locked up a few weeks ago so we tried a bunch of button-pushing, keyboard pounding antics, but couldn't get it back up. So we broke down and called the experts. They confirmed it. Dead. Not just merely dead, but completely and irretrievably dead. I am so glad I have been backing up photos on discs, but there are still some I don't have backed up. Everything else I didn't care about, but the photos...... sigh.

I have to figure out how to use the laptop to download my pix now. Anyone who knows me understands that I am NOT computer savvy. Seriously, I turned the power on and off on the computer 10 times thinking it would fix it, and I was completely surprised when it didn't! (Go on you IT folks, have your laugh at my expense. Wait until your kids is having trouble in Biology and Chemistry, and then let's see who is laughing!) So figuring this out is already giving me a headache. I would rather buy a whole new computer AND camera than try and figure this out. So no new pictures for a while.

We have grass and the house looks so much prettier now. (But I can't show you) We have spent the week dragging hoses all over keeping it watered because of course, it has now stopped raining. Even when they said Tropical Storm Humberto was headed straight for us, it sensed our new grass and swerved sharply to the right. We now have the new sod anti-rain force field working.

No other news to speak of, so I leave you with a selection of Levi-isms from this weekend.

Mommy, are you a human?

What color are my bones? Are they blue or green or white?

My lip gloss is poppin. My lip gloss is cool. (He has been listening to the girls music)

Mommy, make the sun come up.

It was inside out until I made it inside in.

Mommy, I want to sleep naked.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Parenting Head-scratchers

There are many things about parenting that I fully expected. Diapers that leak, sick kids with massively snotty noses, whining, laughing, potty training, the TEEN years. But there are a LOT of things that have really surprised me. Like how it's been exactly 15 years since I got to go to the bathroom uninterrupted. I even try and sneak off and use the farthest one away, and invariably they find me. It's pee pee radar. The Navy needs to study it!

Another thing is that kids do not, no matter how many times you tell them, remember to flush the toilet. They can be in there and you are yelling thru the door, 'Don't forget to flush', and out they walk without flushing. What's really funny is that before they learned to use the potty, flushing it was a fabulous game. It was flush flush flush all day long.

And kids love to be naked. At least until they hit puberty. That is something no one ever warned me about. I certainly didn't see it coming. For the first 18 months or so clothes stayed on their little bodies. Then, in one blink of an eye, we turned into a toddler nudist camp. Katie was especially bad. At night, I would add duct tape over the tabs on her diaper, then turn her one piece pajamas backwards so she couldn't unzip them. It seems extreme, but after several mornings of a naked, pee coated tot greeting me, I found this was the only thing that worked most of the time. (That little Houdini could still get out of them sometimes, although I don't have a clue how)

Kids would rather play with the box than what was inside of it. Any large cardboard box is the ultimate toy. It's a fort, a boat, a train and a cave all rolled into one. And the best part? They aren't made in China with lead based paint!!!!

Kids will never, ever do the super cute thing when you want them too. Like once you have the camera, or anyone is watching. Forget it. Talk to the hand, Mom. I am absolutely NOT about to do it again. You snooze, you lose.

One thing that amazes me the most is how much Katie adores Levi (and him her). She hugs and kisses him every day, tells him she loves him, buys him things with her own money, and just loves to hang around with him. They are 11 years apart, and yet they are so close. They play a little word game every day. Katie will say something like, "I love you more than a mouse loves cheese" and Levi will say something similar back. His are pretty funny though. Yesterday he told her he loved her more than a rat loves his toes.

There are many other head-scratching moments at my house. Like how you can buy your child 6 pairs of shoes and still not be able to find one single pair that matches. Or how NONE of the socks coming out of the dryer make a pair. Why there is part of a dried up pickle under the entertainment center? How there can be sticky spots on the kitchen floor when I just mopped 10 minutes ago? What in the world are the funny orange fingerprints on the window ledge? How I am supposed to pull stretchy books covers out of thin air at 6:30 am, have 3 empty egg cartons for school the next morning, or 4 empty 2 liter bottles by art class. Or how I can spend $200 at the grocery store and we still don't have anything to eat.

Someone really should write a book. Then again, it might cause a steep population decline if they knew the truth.........

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pre-trial hearing

Sorry I haven't updated much lately. I did crawl out from under my rock with a new perspective. I am good and again strong. This is a crazy-busy week. Nanny is off on her yearly vacation so I have been taking Levi to a friends house each day. Work is super busy, too, but in a fun/good way. (I love DNA! I am such a geek)

Monday and Tuesday this week they had the pre-trial hearing for the Waiting Angel's case. Here is the link to the news story. I haven't watched it yet. I understand that this step is where they present the evidence to the judge and then he has a month to decide whether it goes to trial or is dismissed.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Another blow

I called PGN last Friday and they confirmed PBJ's file was on the director's desk. I figured, here it is a week later, I would call again and maybe get the great news first hand. Instead, I talked with a really lovely young woman who informed me that our case was kicked into investigation in the minor's section. Our birth mother is not a minor, but the Minor's section handles all kinds of other things. My guess is it is the issue with her not speaking spanish and having been labelled Mute on her documents. I will have to wait for the attorney to go and get all the info to know what is really going on. This could add weeks or months to our case. it is not good news. She will not be home by her birthday in October. She will not be home for Halloween. She may not be home for Christmas.
I feel like the rug was just pulled out from under me. Just yesterday I was looking at carseats trying to decide which one I wanted to buy for her. I decided to wait to buy anything until I got The Call. Well, that call won't be coming anytime soon.
I'm going to go find a big rock, crawl under it, and I'll see you all in the spring. OK?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Crazy Kids

I have absolutely no idea what to write about today. So, instead, you are going to get some stories from years gone by. Stories that warm my motherly heart or make me burst out loud with laughter. You know, I have some crazy kids.

When Ashley was little, she had a very large vocabulary at a very young age. The only problem was, she often got similar sounding words mixed up. One day she was being the doctor and treating me her patient. She used her little scope and looked in my ears and proudly proclaimed that I had confections in both ears. Well no wonder they hurt. How did candy get in there????

One year I asked her what she wanted to be for Halloween. She grinned and said she wanted to be a bitch. Whoa, what??? Yep, with a tall black hat and a broom. Oh, now I get it. Whew. I didn't know how I was going to make THAT costume!

We were driving down the road and there was an accident on the other side. Traffic on our side of the highway slowed way down. Ashley burst out with, "OK all you redneckers need to get moving and quit holding up traffic".

My favorite, though, was when Katie's cheer coach got breast implants. Everyone was talking about them. Not to be left out, Ashley chimed in, "Yeah, Mom, they must be at least a WD40!"

Ashley also had a family she talked about from the time she could first talk until she was about 5 years old. She referred to them as her other family, the ones she used to live with. (She is not adopted) For years she talked about them, told us their names, showed us the language they spoke in (never heard anything like it) , told us what their house was like, etc. The stories never changed. Eventually the stories just drifted away and she didn't talk about them anymore. I asked her the other day about it, and she remembers talking about it, but she doesn't remember them per se. She has always seemed like an old sould, wise beyond her years. It certainly makes a person wonder....

Now, when I was a young mom, I swore that I would not buy into the girl/boy stereotypes. I would buy dolls for my sons and trucks for my daughters. Funny thing about that, though, the little stinkers have minds of their own. Katie was about 2 years old and I bought her the cutest little tool belt with plastic tools. She loved it. Had to have it on right away, then disappeared into her room to play. I could hear her chattering away happily to herself, and I congratulated myself on my toy choice. Then she came toddling back out, and where the tools had hung now were Barbies. I never did find all the tools.....

Then there is Levi. By the time he came along I had been around the block a couple of times and felt confident I knew what I was doing. Then one day, at about 18 months old, I watched as he repeatedly ran full force into the trash can with his head, fell back onto the floor laughing, and got up to do it again. Thoughts of autism, un-diagnosed brain damage, or something worse ran thru my head. What was wrong with my son? I was on the verge of tears when nanny started laughing at me. She said, "Honey, there's nothin wrong with him. He's just a boy". And she was right. He farts and laughs hysterically, has learned how to make himself burp. Gave his little manhood a name that he refers to him as, as though it is another person. His feet stink incredibly for being so little and cute. He thinks butts, the word butt, and anything to do with butts is hilarious. He randomly throws himself to the ground and rolls around like a maniac, making gun and explosive noises the whole time. He has to hit everything, with anything he can find, forcing us to impound his golf set, baseball set, and tool set. It's a good thing he is cute, cuz I totally understand why some mothers eat their young.....

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Is this hell?

For weeks and weeks, we have been working on getting our yard ready for sod. It should have been a simple thing. When they finished the house they brought in many truckloads of topsoil and spread it out all nice and smooth, and then we should have been able to just plop down the big fat chunks of grass, and Tada a yard! But, starting the day before we moved in, it has been raining. All that lovely topsoil hightailed it into the ditches, revealing rocks, construction debris and other nasty things. Each weekend we have diligently worked to pick up all the non-soil debris, haul the topsoil back out of the ditches and re-spread it on the yard. We have laid out beds, lined them in stone, created the hardscape of the landscape plan and prepared to get sod. Each week we are on the schedule for the sod company. Two semi-truck loads of grass. And it rains. If it doesn't rain at our house, it pours at the sod farm so they can't cut the sod.
I am so very, very sick of mud and dirt. Battling the weeds to keep the yard ready for sod. Picking up more debris that washes it's way to the surface. Trying to keep the dirt out of the house. But the worst, by far, is the Sysyphean task ( of digging the topsoil out o f the ditches and re-spreading on the yard. We're not talking bucketfuls, here. We are talking dumptruck loads. We dig it out, the rains wash it all back down the hill. Over and over again. Much like Sysyphus was doomed to do for all eternity. I wonder how much Astroturf we would need to do the job?????

Levi kept smacking my behind all weekend. I was getting really tired of it, and kept telling him to stop. When I finally got totally aggravated with him, he looked at me all teary eyed and said, 'But it's fun to smack because it's so big'. And Chris....I saw that smirk. You tried to hide it, but I saw it anyway. My guys must be butt men........

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

What the????

Twice in the past 10 days someone has mistaken me for Levi's Grandmother. Both times my mouth fell open and I did not say anything. Just walked away scratching my head. OK, I may not be a spring chicken anymore, and in both instances I had on no makeup and was dressed very casually, but what the heck? Grandmothers are little old ladies, people. They carry large purses filled with kleenex, peppermints and pink chapstick. They get their hair done once a week and smell like Jean Nate. They wear sensible shoes and make jello salads for church potlucks.

This did get me thinking, though. Am I too old to have small children? Am I doing them a dis-service by giving them a mature set of parents? My conclusion? Heck no! I can still run circles around people much younger than me. I may not have the energy or desire to party all night long, but I have plenty of energy to stay up with a sick child, to get up and scare away the bogey man or to change out wet sheets. I still have the energy to garden all day long, go swimming with the kids, cook dinner and put them to bed. I may not have my hot young bod anymore (if I ever did) and there are more wrinkles than I will admit to, but I still have what it takes.

So all of you who look at me and think I am his grandmother (and apparently that my 15 year old daughter is his MOTHER) I say shame on you! Now I just need to work on my witty retort so that the next time someone says this I am prepared. Any ideas???