the magic show

10 06 2010

Yesterday, as part of the summer reading program at the library they had a dude come in and do a magic show.  It was great and the kids really loved it.  I came away with different thoughts about each of my babies from watching them.  It’s a sense of pride to see them interact with the mass public and know that I had a lot of influence on how they interact.

Today is the 1 year point of our kids’ adoption.  For one year, they have been forever OURS.  I love that watching them interact and respond to things, I see Shaun and myself.  They’re listening and growing and they are part of us.  Our little family of 5 – we’re US.

LJ sat in between Chickpea and E.  He smiled when something was cool and he would lean forward and plug his ears with his fingers when the little kids would laugh and scream.  He doesn’t like large groups of people and I don’t blame him!  Afterward, he sat in a chair, expressionless until all the people cleared out.  When only a small group was left, he got up and started playing with the other kids.  He didn’t freak out or cry, he didn’t show that he was scared, he just pulled into himself until he was comfortable.  I was so proud!

Chickpea was totally immersed in the program.  She would sit up on her knees and stare at the magician without blinking.  She was looking to see if he was doing it “right.”  When he did something funny, she roared with laughter right along with the other kids.  At one point she raised her hand like she wanted to ask a question.  She noticed EVERYTHING and studied everyone and everything around her.  A couple of times, she turned around and searched the sea of grown ups for me and smiled when she found me.  God, I love that little girl!

After the performance she asked if she could go talk to the magician.  It worried me but I said she could and asked what she was going to say.  She said “he said his baby magic wand didn’t have any magic – but IT DOES.  He shouldn’t underestimate the baby just because it hasn’t finished magic wand school yet.”

I wanted to laugh so badly but she was so serious!  She went up and scolded the poor man while I’m having flash backs to my childhood where I was just like that.  It made me smile when I realized the magician was picking obvious pre-school students for his volunteers.  They’re less likely to be like my kid.

E is the world’s biggest pre-schooler.  He’s starting Kindergarten in the fall.  He’s 4 foot tall and almost 70 lbs.  He still moves like a very young kid – all awkward and sort of floppy.  He doesn’t have that grace that comes with growing older.  He has such a charm about him – he collects grandmothers like its a hobby.  He’s all big eyes and toothy smiles with that little kid innocence and it’s almost impossible to not squeeze him.

He’d rather charm the people around him than watch the show, but yesterday he got into it and laughed and pointed with the rest of the children.  After the show, he was jazzed up.  He didn’t calm down until right before bed time.  He didn’t care about telling Daddy every line of the show – Chickpea does that part with input from LJ – he cared that he figured out how to make his markers “splat” if he smacked them on the paper really hard.

Before dinner, he was laughing at something he thought was funny and just rolled in the floor and laughed.  None of us knew what he was laughing at but it’s impossible not to laugh at him.  Pretty soon we were all cracking up laughing at absolutely nothing.

E is the maker of chaos and disaster where order and peace were.  If everyone is quietly reading or playing a game, he’s the one throwing couch cushions with deadly accuracy.  If no one is playing with their food at the table he whispers to Chickpea “throw a chicken nugget at me, it’s funny.” He knows all his letters and numbers and can read and write, but he won’t do it if he knows he’s being watched.  How do I know?  Later, I find a picture of a fish with teeth drawn in his minimalist fashion and underneath it says “pirana etes met.”  I can hear him count to 50 through the wall but if I ask him to count to 10 for me, he leaves out half of the numbers.

I can’t be mad at him because it’s funny!  He’s going to be a hellion in school but I know he’s absorbing the information somehow.  He just doesn’t feel the need to show anyone.  He’d rather be funny.

Then I have to tell him that if he’s going to be BAD, he needs to do a better job at it!  There’s this pesky thing that’s called evidence that shows me the truth of who has been doing science experiments in the bathroom.  If he’s the only one soaking wet and smelling like Purell, then I know who did it.

I have to say that I’ve been wondering lately if it was a wise decision to adopt them with as sick as I’ve turned out to be.  I didn’t know it was going to be like this when we started but again, hindsight and good vision and all that.

I was afraid yesterday that I wouldn’t be able to get off the floor where we all were sitting to watch the magician.  I had taken my meds before we left the house but still, my body was screaming at me 10 minutes into it.  I was trying my best not to cry.  I was trying my hardest to enjoy the show and ignore the pain and the people bumping into me and squeezing in closer.  I was trying to breathe through the raising temperature of the room.

But I watch their faces – their body language – and I know that Shaun and I did this.  We made their lives fulfilling and opened doors and opportunities that weren’t possible.  This is worth it.  Even if they have a sick mom and a mom who can’t do certain things, they have a mom who is PROUD of them and who wants the best for them.  They’re strong enough to work through the rest.

Turning into my mother

17 08 2009

I’ve been crocheting a lot lately so I took my latest project over to the parent’s house yesterday to work on while watching the kids.   The longer I’ve been a mom, the more odd looks I get from the family.  It’s got to be very scary to see me morph into my mother.

Back to crocheting.  I’m working on a towel to compliment a scrubby washcloth I made for the kitchen.  It’s made completely from yarn made from recycled plastic bottles.  Crochet is great for when you can’t move around a lot but when you want to feel productive.  Its easy enough to do while watching the kids or TV and you can hold a conversation while doing it.  It’s nice.

Apparently, my mom crocheted all the time when she was pregnant.  Dad said he didn’t know whether it was to handle the stress or just to keep herself occupied, but he said she kept on and kept on and kept on and finally she had a blanket that wouldn’t even fit in the room.  It was 20 FEET by 24 FEET.  Dad said you’d have to take it outside to lay it down.  That just rocks!  Mom may have a problem with scope creep, but hey, she does things big. I have to get these cool stories from Dad. Mom doesn’t talk about stuff like that – crocheting, swimming, running track – everything she was really good at she won’t talk about.  I remember coming across her box of medals when I was a kid and she just looked at them wistfully and put them away.

Dad says yesterday “you’re so much like your mother.”  Bob and Amber just look at me like it’s some sort of weird twilight zone episode.

I’m almost done with this towel then I’ll put up pictures.  All I have to do is finish the border and then weave in the loose strands from the color changes.  After that, I’m not quite sure what I’m going to start on.  I have some beautiful cotton yarn that I’m itching to use, so I’ll figure something out.  I need to get some navy blue yarn to make a jumper for Alyssa.  It’s so hard to find something that fits her right and I want something that not only looks cute, but is sturdy and slightly elastic.  First, I need to settle on a design.

Does anyone have any good sites for folks who crochet?  I’m interested in learning about fiber arts and making your own pattern.

Lots of work to do, no money to be found

19 07 2009

I know that on Sundays you aren’t supposed to worry about work.  Let it all wait until Monday and just take some time to relax.  Right…

I’d been joking for a few months about going to work at Hooters to get a little extra cash flow.  When the adoption went through, we lost about $1k a month in income because we didn’t want to wait for the special needs waiver to go through on A.  It would have put the adoption off for another 8 months or so and from experience we’ve learned that a lot can go wrong in 8 months.  LJ’s had gotten approved two days before we signed intent to adopt but being A is younger, we didn’t have enough documentation to get the rubber stamp.  It was better to just get the adoption finalized even without getting the special needs care she qualifies for.  We did, however, get federal Medicaid on all the kids until they’re 19 or out of high school.  It covers mental health treatments and that’s what we needed to ensure.

Note to potential adoptive parents:  make sure you get the adoption assistance.  It’s wounding to the pride, but you’re gonna need it and use it.

Back to Hooters.  I found out today that I can’t work there because I don’t meet protocol – tattoos are out of dress code.  Damn, that means I may have to find work where I use my IQ instead of my T&A.

Unless I find somewhere I can flex-work or work part time, work just isn’t a viable option yet.  I say yet, but the truth of it is that I’ll probably never be “cured.”  Shaun has intermittent FMLA leave enacted in his job because the next migraine could literally kill me.  Reading that on paper scared the crap out of me, even though I knew it.  The MVP puts me at a higher risk of stroke, syncope, and fatal arrythmias.  Being the migraines are severe enough to take out my vision and I often can’t keep anything down, dehydration is a major risk.  Not enough blood running through the heart equals regurgitation and syncope.

I want to just scream that it’s not fair.  I’m 28!  I’m one of the smartest, most talented people in the workforce (mathmatically speaking,) I have the will and want to work – but I can’t.  I can’t even lift my head some days.  When I feel like that though, I verbally tell myself to shut up.  One of the kids I went to school with just died from cancer this past week.  He wasn’t one of my friends, but we ran with the same crowd.  Well, as much as a socially-impared art geek can run with a crowd. I’m blessed beyond belief.

I think I’m just feeling older than my age.  Wednesday, I have an appt with the OBGYN to start talking about a hysterectomy.  Friday is Shaun’s and my 10 year anniversary.  September is the 10 year high-school reunion.  I have three kids, ages 9, 5, and 4.  Two of them have PTSD and the laundry list of abuse related and drug-exposure related mental illnesses.  The last one is trying his hand at tantrums, but doesn’t have the stamina to keep up the 4 hour fits his sister is capable of.

The kids keep bringing up in therapy that they’re scared because I’m sick and they don’t want to lose another mom.  I can tell them again and again that it’s just a headache, but they know.  Kids are really good at not accepting bullshit and I’m really terrible at lying.  I don’t believe I’m going to die but I do believe that I’ll probably battle this well into my 90s. I grew up taking care of my mom through the same thing and I’m a productive member of society.

Some days are great and I feel like I did before I got sick… or until the sickness that I was born with caught up with me enough to take me down.  I have energy.  I laugh and smile.  My grammar doesn’t suck.  I have patience and want to conquer the world. I think about another child.

Yesterday was one of those days.  We went out with the kids to thrift stores and antique stores.  We picked up some pipes for Shaun to restore.  I got some $3 keyboards at Goodwill to modify and some clock parts.  We spent the kids’ Toys’r’Us gift card and their McDonalds gift card.  It was beautiful and sunny and great.

This morning was the same way, but a bad night’s sleep and too much caffeine caught up with me around 4 pm.  I got out and cleaned the wheels and chrome on my Durango now that the local road work is done.  I started teaching A how to work the shower since she’s going to start school in 3 weeks.  I took apart one of the keyboards and started cleaning it and sanitizing it.  We had pizza with the big family at Mom’s and the cousins all got to play and we made hand puppets out of paper bags.  I finally gave the digital picture frames back to my dad (one we couldn’t set up without an SD card port… blah) and set up the one for my mom.  I sorted through jewelry with my sister and stole some of her stuff.  The stupid gate at the family’s place was deactivated so we didn’t have to wait to be buzzed in.

Around the time Mom went to church with Grandma, I was a snippy bitch.  I even snapped at my mom.  I snapped at the kids for singing Spongebob’s “idiot friends” song.  I came home and took a bath, finished a stupid book, and tried to steady myself with working on fixing a flatbed scanner.  What I should have done is taken a shot of Zomig.

Now I’m going to attempt to sleep it off after I get Cali cleaned up.  Nola got pissy and and started a fight.  It looks like Cali lost a toenail.  Shaun’s putting the kids in bed and I’ve got the cameras charging so I can download the photos in the morning.

I don’t know who is harder to raise: children or German Shepherds.  They’re all too damn smart for their own good.

Doctor Appt Friday

26 06 2009

This morning I had a doctor appointment with my general practice doc and thank God the kids are adopted!  I dropped em off at Grandpa’s with snacks and coloring books and I got to go to the doctor all by myself like a big girl!  We adjusted some meds – up on the migraine preventative, changed brands on the stuff to make my heart stop the crazy palpitations.

Mitral Valve Prolapse is the most annoying disease you’ll never die from.  I got a referral to ANOTHER cardiologist who will either do stupid tests and dismiss my whining or a cardiologist who feels my pain and tries to help.  I want to discuss the new MV reconstruction surgery at Mount Sinai.  They have this rubber band looking thingy that keeps the valve from “hiccuping.”

So, after that, I went to one of those cash for gold places and sold some broken stuff.  One pink sapphire ring that was broken, a pendant with some sort of jade looking stone in it and a tiny chain bracelet and got $75.  I have another really heavy chain bracelet and now I’m thinking with the gold prices, I may get me some tattoo money!

Then I go get the kids and we go to Chik-fil-a.  I really don’t like it but the kids love it and it’s on the way to their therapist’s office so we did it anyways.  They ate fairly quickly so I let them play on the playground for a bit.  Ethan acted like a wild hooligan, so while I’m fussing at him, checking my phone to see what time it was, and trying to juggle the 30 things I had in my hands, I hear this from my sweet little angel of a daughter:  “I’m your best friend and I’m leaving so you aren’t gonna have any friends.”

Is it wrong to think your five year old is gonna be a great bitch one day?

Then the kids had their monthly psych appt (due to chronic PTSD) and health screenings and their doc has a time management problem.  I guess since she has a doctorate or something, that she can just wander in whenever she wants.  Anyways, she’s really nice and the kids don’t seem to mind her, so we go along with it.  Same meds for the older two, talked a bit about LJ’s encopresis and it acting up again probably being due to the stress of the adoption 2 weeks ago.  Both LJ and Alyssa had grown .5 inch and 3 lbs, which puts LJ in the “hey, I’m a tall boy” zone and Alyssa in the “it’s time to count calories…” zone.

Ethan is now 2 inches taller than Alyssa and he’s SKINNY.  He was my little roly-poly baby.  Now he’s turning into a kid sized boy.  *sniffle* N0 more toddler clothes for little E-baby.  E-man.  Awwwww….  You would never guess that this child is four.  He doesn’t realize he’s big though and does stupid things like run into doors and tries to squeeze into spots he’ll never fit in.  It’s like when Nola, the giant twit of a Great Dane, grew into her paws.  Suddenly under the kitchen table was not a safe place.  She was all clumsy paws and legs sticking out everywhere with knobby knees.

Tonight, Shaun has a sleep study at Emory to test for sleep apnea.  The other night I was laying next to him, awake from the snoring, and he just stopped breathing.  Holeeee shit.  Then, he started again.  That prompted me shaking him and going “dude, you like nearly died!  go to the doctor!”  Of course, the three snoring dogs that surround our bed didn’t like being disturbed so we agreed to talk about it during daylight hours.

Speaking of not getting any sleep – last night I just could not get comfortable in the bed, so I went out to the hammock in the living room.  I slept fine there until I rolled over and hit the floor.  Spooky lifted his head and gave me the “idiot” look only black cats can give and then turned his back on me so I came back to bed.

My brother wants me to see what I can do about some bad customer service him and his girl got at the Quality Inn in Gatlinburg, TN.  So, Vincent, general manager – expect a call!