About Me

I am a captive caretaker of three small terrorists and an exotic petting zoo. I try regularly to sneak college courses so one day I can leave this place.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

deciphering the code

Presents have been purchased and wrapped for a few days. With three kids we can't keep them all in our room, nor can we trust them under the tree. So JP had this great idea of putting them in code. The gifts are addressed to Alpha, Beta and Charlie. The children are desperately trying to figure out the code, especially Violet. She somehow thinks she has cracked a small portion- she says Charlie must be KT because the last part of the word is 'lie' and KT lies a lot. It's so funny to hear them strain their brains, to figure out what the parents are up to. Ahhh....that is the way it should be.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Piano hiding in my garage

I am not sure how else one hides a christmas piano except for in the garage. It's been there for a few weeks with a painting tarp over it. Violet finally inquired as to what "that large item was against the wall, in front of the freezer, where her dad parks" and I told her it was a tread mill for her dad for xmas. I figured that a tread mill still in a box and a box on it's side could be disguised as a piano, so why not. Don't uncover it, I don't want Daddy to find out what it is. Not so sure how to handle "mom, where's the treadmill for dad" but I'm thinking of "oh honey, it didn't work very well so I returned it".

Sunday, December 13, 2009

college?

So how does one go to college to get an advanced degree while being the main care giver of three not so small people? I do not know. But I would really like to find out. Millions of women do it everyday, so I know that it is possible. It just might be a lot of sacrifice and hard work. I'm not real big on the hard work thing, that whole burning the candle at both ends is not my strong suit. Sacrifice....well as long as it's not sleep I think I can manage. Just imagine how interesting my blog will be if I can share some really crazy stories from school....

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sarcasm....

I think, due to recent events, that I have temporarily lost my snarky edge. Dr. Phil says sarcasm is the lowest form of humor....but I think that he might actually be wrong about this.
So here's the debate: If sarcasm is used to make someone feel bad, or has said affect on a person then it is low.
but if sarcasm is used to poke fun at self and life, and media, and politics, and your children, then why is it low??? Somebody tell me.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

MY three stooges

I had this bright idea how it would be so fulfilling to read under the stars with the fire going. Camping in your back yard. My small people brought blankets and pillows and then they started to read their little books. It was all so touching for about 5 minutes, then it turned into utter chaos.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

sewing machine

Today I whipped out my Singer. Whipped is an exaggeration because actually it was quite an event to pull it out of it's tight space and then get it to open. I haven't sewn anything in over a year, not because I don't like to sew but because it was inconvenient to get at and I still haven't hung any pictures on my walls of the house I have lived in for over a year so when would I have time to sew.
The point of what I am saying is I know how to operate a sewing machine and to sew by hand. And when my daughter Violet asked where did I learned how to operate a sewing machine I told her about Mrs "D" and Home Ec class in 8th grade. I fondly remembered the sewing room and my classmates Liz and Julie. I remembered making stuffed animals and chit chat. Then I remembered I am sending her to a school for the " Arts " they don't have Home Ec. Then it hit me No one is going to teach my child to sew!!
I really don't understand why not either, I consider sewing an art. But apparently the Creation Foundation (founders of my girls school) do not. That means I have to teach them to sew. Can you see me teaching KT how to sew? Let me draw you a picture for those of you haven't had the pleasure. KT is my ADHD kid, she can't go upstairs without hurting herself, she can't get through a meal without spilling her drink, she can't sit still or sit straight, and I am going to give her a needle ? Sure, if I want her to poke her eye out!!


I think not!! I will be paying those fine folks at JoAnn fabrics to teach her to sew, and believe me they will earn every penny!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Halloween REALLY!!

Halloween is my favorite all time holiday!!! And I am very defensive of it's reputation.

I love all of my very Christian friends. However my antiHalloween friends need a little history lesson.



Over time certain interpretations have become inaccurate. Halloween, which I believe, is the most misunderstood holiday of all time needs a little fact fixing. Yes Halloween was a pagan holiday (love to all my Pagan friends) it dates back to ancient celts. The idea was to celebrate the end of the harvest season. The scary costumes were to scare away the bad spirits so the next harvest would be healthy. All that scariness was to ward off evil. Sort of like Christian metals, and crosses, and holy water. I realize this is not exactly the Christian purpose of wearing a cross, or using holy water, or having a St. whoever metal but it's similar. It makes christians feel safe and closer to god. Pagans chose the other route, to scare off evil to be closer to god, to have healthy crops, to have a prosperous year. Because this was the end of the crop season the grasses and hay were becoming short in supply, this lead to moving livestock and slaughtering some farm animals and salting them to eat a later date, and to have at their big celebration meal. These were not 'animal sacrifice' or gifts to gods, but a necessity to avoid starvation of farm animals. The holiday Samhain, was a little like Thanksgiving. It was a big feast, a family gathering, a bonfire, a start of the new year etc. It was also a day believed to be where the spirit world and our world came very close to one another. Some left soul cakes to help our ancestors on their journey. There is nothing satanic about Halloween. In the Celtic world there wasn't a satan or a devil. Only mischievious spirits that some called evil.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Snoring in Music class

My girls are taking singing classes at Music Matters. They are learning to read music and use their voice to hit notes. The teacher thought it would be a great idea to record their voices on tapes and then let them take the tapes home so they could listen to themselves. Except who actually owns a tape player? Well, not me. So I decided to purchase the archaic technology and the problem there is I am too cheap to spend 25.00 on technology that has such few uses. Instead I decide to use our mini digital recorder and send it to class with them. Digital recorders are small and very useful. For instance your child can read a story and then listen to themselves and see how they sound. They can verify if the story sounds right, meaning they said the right word and didn't just pick a word that looked right, and they can check their own pronunciation of sounds. Another use is proving to your spouse that he sounds like Chewbaca when he sleeps. In fact that was the first thing I used it for.
On Wednesday miss KT took the digial recorder to her lesson. After a brief lesson with the recorder we thought she could operate it. After KT sang her heart out her music teacher hit the play button and what they hear ? Chewbaca!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dorm fees?

Isn't it funny how a benign conversation about one thing can lead to another and then we have a problem? So Violet and I are having this conversation about money and it starts like this:
"Mom, can I take money out of my savings for my Halloween costume"
"No, that's dead money, it's for educational purposes..." I go on to tell her about the uses for that money. One of my examples was dorm fees. which lead to
"what's a dorm?" Which lead to me talking about my dorm and the fees which I think were like 800.00 a month or something. That's when it struck her, "What ? How am I going to save enough money for that? How much is 800 x 12? How am I going to pay for my cell phone bill and my computer?" And then tears came. She was so stressed out...and she's 9!!
I went on to tell her that she could live at home while she goes to the community college so she would have only two years of fees. She says she wants to go to PHCC for 4 years. So I explain that right now PHCC is only a 2 year college. Her last comment is that she hopes that in few years it will be a 4 year college. Then she closed her eyes and crossed her fingers and mumbled something. I think she was praying (her first prayer) to have the local community college be a four year college. Not that I think that's a bad prayer, it's just not what you expect from your 9 year old.

Friday, September 25, 2009

long time

I know I know it's been a long time. But my mommy is here and we have been visiting and so I have not been blogging. Real soon though, I will get back to blogging about the zoo.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The science experiment

Violet will be 9. Some days I feel like she is going on 29. She can really be an odd duck. For instance my little biologist wanted bugs for her birthday. What kind of kid wants bugs for her birthday? Mine of course. And not cute little butterflies either, no she wanted millipedes. Millipedes. I might as well open up a lab in my house. Hope I can get a discount on that mass spec. I think they are like 100 K. Maybe she can start small with a stereo microscope and some pH strips. I think I saw a soil testing kit at Lowes. It's really tough living with these little scientists, you really have to think out of the box. Last night we dissected a sunflower. It all started when I established a bird feeding station in my yard. Through birdie taste tests we determined that our birds (cardinals, chickadees and tufted titmouse) like the black oil sunflower seeds the best. So then came the question, 'where do sunflower seeds come from?' "From sunflowers" I said. She said, "I know but where are the seeds in the sunflower." I tried to explain but she just had more questions so we decided to plant the birdseed so I could demonstrate. I told my honey the next day about the conversation, but he had never plucked sunflower seeds out of a sunflower and didn't know what I was talking about. Fast forward a few months when the seeds finally flowered, it was sort of a thrill for him to see how it worked too. I guess not everyone has these experiences. I guess not everyone does science exploration. I figure Violet is a walking science experiment. She'll probably make me go broke in the process of filling up that noggin of hers (millipedes are 39.00 at Carolina Biological-which is where we order all her 'specimens' ie meal worms, crickets, darkling beetle, painted lady butterflies, and lady bugs). But still, I can't wait to see what she does for this world!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back to school!!

It's coming!! Just hang in there. All will be right with the world when the small people get back on their yellow busses and disappear into the morning. Not a single peep until the return at the end of the day, piled high with papers and books and stains on their clothes. Ode to minivan meetup where excited munchkins pile into your car with their backpacks and complaints about lunches, mean kids, and teachers who play favorites.
How I will miss sleeping in. How I will miss my two hour coffee break on the swing outside my house.
It's back to the grind: cold cereal, packing lunches, a.m car loop, bus, pm car loop, homework, play, shower, dinner, clean up, bed.

Sleep fast wee ones, for we will do this all over again tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The need to be right.

I admit it. I have an insatiable need to be right. Uggg. It's so annoying.
My son is in the process of being assessed for Aspergers. Everyone at school (the ESE teachers, the school psychologist, and the principal, the speech teacher, and the OT) tells me I am wrong and he is not an Asperger kid. I am now taking him to a specialist to be diagnosed. The new therapist, after a few sessions, tells me that it's not really necessary to have a diagnosis as it will not change anything for him educationally. He is right. But I don't care. I want to march into the school and hold a paper in my hand and say "SEE!!! I was right. He does have Aspergers, and I am a better diagnostician then all of you!!!!" I don't know why I have that need. It's annoying to my friends and family. I wish I didn't have it, it's those darn emotional receptors in my brain, they crave it, it's not my fault I am a victim of my own neurological makeup.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Proactive Parenting

I just taught a class on Proactive Parenting, so I am all wound up. I have these fabulous families who want to adopt children. Except there vision of children and the DCF version of children that actually exist, are very different. So each week little by little I leak information about our kids and see if they run screaming from the room. So far no one has. Which could mean a few things: they are not getting it, they don't believe me, or are too dumb to know what is good for them. I am kidding of course. One couple is very scared now, this is a sign of intelligence in the DCF world. See, if you are scared sh#*less and you keep coming anyway then I know I am doing my job.
Here's a little of how I explain it in class.
The definition of Proactive parenting is planning how you will handle behaviors and it is the opposite of reactive parenting.
Proactive parenting is not to be confused with plotting against your children.
Now I tell my families this, and they all look at me like I have a screw loose. This is because they haven't met our kids yet. In a year, I will say the same things and they will laugh hysterically because they will remember nights where they stayed up late plotting a really great punishment for some sort of misbehavior. Here are few different scenarios of different parenting styles:
scenario 1 proactive parenting:
You have little Johnny at home and he loves to jump on the bed. So you tell little johnny that jumping on the bed is not allowed. The consequence of jumping on the bed will be that he won't get to enjoy dessert with the family this evening, and that would make you very sad.
scenario 2 reactive parenting:
Little johnny goes upstairs and jumps on the bed, you take away his mattress and all of his blankets and stuffed animals and he sleeps on the floor.
scenario 3 plotting:
You go to home depot and get plastic runners for carpets cut to the size of the bed, then you purchase a large 3x5 sheet of wood. You go home, put the piece of wood on the bed with the carpet runner upside down (so all the little plastic spikes stick up) and then you cover the bed with a thin sheet and tuck it all in and make it nice and neat. You pick up Johnny from school and you remind him that he is not allowed to jump on the bed.

Now in scenario one, Johnny jumps on the bed and then has a tantrum all through dessert because he didn't get any. which ruins your evening and makes you angry.
In scenario two johnny pitches a fit at bedtime and keeps you up for hours, which makes your crabby and angry the next day.
In scenario three, johnny yells 'ouch' and 'what the F#$%' as you run into your bedroom cackling to your spouse about how funny it was. You feel revitalized and Johnny is now suspicious.
Now the few of you who read my blog and have difficult children will identify with the plotting. We do it for therapeutic purposes. We don't always carry it out, but just find enjoyment and stress relief in designing it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Real packrats can't hold a candle to my Violet.

I am from a family of pack rats and hoarders. Although I like to consider my self the least packing of all rats, my husband still accuses me of hoarding. I know it's in the DNA because I saw it with my own to eyes. The other day we were rearranging Violet's room. We had bought her a new mattress for her bed as she was sleeping on the smaller trundle mattress. As I started clearing off her bed I found a plethora of non-sleeping items: CD player, open Cd's and cases, gum wrappers, 4 books, assorted stuffed animals and dolls, extra pajamas, a shirt, plastic toys, and some art work. Which seems like a lot but maybe she just doesn't like to put stuff away. Then I started to pull up her mattress, and I could see right through to the floor: loads of socks, sheets and toys trapped under the trundle. Needless to say we spent the day emptying her room, then rearranging and now we are still putting things away. You never knew this kid could hide so much crap in that little tiny room. She keeps everything: favors left over from birthday parties, stories she wrote in Kindergarten, McDonald's toys, gumball machine toy coverings(without the toy) assorted rocks, plastic animals, American girl catalogs, magazines, 200 glue on gems, 10 bouncy balls, 3 candles, lotions, and 5 lip glosses. Which most of this would have been fine if it was organized but no, it was just all thrown in her closet in boxes and plastic containers. Every container I opened had another 'treasure'. She also can't bare to part with anything! The waterworks turn on at the mere mention of tossing. I tried to pry some PJ's out of her little paws, they were size 6 she wears a 10 in PJ's, but she fell apart because they were Tinkerbell!! And you don't want to say, don't worry I'll buy you some more. It's just simply better when I send her off to camp and then empty out her drawers. Hoarders need our help to free them of their things. Mom, watch out you are next!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Georgia Aquarium


Pics from the GA aquarium







Mystic Aquarium





I was one of the lucky few who grew up with an aquarium a couple of miles from my home http://www.mysticaquarium.org/ .




My mom became a 'charter member' the day it opened, I think I was 6, and we haven't stopped going. In my highschool years I actually volunteered there and got to put my mitts on some of the beautiful animals. Aurora, a charasmatic beluga whale, was my favorite. She liked her gums rubbed.




So during out visit to GA we had to go to the aquarium!! http://www.georgiaaquarium.org/

It's a really neat place and I highly recommend it.




















Sunday, July 12, 2009

all creatures great and small

There are always creatures spending a few nights in our home while Violet studies them. Tonight we have some sort of grasshopper. It's huge!! We have all the 'creature' comforts for grasshoppers: water gel, dead vegetation, powereded cricket food, meal worms, a large piece of mulch to hide under. Other creatures that have spent the night include: a skink, a squirrel, a baby cardinal, a baby wren, a large turtle and assorted lizards, toads , fish and tree frogs. I am not sure why she is drawn to creatures. It may have be something to do with her cribset which was 'cutie bugs' from Target. There is some sort of correlation you know!!! So all of you expecting parents out there, select your cribset with care. If you don't want Johnny to grow up to be a pilot don't use cute little airplanes. Other cribsets that could be of concern: fish, fire engines, and princess..
Here's the message they could get.
Fish: Fishing is more important than anything else
Fire enginess: Not good for parents with anxiety
Princess: The world must be at my beck and call
Peter Pan: I will never grow up
Noah's Ark: You need to collect two of everything
African Animals: It has to be BIG to be important
Tinker Bell: I am waiting for the pixie dust to kick in and fix everything

The list goes on, be sure and comment if you have one that you are concerned about.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bunnage




My bunny girl is getting spayed today. I am a nervous nellie: what if something goes wrong, what if they hurt her, what if they aren't nice to her, what if she thinks I abandoned her, what if she thinks I let these people hurt her???



Penelope has been getting a little aggressive with the kids lately:Chasing, climbing on them, circling and nipping. She actually drew blood on Violet when Violet was messing with her cage (cleaning it really) but to Penelope it was more like rearranging her furniture without permission. It ticked her off. And she can't say anything about it so she uses her teeth...sort of like a toddler. I am pretty sure she is in heat, I mean she's a rabbit, aren't they pretty much always in heat? I pick her up at 3:00. I hope she isn't too uncomfortable. I am such a bunny mama!!!
Update: Bunny baby is back. She hasn't moved at all...even her nose is still. I had pet her to make sure she was ok. Anyway the Vet was great, he's a bunny lover. Thanks Doctor Hughes!!
Here's his info:
Hughes, James E DVM - All Creatures Animal Clinic
(727) 785-0405
3438 E Lake Rd, #11, Palm Harbor, FL 34685
I will never take my bunny to another VET EVER!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sponge bob Casserole

My children are separatists. They do not like their veggies mixed with anything, in fact they really don't like their food touching. I often have to disguise my casseroles as some famous dish. Take for instance Sponge bob casserole, named so my children would eat it, and possibly like it.
It has shredded zucchini, summer squash, and onion cooked mixed with shredded cheese and white rice then melted in the oven. The more summer squash and yellow cheese the more like Sponge bob it looks, the more zucchini the more like seaweed it looks. So anyway I serve this and Jay my 10 year old says, "wait is Sponge bob really in here?" And all I can think is, here we go again. "Yes Jay, I snatched Sponge bob out of the TV tossed him in my food processor and then cooked him up to make a tasty dish. "

Saturday, July 4, 2009

History museum...more learning for mom.






















More from Atlanta:
Fernbank Science center is also near Fernbank Museum of Natural History http://www.fernbankmuseum.org/. Since Violet is the science experiment as far as we are concerned, we had that covered. But Jay is the history buff...although when they say natural history they mean nature, and not people. He's a little more people oriented...famous people like presidents and composers. The history museum is more history of nature and dinosaurs, but I was able to find some people. The history center isn't really my cup of tea, but they have a great gift shop. However I did learn one amazing fact. Dinosaurs do not have genitals. No really, have you ever noticed that every replica of a dinosaur has very specific details: it's gray brown color and perfect leathery texture right down to it's dirty toenails but in the genital region there is nothing...nada...just like Barbie. I have no idea how these ginormous creatures use the potty or reproduce. By looking at the size of these creatures the males should be hung like yaks. It is possible that they are more inny then outie...most reptiles are..but the current set at least have a little opening somewhere. I am thoroughly convinced that the scientologist have it correct and the dinosaurs just appeared here from aliens one day. Certainly there was no reproduction going on, you can't even tell which ones are male or female, gives new meaning to androgenous...no wonder why they all died off.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Kids say the dardest things!!

KT has not been feeling well so I took her to her pediatrician. They wanted to do a blood test and titer for Mono. Which I don't believe she has but anyway it was her first blood draw. Now, they announce that they are going to do a blood draw and then they leave the room, so my little one can work herself up into a frenzy. Armed with only a ladies magazine I put my distraction tactics into high gear!! "Look at this garden KT, look at the picture, what would you like to plant?" This goes on and on while we discuss different foods she would like to grow, while Countess Dracula is probably in the other room snickering at how long she is going to drag this process out. Finally KT says "chicken" and I tell her "no we can't have farm animals in our yard." To which she says "no not animals, chicken". I must have a perplexed look on my face, "KT we aren't allowed to have chickens." Now beyond frustrated with me she replies, "NO NOT chickens, I want to grow chicken and steak!!" Right now I can't believe what I am hearing so I ask, "you mean like drumsticks growing on a tree?" She shakes her head vehemently in the 'yes' direction. You are kidding me right? "You know where chicken and steak come from....they come from animals like chickens and cows." To which she only replies, "oh". Now I am exasperated and totally convinced that her fever temporarily (hopefully) fried her brain and she was just momentarily delusional.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The walk of shame for adoptive moms.

Every now and then I have to take my children to the dentist. Two thirds of my monster team have had extensive dental work in their early years. I am talking caps, fillings, extractions they have more silver in their mouths then a Florida souvenir shop. Jay had all of his front teeth removed when he was three and a half. Due to different insurances Jay and KT see the same dentist while Violet goes to the same dentist as JP and I do. So Jay and KT's dentist does not know me from Adam (whatever that means). So Jay is nervous about having a filling the other day and I'm asking him haven't you ever had a tooth filled before and he says, "I don't know." Well me either so when we get to the dentist and I tell the receptionist that he's nervous and he doesn't know if he ever had a tooth filled before, could you check? To which she looks up at me quite puzzled, and says she will check and get back to me. Well in the meantime I go in with KT because this is our second visit about tooth pain. The Dr. looks in her mouth (a different dr then she had last week) and I can see her eyebrows raise. I know what she is thinking, and I want to scream,

I didn't birth these kids, I didn't send them to bed with bottles of milk, I
didn't neglect their teeth, it wasn't me, really teeth are important to me, I
brushed Violet's teeth with a infant gum scrubber everynight since the day she was born, I am not a terrible mother, they are adopted, their birth mother did it, Jay had bottle rot from her putting him to bed with a bottle because she was lazy, she made him have to have his four front teeth pulled, I just recued them, they came like this!!!!
But I resist the urge. It doesn't really matter what she thinks does it? I am being so rediculous. I will not give into this urge... today.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer of Learning









Dragonflies
Below are some dragonflies mating, Violet impressed upon me how important it was to capture this image and share it with the world, 'in case they hadn't seen this before'.


My children probably hate the fact that everything has to do with learning. But when some of them are starting out 8 years behind I feel like we have so much catching up to do. Part of our learning tour in GA was visiting the Fernbank Science Center. Which in case you were wondering is FREE.
Fernbank Science Center is chock full of educational things like a planetarium, composting, vegetable gardens, butterfly gardens, bee keeping, acres of natural GA that you can explore.
Fernbank also shares property with Fernbank Elementary school. One of the best public schools in Atlanta according to Jay's speech teacher who used to work there.
Learning about Atlanta
While Atlanta is a racially diverse city I was disturbed by how racially divided it is. At each location we visited we saw camp groups full of happy little children bouncing around. Those camp groups were completely segregated. Campers were either all caucasian or all African American. Not being from Atlanta I imagine this has to do with where you live in Atlanta and which camp you choose. However being a mom of bi-racial children I was acutely aware of the divide and the perceived inadequacies. I also did not see many bi-racial children, which also intrigued me. In a city that is diverse, isn't it natural that you should see more?










Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cleopatra being patient

Cleo is a pretty patient cat. She puts up with a lot from her subjects. However I find this little video a real test of her self control.

video

Now seriously, how many would put of with their meal sharing a bed with them?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Newest Addition to the family



We have another 4 legged creature that has joined our family. It's still a baby and the verdict is still out on names but it is a boy. JP is voting for ' Zoom' because the little bugger can run fast!!! It's actually hard to get a pic because he doesn't hold still.
He's been a great help at thinning out my garden though. He eats more than Penelope. He likes the marigold, the basil and the thyme. She won't eat any of that.
So this Lagomorph belongs to KT. It's her first pet. He lives in her room and she takes care of him. She earned him with her good grades and taking good care of Penelope.

Look at him covering his little face. What is he thinking? "Oh I just can't bear it"

video

You just have to see him wash up. It is the cutest thing ever. Of course every flipping thing a bunny does is cute!! If you think of a great name for a little gray bunny post a comment.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Gifted results.

Yesterday was D-day. Violet had her knock down drag out with the petite, young, blonde school psychologist. Violet was actually a little nervous, which surprised me. I gave her the Omega 3 fatty acids that morning, told her it was good for her brain. I heard the usual complaints about fishy burps and how terrible they are but she sent them down the hatch anyway. The smarty pants test consistsed of verbal, odd picture out, and missing item from the picture. She scored the highest on the verbal...shocking isn't it. And the lowest on the missing item, which doesn't surprise me because she is terrible with deciphering drawings. Must be all that fine art she is exposed to, give her a pencil drawing and she is clueless. Anyway I didn't use the word 'gifted' with her, all children are gifted. I explained that this was so she didn't have to waste her time with tedious and repetive seat work. The surprising thing was that she actually got the score she needed to...on the money. My little Violet is now labeled for life. I can't believe it!! Not that I didn't know that she was smart, I just didn't believe that she could be defined by the scholastic definition of gifted...I thought she was more off beat. So we had baskin robbins for lunch to reward her for agreeing to take the test in the first place. Sometimes Violet is not that agreeable....shocking isn't it.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

First FAMILY Vacation























So we took the plunge and went on a vacation with the whole family. My children are 8,9 and 10 but we have only been together as a family for two years. Before some behaviors were too difficult to deal with on the road. But my kids have come so far that I thought they were ready, and I was right. Thank goodness. We had a short trip to Atlanta, in case it didn't work out I didn't want to be stuck too long. I also didn't want to give them enough time to self destruct.







I learned something about my kids, 2/3 can't climb trees. So we will be having some trips to the playground and the forest for climbing as soon as it gets cool.












Friday, June 5, 2009

Some Bunny moments


Now Penelope is cute, but not half as cute as the three silly kids talking in the background.



So if you can concentrate on the bunnage. She is having a good time doing an impersonation of a toddler: pick something off the ground and put it in your mouth, go inside, then back outside, run up to people then runaway...ok well maybe that sounds more like a puppy, and she does have the ears right.



Penelope is very therapeutic for my kids. She actually likes the kids, unlike Cleopatra who is very hesitant to get involved with small people with moving feet.

Ps I have to thank my friend Steph for the idea of putting this on you tube because I could NOT get this video to load on blogger. She is such a little smarty pants.



Thursday, June 4, 2009

So, we do influence our children.


Some days I am just sure my children have never listened to a thing I have said or been influenced by me at all. I guess I think I don't have that much of an impact. Dr. Phil is always going on about how kids are influenced by their parents...and I think oh sure, they are influenced by their friends and TV. Well I was sitting watching Oprah, and Violet has been attached to me like a flea on a warm dog, probably because she is home sick. Anyway, Nate is on Oprah decorating houses and Violet sees this piece of furniture and she went nuts!! She wants it in her bedroom. Now, for those of you who have been to my house you will know exactly what I am talking about!!! And for the rest of you, I have a huge library in my living room. Books are arranged by catagory: science, art, history etc.
Well, dear daughter has found her love of books and she does not want to share her books by putting them in the library. OH NO she wants her own personal library in her room....Grandpa Larry can you build one of these?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Rabbit Babbit




Here's my little gal. This one is sooooo unbelievably spoiled. See you can spoil a rabbit and they will not ruin your life when they become teenagers. Children on the other hand, the more you spoil them the less anyone wants to be around them. So BONAGE as we sometimes refer to her is loving summer green grass and clovers and the neighbors front planter for which she mistakes for her personal jungle.
Imagine having someone in your front yard with a broom digging up your front plants...oh uh that's just me trying to get my bun to come home. so sorry go back to eating your dinner


Birthday girl

Doesn't she look harmless? If you only knew!!!

Anyway here's that birthday girl...ok ok her birthday was in April, but I just got the images off my digital camera yesterday.
Anyway as you can tell it was a pool party, and I would like to show you the other kids that were there but some of them are in foster care so I can't.
God made this little one cute, so you could forgive her when she got all over your last blessed nerve.

Friday, May 29, 2009

update

Well Violet passed the ISS, which is an acronym for in school staffing, which is the school word for ' meeting that parents are not invited to'. Anyway the teachers sit around discussing the strengths of the children and if they need to move on to be tested for gifted. Apparently they went to bat for Violet and the school psychologist agreed...without ever meeting Violet. Only in Pasco I tell ya!!!
We have a renter!!! Woohoo. They will move in on June 1. Oh and they actually have a deposit, passed a credit and background check. I could just pinch myself!!!
My rental house is bigger than their old one so they are tickeled pink, and they are going to squeeze 4 kids into that house. He's a geography teacher (obviously not a geometry teacher) at the highschool, lets hope Pasco doesn't decide to remove geography from the curriculum, then we really would be lost.
KT and Violet were both selected for the chorus for Annie. However Violet says the chorus is stupid and wants her own part. brat!!! Of course she didn't have much sleep that day so that could have contributed to her 'tude.
We have a wedding to go to, I bought Jay a whole outfit because he was the only one of my monsters that had absolutely nothing to wear!!! Girls seem to always have something but boys never do. So anyway, he looks so cute with his sage green shirt and tie (he really wanted pink), gray slacks and black loafers. I'll have to send birthmom a pic, she will be so amazed how cute he looks!!!! After the wedding I will post some pics.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

smart but blind

Well the little smarty pants, Violet, passed the first round of 'gifted' tests. I was very surprised. I mean I know she is above average but I didn't thing she was gifted. Isn't that terrible? I mean we should all think that our children are gifted, and I do think she is in other ways but not in the standardized test kind of way. However, when the principal called she said the little smarty pants is blind as a bat in her left eye and they can't test her any further until I get her to a dr. I wonder how much she could be learning if she could actually see what was going on around her? And then I think, do I really want to live with a child that would be that much smarter? And then I think, no I really don't think I want to. Let her get smarter later....like after she moves out. See there again is why I will never be mother of the year!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

First mom

I received a letter from my childrens bio mom, via my relative/attorney. It's not that unusual. I had reached out to her when we first finalized the adoption, and gave her an address for correspondence. She was incarcerated at the time and posed little threat. I also wanted to provide hope, so that she would work hard at her rehab and not give up. I figure that when my daughter turns 18 first mom will become part of our lives.
She now lives in another state and is struggling to get her life together. She is aware of the trauma she caused and I believe genuinly sorry. She is very sorry that she ever got mixed up in drugs. She misses the children a lot, but she knows they are better off with me.
She would like to send birthday cards to the children, but she doesn't know if that will cause more trauma. I don't either. But I commend her for asking and taking that into consideration.
I actually feel lucky that she is operating at that level. I know many adoptive moms/ step moms who have to deal with horrid birth moms. I don't think we will do the birthday card, but I think I will allow a holiday card in December.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

To speak or not to speak ? that is the question.

We are coming to a cross road with KT. She is almost ready to graduate from speech. Now KT has an auditory processing disorder and well as problems with 's' , 'sh', 'ch' and 'j'. She sort of slurrs all of these together and squeezes air out the the sides of her mouth when she says them. She only does this in conversation, not when reading or repeating a word. If she does it in conversation she can quickly fix herself when reminded. What I can't decide is if we should discharge her for the summer and be done or keep torturing her a little longer ? If we discharge her chances are she will not qualify for speech later. However we could work on something else this summer in place of speech, that may be more beneficial.

Monday, April 27, 2009

My Florida Weeds

If you spend much time in a draught area, you will learn that your lawn sucks. Or at least it should if you are following the watering guidelines.
Here's a description of what your lawn will look like: dollar weeds, crabgrass, St. Augustine, more weeds, brown patches and bare patches. Now when I look at my lawn the very green part is actually a weed. The weeds grow very well. They are green and lush. So why am I trying to grow grass that will barely grow and is brown when I could have a whole lawn of weeds that would be green and wonderful ? Well I am not sure exactly, there really is no reason. So I decided to buy a bunch of weed seeds and plant them. I looked closely at my lawn one day and saw that the shamrock shaped weed was the lushest and the greenest. So I found out what it was: Oxalis or Clover. Dutch clover grows in any soil and needs very little water once it starts growning. It is weed resistant and it enriches your soil. So I bought myself about 10 lbs of Dutch clover seeds and I am going to plant them in all of my bare patches. You need about a pound for 300 sq feet so I can do lots of bare patches (I'll even let you guys have some if you want to try it). Best of all it the dutch clover has little white flowers that the bees love, so I am helping the bee poputlation.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Is she gifted?

Well the latest is they want to test Violet for being gifted. Now, don't get me wrong the little bugger is smart, above average even. But gifted is defined as 130 IQ and above. I'm not so sure that she is there. But I am pleased that her teacher thinks so, this is the same teacher that tried to get me to hold KT back last year.
What I like about Violet is that she is interesting and wise. She is well rounded, a little emotional and a tree hugger. I couldn't ask for anything more.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

GRE vocab for the week

Can I just tell you, the GRE is designed to torment it's users. They take the most obscure words and use the rarest definition and then put it into a sentence to see if you can figure out what it means. This test is a lesson in stamina. How long can you sit still and be analytical and focused?
My friends with the ADD, this could make you lose your mind.
It has nothing to do with what you know, although if you know a lot it helps.

So here are my words of the week...just wait algebra review is next week.
abjure, baleful, baneful, wend, welter, and wag.

comment with some sentences...if you can (that is a challenge by the way).
Remember to use the most abstruse definition.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Reptile Convention ???

The last time my spouse took my daughter to a reptile convention he came back with a 75.00 gecko and a tarantula. Well he is going again. And he is going with another guy who also likes the reptiles. I am sending three children to chaperone. But that is sort of like sending cheerleaders to a football game to keep an eye on the players. I am thinking that we will have a new member of the family when he gets back. Pray my zoo does not get any larger this weekend!


Update: No new family members showed up at my house. However, my friend wasn't so lucky.
She ended up with 2 bearded dragons. One of them is with babies. And apparently they can have up to 50!!! babies in one clutch. Can you imagine? 50 bearded dragons!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Insomnia

I have an eight year old with insomnia. We've tried everything I can think of:

warm showers

hot herbal tea

calms forte

reading

fan

open window

me saying 'go to bed'

holding her gecko

rubbing the kitty

night light on

night light off
melatonin
story on CD
music on CD
Anyone got any better ideas before I konk her over the head?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Birthday Girl!!

It's that time of year...to spend a little time appreciating the personality of my middle child.

Now KT is not your average middle child. She wants to be at the center of attention at all times.

She assaults your senses at every junction. But I do have a few accolades for her:

KT is always happy. She is always smiling...even when she is getting into trouble.

She is always laughing, she is always talking. She is my jovial, loquacious little sprout.

She is the one to initiate the games at home with the kids and keep them busy.

She is always amusing, you just have to find the amusement in the action. For instance:

KT cannot get through an entire day without spilling something. This morning it was the green bean container in the fridge. You just have to laugh, because it's so predictable.

She doesn't walk slowly, she always runs. Of course you remember, she can't go up the stairs without saying "OW!"

She doesn't think in a linear fashion. Everything is sporadic and all over the place. She doesn't have a bit of common sense. And she can't remember how to do anything (like wet her hair and comb out the tangles in the morning). But she can remember where things are located and the series of events that lead up to something, even if she really can't tell you in a linear fashion how something happened.

KT is all about people. She loves to see cars of people she knows, and then announce who the owner of the vehicle is. She doesn't care whether she is right or not, just the simple idea that it could be a person she knows delights her. She also loves to run into people in different places than where you normally see them, like seeing a teacher at Walmart. This would excite her for weeks.
When you talk about going to the pool or getting ice cream. KT is excited about who might be there to see her, not about swimming in the water or what flavor of ice cream she is going to order.

KT never imitates a couch potato. She doesn't lie around watching TV. In fact I don't think she actually can hold still. She doesn't day dream out a window. She is always moving. She is always watching people.

KT likes to learn. She likes to do school work...she does work books for fun. She can be fascinating. And today she turned 9.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Lexicon of the little lass.

Violet has a toothache. She can't just say she has a toothache.
Instead she says, "My canine didn't hurt this much last time."
To which I reply," can't you just say tooth like normal children?"
To which she replies,"I'm not normal."

Well she might be right about that. The Easter card that she made at home said,
"Mother and Father, Have a splendid holiday." What kind of 2nd grader says 'splendid holiday'.

It sort of runs in the family (my mother, me, and now Violet). We like words, and are incredibly loquacious. I like to decorate with words. I love lowercase. My mother likes the letters to be all the same size in a word, especially a name. She likes words that have soft sounds, especially names. We all have auditory sensitivities. You are going to see more words here on my blog. I am studying for the GRE. And if I have to learn some new fangled words, then I am going to teach all of you. And then you can add them to your lexicon.

So here we go: Abeyance- n, suspension of an activity.
The broken elevator has been in abeyance for a week.

Feel free to comment with some obscure GRE words and definitions.
I expect no one will respond with a diatribe or discourse.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Easter Bunny outed!

Violet has had an epiphany while shopping at Publix one day. She saw the aisle of colored eggs, tempting treats and chocolate rabbits. She stood perfectly still, then crossed her arms and glared at her father. "I know where the Easter candy comes from."

So Publix has outed me. And not that I am one for Easter bunny, tooth fairy and Santa but I so did feel caught when I heard her reaction.

Now it has been properly explained to my children that the Easter bunny, the leprechauns and the tooth fairy are services that the parents must pay for. Which means we purchase on-line goods to be delivered by genuine Easter Rabbits, Irish Leprechauns and floating tooth fairies. I can't help it if they shop at Publix!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Strawberry Door Jam(b)

JP was alone with the kiddies and being that he was ill, his tolerance for nonsense was not at it's highest. Especially when he found two open containers of strawberry jam in the refrigerator. One, covered in the gooey strawberry sugar. Now little KT has this reputation of making PBJ and smearing jelly from here to East India. She was also the likely culprit for not being able to find the original jelly and opening up the second jar (something she is supposed to get permission for.) So when she got corrected for it, she was quick to entertain denial. KT can never say, "I don't remember doing that" she just flat out denies it. Which, for some reason, really irked JP.

So while I heard the banter downstairs, I didn't put much stock in it. Until I heard a loud bang and then someone crying. Apparently, KT had pushed JPs buttons to the point of combustion. He actually had a little tantrum and threw a full jar of jam onto the floor of the pantry (which splashed on the floor, the food, the door, and the jamb.) Now, while he didn't harm a hair on her head, I think he was actually scared that he would, which is why the jam got tossed (you should never have things in your hand when your children are pushing your buttons...it could be dangerous...you don't always know what those buttons will do! For me, it was nice to have someone else lose it so I can say, "See, I told you that child can be impossible!!!"

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Out sick!

My household is suffering from illness. But stay tuned for pics from discovery cove.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Off on an adventure!!

http://www.discoverycove.com/DCO2/Plan/Packages.aspx

Some people actually go to tropical islands and scuba dive to observe nature. Here in Orlando we have a different way of doing things. We bring nature to us and then fence it in and add fake lakes, beaches, and rocks. Then we call it a habitat. Then we charge exhorbitant amounts of money to see it. And for those of us who don't fly to tropical islands, we pay it happily. Especially when celebrating the 10th wedding anniversary!!

I worked in an aquarium, and sometimes with dolphins, when I was a teenager. We have come a long way in how marine animals are treated. I won't go all tree hugger on you, but to say that I am not sure that any 'habitat' is really appropriate other than the open ocean. We study the dolphins in captivity and there is important information coming from those studies. But is the cost for the Dolphins too high. I can't answer that, except to say that I try to take this into consideration each time I purchase something like this.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Letters under the door.

Lately I have been getting notes under my door from one of the offspring. I thought I'd share one with you.

Dear MOM,

My stomack hurts. I don't know why.

Maybe I am alergic to nite. Write back soon.

Love, Violet

PS. I am not kidding about this!!!

(no laughing, she is not kidding)
So the stomach remedy was to get them all up an hour early in the morning, Violet read for an hour and a half (30 minutes past her bedtime). And I didn't hear a peep out of her last night about her stomach, or that she couldn't sleep. I think the stomach ache was a case of too much energy.

Bunny People

For those of you that know me, you probably know my bunny Penelope. And you know what a wonderful part of the familiy she truly is. Now, if I could, I'd have a whole houseful of the hopping toddlers. But I also have some offspring that I have to raise so I only have one bunny.
However, my friend and photographer at Angels Touch Photography got a new little hopper. And if you make an appointment with her you can meet Snowball (and the baby ducks too).
http://www.angelstouchphotography.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Discovering the essence of human.

The true art of making a mistake is the essence of being human. Rocks and minerals do not make mistakes, neither do plants, nor does your computer in spite of a long list of infractions, they are not true mistakes. Mistakes are made by humans. Even animals don't make them. Animals may make a bad choice, like to run in front of a car, but it can't really be called a mistake. And according to Dictionary.com, here's why.


mis⋅take    [mi-steyk]
–noun 1. an error in action, calculation, opinion, or judgment caused by poor reasoning, carelessness, insufficient knowledge, etc.
2. a misunderstanding or misconception.


Poor reasoning is indicative that you have reasoning skills to start. Which you could argue that I can't even pick on half of New Port Richey, because I am not sure they actually have reasoning skills, which would make them exempt from making mistakes. You have to be a higher level life form to be able to reason and then to make an error based on your judgement.



So why do I bring this up you ask...because as parents we make many mistakes. Also as a human parents we have regret and guilt. We also promise ourselves we won't make the same mistake again, and then we do it and become angry with ourselves. But lets think of the alternative, if we were the perfect human parent, never making a mistake- we wouldn't be human. And smaller humans need to be loved by bigger humans...mistakes and all.

The Leprechauns were here!

And they made such a mess of things!!
Every year at this time, these little green midgets show up and wreak havoc on my house. They get into the glitter, the paint, the toys. They leave trails of shamrocks everywhere they go.
This year they hid little gifts for the kids, sweets and plants. Apparently they ran out of shamrock plants because Violet ended up with a venus fly trap instead.
Well, apparently the leprechauns hid the glitter in a basket under some confetti because they were too lazy to put the glitter away (at 10:00 at night after a meeting). This is the same glitter that the kids woke up with on their cheeks, presumably from a leprechaun kiss. Well when Violet found the glitter container she immediatly started wagging her finger and said "one of you two people must have put the glitter on us", accusing JP and I. Of course we don't know what she is talking about.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tattered wings

Breakfast with Violet was abruptly interrupted with excited glee when she noticed a butterfly outside. Of course she had to try to catch it. This poor Lepidoptera is so tattered it's hard to recognize it, but we think it's a polyphemus moth, comment if you agree or not http://www.naturehaven.com/Butterflies/moths.html. Anyway, even though it's nearing the end of it's life span, Violet was immediately captivated by it. She was concerned that it couldn't fly and would be hurt or killed. So it was netted, scooped up and put into small carrying cage and brought inside for inspection. We both held it. This lepidoptera has a fat little body and 6 fuzzy little legs, and weighs as much as a pinkie mouse, we were unable to see it's proboscis so it most likely doesn't eat. Which probably means it's a moth. The little creature crawled on our hands and fervently tried to warm its wings for flight. This is where the wings shake as if it were having an epileptic seizure. It really tried with all it's might to be air born. Unfortunately it was not successful.
Because of it's frail condition I recommended putting her on a nice tree in the sunshine where she could live out her last few days. Violet was agreeable (thankfully) but she did not want to be reminded of it's lack of immortality.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I am not stopping and you can't make me.

One of my favorite things to do is have breakfast with my comrades, where we enjoy camaraderie. There is no topic off limits (yesterday it was baby vomit through the nose) even while others around me were eating. It's New Port Richey, tact is optional and quite scarce- I wouldn't want to draw attention to myself by actually using any. Anyway it makes me feel like those girls from "Sex in the city" http://www.hbo.com/city/ minus the menu, cocktails, couture, makeup, highlighting and hair extensions. OK well basically minus the glamour. Maybe more like "Cheers" minus the alcohol and job. Now it cost approx 5$ by the time I get out of there, of course if I eat a bowl of soup (Wisconsin cheddar)1.79 and drink water and leave a tip I am only up to 2.79. I feel this is a reasonable expense on my budget once or twice (sometimes 3 times) per week. And even if it's not, I am not stopping and you can't make me. I mean this is like therapy only without paying a real therapist. Besides a therapist is not going to listen to your yap for 2 and a half hours about your kids, your spouse, your crazy ______( fill in the blank, neighbors, family, friends, social workers etc) and tell you what you should actually do. The therapist makes you figure out what you should do (which is how they keep you coming back) because we are such numb skulls it takes months to figure it out, but your friends, your comrades...they'll just tell you. And there is no paper trail either. So no one really knows how crazy we all are, unless of course they ask. Or they spend 2.5 minutes listening to us. So stop on by and put in your two cents.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

India under the couch

India is a lizard, a leopard gecko to be exact. We actually spell her name Yndia because she has "Y" on her head. She likes to get on our hands and crawl all over. She even gives a little kiss to determine who you are. Last night Yndia was out for her usual walk, up and down JP's arm, down his back, over his leg until she was GONE! YIKES, a loose gecko in a 2000+ sq ft house with a cat. Now the feline has been very kind to the gecko, but we don't leave her unattended for 12 hours with prey during hunting time. It's just not safe. Panic was starting to set in when she wasn't under the couch cushions, or under the couch, or on JP's back. She had only been missing for about 20 seconds, and she is a very slow gecko. She couldn't get that far, could she?
As I looked beneath the couch I noticed the lining was sagging. I gently lifted it up and it felt like there were things in there. I couldn't tell what. JP ripped the lining off, we could see her but we couldn't get her. So then he tipped the whole couch upside down and dumped it. My family room floor filled with magazines dating back from 2000, baby keys, coupon books, and aveeno diaper ointment. Low and behold I could see Yndia. I reached in and grabbed her, she squawked. She doesn't even have vocal cords. I cuddled her up close to my neck, she stuck her head under my shirt and refused to be disentangled from me. She clung tightly and continued to squawk whenever I tried to get her off me. The poor gecko was traumatized. Wonder if she'll ask to come out tonight.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cinderella's Coach

It's standardized test week in FL, also known as FCAT week. We Floridians have a few choice words for it that I will not share here due to the inappropriate content. Let's just say it's a stressful time for our munchkins especially the 3rd and 4th graders. To help alleviate some stress anxiety I decided to share a little bit of guided imagery with the girls. So I have KT, Violet and my neighbors child in the car. I am telling them if they get stressed to picture themselves in Cinderella's coach, "it's completely quiet inside, you are all by yourself, you can see the children in the distance but you can't hear them. What do you have with you, pencils? chocolate? What does it look like inside?" here's where they tell me about the benches and satin cushions and the extra lighting and some animal crackers and a pack of gum. So I think everyone is relaxed and ready to use Cinderellas coach when they get to their test, but Violet pipes in with "I can't concentrate with the horses hooves clanking". Uggg Violet would you park your coach??? talk about too much imagination!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The White Elephant

A white elephant is a valuable possession which its owner cannot dispose of and whose cost (particularly cost of upkeep) exceeds its usefulness.- wikipedia



My rental house used to be so cute, like a cozy cottage in the woods. Hardwood floors, wood fire place, backed up to a conservation area stocked with raccoons, wood peckers and armadillo.

This cute little cottage, where I would sit on my back patio and watch the leaves grow, do art projects with my preschooler, and watch the cardinal family has now turned into a white elephant.

For one, we owe more than we could sell it for in this market.

For two, I can't make much money on the rent because the mortgage is so high.

For three, my brain damaged renters caused lots of damage- around 1000.00
plus the upkeep that they said they would do they didn't. 6 months after they moved in I discovered that never owned a vacuum. Yep, that's right can you guess what my berber carpets look like? They weren't perfect before but now they are really filthy. And now I have to paint. I hate to paint, but I can't afford to pay a company to do it just now because I don't have any rent money for March.

Happy Birthday to my HONEY!

It's JP's B-day today. He will be thirty something again. I am writing him a note here because lately we don't see too much of each other. When we do it's more like 'rub my back so I can fall asleep' sort of conversation. You know how it is when we are so busy that you put down your morning cup of JOE and then you can't find it, forget to grab the cell phone off the charger and are not reachable all day, or go right past Publix when we needed to stop for milk and don't realize it until 7 am when the kiddies have just poured their rice crispies.
Well enough about the busy lives.
My honey is great little hubby. He likes my cooking and takes care of details like refilling soap dispensers. He grocery shops and gets all the best deals. So I just color myself lucky. Jealous? Too bad, I am keeping him.
JP is also a good daddy too. His little rug rats love him. They make up excuses each night to get out of bed just so they can steal an extra minute or two with him.
Happy Bday JP...I love you!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Not Me Monday

This is my first NOT ME post. And if you are clueless about what I am talking about, pop on over to MckMama's blog at http://www.mycharmingkids.blogspot.com/

I did not practially condone my childs forgery of my signature on oodles of school paperwork, no I would never do that!!
I did not go home and cry after I visited my former home and witnessed the condition left by the renter.
I did not traumatize our children by then bringing them to said house so they could see the mess that was left by our tentants, to teach a lesson. It wasn't my idea (it really wasn't).
I did not then rub said lesson in by then telling them how if they don't learn to pick up after themselves they will then live in a stye, like this.
I did not wish the renter any ill will after she practically ruined walls, doors and hard wood floor.
I did not drive 60 in a 35, I did not encourage my spouse to speed up because he was driving the speed limit.
I did not yell at my middle daughter and tell her to 'SHUT UP FOR PETES SAKE' because I would never use those words.
I did not torture my bunny rabbit by stuffing her into Easter Baskets so I could test whether or not she could get out.
I did not remove Cleopatra's sleeping spot on my desk and relocate her to the floor.
And finally I did not almost put toothpaste on my hooha thinking it was hemroid cream....well at least it's better than putting hemroid cream on my toothbrush and thinking that it was toothpaste.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Easter Bunny Auditions


Hello Everyone,
This is Penelope. She is a lop rabbit. Not to be confused with a dwarf lop, as she is quite svelte.
Penelope or Bunnage as she is affectionately known, is a house rabbit. A house rabbit is much like a house cat, except when we leave the house or go to bed, she gets the kennel. House rabbit's are spoiled and entitled, they have what we bunnymama's call bunnitude.
This is Penelope's Easter Bunny Audition Picture. She is hoping to get a part in
Angels Touch Photography's Easter Photo Extravaganza. Stephanie over at Angels Touch is using Live Bunny's for her Easter shoot.
We are pretty sure that Bunnage is second place, just behind Lil Bunny Foo Foo.
So hop on over to http://www.angelstouchphotography.com/ and see what's going on for Easter.


Out of the mouths of babes.

Do you ever have those moments when your kid says something and you just have to crack up?
KT was in the back seat of the car, being her overly annoying self. JP was driving. KT could not stop talking, asking questions or even lower her tone. I finally told her to 'keep your yap shut' and she told me 'Mom you keep your lap shut'. I thought JP was going to run off the road he was laughing so hard. This was followed by KT's endless probing 'what ?...what?... what is so funny?...." to which we just laughed more. So now I know why I have three kids, I just couldn't keep my lap shut.

Somebody submit this to readers digest for me.

Friday, February 27, 2009

What do little kids dream about?

Violet announces this morning how she had 'the best dream ever!' And I thought to myself, what do second graders dream about? Winning the lottery? Candy Land coming to life? Living in a castle and being a princess? Kissing one of the Jonas brothers? (Good heavens I hope not.)
So I muster the courage to ask, and squeeze my eyes shut tight in anticipation of her answer.
Violet goes on to say:
I dreamed that KT and I found a baby bunny in the woods and it was so cute and we took it home with us. And I named it peach fuzz. And it was attracted to KT because she had a pepper in her hand.

Phew! So I guess she had turned on her thinker-upper and let it softly purr, it was thinking up friendly little things with smiles and fuzzy fur. (Dr. Seuss)

Well at least it wasn't bugs.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's forgery!!

And I should be mad. My 2nd grader has been forging my signature on her homework, agenda, and reading list, pretty much where ever I have to sign, for months now. And she got caught! Now I have to admit she is related to a forger, who is also the daughter of a forger. It's in our DNA. But she has started very young, I don't remember forging until at least 7th grade. Also, I NEVER got caught. Of course my mother would cover for me if I ever did get caught. It's not like she didn't know. I always told her.
Violet did this because she wanted to help. It's great for me, I don't have to worry about forgetting to sign. And I find initialling everything under the sun, tedious. I know it's just a way of communicating, but is there such as thing as too much communication? I mean really!! I have three kids, they each have between 1 and three places for me to sign each night. On a good day that is 6 things, on a bad day it's about 9.
So I got an email from her teacher today, and here it is:
Violet signed your name on her A-Z book again. Mrs. C had the same problem last week too. She spoke with her about it when it happened and we assumed that was enough to take care of it. Today, when checking A-Z books, I noticed your signature looked very different. At first she told me sometimes you sign like that, but after a little bit of probing, she admitted her mistake. She did have to flip her card because she had already been warned. I also talked to her about “good character” that I know she has been wanting and the fact that if adults forge a name it is against the law."
What is one to say about this? So here was my email:
Dear Ms. G
Sorry.
Violet is a decendant of a parental forger.
You are going to be disappointed when I tell you I really haven't admonished her when she has done it. She probably took it as permission from me.
So a consequence will either make her get better at it or decide it's not worth the risk.I tried to just sign a whole bunch of things in advance but she said that wasn't good either.
Good luck with her!
So when Violet got home we had a little chat and I told her about the email I received from her teacher and I told her what the email said that I sent back. And do you know what that child said???? She said she was going to get a pen and start practicing!!!!
Good lord,
I have created a monster.
Please forgive me.
Elle

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Performing Hearts

Thursday night was a presentation by the Pasco Pinellas Heart Gallery at Mahaffey theater to bring awareness to foster children. They did a fabulous job, it was a true community effort.
http://www.heartgallerykids.org/

Please take a look at their website. This group does an amazing job of raising awareness and bringing the community together. Without them I would not have two of my children today.

Once upon a time I had one child. I worked in a preschool as the Pre K teacher. Many of the children in my class came from less than ideal circumstances. We had children who had been abused, had disorders, had strippers for mommies, lived with domestic violence, were aggressive themselves, and lived in poverty. On my first day of work there was a birthday chart. It was colorful with little names printed with black magic marker on balloons and their date of birth listed below. The name of one little boy was Rafiq. However he did not come to school. Eventually we took the name down. Time went on, new children joined our group. Something told me one of these children was going to come home with me. I couldn't figure out who or how. The thought of one of these mommies dying was not something I could wrap my head around. I told my husband my thoughts. I think he suspected I was crazy. Elle pretending to be the psychic again. March 23 2004, a case manager from FCP showed up with two little kids, a 3yr old girl and a 4 year old boy, at 6 in the morning. Somewhere in their history they used to go to our school. Even though we had no records, we took them that day. They were Rafiq and Shamecca. I knew the names. Shamecca had been in the class with my daughter, she was handful. Rafiq was a toothless quiet boy, and I could not understand his speech. He played under the table that day. I let him. His grandmother showed up to pick him up. She explained that the children would not be back. She was putting them in a daycare near her. She also explained the the children's parents were on drugs and it was a big mess. I saw the parents later on that evening speaking to the director. They were heart broken and I wanted to be far away from them, it was such an uncomfortable situation. I did not see Rafiq or Shamecca again. I moved from that town to another county. I enrolled in Montessori Teacher Training in June 2006. I had to leave my family for a month to learn Montessori. I absolutely loved it. Two weeks after I got back from Montessori school I spoke to a friend on the phone. A friend I had urged to adopt. She had gone through the MAPP process and was waiting for a home study and a child. She wanted to show me the new heart gallery on line. We were both excited about seeing the faces of the foster children looking for homes. I had always wanted to be a foster mom. I had gone to an orientation two years before but was unable to convince my spouse. So here we were pointing and clicking and then Stephanie says to 'search all' and then I saw something very familiar. The names 'Rafiq and Shamecca'. I gasped and she got chills. I saw there faces, I listened to their voices. I called the heart gallery they gave me the number for FCP, I called FCP- the children were still available, I called my husband. Later that night we spoke. I couldn't leave those children in Foster Care. He didn't think we could afford it. We couldn't sleep. Then I found out about subsidy. We might just be able to afford it. I found out about orientation and MAPP class. I drove a one woman crusade to get these children. I had to leave my dream of being a Montessori teacher on another burner. This is the story of how these heart gallery put us together. Without them I would have never known these kids were parentless.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Miracles and Tragedies

It's kind of odd how these two things, tragedies and miracles, are so closely related.


A tragedy is a series of events that occur, coincidentally, with a negative outcome.


A miracle is usually defined (except for birth) as an initiating negative event followed by a series of events that lead to a positive outcome. The latter is also thought to be entwined with divine intervention. Let us compare and contrast:


Flight 1549 into the Hudson was deemed a miracle by the press. The jet engine v.s. poultry was the initial negative event. The following coincidences were that this happened very close to the airport so that the plane was not that high, the soft Hudson river was below. The pilot was a trained glider pilot and often flew gliders during his off duty hours. He was also accompanied by an exemplary staff of flight attendants and let's not forget the co-pilot. My friend told me that this co-pilot started the 20 pages of the 'crashing manual' and only got through one page before they had to 'wing it'. Is that where the phrase comes from? Doesn't make me feel to secure in flight travel but I digress. This team managed to get everyone out of the plane and were then picked up by boats nearby. Everyone survived without a scratch.


Had the fowl not flown into the path of an oncoming air craft the fact that a glider pilot, exemplary air staff, Hudson river, helpful boaters would not have even been mentioned. So is this divine intervention?


OK so let's consider the tragedy. Which I really don't like to even think about but my mother feels it necessary to share many of them with me. A tragedy could be partly designed by someone, such as 911, or it could be a car accident. The coincidences for a car accident are that the two drivers leave there homes at the specific time so that the two cars are on exactly the same road at exactly the same time and meet at the exact moment necessary for them to cause a collision. Was there sinister intervention or just a series of coincidences?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Another example of how I am NOT Mother of the year.



Lately hubby has been having to work long hours, so I am still doing the single mother thing a little more often than not. Which can make me a little crabby. Apparently my children have noticed the change and one of them wrote me a book on it. I am not kidding, she literally made a book with staples, and a dedication page. Below are some excerpts.

Violet's Book


She goes on to say how she needs help dealing with these "imotions because I have know idear what anyone could do to help me"
The last page: "Dear mom I have some bad emotions that I need your help with"
Yours Truly,
Violet
And while I am offended that she called me on the carpet on my behavior. And while I feel guilty for being such a bad mom. I have to look at how expressive she is, how excellent her communication skills are and how in touch she is with her emotions. I figure I can't be all that bad.
Ok in case you are wondering we now have a diary that we write in, one for each kid where we safely express feelings and ideas on how to work on them.