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.

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
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.

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.

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,
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.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Do you have any moral fiber???

I again have found myself amongst the have and the have nots. That is, have or have not any resemblance of moral fiber. It's scarcer than you think. And I am not holding myself on a pedestal but I am amazed on a daily basis of the extreme lack conscience. So I thought I'd hold a little test and you can see for yourself which camp you fall into.
  1. If you came across an item in someones yard that you have been looking for and it looks abandoned by the owners. And you decide to go up to the door to knock and ask them about it but they are not home. Do you a) take it b) come back later and ask for it c) drive right by because you would not consider going to someones door to ask them to give you something.
  2. You are in a position of power and you have loads of on the job experience, you come into contact with clients who have more credentials than you do. Do you a) make up a degree or two so you will be taken seriously b) choose not to discuss education so no one will know c) Couldn't give a rat's petunia about what anyone thinks about your education, you have high self esteem and you know that education is just reading books and discussing the information, you have been doing that for years.
  3. You ask a friend to do some work for you for free. Because this friend is nice he agrees to do it. It's almost rent time and you are a little short this month. Do you a) ask friend to give you a receipt of a monetary exchange that never took place so that you can submit it for reimbursement . b) hint around to your friend hoping they will get the idea and offer c) never consider doing this because it's incredibly dishonest, not to mention it puts your friend in a bad position.
  4. Do you fudge a bit on your taxes? a) yes all the time, that money is mine anyway b) guestimate amounts because you are too lazy to look up actual numbers c) never...you couldn't stand having the IRS at your door, you'd be mortified.
  5. If you were given an item that you knew was stolen. Would you a) take it and never think about it again b) at first refuse, but then figure they aren't going to care c) threaten to call the police if it's not returned
  6. Do you go out to breakfast with your friends and a) expect them to buy you breakfast because they have more money than you do and after all you are their friend b) let them know you can go to breakfast but you don't have money c) keep mental notes because you never want your friend to feel taken advantage of.
  7. You need a babysitter a lot and your friend is nice so you a) ask her to babysit for you all the time b) ask her to babysit but offer to pay her, hoping she will sit but not want to be paid c) ask her to sit and insist that she allow you to do something for her in return.
  8. You fall down in a store because you were not looking where you were going you a) don't care because now you can sue the pants off the store and make a killing b) the manager is very concerned and rushes over to you, you hint that you could sue and the manager quickly writes you a check and off to the bank you go c) accept a hand up, are terribly embarrassed and very surprised when you find a check in the mail for your 'trouble'

Ok so now let's score this puppy! For every a) = 0 pts b) = 1 pt c) = 2 pts

0-7 You must be the parents or friends of Stephanie

8 -10 you are a little delayed in the moral area. You were probably dragged up by your hair, and you live in Pasco county.

11-13 you have moral fiber but you could improve it. You probablyhave visited FL. You were probably brought up and not dragged up.

14-16 You have very good values and morals. You must not be from Florida and if you are you are one of a very small group of Floridians with good morals...you must procreate immediately you are a dying breed.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday Morning Minivan Meetup

Does anyone else drive their kids to school still wearing your PJs and slippers without a bra praying that you won't have an accident because you really don't want to stand on the side of the road in your flannel nightie in the freezing cold? You see my kids go to a charter school and the bus does not grace our neighborhood with its presence. Which means I have to haul my 2-pac (and a neighbor) every morning (for a total of 8 years) until they go to highschool. And if school started at a decent hour, like the public school which starts at 9:30, it wouldn't be an issue. But of course we have to be through car loop by 8:15 or our kids are tardy. Which means I am leaving my house at 7:50 a.m. and so I am getting up at the buttcrack of dawn and just litterally rolling out of bed, slappin' on my IV of caffeine so I can focus before the mad rush. Then the hounding and hurrying starts: "Get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, put that plate in the dishwasher, pack your lunch, no you can't have popsicle in your lunch, what do you mean you don't have any shirts why didn't you tell me last night, hurry up I am leaving in 5 minutes, brush your teeth, do you have your water bottle? where's your homework, no you should have asked me to sign your planner last night" And out the door we go, and while they argue about who sits where I put the heat on, scrape and defrost the windows and off I go....with my slippers on and my nightie to the Minivan meetup.