Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween, Nature's tricks and remembrances

This picture shows why there was no Trick or Treating in our community tonight!  It may be Halloween but it is unsafe for people to be out.  A freak "trick" by Mother Nature dumped more than 16 inches of heavy wet snow on the region.  Lots of downed wires, (we were without power from 10 p.m. Saturday to 2:30 a.m. Monday)  downed limbs and slippery roads.  So trick or treat is Thursday, but we pagans celebrate Halloween even if we don't go out and snag candy!  LOL
 A spooky supper is a holiday tradition that can happen regardless.  Here is Spooky Lissa. . .
 . . .and KC lurking behind a chair

Rob grins beside the top part of a wiches hat that the kids made out of a pink camo handkerchief, a foam cone and a cardboard circle painted black!

We had spooky pizza decorated with cheese "spiderwebs" delish sugar cookies artfully decorated as pumpkins and ghosts.  Truly I should have taken a picture but we were too busy munching.  And our beverage of choice--Kool Aid Fizzy Lemonade, aka "swamp water punch!"

For me, at a deeper level, this is a night of remembrance.  I believe the veil between the worlds is thinner on this night and I feel the love of those who have gone before more closely.  When my kids are abed, I light a candle and have a quiet ritual time of my own.

For my Rob it is also a time of remembrance.  His sister Krystal has a birthday just a day or two before Halloween.  Due to our power outage we could not wish her happy birthday on line on her day. When he went on tonight, her Facebook account which is our means of connection, appears to be gone.  I could see the sadness in his eyes.  I gave him the personal email that I had for her, but I don't know if that works or not. Krystal was the sister he was the closest to in his first family.  I often wonder if a part of him is angry that we let her go to Cousin N because we could not guarantee her safety if Fiona stayed in our home. I wonder if that anger is directed towards us, or toward Fiona.  Or himself, for feeling disloyal to family.  These are hard conversations to have and ones he has indicated that he does not want to have right now.  I respect that.  It is his grief and his pain and he can and should share it as he wishes.  As long as he knows I am there and that we can grieve together.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Jumping from Fall to Winter

This shot was taken this evening.  It is not even November.  Clearly the goddess has a sense of humor.  Me, not so much.  I am not ready for the fingerless gloves that I wear from November to oh, about June.  But clearly I have to get ready.

I sort of  worked at getting ready today by the tribe all getting their flu shots.  Lissa is totally unfazed by shots.  Watches calmly, hops down off the table, business done.  KC, um not so much.  In fact, King of Drama doesn't begin to describe the histrionics we were treated to.  I am reasonably sure they heard the wails in  Peru. LOL  Rob finds it all funny which is in itself funny as at 7, he was KC.  Just quieter but no less anxious and uncooperative. LOL  Chet has always been easy about that kind of thing and becuase we went early in the a.m. we were in out and done before much time elapsed.

I finally got my scrapbook program back on my computer, thanks to the work of my lovely and talented wife and I made a scrapbook page for Fiona of our last visit together. It came out cute and of course now the kids are clamoring to have their books updated. They are only 5 months out of date. Sheesh, what is the hurry?  LOL

But despite the snow I am glowing inside! Our church youth group does a coffee house a couple times a year as  a fund raiser for the trips that they do.  Lots of teens perform but so also do lots of other people. Rob has gone before and he has often helped in the kitchen.  This year, he thinks he has decided to perform. Can I just say Woo Hoo!!!!!! He also said it was okay for us to be there and the kids are stoked to see Rob play. I'm excited not just because he is my kid and he plays well. He does, but the fact that he has the self confidence to share that talent in the wider world is what makes me grin!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fiona sort of calls

Tuesday is call night at our house and it is highly anticipated.  The kids and I eagerly await the ringing of the phone and a chance to catch up with Fiona.  Tonight the phone rang and it was Fi.  But she explained that she was going somewhere with some friends from school and the staff and she had to get ready so she really did not have time to talk. But she wanted me to tell all the kids hi and she loved them and she loved me too.

This is so huge.  I know she was prompted to call by amazing Jane, because my daughter's cognitive issues mean that she does not remember that Tuesday is call day.  But the fact that she was amenable to taking those few minutes and telling us why she couldn't chat was an enormous step forward in maturity for her.  Usually she is so in the moment that she can't see other issues or factors that should be considered.  Tonight she remembered how much her siblings and I love her and look forward to hearing her voice. Happy dancing time!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

And a Wild Time was had by all!

Today we went to the big city to see Fiona.  We had an eventful train ride.  Unbeknownst to us, rail work meant we took a train part way, were bussed part way and got back on a train to finish the journey.  It still beats me getting lost in city traffic! LOL

We met Fiona and Jane at the train station and drove to a zoo.  I have been to several zoos but never this one.  It was really cool.  The sculpture of the red panda behind the kids is made out of hay bales, incidently!  We had a really amazing time together. Fi did so well. She is such a good big sister and I am so proud of the work my daughter is doing.  Cousin N and her daughter were supposed to join us and did not show.  Jane is annoyed, though we are both trying to err on the side of caution and not judge.  Something may have happened, but apparently she has continued to have a pattern of unreliability since she came back into Fiona's life.  To say that this is detrimental to Fi is kind of the understatement of the century. Sigh.  Jane said the reason she feels okay about the first family contacts that Fi has, is because her relationship with us is so steady and so secure.  You can see it when the kids are together running down the paths, or telling silly jokes in the back of the van.  I can feel it in the genuine way that she hugs me.  There is no rigidity to her posture. Her face lights up when she sees us.

We went to the zoo gift shop and the kids were picking momentos.  I told Fiona she could pick something out and when she went off to look for  a trinket, Jane took me aside and asked if I wanted Fiona to pay for it herself or if I was paying. Fiona had paid her own admission to the zoo and I know that part of what the Great School is working on is money management and money as it relates to daily activities.  But she is also my daughter and if I am letting the other 3 get  a momento of the day, I want to do the same for her.  Jane got that--and I totally know that at some level that is way more about me than it is about Fiona--but she let me get her the darned stuffed tiger. LOL

We got back to the train station with only 10 minutes before our train arrived.  How I managed to get 3 kids in and out of the bathroom and their requisite food from the donut shop in the station I have no idea, but  I did.  Now we are home, the kids are in bed, but the memory of the laughter of the day rings in my memory.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Planning our visit to Fiona

Fiona and Jane called last evening. Fi was in a very upbeat mood and eager to finish planning our visit on Saturday.  We are going to a zoo in the Big City which all the kids are looking forward to.  I said I would pack the sandwiches, chips and dessert if Fiona would do the beverages.  I know the school has single serve containers of drinks so this makes for an easy way for her to  contribute to the visit.  Hopefully, Cousin N and her daughter are joining us there but Jane sounded a little sketchy about that.  I hope they follow through.

I have felt very badly because this past Sunday was a family event at the Great School in the Big City and logistically I just could not get us there.  We had church commitments that I could not reshuffle and Rob had something he was involved in with the Youth Group.  I explained this to Fiona and she was fine with it but for the first time asked if we were Christian. We are not, and I explained that and gave the 10 second version of our faith.  I said that Rob was very involved in youth group and had a lot of friends and did a lot of cool things both for fun and to help others with them. That was fine with Fiona but she was worried that if we were not Christian we wouldn't wind up in the "right" heaven so we could all be together when we died.

Truthfully I don't really believe in heaven in that way but I know how important this concept is to my daughter.  Though she does not practice a particular faith at this  point and has not for many years, she did have a strong Christian influence in her life at one point. 

I said I really believe that it is about living a good life and that there are lots of roads through lots of churches to the same heaven and not to worry.  She was good with that.  Whew!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Missing You

It was a crazy day at work today.  But near supper time, I was home again and chatting in the kitchen with my wife.  KC peeked in the window from outside where he and Lissa were playing and spied me inside.  He came flying in.  Gave me the biggest hug imaginable.  "I'm going right back outside to play," he said. "But I just wanted to hug you; I missed you so much today."  Best feeling ever!

Facial Recognition Study

One of my friends is doing a child development class at school. She needed to show pictures to a variety of children of different ages to study when gender awareness came into play. The pictures were just faces at first--hair, clothing etc, was covered by a paper border. The kids each said whether they thought the face was male or female. Then when she went through the pics, she would lift up the border and they would see the face more traditionally and either confirm or change their decision.

L. was nice and let Chet do this as well, even though at 26 he is statistically not in the groups that she needs to explore. But he was fascinated by the project and clearly wanted to be asked and she picked up on it.  Predictably he had a  hard tiime with it.  He still has a hard time with recognizing people he does not know well and it is an aspect of his autism.  I find that he tends to glom onto a specific feature or style of clothing to describe someone from church to me.

Rob was more in the societal norms as I would have expected also.  However what was surprising was that Lissa scored higher than KC.  She got almost every single one correct.  KC who at first thought should have rocked the test, scored at the same level as my friends 4 year old.  Poor L is going to have some wonky results to tabulate. 

However as I think it over, KC is my fey child.  My guy who does arabesques and jetes down the empty aisle of a grocery store.  And who wears sparkly bits of cloth when we play dress up.  I'm not sure gender, even though he clearly knows he is a boy and self identifies as such, is as important to him for some reason. Intriguing though.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


We are getting ready to leave for church in a few minutes.  Our church schedule changed this year and it has been hard to get a groove going.  We were "first service" people who were there bright and early at 9 a.m.  Then we were home by 10:30 or 11 and had most of the day.  Now the childrens program is only taking place at the "second service" and we have to be there for 11 a.m  Yeah.  11.  Which is practically lunch time for my gang who wake when roosters crow. (or I assume when roosters crow since I live in the city).  I wind up playing in bed with them to delay getting up.  I can't slow down breakfast, Chet has to eat by a certain time or he will pass out.  Then I dilly dally doing Lissa's hair.  That can take up a fair piece of time and she and KC usually draw while I do it.  Then I clean the kitchen.  Look at the clock. It is usually about 5 past 8.  LOL  So then I spend about 2 hours listening to the kids ask if it is time to go yet.  Thankfully that time is nearly over and we will soon be on our way!  BTW, K made the vest and jumper that they are wearing.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Even Glaciers Move

 Parenting Chet as a child was very hard for K.  In some ways, I think his being an adult is also hard for her.  There is a part of her that periodically wants to believe that he is capable and just not trying.  That a certain biological age will translate to a certain level of independance and maturity.  Which it doesn't.

Frankly I stopped worrying about what he "should" learn by x years a loooong time ago.  I also am okay with the fact that certain areas of his life are probably as good as they will get. I don't see that as giving up. I see that as accepting him for the person that he is.  I would not want to spend my whole life with someone trying to "make me better."  And from reading writings of a number of adult autistic people, this is a very real feeling that many  people on the autistic spectrum experience.

However change does come for him and growth, albeit slowly and sometimes it sort of creeps up and I will suddenly notice that a particular situation is much more attainable than it was 5 or 10 years ago.  He has been able to help with fellowship hour at church regularly and done really well. This involves following directions, safe food handling and such.  He plans holiday gifts with tremendous care.  He has a routine that as long as it does not deviate, allows him to remember all the steps to proper hygiene.  He goes up to the corner store and makes purchases with no problem though large store situations, particularly with lots of florescent lights tend to stimulate him and he has a harder time maintaining focus and holding it together (let alone making the purchase.)

One area that is hard for him still is change.  Any change.  So for instance, planning a family road trip where we ate and slept at different places for a number of nights would not be the smartest thing to try.  He would not enjoy the new places, he would be desparately trying to make them his familiar surroundings and when he couldn't, well his behaviors become less appropriate and easy to handle. So I told my wife we have to wait on a family road trip to see scenic  areas and national parks.  We can travel, but we have to have a "home base" that he can set up and return to when he needs to decompress. If we don't road trip the way she dreams till we retire, I am okay with that.  I do believe that some day he will reach a point when he can do this without getting stressed. It's the Pollyanna in me; I can't help myself!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bridges and Bargains

Rob took this  picture while he was away this weekend and I adore it. There is something sort of sculptural about it that appeals to me.  All my kids are pretty good with a digital camera.  I get by but tend to rush and the shots show it.  They help keep a memory but are not art. (though I can usually clean them up a bit with the computer!)  The pictures they choose to take are sometimes as insightful as listening to music with them or chatting with them.  It is another window into their essential self that they open to me and  I love that.

My stylish 15 year old found a really awesome suit jacket for $3.00 at a thrift store while they were gone.  Rob is really into creating his own style and I think that is great. I am stunned by the quality of the jacket that he got.  He was stunned by the fact that I figured out without being told that he wore it when the group went into town to go bowling. Yup, I know my kid! LOL 

I just don't do well at yard sales and thrift stores.  K says it is because I move too quickly and don't like to poke. I say it is because the stuff there is junk.  I think most times we are both at least 50 per cent right!

Rob's Home!

Rob got home from his Youth Group trip last night and I was so glad to see him.  He had a great time.  He spent the weekend stacking wood for the shelter for their winter heat and helping to cook meals for the folks staying their.

Our director of religious ed said that there was one young boy at the shelter who really connected with Rob and cried when it was time for Rob to head home.  The kids were all loaded in their vans but Rob asked for the van to wait and spent time with the boy telling him things were going to be okay and to hang in there and keep doing good jobs and it would be all right.  (sniff)  My boy is growing up. My son is healing.

He spent the evening putting up his pictures on Facebook and explaining to me what the shots were all about while I did our piecework.  Today is back to work  at my office and I will miss the time I have had here at home.  Probably the longest uninterupted stretch of time in years..  But I am glad all my chicks are home again!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The weary traveler is home!

My wife's plane was a bit delayed last night but she returned home just before 11 p.m.  KC actually woke up enough to give her a hug and know that she was home, before he drifted back into slumber.  K and I sat up drinking tea and chatting and then we both went up to bed.  This morning the kids woke at 6ish and I was all kinds of crazy keeping them quiet because I thought she was still sleeping.  The funny part was that when we came downstairs about 6:30, she was all ready up! 

I am glad she had this vacation. She wanted it very much and seems renewed and recharged.  Her friend seems like a delightful person and seeing the sites in a far away state is certainly cool!  Also the trip I think allayed concerns that K has felt surrounding the plane trip that our family will undertake when we vacation in Mouseland later next year.

Chet's autism make his speech sometimes less than appropriate. His asian indian heritage make him almost automatically part of the profiling that our country allows in the name of safety.  (heavy sarcasm here; please don't get me started on the giving up of freedoms for the illusion of safely).  She had in her mind something I think very Gestapo-esque and him being hauled off the plane or out of line for something minor.  I have reassured her that i plan on carrying documentation of his disability  and how it manifests itself in his behaviors and making our situation well known at arrival at the airport.  To our advantage in a difficult situation, Chet looks physically younger than his actual age and does not look like an adult male so much as a mid-teen.This lends itself to people assuming he is a minor in my care and to feeling less threatened by him.  Chet has also flown with me post 9/11 and we managed it without incident so Pollyanna that i am, I feel sure it will work this time as well.

K was not so sure, but seems more confident now that she has flown for this vacation. And I think my wife brought the southern temps back up north with her. I am loving the temperatures today!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I hate watching kids bounce

We are going to hopefully be visiting Fiona in a couple of weeks.  Jane said when she and I talked that Fi had expressed a desire to have all the family that she is presently connected with at the visit and Jane wondered about inviting cousin N and her daughter.  I am totally fine with that but after we hung up I remmebered that cousin N. now had custody of their brother D.  I emailed Jane that should we  not consider inviting D as well so that 3 of the siblings could be together.  I know that D has not wanted to do the letter writing and so there is not an official visit plan but figured in a large-ish group visit it should be okay.

Except that Jane wrote back and was not adverse to it if I thought it was beneficial but D is not living with cousin N any more because things did not work out.  He is in a new foster family and she is not sure that his sw will cooperate in time to orchestrate a visit.

Sigh.  I am not judging cousin N.  The placement not working out at her home may have had nothing to do with her (though the uncharitable part of me keeps pointing out that she adopted Krystal and then in months had shipped her down south to live with other relatives and where she remains.) But at 17 all the bouncing and lack of permanancy can not be good for this young man.

I have only met him a few times but enjoyed both the experiences.  I can't wrap my mind around what he has gone through.  First the removal from his mom and separation from his siblings.  Adoption by a paternal relative with whom he lived for a number of years.  Something going really wrong in the home that was not his doing that caused his removal.  Living with a foster family that he clearly loved but who could not keep him.  Moving to a residential.  Moving to his cousins.  Moving again.

I doubt very much that he will be part of the visit in a couple weeks and probably emotionally is not in a place to consider it.  But my heart aches for D.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Halloween Decorations

The kids and I started decorating for Halloween today.  There is not anything scary in our Halloween. Ghosts, yes, pumpkins abound.  Witches as well. But not ghoulish.  No dripping blood, scary monsters, none of that.  Partly this is because that would terrify my kids.  Partly that is because that is not my belief system.  I believe that yes, the veil between our worlds thins on that night, but it is not a night of terror but of warm remembrance.

Remembrance is in our decorations as well.  If I had photographed all our decorations I'd use up all the memory in Blogger! LOL  We really have a kabillion.  Many many made by kids.  Many passed down through the years.  In the picture above, that little wax pumpkin used to be part of Halloween when I was little.  My mom would put a birthday candle in each one (there used to be 6, this is the only one left) and they were at our dinner places on Halloween supper.
 The plastic pumpkin and cat on the far right came to our decorations when I was a teen. I used to light it and decorate my bedroom with it.  The small pumpkin next to that was a gift from a friend as an adult.  The pumpkin far left was (are you ready for this?)  my mom's when she was a child!
 This guy is the lone remaining paper decoration from my mom's dance studio back in the 50's.  There used to be many paper ones and my sister and I would decorate our play room with them.  Years of kids and tape took its eventual toll on all but one.
But look!  Last year a retailer came out wtih these miniatures of those same patterns.  I think they were supposed to be cards. But we punched holes in them, made a garland and they hang in our dining room  (or will when I hang it up tomorrow!)

We love Halloween--heck we love everything to celebrate!  I love the stories that come out when the decorations are unearthed.  I love the ooohs and aahs as favorites re-appear. (there are silly things too like ghosts we made out of contact paper with our faces.  There was high drama till we found "ghost KC" this afternoon!  All the other family ghosts had been unearthed and he thought his was lost.

Decorating as a family does more than make the house festive--or at least change up the clutter! LOL  It makes memories, establishes traditions, builds stories for us to all remember in hard times.

Youth Group Trip

This a.m. I had to get Rob to our church for 9 a.m.  Church is 30 minutes from our house so I had everything packed last night as normally the commute is easy but was more challenging this a.m. dealing with the regular work commuters.  His youth group and 3 other church youth groups banded together to head to a part of coastal Maine that is very economically challenged. They will live, work, and play at a shelter that provides many many necessities of life to folk who need it most.  He has been looking forward to this--looking forward to the work.  Looking forward to the time with lots of friends, and looking forward to the 48 butterscotch graham cookies that I made last night so he and his friends would not "starve" on the way up. It is a long drive; I knew that they would need "sustenance."  Ironically, another blogger wrote the other day about her daughter reaching out for help.  Rob has gotten much better in that regard, letting me know when he is ill or in need of me without my having to proffer the help first.  The one area where he can not is around food.  He can put what he wants in the grocery cart but other than that, if I had not offered his cookies for the road, he would not have been able to bring himself to ask.  I understand the why of this, but I live for the day he does.

But this is mostly about the joy that I feel for him.  One of the Youth Group moms came up and told me that her daughter was at camp with Rob this summer and came home talking about how "cool" he was and how funny he was and how he was great to hang out with. (of course the gender is not lost on me folks!)  But the mom said ROB?  Rob from y outh group?  She said she had worked with the youth group for 2 years and never heard more than 2 words from him.

But Rob is finding his voice and daring to share more and more of himself with the wider world.  Opening up to reveal the creative, funny and caring man he is to a world who needs his gifts.  I am so glad for that.  (though the littles are mightily missing big bro all ready!)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Comings and Goings

My wife is in KY visiting a friend.  She left at 3:30 a.m. yesterday but thanks to the internet we know she arrived safely and is having fun.  My mom arrived yesterday for an overnight stay and has left a short time ago. She visits rarely as she does not like to leave her cat alone, so it is a treat for us when she comes. Despite the personality quirks that occasionally drive one round the bend, there comes a time in life when mortality is more understood. Perhaps, losing Kirsty's mom so young also made if more real, but I feel lucky that she is still pretty healthy and able to enjoy life and be a part of ours. 

Tomorrow I have to have Rob at our church by 9 a.m. as the Youth Group leaves on a mission trip to Maine. There is a place midcoastally that does a lot for a very impovished area of the state.  The youth group goes and helps cut and stack wood for winter fuel, paint outbuildings or dorm rooms for the homeless who will reside there and sometimes help out with childrens games for any youngsters who may be guests at the time.  Rob was too young to go last year but this year at 15 he is eligible and excited.  He is pretty well packed, we just need to add toiletries and his meds.

My littles are going to really miss big bro Rob being gone as he will not return till Monday night.  So I have a variety of crafts planned to keep them occupied.  However this morning, KC woke with a cold so things may wind up being fairly low key.

Meanwhile I have been connected to work and doing what I can here at home.  This is not an optimal time for me to have to take 3 days off but through the magic of the internet and remote servers I am able to contribute a surprising amount from here at home. This is pretty much my first experience with remote working so it is kind of a marvel to me!  However the bong that my blackberry makes everytime a new email comes in that needs my attention gets to me after a while!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

3 Days of quasi-vacation

My wife left at 3:30 this morning to fly to KY to visit a friend for a few days.  I put in for these 3 days as vacation time months ago. Then my boss was terminated and suddenly I was more important in the office.  Well probably the same amount of importance but my presence was more important.  I checked with my senior manager and he said I could still take the time, but I offered to work remotely from home as budget meetings happen in this time period. I was not scheduled to attend originally but clearly now I should have a voice. 

So yesterday I brought my laptop home. I usually use it in a more desktop fashion when I am at work. I personally hate laptops. I have long fingers and my typing accuracy is the pits when it is in laptop mode. But I digress.  I turned it on and connected to the internet but because my job has its own secure server I then had to call tech support and have them walk me through the process to do that.  It is done thankfully and so today I can be assessible to both of the important parts of my life--my children and my job.  Technology when it works is kind of cool! :-)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chatting with Jane

Jane called tonight as Fiona was in her room and unwilling to make a phone call.  I suppose her DCF worker would call this not working her phone plan but the reality for Fi is that she can't envision doing anything but what she is doing in any given moment. If she gets caught up in something, even something simple like folding laundry, because she lives so here and now she can't transition to something else, even if it is something she wanted to do or have happen.  Of all her issues, this is the easiest for me to understand as in many ways, my Chet is also like this.  What is not seen, what is not here and now, simply does not exist. (for example for Chet, putting a pair of PJ's in a closet with the door shut makes them invisible. It does not occur to him to open the closet when the weather gets chilly and take out warmer PJ's.) 

The good part of Fiona wanting to do whatever in her room was that Jane and I could talk freely. I told her that I hoped my email regarding the DCF workers comments made sense and was not rude, but that I under NO circumstances want my relationship with my daughter to be held hostage and to be a carrot for a behavior plan to enable her to visit her first mom.  If she is able to have those visits,  But she also needs to know that I mean what i have always said.  That she can tell me what is in her heart, even when it hurts her or hurts me. That she is loved. That she is my daughter.

Jane got it and will address this with the DCF worker. She said it was a very out of the blue comment and she was blindsided by it as well.  I have no doubt of the good intentions of the worker but it was just flat out not smart in my humble opinion.

Hopefully we will travel into the Big City in 2 weeks to see Fiona and Jane.  Cousin N and her daughter will also be invited to join us.  Tentatively we will visit a museum that has a lot of cool kids things going on but details of the day are sketchy right now.  While it is  undeniably easier for me if Jane brings Fiona out here to visit I think alternating is probably a better plan for Fiona. First of all, as much as she loves being here, I know there is a deep anxiety on her part that she will screw it up somehow.  The last thing she needs right now is more stress.  But even more than that, her coming here and then us going to her, gives her a chance to see the reciprocity that should exist in a healthy relationship.  It allows her to be a hostess, which is a role she shines in.  Jane hadn't looked at it that way, but thought it made a lot of sense so we will see how things play out.

Word Choices Matter

I got an email from Jane this morning.  She is back from vacation and we should hear from she and Fiona tonight.  Jane said that Fiona's DCF worker met with her recently and told her that they had found her first mother but before visits could happen "Fiona needed to interact positively with the family she has."  I know this means not just me and the kids but also her cousin N.  But still, it makes me angry as all get out.  Our relationship is not a lollipop to hold out as a tool for some sort of good behavior.  Or to get something that she wants with all her heart.  How can our relationship continue to grow and flourish in that type of setting? I do not feel she has not acted positively overall.  Not every phone call is sunshine and light but who in life always is?

I know that contact with her first mother is going to make for big hills in the relationship road.  I know Rob is not thrilled about even talking about their first mother. There is a big cauldron of anger over her actions past and present and sadness over what he does remember and what he cannot.  But he is grounded enough that we are getting through this (knock wood) okay. I think at the very least he knows that we love him utterly and completely and that will not change regardless of what decisions he chooses to make about seeing Mom J.

Why did they not just leave it at "we need to go slowly and work on this together. Let's start with a letter"  Letter writing is always the first step anyhow!

I don't like her DCF worker anyway, this did not do much to change that!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Of Thor and Zeus

Watching movies with Rob is our "bonding" time.  We watch a flick once or twice a week and just hang out together.  Well, we hang out while I work as we watch the movie. But it is still our time.  Occasionally we invite Chet down to join us.  He does not always want to come.  Friday night when we watched the new transformer movie I was praying he would want to watch it.  No such luck.  I am not a big fan of the transformers. Gotta be an age thing.  They all look the same to me once they stop being cars, or busses or whatever and turn into those fireball slinging machines. LOL  So that was Friday night.

Saturday night I saw that we could see Thor.  I love mythology and Rob and I have enjoyed a couple of myth based movies. So I asked if he wanted to see it.  I explained it was based on the Norse mythological history, not Greek or Roman as we have more usually seen.  I said that in this Odin would be the head of the gods.

"Like Zeus?" he asked me.  I concurred.

"OK. . . oh at summer camp my friends all call me Black Zeus" he said with a laugh.

Apparently my son is a god-ling! 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Busy Busy Busy!

A rainy but busy Saturday at our house.  I realized a week ago that poor Lissa had no fall clothes to speak of.  Literally none.  KC "shops" in the boxes of Rob's outgrown clothes that I store by size and season in the attic. I also have a good friend whose son passes down to me really good quality boy clothes for him.  But Lissa, doesn't have that.  And while the year before she could start the season with the togs from the previous year, that is not so this year.  My girl has GROWN!  So it was off to do clothes shopping after our morning of groceries, banking and dance classes. She is set now except for a winter coat.

Then Rob hinted that he wanted a pair of skinny jeans and the store whose selections he was oogling on line exists at the mall so we went there.  I may be young at heart but shopping in a store with bad lighting and loud rock and roll music is not my  idea of fun.  He did find a pair of jeans though. LOL  Then we had to go to a more conventional store because Rob did not have a warm coat.  Got that.  By this time KC was feeling left out as "everyone has something and I don't." (insert whiny tired kid voice here)  Yup, good times!  But we got through it and all made it home alive.

When I got here the mail had arrived and I found a letter from the IRS.  We have been going back and forth since March when I filed my return regarding the adoption tax credit.  I thought people maybe exaggerated about how mean the IRS can be.  News flash--they are NOT exaggerating.  They tried to tell me that not only was i not entitled to this but that I owed them penalties for trying to take it.  Plus 20 percent interest.  Needless to say I did not just whip open the checkbook.  The only bright part in this was that I knew many many other adoptive families were having similar issues.  So I kept slogging on and praying that it would turn out OK. And it did.  I should get my refund now in about 15 days.  (I did notice that they do not pay interest on the refund they have been holding hostage, but I am not going to quibble.)  In fact, if I am lucky I will not have to ever go through anything like this again!

The other funny part to the IRS refund story is that this a.m. when I was on Facebook one of my friends had on a silly chain thing about how October is a special month because it has 5 Fridays 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays and you had to repost and would have a good financial outcome if you did it in 11 minutes. I usually don't do that kind of thing but this a.m. I had time. . . and then the mail came with good news.  Coincidence or what????