Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fiona is out of the hospital!

There has been a flurry of communication from Jane regarding Fiona.  Fiona is out of the hospital and doing better. They did find that two of her meds needed adjustment as they were at subclinical levels.  I am not a lover of meds but I trust them on this.  I want her to be safe and I want her to not be in such constant emotional pain.

I also got the green light to write a letter to Fiona's new social worker and the social worker's supervisor asking that her case be moved to our area.  It is not a guarantee but it is a start.

And in a moment of clarity, the plan to have Fiona work toward an overnight visit here has been revised.  She only needs to make a month of safety requirements at the Great School to qualify.  She has done 3 weeks before so while this would be something that she would work to achieve it is not unattainable.  Previously they would not consider it unless she had 6 safe months.  Which I never really understood why 6 months??

Fiona will call us tonight.  I am excited!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Satirday in review!

Yesterday I drove Rob and his friend Drew to another state for their week of away camp.  They have gone to this camp for about 5 years now. It is a UU camp and our church also has a camping weekend there in September.  When my mom did religious ed for our faith (different church though) she went to this same conference center.  Chet K and I wen to the religous ed camps when K and I did the religious ed duties for another church.  So our ties there as a family are very strong, and i love how comfortable all my kids are there.  I love hearing people call Rob's name when they see him get out of the car.  I love watching fist bumps and man hugs taking place.  LOL

And I will miss him like crazy.  Rob is a quieter fellow but there is a huge hole here that only he  and his spirit fills.

While I was doing the taxi run to Maine, the 2 littles were at my friend J's house for a double birthday party for her two girls.  She offered to have me drop KC and Lissa off at their home on our way out of town and to just pick them up whenever K or I got back to the city, whichever was first.  This was the first time I have ever left my little kids anywhere, ever.  They have had lots of playdates and events but usually the other moms and I are friends and wind up hanging out together.  So dropping them off was another new experience for all 3 of us.  Happily they did great and had a blast.  Everyone told me how funny they were when I picked them up.  I can picture that.  KC in particular is the life of a party, full of jokes etc.
There were squirt guns and a bounce house and crafts, and J was even kind enough to send us home with extra food.  After 5 1/2 hours of driving I was not going to say no!

Today summer services start at our church.  The first one is a multi age drumming circle so I am taking the rest of the kids and K is staying here to make strides on glazing our living room walls.

Friday, June 22, 2012

How to parent a teen. . .

Last night Rob and his girlfriend cooked up a plan to go to the Big City late next month.  It would not be just the two of them. They envision 4 other friends joining them on this venture.  While he was on the phone with her, Rob asked me if a specific date was free and told me why.  I said I would mark it on the calendar, not because I was saying yes, but so that nothing else would get put there till we decided.

I told him I would need a lot of details before I would feel comfortable saying yes.  So far I have learned a proposed destination (a popular historical area of the Big City) and that they would train in.  My wife and I are a bit of polar opposites in this situation. She feels we should say no unless an adult is going along.  I am more on the fence about it--partly as Rob has done a train into the Big City with me so often.  He is very savvy about train schedules and how to use public transportation.  He is very aware of how to be safe crossing busy streets.  K's position is that he is only 16 and that this should not happen.  She first went into the Big City on her own at 18 and therefore that is when he should.

I am far less sure that the date we did something is relevant to a decision for our kids today.  (in a reverse analogy, I could legally drink at 18 but I am not going to give my son a beer on his 18th birthday.  Likewise I was in my 30's when I got my first home computer but my kids have grown up using them.)  I think every request has to be evalualated for the teen asking and the times we live in.  I am concerned because Rob is only 16, but that concern is tempered by the knowledge that they are proposing going in a group and his many experiences in the Big City with me. There is safety in numbers and I know all the kids involved well. They have all gone through coming of age together and are all in our church Youth Group.

I don't think any other kids have been asked yet or any other parents have had to weigh in yet, so we will see how this shakes out!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Beating the heat!

I might have mentioned that the weather is a tad unusually warm here these days!  My bedroom was 94 when I got up at 6 a.m. this morning.  Yesterday was a scorcher as well.  And I have been told it is very humid.  I don't really mind any of it. Truly I think I lived some place hot and steamy in a past life. I have tons more energy when the weather is like this.  But I am weird.  I know this because EVERYONE else that I know is wilting, dragging and such.

Beating the heat with the kiddos involves several things for us.  Last night it was "swimming" (and obviously we use the term loosely.  Note size of kids and size of pool!  But there is lots of splashing and sliding and sloshing around and it is fun.  Sometimes I will go to the dollar store and get pretend fishing rods and then the pool becomes a "pond" and we fish and see who can snag the most plastic fish in a certain period of time. (or we try to catch only a certain color and such!)  We also rely on water balloons and squirt guns. The latter were part of the cool down routine for tonight.

I love that we have fun with really simple things.  I have never seen 3 kids have that much fun with an undersized pool that I purchased on clearance last year!

Welcome Summer!

Rob's girl called last night and they talked for hours (literally)on the phone.  I don't mind. I remember doing that. And he leaves Saturday for away camp for a week and I am sure that they feel they have to communicate eveey last second until then. LOL  Today they are spending the afternoon and early evening together.  T's parents will do the transportation; they have stepped up lately and done a bit more of that and it is much appreciated.  The happy couple don't live in the same city and till recently it was always on us to transport.

We launch into summer with record breaking high temps (97) which I adore.  And in my new office space I don't have to worry about anyone feeling uncomfy so I have just had windows open and a fan on and it is divine.  Last year I had to put up with a/c and it makes me miserable. I get really cold really quickly.

My wife has been repainting our living room.  The trim is all sparkling bright white. The walls are all a pretty blueish green. Today and glaze goes on the wall that gives them a bit of texture and hopefully makes the paint a bit more green than blue.  The blue is pretty but is definately clashing with the rug in a way that our color chip did not! LOL

And all that reno work is serving to highlight the fact that we need to do something about our front hall.  Whch has not had anything done to it in more than 20 years. The wallpaper is faded and stained.  The closet system does not work--it is screaming for a makeover.  .    .  She and I sat in the dining room to talk about closet options (the front hall has none and just pegs and a freestanding armoire) and we noticed how dingy the wallpaper looks in the dining room.  It is about 15  years old and. . .

Ever read the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie?   This is the grown up version.  It is called, If you Paint a Wall"

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rob has a job interview

I have gone easy and slow on the job thing with Rob.  Partly because I feel that kids need time to be kids.  Kids from trauma especially need to be kids and to learn that adults can be trusted to care for them.  Jumping into adult like responsibilities too soon just didn't feel right to me.

Added to that, Robis a quiet kid, with some PTSD issues that would have made going through a job interview painful at best and possibly damaging until recently.  In the past six or eight months I have seen a bit more self assurance in him.  So when an opportunity came up to apply as a summer counselor for the camp that happens at the complex I work at, I suggested that he apply.  It is only 6 weeks which also makes it a nice entry into the job world, still leaving time for his away camp and other summer fun.

He applied and today was his interview.  He was nervous but seemed to handle himself pretty well.  He drove into work with me and we talked about some of the questions the interviewer might ask and what he could say to show that he was a good worker.  In all honesty he is very good with kids and also has experience outside of our family, having volunteered in our church nursery for many weeks.

I think he was surprised that the questions we prepped for were actually asked!  But now we wait to see what the final decision is.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Yesterday the skies were clear and we went to our city's "Starburst" festival.  It was really really fun.  To the kids and I it is a big deal and there are a lot of preparations that seem sort of silly probably to anyone else but us.  First off, we walk the mile and a half to the event because parking and the subsequent traffic when you leave is insane.  This means our wagon needs to be cleaned and loaded with all our gear.  One has to find the fleeces because it always gets chilly, sweatshirts for everyone, and silly games like soft balls to throw and paddle balls, and bubbles. Gotta have bubbles.

Then there is the picnic supper. T here must be food. Copioius amounts of food.  Part of which is always a big batch of home made cookies.  As KC says, "it is just tradition!"  There is a small keg cooler that holds our beverage and I pack plastic plates and cloth napkins that are rarely used, but that too, is tradition! LOL  (hey some year we might realize we don't have to eat like we were raised by wolves, just because we are eating outdoors, right?)

The gates open at 4:30.  We get there about 5:15 ish.  It is early but allows us to get a spot we really want. This year it was especially important that we did this because they changed the venue slightly and this was traumatic to Chet, and oddly, to KC as well.  They really needed time to settle and see how the space worked so to speak.

The early evening usually has a magic show for the kids which they love, a bunch of musical acts and oh goddess, face painting.  Face painting with lines that stretched from the Northeast of our country to the heartland!  LOL  Well not that far, but we were in line for an hour and fifteen minutes!

But it was all worth it. Rob met up with his friends that he skate boards with. (they called him while we were walking down to the venue)  He hung out with them for a couple hours, checking in with me hourly as I requested.  Then he met up with the 2 boys he shoots hoops with and they hung out closer to our location for awhile. Then I told his friends I was kidnapping Rob so he could play ball for a bit with KC and Lissa before it got too dark. They were good about it.

KC is struggling with the fact that Rob has a lot of friends and that increasingly (as it should) his world is beyond that of immediate family.  I feel for the little guy, but I am also happy for Rob. I was also happy to see that my son walks comfortably in the world with other black young men and does not seem to have any issues fitting in regardless of the group he is with.  I don't particularly think I can take credit for this. Much of this has to do with Rob's very friendly affable nature.  However I have worked hard to make sure that Rob didn't feel a need to "act white" if you know what I mean.  At any rate, his skateboard friends are all other black teens, his basketball pals are white, and the youth group friends at church, are a mixed bag, some of whom also are adopted and/or come from non traditional family dynamics.

The actual fireworks were amazing and we were all transfixed.  Lissa handled it well; she has a bit of sensory issue stuff and we had talked about how it would be okay to put her hands over her ears if she wanted to but that they would look really really pretty in the sky.  She did great. KC was ooohing and ahhhing with each new display, Chet was amazingly silent.  (Chet is like me and super talkative!)

The getting out of the park area was the hardest part. The gates are narrow and really only 2 people can fit abreast comfortably. There were according to the local paper about 5K people there.  I was glad that we had decimated the food we brought and that the littles were in the wagon as it was late and folks are always less kind at the leaving of an event. Going in, everyone is happy and cheerful. Leaving, they are tired and push!  I was impressed that Chet handled this well. That kind of thing is typically very hard for him and he was really stellar holding it together, even when he saw a couple of young girls just about knock me over to get by our wagon.

We finally made it to the street and then made good time hauling the wagon with sleepy littles and the rest of us trekking right along to the car which was about 1/4 mile away. Kirsty had joined us after her work was done and found a parking space a goodly distance away.  It was a good spot and not hard to get out and into traffic from that location, the way it would have been if she had parked closer. AND I didn't have to pull sleepy kids in the wagon all the way home as in years past!  But it was still a very very late night for the kids and I have warned all that we will have early beds tonight!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fiona is hospitalized

Fiona didn't call this week. She has been hospitalized for a med eval following an escalation in  unsafe behaviors.  Jane and I have had a lot of email contact regarding Fiona.  Jane suggests that all phone calls and visits focus on the present as where she will live when she turns 22 is one of the driving forces on her anxiety train.  I don't mind doing that, but I also don't think it is going to solve anything.

One of the things Fiona said when she was talking about her fears was that she acts okay a lot but that these thought are always with her.  It didn't sound like teen drama to me.  It sounded very real.  If so, not talking is maybe a bandaid for the actual behaviors that are worrisome but I don't think anything will get better.  On the other hand, I am not a therapist and could be totally out to lunch.

The only thing that Jane said in her email that ticked me off was that the reason she let Fiona ask me about living t our house was because Jane expected me to tell her that she couldn't. I told Jane I obviously flunk as a therepeutic parent because I can't say that.  Do I think it will work out?  No, not really.  As evidenced by the need for another hospitalization.  But my daughter was expressing her fear of homelessness and of having to live in a group home and meet all new people again and that she would fail and wind up like her first mom, living on the streets. To that I was supposed to say "sorry honey but you know you can't live here?"  I said I would do everything I could to help her and that I would never want her to be homeless.

I told Jane in my return email she might want to cue me if there were things like that coming down the pike and if the school had a particular tactic that they were following.  Meanwhile, I have not heard how Fiona is doing or when she returns to school.  Sigh.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Rob's Sleepover

I've had an extra teen for most of the weekend as Rob's slumber party--deferred due to my illness--was this weekend.  It has been so funny!  Rob and Dre  have been friends since Rob was 5 and Dre  is a really good kid. He cracks me up though.  He speaks his mind always.  Regardless.  As in, there are zero filters on this boy.  In some ways, he is a bit like Chet. Which makes for very hilarious conversations in my large and loud household.

I am very lucky in that Rob's friends are unflaggingly nice to all Rob's family.  As I write this they are all playing wii football in the living room with the littles as coaches.  KC is doing lots of "now THAT'S what I'm talking about."  The big boys are playing against each other and Lissa is essentially bouncing on the couch cushions to just be there and be part of it.

Yesterday Rob and Dre went to see MIB3 which they really enjoyed. Then they wanted to hang out at the mall. I texted them at 4 and arranged a pick up time and confirmed how many pizza we needed for supper.  Dre had taken advantage of the fact his mom wasn't there and had 2 energy drinks.  Those things are so bad for you.  I swear he was talking like Alvin the chipmunk!

Both boys met me outside the mall with bags of their purchases.  Rob predictably had 2 new pair of skinny jeans and a very cool LMFAO shirt that says "every day I'm shufflin'" on it.  I think all teen boys should wear that shirt so that we parents would remember that they will never hurry!  Dre  had some sports gear and of all things a Lil Wayne refillable cup thing.  I like Lil Wayne but Dre is like the whitest white boy I know.  I guess he was trying to get all 'street' hanging out with Rob. ROFL  He was really proud of it though, so I admired it properly.

The teens slept downstairs in the living room for easy access to the TV. They watched the playoff game and I popped in and out while I was working to keep tabs on the score.  Celts lost. It was sad.  Most of the game was good but the boys and I think their energy drinks must had died in the 4th quarter cause all of a sudden there was just no pep in their step and the Heat were still piling it on.  I could not bear to watch till the bitter end so I put muffins together for this  morning and went upstairs and read my book a little.

This morning I did a big breakfast with eggs, warm muffins and fresh pineapple.  Now I have to convince the teens to shower as we need to leave for church in a while.  Every day I'm shufflin. . . LOL

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Work Changes

I have so much to write about the kids, but work deserves a post or two as well.   Work has changed a lot for me in the past year and a half.  There was the roller coaster of  learning a lot of new tasks and skills when our company was purchased by new owners.  There was the stress of my long time manager being fired last fall. Though his departure was necessary (and for me even somewhat welcome) it was still stressful.  Then there was the disappointment of finding out that I was not going to be considered for his position.  And this January getting a new manager.

That would all be enough change for me, but our company also has a mandate on all properties that they manage that there be a separate private office for the interviewing of applicants. This is because our interviews deal a lot with personal financials due to our subsidy programs.  It makes sense, but I had a large spacious office that I shared with a coworker whom I like.  I had suggested a potential floor plan change  that would allow the needed privacy but this was all begun back when my old boss was there. He hated my idea and said we would simply cut our large office into two.

This finally happened about two months ago.  I spent more than a month working literally in the construction zone.  We could not let clients into the space but we could work in the hard hat zone and did, running back and forth to deal with customers at the other end of the building.  It was fairly insane but this is not the kind of office where you can work remotely for a month.

When it was done, we had two nice and pretty tiny  10 x 10 offices.  Powers that be finally figured out that I was right and there was not going to be room for the 4 gigantic lateral files that house tenant records and which I use daily, in my office.  Not and have room for anyone to sit down and meet with me. I tried to like the space but I really  hated it.  It was dark, despite the gold colored accent wall they gave me (I was not allowed to pick out my paint because they hired a 'colorist'.)  On cloudy days the beige on the other walls reminded me of the color of spackle as it dries.  I am slightly claustrophobic and although I was dealing, this was not a happy work space for me.

So, more changes.  A gigantic room that used to house computers for our residents was emptied and renovated to become my new office space.  There is room in there for all the files, an L shaped desk, a conferance table to meet with residents and applicants and 4 chairs around it comfortably.  With all that, there is still room to walk around!  I was allowed to pick out my own paint.  I did not ask for any of this, but am very happy that it happened.

It was sort of a carrot for something else that happened that the upper management knew I would not like.  I was previously Assistant Property Manager.  I liked the responsibilities because I like varied work duties.  And because obviously I am trying to prove that I am worthy of being promoted to a managership.  However due to the scope of our subsidy work and the fact that presently I am the only person highly trained in it, my coworker was promoted to Assistant Property Manager, a new person was brought in as a Management Assistant and I was given the new title of Manager of Compliance.

I am a make lemonade out of lemons kind of girl.  So I thanked them and asked what I could do concurrently with the compliance so that I can further my education for a managership.  I have been open from day 1 that I do not love doing paperwork all day long (ironically my wife loves the idea of just doing paperwork!) I am a big picture person who likes to have different tasks to rotate between.  I  was given the opportunity to meet with them in a month and cherry pick two of my former tasks that I liked that were removed from me when I was given sole responsibility of the dratted compliance.  I also received an assurance that I would be allowed to take advantage of educational opportunities that pertained directly to the property management angle as opposed to solely compliance.

In the midst of all of this, my wife who worked Saturdays at the same apartment community lost her job.  It was an elimination of her position, not a firing. But the lost income was a worry and the blow to her self esteem was hard as well.  Thankfully, she has been able to find a new position which she started today and I hope it is a good fit for her. I'll find out when she comes home tonght

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Rob at 16

16.  I am still having a hard time wrapping my mind around that.  How did he get to be 16?  Yet in other ways, Rob has grown emotionally so much the past year that it is evident that he is on the cusp of young adulthood.

The picture in this post is not from his birthday but it does represent his chosen party theme, which was piano.  We made a cool mural of music notes with our faces in the centers and K did a really awesome cake. I need to find where she loaded up the pictures so I can share them!  His birthday was supposed to be quite different from what actually happened. His best friend was going to sleep over last Saturday, which was Rob's big day.  But starting Wednesday, I got some viral thing and got progressively sicker as the week went on.  I even missed 1 1/2 days of work and I think the last time that happened was back in the big ice storm a bunch of years ago which dovetailed with my having pneumonia!  LOL

K called off the sleepover as we did not want to infect another family and then I felt doubly terrible as I woke Saturday essentially healthy.  Weak and kind of woozy but no longer truly ill.  I could do party prep and shop and take care of the kids etc.

When I spoke with Rob about how sorry I was that things got messed up, he was genuinely nice about it.  There was no sullenness, no tears.  I said that I would bring he and Chet to the movie of his choice for Saturday afternoon so that there would be something special that he could be doing.  (also the littles were inside out wanting to decorate and we did that while the big boys were out)  He was really happy with that--movie times are not all that common in our house. We are a DVD or on demand bunch of folks so it still has a high cachet to go to the cinema.

I am so proud of my son.  He has learned to share himself through his music.  He also  speaks more than he ever did and while not ever one for being talkative, he has a really funny sense of humor.  He has lots of friends from lots of different walks of life and seems comfortable in who he is.  He is almost at the point where he can have things in his bedroom like books and such.  There still can't be a lot of them or he will "forget" to sleep, but he has been able to have one or two favorites and  a clock radio this year.  In the past, even the clock radio would have been cause for being awake all night long.

He is starting to make plans for what he would like to do as a young adult, what he would like to study, where he would like to live.  He is starting to make more realistic choices, no longer saying his career path is in the NFL and looking towards other talents and interests.  I am so lucky that he is my son!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Fiona and the Future

Fiona called tonight.  She was very late doing the call and I suspect had not wanted to call initially. She called so  late that the kids were playing outside and as it was close to their needing to come in for showers, I did not call them in to talk to her. They were involved in a game with the neighbors and that did not seem fair.  I did say I would be totally  happy to talk to her and that since it was our first call since we saw each other last Tuesday I'd love to have the time for just  us.

Fiona opened up.  She spoke of her anxiety over the future.  She told me she has nightmares about her first mom and the things that happened then.  About being homeless.  About how much she wants to live here with us, because she wants to have a child of her own someday.  She knows she needs supports and help and doesn't want her life to be like Mom J's  (her birth mom) and thinks it will really be different if she can live with us. She told me how much she regretted breaking the glasses in our house and destroying her room when she lived here. That she had had a great opportunity for a good future and screwed it up.  Which just about slayed me as it was of course far more than that one incident that caused her hospitalization. But that she has been carrying that self blame for more than 10 years is really really horrible.

Hearing her plead to live here killed me.  No child should have to plead for a home. No. one.  Emotionally I was about ready to drive down and get her.  I know it isn't what she needs.  There is work yet to do. She has made huge strides.  In the past 90 days there have been only about 15 days where she has been unsafe.  This is really gigantically huge. It has pretty much never happened before. Amazing Jane asked if I would be willing to help with the apartment search when Fiona gets to that point in her life.  I said absolutely.  I am hoping that my background in subsidized housing will be an asset for us in getting her something affordable and close by.

We talked about our next unsupervised visit.  Fi had a lot of re-entry issues after our last one and naturally did not want to face any of that.  She tried to place the blame on Jane--saying that she felt people should stay out of her physical health stuff when she had a family visit.  (they stopped for gas and she tried to buy something that she can't eat due to her diabetes.)  I tentatively suggested that maybe the real issue with her re-entry wasn't wanting the candy but the disrespectful way that she handled the fact that she couldn't have it.  To my shock, she actually stopped and considered that and decided it was possible that was really the problem.

So I am not really making any sense here and am rambling all over the place.  I did email Jane and say how I would be interested in becoming her legal guardian if Fiona wanted it and if it would not keep her from getting the very important services that have helped her so much.  We will see . . .

Monday, June 4, 2012

Fiona Rocks it Out!

I tried to figure out how to print a picture of my daughter on stage and insert it here in the blog.  Alas, technology has once again defeated me! LOL  Her number, sung with one of her friends at school was videod and featured on the website of the parent organization of the Great School in the City.  In short, my daughter rocked it out.

But the night was about much much more than that.  It didn't all start off particularly well.  We left later than I had planned as we thought the ride was shorter than it was.  Well, 2 1/2 hours later we were hopelessly lost and the show was near to starting.  My anxiety was up through the proverbial roof.  I had promised Fiona we would see her before the show started.  I am absolutely committed to keeping my word.  I don't dance around things. I don't say things I can not do.  Usually.  Big City traffic and a ball game for the home team made for a challenge to put it mildly.  I have a new phone and I could not make the GPS in the stupid thing work. If I still had my Blackberry I knew what to do to help K navigate but I had only owned the Droid (courtesy of my company) for 2 whole days.  Tension in our car was on the high  stratospheric side.  My mom raised me that 10 minutes early was on time.  By my upbringing-we were SO late!

We got there 5 minutes or so into the show.  Amazing Jane was watching for us and hustled us through to nearly front row seats.  Bless her heart.  She could see the tension and worry all over my face.  She pointed toward the wings of the stage and said "just wave over there, she'll see you."  I could not see Fi but apparently she could and did see my frantic waving.  She relaxed, I relaxed.  The show went on.

We were also sitting next to one of Rob's cousin's who we had not met before.  She is lovely and has a daughter KC's age. All the kids got on famously and I was particularly impressed with the calm quiet way that she engaged Rob.  She didn't act like he should or would remember her.  She commented on his fashion style (always a way to his heart) and was very enjoyable to chat with.

But for me, I didn't chat a lot.  I was glued to the stage.  The show itself was fantastic.  There were professional performers helping out the kids, a back up band, actors who did skits with them, a magician who came out periodically to do some pretty amazing tricks.  Fiona has a real gift for performing and truly did very well.  I was the totally proud mama, but I also was genuinely happy for each of the kids.  Because the school population is fairly small, I have come to know most of them over the years.  Watching each of them overcome their particular challenges and perform for a large audience was so awesome I was a teary mushy mess inside.  I am beyond grateful that the Great School exists for people like my daughter and her friends and class mates.  And part of me wonders if a school like this would have helped my Chet to shine a little more brightly, with fewer growing pains along the way.  I don't know.  Hindsight is always 20/20.

After the show was over, we waited and saw Fiona and congratulated her.  She gave me a really enormous hug.  "Oh mom" she said, "I was afraid you weren't coming."  My heart broke that she had worried about that.  On the other hand, as I have had time to think about it, this was pretty profound.  Fiona was able to tell me how she felt. She was able to see that despite the hiccup in transportation, we came through, and she still called me Mom with her first family there with us.  I am not in competition with them, I don't want things to sound like that. But as signs of attachment go, I thought it was pretty darn good. :-)

Next time though, I am leaving early and probably taking public transportation!  LOL