Sunday, March 31, 2013


Happy Easter! Happy Spring!  Happy Family Together!  It has been a great holiday and I feel beyond blessed.  Fiona had a great time and so did all the kids--and of course me too. If my kids are happy, I am happy.  Here I tried to get a quick pick of everyone before we headed out the door to church.  Spiffy looking crew aren't they?  Fi helped me with the egg hunt at church.  Tons of kids this year and many all decked out.  In the past it has often been only my tribe that have been in Easter best.  Not that it matters. I don't do it to show off.  It is a tradition in our family to dress a little spiffy on Easter--the everyone wearing the same color thing is a spin my kids put on it.

I slept on the floor last night in Lissa's room which is right next to my room and gave Fi my bed.  I am glad I slept close by as Fi had a bad dream and I was awake in a heartbeat and there with her.  I feel badly because I know she has bad dreams almost every night. What a legacy of trauma and turmoil for a young woman to bring forward into young adulthood.  But at least I was there, and her breathing slowed and we talked a little and she went back to sleep fairly quickly.  I'd like to believe the memories of today will keep the demons of the night at bay but that is probably not likely.  But maybe they will make her smile when she is awake. I  know I will.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Fun with Fiona!

Fiona got here just about 2 p.m. and we have had a lot of fun.  We colored eggs. Not just my kids, but also the little kid next door who wanted to be in on it too.  I think he will get to color them at home but I am not one to send a plaintive looking face away and I had a big old bowl of eggs all boiled, so he joined in.

After that I thought we would decorate the Easter bunny house which in an ideal world will be our centerpiece tomorrow.  Or not, as we have not yet done it.  KC and Fiona saw an empty box and came up with an idea of turning it into a puppet theater.  All the kids worked on it for ages, divvying up the work of painting and "set building."  There are little popsicle stick puppets and they will put on a show later--most likely tomorrow when all the glue and paint dry.

While I helped here and there with that, I also made dough for cinnamon buns for tomorrows breakfast, and a cake for tomorrows dessert. After I finish this I am putting together a side of mac and cheese to go with the veggie chikn, sauteed spinach with garlic, roasted potatos and corn.  We will sip sparkling cider and end with the cake.  I am getting as much as possible done today as my wife works tomorow a.m. and the rest of us have church.

It is beyond my ability to really articulate the joy of having Fiona home for a holiday.  It feels soooooo good.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Fiona is packing!

The Great School in the City just called.  I felt my breath catch in my throat, worried that something was wrong.  But no!  Look on the positive side of things Lee! (smacks self in forehead) Fi was packing and she told staff that she needed to bring something red to wear and they were trying to confirm that.

I am thrilled that Fiona actually remembered that!  I wasn't sure if it would be okay or not but I explained on Tuesday when we talked that the kids decided they all wanted to wear something red on Easter Sunday this year.  I am not sure why they went all matchy matchy color wise.  Last year they chose all different pastel shades, but whatever.  I take a picture each Easter and I did not want Fiona feeling like she was not part of the family unit.  What could look more like "guest" than 6 people all wearing something red and one person sporting hot pink or something?  I told Fiona it was totally optional but explained it and she said she had a red leather jacket she would like to wear.  She remembered to tell staff too when they were packing tonight, but what she could not remember was what day she was going to wear it and that is why they called.

Meanwhile tonight we will ready the Easter baskets and store them in K's room so that they will not be found before Easter.  K has written all the clues and done photos of the clues for Fi and Lissa.  KC and Rob both had their hair trimmed today and look fantastic.  Rob's still has length but is just evened out and neatened around the nape of his neck.  KC's is a tad shorter but still leaves his beautiful curls.  When he was trying to grow it out it became clear that he has "mixed" hair and some chunks are totally straight.  He is the only one of my kids who has blended hair types.  The straight pieces stuck out from his head and were very uncooperative.  KC does not like gel and the softer holding products would be okay for a short time (say church) but for all day, or hats going on and off his head (he also loves hats) they just didn't do the trick.  When his hair is trimmed just a tad, those errant straight pieces are succcessfully tamed.

I had a random call come in on my cell phone the other day and disconnect before I could answer.  I didn't think much about it and deleted the message that said I had a missed call. I did not recognize the number and figured if it was someone I knew that they would call back.  I woke up in the middle of the night remembering that I told Y, KC's birth mom that she could call or text my phone.  I don't know her number and now I am worried that she may have been trying to reach out. Of course it could just as easily have been a wrong number.  I am hoping beyond hope that if it was her that she will call back.  Meanwhile my boss who loves technology and is so good at it, says she thinks we can find the call somehow even if I deleted it.  She said she would help me next week.

I'm not on GPS!

Early this year my company issued an electronic safety system to everyone who works for the company.  It is supposed to call 9-1-* if you have a problem and to have a GPS which would help emergency personnel find you.

I wasn't loving it, though I totally respect the thought of my employer who obviously places safety highly.  First of all, I don't like to count on technology to get me out of a pickle.  Too many times it has let me down in other areas of my life.  There is the GPS that mucked up a trip to the Big City last year because when you go through a tunnel it can't get a signal and it reset itself sending us way out of our way.  Then there was the fact that the silly little safety device I was issued would periodically play an irish jig for no apparent reason and the programmers could not stop that.  LOL

Needless to say I was quiet about my feelings but I also admit that I usually left the device hanging on  a hook in my office.  I have been assaulted in the past at my job in a variety of circumstances. However I successfully handled the situations and they were years ago.   I also am careful but am relatively good at defusing situations. I have 12 years of martial arts training under my belt if you will pardon the pun. (I am a second degree black belt)  I also just can't live from a fearful perspective.  There are lots of awful things that can happen in life but you could try and guard against every single one and you will still miss something. Being present in the moment is I think the safest thing that I can do in my job and in any situation for staying safe.

Apparently there was push back from other employees at other sites and recently the company made participation in the program voluntary. Those who did not want to wear the locators could return them to their manager.  Mine was not the only one sitting on her desk yesterday afternoon!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Teepee tenting

In late August we are going to NH with some friends.  They are staying in a motel and the rate was not bad--$50 or so a night. But it would have squished me into a room with all the kids.  And I am not really a lover of motels at the best of times.  I like either a really swanky hotel or a cozy, kind of funky B and B. . . or camping. Motels have  doors slamming on either side of you all hours.  Motels have people pulling in and their headlights shining into your room like search beacons from an alien spacecraft.I love the idea of spending the weekend with my friends but I just couldn't get excited for the motel thing.   I googled to find a campground close to the motel our friends will stay at.  That way we can hang out together and day trip together.

But the kids and I?  We are staying in the teepee 4 miles away.  I was all set to bring our tent, but the campground has real teepees.  Also yurts but we will save that for another visit.  And they are on a lake.  They have a pool as well but a lake?  And a teepee?  I was in heaven.  It was  about $20 more to stay here but it will be quieter I am sure.  According to the website they have strict quiet hours and NO radios allowed at the site.  Oh and in a very decadent side benefit, there is coffee for sale  And you can have fresh muffins delivered to your campsite if you place an order the night before.  Truly this is not roughing it camping but it sure sounds pretty fun. And there will be lots for the kids to do to decompress after a day hanging out with other kids.

I think the kids are less enthused about a teepee than I am. I am way excited. I all ready booked us and the staff were very friendly on the phone which is another good sign.    The kids will get excited eventually.  I think they just can't wrap their minds about being in a teepee for some reason.  They WILL love it.  I promise. (oh puleez make them love it, she whimpers to herself!  LOL)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Close to 9

KC is less than a month away from turning 9.  I think this boggles his mind as much as it does mine!  He is a kid who seems to take big developmental leaps right before a birthday.  Yesterday the training wheels came off his bike and he proudly and flawlessly showed me his two wheeled prowess when I came home from work.  In all honesty he had the skills last year but not the confidence.  This year, he is ready and proud of it.

Still creeping into my bed at night when he has bad dreams, but yet looking ahead to being in the church coming of age program in a couple years and reminding me that some day he will be in the youth group just like Robbie. . . great goddess the time flies.

My mom commented on how much more grown up he seemed when she was down this weekend.  She asked what he wanted for his birthday and he had very specific art supplies in mind.  He knew exactly what to tell her and she was grateful. My mom hates shopping as do I.

Yet there is still a little kid part of him that I am happy still exists.  He is still a magical thinker--the Easter bunny, Santa, the leprecauns, are all still hugely important to him.  And he is adament that they exist.  I am grateful that we homeschool and that he is able to believe as long as he wishes to.  I am always reminded of the story "The Polar Express" and the bell that only the boy in the story hears.  And there is a part of him that is fey-it isn't hard to picture him as a gift from the faerie folk!

He also has been less resistant to trying new foods in the past few months.  I won't make meals a battle, but I will require that he try a spoonful--literally a teaspoon--of a dish.  If there are 2 things he does not like, he can choose one to try.  I had to eat liver when I was a kid, and lima bean casserole. I remember sitting in front of a plate that I despised.  I won't do that. So we compromise and recently he discovered he liked roasted potatos and a new macaroni and cheese recipe that we tried last night was in his words much less disgusting.  I suppose that is praise??

He has a hugely big heart and is also one who is the life of a party--instinctively drawing people in and thinking of ways for them to all have fun together.   I can't wait to celebrate his 9th birthday April 17th!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Art Show Samples

First we have Fiona's beautiful painting of a Japanese temple

Next we have two solitary trees done by Rob.  These are haunting.
Then there is Lissa's work, boldly celebrating color and experimenting with shapes.

                                This fall picture of KC's always makes me smile. The whimsical faces on the leaves and the trees is just kind of neat. I would never have thought of doing anything like that!

      And the blue jay is really well done. It did not photograph as well as it truly looks. He had scale and color and body shape really well in hand for that one.

Art Show Time!

KC reminded me that the Lucky Leprecaun Art Gallery had not opened for its annual showing.  We have done this every year for about 3 years or so now, maybe even longer.  I kind of held back a bit this year, wondering if they were past that.  But  I was informed that it is still an important part of life here, So this weekend, its's the gallery's grand opening for 2013!

Last night we backed all the pictures that had been saved from the past year.  I think if we are going to showcase their art that it has to be matted.  We have a plethora of construction paper and they choose colors that they feel accent the mood or style of the piece in questions.

Tonight KC sorted the pictures.  It intrigues me that each year he organizes the art differently.  Last year, he did it by medium--pastels, crayons, acrylics etc.  This year he did it more by subject matter, though there was a section called "paintings" and a section called "scratch art."  But there were also sections called holidays, animation, abstracts etc.

We made the gallery sign on the computer and hung all the art.  This weekend before Rob's piano recital, the godparents, and my mom and her friend G will be coming to a viewing. On Easter, Fiona will see the gallery before it closes for another year.  She too has art in the show, though she does not know that yet.  And KC even got Chet to create something for the show as well.  I will try to post pictures--I have been very bad about that lately.  But I am glad that the Lucky Leprecaun Art Gallery still thrives!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Growing an adoptive family

Adoptive family life has been on my mind a lot lately. This is sort of an ebb and flow of my life. Sometimes life is just life.  It is pretty much the kind of child rearing, crazy living, day to day existence that is fairly typical of my other friends who have kids of similar ages and/or interests.

Then there are the differences in our life that are the result of raising children with a disability.  Kids who will never be able to live independently require a different mind set.  I spent years grieving when I came to grips with the fact that Chet would grow into manhood with a laundry list of experiences and responsibilities that would never be possible for him.This is also true for Fiona.  But I am emotionally in a different place now. I am comfortable with my role being parent/guardian for the long term. With planning safe futures for them when I am gone.  With realizing that there is an aspect of "Peter Pan" in raising differently abled children.  I have learned to enjoy the fact that there is still a wonder and youthfulness as a part of their personalities and i embrace that.  I remember that when their personalities show the difficult todldler-esque tantrum in a full grown body.  These differences too can be shared with some friends.  Not too many geographically close to me, but the joy of the Internet means I have friends all over. Folks who get it.  Folks who have walked harder roads, and who inspire me.

There are also the differences that are unique to the world of adoption.  Raising my children means honoring and including as much as is possible, all the people who are part of their lives. Their first families, their extended families--they are not "their" family. They are "our:" family. I genuinely like and respect them.  Certainly some make unwise choices.  But family is not perfect.  My own biological family is far from perfect; I don't expect that from others.  That does not mean I will put my children in unsafe situations, but it does mean that I don't have unrealistic expectations of what people's lives could/should look like. I think this also shows my kids that I mean what I say when I affirm that I love them even when they make a mistake.

I have read some interesting posts about adoption "triads" lately and honestly it wasn't even a word in my vocabulary till reading about it.  For me, adoption has been about making the circle of family larger and I envision our children in the center. Safe. Loved.  With everyone radiating the same distance from the center.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Top O the Morning!

St. Patricks Day is such a fun holiday!  The leprecauns visited while we slept.  (also the tooth fairy, so I hope there was no collision among the fey folk!)  The orange juice mysteriously turned green.  The shower had green streamers hanging from it and our toilets when flushed filled with water that sparkled. This caused the most excitement of all.  LOL

After church a friend came for a play date and for supper we had a pizza that was shaped like a giant shamrock.  When I figure out how to get pictures from my  phone to my computer I can show you all!  Good silly Sunday fun!

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Family Photo!

       Here we are at the Great School!  I just got tagged in one of the shots and wanted to share.   I look a wee bit bug eyed; photography is rarely kind to me.  But I love this photo all the same.

The G Word

I arrived home last night from the event at Fiona's school to find a flurry of emails concerning Fi.  She had an IEP meeting  yesterday and apparently the topic of guardianship was raised again.  Apparently, the two agencies involved in Fiona's care and planning for her future are both interested in my becoming her guardian.  I was surprised to say the least as only a few months ago my exploring of that option was not met positively.

I told my wife about this and she had concerns.  Her worries centered mostly on what were the duties of guardianship.  Would we be able to meet those needs and fairly meet the needs of the other kids that live here at home.  I suppose it is good that she tempers my enthusiasm, but I looked at the situation differently.  I  feel a deep commitment to Fiona. Though she can't live here, I can at least do this.

Today I spoke with two parties involved to get the specifics of guardianship.  It means that I would have a say, and a responsibility to make sure that Fiona's medication regime is appropriate.  I like that!  While I am not upset by her regime here at the great School, I have seen over medicating in other placements.  I would be responsible for making sure that her placement was safe and reporting any concerns to the proper party.  They would also like me to be her payee for her disability and I would write a check monthly for her share of the care expense and administer the rest to her as her money for clothes, personal care items, and spending money.

I would not be financially liable for her. She would not be living with us.  Nor would we be responsible for transporting her to appointments.  This would be the responsibility of staff at whatever facility she is placed at.

I honestly think these are pretty limited responsibilities and the very least that I can do for my daughter.  I am unsure if biological family will approve of this, but hopefully the connections that I have made with them will make the idea acceptable to them.

Reaching Out Pays Off

Yesterday was Fiona's school event so after my hair appointment, and a late lunch, we headed to the Great School.  Fiona was thrilled to see us and gave us the grand tour of the classrooms and the projects the students had done in each.  After about 30 minutes or so, Fiona and Rob's cousin N and her daughter C arrived. They also brought with them another family member K and his daughter. K is also a cousin; he is N's brother.  Being nosy, I wound up asking as no one was saying and Rob often looks to me to clarify  how he is related to people.

We ate supper together at a big table. The Great School always has excellent food and this time there were lots of vegetarian options so I was very full by the time the meal was over.  I love the fact that we all just mingled at the big round table.  It was not  all the J-E folks on one 1/2 and all the bio family on the other.  We just sort of jumbled ourselves up sitting down and it was great.  I chatted with N about her college experiences.  KC and her daughter busied themselves playing thumb wars and rock paper scissors. Cousin K and Rob talked about skateboarding, etc.  It was good, very very good.

It also helps that KC is a natural mingler.  I don't know if it is inherent to his personality or if he picked it up from watching me, but he instinctively includes everyone at a table in conversation at some point.  There were little gold stars on the table and he made them into constellations and invited people to guess which ones they were.  There were goofy jokes.  But it engendered a lot of laughter from everyone and others loosened up quicker I think because of that.

At the end of the evening, we had all said our goodbyes and were getting ready to leave.  Suddenly, cousin N grabbed her phone, tugged at my sleeve and asked me to wait up.  "We need to have a picture of the whole family," she said.  And all of us squished together and staff took her phone and snapped a picture.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hair today, . .

OK so today is the big day.  I realize this is my incredibly self absorbed post, but I have to get this out there.   (drum roll please)  I am seeing a hair stylist today.  I am probably getting my hair cut and colored.  Backing things up, I am pathetic at working with my hair. I rock my daughter's hair.  Mine?  All six limp strands hang lankly most of the time.  For work I pull it back in a scrunchy into a messy bun. And yes, I know scrunchies are so 1980's.  But it is a velvet scrunchie; does that make it better?  LOL

At any rate, the thing is, I know I need to change up my look.  I am flying out to CA in June and  I will be the "face" of my company out there.  I know my "face" doesn't match my knowledge base or my skill set.  In my former company that didn't matter.  In this one, I seriously think it does. I have not been to a hair stylist in about 8 years.  My wife trims my split ends every once in a while I just kind of rolled with that.

So I have a groupon to a fancy schmantzy salon and supposedly this lovely lady has lots of experience working with fine, limp thin body-less ugly hair.  I sincerely hope so.  Because if I come home looking like a Mexican hairless pooch my "face" for the company is going to be somewhat different than I anticipated. LOL

After the salon visit--which is a family affair as my wife wants to weigh in on the consultation that they are doing before the procedure actually takes place--we are having a lunch out and a small field trip for the kids. Then we are off to the Great School in the City for a presentation that Fiona's school is doing.  We will have supper with her, stay for the event and then head home.  I wonder if she will recognize me?  I wonder if I will recognize me?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Blurry Sickness Thoughts

I hate being ill and I am a lousy patient. I am rarely down enough to require any extended time in bed but yesterday I had to lie down for a long rest and today I was in bed almost all day.  I am up now becuase I am home alone with the littles and I won't let them be outside if I am not up.

I am angry because I missed hearing my son play a prelude and the offertory at Youth Sunday at church today.  I missed hearing his girlfriend sing a solo.  I missed taking a walk with the littles post church.
All this goes in the feeling sorry for myself part of the blog.

The positive part is that I can see another sign of Rob's growth and development in this incident.  Me being sick no longer terrifies him and causes anxiety.  I don't have to stand at the stove and pretend I am fine. I can tell him what is wrong and he knows that what I say is true and nothing awful is going to happen. He knows too that this is the first event I have ever missed of his and that I was legitimately sick.

He texted me today to see how I was doing and made a comment on one of my Facebook entries.  He knows I  love him and that I can be counted on.  Another sign that the relationship is healthy, even if the mom isn't at the moment!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sneezy Saturday

So my little sniffles have morphed into a full blown head cold.  Blech.  I hate head colds because inevitably I get a migraine from the congestion. Which I have today.  It is a wear the sunglasses in the house kind of day. Sigh.  I don't really like to take decongestants but I might make an exception in this case. . .

On the plus side,  the HUGELY PLUS SIDE--Fiona is definately going to be here for Easter.  I am so so excited.  I think my wife is nervous.  My goal is for Fiona  to ultimately be able to be with us for every holiday and in most respects, Easter is the easiest to start with.  First of all, we are pretty low key about it.  As UU pagans, it is more a spring ritual than anything else.  Second of all there is not a lot of candy involved.  The weekend will have decorating a bunny house made out of gingerbread as the centerpiece for dinner. We decorate eggs.  I make special buns for Easter morning that she can help with if she wishes.  Usually the kids like to do this as we make them in the shape of bunnies.    Easter morning there is a clue hunt and then we go to church where she can help me with the RE program activities.  We come home and there is dinner and time for a walk weather permitting, or family games.

I firmly believe in the very core of my being that being in an institution with people who are paid to care for her is not the best place for her at a holiday.  I know that sometimes it is necessary.  Many holidays are trauma triggers for her, but hopefully bit by bit, we can work our way through-under-over-past the challenging behaviors that sometimes result. Like my Chet, Fiona is aware of what she misses due to her behavioral limitations.  She sees  that she is at the Great School when many of the students go home for the holidays.  It is a constant reminder that her family dynamic is different.  I think it makes her feel that her connection to us is more tenuous and I want her to see that it is strong. That we are in there for the long haul, that we love her. I think it starts with Easter. Which is also totally appropriate as Ostara marks new beginnings for us pagan folks.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Fiona is restrained

I should know today  which weekend Fiona is staying overnight.  That is good news.  Unfortunately, she also had to be restrained yesterday, which is the bad news.  I worry so much for her. The Great School in the City does not do the kind of restraining that I know happens in other facilities.  And they have lots of other options that go into play first.  Students can go to their own room, go to a staff member, go to one of the myriad time out spaces (which are so cool my other kids all want to play in them when we visit) go to the expressive arts area, meet with their counselor etc.  I am honestly probably forgetting some of the ways that they try to help kids handle their big feelings.  They also know that restraining does not emotionally help Fiona at all.  If I held KC or Lissa or Rob and prevented them from doing something, they would struggle briefly and then fold in against me into a hug.  For Fiona and for Chet, restraining triggers deep, primal fears so it is something to be done only when the risk to others or themselves is very high.

The school will still let us plan the overnight as we had been. We don't need to postpone at this point.   Jane and I have been working on some different ideas of how long and in what ways Fiona can work to earn the overnights.  The original goal set by the school was 30 consecutive safe days.  She did do that once.  More typically, she can make 3 weeks but not 4. I think the school thought that if you could do 3 weeks, maybe we could help her grow to 4 weeks.  Not working quite that well.  This month, Jane and I privately agreed to the 3 week idea and that is how she earned the visit. Fi has such little sense of time that 3 wks is the same as 4 to her. I suggested an 80 per cent of the month safe behavior goal. This would mean that if she had a restraint or a problem it was not starting over at the beginning, just making sure that there were as few as possible. I think for kids that have t rouble self regulating that lots of consecutive days of anything are incredibly difficult.

But it makes me worry for the future.  I know that other places are not as elastic in their thinking as the Great School is.  I strongly suspect that just about any group home we find will not put up long with the type of behavior that Fiona exhibits when stressed and dysregulated. Since when raging she is also strong enough to throw a 220 pound male off her, puts a certain level of fear into the equation for anyone working with her in those situations as well. I don't want her to wind up in a jail cell. I don't want her to be homeless. I don't want her to be in a state hospital.  And yet, I know any or all of those scenarios could ultimately play out for her.  It all feels so random and I  feel incredibly ineffective.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

My mom's new boyfriend

I am not sure why I titled  the last post about Fiona's pending visit "wintry weather!"  We will have to blame it on the little head cold that my darling children have shared with me for that bit of brain fog.  LOL  I have been meaning to write about my mom for awhile though.

Mom has been married twice. She and my actual father--the guy who is nowhere in my life--divorced when I was 19 I never thought my mom would remarry. She was very deeply in love and had no idea that the marriage was foundering so badly.  Many years went by and when Chet was about 2 she met the man she would marry.  She actually had known him for many years, but they had not had a romantic relationship. He was a widowed retired UU minister.  They dated and in short order, Kirsty was sewing my mom's wedding dress, Chet was lighting the chalice at a wedding and they were off to their life in Maine.

Years passed and there was a very significant age gap between the two of them.  Ken passed away about 3 or 4 years ago, having lived a long life well into his 90s.  He was an amazing grampa to my kids and they all knew him and loved him very much.

More time passed.  Mom had one gentleman that she met at church and they dated for over  a year before he unexpectedly ended things.  My kids had met him and liked him too.  Then after he moved on, and a little bit of time passed, Mom met Griff.  They hit things off well and yet this time she was almost shy about us meeting him.  She voiced concerns that the kids would not like him.  Which was weird to me.  My kids just are not like that unless the guy is a true troll!

Finally she brought him home here for Christmas (our roles do reverse at a certain time in our lives don't they?) and we all had a great time together.  He is warm, intelligent, funny and obviously smitten with Mom.  Mom really likes smitten.  LOL

A couple weeks ago she wrote to me that she was reorganizing her study.  Mom has kept that study inviolate since Ken passed.  It is filled with stuff she.does.not.need.  But will not part with or move.  Do not ask me how I know this.  It is a fact.  I jokingly wrote back and asked her if she was moving her pencil cup from the left side of the humungous and overly large  desk to the other. She wrote back that she had to make room for G's technology equipment becuase he was moving in. And were we upset about that?

KC had all ready asked after Yule if G was now his "Grampa in law" so clearly he intuitively picked up on the closeness between his nana and her man.  G,  upon moving in, graciously asked KC to decide what he wanted to call him.  KC said "why Grampa G  of course!"

I think it is wonderful.  They cook together, they are both in fairly good health and enjoy similar activities, I can see nothing to be upset about.  Unfortunately one of G's children does not feel the same way, but two of the kids like my mom and have been warm and welcoming.  I told mom that she wasn't moving in with any of the children and just to focus on G and herself.  If the daughter sees that her dad is truly happy, likely in time she will come round.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

More wintery weather!

It looks like Fiona is close to having another overnight here and  I am really happy about that.  Jane and I were emailing yesterday and today trying to hammer out a date.  It is either the weekend of the 23rd or the weekend of the 30th.  I think it would be really neat if she was here over Easter.  One of the things that is important to me is keeping her geographically close enough that normal festive times when families get together are doable for us.

My wife is a little worried that it might be too much stimulation for Fi and I am willing to concede that is a possibility. However, I am Madame Optimist and also think we will not know till we try.  We don't have a run around like crazy people egg hunt here.  We have a hunt but it is with clues. I could do Fiona's with pictures the way I do Lissa's. I always cook a nice breakfast and we go to church.  Mid way through the service there is an egg hunt (also not a crazy one) for the kids and if Fiona is with us, I will volunteer to help with that and Fi could help me out there.  That way she will not need to sit through the full service which I know would not be something she would enjoy.

Then we just go home and have dinner. If it is nice, we go for a hike.  Given the weather lately that would be more like a snowshoe or something like that, so it is most probable that we will have indoor acivities.  LOL  I  hope it flies. I am just waiting on a response from the team.

Monday, March 4, 2013

And along came the stomach bug

In about 10 minutes it is time for me to wake the troops to start our week.  I am a bit nervous as yesterday KC woke me at 6:30 (which is not our usual Sunday waking time) and said he was really hungry.  I promptly got up and made him breakfast.  He ate and was then violently ill.  Sigh.  Strep, a viral infection hives and now the stomach bug?  Clearly the planets are aligned and some dark cosmic force is working against me.

The violently ill part came while I was cooking breakfast for the rest of the gang and i had eggs, veggie bacon and mushrooms cooking on the stove.  Thankfully by then Rob was up and i hollered for him to come man the stove while I tended to his brother. K, bless her, was still sleeping!  However when the lucky woman woke she found that she was now nominated to take those of the clan who were still healthy to church. There was a festival after church that Rob was working at and that Lissa and Chet were excited about. It was not fair for them to miss out.  Wife was not amused as Sunday morning is usually her time to kick back and do things in a house that is empty of the rest of us.  But she is a good egg and saw the need.

Meanwhile, because KC has not had a lot of stomach things, he was very clingy.  That whole sensation just totally freaked him out. So I finished reading aloud to him a cool book we have been sharing.  It is called The Puzzlers Mansion and if you have a child who is interested in logic puzzles this is a great book. It has an entertaining story line but puzzles that you can solve along the way. Then I gave him my Kindle and he noodled around with the Thread Words game.  I also downloaded Yahtzee onto the Kindle for him and we spent a considerable amount of time figuring that out.  As is typical, he got the hang of how you use the technology before I did.  But I was also in no rush, it was about keeping him quiet and killing time. LOL

So, cross your fingers that everyone's stomach is feeling fine today!  I really need for spring to arrive and chase all the germs away that seem to have decided our house is the best place to hang out for the rest of winter.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Elderly People Like Words with Friends

Last night I was noodling around in social media. Rob's best friend found me on line and started chatting.  He does this a lot.  I think he is a pretty lonely kid.  He is a few years older than Rob, but immature and socially "different" from most peers.  He is often trying to chat with me and finds the most ordinary things of our life so interesting.  He pines for platefuls of home made pancakes, or the impromptu parties that make up our life.  Truly, you don't need a lot of money to have satisfaction.  Our house is way less fancy, but we sure have fun.

I noticed that there is a game called Words with Friends on FB and it turned out that Drew plays this, so I asked him to teach me how so we could play a game.  In a very pedantic and very detailed manner he walked me through.  I had a little trouble figuring out how to get going, but we used to play Scrabble a lot when K and I were first together so I was confident that once I got the technology down, I'd be okay.

I had not noticed that there is a separate chat button for the game as opposed to the regular FB chat that he and I had initially been using.  He drew my attention to it about 1/2 what through the game.  I thanked him for this.  Below is a summary of the ensuing conversation:

Drew:  I thought you did not see that and I just want you to know all the features and tools of the game so you can have the most fun and be the most successful.

Me:     Thanks!  You know I am not always the quickest at picking up the new technology stuff.

Drew:  I know, but I have to compliment you because you are doing a lot better than a lot of other elderly folks.

Yup, ELDERLY!  You read that right.  I almost fell out of the chair I was laughing so hard.  After that, I promptly whupped that boys you know what and handily won the game!   LOL

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A birthday--and it isn't even ours!

KC informed me earlier in the week that we needed to have a party today. Why?  Well, because it is Dr. Seuss's birthday of course!  I find it amusing that he knew this.  We homeschool so there is not the hype surrounding that in our lives, but it infiltrated somehow.  And anyway, I am fine with finding a reason to celebrate!

He made a really cute poster decoration with everyone's favorite story featured.  There is Oobleck, and fish, the cat in the hat, the lorax and the king and his stilts.  There is also the girl who grew a flower out of her head featured. We are a pretty diverse crowd!  LOL

Alas, today KC had a bad headache (please PLEASE don't let him be sick again.  Cut us some slack here, goddess!) But Lissa and I soldiered on after dance class with the cake baking.  We made a large sheet cake--took doubling my usual white cake recipe.  Then when it cooled I cut it into this artistic rendition of the Cat's hat.  :-)  I made little foil wrapped cardboard barriers that we placed temporarily on the stripes to prevent the sprinkles from going where they shouldn't--more or less.  I had a 6 year old helper, this was not about perfection.

After the stripes on the cake, Lissa said we should use "oobleck colored gel" (can you guess her favorite story) and write Happy Birthday.  I was going to do one of his quotes but we went the more traditional route.  We rounded out the celebration by having our usual Saturday supper of veggie burgers and fries with sprite served in fance wine glasses.  Wine glasses were red and white too of course!  LOL