Saturday, December 19, 2009

You Asked For It!

Our trip to Hawaii is fast approaching, so getting the house clean is on the list of things to do before we go. My boys share a room and Kindsay has her own room--both rooms are a mess. Not a mess as in, "Wow." But a mess as in "just get this stuff put away and we can go on with our day." so they weren't that bad!! The rule was--no leaving the room unless the room is clean, closets and under the beds included--except to do room-cleaning business. Amazing--my children were in their rooms ALLLLLLL day. Either I'm a genius and have figured out how to have a quiet day while my children are home, or I'm an idiot because my children's rooms are now much worse than they were at the start. I think I'm an idiot. Please refrain.
For the boys...they can do a great job, even down to making the beds with perfection and having the floor cleaned...but today--alas, must be the start of a holiday because I don't recognize the two turkeys in my house! It was like a wrestling match all day, the bedding on the beds being part of the equipment as well as any and all items on their shelves. Slowly I lost sight of the floor. Finally at 4:00 PM I told them, "You know the day is gone and it's time for dinner and bed soon." They both stopped and jaw-dropped each other...then carried on their way. Ty finally stopped and whined something about needing to eat, but I quickly pointed out the hangers on the floor to be put away. Yes, I'm a dictator! No, I didn't win that war! Yes, I'm being overthrown by the government, except it's gorilla-warfare because my kids are ANIMALS! Am I alone in this? One thing for sure is that Kindsay is a product of A Beautiful Mind. It was actually unnerving, which isn't out of the ordinary for her, but at some point you reach a corner and when you turn it you want to run the other way only to find a wall behind you that you hit full speed and fall over, though I'm surprised I've yet to go into a coma (self-induced might not be a bad idea). Kindsay had the same rule applied to her today. She can do an awesome job cleaning her room--swear! She can really amaze us...when there's enough at stake. Money or a spank will usually get her moving, but today she had whatever fever my boys had because she was going to have none of it. She too sat in her room ALL day; however, she was alone. Now, the boys have each other to jump between beds and thrash, but Kindsay managed to do that all by herself, and she's thirteen so that's even worse. Her room only had a laundry basket of clothing to put away and a few items on the floor (school stuff, a doll, the microwave has become a permanent fixture but I'd love to see that thing moved into the garage...but usual stuff.) I stripped her bed to wash her sheets so she didn't have to make her bed, which was even less work for her, right?? Now, I'm not an ogre who barks a blanket order and expects perfection...I start out in pieces "Go get all the trash off the floor." "Now, put all the clothes on the bed." Small 1-step instructions so that they can feel some kind of control of their surroundings...but Kindsay took my 'help' in a new direction. "Throw all your trash away" has new meaning, meaning that I wish to erase from my mind--but I can't, so I'm going to invade your mind with it. Watch the video so you know it's not just my wild imagination--it's not long--but it's her sitting in her room on the floor and the mess of the room in all its filthy glory along with her version of throwing away trash. Russell Crowe comes to mind when you see it--except I wish she thought she were a spy so I could send her on a 'mission', Adding insult to injury, the Christmas music blaring in the background is in her room. All she needs is an organ and a black cape and all the pieces would be in place.
If you can't quite understand it, Kindsay had taken all the trash (remember now, she LOVES ads, junk mail, and any kind of paper product so her room is like a rat's nest with useless recyclables shoved into her desk or under the bed)...anyway, she'd taken all the paper goods, with which she should just start scrapbooking--let's face it--and cut them into confetti pieces over her trash can. I'd say half got into the can. Now if that isn't going the LONG way around the block...then such a thing doesn't exist. BTW--her room never got done either. Time to break out the wallet or crack my knuckles for a good paddling over my knee. It's gonna cost me either way since she's no dummy when it comes to cash...at the same time five and half feet and 115 lbs over my knee sounds like a killer...maybe I should just hold a car wash and earn the money to send her to camp (is there a camp year-round?).
video

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Dog is Alive...Bless Us Everyone! (if you are an animal lover, maybe you shouldn't read on...)

Thanksgiving in Utah was a lot of fun. We hung out with my sister and her family, taking my dad along for the ride. We saw Rebekah which was a highlight for sure. She works at the local theater so we saw every movie possible (6 to be exact) with free popcorn to boot! The weather was nice and the food was awesome (I ate my way through the week). But let's get to the fun...my Kindsay, who doesn't go anywhere with us, stays tucked away in a room with a computer, but manages to get herself into the picture in her unique way.
The ride there, 12 hours, was long. Miss Kindsay slept a total of 2 hours during the first 4, then sat wide awake through the night as we drove from 6 PM to 6 AM. She sat up front and texted huge pages of text to people. Her nerves were shot driving that long and waiting to get to our destination. She chewed her foot mercilously, actually making quite a gouge right under her pinky toe (she says it needs to be seen by a doctor and stitched up...it's not that bad, but it's close.) We arrived at dawn in Spanish Fork where we found a house full of people waiting for our arrival...7 children and 2 adults. Rebekah was the first to greet us and it was a delightful reunion...even seeing her dog, Shyann, again was fun. The house came alive and the fun started right then. My sister has 2 dogs of her own--a Siberian Husky named Kaia and a Yorkie named Honey. We all know how much Kindsay loves animals--especially dogs. Kindsay would walk the halls and staircases of the house in her long flowing skirts with Honey tucked beneath her arm like the lady of the house. She was either holding Honey or on Facebook making friends. She truly loves Honey, but one couldn't guess that knowing what she did. I wasn't about to wait for the fun to start, I jumped right on it! I had a list of places I had to eat at and movies to see. Kindsay, as usual, denied us of her presence. She refuses to leave the house. We made her on the first day and then to church on Sunday, but come Monday she put her foot down--"I am NOT going out--no no you are not going to make me, you just STOP IT, shut your mouth!" We gave in because forcing a five and a half foot person into day clothes and an outing against her will is a no-win situation. My sister's kids were off to school (their vacay started that Wed.) and my sis and her hubby went off to work. My dad, Greg, the boys, and I went off to have our fun, without Kindsay and with a little fear of the unknown (meaning, are we sure we should leave her here alone?) What could she do, right? Some of you already know the rest, being history to you...but to others--I must document the rest of the day in an effort to immortalize this child's absolute creativity in her approach to life, it's my duty.
Afternoon comes and we're done with a few things on my list...lunch out, a movie...just fun all around...and we come home to our little dear whose face is lit with remorse and guilt. Uh-oh...what have you done Kindsay?
"I took a shower with Honey." OK--what do you mean, took a shower? You and the dog..? "I didn't have clothes and I held Honey and put shampoo and conditioner on her and I washed her and now she's clean." This explained the massive amounts of water on the bathroom floor. Big sigh from me since nothing is damaged or dead...but no more showers with the dog! She agrees "I know I know, bad choice, I don't know why I did that.." The cousins get home from school and my niece finds a box in her room...it's her dad's diabetes kit with needles and insulin...but a needle is missing. I hear Kindsay in the adjacent room once again expressing regret while my niece is freaking out...the story shoots out of Kindsay's mouth like vomit. As the story unfolds I feel my body and ears perking up and up and up because the story just got worse and worse. She did what to who? Seems that Kindsay had to 'care for the dog' a step further than showering. She rummaged through my sister's pantry and found the kit, which then popped the bad angel onto her shoulder. The bad angel waited for the good angel to arrive, at which point it bound and gagged the good angel and begun its work on Kindsay only to succeed with gold stars. Kindsay knows that needles are for shots which are for keeping us healthy, and Honey must've seemed unhealthy because little Honey, that's right, got a couple of shots. Two shots of water into the stomach to be exact. We all panicked, not knowing what that does to dogs, or life in general, since we've never done that kind of experiment. Honey seemed fine, but I pictured her squealing and rattling in fear while Kindsay held her down for her shots. Kindsay tried giving the Siberian Husky a shot, but it would have none of it--so of course Kindsay goes for the weaker breed. We all held our breath and watched Honey, waiting for her to collapse and praying CPR wouldn't be necessary. Honey was definitely hydrated and had the softest fur in the Utah Valley, that was certain...and for some reason this gluttonous canine continued to follow Kindsay around for the remainder of the week. In any case, the good angel was released and found some redemption by keeping Kindsay well under control till we left. I suppose once Kindsay gets the curiosities out of her system she is able to function normally...but at what cost I ask? We hid Honey every time we left after that, putting her in the shed out back...and finally, the second to last day I noticed Kindsay's lips were pale and realized she had denied leaving the house for three days straight. I forced her out, and I think she knew in her body that it was time since she didn't put up a fight. For the ride home I gave her an Ambien to help her settle into sleep instead of sitting up and biting her foot for 12 hours. It did the trick, and beautifully. It's a good thing I love my Ambien and treasure it too much to give it away--otherwise I'd be tempted to relieve us all of Kindsay incessant movement and 'sssss' noises. No, I'm a good mom...I don't give her useless doses of anything, even though she would deserve a shot in the stomach--just one, in honor of brave Honey...the most hydrated dog this side of the Mississippi.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Quips and Blips

This is strictly for those who know my children...and love them because hearing cute stories about other people's kids doesn't make them nearly as cute unless you know them and love them.
That said, here are some funny things my babies have said and/or done in recent times (this is separate from Kindsayisms, which are in a class on their own.)
Ty is a religious little guy. For some reason, he even counts points for his advancement to heaven. One day he got into trouble and came out to his dad, announcing, "OK...I just said a prayer and I forgave Heavenly Father." My husband stood to correct him..."Actually, Ty, you are supposed to ASK for forgiveness, Heavenly Father has to forgive YOU." Ty turns on his heels and says, "Be right back."
A few days later Ty finds that swallowing a headache pill goes down wrong and hurts his throat. He begins to panic because it felt like it was stuck, which it wasn't, but Ty was freaking out and worried he'd never be the same. He's such a chicken all the time so he asks me to go with him to say a prayer to ask to get well. We both go down into my room and kneel at the bed. Ty, gasping and bawling, starts to pray, stops, and says, 'Mom, you gotta do it. Just tell Him to make it better, wahhhhh!' Sure enough, when the prayer was through, Ty was as good as new...not a tear left in his eye.
Garon, on the other hand, has ego issues. Yes, he knows he's good looking, and then finds out from his teacher that he's Advanced on all his subjects and scored Advanced on the state testing from last year. I wanted to keep this a secret because I knew what it would do to his ego, but I also wanted to protect the egos of my other children. Kindsay gets up one morning and turns on Dora the Explorer. Garon, groaning, tells Kindsay to turn the channel because that show is stupid. Greg thinks he's being funny and tells Garon, "You know...all the 'advanced' kids watch that show." Quickly as though reading a script, Garon comes back, "No Dad, this show is for the Far Below Basic kids." Aye, already he begins.

Catnapping on Carson!

We all know and love Kindsay...at least I do...I just don't know about the neighbors. As you know, Kindsay is NOT to be trusted with the life of another being, so we don't allow her to have pets. Granted, she's tried...if you haven't noticed, we just got rid of the lizard, which was after the birds she found in front of our house. Kindsay is no dummy. She knows Mom and Dad won't buy her a pet, so where should she get one? That's right...out in nature where things live. Except, on this wonderful day off she helped herself to someone else's living thing.
It's Wednesday morning, the day we honor veterans, and I'm lazily sleeping in (does 8 AM count?)...and I hear the garage door open. While my guard SHOULD be up, it's not and I stay in bed. I listen for my children and hear nothing so back to La-La land I go. Greg and I finally get out of bed and face our day off to find the boys tearing down the hallway...and that's normal for them except when I hear them chattering something about 'what Kindsay found.' Experience has taught us ALL that those words together spell trouble. And of course, they are in my room. I can hear Kindsay yelling at the boys, threatening them, and this perks my ears. It is when I hear Ty begin crying that I race down the hall to find one boy crying, another looking under my bed, and Kindsay standing outside my back door, probably ducking my anger. The boys tell me they were trying to get the cat out from under my bed and Kindsay wouldn't let the cat out. There were a few things wrong with that statement...one being that there was a cat, which I am highly allergic to, another was that it was under my bed. Why me? I start pushing stuff under my bed to scare the cat out, but it's not budging. I open my back door to find Kindsay with the 'deer caught in the headlight' look on her face. She knows I'm ticked and she's in for it. Hitting my children is absolutely unacceptable and goodness knows I've been over that with her a hundred times. I order the boys to get the cat OUT! which they proceed to do ASAP, and Kindsay I dismiss from the house until the red mark on Ty's back fades. This wasn't an isolated situation..oh no, we had the neighbors involved. Here's what the neighbor across the street tells us happened:
Kindsay sets out on an early morning trek. She crosses the busy street next to our neighborhood with a backpack on her back and her long skirt and tennies. What's this? A cat hanging out all alone by a light pole? Oh, it seems to like me because it's rubbing on my leg now...I guess it wants to come home with me. Kindsay then shoves the cat in her backpack and zips it up. The neighbor felt it was his duty to return the cat to its region of the neighborhood so it could find its way home, so he came over and asked for the cat. Once the cat was gone, Kindsay went across the street, opened the back gate to our other neighbor's house, and fed their dog. This dog is no lap dog--it's a large black dog that I have never even seen before. Kindsay's feeding away, doing her own thing...would probably shove it in her backpack if it would fit. Rules do not apply to Kindsay...has that become obvious yet? Oh, how my life would be different if she stayed within her limits. Kindsay is like Plankton on Spongebob trying to steal the Krabby Patty formula, and I'm Mr. Krabs, batting down all her attempts. And one day, maybe all the little critters of the world will unite and thank me. Chocolate is always a good show of gratitude.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Lizard

Kindsay is dying for a pet...I know, a funny use of words since usually the pet is the one that is dying. If it's alive, Kindsay will bottle it and keep it. Bottle it even without holes in the lid. That's what happened to poor Lizzie the Lizard. I should have reminded my dad that when Kindsay goes out to his property for a visit that she is not allowed to bottle anything and bring it home. I was too late on the reminder last week when the kids were off from school and had to stay at Grandpa's while I worked. Sure enough I got the call from my dad. "Just to let you know, Kindsay found a lizard and it's coming home with her." Groan! was my response. What was my dad to do? Argue with the unarguable? Kindsay does not respond well to the word no, especially when it comes to animals. Do you even know how long it took me to get her to stay away from Birdie out front of my house? I think the bird finally just picked up her nest in her little bird claws and flew far far away because Kindsay spent too much time poking it with a stick. So now we've got Lizzie. ew. It was about 6 inches long with a blue stomach, which Kindsay liked to point out, "It is a blue lizard, a blue one." Whatever that means. Too bad it didn't mean "lizard that likes to bite little girls" because that is exactly what Kindsay needed. Do I have a home for this thing? Depends on who you ask. The Gladware disposable tupperware that Kindsay used to house it would indicate yes, but since the Gladware was void of breathing holes and room large enough for the lizard to roll over, I would say no. Kindsay couldn't even feed it, shocking. Lizards like bugs and flies and my bug/fly collection was pretty low so Lizzie was hungry during her stay. Kindsay would fill the Gladware with water and I suppose that was the life sustaining sustenance of choice. So Day 1 our conversation went like this: "Kindsay, you have to get rid of that lizard. You can't feed..." "NO! I WILL NOT! IT'S MY LIZARD, I AM KEEPING IT!" "Kindsay, how will it eat?" "YOU JUST BETTER STOP TALKING...JUST STOP!" Day 2: "Kindsay, what have you fed the lizard?" "OH MOM, JUST STOP TALKING! I let it out in the sandbox." So she let the lizard out in our sandbox and that was its rare opportunity to snag a bug and eat. Lizzie was frozen, probably in terror, so it didn't appear to NOT like its new life in Kindsay's eyes. I just kept waiting for it to wind up in my microwave. But alas. One night Greg and I took Garon to the movies (he was the only one that wanted to go) so we left Ty at my mom's and Kindsay at home with Lizzie. We got home after a couple or hours to find our house turned upside down as though we'd been robbed. Even the garage was dismantled. Greg was furious and spent the whole evening cleaning. I find out the next day that my step-dad had Ty call my house to check on Kindsay while we were at the movies, and she told Ty she'd lost the lizard in the house. That explains the boxes turned over and house in shambles...grrrr. Every night I would tell Greg to get rid of Lizzie while Kindsay slept, and every morning Kindsay would go outside and find it sitting in the sandbox, frozen with fear. One would've thought it was a stuffed lizard. I would hear Kindsay having a full blown, well, one-sided conversation in the backyard only to realize she was talking to the poor lizard. Maybe it was frozen like a possum to play dead and hope Kindsay would leave it alone? Finally, Kindsay got into huge trouble with me, I think for belting her brother with a good hit on the back and that was the final straw! I had Greg take the lizard once and for all and GET RID OF IT! Kindsay knew she was in huge trouble and didn't balk at the removal of her pet. The next morning I find Kindsay dumping her lizard tank into my laundry room trash can. "Whoa Kindsay, what is that?" 'Oh oh oh, they're meal worms...my teacher got them for me for the lizard." Dumping a water tank of meal worms into my laundry room trash can? Does she understand now that she cannot have a pet? Well, Saturday she went to the movies with a girl from her class at school. I bought her a ticket then gave her some money for snacks. Kindsay is nobody's fool. That girl pocketed my money to buy herself a rat and had the friend's parents pay for her candy AND soda AND nachos. Relentless.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Assumptions Make a What Outa Who?

I'm an easy-going person. I try to 'roll with it' and give people the benefit of the doubt. I haven't always been like that--I've had my share of foot-in-mouth syndrome...some so bad that I think about them every now and then and cringe. Those moments of impulsive jumps-to-conclusion have made me more aware of possibilities of situations. Unfortunately, I'm willing to say most people don't withhold their judgments. Those such people exist in large numbers in the field of education. Too many educators think they have all the answers. Their knowledge is infinite and runs deeper than yours, so sit back and pay attention! This was the case with my move from one school to another (changed my SPED focus). People assumed that because I was new to the school that I was new to the profession. I got all kinds of advice, input, and suggestions--all unsolicited. I'm not one to say, "I know," because I don't like implying that I know everything already, but how many times was I tempted??? Practically the entire school year! Little did they know I had been a teacher already, had the credentials long obtained, and had a post-graduate education. Since I'm not going to wear that information on my forehead, I had to suffer through the do-gooders, even though much of the time I had to correct them because THEY were wrong. Oh well.
But now I'm in a class (yes, another class) at FSU, and it's instructed by a recent doctoral graduate. If there's one class of people who think they know it all it's the newly graduated doctors of whatever. I even mentioned that to the department head at FSU without saying it directly and she finished the sentence for me. So I'm not way off base. This instructor, and I call her that because teacher seems so small for a university, makes all kinds of assumptions and causes me to grit my teeth through class. She's telling me how to teach MY students, though she's never met them...she's telling me what is good practice and what is bad even though she's never taught in a classroom and really doesn't know...she's the first to drop her 'researched facts' on me though I can find research that counters her statements. Argh! I want to stand up and yell "I'm in the trenches, lady, and you don't know what you are talking about!!" But she would find some research to argue that point as well. She's not sharing 'ideas' or offering a variety of methods for us to select and use in class...she's literally saying "That doesn't work," even though it works like a dream for my students to their benefit. So I have to stomach her for this semester and next semester since she teaches the ONLY other class I have to take to be completely done with my 2nd credential. There are also lots of teachers who think they've got the answers. When I mentioned to two teachers that I received a new student who belonged in their program (a more restrictive environment), they were quick to give me tips on instruction, how to deal with him, how I have to give it a try...blah blah blah. I just sat staring at them like, "Are you for real?" Did I ASK for methods in dealing with him? No, I read this boy's education plan, psych assessments, and met him and knew right away he was not a good fit for my program. "Give him a chance..." they say. I was redeemed when the principal at their school received his paperwork for the referral to move him and without observing him(which is part of the process) said, "Get him over here now and get him a one on one!" See? I know SOMETHING...just not everything.
Only my children think I know everything and it's gonna stay that way!
For everyone else, I will pretend to act uninformed on the topics (in which I am well-read) being spewed at me so I don't come off as a know-it-all, but in reality...your sentence has already been finished in my head.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Run-Ins

Last night Ty was telling some bomb jokes. Garon stepped in a couple of times with a joke. "Where do cows live?" "COW-lifornia!" Ty gives us that one along with some others he made up that didn't quite get the laughs but were still pretty clever. Kindsay is dying to get in on this. "Dad! Dad! I have a joke! Knock knock" Greg answers: Who's there? K:"Dora" G: Dora Who? K: Dora and her brother and sister.
OK-so Kindsay doesn't quite get the joke concept, but that's typical of kids like Kindsay. You can tell she's missing the humor gene when we have family pics of everyone laughing while her face is deadpan straight. But she's not the only one with interesting issues.
Ty is determined to freak us all out with his love of girly things. I asked him one day "what do you like to do at recess?" Ty answers: all the boys play superheroes, but I like to play house with Alexandria..(a girl in his class.) I say, Oh, why don't you like superheroes? Ty: I don't know, I just like house. My pretend name is Sprinkles but I want to change it to Rainbow.
I tried to explain to Ty that he needs to work at playing with all the kids and how certain behaviors become targets for bullying and to be careful. The next day I asked him again what he played at recess "Animals." Relieved I said, Great Ty! What animal were you? Ty: "A butterfly" So we didn't get that far into the boy games, unless his pretend butterfly's name was Rocky. In any case, we have to accept that he just has interests of a more delicate nature. Garon, on the other hand, fought with Kindsay over a slap bracelet. I thought 'oh no, now Garon wants jewelry...what the heck?' I look over to see Garon had won the battle for the bracelet and used it to bind his bad guy in a make-believe arrest.
Then there's Garon who thinks the absoute world of himself. After a night of cub scouts and hard play, he was dripping with sweat and Greg pointed it out. Garon responded: "That's okay, I look good anyway. In fact, I pretty much look good all the time." If it wasn't for the fact that I saw Garon check himself out one day and do the finger lick and sizzle on his behind, I would've thought Greg was exaggerating.
I'm so happy my children are all unique and I can celebrate their differences, but where the heck did they come from?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Kindsay's Day Out

I have to chronicle all Kindsay's events now because she's getting older and turning into a teenager and, well, it's getting interesting to say the least. Case in point: So Kindsay gets butt-load of cash for her birthday (thank you all who pitched in) and it's making her pockets itch. She bursts in my room all dressed one Saturday and announces that she is going shopping with a friend (whose name I will leave out.) She's got on the right outfit, except the purse she's using is a doll baby bag. Stunned from the outburst (why do I not expect these?), I look at her like, "Oookaaaaaaaaaay." She storms out (she walks as though she is storming, so when she is really mad, look out.) I called out that I had to talk with the friend's parents first, find out WHO SHE IS for starters, and find out when/where..all the wh's. Kindsay tells me they are going to the mall and they are on their way. The girl's 19-yr-old sister is driving them. She goes into the front yard to watch for this girl while I am trying to get a handle on what's going on...clearly the "handle" is oily. Finally, Kindsay, who carries the phone with her because apparently it's hers now, comes up to me and thrusts the phone in my face. "It's my friend, here...talk talk talk, talk to her." I take the phone and ask, Hello? On the other line is the friend's 19-yr-old sister. "Uh yes, we're just wondering what your cross streets are?" I answer, 'okay, first I need to know what is going on. I don't know where you are going, and what times?' Hesitant, the sister responds, "I thought you knew. Kindsay called us and told us to come take her to the mall, we assumed you knew." I tell you what...I'm going to have those old lady lips way sooner than I should because of all the pursing I do. I apologize and explain to them that I am NEVER aware of Kindsay's decisions and that they don't have to take her. "Oh that's okay, we're all going and we're just getting dressed. We'll come by and get her." aye. So I approve this because of all the trouble they're going through. Kindsay is determined...she's chewing her fingers, eyes flitting all around the streets waiting for this friend and family to come take her to purchase-heaven. If I had said NO you can't go because you...etc., I would've been talking to the wall, so I saved my breath. Kindsay sat outside waiting...TWO HOURS LATER the family Toyota van pulls up with a load of people. OK..so picture it...Kindsay (tall, Amazonian, blond) sitting amongst a little family of Hmongs (small, dark, Asian) on her way to the mall. A car full of baboons could've pulled up and she would've gotten in...not that this little friend resembles in any way...it's just that when they pulled up, Kindsay got in without checking to see who was in it! I wave out to them, worried worried worried. I gave Kindsay a cell phone and one of my purses and away she went.
So 2 hours later I decide it's time to check on her. I imagined her little band of friend and family was getting tired of Kindsay's...uniqueness?..."Kindsay, what are you guys doing? Are you ready to come home?" Answer: 'oh oh oh..MOM! The boy, he got lost and the police they took him and he had handcuffs and the sister had to pay a lot a lot a lot of money and the boy..he was with the police and he's my friend's cousin and I don't know why he was there I just don't know but the sister was mad and all the family everyone was cussing and cussing and smoking, and I said EW that stinks! and ohhhh, it just stinks when they smoke and..." I am trying to make sense of all this. So what she's telling me is the band of shoppers (small group of Hmongs with their leader, Kindsay, sticking up in the middle) gets separated from cousin, who then shoplifts, gets caught and causes the sister to have to pay a hefty fine to get him released, which made her ticked and triggered the foul mouth and need to smoke. Needless to say, when Kindsay pulled up with the family, I was livid that she didn't even make a purchase, relieved that she didn't shoplift, and convinced that going shopping with the 19-yr-old sister was a bad idea. Where was the little voice inside that nudges me at bad ideas? Oh yeah, it was smushed by the pulsating of Kindsay's determined voice in my ears. Let's just get that money spent already.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Birthdays-- Cash only, checks not accepted.

As you know, Ty's birthday was Sept. 11. He turned 7, which seems like I've been telling people he's 7 already so...whoops. That also means my house turned 7...and all that comes with it! Ty had a small family party since he had the big blow-out last year with all the kids in his class. It took him a day of mourning to adjust to the idea of NOT getting 25 presents, then he was fine and actually loved all his gifts. In fact, when he blew out his candles, we asked what he wished for and his reply: "All my wishes already came true!" OK...that was the perfect thing to say because then Aunt Britney went out and bought him a robe, which is what he's always wanted. I know, not the first thing you think of when little boy comes to mind, but Ty, for those of you that know him, is not a typical baby. He's an artist, a daydreamer, a child of wide interests--from rainbows and tiaras, hula skirts and wands, swords and wrestling, soccer and of course DRAWING...he knows no bounds.
Then there's our favorite second child Kindsay. The BIG 13!! The 14th year is the most difficult for a girl, so I am only seeing the rise of the Tsunami at this point. Drowning comes next year. She has already begun the non-stop talking on the phone! And of course, she's talking to other girls from her special ed class so it's like 2 different conversations going at the same time and at the end they are both crying and mad at each other only to make up the next morning. I can hear screaming down the hall in her room, screaming angriness, then crying--bawling..'I thought you were my friend, but you're not! bwahhhhh!' I'm sure the other little girl's mom is thinking the same thing: What the he**??? Anyway, so she's 13 as of yesterday and this kid only wants cash....cash people--even a single dollar bill will receive the same reception as a new car to a 16-yr-old. Good thing my family knows this. It started out on Thursday. My dad came by with a card. She tore it out of his hand and ripped the card open while tipping it upside down to allow bills to flow out. $25..."yay! oh my gosh, a $20 bill! Look what I have...!" All the while my dad is standing there waiting for some acknowledgement. Kindsay only continues to smell her cash and count the 2 bills over and over and over. I get her to read the card which is really girly and cute, and she likes it, but I had to almost take the cash to get her to look at grandpa to say thanks. Next day, her birthday. Kindsay's grandparents in Utah sent her cash. They knew that sending a check would not have the same affect so they chanced it with cash...and what a pay-off. It was $40...a 20 bill, a 10 bill, a 5 bill, and 5 ones. Again, she dumps the card onto her lap. Out flows the money: "Oh! A 20! a 10! a 5! and a one a one a one a one and a one! ohhhhhh, I have 20 dollars. oh yeah baby (sniff money)...(wicked laugh)...ohhhhh, 20 and 10 and 5 and some dollars...how much do I have? I think it's like 20 and some dollars, ohhhh I'm rich! (waves, sniffs, fans herself with cash)..." You can imagine her complete glee when I tell her she has a total of $65...heart attack! That night I went to my mom's to get her gift since she was out of town. My mom warned me--Kindsay isn't going to like it, it's NOT cash! Sure enough, she rips open the card, dumping the emptiness onto her lap. "Oh, I do NOT like this, no oh no no no...there is no money." Instead she pulls out of the gift bag a full length flannel nightgown. Now, we as family members love this gift. We are tired of Kindsay's underwear parade and crotch in the air as she bites her toenails. Maybe she'll wear this one because the others are 'old'...oh no, but someone does enjoy it. Guess who? Yep--Ty. When I get my desktop computer that has my pics downloaded onto it back online (this is my work laptop I'm using) I'll give you the proof you need to see not only Ty in his robe of dreams, which I now use as leverage to get him to clean his room, but also in a new love--the nightgown. sigh. Thankfully it's not rainbow colored and sparkly because then he'd NEVER take it off. Kindsay is cash only, and she's serious about that...so next weekend is her big friend party at the bowling alley and yeah, she'll like her gifts because she loves opening gifts, but if you drop in a buck, you are the friend of the year.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Greggy Part 1

True love is hard to find, and sometimes it's looking right at you and you can't see it because you don't want to see it. And sometimes when you finally realize it's there, you are too late. Well, that didn't happen to me, but it almost happened to Greg. Greg is my husband. He's nothing I imagined I would be married to. Actually, I never envisioned my husband, nor my wedding day, so when it all happened I rolled without qualms. HOWEVER, and that should be all caps because my however is this: we dated for 3.2 years and during those years I was not allowed to use the M word. NOT ALLOWED. When I did, he ran...well, walked because if you know my husband you know that there isn't a fast bone in his body unless he's running down a court dribbling. Otherwise, even when my babies are toddling towards a busy street the man barely breaks out a gallop. But I digress.
It was the best of times, and the worst of times. How cliche, and yet...appropriate. I was done with high school and in my prime, but also had an infant daughter on my hip. Not the greatest man-catching device. I wasn't trying to find a husband or a father for my baby, but hanging out with a certain group of girls always steered me in the path of new guys. I flirted, partied, and even got a little too close to some, but mostly we were just one big group of kids having fun while our babies slept in the back bedroom. Ew, there's no way to make that sound okay...but it actually was. Two of the girls I hung out with had babies my baby's age so it was like a day care meets a disco some nights. But it was all clean fun. Along comes Greg. As a package deal. With his best friend he doubled with my friend and me, and we were teamed up on different sides. In other words, his best friend dated me first. This is nothing for Greg to stew over. I had actually dated most of his friends at some point in my life, but never met Greg during any of it so I didn't know he existed until this double date of which I write. And yes, he's the best of them all. Anyway...
we go on this double date, and it's at---you guessed it...the drive-in! It's the other guy, me, Greg, and my friend lined up in the back of a pick-up. I feel this foot flipping mine around and I think in my naivety, "wow, this truck is sure smashed, there's not even room for my feet!" All along, it was Greg trying to get a bit of my attention. The cuteness begins.
I dated his friend for like a month, but it didn't work out since he was a slimeball, and still is from what I hear. But I asked Greg out on a whim, literally a whim that I never imagined would go anywhere, and he accepted on a whim, literally a whim because he said, and I quote, "I only went out with you because you looked like fun, not because I thought it would lead to marriage." Like fun, huh? Oh...who's having fun now?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Oh Rebekah, Where Art Thou?


It was a difficult decision, but Greg and I moved our oldest child to Utah to finish her senior year of high school with her cousin. Born three months apart, the two girls have been close if not best friends their whole lives, even though they have lived 800 miles apart. Neither have a best friend at their home schools. It's weird because I think most girls do and here are two girls in my own family who have not established closeness with anyone but each other. Bekah spent the summer of 2008 with my sister's family and had a blast, but after the summer I was ready to have my baby home. My sister asked if Bek could stay for high school and I quickly refused...not ready to give up my baby. Let's face it, at this stage in Rebekah's life she would move to finish high school then stay on for college and bottom line be moved out of my home way too soon. But this and that happened and led Greg and me to make the decision with no hesitation. I drove Rebekah along with my old car, her new car...and left them both in Spanish Fork, UT. The nights that led up to her departure were difficult. We both cried quietly and secretly away from everyone and assumed the other was fine and brave and unscathed by emotion. In Utah I got her set up in the bedroom, filled out paperwork for school, and handed over whatever cash I had on me. I had trouble getting out of UT...no trains, no rental cars, no flights left until Monday...but I finally left and the tears poured. We both knew it was for the best, but who can accept such a drastic change without shedding tears? I got on the plane and flew home without another thought on the subject...just happy for her and her new life. My youngest son had already moved into her room when I got home. Little bits and pieces remained of Rebekah with mixes of Ty's favorite things dotting the landscape of the room. I opened her closet to find she had left quite a bit and figured I'd better clean it out. It was there that I collapsed and ached for my baby. My children gathered around me in awe of such raw emotion (I'm not an emotional person). Kindsay started bawling, attaching herself to my sadness. So there I sat, cleaning and crying quietly. All the memories, all the dreams I had when she was born, all the heartache I went through to get her through junior high--it was all done. New dreams and heartaches and delights are ahead, but when I look back at the little baby whose hair I had to pull together to make even the tiniest pigtails I feel a pit in my stomach and an emptiness in my heart. She was the calm in my home...the one I could count on to bring me some perspective. She kept me mainstreamed and in the know when it came to music and styles...and she was fun to hang with for lunch or a trip to Target. I fall apart every now and then when I least expect it. Those moments will come around when I look up and expect to see her there in front of me and that's when I lose it. It's just not fair that I have to have a baby, fall in love with it, and eventually let go into the world to make her way without me right beside her. And then there's Kindsay who will be down the hall for the rest of my life. I'm definitely torn...Is there nothing between being 800 miles away or 8 feet away? *sigh*

Birdnapped!


Is any animal safe from Kindsay's magnetism? Her obsession with animals is long standing. Along with babies, Kindsay will do anything when it comes to animals. She reads about them the way a person would read a novel for pleasure. She watches them on television (Animal Planet) and nothing else. She even alternates wanting them as gifts between Furreal Friends and a new baby doll. Everyone knows Kindsay would love a new pet but we do not give in because the life of the animal would be in her unsteady hands. The love she has for animals crosses into dangerous territories that her father and I cannot keep up with in supervision. We simply can't watch her every moment of the day. It's sad because she truly wants to care for an animal, and in many ways she'd be very good at it. But it's that small part of her, that part that even medication doesn't touch, that we all fear...and have good reason to.
Last week sometime, when the kids were still home on summer break and I had begun working already, Kindsay proved herself untrustworthy with another life. My mom and dad had been caring for my kids while I worked and after work I'd run errands with the boys while Kindsay stayed home alone. Again, she's fine alone. Computer games and snack food is all she is interested in. Sure she opens the door to strangers, but in my quiet little neighborhood that isn't a problem. My 'no soliciting' sign keeps 98% of the people at bay. So I'm running errands with the boys and pull into my driveway. Out bursts Kindsay, and it truly was a burst if you know Kindsay, into the garage with sheer delight she cannot contain. "Garon...Ty..I have birds in my room!" As though she forgot I would be in the car...well, who else would be driving into the garage...she looks at me and squeals in anticipation of my reaction and runs back into the house. "Birds? You have BIRDS? Where'd you get birds?" I feel like I'm in a horror film in reverse as I try to get my car turned OFF and my keys OUT of the ignition in record time. Seeing as how Kindsay has already dragged into her room 2 televisions and a microwave, I can't imagine where she was putting birds and from where in the world she got them. Sure, we used to have a parakeet because we found him sitting on our car in the driveway one day...but that's pretty unusual. Plus, we don't own a cage. But I digress....the boys run with excitement into the house...even the little girl across the street heard Kindsay's announcement and came running over and into the house to see the birds. I gather everything out of the car, realizing...we don't have birds, there aren't any birds...why am I getting worked up over this? She must've found a website with birds and is raising a family in a nest online. I take my stuff in the house, start on my housework and dinner, and my eye is catching little bits here and there that something is indeed up. The boys are whispering and moving out into the backyard with slippery moves...Kindsay has altogether disappeared. I can hear talking in the backyard, but not the running around playing kind of talk and not the typical pool banter when they swim. Finally Ty comes in with confirmation that there are birds in our backyard in Kindsay's care. In fluid storming steps I get out to the backyard to see a blue nylon crate used in children's rooms as a storage device. I approach it, and while I do the boys are filling me in. "She found them in the nest! The nest is out in the front and she killed the mommy bird! She destroyed the nest! Kindsay is going to keep them!" and so on...all the while Kindsay is not denying or admitting to anything. I look over the edge of the crate to find two bundles of feathers. Two sleeping baby birds too soon yanked from their nest by an animal stalker. They are nestled beside a small cup of what appeared to be their dinner...a pile of bread crumbs that she ripped apart in the kitchen. While I was out Kindsay found a nest in my frontyard attached to the garage. She took a chair and watched until mommy bird flew away at which point she climbed onto the chair and scooped out the two baby birds and rushed them into the house. I didn't even make an attempt to correct the situation. I immediately called Greg. "When are you coming home?" soon, he said. "OK because ..." I proceeded to tell him about Kindsay and her birdnapping. "I'm on my way." Thirty minutes later Greg was home and placed the birds back into their nest, which Kindsay did not destroy (that would've been the absolute end of her if she had destroyed the nest and killed the mom...the END...somehow.) Greg worried the mommy bird would reject them and I assured him that she wouldn't...what mom would reject her two sweet babies? Later that evening I went to the front yard where Greg was playing with the boys. "Look up there..." Greg pointed to where the garage and roof meet. There sat a large bird in a nest and she was glaring at us with an intensity I'd never seen from an animal. She must've known something was amiss when she returned...her babies were probably not right where she left them. I felt a tinge of guilt as though I had been the culprit in the Big Birdnapping of '09. Then again, I did give birth to the culprit. I think I know how the parents of convicted felons feel when faced with the victims' families...a little guilty, a little remorse, but very little surprise.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kindsay's new thing is yelling at me. It's the kind of yelling a parent does at a child when the parent has had it up to here (my hand is clear above my head) and finally loses all patience and quite frankly, dignity, and rails on the kid. The use of the losing patience voice, combined with the I've lost it completely voice create the perfect combo in which Kindsay will use to communicate her every wish to me. It looks funny to even the insider because here is this kid just wailing on me verbally with a simple request of daily frequency. My family at first was shocked and couldn't believe the extreme behavior, but now they laugh when she walks away, like a stunned, "I still can't believe she does that," laugh. "Stop it! You KNOCK IT OFF! I mean it! if you even THINK ABOUT IT I WILL GET MAD! you just QUIT BREATHING RIGHT NOW...if you breath I'm just going to get mad!" all this just inches from my face. I stand there like a soldier getting the what-for from the sergeant. At first I'd get mad, but I realized there isn't any real animosity...for some reason she just feels like she needs to do it. OK...fine. Today, instead of asking if she can walk to g'ma's it was, "I want to walk to Grandma's, can I walk TO GRANDMA'S?? If you don't let me I'm going to just yell at you and you'll be in TROUBLE!" No Kindsay, I'm driving over there in a few minutes, I'll just drive you too. "I want to walk AND THAT IS FINAL." No Kindsay, now you don't get to walk because you keep screaming at me. She storms out in a fury. After 10 minutes I walk out to the kitchen where I find her sitting with her cousin waiting for me. I tell her, "You know, Kindsay, it would be okay if you wanted to walk. Why don't you go ahead and I'll just meet you at grandma's?" Screaming back at me, instead of a calm response, "No..no that's just too bad! You've lost the privilege, I am NOT walking!" If you didn't know who was who in my home and only heard the ranting, you'd wonder who was the child and who was the parent. I'm confused even now. Which am I?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

One Child Left Behind

Hey, I'm a teacher! It's a play on words. But not entirely because I have been left behind. Now remember all the hoo-haw about the woman who dropped off her teenage girls and left them to sort out their differences away from the backseat? She got a lot of crap, and yet how many of us mothers can really relate to that? I've been in a car accident because my now 17-yr-old could not handle sitting in a carseat. She'd fuss and scream, so I'm driving while turning to console her (that's a nice way of saying to get her to stop screaming!) and BLAM! Rear end. That's back in the day when insurance wasn't a requirement so that one was on her insurance company (she is paying those premiums for a reason...) Not to mention I was twenty and a child myself. That's besides the point--we've all wanted to drop off our children! Many years ago small children were required to work to pay for their family's needs, girls were sold off to marriage before their armpit hair grew to its fullness to require shaving, and children were expected to behave at all times around adults. Nowadays, kids are sheltered and overprotected, and mostly for good reason. I'm not slamming that...but she left two older girls pretty close to their house in their community in which they were comfortable and familiar. Well, I don't know all the specifics, what I DO know is that it shouldn't have made national news. The woman had to decide if she should drive into the light pole or drop off the cats fighting in the back of the car. She went with Option B and spent 15 minutes of fame being ridiculed. Oh brother. Let me at those little girls! They don't even know what it meant to be dropped off in MY day...I say that like it was so long ago--but I guess that's all relative. Picture it--I'm about 9 or 10 and my sister is 15 months younger (yeah, that's a WHOLE other blog about dealing with losing all the attention after a measly 15 months)...and we did not get along. My dad threatened to pull over all the time. It got to where we'd go 'yeah yeah' and then, 'where were we sister dear?' bwaaaah! But on one particular day my father had had enough. It was just the two of us at the time instead of all five of us siblings. We were in Utah where his family lived and we visited every year. I remember driving through this run down town that looked like the people were so desperate for outsiders that they'd make you mayor for showing up to use their gas pumps. My sister and I were tangled in all out war on each other when my dad cut across the lines and pulled into some dusty parking lot in front of a wooden store (do they make stores all wooden any more?) and said, 'get out.' My sister and I were quiet, waiting him out and figuring out our next move on each other. Car didn't move. 'go on, get out!' we looked at each other...is this for real? We shrugged at each other and slowly removed ourselves from his vehicle with utter reluctance considering our surroundings. Now, if he had said this in front of a McDonald's I could have pulled some 'poor me' stunt and had cheeseburgers until my mom sent him back for us. But NOOOOO, in the middle of nowhere. nowhere where where where (are you getting the echo effect?) Once the last bit of my shoe exited the car and the door slammed behind me he sped off. Picture tumbleweeds wheeling by, frogs croaking, banjos playing and that's the scene around me. Even if I did play orphan girl and tried to sponge money off the locals, they'd still have made me mayor and then not given me a dime that they didn't but wished they had. We stood there, side by side, watching down the road for any life let alone a sign that he was returning. Quiet...even the locals were too bored with their nothing town to make a fuss over the two lonely children abandoned by their father. Nowadays, we'd have made headlines. We would be fighting the paparazzi just to get to the payphone to call for a ride. No, not then...at that time people backed up my father's decision to take Option B. In fact, they wouldn't have expected nor accepted anything less. We stood there until we realized he wasn't coming back. We found a wood (of course, right?) bench to park our seats, praying we didn't stand up to find splinters in our behinds. I don't know how long we sat there, probably until the good angel on my dad's shoulder finally pulled the halo around the mouth of the bad angel to shut him up and talked my dad into turning around to retrieve his daughters. In any case, the ride back to grandma's was awfully quiet and we survived the lesson. Now where are my fifteen minutes?

Latest Kindsay-isms

Kindsay always says funny things that I forget about and wish I had written down somewhere. Well, here is where I am writing them down! It's been an interesting summer, never dull for a moment! My family and I went to Manhattan Beach for a weekend, taking Kindsay along against her will. We then went to West Hollywood for a week and left Kindsay at my mom's since Kindsay attends summer school and had zero interest in going with us. In Manhattan Beach we met up with friends who've known Kindsay since she was in utero and they love her to death. In fact, one friend offered to trade Kindsay for their teenage son. I gladly accepted but alas, here she is at home in the next room.
The one thing you have to know about Kindsay is she is very intense. Everything is TO THE EXXTREME (extreme spelled that way for emphasis sake.) When you tell her something it might as well be written in concret so you can't say something you do not mean. This child has NO sense of humor, which is typical in children with Autism (Kindsay is on the spectrum somewhere.) ANYWAY..to get to part that makes my day, here are her recent activities/comments during the week of 'holiday.'

On the drive down to Manhattan Beach Kindsay was a wreck. The unknown makes her nerves rattle so all the way down she is in my face, in the back of my head, in Greg's face, in EVERYONE's face just talking talking talking. "Where is that man going?" Man in the car next to me? I have no idea. "What is that girl buying in the store?" The lady who went into the minimart at the gas station? Again, not a clue. I must look like a big moron to my own child since the questions SHE asks I never have an answer. I need to be able to explain to her all the happenings around her when not only do I not know, I don't care. When I was just about to save my family from this life of inane and constant questioning by driving off the nearest overpass, my husband hands her his cup of ice from which he drank his bottled water. All that was left was the ice, but she happily took it. Granted, this is toward the end of our fantastic three hours together in a tight space (now you know why I drive the ugly van that I do!) By now my nerves are shot, my patience thinner than what is left of the hair on my head, and my knuckles on the steering wheel make the white on my thighs appear Brazilian. The ice seemed to make her happy, but then nothing is ever easy, nor for free, so we still had to endure something...but it wasn't as bad. Her emotional energy was focused on the cup of ice, which apparently, was really good. Here's her constant, non-stop chatter for a solid twenty minutes. I kid you not:
"oh oh oh, this is soooo good, this is (slurp, suck) this is ice...oh it's soo good...oh (slurp, slup, slup) it's like water and ice...oh oh oh (shlip slup suck) oh, it's like water and ice and it's made out of ice water oh oh oh it's sooo good (shlup slurp suck)...this ice is sooo good, oh I love it (more sounds of sucking on an ice cube like an Arab in the desert.)" At one point I caught Rebekah's eyes and we both had the same look like, "if I didn't know she was sucking on ice, I would definitely be worried about what she was doing." Believe me, all that monologuing about the ice was welcomed over her questioning the actions of the family in the car beside us. At times during the weekend, we did look for cups of ice like a pacifier for a baby.

Weekend is over and it's off to my mom's. My dear friend and her family bravely drove Kindsay home. She knew what she was getting into. Her husband adores Kindsay and loves to add to her incessant demands. The last time Kindsay drove with this friend a long distance she continuously asked for a glass of milk. Her husband sat beside her in the back seat and would act as though he was handing her glass, "here you go," he'd say. She'd ask again, he would offer the invisible glass again. While he was having fun and Kindsay was oblivious to the humor and torture of her hounding, my friend was white knuckled at the wheel. This time around, I gave her Kindsay's night-night pills to ease the pain. I think she slipped Kindsay the pills at about the time we drove out of the parking garage at the beach. In any case, it was a pleasant drive home.

At my mom's Kindsay takes pleasure in the parakeet's company. Poor ZackChloeJack (Kindsay keeps renaming the bird, we really don't know at this point what to call it other than her target.) My mom watches Kindsay with the bird closely because we all know Kindsay's past with animals. So there sat Kindsay in the tv room with the bird in front of her in its cage. "Don't open the cage door, Kindsay. The bird might fly up into the ceiling fan and get hurt." cage opened. "Kindsay, did you open the cage?" yes yes, I did. I just opened, should I have done that? Then Kindsay proceeds to remind grandma of previous animals within her grasp. "I had a pet and I just threw it and threw it on the ground until it died. It was little and it died." OK...that was cruel and unusual, but so is Kindsay. She hasn't had a pet since the hamsters (remember the hamster? tried to get away when she set it down but she slammed her hand on top of it and crushed it in a single blow? yes there was blood. or what about poor goldfishy who dangled over a lightbulb till it fried? We don't buy her pets anymore, just the fake one's on the computer. She's been in plenty of trouble for her past murders.) ANYWAY...I regress, which is relevant still.
So poor birdie, at this point, ain't goin' nowhere out of its cage when she's running loose around the house. Its wings are curled around the bars in the back corner farthest from the cage door so Kindsay would have to really make an effort to get it out. Birds aren't stupid, I suppose, especially when they are constantly being yelled at. "stop it! you just stop it! that's enough! Oh, I'm gonna, oh you are in so much trouble! Knock it off, you just shut your mouth!" The bird, wings wrapped around bars and all, is looking around for anyone to confirm to it that it had done nothing to deserve her tirade. Indeed, Kindsay is screaming at the top of her lungs all the statements my husband and I have ever said to her in her almost 13 years of life when we had reached the end of the rope from which we so badly wanted to dangle. So we know where she gets her choice of words. (not a cuss word among them if you notice.) At one time my mom could hear Kindsay screaming and blowing up all over the place and peeked in to find her bent over the cage giving the bird a what-for-nothing. My mom asked, "who are you yelling at?" the bird. "The bird isn't in the cage, it's flying around the house." that's okay that's okay. OK so maybe she's just mad at the cage and the bird just happens to be inside it?

THEN...with my sister who did a lot of time with Kindsay during the week. While driving Kindsay turned to my sister and asked, "Was it okay for me to stick my tongue at that man?" Britney laughed as she imagined what appears to be a grown person in the next car sticking her tongue out at some random stranger whose only fault was driving beside them. Kindsay does the deed THEN asks if it was right or wrong. Backwards, I know.

Last Kindsay-ism, I swear, for now. My sister's dogs are brother and sister, but Kindsay is waiting impatiently for them to get it on and have puppies. The sister is a grown dog while the male is a new puppy (same mom, different dads...those slutty female dogs!) Anyway, my sister is trying to explain the relationship between the dogs while Kindsay continuously interrupts with her questioning questioning questioning. 'are they married?' 'are they going to get married?' 'do they kiss?' 'are they going to have a baby?'...My sister finally asks Kindsay, with the intention of relating things to Kindsay's life so she'd understand the dog situation, "would you marry Garon?" Now Garon is eight and her little brother to boot. Hoping the message would then click in her brain Britney says Kindsay burst out in disgust, "oh no! no, ew! Garon is 8!" wrong response. Just another talk I have to have with Kindsay that will get lost in translation. Well, that week is over and now we are off to Monterey with yet another family, who, by the way, is also very loving and accepting of this child. That makes it easier to deal with her tantrums, but I still feel bad when it happens. Oh well, maybe we'll have another story to share.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Weekend to FORGET!


Having boys, I knew, was going to be an adventure. Especially having boys so close together which meant conspiracy. Thankfully, while they are best friends, they are also night and day. One is a scientist and the other an artist. One explains the questions of the universe based on his observations and the other is writing songs and drawing intricate pictures of life around him. Yet they can both wield a sword with grace and skill. Still, they get into trouble like no one else. Ty, the artist, will sometimes be the voice of reason for my Garon who lives on the edge. Garon hasn't learned to listen to him, but I think after the weekend from h*** Garon just might.
It was Saturday the 6th, Greg and I were lying lazily in our room, checking email, watching cable, listening to the sound of our children through the house while waiting for Greg's family to arrive from Utah. It was the annual Boden trip to Dinkey and they were all on their way. They were only an hour or two out when the screaming came in through the hallway from the garage. I grabbed Greg...go check it out! Greg shook his head-they are just fighting, nothing is wrong. Oh no, I assured him in a panic, there is trouble! Ty was shrieking and Garon was ushering him into the bathroom. "It's alright Dad," Garon tells Greg, "I'm taking care of it." Greg pushes past Garon into the bathroom to find the blood and my poor little Ty looking at a split open finger. "Yvette, we have to go to the ER." When I heard that I jumped and started screaming. All who know me know this: I DO NOT handle blood, injuries, or ERs, especially when it comes to my babies. I cannot look, I cannot be calm, I am not the one in charge--ever. I simply panic and shut down. I grab Garon's shoulders, "What happened? What did you do?" Garon starts crying...muttering something about a shovel and Ty being in the way. I am crying, Garon is crying, and Ty is wrapped in a towel in Greg's arms ready to go to the ER. I drive, which wasn't smart, as I flew down Temperance 70 mph...making the lights I saw turning green up ahead of the light I was sitting at. Ty stopped crying and Greg was trying to keep him from looking at the injury. I screamed the whole way...the whole way. I didn't know if Ty's finger was dangling, if his finger was going to ever be the same. We pull into the ER and got in pretty quickly considering the nature of our visit. My mom came, brother and his wife, and we all sat with Ty while waiting for the final word. Ty called Garon from the ER to console him since Garon hadn't stopped crying. Ty said, "Why are YOU crying? I'm not even crying! And next time, Garon, don't use the shovel." Final result was 4 stitches and a recommendation to visit the plastic surgeon at CHCC. Monday we made an appt for Tuesday, got right in at 9 AM...and had an appointment for surgery that afternoon at 1 PM to repair the very damaged tendon in his middle right finger. After all, as my brother so nicely said, Ty was going to need that middle finger to work eventually. Garon is terribly embarrassed about the whole incident. Why was he stabbing boxes in the side yard with a full sized shovel while Ty crawled around the boxes? How did the one not see the other? Garon, so afraid of punishment, tried cleaning and bandaging it alone...Greg said it was split like a fleshy gouge in his hand, not a clean cut at all. Well, you can imagine--I never did see it! Ty still hasn't used any pain medication and hasn't shed a tear over it. Even when the ER dr. stabbed 5 needles into the wound to anesthisize it for stitching, Ty shook in Greg's arms with pain but refused to cry out of embarrassment. Ty is my little artist, and thankfully it wasn't his art hand. He'll be fine...my sensitive and delicate babe who came through like a champ. Me, on the other hand? I don't know if I'll survive these boys.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Kindsay's Best Day EVER

The thrashing, leg kicking, crying, bursting, threatening, hair pulling, angry child I have around the clock was, for one day, an angel on Monday, May 18, 2009. I have to post the date so I'll always remember. See the video to get a glimpse, then read on: It was a confusing morning for our own Gregory Boden who doesn't normally manage the children's affairs. I had just filled Kindsay's new prescriptions from our new psychiatrist. He didn't like how the other psych had her on so many stimulants as he feared Kindsay's heart wouldn't be able to manage it after a while. An EKG showed all was well, but he decided to lower her daily use of stimulants anyway. Adding an anti-anxiety med and keeping her usual aggression med and stimulant on hand, I had three new bottles in the medicine cupboard. Mind you, all the bottles for Kindsay are in this cupboard including the old ones from previous doctors which are still used. Monday morning came and the usual rush was underway. I asked Greg if he would get Kindsay her meds before he left. 'what do I give her?' I hadn't taken the time to look at all of them, so I advised Greg to read all the bottles and just follow the directions. Shortly after he comes to me in disgust at the 5 new medications she has to take every morning. Five? I ask. I saw only three on the prescription. Did you read them all carefully? 'yes.' I go to the kitchen, line up all the meds in the cupboard and read them all. It dawned on me that our old bottle of stimulants was there with the new bottle. Each were prescribing the same dosage, only 1 bottle used 1 pill and the other bottle required taking 2, meaning the pills looked completely different but did the same thing. Greg had given Kindsay DOUBLE her daily dosage of stimulants. I panicked seeing as how the doctor showed some concern for her previous usage. The max a day for a child is 72 mg. Kindsay had been on 81, split during the day. Greg had just given her 108 mg at once. Hm. What was this going to look like today? The last time Kindsay OD'd, she had taken 7 pills on her own, which amounted to about a little over 100 mg, (her pill dosages were lower) which is the same weekend Kindsay slept for 2 days straight. Yikes. I sent her off to school and emailed her teachers asking for their strict observations of her. School came to an end, Kindsay came home on the bus, and the next thing I hear is Kindsay in her room cleaning. Cleaning?! OK...Kindsay DOES NOT clean, she is a pack rat. Every ad from every 'free' stand from every grocery store is shoved in her desk. Every piece of paper, junk mail, old homework, you name it!--is in her desk. Calmly she came out with a stack, "should I throw this away?" Fearing her, I nodded slowly. Who was this child? (and believe me, I wasn't asking for the other!) She came out again with a shirt, "Should I hang this or put in the laundry room?" 'Hang.' I answer flatly, in shock. She proceeded with such tasks until her room literally shined. She then took out her homework *gasp* and began doing it without incident. Every parent can appreciate the above as children are not quick to do this...but Kindsay did not utter a sound, not a "poopinyourbutt!" blurt...not a fart sound out of her mouth, not a kissing smothering all over my arm, no hissing, no crying, NOTHING. A child as normal and even better than normal was in my home. I went up to her, and this is really sad but very true friends, I hugged her. For the first time, I was enjoying this little girl. I thanked her profusely for her efforts and gave her all the affection I could give her in that moment. She did not regress to a baby, she did not begin acting like a puppy, she didn't scream at me...she handled the affection like a normal child. Her teacher even emailed me saying how calm she was all day. My mom called to ask what I had done with her. "Her speech was normal, we had a conversation!" Greg and I were baffled, surprised, and quite frankly, bummed because we knew it was a fluke and we couldn't overdose her everyday. We had found her combination of meds and it was illegal. I want everyone to realize that I do not enjoy this little girl 90% of the time I spend with her. She frays every nerve in my body, presses every button and finds buttons I didn't know I had. She pushes limits that get higher every day. Our home is madness when she is around, and we spend the time during respite recovering until her return. The perfect child is inside her, we just have to find the right daily cocktail that can bring her out. Until then, the gray hairs keep coming.
video

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cake

I am a cake lover, and if you know me, you already know that...and if you don't, now you do. I love frosting, cake, even stuff sprinkled or squirted on the cake. I do not discriminate. I am sharing with you my dream about cake and I hope to make it on a TV show someday to fulfill this dream and not do it through a wishing foundation because I am dying. That would suck, but I would still wish the wish and eat the cake if I had to do it that way.
My dream is to buy a cake from Charm City Cakes on 'Ace of Cakes.' Duff makes an awesome cake (you can here him saying "awesome" if you watch the show.) Yes, I watch cake shows...I love cake, do you get it now? That dream seems simple, but their minimum purchase price is $1000 for a cake. Would I? Could I? Yes and yes...too bad for my husband because I would against his put-down foot. They are based in Maryland, which makes it a tough purchase, but my dream is not far reached. I can do this...and I will.
My dream involves me ordering the cake 3-4 months prior to my impending visit to the east coast where I will stay with my sister in Connecticut. I order the cake via email to Mary Alice, telling her that I want something out of Geoff's bucket list of cakes to make before he dies. I will tell her that I will come purchase the cake, have a piece or two, or three...$1000?? I better eat 3. I will then tell her to donate the rest to a homeless shelter or somewhere that would appreciate the donation of a partially eaten cake. I will also shake hands with the staff as I thank them for making my dream come true. I will then go find another trivial, silly thing to dream about and write about and plot out how to make it a reality. If you can believe it, and I think you do, I have actually spent more than one afternoon dreaming this up and carefully placing it on my "to do" list for next summer. Yes...next summer. The anticipation is going to kill me, either that or spending $1000 on a cake will...more like my husband will kill me when I spend $1000 on a cake. And watch, he'll want a piece of it.

Caught!

I recently had to give a presentation on a student at school. One of the required items to mention was a similarity between my life and his. I shared with my peers (well, sorta--bunch of 20-somethings finishing their 1st credential qualify?) that the only thing we had in common was the fact that we both got caught shoplifting. Recently, during an outing to a work site at Walgreen's, my student tried to stick something in his coat and walk out with the 5-finger discounted item. I too had done that and was caught. While I don't know if Bernie stopped (at least with me because he's been grounded until next year), I do know that when I got caught that was my last attempt. During my entire junior high school career, I shoplifted constantly. Poor? yes...bored?...yes what other reasons did I need? I carried a large bag which to a small extent carried my school stuff. I would walk down an aisle running my bag along the shelf, knocking items in along the way. Make-up, cassette tapes (come on..you remember those, right?)...whatever small item would make it in my bag without notice. I would then walk out happy to be out and go home to enjoy my new unpurchased purchases. No, I was not aware of the cameras that lurked above me in black glass domes nor was I aware of the hired pigs that roamed the store. I was fearless, invincible--no one could stop me! Except the guy at Rite-Aid.
It was evening on a school night at the end of 8th grade. Why was I there with my 2 girlfriends? Why was I so far from home window shopping the drugstores at the strip mall? Those are questions I cannot answer. I was a great liar, which probably explained much of that, but I had no business being there at my age alone. (lessons here people!) I roamed Rite-Aid, which was called Thrifty Payless back then (ew, I hate "back then" usage) and my girlfriends and I were making a killing in the music section. (here I go) Back then, the security on those items was a little shaky since taking them out of the store was easier than taking them out of that big white plastic case they were sold in. I did not notice the man beside me checking out music in my section, which was teenage music that only a teenager could appreciate--top 40 stuff. That should've been my first clue. I also was getting so cocky about my shoplifting skills that I didn't even use them, hello--dropping tapes into my bag without caring who was around me. When it came time to check out, I used the old "make a purchase, but nothing close to the value of the items sitting at the bottom of my bag" purchase of gum then proceeded to exit the store with my friends. Quickly behind us came "the man." He yelled for me to stop. Why didn't I run...hmmmmm. It was dark, in a parking lot, no parents around...I was a glutten. He asked to check my bag. I reluctantly pulled out my tapes. Boy was I easy...and a good friend as I refrained from ratting them out as I coveted the music they got to take home for free. It was then that he took me, and only me, to the back of the store. Ever wonder what's back there? Bathrooms, stocking rooms, closets...and a little room the size of a hall bathroom for the sole purpose of grilling and booking naughty kids. My friends were left in the parking lot with the decision of 'do we leave her and rejoice in our freedom' or 'do we help the poor sap out of her miserable situation?' I did not reflect on either as I sat before this man who looked like Eric Estrada without the dimples or tv show. Papers came out of a drawer, I sat in front of him without a desk between us...so vulnerable and busted. The questioning began, and this...my dear friends...is where my genius comes in. I didn't grow up going to GATE schools for nothing, people. Oh no, I'm a genius and I shined that night. name? without hesitating for even a blink of an eye I blurted out the name of the girl I hated the most at that time. The girl down the street who tormented me on the bus, the girl who even to this day as adults will not crack a smile at me or let bygons be bygons. Name? Kelly *******. What's your phone number so I can call your parents? My parents are out of town. I was trying to get my grandma a birthday present but I don't have any money and my parents didn't leave me with anything. I'm barely eating while my parents are on some 2-week vacation at some remote resort. What's your number anyway? (proceed to give Kelly's number.) Address? again Kelly's. Parents' names? you guessed it...Craig and Mary. School I attend? Bingo! She actually went to Bullard Talent while I went to Computech. I sat there and gave the most pathetic sob story, as Kelly of course, while he took it all in. He didn't even try to call my parents. It felt like an eternity sitting there with him when all of a sudden a knock came at the door. Eric Estrada minus dimples minus tv show opens the door to a tall, hot young guy. 'Hi, I'm Yvette's cousin. I heard about her being here and thought I should take her home.' My jaw dropped...dude, if you are my cousin does that mean we can't make-out? There behind him were my 2 friends, holding the straight lines across their faces. Eric Estrada gets his name and age (22, holy cow..I'm in love with my cousin) and releases me to a signature from this completely strange relation of mine. We somberly walk the entire length of the store to the exit, which never looked so dang good in my life. Ah, the breath of fresh air, the night moon was beautiful. We got into the car of the guy and his friend and we shut the doors behind us. Bwahahahahaha! came the bursts of laughter from us all. My friends opted for door #2...save the poor idiot. Upon my incarceration my friends made a dash for the McDonald's across the street and found 2 guys willing to act as my relatives to bail me out. What kind of world do we live in where a couple of guys are willing to lie to bail out a thief? At the time, it was the most awesome world. I wanted to formally thank my rescuer, but I think he drew the line on ethics by not making out with a minor, though it would've been our little secret that I would've shared with every kid at school. Alas, he dropped me off and reminded me that I was banned for 6 months from the store. OK hot Cuz, I'll stay away for 6 months...or I'll at least relay the info of banishment to Kelly, 2 doors down. I've been honest in my purchases ever since. Can't expect to get off so freely twice in a lifetime...there's only so many times I can rat on Kelly and sleep at night.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Prayer

I have to write this one down, though I'm not sure how to give justice to the story without the sound of the prayer.
It all started with Kindsay--as usual. Greg and I go to work and she stays at home waiting for her bus, about an hour. Now, don't freak out! Kindsay could survive on a deserted island with nothing but a DS and a tee shirt. She can't be trusted to care for anyone but herself, but alone she is extremely resourceful. However, she is still learning about the dangers of life around her. How long did it take before she looked both ways before crossing the road? Oh...yesterday I think was the first. Seriously, she doesn't make herself aware enough of her surroundings. She almost wears those blinders that horses wear to keep focused. Kindsay is focused on herself. It was not more than three months ago that I left her to go to work, kissing her good-bye and saying a prayer with her. She calls my cell as soon as I turn onto Ashlan towards work, and we talk the entire time she waits for her bus...on and off at least. (She calls my mom and Greg in between calling me.) On this winter morning, I get a call from her about a man at our door. I panic...what man? "A man," she said, "and he needed to do something on our house. He left his number and said he'd be back. I don't know who this man is." I panic some more. What man? I wasn't expecting anyone, and our house says No Soliciting on the door so we aren't welcoming to strangers. I talk to her until her bus comes, making sure she gets on the bus safely and spend the rest of the day wondering who the man was. I get home later and find the card left. A note from PG&E...our energy company had to tweak something on an experimental device I agreed to install. Relief! Still, Kindsay blindly opened to the door to this man and I had to get it into her head that she could not for any reason ever do that again. That night, I sit her down and tell her the Polly Klaas story. It's the little girl who was ripped out of her home, taken by a strange man, thrown into a car, badly treated until the man cut her open and threw her body in a ditch. This wasn't the actual account of what happened, I made it worse to drive home the horror so she wouldn't test my theories on strangers. Her eyes are wide but she nods that she won't open the door again.
I felt like I got through to her. Sometimes something so dramatic and exaggerated has to do the trick for her. A day or so later, I forget about exchange of tales and conduct a family home evening with the kids and Greg. We talk about nice things, good morally strong stories that drive home a concept of values. My kids have very little patience for lessons in the evenings of the beginning part of the week. I know to make my lesson to the point and with little fluff. Each child participates somehow, and Kindsay has offered to say the closing prayer. As we gather around her she begins quickly.
"Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this day. Help Jesus be safe. Please don't let us get taken by a strange man out of our house."
Kindsay! I say in a whisper.
"And thrown into his car."
Kindsay--in the name of Jesus Christ! again...a whisper of urgency to get her to end her prayer.
"And badly hurt by him."
Kindsay! Stop! Greg is chiming in with me.
"And cut open."
In the name of Jesus Christ! no more, Kindsay! Greg and I are both trying to end the prayer at this point as my boys' eyes are now wide open and mouths dropped.
pause
And in her most rapid speaking--"and thrown into a ditch, name of Jesus Christ amen."
And we all went to bed with the frightening images in our heads while secure in the knowledge that it won't happen to us now because Kindsay prayed about it. Nighty night!

Kindsay--Again

Ah, my favorite subject. Kindsay is a funny girl--at least 3 days later. Her passion is animals: loving and hating. I have a beta fish in my classroom and over spring break had to bring it home to care for it. Kindsay called me on my way home from McLane asking incessantly about the fish-whose is it?, why do we have it?, can we keep it?, why are we taking it?...and on and on during the fifteen-minute drive. I tried to answer, but my answers weren't what she was interested in. She was simply interested in understanding the concept of the fish and all she wanted to hear from me was that we would be keeping it. No, my answer was pretty firm coming out. We've had fish before. "I will not kill it. I will not put it on this lightbulb and kill it like the other fish." all the while I am repeating No No No. "Mom--we are fish poor!" She was scraping for anything to say to convince me that we need a fish. Oh, we're fish poor...well then we should keep this one! "We don't have a hamster and we don't have a fish! And I won't kill them this time!" When I got the fish home it took a matter of a few hours before I went back to find bread crumbs in the fish bowl and the plant that was entertaining the fish thrown in the trash can. OK--this is WHY we don't have a fish, and why we aren't keeping this one! The fish food, I told her over and over, was at grandma's and we would get it later! I say this to her as I'm scooping bread crumbs out of a very narrow opening in the poor excuse of a fish bowl. The fish is playing dead, like Nemo. She put her face right into the glass and yelled at the fish, which she named Chloe at first, then Zack, then Jack. It's dead! She screams this down the hall. I go to the fish, who has one eye open scanning the glass, and I realize its fins are moving slightly, enough to prove its not dead. In a swoop I've got the fish and whisk it off to my mom's for safe keeping. Let's hope it survives spring break, and doesn't wind up half-fried in a plastic egg in a basket filled with sugary, edible grass.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Rated PG-16 History Lesson

I was not a good girl...not at all. There aren't many things I am proud of from my childhood...and most of it I probably shouldn't talk about because who knows who is reading this and ready to call the Fresno Bee (ok, still...but somethings just have to be taken to my grave, unless you want to take me to lunch, I usually will spill the beans if I'm getting some beans...and rice, and whatever else is on the menu.) To describe myself as a child--mean, tender-hearted (contradicting, isn't it?--but so true, honestly), silly silly silly, immature, boy-crazy, insecure, BUTT UGLY--I had no teeth, still don't but it's not as obvious, and my nickname was "boy" for a while. To elaborate on boy crazy: I loved Donny Osmond, since I was 3, I can remember watching his show in the old house on Helm which I moved out of when I was 4, so yes--I remember it well. Donny could do no wrong, oh man--those dark eyes, that thick hair, those white teeth. Melting. I would fantasize about him being naked...how weird is that for a child just leaving her toddlerhood?? (yes, that explains a lot about my teens, but I never stood a chance with that libido, nor did my parents.) My dad likes to tell the story of what happened at Christmas when I was five. I ripped open a gift to find my prince (Donny, pay attention) in all his plastic manliness. It was a dream come true, or so I thought. Dad says I dashed to the bathroom and tore off his clothes only to find that the doll was not anatomically correct. Now do you believe me? FIVE people...and this story came from my father who has probably TRIED to rid his memory of his kindergartener stripping a doll looking for the goods. My next fantasy was John Travolta as Danny from Grease. I actually went to bed naked (seven years old I think) and my mom found me under the covers and asked what I was doing. I was hot, I told her...yeah, hot for John, baby! Oh brother. what a little sicko. Soon after Michael Jackson was my man. I had to pretend I was Irene Cara to be his girl because I thought I had to be black too. Then onto Duran Duran...I couldn't decide so I named my Cabbage Patch Kid Nicholas John Simon Andrew Roger, the little B*****d child had no chance with a mother like me. Who was the father? again, couldn't decide. Soon enough, I went onto the real deal, and the rest is unpublished and quite censored history which will be published in a book OVER MY DEAD BODY, at least long after my grandchildren have come along so I am so far removed from influencing them because they won't be able to picture grandma doing such ghastly things back in the 80s (1980s that is). If I told you, you would never look at me the same and I'd have a permanent blush about me (though, that would save me some cash in the long run because let's face it, I'm no stunner without my face plastered in paste.) All in all, I am a good girl now--the best! Just ask my (regretful?) husband who is reminded daily that a good girl is what he wanted in a wife (that was back when he didn't know what he was missing.) *wink*

Christmas 2008





Well--it's over, and bittersweetness fills my mind as I reflect upon the three wonderful weeks of sleeping in without sleep aids. It all began with the insanity of remodeling my kitchen and greatroom. Why do I get these ideas in my head and think I need to do them? Once a picture is in my mind, there is no stopping me! Just ask my dad who flew to NYC to pick up the van I dreamed up and owned a month later. Anyway, my kitchen was nasty nasty and now it's "like a scene out of Ratatouille" which is what Greg uses to describe it. We also had to buy a new tv and home theater to go with the blue-ray of The Dark Knight, which is what you see in the picture of Greg. Heath and I go way back. We also visited the Tenaya Lodge with the Ward compound, which was a blast! Ice skating, sledding, and gingerbread housing was fun fun fun! Lastly, my in-laws were in town for about 10 tens, which was a lot of fun despite the constant nagging that my heat was not up high enough--(who pays those bills...geesh!) 68-70 degrees is more than enough people! wrap yourselves up already! OK..I'm OK...we all had a great time eating, movie-watching, shopping, and playing (Pismo was perfection I must say, see sunset pic.) The BEST part was sending my little darlings to school and going BACK home to my man (actually, he came home to me because he drove them every morning--love it). Though the movies were dumb, it was fun to have no where to be, no one to answer to, and restaurants to visit without needing a kids' menu! Ten AM became my six AM and my hair was frizzy the whole time as I took a blow-dry break. Because the vacation was so wonderful, I've had to plan the next one so I have something to look forward to--NYC here I come!!