Wednesday, September 28, 2011

We may be clinically crazy.

Rob and I are thinking of selling our home and moving.  In this crap market, we may be able to break even...which would be a good thing, I suppose.  We had a friend who is a realator come by and check out our digs to see what we need to do to spruce up the joint before we attempt to put it on the market.

The crazy part?  We are thinking of just picking up and moving westward.  We live on the east coast, and want to move out to the Seattle area.  Seattle has been my dream, and now Rob has the lust in his heart too. 

This is all on the down-low,, so ssssshhhhhh.  I am not even mentioning this to my family, especially my mother, until we actually either sell this joint or have the moving van loaded up and are ready to roll.  I don;t need anyone shitting on my dream or quilting me into staying since the almost my entire family lives within a 60 mile radius.

Rob came up with this plan to sell then rent to save money on what we have been forking over in mortgage payments.  We can cut it by half, which we can use to pay down our debt so we can one day soon buy another house.  The plan was devised at 0400 on Saturday morning, he told me at dinner on Saturday night.  I was ready to roll 5 minutes after we talked about it.  THAT is the addict in me.  We love chaos, crave it, because that is how our minds work.  My therapist had a field day with this idea, but she didn't shit all over it...which was nice.

So now.  Now I am ready to purge my home of clutter and extraneous crap.  I am consigning almost 300 items at a big sale this weekend.  I walked around the house, looking for things not nailed down to get rid of.  So now I am really inspired to purge, given that movers like to charge by the pound.  Rob might find himself sitting on flimsy outdoor furniture soon.

Monday, September 26, 2011

They need to get on that.

Facebook really needs to focus on creating an app, or whatever, to block all football talk. 

I used to be a football fan.  Owned all the paraphernalia.  Went to a game every year.  Then I started to get a little sick to my stomach, each year, progressively more and more... thinking about the money behind it all.  And the shameless players.  And the in-your-face rooting AGAINST your team. 

Last year I bought Cam a jersey for her father's team, and one for my own.  My ingrained love of football was finally trumped by my old-lady values.  Sigh.  So, my jerseys have gotten tagged for sale at the next big consignment sale (next week!).  Rob can dress her up this year, but I won't be buying her any more gear.

Which brings me back around to the obnoxiousness that is the football bragging and taunting on FB.  Instead of this "unsubscribe to_______", I need to be able to unsubscribe from any and all sports talk. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Never met a puddle she didn't immediately love.....

No matter how fetid it is. 

I am a big believer in letting her have her fun in puddles, but I drew the line when she headed for the dumpster area with a foot of water.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Foster classes almost ever....or not.

Last night was number 7 out of 8.  Last week we missed class, and evidently it was a doozy.  The ONE class I didn't want to miss was the one on discipline.  From the remarks of the facilitator last night, it was an actual learning experience for some of the participants.  What?  You can't hit already traumatized children to make them tow the line?  No hot sauce or Life Buoy in the mouth?  HOW would one actually make a child comply?  Heavy rolling of the eyes, here.

I mentioned several weeks ago how we were told we would have to wait two months to make up that class.  I was highly pissed.  Now, I am truly ambivalent.  The feeling I have been getting in these classes is that we, the people volunteering to be foster parents, are being done a favor.  As if the advertising for families in our county is some aberration, and really, we are troubling them for a license.

Last night's class was started by a visit from one of the lawyers for the department.  She was there to talk slowly and show on a chart the process of opening a case through reunion/TPR/adoption.  She was none too pleased when I asked where I could find specific statutes about adequacy, and confirmed my deepening suspicion that there are NO actual laws.  No actual statutes protecting the rights of the human children.  I said as much, and she actually groaned a bit.  I am sure, there is now a tick in our file about my not being supportive of reunion, which is not the case at all.  I am just a stickler for rules, and knowing exactly what the expectations are so I can tow them well.

I also ran into a lady I met a few months ago at a gym class with Cam, who was in the class ahead of us to foster.  She was making up a class.  Seems she also had an axe to grind with her social worker dragging her heals on the home study, and repeatedly blowing off appointments with her references (but blaming the, not a bright move, Masters holder!). 

So by the end of the night, I was ready to tell the agency to go fuck themselves, and to give me a call when they 1) got their shit together; and 2) actually NEEDED to get people licensed to offer foster care to kids in need. 

But then, surprise guests arrived:  two white parents who adopted AA kids through foster care, four separate times.  My ears pricked up.  Listening to a couple who had adopted transracially empowered me to stay the course and to give my ego a break.  Had that couple not been monopolized by another couple asking questions, I would have done the same.  The only thing that bothered me is that the four kids were trotted out AFTER the parents told the deeply personal reasons each had come into care.  Rob was horrified.  It didn't occur to me until we were riding home that it might be in the least bit wrong.  I would have LOVED to have talked to each kid individually though.  Especially the first boy adopted.  What it was like to have, at age 6, his position usurped by a new brother, a year older.

It also made me deeply sad that we live in such a small house.  We have two bedrooms, and any potential child/children would have to share a room with Cam.  Last night I was ready to bring all the kids in our county home.

An emotional trip.

Cam and I were invited to go visit an aquarium for free yesterday, so we gladly took the chance to go check out Cam's favorite element: water.  The fish and other sea creatures were just there, taking up precious space in the delightful water. 

The aquarium is in the city we adopted Cam.  It is also in the city where my father lived (marginally) for 7.5 weeks, slowly and horrifically deteriorating before he finally had to be removed from life support. 

So as I crested one of the ramps to the city, and saw the skyline, my stomach lurched and my chest seized up.  First, I realized Cam had not been back to the city since we picked her up at 17 days old.  As I sat, overcome with emotion thinking somewhere close by, her first family is living and breathing, I saw the hospital where my dad died.  It was like a punch to the gut times 100. 

Nothing like trying to navigate city traffic when your eyes are bleary with tears, and the extreme emotions of happiness and sadness are competing for room in your already stressed brain.  I can thank my ADHD for realizing me of the awfulness of the feelings by cussing like the sailor I am at my GPS for, again, screwing me on directions.

It's odd that it took me 19 months to realize that the saddest day of my life and the happiest day of my life happened in the same city, almost two years to the day between Pop being admitted to the hospital and Cam being born.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Home, Sweet Home.

By the time Friday rolled around, the weather had turned quite chilly.  So Cam and I visited the indoor pool, then went back to fetch Rob to do some shopping at the Boardwalk.  Without Mom there, it was relaxing...but then we had my sister and nephew come down Wednesday the stress was ratcheted right back up.  People that like to sleep late and go to bed late do not mix well with a toddler and her parents.  Try keeping a squawking, pre-verbal kid quiet in a three bedroom condo.  Or endure a 49 year old female that whines with the frequency of the 19 month old female.  I kid you not.

Yeah, it didn't work well, and Rob and I swore:  Never again!!  We are thinking of doing two weeks during the same time next year.

And not one family member will be invited, or perhaps even told we will be there.  You can come back to this post, copy and paste if I am stupid enough to go back on my word. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A little bit of joy.

This pretty much sums up how Cam feels about the pool and vacation.

A record.

I have now attended more AA meetings this week than I have in the past month alone.  You may gather that it is because I am sharing a vacation rental with my actively alcoholic mother, but it's also because I have decided to throw myself into AA.  I got a temporary sponsor after four years of sobriety.  I need to get with the program, or continue to be frustrated, angry, lonely, and a wee bit masochistic. 

On the brightest note of the week:  Mom decided to head back home because she was bored, and presumably because she didn't want to be "discrete" about her drinking.  I have spent the last four nights attending meetings, holed up in my room, or sitting outside until it was time to sleep. 

So while Cam takes a rare morning nap, I am able to finally breathe a deep, calming breath and look forward to the rest of the day and evening.  As Mom pulled away, I felt a pang of guilt (hello co-dependence!), but that was tempered with the realization that the living room is not off limits to me at night. 

Viva la vacation!

Monday, September 12, 2011

A day of near bliss.

So tired from the night before, I took 1.5 sleeping pills and was knocked out good and cold from 2300 until 0800.  Woke up nice and refreshed, and found that Rob was about to go wake Cam up. 

Me:  "Dude, do not wake that baby up.  Are you insane?!"

Insane DH:  "NO.  She's slept for 13 hours."

Me:  "So fucking what.  If you wake her, I will kill you."

He may have walked off pondering my last statement/threat, but he didn't go near that door.  WHO WAKES A SLEEPING BABY?!?

Cam finally got up at 0900 and we headed out to find a tasty breakfast...which is not hard to do in a beach town.  Stuffed, we came back, loaded up and headed to the pool.  I have found that my loathing of sand has only gotten worse with age, and watching a 19 month old throw and smear sand in her own face is too damn nerve-wracking for me to handle.  So while I dragged half the contents of our condo to the pool, Rob took Campbell down to the ocean to play in the sand before heading back to the pool where I had set up camp.

Great thing about this place?  A jungle gym right on the beach!  Rob tuckered that kid out enough that we got an hour, possibly less at the pool before we needed to head back and feed Cam some lunch.

Right now there are 3 out of four occupants sleeping soundly in the condo.  The rest of the afternoon?  Headed to the boardwalk for the world's greatest fries...Thrashers, and every other kind of junk food you can imagine.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's not a vacation unless your baby takes ill.

We got to the beach and checked into the condo mid-afternoon yesterday.  Spent the next hour or so unpacking and then a forced march to the grocery store for Rob, Cam and I.  Her royal highness, my mom, sat on her ass complaining and second guessing everything and everyone.  Ended up ordering pizza, because by dinner time Cam was DONE with the day, and Rob and I were so stressed we couldn't bring ourselves to prepare any of the $400 worth of food the lady of the manor requested.

I set up Cam's room as best I can to simulate her night time experience at home.  Get her down easily, but at 0200 I hear her screaming as if being stabbed.  I throw open the door to find my pitiful baby sitting and rocking and screaming in her Pack n Play, not even acknowledging that I have come to get her.  When I pick her up my hand smooshes something that feels like a noodle. She had spaghetti for dinner.

Sure enough, poor kid thre up all over her bed, blankies, lovies, you name it.  It took five seconds for me to realize that I may be good with all manner of bodily functions...but vomit is not one of them.  Thankfully, our place has a washer and dryer, so I was doing laundry and trying to calm Cam down enough to get her re-clothed and settled into bed with Rob.  After an hour and a half, she finally relented and slept, well, like a baby...restless but fitfully.  Every time she moved, I was up and alert, hoping the next trauma she endured would not be falling out of bed and cracking her head on the side table.

Where was I?  In the top bunk of the bunk beds, strategically placed next to the full sized bed my husband and daughter were occupying.  I was actually very happy to be up there, having always wanted and been denied as a child, the wonder that is top bunk. 

Today, Cam has been feverish, but acting almost "normal".  By dinner time she was back to herself, and as I type this now, she is banging on the door to her room, clearly trying to escape bed time. 

No luck kid, Mama is TIRED.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Recieved heartbreaking news tonight.

A young lady who I worked with a few years ago lost her battle with Cystic Fibrosis.  She couldn't have even been 25 yet.  She and her hubby had a baby last year who spent a long time in the NICU for being so premature (but is doing great now). 

Just cannot imagine what her poor husband and family are feeling.  Absolutely heart-breaking.

A new journey.

Rob and I started fostering classes last month.  We started the process back in the spring, but had to wait until August to get into an open slass.  We are four weeks down, with four more to go.  The homestudy is dragging out, and driving me a little crazy.  What started out as a pretty quick process, has turned into everything I dread about working with a government agency.

We have had one visit with our social worker, got finger-printed, and had a health inspection.  We are waiting on two more SW visits, a fire inspection, and for our references to be checked out.  The biggest hitch is that we will miss one class next week, because we will be on vacation.  In the info session last spring, they told us a missed class could be made up in the next session OR with our social worker.  Now I am being told we have to wait until the next session to make this class up.  Which means we have to wait TWO MONTHS to make up one fucking class. 

When I pointed out that it would be two extra months the SWs all looked confused.  Did I really need to explain to them that since it is the sixth class out of eight, and there is two weeks between sessions that that makes EIGHT WEEKS?

For an agency that is begging for foster families, this just seems so counter-intuitive to getting people licensed.  It's also brought out the protective, advocating mama bear in me.  I am sure my name is already on a list somewhere as a potential pain-in-the-ass.  It hasn't helped my situation much by being the one to correct the SW's when they give out erroneous info on RAD, drug exposure, and attachment issues.  Whatever.  This new journey has lit a new passion in me. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A productive day.

Last night I sat like a lump in my bed, with my laptop, making lists of things to get done this week.  I have an app on my iPhone that I adore...ListPro.  For someone who loves making lists, but always loses my little sticky pads full of them, this app has brought me immeasurable joy.  Sad, no?

I now will get my diabetic eye check, acupuncture for my shoulders and stress, bought the Dollar Tree out of cheap hangers (consigning a ton of clothes!...Come to me $$$$!), got Cam to a play date, am about to go get my hair cut, and see my therapist.  Oh, and got my flu shot.  A productive day, indeed.

It is raining and in the mid-60's here, and I am in my element.  I am giddy with anticipation of being child-free while unloading my troubles and questions and having someone rake their hands through my hair. 

And then Cam screams as if on fire, just now, to let me know she's done with that all too brief nap.  Forty-five minutes, and I am out of here!

Monday, September 5, 2011


Feels like forever since I've been to my own little blogosphere.  I have missed getting my experiences and thoughts down on "paper".  Life not only gained on me this summer, but somehow managed to trip me up.  Each day in the last six weeks has felt like it was moving at glacial speed AND roaring by.  No sooner up, then I was looking bleary eyed at the clock reading midnight-ish.

Insomnia, which is always with me, has been been wreaking havoc.  It took a trip to my pdoc to figure out that, yes, I am losing part of my mind, and no, it's not permanent.  My mix of drugs was upped by one, and I feel like I can breath again.  My agitation and anxiety level was way above what I have ever felt before.  The pdoc reminded me that lack of sleep will do odd things to, say, your brain, nervous system, body...all that good stuff.

I thought once my mother was able to drive and get around by herself, I could just go back to my life and carry on.  Not so fast, and not so easy for me.  Her detox was something that initially scared the shit out of me.  Then, I realized I couldn't do jack about it, so I was able to let it go....a bit.  Life started to smooth out a little, normal routine for Cam and I.  Still had Murphy, the unrepentant house pisser, though.  Stress..

Middle of summer, and all of our friends were on vacation, or heading there.  So Rob and I began to think about doing a two day, cheap trip to the beach.  Because I have zero tolerance for filth and ineptitude, finding a suitable place was a bit of a challenge.  THEN, because I also have such a short memory, and a penchant for masochism, I thought about how nice it would be to ask my mom if she would like to join us.  She complained of being lonely, and it's just killed me to see her like this since my dad died.

I should have had my fucking head examined when I asked her to go away for two days with us, so what happened next still blows my mind.  What was a two day jaunt, is now a full week.  And I agreed to it. With my sister and nephew coming down half way through that week.  That week is now upon us, in just a few days.

The mother-sister dynamic actually makes my heart start skipping, in a purely awful way.  But because I am really good at shoving awful, horrific thoughts from the front of my mind to the corners, all that stress has manifested itself as an irritable, anxious, bitch with very little insight into why I might be so fucking stressed out.  My therapist is fantastic at her job.  She lets me work at what is bothering me, without leading me.  Which would be great, if I weren't so goddamned tired and could think beyond the next five minutes.

It FINALLY occurred to me that all the sleeplessness (well, more so than usual) and generally bitchy-ness and zero tolerance for whining (sorry, Cam) was because I am dreading going on..... vacation.

The family dynamic is crap to begin with (I am the favorite, sister is not....and it is palpable) and mom is back on the wine.  She's already been bitching up a storm about not being able to relax and enjoy "a glass" of wine at the end of her presumably hard day of sitting on her ass.

I should also mention, I have been having pain in both shoulders.  A few years ago my right shoulder was "fixed" with some acupuncture and PT.  I dodged a surgery bullet for it then, but now I am sure I will end up under the blade.  So I have to endure 3 more months of PT before we get to where both doc and I schedule the surgery.  Due to funky bone structure and some impinged tendons, my damn shoulders have been killing me, which makes it so much more fun to try and sleep at night.

Cam is still not speaking, and the pediatrician who I know is an alarmist, had me get her hearing checked out.  Perfect hearing.  I knew it, but wanted to make sure I didn't let anything slip through the cracks...just in case.  I could not get Cam's OT to call me back so I could set up a time to have a speech therapist check her out.  Turns out the lady went on sabbatical.  Ha!  So now I am left in the hands of what appears to be a very young and inexperienced OT to figure out why my kid won't say "mama".

Did I mention Murphy?  Karma is kicking me hard in the ass.  Murph was our 20th foster Pug.  Our last little foster Pug, because I went back to school full time and then we got placed with Cam.  Hooking my mom up with Murphy?  Another colossal fuck up on my part.  We have determined that the dog's brain is severely damaged.  No medical diagnosis, mind you.  Determined by my complete inability to get that bastard dog to STOP PISSING IN MY HOUSE.  He wears doggie diapers.  Need I say more about that stress?

Earthquake.  Hurricane.   And now vacation with my family.

The one bright spot is that I have downloaded a ream of AA meetings to attend and got me a temporary sponsor.  I got that sponsor by going to a meeting I normally never attend.  I stood up to share and must have looked crazed or pitiful when I laughed and said how hard the last 8 months have been, caring for my baby and my crazy, wine soaked mother.  Poor sponsor lady has no idea what she's in for with me.  I hope her program is tight.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back...well, sort of.

I have been gone so long, I can almost hear an echo.  I have had a long, long six weeks, and have much to say.  Unfortunately, tonight will not be the night I get it out.  Very soon though, I promise.