Sunday, March 30, 2008

It's a Miracle

It's a Miracle. My mostly stoned senior class actually has a reunion scheduled. A date. A location. Again, a miracle. Looking forward to it. Not really looking forward to seeing my ex. Unfortunately I noticed on our class list that he is attending. Oh well. I'll go looking really hot. He'll see what he missed out on, and can eat his heart out. Now, back to that diet!

I Wasn't Expecting to Hear THAT, and Other Happenings

I spoke with the Spa & Salon owner about having complimentary treats there. She said, "I LOVE the idea. But. (long pause). I have an eating disorder. We tried having complimentary treats, the customers loved it, but it was just too hard for me to be around the food."

OK. I really didn't know what to say to that. I'm guessing we're talking bulimia, since she doesn't look anorexic. She looks to be average weight.

So I said, "Well, I could bring treats on Saturdays, the day you will not be there."
She loved the idea. She said to go for it.
I will only bring food that can be eaten without utensils or plate, like Starbucks. Getting into utensils & plates is too much money and trash/washing.

In other news, my husband told me yesterday he wants to move! WHAT?????????????? We really love the kids school district, so feel we want to lock into that geography for now, we are on several acres in the woods, in a 3000+ sq ft custom built home. There are million dollar homes in on our street. Make a long story short, we have a ton of equity in our home, so he thinks we could sell it, move into a slightly less upscale neighborhood than we are currently in, and be debt-free. That is of course hugely appealing. We looked at house plans for a new development going in about ten minutes from us. Gorgeous houses. Only drawback in my opinion is the lots are 4800 sq ft. Where will the kids party, play ball, have camp outs? I guess elsewhere, indoors, etc. This morning we woke up and I asked my husband "So what are your top three reasons for wanting to move?"
He said: "To be debt-free, as in NO MORTGAGE"
I said: "Why don't we just stay here, and I can get a job as a substitute school district Educational Assistant?"
A little background, our school district went to a policy that all the EA's have to have a college degree, about 2.5 yrs ago. There was a 2yr grace period for employees who want to keep their jobs, to get an AA. Immediately. So, they lost many EA's, and substitute EA's. I have a friend who is a sub EA, and she gets called almost every day to work. She can work all week, or a day or two. Totally her call. This appeals to me. I could work 1-2 days a week at this sub EA job, and ALWAYS have my time with my kids.

I could have the 2 part time jobs, work no more than 4 shifts a week (between both jobs), and we'd have more money to pay off debt quicker. I'm liking this idea. Alot.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Customer Service

The Spa & Salon I'm going to go work at, strives for top customer services. That is their biggest goal. If they are running behind, and someone is going to run an hour late, they will give the customer a free service while they are waiting. How cool is that?

I have a customer service idea. It incorporates something I love. Baking. I got this idea yesterday. There is a postal shop I go to, like a Kinko's, and they always have fresh homemade cookies sitting out. The wheels in my mind got going.............
What if I offer to cook classy desserts/breads/cookies for the front desk and coffee area? Is that customer service? Is that tacky?

These people have sampled my homemade jams, truffles, etc. They think they were to die for. I bring treats to the stylists, our doctors office, teachers, whatnot, for the holidays each year.

I'm not a professional chef, baker, or cook. However, I love to cook and bake. When in social groups, once I bring a dish, people want the recipe, and they wrangle me into bringing more food, dessert, treats to more gatherings. The first time it was our treat night for Sunday evening bible study, they said they want me bringing treats every week!! (I declined). Some one cancelled for bringing treats one Sunday in mid-April. So the group instantly appointed me to bring treats for that evening. ;o)

What do you think about bringing complimentary treats for a classy Salon & Spa? I would of course have the owners pay me for the cooking ingredients, and an hour or two a week in pay for cooking time. That is still really cheap though, as compared to buying treats at say, oh, Starbucks.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I Got the Job

Today I interviewed for the Saturday only job, and it turned into something else entirely!!

The original position was for a receptionist/management at an upscale Salon & Spa, Saturday only (9-5pm). The owner (female) offered me the job last week, and told me to drop by a resume. So I did that. She called last night and asked if I could come in and talk. Her husband was there (he's the other owner). We talked for over an hour, and the whole thing is set in stone now. I start next Friday (training), and my first day on the job is Saturday April 5.

This job has now turned into me being their accountant, also, one additional day per week. Probably in six months or so. They want to phase out their old accountant because he/she costs an arm and a leg. The salon is closed on Mondays, so I can come in to do the accounting every Monday with no one bothering me, during the day.

I wanted to pursue this Saturday only job as opposed to working in the day or evening. If I applied for the Tues-Fri afternoon/evening position, I'd miss four days of my kids sports and activities. Working Saturday will allow me to be at almost all their events. Actually, all three kids are in sports right now (swimming, track, baseball). Only baseball falls on Saturday too. Most of their sports are during the week.

I've avoided looking for accounting/bookkeeping employment because it's mainly 40-60 hours per week, M-F. That leaves me running errands several evenings a week, and thus missing our children's' sports and activities (youth group, etc.). Additionally, getting the kids to doctor/dentist/ortho appts is difficult when working M-F during the day.

I'm really excited. And to boot, I get all salon services complimentary. This includes massage, nails, facials, hair care & color, waxing (ouch), cosmetology, hair/skin products, etc. I do have to pay cost for any product, but that's a steal!! They want me to use as many services as possible so I can promote them. They do not have to ask me twice to get a free massage! Additionally, they want me to go to the styling and skin care classes with the staff. The owners want me informed about everything on the planet so I can help recommend and answer questions for clients, without having them wait for a stylist or owner to come up to the front desk. I love this!! Hair and makeup have been a fascination of mine for decades!

And yes, I will post soon about our thoughts on adopting again. Thanks for your patience there. I know several of you have emailed me about that. The bottom line is we are pro-adoption, desire giving disadvantaged kids a home, and would still like to adopt an older child should God orchestrate it all. Our only requirement is that the child NOT be a predator and/or danger to our family. Safety and keeping our family in tact is of paramount importance. Cheers!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter and the Alcoholic Friend

I hope everyone had a great Easter. We had a great weekend, and did things differently. It was nice, for the most part. Saturday we went to a bible study dinner potluck and egg hunt. Nice company, good food, but I felt rather out of it. I mean, this bible study group was put together for people with young children. Well, our youngest child is 9-1/2 now. With the girls gone, I felt like my kids were old enough to be the babysitters. We will continue with the group for the year, and finish that out. I know the intention of the group is to keep going for several years and we've made some really great friends. Maybe my husband and I will be the mentoring couple, or something along those lines. I mean seriously, in the egg hunt, it was 2-4yr olds. We let our 9yr old in on the hunt. What did the older boys do? They hid the eggs prior to the hunt with the adults.

Easter morning went off with a bang: All three boys and my husband yelling, swearing, and fighting over lost clothes, unironed clothes, and missing shoes. I mean seriously. Do they think yelling, fighting, and swearing will solve the problem? What about a little advance preparation (like every Saturday night)? What about just fixing the problem, not the blame. I really hate that, the old "fix the blame, not the problem" sort of scenario. I turned up my radio really loud in the bathroom, finished getting ready for church, and promptly left on time, without my family. They really should have been ashamed of themselves. I've never seen any of them behave so poorly, especially on a religious holiday. So I sat in church alone (which was fine by me). I noticed my husband and boys slink in about 5 minutes late for church. I'm so short, you can't find me in a crowd of hundreds. After church my husband asked if I want to go to WalMart with him and the boys to get summer clothes for our upcoming Disney trip. Um, ya. Right. I told all four of them I'm ashamed of them & their behavior, and that they were appalling. I drove around for a couple hours alone to clear my head. Upon my return home, the boys & husband were eating chicken nuggets & fries. Since no one was particularly hungry after that, I got to skip the whole huge Easter dinner extravaganza. Worked for me. The boys and husband all apologized to me. We then watched "Karate Kid" and had a great rest of the evening. Yesterday I made our Easter dinner, and it was delicious. The evening ended with my husband asking me to adopt again. I think I have to dedicate a whole separate post about this.

OK. So onto the story about the Alcoholic Friend. Ya know, this relationship has gone full circle so many times over the years. She and I are like sisters to each other, that we do not have biologically. We've known each other over 25 years, and have always been in consistent contact. She is a tad weird, but I've never held that against her. We've always thought, "well, that's just her." And I love her as she is. The tough part is she has mental problems and she is a recovering alcoholic. Our relationship has gone thru phases of limping, more than relating, at times. She will end up in circumstances that are deplorable, by her own poor choices. And I've had to shake off my co-dependant wardrobe, put on the healthy layer, and decline her begging, asking, and guilt-tripping me for help. Since I won't solve her problems for her or rescue her, she often went into begging for me to watch her young children endlessly, while she could go off and "solve" her own problems (solving, to her, is doing things like borrowing tons of money from relatives, or putting on a bikini & hopping in someone's boat for the day). I watched her kids for her in an emergency, and another emergency, and yet another. I lost track after a point, but was getting resentful. She has parents & grandparents who can watch the kids. I don't even have that, yet she wanted to dump her kids on me all the time. Finally push came to a shove when I declined to watch her kids once. She told a mutual friend that "Esther owes her." oh, no no no no. That about ended the friendship. Since I keep a calendar, I had record of all the times I watched her kids. I sent her a note, with all the dates I'd watched her kids (in the last year or two), and told her I don't owe her. And that I wouldn't be watching her kids anymore. We could be friends, but I'm not the free nanny. She pretty much quit asking, and my family eventually moved to another city. Completely out of her way now to make it worth her time to drop her kids off.

To get up to speed, a year or two later, without telling anyone, she went to "visit her brother out of state." While there, she actually checked herself into in-patient rehab. Good for her, but alot of us really resented her abandoning her family with no notice. She really hurt her children. She didn't even try counseling or out-patient treatment first. Personally I feel like she wanted a 5 month vacation. She was gone that long, missing one child's birthday, and all the fall/winter holidays. Thank God I didn't live close enough for her husband to ask me to take the kids. Their marriage survived, and she went back to college to earn a professional degree. She now has a 4yr degree & professional job. She confided in me that she is only with her husband because she needed someone to support her during her college days, and she will leave him when her career is making enough money. Gee, not uncomfortable or anything. I've kept her confidence, but avoid her husband. He is a louse, and she should have left him years ago. I don't say those things lightly, but he has even given her sexually transmitted diseases because he's cheated on her. He's actually done so many unthinkable things to her and in/out of their relationship, that she legally separated from him at one point. I got called by their lawyers, asking for personal affidavits about them (character witness), as they were fighting for custody of the kids. Even with my girlfriends problems, the letter I wrote about her husband makes my friend look like a saint by default. I think her husband realized with that letter/affidavit, that he had zero chance of custody of his kids. I don't know that he wants custody per se, but more than that wants to avoid paying child support. Personally, I'd like to hit them both over the head with a rolling pin.

I finally felt like she was too clingy and needed to stand on her own two feet (about a year ago). With me always there for her to complain to, I feel that's all she did. And her husband is too cheap to pay for her to go to counseling. She even now won't pay for personal or marital counseling now that she is gainfully employed.

The final straw was seeing her at the wrestling tournament last week. She seemed higher than a kite, talking about things my husband and I felt totally bizarre. She also fell off the bleacher into the aisle. For no apparent reason. She and I were talking, and next thing I knew she fell straight over to her left, sort of on her back, with legs up in the air. I strongly suspect she had been drinking. I also saw her husband, whose eyes were red & totally glazed over.

I don't want to get together with her. I feel like it's perpetuating something negative. I would like our friendship to go somewhere positive, but with an addict, it's a whole nother ball game.

Any suggestions? She wanted to get together tomorrow for lunch. At the tournament I said sure. Today I cancelled on her, with the excuse that I'm too busy this week. I'm really just buying time until I can figure out what to tell her. How do you confront something like this? There are her personal problems and addiction, which is one thing (not my business), but I truly don't have desire to be in friendship with someone like this. Even though she says I'm her best friend. I truly love her, but don't want to be around her. And I have my children to think about. I need to keep them around safe people, and set a good example for them.

Please leave me your suggestions.

Friday, March 21, 2008

He's a Champion to Me

Our 13yr old wrestled for the first time this year. It's a short 6-7 week season in our area with Junior High/Middle school. He wrestled JV all season and earned a spot into the district championship. Then yesterday he was moved into Varsity for the first time, as the two boys in varsity at his school were either injured or over weight. He did really well & got 4th place in districts. Not bad for his first year, first varsity meet, and being in the young end of the crowd.

His coach thought he did really well for his first varsity day ever, and told him he'll be varsity next year.....and go undefeated ;o)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Job Offer

I decided to NOT apply for the super fantastic job, where they are hiring. It was great pay & benefits, but the hours rotate every four months. My husband feels this will not work well for us. I agree, for now. It's a job I could step into at any point in the future, and I am interested. Perhaps when our kids are older, more independent, and we can deal better with me working grave yard four months of the year, I could inquire at that point.

So, I went to get my hair done today, and was telling the hair stylist all about this. I told her I feel empty with no kids here during the day, blah blah blah. She offered me a job. She needs someone to manage the salon for her on Saturdays, the busiest day of the week. She would also like someone to do reception Tuesday thru Friday evening every week, but at a minimum she needs someone all day Saturday. And I get free hair services. I'm drooling......................

I'll be discussing this with the family tonight.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I'm Glad My Kids are Supervised

Ya know, I certainly wouldn't want to leave my kids home alone on a regular basis, unsupervised. Yesterday they had the day off of school for a teacher in service day. I heard the following comments:

13 yr old: "I'm taking home-ec (cooking variety) right now in school. This is the most worthless class I've ever taken. I will never use this stuff. Oh, maybe I'll use it in high school (home-ec). This week we have to study kitchen sanitation for four days. FOUR DAYS!" OK, so he's planning on never entering a kitchen? Planning on buying all his food from restaurants? Geez....

11 yr old: "I wonder what would happen if you fry Silly Putty".................
self explanatory reasons why I'm glad I was home for that.

9.5 yr old yells to 11yr old: "HEY! You almost knocked me off the counter!~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
me thinking "why are you on the counter???????????????????????"

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Governor's Office Called

A lady who works for the governor called yesterday. She is handling our case from inside the governor's office. She was really kind, educated, and helpful. She wanted to hear, again, about our experience from the top, before the next phase of the investigation. Also she wanted to know what we feel was the number one problem here, what we want, and what we would like.

I told her I feel the number one problem here were two items:
1. Full disclosure never happened. We were told the girls are "healthy, cute, happy, normal, smart"
2. Medical resources were denied, resources which can save the road this little girl is on, her health, her well being, and the safety & well being of those around her. At a minimum, we wanted the child to have counseling, and access to the UW fetal alcohol center. UW has the best resources in THE WORLD for fetal alcohol, and they have been on the cutting edge of science for this since 1983. UW coined the term "fetal alchohol syndrome." It's appauling that the state would not let her have an appointment there.
The govornor's office agrees with our feelings here.

I told her what we want is the option to adopt the 2yr old (doubtful) and above all we don't want this whole debacle happening to other families. We want the 4yr old (now 5yr old) placed somewhere that she is kept safe from others, children and adults alike.

To back up, I thought it interesting in our most recent email from the foster parents, this item:
They wrote that they went to a meeting at DSHS and the 3rd foster child in the home is moving out. Only the bio sisters will be left. Well, the governor's employee told me yesterday that the 4yr old (now 5yr old) is now classified as a predator, with predatory behavior. At least THAT will help future children around her and her future placements. I imagine this change led to the 3rd child moving out of the foster home. I am thankful.

Back to the story, I also told the lady it was really the final insult to hear from the SW's that we were required to go to personal counseling and marital counseling because "we only needed to parent her better." Sigh. Ya know, I asked, begged, the SW's to tell us the entire six months, how to parent her better.

The state employee was shocked that someone would say that to us. Completely out of line. Not to mention, we ALREADY had several children, some with special needs. We didn't just fall off the turnip truck. We know how to parent a variety of different ways, and parent healthy and not-so-healthy children. To tell someone they "just need to parent better" is putting on the proverbial band aid. Not a real solution.

Anyway, the state is going to try to keep the girls together. They will keep the girls in foster care WITH NO OTHER CHILDREN or put them in an adoptive home WITH NO OTHER CHILDREN (thank you God), a home that is trained to keep the 2yr old safe. I think even the "safe" part is a dangerous walk though. How can anyone guarantee 100% safety when a sibling is a sexual predator? But what do I know..................

So that's the latest update. 99% chance the girls will stay together. And I'm OK with that. It's out of my hands and control. Mainly we don't want another family lied to, blind sighted, and put in danger as we were. I'm sure it will happen again, somewhere, somehow, but at least this sibling group is being handled differently. For now.

FYI-I asked the governor's office what they feel is the biggest problem here. I asked them how we could have handled this differently, improved, dealt with issues, whatnot. They feel the biggest problems here are:
1. The girls "Safety and Information" stats & sheets were lies and not updated to inform, reflect, educate, and ensure safety for others around the older child. (no kidding)
2. She feels we went above and beyond the call of duty here, advocating hard, protecting our other children, etc. She feels the state made a bad placement, putting a predator into our home. She says there is no good way to handle what we went thru, other than to end the situation for the safety of everyone involved.
3. There is a legislative problem in that there is no funding available for these kids to get resources, that they urgently need.

I think that's it. I'm feeling slightly better, so I'm able to go to our church ladies retreat today. I'm off to the Canadian boarder. Over and out.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Cheaters and Dr. Laura

Lauri posted over here (clickable) about the governor getting caught (clickable) in the sex ring of hookers. He resigned yesterday. Lauri asked about our feelings on cheaters. There's alot of good stuff over there on her blog.

This got me to thinking yesterday, Dr. Laura made a statement I really detest about this. Sorry I don't have the exact quote, but Whoopi Goldberg quoted Dr. Laura yesterday on The View. Please read my following comment to Lauri, which includes my disgust with Dr. Laura. What do YOU think?

I wrote:
"Glad you posted about this. I have two schools of thought. Forgive? Move on? Depends.If my husband came to me and admitted he'd been cheating, wanted help, counseling, whatnot, I would consider keeping him. Only consider it.If I caught him in the act, I would have a hard time not hitting him, burning his clothes, wrecking his car, and transferring all our money to a private account of my own. And then promptly spending all that money.Cheaters make me sick. I've never cheated on my husband, and he's never cheated on me. In my opinion, a relationship has some pretty steep troubles, or as other posters commented, a different personal style, if they are cheating. Not one that I want in my bed though.......I really want to deck Dr. Laura. I may have to post on this. Did you know, on The View, they quoted Dr. Laura as stating this was the governor's wife's fault? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhh!!Dr. Laura says that after several years of a steely relationship where the man is turned away, this is what the woman has pushed him to (my paraphrase). I always loathed Dr. Laura. OK, that decides it. I'm posting about this."

Here is Dr. Laura's blog (clickable) entry about the event, so you can see for yourself. The part I don't agree with is her quote: “Men need validation. When they come into the world they are born of women and getting their validation from mommy is the beginning of needing it from a woman. And when the wife does not focus in on the needs and the feelings, sexually, personally to make him feel like a man, to make him feel like a success, to make him feel like a hero, he’s very susceptible to the charms of some other woman making him feel what he needs. And these days women don’t spend a lot of time thinking about how they can give a man what they need.”

Personally, I feel we are all responsible for our self. I don't sit around, waiting for my husband to make me feel good, ergo, leaving me less likely to cheat. I think that is crap. We are all responsible for our own feelings, relationships, and behavior. Of course it's most helpful that I have a loving, caring, responsible husband who adores me. That is a big plus. However, if I were married to a loser, I'd either fix it, fix myself, separate, or divorce. I would not cheat. The person who has to live with that is the cheater. Not for me. No way.

Hmmmmmmm, how about that Dr. Laura? I will say I think Dr. Laura is probably a really great ethical gal. However, she totally offended me when she had her own tv talk show. The final straw was when a couple with young children came to her, saying they were exhausted, needed a break, and wanted to keep their marriage strong. What was her solution? "Buck up. They are YOUR kids. What were you expecting!! Take care of your own kids." Um, heartless? I think a more appropriate response would have been "good for you for wanting to take care of yourself, your family, children, and marriage. Let's discuss some ways all your needs could be met and for you to feel more rested." Again, I've never listened to Dr. Laura since then. It's been wonderful.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Working Mommy Debate

Quick health update: I went to the doctor Monday. I have the flu, a sinus infection, and both ears are infected. Yesterday I felt entirely worse. So I checked back in with the doctor and now have pneumonia as well. Good times. The antibiotics I started Monday should cover the pneumonia, it will just take me an additional 2-3 days to start feeling well. Sigh.

I want to do a post on the Working Mommy Debate. Ya know, often with my husband he thinks the grass is always greener some other way. When I worked, he compained that we didn't have enough time together, to get stuff done, to clean. He felt we didn't have enough time to do the fun things we wanted to do in life. He thought I didn't get enough sleep, and was therefore, grouchy. He didn't like sharing in midnight kiddie vomit & fevers. Now that I've been a fulltime SAHM for over a decade, while only working parttime a couple years of that, he feels like we never have enough money. He thinks we need more money to retire, save, vacation, buy retirement property, etc.

Frankly, I've always felt happy with both situations. I never felt like there was an easy black and white answer either way. I did well either way, and things worked out. I was a corporate accountant for several years before having kids. I continued this into my second pregnancy, and haven't been back. I worked part time for a couple years when our 3rd son was in preschool and kindergarten. Then I quit that job to deal with my new parttime job: adoption. This resulted in years of work, but finally an adoption. The girls were in our lives six months. Now that road has come to an end (at least for now).

Without children here during the day, I feel empty. It takes me five minutes to pick up the house, and I'm done. Yes, that is a blessing to have an easily cleaned house!! But what I'm saying is, I want more.

I've done the professional volunteering thing. My husband feels it's slavery, and is fine with me doing very little or none, currently. Volunteer at church, the community, fundraisers, local schools, etc. It can be a fulltime job. Rewarding? absolutely. Interested currently? not really.

A friend told me months ago that her employer is hiring. So I filed that in the back of my mind. Since I've been laying around sick with nothing better to do for a week now, I've had alot of time to think: I want to go back to work. So I called my friend, and they are still hiring. I checked into the job formally the last couple days, and found great information. I spoke with her HR director who said "PLEASE apply for this job............"

One thing that appeals to me about this job is the rotating schedule. I have noticed in my past working experience, that with accounting it's really only a 9-5 sort of thing. Then there was a rush to get kids to daycare, or bring in the babysitter, and evenings were spent cleaning & grocery shopping, while trying to get to sporting events. I was perpetually tired, even though things did all work out in the end. This job I'm looking into has three shifts: 6am-2pm, 2pm-10pm, and 10pm-6am. Everyone rotates a shift every four months. This actually interests me. The new sleep schedule coming with graveyard does not sound appealing, but I would be home and awake for my kids at breakfast and dinner. I could go to their afterschool/evening sports. The other shifts are fine as well. 6am-2pm would require a babysitter, but that can always be worked out.

And the pay is fantastic. Full benefits, and starting vacation is five weeks a year. (luring me in..............................)

The problem: my husband. He's encouraging me to work if I want, but he says he'll miss me while I work fulltime. He doesn't want to go to sleep without me. When I work 2nd shift, I won't be home for dinner (I told him we can have a couple lunch dates per week those months), he's not liking how this will require more of him and I won't be around. All valid points. He's told me to get a hobby, go walking, enjoy life. Well, I do those things and want more. I don't want to quilt full time. He says he wouldn't either. Not to mention, most hobbies cost money, which we don't have alot of. He about had a heart attack last year when I spent $199 getting several years worth of photos printed on Shutterfly. So then I put off those hobbies which cost alot of money. Even though I enjoy those hobbies................

I am applying for the job. At a minimum, it will be good to have an interview process under my belt again since I haven't worked since 2005.

I feel too young to "retire" at this point in my life, as appealing as that would be to alot of people. I think the money I earn in current dollars will be great saved for retirement. I'm in my upper 30's. Got alot of years left. I enjoy being with people, and working with people. I like being productive and having a place in this world.

My question is, am I missing anything in the debate here? Again, I don't think there's any always/never sort of situation. Right now though, I'm going nuts staying home with no kiddies here.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I'm applying for a job I'm interested in. Wish me luck!

U-Tube, books, and links on FAS/FAE/ARND

Today I stumbled across this six part video series on U-Tube. It's on Fetal Alcohol Children (FAS/FAE/ARND). This is really eye opening on many levels. And sad. I think the two things that resonate with me the most is that:

1. This is all preventable, and
2. Where are the public, medical, and social services for these children?

A little piece of me died watching this, as it's heartbreaking. Alot of the video made my eyes open wider, as segments spoke directly to me. This is the life of the little girl we love. Here is the link:
Fetal Alcohol Series (clickable)
This link will take you to the first video. On the right hand side of the screen, you will see the other five parts listed, in addition to many other relevant videos.

As a side note, I want to mention the two books on Fetal Alcohol that I've been reading (both clickable).
1. "The Best I Can Be-Living With Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Effects" and
2. "Damaged Angels"

I particularly like the first one, The best I can be. It's written from the account of the adoptive mother on the right hand side of each page. The left hand side of each page is the account from the child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Really amazing, touching, and an awakening if FAS/FAE/ARND is something you live with in your home.

Finally, I found this link on FRUA, which is also on FAS/FAE/ARND. Check it out:
LINK (clickable)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Stupid Woodpecker & Governor's Letter

A few years ago, we had a woodpecker in at tree by our deck. The woodpecker had a baby, and the baby was not the sharpest tool in the shed. The baby woodpecker would peck in our drainpipes & gutters. This is louder than most anything you can imagine. We could not figure out how to rid ourselves of this problem, other than to cut down the tree that was their home. We cut down the tree, and had peace. For Several years. Until a few days ago. Either the "slow" woodpecker is back, or has given birth to another "slow" baby. Sigh. I have no idea where they are living, so need to figure out how to rid my life of them.

Still have the flu. This is the worst case I've had in years. Oh well. Could be worse.

I updated my weight loss ticker. I've lost 13 pounds since Christmas. I'm pretty excited. Eat less, move more. That's my motto.

Here is a brief of what the governor's letter said:
Thanked us for contact about the girls and this situation.
Sees our letter shares the difficult and painful process we've been thru, and our dismay in DSHS.
Wrote: "There is state statutory language that encourages DSHS to try and not separate siblings, but all placement decisions hinge on what is in the best interest of each child. Siblings may be separated if one or more pose a risk to others in the sibling group."
Said DSHS may be hoping that there is a home that can meet both girls needs, while ensuring safety.
Has ordered DSHS to again review the case and answer to our family about the decisions made (laughable. I'm sure DSHS will say "we did a wonderful job. Please pat us on the back. We are saints.")
Our case has been forwarded to the state Ombudsman. They are an independent watchdog of DSHS, "investigating concerns that are raised so we can make sure that DSHS staff follow appropriate policies, procedures, and state law."

The governor thanked us for our care & concern and all we have done for these girls. The governor also thanked us for writing.

Over and out...................

Saturday, March 8, 2008


I'm still dying of the flu.

An ombudsman is an independant party, counsel, etc., that usually mediates between both sides. For example, colleges usually have an ombudsman for students to go to if they have a complaint about school or college staff, crime(s) on campus, etc.

I'll post more when I'm feeling better. I was up almost the entire night last night. Yuck.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Email from the Governor

The governor emailed us today. WOW! I was NEVER Expecting THAT!!! I'm really sick, so I will only say right now that the governor still has this investigation open, and additionally has opened our case with the state's ombudsman. Didn't know the state has an ombudsman did ya now? We didn't either. I'll post tomorrow........

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

FLU & other happenings

Where have I been? Dealing with family member after family member with the flu. Now I'm feeling ill as well. Oh well. It's that time of year.

To answer a few questions:
Q-is the 2yr old safe?
A-Doubtful. She is living with her sister in a foster home, with another child to boot. I don't think any child is safe near the 4yr old.

Q-Is 4yr old still in special needs preschool?
A-No. The foster family has her in daycare all day, every day.

Q-Do you have an update on the girls?
A-Yes, I get several updates weekly. Even with 4yr old on her best honeymoon behavior, the foster parents have stated she is a pain, and they are exhausted mentally & physically. They have stated they are only doing this because they know it will be temporary. Not to mention, this "highly difficult" time for them in parenting the 4yr old? The 4yr old is keeping her pants dry. They haven't even had to deal with the control/weapon of her peeing all over the house, car, other people's belongings, school, deal with diapers, bathroom battles, whatnot. Let's all hope she doesn't pull any of that crap on the foster parents. That will put them over the edge. I have to imagine that the 4yr old will pull out her bag of tricks for the next adoptive family. Kids do what they know.
The foster parents are in grief as they know the next adoptive parents may or may not want to stay in touch. In our state, foster parents have no legal right, claim, or custody after the children are in a permanent home. Unless the foster parents are bio grandparents. In that case, they can go to court for visitation rights, if not custody rights.

A little discussion, which I would like to expand on later. A poster commented on staying away from a domestic adoption, after what has happened to us. PLEASE DO NOT LET OUR EXPERIENCE SWAY YOU OR ANYONE FROM DOMESTIC ADOPTION. Our experience is/was rare, and most adoptions are really great experiences for all involved. The national statistics on disruption for older child adoption are 10%. So, I'm not alone, but it's not a club I want to be in.

Q-Will you adopt again?
A-I'm open to it; my husband is not. So I imagine "no" unless God throws us a curve ball. I've been an advocate for adoption, international and domestic, my entire adult life.

I asked my couselor yesterday, what is up with a 4yr old vomiting at will when she doesn't get her way? That was such a red flag for me, that she can do that without even sticking her finger down her throat. And she had no flu, illness, whatnot. The counselor said it's another control and weapon item she has power over. So sad. To me this is a child who is pre-bulemic, if at age 4 they feel they are so out of control that they choose that to try to "control" their environment. So saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.

A new happening around here: Some of our closest friends asked us last week to be the legal guardians of their two children, should they, the parents, die young. Now, I normally wouldn't think this would ever come into play, dying young. But weird tragedies happen all the time. Our friends however are in a sad boat. The wife, one of my closest dear friends, has a terminal illness. She could live another year, she could live 20. Who knows. Her husband is in his late 50's, but his father died in his 40's. So, needs are higher for them both, that they need to make plans for their children's safekeeping & welfare compared to the next random family. We are honored and more than happy to be their children's legal guardians, should anything happen to their family. The children are in middle school (one boy, one girl).

A note on gardening. Yesterday I bought several packets of seeds at WalMart. I bought from the brand that sells seeds for ten-thirty cents a packet. My husband said, "oh, the seeds that won't grow?"
What do you think? Just because I bought WalMart cheap seeds, they should grow, shouldn't they?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

An email to a friend.......

Here is a copy of an email I sent to a friend. This pretty much sums up how we're doing:

So, how are we doing? I feel relieved the girls are gone, yet heartbroken. We didn't realize how much stress/fear/anxiety we were under until they left. The other half of me is fighting depression. I'm trying to keep busy, workout, go out on dates with hubby, read, finish quilting, deep clean my house, etc. We redid 4yr old's room; 11yr old wanted his own room again. So we took down the wallpaper for three days (I have no idea how 4yr old was able to peel part of it off....she must have steel fingernails), painted the room royal blue (2 walls) & light blue (2 walls). There are white bunk beds in there, so looks good. I'm in the process of making quilts for his bunk beds (americana look), while finishing yours too.

After those are done, I'm moving onto the master bedroom/bath. Our house is almost 10yrs old, so needs painting and fixing up in most rooms. By this summer I'd like to paint the family room & bath down there. It's never been done. Ever. Then I"ll probably paint the kitchen (also never been done & looking like it).

We had a kitchen fire last night. Scared the shit out of me. I don't know how, but a grease fire started on the stove, flames to the ceiling. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!! I started screaming for hubby & threw a wet towel over the fire (while I turned away). Fortunately that put it out. I was fighting back the tears. Again, shit. Just what we would need right about now: a house fire (lol). I need to wash the ceiling now

I got some books at the library today. One of them is on FAS/FAE. I've already read the whole thing. Every single page applies to 4yr old. So sad. I'm going to post about that.....

Everyone we know has been so supportive of disrupting. Some people took a week or two to contact us, but are entirely supportive, lovely, and wonderful.

I really think things could have been different if she had been on our insurance, or the state would have let her get medical care. But alas, they didn't. Heck, respite would have been a huge plus. And they couldn't round that up? Sheesh. Hubby says DSHS did no job of improving our previous outlook on the state welfare system. And I still can't get over 4yr old wanting to play with my boobs all the time. Just creeps me out. We shudder at the thought of embarrassment that we didn't even think about the fact that neighbor kids & kids from church, school, anywhere could have been hurt by her. I feel terrible I tried so hard to make this work, when any of us could have been injured or killed. My first big emergency red flag was when I had to jump her in a parking lot, so she would not be hit by a moving vehicle. I thought "I have to be alive to take care of the rest of the kids. How could they lose a mother?................." Good Lord.

On 2yr old, I figure we'll never hear about that. Weird, the girls info keeps coming to me in the mail: medical coupon, DSHS crap, "personal" jargon. I wrote and told the foster parents because now they don't have the March coupon. Doesn't the SW need to change that? And I'm kinda pissed off about the SW. The foster parents wanted to invite 4yr old's little friend to her bday party. "little friend" is a friend of ours; his parents I met thru MOPS. The SW said "no" to any prior friends. Yet I can be in contact? I have denied being in contact with them. I think the girls would just be confused. Anyway, the whole thing is retarded, and we don't see how it would harm anything to let 4yr olds little friend attend her party. Good Lord, is DSHS fucked up.

OK, enough of that.

We're are making a garden, we decided. There's a great spot in between our shed & pump house (well water). That is about the only part of the yard that gets mostly sun, whereas the rest gets partial shade because we are in the woods (on a few acres). So hubby is going to bring home a rototiller from work & chew up the yard over there. We'll plant lots of veggies & fruit. I'm going to look into taking a local class on gardening 101, but a friend of mine told me to just buy a book. Now this is a gal who grows her own grapes, spices, makes her own wine/beer, eats fruit & veggies out of their garden & orchard, cans everything you can think of. I think she is in a class that I will never reach!! I bow down to her. I'll measure off the yard & tell you how big the garden will be. I think we have about 16X24 feet to work with? Plenty of room.

I'm still helping host the ladies retreat thru church, for March 14-16. Ya know they asked me because I swear so much ;o)
Looking forward to it. It will be up by the Canadian boarder. Although, no one can go to Canada without a passport anymore. Oh hey, I can go to Canada ;o)

We booked a trip to Disney world & NASA for spring. Our kids are more excited than I've ever seen them. We have about half a dozen camping trips lined up for the summer, and I'm going on a scrap booking retreat to (a rural town) in May. So, I think it's good to have lots of plans.

Love, me

Additionally, we are loving going to our 13yr old's wrestling matches. This is his first year and he's really awesome. Seriously, awesome. Guess all that fighting with his brother paid off.....

If any of you have any beginner gardening tips, ideas, warnings, blogs, websites, classes, books, resources, let me know. We are doing veggies & fruits.

On exercise, I had to quit running. I was born with a birth defect in my hip (clickable). One which I wore braces for, for several years. My hip tore out of place when I gave birth to our first son, and has never been quite the same. I have done multiple rounds of PT. They have said the best exercise for me is cycling, walking, and swimming. No running, but a run-walk may work. Well, I tried the run-walk, and my hip hurts for about a week. I've also taken up Pilates, on a DVD, and it's really awesome. So I'll rotate between Pilates & walking.