Wednesday, November 30, 2005


We got back from Hawaii at 11:30 Sunday night. Everyone was exhausted.

Our condo was wonderful - large, clean, well appointed. The ocean was wonderful. I enjoyed the crystal clear ocean more than swimming anywhere, ever before. I could see my feet clearly enough to count my toes while standing in chest deep water. The weather was very nearly perfect - it only rained one day and we spent that day driving up Haleakala. The drive was miserable for Holly, since she hates to drive in the rain, and on winding roads, and hates to ride while others are driving even more. The end was worth it. The top was above the clouds and the sun was brilliant. The babies had a great time running around. The teens were excited about the scale and being so high and the views. We talked with a cyclist who had biked all the way up in the rain, then we met him again after he'd ridden back down. That was really cool.

We took the girls to see the rocky remnants of lava flows - acre upon acre of volcanic rock.

We went to a luau. A thousand people. A pig roasted in the ground. Poi. Hula dancers and fire dancers. Mai Tais. M was among the audience members chosen to dance on stage with the dancers. She loved it and did a great job.

Hours on beautiful, pristine beaches. No garbage or tar and very few cigarette butts. The cleanliness was a relief also because it made watching the babies so much easier. Very little they could get into except salt water and sand. They both enjoyed jumping waves with me and Holly. The teens got a chance to snorkel and kayak.

Holly and I didn't have as much of a chance to relax as we wished. Much of our time was spent chasing babies and trying to bring down angry/overstimulated teens. S and K both went off in the presence of Holly's family, including her three and four year old nephews. That was really hard. We can bring S down, usually within a few minutes, but K won't budge. she insists on spewing venom on anyone who comes near and she keeps trying to push S's buttons after we calm S down. The two of them caused enough grief before, during and after the luau that we are charging them for part of the entrance fee.

All in all, it was a good trip.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I got an email from Harley-Davidson encouraging me to encourage women I know to ride. I took their Rider's Edge course last year, courtesy of my beloved who knows me better than anyone. The ad reminded me of that course.

I had eight classmates, five guys and three other women. I doubt straight women do this, but when I am amongst strangers I often try to figure out who is gay and who is straight. The female teacher was gay (no brainer) one of the other women was married to one of the guys (no brainer.) That left one woman who was older than me and didn't read lesbian, but her motorcycle experience was driving the truck that pulled the trailer for a Harley riding women's group on their long trips. That reads lesbian. Off hand, I can't think of any straight all women Harley groups. The last woman was younger than me and I really thought I picked up a gay vibe from her, in that sort of energetic urban professional sort of way, but the two fresh out of college guys she was with referenced her boyfriend multiple times, so I put her in the 'whatever' category in my brain. To each their own, right?

I am pretty 'out'. I referenced Holly and the kids during our introductions and during the class time. I figure the more casual and matter-of-fact I am, the more everyone else will be as well. It works pretty well for me. I've never been challenged or yelled at or anything.

On night two of class, the younger woman, (don't remember names, I'll call her Lisa) sat next to me and was really nice. For no reason. I played along. Never hurts to make friends with people. The next day we started riding and that made us all too tired to be overly communicative.

Anyhow, to get to the point of the story, Sunday was the test day. Lisa had had so much trouble with the clutch that her wrist was killing her and she chose not to test. I got to the last task and laid out the bike - automatic Fail. So, I sat off to the side with Lisa as we watched the rest take the test. She told me what she'd been dying to tell me the whole time - she was a dyke. She'd had a 7 year relationship with a girlfriend who dumped her. She was dating this younger guy sort of out of boredom. It killed her to see me being so out and she had to keep her mouth shut. She was very very apologetic about hiding her true self. She was embarrassed. But she was having fun with these fresh out of college guys who partied every night. We spent the rest of the time sitting on the fence speculating about the older lady with the Harley riding female friends.

Kind of depressing - so attractive, intelligent and fun to be around and settling for someone she didn't really care for. I guess it makes sense to think that she didn't want to be with a woman until she healed. Oh well, to each their own, right?

Anyway, that is what the Harley ad made me think about.

Monday, November 14, 2005

my view of S

Lionmom may disagree with all or part of this, and that is okay.

S, in many ways has completely recovered from her attempt. Her grief over it and the pain it caused us and others lasted four or five days. She doesn't think about it anymore, unless someone brings it up. No lingering depression. As far as I can tell, her behavior is about the same as before. This is one of the hardest things to explain about her behavior. As far as she is concerned, the attempt was in the past and she didn't mean to do it and she won't try again. Even though she did mean to do it when she did it and the circumstance could very well happen again. She is on to her next thing, eating as much candy as possible and the upcoming trip.

The only way to get her to show a reaction about it now would be to hammer her about it, which we do on occasion when she doesn't remember why her computer and phone privileges are curtailed, why she can't have a friend over for the whole weekend. This is very frustrating for the rest of us.

Her friends, and some of our friends, probably, think that we are too hard on her because we seem to lose our tempers and rail at her. What doesn't come across in brief meetings with her is that if she doesn't want to feel something, or notice something, she won't. She's very good at that type of avoidance. If she is behaving badly and we want her to notice and react to our comments, we have to get in her face and be pretty intense. It looks mean from the outside. But she's got to hear what we have to say. And she still has a bunch of behaviors that will hinder her survival in the outside world.

Another thing,
I wish I knew why someone is always messing with Kaia's blog. She gets royally bitchy, mean commenters and she doesn't deserve it. Then, whoever it is goes to Rosie's blog and makes mean, bitchy comments in Kaia's name. Good Lord, she's only 18!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

it's final

S is back home, thank goodness, and back to her joyful, loud self. At court yesterday the judge agreed that she should still go on our thanksgiving trip. We were worried about that. Luckily, the therapists and psychiatrists agreed that her problem was her normal behavior spiraling out of her control, rather than a depressive state. It is more likely that she will not have another similar spiral if she is with us than if we try to leave her here.

This, of course, led to another problem - what to do with M. She is not moving in with us permanently until after thanksgiving, but we'd told her we were trying to get her to come with us. We finally got her judge's approval. When we didn't know if S could go, we pondered using her ticket for M, but that is now out of the question. I searched for reasonably priced tickets several times today. The airlines seem to change the prices randomly throughout the day. Anyway, during lunch I found one for only $100 more than we paid for the rest of ours. She is going to be on different flights, but she has flown alone before and is not scared. All of her arrival and departure times are within an hour or so of ours, so she won't really be alone except on the plane. I bought the ticket.

Our case manager is going to try to find some money to pay us back for part of it, since this will lead to quite a lean Christmas. Oh well, this will be worth it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

i wish i wish i wish

I wish I had a magic button to heal the hurts my kids have. I visited S at the psych ward and it was so freaking depressing. The place is dismal - painted buff tan, white spots on her room's walls that were patched but never painted, a couple of twenty watt bulbs for light. Yet, people tell me it's a good place, nicer than most. Why put people who are already depressed in such a dismal place? The children's hospital is run by the same group and it was really nice. Is there a rule that mental hospitals have to be depressing? She's been there since Sunday and hasn't even seen a doctor yet. She has been to several group sessions, apparently they have three mandatory ones a day.

We thought she would get individual attention. We thought that they would adjust her meds to level out her mood swings. They say she might be out by Friday, how does that give them time to work with her meds when she hasn't even talked to a doctor yet?

Then the whole placement thing. She is not legally ours, anymore. We have no say in her care. We are only allowed to visit out of curtesy because they only allow immediate family and we are no relation. Her future is in the hands of doctors we've never met, a catholic nun social worker and her caseworker who's met her twice in six months.

S has court on Wednesday. She won't be able to attend, but it could be a good thing. Holly will go by herself because I've already missed so much work. She has a good reputation and the judge likes her. He commended us on the work we've done with S in the past. He has handled most of her appearances over the years and knows S. Hopefully, he will give us some assurances.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

rough week, long week

Here's what's going on. And a teenager's perspective.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


The babies couldn't go because they were too congested and therefore grumpy. S and M dressed up and ran the whole neighborhood, each getting probably 7 or 8 pounds of candy. They looked great, S was a dementor and M was a witch.

Cutest costumes:
a boy whose family is from some other country dressed as Spiderman, except he had his top on backwards and his little foam muscles were bulging all on his back.
a two year old dressed as Pooh. He had really fat cheeks. As his mom walked up carrying him, I said It's Pooh! and he said "Winnie Pooh Winnie Pooh Winnie Pooh!!!" His mother said, "No, say Happy Halloween." and he said "Winnie Pooh Winnie Pooh Winnie Pooh!!" I gave him some candy and his mom told him to say thank you and he said, "Pee O Ween Pee O Ween Pee O Ween!!"
a little girl, dressed in sparkly white with wings came up. I asked if she was a princess or an angel. "An Angel." she responded. I told her she was the most beautiful angel I'd seen all night. "Yes, thank you." she said with a big smile.