Tuesday, February 28, 2006

a beautiful day

Holly's going to bring the twins over in an hour or so. She has a meeting at one of the kid's schools and can't take the babies. I will bring them up to my office and let them play with my coworkers for a few minutes, then take them out and try to figure out something else to do with them.

It's beautiful outside. Maybe I'll get a coworker to help me corral them in the lawn of my building. It's big and grassy and will probably be very nice.

One of the teens has been working over my nerves by forgetting or misunderstanding things that she doesn't want to do. Is she really forgetting or not understanding instructions? Dunno. We still have consequences, though. Life sucks, doesn't it?

Another teen is pushing some scary boundaries because of loneliness. I faced some of the same loneliness issues at her age. I was socially inept and deserately wanted to fit in, but was totally clueless. I had boundaries, though, and was intelligent enough to avoid behaviors that actually got me into trouble. Don't know how to get a kid who feels she needs instant gratification (as a repercussion of her trauma, partly) that her life will be so much easier if she would just wait and take her time and let things fix themselves. The only way we've found is to impose boundaries for her. Life sucks, doesn't it?

Friday, February 24, 2006

eyes closed.

One of the teens had it out with Holly this morning. I wasn't a part of it because I was getting ready for work and they were downstairs.

Something we've noticed with some of the kids - they tend to sectionalize their lives. Once they have a set of friends or a boyfriend/girlfriend, they blow off the family and devote all of their attention to the friends. Is this normal?

One would think that it was a bad thing, to blow off family, to decide that it is disposable, or only for use when you need it. Holly's whole issue is that the strength of our family is our will to stick together and help out. It doesn't work if she and I do all of the giving and the kids do all of the taking, only giving when they need something back. When you give freely, as we try, you usually find support freely given when you need it. It doesn't always work. We've had to adjust our chores so that everyone has a set of base chores they need to complete, and everything else is for extra money. This is because one or two of the kids were doing all the extra stuff and they were all getting extra stuff equally. Now, if they want something that we wouldn't normally buy, they can do extra chores and earn the money beyond their allowance.

Mostly, I wish the kids would open their eyes.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

woe is me

One of the teens has a psych eval today. This is a long and complicated series of tests that lasts for several hours. They all have had them and they all hate them. Unfortunately, this doesn't keep K from getting jealous about the attention it gives the other girl. She asked me several times to take her out to breakfast this morning ( no time, no desire) or at least give her money to run to McDonalds after I drop her off (no cash, no desire). Now she calls and wants me to pick her up after her classes are over at noon and take her home, rather than her riding the bus as usual. This would take my whole lunch to do. Actually, I'm taking half the day off to watch the twins so that Holly can stay with the other kid at the psych office, but she didn't know when she asked. I probably should do it, but I don't like to play into her insecurities. I hate it. This might make me a horrible mom. It makes me angry that she can't allow S this much attention without digging into it.

Monday, February 06, 2006


The minivan doesn't start, so we are a one car family until it gets fixed. Luckily, we've acquired the big Dodge pickup from Holly's parents, so our one vehicle holds six. Kind of inconvenient, though. Hopefully, the dealer will get the van fixed today and it won't cost us our firstborn.

The pickup is theoretically mine. Holly is going to continue to drive the van since she usually has more kids with her. The van also gets better mileage than the truck, and I drive fewer miles. I must say, though, that the truck is addicting. You can look down on almost all other vehicles on the road. The engine has power to spare - I don't think I've gone above 2000 rpm yet. It is very comfortable. Now, we can haul and tow whenever we want. I can see why so many people drive them, even though they don't need them. I must say that, even though we've wanted a truck, if this hadn't fallen in our laps, we would have gotten something smaller and more reasonable.

Both babies now not only climb out of their cribs, but back in. When Holly checked on them last night, they were both in Ben's crib. I wish we could get them in gymnastics, but those don't start until they're three.

One of the teens has a new boyfriend. He is a nice guy, as far as I can tell. The irony is that he is very active in his church, and even though getting her to go with us was like pulling teeth, she goes to his church actvities with a big smile on her face. I wouldn't mind if their relationship works out. He has a good job and seems laid back and is friendly. we can only hope.

Friday, February 03, 2006


S is driving me crazy. She is smart - high average on the iq scale, but she performs about three grade levels behind in school. At first we blamed this on the issues and trauma she's dealt with over her life. Now, it has come down to old habits and laziness.

She was genually surprised when I asked her to tell me about the chapter she's working on in Social Studies. See, she glosses over the text in the chapter, then answers the questions at the end by finding the key words back in the text and writing whatever it says. The key words are usually bolded. She actually said, "I read the whole thing. What do you expect me to do, read it over and over until I memorize it?" ha ha. I said, "Well, maybe not memorize, but at least remember the important parts." She responded that she doesn't have to do it that way and she is way ahead of all the other kids in her class. I tried to explain that the way she was doing it didn't really constitute 'learning', instead she was using a quick technique to skim through information.

I don't understand how her teachers teach. The kids don't have books assigned, so I can't look through them and see what they are supposed to be going through at home. At the most, they bring a few worksheets home.

Holly is trying to get everyone to approve home schooling S for three classes every day. She'd still go to band and science and one other class at school, then Holly would do the rest. Everyone likes the idea, except that home schooling is not acceptable under the foster care regulations. We have to get some sort of special approval. At least S would actually LEARN stuff. She still may not catch up, but she'd have some knowledge.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

catching up

My gimpy foot took something of a step backwards yesterday when Ben tossed his toy xylophone and it accidently hit my broken toe. Don't think it did any real damage - just a bruise, and the toe is wired together, so it didn't mess it up.

Ben helped Sophia feed the outside dogs this morning. They take it very seriously. It is a good a chore as any to start them on!!

My wonderful little Nikon digital camera disappeared several weeks ago. We kept expecting it to turn up, as things like that eventually do in our mess of a house. I finally got fed up. We are missing great pictures of the kids. S has been through three hair colors since we lost it and the babies grow and change every day. I ordered one off of eBay. It is a couple of steps above the old one, but still an old enough model that it was inexpensive. I did it without asking Holly because I wanted it and would rather apologize than have her say no. She wasn't mad. I guess she hates missing pictures of the kids, too. If we find the old one, she'll use one and I'll use the other. I really love her.

The past week has been hard for her because I've been a hindrance rather than a help because of my foot. She is totally stressed out. This weekend we are going to start some seriously structured organization to keep it from being so bad again. I hope. If my foot keeps getting better and our lives don't become overwhelmed by taxiing kids around.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


I haven't posted in a long time, but I have a reasonable excuse. I had foot surgery last week to remove the bunion on my left foot. It worked - saw the xrays yesterday. If I don't keep it elevated though, it hurts, and our home computer armoir does not lend itself to elevating one's left foot. So, I checked my mail and didn't do much else. Now I'm back at work and where my workstation is more comfortable. It won't be if I ever have my right foot done - nowhere to rest it on that side.

News on the twins: Sophia fed the dogs yesterday. Holly gave her a cup of dogfood and told her to feed Barney (the biggest outside dog) Sophia took the cup, marched to the sliding glass door, thought through the fact that she still needs two hands to open the sliding door, grabbed the cup with her mouth, opened the door and dumped the food in Barney's bowl. He was confused enough by it to lick her mouth and ears before he ate. Rufus, the other outside dog, had to wait for Holly. But, being the gentleman he is, just sniffed around Sophia while he waited. Ben probably would have helped, but he can't open the door yet. Ben doesn't just climb out of his crib - he climbs on the rail and jumps off. Haven't measured, but it must be close to four feet. He does it nearly every time we leave him in his crib and hasn't hurt himself yet. We are debating toddler beds versus tent cribs.

The teens: The younger are both struggling with school and Holly and I are searching for ways to get high school to work for them. R is flying high - took her first three GED tests yesterday and feels pretty confident.