Saturday, October 31, 2009

The furniture man will...

Take me home. Ahhhh....yes. I will admit the salesman at the furniture store yesterday was a little weird. Who looks at a family with three tweens/teens and says "who is the nicest kid in this family?" That is a strange question and I've heard a lot of them. Well...he pointed straight at DD and says "I bet she is because she is so darn cute...those boys look like little devils". WHAT??? So, since DS2 was/is having a great streak - I said "actually, DS2 is doing a wonderful job of being polite, DD is struggling a bit with the truth, which makes her not as nice and well, DS1 is a teenager and very quiet. They are all great kids in their own way and we try not to measure them against one another."
It didn't stop. As we were sitting down to work out the final prices for what I wanted (it took a little while) - he kept looking at DD and saying things like "You must be such a fun little girl to have around"..."You look so special"...I started thinking - ummmm...child molester? He wasn't doing this to either boy. It was weird. I held her on my lap (let me also add that her time in the store was filled with name calling to me and her brothers and lying...but never in front of her new bestest buddy) and kept her close. She was wanting to wander to other desks and did at one point get another salesman to ask her math facts and use his calculator to impress him with her skills.
After we left (on the way out he complimented all three of my kids for being so 'good'), she gets in the car and says "whatever you think, I can always look good...that furniture man would take me home today".
She is playing all of this like a fiddle...I will give her this big compliment (probably very back handedly) - she is smarter than me on even a good day at figuring out how to take a bad moment and turn it to her advantage!

By the way - I hope you all have a great and safe Halloween. I hope all the ghouls, goblins and little princesses or frogs get great candy (and you can hide it quickly) and enjoy their 'scary' night out!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

End of snow day 1 is out again tomorrow. Snow day one ended for DD like this. I was having her help me with fun stuff. We are hosting our friends for a game day tomorrow and I want to make it we were making score cards and different game stations to rotate through. She was cutting papers slips for folks to write down their charades topics. Then...this:
Me: Why is this napkin here? (...I must admit that as soon as why came out of my mouth I knew it would end badly. I hate that I still do that...especially since I knew the answer.)
Her: I have no idea. (I knew that she had spilled the napkins earlier during dinner and probably just missed one...I knew that she knew that, too.)
Me: Really?
Her: If you want me to tell the truth, you have to tell me that every time. You know how sometimes when you ask me something you say, the truth is the only option, tell it the first time. Well, if you don't say that, then I think I can lie. It's your fault I lied just now.
Me: Go to bed.

Oh my...she really does find a way to blame everything on me. I'm so terrible, how could I not remind her to be honest about a stupid freakin' napkin??????

Can't wait for snow day 2. She won't be at game day...

Snow day

Not kids are out of school today and I'm guessing tomorrow. It started snowing last night and hasn't let up - supposed to keep snowing heavily until 6pm Thursday. It's the first time schools have ever closed since we've lived here (7 years). We have about 12 - 14" now and expect another 10-18" before the storm is done.
The day went pretty well. DD really hates missing school...I think she thought I was just keeping her home to be mean. They played in the snow a lot (of course I had to pay DS1 to take DD) with the neighbors. We played some games.
Tomorrow may be a little tougher...they'll get bored at that point! I just love the snow. I really do. Not sure I love it so much on October 28...but I love it!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I fought RAD and the RAD won

Oh my goodness. Seven days in the paradise of the tropics and I returned feeling more stressed and tired than I've felt in a long time. I've decided I am REALLY thankful for school. DD for 24/7 is a battle I just can't win anymore. Don't worry...I'll rally...but vacation was not fun.
Her control battle was raging. If we said "sit there" - she'd sit in any other chair but the one we pointed out. If we said "we are going to the pool" - she'd head to the beach. But, probably the worst part of it was her false allegations - ON VACATION. She told strangers that we hurt her. Everytime I took her hand or scooted her over - she'd scream "OW you are hurting me" - at lunch, at the show, at the beach, at the airport, on the freakin' plane. It didn't matter...she wanted me to go down in flames.
DH doesn't always see all of this. Even I have to admit that it was at it's worst on the trip.
The boys were not good either. DS2 went for a lie record each and every day and DS1 was just mean to everyone. We probably looked like a load of fun. Crazed daughter (the look in her eye half the time was literally crazed)...angry sons and tired, dejected parents. Up to this point, vacations had been a bright spot - they were good travelers. I plan on never vacationing least not with children.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The one time plea

I just want ONE TIME where my children don't try to ruin something normal. Honestly, just one right now would make me have renewed hope. At the orthodontist yesterday DD ran into the X-ray machine...the huge panoramic one that hangs down from the ceiling. The one that is big enough for ME to stand INSIDE it. What's morose about this is that as she was walking back DS1 turned to me and said, "I bet she'll run into the X-ray machine". Why do we have to know those things? Shouldn't an 'accident' be just that - surprising.
After she ran into it, the tech started rubbing her head and walked her back to me and said (at least 5 times) 'What a sweetie, she just didn't see it and ran smack into it'. Ay Carumba! That puts me back in the position of crazy person. Do I go along and say "oh, poor you" and rub her head - thereby she knows that I caved to not look stupid? Or do I do what I did...I looked at DD and then at the tech and said "that's not shocking, she runs into lots of things, it gets lots of attention, huh?"
Then, of course...I get the looks of crazy, mean mom. I don't want to hand out articles on RAD or even ask anymore people on the outskirts of our lives if they know what RAD is. I just want to live our reality and hope for JUST ONE TIME that this doesn't come up.

On a somewhat comical note: The orthodontist looked at DS2 first and we talked about making some room by pulling teeth and he commented that we had a long road there. (DS1 is already in braces) Then, he flips to DDs x-rays and says "holy moly...DS2 will be easy" and smiles. We have a long toothy road ahead!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

looking back without falling over

I've been thinking about some bad times. I try not to go there in my mind too much. But, there are moments when I need to remember. See, if I remember how bad it's been, then I can realize how far we've come. Where it fails me is that I am a person that tends to fall into myself. Maybe it's the bi-polar, or just who I am...but I have trouble simply remembering and not re-living.
Strange then that is what my children go through also. Their memories are places to fall into, you know? How do you remember something terrible and not feel the pain in real time? How can a child know that the people who should have protected them, failed them miserably and then look at us and think "oh yeah, they'll do better"? Why would they believe that?

Friday night we went to some haunted houses. I'm a huge wimp...HUGE...I don't watch horror movies or even relatively scary ones. I made the mistake of watching the Ring and basically didn't sleep for months afterward - and I was in my 30s. I still freak out if my TV goes to static - years later. So, I had to be aware of my reactions. These were 'tame' haunted houses at a local amusement park. Approved for all ages and we went with five kids...just DH and I and all that child hood excitement. House #1 - we lost one kid in about 30 seconds. Quick emergency exit...but the rest of us held on. It's easier when you realize it's only teenagers dressed up in costumes. We laughed a lot and at one point I actually picked DS1 up and ran forward with him...he seemed a little stuck. As we walked to house #2 - the legend of "bloody mary" came up. I remembered being terrified by that story as a child. We walk into the opening room of house #2 and the speaker says "Bloody Mary welcomes you..." - three kids bolted back out. What are the odds??? The other four of us went through what was a LONG haunted house and we were followed the WHOLE way by a man with a bullet sticking out of his head. It became a joke "look out, there's bullet head"...but, he wouldn't go away...he was everywhere.

Why am I telling you this? Well, besides the fact that I am still laughing about the fact that I finally did it as an 'old' lady...I realized that bullet head is much like life. It's always following you with it's gaping wounds bleeding out. The bad parts are sometimes more 'out there' than the good parts.

At the end of house #2 - we were all running out through these camo colored nets with people jumping out at us. A net got dropped on my face and ripped my hoop earring out. I turned around and THERE was bullet head...I looked right at him and said "help, I lost my earring"...he bent down, picked it up, handed it to me and said "BOO". See...even the goriest moments have a silver lining!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

do you know anyone?

I am genuinely putting this out there to my small group of readers hoping that a connection can be made. Not starting a either get it, or you don't. But, there is a family equipped to help out there somewhere...I have to believe that!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Names, names, names - join the carnival

Grown in my Heart is having their second blog carnival. It's a wide open topic this month: Names. Anything about them. Go here to jump in:
Also, check out the newsletter now available over at GIMH - Surviving the Holidays!

Now, on to the names!!!

Our children got new names along with a new country, new family, new food, new smells, new home – pretty much new everything. Honestly, that was part of our reason for doing it. The one extra change was taken in stride with all the others. But, it goes much deeper than that. Here are a few reasons we changed our children’s name (yes, first name, middle name and last name).
o I don’t have a lot of their stories to tell them. I don’t know about the rush to the hospital when their first mother went into labor. I don’t even know if they were born in a hospital. The only stories I do know are sad ones. I wanted a story to tell them about how we prepared for them. I tell them often of choosing a list of names I loved for each of them. That list was based on a premise that matched with our oldest son’s name. I can tell them about their brother looking over the list and weeding out a few names that he didn’t think was either ‘cute’ or ‘manly’ enough. I can tell them about the exact dinner we ate the night we showed the list to Dad and some of his funny comments about names that eventually dropped off the list. I know where these names come from – our hearts and souls and it’s something we gave them…it was part of our nesting.
o Many children in Russian orphanages are not called by their birth names. There may be 20 Vladimirs and therefore each one becomes a pet name of their own. Some children don’t even know their birth names after living in the orphanage for a length of time. Bringing them home and calling them by the name on their birth certificate would be the same as calling them by a new family chosen name to them. My daughter did not know her name (hadn’t even been called it in her first family) and when we mentioned it to her one day she argued that it wasn’t her name. Our son did know his name and had learned to spell it – but was not called that as far as he can remember…again, a pet version was what he knew.
o When we had to fill out the papers for new birth certificates, we did not know our children’s names. It was a strange glitch that happened after we lost our first two referrals. So, we had to pick blind. Either check the box stating “Leave names as current” or “change names to XXX”. There are simply some Russian names that I am not in love with and that don’t ‘translate’ all that well. We found out later that our son was Andrei and our daughter was Anastasia (btw, that name is not pronounced like the Disney movie and the chances of anyone ever saying it right were slim to none). Had fears of Igor…honestly…
o The day we told our daughter (through the interpreter) what her new name would be she replied (in a dramatic fashion that we now know and love) “It’s like a choir of angels singing when I hear that name”. She remembers saying that and she still loves her name. And fittingly, she is that name -perfectly. People who don’t know our adoption story have said “wow, she must have just looked like a XXX when she was born”. She embodies it perfectly. She’s proud of her name!
o When we told our son his new name, he asked how to write it in English and he continued to write it for a long time. I have the notebook he carried on the 14 hour flight home. He filled nearly every page with his name – first, middle, last – over and over. Never tired of it. In Moscow, he walked up to a hotel maid and spoke to her in Russian. While I could not understand most of what was said I did get “my name is now XXX and this mama and papa chose that for me”. In her broken English she said “a beautiful name for a wonderful boy…you are all blessed”. I remember that still.
o When we met our first referrals, we chose names for those children. After losing them, we didn’t simply ‘recycle’ the names. Those names belonged to those children – and we still talk about them now using those names. We pray for them and all our children discuss them from time to time as lost family that we no longer see. It wasn’t about ownership when we chose new names – it was about inclusion…again, about the story being a happy one.
I’ve chosen to not use my kids’ names here in public forums. I want them to have a modicum of privacy. But, it makes me sad. Their names and their being have become one. They are Russian – new names did not, would not, could not, take that away. They can move through life and choose who to tell their stories to and that, also, was part of our decision to rename.