Wednesday, October 8, 2014

New tech. Old tech. And cheese.

I am currently attempting to extract my entries from Livejournal.

Yes, really.

Stop looking at me like that. I was young(er) once, and Livejournal was the blog all the cool kids (or at least my friends) used.

Except now I want my entries, all 981 or so of them, imported here just because it would make my life easier and probably provide a lot of entertainment for the people in my life now (and there are a lot of them) who didn't know me then. And that's turning out to be a bit of a circa 2002-size headache. (Yes, I realize Blogger was around then. It was populated by brainy kids who thought too much kids that I did not, at the time, wish to associate with, Matt's brother and Turtlegirl notwithstanding.)

(By the way, I was a rivet head, or what most of you will in all innocence refer to as "goth", during the years in question. I'm warning you now that if you call me a goth, I will revert to my former rivet self in extremely short order, haul a** to the closet, put on the heaviest boots I can find, and stomp any part of you I can reach to a pulp. So just don't.)

Once upon a time I wrote a lot. Things both did and did not make more sense then. What I know is words on screens are a lot easier to digest than ... everything, really. I hate telephones (unless you're using them to text me). Movies strain my already strained attention span. Television is great until there's a commercial break I forget to return from--and I haven't had cable TV in years anyway. (High speed internet in the sticks is a great joke, BTW).

I suppose I will continue to argue with the software from 2009 (?) that's slowly extracting all those old blog entries in another window (between choking on the sheer volume) while screaming at Josh (not the same one you'll encounter shortly if you travel through time in those entries, (un)fortunately) about cheese until I find the motivation to get out of my pajamas and go claim a PIZZA PIZZA from Little Caesar's. With which, I leave you with this:

February 14, 2003: Saint Valentine must die.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

You spin me right 'round, baby, right 'round.

In a way, it's been easier the second time around. It was easier when he came back, and it was easier to say goodbye. In truth, though, that's not an accurate statement, because no one said goodbye. He just left. I guess teenagers do that sometimes. And I guess other people already knew what I had to figure out for myself: sometimes you just have to let go.

The house is quieter now, and the living room is ours again--along with the TV. I had forgotten what it was like to have one of those. We have a rather antiquated rule in our house: no TVs in kid's rooms, and definitely no video games there. (And so far, I've won the battle to keep the TV out of OUR room, as well.) Kids (and husbands) dislike this rule, but, y'know what? It works, and we're sticking with it. I, for one, am past the age of thirty and no longer care about being cool... unless you're under the age of five and want to go play in the mud.

It is kind of nice to be able to run from the shower to the laundry room clad in only a towel when I forget to put away the laundry. It's nice to be able to think in the living room without ear plugs. I'm sure Budgie is enjoying not having to be on lock-down every other day because a neighborhood kid is over to play (that's another story for another post). But, y'know... the only thing I really want in this world is kids. Maybe that's why I'm still working random jobs at my age. I don't know. But I know I want to do that. All the time.

And I thought I wanted to be a foster parent, am still pretty sure I do, but it turns out that brushing them off and helping them get themselves back on track and then letting them go back to the situation they got dusted up in is really, really hard. Loving them like my own? No problem. Being their advocate? Expecting great things? No problem. Alternative schooling? Acceleration? Remediation? Those things are easy. But watching them return to the chaos? Holy moly. I had no idea.

You live. You learn. For example, now I know we absolutely must have a house with both a living room and den in the future. In order for the TV and video game rule to work, there need to be spaces for kids to play while the grownups relax without having to hole up in our room. And I demand a big kitchen just because I can. (Also because I love those giant dining tables that seat about ten and happen to hate formal dining rooms.)

Now I know even when you think they're telling you what's on their mind, when you think they're talking to you, when you think everything is fine... sometimes they aren't and it isn't, and you'll never figure it out unless they want you to. And they might not want you to. And you can't do anything about it. Not. A. Thing.

I know that, for now, it's not meant to be, and that's okay. For now, I have to let what happens, happen, and that might be really hard to do when the consequences start coming. I know I'm going to want to swoop in and start fixing things. I also know that's probably the worst thing I can do. Sometimes you just have to let go, and that's where we're at.

I have to do something with all the time and energy I've been investing in parenting, so I'm going to invest it in myself. In my life. At least for now. But for once, I'm not running back to school. For once, I'm listening to what my mama says. (It turns out she's pretty smart!) Since raising a teenager was a full time job, and the second (part time) job I got last week just offered to make me full time, I'll be working my tail off for the foreseeable future. I figure between Job #1 and Job #2 I should be looking at 60+ hours a week. That should keep me out of trouble (and bed!) for a while. That should keep me too busy to get wrapped up in anybody's drama--including my own.

That's the idea. Maybe I'll give school another shot at some point, but not right now. The funny thing is, I'm actually excited. I am excited at the prospect of working from 9am until midnight most days of the week. I'm not sure what's wrong with me, but I haven't been excited about anything in a long time, so I must be doing something right. I could get used to that.

Well, good morning to you, too!

Sometime early this morning, Cedar caught herself some breakfast. I'm guessing she was settled comfortably on the porch, probably under a chair and just out of range of the sprinklers, and had just tucked into her meal when Josh got up to let Parker and Cash outside.

Or maybe it was Hunter who got him up. At any rate, he let them all out.

Now, Parker will chase water from the hose, but he's afraid of the sprinklers, so needless to say he refused to leave the porch... but he did spot Cedar's breakfast.

Which he stole.

Brought inside.

To our bedroom.

And proceeded to settle in and start to eat on our bed.

I woke up, sniffing, going, "Where's the poop?" Started looking around for a puppy mess that I couldn't find. (And let's note that I-thankfully!-hadn't put on my glasses.) I finally decided to check his paws...

And that's when I discovered that my sweet, fluffy Parker-puppy was happily munching on a dead rat/wren/thing on my bed.

It's a good thing I was barely awake because I don't think I'd have been calm about the situation otherwise!

Good grief! #LifeWithCritters

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The World is My Oyster?

I'm so hooked on having access to all these books. Of course, I'd rather have real books (first choice but we have no bookstore and the library here is... lacking) or read them on my Nook Wi-Fi (second choice but these services use some form of DRM--I think--and at any rate I've been too busy reading to look into transferring the files to that device, which, sadly, is the reason I rarely use it these days). So I'll read on the tablet since that's what's on offer.

Anyway, I finished The Perks of Being a Wallflower... yesterday, maybe? Good book, but I fail to see how it would be a good movie and still don't plan to watch it. I'm also (finally) reading Steve Jobs as well as Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman (found in the "Hipster Lit" subsection...and since when do they get their own genre?) and The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom ("Oprah approved", which might explain my familiarity with the title, but the further I read, the more I suspect that this book also had the misfortune of being made a movie that I (somewhat vaguely) remember watching on TV as a kid). Needless to say, I've already got a fairly substantial queue going, as well.

Last night I attempted to watch The Grand Budapest Hotel with the guys--James was asleep in about five minutes (granted, he spent yesterday out in the heat painting a house), and, after twenty-five, I decided that if it wasn't based on a book, and I'm pretty sure it is, it should be, because then it might be good. (Addendum: Unsurprisingly, it is, in fact, a book.) So we switched to Robocop. I lasted about ten minutes before deciding James and I had been right about it looking stupid and retreating to the bedroom to read. Two hours later, Josh came in and declared that it was, indeed, stupid. I don't think he actually said "You were right," though.

All of which is to say I'd really just rather be reading. @Oyster

Friday, July 26, 2013

...the waiting is killing me.

So many things in life are hard. Growing up is hard. Telling the truth is hard. Hearing the truth is hard. Trusting is hard. Being responsible is hard. Deciding. Waiting. Believing. Adoption.

Adoption is hard.

You ask yourself: Can we?

What if one of us is laid off? How will we pay the bills? What if the car breaks down? Can we be the ones to take in siblings? Who will stay home when they're sick?

Do we want a boy or a girl? Can we provide for a child who is disabled? On a respirator? With cerebral palsy? Developmental delays? Autism? How about anger? Acting out? Poor academic performance? What if he never speaks? How will we keep him safe from himself? His past?

What about inter-racial adoption? What will we say when his classmates ask why he doesn't look like us? Will our families embrace and accept him? How will we find role models as he grows older? How will we teach him about his race and culture? How will having white parents in a Latino population affect him? What will we do when someone calls him "nigger"?

I'm sure pregnancy comes with its own set of questions. I don't mean to dismiss them, and maybe many of them are the same. I don't know. That's not my life; this is. And when you're choosing to jump into something THIS BIG, with a child who has already been failed in at least one way (and usually many), the questions never end.

And then there's your aching heart.

Every day I see people do things I cannot fathom to children. I read stories of children abandoned, abused, broken. My heart cries out, "Why not me? Why do THOSE people get to have kids?" I supposed nothing is stopping me from having a baby. Then I could be like "everyone else". There would be no pre-test, no application. No classes to pass, no assessments. No home inspections. No lawyers. No bonding with a child over six months, twelve months, eighteen months or more and praying the judge will make him yours.

But I don't want a baby.

I don't want a baby. There are so many people who would give anything for a newborn. Why should I take one from them? I don't need to raise a child from birth for him to be my own. I don't need a clean slate. I don't want that. I want the child someone threw away. The one someone failed. The one they missed out on. That child is amazing. That child will do amazing things. That is my child.

My heart aches for him. My arms long to hold him. I can't wait to meet him. The waiting is killing me.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

G-d is teaching me...

...to stop demanding my way for the High Way. Things I've recently been devastated by have not only been turning around, they've been turning better than I even imagined.

I'll share the big things as they're confirmed, but today's "little things" were pretty great, too: I didn't lose my job or my chances of moving up over a scheduling mistake, and I got to spend the afternoon with Josh, James, Payton, Perry, Megan, and her daughter. It felt wonderful to relax by the pool and watch them just be kids. Together.

Bonus: James shared his final grades: four Bs, two Cs. I'm very proud of how hard he worked to turn his semester around. Of course I miss him, but I'm thrilled that he's doing well at his cousin's, and I'm glad he can be with his "brothers" there. All I want for him is everything!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

AdoptUSKids.org Celebrates 20,000 Foster Children Adopted Through Website (INFOGRAPHIC)

For children in foster care available for adoption, and for whom no adoptive family has been identified, AdoptUSKids.org serves as a tool for connecting their caseworkers with prospective adoptive families. Over the last decade, 20,000 children previously photolisted on the website have been placed with adoptive families. AdoptUSKids is a service of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Administration for Children and Families.


Infographic for AdoptUSKids Celebrating 20,000 Children Placed With Adoptive Families