Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Driving Away From the Wreck of the Day and I'm Thinking 'Bout Calling on Jesus*

Yesterday, here in my little comfy corner of the Midwest, a man entered his estranged** wife's place of employment, hit her over the head with a crow bar, and then held her hostage for several hours, in the process terrorizing innocent senior citizens and school children.

It was revealed in our paper this morning that one of the things he wanted assurances about (from his estranged wife) was...WAIT. Are you ready for this?

Are you ready?

Wait for it....


What the heck???

Because Jesus wants you to hit your wife over the head with a metal bar and hold her hostage at gunpoint to get children to Sunday School?

That, is a very special kind of crazy, I think.

The mind boggles.


*Anna Nalick, Wreck of the Day

**The perpetrator had filed for divorce several weeks ago

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

She Gathers Rain To Rinse Away All Her Guilt*

I had to be in court at 9:15 this morning.

As I was putting my kids on the bus at 8:45, the sky was gray.

When I arrived downtown at 9:10, the sky had opened up and a drenching rain was falling.

I couldn't find a parking spot anywhere close to the courthouse. (OF COURSE!)

Guess what I didn't have in my shiny, new, red car?

If you guessed a shiny, new, red umbrella - you would be right.

In fact, I didn't have ANY umbrella. Even the ratty, small, desperation umbrella with a kitten printed on it that I, uh, requisitioned one day a few years ago from the 'lost and found' at the sheriff's department. (In my defense, it started raining while I was AT the sheriff's department, and I was leaving to walk back to my office. One of the clerks told me to take the kitten umbrella from the 'lost and found' because it had been there for two years. Possibly because whoever purchased such a hideous umbrella in the first place was too embarrassed to come looking for it. I digress.)

It was warm this morning, so I also did not put on a coat.

As I started walking to the courthouse from the library (the closest parking spot I could find), the rain became even more torrential.

After a five minute walk, I arrived at the courthouse looking like a drowned rat.

No, I'm not exaggerating. A drowned rat. (The only saving grace was that I was wearing a red blouse this morning. I almost wore a white, sleeveless blouse. That would have been a DISASTER.)

I did what I needed to do, and twenty minutes later, I left the courthouse.

It was still raining. I became even more drowned-rat-like.

Arriving back at the library, I ducked into the Ladies Room, hoping to use the electric blower drier to get at least some of the water out of my hair.

There were three homeless ladies in there who had the same idea.

I left.

Still drenched.

Not my best day.

Here is my public service announcement for you: PUT AN UMBRELLA IN YOUR CAR.

That's all.


*Collective Soul, She Gathers Rain

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It's Part Hard, Hard to Remember, It's Part Hard to Say, Parts Unknown, Unknown Forever*

One of the most frustrating things about parenting ~ in particular about parenting a child who has not always been one's own child ~ is that you can be going through life, thinking that things are okay, and then ~ WHACK ~ you get kicked in the teeth.

I've had a "kicked in the teeth" sort of week with Lana.

I think a lot of mommy blogs and adoption blogs tend to focus on the positive, and that's completely okay. But, this blog is primarily for me, it's my space, and there are times when I have to talk about the hard parts, if only for my own sanity.

I truly believed that Lana was ready to be away from Husband and I for a week while we went on vacation. I truly believed that she was going to be fine, hanging out with her grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins.

Part of the reason I believed that was because she spent a week away from Husband and I last summer. She went on vacation with my mom and my brother and my aunt and Gabe and one of her cousins.

I think the key difference was that, in that case, Lana left US, to go have an adventure with her Grandma and her Uncle J~. And in this case, WE left HER.

That was an enormous difference, in Lana's mind. Evidently. As near as I can tell.

All last week, she misbehaved in totally unacceptable ways. When she was called out on this misbehavior, she would begin to cry and wail, "I love you, I love you, Mommy, I love you, Daddy, I love you, I love you."

It was kind of weird, to be totally honest.

So we would respond, "we love you, too, but you cannot __________ (fill in the blank with whatever bad behavior she was doing.)"

There was a lot of crying, and whining and stomping. There were unreasonable demands (some of which were highly amusing. For example, "I WANT TO GO TO A JAPANESE RESTAURANT RIGHT THIS SECOND OR I WILL SCREAM.") (As IF I would take a screaming 6 year old out for sushi. Not in this lifetime.) (The thing that she wants at Japanese restaurants is tempura shrimp and steamed dumplings. She will eat sushi but she doesn't like it, and it's too expensive to feed to anyone who doesn't REALLY enjoy it, you know?)

The bad behavior came to a head on Sunday. She was in a terrible mood. She had a friend over for a playdate and was very bossy to her. The girls ended their playdate on a happy note (after I told her she needed to stop being so bossy), but when her friend left, there were more tears.

Late in the evening, she told me that she wished Gabriel would die. I kind of lost it when she said that to me. I did not deal with it well. I had to walk away from her because I felt like she had stuck a knife in my heart and twisted it all around.

In the end I told her she wasn't ever going to be allowed to leave her bedroom until she apologized to me and Gabriel. (There was a lot of screaming coming from her bedroom until she finally emerged and apologized. Her apology was half-hearted. I honestly don't have a clue how else I should have handled this.)

Before bed, she cried for forty-five minutes about hating her school situation. (She loves kindergarten, but she hates her after-Kindergarten program. I will concede that I am also unhappy with the after-Kindergarten program. I just don't have any other options at this point, and she has several friends who attend the program. It's only for another month. She's going to spend the summer at home with Husband and Gabriel, and then, when she starts First Grade, I will put her on the bus in the morning (as I do now) and she will come home on the bus with Gabe in the afternoon, and Husband will be home from school when they get here. So, I understand that she's not happy with the situation, but I cannot fix it for another month.)

Then she cried that everyone hates her, she hates everyone, and everyone is mean to her. She cried herself to sleep. She was up and down all night, screaming and crying. It was like one of the nights when she had only been with us a few months, screaming, anger and refusing to allow us to comfort her. (Normally, when she wakes in the middle of the night, she will allow us to take her to bed with us and she'll sleep between us and calm down. But, Sunday night, she screamed at us to go away, not to touch her, to leave her alone. She screamed that she wanted to stop crying but couldn't. She screamed that she was hurting, but couldn't say where or what hurt. It was incredibly frustrating. And exhausting. And sad.)

But yesterday, when she woke up, she was excited to go to school. She ate breakfast and put on her shoes and put her lunch in her backpack without any trouble. When I picked her up after school, she was in a good mood. She ate dinner happily and she and I went for a walk through the neighborhood, and then she played Pixos with Gabe until bed.

When I went into her room to sing her a song and tuck her in, she was under the covers. I said, "Where is my Lana?"

From under the blankets she said, "I am a monster and I ate Lana because she is a mean girl."

I decided to play along. So I said, "Listen to me, Mr. Monster. You bring me back my sweet Lana."

"No, I ate her," came a voice from under the blankets.

"Mr. Monster, if you do not bring me back my sweet Lana, I will cry," I said, and then I made theatrical weeping noises.

From under the blanket came the sound of fake vomiting. (Evidently, the monster was throwing Lana back up?) She popped out of the blankets and said, "I escaped from the monster's stomach, Mommy."

I crawled in bed with her and snuggled with her and sang her a song. In the darkness she looked at me and said, "What would you do, if I disappeared for real, mommy?"

I looked at her, and said, "Lana, if you disappeared, I would FREAK OUT."

"For real? You would freak out?" she asked me. "Would you cry?"

"Yes, Lana, I would cry. And I would look for you and look for you, and I would be really, really upset."

So she said, "Okay mommy, I won't disappear." She fell asleep without tears, which felt like a victory after the horror of Sunday night.

I just worry, that there will be more times when the monster will rear his ugly head again. And I feel like I'm never quite sure when to expect a visit. These hard parts...can be really hard.


*The Tragically Hip, 700 Ft. Ceiling

Monday, April 13, 2009


Too tired to write anything of substance, so...random bullet points:

Re: Airlines
  • Delt@ managed to lose the same bag they lost on our way TO our vacation, on our way home FROM vacation. I am astonished by the odds of that happening.
  • After Delt@ delivered us back to Detroit at 3:00 AM (three hours late, but I cannot really fault Delt@ for the tornadoes in Atlanta) - twenty-five pieces of luggage were missing from the flight. Yes, the flight left Atlanta THREE HOURS LATE, and missing 1/4 of the luggage that was supposed to be on board.
  • At 3:30 AM, Delt@ only had one person working at the Detroit airport. That person didn't know very much about finding lost luggage. Her name was Laura. She tried really hard. I don't really think Delt@ deserves to have her on their staff.
  • Delt@ also had a lady named Susan W working at Gate A24 in Atlanta who they really need to promote to the position of CEO because she was, seriously, the only person working for Delt@ that I encountered last week who had a CLUE about how an airline is supposed to run. Kudos to you, Susan W. I'm afraid your idiot employer is going to fall flat on it's a**, though.
  • Delt@ didn't have enough food on board (even the crap stuff that they make you pay for) to feed the passengers on board any of the planes I was on. Also, they ran out of DIET COKE. Listen to me, rat bag airlines: YOU DO NOT F**KING RUN OUT DIET COKE. YOU DO NOT LET IT HAPPEN. And you wonder why there have been more incidents of air rage. You starve people and THEN, deprive them of DIET COKE??? That kind of terrorism in the skies is UNACCEPTABLE.

Re: Antigua

  • I have seriously never seen an island more beautiful in my entire life. The water was so blue it was like something out of a dream. The sand was like sugar. The air smelled like flowers. There were hummingbirds and tiny geckos and tree frogs everywhere. If you ever get to go, really, GO.

Re: the resort we stayed at

  • Why would you serve Maxwell House coffee? Why? People sitting on an island in the Caribbean DO NOT WANT TO DRINK MAXWELL HOUSE*. I'm very serious about this. I know there was better coffee on that island...

Re: the death flu

  • I am seeing my doctor tomorrow morning because I finished my antibiotics two days ago and now I am once again coughing up a lung. This is an ugly sickness that is hanging around

Re: A question for my Jewish friends

  • If one is actually IN Jerusalem at Passover, does one still finish the Seder by saying, "Next year in Jerusalem"? Inquiring minds want to know.


*I am of the opinion that no one ever really WANTS to drink Maxwell House

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

She wore an itsy bitsy teeny weeny

There is a lady sitting a few pool chairs down from us.
She must be at least 75. She is wearing is black and white
polka dot bikini, and playing cards with her husband, and drinking rum punch. I think I want to be her when I grow up.

Law mommy

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Things to do in Antigua when you're ailing

Sunday night, the annoying cough that had been merely frustrating me turned downright frightening.  
From 11:30 pm to 1:00 am I could not stop the barking, body shaking, wracking cough.  
It was accompanied by severe chills.  I kept asking Husband if it was freezing in our room.  
Considering that we are just north of Venezuala at the moment, the answer was 'no'.  
Husband made me herbal tea (our "junior suite" has a tea kettle (thank you British Colonialism), 
and borrowed some prescription strength decongestent from our traveling companions, and I fell 
into brief, fitful sleep.  
In the morning my ear and throat were on fire.  Husband called the concierge to see if there was a 
nurse on the resort.  
As luck would have it, there is a nurse on the resort, and she saw me and said I needed to see a 
She telephoned a Austrailian trained doctor in St. John's who said he could see me shortly, and so, with the nurse's directions, Husband and I took a taxi into town.
The doctor's office was above a Chinese restaurant.  I was expecting something akin to the SOS clinic in Hanoi, but this was nothing at all like that.  Just a small office with one nurse and one doctor.
The doctor was lovely, who looked in my ear, my throat, and listened to my breathing and pronounced my ear and throat to be in "bad shape" but assured me he would "fix you right up."  
Thirty minutes later, armed with amoxicillin, prednisone, codeine cough syrup, and prescription strength sudaphed, we returned to the  resort, where I promptly drugged myself into a four hour nap.  Whereupon, I woke up, took more drugs, and fell asleep for two more hours.
After that I felt well enough to wander down to the pool, find a chair under a shady cabana, and read my book.  
I'm feeling about 1000% percent better today.
I have to say, I never expected to need to see a doctor while on vacation, but I am glad to have been able to find one.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Hello from Paradise

In spite of Delt@'s best efforts to keep us away, Husband and I arrived in paradise Friday afternoon, along with half of our luggage. The other half arrived last night.

It is beautiful here in Antigua, and the beach is white sugar sand. I miss the kids, but they are at home with folks who love them, and I've got some serious beach time in front of me.


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