Friday, August 31, 2007

Major Tea

I just dropped all of my human services classes. I am so ticked right now. I was in 300 and 400 level classes and they were like group therapy for the people with much decorated histories who were taking the class. Did I really need to hear about some woman's foster daughter who was suffered from RAD, ODD, ADHD and a collection of other terrible acronyms and how the present system was or wasn't helping her?

I will probably switch to English. I have maxed out on all possible electives-- I have so many, but I didn't know what I wanted. I have no idea what I have just done to myself. I signed up for math (the only thing that is lacking for a general studies degree-- and stats, I need stats, from Excelsior in New York) and I am in 054. I can't believe I did this.

I am close to an English degree. I like English and while it's not useful, neither is human services. The thought that I will make the money to pay back the loans is insane. I have no idea how I will do this but today I had a sickening feeling about going to class, like I'd get sick. Maybe it's a touch of the flu-- my husband feels it but I think it's the subject.

I signed up for the magazine article writing class, a math class and a linguistics class through a sister college. I take Russian out here. I will also be taking a narrative writing class in town that is five weeks long. (One credit.) I am so frazzled. I can't believe I dropped yet another major.
I f***ing hate my major. I love Russian-- my teacher is awesome and while she chewed me up one side and down the other for being late, she is a ball of fire and I am in a class of science and business majors. The class is high energy and I love being there. "Fine! I didn't want to miss any anyway!" The prof laughed, "Well FINE back! See if I care if you are not late!"

She gave me a Russian name today-- it's the same as one of my children. She was delighted that most of my children have Russian names. This prof is so sleek-- I love how she dresses and carries herself. I want to be just like her when I grow up.

My major classes are where we do group therapy for fragile classmates or those whose lives are so hard that they need to vent. 300, 400 level classes. Goody! I cannot stand them and tomorrow we get more of the same in a class where we play Pretend. "If I were a counselor/person in this situation and this was happening, this is how I'd handle it."

My next door neighbor is in one of the classes. I don't think she is very intelligent. It bothers me that she is going for my major. She asked if I was happy to get my kidz back in school. WTF? What kind of a question is that to ask someone? I clarified once I made her tell me who she was (hint: I do not like you) and I said that I like my children and would not have them to only look forward to sending them away!

A lady in Russian has me degree and wants four years of her life back. I told her I wasn't crazy about the degree and asked what she thought and she said, "You will spend all of your time in your upper division classes listening to people talk about their personal problems, max out your pay in three years after graduation, have a harder time getting in to a master's program because it's not quite psychology and not really social work. . ." The last thing that I want is to change majors again. I changed them so many times years before. I really truly hate this one though. I don't care if I have to do the math-- I need it anyway, but the only reason I had problems before was because every time I had a math class, the kids would get sick and I was a single mother. I flunked out of an extremely low math class because I was overwhelmed when I was out of school for three weeks with my daughters taking turns with the chicken chops. (Chicken pox.)

I need to see an adviser in the morning. It will be crowded. Tomorrow is the last day to drop classes.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

School has resumed. I am thinking that for my custom made Romantasy corset that I need to have the Wonder Woman design put on it instead of whatever I decide upon. WTF was I thinking? Yoga teacher training. 15 college credits. Homeschooling. I am f'ing insane. Pulling it off though will be a great thing. If I can just stay on top of it.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Yesterday Mr. Coffee and I took the kids to the edge of a rain forest. For us it was our summer excursion. $110 in my suburban and $70 for dinner on the cheap (pizza.) We hiked 2.5 miles in and 2.5 miles out. It was so much fun-- I just wish I could have had the money to pay for a hotel room and we could have stayed over night.

We went to the place that my mother would have taken Sunshine. It's here

There is no place quite like it. It is in Girdwood, Alaska and you hike about a half mile in and suddenly the trees go from "lots of scraggly" to "few and wide." Plants have wide leaves that took almost prehistoric. There were berries all over the place that we would stop and eat. Some places were muddy and we had to carry the stroller. At the end we took a hand tram over a gorge. My vertigo had me panicking and laughing at the same time-- I loved the view but I felt like I was physically bouncing. On the way back the older kids took the stroller and Mr. Coffee put little Queen CuppaTea on his shoulders and walked the whole distance back. She sat up straight looking around and smiling-- she knew she was special and gave a queenly wave to everyone passing us.

We got home at 1:30, exhausted but we talked the whole trip home about everything we saw from white mushrooms to squirrels in the trees.

I could do that every weekend-- this is the best time of year in Alaska.

Friday, August 24, 2007

We survived the eye appointment, but I had to cancel one of them because we didn't have both car seats in the car so Sunshine had to stay back with CuppaTea, the two year old. (I love inventing new names for my children as I write!)

Flash, the precocious eight year old has a bump on his retina and he never felt any problems with it, but the doctor was surprised by it's size. He'll see a specialist in a few weeks. No worries except how they have to remove it-- with an injection of steroids to the bump. He kept saying how I need to not miss the appointment and I was like, "Look, I am not into drama but could you elucidate on this? Should I call my prayer group at church?" He said definitely. I was thinking, "Cancer, my man could have cancer, good thing we come in every year. Chances of survival just went up if he has it because we've seen it." He said, "The shot won't be fun." (My son was out of the room.) I asked what religion he was and he said American Evangelical. His shadower that day was Mormon and I am Orthodox Christian. I joked with the shadower, "Dude, Evangelicals call their prayer group about hang nails!" We all laughed. Prayer group and bump on the back of the eye in the same sentence made me brace myself. Too funny.

Now this bump hasn't bugged my son at all but it must be fast growing because he had just seen the doctor last year at this time and the doctor saw nothing. He also needs glasses. I got a call from the school nurse, "Flash is crying about a bump on his eye? He also says he can't see so I gave him some Ibuprofen and want to let you know." Argh. The nurse was great as I told her that knowing for Flash creates 90% of the problem. I told her all the details and she laughed.

Several weeks ago Sunshine saw the dentist and he told me in front of her that she may need braces when she is 14. She got on my cell phone and called her sister, "The dentist says I need braces right away."

Mother Nature is nicer than my mother this week. All the trees and plants are starting to change color. The red in the trees and weeds is very striking. Berries are ready to be picked-- it is the best time of the year outside. The mushrooms are cooperating and coming up and let me pick them and paint them-- they are pretty.

Flies have come indoors-- Peaches runs around the house with a fly strip and gets them. I need to call her Froggy.

Tiger is making me laugh. Her guy friend is going to pharmacology school and he liked her and she liked him for years but the didn't date as he had a girl friend. Now they really dig each other but are staying friends and not dating as he has just left for college-- although they did date briefly. Very good choice. She told me about some of her spontaneous things she has done with him and while this is probably a transitory relationship for both of them, she has burned herself into his mind. She is funny and sweet and she will appear in his mind not infrequently. /what can I say? She is an artist like her mother and not afraid to be a little weird and fun at the same time.

At her age I felt pushed out of the house with no options other than marriage to the biggest dork I could find. (My ex spoke stilted English when he tried to sound sincere: "I prayed for a young lady. I try to be a gen'leman all the time." WTF. I thought that he loved me because he said I was pretty! I'd tire of him and get away only to have him throw himself at the alter of our Protestant church begging God to make me want him again. Others would come to me, "Tea! He LOVES you." Love is not obsession.

My parents had money but didn't want to spend it on me. I still needed to get out because they were just done with me. They told me I'd kill someone if I drove, my passion was languages but they said they'd not bail me out if I went overseas-- I think they just wanted me to have a boring existence and fade into nothingness. I had to get out and while my ex was and is a dork, I feel badly as he was my way out. At the time I was just confused.

Tiger is confident. She knows I have nothing but she still loves to come see us and feels loved. She doesn't need to latch on to anyone to feel safe. I am undoing what my parents did to me by doing right with my own kids.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Eye Appointments

I have some eye appointments in a bit. Getting children of a large family to vision appointments is a hassle. We have to be at the optometrists' office at 8:15 and get some of the kids done and me, and then get the others done later. I have to take them all with me though because I cannot trust my son with mild special needs to catch the bus on his own, even though he is almost ten. So we will go and load all of us in and make it down there. It is never easy. I wonder how I will do it when I start working.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ants and LionGuy


Children pointing and crying
"Look, the ants!"
But alas, I'm too old
To see them on the earth.
Kotomichi Okuma

I have a son who has mild special needs. He is in
forth grade this year.

They don't know what is wrong with him and the
usually eager to diagnose school is saying, "He's just wired a little oddly."

They'd thought he was autistic for a bit, then he got social, he has yet to speak clearly, but he
talks a lot with a lot of interesting things to say!

About two years ago I was pregnant with my final and ninth child. I had just gotten off bedrest and was ready to give birth any time. My children had missed the bus and I had them all in my SUV when I couldn't find Sir LionGuy! I looked all around the front yard and inside every
room in my house and finally called 911 having not found him.

As I was talking to 911, a movement in the back yard caught my eye. It was Lion Guy. I canceled 911 and ran out. He was hunkered down, checking out. . . an ant hill! I was exasperated, "LionGuy! You get in the suburban right now!" He looked up and smiled, "Come here, Mom!"

I walked over and my furry was abated. He pointed a
few things out, "These are getting food all the way from the strawberry
patch! The others over here look like they are bringing something out of the ant hill." He pointed out other things, another being that they are all looking alike yet there are so many, "And look, these are crawling up my-- eeek! My pant leg!" He stood up and laughed about that as he shook ants off his leg!

He is the one that while we hike, he stops to look at the scenery and observe where we've been or enjoy the view of where we are going.

He got to school and I told his teacher why we were late. She smiled and told the class about "LionGuy's Ant Hill" and they did a spontaneous study.

When he came home he told me all about them and how they all look alike because they are made from the eggs of the queen, the one mom of the ant hill. He thought it was neat that all his brothers and sisters look different in spite of being from the same mom!

College Can't Start Soon Enough

The kids are ready to kill one another. Their school needs to resume. If the break was 2 months long, it would be perfect. Three is just too many.

My son with special needs is flaunting his special needs, suddenly deciding to lick his leg or eat from a bowl without using his hands. He is almost 10 years old. His special needs aren't that special. The school psychologist just shakes his head when he hears of this and says that I need to learn to distinguish between normal kid behavior and special needs behavior.

My 12 year old is getting her panties in a bundle every time her brothers sneeze or do anything that she doesn't like. "Moooom! ____ put his hands into the tuna bowl in the sink!" (I have him do dishes for me which she complains that the never do it good enough so I have her do it.)

The almost 5 year old is marching in circles in the living room banging her drum with the almost 4 and almost 2 year old following her, yelling.

Every five minutes, my almost 9 and 8 year olds ask if they can please go outside. It's is raining buckets.

My 17 year old is on the couch with bronchitis.

I feel like the poster girl for Planned Parenthood.

I break out when I drink. I wish I could get a good buzz right now.

This will pass. I know it will.

Am I good or not at my art? My husband says, "Don't do it because you are good. Do it because you have to." This makes me think that I must suck. He says I have my own voice. He will not say. I do a lot of Chinese Brush Painting. He says, "If you were in China, you wouldn't expect praise." OK-- so I am an American, OK? Dammit, am I good? He's not complaining of what I spend on my supplies so I must be OK!

My yoga teacher training is something I have to pass on. It will take up too many hours when I need to be home. Bum deal.

This just means that I will focus on my class work. The universe will bend to my actual needs-- if I am to do it I will have a class come up in my hours available.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Today. . .

Today after church my husband and I went out. Desert turned into a drive which got me home at just after 11 pm. The teens watched the little guys. It was good. We went to a book store and then walked along a wild life habitat. We talked of nothing and just enjoyed the moment. I don't remember the last time we did that. We saw birds and fish and other creatures. WE held hands. It was a very, very nice day. I bought the kids a children's book on Gershwin.

I was overwhelmed by the books at the bookstore but didn't do my usual gatehring of bunches. I am feeling more directed than ever about getting my degree. It's weird. I just want to go forward with my life and do as I need to do. I wonder if it's just a phase or if I will stick to it. Gosh I hope I will. I feel like good things will happen in a couple of years, like my life will start to happen even more so, professionally. Maybe it was looking at luxury homes in Town that I loved or feeling more confident about my classes? I hope I stay on track.

I'm less worried about my interview tomorrow. I spoke to my lawyer as he called the other night to let me know he was home and we could get together this week. I told him how insecure I felt. I said, "Do you think I am an airhead?"

He said, "I have never thought that of you. But I think that you think you are an airhead when you get nervous, then you act like one." He knows the man who is interviewing me and he said that I have everything to gain from learning from him. He knows that I tend to speak fast when I am nervous and he said that every time I pick up speaking speed to just stop. And breaaaathe. I think of yawning-- it's still better than rambling.

Still no word on my yoga teacher training class-- she said she'd get it out tonight. I was online this AM looking to see if she got the schedule out early.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Change of Life

For several years I have been a member of a particular board. It's for yummy mummies. Moms with big families. They've been a huge support for me. As of late dh has been ticking me off. Before it had been a safe place to vent and not feel alone. Last night, a woman who I'd always regarded well posted on my thread about anyone being as into their husbands as she is-- and ended it with an emoticon, which tips me off to her being a bit passive aggressive. She didn't choose another
thread to gush, she chose mine. It was fine and I am happy for her. Would I be less annoyed if I was still a SAHM and not a busy, exhausted college student with little time to think and romance?

My husband is a great guy, but at times he is a giant dork and I need to be able to just complain and whine. I appreciated my sisters at the board telling me things their husbands did to upset them. No, it didn't feel good hearing it-- but just, "Hey, marriage isn't always great,
I feel the same way, this will pass!" made me feel better. I hiked during yoga training and fell behind. My teacher and another classmate are both world class hikers but were with me
as my legs burned and saying, "Mine feel the same way when I haven't been out in a few months. I don't take pain medication but I sure want it during that first hike! I just want to be knocked out!" They legitimize the hurt and by acknowledging it, you can go forward and past the hurt. Psychological frustration is the same way.

Anyway-- this woman's remarks just ticked me off. I got my name taken off the board as a host. So many women come to the board who are going to school with big families and don't stay. I wonder if they just feel out of it?

I got onto a board with pre-med/helping professions students. My having nine kids is less an issue there-- yes, several people pm'd me, but to them, they understand wanting a career and the frustrations that go with college and the life I am going in to. Does the mom who gushed about her husband (certain to get the other women gushing as well-- oh, she is such a Titus woman!) even think about doing anything else? I wish I was happy being an SAHM. I don't think that God made me to do that.

Nine kids. Career. I get irritated with my husband. I'm not exactly a stereotype mommy with a big family. I didn't care for labor and was relieved when my OB made me get a third c-section-- I argued him because I felt like I was supposed to, but in spite of having three hours or less labors, I don't like natural births. My kids bonded with me not when I breastfed but when I fed them period from a bottle or breast; my kids just liked to eat. Do I care if my husband hand feeds me chocolate or sends it to me? Noooo. I just like chocolate. Most women with big families are die-heard breast feeders, stay at home, have very natural births, etc.

I like the med student board-- I feel more challenged by people doing what I want to be doing.

I couldn't believe how much that woman's comment to me made me feel alienated. I can't even stand going back. I know that others are posting about how great their husbands are with emoticons, agreeing. Good for them.


Friday, August 10, 2007

And the Beat Goes On. . .

A glass of Baily's helped me destress. The noise in this house is driving me crazy. The kids are not to blame-- they are bing kids. IT just gets noisy.

Sometimes I feel so out of it and panicky about classes and what college takes from my children. I may wind up doing my yoga training and a full load of classes. I need to pay back my student loans. I can work at Wal~Mart and donate my check to the student loan office or. . . I can get my degree and improve the lot of my family and have a chance to make the world a better place.

Some religious mommies were telling me to stay home and trust God to provide. I was like, "Look, on my planet i don't have a Replicator or a Holodeck. I have to work to pay off my stdent loans from years ago. I may as well have a degree and a nice job." I waited for the lightening bolt to get me but God was probably saying, "Yeah-- that's about right. But your kids are appreciating your work and education."

PI may also happen. I meet with them next week. I look gullible-- I am gullible. Will I be a good worker for them? That is why I want to volunteer now just stuffing envelopes and learning with them. So many from my degree wind up working in corrections. If I learn and listen to a detective who I think will be my supervisor and learn the boundaries, I will do well.

Tonight I met the grandfather of one of my elder daughter's friends. He works in corrections. He told me that it's a huge field for people in my area of expertise. He said that he thinks I'd have no problem getting hired in an area where they have a shortage of workers, but he said that volunteering and having someone watch me like a hawk would be better for me because there are bad people wanting to take advantage of me. He also said that I may find myself writing grants for them which would be better. I have an unread blog, I've not put any of my great works on here, but I am a good writer and even talking to someone I've never met, the man knows I am an above average writer just by speaking to me for ten minutes. Does he think I'm a good writer or does he see eagerness in my face and not want to discourage me? I hate feeling so inadequate and unproven-- and if I prove myself, will I prove myself competent? I would feel this way when I used to ice skate. I was a bad skater. My brother was a brilliant hockey player but he would feel this way. I am a decent artist-- yet I panic before showing my work.

What did I mean when I said that a glass of Bailys made me feel better? I am a nut case right now. I need more Bailys.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Classes and People and Internships

One year from now I will be starting my year long social work internship. I am looking into places. One is with yoga and working in a heart clinic or something like that. If my yoga teacher says I can work with her and take classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings I will drop my Russian and drawing classes, not to mention the one I have on Saturdays that I just signed up for.

The other is working for the IP in my state. If I don't do the yoga and body work certs this year, I will probably not go down a medical track but something along the lines with criminal law. I just wrote to the president of the project who works near where I live and I can't wait to meet and I hope I will be able to do some volunteering even if it's just stuffing enveloped this year and then work with him next year. They help exonerate innocent people.

I am not looking forward to my classes this year. I am here to take classes, learn what I need to, and get on with living. My professors in a study that is objective make a lot of suppositions. I would not like those made on my life and I hope that as much as I get annoyed with them, that I will be able to not repeat what they do!

My husband drives me crazy. We go by a certain neighborhood and I plead with God to let me one day live debt free and own a home like them. I imagine my husband and I and most of the kids. Well, dh was driving and piped up, "I wonder what kinds of businesses do well out here?" For whatever reason, he is always saying what farms and ranches are going next because they are being zoned for sity land and the taxes are high and in all honesty, the conversation got old a long time ago. I have already made the assessments and concluded this and don't care to hear any more. I didn't respond so dh repeated himself. My husband isn't thinking of quitting his job to get a degree in medicien or dentistry to be able to afford a home like the ones I am dreaming about, he is just jabbering. He probably spoke to the guy he commutes with about it. Whatever. He interrupted my dream! And he says it all the time about businesses. He is not a businessman, I don't care!

Later Rod Stewart's song, Tonight's the Night came on. I put my seat back, smiled and went with the music. My husband played air drums. WTF? He ruined my favorite Rod song!

Such is life. Why did he seem so smart and wise before I married him? Half of his comments now are inane and nit-picky. He seemed so classy when we married. I'm under a lot of stress now and not a delight, but I am getting better as I improve!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Odd Meeting Today

Today I called up an allergist and sometimes I wonder if there is a candid camera on the phone. Years ago this place helped one of my daughters with severe asthma problems and I have since called them a few times and I keep forgetting why I don't go through with an appointment. It's the doctor. He's a nice man-- but in talking to him he starts talking faster than an auctioneer, the Ivy League school that he graduated from, Who he is related to, his friends, who he knows, etc. He used to be a pilot and I think that (besides being a name dropper) he is seriously ADHD. He is so far out there that I have problems believing him and it takes hours to shake off the conversation.

On the good side-- his office has helped my daughter in the past. On the bad side-- he is like a verbal tsunami. Within five minutes my brain just doesn't absorb what he is saying. I told him that I was considering medical school and wanted to ask him some questions (he is anti-establishment) and he just went off-- some of what he says is interesting and historical, but he was like a horse at a race track. AS he wound down, he concluded that I would be an excellent doctor. I said, "You can't tell that! I have not been able to get a word in edgewise!" He laughed and slowed down, "You listen. When I let you talk, you asked fast, intelligent questions. Doctors need to do that." I thought for a nanosecond that he was just "testing" me-- that he'd slow down after that. No-- he took a breath and was off again. I don't want to hear these things! I am having a rough time thinking about being with him while I get tested-- I need to relax and he is so freaking off the wall.

The breakouts on my feet are bad and were started from drinking beer but it seems from other things as well. I don't want to be limited to eating nothing but wheat grass. I need to see him. God help me get through this!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Life is Great

Tiger has signed up for her classes at the U and life is wonderful. She is frustrated as all get out with the college-- lots of redundancies and then there are things like class book lists that she thought she'd get online that they don't have-- you have to go to the campus book store to find out.

My lawyer called this morning. He is sweet. I lost a court case for my daughters years ago and he kept me on as is client because he knew I was a good mother. My ex has cheated my daughters out of some money which I've been upset about and he is helping me with the paper work. He knows that I don't have the money so he fits me in from time to time to talk about the case. The problem is, I often got down to his office and someone will have seen his car their and they drop in and paying clients get first with his time. He called this morning to tell me about a camping trip with his kids and I thought he was just being nice and I said I'd let him go when his phone got fuzzy. He pulled over and said, "Wait! Remember to have the court papers when you come in. Are you free next _____?" I was so shocked-- he doesn't normally do that. I have to call him and see what he is up to.

I thanked him profusely. Last night Peaches told me how much it meant to her that I never gave up in that battle. Several years later, she is coming to terms with what happened and what her dad did and she is like, "How did we do it? Tiger got the worst of it-- without her I'd have heard it all. I don't know if I'd have fought." Her dad wants her to go into retail like him. Both she and Tiger have learned a couple of languages and are in to math-- they don't like it, but they do it and are very capable at it. With their former father-- gosh, he barely passed algebra and his wife calls him the "math-a-ma-ti-cal genius of the family."

He and I took a speech class together in college and I was extremely pregnant. He was mad because I was a star in the class-- he got a better grade, but I was beautiful and happy. I told my husband and my husband minored in math. "Tea, can we take a math class together? I wonder if you will outshine me in math!" I am a former theatre person and my ex should have enjoyed my sunshine in the class. (I still need to take my math classes in college. My husband was razzing me, laughing, "Did you get the professor's joke? The exponent of E! hahaha!" The nerd procreated!)

I was happy to tell my lawyer how things are going for the kids and he said that he loves to hear that-- his profession is often bad and used to hurt people but he is happy that he was able to help us. I had two pregnancies in that court battle and had to deal with a lot of emotional stressors and the kids had it worse. I don't know how we did it. It was three years of hell. Now I need to go back and get some money from him that he owes the kids and me. The ex gets insurance payments and doesn't pay the doctors. He makes money off the kids getting sick. Tiger told him to take her off his insurance because she can and my husband has great insurance anyway that he covers her with.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Artists in the Family

I love art-- I would major in it if I didn't need to make a living and pay off my student loans.

My second eldest daughter, Peaches, is an artist. All the years I didn't let her touch my art supplies, she did nice things at school after having watched me, then around the age of 15, I started letting her use my stuff because she could put it back and stay up late creating. Last year she did some interactive science projects (she is in honors science classes) and some work in Japanese. Her math teacher called me up to tell me that she was talking too much in class, then called me up a bit later to gush that she had been reiterating what she (the teacher had said) and was using her drawing to convey the message. That was so cool! At Parent Teacher Conferences, her science teacher said, "I'm not just complimenting her to make you feel good, Mrs. ____. I have other teachers coming in to look at her work!" I am so proud of her. Her Japanese teacher said that she has captured the essence of Oriental art and seems to use it not just in his class, but in her others and that he enjoys seeing through her eyes. He told me that he wants her to travel over there for a semester in college or even a year-- while Japanese youth are forgetting their culture, my daughter isn't aware that she understands it.

Her older sister, Tiger, is also pretty good with it and has an eye for color and the two of them both tell me when to stop.

Peaches designed a present for one of her friends. I procured a gold box for a present for one of her friends and some candy sticks. She made it look like ikebana. I do envelope art that peopel don't like to open up, but she buys or makes nice presents but how she wraps them, people don't like to destroy her artwork!

Oh-- my daughters names are not really Tiger and Peaches. They have nicknames that have amazingly translated well into other languages!

Friday, August 03, 2007

I'm So Blessed

Tonight my eldest two wanted to use the car. To go picking vegetables at a local you-pick farm, They will be coming home soon to show their friends how to make jellies and freeze broccoli and cauliflower (showing them most importantly to soak it in salt water for a half hour and how to blanch it.) One of them has a friend who has been in trouble with drugs and she told her parents that they are taking them some of what they pick.

The other night they picked wild berries with their friends. That is so cool.

When I was growing up my parents didn't let me drive and didn't encourage me to do a lot. They wanted me to have boyfriends, but not to get independent. My daughters on the other hand-- I let them drive and encourage them. They do the stuff that I'd have enjoyed at their ages.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


I took my 12 yo daughter to the dentist the other day and the dentist called me back and told me in front of my daughter that she has chronic strep throat. Isn't that a doctor's realm?

Anyway, I got an appointment immediately with the doctor who said that all kids her age have swollen tonsils and that next time she come sin for something, hell take a look as the swelling should go down. He said that it's called puberty, the lymph nodes swell. She's had no sore throats (all though she did tell me, "If I think about it hard enough I can give myself a sore throat!" I told her that it goes both ways and that if she thinks hard enough she can make herself feel like she is floating!) The real medical person said that he'd send a note to the dentist and let him know that he'd seen her because I'd not want to be accused of not taking care of her.

Isn't it odd that the dentist would attempt to diagnose her when he sees her once every six months and hadn't seen this before? I'll be asking my lawyer friend about this guy-- I wonder if he's been sued before.

Anyway, after I left he told my daughter that she might need her tonsils out and sent her into orbit. I am really sick of that. I might need to get my kids to another dentist. That bothers me.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Kid Talk and College

My children are all at ages where they come to me with a million things at once. What was quiet time in the mornings to peruse the news or do water color or just make breakfast has become time for the kids to come in. One son doesn't speak clearly and he has the most to say and speaks his mind. The one who is the brightest and fastest thinker speaks very low, so low that the dog doesn't even move when he says something. The next younger boy who has mild special needs speaks. . . ver-y. . . slow-ly. Some... times. . . he. . . for...gets. . . where. . . he. . . is. . . go-ing. I have to remind him.

The five year old girl wants to speak like her teenaged sisters. This is a hoot. The eldest comes home from college and we speak in French. The next eldest speaks Japanese and she likes to just rattle off at us, perhaps telling us what nerds we are, who knows, but Miss 5 mimics her. The third eldest is learning Spanish. The five year old speaks all three languages while she plays. She probably doesn't speak clearly in the three languages besides English, but she ties it together with, "So I was like, well. . . and he said-she said. . ." My four year old son speaks a language with his 2 year old sister-- it's English but they speak it best to each other. They make strides together with their speech. I was panicking over his not being potty trained but I think they will do that together. They are very attached.

They all want to speak to me at the same time. I love them dearly but at times they overwhelm me. I can be writing or talking to another child and someone feels left out so a random question about Harry Potter gets thrown in or one of them, having been listening to the conversation, will deliberately ask a question to throw me off balance. There are phases like this. They are great kids and I would never change my life but I am trying to figure out if this is a passing phase or if I need to try a behavior modification. The oddest thing is-- all the kids are doing this on me-- all nine, ages 18 down to 2! Each get a lot of attention, but they want me to shift my spotlight. I think it will take a group modification change, where I remind them of the rules. I already don't allow them to

I am still messing around with my college classes. Art is not my major but I associate myself as being an artist. This semester intermediate drawing is to be canceled. I signed up for it yesterday so that we would have enough people in the class to meet the minimum and decided to go without another class for my major. I want to see our art program thrive and I wanted to take the class in another semester. The head of the art department called to say she was canceling. I was sad because I was happily anticipating the drawing class and realized that four classes in my major would get mentally exhausting. I signed up for a writing class instead-- it's online and I can do it in two weeks if I want and then just focus on the other classes. I also found some interesting looking distance ed art classes. My college doesn't have Chinese painting as a course and I found it here

London Art College also has botanical drawing and children's illustration courses. A little spendy for a class not giving me college credit, but at least I will have a teacher some place in the world to work with and give me feedback. Like with most things in college, it's seldom what you learn in class that matters but what you pursue outside it. Are they good? I don't know. I just want to learn to improve my art style. I could pay the dean of the art department for private lessons but for this, I can get up in the middle of the night and write my teacher in London a note and work of my stuff. I like that.

I am not looking forward to college starting. My degree teaches students to think like the professors. Last year on one of my classes, we watched a video of rehabbing murderesses. My prof said at the end, "I don't trust that and I think they are speaking for the cameras." The class agreed. I raised my hand and asked, "Why do you get that feeling?" I really thought she'd have an explanation. My classmates glared at me, "Don't be sarcastic!" "Don't split hairs!" "Why isn't that obvious to you, Tea?" Yikes. Don't ask questions. Don't qualify your statements. The professor rolled her eyes at me and she is one of the better ones. I like her-- but the class scares me. These people want to go into jobs making subjective decisions about people. They don't even pretend to have a scientific base for thinking. One of my closest friends if a defense lawyer and he is sick of this with my profession and it's a game on the stand. You'd think that the judges would get mad but they seem to not.

I am getting back to my old self and buying French heeled stockings again. I did in the eighties when I was in high school. I love dressing nicely. I don't have a lot of money but I feel so much nicer and accomplish more when I get dressed in the morning like I will conquer the universe.