Tuesday, June 30, 2009

And This Is a Day I 'Don't Work...'

5:51 am - Wake up to Bubbles plaintively issuing his morning credo, "Mama. No say 'no ootine milk'! I want ootine milk.:
5:52 - remind Bubbles for the 18th time that no, I will not get him ootine milk because it is too early.
5:53 - Tell Bubbles that ootine milk has sugar bugs which will get on his teeth.
5:54 -6:18 - Repeat above statements until, after thrashing and protesting, Bubbles finally sobbingly settles on a pathetic bottle of water and falls back asleep.
8:25 - Wake up in panic that I must be at work early. Wrong day. Children both conspicuously asleep....hmmm. Try to sleep more.
8:31 - Unsuccessful with more sleep, turn to the idea of fresh pressed coffee as antidote.
8:32 - Sneak the ootine milk upstairs for the prince to find upon his awakening and lord save us all this morning.
8:45 - Enjoy OMG yum Steve's French with copious half&half and check email.
9:00 - Supergirl is up and ready for business.
9:02 - Cereal and toast with jam for Supergirl.
9:03 - More coffee and creamy toppers for mama.
9:04 - 9:24 Supergirl and I chat and I respond to emails until Bubbles wakes up (happily, because the ootine is there).
9:24 - 9:28 Chase Bubbles around the house with clothes and put them on his body.
9:30 - Brush teeth of Bubbles; attempt to brush his crazy hair but usually only one thing gets brushed on Bubbles at a time.
9:34 - Hand Bubbles some breakfast: juice, vitamins, and cereal in the car, as I buckle him into his carseat to go to speech therapy over in Beach Town.
9:35 - Beep horn for Supergirl to stop brushing her hair and get in the car already!
10:05 - Arrive at speech therapy five minutes late.
10:10 - Back into the car with Supergirl to run errands (boring hardware store and then, if there is no whining, a croissant!).
10:51 - SUCCESS! Croissant!
10:59 - Arrive at speech therapy just in time.
11:04 - Back in car, drive back to downtown for kids' counseling.
11:30 - Drop off child #1 for therapy while kid #2 and I get bagels across the street.
12:20 - Pick up child #1 and drop off child #2 for therapy.
12:25 - Take child #1 to nearby favorite park for some exercise and playtime.
12:26-12:46 - Try, unsuccessfully to do some coursework for school.
12:46 - Give up and chase child #1 around park and spin her on spinning things.
1:05 - Walk back to therapist office to retrieve child #2.
1:12 - Buckle up everyone, it's time for Trader Joe's now.
1:20 - 2:00 - Shop and argue with Supergirl about treats.
2:06 - Drive back up mountain.
2:07 -2:27 - Lively car conversation with such topics as: marriage, divorce, apologies, and consequences. And ear piercing.
2:28 - Pick up Supergirl's playdate.
3:00 - Finally back home.
3:01 - There is begging for treats. Much begging.
3:07 -Quiet now, as they consume sandwiches in order to win treats.
3:15 - Popsicles are dispensed, kids sent outside.
3:16 - Realize, as popsicles are returned to freezer, that the freezer isn't frozen. In fact, the whole fridge is dead.
3:18 - Hand out the rest of the popsicles.
3:20 - 3:30 - Clean out old fridge in garage.
3:30-4:00 - Shuttle salvageable food from giant magnet holder in my kitchen to working fridge in garage.
4:01 - Realize that there is a conference call for my class tomorrow for which I was supposed to have put in 3 hours of study time.
4:02 - Have a tiny little cry.
4:03 - 4:30 - Play on trampoline with Bubbles; attempt super stealth speech therapy techniques.
4:31-4:35 - Convince Supergirl and her friend to walk the full garbage cans up to the top of the road with me (Bubbles needs no coaxing).
4:38 - Get bribed (we'll rake! we'll fold clothes for you!) to take kids to the school playground.
5:20 - Come home, start dinner. Oops. Half the food spoiled in the freezer demise. What will we eat?
5:45 - Dinner: Cream-cheesy eggs, bacon, francese toast with homemade strawberry jam, watermelon and peaches. Side of carrots offered to appease my guilt.
6:10 - Send children outside to have adult phone call.
6:12 - phone call interrupted by chicken chasing.
6:14 -Phone call resumes.
6:16 - Phone call interrupted by Bubbles latest splinters.
6:17 Phone call resumes.
6:21 - Phone call aborted after chased chicken runs in house and poops in living room.
6:35 - Water new plants.
6:41 - Discover the fresh mud that the kids tracked in through house. Decide to water plants later.
6:45 - Playdate's mom arrives to collect her.
6:50 - Kids in bath.
6:51 - Vacuum. Again.
6:54 - Wash kids' hair.
6:58 - Hand out towels, drain tub.
6:59 - 7:15 - Dinner dishes.
7:16 - For the last time, we are out of popsicles, remember?
7:19 - Attempt to pay bills.
7:21 - Change the movie.
7:25 - Requests for popcorn shall be answered.
7:30 - Popcorn delivered.
7:31 - Whining admonished (too bad you don't like nutritional yeast. eat the popcorn or don't.)
7:36 - 7:40 - Vacuum. Again.
7:41 - No, you may not have more popcorn. Or chocolate. No.
7:42 - Open Big House Red. Pour.
7:45 - Try to do some coursework. This is a multi-step process.
7:48 - Have all notes, CD's DVD's, laptop and piano keyboard ready.
8:00 - (pause) MAMA! I want OOTINE MILK!
8:02 - (play) Resume....
8:03, 8:05, and 8:06 - Ignore phone calls.
8:07 - (pause) Phone again. Answer. I've got nothing but love for the relentless caller.
8:08 - (play) Resume....
8:11 - MAMA! Bubbles peed on the floor!!
8:11 - (pause) Run out of house and hide in the garage for three minutes.
8:14 - Clean up Bubbles. And his pee.
8:20 - Brush kiddos teeth.
8:24 - Tell Supergirl to wash her hands again after putting the chickens to bed.
8:30 - Lights out and blankets for rest of movie.
9:04 - JACKPOT! Bubbles passed out on couch, transfer to bed.
9:05 - 9:12 - Read one book to Supergirl and tell her she can read for 1/2 hour (it's Summertime!)
9:12-9:30 - Clean bathroom next door and clean out some cupboards. Wonder why he saved 23 empty shampoo bottles.
9:30-9:45- (play) Resume.
9:46- (pause) Turn off lights for Supergirl.
9:46-9:50 Snuggle; fight sleep.
9:51 - 10:02 - Make lesson plans for tomorrow's music classes, for tomorrow is a Work Day. You know, unlike today.
10:02 - 10:40 - Enjoy late night and very humorous phone conversation with the BOS.
10:45 - Load up car with instruments, keyboards, drums, parachute, CDs and lesson plans.
10:50 - Pack breakfast snacks for the kids who will most likely try to sleep later than I need to leave.
10:59 - Attempt to write but give up and read blogs instead.
11:21 - Brush, wash, snuggle, sleep.

Prepare to repeat.

(Other than the fact that child support would be awesome.....we're managing just fine....)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Apraxia Update, or: The Summer with Apraxia Challenge

Yesterday was an Apraxia Triple Challenge Adventure.

Can you hear the cheering? That was for me, for making it through the day.

Bubbles is not adjusting well to his reduction in speech therapy hours from three/per week to one/per week. He is going through this awesome fun phase anyway, I call it the TRP: Transition Resistance Program. He says 'I don't want to' to almost anything at all, but once we get there he is fine. So I just nod and affirm that his protests are heard, but of course I continue with the original goal.
"You don't want to go potty, yes I know. Do you need help with your shorts?"
"You don't want to go to the store. Please hold my hand in the parking lot."
"You don't want to go to speech therapy. Let's go see what Guru has to play with today!"

My formula is pretty much: TRP + acknowledge + ignore = results.

Yesterday I got out 'The Box' of speech therapy tools and Bubbles went instantly into FULL FORCE TRP mode. Tantrums were thrown in for good measure.
I remained calm. I repeated myself. I stuck to the program.
Tantrums escalated. Things were thrown (by him).
Forty five minutes into it, we had made no progress.

I went into ABA mode. I had no more tricks left but ABA.

I like to think of ABA as outsmarting my very smart kid into doing something he is resisting, with a positive result. (Whatever works for you, right?)

It worked. I don't know that I am going to be able to spend three hours trying to get him to do one hour of speech program every single day (did I mention that I am also in school?), but at least I was smarter than a three year old yesterday.

Thank you, Squid, for the awesome new toy which broke the evil spell and brought me compliance. (Also, as my old friend pointed out, praise to the tried and true, never-gets-old toy, the fabulous Tickle Bee!)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Conflict of Empathy

I feel badly for him, really do.
Even with the betrayal I feel by him, and the anger I feel in response to him justifying his actions, and calling them 'defensible'. Even with realization that he could and would do it again, considering it was 'defensible', and even with the fear that follows that realization, I still feel badly for him.

It would be easier, cleaner, less muddy to feel badly for him if he was, in his heart, sorry.
If he was sorry, I guess it would be more clear to me why I feel badly for him.

But I still do, even though I am not sure why.
I think he can't help himself.

He has been losing touch with reality for so long, that he really believes his version.

This makes me sad.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Censorship IS a Bitch.

So, just so we all know, I am being censored by an angry 55 yr old woman.
I was the recipient of a spewing, scathing warning phoned in by yet another of his family members. I was warned that someone is just waiting for me to screw up illegally on my blog. Like I said, just so we all know.
Ironically, that someone is the same someone who stood there and watched things degrade before her wide eyes and calmly walked away with my child as my situation became more dangerous. The same someone who admitted to the police that she followed me as I was trying to walk away from the argument, and that she did not call 911 when begged. The same someone who went home with a new and improved story (I mean, what are the chances that they would see the police report, too?) and said I went 'nutso wutso' and that 'he had to restrain' me.
Just so we all know, this is the person who is waiting for me to 'blow it'. This is the person who thinks I should stop writing about all of this and calls it WRONG and INDECENT.

Fuck that.
I am sorry my writing includes dead baby material - it happened and I write about it, okay?
And I am sorry that my writing now includes domestic violence material, because really? I would much rather it didn't happen and I didn't have to write about it either.
But it did happen.

And those bastards are not going to silence me any more.

They all know it is wrong.
They just choose to pretend that it isn't.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Apraxia Update

Well, Bubbles no longer has Apraxia tests so high that he currently tests above the level which meets the criteria for the diagnosis of Apraxia.

:::::blink blink blink::::

He does, most likely still have Apraxia, and also perhaps a phonological disorder, which only appears as a distinguishable diagnosis around age four. We are fortunate to have such a well appointed speech therapist working with Bubbles; but The Guru is almost too good. She has made so much progress with him that he has blossomed like a bloomin onion. Because he is revealed to us with each new layer, and also because he is as delicious as a deep fried bloomin onion.

But, at the IEP, I was flabbergasted when I was told that his vocabulary AND expressive language skills test in the five year old range (he is 3.6), and that he technically no longer qualified for services, and especially not an ESY. So, the boy who has had 3 hours/week of speech therapy is suddenly released? I don't think so. I asked for at least one hour/week of continued 1:1 speech services, based on the following principles:
  • The school district was willing to pay for ESY if I would have taken their suggestion to send him to a special day school (which was not appropriate!).
  • He was doing so very well with the speech therapist, that to take him away entirely, would be akin to removing one of 4 wheels on a car and expecting it to continue to run well.

Guess what?
Bubbles has one hour of 1:1 speech therapy in an ESY and is scheduled to be re-evaluated when he is four.

If you need support at your IEP, please let me know - I am happy to share the love.

Monday, June 15, 2009

You Have the Right to Remain Silent (hint hint)

Today, the father of my children, the man who choked me to the floor (TWICE!) two months ago while telling me how long it was in coming, the man who has told anyone who will listen about how he just 'wants to do what it takes to be a family again', told a judge that he believed what he had done in this domestic violence case, was defensible. Sure, he understands that what he did is 'defined' as battery under the CA state law, and sure - he'll even admit that what he did was stupid! But in this case, he 'only restrained me' because he was just trying to stop a violent situation from escalating. The judge asked him what kind of violence he was attempting to stop
He replied, "Verbal."
The judge audibly sighed.
The original question that he had been asked by the judge?
"Is there anything in these documents with which you disagree?"
Xman replied that he disagreed with the term 'battery' in the criminal court case.
We were in family court.
The judge told him that that had already been decided by another judge.
He continued to say that his actions were justifiable.
I cringed and had to be reminded to breathe.

I felt a bit sick. Two months later, and he has already determined (in spite of what a judge determined) that his actions were not battery, and his actions are defensible.
If he hadn't choked me to nearly passing out the second time...he might be able to get away with that.

Hearing it was terrifying.
He really believes it.
He truly believes - really, truly believes - that his actions were defensible.
Holding me in a violent headlock while his sister took verbal shots at me, while I screamed bloody murder to be let go....letting go and then doing it again as I tried to run away....
Defensible actions?

I requested that a therapist be present for initial supervised visits, as our children have been full of nightmares and questions since the incident, and it is only fair to them if someone who can help them all with those questions is present when they are reunited.
I would like nothing more than to have them see their father again in a healthy way.
Hopefully, Xman can find himself a therapist as great as the ones I have found and get back on track.
The judge agreed, and asked to see us back in court in six weeks, when the children's therapist can provide a more involved letter of recommendation for the court (she just met them).
This caused some sputtering from the other side of the courtroom, and he protested that the reason the children were having emotional difficulties was because he had not been in their lives every day for two months.


That was his main concern about our children.


Narcissistic much?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I am worried too....

I am here.

Family court is coming up, so you won't hear much from me right now.

There is very little news, other than the passive aggressive belligerence continues. His mail still comes here. No forwarding address. No attempt at a kind approach to moving his things. No attempt or response from his friends at all. Not a cent volunteered to assist our children in two months. No appearance, but no forthcoming details about his whereabouts, either.
How mysterious.

He still knows how to intimidate me. But I am less likely to fall for it this time.
My new housemate and his two awesome and very large dogs certainly help with that aspect of transition.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Tongue-Biting FAIL

Trying to bite my tongue here, but seriously being tested.
He won't move his stuff out - basically refuses to get his things - which makes no sense to me as I am being beyond patient and what does he plan on doing with them if they are there?
And why the refusal to move out? Does he think he can store his things here for three years and then....come back? Does he not understand that if he doesn't do this willingly he is only asking for more conflict?
I don't get it.
I do know that it's a big EFF YOU to the court to list your contact address as the one from which you have been ordered to stay away, and as my friend says, "Let me pull another little bit of shock and surprise out of my ass!"
But for a man who claims to be doing 'everything possible' to see his kids, I wonder if he really gets what is going on for them?
Does he understand that because of his arrogance and delusion and refusal to cooperate or list an address is reason enough for his daughter to lose playdates? Does he realize that three parents have said to me that Supergirl is welcome to play at their house, but because of the volatile situation and the mystery of his whereabouts, they will not allow their children to come to our house. Explain that one to your daughter. And tell her she means the world to you as you share your own agenda and ignore hers. Because there is no other agenda.

I am so disgusted.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Art By Children; Special Edition

Bubbles, in his new obsession with superheroes, has taken to drawing on himself.
We have to hide all the markers.
It started out innocent enough - he drew on himself at school and told everyone he was Spiderman. Which? Almost believable! Because actually, if you look at Spidey's costume, it appears (to a three year old, anyway) to be a web drawn all over him.

Still, I asked him not to draw on himself anymore, and his preschool teachers kept a close eye on him at school, for any marker he found, he would lift up his shirt and draw on his tummy (since he knew everyone was now on to him)!

The other night I was cleaning. Busy, distracted, serious cleaning. And then I realized how quiet it was.

The kind of quiet I hate more than anything.
I dropped the rags, darted upstairs, and sighed with relief when I heard surprised giggles upon my fast and furious entrance.
But then....what did I see?

This is just a small percentage of what he colored. Basically, his entire body. With a black 'washable' marker. From the bottoms of his feet to the one dot in each ear, full belly button coverage...anything he could reach was colored.

"Bubbles!" I said sternly (smothering my laughter of course), "You are not Spiderman! And another thing...Spiderman absolutely does not cover himself in marker!"

Bubbles looked up ever so innocently, then looked at his arms and his eyes got huge, with a look of absolute surprise coming over his face, he was thinking, thinking....



and then.....


Okay, so he's a quick thinker.
That was a good one.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Bubbles vs. Apraxia

Apraxia update over here today!

Please stop by.....