Sunday, August 30, 2009

You Haven't Lived Until You've Seen A 3 yr old Sing ABBA

My little guy Bubbles has become obsessed with the movie, Mamma Mia. He thinks he is Pierce Brosnan, which is even funnier to me, because we met him (but I had no idea who he was.... looooong story) when I was barely pregnant with Bubbles.

Apparently in this scene, he also thinks he is Meryl Streep (aka Donna), and he sings, "He's the Dancing Queen."
I plan to use this as ammunition in his teen years, I am just saying it now.

And then he tried again, with Super Trouper. He is so blown away by the actual video, that he can only sing it when it is not on. But here is his joy:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

First Day of School: We got through it.

Today was an awesome day. Or it should have been. I pretended it was; I am pretty sure my kids didn't notice I was crying...though they probably did notice that I was short with them this morning to stop changing shirts and ZOMG you are kidding you lost your mp4 player already??? In a perfect world, they would have had to deal with neither tears nor short tempers, but their world, like most of ours, is not perfect.

Today Supergirl started third grade with a teacher everyone loves and about whom everyone raves. Every year, this uber-creative teacher stages a fantasy world in her classroom. Last year, it was 'Treasure Island' and this year, it's 'Where the Wild Things Are'. Supergirl was excited and nervous; so many things may change for us with a move in the future, I think it was hard for her to digest it all. She looked so cute - a very generous friend had taken her shopping for a first-day-of-school-outfit, and she was completely put together. She's going to show off her un-pierced ears and then get them pierced soon so she can have the thrill of telling everyone.

There's a new principal at our school, so everyone was apprehensive and excited to meet her. She seems very nice, which is a good sign for upcoming IEPs.
But there is no getting around the stigma of being asked for a copy of the custody and restraining orders, and there was no way to circumvent the lump in my throat as I was asked to provide a picture of the father for the new principal.





First day of school, I should have photos of all of us on our way to school (not that he was into the ritual).
I should not have to provide photos to the school of who can not pick up our children.

I cannot lie, I am angry about this. I am angry that he put himself, our children, and me in this position.

I composed myself to take Bubbles to his new preschool down the hill. Excitement, apprehension, friends, toys, new teachers....WOW! I got a kiss from Bubbles within five minutes of his arrival. "Bye-bye Mommy, I think you go now."

Turning in paperwork at the office this time I was prepared.
"Yes, I will bring in a photo."

I barely flinched.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Apraxia Update

I haven't posted much about Bubbles' Apraxia lately, mostly because he is kicking Apraxia's ass. His articulation still leaves much to be desired, but his vocabulary and sentence structure are skyrocketing. Here are a few 'soundbytes' from our recent conversations.

Last week, as I was filling out some paperwork in a large building:

Bubbles: Mama, can we go ride the helicopter?
Mama: Yes, honey, we can go ride the elevator after I am done here.
Bubbles: YAY!!
Clerk behind window: He said 'helicopter'.
Mama: He did? Oh yes, I guess he did. Well, clearly there is no helicopter to ride here!

The other day, while house sitting for a friend with a pool:

Bubbles: Mama, can I go in the pool?
Mama: Yes, you may, but go get your bathing suit and ask the girls (Supergirl and friend) if they want to go in too.
Bubbles: Hey KIDS! Get your SPACE SUITS! We gonna go in the pooooooool!

Yesterday, after a fun visit with Daddy:

Mama: Did you have a fun time playing with Daddy?
Bubbles: Yes! We played Batman and Joker and Wescue Heroes and Fire! Did you have a happy see the coffee?


Bubbles: Mmmmm....I want some bacon. Can I please have bacon?
Mama: Yes, I can make you some (already cooked) bacon. I just need to heat it up.
Bubbles: Oh good! Can I eat the bacon and watch the movie?
Mama: No, because we are at Grace's house, and the bacon is too messy for the living room.
Bubbles: But I will eat the bacon at the table, and then it can't get messy, it be happy (happy=good)!
Mama: Well, okay but you have to stay at the table and use a napkin.
Bubbles: Okay! Its a good idea, Mom!

Bubbles: Oh no, is the bacon all gone? The box in the garbage.
Mama: Yes, that bacon is all gone now. We will have to go to the store to get some more.
Bubbles: Yes! We will get some more bacon and I will say, 'Mama, I have some bacon?' and you say, 'Yes!'...Then it be happy!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday, August 13th: The day my mountain caught on fire...Again.

The Fire.

What can I say? I had hit my very personal emotional wall the night before. Not wanting to be his neighbor; with him insisting on being my neighbor. The person who 'didn't do anything wrong', even though I have clear memory of that person choking me twice. One person can only take so much, right?
I crumpled into a ball of someone who has had to take too much; I tripped over an upended basket of toys I had just cleaned up, then I threw a toy at a basket. Hard. Bubbles noticed and cried, "No Mommy!", I gathered him into my arms and cried. Parenting Fail.

Bubbles likes closure. We have gone through the following process nearly every day for a week now:
Mama, say sorry for throwing my toy.
Bubbles, I am sorry for throwing your toy. I was feeling very sad and it was wrong.
It's okay Mama, it's not your fault.
(Really, it is, but thanks, sweet thing.)
The end.

We read some books (Supergirl was on a sleepover), snuggled and fell asleep early that night. I dreamed of helicopters.

5:30 am, Thursday August 13th: Voluntary evacuation phone call.
WHAT??? Apparently there had been a fire raging nearby for nearly 12 hours. I cursed my broken wifi router for its crappy timing.

10:30 am: Mandatory evacuation phone call.

11:00 am: Giggling inappropriately at the act of packing my baby's ashes in a box, for the second time in 14 months, to rescue them from a fire.
After packing 'The Important Stuff', I hit a wall of 50% indecisiveness, 50% ennui. I had no idea what, nor desire to pack anything more.

12:00 noon: I lock the children inside because the smoke is getting bad. Also, they have taken to shoving random things into the car such as individual crayons and tubes of yogurt.

1:30 pm: First visit from the Sheriff. "Sign this or leave," they said.
"We're just looking for the cat..."

2:45 pm: Second visit from the Sheriff. "Sign this or leave," they said.
"We're just looking for the cat..."
"Sign this or leave," they repeated. I nod.

2:55 pm: Telling my eight year old to say goodbye to her house and most of her belongings.
Leaving our ten year old siamese cat, Ocean, behind - because she ran off, presumably afraid of the sudden influx of air traffic.
3:00pm: "Say goodbye to the house," I said.
"Goodbye, house," they both called.
"Say goodbye to Ocean," I choked out.
"Goodbye, Ocean Kitty!" they both shouted, loud enough for any ornery cat with a shred of sense to hear.

We drove off into the smoke, our car crammed full of chickens and ashes and papers and small plastic objects which my children somehow found meaningful and had shoved into the remaining crevices.

5:00 pm: Moving around slowly, the chickens delivered to a chicken foster home (procured by dear veterinarian friends), unsure which move to make next. I knew I had to pick up the recently discharged laptop, so 'stopped by' to visit the friend who lived a block away from there, as she had been one of the nine people who had called me while packing.
Heidi's house had burned down 18 months ago, unrelated to either fire, but she and her (documentary filmmaker) husband lost everything in 1/2 of their house/office; every archive and each and every layer of thought from which it was collected and compiled.
Her response was that of a seasoned friend and refugee.
Her first comment was, "You know you are welcome to stay here, okay? You know that, right? Whatever you need."
Her first question asked was, "I am going to the store. What kind of alcohol can I bring you?"

We stopped by on Thursday and left four days later. Their kindness, our similarly aged and ironically compatible children, their intuitively perfected assistance...their patience with our inherently early vs. late scheduled kids....all added up to the best spontaneous vacation evacuation possible.

One week later: Listening to my three year old tell the story over and over, to anyone who will listen.
"The fire not burned the house! The smoke make mama sick! The cat gone, but she okay! The fire not burn my house!"

We're going home today, to face the endless cleaning of ash and restocking of walls and shelves. I will ponder each item....should I return it to where it was, or should I just pack it up, for we all feel like leaving this place.

We are whole, but we are scarred. We have all had enough.

Friday, August 07, 2009

More Big Fun (Or: How I spent my summer with no money)

I am thinking about which Big Fun to have next....

We went to Big Fun Park (also known as 6 Flags) yesterday. The last time we were there was on April 10th, the day before 'The Incident', so it was certainly a milestone. I had probably underestimated the amount of memory-induced processing and pain it would cause for Supergirl, however the closure and ability to move on was worth it. After about 10 minutes of moping, all was well again.
We met The BOS and her family there, to help celebrate the Frankinator's 7th birthday. I
recommend always meeting or bringing someone to these things so you can split up and ride age and/or height appropriate rides.

Supergirl will usually consent to riding the baby rides with her brother, and posed on 'The Boring Train' with him. Check out miss 8 year old bershon.

Thank goodness for The BOS snapping this photo of her, proving she did actually have some fun and smile.

There was some new ad campaign (I suppose?) which entailed many brightly colored signs with strange and crudely crafted, vaguely threatening messages. From a fucking sandwich spread. Which is pretty much mayonnaise with paprika and high fructose corn syrup. If you 'get it' or are some marketing freak wizard, please let me know what I am missing here.

All that Bubbles wanted to do was play in the fountain in Thomas Land. He ran around for a good 45 minutes while the bigger kids rode roller coasters, and until he was shivering and a lovely shade of cobalt.

I love free fun. Okay, so I paid for the season passes, it isn't really free, but it felt free, because I had paid for it months ago. Since I am a master at sneaking bringing in our own snacks, I spent a grand total of $8 while in the park - and that was on the 'prize every time' hammer game. Supergirl won a large stuffed snake and Bubbles won a Superman cape.