It has been a frustrating two days. I
was too tired to write last night. I am still coughing a bit, and my head is
stuffed up, and sleep deprivation is really taking a toll.
I am still waiting on a call back from the doctor's office to tell me if I
have the mumps. I called today and they said the test results won’t be in until
Monday or Tuesday. Aaaargh!! Stupid Quest labs. I hate them.
I really don't think I have mumps, but I
can't go back to work until I know for sure. I talked to my boss today
and told her the situation. She was very understanding. I
need a doctor's note before I go back, though, because they don’t want to
risk me infecting anyone else.
Yesterday was tiring. Mother doesn't drive anywhere that has to be accessed by
getting on the interstate, so I rested most of the day yesterday and was able
to get Michael to a therapy appointment late yesterday afternoon. I had been on
the prescription medicine for 24 hours so I thought it would be OK. I didn’t
get close to or touch anyone there.
Michael's therapy yesterday consisted of
him decorating about two dozen Christmas cookies. Colleen [his therapist] had
made them herself, and brought in frosting and sprinkled and all sorts of
things to put on them. Mike had to hold the cookie in the prosthetic and
decorate it. She also made him take the lids of small jars if sprinkles. It's
all great practice for him. Students from Georgia Tech intern there, and they
all came in and admired Michael's use of the prosthetic. He made them cookies.
He also made cookies for the guys in the back who make the limbs. [Fascinating
to glimpse that place – looked like Santa’s workshop!] When we left, Colleen
gave him all the decorated cookies that weren’t eaten. He was so enthusiastic
about the container of cookies we could take home. He said “That was really
We stopped by his school on the way home. They were having an international
food fair. There were booths representing many different countries, and
restaurants catered all the food. I figured there would be a few folks there, a
modest turnout. I didn't want to go but Michael really wanted to, so I thought,
we'll just do a "quick run-in" as my parents used to characterize
cocktail party attendance.
To my dismay, the cafeteria was PACKED with folks. The moment I walked in there
I was sweating, and I kept on sweating, while standing in line, trying to eat,
etc. Of course, I was trying to avoid people and it was impossible. I got some
spicy Thai rice and it cleared my sinuses, which was a nice plus. Michael ate a
lot of Japanese noodles and German sausages and cheeses. As soon as we could
go, I hustled out of there. Michael was hoping some of his friends were there,
but they weren’t.
I had a chance to talk to Dr. Jackson, the principal, before leaving. Colleen
asked me to ask about letting her come to school and train the teachers in how
to help Michael use his prosthetic more. Hopefully, that will get him using his
hand more. He doesn't use it that much, now. He just needs to learn to be a two
handed person again. He’s almost too well adapted to the one arm.
Today has been a total wash, except for
running Michael to school.
Alesia was supposed to go on a field
trip to the High Museum with her art class. I signed the permission slip and
gave her money for lunch. She went to school and forgot the slip. They wouldn’t
let her go. I asked Alesia why she didn’t just call me, as I could’ve run the
slip up to the school for her, and she just shrugged. She still doesn’t
immediately EVER think “Mom can help me with this.” For her, a mother who is
helpful is a novelty. I hate that she didn’t get to go. When she was in middle
school she missed a school trip to the aquarium because she forgot I had to get
her to school early. More examples of her terrible memory. My heart aches for
Alesia has not been able to spend much
time lately with her friend Elena. Elena invited her to spend the night
tonight, and go with the family to see the movie Enchanted. I know she will
have fun over there. Michael was invited too, but he didn’t want to go. When we
were talking about it, I encouraged him to go, because Elena has younger
brothers he could play with, who are just a little younger than him. Alesia always
has fun over there. He refused, a big frown on his face. “I don’t want to go. I
want to stay with you, Mom.” I said OK, reluctantly. Well, what else could I
do? If I forced him, he would be miserable. I think he is just afraid of new people, new situations. This is pretty
common in adopted children.
We will have probably just a sandwich
for dinner and watch a movie, and not be up late. I haven’t been able to sleep
in because of taking the kids to school in the morning.
I am so tired of being sick. I feel like
I have been cooped up in the house for most of November. I pray December will
be a healthy month.
It has been a quiet day and I have done very little. I couldn't sleep last night due to coughing and sinus issues, so I am headed for bed now. There's a lot going on with the kids, but I will have to post about it later. Stay tuned.
Well, according to the doctor I have
another sinus infection, plus one of two things, either an ear infection or the
mumps. I never had mumps as a kid. I am not sure if I got the mumps vaccine. I
think so, but there was some problem [allergies? I don't remember] when I was
growing up and I might not have gotten every vaccine. So, they drew blood today
and I will find out tomorrow night if I have the mumps. I hope not. However, my
ear and the side of my face are swollen, so that alarmed the doctor.
In Other News:
I am taking a leave of absence from the
church choir. I just don’t want to be away from the children, and there are a lot of upcoming rehersals. Here is an
excerpt from what I told the director:
One thing non adoptive parents don't
always understand is that my kids need family time. They need nurturing, and
"cocooning". They had really tragic, terrible early childhoods, then
the orphanage experiences were very stressful in the Lord-of-the-Flies worlds
of the orphanages. Both my kids have many physical scars, but what most people
don't see are the emotional scars. They had to be strong and tough to survive,
but inside they needed and craved the emotional security of a real family. I
truly feel that my mission in life is to parent these children and help them
heal. This is what God has trusted me to do, and I do it with everything that's
Alesia has stopped going to Youth Group,
and I feel a bit guilty about that, because I inadvertently caused it. I told
her the last time she went that I was glad she was involved, but missing 3
weekend hours with her was hard for me. I missed being with her. I think it
surprised her that I said that. She said the next week she didn’t want to go, and week after that, etc. I
don’t even ask now. She has spent lots of time around other kids in her life.
She has had very little time around a caring mother.
I feel sure there may be other issues
regarding youth group. I know she is self-conscious about her Russian accent
and being adopted. She also knows that emotionally, she is a few years behind
her 16 year old peers. She is still catching up, intellectually, emotionally,
and socially. It is a long process.
Michael seems to have less problems, but there are issues. Michael has fears of going downstairs at
night alone. He has fears about taking a shower in my bathroom alone. He seems
so fearless in many situations, but he is actually quite shy, and scared. I am
sure there were times when he was with his birthmom that they stayed in strange
places and he was justifiably frightened to be alone in a big room. He has a
great deal of fear and one day in the near future I hope to be able to afford a
therapist to help him with these fears.
Right now my kids are not in any
extracurricular activities except Mike’s karate. I hope to get them involved in
more things soon. Right now, we need family time, and quiet studying time every day.
My kids greatly appreciate things
non-adopted kids take for granted – hot showers, eating until they are full,
wearing clean clothes every day, playing outside.
* * * *
I’ve had a pretty quiet day, other than
the doctor visit and picking up prescriptions. I still feel rotten. I am not
going to try and go to work tomorrow. The cough syrup I got is so strong it has
big warning labels saying Don’t Take and Drive! May Cause Dizziness! – oh joy,
I get to choose between coughing constantly and painfully or being zonked out
of my head…
I have been in a semi-vegetative state
all day. I didn’t got to work. I was able to rest when the kids were in school,
but of course when Michael got home at 2:30 he wanted my full attention. He got
it, addled though my brain is.
I couldn’t sleep much last night due to
coughing. I tried to sleep this morning but being horizontal in the bed
produced more coughing. Even being propped up on pillows didn’t help. This was
while I was taking cough medicine, also. Well, enough about me…
Michael tends to give up immediately
when something is hard. We have to teach him perseverance.
This afternoon, after he finished his
homework, he was trying to zip his roly, and complaining bitterly about the
“It’s too HARD!” he wailed.
“Son, life is hard.” I answered.
“Why you ALWAYS say that? Life is HARD.
It makes me nauseated!” he fumed, like a little soap opera actor.
I repeated that to Mother, who got a
good belly laugh. He has heard us say nauseated too many times.
Michael has two friends at school,
Xavier and Caesar. In Social Studies today, they had to say or sing the words
to the song “Georgia on My Mind” – our state song. Michael and his buddies
decided to sing it. They were so good, the teacher had them sing it for the
principal. She gave them each a piece of candy, took a photo, and told them
they should be in the choir. Michael was floating on air when he got home from
school, and it was the first thing he told me.
Mother was thrilled to hear it. “Sing it
for us, Michael!” she encouraged.
“Granny, I can’t. It’s HARD,” he
“C’mon Michael, sing it. I’ll start – “
I said, and sang a line or two. My voice is hoarse enough so I was probably in
Ray Charles’ same key. Michael’s eyes got wide. “I can’t sing it that good!”
We cajoled him but he refused to sing.
If only he were so reluctant to be the Drama King!
What a miserable day. I have felt worse
and worse all day, and now I am wretchedly, completely sick again.
It’s cold and rainy and foggy, which has
added to the misery. Cold and damp do not make bronchitis better.
Getting my children out of bed this
morning was a feat of engineering. They wanted nothing to do with me or school.
Michael agreed to eat yogurt for breakfast, ate two bites of toast, and nothing
else. He knows that, in this family we eat a decent breakfast. I don’t demand
the kids eat a lot, but they have to eat something reasonably nutritious. I
told him several times to finish his toast and he refused, so I took away
computer privileges for the day and told him he had to do a 20 minute Time Out.
Alesia didn’t eat but part of a cup of
yogurt this morning, but she had been awake in the night with a bout of nausea. I got up at
3:30 a.m. and fixed her a glass of warm water with ginger. She said it didn’t
help. She didn’t vomit, however. She had no carsickness on the way back, which
I attribute to a timely dose of Dramamine, but now her belly is hurting. I may
have to take her to the doctor if it doesn’t stop soon. She’s always had a
After trying to focus on work, I finally
left at 2. Michael and I had teeth cleaning appointments. I told them I wasn’t
getting my teeth cleaned today. The very thought is horrifying, since I cough
every couple of minutes, and sneeze all the time. Michael had a good cleaning, although
they found a tiny cavity. He was cooperative.
I dragged myself to Kroger after the
dentist, because we were out of everything, particularly milk, bread, and eggs –
the essentials. I was miserable, dragging around the store.
I came home and swigged some more cough
medicine, and helped Michael with his homework, then Alesia.
Mother made some delicious potato soup
for dinner, which the kids ate well. I just gave them some sliced cucumbers for
a veggie. They love cucumbers – a characteristic of most Russian children.
We finished watched a movie called Ned
Kelly, about the famous Australian outlaw. He gets killed in the end. The kids
were quite vocal about how ticked off they were at me for showing them such a
sad movie. However, I pointed out that in life, the good guys don’t always win.
Sometimes things are unfair. Maybe it was a mistake showing them the movie – it
was rather sophisticated for them, as Kelly was a political figure, and the
film was about 19th century British imperialism as much as anything
When we were headed to bed, Alesia went
in Mother’s room to kiss her goodnight. Mother said she stopped, stared at the
messy state of the room, and said “What a mess in here!” Mother just chuckled
and said well, she’d made soup tonight, so that was her main activity, or words
to that effect. I was irritated when Mother told me Alesia’s thoughtless
remark, but I decided to let it go. Mother thought it was funny.
As I was putting Michael to bed, he said
“Mom, I don’t want eat in the morning. Too EARLY to eat! I'm not awake!” and I had to chuckle.
“Michael, if you won’t eat, then I’ll have to start getting you up earlier, so
you can get wide awake before you eat!” was my cheery reply. A look of horror
crossed his face. “No!” he protested. “Then, if you don’t want to wake up
really early, I suggest you EAT what’s put in front of you, son.” I replied. He
needs to ponder that.
He tends to get up and come downstairs and fall asleep again on the couch.
I don’t want to force-feed Michael, but
he doesn’t regulate his eating very well. He ate a gogurt after school, then
when we got to Kroger he complained bitterly about being hungry. I pointed out
that Granny and I had warned him he needed to eat a better snack, and he didn’t
do it. We have to work on actions and consequences with him…
What a long day. We got up at 8 and I
got the kids breakfast, and we packed up. We were out of the condo by 9:30.
Leaving Myrtle Beach was easy, but then
we came to a place where I wasn’t sure which way to turn, and I turned the
wrong way. Half an hour later I realized my error. I should’ve gone back and
retraced my steps, but the traffic that way was horrible. So I decided to take
a small back road to Columbia. Nearly three hours of staring at farmland and
trailers and tiny churches, often on two lane roads. We drove through swamps.
We drove through communities too tiny for a Walmart. Ah, rural South Carolina.
The kids sat in the back watching
movies. I think they watched “Click” and “Dances with Wolves.” I love both
movies. I could tell by Alesia’s comments where they were in the movies.
We had lunch at Ryan’s in Columbia. It
was not a cheap lunch, but the children love a buffet. Michael had pizza, ham,
pineapple, and cake. Alesia ate like a field hand – two big plates of food. For
a tiny little thing, she can flat put away some food. We think she is growing.
We forgot Mother’s neck pillow, so she
had her “nap” in the car using Alesia’s stuffed Rottweiler, Big Coco, as a neck
pillow. Michael used his teddy bear, Misha, as a pillow.
We hit some rain outside Augusta. It
rained sporadically from then on into Atlanta, normally about 2.25 hours. Right
after the kids finished their movie, there was a horrific traffic jam just outside
Atlanta and we crawled along. Finally we saw the cause of the trouble, a
stalled pickup truck. By then, the kids were getting on my nerves. I instituted
a “no talking” period until we got home. Michael, ever resourceful, giggled and
The house was cold when we got back, the
upstairs anyway. Brownwyn had returned Coco and the downstairs was toasty. It
has been unusually cold here and at the beach – temps in the 40’s and 50’s. Here,
that’s like January, not November.
By the time we got home, my nerves were
raw, just from the stress of driving for almost 8 hours, the kids’ bickering,
Mother telling me how to drive, and the fact I am getting sick again. Yep, the
cough has returned, and my head is dripping. Throat hurts. Ears ache. I can’t
believe it, but it’s true. The minute I finish up my antibiotic and I start
this crap again. Aaaaargh!
I yelled at the kids as we were
unloading thee car. I just lost my temper and yelled. My voice is already
screwed up and I am talking like a baritone. I know I scared them. I felt like
crying. I came upstairs and calmed down, and apologized. Bad mommy.
Dinner was hot dogs for the kids, and a
ham sandwich for me. Mother had peanut butter and jelly. That was all anybody
had the energy to fix.
It has been such a long day, and I am
When I have the energy I will post some
photos from the trip.
We have had a pretty low-key time since I last blogged. We stayed in last night and ate sandwiches for dinner, which was a needed respite from all the activity. As much as I enjoy eating out, the reason why we always try to stay in condos with kitchens is because we don't want to eat all meals out. We need some real food. Plus, it saves money.
I had to give the kids a lecture last night about running in the condo. The floors in the main room, hall, and kitchen are very hard ceramic tile. I told them several times yesterday not to run, and they stopped momentarily, then I caught them running again later. By bedtime last night, they were running again, and I finally just had a Come-to-Jesus meeting with them about the running. I pointed out that I had warned them several times, and they had continued to run. I was worried they would fall and hurt themselves. Alesia reverts to a much younger child at these times, and has no more sense than Michael. As punishment, I made Michael sleep in the room with me, not on the foldout couch with Alesia. Boy, he was steamed about it. I told him about 3 times WHY he was being punished, but he didn't like it one bit.
Mother and I have decided that when he was in the orphanage, everyone felt sorry for Michael. He was this tiny, pale, sad looking little waif with a missing hand, and all the caretakers felt sorry for him and let him get away with murder. I myself witnessed that. He continues to try and charm every woman he meets, and he mostly succeeds. I have cut him a lot of slack since he came to America because I have not wanted to bear down too hard and have him feel traumatized. However, as I told him last night, the power of his cuteness is over. He will have to behave or accept punishment, just like Alesia.
I know other parents don't like to use words like "behave" and "punishment" but I believe in just saying it like it is. So I'm politically incorrect. I don't care.
I always try to follow my lectures to both of them with a hug and kiss, and reassurance that I love them. It can be difficult, hugging a little body stiff as a board. I always do it, though, because no matter how mad they are, they need to know I do not despise them, I am just being mama. That means being tough, but also loving. Does that make sense? Maybe not. I just know it feels like the right thing to do. The last thing they hear from me every night, just before sleep, is "I love you."
We went to two different beach-type gift shops this morning, all so Michael could spend some of the money burning a hole in his pocket. He didn't find anything he wanted to buy. He played for a moment with a little rubber ball that has a plastic eyeball floating in it, and the man behind the counter just gave it to him. For free. That's the amazing power of his cuteness - or maybe the guy felt sorry for him. Who knows. The first year Alesia was home she got a lot of little free gifts like that, too. It's an amazing phenomenon.
We had lunch at Barefoot Landing, a group of shops and restaurants that are built over a manmade pond. After lunch, the kids got to ride the merry-go-round - Michael's first time on one. He was a happy camper. We then bought some fudge, and came back here.
Lunch was difficult. Michael was very unhappy about the sports bar where we ate lunch. Normally we don't eat in bars, but there just weren't any other restaurants open nearby and we were hungry. Michael said he HATED the way it smelled. Well, it smelled like a bar - like cigarettes. I went and sat with him on the patio for a while, and he couldn't say why he hated the smell, but I suspect it had to do with his birthmom. She was a smoker, and I imagine she smoked while she drank, and she neglected him when she drank. So I think the cigarette smell had a whole host of negative connotations to him. The smell of cigarettes is everywhere in Kazakhstan and in Russia - they smoke a lot, and openly. They also drink tremendous amounts of alcohol while they smoke. Anyway, you get the idea.
I wonder sometimes how long it will take until my kids just get over their early lives, and to not be trapped in memories. I see in their eyes sometimes fear, and anger, and I know that it's because I have inadvertently dredged up bad memories, opened old wounds, or somebody has. How many years of love and care does it take until they are healed? Will that ever happen? I don't know the answer to that. I think this is why I pray so much, because prayer seems to soothe my ragged nerves, when I am just lost and clueless as to how to help my children. If only I can help them find a small measure of my faith, I will feel like they are protected against the dark.
The past two days I have felt like I was in an alternate time-space, everything out of sync, nothing predictable. It's not been a bad two days, just strange. Of course, not being able to use a computer for 1.5 days leaves me feeling adrift, cut off from my techno lifeline...
We got up and ran around yesterday morning, getting ready to leave, and trying to do all the last-minute things one does before a trip. In our case, it's compounded by having to deal with Coco, who has to have her own overnight bag packed for her stay with Bronwyn, including her favorite toy, piddle pads, and eggs and cooked rice - her current diet, since actual dog food makes her sick. We are so incredibly lucky because Bronwyn adores Coco and vice-versa, so she really gets her own little vacation, and we don't feel bad leaving her. Bronwyn also checks on the house, and if she has to leave Coco for an hour or two, she leaves her in the house where things are familiar.
We had a pleasant drive over here, despite the fact that we quickly realized we didn't bring enough jackets or umbrellas. When we left Atlanta it was drizzly, but soon enough we got into actual pouring RAIN!! Yes! Although I HATE driving in the rain, I was just thrilled to be getting help for our poor ravaged yard and gardens.
The kids watched DVD's, Mother and I chatted, we stopped a couple of times, and THEN - just outside Columbia - a tire blew. WHAPPPPP! and I steered the car over to the side. Oh joy. I called my brother, who lives nearby, and he came to the rescue. We had to spend about an hour on the side of I-20 while he changed the tire and put on the spare. It was nice weather, though, not raining - about 65.
I got stung by ants who crawled in my Crocs. Bruce and I had a little disagreement about whether to put the spare on - he thought a can of Fix-A-Flat would do the trick and I disagreed. Suddenly, he hauled off and threw the can into the woods. I said "I'll just get in the car and wait." So I got in the car and sat and he put on the spare. He had the grace to apologize later because I was right, the dadgum tire was totally blown. Just when I think he is totally Hasty [Mother's family] he has a little temper tantrum that reminds me of my father...
We cruised on into Columbia and had lunch at a place called Lizard's Thicket. I kid you not. Think Shoney's run by VERY southern people, people who cook with lard and salt, and serve actual SweetTea, yes m'am. I was just happy to find someplace open. After he had calmed down, Bruce was in a good humor and we had a very pleasant meal. He declined out invitation to come to Myrtle Beach, since he had to work today. He had a chance to get to know Michael a little more. He brought Mike a book on swords [a hobby of his; he collects them] and me a book on gardening. Alesia got an old shirt of his, which is way too small, but fashionably shabby. He gave us a DVD of a movie called The Ghost and the Darkness, which the kids watched. He didn't have anything for Mother, but he picked up the lunch check, which was a gift in itself...
The rest of trip here was without incident. Michael and Alesia watched the movie. Then they kept looking at the sun setting over the low country as we drove in and saying "WOW! It looks like Africa!" - Mother thought that was odd until I pointed out they had just watched a movie set in Africa. We had an argument about whether giraffes are nice or ornery.
Our condo is very nice, although I was disappointed it's not the same one we stayed at in June. There are two big bedrooms and a decent little kitchen. This one features a completely mirrored wall in the dining room. There's nothing I enjoy less than watching myself eat. Yikes. The views of the ocean outside the condo are wonderful, though.
We ate dinner at one of the few places open last night, the Golden Corral. I have to admit, I was actually impressed by it. It's about the largest buffet in the world, with every kind of food imagineable, from steaks to chinese food, italian food, soups, salads, plus of course turkey and dressing.
We were a big group, because there were my aunt and uncle, their daughter and son, and two grown grandchildren, one of whom is married. I don't think I've had a meal with that many family members in a long time. It was very pleasant. I enjoyed especially talking to my cousin Raye's son Michael, who has his own marketing company here in Myrtle Beach, and is just a very personable young man.
My Uncle Bob, the paterfamilias at nearly 80, is sharp as a tack. However, he has Parkinson's and it's really affecting his ability to walk. He shakes a lot. He fell a couple of years ago and broke his hip, so he is very careful how he walks now, and he has to walk quite slowly. Mother is distressed to see him this way, because he's 6 years older and has always been a father figure to her.
We watched some TV back at the condo last night and headed to bed at 10. I was pooped after all the driving and the events of the day. Alesia and Michael decided to sleep on the pullout couch in the main room, and they went right off to sleep. I didn't know until this morning that they had decided the bed was a mite uncomfortable - as such beds tend to be, let's face it - and so they improved it a bit. Alesia found all the pillows in the condo except the ones used by me and Granny, and she placed them over the mattress, and fixed a cozy extra layer of padding. Other sofa cushions were placed for maximum padding. It was truly a marvel of engineering and I had to admire it.
For breakfast, I took the kids and ran out to Bojangles and got a variety of eggs, grits, sausage bisquits, and cinnamon bisquits. I miss Bojangles because we don't have them around Atlanta any more. They have great bisquits. The woman who served the food looked like a manager, but she snarled at me like I was a terrorist. It was not what she said - "I'll get you some more tea. These are the breakfast platters." - but HOW she said it. It was busy in there, but dadgummit, there was no call to snarl at me. The kids just froze, the looks on their faces like "uh oh, what's Mom gonna do now." If I had been channeling my mother I would've drawn myself up to all of my 5'4 and said imperiously something like "Well, it would be lovely to see CUSTOMER SERVICE in this establishment!" Instead, I just grabbed my food and hustled the kids out of there. I hadn't had my caffeine yet. It certainly was bizarre.
We spent some time visiting at my uncle's house, then went to lunch, again with the family, to Cheeseburger in Paradise. I love the sweet potato chips there. They have excellent burgers. [Yes, this is the Cholesterol Tour, in case you hadn't guessed it]
We went for a very chilly walk on the beach when we got back. The wind was fierce. I was surprised - it seems so bizarre for Myrtle Beach to be cold. Michael found some shells. I dipped my toe in the ocean - no visit would be complete without a toe dip - and it was like ice water. Yikes.
The place where we are stauing has an indoor pool, and the kids had fun playing in it. Michael kept saying "I LOVE that thing - what's it called - za cooshee?!" and I had to keep saying "No honey, the JACUZZI."
He complained bitterly about having to take a shower last night, because "the water was too HARD and it hurt Mr. Happy!" I told Mother, he's already obsessed with that thing. Mother said "And will be for the rest of his life!" LOL
We have had a pretty busy day, although relaxing. I am looking forward to eating a ham sandwich for dinner and watching a DVD before bed. We had such a big lunch nobody wants a big dinner.
I promised Mike that tomorrow we could find one of the gloriously Las Vegas like courses that abound here, and play mini golf. This wind is going to play hell with my game...
All day long it has been a strange day,
a day of anticipation – and I’m not talking about the Carly Simon Song.
I went to work, and impatiently tried to
stay on task. There were a lot of people already gone for the holiday. I spent
my lunch hour paying bills. Most of Friday’s paycheck is already gone.
I picked up some photos I had gotten
developed – they do the developing at the General Store in the main building –
and I was so disappointed. Most shots were of me, taken by Michael, in
unflattering poses. There were a few of him. There was only one really good
shot, and I added it to the album. It’s one of the few shots of Mike and Alesia
where both look happy. I think it was taken in August.
We were allowed to leave work at 3, and
I got home as soon as I could. I had to clean out Mother’s car, supervise
Michael’s packing, and all the other million things to be done to prepare for
the trip tomorrow.
Mother got the car filled up and took
the kids to the S&S Cafeteria for lunch. She said Michael was Mr. Ancy all
day. He is absolutely hyper about seeing his uncle Bruce tomorrow. He has only
seen him once since he got to America, remember. Bruce is my only sibling. We
are due to eat lunch with him, since we pass right through his town [Columbia]
on the way to Myrtle Beach. We will eat at a restaurant. I hope he doesn’t
forget we are coming. He refused to come to the beach with us, saying (as
always) he has to work.
Our movie selection tonight was The
Thief Lord, a really nice little kids’ film set in Venice. Of course, everyone
in it was British, but it was clearly filmed in Venice and I got a kick out of
the exteriors. After it was over I showed the kids a small snapshot of Granny
and Grandpa Tony in St. Marco’s Square in Venice, taken years ago of course.
Mom always says she’d love to go back there. I’d love to go to Italy one day.
It’s the only foreign language I ever learned to speak fairly decently. It’s
far better than my French or Russian. When I can, I try to teach the kids some
Italian words. They know “la bella luna” – the beautiful moon – and “pomidoro”
Despite the long drive tomorrow, part of
it in the rain, I am looking forward to getting away for a few days.
Michael had to go to the pediatrician
today for the rest of his shots. He is up to 4 feet 3.5 inches! He weighs a solid 70
lbs. He is getting to be a little bruiser!
Alesia is now 5’4 and ¾. I thought she
was 5’5, but not quite. Of course, my measurement against the door isn’t highly
When I got up at 5:45 this morning,
Alesia was already up. I know this because I heard her in the bathroom, and
when I checked on her, her hair was perfectly straight [as opposed to its natural after-bath state, very curly] and she had on eye
makeup. Primping is the only thing which lures her to arise early. I lectured
her for a minute about getting enough sleep, because we had been up a wee bit
late last night, finishing up watching Braveheart.
“But I’m not sleepy!” she wailed.
“SHHHH! Keep your voice down! Michael is
still asleep. If you were half as concerned about your homework as you are
about your hair, you’d be making straight A’s,” I grumped. I am not in a
terribly pleasant mood that early in the morning.
Michael had “wild hair day” at school.
This is a gimmick for the kids to donate money to the PTSA. They give a minimum
of .50 and get to wear their hair wild. Alesia put a lot of mousse on it and
tried to spike it for him this morning, but it kept falling down. I worked on
it a while too, but it never looked wild enough for him. When we pulled up to
the front of the school, he was pouting, until he saw there were parent volunteers there with cans of hair
coloring. They "punk’d" his hair for him. He had red streaks all
day – not too noticeable, thank goodness, as his hair is naturally a reddish brown.
Nobody at the pediatrician’s office said
a word about his hair. The tech who gave him his three immunizations had a
pierced nose, however. So….
I like the pediatrician’s office because
there are small TV’s in the waiting rooms, and there are always videos playing.
We watched part of Finding Nemo while we waited around. When I was a kid it was always a small, cold, uncomfortable room that smelled like antiseptic, and was far from fun.
I stopped at CVS on the way home and
picked up some anti-nausea wristbands for Alesia. I remember a pregnant lawyer
I worked for years ago wearing them, and she said they helped the nausea. Alesia hates
taking Bonine or Dramamine and they don’t seem to work too well, so I figure
the wristbands are worth a shot. We are driving 7 hours to Myrtle Beach on Thursday and I want to be prepared.
Michael’s newest trick is making farting
noises with his prosthesis. It’s highly annoying – they are really loud noises.
I need to have a come-to-Jesus meeting with him about making those noises.
Then again, Michael has a beautiful
heart. We were watching Braveheart the other night, and there’s a scene when
William Wallace’s father has been killed, and the bagpipe players gather
outside the house to play mournfully on the pipes. That brought big tears to my
eyes, and I choked up when I was trying to explain to the children about the
pipers and how important that they are to Scottish culture and history. I am
part Scot. Maybe that’s why I was so moved.
As soon as he saw I was teary eyed,
Michael got up and came over to snuggle with me on the sofa. “You OK Mommmy?”
he said? He is such a sweet little guy, always running to comfort me on the
rare occasion I cry around them.
Watching that, Alesia said sadly, “I
would come over too, Mom, but I can’t.” She had a plate full of cake and ice cream
on her lap! In our house, you cannot leave that sort of thing unattended for a
moment of Coco will get it. LOL
* * * *
Today, I got an envelope from Alesia’s
English teacher with a letter in it, addressed to me. I’m assuming this was an
English assignment. It just about wiped me out. There are hearts and stars
drawn all over it. Here’s what it said:
Thank you for the love and generosity
you give me every day. Thank you for the clothes, food, and other wonderful
things I ask for or want that you get for me. I want you to know that I will
love you forever and that you are my wonderful mom forever.
Thank you for the education and the
money that you spend on me. I am more than happy to be your daughter. Also,
thank you for the brother you gave me. He is my best buddy ever. Thank you for
a dog that I like to play with and talk to. And thank you for being the
wonderful Mother you are!