Sunday, December 19, 2010

Countdown to the Holiday...

My twins love to torture me with telling me exactly how few days are left till THE Day.  Oh the agony of being behind...  I woke up at 4:30 this morning with my mind racing on all the things I need to do, haven't done or forgotten, and in between all that trying to give quality time to the girls, and bunnies.  Am I stretched a bit thin?  Yes, I think so.

On the lighter side, I sang the Messi*h with a symphony and a 100 voices.  My dh came and all five daughters.  I knew my deaf daughter would be bored so I told her that she could bring a book and things to draw with.  I also was clear that I expected her to behave like a 12 year old, not a 4 year old, which meant not slumping down in her seat, putting her hood over her face and going to sleep.  She didn't do any of that put she DID hold her book up high enough to block the view of the person behind her, and she did put her bright yellow coat on backwards.  My other daughter who was sitting next to her told her to stop.  I am seeing all this because I'm up in the balcony with the other sopranos.

But the sound of us was amazing, it truly just blew everyone's socks off.  As we ended a roar went up from the audience and they were on their feet even before the clapping started. Wow!  Four of my five really were impressed with the performance, what a great experience.

And today for the first time I got to sing with my twins. The chorale that I sing with arranged with the mall to do a random act of singing.  While we are all there we didn't interact but all of a sudden one person started singing, then another, and finally you had about 35 people singing in four part harmony Chr*stmas carols.  The people at the mall (and there were quite a few) went nuts and really enjoyed it.  My twins and I sang together, it felt wonderful!

I will continue tomorrow, I must get some sleep now.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Look what was sitting on top of one of our three birdfeeders looking for breakfast this morning!

We won!

Some of you might remember that I filed a complaint that my daughter's rights had been violated in the Middle School.  Well, after many months of phone calls meetings and such...we have won!  What does that mean exactly?  Well, when the government looks at this sort of complaint they look using three categories, and under each category are many sub categories that need to be looked at.  Our school district apparently violated something in all three including discrimination.  I totally missed that one, but they also flagged several other issues I was not aware about.  I am so excited.  So, the District will be responsible for paying for a qualified teacher on a one to one basis from the time she enrolled in March to June of last year.  That translates into them paying for summer school this coming summer.  They will have to pay the high school since she will be going there and the high school is a different Board of Ed and has a different District attorney. She will get support in all of her classes and have a separate time for tutoring. Not only is this and more happening, but I am thrilled to know that they are not going away when this is wrapped up.  They are watch dogging the District and they will have to send in reports on what they are doing to identify ELL students what testing they have done and the support that is being given.  SInce the school system has never done that before it became clear to the Government  Attorney that there is serous problem there and they will be watching them for a long time.  That means other students who come into the school system will finally get the support that they deserve and have the right to receive. So my daughter will start High School right after the holiday vacation.  Wow, we really did it!  And if I remember correctly, I think I filed the complaint in May, but the problems started two weeks after she had started school in Feb/March.

What a very busy time.  The three performances of four of my daughters with the Symphony were great.  The city has been producing The N*tcrack*er for over 25 years, and many said that these singers were the best they have heard in a long time.  There were only 18 children singing.  Now I'm rehearsing for my concert with the symphony.  There are 90 singers, the sound is truly magnificent. But hitting all those high notes for two hours is exhausting.

We trimmed the tree tonight.  My two new daughters started out a bit slowly not sure exactly what to do and why.  But they quickly got the hang of it.  They both want their picture taken in front of the tree, and I will post that.  My deaf daughter is beside herself with excitement about Santa Claus coming to bring her presents.  She can barely wait.

I'm decking my halls, and trying to figure out presents for the five girls, stay within a tight budget (HA-good luck with that) and having apoplexy about wrapping everything for five stockings, and all the presents that go underneath the tree.

I'm off to sleep (what's that?) now so I don't have to remember everything I am forgetting (Like totally missing my sister's holiday party...) and trying to remember everything I haven't done yet that needs doing.  Sigh, I hope I can sleep through the night, or at least what's left of it.

Monday, December 6, 2010

She is 14 years old!

This her very first Birthday party and her first birthday presents.

It was hard though to get her to agree to even acknowledge her birthday.  She said she just wanted it rolled into Christmas.  I said, "Oh no, in America we have a tradition to make that day special."  And it took a whole lot of talking and a lot of listening behind her words to understand what was bothering her about her birthday.  Two things, she didn't want the attention on her, and she didn't want us to spend money on her.  She is such a sweetheart.  I finally persuaded her to see a movie with two of her sisters. The twins were at a Girl Scout tea.  I looked through all the available movies, searched the trailers to show her the choices.  Finally I found one I thought that she would enjoy and would be visual enough for my deaf daughter,  But I had to find every trailer on this movie to show her before she would say "Yes".  They all enjoyed the film immensely.  She did have a wonderful day.  Before the movie they all had singing rehearsal for the "Nutcr*cker".  Then we went to a holiday craft show, and my friend had a table there and my birthday girl got to pick whatever she wanted!  And somehow all five of them ended up getting something. My friend is their 'Auntie'.

My daughter and I went to order her cake which was to be ice cream and the great thing about this store is that I always order their cakes for the girl's birthdays and since the owners are Chinese they can write in Chinese the birthday message and name!

I tried to explain to my deaf daughter today the concept of 'future'.  Whew that is a tuffy!  I used examples like graduating form HS then college you can have more doors open for you to follow your dreams, but you do badly in school you don't get into college and your choices are limited.  Now I used much simpler words describing this. Like what you do here will effect this here (Pointing forward).  Then she had a "Ah ha" moment when I explained how In HS I worked hard to get good grades and even did extra when I could, and I got into college.  That opened the door for me to go to Engl*nd one summer to take summer school (her eyes widened at this).  Because I liked it so much there, I thought how can I get back there?  So I worked even harder at college and was able to go to graduate school there and then stayed another year to work.

Well, by this time she was thrilled!  She 'got' the cause and effect.  What a joyous moment for me. Now I do not expect anything from this, BUT I know a seed was planted and I will continue to reenforce it with choices she is making presently in her life.

Susie, Leslie and Skyblue, you both have an excellent idea and I must and will do a chart.  Tomorrow, I will start.

Leslie, thank you for your encouraging words of support.  When comments are written such as yours, I often think, "Doesn't everyone have a busy life like mine full of responsibilities."  I mean I just think I'm normal, a typically stressed out parent.

Ruby, thank you for the offer to connect me with the parent.  It would be nice to compare notes with her.

Cara, I'm sorry for not replying sooner. Thank you for your offer to share experiences with our 12 year olds.  I will be contacting you.  The only consequence that means anything to her is taking away computer time.

Again it is extremely late, and tomorrow is an early start.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Thanks Sue for that encouraging comment!

Can you believe I am actually writing this in the morning instead of at 11:00 at night?  And I actually wrote a long one last night.

The past three mornings she has chosen to play instead of dressing properly, brushing her teeth, putting hearing aids in, making her bed, putting her work in her backpack the night before and making lunch the night before, eating breakfast.  I really got on her this morning because I had enough.  She even went outside before the bus came, I had to run around outside in my p.j.'s to find her and demand she go back into the house, and replied "No" 4 times before she finally went.  Her hearing aids were still laying on the table.  I asked her if she had eaten breakfast because I didn't see her do it.  She nodded and pulled an empty banana peel out of her coat pocket.  I asked if she knew not to put open food in her pocket, and she said,  "Yes".  Then why did you put it in your pocket? There was no place to put it.  I said you could have walked inside  and put it in the garbage.  I took a wet wipe and washed the inside of her pocket.  Meanwhile the bus came in the middle of this.  I told her to go to the bus, but instead she went and started to sit down on the floor and change her shoes.  I said NO! Go to the bus!  She started crying that she had gym today and I explained that she had plenty of time to put on the right shoes before.  She went out to the bus crying stood at the door of the bus for at least 45 seconds to a minute refusing to get in.  I had to send a sister out to tell her to get in.

HOMEWORK  - She did not do her reading because she was too busy playing last night.  I was not able to monitor her because I had to deal with a horrific 2 car head-on collision and I didn't get home until quite late.

My husband said she seems to be regressing into original behavior patterns.

Couple this with last night and the past 12 hours have not been great.  Before rushing out for my EMT duties, the two abandoned bunnies created HAVOC with my other bunnies.  The only way to fit them in was between two of my bunnies' cages.  Apparently since they both were fixed just a day ago their hormones were raging so I had to separate the two new ones so their stitches didn't burst during attempted hanky panky.  Great now I needed to create ANOTHER space that I didn't have.  This of course set off more chaos.  My two new bunnies started running around trying to get at my two bunnies (On either side of them), jumping climbing, hopping to see or get at each other.  My two who are usually pretty calm were going berserk.  But with new smells and everyone pooping and marking their territories....  I was up to 1:30 this morning calming down my two bunnies with floor time and treats.  Then everything was quiet.

I came down this morning, after dealing with my daughter and saw one of my bunnies and a new bunny (male) trying to fight each other through the enclosure and thick towel separating them.  And found my other bunny had escaped sometime last night, or should I say this morning since I didn't leave them until 1:30.  This bunny is only about 3 pounds, very tiny.  She could have been anywhere in three large rooms. It's 6:30 in the morning at this point I call my twins down to help me find her.  They come running down in all manner of getting dressed and we start looking. I call her name several times, nothing then out of the corner of my eye I see something coming towards my feet.  YES!  It was her! I scooped her up.  That is the first and only time she has ever come to me when I called.  After this came the final drama with my deaf daughter.  I'm tired.

Final thought.  I just got an email from a fellow EMT that was with me last night, our patient died.  Imagine his kids, Daddy is coming home from work as usual, except this time, Daddy won't ever be coming home.  Puts all of the above in perspective.  A mere hiccup in life compared to a devastating life tragedy.
I am sure with my previous lack of presence that I lost a lot of followers.  I also think that after things mostly settled down after the adoption adventure people lost interest.  But I will continue for a little while longer for those faithful followers that are still there.

My daughter who is deaf , It's really hard not to write about what frustrations she has given me.  She has been writing in books again, they didn't belong to her.  She continually 'forgets'  almost every responsibility that she has like coming downstairs in the morning WITH her hearing aids in, with her bed made and clothes picked up, supposedly was to make her lunch the night before, her schoolwork was to be already put in her backpack and she was to be downstairs at the LATEST 6:15.  What is supposed to happen rarely happens.  Two mornings ago she got downstairs 10 minutes before the bus was supposed to come, and she hadn't made her lunch or breakfast or put her hearing aids in , etc.  Now mind you while she was upstairs I kept going into her room and hurrying her up.  Even when she only had 5 minutes before the bus, she seemed to not comprehend, or care and moved slowly. This morning she came down in time because I heard her.  When I got to the kitchen she was sitting on the floor playing with magnets on the refrigerator.  It was 15 min. before the bus came, no lunch, no breakfast, no hearing aids, no backpack...  Again I let her know that when she doesn't follow the rules and take the responsibilities  seriously she is only hurting herself.  And I gave examples. The frustrating thing about all this is that my daughter lives for instant gratification of what ever she wants or whatever she wants to do.  Her concept of future is nonexistent.  Fathoming what 'future' means is at this time impossible. So it is hard for her to understand consequences.  And so it goes.

On a lighter note four out of my 5 daughters are singing in the Nutcracker Suite with a Symphony, and I am singing in the Messiah with 100 other voices and a Symphony.  And my daughter who is deaf is amazed and overjoyed at the tradition of The Shelf Elf and how when she wakes up every morning he's in a different place...

I need to end now it's 1:15 in the morning and besides having to take two abandoned bunnies in today and trying to find room around the 5 other bunnies here has been very difficult and my night ended with an EMT call to go to a horrific head on crash of two cars and trying to save one of the driver''s life.