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an open letter

Monday, January 25, 2010

In Wyoming, Maddie was supposed to have access to the teacher for the deaf every day, during the entire day. I thought we were being quite generous in cutting it back to twice a week for 30 minutes...silly me.

Dear Mr. Mean, Mean Man...
Last year when we first met via that conference call, we didn't quite get off on the right foot.

I have apologized for that.

I was overly emotional - undoubtedly because I knew I was getting ready to uproot my family for the second time in a year, rip Maddie away from the utopia of school districts for special needs services and move my children back to the wonder that is the Emerald City.
And you were particularly snotty, condescending, paranoid and haughty.

I chalked it up to a really bad day. Certainly you hadn't quite made it to your overdose level of caffeine by 9 a.m., someone must have run over your little dog or little green aliens had to have beamed down and swiped your favorite pen off of your paper-pushing desk.
I was wrong. It really is just your lovely personality.
Let me just make this perfectly clear for you...
When I tell you that I am not going to sign off on an IEP change until I've had a chance to talk to Maddie's teacher, what I really mean to say is...I'm not going to sign off on an IEP change until I've had a chance to talk to Maddie's teacher.
I see where you could get confused. Things often get muddled when people have to repeat themselves!
Again, just so we're clear here... I. AM. NOT. GOING. TO. SIGN. OFF. ON. AN. IEP. CHANGE. UNTIL. I'VE. HAD. A. CHANCE. TO. TALK. TO. MADDIE'S. TEACHER!
No matter how many times you call me and tell me that the changes are absolutely necessary because of budget constraints. No matter how many times you have your lackey call me to try to get my address so they can send me the forms. No matter how many times you tell me that the formal meeting I am requesting is not necessary.
I'M. NOT. SIGNING. Just so we're clear.
In Wyoming, Maddie was supposed to have access to the teacher for the deaf every day, during the entire day. I thought we were being quite generous in cutting it back to twice a week for 30 minutes...silly me.
Yes. Its the same amount of time.
No. I don't think the two plans are the same.
Quite frankly I'm not absolutely positive my FIVE YEAR OLD will not be able to sit still for an hour-long session from a teacher for the deaf. Nor am I certain that even if she COULD sit still for that hour that she could retain the information an entire week until her next session.
So...until we've had a chance to discuss this with her teachers, who share our concerns. AND...until we have had a chance for everyone to pow-wow about how this would affect Maddie. AND UNTIL...Shad and I have had a chance to mull over that information over and come to an independent conclusion away from the pressure of your omniscient wisdom...

Just so we're clear.


my life is one, very long, seinfeld episode

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunflower Seeds is morphing...changing... evolving... OH WAIT! I don't believe in evolution!

Sometimes I feel like this blog has no identity. Its something about nothing...kind of like a really bad Seinfeld episode.
It used to have an identity.
When we brought Maddie home two years ago, I created Sunflower Seeds. It was supposed to chronicle Maddie's adjustment and our reorganization into a family of six. And it did that. But the content of Sunflower Seeds didn't really change much. I wrote cute stories about Maddie's language aquisition, posted awesome video of her first hearing moments and marked the months off with attachment updates.
Now that Maddie truly has melded into our family, become a seamless part of it, I find myself having a hard time coming up with blog material.
Don't worry...I'm not going anywhere, I'm just trying to figure out where the blog is going and what I'll be concentrating on.
Family life is almost non-existant. I've mentioned ad naseum about how by the time I get home from work in the evenings, I only have enough time to fix dinner and help kids with homework before its time to get them all ready for bed.
Not much time in that schedule for funny kid stories.
Work isn't bloggable.
The radio show is up and running, but so far we haven't had any callers and we're still working out the kinks.
Even the animals are just laying around sleeping and not providing any entertainment.
I'd use my witty writing skills to make something out of nothing, but have I mentioned lately that all my really good words are used up at work?
So....I'm waiting.
Sunflower Seeds is morphing...changing...evolving...
OH WAIT! I don't believe in evolution! Hmmm...a better word might be metamorphasis.

Anyway...I'm hanging out. Waiting for inspiration and posting as it strikes.
Please stand by.


a little of this...a lot of that

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Today I ate a bit of something called a bacon exlosion. Actually it was two bits...or maybe even three.

We're officially fourteen days into the new year and I have to admit I'm doing a REALLY bad job of keeping up with those resolutions.
I'm failing miserably at resolution number one - Keeping the blog updated. Ummm...yep. Not so much.
Number two - Losing weight. Ummm...again, not so much. Today I ate a bit of something called a 'bacon explosion'. Actually it was two bits...or maybe three. It was work related...really! A co-worker of mine is working on a story about bacon and we discovered a little restaurant in Kansas City that sells these things. At the time it seemed like a good idea to conduct some research and try one...and quite frankly it was delicious, but that's little comfort. I just know the accompanying calories do not care if eating the sausage and bacon roll was work-related. They're going to plant themselves on my hips anyway.
Number 4 - Being a better housekeeper. I would say that I am doing a better job at this except all you'd have to do is come over right now and take a peek inside the back door to know I'm lying my tail off. Yep...again, not so much. I'm just going to come clean. (Ha! Pun intended). My house is not clean. I have three baskets of clean laundry to be folded in my bedroom right now...but there are several dirty ones overflowing in the laundry room. This weekend. I promise. This weekend, I will get caught up.
Number 5 - The personal one - I haven't gotten very far on that one either. Still working on it...just not having much luck.
But there's good news. I'm doing great on number three! :)
I'm reading to the kids. Well, okay. I'm reading to the girls. The boys are bored out of their mind and I'm going to need to find a new book to read to them...Call of the Wild just isn't cutting it. But the girls and I wrapped up 'Little House in the Big Woods' tonight...and they're LOVING it. They asked me to read two chapters tonight so we could finish the book and start on 'Little House on the Prairie' tomorrow.
They're so excited...and I'm actually enjoying it myself. I forgot how good the books are...and as long as the girls are in their beds, they're not quite so squirmy and disinterested, which is nice. I think we're all discovering something with this one. For me...reading to, at least the girls, isn't so yucky. And for the girls...books are kind of cool.
Mission accomplished.
In other news, we celebrated the second anniversary of going to court to adopt Maddie on Jan. 10th. The second anniversary of Gotcha Day (or as we like to call it 'Family Day') is Jan. 24th. I'm working on the video that I promised you last year, except the drive with all of my pictures on it has bit the dust. I have most of them on this computer as well, but there are three or four that just MADE the video and they may be gone for good.
Anyway...working on getting that video done for you all...and myself, by the 24th. (Something to look forward to.)
Work is going well. Still busy...but I doubt that is ever going to change. I am still using up most of my words at work right now which means I have absolutely no desire to blog anymore...which stinks. I LOVE blogging. Really, I do. But what in the world am I going to blog about when I sit at my desk all day writing...and then when I get home all I have time to do is fix dinner, help the kids with homework, read to the girls and get everyone in bed?
I just re-read this entry and am half tempted to erase it, except I've already typed this one up and I don't have anything else rolling around in my brain. I'll try to think of something more clever to blog about next time.


С Рождеством Христовым!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Just dropping in a moment to wish all of you С Рождеством Христовым!



Monday, January 4, 2010

...the wildest animals we have around here are the possum that scrounge around for cat food in the garage.

I'm only four days into my New Year, New Me campaign and I've already failed on two out of the five resolutions. Number one and number two.
That's pretty pathetic. I have been eating more than ever - thanks to a really sweet case of PMS. Love that stuff. And the Wii has been woefully silent for the last two days.
And as far as updating the blog more often - you all are witnessing the fact that I'm not doing such a great job of that, so I won't even try to make up some tale about wild-eyed third graders. :)
Good news though! I started number resolution number three tonight! The boys and I read two chapters of 'The Call of the Wild.' Now, I have to say - I'm not sure I want to keep going with that one. So far I'm bored out of my mind, the boys are uninterested and its quite violent. The last thing I want is to bring more blood and guts into my boys' lives. I already have a hard enough time keeping them from wrestling in the house and using vacuum hoses as 0ozies.
The girls and I read a couple of chapters of 'Little House in the Big Woods.' We're at the part where springtime is coming to the Big Woods and Pa took the pelts to town to sell. Too bad spring isn't coming to the Emerald City any time soon. I'm about sick of the fri-gid temps...and I'm one of winter's biggest fans! Of course the bear Ma and Laura ran into in the barnyard doesn't sound like much fun...but then again the wildest animals we have around here are the possum that scrounge around for cat food in the garage and the occasional wildcat that someone sees down by the river. And the river is a long ways from here...so I think I'm okay in longing for spring.
Oh! I almost forgot to tell you...
Anya had surgery today. Nothing serious, just a couple of ear tubes. She flunked her hearing test, yet again. And then SURPRISE flunked her test at the ENT...so he suggested tubes.
Part of me is glad we won't have to deal with this again for a couple of years...the other part of me wishes we could figure out a more permanent solution to this problem. She doesn't seem to be outgrowing ear infections (although there is the possibility - in my mind at least - that it has something to do with her growth delay) so wouldn't it make sense to try to come up with a more permanent solution? You know - something along the lines of allergy testing or medication to take during a certain time of the year - or SOME. THING?
Maybe by the time the tubes fall out she'll have had a sudden growth spurt and all of this will be a distant memory. At least we know the tubes will work. The last time she had them, she didn't have an ear infection for two years! :)
She's had three in the last nine weeks...in different ears...with medication the entire time.
First day back to school (for everyone but Anya) went well. Maddie's teacher said she was a bit loud - but well behaved. That's good to hear. I STILL owe you all an update AND I'm reworking the video that I did last year for Maddie's one year anniversary. Look for it toward the end of the month. Can you believe its almost been two years ALREADY?!
I can't. But one thing I can believe is how well Maddie is fitting in. It's happened with all four of the kids - at the two year mark it suddenly seems like they've been with us forever. I barely remember a time without her...and the same has become true with her, which is AWESOME! :)
I'm back to work tomorrow...well, actually I did some work from home in the last 48 hours. I finally finished up that article on the family from Ukraine. It didn't turn out as well as I had hoped in my mind...but my boss seemed happy with it, so I guess that's what matters. I'll post it at some point after it prints.
Hmm...what else? I think that's it for now and since I really don't have an incredibly pithy way to sign off I'll just say - I'll work on getting back on track with those resolutions. Who knows, maybe I'll actually getting something posted on here two days in a row - and maybe I'll be able to walk past that cookie jar tomorrow and not even be tempted.

Yeah. Right.


holidays, resolutions and all that jazz

Friday, January 1, 2010

I'm thinking 2010 has a nice ring to it. And as Anne of Green Gables was wont to say, 'it's a new day - with no mistakes in it yet.'

HAPPY New Year!
Whew! I'm so glad we're into a new year. I don't know about you, but that last one was a doozie. I'm thinking 2010 has a nice ring to it. And as Anne of Green Gables was wont to say, 'it's a new day - with no mistakes in it yet.'
Jan 1, 2010 dawned this morning bright, clear and bitterly cold...but I'll take it. 2009 just had too much baggage in it. ;)
We had a really nice quiet day. A big change from the last couple of weeks where I've felt like I was playing nurse in the pediatric ward or the mad hatter running around late for something.
What? I didn't tell you that after our last battle with the stomach flu we had the joy of round two. Sorry about that. Turns out there was a second, equally virulent bug circulating our community - and we caught both - within two weeks! Thankfully the worst seems to be over. Everyone...and I do mean every. one. has had their fun and we're all back to normal - whatever that is.
Since we have finally kicked the erpies, I made our traditional New Year's Day dinner today - Russian/Ukranian fare. This year I tried my hand at Farshirovanniy Rulet (stuffed meat loaf), deruni (fried potatoes cakes) and borscht (a really easy, and not-so-beaty recipe from the Ukranian couple I interviewed a couple of weeks ago and should really start writing that story about. ;)
It turned out pretty well, all the kids liked it except for Nick who doesn't like any. thing. at. all. The only fly in the ointment is Shad is on call and will be through the New Year's weekend...which means we probably won't see him much. The clinic is technically closed tomorrow, but farmers don't seem to get the memo - or to care. They will call with the most mundane cattle work - stuff that can ABSOLUTELY wait until the next work day, but won't wait on THEIR timetable.
Add to that the lovely owner who feeds their pet an horderve with the toothpick still in it, the really smart person that leaves chocolate where their dog can get to it and your run of the mill cat lover that just can't seem to wait until Monday to have their feline's furballs taken care of and well, you can imagine what the next few days are going to be like.
Despite the erpies, we really have had some fun over the last couple of weeks.
We got home two days ago from a quick trip out to Colorado. Those who follow me on Facebook and Twitter know we made a quick trip out to Colorado on the Sunday after Christmas. We were going to head out on the 26th, but there was that whole Christmas blizzard thing. We weren't going to go at all, but after a call from Shad's parents, we decided it would be best to go. Things have been a little rough lately and we thought a quick visit would do everyone a bit of good.
And it did.
We spent two days just hanging out with the grandparents and cousins..playing games, eating and chatting. Not much excitement, but good times anyway.
On the 12 hour drive home I had the time to sit and think about 2010 and the changes I want to make in my life. I'm really not much of a resolution keeper, so I typically try to stay as far away from them as I can...HOWEVER, there really are some things that need to be changed. So I'm going to resolve to try and change them. For the record (and so you can help keep me accountable) here they are...

I resolve to...

1. Do a better job of keeping this blog updated. I'm going to try a daily challenge for the month of January to get me kick-started. I'm going to try to post something - no matter how small. We'll see how that works. I'm also going to be reaching out to my bloggy friends a bit more. I'm already reading - really I am. I'm just not commenting as much as I would like. So rest assured, you'll be hearing from me this year. And if you're NOT?! Let me know. Leave me a comment, and I'll drop by. ;>)

2. Lose some weight - I'm not putting a number on there so there's not as much pressure if I fail miserably. I just know I need to do something - and I may head to a doctor to try and help. When it comes to weight loss, I have a horrible sense of self-control. So making this one happen may take some professional assistance. Joining a gym isn't an option (we live too far away), I don't have time to even head out for a walk right now, so I'm going to try to change the one thing I can - what I put in my mouth. I'm also taking a cue from my bloggy friend, Elaine and starting my own 300 days of Wii. She didn't issue it as a challenge, but I'm taking it anyway. It will give me the added benefit of more time with the kids too. ;)

3. Read to the kids every night. I'm about to make a BIG confession. I HATE reading to my kids. I KNOW! It's terrible...and its really surprised me. I LOVE to read...you would think I would LOVE to read to the kids. But I don't. I don't mind it in short snippets, but I can't STAND reading the same books over and over. Shad's not much better...he doesn't like reading at all and the kids have to practically sit on him to get a book read to them. Thankfully, they're all old enough we can tackle some chapter books...actually, they've been old enough for awhile, and I STILL couldn't work up the energy to read to them. But I'm going to do it this year. I'M. GOING. TO. At this point none of my kids like to read...which is a big red, 'YOU'VE FAILED' flag. I'm hoping I can capture their attention every night for at least 15 minutes of some awesome story. I'm just going to need to make it the same book for all of them, all at the same time, because if I try to read four chapters out of four books each night I may go MAD! I've actually read a few before, I managed to stumble my way through Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Nick and Alek. And its taken me most of the year to get through Little House on the Prairie with the girls...but NO MORE! I'm going to do better this year. I'm going to read a book a month!
How's THAT for a resolution?!!!

4. Be a better housekeeper. I don't know what happened in the last couple of years, but my normally tidy house has become a trash pit. Okay, not quite a trash pit, but I CAN'T keep up - actually it may be more along the line of 'am not taking the time' to keep up. I know how to clean, I'm just not doing it as much as I need to. And its not like the kids aren't helping me. They're awesome helpers...its just that ever since bringing Maddie home, I just can't stay ahead of things. There's just something about adding child number four that REALLY throws you into a spin, you know? Anyway...a better housekeeper. Yep. That's going to be me.

5. And finally...I have a more personal one that I'm posting here. That's one I have high hopes for. I think making that change will make a big change in all areas of my life. Especially in regards to resolution 1, 2, 3 and 4! :)


joy of adoption

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