Saturday, October 27, 2007


We are still alive, and to take a page from this gal's book, you're getting the bulleted list of what we've been up to.

* We are still struggling. I eliminated the previous bullet because it's just too painful to read. I believe I jinxed myself. Yesterday was rough. C had an appointment with the pediatrician who not only got to witness the violence, but finally (finally) stood up to C's mom. C needed a flu shot, and even after a mild sedative and numbing cream, she still managed to kick B in the chin, smack his face, bite him 3 times, and kick him in the hand. Yeah, it's bad. The 5 nursing staff who were there to help could not control her, and were freaked. On the Walk of Shame out of the office, the receptionist actually had the balls to tell B, "She really needs some discipline." I'm glad I wasn't there, because I believe I would have lost it. C's pediatrician finally said, "You're medication choice isn't working, you really need to consider ADHD and ODD." B and I have always believed that C has ADHD, and whenever we would go there, C's mom would lose it. Thank god someone else finally said it. Her pediatrician is very proactive and will collaborate with the psychiatrist and therapist. Now, if only her mom will cooperate with them. Keep your fingers crossed that this helps.

* I just finished a major proposal for a conference in Vegas this spring. I worked collaboratively with two other students, and hopefully we'll get in. I have never been to Vegas before. Keep your fingers crossed that we are accepted. Any tips on where to go, eat, and sight see are welcome.

* I've been going to the movies a lot with my friend Caroline. We have started to have a set Sunday movie date. Last week, along with my mom, we saw The Heartbreak Kid. It totally sucked. You know a movie's bad when you have to explain to your mother what a "queef" is. Yeah, it was awesome.

* Speaking of Caroline, she and I are headed down to Biltmore in a few weeks to meet up with the Tiara Girls - Susan and Shanny. Shannon may or may not join us. We are hoping she doesn't, because that means she's gotten her referral for Emily! She will be greatly missed, but we totally understand - her girl comes first. We can't wait for that referral, so we will take pictures. I can't wait to see my bloggy posse. I need the break.

* My niece Evie is talking more and more, and it's pretty hilarious. Last week my brother called the cat, "Fat Ass." Immediately Evie started saying, "Fat Ass, Fat Ass" My brother redirected her and asked her to call the cat by his name, T. J. She said okay, and he didn't think anything about it again. Later that day, she walked over to my SIL, Kim, Evie touched her on the knee and said, "Hey Fat Ass, lookit my boo-boo." Sweet.

* I have a fierce crush on Anthony Bourdain. Fierce. No Reservations is my new favorite show. I am also loving Chuck. Next week Nip/Tuck begins, and soon Project Runway. TV has been my salvation.

* Today marks month 16 of waiting for Ruby.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Being a Mom

There are many reasons for a lag in my blogging lately. There's a new season of TV to watch, it's conference proposal semester and I am diligently working for a trip to Vegas in the spring, I am depressed about the wait for Ruby... you get the point. Regardless of my regularly scheduled life, the main reason I have not been blogging is because I have been too busy being a mom.

Yeah, you read that correctly.

I am not C's mom, and have never had the delusion that I could ever take the place of her mother. My relationship with C has been one of stepmother - close, but not a decision maker. Nevertheless, I have been playing the role of mom due to the Summer of Hell she has had with her biological mother. Since May, C has been an absolute tyrant with her mother, and truthfully, it's a little embarrassing to talk about.

C has become an asshole. There I said it out loud.

My stepdaughter has become that image of the terrible teenager that all parents dread to think about - moody, tearful, raging, violent, hurtful, deceitful, lying and mean. The weird thing about it is that even though this mood swing has hit across environments (school, home, life), the really violent stuff only happens with her mother. Don't get me wrong, we have our moments where I get the "Stare of Death," but never to the level of destruction that happens at her mother's home. C has hit, kicked, punched, and thrown things at her mother. She has broken the woman's leg, torn ligaments in her thumb, and punched her repeatedly. We are seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist, and have consulted with her pediatrician, and have met with both school personnel and the police. And finally, we have done the one thing we said we wouldn't do - medicated our child.

I am not writing these things to elicit sympathy or advice, I am just passing along the facts of my life as it has unfolded over the past few months. Also, keep in mind, C is compassionate toward most, fun, silly, loving, and has a great sense of humor. Right now she's possessed by hormones and possible mental illness that has been passed down generationally; it says something when 4 generations of women (maternal) in your family have bipolar disorder.

We have also flipped the script with living situation, which is why I haven't been blogging. In the past, C has spent the majority of time with her mother and would come to us 2-3 times a week, depending upon her schedule. For the last 2 months, C has spent most of her time at our house. She goes to her mother's house 2x during the school week, and weekends (aka downtime) is spent here. So far, we have only had one meltdown and one potential meltdown. The one true meltdown was about not wanting to nebulize (whatever) and she almost hit me. Fortunately for us both, she reconsidered. But I am waiting.

99% of the time, it's been good. Very good. We have a routine and it works. We have an unspoken contract that is becoming a written contract where she can earn reward daily. Grounding long-term has never worked with her, and she's too big to spank. We are taking it one day at a time, and are working incredibly hard to stabilize her.

So that's why I have fallen off the face of the earth. That's why I haven't been blogging about my crush on Anthony Bourdain, my loathe of Lynette from Desperate Housewives, and my irritation that Hung won Top Chef. My life is C., because in the face of this emotional chaos, she has turned to me for some reason. Our relationship has grown stronger and stronger, and we are together constantly - day in and day out. C has turned to me for help, and looks to me as that port in her storm. Right now, I have a responsibility to pick up and carry her for a while, and right now that's what I am doing.

I am being a mom, whether I am ready or not.