Sunday, August 19, 2012

Burning Candles and Other Stuff

...Not necessarily burning other stuff. I just mean that this post will cover other stuff besides burning candles. Sort of. You'll get the idea.

Three years ago yesterday, this little corner of the blogger world was turned loose on an unsuspecting and largely non-existent audience for the first time. Not unlike a blind man tossing a hand grenade, but it was a start. In the three years since, the blind man got a pair of eye glasses, dropped his cane a few times, had Lasix surgery and then stared at the sun too long. Now, he's busy looking for the pin to the live grenade in his hand and wondering if the counting has already gone past three.

I don't have anything special prepared to help celebrate my little blogiversary other than another whirlwind round up of stuff that's happened since last we spoke.

First up, I've been traveling more lately. Like a lot more. I get to spend next week in town all week which will be a refreshing change. The Queen is kinda partial to the idea of me being home for a change too. Seems she wants help with the kids or something. Having my smiling face nearby is a secondary bonus apparently.

On a recent business trip to lovely San Antonio, I had a couple of firsts. On the flight there from Dallas, I had my first experience with "new plane" smell. Southwest Airlines rolled out a brand, spanking new airplane for us. It was literally the first fare carrying flight for this bird which was one of their new WIFI equipped Boeing 737-800s. All that plastic, leather and adhesives off gassing together is pretty a "when do we land so my headache will go away?" sort of way. Nonetheless, it was a nice plane and felt a who heck of a lot more comfortable than the little American Eagle regional jet that I was shoe horned into earlier in the week.

The next little story comes from the return leg of the San Antonio checking in for my return flight. I was talking with my business associate when a whiff of Hoppe's No. 9 reached out and rudely assaulted my hind brain. A quick search of the area spotted a Glock in a well cared for tan leather holster. The gun and holster were attached to a gentleman in line ahead of us to check in for our flights. Further examination revealed that the gun and holster were attached to a man in his mid to late 50s wearing brown cowboy boots, pressed tan colored denim pants, brown belt, earth toned button down shirt with a black ribbon string tie, a white cookie duster mustache and a huge straw cowboy hat. Did I forget to mention the Texas Ranger badge and handcuffs?

Why do I mention this? Well, for starters, it's rare enough to see a Texas Ranger out in the wild so to speak much less checking in for a flight at the airport since there are only 216 of them by statute. Second, Ranger rocked his Glock with a very tasteful miniature Ranger badge on the magazine floor plate. I'd be willing to give 50/50 odds that his duty issue hollow points have little Ranger badges on them too. You that the bad guys will know that they've been put down hard by a real American bad ass.

I'd also give 100% odds that no one even thought about jacking with his flight. Because he didn't have to check that heater at the counter and wore it proudly through security.

Now, on to the kid update.

First, a little vignette from a phone conversation between The Queen and I five minutes before I had to start a conference call.

Me: Hello?

The Queen: Hi honey. How is your day going?

[lots of pleasantries, idle talk and lead up later]

The Queen: How do you feel about respiting a four year old boy for two weeks?

Me: It's probably not the best idea we've had lately.

The Queen: But he would give Mini Me someone to play with and make things easier on me.

Me: It's your call. You have to decide if you are up to handling another kiddo. I've got to go for my call now.

The Queen: Okay, see you later.

Five Hours Later...walking in the door at Castle Erickson.

The Queen: It's Daddy. Daddy meet [Insert Name Here].

Me: Hi [Insert Name Here].

[Insert Name Here] has a few issues not the least of which is an incomplete grasp on toilet training. He knows how. He just chooses not to. Perhaps more frustrating than that is trying to communicate with him. I am not sure how best to describe it. There really is no frame of reference. If I didn't know better, I'd say hallucinogenic drugs were involved.

So, to recap. Four kids. Two four year old boys. Two infant girls. No sanity.

Mini Me and The Banshee are still here. The Banshee is still a Banshee. Mini Me has had a few adjustment issues with the new boy in the house. Otherwise, situation normal. Their bio momma is continuing her efforts to get her kids back. She just started a new job. She is getting some out patient help for certain issues. All in all, she is working hard. We are guesstimating she will get her kids back sometime in November. Maybe.

That leaves M&M's situation. We are back in limbo waiting on word for the state where bio mom's mom lives to get the home study back to Texas CPS. We did get word that grandma either has or had brain cancer recently. This may or may not be an issue with respect to her home study depending what kind of drugs she is on and what her treatment status and prognosis are.

Last we heard, the next hearing is still set in mid October. Until we hear different, we continue to treat M&M like our own.

Hope all is well with you all. More to follow when I can.


  1. Happy Blogiversary and congratulations on the full house!

    1. Christina, thanks. Glad to know there's still folks around to post comments.

  2. Happy Blogiversary! I missed mine this year (oops).

    Love the Texas Ranger thing.

    And don't you feel like a lot of guys who were out on the road a lot back in the Wild West? If you're gone long enough, you come home and there's another mouth to feed. *snort*

    1. GunDiva, Happy Belated Anniversary to you. I don't mind the other mouth to feed as much as I mind the other diaper to change.

  3. Happy Blogiversary buddy! congrats.

    heck - i don't even know where to start in responding to this post. i am sorry that you have been away so much - the Poor Queen - how on earth is she handling all of this? she's an angel is that woman! i am glad that you are home for a bit, tho, that will help.

    thanks for the update on all of the kiddos - sorry about the banshee, that's got to be nerve-wracking!

    another child? cheers to you and the Queen, Mr. SK! i am incredibly impressed!

    things will all work out with M&'s gonna be a long, hard road but you both seem to have the stamina to pull this off and get through it. i am cheering for you all the way.

    your friend,

    1. Kymber, thanks. Don't be too impressed. The Banshee and [Insert Name Here] make us both want to pull our hair out and will be the major reasons why we get out of the system as soon as possible. I just can't fathom how people can let innocent children get to the point where they are so physically and emotionally disconnected that they do not care that they are lying in their own crap.

    2. oh Shepherd...the last sentence has brought tears to my eyes. i can't fathom it either.

      your friend,

  4. Happy Blogiversary.

    Don't know "insert name here's" history. I have a friend who worked as a nanny. She is quite convinced that those pull-up things cause children to have troubles with potty training because they don't feel wet when they have an accident. Potty training involves work, and some children are just lazy little "dears" and would rather have someone cleaning up after them all the time. My nephew was somewhat the same way - a bit of Ausbergers thrown into the mix didn't help either.

    The nanny's foolproof method was to pick a week when not a lot was going on in the schedule and switch the child to real underwear with those annoying plastic pants over them. When the child had an accident, things became wet and squishy, and soon the child got the idea that it might be more comfortable to hold it and go on the toilet. The nanny also kept a small child's porta-loo handy when car travel was involved, because little ones offer little warning. Of course, at first this made for a lot of frequent clothes changes and more dirty laundry. Hence the need to have an uncluttered schedule, because all free time was spent changing clothes, providing encouragement and positive reinforcement, and doing lots of laundry. Since you will only have "insert name here" for two weeks, consistency and support for potty training in the future is doubtful. You might be stuck with the pull-up scenario for the remainder of "insert name here"'s stay

    It's a crappy job. I admire the Queen's and your willingness to do it.

    1. Mrs. S, we don't know much about [Insert Name Here]'s history either. We know momma is into drugs, [INH] was found wandering the street at least once, and that's about it. We absolutely agree that the potty training takes work. The Queen has plenty of experience with that from her days as a nanny. There are two problems working against us though: 1) as a foster family, our schedule is at the mercy of CPS and all the little hoops we have to jump through, and 2) [INH] is actively working against us through some tortured thought process that blames us for his current situation. At least, we think that's his reasoning. Conversation with him is not unlike having a conversation with the love child of Virginia Wolfe, Salvador Daly and Heironimous Bosch.

    2. Poor kid, not surprising that INH doesn't trust anyone. Children have this amazing capacity to love and be loyal to their parents, even if the parents don't deserve it.

    3. Mrs. S, you are absolutely right. We see that in Mini Me as well although he has learned to trust us and now has loyalty to us too.

  5. Sorry, I am late. Happy Blogoversary!

    Our A came to us in a state of total none emotion. She was deep, deep inside herself. We thought she might be autistic and it tools about 2 years before she would look us in the eye. What she went through is beyond disgusting. It's a hard job, but I am thankful for people like you and The Queen.

    1. A Girl, thanks. I suspected Asperger's Syndrome for a couple of reasons I didn't mention. Supposedly, his psych assessment was normal, but then we got a call the day he left for another assessment. There was a distinct difference between him and Mini Me in terms of physical, emotional, psychological and verbal communication development levels. Wicket was clearly smart in a lot of ways (his puzzle solving skills were phenomenal), but the other issues overshadowed everything else.


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