aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (bomb here)
I HAVE PIE. I win the universe! Hee. Hi, does it show that I had too much sugar for breakfast? Yes? Ok, moving on.

Went to a lovely heathenmas party last night. Tasty food, cool people (including an entirely new subset of the poly-renny-gothy-geeky crowd! gasp! although of course there were multiple instances of scary overlap, because, well, it's the Valley) and the source of the previously mentioned PIE. I need to get J sock garters, as the ones for his kilt socks were apparently part of the rental. Also, I haven't worn it in years, but I can in fact still get into a car in a cloak and not strangle myself...much.

The annual migration of my mom's family towards Worcester is on the 1st of Jan instead of the 26th of Dec. this year, and I won't be able to make it, but I may go in that week with my mom to visit my grandfather. Keeping my fingers crossed for no snow, or a late start, on the 25th, so MIL doesn't spend Christmas stranded up at the top of the mountain with FIL out plowing and nobody able to make it up there. Kids are going up the night before, so she'll have company, at least, but still. I think we're doing something with my family on the 24th, according to my sister, except if the kids are already up the mountain that won't work. Feh. Must figure this out soonish.

Signing the lease and getting keys to the new place today, and probably going in to start taping off woodwork in preparation for painting. If nothing else, I want to go in and stand in it and rejoice that it has windows! and start mentally placing furniture and ponder paint colors for the remaining rooms. I also have to swing by the school offices with the lease as proof of residence, see what they got from Sunderland already, and what else they need. I did learn that C's bus stop is half a block away at the corner, not sure how the morning routine will shape up but I'm obviously going to have to wait there with him. [I am so proud, though. Every morning for the last 2 weeks, when the bus comes he waits for the sign to come out, stops, looks left, right and left again, and then crosses- without prompting. Since this is something we've had to talk to him about all year, this is exciting.] From there I'm off to help tackle Spare Boy's basement, because throwing away other people's crap is always more fun than throwing away your own.
Anyone want to volunteer to help with painting tomorrow night? I can be induced to bribe with food. Bonus points if you come with some sort of portable music player.

ow ow ow

Dec. 10th, 2005 03:00 pm
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (cold n alone)
Dear self: No matter how much your mind, legs and spirit are still young enough to go sledding for 2 hours with the kids, your hips are not. In fact, they'd like to have a word with you just now. *wince*


Otherwise, we had a blast, especially Dangermouse. She had to be bodily pried out of her sled when it was time to go. Now it's time for hot cocoa, miso soup, and a hot shower for me.
aunthippie: A young blonde child with a mohawk sticks his tongue out and waves his hands near his ears (cdawg)
Or, Wow, their sense of when to be charming before I kill them is well developed.

The latest neologism in our house comes courtesy of C-dawg. At first I thought it was just a pronunciation error, but he's referring to the jellied cranberry sauce as "canberry" because, in his words, "I call it that because it sounds like cranberry, but it's shaped like a can!"

I've no idea how I could be raising wordplay geeks. Nope. None.
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (crabby)
Crab crab crab.

Had three key pieces of mail go missing in the last month- a gift certificate, a present for Maggie (which I only found out about when my mom yelled at me for not having sent a thank you note to my grandfather yet) and now very likely a pair of earrings as well. Called the post office (whose number is not listed in any of the FIVE GODDAMNED PHONE BOOKS I've gotten this year) and they were like "Oh, yeah, there was a problem there a few years ago, too." Yeah, and it was me then, too. Why it took 2 weeks to explain to my postman that he was under no circumstances to leave my packages with Drunk and Drunker in the event that I was not home, I can only speculate. (It may have something to do with him being a thick-headed pig farmer.) So, grrr.

Also, my kitchen is an absolute fucking disaster, after being cleaned within an inch of its life on Monday, despite practically no cooking taking place in it. Cannot find the box of tie-dye that I bought anyway, so I suppose it doesn't matter that there is neither vessel nor counter space to dye the two shirts I've got waiting. Frustration with trying to clean and winnow in advance of moving, for once, is reaching "Can I just rent a dumpster and park it under a window?" levels.

Shoes are in Chelmsford, according to UPS, but not due to be delivered until Tuesday. Odds that they will sit in the warehouse over the weekend: extremely high. Odds that UPS will manage to dent, fold, spindle, mutilate, maim or lose them between now and Monday night, when they go out to South Deerfield: fair to middling. My hatred for them, it runs strong.

Also, I had to set foot in a retail establishment on Black Friday for the first time since I worked the layaway desk at Caldor's 8 years ago. We had critical failure of snow boots for both kids yesterday, so had to dash out and get them each new ones in order to reclaim mine from the boy-child. Still hate everybody, but I am very much a surgical strike shopper, and we got in and out of the mall in under 10 minutes.

I do have at hand for stress relief some very over-frosted clearanced halloween cookies (they're that much better when the frosting is stale and kind of crispy), half a pack of cloves, tea with real cream, and two bath bombs from LUSH. My family may yet survive the weekend.
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (Default)
Do not ponder too deeply the advancing ages of your former babysitting charges.

Was lamenting the fact that the going rate for a remotely competent and over-16 babysitter seems to be about $7/hr. (I made TWO. $3, from the yuppies, and $4 from the lady who had 5 kids. But generally $2/hr.) I started when I was 12, watching two little girls down the street...who I realized are now 21 and 20. *sigh* And the two that I watched as infants, Rose and Elizabeth, are now 17 and 14, respectively. Did I mention that they're both taller than me?

Just for the extra freaky, I should see if Elizabeth is available as a sitter.
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (buccaneers)
No, not Guy Fawkes and gunpowder. (Alas.) It's my mom's birthday, and while I will not say how old she is, I will say that it's a commonly posted speed limit. ;)

It's absolutely gorgeous today, aiding my ongoing campaign to de-stink my car. Two doses of febreeze and a heavy duty air freshener haven't quite gotten rid of the cigarettes-and-auto-shop smell..am going to try a spritz bottle of cheap vodka + water next. Anyway, that's TOTALLY the reason that I HAD to drive around with the sunroof and windows open and the radio blaring. Honest it is. *nodnod* Saw a plum purple Subaru Legacy at the gas station* on the way home, one pump over. I was amused. (It was nearly the same color as my car, though mine's a bit more on the grape side, and the same make and model of [livejournal.com profile] pixel's car, although his has a more unique paint job. Still can't figure out what to do to the Audi to make her an art car- she gets indignant about nearly any idea I run by, and I don't want to do the punk theme I had planned for the Prizm because I am slightly uncomfortable with driving a German punked out car if I ever shave my head again. Might deliver the wrong impression, there.

Headed out to Albany tonight for a party, en famille, with stops at my parents' to deliver birthday and anniversary cards (their 33rd wedding anniversary was yesterday) and at a certain orange and pink purveyor of round baked goods to assuage the 6 year old- he was promised a donut on the way home from the park earlier, but forgot about it on the way home, and promptly remembered as soon as the car was parked. Lest J forget again, we have been treated to reminders roughly every 45 seconds since then.

*In the "I have no odometer, but I know how far it is to Hartford and back, and I know it's a 14 gallon tank" rough estimate department, the Audi seems to get in the neighborhood of 30MPG. I will absolutely vouch for at least 25, and it seems to get a hair over 30 highway, so I'd say probably 28-29 out of an average tank, easily.) Not quite enough to be smug like the Prizm's 38MPG average and one tank in 5 going over 40... until you realize that the Audi is 20 years old.

Costumes

Oct. 31st, 2005 05:10 pm
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (paintyhead)
Quick shot of everybody all halloween-tastic.

http://pics.livejournal.com/mhaille/gallery/0000cda4
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (*blink*)
I know, I can see you all pretending to shake your heads in denial while you fight the "Duh." that's trying to cross your lips of its own accord.

Some specific reasons:
I don't even know what I was reading, but a passing mention of impeller pumps brought to mind "Hey, I should put them in holy water. Then I could run around shouting 'The power of Christ impels you!' " Not even a pause between the two thoughts. Sheesh.

Also, there is a shortish, blonde ninja in my living room wielding a plastic claymore*. I am going to put reflective tape on his (matte, black) costume in the shape of the character 'serenity'. Wait, no, that's not weird, that's just me being a colossal dork.

Back on track, you know that website where you have to pick Lesbian or German Tourist? Well, in one of the myriad conversations I have with my car, she suggested putting her picture up on that website. I'm not entirely sure which category she's shooting for, to be honest.

It's a good thing that 98% of what goes through my head never makes it as far as my mouth.

*Hm, historical accuracy vs. buying my children another sword. Wait, let me think on that.

bwah?

Oct. 24th, 2005 05:10 am
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (wtf?kitty)
From [livejournal.com profile] glaucos, the city of San Francisco...made of Jell-O.

And via the radio this morning, Anne Rice found Jesus? Apparently I missed that. [Edit: Today's S*P just noticed as well. Hee.]

I'm sure there's weirder stuff out there, but I'm not sure I want to go looking until after I have some tea.

Today's plan: fiddly car bits, nap, dishes, nap, pay bills, nap, clean my room, nap. One of these things is not like the others... and not likely, either. Need to swing by the tattoo shop and ask them if it looks like I'm having a reaction to the purple ink like I suspect (grrrr), call the other audiologist to cancel an appointment (I made one with both offices in Greenfield, then asked my aunt which one she went to), and find a ninja costume for C-dawg.

The sudden change of heart is because Isaac is going to be a ninja. C informed me of this right after telling me he was going to marry Isaac and Aaron (Luke is on the outs currently, I guess). Dangermouse, for her part, has decided that she is a boy. (Mostly this means Inuyasha, and woe on me for buying her a sticker of him that pictures our hero barefoot, because even silver and pink Hello Kitty sneakers cannot overcome this and we have had much grumbling in the morning over the indignity of shoes.) Did I mention that I was reading this comic while all this was going on? Yeah, wouldn't have a clue what he's talking about, there. *whistles innocently* I will act surprised when C comes out in 10 years. I will act surprised...
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (crabby)
If my house does not spontaneously triple in size, or the weather improve immediately, someone in this shoebox is going to die. I'm just sayin'.

If anyone remotely local is interested in finding something to do with a 4 and a 6 year old who have been cooped up for the last week straight, and their ever so slightly tense and irritable mother, holler. No, we are not going to the movies; I can guarantee that every other parent in the valley has had that idea and I have no interest in getting soaking wet just to sit in an entire theatre full of stir-crazy short people.

EDIT: Whoa. The path up to the caves in my back yard? Currently a rushing mountain stream, roughly 2 feet wide and 6 inches deep. Eeep.

Also, I totally need these, right?

Edited edit, 4:43 PM- OMG SUNSHINE. Hallefuckinglujia.
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (tea)
I got a call from the school at about 10:30 this morning, from the nurse. I can hear screaming in the background as she tells me that Dangermouse lost her grip on the swing chains and shot off it backwards, landing head first on the packed ground (yeah, she missed the loose rocks) and that she may have concussed herself. Throw on decent clothes, speed down to school, locate nurse's office by tracking the crying, which is audible as you walk in. Pile of sobbing child launches itself at my neck as soon as I get in the door and continues wailing inconsolably into my shoulder while the nurse gives me the checklist of danger signs after a concussion and I try to pick up all of her things with one hand.

I ask her if it scared her, she cries "yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees!" and then launches into "mom, we go hooOOOOOOOOOme!" followed by more incoherence. Then I asked if she wanted to go home and watch cartoons and have eyeball pudding. (Tapioca. Don't ask.) The screaming stops dead, she lifts her tear-stained face off my shoulder, looks at me, and says "No. Chocolate pudding."

I'm pretty sure she's ok. *grin*
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (fluff attack!)
  • Had to run out and get sneakers for Lesser Evil yesterday, because she was putting on closed-toe shoes for the first time in 3 or 4 months and started yelling OW OW OW OW because she had, of course, gone up a size and a half. And also of course, she wanted the more expensive of the two hello kitty sneakers.
  • Today is National Get Out and Play day, and Nickelodeon will not be broadcasting. I told them that all the TV channels were participating, and then after they went to bed I set it to the Sirius '80s Hair Bands' station and programmed in a parental lock. The TV will show nothing else until after they are in bed tonight.
  • Dangermouse refuses to believe that monsters don't exist. Any statement to that effect is met with a headbutt and a look that says "You guys are in on the grownup conspiracy and going to feed me to them, aren't you." So, rather than continue to argue the point, I told her that I would let her in on the secret: Monsters do exist, but they like to live near food. Ours live under the refrigerator, and reach out with their tentacles to nibble on ankles of anybody raiding the fridge while it's dark out. But if she doesn't bring food up to her room, and goes to bed on time, they'll never know she exists and will leave her alone. She bought it. (Also, her blanket is made from the fur of the last monster that tried to nibble my ankles when I was making myself dinner after work.)
  • I have used the phrase "Want in one hand and put a mitten* on the other and see which one stays warm" often enough that C-dawg repeated it to his sister when she said she wanted to watch a video.
  • I threatened to shave both kids' heads if they did not start cooperating during shampoos. This rather predictably backfired and I spent the rest of the day telling Dangermouse that no, she could not actually shave her head.

    *It's amazing what you come up with when you realize mid-sentence that maybe you shouldn't swear. My mom loves it; said she was going to start using it in the classroom.
aunthippie: A young blonde child with a mohawk sticks his tongue out and waves his hands near his ears (cdawg)
I went and read this link that [livejournal.com profile] ladytabitha posted and I am absolutely bawling my eyes out. (Please read the entire thing. It is not what you think.) This is four years of frustration, of insecurity, of feeling powerless, all pouring out at once. Four years- nearly 5, now, really, of trying to understand my son. Trying to give him what he needs to work right. Knowing that the whole idea of working right is stupid anyway, but it's all I have to go by because nobody tells you how to tell them it's ok to be broken but could they please stop doing it in schools and restaurants and places where all these people are looking and they're sure they know why your child's answer to being confronted about socially unacceptable behaviour is to run in circles and sort through any class of objects within reach.

Lately he has learned to ask people to let him choose his sensory input while he processes, tries to understand why what he has done was wrong. This is more than most people get, and I am amazed at the self-knowledge this must have taken. He does not have empathy; I am more and more certain of that every day. He will steal money to give to hurricane relief, or for food drives, because he can see that this is what you are Supposed To Do, but he grasps neither why it matters nor why it's wrong to steal money for it in the first place. But he talks and walks and is lucky enough to be able to learn to ask for these things and I am supposed to be grateful that he is using slightly mangled words instead of pushing pictures on a board or signing because his brain and his hands are so very close, they talk all the time and Developmental Progress took away the gratitude at letting them speak for him and made it something Different.

School teaches that Different is Bad. It taught me that, but I have a healthy enough streak of fuck you in my genes for 5 people. It taught Maggie that, but she is her aunt's social activist, accepting everything as it comes and headbutting anybody who tells her otherwise. It tells Conall that and he knows that he is capital-D Different and he has no internalized values of his own, he only knows the rules that he is told and they only last as long as he is being told them, and therefore he knows that he is Bad. And I try to counteract it at home, but even I forget.

The irony of being not quite broken enough has been driven home so many times. And I am not grateful for my small blessings, because they only serve to mask the telltale signs to outside observers. "Oh, he makes eye contact. He isn't autistic." "It only took 3 years and a whole lot of screaming and crying, but he learned to tolerate the touch of slimy things all by himself! He doesn't need OT." "We don't have the classroom staff for an individual behaviour plan, and besides, he's only on a 504. We ignore those all the time." "You're mollycoddling him, with this sign language. He's not talking because he doesn't have the incentive. You should take away his only method of communication and force him to use mine, damn it." "You can't possibly know that your son won't walk onto wet grass. I don't care if you're his mother and have seen him run from the sensation, terrified, every single day, I am a social worker and I know better and you need to build a fence."

It's true, in the grand scheme of things, I don't have it that bad. He can talk. He can attend school in a regular classroom. He toilet trained at more or less an average age. He doesn't flap his hands in the grocery store. He will come to me and ask for a hug.

He also pulls his hair out at night- he has had several emergency crewcuts to hide a bald spot. He sucks his finger until the skin comes off his knuckles. He cannot fall asleep without stroking something. He will wake up in the middle of the night and sort and re-sort a stack of 600 cards, half of which are written in Japanese, for hours. Water on his face, anywhere but the lips, provokes hysterical tears and fright- as does the sound of a flushing toilet. When he asks for a hug, he wants an adult to compress his ribcage, like they used to do in PT, squeeze him and shake him around until the input can override everything else and he can collect himself.

I am terrified that I will never be able to understand him. And if I don't understand him, how will I help him understand himself? How can he tell other people who he is? This is the very fundament of my job as a parent, and I do not know how to do it. And for all that I am lost and powerless, his father is hundreds of times more so in the face of a blonde, blue-eyed, freckle-faced 6 year old, for fuck's sake. Yeah, parents joke about not having the upper hand. We don't. It isn't funny.
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (blue nude)
Just got back from my dad's. His brother didn't make it through the night. He can't fly out for the funeral so soon after eye surgery, so he's sending a card and taking care of having the obit published here.

Oh, and his sister's in the hospital since her blood pressure went back up. (Can't imagine why.)

I'm surprised birds don't just crap on my head every morning when I walk out the door.
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (blue nude)
Got back from camp to discover that Cingular's online payment system puked on the payment I made before I left and now they want both the old bill and the new bill...which I'd be happy to give them, except all my money is currently tied up in trying to get the fuck out of the condo...whose closing is currently up in the air because the buyer has to come up with cash instead of financing due to the ongoing septic debacle. Which he can do, except it means a delay. So, no phone until Friday, because, well, fuck it, I am not going to make a heroic effort to shuffle funds around when I'd frankly rather not be reachable anyhow. Except I still have to call the buyer this morning.

So. First thing this morning I go over to my parents' place, and spend the next two hours playing phone tag with the buyer, the VA, the mortgage company, another buyer who offered cash for the place, and some random stranger's uncle's brother's cousin's niece's dogsitter just for the hell of it. [I will say that one small blessing in all this, given that J goes immediately into fetal ball mode when confronted with phone systems, is that he's got an androgynous name. I sincerely apologize to the VA and mortgage company for lying, but if they're going require written authorization every 2 weeks to speak to me about things, I'll just say I'm Jaimey. Somewhere, someone is probably very confused about his gender.] In the middle of all of this, I get a call from a cousin on my father's side- my dad's brother is dying, and can he please call my aunt right away.

Problem is, my dad's off having eye surgery this morning. So I call both of my parents' cell phones- both off. Call my sister and through some miracle catch her between classes, she says that my mom's at work and the eye doctor sent a driver for my dad. (Must be nice, dang.) Call my mom at work and attempt to leave a message that conveys "Family emergency but please do not maim yourself sprinting for the phone" urgency level with the office, ask to have her call me back between classes. I got a call from her about 20 minutes later, tell her what's up, she says leave a large print message for my dad on the table and I tell her that we're without phone til Friday so please email me later to tell me whether or not he'll be flying out to Colorado and whether they need me to take care of house, dog or lawn if he does.

Buyer calls back, we have all the documentation needed to delay the closing without the bank having seventeen thousand hissy fits, of which at least several hundred were thrown this morning in anticipation, I give her my email address so that she can still keep in touch after I leave my parents' house which I have to do in time to meet Maggie's schoolbus...which drives by the house, because it's yet another new driver. And let me tell you, 3 year olds are never happy when they think they're going home, and then home zooms by outside the window. It was like sonar, because I heard the bus turn around and could hear her screaming before it even got back to our driveway. (Did I mention that our house is at least 100 ft from the road? Yeah.)

So, to sum up:
House closing: still up in the air, although slightly less so. It's possible that it will be tomorrow, or possibly this Friday.
Uncle: still dying.
Child: placated with cookies.
Phones: off, and good fucking riddance at this point. Bah.

I am still thinking about heading to Diesel, because, well, no matter what my universe is not going to come to a screeching halt today. Next week, maybe, but there's nothing I can do about it at this point.. and hey, iced chai. And Puppy of Protection!
aunthippie: A white red-headed infant winks and grins. (wink)
Happy 33rd Birthday, J.

Remember to take the batteries out of the smoke detector before you have any cake.
aunthippie: A young blonde child with a mohawk sticks his tongue out and waves his hands near his ears (cdawg)
We went to the school today, since Dangermouse's teacher had invited us to stop by on Monday or Tuesday to see how she'd switched the classroom around from last year. Played with the blocks, talked about M riding the short bus pre-K transport minivan back and forth, went to find C-dawg's classroom and wound up meeting his teacher too. (Still not impressed. She didn't understand him when he said "I'm gonna have hot lunch every day." Now, I realize he has articulation problems, but there's no reason she shouldn't have been able to get that, especially when it was in context.)

Of course we had to stop and check out the Big Kid Playground out back, which included a very large, very wet plastic slide. I told Dangermouse not to go on it, but I was trying to stop C from throwing pebbles at the basketball hoop at the same time, and it was too late and she and her nylon shorts were flying down it. She overshot the soft landing pad at the bottom by about 3 feet, going sideways through the air, and landed shoulder-first in the pebbles. And I could not for the life of me stop laughing, even when I scooped her up and she was bawling into my shoulder.

(She was fine. I did check that first, before I started laughing. And she didn't see me laugh, either.)
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (glowing jesus)
If I get this it should be for the kid who can't read yet, right?

I will not offer to help design a "Mardi Gras 2006" shirt. I will not.


To provide some context in my defense, my parents once organized a Bobby Sands Memorial Banquet.
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (paintyhead)
I before E, except after C
Or when sounding like "A"
As in "neighbor" and "weigh"
Some of the few exceptions to these
Are "either", "neither", "weird" and "seize"
Also Deirdre, Neil, Keith and Sheila.

*bows*
It is clearly time for me to go to bed.
aunthippie: old hippies in tie dye (fluff attack!)
Mmm, clearance.

4 shirts (one pink crewneck, one purple stripey crewneck, one magenta and orange hawaiian print blouse, one lightweight white blouse with blue and green flowers)
1 skirt (turquoise sweatshirt material, a-line)
2 pairs pants (purple linen capris, turquoise cargo pants)
1 camp shirt, green and blue plaid
1 pair blue plaid boxers
1 men's pink striped oxford shirt

Not a single item over $5. (Ok, so the shirt is mine, but still. The kids are set for school clothes and neither gramma has made good on their threat of cute stuff yet.) If I can walk out of the store with a bag that cuts off circulation to my hand for under $50, I will call that a deal. Who pays full price for Old Navy stuff, anyway?

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