Thursday, August 25, 2011

The search continues.

Since Monday, the Vampire has had good days at school.  I am knocking on wood right now, because I don't want that statement to backfire on me.  She has been more articulate, and imaginative.  I asked her where Bombaata was, and she says, "The Forest."  So I say which forest? 
V: "the one behind the trees." 
Me: "OK.  Show me where it is because I want to go look for him." 
V: "oh no mom.  You don't want to go there."
Me: "why not?  I want to find the kitty."
V: "there are alligators in there!"
Me: "there are?  OH NO!  How will Bombaata survive all of that?"
V: "with his claws mommy.  He will claw them."
Me: "oh.  Good.  I miss him."
My mom brought her birthday present by on Tuesday, and some of the present was new undies.  You would think that my mom gave this child the world on a silver platter.  She wears them and smiles from ear to ear.  She just had to fold them and put them all away this morning to.  That's my perfectionism shining in her I guess.

DQ is loving school.  She had an attitude with me yesterday when I picked her up, but aside from that, she's been doing great.  She hasn't complained about the uniforms yet, and says there is a little girl in 2nd grade with the very same Twinkle Toes shoes, and the very same name!  I told her that those shoes must be shoes for little girls with her name.  She just giggled at me.  I am buying fun and funky tights when I find them on sale for her to wear thru the fall/winter/spring months when it is colder.  She HAS to wear a skirt, and I know my legs would be freezing!  I found a sheer white pair with silver hearts for a dollar the other day.  Her school uniform colors are navy blue, light blue, white and gold.  So I'm keeping my eye out for tights in that color family.  They don't make many in those colors for girls!  LOL.  M has been taking DQ and my cousin (who also got accepted, and rec'd the scholarship) to school, and I have been picking them up.  My aunt said she will pick them up this Thurs and Fri. however, and that really helps.  Pick up takes my entire lunch break if I don't get in the front of the line, and parents line up as much as an hour early!  It's really crazy.  I guess they can't wait to get their kiddos home from school. 

Bombaata is still missing.  Last night was his 5th full night out in the wilds of the world.  We distributed 50 flyers with his photo, and info, and my number on them last night.  The girls helped, and had fun running up to houses and putting the flyers in the mailboxes.  We met a few of our neighbors, and talked a little bit.  We saw a cat that looks similar to him, and chased him down under a bush, only to realize it wasn't him.  It looks very similar, and my heart was in my stomach to think that I had found my baby, and find out it wasn't him.  The guy that owned the cat says, "you want him?  He's neutered."  I nearly started crying and said, "No.  I'm sorry.  I want my baby to come home."  We had a huge thunder and lightening storm last night, and I hardly slept for worrying about him out in it all.  Tuesday night we put a baby monitor and a bowl of food in the garage and left the door up a little bit.  At 12:30 we heard the munchings and crunchings of an animal eating it, and both M and I ran outside to see if it was Baata.  Sadly, this was another near miss.  It was the neighbor's cat.  He didn't come back for the rest of the night either.  I drove to the pound yesterday and looked at all the cats in the cages to make sure one of them wasn't him.  I left in tears thinking of all those cats in need of homes.  Some of them were in rough shape, having been hit by cars, or attacked by other animals and lying in the cages with the cones on their heads.  It was rough to see, but necessary.  Very sobering.  Reminded me that Baata might never come home.  I cried my entire drive home.

Gas prices soared overnight here.  It's sad.  They blame it on the impending hurricane, but I figure it has to do with the approaching holiday.  Prices took a 50 cent hike here overnight.  I'm glad I filled up yesterday.  M's allergies have been bugging him pretty bad.  I feel awful for him.  August is always hard on him.  There isn't much I can do, though.  He has been helping me hunt for my kitty, and I know it's probably even worse that we have the windows open at home.  I just can't do another $300.00 gas/electric bill.  Not with all the other expenses we have right now.

Labor day weekend will be here soon.  We have some housework to get done, as we will have house guests that weekend.  I need to get an extra key made (or borrow my key from Aunt T. for the weekend) for the guests to have as they will be here while we're still in work/school/daycare mode.  My hopes of having the basement painted a color other than white will more than likely not happen, but we plan on heading to Menards and looking around as I hear they have better paint prices than the other home improvement stores.  But the basement is fairly clean, and needs just a few more touches to be perfect.  Dance class starts the weekend of 9/12.  DQ is excited to begin.  V hasn't said much of anything but I'm sure that if I mention it to her she will be excited.  Both girls have randomly said, "mommy?"  I say, "yes?" then they say "i love you."  It happens quite a lot lately, and makes me feel like I am doing right by them.  They are happy, and comfortable, and want to tell me they love me.  They're my girls right now.  I think it makes M a little bit jealous, but I told him that when they're older, they will be daddy's girls, so let me enjoy the love right now.  I also tell them that Daddy loves them, and wants their love too, so I'm not trying to hog them or exclude him.

M and I finished the huge project we were working on when Baata escaped.  The total cost of the project would have been $130.00, but I had coupon codes for 50% off, and free shipping, which reduced the total price down to $52.00.  I'm really stoked to get them in the mail (around 9/3) and I can't WAIT to give them as gifts..... and see ours.  We worked really hard on it, and put a lot of love into it.  If you want to see what I am talking about, just tell me, and I'll send you a link.  Unless you are my mom or M's mom.  I won't be showing you now what I will be giving to you in December.  Sorry!

Aunt TT

Monday, August 22, 2011

Elation and Depression

Friday I took DQ shopping for school.  Spent around $45.00 for supplies, and $120.00 on school uniforms.  The skirts alone cost $40.00 apiece.  I about fell over.  I will be trying to buy the rest on consignment from now own.  SHEESH!  I was in complete sticker shock.  I bought two skirts, and 5 shirts, and figured I will just be doing a lot of laundry.

M and I are working on a project for Christmas, and spent the rest of Friday working on it.  All I can really say is a friend of mine recently did one of these and it turned out fantastic (Thanks Nic), and I got the crazy idea to do one as well.  I would tell you what it is, but it would ruin Christmas presents for people so I must skirt around the subject.  M and I have been working hard on the project.  Friday night we snapped some more photos for it, and were doing everything that needed to be done while the girls played hide and seek.  Their version of hide and seek is one stands in the kitchen, while the other runs to us and says, "HIDE ME!".  So we alternate helping the other one hide, then tell the one in the kitchen (who is supposed to be counting, but has given up on that) that the "hidee" is ready, and the game commences.  Switch "seeker" and "hidee" and repeat.  While we did that Friday night...  someone opened my back door, and left it open.  My cats (all two of them.  Bombaata and Lil Bit) got out.  We didn't know they were missing until sometime the next day.  I was so tired, and I haven't been feeling well, that I didn't even know my cat was missing.  I have really beat myself up over this.

Bombaata is 13.5 years old.  He's my baby.  He and I have been through hell and back together.  I am so broken-hearted over this.  We found Lil Bit on Saturday shortly after we realized they were missing.  She is safely back in the house.  Baata on the other hand... is still gone.  I spent the better part of the weekend alternating between crying my eyes out and waiting by the back door for him, to being hopeful and searching the neighborhood for him.  I hope and pray he comes home soon.  I yelled at the Vampire because she was smiling and telling me that he probably got hit by a car on Saturday.  I snapped.  I was distraught, and it hit me wrong.  The fact that I am human and I make mistakes came shining through when I yelled at her, "what are you?  Psychotic?" and stormed off out of the room.  I have felt very bad about this.  I apologized to her that evening, and hugged her.  I told her that mommy is very sad that my kitty is gone, and that I was angry with her for playing with the door when she knows she shouldn't.  When you are a parent... it is so hard NOT being perfect sometimes.  I also beat myself up over this.

That is the bit of depressing news that took up my entire weekend.  Now for the good news...  DQ started school today!   She was accepted to the Private school.  I am really happy with the Private School thus far.  It is more individualized.  I got to spend time with her today on her first day and meet the teachers, etc.  It is a lovely school as well.  I am so excited for her.  We have been sweating bullets trying to figure out if she was accepted for the scholarship or not for the past few weeks.  Checking the mailbox like a woman in the 1920's waiting to hear from her love who is away at war.  Well today...  we got news that she HAS been approved for the scholarship.  Now I don't have to sell a kidney to pay for her schooling.  Kidding of course, but it is pricey.  Now we can relax a little and be thankful that at least she will get a good education.  I mean heck... they teach the kids stringed instruments in 1st grade there!  They have to wear uniforms, but she looks so stinking cute in her uniform.  It is a world apart from the local public schools.  I know it won't be perfect, but I am so glad we made this choice!

Vampire had a rough day at school today.  The teachers think she was tired, but I think it is b/c the extra teacher has been moved out of the classroom.  She bit twice, and bragged about one of the bites to another class mate.  I have a feeling this week will be rough, and wonder how well she will do w/o the extra teacher.  She had to stay in her bedroom and play with a limited number of toys as punishment for biting.  The weekend at home wasn't perfect due to the disruption of my kitty being gone, and my anger/sadness in dealing with it.  But I really don't think that was the major factor in her biting today.  She is testing the waters w/o the 3rd teacher.  Seeing how far she can push things.  She likes to be in control, and she has learned how to control thru the biting... Our therapist suggested that we don't try to get V into the private school with DQ next year if she is still struggling with her aggression, etc.  There is a school in town for autistic children, and she has suggested that we try that.  So we do have options next year if it looks like she isn't ready for the general population yet. 

So begins a new chapter in our lives.  I'm praying and hoping that my kitty comes home.  I'm supporting my little 1st grader (can't believe she's in first grade all ready).  I'm hoping and praying that V will understand that being in control isn't always the best thing at the age of 4, and will stop trying so hard to manipulate people.  She is SUPPOSED to start Kindergarten next fall too.  So we have a lot of work ahead of us to get her ready for that.  Of course there is work, and getting ready for up coming holidays in the mix (Labor Day fun with Martin's family), but that is what we are up to right now.  And aside from my kitty being gone...  and V having hurt people today... I wouldn't change it for the world.

Aunt TT

Monday, August 15, 2011

School Daze

Oh it's that lovely time of year.  It has crept up on me.  I can't fathom where the summer has gone.  It is lost in a haze of work, ridiculously hot temperatures, breaking up fights between V and DQ that seem to be never ending.  Seriously!  Let's fight about who touched the hair brush last, or who gets to sit on what side of the table, or maybe the best one yet... who didn't flush the toilet.  *Sigh*  The summer of fighting!  Love.  It.  I do however unsarcastically LOOOOOVE that this is my last week to pay for daycare for DQ!  Woo Hooo!  We survived the summer with out bouncing any checks, and with very little plasma donation!!!

So now is the pre-school push.  I should have done more this weekend but that would have required taking a shower and leaving the house... and this weekend I was a total hermit!  PLUS...  since DQ will more than likely be going to a private school that she has never attended, and I didn't have the "list" of what she would need...  I didn't want to have to make two trips.  Hence the procrastination!  But now that there is a week left till the start of school....  UGH!  I do have the list after meeting with the principal.  No more excuses TT.  Just get it done. 

OK... I see your confusion.  DQ will be going to a private school (which I have to pay for) versus public school (which is "free") and I complain regularly about having the dough to pay for daycare!?!?!  Well there is a loophole!   And DQ qualifies to be one of the kids in that loophole!  Why you may wonder?  Well because our public school systems are systematically under performing.  Yup.  You heard me right.  Our schools are NOT meeting the basic criteria outlined by our state gov't.  You might not think it's such a big deal at the elementary level... but folks!  This is when kids learn to read.  This is when children learn basic math skills that like a flaky buttery delicious biscuit aren't complete without the many layers (years) piled on top of each other of math knowledge (aka buttery flakey goodness).  You can not build a good house w/o a good foundation.  So to me... elementary years are the foundation of an education.  These years are very important!  So the girls will have the best I can give them. 

Now... to the loophole.  We are (anxiously.. but trying not to appear anxious) awaiting word if we have been accepted for this scholarship.  We should know by the end of this week.  DQ has been accepted to the private school (way to go sweetie!   I knew you could do it!!!), and is slotted to start the week of 8/22.  We just don't know how we are going to pay for it if we don't get the scholarship.  I have been thinking positive thoughts.  I have been praying.  I have been hoping.  I have been hanging in the balance.  Whatever the outcome, I am positive that we will make the best with what we are given.  If I am good at nothing else in life... I am good at that.  I have decent credit and can get a loan if it comes down to that.  We will survive!  I will keep you all in tune to what we learn.

Tomorrow is a care conference meeting for the Vampire at her daycare.  She has been doing well these past two weeks, and we have been trying to fill her days with nothing but sunshine and happiness.  It isn't always easy as she is still obstinate, and has to go right when told to go left, but we are learning new coping mechanisms every day, and implementing them.  I hope to video and post her singing this "baby bumblebee" song.  If you were ever a Girl Scout, then I am certain you have heard it, but it is so stinking cute when she sings it.  I can't help but grin from ear to ear.  I will try to post that this week amongst all of DQ's back to school stuff.  I should probably charge my camera battery first...

This time of year... pretty much every year... I get the remodeling bug.  I haven't touched the basement much since I moved in, and I am finally getting started on that.  The hot pink and yellow walls are now white.  The red pole, and one wood colored paneling wall leading to the basement are now white.  A nice clean primer white... till Uncle M put his dirty hands all over it....  But that's OK.  It was easy to clean up.  We are kicking around making them a light beige and a deep navy blue when we have the extra $$ to buy paint.  M has this theater room in his mind that he would love to bring to life.  Our ideas of decorating aren't always on the same page but thus far we have been able to agree to disagree.  We shall see what the basement will become.  I want to tile the entire thing as we have had leaking issues, and it will hold up best.  He however can't fathom tile in a "living area" and would prefer to put down lanolium tiles or the click together wood flooring... but I can't stand to spend the money if it might get wet and damaged.  But there is no use dealing with it now as Lowes won't give us any flooring based on our terribly good looks (ha ha ha).

So that is what is going on in my very discombobulated mind!  I hope your summers have been well!!!

Aunt TT

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The past two weeks.

The last week of July, the Vampire decided to finish it with a bang.  She bit at least one person 3 out of the 5 days, hit on yet another day, then had a great day on Friday.  I don't entirely understand why.  She didn't have bad mornings, the evenings weren't bad.  But her aggression came out full force.  I stooped to bribery.  I told her that IF she can keep from hurting others...  she and I would go and do something together, just us.  She seemed thrilled at the possibility, and every day at work, I kept hoping that today was the day.  I was actually very sad that I couldn't go do something fun with her due to her unacceptable behavior.  She seemed sad, but would resume her aggression the next day.

Finally on Friday, she had her good day.  We spent a little time together one on one at Greek Fest (which happens to be next door to our house, once a year).  Uncle M. and DQ, walked over and we all got some food, then ate dinner together.  I can't explain what switch was flipped in her little head, and why she decided to begin acting less aggressive....  but since then, she has been a much better little girl.

DQ lost another tooth.  This is tooth number 5.  She has the sweetest little toothless grin. 

This is what I get when I ask the Vampire to smile.   LOL.

I am fighting with our local school system.  They re-organized the schools in the district, and DQ is not going to be attending the school she went to last year.   She will instead be going to a school that is on Academic Probation.  I am not thrilled about this.  I called a local private school to get her enrolled there, and learned that there are actually scholarships for kids who, like DQ are assigned to go to a school on Academic Probation.  This scholarship will pay her tuition to go to private school instead.  I am now on pins and needles waiting to hear if she will be accepted to the school and the scholarship.  I don't know if we will be able to do the same for the Vampire next year, but I am hoping so.  This school is a very good school, and has great test ratings.  I hope we can make this happen.

Camping photos:
The too tight goggles

Pilot Vampire reporting for duty SIR.

My Sweet Vampire and her 4th birthday cupcake!

DQ Enjoying S'mores

Greenhouse / Garden

At 8:00p.....   yeah.

Hobie in Action!

Lil Bit - found her napping in my bedding.  Sat beside her for 20 minutes before I knew she was there.

Lil Bit and her mouse - she still plays Fetch!

 Local Water park - M got some good shots!

DQ in the water

Vampire ready to spray someone!

I love this shot.

 Late July Garden shots:

The greenhouse....  didn't yield as many fruits and veggies as I would have hoped.  We have had much more luck with the little garden we planted just outside the house.  This summer has been so hot, and I think it may have been too warm in the greenhouse.  M and I will have to clean it out soon.  I wish I had thought of planting pumpkins in early July!   Bah!

Anyway that should bring you up to speed of the last few weeks.   Enjoy!!!

Aunt TT