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Lady T. - "The Witch Is In"
04 June 2014 @ 01:25 pm

I guess this will be my last update before my daughter is born.

We’re scheduled for an induction on Friday. I’ve been hoping that she would come on her own before then – not completely unreasonable, given that I’m 39 weeks today – but aside from some erratic contractions, nothing much seems to be happening down there. We still have tonight and tomorrow, but I’ve pretty much given up on a natural labor.

It’s disappointing, yes, but also it worries me. Induction can cause things to snowball, leading to more interventions and complications. The Kinglet’s birth was so unpleasant and here we are setting the stage again. With him, I waited two weeks past my due date. This time I’m giving in a week early. It sucks.

But I think it’s time. I’m not in immediate danger, but I’m not well, and I don’t believe waiting is going to do either of us any good. My blood pressure is high – sometimes dangerously high, though it does consistently comes back down. I’ve already gained as much weight as I did with the Kinglet. My allergies are so bad, my tissues so inflamed that I can’t breathe, my throat closes up at night and I wake up choking. I’m in constant pain with my back and legs, and I’m getting weaker all the time. Reflux keeps me from lying down at all, ever. Nights are special torture, endless and awful. Babycakes, though, is ready. She’s practicing her breathing in there, moving all the time, getting fat and crowded and restless. She’s even got hair on her head, according to our last ultrasound.

It’s time.

There’s a lot of uncertainty about what will happen after she comes. I haven’t blogged about getting risked out of the birth center – it was too upsetting, at the time. Now I’m resigned to the hospital birth; I found a nice midwife who operates out of my usual gyn-practice, and I’ve *heard* that hospital maternity policies are a lot less restrictive and a lot more family-friendly than they were the last time we did this. So that’s – something.

Still, there’s a possibility Babycakes will have to stay in the NICU for a time. The medication I have to take for my headaches can cause complications, and even though it’s a very low dose they need to observe her. Also I tested positive for Group B strep in my first trimester, which is a fairly common thing for women to have but potentially dangerous to babies at birth. I’ll have to be hooked up to antibiotics during labor and they’ll need to watch her for that, too. So rather than the obligatory hospital stay, we could be there for a week. We could be separated, even. Don’t know how that’s going to work. Don’t know how that’s going to impact breastfeeding. Don’t know what it’s going to mean for the family, for Kinglet, who still has a week of school. Don’t know how I’m going to deal.

Don’t want to dwell on it. Just putting it out there.

In the meantime, I’m losing my sanity bit by bit. I finished off all my projects, divested myself of work responsibilities, packed our bags and did everything else I could to be ready for this baby. Now I’ve got nothing to do. I’ve been obsessively keeping the kitchen clean, packing the Kinglet’s lunch at three in the morning, laundering every scrap of clothing. I’ve been binge watching HOUSE on Netflix – I have dreams of Hugh Laurie bullying me for not going into labor, and discovering that my baby has something crazy wrong with her. I think I’ll be done the series by Friday. THEN where will I be?

As for people who aren’t currently connected by an umbilical cord: The Kinglet appears to be going through a manic phase. Incidents of violence at school are on the rise again. At home, he comes in and out of a hyper state that seems to take him over and make him oblivious to us. Singing at the top of his lungs, being silly, violating personal space like it’s a joke. Everyone is rather at a loss for what to do about it. His team asked us to reconsider the medication question, so I made some calls, but since his psychiatrist is an ass we won’t be able to start any trials until after the semester is over. In the meantime, I get regular calls from school to tell me they had to restrain him, and when he gets home I have to sit him down and ask him what the fuck, dude. What’s going on with you? What can we do?

I feel completely inadequate for all of this right now. I have so little energy. I know that doesn’t help the situation. The family dynamic is tense. The Godking is tense, having to take care of both of us, our physical needs, play with the Kinglet where I can’t, deal with his own health and work issues, AND be the primary disciplinarian. He loses his temper a lot, which has to spill over into the Kinglet’s school day. It’s not… ideal.

Another reason I just need this pregnancy to be over. I know things aren’t going to magically get better when baby is here – a whole other person to adapt to, plus Mommy being weak and tired from birth and infant care… but the sooner we get this baby out, the sooner we can all start working to some sort of normalcy again. Whatever that means.

My parents aren’t well. Mom got sick after skipping dialysis – again. I gave her hell for that, thinking she’d learned her lesson the last time. She avoided a hospital stay at least, and she got better, but she was sick again this week. I didn’t know about it until after, as usual. She said she was worried that “her days were numbered”. Now she thinks she’s having an adverse reaction to her medicines, even though the nurses at the dialysis center say that’s unusual. She switching her meds and says she’s feeling better again. I guess we’ll see.

She’s lost a ton of weight, though. Bought herself a brand new wardrobe. That makes her happy.

My Dad has been in terrible pain with the spinal stenosis. He basically needs to be in a wheelchair now, though they haven’t taken that step yet. He spends most of his time in bed watching television. His medications don’t do enough to help, but he’s maxed out with what the doctors will allow. He’s decided he wants to push for surgery, even though they were reluctant to give it to him given the condition of his health. It’s very risky, but he says he can’t go on living like he is now – it’s no kind of life. It scares me to hear all this, but I can’t really blame him either. I’ve been feeling miserable for months, so much I can’t do anymore, so much I have to rely on other people to do for me – I’ve been thinking at least there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for me. I should get better. But what about people who are elderly, or sick, with no hope of getting better? Like my poor dad.

I hate how depressing all of this sounds. Like I said, I don’t want to be dwelling on it, but it’s hard not to with little else to focus on. Time has slowed to molasses for me, all this waiting and wallowing in discomfort and uncertainty. I know, logically, that it will be over soon. Today and tomorrow – that’s all.

If we can just make it through the next few days, the next week okay… there will be much better things to think about.

IMAG1020 Prayers, good wishes, and positive vibes all welcome.
Lady T. - "The Witch Is In"
07 April 2014 @ 02:46 pm
There's a lot I wanted to get done today.  Bought some this-and-thats, mostly for the baby's room, that I want to sort through.  Also, today is a worry-about-money day.  Have to balance the checkbook and figure out how to float the bill payments against this week's paycheck.  Also, we need groceries.  Didn't go last night because I was in too much pain after shopping for this-and-thats.  Hopefully money can be found -  we spent what we don't really have on eating out because I'm too tired to cook.  Again.  The meal, again, was disappointing - I swear it's like the universe punishes me for relying on chain restaurants or cheap takeout, but really, what's a tired, busy pregnant girl to do?  But I digress.

Had a lot to get done today, but not sleeping last night (see previous post) led to me napping until lunchtime, which led to dreams and family drama which led to me posting on livejournal, which reminded me of other stuff that's been festering on my mind, so I guess I'll just keep doing this instead.
Been kind of lonely.  Been losing the thread of my closest friendship, which is the way of these things - at least this one didn't dissolve in betrayal and blame and heartache and loss - but it's still sad.  I already have a decent collection of "people I adore but never see and can't really rely on."  Having a baby is not the best time to go without a significant female presence.

I find myself missing my mom a lot.  For a while there, I almost never talked to her either... her sickness makes her tired, unreachable, even if that's just a currently legitimate excuse in a lifetime of excuses.  Lately is seems like she's been making an effort - calling me, stopping by to visit, even taking me to a baby resale thing.  But I still miss her, even when she's right there on the phone, or sitting in my kitchen.  My mom is kind of a ghost to me.  A ghost who likes to gossip and criticize my housekeeping skills but otherwise doesn't speak my language or see me, really.


Been wanting to write about the Kinglet - we went through a really rough patch, which I think I mentioned.  Lately that's been going much better... don't know if he went through a manic cycle or if he just rebelled against school for a while but then settled in.  Hard to say.  Right now I'm just happy he's doing so well - controlling his temper, taking a philosophical stance on things that bother him, making an effort to help out or do what's expected of him.  I hope it lasts.  I hope we don't see some major backsliding once the baby comes.  I don't expect that, but who knows, really?

It's been interesting, having him finally settled in the program, moving into a new chapter with him as "a kid with Autism", figuring out what that means to us as parents.  It's interesting to see what behaviors are left once the temper/rage/disruption issues are being factored out.  The perspective-taking, or lack thereof.  The way his mind works.  The little compulsions and ticks.  His weaknesses and his strengths.

For example: We had an opportunity to observe some of his Autism peers at a birthday party recently.  The contrast between his level of social functioning and that of the highest-functioning boys in his group is truly startling - no wonder the powers that be were so reluctant to admit him.  For he IS socially engaged - considerate, eager to please, to be liked, to participate.  Some of those other kids, man... it's like the lights are on but nobody's home.  My little boy says please and thanks, runs to the door when someone knocks on it, tells you he's glad to see you, comes looking for hugs - he's so charming and nice to be around, sometimes, I feel like I won the Autism lottery.

But on the other hand - the way he can't keep his hands to himself.  The way he can't pay attention when someone is trying to teach him something in a crowded room.  The way he acts like he already knows everything and deserves everything but isn't willing to make an effort to TRY.  Ugh, the way he seems content to watch Spongebob and play video games for the rest of his life and let his amazing mind and energy go unharnessed.  This kid could work for NASA - or better yet, design video games and make millions... but I'm afraid he's going to be living on my couch when he's thirty-five because he's lazy and self-entitled.

Premature worries, probably. Just... interesting.  For the first time, really, the focus is shifting from "how do we keep him in school and deal with these rages" to "how to best help him grow into an adult"?  How involved should we be vs how and when to step back? Whole new paradigm shift.

Haven't been writing lately.  Tried--- figured out where I'm supposed to be working in my manuscript, gave my self assignments.  But don't like the way that writing it feels like something I should be doing, as opposed to something i want to do.  So I'm kind of... waiting.  I have a lot to keep me busy, writing-wise, with things I've already produced. Submitting poems and stories. Networking.   Promoting the poetry book.  Last year I decided I wanted to publish a collection, and I did that.  That feels good, like a mile-marker on the path, which is why I wanted to do it. But I don't know, really, what happens next.

Part of it is mixed feelings and confusion over what it even means to be a writer these days.  The publishing world is not what it was when I was a little girl deciding that's what I wanted to do.  I'm not sure I like what's out there.  I don't relate to my writing friends any more.  I don't know many people who write like i do, or why I do, or think how I do.  It's lonely, and I don't know where I fit.

Sometimes it is depressing, but other times it just is what it is.   Getting pregnant, having only so much time in a day, having my mind turn away from actively writing, it seems like things that were meant to happen, just like getting married and then having so much of life focused on the Kinglet was meant to be.  I'm biding time.  So it's fine.  I just, you know.  Sometimes wish I knew what for.

There was a time when I felt quite confident in what my life was for.  Where it was going.  How I fit.  I used to be a very spiritual person.  I felt connected and, if not always explicitly guided, I at least felt there was a reason for what I went through.  Something specific I was working for.

Somewhere along the way, though, I lost that sense.  It's not that I don't believe, anymore, it's just that I feel disconnected and rather jaded about spiritual things.  There are moments of clarity or surety, but they are few and far between.  Now I just have a vague sense of... meh?

I pray.  I meditate.  I smile at nature, try to remind myself that I am a part of it.  Now, especially, with the daughter I wanted for so long finally made real inside me, I so desperately want to feel that magic and certainty again.  I want to know, This is what I'm Doing.  This is Who I Am.  This is Why.  It'll all be Okay.  There is a Reason.

But I don't feel that.  I just feel... baby kicks.  A desire to write, a desire to be a good person, to grow and love - all this love.  And a big old misty question mark of a path where my life used to be.

Wow.  And here I was just going to work on my grocery list today.
Lady T. - "The Witch Is In"
07 April 2014 @ 01:43 pm

Bad night.

This pregnancy has been pretty plain awful, physically.  I think I mentioned that.  Everyone asks a pregnant lady how she's feeling, but I don't think anyone really wants to hear "This is torture and my due date can't come fast enough and, oh, by the way, thank the GODZ my husband got snipped because I'm never getting pregnant again, ever."

I was actually fantasizing about premature labor for a minute there, until I googled pictures of thirty-week-old newborns, all skinny and desperate-looking.  Forget that.  Now I'm calling on all my zen-powers to get me through the next six to nine weeks so this little chicky inside me can get fat and healthy.  No more than that, though, so help me godz.

But I'm not exaggerating about the torture thing.  Nighttimes are hell.  I can't lay down for very long because of reflux - anything in my stomach crawls back up and tries to get out.  I can't even keep water down, which is fun because I'm drinking water all night long. I'm perpetually congested - haven't breathed properly since November - and I have to breathe through my mouth.  Mouth-breathing dehydrates, so I drink, and then I have to puke... and pee.  A lot.

I spend half the night in the recliner downstairs, but that's no great relief... though it helps keep the acid down, it tends to pinch nerves and make my circulation/restless legs worse.  I usually manage to nod off for a few hours at a time, but last night I couldn't get any relief at all, and no amount of zen-type thinking would help.  I ended up packing the Kinglet's lunchbox early and setting out dishes for breakfast, then watched Angel/Buffy episodes while pacing the floor until about 3AM, only to be up again at 6:30 to feed the boy, argue about shoelace, and get him on a bus.

I napped until lunchtime today.  I did it because I needed it, and I am embracing this whole "rest when you can" philosophy of early maternity - but still, not ideal.  Who knows how that is going to impact tonight?

Bad Dream

In my nap, I dreamt that I pulled up to my house, which used to be my parents' house, with my mother in the passenger seat.  She was wearing a white fuzzy robe.  Getting out of the car,Mom said, "pick up that third foreclosure notice for me and bring it inside, will you?"  There was a package on the grass.  It said "SUBMISSION", along with a bunch of official and ominous-looking writing.

"What do you mean, third foreclosure notice?!?" I picked up the envelope.  It was bulky and hard to carry while trying to get inside.  Our driveway is steep, and for some reason the flower garden, sidewalk, and front porch were all torn up and flooded over.  I had to tuck the envelope under my arm and nudge planks of plywood in place so that Mom could get to the front door.

"Why didn't you tell me about this?!?" I demanded.

"What could you have done?" she said.

"I could have paid you rent!"  I said.  "I could have done something!" Though what, indeed.
"What do you think is going to happen to me now, if you lose this house?" I asked.  "Where am I going to go?"

She had no answer to that.

"You can't lose this house," I moaned, as I put the key in the door.  "This house means everything to me."

I opened the door and looked up.  The vestibule was narrow and white, with a ceiling so high I couldn't even see it.  Above us were vistas of mosaic, cerulean tiles with gold stars, going on forever.  "Oh, Mommy," I said, as the dream dissolved.

Bad News

I woke thinking the symbolism of this dream was pretty hammer-over-the-head.  When the phone rang, I dreaded it was someone calling to tell me my mother had died.  It was Mom, though, with that voice that says "something's up."

Turns out that, in a shocking reenactment of scenes from the life of my lunatic brother and his lunatic wife, my 18-year-old niece was arrested from a hotel room with her abusive on-again-off-again boyfriend for breaking a mutual Protection From Abuse order that each had placed against the other without ever bothering to show up for court.  Since her self-absorbed, drug-addicted loser mother had no cash, they woke up my sick and elderly parents in their state-assisted old people's condo in the middle of the night to beg for bail.  Of course my parents agreed - they've been bailing crazy people out of drama with money and energy they don't have for years - why stop with the grandkids?

I'm bubbling over with rage, hot like stomach acid.  The knowledge that my parents are not long for this world is hard enough to deal with.  Having them go through this drama with a whole new generation! - is infuriating.  I have hate in my heart for my brothers and their baby mamas for all the years, all the late-night phone calls, all the money thrown into a void, all acts of selfishness and craziness and pain they wrought.  I have hate for my parents, too, for putting so much energy into putting band-aides on the gushing wounds of their children but so little into being role models in the first place, or making proactive choices.  For letting themselves be victims.

I've had hate on behalf of my nieces and nephews, having to watch from the sidelines while they suffer for the bad choices of their parents.  But the oldest is an adult now, making her own bad choices.  This is where the buck stops.  No one is making her stay with a man who uses her.  No one is keeping her from finishing high school and getting herself on a road to somewhere or something better than where she came from.  No one put her in that hotel room other than herself - and no one put her on her sickly grandparents' doorstep begging for cash.

This is where love starts to get all mixed up with hate.  I love her dearly - and I hate what she's doing.  To others, to us - but mostly to herself.  I hate that there's not much I can do but sit on the sidelines and pass judgement.  I hate that this is where I come from. I hate the choices i've had to make in life to save myself, and I hate watching people I love refuse to make them.

I wish they'd left her ass in jail.

Lady T. - "The Witch Is In"
I'm meant to be working on my novel today. I'm all set up in my comfy chair with my laptop and my coffee, but instead I'm turning to you, blogosphere. Because that's productive.

The jitters, I have.

It's been ten months since I did anything with COVENANT. Last spring I revamped the outline and rewrote the first few chapters. I was really happy with the way they turned out - I even included an excerpt in my application for a major award and went on to earn an Honorable Mention over dozens of applicants.

But then I put it aside.

It was supposed to be just a summer break sabbatical. The Kinglet would be underfoot all the time - there would be swimming lessons and summer camp and far too much noise under one roof for me to get anything done. I intended to start back up in September, but then it turned into a So-it-turns-out-the-Kinglet-has-Autism-but-the-School-wants-to-Fight-Against-Services-Oh-By-the-Way-I'm-pregnant-Hello-Morning-Sickness-Happy-Holidays-More-Morning-Sickness-Get-the-Nursery-Ready-Why-Am-I-Still-Throwing-Up-Oh-Look-It's-Spring sabbatical.

Don't you hate it when that happens?

Now my novel is like a friendship left too-long untended... you think about it, you say to each other "we really should get together soon", but so much time has passed since anyone made an effort that you've crossed into awkwardness and no one really knows what to do about that. I miss it - I know I need to do something, especially now, before the baby comes and steals my sleep and every ounce of creative energy, but gah, where to start? Do I even know this novel anymore?

I guess the only thing TO do is just dive back in, no matter how awkward it feels... just open up the file, find the place where we left off and ... start writing. If it's anything like real-people friendships, pretty soon we'll be sharing mental martinis and tripping over things to say to each other. It'll be like no time has passed at all. Right?

Lady T. - "The Witch Is In"
10 March 2014 @ 01:46 pm
So the Kinglet was approved for Autism services at our December IEP meeting. I thought at the time he was being transferred officially to the state program, but learned later it was only on a "consultant basis". Meaning he was being treated as a program kid but still technically under the umbrella of General ED. Or he was "both and neither", depending on how you looked at it. His IEP team was huge, with people from the program and people from the elementary school/district. Neither group had full responsibility or authority over his case. Everyone was amicable about it, but you could tell there was a lot of uncertainty. For us it was scary because it seemed like at any time either side could abdicate... Like he could be stripped of services or get suspended/expelled if it was convenient.

The sticking point was that the Kinglet is very different from the other kids in the Program. While his behavioral problems are severe, his academic functioning is very high. I had no idea this was SO unusual, but it is. No one had a clear idea of how his immersion would work – how can he receive the services he needs while also being challenged at an appropriate academic level? So they started him off on a trial basis.

After observing him for a couple of months, though, the team recommended that he be fully absorbed in the program. The level of services he needs is significant, beyond what they can give as "consultants". So I signed papers at the Program's home offices last week and all his files are being transferred to their jurisdiction. Now he's a full-on, legit, kool-aide drinking member of the Program. He still goes to the same school, but only because the Program has satellite classes there right now. The Program staff is fully in charge of his IEP, and they are pretty much the only ones we communicate with now.

We’re pretty happy with his situation, for the most part. He has a new Program homeroom, with four or five other boys who also have Autism. This is where he starts and ends his day, and also where he goes if he needs to be removed for discipline problems/meltdowns.

The main Program teacher is fantastic, amazing. I’m absolutely in love with her. She’s very knowledgeable, patient, passionate about what she does. She reached out to communicate with me in his very first couple of days, and I’ve continued to talk with her on the phone or in person at least once a week. She’s fully accepted him into her group and is trying very hard to develop strategies to help him adapt.

The group also has one Para who follows them throughout their day. Most of the kids, Kinglet included, transition to a regular second grade class for their academics, specials, lunch and recess. He gets to interact with Gen Ed kids that he already knows and considers his friends. The Program boys are, by all accounts, very much accepted there. One of the General Ed kids is even the Kinglet’s professed “nemesis” from last year, a little girl who used to pick on him and make him feel bad. Now she is kind to him, helpful, always says hello. It’s very special, really.

The Kinglet receives special services throughout the week, including Social Skills group, Psychological counseling, and Occupational Therapy. He gets motion breaks to help him burn off excess energy during the day, plus he earns reward points for good behavior that he can “cash in” for computer games or play breaks. So he’s in and out of the Gen Ed stuff a lot. It can be a little disruptive (like he didn’t get to hear the story the class is working on, or see part of a movie), but since his behavioral problems are still pretty severe, the Team is focusing intensively on addressing those. The idea is that his academics will catch up once he’s better able to self-manage.

By “pretty severe”, I mean we’re still seeing the same kind of disruptive and aggressive behaviors he’s had all along. The Gen Ed teacher reports that the Para is pretty much tied to the Kinglet – if he has a meltdown, she goes with him, leaving the other four boys unsupervised in her classroom. And the meltdowns happen a lot, particularly lately. The Kinglet is also, apparently, using the poor Para as his personal punching bag. He tends to fly off the handle if the Gen Ed teacher or the Para says something he doesn’t like, and in his anger he goes right to physical aggression. They’ve been working on a lot of strategies to defuse or redirect him, but lately he is unable (or unwilling) to utilize those strategies in the heat of the moment.

In fact, his behavior has escalated to the point that, over the last couple of weeks, his teachers have had to put him in physical restraints (what they call a “Bear Hug”), to make sure he doesn’t hurt himself or other people. Whenever this happens, they have to call me to let me know, so I’m back to cringing when the phone rings – it’s been happening several times a week. But on the bright side, it’s not a call to say, Mrs. Tairngire, please come pick up your son – he’s been suspended for three more days. Now it’s just to keep me informed.

The first time it happened, the main Program teacher (I’ll have to come up with a nickname – for now let’s call her My Favorite Person) sounded rather traumatized about it. Up ‘til then, they’d seen some problem behaviors but mostly the charming doll baby side of my son. Now they were seeing his full glory – I’m surprised, really, that they weren’t expecting it, since that’s what brought him to the Program in the first place. In any case, the Godking and I certainly weren’t surprised – in fact, we’re glad at least they’ve had a chance to understand this part of him. More importantly, we’re glad he’s finally able to have these episodes in a safe place.

As I told My Favorite Person, he’s been resorting to violence and disruption for years now. It’s always been his default and it always, always gave him an out – whether it was getting out of class to take a walk, getting suspended, or getting pulled by me to homeschool. This is the first time he can have a fit and still have things go back to the way they were. Maybe now he’ll finally start learning some other strategies. So fuck yes, put him in a Bear Hug if the situation calls for it. Better that than sending him home. I wish they’d been doing this all along.

The only thing we’re not really thrilled with is his new General Ed teacher. She’s nothing compared to the second grade teacher he had for the first half of the year. The first one really made an effort with him, academically, even though she was obviously over-extended and couldn’t do much to help him behaviorally. The new one, quite obviously, couldn’t care less. We get the impression that she doesn’t really consider the Program kids to be her kids. She made no effort to communicate with me, and actually was rather dodgy when I tried to reach out to her.

I had to complain a little bit to get her to sit in our mid-year parent-teacher conference. Her reasoning was that she only meets with parents at the mid-year mark if the child is struggling with something, which in and of itself bothers me. I don’t just want to know if things are going bad - I want to know what my kid is learning. What units are coming up? What are your impressions? What can we be doing with him at home? Maybe we’re just weird, to be that involved. But, in any case, this is the first chance we’ve had to meet formally with this teacher. Doesn’t that justify a sit down? And, besides THAT, doesn’t his behavioral situation constitute something he’s “struggling with”??

And that’s the other thing. The new Gen Ed teacher is still responsible for his grades, even if she’s not responsible for working with him. On his report card this trimester, the Kinglet received all “Meets Proficiency” and even “Nearing Proficiency”, whereas last trimester (under the other teacher) he was mostly MP or even “Exceeds Proficiency”. Her explanation was that even though he seems to understand the concepts when she talks to him, he tends to score poorly on tests. He makes sloppy mistakes, misses answers, or fails to complete the test entirely – sometimes because he’s rushing, sometimes because he’s not emotionally able to complete the work.

This bothers us. If he demonstrates knowledge of the subject but can’t translate it onto paper, doesn’t that jump out as a problem to you? Particularly when it’s due to behavioral problems that are quite obviously part of his disability – for which he has only just started to receive services? Is it really fair to wipe your hands of him and give him low grades? Isn’t there some accommodation that could be put into play here?

Right now, the GodKing and I are choosing not to make a big deal out of it. We only have to deal with this particular teacher (Let’s call her Mrs. Laissez-faire) for three more months. We’re okay with letting his team focus on the behavioral components. We’re working with him at home to at least reinvest him in math, if nothing else. There’s more we could be doing, but that’s the subject for another rant. In any case, we’ll revisit the situation next year. Hopefully, he’ll have a better third grade teacher than this limp-handshake of a woman.

In the meantime, we have a new school to familiarize ourselves with, and a whole new culture. Obviously, parents in the state Autism program are involved with their kids' education in a different kind of way, and i want to be a part of that. We've met some of the other families, even went to a birthday party recently. I kind of want to help out in the classroom, get to know the kids. We have some decisions to make about summer school (which, with his diagnosis, he can now participate in). We have some decisions to make at home, too, to try and navigate/ dovetail with what the Kinglet is facing at school. Lots on our plate. Not easy. But, all in all, a way better place than we've been in, well. Ever.
Lady T. - "The Witch Is In"
19 February 2014 @ 08:40 am
I will almost probably never be pregnant again. I keep telling myself to be present in this now, but it is hard to not wish time would go faster. Especially when there is so little about this pregnancy that is pleasant - the pain, the sickness, this cold and inclement winter. I would much rather be holding my baby girl in a sunny room with the windows open.

That said, there are some things worth cherishing. A certain, ineffable sweetness. The joy of quickening. The pride in carrying this belly in front of me. The round, hard feel of it.

It's getting harder to sleep. Have to stay upright much of the time, can't breathe. Have to get up for bathroom breaks at least twice, even when all I do is take baby sips of water for my parched throat. Couldn't fall back to sleep last night, head full of worries. Spent the wee hours of the morning in my recliner downstairs trying to quiet my thoughts. Miserable, but after a while the sound of my grandmother's pendulum clock took over. Scritch--- scritch. The hamsters in their kitchen bio-dome woke up and went busily about whatever it is that hamsters do.

I can see the street from my chair, beyond the shadow-fingers of houseplants that crowd my front window. The moonlight on the snow made everything outside seem preternaturally bright. Cold, but I was safe and comfy beneath my blankets. My cat, nestled across my lower legs (her favorite place, of late) was a warm, heavy weight, kneading and shifting every few minutes for a better position. A few inches higher, the baby squirmed and kicked in the round, warm weight of my middle. Somehow, all the misery had fallen away; everything around me was comfort and life.

Much as I wish that we could fast forward to June, I would not trade moments like that.
Lady T. - "The Witch Is In"
14 February 2014 @ 08:45 am
Last night my dream tried to convince me that I'd married someone else. I even had memories of a wedding, days together, but I argued with Dream until my chosen reality reasserted myself - No, I said. I married Tom GodKing.

I LIKE being married to Tom. I like making all the married-people decisions, even the hard ones, with him. I like all the days together that seem very much the same, as much as the vacation days and moments outside of the routine. I liked our wedding, me with a green shiny dress and flowers in my hair, and him being good-natured about it. Tom Godking is my partner, my husband, and that's really all there is to it. In the end, Dream had to relent - it is so. And here is my life. Here is our home. Here are our children.

I'm very amused by this dream, coming on the morning of Valentine's Day. It's very romantic, innit? Especially since he is not here - he's at work, out in that slushy world, and I'm here, pregnant and in pajamas, trying to teach a seven-year-old how VHS tapes work (They don't start automatically every time, see. You have to rewind them. How can you be from a world where children don't know this? Oh right. I'm old.)

In the early years - oh, so long ago - It used to amaze me that even in my dreams I loved Tom Godking. I was forever finding him, fighting him (or for him), and recommitting myself to him. It was how I knew I'd made the right choice - it was even the thing that pulled me through the days when it looked like we might not end up together.

Because it wasn't a given. As much as married life might seem to make one person out of us, we are very different. Polar opposites, in many cases, making even the simplest issues matters of intense debate, in different languages. It is not easy. Sometimes it is frustrating as hell. But it is worth it.

That's why this song has always made me smile. We have a continent that sometimes comes between us... that's ok. I love you even when I'm sleeping.

I promise I'm not just writing this to make up for eating the last piece of cheesecake for breakfast.
Lady T. - "The Witch Is In"
07 February 2014 @ 12:01 pm
Lady: I'm going to apply my bookkeeping skills to our ebay records. the fact that they don't bill us from the 1st of the month makes it even messier, but I'm a superhero.

Tom GodKing: Yay, Bookkeepero! Bookkeepia? The Accounter. Oh oh. Number Cruncher

Lady: Keeper of Books. Hello.

TGK: That doesn't sound like a superhero though. That sounds like a code name for the guy Batman goes to at WayneCorp to do his taxes. And he always says, "Look just call me Tim, okay?"

Lady: no, it sounds like a sacred office in an ancient temple. In the same union as Key Master and Gate Keeper. It's a Very Important Job

TGK: So you're saying you do Zuul's taxes?

Lady: no, but I help Zuul organize his receipts. and manage his accounts payable and receivable and his payroll.

TGK: Control his marshmallow purchases

Lady: Well, I can't control. That's what management is for. I can only advise.
Lady T. - "The Witch Is In"
15 January 2014 @ 01:10 pm
Lady: I can still feel the cold medicine in my system.
hate that
leaving soon

God-King: Dice safe
Ohhhh! I need one. A dice safe! Thank you, Swype.

Lady: psh. I'm gonna chop my onions recklessly

God-King: Your first thought wasn't dice that you roll? I'm sorry, I think we need to see other people.
Lady T. - "The Witch Is In"
10 January 2014 @ 03:48 pm
Well hey there, Livejournal.

After a very long and lethargic holiday season, I've used my new found 2nd-trimester energy to make serious progress towards clearing out the baby's room.

That is to say, the room that was mine when I was a little girl, and then "the princess room" when my nieces were little and had sleepovers at Mommom's, then the room my brother slept in until he died, and then, most recently, my writing office.

I'm not put out, really, at giving the office up. I actually don't use it much for writing, except when I want to put a door between me and the rest of the household. Usually I just use it as a way-station for filing - once or twice a year I bring my laptop, watch netflix, and put stuff away.

It's more a matter of "where the hell are we going to put all this stuff". Much of it is destined for the Godking's "office" - a tiny can-you-even-really-call-it-a-room room, which makes life especially challenging, because the Godking is a gaming-obsessed pack rat. At this moment, his "office" is actually serving as a storage space for the stacks and stacks of games and figures that he has collected since his preteens... with "pathways" demarcated, kind of, between the door, the desk, the closet, and the small but overstuffed bookshelves. SOMEHOW, we're going to have to figure out how to fit my gift-wrapping station, my art supplies, and probably my writing archives in there as well.

The solution will probably involve ebay. And a lubricant of some kind.

The only real drag about the process (besides the headache of problem-solving, the exertion of moving, and the pain-in-the-ass in getting the Godking to finish a project) is that now I have to figure out what to do with all the "ME STUFF" in there. Because while, yes, the rest of the house is pretty much my stuff too (TGK is not much of a decorator, and even if he were, I have veto power), the office is quintessentially me. The way a teenager's bedroom is quintessentially them - everything boiled down to one's essence. The huge map of the world, the art on the walls, the posters and pages torn from magazines tacked up on the doors. The little figures and whatnots lining all the bookshelves. And my writing archives. Giving up the room is like giving up a little of that sanctity.

But. I don't mind, all things considered. Of all the sacrifices I'm prepared to make for this little one, this doesn't even register.

I just... have to figure out where it's all going to GO.
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