My Pirate Name

Remember, Monday is International Talk Like a Pirate Day!
I have several things planned for work, as I am officially the Ambassador of FUN there. (Well, at least one of them...)
What's your pirate name?
I have several:

Captain Morgan Vane:
Even though there's no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you're the one in charge. You tend to blend into the background occaisionally, but that's okay, because it's much easier to sneak up on people and disembowel them that way. Arr!

Bad-Rum Tess
No description, but really, is one needed?

Capn Elizabeth the Wicked Wench
Again, name with no description, but clearly, I am the captain sort.
*puffs up chest*

Wanna know more about Talk Like a Pirate day? I can't wait.


Update on Opportunities

Who'd've thunk it? I tried the sticker chart with the 3 y/o stealth sneaker last week. She had to earn 3 stickers to get a trip to the Jungle.

Evening 1 - Sticker chart explained to stealth sneaker. She's thrilled that she can get a trip to the Jungle out of this and says she can stay in bed all night because she would like to go to the Jungle. We think we might get one night out of this experiment, but at this point, even that's worth it.

Night 1 - stayed in bed ALL NIGHT! We were shocked. Of course, neither of us slept more than an hour or two at a time, waking and wondering if she was still breathing (no, neither of us was willing to go check). She picks a sticker and I have to tell her where on the chart it should go.

Night 2 - stayed in bed ALL NIGHT! Wow - maybe this isn't really beyond a 3 year old's grasp. Happily put sticker #2 on the chart in a strange place, but we really don't care about that.

Night 3 - stayed in bed. Woke up and cried and cried and cried. Finally we got out of her that she needed to go potty. Since we hadn't exactly gone over what to do when you have to go potty, but you've made a deal that you won't get out of bed, she still earned her sticker. But now she knows she can get up and go potty as long as she goes back to bed again. Oops - another case of parental instruction omission. Be careful what you don't tell these little people!

Day 4. Weekend day, trip to Jungle earned. BUT.... playground bully behavior overcame all good 3 year old senses and Jungle trip was postponed. What do you do when your kid is at the top of the slide sitting sideways, blocking all other children from coming down, AND WON'T MOVE despite reasoning, cajoling and threats of varying degrees? Once the tot immediately behind her tried to climb over the edge to get around her, I determined that safety came first. I climbed UP this spiral monster, about 100 feet or so, with slippery shoes, arms basically pulling me up, grabbed her shoes and slid down with her in tow. Twenty minutes of "I want to go to the Jungle" whined in the same pitch over and over again garnered some sympathy from bystanders, but mom and big bro tuned it out pretty effectively. Nope - if I'm going to have arms I can't move the next day because she's stubborn, she's not getting rewarded. For ANYTHING! (and yes, my arms were quite sore the next day)

Day 5. Very nice cooperation today, Jungle trip restored. Mom took Advil in advance (advice - never go to the Jungle unmedicated if you're over 11). All is well in the Beastar household.

Bottom line - damn - those sticker charts can work on even little people!
(and even though we don't know what trip is next, she's still getting stickers - and we're starting to actually sleep! YAY for us!)


driver training

My teenager passed his written driving test today and walked out in proud receipt of three stapled together pieces of paper which say he can start practicing to drive. Through a very strange set of coincidences, I just sent this teenager off with a complete stranger in a powder blue mini cooper with decals ablaze. "Driversed.com" "Your complete driver training source" etc. etc.

Top Reasons to be Concerned:

1. My son is learning to drive in one of the smallest and easiest to crush vehicles on the road.

2. He is learning to drive with the handicap of not being able to see the action ahead for the ginormous SUV sure to be in front of him at all times.

3. I found the driving instructor on the INTERNET for god's sake.

4. The car is POWDER BLUE! What will his hockey pals say?

5. Until we adopted little K., this was my BABY! *teeny tears welling up*

6. Big K says, after his successful test results, "Do I HAVE to wait for the lesson to start? I want to practice first so I can impress the teacher." uh huh.

7. The 6 months countdown to the actual drivers test has officially started.

8. The car is POWDER BLUE! No one drives a powder blue car! Everyone will laugh at him!

9. The driving instructor answered his phone "Hello." Instead of "Your best Driving School ever, how can I help you?" or better yet, some secretary-like person saying, "Hello, Best Damn Driving School Ever, there are 14 eager callers ahead of you, will you please hold?"

10. This is my baby out there in a POWDER BLUE Mini, risking his life in the quest of this driver's license, unable to see anything, and getting older every day and every day is one day closer to when he dresses up and picks up his date for the prom, and then graduates and then goes off to college and then...

oh shut up.


Apolitical me

So is it my imagination or are things a little screwy? GW gets Roberts on the Supreme Court basically through the back door and then gives him the job of chief justice? And the rest of us are so focused on the devastation in the southeast that we're not even phased by this? AND he gets to appoint another justice as well. be afraid. be very afraid.



Little L. went to another foster home last week. A long term one.
This is the first time I've had to give a child up to non-family. Apparently, the judge saw some wisdom in releasing her 4 older sisters so they can be adopted by the foster family who has had them for the past 2 years, but letting little L have the benefit of trying to reunite with her mom but not her dad. Mom has not left Dad in the last 2 years of county run scrutiny, let alone the last 12. I don't know how that will change in the next 4 months, and in the meantime, little L's lost the opportunity to be adopted with her siblings. (although it could still happen sometime in the more distant future - my fingers are crossed!) But that's what the ruling was, and we couldn't continue the foster care arrangement with both of us working, so we did not get to place her directly with either an adoptive family or her mom. This is so not what we got into this deal for. But we know she got a good, healthy, stable and secure start. We know we got her to the point where she will sleep through the night on occasion, where she will smile when she hears my voice or sees my face. (The others had to work a little harder.) And that has to be enough. big sigh.

In comparison, my stealthy little one can't stay in bed for more than 2 hours straight - ANY night. And she wants Daddy to put her back to bed. Sucks to be the favorite at 11pm, 1,2,4&6am. I haven't figured out how to get her to just stay in bed and let herself fall back asleep when she wakes up. I know putting plastic spiders around will not work this time! I read somewhere that one family made a chart and every night the child stayed in bed was worth a sticker. After a certain amount of stickers, a trip to the zoo or some other fun place was awarded. Nice idea, but for the instant reward/consequence 3s, I'm not sure it will work just yet. I might try it anyway. In the meantime, I'm taking my opportunities when they show up. Watching "Nevergood" the other night ("Everwood" for the non-initiated - I just renamed it because I can't stand the main character. But for the record, the show itself is a kind of guilty pleasure and I do watch it more than not), Amy scoots herself onto her bed to be by herself for a while. She gets a phone call which she does not answer, and curls up. I know it's a solemn, even sad moment where she's thinking about her graduation and her mother's cancer which is progressing despite chemo, and my comment is "I bet she stays in her bed all night". Just seizing the opportunity, folks! Pan to Ephraim, who placed the unanswered phone call, sitting on his bed with his half packed backpack, and S. and K. both chime in (after delivering a shocked and appalled look at me after my comment) "I bet he stays in his bed all night, too." Guess they saw the opportunity.

Speaking of my stealth snuggler, there were a handful of times through the sleep deprived nights of little L where I'd wake up because my arm was asleep and look over to find a cute little head on my arm, or snuggled into the space between me and the edge of the bed. This was different from her barreling days when she'd run in and climb OVER me to sleep in the middle. She was definitely being sneaky. And she'd found that I might not wake up if she just climbed in and snuggled. Have to admit, she had a good plan. Not only was she able to sneak an hour or two in my bed before I'd wake up, I had a hell of a time telling her she had to go back to her own bed when she was snuggled so cute and sweet next to me. Truth is, we probably would just let her sleep with us as long as she needs if it weren't for her gymnastics and kick boxing nights which come far more often than the snuggly ones. Oh well - any and all ideas are welcome!
A Challenge and an Opportunity.