All My Obsessions!

Everyone knows I'm happiest in life when I have something to be obsessed with... and right now I have two new obsessions going on!
The first one is more of a short-term obsession. This weekend was a lot of fun because we spent most of it outside! We went to the Safety Fair on Friday and got to take a tour of the jail. I've been to the jail lots of times to visit Nick and Anthony, but this time we got to take a behind-the-scenes tour! We saw the cells where people stay, the pods, the gym, etc. (The weirdest thing was that Diana and I had brought Brandon, Abby, Hayden and Maricio, and Anthony is actually in that jail right now! But the kids don't know it yet. He's really screwed up this time and is going to be in jail for a looooooooooooooooong time, so we're sort of postponing telling the kids until they really need to know. Its been several weeks and so far they have asked a little bit about him, but haven't really been dying of curiosity or anything. He's been in and out of their lives so they're used to suddenly not seeing him for a while. At any rate, it was strange that he was there somewhere, and the kids were actually inside the jail.) But obviously thats not my obsession. The next day, Sarah came over and we were trying to make a movie about everyday life in the household. We filmed the whole thing with the camcorder feature on my digital camera, so it could be uploaded to the computer. We got tons of random, every-day footage. Large chunks of it were actually filmed from the garage roof! I'm working on getting it all put together into one movie, but its taking fifty million years to get it from the camera to the computer, and then from the computer to the video editor! I love photos and videos. I have a very visual mind and I love looking at that kind of thing. Sometimes in life, when I'm happy, I'm secretly imagining how the scene would look in a photo or a movie! I know, I'm so weird!
My other obsession is that Make A Difference Day is coming up and I've always wanted to do something for it, but never was able to. So this year I came up with the idea of putting together backpacks for kids in foster care. Like, the minute they get taken away from wherever and are in the foster care system, they usually don't have a lot of their own things with them and end up using other people's stuff for at least the first few days. This would be a backpack full of things just for them, that they could keep, and would have things to get them through what they need to do (such as personal hygiene things) and things that would comfort them or entertain them (such as toys, books, stuffed animals for comfort, etc.) When I started it, it was mainly something I figured I could do with all of the kids in my house, to get them involved in Make A Difference Day, and maybe we'd be able to donate four or five backpacks. Well, I ended up posting about it on some Meetup.com groups that I belong to, and now a whole bunch of people have volunteered to get involved! Five full backpacks already exist in the world, 35 children's books have been collected in order to be put into the backpacks, and more things are being gathered every day! A church has been offered up as a drop off place for the backpacks and an assembly place for the big project day in which all of the other backpacks will be put together. A second branch of the project might be getting started in Mundelein. And its not even October yet! I am trying to spread the word through Facebook and Myspace and my blog and other places. It feels really cool to realize that an idea I came up with is taking off like this!
So, as far as that goes, things have been going really well. I'll keep you posted!


Blogging Takes Forever

It took me about ten million years to write my blog entry on SLow Down, Gym Shoe today... It was the captions on the pictures that kept messing me up! I put them all in, but every time I tried to save the entry, it kept on rearranging the captions so that they made no sense! I finally just erased all of the captions. Oh well.
So, last night went badly when I came here to my mom's house. They just grilled me and grilled me and grilled me about my finances! Don't you think thats sort of rude? They're not coming from a place like, "How are things? Can we help?" so we can't even pretend that they're just trying to be interested. They're coming from a place of, "Are you screwing up? We know you're screwing up. You must be screwing up. We will catch you screwing up." They do things like go through my mail when I'm not here. They have always been like that. I try to take Diana's advice and remember that they're just humans, but it is very hard when my mom has always made it clear that she has the power to take everything away from me. She uses that power to control me. As long as my stuff, and my cat, are still here, she can say, "Do this or I'll throw your cat out on the street." It gives me a horribly nervous stomach just thinking about it. I mean, I'll always be a little behind in my finances, but so is everyone! I handle it! I don't need people rifling through my mail so that they can have the priviledge of pointing out how much better they are than me. You know?
In better news, school is going really good for me. I'm getting A'z in three of my classes. The fourth one, math, is harder, but I can probably at least get a B in the end!
OK I'm going to go and try to catch up on some other things. Just checking in! Have a great day!


Long Time, No See!

Okay, I'm back! Did ya miss me? Diana's friend Dez came over, along with her new puppy, who I forgot we are watching this weekend. He's a little black lab puppy, my favorite kind! Floppy and soft, with a white spot on his chest. Unfortunately, he peed on the carpet as his first order of business in the house. And then Mijo seconded that motion. And Abby woke up because of all the dogs barking. And I had two Dr. Peppers and cannot sleep. I put a blanket over Tiger's cage cause thats how he knows its time for bed.

I'm Trying!

Trying really hard not to be lonely! Diana and Jimmy went to drop Brandon off at his friends' hosue at 7:30, and they ended up going out and not coming home. :( I fall for it every time! ;) So I'm here blogging and trying not to be lonely or feel hurt. But its kinda a bummer because tomorrow I'm supposed to get Melissa and Maggie. Not that I don't want to get them! I do want to see them, and especially tomorrow because its Melissa's birthday! But I'm sort of exhausted. I spent the entire day Thursday doing homework, then today watched the kids from 8 am on. I spend half my time alone doing homework, the other half with kids, and zero with grown ups. I actually try to get here early in the mornings because I crave the chance to hang out with Diana for that twenty or so minutes before she goes to work, even though its usually hectic cause she's trying to get ready and everything. And I'm totally sad that now I go to school right after they come home, because I really miss the time when we'd all be together. Its the best part of the day. Now I rarely am here for it. I was looking forward to Friday cause, yay, I actually get to hang out... but they stayed for half an hour, then took off. :( Its cool and everything, but I just don't feel like going to bed, waking up and spending another day alone with a group of kids. Ya know?
In other news, we have to do this Health Improvement project for my Health Project and pick one goal we want to work on all semester. I'm picking stopping cutting, and finding better ways of dealing with things. And so far, I'm doing pretty good on that goal, because I have an appointment with a counselor on Tuesday, ANd i'm gonna start going to church. UCC church. On Sunday. I hope.


Crazy Days!

Yesterday I started officially watching those two new afterschool kids. You can read all about it at my other blog, Slow Down, Gym Shoe! If you want too! It went pretty good. The only bad thing is that I'm supposed to pick up the girl at around 3:15 at her school, and then pick up the boy, whose bus doesn't get there until about 4:00! So thats about forty-five minutes of car time for Abby and Hayden. Its worked out okay so far though, because we went inside the kids' house to play for a while while we waited for the boy's bus last time, so Abby and Hayden enjoyed that. Hayden especially enjoyed it because they had a cat! I was carrying her, and when we walked into the apartment and she spotted the cat, she started laughing and saying, "Oh, oh!" and wiggling to be put down. I put her down, and she ran right up to the cat, waving her arms and babbling, and started hugging and petting him! The cat, to his credit, was very patient, and just laid there and didn't move and let the baby pet him. It was so funny how excited Hayden was to see the kitty! And Abby really likes playing with the girl. She's 9, but small and young for her age, and they get along really well! Yesterday the girl fit right in with Abby and her two little neighborhood friends, and they were happy as can be. So I think this is going to work out good!
I totally ditched my class last night. The kids' mom was supposed to get to the house at 6:00, and that was right when I would have had to leave, so I thought it would be okay, but then as time went on I started thinking, "She'll get here at six but she's not just going to instantly materialize back into her car with the kids and disappear! She'll probably want to talk, and it will take a while for the kids to get ready, and by then it will be later. I don't want to go into school late because sometimes thats even worse than missing it all together!" So I thought I would ditch just this one day. Then the mom and kids actually left by like 6:06, so I still could have gone to school. But by then, my mind was set on staying! So I stayed and ate hot dogs and ended up spending the night.
Now I'm getting ready to go to my Writing For Social Justice class. Its a tough class, because we have a four-page essay due just about every week! I got an A on my first essay already, though.
So I should probably be packing it up and getting it moving right about now, huh?



Man my eyes are seeing double, because I've been on the computer ever since I got home from school today! I had a ton of things to do! I was planning on going to Diana's ronight, but since I still have things to do here, I'm probably just gonna sleep here, and stay there on Thursday night. I can literally barely see!
So tomorrow is my first real day of watching the two new kids I'm gonna watch. You can read more about it at my other blog, Slow Down, Gym Shoe, if you want! The good thing is I will barely ever actually encounter their mom, since I'm going to pick them up after school each day, and someone else will pick them up and take them home at the end of the day!
I'm homesick for Diana's house now. I shoulda just gone there. But I still got some homework to do, plus I gotta put away my laundry, plus straighten out all my bags and stuff for tomorrow. Ugh! But it'll be okay, right?
Sorry this is gonna be a short post. Just passing through on my way to go finish the laundry!


Crapppppppy Crap Crap

It is a horrid horrid horrid horrid night and I am trying awfully hard not to fall apart. The day with the little kids was good but then after Jimmy and Diana came home all hell broke loose. It all started cause Abby got Treasure Box this week but then she wanted two treasures instead of one, and kept arguing about it, so I told her she had to pick one or zero, and she picked zero. So later on she said she wanted to choose just one, and I said fine but not right now because now you're going to have to wait until I feel like going back out there, just because I wanted her to have to be a little sad that she had to wait for it now. Then it just went on and on and on, and Diana was getting mad at me, and Abby was being rude and went in the corner, etc, etc, etc.
Meanwhile Diana and Jimmy were tring to decide whether to go up to the fest in Wheaton, except it was raining, and finally during dinner Diana was still mad and then said she just felt like going by herself or with one or two of the kids because she didn't want to drag Hayden out. Abby said she wanted to go with so DIana said OK, and then Jimmy said I should go to, me, Nicki, should go, and DIana yelled "No!" and they got in a huge fight and Jimmy stormed out and drove away. Then Diana wouldn't talk to me and she got both the little kids ready and she left too. I dont know whaat I did so bad but I think it was partly because the other day Eric called me and But it all comes down to I'm just another person making diana miserble everyday just by being here. And now everyone is gone even the little kids and I thought Jimmy went to get Brandon but actually Diana went to pick him up an bring him with to the fest and not bring me and Jimmy not coming back an deveryone is mad at me and I didn' mean to do nothing. I try so hard to make evryone happy I swear I try so hard to do good things with the little kids, then I come home and I clean up the house and put out the garbage and make the kids do their chores and put away all the toys and try to make it look nice so the clutter wont make diana mad and sometimes she says i do a good job but i know its never enoug causethey still fight and get mad and then diana gets mad at me and its just like when i was a little kid, cause they are fighting and abby runs to me just like my little brother used to do, and i tell her dont think about it just think other things. And she was so rude today Abby was just right after diana came back, and i know diana thinks i'm starting to do a horrid job watching abby and brandon because they don't hardly listen.
I want really bad to rip my skin off and I NEED to but I am not, you would be so proud because I haven't at all, not even a little, because I dont want to not live ehre and not see the kids. even if everyone hates me at least i got them, and the y DO listen most of the time, its just when they get anxious and overwhelmed that they start snapping, just like everyone else.
Diana threw away abby's book, which abby worked hella hard on at school and drew all the pictures and was so proud of it and was gonna call her grandma and tell her she was an illustrator, and diana threw it away in the garbage cause she was mad, I took it out and put it in my backpack. I am so sad today and everyne hates me and i just wish was deead and tomorrow i have to go get MELISSA AND Maggie, i'm gonna take bran and abby and hayden wit me i hope but i can't bring the girls here because i think thats why she got so mad part of it anyway. But i don't have much money and i don't know wht to do with them and i think its gonna rain so we might just go to the mall.
please got let me feel better and not everone mad at meplease please please i always try don't I? I nver mean to make people angry but somehow I'm poison, i'm the devil, i wreck everything and make them all go away.


Diana Saves My Life

Well she didn't really aave my life, but she usually manages to save my mind. My mind tends to spiral. Here are some instances.
For one thing, I had an Ipass notice, and when I looked it up on the computer it said I owed about a thousand dollars or something like that. Not owning one thousand dollars, I figured I'd pay it off little by little throughout the course of my life. But I never really have any money to spare, aside from the $300 I once sent them when I got my stimulate check from the government. So the fines tended to grow and grow. So Diana said she'd call them for me and try to straighten it out. She's much better at talking to people than I am. Diana called them and said she was my sister and that I have Ass-Burger syndrome (my original disorder before ADHD) and have trouble talking on the phone and keeping papers straight and things like that. So it turned out, I may not owe anything at all, because my big mistake was putting the wrong license plate number when I filled out the form for the Ipass! In fact, somehow I might be getting money back! Diana managed to straighten all that out for me. I guess I could have asked my mom to help me with it, but when Diana helps me I manage to still have my dignity, and instead of feeling like a huge failure for not being able to handle something, I just feel like a person who needs a little help with some things.
Another thing is, Diana can always talk me down from my spirals. She helps me see things better. For instance, when I am upset because my mom is always interrogating me about things (such as the Ipass thing, for instance, and my room being messy, and things like that) because of my disability and my history of my mom threatening to have me locked up or threatening to get custody of me and be in charge of me forever and things like that, when my mom interrogates me or yells at me or even gives me advice, I feel very threatened and nervous. But Diana talks to me and reminds me that everyone's mom does that, even her own mom. She says her mom always interrogates her on things like how she is taking care of the kids, and whatnot. Most people just sigh and put up with it because its their mother, but because of my past history I tend to think its a huge, threatening thing. Diana reminds me that I'm just a person like everyone else, I'm not even really dependent on my parents that much anymore, and I should just sigh and deal with my mom like everyone else does. Hearing Diana put it into normal perspective for me makes me feel much better about things.
So today I am having a pretty good day, even though my mom is at home, because she gets to take days off whenever she feels like it. I am going to clean my room today and throw a lot of things away. I'm going to get a lot of things done today in the six hours I have between right now and my night class. I am going to remember that I'm a grown-up, and even though I have a disability and need help with some things, I am really competent at other things, and I can get by on my own, and my mom is just a human being and not some all-powerful person who can have me locked up somehow.

I haven't been blogging as much in here lately because, between school and the kids, I've been pretty busy! I might get even busier, too! These two school-age kids are going to start coming over to be babysat by me after school. Plus some lady emailed me to see if her young kids could start coming in mid-October. By now, I'm starting to wish I could just take the little kids and not the school-agers, because the school-agers are presenting all sorts of problems. Not their behavior, but mostly their mom. They aren't allowed to eat anything with dyes, which is OK, but they also are not allowed to watch cable TV or play video games other than E-rated ones, or play video games at all for longer than 20 minutes. The reason that makes things difficult is that the kids in my house are allowed to do those things, so it will be hard to tell two kids that they aren't allowed to do what everyone else is doing. I'm going to try to keep them all busy with homework, plus plan afterschool activities and things, and hopefully give them all options other than video games and cable TV. We'll see if it works out.
Plus I have to go pick up the schoolagers every day. I have to get the boy from the bus at his house, and the girl from her school. This isn't a big problem, BUT, if the two littler kids start coming, the problem will be that I won't be able to fit everyone else in my car! As it is, I won't be able to fit Brandon! It will be like playing Tetris!
I figure, if the two little kids do come, I can have Brandon watch Abby for half an hour or so each day while I go pick up the school agers. I can wedge Hayden, the two school agers, and the two new little kids, into my car for that short ride. But if we ever wanted to go anywhere else, for any reason, we'd be screwed!
Oh well, it will all work itself out in the long run. I won't worry about it yet. Right?


School Daze

So, last night was my first class at Roosevelt, and this morning was my second class! I have a third class tonight, and then on Monday I start my fourth class. So far, I like Roosevelt a lot! It was a really hard choice to transfer over to Roosevelt from Northeastern, especially because Roosevelt is a private university and costs a lot more. My financial aid covers most of it, luckily, but I was nervous that it wouldn't be worth it. Well, I have a really good feeling that I made the right choice, this time! The school is just much nicer than Northeastern was, and people in general are more friendly. At Northeastern there was always a feeling of being overcrowded. In classes, you were always elbow-to-elbow with the other people, and even having to steal chairs from other classrooms, or people would have to be sitting in the aisles or on the floor or whatever. Seriously! And the people in the different offices, the people who were supposed to help you, they were always rude and cranky. And so far at this school, people have been so friendly and helpful, and the classes are smaller and have more space. Its much nicer! I'm really happy about it.
Last night was my math class, which is actually a class about teaching math to kids. It was sort of fun because we got to do Tanagrams and things. Basically they teach us math in the same way that we'll be teaching it to kids, so that we understand it well enough to pass it along. The class this morning was Writing For Social Justice, which is a class where we'll be doing tons of research and essay writing. This is good, because writing is the thing I do best in school! Being able to write good essays has saved me from failing lots of classes. I think I'll get an A in that class, and learn a lot! Now the last two classes I have are History (tonight) and Health For Educators (tomorrow.) Its going to be a cool semester!
Tomorrow is also an exciting day because this lady and her two kids are coming over to meet me, Brandon, Abby and Hayden, and then the kids might start coming for after school care starting in a few weeks. I already wrote all about that in my other blog, Slow Down, Gym Shoe, so I won't bore you again with the details of that! Plus, this weekend the circus is coming into town, and in the morning I'm going to take Hayden over to the park to see the elephants raise the tent with their trunks! I hope its not raining then.
Well, I gotta go, because I got a lot to get done before my evening class tonight! See ya soon!


Here I am again!

A little while ago I was getting more and more panicky about starting school tomorrow and not being able to spend as much time at Diana's. I was even in tears thinking about it! I don't know why it makes me so sad, but I think part of it is because this time of year, the feeling of starting a new school, the feeling of everything sort of shifting around me, etc, is similar to the circumstances when I had a huge nervous breakdown type thing two years ago when I tried to go to college at Southern Ilinois. I had my own apartment there and everything, it was beautiful, there were deer in my front yard everyday... and I lasted three days, because I just couldn't stop having panic and depression problems. Even now, when I think about it, part of me feels sad that I messed up and couldn't stay in that beautiful place with the deer, but part of me starts feeling panicky again just at the thought of being so far away and being all alone.
I guess its just the feeling of everything I love being gone, which has happened a lot in my life... you are relatively happy in life, you are with people you care about, and then it all melts away and you're left alone.
So I was feeling really sad and nervous, and then Diana called me and coincedentally cheered me up! She said BRandon had to do some sort of getting to know each other project at school, and for people in his family he mentioned me right there with his parents and sisters and everyone else! And Diana also said that Jimmy's mom called and mentioned that on Labor Day, when Jimmy totally hauled ass to go see his parents and didn't want the rest of us to come, that she missed everyone, and she even said me specifically! SO now I feel much better and more secure. I mean I feel much better! Everything is going to be okay. Right?
Now I'm getting ready to go up in my room for the night. My mom just got home from work now and ugh its not going well. She just keeps interrogating me. She keeps asking me things like, "Did you get your school books yet? WHy not?" Because I had mentioned before that I don't think my financial aid is going to cover everything this year. And I think she was trying to get me to ask her to borrow some money, so then she can say, "Oh, what, Diana and Jimmy aren't paying you, are they?" Which they are but I just suck at saving money. I told her I just didn't get them yet because I didn't go to class yet and I want to make sure of what books are being used. But actually, I had a plan. I went on the school's website and found out all of the books I need. Only my math book is a lot, its $172 or something alarming like that, but I found out I can check it out from the Schaumburg Library. I can actually check out the other books from there too! So its all good. And I can recheck them out as much as I can, or I can just wait until I can spare the $172. Perfect, right?
OK I'm gonna get going. But. By the way. If you want to help me balance out the $1,000 that apparently financial aid won't cover at this school (I guess because its not a state school) you can click on these articles. I get paid for writing them, about $4-5 per article, but I also get paid everytime someone reads them and rates them. So, if you see any that interest you, check them out! I will be adding more every day!

Girls with ADHD: A Different Kind of Deficit
Statistics show that boys are 3 to 9 times more likely than girls to have ADHD. Yet, in adults, ADHD occurs equally among men and women. Why aren't girls being diagnosed, and who is paying the price?
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Angelo Secchi - the Scientist that History Forgot
Many people assume that religion and science contradict each other. But some of science's biggest discoveries were made by a Jesuit priest!
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Reading to Infants and Toddlers - What and How to Read to Your Baby
Reading to an infant or toddler is much different from reading to a preschooler. But if you choose the right books, you'll be on the right path to raising a bookworm!
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The Twelve Days of Summer by Jan Andrews
Don't just read this book to your child! Enjoy it together, and then use the story to do interesting projects together,
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The Twelve Days of Summer by Jan Andrews
Don't just read this book to your child! Enjoy it together, and then use the story to do interesting projects together,
View more »
Creating a Sensory Box for Your Child
Some kids just love to get messy! A sensory box will allow them to get elbow-deep in messy fun!
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Activity Themes for Family Fun
Use themes to come up with activity ideas for your whole family to enjoy!
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Activity Themes for Family Fun
Use themes to come up with activity ideas for your whole family to enjoy!
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Life, As We Know It...

I'm having sort of a rough day because tomorrow I start school. I like school and I'm happy about starting at Roosevelt, so thats not the problem. The problem is that I'm taking a lot of night classes. I have night classes four days a week. That means, most likely, I'll just be going back to my mom's after class on those four days, instead of staying at Diana's. I know it sounds like no big deal, but you know how I hate changes, right? So I've gotten so used to being at Diana's. My favorite part of the day is when Diana and Jimmy get home and everyone is together! And now, just when they get home, I'm going to have to leave, go to school, and then go back to my mom's. I don't know why I feel so sad about it but I just do. I mean its not like much ever really happens on weekday evenings, but I just like being part of the household. It can be really lonely at my mom's house, because usually they work late, and then when they get home they just want to watch TV, or my mom wants to interrogate me or yell at me about things. I'm just going to miss being at Diana's and being actually part of things. Last night I was practically having a panic attack when I was thinking about it!
Anyway this morning I woke up when Abby climbed onto the couch and hogged the whole thing, so I moved to the other couch, then Diana came out and asked to use the blanket I had, so I gave it to her and found another one, then Hayden came running down the hallway and yelled, "Ba-ba!" and pointed at the kitchen, so I picked her up and made her a bottle. I set her down on one end of the long couch to drink her bottle, and I lay down on the other end. Hayden chugged down her bottle like she was starving to death! Then she stood up and leaped across the couch to my end! I thought she was going to want to play for the next four hours, but she actually cuddled up next to me and went right to sleep in my arms. It was so sweet! I couldn't sleep much though because I just kept listening to her breathing and wondering if I should give her her puffer. (Hey, she really is a Pufferfish now!)
Over the weekend I took a lot of pictures of Hayden with my cellphone, mostly trying to entertain myself. In honor of Hayden being sick with RSV, I made a movie with all of the pics I took over the last few days. Check this out!
View this montage created at One True Media
My Montage 9/2/08


Sick House

Today is Labor Day and we were going to go to Diana's mom's house and then Jimmy's mom's house. But we've all been sick with colds and sinus problems, especially me and Hayden. And last night Hayden was feeling really sick. She woke up in the middle of the night and had a high fever and was throwing up from it being so high. Jimmy and Diana ended up taking her to the hospital. It was about one in the morning when they went. Hayden got a nebulizer treatment there, plus a nebulizer and inhaler to take home. She has bronchitis and also an ear infection!
So then this morning we didn't know if we'd be going anywhere because we all slept really late. Then Diana told Jimmy he should just go on his own to his mom's house if he wants. So he made breakfast for us then he said he was gonna go, and then Diana got mad because she said he could have brought the older kids, and he said they weren't ready yet and he wanted to go right away that minute, so now they are fighting. Now Abby is playing outside, Brandon is at his friend's house, and Diana and Hayden are sleeping on the couch. I got a HUGE headache I can't get rid of for anything! I took a shower, and then I went to Walgreens with Abby to get some soda, and now I'm just sitting sround. I wish Jimmy was coming back today but I guess maybe he aint.
Here is a picture of the sick baby... She had her nebulizer treatment this morning at home. She hates it! The face mask part is shaped like a dragon, as if thats supposed to make a baby feel better! Its sort of amusing to look at because the steam from the medicine comes out the dragon's nose. But Hayden hates it anyway. She took it though, and it made her act like she was on crack, running around the house all crazy, throwing shoes and stuff! At least she's feeling better though, right?