Firecracker Talapia

Today was a Good day! A productive day!
Right now Thanh is taking Mahala and Skylar to church. After church tonight they are having a kids movie night!! Yeah!!! That means time to myself until 9:30, yeah me!!! But, little Kaden will still be toddling around. That's Ok because he is the cutest.
Last night Kaden wasn't so cute. He cries out off and on most nights. I would love to have 2 nights in a row of peaceful sleep, please God!! So since last night and early this morning was not the best I really had to drag my Big Butt out of the bed.
I ate cereal with Kaden, then he ate eggs with Mahala. And Thanh made an omelet with 100 day old meat. I swear I hope he makes it to see tomorrow. Skylar didn't wake up till 10Am so he ate cereal.
I took Kaden outside for the first time in like 6 days because of the fires. We played in his sand box with his Malibu sand. And then I decided to clean up outside with the kids help.
My friend Karen came over and brought us In and Out burgers. LOVE THEM!!!! She is the Organization Queen, so she was going to help Thanh clean out the small garage ( we have 2 separate garages ) so we can put up our new weight set. Now I say New because it has never been open. We have had it for 3 years, I know! So the garage is looking great now thanks to Thanh's hard work and Karen's direction. I on the other hand sat out there and looked cute....real cute.
I did make a really lovely dinner. Firecracker Talapia and rice. Sing my praises everyone...I'll wait for you to finish singing!!!!
So, tonight I will give the Kad Man his bath and try to put him down before I go pick up the other lights of my life. Then hopefully Thanh and I can watch a movie!!! Night Night!


I was a Teen Mom

So earlier I was talking to some of my friends about being a Teen Mom. I have a ton to say about this part of my life. So here we go.....
I am going to start off telling about a particular night that was hard for me and then I will go back and start from the beginning at a later time.
Every part of my body ached as my belly grew. I didn't understand all the changes, I just knew I wanted KFC Mashed potatoes & gravy with a big glass of milk. This particular day I had come home from school and had numerous homework assignments. I was busy completing all my school stuff when A ( foster mom ) walked into the kitchen. She was a pain that women was. I never knew what kind of a mood she would be in. But, this day I just couldn't handle her crap. I sat there and listened to her tell me how I was wasting my time doing homework. How I would never amount to anything anyway. I was going to be a trailer trash wife to B and no homework was going to make a bit of difference. Well ok then. What do you do after hearing that. Well, I cried and cried and cried. I cried for my parents, I cried for my baby. What have I gotten him into, what was my problem. I wobbled to my so called room. She screamed do you want to be in for the night or are you having supper? My face was all sweaty and smeared with mascara from crying, but I came out and helped set the table.
I don't even know why we even set the table, her husband ate in their room like a pig. He made himself out to be this high and mighty. Always looking down at me and B. Everyone else ate in the living room on the floor. It was just her and I at the table.
After dinner that night B did the dishes and I went to take a shower. Lord my belly was big. I peed before and after my shower. I knew my time was limited. Limited because I did not have full access to a bathroom all the time.
After my shower I went and told A I was ready for bed. She said I'll be there in a minute. I turned and walked past the kitchen to the little door beside the fridge. I opened it up and the cold air made my body ache. To my left was an old bed with a thin hotel like comforter. Along the side of the bed was 3 small windows. On my right there were shelves of food from the floor up and left over odds and ends that didn't make it to the garage. Do you know were I was sleeping? I was sleeping in the pantry. It was an addition that they had put on years ago, which was why it was so cold in the Winter and hot in the Summer. There was no insulation and just a tiny light bulb that swung in the night when the wind blew.
A came to the door and said N-i-i-i-i-i-ght! I hated how she used to say that in her tone. She would lean forward to the middle of the "room" and turn off the light. I would sit and watch the light shine through the crack and the loud noise of her looking the pad lock would make my heart ache. Yes I was locked in this pantry thing that I had hardly room to stand in except sideways.
Nights were real hard for me. I would have night sweats even in the winter. And I had to pee all the time. I had a small wash basin that I was given a bunch of samples in from the health department. I used it every night and prayed that I didn't overflow it. Yes, that did happen a time or two. Towards the end I could hardly hold myself up to squat over the flimsy thing and I begged to have the door unlocked. The answer was always no, you got yourself in this mess and now you have to pay the consequence. I can't tell you how angry I was! I wanted to tell everyone, look what these people are doing to me, look!! But, who would believe me, a useless whore in foster care that nobody wants or cares about. That was what I was in there eyes and I wanted it to go no further. I didn't want anyone else to know. You see if I do the time I can leave with my baby and no one else can think bad of me. I wanted to be no more. I didn't want to exist because existing hurt too much.

Mahala the Spy?

Picture this......
I'm sitting in our living room with Kaden in the pack and play. I have his fav show on and I'm trying to get him to take a nap. Now normally Anna sits with him upstairs until he falls asleep and the she holds him until nap time is over or she has him laid across her lap. Well, that was all fine and good until now after having him alone I can't get anything done. I refuse to sit there for 2-3 hours while he gets ready for his nap and then finally sleeps. So, what I have been doing is giving him his bottle and then laying him down. Well homey don't play that I guess. So little homey has been in baby jail. (AKA the pack n play) He cried off and on for at least 3 maybe 4 hours today.
So, I'm about to cry myself and it's sooooo hot! I feel a small twitch in my right eye and I know I need to eat something before I start drinking what's left of his bottle. But, before I can move I notice out of the corner of my left eye Mahala's big, pink bunny being lowered over the upstairs banister. Now this thing is as tall as she is. I'm about to scream at her when it twirled around and I noticed it's hands were behind it's back in hand cuffs.
I continue to watch and I ask her whet she was doing. I'm playing spy mom. Spy!!!! What kind of spy are you? I then notice the bunny's face. His mouth was tapped up and he was blind folded. What the heck, did I miss something on America's most wanted last week? He was a bad bunny so he is being punished. Her voice was very playful thank God as she called out 10-4's and roger that. She said she would release him if I would be responsible for him, so I was like ok! I guess I can do that, what the heck. I started to laugh and Kaden thought it was funny too. I told him that he better not be a bad boy or Mahala might punish him. Oh, he's not a bad boy, he just likes to feel someone close to him while he sleeps.
I guess we can all sleep knowing we have a Spy in our family!


What are we doing this Summer?

Life is short let's enjoy Ourselves.
I have friends that their children are in activities constantly. Running from here to there and back again. I choose to not be that way, I'm not saying that it's wrong. I'm just saying it's not for us. I mean who are we kidding, I don't look real cute rushing from here and there. And I can hardly get dinner on the table after educating the future leaders of tomorrow. Soccer is just gonna have to wait. But, don't judge me I'm all for sports and music, but dang.
So what's Manic Mom's family doing this Summer?
During the summer this year we have 5 camping trips planned. Two trips to San Fran, and endless trips to local parks and museums locally. We are also going to a museum in Redding and we have an Aquatic center pass. We try to go swimming at least 4-5 days a week.
Both older kids have church camp for a week each and countless library trips not to mention 2 scheduled trips to the local zoo.
I guess we do have a lot planned. I'm not totally lazy! I do plan on starting a novel with each of the kids so next year they are prepared right off the bat for a book report. We are also starting an herb garden this summer and reorganizing the garage. I plan to take advantage of all town activities and events with the church. Skylar has youth event 3 times a week at church and Mahala has them twice a week.
Other then that we play TONS of games. We are a game family. I do not allow them to watch tv all day or have video games all day. Because if I did not monitor them they would seriously be doing just that all day long. I heart my kids.


Hot, Hot, Hot!!!

7 Am came early this morning. I had a late night last night and I slept, but still felt awake. Skylar went away for camp for the first time ever today, so I think I was anxious about today. Last night around midnight Skylar was still packing and he reminded me that I was supposed to cut his hair that night. Well, crap! Not at midnight, I'm not cuttin any one's hair. I promised him that I would do it first thing this morning. He made me swear that I would get up. He knows that I am totally not a morning person and will do most anything to get out of getting out of bed.
So, he set his alarm and I got straight out of bed to cut his hair, all of them. HA HA After Kaden woke up Skylar gave Thanh his father's day card that had a toilet on it with sound effects, go figure.
Skylar and I piled into the car to head to the church. There were sooooooo many kids, I could tell he was a bit nervous. Maybe not as much as I was, but whatever! We are new to this church and I am making an effort to try to get all the kids involved. We are very happy that we found a church that offers so much for the kids.
I came home with only a tear or two and made my man a Father's day breakfast and gave him a card. Money is tight, so no gifts this year. I didn't have time to come up with something creative and inexpensive, next year! After breakfast we rushed to church.....when I say rushed I can not even stress how much we did in a 35 minute window of time. We got there and Mahala offered to stay with Kaden in the nursery. He has only been there 2 times and both times were not cute. I figure it will take some time for him to get used to being there.
Church here in CA is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay different then any church I have ever been to in the South.
South- 30-120 people
CA- Thousands of people, we have 4 services on Sat and Sun.
CA- We have a coffee shop, and book store in the lobby
South- No
CA- We have several BIG screens in the worship area
South- No
CA- Music is way different, it's like being at a concert
South- No
These are just a few differences. It took us a long time to accept this change. Which is one of the reasons it took us a long time to find a church.
After church we came home, had lunch and played with Kaden.
We are watching Jack's Big music Show nowand Mahala is playing on the WII. The rest of the day I get to clean and get ready for a new week without Skylar or Anna. By the way Anna is our Aupair from Sweden. She is on vacation for the next 9 days. It's just me, Mahala and Kaden. We are going to hang out and go swimming as much as we can, it's hot here!


50 tooth brushes

We are back from Malibu and we all had a great time. On the coast it was in the 60's-low 70's, so a light jacket was required. Now we all are sunburned even though we used sunscreen. The baby was slathered every 2 hours so he is the only one that's golden brown. We only left the water to sleep and eat, so I guess we had it coming to us. I will write more about the trip later and put up some pictures.
Right now I am going to continue my story about my first night in foster care.

The next morning I woke up to a Huge surprise. Not one, not two or three or even four, but Five little heads were poking around the bed beside me. Is she awake? Who is she? What's her name again? None of the kids were over the age of eight or nine. And even though they didn't mean any harm they were on one of my nerves.
I asked them where their mom was. I was talking about the lady I had met the night before. We will call her K. Remember I'm new to all this. They told me their stories about how they came to this place, about their real mothers. They told me about the drugs, the beatings, the abandonment. I remember thinking where the hell am I. I was so sad for them to be in this situation at such a young age. Their hearts were so heavy with grief. They grieved for a life they probably never had. Right now I'm thinking of them and I wonder how many of them went on to become successful and achieved what they wanted to do. I wonder how many continued a lifestyle that they grew up to see. What happen to those children that I met that day?
With all the commotion K came in and asked for them to give me some room. She sent them out to play and asked if I needed to talk. I didn't want to talk, I didn't want to be those kids. I was Ok, there was nothing wrong. I'm sure she had heard that a thousand times before. She told me that it was almost lunch, that I had slept right through breakfast. She said that she would go over all the rules and what was expected of me while I was there after lunch.
I remember getting dressed and going to the bathroom. There were like 50 tooth brushes I swear! In the dinning room there was this huge table with chairs. All the kids gathered, I think there were 11 of us total at the time. It changed frequently. And over time that really gets upsetting with kids coming and going and sometimes they came back again.
K went over the rules they were posted up in every room of the house. We had a ton of them, but looking back they were not all bad. The consequence was sentences and if the mood was right you were grounded for a month. A month is a LOOOOOOOOONG time to a kid. So, I was going to be good. You may ask about our activities. We were not aloud to have t.v. except on the weekends we could have a Christian or G rated movie. There was no radio except in the kitchen and van,that was only christian music. We had horses and a trampoline.
It was the weekend so I didn't hear back from the social worker until Monday. I knew she would get me out of here. On Monday she did call, but the news wasn't to tell me I was going home. She explained to me that Kathy no longer wanted to have me in her home. She gave the social worker all the names and numbers to all of my existing relatives. The social worker explained that I would be here for awhile & that she wanted to introduce me tomorrow to my new long term social worker. Her name was Sheila. I loved Sheila, I always wanted to make her proud of me. Over the next few years we became close, she felt like family when nobody else did.


Check out my New Bruises

The drive was long and the social worker had a zillion questions. I was like shut up. My head hurt, my body and sinuses were killing me. Shut up with all the questions. I wanted to scream. If I was there right now I would have screamed, "stop this, stop this pain.
Give me back my Mommy and Daddy!" I wanted to scream! But, I didn't I was scared where was she taking me in the cold, in the dark. We went down winding roads with trees, lot's of trees. There on the right side of the road was a nice 2 story house with a single window with lights on. Here we are!
I take my backpack and hold it in front of me. The house was older with a lived in look. They had a piano and tall bookcases. The couches were mix matched and the flooring reminded me of the office at school. Here she is, the recent abused child of our county. Will you keep her, nobody else wants her? She didn't say that but now looking back that's how I felt. I've carried this feeling around for YEARS!
The couple was odd. The woman was short and round with bushy hair. The man was tall, balding with glasses. They both spoke kind to me as they checked out my new bruises. They showed me to my room because it was late. All of the other children were asleep. The social worker followed behind me & said she would stay a minute more. The man and woman left to tidy the kitchen. I cried and begged the social worker to not leave me. I promised to stay out of Kathy's way just take me back to what was familiar. That was not possible she said, but she promised that on Monday she would come back and check on me. That was 2 days away, I would surly be dead my then. With that she closed the door.
I sat on the bed that had a scratchy blanket on it and two lumpy pillows. It must have been a boy's room I thought. It looked like a boys room. It was not my room. That very morning I had went to school, had lunch with friends, made plans with Red. It was the weekend! Now it was the first day of a not so wonderful life.
As a million things ran through my mind the pain pill the medic had given me started to take a hold of me. I drifted off to sleep and when I woke up You will never believe who was in Bed next to me!


She put the pillow over my face......

When my parents died I stayed with a cousin for a short time in Florida until school was out and then I stayed with a family friend until all Hell broke loose. (more on that later)

The night I was placed in the Foster care system was a night I will never forget.
I was a scared child with a heart so filled with guilt and sadness that I hardly even sounded like a child. I didn't look like a child. I was a child, a child that had a story. And this story she wanted to share but who would listen? Who cared? Who would save her?

This is my story and I am ready to share. It is a dark, scary road. But it is my road.

The night I was placed in foster care it was cold. I had been to the movies with Kathy and a friend of mine. I will call her Red. Red and I were great friends. You will hear a ton about Red in upcoming posts. We were "sad" buddies. Our lives sucked so we enjoyed what we could about life together. We went to Kmart after the movies and Red bought a pack of cigarettes. After shopping we were leaving and Kathy saw Red's cigs. She accused her of stealing them. Red had a freakin receipt. Kathy was ranting and screaming. Kathy took her home and I started arguing about her about accusing Red. And remember I was 14, friends are everything.
We got home and Kathy had a nervous break down. She had freaked out on me before but this time was different. She started telling me how my family didn't want me and how lucky I was that she even took me in. She started throwing things at me as she screamed at how stupid I was. Why?? I kept screaming. Why are you doing this to me? Her husband tried to calm her down but she kept on. I sat on my bed as she covered my face with pillows and hit me. Her husband called the police and when they got there she left and I locked my door. I remember praying to God asking why, why is this happening. I begged to die, I didn't want to exist anymore.
The police tried to come into my room and after I wouldn't let them in they called Child protective services. While they were on the phone they asked if they removed Kathy if I would come to the phone. I agreed. As I answered the ladies questions I could hear Kathy screaming. She stormed into the kitchen and took the phone from me and beat me repeatedly in the face and shoulders.
An hour or so passed with paper work and such. They hauled her off and Richard was so sad, he loved me I knew it. She loved me too, I don't know to this day what happened to cause her to spin out of control.
All I had was a backpack filled with clothes and a tooth brush as we backed out of the driveway to head towards safety. Lord please give me peace, please.


Warped Taste Buds

Boy, how I used to love me some sweeeet tea! I was Born and raised all over the south. They even showed us how to make sweet tea in large, clean pickle jars in Home Economics. Those were the good old days when you wanted to learn how to keep a clean house and blah, blah, blah!!!  I usually skipped that class unless we were having food. And to this day I still can't sew on a button.

Now after living in CA for 8 years I can't touch sweet tea. Four years ago we went home for a few weeks. My first stop was the Cracker Barrel and Sonny's Pit BBQ! I HEART SONNY'S PIT BBQ! If I could Marry it I soooooooooooo would. Get me a preacher ladies we are about to have a Wedding! All of their sauces and the thinly cut pork! I ordered a BIG glass of iced sweet tea. I had been wanting the real stuff for years. No one sells sweet tea in CA. So, I get this glass and I can't drink it. My taste buds had changed on me. They done went crazy on me. I look up at my husband like what the heck is wrong with me. He's like you haven't had the stuff in years. Actually I do make it at home. Slooooooooowly I started using less and less sugar at home. I evolved I guess.  So like a Big Baby I asked for a glass filled half way with unsweetend tea. Yes!!!!! I had become one of those people. You know what I mean my Southern Bells!
When I reached my family that night everyone was whispering how I had changed. Some people commented about my new accent. Blah, Blah, Blah.....all I could think about was the sweet tea.
All you Southern Bells must hold your glasses high and drink one for Manic Mom. Never let your taste Buds say No to that Southern Sweetness! Ok, I am crazy I told you. I am off to get ready for the yard sale and trip to Malibu.


Perky Thursday!

So today is Thursday & I am doing what I do BEST!.........
Yes, I said it. First off here are the Big things that need to be accomplished- tomorrow I have a Meeting to attend in the evening. Saturday I am having a Community Yard sale. And Sunday at 6am I need to have 3 kids, a husband an au pair, a dog and myself in a packed van heading towards Malibu! So here are the things I have to do or I will just die.
*I have to go to the grocery store and get food for us all to eat while we are camping.
*Take kids to the pool Friday so I don't kill them
*Go to the REI Store to buy more camping stuff
*Go to Target to buy more fun summer activity stuff
*Wash clothes so we do not have to be naked, unless we want to.....
*Pack everything because husband is not capable
*Take one of the dogs to my friends house for the week...thankful for her
*Go to Sams to get stuff we need BIG!!!
*Buy bike stuff
*Finish gathering Yard Sale stuff
*Price everything so I can make some money honey!!!!
*Plan for the meeting Friday night
*Help Hubby get everything in the car
*Get directions to the camp site
*Clean up after Yard Sale
*Do last minute stuff
I think that is everything. It's not in any order, but it must get done. So, if you see me on here too much tomorrow you have my permission to smack me.
But, the Good part is we are going to camp out on the beach for 5 days. We need that so much. Our family has went through some pretty horrible things this past year. Really the past 3 years have had so many down times, so many tragic things that it can Only go up from here. This is still a PERKY Thursday because my family is movin on up like George and Weesy! And I want to treasure this time and encourage it along. I promise to take a TON of pictures! I am off to my duties!!


Reality before Reality TV

What should I write about today?
I don't know, it's your blog. What do you want to write about?
I don't know. That's why I asked you.
Now this would be an ok conversation if it were between friends. But, it's not! This is what I hear in my head when it is Monday morning.
It is now almost dinner time, so I better think of something quick!
Ok! It was a dark and stormy night..... I swear it was! And everyone in the house was sleeping, but of course not me. I was crouched beside my window waiting to see the flash of car headlights. This would mean that my ride had arrived. The year was..... I can't remember, but I was like 13 or 14. Yes I was not always the "perfect child" But, the Lord has forgiven me. Thank you Lord.
Back to the story-
So, I was dressed in typical Sheila, want to be "grown up" clothes. That was the phase I was in at the time. I made sure I was ready. Make up on, hair fixed, pillows under my cover just in case Kathy looked in to see if I was ok. I'll explain to you who Kathy was in a future entry.
I turned my radio up just a notch and then I saw the lights. Yesssssssssss, I thought!! Now the windows were only about 6 inches from the floor. So, it was like they were begging me to sneak out. On the other side we had a porch, so it was super easy. The only catch were them huge bags we girls had during that time. So there I am swinging my big purse that's stuffed with teenage necessities. Now this is back in Alabama, in the country. Cow presents are everywhere, so when it rains not only do you have the smell of fresh rain, but the smell of not so fresh rained on cow presents. Going blind by rain and funk I look back one time at the darkened house. Knowing Kathy and Richard are fast asleep I jump in the car. What's uuuuuuuuuuuup!!!!!
We are all excited that we pulled this off and now we were going to Party (aka smoke cigarettes and drink warm !
Here we are parked behind the Frosty Freeze, I think it was called that. What a night!! It lasted like 2 hours, because we were scared. Well, duh!! I'm surprised we didn't get caught. We talked about why life sucked and who we thought was hot and who we wanted to marry. As IF! We rocked out to the radio and talked about how to tight roll our jeans better. Back in the day, wow I can't believe that was me. That is where I used to be.
We drove like 5 minutes back to my house. By then it wasn't raining and it looked like the sun was going to come up. I said goodbye and ran up the driveway. My legs were heavier and I had to pee. I tiptoed onto the porch and slid into my room. It was so warm with familiar smells. I wanted to go straight to sleep but I had to pee.
I walked into the hallway, closed the bathroom door, sat on the toilet and exhaled the thought of sneaking out and not getting caught. About that time I thought I heard something as I washed my hands ever so quietly. I was in Total freak out mode! After thoughts of getting in the shower, faking being sick all night and getting naked with a towel wrapped around me I started to sweat and freakishly get hungry all at the same time.
There was a knock!
Yes??? I was busted!
Hey hon, I didn't know you were going to get up and go with me??
What was I supposed to say? Where was I going to go? What the heck, I didn't care.
I was stuck going to Mobil to look at a property. I thought I might die. I was exhausted, but the was my punishment I figured.