Thursday, June 30, 2011

Laid off

Over a week since being laid off, or put on 'redeployment' as they now call it (see next paragraph for explanation), and I haven't felt much urge to write. I guess I'm still adjusting to the new life of no trips to the office, no meetings to attend, and no work emails to respond or route. My mind gratefully evicted the amphitheater reserved for work stuff: to-do lists, stress over future meetings, recycling of "shoulda said this" conversations, drama with coworkers, and my constant dissonance between over-achievement and jadedness. I'm happy to purge those dumb workplace preocupations.

The redeployment period should really be referred to as the SH Memorial Month. A Vice President with over 22 years with the company, initials SH, committed suicide after being let go after the last Reduction In Force (RIF). Now the new policy is to offer a month of redeployment in which employees can seek other positions in the company. It gives us a glimmer of hope and hopefully prevents us from shooting ourselves.  I don't mind because it gives me a month to use up my Flexible Spending Account before my insurance coverage runs out.

I'm not even bothering to look for another position. They've had layoffs every quarter since I started working there. I've had five different bosses in the year and a half. Dysfunctional.

Today I organized our family's socks. I took every single sock, matched them with the pair, and threw away the ones with holes or without matches. The laundry bin full of mismatched socks has now finally been made void. Do you have any idea how good that feels?!

Shit like that accumulating, itching, tormenting me with shallow pangs of exhaustion and defeat. Knowing the backlog of things to deal with would never reach sock basket level of priority.

So I'm enjoying the downtime to get caught up.  I've done the dishes every day this week.  I call that an accomplishment.

But, we've also been out and about as usual.  Some photo highlights:

Kaio's learned how to work the camera.

Making time for puddle splashing

this was not staged

Starting a band at Brewfest

Little doll relishing fresh squeezed while we enjoy brews

Reconstructing Angry Birds

Kaio busted her Angry Birds castle, then shot Nene crying

First carrot! kinda stubby

Kaio's pick of me

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Turning a New Leaf

The great thing about being kicked out of the corporate world is that you don't need to spend money on stupid professional looking blouses, suits, and jewelry.  I can go back to shopping at thrift stores.  I can dye my hair purple and pierce my lip.  I can erase the uncomfortable memories of feeling confused, bored, and out of place.

I've been secretly (and not so secretly) praying for this moment.

It's going to be tough to survive on one salary, it really is.   So I'm worried, but optimistic.  Scratch that. Scared.  I've been bored out of my mind at work and hoping for this chance to reset by goals and direction.  But staying home all day with a cranky disobedient four year old will be a major test of my mothering instinct and resilience.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fleeting Windows of Beauty

We had a tough time agreeing on a name for Nalini (Nene).  You try finding a name that works in two
languages.  I wanted Adelaide or Cypress or Cedar.  Trees are masculine in Latin languages, so no tree names for girls.  Mari wanted Isadora or Isabella.  

Turns out Asia is our middle ground.  The name Nalini originates from the Sanskrit word for Lotus flower.  It's no wonder that Nene's so crazy for flowers now.  She'll spend an hour picking dandelions, clover flowers, or azaleas.  This really tested my patience when I'd try to round her up to the car or house.  

In a short spring I've aged.  

I've seen those azaleas bloom and wilt.  

I realize the fleeting windows of beauty.  

Just once a year she'll have the simple joy of picking the pink flowers.  

I should let her take as much time as she wants.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Crying Out

Lots of thoughts going through my head right now, but I'm just not sure how appropriate it is for me to write them.  I've had a couple professionals advise me to get Kaio evaluated for ASDs.
Sometimes life seems really difficult for him.  I thought he was doing better since last year.  But lately he's been reverting to acting over dramatic, out of touch, and out of control.  I keep playing around with our diets.  But can't tell what is helping.  It's impossible to isolate causal relationships when so many aspects of life are changing at every moment.  There is no 'controlled conditions'  here.  So I have to rely on my gut, per se.  I sense there is something off digestively with him.  For the last two weeks he's been complaining his stomach hurts.
But just hearing a professional suggest that, sent waves of emotion through me.  And on the way home from his IEP the radio was talking about diet and Autism.  As if speaking to the moment.
I've decided to try out GAPS for a couple months and see if that helps.  Two weeks ago we went on a short vacation and let him eat pizza a few times in a row.  Since then he's been saying that his stomach hurts.  Maybe I'll make an appointment with a doctor to get him muscle tested.
Sometimes he's so sweet and other times a pain in the a##.  I just love him to death, but man is he a handful.
  My mom says I was the same way.

The birds living in our chimney make lots of noises at night.  I wonder what is going on?

Sunday, June 12, 2011


In a surprise statement from the Home Force (HF)  Joint Chiefs of Staff, the HF declared resource warfare with The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  The office sited provocation by the caterpillar army, who destroyed garden infrastructure and food stores in the East Garden.  The HF expressed that they would like to negotiate a treaty if possible, however this was in fact a declaration of War until word of caterpillar army retreat.  This request following news that the caterpillar army decimated the east garden: pillaging the towns of Kale and Cauliflower.  Allied with other aphids, the caterpillar army moved on to the town of Pepper. 
In the 1st line of defense, HF dropped a blanket spray of canola oil on the hostile takeover army.  According sources speaking anonymously, two invaders were captured and taken hostage.  The two prisoners of war (POWs) were interrogated by Lt. Kaio, one POW somehow escaped custody and the other was extradited to Quailamino Bay.  He has not been seen or heard from since. 
Home Force defended their treatment of the caterpillar army, "In our operations we try to be as surgical as possible, targeting only hostile forces and bases of operations, not the general caterpillar population. " According to the HF spokesperson, Geneva conventions were followed in every case.  
Call to the caterpillar army for comment was not returned in time for print of this article.  

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Kids Aren't Bad! how dare you!

On Sunday my kids got into house paint in the garage and painted a wooden table stored in there while I was watching a movie on the sofa.  Dude!  I was pissed.  But I handled things really well.  I took them into the bedroom, sat them down, explained why they can't paint things without asking me, why they can't ever play in the garage alone, and why they always need to stay in my sight.  Then I made them wash themselves and help us clean up the mess in the garage.
The ordeal was effectively under control.  But, I was pissed at the fact that I can't just have a lazy cloudy Sunday watching a movie any more.  No, something so simple in a kidless world, is now a self-indulgent, unattainable luxury.  And so I did what I usually do when I'm pissed: vent on facebook and then delete the post when I feel better.
And I posted, not purely to vent, but also to send a message out to all the no-kid friends out there: enjoy your laziness while you have it.  Relish it.  Do it for me.

My post went something like this:
Ugh, the kids got into the house paint and painted furniture in the garage.  I can't just watch a grownup movie on a lazy Sunday anymore?  No, my life revolves completely around them now.  I'm so mad...  I'm venting,  I don't mean it.  Just last night I was considering having another one.

And I really had been seriously considering having another baby.  Mari's brought the idea up a few times lately, and I've noticed that I'm way too cuddly with the kids.  They need their independence but I'm always squeezing and hugging them.  I think it's a sign that I need another little one to hold close.

So it was super ironic that my two sweeties had pulled a Denise the Menace the day after I start internalizing that I'm ready for no.3.

Then my brother starts posting some funny comments about how I should sell them or trade them in for a new car.  And then Jerry posts that: Krissee, this needs to be said. Kids are only made bad by bad parenting. My girls were never bad.

And I've been obsessed with how to respond since!

Responses cycle through my mind incessantly, 'Oh I should of said that.' 'It would have been so cool if I'd said that.'  'That other thing would have really gotten my point across!'

So I'm going to post my dream response here and hope this provides me closure.

My kids aren't bad. My kids are great.  They're just a handful.  And that's what I meant in the post.  I know that you're an awesome dad Jerry.  But I'm really not interested in any parenting advice.  Especially since I know you worked full time, so much of the leg work was done by your ex-wife, and I don't want to be a controlling parent like she was.

And wouldn't it make me feel better to point out that she is totally psycho insane woman who left her daughters with issues, phobias and OCD tendencies.  Not to mention that she has completely deserted them now and has not contacted them for the last two years after she cheated on and divorced their dad, liquidated all assets and ran off to marry an internet lover in Egypt.

So yeah.  I don't want any parenting advice from that family.

What I really said was this: Jerry, I'm going to delete you comment.  Your daughters have really different personalities than my kids do.  I parent both Kaio and Nene the same, and Kaio's a handful but Nene's a little angel.  I'm sure the painting was his idea.

Then I went on to flail and add things that sound stupid in retrospect.  I probably affirmed his belief by admitting to being a bad parent and then trying to explain what lead up to the situation: Mari left the garage door open, and I was just watching a movie instead of taking the kids to a park.

I ended up deleting the whole thread shortly thereafter.

But not before a few others saw it and came to the rescue.  I received notes from friends I haven't talked to in over a decade, "I don't know who that Jerry character is, but never feel like you should never have to quantify your parenting abilities to any other parent. I haven't met your kids, but I am sure that they will grow up to be well rounded adults who can empathize with anyone. Jerry should take a look in the mirror to realize more than likely he is raising two more entitled white kids."
and, "You are a good parent that person is crazy. You also have amazingly smart and creative kids who as a result find more creative ways to be. Which sometimes go against the norms of keeping a clean house."
and, "I sure hoped you're joking Jerry. Or else I might just have to open a can of developmental theory on you"

It was really sweet to get those folks standing up for me.  parenting is really challenging.  I'm not really prepared.  Not sure if it is possible to be prepared

Like just today the neighbor told me that Kaio scratched her car with his bicycle yesterday.  I offered to pay for the detailing (even though we don't have that kind of money), but she said she feels like it was her fault for not watching the kids while they were playing.  I knew that she wasn't out there when I let him go play with the other neighborhood kids.  So I do feel partially responsible for the damage.

Ironically, just Saturday morning Mari and I were talking about being chill parents with a sense of pride.  And agreeing not to chase the kids around with a wet nap, or let paranoia about messes get in the way of enjoying life.  We let the kids figure things out for themselves a bit.  Learn through experience, not by being ordered around.

I never claimed to be a good parent.  We all have our flaws.  I have plenty.  But I make up for them with some positives.  And my kids are good kids dammit!  They're incredibly sweet, loving, well meaning, and generally well behaved.  They're just a handful.  Kaio especially, but in an endearing way.  I don't really know how to stay ahead of all the things that could go wrong.  I'm climbing up the slope of a gigantic learning curve!

I still feel like slamming Jerry with a piece of my mind.  He called my kids bad. punk.
could this basis for de-friending? lol.


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