Friday, February 13, 2015

Getting It Right...Occasionally: Is It Really Valentine's Day Again?

Getting It Right...Occasionally: Is It Really Valentine's Day Again?: Kalisha has an obsession with Valentine's Day. She has for many years. She buys into all the advertising and all the love movies on H...

Is It Really Valentine's Day Again?

Kalisha has an obsession with Valentine's Day. She has for many years. She buys into all the advertising and all the love movies on Hallmark and wants that kind of "love" and attention and gifts. She believes that is how it is supposed to be and trying to convince her otherwise doesn't work so well.
First, she needs to find a boyfriend; so about Feb. 1st she starts looking. (You didn't know it was that easy, did you?) If some young (or not so young, sometimes) man talks to her on FB, she is immediately in "girlfriend/boyfriend" mode. Then I start with all the advice, talking, convincing, trying to get a perspective on this.
I do not want her to get hurt or be in danger, but don't want to kill something that might actually be okay, either.
She was telling me about this gentleman when I told her she really needed to know him better before she could call him a boyfriend. She asked how to get to know him better. I suggested asking questions (what was I thinking?????) Kalisha is the Question Queen, so she was on that idea right now.
 
I turned the corner up so you could see she has questions on both sides of 2 legal pad pages; plus she wrote down every answer he gave. She will know more about him than his mother does. Just kidding.
She was then suggesting to him what she wanted him to get her for Valentine's day. I must have missed a chapter in her development somewhere. She is not a greedy person, but when the big HEART day rolls around, she has definite ideas what should be given.
Yesterday, this person came over for a short time, bringing 2 roses, a cute teddy bear and a small box of chocolates.
Just to review: One year, a guy she liked got her a pretty big box of chocolates and the dog we had at that time, ate the whole danged box full; every piece. Did he die? Heck, no. He didn't even get sick. Then one year, a fellow bought her a card. Well, you know, she was not happy about that at all.
This year seemed perfect. 2 roses, small box of chocolates (perfect since she is working hard at losing weight), and the cutest little bear, ever.
She was pleased but wanted a DOZEN roses, and a bigger bear. I know...she sounds awful, doesn't she?
We had a very rational discussion (at least she was rational) about greediness and not being content and being thankful. She isn't this way about any other celebrations. Last year, on her huge birthday party, she asked people to NOT bring her any gifts.
Finally, she called her sister and asked what her girls, Kalisha's nieces, would be getting. Kaylynn assured her they wouldn't get much from their boyfriends and she should be happy with what she got. I guarantee Kalisha didn't get this warped idea of Valentine's gifts from her parents...........
So, where do we stand? She decided she was happy with what she received, tonight she is attending a Valentine's Dance at Bethesda and all is right with her world; (except the guy she is liking is a Steelers fan.....oh, boy)

I have been analyzing the entire situation and this is what I think. Through movies, books and the incessant TV ads, she has a vision of what she believes "normal" people do on Valentine's Day and she wants to be part of that picture.
Just another bump in the road; one more day and it will be over. Thank you, Lord.
 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Small Steps

If you regularly follow this blog, you will know Kalisha and I (and her team) have set a goal of one year for her to be fully equipped and ready to move out and share an apartment with one or two other young women who need housemates, also. (I shared that information in the previous post)
With that in mind, it seems every decision or action, no matter how small, is prefaced with, "This is something I will have to know before I move out." OR "Kalisha, that is probably something you should work on before you can move out."

It is beginning to get tiresome, so we are trying to be aware of the facts without actually stating them. Unless, of course, I get ticked off about something and then toss out, "Well, you won't be able to do that when you live on your own."

This whole 'preparation' thing is probably more about me than it is about Kalisha. If you had asked me how prepared she was, on a scale of 1-10, I think I would have said, "About an 8."
Now that living on her own is a real possibility, I am rethinking that answer. I may revise it to, "Probably a 3."

I never realized how many little things I decide or how many things I give advice about; even insignificant things: "Do you have the boots that are waterproof?"
"Put those pajamas and towel in the hamper." "Let's have spaghetti for supper." "Do you want to stop at the library now or later?" "I think you need a sweatshirt on if you are going to wear that coat."

Two of the areas I worry about are her inability to handle money and her grocery shopping. I will write about those in the next post. (Some humor coming your way)

Today, I have a 'food' story for you.
Several weeks ago, I attended Saturday evening church and stayed for the chili cook-off after service. Kalisha had elected to stay home. As I am eating chili with my cousin, she hands me the phone and says, "It's Kalisha. She said she made sloppy joes for her supper."
I knew my cousin must have heard wrong. When I took the phone, Kalisha said, "I just wanted you to know I made sloppy joes."
ME: "What do you mean?"
K: "I mean I was hungry and made sloppy joes."
ME: "You fried the hamburger?"
K: "Yes."
ME: "On the stove?"
(If she was a kid with smart-a_ _  answers, she would have said 'No, I fried it on the counter.')
K: "Yes."
ME: "Where did you get the hamburger?"
K: "Out of the freezer."
ME: "Did you thaw it first?"
K: "Yep. In the microwave."
ME: "Is the house still standing and the stove off and everything?"
K: "Yes."
ME: "OK. Wow. I am so impressed."
When I came home, I was pleased to see she had not burned the meat, the kitchen was clean and the leftovers were put away.
 
I did ask what she put in the hamburger to make it a 'sloppy joe.' She said she didn't put anything in it; she just put it on a bun and ate it plain.                                                    

I was cracking up. If I had been there, I would have given all kinds of directions, y'know. Obviously, she didn't need my directions.

God is in charge; I need to remember that.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Scales and Success


Every January, Kalisha is inspired by all the talk of resolutions and makes a decision to lose weight; as do millions of other people. She usually starts out doing really well until the first trip to the grocery and Little Debbie beckons her or the Golden Arches call her name.
This year, I advised her to not tell anyone when she lost a few pounds. It nearly killed her to not post it on FB, but she didn't. We decided when she reached the 10# mark, she could brag a little. She has reached that goal and is determined to keep going.
So what is different this year? I believe there are several factors:
1) she is exercising
2) she has the motivation of wanting to fit into the khaki pants she has to wear to work at Parkview Field in a few months
3) in the food area, we have tried to R-E-A-L-L-Y concentrate on 'portion control' rather than all the things we can't eat (I am saying 'we' because I am doing this, also, only I can't say I exercise)
I want to tell you a Subway story that I found nearly unbelievable. Kalisha had received a Subway gift card and although Subway has healthy options, Kalisha always orders the meatball sub smothered in mozzarella cheese, a bag of chips and a soda.
Her Friday cooking group took a day off from cooking and went to Subway for lunch. This is her story when she came home.
Kalisha: "I asked the guy behind the counter if a meatball sub was good for someone trying to lose weight. He said 'no.' So I ordered the turkey sandwich with no mayo and I didn't get a bag of chips and no soda."
Me: "Wow. Kalisha, I am so proud of you. That took a lot of will power."
Kalisha: "Yes, it did. Oh, yeah, I did get 2 cookies, one for you and one for me."

My theory is you can't conquer all the giants at one time. I was amazed at her choice of sandwich and that she could actually force herself to do it.

Another football-watching day, she wanted to use her coupon for a Papa John's Pizza. I said it would be very tempting to have that in the house. She told me she would only eat one piece and have a salad with it. That is exactly what she did. She froze the other 7 pieces, so she can have one every time she gets hungry for pizza.
It was a good thing she set a good example for me; otherwise I would have had 2 pieces. :)

For a week, she was losing a pound or a half pound a day. Then for a few days, she stayed the same. Then lost a bit again, and then one morning, she gained a pound back. I coached her through the disappointment and said that always happens to everybody and encouraged her to just keep going. She has and when she got to the 10# again, she put it on FB (this morning) She is blessed with many friends who commented and encouraged her.
I also know the experts say you should not weigh every day, but she wants to, so it is ok with me. That is another motivator.
There are so many reasons (besides khaki pants) for her to lose weight.
She has gone out with friends several times and done fairly well with her ordering but if she orders something like the mint swirl shake at Arby's, it isn't the end of the world. I don't want this journey to be self-defeating.
Right now, she is feeling pretty good about it and we will continue working on our goals, but it definitely isn't the only topic of conversation at our house.
 

 


Monday, January 26, 2015

And So the Journey Begins

If you have read the book I wrote about Kalisha, you know some of my feelings about her moving out and living on her own.
It scares me to death, makes me sad and a bit uncomfortable.
Last year, I invited my grown children to come to my house and discuss some "Kalisha things" with me. I wasn't interested in having any of them sign a paper stating they would take care of Kalisha after I died; I just wanted some input. The meeting never happened. That should give me some insight into the future..right? If you can't find any time to discuss it, you probably can't find any time to be a part of her life, either. (They all suffer from the ridiculous theory: 'You will be here forever, Mom.')
 Really? That's a classic case of denial. They did, however, give me some advice. They all believe she should move now as opposed to when I die. The reason being my death will be traumatic enough for her without the added stress of having to move.
I think a small glass of wine is appropriate here.

Okay, moving on...Kalisha has, at various times, expressed a desire to have her own apartment or share one with a friend. Many times, it was when she was upset or thought life would be much better if she was 'on her own.' I have always talked her through it because that isn't the right reason to move.
Now, however, I believe we have reached a new level. We have been rationally discussing what she would have to learn before she could live with a roommate.
These are her lists and I was quite impressed with them:
 1) reading aloud would need to be in my bedroom
2) I wouldn't be able to do everything they did
3) If they went somewhere or got something new, I couldn't be jealous
4) I need to learn more housekeeping things
5) I would have to be able to cook

We discussed all this and more at the quarterly meeting of her providers this morning: case manager, behavioral consultant, Bethesda manager. I asked a lot of questions and received a lot of answers.

We have set a goal of one year. She will work on her goals and I will help her. I have to work on some things also. I will either have to take more writing jobs or I will have to move. Kalisha and I share the expenses of this house and I cannot afford it on my own.
Perhaps it is God's way of pushing me to do what I need to do.

I am so proud of her but my heart is breaking. This is, undeniably, the hardest thing I will ever do. In fact, I am crying while I write this, but as always, I will do what is best for Kalisha.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Retaining History

I realize you may be tired of reading about football teams, but today we are traveling a different road, although we start out with a football team.
Yesterday, (out of the blue):

 Kalisha asked, "Are we Patriots?"

Me: "Patriots? Patriots? Really, Kalisha, what kind of question is that? I know the Colts are playing the Patriots on Sunday, but have you suddenly decided to be a Patriot fan?"

Kalisha: "No, I don't mean the football team. I mean are we patriots?"

Me: (a but confused) "I guess that depends on what you mean by a patriot."

Kalisha: "Well, in the American Girl story and movie about Felicity, she and her family were patriots. But they couldn't drink tea because that was what the people loyal to the king drank. And Felicity couldn't be friends with her best friend anymore because her friend's parents weren't patriots."

Me: "Yes, the book takes place before and during the Revolutionary War. Some people wanted to be free of England and some still wanted to be ruled by England. The Patriots supported their country and the fight for freedom."

Kalisha: "So....being a Patriot is a good thing, unless it's the football team."

Me: "You make me think and laugh, Kalisha."

Kalisha read that story 10 years ago, but remembered the fundamentals. I'm sure the football team, the New England Patriots brought the thoughts back to the forefront of her mind, but she has a great memory, is curious about what words mean and absorbs much more than what I sometimes give her credit for.

*Caution, Parents: If Kalisha retains what she reads and sees in movies, you need to be ever vigilant about what your kiddos are watching and reading.

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