Thursday, December 23, 2010

Where I've been.

Here I am with a teenager in my house, presumably a lot to blog about, yet I've been missing in action. Where have I been? I've been on twitter in a not terribly anonymous (okay, not at all anonymous) forum referring to Odessa as "O" (character limitations, you know) with protected tweets and only a handful of followers. But lots of interesting things about Odessa.

I have found myself more and more desirous of engaging in some other twitter conversations (local stuff) and wanting to unprotect my tweets, so I bit the bullet and created a second twitter personality. And you can follow me there! @fosterima (, not that this is such a surprising name. Much more timely, much less rambly updates.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Odessa has had quite a bit of fun with my camera, taking many blog-able photos of herself that I would never have taken, such as these:

Tonight was our Christmas, as she is spending the next two weeks in another state with family and her godmother. I got some blog-able photos:

Odessa liked her presents--including the underwear, which she had asked for, and the socks, which I bought because I noticed her wearing mis-matched socks quite frequently. Gotta like a teenager who is happy to get socks for Christmas! I also bought her some books and DVDs, and a word-a-day calendar. When she gets back at the end of her winter break, there will be (hopefully!) a quilt, a scarf, and a tote bag all waiting for her, along with two necklaces that I've made already, some personalized stationery (ordered but not yet shipped to me), and probably a Starbuck$ gift card. I opted against luggage once I realized just how expensive it is, and against a computer now that I've learned how expensive teenagers are. We'll see how long Odessa ends up spending with me, and luggage and a computer could be good graduation presents.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas with Odessa

I am doing a real Christmas with Odessa. (Christmas itself is Shabbat, so there might be some issues, but...) We have a tree that we are going to decorate on Sunday, and I've started buying presents. Here's my list of what I'm getting her:
  • "cute draws" (she asked for these; I bought them last night, hooray for suburbs)
  • socks (she has been wearing mismatched socks; I don't know if it's a fashion statement or a lack of socks. I bought three pairs of cute regular socks and three pairs of knee-highs.)
  • two pairs of not-at-all-subtle tights (also bought last night)
  • a word-a-day calendar because she asked me to help her learn a new word a week.
  • two necklaces that I am going to make (I have the beads and chains, just need to make them)
  • books (from the used book store, I think, since I can get more books for less there)
  • a going-to-college-sized suitcase
  • a quilt that I will make
  • if I have time, I will knit her a scarf

She wants a digital camera, an iPod, and a laptop. I might get her a netbook if the budget allows, since this was the very first thing I thought about getting her. She has a bit of an entitlement issue (all teenagers do, and being in care I think contributes to it) so I'm a little torn about it, but I think it really will come down to budget rather than to attitude.

This list doesn't include little things that I'm sure I'll pick up over the next few weeks. But if you have any other good ideas for presents, I'm all ears!

Belated update

Sorry for the complete failure to tell you all about Odessa's first week+ at my home. A few of you get my non-anonymous tweets, which is so much easier than opening a completely new browser on the computer (you know, because you can't have more than one identity open in google at the same time), etc... especially since for a few days my personal computer was non-functional (a combination of Sabrina's squirting water on the keyboard months ago and me dropping the computer off the sofa such that it broke the USB thingamajig for the external mouse). You know me, excuses, excuses...

Anyway, WOW is raising a teenager different than raising a little one. For example, you KNOW that you are going to have to drive all the way across the Big City to pick up the five year old from school. With a teenager, it's more of a last-minute thing.

Also? Natural consequences are a lot easier for teenager infractions. You're late for curfew? Your curfew is an hour earlier for the next week. You forget your key? You wait in the lobby 'til I get home. You're late for dinner? Dinner is cold.

Still, while my schedule is thrown into turmoil even more by Odessa than it was by Sabrina (see below), at least I can leave her at home alone (not sure this is legal, actually, but give me a break. I'm not getting a "babysitter" for my 17 year old so she can sit at home and do homework.

So, my schedule. Odessa lost her key. She was staying in the 'burbs with a woman she calls "mom"--the home where she is intended to go as soon as "mom" is licensed--for two days while I was visiting my sister and nephew. Tuesday she calls me after school and tells me that she forgot her key and was hungry and irritated. After another day I learned that there was more to the story, which also included why she couldn't go to the 7-11 and get a snack, but after a short conversation, we simply agreed that she would be home by 6:45. At 7:45 she sauntered in apologizing for being late. (She was also home over an hour past curfew on Saturday.) And then we had to drive to the 'burbs to get her key. Now, she had TOLD me that she had "forgotten" her key. No, she had lost her key. Not at "mom"'s house, at least not that any of the three of us could find. (I'm pretty sure that if she emptied out everything from her school bag, she'd find it. Oh well.) Consequence? The next day she would wait in the lobby for me to get home (as mentioned above). She took a snack with her to school to eat after school. And I would get a key made that evening. Instead, she had also lost her farecard for public transportation. On Saturday. But hadn't told me. So Wednesday afternoon she no longer had money to get home. She reluctantly told me, and then I had to drive across the city to pick her up. I had an appointment with my support worker that evening, so I couldn't go until after the appointment. I picked her up at about 7:15, by which time the hardware stores are all closed!

Last night, finally, I was able to go to (different) suburbs where I found a hardware store open until 9. What a relief! (Odessa was also late last night, but that was because she was with Wendy, her GAL, following a regular court hearing.) So Odessa now has another key (on a key chain that can attach to her belt loops) and there are Christmas presents under the tree. (See next post.)

Odessa really is great; all of this long rambling isn't complaint, just chronicling that she really is, in fact, a teenager! :-)

Okay, off to jot a quick post about Christmas and then I suppose I should get back to work.