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Since our move, we’ve been decorating, really getting Blitzen engaged in her room but also in the decor of the apartment at large.  We’re adding some photos of her and her family in addition to the many that we have of her, putting them in  frames and hanging up around the house.  We’ve always had lots of photos on the fridge and the bulletin board but we’re stepping it up a notch, going for a fancier presentation.

We had some lovely frames from back in the day (actually wedding gifts! so waaayyy back)  that we removed the photos from and offered to Blitzen.  This is the email that Andrew sent to me about what happened when he presented them:

***

Blitzen loved the picture frames. I showed them to her without photos in them, and invited her to find photos to put in them. She chose a picture of her, her littlest baby sister and one of her brothers for one and our wedding picture for the other. You can choose a picture with you in it, I invited. She pointed to our photo, then to the words “Loves Me” on the frame. Both frames are now in her room.

Love ya,
A

 

 

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Back to work

How many days do I think to myself, ‘Oh, Blitzen!’ Well, Blitzen was pretty mad that I have to go back to work. Andrew doesn’t, so why do I? Why can’t I take the whole month of July off too? It is certainly not for lack of wishing that I could.

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Seashells

Blitzen, upon gathering a gallon ziplock full shells, was told by Andrew that perhaps she didn’t want to carry them all home and maybe she should consider discarding the broken ones.

Blitzen, in true Blitzen style, said, ‘sometimes broken shells heal themselves. And the broken ones always have a story.’

Indeed.

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Whale watching

Blitzen, as we pull out of the harbor, ‘This is amazing!’ I will say that Blitzen is very much in the moment when we do new things and enjoys herself quite a bit*. We saw a blue whale, a super pod of porpoises and a hammerhead shark. And it was a calm and peaceful boat ride with my family. Really really fun.

*transitioning from fun new thing to real life can get rocky but is improving all the time.

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I am freakishly relaxed as is Blitzen. We took Blitzen, my niece and a kid that lives in my mom’s neighborhood to the water park.

Once we staked out our territory, laid out our towels under an umbrella and got ready for the water, Blitzen thought she might want to have a fight. ‘Are you coming in with me, Carrie? Probably not, you never play with me especially not swimming!’ And I replied, ‘I am happy to come. What do you want to do first?’ Blitzen looked at me said, ‘Oh, never mind, I forgot – there are kids!’ And off she went.

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Vacation time

We are heading out on vacation this week.  Blitzen and I are a little bit anxious.  Neither one of us does well when we are out of our routine.  And while we’ve had a better couple of weeks, Blitzen is still pushing my buttons and by pushing, I mean something similar to playing whack a mole on my each and every nerve.

Last night, I made one of Blitzen’s favorite dinners which she, of course, refused to eat.  She then flipped over my favorite photo (of all of us) so it was face down and said some mean stuff.  Folks, I realize this is not that bad and in fact, is probably typical 11 year old shit but – more info than you need  – frankly, I am a little PMS-y so I got a bit teary.  I turned to Andrew and said, ‘I am really dreading vacation.’  Blitzen, who has the hearing of an owl, whipped her little head around 180 degrees and glared at me from the living room – where she was sulking on the couch and pretending that she wasn’t hungry*.  Then announced to Andrew, ‘Carrie is so-o annoying. She is so-o sensitive. Any time I am mean to her, she just gets upset! She always has her feelings hurt!’  I do wish you all could hear Blitzen in these moments — intonation really is everything.  That said, it was meaningful that she was able to acknowledge the course of events, even though she remains (deliberately) mystified about why her actions impact me, I will call it progress that she was willing to admit that they do impact me..

* Even though she was starving, having walked in the door 15 minutes earlier saying, ‘If you don’t want me to come home hungry, you should think about that before you send me to spend the day with Mommy!’  – regular, balanced meals are not yet part of the full-day visit routine, unfortunately.

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Future Planning

Blitzen, as I picked her up from family visit:

“I’m sick of being in the system.  I want to move back home with my family, after I get a dog and go to college.”

 

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Tours

Blitzen has been giving her friends tours if our new apartment on FaceTime, it is quite amusing.

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The big move

Went surprisingly well. Blitzen was a real trooper although we know it was a tough day for her. Andrew and I were remembering the last move and how Blitzen made Andrew put the new address in her lunch box, give it to her camp counselor and to her babysitter. She was so worried about bring left behind.

We’ve settled in – the smaller space I think will prove to be best in the end. Already seeing a bit more independence. Let’s hope it stays that way!

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Learning to drive

We often use creative distraction techniques when Blitzen is going over the edge. So yesterday, I taught her to drive. Ok, I mean obviously I didn’t let her get behind the wheel. We were running errands in a car I preparation for the move – picking stuff up, taking a bunch things we were donating to the shelter (12 big hefty bags plus 2 big boxes, thank you very much), etc. Being New Yorkers, the car generally equals trip not errand so it didn’t take long for Blitzen in her pre-move anxiety to get pretty pissed that we weren’t doing anything even remotely interesting or fun. So I asked her if she wanted to push the hazard button on when I double parked.

Friends, we were off to the races. What is that? Show me how you do that? Why would you do this? What happens next?

Fast-forward several hours and we’re sitting out on the stoop, waiting for Nana to pick B up for an overnight. Blitzen decides her scooter is a vehicle and she is going to practice driving and get her license. Imaginative play at its finest – practicing all the things you need to learn like signals and backing up and parallel parking. Finally, she passes her test – license photo courtesy of Andrew’s phone. Then Andrew has to okay the police, pull her over and marvel at how amazing it is that someone so young was such an excellent driver and in possession of their license. When Nana arrived, Blitzen asked me please ‘park’ her vehicle inside and maybe dust it – she likes to keep it looking good.

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