Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Maybe Some Progress

I spoke with a Sgt. in charge of crimes against persons in their county. He asked lot of questions and seemed interested in the situation. He promised to call her mother and the witness to see if he can do anything. I think it helped that I told him I spoke to the Judge here and he told me to call him.

Rosa has discovered Facebook and is connecting with long lost friends! I am so excited and I am hoping to send her off for a good time tomorrow night. It's been many years since she went out and she deserves it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Incompetence

She reported it this afternoon and the officer had no idea what to do. He told her to complain to DFCS!

I called her old investigating officer at DFCS and they insisted I report it to the Judge that granted our LG. He was shocked and promised to let me know immediately if there was any activity regarding Kiera. The DFCS CW also told me to report it to the local DFCS and to the sheriff's office in her county. I will be very angry if this blows over.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Buying A Baby

Kiera's mother was offered $10,000 to give up her rights and let her aunt and uncle adopt her. I am so angry on so many levels. I am grateful her mother informed me immediately and wanted to know if she should call the police. I consulted with my BIL and she will report it tomorrow. She is willing to call their offer and let them pay her or sign anything to prove their horrible intentions. She promised she would never actually do it and wants her here with us. I believe her b/c I was the first person she called to help her figure out what to do. I also explained I wasn't worried b/c she couldn't actually do it without seeing a judge first due to her particular situation and our LG. These people are supposed to be Christians, he is a youth pastor. If you remember he also had some child abuse charges somewhere in his history.

I will be calling the CW that loved them so much tomorrow. She was very happy that the baby was here but insisted they were wonderful, too.

Kath, I am so glad you handled your situation so well. I don't post your comments b/c I worry they are too personal. Please let me know how it goes.

Friday, December 26, 2008

We Survived!

We went to MIL's for Christmas Eve and then went to pick up the baby from her G Grandmother's. Did I even tell y'all that she was going? I was very worried about Kiera going to stay with her mother at her G Gma's from Sunday to Wednesday. I had nightmares but talked to her every day. She was fine in the end but we didn't pick her up until late that night so she missed the activities at my MIL's. She was so excited to see me and nearly leapt out of her mother's arms to smash her face in my neck. She wouldn't let me set her down for some time and slept all the way home. Once here, I changed her diaper and found one of the nastiest diaper rashes I have ever seen. I photographed it (I felt so bad and gross to do it but I knew it was necessary). It hurt so bad she couldn't sit comfortably. I bathed her for probably the first time since she left me and we snuggled in for bed. She slept all night only rolling over to be sure I was there and to press her tiny body completely against me. I had to wake her up at 7:30 the Christmas morning b/c the kids couldn't wait another minute. She went back down to nap with my DH for 2 hours and then again in my arms for another 2. She went to bed by 8 PM and slept all night. She was worn out! I know now that she really needs to be with me. Her mother doesn't really want to parent and she refuses to properly clean and care for her. The GG even said in front of her that the baby is where she should stay.

The kids got all they wanted and have kept themselves together the best they can. Cyr is texting away on her new cell. Patches is making bracelets for everyone. Ruthie is a new mother to faux American Doll that looks just like her. Michael is singing his heart out in his microphone. Emma won't stop playing with her Little Pet Shop junk. Ava was playing with her HSM dolls until I took them away b/c she stole my only present. Ella is rocking out with her new electric guitar.

We have a lazy week planned ahead and I look forward to peace and quiet. Patches is doing well on her Abilify. We just upped it to 20 mg and it seems to be the right med. She can stay awake and she isn't eating me out of house and home.

We did have a tiny glitch in our plan this holiday. My fridge died the day before Christmas Eve. I later found out my aunt had her stove die the same day. She called to tell me my father died Christmas morning. I never met him and wouldn't want to. Did make me kinda sad though, not for him. I thought about calling my brother but figured it best to wait until after the holiday. I am sure he won't cry any tears or run to his funeral. Why ruin his holiday with thoughts of such a crappy man?

I hope all of you had a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Against My Better Judgement

Kiera is going to stay with her Great Grandma, Grandma, and Mother from Sunday to Wednesday. I have spoken to the GG and she is going to be responsible for Kiera and her sister Lexie. Emma's Mom assures me that she is a stickler for rules and is trust worthy. She will go over and check on her every day. GG promises to call me if there is any problem and won't let her be alone with her. The Gma has recently been dx'd with lung cancer and since this may be her last holiday I felt it was important for her to see her. I am worried about the length of time she will be going for. The girl can't parent her but wants her for the fun stuff without regard for how it will affect her. This will porbably set the baby off since she is starting to get a handle on the routine here. I am looking forward to sleeping all night. I am already missing her terribly.

We will be visiting my Mother on Sunday and she has made the baby 2 loveys and a sweater. She does this for all her grandchildren and I am more excited about that then anything else. It's like it makes her real. We are going to my MIL's on Christmas Eve. She always out does herself for the kids. She is giving them all an outift and the best thing of all, money.

We were offered help with Christmas from a local organization. I was not getting my hopes up about it thinking they would just throw some things in a bag. I had underestimated them. Most of the children got exactly what they asked for. Things like an MP3 player, 5 outifts for one child, Hannah Montana guitar, and so any other things. I did have to add a bit to it to make it fair b/c my son received a toddler dump truck and Emma and Patches hauled it in with multiple outifts, shoes, and about 4 toys a piece. I was able to find Mp3 players on sale for $20 and 4 kids got them, Emma is into Little Petshop stuff so she is themed around that, Ruthie is so hard to buy for, Ella "needed" a guitar to play with her Dad, and Cyr is having her dream come true, a cheapo cell phone. She thinks it is a trip to Las Vegas b/c she wants to ride on a plane so bad.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I spoke with Patches' AT today and she completely agrees with the dx. Made me sad and it is sinking in more and more. I know Patches will struggle but she is such a wonderful child that I know we will get through this.

Kiera has learned to give the stink eye. She is really good at it and gives it to me constantly now. Last night she and I were snuggling and I was tickling her face and said, "My baby". She touched my face the same way and said, "My Mommy". We did this over and over b/c it was just so sweet. This morning I wanted to show Cyr and Kiera refused to play along. Cyr rubbed my arm and said, "My Mommy". The baby leaped over me to push Cyr away and yelled, "My Mommy". We both cracked up, that girl is so funny.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Think We Have the Right DX

I took Patches into see her psychiatrist this morning and after a very long talk he feels she is suffering from Schizo-Affective Disorder. I thought he said she also had BiPolar but I was looking it up online and I think I may have misunderstood. He did say it was complicated by her PTSD. He has spent an enormous amount of time with her while she was in the outpatient program for 6 weeks. He saw her every day and had feedback about her from all the therapists there. He changed her meds from Geodon to Abilify. He wants to hospitalize her if there is any sign of aggression. He explained with me that this was not her fault and going to the hospital is not a consequence but is to stabilize her meds so every one is safe.

I feel like she knew this was serious already and is relieved we are trying to help. She has been very scared by what is happening to her. I love this child with my whole heart and am scared for her. I know we will get a grip on things together. I told her that life isn't always easy but I will be right there with her.

Anyone have any experience with this? I would love any advice.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm trying to catch things up and can't believe the baby is still sleeping. Michael was asked in therapy if he had any memories that are bothering him. Not unusual just to get things started. He shocked both the AT and I when he said, "Yes". He remembers his father touching his privates. We didn't go into much more, we didn't ask any burning questions b/c we were shocked. This is the first anyone has mentioned the father actually touching. The AT did question if this was his memory or something he had been told. We got a look like we were both stupid and he claimed it as his.

When we got home, he took me aside and told me he remembers all his sisters being touched by their father. This sis important b/c Cyr and Patches refuse to acknowledge they have been abused by anyone except the paternal Gma's BF. He gave me details that made me believe him and I reported it to the Det.

The psychiatrist has made an opening for Patches tomorrow. I am hoping he has a miracle.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pictures fromVisit with Aunt/Uncle

Aunt M and Emma. I told her she looks like she is her mother and she offered to come take her off my hands. Emma adores Aunt M.








Uncle F, Cyr, and his daughter Courtney

The kids hadn't seen Courtney in many years and her surprise visit sent Cyr into tears. It's probably the 3rd time we have seen that child cry.





Michael is up top on left, Texas is holding him, Uncle F and Ruthie, Cyr over Ella, Courtney, and Ava







Cyr and Aunt M









Courtney and Cyr

I Feel Like I Have Been in a Car Accident

My entire body is sore and things hurt that I had no idea could hurt. All this from a restraint of Patches in the AT's office. I was punched in the head and then she pulled out a lovely chunk of my hair. SHe continued to pinch my inner thigh for the entire hour. I was scratched on the hands and face and bitten on my left hand. All my muscles in my arms, legs, neck, back, and stomach ache. I couldn't hold a child today if I had to. My hand is swollen and aching from the bite and scratches. Too bad this is only one of 3 major incidents in the last 4 days. You may wonder why she went off like that, the AT asked if she really wanted to go live somewhere else like she told the police, hospital staff, and me (for days). She kindly told her that it was an option if she truly needed to and that it would be a really nice hospital. She also mentioned she could join their Pee Club for Girls, this normally would have had Patches in stitches. SHe usually enjoys the outlandish comments from her AT and I. Not yesterday. She jumped up and rammed her body into the wall causing a full body impression in the sheetrock. It didn't just dent, it broke all the way through. SHe shoved the sofa accross the room and then began chasing the AT and punching her in the stomach and head. The real problem was that the AT expected to help me get her into a restraint. I am used to doing it alone. I couldn't get ahold of her and flip her b/c the AT had her legs. SHe ended up on her back and had full access to attack me. I will be asking her to back off next time. I appreciate her trying but I can't let her again. My DH has the same problem, he just gets in my way.

When we got home Patches was calm and kind. I had to lay down b/c myhead was throbbing. Rosa went out to check on the kids and they were gone. Patches had lead Eddie, Alyssa, Michael, and Gia into the woods. Normally they play in OUR woods. This time she wandered too far and got lost. The bad thing was she is normally very careful with Gia, this time she left her in the woods. This is not like Patches. SHe was found walking in the street with Alyssa more than a 1/2 mile from home. No remorse.

Her AT called to check on us about the time they returned home. She wants us to hospitalize her. I begged her to wait and she reluctantly gave us one more try. If Patches continues to act so dangerously we will not have a choice, she will insist. After seeing her rage, she is concerned for my safety. She feels Patches is fully capable of killing me when she is out of control. She was very surprised at the level Patches goes every time she gets upset. Her fit in her office was normal for Patches it wasnt normal in the way we held her. She feels Patches is very dangerous and was upset that she didn't understand how serious all of our kids rages were. Our level of comfort is so much higher than the average family she deals with. Patches is high risk for a personality disorder, it can't be dx'd until she is 18. That alone makes me cry.

I am trying to get to Thursday's post as quick as I can.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

We are having a REALLY hard time. The police have been here, Patches has been taken to the ER, and I have been beaten, bit, scratched, and pinched much harder than usual. Please pray I survive the latest possible dx. I worry we will be searching for a residential placement for Patches very soon, the AT may insist.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The First Outburst

After much anticipation, we or should I say the rest of my family put up the tree. We, like most families, have a few holiday traditions. We drink hot chocolate (thank you, Kerry) and sing Christmas songs while decorating the tree. Patches had other plans. She decided to flip the hell out and threaten to kill herself. She knows we have 2 phrases that trigger a call for police back up, threats to kill themselves or someone else. This child has the hardest time during the holiday. I think Thanksgiving gets her thinking about being thankful for her "family" and it just keeps getting worse as the season goes on.

We had the pleasure of a firetruck, ambulance, and 2 police cars in front of our house. We had over 10 men in uniforms in her room and around the house. Patches isn't known for false allegations but it is still a fear for us. When the officers tried to calm her down she only gave partial statements that were misleading regarding my DH. Eventually she finished her sentences and explained she was mad b/c she had to clean up her own pee from the carpet.

She enjoyed the attention and even smiled an evil grin at me as she passed to enter the police car. One of the fireman told me she stopped hyperventilating on command to let me know she was OK. She is a piece of work. She loved the police car ride. She continued her attitude at the hospital and I was the bad guy when I requested they keep the door open to watch us. I was afraid she would assault me and they would think I provoked her in some way. She was so calm when she announced that she would not be going home with me. She held that same attitude for several hours. I have never seen her calm and angry like that before. It was weird and scary. Normally she is terrified of shots or getting blood drawn. This time I asked if she wanted me to hold her hand and she spoke through her gritted teeth that she didn't want me to touch her. She proudly held out her arm for the nurse and stared me down the entire time, never flinching.

Once the assessment guy got there she realized this was for real and she may lose us. All I asked was for her to promise to be safe and she could come home with me regardless of her attitude. I was able to bring her home late Thursday night.

I, on the other hand, was a basket case for the AT on Friday. He has never seen me lose it much less bawl my eyes out for 45 minutes.

Today is Sunday and she has slept all day so no attitude or outbursts. I know I should wake her up but I need a day to get my strength back so I can handle her violence. Right now my arms are still shaking from yesterdays hold. Something is changing in her and not for the better.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's Not Christmas Until...

Patches starts screaming that she'll never have kids, she'll never come back here for holidays, I'm not her real mom, and she wants to go live with her real parents. I almost forgot, peeing all over my damn house and streaking. The girl really struggles this time of year. I feel so bad for her but at the same time, I am sick of being the brunt of her meanness. This happens every year, I knew it was coming still not prepared for how badly it would hurt this time. This is our 3rd Christmas together and I guess somewhere down deep I hoped it would be better. It's worse than ever. She is hateful in a good moment. I woke this morning to step in her pee that she left for me right outside my door. It is better than the bloody pad from the week before but still not how I wish my mornings would start. I hollered at her and said, "Keep trying, girl, nothing you can do will stop me from loving you and being your Mom." It wasn't nearly as loving and supportive as it should have been but it was the truth.

We went last night to a holiday event last night. The kids sat on Santa and we all held our breath as Cyr took Kiera up to him. She didn't cry but I missed it b/c Patches, Michael, Ava, and Ella decided they wanted to go and eat without us. I turned around and they were gone. I had to run to the other side of the building to find them. I missed the whole thing. Kiera was excited to sit on his lap b/c she wanted the stuffed puppy he held out to her. She is a sucker for animals and loves to say their sounds. Her best one is a bear, she growls. She even makes the face. I've got to get it on tape.

The event was sponsored by a church and we were signed up by the school. They will be sponsoring 7 of our children for Christmas. I think they give each child an outfit and 2 small toys. Very sweet of them and I appreciate the help with the holiday. We will be keeping things extremely small this year due to emotions.

The kids will be making their candy this year and I need your address Kerry. I know I have it somewhere but please send it to me. You can expect your own box of chocolates this year!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Fits of Rage

Kiera is showing us more and more of her true self. This week she has begun attacking my face with her fists when she doesn't get what she wants. My first response was to hold in my laugh b/c it doesn't hurt but she is really angry. So far I am the only one she has attacked and she has done it about 30 times. Her fits are lasting for hours, I set her down when she hits me and then try to pick her up when she stops hitting my legs. She then begins hitting my face again and we go round and round for hours. I walk away and continue doing things while she screams on the top of her lungs. Sometimes she does the push/pull thing on my clothes, she is not happy in my lap or on the floor. She is so confused. I am holding her nearly constantly in a Hip Hammock and she loves it for the most part. She seems to like playing with the kids but she goes crazy when I have to give her medicine or breathing treatments. My DH has begun to take out the guitar and play for her while she has her mask on. She LOVES the guitar! She has also figured out how to make herself throw up her medicine, she aims it at me. She is a tough one.

Ruthie threw a lovely fit for Rosa this morning and I had to come down and physically remove her from her. At least she is considering Rosa as family. LOL

Michael had a beating the window crazy fit last night. He didn't want to help us get Kiera to sit for her breathing treatment and just went off.

The kids had a visit from their favorite Aunt M and Uncle F yesterday. They brought his 2 teenage children and the kids were thrilled. They haven't seen his daughter in many years so it was a special treat. Cyr actually cried when they left. I had to take a double take to be sure it was tears since she doesn't cry. We talked afterward and she was genuine about her feelings. I was so proud of her.

Patches is sleeping all the time. I am thinking she is going to have to lower her dose of Geodon. I miss her.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Top from left to right-Me, Nikki (Em's Mom), Jessica (Kiera's Mom), Patches, Cyr, Rosa, Michael

Middle-Ava, Kaylee (Em's sister), Alyssa (Rosa's oldest), Emma, Gracie (Em's sister)

Bottom- Michael, Eddie (Rosa's son), Kiera (trying to get away from the death grip), Ella (the one with the death grip), Gia (Rosa's youngest)


Top-Patches, Me, Kiera, Gia, Rosa, Cyr

Bottom- Michael Ella, Ava (kinda in back of Ella), Alyssa, Emma, and Eddie

Monday, December 01, 2008

Murderous Intentions

I have managed to get another chest cold and share it with the baby. This is not good for a small child with asthma. At least the meds help her sleep a little more than usual but still no where near the amount she needs.

The kids head back to school today and I am grateful for the break. The boys are near killing each other. They argue constantly and I swear at some point only one will emerge safe and sound. We are doing our best to help them cope but nothing is working. Both insist on continuing their annoying behaviors and refuse to allow the other to make a mistake without jumping down their throat.

Ava stole her class' boys' bathroom pass. Not sure why. She claims it seemed like it would be fun. I sent a note to her teacher returning it to her and requested a consequence. I really don't think she will give her one. I usually don't give consequences for poor behavior at school, I let the school deal with that. I decided to make an exception for theft in this case. I am waiting to see what she decides before I add something to it.

Cyr has tried to hurt Rosa several times. She is very innocent looking and is completely shocked when asked about it. The same things she did to me making me wonder if I was imagining it. She is very jealous and angry but shows nothing. Her passive aggressive behaviors are quite scary. She was told repeatedly to not push when she and Rosa were carrying a huge piece of lead on the job with my DH. She was told it could be life threatening. She pushed and pushed and then pushed harder. She actually tried to kill her by slicing her in half. Rosa just moved faster and eventually confronted her on it. It just shows me Cyr hasn't really changed at all. She is so good at hiding the real her. I am disappointed and discouraged. She is so dangerous.

Patches called 911 on Alyssa. Alyssa yelled at her so Patches wanted her to see what happened when you mess with her. She actually thought she would be arrested. Isn't that nice? Patches also feels that she has to separate and take any children having fun without her. If she sees the baby playing with a child, she will go over and pick her up and walk away to play with her. If Alyssa and Emma are palying and having fun, she will go ask Alyssa if she wants to do something more fun with her. She has to have the attention. It is being addressed and she is not too happy to be caught.

Still waiting on pictures from my MIL...

Friday, November 28, 2008

I Feel Naked

Happy belated Thanksgiving to everyone. We had tons of food at my MIL's. My kids ate very well but Em's sisters and Mother are extremely picky eaters. They ate turkey and potatoes. Not a very good example but it was funny to hear my kids question them over and over about why they didn't eat anything.

Kiera's Mother came and the baby kept looking for me while she held her. I was sure she wouldn't go but pleasantly surprised when she did. You could tell she enjoyed being held but she kept trying to find me. I stayed out of her eye sight for most of the evening so she could enjoy her. I was reminded how uncomfortable it was with Nikki in the beginning. I feel I have to entertain and be the best hostess. It is physically draining. Emma's sister asked her if she was ever going to get the baby back as they were leaving. I thought I would die right there. Her Mother was already in tears saying goodbye.

My awesome MIL decided to keep a bunch of the kids for 2 days. Patches, Michael, Emma, Alyssa, and Ella. I feel so naked without them here. The boys really needed time apart so Eddie stayed with us. Ruthie and Ava have chores from their poor choices. Gia and Kiera are too young.

My sister, Kiki, her DH, and her 3 kids are coming to meet the baby today. I am so out of whack w/o a ton of kids so I asked her to leave a couple of them. I promised to bring them home myself Saturday.

I will post pictures as soon as my MIL sends me some. Hint hint, Ann.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

DFCS is Still Comin Out

We have had her for over 2 week and now they are doing a home visit. We were granted LG over a week ago but now they call. I have sent in all the paperwork and have been cooperative by even double checking that they received it. They just truned it over to our county and she will be out next Tuesday at 9:30 AM. Woo Hoo! At least the kids won't be here to see another CW in and out of their house. I am sure it is just to be sure she is here and that she is safe b/c her mother has run from the county before. Still it seems a bit late inthe game.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Taking Deep Breaths

Thanks so much for all your support. I know everything you say is true but I still feel like I should have known better. I don't have the luxury of acting with emotion or slipping, they need me to be strong and always do the right thing. I am just so darn tired and out of ideas. I am sick of being assaulted and having my other kids watch as their mother is attacked. Emma has been really freaking out lately when it happens and that does make me more anxious. I know I will be a better parent for having lost it. I know my limit now and will be extra careful to let things roll off me again.

We are going to my MIL for Linner on Thursday. That is the meal between Lunch and Dinner according to her. She makes the best dressing ever. I grew up on stuffing and was so impressed by her dressing that first Christmas that I believe it was the final straw and I married him for that wonderful dressing he promised twice a year for the rest of our lives. I didn't taste her white gravy and fried chicken until after the vows but it is was keeps me around when he really makes me mad.

Anyone ever postpone Christmas? Rosa and I were thinking if we postponed it for 2 days we could do all our shopping the day after the real holiday and not tell the kids so we could save a ton of money. We haven't figured out how to do that but it sure would be fun tricking them.

Cyr is helping my DH at work and and is earning money or a cell phone. She is exhausted and ready for bed every night.

Patches couldn't take her medicine for a few days while she had a virus. The voices returned.

You know Ruthie is a basket case right now. She did manage to do some of the chores I gave her but at a snail pace. Rosa is catching on, she told her not to clean the bathroom and to sit in the fetal position all day. You guessed it, it was clean in minutes.

Michael's frustration is building with Eddie. Eddie has an abrasive personality plus his own issues. Michael enjoyed being the only boy way more than he thought. We are having to separate their activities so Michael doesn't kill the kid.

Emma is whiny and obsessed about everything. The meds are helping but now that it was pointed out, I see it all the time. Her mother will be joining us for the holiday and I am so excited for her. She will be bringing Kiera's mother and I am nervous about that.

Ella is still pitiful. She is taking my comments better and making a tiny bit of effort.

Ava has not been caught stealing. I ended her consequences for my sake. I couldn't keep up and they were draining me way more than they were her. I told her it wasn't over but we were going to have to rethink it after the holiday. I am thinking she will have to give her cousins one of her gifts for stealing their things.

Kiera had her 12 month check up today at 13.5 months. She got 4 shots and screamed the entire time we were in the office. The nurse looked at me with a straight face ans asked if she knew what was going to happen. I swear it was almost if she did. The minute we stepped outside, she stopped. She is small for her age and they suggested she wean from the bottle. I assured them I wasn't going to do that b/c it was so important for her bonding, she just shrugged. She did tell me the screaming at night could be nightmares but took away any hope of helping me cope with them. Her lungs sounded great and she is down to 1 breathing treatment a day.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Worst Day Ever

I have had the worst day I have ever had parenting. I feel like the worst mom ever. Ruthie hit, kicked, pinched, and scratched me more than 100 times before I lost it. She did manage to make those last all day and weren't in the first, second or even the third fit she had. At one point she came at me looking like a crazed maniac with her hands out to assault me again, I smacked her in the chaos. It wasn't hard, no mark was seen then or now but I immediately felt terrible. I have never hit any of my children. I knew I was too mad to help her anymore and I screamed at her and ran in the house. She knew I was over the edge and waited for me to come back to get her instead of slamming herself into the glass door like she had been. I am so ashamed. I should have been in more control. She goes to this place that is so hard to describe, she becomes murderous. She has no memory of the event. She knows that something happened b/c she is in trouble but the exact things are unclear to her.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Kerry and Lisa, I can't believe you two for completely different reasons. I will respond, I swear!!!!!

Kath, I got your second comment and I will say that I am glad you are gathering evidence. Do what you have to and worry about her feelings later.

I have no time or energy. I am not complaining, at all. I forgot how much a little booger takes out of you. She is either attached to me in her Hip Hammock or she is laying on my head sleeping. There doesn't seem to be an in between. She is desperate for me constantly. Nights are getting worse, not better. She wakes up MANY times a night to be sure I am still there. It is so sad. It is becoming more and more obvious how badly she was neglected and the ways she was treated by her responses to things. As I lay awake at night with her laying across my head or neck, I fantasize about confronting her mother about what I can see so clearly. I am mad.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Another Thief

Why is it that kids don't get the memo that they are all supposed to learn from the same technique? Why do they force us to try so many different things before they learn from us?

I have been trying every thing in my little black book with Ava with no change in her behavior. Something must have worked today b/c she became a new child. She acted like she wants to be a part of our family, she was thoughtful, and she did extra chores without me asking one time. I have been making up things to praise her about b/c she is so determined to look, smell, and act like trash. I even complimented her on putting her shoes on the right feet b/c there was nothing else to say that was nice. I am trying to take her focus off being the baby here and talking about qualities that she has that are so wonderful like her milky white skin (looks like a milkshake and I beg her to let me lick her hand), her thoughtfulness (she always writes me notes even though they are stabbed), and how smart she is (she is freakishly smart). It seems to have worked for at least a day and I will take that.

Ruthie stole from the AT's office today and then screamed at em for 30 minutes about how I was mean for calling her out. I never raised my voice or was rude in any way. SHe was able to let it out without disassociating. Of course, in the end she acknowledged she did steal it and she lied. She was able to come up with 3 different stories and called me a liar every time I showed her how they weren't possible. I wish she was smarter so she could be more creative and get away with something once in a while.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Enough About the Baby

Ava is going to be the death of me. She is stealing and lying so much more and I wish I could blame the baby and the changes that come from her but it's not. This has been escalating for months and I am finally at the end of my rope. The AT is unable to help me find new and interesting ways to help her get a grip. I sat down and had a long talk with her. It is amazing how my children will tell me the shocking truth when I am calm and act like it won't bother me. She confessed she doesn't love me or anyone except her Nanny (maternal Gma). She feels like I am just another woman here to take care of her. She feels nothing. She also loves to steal b/c it feels fun. She likes that everyone pays attention and makes a fuss. She was very matter of fact when explaining all this to me.

She is extremely upset about the baby. She thinks the baby stole her name b/c they both were given the name Jade as a middle name by their Mothers. She admitted she wants the baby to leave. She promised she wouldn't hurt the baby but I know she must be watched at all times. I think she is more prone to hurt me than the baby. I hope I am right.

Patches is quite the crazy child lately. I love to watch her be silly b/c this is new for her.

Cyr has been too helpful. She is hugging me w/o me threatening to grab a hold and not let go. It makes me sad that I still question her motives so much. I hope someday that will pass.

Michael is such a cutie. He is trying to communicate with me about his anger and feelings about sharing everything with Eddie. He is doing a great job expressing himself even if it is after he blows up.

Ella and Emma love the baby. Ella wants to hold her but it is hard with her tight leg muscles. She needs to work on being the older child and not letting the baby beat her in the face. Emma thinks she should be able to carry her even though they are about the same size. She is doing good on her Prozac but I am sure we will be increasing it soon.

Ruthie still just doesn't understand a thing. She can not grasp simple ideas like when holding a baby don't just let go and stand up. She has done this twice and dropped the baby. Good thing she wasn't hurt. I am positive it was an accident both times b/c she couldn't hurt a flea.

Since I haven't said it in the entire post.....I love having a baby around!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Introducing Kiera


Bare with me, I am trying to adjust to everything and blogging seems to be one thing that is neglected. I feel like my life has just sped off without me. I am exhausted but so excited that I don't mind the lack of sleep.

My DH and I went today to file the LG paperwork. It took much longer than we expected to just get the receipt and while we were waiting my DH ran his mouth about this baby to every one that would listen. One old man was holding a trash can and listening to him go on and on. I figured he was the janitor but it turned out to be the Judge and he told us to hang on and he would process it immediately. We walked out of the courthouse today the LG of Kiera Jade (They called her Jade but we are going with Kiera. It sounds less likely to be her stage name. LOL). They mentioned after we were done that to dissolve the LG, both parents had to petition the courts to drop it and they had to prove they were fit parents. Then when I called the CW to tell her she called me the new Mommy. She told me she will be sending a note to the courts that the mother has an open case with them and she will need to work a plan to get her back. The mother has been very clear that she will not do that ever again. The father refuses to believe she is his b/c he was in jail. He also said he would do whatever it took to be sure she didn't get to ruin another little girl's life. He is willing to sign over his rights today. There is little or no chance of Kiera going anywhere, her sister was already abandoned by their mother and she is now facing a felony child abandonment charge for it.

All the other kids seem to be fine with her here. They are really sweet to her and want to help way too much. Ava is very jealous and I worry about her hurting the baby in the future so she is closely monitored. Cyr and Patches are taking turns chasing her away from the stairs.

Kiera is showing some obvious attachment related issues. She is not making eye contact. Affection is on her own terms. She didn't cry but now cries all the time for attention. She is completely freaked out when I leave the room and is inconsolable. She will go to a complete stranger. She fights me when I try to feed her her bottle in my lap. She tries to drink it walking around and just lets it hang from her mouth. Needless to say, I will be wearing her for months as soon as I can find the darn sling I bought as a gift for my friend Eve but never gave her.

Lisa, the invitation link won't work.

Everyone that has emailed me, please be patient. I promise to get to them. There have been so many that I can't even read them all. Thanks for your support.

I am dying to catch up on all the blogs I usually read daily. I have no idea what is going on with anyone.

P. S. Tomorrow is our first anniversary of our adoption of the kids. I am sure they have forgotten and I am not sure I should tell them until it's almost over.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I am so busy right now that I am neglecting this blog. I will get myself organized and back on track. I have tons to share about the kids but right now I only have a few minutes before the new little beast realizes I am not holding her.

Both parents decided they needed to sign over Legal Guardianship to us. DFCS told the mother she would have to go through drug court for 18 months before they would consider her to be fit to raise her child. She instantly gave up and agreed to LG. We had to ask Em's Mom to hunt down the father on the BC and he agreed to do it.

I am exhausted beyond belief. She was going to everyone that held out hands until yesterday when she realized I have the bottles and must be the woman in charge. Now she MUST be touching me even when she sleeps. She cries if she can't see me and when anyone else tries to touch her. If I try to snuggle with her, she wants nothing to do with it. I have to be available on her terms. She doesn't like to be held when she is fed and is having a hard time laying in my arms. She has this desperate thing about her that is very obvious yet you can't put your finger on what it is.

She warmed up last night after dinner and played with Emma for about 30 minutes. Em, my DH, and myself were on the floor with all the other kids on the sofas or in the showers and she got really silly. She would hug me hard and lay her head on my chest and then run for Em and tackle her by pulling her hair and shirt to the ground. She threw herself on her chest and kinda snarled at her and then ran back to me to hug. She had us all laughing so hard and she was having a ball. She was crazy! I guess the breathing treatment wound her up quite a bit.

So far no serious issues with her health but I am taking her tomorrow to our pediatrician to get her records transferred and see what I need to be doing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Exhausted

I can't find my camera and our cell phones are too hard to see that there is even a person in the picture. She is the cutest little thing. She is very sick, she coughs and snots constantly. She has breathing treatments every 4 hours and 3 other meds in the morning that we get to force down. She NEVER cries and that worries me. She called me Mama and my DH daddy immediately. She is very clingy and insists on being held only on her terms. She won't drink a bottle if we are holding her, she slides off to walk around with it. I am worried. Don't get me wrong, she is sweet as can be but it is obvious she has been neglected.

She is into everything. I was so unprepared for this that I am running around like crazy trying to get things away from her. At the same time, I have to get the house ready for a visit from DFCS. They were called in when she tried to pick up the baby. They accused Jade's mother of many things. Her mother is terrified that they will drug test her and have her work a plan. She said she would sign her over to us before she did that again. I have a feeling this will be long term if not permanent. I know she wants to parent but with DFCS stepping in, she will not be able to get it together enough for them. She is not in foster care but they want to check things out b/c of the accusations made. They are transferring it to our county so I expect a visit within 24 hours.

I promise to make a serious effort to find the camera today. Oh Heather, I almost forgot, b/c she is not a foster child I am only required to get her mother's permission to post her picture.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Jade

Jade has just turned 1 and is walking pretty good. She is related to Emma, I think they are 2nd cousins by marriage. Here in the South, it is common to call your parent's friend aunt or uncle so and so. I have known Emma's Mom since she was a kid and I think Jade's Mom is just the cousin even though they call her Aunt Jess. Anyway, we were asked yesterday to come and pick her up today b/c her aunt/uncle had filed for LG but it was discovered that they had stopped giving the baby her breathing treatments ans she had to be hospitalized. They also have 5 charges of child cruelty in their past. They wouldn't be able to complete the LG even if she wanted them to. They had pressured her into signing it over to them about a week ago and she immediately regretted it but felt she needed to figure something else out before removing her again. She is unable to care for her child due to meth addiction, no job, no money, and homelessness.

Our intention is to keep her until she can get herself together. We all agree it needs to happen quickly or it needs to be a permanent situation. This is the 2nd child she has placed for the same reason. DFCS is on her back about LG or adoption. We will not seek either at this time but will be thrilled about having a chubby baby to snuggle for a bit. I am reluctant to discuss adoption with her b/c I feel so strongly that the baby should be with her mother if she can get additional help. She would really like to parent but needs to get into a drug treatment program that she is still trying to convince herself she doesn't need. She has been talking to Emma's Mom and us about leaving her with us for the last year but managed to avoid DFCS and found family to take her for brief periods. She has burned all her bridges and anyone willing to take the baby either didn't qualify or wanted to steal her baby. One of the other reasons she told Nikki she wants us to take her is that if we all decide she needs to stay, she knows we will honor our end of the relationship. She loves that Nikki has a real relationship with her child. She loves that we all love Nikki so much that we support her regardless of her choices and are always here for her.

This poor child hasn't had a consistent caregiver and has bounced from house to house. She is extremely clingy and whiny. She is not a healthy child and needs to have breathing treatments all the time. I am concerned she needs stability immediately to avoid attachment issues that are inevitable if things doesn't slow down for her soon.

My DH is on his way to pick her up right now. They had to call the police to remove her from their care. She showed them the documents from the courts but they refused to let the baby leave. It was a huge screaming fight and they waited for over an hour for the police before leaving. They are on their way back over there and will immediately meet my DH to bring her here. I am sure she will be very confused and scared. I wish there was an easier way to help her.

In the meantime, I have nothing for a baby! Time to hit Freecycle. I will post pictures tonight.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

A Baby?

Abby, I will as soon as I find the camera. They are really cool and they fit in regular 8' ceilings. The bottom bunk sits really close to the ground and is great for Ella b/c she rolls right off a bed.

Wendy, I used to like to cook real meals but have slowly slipped into a cheap and easy kind of Mom. We have a few things on our regular rotation that I can throw together like egg sandwiches, spaghetti, alfredo, ceaser salad, veggie tacos, grilled PB and Js, and cucumber sandwiches. When we have more time, they enjoy things like beef stroganoff, beef gravy over perogies, chicken tortilla hotdish, chili, BBQ pork, and potato soup. Tonight we are having homemade chicken and dumplings.

Thank you so much for all the questions and comments.

One last thing, I may be posting tomorrow about a new addition. We are not sure if she will be short term or long term. We are excited about the possibility of her coming for however long she stays. Since I am not sure, I will keep my mouth shut about further details until she is in my arms. Yes, she is human.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Anwsers

I am answering the questions you posted here. Feel free to keep asking, I am more than happy to answer publicly or privately.

Nannyogg, welcome and thanks for delurking.

Me, our house has 6 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. Our kitchen is the tiniest one I have ever been forced to cook in so we turned the dining room into a huge pantry by adding Rubbermaid shelves on 3 of the walls. Our formal LR is their playroom and we use our Den for our sofas and TV. It's a huge room and they love to sprawl out on the floor to watch movies on Friday nights. I think the total square footage is around 3200. The yard is what drew us here, we are on 5 acres that are about 1/3 open field, 1/3 w/o brush and ancient oak trees that the kids love to run around, and 1/3 deep woods that they hide in.

Alyssa's Mom, it is a toss up between Patches and Michael. Michael is no longer ripping his clothes off, attacking me, or wetting himself. He talks about his feelings and can remember a few names of people outside the house. He has all but stopped destroying things that are his. I think discovering and stopping his abuse by Cyr, locking up his parents, and starting Risperdal all helped tremendously. We spent a lot of time hugging in a restraint, I would talk softly and reassure him that he couldn't stop me from loving him and he was safe.

Patches was scary on paper, we almost reconsidered the group b/c she was so severe. Her anger just oozed from her at all times. She wouldn't smile or have her picture taken. She spent most of her time with her head down hating every one but especially me. She made sure I knew she wasn't going to accept me as her mother b/c she had one. I think it changed when she and I had a huge fight one afternoon on the stairs, I cried and that really got to her. I think I was finally able to explain I wasn't in competition with her mother, she could love us both and I explained how our roles were different. She began Prozac soon after and we realized a lot of her issues with school and people was social anxiety. She stopped pulling her hair out and hurting herself when she began Risperdal. It was weird watching her anger just disappear. We now have several pictures with her smiling and her rages have nearly disappeared until her recent med changes. The day we adopted her she announced she no longer wanted to see or accept her parents. It was like she closed a door, we are confident she had hung on to them b/c she was so afraid she would have to go back again. She was their loudest defender until she was done and now she rarely has a nice thing to say about them. She feels safe here and she accepts us fully as her parents. She is very proud of herself and wants to behave properly, that is what drives her to act normal. She needs to be reminded about how she used to act so she can see the difference and be sure we see it, too.

r, my DH had his brain injuries in 1997 and 1999. They were devastating for both of us. They changed him, his personality was more uptight and he was easily angered. He became volatile at times when he was frustrated. I am not sure how we survived the second one and if he hadn't been so needy, I don't think we would have made it. His short term memory is so much better than it used to be but he is still very dependent on me for things. He must talk to me MANY times a day on the phone and that can be a bit annoying but he freaks out when I am not available so it is necessary. He has his sense of humor back and that helps a lot. I think what was the hardest part was his poor choices during the second year after his second head injury. He was so out of whack he couldn't think straight and he did some things that nearly destroyed us. He is not that person anymore, thank goodness. I won't go into what those bad choices were b/c he would never consider doing those things now or before the accident. All his doctors told us that is is common for people in his condition to change personalities and do things that are not normal for them. I am so happy he worked through that. If I minimize things it is only b/c it is hard to remember those times. Life was hard.

Anonymous, try this. https://www.google.com/accounts/NewAccount Let me know if you still can't figure it out.

Maia, we are boring. This weekend I have spent it on my rear end watching Rosa unpack. The kids have been living outside. They beg to eat out on the picnic tables, ride their bikes, and run through the woods. They come in at dark and shower b/c they are out of school until tomororrow. They have been camping out in the girls' room in sleeping bags so they can watch Disney. I can hear them giggle until midnight. It so wonderful to be able to allow them to do that and not worry about inappropriate touching. Cyr is excluded most of the time, at her age, she doesn't care. If I do allow her to sleep in there she must sleep on a bed with Patches on the floor next to that bed. Patches is a light sleeper and has vowed to protect the other kids from every one including her sister. The triple bunk that I put Cyr on is so low that she can't sneak off the bed or over Patches. While I don't trust Cyr, I am confident the other kids have enough power now that they wouldn't let her get away with anything. No one here is afraid of her anymore, they stand up to her easily.

On school days, we get up around 6:15 so they can get on the bus at 6:55. They love to eat breakfast at school with their friends so that helps. We no longer have any real morning issues so they can actually get out the door in 10 minutes if they have to. We set out their clothes at night and unless there is an emergency they can not change their outfit. They take turns in the bathroom, a few get right in while the others get on their shoes and socks and then trade places. I check each child personally before they step out the door.

After school, they get home around 3 PM and I have their snack ready for them. I ask a million questions trying to hear about their day while they beg to go outside. I rotate a kid or two inside with me helping with laundry or snuggling. It is hard to get one on one so I have to force them to hang with me a few minutes every day.

They have one chore a week, it is the kitchen. On that day, they help me with dinner as a reward for doing the dishes. They open cans or stir the pot. Every one sits together on our very long picnic table in the kitchen at 6PM. They tease me about never sitting b/c I stand and eat while walking back and forth getting more food for them. We talk about everything at dinner and do a lot of laughing. We are still working on our manners so that is a topic we hear about every night among other things that would make most "normal" families cringe. It is not uncommon for them to talk about their abuse during dinner. I am not sure why but they feel safe at dinner.

Homework and showers are started the minute everyone clears the table. We send them up 2 at a time and the rest get their book bags and sit down at the table to begin. The littles can shower together but Cyr must have the door shut and be alone upstairs to shower. This is the time Michael starts to tell me he doesn't have homework and when I prove him wrong he shuts down and starts kicking the floor. I spend most of the time just being available if they need me. They prefer to have a sibling help them with their homework. If I try to help, it turns into a power struggle so I back off. I make them answer the question with my assistance, they are quite lazy and their sibling is likely to give them the answer instead. If I have trouble with a kid and homework they have to do it at recess and the next day they do it right after school instead of playing outside to be sure they have enough time. I sign all their stuff during this time and if they forget or refuse they don't have another chance. It takes about an hour to get all that done.

We spend the rest of the evening talking, laughing, playing together. They get their meds about 8:25 and head up to bed 8:30 sharp and are forced to read for 30 minutes. Emma reads out loud a great deal of the time to the other kids b/c she is such a great reader and enjoys it so much. Our bedtime routine is very simple, during their time to read I pick out their outfits for the next day and give kisses. They are so agitated at bedtime that we have to preoccupy them with reading and questions about their outfits for the next day. I give each child a kiss and the standard "I love you". Much more than that and they start freaking out. I had dreams of singing songs and snuggles but they just can't do it in their rooms. The girls love having so many in one room, it makes them feel safe. My son is asleep within seconds while Cyr reads quietly for a bit longer than the little girls. They do not get out of bed once they are in there. They do not ask for help in the night yet either. Night time is still scary for them.

Innocent Observer, I say a lot of things in my head. I even take a moment to play out my little fantasy of beating the turd. This can help me see the error of my fantasy and the prison I would certainly deserve to be in afterward. I can then think more clearly and address it w/o so much emotion. I try to get them to laugh or smile when they are in a really bad place. They couldn't do that before but now it seems to break the ice and they are instantly able to listen to reason.

I would love to escape to Maine but it probably won't happen anytime soon.

It is not that hard having another family unit in the house. I make it clear they must go by our general rules. Both Frankee and Rosa lived with me as a child so they are not surprised at how I parent. I refer their children to them unless they are busy or unavailable. Their children generally fall into place, it is easier to for them to follow a group of children than to listen to an adult. The only real issue I remember with Frankee and Shyanne was that she was sneaking her food between meals. Shyanne was very over weight and Frankee used food to bond with her. It was completely unhealthy. I am sure Rosa will find new and more interesting ways to add to the chaos. LOL I am kidding, she is more laid back and wants to fix her kids issues. She will follow my lead unless it feels really wrong for her child. She is not a drug addict or a drinker, she has no social life, and she spends all her time trying to parent or work. I am sure things will go much more smoothly with her.

My dream vacation was at Disney. It would include my kids and lots of fun. I would love to take them to the beach and we will as soon as my DH is able to work more steadily.

Recipe? I love to make Pumpkin Trifle with the kids on Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is easy and they get such a kick out of licking the bowls. I double the recipe and substitute the whipped topping with homemade whipped cream.


Ingredients

* 2 (14-ounce) packages gingerbread mix
* 1 (5.1-ounce) box cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
* 1 (30-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling
* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
* 1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping ****
* 1/2 cup gingersnaps, optional

Directions

Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool. Stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cardamom into the pudding. Crumble 1 batch of gingerbread into the bottom of a large, pretty bowl. Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of whipped topping. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and whipped topping. Sprinkle of the top with crushed gingersnaps, if desired. Refrigerate overnight. Trifle can be layered in a punch bowl.

****I use 2 32oz heavy cream containers and whip it until it starts to get thick. I add powdered sugar until it is sweet. I think it is 2 cups but don't hold me to it just keep tasting it. A dash of real vanilla and whip until it looks like whip cream. Mmmmmmm! There is enough for the kids to lick the bowl and actually get some. It is good enough to eat by the spoonful.

Kath, I got yours and will email you privately.

Monday, November 03, 2008

In a Funk

I am in a blogging funk. I have a lot going on but am too lazy to write or do much of anything. The kids are out of school until Wednesday and Rosa and her kids are still arranging their things here. I could sit around all day, wait, I have. Cyr and Emma are visiting my MIL and having a blast.

What do you want to know? Ask me anything.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Medicine Changes

Poor Patches is really going crazy with this med switch. She is a ball of emotions. One minute she is crying b/c someone said a girl on TV was not very pretty and the next she is screaming she hates us. We are all trying to be careful what we say but she is all over the place and attacks us for no reason. We have already doubled the dose b/c the doctor called and said she was attacking the other kids at the program and then crying in a corner in the fetal position. She has become extremely paranoid and thinks every one is out to get her. I can't wait for this stuff to level off. She is almost too big to hold in my lap and rock at this point. I see a difference in her eating already but my DH said she scarfed down a bag of gummy worms yesterday. I guess we'll have to wait to be sure it has improved long term.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Calling all Georgians

I see there are so many of you reading my blog. Anyone up for breakfast next weekend in Atlanta? Just leave me a comment or send me an email letting me know you are interested and we will coordinate. Don't be shy, I am dying for a meal away from my crazy people.

A Bit About Everyone

I am so busy lately that it is hard to find the time to blog. I have spent the day at the AT's office with Cyr, Ruthie, and Ava. We have missed a couple weeks and those 3 are the top of the list so they went.

Cyr screamed and cried about going. I found it hard to find words since she NEVER shows emotion or raises her voice. She was pissed. I have been letting her off the hook for family therapy and AT when others need it or it is not necessary for her to be there. She took this as she could stay home whenever she wanted. I told her to go ahead and sleep in b/c she would only have an hour of school before being checked out. She refused to go back to sleep and followed me downstairs with a glare. I ignored her for a bit and offered her a cup of coffee since she insisted on staying up. She almost growled at me and a few minutes later starting screaming about how mean I was. I stood there with my mouth open wondering if Ruthie had possessed her body. She ran off to her room.

I got the kids off to school and went to check on her. I knew she was alive b/c I could hear her the entire time howling from her bed. She got worse when I tried to talk to her about it claiming I was to blame for her not having friends. Not sure where that came from or even how it is possible but OK. The phone rang about 10 minutes into her screamfest and I told her I'd be right back. I went in there about 5 minutes later to find her sleeping.

She didn't get very far in therapy today. She shut right down. What a waste of time. She will now be going twice a week to therapy and our Saturdays are shot again.

Ruthie attacked both my DH and I last night. She went off the deep end for NO REASON. She went off on the kids yelling at them that I was mean and she was calling DFCS. She had no explanation for why she felt threatened or what I was mean about. I asked her to go back downstairs for a few b/c she was upsetting all the kids at bedtime. She refused and started kicking me. I called for my DH to help me get her off the bed and downstairs and he got kicked and hit. This is not something he is accustomed to and he flipped out. Poor guy, he wants to protect me and gets overly excited when they hurt me. He held her to the floor (not hard) and yelled until he was hoarse. "You will not hurt our family. You will not hit and kick Mom." The kids rarely hear him scream in anger and were even more upset. By this time, everyone is in the girls' room to be sure no one is hurt. Both of us had to grab an end and get her away from them. I held her while he comforted the rest. He is so not able to handle their violence and I feel like it is all I do sometimes. It took an hour for everything to calm down and for them to go to sleep.

Today Ruthie doesn't remember what she was upset about or what she did. She is her normal sweet self, always taking care of others and being thoughtful. It really is very weird when she loses it like that. She looks as if she is possessed by a demon.

Ava is still lying about the money she stole from Abbie. She refuses to tell us where it is and screamed at the AT today. That was huge b/c Ava doesn't get upset, she is always smiling. She pokes her eyes to make herself cry for people but she doesn't show anger. The AT suggested we try an extreme tactic on Ava for stealing. I must tell you that Ava steal ALL THE TIME. I know many of you understand this idea b/c you have a thief yourself. She takes the strangest things like pieces of games or puzzles, make up, pencils, calculators, shoe (just one though), and other people's homework are a few examples. This is not done to keep the items, she usually gets rid of them b/c it is done to be mean to the other person. We will be making her a T-Shirt that says "I Steal". It will be worn only when we go to family member's house or have family members over to help them keep their things safe. She is such a lovely and charming child it is hard to imagine her dark side. She can look you in the face while she is screaming and crying that she is innocent only to tell you she was lying 30 minutes later. If she hadn't done that to me so many times, I would believe her. I know her teachers do when she is caught with things.

Emma is doing well on her Prozac. No real change that she can tell but I haven't seen her cry at the thought of her Spelling test tomorrow. That is progress for her and it is only the 4th day.

Patches gets out of the Program on November 3rd.

Michael is doing very well in school. He is giving me a hard time about homework but I let him take the consequence of losing recess the next day to save our relationship. He did get very angry at Emma today b/c he let go of the swing and it hit her in the head. This was an accident and he apologized to her. That's what he was mad at, he apologized and she didn't tell him it was OK. She was unable to speak b/c she was sobbing and had a huge lump on her head. I had a difficult time explaining that he was in the wrong by expecting her to forgive him 3 seconds after he hurt her when she couldn't stop crying. Eventually, 3 lashes of a wet noodle made him smile so we could move on.

Ella has ODD. I am such a mean mom, I showed Rosa what that means for Ella. She will not do as she is asked, for any reason. I caught her in a good mood and told her to stomp her foot before she went out to play. She stood in the kitchen for about 10 minutes refusing to move. She only stomped then to prove Ava was right and I was wrong when we made a bet it would take her 30+ minutes. She loves to prove me wrong more than anything.

Rosa is moving in tomorrow. I am not ready. Her room is not ready. Not much I can do but keep trying.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust

Another kid on meds. Emma begins Prozac for her Anxiety Disorder today. She will start off on only 10mg but he feels confident she will need to at least double it next month. The Psychiatrist asked her all kinds of questions about how she feels and her symptoms. She was so cute and very grown up when she described her panic attacks and nervous stomach. He he asked her what makes her nervous and she said, "Everything!". She freaks about tests, going to school, her mother, her first sisters, but mostly about bathrooms. As she told him how she will only use "2 bathrooms in the whole world" I about fell out of my chair. She was so serious and focused on making him understand she hates feeling like this. She informed him she cries "over silly things like getting a problem wrong on a test". He asked her who she was trying to please, Mommy? She very matter of factly told him that "Mommy doesn't care if I miss them, I do". He feels she has OCD issues, as well. He said it comes out in small children a little differently, they like their toys organized, don't eat certain foods, or obsess over the bathroom they use. It is not uncommon for them to have sleeping issues like she does. Over all, I am excited to see how things change for her. She is a ball of nerves and it definitely was affecting her, her class, and her family. I really like this new doctor, he is very cautious about prescribing meds.

When I was filling out the paperwork, I asked her if she had 3 wishes what would she wish for? I was so impressed when she told me 1. she could see her mother 2. her friend Raphael (he has undx'd ADHD) could do better in school b/c he doesn't seem to be having fun and gets yelled at 3. school would get out early so she could play with her brother and sisters. She is such a sweet kid.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Big Change a Coming

I know most of you thought I was crazy last Fall when Frankee moved in with her daughter and caused so much ruckus. This time is different. It won't be Frankee, it will be Rosa and her 3 kids. LOL She is in the middle of a divorce and was trying to go to school full time and work full time while trying to heal her children. We all know that is a recipe for an exhausted mom that isn't any good for her children. What made it worse was that she is over an hour from us so I couldn't help her with the kids except over the phone. Just to ease some of your minds, she doesn't drink or do drugs. She has her issues as all of our children do but she is genuinely a good person.

How will you all fit in one house? I am sure that was the second thing you would ask. We have already moved Patches in with Cyr to help her feel safe. Ruthie, Ava, and Ella are on a triple bunk bed my DH made about 2 yrs ago. On the other wall in that room will have Emma and Alyssa on another triple bunk he will eventually get around to building. Crowded? Not really b/c they do not keep anything in their room except their shirts, their pants are all hung on a low rod in my closet and toys are in the playroom. Michael is the most excited of all, he will share with Eddie. He has wanted a roommate and begged for a brother since we met him. Eddie is not his brother but he said that will do, for now. At first, they will have 2 single beds in there until my DH builds another triple bunk. Rosa and Gia will share the downstairs guest bedroom.

I have a ton to do to get ready for them. They will move in this week and get started in school next. I have got to move all my stuff I store in the guest room out to the barn. I have carpets to clean and closets to reorganize. Once she gets here, I plan on using her to help me paint the house. I want to start in the living room and kitchen, then work up to the bedrooms by the end of November.

I am really excited about her and the kids coming. I tried not to push her to make that choice but to give it to her as an option. It is so hard having adult children. You want to swoop in and fix things for them or make it easier but they have to be in control of their lives. Her soon to be Ex always thought I wanted her children. He warned her over and over that I would try to steal them. It makes me sad that he felt that way. I loved them both so much and that thought never even crossed my mind. He is going to be very upset when he finds out her plan to stay with us, I am finding a secret pleasure in that. I know it is not mature, I don't care. He tried to keep her out of my life and almost succeeded.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Xanax

I am having a brain fart or someone is deleting my posts. I keep thinking I have blogged about something only to double check and it is not there. I swear, I remember typing it and everything. I am probably dreaming about it at night and getting things confused. I sound real stable, huh?

I have made an appointment for Emma to see the psychiatrist. I think it is time to consider meds for her anxiety. The child is an emotional mess. She is a perfectionist and then stresses until she is bawling about what might happen. I constantly remind her just to do her best but she worries she will fail somehow. She stresses so much that she doesn't poop, she worries that her teacher is mad at her when she reprimands the class, and she gets upset every morning complaining her stomach hurts when it is really just stress about going to the school she loves so much. It is definitely interfering with her life at this point. She is a little ball of nerves and can't seem to utilize our suggestions for coping. Her Mother and I have giggle for years that she needs Xanax to cope with every day life. Now we are thinking it really might help. Next Monday is the day, can't wait to hear what he suggests.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Stealing but Not Taking

I am so embarrassed to tell ya'll this but since I share the intimate details of our lives I am sure you will not be surprised. Ava is a thief. If you invite us over to your home, please hide all of the things you love or that have any value. Nail it down if you can't put it away. Make sure you never let on that it is something you like or or it's value for that will get her attention and guarantee it to go missing.

Every time my niece's come over and have things with them, I hide it in my room to protect it. Ava has no problem riffling through their bags, even ripping open wrapped presents to see what goodies they have that she might want. This is the 3rd time she has stolen money from them, I have lost count at how many times she has stolen from someone within our immediate family. She denies it, she cries and she begs us to believe her, and after many tears she will usually confess to taking it. She never keeps the money, she hides it from them or loses it. I am so embarrassed that I need to worry about her sticky fingers. I am so sad for my nieces. They adore my kids and are always shocked and try to explain it away for them. They want to trust them. They can't imagine that it was on purpose and give them the benefit of the doubt.

I am really angry at her right now. We charge double the amount for stealing. She graduates the program Friday and will spend the rest of her childhood doing chores to earn that money back. The only reason it will take so darn long is that she will move at a snail's pace to prove how mean we are and that we can't control her.

On a different note completely, I asked a neighbor that has lived on our road all her life if she knew of any deaths here. She was a wealth of information, just not any that fit our situation. We have had 4 suicides within a few houses of ours. One elderly man shot his nagging wife and tried to shoot himself when the gun jammed. No small children, though. She promised to ask her extended family b/c they all live on our street and have for over 80 years.

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I am loving this Following gadget. I think every one I read needs to join up so I can keep track of you all better. If you read here, follow me, too.

My MIL needs me to add the links of my favorite blogs on the side here. If you want me to post yours or you want yours taken off, let me know. I won't publish your comment, I'll just add or remove your link.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Howling at the Moon

We took the kids to my sister's Saturday and went to ride a Haunted Hayride. Everyone was very excited, except my worry wart, Emma. She is so high strung that I am becoming concerned that she may need medication. She cries every morning and it is just nerves. She loves school and all the kids there, she can't put her finger on what is worrying her, she just is. She worries like no buddy's business about tests. She will score the highest in her class and sometimes in her grade but she fretted all night and morning about it. It gives her stomach and headaches. It is definitely getting worse, her teacher is afraid to reprimand the class for anything without making it clear to her that she didn't do anything and isn't in trouble. I remember asking her pediatrician about it a few years ago and she said when/if it affects her life, then consider it. It is affecting her life, my life, the kids', life and her poor teacher's life. Time to start talking about trying something.

We had another session of family therapy. It went better than the last weeks session. At the end she took my DH and I into her office to ask see if we would meet another couple from the program. She has another little girl in the program with RAD and the parents are struggling. They feel alone, frazzled, and in way over their heads. Anyone relate? The therapist is, at least, trying to think outside the box. We scheduled a supervised meeting with them next Monday. Both our families will do a joint session of sorts.

With Ava gone during the week, Ella has stepped up her pitifulness. (I know, it's not a real word but it fits.) If I question her homework b/c she obviously copied Michael's sentences, she bawls. If I tell her it's time to clean off the table, she stands in the corner and cries. Last night, I asked her to drop her clothes down the chute and she stood in the middle of the living room crying her eyes out. I am sick of it. I am losing my patience with this. I don't understand her need to be a victim all the time.

I don't ask much of my children, they do not have extensive chores. All I really ask of them is to pick up after themselves and they each have the dishes 1 night a week. Not much compared all I do. She acts like I am making her do everything. She used to hide in the bathroom with the light off when it came time to pick up their toys, now she stands there and plays the victim. Right now she is howling, I am not joking, howling at the table b/c she has to write 5 sentences with words like, all, thank, he, was, and you. She won't do it correctly, she does it over and over wrong but I know she can do it b/c she does it at school. Normally, I give them an opportunity to do their homework and if it's not done, they do it at recess. She has figured out that she can manipulate her teacher and she doesn't do it. Tonight I am switching it up. She can sit there as long as she chooses, her brother did it it in less than 5 minutes. I refuse to get involved with her drama. Ever been so mad for a split second that you actually had a brief fantasy about spanking a kid? I have, this kid. I know it won't help and I know enough to keep myself away from her for a few minutes until it passes. I am not sure why it bugs me so badly.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Random Things

I am still sick, it's been a month. I am tired and full of infection that the antibiotics are not helping. Time to try a different round of them.

Why do the kids lie when they are caught red handed? They seem to do it louder when they are guilty. Ruthie screamed in my face and Em's face Wednesday b/c she tied a rope around a tree. I don't care if she tied a darn rope around a tree. She wouldn't even let me get that out b/c she was too busy blaming Patches, Patches was in the program and couldn't have done it. It is so disappointing to have them flip out and lie, then refuse to back down.

I woke the kids up late, I think this is the first time, and still got them out to the bus within 10 minutes. Yes, Emma was crying and Ava didn't get her stuff signed but that's normal.

I am getting nervous that my dryer is about to die. It has always had issues but it is huge and dries beautifully, when it turns on. That's the problem, sometimes it just won't come on. I have to unplug it and wait, it may take a day or two but it will work fine for months. This time it will come back on but shuts off on it's own within 10 minutes or so. It has been 6 days, the laundry is piling up. I am hoping today is the day!

My DH has been home for a couple weeks and is slowly driving me insane.....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Little Liars at Work

My little devils decided it would be funny to tell the Family Therapist at the program that all I do is lay in bed and watch TV. One kid spoke up and defended me claiming that I do sit on the computer sometimes. Great! This happened after I called Ava on the carpet for lying about wetting herself in the closet and I pointed out to the therapist that Ava pokes her eyes when she is fake crying so it looks real. Now I look like an uncaring and lazy Mom. She began asking how I manage to give them quality alone time. I explained it is difficult but I manage. It is not at the mall or on vacation but we are very aware of who needs what and that they get it. Yes, it is in the laundry room or at the kitchen table while we are fixing dinner but they have access to me constantly. Who's to say that the conversation in the laundry room is less important than the one she has with her daughter at the mall?

This week she asked Ava and Patches what their goals were. Patches' goal was to let her brother get in trouble instead of protecting him. WTH? When I asked her to explain, she gave me some story about how she doesn't tell on him and he "always" steps on her book bag when she is in her room throwing a fit. Let me break this down for you, she hasn't had a fit in many, many weeks, her book bag is supposed to be in the closet unless she is doing her homework, and she hasn't been allowed to throw a fit in room since we discovered they were locked in their room and this caused them to have have PTSD flashbacks. What it boils down to is that this happened in MARCH. I am sure they were feeling so sorry for her b/c she told them I was watching TV downstairs and he was torturing her upstairs. Gimme a break! I tore her story apart and she smiled. She agreed she just couldn't think of anything to make as a goal when they asked her.

Ava's wasn't much better. She has to write about her feelings when she gets mad at the kids. That goal makes no sense for this child. She doesn't get angry, they do. She torments them by waking them up at 5AM after keeping them up with her chatter until way after bedtime, she ruins their favorite clothes by sitting in the mud, smearing her lunch on them, and writing all over them with markers, she shoves them off the swing, empties all the shampoo out before they bathe, steals their new toy and hides it under her bed, or talks through an entire movie they were dying to watch. At no time does she build with any visible anger to write about. She smiles and ignores authority but never screams or attacks. This goal is silly and doesn't apply to her so she has yet to write anything about it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

My Hair

I have a migraine and I cut a foot off my hair today. I really though the headaches were from the hair. Oh well, it gone now. I plan on dying it red for the first time in about 10 years, the grey is so bright against my dark hair I have to do something. My DH was against me cutting it and when he saw me today he had tears in his eyes. I guess it looks THAT good b/c it couldn't be that I haven't had a professional cut my hair in 4+ years. The last person that trimmed my hair was my DH. He missed a large piece and my 7 yr old had to fix it.

I just had to come back and add that someone found my blog by searching "I smear my poop". I hope you find what you need, feel free to ask questions privately.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

What's Your Experience?

I am no expert on hallucinations and had no idea that part of the concern for Patches is she is only having them at home. This is going to sound weird and I am not sure what to think about this myself, but it is something to think about. Patches described the people she sees in therapy and she commented that they were dead. Where she got this she doesn't know, she feels like they are dead. She was asked for the first time to describe their clothes and with her limited vocabulary all we got was "dirty pink weird dress". I have no idea what that meant. After she left the room the AT suggested that she has never heard a child with voices and visions describe things like she does. This is not normal for a delusional child. Great, now what? She told me to look into the house's history to see if I could find this little girl and boy that she is talking about. I laughed b/c I thought she was joking. She wasn't, she insisted she would never admit it and she has never suggested anything like this to any of her patients. She said it is just strange the way she talks about seeing them the way she does and that it is only at home. Patches thinks every one she sees is dead, including our dog that she sees regularly out her window by our barn.

Just to make things worse, I had an "experience" last Friday. We had all the kids that were home watching a movie in the living room with us. We were expecting Patches and Ava to return soon. I very distinctly heard "Mom" being called from the front door/stairs. I hit pause and hollered back. Everyone looked at me crazy and I insisted someone called me. Every one was there. Weird? We started the movie and about the time I stopped thinking about it, I heard it again. This time I got up and went to look. No one. It gets weirder. I went back to the movie, again absorbed in it when I heard it right by my ear. I could almost feel the breath of the child calling me. I turned fully expecting to see Ava in my face. No one. I texted my DH sitting on the other sofa and told him what happened and I was getting freaked out. He tried to laugh it off but mentioned that perhaps Patches was just "sensitive" and this house had ghosts.

In the session today, Patches did tell the exact same story she told in family therapy this week. We had thought it sounded like she was adding to it as we asked but her session today was the same. Nothing added, nothing left out. She heard someone clapping in the middle of the night Monday. She went to get up and see what was going on, thinking it was my DH and the kids. She barely opened her door when she saw a boy and girl clapping and laughing on the stairs. She was too afraid to leave her room and closed the door. They stopped making noise and eventually she went back to sleep. I believe her. I am not sure what that means, but I do.