Sunday, March 30, 2008

Helpful Kids and a New No Touch Policy

Which one of you switched out my kids? We had a lazy day yesterday after AT, we watched a couple of movies and napped all afternoon. Today we cleaned the house, yard, and carport with VERY little complaints. I was so proud of them we are planning on going to McDonald's to play and have ice cream.

Therapy went well yesterday but I have some difficult news for my DH. He is not going to like it and may not even agree to do it. The AT thinks he should not have ANY physical contact with him. She can be around him, do things with him, but no contact. This is to force her to fill other needs besides her physical attention. She is to get her affection needs filled from me. She was explained all of this in AT, I am anxious to see what her reaction is when he walks in the door this afternoon. She openly admitted she takes up all his time so the kids and I don't get him. The AT tried a new way to talk to her, treated her like an adult and instead of therapy it was just a conversation, it works b/c that is how I get her to admit all kinds of shocking things. She has a hard time reading emotions and if I play like it is just normal and casual, she will answer anything.

Pathces had a good session, she was offered chocolate and answered several questions the AT asked. We were able to discuss her sexual abuse a bit before she tuned out. The AT is thinking now that her peeing may be sexually gratifying. Sometimes it is control but she thinks it is possible it feels good. It has been very limited since Patches and I discussed it being related to her past abuse so I am a bit confused. The AT is still trying to figure out where her head is since she shuts down so quickly in AT.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Ruthie had a full blown "I hate you, your not my real Mother. F@#* you B#$^%!" moment or several moments in the Burger King Play area last night. It followed her to the van where she proceed to kick and hit my van refusing to wear a belt and then refusing to allow it to lay across her in defiance of her safety. She insisted on screaming in her room for a full 2 hours while we ate a picnic in the Living Room watching the move Enchanted. Sounds like a good time? I actually was proud of her. I purposefully didn't remind her not to hurt herself or any of the other usual choices I give her when she is going off and she CHOSE to just scream. Nothing was hurt or damaged. Huge progress as far as I am concerned. The fits and raging don't really bother me, maybe if it is in public but other that that I just tune it out until it is quiet and then I check. It drives my DH insane, he barely controls himself when they become violent or out of control. Maybe I am just used to it, sad thought. What did upset me about this one is she blamed her parents for her poor behavior. This is unacceptable. It did escalate her when I insisted she was responsible for her actions. This morning we discussed how important it is for her to accept responsibility for her actions and how hard of a lesson that is to learn, not even her parents have learned it but I know she can and will.

She was blamed by her parents as the reason they were taken the last time. She has a great deal of guilt from this and is working on it in AT right now. She was very ill and instead of taking her to the doctor or hospital he went to DFCS and told them his wife ran away and took the medicaid cards so he wanted them to do something about it. Turned out several kids were very ill and needed medical attention due to extremely high fevers and dehydration. They were taken in custody for the last time. He still blames Ruthie for this b/c she was the sickest, how does this make sense? He has even blamed her for being the one to bring false allegations of sexual abuse against him. I reminded her she doesn't like how this feels so don't be like that. I hope it sinks in. It's hard to tell what she understands and what she just repeats. Such a beautiful child with such a huge burden.

Since she refused to eat last night she was starving when she woke up and has eaten almost her weight in grapes.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring Break

Its funny how it varies depending on where you live. As a teen, I wondered if they did it so the beaches wouldn't be too full. LOL Call me crazy, my kids do, but I am looking forward to theirs this year. It is one day longer in this school and I was excited. We are going to grow a garden, we have the land and time now that we aren't going to all those extra therapies. I find that I might have to find activities to do since we won't be busy with waiting rooms. ANY hints would be great, I live in the South and they will eat any vegetable. You heard that correctly, somehow, (probably due to being worried about food in the past) my group will eat or at least try anything. Any ideas what should or shouldn't go next to what? We want a variety of things even if it is just a bit of it. Lots of fruit, I love hearing about Cindie's kids eating it while they are outside.

Also, can't wait to see how the teacher responds to Ava's actions yesterday.

She Could Drive Me to Drink

These pants were filthied up intentionally, she does this every day. She wears the same size as the other two 6 yr olds and she can not be allowed to wear clothes until they are broken in b/c she does this to them. Every day I remind her she deserves nice things and she is going to have to try harder to convince me otherwise, meanwhile, I am going through some Shout. Anything else work better? Georgia clay is darn hard to get out and with her determination I am pretty confident she is going to continue to look homeless. Everyone else is getting past this stage, Michael ruins the knees of every pair of pants but I am thinking that is normal for boys. Her NEED to trash her appearance is obvious and very sad. This other picture is of her earlier this month, that is the smile she gives you when she has done something wrong. It happens right before she realizes she isn't going to get away with it, then her head goes down and she picks her finger nails refusing to acknowledge you. She is sooooo charming and cute, makes you want to believe her!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More Lying

We have been watching what we eat a bit more b/c my 2 oldest are becoming lazy preteens and I worry that with the lack of motivation they will put on weight. It began this fall and they are both putting it on steadily. They are not fat and I would never mention it to them but I am noticing a difference since they both have gone up 2 sizes this year alone. We snuck out and got Blizzards from Dairy Queen. I am not sure exactly how it is we snuck b/c we all knew but it feels like we were doing something wrong.

As we were waiting for our frozen delights to be prepared, I asked the kids who got sticks pulled at school and for what. Ella announced Ava hit a boy at school so I asked if they pulled a stick. "No" is what she said while looking at me like I had just announced we were eating poop for dinner. (I have said that so I know what her face looks like when I announce it.) I tried to get more info but she shut down. I knew there was more. She was given 3 seconds to start explaining and I showed her my fingers as the time ticked away. So sad, she lost her Blizzard. Then something began to take over her body like she was possessed. The owner asked if she was OK and I assured him she was. We gathered our ice cream and left. Once home she decided she might get her treat back if she told me what happened.

"A boy was mean to me. He hit me with a bike. I hit him back." Seems innocent enough, right? No, I asked, as usual, if he did it on purpose or was it an accident. My children struggle to know the difference so I explain it every time I ask which it was and if they were mad when it happened. This was her chance and she went all out. "He is mean, he was mad. It was on purpose to hurt me." I questioned her, "Are you saying to me that this child said he was going to hurt you and then ran into you?" She was positive he did say it before and he was mad. Ella piped up and agreed saying she was on the playground and saw everything. They are very convincing in their tale. I told them I would be writing a letter to the teacher to confirm this so were they sure they were telling the truth. Ella immediately recanted and Ava hung her head. At least they are working towards a common goal. I plan to write a letter to the teacher telling her what I was told so she can be aware that Ava is prone to false allegations and not to believe her. (They were really cute and innocent looking, if I didn't know them I would have bought it in a heart beat.)

Ava later went to her room and picked all her scabs off so she is a bloody mess on her legs. She has been learning to ride a big girl bike and is covered in bruises and scrapes. So glad we have therapy again tomorrow.

Rough Start

I am having one of those days. I couldn't sleep last night (b/c I took a nap yesterday, please don't tell my family) and about the time I did, Emma had another bad dream about wild animals chasing her. That means she won't go back to her room and must sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor on my side of the bed. Have you ever heard a restless child in one of those darn things? They make more noise than the actual crying child.

Got every on up this morning and had 5 scheduled AT appointments back to back after driving 1 hour and 45 minutes in morning traffic. We are in the middle of some heavy issues with my oldest 2 and are trying to get them in twice a week and we have a standing Wed appt where I rotate out the top 3 for the week. Anyway, the bus never showed up for the 2 going to school so I drove them, making me a bit behind schedule. (all it really meant was no Martin's biscuits and we would have to settle for the local SHell Station's Deli for one, kids didn't care but I was devastated) About 20 minutes into the ride I feel my son kicking my seat and looked at him to see him puking into his bookbag. Then the tears. Poor little one had the same thing that the child had that detained the bus from our house this morning. Now we are in the car, stuck in traffic with puke in a bag next to us and another child, Patches, barely holding it back. SHe is a sympathetic puker, you puke and she is guaranteed to join you. I told her to turn around and stick her head out the window, how we managed to avoid that girl losing it is amazing since he puked 3 more times on the way there.

We walk in the office and they are surprised to see us. Our standing Wed appt had been switched to Thurs 2 weeks in a row by them and the receptionist had just moved it permanently to there without telling us. Our next AT wasn't due in until 11 AM and there was no way the little dude could wait 2 hours. We rescheduled the Wed appt for tomorrow and off we went. No more puking all the way home.

The kids returning to school were more than angry b/c they had been promised a day of therapy. How dare I send them to school. They pitched fits and fought the entire hour home while I enjoyed The Regular Guys very loud. I checked in all the girls and took Michael home. As soon as I walked in the door the phone was ringing. Guess who? The school, Patches had had an accident. She was unaware I had left a change of clothes in the clinic instead of her bag and I am sure she thought this would be her way to come home. Sorry girl, suffer silently.

Let's hope things quiet down, I would love to snuggle and nap with my little cutie. I put him on DH's side of the bed in case he wets when he sleeps. Is that bad?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I went to bed early last night and my DH took over. He can be so sweet when he wants to. I didn't even hear him come to bed. This morning I was told Ella refused to do her homework and I was supposed to have gotten her up early to do it. OOPS!

Patches is doing really well with wetting during the day. Night time is still an issue for her but she is still taking care of everything herself. We have an all day event planned at the Attachment Therapist's office tomorrow and we will be discussing the issues with Cyr. Every one except Emma and Ella will be in therapy, it will be a long day for us.

I sent a Certified Return Receipt Requested letter and invoice to the lady that owned our last home and it totaled over $22,000. We hope to then file a lien against the property in 10 days and when they foreclose we should be paid in full. Please get busy crossing fingers or praying that things go smoothly and we get it all.

I hate filing taxes, we usually owe. This year we are looking forward to it b/c we have the Adoption Credit. Our agency director called to be sure I knew how it worked so we can take advantage of it. Thank you so much.

Monday, March 24, 2008

My Family

I have written early on about my difficult relationship with my Mother. She was estranged from her 9 brothers and sisters for years, over 30 years and only recently started talking to them again. As a teen, I was more than a little difficult to handle, I was angry and hurt about being sexually abused and I always had a difficult time feeling love from my Mother. As an adult I see it more clearly. I felt she didn't protect me and she had a difficult time bonding to me. I feel we always struggled with attachment but never knew what it was we were fighting. I have enormous amounts of guilt for my teen years that cause me to try and over compensate with her and my sisters. I am the only daughter of 4 that calls her multiple times per week, I never avoid her, I have listened for hours about her relationships, and I go over board trying to make her laugh. She has a favorite child, my sister Kiki, she is my favorite too so I understand. As children I was terribly jealous of the attention she gave her and it took until adulthood to understand it was not Kiki's fault. She is the kindest person I know and she loves me no matter what. My Mother on the other hand tends to tell me how fat I am and be critical in general, she is cold but puts on a front for others. (She is not the same around even you, BB. She becomes funny and loving when others are there.) She is rude and distant when you are in need of someone to listen, she always one ups you, and tells you constantly to "get to the point". She disliked Kiki's husband (rightly so) and every time she had a tiny issue, she would tell her to leave him. Her strange hot and coldness is not my imagination, Kiki sees it too and in the last few years has been standing up for me.

I have 2 other sisters Julie and Leah. Leah is pregnant. Leah has chosen repeatedly to tell both my sisters and our Mother every milestone, she has deliberately left me out. She sent them ultrasound pictures and let them know it was a boy. I have tried to call her MANY times and she won't answer, she never sets her phone down so I know she hears the calls and messages. I have no idea why she is avoiding me, at first I thought it was b/c I have no bio kids and she was concerned I would be hurt. I was informed today she thinks I am overly opinionated and doesn't want my advice. I am very opinionated but am also very strong in my belief not to give unwanted advice, I was very supportive at Christmas and encouraged her. Her situation is not ideal, her Baby Daddy (just kidding) is a man she dated years ago and I have heard horror stories about him and they way he treated her. A few years later she starts dating him (quietly) and gets pregnant, he is divorced and wants to marry her. I have NEVER said a bad thing about him until now. It never occurred to me she would be upset to be pregnant and not married, she is over 30 years old and supports herself and her 14 yr old daughter and none of my business if she is married or not. In this day, it is not unheard of. All of my sisters have gotten pregnant before they married, I tease them b/c I was the only one that didn't have a child "out of wedlock". Ah, hello people it is a joke, I am laughing when I insist I was a virgin at my wedding. I can not have children, that is the only reason I didn't do the same darn thing.

I have known my Mother has get togethers without inviting me or my family for years, not just since we grew to such a large number. My Mother has seen my children maybe 4 times in 2 years. She doesn't like kids over 3 so I figured whatever. Today she topped things off by saying this new baby was her first grandson. She quickly corrected herself by saying to tell Little Michael there will another boy. Her preference is once again clear. It would be nice to be invited, even if they know I can't make it, the thing is most of the time I can. My DH is home in the evening, I could plan a night out easily. IRL I am a good friend, a helpful person, joyful, can pay my own way,and I have manners, there is no reason not to invite me. I am tired of being left out. I am tired of my children being left out. I think I am done with them. I hate to be the kind of person that cuts off people but I think it is what is necessary. I will never disconnect from Kiki, she is my best friend, she will raise my children if something should happen to me and I am to raise hers if the situation was reversed. For the life of her she can't figure out why they do this to me, she sees it and tries to stop it. I am tired of sucking up to people that don't like me anyway. They think I have too many kids and don't even know their names. Neither sister even congratulated me on their adoption last November.

I let my Mother have it on phone and Julie shortly after. I am sure both will hold a grudge long enough to for my kids to grow up and start their own Strip Club. (a joke between DH and I, tacky, I know but you should see the way they dance and if we invest in a pole instead of college I think they could be rich regardless of their intellectual abilities. Really it is only a joke, we have very high expectations for our children and being a dancer is not our first choice or anything we encourage.)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

We didn't dye a single egg this holiday and the kids ever asked. I ended up doing it all myself last year anyway so I figured I would save myself the hassle.

We went to my MIL for lunch and it was great. Kids behaved until the end when Ava had struggled a few times during the visit but went all out for attention at the end. I asked the kids to come back tot he driveway and pick up the bubbles they had left out and she had been the last one with them but 2 other kids jumped up to help her. She went into her typical slow motion walk and I suggested she hurry up. That was all it took. She refused and as I tried to approach her to escort her she took off running knowing with my hips hurting I couldn't catch her. Luckily Cyr grabbed her and held her for me, I took her wrist and escorted her twisting and wriggling all the 10 feet to the darn bubbles. She refused to bend over and I took one wrist in each hand and "helped her" pick it up and move it. She was being escorted back tothe van twisting and wriggling, trying to hurt my thumb the entire way. Once at the van she refused to get in and twisted and threw herself to the ground. I was livid. She is such a pain in this state and was trying to ruin the fun we all just had. She only got up when I told her if she damaged my kids or car I would be calling the police to assist. Miraculously, she recovered and had a decent ride home. She is now doing my chores for the evening "yeah right" to make it up to me. SHe has punched or slapped Michael and Emma 9 times in the last 24 hours. Gotta love holidays!

We went with a giant basket for all this year to avoid the tons of mini crap that piles up around here. They really liked it so I think it will become a tradition.

Cyr was well behaved at Nanny's but did manage to corner Michael into playing a video game alone with her. She was fully aware she she was doing something wrong and got right up to leave. Since the other kids were all outside playing she didn't need to be up my DH's rear and barely hung out with him. We had gone to Walmart together alone last night for the basket stuff and she was luke warm to me which is progress.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Being Sneaky

I received another call from their parents and felt I had to get it over with. I guess it is taking the detective longer than she planned. All their Mother talked about was herself. She is depressed, she is going to start therapy, she hates her life, she is keeping her niece more than the child's mother does (you read that right, she has her 14 yr old severely delayed niece staying with her), and we need to schedule a visit with her SIL. She is not very good at being deceitful, she obviously pans to follow the SIL here to see where we are. She mentioned it over and over and before she was angry they get to see her kids. I spoke with the Aunt later and she agrees they are up to something and she requested we hold off for a bit, at least until they are arrested.

I think my DH and I are finally on the same page about Cyr trying to seduce him. He doesn't want to believe it but he knows she is capable of doing terrible things and looking so innocent. He is willing to consider it an issue and try harder to show a united front with me.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The House and The Hunts

The front of the house is nothing special, heck the inside is nothing special. It is VERY clean and has everything we need in a house except the kitchen is the size of a closet. We have added 4 huge shelves in the dining room to hold everything b/c there are only a few cabinets.

The property is difficult to capture on film, these do not do it justice. I took one of the wooded area, it goes as far as you can see and is about 2 acres of it. The kids are having a ball with it. The other is of the grassy area, again about 2 acres. They are riding their bikes around and around the yard, between the random trees you see in the front. The back deck is huge, it has a tree in the middle of it. I didn't post another picture of the cool barn but it makes this place a "farm" as far as the kids are concerned.

So far I have only unpacked the Playroom and the kids' rooms. The kitchen is empty and we have tons of half empty boxes in the dining room. My room is horrible, it is filled with lots of big plastic tubs waiting to be unpacked and put in the dressers. Laundry is getting behind b/c the vent to the dryer goes under the house and it is taking twice as long to dry anything. I had my DH check it and it is not clogged.

I survived the Egg Hunts today. Ava's teacher and Room Mom approached me to ask if there was anything they could do for me. They offered me a chair and acted weird until they asked me why I wasn't using my "chair". Ava has convinced them I need a wheelchair and am having my legs cut off b/c they hurt. I LOL. I explained I have bad hips and SOME DAY will need hip replacement and will be in a wheelchair briefly while I recover. I guess Ava misunderstood what was going on with my hips. More likely she embellished a bit when she got some attention for it. I warned them if they hear and "stories" to let me know, I would be happy to clear things up for them. She hid her face when she was caught.

Michael was avoiding me for the most part at school. He was withdrawn and quiet, it made me sad. It reminded me he is still not socially fitting in and the way he acted towards me was very obviously different than the other children towards their parents.

Ella is an expert on getting others to do things for her. She had Brooklyn searching for her eggs while she waited. Talk about lazy and manipulating, she cracks me up. She, too, tended to spend the time with her teacher or alone instead of with Brooklyn or I.

Ava is so darn clingy around others. It feels like she has to prove something, feels very fake but everyone else commented on how much she loves her Mom. It made me want to throw up. Once her bag was full of eggs she was gone to be with her teacher and ignored me, my job was done. None of those 3 even acknowledged me when I tried to hug them goodbye.

Emma is so different, she is attached and responds like you would expect. She gives love and she receives it, with her whole being. She was proud to show me off to her teacher and new friends, she talked to me the entire time, she helped Brooklyn search for eggs, and she was sad when I had to leave jumping up to give me hugs and kisses. I try not to compare but there is a huge difference. It doesn't make me love her more but it does feel better to be near her. Sometimes it is so hard to be equal when some children want you around, adore you, and want to please you when the others only show affection for others to witness, are rude to you, and couldn't care any less how you feel about their actions or affections towards you. Thank goodness I am a gluten for punishment with a lot of free time. I just remind myself how far they have come and hope they continue on this path to healing. Maybe next year they will be excited to see me or hug me when I leave, shoot just talk to me would be nice.
I have 6 Egg Hunts and a Crazy Hat Parade to attend today. Unfortunately, several of them are at the same time so I will have to run around quite a bit.

I feel a bit silly complaining about any issues considering what Cindy is going through. She was the first blog I became addicted to and she is the first I read every morning. I thought we were crazy when knew in our hearts we wanted a very large family but not knowing any I felt a family of 6 was huge, still it seemed small to me. Reading about her family made me realize I am not crazy, OK that can be debated later, for wanting more than the average family size. I love how honest she is about her own tantrums and mistakes, how she insists on living in her PJs, and her wonderful childish sense of humor. She is facing a true family crisis right now and as we all know, when in the middle of one it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. If any one can do get through this it will be her, I have every confidence she will work things out but in the mean time, she could use some support.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

More School Issues and Help for the Wetter

I spoke with the AT today about the wetting, he feels she is going into a dis-associative state when she enters the bathroom and tries to remove her pants. She goes into these episodes for other reasons and every time we bring up the discussion of her sexual abuse. Awhile back I think I posted about her session and how concerned the AT had gotten when she started to shake and sink away. This theory make perfect sense as does the suggestion way to handle this. He thinks I should, w/o shaming her, re-potty train her. She will have to tell me she has to go or I will remind her regularly and then I will go with her. Keeping her mind occupied on good things and helping with her pants (it is one of the reasons she gives for wetting) and talking her through the steps of wiping and washing afterwards. I think she will enjoy this and I really think it will help.

I tried to discuss this with the school and they were fantastic about suggesting the counselor but she wasn't there today and then her classroom teacher. Her teacher was lovely and was willing to help but before we got all the way through the topic she questioned her ability to do grade level classwork. I told ehr she had been in an SLD contained class and everyone I had spoken to BEFORE we started and then about he emergency IEP meetings when I was blown off. SHe became angry, she has not been told of ANY issues with this child and had no idea she has RAD. I am so disappointed in the school for not taking me seriously. This child has serious social anxiety issues and has been overwhelmed every day, not to mention she has been particularly huggy with the teacher. I am sending more info for the teacher tomorrow and no one has even seen the DVD my friend Lisa sent me to show them. I am going to have problems with this school, I can tell already. They are super friendly and then just do what they want.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Another Tooth is Gone

Emma came running in the door today hollering about loosing a tooth. She bit into an orange and "it got wiggley". Her teacher offered to pull it and she had to work on it a bit but it came out. I had no idea this was a full service school. Check out her crooked smile (candy in her mouth) and her wacked out hair. She has the cutest curly hair and insists on brushing it straight every day, on rainy days this is what happens. LOL

Wetting All The Darn Time

My 10 yr old has always had wetting issues at night and some during the day. SHe handles this completely on her own and receives little or no attention for it. We have recently put her back in pull ups at night in hopes she would sleep through it and or catch the stuff. This isn't the case at all. She can make it to the bathroom almost every time, day or night, then releases prematurely and makes a mess everywhere and causing her to change her clothes yet again. It is like she can't hold it at the last second and just goes. I think, no I know, she uses this sometimes to avoid chores or classwork but not every time. She is required to keep a set of clothes in her book bag and in the van, along with an extra trash bag to sit on in case it happens twice in an outing. Like I said, most of the time most would never know it has happened b/c she deals with it. She is not ashamed or uncomfortable about people knowing b/c she doesn't really feel that yet and we do not punish her for it.

Today she did not have clothes at school (after many reminders last night and this morning b/c she had an accident yesterday and I knew it needed to be replaced) when it happened. She claims she heard the rain and tried to make it but didn't. She was proud of herself for cleaning it up and waited in the nurse's office for me b/c they won't let her back in class or on the bus. I told her when we got in the car that she had a consequence for having me drive up there to give her clothes but not for wetting. This makes me wonder though if there is something wrong with her. We have talked to the pediatrician her first year home and no one seems to think that it is physical but nothing was really checked out. Anyone have any suggestions? I can't seem to find a pattern other than it is always in the bathroom (which is kinda weird except she usually is dancing around holding herself prior to going in there). If this is a physical thing, how do you know for sure and what kinds of meds or treatments are there?

More on Brooklyn

She napped from 8:30AM until I had to shake her awake at noon. SHe LOVES to sleep. I had to get to Walmart to get some groceries and supplies for the kids egg hunt and crazy hat parade. On the way out the door I promise we will stop and get something to eat but not McDonalds b/c I am sick of it. Guess where we ate? You got it, McDonalds. She went on and on about what I had eaten there and that I should try othre things. In the end she told me very clearly she would not be really happy unless it was McDonalds, so being the loving aunt I am, I sucked it up and ate there. She was beaming from ear to ear.

She managed to entertain everyone within ear shot of us in Walmart. We have a constant dialog b/c the child never shuts up. I asked her at one point if she liked oatmeal or grits and she claimed they were gross. I asked her if she had tried the peach or strawberry one and she insisted that it was nasty. When I startted to mention that I like it, she completely cut me off and went from playful to down right bossy. She placed her hand on her hip and looked me directly in the eye (something I am not used to seeing without insisting it) "Tudu, I'm allergic, OK? Can we just get poptarts?" I busted out laughing knowing full and well this child has no allergies and just wanted to get the darn poptarts. When I caught my breath, I told her I was telling her Mom she was a liar liar pants on fire (I know I am a bit childish myself). She immediately apologized and told me she didn't NEED the poptarts. People around us were roaring.

Later in the store an elderly couple, probably in their 90s were pushing a cart full of those big giant balls. I assume they were a gift b/c I don't think they could have chased a ball much less a snail at this point. Walking was a struggle but this seemed important enough to cruise Walmart. Brooklyn looks right at the couple, points, and hollers, "Hey, that old man has some BIG balls!" His wife had to stop she was laughing so hard and he was hard of hearing and kept going. He finally turns around to see her doubled over walker and he "runs" to her aid only to realize she was laughing and she announces she has peed herself from laughing too hard. I am mortified we have caused this sweet woman to wet her pants but it seemed she didn't even care, she tried to explain to her DH what Brooklyn said but it was lost on him. She waved and they headed off.

Her Dad came for a surprise visit last night, she hasn't seen him since Christmas.

My kids are loving the outside. They did their chores without an issue, filled 250 eggs, and made 2 of the craziest hats for the twins parade. I have pictures of the property but the batteries died, I will post them later today.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Great Life

Some days I can't wait for that 8:30PM bedtime, they have struggled through homework, fought about chores, been overly aggressive, or have been nit picking at me all afternoon and I am done. Other days either none of it bothers me or they are extra sweet and considerate of their siblings even offering to help with homework and chores. Those are the days I feel a huge swelling in my heart and know I love them more than my own life. Not that I don't love them the other days, it is just harder to feel. LOL

We had a great afternoon yesterday. We are all in love with this property and they can ride their bikes and run through the woods for hours. I enjoy letting them do that so much I am happy to do a majority of the unpacking alone. I can see them and hear them giggling and screaming, they are even quick to help each other when they get hurt. I am reminded of how much work they have been doing for themselves and how far they have come. Watching them interact this morning made my heart swell with love and joy. I am so happy for them. Even Cyr is changing, Patches got hurt and she actually responded and offered assistance. Over the weekend she gave up her favorite sweatshirt so Patches could cover her pants that she had wet. Cyr is making effort, she is trying to connect.

All the kids love the new school, they are excited and ready early every day. Their only complaint is the food, it is nasty. They are like movie stars here b/c everyone knows them already, it is a tiny school. They see each other throughout the day and giggle about it in the afternoon. We are becoming a normal family one day at a time. Even Brooklyn has commented on their lack of craziness this visit.

Speaking of Brooklyn, here are a few things she told me in the van on the way here yesterday, remember she is almost 4.

"Tudu, I don't think we are going the right way to your new house. Let's go a faster way."

"My Mom yells at me all the time, you never do, you are only mean to your kids."

"We had a tornado! My Mom made me hide in a FREAKING closet!"

"Tudu, you are going to fast, slow down, you are passing all the cars and Todd says not to." (Todd is her new Step Father, the Asst. Chief of Police who tells my sister not to pass ALL the cars)

When she was asked to come in for dinner she informed me, "You need to go get my bed,I think I will live here now."

Showers and homework start right after dinner so she let us know her plans for the week, "Tonight I will shower with Emma, then Ruthie, then Ella, then Ava, Patches has fur and it is gross." Poor Patches was horrified.

Patches has begun to wear pullups again at night and is comfortable around here about them but forgot about Brooklyn and left them out in her room, "WOW! These are huge! Are these for Tudu? Does Tudu need diapers?" Someone said they were Patches, "Why do you wear them? Aren't you older than me?"

At bedtime when I was handing out meds, "My Mom told me drugs are bad. Can I have some of those pills?"

This morning as the kids were getting their back packs to leave, "I'm gonna wait her with Tudu, I am gonna live in my PJs until you come home to play. Tudu, get me some coffee or I think I will go back to bed."
(This child always has hot chocolate with me in the AM and is the laziest person on Earth, she would still take 2 naps a day if you let her.)

I informed her she and I would be going to Walmart for groceries, "Only if you will push me b/c you buy too much and I get tired of walking."

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The house is a mess, I am having a difficult time finding a place for everything. I am sure it will all happen, I just wanted it done yesterday.

My precious Brooklyn is coming for a week, I am driving to pick her up tomorrow. She is my almost 4 yr old niece that I have kept during the week for the first 3.25 years of her life. Her Mother remarried and moved an hour away and ripped her from my arms. The child calls me daily, on her own and tells her Mother constantly, "Tudu says" this or that. We are very connected and to have her for w eek is pure joy. She will not be any help at all, her favorite past time is to snuggle in my bed with me and take a nap.

Last night the kids stayed up past their 8:30 bedtime to listen to music videos with Dad and dance around the living room. He went up and put up a multilevel tent for them to camp in and I provided the snacks and flashlight.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Anyone remember the issue we had with the aunt in law last summer and how hurt I was after the visit? I sent her an email several days ago and she still hasn't responded. I tried to be kind and extend a hand in friendship and she refuses to respond. I know she got it and forwarded it to her daughter and even talked about it to my MIL. I am having a hard time not responding about her rudeness and dismissal of my feelings. I don't want to cause a huge mess but I feel she is disrespecting me as a person and a mother. This is the same aunt that told my DH before we met the kids, "Don't bring them to my house!". Turning the other cheek or keeping the peace is not in my nature, I am blunt and have a history of being condescending when I am upset. My DH wants to get this out on the table before we go back out there, I personally do not want to go and it is all because of her. Every one else is nice and I enjoy them. I don't want to keep my DH from them but I don't think I can be nice to this woman. Maybe it would go more smoothly if she must be confronted that I have witnesses. There is no way to avoid it with her, she is one of those people that are very sweet to your face but you hear things she says about you. She will do as she pleases with my children and I will have to address it.

My MIL and her other sister say to let it go and everyone knows how she is, a gossip queen. It is different when it is about you, though. Since my kids are so great in public they do seem normal and my hovering seems a bit weird. You all understand that I have to be this way but others don't. Any thoughts? Should I address this again kindly or let it go until we get there?

Fonzo is Leaving

Our dog is the worst mannered dog to ever walk the earth. We are experienced dog owners of this particular breed and were aware of the work involved in making him manageable. With that said , our children refuse to follow simple rules like, don't let the dog jump on you, don't touch his food while he is eating, demand respect from him, don't let him drag you, be in charge of him not him in charge of you, and make sure he is taken out first thing in the morning, afternoon, and before bed at the minimum. They let this dog hump them, jump on them, knock them down and roll around with him. Now he thinks he is dominant over them, he is the leader. I am not an animal lover, if they are well behaved I am happy to interact but since he is not, I barely speak to him and only take him out as a last resort. Please don't scram at me, I can't help it, I just don't need the extra work of a dog. I begged not to get one, I was out voted by 7 children and a grown man, non of which has done his job to train the dog.

As a last resort, I told them all he had to go. It is cruel for him to be locked in a cage for many hours a day b/c he can't be trusted to out in the house without destroying everything. I compromised and have forced my DH to take him to a boarding/training program today. The guarantee he will be perfectly trained and be able to be trusted off lease with even the biggest of distractions. This is costing us more than the entire adoption process but worth it to be able to keep the dog they love and long to play with. He is well over 100# at just 8 months ans had begun dragging Patches around the yard on her stomach when she was too scared to let go of the lease. We have a huge place for him to roam here but do not have a fenced in yard so he can't enjoy it. I am very pleased we will be pet free for a few weeks and then have a dog we can all enjoy.

Kids are LOVING school. I am so surprised it happened so quickly but they are already on the phone everyday chatting away and have been invited to a birthday party next weekend.

The house is a disaster and I hope to get things under control over the next week so I can breathe. We are only seeing minimal fits and they are all about helping me out THEIR clothes in their room. Too funny, they are just lazy boogers. They can't stand to come inside and anything that causes that angers them. Things are going really well, you would never know we are usually a crazy family.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I got the kids loaded up in the van to take them their first day and the darn thing wouldn't start. I smiled and told them to sit still, I'd be right back. I went in side and screamed. Then I calmly went back out ans asked them all to help me unload the old van so I could take them to school. We weren't late and they had no idea I was flipping out inside for them. Patches refused to enter her class and both Ava and Michael cried several times throughout the day. All were excited to go again today.

I had 5 back to back IEP meetings yesterday and discovered they do not have contained classrooms here in this county. That is why Patches had such a hard time. Ella, Ruthie, and Patches were in class with between 4-9 students. This county believes in putting them in General Ed and only pulling them out for reading and math. Michael will not be pulled out for math but will be in a group where English is their second language. I am worried, there is nothing else I can do but worry. I feel like they tricked me.

Michael is getting very aggressive since the move and punched 3 of our girls yesterday. I made a bad choice (it worked but I feel terrible) and pretended I was going to punch him for it. I swung hard and fast but stopped just shy of actually hitting him. It scared the crap out of him and he cried for 10 minutes. He came back out of his room and told the girls I didn't hurt him but he was sorry for hurting them. This was all on his own and is a first but I shouldn't have proven my point that way. It's was funny though b/c the girls knew instantly that I didn't hurt him and told him to stop crying b/c Mom would never actually hurt him. He kept his fists to himself the rest of the day.

I am waiting for the Assessment lady to get here. She is 45 minutes late. I need a nap and a break from a barking dog.

Monday, March 10, 2008

We Are Here

The cable guy was EARLY! Have you ever heard of that? They said between 2-5PM and I got her at 1:45 to see him waiting in the drive. YEAH!

It snowed so hard on Saturday that we had to postpone moving until Sunday. Of course within a hour of canceling with everyone it cleared up and was just cold. No one showed up on Sunday except 1 young guy that has worked for my DH for about a year. He is a real sweetie but no one else would answer their phone. We stated to panic around noon but he showed up and we got the big stuff moved. I have to make several runs this week but it will be done by the weekend.

Since the weather was so bad on Saturday we ran out to look at a small car to take the kids to AT, do grocery shopping, and errands with. We purchased a used mini van that gets great gas mileage and seats all the kids. Poor Dh can't go with us but we will just have to drive the big ole van for family stuff. I love it, I feel like I am diving a sports car. LOL After driving a HUGE van anything feels small.

I enrolled the kids in school today. I pissed everyone off with my lack of charm. First of all, I am a good sport until you call my kids by their old last name and insist they will be enrolled that way b/c their birth certificates have not arrived yet. Just ignore the certified copies of the adoption decree and the fact the other district has my kids listed as my children. I was livid. I am so glad this was at the county office not the school. Then they tell me to go talk to the Deputy Superintendent to see if they can change things. After much arguing, she did. I still have to prove the parent's rights were terminated or they will be allowed to withdraw them, get my address, get their grades, or check them out b/c in their names are on the birth certificate even thought they have been adopted. Strange? So after I irritated them, we get all loaded up in the new van and find it won't start. Cyr had been listening to the radio the entire 2 hours and it ran the battery down. I had to go back in for help. They refused to answer the door and I had to make the long walk to the main building to beg for a jump. They found a nice man in the back office willing. I guess they forgot to tell him I was the evil screaming mother just an hour before.

Friday, March 07, 2008

The House

Everything is signed and I got a chance to walk the property since it was storming so bad the last visit this is the first I have seen it. It is better than I imagined. It is wonderful. We will have grapes, blueberries, pears, and apples not to mention the harden we plan to plant. They have about 2 acres of open field and about 2 of woods. They will not know how to act. This photo is looking out the back door, the old barn is really cool.

We move tomorrow but the cable won't be there until Monday at 5PM. I can't get back on until then. I will have photos as soon as I can of every nook and cranny. I am waiting on th new school to contact me, I have left 4 messages trying to give them a heads up. We will be doubling their current population so I thought they might like to know they need to hire a dozen more teachers by Tuesday. They really only have a bit more than 400 students, though.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

My Abs

My darling niece Abigail is struggling in school, always has. My sister has tried to request her to be tested for a learning disability but they refuse every year. She can not retain anything, she can be helped to sound out a word and the next time she sees it (next sentence) she doesn't recognize it. She reverses her numbers and some letters, she barely reads at a 1st grade level in 3rd grade, she fails every test with an average of 50% but gets 100% on all homework automatically so she isn't failing and they won't test her for an LD. Even with a family history of Dyslexia they pushed her off on the teacher next year. The school this year finally gave her a meeting but refused testing, they did admit she was an example of a "child falling through the cracks". My sister has tried to get an independent evaluation done but her insurance won't cover it. She, at my insistance, is requesting another meeting to demand they test her or put it in writing so she can appeal. She is a beautiful child and she is under so much stress just trying to keep up with her peers.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

RAD and a Romantic Dinner

How is it possible that my kids do not have any attachment to each other. Our first thoughts when we decided to adopt was to keep a sibling group together. My kids do not actually care if they are together, they don't really have any attachment to each other. In fact, they are almost resentful of each other. We were naively thinking a group this large would be less likely to have attachment issues than a single child. Boy, were we wrong.

They are healing, I see it in our every day life. When they first came they didn't know how to play with each other, they sort of copied Emma but really just moved the car back and forth not down winding roads or even pretending someone was in the car. Just moved the wheels and crashed them. They tortured the baby dolls, took their heads off, stabbed them, hid the parts around the yard and house (it looked like Halloween in our bushes that summer, we always had a baby's head somewhere out there), nothing had clothes on it, every doll was molested and scarred where their privates should have been, and they had no idea how to play house. Now we have strict rules on baby time, they have to treat it like a real baby or they get a consequence. No hitting or torturing the babies, real kids can not be a baby, and babies must have clothes on at all times. I had to teach them how to play house.

When a child got hurt, the others would disappear. I had to teach them to respond and we are still working on this. They no longer run away but just stare at the person screaming in pain. On a rare occasion someone will come get me but never tend to the injured person. I annoy my children with a constant string of chatter explaining how I expect them to react or behave and what is appropriate for each situation. For example, we are in the van on the way to the park. As we park, I start in on the rules. No talking to strangers, no hitting, no sitting on anyone's lap, no hiding, Cyr' s not to help or play with other's people's kids, no touching privates, no hanging out where I can't see you, if you need to use the restroom tell me (otherwise I swear , they just pee themselves), do not ask for food or drinks from anyone, do not tell anyone your phone number (a few of them know the number and give it to EVERYONE), and so on. They will even tell me some rules that we should have or I have forgotten to mention. Then when they break the rules (they do every time) I just call their name and point to the empty seat next to me. They come right over and proceed to throw a fit scaring the other families. I never say a word unless it gets too bad and we have to leave.

We have had the police called 3 times while in public and the manager or security too many times to count. It has gotten so much better, that first summer was a true nightmare. I felt very alone. My DH tried to help but since he worked I was left to do all the major stuff. Even now he tries to help but the therapy is with me not him. He comes home about dinner time and misses all the good times with homework, snack, chores, therapies, and gets here in time to sit down to eat. I think he doesn't know how to help most of the time. I hate to order him around too but he has no short term memory from a couple of traumatic head injuries in 97 and 99. He is learning our schedule and does his best. He gets too frustrated with the little stuff, like noise. As long as they aren't fighting I will let them get a little loud but most days you wouldn't know we had more than 2 kids in the house. He hates the tantrums, he loses it himself. He just can't understand why they are trashing their room and slamming the door. I don't respond and he can't help himself. He is 6'5" and about 270#, he scares the crap out of them but he is the most gentle person I know. He will holler if they do and that is what scares them. They are sure he will hit them. I can see they are starting to trust my response will be the same and that they are safe with me. It's funny b/c I am the person that takes them to the ground when they have to go, I am the one that does all of the restraints, he is afraid to hurt them and I was the one that has the training.

It became obvious last night how unattached to each other they really are. They don't have real feelings for each other, duh they have RAD. Somehow, I still thought they loved each other. They hadn't really ever lived together before here so how could they have that connection. Even the twins aren't as attached as one would think they should be. I have had to teach them what their response should be. The best thing about my kids is they want to learn. They want to fit in. I predict in the next year we will be able to drop the RAD label and just have attachment issues with 3 of the 5 currently with that dx. They are doing all this work themselves, they are so great. I just hope they figure that out someday, I sure tell them enough.

Last night, we had our monthly romantic dinner. It means Mom and Dad get to eat dinner next to each other alone on the sofa while the kids eat in the kitchen. It is a few feet away but we can still see them. We are down to the last dishes and food so we decided on cereal for dinner. While it isn't romantic for most, it is a few minutes I get my DH to myself. The kids always giggle and listen the entire time, hoping to over hear something.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Smearing Poop for Fun

What is the purpose of not wiping? Why would you want to walk around and have poop on your rear? Same child smeared poop all over toilet and was standing with her pants around her ankle letting the water run (in a drought) picking her fingers with an old lice comb. What the heck is up with that? After about 10 minutes of running water I opened the door without knocking and that is what I saw. My head nearly popped off. She is way to old to be smearing poop and it makes me wonder if all the times Ava has been blamed were really her. She never denies it but it makes me wonder now.

This is Ava pictured here, she is innocent this time. Hard to believe someone so cute could eat clothes at an alarming rate, love to smear her poop around, and live to annoy her family every minute of every day. She has some lovely qualities, too. Always ready to help, smartest kid I ever met, defender of her sisters, and the best foot massager in the world.

Monday, March 03, 2008

The Aunt was interviewed today and she is helping the detective find the paternal aunt and get the Mother away from the Father so she can be interviewed alone. Things are looking good for the case.

Kids are freaking out about he move and the only thing that is any comfort is that their family won't know where they are. They are not helping with the packing like I wished but it is slowly coming along.

Everything else is the same. Tons of laundry, appointments, homework, and meals to cook. I sure do love my family, quirks and all.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Murder or Not to Murder

My son has had a hard time today, his sister tried to choke him to death while I peed (feels like this word is a bad word, hehehehe). Ella, Ema, Ruthie, Michael, and Ava were in the front yard rolling down the hill and I stepped away for a moment to excuse myself. They were all being quite loud and having a ton of fun. I guess Michael started yelling too loud and she grabbed him by his throat, squeezed as hard as she could (there are marks), and refused to let go. Poor kid, if he hadn't done it to her for the first year I would feel real bad for him. She denied it even though there were witnesses and is doing his chore to make up for it. She is becoming quite a pistol lately, very "energetic" since she has come out with her allegations. She is doing OK and seems to be working extra hard not to be a victim.

Michael decided to play on the computer and later ran into the LR to tell me he killed a chicken. I had to stop and think, where would he have found a chicken? Then it dawned on me he meant on the computer. Silly Mom, kids don't kill chickens IRL. Got my heart rate up a bit.

Appetizers Only

Usually on Friday nights we rent a movie and eat appetizer type foods on a blanket in the living room. We extended it all weekend this weekend. LOL The kids love it and it makes my life so much easier to make a dip or heat up some terribly unhealthy fried crap they love. Anyone have some ideas? I'll share their favorite 2 dips.

Uncle Mark's Dip
5 blocks of cream cheese
5 cans of Hormel Chili with beans
24 oz of Mexican cheese

Layer in that order in a large pan bake at 400 degrees until bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips.

Mean Cheese Dip
2 big boxes of Velveeta (the cheese for champions) diced
big can of petite diced tomatoes
2 cans (or more) chopped green chiles
2 lbs of cooked ground beef

Add to crock pot. Stir occasionally. Once melted, serve with flour tortillas.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Pain

I have had an issue with my hips since I can remember. I can pop them in and out, they ache terribly if I am too active or lay on them wrong, they pop slightly out when I lay flat on my back on the floor making it difficult to roll over or get up, I can't sit for long periods or the slightly pop out, and the added weight I seem to have mistakingly borrowed from my DH has made my life become extremely painful. I have a mild (only to the doctor b/c it seems a bit severe to me) hip dysplasia. In my early 20s I was told I would eventually need both hips replaced and what makes this a mild case is that I am well into adulthood and more severe cases can't make it to adulthood before it is necessary. It sounds like a bunch of crapola to me. It was so bad last night my DH had to help me climb the stairs to bed, I was sobbing. This was the first time it has come to that. I take Aleve and Ibuprophen constantly to help get through the day. It is not cutting it. Since we do not have health insurance (DH is self employed) I am beginning to think I may look into working in the school cafeteria next year for the benefits. I can't keep living like this. It hurts to be fat and it hurts to walk or move around, what other choices do I have? I want to run and jump and play with the kids but it is getting harder and harder. This is not good.

Anyone else dealing with chronic pain? Any suggestions? I am not depressed by it but starting to get really concerned about my future quality of life.