Thursday, December 31, 2009

Embarrassing Moments

We decided to skip bowling because they didn't have room for us. They were booked solid all night. Skating was an all nighter and I knew I'd want to slit my wrist after an hour or 2 with the baby. We almost didn't make it out of the house after my son decided to threaten to kill and chop up Rosa and Alyssa for looking at him. He managed to pull himself together with the help of my DH. I lost my patience and had to leave the room. He was so delusional, claiming I was mean to him and we all hate him. NOTHING was ever said or implied that anyone was irritated or upset with him in any way. He thinks this crap up all on his own. I'm getting heated up thinking about it again.

We ended up going to Chuck E Chez. I signed up for their membership online and they sent me a ton of great coupons. We had the place to ourselves. I'm not kidding, there was only one other family there. They had a blast! When they closed at 10PM, we came home to watch the ball drop.

I forgot to mention in my post yesterday about how the kids embarrassed me. I know all you moms have had those moments in public when your kid whines in the bathroom stall that you are pooping and it stinks or in the check out line and they ask you why someone is so fat. We've all been there, done that. I had Abs (my 11 yr old niece), Emma, and Ava with me at the thrift store. Within minutes they were bored and ceased to be much help. First Emma had to use the bathroom and the other 2 quickly stepped up to take her and go themselves. I pointed to the back of the store and told them to stay together. About a minute later I heard the alarm sound. I knew it was my kids. Everyone stopped and stared the entire 60 seconds it screeched through the store. Just as it stopped my kids ran around the corner and hollered that they had set it off when they opened what they thought was the bathroom. It echoed they were so loud and everyone was so quiet for a few seconds. Then everyone started laughing. They were mortified, it takes more than that to get my blood boiling.

Later, after they had relieved themselves in the proper place and the attention was back on shopping. I managed to get them looking again with the promise to leave as soon as we looked at every pair of pants. I asked them to look for size 4 and 18. Once I filled the cart with all the 4s we needed, we were all to put our attention on finding any 18s for me. If you are wondering why I am sharing my size with you all, I figured you may as well know, every one within our local area does. You see, the girls would YELL out, "Hey, here's an 18! That's for you right? It's huge! Wow, this is ugly. Here you go Mom." The first time it happened, I acted like it was no big deal. A fellow mom looked at me and smiled, knowing. I discreetly mentioned they could just bring anything they found to me. I thought/hoped they got the hint. I should have known better. The second time, a woman laughed out loud and mumbled something that I couldn't understand. The third time, I calmly took it from her hand and said, "Nanny will love these!". My kids were confused and asked, "Why would Nanny care about your pants?" No one was fooled. I was humiliated.

As we were waiting in line, Rosa called to tell me Ruthie had threatened to kill her with the knife int he sink and had to be held. I promised to hurry home and hung up. I quietly stated we were in a hurry to get home. Emma announced loud enough for every one in line to hear like it was every day conversation, "I bet Ruthie tried to kill someone again. She really can't handle Mom having a life. I wonder if they will put her in the hospital like Michael and Patches so she won't try to kill every one anymore." Ava said, "She'll have to go when she stabs someone. You can't be dangerous and live in a family. Mom won't let her kill anyone because she loves us no matter what." I was so ready to go. I couldn't even say anything. I looked up and the cashier's mouth was hanging open. I smiled and unloaded my basket. I mean really, at this point, what's to hide?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Making it Fair

My sister, Kiki, just left with her kids and husband. I had 2 of her kids for a few days while she took Cyr. It was a nice break for Cyr. She and Sanna slept until 2PM one day. We enjoyed having the girls here, as always. I miss them so much and only get to see them occasionally. It was like a tornado hit my house this week. It was messier than usual and the kitchen floor is so bad that my BIL's feet stuck to it. Gross!

I snuck out this morning to hit the local thrift shop. Four times a year they have 50% off and I load up. Patches is gaining weight steadily and in 2 years has gone from a girls size 10 to a misses 6. It is a hard size to buy for a 12 yr old. Everything looks too mature and the jr sizes are too sexy. Everything is 10 inches too long. The tops are easier but getting her to wear the right size tshirt is hard, too. She has no sense of style or cares what she looks like. I force Cyr to try and help her but she tends to try things on her own most days le4aving her to look homeless. Her poor hair is a story for another day. So today I purchased a new wardrobe for her. She got 7 or 8 new pairs of jeans and 10-12 new shirts. All fit her the best we are going to and look great. I sat with her and showed her what goes with what and hope she remembers. Most shirts were $.60-1.15 and the pants were $1.15-2.15 for name brands like American Eagle Outfitters, Express, Areopostale, and Holster. Amazing deals on the cutest clothes.

Tomorrow we are going to take the kids bowling. We haven't taken them before and we are hoping it is something even Ella can do. They wanted to go skating but Ella gets too upset because her feet turn in so much and they trip her. Emma will be at her Mother's with all 3 sisters so she won't be joining us. Neither will Rosa and her kids for that matter. My kids have been getting upset because her children get to do a lot. They go with their Father, Rosa takes them out to do family things and lets them all sleep with her on the weekends, they have a Grandfather that comes every couple of months, and they have had 2 vacations in the last year. I think it is great for them but it sucks for my kids. We are broke from taking care of an entire additional family and don't have any extra money for activities. How do you explain that to a sobbing 7 or 8 yr old? All they see are the extra presents and special evenings watching movies or going places. I promised them to do things with just them again. We will be making an effort to separate things up a bit without leaving Rosa and her kids out of everything. It's a very fine line to walk. I don't want anyone to have hurt feelings but I need to let my younger kids have fun, too.

It's good to have Cyr home, she hasn't set the phone down yet. LOL My sister said she was a joy to have over, she never complained and behaved wonderfully. It's music to my ears.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Fiasco

I must have skipped over the Christmas afternoon episode. Sorry. I am trying to forget it and move on.

I had mentioned things were going well that day and I spoke too soon. Michael had been pushing the limits but was pulled back without much drama. That is until there was drama. I can't even remember what set him off. He went wild with anger. It was worse than usual. He put all his energy and efforts into hurting me. I was having a hard time getting a good grip and in the process he managed to bite my left breast and leave a huge bruise. Trust me when I say, I do not bruise easily and if a bruise is visible, he had to work very hard to get it there. He then grabbed the next available skin and it happened to be my other breast. He grabbed a handful and twisted as hard as he could. He slammed his head back against my chest that afternoon and it left a very tender spot on the front of my left shoulder. When the kids hug me, I wince in pain when they try to lay against me or hug me.

As I mentioned, I really don't remember what started it but I should have seen it coming. He had taken the trash out moments before and told me a bunch of cats surrounded him. He claimed they were circling him. They were trying to scare him and hurt him. It was painfully obvious this didn't happen and he was hallucinating. I comforted him and we moved on. He came to me several times asking if I was calling him. Later he became irritated, claiming I had been calling him and was trying to trick him. Shortly after that, all Hell broke loose.

In the end, he kept slamming his head back against me and I wasn't against the sofa so we fell backward. Since we were sitting and I was behind him, you would think if anyone would be injured, it would have to be me. It wasn't. He said he heard a snap in his neck because he was trying to hit me with his head as hard as possible. He began to cry and complain he couldn't turn his head. I waited a second to be sure it was real.m Yes, I have been tricked into believing they were hurt or were done just so they could really hurt me. I quickly realized he had hurt himself and I began trying to assess the situation.

The sad part is, my first thought was that I was going to be accused of harming him. It was going to look like I had restrained him improperly or was abusing him. In fact, I was not doing either but can't control his head in a basket hold so he is free to harm his neck. He turned out to be fine and just needed a bit of ibuprofen and to sit a spell. What if he had been really injured? That is always a risk with violent children. I am confident that he would tell the truth when he is calm but he is easily confused due to his low IQ. What if they didn't believe him? What if they didn't understand how ill he is and the damage he is capable of? It is always easier to blame the adult in the situation for abusing the child. It is hard to believe this sweet, almost angelic looking tiny boy can rage for no reason for hours. I can't get him on tape because he goes limp. I have no proof other that my word and the word of my children that he is so dangerous. I'm sure the hospital staff would see the marks on his body or the injury as a reason to report us. Another investigation would follow. Would they just glance at us and know or would they think that they've been called twice so they must have missed something the first time? We are in danger every time he goes off.

Monday, December 28, 2009

You Can Learn Things on Jerry Springer

As I was driving Cyr's BF home, the topic of religion came up. He told me his family was Catholic and they went to church several times a week. As we pulled in the drive way I noticed a bumper sticker about abortion. I kinda giggled to myself about a comment his parents had made about the size of our family and that we must not believe in abortion. As we drove home, Cyr and I were talking about the Catholic Church's view of abortion, abstinence, birth control, and marriage. She turned to me and said, "Girls have to stay with their baby's daddy when they are Catholic." Confused, I needed to her to explain what she was talking about. "On Jerry Springer, a girl was mad b/c her husband cheated on her and wanted to run off with his new girl friend. She kept saying that she had to stay with her baby's daddy b/c she was Catholic." Wow! What she was trying to say was that divorce wasn't an option due to her religious views. You know I couldn't stop laughing. She is the first person to learn something from the Jerry Springer Show.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Cyr had a boy over! Manuel has been her BF for about 6 weeks and had spent an afternoon here when I was with Kiera and her family. I stayed out of their way but gave her a child that I knew could be trusted (even if it is only b/c it triggers her PTSD to see anyone kiss or touch). This child had to hang out with them any time they weren't with me. LOL It was genius, if I do say so myself.

Michael was much better today. He feels terrible about the marks on my hand, arm, and the ones he can't see on both my breasts. They are pretty tender and I winced when the kids tried to hug me or hang on me.

My sister, Kiki, and her girls are coming over tomorrow. I can't tell you how excited I am. We have decided to make a commitment to each other to get together every 6 weeks until we move, if we ever do, near her. Two of her girls will be staying a few nights. If I have anything to do with it, all week.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Food and Fun

A few kids woke up at 2 AM and made sure they woke the rest of them before sneaking down stairs. I hollered from my bed to "get back to bed until the sun comes up". I heard many tiny feet running for their lives back to bed. They managed to fall back to sleep after an hour or so and got up around 7:45. Most have handled their day very well. A few have whined quite a bit making a person wonder if they can be happy, ever.

We decided not to do a traditional large meal today but to put a few things on and let them nibble as they want. For breakfast, we always have French Toast w Strawberry Sauce and homemade Whipped Cream. I put on 6lbs of meatballs in a yummy sauce and am about to get busy on a Cheese Fondue with tons of bread and veggies and fruit to dip in it. We have cake, candy, and other goodies for or sweet tooth.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Pictures



Patches, Rosa, Cyr
Michael, Ava, Ruthie
Alyssa, Emma, Eddie
Kiera, Gia, Ella

It is really hard to get everybody smiling or in this case, looking at the same person. Yes, the 3 in the back are all about the same height, much to Rosa's dismay. Patches is smiling so much more lately, unfortunately, she forgot to here. Michael has a cheesy smile on. He was quite the prankster during this session. Ava refuses to smile and show teeth, ever. Poor Alyssa has only a few teeth left. We had the hardest time convincing Emma and Ava not to tilt their head every time they smiled. Kiera and Gia are smiling at me.



Patches 12, Rosa 28, Cyr 13
Ava 7, Michael 9, Ruthie 11
Emma 8, Kiera 2, Ella 7

Still no smile from Patches and some wild hair happening. Ava and her no teeth whatever that is supposed to be. Look at how tiny Michael is with Ava and Ruthie towering over him. Kiera barely made it in the picture. LOL

Monday, December 21, 2009

Several people have emailed me or left comments telling me they wish to send something to the kids for the holiday. One even mentioned something about being too lazy to send anything and it would be easier if the PayPal Donate button was back up. I'm not mentioning any names but thank you for being sooooo thoughtful. I'll be posting a picture of them with whatever I purchase for them and posting it here. If you have a suggestion for the gift, let me know otherwise I will do my best. I'll take it back down after the season. Send me a comment or email if you can't figure it out.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lots of This and a Little of That

I love it when they wake me screaming at each other. It sets the mood for the day. When they move on to punching, you know you gonna have fun. My son rammed his body into the wall above his bed and we now have a small boy's body sized hole in the sheetrock. Good times, people. At least he showed the kids first so he can't come back and say one of us did it to him.

We have decided to pursue the same meds that have changed the life of Patches, for him. Have I mentioned what is going on with her? She allowed me to take her photo first thing in the morning, she had her hair pushed back off her face, and she smiled on purpose! ALl of those things are firsts for her. SHe hasn't had any major tantrums since Thanksgiving and is sharing her feelings with us. SHe actually tried to help Michael when he was in a rage Friday by telling him how she used to feel before the meds and how she does now. SHe was trying to give him HOPE! He couldn't hear it at the time b/c he was too busy trying to convince us we were trying to "get him". His paranoid and delusional thinking is getting way out of control and is scary to work with. I have found that agreeing with him throws him off but is dangerous if I am not careful what I agree to. He is no longer fighting with Patches b/c her's is gone. He can turn anything into a plot against him. If Eddie gets out of the van and grabs a hand of a nearby child, Michael will say he hates Michael and Eddie never wants to play with him again. If I ask the kids to "run through your chores", it becomes "I hate you Michael. You have to do all the chores. No one here loves you or likes you. YOu are stupid. You are dirty. You can't eat here ever again." I'm not kidding, those are things he yells back at me, swearing that's what I meant. There is only one way to fix it and it is with meds, hopefully the ones Patches' is taking will help him cope with this distorted thinking.

We spent the evening at Gorges' house (my Mom and it's pronounced gorgeous) to do our holiday thing there. It was great! She made all my kids PJ bottoms and matching pillow cases. Rosa's got the bottoms. Mine was the best, she made me an adorable basket with cool goodies, tons of homemade cookies and breads, and she made me a sit down dinner with several courses of the most incredible food that I didn't have to clean up after. Since Rosa moved in, there hasn't been room at the table for the adults so I end up standing. It was fantastic to relax and not worry about kids. I was miserable when dessert came. We decided it wasn't my fault that my extra large bra smooshes my stomach and causes me to feel full too soon. I asked several members of my family to hold them up to relieve the pressure so I could continue with the feast before me but no one accepted. Someone offered to tie a scarf around my neck and under them to help but there wasn't one long enough. That needs to be invented for holidays for large breasted women. Can one of y'all get on that?

My MIL came to get Patches and Ruthie to purchase their birthday gifts. I can't believe they are 11 and 12 this year.

We have spent a great deal of time talking about the time they have been with us. We are half way into the 4th of everything, birthdays, holidays, and such. The twins are having a hard time recalling their last foster mother's name and remembering living with their parents. The bad memories remain clear and vivid but the day to day stuff is almost gone. They remember the visitation center clearly but only Cyr remembers any holidays. I knew they would forget some things, that's natural. I am surprised at how much they are forgetting. It seems to have taken a huge leap lately, too. They want to talk about traditions here and how it is different than their previous life. Ella and Ava seem to need to hear how they have changed, too. I do that with all the kids but they are asking me about it more and more. Both have changed tremendously, I barely recognize the old posts about them.

Kiera is changing, too. Her anger is subsiding and becoming more of a desperation for me. She can even let strangers talk to her, she won't respond but she'll listen. That's a huge step above throwing things at them. SHe understands that Santa is bringing presents. SHe knows she loves presents. She let Santa hold her b/c of his promise to bring them. SHe thinks the tree is the coolest toy holder ever. She plucks the ornaments off and cooks them for me in her kitchen. SHe tears out the pictures of the kids on them and kisses them before throwing them down. We have had to redecorate more this year than all the years since Emma was born. If I must complain, I'm glad it's about this.

The flu is still keeping us down. My DH now is feeling it. I am up moving but a fever still hits me every night. I just can't shake the sore throat and deep cough. Life must go on though.

Friday, December 18, 2009

We managed to get a picture of all the kids yesterday and they will be ready Monday. They aren't great. My son was driving me crazy the moment he got home and continued at the studio. He thought it would be funny to add ears to the other kids and make faces while the guy was snapping pictures. When I corrected him verbally, b/c several Mom Looks didn't do any good at all, he slid to the ground leaving an empty spot in the picture. At least he didn't destroy the set or attack me, again.

Today I have 5 elementary school parties to go to. Rosa will be going to her kids so I will be able to focus on mine. I'm so glad to have her around again. At this point, I am keeping my fingers crossed and head down to the end of 2009. Please let us get there without drama....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dear Santa,

We received your package and were so excited. The note in the package confirmed my previous stories that you and I had a high school love. They assumed the present was sent ahead of schedule b/c they are special to you. The stories that have been swirling around here about you have cracked me up. As far as they are concerned, when my DH dies I am to be your bride. I am taking extra steps to be sure that he passes from natural causes many decades from now.

It was a thoughtful gift and I can assure you they will be loved to pieces.

Love,

Tudu

An Accomplishment

After 17 very long weeks, Rosa graduated from the Police Academy. She has been getting up between 2 and 3 AM five days a week to study and prepare for school. She has been beaten by the other officers, tazered, been peppered sprayed, learned to spin a car around without flipping it, run for miles, done thousands of push ups and sit ups, and role played the heck out of some scary situations and survived it all. She is physically worn out and emotionally drained from all the hard work. She could have quit at any time, many others in her class did. Some days she cried from exhaustion and from being endlessly picked by the "boys" in her class. In the end, she was the most talked about in the class speech. She had been the backbone of one of the recruits. She is the one that got him through. I sobbed with tears of pride as she walked on the stage. The minute it was over I ran to find her to wrap my arms around her. I couldn't be any more excited about her future and having her home!

Monday, December 14, 2009

My life sucks right now. I fear I may be dying from the flu. I have kids melting down, refusing their meds, Rosa's graduation, I can't get to the store for groceries, I don't have the energy to alter Rosa's suit, a couple of kids are getting sick, and I desperately need to shop. Did I mention that the organization that wanted to help us with some of our Christmas burden this year has disconnected their phone number? Patches, Michael, and Ruthie may very well drive me to the edge of my sanity by the end of the week. Cyr's boy friend came to the house and survived. He was surprised at how big and mean looking my DH was. LOL I just got back from a family visit with Kiera's family. It went better than expected and I will have to post about that later.

OK, so at least I have a start of things to update on when I can sit up more than 10 minutes.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Book Lover asked in my last post
"How do you stay in love with these children? That constant negative drip on your emotions and heart has to take its toll. Do they ever show you any love or gratitude so you can keep going?"

I have found that, like in a marriage, the "in love" feeling comes and goes with each child. I never stop loving them but I do have moments when they are too draining, that I force myself to go the extra mile to prove I am always there for them. I do not like their behaviors towards me and on occasion find it hard to separate the behavior with the child. It is easier for me than anyone else in my life to do that. I have been told by professionals that that is the one of the keys to surviving parenting them.

I really have it easy with most of them. My reward is looking back to see how far they have come. With Cyr, I can see how close she is to me, she tells me things her friends don't share with their moms. We are connected and when I look at her every day, I see her smile and hear a giggle that wasn't there the first 2 years. She can cry when she is sad, laugh when something is funny, and yell when she is angry. She is an easy teenager, if there was one. I'm sure that will bite me in the butt soon enough. LOL

Ava is no longer stealing and destroying things. She is affectionate, sometimes too much but very sweet. She is a good student and is starting to make friends. She can now be trusted at other people's homes without a guard. That is something I was sure we would never be able to allow again.

Ella is a hard worker and will do anything I ask. She is able to talk about what is on her mind and process it with me. She is working hard at school and is catching up to her peers.

Emma has her anxiety under control with meds and has been trustworthy forever.

Gia is a bit of a whiner with her mother but I couldn't complain about another thing. She is adjusting and doing well.

Eddie came to us last year as a full blown brat. He was impossible to be around without irritating you. He was defiant and had so many "fears" he couldn't be left alone in a room to bathe or go to bed. He screamed for hours for attention He is one of the joys in my life now. I have no problem with him wetting and pooping on himself as long as he takes care of it himself. That is literally, the only issue he still has. His lack of attention span gets him in trouble but he never causes trouble or acts up. He is one of the funniest kids I have ever met.

Kiera is attaching and is now quite anxious about it. How could I possibly be upset about a toddler that wants to hug me, sleep on me, and follow me to the toilet to help me? She adores me and the feeling is mutual.

I guess that just leaves 4 that are difficult. Their issues are not their fault. They are hard to look past, yes. They take up a lot of my attention, yes. While they are holding it together they are wonderful. They are affectionate, thoughtful, and kind. Three become psychotic and lose control. It's not their idea to ruin their afternoon. They want to enjoy life so how could I not jump right back in with them when it's over? Only one enjoys the chaos. She is smart and knows what to say to pull me right back in. I received an unsolicited note last night from her that said, "Dear Nana, I know I am having a hard time right now but I don't know how to control my anger. Can you please help me?" Of course, I'm always willing to try again. It is a good thing she is cute.

I figure that I have no choice, I have to love them. Without my love they would destroy themselves. I can't say I want to be around them all the time but I do love them, always.

Friday, December 04, 2009

School Issues

I think someone should do a study about how kids seem to take turns driving their parents insane. I swear, except for Ruthie, they take turns. Perhaps it is my fault, I work diligently on one child's issues only to neglect the others, forcing them to give it back to me tenfold. Patches is holding her own while she is in the partial hospitalization program while Michael is losing his grip. I have returned to a whisper when I speak to him. He still insists I am yelling at him all the time, I hate only him, I am trying to make him have a bad life, I took his parents away from him, and he wants to live in the hospital forever. EVERY DAY. I take that back, I hear that at least 5 times any given day he is in school.

His teacher called me a few minutes ago. He was caught stealing. Moved his stick to yellow. He was caught hiding in the classroom. (This is a big No-No in our family due to the sexual abuse. The very fact he was hiding says he was slipping fast.) Moved to red. She talked about how he was shutting down, refusing to reengage, and getting frustrated. I felt sorry for them both, he had to have his cover blown and she had to see it. He looks like a tiny little boy when it is all over and you wonder if what you saw was real. How could this adorable, affectionate child become so enraged? We are in uncharted territory for him. He doesn't let his guard down in front of the school. Should be a fun afternoon.

Yesterday he lost complete control on the bus when Eddie spit and some hit the seat or him or both, I'm not sure b/c it gets bad after that. He took Eddie's head and rubbed his face in it. He refused to stop. Eddie became very upset and began crying. He humiliated the poor boy in front of every one on the bus. No consequence from the driver, of course. The second the bus stopped, Ava and Michael raced to tell me what happened. I quieted Ava since she had no business in the conversation and asked Eddie to tell me what happened. He went through the whole thing being interrupted constantly by Michael denying everything. I then asked Michael to tell me his side. It was exactly the same as Eddie's. He admitted to everything. He was still enraged claiming they were ALL lying about him. He is delusional and paranoid. I hate this illness. I hate what it is doing to my family. After an hour, he slipped back into our daily life without a trace of the child that raced to tell me his side and how the world is out to get him, eager to make it up to me. He and Eddie went on to have a great afternoon playing together.

Ruthie and Alyssa are both having their own issues. Not a concern for any one's safety but annoying none the less. Alyssa is fine if I keep her busy every waking moment and right by my side. Ruthie is fine if no one else gets in trouble. If they do, she flips out and begins raging, threatening me, and destroying things. The other day, I had to pick up Kiera under her arms and move her to time out for hitting someone with a toy, hard. She was throwing a tantrum and I never raised my voice or became angry, in any way. Ruthie threatened to report me to DFCS for abusing Kiera. She threw a chair at the window and screamed on our front porch for an hour. Typical Ruthie crap.

You'll love this one, Ruthie complains about things for attention. It is so much better here at home but it flares up at school occasionally. One way is that she tells them her head itches so they will check her for lice. Weird? I'll give you that. She seems to be trying to embarrass me in public lately, too. She waits until we are in the middle of the check out line and announces she may have lice or that her warts are growing bigger. She talks about her privates itching and even the color of her boogers but only around strangers. Never at home or the privacy of our van. I try to come up with colorful comments but it is hard when everyone is staring at you b/c they think I am unaware of birth control. I'm working on it though. I told her she was part witch and that's my the warts are growing. She doesn't have lice, she has bed bugs. The only time to worry about a booger is when your mother sees it it is on your finger. The best one so far has been when she complains about her privates, I remind her if she would start wiping it wouldn't itch and we will put baby cream on it when she gets home. I am sure she will continue to reach all new highs over the holidays and I look forward to the challenge.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Some Second Thoughts

I found myself searching the residential treatment options in my area. I discovered over the holiday that I have a good one just down the road from me. As many of you know, I have strong feelings against it for my children, at this time. It will further their fears and issues with abandonment, the ones left at home with me will lose their crap, the child placed will never fit back in or feel a apart of us, to name a few. I worked in a facility many years ago and feel we can provide most of what they do here. The only thing that is lingering in my mind now is a break. I'm tired. I won't give up but I notice that I am not as thoughtful of a parent as I usually am. I am not thinking through every possible outcome and making choices or decisions based on that. I'm not analyzing everything. I want to be a regular family so bad. I don't read about new techniques or even other blogs of families like ours anymore. I wonder if it is possible to achieve that normalcy with sheer will power? I could just stick my head in the sand or my fingers in my ear and scream "lalalalalalalala" every time they try to remind me of our reality.

I saw how different I am from most people this weekend. Rosa and my DH love the kids. They try really hard to manage them. They still had to call me out of bed to hold one child and organize the chaos of several other outbursts. It doesn't come easy to them. They are frustrated and can't think of ways to change up the atmosphere. They instantly become stuck. I am not saying I am perfect and that I handle everything with ease. I do not. Let me be more clear, I screw up daily. The difference is that I bounce back. Once the situation is over, I move on. This makes it easy for me to forgive and love them for who they are and not let their issues and behaviors get in the way. I may complain about the behavior or my day but I do not blame my children for their issues. Their choices, yes. I am not afraid of my children. I am not afraid of my reaction to them. Others are. They worry they will get too angry or the lose control of themselves. I get angry. I want to smack them sometimes like when they punch me or are digging their nails into my skin and I can't move away. I am not always loving and have the best reaction to a situation. When I screw up, I take the child aside and apologize for my bad choice. I explain why I did it and how I plan to react the next time. I think the biggest difference is that being alone with them is overwhelming to every one I know. They can't imagine day after day, an afternoon is fine, even a weekend they could survive but 3 1/2 years or for the rest of their childhood is impossible. I can't imagine my life without them.

Speaking of without them, over the holiday I took Cyr to visit Patches on Thanksgiving morning. We were given the wrong time and missed the "event" they had planned for the families of their patients. We stayed for the last 15 minutes and left. I was upset that we had missed it and worried about Patches feelings. Of course, she shared none of them with us. Cyr brought up the fact that Patches hadn't seem concerned about our tardiness or the fact we went out of our way to go up there to see her. She was looking for a connection with Patches. I had to explain to her that Patches didn't care if we came up there, it didn't make her happy or thankful. The only issue would have come if we didn't show up. That would make all voices in her head right. We didn't love her, want her, like her. It would prove she has been right all along and want her gone. My consistency isn't going to change her and make her feel loved, my only hope is that I do not give her any opportunities to prove she is unloved as she so deeply fears. I think it clicked for Cyr. I know it made her sad.

It's Been a Long Holiday

The kids are waiting at the end of the driveway for their bus as I type. I have been in bed for 2 days with a fever and an ache all over my body that I was sure would kill me. One holiday down and only 2 to go before we begin to see a bit of normalcy around here.

Yesterday was tough for my DH and Rosa. Ruthie is easily triggered and manipulated by others and their emotions. Alyssa hasn't changed much with her brief 4 days in the hospital and came back as mouthy as ever. She is smart and figured out Ruthie could be drug into her crap and then she had a partner in crime. Ruthie becomes violent where Alyssa just sits there and feeds her damaging information, constantly stirring the pot. They had to be separated to keep it under control. She managed to go off a couple of times and had to be held at one point to protect Rosa. She had made the mistake of trying to help Michael pull himself together and Ruthie went off. Michael kept trying to tell her he was OK and defuse it but she was too far gone. It makes a simple situation into a major one.

Patches is home and holding it together, so far. Her meds have been increased and it will take a while for her to get used to them. I hope she is able to stay awake at school until then. When the holiday is over we will begin to decrease them, as long as she can handle it. Today she begins another round at the partial hospitalization program. Michael graduated last week and she and Alyssa will both start this week. Even if there is no progress, it will be a break for us here.

My house is trashed. I am too weak to do much. I have at least 2 appointments today that must be kept. Anyone feel like being me today? I'm not sure how I will make it through today without collapsing.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust

and another one gone and another gone. Another one bites the dust. Heh! They're gonna get you, too. Another one bites the dust. (Sorry, it keeps running through my head.)

Patches had to be taken to the psychiatric facility that Alyssa is currently in. She tried to kill herself. She is fine but refuses to be safe and is on suicidal watch there. I hate the holidays. I had dreams of a large family sitting down for big dinners and lots of love. My dream will never come true and my reality has become a nightmare. I have 2 children that are delusional and paranoid, they feed off each other. She had been hallucinating again, nothing scary but I should have seen it as a sign. She had been deteriorating at school, nothing horrible but another sign. She has been shutting down more and her hygiene rapidly disintegrated in the last 2 days. Add her brother to the mix and poof! She went over the edge. It was one tiny moment and she couldn't come back from it. We tried, for hours even. No coming back. The situation escalated until we knew there was only one choice, she had to be hospitalized for her safety and ours. I did not nor do I take this decision lightly. I love my daughter and always have her best interest at heart.

There has been one thing that surprised me this weekend. I never thought this would happen to us. Anyone that knows me or has read this blog for more than a week, knows how dedicated to maintaining them at home I am. I am very vocal to our therapists and doctors about this passionate need to keep them here. I have been chewed out and patted on the back about it, neither swaying this feeling for even a moment. Still committed to doing it as long as I feel I can but the thing that has changed is that these short stints have become normalized for us. No one cried or screamed they hated me. No one asked over and over, obsessed with their sibling's return. It has become a normal treatment option. That is sad. It is sad that I am not worried about where she is. I am about her mental health but I have come to know and trust the staff at the hospital. I think her psychiatrist there is fantastic. I know she is safe. Once the decision to move her there was made, it was easy to be logical instead of emotional. Don't get me wrong. I think about her, I love her, I miss her, but I am also relieved that I don't have to be so vigilant today with the 3 difficult children safe in a locked facility.

We discussed how to manage her for the holiday season. He increased her anti psychotic by a third and added another mood stabilizer that is known to help with violence/aggression. I am hoping to decrease them after the first of the year when the cycle seems to lose it's steam. I completely trust the school to handle anything that arises there and we are considering the partial program that Michael is graduating from to buy some time away from him.

Alyssa will be home in a few days but Patches will take longer. I am not sure how long "longer" is. Last time it was 9 or 10 days to stabilize her. I do know she is showing some of her issues there so at least she is using the time wisely. We will be able to visit the girls daily until their released.

We are definitely skipping the holidays next year!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Another First

The child I was recently blogging about rapidly escalated yesterday and had to be hospitalized. Every time we turned around, she would work very hard to break a rule or get into something. Eventually, she began to run out the door and down the road. Her mother had to chase her down the road. It became a game very quickly. She managed to make it through the day and when we decided to sit down for a movie as a family, she was told to get ready for bed and go to her room. Amazingly, she was quiet.

At some point, a child saw her walk back in the front door. Her mother and I went to her room, thinking she had snuck out the front door and had just come back. Silly us. As we discussed how dangerous that was, we noticed the vacuum had a sheet tied around it. A closer look and we realized the window was unlocked. It still took a minute to sink in, considering she was sitting in front of us uninjured, we assumed she had only attempted to go out the 2nd story window. We were wrong. She had indeed gone out it and had fallen when she got right over the edge. She landed on her back and had laid out there crying for a few minutes. Even after she admitted it, it seemed impossible.

Once it became a reality, we began to worry about the rest of the night. It immediately became clear that she wasn't going to agree to stay put for the night. She insisted she would not stay in the house. She wanted to walk up and down the street. She was told by her mother that she wasn't going to be able to stay here if she refused to stay in the house at night. She called her bluff. It was a bluff, her mother never thought it would be necessary to hospitalize her 7 yr old daughter.

I knew right then there wasn't a choice. It took quite a bit of convincing to get her mother to agree it was the only answer. It is hard to accept your child is unsafe. No matter how educated you are on these issues, the first time feels like a failure. No one can change that or fix it for you. You are the mother and you should have been able to keep your child safe and fix all their problems. It is actually just getting help. Taking care of your child. Stepping up to the plate. Her mother needed more convincing that I could do so I was forced to call our therapist, she is fully aware of the situation and made it clear for her. Not taking her in made her liable for anything that happened to her after that. If she refused to take her, she could run away while we were asleep and DFCS would have a case against her and possibly remove her from our home. Once that sunk in, she took some deep breaths and we took her to the ER. Her mother did really well and even though she was overwhelmed she managed to get her daughter the help she desperately needs. To top it all off, our fantastic female therapist agreed to take her in house and be her therapist. She is the kind of therapist that will hold her accountable and won't fall for her innocent looks and manipulative ways. She has a talent for getting people to do things for her and think she is too sweet to have done all the things that seem to happen around her.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm Struggling

One of the kids is driving us insane. Not your normal crazy, the kind you want to try spanking b/c it would let off some steam kind. (We do not spank nor will I really begin spanking. It is a family joke, "today may be the first time I start beating kids and it looks like you may get to be first". They know I am teasing and laugh.) This particular child is incredibly stubborn and super smart. She can bring on the tears and pour on the guilt. She is a master manipulator and quite possibly the most charming child I have ever met. Most of my kids made me feel crazy in the beginning but this child makes everyone feel crazy. Today alone she hid another child's book bag and refuses to give it up, repeated a directive and then did as she pleased, choked another child, hid under a desk and slept the night but refused to come out in the AM and we panicked looking for her, stole some things from the other kids, screamed I was hurting her when I touched her arm, threatened to tell the police on me, ran away after dark and refused to come in even though it was pitch black, and tried to kill me with her mean look (she actually admitted to me that was the goal).

She is exhausting. I am worried about her ability to love and feel love. She has been on her honeymoon for the last year and she finally cracked last month. My kids are so far past this stage that it makes it hard to remember what to do. LOL I have had to pull out my old bag of tricks and really dig deep. She reminds me of her father when he was younger. I keep telling myself she doesn't have to turn out like he did. She is her own person. She is younger than he was. She can do this. We all can help her. Those things are hard to believe in the middle of the day.

Kiera is sick. That means no sleep for me at night.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Luxury I Can Afford

I am sure I have posted about the wonderful dinners we used to attend for support with local traumatized parents. I wrote that correctly, we are traumatized. The kids may have been first, may be more traumatized, and even win the contest but make no mistake, we are, too. Back to the dinners. We loved going. We looked forward to it all month long. It got me through the really tough months when I wasn't sure which one would survive, the kids or me. It was so nice to sit at the table and order for just me. I didn't have to worry about what everyone was doing or saying. I didn't have to watch for clues to who will react to what. I would even occasionally have a drink or two or three. We laughed so loud people stared at us and not b/c my kid just ripped her clothes off. We closed down the restaurant more than once. These parents got what we were going through. They gave us ideas that worked for them. We howled at each others' stories one upping each other and finding comfort knowing we were not the only ones that were slowly losing their grip on reality. Many times, what is normal for us isn't for the rest of the world. We are normal in this group. These dinners stopped when we all got too busy. I received an email last night that promised the return of these blessed events in my life. I know I have many local readers, if any of you fit the bill and want to join us, we'd be honored. It's Saturday night December 6th at 6 PM in Atlanta. Please send me a comment with your info (I won't publish it) and I will call you with details.

Many of the folks attending will be in a workshop all day, Diane Best's Therapeutic Parent Workshop. Nina Jonio, a Neuro developmental Reorganization clinician, will be presenting with Denise. NR is a neurological -based intervention that can work along side attachment and trauma therapy to change your child's brain development They will be at the Hampton Inn & Suites at the Atlanta Airport from 9 AM to 4:30 PM. You can call 404-767-9300 if you are interested in the workshop.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I Didn't Want This Day To Go By...

Without mentioning that we adopted the kids 2 years ago today. They each have managed to find a way in my heart despite their best efforts. I barely remember life before them, it's hard to belive 3 1/2 years have gone by. They give my life meaning and direction. I would walk a million miles to hold them and tell them every thing's going to be alright. I hate the way they had to come into my life but love that they won't be going anywhere (until Patches grows up and refuses to have anything to do with me as she has faithfully promised. LOL) . There are days I need a break, days I wanna stay in bed with all of them watching movies, and days I fear I will lose my mind, and even ones that I am so filled with pride that I know my chest will burst. The good, the bad, and ugly, they are my children. I chose them in every sense of the word, so if there was a mistake made, I'd be the last to admit it.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Have You Clicked Lately?

I am sure most of you noticed that I added some advertisements to the blog. Have you clicked on any of them? Check them out, I get paid!

Happy Anniversary, Kiera! It's been a year since you came into our lives and stole our hearts. We are a better family with you in it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

She Loves Me

One of the kids had a rough day at school and an even more eventful evening. I won't go into what started her screamfest but I will say, I asked her to stop doing something that could ruin the septic tank balance and force us to spend a great deal of money to fix her mess. I was irritated but tried to explain why she can't do it. Before she ever began using the item, I explained with passion what would happen. I must have inspired her to see if it would really happen. The explanation set her off. I walked away and waited. She escalated. We ignored her screams until she began to bend the door on the cabinet that holds their TV in the Playroom. The pressure she was putting on the door caused the entire thing to lean forward. Within seconds the giant TV an the cabinet would have been on her. I ran to pull her away and it rocked back into place. She turned and began to attack me. I had no choice but to move her to the floor. I only had to hold her for less than 10 minutes. When I felt it was safe enough to let go, I insist they continue to lay there until they calm down. She did but she began her 45 minute screamfest. Unfortunately, we barely notice b/c it happens so much. Most of the kids don't even respond b/c they know I will keep everyone safe. That is why I was so surprised to find this on the desk under the agendas this morning.

Dear (Child that screamed her head off)
When you throw your fits I wonder if you really understand whether or not you scare the crap out of me. I think since your getting so big that you might hurt yourself, mom, the kids or me the most. I don't appreciate it when you start hitting or kicking her. Oh and call her names. How would you like it if she got mad at you and started hitting and kicking and calling you names? You wouldn't like it. Have you ever thought you might hurt her feelings? Have you ever thought when you hit or kick mom how much you could hurt her? She takes VERY good care of you, more care than you ever have gotten. You should thank her. When she takes you down like she does she's trying to protect you, her, and us cause if she didn't some of us would be seriously hurt right now. You owe Mom a huge apology. She LOVES you a lot.
Love your big sis

It wasn't left for me to read. It was written to get some things off her chest. My previously completely unattached and emotionless child defended me. She cares about my feelings and my physical well being. I think I may skip around today with joy that she is going to be OK. She has been trying to express her feelings lately and I think she has come the farthest of the children. I couldn't be any more proud of her than I have been for the last year watching her grow into such a lovely young woman.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

A New Parenting Style

I attended the treatment plan meeting for Michael last night and was impressed with the therapist. He was late and over booked but smart, educated on MY child's illness and symptoms, funny, engaging, and every thing he needs. It's too bad he is just the one in charge of the family sessions. Next week we begin with all the family.

Our check showed up. Our old county decided to transfer it out of their county to the county we reside in. They just cut checks on a different day here. I also discovered that we were supposed to be renewing it yearly and could apply to have it increased based on the the children's needs. One of our therapists was surprised at how low ours is considering how high their needs are. I guess we will be getting right on that.

One of my girls decided they don't like the food at school and refuses to eat all day. She passed out in PE yesterday. She is fine but got a bit if a tongue lashing from me.

My phone was dying. It was a slow and painful process. I could no longer talk on the phone when moving. I mean from the table to the stove kinda move. I hate to spend any extra money during this time of year but it couldn't be avoided. I began looking at different phones all the while drooling over the Blackberries. I really wanted one but the prices for one with my service was over $400. Not an option for us. I checked out other providers and their plans. Then I discovered flashing. We use Metro PCS and I know a lot of you are local and know who they are but man y of you may not have heard of them. They provide unlimited local, LD, text, and web for about $50 and I get $10 off for each additional line I add. Of course there is a catch. You can only use them around our metro area. It's a steal, if you don't leave town. I don't so it's perfect. Now there are other services that are popping up that are similar but I wanted to stay with them, if I could b/c we have to carry several lines and it is the cheapest. Back to flashing. With Metro PCS, you don't have a SIM card and you are limited in your phone options. Blackberries only very recently became and option. Without a SIM card, you can use phones that have been shut off by other carriers. They are considered to have a and ESN and basically trash, until now. I searched Craigslist and located a Blackberry that had been used 2 months and disrupted due to nonpayment. The phone was useless to her. I also found a guy that offered to do his magic on the phone for next to nothing. Voila, new Blackberry for less than $50.

I am in love with my phone and am considering running away with it. They will all still be able to reach me by phone, text, or email. I can blog about them, twitter, or hit them up on FB. I think I can parent like that. At least I am willing to give it a try. I think you all can expect some changes around here, too. I am so excited to get started.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Singing

I sing constantly to the kids. It is not uncommon for me to belt out a song I have rewritten to fit a situation. I try to remember some of the good ones and they have become our family songs. The kids now sing them to each other when they do certain things. It is how I cope, help them cope, and find a giggle when things seem hopeless. Kiera has picked up the habit. Today I had to stop by the DFCS office to have the case closed. (All went well and we cleared up a few more things they had incorrect like they thought I was running around calling my kids crazy, like that is a bad thing. which reminds me of a song we sing.) Anyway, I told Kiera and Gia I'd feed them after I the meeting.

As we got back into the van, Kiera began singing. "McDonald's. McDonald's. My little McDonald's. I love you McDonald's." You get the idea. It went on and on. She is 2. How sad is that? She doesn't really eat there and she really doesn't watch TV. Somehow they managed to get to her. If that wasn't bad enough, she sang it all the way home at the top of her lungs. She even told me to turn off the radio so she could hear herself.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Screams of My Angry Child

I was forced to sit and listen to one of my kids scream some lovely thins while she had a small tantrum this evening. After about 20 minutes, I picked up the computer and typed word for word. I only interacted with her at the end when she tried to kick it up a notch by breaking things. She was trying to get me to hold her. I never did. It is full of foul language and a few really truthful comments.

"I don't care who loves you. I hate you. When I grow up I will kill someone b/c i won't take my medicine. I won't go to high school. I love vets. I will watch them forever. I will be a cop and hurt every body. I m the one that let my father hurt every body. I let my mom hurt every body. I don't care. i let Tex touch us too. I will let you hurt me too. I don't care. So I will never come back her forever. I hate ll my family except Ella, or my family ion jail. That's who I like forever. I hate y'all forever. I won't come back. I never coem back to see you. I don't care if i go to jail. I will tell the secret forever. I will tell them what santa is. Forever. here I go I'll tell he secret right now. Every body we are getting a WII for Christmas. Hey, Ella we are getting a WII. See I told them. I told them I would say it. and I'm not going to be that. and I'm not gonna play with the WII. You are a stupid fat bitch. you are gonna be fat always. you aren't my real family. I only love my real family. my real family loves me. Hey Michael we are gonna get a WII. I'm gonna tell every body that we are gonna get it. I don't love dad or you or anybody else. I don't wanna be an elf. yesterday. that was stupid. I'm not finished. boo. I throw something at you. Emma we are gonna get a WII. Santa is dad and mom. they don't want to tell you b/c you believe in Santa. i wanna live on the streets or live with my father. or my uncle whos in jail. i wanna live the rest of my life until i die. I hate Michael, Emma, Ruthie and every body. yeah right. Michael doesn't love me. I don;t love him. Ruthie started it. she told mom I just got outside. she came in b/c she saw me and brought the baby inside. Patches watch the baby I got out there. I called her stupid I was gonna check the mail. I don't wanna watch the baby. I don't care. u don't love me. u won't feed me or let me go to bed. I don't care about you now. what you do to me and do to the rest of the people. you tell Kiera to go to timeout. it doesn't do anything. I'm gonna tell my teacher and friends that you won't let me eat or take a shower. and you lock us outside and take us down. Yeah. Im gonna tell them that. Im still not gonna do my chores. wanna bet 50 bucks. I'm not gonna do my fucking chore. I hate you you fucking bitch. hey Ruthie, we are gonna have a WII for xmas. I'm not gonna play the wii. shut up. shut up. shut up u bitch." she crumpled up her glasses and threw them. she picked up a very hard toy and threw it against the wall she threw a giant truck against the wall "fuck you you old man. do your stupid work. you stupid bitch. I'll run away."

It came to a screeching halt when she decided to throw some dangerous things against eh wall and at me. I had to step up to her and remind her of the consequences. After several threats from her, she ran out the door. She didn't go to far but did manage to scare the crap out of some drivers. I informed her if she put her foot in the road one more time, I would call the police b/c she was obviously suicidal. Eventually, I managed to get her home by standing behind her and it forced her to move toward the house b/c she doesn't want me to touch her or get near her. She is now cleaning up the mess she made before she eats dinner with the rest of the family. (Somehow, my DH managed to make dinner during this in the next room.) She is welcome to take as much time as she chooses. She is in complete control.

She has finished cleaning up now and we talked about what she said. Not the language or the threats, the fact she feels like she let her siblings down. This child admitted to feeling guilty for doing things their parents made them do, to each other. This is huge for her. We had suspected it but the kids have refused to discuss it. She thinks she should have called the cops on them to stop them. Not her mother or any of the other kids, her.

A Moment of Honesty

My poor son is finding it nearly impossible to trust me with his hallucinations. He has never stopped having them and after a very long tantrum he came clean. They are increasing in frequency and intensity. They are daily. He sees people but they don't speak to him. He sees them in his room, on the van ride to the hospital, and at the hospital. They love around him but never talk to him. They aren't mean to him. The voices are loud and scary. They are still yelling at him to kill me and hurt himself. They are also telling him mean things about himself. They do not want him to tell me.

He lied to leave the hospital and kept lying to stay out of it. He cried but admitted it felt better to let me know. I am sure his honesty will have to be drug from him every time. He no longer believes they are in his head. He thinks they are real and can do what they threaten. In the beginning, he could be briefly comforted when told he was safe from them and they were not real. It's almost like he is slipping into a different world. I can't describe it better than that. It is a place he thinks and feels is real but no one else can share it with him. He is leaning to agree with the adults around him and not to trust us. When he shares with us there are consequences. We have to find a way to reach him, to keep him here.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Yearly Check Ups

I took Cyr, Emma, and the twins for their yearly check ups on Friday. Every one is healthy except for a cold here and there. The pediatrician is one we have used for all 8 of the kids and for almost 18 months, she still doesn't recognize us. It's kinds weird b/c we stand out in almost all other situations. After she got started on the kids it kinda came to her that I was the lady with all the kids. She began to compliment me. She must have said at least 5 times that my kids were so clean and neatly dressed. I admit they had a little extra time getting ready and had matching clothes on but nothing special I can assure you. After the first couple of times I began to wonder what kind of patients she usually sees. Don't other parents keep their children bathed, trimmed, and in clean clothes? She mentioned again that she was impressed by their hygiene and that she commended me on being such a great mother to so many. I quietly told her to hold off on an award until she saw my other 3 next Tuesday. I take Patches, Michael, and Ruthie for theirs. They are all 3 hygiene challenged, at times.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Adoption Assistance

For the last year and half our adoption assistance has come from the county we adopted from. For some random reason, they switched it to the county we reside in. Seems simple right? It didn't come this month. We usually would have gotten it Tuesday or Wednesday of this week so I called them to find out what was up today and was informed they have no idea why or when we should receive it. I called our county and they won't answer or return my calls. The last time there was a change in our assistance, it took MONTHS to fix it. We can not go months without it this time.

For those of you that are completely confused about Adoption Assistance, let me explain. When you adopt older children with special needs from foster care, they pay a small amount of "child support" to help meet their needs. In our case, it allows me to be the SAHM they require. The first year and half I had 28 appointments a week. I was literally scheduled out every day of the week. As they have healed, we have been able to discontinue their OT, Speech, and extra therapy visits. We were going to the psychologist twice a week for a long time. I couldn't have worked. Now, they may not have as many appointments but they sure need me to be here nearly every second of the day. It has allowed us to provide for them, nothing more. We couldn't have adopted such a large group without it. It is only provided for the sibling group all our other children have no support. We had to fight for what we do receive and our agency had to go to great lengths to help us prove our children had significant emotional issues. They were wonderful and if anyone in my area wants to adopt, I would be happy to share their info with you.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

A Bit of a Charlie Brown Christmas

Christmas is around the corner and I have not done ANY shopping. Usually, I am nearly done. Money is tight this year so we have decided to do a group gift for the kids from Santa, a WII. A used WII to be exact. I have been searching Craigslist for just the right one, cheapest would be the most important criteria. The kids won't even notice as long as it is plugged up. I have found them for $100-150 and have every intention to purchase one this week. The holiday will be sparse this year with 11 kids to buy for but we will find a way, I'm sure.

Frankee called night before last with her normal death and dying situations. She is off her meds AGAIN. She is so hard to listen to and sometimes I wish she would find someone else to fix her problems for her. She thinks no one else understands her. She might be right but I could use s break from her drama. She needs a place to go and I can't be it. I think she is using and I can't risk our life for her's.

Rosa has 5 weeks left of the police academy and she is wearing down. She has a bad case of procrastination. She hasn't looked for a job yet b/c she fears they won't hire her.

Alyssa is still being a butt munch. An example that happened this morning is Emma was unloading the last few items out of the dishwasher and Alyssa was sweeping the floor. Alyssa had just begun and Emma was nearly done. Alyssa insisted Emma close the dishwasher so she could sweep under the door of it. She had the entire floor to do and wanted to start there b/c Emma was there. I heard Emma ask her several times to hang on and she would move. When I walked in the room, Alyssa had a hold of the dishwasher door and refused to let go. Emma was trying to get the last item out and she was being smooshed in the door by Alyssa. She literally refused to let he get her arms out. I startled her by smacking her rear lightly. She still didn't budge. I asked her to and nothing. I had to pry her off of the dishwasher door so Emma could get her arms out of it. Alyssa made sure to throw herself to the floor in a very dramatic fashion. I almost laughed but realized it would further her self pity mode.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

You Can't Polish a Turd

I called Rosa's soon to be ex husband last night for Alyssa. As I explained yesterday, she is having a very hard time right now. He hung up on me. I was polite and called him back and left a message. I explained that we must have been disconnected and I relayed the message that Alyssa wanted him to know. He knew she was waiting to talk to him, he didn't care. I waited until the kids were in bed and called him back leaving another message. One that made me feel better. I invited him to save the msg for the Judge or his lawyer and laid it all out for him. He is refusing all the regular scheduled and extra visits that he has been offered. He is not financially supporting his children. He doesn't call or return calls to them. He is the one missing out but worse than that, they need him. They have actually asked for a new dad. They have no idea that the one they got is the only turd they get. His actions are making them feel unworthy and in secure. I suggested he man up. Like I said, I felt better. I'm sure he just deleted it w/o listening.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Halloween and Some Witchy Attitude

This was Halloween night. We trick or treated at the mall due to rain. The kids were happier than I thought they would be and asked to do it there every year.






They aren't allowed to dress up for Halloween or have a party in our county. They get around it by letting the kids be book characters. They don't care as long as they can dress up. Most of the teachers do a special activity that includes halloweenie crap.





I added a bunch of new pictures of them dressed on my FB. They were so cute.

We had to get the police involved regarding a child's recent texting situation. She had gotten on a chat site called Omegle. DO NOT LET YOUR KIDS ON IT. You are instantly connected to a total stranger. You don't need a user name or anything. Just BAM, a stranger is talking to you. Anyway, these other "teen boys" wanted to text her so she being the idiot teenager we all have been, decided she was invincible and gave him the # to text. If they had been teens, it may have worked out differently. Now we are in the middle of some investigation to find the grown men that have been soliciting my child to send nude photos of her self and the ones that have been sending her pictures of them self. Most were out of state, some were not and that poses a threat in itself.

As you can imagine, having police at out home is very upsetting to our kids. Ruthie sobbed and rocked the entire time. She seemed OK after but at bed time she lost what little hold she had and went nuts. Cyr had to get the little kids out of the way while I tried to convince her to go downstairs. When she refused, for the safety of the others, I had to pick her up under her pits and carry her out. Eventually, she screamed a bunch of crap and walked the rest of the way. Once down there, she escalated to a point that we haven't seen in quite a while. I am used to the name calling and awful words but when she turned and looked at me straight in the face and screamed, "SHUT THE HELL UP!", I almost laughed out loud. I had been talking to Rosa and it caught me off guard. After some time, she continued this behavior and had managed to get herself under the ironing board. She refused to be careful and I was afraid it would fall on her. She threatened to kill herself and send me to jail in her rageful screams. I could tell they were just words when she didn't have any plan or any concept of what killing herself really meant. Once she began hitting and kicking me over and over, I was forced to hold her. She was exceptionally focused on hurting me by kicking and scratching me and I couldn't get in a position that protected me as well as her. In the process, she almost managed to get her teeth in me and I had to switch positions again. She was scratched in this event that lasted almost an hour. I, like many women, have longish nails. Before I knew she had been scratched, I cut them to the quick, again. I do everything in my power to protect the child I am being forced to hold. There are the rare incident they get a minor scratch or mark. After her shower, I noticed it and put ointment and band aids on it so she wouldn't be bothered by her shirt on it. I apologized to her b/c I felt bad. All she said was, "You didn't mean to. You would never hurt us." Talk about breaking my heart.

I rarely talk about Alyssa but I wanted to share that their father has all but disappeared from their lives. He hasn't come for a visit since July, he has almost stopped his children support, and barely returns calls to them. It is very hard for them to come to terms with this. Eddie has reignited his wetting and Alyssa has all sorts of fun behavior you may recognize. She is hoarding things in her bed like toys, food, books, and clothes that do not belong to her. She sneaks toys to school. She has pushed the kids so hard at the bus stop that she has to stay on the porch until they see the bus b/c I worry someone will be run over. She is openly defiant. She has been told by us that she may not sit with the rest of our kids on the bus and she does this by getting the driver involved. She claims that what happens at home stays there. She will regret that position before to long. She mutters under her breath. She is a master manipulator and tries to triangulate her mother and I. She refuses to accept any answer she doesn't agree with. She has decided the best way to torture some of my children is to show her privates or hound them about their insecurities. I am impressed with her recent improvements in her diet. She will eat a few bites of veggies at dinner. She is a tough little cookie, that's for sure.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Sentences

I was nervous and asked if it was inapporpriate to vomit in front of the Judge. I declined to speak in their Mother's sentencing b/c I felt I had said enough. I had spoken to the Probation Investigator and both the prosecuting and defense attorneys to explain our view that she was a victim but had many chances to tell someone. She needed some prison time and we had already worked out her deal. The Judge decided to uphold her plea bargain and she received 20 but has to serve 10.

He was a different story b/c he decided to go to trial and was proven guilty on most charges. He continued to be his arogant self and explained he was innocent. He refused to accept any responsibility for his actions and wanted to retrial it right there by presenting new evidence. At one point, he said he hoped the real guilty person would go to jail. Moron. The defense attorney only wanted to merge a few of the charges to have their sentence run concurrent and to reitterate he stated he was innocent of all charges. The A.D.A. called me up to speak and I read the following with my hands shaking so hard the words were blurry at times. I managed not to cry but it wasn't for lack of emotion.

I want you to imagine having a parent that did the things this man is guilty of. Most people have parents that tuck them into bed at night but he would wake the children from their beds and bring them to his room to satisfy his sexual needs, making nights extremely terrifying for them. He had all the power in the world over our children. He was more powerful than police, DFCS, the school, and even the courts b/c they kept sending them back to him over and over, 5 times. They couldn't trust they were free from him. They were frightened of him for all the things he did and still loved him b/c he was their father. A role he never earned but was awarded. He dominated them and their mother. They view her as another victim in their home. She couldn't save them b/c she was just like them. Three years after coming into
our home they still do not trust that we are different.

Cyr feels her body is damaged beyond repair. She carries a huge burden of guilt b/c she reinacted the same acts he was proven guilty of doing on our children. She is angry. She lost much of her childhood trying to protect her siblings. She wants him to pay for what he done and taken from them. She feels forever is too short.

Patches is so traumatized she has had to be hospitalized in a psychiatric facility. We have been told numerous times to look for a long term placement in a residential treatment facility b/c she struggles so hard to remain our a family. We will continue to fight her b/c she deserves some normalcy after what she endured.

Ruthie wets herself regularly both day and night. She is terrified she will be stolen by them. We have had to go to great lengths to prove she is safe at school b/c of this fear. She is confused b/c she misses them so much but hates what they did to her. She is desperate to stop thinking about all of this.

Michael has been hospitalized b/c he is filled with so much anger he hurts others. After seeing his father here in court, he had to be hospitalized again. His stress caused him to become more aggressive than normal for him
and feared he would hurt me or himself. He sleeps by the side of my bed b/c night time is too scary for him. He thinks about what happened and can't sleep without medication. He has nightmares and cries in his sleep.

Ella, too, sleeps in my room. She talks constantly about what happened and tries to understand why. She wets nightly and cries in her sleep. She and Ruthie are embarrassed and confused by their physical reaction to the abuse. They are dealing with a great deal of shame.

Ava's way of coping is to ignore it all. She has only been able to talk about it a couple of times briefly.

We have made many attempts to find ways to help them feel safe. We have spent 3 years in therapy, read every book we could get our hands on, attended conferences, sought out support groups, and asked many professionals for ways to help them. It boils down to this, they are forever changed by these events. We can help them cope but we can never take these events back. This will impact their future, their spouses, other children they have contact with, and their own children. Virtually, every relationship they have and will have will be affected by their inability to trust b/c of these horrific events and that it was further damaging b/c he was their parent. Nothing has had the impact that their imprisonment has made. They were able to focus on themselves instead of their fear.

The elementary school our children attend had to change their policy to protect them from taking the innocence from another child b/c of their poor boundaries with others. They can't spend the night out, have friends over for an afternoon, dress out in PE, play hide and seek, hang out in their room on the phone, or share a blanket while they watch a movie. We have to closely supervise them, keep door alarms on their doors, have video cameras in their Playroom, and have strict rules regarding undressing for showers. Normal, every day things they have to miss out on b/c they can't be safe or don't feel safe. They take daily medications to help them control their anger, fear, anxiety, depression, and sleep. Their lives are controlled by these emotions and his abuse. They deserve to know he can never get to them again. They deserve to see that his consequence was as severe as their's. He deserves to serve the same life sentence he gave them. He deserves to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

I went back to my seat and waited for the sentence while the A.D.A. explained that other cases have brought about 60-80 years and she felt at least that much would be appropriate. Then the Judge began some legal mumbo jumbo that was very confusing for the rest of us in the courtroom. He announced a Life sentence for the Agg. Sexual Battery. Seems easy enough, right? Then he started saying something about 40 yrs and 60 yrs, and then something about 20 yrs. A minimum time served of 40 yrs and on and on. I had it explained to me 3 different ways before I understood and the tears started rolling. He will never get out. He received a Life sentence with 40 yrs minimum before being considered for parole plus 60 yrs for the CM charges that will be consecutively run plus 20 yrs probation. Still confused? I was. I thought he would get out in 40 yrs. Probably not. He is eligible for parole but then he has these nasty 60 yrs to serve! They said that will muddy the waters and he should never see the light of day w/o his little jumpsuit.

I want to kiss that Judge! He did exactly what needed to be done. He made up for all the other court rulings regarding my children and their safety. These amazing people involved in the entire case saved my children when all others had walked away. This took years of dedication and I am sure they took this home. I am sure they spent nights thinking about how to pull this off, putting aside their own families for my chidlren. We will all forever be thankful for hard work. My children will be safe and more importantly than that, they will feel safe. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Rosemary, Det. Johnson, Det. Bedford, Judge Howell, and last but not least, Jenny.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Too Much Time to Think

I can feel the stress starting to dissipate. I found myself daydreaming today of a time when we wouldn't have so many appointments. One without therapy. Then I snapped back and realized I might as well be dreaming of a time that I didn't have laundry to do. It ain't gonna happen. Once I was fully back in reality, I began to wonder about their adulthood. How will they be different than they should have been? Who will be independent and who will forever fight me b/c they need me? Will they have healthy marriages and families? Will the cycle be broken or will they harm their own children? Will they even chose to be in my life? That's a lot of thinking for a 3 minute shower. See what happens when I am left to myself?

It got me going on something I have been procrastinating about. The Victim Impact Statement this Thursday at the sentencing of their parents. The kids have no idea we are still dealing with this. They think they will be locked up forever and that's that. Cyr is smarter than that but the rest are blissfully ignorant to the terrifying date ahead. I will be standing in front of the Judge and a packed courtroom to tell how their life has changed. How they have been impacted by their actions, destroyed is more accurate. You'd think I'd be used to it by now. I'm not. I have a pit in my stomach when I think about what depends on my words. I sure hope I don't let them down.

I am sure I mentioned Patches bus driver and the incident Friday and Saturday. Yesterday she called and apologized to me for the misunderstanding. She is a lovely woman that meant no harm to her and I knew that at the time. She adores Patches. She offered to make it clear to her what her intentions were and how she feels. I am beginning to find so much support in real life that it feels weird. I am used to being defensive and protective but am finding times when our family is appreciated instead of attacked. I could get used to this.

I realized that I have been nominated for a couple of awards. I am so backed up on blogs that I didn't even notice. Jenny had to leave it in a comment and Lisa had to email me. Thank you and I promise to get over there tonight.

I have been asked to be a parent portion of a panel of experts for a local conference by our therapists. They will use videos of our therapy to show different phases and presentations of attachment disorders. They will compile a number of sessions to show different strategies and how they play out. That is all I know. I have many questions. I was a bit preoccupied when they asked and may have been told but missed it. I know it is at a hotel conference room in the giant city we live near but that's it. That's the story of my life, flying by the seat of my pants.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lifetime Movie

After weeks and weeks of worry, the DFCS worker called and said she has some things for us to sign and our case will be closed. She offered to contact the school herself and make sure they understand that they investigated and could find no area to help us improve our environment or the care for our kids. They would be available to us for resources, as we request them. She didn't want any room for doubt with the school and would handle further referrals, should they come. She had one idea to help us with Michael and when we discussed it, she advised us to continue with what we were doing b/c it would be more effective. In other words, they can't think of a single thing for us to work on. Not one! She talked to me for 40 minutes about how great we are and how wonderful we are doing with each child. We talked about the trial and the toll it is taking on them. She said we were like a Lifetime Movie in the making and we were the most amazing family she has worked with.

Snake Bites

This is one of their favorites. It is not the one that caused the picture below. The kids are never in the room alone, the cages are all locked and escape proof, none are poisonous, and as scary as they seem to most, they are not vicious and rarely attack.






Michael is so proud he was bitten. For some weird boy reason, he acted like it was a Right Of Passage of sorts. It is not something we encourage and take great precautions to make sure it doesn't. There is always a chance with any animal that they may bite. He healed very quickly since they are such tiny teeth marks. It looks much worse than it was.

Another Thank You and a Song

This is her room after a rage. If you look closely you can see her writing a song about how much she hates me. She had calmed by this time. All the tiny pieces of paper are her posters that were on the wall. She was heartbroken when she realized she had destroyed her posters and ripped her money to shreds. For an event like this, her consequence is to clean it up. I don't see a reason to add insult to injury, she is the one that lost her stuff even if it was by her own hands. She cleaned it without a word from anyone and just came down when she was down. She curled up in my lap and cried.


This is a picture Patches drew of me during the rage above. She will draw pictures or write letters over and over about how he hates me or the other kids. I like my legs in this one.








The kids with some of their loot. They were so excited to have received lollipops in the mail.








More cards and more grins

Devil Girl


This is Alyssa's eye after Kiera threw a block at her. It took 10 days to heal. This was not the worst looking day, by far.







Kiera's Mother is holding her, her aunt and her son is next, Nana, and then her Uncles Josh and his son at her birthday party.








Granny, Kiera, her Mother











Kiera checking out her cake. She was hesitant to eat it with the mouse turds on it.









Riding a bike with Cyr