Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hold Me, Please

As you can tell, Patches is taking a lot of my attention. I, like others here, feel like we are held hostage by her and her endless rages. I have my moments that I am angry. This has been so long and I want her to stop already. The problem is that she can't. She desperately wants to be better. She asks me all the time if it will improve. She is scared. So am I.

I was just catching up on another blog, she was talking about restraints and her feelings about them. She shared her thoughts on holding before the child is destructive or hurting themselves. You know the brief window of time when they are escalating but haven't done any damage? I agree with this for the most part. As Patches has grown from a children's size 8 to a jr's size 7 in the last 3 years we have adjusted this a bit. It has become more difficult to hold her more than once a day b/c my arms get so weak after being strained for an hour or more sometimes. We had a really bad time b/c of this with Ruthie awhile back. Her AT suggested we try to let her self regulate and leave her be. For the most part, I can talk her through extreme situations w/o terrible damage to our home or her. This is not always the case. I took a few minutes and spoke with Patches about her restraints and tantrums after reading this post. I asked her how the change has made her feel. It took her a few minutes to respond and then she has asked to be held when she starts to get out of control b/c it makes her feel safe. She had told me this some time ago right after her arrival. I am so impressed with her ability to verbalize her needs especially about this. How many kids ask to be held? I love this child so much, I wish she could learn to love herself.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Only 6 Hours

All the kids were asked to "run through their chores" before bed last night. It is something I holler out a few times a day Everyone did exactly that, except Patches. She focused on a towel that someone had set on the stairs and began screaming at Emma about how she was ruining her life by making her pick it up. First of all, I am not exaggerating when I say this child truly believes she has the right to go after Emma for leaving an item in her area. If she is left unattended, she would threaten and eventually assault her. Secondly, it wasn't even Emma. She happened to be the person nearest to her. It was me. Patches doesn't care who is really at fault. In her mind, we are all out to get her in some way.

After quite bit of fussing from her, I sent her on to bed in hopes that the morning would bring a better attitude. I was mistaken. She refused to eat breakfast. She sat in the fetal position refusing to pick up the same darn towel for 6 hours. I eventually asked her to go be pitiful somewhere else and she kicked me. I struggled and got her arm behind her back to help her to the porch. She went off the deep end and threw the rocking chair over the railing and began to really freak out. My DH stepped on the porch and grabbed her arm before she knocked me out. She seemed to calm down for a second and he released her arm. She took off running don the gravel drive way in her PJs and bare feet. She took off down the road but stopped 3 doors down and sat by their mailbox. It took her about another hour to calm down and come back.

She sat on our porch quietly hating me. If I said anything she would whisper that I was stupid or that she wants me to die. I noticed she bit her arm and asked her if she needed ointment. She informed me that she had scratches, too. She plans on telling the Judge that I bit her and scratched her. Whatever. She did come back in a few minutes ago and happily did her chore like nothing has happened. I am sure she is half starved and smelling the roast cooking all day has helped her attitude.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

It's Been Over 3 Hours...


and she is still on the living room floor in the fetal position. She managed to sweep the floor before she encountered the enemy. One of the kids walked through the kitchen and that's all it took. She threw herself on the floor and is trying to make all of us miserable. It is so sad that she can't connect or interact with anyone without her losing her head.

Warning! Patches Letting Me Know She is Mad

video

This is a minor episode with Patches, the video is about 23 minutes. This is after she had kicked my bedroom door a few times with the baby sleeping on the other side. When I approached her she began kicking my leg and I had to turn her around by putting her arm behind her back. She claims this "rips her arm off" but truly doesn't hurt her. It does protect me from her throwing me down the stairs again, punching me, or any of the other lovely things she likes to do when she is angry. She also had been punching the front door glass with her fist and then tried to punch my DH as he opened the door. You will hear her typical rants about how she hates me, wants to live with anyone but me, how she hates the kids, how she wants to die, and how she belongs in jail. Most of you hear the same crap at home. Those of you that aren't used to hearing this from your loving children, beware. I may sound harsh when she talks about killing herself or that she hates me but I know her really well. I have learned by trial and error what response from me gets what reaction from her. I love her dearly and try to help her regain some control of herself with as little damage to everyone and everything as possible. At the end, she let me hug her and she followed me in the house to take her meds. She is currently doing her chore without a bit of attitude.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Huge Sale

Rosa and I hit the local thrift store for their 50% off sale today. We planned on leaving my DH with the kids just an hour or so and were shocked when he called us 3 hours later. We were no where near through the entire store. I bought only name brand blue jeans for the kids for school. When I say name brand, I mean Aeropostle, Limited Too, Gap, and more. All are really nice ones that had not a tear or mark on them cost between $1.60-$2 each. Cyr and Patches made out like bandits with 25+ new shirts for about $.60 each and 25 new pairs of jeans, skirts, and dress pants. Little girls got about 20+ new pairs of jeans and other really nice pants. I was able to find at least 15 new shirts for them and 3 bikinis for $2. Michael is still wearing about the same size as last year. He is 9 and wears a size 5T shorts but needs a 7 in jeans for length. They about fall off of him but he has 4 new pairs of jeans. I didn't even look for the baby, my DH, or myself. I love that store!

We all went to the pool for a few hours today. It was like pulling teeth to get Rosa in a suit in public. She is gorgeous but has such low self esteem. It doesn't help that she has many very large scars on her arms ad legs that she is terrified people will comment on. I personally think she should be thrilled to have survived that car accident. I told her to tell people that aliens took her and she came back like that but she won't do it. She could even have special powers but NOOOO. She compares her self to other younger women like the life guards. They are too cute for words. You know the type, very young, tan, and fit.

Cyr is having a blast at my Mom's. She was a bit freaked out when Gpa Joe had to take her to the ER. She has kidney stones and is now on some major pain meds. I can't wait for Cyr to come home and stay a few days with us.

Emma's Mom called and she has big plans for Emma and her sister that is 364 days younger than her. They will have a simple dinner with dessert on Gracie's bday and then she is taking all 4 girls to the water park for the day. Emma's Nana will be taking her to get her ears pierced, too. This will be Emma's first birthday without us. She was bit hesitant to ask but I don't mind. The woman gave birth to her so why shouldn't she get to see her that day? I'll miss her terribly.

Patches is harassing all the kids again. She seems to really focus on Emma right now. A few weeks ago it was Alyssa. She seems to hate them all equally but can't keep track of all of them at the same time.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I Hate You Forever

I'm sure I posted about Patches' last IEP meeting when they brought in the AP and gave me a hard time about retaining her. They finally bullied me into agreeing to push her through to 6th grade with the hopes of getting her into the special therapeutic academy at the school. I received a letter in the mail today requesting another IEP meeting b/c she failed the CRCT that they made her retake this summer. Duh! She reads and functions on a 1st grade level. Why would they think this would change just weeks later? Why would they insist I come in? All we need to do is have a conversation showing we are all on the same page. I have an evil plan. I will attend the meeting and show up with a letter from her psychiatrist requesting her to be placed in the program. I have been told that if a doctor requests it, they have no choice. It out ranks the school's psychologist. I am still a little irritated they hid that program from me in the first place so I don't think I will give them a heads up. Moohahaha

We are having a quiet summer so far. No real outings just lots of sprinkler time. My DH is home this week and he helped me clean out the carport so we could rearrange the picnic tables in there. We like to eat outside when the weather permits and the carport is the perfect shade we need.

Cyr is visiting my mother for a few days for the first time. She is learning to knit. There are no kids there. My Mother is a fantastic cook and bakes nearly every day. She can sleep in and stay up as late as she wants. Gpa Joe took her to a movie today and filled her with junk food. At this rate, she will not return to us without kicking and screaming.

Ruthie had a fit today and decided to show me by slamming the front door in my face and then ripping of her fingernail. Not sure how that was getting me back but OK. She still thinks that screaming things at me will hurt me. I have lost count at the number of times that I have heard, "I hate you forever!".

Patches has moved on to torturing the kids by saying she won't live with them when they grow up. AND? Not sure how that is mean, either. She hasn't gotten violent in weeks. I am so relieved we seem to be onto the right mix of meds. She is very irritating in another way, though. She is bossy. Not bossy as in do this do that. Bossy in a way that is mean and hurtful. When she mops the floor she doesn't warn anyone, she waits until they need to walk through and screams and yells at them. She doesn't stop. She gets herself so worked up about it that it is comical. The kids stand there afraid to move until an adult saves them. She doesn't touch them in any way. She just yells about how they should know she is mopping and that they can't move. It is weird. I'll take it over attacking us any day. This afternoon she freaked out on the kids in the pool splashing. She made a very big deal out of nothing. She didn't want them to move in the water, just sit there. We had to get her away from them so they could play. Her thought process is really off. It is so obvious that she isn't "normal". Poor girl. All she wants to do is fit in and I am not sure she ever will.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I Spoke Too Soon

Frankee was a no show last night. I was talking with my DH last night about how it brought back memories for me. Memories of Nikki and all her drama. When Nikki was using Meth she she spent a lot of time causing herself and me drama. She would call and tell me the danger her daughters were in. She would ask my advice. Sometimes, set up a plan to help them. Then nothing. This would happen over and over but every once in a while she really needed me. She would call and tell me her BF had beat her up. He was abusive and this was not uncommon. Sometimes she would let me get her and others she would hide from me when I got there. There was so much drama that it was hard to figure out what was real and what was in her head.

Frankee is the same way. She has 3 kids and only has one of them. One she signed over her rights to let her be adopted but they never did and she lost track of her until recently. She discovered the child was being abused by the Gpa that had her and she went to get her. She plans on returning her to the Gma (they are divorced) even though her rights are in tact and the Gma has struggled with a pain medication addiction. Her son lives with her ex husband and his wife. She lost him due to her drug use. Shyanne is only still with her b/c her father spends a lot of his time going from jail to jail. Frankee can't keep a relationship together b/c she is extremely argumentative. SHe will fight with anyone and anything. She is constantly recreating her childhood. The cycle has not stopped or will it stop in this generation. I am so sad for her and her kids but I can only do so much.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Frankee Called

She is on her way here now. She said she wants to die. I'm not clear if Shyanne is coming with her and her older daughter Salissa or if they will be going to their dads. She recently admitting she has been using and had progressed to needles. She has been off for a few days and with her BiPolar her emotions are all over the place. Her boyfriend broke up with her and has thrown her out. She will only be here for a few days but it will be nice to see her again. I am sad that she still hasn't found stability in her life. She is surrounded, by choice, with chaos. My only wish for her at this point is happiness.

Friday, June 19, 2009

She Gets It


Kiera had a really bad night. I'm not going to complain but I will say, I'm taking a nap today.

I spent an hour at the new elementary school with the principal, at her request. I am so excited. The woman gets it. She knows what RAD is and had intelligent questions to ask about each child. I told her of my plans to go over the school and get the psychiatrist to write a letter to put Patches in the "Academy" at the middle school. The one that is a theraputic environment that they hid from me for the last year. I am still burning up that they did that. Anyway, I was very pleased with her and look forward to a great relationship over the next year.

I had a quiet trip to Walmart or as I like to think of it, a wonderful mini vacation from the Insane Asylum. Kids are great. Patches cried when she had to resweep the kitchen but no damage to anyone or anything. Ruthie, Ava, Michael, and Emma are playing nicely. Ella is with my DH at work. She begs to go and usually can't b/c she can't lift much or really help in any way. This was a quick trip for him so he scooped her up for the ride. She was thrilled and had a hard time choosing an outfit to "work" in.

My DH has had his 4th litter of boas this year and I am getting a van by the middle of next week with the proceeds. I am desperate to leave the house with all the kids. Sounds weird but I can handle them all, including my gkids, just fine alone and actually look forward to it.

Kiera is screaming so it's time for a nap. Awww, sweet dreams, people.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Kiera's Mother Called

We only hear from her every few weeks by text. She has spoken to her 3 times on the phone since November. She did come to the party last month. I knew something was up when she called last night. She wants me to let the baby go stay the weekend at the mother's father's house. I have heard from her lips that her father does drugs. I was very firm and reminded her of this. He is also a convicted felon and on probation. She was angry and stammered around a bit even pretending I didn't answer. Then she started talking about taking both her daughters to a water park for the day on July 4th. What? They are 1 and 3. They can't ride ANY of the slides. Kiera barely likes the water. She prefers to sit on the side of the pool. I have told her this. She has yelled at me about her MIL refusing to allow her to have her other child on Christmas, Easter, and Mother's Day. I am worried she will think I'm trying to keep her from her when I am not.

I invited her to our home to spend the night next week on her days off. I will not allow her BF but that didn't come up. I want her to see her child. At the same time, she is on drugs. Her current BF seemed nice but looks at least 15 yrs older than he is.

On another note completely, I found documentation in our original file they sent us before we adopted the sibling group that states their father was accused of molesting his sisters as a teenager. This is huge b/c the A.D.A hasn't been able to get the paperwork from the county office due to his sister's adoptions. We now have proof it happened. I sent a copy to the Det. She was thrilled to know it exists and will forward it.

Their father called their Aunt M and Uncle F a couple days ago and claims that he has prayed and the kids will get on the stand and say it was all a lie. He is sure they will take one look at him and "tell the truth". That makes me mad. I can understand that he is lying about it all but to say after seeing him they will "tell the truth" makes me worry he plans on staring them down or something. He is crazy and very mean, at times. He scares the heck out of the kids and is not above being mean. He claims we have coerced them and convinced them to lie about him. Too bad he doesn't know his wife has already admitted most of the truth and plans on a plea bargain.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Emma is back home and having a hard time adjusting. Nothing huge, of course. She can't sleep at night and then slept until almost noon yesterday. That is unheard of in our family. No one sleeps past 9 AM. Ever. Just to do that a miracle and high fever must happen simultaneously. Back to Em, she is awful snuggly and quiet. Most might pause and wonder if having such an open relationship was worth all her pain. It is. She knows her first family intimately and has the support of all of us to boot. She takes great comfort in returning home to us.

She heard from her oldest birth sister about her last visit with their father. It was horrible. Drugs, violence, police, and everything worth a penny was broken including cell phones and windows. Emma was horrified to hear the story. While it is scary, she will never witness anything like it. It came at a perfect time b/c she had been asking about him a lot. I have been honest with her about his history but she still had a bit of a fantasy going on. Until her sister told her what she experienced. Kalee, her sister, can be a bit gossipy but in this case, I'm glad. Emma told me last night that she never wants to meet him. I assured her that it would be normal if she changed her mind a million times and I will always keep her safe from that drama.

I think the relationship she has with her mother is amazing. They are identical in their physical appearance and have many other similar qualities. Many people thought I was crazy in the beginning for insisting on keeping her mother in our life. I had no idea about open adoptions, I only knew it didn't feel right to stop talking to her just b/c we had her baby and she hurting so badly. She loved her baby so much. She tried to parent her. She had problems that began in her life many years and even generations before Emma was born. We struggled the first year or two to find our roles. Mine as her Mom and hers as her Mother. We had to work around her depression and drug addiction. It was not always easy but it always felt worth it. We had supervised visitation in our home. We talked daily and then panicked when she would disappear for weeks. She has lived with us several times until she could get back on her feet or escape a dangerous BF. We have loved her mother through all her issues and she has loved us right back for accepting her and keeping her in our lives. Sometimes she feels like my child, too. She is definitely a big part of our family. I am so proud of her as a mother these days. She has worked so hard to stay clean and be a parent to her children. She is doing just that. I love that Emma can go stay a week at her home and have a blast, never seeing her mother's past issues. She now calls us both Mom. I really thought it would bother me. It doesn't b/c we both are her Mom, there is no competition. Our daughter can love both of us.

This is another silly video of Emma explaining who she is to herself, I guess. Her birth name was Alyvia. I will be removing it in a day or so.
video

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ella and Emma Dancing Again

video video

Emma and Ella

These 2 are so silly. I found so many videos of them dancing on my phone and thought I'd start with these two. Remember Ella has CP so her balance is compromised. By the way, they are dancing, if you can believe it.
video video

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Easter

There all here and making faces. Patches doesn't "play" well. SHe is a bit more serious but tried.









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









Checking out their loot from the egg hunt










It was a free for all. They swapped and stole candy.







Patches seems to prefer being on the sidelines.























Ava









Alyssa









Michael prefers to be alone, too. This is typical Michael, he opened every egg and laid them out. He has to do them all before he can enjoy a piece of candy.

Kiera at the Hospital



She was unconscious and I was terrified.











She was breathing in her own.











She is looking over the edge to see a playground and kids playing.









She loved to ride in the wagon around the PICU.

Check Out Their Teeth



Emma










Gia









Ella










Cyr








Michael











Eddie









Patches









Ruthie











Alyssa

In No Particular Order

Rosa after a food fight between her and Cyr that ended Cyr up in the ER b/c she landed on her shoulder.









Kiera shopping.










Kiera in a bowl. She rolled around the kitchen in it.








If you look in her seat you will see that she demolished an oatmeal creme pie, without permission, and passed out.










Gia and Kiera having lunch in baskets.












Patches having her Brain Q done.








Gia ready to go.








All grins.









Michael and Ava on the computer.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Emma is being forced to return home on Sunday. When I say forced, I mean grabbed by the ankles and dragged down a flight of stairs kicking and screaming. LOL She loves going there.

Michael went to the psychiatrist today and had another med change. She added Prozac. He has never been on one and thinks it will help with his hallucinations. She thinks his recent "friends" are from PTSD. We shall see. I'll try anything. He is such a difficult child. Easy to love, hard to live with. The boy flashes his smile at me and I melt. I wish we could see it more often.

Ruthie is attached to my hip lately. She would rather sit with me than do anything. I think she is worried about the trial. She has confided that she thinks about it all the time.

Kiera is fully trained in foot smelling. I ask her if she wants to smell my feet and she runs over to me. She leans over and yanks off my shoes and sniffs. She leans way back and screams, "Shooo Weeee!" It is hysterically funny. She has a few parlor tricks like that. She is too much fun.



Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The paternal Gma and I talked for the first time today. She told me she has Schizophrenia. She was nice enough, she wants to get to know the kids again. I am not sure how far we will take it b/c only Cyr really remembers her. She has all good memories of her and says she is safe. Se wanted the kids to know she has their dog. They were thrilled to hear he was OK. The Gma agreed to our "rules" and is looking forward to pictures of them.

My son is driving me crazy. I am trying to pretend he is not working my nerves but it is getting harder and harder. He has taken all day to refuse to clean the bathroom. He rearranged things in the bathroom to claim he had cleaned it. Of course he left all the dirt in it's place. Just clean the darn thing already!!

Ella got frustrated with the baby outside and pushed her down. What a little turd?

I am trying to make arrangements for the trial next month. I found the hotel we will be staying in and now I need to make sure we have a family member there every day of the week to supervise them while we are in the courtroom. My Mom said she would do it 1 day but I have to get a commitment from others still. We plan on staying in that town from Tues to Fri and hope we can leave earlier. I need 3 more people and I am hoping my MIL and sister will do it. Hint, hint. Their Aunt M and Uncle F will have to work but plan on seeing us at night. I know their former FM, Shirley, will want to be in the courtroom and I need her to remember all that happens since I have to testify and can't be there. My DH won't be any help remembering things due to his short term memory issues.

Just to share a bit of nice, Cyr IM'd me today to apologize for being a booty lately. It's all normal teen stuff like not doing her chore, rolling her eyes, sneaking candy, and trashing her room. You all know what I mean, it's annoying but normal. I was pleasantly surprised by her. That is Cyr though, she is learning to pay attention to how she affects others and tries to change it. She is growing into a lovely young lady. Too bad that also means her body is changing into a young woman, too.
We are down 3 grandchildren and Emma so we added 2 of my nieces for a few days. It was too empty around here. It's funny how the house can feel quiet with only 9 kids. They separate out into groups of 2 or 3 and play nicely. I'm not sure what we will do when Rosa leaves with her 3. LOL

Rosa was accepted into the Police Academy this week. She has a lot to get together before she starts in August but she can do it. I am so proud of her.

I have to try to schedule a time to chat with the psychologist about the evaluations. I am excited to find out what the current dx will be.

My son is a real pain in the butt this week. He has begun to copy everything Patches says. If he had a brain in his adorable head, he should know SHE is not the child to pick on. Maybe it's me that's not getting it, maybe he wants to put himself in danger.

Kiki took me out all day yesterday for my birthday last month. We shopped in a really great thrift shop Rosa discovered. We were there for over 2 hrs laughing and causing scenes b/c she refused to try anything on in the aisle. We only purchased clearance items and turned our noses up at dresses costing an outrageous $4. Most things were $1-$2.15. Patches and Cyr made out like bandits with 15+ new brand name shorts, 4 new dresses that were $2, and many adorable tops. Michael got 3 new pairs of pants and a dress shirt for court next month. The Little Girls (Ruthie, Emma, Ella, and Ava) can all wear the same size so they have 3 new dresses for court.

Aunt M called yesterday and told me she went to see their mother in jail. She is ready to divorce her husband and she is begging for a plea bargain. She wants to move to the prison and get on with her time. She knows she will never live a normal life again and doesn't want her children to have to testify against her. I think this is the least she can do and I am surprised she is thinking of them instead of herself. She asked about how they were doing and was shown her first photo of them in over a year. She does love them.

Their father was in the visiting area next to them and they could see his video. He briefly talked to them but never asked about the kids or his case. He has found God and is settling into his life there. He seemed to enjoy being there.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Emma is at her Mother's for the next several days. I miss her already. Rosa is starting to settle in a deep depression herself while her 3 little ones visit their other grandparents in Michigan.

Michael and I took the remaining half a million kids to the pool. I was ready to go after the baby nearly drowned 4 times. She never cried but she would lean over to grab the ball and not understand the water level so her face would go under. She didn't understand how to sit back up and would lay there. The kids just watched her and one even moved away from her. SO much for them helping me with her this summer. She'd be dead if I went to the bathroom. Other than that, they had a ball. I can't believe I left Cyr there with her friend Malcolm. He is such a nice kid and he has a crush on her. She thinks he is gross but is a good friend. I love that we are beginning to trust a little bit. There were 6 life guards and at 13 she can swim without us. His Mom will bring her home any minute.

Things are getting better here. My DH is like this new and improved husband. He hasn't slacked off at all and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight. He loves going to his meetings. He feels good about things. I am still skeptical but hopeful.

Kiera goes to get shots tomorrow and I am not looking forward to it. Any volunteers?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Today my son turned 9. He is still wearing a size 6 and looks like your average 1st grader. He has had a good week and even worked hard in AT. He confessed he is seeing things lately. More accurately, people. He was terrified he would have to go away like Patches did so he has been afraid to tell us. I knew he was hearing more things and that they were changing from simple voices calling his name to people running toward him or chasing him. The other night he got up to go to the restroom and I remember thinking he didn't stay long enough to use it but never moved b/c he ran back to bed. Turns out he saw a little boy sitting in the tub playing and it freaked him out so bad he ran back to bed and peed there. It saddens me we still aren't at the point he can turn to me for help.

Patches had a Brain Q this morning and we will get the results in 2 weeks. She goes to the neurologist tomorrow to see if she has caused any brain damage from all her head banging. She also tested positive for Strep again. Good times, people.

Things are settling down here. I am seeing a new man replace my DH. He took this very seriously and is really getting into the program. He has helped me more in the last week than he has our entire marriage. He is connecting with us, with me. The kids are aware he is attending meetings and we explained in simple terms what had happened. They are all handling it great. They do not understand why he is not sleeping in our bed and are jealous he gets to sleep on our sofa. He is suffering happily, all he wanted was to be back here in the house. He even offered to sleep in his reptile room.

Frankee called me today. She is using drugs and with needles. I am so sad for her and her children. She wants to be a better parent and can't seem to stay off the drugs. She has a warrant for her arrest for not paying child support. She is thinking of turning herself in and sending Shyanne here for the Summer. She is always welcome but I wish she would just stay clean long enough that the child wouldn't have to move so often. Shyanne would have a ball here with the kids.

Monday, June 01, 2009

I am holding my head above water here. Cyr is aware of the situation and has agreed to keep her mouth shut for a few more days. She was shocked to learn he has a problem and has asked numerous questions about it. He has attended 5 meetings this weekend and is shooting for the 90 in 90 days. He has completely changed his thoughts on his problem and is focused on being a better father and husband. He has stopped sobbing and seems to have a better attitude about his future.

Patches is doing GREAT! She hasn't cried about her chore in a few days . That is amazing b/c she usually sobs and sobs before doing it in slo mo. She left this morning at 7:30 to go retake her CRCT.

Cyr is begging her friends to invite her over. This drives me nuts. I insist she wait to be invited but she refuses to be polite. Rosa took her shopping yesterday and they had a blast. They tried on prom dresses and high heels so they could dance up and down the store aisles. She asked Rosa to buy her many things over the day so we had to talk about how rude that is.

Emma is now doing jumping jacks every time she back talks to me. She is getting on my nerves.

Michael knocked over another bird's nest. He did this last year and got into trouble. I'm not sure why he thought this year would be different. He is still supposed to be supervised by an adult but keeps trying to sneak away. He is now screaming and throwing a fit in his room. He is going to have a very long summer.

I'll answer those couple of questions tonight when I have more time. Any more to add?