Sunday, December 31, 2006

Tonight my sister and her kids are coming over for a "party". We have elected not have any alcohol here to respect the kids' wishes. We are not drinkers really at all. The last time we drank was the end of last year, but we do like to have a couple on New Years Eve. Not this year. The kids are a little weird about alcohol and while I think it is important for them to learn about social drinking, this is not the time to show them. We have many years to provide a good role model on adult beverages and I intend to teach them what is appropriate.

I have been sick for a couple of days so my house is trashed and we have spent a good bit of today cleaning. We still need to go to Walmart for a bit food if I can get some additional help from mu husband. My son is out of control today and P had a rough start this morning. I am wearing down quickly with him this afternoon b/c I was so sick yesterday and am just not quite myself yet. I just had to tell him I assume he must be exhausted and needs some rest b/c he is acting out so badly today. I am not in the mood to deal with him and really just want him to shut up for a bit or at least know where he is. He is screaming in his room for now and we all have a bit of peace. The other children are even a bit tired of dealing with him for now.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Details about the new Technique

I am using a special hand held brush with tons of soft but firm plastic bristles and I run it over every inch of their arms, legs, and back. I use long slow strokes and am careful not to retrace any of the skin. I do 4 short strokes on the tops and bottoms of the hands and feet. I then do joint compressions 10 times for each of the following shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, ankles, and then the neck. I press firmly grasping above and below each joint and never pull the joints apart only push them together. Hope that was helpful.

Brushing Technique

We are back to our many appointments and I love how we can do them during the morning hours and have the afternoons free for other things. I see why large families decide to homeschool their children. I can not fit in all our appointments after school and so they are checked in and out alot.

OT evals are coming along and we are now implementing a brushing technique with D and A. I could not believe the difference in D and how she stopped bugging me so much. No more constant boo boos, rubbing on me, crying, or any other annoying behaviors. She heard her name when I called for her and she was able to focus on a 2 step request from me with heavy supervision of course. She is not so flaky and disoriented. I am shocked it happened so fast and worried it won't last. I can see how tiring it will be for me b/c I have to do this for several minutes every 2-3 hours per child. They love it and are reminding me way before the time. I will have to do this during the day when they return to school probably right before lunch. Great another trip to the school EVERY day. I swear I am gonna request a permanent name tag to save me from writing it out every time.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I have survived and a few

We began opening presents on Christmas Eve so we could spread them out a little. It did not work. I way over did it. They got everything they dreamed of and I became that horrible parent that I never thought I would be. I regretted several of the gifts fairly quickly. Karaoke machine, Heeleys, and in line skates b/c they have not stopped since they have been opened. P even slept in her skates and has had some sort of epiphany that she was meant to be a skater when she grows up. What? She falls constantly and really does not see that as an error but as a challenge. She skates around all the furniture , my In Laws home, and even uses the restroom in them.

B got the Heeleys and karaoke machine and I can deal with the skating around to some degree it is the screaming into the microphone that is bugging me a bit. She may be pretty, smart, and strong but carrying a tune ain't a strength she has. She believes she is the next Beyonce and has forced us all to listen to her over and over. Let me tell ya, you can only fake something so long. I have banned the machine to her room for practice b/c it interferes with the other kids play. LOL

Only one major meltdown, my son had to show his butt on the big day and I felt it coming and couldn't talk him down from the edge, he needed to blow. I eventually had to take him to the ground and restrain him in front of my mother and sister. We are all used to this and quite comfortable with this but my mom and sister felt hopeless and wanted to help. I just wanted them to back up and protect themselves from his kicking feet. My mother just left and my sister watched from the couch. He took awhile but managed to talk about how he missed his parents and hoped he wouldn't ruin his new toys. He was great after we talked and has been VERY careful with them. He even asked me to keep them in my room to protect them from him. He has come so ar, he will be fine with his toys. If he chooses to destroy them then that's ok, too.

He is 6 and wears pull ups every night and we noticed he wets them immediately after they are put on. Now we know he is just trying to protect himself. My husband was getting angry b/c he smells and does it right after he puts them on and we had a talk about how we understand now and it is ok to do it if he needs to. He was so surprised it was ok now and shocked when DH apologized to him for getting angry before. He can do it and wear them forever if he wants. All of the sudden he is self conscience about people knowing he has them. When he first came he was loud about them and did not care if anyone found out. He even told the people at the store they were for him. For $7 a month, he can wear them into college for all I are. I hope he is able to feel safe enough to stop someday but today is not the day.

We just took it easy today and played with the new stuff. It has been a great day,except a pipe broke in our garage and we had to shut the water off to the house until a plumber can get out here. Fun, fun.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Kids are Gone

To Nanny and Papa's house for the night. They will be attending lunch with Papa's side of the family. Nice folks, well, some of them. Papa's mother is really self centered and down right rude at times. I have a hard time holding my tongue so we usually skip it. About 7 years ago she announced in front of about 50 people at Papa's birthday party, "OMG! You are getting so fat! You are gonna make your poor husband and those foster kids fat, too! You should do something about it!" At the time had gained about 10# and was wearing a size 10. I would give anything to be that size again. She is mean to her son, Papa, and he is kinda a jerk to think of it, too. He loves the kids and his dogs , that's it. He is a whole other story himself. The first time he ever spoke to me I had been married to his step son for over 2 years. He and I were getting Thanksgiving dinner in a buffet type style in his SIL's home and he just started telling a stupid joke. I looked around to see who he was talking to, I was dumbfounded he actually spoke but even more surprised it was to me. Did I mention he loves the kids? He is someone completely different with them, they have no idea he has no social skills.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

You knew it was coming...

The after math of the "memory". It is here in full force but not from the child I expected. P has the memory and I fully expected her to rage, tantrum, smart mouth, or something. Nothing but lots of growth. She is talking about how she feels (w/o discussing the details of the incident) and she is respectful, thoughtful, and caring about her siblings and me. She continues to amaze me.

My son on the other hand does know that she has had a memory resurface about his parents doing something abusive to him but he has not been told any details or hints as to what that would be. For all he knows it was about how his parents spanked them too hard. He usually falls right to sleep and gets up several times but that has changed abruptly and he can't go to sleep. He is afraid of something and can't quite figure out what it is. He says that his mother used to wake him up and scare him but she was not mean to him so now he can't go to sleep. I think he is on the verge of remembering or perhaps he already does know and isn't telling us yet. He has had severe rages even for him and today made the top of the list and it was in Walmart. My other children were so upset b/c we went to the one near our home (I had been traveling a little to avoid this issue but since I felt we had done well lately I miscalculated the situation) and a couple of classmates watched me restrain him in the cosmetics isle. He screamed how mean I was, he hates me, I wasn't his mother, and on and on and on. After and hour or more I had to get my food and go so he had to be carried in a tight hold all through the check out line. He had kicked off his shoes and socks and looked homeless and very angry about it. The sweetest lady behind us was cooing to her baby and I wanted to cry. I missed that with him and that is why he is hurting so bad. I was sweating from holding a 40# boy for so long and she approached me to tell me I was a very good mom. She was impressed with my patience and ability to manage all 7 kids and wished she could take the stress from em for just a minute and let me know that. She made the horrible day a little better. I can do this, he is my son and he needs me to be strong. I felt like I was getting very frazzled but I guess ordering the other kids to pick up the slack for a minute looked well organized. Go figure.

He has to make this up to them and as I type he is cleaning like a trooper. He "loves" me again and willing to do anything I ask. The girls are at the movie with Dad and they are going to dinner after. He will be busy with all their chores all night and by my side snuggling after that. He is the best snuggler when he wants to be. So sad it's always on his terms unless I force snuggle time and get him giggling first then I have the control.

Another cool thing happened right after that meltdown at Walmart. We get in the van and of course he is still hollaring nasty things at me, picking at himself, and being just rude the entire way home. I have had enough by the time we were home and I checked the mail box for a moment to myself and I got a Christmas card from Jensboys. I was so taken back I burst into tears (ok the card was great but not tear worthy) she sent a picture of all her kids and a wonderful newsletter about her year. It made my entire day. Thank you, Jen, you continue to amaze me with your strength and shear willingness to put yourself out there for others. Your family is beautiful and inspiring. You had no way of knowing how badly I would need a pick me up at that moment but you had the best timing.

We are still moving and I am desperate to really start house hunting but my DH is freaking out about the church idea. Kids are loving it but he insists he could never be intimate again. I am thinking that's great, too, no more excuses. LOL

C's IEP was just located and she will start Pre K in a contained classroom in the public system 2 days a week in January. A little bus will come and get her and bring her home. She thinks that is so cool. She has not thought about the fact my leg won't be there for her to attach herself to. She will figure that out soon enough, for now we are getting her pumped up for "real" school. Her twin, A, is just starting the process of evaluations to qualify her for it and her needs are not physical so they will not be in the same class. The really bad thing is our home school does not offer Pre K or contained classrooms so I could potentially end up with 4 different elementary schools since D may have to change schools for a better suited program, too.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Great Weekend

What a great time we had. We have 2 birthdays this month, P and D turned 9 and 8 so we took them roller skating. I have not been on skates in 17 years and it took me about 5 rounds to get decent balance and help the others. B and P had been before but only B could do it but P thinks she rocks at it. She is thinking professional career, this from a child that can not walk a straight line due to some undx neurological issue. She is too cute, I refuse to ruin her dreams. The others barely could stand until the end and then all but C tried to go around on their own. C tied to skate but her feet turn in so badly and her legs have been hurting so much that after 15 minutes she asked to have tennis shoes back on. She loved watching and laughing at the kids fall.

We went to the therapist to discuss this horrible memory that P has and she was amazing. I can see real progress in her. I love to see how proud she is about telling me what her parents did. The therapist is of course a mandated reporter but I have no idea what will happen. She is the only child that remembers and she would never tell anyone else about this and it will be her word against his. She did for the first time ever say she was mad at them. That alone is huge for her.

Their CW called and I am going to meet her today for the gits and coats she has been promising them. I can't wait, I have done all the shopping already so some things may just get put back until birthdays later.

B is getting a mini (kids) camcorder, Heelys, clothes, and a karaoke machine. She was the most expensive and got the fewest gifts. I was so worried she would be upset I explained it to death. The rest of the kids are getting clothes and tons of toys. They are doing so much better with destroying things I think they are ready for a few nice things. They have been without for awhile and while I did go over board, I was careful to choose specifically what the child could handle. Most are educational and for group play so I am supper excited for the holiday and why is it taking so long???????

Friday, December 15, 2006

OT Evaluations

Well, I was thinking I needed some more weekly appointments in my life and decided to have the kids all evaluated for OT. Turns out I will get my wish.....B is fine, P and D have mild to moderate neurological issues, C and A have moderate neurological issues and probably dyslexia, and P, C, D, and A(girl) have sensory integration issues but my son, A, has severe auditory sensory integration issues. Sound like fun? I realized filling out the million and a half forms that my daughter E has a lot of those issues probably from prenatal exposure to Meth so now she is having an evaluation next week. She has always freaked out about water, her hair being brushed, loud noises, can't stand to get her hands dirty, blah blah blah. Great, she was feeling left out and now she can fit in. Some how it feels like we are taking steps backward with her but that is to be expected. I hope to get everyone on the right track next month after psychological evaluations and we can begin working towards a healthier family.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Memory

My 8 almost 9 yr old had a sudden memory about her parents tonight and not a good one. She has been so dedicated to them and has fought us regularly about not wanting to be adopted b/c she loves them. It is b/c of this I am so upset for her, she was devastated and confused why she did not remember before. Her parents were violating her brother and she witnessed the entire thing. Of course no one else remembers but she says no one else was there. I am not in the least surprised given her father's extensive family history of incestuous sexual abuse. The Dad's sisters both claimed he had hurt them growing up and their father had been imprisoned for many years for it. We found it weird that the children had never claimed anything. She still wants to see him but said she understands only now why DFCS thinks they aren't safe at home. I see this is a huge step forward for her but expect to see lots of steps back before she accepts it.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

We got Word

The kids' worker emailed mine and felt this 4 wheeler was a non issue b/c she was not transporting it. Ok, I understand but the parents are asking me and expecting me to so this. They are emailing me every day to see if I have gotten a response. I do not mind being the bad guy but legally I have to dance around a bunch of people to make any decision for the kids until we finalize.
I am going this weekend to see a church that is for sale that my realtor/friend thinks might really be an awesome idea for us to renovate as a home. It is really well priced b/c churches do not resale well and are usually bulldozed. I am thinking if it is decent it could be really cool. Think of how huge our living room would be. It has several large rooms that were used for offices and classrooms, a very large kitchen that would need updating, several bathrooms that would need showers installed but it would be cool to have his and hers. The parking lot holds 23 cars so they would have a place to ride their bikes. It has a couple of buildings on it that we aren't clear on, we hope one is suitable for my husband's reptile breeding and the other for storage or rec area. It is in the right area of town and I am getting a little carried away. It might be all wrong, but we shall see. (My hopes are a little high.)

Other than the church he has given us about 12 more houses that I really like. My husband is not so thrilled about the daily drive for the first year and is kinda being a pooper. He always comes around eventually and when we find a house he loves, the drive will be worth it.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

No Word

Still no confirmation about the 4 wheeler but someone helped me out and showed me the Foster Parents Manual for my state. Guess what? They are allowed. Can you believe that they allow any age child to ride any all terrain vehicle with the foster parent's discretion? They won't allow FP to cut a child's hair but sure ride a vehicle that is meant for older people and had killed children. I can't even focus on that right now.

Holiday shopping is almost over and I want more. Now I have to focus on my baking and candy making for all the friends and extended family we give to. That's the part that exhausts me, the cooking. Cards have gone out and I need some things wrapped but almost done with the money part. Everything was in cash and no credit card bills to pay off next year.

We have begun looking for a larger house. It is painfully obvious that we need to go much bigger. Not to mention the acreage we need for out new 4 wheeler, not. We have 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths but no basement. We are looking for 5 bedrooms and an unfinished basement in the "country". The farther out we go the more house for the money so out we go. I have to have a huge kitchen b/c I seem to live in there and need to be able to have a visitor occasionally. Our plan is to finish the basement into 2 more large bedrooms, bath, and a rec room. Yes, we will be adopting again and we have definitely decided another large sibling group with lots of boys in it. When or where is yet to be determined but we are planning now for another expansion in the future. We have not gotten our fill of door alarms and video surveillance equipment.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Parent's Gift

I got an email last night from the kid's Aunt that the parent's bought the kids a 4 wheeler. At first I was mad. I thought they were crazy b/c they are homeless, jobless, and their van is always breaking down then I called the Aunt as she requested to tell her I have to see what DFCS thinks and hopefully put it all off on them. She is such a nice lady, the first thing she said was that she tried to convince them not to do it but they insisted. She would totally support us if we wanted to reject it. I explained I thought it was inappropriate for their age and we live in the city with no where to ride it but if DFCS said it was ok I would do it. We talked for an hour about the parents constant bad choices and how she was so happy we had the kids. She really misses them but she knows we will make good decisions for the kids and protect them.

Then she dropped the bomb, she thinks the parents are going to drop the appeal. She was feeling me out to be sure I will open the adoption and how the kids are doing w/o the family visits before saying what was on her mind. I was honest, the kids really worry about their parents. They want to be sure they are safe and have food. She wanted to know how open we would be. I told her I will not pin down a schedule and felt it would be slow with lots of weekly phone calls until we could establish a trusting relationship. We will do what is best for the kids even if it hurts every one's feelings. We discussed our relationship with Emma's Mother a lot. What our rules were, what we expected from her, how often we see her, and her role in our daughter's life. She was completely blown away and started crying. This is the best thing for their parents b/c we are so comfortable being honest and laying everything out. We do what we say and say what we mean. I see a great relationship with her in the future, we really click.

She was able to relate to the kids feelings of betrayal to their parents. She discovered as an adult that her Dad was her step dad and now has a relationship with her father as well. She had a great deal of guilt about finding him and caring for him and what that meant to her Dad. He approved and encouraged her but she still has a hard time with it. She vowed to help the kids deal with this issue and help the parents understand their role in this guilt. I feel that will help so much.

We laughed over C's choice for a name change. She is 4 and originally wanted to be Tinkerbell but has changed her mind now to Ella. We are still uncomfortable with them changing their first names and try to down play it. She refuses to answer to her name and insists on being called Ella. My DH has changed it to Smella due to her constant smelly emissions. It has stuck and this adorable child is now known as Smella in our home. Her Aunt thought it fit perfectly and loves it. She was very happy to hear they will all keep their current last names and add ours.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Tree

After tons of dental exams, speech, OT evaluation, and the visit from the appraiser we managed to get homework and showers done with enough time to finish putting the ornaments on our tree. We had hot chocolate and were laughing and having a great time when the tears started. The youngest first and then the oldest. We sat down and talked about their feelings for a good half an hour. The holidays are bittersweet and we let them know this is normal. We asked them the things that they did at home and what made it feel like the holiday for them so we could do some of those things here. They are worried their parents won't have a tree b/c of so many years w/o one. This is the biggest one they have ever had and it's only 8ft tall. My oldest said it looked like a tree in the movies. Today I get to work on presents while the little ones sleep and before the older ones get home.

My CW just called and asked if I would speak to their current class of potential adoptive parents. This is a huge honor b/c they usually would not ask a family not finalized yet. I am so excited and can't wait. This is right up my alley. I have been involved in fostercare for years and say it through a child' s eye when I lived in a group home as a teen. I watched all the other kids w/o families and heard how they felt. I have worked with fostercare on some level my entire adult life and now we are adopting through it. It should be fun to see other adults not in a waiting room between therapy visits.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I had the appraiser out this AM at 8AM so we can refinance the house. I have Speech therapy at 11:30, then off to check out all my school age kids for back to back dental cleanings, and to the hospital for an Xray on B for the ENT. WOO HOO!!

D needs her bottom tooth fixed b/c she has chipped another tooth. She must have very fragile teeth and that means lots of future visits for her. I finally had the long awaited IEP meeting for D and again nothing happened. They did some more extensive testing and feel her IQ is actually a 56. Not what I wanted to hear! They are scheduling another meeting to place her. I mean come on, I don't have time for this many meetings for nothing to happen. Let's move forward, get this kid some help.

A had a great night last night and did some of his homework. Hopefully he will catch up over the weekend w/o too much screaming. His room is decent and he participated well with all of us. He is starting to pick out his own clothes at night is feels like a big boy. His OT evaluation shows he has auditory sensory and attention issues. I am hoping to get a grip on this stuff soon.

D's evaluation was what I expected, sensory issues and a lack of understanding anything the poor woman was saying. The therapist was so calm and sweet, D just doesn't get it.

Off to my day......

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I went tto the dentist on Friday and he was able to save both teeth and refill them. It was close and he kept saying he was so sorry, that kinda freaked me out until he later explained. He was sorry my mouth was gona hurt so dog on bad. He is worried I might be back this week for 2 root canals. I wished for death about an hour after I left his office and had to ask him to call pain meds in. I am now back to eating soft foods and can read online now that I am off the meds. I kept getting dizzy and could not focus. But I am back.

The meds and pain also did something I was not prepared for, I doubted myself and the decision to adopt auch a large group of crazies. (I mean that in the most loving way, we all have a bit of the crazies but my kids have got a bit more than I had anticipated.) I knew the day would come but I was very upset at myself, I felt our life was hopeless and we would never be normal again. I missed the days alone with Emma and reminised about a quiet house and all the fun we used to have. I also told the kids in no uncertain terms that I have had it with the tantrums and how they slide right back in forgiven each time. I want an heart felt apology for each incident and will not give them the warm fuzzy me until they make restitution for their behavior. SO far so good. It may take them awhile but we are seeing it happen.

I have a booger eater that is driving me crazy. I swear she prefers them over cookies. I don't know what to do, it is embarrasing in public and her hands are gross. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

We are starting asessments on all the kids. They need them and I need to know what we are dealing with. OT started yesterday, the rest will happen soon.

D, broke another tooth so off to the dentist with all the kids for check ups tomorrow and hopefully fix her tooth , too.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Rest of the Story

After the last post, we had to call the day at MGM short so I could try to find a dentist. I had 2 fillings fall out (one on each side) and after a few days it became difficult to eat or breathe, you know the important things. I could not find a dentist to see me before the holiday and ended up finding a physician that took pitty on me and prescribed antibiotics and pain medication. $250 later I was back at the parks and eating soft foods. My dentist here will see me Friday to fix this and my sweet husband told me to go ahead and get my teeth whitened at the same time, it's my Christmas present and I have been begging for months. I know, not your typical request for a gift but I really want it.

Back to the kids. They got better and even though they had a lot of little fits, they were easily distracted and pulled it together quickly. They mommy shopped the entire trip. It started to get on my nerves and combined with my pain, I was not the chipper positive me at the end. They broke the XBOX by putting a parental control on it and now we have no idea what the code is so we can not use it.

B, was pretty handsy with my nieces and they told her so and she was embarrassed. How else will she learn? She did handle it ok but it was hard for my niece to say something but she hated holding hands and being hugged CONSTANTLY. When we got back we discovered she had a major project due in 2 days and had known about it for a month. She finished it up and turned it in today so we will see. I did help more than I intended or should have so next time Dad is up.

P, kept complaining no one likes her or wants to play with her and that was unusual for her. She was pretty high strung so why would they. This child had a TV in her room and would not come out if allowed to watch it. She has handled getting back to school well.

D, is so hard to reach. She is so delayed and just does not get things. She pouted a lot and felt sorry for herself. She did not fit in with any of the kids and does not play with but around others anyway. She did get to speak to Crush from Nemo and did it in front of lots of people, she did well. I am trying so hard to bond with her but it is very hard. I have asked again to have them assessed for attachment therapy b/c we are making tiny steps but we need help.

A, is having a very difficult time readjusting for school. He has raged every morning and afternoon until bed for days. I am at a loss, I do not know what else to do. I know things will be back to our normal after I go to the dentist, let's hope we all survive until then. He has "lost" his homework notebook for the umpteenth time so he has tons of work to make up. He spent every moment he could on the XBOX and barely came up for air. He is a brave little booger in the pool and loved being thrown in, he would do double flips into the pool. My DH was exhausted from all the throwing and had to hide.

C, has been glued to my leg for weeks and frankly I want to scream. She is becoming possessive and aggressive over me. She did well on vacation and barely complained about the pain she was in. She had a hard time keeping up and loved having a stroller tote her. Her legs ached every night and had to be massaged but she did not complain. She is anxious for her new AFOs and asks about them all the time.

A, is a trip. She is trying so hard to stop biting her nails and asks me about every hour if they are long enough to trim. Her speech is so poor she is very difficult to understand but she is working so hard on it and making huge steps in that area. She has earned a special evening with Dad for her great behavior. She was very rude to DH the first few months b/c she did not know how or when to joke and got herself into lots of trouble with DH. She does not show that attitude as much anymore and enjoys spending time with him now. She loved the vacation and while the extended family does not understand her she handles it so well. She thinks it is them not her and will talk down to them when she has to repeat herself too many times. She had us all cracking up.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


We are here and I will have to keep this short b/c I can here them rumbling in their beds. I promise to finish later.

Our villa is the most beautiful thing ever! Only problem, the owner did not pay the gas bill so no hot water, pool heat, or clothes dryer! So that was all fixed last night and although the guy is a jerk, the home is gorgeous! The younger kids think we live here now and this will be our new life, you know day after day of amusemnet parks, eating out, and swimming all night. It took a few days to realize they had this impression and now they are mad at me for ruining their lives.

We have been to Epcot and Animal Kingdom and will go to MGM today. We started off with the most boring and every day will get better. Lots of tantrums, you know the kind. At home I feel we are doing so much better and this has been a glimpse into reality. Living with them day to day, we have gotten used to avoiding certain things and how to minimize certain behaviors but this is a free for all and they feel out of control no matter how close I keep them. The are actually doing well about bringing it back down a notch but I see how disturbed my children really are and I had to take a moment last night to cry in the bathroom. The look normal, can even pretend to be normal for short periods but they are not and all this fun has highlighted that for me. I felt guilty for using the Guest Assistance Cards here and quickly realized, we are what they are for. I guess I had hoped we were beyond some of this or maybe I am just used to this. That card has saved us. We do not wait at any attraction, we walk up show the card and get on. Unbelievable! The kids see all these pwople waiting in lines (it's one of the busiest times of the year) and remarked why don't they just go in this way? Uh, b/c we are emotionally challenged and Disney doesn't want us near their guests in case you freak out and start kicking people? Well, that's what I was thinking but just told them we have connections and are special guests.

SO much more so little time. I will try to finish tonight.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I had 5 teacher conferences back to back and the kids had to sit in the hall the entire time. They were in 20 minute intervels and we had to walk to each class between. I really had a wonderful time listening to how great my kids control their issues at school. It just amazes me how well they do there and it seems that most are fitting in and making at least a friend.

My oldest is a friend magnet and has helped another child develope her skills and fit in better. She is a caregiver and loves that role. She used to sit alone b/c she had to go to the clinic every day before lunch to have the her blood sugar level checked due to diabetes. This was making it hard for her to fit in b/c she was having to sit alone at another table for lack of room. My child now walks her to the clinic and sits with her daily. The teacher was tickled that now they have a posse of 6 that all save seats and wait for them to return. Way to Go, Girl!!!

P is doing good and starting to become lazy with her effort. She is a smart girl she puts a ton of effort into not doing well. D and A are not doing as well socially or academically but much better there than here. They are both very delayed and D is still waiting to get the services she needs. E rocks! She is a social butterfly and picks up on things quickly. SHe likes to help others but can get too rushed and needs to take her time and do a good job. SHe gets her feelings hurt by her brother on the playground almost everyday. We are working on toughening her up a bit.

So conferences were good and then I go to leave and I hear noise in the hall where the kids are. I found them running up and down the hall and wrestling over a ball. I always have them bring along things to entertain them for our many waiting room visits and appointments. They did very well the first 4 conferences but the 5th was too much to bare. After I addressed their behavior and we were leaving, the last teacher I had been talking to stopped me. She said another teacher witnessed them pulling the glued down food and candy off of the art projects in the hall. You heard me, they ate a bunch of kid's artwork. She was concerned about their health b/c of eating glue and where the food had been before it was glued down and so on. I was embarassed, but they have eaten out of the trash can, it could not be worse than that. The children that did this were given PB and Js for dinner with carrot sticks and the usual water. The other 2 had the planned Chinese take out and soda. They handled it well and even told me they knew they already had their treat for the day and didn't deserve a special dinner. We may be back sliding but a few are really getting the hang of this.

We are leaving for Disney tomorrow night. They still have no idea and I am about to flip from excitement. I have them completely packed and only need to work on Pookie's and mine. My menu is planned and grocery list is made. I have printed out all the directions and receipts for the tickets and villa. We got a great deal on 6 day tickets for the price of 4 so we can leisurely attack each park. I have my letter from the therapist that describes their issues and our needs from the park so we qualify for the Guest Assistance Card and should have minimal waiting for each attraction. If you plan on going to Disney and have children with invisible disabilities, you should check out this program. I was relieved and very happy they offer this and my kids will have a much better time without the stress of close quaters and tons of waiting.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Bad Week

Some weeks are pretty good and then we regress. My son is back to the begining aggressive. I thought I was prepared for the inevitable steps back but was caught off guard and more than a little mad. He is back to hitting and kicking me every day. I want to scream! He treats me as lss than human and is so good ant school and with my DH. I am looking at ways to stop him from monopolizing all my energy and time. He takes all my energy from the other children and I need to find a way to curtail that.

My 7 yr old is starting to lie about people. Good times are a comin! She has discovered she can get attention ofr this and has done it at school about the other children. This will probably take the place of millions of boo boos and constant crying. I know, not a chance she would trade a couple of difficult issues for another.

More later, I have 5 teacher conferences today!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Twice in a day

My kid's school is serving Thanksgiving Lunch for the parents to enjoy with their children for the next 2 days. First of all, they did not consult me and they scheduled 1 today and 4 tomorrow. I mean come on people, I have am raising 20% of the school population couldn't you just run the entire school's scheduled activities by me so my kids can enjoy them w/o chaos? I know that can't really do that but I wish they would b/c we get the short end sometimes with so many attending the same school.

Secondly, they served some sort of chopped turkey, hard canned peaches, smushy seasoned bread cubes I am sure they attempted to pass off as dressing, and an orange cookie in the shape of a pumpkin that my daughter swears they have been pushing for a few weeks. The best part is I get to "enjoy" it again tomorrow. I am very grateful it is so cheap b/c I would really be angry if I spent a fortune on it.

I was completely oblivious at how people there see us until now. We are a freak show on the move in our worst times and the information booth on fostercare and adoption in our best. We received so much attention by strangers that have "heard" about us through various staff members and students. Given our celebrity status, I will try not to embarrass the kids and wear nicer jeans and fix my hair. I mean had I known I was the local spokeswoman for state adoption I would have addressed this earlier. I work so hard at making the kids look presentable that I do not have a lot of time for myself. They claim I make it look easy, HA! This is not easy, but I love it. Several moms commented on how tired I looked from chasing all the kids around so I will need to address the dark circles under my eyes as well. If they only knew this is the rested me. LOL

Crazy Lying and Toilet Water

Mornings are rushed here and most are decent. I run around and call the time left to a bunch of kids that can't count and have no idea what I am talking about. I discovered this only a few days ago and that they only understand by how loud and frequent I am that they should hurry. Too funny! I give them 35 minutes to get dressed, fake make their beds, brush their teeth and hair, get their snacks and put on a coat and shoes. We make it every day. We do have meltdowns but I move on and they have a choice, to get themselves ready or go to school in any stage of dressed they choose. I will not lie, they are not always as pristine as I had dreamed. Some mornings someone may mess up their hair, refuse to wear shoes, brush their teeth, or carry a book bag. I try to catch every detail as we step out the door but when they refuse, I ignore that detail and head out the door. This causes one of two things to happen, meltdown or they fix it at the bus stop. Either way, not my problem.

This morning was different. E caught D dipping the giant cup of toothbrushes in the toilet! Saw her! A had seen her do it before and never said anything. OMG! I was so grossed out. I thought it was an accident and addressed it as such but when D shut down, I knew. How could any child think this is ok? How many times has she done this? Then I had to run around and find replacements for them. So I found 2 new ones and they had to share until I can get new ones or clean the new ones she just infected with who knows what. My son tells me he wants his own b/c it's gross to share. This from the kid who drinks the sink water everyone has spit into. I explained it was better than brushing your teeth with toilet water. Eventually he agreed and sort of brushed his teeth. Of course she denied all of it and called E and A liars. They were upset about her calling them names but I told them it was a step up from being called an A-hole last night by the same child. They smiled and off to the bus they went. I swear it is all in how you present things to them. LOL

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Weekend Off, Almost

I have the nuttiest MIL ever. She actually asks to have all the kids spend the night and to babysit at our house. Well, this weekend I asked her to watch them for a few hours so I could help out my husband on a shopping strip he is building. She explains she will do it but at her house from Friday to Saturday afternoon. OK.

Saturday comes and I go to work and royally embarrass myself while joking around with my favorite sister who volunteered to go with me and get it done quicker. So her and I are doing the silly crazy sister thing we do every time we are together and I hear this 80s rock song come on and start singing into a broom handle. I know you have all done it but I was not aware that one of the guys that works for my husband was on a ladder in another room and could see and hear me. My sister was fully aware and allowed me to continue and even encouraged me. So when it was over I told her I hated that kind of music b/c it reminded me of our high school years when we were drug addicts and whores. I was kidding but I did not know I had an audience and she died laughing and pointed to him. I wanted to die! My poor husband will have to live with the hushed talk about my "past". I tried to talk to the guy and explain but he was very uncomfortable and just kept working. How do you take that back? You can't! I was joking and my sister starting calling all my other sisters and mother to tell them what I did. I am never going to live this one down.

On the way home I had a tire blow out and my husband had to come back and get me. That's not the big deal, he would do it anytime w/o question. The fact that my sister and I argued with him about which way was faster and lost was huge. He won only b/c my tire blew! Two extremely handsome men tried to help us but my spare had a flat as well. It took a few minutes to discover this and call for his assistance so he went on and on about how he was already home when we called and we probably just made up the gorgeous men. I hate it when he wins but especially when he thinks he won and I did!

I ended up getting home late and called my MIL to get the kids and she asked to keep them again. I agreed being exhausted and regretted it the minute I hung up. The next morning I called to go get them and she was heading into town to go to her MILs for brunch and would bring them by after. All hell broke loose in the van right after that and my son flipped out and had to be restrained by her for the first time. He went off and she met me on the side of the road to pick up a few of the kids. The rest went with her to the Fire Station and to Gma Dot's to eat. They were exhausted when they got home but were extremely well behaved the rest of the day.

HAve I mentioned I am REALLY excited about Disney?

Friday, November 03, 2006


We had a blast! We quickly discovered the kids had never gone door to door trick or treating and had visited their local church in the past. They were not aware that this was possible and soon realized it was much more profitable for them to do it this way. The greedy little things loaded up and became very protective of their loot. They claimed this was better than Christmas.

Our oldest was a witch and believe me it suits her. P was a dead bride and wanted blood and gore everywhere. D was a clown in a costume my mother made her. Our son, A, was a ghost but couldn't see so he kept taking of his hood and it looked like he was in a white dress. He claimed he didn't care what he looked like they were still giving him candy. The three little girls were Ariel, Cinderella, and Snow White and they were adorable. My husband and I were vampires and the kids were so excited to see us dress up, too. We always do but this was a new concept to them.

Monday, October 30, 2006

No Babies

I am thrilled to say I am not pregnant! I know it sounds weird but not only do I have my hands full, I do not have a desire to have children naturally. Years ago I did and we tried to conceive and did many times but ended up with ectopic pregnancies due to deformed tubes. I made myself sit down and really think about why I kept trying, the truth is I wanted a family. I wanted to get pregnant b/c my sisters and friends all did it. It just isn't what I really wanted, I wanted to adopt. Don't get me wrong, if we ended up pregnant I would bawl my eyes out and then be happy. Why put myself through all that, I'll just cut my DH off and never have to worry again. Sounds like a plan, I'll run it by him and we'll see what he says. LOL

Kids are ok. They are in high gear for Halloween and Dh is at Walmart right now picking up the final touches to their cemetery treat for school tomorrow. They had to try on all their costumes tonight to be sure they fit. I am gonna have so much candy I am going to freeze a lot of it for later.

D's IEP meeting is Thursday and I am feeling so much better about it. DH is such a great guy, he really could not care less if they ever grow up and leave or go to college as long as their attitude gets better and they are happy. He really is gearing up for more and this time he says a group of 5. He mentioned they should probably be bright b/c thy will have to help support this group after we die. Way to plan, Pook. LOL

Thursday, October 26, 2006

An awful morning at the school

I had a meeting scheduled this AM for D's IEP and she fell yesterday and broke her front tooth so I had to schedule an emergency appointment with the dentist to fix it. The only time they could do it was right after the IEP meeting and it would be tight. SO I take her to the meeting b/c they do not want her attending school until it is fixed b/c it is very sharp and she could get hurt. Fine. I had her sit in the front office until I was finished. She freaks out when I leave her so it turned into a drama, but I was prepared and quite used to it.

What I wasn't prepared for was the meeting. They had postponed the meeting b/c they wanted to discuss her test results with me separately so I could absorb the info and be prepared to make some decisions next week. I have known D does not get alot of things, she more than struggles in school and has a hard time telling a story that anyone can follow. She had been tested at some point over a year ago and we were told she had an IQ of 74. We knew she was having a hard time so that made sense. I found out this morning she only has a 60 IQ. The doctor felt confident this was accurate and explained it is hard to properly test a child under 7 yrs old.

I am devastated. It doesn't change a thing about how I feel for her but it changes my dreams for her. ALl I keep thinking about is one of my first foster daughters and she had a 70 IQ and now as a woman she is married to another challenged person and they have a child together. They both are hard workers and can not support themselves on their pay so they live with his parents in a basement apt. She struggles to parent properly and while she is a great mother, she needs assistance.

This doctor refered to my child as "trainable" and admitted it is hard to tell what she can and can't accomplish at almost 8 yrs old butin her experience she will need assistance for the long haul. One child with this issue is one thing, but I have 3 more that I feel are on the same level as this child. I am scared about their future. They have so many emotional problems to overcome and now this too. I know I am only in the first hours of the diagnosis and I will find a way to get over it but I keep fighting back tears and running to bathroom to hide them from the kids.

Next week we decide what services she needs. They really think she needs a contained classroom and that she will thrive in there. She currently does not have any friends and feels very out of place with children her age. I think they may be right. I have a lot of researching to do now.

She did, however, get her tooth fixed and you would never know she had damaged it. I did take a picture of it this morning before we went to have it fixed. She is such a beautiful child, it was so out of place you had to laugh.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I Better Not Be

First, I will start off with an apology. I have so little free time to blog that I do it in spurts. I really want a more regular posting but just can't seem to get it. I love to read other's blogs and get irritated that they do it so rarely or when they miss a day and they are regular posters. Of course not really mad at them but more bummed to miss something interesting in their lives. I know very sad I am living vicariously through blogs of people I do not know. Any how, if anyone else feels that way I am sorry to have treated you this way and I will make more of an effort. There done and on to more exciting news.

Next, I book our villa in Orlando and we are leaving Saturday Nov 18th and returning Sat Nov 25th. It is paid in full so I can now focus on Disney tickets. We are staying in a 6 bedroom villa with a pool, games room, computer with high speed internet, ton's of games, and kid's apartment that includes a Playstation. WOOHOO!! They know NOTHING! My sister, her kids, her boyfriend, and my inlaws will all be there in town and we will celebrate the holiday together.

We had a rough weekend here, I try not to go into details but I will give you a glimpse of this one.... My son had several meltdowns that include screaming horrible things at me and his sisters. He usually kicks me in the shin and runs to his room so he can tear up some of his things or kick the door. He yelled one too many times that he hated me and did not want to be my son or live here anymore. I calmly apologized for being inadequate and escorted him to the front porch. I told him I loved him and he was always welcome here if he chose to do his part for the family and not scream specific horrible things at me. I fully understand he will be screaming some horrible things I just don't want to hear he hates me and basically wishes I would drop dead. I was very worried he would call my bluff but at 6 yrs old he just sat in the yard and cried. I packed a small bag with a change of clothes and a pull up so he would wet his clothes and gave him his bookbag b/c continuing his education is very important. I told him to hurry and get a job b/c food is expense and he will need it soon. I reassured him I wanted him and loved him if he ever decided to play by my rules he was welcome. I told him to hurry up and find somewhere b/c it was going to start raining and get very cold when the sun went down. It took him awhile of being alone in the yard with DH watching from the window to decide I wasn't so bad. He broke down and said he was sorry so I welcomed him home. Later I told him he was driving me crazy and he responded, "That's my plan." I about lost it.

My 7 yr old, D, needs constant supervision and Saturday night in the shower she touched one of the twins, C, and claimed she was playing Mommy and washed her privates. She knew what she was doing and we were right there when she did it. I am still amazed at her that she does this right there for all to see. She will not shower with anyone again. I know, she probably should not have been in there but Dh was right there and we have so many showers to get done or they stink. C was not traumatized and really thought they were playing so we discussed games are not a reason to touch privates, blah, blah, blah. In one ear and out the other with that child. D wonders why no one wants to play with her? The therapist is focusing on that issue now trying to show her her behaviors make others uncomfortable. DUH!

Lastly, I am concerned I may be in the first stage of a horrible (only to me) condition.....pregnancy. I do not want to be and I have not confirmed anything as it is too early. I have not felt well and actually threw up this morning. I am probably over reacting and just suffering from stress. All I can say is I do not think I can handle a baby in this current situation. I have a history of ectopic pregnancies and that can be easy or very hard to treat. I have had both many times, you would think I would take precautions, huh. There just has not been a need to and then I throw up. Keep your fingers crossed that I have a virus and too mush stress.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Visits

Their caseworker was over an hour late (surprise, surprise) and showed up at shower/bed time. The kids were very clingy and when told the story of ending visits and pending adoption we saw lots of tears. I was surprised by who cried, the ones that did not when we shared it with them. I wonder if they do not trust us or if they feel it is more real coming from her. Probably a little of both.

We had their family visit 2 days after that and the parents were a few minutes late. Mom was dressed like a hooker and Dad and Uncle smoked a little stuff before heading in to the visit. The maternal Gparents and GGpa came along with maternal uncle and aunt. GGpa was a trip and made hilarious comments about needed an new woman b/c his died 4 yrs ago. My Dh was laughing so hard I was almost uncomfortable, then I found out what the old man was saying and I was quite shocked. He could barley walk and spoke in a whisper, you just wouldn't suspect he was a dirty old man. He was the highlight of the evening.

Their aunt made sure to tell all of them that they were loved and we would take very good care of them. The family brought the kids some of their favorite foods and they munched down. We took a few pictures and then it was goodbye. The older girls and my son broke down when the parents did. We had to pry our son and D from their arms. I felt bad for the parents but they could have made it so much easier if they would have let go.

Once in the car they were a mess. We let them cry for a dew and then pulled over for gas. A few had to potty before the 2.5 hour drive home. All tears stopped when Dh gave them a dollar to buy anything they wanted. They laughed and giggled the rest of the way.

They went to therapy the next morning and did very well. All the kids spoke of their feelings and seem to understand what is happening. My oldest, B, is doing so much better than we had thought she would. We have been working with recognizing their feelings when they are having them and she wrote down about 25 feelings, thoughts,and needs without being asked. She brought them to me the other night and we talked about each one. She rocks! She is mad at her parents and the Judge. She need to cry and have snuggle time. She thanked me for keeping the kids together and being supportive of her parents. She feels like she had something to do with being in care and she is really worried her parents will split up now. She is also happy she will be adopted by us. We laughed at the being adopted one b/c it changes everyday and that's alright. She agreed to keeping a diary about her feelings if the kids wouldn't rip out the pages. LOL

My other daughter, Em, hit a major milestone last night. She can read!!! She was as surprised as I was. She sounded everything out and read a whole book. I am so proud. We now have 3 readers in our house! If this keeps up Dh and I will have to stop spelling everything to each other and learn piglatin.

Overall, things are good here. The kids are getting comfortable with us and our home. We are having a tough time this week with emotions so high about their family but it is much better than I ever expected. I love my kids, now to find a bigger house.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Caseworker is coming!

I am referring to the kids county worker and this will be her first visit here in our home. I must admit I am a bit ruffled. I worry I will say the wrong thing, I have a habit of saying too much and regretting it later. She claims she will be here between 6 and 6:30 but she has a meeting in her office at 3PM so I doubt we will see her before 7PM due to traffic. I have not told the kids and I plan on it this afternoon when they get home, no sense in freaking them out and sending them to school. The house is so-so and I figure she will get over it if it isn't perfect. I haven't been able to get it clean enough for my taste in months I refuse to kill myself now.

The final visit with their parents is this Thursday and I am VERY worried about their father misbehaving. The older girls last foster mother called to tell me he had asked to borrow her car to get the kids and she refused. She warned me they had followed her home one time to see where she lived and she was certain they would try to find us based on recent conversations. They have asked the kids where they went to school, what my dh's company's name is, what city we were in, and have tried to look up our phone number. The kids have told me their parents have assured them they will move to a place where there is lots of snow of they get them back. The CW asked my dh to stay in the office for this visit b/c they are concerned this man will freak out and she is the only person in the office that late. I am more than a little irritated about that one.

Kids are escalated a little this week with good reason. My son had a fit for hours the minute he came home from school and threw his book bag and shoes at me. They are mine for 24 hours and he had to wear sandals and carry his snack to school. Too bad, anything used as a weapon is mine. My little reader is doing great and is inspiring her sisters to try. C is using her CP as an excuse to not do her share of cleaning up. New rule, if you refuse to help everyone else, you will do all the chores that day. It has escalated to a harsh reality b/c she hides in the bathroom and under the table until the chore is almost done.

We are hoping to take the kids to Orlando for Thanksgiving as a surprise. Once I get approval I will reserve the house and buy the tickets. We plan on packing everything on the sly and waking them up in the middle of the night to put them in the car. We won't tell them exactly where we are going until we are there. We figure they will have some anxiety due to their history so we will play a guessing game or something and be sure they understand it is a fun place for all of us. We will keep the schedule very relaxed and flexible to accommodate any issues that arise. I am so excited!!!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Picture Day

I have no idea how my son will look when they get a chance to take his picture at school today. He had his hair fixed this morning and he got mad at me and messed it up. He does this everytime he is upset with me and it can be for the tiniest thing. I reminded him I loved him with messy hair, too. As we were walking out the door to catch the bus he decided he needed it fixed so let's hope his class is first because he is so cute with his new haircut. He has that one that you gel the hair to the middle kinda like a mohawk but much more mainstream and sweet looking. He kept bugging me to do it and pointed out all the boys we would see with it until I cut it last week.

The girls were up extra early and all had to have me fix their hair, too. They had a hard tiem deciding what to wear last night and reminded me 20 times they needed money for it this Am even thought i had already put it in their book bags.

Every night when I tuck my son into bed he tells me he wants to live with his Mom and Dad. We talk about it briefly and I ask him what he liked about living with them or other good memories. We kiss each other "100" times,then one kiss from me and one from his Mother and goodnight. The night before last he told me he had cried at school that day. I asked him why and he explained he wanted to live with me. I tickled him and said, "Good thing cause we are stuck with each other." This was huge for him.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

I'm Back!!

My computer and then internet have been down for 2 weeks. I had become so dependent upon the darn thing I did not think I would survive the first few days. Funny thing is that I eventually forgot about it.

So much has happened that I don't even know where to begin. We have told the children about Tpr and now that visits will be stopped after the next one. DFCS was supposed to tell the kids and did not so we waited until they asked about the visits and gently explained without any hoopla and they all took it in stride. No one has reacted like we anticipated. They are sad and have expressed it w/o rages.

My oldest,B, has had her first tantrum on Thursday but it was over an invite to attend a group at school, she thought she was in trouble and once I calmed her and explained it she was fine. She has real fears of being kicked out of our home and needs to be reassured regularly she is here to stay. Please, one little screamming, kicking episode and we would give up? No way! Maybe someday she will believe but not anytime soon. She did tell her therapist if she has to be adopted, we were the ones she would want to do it.

P gave us such a hard time in the first few months and we were so worried about school b/c what she has done there in the past. She rocks! I "caught" her sounding out words on a flash card a couple of weeks ago and I told her she could no longer fool me. That was the begining of the "new" her. She reads everyday and works really hard on her homework w/o an arguement. She looks forward to school and showing us how well she is doing. I had her IEP meeting last week and the child that had no friends at any other school has developed multiple friendships and seems appropriate with them. When walking down the hall at school her name is called by lots of children from other classes. She is so proud of herself and she has been trying to help younger kids. Who is this kid and will she stay? She is a joy to be around and it seems to have come about b/c we insist we "know" she is smart and expect her to do her best.

D, my little cryer has replaced crying with multiple boo boos and complaints. She is really struggling in school and they have begun testing her. She is in 1st grade and was promoted from K 2 years ago with the promise she would be tested for learning disabilities and they never did so she was retained last year ans is repeating 1st grade. She does not recognise letters or spounds and she is falling so far behind now that she is acting pitiful in class to avoid doing work. It is very sad but we hope to get this worked out ASAP.

My son is a doll. He is getting better and better. Of course they see nothing at school and he is an angel there. We have our moments here but I have learned some ways to avoid triggers like the words chore, clean, no, and homework. By eliminating those words by making them games instead we were able to get him to cooperate with those activities. We took his video games away and he has made huge progress with his violence toward the other kids. Our poor bus driver has gotten the brunt of my kids and he will be suspended from the bus Monday for hitting another student. We have a special game evey night where I give him 100 kisses and he gives me 100 kisses that he LOVES and talks about all the time. Makes me wonder how these kids have been treated by other parents that my children are so attention starved.

C was told her braces on the her legs were not helping her anymore and she could discontinue theri use for now. She is thrilled to say the least. Her tantrums have increased but are manageable. She is working on writing but can't hold the pencil well enough to get it yet.

A is either speaking better or we have learned her private language. All of them are working hard in speech and doing very well but she is really focused on it b/c outsiders do not understand her at all. She is a really sweet and caring child and does not need to be told more than once what I expect. I am starting to believ she is smarter than I originally thought.

E is adjusting well and the other kids have said she feels like theri "real" sister. She loves having them here. Her Mother is having a really hard time right now and is using again so our contact has become sporadic. She has also been told she has a tumor on her brain and a prblem with her only kidney. I am worried about her but am protecting our daughter fromthe detailsuntil we know her prognosis. E is doing well in school and I love her teacher's style adn enthusiasum.

We are excited about Halloween and the kids have decided on their costumes. Pookie and I dress as well so we ought to be a sight that evening in the neighborhood. We plan on puttin up our decoprations this weekend.

Life is getting good, I am know it is going to have some downs in the near future but for now I am enjoying the good. They have adjusted VERY well to our home and school. I think they are handling the parent's visitation thing too well and we will have some real fits after the last visit. Who could blame them. Right now we are working on 2 things, 1 is to appreciate their things and treat them well, and the other is to feel their feelings and to say what they are and what caused them.

Just in case I didn't say it enough, MY KIDS ARE FANTASTIC AND I LOVE THEM!!!!!!!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Kidney Stones suck!

Fun, fun, fun! I have a kidney stone that refuses to leave. They are not fun. At first I thought I was having another ectopic pregnancy rupture b/c the pain was so bad. It just would not stop, it was consuming. I hate pain medication and have been forced to take it to control the pain but it makes me dizzy and woozy, they are not a good combination for parenting a bunch of kids. Now I have flu like symptoms and a fever so infection has probably set in so off to the doctor again. My poor husband has learned what I do and has decided I am not allowed to die until after he does b/c he does not want to be left alone with the kids. LOL

On a worse note, my worker is coming today to discuss how to tell the kids they are stopping their family visits. We knew it was coming but I want to cry for them. This is going to be a tough time for all of us here for some time to come.

B is such a good girl but I have had my concerns lately and this week she stole $30 from somewhere at school. She was given a 3rd try at the truth and we got some crazy story about the bus. We have thought she was stealing money from here but can't prove anything. Several of the kids and my husband have had money missing over the last few months and we had figured it was her.

Stealing is awful, but this is something I have no problem addressing hundreds of times with a child. It is not me so I don't find it embarrassing as some parents do. My husband is annoyed by it but we can work through this. It does make me wonder what will be too much? The things I felt were too much for me before the kids are just not that big of a deal now. Peeing is not fun but he has to clean it up, so go for it, son. The fits are not fun but for some reason I do not take anything they say personally. Is that the key? I have no idea. I see others on the forums I read disrupting over what I consider normal adoption issues, things I expect my children to do. I do not want to say they are wrong b/c for them it is too much but how were they not prepared? I expected my life to be horrible so I was pleasantly surprised when they weren't. Once I started to love them there was no turning back, bring on the crap, I can handle it and I will love you anyway.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Katrina's Victims

The one year anniversary of Katrina has reminded me where I was last year. I was in such pain with Shingles I had wished for death. We even had our last home visit while I was high on pain medication. My worker is so great and my husband handled it very well. I threw up and slept on the couch throughout their conversation. Not a pretty picture, I know. How did we ever get approved?

I was so moved by the scenes I saw on TV as I laid there for days that I knew I had to do something. I decided to contact local hotels one night around 3 AM (I couldn't sleep and knew the night auditors would be bored and love to talk to someone). I found out that alot of hotels were filled up with folks unable to pay their rent and were being kicked out of some of them in the morning. I got busy and it took my mind off off the pain. I made flyers up with my name and the number of my second line to put at the front desks and waited. The phone started ringing and did not stop for weeks. I did not sleep for more than a few minutes at a time at my desk. Someone started making copies of my flyers and handed them out at the shelters here.

I gathered information online and the news and served as a go between for folks and their hotels. After they had their rooms paid for I began looking at local apartments for longer term housing. I got therapists and nurses to see them in the hotels for free. I found people really wanted to help so I found out what they had to donate (time, clothes, room, car, toiletries, or food) and matched them up with a family in need. I contacted local churches to match up families with a support system in the coming months and spiritual needs.

I started getting calls from huge organizations (NAACP was one that I worked very closely with) and churches wanting information. I kept trying to explain what I knew and no one believed I was a one woman volunteer. I had previously worked in the apartment and hotel industry so I had known where to look and what to ask to help get things moving for people and that is how I was able to know more than most people in the day to day operations of these businesses.

Overall I was able to place over 300 families in those weeks after the hurricane. I was so tired but I felt so proud that I actually did something. I worried about the next few months and year after and decided to put together a support group for them with a friend that is a psychologist. We noticed immediately these folks were struggling with parenting in a new culture and under so much stress so we started parenting and life skills training as well. We started meeting every week and still meet monthly now. It is great to watch them grow and change. Some have moved back, others are barely making it, but some are doing better than they were before the hurricane. I love these people and they have become a huge part of my life, I know they are traumatized by the hurricane but I am glad I have had the pleasure of getting to know them.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Camping and the Lazy Toddler

If you have any concerns your child might snore and or might have allergies but need to be sure. Forget the doctors, just put up a tent in your very own backyard. That's what I did Saturday night and I regret it still today. Every one of those rugrats took turns snoring and talking in their sleep. I was miserable! My Dh forgot to put my foam mat out there and I did not notice until it was too late and had to sleep on the ground with a tiny little blanket. Between the noise inside the tent and the forest of night screaming animals in the yard, I barely slept. Then the kids woke up BEFORE dawn b/c some geese flew over honking up a storm. I had to take a nap Sunday afternoon b/c I just couldn't cope and then could not sleep last night so not so good today. Several of my kids have been sniffing and snotting everywhere for 2 days and no one seems to know what a tissue is. I drugged 'em all this morning and sent them to school.

My niece is 2 years old and I keep her during the day. She is a doll and we have a pretty good time although she is not like other children and prefers adults to play with. So this morning she realized the twins will be home and she has told me about 10 times to take them to school. She refuses to play with them and has even decided she wants to lay around in my bed all day and watch cartoons without them. This is not weird for her b/c she is the laziest child ever and would never leave my bed if she had a choice. I am not kidding. I just find it weird she does not like other children, I know they are trying to play with her and they like her but she just shoos them away. She is nuts, I thought she would like the company, guess I was wrong. Too bad, Brooklyn!!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Telling Them the Truth

One of the first things we were told about our kids was they did not know TPR had been granted and we were not to tell them. We were upset and confused but agreed. We have struggled with this b/c out oldest has been asking and all of them had been told by their family or foster parents that we were going to adopt them. Why couldn't we tell them when everyone else had? We were worried if it came out, we would look like liars.

After much debate, our agency decided to let us tell them the truth without telling DFCS first. DFCS refuses to return calls or emails to our agency with any regularity and if they ask any important questions, DFCS just answers everything else but that question. (If you can't tell, I am still a little irritated with the situation.) Our oldest asked us about going home for the millionth time and we explained the facts gently. The other children were listening and our oldest began to cry. It was so weird b/c P is old enough to understand and not a moment of distress. Actually the rest of them were calm until D started to make herself cry, I am talking squeezing out a tiny one with lots of blinking. My son did cry but no tears came out. The twins and P just wanted to go upstairs and dance. It was just strange, given their dx I guess I should not be surprised.

I assume we will pay for this for some time. We noticed a bit of clingyness from the youngest, A, at school and after. Both my son and A had a meltdown at Speech and had to be held very closely to my chest in a cradle position for about 15 minutes each until they could catch their breath. I usually don't talk to them very much if I have to hold them but today I just felt like they needed to hear me tell them they were safe and they were loved by both their parents and us. It really helped and I kissed them every chance I got today.

P is having a good time not riding the damn bus. She freaked out today after school when she was required to do her chores to pay me for driving her. I am tired of it and she likes this way to much. Tomorrow I have a little bit of time before school and I am going to make her walk to school in front of my van b/c the school is at the top of my neighborhood and safe from traffic and she is one of the laziest people EVER. Should take away the FUN part of this. She is back on the bus Monday. YEAH!!!

B and I sat down and discussed things she CAN be in control of and things I am in control of. So far so good. She really takes charge of those and I have seen her back of a little on the other things. It could just be the need to be good right now. She has been driving me nuts lately and it is nice to have a break but I know it will hit the fan soon enough.

I have made a huge decision regarding the twins and Pre K. First of all, I hate this school, it is a daycare and the Lottery funds the Pre K here so it is free to all residents that can find a slot open. This school has a tiny parking lot and they use this as a reason to not allow you in the classrooms. They actually make you pick up your child at the door. I have not been allowed to meet the teachers and ask them how my kids are doing. I thought for sure they would send something home on Friday, NO. Nothing. I have debated over whether to take them out and keep them home with me or enjoy my days. I feel it would be in their best interest to keep them home for the following reasons. They have been stuck in some daycare forever, this is their last year to stay home and bond with me, I need to give them the best I can, I can get their many therapies out of the way during the day and use our precious afternoons for the school age kids, and they really need one on one attention to catch up. My worker is concerned this will be considered homeschooling and they frown upon that. Pre K is not mandatory here and I am going to push this issue.

Other than that, kids are still screamming but we are dealing just fine. I am feeling closer to all of them. I am feeling like 7 is not the end and not nearly as many as it was in the begining of the summer. We are becoming a family, even some of them are saying so. They claim we are the nicest parents (besides their "real" ones) they have had. They scream we are the meanest. They are begining to let me kiss their boo boos and expect me to fix things for them. In my daughter's words, "Our life was boring before they moved in and I am so glad they came to play with us!"

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I knew the first week was going too good. P, my 8 yr old, did well except in PE which she struggled in last year and they thought it was the male teacher thing but maybe it is the phyical part of it not the teacher. Then she had to ride the bus home like she has done all week and shoved her brother on it. He cried when he hit his head and it set off B, 10, to protect him. E, 5, started crying when P started screamming like a crazy person and shoving anyone near her. The sweet unsuspecting first time bus driver tried to get P to come up front and P started hitting her. She threatened her and threw her bookbag at the woman's child. Everyone was moved up as few seats to protect them when she realized she couldn't handle this child. She quickly drove to our home (not a stop on the route) and started waiving at me. I thought she was lost (b/c she is new) and she was being polite. My kids started to get off hollaring something at me and all I got was P's name so I knew something happened. I had to climb on the bus and remove her myself. She was angry and ran off to our bushes to calm down and the driver told me she has been kicked off the bus. I almost got a kick out of it b/c while the school is trying to cooperate I keep hearing they are so great at school. Now there is no question about what she is capable of.

As far as a consequence goes here is what I have come up with. Considering she has assaulted the driver and her child she must write an letter with my assistance to each of them to apologize. She needs to spend her allowance on the driver instead of herself by purchasing a gift or card. She will be suspended from the bus so she must do chores to make up for the time I will spend driving her to school, talking with school, and my gas. She had not completed her chores as of this morning so she was unable to go tto her last foster home to pick up her trampoline with her sister and brother. Of course she can't do anything until the chores are completed.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Well, we are back to "normal". My son, A, had several mini meltdowns before school yesterday and my 8 yr old refused to do her homework Wed night and again yesterday morning. I handled both beautifully and put it back on them. I explained to my son I did not care what he was wearing for school, he would be attending anyway. He is so sute and warned me he would be in his pull up. I smiled and explained I did not mind if he needed to wear it to school, he would go as is whatever that was. He quickly changed his clothes but then started throwing his toothbrush and toothpaste. "I wouldn't want to use a toothbrush that had been on the floor next to the toilet in case someone had missed it using it but if you think that is ok then have at it." I walked away but listened. It took him a few minutes but he started trying to clean his toothbrush and eventually brushed his teeth. He struggled with shoes and on and on but he got to the bus stop in time and got on. Yeah!!

My 8 yr old, P, can not read or recognise most letters so while we wait for the school to catch up to her IEP and put her in the correct classes she is given regular homework. She gets really frustrated and refuses to try with my assistance. Now I believe whole hearted that she is as smart as any child in her class she just down plays it and has not learned any of the things she should have b/c she is too busy acting out. She refused to do her homework and I gave her a couple of tries and then told her she must be too tired to learn and good night. She was angry but complied for fear she would have chores for acting up about bed time. Mom is not flexible on that and she has learned the hard way. I got her up really early and we tried again. Took her a couple of tries and I explained I was too busy in the AM and had no problem sending a note to her teacher and letting her take a big fat zero so she had one more minute of my precious time. I left and came back and she was ready.

D has been doing so much better about not rubbing her privates on me and I can feel myself feeling better about her. SHe told me the truth 2 times yesterday and I was so proud of her. Both time it was something she would have gotten in trouble for. I hugged her many times yesterday and she is loving the attention.

My eldest, B, is driving me nuts. She is so nice to my face but I feel the negative vibes she shoots at me. She thinks I am stupid and corrects me constantly. She had a dx of RAD that we all thought was not true b/c we can't find it anywhere on paper. Oh she has it all right!!! It's just not in your face defiant like the others. I looked at some paperwork that Attachment Therapist gave me awhile back and what does it describe? My child!!! It said everything I was feeling, I was so happy to see it in writing. It really upsets me that she probably has it but at least I know what need to be done and it isn't just a personality conflict. I will be so much more tolerant of her now while I nail her behaviors to the wall. I began last night and am making all of her decisions for her. That did not go over well at all. She was nice to me but let the kids have it for nothing MANY times. She is not going to like it here but I will do whatever it takes to help her heal.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The first 2 days of school my 8 yr old, P, decided she would not enter her classroom like the other children. She says she was nervous but ended up getting so much attention for it b/c the counselor took her to her office and gave her a toy to keep on her desk. They did not call me until the second day so I did not get to intervene until last night and I took the advice of many experienced parents of children with RAD and explained if she refused to get an education it was my responsibility to teach her an alternate education in a janitorial career. She went into class this morning without a second look back. She hates to clean and knows I will enforce anything I say. I am proud she made a good choice and I will be sure to tell her this afternoon.

I find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop b/c for some reason my kids are cooperating with me. We were having such a hard time and then BAM they do what I ask with very little problems. I did change my reactions to them and perhaps they are scrambling to figure out what to do next but I wish I could enjoy the quiet time while I have it. It does make me wonder if I am crazy, did I cause them to tantrum? Are they all so scared about school they do not have the energy to throw a good fit? Were they misdiagnosed? Have they settled in? What is going on?

Yesterday my son did scream in my DD's face 3 times and pushed her down. He struggled with his time out and chore to make up for it but once he calms down he is great. He did deny doing it even after I heard him myself 3 feet away from me. It still makes me laugh when he denys things I personally witness. It helps me from gettign too mad but I must confess after 3 times yesterday I did raise my voice and told him I had had enough of his abuse for the day and if he did not comply he could go to bed for the night. It was 7 PM so only an hour early, but I was done. He got it together and screammed an apology to her at my request since he screammed everything else I demanded he scream that, too. Took him a few tries b/c he claimed it hurt his ears. LOL

Monday, August 14, 2006

They are gone. All of them in school. What do I do now? I thought I would be thrilled and for some reason I can't get motivated to do all the things I need to do.

Their bus was very late so I guess I will be driving them to school every day to get the twins to Pre K on time. Most of them did not eat breakfast b/c they were nervous. They were so cute and I took a picture of them on the way out. I wish I could post it b/c they are the cutest kids ever! They had a really hard time going to bed last night and one of the twins had an accident last night for the first time since she has been here. The older girls were still up at 11PM and were even out of bed when I checked in on them.

I am afraid to jinx myself but they have been doing so much better. We are really becoming a family. I find myself laughing so much more. I am learnign that each child needs different responses from me and they respond better. My son has stayed in bed 2 nights in a row and is so proud of himself for it. He had a dry pull up an few days ago, too. He has not hit me in almost 2 weeks and it is so funny how my parental expectations have changed, getting through the day w/o being hit is a huge accompishment. He is still hitting others but does say sorry on his own and has even admitted to the abuse more than a few times.

I had mentioned I was having a hard time bonding with my 7 yr old and so I started making sure to hug her more and force myself to be more attentive. It seems to be working for me and she is doing much better with allowing others their personal space. She is so damn cute.