Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Trick or Treating at the Mall

The picture is horrible and my phone is to blame. I can't see what I am taking a picture of and tend to just shoot and hope. My kids are in the middle and the other children around us are there with the Mommy Group I just joined.

What is it about being old that makes it so difficult to meet friends? I had a ton of friends growing up, long lasting friendships that only faded away after I married and quit going to parties and drinking marathons. We have a few friends we really enjoy in our RAD support group and I have my favorite person in the whole world, my sister Kiki but that is it. I have many of you that I care about, I even talk about you like I know you but are we friends? No, not really. I am a good friend and do tend to attract needy people who latch on and wear me down until I have to hide from them. My best friend for over 15 years has BiPolar and I finally just stopped calling her and our friendship faded away. Trust me it needed to. She is a story for a rainy day. She is Emma's natural cousin and her Mother adopted Emma's sister Kendal.

I did have a point before I rudely went off on a tangent about my ex friend. How do you met friends? I have resorted to online friendship dating of sorts. I met a really nice lady, at least what I could tell she seemed nice. I really spent the evening chasing her around the mall with our 9 kids between us. She was a woman after my own heart, fast paced to get the job done. I loved it. Her older daughter was a vampiress and her make up was beautifully done.

I made one big mistake and as soon as I said it I wished I hadn't, I told her I blogged and when she asked for the address I gave it to her. I am sure she will have nightmares after seeing who my children really are behind closed doors. I only hope she would keep in mind, they have come a long way. They are wonderful children that are doing their best to fit into a world they don't understand, a real family. They are harmless to others yet self destructive. They are learning social ques that other children pick up as babies. They may look like they are 9 but they are really only about 3 socially and emotionally. Your children are safe b/c it is my job to protect any one near them and while teaching mine to mimic a normal child to fit in.

The Doctor and Early Treats

I had to take Emma to the pediatrician yesterday b/c all the kids got a cold last week but theri cough went away, her got nasty. SHe does not like the doctor since her last well check up and they pricked her finger and gave her multiple shots. Who can blame her, right? I had to force her to stay home from school and go. When the doctor asked her what was wrong, she again insisted, "Nothing". The doctor asked, "Are you sick?" and gave me a puzzled look. Emma said, "No, so I don't need my finger pricked, no shots, and no throat thing!". I about laughed out loud, poor kid. The doctor assured her she was not getting shots or finger pricks but she had to see her throat to be sure that didn't need to be done. After checking her out that was not needed but she is very congested and has Bronchitis. She told Em, "See you were sick." Em replied, "I know". SHe is a hoot. Now she has bugged me hundred times for her medicine, just in case I forget she only needs it once a day. She loves the flavor and told me she thinks the doctor would say she could have a little more b/c she was really sick. Whatever.

I am taking the kiddos trick or treating tonight at the mall with a Moms Group I joined to make some friends. I am a bit concerned we will not fit in at all b/c their kids are so much younger. It is supposed to be a forward thinking hip mama group, no kidding that is what it says. How forward thinking will they be when I bring along my crazy kidlets? I will definitely post about that with pictures tomorrow.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Food and the New Living Arrangements

Still no news on the health of the baby. I am, however, exhausted and hungry. Nothing too wild but definitely out of the ordinary for me. Today I wanted fried eggs, hash browns, and cheese dip poured all over it. My husband was horrified. I am someone that does not eat leftovers, Thanksgiving dinner is really the only exception. No real reason for this just a bit of OCD when it comes to food. Everything has it's place and can not touch. I eat one item until it is gone and then move on to the next thing. Sandwiches are dry with no condiments, usually. One thing that always stands out when I am pregnant is I must smoosh things together and have lots of sauces. I have been eating the same few things over and over this week, a turkey sandwich about 6 inched THICK b/c it needs so much swiss cheese (3 or 4 slices), lettuce, lots of tomato, overflowing miracle whip, tortilla chips layered on it, and 2 whole dill pickles on it. I have had this sandwich 4 times in a week and I will be right back cause I have managed to make myself hungry thinking about it.

We met with the new AT and Sex Abuse therapist on Friday and it was brief but helpful. He insists on the offending child having her own room and restroom. OK, we have a huge house and it is possible for her to have it but I felt like the kids in her room were safe b/c they are older and real tattletales looking to get her in trouble. I also worried about her feeling like she is special, this is something we have been working on forever, she has been treated like an adult her entire life and when I tell the kids to do something I actually have to remind her she is included. It is important for her to be their equal and not above the others. At the same time, I do not want to risk the others to prove this.

We have decided to hurry up and finish the basement room we were hoping to do much later to make room for the next kids. It turns out she doesn't really want her own room now that she is getting it b/c she assumed I would give up the guest room with the cable TV in it. Uh, No. We will make this as comfortable for her as we can, we intend on putting a camera monitor in her room (this way she can call for me and I can hear her if I am asleep, she is only allowed to dress and undress in the bathroom so she never needs to worry about someone seeing her exposed), she can have the dog in her room with her, and door alarms on all doors and windows. I know she will be safe down there but she is a bit nervous. She has never been alone. All of my children sleep with the full lights on every night and she will be allowed to continue this.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Huge News

I have been feeling sick to my stomach for about a week and extremely emotional. I mean the other day I cried to an Eddie Money song, who does that? It wasn't even sad. I threw up when I saw a pudding commercial today so I decided it was time to take a test. I am pregnant. This can be good or bad. I have a history of ectopic pregnancies and I imagine this is, too. We are trying to take all that into consideration and not get our hopes up. (yeah, right)


We have rules in place to make mornings go smoothly. Things like put your clothes out at night and be sure they fit, find your shoes before bed, get your paperwork signed when you first get home and put them back in your bag, hang up your bookbag on the rack, and many other normal things help us have fun mornings. Not today. Today Patches couldn't find her shoes so she went out in the rain without them to walk the dog. The dog came back in and decided to refuse to go to his kennel and slopped his muddy feet all over her clean pants and naked feet. By the time she made it back upstairs her bus was here and she hadn't brushed her teeth or hair, had no shoes, and her pants were filthy. Instead of running upstairs to fix this she stood still and refused to cooperate even though her personal bus driver was waiting. After several very long minutes I had to let the driver go and she is home for the day. She will be cleaning ALL day. She has missed 7 days of school and it is only October. I love 4th graders so if she chooses to stay in that grade it is fine with me.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Scary Pictures

I haven't posted our Halloween pictures, I keep forgetting. The kids are going to be a witch, dead bride, devil girl in an evening gown, a scary skeleton dude, Cinderella, and the twins will be a dog and a cat. You can see how horrible our flower bed looks but it is perfect for the holiday. The picture with the severed leg also has a giant rat eating it but it is hard to tell. There are also skeletons hanging in the bushes that are hard to see. Can you tell I enjoy this?

The kids came home and did their own chores and then some for a promise to watch the movie Transformers tonight. My poor DH is working extra hard and couldn't make it back in time to watch it with us so I gave the kids the option of doing it tonight without Dad or waiting for him and doing it tomorrow. Most agreed to wait without any prompting from me. I am thrilled to see them thinking of someone besides themselves. Progress, people, progress.

My son just informed me I need a stapler b/c everyone does. He admitted he just wants to use one to staple all the papers he can find. I knew he had reason.

A Little Rant

I was hoping to be more positive than the last few weeks but I need to vent a bit first. I will begin with I am very experienced in dealing with lice b/c when my children came to live with us they brought their little friends on their heads. Every time I thought it was cleared up they had another family visit and they were everywhere within days. I learned to spray everything and even trimmed my nails at an angle to better pick the critters out of their hair. It was to say the least, a nightmare. It lasted for months and I didn't think it would ever go away. Fast forward to now, we haven't had them in forever but continue to use puppy flea shampoo in their hair daily to prevent it (a great trick the pediatrician told us, it uses a natural chemical and won't harm them with daily uses).

Ella had started scratching over the weekend and she had them. I had a total meltdown and checked every head, no one else but her had it so I figured she got it from school and she can't be trusted to wash her hair properly. I watched her wash it and was right. I picked all through her hair and washed everything in sight. She was clean for school Monday. Monday afternoon her school calls and said she had lice and several others in her class did as well, come get her. I refused b/c it was 30 minutes before school ended and it must have really ticked them off b/c they sent the the lice home with her in a bag! Yes, you read it right. They sent the lice home in a ziploc bag with a note saying, "These were found in Ella's hair. Go through her hair and we will recheck it in the morning." I am livid. I can't believe they sent them home. I kept her out yesterday and went all through her hair and I know she is clean again and she better not come home with any either. I am not answering the phone if they call me to come get her. Am I over reacting? What would you do? I know their county's policy is not to send the child home b/c they would lose too many kids to this. Lice happens, that I understand, it's just sending it home is over the line.

Update - I called the county and verified that they do not have to send the kids home but in extreme cases some schools choose to. I also asked her if it was common to send home the lice in a bag and she was horrified. She has never heard of that and agreed she would be upset about it. I did not pursue it further for fear it would put a wedge between her teacher and I so early on. I will just assume it is b/c she is so young and stupid.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The P Doctor

We went to the psychiatrist this morning which is an all day event fr us. We have to drive into the city (Atlanta) and that can take anywhere from an hour to 3, seriously. I love this doctor and feel she has a real grasp on the kids issues. She upped the meds for Patches and Ava to help them control some of their loose emotions. Patches has been becoming withdrawn again and we find her watching TV in the playroom for hours and she refuses to participate in any activity. The good thing is she is not throwing her lovely tantrums anymore so just a tweak in her meds out to help her a great deal. Ava had been crying for hours each day prior to her meds and in between the change of her meds. I am not exaggerating when I say she would sob uncontrollably for 3-8 hours a day for no reason or a very small one. If I asked her to brush her hair one more time b/c she missed a spot, it would take her an hour or more to recover. Obviously, she has a pretty severe depressive disorder. A little tweak in her meds should bring her up to an occasional laugh.

We have lost another SW, she is getting married Friday and while we will miss her we wish her well.

I hate my dog.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

OOOPPS, He Did It Again!

He woke up with a dry one!!!!!! He is over the moon with excitement. He keeps telling me, "See Mom, I feel safe here!" A while back he asked why he still wet his bed every night and my response was that some kids do it because they don't feel safe and some because their bodies refuse to wake up until they have already wet. He told me must not feel safe because he wakes up. I am so proud he is feeling so good about himself and I have a beautiful smelling boy.

We had big excitement last night when my DH and ALL the kids were pulled over. I keep the insurance card in my agenda and he couldn't prove he had it. The officer was about to tow the van and realized the kids would be stranded. He was so nice he offered to follow him home to get it. The kids were a mess and really hard to calm down, DUH. Every time we have contact with an officer they worry we are going to jail. It is nice to be able to prove we are good parents and are not going to be arrested. It is not fun to be pulled over 4 times (between us) in the last 3 months for no reason.

We have discovered that Cyr is getting a lot of good out of this separation thing we are doing to keep the kids safe. When I need to use the restroom or have a few minutes to myself she has to come with me to my room. She gets to watch TV while I do whatever. Yesterday, Emma wanted to come with me and was upset when Cyr informed her she had to go and only she got to be in there. It dawned on me she is feeling special and still holding something over their heads. Now she will only be allowed in her room with the alarm on while I am disposed.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Tell the World, Mommy

My son did not wet his pull up last night. This has only happened 2 or 3 times in 18 months and he was so proud of himself. He ran down this morning telling me to grab his dry pull up. Of course I didn't touch it but I told him I trusted him. LOL I told him Daddy would be so proud when he got up and I promised to call my sister after the sun came up. He told me to tell the world! So here I am telling the world my son had a dry pull up. Tiny steps but steps none the less.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It Didn't Happen

The finalization was postponed until November 15. I am very relieved to have more time to work out the details of her therapy. Of course, we got the call 5 minutes AFTER we told the kids it was happening in the morning. LOL

My dh did in fact lose his job. WOW is about all I can say. He has had 2 other offers and just needs to figure out which one he wants and when he will start. I am confident things will be fine, a little slow but fine. He is in very high demand and any of his past contractors would be thrilled to have him back.

We are extremely stressed right now and about all I can manage is the bare minimum.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Very Long Weekend

This is just one of Emma's self portrait photos I fond on my phone last week. There is a series of her many funny faces very close up.

The Attachment Center we use sent out our new AT. She is not an AT, in my opinion, and we have to fire her before she really screws up our kids. For those of you who do not even know what AT is I will give you a brief description. It is to facilitate attachment between the mother and child. It involves both at all times, the child is NEVER separated from the mother for any kind of talk therapy or play therapy without the mother at least watching through a window. Children with this disorder are VERY sneaking and manipulative. They are extremely charming and it can be very difficult to determine what is the truth and what is not. My oldest has gone 11 years fooling everyone in her path that she is a kind, caring, responsible, healthy child when the exact opposite is true. SHe has no feelings of any kind towards anyone, she just mimics what she sees others do. The AT we had had lots of ideas on how to get things out of her and force the truth. My children are most comfortable in a power struggle and I need advice on how to avoid them. The AT teaches non-conventional ways to parent, normal patterns do not work b/c you are dependent on the fact your child wants to please you and my children do care if I am pleased with them. Got it?

So this very bright and pleasant lady asks all kinds of questions about the kids and then informs us she will be working with us and will be including her "team" in the therapy. I have heard of teams being used to deal with a child before so I started asking her questions and discovered she had no idea what the hell she was talking about. I assume she would be a very effective play therapist and specializes in Sexual Abuse but she is not an AT. She informed me a member of her team would be seeing the kids at school. Alone. One member was a MAN. Considering my children's extremely poor boundary issues, it is not a good idea for a woman to be alone with a single child and a man is in real danger. She began to brag about how they will be checking my kids out of school and going to McDonald's and for ice cream. AH, HELLO, how is that going to build a bond with my children and I? It is going to build a bond between her and the kids, maybe. So being the fierce mom I am, I asked her this. She responded that she would allow me to sit in the last 15 minutes when she was here. What? Then she told me she would inform the kids that anything they say to her is confidential and she would not share it with me unless they are going to hurt themselves or others. GET OUT OF MY HOUSE, NOW!!!!!! Of course I only said that in my mind but I did end the meeting and call my agency immediately. The Center will be finding me another AT, period.

We met yesterday with both our SW and the kids' CW. They have agreed to support us in keeping our oldest here and getting a psycho-sexual assessment done to determine if she is at risk to offend again. We have put ourselves on High Alert and the cameras in our home and door alarms are back in full swing. We have always had rules and devices in place due to the other children acting out sexually but we allowed her to bypass some of the rules b/c she is so "responsible". She is extremely parentified and had always been in charge of caring for the children in the past so in order to help her give up this role we allowed her access we didn't trust the others with. In fact, one of the reasons we trusted her so much is b/c she had reported other children's behaviors to us in the past.

We had to show how we plan to make our home safe again and keep it that way. Here are a few things we discussed with the workers. We never allow the doors to be closed during then day but recently allowed them to enter another child's room to play karaoke and dance as long as there were always 3 or more children and the door remained open. We do not allow Hide and Seek, blankets to be used in public areas, no sharing blankets or hands out of sight, no sitting on another child's bed, no laying down, bathroom always closed, and a few more. The new ones are the offending child must be in the room with me at all times another child is on the same floor, anytime that is not possible she must be in her room with the door alarm on, she may not be alone with any child, she can not be in charge of any child, she can not tell another child what to do, she can not be alone with friends, she can not go to friend's house, she can not play in the neighborhood without me, she can no longer participate in the buddy reading program at school, every one showers alone (sounds weird but with 6 girls you tend to double up), she must make me aware of her need to use restroom and lock the door, basically she has lost all extra privileges she had for being older like staying up late and allowance. It has only been a few days but so far she understands and is doing well.

The other children.....Michael is a tad aggressive towards her, we understand completely why. Ella is scared and has told me so today. Emma is mad to some degree but really doesn't understand what has happened b/c she has never experienced anything so terrible in her pre sibling group sheltered life. The others are barely responsive but we are confident they were unaware of this situation.

On top of all this fun stuff happening at home, my DH went to work this AM to see another contractor working on the building he is supposed to start on this week. He is devastated. We are not sure what this means for him and his job stability. It is entirely possible the brothers he works for has decided to put him on salary like they have discussed for months. The only issue with that is they didn't give him any warning about the other building and he is hurt. He also has at least 2 job offers that have been on the table for months that he can start with a days notice. All will be fine just more stress until the meeting to get details at 2PM. Keep your fingers crossed.

UPDATE: My agency and the Attachment Center have both called and we have a plan. The therapist that came out will stay on but only as a Sexual Abuse Expert and the owner will be our AT. I am thrilled! We have heard from other families he is great. Everyone agrees we are better off finalizing this week all together instead of postponing it or just her. The county they are from is extremely poor and does not have resources available to them like the state does. Once we finalize the adoption we would pull from the state instead of the county. Our agency does not have to continue with us after we finalize but they have a policy to be here when we need them and they committed to working closely with us and our AT until we had this under control. I feel like things are moving forward even though we are scared to death at moments.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The *#it has hit the fan

We discovered some devastating things have been going on here. At this point we, are not sure what will happen with our oldest but the police and DFCS will need to have a full investigation probably this afternoon. Our new AT specializes in this and I am hopeful she can help the other children involved work through this. I am not sure if it is in the family's best interest for her to continue living here at this time. We reassured her no matter what she is a part of this family and we love her. My DH and I are still in shock. She showed no remorse, only embarrassment. I tried to help her understand this is not who she is, it is something she has done. I hope that sinks in. She has promised not to hurt herself or run away but I am not convinced she won't. This is going to change her life and ours forever but we have every intention of adopting her regardless of the outcome.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I know I am going to forget some things but here it goes in no particular order......

I took the kids to a Safety Festival last week and since you can't see their faces I thought I would post it. From left to right A, B, Emma, B's friend A, D, E, P, and my son A. They had a blast getting to climb all over the vehicles, getting tons of stickers and misc. goodies, free ice cream, hot dogs, and sodas, and building wooded fire trucks.

We found out we are losing our agency SW and Attachment Therapist. Both are taking new jobs for different reasons.

We have a tentative adoption date, October 18th. I say tentative b/c the court has not received our latest background check and due to a new state law we had to redo it after we filed but before court. It has taken up to 5 months to get them back in the past and I will be shocked and amazed if they get it in a couple of weeks this time. On top of that Michael will probably have issues due to his criminal background even though he has DHR approval he has things in his past that would get him denied if it wasn't for The First Offender's Act. Unfortunately, GCIC (who maintains the records of all person's in GA) works under a different law which prohibits them from removing it from his record even though it can not be used against him. Confused? I am sure the Judge will be too w/o all the info and that could take time.

We have put a plan in place for my son. The next time he is a danger to himself or others he will be placed into a Residential Treatment Center until he is healthy enough to return home. We have explained this to him and that no matter where he stays he still lives here and is a part of our family. He has done VERY well for the last week or so and maintained control of himself while having his rages. I hope this is a turning point for him but I do not think he will be able to maintain forever. Fingers are crossed, though.

My friend with the tumor has had to terminate her pregnancy and move several hours away to her parents home. She is devastated by her boyfriend's inability to cope and his breakdown during all this.

My friend, Eve, had her baby boy and decided to parent him. On one level I am happy for her b/c I believe families should be preserved if at all possible. I worry how she will support both her children w/o a job or child support and she claims to not be feeling a bond with him. On the other, I am sad for myself and my children, we were really excited.

Emma's sisters are due to go back to their Gma's very soon as long as their Mother is not living there. Of course, she is and only claiming to be at her Gma's.

I have begun to be very strict and everything is black and white for my oldest even if it seems to be an accident. It is working! She really needed me to be exact and take all her control away. She rarely does anything really wrong so it was hard to nail her on anything and I found myself giving her the benefit of the doubt all the time. Now she gets a consequence even if it is more likely to have been an error and she is so much more respectful. I call her on everything and it is draining but the results are amazing.

Our new dog has very sharp teeth and has nipped the kids a few times when the kids are not being too smart. This has caused the kids to be covered in tiny scratches and a few large marks. The school has started to ask questions about them and even taken the girls aside to ask about marks on my son. He had a huge lark on his face from a rage he had and ended up with a rug burn under his eye and a deep scratch in his arm from the dog (we took him to the ER even though we were sure it was overkill). It concerns me they are having these conversations but I am covering my rear with our SW and AT. Everything is documented but this is also why we decided to put a plan in place for Michael.

We have been nominated by our agency to be The Adoptive Family of the Year. I am not sure what all this entails but I do know there will be prizes and a really fancy lunch with up to 1200 people. We are waiting for our invitation now they just called last week to tell us to be looking for it and that we had been selected. Sounds like fun.

Ruthie threw a fit the over the weekend in front of a neighbor kid and humiliated me. She started screaming like I was hurting her when I touched her hand. The poor kids was horrified and too scared to leave. I had to go down and explain things to his parents and I was so lucky that they were such good friends with our neighbor that has 15 kids. They understood as much as they could w/o actually parenting children with these issues. They have a daughter with special needs and did understand embarrassing fits.

I have decided to reveal my kids' new names and begin to refer to each of them by the new ones. We gave our children the choice of just adding our last name or adding a new first or middle to the mix. All were required to keep their original first and last name as middle names. Ex. Their original name was Jane Ann Doe they would be Mary Jane Doe Smith or Jane Mary Doe Smith. We didn't wan them to think or feel that who they were was changing or that they lost who they were when they were adopted as many other adoptees I know. Most of my kids had no idea they had a middle name before so it didn't seem very important to them to keep it. Five of them threw a fit about having to keep any part of their old name but we stood strong.

B- 11 is now B. Cyr (pronounced Sear) H. D. She asked for this name b/c it is my middle name and is my Gma's maiden name and she is being called by it not B

P- 9 is the only child that has retained her name, she only rearranged it b/c it is so unusual that people thought she was a pet or a boy (I will tell you after the adoption the name but it fits so well I am glad she chose to keep it) Marie P. H. D. She will continue to be called P.

D-8 also took my middle name it is just the one I shed at 18 when I changed my name legally to Cyr, she decided to take it in memory of my dear aunt that passed away since she has come to live with us. Ruthie D. H. D.

A-7 will be Michael A. H. D. after my husband. This was his request and it took us a bit to agree b/c it made me feel weird for his parents. He was so set on it our therapist suggested it would do more damage to him to refuse, kind of a rejection of him as our son.

The twins decided they needed 2 new names b/c they matched so well. LOL

C-5 will be Ella Mae C. H. D. Mae is for my Gma and Ella is from the Disney movie Ella Enchanted, she claims she is a princess now. We actually call her Smella for good reason.

A-5 will be Ava Ann A. H. D. Ann is a family name on my side (My Mother, sister, and niece) and is my DH's Mother

Emma is adding her original name back on her birth certificate as a second middle name but is still being called Emma Jane b/c she couldn't remember who Alyvia was when it was called. LOL All the other kids quickly picked up their new names over the summer and the school agreed to use it.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Things have been difficult but I have tons to blog about when the kids go to school............