Friday, November 28, 2008

I Feel Naked

Happy belated Thanksgiving to everyone. We had tons of food at my MIL's. My kids ate very well but Em's sisters and Mother are extremely picky eaters. They ate turkey and potatoes. Not a very good example but it was funny to hear my kids question them over and over about why they didn't eat anything.

Kiera's Mother came and the baby kept looking for me while she held her. I was sure she wouldn't go but pleasantly surprised when she did. You could tell she enjoyed being held but she kept trying to find me. I stayed out of her eye sight for most of the evening so she could enjoy her. I was reminded how uncomfortable it was with Nikki in the beginning. I feel I have to entertain and be the best hostess. It is physically draining. Emma's sister asked her if she was ever going to get the baby back as they were leaving. I thought I would die right there. Her Mother was already in tears saying goodbye.

My awesome MIL decided to keep a bunch of the kids for 2 days. Patches, Michael, Emma, Alyssa, and Ella. I feel so naked without them here. The boys really needed time apart so Eddie stayed with us. Ruthie and Ava have chores from their poor choices. Gia and Kiera are too young.

My sister, Kiki, her DH, and her 3 kids are coming to meet the baby today. I am so out of whack w/o a ton of kids so I asked her to leave a couple of them. I promised to bring them home myself Saturday.

I will post pictures as soon as my MIL sends me some. Hint hint, Ann.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

DFCS is Still Comin Out

We have had her for over 2 week and now they are doing a home visit. We were granted LG over a week ago but now they call. I have sent in all the paperwork and have been cooperative by even double checking that they received it. They just truned it over to our county and she will be out next Tuesday at 9:30 AM. Woo Hoo! At least the kids won't be here to see another CW in and out of their house. I am sure it is just to be sure she is here and that she is safe b/c her mother has run from the county before. Still it seems a bit late inthe game.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Taking Deep Breaths

Thanks so much for all your support. I know everything you say is true but I still feel like I should have known better. I don't have the luxury of acting with emotion or slipping, they need me to be strong and always do the right thing. I am just so darn tired and out of ideas. I am sick of being assaulted and having my other kids watch as their mother is attacked. Emma has been really freaking out lately when it happens and that does make me more anxious. I know I will be a better parent for having lost it. I know my limit now and will be extra careful to let things roll off me again.

We are going to my MIL for Linner on Thursday. That is the meal between Lunch and Dinner according to her. She makes the best dressing ever. I grew up on stuffing and was so impressed by her dressing that first Christmas that I believe it was the final straw and I married him for that wonderful dressing he promised twice a year for the rest of our lives. I didn't taste her white gravy and fried chicken until after the vows but it is was keeps me around when he really makes me mad.

Anyone ever postpone Christmas? Rosa and I were thinking if we postponed it for 2 days we could do all our shopping the day after the real holiday and not tell the kids so we could save a ton of money. We haven't figured out how to do that but it sure would be fun tricking them.

Cyr is helping my DH at work and and is earning money or a cell phone. She is exhausted and ready for bed every night.

Patches couldn't take her medicine for a few days while she had a virus. The voices returned.

You know Ruthie is a basket case right now. She did manage to do some of the chores I gave her but at a snail pace. Rosa is catching on, she told her not to clean the bathroom and to sit in the fetal position all day. You guessed it, it was clean in minutes.

Michael's frustration is building with Eddie. Eddie has an abrasive personality plus his own issues. Michael enjoyed being the only boy way more than he thought. We are having to separate their activities so Michael doesn't kill the kid.

Emma is whiny and obsessed about everything. The meds are helping but now that it was pointed out, I see it all the time. Her mother will be joining us for the holiday and I am so excited for her. She will be bringing Kiera's mother and I am nervous about that.

Ella is still pitiful. She is taking my comments better and making a tiny bit of effort.

Ava has not been caught stealing. I ended her consequences for my sake. I couldn't keep up and they were draining me way more than they were her. I told her it wasn't over but we were going to have to rethink it after the holiday. I am thinking she will have to give her cousins one of her gifts for stealing their things.

Kiera had her 12 month check up today at 13.5 months. She got 4 shots and screamed the entire time we were in the office. The nurse looked at me with a straight face ans asked if she knew what was going to happen. I swear it was almost if she did. The minute we stepped outside, she stopped. She is small for her age and they suggested she wean from the bottle. I assured them I wasn't going to do that b/c it was so important for her bonding, she just shrugged. She did tell me the screaming at night could be nightmares but took away any hope of helping me cope with them. Her lungs sounded great and she is down to 1 breathing treatment a day.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Worst Day Ever

I have had the worst day I have ever had parenting. I feel like the worst mom ever. Ruthie hit, kicked, pinched, and scratched me more than 100 times before I lost it. She did manage to make those last all day and weren't in the first, second or even the third fit she had. At one point she came at me looking like a crazed maniac with her hands out to assault me again, I smacked her in the chaos. It wasn't hard, no mark was seen then or now but I immediately felt terrible. I have never hit any of my children. I knew I was too mad to help her anymore and I screamed at her and ran in the house. She knew I was over the edge and waited for me to come back to get her instead of slamming herself into the glass door like she had been. I am so ashamed. I should have been in more control. She goes to this place that is so hard to describe, she becomes murderous. She has no memory of the event. She knows that something happened b/c she is in trouble but the exact things are unclear to her.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Kerry and Lisa, I can't believe you two for completely different reasons. I will respond, I swear!!!!!

Kath, I got your second comment and I will say that I am glad you are gathering evidence. Do what you have to and worry about her feelings later.

I have no time or energy. I am not complaining, at all. I forgot how much a little booger takes out of you. She is either attached to me in her Hip Hammock or she is laying on my head sleeping. There doesn't seem to be an in between. She is desperate for me constantly. Nights are getting worse, not better. She wakes up MANY times a night to be sure I am still there. It is so sad. It is becoming more and more obvious how badly she was neglected and the ways she was treated by her responses to things. As I lay awake at night with her laying across my head or neck, I fantasize about confronting her mother about what I can see so clearly. I am mad.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Another Thief

Why is it that kids don't get the memo that they are all supposed to learn from the same technique? Why do they force us to try so many different things before they learn from us?

I have been trying every thing in my little black book with Ava with no change in her behavior. Something must have worked today b/c she became a new child. She acted like she wants to be a part of our family, she was thoughtful, and she did extra chores without me asking one time. I have been making up things to praise her about b/c she is so determined to look, smell, and act like trash. I even complimented her on putting her shoes on the right feet b/c there was nothing else to say that was nice. I am trying to take her focus off being the baby here and talking about qualities that she has that are so wonderful like her milky white skin (looks like a milkshake and I beg her to let me lick her hand), her thoughtfulness (she always writes me notes even though they are stabbed), and how smart she is (she is freakishly smart). It seems to have worked for at least a day and I will take that.

Ruthie stole from the AT's office today and then screamed at em for 30 minutes about how I was mean for calling her out. I never raised my voice or was rude in any way. SHe was able to let it out without disassociating. Of course, in the end she acknowledged she did steal it and she lied. She was able to come up with 3 different stories and called me a liar every time I showed her how they weren't possible. I wish she was smarter so she could be more creative and get away with something once in a while.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Enough About the Baby

Ava is going to be the death of me. She is stealing and lying so much more and I wish I could blame the baby and the changes that come from her but it's not. This has been escalating for months and I am finally at the end of my rope. The AT is unable to help me find new and interesting ways to help her get a grip. I sat down and had a long talk with her. It is amazing how my children will tell me the shocking truth when I am calm and act like it won't bother me. She confessed she doesn't love me or anyone except her Nanny (maternal Gma). She feels like I am just another woman here to take care of her. She feels nothing. She also loves to steal b/c it feels fun. She likes that everyone pays attention and makes a fuss. She was very matter of fact when explaining all this to me.

She is extremely upset about the baby. She thinks the baby stole her name b/c they both were given the name Jade as a middle name by their Mothers. She admitted she wants the baby to leave. She promised she wouldn't hurt the baby but I know she must be watched at all times. I think she is more prone to hurt me than the baby. I hope I am right.

Patches is quite the crazy child lately. I love to watch her be silly b/c this is new for her.

Cyr has been too helpful. She is hugging me w/o me threatening to grab a hold and not let go. It makes me sad that I still question her motives so much. I hope someday that will pass.

Michael is such a cutie. He is trying to communicate with me about his anger and feelings about sharing everything with Eddie. He is doing a great job expressing himself even if it is after he blows up.

Ella and Emma love the baby. Ella wants to hold her but it is hard with her tight leg muscles. She needs to work on being the older child and not letting the baby beat her in the face. Emma thinks she should be able to carry her even though they are about the same size. She is doing good on her Prozac but I am sure we will be increasing it soon.

Ruthie still just doesn't understand a thing. She can not grasp simple ideas like when holding a baby don't just let go and stand up. She has done this twice and dropped the baby. Good thing she wasn't hurt. I am positive it was an accident both times b/c she couldn't hurt a flea.

Since I haven't said it in the entire post.....I love having a baby around!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Introducing Kiera

Bare with me, I am trying to adjust to everything and blogging seems to be one thing that is neglected. I feel like my life has just sped off without me. I am exhausted but so excited that I don't mind the lack of sleep.

My DH and I went today to file the LG paperwork. It took much longer than we expected to just get the receipt and while we were waiting my DH ran his mouth about this baby to every one that would listen. One old man was holding a trash can and listening to him go on and on. I figured he was the janitor but it turned out to be the Judge and he told us to hang on and he would process it immediately. We walked out of the courthouse today the LG of Kiera Jade (They called her Jade but we are going with Kiera. It sounds less likely to be her stage name. LOL). They mentioned after we were done that to dissolve the LG, both parents had to petition the courts to drop it and they had to prove they were fit parents. Then when I called the CW to tell her she called me the new Mommy. She told me she will be sending a note to the courts that the mother has an open case with them and she will need to work a plan to get her back. The mother has been very clear that she will not do that ever again. The father refuses to believe she is his b/c he was in jail. He also said he would do whatever it took to be sure she didn't get to ruin another little girl's life. He is willing to sign over his rights today. There is little or no chance of Kiera going anywhere, her sister was already abandoned by their mother and she is now facing a felony child abandonment charge for it.

All the other kids seem to be fine with her here. They are really sweet to her and want to help way too much. Ava is very jealous and I worry about her hurting the baby in the future so she is closely monitored. Cyr and Patches are taking turns chasing her away from the stairs.

Kiera is showing some obvious attachment related issues. She is not making eye contact. Affection is on her own terms. She didn't cry but now cries all the time for attention. She is completely freaked out when I leave the room and is inconsolable. She will go to a complete stranger. She fights me when I try to feed her her bottle in my lap. She tries to drink it walking around and just lets it hang from her mouth. Needless to say, I will be wearing her for months as soon as I can find the darn sling I bought as a gift for my friend Eve but never gave her.

Lisa, the invitation link won't work.

Everyone that has emailed me, please be patient. I promise to get to them. There have been so many that I can't even read them all. Thanks for your support.

I am dying to catch up on all the blogs I usually read daily. I have no idea what is going on with anyone.

P. S. Tomorrow is our first anniversary of our adoption of the kids. I am sure they have forgotten and I am not sure I should tell them until it's almost over.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I am so busy right now that I am neglecting this blog. I will get myself organized and back on track. I have tons to share about the kids but right now I only have a few minutes before the new little beast realizes I am not holding her.

Both parents decided they needed to sign over Legal Guardianship to us. DFCS told the mother she would have to go through drug court for 18 months before they would consider her to be fit to raise her child. She instantly gave up and agreed to LG. We had to ask Em's Mom to hunt down the father on the BC and he agreed to do it.

I am exhausted beyond belief. She was going to everyone that held out hands until yesterday when she realized I have the bottles and must be the woman in charge. Now she MUST be touching me even when she sleeps. She cries if she can't see me and when anyone else tries to touch her. If I try to snuggle with her, she wants nothing to do with it. I have to be available on her terms. She doesn't like to be held when she is fed and is having a hard time laying in my arms. She has this desperate thing about her that is very obvious yet you can't put your finger on what it is.

She warmed up last night after dinner and played with Emma for about 30 minutes. Em, my DH, and myself were on the floor with all the other kids on the sofas or in the showers and she got really silly. She would hug me hard and lay her head on my chest and then run for Em and tackle her by pulling her hair and shirt to the ground. She threw herself on her chest and kinda snarled at her and then ran back to me to hug. She had us all laughing so hard and she was having a ball. She was crazy! I guess the breathing treatment wound her up quite a bit.

So far no serious issues with her health but I am taking her tomorrow to our pediatrician to get her records transferred and see what I need to be doing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I can't find my camera and our cell phones are too hard to see that there is even a person in the picture. She is the cutest little thing. She is very sick, she coughs and snots constantly. She has breathing treatments every 4 hours and 3 other meds in the morning that we get to force down. She NEVER cries and that worries me. She called me Mama and my DH daddy immediately. She is very clingy and insists on being held only on her terms. She won't drink a bottle if we are holding her, she slides off to walk around with it. I am worried. Don't get me wrong, she is sweet as can be but it is obvious she has been neglected.

She is into everything. I was so unprepared for this that I am running around like crazy trying to get things away from her. At the same time, I have to get the house ready for a visit from DFCS. They were called in when she tried to pick up the baby. They accused Jade's mother of many things. Her mother is terrified that they will drug test her and have her work a plan. She said she would sign her over to us before she did that again. I have a feeling this will be long term if not permanent. I know she wants to parent but with DFCS stepping in, she will not be able to get it together enough for them. She is not in foster care but they want to check things out b/c of the accusations made. They are transferring it to our county so I expect a visit within 24 hours.

I promise to make a serious effort to find the camera today. Oh Heather, I almost forgot, b/c she is not a foster child I am only required to get her mother's permission to post her picture.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Jade has just turned 1 and is walking pretty good. She is related to Emma, I think they are 2nd cousins by marriage. Here in the South, it is common to call your parent's friend aunt or uncle so and so. I have known Emma's Mom since she was a kid and I think Jade's Mom is just the cousin even though they call her Aunt Jess. Anyway, we were asked yesterday to come and pick her up today b/c her aunt/uncle had filed for LG but it was discovered that they had stopped giving the baby her breathing treatments ans she had to be hospitalized. They also have 5 charges of child cruelty in their past. They wouldn't be able to complete the LG even if she wanted them to. They had pressured her into signing it over to them about a week ago and she immediately regretted it but felt she needed to figure something else out before removing her again. She is unable to care for her child due to meth addiction, no job, no money, and homelessness.

Our intention is to keep her until she can get herself together. We all agree it needs to happen quickly or it needs to be a permanent situation. This is the 2nd child she has placed for the same reason. DFCS is on her back about LG or adoption. We will not seek either at this time but will be thrilled about having a chubby baby to snuggle for a bit. I am reluctant to discuss adoption with her b/c I feel so strongly that the baby should be with her mother if she can get additional help. She would really like to parent but needs to get into a drug treatment program that she is still trying to convince herself she doesn't need. She has been talking to Emma's Mom and us about leaving her with us for the last year but managed to avoid DFCS and found family to take her for brief periods. She has burned all her bridges and anyone willing to take the baby either didn't qualify or wanted to steal her baby. One of the other reasons she told Nikki she wants us to take her is that if we all decide she needs to stay, she knows we will honor our end of the relationship. She loves that Nikki has a real relationship with her child. She loves that we all love Nikki so much that we support her regardless of her choices and are always here for her.

This poor child hasn't had a consistent caregiver and has bounced from house to house. She is extremely clingy and whiny. She is not a healthy child and needs to have breathing treatments all the time. I am concerned she needs stability immediately to avoid attachment issues that are inevitable if things doesn't slow down for her soon.

My DH is on his way to pick her up right now. They had to call the police to remove her from their care. She showed them the documents from the courts but they refused to let the baby leave. It was a huge screaming fight and they waited for over an hour for the police before leaving. They are on their way back over there and will immediately meet my DH to bring her here. I am sure she will be very confused and scared. I wish there was an easier way to help her.

In the meantime, I have nothing for a baby! Time to hit Freecycle. I will post pictures tonight.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

A Baby?

Abby, I will as soon as I find the camera. They are really cool and they fit in regular 8' ceilings. The bottom bunk sits really close to the ground and is great for Ella b/c she rolls right off a bed.

Wendy, I used to like to cook real meals but have slowly slipped into a cheap and easy kind of Mom. We have a few things on our regular rotation that I can throw together like egg sandwiches, spaghetti, alfredo, ceaser salad, veggie tacos, grilled PB and Js, and cucumber sandwiches. When we have more time, they enjoy things like beef stroganoff, beef gravy over perogies, chicken tortilla hotdish, chili, BBQ pork, and potato soup. Tonight we are having homemade chicken and dumplings.

Thank you so much for all the questions and comments.

One last thing, I may be posting tomorrow about a new addition. We are not sure if she will be short term or long term. We are excited about the possibility of her coming for however long she stays. Since I am not sure, I will keep my mouth shut about further details until she is in my arms. Yes, she is human.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


I am answering the questions you posted here. Feel free to keep asking, I am more than happy to answer publicly or privately.

Nannyogg, welcome and thanks for delurking.

Me, our house has 6 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. Our kitchen is the tiniest one I have ever been forced to cook in so we turned the dining room into a huge pantry by adding Rubbermaid shelves on 3 of the walls. Our formal LR is their playroom and we use our Den for our sofas and TV. It's a huge room and they love to sprawl out on the floor to watch movies on Friday nights. I think the total square footage is around 3200. The yard is what drew us here, we are on 5 acres that are about 1/3 open field, 1/3 w/o brush and ancient oak trees that the kids love to run around, and 1/3 deep woods that they hide in.

Alyssa's Mom, it is a toss up between Patches and Michael. Michael is no longer ripping his clothes off, attacking me, or wetting himself. He talks about his feelings and can remember a few names of people outside the house. He has all but stopped destroying things that are his. I think discovering and stopping his abuse by Cyr, locking up his parents, and starting Risperdal all helped tremendously. We spent a lot of time hugging in a restraint, I would talk softly and reassure him that he couldn't stop me from loving him and he was safe.

Patches was scary on paper, we almost reconsidered the group b/c she was so severe. Her anger just oozed from her at all times. She wouldn't smile or have her picture taken. She spent most of her time with her head down hating every one but especially me. She made sure I knew she wasn't going to accept me as her mother b/c she had one. I think it changed when she and I had a huge fight one afternoon on the stairs, I cried and that really got to her. I think I was finally able to explain I wasn't in competition with her mother, she could love us both and I explained how our roles were different. She began Prozac soon after and we realized a lot of her issues with school and people was social anxiety. She stopped pulling her hair out and hurting herself when she began Risperdal. It was weird watching her anger just disappear. We now have several pictures with her smiling and her rages have nearly disappeared until her recent med changes. The day we adopted her she announced she no longer wanted to see or accept her parents. It was like she closed a door, we are confident she had hung on to them b/c she was so afraid she would have to go back again. She was their loudest defender until she was done and now she rarely has a nice thing to say about them. She feels safe here and she accepts us fully as her parents. She is very proud of herself and wants to behave properly, that is what drives her to act normal. She needs to be reminded about how she used to act so she can see the difference and be sure we see it, too.

r, my DH had his brain injuries in 1997 and 1999. They were devastating for both of us. They changed him, his personality was more uptight and he was easily angered. He became volatile at times when he was frustrated. I am not sure how we survived the second one and if he hadn't been so needy, I don't think we would have made it. His short term memory is so much better than it used to be but he is still very dependent on me for things. He must talk to me MANY times a day on the phone and that can be a bit annoying but he freaks out when I am not available so it is necessary. He has his sense of humor back and that helps a lot. I think what was the hardest part was his poor choices during the second year after his second head injury. He was so out of whack he couldn't think straight and he did some things that nearly destroyed us. He is not that person anymore, thank goodness. I won't go into what those bad choices were b/c he would never consider doing those things now or before the accident. All his doctors told us that is is common for people in his condition to change personalities and do things that are not normal for them. I am so happy he worked through that. If I minimize things it is only b/c it is hard to remember those times. Life was hard.

Anonymous, try this. Let me know if you still can't figure it out.

Maia, we are boring. This weekend I have spent it on my rear end watching Rosa unpack. The kids have been living outside. They beg to eat out on the picnic tables, ride their bikes, and run through the woods. They come in at dark and shower b/c they are out of school until tomororrow. They have been camping out in the girls' room in sleeping bags so they can watch Disney. I can hear them giggle until midnight. It so wonderful to be able to allow them to do that and not worry about inappropriate touching. Cyr is excluded most of the time, at her age, she doesn't care. If I do allow her to sleep in there she must sleep on a bed with Patches on the floor next to that bed. Patches is a light sleeper and has vowed to protect the other kids from every one including her sister. The triple bunk that I put Cyr on is so low that she can't sneak off the bed or over Patches. While I don't trust Cyr, I am confident the other kids have enough power now that they wouldn't let her get away with anything. No one here is afraid of her anymore, they stand up to her easily.

On school days, we get up around 6:15 so they can get on the bus at 6:55. They love to eat breakfast at school with their friends so that helps. We no longer have any real morning issues so they can actually get out the door in 10 minutes if they have to. We set out their clothes at night and unless there is an emergency they can not change their outfit. They take turns in the bathroom, a few get right in while the others get on their shoes and socks and then trade places. I check each child personally before they step out the door.

After school, they get home around 3 PM and I have their snack ready for them. I ask a million questions trying to hear about their day while they beg to go outside. I rotate a kid or two inside with me helping with laundry or snuggling. It is hard to get one on one so I have to force them to hang with me a few minutes every day.

They have one chore a week, it is the kitchen. On that day, they help me with dinner as a reward for doing the dishes. They open cans or stir the pot. Every one sits together on our very long picnic table in the kitchen at 6PM. They tease me about never sitting b/c I stand and eat while walking back and forth getting more food for them. We talk about everything at dinner and do a lot of laughing. We are still working on our manners so that is a topic we hear about every night among other things that would make most "normal" families cringe. It is not uncommon for them to talk about their abuse during dinner. I am not sure why but they feel safe at dinner.

Homework and showers are started the minute everyone clears the table. We send them up 2 at a time and the rest get their book bags and sit down at the table to begin. The littles can shower together but Cyr must have the door shut and be alone upstairs to shower. This is the time Michael starts to tell me he doesn't have homework and when I prove him wrong he shuts down and starts kicking the floor. I spend most of the time just being available if they need me. They prefer to have a sibling help them with their homework. If I try to help, it turns into a power struggle so I back off. I make them answer the question with my assistance, they are quite lazy and their sibling is likely to give them the answer instead. If I have trouble with a kid and homework they have to do it at recess and the next day they do it right after school instead of playing outside to be sure they have enough time. I sign all their stuff during this time and if they forget or refuse they don't have another chance. It takes about an hour to get all that done.

We spend the rest of the evening talking, laughing, playing together. They get their meds about 8:25 and head up to bed 8:30 sharp and are forced to read for 30 minutes. Emma reads out loud a great deal of the time to the other kids b/c she is such a great reader and enjoys it so much. Our bedtime routine is very simple, during their time to read I pick out their outfits for the next day and give kisses. They are so agitated at bedtime that we have to preoccupy them with reading and questions about their outfits for the next day. I give each child a kiss and the standard "I love you". Much more than that and they start freaking out. I had dreams of singing songs and snuggles but they just can't do it in their rooms. The girls love having so many in one room, it makes them feel safe. My son is asleep within seconds while Cyr reads quietly for a bit longer than the little girls. They do not get out of bed once they are in there. They do not ask for help in the night yet either. Night time is still scary for them.

Innocent Observer, I say a lot of things in my head. I even take a moment to play out my little fantasy of beating the turd. This can help me see the error of my fantasy and the prison I would certainly deserve to be in afterward. I can then think more clearly and address it w/o so much emotion. I try to get them to laugh or smile when they are in a really bad place. They couldn't do that before but now it seems to break the ice and they are instantly able to listen to reason.

I would love to escape to Maine but it probably won't happen anytime soon.

It is not that hard having another family unit in the house. I make it clear they must go by our general rules. Both Frankee and Rosa lived with me as a child so they are not surprised at how I parent. I refer their children to them unless they are busy or unavailable. Their children generally fall into place, it is easier to for them to follow a group of children than to listen to an adult. The only real issue I remember with Frankee and Shyanne was that she was sneaking her food between meals. Shyanne was very over weight and Frankee used food to bond with her. It was completely unhealthy. I am sure Rosa will find new and more interesting ways to add to the chaos. LOL I am kidding, she is more laid back and wants to fix her kids issues. She will follow my lead unless it feels really wrong for her child. She is not a drug addict or a drinker, she has no social life, and she spends all her time trying to parent or work. I am sure things will go much more smoothly with her.

My dream vacation was at Disney. It would include my kids and lots of fun. I would love to take them to the beach and we will as soon as my DH is able to work more steadily.

Recipe? I love to make Pumpkin Trifle with the kids on Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is easy and they get such a kick out of licking the bowls. I double the recipe and substitute the whipped topping with homemade whipped cream.


* 2 (14-ounce) packages gingerbread mix
* 1 (5.1-ounce) box cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
* 1 (30-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling
* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
* 1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping ****
* 1/2 cup gingersnaps, optional


Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool. Stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cardamom into the pudding. Crumble 1 batch of gingerbread into the bottom of a large, pretty bowl. Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of whipped topping. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and whipped topping. Sprinkle of the top with crushed gingersnaps, if desired. Refrigerate overnight. Trifle can be layered in a punch bowl.

****I use 2 32oz heavy cream containers and whip it until it starts to get thick. I add powdered sugar until it is sweet. I think it is 2 cups but don't hold me to it just keep tasting it. A dash of real vanilla and whip until it looks like whip cream. Mmmmmmm! There is enough for the kids to lick the bowl and actually get some. It is good enough to eat by the spoonful.

Kath, I got yours and will email you privately.

Monday, November 03, 2008

In a Funk

I am in a blogging funk. I have a lot going on but am too lazy to write or do much of anything. The kids are out of school until Wednesday and Rosa and her kids are still arranging their things here. I could sit around all day, wait, I have. Cyr and Emma are visiting my MIL and having a blast.

What do you want to know? Ask me anything.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Medicine Changes

Poor Patches is really going crazy with this med switch. She is a ball of emotions. One minute she is crying b/c someone said a girl on TV was not very pretty and the next she is screaming she hates us. We are all trying to be careful what we say but she is all over the place and attacks us for no reason. We have already doubled the dose b/c the doctor called and said she was attacking the other kids at the program and then crying in a corner in the fetal position. She has become extremely paranoid and thinks every one is out to get her. I can't wait for this stuff to level off. She is almost too big to hold in my lap and rock at this point. I see a difference in her eating already but my DH said she scarfed down a bag of gummy worms yesterday. I guess we'll have to wait to be sure it has improved long term.