Friday, May 21, 2010

Tough Night

Ruthie has been having a really hard time over the last few months. Her rages have increased significantly when we removed her latest med that we feared was the cause of her stomach pains.

We mentioned her hygiene challenges in therapy and she refused to speak one word for the nearly 2 hours we were there. Once in the van, she was a chatty Cathy. I stated I wish she could find a way to talk like that in therapy. She was silent the hour ride home. Once here, she refused to get out of the van. She sat out there for about 2 hours, long past dinner. I offered her dinner before it was put up and she shook her head. I noticed she had managed to dump a 2 liter of soda all over my van and everything else that was in there was spread all around. I just shook my head.

About 30 minutes later, my DH went to check on her and she was gone. We found her crouched down in the woods, still on our property. Every time we approached her, she ran further. Eventually, we were forced to call the police to help. She was terrified of him and refused to speak to him. He stood up and she took that moment to run toward us. I guess, we are the better of 2 evils.

After the officer left, we talked about her ability to control the urge to run and to not hurt herself. She knew she couldn't make that promise since she has been doing it daily. It was enough to have her admitted to our local psychiatric facility. Sadly, the nurses and the security officers at the ER, the admittance dude, security officer, and nurse at the facility all knew me by name. Since we are moving, I didn't bother to get last names for Christmas cards. I'm hoping to develop that kind of a relationship with the staff at the hospital and neighborhood psychiatric facility near our new house. I mean really, why waste all the energy on folks I won't see again.

Ruthie has called twice today. She seems upbeat. I'm sure she will be home in a few days. They have made some real changes with her meds that make me hopeful.

We are off to finish up the new house this weekend. We still have a little painting and a lot of moving and packing to do over the next 10 days. I wish I had a magic wand to make it all happen while I sleep.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Things Are Moving Along

The house is nearly painted. I am shocked that my 14 yr old and I did almost all of it ourselves. My DH will spend a few nights this week at the house and finish the top cutting in that wasn't done over the weekend. I decided after about 3 hours of painting that we would be repainting the trim after we moved in. Our trim is a very dark brown already and I have every intention of keeping it that color. With so many kids, it will save me a ton of effort repainting every 6 months in the high traffic areas.

All the work on both houses and packing has taken it's toll on my hips. I am back on pain meds to just walk around. I hate that. I know it is temporary because when we get moved I can slow down a bit physically. Until then, I have no choice if I want to climb a set of stairs.

Our Blue and Gold Macaw came home this week. We decided to name him Winston. He has really taken to me and I am looking forward to spending the rest of my life snuggled up with my new friend. When I come in the room, he quickly slides down the cage and drops to the floor to chase me down. He squawks periodically until I holler back at him, just letting him know where I am. He is a big ball of mush. He is getting used to all the commotion around here and the kids think he is the coolest thing ever.

Most of the kids are doing really well. Michael has turned into the easiest kid in the house. He is helpful, calm, clear about his feelings, caring, thoughtful, and affectionate. He has become the boy I had hoped he was deep down. He expresses how happy he is about his recent changes. Unfortunately, he is still actively hallucinating. Patches is having a tough time but hanging in there. Ruthie is not. She has been out of control and psychotic. She is extremely close to a hospital visit. Emma, Ava, and Ella are fantastic. Kiera is getting used to the idea of her own bed but not to sleep in, just to "watch cartoons in". Cyr is an amazing child. She is so helpful through her sadness. I love that child more than I ever thought possible. I can't believe I get to watch her grow up and become such an incredible young woman.

We have a visitor for a couple of nights. Gia! She told me, at dinner, this is her house, too. I have missed the kids so much. We saw them for a little bit on Sunday at the new house. I could have squeezed all of them to death but that would have shortened the visit. Rosa is looking for a house and we are hoping she chooses one close to ours so I can watch the kids for her when she works.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fighting for Services

I know, I used to post nearly every day and lately I have fallen off the face of the earth. Life keeps me busy, what can I say?

I spoke to Cyr's boyfriend's mom last night about something I NEVER thought I would agree to. After talking with her therapist about her relationship with this boy, I we all agreed we need to help her continue it unless she acts inappropriate. She has never had a friendship, of any kind, last more than a few months. This relationship has lasted 6. They are silly and fun together. That was such a difficult thing for her to be before. A fun loving girl, she was not. Now she is. She is sarcastic and entertaining. Since we are moving about an hour and 15 minutes away, visits every weekend won't happen. We have decided to offer to let him spend the night. Yes, go back and read it again. I said it. It took me a few times to say it out loud before I was able to stay conscience. Our thought is that we have door alarms on the bedrooms doors set on chime but they can be moved to a screaming sound and the camera can be set to the hallway to see who it is leaving the room. They wouldn't be able to get to each other through the door or window, since they have alarms, too. His parents commented on how careful we are with our daughter that they feel we would protect him, too. It may happen.

On a completely different note, Kiera peed on the potty! This child has been impossible to train. She tells me, "I don't want to potty train. Me the baby.". If I try to bribe her, she informs me, "I have to pee to get that candy? No, thanks." "I'll wear my panties on my diaper." Stuff like that. Refuses to go. She also will try to make the sound of going on the pot and ask for a treat. She ain't fooling me. LOL Today she was making the "sound" of peeing and actually went. She laughed and told me it was an accident because she could hear the water running. LOL I still gave her the treat.

I had an IEP meeting for Ruthie today and now it will be next week. I am so grateful the therapist wrote a wonderful letter trying to help get her in a contained class. I am a nervous wreck about it. It is so hard facing a bunch of people that don't see her behaviors but think they know my child. She is so preoccupied by all the other kids and possible sexual thoughts that she has nothing left for learning. I'm hoping to get the right services for her for next year. It will be nothing short of a miracle.

Sunday, May 09, 2010


I spent the weekend prepping the new house for our family. We picked out paint and began the long process of repainting the entire house. I am exhausted and the kids are passed out.

Today Kiera's Mom came to visit. We were so thrilled her boyfriend was able to stay this time. He suffers from one of the most severe cases of social anxiety I have seen first hand. He is a sweet and gentle man that can't bear to be around people, much less talk to them. He enjoys the kids and helped them dump a ton of sand in their new giant sand box. WHen I say a ton of sand, I mean an incredibly large bag that had to be put in the truch with a forklift, ton of sand. Literally, weighing a ton. They worked their little hearts out. We picked up Kiera's sister so she had a ball with her family today, burying them in it.

Mother's Day is so hard for my children and their mothers. It is a big reminder of their loss. With every wish from others for me to have a happy day, I think of the ones I share the day with. The one that sits in prison for her crimes against our children, the one that traveled out of her way to pick up and drop off our daughter so I could paint a little longer, and the one that that cried in my kitchen because she desperately wants to spend time with our daughter. My relationship with all of them is so unique. I can honestly say I love them all.

It was hard for people, including my family, to understand why I wanted my children's mothers so involved in our lives. I just knew it was critical for my children. Two of them are actively involved in our family but we are in different stages with them. Emma's Mother has been with us for almost 9 years. She is considered family by every one of our extended family and is included in everything. She has struggled with addiction and the loss of her children. SHe has worked very hard to regain custody of 2 of them and build healthy relationships with the other 2. SHe still aches for the loss of her girls but has moved forward. Emma spends the night at her home and her Nana's regularly. Not a day goes by that I don't speak with her Mother on the phone.

Kiera's Mother's wounds are fresh. She cries easily about her girls. She wants to see them unsupervised and is having a hard time accepting that will take time. I want us to get there. There are many reasons we are not. SOme of it is trust, past mistakes, but the biggest part is Kiera. She is so shaky with her attachment. SHe is so desperate for me all the time. Nights are horrible. I think it would be too confusing at this stage and the therapist agrees. I feel like such a jerk telling her to wait. We have to build trust. It was one of the hardest things to tell her. I want her to have the relationship Emma has with her family. I know we will get there but from where she is standing, it seems impossible. We talked about the steps we need to take to get there today. I try very hard to be honest and upfront with her so she will learn she can trust me. I will do exactly what I say. Now that we are going to be a little closer, I'm hoping she will spend a few weekends with us and her daughters. Another step closer to unsupervised. I am hoping her family takes us up on some visitation, too.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Some Good and Bad

I took Cyr to see the house today. She skipped school because she didn't feel like going on the 7th grade field trip. Her teacher had been upset that she wasn't going and asked her why. She assumed it was because we couldn't afford the $21 with so many kids at home. Cyr was quick to tell me she set her straight and said she didn't want to go. I had to giggle. She likes the house but is still sad about leaving her boy friend.

I had been dreading Patches IEP meeting today but came out so happy she has had the opportunity to be in this program with such wonderful people. They all get it. I can't tell you enough how much of a difference it makes. Knowing she is moving, they went out of their way to make sure everything was written to help Patches succeed next year. They even wrote in the exact words that helped her reconnect after a shut down.

They had so many positive things to say about her. I left feeling so proud of her. With all her issues, she is still such a wonderful child. She loves the best she can. If you ever feel any of that love, you will never forget it. It keeps me coming back for more. It helps me forget all the nastiness.

Without naming you and sharing your private crisis, I want to tell you I am here for you. You are one of the most important and influencial people in my life. You have accepted my children without question and loved them with your entire heart. You have taken us in and supported us when we needed it the most. You are generous, loving, and thoughtful to a fault. I know I never say it but I want you to know I feel it deeply. I love you and am honored to be a part of your life. In the coming months, I will do anything to make it easier on you. If anyone can fight this, I know you can and will. You are a fighter. You are secretly strong. You come across as this adorable grandmotherly woman that wouldn't hurt a fly. Anyone that knows you, knows you can do anything you put your mind to and will take down anyone that gets in your way. Most people, at your age, look forward to retirement. Not you. You have 2 jobs and keep going. We might not always see eye to eye but that hasn't stopped you from accepting me, warts and all. I can never repay you for all you have done for us but I do promise, if we win the lottery, you are first on the list. OK, no more sappy crap. Let's get busy getting you healthy.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

It's All In Her Head

Ruthie has been sick and out of school since last Tuesday. She complains of severe stomach pains in her upper area, some vomiting on and off, and loose stools (probably from the daily prescription laxative I was giving her). She refused to get out of bed to play or eat. She was dizzy from starvation. When we went to the GI dr yesterday, she had lost 6 pounds since last Friday. The kid was in bad shape.

I took her to the doctor originally on Friday and they insisted it was ulcers. If she puked, take her to the ER. She puked in front of their building so off we went. The Er dr did an ultrasound to look at the gall bladder and pancreas. Both were fine. He insisted it was somatic.

I called her therapist on Monday and we called her p doc together. The therapist and p doc agree that the new meds are holding her rages down so far that the emotion has to go somewhere. I was offended at first but it began to make some sense. Their point was this is a very mentally ill child. This is exactly how Patches acted prior to her first hospitalization minus the pain. She became very secluded and lethargic. She hid in the room upstairs and watched TV constantly even though she wasn't allowed to on the weekdays. Michael has had similar weeks. The difference is the pain. She always has a boo boo. She is difficult to believe when she complains about hurting.

Tuesday the GI doc agreed with them. He said she may have a tiny bit that is backed up but nothing to cause all this other stuff. He suggested we talk to her therapist and continue her laxative, just in case.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

I didn't want to say anything until I was sure. We found the house! They said they have shown it numerous times and every one complained there were too many extra rooms they didn't need. It has lots of character and really spoke to us the minute we got out of the truck. Every room just made it better and better. Of course, we see it for what it will be because every thing needs some TLC.

The first thing is that it is on 3 acres on a very busy road, near all our favorite stores. The busy street would be a turn off except the property has a bamboo forest and woods that block all the noise and view of it. It has a small fenced in area off the living room and screened in porch area that Kiera will be able to come and go from without me worrying. That area has a massive picnic table, sandbox, fire pit, and big deck. The drive is long and right behind the house it gets really wide. They will be able to play basketball out there and ride their bikes up and down the gravel road that runs through the property. There are tons of tree house trees so it's a matter of picking the right one and building it.

The inside begins with a mud room. It is about 9x9. We need to tear up the indoor/outdoor carpet and put in tile. I have big dreams for that mud room, starting with hooks for each child and a warm color paint color.

That room leads into the dining room. It is about 10x15 and has an unbelievable built in buffet and tile floors. It is full of sunlight from the bay window area. A staircase is in one corner that leads upstairs to our master bedroom and playroom. The kitchen off to the left.

The kitchen is small. It is the only down side to the entire house. It was a cloudy day and was dark. It will be one of the first things fixed. It is bigger than our current one and has a really cool pass through to the dining room that is big enough to hold several dishes of food for holidays.

The living room has a huge picture window and a wood burning fireplace. There is a door that leads out to the screened in porch and the fenced in yard. It has hardwood floors and is a nice size. We will be able to have both sofa and our love seat in there without a problem.

Between the living and the kitchen are the front stairs. Just down the left side is the hall that leads to several closets and pantries, washer and dryer, huge bathroom, the little girls room (14x10), and Michael's room (12x12).

At the top of the stairs is the big girls room (12x14). It has another bath between their room and the new TV room. The TV room will house their video games and movies and have a built in desk with their computers. It has a set of french doors that lead out to a balcony.

The other side of the stairs is a massive room that will be their playroom. It has some cool nooks and crannies. It has 3 wonderful windows on the front and the back side of the house making it very bright. I love it. Our master bath is off of this room and our bedroom off of that. Both are big and recently remodeled.

It is filthy but completely empty. We were welcomed to begin cleaning and working on it any time we wish. The soon to be previous owner is so nice and offered to give us a key tomorrow.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

A Bit About Everyone

So many things I keep meaning to come here and tell you all about but life gets in the way. Maybe it's time to do an update on each one of the little turkey butts.

Cyr is still dating her boyfriend, Manuel. He is still in the alternative school and taking his anger management classes. We had a tiny bit of a scare when she confessed she had kissed him in our home more than once. Upon closer investigation, they had exchanged pecks a few times. I was relieved when no swapping of spit had occurred. She was completely disgusted by the conversation. I think she may link that kind of kissing to her abuse. She is not doing well in in a couple classes and lost the privilege of doing her homework at her leisure. Overall, I am thrilled every day to be dealing with normal teenage crap from her. She is attached and defensive of me. She appreciates all she went through and understands how badly it could have turned out for her and her siblings. She likes to be around us and is enjoying a bit of freedom occasionally. She is upset about moving but finds a way to be happy about it, too. She listens to my advice and tries to follow it. I couldn't ask for a better daughter.

Patches likes a boy from school that openly talks about wanting to be in a gang. He is an idiot and she thinks he is cool. She has no idea what a gang is. Since her teacher left she has cried every day. Yesterday she informed me they are taking a class picture next week and she will not be in it. I asked why, thinking it was because she hates having her picture taken, I wasn't surprised when she said it. Her answer did surprise me. She didn't want to do it because I would think it is cool that she is in one with her friends. I thought that was crappy and told her so. She stomped off to tantrum and returned with the confession that it was really about her teacher not being there. She thinks it's not right that they are doing it without her. I guess the jabs at me were just for sport. LOL She is a roller coaster lately. She is still in love with Jacob from Twilight. She is not doing well in the class with her male teacher. She says it's because she doesn't like him. She claims to hate her new parapro, too. Of course, there is no reason for her dislike of either of them. Last night she flipped out on me screaming I'm not her mom, her boss and she hates me. After 4 years, it is old. She later admitted to just wanting to hurt me. I calmly explained I am done with being her punching bag and I looked forward for the next time she decided to be mean to me. It scared her. I plan on becoming the woman she lives with, she will no longer receive all the benefits of a family.

Ruthie is extreme abdominal pain and has been out of school since Tuesday. I took her to remove her cast yesterday and then to the doctor for her tummy. I thought she was constipated and it turns out that wasn't true. They thought she had an ulcer so they gave her meds to confirm it. They were baffled when it made it worse. They suggested we head to the ER. The doctor at the ER thought it was Pancreas or Gall Bladder. It wasn't. He suggested it was somatic more than once. I can tell you that I rarely believe her when she is injured or sick but this is obvious. She is hurting. She confronted her teacher for confessing her love of my daughter. She was able to tell her how scared it made her feel. The teacher apologized.

Michael is changing. Some of it is not good and some of it is. An example is, he is stealing from us. We have caught him twice in 3 days going through our stuff. When confronted, he cried and confessed. What's even weirder is he accepts his consequence without a fuss and apologizes. What the heck is going on? I believe the new anti seizure meds are working because he hasn't had a huge fit in more than a week. He has a girlfriend (Emma's birth sister's adoptive sister). He calls her and has no idea what to say so I coach him during the call. It's too funny. He draws her pictures and wants me to send them to her. He cracks me up.

Emma is at her Mom's for the weekend. Emma is the second generation of adoption in her family. Her Nana lost her sister to a closed adoption. They found her on Facebook and she is here this weekend for a big family reunion. I wanted her to be there. Just the thought of all the emotions running through those women makes me tear up. I am so happy they will get to know each other. There family has had such a rough life. Emma's GG had been forced to place her child to protect her from her dangerous father. He had threatened to kill the child and GG. I truly adore that family and what they come to mean to ours. I am so immensely happy for them all.

Ava is crying intermittently. She is jealous of Ella because the boy she likes thinks Ella is the bomb. He also thinks Ava is mean. This has caused quite a bit of friction here. Ella has had to keep her excitement quiet so she doesn't hurt her twin. Ava is a good student and she has managed to overcome all her stealing, hoarding, lying, and most of her meanness. She is easy and loving without being clingy. Her hair is the longest of the girls and she is beginning to try to do "things" with it. Michael, Ella, and Ava are motivated by money right now and are volunteering for extra chores.

Ella is Ella. She is finding her voice and using it a bit too often. Finding a happy medium is an adventure with her. She is still playing with the baby a lot and the baby is abusing her daily. That girl will hit her with hard toys when she makes her mad. We are working on it but poor Ella in the meantime. She is very into imaginary play and can be seen crawling on my floor constantly. She is our puppy. She asked me this week if she could marry the boy she likes when she grows up. She loves him. I managed to keep a straight face and told her that would be lovely as long as he is a nice boy.

Kiera. Michael says she is the cutest thing ever and the meanest. LOL It's true. She is becoming more social with strangers and she insists on people returning her hellos. She thinks our male therapist and the boy across the street are her best friends. She refuses to potty train and tells me so. We discuss her sleeping situation and is excited about a new toddler bed but claims she will not be sleeping in it. She is smart, too smart. She is bossy and knows what she wants. She is extremely hyper and we are wondering if it may be an issue in the future. Nightmares still interrupt our rest at least 4 or 5 times a night. She screams and cries then clings to my head for dear life. It is so sad. Tantrums threaten my sanity during the day. She won't let go of me when the kids are at school but she is thrilled when her "guys" walk through the door. She is so used to them running to her rescue that she stands in the middle of a room and hollers, "I'm thirsty. Water please. Somebody get me a cup. Hello. I'm thirsty." until someone jumps. Honestly, I know it's bad but it's so funny I can't help but giggle. We are working on it.

My DH and I are house hunting this weekend. We will be spending the night at my sister's while she is out of town. We will be alone! What the heck do you do without kids? I'm planning on sleeping and a glass of wine. I'm pretty sure I know what's on his mind and I'm sure he won't accept my exhaustion as an excuse for extra sleep. My MIL is staying with the kids here. Silly woman, she is a gluten for punishment. Thank goodness for us she loves the kids and is willing to put up with their crap.