Friday, July 31, 2009

Full Speed Ahead

Our household is in high gear this week. We have done some back to school shopping (mostly the college kids), washed some windows, hung curtains, put up with some Hanna behavior, and more.

The weekend does not get any calmer.

Karre is heading up north to spend the weekend with two of her friends at one their grandparents cabin. They have done this before and had a blast. The grandma enjoys entertaining the teenagers and cooking for them (as Karre puts it) some rather interesting meals. They will read, as they are all readers, talk, swim, and mostly giggle. The age of pure carefree days.

Some of us are moving most of Jared`s stuff up to Duluth where he has been very lucky to find a paid internship. Most of his friends are working for free. Before we leave we need to go to the church garage sale and look for some kitchen chairs so that he will have some place to plant his behind at the end of a long days work. This is the kid who has purchased more then four hundred movies, and nearly a hundred video games. I think that he should have saved a little of that money for the things that he needs now. if he can`t afford the chairs then I guess he will have to use the floor. Maybe moving out will teach him something about real life.

Rene` is staying home with the less then helpful crowd. I have no idea what she has planned but I am sure that she can handle it.

One more exciting thing is that Mike, (Kari`s husband) is going to work on our floors. He is the carpet man and we will stay out of the way and let him do his thing.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Twelve Today

Here is Hanna with her favorite princess Cinderella. I have no idea why she likes this princess better then the others other than she likes to watch the movie whenever she can.

Today is Hanna`s 12th birthday. With her behavior being so crazy lately we are keeping this celebration very low key.

Hanna has been our "little girl" for more then four years now. That is what her Dad calls her because she is the youngest of the girls. Hanna has no interest in being the little girl. It has been a journey of extreme ups and downs with Hanna in our family. She came as the little girl who loved to laugh, run, play, get into everything and try everything. She has these gorgeous brown eyes that just light up when she is really happy and the most original giggle too. She has energy to burn at all times. She loves to draw, paint, color, and make things with foam art. Most of the time she makes the same things over and over again, and that is okay as long as she is happy doing it. Now that she has gotten older there is far to much emotional stuff to deal with. It is really difficult to help her deal with the trauma, chaos, and abuse that she endured in her early years. She has lived a life that no child ever deserves to live. I am not sure how or when she will come to terms with all of this. As her Mom I just hope that some day she can be at peace with it. I want her to be happy with who she is. I want her to learn that there are people in the world who are there to help her and take care of her. I hope that she can some how understand that she is worth all the trouble that we have gone through as a family for her. More then anything else I hope that she can come to understand that she is so VERY LOVED.

Today I with you the happiest of birthdays Hanna. You will always be our little girl !!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Stuff Factor

It is a control thing, a you can`t make me thing, I can do whatever I want to thing, or a I`ll get you thing when kids who are raging, having meltdowns, tantrums (whatever you want to call it) destroy stuff.

Hanna has destroyed her toys, Her older sisters gave her their Barbie collections when they out grew them. There must have been fifty dolls there along with clothes, cars, and other stuff. She now has two Barbies who have no heads and one is missing an arm as well. They still have a few clothes but they never wear them. All of the children`s books are missing so many pages that it is difficult to follow the story. The puzzles have several pieces missing as well.

Hanna has destroyed her new room as well. She has kicked a hole in the wall and then she just keeps picking at it and it gets bigger and bigger every day. She is peeling the paint off the furniture. and has torn the drapes.

Hanna drills holes in her clothes, pulls the buttons off them and chews on them.

Hanna has destroyed many things that belong to others as well.

We have locked everything that we can up, She is not allowed in anyone`s room without someone watching her. She says that she does not care if she ruins her stuff or her room. She does not care if there is nothing to play with because it is not fun anyway. She doesn`t think
that she needs anybody to help her, she can take care of herself. This is a kid who needs help the determine what foot to put her shoes on (she does not care if they are on wrong). This is a kid that thinks that everyday of the week is Tuesday, This is a kid who is unable to shower herself. (She would never take a shower if she were on her own) She would not change her clothes or even bother to put on underclothes. They are things that she did not have and does not think she needs them.

I understand her need to vent given the chaos, neglect, and physical abuse from her past as well as her lack of poor judgement and impulse control caused by her FAS. We just have to figure out a way for her to do things in another way. Trying to keep us from caring for her and being "tuff girl" is not working for her or the rest of us for that matter. She can be a very sweet little girl at times so I see the potential there.

As far as the stuff goes she just is not getting her room fixed ( no matter how bad it looks), until she can calm down a lot. She is not getting new toys, books, games, etc either and there is no point to replacing them. The main problem with this is that she now seems to have nothing to do so she gets into more trouble and the cycle keeps on going. She keeps trying to hurt everyone around her but in reality she is only hurting herself and she can not figure it out. Try to explain the complex feelings a person like her has to a kid that thinks in a very concrete manner. It is like talking to the wall because that is about where your words are going. She does not understand what feelings are. so it does not bother her that she is hurting herself and she might be hurting others along the way as well. Feelings are abstract and she just does not understand these things at all.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Singing In The Kitchen

Hanna is up the her usual "I am not going to cooperate no matter what" behavior this morning. We have been having her remain in the dinning room so that some one is always able to keep track of what she is doing. That is a Central location with someone there almost all of the time. If we let her go else where then she is pulling the hair out of her head, making holes in the wall, tearing her clothes apart, picking at her skin until it bleeds, or some other crazy thing. Having her destroy herself and anything that is around her is getting really old.

So this morning she is sitting there on the chair singing. SHE CAN NOT SING, it sounds like some sick animal that is in complete misery. Allen is also singing and he is no better. He is copying her just to make her go nuts and it is working very well. I am not sure how long I can listen to this nonsense. I think I will go hang laundry on the line and let someone else enjoy the tunes for a while.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Went To The Lake

Lauren at the flower garden that we checked out.
Karre found some new friends. " Oh they are so cute" (in her opinion)
Allen`s idea of swimming is on the sand.
Paul and his cousin Nicole played with the trucks for a long time.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Hanna was telling me that she is going to tell her grandma that she does not want to go swimming because she does not want to get water in her mouth. She loves to swim and would drink the whole lake if she were given the opportunity to do so. She can not swim because she has bad ears and she has been in so much trouble.
I said "Hanna, if I sent money to school with you for a party day and Pete stole your money then you would be sad and if you came and told me about it then I would not believe you because you make up stories that are not true all the time".

Hanna replied "who is Pete, I don`t know anyone named Pete"?

Learning opportunity went way over the head as she is still trying to figure out who Pete is. That is FAS for you.

Its All Gotta Happen Today

God blessed me with a brain that can organize everything that needs to be done. I am then able to delegate the duties so that everything gets done. Oh, I do have a planner and do write things down there but that is mainly for other people to use as needed.

A PCA will take Paul to occupational and speech therapy, then keep his busy little body out of trouble for the rest of the day.

A PCA will take Allen grocery shopping to get all of the things we will need for the weekend as we are going out of town for a couple of days.

A PCA will watch Hanna to make sure that she does not do anything stupid, as she is really acting awful, awful, AWFUL lately.

A PCA and I will take Lauren to a physical therapy evaluation this afternoon and she does not enjoy this at all.

After that I need to get clothes and food organized for the weekend.

By the time all of that is done hopefully everyone will be ready to sit down to dinner (if Hanna gets her act together long enough) and then kids will go to bed so that I can crash myself.

That is all that I have rattling around in my brain this morning. Hopefully nothing else comes up that needs to be dealt with urgently.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Broken Wheels

Even though Lauren is the most ladylike, gentle teenager around her wheelchair has gone through a lot. Wheelchairs just acquire damage over time with lots of use and they need to be adjusted with the growth of kids. It is now time to make several repairs and adjustments to Lauren`s wheelchair I called the medical supply company which we have been working with for many years now to request the needed parts and labor. They can not order the parts as this company is not current on paying the manufacturer of the wheelchair equipment. Now what do I do? We chose this particular company because it has an office near Gillette Children's Hospital where Lauren is seen on a regular basis. It also has a location in a town about ten miles from here. The medical team wants the wheelchair people present when they do seating evaluations so that everyone is on the same page in getting the needed adjustments and equipment. (We have done this evaluation once without them present and the outcome was terrible). If I find another company located here we will have to pay for them to drive to the metro area for these evaluations as the insurance will not cover this. If I find one that is located in the metro area then we will have to drive there every time she has a breakdown with her wheelchair. Just having a flat tire would be a breakdown.

With all of this going on the wheelchair will not be ready before school starts so that creates a situation where Lauren will have to use her power wheelchair all of the time and that wheelchair can not be transported in any other vehicles then my van and the school bus. That means that PCAs will not be able to take her to the mall and other such places. This is going to require some thought and planning from Mom.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Storm

That is Hanna right now. She is a thundering around like a tornado out of control. It had been a very calm day here until about a half hour ago when I asked her why she had been pulling her hair out of her head again. Rather that talk about it she went into total meltdown mode. When she gets like this there is no way to reason with her and you had better stay out of her way because she will hurt anyone who happens to get in her path of destruction. I know that you can not ask her questions about her behavior when she is raging, but I had asked the question when she was calm and did not expect her to totally lose it, I just wanted her to acknowledge that she had been doing it. Even when she is calm her reasoning skills are very poor but when she is raging we don`t even bother to try and get through to her as everything just goes right over her head. Tomorrow when I ask her about what happened she will come up with some dumb thing like I don`t like pop cicles or the dog stinks. None of this has anything to do with her behavior. It all gets a little frustrating when I do not know if she does not understand what we are talking about, (I clearly feel that she does know what we are talking about here) she forgot what had happened,(she does have some pretty severe memory issues) or she simply does not want to deal with the issues. At this point we will be listening to her screaming, and throwing things until her meds kick in and that takes hours in her case. We have a storm for the evening. I just wish it were simply a good old rain storm instead of this nonsense.

Chili In July

Some of the kids had asked me to make chili for dinner yesterday. I never make chili in the summer time as it is one of those foods that tends to warm a person up and usually we do not need to be warmed up here in July. It is really cool here so I made the chili for them and they ate the whole crock pot full. This cool weather is great for doing the big fix up and rearrange projects that we have in progress here. It has curtailed the amount of time we have been spending at the pool significantly though. I hope it warms up a little bit as we are planning to quit working for a couple of days later this week and spend some time at the lake with family. Even if it stays cool we will be out there having fun. we will just put on jeans and jackets to warm up when we are done.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Out WithThe Girls

Last week was one of those that could make any mom crazy with all of the appointments and stuff going on,but I did not lose it altogether because I had two days to spend with my two older daughters. They sure would not be special days for most people but I enjoyed them. These are intelligent, hard working, cooperative, have fun young ladies so we could hang out and get a lot accomplished at the same time. One day we ran errands including ordering flooring, picking up paint, and buying groceries. The second day we painted Karre`s room. The four younger kids were being looked after by several PCAs for both days. It was very nice to shop without an anxiety attack from Hanna, chasing Paul out of everything, dealing with helping Lauren with this and that, and getting Allen to move it along so that we could get things. done. We did take time to go out for lunch one day and met up with one of Karre`s friends for a couple of hours, too. We got the entire room painted Underwater Adventure (bright teal) without once having to stop and take care of a kid. These days are few and far between so I enjoy them when I can.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Meet Apple-Bottoms

There are several baby dolls here that have been loved and cared for by many, many kids over the years. Some kids like Hanna like to either have them dressed in some miss-matched garb or or completely naked. They are almost exclusively female. The only name given to them is Princess Rachel, that is what Hanna names all stuffed animals, Groovy Girls, Barbies, or baby dolls. (I have no clue why she thinks this is the name they should have) This one however, has been around for more then twenty years. It has always been considered a boy and he actually has boy clothes. Allen has now claimed him so he is being dragged around by the feet, drooled on, and much loved. When Allen claims a toy he will play with it until it falls apart and Mom secretly sends it to the trash. Anyway this little guy can not be Princess Rachel that is one thing everyone here agrees upon. Trevor decided that we needed to go " Hollywood" and give this baby a rather interesting name. He decided on Apple-Bottoms and it has stuck. I hope that Apple-Bottoms is a name that only baby dolls in our family get, it`s cute for him but I sure would not want to be the little boy in second grade with a name like that.

Friday, July 17, 2009

What A Mess!

Jared is moving into his own place so he has been evicted from his room, which is now going to be Hanna`s room. His room is always a disaster, I mean he is by far the most unorganized, messy person in our family. When emptying his room we all pitched in because he would never get the job done. We found homework from seventh grade which he had done and not turned in, nine nail clippers (he must have the most beautiful nails in the world), and four pair of scissors that I have been looking for. We also found the usual assortment of clothes, CDs, shoes, and garbage, enough to fill the trash can which usually contains all of our garbage for a week.. The mess is now cleared out and Hanna has a nice clean space of her own. When Jared decides to move out of his place he will have to clean out the mess himself or he will not get his damage deposit back. Now all we need to to do keep Hanna from collecting junk.

Monday, July 13, 2009

This and That

I have not blogged for quite some time becasue blogger is being stupid and will not let me on my blog but I can read other people's blogs. Also it has been really busy around here.

I have a total of four medical appointments for kids to deal with this week. There are also four therapy appointments. Today I was at Gillette Children's with Lauren as she had an orthopedic appointment. The curve in her spine has gotten worse but not yet bad enough to require surgery at this time. She now is going back to physical therapy for eight weeks, oh what fun that is!! We also had some adjustments made on her AFO`s (ankle foot orthotics). Tomorrow she is having some major repairs made on her wheelchair. She is also in speech therapy this summer to work on an assisting communication device so that she can communicate with people who are unable to understand her very distorted speech. I We are always doing some type of medical procedure or therapy with Lauren. She falls apart all of the time

Hanna has a medical appointment tomorrow which is much more of a hassle then taking Lauren. Hanna is screaming as soon as she figures out that we are heading for the clinic. By the time we get there she is so worked up that there is no way to calm her down. We have to get braces on her teeth yet this summer which will be an event where Mom will be needing some extra extra strength Tylenol or something.

Then Paul has therapy which is every week times two.

I am trying to get things done around home as well. We got Paul`s room completely cleaned and put back together. Hanna's is done except that I need to hang the curtains. The rest of the place looks like a disaster but when cleaning it gets worse before getting better.

I don`t know when the mess on my computer will get straightened out and since I do not like this laptop of Rene`s I don`t know when I will get back to regular blogging. I kind of miss it though so I hope the problem gets fixed soon.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Paul And His Daddy

Paul is the most hugable, lovable little kid around and he is always full of information, even if it is the same thing that he repeats every day.

Every morning
"blue daddy car going to work"
"keys in your pocket"
"get money for my pocket"

When his dad gets back from work he always asks about the keys in the pocket and for some money for his pocket. He gets to look at the keys every day and there is money for his pocket on Friday because that is allowance day.

It had been raining and Jerry had been working outside so when he got home his jeans were rather wet. Paul had to put off his usual chatter and took everyone by surprise with his comment.

"Oh No Daddy naughty,him peed hims pants'!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


That is what I am going to label the next few weeks around here. We have all eight kids at home this summer so it is really busy but I really like it when they are all here. Between August 10th an 22nd the three oldest ones will be moving out again, Rene` and Trevor will be back at college and Jared will be working in an internship position. We have five kids bedrooms here and over the years these eight kids have shared with one another as well as all of thr foster kids who have come and gone. Who shared with who depended on a number of factors including age, sex, temperment. Now Lauren and Hanna are sharing a room and it is time to split them up as Hanna is to aggressive and I am not feeling comfortable in knowing that Lauren could get hurt. She does not have the physical ability to defend herself. When the big kids leave the five who remain at home will all have their own digs. We have enough beds so that the bid kids or grandma can visit as well. Jerry claims that we run a hotel here. The kids are very excited about this room restructure, except for Hanna who claims she is scared without Lauren. Since Hanna views Lauren as someone that she sees as her protector Hanna should consider being a little more gentle and kind to her, It is time to wash everything, paint one room, and get rid of stuff. Our church is having a large garage sale for charity so they will get a load full.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I Need A Witty Response

Something happened when I went grocery shopping with my two younger sons. It does not seem to happen here in our community as everyone knows us either as the crazy people who have adopted those even crazier kids or the saints who are taking care of those poor helpless creatures. We are neither and I will address this at a later date. Anyway getting back to the story I had just plopped Paul into the grocery cart as he is still small enough to put there and this helps me to contain his little wiggle butt. Allen our super cart pusher was pushing the cart. A lady came up to me and asked what group home I was working for? Now I know Paul is really active and loud and Allen has all of the classic features of a person who has Down Syndrome, but how does that make them group home residents? I have no problem with group homes there are people who need to reside in them for many different reasons, and some of my kids may be there at some point in their lives. I explained to the lady that Paul has a Traumatic Brain Injury and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Allen Has Down Syndrome (I did not bother to tell her that he also has FAS as that is something that most people can nut quite understand), I also told her that they are my boys. Then she said something about them not looking like brothers. I did not know whether to tell her that I just went around sleeping with all sorts of different guys (my husband who is pretty sarcastic might have done that) or that they were adopted. I told her that they were adopted and none of our four adopted kids looked like one another, they are all individuals.

This is not the first time this has happened to me so I think that I need to come up with some sort of witty reply in response for these people, to wear on a t-shirt or put on a card to hand to them. Just think, I only had the boys with me this time. What if I had had Lauren and Hanna along, too.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July

Today we celebrate being Americans. Here in small town Minnesota this is a very big deal. There is a 14 million dollar road construction project scheduled to head straight through main drag, which was put on hold until after the old fashioned 4th of July could be celebrated. The parade went on despite the drizzle. We were a little damp but the kids had a good time. Paul and Allen got some cop corn to share, too. There are food stands and music in the park. There are hula hoop contests, yo-yo demonstrations, and the limbo as well as lots of kids games and Bingo. Of course there are lots and lots of people here who you otherwise never see in town so there is lots of catching up to do too. There will be fireworks at the fair grounds later.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Crazy Again

It has been way to calm around here the past few days. There have been the usual arguments and one tattling on another, but no meltdowns. Our meltdown queen is back at it again. There just was not enough chaos around here for her liking so she had to stuff her mouth to overflowing and fill her cup so that you could not get even one more drop of milk in it. She was told to slow down or leave the table. She started throwing food and screaming at everyone. She is now in her room throwing things and I am sure she will destroy several of them. We just let her do her thing up there for as long as she needs to,there is nothing else to do with her when she is acting this out of control. Unless she is hurting herself or someone else we just let it go. I sent Trevor and Angie as PCA`s to the pool with Lauren, Allen, and Paul so that they won`t have to listen to this for an hour or two. Hopefully she will calm down or her meds will kick in sooooooooon as this tries my patience. I am a very patient person, too.

The trouble with this behavior in a child who has FAS is that when she calms down she will have no clue as to why she did any of this. She will make up some story that is completely off the wall and she is NEVER sorry for anything she does. You just can not reason with this kid!!!

Cop Corn

Lauren, Hanna, and I were watching cartoons with Paul when he kept asking for cop corn (popcorn). Trying to explain that we do not eat cop corn when we watch cartoons, but it is okay to have it when we watch a movie just was not working. Since both cartoons and movies come on the same TV he did not find a difference. When that did not work I told him that he needed to eat his breakfast in the morning and wait for cop corn later. I don`t think that is working either. I guess we will have to have some cop corn some time today to get him to stop talking about it.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I`m Bored

That is what I heard from Hanna very early this morning. She has been up since 4:30 am and at 5:15 she was already telling me that she is bored. In the first place if you are going to be so bored why don`t you just go to bed and sleep for once, then there would not be so many hours in the day to worry about something else to do? As a rule around here if I hear those words "I`m bored" I will find a chore for you to do, there are socks to be matched, floors to sweep, dusting to do, etc. etc. When Hanna gets these chores she mumbles to herself and usually has a tantrum before she is done. She is the only kid here who just can not figure out that you had better find things to do that are not destructive or harmful,and do not say that you are bored, or Mom will be there with something for you to do. She repeats this same routine day after day. I do not know if she will ever figure the system out so I guess I will just keep thinking of things for her to do and then let her lose it because she is bored.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dads Trip

Everyone has an interest or two which they enjoy. My husband is into baseball and NASCAR. I can follow baseball with him pretty well, but when it comes to NASCAR I haven`t got a clue. Jerry watches the races and keeps track of the points for the drivers. I have chosen one driver, just because he has a nice name, he never wins so they all laugh at me. Maybe some day they will be surprised and he will at least finish in the top five. For the past two years the kids and I have been saving so that he can attend a race. Rene` and Jared flew to Daytona Beach Florida this morning with their dad so that they can take in the action at the Daytona Race Way on the Fourth of July. They will spend a couple days relaxing at Walt Disney World too. I hope they have a great time!! Dads and older siblings need a break from the daily drama some of our kids provide. Don`t worry about me here as I have Trevor and Karre to help me hold down the fort.

I can handle this better then the dead deer that my friend Kari gets to deal with.