Monday, August 31, 2009

Still Our Little Girl

Even though she has been all grown up for several years now Rene` is still our little girl. She came into this world more then three weeks before she was expected and has been running full speed ahead every since. She got to be the first for everything good, bad, and all that is between. When God created her he sure did know what he was doing because she has been the kind of kid that would do well even when her parents have no experience. She graduated from high school voted "most responsible student" by the teachers and staff at the school It is always good to have someone who is very responsible be the "big sister" to so many. She entered the United States Navy before her eighteenth birthday. Doing so at such an early age meant that she had to get her parents to sign for her. We only did so because we knew that she had thought this through long and hard so we gave her the opportunity to work harder and longer than most people ever do, to learn faster and more then she could have dreamed possible, and to carry the responsibilities to serve and protect our nation as she traveled around the world. While she remains in the Navy on reserve statue she is now pursuing a masters degree in occupational therapy.

Keep being the organized, hard working, caring, responsible person you have always been, and add that bit of sarcasm that comes around now and then too. Happy Birthday Rene`and maybe take a short break from anatomy to celebrate today, the bones will still be there tomorrow.

Free Time Trouble

The time that most people spend just enjoying life and all of its wonders such as listening to music, strolling along a path leading to nowhere, or just sitting down to catch your breath is the time when Lauren, Hanna, and Paul get themselves into the most trouble. They do not have a clue what relaxing is all about. They need every waking minute of their day with something scheduled. Never tell them to just go find something to do because if you do :

You will find the cute little face of Paul covered with black permanent marker.

You will find Hanna chewing her clothes up, pulling her hair our, or eating chunks of plaster board from the hole she has picked in the wall.

You will find Lauren screwing up the computer so bad that no one can use it for a week while we wait for the repairs to be made.

You will find all of the dresser drawers empty.

You will find the tooth paste creating some wonderful design all over the bathroom floor.
You will find the contents of Mom`s purse in the clothes dryer.

It is exhausting to try to have enough things scheduled throughout the day to keep them out of trouble. This is a considerable issue since they all have very limited attention spans. Do you have any idea how many games of Uno can be played, how many pictures can be colored, how many Lego towers can be built, how many foam art projects can be completed, along with the daily chores, and whatever else Mom can dream up to do everyday. We go to the park, play outside, go to the library, take the play dough outside, have picnics, etc, etc and there are never enough things planned in the day to keep them from getting into trouble

I can not wait until school starts next week so that someone else can find things for them to do for at least a few hours of the day.

Friday, August 28, 2009

School Schedules

For the most part I do not have to worry about the schedules for classes because all of the kids are in special education for a majority of the time and we work those schedules out at the end of the previous school year if possible. Now I will need to go to school to advocate for the one kid who is in the regular classroom all of the time. Karre got her schedule and she was placed in three of the six classes that she had requested. There were also five alternative classes listed and she did not get any of those either. How does that work when they send this very large packet of material out is February of the previous school year with instructions of how to work as a team and register the kid for the things that will be most likely to benefit them and also meet the requirements for graduation. Now Karre has met all of the requirements for graduation plus a few extra so I am not worried about her graduating but I am concerned when they just put a kid in classes that they are not at all interested in such as publications and key boarding. This kid is very creative and interested in art and design so the elective classes that we had chosen for her were photography and art history. She has enough credits so that she could just have another study hall which is a waste of time, but the school only allows one study hall a day except for students in special education. Since Karre does not particularly mind taking six classes a day we will not try to push that button. We will attempt to get her in some classes where she can learn something that she is interested in. The second semester class schedule does not look any better. There is a class that she needs to take so that I can hire her as a PCA. This class really has nothing to do with the job but it is required in order to hire her before she turns eighteen, which I would like to do as she is more then qualified for the job in the first place.

There is one other matter that needs to be figured out as long as I am spending the whole day in the school office. I finally got an actual printout of Karre`s grades from forth quarter last year. In one of her classes she got an A- third quarter and a B+ the fourth quarter and for the final grade in the class she got a C-. Now I am not a math Major or anything but I do know that an A- and a B+ do not average out to a C-.

The craziness that a parent has to deal with never ends does it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hanna`s Birthday Meal

Usually Hanna grumbles and complains about everything we have to eat except deserts and junk food. Tonight I served Tater Tot Hot-dish for dinner. For anyone who is not very Minnesotan Tater Tot Hot-dish is ground beef, vegetables, and condensed soup mixed together and topped with Tater Tots. I do not make this very often because the four older kids do not like it at all. Two of them will not eat it and the other two will swap food so that the one who likes the Tater Tots has all of them and the one who likes the vegetables has them. Better yet they will give theirs to one of the younger kids and make themselves something different after everyone has cleared out of the kitchen. Well anyway we had the Tater Tot eaters here today so I made the stuff.

Hanna says "Hey can we have this stuff for my birthday"

Hanna`s birthday is eleven months from now so she is sure thinking ahead.

Dad replies "I thought that you wanted fish for your birthday"?

That is the one other healthy food that Hanna likes. No one has a clue why she likes fish but she does.

Hanna thinks for a couple of minutes and then she says "could we have this stuff and mix fish in it too"?

Everyone at the table "Oh yuck, that's gross, Ochy, no way. and Lauren ,the stomach of steel who will eat ANYTHING says "I`ll come to your birthday, Hanna. What are we having for desert"?

In Karre`s World

In Karre`s world, the world of a normal, intelligent, creative, sweet, sixteen year old, things are a little different from what life is like according to Mom. It is so funny to listen to her when she gets ranting about things. Last night after the other kids had been organized for bed Karre and I went shopping.

First we stopped at the sporting goods store as she needed some new swim caps for practice. The one she has she says is making her look like an old lady as it makes her forehead wrinkled. I tried to explain that no matter what type of cap she wore her head might be wrinkled after spending four and a half hours in the pool every day. Anyway I got her the caps and a new swim suit to be put away for vacation as the four she has are being used for practice and yes. they look just awful. They are sort of a brownish gray and no longer have any shape to them, but they can be worn to practice since all of the other Chlorine queens have suits that look exactly like Karre`s.'

Next we went to the grocery store where I really embarrass her because I bring along the reusable grocery bags. I have twenty of them and they are all folded neatly and stuffed into one. According to Karre it is embarrassing to have to go coupon shopping but using those bags is even worse. I thought that her generation was into recycling, but I guess not. She wanted to pick out the cereal because the stuff I buy is bad. Its mostly Cheerios or Frosted Mini Wheat's. What she picked out was Raisin Bran, now I figured that she was thinking something a little less healthy but here again Mom is wrong. Raisin Bran I will buy, no problem.

I embarrassed her just one more time on the excursion because my mini van is just so soccer momish. Well I have never had anyone in soccer so I can`t really be a soccer mom and this van is the one I have because it is one that could be converted to transport Lauren`s power wheelchair. I told Karre that the soccer momish van would have to do today when she wanted to drive to the high school for swimming or she could walk.

She said "I can live with being embarrassed a little bit".

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Going It Alone

Yeah, the way things worked out today I am going it alone with the four younger kids.

Dad is of course, at work getting "money for his pockets" as Paul puts it on a daily basis.

Karre has four and a half hours of swim practice today and also a pizza party with the swim team too.

All of the PCAs are unavailable to work today except the one who has worked the maxim allowed hours for the week.

Lauren, Allen, and Hanna had school this morning as they are involved in a jump start program for kids who have trouble with transitions. That left me here with Paul

When everyone else is gone he is glued to me no matter what I try to do. I along with my wonderful help tried to fold a load of laundry but he kept putting the clean underwear on his head and said they were his hats. After I had confiscated all of the underwear hats he took two towels to wear for coats. Finally I gave up and will not get the usual three or more loads of laundry done today.

We then went outside and I started removing the weeds that have taken over the front garden patch. Since it has rained a lot and the weeds came out easily, I did make some head way with the weeds until my helper pulled Trevor's pepper plant out, oh well I guess I won`t have to freeze them. I picked some tomatoes for lunch but quit when the helper picked a very green tomato and started eating it. It did not taste to good because he was spitting it out all over the place.

The other three kids came home at lunch time so I fed them and thank goodness for cartoons. They will give me a few minutes to re-group. I have a haircut appointment for Hanna, that I had scheduled a while ago assuming that I would have help today to deal with everyone else. This will be real fun as Hanna can not sit still while getting her haircut and I will have to bring all three of my wonderful helpers along too.

There is one good thing about days like this, that is I am really tired when they are done and I will sleep well tonight, that is if Hanna can keep quiet.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

When A Plan Is Not A Plan

I am the type of person who likes to know what the plan of action for the day, week, and month are and that way things get done. The four youngest kids do best when things are run that way as well. They like lots of structure and routine. Now there are always things that come up which call for changes in the plan and I am flexible enough to work with that as well.

I had a PCA schedule worked out that met our needs around here and then even though the class schedules for our college student PCAs were here and we had figured out a plan of action more then a month ago it all fell through yesterday. One of our PCAs went to class as had been scheduled and found out that her entire schedule had been changed. They gave no explanation for the changes but the new schedule is a mess. She had intended to attend classes in the mornings and then be available to work when Paul got home from school. Now her classes mostly run from 4:00 to 8:00 in the evening. That is the time of day when everything goes absolutely nuts around. here. Hanna is bouncing off the walls after holding it together all day and her meds are about to wear off as well. Lauren will need help with homework. Everyone needs to be fed and showered, and on many evenings Karre will have swim meets which either I or her Dad will attend if at all possible.

Jared also found out yesterday that he will not have a job after his internship ends.. The bakery where he is working is laying two other people off at the end of the year so they certainly can not hire him. Needless to say he is not all that excited about the situation, but he is glad that he can come home and PCA so he is better off then all of his friends. The economy is teaching these kids some big lessons here. Now Jared is looking for an apartment to rest or a house to buy. It seems that around here it is more cost effective to buy something. The girl friend also wants to move down here so that also needs to be worked out. For the most part I am staying out of those matters as they are both adults. I will give my opinion if asked but they can do what they want to. The girl friend is a nice kid and he is very happy so that is what counts.

I need to go with Lauren to physical therapy and speech this afternoon. Documenting information for insurance in order to get her a communication device, is making me a little crazy as the pile of paper is really adding up.

The moral of the story here is that the best laid plans will change and life will go on even if it is not the way we envisioned it would.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Energy, Lots Of It

There are two people in our family who have more energy then they need or can handle. Hanna and Paul are those two. Most people would say they have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyper-Activity Disorder). I would agree in part because they are very busy, but the cause of this busy is FAS.

Its the impulsive throwing toy cars into the kitchen sink as Mom tries to wash dishes.

Its the just shutting the door, SLAM with the brother`s fingers in the door.

Its the rocking in the rocking chair so hard that it is slamming into to the wall over and over again.

Its the pouring the juice into the cup and then keep pouring and pouring even though the cup is over flowing all over the table, yourself, and the flour.

Its the many hugs every day that are far more then hugs. I love you crash, pinch, scratch.

Its the chatter, chatter, chatter that does not stop all day long.

I am killing the spider with the shoe bang, bang, bang, wow that spider has been dead for at least ten minutes already and the shoe is still banging on it.

It is impulsive, repetitive, non-stop, I am not aware of how loud and strong I really am and I am not aware of the affects my behavior is having on others. type of thing. I would really like to be able to store all of their energy and save it for them so that they could do something useful with it some time in the future.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Gods House

Trying to explain something as abstract as religion to someone who has FAS is impossible, but then again if you look at it from their view maybe it is easier to understand.

Grandma was here and attended Sunday Mass with us shortly after Hanna had joined our family. Hanna was being rather loud even though she was doing her best to be quiet so Grandma told her that she needed to be quiet in Gods house. Well Father Phil will never be known by that name according to Hanna. He will forever and always be God. Now we have tried to explain that there is a difference between a parish priest and God to Hanna over and over again and it just is not going to sink in so we will just let him be God.

I am not sure what we will do when Father Phil moves or retires or whatever. Will we have someone else named God or will we be able to give the guy a different name?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

For About Ten Minutes

Yes, for about ten minutes this morning it was actually quiet here.

Rene` left for college this morning, good luck with anatomy!!

Jared is learning that bakers get up very early in the morning and they spend lots of hours getting all floured up before the work day is finished.

Trevor is busy as an RA (residence hall assistant) moving all of those, never lived on their own freshmen into the dorms. He has to give each of them the zero tolerance talk about drugs and alcohol on campus and then get them to sign a form stating that they understand and will follow the rules. Then he will spend the next nine months busting them when they break those rules. That is his kind of job and according to his boss he is very good at it.

Karre is at swim practice, yes on Saturday too.

Lauren is out with a PCA doing what she does best, being a princess.

Allen, Hanna, and Paul were watching cartoons with Dad down stairs.

It was quiet so I had turned the radio on and I could actually here it for a change. I was cleaning up the kitchen and trying to figure out what to make for lunch.

Then the crazy started. Hanna came up screaming and hollering that they would not let her watch what she wanted to so she was mad. The truth is that she had already gotten a turn to choose a cartoon so now it was Allen`s turn and she did not want to watch what he has chosen. Now we will get to listen to this nonsense for the rest of the day.

Oh well one can only endure so much peace and quiet, at least if you are a member of this family.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Minnesota Nice Gone Wrong

People here in Minnesota are generally very nice, in fact they are often to nice when it comes to dealing with kids who happen to have disabilities. This is for nurses. teachers, deli ladies, old guys, cashiers, and all of you other people who think that you are being kind and helpful, PLEASE STOP and give your good deeds somewhere where they will actually do some good.

Dentist lady who gave Hanna stickers, yes "Flo ride At Work", No Cavities", Hannah Montana,etc, etc, eight of them in all, giant stickers plastered all over her t-shirt. You would not have done this for the average twelve year old who came into you office, they would have been able to tell you that they could live without the stickers. Hanna loves them and will obsess with them, she will not take them off her shirt and her sixteen year old sister refuses to go to the mall with her because she is being embarrassing, so we go home instead.

Deli lady who gave Allen a free cookie, you did not give one to the six foot tall fifteen year old boy standing immediately behind Allen in line or the ninety-nine other teenagers who came into your business that day. Allen enjoyed the cookie, what fifteen year old boy would not, but he needs to learn that he gets only what he has money for.

Nurse lady who gave Hanna her shot, she did not need two pencils for getting a shot that she was going to get anyway. The other twelve year olds do not get pencils for that. You started something that you are not going to be able to stop with her as she is going to need more shots but she sure does not need all those pencils.

Bank lady who gave Lauren a sucker because she was "doing such a good job waiting for Dad".. Most fifteen year olds who have a MP3 player can wait for fifteen minutes without causing to much trouble, just because she happens to be sitting in a purple wheelchair while she is waiting does not mean that she needs a sucker.

Teacher lady who gives Hanna stickers, books, and toys for doing the things that she is supposed to be doing in school, please stop. The other sixth graders are not getting this stuff and all this is doing is causing trouble at home because Hanna is not going to be allowed to keep all of this stuff. She gets mad at Mom and Dad because we are taking away her stuff. Hanna has all that she needs here and lots of things that she wants as well.

Old guy at Burger King who "helped" (did it for him) put the ketchup in the little container for Allen please don`t do that. It is a task that Allen can do for himself and he really does like doing it for himself. You did not make his day, instead you upset him because he really did want to get his own ketchup. In fact you made him so mad that he did not eat anything.

Cashier guy who said "its okay" when Hanna took a bag of Cheetos from the shelf near your register, opened them and started eating them without first paying for them . This certainly is not okay. Mom paid for them, another kid got an unexpected treat, and Hanna was really really mad. She could not understand why she could not have the Cheetos because the guy had told her she could. Hanna needs to follow the rules just like everyone else.I Here in America you must purchase the things you need and want.

When all you very nice people are being very nice to my kids you are really teaching them that they are different and do not have to function in society to the best of their ability. I am all for accommodating persons with disabilities in order to give them the ability to be the best that they can be. Maybe consider giving them a job that they can do, or saying hello to them when you see them, or helping them when they need it and are asking for it would be a better "Minnesota Nice".

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Ho-Hum Day

"Its raining dollars from heaven" as my Uncle John used to say. He was a farmer and rainy days were something to be looking forward to. It has been really dry all summer but today it has been raining steadily all day.

We have a PCA out sick today so we are down to two. They took three of the kids to the library to read books for a while and then they went over to the community center to let them run around.

Now Lauren and Hanna are playing Go Fish, seeing who can cheat at the game more.

The boys are playing with the wooden trains and cars with a PCA.

Dad is home from work napping (snoring) on the living room floor.

I have just put a pan of Lasagna in the oven for dinner.

Karre is at swim practice.

Everyone is just sort of hanging out doing nothing much. I hope the rain stops tonight so that kids can go outside tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Hanna has been "caught" twice today. No she was not really doing anything naughty, she was just being herself.

First thing this morning we noticed that she had blue and green strings hanging off her braces. The strings had come from her blanket which she tells us she never chews on. Getting the string out of the braces was a job for Rene` since she had braces and knows what to do I just let her handle this one. The next time Hanna tries to tell us that she does not chew on things we had better take a look in her mouth to make sure of that.

This afternoon Lauren had speech and physical therapy so Rene` and Hanna rode along with us and while I took Lauren to therapy they went to walk around a near by mall. When they went to the bathroom Hanna who was wearing a skort some how caught her skin in the zipper. Rene` said that she screamed very loudly which brought mall security officer into the bathroom. When the lady officer saw what was happening she just shook her head and walked out.

A Win For Mom

A couple of weeks ago when we received word that Paul had been assigned to the afternoon special ed preschool group I almost went bananas. It was just not going to be a good fit for him. His teacher called a few minutes ago to let me know that he would be moving back to the morning group, what a relief!!! Now therapy and PCA schedules do not have to change and he does not have to eat lunch at 10:30 am. It only took leaving messages for everyone I could think of and then finally going to school to finally catch up with a human being that I could explain the situation to and then waiting three days for an answer, but it is done and I couldn't`t be happier.

Now I have to figure out how to get a loaner communication device that Lauren can use while insurance takes months and months to purchase the one she needs. There is always something that needs to be worked on here. If I did not have to document and schedule everything that goes on here I would actually have some spare time.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Braces Journey

Today we began a loooooonnnnggg journey with Hanna. We have already had many appointments to get things planned out and to get insurance to pay the bills so that Hanna can get her face put in order. Yes her entire face is going to need work done. She needs braces first then there will be surgery on her jaw and palette. The entire procedure with take at least four years to complete. In that time there will be more appointments then I ever imagined one kid could go through but we have a great team of dentists and surgeons working together to get us where we need to be when this is all done.

Today they started putting the braces on and put some spacers in the back of her mouth. there were lots of tears and she was squeezing my hand so hard that I thought it might fall off but we got it done without putting her to sleep which was a major time saver and less medication for her too. For once she really wanted me to be there and hold her hand, usually she is pushing me away. She chose hot green for the color of her braces (that is what we call Hanna green as it is her favorite color and she always chooses it). Now she does not like the feel of the stuff in her mouth. She has so many sensory issues so this will be a hard one for her. She also can not pick at them because if she does not leave them on then we will be going back to redo what we already did. Since she really does a lot of picking at things I am guessing that we will be redoing work along the way.

This little girl has so many issues that getting her face to look as beautiful as we can will take that social pressure off for her. (It is sad that how people look is that important but it is)/ The fact that things are so out of order is very much affecting how she chews her food and this is a major part of the speech impairment that she has. We will do whatever it takes to get this all done.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Ball Game

Rene` and I took Allen to the Minnesota Twins baseball game. He had a blast as he always does. It is not often that we get to take him anywhere by himself so when the time comes to have fun he goes all out. Allen is by far the kid in this family who is most severely disabled. He never whines, begs, or asks for anything, he has not had a tantrum in public in years, and he can have fun doing the simplest things. Allen moves only at Allen pace and as long as you work with that he will be fine.

Today at the ball game he sang the National Anthem, clapped and cheered when appropriate, and sat in his seat without complaint. He shared a bottle of Diet Coke and a bag of Cotton Candy (what a combo) with Rene`. The Twins lost the game and that makes no difference to him. On the way home he fell asleep in the car to make the ride home peaceful as well.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Talking With Lauren

Lauren has a severe speech impairment because of her Cerebral Palsy. It is pretty hard to speak correctly if you can not get your mouth or tongue to move the way your brain is telling you it should. The people who are around her all the time have learned to understand her but for people who come in contact with her briefly it is impossible to figure out what she is saying. Since she is getting older and doing more things in the community it is becoming more important for her to be able to communicate with others.

This summer we have been working with a speech therapist at Gillette Children`s to determine what type of communication device would be best for Lauren. It is a great thing to try several different devices out before trying to get insurance to pay for one because then you can document to pros and cons of all of them.

The device she is using this month is pretty complex. It can do lots of things such as getting Internet, storing data, and connecting to a computer so that she can type on the device and send e-mails. On this device you can enter the names of people you have contact with often. With each name you can add an icon to relate to the person. One of the icons that you could choose is a prostitute. The picture is two people in bed with money on a table. That is pretty accurate in describing a prostitute. We have not yet figured out who Lauren would label as the prostitute since she does not even understand what a prostitute is. Oh, by the way there is also an icon for the gynecologist, I will not even try to describe that one. Use your imagination just a little bit here.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Celebrating Jared`s B-Day

Today we are celebrating as our oldest son Jared turns twenty-two. It is his last day of classroom training to be a baking and pastry chef. He will be happy just to be done with school. Jared has never been a fan of sitting in the classroom. He would much rather just dig in and figure things out by doing it himself.

Even though he is not at all organized, leaves everything to the last minute before getting it done, and tends to avoid issues rather than addressing them Jared is a wonderful son. He is very creative, caring, hard working, honest, and is always ready to help someone else.

One of my favorite memories being Jared`s Mom took place on a chilly, windy, day in late fall. Jared was running at the teams home cross country meet. He was either in ninth or tenth grade at the time. Even though we always encouraged him to keep running I never had much fun standing out there freezing to watch him run. It is one of those events where you see them all line up for the start, they take off, and you can see them run for a couple hundred yards until they go over the hill. Then you stand around and wait for them to come back for the finish. While I was standing around waiting one of his coaches came over and introduced the parents of a runner competing for another team. They were telling how me terrific a kid Jared was, he was my kid and I pretty much knew how terrific he was already so I did not take to seriously what they were telling me. When Jared cam around to finish the race about in the middle of the pack as he usually did. he hopped on a golf cart with one of the couches and headed back out on the course. When they came to the point in the course where the last runner was Jared jumped off the cart and ran more then a mile to cross the finish line with the other kid. Jared told him that he had run a great race and shook his hand before returning to where the rest of his team was.

The kid that Jared had gone back to run with came over to say hi with his parents. He was a tall good looking boy with light blond hair. When he spoke it was clear that he had some type of disability. When he ran he had a rather awkward gait which impeded him. The kid`s parents told me that Jared had been doing this at all of the meets since their son had been competing.

Later when I asked Jared why he had gone back to run with the kid he simply said "no one wants to finish last alone every time". That is my terrific kid! Happy Birthday Jared!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Another Day In This Life...

This morning Hanna and Allen had dentist appointments. Hanna needed her teeth cleaned before the big braces on event nest week. Neither one of them had any dental work to be done which is super news. Allen has never had any cavities and lets just keep that record going forever and ever as it would be an awful lot of work to try to do anything with his teeth.

After the appointment we ran two very quick errands and then came back to town to eat lunch before going home. We just had to go to the DQ for treat day. This is where Hanna completely fell apart

She was pouting and then crying and by the time we got to the car she was screaming at the top of her lungs. I told Allen to sit in the front seat (where he rarely rides) because I did not think that it would be safe for him to sit in the back of the van with Hanna. She refused to sit down and put her seat belt on, then she grabbed onto the head rest of the seat in which Allen was sitting and would not let go. She was screaming in his ears which really bothers him as it is noise over load for him so he started screaming too. Karre was not going to drive the van with Hanna out of her seat and the seat belt on so we sat there in the DQ parking lot for awhile and let her scream. I was thinking all the while that somebody in this very crowded parking lot is going to call the police. If they had come they would have gotten a real show of what a kid with RAD and FASD can do every single day.

When I knew that Allen could not take this noise any longer Karre and I got the seat belt on and got Hanna some what sitting on the seat. In the process Hanna bit Karre, pulled her hair, and spit on her. I had to hold her there in order to keep her in the van all the way home.

My guess is that Karre will not be to excited about taking Hanna anywhere for quite a while.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Another Tough Day

Hanna`s behavior was very crazy starting about 7:30 am. She had lied and then did it again and again. She knew she had been caught so then she was mad at herself. By the time I left to take Paul to therapy she had been screaming for more then two hours and was beginning to calm down, or so I thought that she was doing so anyway.

Soon after I left she had both of her older sisters in tears. What a treat to come home to all of that!!! The thing is that Hanna was perfectly happy with herself as she was trying to make them mad at each other and this time it worked. Hanna loves to create chaos and she is very good at it.

All of us here have really had enough of her behavior so I got a referral for one of our local psychologist to get involved. I am pretty sure that we are doing what needs to be done, but for the sake of most members of the family I need to get it from some one else. We have worked with this psychologist before with Hanna so she does know what is going on here. I do not want this very hurt little girl to create trouble for her siblings. We will do everything we can to prevent that from happening. Being trained in social work and psychology I clearly understand what the issues are that we are dealing with here but I want the the official word to come from someone else who I feel will be able to put this in writing for all the world to see. Will that change anything? I really don`t think so but I will be confident that I have done what needs to be done and whatever comes of it we will all live with.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

DQ Treat Day

If you are any where near a Dairy Queen in Minnesota on Thursday take the time to stop in and have yourself a treat. The cost of a blizzard on that day will be donated to help support Gillette Children`s Specialty Health Care a place that is able to help some really special kids (two of them are ours) to be all that they can be.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I Made Hanna`s Day

I guess I made Hanna`s day by just being home, not!!!

Hanna "Mom are you going to be here the WHOLE day, like until I have to go to bed".

Me, "I sure am"

Hanna OH DARN I have to behave ALL day and follow the rules".

Some times I wonder what all she gets away with when I am gone, or more likely I really don`t want to know because it would make me crazy. There are times when I can not take her with me and then there are those times when I don`t want to take her either.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

When They Grow Up

When they grow up they leave and come home and leave and come back again. This weekend most of the stuff went back to college with Trevor. He is a residence hall assistant (RA) so he needs to get back early to train in the new staff. He will keep track of Rene`s stuff until she gets there in a couple of weeks. It is really nice that they decided to attend the same college and it is the one where I got my degrees from as well. (No we did not pressure them into going there).

They did not take everything though. It seems that our house is a storage facility for their stuff. We have boxes and boxes of it hidden away every where from the basement to the garage. Keeping their stuff keeps them coming home. They also come back to work some PCA hours as money is something college kids never have enough of and then there is the food. They like it when Mom bakes and sends cookies and snacks back to school with them.

I`ll hang on to the stuff as long as they need it here. As I always tell them when they are going out the door "learn everything, have lots of fun, and I love you".

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Out For Lunck

Paul decided to wear his "I Love My Mummy" shirt as he was planning ahead for Halloween in about three months. Actually it was orange day for his therapy group and this is the orange shirt that he chose to wear. He does not care what time of year it is he loves his Mommy every day.

When I told the kids that we were going "out for lunch" Lauren and Hanna`s eyes got very large. We do not go out to eat very often as it is to costly when you have to feed ten to fourteen people at every meal. The grocery bill gets very high during the summer months just eating at home. I explained that we were going to the park to roast hot dogs, have some chips, fruit, and vegetables for lunch. Hanna said " that's not going out for lunch its a picnic"
She was hoping for the big M or something. We also had s`mores and according to Hanna "that's not desert its a treat". What ever words you use it was eating outside and everyone had a good time too.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I have given myself an assignment this morning. I need to do one of those things that I really do not want to have to do so I better get at it first thing this morning and get it over with.

The classroom assignments are now out for special education preschool which Paul attends. He really enjoys riding the bus, and playing at school. It is a program that he needs to be in and has been very good for him. This year he was assigned to the afternoon group which creates several HUGE problems.

1. If he is in the afternoon group at school then he will not be able to attend the occupational and speech therapy that I battled insurance for months to cover so that he could be in it. This therapy is only offered in the afternoon so it can not be changed. All logic says keep him in therapy and there will be less therapy for the school personal to worry about. Besides that I did not spend all of that time filling out forms just because I enjoy filling them out.

2. I would have to sit him down for lunch at 10:30 in order for him to calm down and eat and then have time to get outside for the bus by 11:10

3. The PCA I have helping me on Tuesdays and Thursdays would have to work a split shift and change her class schedule in order to do it. I don`t that is going to happen so Mom would have to cover Paul supervision and get nothing done on those days.

4. We all (school and home) would be dealing with a little boy who does pretty well with a lot of structure and routine, completely off schedule. When this happens there will be H*** to pay. He is not able to be at his best so will not be able to learn all that he is able to learn at school and the activity level at home will sky rocket.

Now I hope that the school system will see the benefits of putting Paul back in the class that he has been in for the past eighteen months. It would benefit everyone especially Paul.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Falling Apart

After twenty-five years of married life some things just start falling apart. Most of the small appliances and kitchen things here were given to us as wedding gits or they were things that we inherited as we left our parents homes as young adults. Now it seems that everything is needing to be replaced or repaired at once.

The four slice toaster has become a two slice machine which really slows things down here in the morning so it needs to be replaced.

The waffle iron is not heating so unless eating the batter cold their is no point in serving waffles.

The computer in the microwave will not let you run the microwave unless you first re-set the date and time, then it might cook your food if you talk to it real nice and cross your fingers in hopes that it will keep running until the food is done. We just need a new one.

The couch and love seat in the family room is so worn that it will not come clean any more. Allen and Hanna have been making holes in the cushions, and torn the trim off of it. We either need to recover it or get a new set. We have not yet decided what we will do with that.

The vacuum cleaner has been around the block a few to many times. We will get a new one and since Jared needs one he will get the old one if he has any brains at all and wants to save the $$$
on buying a new one. This one will work well enough for him for awhile.

We will be doing our part to help the economy out when we take a little shopping trip this afternoon.

Monday, August 3, 2009

What Will She Think Of Next?

Hanna comes up with the strangest things. I do not know where she gets this stuff from. For a person who has so much trouble doing every day things she sure can think up dumb stuff

Rene` had reported that Hanna had been picking her nose over the weekend. She had done it to the point where she had given herself a nose bleed. That created a problem since blood sends her into hysterics.

This morning when I saw her picking her nose I asked her what the heck she was doing.

Hanna`s reply, "you told me that I can`t pick at my fingers and chew on them because it hurts me and looks bad, so I am picking my nose because you did not tell me to stop that and I don`t think that it looks bad either".

I guess I have to be more specific when telling her not to do things as she can not figure out for herself that picking her nose is bad. It may even look worse then picking at her hands.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Man House

We went to Duluth and moved most of Jared`s stuff into his new place. It is an okay place for a single guy, but it has far to many steps to climb in order to get anywhere for Mom. There is way to much seventies panelling on the walls as well.

He is already learning the cost of independence. As Trevor went into the kitchen to do something Jared hollered at him, "hey Trevor make sure you turn that kitchen light off when you are done in there. That is costing me money you know"! It sure did not take long for real life to sink in for him.

Rene` survived with Hanna, Lauren, and Allen here. They did LOTS of laundry and cleaned the kitchen too.

Mike got the floors done and they look great!! I can get my furniture cleaned and put back where it belongs. I can reclaim my house. I am really excited about that.