Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Field Trips ARGH!

This week is just crazy with field trips and special activities coming up. These kinds of things make me crazy because my kids are not great field trip material.

Lauren and Allen are supposed to be going to an apple orchard to pick apples, check out the other activities that they have on an apple farm, and eat lunch . This trip is one that I am okay with as they get experience in the community where they can practice appropriate behavior. They also get to practice their eating out skills by ordering the food and paying their own bill. The problem here is that there is a very good chance that it is going to rain and then they will not be going. When schedules change it creates lots of issues when the kids are not able to change as well.

Hanna`s school, yes all of the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades are going to an all day event at the college here in town. They will learn math and science. This is going to be taught by college students, the kids will be supervised by the school paraprofessionals while their teachers go to a training themselves. This is a disaster in the making! The material being covered in geared towards kids far above anything that Hanna is able to understand. It is being taught by college students who have no clue that Hanna does not understand anything they are talking about. The most scary thing about this is that the kids are all being supervised by the paraprofessionals who are hired to help the kids with special needs. How are they going to be able to do their regular job as well as something that they are not trained to do? They Will be talking about this at school tomorrow so of course Hanna will know that they are going so if I her Dad and I decide that this will not work for her we will be the bad guys once again. I am not at all excited about spending the day with her here madder then a wet hen (of course Dad will be at work) but on the other hand I do not think that she can handle the situation that she would be put in if she were allowed to go. We will think on this one for one more day.

The junior and senior high are doing some homecoming activities on Friday. Allen will get to go to the movies which he will do fine with, just give him a bag of popcorn and a seat. Lauren will get to sit at school since her behavior has been pretty awful this week. I hope she does not pout to loudly.

I think I have had enough of this fun stuff for awhile, lets just do some school work in the classroom for a few days.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It`s Tuesday Again

Today I have to get as much of the laundry hung on the line as I can since the weather sounds like rain for a few days ahead. I like to keep that mountain of dirty clothes as small as possible. Then I need to feed Paul something for lunch and hand him over to a PCA for a few hours. Jared and I will pick Lauren up from school early this afternoon. Jared will go by his school to pick up his graduation things while I take Lauren to speech therapy. We are still working on communication devices. Then we will come home in time to quickly get some sort of hot dish into the oven for the gang. Finally Jared and I are going to the swim meet. He made a cake for the team. (This idea he thought up all on his own, I did not volunteer him).

That pretty much covers another Tuesday here. Hanna has had it stuck in her head that it is Tuesday everyday now for years. No one has been able to get any other days into her little brain. It seems that Tuesdays have been really busy lately. Maybe some of that chaos that Hanna so much craves is here to stay.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Military Mom Rant

In being the mom of eight ranging in age from four to twenty-four there are many roles to take on. One of them is being a military mom. Rene` enlisted in the United States Navy in August of 2003. She served four years active duty, most of that time out to sea or in places around the world where you really do not want to find yourself if you are an American. Since then she has been on reserve duty. I am not sure what she plans on doing when her tour of duty is up. It does not matter she is and has served this country well.

In a local news paper this week there is a complete section devoted to the local football team. They all have there pictures individually in there with information about themselves and the team. Why this paper does not devote this special treatment to all of the school teams including swimming, tennis, golf, etc, etc is beyond me. I have nothing against participation in such activities. My kids are in sports and I think it is good for them, but because they do not play football they are not treated as some sort of local heroes here. This football team is not special by any means, they have had losing seasons for many years. If there families had paid to have this section of the paper produced I would have no complaint, but they do not pay for this at all.

If I have not lost you yet and you are wondering how this football thing is related in any way to the military, well I will fill you in. In the mail the same day as the news paper arrived we go a letter from that same paper telling us that if we wanted to honor "our" veterans this November we could fill out the information, send them a photo, and pay $$$ to do so. Why should military families have to pay to honor Americas veterans??? Should not all Americans be honoring them since they are out there providing protection for all of us. There service is allowing ALL of us to live in this wonderful country with all of its freedoms and abundances. We sacrifice enough having our loved ones away and in danger as it is.

The priorities here are just a little bit messed up.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Picking Apples

Angie one of our PCA`s and Lauren made a pretty good apple picking team.

Paul the ever helpful guy finally got some apples down at his level. He wanted to bring all of them home.
Now here is a real professional apple picker, just let everyone else do the work while you relax in the chair, way to go Allen.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Out The Door

It`s raining, yippie, but not today of all days. I will be running until far past my bedtime tonight.

I need to quickly get Paul dressed and organized to spend the day with a PCA who will keep him safe and get him to therapy. Got your running shoes on Angie?

Then I have to take Lauren to Gillette for two appointments. First she has a dentist appointment there which will be easy. After that we meet with her team to re evaluate the therapy situation given the position the insurance people are taking,. We need to decide what to do next. I am learning some really good negotiating skills in this process.

As soon as I can get of those appointments I am headed to the fifth annual Pregnant Pause to help get the message out and bring healthy babies into the world.

After that I may get to visit for a few minutes with some of the people who have worked so hard on this event over the years. We really do have a great time doing it you know.

Deep breath.........and I am off.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Seeking Balance

The lady who will walk around the block with our mentally disabled son just because he is a willing walker and even though he chatters all the way,and she most likely can not understand a word he is saying is a gem.

The high school senior who when invited by a boy with multiple disabilities to go to the prom accepted and shared a memorable wonderful evening with him is amazing.

The couple who can patiently wait in line at the store behind us while our girls struggle to get their money out of their wallets, hand it one bill at a time to the cashier, slowly put the change back into the wallets and stand there wondering what to do with the receipt, and then have to take the coloring books out of the bag to inspect them just one last time are so appreciated. To top it off they congratulated the girls on doing a great job of paying by themselves.

Believe me living in the world of disabilities these things do not happen every day. There are so many examples of how normal people treat people with disabilities in such ugly ways out there. In reality I think there is just as much good as bad going on so they balance one another out pretty. well. It is that society has unwritten rules of what is normal and what is not. When you think about it what is normal anyway? The girl who never outgrows her dolls is thought to be abnormal, yet there are many women who collect dolls all of their lives. The difference might well be that one will carry hers along to the grocery store and sleep with it while the other keeps hers neatly stored away at home. The guy who has no arms would find it normal to use his feet when eating, and the people who can not hear may use sign language to communicate and consider that normal. It all depends on where we are as individuals. The disabled person is always trying to figure out how to fit into society and its normal and at the same time society is learning to accept the differences.

In order for society to grow more accepting of the disabled they need to be around them. The best way for the disabled person to be accepted by society is for them to live their lives out there in the community. If the disabled people are comfortable with who they are, feel good about themselves then that will be reflected in their behavior. Lets just say this for the disabled people, life just is not fair so get over it and move on. By that I mean there is always someone who has things better then you do and that is okay. This is true for those normal people, too. If you can be happy with who you are then there will be people in your life who will figure that out and they will then accept you for being you.

As a disabled person, whether you like it or not you will be educating society about your disability forever. That is okay, I would rather have someone be curious and ask their questions then for them to be talking behind my back not having a clue as to what is really going on. Being honest and open about the disability may make things easier for some other people with disabilities in the future. When I was out at a restaurant for lunch with a good friend who happens to be blind and have a maters degree in biochemistry we taught a waitress a valuable lesson. She came to take our order, I told her what I had selected, then she asked me what my friend would like to have. I told her that I thought someone with a maters degree in biochemistry could relay that information for herself. Just because she can not see does not indicate in any way that she is not intelligent. Given the response of the waitress I am sure that she will not do that again. There is no need to go out of your way to educate just do it when the opportunity arises.

Thee is a place for awareness of disabilities in the community. The bullying issue and mental health issue are two that come to mind here. Making people aware that there are people out here living with these issues every day can only be a benefit. That being said only those who are willing learners,who are open to different ideas, will use the new information in their lives. You can teach a kid how to put mittens on their hands to keep warm in the winter, but if they choose not to wear them there is not much you can do about it. They will keep them on when they are ready to.

It is a given that there are some people who can not cope with people with disabilities. Maybe they see themselves as the person with the disability, and it scares the heck out of them so their means of coping is to run away from the experience. That is just to bad for them because they are missing out on knowing some very unique, fun, creative, wonderful people.

Some of you writer types out there may have been able to make the points I am trying to make in a much clearer form, but here it is as I see it. We are seeking balance between what society finds to be normal and how people with disabilities can fit into that normal. We do not have a balance yet. Will there ever be one, not likely because things are always changing, but we can keep on trying, can`t we?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Good Ole Charlie Brown

I feel like Charlie Brown when he runs up to kick the football, Lucy pulls it away at the last second, and then he tumbles head over heels, landing flat on his back looking up into the heavens. I do not know what he is thinking when he is laying on the ground like that, but I am praying to God to give me an extra does of patience, stamina and the will power to move forward.

Today in the mail box I found the notice from the insurance people that told us that the twelve week physical therapy program, which they had given authorization for is no longer approved. Lauren has already completed five weeks of this and since they gave the approval before she began why stop in the middle of what we are doing?

Lauren has Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy due to a severe traumatic brain injury which she received as an infant while in the care of her birth family.The spastic part of it is what we are dealing with here, Her muscles become tight, rigid, and fixed when they can not move properly so basically she would become very deformed if she does not receive consistent care and therapy with this. She has also acquired scoliosis as a part of the CP and this is getting worse over time. The physicians working on her team have come up with a complex set of therapies and treatments to keep this in check. It she does not continue on course here we are looking at a major back surgery or two, twelve to fifteen weeks in a body cast, and then a ton of therapy to follow.

The surgery route may or may not need to be taken with the therapy but as Lauren`s mom I would much rather deal with therapy and a short visit to the operating room for routine Botox and Phenol injections every few months then sit in the hospital for two to three weeks and deal with a whiny kid in a body cast. I have already done that once and if I never have to experience that again it would be just fine with me.

Lauren thinks this is really great because she does not have to go to therapy now, but she has no idea what she could be in for . The insurance people think they have saved themselves some money, but the cost of Lauren`s care will be much greater doing this the way they want to do it.

Since when do insurance people know more about complex medical conditions then the highly trained group of specialists who have been working with this kid for more then nine years? What are these physicians going to think when they find out what is going on? Do any of those insurance people plan on sitting with this kid while we do this the hard way? I hardly think so and as a matter of fact I really do not want to do that either, but since I am her mom I will do it if I have too.

Just like Charlie Brown I am flat on my back trying to regroup, but I will be ready to go toe-to-toe with those insurance people once again tomorrow. This will be round far to many to count with no end in sight for me.

He`s Stuck

Paul`s preschool class is scheduled to go pick apples this morning, but it is not going to happen as it is sprinkling outside. Both his dad and I have explained several times that he will be staying in school today and get the apples some other time but this is just not going to sink into his little head. He is so wound up about getting to ride the bus which is one of his favorite things to do that when they stop at school and drop the kids off he is going to go nuts on them. I warned them
and got the usual "mom he will be fine with this" response. Yeah, right!

Now he is at school screaming his head off and they want me to tell them how to fix it. At this point there is no fixing it you just have to let him lose it because it is difficult to reason with this kid on the best of days so when he is stuck on something, that by the way they got him stuck on already last week, you are not going to get him unstuck until he is ready to be there.

The best way to stop this is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Try not to talk about it for days before hand with him because he does not understand that things can change and there will be another time to do it later. With Hanna, Paul, and Allen we do not fill them in on the details until we are getting ready to do something because we have learned that things happen and plans sometimes need to change and if they thought we were going to do something and then we do not do it we are the ones who will have to pay the huge price of craziness just for making the change.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Going For Pizza

It`s Saturday, September, and it will be eighty degrees or more here today. It is pretty warm for this time of year here and I am not complaining because the more nice days there are to send kids outside to burn off some of their energy the better.There will be fewer days inside when it cools off to figure out how to contain them. We will let them run until late this afternoon when we are going to meet Mike, Kari, and their kids and we are taking them out for pizza. We live quite near one another but do not get together often enough. It only happens when it gets put on the calendar, that is just the way things work out here. When I invited them for pizza Kari said something about are you sure we want to take the kids there. I figure it this way we will fill up that little restaurant with our group so they will be thrilled to be making some money. Our kids and theirs behave in similar ways so everyone at the table is used to it, and we can just give Hanna her meds three hours late on a Saturday so she should still be able to function pretty well. That is just about the best we can hope for at any social event with all of these FASD kids, and if one or more of them loses it so be it, we got to spend some time with friends in the process.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hey Kid Thanks!

It turns out that a kid who witnessed what happened at school yesterday was intelligent, caring, and responsible enough to report to his/her parents what was going on. Now that is a real friend!!! I had a conversation with the kid`s mom today. She knew enough of Hanna`s story to understand that she would be very vulnerable in the situation. She and the dad had a discussion with the kid about what should be done if anything like this ever happens again. I wish there were a lot more kids like this one out there and parents who would be there to guide them along the way. I would shout from the roof tops thank you if I could, but in the interest of privacy I`ll just be happy to know that in Hanna`s generation there is at least one person who really knows how to be a friend.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

After School Storm

Bang, crash, papers torn to shreds, screaming, and an all out meltdown. That is how Hanna greeted me when she arrived home from school today.

Some of her "friends" had told her to do something at recess that was not appropriate and of course she did it anyway, then they laughed and made fun of her for doing what they told her to do. Besides that she had some how sneaked money to school which is a big no, no and even though she brought it home some of it is missing. I am pretty sure one or two of those great "friends" of hers has a little extra cash tonight.

To make matters worse her Dad had asked her about the money this morning and reminded her that she could not take it to school. She had directly lied to him telling him that she was not going to take it to school.

What bothers me about this whole mess is...
Hanna lied to her Dad
Some one at school should have been watching her at all times and could have stopped these kids or at least made it clear that their behavior is not acceptable.
Hanna directed her anger at the wrong people here, she should have been mad at the kids who made fun of her instead of kicking, spitting, and screaming at everyone here.
She brought the money to school in an attempt to impress these loser kids.

It is so difficult to be this kids Mom, she just can not learn from her mistakes and society can be so cruel and does not understand her.

Elmo To School

Paul is a non-vegetable kind of kid, he just does not eat them so I spend a lot of time sneaking them into other things. He will drink V-8 Splash so his pediatrician said just let him drink that.

We have cherry tomatoes that Trevor planted for us. They have been providing fresh tomatoes every day for the past three months. Believe it or not our non-vegetable kid likes them. He has been eating two or three of them breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Lauren called them Elmos, which is what he calls everything that is red. The phrase some how stuck in his brain so that is what he thinks he is eating.

This morning he was getting ready to catch the bus. He was bringing his "I love you Elmo" for sharing time, (the one that all of the PCA`s can not tolerate at all because of that singing). He headed out the door with an Elmo (tomato) stashed in each of his cheeks, and hugging his other Elmo. I hope he chewed those Elmos up before the bus got the block and a half to school.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Long Day

Hanna has been up since 3:30 this morning so I got up to start things around home. I had IEP meetings beginning at 7:30 so I left the house by 7:00. I am home for a couple of hours, just long enough to figure something out for dinner, then will be taking Lauren to therapy this afternoon. When I get back from there I will go to Karre`s swim meet where it is parents night. By the time I get back home I will be ready to fall into bed and I hope by some miracle Hanna will some how have gotten the same idea into her head as well.

Monday, September 14, 2009


The silence is well, maybe a little overwhelming here as they have all gone to school. Yes, preschool starts today and Paul was more then a bit wound up this morning. He was fed, dressed, had his show-and-tell item, and ready to go out the door forty-five minutes before his bus was scheduled to show up. He talks constantly all day every single waking minute of the day he chatters and asks questions, so when he is gone my ears get a break. He has to bang on everything, slam doors, and drawers, and his little body is moving far faster then his brain is able to think. I have two hours and fifty minutes of this wonderful silence, I know preschool is like that, just long enough to show you what a good thing you will have next year when they go to kindergarten for the full school day. Yeah, next year I am retiring from being an infant, toddler, preschool mom. I have been one now for twenty-four years and I think I will be ready to end that career when Paul starts kindergarten next fall.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Assignment

Put five things into a paper bag that will tell the class something about yourself. What you like to do, what you read, your favorite movie, snack, etc. This is one of those assignments that Hanna can do or at least she should be able to do this but she is making it much more a task than it needs to be.

Hanna wants to be like her "friends'. In reality she is not there by any means and she will never get there either God willing. This assignment is a demonstration of how far off base her social skills really are. I know that the sixth, seventh, and eight grade level kids are all over the place with their social skills as they are maturing at very different rates, but Hanna is not even on the radar here.

In her paper bag she put a Groovy Girl, we will let that go as some girls at this age still are playing with their dolls and some are collecting them because they are not yet ready to let them go. A deck of Go Fish cards. I let those stay even though they are far below this age group and Hanna plays that game almost daily.She then added The Strawberry Shortcake DVD. We have many DVD`s here that she enjoys and are more appropriate. Her favorite movie is Chicken Little which is a little closer to appropriate then The Strawberry Shortcake movie. Next she came with her favorite book and I know it is her favorite because it is one of the board books where she can look at the pictures and "read" it because the pictures are showing what the words are saying. It is the My Little Pony Rainbow Day board book for kids about eighteen months old. We do have a joke book that she likes people to read to her and she has gotten an American Girl miniature book that she enjoys, but according to Hanna neither of them will work because she can not read them. The last thing the Mom thought of. I carefully opened a bag of M&M`s, let her eat them and then gave her the empty wrapper to put in her bag. She can not bring that, it is just an empty wrapper. When I tried to explain that it would show the kids that she likes M&M`s she just could not see how that would work without the candy there. I am not going to let her bring one bag of M&M`s into a sixth grade classroom and with all of her food issues I do not believe that they would even make it to school before being consumed.

This is the mess one little girl can make of a simple brown paper bag project, just think of all the work that is going into getting this little thing done and then you can only begin to understand what happens when she needs to do things that are more complicated. She defiantly creates enough challenges for us.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Eleven years ago today we met for the first time, Allen`s Mum (birth mom) and I. She was scared, worried, and quite unsure of herself. She had written out a lengthy list of questions many of which we did not have answers for. That list of questions gave me the impression that she had thought this out to the best of her ability and was sincere in her desire for a better life for her sons. She had decided to place her kids for adoption. (There are two boys) She did this on her own without the courts telling her she had to do it.

Mum had struggled all through school until at age sixteen she could not take it one more day and she dropped out. She has related that she tried very hard and just could not learn the stuff they thought she needed to learn. She then became pregnant with her first son. Shortly after his birth his father went to prison on some type of drug charges. She soon after began a relationship with Allen`s father, found herself once again pregnant, and during this pregnancy she was doing a pretty good job of staying off drugs and alcohol until Allen`s father committed suicide. As she puts it she just could not deal with all the stress so she began to use again. When her baby was born and there was obviously something wrong with him she completely fell apart. When the genetic tests returned showing that the baby had Down Syndrome it was a huge surprise as that is something that is really very unlikely to happen with mothers of that age. The downward spiral continued and when Allen was three months old Mun went into rehab. She did well there, got her kids back, and held it together for a short time. Raising two boys, one whom was always requiring medical care, therapy, and early intervention services was just to much for Mum. That is when things began to change for her and the boys. She wanted to give them a chance for much more then she could provide.

Mun was involved in choosing the two families for her boys. There were many wanting the older one and only two had any interest in Allen. When the other family found out how severely disabled he was they said no thanks. We have been on this journey together ever since. It has been quite an adventure thus far.

Mum has done so very well. She had no guarantees of any contact with her kids. The judge in the case told her that he was leaving that up to the adoptive families. We made it very clear that she would be allowed to be in Allen`s life as long as she stayed drug free and respected our boundaries. She has done that and so much more. She has held the same job for eight years, bought herself a house,where she and the good man in her life live with their two cats. and she even quit smoking, too She grows a large garden and gives what she does not use to the local food shelf.. We had a long talk after Allen had been with us for some time and she did admit to the heavy drinking which occurred during her pregnancy. We had already figured this out due to the timing of her entry into rehab. She also went through the evaluation process and was diagnosed with FAS herself. I think this has helped her a great deal as she now has some understanding of why school was so challenging, why she made such poor choices, and why she continues to need support services to be the success that she is today. Without someone there to help her schedule things, and manage her money she would not be doing as well as she is.

Why is this Mum able to succeed when there are so many other situations very similar to this where the tragedy continues on?

Most of the credit goes to Mum herself. She knew that she did not like where she was in life and she needed to make many changes. She has worked very hard every day to do what she has needed to do to stay on track with her life. She understands that she was addicted and admitting that is the biggest barrier she had to tackle.

There have been two social workers involved in this case. That is hard to believe with the revolving door in the "system". Allen had the same social worker from day one. She knew his birth family, his adoptive family, and him. She was available for him for more than fourteen years until she retired just over a year ago. Mum has also had the same social worker from the beginning. That is who I contact to arrange for visits. She helps keep Mum on track and I hope she continues to be there for a long time yet. This consistency has been so helpful.

Success for this family did not mean that they needed to remain in tact as a family unit. It was in the best interest of these kids to be placed for adoption. It is not always a good thing to keep these families together and every one involved here was able to see that quite quickly. Mum could have fought to keep her kids but she realized that she could not care for them and was able to move forward.

Providing services to Mum is what keeps her doing things she needs to do in order to remain a law abiding, working, tax paying, healthy, member of American society. Do not take her services away or she is likely to require much more that she gets now. With a little bit of assistance Mum can take care of herself. Could she take care of these kids, not likely as that is far more then she is capable of.

The fact that Mum chose not to have any more kids is also a plus in this situation.

Mum in her own way is my hero because she has given her kids the best she could offer them given the situation she is in. We could not ask for anything more then that.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Pink Lunch Box

Hanna carries a pink lunch box to school every day since some lunch ladies (not all of them) seem to think that we do not feed her, when in reality she gets her fair share of food (and she eats a little hair and plaster for extra nutrition as well). The lunch ladies will feed her and as long as they keep handing over the food she will keep eating.

Anyway she had forgotten her pink lunch box at school yesterday so when she discovered this she was in a panic. She decided that she should just head back to school to get it. She insisted that she should go by herself. Hanna gets lost going around the block. She can not find a playground that is a block and a half away from home so she surely would never be able to locate her school at the other end of town. We had to keep an extra close watch on her to be sure she did not take off. When she gets to obsessing about things like this you can not get her to stop no matter what you do.

This morning I had packed her a brown bag lunch but she did not want to take it to school because it looked stupid and the lunch ladies would give her lunch anyway. Her Dad told her that she had better take that lunch or wait until dinner time.

I guess I will need to go to school and give them the annual DO NOT FEED HANNA speech because I am not paying any lunch bill when she already has enough to eat in the first place.
I wonder if that speech I give the lunch ladies every year is more effective then the signs at the zoo which read "DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS"?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


This is the day for everyone who knows anything about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and even more so for those who know nothing about it to become aware of the dangers of what alcohol consumption does to unborn babies. We need to cure FASD, get rid of it, make it one of those disabilities that no one has.

We do not need to spend millions of $$ creating some miracle drug
We do no need to invent a vaccine
We do not need to research to find a cure
We do not need to spend the time to unravel a genetic code

We already know how to cure FASD. It is up to all of you Momma-Wanna-Bes, you can do this just DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL if you want to be pregnant, are trying to get pregnant, or are pregnant. When I see a rainbow my wish is that all of the world`s babies are born alcohol free and healthy. I will say a prayer for all of you and I am there cheering for you each and every day. Every baby deserves to be born alcohol free and why not give them that opportunity its available for everyone. The cure is here, it does not require any special medical procedures, and it does not cost anything either so there are no excuses that would be acceptable. ZERO ALCOHOL FOR NINE MONTHS IS ALL IT TAKES!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Yellow Bus Came

Oh yeah the buses were lined up in front of our house this morning and they picked up a dozen or so of the neighborhood kids and they also took along Karre, Lauren, and Allen. It is hard to believer but our not quite four and a half foot tall Allen Is a Freshman in high school now.

There were tears this morning, but they were not tears of joy from me, although I was pretty happy. They were Paul`s. He was very upset because his bus did not come. The Pre-K kids do not start school until the fourteenth. Trying to explain that to him just is not working. He says his bus is coming at " nine o`clock amorrow". I am sure there will be tears tomorrow and the rest of the week as well.

I spent most of my day with my buddy Hanna. We got all of the equipment replaced in her mouth. This is supposed to stay in there for six weeks. We have bets on it lasting maybe two or three days if we are lucky. They are making a retainer that should help but if she falls apart before that is ready we just start over again. I guess that they are used to doing this as they work with lots of kids who have special needs. Those people have more patience then I could ever manage. Hanna chose hot orange on her braces today so it looks like she has Cheetos on her teeth. She told me that she is going to try every color they have. She will actually have braces long enough to do that. They have forty-eight colors to chose from. She wants me to remember which ones she has already used because she can not remember stuff like that. I think I better write this down because I do not know if I can remember all of that either.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Summer Ends Today

When you look at the calendar there are still a few weeks of summer but for us summer ends today. When the bus pulls up tomorrow morning fall begins. We are going to the park with some sandwiches and juice for lunch. I will fill the clothes line to the max before going to the park. Then we will have fresh strawberry pie for dinner this evening to end the season properly. Then we move on to the next one and enjoy it to the fullest as well.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dads Turn

It was Dads turn to be screamed at, kicked, and spit at this morning as I had not even made it down stairs before the craziness began.

Yesterday Hanna was told that she could not have a bowl of Cheerios so she spit on them and then poured them back into the container. Since no one else wants to eat them, well a couple of people do not care, and we are not going to let them eat them.we had set the container aside for her to eat for breakfast until they are gone. Hanna wanted bananas, biscuits, toast, and anything else other then the cereal and Dad happened to be the one who said Cheerios or nothing. That is when she lost it. Hanna likes to be in control. She can be very bossy. When she talks if you are sitting down she will stand up and get into your face because it gives her a sense of being in control of you. It does not work around here as we will not listen to her or try and talk her through what is going on until she calms down, talks in a quiet voice, and sits down. That way we know she is paying attention to what is going on.

It is okay for someone else to have to put up with some of her garbage once in a while. It is usually me as I happen to be home more of the time. I know Dad can handle it. When Hanna told him that she was going to throw the Cheerios in the garbage he told her that he thought the garbage can looked like a pretty large cereal bowl. At least he got her to laugh after a couple of minutes.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wanna Know What I Learned Today?

Since everyone else is out enjoying this fine day, and since I was the one who would not allow the "big attitude" to go anywhere acting like that, I decided to make use of the time and get something done here at home. I put Hanna on a kitchen chair so that I could keep track of her and make sure that she was not destroying herself or anything else. I then put my i-pod on and cleaned the kitchen cabinets. They needed it. In cleaning I discovered that I do not need to buy any type of crackers for quite some time. People have been stashing them everywhere when they have been putting the groceries away. I assumed that they were being eaten since food disappears rather quickly around here. I buy things in order to make something in particular but more often then not before I go to use the items they have been consumed.

Anyway with my i-pod on and the tunes turned up pretty loud, for my taste, I could hear Hanna screaming at me.

"Dad is dumb cause he took the other kids to the zoo and the zoo is dumb"!

"Mom is dumb because she made me stay home"!

"This whole family is dumb because they want me to live here"!

"The whole world is dumb, dumb, DUMB"!!

She went on and on and on. She also used a couple of other words that her "friends" use that are so not appropriate and she does not even know what they mean anyway.I find it a little weird to be called dumb by someone who has an IQ far lower than normal. In a way she may be right however. Dad may not be to bright taking all of those kids to the zoo. That is a lot of work. I may be dumb for making her stay home as well, just putting up with all this racket is exhausting and certainly I may have had more fun doing something else. As for the whole family there are times that I think she is correct there as well. Nowhere in her file did we read anything about her having Reactive Attachment Disorder or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. We strongly suspected the FAS and were prepared for that. We also knew that she was developmentally disabled and can deal with that as well. I do not think that we were prepared for RAD. Can anyone ever really be prepared for that? The combination of RAD and FAS is something that I would not wish for any family to deal with . This family loves this kid dearly and we have and will continue to do whatever we need to in order to give her the best outcome possible. It is just that the process in getting there is so very difficult and the statistics clearly indicate that the outcomes are not generally very good here which is frustrating. Were we dumb for taking a chance on a kid who no one else wanted?

The answer to that is no. as we strongly believe that all kids deserve to have a family and as a family we have what it takse to be there for kids who have endured more trauma, chaos, and abuse then one could imagine could be possible. For today in Hanna`s world we will all be dumb and maybe tomorrow, or next month, or five years from now things may change and she may view all of this differently. I sure hope so.

A Beautiful Saturday, Almost

It`s a gorgeous day, the sun is shining and it should be about eighty degrees outside before long. The last Saturday before school starts.

Jared came home to PCA this weekend so everyone went to the zoo, a picnic lunch, and a couple of other stops along the way. When they get back Jared wants to cook something on the grill so I will leave dinner to him.

I am home with little. or should I say BIG attitude. We went to the local dentist yesterday so that they could clip the wires hanging out of her mouth. We have an appointment Tuesday to redo all of that orthodontic work. They are planning to make her some type of retainer to try to keep things where they belong. I hope that helps. That means that she will be missing the first day of school. I am sure that she heard that as Dad and I were trying to get a plan of action in order to get everyone out the door, find someone to watch Paul so Dad can go to work, and get on the road by eight o`clock to get to her appointment. When she figures out that she will not be getting on the bus that morning there will most certainly be a complete meltdown. It is going to be a very loud hour and a half in the car. They will give her some heavy duty meds when we get there so that they can do their work and that will quiet her down for a while, but the noise will start all over again when the meds wear off on the way home.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Oh No!!!

I am sitting here waiting for a phone call back telling me that I am going to have to take Hanna to the orthodontist yet this afternoon or maybe it will wait until morning. She just had a lot of wires put in her mouth two days ago and she has already gotten one of them completely off. This is going to be a long four plus years. You can tell Hanna a million times that she needs to stop picking at her mouth but it makes no difference, she will do it anyway. I know we will have to get this fixed yet this week because there is a long weekend ahead and we can not have wires sticking out of her mouth. I am not even comfortable leaving her unattended for one minute right now because she is likely to make a bigger mess of the mouth. She needs major amounts of medication on board in order to get any of this orthodontic work done so that means nothing to eat or drink for at least six hours, oh this is giving me a headache already.

I need to get Paul to his haircut appointment and get Lauren and Allen's mountain of stuff up to the high school as well.

Oh why is it so hard for Hanna to figure out that sometimes just following directions would make life so much easier?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hours Already

The four early birds have been up and running for several hours already. I am ready for some sit down time but that is not going to happen.

Paul is playing with the vacuum cleaner. He claims that it is his buddy. I hope when he gets a couple years older and is told to vacuum that he finds that vacuum cleaner is his friend then. I do not know how well the vacuum likes being pushed around like a car. He has discovered that this car has a headlight and he thinks that is really neat.

Allen is being loud, turning the light switches on and off and coming over to give me lots of hugs.. I tried to get him to do something more constructive but he is not listening.

Lauren and Hanna are playing Monopoly. They were told to get the kid game but they did not listen so they are playing the other one without direct supervision. Guess what they are both cheating, nothing new there. Its just a matter of time before the game goes flying and the winner will be the one who cheats best.

Karre just got up and said "Mom do they act like this every morning"?

When I answered they did she mumbled something about being at swim practice, doing crunchers would be more peaceful.

In one more week three of them will be out the door, oh yeah!! I will only have the vacuum man to deal with.