Saturday, January 30, 2010

It Is Almost History

The month of January is history tomorrow already. It has been one of those months were nothing really got done yet there has been more action around here then I would like. There have been missed school days for everyone, missed work days, and enough Hanna drama to last a whole year. I have gotten LOTS of appointments scheduled for medication checks, physicals, surgeries, dentist, PCA evaluations, etc, etc. We also have valentine parties, confirmation, and Easter coming up. I think that things are going to continue to be very crazy around here at least until summer vacation and then maybe we can relax for a few days. That is just the way it is around here.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Hat

Even with all of the Hanna chaos and drama around here everyone else is busy with their own lives and it has been pretty much smooth sailing. Rene` and Trevor are busy with school and work, Jared got a job building boat motors, at least until they run out of parts,and he is working as a PCA in the evenings and weekends, Karre is well a teenager doing schoolwork and working for me, Lauren has been a really good kid lately (don`t tell her that or it might fall apart), Allen is being Allen, and Paul is still an adorable little busy body. Dad and I also keep busy at our work because it is never all done.

I was reminded of an event that took place while we were on vacation when Rene` emailed me the photos from her phone.

Grandma and Paul went out for a walk and since grandma can not live without her morning coffee and we had used all of the filters for the coffee maker they were going to buy some filters at the shop along the way. Grandma found the ones she wanted to purchase and gave them to Paul to carry while they finished looking around. Paul put the pack of coffee filters on his head and said they were his new " hat". He wandered around for several hours with that "hat" on. Now every time someone brews a pot of coffee I have this vision of Paul and his "hat" stored away in my head for a chuckle.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I just Don`t Know Anymore?

There is a kid out there who has a rather upset mom because of my kid`s behavior and I totally get it if that had happened to my kid I certainly would not be happy about it at all.

My kid is angry because once again she thought she was going to get away with something and of course Mom and Dad found out about it and there will be consequences even if she does not understand them and at this point I can not think of any that will get the point across to her.

And then there is me who is very unhappy because I KNOW THIS KID NEEDS SUPERVISION all the time, on the bus, in the bathroom, at lunch, recess, etc., etc.,and the people who are supposed to be helping with that are obviously not doing a good enough job of it and what irritates me most is that some how I am supposed to be able to fix it when things go wrong. Yet when I try to get help which will improve the situation a bit all I get is a report of how wonderful, perfect, and normal this kid is.

Not A Thing Done This Week

The kids did not have school Monday, they went to school late yesterday, and thanks to "girl issues" I get to put up with Hanna being home for the rest of the week. That is just lovely I will not get the pile of tax paperwork ready to go to the accountants, the meals cooked to put in the freezer, or any of the other hundred things that I could be doing since I have to keep track of Little Miss Angry. That is my "normal kid" for you and just for good measure that "normal kid" was broadcasting lots of personal information to other kids yesterday so I have a parent to deal with as well. Will I ever have a "normal" life?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Pop Tart Battle

Yesterday was loud, mixed up, and long. That is the way it is when things are not on schedule.

Karre was supposed to go out to dinner with her friends and then they had planned to walk around the mall for awhile to celebrate her birthday which was ten days ago. The weather was getting bad so when Jared came home from work she asked him if he would drive them and she said that she would buy him dinner in exchange. He told her that there was no way he was going to drive so I guess the roads must have been pretty bad because he usually does not turn down an opportunity to drive with free food as well. The weather has disrupted Karre`s birthday plans many times over the years. Now that all four of these girls have jobs and all four of them are very involved in school activities it becomes a major task to find time for them to get together. That is the breaks of having a winter birthday.

Today is starting out much like yesterday as school is running two hours late and there is no pre-school. Hanna literally ran me over trying to get the last Pop Tart before her sister could get it. The Pop Tart is now mine. I will give it to Paul when they are gone. Now we have a screaming fit that I like Lauren better. How is that since she did not get the Pop Tart either? This kid has no logic. I will just have to protect the other kids until the bus rescues me all because of a stupid Pop Tart. I will not be buying those for a lloooooonnnnnggg time.

Monday, January 25, 2010

No School Monday

There is no school today as Friday was the end of the quarter. It goes without saying that we have been up for hours already. Hanna of course is the one who just had to get everyone up. Karre just wondered downstairs with the dog in tow. She like everyone else here has been greeted very loudly by Hanna as she is on one of her rants about not wanting to be here, hating everyone here,she can take care of herself, do what she wants, make her own rules,etc, etc, and of course she is adding what sounds like some sort of air raid siren for extra loudness.

Lauren and Paul went downstairs to find something to do. If they have any brains at all they will stay down there all morning.

Allen is sitting on the couch yelling at Hanna to shut up and go away, which just makes her louderl

I am going to get some laundry going and clean up the kitchen mess from last night and tune her out. That is the plan of action at least for as long as I can take the noise. She wants someone, anyone to argue with her and that just is not going to happen. She already knows how we feel about her and she also knows that no matter what she does she is still a part of this family. It would be really nice if some how we could get it into her head that she is not going to be allowed to control us with this behavior.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

That Is Our Hanna

Today at a baby shower for our PCA Angie`s adorable little boy I sat and visited with her mom for quite a while. She had been around for some time while Angie was keeping track of Hanna so she had been able to observe all that is involved in caring for her. She said something that is very true when one takes the time to think about it, she said "Hanna reminds me of my dad who had dementia and needed someone to be there all of the time to make sure he was safe and doing what he was supposed to be doing.

With the experience of her dad`s illness and that from working in a long term care center she probably has a pretty good understand of dementia and what is required to care for people who have the disorder. Hanna does have some pretty serious memory loss issues both long and short term, she makes poor choices, and is not able to take care of meeting her own physical needs. The difference here is that people who have dementia get progressively worse and Hanna will not. Now she gave me a way to try to describe what it is like to parent Hanna that may make the picture clearer, as least for some people.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Still Steaming

I am still steaming and it will take a few days to figure out what to do next. The outcome of this certainly has an affect on Hanna, our family, and yes our American society as well so I want to get it right. This is the last piece to get in place and the process is unbelievabley exhausting.

The thing is that people are being paid to be in the loop here and apparently what happens does not matter in the least to anyone except Hanna`s mom and dad and her older siblings who have been working sooooo hard for forever to do what is best for her. Hanna herself has no clue what is going on and there simply is no way to explain it in terms that will stick in that very messed up brain of hers so we are not waisting our energy on that.

It will get done it is a matter of when? This mom will go however many rounds it takes to win this one for Hanna.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Why This Mom Is Nuts

I asked for help, stupid me. All I wanted was a real picture of what Hanna`s behavior is like so that we could proceed in a very long process of getting medical help with a complex medical issue.

What did I get ..."Hanna displays normal adolescent behavior and attitude".

Really now this is normal.

Hanna chooses to wear a tank top, Capri's, and flip-flops when it is twenty below zero.

Hanna does not wipe herself after using the toilet, flush, or wash her hands. She does not shower herself, brush or floss her teeth.

All three hundred sixty-five days of the year are Tuesdays.

Hanna does not know the difference between ten minutes, ten hours, and ten days.

Hanna puts her shoes on the wrong feet every day.

Hanna does not know why we have birthdays.

Hanna thinks that you go to Wal-Mart to get husbands and babies.

Hanna can not cross a street independently or find a play ground which is less then two blocks from home and it is one that she has been to many times.

Hanna is overwhelmed when there are more then two choices to consider.

This list could go on forever...

Now since when is any of this normal for a girl who is twelve and a half years old? This is the kind of stuff that makes moms who are parenting kids with special needs go nuts. I am only trying to do the right thing for Hanna and for that matter for our entire family and this is what happens.

I am going to let the steam all come out the top of my aching head and then I will have to regroup and try this again. It has been a very long day already.

The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

A teacher once said "she is the best thing to come along since sliced bread". Granted this was a rather old guy speaking here and my kids had no idea what he was talking about so an explanation was needed. If I were a teacher the kid he was speaking about would be the type of student I would want to have in the classroom too. She did her work to the best of her ability and on time, she was able to ask questions when she did not understand, she was respectful and responsible in the classroom. We have received many similar compliments about our kids over the years but with some of the kids I can not believe that they have earned such credit. This is most evident with our kids who happen to have FAS

Allen is the most stubborn, do things on my terms only person on earth.

Hanna, well she just has no rules, boundaries, morals, or anything of the sort. She lies, steals, cheats, hurts people both physically and with her words, she is not able to follow directions, stay on task unless she is obsessing on something, lets just say she has no people skills.

Paul although really, really sweet, cuddly, and adorable is chattering nonstop, very hyper, and even when he is being nice and helpful is so full of energy that he does not even know when he is hurting you.

What is really going on here? Do these kids some how turn off these behaviors during the school day and save all of them for us at home? If they are able to behave so well at school then I sure wish someone would fill me in so the same could happen here as well. I would enjoy the latest and greatest thing on the planet, calm, quiet, order, chaos, free, life.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Keep Her Out Of The Loop

The sixth graders here go skiing every year. This is a fun day for the average sixth grander but for one like Hanna it is a disaster in the making. She is not going, end of story. I am not sure what we are going to do with her the day the rest of the kids go on the ski trip but there is no way on earth she can handle this. It is not like she will be missing out on the Minnesota winter experience or anything. We take her outside to build snowmen and forts, we take sledding, and we have taken her skating although she went in her boots because she would not put the skates on.

She can not learn the safety lessons by watching a movie. She needs to learn these things by repetion and modeling.
She would need weeks of training one on one in order to ski, not just a few minutes of general instruction with a group of fifty or more kids for one instructor
We are not allowed to send our own PCA who can keep her in line.
There is to much opportunity for things to come home that are not hers.
There is a great possibility that she will give her money away.
When she came home with the great news that she was going skiing she did not even have a clue what the activity involved. We asked her what skiing was and she said "eating lunch at the park". All she has figured out is that that are going to eat.

The kids are all excited about going and of course Hanna has been there while they talk about what is safe and how to ski. She wants to go and now she has almost a month to obsess about that and be angry with mom and dad because we are not going to let her go.

Sometimes at school it would be much easier if she could be kept out of the loop when it comes to these things. That could happen if staff would give me the heads up as to when things are going to happen before they do so that she could spend some time in the special education room when need be. Maybe in there they could at least teach her what skiing is?

Monday, January 18, 2010

I Have No Problem

Hanna has been laying low around here, still getting into things but being pretty sneaky about it and for the most part no one has been dealing with the stuff. The stuff she has been doing is really dumb like chewing on her shirts, taking her clean clothes out of the closet and rolling them into huge balls that she thinks she is hiding in her closet, and picking apart a stuffed toy. She is so exhausting that no one wants to deal with all of this stuff all the time. It just is not worth the hassle.

Well today she ripped off a sweatshirt from someone at school so we have to deal with that. She has plenty of sweatshirts here and was sent to school wearing one. The one she took was ripped, stained, and much to big for her. When she was asked what she thaught she was going to do with it she said that she wanted it and really needed it and then she used her new favorite line, "I have no problem with it you do".

Well she has that correct I do have a problem with stealing anything and what makes it worse is that she has plenty of things and has no need to steal.

Also today when I went down to get some hamburger buns from the refrigerator they were for the most part eaten. What was left of them was stashed in the bottom drawer. I guess we are not having hamburgers for dinner tonight. Hanna does not have a problem with eating those either. Dad gets credit for being lazy and not locking the door to the room where we keep the refrigerator.

I guess it is all my problem, now what will we have for dinner? That is my problem too.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Why Do They Do That?

I went to the store to get the usual things milk, bread, bananas, etc, etc. I also needed to buy band-aids as a kid of mine who really did not need them had used most of ours up. That would be Hanna who had one of her obsessions. I noticed that the boxes of band-aids had "band-aids" in braille on them. Yeah i had noticed this before but must have been in a hurry or had to much to think about to consider why they Braille those boxes anyway? Band-aids are the only things in the store that are labeled that way. Is is because the band-aid makers think blind people need to buy more of them then average people do? Do they do it just because it looks interesting and gives people like me something to ponder?

If they are going to provide braille labeling on products why don`t they do it in a manner that would be useful. Maybe they could braille the sell by dates on things like milk and yogurt. Maybe they could label the Cheerios so that blind people can figure out if they are getting apple cinnamon, banana, frosted, multi-grain, original, or chocolate (yeah they have chocolate now). Maybe they could put the sizes on the clothing tag.

On the other hand maybe this is just something that is not useful in the first place and they should not do it at all.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Baby Andrew

Baby Andrew has arrived and after a rough start both he and him mom are doing much better. We are looking forward to meeting him. The younger kids are thrilled about his coming into the world as they have had little experience having babies around.

We are also looking forward to having his mom back at work here. She said she misses all of the action already. there will be plenty of action for you when you get back Angie!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Cute And Sweet Too

It was snowing
and blowing and
far below zero just after midnight when we decided that it was time to head to the hospital to bring this baby into the world seventeen years ago today. After two months of doing nothing but laying around and hoping she would stay put for just another week or so she finally decided that she had had enough and was ready for the world. Karre arrived weighing just five pounds shortly before 5:00 am, and she has been a cheerful morning person ever since. She still has the darkest, gorgeous, blue eyes around. She is very sweet, compassionate, creative, and has a great sense of humor too. She enjoys listening to music, and drawing. She is very good at working with her siblings who have special needs, well that comes naturally when there have always been kids with special needs in the home. Karre is our youngest birth child but she has never really been the youngest in the family at all with foster and adopted kids in abundance.

Karre is a junior in high school and has not made any for sure plans for the future. One day she going to go to college far away and the next she wants to take a few classes and stay here. She likes graphic art and working with textiles so the possibilities are many.

She is an easy kid to hang out with and she causes little trouble so sometimes she gets a bit lost in the crowd here but she has gotten really good at letting us know when she needs her own space. She did not ask for anything for her birthday, but Rene` and I had figured out that she really wanted an American Girl doll to add to her collection so we got that for her. I am glad that those things still mean a lot to her. I also made her favorite deviled eggs for dinner. I do not know what the thing is with eggs but she likes them made in many different ways so that is what we do on her birthday. When she was thirteen we made Easter eggs to celebrate and it was twenty below zero then too.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sweet Little Ones

As a family that I only know through a wonderful friend of mine is saying good-bye today to their baby girl. I send a prayer that they will find peace in having known her and having been given a short time to love her.

We are also praying for the safe very early arrival of Angie, our PCAs baby. I just got the call a few minutes ago and will have to wait and see what happens. The events of today have come as a complete surprise as Angie had been doing well until now. Don`t worry Angie we will deal with the schedule.

These little ones give us a very real reminder just how precious life is. Prayers for both of them and those who love them are so appreciated.

Full Of Information

Paul who turned five a couple of weeks ago is just bursting at the seams with information.

Yesterday after lunch I had asked him if he would like to watch cartoons while I put some clean laundry away.

Paul "I want to watch Elmo"

Me "You can not watch Elmo because Sesame Street was on while you were at school and you missed it".

Paul " Elmo needs to wait for me".

This morning while waiting for the bus he told me that I should climb on the snow pile with him so I can get clean, hot knees. I decided I would not go along with that idea because I figured I would also get cold and wet knees in the process.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Great Warm Up

It is going to be nice around here for the next couple of weeks. That means temperatures above freezing so some of that snow we have been getting will melt. It also means that kids will be outside burning off a lot of energy. They will come in with wet everything from boots, socks, snow pants, mittens, and yes even little bodies. That means drying things out every day and washing those that are to muddy to wear the next day. All of that does not really bother me to much it just comes with enjoying winter. I do enjoy the kids who have had a good time playing, come in tired, hungry, and need to go to bed. They will all sleep well except for Hanna who never sleeps anyway.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Since Dad and Jared were running errands for work I had asked them to pick up four gallons of milk and two dozen breakfast croissants for Allen while they were at Sam`s Club. I had asked for breakfast croissants you know those things that have eggs and sausage on them, the ones you find in the frozen section, and can be popped into the microwave for two minutes.

As part of Allen`s school day he practices making his own breakfast when he gets to school. His favorite thing to make for breakfast is those croissants so I figured that I could send a couple dozen of them and he would be happy for weeks. Allen has been eating these things for breakfast almost everyday for years so everyone who lives here certainly knows what I was talking about.

When the guys got home they had the milk, well how can you mess up getting milk anyway. They also had two boxes of large croissants. Now why would I send them to get those when I have a baker in the house who could make them if I wanted them? Jared calls them a pain in the butt to make so we do not have them often. Needless to say these will not work for Allen to cook at school so I guess that we will be having turkey and cheese croissants for dinner tonight. I will have to make a salad to go with them and run and get what I really needed in the first place some other time.

Jared says that I need to be more specific when I send them to get things but if I write them a list they leave it lay on the counter anyway so what would be the point of doing that? Sorry Allen, no croissants for a couple of days.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

We Had A Stay At Home Weekend

Other then church stuff we pretty much stayed at home this weekend. Rene` and Karre baked two double batches of cookies. That was mainly because Rene` wanted to take some of them back to school with her.

All four of the girls got together and built a fort using the couch, love seat, chair, and lots of blankets for Paul. Jared found him a flashlight and he played in there for most of the afternoon. He even talked me into going in there and if he had not been jumping on me I might have even found it comfortable enough for a nap.

Karre and Lauren did their homework while I cleaned up the kitchen and the boys played WII. Rene` headed back to school a little bit ago. Trevor has already been gone for a couple of days because he had to get back early to teach a class for new RAs.

One last thing UND won both the hockey games against MSU this weekend. It was a pretty good weekend around here.

Friday, January 8, 2010


It`s only January 8th and we have another two hour late school day, that is how many now? They will go out the door, not soon enough though. Hanna just does not do this well at all.

I give up trying to get her together for the day on days like this. When she gets to school she acts like some sort of little angel, at least that is the impression I get from the adults there. Getting her to that angel state of being is just about wearing me out. If she comes looking like a mess, not wearing her underwear,(who on earth goes without underwear when wearing blue jeans( or socks, not having everything in her lunch box just blame it on the weather and move ahead anyway. That is my plan of action here.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Vacation In Photos

Paul was so excited about visiting with Mickey Mouse, but when he actually got to meet him he was being rather shy and at a loss for words. He and Dad went to visit Minnie Mouse at her house and they got to sit on the couch there. Paul has told me all about it several times already.

These are the balloons that just say "I need one please, mom" ?

Dad and Trevor standing in the middle of the street at Hollywood Studios taking in the millions of Christmas lights there.

Allen and Trevor visited with Pluto and posed for the camera.

Any princess would find this castle a wonderful place to call home.

Karre and Rene` found a tropical place to hang out together for awhile.

We had breakfast with these fun, full of energy characters before heading home. We had a really great vacation and it was hard to come back to the world of work and school. We can look forward to taking a break again some day.


We have a couple of very confused kids running around here. About five minutes to six this morning we got the automated message that school would be two hours hate. For Paul two hours late means no school so that is easy enough to handle because he can understand what no school means. Two hours late for Hanna is another thing all together. She has no clue how long two hours is so she is in a complete panic and rushing through the routine so she is not doing things at all or doing them wrong. She was finally settled down, well as much as a Hanna can settle down. and then, you guessed it, they called school off for the entire day. Now I have a kid on my hands who thinks that I call school off, control the weather, and to top it off can not find anything to do without someone directing her all of the time. It`s a good thing that Rene` is still home on winter break. She will keep the kid busy. At the moment they are taking toys downstairs and I am guessing she will have them cleaning up their mess down there.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

We Are Back

We are back from vacation. We had a really great time. Everyone enjoyed those precious drama free days. We had only one behavior issue the entire time we were on vacation. That was when Allen decided to kidnap Paul`s Mickey Mouse and ran off to play tag with it. The abduction of the mouse caused Paul to scream. The mouse was retrieved in less then two minutes and we were back to peace and quiet. We had such a good time that Dad commented on the drive home that I need to figure out how to do this again. I will see what I can do with that one. If Hanna loses her PCA hours then it is notgoing to happen as there is no one who would be crazy enough to put up with her without pay. I will post some photos when I have more time.

I spent yesterday dealing with a water heater that was not working, I can not do much laundry or dishes without hot water. The plumber was called and he said that he would be over in about half an hour. That half an hour turned out to be one and a half hours. Of course when they figured out the problem they did not have the part on the truck so they had to go back to the shop for it. I finally got things rolling around here by mid afternoon.

While I was waiting around for the plumber I started going through the phone messages, emails, and mail. In the mail there was a letter that informed us that Lauren`s communication device has finally been approved. There are a lot of dead trees out there with the mountain of paperwork that went into getting that one done. Lauren will be one happy kid when that thing finally gets here. Now there are only four more things to argue with those people about, but I got lots of sunshine and swimming time so now I am ready to get back to work.