Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Questions

Paul comes up with the cutest questions while he is chattering to me all day long.

This morning I was cleaning out the drawers in the kids bathroom, the ones that have hair ties, toothpaste, goo and grime all over them. I clean those drawers only when I can no longer tolerate them,not even for one more day. Paul comes and asks "Mom are you having fun"? Oh yeah you betcha I am I really dig this job and maybe I should do it every week because it is just so fun.

We were outside because I was hanging laundry on the line. Paul decides to sit in the basket, on top of the wet clothes, and he asks "why is the front door in the front and the back door in the back"? I guess I will have to ponder that one for awhile.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pizza In Your Face

I now clearly understand that there are teachers out there who just can not figure out how to handle it when a student with special needs is in there classroom. Is this ninety-seven pound, blue eyed, Blondie who wears purple braces on both her legs and her teeth and uses a purple wheelchair really that intimidating or what? Maybe it is the mother of that kid who is scary? I tend to be pretty straight forward with things like this.

All it would take is just a few communication skills here. The class is having an end of the year pizza feast. That is great, this kid can eat pizza just as well as most teenagers. Since I had expressed concerns about these activities not being communicated to me BEFORE they occur so that the kid is prepared to participate appropriately in the past, the teacher sends a note home today. Thanks for the note that is what I wanted and it is all I need to determine whether or not the event is going to work for the kid.

So what is your problem Mom? The problem is that in the note this teacher wants to pay for the kid`s pizza because some how the five bucks is an issue and if it is covered then she can participate. Is the cost going to be covered for any of the other students who do not have a disability, no? (I know this since I have a regular kid in the same class) This five bucks IS NOT THE ISSUE at all since this kid earns allowance just like everyone else does. She can afford the pizza I just NEED TO BE INFORMED of the event. I do not need her to be singled out as being special,different, or anything else, that happens enough without even trying just because of her issues. Can you imagine what a group of teenagers would think if their teacher was buying pizza for just one of them, I do not even want to go there.

What is so complicated about this? include when appropriate, make changes when needed, and communicate. This teenager wants to be just like everyone else nothing more or less. She wants to be included to the best of her ability. That becomes a challenge at times, but it can be done.

Maybe I had better go find some pizza to calm myself down.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Back To Work

I had a nice weekend with Trevor and Karre. I climbed a bazillion stairs to go on a water slide with them. That was an experience that sure gave me my exercise. We also walked around the Mall of America more then once. Now I am back to the real world.

Hanna only has five days of school left because she is ssssooooooo wound up and will not be able to handle the final two days of "fun". I have scheduled appointments that need to get done so she will be with me like it or not. Three months of that is a little more then I can handle all at once so we are gong to try to break things up with the help of a PCA. I hope she does not make the lady crazy. I think she can handle Hanna going bananas since she has worked with people who have dementia and are criminally insane.

I need to meet once again this afternoon, with Paul`s IEP team to continue to sort this duel diagnosis thing out and get some accommodations in place for kindergarten. This is all pretty simple stuff if only everyone would listen.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I guess an update is probably needed here as I have been out of touch with the computer lately. It has been very busy around here and I just have not taken the time to blog. There is some unbloggible stuff going on and then there is everything else as well.

Trevor turned 21 the last day I blogged. He was busy clearing out the dorm and being a Marshall at graduation that day so there was no time for getting wasted just because it was legal. He is not that sort of guy anyway.

Rene` and Trevor are home so we have been busy going through clothes, toys, and generally cleaning everything up around here. It is nice to get these things done when the kid who stashes things away is at school and the one who could never throw away a broken car is out of the way.

Trevor is getting things together to go to Washington DC as he is doing an internship at the Department of the Interior. He had to get a security clearance, oh yeah we have been there done that with Rene` and the Navy. They have a hard time figuring out how you get siblings who are all the same age, yet they have different birthdays, explain, explain.

The end of the school year craziness is in full swing with field trips and parties. The routine is over and Hanna has gone bananas. I have to get PCA schedules in order for the summer. I also need to find things for them to do because every minute of every day has to be scheduled or there will be trouble. I also need to get the paperwork to hire a PCA who can take on some of the Hanna duties.

It is Paul`s last day of preschool and he is so excited about getting to stay home with mom. I am not sure if I agree with him on this point. He is a happy, fun to be around kid who has so much to entertain with, but sometimes this mom just needs a break from the chatter, business, and impulsiveness.

I am going on a 2 day escape from mom duty to spend time with Trevor and Karre. We are going to have a blast, swimming, shopping, eating pizza, and relaxing.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

It Is Running Over

The landfill is full, in fact it is running over because it is so full.

It is full of families who are...
to large or to small
to white or to black
to experienced or not experienced enough
have two moms or two dads or only have one mom or dad
It is full of all of these families who are willing to wade through the swamp, walk through hell, and swim upstream through all of the craziness, horror, and down right nastiness that goes along with the adoption process.

It is full of thousands of kids who are...
have medical issues
come in sibling groups of two or ten
have ADHD, ADD, FAS, TBI, OCD,ODD, or any of the other alphabet soup that is out there
have experienced the trauma and abuse of their birth families
they are angry, hurt, feel worthless, trust no one, and have given up on those who are supposed to be out their to help and protect them

The landfill is full of families and kids who have been thrown in the garbage. These families and kids are treasures buried in a huge pile of rubbish.

The landfill in running over here. The system is broken, it needs to be thrown in this landfill and a new one needs to be built. When creating a new system consider this, families and kids are all unique, they are people who have feelings, wants and needs, they get hurt and frustrated, and both the families and the kids need on going support to deal with adoption and what it brings with it through out life because adoption is a part of the families and kids for life.

The landfill is full and it has been watered with many tears. Now the sun is out and some vegetables need to be planted.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Time Out

Why is it that there has to be a day for everything, Jersey day, PJ day, hula day, and this day and that day and on and on and on?

My kid does not understand this stuff and it REALLY gets her behavior out of line. Today is Jersey day and even though she did not even know what a jersey was and she does not have one, her dad was being mean when he told her to just go put on a t-shirt and go to school. We have worked so hard at keeping things calm, structured, very concrete,and routine. It works wonders in dealing with the behavior issues. Today we have none of that. Dad has gone to work and I am left with the kid. I have an IEP meeting shortly so will have to get a PCA to come and deal with her. If the one who can sometimes work in the morning is not able to come then I will have to reschedule the meeting, AAAAARRRRRRGGGHHH!

Well it seems that the end of the school year is coming so they have to overload on field trips and special days. That leads to a lot of very awful behavior.

Hanna was upset because no one had informed me about the stupid hat day thing so she took her anger out on me when she got home. I had to ask her why she didn`t just get angry with the person she was really upset with and leave me out of this.

Hanna`s reply "If I get mad at school and throw things and scream then I have to take a time out".

Let me get this straight taking a time out at school is worse then losing all privileges as home and getting sent to bed early because you are not able to calm down . That is just about as bizarre as it gets. I would be silently cheering her on if she could actually direct her anger at the appropriate person because that would be progress in the right direction here. Take a time out girl!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hat Day

They do this crap just to make crazy moms even crazier. Hanna is telling me that it is hat day at school. Well it may be hat day, but there is nothing written in your communication notebook that tells me that you are telling the truth so guess what you are not taking a hat to school. That is the way we have to operate when we have been taken advantage of one thousand times to many.

The kid goes to school and puts on the very sad act because her mean mom will not let her participate in hat day. I get the phone call before the bell has rung with that sob story. Is the kid really upset because she does not get to wear a hat is school today? I don`t think so more then half the kids there are not wearing hats and they all seem to be fine with it. She has found one more thing to manipulate school personal with. Oh I know how mean I am. I also can say that if you were a kid we could trust then we would not be playing these little games all the time and by the way how is it that you can remember stupid stuff like it is hat day yet you can NEVER remember to put deodorant on? I just get tired of being the crazy mom who does not care about this kid, the one who never lets her do anything she wants to do. Do not try to manipulate and life would be more fun for everyone.

Hats off to the school personal who can not figure out what she is doing here. You are making my life so much fun. I can hardly wait for the next exciting adventure in crazy land.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


We talk around here, a lot. The breakfast table, after school, the dinner table, and every where in between all day long. Being able to communicate is a huge part of what makes this family tick. Some of our kids have a difficult time with this, Hanna being number one, at the top of the list. She is the poorest communicator here. She does not like to share her thoughts and feelings at all. She tells you things that she thinks you want to hear just to please you. That is not how it works here. Everyone is entitled to his or her own thoughts, likes, and dislikes. At any order to get her to participate we tell her that she has to ask someone at least one question at the dinner table each evening before she is allowed to be excused.

Every time she asks the same thing "how is your day doing today"?

Since everyone is getting pretty tired of that one we told her that she needed to come up with something new.

She says "Dad how is your sweatshirt doing today"?

Like what kind of a question is that? Now everyone around here is asking one another how their sweatshirts are doing. As long as it stays cool and the sweatshirts are out I guess that will be the talk. When it warms up we will likely be back to "how is your day doing today"?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Just Like Every Other Day

Mothers Day was just like every other day.

There was still the kid that needs constant supervision in order to keep the behavior stable.

The wet bedding had to be washed because of course the bed wetter had no idea it was a holiday and he was supposed to give the laundry lady a break.

There was the kid who needs supervision and occasional assistance with homework who chose not to do it until ten minutes before bedtime on Mothers Day.

There were the four kids who needed to be directed in what they were doing all day long because they can not figure out what to do with any unstructured time.

They gave me a teapot filled with yellow roses and daisies and they made pizza for dinner. Thanks to Karre for pulling the troops together. That is all I needed. I appreciate it when this is what our day is all about. It is so much better then the drama that many days of the year are filled with. There is a sign I read a while ago that I really liked it said "There is nothing normal in this house except for the setting on the dryer". There would be few surprises, little excitement, and nothing to work towards if ones family were "normal".

Saturday, May 8, 2010

It Is All About Love

It is the crawling all over you, kissing, and hugging "I wove you" kind of love Paul shares with me.

The "hi Mom what`s up" with the pick you off the ground hugs Jared comes with.

The "hi Mom ..."chat on the phone for an hour or more, just because we are best friends from Rene` We share everything in those conversations and we always end by saying I love you to one another.

It is the phone calls I get every Tuesday and Thursday at about 2:30 in the afternoon from Trevor just checking in to fill you in on college life and very often ask for advice on something or other that I look forward to.

It is the easy conversation Karre and I share at the breakfast table every morning before she runs out the door to the life of a teenager.

It is the playing with my hair, and repeating over and over again "good Mom, good Mom" Allen chants.

It is sharing time with Lauren because she always wants to help just so she can be by my side. Sometimes she shares in words her love, but you can just tell because she wants me there and she will come looking for me.

Hanna, well you do not yet know how to show me that you love me or even care, or want me to be your mom, and that is okay for now you are still my little girl no matter how hard you try to push me away. I have hope for you and I pray that some day you will figure it out. I do not know when that will happen, some days I wish it would be right now but I understand that great things sometimes take time so I will wait for however long it takes you to figure it out and while I wait I LOVE YOU because I am your Mom.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sneakers +Tape = Trouble

Paul insists on taking the laces out of his shoes in order to get them undone. Eventually the little plastic thingy that makes it possible to restring the laces comes off. Well that is exactly what has happened to his shoe laces. I was trying to string the frayed ends of the string through that impossible little hole and it was not working so the resourceful mom gets the Scotch tape out and wraps a tiny piece of it around the end of the shoe lace. As I am doing this Paul is going completely bonkers.

"Stop you are hurting my shoe"!

Stop that is going to hurt, hurt, hurt my feet"!


I have no idea where he came up with all of this just because I was using a piece of tape in order to relace his shoe. Sometimes FAS/TBI brains just crack me up. Everyone else here thought he was losing his feet or something. You gotta laugh.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Just A Little Drama

There is just a little bit of drama going on around here this week, not the all out crazy stuff.

Lauren`s communication device blew up, the computer went nuts the other day. It happened during a therapy session, which I am thankful for. The tech guy was right there when it happened so it sure wasn`t anything we did. There is a warranty on the device so I do not have to figure out who is going to pay to replace or repair it. The technology is helpful but at the same time it causes issues that we would not otherwise be dealing with. It is always a balancing act trying to figure out whether or not to use what is out there. We will get this thing fixed for her sooner or later.

It was a trip to the OR for Lauren yesterday to do some work on her legs, yeah those things are always in need of some sort of repair. She has been through this sssssoooooo many times that she is a pro and gets it done without much drama. She got a purple (her favorite color) blanket with teddy bears on it so she was happy about that. Mom on the other hand gets to spend lots of time sitting there and that is when I struggle with the physical abuse that she endured in her birth family. It was just so senseless and has left such a huge impact on her life that at these times I still have trouble with its reality. How anyone could do those things to their baby is beyond comprehension for my brain. Then we get whatever it is we are getting done, done and we move on. Life is to short to spend it getting upset about the stupid things others have done.

Today the only place I have to go is to get my haircut. I will try to catch up on things around home and I should even have time to put something in the crock pot for dinner.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It Gets Crazier Every Day

I do not know if I can handle much more of this stuff.

We have less then half the PCA hours we had last year.

Summer school is out.

Wheelchairs no longer get repaired.

There is no more therapy.

They give us 8 hours a month (yeah it was 4 and I went nuts so they gave me 8) and think they are doing a great service and the kicker here is that they are calling these 8 hours a month of respite a rehabilitation service. How is respite care rehabilitating my kid???

and now...they are trying to make it impossible to get paid for the hundreds of miles that I put on my van every month to get kids to medical appointments.

What will be next??? I do not work so that I can take care of these kids, our older kids have NO college fund, we have very little saved to retire on, and we ALWAYS have bills that are a direct result of the special needs the kids have. AAARRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!

Keep It Simple

For the first quarter of 2010 we have been making changes to make it possible to live with our most challenging kid.

We have stripped her room to the bare minimum so there is little for entertainment when she can not sleep which is often and it leaves fewer things to be used as weapons when she goes bonkers.

We have uped both her day and night time meds in order to enable her to sleep four to five nights a week which is far better then zero that we had before.

She is not allowed to go ANYWHERE without mom, dad, a PCA, or responsible older sibling to accompany her.

Her choices are limited to no more then two at all times.

Activities in the community are VERY limited and they only include very low key events. There are no events for her in the evenings.

While all of this has kept the tantrums, screaming, violence, and chaos better under control it is very exhausting to live like this for the rest of us. We have to schedule EVERYTHING. We have to make sure plans are in place to keep track of this kid at all times. It is also quite sad when you think about it. Hanna is twelve, an age where having fun, doing things with friends, and gaining some independence would bring about satisfaction and a feeling of wonder in growing up. She can not have any of that because she just can not handle it at all. In order for her to function at her best everything needs to be kept very simple, there is just no getting around it. What we have in place for her does work better then anything else we have tried so we will keep at it. To keep it simple is far better then the chaos of not doing so.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Do Not Do That

What ever it is that I ask or in many situations order Hanna to do she will try as hard as she can to do just the opposite of that. I know some of that is just being an almost thirteen year old. All kids at this age try in some way to push the envelope with the rules parents have, but this kid goes far beyond that all the time.

She has a yellow t-shirt and I tell her that she looks nice in it so she goes and changes to something else.

I say why don`t you finish those Cheerios off (there is about one serving left and I know she like them) so what does she do, she goes and opens a new box of cereal. Now I have five open boxes of cereal in the cabinet and I am sure she will not eat those Cheerios.

I say it is going to be pretty cool outside so you might want to wear jeans so what does she come in, a pair of shorts.

I told her that she was doing a good job matching those socks so now she claims that she does not know how to match socks.

The kid just figures that if she does ANYTHING that pleases me then she has to accept me as her mom and she is going to do everything she can to make sure that does not happen. I can play this game just as well as she can, maybe even better since I am a little bit more intelligent the she is. It does make me a bit crazy though to be positive and then have someone who turns that positive into a negative every time. Sometimes I just say to her "do not do that because I want you to" and then she looks at me as if I am an alien who has just landed on planet earth.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sweet Memories

I got photos of 3/4 of the H,I,I, K girls. The four of them have been friends for a very long time and they do everything together. They are all juniors so they helped to decorate for the Prom, An Evening In The Orient. They enjoyed dressing up. One of them had to be talked into going but once the rest of the group got her moving she had a great time. The wind was blowing 40 to 50 miles an hour (there was a wind advisory) so getting this pictures outside was a bit of a issue. They partied at the Prom and then went to the after Prom party, which is a alcohol free event put on by the community, and stayed out until 4;00 am. They then came to our house to sleep. That was shortly before the morning crowd here started getting up. All of these girls know our routine well so they were well aware that it would not be quiet here. They slept until about 11:00 am some how. It was loud even though Dad and I were trying to keep the noise down.

The H,I,J, K girls have memories to last forever. Enjoy every minute of being seventeen, it is a sweet, carefree, time in life that is over all to soon.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Oh Boy

It is just Dad and I home with the four youngest kids. It is just as loud as always. Jared has gone to spend some time with the girl friend. Karre and her friends were here for several hours putting on their make-up and getting dressed for Prom but they have gone on their way now. I am heading over to the high school (with no kids in tow) to watch the grand march as soon as they are all readied for bed so Dad just has to get them in their rooms later.

Paul is trying to walk around with Karre`s flip-flops on. He really likes to wear her Mickey Mouse flip-flops and does it all the time. He is having lots of difficulty with those things though because he is trying to wear them over his feety PJ`s. Trying to explain to the boy that it is not going to work is not making the least little dent in his thinking. He is going to get those flip-flops on one way or another. I just hope he does not fall down and hurt himself in the process.

Flushed Away

We had to flush away more then $200.00 to have a real plumber come in and fix our toilets.

We have four toilets in this house two of them were working so so, and two were not working at all. Jared and Dad had taken them all apart to try and figure out what was clogging them up and they could find not a thing. After putting them back together and having them work no better then they had been before starting the project, we decided it was time to call the plumber. They cam with the heavy duty gear. They fished around, had to take some pipe apart and pretty soon things started flying out socks, 3 of them, a wash cloth, doll clothes, crayons, the back to the remote control, etc.

We did not bother confronting anyone about the situation because before we could even get that far the guilty party, namely the kid who implicates herself with her standard phrases "I didn`t do it, and I do not know what you are talking about" had convicted herself.

Hanna, 12 year old kids do not do this kind of stuff!!

For everyone out there who thinks we have gotten wealthy with the subsidies that we receive from adopting special needs kids, I`ll let you in on a little secret, we spend that wealth on plumbers. Yes this kid will do this again so we will be flushing more money down the toilet.