Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Detour And No Meds

It got to be a long day yesterday. There is one way out of town go west, that is it. Everything else is closed down doe to the flooding. Minnesota Ave. which is also known as main drag here looks pretty well deserted, you can even park along there without the fear of being hit by a semi truck.

Anyway Dad and Jared gave us directions and we followed them precisely, however when we got to the place where they had said it would be safe to cross the Minnesota river that bridge had just been closed, AURGH! We had to drive another 40 miles before we could get back on tr4ck. All of this extra driving made it impossible to take time to stop and eat. None of us had eaten since breakfast.

We got the girls to the orthodontist where they got the hardware in their mouths rearranged a bit. For Lauren it was a fairly short appointment, but of course Hanna had to have everything redone. Her mouth looks a lot better since her surgery two weeks ago so that makes the work worth doing.

We then went to a sit down place and had a nice dinner. That went well except that Hanna`s meds had long since worked their way out of her system so she was beginning to lose it. Putting food in front of her face calmed her down at least for a bit.

The drive home was not fun. Hanna was being loud, VERY LOUD. I did not think to bring her meds along so we were going to be in for a ride. Everything was like riding on a roller coaster, every bump, curve in the road, taking corners got her to yelling, Karre was not driving crazy or anything, but Hanna was just losing it altogether. By the time we got home at 8:45 pm, nearly three hours past the time when Hanna usually takes her meds, I had had enough of her so I told her to forget about doing homework and go to bed. That idea did not go over well with her at all because she thought she was going to get in trouble at school for not doing her homework. I explained that I would write a note and things would be okay.

I get to make the same trip again today, but this time I only have to take Lauren so it will be a breeze. She is quiet in the car and from time to time she even falls asleep. I also know the detour route that is going to work so that will cut about 40 minutes off the trip. We will make it home for a late dinner, oh yeah I have confidence that we will. This flooding is ridiculous, it is September here and we do not do this in September. Spring time would get very interesting at the rate things are going right now.l

Monday, September 27, 2010


I am steamed, okay if I were a tea kettle I would just about be boiling over right now. Why is it that teachers have to put a happy, smiley face on EVERYTHING? Okay that is not all teachers, because I work with one who is able to tell it like it is, but 99% of them just have to tell me that my kid had a great day every day and how is this that a kid who is impulsive, hyper, has sensory issues and an attention span of about two minutes on a good day is sssssooooo perfect all day long? I guarantee that if you REALLY follow this kid and document the day accurately everything would not come out quite so perfect. I know this kid has behaviors and issues that are neither age appropriate nor school acceptable.

I need to know the positive, the negative, and everything in between. I need this information in order to make adjustments in medication, meeting sensory needs, and making transitions. These are all issues we are dealing with on a daily basis.

Kids are kids, I have eight of them and not a one of them is perfect. I do not find it offensive to hear that my kid is not perfect, as a matter of fact I want to know what is going on so I can help them to learn from their behaviors. Lets get it straight not everyone is going to be performing above average, not everyone is able to sit quietly and follow directions all day long, and not everyone loves being a student. That does not mean these kids should not be educated, they should be, but it does mean that sometimes we need to think outside the norm to make it work for them.

Done with the rant, now I have to communicate this so that maybe, just maybe, (I can hope can`t I) some teachers will find it possible to get real.

Here Comes The Water

It is flooding here, thanks to the ten inches or so of rain we had last week. Both of the bridges over the Minnesota River are closed. That leads to some major traffic headaches to deal with.

The school alerted us, ( setting off three cell phones, the house phone, and two e-mail addresses at one time), that buses will be running forty minutes early until the bridges are open again. The driver of the special education bus left us a message that their bus would pick them up twenty minutes early. This leads me to believe that these kids are going to be late to school unless this guy has some secret formula or magic powers which will get his bus around the river faster then everyone else. At any rate they are going to get a long ride. None of my kids who ride this bus have trouble riding so since this will keep them more in their routine we will do this instead of transporting them to school.

I have to figure out how much driving we are going to have to do on Tuesday since both Lauren and Hanna have orthodontist appointments in the metro area and the high way heading from here to there is closed too.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Home Alone

This morning being home alone is so nice. I can listen to whatever music I want to, clean things up in a hurry, go ride bike, and I will have time to bake. I figure the lunch boxes could use some cookies next week.

We go about ten inches of rain, way to much. I am used to seeing sand bags around town every spring, but it is a bit strange to see them out there in September. We live at the top of the valley but much of our town is having flooding issues. It has stopped raining at least for now. We now have a wind advisory. We can`t say that we have boring weather around here since it is always changing.

Next week Lauren and Hanna have medical appointments, yippee, I don`t have to go to the court house at all for jury duty, a bigger yippee, and the biggest yippee of all is I get to go to a mom`s retreat for the weekend! I will use my at home alone time next week making a few meals for Dad and the kids to have while I am gone.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Talken Baseball

Jared and I were having a brief chat about our fabulous Minnesota Twins when Paul had to get his two cents in as well. We have the baseball game on the radio in Paul`s room almost every night because the noise calms him enough to get him to sleep. I don`t know what we will put on when the season ends.

At any rate Jared had said something about the Twins playing very well on the road. Paul chimed in " that`s naughty to play ball on the road".

We went on to discuss the fact that they were playing at home for a few days. Paul says "it`s naughty to play ball in our home too, they should play at the park".

He is just such a concrete thinker. Where ever they are playing way to go Twins!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Revenge Hanna Style

Yesterday Hanna`s behavior chart from school showed that she had left a mess in the bathroom sink. (Hanna is not exactly a neat freak when it comes to brushing her teeth). One of the boys had reported to the teacher that she had left the mess there. Now Hanna is angry with the kid because as she puts it "he is a tattle tale".

Well I suspect that he nor anyone else wanted to take responsibility for a mess Hanna had made so he told. I do agree that he did tattle, but there are times when it is appropriate to tell and then there are those times when one should not be doing so. The trouble is Hanna does not understand the difference and trying to explain it is getting absolutely no where with her.

She is just plain mad at the kid so I had to send a note to school today to warn them to be on the lookout for revenge Hanna style. She told us several times that she will get him back on Tuesday. (every day in Hanna`s world is Tuesday). I just hope she does not do anything to stupid.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fall Weekend

Paul plopped down to try out the apples. He thought that he should have a bite or two out of several of them, but we set the limit at just one.
Hey boy, stop!! Paul kept running off with the wagon instead of waiting for the apple pickers to fill it up.
This Oscar the Grouch got Paul`s attention. He did not care at all what is said, he just liked the grouch.

We went to pick raspberries, strawberries, and apples. I froze berries and Jared made apple pies to put in the freezer for the long winter ahead. The kids enjoy going to pick apples and they get so excited that they fill up the basket in a hurry. Jared and I picked the raspberries because they require a whole lot more patience then the younger four have.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hello Kitty

A Hello Kitty (imagine how inappropriate that comes out with a severe speech impairment) coloring book, a bin of markers, and a bucket of crayons is what I gave Hanna this morning. I don`t care if she colors the entire book (and she will) as long as it keeps her calm. She is supposed to keep calm and quiet today as per doctors orders. Those orders are REALLY difficult to follow for Hanna. Her FASD brain keeps her on the move all the time and she can not stick to anything for very long unless she is obsessing with it, which she does with coloring.

We were up three times during the night cleaning up the drool from her mouth and changing the towel I had put on her pillow in an attempt to keep her bed clean. I have sheets to wash today. Her face looks even more swollen today then it did yesterday. I was informed that this would certainly be the situation and they said this is the day with the most pain. I might have to look for something else for her to obsess with later on.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Finally Quiet

It has been a very long day Hanna was up at 4:00 am. I tried to get her to lay down with me and and Thor (the cat at Jared`s) but she could not calm down. Since she was not being allowed to eat or drink anything I knew being up so early was going to make things difficult. I got her to watch cartoons and then I made her take a very long bath before going for a long walk and then heading over to the hospital. Things did not get any calmer there. she complained, paced, sat in a chair and spun herself, and rocked in the rocking chair until surgery time.

Surgery was expected to take about an hour, however it was just over two hours before they were finished, then we had tears, an IV to deal with, and a kid with a very swollen face.

We are home now and she has lots of meds on board so is pretty out of it. I am going to put her to bed and go there myself since I have this feeling that it is going to be a very long night. Hopefully some of the swelling goes down tomorrow and then we get to work on cleaning her mouth while it heals.

Even with all of the swelling the appearance of her mouth and teeth is definitely much improved. It is quiet now except for Paul`s chatter so I will enjoy it while it lasts.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We Are Off

Hanna and I are spending the night at Jared`s "grand Mansion" since it is only about thirty minutes away from the hospital instead of an hour and a half. We need to be at the the hospital bright and early in the morning for Hanna`s first surgery on her mouth. I am really ready to get this over with. I can not give this kid her morning meds so until they get her into the operating room I get to deal with anxiety gone crazy, impulsiveness, hyperness, and attachment disorder all rolled into one, along with all the kicking, screaming, biting, hitting, and swearing that go along with taking her to any medical appointment.

I am ready, lets just do this so I can relax!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


It is Saturday and we survived the first week of school. Lauren earned herself some trouble by not telling the truth and Hanna earned some trouble at home being a tattle tale. Allen did fine and Paul lost it every day after school. He had worked very hard and kept his behavior under raps but when he got home he could not control things any longer. He is going to need more sensory time throughout the day so now I have to explain all of that once again. I have been there done that many times already.

This afternoon we are attending a wedding and then I need to get groceries. Hanna has already thrown a fit because we do not have any milk. She does not like to drink juice and apparently she is going through milk withdrawal. Trying to get the kid who drinks milk at every meal, even at a restaurant to take a break for a whole day is a lot of work. It is rather strange because all seven of the other kids would drink apple juice or orange juice before milk if given the opportunity to do so.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Big Kid Now

Paul started kindergarten today, so he is officially a big kid now. According to school staff he had a great day. He has lost it altogether since coming home. I will be recording this to show them in the very near future as I expect that this will be the situation on a regular basis. He is just so darn cute that I would like to hug him to pieces, but right now I think that I had better give him some space.

Where Have All The Flowers Gone

That song Where Have All The Flowers Gone, the one sung by Peter, Paul, and Mary pops into my head now and again. Just knowing that song makes me really old according to my kids. It is a war protest song from long ago but when I hear it it makes me think of something which causes just as much anger, sadness, fear, and grief as any war would, that is FASD.

Fighting FASD is like fighting a war, in that the battle is long and difficult. Many babies are born with the affects of the alcohol their mothers consumed. These babies will live all of their lives with the impairments known as FASD. They are Innocent victims just as many are victims of war.

Their families will carry on while dealing with the mental health issues, anger, and frustration their loved ones are living with.

Everyone else continues on seemingly unaffected by all of this, however they to live with damage caused by those affected with FASD. Everyone pays to house, feed, and clothes those who are incarcerated. Everyone pays for residential treatment centers, mental health facilities, and education. There is a tremendous amount of potential lost.

All of this for what? It is absolutely crazy when we consider all the harm caused by behavior which is socially accepted. For those of us who know all to well the hurt that FASD causes the war continues to stop potential moms from consuming alcohol. The one line from this song that keeps rambling around in my brain is this simple question.

"When will they ever learn? Oh, when will they ever learn"?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Summer To Fall

We finished off summer over the weekend with a last trip to take a swim, or for most of the group to play in the sand. Paul did not want to leave even though he was so cold he was turning purple. He really enjoys playing in the sand with the trucks. We grilled some burgers and had fresh fruit and vegetables.

Now this morning four of the five kids have headed out the door to start a new school year. Paul will start in a couple of days. Once he gets going I will be able to get some sort of routine going around here for myself.

It was a very, very long summer here. I was not able to let kids do as many things as I usually do simply because I did not have the hours to use my staff to do it. Lauren has the same hours for which we are very great full, paul`s were cut a bit so those two were able to have the regular routine going for summer. Hanna and Allen`s hours have been cut dramatically therefore I could not let them do things that they usually do. They need direct one on one supervision and support in order to participate in any activities either in the home or out in the community. One example of this is that the kids usually do horseback riding, but we were only able to go one time and could not go again because it takes three people to supervise and support the kids in this activity. Karre and I tried to do it alone but it just did not work and we will not do it again that way. This activity requires lifting kids, dealling with sensory issues, impulsive behavior, and being able to take turns. They have both riding the horses and wagon rides. Hanna and Paul could not understand why they had to wait for us while Lauren and Allen had turns at riding the horses. They thought they could go on the wagon ride without us and when told that they could not of course Hanna just impulsively took off so that left me with three of them while Karre retrieved her and of course she was mad so we ended up leaving so then we got to drive home with three of the four pitching a fit, oh and that is so much fun. Hanna refusing to wear her seat belt and Allen yelling at her to put it on, and the rest is chaos.

Now that the kids are back in school I will be working to get their PCA hours back if I can as well as the continued issues that I am working at to get their medical benefits issues taken care of. The task of dealing with the system goes on and on no matter what season of the year it is.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Rene`s Day

Today is Rene`s birthday and she is celebrating it going to class.. Happy birthday today anyway!

When Rene` came into the world twenty-five years ago today I never dreamed that we would have at least one infant, toddler, or preschooler in our home for all of those years. Well we have done just that with adopted kids, birth kids, and foster kids (there have been 42 in all).

I have fed, rocked, bathed, cuddled and changed diapers of babies who had blue, brown, and green eyes to gaze into.

I have gone through the "no" phase, danced, and sung with toddlers who had dark brown, olive, and fair skin.

I have watched Sesame Street, Dora, and Mickey Mouse, made play dough,built forts and castles, played dress up, played with baby dolls and trucks, read books and colored, answered "why" questions with preschoolers who had black brown, blonde, and red hair.

We have gone through to many strollers to count and two wagons taking kids to the park, play ground, and pool. These kids have worn out or grown out of mountains of clothes. They have lost socks and mittens. I still find them in the couch or under the seat in the van when I am cleaning.

It is a lot of work to be a mom to all of these kids. There have been times of frustration and I have dealt with many a crisis, but I have enjoyed doing it and I hope that I have given them a good start, I have certainly given it my all. Now our baby boy will go off to school all day with the rest of the big kids so I will be retiring from being a mom with kids at home. It will be something new for me and I am looking forward to moving on, yet I am pretty sure it will take a bit of time to get used to doing things without toys to trip over, someone needing something,and kids by my side all day.