Sunday, October 31, 2010


Here is our cute buddy Andrew in his spider costume. He came to our house to collect some Cheerios for a treat.
This is Paul in his hot dog costume. He did the hot dog dance for us too.

I would pretty much rather not do the trick or treat thing any more, but I have a five year old running around here and he needs to do all of the fun stuff that the other kids did when they were little too. We had the Coffee family over for tacos. I told Jared that we needed some desert so he baked three pies for us. The older kids took the younger kids out to get the loot and we even older kids just sat around and talked. It was a nice evening. There were no kids losing it and they all held it together until bedtime.

The college kids are here showing off their pumpkin carving skills. We have a future dentist (Kathryn), a communications, French, international relations guy (Trevor), an occupational therapist (Rene`), and a medical doctor (Lisa). There is a lot of studying going on with this crowd, but it is nice that they also take time to have some fun as well. They insisted that I put this on my blog, so here you are UND seniors!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

3:00 AM

The day started at 3:00 am around here. Hanna had climbed to the top closet shelf (I need a stool to reach up there and she is a lot shorter then me) got down a green bin which I had put summer clothes in, dumped them on the floor, turned the bin upside down on the bed, and was dancing on it. All of a sudden there was a very loud THUD, that was Hanna falling off her dance floor. All of this racket got Jared yelling "geez Hanna go to bed", the dog barking, and then we got a visitor in our room since Paul is up at the sound of a pin dropping.

Well Hanna was not done dancing and singing and Paul was not going back to sleep so I got up and went downstairs to start the day. I figured that if I took the noisy people with me then at least some of us could get a few more hours sleep.

Dad wants Hanna and Lauren to switch rooms to see if that cuts down on the racket. I don`t think it is going to help but we will give it a try. There are two good things about doing this, first the lights in Lauren`s room can be turned off so that she can not be playing with them all night and this room is in the back corner so it is further away from everyone else. I do not think it will do much good since Hanna is so loud, If it does by some miracle work then we have a job on our hands to make it permanent.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Line In The Sand

I am trying to figure out why there has to be a crisis and complete chaos before you can actually get the services a kid needs to function? I do not do well operating in crisis mode at all times. I would rather prevent any crisis from happening in the first place. Now I know there are time of crisis because that is part of life, but not everything has to reach that state of breakdown does it?

We as a family had talked over a couple of months about what it is that we need in order for our family to function in a healthy manner. We then put this information in writing and presented to Hanna`s worker. Guess what she FINALLY got the idea that we were serious about changes needing to be made and we were very clear in the fact that we can not continue to live in crisis mode any longer. This meant that changes needed to be made NOW or there was going to be a need for plan B which as a family we had decided was not good at all, but it would allow the nine of us who are attached to one another to live without the constant chaos that we endure on a daily basis now.

The plan is not perfect, but it is very doable. I am pretty sure that there will be a need for drawing the line in the sand many more times in the coming years. Now we know what we are doing and will be able to go into it with a bit less stress. Raising kids with disabilities is no picnic at the beach.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Case Closed

One of our bigger stresses around here is over and it has taken 24 hours for that to finally sink in. Wow I sit here and I hardly believe it, so yeah here is the scoop. We needed the court to give an order for medical treatment for our daughter. This is a long, okay very, very long process (2 1/2 years) and you do not want to go here unless it is the last option and you really, really feel that it is in the best interest of your kid.

There are mountains of paperwork that have to be completed.
Appointments with MANY medical people that have to be kept.
You have a kid that is less then cooperating.
It takes lots of time.
It costs lots of $$$$.
You have to have lawyers and guardians in your lives.
These are just a few of the many things that are involved in the process that we had to go through to finally get this done.

Anyway yesterday we finally went to court to get this piece of paper, it is just a piece of paper for heavens sake, but it means the world to me because now we can get the medical care we have been seeking for this kid and she can get on with living her life with one huge issue that she will not have to deal with..

I took Hanna with me because her lawyer said she had to be there, even though our lawyer, the guardian, and I all had hoped that we would not have to drag her along since she has no clue what we are talking about. Well Hanna did her thing, she stood up, sat down, stood up, took her shoe off, put it on again, undressed her Groovy Guy ( I allow her to bring one when she has to go some place or do something that she does not want to do) and then she started putting Groovy Guy down her shirt as my lawyer was speaking to the judge so I quietly retrieved and took Groovy Guy and his clothes over to sit with me before she could do anything else inappropriate with him.

Anyway the 2 lawyers, and the guardian were all on the same page and coming to the same resolution to the issue so I did not have to say a thing. The judge agreed with all of the rest of us, maybe Hanna being Hanna helped the cause, I don`t know but I got what I wanted out of the hearing.

Then the judge came out from behind the bench and gave Hanna a green Tye-dyed bear that had been sitting there holding a bag of green Life savers. What that judge said next was what finally sent me into tears. "Hanna you are a sweet girl just like this teddy bear and treats. you have a family who cares very much about you and they love you just the way you are. They would do anything for you. I hope that some day you can understand that.

Anyway we have the paper, case closed. Now we move on to the next stop on this journey, surgery.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Blog About Nothing

There is a lot going on around here, there always is but almost all of what is going on here lately and for the next few days is unbloggible. It will certainly be material to blog about after the fact. That is because I think other families can learn from the craziness that we are living right now. Things are a little stressful, okay a LOT stressful so we are taking things one at a time in the order that they come up and dealing with it that way.

It does not help matters that the kids do not have school until next week either. I can deal with all of this other stuff in a more organized, calm, clear headed manner if I am not getting interrupted every other minute by kids who have absolutely no clue how to give me a break just for a little while. They do not understand any of this stuff and how it impacts all of them long term. There is no explaining it either so I just deal with them and their little issues and then move on to the more important things.

Our ship will be sailing in calm waters once the storm passes. I keep telling myself that all day long.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wake Up Wednesday

It is as Paul says "wake up Wednesday". Yeah I have to get going as things are getting a bit crazy here.

Karre and Allen have dentist appointments this morning. Before we leave I have to get the clothes on the line. This might be the last day I will be able to hang them outside so I want to get as much of that done as I can.

I have to box up Lauren`s communication device to send it back for repairs. I don`t know about this thing, it seems we spend a lot of time with breakdowns. They have put her material on a computer at school so she can keep doing her work.

It is also early release day so the kids will be home from school shorty after lunch time and then I will get nothing done until Angie and Karre take over and watch a couple of them.

Some time today I need to figure out something for dinner, get a few groceries, fill out two forms that need to be done, and clean up the cereal Paul spilled all over the dinning room. Wake up Mom and get a move on it!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Work Fast

I have to work fast and get everything done early this week since the kids only have school for two and a half days. It is still nice outside so hopefully we can do something at the park when they are out of school.

We celebrated the nephews ninth birthday over the weekend. Paul had a great time playing with his cousin Nicole. they built a bus out of folding chairs and blankets. They gave all of her dolls and stuffed animals rides on the bus. It sure is nice to see that he can play with some one else. He does best when there is just one other child and that child has the ability to direct the play. He thinks the world of Nicole and I hope that lasts for a long time. She is a really sweet little girl.

Now I have to decide, should I clean the floor or let it go for the week, knowing that the kids are going to be home to make a mess of it anyway? I can find more interesting things to do with my time, that's for sure.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Good Havernoon

I got a call from Paul`s school yesterday telling me that he is poking his friends in line and being disruptive, no kidding, they are finally figuring this out! Paul did quite well in the preschool setting where there are three adults and eight kids in the class. He can handle this, but now he is in a regular kindergarten class and he is not able to cope. I had requested a new IEP last spring and we had agreed that he needed to be re-evaluated since much has changed with him. That evaluation has not even been started yet. I need a functioning IEP in place as soon as possible so now I work with people who are going to drag this out as long as possible. Why is it that as a parent of a kid with disabilities you have to go completely nuts before things get done? I do not know what kind of reinforcements I am going to have to call in to get this done right, but I will do whatever it takes to get it done now.

I told Paul that his teacher called and he said "did you tell her good havernoon"?

He missed the point that she was trying to make. She is trying to tell him that I will not be happy if she calls me. I do not care one way or another if she calls me. It is not going to change his behavior because he can not think things out like that and then follow through.

After I got done dealing with Paul I had to take Hanna to the clinic for two shots. She ran ahead and though she was going to hide out in the bathroom so she would not have to get the shots. We decided that rather that fight with her kicking and screaming she was getting her shots in the bathroom. Now this is a bit out of the ordinary , but it takes three clinic staff to deal with this every time. I can not tell her ahead of time what we are doing and bribe her because I have already experienced her trying to get out of the car while we are driving and I do not want to do that again. Hanna my girl, you cause me to shake my head is amazement at the things you will do.

I don`t know if it was a good havernoon, but I can say that it sure was full of drama.

Monday, October 11, 2010


We went to get pumpkins over the weekend. It was really warm out there. I don`t recall the last time we did this and could let the kids wear shorts, maybe never. Paul checked lots and lots of pumpkins out, but in the end he decided that he wanted one that he could carry all by himself, which is fine because that means there will be fewer seeds to remove later. Hanna did not really want to spend her allowance on a pumpkin she was pouting as usual. " I`ll get one only if I have too". We told her she did not have to get one but she did anyway. It was like we were forcing her to do something that might be fun.

After we got the pumpkins and ran a lot of other errands Dad decided that he was taking everyone out for pizza. Hanna did not want to do that either. There are not many thirteen year old kids who pout when they get to go out for pizza. She was not being appropriate in the restaurant so she and I had to leave.

This is exactly why we do not take her with us when we do family things very often. This time we had decided to go at the last minute and all of our available PCAs were with us so we did not have much of a choice in the matter.We are also really watching the number of hours we use for her care because we are going to run out of them. Having to schedule everything makes life a bit to complicated at times.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Today was the last of the homecoming week stuff. Karre went to work on her senior project, then to the football game. and dance. She is a senior so enjoy all of it one last time.

They played Bingo in one of Hanna`s classes today and she won pudding. Her teacher made sure she knew that the fact that she had won was being written in her take home folder. She did not need to eat it at school as they already had another treat. The teacher called me as she often does to make sure we know what is going on in school. We had talked about the pudding coming home. Dad got home from work a few minutes before the kids did and when I told him that Hanna was supposed to be bringing the pudding home he just chuckled with some sarcasm added for good measure.

The pudding DID make it home technically speaking. Hanna ate it in the garage before she came in the house. She did not have a spoon so she used her finger and then licked the container spotless. When I asked her about the pudding she simply said that she did follow the rules and brought it home, but it was hers and she was going to make sure she got to eat it.

Have I ever mentioned that this kid has just a few food issues?

Round And Round

Hanna started the week out with some all out crazy behavior on Monday and things have just been going round and round, really not getting any where since then.

I spent Tuesday with Hanna getting her back on track so that she could function in the world again. She does not have a clue as to how her behavior messes with everyone around her. I don`t think she even cares either, which does not help matters. Late in the afternoon her DD worker came and she and I just are not on the same page at all as far as what as what is needed and is going to work. I will need to keep working on her to get this right for Hanna and the rest of our family.

I spent Wednesday at the courthouse (jury duty). Some old guy was to busy picking corn and did not show up so he got escorted in by the sheriff. The guy was, lets just say, less then thrilled to be there. If they tell you to show up for jury duty you had better get there unless you like to hang out with the friendly sheriff.

Yesterday I got a lot of paperwork done, oh yeah there is always a lot of that here. I also had a meeting with Lauren`s CADI worker. Everything is moving along as well as it can be there. She gets almost all the service that she needs and a couple of extra things too.

Today it is already Friday and going to be eighty degrees or better for the next couple of days so I had better get things in order here at home so that we can put our shorts and t-shirts on and spend the weekend outside. I don`t have any idea what we will do but it doesn`t matter. When it is this nice in October you have to take advantage of it. The only thing I do not like about this nice weather is the bees are really going crazy and I am allergic to them so I will have to be on the lookout.

The last few days have been well, just there, nothing exciting (unless a kid melting down or an old guy who can`t follow directions are exciting) no great leaps towards progress or anything like that, but then again nothing terrible either, so we are just going round and round.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oh Goodness!!!

After school yesterday was one interesting affair. Sitting in our dinning room were a court appointed guardian and a court appointed attorney for Hanna. They had met the adorable, sweet,cute kid with the gorgeous big brown eyes last week. Well this week they got to meet the Hanna in all out melt down form. They got quite the show. I think both of them were pretty shocked as what they were witnessing. I do not mind when the rest of the world sees whet we live with here, maybe it will open some eyes and eventually get help where it is needed.

She came off the bus into the house throwing backpack, shoes, and lunchbox. she was crying and screaming and just plain being crazy. This was all because she had done something at school and she knew she was not supposed to be doing it and because there was a special event that had taken place and she could not handle that either. This chaos lasted until about 10:30 last night. Then everyone fell asleep exhausted.

Today we are regrouping so we can get back on track.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Purple Day

Today it is purple day, at least for the seventh graders in our school. The simple matter of wearing purple in order to be identified as a member of this class has been a big ordeal for Hanna.

They had talked about this event and others that will take place this week during homecoming, in the classroom last week when it was still September. Hanna had been told that purple day would take place when it was October.

When Hanna got up the next morning I heard her ask Lauren if it was October and she had told her it was, so Hanna comes downstairs for breakfast wearing purple flowered shorts and a purple striped t-shirt. She also had purple socks stuffed in her pocket. We had to explain to her that yes, it was October, but there are many days in the month and it was not the right day for the purple event. She had to scream for awhile and throw a couple of shoes before she managed to go put something else on.

While I was gone this weekend they got to do this same routine everyday. Thank goodness today it was finally purple day. Now we can move on to the next what ever day it will be.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Retreat Weekend

It was a great weekend!! I got to spend some time away at a retreat for adoptive moms. I connected with some moms whom I had known for a long time and I met some new moms too. We stayed at a beautiful camp bursting with all the beauty of the fall colors. We talked and learned about some difficult issues that come with raising kids who have experienced trauma and we had some fun too.

I came away with the feeling that we are doing what is right for our family even though it may not be easy. The other thing that I heard, and I know that I had heard this before, but had forgotten is that the child`s trauma and issues are theirs and as a parent I can not own that trauma for them. They need to learn to deal with it in their own way at their own pace. Now that is all good, but I sure wish they could pick up the pace and move on to things that are more healthy and productive.

I came home to kids who were excited to see me, a reasonably orderly home, and dinner ready to be served. I don`t think I could ask for anything more then that.