Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wake Up Wednesday!!

Early this morning, about 5:45 am that is, Paul was in our room ready for the A-B-C-D (as he calls it) news to come on so we could get the day started. I told him that it was "wake up Wednesday" as they call it at school and he needed to get ready. The kid was moving full speed ahead, peed before pulling the pants down, poured the cereal on the table, and jumped up and down all the while eating. There are quite a few short circuits in that boys head before meds kick in.

I did get some de-tangler on his very wild who doo (hair doo) as he calls it and I did get a hug and kiss before he headed out the door dragging his backpack along the pavement as he ran.

One last thing, he said "wuv (love) you Mom and you boy hum man (human) is going to have fun! I like his attitude about life.

I am sure his first grade teacher has no idea what is coming into her classroom.

Monday, August 29, 2011

It Is A School Day!

Three of the four kids who will be school this year started this morning. I am sure Lauren, Allen, and Hanna will do just fine since they are in the same classroom with the same teacher and paras and their routine is not changing to much at least for this first semester.

Paul is home with me for another couple of days. I am pretty sure the transition back to school will not go quite as smoothly for him since he has a new teacher, lots of new kids, and the first grade to deal with. I wanted an IEP meeting before sending him off, but that is not going to happen and really I am okay with that. I will be waiting for the phone calls when he can not handle all of this. Preventing chaos is always my first choice, but maybe some big time melt downs with work better then I told you so.

The hot water heater has some valve which needs to be replaced so we have no hot water for now. The good thing is that the water heater is still covered by the warranty so we will not have a bill to pay to get it fixed.

I have lots of laundry and dishes to do when they get it fixed.

We won`t really be in the school routine until after Labor Day.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Down The Mountain

We have worked hard, really hard and she has put in even more work then we have to get to the top of the mountain. When a kid has a severe, (life threatening) traumatic brain injury it takes a lot of doctors, nurses, therapists, teachers, PCAs, siblings, friends, and some times even strangers to help Mom and Dad to get her to be the best she can be, whatever that is. She gained academic skills, fine and gross motor skills, emotional and social, skills, and an over all sense of independence and well being which she as well as we were getting comfortable with. She had achieved far more then anyone had imagined possible. We had expectations for her and she could follow through. Goals were set and she slowly, but steadily reached each one of them. Yeah, there were many setbacks and much frustration along the way, but we were always moving in a positive direction.

That all changed just about a year ago when Lauren, who had been seizure free for thirteen years began having them again. The quality of her speech has greatly diminished to the point where there are times when, even those of us who are around her everyday and usually understand her can not make out what she is saying. At times she can not complete tasks which had been mastered for years. Her behavior overall is getting more immature.

Working so hard to make gains gets tiring and monotonous at times but the end result of seeing your kid learn to walk or talk or zip a zipper, after six years of patiently practicing makes all of it worthwhile. We celebrated all of the successes with great joy. Watching your kid lose what she has worked so hard to achieve brings about the most helpless feeling in the world because no one can tell you when the decline will stop, (if it does) or what the end result will be.

Lauren is teaching me to appreciate what we have because we under estimate it value until it is no longer there.

So when your kid is saying "no", or asking those dumb "why" questions be happy that they can communicate.

When your kid is running, yelling, and getting dirty, run with them, be loud with them, and be thrilled that they have gotten dirty so you can clean them up.

When you kid needs help to button their pants, zip a zipper, or tie their shoes help them and remember that some day they will not be needing you to do those things for them.

Enjoy the slow steady pace of climbing the mountain of learning, and growing up because that is so much more fun then a free fall back down when you do not even know where the bottom is. I have no idea what lies ahead for Lauren, but whatever happens she will always be our blonde haired, blue eyed princess.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Crisis averted...for now that is. Communication breakdown, BIG TIME( not on the part of Mom and Dad), agencies working together, NOT, and affects on our two soon to be eighteen, HUGE!!

Here are just a few of the ridiculous things that professionals have said to Dad and me this week.

You did not have to spend $$$$ to gain guardianship for these kids we can take care of doing that. (and we are going to let the "system" look after the well being of our vulnerable adults when they can not even solve a very basis problem without serious melt down form Mom). Yeah, that would work real well.

Why don`t you just call your senator and let them deal with this. (like how many letters and emails of mine has anyone ever answered)? Zero

Maybe you can give your kid allowance and teach them money skills at home. (like we haven`t been doing that since the day she walked in the door). There is a time for allowance and then they do grow up and they have to move on to the real world.

You can just send food to school and that will solve the problem. ((next to stickers, food is the answer to everything), that was not the point of this in the first place.

The best one yet is we have to trim our budget 1.25% (our budget has been cut 41%), yet we are supposed be able to cover the huge expenses of special needs kids on our own.

After all of this we are now going with the plan that we had wanted in the first place. Now I have to deal with another issue for another kid, and how is this going to go? Oh my aching head.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fried Brain

The school says its the responsibility of the county, the county says its the responsibility of CADI, CADI says its the responsibility of the State Department of Education, who in turn say get rehab services involved, and they all would just rather Mom and Dad would just deal with it and let them all off the hook and what do I say? MY BRAIN IS FRIED and I HAVE HAD IT and this is what is happening with the kid who actually has services and guess what I have to do it all over again with one who does not have them.

While I am at it, a very simple plan was created which would SAVE everyone LOTS of MONEY and would be best for the kid, but that is not going to work!! We always have to do things the long, hard, expensive way. Why can`t you people work together and do what is right for the kids, just once??!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Say What Did You Say?

Friday morning Hanna decided that she was not going to take her meds. No one is going to make a fourteen year old do what she does not want to do, so the unmedicated kid is pretty out of control, she created some chaos around here.She still would not take her meds yesterday and at that point we were discussing the idea of taking her to the ER. We finally chose not to do that because once there she would take her meds, no problem and then they would ask her what the problem was and she would say nothing and then there would be this "you must be the crazy ones, not her" and send her home. Finally this morning after two full days of crazy she took her meds. After they had been in her system for a couple of hours I had to ask her what that nonsense had been about.

Her thing for the past four years has been if I make myself bad enough, or destroy enough stuff then I can make you send me away. That has never worked out to well. We have always told her that no matter what she does we are her family, even if she can not live here. Well this morning the whole thing changed to if you really wanted me how come you did not come and get me when my other family was hurting me? I had to ask her to repeat that more then once because I could not believe that she was actually asking me that. This kid seldom talks about this stuff, she just hides it away and tries to pretend that it did not happen.

This is all pretty complicated stuff for the average person to grasp, but for a kid who thinks in a very concrete manner, does not understand time and place, and needs lots of repetition in order to figure things out getting the idea of how this all works is going to take some time. How do you explain the workings of child protection, the legal run around, the ping pong of multiple placements, and the fact that we did not even know that she existed while this was all happening?

We are thrilled that she finally asked us that,because it gives us hope that at some point we might get her to figure some of this stuff out. I am sure that we have lots and lots of crazy to deal with, but at least there is something in there to work with. We are going to have to simplify to the extreme and go over this to the point of exhaustion.

I can never truly understand all of the trauma my adopted kids have lived through, but I fully understand what parenting them in the aftermath is all about.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

No Dakota

We went to No Dakota, that is how Paul puts it. We got Rene` and Trevor moved, at least most of their stuff. Rene` and her friend have a really nice apartment with underground parking. Those girls are really excited about the parking thing since they will not have to worry about getting their cars started and shoveling them out of snow mountains all winter long.

Trevor and Allen hauled lots and lots of stuff. Allen was so excited to get to do some work.

When we were driving on campus at the University of North Dakota, Trevor told Paul that Mom used to go to school there and Paul had this really big ah-ha moment where his eyes were about to pop out and he says "Mom, you really went to school"! I guess he finally figured that out.

We came back home to Minnesota (that by the way is where we live according to Paul), and Jared lives in the Army. We can not get the idea that we live in a town on a street through to him right now.

Now we have less then two weeks to get the littles (they will always be little), ready for school and then things will get done around here for a few months.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Today is Jared`s birthday. He is not here so we can not cook some great meal and celebrate together, but Allen and Paul called him up and sang to him. There off key out of tune singing should give him enough reality to last the entire day and then some. We sent him some gift cards for fast food and fuel so he can go off base for a break some time soon. Happy birthday, Jared!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Soldiers And Sailors

We haven`t heard from our soldier, Jared in the last couple of weeks except when he needed us to put money in his bank account so that he could by sheets and a pillow, since his pay has gotten lost in the move from Missouri to Georgia (or however military pay travels through the system). When they are not calling that usually means they are working hard, doing stuff that moms really do not want to hear about.

Our forever sailor, Rene` went to Virginia Beach last week to spend some time with a lot of other sailors. Virginia Beach is where she was based and home for most of the sailors who where killed hast week in Afghanistan. They are celebrating the lives of those lost in Virginia Beach and we are here, too.

When both my soldier and sailor have been asked why they do what they do they will humbly say "because it is the right thing to do", and that is as much of an answer as I will ever get from them. I am so proud to be the mom of a soldier and a sailor!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Spit And Sticker Help

The one and only, Miss Hanna was MAD yesterday because the ceiling fan in her room is being relocated and replaced with a close to ceiling mounted light fixture. Now exactly why would we go to all of this work to take a ceiling fan out of a kids room? Well, this kid has figured out how to throw things up there (like t-shirts and sheets) and send them spinning and when they get stuck up there it becomes a fire hazard and Mom has to climb up there to get them down and I have better things to do with my time then that. Why she dois this stupid stuff is simply because we (her family) gave her the clothes and bedding so she HAS to destroy it).

This all would seem just a little crazy in the minds of normal people, but that is just how traumatized kids with attachment disorders behave. They will destroy everything they have just to keep the people who really care about them at bay.

Last night when it was time to be going to bed Hanna was still mad so she decided that spitting all over the walls and floor in her room was going to get back at us for trying to keep her safe. This morning I told her she was going to have to clean the mess she made up. She is in her room sweeping the floor. She can sweep all she wants to but sooner or later a bucket with some nice warm water and cleaning solution will be used by her to really clean up the disgusting spit mess.

Dealing with this nutty behavior is challenging, but even more so is dealing with professionals who think that sticker charts, positive talk, and rewards will get her to change her behavior None of this stuff works at all since she is able to play the game of being good until she gets what she wants and then we are back to destroying and spitting again. Until she REALLY wants to change it isn`t going to happen. You can not sticker or reward anyone into something they do not want.

Spit all you want to kid, it`s your room and you have to live in it, but you will not get any stickers here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hanna`s Day

Hanna got the opportunity to choose the first cupcake because it was her birthday. She could not make up her mind so grandma chose two and told her to take one of those. It did not matter since they were all equally full of sugar.

This is what nine year old boys do for fun. The kids each got a bucket filled with ice, coins, and small toys. Alex sat and watched his melt for about two minutes and then he went and found a rock to bust it up so he could get his stuff.

The day went as well as they can go when it comes to trying to do anything fun with Hanna. Of course we are paying for celebrating her birthday this week.