Monday, February 28, 2011

If the Mama aint Happy....

Well most days the crazy starts with me. If I am not rejuvenated, ready for the day, they can sniff that out on me and man o' man that is a bucket full-o-crazy!
If I am feeling resentful, tired, sick, am I going to give them all I’ve got, if what I got no one should be buying?

We as mothers hear it ALL of the time ,the light hearted "Take care of yourself". I am saying this in a bossy (I have nine children, this is NO STRECH for me), no-nonsense sort of way (imagine my hands on my hips) TAKE. CARE. OF. YOUR. SELF.
One way or another our sweeties are going to figure out one way or another to get their needs met. I know there are not enough hours in the day, I know what your (at least my) laundry pile looks like. But if we do not nurture ourselves, how on this planet can we nurture our children, even more so our kids with special needs.

I am no Guru...promise; I am as guilty as the next lady finding solace in a soda and snickers bar. Diet Dr. Pepper to be exact...but there are a couple other tips and tools I have learned along this bumpy year.

I have Lupus, was diagnosed when I was 17. I have chronic pain and little to no immune system. By joints ache, my muscles get tired, but I still have nine children, regardless of my body’s protests of "GET YOUR BOOTY BACK IN BED".
Soo lets talk about sleep, exercise, eating, you time, and lets be a little selfish right now.

What I do, (you gotta do what works for you.)

I need my endorphins, they are like a drug for me, and get those achy traitorous joints lose and functioning.
I wake up 90% of all weekends at 5:00 a.m.
I hit the Gym. I live in Narnia...where HALF of the year is FREEZING. So during that half, I walk/run, take spinning classes, and swim. P.S. Yes I LOVE my water aerobics,(you can call me a Grandma if you want to..I love my elderly friends, they think I am a Rock-Star) there is something soothing about the water. I love laps, and the quiet time I get with myself.

DOSE it SUCK getting up that early ...uhhh yeah, was it a major sacrifice of sleep to do so, YEP, at first...and there are days it STILL is...but , once I get there...Here are my list of bonuses:

* I feel like I accomplished something positive
* There are BIG NICE people, who smile at you.
* Aggression and frustration can be wiped out in a sweet rockn' spinning session...your legs and butt HURT to much to "feel" grumpy
*Just walking, gives me a healthy rhythm, I can take with me during the day.
* I shower there Mon, Wends, Fri...I get a shower IN!!!! Now I may be missing my pretty mosaic tile and not dig the wearing of flip flops...but NO ONE opens my Shower curtain to tattle. I get to finish the whole thing without solving a fight, or to tell someone where something, is, GENIUS!
*During the summer, I go on one mile walks with my littles, followed by another mile jog with my 7+ older kids....and then most nights, with a Neighbor or a friend, or my handsome Hubs, we hit a fast paced stroll or jog.

So yup waking up at 5...another tricks I have up my proverbial sleeve, is the 10 minute snooze. I don't "Snooze", I pray, I meditate, I ask for help with my day, for patience, for the will to do it again. Those are a precious 10 minutes that are mine. They make all of eth difference for me.

So exercise, Personal prayer time/meditation...and the devotional, or scripture tape, to and from the gym...and I have checked off:
....and the short people haven't even woken up yet!!!

Another is requiring a nap or quiet time, all Mama's need that break in the day to have something to look forward to. Even if the littles and Biggies are too hyper vigilant for sleep during the day, books, or book on tape, puzzles, in their rooms...and get yourself a HUGE icy cup o' the Doctor, Diet Dr. Pepper, that is a nice cup of tea, with lemon.

A great, cleansing drink I use when I am stressed bloated, feeling the

*I make it in BIG Spring water Jugs (real classy over here)

2 Liters Water
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 medium cucumber peeled and sliced thinly
1 medium lemon sliced thin and de-seeded
12 mint leaves
Let seep over night.

Other lifesavers for me are, my kids have alarms in there rooms, the kids that don't go to school, may wake up whenever they please, but they are not allowed downstairs, until we all go down together. they can wake, play on their rooms, clean up, get dressed, but must wait until I invite them down stairs, with me. The stealing has gone down, by half, since we have implemented this rule.

Another is at meal time. My kiddo's used to eat so fast, just for the seconds, I never had a chance to sit down, and eat with my family. The new *rule* is that , no matter "how fast" they finish their first serving, they must wait until Mom has finished her plate, before requesting seconds, or to leave the table. The control at mealtimes has gotten MUCH better.

Nights that I am DONE. I know you know what I am talking about.
These are the nights I have:

*Essential oils for a bath and book.
*My ipod full of my tunes for a walk outside or run to the gym, or take my cell phone and call a friend
*Emergency cash tucked away for a walk around, Tj Maxx

If we don't let ourselves be important too, when our buckets are empty, what are we gonna use to fill our lil' munchkins up with?

Love yourself. Take Care of yourself. Advocate for yourself!

-K- my hands are off my hips now.
Have a fabulous day!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

He'll Carry You .by Hillary Weeks

Happy Sunday.
I love Sunday's. Correction, I used to love Sundays, the peace of the Sabbath, the reassuring words, and uplifting moments at church. The quiet peace of a Sunday afternoon home, with my family. I am desperately trying to get back to those days...not EXACTLY "those" days, but the peace, hearing any of church's uplifting messages, enjoying sunday afternoons, quiet optional , and not likley.

I can't go to church today, Hubby is not home, and I can't take all nine kids, and have them ready by 8:30, and juggle all that on my own. I am a little sad/and a little relived I don't have that battle today.
As I type this I am holding a screaming 2 year old. he doesn't want me. He doesn't want the love that I have for him. He has tried to head-butt me twice. my touch, my reassuring kisses stress him. I don't want his refusal of my love to hurt my heart, but it does.

Our Savior deals with that refusal for his love, his healing , on such a grander scale.

When what we do everyday ,takes everything from us. Our sanity, our belief things will be O.K....I have to remember, just as I am Heavenly Fathers daughter,and he loves me, he will help me fight this battle, he will lift me up and carry me,he loves my kids and wants them to be happy, in a loving family too, and he will send me angels in peoples clothing, that are malable tools in his hands.

How do I know this, because once not so very long ago, I got to one of those tools, and still am, just on a smaller scale. I get to be on the other side of service, what a lesson I am learning!

I was given such a gift this weekend. From a stranger. From someone that, bless her,let a prompting, and heart of gold, bless me. EVEN when I said no.
She reminded me that God knows my name. Thank you.

I have been amazed at the forgiveness, and unconditional love I am given.
If people can do that for me no matter how flawed I am as a mother, neighbor, wife and friend...I CAN DO THIS for my kids. Not with out help, earthly and heavenly.

I have to remember as much as this song is for me, for us parents,it is about our hurt children. He loves than even more than we do. he knows THEIR NAMES...he sent them us.

Soo just a little thought....a beautiful song , and a heart full of gratitude for it all today.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

HAPPY Freakn' Saturday...a text I sent to my Husband...I blew it!

Hubs is at an Adlerian theory conference. At a town four blessed hours away, lucky dog. He is finishing some required hours for a grant that pays back of *ALL* of his MSW schooling. Pretty Awesome eh? Last year we went with him and crashed at families, last year the kids had only been home 5 weeks, last year "things" were different.

Saturdays, Holiday's, heck ANY DAY that has been ear marked as "special", has the possibility to be somewhat enjoyable, will be sabotaged. I think it is just to much sensory overload, too MUCH possibility , too much good. As sad as it is chaos is where my kids are comfortable, NOT happy, but they have swam around in it enough to know it's where they thrive best.

Hubs called in-between breakfast and Hell. :) My phone died mid sentence.

The Playa's:
Scoobs 7- my domestic adopted darling.
Cookie 5- Haitian Chubbs.
Diva 5- Haitian tiny Fire-cracker

His text:
"Just wanted to say good morning and i love you.On a short break. Will touch base with you later."

My text back 10 minutes later , when I could plug in my phone:

"Sorry phone died....Diva was in time-in for stealing scooby's hootenanny while he was in time-in for tattling when I reminded him 3 x not too. Cookie was knocking on the wall pretending someone was here (so I would try to go see who it was)...while I was holding a SCREAMING Dude, after catching him climbing out of his toys and slurping syrup out of the empty pan....good times over here, and I won't begin to tell you about last night, or how I was woken up at 3:24 a.m., 0r 5:20 a.m. ..and for good a 6:38. Diva and I just got done trashing her room, sounds like she is re-throwing all of the shoes from the girls shoe bucket at the wall and taking turns bamming the door with a church shoe and slamming the door. HAPPY SATURDAY BABY!!!

...and that, sweet peeps is what ten minutes looks like in my universe.

It. was. a. night. ova here! Started great, some kids passed out watching The Cosby show, others went to bed easy-peasey. Small power struggle with El'Papillion over wanting to sleep on the couch, but nothin' I couldn't handle.

Sooo 3:24 rolls around, and P.B. is hacking a lung, moaning, and all stuffed up. I'm not sure if we were throwing up from the snots, or flu, fun non-the-less.
Got him settled, cleaned up,new jammies, new towels...washed my hands and Lysol-ed the bathroom. Checked Scooby's blood sugar, adjusted his pump...changed Dude's diaper.

Crawled in bed about 4:20ish....with two tornadoes
, children, whom had magically crawled into my bed.

Lil Miss Faith decided she needed/wanted a cuddle and a bottle around 5-something, tucked her in with EXACTLY 6:38, Cookie came in my room yelling "MO-OM I gotta go to the bathroom". (Now everyone may be way more rational being woken up for the third R.E.M. sleep within a 3 hour period, I am not one of those people, it makes me angry(like imagine RED LASER BEAMS OF DEATH coming out of my eyes irrationally M.A.D.). ..especially when the EMERGENCY pee session was more like a "tinkle, tinkle sprinkle" and honestly the "I need to pee" was really a "HEY MOM, I'm awake, you NEED to be awake TOO so you know that I am ALIVE"..."OH and by the way I woke up, Dude,Scooby,Diva and Chatter , BEFORE I came in to wake up you, Faith, Bugs and P.B."

Yes at 6:30 on a Saturday morning, eight out if nine children have been woken up by this one small fry.
Do I want to growl like a bear, and hang this child up to dry ....UH YEAH!...I take a quick minute to pray "Dear Heavely Father I need patience RIGHT NOW, so I do not yell, or un-do anything that might make him regress, I am angry, I am resentful , I am exhausted." (I have already had two Diet Dr. Peppers this morning)

So I take a deep breath, wait for the milli-second it takes for him to potty (cause he didn't really have to go)I sigh a DEEP sigh, and get up, I ask small fry to sit in Momma's rocker in her room...ask the little girls to play quietly in their room (cause they are way to hyper vigilant to be able to go back to sleep. Make another bottle for Faith and put her in her crib. Change Dude, give him a sippy with water, and put him back down.Check Scoobs Blood-Sugar, I tell Scoobs, P.B. and Bugs they can go back to sleep...and I get in the Rocker with Cookie on my lap. I HOLD him, I snuggle him and tell him that "I see YOU, and if it feels scary to wake up and not have anyone awake with him, come crawl in bed with Mama"...but waking everyone up makes them tired and grumpy. I ask him if he wants to climb back in bed with me and snuggle, or does he want to rock himself and watch me sleep , so he can remember how it looks to sleep.
He wants to rock in y big chair, peachy, I kiss him and crawl back in bed...and am so FRUSTRATED AND EXHAUSTED..I can't stop my heart and mind racing... I lay praying for strength for twenty more minutes and get on up to start the day.

Sooo see it started fabulously.

We made Hootenannies/German Pancakes for breakfast, they are like a casserole pancake.

Soooo to keep the down-low on my text short and sweet...I MESSED up in parenting...YUP me! I through the Diva into her rage..because I was not on my top game, I resorted to my "regular parenting", instead of therapeutic parenting.

Scoobs was on the top of his sabotaging game, we were all content, sitting down to breakfast, prayers were said, in MID-SCRIPTURE read, he wants to tattle on Cookie and Dude, and how they wouldn't go to sleep last night. (Unless it is LIFE-or-DEATH, we don't do the tattling thing, NOT ALLOWED, Bugs is the only one allowed to "check on kids for me and report"...cause the rest of them use it as a way to control, shame and lie about each-other...the Mama is soooo not getting wrapped up in that game"!) I say "Scoobs, love ya, but don't want to hear it"....and HIS COMPULSION TO TELL is ignited, HE , Can't is like word-vomit now and he is spewing as loud and fast as he can what he feels he HAS to tell me. turn this triggers SHE starts yelling..."Happy Breakfast time".

Scoobs is banished to the stool until he can keep his words under control...he is SCREAMING that "he is STARVING"... I go sit with him on the couch for a lil' Mommy and me holding time,I have to leave him to check on the kids and re-dish out seconds on juice and pancakes.

When he is calm and ready he rejoins the table to see that someone has partaken in his breakfast, while we were gone. (DEEP SIGH, EXCELLENT, I don't have anymore)
Diva is still working on her second serving...but the Scoobs plate is twords her, the bites taken are facing her, she is looking down with a mini-grin on her face.

*What I Should have done* - BUMMER! LOOKS like a MOUSE ate your breakfast while you were screaming, did ANYONE SEE A GIANT INVISIBLE MOUSE EAT SCOOBS BREAKFAST"...."Scoobs since a Giant invisible MOUSE ate your breakfast, what do you want to, potato chips, chocolate".
I would have let him pick it out, fixing his animosity to whomever ate the food, and letting the jealousy and injustice of him getting an extra yummy breakfast sit with the culprit, but not aggravating the situation.

But did I do that ...ummm NOOOOO, no I did not. :0/

It was 9:00 a.m. and. I. was. done.
I swooped in, dumped what was left on Diva's plate and gave it to Scooby. I told her I couldn't BELIEVE she had taken his food , when she still had her seconds on her plate. I shamed her, I showed her I was mad. I bought myself one WHOPPER of a tantrum.

She started with the frozen, not looking up,not talking or answering questions, drooling thing that drives me up the wall.

I should have read this post prior to my parenting flop.

Soo I sing-songed ,"Bummer babe, looks like if you are too tiered to hold that lil' head up, and answer Mom, looks like you need a little rest. Don't you worry ,I will help you up to your room." (She is holing into the door molding NOT budging, drooling)

So we go up to her room, I set her down on the bed, she jumps off. I tell her , when she is ready come on down and tell her brother she is sorry, come on I close her door the first shoe hits the door.
The rage starts as I hear , "SHRIEK", BAM, "I HATE YOU" , BAM, "I am GOING TO KILL EVERYBODY", I know she needs me, know she wants me to witness her rage, her fear. So I go on in and help her. "Sweet we are throwing shoes?, MY FAVORITE"..I throw the shoes too, I help knock all of the books out of the shelf.
I "help" trash the room. I yell "MAN I FEEL BETTER"! She is Shocked that I am being so crazy, she has stopped. I smile at her, "feel better", I ask. She flips me off. I smile again..."well this has worn me out, but go ahead and finish making this glorious mess babe! It has to be cleaned up before we come out and tell SCOOBY sorry, but hey , take your time do, your doing a great job."

Twenty minutes later this cute lil' head pops up and says "Mom I am finished, I even cleaned up my room and am ready to say sorry to Scooby"...I CHEER...I pick her up I swing her around , I KISS her cute cheeks, I snuggle...I go praise the heck out of the clean room and ignore the new marks in the door and the wall. I can Spackle those , her heart is way more precious than those dents and scuffs.

She hugs her brother, with-out me asking and offers part of her corn dog from lunch.

AMAZING eh? and we could have gotten here, so MUCH sooner , if I hadn't blown it.
Enjoy your weekend!!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011


Can you here the soundtrack in your head? "Na-na-na---na-na-na"...hey I think I am going to add good ol' Bills mad dancing skills to my "tool box of crazy" and looking like a total geek and cracking those shells-o-mad for my kids.

Thanks for the phone call Chad and Noelle.
You made my crazy night soo much better while braving "The Nine" with 5 with pukes and minus one Hubbie, grown-up talk is ALWAYS welcome! You guys are amazing!

Sooo I can't remember who, ahem WHOM it was that recommended it, but boy-OH-boy am I glad they did!
We don't watch TV anymore, (unless it is American Idol night...and shhh I may be a tad obsessed with "Glee" and would happily re-live my high school years on that show). We don't have cable, we have rabbit ears (how old school are we?)...Netflix Instant Stream via Wii...Oh baby! It is like opening a UNIVERSE of options for $8.99 a month.

Sooo (squirrel) Sorry, brain lapse, I was talking about "The Cosby Show"...I am sure you remember giggling to Rudy and Cliff, the way Claire never took any crap from her kids. Cliff and Clair LOVED each other and respected each-other, and REQUIRED that kind of LOVE and respect from their kids.

Weird I know...cause most of the Disney crapola on T.V. is all about non-existent parents, that are STU-PID. They are generally the BUTT of all jokes, or having the wool pulled over their eyes by their incredibly smarter, tech savvy teen/preteen/children. (Because what kind of parent are you if you don't let your kids do a live-stream-web-show out of their bedrooms?) Thank you soo much Disney for teaching my kids, social norms and what "real life is like". Apparently ALL children on their sixteenth birthdays should be surprised and receive and bran-spanking-new car with a giant red bow around the top. What-were-we-thinking giving our daughter a BIKE, Dictionary, Church Dress and making homemade cup cakes?

*DISCLAIMER*- Hey if you let you kids watch the Disney channel, judgment here, I PROMISE...I am just raising 5 out of nine kids that did NOT grow up in a family, nor in the American culture.*

Internationally adopted children, and even A LOT of Foster kids from the good-ole US-of-A have a warped understanding of what a functioning Child-parent relationship looks like. Most Media and the things that they hear and watch,are the social cues they get. FREAKY huh? Why would, what they have in you, in your home, be their "idea" of "normal"....wasn't what they had before normal?
Why do they seek creating DRAMA in your home, because that *is* their "NORMAL", is. It's where they are comfortable, even if it doesn't make them happy.

I have found times, particularly with my teen, that she is giving me a full soliloquy of DRAMA, that is sooo not her, not her normal voice inflections, nothing about it seems real. Well, that is because it wasn't. She was trying on "something that she saw". Kids are like sponges they absorb and Mimic, until they develop their own sense of self. Try figuring out a family culture, if you have never had one!

*Yet another Disclaimer*- Most attachment books and some parenting books do NOT recommend the use of ANY television..I get that,sorry but *gasp* I am human ..and the Boob-Tube occasionally keeps my kids from killing each-other, and lets me go to the bathroom. You see it is my friend. Not ALL day every-day...but yeah, I'm a fan.

SOOO lets give em some GOOD MEDIA, heck I am constantly shouting at Cliff, "Good one, I'm going to have to use that", when he is acting like a TOTAL goof, while parenting his kids! There are 8 seasons of at least 24 episodes each, you can get them Instant stream NOW on Netflix, you can buy em of Amazon.
The episodes are only 20 minutes long...not a bad time for a bargaining tool, eh?

Why I LOVE the Cosby Show:

*They are Brown, my kids are Brown, and can relate, my pink kids LOVE it too.
*Claire and Cliff are out standing members in society.
* They are well-read and both practicing Dr. and a Lawyer.
*They openly LOVE each-other in front of their children.
*They set boundary's with their children for their privacy.
*They seem (on a PG level) to have a good Intimate life. (How IMPORTANT is it for our kids to see that)
*They LAUGH A LOT , as a couple, as a family.
* They are Goofy together, spend time individually with their kids together.
*They're relationships are engaged, they look at each-other when they talk.
* One kid generally messes up or has a solvable problem by the end of the 20 minutes.
*Mom and Dad DON'T fix it for them, but lovingly give advice, guide or allow the child to suffer natural coincidences.
* The kids have chores, are expected to help one-another or their parents.
* They don't take rude, entitled, spoiled behavior lightly.
*They Volunteer and serve their community.
*They have all kinds of mixed race, religion, family friends,clients and neighbors.
* I still giggle during Rudy's Goldfish Funeral.

I love that my kids LAUGH out LOUD, I love after 20 minutes we can talk about what happened on the show.
I LOVE that my teenager says "Wow Mom, she wouldn't let Theo talk that way to her either!"

Sooo give your old Fav Family show a try...think about the things your kiddo's watch and what they interpret to be "normal".

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What is right with America

Bug-Bug had an essay assignment...this is what she wrote it, love Mama help what-so-ever.Straight from the source!

What Is Right With America

America is right because some schools are free. And America is a great country. America is right because there was a great war. America is right because there is people in it .America is right because the people who work here are nice. America is right because we have a good house. And it is a nice place to live in. And we have people to help us. Like teachers and firemen and lots of different people. And it is a big country. And they have good rules!!!America is right because it was made for everyone!!! And it’s awesome!!! America is right because there is a spot in the world for it !!!

DON'T CARE HOW...I Want It Now

DON'T CARE HOW...I Want It Now

THIS IS A CONSTANT theme in our house....specifically by our teenage dream queen.
I think it is because of the NEED to have their NEEDS met, they can confuse those WANTS with NEEDS! Heck I am guilty of that! Do I specifically NEED a Diet Dr. Pepper, when I am thirsty?...or would water suffice?

I have LEARNED saying "no" or "not right now" French for "Please, please throw a fit, start whining, give me devil eyes, or knock something off the counter."

So I give them the "How bouts".

EXIBIT A: It is Dinner time, I am making Dinner (weird I know) and Papillion come up with a "MooooM ...can I call so and so". Toots has been siting on the couch, picking her nails, watching me juggle two babies and make Dinner, I have hinted at help TWICE.

(Here is a BEAUTIFUL THING....a month ago during therapy , we had a control battle..."THE TRIANGULATION"....I know ya'll know this lil ditty...The "Bad parent vs. the Good parent". Well lil' Miss was telling her therapist how Mom ALLLWWAAAYYYS says "NO", and if we asked Dad he would probably say, "yes" but he is never home. Hmmmmmmmm anyone relate, again, the parent to get closest too..and interacts the most with the THE. BAD. GUY.....and they're Mythology is to get rid of that parent soo they control the other. DIVIDE AND CONQUER!
Well (giggle, snicker-snoo) I agreed to run-every-single-little-request by DAD!~
Guess who is Noooooooo longer the BAD GUY?")

So I say "Well lets wait until we talk to Dad, am sure it will be fine, but "how bout" while we wait you help me make grilled cheese sandwiches". HERE COMES THE EYE comes the "BUT I WANT TO CALL so-and-so NOOOWWW!"

I stopped what I was doing (making homemade Chicken noodle soup for the sickies) and CALLED ALL THE KIDS IN. "BUGS,CHATTER,SCOOBY,PEANUT-BUTTER,DIVA,COOKIE COME HERE QUICK". They all come a running...I announce we are having a "I WANT IT NOW MOMENT"....they know what to we start singing the above...I personally add fish lips to the Aurea by squishing my cheeks together on either side.... watch the magic....

TADA!!!! My silliness and involvement would have months ago been an all night RAGE, complete with door slamming and screaming....did you see the beautiful her smile is? Gosh my girl is lovely!

NEXT: We watched the posted video above...

and at LONG last...DRUM ROLL...still hadn't called "so-and-so"....
Best Grilled Cheese sandwiches EVA!...just cause they were made with L.O.V.E.

Support we GO!!!

Spent most if the day *trying* to set this up.
If you are looking for tech savvy... I really shouldn't be allowed by anything that can be plugged in and run on modern power I am NOT your girl!...I typed everything up three times and somehow deleted them. The computer , may or may not have been called inappropriate names, and a child, may or may have not learned a new colorful word...see AWESOME parenting skills!
But Ta-da.
Here she is...ya'll don't be shy!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sooo if you need a great FYI Print me out for School Teachers/primary Teachers...... heck I sent this to my Neighbors!

...I thought this was honest and BEAUTIFULLY Written!

Good Luck lil' miss Chatter Box, my prayers and thoughts are with you today, I will miss you sweet-pea!

Thank you! For Teaching my Child!!!

If a parent has given you this to read, you are teaching a child with some kind of Attachment Disorder or Reactive Attachment Disorder know as R.A.D. The family of this child has apparently decided to share this information with you. That sharing is a big step for this family and one you have to treat gently and with the respect it deserves.

Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is most common in foster and adopted children but can be found in many other so-called "normal" families as well due to divorce, illness or separations. Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) develops when a child is not properly nurtured in the first few months and years of life. It is causes by early chronic maltreatment such as neglect, abuse, or institutional care. The child, left to cry in hunger, pain or need for cuddling, learns that adults will not help. The child whose parent(s) are more involved in getting their next drug fix than they are in nurturing the developing child learns that the child’s needs are not primary to the caregivers. Children born of drug or alcohol addicted parents learn even in the womb that things do not feel good and are not safe for them. In severe cases, where the child was an abuse or violence victim, the child learns adults are hurtful and cannot be trusted. The child with RAD may develop approaches or “working models” of the world to keep the child safe. The child may try to control a world the child experiences as dangerous if not controlled by the child. Without therapy child with RAD may not develop the attachments to other human beings which allow them to trust, accept discipline, develop cause and effect thinking, self-control and responsibility.

Children with RAD are often involved in the Juvenile Justice System, as they get older. They feel no remorse, have no conscience and see no relation between their actions and what happens as a result because they never connected with or relied upon another human being in trust their entire lives.
What you may see as a teacher is a child who is, initially, surprisingly charming to you, even seeking to hold your hand, climbing into your lap, smiling a lot, you're delighted you are getting on so well with such a child. At the onset of your contact with the child who has been reported from prior grades as "impossible" you will wonder what those previous teachers did to provoke the behaviors you have not (yet) seen but which are reflected in the prior grade reports. A few months into what you thought was a working relationship the child is suddenly openly defiant, moody, angry and difficult to handle; there is no way to predict what will happen from day to the next; the child eats as if he hasn't been properly fed and is suspected of stealing other children's snacks or lunch items; the child does not seem to make or keep friends; the child seems able to play one-on-one for short periods, but cannot really function well in groups; the child is often a bully on the playground; although child with RAD may have above average intelligence they often do not perform well in school due to lack of problem solving and analytical thinking skills; they often test poorly because they have not learned cause-effect thinking. In addition, having experienced at an early age that nothing they do matters, they do not “try” or put in effort; why try when what you do has not effect?

A child with RAD may climb into your lap and pretend to be affection starved. Children with RAD may talk out loud in classrooms, do not contribute fairly to group work or conversely argue to dominate and control the group. Organizational abilities are limited and monitoring is resented. There may be a sense of hypervigilance about them that you initially perceive as no sense of personal space and general "nosiness". They seem to want to know everyone else's business but never tell you anything about their own. There is no sense of conscience, even if someone else is hurt. They may express an offhand or even seemingly sincere "sorry,” but will likely do the same thing again tomorrow. They are not motivated by self or parental pride, normal reward and punishment systems simply do not work.

They may omit parts of assignments even when writing their names just so that they are in control of the assignment, not you. This stems from a deep feeling that adults are not to be trusted, so the best strategy when you don’t trust someone may be to not do what that person asks you to do. When assigned a seat they may choose an indirect, self- selected path to reach the seat. When given a certain number of things to repeat or do, they often do more, or less than directed. They destroy toys, clothing, bedding, pillows, and family memorabilia. They may blame parents, siblings, or others for missing or incomplete homework, missing items of clothing, lost lunch bags, etc. They may destroy school bags, lose supplies, steal food, sneak sweets, break zippers on coats, tear clothing, and eat so as to disgust those around them (open mouth chewing, food smeared over face).
They may inflict self-injuries, pick at scabs until they bleed, seek attention for non-existent/miniscule injuries, and yet will seek to avoid adults when they have real injuries or genuine pain. These children have not learned how to seek and accept comfort and care from caregivers because their early experiences have taught them that adults don’t care. Children with RAD may have multiple falls and accidents and frequently complain about what other children have done to them ("he started it!", "Suzy kicked me first"). Children with RAD can walk around in significant physical pain from real injuries and may minimize the injury until it is detected. They may not wipe a running nose or cover a mouth to sneeze or conversely will overreact or exaggerate a cough or mild illness. They often have not had experiences of being taught in a loving responsive manner how to wash, bathe, brush teeth, and engage in other self-care activities.
They are in a constant battle for control of their environment and seek that control however they can, even in totally meaningless situations. If they are in control they feel safe. If they are loved and protected by an adult they are convinced they are going to be hurt because they never learned to trust adults, adult judgment or to develop any of what you know as normal feelings of acceptance, safety and warmth. Their speech patterns are often unusual and may involve talking out of turn, talking constantly, talking nonsense, humming, singsong, asking unanswerable or obvious questions ("Do I get a drink any time today?"). They have one pace – theirs. No amount of "hurry up everyone is waiting on you" will work – they must be in control and you have just told them they are. Need the child to finish lunch so everyone can go to the playground. Need the child to dress and line up, the child may scatter papers, drop clothing, fail to locate gloves, wander around the room – anything to slow the process and control it further. Five minutes later the child may be kissing your hand or stroking your cheek for you with absolutely no sense of having caused the mayhem that ensues from his actions. Again all these behavior are NOT intentional. The behaviors are the result of having experienced significant early chronic maltreatment. These early experiences have created an internal working model of the world and relationship that mirror those early experiences and which are projected onto current relationships.
You can begin to understand what this child's parents must face on a daily basis. The parents are often tense; involved in control battles for their parental role every minute they are with the child, they adopted the child thinking love would cure anything that had happened to her before the adoption. They have only recently learned that normal parenting will not work with this child; that much of what they have tried to do for years simply fed into the child's dysfunction. They are frightened, sad, stressed and lonely. Many feel unmerited guilt for their perceived "failure" with this child. The mothers often bear the brunt of the child's actions.
It takes a tremendous amount of work and therapy to turn these kids around so that they can experience real feelings and learn to trust. Parents who have embarked on this healing journey for their child need support and consistency from other adults who interact with the child.

What can you do as a teacher? CALL THE PARENTS. Have them in to talk with you about this issue. Call them and talk about what you see in the classroom and ask if they have any other strategies for managing things. Parents who are in counseling and therapy with this child will eventually open up to you and you'll all be able to help the child get healthy or at least not contribute to his dysfunction.

Parents will tell you if time is precious on a particular occasion due to ongoing therapy, or whatever, don't feel put off or shut out. They will talk to you when they have time and time is one of the things parents often run out of as they work desperately to save their child's future. The therapy and home parenting techniques are exhausting and time consumptive. Try to respect that if it seems they are not focusing on your goal of home or class work. Do not trust schoolbag communication or expect things sent in a "communication envelope" to be as complete as when they left the school with the child. Use the phone, e-mail, and regular mail – it works.

Don't feel you need to apologize if you have believed this child and blamed the parents. If they have given you this information they already trust you and do not blame you for not having the information you needed – likely they only just recently got it themselves. Make it perfectly clear in your interactions with the child that you will take care of the child and the classroom or activity. Remind the child, unemotionally but firmly, that you are the teacher, you make the rules. You can even smile when you say it if you can get the "smile all the way up to the eyes", just remember to get the child to verbally acknowledge your position. Do it every day for a while, and then use periodic reminders. Insist upon use of titles or prefixes (Miss Jane, Teacher Sarah, Ms. Philips), they establish position and rank. Structure choices so that you remain in control ("do you want to wear your coat or carry it to the playground?” "you may complete that paper sitting or standing", "you may complete that assignment during this period or during recess"). Remember to keep the anger and frustration the child is seeking out of your voice. Try to "smile all the way to your eyes" if you can, otherwise simply stay as neutral as you can. Structure and control without threat.

YOU ARE NOT THE PRIMARY CAREGIVER for this child. You cannot parent this child. You are the child’s teacher, not therapist, nor parent. Teachers are left behind each year, its normal. These children need to learn that lesson.
Establish EYE CONTACT with this child. Be firm, be consistent, and be specific.
CONSEQUENCE POOR DECISIONS AND BAD BEHAVIOR. Poor decisions and choices like incomplete homework, wrong weight jacket for the weather, also need to be acknowledged ("I see you didn’t complete work from this activity period. You may finish it at recess while the other children who chose to finish their work go outside and play.") Nothing mean or angry or spiteful – it's just the facts. Remember they have difficulty with cause and effect thinking and have to be taught consequences. Normal reward systems like treats and stickers simply do not work with these children. Standard behavior modification techniques do not work with this child.

Consequencing is a good teaching technique– there is a consequence associated with each good behavior, each poor behavior – teach them what those consequences are – they will not think of or recognize them without your direction.
BE CONSISTENT, BE SPECIFIC. The child with RAD may be "good" for you one or two days or even weeks and then fall apart. This is normal. No general compliments like "you're a good boy!" or "You know better.” Be specific and consistent – confront each misbehavior and support each good behavior with direct language. "You scribbled on the desk – you clean it up", "You hit Timmy, you sit here next to me until I decide you may play again without hitting." "You did well on the playground today, good for you!” "You completed that assignment, that's a good choice!” Be positive when you can.

This NATURAL CONSEQUENCES thing is important. Do not permit this child to control your behavior by threatening to throw a tantrum (let him, out in the hallway or in another room -"You can have your tantrum here if you choose to"), "I see you've wet the rug, here is a rag and bucket to clean it up", or puttering around doing his own thing when it delays the class' departure for a planned activity ("I see you've not gotten ready to go, you can wait here in the supervisor's office until we get back").

Time-outs do not work for these children – they want to isolate themselves from others. Bring the child near the activity he has had to be removed from and have them stand with or sit in a chair along side you. It's called a "TIME-IN.” If you can take the time, speak quietly about how much fun the other children are having and how sad it is that she cannot join in right now. No raised voices, no anger. Don't lose your temper if you can avoid it; remember he is manipulating you to do just that. If you are going to lose it, seek assistance from another adult until you are back in control of yourself.

RESPONSIVE, ATTUNED, EMOTIONALLY ENGAGED INTERACTIONS with this child. It is very important that this child experience positive regard and that the child is good, even is the behavior is not acceptable. This helps the child move from feeling overwhelming shame to experiencing guilt.

SUPPORT THE PARENTS. The child who is losing control at home and in the classroom because folks are "on to him" will get a whole lot worse before he gets better. Listen appropriately. Absolutely redirect this child to parents for choices, hugs, decision-making and sharing of information you believe is either not true or is designed to shock or manipulate you. Follow up with the parents.
REMAIN CALM AND IN CONTROL OF YOURSELF. No matter what the child does today. If the child manages to upset you, the child is in control, not you. Remove yourself or the child from the situation until you are able to cope. The child may push your “buttons.” But remember, these are YOUR buttons and it is your job as a professional to disconnect the buttons so that pressing them has no negative effect.
If your classroom is out of control because of this child, get help. Many school counselors and administrators have not had exposure to the RAD diagnosis or how to handle it in schools. There are many resources available. Don't give up. These children are inventive, manipulative and very much in need of everything you can offer to help them get healthy. Remind the child you will be speaking with her parents on a regular basis. Report to the child's home as often as you can without feeling burdened by the effort. Expect notes to be destroyed. Use the phone. If you do not get a response to written communication and the parents seem to be out of touch with general information, do not blame them. Chances are they never got the message, never saw the right number of papers and have no clue what is going on because that is just how the child likes it. It takes control from the parent. Give it back by communicating directly whenever possible.
This child can and will be helped to get healthy and you can be a part of that process with the right tools. Keep in touch with the family. Remember that what you see in school is only the tip of the iceberg – family life is terribly threatening to these children and what the parents have to deal with every day is nearly unimaginable to other uninformed adults. Blaming the family or failing to communicate with them adds to the dysfunction and puts the child at greater risk of never getting healthy. This child is learning in therapy to be respectful, responsible and fun to be around. It will take time, it will be an effort, if in the end it is successful it will be because the adults in her life were consistent and the child decided to work in therapy. Your contribution as his teacher cannot be underestimated or undervalued – his parents will be grateful for the support and the therapist will have fewer inconsistent venues to sort out while helping the child to heal.

Creating Capacity for Attachment, Edited by Arthur Becker-Weidman & Deborah Shell, Wood ‘N’ Barnes, Oklahoma City, OK, 2005.
Attachment Facilitating Parenting video/DVD. Center for Family Development, Arthur Becker-Weidman, Ph.D., 5820 Main St., #406, Williamsville, NY 14221
Building the Bonds of Attachment, 2nd. Edition, Daniel Hughes, Jason Aaronson, NY, 2006.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

P.S. a lil' shout out and a prayer Request

Chatter Box my sweet/ chatty seven year old is trying a Therapeutic Pre-school tomorrow. She will be going Wednesdays and Fridays.
I. am. nervous.
She has a hard time, not controlling EVERYTHING.
She is really good at , non-sence chatter,and questions, a whiz a lying and creating drama for attention. She can't let anyone else have the "floor" so to speak.
She drowns out my three five year olds on any given day.

She needs help, she needs practice.

So her Therapist recommended this program that they do at the Therapy office.
Her Therapist will be there, available. The teacher is well trained. This might get interesting!
Please keep my little sweetie in your prayers. That God might calm her heart enough to let go of the need to control, to calm her heart and mind so she can learn tools, can make friends, heck -A- friend, with out feeling the stress to compete for attention. So she might retain and remember what she is being taught.

Sweet Dreams,

"To the DEATH...."

Do you have a child that says this with their eyes, whenever they buckle down and head straight on for a head butting match?
Meet Scooby, OK Diva and Papillion do this too...but Holey Shamoley ...this is Scooby's expertise. He could write a "How-to-Book" on the topic.

Case and Point
Date: Today
Time: 2:45ish From the Second he got Home from School -until- "Is he asleep yet?"
Purpose: TO DESTROY!!!!

Scoobs is my domestically adopted little Heart of Gold man. He has a Lions heart and deep down can be tender and loving.That is when he is NOT trying to destroy you.

I had a great hour and half conversation with his therapist today. Man do I love that lady. She validates, suggests,abd helps form plans of attack on the behaviors ...

Picked up lil' man from school today. "Hey-a-buddy how was school? SO glad to see ya!!!"
Mom starts to drive out of the-round-about and the child has not yet sat, nor buckled...though all of the others have done so.
"DUDE the bus stops in the peeps aren't buckled".
Then you see it ...the bottom jaw. juts out in non-compliance.

The stubborn "this is total crap" in me wants to hit the breaks and send the kid flying...I mean a lil' break tap never hurt anyone. Right?
But...with Scooby, I would be calling on, what I already know is going to be a tough afternoon.

I softly pull over with out saying anything.
The kid is STILL standing, jaw set, daring me to "Bring it".

I turn up my radio and start singing along.. "So I put hands up, their singing my song"....I get the other kids to join in.."We're nodding our heads like yeah"...
Scooby starts to SCREECH, he wants to go home. I turn the tunes down a milli-notch and sweetly repeat""DUDE the bus stops in the peeps aren't buckled"..."but heck if your standing join in on my lil' dance party"...he sits, he glares, he buckles.
The eyes say "This aint over B."

We walk in the door, he is the L*A*S*T one to get out of the van, and of course he does not shut it....walk in dumps jacket and book bag on the floor , flips off his shoes and announces " I AM HUNGRY".

I sing song, "As soon as your ready"...he screams "I am READY, get it for me NOW".
I get my Glee tunes a-going "I bust the windows out your car"....
I grab the wooden spoon out of the utensils jar and start singing in it "As soon as you have the van door closed, and school stuff put Aw-ay....I betcha the Mama will give you some Che-ese...and maybe a lil bit of crackers to-ooo". I am groov'n keepin with the tune, too bad my raw talent is wasted on this angry elf.

The sad thing is he feels so justified, his hands are clenched in angry fists.
So I do what any "normal" Mom would do..I grab the string cheese and use it as a microphone. I toss him the wooden spoon and ask him to join in with me. We are taking this show on the road!...he breaks into a side ways grin, "but Mom, I am HUNGRY". I smile down at this cute lil boy...and say "b-u-t Sccccoooobbby, my van door is still open, and your stuff is all over the floor."

He picks it up, he puts it halfheartedly away...and he gets his cheese and crack-a's.

Stay tuned for...the battle of the "But I don't want to do my chores and write my spelling words"...and this is all in the days work of ....DUM-DE-DUM-DUM..."THE CRAZY WOMAN WHOM THOUGHT HAVING NINE KIDS WAS A GOOD IDEA"....

What You Do With Pee

DEAR Cookie Monster,
This lil' ditty is dedicated to you via Christine....
So we had a NO-GOOD-low-down-horrible-rotten weekend.
I know bud, it was no fun for all of us. We ate our feelings, we had a bunch a temper tantrums...we cried, and we didn't even know why.
In fact we had a weekend where worst fears were survived, and some days waking nine children up, and having nine kids to put to bed at night is about all you can ask for. We survived it.
Sooooo Presidents day came around... Daddy was home for a change (Which makes us all happy)
Soooo we decided to have a SPECIAL Family Fun Night....
We took all nine ROLLER SKATING!!! Yes our Crazy lil' family in all had 18 roller skates on at one time. HILARIOUS! Cookie you were so fun and silly and happy riding around on your roller skates. I loved that the skating rink allows we wheeled around , getting our boogie on with the babes in the double stroller. It was epic, you all had so MUCH fun!
For the cherry on top...Dad talked the Mama into taking the kiddies out to eat. Now most the time we cook and eat at home, sometimes we do Taco Bell...and in the last 12 months of ya'll being home we have eaten out 3 times in restaurants.

Soooo DAD wanted to take you to Golden Corall. For the record (EWWWWWW)...but I knew you seeing THAT much prepared food in one place would make those baby brown eyes SPARKLE!...and boy did they. You did the Happy dance the WHOLE time you ate. How awesome it was that they NEVER RAN OUT OF FOOD! You even were able to leave a couple bites left in your Ice cream bowl...way to go BUBBA!

So just cause Dad and I dared to say "Wow TONIGHT WAS AWESOME!!! NO TANTRUMS, YOU GUYS DID GREAT!" we had the "see were not doing so bad",written all over our faces. Or maybe your little mad/sad/scared heart didn't know what to do with so much splendor...we sabotaged it, didn't we sweetie?

When Mommy found you in your room at 11 last night, with all of the summer clothes, that were clean, neatly folded in a pile in the middle of the room...with your "special" GALLON bag of Cheerios poured over the top...and the dog on top of the pile...and then you were peeing all over the pile...It was like our very own, clothes, cheerio, dog, pee, Sundae....

Months ago, this would have been a spank, months ago my anger and out rage would have justified me throwing a tizzy...I would have scared you. I would have taken ten steps back in your healing. Sooo here's the thing bubs..After I closed your room, and grabbed a towel for you to sleep on in my room... I kissed your sweet head good night. Your heart was beating 100 x a minute, your lil eyes were hyper vigilant waiting for "it" to happen.

We are having a GREAT BIG TIME are with Mama all week huh bud? You have to ask Mama to go Potty. We did a pretty good job of cleaning up. Bummer that now Mama has soooo much extra laundry to wash...that you are gonna be wearing the same clothes this whole week, don't worry , I think you are DARLING in a paper sack.
I sure love ya lil' man ..and hope, hope hope, you remember how BOR-RING it is to have to be around and with Mom all day long...and'll hold off on the pee Sundae, Maybe.

I still had an AWESOME time yesterday with you!!!!

Love you Forever,

GREAT links, blogs and places to go for Idea's HELP and SANITY!!!!

Thank you to everyone who has sent me stuff,
sent me supportive messages, or just given a "BOOOYA!" "I sooo live this life" shout out!

Check these links out: (This one came highly recommended)

Blogs that say it WAY better than I do! (I have been lurking on this one for a while) (Christine is honest about everything, I love the way she writes, and puts it all out there)...she has FABULOUS, tear jerking you tube video' if which I am going to post in a minute, dedicated to the STILL ALIVE Five year old in my care. :0)
Read on, these blogs are honest, fabulous...and doing the real work of parenting Trauma.
Next ...lets talk books we are reading, ones we like ones we think are "Ridicerous!"

Monday, February 21, 2011

Older Kids....with Attachment stuff...they make your BRAIN leak out your ear!

So I REALLY have 6 kiddo's struggling with different degree's of A.J. (ATTACHMENT JUNK)...Even my lil' Domestic fella Scooby who is 7 now, since day one has had struggles, no therapist could agree with. DEEEEP Down in my heart ...even though I KNEW he was only 3 days old,something was up, This baby did NOT want me. Everyone thought I was crazy, or it was my problem. We will talk about that in another post. Kids with less Severe behaviors, so to the naked eye, or with most people, you get the "Oh he's just being a difficult", "He's a boy, they break things, or they naturally argue and push Moms".

They don't know the Dark, hard truth.
Specifically towards you Mom, he is rejecting you.
He is triangulating, he identifies with Dad, but you are the bad guy....again gonna go there soon. This has been a gaping everyday wound in our home. Love and Logic parenting does not work with this child, because every, single interaction , is his opportunity to defy push, he pushes back even give a consequence, it is you being "Mean", him not suffering his own choices and consequences. AM I TOUCHING A NERVE for anyone?

So onto the girls, "el Diva's"...La DRAMA DESIGNERS"!
With Therapeutic Parenting, It is about, stopping the rage, turning around the tantrum, defusing the bomb in your child, so the heart thumping, crazy mind racing does not interrupt the bonding that NEEDS to take place in order for your child to heal, and function in your family, heck in society PERIOD.

Therapeutic Parenting is the OPPOSITE of every natural parenting inkling I have ever had. Because shaming these kiddo's, telling them how BAD and Naughty, PUNISHING them the way you would an attached like kicking a rock and telling it is HARD and DIRTY....well DUH! They already believe that to their very core. They have been abandoned, left, not wanted , hurt by the people GUARANTEED to love and protect them.Innately they know deep down you are going to hurt/abandon them get on with it already! They are just trying to speed up the process!

My teen is GREAT at trying to make me not love her....I am going to give you examples.
Does it mean, I don't lose my cool? EVERY STINK-EN DAY..and go in the bathroom and bang my head on the wall?
At first I tried "normal" parenting did THAT not WORK...because she was INCAPABLE of connecting ANY ownership of her own choices and consequences..EVERYTHING I was "Doing " to her ...was me just being mean. Still is!
She could shoplift and in return, I ground her from the mall..and make her take it back....SHE DOES NOT GET that she made a not-so-fabulous choice. Because I am following through;"I am mean, I am making her feel uncomfortable by returning the item, it is MOM's fault anyway, because if I would just by her what she wants, she wouldn't have to steal, Why shouldn't she be able to go to the Mall, see MOM doesn't love me and want me to have ANY fun".

Here are a couple of ways we have been able to call her on her crap, successfully...but not endure DAYS and hours of abuse for it...I hope this helps someone... This was a break down of Papillons week:

Monday Papillion got caught posting something inappropriate on facebook.(she earns 20 minutes a day, mostly supervised, when she has a decent behavior day)...WELL..the post caused problems, and ultimately natural consequences fell..and she ended up feeling pretty-darn-stupid. I tried sympathizing with her..but it just made her mad.
So she raged, sabotaged, decided she didn't deserve school, dance class , youth group, was a really crappy day...but after helping her trash her room,being a total dork and jumping and singing on her bed, we did pull her out of it.

Tuesday was great. OK it sucked- but was manageable.

Wednesday she had that she panther look of pacing ," I'm-a-gonna-kill-something-when-you-least-expect-it-and-it-will-probably-be-you look." Of course the "it" hit the fan right in the middle of pre-school with the 3 five year olds...she walked in and threw her math book at me. Nice bruise on my back and hip.
We had a rage, nasty rotten refusal to go to her room...which of course put Chatter into a three hour rage, had Diva peeing all over my couch and Cookie eating crayons.

WE TURNED IT AROUND, turned out the trigger was her want of a cell phone and her believing she would never "be good enough" to earn in her twisted mind...why not terrorize them into getting what I want...WAY EASIER!...We had some great self talk...telling her the "GOOD" is already there, she doesn't NEED to learn or become good, deep down she is already GOOD...we just have to get rid of the hurts for the Good to shine...we had that break down/break through. I shared some of my past child hurts and showed her how those things didn't hurt me anymore, and didn't define who I was...I told her how I knew that bad things had happened to her, and that she had probably been made to do bad things , out of being scared, hungry , lonely...but we love her through it....It was a FABULOUS night....

Thursday was a dream.

Friday she had hollow eyes, blew up 3 times before breakfast... she had the look of "I Am going to destroy you and myself and anyone else that comes with-in 2 feet of me"and I knew if we didn't do something, something VERY bad was going down.....

Hubbie took her to seminary (early morning youth bible class) to defuse her and stayed out side the class room, by 8:30, I had called her therapist, staged an intervention appointment, got sitters for the other six kiddo's and had a respite on call.

The session was a joke. She was the sarcastic, "I'm not giving you anything"...she was laughing, shrugging shoulders, repeating/copying...her therapist would say "Papillion why don't you tell me how that makes you feel" .."She would say "I don't know you $%$& why don't you tell me how it makes me feel", the BEST was the truth statements, like we would say "Papillion we get that this is Hard and makes you angry"...and she would say "If that is what you say, it must be true".

P.S. Her Therapist (who is AWESOME, and is Chatters and Scooby's therapist too. Is a Catholic nun, like full habit and everything...Pappiliion was pulling some NASTY language.

So walking out Hubbie left for work...and I didn't walk toward the parking lot, I just started she is SCREAMING "Why are you walking a way from me, WHY AREN'T you WALKING BY ME!!!"

I calmly looked up at the sky and over to her and took one more step away, and said... "Dude after talking to a Nun the way you did...I don't want to be anywhere near you when the LIGHTNING STRIKES".


Bomb defused. Talk about a 'The Hurt Locker" moment!
So we actually had a relatively good day..., lots of quiet "real" talk.
She threw a tantrum when we told her she hadn't earned Facebook by the disrespect she had shown that morning, slammed a door and it popped back in her face.. tried breaking a glass and it didn't break...she stomped down stairs...I gave it 15 minutes...and walked into her room cheering and and clapping telling her that was the WORST tantrum I had ever seen !!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!
She giggled, felt silly, and came upstairs for Movies and Family Time.

Is it worth letting your kids be banished to their rooms? THAT IS WHAT THEY be alienated, as far away from the family, from love, from being close to anything, or win the real battle, not the fake ones they are constantly throwing at you.

YES this was a PARTICULARLY HARD week...but this week beyond all others made me realize...I can't do this alone, and if anyone else if feeling like, or dealing with close to what I's time to find those people reach out and hold each-other up.
Love you,

Just Cause It JUST HAppened.....The Case of Immaculate Peeing, It can happen

AUGH! (yes I am aware it does not sound like it has been a good morning..and it is 8:27 a.m. on a snowy presidents day.
We silly silly Grown-up set our selfs up.

We ran out of diapers yesterday.
We do have five in shockingly, it happens OFTEN.
Two babies 24/7...and Chatter, Diva and Cookie night time only.

Well....we were tired/lazy and did not want to go out on a snowy Sunday my Hubs decided to "cheerfully Challenge" the 3 night-timers to try really hard to stay dry. (The biggest reason they pee, is not a bladder control problem, more like a control issues with drinking water and waking in the middle of the night to slurp it out of the sink.)

We tried a myriad of other behavior modifications for this ..and well the diaper saves me laundry...and it is the path of least resistance right now. (You might offer "mattress cover advice" nay dear one, the short peeps KNOW what the purpose of those are for...sooo the cut them off the mattress..with scissors, ripping them,chewing them off with their teeth, if needs be. I have bought 8 in the last 9 months)

So again Hubs puts the Challenge out their over dinner, he hangs the carrot of their sweet reward. ( The Mama is not buying this for a second, this will NOT END WELL)...but sometimes the Mom can't always we in charge.

Diva's eyes are calculating ...I CAN SEE IT!

Sooo we cuddle, pray, p.j.'s and brush teeth.

I find Diva's FAVORITE Princess Tiana P.J.'s thinking ....I have a better chance of her NOT wanting to Pee these bad boys...

We kiss em , we tickle em...we put em to bed.

Now 10 minutes ago,Hubs comes down stairs,"I have good news, and bad News".
I already know.
I smile and ask what's up.
Chatter and Cookie got through the night.
Noot soo much...but it gets better...cause miraculously the BED HAS BEEN PEED, but the Princess Tiana Jammies are DRY.

Hence "The Case of the Immaculate Pee".

Sooooo. Babe-girl brings down the wet bedding, we don't say ANYTHING..other than "THANKS FOR HELPING US CLEAN THIS UP". Months ago, there would have been shaming, would have been a "BIG TALK" "Investigation with proof"....but that. is. exactly. what. she. wants.

Yes, I know she did it on purpose. In fact I know that she put her day time clothes BACK ON...peed them while sitting on her bed,and then changed back into dry BEAUTIFUL Princess Tiana P.J.'s.

I have hugged her today.
I did not blow up.
She wants me to remind her how worthless and naughty she is.
Instead I shut that bad-boy down. I ignore the the control we tried to create, and let the natural consequences fall as they may. I am a BUSY Mom, it's a holiday, and Child-Willing I am going to have BUMMER, I probably won't get that bedding washed dried and back on the bed before bedtime! Bummer Diva, will probably sleep on a naked mattress. Shucks Ma'am!
It's a little like taking your life back.


Mine Fields

Today I am going to post some you-tube video links from an AMAZING Trauma Mama. (after I get her permission)
She is what inspired me, she is so brave and honest, with respecting her children and stating over and over how much therapeutic parenting is about unconditional love.
She adopted a older three child Haitian sibling group out of the Foster Care System.
Yowza's eh?

A couple of weeks ago I had a dream.
Hubbie and I were driving up this mountain, it was a dirt road with not a whole lot of give on either side. We had flowers and food and all kids of goodies in the back seat. Apparently we were headed up to visit Papillion she lived in a little house on the very top of the mountain. The mountain was desert, nothing lush, kinda dry and sparse. We were one third of the way up the winding road when suddenly we realized the road was filled with landmines. Some had started going off ...after we had driven over them. We stopped the car (oddly our lil' Rav 4 had turned into a Hum V). We looked at each other "WHAT DO WE DO NOW",was in both of our eyes.
Both of us had started up this mountain, but what about the other kids at home? If we keep on going and both get blown up, what happens to Papillion, and what about the other eight at home? It was dangerous going back ...knowing there could be other unexploded mines...but going on had REALLY BAD ODDs to get blown up.
We both got out of the car and knee-led down on the dirt road and started to pray for guidance, "what do we do"? I was gut wrenched and sobbing, I couldn't leave Papillion up on that mountain, scared and lonely when I had a truck full of things for her, but what about the other kids? What if I got blown up in the process and wasn't any good to anyone? What if I sent Dad back down the hill , and I went up by myself...would the other kids resent it?

I woke up, body shaking sobbing.

So Mine Fields.
If you live with a child whom has experienced trauma, you walk through one everyday.So when you least expect it KA-BLAM...everything around you is in pieces and your not sure where it came from!

If you know me, you know I am STU-BBORN! I have Lupus, and was told (once er twice...more like a gazillion times) I shouldn't have babies. Oh yeah? I have nine! Bring it! Just dare me to prove you wrong! See....Stupid Stubborn!

Last August I decided..."I miss the farmers market", hadn't been for a while, wanted to go. I was craving the organic Veggies, the cool homemade soaps, the super cool people milling around. So since Hubbie was off at a conference, it was me and "The NINE". I packed up my double stroller, my lil red wagon...and away we went.
Glory be! I FOUND a parking spot for the Silver Bullet (my 15 passenger beast). One baby on my back in a carrier.
One baby and one four year old in the double stroller, a six year old on either side holding onto the handles. Two four year olds in the wagon.Papillion and Bugs taking turns pulling the wagon, while I manned the stroller. We.Were.a.walking.Circus.

Still I was out!!! We sniffed soaps, we googled the super cool loaves of breads,Paillion tried to talk me into buying her a hand crafted bag.
People stared.
I smiled back.

We got to the food booths, one of my daughters best friends Papa's had a Homemade Doughnut booth. Piping HOT...and covered in Cinnamon and Sugar. Why the heck not.
I bought a whole bag full of the holes...probably like 25 balls of heaven.
I waited for them to cool enough to start handing them out. Scooby checked his blood sugar.
One for you, one for you, one for you...."now remember guys, everyone is getting an equal amount, so it doesn't matter how fast you eat them, I will wait for everyone to finish before I hand more out. Second round same as the first....
So when we got to the third round "SNAP" there wasn't enough for everyone to have a whole. So the thrifty Mom in me started pulling the doughnuts in half and handing them out.
Suddenly I heard it, the deep wail of a wounded she-cat. I look up and their is Chatter Box, "SCREAMING"..and I don't mean "one trickling tear"...I mean , I thought she might have bitten her tongue off, screaming. I hurry over , check her mouth, "did she bite her finger" She is MAD...she is spitting-mad that I dare split the doughnut and gave her half. My six year old is on the ground, Screaming a LOUD animalistic-sobbing-shrieking, won't let me touch her, pick her up clawing at me. (Remember I have a baby on my back)....People are now really staring...and not in the "Wow, how many kids is that?, I wonder if they are all hers", sort of way...

For my own mental stability (cause the child can't hear me) I sing-song say, "Bummer time to go". I ask Bug to push the stroller, Papillion is TICKED (cause secretly she was hoping we would go back and sucker Mom into that bag) and Screaming in Creole at the she-cat...

I picked the clawing . biting drooling, screaming child, and as gently (trying not to drop her) carry her through the booths , people are so shocked, they stop in their tracks in front of me, and I have to wake them up , to get them to move with an "Excuse me". Man if I had a bull-horn, I would have yelled "COMING THROUGH, PLEASE LET THE CARAVAN OF CRAZY ON THROUGH"....
We made it to the car, people getting in and out of their cars stopped to stare, I loaded the babies while holding a death grip, on the child that was trying to run...
Loaded up the babies, buckled the four year olds with one hand.
How was I going to get Chatter Box in the car, get her to stay buckled...and not have her jump out of the moving vehicle? ...(mind you she is still SCREAMING like a Mountain Lion on steroids)

I am not happy with his child right now. She is not my favorite person at the moment. (maybe not even in my top ten) I have her snot and drool all over my arm and shirt. I HAVE to put my Big Girl panties on right now (borrowed that Christine)....and figure out how to get this Tornado home. So I do the total opposite of what I would have done eight months before...I pull out a stick of gum,I smelled the gum slowly, I looked deeply at it, I S-l-o-w-l-y started to unwrap in...I have Chatters attention, I ask her if she would like the Gum...she shakes her head yes...she is still hard-breathing-screaming. I put the delicacy into the jaws of death...careful to not get bitten.
She calms just a little. I praise the heck out of it. I get her in the car, I buckle her, she starts to whimper, I hand her the another stick of gum, "and cheerfully tell her, "if we can get home without you unbuckling that seat-belt, we will find a special treat to share with everyone when we get home, I want you to think about what we can make together".

I get in the car and flip on my "Kids Tunes, Beatles Music"...I am white knuckling the steering wheel, my hands are numb from gripping to tight. As I pull out of the parking lot, the song "All you Need is Love" turns on.

Stupid Frigging Beatles.

It is a Mine Field out there.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I am terrified to do this....

Nope, really I am.
Before my Haitian Sensations came home, I had a family Blog, a recipe blog, and a blog for my lil' Foster Angel... Then 2010 Haitian the Earth Quake hit. It shook and crumbled everything I knew, thought I wanted, expected life to be like to the very core of my being.

We brought our kiddo's home Feb 1st of 2010.
At first I was too shell shocked to deal, write or even talk about so many of the horrors I saw. I wanted to share the miracles, the Details God had put in the miracles for all of those children to come home, but they were so intertwined for me with the loss, the absolute agony and desperations we witnessed. Where would or could I start? So I didn't. Heck I was dog paddling with SIX new kids. Some sick with parasites, throwing naked tantrums, eating out of garbage cans...and I thought THAT was going to be the hard part. Cleared some of that up in the first month...then I felt like I could do anything! Homeschooling all of the kids, baking everything from scratch...TA-DA!

I had abandoned blogging on my family blog, I just didn't have the time and every-time I sat to write...I couldn't do the Happy News...Haiti was still weighing me down...the "truth" of real struggle and pain made my challenges seem like I didn't write.

June came and all of that "I am AMAZING and doing a really great job"...came to a mind blowing STOP.
Like having the wind knocked out of me...

So here is the Introduction to our shorties:

I used to blog, I used to do a lot of things , including self hygiene things that only now happen if I can't sleep! ( EX:shaving legs)

We have 2 bio kiddo's:
Bug-bug 9 , she is a 30 year old in a 9 year old body
Peanutbutter 5, surfer dude for sure

One domestically adopted dude:
Scooby 7~ Scooby is a type 1 diabetic and came home at 3 days old with attachment issues...

One foster Ukrainian angel:
Faith 15 months - she heals my heart every day.

and 5, COUNT THEM F.I.V.E. Haitian Sensations with FULL BLOWN A.J.

We started 2 adoptions in 06, our lil' guy Gibson passed away in April, alone in Haiti...( I thought that was my worst nightmare come true) are trials preparatory!!!!

Instead of choosing bitterness and anger at the Orphanage, I chose to jump in a see what I could do to help...I started being the adoption coordinator for our kids O.
3 1/2 years later, falling in love with four more kids...and traveling to Haiti 11 times, my. kids. were. still. not. home. My one year olds were 4,my 3 year old 6, my 13 year old 16!!!! Then the EQ hit.
I had just been there 5 weeks earlier. Guitar Man (my awesome Family and Marriage Therapist Hubbie/ Sex addiction Specialist) came with. Gods hand was in the details and we escorted 72 kids to their forever families it took 10 HELLa-shish days, I know deep down I have PTSD from the dead bodies, and the babies and kids I held in the embassy that did not make it.

SO Feb 1st of last year:

Papillion age 17
Chatter Box age 7
Divalicious age 5
Cookie Monster age 5
Angry Dude age 2

joined our family....we had 5 months of honeymooning, shazam I thought I had EVERYTHING thing under control!!! I was SUPER MOM!!! Home schooling 9 kids, Making homemade Granola, and Breads...I was ON IT!
...Then. June. hit....and my angels turned into demons, with fangs...and multiple heads.

Now Bug and Scooby are in a fabo Montessori school, the other seven are home.
I couldn't protect everyone. Papillion and Chatter would not let me home-school Scooby and Bugs, they would spend all day sabotaging any school or attention that was not focused on them.

We faked things being O.K. for the last year...that is RIGHT we faked the "Everything is FINE"...cause what else do you do?
Well here's the thing, faking it to you Make it is GREAT, when it works...but finally one day after another horrible, no good, low down day...I looked at my Husband and said, we aren't Faking it anymore. We. Are. Lying.
This is not getting better,and WILL NOT , anytime soon... and it is not out fault, it doesn't make us failures, it sets us free.

So we started telling the TRUTH to family, and neighbors...letting our church congregation leaders know...and you know what? WE GOT LOVE, SUPPORT, and UNDERSTANDING in return....amazing eh?

Guess coming out of the closet isn't so here we go...cause I NEED this.
Even if my random posts, telling the truth about the rages, lying, stealing, manipulation, peeing, self mutilating behaviors my children have... help one person...I have helped one Mother doing the best she can feel not so alone.

Yes I post silly things ...cause if you can't LAUGH through the tears, rage and hard...what is the point.

But here you will see silly, you will read the CRAZY therapeutic parenting techniques we use. I will post awesome links to other Mama's parenting Trauma...and how they get up and do it every day.

Here we's not gonna be pretty, but we can do this!!!!