Sunday, March 27, 2011


Sooo MUCH, I don’t put on here. SOOO MUCH, I hide and keep close in the safety and privacy of my home. I mean ..gosh I share A LOT…but some stuff is just not even close to things I want to talk about, write about or really think about. I am in that place right now and IT. SUCKS. Sorry about the unanswered e.mails, posts, face book messages, I have read them, prayed for you thought about what you had to say…had great responses and then have been too numb to answer….many of you know this place…it is called AUTO PILOT…and I will be in it for as long as it takes to get to a better place. I have not slept in five straight days..not. a. wink.

• So,I have been a lil' MIA, and not blogging as much...this week will be a crucial one for me, and my family. Faiths Mama gets out of Prison on Friday. My oldest is in respite and will be for another two weeks...out of six kids that can talk, four don't want her back at all. I feel like I am letting go or loseing two of my children for very differant reasons at once. Not sleeping much these days...went away for the weekend with my family....leaving for the Parenting in Space Conference on Friday...I am running away, and letting my hubbie face Faiths Birth Mom alone...I can't do it, hand the baby back...I have had her since she was three hours old!!! I need new tools, face to face Trauma- Mama’s that are doing this and now is a good time...see I am not as tough as you all thought I am..I am a BIG GIANT wimp….and I need your prayers.
So until further notice….AUTO PILOT will have to do.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Scared vs. Control...STRESS vs being "Difficult"

I butt heads with 80% of my kids. Oppositional Defiance lives, breathes and makes babies at my house...
I NEEDED this reminder today. That all anger really is FEAR based...

This summer my older daughter had a nasty mean rage in the middle of Math time. OUT-OF NOWHERE...(at least that is what most people would think)she was sitting next to her nine year old sister, sharing a Math book, and WHAM..the Math book went flying...
and I hear,
"I am not going to do your FREAKING MATH ANYMORE".

Good thing I have Thunder Cat like reflexes. Missed me by a mile!

She stomped into the living room and threw her caboose onto the couch. Folding her arms in a "Hell no are going to talk about it" posture.

I calmly picked up the book, took the time to find Duct Tape to fix the binding and gave it back to my mouth a gape nine year old..
"Go ahead and finish”, I told her.

Stonewall Jackson sat in my living room, breathing hard, eyes; red laser beams. I calmly walked in sat next to her and said,

"Wow, feeling some pretty BIG feelings, eh".

"F (fill word if you want) Big Feelings, I just don't want to do Math anymore."

Me, "Yeah, ya know what I got that...can you do me a favor though".


"If you don't want your Spaghetti tonight, can you just tell me...that sauce is HARD to get off of walls, it stains."

yuk,yuk,yuk I soooo wish my kids got how stink'n funny I am!

She loosened up.
I love what Bryan says here about how under Stress we constrict. HELLO! My back gets so tight when I stress out, and my mind races a mile a minute, that if anyone asks me for a freaking glass of water I am going to lose it...well not really, but I can relate.

Our kids live in that constant state...any movement, any slight bump and that overly full glass spills, doesn’t it, It tips all the way over, heck it goes crashing into a wall and shatters all over the place.

What I have learned to combat the high chance of self destruction is to learn how to defuse the HIGH ALET ORANGE color..back down to a nice blue color..even yellow works...and we do that by knocking them off guard enough to schmooze in and actually talk to them.

When the smile twitched at the end of her lip was the opportunity I needed to ask "Wanna Talk about it?"


*Here's the thing some of our kids WILL NOT TALK ABOUT THEIR FEELINGS, won't do it, there is too much danger, too much control to give up if they do that... my teenager is a prime example of this.*

So I project or guess.... (I really have to PRAY I am close to the trigger, to be able to do this)...if you do it wrog, it makes things WAY worse.

"You know, if I was seventeen, and I had a nine year old sister that was doing the same kind of Math as me, it would make me MAD."

She looks at me in the eyes, I am getting close.

"Worse, it would probably make me feel kinda stupid."

An eye blink and a tear. EUREKA!!!!

"But that wouldn't be what I was really feeling."

She bites, "It wouldn't."

"Nope, not even close."

"What then."

"I would be scared, I would be worried that I might NEVER catch up, because what I was doing was already hard to understand...and that would really be a CRAPPY, Scary, BAD feeling."

Ding, ding, ding....winna'...winna', winna'!

We hug; she walks in by herself and apologizes to her sister for the Book that took flight..and sits back down....

As I get the pot out to start boiling the Noodles. I remind her..."Spaghetti STAINS walls"...she giggles and we start over again.

And we will do it again tomorrow, and the next day and the next…….

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Season of Healing

I am sitting here in the quiet of my Sunday morning. I can hear Faith quietly cooing to herself.
We live a block away from our church. I can watch as the congregation fills the parking lot up with their cars. We will not be there. My kids can’t today, that would be too much on them, it wouldn’t result well, one, maybe four would trigger and end up cycling all day.

My heart aches and I mean actually pains as I read about the Japanese earthquake. The destruction, the terror, the loss of human lives is HEARTBREAKING. A year and a couple months before I would have watched it, lived it as to not forget this tragedy.  I can’t.  You see, I too like my children have been traumatized. I don’t doubt that my PTSD is preparatory to help me understand and relate with my children’s fears, triggers and trauma.

For a year I could not write, barely talk about, or even “go there” in my brain when it came to the Haitian earthquake. I remember facebooking my friend Annie who runs a school and goat program in Haiti, and telling her the news. I remember begging my friend Tanya to help me figure out how to get the kids on a plane.
The phone calls, the frantic emails I began getting from parents. All we could do was stay GLUED to the TV, BEGGING Anderson Cooper to randomly go to my children’s Orphanage. Out loud BEGGING the Lord that my children (all 300) were alive, were O.K., had water, and food.

My husband and I didn’t sleep that night, or for the three weeks to come. Somehow Bugs, Scoobs and P.B. were fed and put to bed. Still we had no word. It took 32 hours, 32 hours to hear ANYTHING about the children. A good friend was able to get through, and half a world away was able to let me know they had “heard” that the Orphanage was still standing and the kids were O.K.

Eight days later, still sleepless, we were on a plane, with a backpacks, paperwork for 52 children, water filters and protein bars. I wasn’t sure, where or how we were going to sleep, but we had a plane and a plan and a whole lot of prayers behind us. Someday I will talk about all of the miracles. Someday I will write about Gods hands in that two weeks of bringing 65 children miraculously home to their forever families. Someday I will speak about the horrors I saw. The bodies at the Central Hospital, The limbless babies I held and comforted until they passed away at the embassy waiting for medical visas. Waking to the Ground shaking underneath me as yet another Aftershock hit. The hollowness in the children’s eyes and faces, the hollowness and shock in everyone’s eyes. The endless tent cities and people standing in lines, bleeding hoping for water, food, and bandages. Having to leave some of the children behind.

I get trauma, on a very real level. Japan has rocked my family’s world again. The TV is not being turned on. I don’t open the Internet unless they are engaged in something else.

Somethings just are not blogable. This weekend is one of them.

One of my children is in a difficult cycle. One that is hard to break. When we get to this place, the safest thing for them and everyone is to actually find them a safe place to go.

Crazy that I said something about that on my Thursday post, must have seen it coming.
So here I go quoting me, to myself.

“That doesn't mean if they have to be in a safer place than your home, you are means we STILL, NO MATTER WHAT..need to be their constant source of L.O.V.E.
Love is A LOT of things.  We as therapeutic parents have to KNOW that”.

So let’s talk about using respite. Sometimes the most stressful place your children can be is in your home, because LOVE is scary, LOVE is what they didn’t have before and they SURVIVED…so is it possible that they believe in turn it is LOVE that might kill them?...and still we MUST keep on loving, keeping them safe from themselves….teaching them that LOVE, HOME: is safe, even if from time to time they need, or we need a break.

I miss church. I miss having a calling and being able to serve my community and congregation. I am sure to many, our family just seems “missing in action”; I mean that in so many ways. Our family barely attends family get-togethers, we don’t travel, we don’t host dinners and parties, church is optional, I don’t teach my kids art classes anymore, our kids rarely play in the front yard. A trip to the grocery store becomes a rage…I know we are going to get there….but just not yet. This is our season of healing.

I have had to take a hard long look at what my definition of being a Woman of God looks like. In my childhood it was the regular attendance of church, teaching Sunday school, well coiffed children sitting reverently in a pew. Daily Scripture study, a well kept home, daily prayers, a happy family, and bringing food to the sick, serving and helping your neighbors. Don’t get me wrong, I still believe in those things….but my view is and has to be much wider.

Because I can’t be, and do all of those things right now, am I not Godly?
As I read in the scriptures I turn to women like, Naomi, Ruth, and Esther, men like Daniel, and the Apostles. Their lives were not easy.  They were MESSY and HARD, and faithful.  They’re seasons were full of walking in deserts, being banished from cities, being mocked, beheaded, tortured, judged, and doing what was right in the face of total adversity.

O.K.  I can rock that look (not the be-headed or banished)…but let’s be honest. Life is HARD and not pretty sometimes. We can want it to be something better than it is at the moment, but we can also spend our lives waiting for it to be something better.

If I do that I will miss out on the mini-miracles that happen everyday.
So I am choosing to embrace my season of Healing. Let it be what it is. I will still cry, stomp my feet and be sad when I miss my old life…but, Being Still, letting it be what it is, accepting where we are, and allowing God to set the pace for my family. That is really what being Godly is about.

So here goes…."Our Season of Healing."

Friday, March 18, 2011

Will it ever get better?

" I want every parent to know that it can get better. It always can get better because we are designed to be in relationship. We are designed to be in balance and so we will always find that. It just takes new understanding and it takes a lot of courage on our part to start doing things differently. I want parents to know that they have everything within them, all the answers are within them, and their kids, and when they can open up to that, then they will find healing."
~Heather Forbes~

I HAVE to remember this. There are days I feel like I am a hamster on a never-ending wheel...running my little legs off...but not really getting anywhere.
Then I look at pictures like the one above. I have given irreplaceable gifts to my children. Siblings, Brothers and Sisters, Mother and Father, a family.
I so often feel like there is just not enough of me to go around, or that maybe if I had a couple less children, with not so many problems I would be able to help more, get through easier...but then which precious child would go, which ones would stay...I can't even wrap my brain around not having MY children. YES, the ones that throw my phone in a stinky potty...or steal and hide my Ipod player in the top of their Barbie house...these are MY children, with glorious smiles and giggles and capabilities , despite the major hurts they have survived.

My kiddos right now are EMOTIONALLY BLIND. I forget that sometimes. They can't interpret what they are feeling so they act out in behaviors, essentially grasping out in the darkness for something to hold onto, something to SAY what they are feeling.

*WARNING* This is going to be ubber sappy. Because deep down under the sarcasm, and punchlines...I really am hopelessly gooey.

Two weekends ago when Bugs had her performance she sang this song.
I sat in that audience and I cried. Some people do the whole glistening tear thing,NOT ME, for me tears = snot, red eyes=blotchy face....generally I look like I just got punched in the face, after a good cry. Since I am emotionally unstable sensitive these days, I cry pretty easily. I have LOVED this song since I was a little girl, and if I had half of a singing voice I would belt this out my sunny windows and little blue birds would come rest on my open palms...but I don't,I sound more like a drowning cat.
But just listen to these lyrics:

How much dose this fit our kiddo's?
How MUCH they NEED US to be that light source, to guide them, to teach be their eyes and their hearts until they can and grow heal their own.
They ARE LOST, they WERE drifting...this is what we are here for Mama' paint that ray of HOPE around them....for as long as it takes..and then NEVER let them go. That doesn't mean if they have to be in a safer place than your home , you are means we STILL, NO MATTER WHAT..need to be their constant source of L.O.V.E.
Love is A LOT of things.  We as therapeutic parents have to KNOW that.

I am so sad today. My little chatter has started MASSIVELY stealing, everything. This was not really her M.O. before. Since beginning her Therapeutic Pre-school (which she loves and is doing relatively well there) she is stealing, and lying in enormous proportions. Yesterday it was my Ipod.She BEGGED to be the one to deliver the green rolls we had made for Saint Patricks Day over to the neighbors, instead she swiped a bunch and putting them underneath her shirt ....and in hiding she ate them...she had JUST HAD two warm out of the oven with honey and butter.
Her sisters ENTIRE bottle of perfume was sprayed and dumped as well. The list goes on and on.
So what does this mean? Do I bring her back home, is she too stressed and is this two days a week still JUST TOO much on her? I know she will get there, but did we jump the gun again? We had tried school in September, and she would come home and have two to three hour long rages.So the stealing feels much more mild to that. YET...these actions are her words..
Whats a Mama to do?

It is getting better, I get so overwhelmed in the "whats happening RIGHT now"..if I STOP and look at where we were even six months ago healing really is SLOWLY happening, behaviors are getting better. Their capability to understand feelings, and cause and effect are coming. They ASK for hugs now. Dude can go a half hour at a time without crying. AMAZING.

I DO BELIEVE it will get better, I have Faith and HOPE!
I Believe that love dose and can do AMAZING things.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

TRADITIONS: being sabotaged….but doing it anyway!

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Confession. It is days like today that make me miss my old life. There are days like today…
I LOVE MY KIDS…*most the time* I am really happy everyone is home safe…and I have nine munchkins safely tucked under one roof. Days where the sheer gratitude and blessing of my family overwhelms me to ugly, happy tears.

I get tired. Tired of the CONSTANT need that haunts my children, and now like a disease has spread to my other children. I am not talking about regular “attentive parenting” needs. I am talking about the wako, never-ending crazy needs that take all of my time and energy, that suck my old life, my old expectations, my old way of doing things away to another universe….I kinda remember.

The ironic thing is…on days like today when my kids were not home, rotting in an Orphanage, day by day adding to their trauma, and further drilling holes into their proverbial buckets… (I loved my kids O, and the people there …just NO child BELONGS in an institution, unless it is the last option. Which for too many it is) I was CRYING, praying, begging the heavens that my kids could be home, to join in the “family fun”. The eating of Heart shaped pancakes, Easter egg dying and hanging up stockings.

My newbies don’t do holidays well. In fact, any change, anything special is like a GIANT “kick me sign”. It will be sabotaged…Remember Presidents Day?
So today is Saint Patties Day which means Wearin’ O’ the Green and Eatn’ o’ the green at our house. Last year went pretty well the kids had only been home a little over a month, and were still in that glorious honeymoon period. (that was when I thought I could “do this”….sigh, I miss that confidence)

So while lying in bed this morning, I started the internal debate. To do the “Green Thing” or not. Do I have the energy for what today *may* bring, or don’t I? I debated,I cried, I prayed and the thing is…I have three children that are used to our traditions. Used to Mom going overboard on holidays. I am sappy; it is the “me”, the fun part of being a Mommy that I am not willing to sacrifice.

I got up threw on my Hubbies Mountain Dew T-shirt… (it looked clean) and found my bottle O’green food coloring magic…made Green Oatmeal…didn’t have it in me to pull out pancakes…and packed 2 green lunches for the going to school crowd: Green PB& Honey (Homemade Green Oatmeal Bread & PB turned green), Green apples, Celery w/ green cream cheese, green cookies w/ green frosting and sprinkles.
I am doing this for them…they don’t deserve to give up everything that they once knew, there are so few things that can be preserved from that life.

SO I brought it. Knowing the backlash is a comin’…so far, a thrown (and broken bowel) of green Oatmeal. One triggered teen, when reminded to “wear green” today. “We turned it around, but not fun to be called a “Blinking Leprechaun” (this is not what she called me.)

I am lying low today, not pushing school, after all it is only 10:30 and the two plugged toilets full of gifts, is such a lovely incentive to make Green Shamrock Sugar cookies. :0/

Two major tantrums over? …..Hubie and I trying to have couples prayers (he has a BIG job interview today)…and Cookie and Chatter not being able to stand Mom and Dad having the door shut….another pee party.

Sooo I am going to make cookies, keep PBS on ALL day…. YES this will be a day where I rely heavily on the fantastic distraction of Elmo.
Home Lunches will be Green Mac and cheese (ew) and Green apple, Celery w/ green cream cheese.

Click for links to recipes….

Dinner tonight :Green Ham, Bacon and Potato Soup, Green Dinner Rolls and for Desert, easy Key-lime Pie. (it is really my lemon cheesecake turned into a key-lime recipe. YUM!

Today, I am trying to not resent. Trying to enjoy the good, and ignore the pee bad…
My family is my choice…even though their behaviors are not. I have the mild hope it won’t always be this HARD…heck it might be even harder (like when I have seven in their teenage years at the same time) OIE!

Please keep Hubs in your prayers …he has the interview at 2:30, Mountain Time…
and I just want to thank the many of you that actually read my ramblings, supporting me, and loving me through my flaws and massive blunders. I know many of this can’t do it alone. Even you lurkers…I can feel your love!!!

Happy Saint Patricks Day today!
Cause I’m not giving this one up!

TRADITIONS! Come on Tevia help a girl out!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"The sky is falling.....and it's PURPLE"....lets talk about LYING!!!

Is the SKY always "falling" at your house? Is it a GIANT production and the truth is NO WHERE to be found? Drama, Drama , Drama. Man-Oh'-Man can my shorties weave a tale!

Aww Papa Chicken, Beyond Consequences Logic and Control says you did it wrong Mr.! You shamed,and you used your feelings of embarrassment letting it fuel the treatment of your did not win the "Father of the Year Award" in Therapeutic Parentland,tick, tick,tick, too bad.

So many of us let the ANGER that naturally comes with being lied to rule our dispositions when yelling at talking to, accusing and punishing our children....being lied to SUCKS!!!

Loved this quote by Bryan Post at the Post Institute.
"The angry parent is not an effective teacher. You will only cause the
guilt, remorse, shame, and fear that your child is already feeling to be
redirected toward you, thus delaying the healing process of this
situation. It does not allow the child to internalize the feelings of his
conscience telling him he has done wrong, and urging him to take
responsibility for his own actions. When you become angry towards
your child, you get in the way of the lesson that is inherent in the problem, giving your child an opportunity to blame you for the
problem rather than taking responsibility himself. Don’t do this. It is a
rather common problem with both today’s and yesterday’s traditional
parenting approaches. Rather than discipline, which means to teach;
we punish, which only creates more stress and frustration that is then
directed outward, or sometimes even inward, which can be worse.
Bryan Post, Why Kids Lie,

LOVED his FREE (and YES I SAID FREE!!!) available on his Website
It is all about WHY chilren lie, and what we can do as parents to STOP the cycle.

Hello did you just love this part of the quote above?...Gonna be anoyong and repeat it:
Rather than discipline, which means to teach;
we punish, which only creates more stress and frustration that is then
directed outward, or sometimes even inward, which can be worse.

Which is more affective? Punishing our children or effectively disciplining our children, essentially TEACHING them!!!! LOVE IT!!!!
I am leaving it to my hero's today, cause I am too worn out to use my own perspective, so I will LEAN on those smarter than me...I NEED this reminder. and am just sharing the love.
Have you checked out Christines blog  & youtube vids...she is a trench master...she's been there, done that...and kids, she has GREAT virtual tools...stalk her, she won't mind! :0)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Holy Batman ....I am tired of the Robbin' going on round here!

Meet Robbin’/aka Cookie Monster. Cookie’s M.O. is stealing and hoarding. He is a wizard at it..and his darling good looks, beautiful eyes and kissable lips are his biggest tools against you laymen.("Wap", "Biff", "Oof") Nay citizens they are his tools of disguise, and he has everyone one fooled, almost everyone…but the MOMENATOR knows, she can see through that force field of cuteness and tomfoolery and see into the core of those “sad” eyes to the REAL pain, and fear that his behaviors speak in.

Cookie steals everything, food is NUMBRO UNO on the list…and no it is not that we have all food under lock and key. ALL of our kids’ bedrooms are stocked with Giant economy bags of cereal, for easy snacking and stress soothing. This is about his NEED to take, his compulsivity to have something that is someone else’s. His NEED to control.

I will NEVER forget, about five weeks ago, Hubs had bought old-fashioned, Sour Cream Chocolate doughnuts Friday night, for us to enjoy for breakfast Saturday morning.
3:00 a.m. and I hear Scoobs come in. Scoobs is type one diabetic, so he gets up to potty often in the middle of the night.
”yeah Scoobs, you O.K.?”

“Yes, but I am pretty sure Cookie is in the Bathtub right now, eating chocolate doughnuts.”

Sure enough, my hyper-vigilant little guy was in the bathtub, shower curtain pulled to hide, eating five scrumptious doughnuts. My first thought actually reminded me of the scene in Matilda…”the Trunchbull” making Bruce Bogtrotter eat a WHOLE chocolate cake…
A year or two ago, that may have been how things would have gone “You LIKE CHOCOLATE DOUGHNUTS EY”SONNY?......CONFESS!”….and maybe there was a teensy part of me that lived that fantasy…hey I’m not perfect.

But, his eyes. My little boys’ eyes were terrified. My lil’ chocolate fella,was covered in Chocolaty crumbs…I wiped him off lovingly, said “boy it must have been hard trying to sleep, knowing those doughnuts were there, huh buddy?”
I put him back to bed, and he went to sleep, AND SO DID I….months ago there would have been a scene. I would have been so mad, my adrenalin would have started pumping, I would have yelled, and shamed…cause I would have thought it would make me feel better, and scare him enough not to do it again. Fear doesn’t work, it just re-traumatizes. that Trauma, I say "Zoink","Zap","Zing."
When we woke up, we woke up to hugs. Naturally, there were not enough doughnuts for everyone to have one, bummer. Did he ever steal a doughnut again, nope, not since..will he? Probably. Did it ruin our night and morning, nope. Did he learn anything? Absolutely, he was sad he didn’t have a doughnut that morning…and I pulled him away later and asked him if he noticed, if anyone else felt sad about the doughnuts like he did.

With my kids that have experienced trauma, they are not empathetic. The world does not relate to them in “how, other people feel.” It is a “how they feel, and what THEIR IMMEDIATE NEEDS, sometimes warped, full of holes logic mythology” works, and if it has that has kept them alive this long, they are going to keep on keeping on in that cycle.
So I join Crazyland long enough to speak their language. I have to relate to their feelings first, and then ask them if 'they think so-and-so felt that way too?'...THAT IS THE ONLY WAY I CAN EVEN BEGIN TO GET MY KIDS TO RELATE, OR ACKNOWLEDGE OTHER PEOPLES FEELINGS….sometimes it works ..Often times I am met with a cold hard stare. They don't get it.

Worst things Cookie has taken:
Car Keys
Ripped up $40 cash
My ID (still MIA)
Pocket knife
Scoobs Medical diabetic kit
Bugs MP3 player
The rubber part of my faucet (it now leaks)
ALL of my FORKS (they were missing for 3 weeks)
My debit and credit cards
Any food item you can imagine….

And on:
Saturday I could not find my phone… is the remnants of what I found.
Exhibit A:

Here is the darling face I encountered when I simply asked if he had seen it?
Guilt, shame and stress….fake tears…are his next weapon, ”if I act REALLY sad, and SWEAR that I did not take it, maybe she will back off and follow another lead.”

I did back off….and changed my approach. I gathered the youguns and announced, “Whoever finds ALL of the parts of Mommy’s phone, can earn a quarter”.
And gosh darn….you would never believe who showed up with my phone….and all I had to say was….”Next time Cookie, how bout you just ask for the Quarter…and leave Mama’s phone alone”. “O.K. Mom”.

Many will argue he didn’t get a real “punishment”…in love and logic world, maybe not. But, there is no way (right now) for his brain to process a BIG punishment, right now the biggest message I can give this little guy is, “My Mama knows me, she knows I steal, and lie, and she still loves me, and did not give me away, even though I do bad things.” I have to have that connection and trust built, before we add the next level. It is the foundation that is lacking.

Let’s be honest. I deep down believe,his compulsion, his NEED…is an addiction. It is such a deep seated fear, it is chemical. His brain reacts to the endorphins released when a compulsion is fed.

We have to heal, before we can teach. Screw the light bulb in, before we can expect light.

Tonight Cookie brought in a “new tool” to his bag-o-tricks. He brings me packages, or stuff “he finds”…that “somebody” got into. Tonight it was the case of the Ramen Noodles being stolen out of the Food Storage Room. BLECH!

So I shrugged my shoulders and said…. "Pow","Punck" "Zow"”Cookie I don’t care that you are eating those, but I bet you, they would taste A WHOLE LOT BETTER, if you brought them up and asked me to cook them for you.” His little shoulders slumped a tad, bummed that I didn’t care that he was stealing, and BUMMED too that I was on to him…..and in my mind that is what matters most.

So moral of the crime fighting?
ROBBN’ you can have all the Superpowers you need baby boy, cause the Momenator loves you ,and knows BOTH your weaknesses, and most IMPORTANT…. your SUPER strengths! Together we can beat ("POW", "ZONK") the evil Professor R.A.D.

P.S. If ya'll want to read an AWESOME post on Attachment and R.A.D. check out my friend Diana's newest Blogtastic post here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Art of Letting go....

Every other Sunday since November 19, 2009, Hubs or I take Faith to the prison to visit her beautiful mother. We have come to love her Mama, almost as much we love this little angel that has blessed our home for the last sixteen months. There are not words for the gratitude I have in my heart for the blessing and honor it has been to love, care for and adore this precious girl.

People thought we were crazy when we offered to take a baby born from the prison, true.
People thought we were even crazier when we said that the plan was to reunite her with her Mother, probably.
Most of all, people worried about my tender heart being broken, also very true.

But. Every time I look at that lil’ munchkin’s face, she puckers and asks for a kiss, or giggling reaches out for me…I think of this quote.

“It is not a slight thing when those so fresh from God love us.”
-- Dickens

and this baby, is, maybe sent directly from the arms of God, like a salve for our family.
We all adore her, spoil her revel in her smiles, and charm. Such a sweet gift.

Faith came to us at three hours old; bless her poor empty Mama’s arms and heart.
I wasn’t sure how bonding would go, and was afraid to let myself love her completely.
It wasn’t hard. Neither I, nor my husband knew how deeply we would fall in love, and how so easy it would be.

We chose to love this baby, keep her the entirety of her Mothers sentence, Foster that relationship, because….this is ONE CHANCE I get to see how healing that bond before it could break, might save this little girl from the same pain, same trauma my own babies deal with every single day, and that is a very HEALING, very wonderful, and miraculous opportunity.

So Faith will be going Home soon. Leaving the only home she has known, but going home to her mother in the next three weeks. The transition will be slow and gentle for her. She will live close, and I will give free Childcare while her Mother is at work. Sounds silly to say “free childcare” when she has been my baby, my children’s little sister since before we were all together as a family.

Faith came in November, and then in January the Earthquake happened. In three months, I went from a Mother of three, to one of nine. Faith was the easiest part.

So let’s be honest. My heart is ripping, crying, aching, wanting to run away to Mexico or Canada to stay off the pain. It is also rejoicing jumping for the happiness and love I feel for Faith to be reunited with her Mom. Grateful for the beautiful thing we got to do for a stranger, and the precious gift we were able experience for a short time.

Faith has been such an incredible reminder that all of our children are on precious loan from our Heavenly Father. Some are easier to love than others, some come with more challenges, but all still a gift, a precious loan, a reminder of his love and patience for us.

So if someone could PLEASE, come teach me this art, the art of letting this little one go.
Cause right now it hurts and feels really yucky.
I know this may just be practice for when I too watch the other eight spread there wings someday and leave the nest…but THIS. IS. HARD.
This is a good hard, but still really, really REALLY not fun, and scary and hard.

I am grateful. I am blessed to have had this baby touch my life. I have learned so much. Now letting go, may be my biggest lesson yet.

Love, Linds

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Celebration .....and I may have fallen off the wagon.....

Turn this on, turn it get your BOOG-IE ON!

SOOOO I FORGOT to mention something...In all of our celebrating the districts decision to put the English Second Language program back in the regular schools. I forgot to mention something spectacular!!!!

I got an email from Papillions sub-teacher yesterday, we use a Home School program, so that we can still get all the State testing, and really having a good understanding for where we are.

SO DRUM-ROLL........
Papillion exactly twelve months ago tested at a second grade level when she first came home from Haiti. I knew we had (and still have) a LONNNGGG way to go!

Here is what she said:

Hi Lindsay-
Just wanted to let you know that Papillion met her goal for the 5th grade M-COMP so I’ve moved her to 6th grade probes. Great job!!! She is closing the gap!

YEAH-HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Miracles happen everyday!!!
Sooo to celebrate...we may have had a Pizza-Ice Cream-Movie Party for the kids...and if Hubbie had brought home something like Neapolitan Ice Cream, or Bubble Gum, or even Cookie Dough I would have been able to resist (Hey I have been on the no sugar kick for 5 days straight with NO PROBLEM)...but he didn't bring home, Bubble Gum or Neapolitan did he, nooo, nope he. Did. Not.
He brought home this:

So I ask you…what is a girl to do when her Husband brings home her two favorite flavors combined in the form of Ice Cream?....I hope you shouted “EAT IT” at the computer screen! ….Cause folks that is JUST what she did….and it was WORTH. EVERY. STINK’N. BITE.

I’m back on the wagon again….just a lil confession time…. Ya’ll understand!

Me an Scoobs are headed out for a lil mile er’ two run this morning.
We are finishing up our basement purge….hoping to work in the yard, and garage today.
Snow is melting, Sun is shining…Hope ya’ll have a fabulous day!

Friday, March 11, 2011

There are just some things you don't mess with School District 25!!!

Yes, we Mama Bears can be Sweet, Protective, loving, tender, but don't you mess with our cubs!

Since the kids came home February of last year...there were a lot of myths and hopes I had surrounding how my home life, our relationships and even educating my children would go.

90% of them were false.

One of my biggest myths was thinking Papillion's need/want to be home with me, to build our relationship and catch her up educationally, would be something she would be on board with.

Five days after she got home, she was ready to sign up for the local high school. The other problem was her complete belief that she would be entering High School musical, and Zac Ephron like stud would be her boyfriend.
*not kidding here.

Sooo we began in a compromise, Seminary, (a release bible study class) at the local high school, and she could occasionally eat her lunch there and socialize with the other kids, and then the next school year, look at where she is at and get her in school.

Imagine how SUPRISED I was, when I learned that there was NO ESL (English Second Language program, at the local high school.


Oh, see they have moved the program, to...the alternative high school.
Did your mouth gape open a little bit?

YEP, don't ask me HOW...but, a year or two ago the School District moved the ESL kids to the Alternative High school, so to break it down...the kids that don't speak English well, are NOW going to school, with the children that have been kicked out of, or had enough behavior problems to go to, this Alternative High School.
*Don't get me wrong, I have nooo problem with Alternative High Schools, or the kids...just not the place for a naive teenager, with little English skills desperate for friends and no realistic grasp of American culture.

So I threw a stink. I called School counselors, arranged meetings with the District psychologist, wrote letters, and called everyone I could think of. I bared those Mama Bear teeth.

I stood on a soap box, HOW is it Ethical to throw a bunch of children that are socially fragile, into a potentially unsafe environment with peers that certainly are not going help them be the best that they can be. Lets be honest, it feels a little prejudicial, let’s put the potentially "problematic" kids all together.

I have stalked the poor school counselor, though he tries to stay neutral, he has been kind, lended an ear and really endured all my ranting and raving
advocating for my child.

I got a phone call today...LOL

"Is this the Mama Bear".

"Speaking", I said through a smile.

"Well, you did it".


"Next year the ESL classes and teachers will be moved back to the Regular High Schools, all over the District".

I blubbered a "Thank you"..and ran to find Papillion.

There may have been a little couch jumping involved....
We can change the impossible.(Thanks Carol) We CAN FIGHT for what is right and fair for our children....Keep on bearing those teeth Mama's!!! God is in the details, and he listens, to prayers, even if they are muffled into the carpet soaked with tears!!!!!
Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

When you feel like NOTHING works....

Hubbie for Christmas nine years ago bought me a puppy. Awwwwwww...

I had a six month old baby, it was cold, the puppy hated going potty in the snow....OH and did I mention it was DEAF? My husband bought me a DEAF eight week old Boston Terrier. SERIOUSLY!
Merry Friggin' Christmas!!!
Imagine trying to train, shout at, and keep a puppy from chewing your baby’s earlobes off….When it CAN'T hear you.
Remember how I said "All things are preparatory", yeah, meet Scooby. Now just cause Parenting Scooby is like trying to train that Deaf Puppy, doesn't mean I get to find him a Nice new family, with a great big fenced yard.
(might work, but I like Scoobs, LOVE SCOOBS, and can't imagine my crazy life with out him.

*Disclaimer* I don't talk about my kids behaviors to tattle on them, NO WAY. When I was desperate, out of my mind scared that I would not be able to figure out how to reach my kids, the Mama's that gave examples, told the truth about their kids behaviors, were the ones that helped me the most, HELPED MY KIDS the most...and also helped me feel not so alone. Most the *stuff* I share here on this blog, is the tip of a HUGE Ice-burg, some stuff is too private. O.K. back to my rambling*

I had a 120 day review with my kiddo's therapist today. Nothing too shocking; sad, disappointing, eye-opening and even HOPEFUL, but no shockers.

(Papillion was triggered ALL day, worried about what we were talking about, but that is a whole other post)

Scoobs therapist has been working on teaching Scoobs the Anger Cycle and "Needs" vs. "Wants".
What worries both her and I, is Scoobs had NO IDEA about something he wants, couldn't name a SINGLE thing. He got that NEEDS keep us ALIVE, but Wants, eh...nothing. WEIRD right?

I feel guilty that I have taken too much away for him to really value anything,” Mom’s going to take it anyway", what the point of wanting anything. YIKES! I can see that way of thinking for the poor guy, and I feel SICK.

My mind reviews the times I have bought something he really wanted and used it as a proverbial carrot (it's all about the carrots today anyway)
to get him to make his bed for one week straight, he can't and I mean CAN'T do it. The thing eventually goes up in my closet saved as a gift.
Sticker Charts DO.NOT.WORK. He doesn't want to be consistent, he doesn't want to do what I want, or ask him to do. OUCH (but oh soo true)

I am worried some of it is the Basic "Love and Logic" tools I used with him in the beginning. In the last two years, it just feels like we are drowning, losing this beautiful lil guy to ANGER. If Scoobs gets in trouble, you might as well hand him a shovel.
A snotty remark, turns into a time out, a time out turns into a screaming match/thrown chair. An escort to his room means he comes out, to throw more stuff. Holding the bedroom door, equals a trashed room, more holes in the door, and a possible broken window.... and this folks will last ALL NIGHT LONG. You can take "things" away (I have garbage bags full of stuff I hoped he could "earn back"), offer grounding, from T.V., freinds, THE.CHILD.DOES.NOT.CARE.

What do you do when you feel like NOTHING works?
IMPROVISE, be silly,, be OUTLANDISH, don't engage in the battle...(sure listen to the woman that forgets that everyday...and beats herself up later about it, cause lets be honest, the grounding, a bum paddle, even holding that stupid door, while your kid rages, makes YOU (the parent) “feel better”, justified, in control, but. Is. It. WORKING?

Today a simple thing, we are waiting in the van, and Bugs announces that Scoobs didn't eat his carrots from his packed lunch. (Girlfriend can be a bit of a tattle-tale)...I can FEEL Scoobs jaw jut out, I don't even HAVE to see we go.
"I HATE CARROTS and YOU can't make me EAT them, even IF you put them in my lunch sooo there".

I pound my hand on the horn and say "THAT'S GREAT!!!! I don't really want you to eat your carrots anyway, I just put them in there for a test and you passed, way to go Scoobs, A+!!!"

"Whaaa?” says the Scoobs.

"Yeah, see, Carrots are good for your eyes, so you know, if your are blind by the time you are a teenager, that is one less kid I have to worry about driving my car, so it's cool, Bugs or Chatter can drive you around."

"PLEASE DON'T EAT THOSE CARROTS!, don't do it, they are POISEN"!

Scoobs is grinning; P.B. asks if he can eat his brother’s carrots.
Scoobs says "NO WAY” and opens his lunch and is eating those baby carrots with GUSTO.

The whole time I am yelling "NOOOOOOOOOOOO don't eat them! Don't do it!!!"

I had a brain child the other day, and it has worked a little better than nothing. (and sometimes folks that is how things are gauged in my life)...

He HATES being told "what to do" I have a reminder board, a white board on posted on the wall, in the hallway outside of his bedroom, with his daily to-do's.(So he is NOT singled out, it has everyone’s “jobs” on there)

* This is how it looks now, cause "we" were not happy with the initial idea. I have not fixed it (though the OCD in me cringes every time I walk past it) to him that would mean that it bothered me. I figure if it was for him and not me, I shouldn't care what it looks like.
I DON'T have to ask, and the deal is.... he has ALL DAY to do them....and if he doesn’t...he is woken up earlier in the morning to get them done before school (cause SCOOBS LOVES SCHOOL)....and Dad is home in the morning (so the battle is not with ME his nemesis).I call that taking care of myself! :0) How BIG is Lindsay? Sooo BIG!

Now we still have RAGES, and since we are dealing with a Sensory disorder as well...after a major-grand-maul-tantrum, this is what we do, He. Shuts. DOWN....and will not be woken for anything...

.......and I mean anything... (Ignore the angry elf in time out)
I have to be grateful he has a coping mechanism that works for him, because the lil man above does not, other than constant crying.
It is long HARD days. I do cry, often....but ya know...later today when P.B. and Cookie *tried* to write their names in PEE in Snow in my front yard...
...and while supervising their time-ins with Mama... Chatter locked my keys, my pug puppy and Scobbies diabetic kit in the van...Praying Penelope used the potty BEFORE being locked in..and that she does not eat Scoobs kit...BEST DAY EVER!

...and I have laughed until I cried today (almost wet my pants, but that is not saying much)....
have you? Be silly, cause as Christine would say...SOMETIMES "YOU GOTTA OUT CRAZY THE CRAZY"!


Beyond Consequences LIVE in SLC by Heather Forbes!!!

Calling all Mama's and Papa's Parenting TRAUMA....Calling all Mama's pulling their hair out and doing the BEST that they can....

COME TO Beyond Consequences Live!

When: April 30th
Where: Salt Lake City UT

If you’ve done logic, consequences, behavior modification, yelling, isolation, and more, all to find out that it didn’t work, or even made things worse, you know what it is like to find yourself beyond your window of tolerance. This parenting training can change all of that.


My friend Carol found a house to rent, there are room for SIX more people (Mama's.
The more Mammas the less expensive it will be (like $25 per person a night) *if* we fill it up!!!!
Check out the digs!!!
It's got 2 bedrooms and a full kitchen and a hot tub. It can sleep 5-6.

E.mail me personally if you are down with hanging some super cool ladeis and learning some wonderful tools to parent you lil' peeps!

Here's the Carrot:

Hello Hot Tub...come on, I know you wanna come!!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

First Day DOWN!!!!

O.K. Ladies how are we doing on our Sugar intervention? Now I want to be HONEST!
I didn't take my other food crutches out of the picture, I'm not a "cold turkey" kind a girl...I have to wean myself off those comfort foods...If admitting it took 6 months
wean my baby girl off breast feeding is any indication...I am TALKING, baby steps...
It's not my fault..It's a' somethin'.
But I have learned, for me, cravings always begin with SWEETS/sugar..and I get to a point I am eating Oreo's by the handful, and I don't even LIKE Oreo's!!!

Sooooo how we doing? Everyone (O.k. the two of you that signed on publicly), doing OK so far...It's hard! I discovered a 10 pack of mini Kit-Kats in my freezer today...I gave em to my 9 in the morning (my kids think I have lost it) , now they are hyper, and LOVING life. I hand fed it to my teenager while she was doing school on the computer and told her it was to help her be sweet... I LOVE when she rolls her eyes at me, but really is digging something that I am doing!!!


So report time, how ya doing? Want any menu idea's?
This was my DESERT last night:

NO COMPLAINTS! ....It was like a bowl of summer! I hardly EVER buy fresh berries, unless they are in season (too expensive)...but if I am honest with myself they cost as much as the fancy Ice Cream I like!

P.S. My spinning class this morning TRULY kicked my BUTT!
But in a good feel like a rock-star when you are finished!!!!
Good Luck!

It is what it is...and that is O.K.

We as parent’s trip over our own ideals, what or "how" we "think" things should go.

I have this great saying my Friend Carol gave me:
Now Remember:
According to everyone else,
We look like a "NICE",
"NORMAL" family.

Are we setting ourselves up, OH YEAH, are we even more setting our kids up...UMM, YES, to the point of no return, in some cases.
I have been a GIANT Dummy, or a "wishful thinker" on this subject.
Hoping, dreaming, expecting my kids or my family to be able and be, do, go somewhere or be something they are just not ready too be.

It's like occasionally wanting a Fairy God Mother who whisks a wand over our family and says "Now you are all perfectly normal"...aint gonna happen, not even on really good days.

During the Christmas season, my kiddo's were WAY wigged out, like beyond freaky with their behaviors. The decorations, the lights, the anxiety that if they were "just good" Santa would bring them something. (Yeah that's not a set up/trigger at all)

Well next comes the parties, performances, holiday visits and such.
We have a pretty decent policy, see who is in their right mind, and take them...the rest stay home with Mom or Dad and the babies. SO "we" as a family, don't "ALL" go out at the same time, unless it is a planned activity, church, or a bulk immunization trip (fun times,

Silly Tra-la-la me *Knows* Bugs has a Christmas Concert, *knows* Papillion and Chatter generally don't let Bugs shine/get a word in edge wise 90% of the time. They are jealous, they sabotage, and Bugs puts up with their CRAP like a saint.

So I feel like it is important to have "THE WHOLE FAMILY" go to this concert.
Are you thinking: "Stupid, stupid woman yet?"

I set myself, my hubbie, my kids and most of all Bugs up for one HECK of a night.

We are a walking circus wherever we go anyway. Most people stare out of interest...but it does get a lil' old. I need a T-Shirt that says "YES there are 9; YES they are mine, NO IT IS NOT EASY".

So we wait in line, get our seats,17 year old, 2 seven year olds, 3 five year olds, Hubs and I with a baby in each arm..and Grandma and Grandpa.

The littlest group/play starts, ten minutes in, I do a quick 1-8 head count and realize #4 has no clothes on. Diva, AKA PRINCESS NAKED AS A JAY BIRD, is standing on her chair, trying to get attention. I grab her dress her, and glue her to my lap. Chatter is giggling and LOUDLY saying, "Did you see Diva Mom, DID YOU SEE HER ALL NAKED"...."shhhhh Chatter, yes Mommy did , and it was not a good choice".
The entirety of the show Angry Dude is whining, then crying...I thought I had brought enough treats (edible bribes) to keep his mouth too full to whine, NOPE, Scoobs and Cookie, stole em and ate them. AWESOME. So I let Dude have my bracelet to play with, knowing it is a matter of time, before he breaks it, but praying it buys me enough time to watch Bugs perform.

Bugs is on...she is doing AWESOME! Cutest Christmas ELF ya ever did see!...Papillion can not stand Bugs being on the stage, literally having a spotlight on her, my seventeen year old LOUDLY, starts complaining and mocking, "This is sooo stupid, when will it be over, I want to go home,".

I want to poke her eyes out with a pencil.

My looks say "You better knock it off"...but her mind hears "Sweet Mom is MAD...keep er up, you might just get what you want, and she won't watch Bugs at ALL".
So she scoots down one more chair from me and keeps up the LOUD, RUDE, and mocking. I see Bugs proudly searching the crowd for her Family, and then the shiny light goes out of her eyes, the second they fall on Papillion’s NASTY smirk.

I at this moment feel selfish, angry, resentful...Christmas spirit is eons away...

"I hand the baby off to Grandma, Give Diva to Papa...and gently (through clenched lips, explain to my teenage dream, "If you can't be quiet, like your five year old siblings are doing, you may wait in the VAN".

She flips my off, but also seals her lips, giving me an awesome glare, the lil' darling.

Sooo FINALLY ... it is INTERMISSION and Bugs play is over. There is one more, and then a party for the whole cast.

We. Can't. Stay.

Someone will turn into a Pumpkin...or a three headed monster.

I am kicking my self and so so so SAD.
Bugs comes out timidly, cute lil' elf ears, "Mom, can we stay for the last one and the party"?
I HATE that we can't.

I hug her and try really hard to make going to a public Ice Cream place as a family...sound much more exciting and FUN than the party with her friends. (I AM WISHING WE HAD TAKEN TWO CARS, or I had the social life to get to know the other Moms of the girls in the cast).

She isn't buying it, but half heartedly says, "Sounds great Mom, I'll go get dressed".

So we, and Grandma and Grandpa head to Artic Circle.
All the kids are getting the SAME thing, medium twist cones in a cup.
Bugs is happy as PIE with her Ice Cream, sweet thing cheers up and looks on the bright-side of things.

Papillion starts in on the "I'm not a baby, I don't want a cone, and I want a milkshake". (which are $3.00 more than the cone)
I calmly tell her, "Mom and Dad are having cones too".
"She starts to get nasty, and Hubs decides it's not worth the battle, and gives in. One Pumpkin Milkshake coming up... (Note: Mom does not agree with this, but is too tired, and beyond caring)
So the Triumphant teen sits with her prize, next to Bugs and s-l-o-w-l-y starts enjoying her treat. (the message; I AM MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU)...are we DONE yet...OH NOO NO not even close, cause the Grams and Gramps sit down with their own dipped chocolate cones, and Papillion, NO LONGER WANTS THE $3.50 milkshake, she wants what Grandma and Grandpa have and gives Bugs her Milkshake, which Bugs eats happily.

MOM AND DAD are both DONE.
Thank goodness by now, *most* of the kids are finished with their cones and I am wiping down hands and mouths. We are not buying another stinking thing. Maybe ever.

Hubs starts hustling littles out to the Van, when I turn and see, (are you ready for this), Papillion digging out all of the extra ice-cream out of the little kids left over cups and putting it in a NEW cup for herself. Hell-to-the-NO is that going to happen. I grabbed the cup, and tossed it, saying, "Sorry babe, game is over, car is leaving, if ya want a ride home, I suggest you get your hiney to the car"....Papillion leashes out a stream of obscenities that made my Mother in Law blush....and worst of all I see Bugs, sitting in the both patiently waiting for me, with a single little tear, she pushes away, before she thinks I will see it.

What I am going to say is not for the faint of heart, or probably for anyone that hasn't parented trauma...WALK AWAY ...go read an HAPPY POST....I WARNED YOU...

UNTIL that moment, I don't think I truly HATED, anyone, I mean, I have had my bullies, as a child as an adult, but really HATED someone, nope.
I HATED MY TEENAGER. I wished her adoption away. I wanted her to hurt as bad as she had hurt my innocent little girl, whom so badly wanted her big sister to be proud of her.

……and then I realized something;

I AM AN IDIOT. This was my fault, my expectations gone dirty doing, I triggered my kids, and I know how they are at home..and I expected them to be different in a public place? I KNEW Papillion adores Bugs, but is fiercely jealous too, and has no tools to cope with that on a healthy level. I DID THIS....and by the way, I want my teenager to feel as bad as Bugs did, she already does that by herself every. Single. Day.

Change your thinking, change your life.

Right now my life has limitations; right now healing is our priority. Does it have room for hate, resentment, Lindsay, don't be silly. Don't expect the impossible/ Some miracles take time and hard work.

Saturday, Bugs had her second performance ever.
Papillion wanted to go. Bummer, cause me and the Bugs had plans.
I dropped her off early for Make-up and pre-practice. I went to the store and bought Bugs and two of her other friends three Bouquets of multi colored daisy’s (I made friends with Mama's and now we car pool)...and watched the entire show BEAMING at my beautiful daughter, tearing at her lovely voice..and staying for the WHOLE show. By my empty lapped,not juggleing, or head counting non-shushing kids self. It was AWESOME.

Afterward, she picked the restaurant, she proudly brought in her bouquet, and the sweet Applebee’s waitresses made a fuss over my lil girl.
We shared a YUMMY sampler (she picked), we had Mango Lemonade, she had her pick of the desert menu....HER SMILE WAS CONTAGIOUS.
She giggled and talked up a storm. When we left, she wanted to leave the waitress one of her flowers with our bill.
As we walked hand in ahnd to the car she had tears, but HAPPY ones. "Mom thank you for tonight, this was so special, I won't forget this night, ever".

Was I sad the rest of my family didn't get to witness their sisters talent and cheer her on, a little, but to be honest most of them wouldn't have anyway...
Did I wish my Hubie had been there, you bet.
But cha know, sometimes it is what it is...and what you make out of it makes all of the difference.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Peace Out Sugar!

Good bye Sugar Highs...and consequently Sugar Lows....

I dare ya to join me.
I am on a quest. More like a personal journey, O.K., O.K. ...If I can make it a week BOO-YA!
To say I need a lil' detox would be pushing it. I need a MAJOR "back away from the cookies, licorice, anything that is sweet" INTERVENTION.

HEY LADY STEP AWAY FROM THE SNICKERS BAR.(It doesn’t matter if they are snack-sized and frozen , if you eat TWENTY…you are eating 4 KING SIZE Snickers Bars)

How do I know? I get to a point, I feel like CRAPOLA. I find myself eating candy, treats, things that I really don't even *like*, at an alarming rate.

In truth, am I eating when I am stressed, tired , bored, need something to fill me up, yes folks , she (as in ME) is eating her feelings, and because her feelings are Crappy, she is eating C.R.A.P.

So I decided, before the glorious season of Easter Candy really hits hard , and those FABULOUS , Giant Malt Ball eggs , become my breakfast lunch a dinner...I need to STOP.

This is not about size, or being on a diet, so please no (oh Linds your a fine size, you don't need a diet *whatever, she's in her thirties folks*)
this is about how the refined, sweet poison makes me feel.
I feel gittery, anxious, out of sorts and just plain YUCKY.

Anyone wanna give it a go with me?
The goal is simple, trying to eat foods with less than 7 grams of sugar, or sugar alcohol, per serving. The first day is HARD...(Diet Dr. Pepper, is an awesome sweet tooth fix, as are Sobe Waters)...but I have found after the couple day hump, I don't crave it anymore. I am not eating mini snickers out of the freezer, like the junkie that I am.

I LIKE natural sugars more and am more drawn to something healthy , instead of refined.
Mmmmmm like a bowl of fresh berries, an apple with Almond Butter.
I AM NOT GIVING UP WHOLE GRAIN CARBS (I am not *THAT* crazy), or anything BUT refined sugar. Baby steps, Linds, baby steps.

It's like a little check up, from the neck up for me....just a little chance for me to screw my head on a little tighter AND LISTEN TO MY BODY.

Anyone want to join my crazy wagon?...I really want to give this a go until Easter.

Peace out sugar you Wiley-She-DEVIL...I don't need ya!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday Monday

Most Monday mornings....I can here the "Mama's and the Papa's" singing his song in my head.

I would LOVE to hear how you big/home schooling family Mama's do it!
I am wasted by the end of a Monday.

I start with wake up at:
Gym and shower get home by .....

6:30 Wake up older kids Breakfast Scriptures

7:05 Take oldest to early morning Seminary (Bible Class)

7:45 Scoobs and Bugs to school

8:00 Wake 6 lil kids

8:24 Pick-up oldest, drop of at therapy at


Run Home
Dressing, feeding breakfast , clean up for lil kids

10:30 Pick up oldest (Everyone is fully clothed and in car)
11:00 Tutoring for oldest
12:00 Tutoring for Chatter (We do lunch somewhere between now and later)
1:30 Pick up of Bugs and Scooby
1:45 Therapy Appointment for Chatter
2:24 Therapy Appointment for Scooby
3:30 leave to take Papillion to Dance (way across town)
4:00 Get to Dance (try to do Homework in Van while we wait)
6:00 Finished with Dance
7:00 Dinner
8:00 Baths and Bed Time
8:30 I pass out in my clothes,knowing I still have laundry and dishes...

Yes for the entirety of Mondays this is my "Home away from Home"

I should LOVE my van...I really am grateful for it. I HATE to drive it. May it be known in the Blogity Universe...I am NOT the best driver...and driving a BUS is scary! Parking it is a nightmare...trying to see behind you requires a neck that can spin around at a CRAZY degree (ever seen The Exersist)....backing up requires prayer and pure FAITH.

Lets just say I drive like I spell...all the best intentions in the world..but lack in the execution.
Add a car fully loaded with LOUD restless littles, and a tired Mama...I must have Guardian Angels surrounding us whenever we go out!
Minus the smell of petrified chicken nuggets and it being the home to abandoned toys, and random mismatched shoes...It gets us where we need to go.

I did get to read and FINISH this today:

So YEAH!!!! I will be going to book club this Wednesday knowing my book, and not just for the Papa Murphy's Delight Pizza...(hope you have seen these commercials to get that joke...) Hardy har, har.

Anywho...Hope ya'll are surviving your MOnday, Mondays...I am daydreaming of a nap just about NOW!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Root of The Trigger, and appolgizing for what we CAN'T change.

Kiddo's with Trauma, get Triggered. Once a stressful situation is presented, the Brain sparks and starts referencing past trauma. It is not logical, but to them the pain, the fear, the anger, is so raw and tangible, they can FEEL it, whatever it was, a combination of sad, bad and scary, all over again.

Can I just say HOW PROUD I am of my teenager? How much YUCK, she has let me delve into with her and swim around in? She is amazing. She is so BRAVE.
She is learning to stop and let me calm her down enough to reach into her brain.

We have rules that help our eleven member family operate better, they may seem silly, or strict or nonsense to the outside eye...but hey, they work for us.
One is shower and bathing times. *Some* of our children *Cough* Papillion *Cough* like to shower until the warm water runs cold...
So she may shower to her hearts content at night, after the littles are in bed.

Well Miss Papillion HATES and I mean HATES most rules. There is a fear behind the defiance. I know that, and unless it is a HUGE issue we work though it calmly...or ignore the behavior. She suffers plenty of natural consequences for this and some days it takes biting both cheeks, my tongue and duct taping my mouth shut to let her do this.

Case and Point:
Saturday Morning:
Hubs had a funeral to go to, I had Laundry to run, dishes to do, and little kids that needed to go potty.
Pappillion has her own bedroom and bathroom (with her own shower) in the basement, but for some reason she was three stories upstairs, locked in the little kids bathroom taking a century long shower.
5 little kids came in and out of my room to use the pot, cause they couldn't get in their bathroom.


I took a deep breath, check to see if there was any hot water left, NOPE....she would be out in a minute. I say a quick prayer, granting me patience...and go knock on the door.
"WHAT", says she.
"CHATTER", I ask.
"No, it's me Papillion".
'Oh, is your bathroom broken babe"?
"Can you come out sweets".

An angry daring child emerges.
I can already see she is Triggered, eyes are glazed, jaw is set.

"Sup Woman"?

and the outraged ranting begins
"What is your problem, I didn't doooo anything, why you have to ask me why I am in the bathroom, I can do what I want, you are stupid, your rules, I HATE your rules, It's not a big deal that I wanted to shower"...lalalalalalalalal...

Can you feel my deep chested “SIGH”, here we go.
The little kids are starting to collect at the sounds of the yelling (they will be triggered soon too)...I "help" Papillion to my bedroom for a chat, and sit, while she lets me have it.

I guide some of the anger, by asking questions.

"I know you HATE me, right now, and HATE our rules when it comes to showering, is there another time you hated being bossed and having rules"?


" I HATE people like you, people that think they are the boss of everyone else. People that think they are important by making people other people feel stupid, and poor, and not as good. Just because I am an Orphan, and have think your rules will break me, make me think I don't deserve what I want, never, that will never happen".

I calmly ask her, who are the people that are like me, that have hurt you or made you feel small with rules"?

"A school teacher, and a head Nanny at the Orphanage".


Now comes the parenting: what I call, "Bringing her back down to earth".

Said calmly, and non threatening,
"Honey, I can really see why you hate rules, and maybe even why you think our shower schedule seems unfair and stupid, you feel when you want a shower, you should be able to have one, whenever, wherever you want."
"Papillion, I can see how MAD you are at me, and feel I am just like those other people that only want to hurt you and keep you in your place. Can we talk about the difference in the way I am talking to you, compared to the way they spoke to you?"
Did those people, bring you somewhere quiet and safe, to talk about it. or did they just yell at you".

"They yelled at me, in front of other people and kids", she hiccupped.

"O.K. How bout them asking you about your feelings and how you felt about what happened"?

"They didn't CARE about me and my feelings".

I scoot closer to her and put my arms around her. "Sweetheart, I am so so VERY sorry, that they hurt you, and embarrassed you, made you feel stupid and poor, and not important. I am so sorry that I was not there to care about your feelings and FIGHT for the things that you needed. I LOVE YOU and I am SO SO Sorry that you felt like they hurt you with their rules."

We both cried, her for her pain and loss, me for the times I didn't get to be there for my beautifully hurt child.

She pulled back and said, "You are not like them Mom, I just forget that when I get Mad".

I smiled and told her "I understand, that's what I am here for, to help you look at things sometimes, so you can REALLY see them for what they are".

We did talk about how her shower was inconvenient for our family.
I gave her some tools.
I explained if she REALLY felt like she NEEDED to shower in the upstairs shower (her reasoning is the downstairs shower is cold, cause it's in the basement)....we could have worked something out.

So we practiced her asking... (Oh and AFTER her LOATHING of RULES, comes her COMPLETE distain of having to "ASK" for something).

"Mom, the downstairs bathroom is cold, and I would like to take a shower this morning in the little kids bathroom".

"OK Papillion, Dad has a funeral to go to this morning and needs a shower, so do you feel you can wait until after he is done, and then I think that would be fine. While you are waiting, why don't you check and see if any of the little kids need to go potty, before you are in their bathroom?"

She smiles, and asks, "So you would have said "yes"?


I ask her if even though it is hard, can she see that she was triggered; her feelings this morning were more about things that had happened before.


Do you hear the angels singing?

It was HUGE for both of us.

Therapeutic Parenting takes time, it takes LISTENING to what your kids are really saying. IT TAKES A LOT OF PATIENCE.

We can do this, we can name the hurts and injustices, and we can help see when our kids are triggered.

Have a great Sunday~!
I am home watching girlie movies with four sick kids, while hubs takes the other five to church...

Friday update of the "Purge"

I would share more pictures...but, let me just don't want to know! I am successfully getting rid of one third of most rooms!
The linen closet, check. The laundry room, check. Peanut butter and Cookies room and clothes, check. ALL of the shoes (imagine around 300 pairs), check, coats and jackets, check. Papilions room, check.
Kitchen office, cupboards and School cupboards, check.

So I still have mine and hubbies room to go.
Diva and Chatters room and clothes.
Dude and Scoobs room and clothes.
The kitchen, Play room.
The storage room (Uggg) is half way there.

I have to say it is AMAZEING the time you save, not shuffling through the junk you don't need clouding up finding the stuff you are looking for WOWZA's!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

SPRING CLEANING vs. Give up and just light a match

Soooo I may or may have have totally lost it on my family had some inspiration last night and started unloading closets, drawers in a frenzy, completely organized rational way, and started my mid life crisis, spring cleaning.

Dear old "Before the Invasion" House,
I remember you; I can barley see the skeleton of the well organized, clean, a place for everything, and everything a place house, you once were. Like so many things I didn't appreciate you then. I thought nicer carpet and leather couches would make me like you better, but alas, I miss those days. Now I would settle for not having marks and holes in your lovely walls. Minus the petrified boogers on the walls the paint color is quite pretty. No bleached stains on the carpet, where a well meaning child has meant well by trying to clean up their own pee. Doors with hinges that work are days of the past...and yet I just have to say "Thank you", thank you for taking all of the abuse my family has to offer. Thank you for giving my kiddo's security, a warm place to sleep and some pretty incredible memories.
I have learned a house is not just four walls, it is a place I may never escape from HOME where my children, can grow, learn to love and heal in.

Love Always,

We doubled our home by half the people last year...with that came many donations, extra clothes, shoes and toys. We. are. drowning. in. crap.
So I am pledging HALF, O.K. more like 1/3 of the STUFF and THINGS in my home, (that just add to the stress and to-do's I could be giving time to my family instead)...IT is OUT OF HERE. I mean it, I am getting rid if half of our clothes, half of our toys, the kitchen utensils I don't use, so I can find the ones that I do....IT. IS. TIME.TO.SIMPILFY.

So if ya know where I live...and you see flames, I gave up....THERE WILL BE AN EPIC YARD SALE, one the likes of this Po'dunk town aint eva seen before!

My goal is to donate, half to a charity/Orphanage (I will have to pray about it) and the other, for a family trip this summer.

HERE WE GO...and just in case anybody got a match?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Fruit of Parenting

A VERY wise and beautiful mother sent this to me last night. She said she needed it and figured I did too....I bet A LOT of us do.
In the grand-scheme of things after the kids are raised and you look back, what is left, is you. Gloriously flawed,smarter, stronger you.

My kiddo's are hard, but if I looked at my life from a far, I would see...I laugh, almost as much a I cry. I PRAY more. I seek strong, honest , trustworthy people as friends. Life becomes way more about quality not quantity. More about good, healthy moments than the "things". What a life lesson.

So today is "ODE" to what I have learned from my kids. The gifts parenting a large family, dealing with a menagerie of strengths and weaknesses on an individual basis, and the pearls of wisdom, the strength, empathy and gifts they give me, by letting me, Lindsay, this totally messed up person whom has her own junk to figure out, be their MAMA!

What I have learned from my kids:

* Life is preparatory, right now may be the hardest it might ever get, but be prepared it may get even HARD-ER.

* If it is yellow, it is probably pee.

* Hard isn't BAD, it's just HARD.

* 7 different versions of "what happened", may not always help you figure out the truth.

*Make the Good moments count.

* Be who you are at home, in Costco, at church, cause, the real you is who you are the most.

*God makes up the half you don't.

*Pull-ups should never be washed and dried, EVER.

* Healing is universal, there is no time limit, wounds can be reopened in a NANO-SECOND. HANDLE WITH CARE.

* Dancing whenever, however you are dressed (or not dressed) when you hear a beat, always can put a smile on your face.

* The people who don't approve or support you, were never worth it anyway.

* Assume any time a five year old has "washed their hands" soap is optional.

* No matter , how big, little, flawed, gifted, rich poor, undamaged, or damaged...assume we are all just people, doing the best we can....because we all have been damaged.

WHAT A GIFT my children are to me. The life lessons they teach me can not be learned in the greatest of universities, they are my pearls of wisdom, particularly crafted for me by my Father in Heaven.JUST. for. me.
I just have to listen well, endure long enough, and allow patience to rule my heart,for me to learn them.

Promise me you will Always remember; You are Braver than you Believe,Stronger than you Seem and Smarter than you Think.

~Christopher Robin to Pooh

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Calgon Moments and other Random stuff....

Really Sweet Cheeks? A lil' pillow fight through ya over the edge? "Welcome to my world Grandma"...your toes would be PRUNES if a pillow fight required Calgon Therapy!

I has been a Rage-a-licious day. Hubbie called and asked "how's the day going"...silence.
" ya wanna tell me the details"...


"You need anything"?

"One way ticket to Mexico would be nice" (I'm just saying)

We can have GOOD, EVEN GREAT days, days of our definition of "normal". Which fools me EVERY-TIME..into thinking, "Hey we are getting it" .... I'm such a SUCKER!
I can have a straight run of two or three days, with out a 2-3 hour tantrum...and then I can have days like today.
It is AMAZING how the triggers that come out of nowhere!

For teenagers it can take a hormone surge,you simply asking a harmless question, you (heaven forbid) making them a Sandwich , when they a (gasp)wanted a bagel. Harmless my !*& when the rest of the day is shot with a steaming, grumpy, defiant person that melts you with their laser beam eyes.

"We are a Happy Family"...sorry, out of habit.

The hard thing with having bio siblings, or adopted siblings from the same O, or simply kids that had trauma in common (My duo that trigger each-other the most are my Domestic Scoobs and Pappilion) is they Trigger EACH-OTHER. If we have one problem in the morning, solve it, smooth it over (and this took MONTHS of practice to pull them out if there rages and help them turn their days around.
We have a 100% chance of THUNDER and LIGHTENING the rest of the day. It is like the chaos in their brains SPARK.

So yep...
Today started with Scoobs, ticked that Bugs wrote that competition essay, due today (that I had offered to help him with)...We were printing it off and getting the Cover page done...and he starts in with "I WANTED TO DO AN ESSAY TOO".

I hugged him "Bummer Dude, I offered a bunch of times, and I can see that your upset, we could write it just for us, today after school".
"NO I WANT TO WRITE ONE NOW".....sooooo yeah,after a gruesome half hour, he pulled it together to be able to go to school , but it was a L-O-N-G morning.

Next came Diva. I was out last night,playing Bunko having intellectual stimulation next door.
Some sweet friends , who mean well , showed up with treats and for a surprise visit.
Diva, spent the whole time trying to get the Friends Husbands attention, "pick me up, pick me up"...which is a major no-no at our house....

Hubbie sent the kids to bed , without addressing it, soooo I needed to. I tried to in a VERY gentle, non-shaming matter...and this is how WELL it went:

And yes DIVA is famous for shoe throwing....and no, not just at doors, hallways and down stairs. I have a lovely purple bruise on my right arm/elbow.

BEWARE...cause though she is supposed to keep the rage'n in her room.....We. Have. A. SNIPER. IN. THE. TOWER.

This was all before the little kids breakfast.
Sets quite the tone for the day eh?

Next came Senior Poopy pants, his lil' M.O. is taking his diaper off and filling his pants (in this case his footsie Jammie) bath-time,screaming, biting

Kids dressed, fed, CLEAN UP Time....

Cookie is my quiet but deadly fella...He does not pull his own weight in the clean-up department, and his trigger is simple as "Go clean up your room", even if you send help...he will play with a toy, find something interesting to do , but NEVER joins in. This makes his siblings angry, and resentful....
If they come up to tell on him..He is already SOBBING and SCREAMING, cause "they were mean to him". Yes this sounds normal, but did I mention the crying lasts 2 hours?

School time, a little page, a little rage, a little pout, a little shout, via Chatter, struggling over learning Rhymes,....that ended up with a broken book, a torn up homemade game....and P.B. sobbing in protest.

Bummer Chatter, you had a field trip today, you are screaming so loud , the Therapist could not hear over the rage for me to cancel and say you would not be coming....I think she may have figured it out.

We had a big girl talk. I didn't shame, I was sad with her that she missed her Field Trip, natural consequence toots. We figured out, she wasn't really MAD at Peanutbutter, she was afraid, that because Peantbutter was picking up the rhyming game faster than she was, he was smarter and she was dumb. We cheered, we hugged, what a brave little girl to talk about her FEELINGS....

While this was going down, Papillion must have been missing out on the action , casue look up to see her putting on her shoes, walking to the frount door....
"Where ya go'n darlin", says I.

SLAM, says the door.

"Freakn' Awesome" says I , under my breath.

So I LOCKED the child outside, she will come back when she is cold....or maybe walk back to her home country. Oh well. (OK sooo I didn't do that REPEAT: DID NOT DO THAT...but sooo TEMPTING)

I was a GROWN-UP.
I went after her....because let's be honest...she wanted/needed that attention, and *IF* she had the tools , she would have said "Mom, you have given the little kids A LOT of attention today, and I feel left out."

But that is NOT how we roll. NOPE.

Sooo she was walking to the van, and sitting in the passenger seat "getting a book" so she says.
Well Sweet child o' mine....lets practice answering Mom, before you stomp out of the we went back in and tried acting it out again. She was tooo agitated to with a little help from my friends.."The shorties", they took turns being Mom, and Papillion....Diva does an AWE SOME Papillion impression. Peanut butter's "MAMA" impression was wa-ay off.
They were hilarious!

We changed it up with them answering as their big sister...

"Hey Darlin' where ya going"...

They're answers,

"Be right back Mom, I'm going to go get...
a Doughnut!
a Pony!

She was still steaming, but cracked a lil' smile....we are still working on the Embers...but the blaze is gone.

Sooo anywho...there we are, lil' miss Calgon, you ain't got nuthin.
....but ya know a bubble bath tonight , does sound DIVINE!