Saturday, November 16, 2013

The difference between Letting go and Giving Up....

I owe myself an apology.
and possibly in turn you.

You see, there has been a mantra I have been selling to myself, a bar I have been holding myself to, a belief and expectation of myself that I have clung to.
Never, not for one moment would I expect any other person, mother or care provider to do this to, or expect it themselves, and yet, I stand here guilty.

I BELIEVED I had to do it ALL.
I believed that to be a good mom and to help my kids heal I HAD to do it a certain way, make it look and flow within my expectations of myself. What I forgot?
The variables, my children, what they might need, regardless of what I THOUGHT they might need, within my abilities to give it to them.
Because why?
It is MY job....
and, I am a bit of a moron.

In a world of humans struggling, fighting battles of love, finance, illness, business, politics, religion and much more, we say, "Never Give up", because failure in not an option.
Sacrifice is glorified, for the out come, and yes, sometimes that sacrifice is warranted, and all too often sacrifice is just  waste, wearing a sad cloak of self righteousness.

So I am de-cloaking a bit.

Good crap this is awkward.

I have these insanely AMAZING people in my life.
People that are raw and honest and on incredible journeys to heal their children, relationships and along the way heal themselves. They are so brave.
I sometimes push them to forgive and let go of things, do MORE self care, forgive them selves or others and move on, to lesson expectations.
I am SO good at gently advocating for these people I love, wanting them to see the amazingness that I see.
And five minutes later? There is no way I could take my own advice.
Because I suck at all of the above.
Like a lot.

Never Give Up?'s kinda crap.

We all have to accomplish the art of letting go.
Weeks ago I stood in my Grandmothers ICU hospital room, with an aid of a ventilator she was being kept alive.
Hope was being sucked in deep gulps, desperate to erase the last three days that transformed someone that had been such a permanent fixture in our lives , into someone that might slip away, never to return.
Words like, "She's a fighter, she's a tough lady, she can pull though this."
Were shared as we willed her to wake up, begged with tear filled eyes at her still , yet breathing body to wake up.

As days passed new words replaced those most desperate sentences: "She wants to be with Grandpa" who passed before her. "She would never want to live in a hospital", "She isn't going to wake up and be who she was before, and that would be unfair."

It was time to let Grandma go.We didn't give up on her, we were more fair and more kind in what was best.

It think sometimes we get so stuck in the fight, we forget to pull our heads out of the sand trap,and look up and around for some other options, better options.
Sometimes those other options are not what you would want them to look like, some options are more a letting go.

While fighting an uphill battle, there is a natural need to hold onto your convictions, and faith that YOU can make things better with two very tight fists.
When doing the very hard and thankless sometimes that hope is all you cling to with a thread.
That tomorrow will be better...if I just stay on this road, this HARD thing will get better.
Often that is so very true.

Yet sometimes, it's simply not.
and that is where I owe myself the apology.

I am sorry I waited so long to look up and consider another path.
I am sorry perhaps through my actions and example I made anyone including myself believe that I could possibly have all of the answers or even some of them.
I am a student on this crazy twirling ball like the rest of you, just trying to figure crap out.

Sometimes as a parent or a partner, or a caregiver, you have to pull a new card.
You are not giving up, you are seeing things from a distance and recognizing the path you are on is the looonnnggg not necessarily best path to the inevitable.

Perhaps, this whole letting go is a good thing.
Perhaps this "Never Give up" needs to pertain to yourself, and not the situations and scenarios placed upon our backs. Somethings are meant to be shaken off, let go of, or even handed off.

Truth is , we can't, and shouldn't expect, or make ourselves to it all.
Truth is in this place we can waste the best parts of ourselves and others in the name of sacrifice.

Is there something, something you can let go of, celebrate defeat over, or switch up a path all in the name of Never Giving Up, but also Letting Go?

Monday, this homeschooling mother of nine?
She is packing lunches, and putting into place 1:1 aids and nurses for two of her chronically ill children, recognizing that this too, though not my original goal of what educating my children would look like. The goal? The outcome will still be the inevitable. They with lots of trouble shoots and energy needed much tweaking and long hard days, my children will receive the  education they are capable of. With me, yet with out my sacrifice.
Those are some weird pants for me to be trying on.

Earlier this week in a private message to my incredible friend Christine I wrote her this;

"But, honestly...we are better parents, because we see where our energy NEEDS to go, instead of throwing ourselves under every bus in the name of being a good mom...instead recognizing that damn bus is coming no matter what and getting out of the way..."

So in short.

Dear Lindsay,
Thank you for figuring out the difference between "Letting go" and "Giving up".
Thank you for pulling your head out.
Thank you for re tipping the scales with having more opportunities for better, though fewer interactions with your children.
Though it is scary, you are being smart.
Take less time being stubborn K ?


Monday, October 21, 2013

"What feeling bad is for" The country song version.

Do you ever feel like your life , or day, or week would make one kick @$$ country song?
Seriously, all this crap about broken hearts, keying cars, and being broke and these people don't even parent special needs kids?
I guess we can all chock it up to the grand “human experience”?

In the last couple of weeks, we have had a house flood (bathtub left on by a sick kid), food poisoning (hence the sick kid), car trouble ( one child purposely leaving an interior light on in the car consistently and frying the battery), oven fire,financial struggles.
Our pets head are falling off....
Well, not really , but our pug Penelope is very fortunate to be alive after her electric fence collars battery fell out, and she went chasing cars, and caught one, literally, with.her.face.

If that isn't fodder for one sad country song, I don't know what is.

Yesterday was another really rough go at church. As if finding 20 matching shoes isn't reason enough to not want to go, a struggling child sabotaging the morning and not being regulated enough to go to her own Sunday School class is just icing on a very large poo-cake.

Yesterday while seven other siblings were happily dropped off to class, one child didn't want to keep their clothes on, or walk, if breathing in and out had been optional, they wouldn't have done that either.

As they tried to claw and bite and we sat enjoying the fall breeze on the church stairs, beautiful echo's of “I hate you”, “ You are the worst Mom ever”, “My birth mom shouldn't have died, YOU SHOULD BE DEAD” carried whimsically on the fall wind, like the multi colored leaves floating by.
It's called frigin' imagery people.

Once calmed, we tried sitting in the foyer, hands being held.
Each time an attempt was made to causally pinch, or scratch me, I would kindly, but firmly say, “No, you may not hurt me.” This was said in front of other people in the Foyer. Consistently repeated, until the secrecy of their hurtful, sneaky behavior was no longer a secret, or something they wanted to continue to do.

Later that evening, there was a meltdown, a conglomerated interpretative dance and wailing of all things “feeling bad” related.

Once the demon was exercised, we had an opportunity to process some big feelings.
One of which was “Feeling bad, and so sorry for hurting mom, and fighting, and stealing the youngest's food and being mean.” Also the feeling of embarrassment was vocalized when Mom said, “You may not hurt me', telling there bad behavior secret.

I was gentle and explained, keeping hurting secrets, where one person is allowed to hurt another, is not safe for anyone, and in our home hurting secrets will not be kept. Not out of shame, out of safety.

A loud wail erupted as a volcano of  SHAME came tumbling through her lips.
“I feel bad that I hurt you, I feel bad that I was so mean today. I am a really bad, no good, rotten awful ugly kid that no one should like, I hate me, I wish I had never been born. You shouldn't love me, or be nice to me, because I ruin everything.”

And that is the shame folks, the everlasting seepage of how no matter what she feels unworthy, incapable of good, and destined to live up to her definition of herself.

It hurts my heart each time, to witness this much self hate in such a small fragile person.
Tiny humans hold more pain that we can understand possible.

And so we broke down “Feeling Bad” tore “feeling bads” face off and ripped it into little digestible shreds.

One of the myths our kids tell themselves is “I do bad things, I feel bad, because I AM UNDENIABLY TO THE CORE BAD.”
Man to feel that way about yourself all of the time, and anytime you mess up, trip up as humans do, it is a manifestation of what a screw up  you already believe yourself to be. Gez that has to suck.

I said to her, “Baby girl, I think I need to help you understand “Feeling Bad”, will you let me help you?”
She looked at me like I was retarded, she is sort of right, she does have a PHD on the subject.
However, she shook her head “yes”.

Sweetness, “Feeling Bad” is not wrong. “Feeling bad is a safety boundary built into our brains and bodies.”

Sniff,”It is?”

“Yes, just like if Mom warned you to be careful around a hot oven burner, and you still touched it and burned your hand. Would that make you a BAD KID or a HURT KID?”

“Both, bad, because I didn't listen and hurt, cuz burns hurt.”

'Sweetie, just because you didn't listen and got hurt, doesn't make you bad, it wouldn't be a great choice, because the consequence would be a hurt hand. But the next time the burner was on would you touch it?”

“No, cuz I got hurt.”

“Exactly, and that is how “Feeling Bad” is supposed to work in our brains. Feeling Bad, because we made some rough behavior choices is good, it is really telling your brain “EW this FEELS BAD, LETS NOT DO THIS AGAIN.”
That's it, that's what it is built for.
Not, “Because I touched the burner and didn't listen to my Mom, I am a really bad, no good, rotten awful ugly kid that no one should like." It is just there to help you not want to repeat the behavior over again.

She looked at me like I had three heads.
“Wait a minute, feeling bad, is good, like a Stop sign in my brain?................. but not when I let it make me feel bad about me, that's not what that feeling is for?”

The burner was hot, and you should remember not to touch it again, because it hurt, that is ALL “I feel bad” is supposed to do to you. Really “I feel bad” is built into your brain to protect you, not beat you up on the inside. That beating up on the inside is called shame, and shame is a sick, dirty, mean cousin of 'Feeling Bad”. (Now if that isn't a song lyric)
Honey, big people that haven't had as much hard in their lives as you have, confuse what “Feeling Bad”is supposed to do, and invite shame in to beat them up all of the time. We are pretty lucky to know the difference, don't you think?”

A light clicked on, so tonight, when I am “feeling bad” about hurting you at church and throwing a fit, really it is my brain telling me, I don't want to do that again, not that I am a terrible kid?”

“Yes sweetheart, that is exactly what your brain was trying to tell you with the “I feel bad”.

A smile crept out on her face.

I think there were little fireworks going off in her brain, maybe the 'Annie' soundtrack background music of “The sun will come out tomorrow.”

"Honey this new tool isn't easy, you know the song 'Stop in the name of Love' ?With the  hand motions and everything that we sing?"


"Well, sometimes you are going to feel bad for a choice, it happens to everyone, but now you know, you can ask that "feeling bad" thought what it is trying to protect you from doing again, and NOT let his cousin Shame, the one that tells you the mean lies about yourself in. And if that naughty cousin tries to show up and tell you mean lies about what kind of bad kid you are...SING THAT SONG, and remember what "feeling bad's" job really is, O.K.? "

"O.K. Mom, and Mom? I think I really needed to know this a long time ago, but I am glad you told me now."

"Me too sweetie, me too."


Note: Singing this song, with a country twang while jumping on the trampoline with tutu's, makes all the difference.

Think it all over.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Boobs and Brains #stigma

This week is Mental Heath Awareness week, as well as ADHD awareness month. October 10th, tomorrow is National Depression Screening Day.
Between having a husband that works in the Mental health field, and parenting live specimens. I have thought a lot in the last 4 years about the stigma awareness brings.

I have written about it.
Actively trying to normalize, honestly speaking about my and my children's challenges without shame, without fear, openly.

Last night I was bundled up watching the boob tube with my fella, kids all in bed, it was a 1940's drama, one of the characters recently returning from the war.
He was having delusional visions, flash backs and being triggered by fire works.
In the show they called it combat fatigue. Recommending a month of drug induced sleep so his brain could sleep.
GOOD CRAP doesn’t that sound delicious?
Really much of it was, they didn't know WHAT to do with these soldiers coming home broken, society didn't except them, and resources were nil to nothing. Almost 70 years later, are we doing much better?

More is known about trauma, ADHD, and mental illness, more medications, and therapy are available than ever before. But still the stigma clings to the not talking about it.

October is also Breast Cancer Awareness month. I see pictures of pink ribbons, reminders to self check my Bazzombas, commercials, hell even football players are wearing pink, and HOLY CRAP yeah, that is awesome! But my question is , when did it become more socially acceptable to talk about Boobies more than Brains?

I have amazing friends overcoming Breast Cancer. I see adorable pictures of kids holding up signs saying “last chemo treatment”. All make me cheer, my chest tighten with empathy and eyes burn with tears, because we are human and over coming suffering is something we all can relate with.

But when it comes to one of the most common obstacles? Depression, bi-polar disorder, anxiety, conduct disorders as a result to trauma, and ADHD? Very, very little.
There is still so much shame, and embarrassment attached.

My friends that have kids overcoming their last chemo treatments should be able to stomach their friends with kids who's wrists are healing from attempted suicide . They are the same. They are both frightening , possibly terminal issues. Hard is Hard.

Kids that break their legs and have adorable colorful casts posted on face-book, may never know the pain of the seven year old that wishes she could die, because she had a bad day and was called ugly at school, or worse, nothing happened and organically she just feels this way.

All of this has a voice.

Am I asking for you to walk a picket line? Wear a T-shirt that says “It's cool to be depressed” or post descriptive issues you are not comfortable on face-book ?


Facebook post A:

Photo: Math with Gage often looks like this. Begins with jumping up and down while answering questions,  next he will sit on the stool, backwards, upside down...or stand on it , bending down to click on his answers.
Sometimes he needs laps around the house in between lessons.
Today he was standing on his head.
"Hey buddy whatcha doin?"

"Sometimes when I do math my brain falls into my butt, so I have to stand on my head to get it back to my head, thats a for reals problem mom, right? Does your brain ever fall into your butt?"

"All the time son, all of the time, and it is a for reals thing...just ask our Congress." ;)
"Math with Peanut-butter often looks like this. Begins with jumping up and down while answering questions, next he will sit on the stool, backwards, upside down...or stand on it , bending down to click on his answers.
Sometimes he needs laps around the house in between lessons.
Today he was standing on his head.
"Hey buddy whatcha doin?"

"Sometimes when I do math my brain falls into my butt, so I have to stand on my head to get it back to my head, thats a for reals problem mom, right? Does your brain ever fall into your butt?"

"All the time son, all of the time, and it is a for reals thing...just ask our Congress."

Facebook post B.
My son with a mood disorder was raging in his room and I posted this:
"Scooby is in his room, jumping on gis bed, trying to calm down listening to his Neil Diamond CD cranked all the way up, singing "Love Potion number 9", belting it.

You can't train that kind of awesomeness, it is magically in his bones.

and my favorite:
Photo: Rough night of low blood sugars and night terrors over here. (Weather changes do weird things)
Mable May ( our Saint Bernard puppy) came in with me at 2 a.m. and wouldn't leave his side to go back to her bed.
This is what I found at 5:30 a.m. after another blood sugar check. 

Facebook post C:
"Rough night of low blood sugars and night terrors over here. (Weather changes do weird things)
Mable May ( our Saint Bernard puppy) came in with me at 2 a.m. and wouldn't leave his side to go back to her bed.
This is what I found at 5:30 a.m. after another blood sugar check.
#canyouhearmyheartexploding "

I am asking you to open your mind, actively not shudder, shy away from or think someone is over sharing when they talk about mental illness. Walk into the thought, turn it over and ask why it makes you feel uncomfortable, question and make peace with it. That is how we slowly change a Stigma, by asking the feelings questions.

How can pictures of breasts with pink ribbons (which I have not an issue in the world with) not be considered an over-share, yet someone saying they are feeling depressed, or worried about their Bi-polar daughter considered an over-share,and something that should be 'private'.

So for me this month...I am going to Actively and honestly share about our, ADHD, trauma, mood disorder, eating disorder, conduct disorder, depression, anxiety, mental health real, beautifully messy ways.
That is how I am going to celebrate October.
Bring on the Boobies and Brains I say!


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Parenting Special Needs/ aka /The Water Park Analogy

This last weekend I went on a little jaunt to my old stomping grounds with three of my children.
It was a much needed break for all four of us.

One daily practice I try to do, regularly post on Facecrack Facebook, is 5 daily gratitude's, 6 or 7 on more “trying days” where I really need to hunt for the hopeful and good in my daily chaos.

 Last Friday night, after pediatrician visit complete with immunizations, a grueling chiropractor visit and a two hour drive complete with a yowling terrified kitten and a over tired tender legged 3 year old I landed at my friends home to open arms, free range fun for my kids, chocolate, and taco salad.

That night on F.B. Along with my gratitude’s I joked that;

“It's 10 o I know where my children are?
Old stompin grounds, surviving Peds appointments with shots, Just sittin', safe travels, carefree plans tomorrow, watching my oldest giggle with very much missed BFF's...did I mention I am JUST SITTING, AND I don't know where all my children are? “

I thought nothing of it and continued to enjoy my carefree night, in fact I think 2 out of the 3 munchkins ran, jumped and played themselves into a stupor and passed out/fell asleep around one a.m. In the morning.
Parenting vacation MAGIC people.

The next morning I had a message in my Facebook inbox.

“Hey Linds, I have a weird question for you. I love reading your Gratitude’s, and sometimes read your blog. I know your life is hectic, but I don't get how you consider having 3 kids STILL with you a “night off”? Are you nuts? My two are Kicking my butt. P.S. How do you manage to get away as often as you do, don't you feel guilty?
Love you gurl,

I laughed, a little, sent her some love and thought about her message yesterday, not having the time to fully respond with all my mad thrifting skilz and poppn' tags rush for the 7 birthdays that are stalking me like jaws in the next 6 weeks. So I thought about her questions on my drive home this morning, thinking “Hey I'll send her a little note, trying to explain.

THEN I walked through my door, finally home after driving for two hours in construction, sandwiched between semi's I was met with screaming and crying, gnashing teeth, and keeling whale moans deep with in the bowels of our home.

Welcome home.
At least Mable our Saint Bernard was very happy to see me.

Five children rushed me, patting me down for gum and M&M's like a drug lord trying to get through customs.
I was told by a very dis-regulated child that they had been stung by a BEE while I was gone and it was all my fault.
BUT the bee sting had magically disappeared.
Three minutes later I was told that they also had the flu and threw up all night.
Yet were fine to eat the treat I had brought.
There was wailing, chronic tattling, a full report of urinating in bedrooms, bed wetting, food missing, toys broken and epic tantrums.
Yada,yada,yada...old news, smold mnews.

I was gone for less than 48 hours.

So THAT, Sweet “A”....that was what my break was from.
And that was when I started to think of a way to describe, what “getting away” really means to me, and so many other parents and caregivers that parent trauma, special needs and chronic illnesses.

How do you explain to a parent of neuro typical children how parenting a child with special needs is similar and also so very different?

Have you ever taken a busy, hyper, easily distracted eighteen month old to a water park?
The entire time you are hovering, making sure they don't face plant, fall into the deep end, get plowed into by older kids, eat floating band aids, keep well sun blocked, eat more than grapes and potato chips. You keep them from taking neighboring park dwellers food, toys, sunglasses and pulling your suit down to flash the un-expecting pre-teen boy that just got a free eye full, no worries the other end has a full wedgie, as you non nonchalantly try to reign in your Tasmanian devil that just splashed you in the face and you are pretty sure you lost your left contact . It is a given there will be at least one melt down over, being over hungry, tired, or as fate would have it you running to the bathroom and while in your partners care, your child indeed does the face plant and skins half of their nose and chin off.
If by chance your cool aide drunk, Cheetos stained, grubby, sweaty ball of energy does actually pass out, you sit and rest, knowing you can't really fall asleep, in case they wake with a second wind, so you lay there exhausted, with one eye open.
By the end of the day, you are glad you went, revel in the good moments and barely have the physical strength after bending over all day to get all of their gear into the car, and there is no emotional energy to even think about what you are going to wrestle up for dinner.
Eh, you have a freezer meal ready to go, or a go-to-easy-meal.
Ice Cream sounds like a divine reward for surviving the day.
You can all shower tomorrow the pool = bath, right?
Now in my case, time those toddlers by 6, and add three more semi self-sufficient kids in there for fun.

THAT IS A GOOD DAY parenting special needs kids.
It is rewarding fun, yet regardless, hard, busy, all consuming and takes every single inch of you and your attention.

On a bad day?
Turn that jovial 18 month old into a teething, colicky 3 month old baby that will only sleep in their bed with diarrhea and a double ear infection, at the water park, by yourself.
With a handful other 3 month old babies, a couple 18 month olds, and 3 semi-sufficient kids that want attention and think it is STUPID I brought the babies to the pool.


You buy fast-food on the way get everyone in bed, some kids might be sleeping in their swimsuits... not that you care,they are asleep and no one is bleeding.
You eat that ice cream straight out of the container with a spoon, or gluten free pretzels as a utensil, mindlessly watching Parenthood reruns on Netflix until the bliss of numbness falls over you and realize, your 3 year old is asleep on your legs and you have to pee.
No worries the babies will need to eat every three to four hours anyway and have you up.

Now imagine doing that days in a row.
The good days and the bad.
That is kinda what I am talking about.

Taking 3 busy semi-sufficient kids anywhere, that I don't have to hover over, worry about boundaries, medical issues, tantrums, triggers, is a break. Not only for me, but for them too.

For me to sit and talk for hours, is bliss.
Listening to children play, minus control battles and needing to be in eye sight is a hyper-vigilant rest to a one eye open sleeping parent.

I love my children, every single one of them.
As they heal more and more, or gain tools that help them be more self sufficient, the more breaks for myself may be less and less needed.

But for now, I do need my mini vacations.

I believe in self care for all parents, absolutely.
Primary caregivers NEED breaks, primary caregivers to children with special needs, have to take care of themselves, have to find respite, have to find moments to shut both eyes or they will be no good in their daily tasks, they will burn out.

I never EVER want my wonderful friends of Neuro typical kids to feel slighted in the “I have it much worse than you arena”...HECK NO!!!
Parenting period is hard, no kid is really “normal” all have special needs to get them going, keep them safe and teach them what they need to know. I not for one moment want to lessen the Kick Ass job parents in general do, my goodness, you people BLOW my mind with the soccer games, and family trips, the teething and colic and TEENAGERS...

Keep on keeping on.
Chest bump. High five, fist-bump-explosion-thingy.

I just thought this might be a small way to explain to my rockin' fellow mama and friend “A”...what the small difference was in my idea of what a “break” looks like when parenting special needs. Honey, lets be honest, a trip to the Gyno, or getting a MRI is considered a mini vaca some days.

Next time it should be in Hawaii, minus any short people, fore realz.

Come on in for another chest bump and ...fist-bump-explosion-thingy.

Yeah boss.

Love you gurl,

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Crack and SPLAT or " Don't talk to your kids, and tell them that they shouldn't go and do bad things...."

“Don't talk to your kids, and tell them that they shouldn't go and do bad things...”

So are you saying I shouldn't talk to my kids?


Are you saying I shouldn't tell them they can't or shouldn't do bad things?




So here’s the thing. Majority of kids suffering from Early Childhood Trauma have the bonus of some kind of Sensory, Auditory, Second Language, Attention Deficit, Anger Management, “Thingy”.

How often is your anger or frustration at your child, focused simply on “He KNOWS better”, he HEARD what I said and WENT AHEAD and DID IT anyway.”

Have you ever wondered if there is a lapse?
A lapse in what you thought you said.
And how they heard it, interpreted it, understood it?

I know, I know, wait...give me a minute before you shut your screen, click off this blog, and start to argue with me as if I am in your living-room.

For the record, If you are a fed up, unheard, misunderstood parent, I am on YOUR SIDE.
YOU are probably completely justified in wanting me to SHUT THE EFF UP, I have NO clue how frustrating it is, your kid does bad stuff on purpose...

I am just asking; 
"Are we sometimes in our language to our kids setting them up to fail?"
Maybe I am the only one that screws this up all of the time?

BUT if you, like me, perhaps, maybe, are capable of such sentences:

“Don't go to school, and be naughty and cause problems for the teachers.”


“You are not allowed to be in the Grocery Store and steal candy-bars.”

“If you go out side, you will be in HUGE trouble if you fight or are mean to anyone.”
Then maybe, you can hear me out for a lil second?

The English Language is CONFUSING.
If you really read the sentences above what am I telling my kid not to do?

Don't go to school? But wait they are?
Not allowed in the Grocery store? We are standing here looking at the Peanut butter.
If I go outside? You shooed me out here?

O.K. So the first thing you told me NOT to do I evidently “am good to do”....but not the second thing?

Wait, huh?

Is it possible, us, exhausted, hovering, “see the train wreck coming from miles away”; are far too used to speaking to our children in double negatives?

Now, math genius that I am NOT,but I even know two negatives multiplied makes a positive?


I mean maybe.
Right, most likely they do...

Yet studies show kids, specifiably toddlers are compelled to hold onto and remember the last 4 to five words of a command. ( how often do we HAVE TO explain to our kids LIKE they are toddlers?)
Which is why we as parents are told to keep commands short and exact.
What if the tail end of what we are telling then “NOT to do” is what cycles in the recesses of their brains?

Then what is on repeat is:

“Cause problems for the teachers, cause problems for the teachers...”

“Steal candy bars, steal candy bars, STEAL CANDY BARS.”

“Fight or are mean to anyone, fight or are mean to anyone.”

well crap.
I mean I can admit, I for one often enough times, as an adult trip myself up while juggling eggs across my kitchen...”do not drop the eggs, do NOT DROP THE EGGS...and 9 times out of ten, do you know what happens.


We all have read the crap on the “Power of Positive thinking”, blaughigity BLAUGH....

But maybe there is some truth in the practice?
Some of us see those darling reminders on Facebook, saying; 
“The way we speak to our children, becomes their inner voice”.

…...and “some of us” may want to throat punch the sappy clueless dope that posted it...because you are cringing that five minutes ago your kids inner voice may have been a harpy like shrieking and a shrew-fest freak out that went down, on your whining , lying 9 year old, before you escaped with your nose into Facebook.
Yeah, I would know NOTHING about that.

Still I am being mindful, today. Probably not tomorrow, since tomorrow is Wednesday...
I am actively working on not “not setting my kid up”. See again, double negative...but stating what I hope for them, what they CAN repeat in a healthy pattern in their heads as they head out.

“Hey you, Be kind to your teachers today.”

“Sweetness in the grocery store lets work on keeping our hands to our-self.”

“Go on outside and HAVE FUN with everyone use loving and happy words.”

Wow, I kinda said the same thing.
I might be wrong, this post may be total crap and not helpful at all.

Don't use it, don't listen to what I might be trying to say.

But you know, you could give it a try.
Give it a try.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Whipping Mom

When I was in fifth Grade my Teacher, Mrs. Heights read us 'The Whipping Boy”by Sid Fleischman I remember lying my head down with my eyes closed letting her words play out like a movie in my mind.  I remember wincing at the injustice I felt, and sooner realized in their way, both boys were victim to their circumstance.
If you have read it or seen the movie, you know the premise is the story of a prince and his whipping boy. The whipping boy was a poor orphan grateful for a job, a full belly and opportunity for education in a trade for being punished for the Princes' wrongdoings and ill behavior. After all there was a law in the land forbidding spanking and punishment of the prince. Hence the need for a Whipping Boy.

Sometimes I feel like that.
The Whipping Mom.
Being punished for pain, abandonment, and loss suffered at the separation between my children and their first mothers. I am so sorry for both of their pain.
Still sometimes baring the brunt of that pain sucks, like totally.
They don't talk about this in the mountains of adoption books I read, or in the heart touching lifetime movies I would ugly cry to while waiting, desperate, empty armed for my little miracles.

Nowhere was I told, you are a Replacement, the pain you feel in the wanting, they might always feel in the loss of their first family.
You may be the target of that pain.

We are coming up on four years of some of my kids acclimation into our family, being in a family, or knowing what one is period.

There have been four Mothers Days, Christmas's and this week, birthdays.

As we have, and many other families will, a test.
Holidays period, more so ones celebrating the Mother, are for some reason sabotaged, destroyed, attacked, and ruined.

For the last four years evidence's of my cell phone being stolen so no calls of good Birthday wishes could be made, urinated mattresses, missing gifts, marathon tantrums, entire stolen cakes, and even once, my wedding ring being tossed in the outside garbage, moments before the garbage men came; all these acts speaking of mourning.

“What are they mourning? Sheesh, they have a HOME, a FAMILY that loves them, and FOOD every single day?
They should be GRATEFUL!”

Do you ever look at an amputee and say to them, “gosh you should just be sooo grateful to be alive.”
No of course not. You would be lessening their pain, loss, and experience.

My kids know something, or someone is missing. To tell them how lucky they are for their loss, how fortunate that they have a replacement to something we all have a biological right to is unfair. Worse, it is placating their pain.

I have thought a lot about this. Why, why is celebrating me so hard?
We are honestly at a point where I know they love me, and trust me, and know I will protect and be there for them no matter what. They can verbalize it and honestly want to be no where then why?

Because, for that one day, my day, I am not her. I am not the original Mommy. On my day, I wonder if they feel the loss of her greater? They stop and wonder deeply about her and mourn. If I can think about it that way, it hurts less when they mess with my day.

I am taking the brunt of their pain, I am her whipping boy.
Considering her loss, how her arms might have ached, even if she physically, mentally, financially, whatever her circumstances prevented her from parenting this child her loss and pain is greater than mine.
And even on the worst of that day, I see the gift in them.

We have significantly changed up my day celebrations, for both me and them.

Gifts are handmade.
Ones sent or given to me by my husband and healthier children are done in private.
My main birthday is spent away that night, usually with friends or in a blissful hotel room; sans tantrums, missing tooth brushes and angry elves. Children that want to have a special night away with me one on one get that. 

 We pick a “Family day” on a Saturday to celebrate, one that my husband can be home for in case the celebrations are too much, and one of the kids need to get away.
We spend much of the day away, dancing, playing, keeping their minds on activities that mildly are my choice.

“Why bother?”; a friend asked this week.
Because someday with practice, these days will bring less pain. Found in their depths, they do love me and want me to have my day, but the mourning sometimes takes over, so we give them and me safe ways to practice.
Practice may not make perfect, but it makes; “slowly less painful”.

This year my “Family Birthday day” was good, not perfect but very good.
I was prepared.
We got up, dressed and headed out for breakfast.
To the child that purposefully turned on the other bath tub, while I was showering , “thanks babe, totally woke me up and got me going today.”
To the child that was “too tired to get dressed and wanted to go back to bed.”
I simply reply “Aw Sweetie, no worries. You can wear your jammies to the restaurant and lay in the booth.”
In my purse was 4 packages of Starburst.
Sweets for the Sweet were given out indefinitely.
We hit a thrift store and instead of Mom getting gifts, all the children were allotted $5 to pick out a new shirt, dress, whatever.
We came home for naps and my sweetheart made me dinner.
The kids gave me hand made cards and sang me songs.

As I thanked them for my day, three children actively pointed out, HOW HARD they tried to hold it together today, to show me that they love me. One child, that has never managed giving me a single gift, wrote me a lovely letter.
One even managed to joke about how last year they had woken up the day before my birthday and eaten my entire cake the night before.
Another admitted seeing my ringing cell phone while I was in the bathroom and decided not to hide it.
And we giggled.


All in all it was beautiful.

Today, less than savory stuff has gone down. Eh, I'll take it, it's gotta leak out somewhere, Right?
We have all been gentle and given space for it.

In truth, I don't know if my skin has gotten thicker and it hurts less, or the licks are less forceful.
I would like to think both.
Either way, they are my gift, and I am the replacement.
And that is something very gently to celebrate, between the licks of course. 

                                                              Happy Birthday to me.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Chronic Pain

Today as I was messaging back and forth with a dear friend. We were commiserating about
Chronic Pain. We both had recently received not-so-great prognosis's.
We both (she much longer) have been living in some intense unchanging, unrelenting pain. 
Suck bags.

I related with her, on how good days, you can celebrate and have gratitude for even the smallest of things. On bad days, the pain weighs you down with depression, grabbing you by the ankles and pulls you into a deep dark hole of despair.

It's sorta like the fire-swamp of fantastic sucki-ness.

You dawn your sweats, ignore showering, combing hair, looking nice, eating healthy and exercising.
You just want to curl up in a ball and sleep for a very long time, and the the insomnia seeps in, and even then sleep evades you. Things start feeling a mess. The pain begins to win.
Fear starts to reign, thoughts of;
“Am I always going to feel this awful?”
“Nothing is good anymore.”
“There is nothing to look forward to because no matter what I am going to hurt.”
“Who would want to waste their time with me, I am no fun.”
“What is the point of trying?”

Now because I am an adult, and a mother, and genuinely a happy active person, I allow me to be gentle with myself, but also don't take much of my own crap for long.
Because I am emotionally pretty dern healthy and deep down know what I need to do to get to a better place, I have to be more aware of my pain cycle.

I nap, and get to bed a decent times. I read powerful motivating things, I pray and meditate.
I talk to and lean on friends and family that cheer and sometimes drag me on.
I  get OUTSIDE and walk very slowly, because even in pain those endorphins kick in and BAM, less pain. I eat fresh, whole food. I write down daily gratitude’s.

I am capable of witnessing my pain cycle and still it is hard for ME to pull MY sh-tuff together.

Today one of my sweeties is circling a drain the yanks my chest open .
Regardless of the boundaries we give her, she can't not control, not self harm, not STOP behaviors that may soon land her getting some intensive help.

We try to process with her natural consequences, what our job is to keep her safe and what part of it is her job. She can not do her part. She wants to, SOBS uncontrollably about how hard she is trying, until she is in the moment...and then contradictions are this swirly dance of nonsensical voodoo she holds onto like a life line.

My husband just looked at me helpless and said, how do we put her out of her misery?

And I choked up a little.

This one specific kid, is in chronic pain.
Trauma is chronic pain to far to many children.

And much like me they get sucked into the Vortex of depression with their pain and frustration.

Their pain is emotional and physical. Their releases seen in self harm and mutilation, self hate and rejection of all things good. They feel unworthy.Their depression witnessed in their lack of self care, hygiene, and food issues.
The myths they tell their selves regardless of the good stuff we try to pour in :
“ I always am going to feel this awful,” ie; I am a bad kid, I will always be bad.
“Nothing is good anymore.” ie: Never has been good, never WILL be good.”
“There is nothing to look forward to because no matter what I am going to hurt.”
“Who would want to waste their time with me, I am no fun.” ie; “My family doesn't really love me, why would they.”
“What is the point of trying?”

What is the point of trying?

I know, I know...

It is so sad that children without tools are capable of this kind of pain, but know what? they are.
For some children Trauma creates this all over chronic pain that inhibits ever.single.thing. they do, believe, think and react.

It is their cycle of pain.
Slowly many break out of the pain, allow coping tools to be introduced, begin to believe the pain can dissipate, or that regardless of the pain, they still can have good days.
We as their compass are there to guide them through their pain, to show them the way. It is our job to
draw them a map, write them directions and take them by the hand and give them tools to climb out of the dark abyss, never minimizing the pain they feel.

Today while icing my back I gave my girl physical reminders that noone but she has to know about.
That she can LOVE her self, have fun, be happy, be kind,have good things, move on and that she is beautiful.

Reminding her even when she is in pain, she has and is capable of doing these things.
Tomorrow will she be back spiraling? Maybe. but maybe not, and so often it is dealing with the symptoms as they come, and her having the confidence to let me try and help alleviate some of that pain.

Pain can blind anyone, but for children it can feel so very hopeless.
To parent children in this kind of pain can feel so very hopeless.
But, together, side by side you can navigate through it slowly, lovingly.
Will the pain ever go away? I can't promise that.
But, there are good days and then more good days possible.

I promise. Cross my heart, and hope to happy, be kind, and enjoy life.
er somthin' close to that.
Now lets go storm that castle.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Game Changer

Definition of GAME CHANGER
: a newly introduced element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way.

I have this incredible friend named Christine that taught me about this, in the way she leads her life, problem solves and reaches into the depth of herself so bravely and deeply it too pushes me forward. In many ways, finding her has been my Game Changer. I love her so, trust her deeply and learn everyday more about how the way we react impacts our experience, just by this gift of friendship she offers me.

When I was eight I tried playing UNO with my colorblind cousin.
It was me my brothers and two other cousins.
We were at the family cabin, and our games of war, Indian & cowboys ,bear hunts and trying to make chipmunk traps and become famous chipmunk trainers had been thwarted by the rain.

There we sat, our play options an incomplete Chinese checkers game, Uno, or sit there, watching the rain indefinitely. Uno it was.

Have you ever tried to play a Color matching game with a colorblind person?
Yeah. After 3 rounds of correcting him, and him offering to quit, and us wanting to include him, things were not going well. There were tears and name calling.

I game paused said we were going to do a redo...and grabbed all of the cards.
As the boys all shouted, complained and said “See we should have never let a stupid girl play.”

I snuck into my Grandma's purse and found a black marker in her checkbook,hid in the bathroom and sitting on the floor useing the toilet lid as a desk wrote
on each cards corner, I wrote R for red, G for Green, B for Blue and Y for Yellow.
My brother caught me mid stack, probably coming into pee, and sucked in his breath “ Youuuuu are sooooo not supposed to mark cards...that is AGAINST the rules, I am going to TELLLLLLL!!!”

In all my 8 year old maturity, I think I told him to “Bite me, this way we can all play.”
Pushed him out of the bathroom and finished my stack.

And we play we did, for hours.
Later Sam came to me and told me how much it meant to him that we didn't give up on letting him play, finding a way and changing the rules so he didn't miss out.
His experience of the game was different, because of his handicap, but still he was able to play with our adaptation, and the experience was great for everyone involved.
In truth we totally stole Grandma's entire box of double stuff Oreo's and ate them giggling and playing under the stairs.

Sometimes you have to be a Game Changer.

If something isn't working for you, for your kids, what is the point in the forcing, in the keeping the rules, or the way you do things inside the box if it is not helping and creating growth?

I so often speak to parents STRESSING, WORRIED, in DENIAL or DEPRESSION over what their kids are struggling with.

“We can't do homework, it ends in fights, and tantrums and ruins every night...I HATE This time with my kid.”
~Then DON”T DO HOMEWORK. Write the school, talk to the teacher, find other ways of experiencing knowledge, math by baking cookies, shopping, science by watching a documentary with pop corn. Be near your child and learn with them. That is the goal right education? Do that.

“I have read ALL of the books, been to therapy and conferences, no matter what I try NOTHING is getting through to my kid.”
~ Sounds like tooo many rules and techniques. Pick one thing at a time you think 'might' be effective, try that, and add on...Games with too many rules are not FUN, and STRESS people out. You are already NOT having fun...try adding FUN and that one thing you think might help, or even better taking one thing away, like yelling and adding more Music, and Fun, if not for your kid, for you.

(this one I heard at a conference, and the answer is not mine, but brilliant and helped me re-frame some fears and worries)
“My kid has all of these resources for school an college but anxiety wise and academically they don't do well in a classroom.”
~ Then even though it is free, it is not for them. Opportunities are only opportunities if they can be taken. A blind kid can be given a billion beautiful books, but unless they are written in brail, can he use them for anything but a coaster?
How often in adult like situation, unless we are educators or perpetual students do we live or operate in a classroom setting, this inability will not equal life long failure. Breathe.

“I don't like my life anymore, everything is negative and HARD, and not what I would expect raising a special needs kid, I don't fit in anymore anywhere.”

~ Here's your chance your kid has broken you out of that box, take it as an opportunity to BE WEIRD.
Do and find things that you love that are NOT Mainstream, take a belly dancing class, wear fun colors that make you happy, delve deeper into things that make you happy, because if your kid can't be happy, damn it, take care of yourself and see where that lands both of you. Find your tribe of people that will get you, walk with you and support you, I guarantee you will come out better and stronger and more supported because of it, even though it is hard and SUCKS.~

Rules are there to keep things mainstream, and THAT IS GREAT.

BUT, is it O.K. To Game change a little, deviate from the rule book in order to create a better outcome?

As a former rule follower to the inth degree of the wording, a believer in “You live your life a certain way and life will be easier and good things will happen” I have learned that is not always the case.
I have learned this the HARD, lonely, painful way, and I have changed things up.

In taking the knocks while writing permanent marker on cards, spray painting perfectly good walls with affirmations, dying my hair bright happy red, dancing to music turned WAYYY up in the Walmart parking lot with my kids, vetoing homework, recognizing what is going to work and what isn't and admitting it and changing due course,I have learned life is better,more rich and healthier for me and my family . Life can be hard, it also can be a game, you choose how you keep the rules, how you take care of your pieces and most of all how to enjoy, play and have fun despite the handi-caps.

Be a Game Changer for yourself, your kids, accept, pull another card and move on, it will be so much more fun than being that kid with your nose stuck in the rule book.

To that kid I say:
                                        “Bite me, this way we can all play.”

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hard isn't BAD, it is just HARD

Since moving; writing, sitting down, finding time, and that time me wanting to flip on the computer and type has been close to impossible.
Oy the pictures I have to download.
New house,unpacking, realizing I didn't downsize enough, getting a garden in late an Orchard, assimilating 8 children into a new home comes with a lot of time spent simply surviving.

We are seeing such a dance of things,healing, hope and new behaviors that freak me the crap out.

Like sand through an hour Glass..... THESE ARE THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES.

Introducing our family with it's wack-a-do dynamics makes it “interesting” while trying to assimilate our kids socially into new neighbors;

~“Ignore the little girl raging and hiding in the ditch, she'll come out soon, oh and here are some new cookies, nice to meet you.”~

We y'am what we y'am.

My husband within his new job( he is a Clinician with a MSWLC) in being referred children and families coping with attachment issues and trauma.
It has been interesting to see once again the lack of resources available to families.
The desperation, depression and helplessness that so many parents walk into his office with.

So many of us are not alone.

There are many many tools we are digging back out of the closet.
“Yay me” is used daily.

“Even though I stole a candy bar, and chose to have my desert early, and am not having ice cream with the family, I still get to stay up and play, “YAY ME.”

We also are working hard outside daily.
My severe ADHD lil guy the other day came in after running around all morning and declared, “Mama there is SOMETHING WRONG with my eyes, the are itchy and won't stay open.”

“Buddy, that is called “being tired”.

I love summer.
I love the excuse to be outside from sun up to sun down.
I love the real laughter I get to hear when my children can check their anxiety and trauma at the door and

There are moments I see this for them.
Moments I close my eyes and listen to them work and play together.

Moments when I see the three years of slow progress and patients for all of us is molding us into a family.

There are still moments of control and fear winning the battle that day, moments where I let my fear of their future over ride the progress we have found.

Truth be told, if in those moments I can embrace that fear, and honestly recognize it is not about making or morphing my children into perfect individuals but helping them find their healthiest way of coping, because we all need a safe way to place our stress on something, I can keep on walking with them, not chasing after them, or wanting to run away, but walking with them.

This whole parenting a combined family is not what I thought it would be.
Even on a good day.

It is way harder. It is way more lonely. It hurts, pushes me to limits I didn't know I had. Makes me fear for the future, and all around wears me out, even on the good days.

What I can promise is the good days get more and more prevalent, but the hard days will always be there, and you have to make friends with both, they both need to be welcome, they both are part of the process.

One of my favorite quotes I think of on particularly HARD days.

Hard isn't BAD, it is just HARD.

And there you have it.

Friday, May 31, 2013

The truth about line drying your laundry and therapeutic parenting.

Proof that I have moved into the country and am slowly morphing into the self-reliant/farm girl/ hippie/organic farmer of my dreams.
The user tabs in my computer open are all about wind turbines, organic fruit tree spray and a shopping window for essential oil.
 “You can call me Granola if you want to.”

so , in between monitoring my kids manual labor of removing rototill-ed-up- grass where my new flower bed is going to be, and messing around on the internet, doing important research.
 My washer beeped.

Time to put the laundry out on the line.

There at first was a novelty to it.

Now sometimes it is a pain in the butooski.
Sometimes I don’t want to STOP what I am doing and take the TIME.

When it is warm, and the birds are chirping, it is peaceful and rewarding to be out there, barefoot grass between my toes, sun on my face, I feel like I should have a back ground sound track for some laundry soap commercial.

But I live in Idaho.
When it is cold, or blowing wind too hard for things to stay pinned, or even better raining, then I want to stomp and swear and ask Trev to build the vent thingy for my dryer. Then I want it fast and easy and use less of my energy. I am tired, I have other things I would rather be doing.
I want to hurry the crap up and get it over with, move on, do it the conventional way.

When the air is sweet my laundry smells AMAZING.
When the cow dung smell is blowing fierce, not so AMAZING.

But there is some truths in the line drying.
It may take more energy at first, but things dry faster, and better, with the initial time taken.
If I am honest, even when I don’t feel like it or want to, when I am done, there is a feeling of accomplishment.

The extra time and effort gives me time to think and process.

So that is all I have to say about therapeutic parenting.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


You know when you watch those hospital based T.V shows, and the heart monitor stops making groovy triangled lines and the intermittent beeping changes to a long annoying whine of a straight never ending “beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep” as the triangles stop and turn into a straight line?
And then the panic sets in?

That. That is how I have been feeling about one of my children.

We are in the throughs of moving.
We are stuck in the start/stop, hurry up/and wait part of it all. And it sucks. A lot.

And I have been really angry and sad and mad, and heart broken with one of my children.
I have struggled letting a choice they have made go, and I deep down know it is affecting my day to day interaction with them. Maybe not on the surface, but deep down where the good stuff is? My heart is flat lining toward this kid. I don't want it to feel like that.
But I am human, and trust and things held most important can only be broken so many times before wear and tear of emotion is inevitable.

So it's four in the mourning and I just finished rocking and feeding baby Faith's little sister, and now can't get back to sleep.
As I lay, contemplating/praying meditating on things I have no time in the daylight to ponder. This one thing that is eating me up/flat-lining my heart comes up.

I am asking myself “HOW, how are you going to trust/feel better about this kid, that needs you, and obviously needs to get better and change their behavior, how is this going to work?”
and I dive into that big empty ache, that is filled with fear... and I swim around in it a little bit, telling myself I know the answer, but I stubbornly and understandably don't want to do it.

The answer is whispered to me, in the sleeping breath of my three year old laying next to me....

“ How can they get better if they can't forgive themselves. How can they forgive themselves and move on, if you won't.”

Well shit.

There it is.
And I don't know if I can.

But there lies the truth. Forgiving is never ever Forgetting....especially when safety is involved.
And yet there it lies in my palm like a sleeping bird.

They can't let go and move on, if I can't.
I know this because I only move forward in my life once I have forgiven myself for stupid choices and actions that have hurt myself and others, and I am an adult.

For a kid, they need a map in the grand forgiveness of themselves, shame is too much of a roadblock. I, I too have been guilty in using it towards them, I too have been blocking them from progress , because I want feel and know they are sorry enough. And that is my stuff, not theirs. Their shame is so deep, this kid is sorry for 90% of the breaths they take, and they might not even know that, but there it is eating them up all the same.

But what if, what if I can get over myself for one minute?

What if they can learn this one thing, to forgive themselves and move on, that, right there is a tool most adults never master....and what if we all could, what would the world look like?

So damn-it.
Looks like it's going to have to start with me.
And I am far far far away from wanting to. Really if I am being honest with how I feel.

I.don't.want. to. The flat lining feels numb and oddly easier than opening up the wound and scraping out the infection...but if I can do this for them and in turn they learn to do it for themselves and others?
Forgiveness of oneself , well that is the root of the root.
And where the beginning of self healing starts..........


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Walking on Hot Lava

I love this image.
I my head this is me.
In my heart, this is so many of us.

For two days I have been stuck in confines of my home, in my bedroom, on my bed with a puking toddler, 7 year old, 9 year old ...and you know the "other ones", that fortunately were not projectile vomiting, but unfortunately for me, healthy enough to be bored.

Toddler's with the flu are not ticking time bombs...hell no, those give warnings and count downs. Toddlers with the flu more like unexploded detonated never know when, or how ..but you know it is coming, and the likelihood of it being messy is inevitable.

As I sat there with her.
Most the time offering clean towels, clear liquids, comfort, fresh pajamas. Anytime I had to retrieve more supplies, remove soiled items, parent other children, go pee...there was a fear that she would throw up while I was absent, and I wouldn't be able to direct, help or contain the mess.

I had time to think between the laundry loads.....

This is my life, this constant juggle, one crisis always requiring my attention while attending to everything  and everyone else.

I am always playing hot lava.

Did you ever play that game as a kid? One rule, do not touch the floor, for that is the Hot Lava.
My brothers and I would go in their room and play a precarious game of tag crawling, jumping and climbing over all the furniture in their room, but not allowed to touch the floor...we would jump, bunk bed to dresser to chair to scaling the window sill. How nothing was broken is a mystery.
Once the game was over the steaming red hot burning, waiting to consume us LAVA turned back into shag carpet....we jumped down into the middle of the room, and we walked out.

That has been me for three years. Balancing, straddling the window sill and the dresser, except I have become so used to the floor not being safe beneath me, I stopped looking down, trusting it, or remembering I had the say when the floor gets to turn back to something I can safely stand on.

I have the say.
In some things and in some ways, we all have that say.

Things have been hard for so long...and continue to throw me for loops...but there are things I am reclaiming as I look around and see what I am missing, what was once important to me and I want to pick back up, and those things that don't hold the same value to me.

I love this image, because she is not only rising from the ashes. She is dancing on the hot lava.

Last night between Insomnia and re-evaluating I picked something up I dropped three years ago, my family diary/blog/journal.
Like me it looks different now.

I will remain here with my personal and parenting trials and successes...but the other parts of me, the better and worse parts I don't share on this very public blog.
The boring shmoring stuff, like kids having the flu, and pictures of birthday parties and trips to the library park and dentist, art projects and skinned knees...things I wished I had written down.
I am starting to write down again.

and then in a small brave way, she turned that Lava back into shag carpet, and is dancing on it...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

So I was going to write a whole post...

About Parenting in SPACE...the Conference in Chicago I go to every year...that helps me you know, not to lose my shit on my kids as much....PARENT my kids from hard places ....and generally try NOT to screw them up anymore than they already have been and learn new amazing ways to find healing, together.

I would write about how I went last year, and the year before that...and how much I LOVED it.

I was going to reference all of the blogs I have written that were examples of tools I picked up while hanging with the House Calls Parenting staff.

How I helped my daughter coping with separation anxiety USING, S.P.A.C.E. Stuff.

How sometime NOT talking about an issue (while talking about it) is one of my favorite tools while dealing with an issue.

Or how Billy Kaplan taught me about using CURIOSITY saves my butt on days the lying gets out of control !!!

Or throwing a “maybe” at it.

I would talk about the infinite LOVE I have for JIM KLING and how hos repair model has helped so much in the repairs my children are learning to do.

I was most definitely going to post a video of me chatting with Christine Moers ABOUT going to SPACE and what it has done for us, and the incredible friendship we have developed.

Most of all, If I was going to write said post....I most definitely would mention these points:

1. My first time I came, I went on the tail end of a credit card, totally broke in every way...and still know it was the best money I have spent on my family.

2. I have never been surrounded by more therapists that GET me and my kids than at SPACE.

3. If you are reading this....and think, my kid is really hard for me...BUT, NOT as messed up as some of the kids I read, need this.

4. your tank is empty. Just come. I promise...we are all sputtering in.

5. Parenting our children is hard, just neuro-typical kids...but parenting children from early childhood trauma, ADHD, autistic spectrum, Fetal alcohol or drug related affects, can deplete us much, much faster...we may have read ALL of the books,and blogs, own all of the tapes...but coming to a conference,interacting, refreshing our skills, is necessary in the survival of our families, in the survival of ourselves. know...if I was going to write that post...I would kinda, sorta say all of those things. <3

Sunday, March 3, 2013


(and I Sooooooo get this is a made up term that I use to cope; so dear, dear,dearest troll that likes to knock me and my
I so just prescribed rude comments...check me out!  :D

I am going to share a term we like to use when coping with Narcissistic behavior from my attachment challenged children.
You see one of my children really struggles with this aspect of his Attachment and all around well being...the kid is a full on Narcissist. When children live in a survival state, the only things or people they need to worry about is Me, Myself and the world operates is only viewed directly on the soul factor of how it affects them. PERIOD.

Narcissistic Attachment Reactive Disorder Symtoms
HA! And the 9 year old girl in me thinks this is hilarious....lets kick him right in the NARDS!

But parenting the NARD ridden (again so know this is a made up term...)

My son struggles with a 'Whoa is Me, everyone is so MEAN to ME, I am so sad, all of the TIME, nothing works out for ME, I never get what I want, life is so so hard for ME, Everyone else has it easy except ME.”

Nothing is a direct consequence for him, everything is something that is being DONE to HIM....even after we process it for the gazillionth time....

Him punching his brother= sit and think time= doing his brothers chore = me being MEAN to HIM.
(feel free to insert this equation in every.single.situation.possible)

Today it was over a ball, he had given to his brother, for his brother's birthday, of which he felt he had ownership rights a tantrum, wailing “whoa is me”, crying Oscar worthy performance ensued.

I first swore in my head ,then calmly knelt down by him and asked him “who's ball is it buddy?”

“My brothers, but “I” gave it to him, so “I' should get to play with it whenever “I” want.”

“yeah, no, it's your brothers, if he wants to share HIS toy, regardless of WHO gave it to is up to HIM”

and then it came....

“Why is everyone so MEAN to me, I NEVER get what I want, you love everyone more than you love ME, “I” am always in trouble..”I” don't love any of you...I hate everyone...”

..and maybe he should go eat worms.....( I need a banjo)
(just kidding...but it is totally O.K. That I am singing this in my head...)

So we had a sit down/come to Jesus meeting...another's a weekly meeting, but this one had pictures. :)

and so I drew this lovely worries I am full on aware of my artistic abilities... I have to use symbols when am trying to apply concrete processing with my children. Especially when dealing with learning disabilities...

What this is; What the “Family side” is always and, no matter what giving him...
playing with him
we go out and have fun
we share with him...
and that no matter HOW MUCH STUFF, LOVE, THINGS we share and give to him..he holds on to it and wants and thinks he deserves
He hoards his things, won't share...will wear and play with all of his brothers things, but he won't use, (or let anyone else) use his things...
and so I started with a happy face in the upper left corner, because these things and this behavior makes him think ultimately it will make him “happy”.

“But does it baby?”

“No, I just want more, and then I get more, and I am happy for a second, but then I want what everyone else has too, so then I am mad and sad.”

...and let's put that song on repeat....

“Soooooo , is that working for you...all of this taking and wanting and never giving, is it making you happy, and loving, or even liked...which is what you want most from your siblings?”

“Well if they weren't mean to ME....”
I stopped that before we got the pity party rollin'....

“What I am asking without focusing on anyone ; Is what YOU are doing, holding onto, not sharing, not giving love, or kindness, let alone letting anyone touch anything that is yours...and always wanting


“So what if we didn't even start with your toys or food, but tried with feelings...and sharing and giving and loving in small ways...remember on Christmas when you couldn't wait to watch your brothers and sisters open the drawings you drew for them?”

“Yes, I wanted them to like them.”

“and when they did, how did that make you feel?”

“Good, Important, that I did a good thing.”

“and you did, buddy THAT IS GIVING, that is the good feeling I am talking about when I am saying working on giving love, sharing, and being kind, and how that might make YOU feel.
What do you think about that?”

“I think I am going to get mad and forget.”

“Maybe you will..but maybe we could hang this beside your bed and you can work on remembering what might make YOU feel better, what really might make YOU more happy.”

“O.K. Mom I will try”

“That is all I am asking buddy.”