Saturday, November 27, 2010

Turkey Craziness!

Well, Thanksgiving is over.  It was a rough day for Layla.  As was today.  She's been very clingy lately.  As I am typing that last sentence though, I realize we finally had a cold spell here, and she and her sister were removed from their birthmom around this time of year two years ago.   Hmmmm... well we will see what happens tomorrow.  Hopefully she can keep it together!

So Thanksgiving morning we did a big breakfast, and went around the table to say what we were thankful for.  Both girls said for us, their house, their rooms, toys, etc.   I said I was thankful for them, and my amazing husband who works very hard to give us a nice house, cars, things.  Layla goes, "Yea, daddy is like Santa!"   It was cute.

That is about all going on here.  The tree is up, but not decorated yet.  Layla is not going to be able to decorate with us because she chose not to nap today, and the consequence for her choice was not decorating the tree.  She also pitched a GRADE-A F-I-T!  So she is having a time out from the things she would normally enjoy. 


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

No News... Is Good News!

Well, I guess that it is true; no blogging is a good thing!  Meaning that if I am not blogging, then I don’t have much to vent about, which is a very good thing right?

So this past week things have been relatively “normal”.  Good days at school.  No huge emotional breakdowns.  We’ve just had a good week.  I hope there are more to come.

The girls are making progress, this is for certain.  Three months ago they were totally different kids.  Sad, anxious, worried, angry, covering up their true selves.   We’ve seen them blossom into kind, caring, a little less worried, happy-go-lucky kids.  This isn’t to say that those “negative” things don’t pop out from time to time, but it is much less frequent now!

Yesterday was the Thanksgiving lunch at the girl’s school.  I went and ate with both of them.  My oldest, Molly, was in line and boy in her class asked her why her mom was white.   Molly told him, “She’s not my birthmom, she is my adoptive mom.”  Then he asked “what is an adoptive mom”? Her answer sounded just as she had “rehearsed” it over the last few weeks… “An adoptive mom is a mom that takes care of you forever if your birth family can’t, and even if you’re not a good kid all of the time they are nice and love you no matter what”.   BOY… she sold us well!  I bet that little boy was wondering if he could trade up to an adoptive home!  :)

I thought it was sweet.  She is slowly processing WHAT adoption means to her and her sister.  I certainly can’t imagine being in her shoes, so I am letting her process at her own pace, and answering any questions she has. 

In other news, we get to go to court on December 16th to discuss the girl’s next step in the process.  It’s basically just a court date to tell the judge the girls are in an adoptive home and that as soon as our waiting period of 6 months is over, they will be adopted by us. 

We have also been doing some Christmas shopping.  I bought the girls both the Mobi-Go game systems for our Christmas trip to Florida.  They are also getting some other things, but that will probably be their favorite! 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!!  We are so thankful to have our little family!  :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Liar Liar!

Lying is something every parent deals with.  When you are parenting a hurt child, you can bet your bottom dollar they know how to lie and manipulate.  It is a survival instinct.  “I must lie to keep myself safe/fed/clothed/liked/loved/happy”.  

Some kids lie to “flatter” you!  Some lie because they want their way.  Some lie because it is what they’ve learned from bad adult role models.  Some realize and feel remorse for their lies.  Others, well, it becomes a pathological defense to prevent harm.  They don’t usually even realize they are lying.

I thought this would be a good topic to cover because in our house we have liars!  I mean big, fat, liar liar pants on fire, LIARS!   No fault of their own most of the time, but inexcusable none the less.

First, let’s start with my four year old.  She is your “stereotypical” child that lies.  “I am dressed” while her socks lay on the dresser still.  “I put it away” while her toy is lying in the floor.   “Mommy I like your hair today” when mommy didn’t shower and just woke up with a big poofy mess for hair.   These are normal lies that every child tells.  It helps them feel they are somehow in control of their “fate”.   

Yesterday, my four year old told my husband she doesn’t get to eat breakfast at school.  We have to feed them at home due to the early start of the day, but then she eats a small breakfast with her class around . The TRUTH was she was still hungry.   Instead of saying she was hungry though, she LIED!  She said that she wouldn’t get to eat anything until lunch.  Last night at dinner, I confronted her about lying, and she admitted to the truth, which was that she DOES get to eat at school too. 

This morning, I explained to her that we don’t lie.  When you do lie, it shows people that you don’t TRUST them.  I explained she would feel very unsafe and upset if we lied to her, and we feel the SAME way if she lies to us.   She got the point and we discussed that she needed to apologize to Daddy. 

She begins with, “I’m sorry Daddy!”  Then he asks her why.  She said she doesn’t remember (another lie!).  Then she slowly says…”well, I said I wasn’t gonna eat until lunch, but then I did get to eat”.   So he probes around to try and get her to say “I’m sorry I lied to you”.   She wasn’t going for it.  So I step in and explain it to her.  She responds with, “Mommy, it’s really hard to say”.  

Finally, she admits to the “lie” and apologized for lying.   She also stated she was still hungry.   Which was fine, we explained THAT would have been the TRUTH and if she had just said she was still hungry, we would have given her more to eat. 

I found it so funny that she just had a terribly hard time saying “I lied”.  I also found it really encouraging that she KNEW she had “hurt” us by lying. 

Moving right along to my Molly… this kid can LIE!  Sometimes she is quiet convincing.  What she doesn’t realize is that her mommy grew up as the oldest of 7, so I know ALL about lying. 

Molly is what I call a back peddler now.   She gets halfway into the lie and then tries her best to back peddle out, usually by creating more lies to try and prevent her from getting into trouble.  I commend her willingness to try and “fix it” but usually it just ends with my complete and utter frustration that she CAN’T JUST TELL THE TRUTH!

Molly’s lies are all over the place.  She lies to us, her friends, her sister.  She says she has things she doesn’t have.  She’s done things she’s never done.  It’s scary! 

I know that she’s had to build her life around lies though.  Promises of “forever”, people promising her things and experiences that she won’t actually ever see them come through on.   It’s very sad.

Molly’s remorse for a lie usually is just to cry about how AWFUL her life is, how it’s just not fair, how no one ever taught her, etc.   She will use your words/adults words in her favor.   If someone told her, “You’ve had a rough life”, when she tells a lie/gets into trouble she will usually just cry and say, “It’s just so hard Mommy, I’m just heart broken, I’ve had such a rough life”.    Which in theory is true… but it is NOT an excuse to lie. 

My typical response to this would be, “Yes Molly, YOU HAD a rough life, I realize that was hard on you, but telling a LIE and LYING to people will continue to make your life rough, and I want you to be safe, happy, trustworthy, and have an easy life”. 

Some of the things she comes up with amaze me.  The fact she thinks I will believe the stuff amazes me more! 

So, to deal with lying in our house, we have two techniques that have proven to be beneficial in at least curbing the lies intensity and frequency. 

1)      Do not ASK a child if they lied if you actually know they DID lie.  Give them the chance to fix the lie.   An example, Molly spills nail polish on her bed…I don’t ASK her if she spilled it, of course she did, and it was probably an accident, what I do is give her the chance to fix it.  So I would say, “Molly there is nail polish on your bed, go get some paper towels and clean it up”.   This is usually met with “BUT I DIDN’T DO IT”!  To which I respond,  “I didn’t say you did it, I asked you to clean it up”.  

This basically seems to disengage her.  At this point she’s not thinking “I got away with it” she is thinking, “Wow that bad thing that I thought would happen didn’t so now I can feel safe if I do tell the truth”.   I would say 7 out of 10 times she will then admit that she did whatever she originally would have lied about. 

2)      I LOVE Bryan Post’s video at  if you go there to his front page, watch the Youtube video he has posted.  Basically, he states when a child lies, they are (in their mind) thinking the worst thing that has ever happened to them will happen again.  This goes back to the last strategy, because I need to disengage that “fight or flight” reflex in her (and me sometimes too). 

Bryan reviews in the video a method to help with the lying.  Child lies, you ignore the lie, do not ignore the child.   Later you come back while they’re involved in something else and say, “When you lie to mommy, it makes me feel like you don’t trust me”.    NOT when you LIED… you’re not accusing them of lying, you’re just telling them how it makes you feel when they do lie.  This will get their brains going and thinking about the lie.    GO WATCH THE VIDEO!!! NOW!

So that is all I have for today.  If you want advice on anything specific let me know.  I see Bryan Post’s technique working though.  Slowly, but surely!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day One: ADHD Medication

Tuesday, November 9 was the first day Molly took her Vyvanse.   WOW!  I expected to see a small difference, but what I got was a HUUUUUUUUGE difference.  Her focus was 100% better.  Yet she was still funny and a kid.  The “zombie” effect was my worst fear.  I didn’t want it to change HER, but to change her level of focus and the impulsiveness.

Their case worker visited yesterday for the monthly visit, she stayed about an hour.  Molly played quietly in her room for about 45 minutes on her new “laptop”.  I was so pleased.  Then at bed time last night she needed a bath.  I ran her water, she got in, bathed herself while I did laundry, and then got out and dressed herself in about 3 minutes.  Normally, PJ’s take a minimum of 15 minutes and 5 reminders to get them on… but not last night!

Then this morning, she needed to get herself ready for school.  She was dressed, socks, shoes, and teeth brushed within 5 minutes.  AMAZING!  My frustration level was so low this morning.  I praised the heck out of her and told her how proud I was of her.  She was pretty proud of herself too!

I hope we continue to see this focus from her.  It makes life much easier for all of us!

Monday, November 8, 2010

ADHD... and Sensory Disorder!

Well, it is official, our 6 year old Molly is diagnosed with a Sensory Processing Disorder, as well as ADHD.  When her PCP entered the office today, before I said a word, Molly was bouncing around etc.  She said, "I guess the Prozac worked, and I know why you're here"!   She started Molly on Vyvanse every morning for the ADHD.   She said we should see an instant difference.  I sure hope she is right. 

Due to the recent impulsiveness that Molly has displayed, we have decided to limit any "pop" music.  So, I am happy we get to turn off the Top 40 station and listen to some "real" music!  I sort of have an old soul when it comes to my music anyway.  

Molly's favorite song at this moment is "Sitting on The Dock Of The Bay" by Otis Redding.  

Sunday, November 7, 2010


First, thank you to my dear friend over at for this idea.

Our 6 year old, Molly, has had some escalating impulsiveness lately.  I won't go into the full details, but we found out she's been hurt a lot more than we originally realized.  She is also a chattering kid.  She talks non-stop and it is usually about NOTHING!  Although we've explained to her that the more you talk, the less people listen, the point wasn't getting across.

Enter journal....  the other night we had a long talk about life, right and wrong, lying, "sex" (in the context a 6 year old needs to understand), and good and bad touch.  She did well with the talk and had good questions.  I told her any time she needs to talk we will talk more about those serious issues.  Then I presented her our journal.  I told her it was a special place that she can I can write to one another.  I told her daddy and Layla do not have a journal like she and I do, so it will be our special place to tell one another how we feel and what is on our minds.  She LOVED it.  I mean, she was beaming with excitement!

We even worked out our own "secret" phrase between us to let one another know we left a note.  In general, I told her we're not allowed to keep secrets, but this was more of a special thing than a secret.  So our phrase is, "Heart Me Love"... hey she's 6 and it was her idea!

Her first entry was:  "I feel loved.  I love you mommy.  You are a very good mommy.  I love you, MK."  Then a HUGE heart at the bottom.    This is also a good exercise for her to practice reading and writing.

My reply was:  "Dear MK, I love you so much!  I hope you feel better inside soon so that you can be happy!  Love, Mommy".

I will see what new message awaits me tomorrow.  She asked if she could take it to school, and considering how nervous and anxious she gets, I am hoping her teacher will give her a 5-10 minute period where she can write me during the day to help her get out her feelings.   I sent the teacher a note to see if she will let us do that. 

So thanks again for the idea!  I think it's going to work out well for her.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

You’re a COOL MOM!

Well Layla has this cute shirt that says, “My Mom Is The Coolest”.  It has become one of her favorites recently.  She seems to generally like any shirt with words, but being the mama’s girl that she is, she especially seems fond of this one. 

Yesterday at Wal-mart, she told me that I am a cool mom!  I don’t think or know that I am actually a cool mom, but either way, it makes me smile that I am HER mom. 

So now for some long over due updates on “us”.

I will start with the easy update on Layla first.  She’s really doing fantastic!  We had a small tantrum last week, very small in the grand scheme.  It was over a piece of candy.  I think she was also reacting to my overall negative/tired mood that day, and it seemed to put her on edge.  I was already frustrated, and the fact she was spiraling into a tantrum just frustrated me more.  I used a not so friendly tone with her during my frustration, which I apologized for profusely once we had both cooled down.  I hugged and loved on her and told her I was SO sorry for taking out my bad day on her (I will get to why the day was bad in a minute).   She hugged me tight and stroked my hair and said “It’s ok, you’re still a really good Mommy”.  To which I busted into a full on teary sob.  I was really sick about how I treated her, which really wasn’t that bad, I just felt guilty. 

So despite her little fit that night, which was merely triggered by my poor attitude at the moment, I am going to say she has officially gone ONE WHOLE MONTH without tantrums…SOOOOOOOOO AWESOME!!! 

Moving right along to Molly… wow… where to begin?  Her anti-depressants have finally set in, which is good in one regard, but awful in another.  Now that she is no longer “as” depressed, her focus, impulsiveness, and just general disregard for most things has SKY ROCKETED!  She was off the charts CRAZY last week.  She was bouncing from floor to ceiling, chattering like crazy, lying, and just really poor decision making all around. 

During her PT appointment last week, you might have thought she was feral.  I mean I was SO embarrassed to be in the same room.  Her behavior therapist and I discussed the possibility of her having a Sensory Processing Disorder, and she gave me the preliminary checklist/questions to answer.    Yes, she does have SPD, probably in addition to ADHD.  She scored very high in the “Under responsive/Seeks Sensation, Auditory Filtering, and Low Energy/Weak” categories.  She also scored in the medium range for “Tactile Sensitivity”. 

We see her PCP on Monday the 8th to discuss medication.   At her Child Study meeting the teacher and I had the exact same concerns.  Her grades are A’s and B’s, but they’ve been pulling her out of class for extra help in reading/writing.  For now we’re not going to do the IEP, we’re waiting to see what difference medication might make.  Her focus and impulsiveness at school is just as bad as at home. 

So we’re having a lot of work to do for her.  It is really hard because she’s a big 6 year old, almost 80 lbs.  She wants to feel like a “baby” but we physically can’t carry her etc.  With the SPD stuff though, she’s almost like a 3 year old.  It’s very difficult to get the right balance of what she needs vs. what we’re able to provide.  We have a limited amount of time at home each night before bed.  I guess it is the balance all working parents struggle with.

So that is all I am in the mood to type today.  I will do my best to update more this week if I have time.