Monday, February 28, 2011

Just A Little Off...

Tonight (and all weekend) MK was just a little off. We attributed the weekend behaviors to skipping her ADHD meds (in an effort to lessen the tolerance building up quickly) but today just completely off.

I had a call from school. She came to the nurses office and complained of a variety of ailments. They included chills, headache, tummy ache, cough, stuffy nose, and sleepiness. No fever, and appeared perfectly healthy. The nurse called me and we decided to let her stay the rest of the daily. Mostly because in her "sickened" state she mentioned how everyone else in our house had been sick (meaning it was her turn!).

Tonight they arrived home and I could just tell her focus was in some other place. Thankfully, I was in a very fun and perky mood. I was truly in the "therapeutic zone".

At one point about 5 minutes from bedtime, she TOLD her sister to move over on the couch and proceeded to push her out of the way as she plunked herself down. I immediately said, "MK, that was incredibly RUDE... Layla, you do not have to move just because your sister told you to".

We gave her the chance for a re-do, but she wasn't in the mood, so it being bed time, we told her this was probably a sign she was tired and she could head back and we would follow her to tuck her in. She grabbed a book, headed back, and SLAMMED the door.

My husband went back to check on her, because, you know, we don't like our doors to be slammed.

She then started with the "you don't even love me" stuff.

I told him to walk away, she just wanted to engage him, not to talk.

I went back to tuck her in, and talk to her. She proceeded to tell me that she HATES school and she wishes she never had to go, and she wishes everyone at school was dead. Well the "I have a hurt kid" part of me knew this didn't have a thing to do with school.

So at that point, I told her to lay on down, tucked her in, turned on the sound machine, and told her I loved her. She was still trying to argue with me, but I walked away.

After tucking in Layla, I stopped back by her room. Crawled up next to her in bed, and hugged her and told her I love her and I was feeling sad for her because she seems like she has something going on. She broke down and cried and said that she is scared. I felt it was genuine. She said her birth parents keep coming in her dreams and telling her monsters will come and kill her. She went on and on about her birth parents hurting her, and she wants them out of her head. Finally I talked her into a calm state and told her she was safe, they don't know us or where we live, so they can't hurt her.

She then said she felt bad for how she treated daddy, and she felt so bad for being so mean. I told her daddy wasn't angry at her, he was upset with himself because he couldn't figure out what was bothering her. She said, "I just really care for him". So I told her I would send him in to talk to her.

He went in and came out and all seemed well for her to drift to sleep.

My poor girl. She's had a GREAT month. I mean no fits, no ODD flare-ups, just an overall joy to be around.

I hate for her that she lives with the fear of them hurting her. It truly breaks my heart... but not as much as it has already broken hers.

First Podcast

Happy Monday! Here is my first "podcast". I hope you enjoy it. It is basically a starter podcast with an overview of how we became parents and a little about our kids. Next week I will be posting a new podcast about Attachment Therapy (Theraplay) and the reason and purpose behind it.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Helping Others

When I started this journey, I didn't really know where the road would lead me. I researched as much as I could about the various "disorders" children from the foster care system might have.  I watched videos, read books, became active in online forums, anything I could think of to prepare for my future children.  I memorized so many abbreviations... TPR, GAL, CW, BM, BD, FD, FS, DD, DH, CPS, DFS.

Of all of those things though, not much can truly prepare you for this.  Until you're living it, watching it unfold, digging your way out of the hurt your kids have, you just can not understand.

I made a video about the various exercises we do in Attachment Therapy and I was contacted by someone, another adoptive mom, yesterday after she watched my video.  When I made the videos, I thought, "If I can just help one person, then it was worth the hour of my time".   I am happy she found me, I am happy I was able to share my experience with her. 

So something new I have decided to do is a weekly "podcast" and/or recording about some of our experiences.  

Our kids are becoming more "normal" by the day... but it's been a long road to get them to this point... and that road still has many bumps and pit stops. 

So keep a watch on my blog, I am going to post my first audio thing in a couple of days. 

I am also working w/ another foster mom friend of mine to do a joint podcast.  I am on the adoption side (TPR has happened and we will finalize soon), and she is on the foster side (with visits, phone calls, case workers, GAL's, therapists, the works...).

Stay tuned! 


Well, today we had our very first "control pee".  It came from Layla. 

She was in a bit of a mood because we had to end our family time to do some chores.  I will say, both my husband and I handled her very calmly and talked to her about cleaning her room quickly so that we could spend more time together.   She wasn't really having it though.  She does NOT like to feel like she's not the boss... and she HATES when she's wrong!

She eventually calmed herself down enough that I was able to rationalize with her about cleaning up her room, then being a sweet, happy kid again and joining us for more cuddle time on the couch. 

About 10 minutes later she peeked her head out and said, "Mommy I wet my bed, I need new sheets".   At first, I thought she meant overnight she had wet her bed.  When I arrived to her room though, that wasn't the case.  She had literally just sat on her bed and wet it. 

I sat down calmly on the other (dry) end as she stood in her wet clothes and I asked her if she thought peeing would make mommy mad... she said no.... I told her that mommy was not mad, but I was a little sad for her.  Then I asked if she peed because she thought it would make her feel in charge of her body... she said yes. 

I asked her if it worked, if peeing made her feel incharge, and she said, "No, now I feel like I need a bath".

So I told her to go ahead and run her water and take her bath, then when she was finished, we could finish cleaning her room.

I think she thought the results might be different.  I believe she thought it would make her feel in control.  What I don't think she realized is that no one was even taking her control away.  She WAS in control the whole time, pee or no pee.  She was the one deciding to clean or not, to be happy or sad, etc.

I felt bad for her... but I know she is very fragile right now.  She has been for the past month. 

Tuesday of next week, we're having a one-on-one session with her therapist.  Meaning just my husband and I.  I am very hopeful that she can help us formulate a plan to keep Layla on the right track of healing. 

We're working so hard to help her, but we're only human.  We have feelings and emotions just like our kids do, and we've worked to keep them in check so that the kids are able to heal.

It is hard, very hard... but we're trying... more than most people would... so that is where we are.

Hopefully, the pee is done and over with!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Yesterday MK had a doctor's appointment for a medication check.  She has had a GREAT month!  She's been helpful, compliant, honest, made 100's on almost all of her school work, just an overall joy to be around. 

After the appointment, I had planned to go grocery shopping, because for about two weeks, between the whole house being sick and having no drive to cook, we've only eaten from places that require you to roll down a window. 

On the way to the store, MK asked me, "Mommy what is full blood?"  I explained it in the context of family.  She said, "Layla is my full blood" and I had to correct her, because I just do NOT ever want to make her feel like I lied to her or I broke her trust. 

So I explained that Layla is her 1/2 sister, they have different dads.  She understands how babies are made, she even understood that Layla's dad didn't come along until she was 1 yr old.  She just had a HARD time wrapping her head around it though... which was fine... and I understood she was confused and backed off.

She of course took her confusion and frustration out on me.  Told me she didn't need parents, she could "take care" of herself.  She would be fine on her own.   She doesn't love me or think this is the right family for her, etc. 

I just let her rant on and on.  Finally, I said, "I know that you feel sad and confused over this, so let's just drop it and go on w/ our day".   She agreed and told me "We are not talking about this ever again... and DON'T TELL LAYLA!"

At bedtime last night, she apologized for the "mean" things she said to me.  Which is a BIG step for her.  She said she does love us, and wants to stay with us forever and be adopted.  She also informed me her birthmom gave her directions to the judge so we could do the adoption now (that is a lie, her BM doesn't have contact... maybe she dreamt it?).

I think she's going to be back on track now, but it felt like a setback.

I just don't want to lie to my kids.  They have a past, and I want them to know about it, maybe I needed to be more delicate, but I don't really see how I could have been.

Honesty IS always the best policy right?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Still Sick!

I had no idea we would have a household of sick people for this long!  My sweet little MK has been the only one to stay healthy.  Which shocks me because her fingers live in her mouth, and she only washes if I catch her not washing!  

So, I am still sick.  I have a lymph node under my left armpit that is inflamed and now requires some medical attention.  I will be seeing the doctor for that today.   I am also still congested and just overall very weak feeling.

My husband has some sinus nastiness!   

I had to pick up Layla from school on Wednesday because she was vomiting.  She is better, I think it was anxiety more than anything.

Her birthday coming up (Monday the 21st) has heightened her anxiety level.  Also she's gained 12lbs and grown about 2.5" since she moved in six months ago... so we're increasing her anxiety medication to see if that helps her overall well being.   She's been lying and sneaking A LOT.  We started play therapy without me in the room about a month ago, and yesterday based on the lying and anxiety issues, we decided it would be best to move back to attachment therapy for a little while more.    

As for everything else I guess I have a bunch of things to update everyone on!   

I am dropping down to part-time at my job.  I was going to quit entirely, but my Director offered me to stay part-time and work pretty much whatever schedule I would prefer.  So I am going to drop down to 15 hours a week, allowing me some social interaction, but still providing time to focus on my house a kids.

Layla's birthday is Monday the 21st.  I was going to take cupcakes to school, but it is President's Day and school will be closed.  So I think I've decided this year we will keep things small and take she and MK to have a cupcake at a local cupcake shop.  I am also planning to take her to buy some rocks for her little rock collection. I purchased her a sectioned tackle box to store her collection in.   I also bought her a "Tangled" nightgown and book.  

I want to keep it as small as possible to help her anxiety, and to keep her from thinking she's a fairytale princess that gets whatever she wants.  That just isn't realistic for the future.

We're also getting a new couch this weekend for our living room.  Currently, we have a 4-piece media chair set that just is not conducive to cuddling or being close.   Although I will miss my recliner and cup holder, I think the new sectional will be a better solution for us as a family.   Pictures soon!  

So that is all for now.  Wish us luck as we embark into the birthday/still sick weekend!  At least it is a 3-day weekend for everyone!  

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Down For The Count!!!

Wow...Tuesday of last week I started having flu symptoms.  I went into work, because we had our VEMAT that day.  Wednesday, I called out of work, which I never do unless it is for my kids.  I went to the doctor Wednesday night and he confirmed it was the flu.   In all of the running my kids around town to their doctors, I neglected to get my flu shot  (big ol' natural consequence I guess).  

I had NO IDEA it would be this awful!  I've been laying around for days... I can't hear out of my right ear due to drainage... and talking is more like coughing now. 

I hope to feel better tomorrow.  I guess the girls have handled it fairly well.  Layla (4) has had a harder time because she's a momma's girl.  She wants cuddle time and I can't!  She wants me to do everything and I can't (and won't).   So she's had some emotional things but we used Love and Logic to prevent a tantrum the other night.

It's getting better for sure.  I just hope I feel back to normal soon!

Side bar... I have an absolutely amazing husband.  My girls have the World's Best DAD!  He's taken them to therapy for me, took them to the park today, chased Layla when she ran from him, and now he's making us all dinner.  He's a great Valentine to have and I am so lucky to have him as my partner in all of this!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Adoption Subsidy DONE!

We had our VEMAT assessment today!  It went very well.  I of course over prepared myself for it.  They mostly just asked a few questions and I told them about the girls behavioral and emotional needs.  All in all, it was easy breezy!  

So we're one step closer to finalization.  Our case worker is reviewing our file and homestudy now so hopefully soon we can finalize! 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sick Day!

Well, my sweet little Layla is sick.  She's come down with Strep Throat which is running wild in the public schools here.   MK hasn't gotten it yet, but our doctor is so great that she said, "I will save you the trip..." and went ahead and prescribed anti-biotics for both girls.  I suppose living in close quaters, it's only a matter of time. 

Today is day two of the "illness" and Layla appears to be on the mend.  Who knows how long it will last. 

The best thing about sick days is Mommy (that's me) gets to catch up on laundry and chores since I am not at work!  

Plus the dogs love it because they have someone to cuddle with!