Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Sunday we celebrated with the family at Grandma's for lunch. Bear was told he could have friends over for a party, but nothing ever came of it. He tends to wait until the last minute and everyone is busy (joy of a Summer birthday too) or it could be that he's afraid no one will want to come so he doesn't ask. I'm not sure.
Bear had requested strawberry cheesecake for his birthday cake. After lunch he went in and started cutting it. I think he was trying to keep everyone from noticing and making a fuss. He didn't want candles. I led everyone in singing him Happy Birthday anyway.
Monday morning Hubby took the kids to Grandma's so they could head to the beach. Once there, Bear of course refused to put on sunblock. Ponito didn't do it either. Ponito is not on meds that make his skin sensitive so he didn't burn. Bear did (but denied it most of the time). The girls put on sunblock, but rolled around in the sand and didn't reapply. Both girls burned.
No one wanted to risk their watch on the beach so apparently they lost track of time and stayed longer than they meant to. They also had a flat on the way home. Poor things didn't get home until almost 2am. Tired, burned and sandy, but they had fun.
Kitty was excited about the sand and shells she brought home. Little tiny broken shells, but just as important to her as huge perfect ones.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
- has another zit! He's only 11 and he's my baby. I'm not ready for him to become a teenager yet!!
- is now officially 14. I have pictures of her sad cake, but Hubby hasn't had time to download them for me. We call it the running turtle cake. We'd taken one of the oven racks out of the oven and when Ponito put it back it was crooked so the sheet cake baked at a slant. Bob made icing, but she read the directions wrong, so she ended up using canned frosting for the base of the cake instead. I fixed the icing she made so we put a little 1/2 circle cake on top of the uneven sheet cake and covered it with her icing. It was supposed to look like a green turtle. We left the room and when we'd come back it had
- is fairly stable. She's seeing two therapists. Her attachment therapist and the EMDR therapist (we tried EMDR a couple of years ago and it seemed to trigger a break down - so this time we're going really slowly).
Recently Kitty decided she wanted to lose some weight. She has weighed over 175 lbs for a couple of years now and is only 5'4". This may not seem like a lot, but she carries almost all of it in her tummy (and her bra - she's a DDD cup). She literally looks about 7 months pregnant. Some of this is probably constipation issues, but definitely not all. When we first got her at age 11 she weighed about 100lbs and was already about 5'2." She looked emaciated and was never hungry. One Summer we took her down to a minimal ADHD dose (she can't go completely off or it's impossible to live with her), and she also went on Seroquel (which can increase appetite). She gained 70lbs in 6 months!! Oops! She had already gone back on full Concerta at the end of the Summer, and we took her off the Seroquel, but the eating had become emotionally based and didn't stop. She eats when she is stressed or upset - which is pretty much all the time. If I tried to regulate her eating she would have meltdowns. About 3 weeks ago she decided that she wanted to lose the weight and I was given permission to advise her on what would be healthy eating. She has lost over 10lbs and is very proud of herself (as am I!). I've lost about 15lbs so "Yea me!"
- is a mess. He's still not sleeping well, 4-5 non-consecutive hours a night. He's bored, surly and irritable. Since the therapeutic riding school ended for the Summer, I've had him doing volunteer work in the morning at a Summer Camp at the MHMR (Mental Health Mental Retardation organization that provides services to people with MHMR issues - he's also a client). He kind of enjoys it. He commented yesterday that he's not as bored as he thought he'd be this Summer. (*yea?!*)
Yesterday we finally got the results of his sleep study. No significant episodes of sleep apnea. When aroused he goes back to sleep fairly easily. BUT he's not getting enough REM sleep. This we could have guessed. The pdoc went over some things he can change - no more napping during the day, no exercise right before or during bedtime... He gave me a list I need to go over (this pdoc gives good handouts). He also talked about a way to switch people who have a problem with sleeping during the day and being awake all night, but it requires a lot of practically 24 hour supervision (usually done at sleep clinics). (Basically you stay awake as long as you can, then sleep. The next night you go to bed an hour later. The following night an hour later. This goes on until you get around to the hour you really want to go to bed at - like 10pm. The hard part is supposedly when your "bedtime" is at say 9am.
His 17th birthday is in a few days so we're dealing with a lot of fallout from that. Currently he's not talking about leaving home, but I think that's because he has nowhere to go. When school starts again he might have some kids saying he can live with them. Could be wrong though. Maybe he believes me when I say I'll stalk him and drag him home. He's still adamant he's moving out when he's 18 though. He thinks everything is my fault so he plans to move to another state and live on his own with a job and going to school. He'll be in regular ed because of course I'm the only reason he's in special classes and programs. Currently he thinks he can change his diet and not need meds because "someone" told him that every med had certain foods that did the same thing (my mom once told me that McD*n*ld's vanilla milkshakes have lithium in them, but I doubt it's a sufficient amount to substitute- although wouldn't that be great?!!). I think I'm going to pass this research off to his Skills Trainer.
- is doing OK. He's working a lot. He's teaching scuba almost every night so we don't see him much.
- As you know, I'm job hunting, and I recently found a good potential job with the agency we adopted Bear and Kitty through. I had the interview and discovered that I have to have 9! references - 3 professional, 3 personal and 3 who can speak to my faith. It took awhile, because we have really allowed ourselves to get isolated, but I actually secured all 9 and even had some extras! (Thanks Sharon, Caty, STS, and Purplewalls!!!!).
The problem is that this job requires me to have my LMSW (social work license) and I let it lapse a couple of years ago (I've had it on "inactive" status for 15 years so I wouldn't have to take the exam again - it was hard when I'd just graduated, let alone 20 years later!). When I let it lapse I figured I hadn't needed it in 16 years and I had a job at the company we purchased so even if I went back to work it would be in the corporate world. It will cost almost $500 to get a new license and of course I'll have to take the exam which will require a LOT of studying and memorizing. The whole process will take at least 6 weeks.
Even if I get my license they may decide that I have to already have it to qualify for this job. In which case all that money could have been spread out over several months (instead of pushing for it all now - assuming I can find the money now at all). *sigh* I can't decide if I should submit the money to get this started so I can get started on the job ASAP, or if I should wait to see if I got the job. When I questioned the interviewer about it he implied that if I wasn't in the process of getting my license anyway then that would show a lack of committment to this career in which case he didn't want to consider me. In other words he won't tell me if this license is a deal breaker. He's still interviewing candidates so I won't know if I did or didn't get the job for quite awhile. *arrgh!*
I've been off of all mood stabilizers and anti-depressants for 3 weeks now and I appear to be stable. Stress often triggers mania or depression for me so I think this means I'm learning how to manage my stress. So far so good!
- no idea what's going to happen with it. We have had almost no income from it in over a month. We've talked about bankruptcy, we've talked about closing the doors, we've talked and talked, and basically we don't do anything. We're being sued again, this time for non-payment of a vendor. We've got to make some decisions.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Bear has had some recent altercations with Ponito. Recently he told Ponito that the ice cream I bought was for Bear and Bob only(?!). Ponito got upset and cried. Everyone offered Ponito some ice cream and Grandma ended up buying Ponito candy (yes I have issues with this, but he wouldn't accept sherbet or ice cream). This was the incident that Kitty stood up to Bear about.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Not so bad: I'd bought a sub ring when my wedding ring got too tight (spent almost $5 on it!), so I still have a ring to wear.
Crap: My computer is officially dead. We paid $100 to get it repaired (labor), but it didn't work.At least: I have all the documents out of it, and Hubby is letting me use his computer, but he really wants it back. His iPhone just isn't enough. He's teaching lots of scuba to help pay for a new one. Sorry Bob! (she wanted a laptop for her birthday which is Sunday).
Crap: Went to the job interview. It sounds like a really good job I'd be good at (yea!), but they left out that I'm required to have my license. I let it lapse a few years ago. It can take months to get, and it's not cheap. It's been almost 20 years since I took the exam the first time. I'd have to study hard, and it will most likely be too late to get this job. The guy who interviewed me said he's interviewing lots of people, I'm assuming many of which are equally qualified and already have their license. He'll let me know if this is a deal breaker.
Funny thing happened on the way to the interview: I arrived with about 5 minutes to spare. Only to find that the company had moved! I worked for them 14 years ago. We adopted our kids through them and Bear's adoption was finalized only 2 years ago. They'd been in that location forever. It never occured to me that they might have moved. Luckily they only moved around the corner and one of the people in the convention center that was there now actually got on the internet and looked up the new address for me. I was only a few minutes late to the interview.
Crap: Our company is being sued again. We got behind on paying the company who gave us a contract engineer. We had decided to hire the engineer and owed them a $6K conversion fee for that too. Then the client we were doing the engineering for, fired us. The engineer was too slow. We think he drug out the only other project he was working on so he'd have work to do. So that client fired us too. He was too slow. We layed him off. We have no way to pay the contract firm.
Ummm: I had to buy a new skirt for the job interview ($5 at Good Will), it was a size 14! Before Summer started I was wearing 18/20s. My sister said I looked "really pretty" when she saw me after my interview. OK this has nothing to do with the "crap news," but it was still good news.
Crap: Summer camp at the therapeutic riding school is over. So one less planned activity to keep Bear active and outside.
Good news: We don't have to get up before 7:30am for awhile. No more mucking stalls for 4 hours a day. Bear's caseworker has suggested that he work as a camp counselor at the MHMR program, and he's agreed. So except for getting him there at 9am and picked up at noon, this is good news.
Crap: Still no word from the Sleep Study people for Bear. Results were supposed to be in in 2-3 weeks. He did the study on June 10th. He is crankier than ever because he is still not sleeping. He got into an argument with Ponito and Kitty today. He yelled at them and told them what to do and got furious when Kitty stood up to him even though he made her (and Ponito) cry.
Good news: KITTY STOOD UP TO BEAR!
Crap: Showed Kitty the pictures from Biomom that showed that they were in South Padre.
Good news: Kitty was a little ticked off, but has not had any overt emotional reactions (no meltdowns). I explained (a couple of times) that Texas is huge and just because Biomom was here does not mean she came anywhere near us to get there, and it's almost 7 hours away(although we're in an almost direct line if she came by car which she probably did. Kitty does not need to know that). I think I'm going to respond to Biomom's e-mail asking about it.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I'm not sure how I feel about it.
The position is program director for the adoption agency that we adopted through. They stunk when it came to helping us, but I think that just means I would be able to bring something to the agency. I'm going to go all out for this, and then decide what to do if I get offered the job, but I still want to put in writing what I'm thinking. Hubby has repeatedly expressed concern that I just don't know what I want to be when I "grow up." This position meets a lot of my criteria.
- My experience seems to match the job requirements perfectly. Not terribly overqualified and have all of the requirements.
- It's a small, private agency not some big corporate or state-run agency so I might have some autonomy.
- It's practically across the street so no big commute.
- I'd be helping people. Not just helping kids find good homes, but doing trainings to help make those homes better.
- I'd be using all the stuff I've learned (academically, professionally and as a therapeutic parent).
- I've worked for this agency before (when Bob was a baby I did contract foster care homestudies with them and of course we adopted through this agency so it's pretty familiar). Familiarity cuts down on that learning curve which makes me feel comfortable and confident.
- I'd get to interact with people instead of sitting around talking only to our sales guy and the occasional potential client. I am a total extrovert and I especially love talking to people about kids, adoption, mental health issues... things I know stuff about.
- Probably somewhat flexible hours. Which means I could probably deal with the kids' appointments and issues.
- This agency has a high turnover rate. Gotta assume there is a reason for that of course.
- Would we have to close the company if I leave? Can we leave this in the hands of our sales guy and work in the evenings and take a little time off if needed like Hubby does?
- This is Social Work. I have to assume that the position does not pay really well.
- Will most likely have to be on call and do trainings some evenings and weekends.
- Back to having to deal with licensing and minimum standards (minimum is the operative word in Texas). Not fun to have to enforce often stupid rules that can be detrimental instead of protecting.
- Oooh, just realized I have no idea if I have something appropriate to wear. Yikes. Is that a con? Probably not.
Not a con, but a concern. My resume is in my computer! Which of course is in the shop for 3-5 days. Could be as early as tomorrow, but more likely will be done after the interview. Hubby thinks he has a copy.
Will keep you posted!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
It was a short e-mail asking how the kids are doing. No idea what to tell her. Kitty is doing OK, but Bear is really struggling.
She sent pictures of my kids 3 younger sisters, and her and her fiancee. One of the sisters looks so sad. Was hard to look at because it reminded me so much of the pictures of Kitty when she was young. Not physically (this is the sibling that is 1/2 African American), but the eyes.
The hardest part was some of the pictures were taken here in TX. It's a big state and where they were was not really near us, but since birth family is from Nebraska this means they were in the state without telling us.
Now I have 2 decisions to make. One, what to tell Biomom about how the kids are doing. Two, whether or not to show the kids the pictures of the birthfamily in front of the sign showing they were here in TX. There were other pictures so I could leave those out.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
We debated replacing my 4 year old computer with a new one, but what we can afford right now is not much. It will cost about 1/2 as much to repair it, but
I'll be without my computer for 4-5 days.
Hubby says I can use his after he's gone to bed, and while he's at work. So I have access to e-mail, but not my contact list or files. (Hey Purple, would you please e-mail me with a link to Chit'n'Chat?) Still better than having no computer at all (the withdrawals were really getting to me!).
So we now (mostly) resume our regularly scheduled programming.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Sharon, the friendly neighbor
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
For the next two weeks the kids are signed up to volunteer at Summer Camp at the therapeutic riding school. They loved Vacation Bible School so much that when we were asked, I rearranged my schedule and volunteered. I told the kids no aerobics while we're working Summer Camp (You probably heard the CHEERS!). We have to be there at 8:45 and it's about a 20 minute drive so I told the kids we had to leave the house at 8:15am (knowing we never get out of the house on time).
Last night I let them stay up late and watch fireworks from our front curb. I'm still not their favorite person because fireworks scare me (I will not post all the pictures I have of people with various body parts blown off by fireworks- You're welcome), so I didn't let them have any. Even sparklers (they're dangerous too. Really!). They couldn't go near the neighbor's house until they were done setting off their illegal fireworks and had used up all the sparklers they generously offered to share with my kids.
I went inside early because the dogs were terrified and I found the animosity annoying at best. I let in the dogs and discovered they needed major brushing. Which I did. Poor prince left a pile of hair. Princess (being short haired) appreciated the brushing so much I went ahead and brushed her for awhile, even though she didn't need it. Scarlet the long haired Husky didn't really need brushing, but she looked like an old stuffed animal. You know the kind you've brushed so much that it's fur is stretched out and kind of matted? It's no longer soft, and you keep thinking if I just brush it longer it will go back to being soft and smooth (doll hair does this too). She hates fireworks the most and loved laying on the cool tile floor. About 1:30am she decided she was ready to go back outside so I put them all out. (Caty, you don't have to worry about her, I really am watching out for her).
This morning we all got up early and left the house. No worries. Until we got there. Bob has always said all she wants to do is work in the office (or stay home). That day they actually had something for her to do. For three hours Kitty and Bear walked with the horses, Ponito and I mucked stalls, and Bob sat in the air conditioned office playing with file folders. About 1/2 an hour before we were scheduled to leave I decided it was time for Bob and Ponito to switch places. He deserved a break (he's such a hard worker!), and she needed at least 20 minutes of activity to make up for the missed aerobics (she's my tater tot, she'll sit all day on her tuckus if I let her - won't even go swimming! She's actually sat in the van, in TX heat!, and read books instead of swimming!). I am a couch potato (makes sense that I'd have a tater tot right?), but I need her to at least move a little.
I told her she needed to switch places with Ponito (the office ladies were willing to supervise them - otherwise they have to always be in my sight). She refused. I told her she HAD to switch. She refused. I reasoned, I argued, I fussed, and I threatened. She refused. Finally I walked out, after telling her I didn't want to make a scene in the office where people were trying to work. I did stick my head back in and tell her she would have a FAIR Club assignment when she went to work with me that afternoon.
A minute after I started mucking stalls alone, Bob came out and leaned against the stall door. Apparently the volunteer coordinator had told her she had to listen to her mother and kicked her out of the office. Of course all Bob did was lean against the wall and complain. She refused to pick up a rake and help of course!
15 minutes later it was time to go. I talked to Grandma to let her know we were on our way over as soon as we changed. Grandma told me that if the kids worked on their workbooks, and Bob did her homework (poor child has homework over the Summer before she even starts classes!), every afternoon for the two weeks we had Summer Camp, then as a reward Grandma and Poppy would take them to the beach. Kitty and Bear have never seen a beach and Kitty was stoked. Ponito is up for anything. Bob didn't want to do that.
The minute we walked into Grandma's house, Bob was whining to Grandma. She was never going to get her work done and she was going to fail Social Studies and Language Arts because she "can't work at Mom's office," because, get this, she needs a comfy place to study and I don't have that. She can't work unless she can do so on a bed. Hmmm... wonder how she does her work at school?
Grandma took pity on her, and tried to work it out so everybody would be happy. Honestly I knew I wasn't getting Bob in my car without a fight, and then she'd whine all afternoon and I wouldn't get any work done. I let myself be "talked into" the compromise Grandma came up with. Bob could lay on Grandma's bed and work (supervised by Poppy), and all the other kids would go out and do fun stuff.
The problem is, this starts again tomorrow morning. Actually tonight because I have to tell her her consequences and think of a good threat to get her to comply tomorrow. The office ladies at the volunteer center said they really could use her in the office tomorrow. I was fine with her working there as long as she did a little bit of manual labor. Since she's refusing the labor, and refusing to go if she thinks I'll try to make her, I don't know what to do. She's too big to physically force (5'11+" and 176lbs last time I checked!).
Her birthday is in two weeks. I could probably allow her to invite all the friends she wanted to instead of the 2-3 I've been insisting on if she's compliant. Or I could cancel the party entirely if she refuses.
I could make her (and Hubby) get up at 5:30am and do the treadmill (which he'd offered to do in the past with Bear when he was refusing aerobics). I'd feel bad about that though because he's teaching scuba all this week.
I could let her work in the office or stay home and drag her with me to work every afternoon somehow and make her write FAIR Club assignments.
Did I mention she's my "neurotypical" child? She's just being a typical, rebellious teen, but it still stinks!!! And the other kids are still watching.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
I do not allow my kids to watch PG-13 movies.
OK, that's not totally true. I rarely allow them to watch PG-13 movies, and if I do it's because I've previewed the movie first and then we watch it together. Most of the time the movies are ones that are part of a series we really like (like Harry Potter - which started as PG) and/or books the kids have read (and therefore some of the drama has already been processed). There has to be some redeeming factor (a moral or something that makes me glad I watched it).
That weekend we also watched P*rcy Jacks0n: L1ghtening Th1ef. Truthfully both movies were very violent with lots of drama, but the Vamp1re one was also very dark and gruesome. What upset me most though was knowing that Bear watched the portrayal of the main character's family. They were distant and controlling - all the things Bear is constantly accusing us of being. The boy complains about his parents and their demanding expectations (they want him to do well in school, go to college, get married and have a family, they also forbid him from hanging out with a boy who desperately wants to be a vampire, talks the main character into skipping school, throwing rocks and breaking street lights, and attending a Goth circus at night when the main character is grounded - can you imagine?! What horrible people these parents are!).
So new dilemma. What to do with my rule breakers? Hubby asked if I would have allowed Bob to watch the movie if we hadn't adopted. She is 13 now. She's read the book (not something I'm thrilled about either, but I can't go with her to the library and control what she reads). And the answer is... maybe. I tend to believe she can handle this type of stuff. I probably wouldn't have previewed it, but still would have wanted her to watch it with me.
But that's not the point. The point is that she broke the rules, both of them did. Whether it should be a rule or not. Whether they agree with it or not.
So FAIR Club time. They came to work with me (not popular by the way). I was struggling with what to give them for an assignment and started thinking about a topic that's come up often around here. The kid's think I'm too strict, and that another family would be better. I tell them of all of my blogger friends who are stricter than I am, but all they know is what they see on TV and from their friends.
Here's what I'm always telling them most of my friends do:
- Home school
- Enforced homework time
- Little to no TV
- G or PG movies (if any) - (making them watch Veggie Tales *grin*)
- Only Christian music
- Dinner at the table every night
- rarely if ever eat out
- only provide highly nutritious meals/ no sugary high fat snacks
- make kids wear uniforms or more "appropriate" clothes
- chores!! work on farm or at parents' company
- game night/ family actiities
- Not to mention Reiki, family therapy, neuroreorg...
So I read out loud several Household Manuals for Wife Swap trying to "find a new family" for them. Most of the people there are extremes so it was almost impossible to find a "good family." We finally found one, the Drago family. LOL she was easy going, didn't make her kids do chores. I was a little freaked out that they'd found someone who wasn't totally whacked.
Then we watched a clip. Let's just say I found out what the lady's freaky thing was (reborn dolls, check them out -they're kind of creepy). Didn't seem to phase the kids though so we talked about why our family has the rules that we do especially regarding media and movies. We talked about how the kids in our family are different from other kids and sometimes things that don't bother other kids bother ours. This led to a discussion about the family in the movie and whether or not they were good parents.
We talked for over an hour. The kids were quite willing to participate when they realized it meant they didn't have to do a writing assignment. Our final talk was what should happen when they disagree with a rule. One of my biggest points was that sometimes they might not know why the rule was there. They know if they have a problem with a family rule that they should tell me and it might change, but NOT to go ahead and break the rule.
Did it work? I don't think they'll never break another family rule. I know they'll watch movies I don't approve of the minute they're out of my sight, but Bob might have a little more insight into why I approve or don't approve movies, and Bear might be a little more aware that I'm keeping an eye on him, and just maybe he'll realize I'm doing it because I care about him and not just because I like to make rules to torture him. Maybe
Another favorite quote: "People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care."