This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Friday, December 31, 2010

A Year in Review

As I look back over the year, I can't believe how much has changed. Some of it seems like it's been this way forever. I still can't believe that it was this year when Kitty showed her first major sign of healing from RAD. It seems longer.

A year in review:

  • It snowed! (This is a big deal because it only happens about every seven years around here).
  • Hubby left our company and started engineering contract work with a large company - which he hates.
  • We fired Bear's therapist.
  • My little sister got married.
  • Went to the Katharine Leslie seminar in Fort Worth and did a series of posts on her amazing work and what I learned there.
  • Hubby and I celebrated our 16th anniversary.
  • KITTY ASKED IF I WAS "OK"!! (and cared about the answer) This was a major sign that she has healed from RAD.
  • The three older kids get confirmed in the church.
  • We make over 100 dozen cookies for various events this year.
  • I lost a little weight even though I stopped working out at the end of Summer.
  • I turned 40.
  • I introduce my rainbow tie dye "don't forget your stuff or I'll wear this to your school" outfit.
  • We did a lot of life skills training and managed to convince Bear not to move out when he turned 17.
  • We discovered Bear and Kitty's legal age of adulthood is actually 19.
  • We have a quiet, strictly supervised Summer full of aerobics and volunteer work at vacation bible school and a place that does therapy through horseback riding.
  • My blog turns 2 and I get lots of support from my followers.
  • I get a new little brother. My dad and stepmom adopt a 13 year old boy.
  • I decided that my issues with bipolar were more my PTSD and stopped taking meds.
  • We had our first, and only, RAD Mom Meeting - got to try to do this more!!
  • We introduce The Soup Kitchen and use it for a little while. It triggers major foood issues for my RAD kids, especially Kitty.
  • My wonderful readers help me write letters to the school and for IEP meetings that help us get Bear what he needs in school.
  • Two amazing fellow Mom bloggers gift me with tickets to a Women of Faith seminar which charges my batteries.
  • Took him 7 months, but Bear finally earns his Zune!
  • Bear managed to pull it together and pull his grades up (after almost flunking out - if the school would have allowed him to), because he found out he couldn't be in the military due to his diagnoses, although he did end up back at the special school.
  • We celebrate our 4 year anniversary of the kids coming to live with us.
  • Bear skips class and lies about being beat up to the police. Could have been prosecuted as an adult, but "lucked out."
  • Our company is not making any money and lost a big lawsuit.
  • I give Hubby the gift of my time. I'm trying to come to bed early and I'm on an "internet diet." I'm not doing great at it, but I'm trying.

For the last three years we've been giving birthday gifts to Jesus. Kind of like New Year's Resolutions, but focused on what Jesus would want from us. Reading these has shown me the progress the kids have made. Especially Kitty's. Here's her last three:


"to God,

My thang that I need to work on is to stop Gloting (gloating) and stop being
rude and to be better at being Goodwhen I am being rude to my brother.
Please help me

love Kitty"

She added that she would try not to fight with Grandmother. This was really hard for her, but when I look back I realize she no longer "hates" her Grandmother and little brother. I haven't heard her call either of them "that evil (little boy/ woman)" in a very long time. I honestly don't think she feels that way any more.


"Make the world a better place by loving everyone. Spending time with my family."

"Spend more time with my family" was a major theme that year, so this year I told everyone they had to choose something else.


"I will try harder to stop the drama or avoid it."

My Jesus' gift was:

"I will try to be present and meet my family's needs, while taking care of myself."

I think that's a good one don't you?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Great Expectations

Foster Abba over at The Final Maze, wrote a post called Reasoning with the Unreasonable in which she quoted Cindy over at Big Mama Hollers,

"I'm just so out of patience with year after year of so little progress, some older kids are distressing me terribly with their ridiculous thoughts and attitudes, crappy criminalism, best if I keep my distance, and my opinions to myself, let them learn their own way about employment, bill paying and relationships.

They think I'm the stupid one for following rules and obeying laws.

How does one reason with that?"

Foster Abba's response was,

"I think the reality is that you can't reason with that. I think the problem for so many of our damaged children is that they are incapable of understanding logic or consequences."

I think I've finally grasped that you can't reason with our children, that they don't understand consequences, and that their logic is based on defense mechanisms and learned behavior that are no longer useful, but that are now such a part of their thought processes that they can't get rid of them. I think I've grasped it... but there are days when I realize my expectations are not in alignment with that reality.

But for me the hard part is watching others deal with my children who HAVEN'T and WON'T grasp it, and think I'm a horrible person for "giving up" on my children and "not allowing them to reach their potential" because I have grasped it.

On paper my children are CAPABLE of being productive, successful members of society. Technically they COULD go to college, get a job, and have healthy relationships. However Kitty and Bear have so many issues that the odds of them actually being able to do this are astronomically against it. I don’t want to hold them back by saying they can’t, but at the same time I feel we’re not preparing them for reality and the practical things I'm being forced encouraged to allow like driving my kids are not really ready for.

The high school especially is helping my children plan for a future that includes college, and in Kitty's case, medical school (she wants to be a surgeon "because they make lots of money"). Both of my kids are in special ed. and not just because they are emotionally disturbed. Maybe college and tradeschools are possible with lots of help, but extremely unlikely (especially since Bear would not be willing to ask for or accept that help).

Bear is half way through his junior year of high school. He does not have realistic life goals. This is so wrong, but the school doesn’t see the need in assessing him or helping him find realistic alternatives, and he can’t accept that help from us. I don’t know what to do about this. Last time we challenged one of his life goals (told him he wasn’t eligible for the military) he gave up (skipping school, drugs, fights…) and we almost didn’t get him back.

His life goals still aren’t realistic, but now no one wants to tell him. I too want to make sure he has a ”backup plan” before we tell him, but I can’t get anyone to help me help him explore his options. I don’t know what to do next.

I don't think my kids are capable of living on their own, particularly not any time soon, but we’re unable to get them diagnosed with anything that will get them the support they need to make it in the “real world.” Because of their attachment issues they are unable to trust us enough to stay home with us and let us help them. Bear is also in denial about his issues and diagnoses so I know he’ll stop taking his meds and getting the therapy and support that he needs. There is a strong possibility that Bear will most likely end up in jail (if he’s lucky) because that is the only place that can provide the support, structure and regulation that he needs.


My greatest fear is that there is something I could have done to make them better and improve their chances of being happy, healthy and productive.

In what ways do you find yourself limiting your other children (if you have any) to accommodate the needs of your special need child?

I find myself being overprotective of ALL of my kids, not just the ones who need the additional support, but my younger ”neurotypical” biokids too. It’s so hard for me to draw the line.

When I treat the kids differently, then they think I love the other kids more (ALL of them think that). I truly can’t win. How do you handle this?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Stocking Stuffers

Well I found out where my stocking of chocolate came from! apparently had another giveaway. I found out when I logged on to the site today. Very cool.

Unfortunately Bear ate almost all of my chocolate. :(

Last night I went to get a piece and discovered there was almost none left. When I searched Bear's room this morning while he was in the shower, as expected I found a couple of pieces of candy (and some other contraband). I discussed it with Hubby to decide what the consequences should be.

We decided I should take the treats that Bear got for Christmas and his new camera, and put them in a box, which Hubby decided to place on the dining room table (he told me to tell Bear that it better still be there when Hubby got home from work). Hubby then left for work. Everyone was getting ready to go horseback riding except Bob who'd decided to stay home so Ponito could ride (we only had 3 slots and Ponito had spent the day with a friend last week).

During Christmas break, Kitty's therapist had arranged for some therapeutic riding for many of her patients at a local horseriding stable that works primarily with emotionally disturbed children. The stable owner was already very familiar with Bear who had been attending for years though his special school and said he could ride as well. There was room for one more rider so they let Bob ride last week. I've been loving it because it's 3 hours to talk to other moms of adopted teenage girls with RAD.

While I was finishing getting ready, Bear came out of the shower and apparently discovered his stuff in the box on the table. Bear came to my bedroom door (he's not allowed in our room because he's stolen stuff from our room in the past), and yelled to me in the Master bath, asking me why his stuff was on the table. I told him it was because he had stolen my stocking candy so Dad and I had taken his Christmas stuff. He wanted to know why I thought that he'd taken my candy and I said because I'd realized it was missing and he'd smelled like chocolate in the car on the way to Grandma's the night before so I searched his room. Plus when food goes missing it tends to be him.

As you can imagine, instantly it became about what a horrible person I was for not trusting him. Never mind that he'd actually stolen it! So he told me he was going to ruin my day by not going horseback riding. He knew I would never leave him home alone so no one would get to go. He then stormed off. Even though I didn't even see him, I was shaking like a leaf. I will most definitely be talking to my therapist about EMDR therapy for my PTSD.

So I called Hubby and asked him to turn around and work from home today so Kitty and Ponito could still go to horseback riding therapy. We had to leave before Hubby got back home, and I have to admit I was kind of entertained by Bear's face when he realized we were going anyway (he'd been banging around in the garage as we left, and lifted up the garage door and looked out as we drove away).

Huby said he was on the phone and had his bedroom windows wide open. I don't think I want to know what he was up to.

Hubby talked to him and got very frustrated. I'm not sure what happened, but I know at some point Hubby took the door off of Bear's room. (Hubby apparently did put it back on later). Bear denied everything of course. Said he'd told me he would go after all. Said he didn't take the candy. Said the only reason he took it was because it was the only way he would get any.

Later when we got home, Bear came up to me and said he was sorry he'd acted the way he did. He blamed it on the fact that he found out his great-grandfather had died. He said he found out on Christmas day. He also said he was upset because he wanted to spend time with his latest girlfriend on her birthday (allegedly the day after Christmas), but Ponito had a low-grade fever so we said no company. He then told me she was going to come over this afternoon instead. I said, "umm, no I don't think that's a good idea today after what happened this morning." He wandered off.

Apparently Hubby had told him to stay off the phone and busted him on that a little later.

I have a massive headache so I'm going to bed. Night y'all!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

For Miz K

Love Hubby to death and think he's gorgeous, but he does get this kind of intense, crazed look in pictures. I tried to find a few to show Miz K, but I delete most of them.

Oh NO! It's contagious!

I have a Secret Santa!

I just got a Fed Ex box with a stocking full of chocolate from someone in Illinois. I don't know who you are, but I LOVE YOU!! (I probably should know who they came from, and it vaguely sounds familiar, and I REALLY hope it wasn't one of those send something to someone else kind of things... oh, this is bad, now I feel guilty and I'm going to go into a chocolate induced coma!).

I have already eaten 4, 5, 6 Reese's peanut butter trees... ok, ok, and a truffle.

That's probably not good.

I don't care!



I did finally choose the new family picture for the blog. I printed out the traditional one for family Christmas gifts, but for the blog I chose the most "realistic" one. Check it out at the bottom of the page and tell me what you think.
Well I'm finally done wrapping everything!! ...except the gifts that haven't arrived.
I ordered an MP3 for Bob from Eb*y, and then ordered a ton of other stuff. EVERYthing else has arrived. I paid for it on November 30th and it said 3-7 days shipping. When it confirmed the order through P*ypal it said 3-10 days shipping. When I went back to check it said the item would be here by the 16th. On the 16th I went to Eb*y to check and it said the shipping date was through the 29th! There was also a note saying the seller was no longer a registered member of Eb*y. Unfortunately that's when I realized the seller was in China. Now the entire item description has been taken down too.
Since today is the last day before the mail stops for Christmas, it is extremely unlikely that the item will be here in time for Christmas. Poor Bob! At least I found the black suede, knee high, no heel SIZE 12!! boots that she wanted. Since the kids only get 3 presents, and one of her gifts was relatively small... it's a really good thing it's Bob not Kitty.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Healthy Snacks - Chocolate Chip Cherry Bread

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cherry Bread – please don’t tell my kids it’s healthy!

3 ½ cups whole wheat flour (I usually replace 1½ cups of flour with a whole grain like oatmeal or Bob's Red Mill 5 grain cereal)
½ cup protein powder (I use powdered milk)
½ cup cocoa
2 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3 bananas
1 can beets – drained (I usually use 3 more bananas instead)
2 TBS butter (I substitute fat-free yogurt or coconut oil)
6 TBS Applesauce or fat-free yogurt (I like yogurt as an exact substitute for oil because it bakes lighter and fluffier than applesauce – and of course it’s healthier than oil).
1 1/3 cup brown sugar (I use 1 1/3 cup Splenda and 2 TBS Molasses)
1 cup egg substitute (or 4 eggs)
1 pkg.  (~2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use reduced-fat chocolate chip or Hershey's sugar-free chocolate chips)
2 cups dried cherries (2 pkgs) – rehydrated by boiling in water for a few minutes in the microwave then drained). Dried cherries have a stronger flavor than regular cherries which tend to"dissolve" into the bread and disappear.

  • Preheat oven to 350. Coat 2 8x4 loaf tins (or muffin tins) with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Mix flours, protein powder, cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda – set aside.
  • Cream bananas, beets, butter, applesauce and sugar (Splenda/ molasses). Add eggs and mix one minute. Blend with flour mix. Stir in chips and cherries.
  • Bake 45-50 minutes (less for muffins).
Yummiest warm with the chocolate chips all melty and messy. I tried it with the beets for the first time and my kids had NO CLUE. I suppose if you didn't use cherries and used walnuts or something else it would taste like brownies.

Bob hates bananas so we pretend this doesn't have any. All you taste is the chocolate and cherries anyway. The beets are totally optional, as are the cherries.  We've tried it with peanut butter too.

Squirrel cookies

Great for a quick breakfast on the go.

1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup white flour, unbleached
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
1 cup pecan halves (I used ½ cup raw sunflower seeds and ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds)
1 ½ cup butter (I used ICBNB)
½ cup (equivalent) brown sugar (Splenda and molasses?)
½ cup sugar
1 ¼ cup splenda
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup water (I used water drained from rehydrated fruit)
3 eggs
3 cups Bob’s Red Mill 5-Grain Rolled Cereal
1 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened if you can!)
1 cup cranberries (I substituted part with some dried blueberries) boil in microwave
1 cup golden raisins (I substituted part with some dried cherries) boil in microwave

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets, set aside.

  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.  
  • By hand or in a small chopper, chop pecans coarsely, set aside (if don’t use seeds).   
  • In another bowl blend butter, sugar, vanilla and water together.  Beat eggs and add to butter mixture; stir flour mixture into egg and butter mixture; add cereal and all remaining ingredients, mix well. 

Bake 10-12 minutes.  Cookies should be soft in center and edges lightly brown.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies - Gluten-free, Casein-free, No Sugar Added

When you have a sweet tooth and want to stay on track, here's a nice treat. Sugar is NOT an added ingredient.

  • 3 mashed bananas (ripe)
  • 1/3 cup apple sauce, 
  • 2 cups oats, 
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

You can make into “squirrel cookies” too

You can add chocolate chips! Here're some other options:

I have a similar recipe but I use 1/3 crunchy peanut butter and chopped walnuts (or any nuts) dried cranberries. Instead of bananas, try a can of pumpkin. And dark chocolate chips. A little shredded coconut is also good. Even a grated apple and 2 bananas. So many variations.

I substituted pumpkin in place of the apple sauce and added a few extra spices.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Pictures!

These first two are the shots I'll be sending to biofamily of Kitty and Bear. Bear was in the middle of "No Shave November." Scruffy is not my favorite look for him.

My Boys!

I really like this shot. Even though I have some serious double chin going on.

Truthfully this is my favorite shot, even though it's not very traditional. I think it reflects our family pretty well. Even Bear's expression says it all.

Here's the photoshopped version. Which do you like better?

My favorite shot that's a little more traditional cause it hides my double chin and everyone's smiling. Don't know why Bear looks photoshopped in, just his shirt popping I guess. The only photoshopping in this pic was Kitty. In the original she looks like she's mid-sneeze.

This last one has been photoshopped to death, and is the most traditional of all of them all. It's Bob's favorite.
So which would you pick?
The final choice will be on this blog for a year so I need your input guys!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Best Christmas Present Ever!

Our new Cle*rPlay DVD player is awesome! I can't wait for Santa to bring it for the kids! I found a used one on Eb*y and started downloading filters. Originally I was thinking it would just be great for expanding the kids' movie repertoire to include PG-13 movies, but Hubby and I have used it to watch a couple of rated R movies and while it cut out a lot of the movie, it still made sense and was entertaining, so as long as the basic themes are appropriate it might be OK. Either way, I can't believe how many movies are actually PG-13.

The cool part is that now I can buy older DVDs that we couldn't watch before (used DVDs from S*lv*tion Army or $3 movies from Big L*ts). Since they're not new releases they're MUCH cheaper. This has really increased my options for my teens- who mostly asked for expensive electronic stuff we couldn't afford.

To try to handle gifts in my house without going overboard, I use an Excel spreadsheet. I have 2 columns for each child. One with the gifts I plan to get them, and a second column that I move the items to as I purchase them. This way I don't end up buying more than I intended to, or horrors! "shortchanging" one child.

There's a row for:

  • Christmas Eve gifts (pajamas and a book).

  • Santa presents (Santa tells me in advance - to prevent duplicates). He gave us the Cle*rplay player in advance so we could get the filters loaded, nnd he'll bring the kids a couple of DVDs.

  • Grandparent gift (grandparents sent us a financial gift and we purchase a gift for each child and us from it - and the leftovers we can use for whatever we need - LOVE IT!)

  • Gifts 1-3 (each child gets 3 gifts from us. It was good enough for Jesus.)

  • Stocking Stuffers - I help Santa with this.

  • There's an additional section for other family members (Grandparents and little brother, sis and her family, Hubby and I. -Yes, I buy my own gifts. I get Bob to wrap them for me though.).

We also have Christmas lists aka Santa letters for the kids, but adults are supposed to write lists too. I didn't realize this wasn't normal for every family until recently when my sister's new husband questioned it (he didn't write a list either so I really struggled with what to get him. I can handle people I know without a list, but I don't know my BIL that well yet).

My Dad's love language is gifts so we're used to him telling us exactly what he wants. My stepmom makes it really easy by sending different lists to everyone so I don't have to worry that my sister got him the same thing! Convenient, right?

Hi Mary, Remember how your dad always has things on his list that are no fun to buy, but that he really, really wants? Well, for him for Christmas he has specified the following: Megui*r's web site -- 1) "Gold Class" Carnauba wax (G7014); 2) SwirlX (G17616); 3) Soft Buff Towels (X2050). Use code VYX for free shipping. So I send you those as a suggestion for him. For me -- easy! I love books, so a gift certificate to a good bookstore would be great. For {New Little Brother} -- any xbox 360 game, (not all are expensive), I don't recommend any baseball equip(I know he's obsessed with baseball so I'd asked). He has alot, and our neighbors work for Sp*rts Auth*rity and bring him the neatest things free because the store is changing seasons.

Hubby was frustrating for me this year, because he doesn't want clothes (bad memories from childhood) even though he needs them. He has very little time for hobbies, except scuba diving, which is pretty expensive and very specific, and food/candy is good, but of course too much isn't good for him. I ended up just telling him to pick out some movies while we were shopping for the kids at a used movie/game store. *sigh* I prefer to find great gifts that will be a surprise.



Now all I have to do is wrap it all! Luckily Bob apparently got my "wrapping gene" and volunteered to do all my wrapping (she can't wrap her siblings presents though). Unluckily, she got overwhelmed (My sister has 5 kids and we got them a bunch of little gifts) and apparantly bored, and now there's wrapping mess in the family room, and a ton more presents to wrap.

Well, better go. I'm being naughty and extended my bedtime curfew. Gotta run upstairs!

Finally got Christmas pictures and post them tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Just found nasty porn pics on the printer. Apparently the printer wasn't working right when Bear printed them so they printed out later, where luckily Hubby found them instead of one of the other kids.

Went on the kids' computer and discovered Bear's joined many porn sites, is communicating with birth family and found his way around the security program we'd installed (to prevent them viewing porn and other inappropriate sites).

So I went online and changed all of his passwords (he'd given them to me years ago and apparently never bothered to change them) for his e-mails, Facebook, Myspace, and the porn sites. I'm sure I didn't get them all, but he's going to be one ticked off kid when he figures it out. Of course none of them are supposed to exist, so technically he can't complain.


Hubby decided to confront him on all of this instead of letting him figure it out. *sigh* I wasn't there when they talked, but as usual Hubby asked him to admit what he did (which of course Bear didn't couldn't do). Then Hubby told him what we know. Which of course Bear denied, and said was a mistake, and said he didn't know... and generally... lied... big shock. Hubby is pretty much incapable of consequencing Bear for anything unless: Bear confesses, he caught Bear red handed or he has incontrovertible proof (and even then, if Bear still blatantly denies it, Hubby tries to convince Bear it would be better for him if he admited the truth, which of course doesn't happen).

Still, the end result is the same. Bear thinks he "got away with it," because he argued his way around it" (and therefore will be very angry at the consequences) and Hubby is mad at Bear but won't do anything because he doesn't have "proof," and I do the actual consequencing which makes Bear mad at me. The news this time is that Hubby knew I'd already invoked the consequences before he confronted Bear (so it was too late for Hubby to say I shouldn't), and sweet Hubby told Bear that it was Hubby's idea. Often Bear knows it was all my idea anyway, but this time he may not.

So no FAIR Club type consequencing. Bear will most likely just have to start all over if he wants e-mail, Facebook, or porn accounts. Presumably he'll use different passwords. I left his accounts open for most so he'll have to use different names.


Did I mention that both girls have Facebook accounts too? Kitty had just gotten hers. I discovered this by going on birthmom's Facebook account and on her wall she'd mentioned that now all of her children have Facebook accounts. Bear had "friended" Kitty so I was able to access her account. She had the name of her high school with graduation date on there too. (Bob has that, plus her hometown on there).

Here's the reasons I gave Kitty for why it was a bad idea for her to have a Facebook account:

  1. By friending Bear - EVERYone who is his friend has access to her account.
  2. Biofamily now know where she lives and what school she goes to (Bear does not keep this secret, and even if he did, their friends don't).
  3. By refusing to "friend" biofamily that doesn't mean they won't be able to read your page.
  4. She's put pictures on there so everyone knows what she looks like now.
  5. You can't control what your friends write. They can give out even more personal details of your life.
  6. What others write can be totally inappropriate. Biomom has a conversation about incest in the family on her wall. The picture of one of Bear's "uncles" is of his girlfriend and practically porn.
  7. Even I now know almost every detail of Kitty's relationship ups and downs with her ex- boyfriend.

Kitty gave me her passwords and allowed me to close her account. I talked to Bob about it, but while she knows I don't approve, I don't have the same reasons for asking her to close the account and she has chosen not to. I don't feel I have the right to ask it of her. What do you think? Should kids have Facebook accounts?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Too Many Titles!

When you haven't blogged in a week (OK, I know I didn't even make it that long!), you start realizing how many blog posts you mentally write in your head. My favorite part is the titles so I'm just going to list a few of the alternatives you might have gotten if I had more time to write. As it is I'm just going to have to leave most of this to your imagination:

What a Sh!tty Week!
Lawsuits, IEPs and Poo Bunnies!
"Out, D@mn'd Spot! Out, I Say!... ?—Yet who would have thought the old man young girl to have had so much blood in him poo in her?" (paraphrased a bit).

Basically it's been a crazy week and I thought once I got through yesterday that was going to be the worst of it.

Exerpts from Yesterday's schedule:

  • Get yelled at by Bear for no reason.

  • Christmas shopping on ebay

  • Kitty's ARD/IEP meeting - everyone wants her in mainstream classes with inclusion - and since she's "bored" in all her Applied Classes, and so “quiet and hard working” at school that I should put her in there... but she comes home and walks in circles talking to herself in the backyard for hours and has screaming meltdowns over every tiny little thing. We’ve removed all the stress we possibly can at home, just so she can save her energy for dealing with all the stress and drama at school.

I spent 2 hours today fighting to keep her in the special ed classrooms because she appears perfectly normal at school. I tell them she often vomits before school from the stress and calls me from the nurses office almost every day with a headache, stomach ache or some other random illness, but “She’s probably just bored.” “We can’t write accommodations for something that “might” happen.” Why can’t they understand that my kids are doing well in the special classes so they should STAY there. Every time they put them in regular ed, my kids fall apart….

I actually had my Kitty's case manager tell me, “Oh, I talked to the other teachers and we never see her exhibiting the behaviors on the BIP (behavior intervention plan) so we ignore it.” ?!! It’s there for a reason, and I have a note from the school nurse saying she made 16 visits to the nurse in the last 16 weeks – which is pretty much the only behavior mentioned on the plan. Just because it wasn’t happening in this teacher’s classroom (because my daughter knows she wouldn’t tolerate it and it was the last class of the day), doesn’t mean the whole thing should be ignored. Luckily the teacher who's class she leaves the most was in the ARD. But the point was that she was using it for stress relief, not misbehaving, and I couldn't get anyone to see that!

So I let them put inclusion on the schedule for next year, but demanded an end of the year ARD to set the schedule. They're supposed to actually start giving her homework to see how she does (were actually supposed to be doing that this semester, but didn't). If she/we survive next semester then "we'll see" (but probably not!).

  • Lawsuit - 2.5 hours, most of which was sitting waiting for our turn. We lost (knew we would), but that's why we didn't bother hiring a lawyer (although we paid for some legal advice). Now it's just a matter of them having to figure out how to get blood out of a stone, but that was the problem to begin with, now they just added lawyer's fees on top of it.

  • Ponito's playdate - called me up an hour after school was out to tell me he had a friend over and was that OK? I asked him if he'd done his chores and he lied and said yes, but the friend was already there and I wasn't so there wasn't anything I could do about it then.

  • Meeting with Bear's Casemanager - The second I got home, all the older kids were walking in too, and the casemanager pulled in the driveway behind me. The front room was covered in Christmas crud and clutter so I had to bring her further into the house. Bear of course was sullen and didn't want to talk - which since this was supposed to be about how he'd been doing the last 90 days, wasn't very helpful. Of course everything over the last 90 days was in the past so Bear doesn't remember a bit of it, and said "Fine" to every question. So I got to be the witch again and say things like, "Umm... lying is NOT 'Not at All,' remember the big incident at school, involving the police, where you lied to everyone at least twice about what happened and still might go to jail?!" [FORESHADOWING: I remember thinking, "Arrgh! I wish the entry and this whole area were clean!!"]

  • Made a really nice dinner - using leftovers from probably too long ago (left over cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving, egg whites from making Christmas cookies - only used the yolks).

  • Worked on the curtains I started and promised a friend months ago.

Today's Unschedule:

  • Clean up the poo water from the overflowing toilet that Kitty didn't bother to tell me about until it was 3 inches deep in the bathroom and out the door into the hardwood floor entry, hall closet where tons of stuff is stored on the floor (and dumped because Bear uses it as a hiding spot when he "cleans off the stairs"), the bottom step of the stairs (carpeted) and the carpeted front room. Deal with her meltdown (OK, I admit I didn't really deal with this, I just yelled back at her, and told her she had to help and I didn't care that her shoes smelled like poo because she's not the one wringing poo water with her bare hands. She hid in her room for a few minutes then snuck out the front door to catch the bus. My hands and feet still smell like poo and like Lady MacBeth, I've washed them a dozen times in the last hour.) I got up all the water (and poo) and picked up all the trash and dust bunnies (one turned out to be a poo bunny - ewww!) and stuff that was swept up by the flowing water and left a tide mark. I'm going to have to leave everything unsanitized because I'm shaking from all the heavy lifting. (why I'm blogging instead of cleaning!) Kitty can clean it up when she gets home from school.

  • Pick up Kitty's prescription I've been working for weeks to get ordered

  • Drop by Bear's school to sign the paperwork I didn't have time to sign because I was mopping up.

  • Meet someone to give them some attachment books

  • Have lunch with Hubby since I'll be in the area

  • Was going to go to work, but waaay too much to do

  • Finish Cmas shopping

  • My therapist cancelled because she's ill. *sigh*

  • Cmas party with Hubby and we have to wear "Cowboy Dressy." Hubby has nothing to wear, but doesn't want me to spend even $2 on a thrift store shirt. I chose to get dressed this morning because I wouldn't have time to change, and luckily my shirt managed to stay clean, but had to change jeans.

  • Finish curtain project for friend (her little boy has been without curtains for 2 months and it's cold - I feel like pond scum!)

Yikes! It's after 10am and I've got too much to do! I miss you guys!!



Sunday, December 5, 2010

Merry Christmas to Hubby!

I've already cut back on how often I post here, and I've cut back some on the list-serves I read. I weed out the blogs I read on a semi-regular basis, but there are still waaay more than I can keep up with.

As an early Christmas present to Hubby, I have made a commitment to reduce the time I spend on the computer to almost nothing.

I'm going to stop looking at my Google Reader and list-serves, although I'll still respond to e-mails. This means I'm asking you guys, my friends, to let me know via e-mail or comments on here if there is anything major going on I should know about, but otherwise I'll see y'all next year.

If anything major happens here I will blog about it.

Friday, December 3, 2010

I'm still in shock!

Just found out on Friday that because we adopted a child (children actually) from the state of Nebraska where you are considered an adult when you turn 19 (versus when you turn 18 like in Texas), we are considered legally responsible for Bear and Kitty until they are 19, regardless of Texas state laws. We signed a contract stating this.

This means that if Bear moves out, even though he's 18, we are still expected to report him as a runaway. If he gets into trouble (steals and wrecks a car for example), we are still legally liable. If he moves in with his grandparents, they would have to assume legal guardianship of some sort if we don't want to be held legally liable.

It took me quite awhile to process this.

I assumed it would take Bear quite awhile to process it too, but I wanted to tell him ASAP. We told him in therapy today (Saturday).

When the therapy session was almost through and we were talking about how far Bear had come and how he was making progress in building trust and bonding to us as his family (but how he didn't like to talk about his feelings), I thought it was time to bring up the news.

"Bear, you know how a few weeks ago we were talking about how you have this belief that when you reach legal age you have to move out, and when you thought that legal age was 17 you started separating from us emotionally and pushing us away to get ready for moving out? Then you found out the legal age was 18 and you decided to stay. We started talking about insurance and what would happen to your Medicaid when you moved out at 18 so I contacted Nebraska to ask them how that would work.

Yesterday I got a call and was told that because you were adopted from Nebraska, your legal age is 19, even though you live in Texas. You are a special because you are a Nebraska kid. We wanted you to stay anyway because we love you, and we made a commitment to you forever, but we also made a legal contract with the state of Nebraska that you would stay with us until you turn 19.

Now you have an "excuse" to finish high school here with us. You can tell that part of you that has been telling you that you have to leave at 18 that you have another year."

{Later, Hubby said he wondered why I was taking so long to work up to telling Bear, but I explained that I wanted Bear to see this as "his idea." If Bear feels you're telling him he has to do something, or he can't do something then he will fight you to do the death, but if I could present this in a non-confrontational way then he might be more accepting and want to make it work.}

Then I got my second shock. Bear was totally blase about it (so maybe my way of telling him worked), and started talking about how now he could play football for his high school and because he would be on the team they would win next year.

So... we have our son for another year and a half.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Out Crazy the Crazy Contest

Ponito and the sticky weeds. These have nothing to do with the contest, I just thought they were entertaining.
Peace in Puzzles has a fun contest going on over at her blog. Check it out and enter. I won the last contest (Out Crazy the Crazy), but only because there was only one other entry (which I thought was pretty good!)

The Next Contest: MY RAD DOES CRAZY THINGS You should enter!

Many of you reported that you haven't done crazy things to make a point for your RADs. Which I'm certain isn't true, you are probably doing all kinds of wild and wonderful things to teach your children. But this time, I want to know what wild and wonderful things your RADS have done to make you go crazy.

1. deadline for entries is midnight 12-6-10, EST
2. your child's tale can not include anything that required interventions from police, emergency rooms or hospitalizations - in the interest of respecting our children (though they are loathe to respect us) let's keep it "clean"
3. comments are open to anonymous
4. in Comments tell us YOUR craziest my-RAD-does-crazy-things story
5. if you choose to tell your story on your blog, please link this post on your blog using this url:
Then put your story link in Comments
6. Stories will be linked or reposted on this blog for the purpose of voting
7. voting is open to all readers, voting ends midnight 12-8-10, EST.
8. Winner will receive a quilted set of four Christmas coasters!

I will make the coasters tonight and post the pictures so you can see what you might win. They will be the same as before only a different color scheme.
I can't win again, but I think I'll participate anyway. My kids do a lot that makes me crazy, but not much that's very entertaining and/or involve interventions. Hmmm....