Sunday, January 30, 2011

Baby Girl

Little Sissy you are such a blessing to us. Hard to believe you will turn one in a couple days.

The morning I took this picture I had gotten up extra early to get things done before the kids got up. I hadn't been up that long before I heard her hollering in her room. I went in with hopes to give her her Binky and she'd go back to sleep. When I got in there I was so surprised to see her sitting up in her crib. Even though she came to us straight from the hospital when she was two days old she hadn't had any prenatal care so she is a couple months delayed with her motor skills. She has been able to sit upright for a long time, but she had never pulled herself into an upright sitting position until this morning. I was so excited I had to wake up Bunny who was sound asleep beside her.

We love you Baby Girl!    You rock our world!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

I won a battle, but not the war!!!!

   So last week I posted about my frustration with Tator and her lack of improvement. Well the weekend didn't go much better, but so far this week hasn't been to bad. No major meltdowns yet. Keeping my fingers crossed that we make it at least until friday.

   Well I want to share a little battle that I just might have won. (for now anyway)

   A few weeks ago a light bulb went on in my head and I became aware of some situations where I was totally being manipulated. Tators showers being one of them.
   Showers have to be supervised with Tator and those of you who have kids with RAD know why, shampoo bottles get emptied, water flung all over the bathroom, etc. Anyway its the same thing every time, she shampoos, soaps up, then rinses. Rinsing is where we have a problem.
   She doesn't rinse. She just stands there, letting the water hit her somewhere on her back, like she has forgot what she's doing. So there I am repeatedly saying "get under the water, rinse your hair," you get the picture. It was so routine I didn't even realize what was going on so a few weeks back I thought i'd try something different. I never said a word when it was time to rinse I just removed the shower head and I rinsed her myself, never saying a word.

    So last night as I was supervising her I was also cleaning up the bathroom so I didn't realize it was "time to rinse". I walked over to check on her and there she was standing completely under the water, running her hands through her hair and rinsing. Totally rinsing. All the soap completely off her. This may seem so little to you, or even so dumb. But to me this is everything. I won. I won. The best part is she didn't even realize it.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Homeschooling Bubbas

   I started homeschooling because I love to be with my kids. I hated dropping them off at school everyday. It seemed like the school got them all day and I only got to spend 4 hours a night with them. Half of that time was in the car as I ran them from practices or some kind of lessons whatever events they were in at that time. Then trying to squeeze in homework; the whole time trying to understand why they even had it when they had just been at school for 7 hours. So when Bunny started with her school anxieties and she asked to come home I jumped all over that. Of course since she was coming home Buc wanted to come home too.
   So about two and a half years ago we started homeschooling. The first year was horrible. I spent a lot of time crying, but we made it through. Everyone said " the first year is the worst" and they were right. We did make it through and the next year went much better. This year Buc went back to junior high so that lightened the load a little.

   Bubbas started kindergarten this year and that has been a challenge. I had done Kindergarten with Tator the year she turned 5 and she picked it up right away, but Bubbas was a whole different story. I was used to teaching the girls who would sit and listen. This boy thing is a whole new experience. He hates it and I have to admit I wasn't really enjoying it either. I debated just waiting another year. Trying when he was a year older, but I pushed on. In the beginning he hated phonics. He wanted to call every letter K, because as he would say "its just easier to call them all that."

   Now I'm happy to say he's getting it. He has even started adding, which in the beginning I never would have thought we'd get to that this year. I use Christian Liberty Press for math and as soon as he has mastered all his phonics were starting the Sing, Spell, Read, and Write program. I am so excited. I hope to have him reading by this summer.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


   I have been having a really hard week. I've really been trying to help Tator heal and as much as I try she pushes me away and I'm getting tired of it, worn out and frustrated. As her psychiatrist said the other day, "she clearly likes living in her own private Hell." Right now there seems to be nothing I can do to help her out and this is taking its toll on me.

   As part of her therapy we are supposed to rock Tator for 15 minutes a day. Talking, singing, even "playing baby," the whole time trying to get her to make eye contact. Recreating memories she didn't have as a baby, trying to help her learn to trust. I've been doing it, but she is really resisting. Turning on her ways, trying to get me to engage in arguments, telling me things that aren't true, just to get my reaction, etc. But I continue on, humming lullabies to her because I just can't come to sing after dealing with her pushing me away all day.
   I know this is all normal for a child with attachment problems to push away as you try to get closer. But I've really had a hard time this past week and I'm pretty frustrated. I'm just not seeing any signs of improvement with her right now.

Friday, January 14, 2011

OH MY GOSH, Look what we did!

Yep it was us.
Shawn and I.
We gave Buster this horrible haircut.

   We thought we'd save money, buy clippers and do it ourselves. When we take him to get a haircut I have to sit with him on my lap and hold his head. He is terribly sensitive around his ears and hates to get it cut. It is a battle, one I don't like to be involved in. Then when its all done and over with I pay for a cut that looks just about as bad as this one. So this time we decided we would save the money and fight the battle ourselves. Well we did and he didn't do any better for us than he does for a hairdresser.

   I do hope he gets better about it. Then maybe if he does, we'll get better at cutting it.

Friday, January 7, 2011

How a child with RAD handles a 2 hour delay

   Due to last nights snow fall and cold weather our school district was on a two hour delay this morning. So this meant that Tater would have to catch the bus 2 hours later than she's used to.
   For those of you who don't know, kids who have suffered trauma when they were young never feel safe. They feel in order to be safe they have to be in control all the time. They love and need to have routine. When Tater got up this morning you could tell she sensed something was different. Things were off. You could see her questioning in her head, Why are my brothers still home they should have left before I got up? I'm sure she could even tell I got her up fifteen minutes later than normal.
  Well it started with "my pants are to tight" (she wears these pants all the time they didn't shrink overnight.) So I asked "Whats the matter? I can tell something is bothering you" She answered with "I just want to be homeschooled." Well I obviously knew that wasn't true but I just answered with "Well not today." When she realized this wasn't going to change anything you could see she was trying real hard not to loose it. She even asked me to brush her hair, which she never does, because she makes it very clear that her hair is off limits to me.
   She went on her way getting her breakfast bowl, spoon, and cereal. Sitting down and asking the same thing, the same way, "Mom, will you please get me some cereal?" I did, the same way I always do filled it to the top with cereal and milk.
  She ate just like she always does then put her bowl away like she always does came over and said the same thing she always does,"Should I go get my shoes on?" So I looked at her knowing what was probably going to happen and I said "well not yet, there is a two hour delay so if you start watching for her now you'll be standing there for a very long time." You could see it, just like that, her world was out of control and she didn't know how to handle it. She handled it like she always does, a full blown Tater sized fit. I'm going to skip the details because someday I hope these behaviors will be embarrassing to her. Her fit did go on for about 45 minutes and did disrupt what we were all in the middle of.
   But I am happy to say that hadn't happened in a week (and that's progress) and it also ended in me taking her in my arms and reassuring her that everything was alright school would still happen. She took a few minutes to settle down then came over and helped me fold laundry. So as crazy as the morning was I am seeing it. The little steps she's taking to get better.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

2010 in Review

    We started out the year adding to our family. Shawn finally agreed to let us get our first house dog. So we added a 3 year old miniature schnauzer to our family. She's a very good dog and fits right in with the rest of the chaos of the house. Little did we know two weeks later that we'd be getting another addition to our family. Our sweet little Sissy joined us the beginning of February. Everyone fell deeply in love with her and she has been a blessing ever sense.

Baby Sissy
   Spring was busy with baseball, softball, and the musical. This was Bunny's first year to play kid pitch softball. She really enjoyed it, but it was a lot different than coach pitch. She still wasn't much into the game, never really cared who won or lost, its more of a social thing for her. Buc played baseball and really improved this year. Duckie was the Jester in the musical, Once Upon A Mattress, at school. He really enjoys acting and puts his all into it.
   Summer flew by like it usually does. We stared out the summer working on 4H projects. Bunny sewed and Buc built bottle rockets. We spent most of the summer at our camper. It wasn't as relaxing as i thought it was going to be with some of the kids being so young. I think
we will take a few years off until the kids get a little bigger.

Bunny with Group 1 Crew
  We also enjoyed the Alive music festival. Where Bunny got to meet her favorite christian rap group.
We finished up the summer by finalizing our adoption of Sissy that was wonderful we've never been able to finalize that fast.

   Fall came and everyone got back into the swing of school. Buc started junior high this year and wanted to go back to school. After two years of homeschooling I hated to see him go, but he loves it so I'm happy for him. I also had a hard time seeing Duckie start his senior year. I know we only have a little time left before he goes off to college. Tater was more than happy to be headed back to school. Any place other than here is her favorite place to be. So that left me at home with Bunny, Bubbas, Buster, and Sissy. Bunny and I quickly jumped into school. Bubbas on the hand didn't start so willingly. He had some adjusting to do starting into the kindergarten routine but that's a whole different blog.
  Duckie and Bunny both ran cross country this year. This was Duckie's first year. I remember at the banquet hearing him tell his coach that his biggest regret was that he never ran on the team before. He truly loved it. He loved the coach and the way the team was like a big family. He made some really cool friends because of cross country. Both Duckie and Bunny had a really good season and improved their times though out the season by about two minutes.
  Tater started attachment therapy this fall. We had eight straight days of intense therapy. Now we go up every two weeks for follow-up therapy. She was doing real well then the holidays hit and that threw her in a loop, but she's starting to come out of it.
   Winter started with everyone getting the flu and then Buc and getting his migraines. Then then it was time for the holidays and the business of all that.
   The year 2010 was a busy year for us and I'm sure 2011 will be even busier. But that's ok, I'm ready for it.
Wishing all of you A Happy New Year.