Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Confidence is something I struggle with everyday.

When I was in high school I was teased way more than any tenager should ever be teased and it still shapes who I am today.

The video above is my son playing Nicely Nicely in his high school musical Guys and Dolls. Every time I watch this video I am blown away at the confidence he has. He's so sure of himself. I wish I could have been this sure of myself when I was in high school.

I'm so proud of you son!

Friday, June 24, 2011

My beef with the Nurse Practitioner

   The kids have been going to VBS all week, so they have been pretty exhausted by afternoon. Between Buc and Bunny we have had 5 baseball/softball games this week and the little ones have gotten to bed a lot latter than they are used to. So that has made for some long days.

   Tuesday night at Buc's baseball game Buster(3years) started crying and would not stop. Like over an hour of crying. I blamed it on not napping, but he kept holding his ear and saying it hurt. Then Sissy started crying and wouldn't stop. I also blamed it on being tired and after about an hour of her crying I was certainly not enjoying the game and I don't really think anyone else around us was either. So I took them and left.

   The past few mornings Sissy has woke up with her eyes matted shut, but it does not look like pink eye. I figured she had a cold in her eyes. So this morning I called the Dr. and we went for a visit. I asked if while they were seeing Sissy they could also look in Buster's ear just to make sure he didn't have an infection. He has a history of ear infections and had tubes that have came out. So I would not be surprised if he did have an infection.

   Our appointment was, of course, at nap time so I already had cranky kids. I had to take Bubbas(6years) with us and when he's overly tired and because of this crazy week he is, he likes to mimic Tators RAD behaviors. So he's sitting in the room with us growling, saying he hates us, making faces, etc. In comes a new nurse practitioner, not my regular Dr, that knows my children inside and out.

   The first thing she asks me is how many children do you have. When I say 7 she automatically says are some of them adopted?" So I already feel a little irated with this lady.

   Since Buster had a lot of ear infections his first year of life, he does not like his ears to be messed with. The Dr. and I usually have to hold him down and the Dr. looks. He's not mean he just does it, because he knows this is not something that Buster enjoys, but he is never going to cooperate.

   Well the nurse practitoner starts to look in his ears and he begins fighting, I'm trying to hold him down while she's trying to so gently look in his ears. Now this was very nice of her and she was being very good with him, but I knew she was just going to have to get in there and look, so to speak. The whole time I'm thinking "is the Dr. going to look also, because her trying to get practice with my kids is just not going to work."

   After she tells me how to hold him down so she can look in his ears(like I haven't been doing this for 3 years) and that he has so much wax build up and I need to get something to put in his ears to loosen that up. I'm starting to get VERY irritated. 

   Sissy is not as bad as him, but she did fight us and the nurse practitioner was determined to see in her mouth and Sissy was just not going to let her. She also had alot of wax build up which was really bothering the nurse practitioner. After telling me she wishes we could get them both down and rinse out their ears right here in the office. She gets out one of those big q-tip things they use as a swab and sticks it in Sissy's ear. Not the side with the cotton on it, the end side that looks like a little stick. I am beyond irritated now. Remember Sissy is fighting like crazy.

   Dr. finally comes in and the nurse practitioner starts to tell him everything she's seen with the kids. Of course Sissy is still fighting me and I'm trying to get her in the stroller and don't forget about the totally attached child sitting there mimicking RAD behaviors. The whole time I'm wanting to pull my hair out.

   Then I turn around to see Buster sitting on the chair as good as can be letting the Dr. look in his ears. While the nurse practitioner watches the whole time. Of course, I never thought to let him sit in the seat like a big boy. He was so proud of himself and I was so proud of him.

   So then we go through the whole thing again with Sissy. Only I left her in the stroller and Dr. looked her over. She had a cold in her eyes so we got her an antibiotic for that and Buster ended up having a pretty bad ear infection so its antibiotics for him also.

   Just when I thought we were wrapping it up and Dr. had given us the prescriptions, which Buster was very proud to carry, the nurse practitoiner says "I still think we need to look in Sissy's mouth to make sure we haven't missed anything." I'm thinking your kidding me. Are you serious? The fact that her eyes are red and there is goop coming out of them and her nose is running isn't enough.  Just let me out of here. So Dr. says well if you think we should. So they both get her down in the stroller and are trying to look in her mouth. She actually turns around and puts her face against the back of the stroller so they can't see in her mouth. Finally she is so upset that she starts crying, which was good because then she opened her mouth so they could see in it.

   I really didn't have anything personally against this lady it was just the situation. I do realize this is how they get practice to get their licenses, but I just did not like the way she was with my kids.

   This is the toad that Bubbas caught. That he brought in to show me as I typed this post. That jumped out of his hand and on to my keyboard and pooped.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Putting things into perspective

   I've been thinking a lot about my last post and realized it really sounded like a self pity trip. And honestly that's what I've been doing for a long time now.
   The truth is parenting a child with RAD is hard. There is no other way to put it. There are days that we (my husband, kids, and I) clearly feel we could lose our minds. The game play, the manipulation, the triangulation, the lying, making faces, trying to get everyone upset, the deviancy, the regressing into baby mode that can happen in less than a minute and then there's also the mimicking RAD behaviors from the little boys. All this that takes place, happens all in one day.

   I have been taking RAD very personally since she has been diagnosed. When my RADling has a bad day we all have a bad day. I have found it hard to sit in church, a ball game or even go to the grocery store and not burst into tears after RAD has had a bad day in my house. It has a different effect on each one of my children.

   Courtney said it beautifully. RAD is not my fault and I did not do this to my child. But it still hurts. I struggle every day with things that mothers of normal children will never understand. I do tend to sit around and pity myself asking God why he asked me to do this. I get mad because I don't want to do it. I want to have people understand me and my family and why we do things the way we do.

   Last week I hit rock bottom. I was so discouraged and RAD had ran rapid through this house all day long. Every characteristic of it. I actually told my husband I was done for awhile. He would have to fully parent Tator for awhile. He could take over all the therapy, and holding, and all the extra parenting that comes with parenting a RAD child. I hardly slept that night and cried most of it. Then the next morning I read this and I felt like Courtney had wrote it for me.(which she did not) It made me cry. It made me take back the task that God had asked me to do. It made me realize the worst thing I could do was walk away from my daughter when she needs me the most. That's what RAD does it pushes people away. So what my daughter needs most is me to stand and help her face RAD head on.

   I love Tator as much as I love my other children. I remember everything about the first time I saw her just like I do with all my other children. That's why it hurts so bad when she pushes me away. But she's not pushing me away, RAD is pushing me away. RAD is a disease. A disease I hope we can overcome.

   I am meeting amazing people because of RAD and even though I don't understand it yet, I know God has a plan. He is defiantly trying to teach me something. I just need to keep on keeping on to find out what that is.

Friday, June 17, 2011

My Broken Heart

  I think I mentioned in my last post that Tator has been more loving, and easier to get along with lately. She's been full of so  many hugs and I love yous, your the best mom in the world, I want to be right beside you and hold your hand continuously. To the point I want to puke, but I grin, bare it and go with the flow.

   Yesterday went like a dream she was home from daycare. So we reviewed school in the morning, she did great. Practiced reading, writing and telling time. Then all the kids went outside and played together, so I was able to get a lot done in the house.

   In the afternoon we had therapy and she was doing so well that I hated to have to tell her about the appointment. I knew it would make her upset. So I waited until after lunch to tell her. She ended up being ok with it. We got ready and left and she slept for at least an hour out of the hour and a half car ride. It was wonderful.

   Therapy went great. She of course was her charming self. Mommies the best, I'm ready to be a "family girl", I'm done with misbehaving, I've realized it doesn't get me anywhere etc., etc., etc.

   The car ride home went well I had bought her chips to eat in the car, something she's not usually allowed to do because when she gets mad she makes a mess with her food. She thanked me over and over telling me how I was the best mom in the world yada, yada, yada. She read and talked to me asking questions about the story she was reading.

   The whole while I was thinking, how can I go from going to daycare 3 days a week to homeschooling her. This past week and a half has been wonderful. We still had some 2 year old tantrums, but nothing major. Maybe alot of her episodes had to do with the medication she was on, maybe she is starting to mesh into the family. I felt bad because she had said during therapy that she hated daycare and wanted to be home with us. I felt bad about that. I don't want her spending time in a daycare that she hates when she can be at home playing with her siblings, If she can act like a nice person to all of us when she's here and REALLY wants to be here.

  As we came into town it was almost time to pick up Buc and a friend from baseball so I had called home and told them I would pick them up instead of someone else making a trip in town. So I pulled into the ball field and shut off the car because we had about 10 minutes to wait until practice was over.

  Then BOOM it happened. Tator went crazy. She started with kicking the seat and yelling "I hate you, your the worst mom in the world, get me out of this car I'm not sitting here," I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. Apparently she didn't want to sit and wait. Ten minutes, ten stinking minutes. I tried to explain to her that we were only going to be there a few minutes, but she was beyond hearing me. I also tried to explain to her that everyone around and on the ball field could hear her. She must have heard that, because then she started yelling, "put up the window, I'll yell if I want."

  The rest of the evening carried out the same way, alot of yelling, telling me what a mean mom I was and how much she hated me. Well except for the ride home because as soon as Buc and his friend started to the car she sat down, buckled in and put on a happy face. She wouldn't want the friend to see her acting like that.

  Thank goodness it was bedtime right after supper. (Well it was for her anyway.) It was all I could do to get her there without falling apart. As soon as I got her to her to bed and left the room, I let the flood gates open. I cried and cried and felt my heart breaking into a hundred pieces. She was gone, the sweet, nice, fake happy, cuddly little girl that I wanted to rip out of daycare, because she wanted to be with me all the time was gone. The little girl that sat at the kitchen table that morning and worked on school and I fantasied about homeschooling and everything being normal was gone as quick as she came.

  Reality set back in as I told myself "this is your normal."

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Finally zoo pictures

Snack break

Sissy loved the fish

The coolest thing was a polar bear that jumped in the water
right above us.

Tator, Bunny, and Buster chillin with the Komodo dragon.
Yep, my husband and I actually sat on the turtle to get
our picture taken.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Last week and ORLANDO.

   Last week went pretty well for being the first week of summer vacation. We had a few appointments at the beginning of the week, but was still able to squeeze in some swimming time before Shawn and I had to spend three days in foster parent training.

   I've mentioned before that Tator has a hard time adjusting to change in routine, so we had really contemplated putting her in daycare a couple days a week while she's on summer vacation.  We decided to start out last week with 3 days a week and see how she adjusts. Then in July drop down to 2 days week. I've talked with all her therapists and even her psychiatrist and they think its ok even though we are working on her attachment to us. I can be a much better Mommy to her if I get respite from RAD (not her) a couple times a week.

  She did very well at daycare, but because she was so exhausted she ended up throwing a fit after supper and went to bed early both nights. Aside from the fits she has been more loving, hugging me more and being nicer to the other kids. She even asked me to lay with her for awhile when I put her to bed the other night.

   Thursday, Friday and Saturday Shawn and I took FP training classes all day. We came home having learned a lot of good information, but they were still very long days.

   Yesterday we surprised the kids by having a Family Fun Day and took them to the zoo. (pics coming soon) We didn't tell them until they got up and were eating breakfast. They had a blast. I'm sure they will all still be worn out today. They did alot of walking.

 Oh my gosh, I almost forgot to tell everyone. I'm going to Orlando! I can't wait! It's not until next spring so I'm sure you'll be hearing how excited I am for a long time. I'm already driving my kids nuts talking about it. They still don't believe I'm going. I have never flown before and said I never would. When I think about the flying part it terrifies me. But it will be so worth it. RAD makes you do crazy things and this will be my crazy thing. It's totally not like me to get in airplane and fly to another state to meet complete strangers. ALONE! But I've already meet most of the other "trauma mamas" on line that I'll be staying with and I look forward to meeting them in person when we get there.

   Well I've gotta go, I've got alot of house work to catch up on. Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bird Banding

The other day we went to
a Wilderness Center and
watched them band birds.

The kids all got to hold a
baby bird.

They really enjoyed it.
Even though the baby birds
weren't very cute.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I wanna do what I want to do!!!

   For weeks I have been trying to figure out what is going on with Tator. She has become a lot harder to deal with. (Not that she was easy before) Argues about everything, does not listen to me at all and seems set off just by looking at me. She doesn't get along with any of the kids and is usually trying to upset them. I know she is scared out of her mind with school coming to an end and summer vacation starting. This causes alot of anxiety for her.

   The other night she shoved a chair into her brothers foot, on purpose, and hurt him. She had just came home from school so no one had really talked to her yet or done anything to set her off. So I asked her "why do you have to come home and immediately start making trouble with your siblings?" She said "because I wanna do what I want to do." Of course my reply was "hows that working for you?"

   Two days later we were at therapy and she told them the same thing "I wanna do what I want to do."

   I have been trying to figure out for a long time if this is something medicine can help or if its behavioral. Well I think I've figured it out.

   Tator has what I call "episodes" where she basically throws a fit. Running through the house grabbing the other kids stuff to make them mad, going into their rooms, throwing things at me, slamming doors, yelling, calling names, just defying anything she is told. She can get ticked off and start into a episode as quick as I can blink my eyes. She has also proved to me in the last few weeks she can turn it off as quick as she turns it on.

   We just got home from her psychiatrist and he has decided to slowly take her off the current med. she is on because it has not made a difference in her behavior. After the past few weeks I'm not surprised. I understand that she is a child who survived great trauma and she doesn't think like the typical child. But after the past few weeks watching her turn her "episodes" on and off when ever she wants this is mostly behavioral.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I'm Back!

Duckie's Graduation party went great. The weather was beautiful and we didn't run out of food, which was something I was very worried about.

It has taken me awhile to get back to blogging. Why? I'm not quite sure I have a good answer. I had to catch up on a lot of things first: reading, taking naps, all the hours of TV I had DVR'd over the past few months, dreaming about Orlando, taking walks, thinking about moving, oh and did I mention, taking naps. See I told you I really didn't have a good answer. But this week I'm getting back into the swing of things.

Homeschool is over and public school will soon be too. I plan to have review days twice a week this summer. Some math one day and probably English the other. I feel we spend way to much time reviewing in the fall, so I'm going to do things a little different this year. We're also going to get involved in the reading program at the library.

RAD has been running full force through our house for about the last month. And to be honest it is draining me. Tator is really struggling. I'm not sure if it's a med. thing or anxiety about school coming to an end. It's really hard to tell. She's always upset about something so it's hard to tell what her triggers are. We're headed to therapy tomorrow so we'll see how that goes.

Oh yea, and this is the chip dip we served at Duckie's graduation
 party. I didn't even notice until a couple days after the party.
How would you pronounce Heluva?
I sure hope its not pronounced Hell of a good
sour cream dip.
I guess that's what you get when you
send your husband to the store the morning of the party.