Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Under pressure

I have been struggling with this post for days. I have typed, erased, started over, etc. more times than I can count. It's a good thing I don't have enough confidence to publish a post as soon as I type it, because there is no telling what you would get.

The bottom line is we are under a lot of pressure right now as to what to do about Tator in Res. She has 15 days left and then the money runs out.

Child protective service is talking to us about giving them temporary custody of Tator so she can get the treatment she needs. We have and are still giving this a lot of thought, but are just not sure this is the right thing to do. CPS has told us the first thing they will do is take her out of Res and put her into a foster home.(all in the name of money) So already she is not getting the treatment that she has been, thus the reason we were signing her over. She will still get therapy, but not as much or the different kinds that she was while she was there.

I have been reading The Second Time Foster Child by Toni Hoy and it is making me think a lot about this decision. How unfair this whole thing really is.

There are so many things that go with this decision that make us uncomfortable. I am really struggling with this, it just isn't right. I would not have to give up custody of one of the other kids if they had an illness and needed treatment. I don't understand why I have to give up her.

When she was a foster child the goal was permanency, a forever family. Why now, because she has a mental illness, does she have to again become a ward of the state to get treatment?

baking and art week 2

This week we made these Cookie Dough Bites.
I am not at all a photographer and am by far neat about anything,
as you can tell by the drizzled chocolate over them.
But they tasted amazing!!!!
The best thing about them was, there was no
baking involved and they only took about 20 minutes to make.
Perfect for little hands.
The worst thing about them was, they didn't last very long.


For art we just cut out pumpkins and decorated them.
Buster had to decorate one for preschool, so
Bubbas did one too.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

2nd family therapy session

We had our second family therapy session with Tator last weekend. I was looking forward to it. All week she had been telling me how she had learned a new coping skill, journaling. I thought this was a good idea because she loves to write and tell stories. I had thought of this before she left here, but the fact that she gets upset and goes from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye always made me wonder how we could get to that place where I could hand her a pencil and paper and have her start writing about what she's upset about. So when we went into therapy she had pretty much decided that journaling was going to be her answer for everything.

The therapist started out by having Shawn, Tator and I all sit at different spots around the table. Tator and I sat across from each other and Shawn to my left. We were to paint a picture of something about us or something that made us happy. Shawn painted a picture of a buck and an arrow. I painted a picture of the eight kids and I outside playing kick ball with Baby Coco sitting on a blanket beside us. Tator painted a picture huge picture of a castle and a princess with a huge tiara.

I don't know if I ever blogged before about the fact that she has always thought she is a princess. I remember one time in particular when she was very young. She had gotten in trouble and I asked her why she thought she didn't have to listen to any rules. She said because she was the queen and that made her special. We dealt with this issue a lot when we were in attachment therapy.

Anyway, long story short the more we talked she made it clear that she still thinks of herself as the queen/princess and she is more important than the other kids in the family. Her very large painting, that spilled down into mine, and I had to paint around it, was proof of that.

Painting was only one part of the session. While talking with Tator the therapist tried to set her off, but Tator is too smart for that. She held it together. The therapist would ask her questions about what she was going to do when she came home and felt herself getting upset. Her answer was always, journal. The therapist asked her how she was going to know if she was getting upset. She would reply, like it was no big deal, I just will. She was clearly not with us and had no intentions of talking about anything. She had gotten a BK crown right before the session and she just kept throwing it in the air or against the wall and laughing for no reason. I had finally had enough and told her she was done with the crown and I took it. That made her a little upset but not enough to set her off. She then sat there ripping up the painting and stomping her foot as she stared at the ripped up paper.

The therapist asked me how I was feeling and I told them. I said I felt Tator didn't want to come home and wasn't sure why I should believe she was ready. This was making her mad, but not enough to show us how angry she was, she still refused to talk just sat and stared.

Her answer to the therapist every time she asked her what she was going to do every time she got upset at home, she answered, journal. I finally asked her what she really thought would happen if I handed her paper and a pencil when she was mad, she never missed a beat when she answered, hurt you with it. The therapist finally asked her if she had any intention of using her coping skills when she got home and she said No.

It was a very deep and heavy session. I have though about it ever since. When Shawn and I got into the car we both were thinking the same thing. There is no way she is ready to come back here in 3 weeks. We do not have many choices as what to do. The money will run out. The way we see it now we only have 2 options and neither one of them I am ready to blog/talk about yet.

Baking and Art week 1

When we started schooling this year I had decided I wanted to 
make baking and art a priority.

Bunny told me from the start she didn't
want to bake. Although I love it,
she does not enjoy it at all.

Bubbas jumped in right away and told
me he wanted to bake. So we have been
trying to have a baking and art class about every
other week.

I am a couple weeks behind, but I am going to try
to post pics of the projects/recipes here
so I can look back and remember what we

The first recipe we tried was chocolate chip cookie dough fudge.
It was good, but I would recommend you not
use all the sugar it calls for. They were so
sweet they actually hurt our teeth.

You notice Bunny couldn't stay away.

He was supposed to wait until I took the picture
to shove it in his mouth.

For art we talked about primary colors.

I let them mix colors with icing and food coloring.

Then they experimented with paint. 
Mixing primary colors together to see
what other colors they could come up with.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

RTC- week 5

We had our first family therapy session a little over a week ago. We talked with the therapist for 50 minutes and Tator came in for the last 10 minutes. I really like the therapist and I think she can really help us. 

We used puppets and acted out a scenario of something that would have happened at home and how Tator would react. The therapist was hoping she would get triggered, but she never did. I know it is going to take more than that to trigger her during a session.

Tator is very honest and doesn't try to hide anything that happens at home. But she was very detached from the situation. She just staired out the window and said I don't know to every question she was asked. It was very obvious that she has not or is not ready to deal with things that involve us. 

Shawn ans I have been very worried about the fact that the rest of the money had not been approved and she was going to have to come home this week. We found out Friday afternoon that the money has been approved and she will be able to stay until the middle of November. Which isn't that much longer but it is a few extra weeks of therapy that she could really benefit from.

We have another family session this weekend and I am excited to see how it goes.

Monday, October 15, 2012


This weekend we had our first party at our new house.
We had a surprise 25th wedding anniversary party for my Aunt and Uncle.
Their anniversary was actually in the spring, so my mom, other aunt and myself 
started talking about it then. But decided to wait to have the party
until we were moved into the new house.
My aunt and I have always been really close,
 so I was excited to make this our first official party.

The party went really well and they were really surprised.

The big kids hanging out in the living room.

I loved that everyone could hang out in the kitchen
and there was still plenty of room.

Love this picture of my cousin, yes I said my cousin, 
both him and his brother T are the same age as
my 2 oldest boys.
Bubbas and Buster always love talking to T.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A visit and A meeting

Sunday we went to see Tator. We took her out for lunch and to the park to play. She seemed happy to see us. She talked nonstop about residential, how much she liked it and all the different things they do there.

She seemed very tired and distant most of the time. She never asked about home or anyone here. She did say something about therapy that caused us some alarm. She told us that the only thing she was learning is that she needs to keep all her anger in. She talked about some of the things there that are making her angry. My thought was that she is keeping it all in to unleash on me when she gets home.


Monday morning we had a meeting with our Mental Health Board and the res. was on the speaker phone. The meeting is still very much a blur to me and I am still trying to process it. I went in there upset about a number of things, first being that we had not started family therapy yet. That was addressed and we will have our first session on Sunday.

The one thing I remember the CMH worker saying in the beginning was that we only had funding for 20 more days. That was a shock to me, I had been thinking 45 since we had originally been told 69 days. I did know that we needed approval for the rest of the money, but everyone had said we'd be approved and everything would be fine. I assumed that had happened.

This only added to my stress. I don't believe I said anything other than my concerns and was never out of line, but all the sudden as soon as we were off the phone with the res. they turned to me and jumped me about all my anxiety. They said I should have taken care of that by now. Excuse me I had some issues about them changing the dates from 90 to 69 and now to 45 days. Not starting family therapy, her comment about holding her anger in and a couple other random things. You don't expect me to be a little stressed by now. Excuse me, but you just mentioned in passing that my daughter, who has threatened and tried to kill me is coming home in 20 days and we will have only had one family therapy session.

I am numb and tired. I am sorry that I still, after this short time of treatment do not believe she is ready to come home. I wish, with everything in me, one of them could walk in my shoes for awhile. Because, at this point, I would gladly give any one of them my shoes.