Friday, December 31, 2010

My New Year Resolutions

*Eating healthy so I have energy. If thin comes with that then I'll welcome it.

*Exercise 3x a week at the Y.

*Decluttering our house. We live in so much visual noise from the clutter I think it wears on us all.

*Teach my kids to clean up after themselves too.

*Talking with a smile on my face to my kids even when I want to scream.

*Slow down. We don't have to run and do everything out there.

*Catch up on some scrapbooking.

Overall, 2010 has been a healing year.

I can remember last December being so stressful. Mr. Screech had upped his tantrums, Mr. Stinky was starting to really act out and Mr. Happy was just there.
Because I could not "control" my kids I was having panic attacks and had turned into a screaming mom. Oh, to bury those memories.

I pray we all continue to heal in 2011.

Friday, December 24, 2010


 Back in January, when we first started see our therapist, Arleta James, she pointed out how bad our children's manners were. They would barge into the room and say, "I'm hungry." in a very demanding voice. Arleta taught us to coach the boys to ask for something to eat instead. I have not stayed on them about it so we are back to square one. Today, I worked hard getting them back to asking and by the end of the day they were better.


Mr. Screech was having a really good day today. For the past several weeks he has been really triggered and having lots of tantrums. Today, we had several instances where he started to scream or cry and then he pulled himself together and used his words. I told him he did good using his words like a family boy. I have been trying to pull him close and talk in a playful tone to combat his dis-regulation and it has been working. Today I mixed it up and did a little ignoring as well as using a playful tone.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Do you see what I see?

When you look at this picture what do you see? Perhaps a pair of jeans with holes in the knees?

Look closer and you will really see nerves and triggers. Mr. Stinky put these holes there within the first week of school because he picks and pulls on them so much. This stress is one of the many reasons we have chose to homeschool him.

The other night we were at our favorite restaurant and chatting about how much Mr. Stinky has increased his eating since being home. I said, "He never ate 1/2 as much in a day as he is eating now." and he said, "Yeah, but at school I was hungry all the time."  My heart sank and broke for him and the mommy guilt poured in. He had been sitting in an "institution", holding his emotions together while he was starving and I wonder why he came home and would bounce off the walls and fall apart? Man, I can be SUCH an idiot sometimes. There is nothing quite like a trigger that can cause crazy behaviors.

Holding it together

Just as I suspected, everyone wanted to have meltdowns or act out because of the presents. I just kept on inviting the tantrums and meltdowns and they shut the tantrums off and used their words. It is a little exhausting staying on top of this, but listening to tantrums is far more draining.

Mr. Screech and Mr. Happy had their preschool program last night so preschool consisted of rehearsal. I went ahead and stayed, because Mr. Screech was very uneasy since it was at a church we had never been before.

We were one of the first families to arrive last night and the kids played in the playroom. I decided to get Mr. Screech and let him see all the people that were showing up. Sure enough, it frieked him out, but he held it together.

When they came out on stage it was interesting to see the difference in their personalities. Mr. Screech kept his hands over his eyes and was the only child not participating. Mr. Happy was "in the business of being cute" and a star performer.

When the show was over Mr. Screech wanted papa to drive them home. He had a meltdown and my first reaction was to get mad, BUT I kept control, spoke to him gently and loved on him a bit. The Bible doesn't lie when it says, "A soft answer turneth away wrath...Prov 15:1" I just have to keep control of myself.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


After 10 days of all three boys being triggered, raging, tantruming little crazies we have finally had relief for the past 2 days. Mama even joined in a couple of times and had 2 meltdowns.

I am wondering if today will be the end of that relief because yesterday a friend of ours gave them presents. Heaven forbid someone LIKES them and gives them presents!!! (Rolling my eyes)

This morning I have used the technique of inviting the tantrums and so far it is keeping them at bay. Mr. Screech and Mr. Stinky have both wanted to have a tantrum, but as soon as I got excited they were going to have one they shut it off. Love it!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

The most perfect blog post

This Holiday Season (and Everyday!) I Wish My Family and Friends Would…Notes From Adoptive Parents – Part One and Part Two

These are fabulous blog posts from our therapist Arleta James and I cried when I read part one. It is my thoughts put in writing so perfectly and more validation that I am not alone. Others struggle too and have the same needs from surrounding family and friends to understand and "believe me." Really! Just believe me because I do not lie about the behaviors of my children to get attention for myself! (Rolling my eyes)

Since my in-laws are my biggest nay-sayers and don't stinking "get it" I can't wait to email this to them. Do I think they will get it then? Nope. Sure don't, but I'm going to email them anyways. They like to dish it so I am dishing back!

If you are struggling with meltdowns this Christmas season check out:

Managing Your Adoptee’s Meltdowns in Public and at Home: Just in Time for the Holidays!

 I am implementing and it is working more often than not.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Losing my mind

Mr. Stinky is not having bad outlandish behavior, but lots of fake laughing, antagonistic behavior and it is sending me over the edge. He never takes a break and I am realizing how much he fills up the silent void with this. I thought Mr. Screech was bad with his chatter, but this might be worse.

Tonight, Mr. Happy had an outlandish moment of spilling water and instead of using Love and Logic I lectured over spilled water. When am I going to learn?

Mr. Screech always tries to make bedtime a battle, and tonight was no exception, even when I use Love and Logic tips like, "Do you want to put your pj's on now or in 5 minutes?" He said, "In 5 minutes" but when the time rolls around he screams and yells he is NOT putting on his pj's. I ignored and went on with the bedtime routine with the other two boys and in the end he lost his story.

I had read the other two and when he handed me his I said in an empathetic tone, "Oh I'm sorry we don't have time to read another story because of all the time it took to put on your pj's." Of course, he went into a tyraid again and I ignored and tucked the other two in bed. He made it to his bed and then I tucked him in too.

Now, I am just exhausted! It is so draining to have a 3-year-old screaming at you.


We decided to homeschool Mr. Stinky and this is our first week. The change is having an affect on me and I can feel myself getting depressed and overwhelmed.

The actual school part is no problem. He whizzes through his work and is done by 9:30 every morning, but the rest of the day is getting to me. I can't leave the boys alone for a minute or they are rough housing and someone is getting mad and hurt.

I have tried having them play with Lincoln Logs or something constructive like that, but then they need my help. I literally can not get a dish into the dishwasher or a load of laundry into the washer with them home and it is exhausting! I knew this side would be rough, but still...

Friday, August 27, 2010

We had a poop moment

I wondered if this day would eventually come and it has. Mr. Screech played in his poop when he was mad. I know a lot of adoptive families face this issue and I was REALLY hoping we would skip it. Sigh...

I brought Mr. Happy and Mr. Screech home from preschool and Mr. Screech was dancing around because he had to pee. He had stated he didn't go at preschool.

He started for the bathroom, but change his mind when Mr. Happy decided to show me his school papers. I told Mr. Screech to go to the bathroom and I would look at his papers when he was done. (I didn't want a pee accident.) He yelled for me telling me he had pooped and wanted his M&M's. I said I would be there in a minute. He started throwing a fit and the next thing I know he is hitting the toilet and going spastic. When I went in there poop was all over him and the toilet.

I wanted to yell, rant, and rave, but I knew it wouldn't help so I just told him calmly, "Little boys who play in their poop don't get M&M's." This of course made him more mad and he started screaming he wanted his M&M's NOW! Then I saw how much poo was in the toilet, the size if a pea, and I told him it wasn't enough for M&M's anyways. Then he calmed a little. OMG! Can I get an OH MY GROSS!!!

Thankfully, our therapist, Arleta James, has written two lovely blog posts about pee and poop and the adopted child. Here is blog Part 1 and Part 2

Mr. Screech has been fighting with me over EVERY. LITTLE. THING. this week. I say dinners ready and he gets mad and says he doesn't want to eat. I say we are going to the store and he gets mad and says he doesn't want to go. Just insert anything I say and he will say he doesn't want to do it. That is how my week is going. Sigh...

Monday, August 16, 2010

First Day of Preschool

I dropped the boys off at their first day of preschool. I talked to the teacher for a bit, snapped some pictures and then wanted one with their teacher. They each came over and gave pouty faces for the camera.
They ran off to play and I said my good byes. Surprisingly, no one had a melddown and I headed out.

I came home and sat on the couch and enjoyed the silence for a few minutes. Then for the next 2 hours I cleaned the bathrooms, dusted, vacuumed and mopped floors. It was refreshing to work interruption free.

When I picked them up, Mr. Screech came running with his things and appeared to be in a good mood. Mr. Happy had no clue we had even shown up even though the teacher had called his name to come. This made me wonder if he regressed at school and zoned out most of the time. When Mr. Happy is stressed he goes far far away into his own little world and does not respond well.

Since I parent trauma, I fully expected them to come home grumpy and snarky, especially, Mr. Screech. Low and behold they have been happy and loving and full of joy. It makes my heart sing and today I fell a little more in love with them both. It is amazing how much better a recharged mama can feel.

This is progress from last school year because they both had a hard time being left, but then again they were in separate preschools and now they are together. That might make a difference.

The Smack

Before church, I was sitting on the couch with all two of the boys watching some Curious George. Mr. Stinky got really mad at Mr. Screech for walking in front of him and growled and grouched at him twice. On the second grouch I smacked Mr. Stinky's knee and immediately regretted it because smacking always results in a huge blow-up.

Surprisingly, all I got was a glare and Mr. Stinky hiding under the couch cushion. I apologized for smacking him and then coached him on what he should have said instead of growling and grouching at his brother. Then we went back to watching Curious George and he snuggled against me. After a bit he reached his hand up behind me and started playing with my hair. He has never done that before. Yay, for progress with Mr. Stinky!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

My First Post of Many

I am a mother of three boys adopted from Russia and I parent a lot of trauma. I say that because under all of their outward behaviors there are sweet boys under there wanting love from a mama and papa. Outwardly, they show us rejection and unlovable behavior.

I want adoptive parents to know they are not alone because parenting trauma is very lonely place. You are judge like never before and you lose friends and family. I know because I live it.