Saturday, December 3, 2011

Getting my homemaker mojo back!

Today, I made French baguettes, scones, truffles and rum cake and it felt so good! I love to cook and bake, but Mr. Screech has robbed me of it for the past 31/2 years. I can barely drag my butt into the kitchen to make them some half assed dinner most evenings and then when they go to bed I flop on the couch exhausted. It has gotten better over time, but today was just awesome! 



I plugged them into the tv and let them play on their own without too many issues. I stayed in my PJ's all day and got it done. I'm sure tomorrow I'll pay like crazy for it, but I'm enjoying today!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Creative Answers

We took the boys to a Mexican restaurant after church yesterday. In the kids meals you could get:
Taco with rice and beans
Burrito with rice and beans
Burrito and taco

Mr. Happy and Mr. Stinky picked a burrito with rice and beans and Mr. Screech picked burrito and taco and he knew there were no rice and beans. About a minute before the food came out he started whining that he wanted beans and rice and I explained again that they did not come with his so he started saying, "But what is my side?" and I knew a tantrum was about to erupt. The Mr. saved the day by saying, "The chips are your side."  We are trying to think more outside the box with our answers these days.

Thanksgiving Day Second Half

I got all my crying out before Dad and C got here, so the rest of my day was fine. A family friend called me after they left and we got to chat and remember some of the good times with mom, back in the day.

Mr. Screech is pretty triggered right now. He is tantruming over everything and being very irrational. Our therapist had previously said he and Mr. Happy would notice mom gone more around the holidays, so maybe that is part of the problem on top of the normal holiday triggers. Several times through out the day he says, "I miss grandma."

Right after finding out my Dad and C were getting married Mr. Stinky wanted to call "C" grandma. It kinda got to me because I felt like he was trying to cover up his feelings and move on quickly. He started calling her Grandma C, but now he has switched to calling her by name and I'm not sure why. Mr. Stinky has been dealing with a lot of anger flare up here lately. Good times.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day

This is my first Thanksgiving without my mom and I have so much to be grateful for, but wow do I miss her. Compounded by missing her I am so hurt by my family. It should be a day of being with family, remembering the good times with my mom and having a good time, but they are all having their own Thanksgivings and I was not invited and neither was my dad and his new wife. I know why they were not invited, but I can't figure out why I wasn't so dad and C are coming to our house for Thanksgiving.

When my dad got married my aunt and sister kept talking about all of us sticking together and being there for each other. Where are they today? Not sticking with me. I am a boohooing mess and feeling so alone. Suck! Suck! and more Suck!

I think Mr. Stinky is missing his grandma too because he is a mad mess. Good times and Happy frieking Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Parenting trauma can be so lonely.

Tonight was a lonely parenting moment for me. I took my kids to a roller skating party and there were quite a few adopted children there. (Families I know of, but not friends with.) Mr. Screech was the only one screaming, "I hate you and I will not go home with you!" when it was time to go. Suck! Suck! and Suck! 


It was sucking me into depression, but after chatting with GB's Mom we concluded that Hope would be screaming right along with Mr. Screech. I imagined both of us chatting and laughing about our kids and their ridiculous fits. I don't feel as lonely anymore.


So, thank you GB's Mom for being such a fabulous SOUL sister and I can't wait to hug your neck in Orlando. Only 102 days! 

They did great!

To update my last post, the boys did great staying the night with Grandma P and Grandpa J. The boys got spoiled to death and had a wonderful time. I enjoyed my evening out and being able to sleep in and wake up on my own time. Yay for awesome Grandma's and Grandpa's and I'm even more grateful because Grandma P didn't have to. She has been so kind to fill in for my mom.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Keeping it regulated.

For the most part, I was able to keep my kids busy and regulated. The stressful part was my brain constantly thinking of what to do with them.

I was able to keep Mr. Screech with me at all times and it is amazing how regulated he is staying. I involved him with making dinner and he was such a joy to have around.

Today, he started to fall apart and as soon as I suggested reading a book he was regulated again. He was able to move on with the day and get things done.

Mr. Stinky decided to have a crazy meltdown today. He keeps blaming his brothers for his anger and I keep placing it back on the orphanage for him. He was playing legos and would not listen to me when I told him to stop twirling with a space ship he built. He was coming within inches of the furniture so I gently took the ship and put it up. I found legos in the hall and asked him to put them up and he was so busy arguing that if his legos were scattered it didn't matter and if he lost them it didn't matter too.

At this point I put the lid on his lego box and put them away in the basement. If he is going to be careless and not care then he can just not play with them until he is ready. This turned into an hour rage fest.

I am a little nervous because my boys are spending the night with our special adopted Grandma P. She is my best friends mother and she is helping to fill the gap my mom has left. I had a fundraiser to go to and The Mr. is out all weekend on a retreat. I am hoping when the boys get home tomorrow I will be able to regulate them quickly so this does not turn into a week long event. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy my evening and my morning off.

Day 3 was what I needed.

Today, Arleta focused on The Mr and I for a while. She pinpointed that I don't feel like I'm a good mom. I look to my kids to validate that I'm doing a good job and it doesn't work because they are broken inside and do not reflect the "I'm a good mom" behaviors.

The Mr. talked about his childhood and how he was ignored/neglected by his dad. I started crying because it broke my heart, but the more he talked I was able to understand why I was having displaced anger on my kids since my mom died.

I was having a hard time getting to the root of it because I feel at peace with my mom's death. I have been wondering if I'm shoving it down in some way, but I can't find it. It finally hit me that I am pissed that the one good grandparent that engaged my children and treated them the way a grandparent should was my mom and she is gone. Now they are stuck with grandparents that doesn't give much of a damn. 

The Mr's father is too busy doing crossword puzzles to engage with people. The Mr's mother hasn't dealt with her grief of her mother passing 3-years ago and won't engage her grand kids anymore. My dad is too busy and when he is around he engages with Mr. Stinky, but has a hard time with the other two. I get it. My other two are over the top being crazy and rowdy around him and they don't listen, but still I need him to engage with them when he is around. I can't talk to The Mr's parents, but I can talk to my dad and see if he can try a little more. 

We left Arleta's office with three regulated boys. We are trying to keep Mr. Screech near us at all times because he is the easiest to become disregulated. I am a little stressed because it is going to require me to think harder for ways to keep him near me.

Day 2 didn't go so hot.

Mr. Stinky clearly had big emotions over the orphanage video. When Arleta was trying to talk to him he turned in to a raging lunatic. She told us he is not as healthy as we think he is and he does a very good job of making us think he is healthier than he is.

It is a little disheartening for me because he was the one I was able to devote a lot of attachment time to when he first came home. I did it like textbook and it still didn't work because he lived in the orphanage of the first 11-months of his life and his brain has been hardwired. I am realizing that even though my kids are making progress this will be a life long time of retraining their brains. Neglect and trauma suck!

The other two got with the program a little better today and talked about their feelings.

It was great to go back!


Day 1 Sept. 17th. 

Back to Cleveland that is.

We decided more is better this year so we are seeing our therapist for the second time and we are planning a third trip in November. Mr. Stinky and Mr. Screech seemed to have come a long way, but Mr. Happy is holding on to his mad and sad and not wanting to talk about it. I love to sit down with Arleta to talk about how the boys are doing because we really see how far they are progressing and what still needs to be worked on. Sometimes in the day to day it is doom and gloom when they are not "perfect."

Arleta started by running a new neurofeedback protocol to help Mr. Happy’s brain get unstuck in the trauma of the orphanage and then we listened to nice songs while he sat on my lap and looked in my eyes. When it was his turn to talk about his story he was tight lipped so she called in Mr. Screech. As soon as he came in, the door of her office, he sat hard on his butt and started a tantrum. She reminded him that his tantrums do not work and he regulated himself pretty quick, but stayed sitting on the floor. We told her Mr. Stinky wanted to go first today so he could stop stressing (he has performance anxiety) about talking to her so she called him in. He did a great job talking to her and did not throw one fit.

To engage the other two, Arleta went into some therapy using little people and placed a mama and papa people together. Then she had each of the boy hold their person and place it in various spots based on where they were "in the family" and that was based on how they were acting. She also went through their birthstories and acted them out with the little people. The boys liked it and were able to engage.

Mr. Screech and Mr. Happy are stuck mentally in the orphanage and Mr. Stinky is verbalizing all of his mad towards his birthmom, but Arleta is helping him connect that some of his mad is from living in the orphanage too. When babies are neglected they get mad and then the made gets stuck in them and comes out explosively over something little. To help give them visuals she had them watch video clips of babies/toddlers in the orphanage. This is the second time our boys have seen this video and they did a lot better this time focusing on the video. Last time, they would try and do something else instead of looking at the screen. Mr. Happy still tried to engage Arleta’s dog or pick at his pants or shoes. Shoes can be SUPER interesting when you want to avoid something painful.

This evening was very pleasant with our boys. In the past, I have feared getting kicked out of our hotel because of the raging tantrums going on.  I am LOVING the progress my family has made in the past 1-year and 8-months. To think I tried this on my own for a year and a half and we went nowhere. My kids rejected me daily and tantrumed like crazy. I did not like being a mother, but tonight was wonderful! Mr. Screech was my biggest rejecter and tonight he was my sweetest most loving of all three. If you are still struggling after months or years I beg of you to call a reputable attachment therapist so you can get your sanity back. Our therapist will see us over a weekend so it makes it very doable even though we live 6 hours away.

Last night The Mr. and I had a good talk about our own emotional wellbeing and how we need to improve to help our kids. I have wanted The Mr. to try neurofeedback to see if it would help him. He agreed, but only if I would do it too. Arleta said I need the mood stabilizer protocol and I would agree. I miss my mom so much and I have my dad’s wedding coming up in a few weeks so yeah, that would be a fabulous protocol for me. Depression sucks and I'd like to have the fog lifted.

It's a no go.

The therapist with Hospice will not be seeing my kiddos. That is fine because we just had a weekend with our therapist, and we will be seeing her again this year.

Thankfully, my dad agreed to pay for both sessions since he is hurrying us in our grief. When the financial burden is lifted it is easier to go more often.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Finally, a grief therapist

I was able to get in touch with a Hospice grief counselor today and I was giving a little background of my kids. That they have attachment issues and the loss of their grandmother is more devastating than what a bio-attached kid might feel, etc. She said she would need to talk to a supervisor before seeing my kids because "they might become attached to her."  "...I'm trained to know about attachment issues." Oh how I had to keep my mouth shut and not school her right there about attachment issues!

Uh, am I missing something here? Is she completely confused about an attachment disorder? I told her I was confused and asked how they would "become attached to her" and she said because she would be counseling them one on one. I sweetly explained that they would not be there with her by themselves. I would be there at all times.

On a good note she can see me on Monday and I'm excited because I know I have displaced anger. Recently, I've turned into a mom with a short temper and I'm quick to yell and get aggravated instead of staying calm and handling things therapeutically. Yes, I have once again lost my therapeutic panties.

Does her statement seem strange to any of you or do I not get attachment disorders?

Monday, August 8, 2011

I'd rather be in bed with the pillow over my head!

But I'm going to blog instead. I have tried to write a post so many times and just can't do it. Depression is swallowing me and it sucks! I want to run away to where ever my other Trauma Mama friends are so I can just be surrounded by people who get it.

As you all know, my mom pass away March 10th, which is only 5 months ago, and now my dad is already engaged and will be getting married in October. This is so hard to process because they had a great marriage and it seems like he is just sweeping her memory away.

I decided I would talk to him about it instead of stewing and being mad at him, but that hasn't worked either. On Wednesday, he very sweetly and kindly, told me he has worked through his grief and it is at a faster pace than all of us and we just need to catch up. What I can't get him to understand is that I am processing grief for four of us and it does take time. I have been trying to get a hold of Hospice to help with grief counseling and I can't get the local place to call me back. Suck!

I am trying to feel compassionate towards my dad, because obviously he can't stand to be alone, but I am struggling with feelings of betrayal and being so mad because it is another instance of family not "getting" my kids and what they need. I cried and pleaded with him to wait because my mom had told him to before she died, because I need more time and because my kids need more time. Once again, only my mom "got it" and she is gone.

We will have to go to Cleveland for therapy twice this year plus I need to see my therapist so I have decided my dad will be paying the bills since he says, "We need to work through our grief faster." Can't wait to drop those bills off to him. Maybe he will "get it" then?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Dinner

Grilled Pesto Tilapia

Tilapia filet
Pesto
Whole Garlic Cloves

Spray foil with cooking spray and lay Tilapia filet on it. Coat top liberally with pesto and place whole garlic cloves on top. Roll top and sides of foil making a pouch and grill on medium until fish flakes easily, 20-30 minutes.

We made this camping and the whole family loved it.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Do you have a grumpy rump in your house?


I recommend playing Bad Day by Alvin and the Chipmunks. My kids can not hang on to their frowns when I play it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

There were four in the bed and the vocal RAD said, "Aaaaahhhhh GET UP!!!"

My husband is out of town until late Thursday night, and on top of everything else the kids are working through, this is making them even more bonkers.

Mr. Stinky came in my room to sleep around 3am, Mr. Happy came in around 5:30am, and Mr. Screech came at 6:30am.

When the first two came in it was no big deal because they snuggled in and went right to sleep. Mr. Screech came in and immediately had the RAD look of, "What did I miss! How dare everyone be here and not me!" I had everyone squish over so he could get in bed and he lay there for 15 minutes and then started talking. 

I told him he needed to be quiet because everyone is sleeping and if he needed to go on then go quiet. What was I thinking! That was not good enough for a screeching RADling. He sat up on his knees on the edge of the bed watching everyone and making noises. I took him to his room and of course the screaming woke everyone up. I promised him he was not going to like his day because he did not do as he was told. 

When he asked for his breakfast I started crying and yelling (just like he had done), "I don't want to!" so he went and got his own cereal and milk. 

When it was time for lunch I asked if he wanted a grilled cheese or corn dog and he said, "Corn Dog!" He got grilled cheese because I decided not to listen to him.

When he said, "But I asked for a corn dog!" I said, (in a surprised nice toned voice) "Oh! I thought we were not listening to what people wanted or asked for today." and walked on. He was a very sad boy so I came back and validated that it was sad when people don't listen to what others are asking.

This might take a million times of doing, but he will get it eventually. This is a natural and logical consequence.

This afternoon, Mr. Screech had a severe RAD moment that had me giggling. Lately, I've been getting mad so it felt good to giggle over it for a bit.

We have several riding cars and the boys love to race each other around the house on them. First, Mr. Screech tried to get Mr. Happy's car and when I told him to move on he went to Mr. Stinky's car. I kept telling Mr. Screech to try a different car and he had an excuse for not going to THAT car. Until Mr. Stinky did of course. He followed Mr. Stinky to a different car 4 or 5 times and it was ridiculous. I went to pick him up to get him away from his brother and I was laughing so much I didn't have the strength to lift him. We had a little couch time.

Mr. Stinky had a rippin tantrum and took a toy and launched it at me. He had perfect aim and hit me right in the face so now I have a bruised cheek. I'm thinking he should play baseball.

After he calmed down we had a calm moment on the couch and he talked about missing grandma. We both had a good cry together.

Counting down to our therapy appointment on Friday. 

It's registration day!

If you want to go to Corey's retreat then TODAY is the day to register! Rush to her blog and git-r-done!

My house and RAD OR maybe this title should be a mom of RAD drinks Carrot/apple juice.

I feel like I'm swimming in filth and my living room looks like the dryer threw up in it.
 My desk in the kitchen.

 My living room.

My bedroom that is the catch all room.

These pictures were taken because we had not been home from vacation 24 hours and this is what my house looked like. I was completely gridlocked and could not put anything away because something else had to be done first. This post was going to be me whining that I can't keep a clean house with my RAD kids, homeschooling, grief. blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, that post gets on my own nerves

Sunday, we bought juicing carrots and apples to try out my mom's juicer. Monday, I drank 8 oz of juice which was 2 carrots and an apple and I can really tell a difference. Normally, I walk from room to room knowing I need to do something, but feel so overwhelmed I can't get anywhere with it all.

The energy from the carrot/apple juice was nothing crazy, but gave me a clear brain and normal energy. It started with cleaning out the fridge and then I moved on to the living room. Next thing I know I'm putting all the winter clothes away.



My table had been covered in stuff.

My counters had been completely covered. 

The only thing left in the living room, that needed to be cleaned up when we went to bed, was some dominoes. Mr. Screech decided not to clean them up, but he had them cleaned up fast and snappy in the morning so he could have breakfast. 

Pardon me while I go drink some carrot/apple juice.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

This is HOPE!

If you are feeling down about your RADlings today jump over to Marty's blog and check out her post Words from a changed RAD child.

Tomorrow is another day and I will press on and not give up.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Orlando Pre-Registration

Last night at midnight I pre-registered for Orlando!!!

If you have not been to Corey's Retreat get ready because registration will be starting for you Wednesday!

Doing the happy dance, happy dance!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Oppositional defiance at it's best.

Here is one example of how my ENTIRE day has been with Mr. Screech:

All three boys were playing in our kiddie pool and after trying to mediate I finally made Mr. Stinky and Mr. Screech get out because they were doing everything in their power to make the other mad.

When they came in to change their clothes, I noticed Mr. Screech had mud on him so I told him to jump in the tub and he screamed and cried and told me it makes him too cold so he WILL NO get in the tub. Mr. Stinky asked if he could get in and of course I said, "Yes."

Now Mr. Screech is in a tailspin because I gave him a towel and told him to get dressed. NOW he wants in the tub, but he can wait until bath time tonight. I'm exhausted. Is it 7pm yet?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Passive-Aggressive. It's what's for breakfast!

We had a wonderful day at the beach with Orlando SOUL Sisters Kathie and Heather. They also brought friends so it was just a good day of women chatting and kiddos all over the place. There is something about being with a SOUL Sister that is just uplifting and encouraging.

As we were walking up the beach, to have dinner at a hotel, Mr. Screech lost it and would not stop screaming. I knew it was a hunger meltdown so I tried to calm him and get him something to eat. Finally.This morning he woke a little grumpy, but it passed quickly.

Mr. Happy has decided to be very passive aggressive and he has recently had a session of neurofeedback so I know his brain is working well. I made a big breakfast of sausage, eggs, apples and cinnamon rolls. I waited to give them the cinnamon rolls until after they had eaten everything else and Mr. Stinky and Mr. Screech both asked nicely for theirs. Mr. Happy decided he couldn't remember what they are called so he didn't get one. Realize we had been talking about them all morning so he KNOWS what they are called.

When brushing his teeth he asked me to put toothpaste on his brush and I said, "I'll be there in a minute." When I walked in he was doing it himself and eating it so I took it off his brush and told him he couldn't have any because he didn't wait for mommy and we don't eat toothpaste. He was trying to replace his cinnamon roll treat with toothpaste because it is the sweet kids kind. Uh, no!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

On vacation and counting down to therapy.

We came to Florida on vacation last week and have really been having a good time RAD and all. We were only supposed to stay a week, but The Mr. got called out of town on business so I decided to stay another week with the kids. Sunny Florida sure beats being cooped up in the house because of rain and tornadoes back home.

The best part is getting to meet up with some Orlando SOUL sisters! Spent Friday at the beach with "G" and her family and it was nice to be with someone who "gets it." Tomorrow, I'm meeting with "K" and can't wait for more SOUL Sister time! I wish more of you were here.

We have 8 days until we trek to Cleveland to see our therapist and it really can't come soon enough. We have not been to see her since September so we are LONG overdue.

Mr. Screech is in full out RAD behavior.
*Everything is about him
*The world is out to get him. Always worried when his brothers get near his toys.
*He is oppositional defiant about EVERYTHING!
*He is manipulating the crap out of my friends, who he doesn't know that well.
*He is obsessing about things like missing my mom and our cat. Um, my mom I get. Our cat hides until the boys are in bed, so they don't get to play with him. Ever. What is there to miss?

We are vacationing at our friends house and yesterday, while sitting on the couch with our friend M, he told M he loved him about every 15 minutes for about 4 hours. Today, M was at work and Mr. Screech was sitting on the couch and said, "I love you M." I had a little chat with him that it was not appropriate because M is not his papa and furthermore M was not even home! Seriously!

My sister is vacationing at a nearby beach so we met her and her friend there. It was so nice to have 3 adults with 3 kids who demand attention. First off, they played with my kids in the ocean so I could just have a minute to breathe. I sat in my chair, lay my head back and just listened to the waves crash. So relaxing! At sunset all the baby stingrays came right up and we could watch them feed on the fish. It was creepy because I was IN the ocean, but so incredibly awesome once my feet were out and I could watch them.

At dinner each adult had a kid next to them and I had Mr. Stinky who is not so demanding. By the time I got done taking pictures everyone had their food in place and I didn't have to meet the demands of three kids. I almost didn't know what to do with myself so I started eating.

I had to bite my tongue all day to not nitpick my kids, but when Mr. Screech was sitting next to my sister, and then gets out of his chair so he can eat standing and leaning into her lap, and food, I had to put a stop to it. He was demanding and manipulative of her all day. I was not going to let him ruin her dinner. Geez.

Mr. Happy is very passive-aggressive-defiant. It is so weird and I just don't know how to deal with it. He has a lot of anger he needs to get out and I can't wait for our therapist to work with him, and us, to help let it out. I really need some parenting tools for this child!

Mr. Stinky is just missing his grandma, but not talking about it. We've gotta fix that in a hurry!

Come on 8 days! I am ready!

Check out this fundraiser

If you want to help an orphan find a forever family, and possibly win a camera, hop over to my friend Courtney's blog for the details. I love it when these posts go viral and another baby gets to come home.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Are you ready for Orlando?!

Wondering what "Orlando" is? It is an Early Trauma and Attachment Annual Meeting  (aka a mom's retreat) and you can hop over to Corey's blog and check out the details.

What I can tell you from my experience, is that it is a glorious weekend of relaxing and chatting with women who "get it." You don't have to wipe snotty noses, or butts, (except your own cause I'm not doing it for ya.) and you don't have to deal with taking care of anyone else but yourself.

I had some first's this year on my trip and that was cool.
I had an alcoholic beverage with my breakfast, in the airport, because I could and it was damn good.
I ran/walked my first 5k.
I hula hooped and got it to stay up on my waist for the first time ever!
I stood in a room and talked to moms openly knowing I was NOT being judged.
I was able to share our families therapeutic parenting experiences/advice and moms actually listened instead of telling my they didn't have those problems with their kids. (Because you know they're perfect angels. *gag*puke*)

And let me tell you about the hugs in Orlando. They are so awesome and amazing and I can't WAIT to get back there and have another or several more. They are not fake, but full of "I get it", and "I know what you are going through." Let me tell ya ladies, THAT is a hug that a trauma mama doesn't forget!  Gee, did I make myself sound like a weirdo over a hug? Oh well, if you are a mother of trauma you'll get that.

If you parent trauma, and think you are at an ok place and don't really need a break, you might want to reconsider. I felt the same way because my kids were in a good place and my mom was on her death bed and I almost didn't go. I am so glad I did because with my mom gone these women are a HUGE support network. Some have even lost their moms and it is comforting to know I am not alone with that too.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mother's Day

We spent Mother's Day at my sister's and decided it was a non-Mother's Day get together since it is our first Mother's Day without mom. It was nice to hang out with family and I made my mom's Chicken Tortilla Casserole. She made it a lot when we were growing up so it is a comfort food for us.

My dad came and he looked so sad and worn out. Since mom isn't around to love on him he gets lots of hugs from us. We were both sitting on the couch and he laid his head back to sleep and put the back of his hand against my leg. He said he just needed to touch me while he slept. As human's we all need touch and my parents here big on hugs and kisses. He breaks my heart.

The day after Mother's Day was so hard for me. I cried all day and my kids went a little bonkers. Our therapist said the boys would have a hard time at the holidays because they would notice mom not there. So true, so we cried together all day and talked about her.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thank you YMCA for all the Mother's Day trauma.

Went and worked out at the Y and when I picked the boys up from childcare Mr. Stinky said, "I drew a picture for you, but you are going to have to wait till Mother's Day to see it." Outwardly I said, "That's wonderful honey." and inside I was screaming %$#&^%!!!!!

Sure enough, we got home and he lost it in the front yard. The cool part was I could get a hold of him pretty quickly and have him talk through those feelings and his aggression stopped. For the rest of the day he was kind and helpful towards me.

The front lawn episode happened about 1pm and my 6pm he came out of his room all excited and told me he had homemade confetti ready to rain down on me in the morning when he presented me with his picture.

I can't wait for our therapist to challenge him further in his healing in June.

Can we just erase Mother's Day from the calender?

Yesterday, was a not so cool day with my vocal RADish (Mr. Screech). It was our second day in a row of being gone all day. Apparently, I did not get the memo we can not do that.

He did good up until 1pm when we were at the library. He was playing cars with Mr. Happy and decided to to hog all the cars. It just went downhill from there so I tried to get us out of there as quick as possible. Remembering what some of the Orlando mom's recommended I pulled the "Autism" card. Since Mr. Screech does some autistic-like behaviors it fits. I looked at the librarian and said, "Sorry, we are having a little autism meltdown." She helped carry my books to check out and then helped me get all three boys to the car. People know what autism is so they are sympathetic.

Next stop was the park to get some energy out. Mr. Screech is insisting all day he is a 1-year-old so I had him play on the toddler set while his brothers got to play on the bigger set.

Mr. Stinky had a soccer game so we grabbed some food and headed to the soccer field. Mr. Screech decided he was going to go ODD on me while we were eating. He wasn't going to sit where I told him to. It had to be exactly anywhere but there.

I was praying we would make it through the soccer game, but no go. I had already prepped Mr. Stinky if I wasn't sitting there to just come to the van. Mr. Happy had been digging in the mud on the hillside and found a worm. Mr. Screech wanted to see it so he started shoving and almost made Mr. Happy go down the hill. It is kinda steep and there are a bunch of weeds at the bottom.

I went and got Mr. Screech and sat him on my lap and kinda put him in a hold. I had my arms in a lose circle around him and was trying to talk, but he was hell bent on tantruming. I heard someone say, "Well, she brought it on herself." I don't know if they were accusing me of making his tantrum start (that's what my in-laws do) or of they were talking about someone else.

I asked the lady next to me to help me get my chair back in the bag as I hung on to Mr. Screech. So then I got to walk back to the car with 2 chairs and a raging child. I was amazed at how many people turned around and watched me walk, but no one offered to help me. Not even when it was clear I was having a hard time holding my son and almost dropped him.

I took him to the van and strapped him into his car seat, it is a 5-point harness, and let him rage. This time he unbuckled the car seat from the seat and looked like a turtle. It was almost comical, but he raged for 45 minutes at the field.

When our kids are raging we coach them to talk about their feelings instead of raging. Say, "I am mad! or I am sad. etc" In the past few weeks he was raged and then cried about missing Grandma so today while he was raging he took it to a fake cry saying he missed Grandma. When I didn't get him out of his seat he would rage again. This is the first time I have noticed manipulation with Grandma attached.

When we got home they all put their PJ's on and I tucked him in bed. His brothers got to go have ice cream.

When they were all in bed I collapsed on the couch and wondered what in the heck had happened to make him so crazy. Then I remembered, when they were in childcare at the Y they made hand prints on a paper plate for Mother's Day. I guess that was the major trigger as well as his dad being out of town and still dealing with Grandma passing away. Suck!

I remember a conversation I had with our therapist last year and she said Mother's Day weekend is the worst for the kids. The office is closed early so they can be on the phone with parents and it is also the holiday with the most hospitalizations. I know my other trauma mama's are going through it right now so I am praying. My son's tantrums are nothing compared to what they are going through.

On top of my kids triggers I'm dreading my first Mother's Day without my mom. Double suck!

On a happier note, we are going to see our therapist June 3rd. We have not been since September so we are WAY over due. Her office is my happy place so I can't wait.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Post-Adoption Resource

I want to share what Focus on the Family is doing for families who have adopted. Check out this link and you will find counselors who are trained by Dr. Karyn Purvis (Author of The Connected Child) to talk to.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter without Mom/Grandma

We spent the first part of Saturday with my friends family and it was nice. We had great conversation, good food, and the boys enjoyed the egg hunt.

My boys call her mom "Grandma Peggy", but Mr. Screech has started calling her "Mama Peggy." I informed him that she was not his mama and now he is using it as a stick poking tool. Let's remember that Mr. Screech is a brilliant child and doesn't forget a thing, much less who he is supposed to call mama!

From there, we went to my uncle's house for our family get together. Everything was going well until dinner. When we were sitting around eating and talking it really hit that my mom wans't there. Normally, she is a big part of the conversation and I couldn't hear her voice. I had to put my plate down and go have a good cry in the bathroom.

The boys had a good time with the egg hunt and I let them have a couple of treats. Towards the end of the night, I caught Mr. Screech chowing down on more candy. A peep to be specific. I put on my sad voice and told him he had to put it in the trash because he did not ask mommy if he could have it. He flipped out and started into a rage of screaming. I walked him up the stairs to the trash can and he threw it on the floor.  At that point I could not breath. All I have to say about this episode is, "grief sucks!"

Shortly after that, we left and I fell apart when I hugged my cousin. I know she gets my grief because her mom died when we were 14-years-old. My dad hugged me and said, "I cry a dozen times a day." Man, I feel for him.

Sunday, Mr. Screech was still a raging, nasty little mess so we had some couch time. After he raged for a while his cry changed to sobs and he fell on my chest saying, "I just miss grandma!" Oh how it broke my heart and we cried together. After that fit, we had a pretty pleasant day.

I googled the stages of grief and this site lists them. One stage is anger and I have not hit it over her death, BUT I feel like I have displaced anger towards my kids. I went to therapy in the fall and it helped. When my kids did things, it did not trigger my anger and I could parent therapeutically. Since my mother's passing I am short with them and impatient and talking in an angry tone. My therapeutic parenting is out the window and they are triggering my anger. I guess it is time for mama to go back to therapy.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Reflecting on Saturday

Saturday was a busy day, and I realized there is no way Mr. Screech would have handled it one year ago.

First, we had a soccer game and then went straight to an Easter party. We arrived 30 minutes late so everyone was there and it was loud. The boys are comfortable at this house because we are there every other Sunday for Bible study. They had a good time and left with lots of candy. Normally, we let the host know we will arrive early to be the first ones there or we have crazy meltdowns. Not this time!

Next, we headed to a ministry who needed help cleaning and fixing up their new building. When we arrived the boys met lots of new people and it was overwhelming for them, but they behaved well. We picked a room and starting washing the walls. The boys complained a lot, but that is to be expected. 

Around lunch time, everyone was hanging out in the same room and the ladies started interacting with the boys. It didn't take long for the charm to explode and they were soooooo over the top wild and couldn't come down. I let it go for a while and then I whipped out the calming techniques of deep pressure. 

The first, long bone compression. You push firm and steady between the wrist and elbow and then the knee and bottom of foot. I count to 10 while compressing.

The second is joint compression at the wrist, elbow and pressing straight down on the top of the head. All are done at a 10 count. 

The ladies were amazed at how calm the boys got and then wanted me to try it on them. They were amazed at how relaxed they got. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Dinner

Grilled Chicken and Pesto Pasta

4 chicken breasts, cut into strips
3 tablespoons oil
2 fresh clove garlic squeezed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoons Worchestershire
2 tablespoons cooking wine
1 teaspoons italian seasoning

Mix all ingredients and marinate chicken for a few hours or longer. Grill chicken until done.

Pasta
Pesto
Sun dried tomatoes
Olives
Feta cheese

Boil the pasta while the chicken is on the grill. Drain and add enough pesto until well coated. Add sun dried tomatoes, olives and top with feta cheese. Serve with the grilled chicken and your favorite veggie.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

He what!?

I saw an invite on Heather Forbes facebook today to "test drive" her online parenting course. My boys were outside playing, I could hear them and all was well so I did. It was a really cool LIVE Q&A session through video chat. Her 10 week course will be live and online with Heather so you might want to check it out.

Towards the end, Mr. Screech comes in crying saying, "Mr. Happy put his hands around my throat and tangled them up."  He frieking put his hands around Mr. Screeches throat and was choking him! Mr. Happy was glued to my hip for the reminder of the afternoon. That child is scary passive aggressive.

I had them come in and watch a 30 minute TV show for my quiet time and I did not leave the room. Apparently, that is not good enough. I look up just in time to see Mr. Happy with his hands around Mr. Screech's neck again! Then Mr. Happy said, "Well, he put his hands around my throat first."  Oh, hell-to-the-no! We are not doing that in this house! Yes, my head did rotate.

I have no idea how to handle this and I'm sure I did it all wrong since all day long I did it all wrong. I have a phone conference scheduled with our therapist tomorrow so I will be asking her. In the mean time my children will not be left unattended for any period of time. I don't need one 4-year-old strangling another to death. Heaven help me...

I know we can all use a laugh so...

Check out my BFF's blog post about her son's homework. It will make you laugh!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Can't we all just get along?

What is it with women's nature that makes it is easier to tear each other down instead of lifting each other up?

I overheard two women talking in the bathroom, at the gym, in the cattiest tones.

#1: "My sister-in-law called me the other day to ask what brand of vitamin D I use. She took her son to have a check-up and he is deficient. I was like, Well duh! You live in a place that rains 365 days a year!"

#2: "Good grief!" (Insert lots of eye rolling here and negative facial expressions.)

Looking back, I wish I could have been quick with words, in a nice tone of course, I would have said, "Don't you think it is cool she thinks you are the expert on vitamin D so she asked you?"

I don't know about you, but I am looking for ways to build people up instead of tear them down, even if they are perfect strangers. We need to encourage and be loving to one another. Life is hard enough without people tearing us down.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 
1 Thessalonians 5:11 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Neurofeedback

Our boys have been on neurofeedback (NF) since September 2010. Our therapist spoke to us about the benefits, we went for it, and I do not have one regret. In fact, I can't imagine life without it.

I'll admit, I did not research NF because my brain was tapped out. I had read too many therapeutic books and could not retain another drop. Our therapist talked in detail of what it was and what it does and seeing a difference in her office. She has not called the police to help her with a child in a year, not gotten hurt by a child, and their office has not been destroyed by a child and that sounded good to me, since we were having to restrain one child daily and another once or twice a week. We were worn out and ready for drastic improvements and that is what we got.

We purchased a home unit since the closest provider was an hour away and we would have to go twice a week for all three boys. With Mr. Stinky in school I didn't think that would work out.

Mr. Stinky: Improvements we have seen with Mr. Stinky would include, focus, smoother speech, better reading skills, dyslexia has gone away, ticks and clicking stopped, and less anxiety. There is a number on the screen that measures stress. A normal stress level is 7. He was around 30 when we started and back in January it came down to 15 and has stayed there. Stress level cut in half! Recently, we were having troubles with Mr. Stinky stealing repeatedly so our therapist had us do a protocol that addresses impulse behavior like stealing and overeating. No more stealing happened. It was amazing!

Mr. Screech: One of the coolest protocols for Mr. Screech made him not so screechy. In fact, it was almost comical. When I was putting the sensors on his head he would be slouched in the chair saying, "I am NOT going to play my computer game! I am NOT!!!" I would just say ok and keep on hooking him up. Half way through the protocol he was smiling and saying, "Mommy, I looooooooooove you!" This protocol literally made him happy and nice to be around. Who wouldn't want that!? Mr. Screech is also a nighttime thrasher, grunter, and screamer. His sleep has calmed significantly with NF!

Mr. Happy: Living in such a fog, I would tell him to get his shoes and point near his feet, Mr. Happy would look around and could not process what I was saying. Of course, I got frustrated, so then the more I got frustrated the more he shut down and could not process what I was saying. It was hopeless most days getting him to follow simple instructions. Running NF has taken him out of the fog and he is able to process and understand what we say. In lifting the fog, it has brought out more defiant behaviors, but I would rather that than living in the fog and never dealing with his emotional issues until later when it would be be more challenging. He is passive aggressive and a subtle "stick poker."

Every time I see someone post about behaviors of their kids and how miserable the parents are with the behaviors I want to scream NEUROFEEDBACK from the rooftops. So, if you are one of those parents I beg of  you to check it out. Not only for your sanity, but for the healing of your child.

You can watch videos here, see frequently asked questions here and find a provider here and here. If there is not a provider in your area, purchase a home unit and do it yourself. There are experts who will train you and monitor your sessions and give you protocols based on your child's needs.

If you are interested in a home use unit you can contact Ellen at EEG Spectrum and she will help you locate a professional to help you. Her number is 818-789-3456 ext. 822 or her email is evash (at) eegspectrum (dot) com . Please mention this blog post for reference.

This site lists what neurofeedback can treat:


  • Severe anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Addiction
  • Attention Deficit (ADD/ADHD)
  • Autism
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Chronic Pain
  • Conduct Disorder
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Learning Disability
  • Migraines
  • Peak Performance
  • Post Traumatic Stress
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • Traumatic Brain Injury


Over time NF does change the brain for the better. Recently, my boys were off NF for a long stretch of time and they were fine. All the other times I have skipped a session I would start having panic attacks, because of their behavior, and RUN to the NF machine so we could have some peace and calm in our home.

An attachment therapist is needed when doing NF. Using NF can bring up feelings in your child and they will need help processing and working through them. If your therapist has never heard of NF send them this blog post and ask them to research. I believe this could be key to healing our children.

DISCLAIMER: I was not paid by anyone for this blog post. I am not an expert on neurofeedback. I am just a mom-in-the-trenches with three special needs children and I have seen the benefits in our home. If I put something incorrect in this post, I apologize.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Dinner

Chicken Tacos/Nachos

One of our favorite meals is Mexican, but we hate spending the money to eat out so we have found ways to make it like the fabulous little Mexican restaurants around town.

Put approx. 4 chicken breasts in the crock pot with a couple cans of Rotel tomatoes and a packet of taco seasoning. I prefer this recipe and then you don't have MSG or other nasty fillers in your food.
Cook on low 8 hours or high 4 hours.

When chicken is done cooking, chop up in the crock-pot and serve on tortillas or chips for nachos. Top with all your favorite taco toppings.

 **Note**
If you don't care for the spiciness of Rotel tomatoes use canned diced tomatoes.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

All by myself...

Today, was my first day parenting all by myself since the end of February when my mom got sick, going to Orlando, and my mom passing away. Guess what? I survived and did great!

Today, I dug deep and decided to not invest all of my energy in Mr. Screech who is my vocal RAD-ling.

Today, I paid attention to the body language of my other two and took time for them. Mr. Screech had to wait and it felt good to help my other two through their emotions.

The morning started with a bang! Mr. Screech is still REFUSING to step foot in our bedroom in the morning and we don't push it. I could hear him causing a ruckus so I called him to me. Of course, he pitched a fit. I found out he was asking Mr. Stinky if he could watch TV (because he refuses to come ask me) and Mr. Stinky told him, "No." He knows he doesn't have the authority on that. I informed Mr. Screech that his brother is not his mama and that is not appropriate.

Overall, our day was good up until 5pm. I'm not sure what exactly was going on, but the boys were on the trampoline and had an outburst. I called Mr. Screech to come talk to me and since I had him come in the house he went into a tailspin. Instead of letting him destroy the house I took it to "couch time" with mom.

Typically, it doesn't take him long before he talks about his feelings and settles down. Today, after 30 minutes we were getting no where so I had him get down. I could not let him go back outside and felt he needed to be glued to my side, so he cleaned the living room. Ah, a win-win situation for mama for sure.

Instead if telling him to "clean the living room" I break it down by things. (books, blocks, etc) We have a train table and everything that was on that table he kept telling me he could not see. Hello stick poking! When I set the plates out for dinner he kicked it in high gear and picked up everything. The living room looked great when he was done.

After dinner, Mr. Stinky thought it was his turn to be nasty. Instead of using his words, he was grunting and making obnoxious noises. I asked him to use his words and he refused so I suggested he have some "couch time" with me. Surprisingly, he agreed. When I walked into the living room he said, "You will have to chase me first." Um, no. I walked back onto the kitchen and kept on with the dishes. He finally said he was ready, but I made it on my terms and finished the dishes.

In our couch time, he started crying because he really wants to play with Mr. Screech, but Mr. Screech will not play nice. Everything has to be Mr. Screech's way and he will not listen to anyone around him. I had Mr. Stinky talk to Mr. Screech about this and it was really good. Mr. Stinky started crying, so I coached Mr. Screech to hug him and love on him. We agreed tomorrow is another day to practice. I think I will be getting out the M&M's and reward the one who handles the situation correctly. It worked in the past. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I am still here.

Thank you everyone for your kind words and prayers when my mom passed away. I am so grateful to have so many wonderful friends and new friends that I met in Orlando to support me. Omom's your blogs help me not to feel alone.

Day to day I am fine, but the grief hits here and there and I can't stop crying. It hits me the hardest when I talk to my dad and I know how lonely he is. I have my kids to distract me, but he goes home to an empty house every day.

I feel like I have been fighting depression and it settles like a gentle fog over me. I have been taking my vitamins and herbs for and working out at the YMCA and they help. I'm slowly getting back into the family routine.

My boys are doing ok, but I worry they are not releasing their grief. Their behavior has been so good and that is WEIRD! I know, only a mama of trauma would say that right?

Mr. Stinky cried the morning she died, but has not cried since. He has had some angry outbursts directed at his brothers, but I have to say it was appropriate since they were bugging him.

Mr. Happy has been extra happy through it all. I know that is a sign of trouble.
Today, I asked him to get the laundry out of the dryer and he decided to do a little stick poking.
Mr. Happy: Do you want all the laundry out?
Me: What do you think?
Mr. Happy: Yes
Me: Ok
Mr. Happy came with 1/2 a basket full
Mr. Happy: Is this enough mommy?
Me: Did you get it all?
Mr. Happy: No
Me: Then it is not enough. (My head wanted to rotate at this point.)

This prompted an all out super-infant crying session from Mr. Happy. The Mr. picked him up and held him and validated his feelings. Wow, The Mr. is good! He validated that Mr. Happy was upset I had been gone for 3 weeks, sad about grandma, and mad mama was having him do work. When Mr. Happy got down he was like a different kid.

Mr. Screech had a moment of deep wrenching sobs over a toy, the day mom passed, so I helped him recognize those feelings were really about grandma. Overall, his behavior has been great with very minor things here and there. Very very weird since he loves to tantrum and be overly defiant.

Stay tuned for more ramblings from this trauma mama.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Dinner

Broccoli Cheese Soup

¼ cup butter
1 cup chopped onion
½ teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
2 ½ cups chicken broth
2 cups almond milk, unsweetened (or half and half)
1 (32-ounce) package frozen broccoli florets, chopped
1 cup matchstick carrots, chopped
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme 
3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (plus more for garnish)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 

In a large dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly. Whisk in chicken broth and almond milk, whisking constantly. Stir in broccoli, carrots, salt, pepper and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Add cheese, stirring until smooth. Serve immediately.

Quote

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.
Mother Teresa

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Can you help this family?

This mom is raffling off her wedding ring and her kids have a couple of raffles going too. Check it out and see if you can help.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

She is gone.

My mom passed away today around 3am.

I am very sad and I will miss her, but we all have so much peace about it. She was an awesome women who touched so many lives.

In this moment, I am so happy I went to Orlando and met so many awesome moms who can continue to support  me when my mom is not here. She was my amazing cheerleader.

Please pray for my children who are grieving the loss of their grandmother. As we trauma mamas know loss is a hard thing for our kids.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I'm going!

I have been in such turmoil over whether to go to Orlando or not and I have been praying for God to give me a clear cut sign so I would know. Yesterday, I talked to my dad about it and it was such a relief when he told me I needed to go. He specifically said, "God would want you to go because we all need a break sometimes." Peace just came over me and I knew it was ok.

I am at my parents hanging out with my mom and this could be the last time I see her awake and that breaks my heart. It is really hard for me to let go and let others care for her, but I know she will be in good hands with my family. It has been a long stressful year with her diagnosis of cancer, but I would not trade a minute of it of the extra time I got to spend with her.

Today, I talked to Mr. Stinky because I know he is holding his emotions in over this. I said, "I knew you are having a hard time and it is ok talk about it." He said, It is hard when I see you crying while you're driving or talking on the phone." That made me start crying again. He reached out and gave me the sweetest hug and then I cried on his shoulder for a bit. I told him, "Thank you for lending your shoulder because now I feel so much better."

Before I left this afternoon, I gave the boys pictures of me with them to put in their photo albums and I included a picture of them with their grandma. They were so excited.
When I was saying, "Good bye" on the porch and giving hugs and kisses Mr. Stinky was holding back the tears and was suddenly so interested in a dead worm. Hello coping skills!

I am getting on a plane in less than 12 hours and I am nervous and excited.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Orlando Is Covered

Thank you everyone for your thought and prayers.

My cousin called this morning and she has family lined up to stay with mom for the weekend to help my dad out. She is so wonderful!

I am still iffy on it though. I will see what today and tomorrow holds.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

She is home.

Mom came home from the hospital this evening. Hospice set us up with everything we need except someone there 24/7. That for me is very overwhelming.

I am not a nurse, nor have I had any training, so I don't know how to move someone, change their bedding with them in it, change them if they are soiled....Holy crap it is a lot for a girl to stress about!!! I know hospice is a phone call away, but I can't call them every time she needs to be cleaned up.

The other thing weighing on me is Orlando. On one side I feel crazy selfish for leaving her and spending 4 days away, but I also feel I need to build my support system for my kids. My mom is my supporter so who do I have to lean on when she is gone? I think I'm gonna need my Orlando Sisters so I need to fine someone to be with my mom on Friday and Monday. Say a prayer for me?

Through all this my boys are being so awesome! The Mr. is caring for them while I have been gone every day and even when I come home and see them for a little bit they just snuggle up and love on me. It is awesome!

When we were getting mom settled I felt so bad because I snapped at Mr. Stinky and he held back the tears. I immediately went on my knees and hugged him and told him I was sorry and I was stressed a little bit. He is being so good and I wasn't. I am having a ton of mommy guilt over it.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Mom

Wednesday morning my dad brought my mom to the hospital because she had not been feeling well for a few weeks and it had progressed to the point she needed medical care. They found her potassium to be at heart attack level, an upper GI bleed that they can't find, and her kidney's are failing.

Yesterday, she was pretty chipper and I had high hopes of her going home soon, but this morning she is not chipper and sleeping a lot. The doctor said they would be moving her to a regular room from ICU and sending her home in a few days. I think this might be where we make her comfortable and wait.

My mom has been battle stage 4 liver cancer since she was diagnosed in April 2010. She has beaten the statistics and I have had some extra time with her that is priceless.

Today, I am hanging out with my mom and hanging on to my faith in Jesus Christ to get me through this.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Photo Albums-The Story of Mom's Trip

Yesterday, I gave the boys their own photo album that tells the story of what I'll be doing in Orlando. I put a picture of an airplane and then the photos of the house I'll be staying in.
I found calenders online, and they print small, so I pasted them inside the front cover of the album and highlighted in pink the days I would be gone. The boys are crossing off the days until I leave and then they will be able to cross off the days while I"m gone so they will know exactly when I come back.

While I explained it all to them, I fed them M&M's and Crunch N Munch with good eye contact. It helps to give something sweet when you are telling them something they see as "bad". It's all in retraining the brain.

So far, their are no tantrums and they keep getting the albums down and asking questions. Mr. Screech who has the most anxiety keeps asking the same questions, but I'll take that over a tantrum.

The day before I leave, I will fill the remainder of the albums with pictures of me with each boy. Our therapist, Arleta James, said they do better if you find something to give them and say, "Please hang on to this for mommy until I get back." I am still trying to figure out what that will be. Maybe a t-shirt or something?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

M&M's

Over the weekend The Mr. brought out the M&M's and it is helping to whip our kiddos back into shape. Sometimes, instead of consequence after consequence they just need a little reward in their mouth.

The Mr. was helping me by doing school with the boys and we do a lot of reading with discussion questions. He wanted the kids to respond so he started giving M&M's for answering questions. It worked great and all three boys were involved.

I have had it up to my eye balls with the constant bickering and hitting between the boys. This morning I started rewarding the child who handled the problem correctly. Believe it or not it was Mr. Screech getting all the M&M's!

Normally, I have to set the timer for Mr.Screech and Mr. Happy to take turns with an electronic game. I noticed they were giving each other turns without the timer so I went and gave them M&M's and said, "You are taking turns without the timer like family boys. Nice!"

I was working on school in the basement with Mr. Stinky and was really impressed that the little ones were playing well upstairs. When I came upstairs, every board game/dominoes/ etc was out and the living room was a disaster. It is amazing what 4-year-olds can do in an hour. I had them clean up and started giving out M&M's as they completed each task.

Then we moved on to folding washcloths and Mr. Screech decided to start having meltdowns so I started giving myself some of his M&M's. He lost 3 out of 5 because of it and was so sad. I guess he will know what to do next time.

Today, was the nicest day we have had in weeks. Instead of the boys screaming, yelling and hitting each other in rages there was more helping, hugs and good playing. They had smiles on their faces and there were belly laughs going on. It was a GOOD day!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Dinner

Super Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

4 Chicken breasts
2 tablespoons mayo (approx.)
3/4 cup bread crumbs
8 thin slices ham
4 slices swiss or provolone cheese

Coat chicken in mayo and then bread crumbs. Bake on 400 for 30-40 minutes or until juices run clear. Top each chicken with 2 ham slices and a piece of cheese. Put back in the oven until cheese is melted.

Serve with your favorite veggie.

Friday, February 11, 2011

He said, "Thank you"

Yesterday, we were at the store and found some shirts on clearance. Mr. Stinky is really into legos so I got him a lego shirt. Last night, when he was going to bed he said, "Thank you for buying me the lego shirt today."
This is HUGE for a child who typically thinks only of himself and has the attitude it is owed to him. Progress!!!

Overall, I am so pleased with our homeschooling. We have not been deep in the textbooks, but I have been reaching out more with therapeutic parenting and touch. I have noticed in the past few days Mr. Stinky is reaching out to me a lot. It is awesome!
We got our Sonlight Curriculum and Math U See this week so I plan on starting the books on Monday.

Everyone is doing well since my weekend trip on Jan 28th. I won't say it is quite back to where it was, but it is getting their quickly. I am so pleased!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes

I made these pancakes this morning from my Friend's blog and they are awesome! Check them out!

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes

Monday, February 7, 2011

This morning got a little nutty. Mr. Screech will not leave Mr. Stinky alone. He is always up in his space and being REALLY annoying! At one point, Mr. Stinky went tearing down the hall and got tangled between the wall and the coat closet door that was open and ended up with a puncture in his head. Right above his eyebrow.

I know head wounds bleed a lot, but I thought he needed stitches so I was telling the little ones to get their socks and shoes on. Mr. Screech decides to be defiant and nasty and not doing what he is told. I told him again and stressed we had to take Mr. Stinky to the doctor so Mr. Screech stands in the middle of the room screaming, crying and saying he can't find his shoes. Yep, it was a real circus around here.

It didn't take long for the bleeding to stop so I bandaged it with a butterfly strip and we stayed home. I had a good chat with Mr. Stinky because this is the second time he has gotten hurt because he is so furious at Mr. Screech. We talked about calming down and letting mommy help when he is frustrated. (We found out last Sunday when he cut his thumb on a lego it was really on the glass of a frame that had just fallen apart. He swiped it across in his rage at his brother.)

Mr. Happy was sick today so I am giving him supplements to make him get better. At one point I made him a cup of Emergen-C (vitamin C) and Mr.Screech looked at it longingly and said, "I wish I was sick." He is very much attached to food and if he thinks someone is getting food/drink and he is not he can't handle it.

Remember Mr. Screech having to vacuum because he came when I called his brother? Well, today he started to come when I called his brother again and then he stopped, looked at me and decided it wasn't worth it to answer. I love that it made him think! Progress!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sunday Dinner

This is a recipe my mom used to make growing up, and it is one of my favorites.

Chicken Tortilla Casserole


4 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped (I cook them in the crock-pot with broth)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
2 cans ortega green chili salsa (or regular salsa if you can't find it)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
8-12 corn tortillas cut in 1" pieces
1lb cheddar cheese, grated

Butter a 9"x13" pan. Pour a little chicken liquid in bottom of pan. Combine chicken, soups, milk, salsa and onion. Layer half of tortillas, half chicken mixture, and half of the cheese. Repeat with cheese on top. Refrigerate overnight. Bake 350 for 45 minutes covered and 15-20 minutes uncovered.

Extra things you can add:
Black beans
Black olives
Corn

Saturday

Before I went out of town, last weekend, all three boys would come to my room in the morning and say, "Good morning!" and snuggle me. Even if it was just for a minute I felt like this was progress. They did this back in September as well, until I went out of town, and then it stopped.

So far, Mr. Screech is the only one that avoids me in the morning now and starts causing a ruckus with his brothers, so this morning I asked him to come to me and I tried to talk to him about it. He was being nasty and snarky so we took it to the couch. He had a rage session that lasted under 5 minutes and then we went through his feelings when I went out of town, his birth story, and living at the orphanage. It wasn't until we got to the orphanage, and talking about those feelings, that the his happy feelings were able to shine through.His countenance changed, he was smiling at me and wanted to snuggle.

I had high hopes for our day after the breakthrough, but I think he is dealing with a lot of emotions it just wasn't happening. We were going to take the boys to lunch at Chic-Fil-A and the swim at the Y and as soon as I told them it was time to put on socks and shoes Mr. Screech went out of control screaming. I finally told The Mr. to take the other two boys and go.

Mr. Screech and I had another couch session and this time he was a lot more aggressive and trying to bite and scratch me. When it was all done and we were talking about it he said he was screaming because his thumb hurt. What?! Uh, ok. We'll just keep working through these tough feelings.

Mr. Screech has a bad habit of coming when he is NOT called and ignoring when I call his name, so today I called for Mr. Happy and here comes Mr. Screech pushing Mr. Happy out of the way so he could get to me first and said, "Yes mommy?" I said, "Oh, Mr. Screech I need you to vacuum the living room and Mr. Happy I need you to take care of your bowl you left out." Oh, how Mr. Screech screamed and tantrumed. I'm thinking he might think twice about coming when he is not called. (I got this idea from the comments of someone's blog and wish I could remember so I could give credit where it is due.)

This evening I got to go scrapbooking with a friend of mine and it was great! I got to look at happy pictures and make happy albums. Nothing like a little scrappy therapy to make this girl keep pressing on. I won't give up!