Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Holding On

Change is a process-It comes little by little. -Joyce Meyer

I am holding on to this because today my kids are over the top. They are not listening and they are out of control. Mr Stinky is being abusive to all of us around him and very aggressive.I have enjoyed our good times for the past several days, but apparently it is over. I'm sure it will come back in time so I will hold on to hope.

Our therapist says every regression forces kids to work through their feelings so they can progress. I will hang on to that hope too. I guess we are in a healing moment.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Recapping the Weekend

I thought I’d recap our weekend since it was a little RAD eventful, but overall good.

Before I do, I am singing and dancing because I am going to Corey's retreat in Orlando! A bloggy mommy friend could not go, so I get to take her place! This really is a blessing for me. I am so excited that I have not been able to sleep well since she contacted me. Come on Orlando!

The realist in me is nervous. Back in September, our life was blissful and full of "healing" and then I had the gall to go out of town for a weekend! My boys have been recovering ever since (really just Mr. Screech) and we are just getting back to that blissful place. 

I do have a short weekend trip coming up this weekend, so I guess that will give me an idea of what I will be dealing with in March for the retreat. Good RAD-tastic times!


It was Mr. Screech’s birthday and he woke up very happy and came and snuggled me in bed. I dreaded telling him it was his birthday, but The Mr. said, “It is his birthday and he should get the whole day to celebrate.” Ok so he had a point. If there was going to be trauma drama it needed to be addressed so Mr. Screech can heal.

Mid-morning his tone changed and he was having deep birthday feelings, so I addressed them for him. It helped and he was not snarky the rest of the day.

In the evening, we let the boys go play x-box for a bit. Mr. Screech decided to pee his pants. I told him, “If you are mad over your birthday you don’t have to pee your pants. You can just say you are mad.” Mr. Screech said, “Oh.”

We celebrated at the boy’s favorite restaurant Culver’s with not further drama.


I have had a heavy fog over me for weeks, maybe since Mr. Stinky started homeschooling after Thanksgiving, but it is real and heavy. I have enjoyed my workouts because they seem to lift the fog a little. However, as soon as I return home I go back into the overwhelming fog.

When all three boys were in school I had 21/2 hours to myself M/W/F to do whatever I needed to do without interruptions. That time is gone so I have been trying to re-figure my schedule. Even if I put them in front of a movie I can’t make phone calls or get anything done because they insist on fighting. It just isn’t working.

This morning, I woke up and started involving them in all the household chores. For some reason, I thought I had to do it all. Cook, clean, and spend time with them. It can’t be done! They pitched in and helped and we alternated between cleaning and doing things they wanted. Everyone cooperated, for the most part, and the house is spotless! The fog is gone and I got quality time with my boys.

I think their favorite cleaning time was helping scrub the shower. I had them take off everything but their underwear and scrub the walls. They started singing, “Happy dance. Happy dance. Happy dance.” while they cleaned. I guess it wasn’t too torturous.
(Before any of you get your panties in a wad, about them standing in cleaner, we use white vinegar and baking soda. Best cleaner on the planet and harmless.)

That evening, Mr. Stinky was sitting on my lap and said, “I miss time with you.” and I said, “Well, since everyone pitch in today, all the house chores are done and I can sit here and be with you.” He thought it was great.

At bath time, Mr. Screech decided to poop in the tub. Thank you RAD-o-licious!!! And let me tell you! It was on purpose! This child can hold it FOREVER and he is really good about telling us when he has to go. He has not had an “accident” like this, in the tub, for about 9 months, I think.

When The Mr. walked in, to get Mr. Screech out of the tub, Mr. Screech was trying to hand it to him. The Mr. about lost his dinner. He can deal with vomit any day, but not poop. LOL


We had a family birthday party for the boys and some of our extended family was over who don’t see the boys much.
They were commenting on how good the boys were and I had to bite my tongue. I wanted so bad to say, “Yeah, it is only because you are here.” BUT then I really thought about it. They were good before our guests arrived, and looking back now, there were no meltdowns when they left. Progress!!!!

Overall, this weekend was full of progress since there were no major meltdowns or tantrums. This whole month is progress since we have survived THREE birthdays and no major meltdowns. We still have one more birthday to go.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Dinner

This is what I served for dinner today and everyone scarfed it down. I love the cookbook Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur because we can have the restaurant goodness at a very low cost.

Cracker Barrel's Chicken and Dumplins
By Todd Wilbur

Chicken and Broth
3 qts water
1 3-4lb chicken, cut up
11/2 teaspoons salt
1 small onion, sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and quartered
1 bay leaf
4-6 whole parsley leaves
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
11/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk

1. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add the chicken, 1 teaspoon salt, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf and parsley to the pot. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook the chicken, uncovered, for 2 hours. The liquid will reduce by about one third.

2. When the chicken has cooked, remove it from the pot and set aside. Strain the stock to remove all the vegetables and floating scum. You only want the stock and the chicken, so toss everything else out.

3. Pour 11/2 quarts of the stock back into the pot (keep the leftover stock, if any, for another recipe-it can be frozen). You may also want to use a smaller pot or a large saucepan for this. Add coarsely ground pepper, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the lemon juice, then reheat the stock over medium heat while preparing the dumplins.

4. For dumplins, combine the flour, baking powder, 1/14 teaspoon salt, and milk in a medium bowl. Stir well until smooth, then let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface to about a 1/2-inch thickness.

5. Cut the dough into 1/2-inch squares and drop each square into the simmering stock. Use all of the dough. The dumplins will first swell and then slowly shrink as they partially dissolve to thicken the stock into a white gravy. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until thick. Stir often.

6. While the stock is thickening, the chicken will have become cool enough to handle. Tear all the meat from the bones and remove the skin. Cut the chicken meat into bite-size or a little bigger than bite-size pieces and drop them into the pot. Discard the skin and bones. Continue to simmer the chicken and dumplins for another 5-10 minutes, but don't stir too vigorously or the chicken will shred and fall apart. You want big chunks of chicken in the end.

7. When the gravy has reached the desired consistency, ladle four portions onto plates and serve hot. Serve with  your choice of steamed vegetables, if desired.

**Trauma Mama's Changes**
I simmer the veggies until tender after the chicken has cooked. I see no point in wasting perfectly good veggies and I add a few more.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Birthday Triggers

Mr. Happy had his birthday on the 15th and I'd say he really isn't doing too well. I thought he was very regressed before. Well, I hadn't seen anything yet! He's in a constant state of baby and when he responds to everyone it is very snarky. Snarky is very out of character for him.
He is also very mouthy to everyone. If anyone says something about anything he has to respond negative and nasty. Even when it is not his conversation. Ah, let the fun times roll.
I keep reminding myself to nurture the baby which is hard when I'm looking at a 4-year-old.

Mr. Stinky's birthday is today and I'd say he is handling it very well so far. He woke up happy it was his birthday, but then everything that came out of his mouth was in a mad tone, BUT no rages were happening. This is progress people!!!!

In one of his snarky moments, I finally said, "Wow, lets just talk nasty to everyone because you are thinking about "A" (birthmom) on your birthday. Let's just be nasty to our family because we are having a big fat feeling about A" He just looked at me with a half smile on his face. He has been better since I called him out on his feelings.

On another note, it snowed today and I threw sent the kids to play in the snow. Everything has been wet, soggy and too cold to play outside so we took advantage of the snow. I love it! If it is going to be cold and nasty then let it snow!

Surprisingly, the boys played outside by themselves, without fighting, and I was able to clean up the kitchen while keeping an eye on them. Dinner time was wonderful and full of NORMAL happy family talk.
This is the best part! Mr. Screech even did a joke! People this is HUGE!!!!!

The Mr. brought home Chick-Fil-A for the birthday dinner since we were "snowed in" and couldn't go. At one point, I was commenting, "It was nice for papa to bring Chick-Fil-A to us." and Mr. Stinky said laughing, "Yeah, like the whole place." My mouth was hanging open because this child does not know how to joke! Well, I guess he does now. Progress!!!

Tonight, I didn't care what time they went to bed. I took the time to read them stories and snuggle them while they rotated through their baths and it was great. Normally, I am chomping at the bit for them to be in bed at 7pm.

THIS is wonderful progress and today I am in a place where my heart is so full of love for my family. You know, the fall on your face in love that is not clouded by nasty behaviors. Ah, this is the life. I will soak in it even if it is just for today.

Monday, January 17, 2011


This quote inspires me today.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. "
Martin Luther King, Jr. 

I must keep spreading the love to my kids even when I don't want to, because we all know it is easier to scream and yell than staying calm. It is the only way to drive out their rage and anger and keep them healing...Along with talking about their feelings of course.

Tenth Avenue North - You Are More

Here is a great song to play around the house.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

FlyLady TV-Sidetracked

Check out this video from FlyLady TV about not getting sidetracked. This is a huge thing for me in trying to get organized because I am the queen of sidetrack.

Monday morning I am getting out the timer and staying focused. Maybe I'll get through a bunch of school stuff with my kids AND have a cleaner more organized house.

Sunday Dinner

Best Roast Ever
1 chuck roast
½ onion sliced
½ cup red wine
2 cups beef broth
1-2 tablespoons corn starch
garlic and pepper to taste

Combine beef broth and corn starch in a saucepan. Heat to a boil and stir constantly until thickened. Spray crock-pot with cooking spray. Put ½ the onions in and then the roast. Sprinkle with seasonings. Pour in wine and gravy.
Cook low for 8 hours or high 4 hours. When the meat is done it should fall apart. If it doesn't cook longer.
Serve with mashed potatoes and your favorite green veggie.
Leftovers ideas:
roast beef sandwich
pot pie. -Combine with a can of mixed veggies. Place in pie plate and top with pie shell. Flute edges and cut slits in top to vent. Bake on 400 until golden brown.

If you have a great recipe to share link up!

Friday, January 14, 2011

"You can't make me!"

When I asked Mr. Stinky to brush his teeth he said, "You can't make me!" and I said, "You are right." and continued with what I was doing.

We cannot physically force our kids to do anything, BUT we can implement logical consequences. The logical consequence in our home for not brushing your teeth is no sweets.

Mr. Stinky is learning that when I am so agreeable he is not going to like the consequence. He gave me a funny look and scurried into the bathroom to brush.

Have I mentioned that I LOVE Parenting with Love and Logic? It sure makes my life easier.

**Side Note:
When your kids ask for a treat put on your most empathetic/sad voice and say, "Oh, that's a bummer. (Put arm around them.) Boys/Girls who don't brush their teeth don't get anything sweet." and then walk away.

Whatever you do DO NOT threaten this consequence at the time of the brushing confrontation.

If you are looking for a therapist...

Here are some blog posts that might help you.

Differences Between An Adoption or Foster Therapist and A General Therapist

Selecting an Adoption Therapist for Your Foster or Adopted Child

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Drama of Handwriting

For our school curriculum, we have been using the school books, that were sent home with Mr. Stinky, since we already paid for them. We had a 1 week honeymoon period where he got his work done in about 2 hours and ever since he screams, cries and carries on about his language arts, writing and spelling. For the life of me, I could not figure out why copying some words were so difficult, but using his brain to do math was so easy for him. It was so bad we went on Christmas break early.

We were at a friend's house on Thursday, who homeschools too, and I was telling her my woes. Her youngest has the same issue when it comes to handwriting, so she spoke to a teacher of 30 years about it. The teacher explained that it takes 4 processing steps to write something compared to 2 processing steps to spell the word out loud. Who knew it was a processing thing all along?!!! The teacher's advice is to let it go until they are ready. Until then have them start on a typing program.

I am currently looking for a good typing program if anyone has advice. The only one I know of is Mavis Beacon. Any other suggestions out there?

We are now following the reading list on Sonlight for 1st grade and preschool and waiting on our Math U See to get here. I have put the public school curriculum away and the tears have subsided. Now, I snuggle on the couch reading  to my boys for school. They love it and we are bonding while learning.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Today, we woke up to a little snow. I looked outside and enjoyed a moment of peace all to myself...even though my wild men were carrying on in the background. Ah, the bliss of fresh snow.

Tantrums Q & A

Molly wrote: "So basically when the boys start to tantrum, you get excited about their fit and they stop? I must try this with 6 yr old. I am tired of the fits and tantrums."

Yes, we either invite the tantrum before it happens or we get excited when we see it starting. 

For example, when we see it start we say, "Oh goody!! A tantrum! I was hoping you would do one today!"  The tone of the voice is happy and joyful. It will not work if you are sarcastic, but be ready because sometimes they choose to throw a fit anyways. 

If we are running a few errands I will ask, "Do you want to throw your tantrum today at the library or Meijer?" Typically, we are tantrum free. 

When our children tantrum at home they make it a point to try and destroy things. If I yell at them to stop they see the "thing" as precious to me so they will continue to destroy it or next tantrum it is what they will go to. 

What stops my kids in their tracks is saying, "Well, if you really want to spend all your money on a new (couch, tv, etc) go ahead and break it. I bet you would have to do a lot of chores to pay for that."  The tone is empathic/sad. If you use a snarky tone they will not stop. Literally, think about how SAD it will be for your kids to have to do so many chores and miss out on playing. 

Here is a great post from our therapist that has more ideas for managing the meltdowns:
Managing Your Adoptee's Meltdowns in Public and at Home

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I found my 5K!

I have been looking for a 5k that runs around March the 6th and couldn't find anything online. Then someone posted their link on facebook. What better way to support Romanian Missions on March 5th?! I am super excited!

5K? Say what?!!!

I am not a runner! I like to do cardio exercise, but I am not a runner! However, I took Corey's challenge and now it is on.

I started Monday used the track at the YMCA. My lungs do not cooperate with running so I jogged until I couldn't breath right and then started walking. I have not smoked a day in my life so I don't know why they have to be so difficult. Sigh...

As I was starting my brisk walk, I was battling in my head about jogging in front the other people. I had thoughts of, "What if they make fun of my jiggles. Holy Moly I have big boobs! What if they are having thoughts of me getting black eyes!" I know those thoughts crossed my mind!"  A big step for me was to overcome those thoughts and jog anyways. My health is at stake here and it is important. I even took the time to stretch and I have NEVER done that in a gym before. I was always to embarrassed too. I guess therapy was good for me in a lot of ways.  

I am following the running plan from Couch to 5K and I am hoping to be at 5K level by March 6th. Now I wish I was going to Orlando with everyone else! Oh well, maybe Corey will plan another retreat. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Today, I painted our kitchen and it looks fabulous! It was a very bold red and now it is a pale olive-ish green. It is such a breath of fresh air and I am hoping it will help my kids stay calm...Or maybe just keep me calm.

My oh-so-fabulous husband took the boys to church, while I painted, and it was nice being in the quiet (as of in no little voices saying, 'mommy"), playing some soft music with my calm paint color. I did a lot of praying and thinking and it was just nice!

I reflected on this past year and it was a tough year, but I have to say I am thankful for every little situation because it caused me to do something to better myself.

January 2010
*My brother-in-law had a "chat" with my hubby that rocked our world. It started out that he was concerned because he knew I was a frustrated mom, but then it turned into a bunch of ugliness. He even went so far as to threaten CPS, said we don't love our son, and said I had Munchausen by proxy. Our families have been estranged ever since, but I hope to have another chat with he and his wife and resolve this in 2011

*We started therapy at The Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio with Arleta James. Yes, we travel 6 hours to see her and it is worth the drive. She has taught us how to parent our children correctly and help them with their grief. We have already made a lot of progress and I hope we make so much more in 2011.

May 2010
*My grandmother died
*My mother was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer. Since May, her health has gone down hill to the point I was preparing myself to lose her shortly after Thanksgiving. 2 weeks prior to Thanksgiving all she could keep down was rice milk. Not a whole lot of nutrients there. 
HOWEVER, on November 23rd she went to be prayed for at her church and  MIRACLE HAPPENED! The next day she could eat and she has been on the upswing ever since. I am so grateful for every moment I have left with my mom. This has caused me to rely on God even more and be more motivated to take care of my health. I do not want to follow in my mother's footsteps. 

August 2010
*I started seeing a therapist and after 4 sessions I got to the root of my biggest trigger that made me react to my kids behaviors. It is LIBERATING to be free of that.

So, in retrospect of 2010, I am thankful and so grateful for every "bad" moment because they have shaped me into who I am today.

P.S. I'll post my kitchen pics after I do a second coat of paint and get it put back together.