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


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


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!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Falling to Pieces

Yesterday is the day my kids picked to fall apart. The morning was spent rotating through all three boys sitting on my lap and talking about their big blazin feelings that were rearing their ugly head.

Mr. Stinky was hitting everyone around him so I gathered him up for some couch time. He tried to half-heartedly fight me and then we got down to business of talking the feelings through and some snuggling. When he got off my lap he did fine for a bit and then we had to have round two.

Mr. Screech was having dreadful behavior so couch time with mommy turned into a rage session I have not seen in him for a while. When he calmed, we were able to talk about his feelings of me leaving last weekend, his birth story, and his time spent in the orphanage. He did fine for a while, but had to have round two as well.

Mr. Happy decided since Mr. Stinky was hitting everyone he would walk up and whop Mr Screech out of the blue. This happened while Mr. Stinky was on my lap, so I had him sit at the end of the couch until I could get to him.

I did not get off the couch until 12pm and I was beginning to think our day was hopeless. The afternoon turned out great after all that couch time.

Looking back, and comparing this to when I was out of town in September, we are still making progress. The rage sessions are MUCH shorter and there is some happy behavior going on after we get the yucky feelings out of the way.
I am looking forward to Orlando, but I do wonder what behaviors will await me when I get back.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Vacation Raffle to Benefit Haiti and Congo

Check out my friend Megan's blog. She is raffling two awesome vacations to benefit Haiti and Congo. I know I could use a beach vacation right about now. Hurry! It only lasts until Feb. 16th!


My Weekend

I went on a retreat this weekend that was rockin good fun as well as getting a healthy dose of Christ.

I am involved with Scarlet Hope which is a ministry that takes the hope and love of Jesus Christ to the adult entertainment industry. The delivery team takes a hot meal into the strip clubs and serves the dancers.
When I heard about this ministry it grabbed my heart and has not let go. These women are so beaten down and abuse and my heart goes out to them. Check out their website. If you make a $20 donation you get a super cool t-shirt.

So, the reason for the retreat was to get the team together for some bonding time as well as a devotional time. During the video devotional I got a Holy Smack Down! Maria Shrirer was talking about being in the word daily and in my head I was saying, "I didn't have time." It was amazing because every excuse I had in my head Maria responded to ON THE VIDEO! My final thought to God was, "Well, you gave me these crazy kids! I really don't have time!" Then Maria said, "And just because you have kids is no excuse!" Yep, Holy Smack Down delivered and I am trying to be in His Word daily because I know it is my lifeline.

This retreat was also a test to see how my kids would do after I returned home. When I went on a weekend trip in September Mr. Screech lost his marbles and we went back to square one and have been recovering ever since.

So far, it is not too bad. He is quick to cry about a lot of things, but then he quickly recovered and starts using his words. There has not been any rejection towards me which is HUGE! If anything, he is reaching out to me more. Progress!!!  Now I am just trying to remember to NURTURE THE DAMN BABY!!!

Yesterday, Mr. Stinky went out of control and had to be lightly restrained. He quickly calmed and we talked about the weekend and if he had feelings about me leaving. He said he really didn't, but the weekend was so hard because his brothers fussed and made it not fun. We had a really good chat and snuggle time and then he said, "Mama, I'm sorry for the behavior I am having in this family." This child never apologizes, only blames others so this is HUGE!!! Progress!!!

Mr. Happy was not feeling well so he laid on the couch all day. I took advantage and snuggled him often. He has been very distant lately.