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.

Sun dried tomatoes
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


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.

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.