Friday, October 29, 2010

Josiah cracks me up!

He says to me today "Mommy, I wanna be a paleontologist when I get big and find dinosaurs. I can find bones and fossils." He listens to a little bit more of what fossils can be and he says "Melina makes fossils for you and Daddy when she makes her presents in her diaper." I couldn't help buy burst out laughing. He's too darned smart for his own good!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Adoption Stuff

I guess I never realized how hard some things were going to be with this adoption stuff. I don't regret adopting the kids for a minute, that's not what this is about. I just never thought that dealing with the birthfamilies would be so difficult. I always thought that Josiah's birthmother would be difficult and that the girls birthmom would be the easiest to deal with. However, it's turned out to be the opposite. Josiah's birthmom has never been anything but grateful. She says thank you all of the time through his blog for taking care of him and for providing her with pictures and updates and tells us all of the time how thankful she is that he is with our family. The girls birthmom and family started out being really nice and visits went pretty well. Then Christmas came last year and she started needing to reschedule the visits all of the time and she went against all the court paperwork. Since the adoption wasn't finalized yet, I went ahead and changed the visits for her, but after a couple of months doing that and catching her in some lies, I finally went to CPS and asked what I should do. The supervisor told me that if she wasn't following the court papers on what we set up for visitation on the weekends that the visits should be cancelled and not rescheduled. After that, I started sticking to if we didn't do them as scheduled, then we weren't doing them. That made her upset that I wouldnt' reschedule a visit for the week that we were going to be on vacation and I wouldn't let her see them when we got back. Well, it just so worked out that a couple weeks after we got back, their adoption happened anyway. We were supposed to have a visit the week that I got put into the hospital for Melina, so Andy explained to her what was going on. She was fine with it. I was going to give her a visit soon after we got home, but she asked to do it a couple months from then instead. Right before the scheduled visit, CPS called me and told me that some things had happened that she violated her contracts with them and their attorney said that was also grounds to end our visits as well according to our agreement. I didn't ask for a whole lot of details, although some were shared with me. I let the birthmother know that according to our agreement and what had just occurred that the visits would be ending and if she had any questions she could talk to CPS. She did that and tried to tell me that they were lying to me and a huge sob story and how it was up to me whether she saw the kids or not. I quit responding to her texts for a few weeks. Fast forward to about 6-8 weeks later she texted me wanting to know how the girls were, I thought maybe enough time had passed that she had accepted the terms. I started talking to her again, she asked about visits and I stuck to our decision. Then, I became a thief and a liar. I stole her children. Nevermind, the fact that she voluntarily gave them up and that I never lied to was our contract agreement that she openly agreed to and signed. Yet, because I was holding her accountable, she had a fit. Some things had started happening with the girls making themselves sick over visits and whatnot anyway, towards the end of our visitation and this is what is about the best interest of the girls anyway, so she's not going to make me feel guilty. I've continued to send her pictures and updates and we told them that they were still welcome to send the girls letters, cards, or gifts as well and how to go about doing that. That's another argument in of itself...anything to try and make me feel guilty and manipulate me into doing what they want. Not going to happen. Anyway, I don't have to even send pics or updates anymore due to the fact that she violated her agreement, but I was trying to ease her mind and let her see them grow up. Yet, she's still pushing for visits everytime I send pics now. I never expected all of this...I'm a compassionate person, but when all of this starts effecting my family...I have to put my foot down. Abba, just please help me know what to do in this situation and guide us along the way. The girls best interest is what I want to keep in mind and that is what I agreed to do by adopting them in my opinion. I did tell her that when the girls got old enough and if they wanted to see her that I would come to her then. She just can't seem to understand that these visits are NOT going to happen right now.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tracie and Speech

Lord, please help me with Tracie and her stubbornness. She doesn't want to do things and she either plays cute and smiles and laughs at everyone when she either doesn't know something or doesn't want to do something or she starts to cry or whine her way out of it. Neither one works to get her out of doing it, but it doesn't stop her from trying. She's throwing fits at the therapists and trying to get out of doing her speech and when we try to practice her sounds she's flat out refusing to do it or she's throwing a fit. I turned on a show called "Brainy Baby" today. Josiah was saying all the vocab words outloud and I wanted Tracie to do the same. She struggles with knowing the words for things all of the time even though it's in her brain and something she's known before, she struggles with knowing the word at times. It's one of her little quirks that we're still trying to figure out. She needs a lot of repetition to learn things. Anyway, I wanted her to say the vocab words with Josiah, she looked at me and gave me that "nope, I'm not going to." look and I told her that it was just was fun. She refused to do it. I don't know how to get her to learn her sounds and her words and I wish she'd let go of this stubborn attitude. Please help her to realize that we're all just trying to help her so that she can be better understood.

Labels: ,

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Conferences with Deidra and Emma's Teachers

I had a conference with Deidra's teacher and she's doing well. Discussed some concerns about her reading grade and how to get her grades up (she's always been an A and B student in all of her classes, except for last year she did make one C in the middle of the year) and the very first marking period this year, she made a C in reading. Everything else was As and Bs. She absolutely hates to's a struggle to get her to do her 20 minutes of reading a night. And this year, she has to write a summary about the book and what she read that night. The school pushes reading so much for them to pass their TAKS test, that the teacher said a lot of students get that way...add in the fact that she struggles in it and it makes it worse. Other than that, the teacher said that she's doing very well, she's a sweet girl and is very helpful and she's a people pleaser. She's already gotten 5 golden tickets for teachers noticing her good behavior this year. I'm proud of her!

Met with Emma's teacher yesterday. She accomplished everything that she was supposed to know for the first 6 weeks except for M, H, and V (I don't understand that one since she has a M in her name and she knows that) and she couldnt' distinguish between the US flag and the Texas state flag. Anyway, I had been trying to get her some occupational therapy in school since the first of the year and was told first that she could by the teacher, then the principal had called and said that they couldn't allow outside therapists into the school, and when I inquired as to getting her help in school I was told that was a Special Ed issue and so when I called them, they said they weren't willing to do anything unless she started showing difficulty. I explained that she's been in OT for 2 years if not longer and she's currently 18 months behind where she should be and I really do think that OT is part of what helped her get to where she needed to be to complete Pre-K. Still was told that they couldn't do anything unless she started showing difficulty. I had mentioned that to the place where we go to behavior therapy as they also have a person that works with the school on certain issues and I was told that the school has to provide services if there is a need and she gave me a form letter to send to the school. That very same day, the principal said that she'd meet with me to discuss Emma's needs. So, we all met at the conference yesterday..the teacher, the counselor, the principal, and myself. The teacher feels that she's keeping up with her peers and that the medicine change has made a difference between night and day and that Emma's right where she should be. I really don't agree, but any of the examples I tried to give, they shot me right down. I guess from now on, instead of just working with her on a homework assignment and having us check it off that we did the activity with her, I'm going to start sending them back to school with a note attached of my observations or what it took to get that homework out of her. I also gave them a copy of our OT's last evaluation that she did a couple of months ago with all the areas that Emma had difficulty in and showing how far behind she is. I also had brought something that showed Emma's diagnosis of ADHD on it and that is finally what got them to put her on monitored 504 status. I told the principal that I'm not trying to be pushy, but I know how she learns and how long it takes her to learn some things, she needs a LOT of repetition for long periods of time to learn things. Part of the reason Josiah knows all that he knows is from listening to me quiz Emma on things and after hearing it a couple of times, he just picked it up. Anyway, they agreed to monitor her and they said if she starts showing any signs of difficulty then they would see about getting her tested and get her some services or make some accomodations. I told the teacher that with all the sight words that they were expected to know by the end of this 6 weeks, I know that's going to be hard for her, but I told her that we would work on it with her everyday and try to get her there.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lord, I'm not too sure of what to do...

I've been paying Dad's bills for a couple of years now and while I don't mind doing it, other things are making me stress out and while I know it's really not my stresses me out because I'm the one having to write out the checks to give to the people. A couple months ago, I know bitterness got in the way of having to write my Mom child support checks as my parents agreed to pool their money together to send my brother to college. I was upset that he was given that opportunity when he blew away his football college scholarship last year and was skipping classes. It's funny that my parents told me when I went that if I wanted to go to college, I was going to have to go to the local college and stay at home and work my way through. They gave me a couple hundred dollars to help with my first semester of tuition and then I was on my own. I worked full time and I went to school full time. Sure my brother worked this summer, but he blew all the money and so that made me bitter that they were willing to do this for him and that I was never able to finish school as I couldn't do my nursing clinicals and work to pay for school. Finally, I was able to realize that I just needed to let it go and realize that that business was between him and my parents and for the most part, I've been able to let it go.

Now, I find myself getting upset that my Dad has needed new dentures, isn't able to get a place of his own or a car, and other things that he really needs to be able to do for himself because Mom has him talked into still providing child support on my youngest brother so that he can continue going to school. I see it draining whatever he manages to save up each month. My youngest brother is 20 and I feel that he should be able to accept some responsibility to help with his own schooling so that my Dad can start doing some of this stuff for himself. And if it's not one brother it's the other. I just had to wire some money for my other brother last night and I was upset about that. He had taken a temp job in CO at one of the state parks that he new was going to end in so many weeks. However, they had told him that if he did a good job, they'd send him to other state parks. He never told anybody in the family that his job had ended, although my parents had texted him asking how he was doing and all that. All of a sudden last night, he texts my Dad saying "the job ended, I went to MT with a friend to check out a state park job here, if I don't get this one, I'm going back to CO to see about working in one of the ski resorts and if I don't get that one, I'm buying a bus ticket home....oh by the way, I'm broke can you wire me some money." To me, that's just a lack of responsibility...he knew the job was temporary, why wasn't he trying to save his money...he's 22 years old. So, I asked Dad what was going to happen when he blew through this brothers are draining whatever finances both of my parents have...I hear them both talking about it. Yet, it just boggles my mind on how they keep just giving them everything that they want/need without my brothers having to accept any responsibility. It really shouldn't be any of my business, but yet it turns into my business when my Dad calls saying "oh such and such needs some money, can you wire/go to the bank and do this and that." I tried calling my Mom to talk to her about it and she said that Dad had been trying to get ahold of her all day about it, but she just didn't want to deal with it. Well, gee thanks for making me deal with it. He's my brother, I'm not his parent. His parents should be doing this stuff and if one isn't able, they need to teach them the responsibility to take care of themselves. I just get upset with the attitude "drop everything that you're doing and go do this because your brother needs it done right away." Mom wants to point the finger at Dad..."I dealt with that all those years, I'm not doing it anymore." Well, what about when it concerns your son? Isn't that something a parent should be taking care of rather than dumping it on the daughter to go take care of (again, I understand I'm using my father's money to do it, I just think that he needs to try to take care of it himself and if he can't, then my Mom needs to take care of it). Maybe I have the wrong attitude, I don't know. I'm just tired of seeming like I'm in the middle with the child support and now with the payments to my brothers on top of it all. To me, that's what part of her child support payments should be going for.

Andy got kind of upset last night seeing how much it stressed me out and told me that I need to talk to them and tell them that I don't have a problem doing Dad's banking each month as I know that's hard for him to do while he's on the road, but that he's going to start writing out the child support checks and taking care of what my brother's need on his end and if he's not able to do it, my Mom needs to step up. It's putting me in the middle and in a position I don't like to be in. Just guide me, Lord, in my attitude about it all and how to deal with drawing boundaries. Give me your guidance.


Saturday, October 09, 2010

Melina's new thing as of today..

Melina's new thing as of today is to flip over onto her tummy, draws her knees up and scoots herself forward by pushing off her knees. She is 5 months old! Will someone please tell her that she has to stay my little baby for awhile longer yet? She wants to keep up with those sisters and brother of hers!


Emily went on her first playdate!

Deidra has a friend that lives in our neighborhood a couple streets up from us. Her little sister, Hope, is now in kindergarten with Emmy. Hope asked Deidra last time she went to their house if she'd bring Emmy with her next time. Deidra asked me if that would be ok if they went over there together for a little bit today. I told her they could walk up there and see if they could play. Emmy was excited to go and she had fun with little Hope today. I really do love our neighborhood and I'm glad that Emmy has some friends here now too. :-) Next on the agenda is to have Clara over for Emily for a playdate as it never happened this past week.


Melina and kisses

We are so blessed with Melina. I know I've said it a zillion times, but I'm going to say it yet again...she is truly a joy. She is so happy and content and just makes us smile. Sure she fusses when she's hurting or she's hungry, but she is truly content most of the time. I love to hear her giggles and see what makes her laugh. She lets us know when she's tired and we make sure she's fed, give her a pacifier and her little blanket and she puts herself to sleep. She kind of just put herself on her own schedule...I really didn't have to help her along or anything. We are so blessed with her. I love her so much!

She's so funny now too. She loves to stand up and I am constantly giving her kisses and she'll stand up in my lap and face me and I'll make kissy faces at her and she leans into me and will open her mouth. Andy goes up to her and asks her for kisses and she will open her mouth and put her lips on his cheek. So precious!


Thinking about writing a book...

I've really been pondering some things lately...I thought about writing it all out and submitting it for publication. Not sure if anyone would be interested in reading it, but what do I have to lose...the worse anybody can say is "no." What's the subject? I guess you'll have to wait and see. ;-)


Thursday, October 07, 2010

Conference with the Behavioral Therapists for Josiah and Emma

We met and talked about our goals and the progress the kids have been making in therapy over the past 3 months. Emma has come a really long way. Whereas we rated her in 2s and 3s in some things in the beginning, she is now at a 7 (10 is the best). Sure, she still has her moments where she's quick to tantrum and not want to use her words and she has a hard time sharing and playing with others if they're not doing what she wants them to do, but she's come along way. She's a lot more compliant when asked to do something and most of the time will follow through now, whereas before she was very oppositional when we asked her to do anything. I still feel that she acts a lot younger than she is, but that's to be expected with her history and again she's come a LONG way and I know that it's just going to take some more time.

Josiah we gave an overall rating of 4/5 this time. We both agreed that he cooperates with what he is asked to do about 40-50% of the time. We didn't really have an initial rating to compare how far he's come as he came right out of family therapy into this progrma whereas Emma had been doing this before about 6 months ago and Josiah just started doing PEP 3 months ago. Anyway, I voiced some concerns that I had about diagnoses stuff that I still had fears about (RAD, bi-polar, is this really ADHD?) and they said that time will tell as he's still a bit too young for us to get an accurate diagnosis right now. She said that she wouldn't want a psychiatrist to come out and diagnosis a 4 year old with bi-polar and that I just needed to keep collecting data. I told her that the psychologist had told me to chart his behavior and I was starting to see some patterns and that is what is making me wonder about bi-polar and it has the psychologist wondering too, but she just gave him an umbrella diagnosis of mood disorder as bi-polar does fall under that. I understand being hesitant to diagnose him this early, but I just have a lot of fears and just want to get him the best help that I can. I need to just keep going in the direction that we're going though and quit worrying so much. They feel that he is making some progress, we feel that he is making some progress too and we both feel that while it's slow, it is something and for that I am thankful. We will keep working on our relationship, keep doing the behavior stuff, and collecting the data to take to the doctors. They told us that we're on the right track and so we'll continue on for another 3 months until our next conference and then decide where we need to go from there. The behavior therapist that primarily works with him said that she's noticed that he has a LOT of energy and that he does require a lot of one-on-one and close supervision. I just laughed and nodded. I told her that he's the one that makes me doubt myself sometimes as I don't understand why we have some of the same battles everyday, he gets the same consequences, and yet he will still do it over and over again. She told me that I'm not a failure and that some kids just are like that and that it will eventually click at some point. So, we'll continue with behavior therapy and hopefully at the end of the 3 months we'll see some more progress being made in the 3 core areas that we are working on...compliance, regulation, and my mind just went blank on what the other one is. lol

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Conference with Josiah's teacher

I met with Josiah's teacher after school yesterday to discuss his progress in school. She said she could tell that he has really been worked with as she quizes the kids at the start of the year to see what all they can do and she was impressed that he's already writing his name, knows his shapes and colors, and knows a lot of his letters already. We discussed his behavior and consequences and some things that he was doing and what works. She asked me what really seems to be his form of motivation. I sort of laughed as there's not really any one thing that I can say. I told her that he does like to be praised, but that he's a kid that you have to constantly change up what you do. If you do one thing for too long, it gets old for him and he just doesn't care anymore. But overall, he's doing well. Just gotta get those behaviors under control. It's just like our OT said "he's very smart and could go alot further than what he chooses to, as his behaviors get in the way and it's all due to his choices."

Labels: ,

Monday, October 04, 2010

The honeymoon at school for Josiah is officially over...

on one hand it makes me understand that he's not just behaving this way for me, on the other hand it makes me really wonder why I can't seem to get through to him that agression is not ok. His teacher met me at the car on Tuesday and told me what was going on and that he's been in school long enough to understand the rules and what is and isn't ok to do, but he's choosing to make the wrong choices. We talked about how he's the same way at home and that we were having some of the same issues, she said that he even went so far to pull another child's pants down. He gets angry, he's scratching their faces, kicking them in the face and head, pushing them down because they won't move, hitting them because they won't talk to him, not respecting others when they tell him to "stop." He's chasing them to try and make them do certain things that he wants them to do. Every day last week he came home with a bad behavior mark for some agressive behavior. And now, he's trying to see what he can get away with with hurting the baby. He got mad at Tracie one day because I told him to give something back to her and he happened to be standing near the baby and the next thing I knew he kicked the baby in the head. He's also trying to pinch her. He was not this agressive until he started Pre-k. And he got mad at Tracie the other day because she wanted a turn with a toy and just because she asked him for it, he decided to totally sock her in the head with it. He pushed a little girl into a pole at school and gave her a huge knot on her head.

I let the first behavior mark for the week off the hook, because I understand that everybody has a bad day. When it happened again on Tuesday and the teacher talked to me about it, he came home and got a time out. When it happened again on Wednesday, he got a time out and he got sent to bed early. When it happened on Thursday, he got a time out, missed dessert at dinner, and got sent to bed early. They didn't have school on Friday, but his teacher told me that he'd be missing ALL of his recess time on Monday (today). I just don't know why he's acting like this.

Labels: ,

I think we may have a monkey on our hands!

Melina LOVES her bananas. I mashed a nana up for her this morning and gave it to her for the first time and she ate it right up. No sooner would I give her some then she'd have her mouth right back open for more. So cute!