Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tracie and ADHD

I took Tracie into the doctor today to find out the results of her ADHD testing. She does have ADHD. He asked me if I wanted to start her on meds or what I wanted to do. I told him that our OT was the one that suggested we get her tested so that she was more successful in school when she starts in the fall. Right now, she's just going to take meds on the days that she has therapy and then when she doesn't have it, she'll just go without. In the fall, when she starts school, we'll determine if she needs to take them daily or not.

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Memorial Day

We had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. I was so glad to have 3 days with Andy. We spent a quiet Friday night at home, Deidra spent the night with a friend, we tucked the littles into bed early, and curled up on the couch together and talked and watched a little tv. Saturday, we went to the Y first thing in the morning and then went to some thrift stores and then came home to rest for a bit before Deidra's volleyball game, Tracie had a little incident that I had to run her up to the ER for, but that's a whole other post by itself. We were still able to go to Deidra's volleygame as a family and that made me happy. They lost, but she did great...she got some great saves in and some great serves too. The littles were less than cooperative and so we couldn't watch as best as we wanted to with having to take them out and Melina was fussy with teething and just wanted down to walk and so Andy was out watching from the hallway walking her up and down the hall. Sunday, we weren't able to go to Church as I needed to monitor Tracie, Melina was still on the fussy side too. So, we stayed home and watched Mass on EWTN. Mom called to find out what we were doing and I was battling with Josiah. She came over and helped me with the kids while Andy was at the store and invited us over for hot dogs on the grill and to spend the day at her house as she was going to paint her doors. Well, her doors never got painted with all my kids around, but we had a good time eating hot dogs, potato salad and chips and just being together. Andy napped while Mom and I took the kids outside and let them run through the hose water to cool off. It was fun, but we wore her out. Monday, I got up and made Old Glory trifle to bring to Beth's house for a family picnic at her house. We went over there and it was a full house with 5 adults and 10 children, but it was a good time. Andy's nose had been bugging him all morning, so he wasn't feeling the greatest. I felt bad. :-( He can't take allergy medicine or it just knocks him out (whether's it's non-drowsy or not). But, the food was great and it was fun. The kids had fun splashing in the pool too. They were sad that it was time to come home. We came home and got a few things done, but mostly just rested. I thought a lot about my Grandma and my Mom and wished I could ahve gone to put flowers on their grave, but my Uncle wound up letting me know later that night that he had gone and visited her and put some silk flowers down for her. He told me that graves were really for loved ones left behind, but I guess I'm just sentimental about it. I went and visited their graves when we were back in MI last and put flowers on their graves and I wish I could do that more often. Next time we go back home to visit... Mom called me from work and asked if she could bring some old pictures that she found by to go through with me. They were of me on my first date...the rules in my house was that I couldn't date until I was 16 and only after I went out with my Dad first so that he could show me how boys were to treat girls properly. He took me out to eat (for the life of me I can't remember where we went), but then we went to the Grand Rapids Symphony. Some sweet memories in the photos...there were others too, but it was sweet. It was a great weekend!

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tracie and the lego incident

We sent the kids up to take naps or have quiet time in their rooms for a bit before Deidra's volleyball game. Tracie was up in her room for a few minutes and she was playing with her blocks. She started to cry and came out saying that she was choking. She was crying and still making noise, but she was gagging on something and so I ran her into the bathroom. Nothing came up and she started yelling "I swallowed my lego." I brought her upstairs to ask her which size it was and she told me. Called the ped office to see whether it would pass on it's own or if it was something I should worry about as Andy and I had differing opinions. He kept saying that it would pass on it's own, I was just worried that it oculd do some damage as it has sharp corners. The ped office told me to bring her into the ER. So, I did. The triage person was really nice and told me that they'd get an x-ray and see if it could pass on it's own or if they needed to refer us to a surgeon. He played with Tracie while he took her vitals and she kept laughing at him. He sent us to the ER clinic and I was almost finished with texting Andy to let us know that we were just put in a room when the nurse walked in. I finished texting the last word that I had been typing when she walked in and went to send it and she was just looking at me. She says "I'm just waiting for you to put your cell phone up" in a rather snotty tone. I never use that thing and the one time I do, I get chewed out. I was just trying to let Andy know what was going on. it's not like she had been standing there for 5 minutes trying to talk to me and I was ignoring her. She didn't even greet us or anything. Anyway, I felt like saying that she could have asked nicely but chose to keep my mouth shut. THey got her an x-ray right htere in her bed and told us it would be about 5-10 minutes and the nurse practitioner would have it. She wound up having to go potty and so I took her out of the room to go to the bathroom and the NP saw me and told me to come here and take a look at the x-ray. She didn't see the lego and said that it would ahve shown up. I told her that I was fairly certain that she had swallowed it as I knew that she had been gagging on something and it didn't come out in the toilet. They told me that if radiology saw anything they'd give me a call. In the meantime, they wanted me to monitor her poop for 3 days and put her on a liquid diet. That didn't make sense to me if they kept telling me that she didn't swallow anything. Anyway, we left and right before we were getting ready to go to the volleyball game, the ER called. The NP told me that radiology saw 2 pieces of chewed up legos in her tummy and that I'd need to keep her on liquids and monitor her poop for 3 days and if it didn't come out by then, I'd have to follow up with her pediatrician to see where it was at and the next course of action.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Found an attachment therapist

I had been reading all I can on attachment stuff and the more problems that we've had with Josiah, the more convinced I am that I really need the help of a professional. I had been trying to find an attachment therapist, but the closest one that I could find that took insurance was in Austin. That's a good 3 hours away from us. Anyway, someone had told me about some therapeutic parenting videos on youtube that helped their family and I had watched those about a month ago. I went back to email her and found that she too lives in TX. Anyway, she helped me find a local therapist and I called and set up an appt for July 5. We will go in for an hour interview and then they will set up 4 hours of testing (broken down into two 2 hour segments). The therapist works out of the Dallas office for one week out of every month. I'm just hoping that we can finally get some answers. I strongly believe in my heart that this is what we're dealing with and I am getting really tired of others thinking that they can just fix him. Andy's Mom says "he just needs a grandma." People say "oh, well, he's acting fine here." Yup, because he's not at home. Home is his safe place where he feels safe being himself. Let alone, he has learned to charm others to get what he wants in other places. Yes, he acts up while we're out...he's not perfect...so people see "glimpses" of what we see here at home. Spend a few days with me here at the house and you can see his behaviors in true form. When Andy is home, he controls it more. When that car pulls out of the driveway, he turns the behaviors up. Why? Because these kids take out the brunt of the behavior on the primary caregiver as when they've been neglected in their first years of life or gone from caregiver to caregiver they have learned not to trust and it becomes a battle of control. These kids are master manipulators and are constantly fighting for control. I was told when fostering that every behavior meets a need and that every foster child had attachment problems to some degree and I see signs in all 3 of our littles, but the girls aren't nearly to the extent that Josiah is. When we get Josiah's testing going, I'm going to ask about getting it done on the girls too. I want healing for all of them. We'll see what the testing says, but in my heart, I strongly believe that this is what we're dealing with. I am just glad that we finally found someone to work with.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Struggling today...

Am struggling today. My 5-year-old is out of control this morning...spitting, kicking, pinching, headbutting, hurting his sisters left and right, whatever he can do to push their buttons, when I would send him to time out he would refuse to go and so I'd sit with him on my lap and he'd headbutt me, twist around and spit in my face, squeeze his eyes shut so he wouldn't look at me and laugh hysterically. Took my older daughters wrist that was already sprained and grabbed it and bent it backwards and she's been crying that it hurts even more. I called the psychiatrist's office and told them that his appt isn't until Wedensday and I don't know what to do with him. The receptionist wanted me to bring him in to the children's hospital (45 min away) ER and have him seen by the psych on call. Got all the way down there and a huge storm hit with hail and rain, the baby was super fussy as she's just getting over a double ear infection, and I wasn't getting out and getting everyone sopping wet. And my 5-year old had been calm the whole way there and I didn't know what they'd say if I said he'd been out of control. I feel paralized with not knowing what to do. Now we're home and I sent him to his room, he won't stay in there and when I direct him back there he just laughs and comes out again.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Volleyball and T-Ball

I went to see when the summer sign-ups started for volleyball and t-ball at the YMCA today. The kids have all played for the last 2 summers. Sign-ups were closed and I was devastated that I missed them and said a silent prayer to God...asked what other sign ups for other sports were open so I could see if anything was appealing to have them try that they would like. The sports director happened to hear me and asked me what ages the kids were...she was able to sign up Deidra on a volleyball team for the summer and their first game is tonight. And she had a team that I was able to get all 3 littles on for t-ball. God is awesome...what a blessing!

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We had a Momma Mockingbird build her nest in our front yard tree, she laid 3 eggs and we got to see them grow up. It was neat to go out and peek into the nest each day and see how much they had grown. The kids loved going out to see them too. This week we've gone to having 3 birdies in the tree, down to 2, and then yesterday down to 1. This morning, we went to see them and discovered that they have all left. :-( Bittersweet. I'll miss seeing them everyday in our tree and seeing them grow. But, it was fun for the time that we had them here to see them and get to share little peeks at them.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Attachment Therapy

This week, I started setting aside 30-45 minutes to work with the littles on attachment. I've only done Tracie and Emily so far. I'm planning on working with Josiah either tonight or tomorrow. I got the activities off of an attachment chanel on youtube that told us what they did with their foster children through theraplay with their therapist. The hardest part was finding the one-on-one time that the other children weren't interrupting us, but both girls responded very well. It was fun too. :-)

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Emily graduates from kindergarten

We went to Emily's kindergarten graduation ceremony tonight. I had gotten her a dress to wear and she was so excited. The ceremony went well, although I thought they were going to be in their cap and gowns like my oldest daughter was, and they didn't do that this year. But, that's ok. They sang some songs and walked across the stage to the microphone and said their names and what they wanted to be when they grow up. Emily said she wants to be a doctor when she grows up. They sang a couple more songs and then they dismissed the kids to their parents. I fight tears when my children have any type of program that they're in anyway, but what finally brought the tears was when I went up to get her, she jumped off the stage into my arms, wrapped her arms around my neck, and said "I love you, Mommy!" Oh how proud I am of how much she has blossomed this year. She is turning into quite a little sweetheart!


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Just an update on the kids....

Deidra is still struggling with math and reading at school. Going to email her teacher and see if they want her to attend flex days to see if that would help her with some more one-on-one. I know she's getting bored with school, but I just want her to work on things and we'll work on stuff over the summer too. A troubled girl pushed her into a wall last week at school and left a goose egg on her head. The girl hasn't been back at school and now Deidra is worried about her. Deidra is a lot like me with her empathy, but I told her that she needs to be careful with it too as people take advantage of that and hurt you over and over again when you care more about other people than you worry about yourself. It does make me proud of her though to see her have that trait.

Emily is still developing her reading and writing skills so she is going to attend flex days. I'm curious to see how she did on her testing. The teacher said she had her reading up to par to pass kindergarten. I know that she's doing better, but I still have my doubts as when we go over her sight words, sometimes she just has the words memorized and she'll look at the beginning sound and she guesses and it's wrong. It's one of her words, but not that specific word that she is looking at. We have a lot of work to do over the summer. I still am quandering about whether it would be better to homeschool her, but Andy has his doubts and so I am praying about it. Otherwise, she is doing really well. She helped me make dinner last night and she really enjoyed being able to help. She likes being a big helper. She's turning into quite the little sweatheart. :-)

Josiah has been having a hard time. He does not like being told what to do or that he can't do something or being redirected. Time ins with him are difficult as he fights me a lot, yesterday he kicked me in the stomach when I tried to sit him back down on his bed. He spent 2 hours in his room yesterday morning, because he wouldn't quit acting ugly, screaming at me, kicking the walls, throwing things, coming out of his room and trying to come downstairs...every time he acted up, he got 5 minutes added. Finally after 2 hours, he was able to come down and eat his breakfast and then I put him to work cleaning. He got out of school and acted up majorly at the eye doctor and threw a huge fit in the car over not being able to go to a restaurant to eat and so I came home and put him back in his room. He came down to eat his dinner and then we put him to bed. His favorite words lately are "NO!" "I'm not very happy." "I'm mad at you!" "I hate being in time out!" He still struggles with the concept that it's his actions that are getting him in trouble. He wants to point the finger at me and blame me. He wants what he wants and he wants it now. Lots of power struggles going on with him. He is very smart and is learning well at school. He is spelling words, trying to sound words out, and writing his letters and numbers.

Tracie is still whining a lot. She'd rather cry when she asks for things, than use her big girl words. And she's trying to pull some of the things that Josiah does when she doesn't get her way. She throws herself on the floor when she doesn't get what she wants or when she is told to go to time out. And she'll say "I forgot how to get up or where the time out corner is." So, then I'll go take her by the hand and make her get up and redirect her to where she needs to go and she throws an utter screaming fit the whole time. I need to make her an appt with the pediatrician. I was talking with her occupational therapist to ask their opinion if she has a learning disorder. She is still having trouble remembering things she's been taught, shapes and colors are there some days and others she gets them mixed up. You give her dinner and she says she wants more and you ask her what she wants more of and she says "I don't know" and will start crying because she doesn't know what it is. She has a very quirky memory and I worry now that she's going to start school and I want what's best for her. She shuts down when things get hard for her and I just don't want her to run into troubles with school. She's a litlte sweetheart and likes to nurture.

Melina is learning so much. She cruises along the furniture and stand on her own. She just got her 5th tooth. She loves to talk on her little phone and she'll put it over her shoulder and say "hi." She's learning how to open cabinets and she's been getting into the books and Daddy's computer. It amazes me to watch her play and how busy she stays just learning how everything works. She is such a joy. We all just love her to pieces. She is getting a little temper since Tracie spends the day taking toys from her and she screams to let her know she is mad and wants it back. Or Tracie will walk behind her and pick her up and that will make her mad too. I keep trying to tell her that Melina isn't a doll and that she can do things for herself. Melina is a little sweetheart and boy does she love her sisters and her brother. She hugs them and follows them all over and giggles and giggles at the things that they do. She's so funny. She brings a lot of joy to this house...even our OT said "I think the baby did a lot of good...the kids are behaving better with her here too..." I told her that we still have a ways to go, but the baby has been a huge blessing and I'm glad that the kids love her so much too and she certainly loves all of them.

We've been doing a lot of holding time for a little over a month now. The girls do ok with it...Emma's had a couple of times where she's hated it. But, she also had a huge breakthrough with it one night. She refused to drink her milk one day when she needed to take her pill. Taking her pill isn't an option as she gets in a lot of trouble without it in school and at home. She finally wound up telling me that she wanted it in a bottle. I wasn't going to fight her on it...a lot of attachment therapy is taking them back to their babyhood and letting them experience things that they missed out on. I put what was in her cup in a baby bottle, sat on the couch with her and fed her. She sat for 30-40 minutes in my lap with me just cradling her and she drank the milk out of the bottle. She loved that she got to be a baby for a little while and she told my Mom about it the next day. My Mom asked her if she liked that and she said yes. MOm didn't know what was going on and I had a conversation with her about it a little later and Mom thought that was awesome and it was so good for Emmy. She told me that we are so good at this stuff and I told her a lot of prayer has gone into all of this. It's all with God's graces. Josiah still is fighting me a lot when it's time for his holding time. He hates it when he's in trouble and will pinch me, pull my hair, hit me, try to bump me in the head with his head, kicks at me, whatever he can think of. He doesn't have a problem to come sit on my lap when it's all good, but when he's being made to do it because of bad behavior he majorly fights me. Tracie does ok with it, but she likes to scream and cry and fidget and she hears Josiah say that I'm hurting him while he does his, so she's been trying to pull that route lately to see if it gets her out of it. I don't let them out until they've calmed down so we just sit as long as they need me to sit there. Sometimes things that I need to get done get put on the backburner, but the kids are more worth it than anything else so it's all good.

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