Friday, January 30, 2009

who thought this was a good idea?

So, DH has to do his job. This, I understand. His job does not usually require much travel. I've always followed with rapt attention those of you who survive often without spouses at home. I know I couldn't do it...however lots of travel is hitting all at once. I was worried about being the only caretaker for all these days (read the crazy lady with a bat - HA, HA...I don't have a bat...well, not one that I use on the children). Here is what has actually happened in the last few days:
*Yes, I went crazy a time or two...might have said some crazy things...probably muttered under my breath.
*Attended parent teacher conferences and found out that overall things at school are good. DD has a new friend who is apparently a bit bossy (and I already thought she might be stalkerish) and behavior from DD with said friend is not poster worthy...crud!
*broke a sink...the plug went down but won't come up - it's one of those poppy kinds (how about that technical knowledge people?) and I continue to forget three days later and use it...thankfully it drains very slowly so no overflow yet! I'm shocked at how much water I use to wash my's like a sink full...I need to go on some kind of water diet - but I really detest not perfectly clean hands. Not like I'm Howie Mandell or anything...but you know...just like a little clean when I leave the potty.
*The heater went down. It's now 52 degrees inside my house and about 30 degrees outside. I'm covered up like a woman climbing Everest. It's REALLY COLD. It took me two days to finally investigate - yes, 2 days ago I remember thinking:'s feeling a bit chilly and I haven't heard the heater come on. I walked by the thermostat thing probably 1000 times, but if I don't have it on a to-do ain't gettin done! Be A U tiful...I'm going to be a popsicle by the time DH gets home tonight.
*The dogs have literally run a ring around the trampoline and therefore it's like a moat. Pure ankle deep mud. Of course, they want to go out 100 times a day and the clean up is impossible - I can't catch them both to clean them. Therefore I decided it was easier to deal with accidents than mud. Yes, that is both a lazy and self-preserving choice right now! I want that trampoline gone I tell you!!!

Don't leave me alone again - there is only so much more I can break!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

blame it on the bossanova...

Not the darn adoption, please! This is going to come out clear as mud, but I really want to try to trudge my way through.

I do not have trouble parenting DS2 and DD because they are adopted. Granted, the issues that are a part of our lives each day stem from the facts of their early lives...but I don't awake each morning and think "I'm going to struggle loving them today because they didn't come out of me". I guess that seems important right now. I had an adoptee tell me that sometimes reading what I've said could feel a bit hurtful and it made me mad at myself. I don't think I've ever stopped to think about what I might be making others feel. When I'm 'talking' on this blog or online or even in real's like verbal puke. I can't control what comes up - and I guess I never thought I needed to, because again - it's not about the adoption to me. For the record, the one who did pop out of me has become a real pain in the bootie. He ranks right up there in the race for "who can drive mom crazy" award. The difference is - I can tell him that. OK, yes, I tell the others that sometimes as well - but attachment parenting does not really conform to the way I parent. I might even actually stink at attachment parenting - maybe.
I don't look at DS2 when I'm upset with his choices and think "if only you were REALLY MY child, this wouldn't happen". Never. That seems ridiculous to me. I don't even look at DD and think "I wish you had my hair gone that loss of genetic material". Could really care less... Raising kids is hard. If there is a parent out there that says it's all magical and fun, the either: a) smoke too much pot (or better stuff), b)are incredible liars or c) their children are all under the age of 4. It's easy to love a sweet thing that can't talk back or try to take little pieces of your life.
DS1 told me tonight that he's mad because I'm a different person since the kids came home. That hurt me - but how true. I'm not near as laid back...I'm probably brutally honest, compared to slightly painfully honest before. I don't think I had ever said any of the following B2M (before 2 more).
*Please find the missing underwear (how can there be 5 pair of dirty pants and no underwear...really?)
*Beijing is not in the really, it's not....NO, IT'S NOT and YOUR STUPID TECH TEACHER DID NOT SAY IT IS.
*The song is 'ridin dirty' - not white and nerdy...pretty sure they wouldn't know what it was like to be white and nerdy. (ok, you can question what I let my kids listen to...but I'm not ashamed to say that rap music relaxs me and yes, I know the words)
*Yes, if you run away and we find you - you do have to come back home - no, it probably won't be fun.
*I think that trying to cut your hand by stabbing yourself with a pencil is not the smartest idea.
*If food is in the trash can - please leave it there. Eating out of the trash is like licking the bottom of your shoes - it's that dirty. (pause...hear quiet from front room) - OMG, DO NOT LICK YOUR SHOES!

Ah, the oldies but goodies.

Anyway, I suppose anyone has the right to think I'm anything they'd like to label me. And, I probably am about 50% of those things. But, please do not say it - do not say "it's all because those kids are adopted"...

BTW, I watched Juno today. Haven't formed a major opinion - although for pure comedic value - I liked it. In the end, when the adoptive mom is holding the baby and says "how do I look?" (which was the oddest question I could think of her asking at that moment and I probably would have grabbed the kid and ran fast) - I did like the answer "like any new mom, scared S*$&less" I guess that's partly my point. Give ANY mom a kid that is emotionally scarred and acting out and they'd all look the same. OK, maybe except that Michelle Duggar woman who I believe is a robotic prototype - does she really talk in that sweet voice ALL the time???? I watch that show like a cult member - I'm waiting - she has to crack...she even spoke sweetly in labor - BULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

pack the truck...

I'm moving on. Gotta - there just isn't another option, right? That is what everyone keeps telling me and I'm trying to tell that to myself. This weekend was pretty good - we are back where DS2 knows that he did something really stupid and he's being an angel to try to prove that he can. That's the thing - I already know he can make good choices and I just don't get why he makes such bad ones! I try to stand back and understand what others tell me. It's the way he has learned to react to excitement in his life - it's his inability to make good choices in the face of chaos or it's his need for chaos in general. I feel bad though - because I see such planning in his 'bad acts' .
I tried to think about things this weekend. Things I get upset if the kids do - but maybe, just maybe, I do them too on some scale. We moved all DS1's furniture this weekend in order to fit a desk in his room. For a house with so much square footage, the kid's rooms are smaller than I'd like...not enough room to be functional and stylish! Anyway, I was screwing around and I literally fell over and knocked into the closet doors so hard they came off their hinges. Yes, I was playing around when I did it. I could hear myself saying to a kid "see what you get for screwing around" and being upset that the doors were broken. I was upset that I broke them, but I didn't give myself a speech! I did use the whole moving to show DD that I can trust her - she got to PAINT. After I patched holes, I actually let her use NAVY BLUE paint with light colored carpet to touch up the patched areas. I held my breath the whole time, but only stepped in once (as she's dripping paint into her hand)! I don't know if she felt the gravity, but I did! Hey, the desk fits and now DS1 can't take up my whole dining room table with his 'big boy' homework! Yeah - moral victory for mom!
We were heading into a restaurant this weekend and DD was worrying about something - I don't even remember what. I said "oh geez, I don't want to hear this" and she said "Mom, I'm just a sensitive girl. Can't you let me be sensitive?". Really? I don't even know where she got that word! It was funny, but she felt she was being totally real. I don't know though, to me sensitive is worrying about others. That is not what DD does. She worries about every crazy thing that might happen to her. And only her! Ok, sometimes DS2...she does idolize him. Actually tells me that if she only had a wee-wee (of course, she uses the correct term) - she could be almost just like him. DD had a play date this weekend and they made "BFF" shirts. Big step for her to have someone call her that. I'm holding my breath since this girl is new and I'm not sure DD has had time to show herself - or maybe, just maybe she's really trying to keep this friend. Flush me down with those pipe dreams!
I let DS2 pick out some new clothes this weekend, he really is the hand-me-down boy and so getting new stuff can seem special to him. Especially when I let him pick (wow, strange style)...but I bought the winter stuff big, you know being thrifty - it MUST fit next year. I let him try to wear one of the shirts today and I watched him pulling at it and moving it around and I thought "oh no, does he have sensory integration disorder" - then I realized...I can't add that to my plate (or his plate) right now and just made him change until he found something that he wasn't pulling. For now, I'm blaming it on the shirt being too big...just let me live in that place for a few days!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

running man

Excuse me for the fact that I'm going to copy a post I put on my forum today - then I'll elaborate.

Today was a big day for DS2. He had a field trip he was WAY excited about - first time I've seen him excited in a long time! He even used good words, like nervous and anticipating when talking about it the past few days. This morning, DD was running late and DS2 was leaving for the bus and I hollered at him to have a great day and behave well and I was so excited to hear all about it. I heard him leave and shut the big front door behind him - he never does that - none of the kids do. I knew something was wrong...ran from the kitchen just in time to see DS2 check the house (to see if I was looking - he couldn't see me at the small sidelight window) and then RUN - I mean FULL SPEED the opposite direction of the bus stop. I fly out of the house in my pjs and I'm screaming for him. I start chasing him down the sidewalk and he turns when he hears me yell and KEEPS running. He gets almost to the large intersection (5 lane parkway) before he stops. At this point I'm hoping DD left for the bus because I can hear it behind me in the neighborhood. I'm yelling at him to run back - still thinking I need to get him on the bus (I was delirious) and he walks as slow as he can. Once within grasp, I was mad. I held his arm as he pulled away shouting "you're hurting me". We got back to the house and yes, DD had left and made the bus and I sent him to his room. What in the HELL? As we were walking in he tells me that he was taking a short cut to the bus - which is 6 houses away from us but he was going about 2 blocks the other direction. So, lies on top of total disregard for the rules. I was on the phone with the school and DH trying to figure out if he should go on the field trip and then DH said - "let him go, it might be the last thing he gets to do here". I got to school to sign him in - and broke down. I looked like a maniac, I'm sure...mismatched clothes, no bra - you know, real classy. They pulled me in the office and got the counselor...that's always fun. I had to go find DD to let her know I was happy and proud she got on the bus and that everything was ok - she worries so much and I didn't want to ruin her day. I'm at the end of the rope here and I feel like a loser. So many people deal with so much more - but I don't feel strong enough. He had a good string of good days and while I felt happy...I still felt removed. It's as though I can't celebrate his accomplishments anymore - a stranger in my house (even on the good days). I'm going to get through today - waiting for a return call from the AT...I don't even know what the right consequence should be and I am about to give up - the consequences aren't working after 3 long is it supposed to take? Anyway, I can't address the bigger issues in this emotional state. Yes, I know that he should not have gone on the field trip - but really, I didn't want him here. I have to be at the ortho for DS1's braces and it's a long appt...I didn't want to sit there with him either. I feel mean and ugly today. Crap! Crap!!! Crap...

I just don't know what to think. I keep saying "he basically ran away" - but was he running away from home or from his uncontrollable excitement. If he wanted to catch the other bus stop, he had overshot it...did he think he could run all the way to school (totally against the many big streets to cross?)?????????? I guess DH and I have to assume some things, because we'll never get the truth - so we assume he was going to run to school. I don't understand there no concept of getting caught. And, I'm back at the thought that he has FAS or something - there is just no cause and effect thinking YET he was able to know that he didn't want to turn around when I was yelling for doesn't that mean that he knew he was 'busted'. Talking in circles...thinking in circles and I'm right back at CRAP!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

There is a new president at our house

And, no - I'm not talking about Obama.

DS1 got a presidential position for his upcoming International Towne field trip. Big news around here - there are 117 kids that interviewed and only about 20 president - type positions. He is really honored. So, then mister President comes home to share with me (at least he came forward and was honest) that he has a D in Science and a C in work habits in math. Not exactly the impressive record I would hope to see in him...he can do so much better. He promises that he can get both of those up and although I still heard some "it's not my fault" - I forced him to take responsibility! Hey, if he's going to be president he has to learn to take the blame for things that are and are not his fault.

I interviewed these kids today - 117: 12 and 13 year olds. Well...the future of our nation says "ummmmmm" a lot and "I don't know" as well. Some of them were so impressive though that I walked away feeling pretty good about this countries chances! As long as the CEOs can skype and text instead of writing on paper - we're set to go!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

security level is at red

You know those announcements in the airport - it's pretty much been at orange since it came into existense after 9/11. Well...they announce it all the time - when you're waiting you hear it over and over. So, I think I need that computer lady in my house. Each morning when my children wake up there should be an announcement "today DS1s security level is at yellow - proceed with slight caution" - "today DS2s level is at yellow - proceed with a sweet demeanor" - "today DDs security level is at red, very red, red hot - proceed with a fire extinquisher"

Not that I leave my room not knowing that is what awaits me...but I think hearing it in the movie phone lady voice would somehow make it more palatable!

Red hot DD is in constant state of flux right now - it's like I can see the anxiety and control eating little pieces of her right in front of me. It's really heartbreaking, but I'm too exhausted to even be heartbroken. There is an article in Adoptive Family magazine this month and the gentleman is an attachment specialist. He comments on the fact that sometimes a parent can build up the child's anxiety and fear by giving too many parameters. Basically if you don't let them explore life they live as fearful beings. This makes sense and also makes me want to puke. I am a totally independence preaching - non helicopter parent by nature. I can't be that with them. I want to be...I have tried lately to no longer let her ask about everything. She knows that she can take a shower early if she feels the need - but then it becomes the "everybody look at me show"...if she steps out and makes a decision on her own I think she wants a spotlight to shine brightly upon her and a Broadway sign to drop down with a big arrow pointing at her and saying "THIS GIRL JUST TOOK A SHOWER ALL BY HERSELF". Refer to above sentence about being exhausted.
So, it's a catch 22...if I give her a leash and let her try things out - the new issue is that she wants full and total attention for it. If I make her get permission for everything, I'm breeding fear.

Today the kids were home from school. She was playing out front on her own and came in about 5 minutes before lunch would be ready. She asked to go across the street to the park (yes, she does have to have permission to leave the yard...heck yes) and I said no. Before I could even get out that lunch was almost ready and she should wash up (the main reason I was saying no) - she stormed out and threw a little hissy fit. I didn't have it in me to follow her and reason with that. There is no reasoning with that. She was in the garage tantruming and I thought (for the millioneth time) "wow, our neighbors must think we are nuts!"

We had an ortho check up today - DS1 will be getting his braces on Thursday. Big news in our house...we've been on the ortho radar for years, knowing they will all need them - so the show begins. Stupid ortho guy - yes, I like him...but come on - tells DD and DS2 which teeth are still baby teeth and that they can "wiggle them all day long and just rip those suckers out".....UUUUUMMMMMMMMMMMM...did he hear me say that they both have issues with wanting to pull out teeth that should NOT be coming out? What a freakin stupid thing to say. I tried to save this moment by talking about one tooth at a time and that if they pulled them all out they would not be able to chew anything - how about a blender and some pork chops for dinner? Of course DD is taking it to heart and has been working away all afternoon at a loose tooth (or one she said was loose and at least, it's a baby tooth).

So, if you are driving by my house and hear the soothing voice of the computer lady announcing our personal security levels - pay could bump into one of my kids on the street and you'll want to have an emergency plan!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

You sound like an angel

Do you lie to your kids? I really try not to - but I think there is a line somewhere in the sand and I can't find it. DD wants to be/thinks she is a great singer. She has those little girl dreams of being a rock star - the next Miley Cyrus! However, she cannot carry a tune in a really large bucket. It is seriously bad. She got the karaoke machine for Christmas because I know it's her passion. I got her headphones so that she can do it in her room and the noise level is a little lower - but the sound you do hear is just her voice. Heavens...I don't know what to say. Then she'll come say "did you hear that?, it was great wasn't it?" I usually try to beg off that I didn't hear it - but I do go in sometimes and sing with her or listen to her. Do I just lie then? I stink at lying...really stink and my kids have called me on lies before. Do I just say - oh, you're working hard at it. That's the tack I'm taking now. However, she wants to try out for choir next year. I think it's an "everyone makes it" kind of thing - but I can't imagine putting her through that. She will get called out (think of a cat moaning lowly and then suddenly being stepped on and screeching...that's about the jist of it). I have even said things like "singing is a fun thing to do, but I love that you want to be a teacher!".
Geez...maybe I just don't have the mom gene - wouldn't most people tell her she's the greatest singer they've ever heard? Of course, her brothers have made it clear that she is NOT to sing in the car - ever! I couldn't really jump in, because it isn't fair to have to listen to it all the way to wherever.
DS2 is totally into drawing and yes, he could be good - but he chooses to simply trace pictures out of books and try to say he drew it freehand. I have called him on it and told him how well I bet he could do trying to do it freehand. I see him now, in his room, attempting to free hand. I'll make a big deal over it even if it's bad (I hope it's good) because I want to reward the effort! OK, maybe I can learn to 'lie' to my kids when it's that a crazy goal to set or what?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

acting like a kid

You know, my DD does not often act like a kid. She can't really simply let go of her anxiety and control and relax. I must say, she did last night (to a point...but big for her). We attended the bull riding competition and she was silly. She danced to the music and cheered loudly for the bull riders. She was paying attention to things that kids pay attention to - the men on horses, the fireworks...and actually enjoying them! It was a really lovely thing to see. She sat on my lap willingly in between events and told me once (totally spontaneous) "I'm having fun and I love you mom"
It was so worth the price of admission!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

stupid is as stupid does

Therapy was yesterday...just a full day of fun. My therapy in the morning and the kids (and mine again) in the afternoon. Seriously, how can one person be taking all the fun away from everyone else? I'm trying to find a way to share all this...
I found out in therapy that I've jumped a bit of a hurdle. I'm sounding and really, feeling, ok with what my life is now. May seem strange - but really, it's my life and there's no use walking around feeling bad for myself. I look to the future and don't see all good, but see all things that I'll handle. I do still have those moments of emotion and wanting, wishing, praying for a normal minute, hour, day, week, month, year - heck, a normal life - but overall, I'm satisfied with what it means to be me.
Therapy for the kids is sometimes hard for me to witness. You know, he's right, they need to be confronted with the truth from someone who isn't me. He can actually be a little more compassionate sometimes, however there is pretty much all straight talk. You know, they can't take him in and make him their puppet - that stinks for them. They aren't happy about it at all - especially DD. She says it's because we have to "drive forever" to get there - it's really 45 minutes...but I know the truth and so does he. Dealing with those nasty feelings is not a fun thing for her. I had mentioned the fact that she seems to "play dumb" a know, trying to get me into arguments and exasperating circular situations where nobody wins. While he was talking to her he used this anology:
If I wake up one morning and act like a chicken and keep doing that for a while, I'll eventually become a chicken. Not in body, but in spirit and I'll forget how to be a human. It's the same with playing stupid...if you wake up every morning and pretend to be stupid, you eventually become stupid.

She is/was a smart girl - I can see the smart in her. I'm not talking book smarts here - life smarts...knowing when and how to use her words, when and how to show emotions...I know it's in there, but she's masking it big time. She's becoming what she pretends to be. It scared me. I don't know if it got to her or not. Really, could she forget how to be smart? Could she convince herself totally that she's stupid and unable to carry on normal daily interactions? I wonder now. If you become a chicken, can you ever learn take off your feathers?
DS2 is dealing with his past trauma. Another enlightening moment came when they discussed his last day of seeing his mother. In DS2s memory (which I believe to be true), that day was very chaotic. There was no order, no common sense in how the day progressed. The last time he saw his mother was when she handed him a glass of water. Through a window, after he had escaped his can see that this is not a normal day in the life of anyone you know. He was picked up by the police - he doesn't know who called them - he never got to go back in his home after that glass of water. Never. That chaos still feels very real to him...he likes to create it as it has become a comfort to him. A situation that could be very low key - becomes chaotic under his control. Whatever that means at that time. He continued to say that he lies and acts out of character to keep from getting in "big trouble". The discussion of what big trouble means - here at home versus in his old life was a deep one. What is big trouble here? I suppose he probably knows that it could mean that our family could not continue to raise him day -to-day...but that is not what he discussed - big trouble is being grounded, losing Xbox, losing other privileges. When you think about that as big trouble - it does seem pathetic somewhat. I wouldn't change what constitutes big trouble at our house, but it is interesting to think about the difference between being beat by a shoe (in his orphanage) versus losing Xbox for a week. Why is his reaction to my consequences so volatile?
We are starting two new things today. He is helping me deal with the little behavioral things as well as the big ones. Perhaps getting control over day to day interactions can relax what become larger issues. So our two problems to tackle are mumbling and stupid questions/comments.
For mumbling - whenever anyone does it, we will simply say "could you write that down?". Will they always write what they actually said? Probably not...but I know I won't miss anything important and hopefully we can create more conversation from that starting point. Trust me when I say that having to ask your child "what", "excuse me", "I didn't hear you" a thousand times a day can, in fact, become a HUGE power struggle. I started last night and both DS2 and DD had to write a few things. For five minutes afterward, they would really speak clearly and plenty loud to be heard. We'll see how it continues to go.
Wrestling point 2 is the harder one - we have a LOT of stupid questions/comments. I am not just talking about a kid saying "I like to fart". Yes, stupid...but not the level we are at. I'm talking about a child saying "Hey Mom, when is my birthday?" right after I heard them say "I'll be XX years old on this day" and knowing their birthday. The biggest one is when I tell them something (If we go to Washington D.C., we'll visit our family in Virginia, they are right beside each other) and I get this question "I wonder where Virginia is in the country?" Again, it may not sound like a big deal, but I could spend all day dealing with that. So, they each get 3 stupid question chips. If they choose to ask a stupid question or make a stupid comment - they have to trade in a chip. If they use/lose all their chips that day, they may not ask anymore questions - but they may write them down. They will not choose to write down the stupid stuff is the point. We tried a similar experiment with DD earlier - just to stope the constant noise. She makes "alien noises" when she has nothing to say, because the quiet kills her. So, she had to turn in a chip every time she was caught making "noise"...I couldn't believe how often it was really happening. I must say that the alien noises have gone nearly away - although still present during her shower!
We are heading to a rodeo tonight and I'm hoping they'll enjoy seeing it all - something new for the two youngest for sure and something to drag the oldest to - although he didn't seem too bothered about it (only worried about getting homework done...oh, isn't he the studious one?). If things are bad, I'll sign up to ride a bull and maybe get a vacation to the hospital (where no one under 18 can visit!!!).

Monday, January 12, 2009

Home beautiful

I'm having fun! We decided to not go on spring break vacation this year and use the money toward some things we want to do in the house. We always think about moving - I want bigger bedrooms for the kids, another bathroom, etc. But, our house is really just fine and I can't stomach the idea of a larger mortgage payment (although the real estate deals around here are crazy would we ever sell our house?). So, I'm having fun getting some things done that I've been wanting to do for some time. I will readily admit that I am constantly changing little things around here...what vase is on which table and what picture hangs on what wall (drives DH crazy...all the patched holes)...however, I'm cheap. Honestly, I am. I can't stand paying full price for anything and I will not make any remotely big purchase without DH totally approving. So, the other day he says - "why don't you go ahead and get whatever you've been wanting for the foyer". AAAAAHHHHHHH...a free shopping pass. I don't think he realized it - but I went right out that day and spent three hours at the huge furniture warehouse. Really had a blast - no one rushing me and I found great stuff at prices that I felt were quite fair. I hauled it home myself and even moved it in (with the use of a skateboard and looked like a fool, I'm sure) and set it all up. I lit the candles before he got home and took him in the front room to impress him and he said "what am I looking at?"! Men...there's a new dresser thingy, new vases, new art on the walls, new nesting tables...more new vases...only like 10 things. Oh well...he admits now that it looks very nice!
The new stuff I'm ready to do (in leiu of our trip) is to re-paint the kitchen and family room (maybe laundry room), have new curtains made for the living room (I've decided to jump in and do the curtains all the way to the ceiling - 22 feet) and maybe even new flooring for the house. Right now I have huge swatches of different paints all over my kitchen, which DH shot down this morning. I'm getting quotes tomorrow and wanting to go out and get more paint samples today - but it finally decided to snow and apparently, I shouldn't go out. I guess I'm not a real good driver!
We also got a new computer yesterday. Now, I had kept my old computer for EIGHT years...same printer too. The guy couldn't believe it had lasted that long...but it was breaking down for sure. It will be the kids computer now if I could ever figure out how to get it to work on the wireless network. I guess I'll be paying someone to do that...crud (my cheap gene kicks in again)!
I think it could be a "negative" that I have such a high off working on the house - but lately, I've needed something to make me this stoked. If that's all it takes, perhaps I'll remodel something once a week (ok, I would like to stay married, so this will not be happening). Everytime I see my psych for a med eval, he asks if I've been shopping excessively - obviously a big thing for bi-polar folks. Will I have to say yes this time?
The kids are good...we always have trouble getting DS1 out of the house on time on Mondays. He's really hit the sleep in phase (hey, I'd like to sleep in too, but if I don't get him up, he won't wake up) he flew out the door this morning without brushing his teeth - YUCK! DS2 would not wear his snow boots and has on cloth tennis shoes in the very sloppy snowy rain. I held my tongue and wet feet won't kill him - although perhaps he'll decide I'm not stupid since I did tell him snowboots would be a wise choice! He'll never admit it. DD spent breakfast telling me a lovely story about dog puke and her bare feet - must admit I tuned out at some point.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

random thoughts

Life has been pretty good these last few days. The medications seems to really be helping since DS2 has had 6 GREAT days. Still tries to annoy me, but it's very minor in comparison to our bad days. However, DD is still on full red flag alert and yucky to be around! DS1 - well, he's 12 and his friends are 13 and therefore he is acting like a teenager!

Random thoughts and happenings:
1. DS1 got in the car on Friday in a snit. Didn't know what it was about (neither did he). He wanted some picture to be his phone wallpaper and couldn't get it to work - heaven forbid, I figured it out and that made him even madder. (I'm supposed to be a dork who can't do those things)...
2. Fast forward to that evening - he was out with friends (what kind of mom lets a nasty pre-teen go hang out with friends...a VERY TIRED one) and he called to apologize. Nothing else...he didn't ask permission to do something, didn't realize that he had forgotten to tell me something...nope, just apologize and sound remorseful. I even got hugs without request that night when he got home. Maybe I'm not doing it all wrong!
3. DS1 wants a facebook account. When asked what he would do with it, his answer was "tell other people I have one". So...I'm thinking he doesn't even know what it is. At the mention that we don't feel good about that right now, he's being polite...but we are back to being "losers", oh well, I should get used to it there!
4. DS2 is finding his one last stand of misbehavior is to try to mess up his schedule and "forget" what time it is: as in "oh, I'm supposed to take my shower 15 minutes ago???" It's a small price to pay for the other great behavior and we charge 5 minutes off early to bed for each reminder that we have to give. So, he's been going to bed about 10 minutes early.
5. DS2 has NOT had any other consequences for SIX days. You heard me - SIX days...I'm seeing the greatness in this. He's noticing it too...he got an A+ in behavior at school the other day - first time ever. Teacher says he's helpful and kind and seems to be paying better attention - he brought home an A- on his math test and homework has not been a fight with him in a few weeks!!!
6. DD is the most anxiety ridden child. She just worries about anything that crosses her plate. She's so proud when she can tell us about the miniscule fact she remembered from 6 weeks ago that she is worrying about today. Like it's a contest or something. Her results are not positive from us...but she gets some kind of personal reward. I'm counting down to her seeing the psychiatrist - I'm praying for some anxiety meds. I can't imagine living like she does everyday!
7. DD is quite upset that DS2 is being good. Him getting positive kudos from us kills her. I don't mix his good with her bad (like I don't talk about it at the same time)...but I also don't make up good stuff to say about her. Yesterday, I was telling DH in the car about something that had happened with DS2 - a good decision he made that morning. DD says "oh he's so great and I stink...I can't do anything right". WWWWAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH! None of us said anything - later I spoke directly to her quietly and said "you can do things right and good and you simply choose not to. If you want me to tell Daddy about great things you do, then do some!" She was quiet for awhile!
8. My kids are playing nicely together more often. Enough said...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The mother quandry

A wonderful friend sent me a book about motherhood and that very uneasy relationship that can sometimes form as a child becomes an adult. Here is a quote that I'm really pondering:
"Woman who are mothers are judged more by their parenting "successes" or "failures" than by any other area of their lives, and are held much more accountable for them than father are: for mothers, everything, it sometimes seems, is riding on how the kids turn out."
I'm trying to read it both as a mother and as a daughter. I realize that those successes and failures can only be measured by our internal meter. I mean, if you as a person value religion very highly, than having a child that doesn't follow that religion would seem like a failure on your part. I, for one, value education at the tip top of my list. So, when my children reject doing well in school or simply don't care - it's a failure to me. What I count in that arena as failure, I believe others would count as great successes (meaning for some parents and kids a C would be great and the parent would be pleased and proud - that would not be the case in my house). While I try desperately to separate what I hold dear and what my children set as priorities - that is a double edged sword and I seem to be cut by it a lot.
I'm saddened in some ways that as a daughter, I have not completed the dreams I know my mother had for me. Then I realize (now that I'm a mother) that she must be saddened as well. I hope that all mothers can find a reason to be proud of thier children as adults. That is my greatest hope for myself. I know people who have had children (mostly in the AD world) totally walk away from the straight path that was offered to them. I don't blame the mother (or father) at all - but, perhaps this is because I know these people and I'm walking in their shoes. I have wondered how my friends and family would react if one of my children fails in society's view. If there is jail time (I'm certainly not saying that is where we are headed - I'm thinking positive for now) - but would I be shunned for that by the general public? I believe that I would be. While we all have differing beliefs, there are some that are pretty much society wide. You should work and create a life for yourself and if you don't - didn't your parents do something wrong? Isn't your mother to blame?
Being a stay-at-home mom may play into this. I really don't have a measurement tool for myself outside my children and my home. Those are my responsibilities and I'm not making light of that. It's the most important thing to me to do the best I can do by my family. At this time, that is a full time job. But, I wonder if I had an outside job, would I view myself in a less harsh light? Needless to say, I'm not at the top of my game as a parent. DS2 has had 3 really good days...yet, I found myself playing that down while I should be reveling in it. Three in a row is very rare around here. At the same time, DD is falling apart. They are both seeing a child psychiatrist in February and I am going in with my guns blazing and truth on my side. I have made the mental decision that I will get them help no matter in what form. Yes, medicating them is hard for me, but if that is what's, perhaps, going to give them a better chance - then I'm doing it! I watched DS2 take his meds today and I didn't feel like making him throw up (ha)...

So, for all you mothers out there - may you feel blessed today in whatever you do...may you realize that while your children are a great ruler for your life, they are not the only one and you are doing all you can I'm sure (and may I remember that too)!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

School holiday (for me)

Tomorrow the kids go back to school! The angels in heaven are singing the chorus right now. I think it's a good time for this to be happening...we are all getting sick of each other. I have exactly NOTHING planned and that makes me happy!

We did get to see the doc on Saturday. It was just our pediatrician and can I just say that having a good ped is a lifesaver. He listened to my crazy talk, all that's going on and the fact that we are in the final stages of knowing what to do. He commented on which things could be related to attention issues and how everything obviously ties in attachment. As soon as I said that we are dealing with attachment issues with both kids, he looked so kind and gentle. He did all he could, which was to start DS2 on Concerta for the ADD issues (I would not say he has hyperactivity issues). I'm hoping this helps at school especially as I don't want him to slip right back into his very negative behavior there. It's only day 2...and today was a really good day for him. I'm sure it's not because of the med, but I just feel happy that we ended on a high note. DS1 and DS2 played together - yes, actually played - and I was happy to see DS1 being a kid (it's so tough to do that when you want to be "cool" all the time) and DS2 getting attention from a person he really does seem to idolize a bit. They argue so much that the last two days of relative peace have been strange in the most amazing way.
Now, DD is a different story. She is very bossy in play and the boys simply didn't allow her to play. I can't force them to include her all the time, because she honestly isn't fun to play with. They did acquiesce today and let her play for about 2 hours. We watched a movie tonight - and since DS2 and DD are grounded from plug-in time right now...they were very pleased with that choice! DD has just seemed lost for a few days. She really pushes - but as I've said before, at my house if one is having a good day, the other falls apart. So, bedtime is fast approaching and the end of this holiday break. I really do think that we all continue to work towards the final goal. While we aren't where I want to be right now - I'm still hopeful!

Friday, January 2, 2009

The best of times...or the worst.

We get to see the doctor tomorrow, we get to see the doctor tomorrow (sang to some corny Broadway tune). I hope we really do see him and he really does listen and get us on the right track. Another screw up by DS2 yesterday - just as we were letting his leash out a tiny bit. UUUGGGGGGHHHHHHH! I will say that while running errands today he was an angel - not touching siblings (can't say that for the other two) and stayed right with me. He APOLOGIZED for lying and not following directions yesterday - that is huge for him. He seemed to actually be sorry, like I could see emotion in his eyes. I gave a big hug for that and actually felt ok hugging him. That sounds so sad, huh?
DD has been a bright spot lately. I can see changes in her that I wasn't expecting to happen so quickly. Oh my, she's still my little drama queen and lies like it's normal...but in other ways, I am seeing connections. She reaches out for me more (like multiple times a day), she uses her words in actual conversations instead of blurting out some silly stuff to simply attract attention. She had a sleep over at her friend's house last night. I hate, hate, hate the talk I have to have with the parent(s) before she can really be at someone's house. Although I'm feeling much better about being open's still hard to say "my DD has some struggles and may tell you things that aren't true about me". Yuck...and add to that the fact that I never know if they really understand the importance of what I'm saying. I refuse to be happy with the fact that DCS could show up on my doorstep because my DD thinks a story about Mom using pliers on her skin is funny. I called this morning to check on pick up time and DD answered the phone. Huh??? Why would my DD be answering their phone? She was confused (her word) because the dad said "will one of the girls get the phone?" - I explained that he meant one of HIS girls and she is NOT his girl. She honestly looked confused by that. My DD still thinks that she just might be living somewhere/anywhere else at any moment. So, like I said - steps forward, jump on the slide backwards!
College football is saving me right now. I love it and will watch any game and so many are on and when I'm stressed I just sit down and watch. Maybe I'm not getting as much done as I should, but I feel happy when I'm watching...worth something!!!