Friday, March 27, 2009

My week in a Nutshell

This week I have:

- called poison control. Blessing drank about 3 quarters of a bottle of cough and cold syrup. And the poster child for ritalin became even more hyper. Didn't think that was possible.

- sold my house. Er, um, at least signed a contract with a tentative closing date - April 30.

- took Grace to the doctor, where she proclaimed to the doctor before the exam that she had an "ear defection and I need Auntie Body Tics." Doctor S replied that she loved people who self diagnose, and I admitted we "borrowed" the otoscope before the doctor came in and I had already seen the "defected" ear. She had a little help with her own diagnosis. After all, Doctor S is the one who taught me what to look for in the first place. Ah, I miss being a nurse some days.

- took Grace to the doctor AGAIN. This time because she let Blessing stuff toilet paper all up her nose. Actually, my husband made this trip, and did nothing shy of laugh his head off as Dr. S made Grace repeat after her, "Nothing goes in my eyes, ears, mouth, or nose unless Mommy or Daddy say so." And when she got home, I added, "or any other orface." Oh, yes, I did go there. ;)

- house shopped twice to no avail. Am getting worried. With foster children in our home, where we move to is EXTREMELY important. As in, could lose children over such. I'm losing sleep.

- realized Blessing was too quiet, found her in her room, painting the walls with something blue and lots of sprinkles. LOTS of sprinkles. Realized it was the contents of the lava lamp, which she pulled off the shelf, broke, and then proceeded to rub her hands in, getting them nice and covered with the sparkly blue mess, and then rub all in her hair, all over the wall, and all over her little book shelf. MInd you, the blue liquid actually came up fairly easily, but the sprinkles? oh, my. EV.Ry.Where. And they do not vacuum, wipe, or sweep up. You must pick them up One. By. One. with your finger and thumb. Lovely.

- Later the same day, wondered why Blessing was broke out in hives? All over her legs. And then I remembered, the blue liquid she bathed herself in. Yep, severe reaction. Benedryl, and then again the poster child for ritalin becomes even more hyper. Gotta love that!

- played in the rain.

- burnt soup. Now I ask. Really, has anyone else EVER burnt soup? How is that possible?

And while this may sound pitiful, it's really beautiful insanity. A welcomed chaos that I'd be lost without. And when I finish my race at least I'll be able to say I completely emptied myself, and ran with all my might! And I'm betting I will miss these days. Though a break sounds really good. Just typing it all makes me tired. ;)

Monday, March 23, 2009

46 months

Blessing was 23 months old when we first met her.

Which makes this month the month that she's been with us half of her life. This is supposedly a big mile marker for us. I can't say I see any difference. I suppose it's sort of like a birthday. Today, she's really no different than she was yesterday. Or at least, the growth is to tiny we can no longer see it. But we're here! She's lived with us half of her life! Woo-hoo!

But it is amazing to think back on what she was like in those first days, months, and even her first year. She's not the same kid at all! Just a few days into her stay with us, she was sick and I took her to the doctor. I'm not sure there has ever been a single situation that was harder than that one. This was a little one who would scream when I held her for any length of time. A few minutes she could handle, if we were looking at a book, or walking to the swing. But quickly holding became threatening, I suppose, and she'd go rigid with her tiny little body. She'd scream. She'd kick. She'd bite. She'd spit. A place like a waiting room was horror. There was no keeping her in my lap or holding without the rage. There was no letting her down, either, because she'd quickly run over to someone else and bite or spit at them. Hours I felt the scrutinizing gazes of other parents who were certain I was a terrible parent. Certain I had caused this little one to be so defiant and out of control. Lovely day, that was. I also distinctly remember that after an hour of trying to console the inconsolable, as I was walking around the waiting room with her fitting self in my very tired arms, she reached her tiny hands out to an older black gentleman sitting in a chair, also waiting. Blessing had lived with a black family prior to living with us. He was familiar.

He reciprocated the reach, and I let my baby go. She laid her head on his chest and went to sleep. It took all I had to choke back tears. It was bitter sweet. Thankful for a moment of comfort for her. Thankful for his willingness. Yet feeling not only scorned by the mass waiting parents, but also wondering if she would ever view me as her mom. I loved her so much but she reciprocated nothing.

And something else I couldn't really explain.... she walked. It was like walking was her therapy or something. For months I could stand in one spot, and hold her hand as she walked around and around and around me. Eyes down. Arms out and up for balance though she was too old to still do that. Or if I walked with her, she'd walk for miles. We spent hours walking. And hours in our front porch swing. TheY were about the only 2 places she was relatively happy.

Her hair would fall out in globs when I brushed it or pulled out a rubber band. Her gums bled when I brushed them. Not to mention the screaming she did about it all. A bath? pure torture. I had to sit on her and hold her arms down with my knees, and pry her mouth open to brush her teeth. If my husband or I started at her quickly, even if it was in play or to grab for a quick hold, she'd fall to the ground in the fetal position and throw her hands over her head. She only grunted one or two (I only remember one... "dog", oh wait, maybe she said, "shoe"). They were deep throat grunts, not toddler sounding words. Know what she said the other day? "I'm not going to be your friend No more! I called thousands of times, and you didn't answer!" Full sentences. Completely understandable. Very big words for someone not talking at all at 2. I know you can't be as excited about that as I am.

And what else today? Well she can certainly be a defiant little cuss. And there are some neurological/developmental issues that show their head occasionally. I think there will likely always be some hints that she was exposed to drugs and alcohol long before she took her first breath. But they aren't going to stop her from living a life that's full, abundant, or from accomplishing anything she wants. She's bright. She's beautiful. She eats with a fork (hey, let's celebrate the little things, too). She is very likely our most affectionate child, very sweet and can be very sympathetic towards her sisters (something we were beginning to think we'd never see). I'll never forget the first time we hurt our feelings. Oh, she cried, and threw fits all the time when she didn't get what she wanted. Or when I was brushing her teeth. But not that sweet cry even Mercy already does if my voice is too harsh. Or the cry you get from most toddlers when they realize they did something wrong. They wanted to please. They were trying. We didn't get that from her for a very long time. When we finally did, and she tuned up and cried real, genuine tears; my husband and I looked at each other and cried, too. I've never been so glad to hurt a kid's feelings! ;)

These pictures are literally her first hour with us. Sweet aren't they? They look very different than the picture I've painted. But, you know, she didn't decide she didn't like us until that night at bath time! tee-hee! ;)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ode to Nana

Things are just so busy! Mercy has had some continuing medical issues... I plan to explain more later, complete with pictures of her during an episode... but the bouncing from the hospital to doctors and more doctors added to the normal chaos that surrounds having 6 girls, and I just haven't had the time to sit and type. I want to move the blog over to private complete with pictures and layout change, but I just can't get it all together! ;) Soon. Maybe.

Meanwhile, my mom is my biggest blog fan. Ever loyal, she is. And when it's been only a couple of days since my last post, she says, "when are you going to start blogging again?" Like I quit or something. Truth be known, I love knowing she's reading. I love knowing she likes what I write (though she said the cat story was only mildly amusing????). I love knowing if no one else clicks over here today, she'll make up for it! ;)

Let's not forget that this woman gave birth to me. And where would this world be if I hadn't made my entrance?

And then there's the bail outs. Many, many, many over the years. The last referral we got for Mercy came in the form of a phone call on Monday, for an appointment at the Children's Diagnostic Center in Little Rock the next day. Who do I call to bail me out? My mom, of course.

And she shows up the next morning not only ready to keep my kids, but to actually enjoy them, play with them, and love them up. In she comes with a box of goodies. I'm still hearing stories I'm not so sure about from the girls. Something about a dance-off (in which Nana participated, and the stories are told with great animation), something else about a house and a fly that they can't find, there were markers made for the body (and marks all over them as proof), home-made tambourines, and a "for real" dance she's teaching the oldest 2 for a program at church. All that, and supper waiting on me when I got home with the baby. She even called today to see if our RADelicious little one was in need of detox today from all the fun. She did start the morning with a bang, but she seems to have settled right back in. I need to do a post all about her and her improvements lately, but I'm a little afraid saying the g-o-o-d word out loud will suddenly reek havoc on our house again. Who wants that?

So, you owe my mom for this post. Who thinks something is wrong if NOTHING is here for a few days. At least someone misses me! ;)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I'm Not Missing Anything

For those of you who think that because I have 6 girls, and not one boy, I'm missing out on something.... Let me remind you of what I do have:

A husband.

Who makes up for it a few times over.

This morning, after the usual 15 minutes of standing under the warm water in the shower, willing myself to start the day rather than climb back in bed, I threw on my robe and stepped out of the bathroom just in time to hear the screeching of the cat as she wheeled around the corner of our bed, ran head first into the glass sliding door, screeched again, flipped over pretty much in the air, and ran like a Satan himself was after her the other way. I've only seen her that possessed one other time....when she got stuck in the Christmas tree and ornaments and pine needles and lights and cat fur were all flying in different directions.

Curious to the core, I ran after her into the living room, where my wonderful boy of a husband sat in the floor, laughing, with a lighter in his hand. "You didn't."

"Well, I learned something new today."

Already regretting that I was biting his bait, I answered, "Oh, yeah, what's that?"

"Cat hair is very flammable. I assure you she should be no where near a fire!" He retorted, with all the glee of a boy at Christmas.

Of course my look was less than enthused, and quite sympathetic for the cat, who is living with a RADling as it is, now I have to add my husband to the list?

He went on to say he was lighting a candle, and it was just an impulse to click the lighter at her as she walked by. But the "poof" that followed was as if her hair were lined with hair spray. She's OK, he assured me. Only the whiskers around her eyes were gone. She can balance without those, right?

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Grace somehow managed to do this to herself. You can imagine the initial squealing when she realized she was stuck. I came running like a bat out of hades in response to the scream, certain blood was gushing, or a bone exposed, or something equally painful. When am I going to learn?

When I saw what she was squealing about, I ran for the camera. Forget saving the kid. The picture is more important. Grace immediately went from child-in-danger-save-me-drama mode, to what-do-you-mean-get-the-camera-instead-of-rescuing-me mode. Seriously, the face switched in 0 seconds flat from horrified to complete disgust and confusion. And with all the teenage sounding sarcastic tone she could muster, said, "Really, Mom? Must you?"

Monday, March 2, 2009

Walking Commercial

... for Ergo, that is. Because this is how we spend most of our day. And when people say things like, "Do you hold her all the time?". They really sort of mean it in a you're-spoiling-your-child-and-you-don't-know-what-you're-doing kind of way. But that's ok. I don't mind. Because I do know exactly what I'm doing. I'm making my bed. And I'm the one who will lay down in it (I think, it's looking that way, anyway). You see, parent a RADling, and you'll be all about attachment and bonding, too. I promise. Especially for a little one who is quite at risk for the same thing.

But the truth is, even if she wasn't, I'd be doing the same thing! ;)

Oh, and, by the way... the kitchen and cooking were photoshopped in. Because I would never wear a baby on the front and cook at the same time. What mother would do that? So unsafe!!!!!! Maybe I should have done a "Not Me Monday". ;) And, the picture was taken by a munchkin, hence the cut-off head. At least you can see my smile!