Tuesday, January 13, 2009

No Time

Since apparently everyone in my house is reverting back to baby stage, I don't have time to write some amazing post that could make you laugh, or cry, or elicit sympathy for me. Nor can I make myself look like supermom, and neither do I have some major short comings that would leave you in hysterics. Ok, so maybe I do, but I'm not opening that can of worms this morning.

So, today I'm opting to send you elsewhere. Go. Please. This lady had me in stitches this morning. As she does often.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Husbands

For the record, I have like the best husband ever. Really. And besides, he reads my blog. tee-hee!

As do about 3 other men that I can think of. Other than that, it's pretty much estrogen-ville. So to you 4 guys, sorry.



To the women... do your husbands do things like this? I mean, it really isn't a bad idea, but you'd think he could at least pick pink rubberbands. Or 2 of the same color. I was such a typical wishy-washy woman, trying to decide if I should post this on Works for Me Wednesday, or on crazy husband quirks. What does that say about me? Hmmm....

It's no secret that we have 6 girls. And I assure you that I am not one of those moms that has girls always in the cutest clothes, clean faces, matching shoes, and big bows. Do you read my blog? Have you seen the kid with the sparkly red shoes and her night gown in our yard? But really, I try. I promise. I occasionally even spend FOREVER french braiding everyone's hair. Especially if we're leaving the house.

But really, when he dresses them.... my word! He can't even make sure they fit. I once came home from an all day shopping trip to find an 8 year old in the 4 year old's pants. We're talking I have no idea how she zipped those things, much less pulled them down when she needed to potty. Like I couldn't have pinched the material if I wanted to it was so slick tight. And then there was the length. Um, it's winter... there are no capri jeans out! Sheesh. I can't remember what the others were wearing, but it was like a swim suit with a dressy skirt and cowboy boots or something equally ridiculous. And I'm absolutely certain not one of the 6 had even attempted to brush their hair or their teeth. And I have one kid who ties her hair in these huge knots over night. Yes, lovely.

Where had they gone? Only all over town. To Wal-Mart. To the park. Ate out at Wendy's. I'm sure there were lots of funny looks. And think... my loving husband thought it was because every one was proud of him for taking all his kids out all by himself. And they probably did dote on him, and wonder what kind of a terrible wife and mother there was back at home, refusing to brush hair or provide appropriately sized clothes for her kids.

You want to marry him, don't you? Oh... right, you already have one a whole lot like him! ;)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Encouraged

I can't believe all the fantastic comments and outpour of support and encouragement. Isn't it amazing how people I've never met, some of who I still don't have a name for, readers I had no idea even frequented my writing, can provide some non-aloneness? And let me tell you, non-aloneness is quite the step up from thinking no one really gets it. Don't you love that word? I tend to make those up occasionally, along with fragmented sentences, or run-ons a mile long. How nice that I don't have to go open a can of worms because of it! ;)

For those of you who suggest running, that really is the biggest problem at this point. My anonymous fellow foster mom hit the nail on the head. We're talking about a ward of the state. I can't make that decision. Though I expressed my concern and frustration after the very first appointment. Apparently, a foster mom's opinion doesn't hold nearly the weight that the therapist's opinion holds. See, she has letters behind her name. And it's obvious we need therapy. I can't stop the therapy, of course, because there can be no disruption of services. I tried to explain I did not want to disrupt the service, just have a different provider. But you must move mountains to change providers, or at least have a valid reason. I suppose incompetency isn't a good enough reason. ho-hum.

But I must have really sounded pitiful. I posted that particular post just because I thought it was funny. I mean, the cat part, anyway. I certainly don't think our situation is funny, but then again, if you can't laugh....

I'm not feeling hopeless, though. You want to see a hopeless post, just visit here. That was the first day we saw this lady, and I crashed and burned the entire 2 hour ride home (that's how far I'm driving to get such good advice). An angel in disguise has already refueled me, sent me some names to research out as possible therapists (once finalization happens), and apparently has even put a care package in the mail. I'll tell you more when it arrives! ;)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Therapy

So I would be completely ashamed of myself if Charity's psychiatrist somehow ended up here on the blog. But I so must blog this. It's just too ridiculous. And that seems to be the theme of my life lately.

The therapist and I have had little success getting on the same page. She's a kind lady who I think genuinely wants to help kids. I think I'm somewhat at fault because it's hard to really describe fully how things are going, especially when I know my own actions, feelings, and responses are being evaluated. And not as a mom. As a foster mom. One whose care could be considered not the best for this child. Then, bye-bye baby. So perhaps I'm a little guarded.

But I decided before this particular session that all gloves would come off. VERY frustrated with not really having any help. Oh, we go. And we talk. And there she sits across from me talking to Charity as if she's trying to talk her into better behavior. For 30 minutes every 4 to 6 weeks. I'm left wanting help and direction, and feeling like I'm not getting any. I'm reading all these amazing things about tapping, weighted blankets, specific parenting techniques for kids like mine. But what we get is 30 minutes of batting eyes, a high pitched voice, and pleas for better behavior. That's likely to work. Right?

So I went in hoping that clearing the air and setting out better expectations might help things. I started by saying maybe she didn't completely understand what I meant when I say we've had some really bad days. Maybe she didn't understand just how she's been acting out. My husband and I are very concerned and very alarmed at some of the things she's done. We're talking false allegations of abuse (Mom doesn't feed me, she doesn't let me play with toys, she'll be mad at me, etc.). We're talking pet abuse. Enticing first, then a swift kick. "here, kitty, kitty", then a few blows to the head. We're talking peeing in a drawer. Serious stuff, people. My kid is sick, and we need help. I even teared up. I didn't beg with my words but she had to see the stress and frustration and need for some direction.

So, she said that next time she hurt the cat, I should put the her in a kennel. For about an hour. So that she would have a consequence that she could physically see a response to her action.

I used so many "she's" in that previous sentence because that's exactly the way the therapist said it. My response? I busted out laughing. And said, "which one? The kitty or the kid?" I mean does that sound logical to you? Am I crazy? Is that a fitting consequence for Charity?

In my hysterical laughing I noticed her eyes bug out. A look I'm all too familiar with from my husband. It was that look like I had just dropped from outer space or something. A martian in her presence. And then I realized she was searching for whether or not I would put Charity in the kennel. And then I stammered and stuttered all over myself trying to explain that I didn't mean which one to put in the kennel. I meant, which one did she think that was a consequence for?

And she responded in her well trained way, "So, what I hear you saying is... (thoughtful pause while eyes blink)... Charity wouldn't really care if the cat was in the kennel? She isn't really attached to it?" Her EXACT words.

Again hysterical laughter. Um, NO. She has little to no attachment to ANY OF US. That's why we're here. For heaven's sake. Are we on different planets, here?

I went on to outright ask. What can we do? We don't know how to handle this. We are not even considering disruption, in fact, we just received word that we have been approved to adopt her. So finalization is coming and we celebrate that joyfully. But our kid is sick. And just like if she had cancer or some other disease of the body, we want her very best chance at life, and the very best treatment we can find.

And she says we're doing just fine. It will just take time. And unfortunately, Charity may be a tough nut to crack.

Really. Her words. Not one exaggeration.

And what's really telling, is I just told this woman my kid is abusing animals, lying like crazy, and peeing in a drawer. She said I could make another appointment if I wanted to. I asked how soon. She said in 4 to 6 weeks.

She's getting paid for this.

Reactive Attachment Disorder

RAD is kicking my butt lately. The blog is like my free therapy. I mean, I know I haven't said much about what's going on in my house, but I read some amazing blogs written by awesome moms, and this new one that you should REALLY read. If you know us, if you know my Charity, if you want to understand a little bit about how a RAD kid thinks and acts.... go read this beautiful little girl's journey to healing from RAD. She's 8, and she's making a huge difference even in my own home. This post, in particular, where she answered a lot of commenter's questions left me floored.

I'll try to post again later today and tell you about therapy yesterday. Hilarious. In a nervous, ridiculous, this can't be happening sort of way. But of course, at the moment, a baby is crying, a RADling needs attention, and Blessing is nowhere to be heard. Uh-Oh.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Saturday

Another fabulous present we received for Christmas was a family pass to the Museum of Discovery. So we loaded up Saturday and headed to Little Rock for the day. The kids loved the museum! Here's just a few quick pictures, but if you live in AR and haven't visited here yet, it's definitely worth a trip. There are a couple of areas dedicated to kids 6 and under, rooms to check out building materials and create, plus all the great exhibits and fun things to see and do. Faith and Hope really enjoyed it, too, but these are just some pics of the little ones in the little kid rooms.

Grace and Blessing on the monkey bars, in what they called, "the work up room". Work out, maybe? There was a tread mill there, I have no idea what they meant! ;)



Charity climbing the wall. That was her favorite part. Well, other than the food.



How Mercy spent her day:

Friday, January 2, 2009

Girls, Girls, Girls

A boy would just die here. Really. Kill right over.

After the kids so pleasantly and quickly, er..., um, ahem... so that wasn't exactly how it happened. Ok, after repeating myself way too many times and finally bribing, the kids completed their zones and the house looked amazing. Alright, so that's a stretch, too. It still looked rather lived in, but better than when we first got up! ;)

Stay with me, I'm getting somewhere. After chore time, I pulled another Christmas jewel from the middle girls' stack of treasures. They had been begging, and they quickly emptied the dress up bucket for the perfect ballet outfit. I popped their new instructional dance dvd in the player, and they lined up like little ducks across the living room. I sat behind them in my chair, snickering and snapping away. They were so cute I could have bit their little cheeks. Oh! So cute!

First they stretched just as the teacher and students were doing on the dvd.





Then, on to warming up and learning the names for a few moves. I didn't crop this one so that you could see the class on the tv, too.



Then, a real dance.



And last, but not least, Hope joined the class and Faith had to step in and do some instructing of her own. She's such a first born. Sorry about the cut-off heads. I was only bouncing a fussy baby in one hand, trying to hold the camera in the other, and wiping tears from my own eyes over all the sweetness of them holding hands in that previous picture.



And if their little tooshies wiggled any more i really would have to pinch them. Maybe I did.

The Good News is....


the batteries will die. One day. Right? Who gave this thing to this kid, anyway?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009

I'm through reflecting, now... on to the new year! I used to never ever make new year's resolutions. I figured why make them only to feel like a failure when 6 weeks in life was still the same.

Then I grew up. A little, anyway. I realized the problem wasn't with the idea, it was the unrealistic expectations I set forth. Or the perfectionism in me that throws me into fits of guilt and failure when I don't live up to my own bar. Grace, love, and mercy from my God was something I knew for others, and knew He had for me. I had not yet really accepted it for myself. And some preacher man called that what it was.... faithless. Not really believing God is who He says He is. And I let go a little and allowed myself to fail without it affecting my worth.

Well, some days, anyway. That's a daily struggle. Along with patience and kindness and most of the other fruits of the Spirit. Some moments it comes easily. Some moments it gets acted out with clinched teeth. Some moments it just doesn't happen at all, and I'm looking around for all the fruit. Where the heck did it go?

And I'm rambling on like this was not a planned post. That's sarcastic, by the way. I really had no direction at all as I sat down to type. I just knew today's post had to have something to do with the coming year.

I did make resolutions of sort, I suppose. But they aren't any different than the resolutions I make every morning before my feet leave the warmth and comfort of my bed and dive into the morning. Today, I'll be more patient. Today, I'll get agitated less. Today, I'll enjoy my children. I'll love harder and gripe less. I'll be gentle and soft spoken and meet my family's needs without a hint of frustration. I'll spend more time with my God, and less with the TV. I'll have supper on the table when my husband gets home (always, but most of the time it's half eaten and he eats by himself - something isn't quite right about that), and we'll all greet him with enthusiasm.

Maybe. Maybe not. The good thing is, I can try again tomorrow. That's what life is, anyway, isn't it? Striving for better, for more of what we know is good, and less of what makes our skin crawl with regret. Here's to a new year. A new journey. And giving God all the glory along the path.