Saturday, December 24, 2011
J. has to work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I am not sure but it seems like it has been a long time since that has happened. We decided to celebrate early, on Friday, so that we wouldn't be rushed for time together.
Friday, December 23, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
- I am starting my own business and applied for a license (it came in the mail a few weeks ago). I named it White Rabbit Arts. I am still kind of developing a business plan, but here is where I am going with it currently:
- I have been teaching a dance class for preschoolers called "Lil' Crocodiles. It is being held at this awesome older building in town and I am able to trade cleaning it for class use. I am starting out with one weekly 45 minute class for kids ages 2-6. It has been lots of fun!
- Bartering has been something both J and I have been really getting into. We have been going through the house, ridding rooms of clutter and unused items and gaining some nice, needed things. J and I have also traded some labor for delicious meals.
- My newest bartering agreement...providing childcare last minute to a single dad who is a personal trainer. He is going to be training me for two months for me helping him this month caring for his two sweet kids.
- We are waiting to hear some big news that may effect our family so be praying. Will write about it soon.
- E has been going to therapy here at a local place. She has been wonderful and we had a bit of a breakthrough with him!! It was emotional and awesome to see him express some sort of feeling toward his background and birthmom (we have no clue who she is) and turn to ME for comfort.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Today I went to get a mani/pedi at a little nail salon with friends. It felt lovely to have someone treat my feet and hands and polish my nails with some pretty fall colors!
Also, my mom loaned me the book "The Dirty Life" by Kristin Kimball. I really need to start reading more and am excited to start this book tonight!!
3: Listening to rain hit our metal roof.
4: Holding babies.
5: Clean sheets on my bed.
6: Being creative and enjoying the arts...music, dance, writing, painting, design, theater, architecture, fashion...anything.
7: Giving. (including love, service, compassion and material things)
8: Traveling and experiencing different cultures.
9: Living simply.
10: Moving. (active and non-stagnant)
Friday, October 7, 2011
"Being in a helping role involves attending to the needs of others and you are often exposed to negativity and suffering."
I took the quiz and can you believe it? the results (more than 15 very true responses to the 40 questions) meant that it is definitely time to take a close and careful look at self-care issues.
"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." -Friedrich Nietzsche
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Six kids and five schools. My mornings consist of (with lots of help from J) feeding, bathing, dressing, packing lunches and sending kids on four different buses. It's crraaazzzy. But's been so nice and relaxing to have some time to myself in the mornings the last two days. I was really needing this!
Saturday, September 3, 2011
The last few months have been difficult, maybe the blog is evidence of that. Having a high needs child with a saddening story, dealing with J's difficult hours and stressful job, arguing kids home for the summer and other things have all piled up. I feel like I woke up one day and realized I don't know who I am anymore! I know I am a mom and a wife (and part of other relationships too). But my interests have waned. I don't take time for myself like I should. And I certainly haven't felt genuinely happy. I almost feel like I am going through a midlife crisis, although I am not really old enough to be at the "midlife" point yet.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
We have had dogs as pets for as long as I can remember. I grew up with several great dogs, and had a few in our marriage before kids. Robin the beagle joined our family about 10 years ago, and we added Jackson, the long haired chihuahua about seven years ago. On the 4th of July, we left both dogs in the chain link dog run outside. Unfortunately, Jackson must have dug out from underneath and escaped. After searching, putting up posters, calling and visiting the local humane societies, we still have not found poor Jackson. Then tragedy hit our family as J. was getting the kids ready to go the other morning. I was at a therapy session with E. and missed the whole thing. I met J. in the parking lot of work to trade cars. I asked how the morning went, and learned about what happened. Robin had ran out the front door left open by a child, and ran right into the road. He was hit and killed by a truck going past. J. was inside, getting our foster child ready to go. He heard yelling, tires squealing, and a loud thud, followed by yells for dad. He went running out, fearing that one of our children had been hit, but it was Robin. He sent everyone inside, all crying and upset, and dealt with the disposal and clean up. And then we all mourned. J. was able to come home early from work that night. We are still sad. We miss our dogs.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
I am busy learning all about how to care for a special little girl who is considered medically fragile. M is seven years old and is about thirty pounds. She is tube fed, immobile, nonverbal and suffers from Rett Syndrome. She is the sweetest, happiest little girl too! We've been bombarded with medical equipment, nursing training, and learning all sorts of new things, but it has been a good adventure.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
Last night I slept horribly. I had dreams and nightmares about E. I felt like my brain would not shut off and all I could think about was how we need to start getting him help.
His group's website had a checklist on their site that caught my eye.
Circle the items if they are frequently or often true.
- My child acts cute or charms others to get others to do what my child wants.
- My child often does not make eye contact when adults want to make eye contract with my child.
- My child is overly friendly with strangers.
- My child pushes me away or becomes stiff when I try to hug, unless my child wants something from me.
- My child argues for long periods of time, often about ridiculous things.
- My child has a tremendous need to have control over everything, becoming very upset if things don't go my child's way.
- My child acts amazingly innocent, or pretends that things aren't that bad when caught doing something wrong.
- My child does very dangerous things, ignoring that my child may be hurt.
- My child deliberately breaks or ruins things.
- My child doesn't seem to feel age-appropriate guilt when my child does something wrong.
- My child teases, hurts, or is cruel to other children.
- My child seems unable to stop from doing things on impulse.
- My child steals, or shows up with things that belong to others with unusual or suspicious reasons for how my child got these things.
- My child demands things, instead of asking for them.
- My child doesn't seem to learn from mistakes and misbehavior (no matter what the consequence, the child continues the behavior).
- My child tries to get sympathy from others by telling them that I abuse, don't feed, or don't provide the basic life necessities.
- My child "shakes off" pain when hurt, refusing to let anyone provide comfort.
- My child likes to sneak things without permission, even though my child could have had these things if my child had asked.
- My child lies, often about obvious or ridiculous things, or when it would have been easier to tell the truth.
- My child is very bossy with other children and adults.
- My child hoards or sneaks food, or has other unusual eating habits (eats paper, raw flour, package mixes, baker's chocolate, etc.
- My child can't keep friends for more than a week.
- My child throws temper tantrums that last for hours.
- My child chatters non-stop, asks repeated questions about things that make no sense, mutters, or is hard to understand when talking.
- My child is accident-prone (gets hurt a lot), or complains a lot about every little ache and pain (needs constant band aids).
- My child teases, hurts, or is cruel to animals.
- My child doesn't do as well in school as my child could with even a little more effort.
- My child has set fires, or is preoccupied with fire.
- My child prefers to watch violent cartoons and/or TV shows or horror movie (regardless of whether or not you allow your child to do this).
- My child was abused/neglected during the first year of life, or had several changes of primary caretaker during the first several years of life.
- My child was in an orphanage for more than the first year of life.
- My child was adopted after the age of eighteen months.
If you find that more than a few items (more than five or so) have been circled, your child may be experiencing difficulties that require professional assistance. If, in addition to several items being marked, any of the last three items is check, your child may be experiencing attachment related problems.
Sadly, I circled 22 items on this list.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
It really is a big deal! These children often have damaged and delayed development of the brain, due to early trauma, such as abuse, separation from the mother, not having their needs meet, and being left to cry for long periods, day after day. It is essential that they have the pieces in place necessary to give the brain optimum opportunity to heal.
• Time spent on these activities prevents the brain from healing
• Interrupts the normal thinking patterns
• Time spent out of reality
• Subtracts from time child spends doing healing activities
• Reinforces twisted thinking and behavior
• Eliminates relationship building activities
• Conditions viewer to tolerate more violence and more sexual behavior
• Increases expenses
• Deteriorates self-esteem
The seven to ten second scene changes that most movies and TV programs have, disrupt normal thinking patterns. In some programs, such as the Pokemon movie for children, the changes are actually at four-second intervals. For the brain to heal, the child must spend time thinking, feeling, touching, building, creating, designing, etc. Being in a "ozone state" completely out of touch with reality, for one hour is one less hour that the brain is moving forward in its progress.
The programs and games, themselves, have highly destructive elements to moral character building. These children who know right from wrong often and intentionally choose wrong repeatedly. The theme of many TV shows and movies conditions viewers to tolerate higher levels of violence, sexual behavior and disrespect. Even the commercials often depict parents as ignorant and the child having to tell them what the proper kind of breakfast food should be.
Children with emotional problems that have trust issues with adults often see the adults as inept, powerless and clueless; reinforcing these concepts is counterproductive.
The fourteen hours a day that we are given to help each child, must not be squandered. I see each minute, as a priceless opportunity. To waste them on destructive activities is unconscionable. The brain requires eye contact with a loving caregiver. The aforementioned destructive activities eliminate this. The brain and nervous system in order to heal must have touch. Loving touch and interactive play activity are not a part of watching TV or movies. The "zoning out" in front of the tube eliminates movement, smiles, and normal relationship activities. Some parents feel the TV is an inexpensive babysitter or a distraction to "keep the kid busy" so the parent can work or rest. I believe the time a child spends sitting and staring at the screen is incredibly expensive in the long run. Costs need to be observed in several areas. The cost to the parents is in the form of more therapy needed. While the cost to the child is in the form of more of their childhood lost, whereas, the cost to society is yet another member with delays in work ethic, relationship skills and/or moral character.
When I begin the therapeutic parenting program with a child I plan on not having the child watch TV, movies, play computer or video games for one solid year. I prefer toys that increase creativity, problem solving, cause and effect thinking, tactile stimulation, and focus. My favorite is a bucket of Legos. They make big ones for little hands all the way up to motorized for teens. Incredible creations the children build can be used as a centerpiece on your table at meals. To build self-esteem, I also like to have the child hold their creation while I photograph them. The act of photographing the child’s project in itself says "what you did is important." The follow up of showing the photos to friends and relatives and putting them on your refrigerator further builds the child’s belief in their abilities and value. Action video and computer games are very helpful for a child planning a military career, the increase in the trigger finger speed can be helpful in a real life battle situation.
It’s been over twenty years since we eliminated television from our home life. I find our children reading more, talking more and interacting more. Why not unplug the tube and plug into your child’s life!
Monday, June 13, 2011
How can I tell if some of the behavior we experience with E. is related to trauma/attachment issues or simply a learning delay or disability? If it is defiance or normal childhood ignorance?
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
How quickly time has passed...
Sunday, May 22, 2011
We got our license approved for foster care on Wednesday. During the phone call to let us know we were approved, we were also asked if we wanted to take our first placement, or two. They had two girls who needed a place temporarily. While we were only approved for one child due to WA state law of no more than six children in the home, the licensor was able to approve a waiver for us to take these two girls in. They were ages six and less than one. Super cute and pretty sweet. K. had a great time sharing her room and things with her new friend. The next day the social worker called to tell us they would be leaving. K. cried and cried. But, to our surprise, four hours later they called again and said the home they thought the girls would go to didn't work out and wondered if they could come back. We said, "of course!" and K. was overjoyed. They stayed for three nights and four days. By the end of the forth day I could tell the K. was getting a little tired of her guest. It was great timing for them to go back to their family. We are glad it worked out for a reunion. The older girl was really missing her mama. Two new kids was very wearing on me, so I am not sure if it will be something I would do on a regular basis.
Monday, May 16, 2011
Six months ago we were faced with some very difficult problems after struggling to bring Mercy home from Uganda.
- We tried for months to get a court date.
- We got a court date and were refused to be seen by the judge, and any other judge in the capital, where they have a family court division.
- We could not get a court date in the smaller town where Mercy was from, after trying for weeks.
- I needed to be home with my family after a total of nine weeks being gone. My mother in law who was staying with the kids needed to return home across the state to her husband and her job. She was not able to come stay with them again later.
- Mercy's caregiver who needed to be present in court and the visa appointment was going out of the country for a month and the holidays meant courts were closed.
- Families who had filed for full adoption where having a difficult time, and the legal guardianship process was now moving smoothly. We filed for full adoption based on her medical needs.
- We had no more money for traveling back and forth.
- We were noticing some BIG behavior/attachment issues. More than we first realized. Stuff that we were unsure we could handle.