Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lessons in Action

Last night Miss H runs into the kitchen as AE was turning on the microwave. AE is 4. She loves hotdogs. She knows how to turn on the microwave and turn it off. I have taught her to count to 10 for the hotdog and then take it out. I don't care what she sets the timer on and neither does she. But Miss H needed to rush in there, yelling NO!, and take over the microwave situation. This, in turn, has AE screaming and running to her room. All the while I am standing.right.there. I explain that while I appreciate Miss H being concerned, she just needs to voice that with a "hey Mom, can AE use the microwave?" I went over how her actions weren't the best for the situation and in the future what she should do. Complete MELTDOWN with a slam of her bedroom door shouting "You never loved me as much as her!!" It didn't last long and she came out in a few with an apology. I could tell she still wasn't regulated though. There was no point in talking anymore, I said all that needed to be said. The rest of the evening went without incident and she got up this morning in better spirits. I knew she felt she was helping and I wasn't appreciating her help. I verbalized that to her, that I appreciate it but this is how she could help without a commotion next time. It didn't matter....

M was invited by my mom's neighbor to go camping with him, his son, and a couple of their friends this weekend. I told M that he has no privileges at the moment so no, he can't go. I also stupidly added that the adults would be drinking and I didn't feel this was good supervision. M took this and told the neighbor I said he can't go because I think the neighbor is a drunk. You can imagine how this man's feelings were hurt. We explained to the neighbor that the hurt was directed at me. That M wanted to make ME look and feel bad, not him. I told M that he would need to replace the love and kindness that he had taken (Thanks Christine!), but the neighbor only wants M to tell him the truth. He doesn't want M doing anything for him and I can't force the issue. I was initially worried that M wouldn't feel a consequence for his actions but my mom pointed out that the dynamic with her neighbors would be different for awhile which WILL effect M. The neighbor's son is friends with M and is also upset about what was said about his dad. Understandably. So M will have to deal with those hurt relationships and that is as natural a consequence as it gets. He was visibly upset when he learned he had hurt this man's feelings. I truly hope he learns from this...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Reeling It In

So I came around the corner Sunday morning and saw Miss H standing there with her hand in my purse. I began to giggle and said "Uh Oh! Caught red handed!" She began to tell me how she was getting her money out of there. The money Lolly (my mom) took from her room and put into my purse. When? While I was at work....but little darling, apple of my eye, my purse was WITH me while I was at work. "But I need that money to buy YOU something, mommy." I had to giggle again and say ohhh you are quick this morning. The tears were flowing and her voice was getting louder. I got down on her level and looked in those big blue babies, Honey, you are having some big feelings from being caught doing something you weren't supposed to. Here's a book, lay on your bed and calm down. We can talk about it later. And you know what? SHE DID! No banging her head on the wall, no screaming, no beating on the door, or faking being hurt. She laid there and read and knocked about 15 min later. Got a big hug and an apology. I know she is working hard but I also believe the medication has enabled her to be in a place she CAN work on it.

M has been spending A LOT of time in his room over the last 3 weeks. I was trying a little in and a little out with him yesterday. Baby steps... I had forgotten how much he instigates. The kids were fighting more, he was picking on the girls, parenting them, all things that are normal for him but his absence has made them so obvious to me now. The constant controlling becomes so "normal" to me that I had really not been focused on it. We chatted. Ok, I chatted. The lack of eye contact unless he is doing the talking. The fact that the girls and I work together, do what needs to be done for the most part. He lives in a bubble that is all about him. He won't touch something if it isn't his. Clear the table to him means only clear your things. There is no appreciation for anything and most of the time, he gets mad if someone helps him out. He will ask, does this mean I have to do something nice for them now?? through clenched teeth.... It's little things in comparison to where we have been but such major parts of being a good employee, husband, dad, etc. They are common social skills and he comes across rude and disrespectful. And he doesn't want to hear it.... 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


It was fun! I met some great people! So glad I went!

That's about all I have been able to verbalize since my return from Orlando 2011. Like trying to explain RAD, how do I convey how amazing these ladies are? How bonds were formed in 2 days that continue to bring me to tears? Meeting women that are so different than me from age to location to situation but having an instant connection? Meeting other women that are so like me that it's freaking scary?  That feeling of listening to Christine call Diana to tell her how we raised more than double the amount we expected for the Utah retreat? How emotional that was but so not surprising because of all people, those that were in Orlando know how vitally important it is for more women like us to have the experience? How courageous and giving and loving everyone I met are?

It is so close to my heart and I feel the need to protect it. I can't explain it, I just know I am extremely blessed.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Things I See

Well, things are going....

Miss H is doing really well with the chore system but I am not surprised, she is always overly eager to please. Time will tell after the newness wears off. Great news though! This weekend a meltdown began and after slamming into her room with a "Why do you love everyone but me????" scream, there was silence. And not 5 minutes later she came out, pupils were still ity bity, and said, I'm sorry mom. I didn't mean to act that way. I congratulated her on her ability to pull it together, and so quickly. Drugs are GOOD!

M....well he is not liking his new world. His audacity continues to amaze me. He still tries for those privileges and when I remind him that he gets none, he looks at me like I am speaking Greek. We went to a meeting, held at Fudd Ruckers, and he wanted a shake and then a brownie. I wanted so bad to get one for the girls and not him. I mean he made the choices that got him to this point and I would have easily gotten them all something. But because he couldn't, I felt bad about getting it for them so I didn't. Why should they be punished for his actions? They shouldn't, and I need to stiffen my backbone...

AE is doing well, continuing to amaze me with her growth and intelligence. A couple of things...last month she went in for her check up and they were concerned about her weight and she had borderline high BP and elevated liver enzymes. They referred us to a nutritionist. I was a bigger kid as was her dad, so I never thought much of it. Genetics, what do you do? The nutritionist asked me many questions and ended that AE is getting a great amount of exercise, eating properly, and there isn't anything she really needed to teach me. I felt good about that. They said the high BP/liver issues are due to her size and once that was resolved, so would the BP. She gets overly out of breath at things that didn't used to bother her. I just can't explain the weight gain...she has an appt next week so I hope they will continue testing to find the problem. The other is I am noticing things in her that lead me to believe she may be a Highly Sensitive Child . I have recently found this out about myself, the name at least, I have always been aware of the symptoms. I have also found out that it can be genetic. I hate when you learn about something you begin to "see" it everywhere. I don't want to place this label on her unduly, I just plan to watch her.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tit For Tat

No matter the room searches, the morning and afternoon pat-downs, the bag checks, the limitations....M takes my things. For example today, he had hidden my i-pod, a cable to nothing, an empty cake icing tub (he ate the whole thing!). Without following him everywhere and putting a bell around his neck, I can't keep up. Consequences don't deter him. It's time I take his things. His room is basically bare so I am limited in my selections but I think that dragon poster will look nice in my room. That's where I am going to start....

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Stick Poking

I recently heard this term and it's a perfect description! This morning, and not the first time, Miss H made chocolate milk for her little sister without being asked. She KNOWS little one won't drink it cold. So she comes to me to let me know she did this wonderful task and then explained that AE was complaining that it was too cold. "I put it in the microwave for 40 seconds like we always do but she's still complaining." I knew...I just knew from past experience. I went to AE who immediately handed me the cup and asked that I warm it. I took the cup and placed it on Miss H's cheek and she jumped back. Ice cold. I made a comment that if she had warmed it at all, it wouldn't be that cold. There is no other explanation than to drive me nuts. No one asked her to fix it, so why go to all the trouble just to not heat it up and say you did? This is just one example of the constant ways to drive mom mad.

I implemented a form of Accountable Kids chore chart last night. I read some reviews and liked it, mainly because it is in MY face so I can hopefully stay consistent with it. I need something to organize them and their mess. I am in no way a clean freak but the constant half-ass work around the house is killing me. So I went to Hobby Lobby and for $20 bought materials to make my own system.

They have a Start, Finish, Earned Tickets, and Extra area for each kid. On Start, there hangs two cards, one for morning and one for evening. On each, their chores/expectations are listed and are individual to each child's abilities. In the morning when their tasks on the card are complete, they let me know and if done and done correctly, they receive a Ticket. Same goes for evening. Each ticket is 30 minutes. When it's privilege time, they can use their tickets for tv, outside play, etc. If they don't have any tickets, they can spend that time in their rooms reading, drawing, puzzles, etc. There is also a list of things that will get a ticket removed such as arguing, disrespect, having to be asked more than once, etc. This is to make me consistently check their work and to let them see that privileges aren't a given but must be earned. I will tweak as we go along but we started this morning. I said I would not pull any tickets through Friday but instead would be pointing out, "you would loose a ticket for that behavior." This gives them a chance to earn some time for the weekend and not get discouraged right away. They have to choose to "spend" their ticket today or save it for the weekend or another time. Hopefully they can learn to manage their time better. There is also a Best Behavior card and I intend on awarding it to someone everyday. It is worth 30 extra minutes. I explained there may be days that they are all great (bwhaa haa ha) but I will only award it to one person. It won't always seem fair but the fairness will rotate. I am so tired of trying to balance fairness all the time - it's impossible and they need to figure that out. Easier said than done, I realize.

They have already tested me on the first morning but I'm not playing. Something has got to give or it will be me, snapping into insanity. Miss H was trying to negotiate immediately. What if we don't get everything done but then we do something special for you, like sweep your bathroom? There is no negotiating. You have to understand too, that Miss H has cleaning rules. So many people say how lucky I am that she loves to clean. They don't know what this entails.

I can't find anything, things get broken, AND she will clean everything EXCEPT what I have asked her to do. Scrub my kitchen floors? YES! Make her bed? No... I am constantly telling her to not clean any mess she didn't make unless I ask her to. Everyday I ask, where is ____ and she will say oh I moved it over here. No reason, just to stick poke....

Monday, February 7, 2011

Winter Blues

I find the holidays to effect me as much as it effects my kiddos. Or maybe it's the shorter days and colder weather. In any case, I start therapy this week for myself. I have finally realized that I can't go on just existing. When the tough comes up, I push it back and think I'll deal with it later. I never deal with it and its weight drags me down. This makes for a not-so-great mom. It's not that I get angry but instead just drift along, not really trying to deal with the hard stuff - theirs or mine.

The disrespect is in high gear from them both lately, M working off over $100 he "stole" from me. H keeps taking the batteries out of her door alarm and I've tried everything. It's amazing how successful they are at being sneaky. Their meds we began a couple of months ago have really made a difference though. I put off meds for so long...not wanting to jump on that bandwagon unnecessarily but honestly, it is really helping them. H hasn't raged in weeks or attempted to run away. This is HUGE. M can laugh things off now instead of shutting down. This also is HUGE.

I am looking into something for M, something life changing for us all. I am praying on it and proceeding with the process. Please keep us in your thoughts as this plays out and when/if something definite comes of it, I will share with you.