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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Implementing Training

I don't get it.

I really don't.

I got an e-mail today. Kiddo's baby sis is still in residential. Her SW said a breakthrough was made.  They discovered why she has tantrums when she's in homes and not in residential.

Apparently at 4:30 every day in residential, all the kids take their showers.  At 7 pm, they have all the kids go thru teeth brushing.

In every home that has disrupted, her baths and such have been RIGHT before bedtime, when she's already tired. She gets grumpy when she's sleepy, like kiddo, only apparently worse.  She tantrums really bad, but when she is instructed to do these things during daylight, she has no issues doing this.

I was so angry, I was seeing red.


  1. When we brought kiddo home from residential for our first overnight visit, one of the first questions we asked was about her schedule. We thought (common sense AND training) that it made sense to find out the schedule ahead of time and not turn her world upside down
  2. Did NOBODY think it made sense to try something different if her tantrums were ALWAYS at the same time of the day
  3. One of our playdates with S, at 2 pm, S said "It's time for my snack, it's 2 pm".  we JUST had eaten a snack at that point. What that told us....she's VERY schedule oriented.
If it's that obvious her schedule is important to her, why wouldn't a family keep her schedule until she's somewhat settled and at least gradually get her on the family schedule.

I'm so upset. If this is true and none of them tried to work that out, it's absurd.  

This little girl has had 4 homes since she turned 9. 

My heart is broken.

Potential Career Opportunity


So, I had a job interview yesterday for a new opportunity.  I've been with my current employer almost 26 years and it was scary just to interview.

Why did I interview:  The ex-CEO of our company that I ADORED is on the board of directors for another finance company that is still relatively small and expanding. The ex-COO, whom I also adored  is the Chairman of the board for that same company.

They are expanding into Virginia this year. A friend of mine with the company just left in January to go on board with this company and recommended me. I got the phone call and decided to go find out more.

The pluses: it’s fun opening new offices, the heart of our company that we lost is with that company, so I trust the leadership, the culture we lost is very evident in that company, the hours are MUCH better

The downs: I’d have to do some outside sales, not just in house and I’m about 90% sure that my overall compensation would be less. The base definitely is and I’m reasonably sure with bonuses it’s still lower than my overall compensation counting bonuses where I'm at.

The interview lasted 2 hours. I know the guy liked me. I think he’d have hired me on the spot if I’d been willing to open an office 30 miles down the road ;)

They are VERY people oriented and more about good fits for their company. They find quality people, hire them and THEN open the office instead of opening an office and scrambling and potentially filling the office with the wrong person and messing it up. Their retention is awesome. 

My friend that went to work there is SO ridiculously happy.  

Alot to think about. I'd love the extra time with my family, but after having taken a pay cut with the step down to spend time with my family, another pay cut could ultimately affect our standard of living. We have to figure out if it's workable.




Saturday, February 22, 2014

Leading by Example

boy, did I get a painful reminder that we can't drop the ball for a second.

Our kids watch everything we do and we have to walk the talk.

After so long of daily reminders not to waste so much, I think it finally clicked.

Hoarding food and having to throw it out.  Leaving the lights on in every room she goes into.  Pulling out 4 outfits to wear, finally chosing one and putting the others in the laundry instead of hanging them back up, resulting in more laundry (because after they're in the basket, they do get dirty, ugh)

We've explained over and over that every little bit counts and that every dollar we spend on waste is a dollar not spent spoiling her.

She just came in the kitchen and turned the light out when she left, not saying a word on her way through. I went in there and she came back behind me after I left the light on and turned it off again and said "momma, you're suppose to turn the light off so you have more money to spoil me"

heeeheee!!

Have I said how much I love that girl?

Her motto:  "You say spoiled like that's a bad thing!"


The Need Behind The Behaviors

Sometimes behaviors seem so weird and random and/or seem like something totally different than what it is.

This morning was a prime example and then another this afternoon, oddly enough.

C has a BAD habit of getting out of the shower, and bringing 90% of her clothes into the room we're in before dressing and also has a bad habit of leaving the car door open if she runs back inside to grab something for her or us when we're getting ready to leave.

We got to the bottom of BOTH of those this week.

Car door, honestly, we thought was laziness. It turns out she does that because it makes it less likely we can leave her before she gets back outside. We'd have to get out of the car, shut the door, get back in and by that time, normally she'd be back. This was she feels safer, knowing we can't leave her.

Dressing, not sure what we thought, our thoughts change from time to time on that. We continue to tell her it's not appropriate to be partially (or fully of course, although that's not an issue) in front of people and trying to get her to dress by herself.  It's not about the dressing. Today it clicked.

She said "Daddy, it doesn't matter if you see my bra, you're my daddy, you wouldn't do anything to me".

I get it now. It's safety. She finally confessed after a few questions once I got it.  By doing this in front of us and she continues to see nothing happens, it builds her safety net, and builds her confidence. It's control and she controls the lack of abuse by proving it doesn't happen and somehow these weird things are just helping her feel safe.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Puppy Power

We promised baby girl a puppy once the adoption was finalized. We also discussed the breed. As of yesterday, we had found ZERO puppies in the state under $1000 and those were about as far from us as you could get and still be in the state.

Today we have a couple leads on a couple eskie puppies about 200 miles away. We have feelers out on one of them that we've already fallen in love with somehow.

So hoping that we get to go pick up this puppy this weekend.

Arlo is outnumbered by the cats now that Ashley  is gone, so he could use a partner in crime anyway.

Here's Arlo and Ashley when they were babies. The puppy we have our request in for is a little older, but kiddo is so excited to hear back and so hoping for a crazy pup likes these 2 were. Wish we could get her 2 of them.  That may be overkill for Arlo because I know he misses his Ash.

We've even been discussing names today. Hopefully the 5 month old will pan out. But if not, there are a couple 8 week old ones near there that are available. Surely one will pan out.  The 5 month old is housebroken though, so he gets brownie points.






Monday, February 17, 2014

My baby is growing up.....

school was out for snow most of last week. Today was the first day back and her 'lil boyfriend gave her this for Valentines day. They're in middle school. Aren't they suppose to be trading lunch treats, not getting jewelry and love notes? (yes, I'm a bragger....she let me see her love note, I love that she is willing to share this with me)

and then I was fussing on facebook about how hard it is to find appropriate clothes for a 12 year old.  She's too big for little kid clothes, but juniors are too "old" for her.

I was directed to a site with these clothes, cute, but in my opinion way too hoochie momma for a 12 year old. Umm, NO!!!

I'd like her to have some cute dresses and such and not always wear jeans, but ever since she got to junior clothes, dresses and skirts that aren't too short are few and far between.

^and really, that's a skirt, for my 12 year old? I think not!!!

I so wish I could be a SAHM and had the time and energy to sew.  

My baby is growing up too quick to suit me, I don't want to aid in that with the grown up teen clothes.



Sunday, February 16, 2014

Nice Quiet Weekend

With the snow, we went close by for our Valentines Dinner instead of where we had reservations. Pizza and cupcakes as a family.

This is what we got kiddo for Valentines, along with chocolates, pencils and a peace sign journal.  Maybe she can journal some of those guilt feelings away.

Kiddo asked me for 50 cent for the kiosk at the pizza place. She said she was getting daddy a birthday present (birthday was 15th).  It was a dragon ring, which she was right, had daddys name all over it. He asked her to wear it and always remember him instead of it getting stuck on his finger.

She also made him a card, but forgot to give it to him. She said that's the cats fault.

But, oh, so much calmer since therapy. Not a bad day since.  (totally nervous about writing that, lol).

Wish I could keep her anxiety level down and get to the bottom quicker.

Board games, movies, cookies, the things our weekend was made of this weekend. So low key and so peaceful.

I love my little family.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Blizzard of 2014

This is the most snow we've seen since 1987.

Kiddo said since she's 2, which is right on target with the most snow before today since 1987.
Wow, good memory.

We're having a ball.

This is the first time my office has ever been closed and I'm so enjoying it.

Naps, playing with kiddo and animals in the snow, playing board games with kiddo and hubster.

Rocza and Arlo love playing in the snow together:

Bonkers, on the other hand, seems to really have the right idea. She prefers to just watch it snow out the window:

Kiddo and I went outside and played and we both fell in the snow and had fits of giggles:


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Root Cause

After 2 weeks of crazies, baby girl finally had therapy.

She said in the waiting room that she thinks she figured out what was bugging her.  She told us she's really worried that S will never find a family and be stuck in residential a long time.

That sorta rung more true than the multitude of things she said the other day.

She went in therapy and about 35-40 minutes in, we got invited in and she started by telling us that she was sorry for how she behaved. Her therapist asked her to share what was on her mind.  She struggled a little, but told us the same as above.  Her therapist asked her if she'd like help telling us the rest and helped her by asking a few questions.

She said she feels really guilty that she's in a good home and S doesn't even have a family.  She told her therapist that she feels really bad and responsible for them getting separated.  She feels bad that if given the chance to give S her life, she wouldn't, because she wants to keep her life with us.  (her therapist said actually her words were she was crazy about us and loved us alot and that it upsets her when she behaves like this, knowing that it hurts us)

So, the trigger: doing fun things. Once was at her sleepover, once was right after going to see Addams Family on Broadway.  When we do super fun, special things, she feels like she doesn't deserve it and then starts compounding those feelings feeling even worse that she knows S isn't experiencing these normal family things.

I'm so proud of my baby for being able to get this out.  This therapist really knows how to get things out of her and I'm so glad we finally found a decent one. VERY few good ones around here and we had to drive an hour for a year to get just an "okay" one that wouldn't cause more damage than good before finding this one.

I met them at the office for my lunch, so I left to go back to work and the hubster took baby girl back home. He said on the way home that she said she sure was glad she'd finally gotten that out, that she feels better.

Obviously we can't avoid doing fun things.  We asked what we could do to help her. She said "Adopt S".  Oh my!!

We asked her if we needed to do less big activities, but she was dead set against that. She said she loves doing these things and wants to enjoy them and learn not to lash out afterwards and for us to please keep doing fun things.

We'll see after February 27th.  Hubster won tickets for 4 to see Harlem Globetrotters that night.  Our 4th for the night will be baby girls BFF.  They're so excited.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Been tough lately.....

not even sure what set her off, but the mean side of our kid showed up and things were said. We don't know the trigger, so we don't know how to fix it.  Baby girl got upset, ran out of the house, finally came in a couple hours later, still mad.

I understand people that say they take the doors off with their trauma kids now. After she threatened to lock herself in her room, I had to break the news that the consequence of locking herself up was not having a door (that she'd already slammed)

We had her sit down at the dining room table and talk to us.

After much coaxing, she said she has drama at school (her and her almost bff aren't even friends now), she's worried about not passing 6th grade (She's gotten 1 bad grade, so there isn't any danger of her not passing unless she quits trying), she doesn't want to do her project for school (because that's totally going to help the grades), she misses her sister and she's worried that she'll mess things up and we'll send her away.  She also said she feels like she doesn't deserve the fun things we do. We explained once again that nobody in the family has to earn the fun things we do, we do them as a family because we're a family, not because somebody earned the right to have fun.

It was a stressful night, we talked through all the things she's worried about, but she's still moody and honestly I'm still mad, although its obvious she's trying.  She's so disregulated though that she's hyper and not making sense and diverting.  I want my baby bear back.  This trauma child has me exhausted.  I tough it out and hang out with her afterwards to try to get her re-regulated because I realize when she's like this is when she needs love the most, but it's so exhausting and it's when I want to just disappear for a short drive and spend time alone or bury myself in my bed.

I want to write, because it always makes me feel better, but it's very difficult to write when I can't even make it make sense in my head. I may have to come back to this later.

For now, back to bed?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Just one more reason to love my husband....

got up this morning, hubby tried to cheer me up, trying to shake off last night. While I know she's testing to make sure we will not give up like other families does and she doesn't mean the cruel things she said, it also can be very hard and draining to deal with when she's in traumaville.

Hubster got up and put this on her facebook wall for her to wake up to and I started crying and turned to mush. It says it all. I love that when one of us is stuck, the other pulls through and vice versa and we remind her that she is loved and treasured and the bad times don't change that.


He has this on HIS wall and there is the temptation, but he's a good daddy and does the right thing, so this is NOT on her wall. Off topic: this IS a pretty creepy verse.


We don't really feel that way of course and would never do it, but it is sorta funny the timing on both of these.  

Sleepover

ended up being so stressful

It's 3 am and I'm still in tears.

The deal was because we had to remove the spare bed because of the hoarding, the girls had to come up with an alternate plan to have a sleepover.

C asked if she could sleep on the couch (ahead of time). We said no because of the bedwetting. They finally decided sleeping bags in the floor and they'd be in the same room.  At bedtime, they got the sleeping bags together and put them in the living room and K got on the couch and C got on the loveseat. We pulled C aside and reminded her that we said no to her sleeping on the couch.

She had the biggest meltdown ever.

We're mean.
We're like her last family.
She doesn't care about us.
She doesn't love anybody.
She's not going back in the room with her friend.
She doesn't care if she never has friends.
She doesn't ever want another sleepover.
We're mean.
She doesn't love us.
She wishes we hadn't adopted her.
We don't understand.

OMG!! I'm so tired and I've been crying non stop for 3 hours.  I'm so sorry her friend had to deal with the temper tantrum and I'm so brokenhearted that she could say such mean things. I know she didn't mean them, but it still doesn't make it hurt less.

I wish I could quit crying. She's apparently having trouble sleeping, because ironically, she just got up and went to the bathroom.  Yes, we finally got her back in the living room after an hour of tantruming and I've already messaged K's mom to pick her up early rather than later because my child doesn't know how to behave.

On a better note though, regardless of how frustrated both me and DH felt and how hurt we both were (and mad too), we remained calm through the whole thing. Serious time in, sat with her until she went back to K. All the yelling was from C.

She came back and apologized about 1/2 hour later.  We were still drained and said we'd talk about it today.  (honestly, gotta know whether she's sorry or whether K just told her she was behaving badly and to apologize, because K will call her out and make her behave)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

New Identity

Well, given the past that our princess has experienced and the numerous places she's been, we felt it was safest to fight for her to have a new social security number.  Her social worker said we'd never get it approved because of her age, but one thing about this journey, it's made us even more tenacious than before, and that was already one of our best qualities.

I printed off the policy from social security website and drafted a letter on why she meets the policy requirements and requested a new social security number for her. DH went over and discussed it. They said no, because she knows she's adopted.  He presented the policy and our reasonings and they agreed to set up an appointment to discuss it. Appointment day, he goes over and presents the case and fills out the appropriate paperwork. He leaves and an hour later, they call wanting copies of police records. Ummm, we wouldn't have police records. Legally, we cannot get a copy of those.

I put together additional information, pull stuff online to show arrests (although the ones towards kids are not on there because of privacy reasons, it does at least show the history of behaviors).

DH went back over there (with kiddo, because it was a snow day). The lady said "Does she know she's adopted?"  DH said "well, she's 12, so I think she suspects something".

Baby girl said she started to burst out in tears and look at daddy and say "why didn't you and mommy ever tell me I was adopted"?

yep, that's our child. Weird thru it all.

(on another note, some painful stuff about her past came out as a result of this that was in her file that she didn't know about, no lashback yet, but I know it's coming, next therapy we'll have to bring that up so they can work on it so it doesn't get bad)

After they checked it, they said it should not be a problem at all. We'll receive the final decision in 7-10 days and her new social security number about a week after.