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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Meltdown.....

with mine being the worst.

All 3 of us, same time.  It was bad.

Kiddo had a bad morning, with a major case of the grouchies. Hubs had woken up on the wrong side of the bed too and wasn't picking his battles.  It was the day before shark week for me and I was on edge too.

Kiddo lost her temper, showed her butt.

I told her she could ride the bus, that I was going to work and wasn't going to be yelled at like that and told her "turn it around if you want a ride", otherwise I was leaving and going to work.  She has always said she hates riding the bus, too noisy, etc.  We've always said we'd happily take her as long as it was a pleasant drive.  I also let her pick the radio station on the mornings that go smoothly.  We told her several times "redo" if things going badly, that being a car rider is a priviledge, not a right.

I went and waited in the car while she got her coat and she proceeded to cuss hubs out.

Cursing doesn't happen unless she's extremely dysregulated and disassociating.  Something triggered her to a different point in her life and she ran out the door with hubs telling her to take the bus home because of what she'd said to him.

Us in our own dysregulation from being yelled at (a trigger for us) didn't have us parenting for connection, as we normally would.

I was in tears and yelled.

Hubs was dead serious about not picking her up. He called the school and told them he wouldn't be able to pick her up and that she'd need to ride the bus, which bus to ride, that she's always been a car rider and to please make sure she gets on the right bus and off at the right stop.

I was terrified she'd run away (her go to move before coming to live with us)

I cried off and on all day over the morning.

Hubs told me not to worry, that the school would put her on the bus and he'd pick her up at the bus stop, but that she needed a little tough love to show she couldn't be the bully she was being that morning.

He met her at the bus stop......

him and I were prepared for WWIII.

Result.....she LOVED it. She got over the fear of riding the bus. One of her besties and a crush ride the bus. She immediately apologized and said she was out of line, hugged us and said she'd like to ride the bus home a couple times a week and hang out with friends.

So, what started as a horrible day ended up resulting in exposure therapy and a breakthrough.

So glad that we can only mess up things so far.  Most of my tears were over my reaction and not being in a connective way.  It all worked out though.

Needing to be a healthy mom....

I've had back pain since 2001, increasing over the past couple years to high levels.  My primary doc sent me to pain specialist. He looked at my MRI and asked me a few questions and what he said really struck me weird, but sorta hit home for me as a possibility. He said I definitely have degenerative disc disease but that the description of my pain didn't match that, that it appears it's my muscles that are causing the pain more than the discs. After a few more questions, he said he'd almost bet that I have sleep apnea and muscle fatigue as a result of that and sent me back to my PCP to look into it, saying injections wouldn't help long term.

I had my first sleep screening and got the results Thursday. The doc said I had 200 "events" (and described what she meant, but most I didn't understand), but short version is over 30 points to sleep apnea and while it didn't appear I ever quit breathing (thank God), that I have significant sleep apnea and will be going to a full sleep study next before determining best course of treatment.

Both doctors said this can: reduce the # of headaches I have, reduce my back pain, reduce my fatigue, reduce my blood pressure, increase my energy, decrease depression and anxiety and help me sleep better and even help me lose weight.

I'm so ridiculously excited to have a diagnoses thats fixable!!

And better yet, all my problems at once!! lol

I need more energy. I feel like I could be such a better momma and wife if I could just not feel so fatigued constantly.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Patience

I always feel like we're failing in the area of showing patience, but apparently we do better than I give us credit for.

Kiddo and I were curled up together watching funny videos.

She loves her husky puppy so we were looking at husky puppy videos and there were several with a husky and a baby.  In all of the videos the husky was so gentle with the baby and let the baby do whatever with no growlng at all.

Just love and tolerance.

She said "Awwwww, huskies are so patient, like momma and daddy, only a dog"

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Why don't I have a hope chest?

After baby sis went back to residential, she'd taken most of her stuff with her, but left some behind with the family she was with, who wanted her to come back.

When they found out she wouldn't be allowed to come back to them, we arranged for us to get baby sis's personal items.

Of course, kiddo, being the typical big sis, wanted to go thru the boxes and check out her stuff.  Of course, me, being the nosy butt, let her, lol

Some treasures from that home, but then all the sudden a random item.....a pizza cutter.

and then measuring spoons

Huh? A few weird items that aren't something normally in a kids treasure box.

Kiddo said "My weird sister, why would she have kitchen items and flower pots?"

I jokingly said "Well, maybe they started a hope chest for her there for when she grows up".

Guess who wants a hope chest now?


Wonky Kid

Kiddo is driving me up the wall.

Hyper, easily distracted, can't focus worth two cents, forgets how to use indoor voice, constantly moving and momma has to be there 24/7

Very difficult, especially when she's not open about what is bugging her.

Momma would be ready for the funny farm soon if she hadn't actually finally come out with what may or may not be the issue.  We'll see by whether she starts calming down.

She said she's missing her sister, worried her sister will never have a forever family, etc.

We suggested she call her and then she'd hear her and know she's okay and happy where she's at.  (if her sister had her way, she'd stay in residential until she aged out probably).  She said no, that'd make it worse.

Finally she said what would help would be seeing her, that it's been too long since they've had a playdate.  Apparently kiddo was waiting on us to line up something.

We reminded her after the last fiasco, we told her she had to tell us when she was ready, we wouldn't line up playdates until she said the word, because of how stressed she was and her comments that she wanted to have less playdates, that they were stressful.

So, yeah, just e-mailed the residential center therapist and the social worker and asked when baby sis would be ready for a playdate.

We shall see how this goes....


We reminded her again that she has to be open so we can help, that contrary to how we act, we can't always read minds.

Friday, January 8, 2016

It's a Hard Knock Life



That's my earworm of the day

We went to see Annie on Broadway last night.  We love doing shows like this as a family, but this one was beyond excellent.

The kids were amazing, the show was well done and well, the story is close to my heart.

Like Warbucks finding Annie, we found our "Annie" at age 11 shortly before Christmas as well.  Our kiddo, like Annie, has a beautiful head of red hair.  Our kiddo, like Annie, would feed the stray dog before herself.  While our kiddo wasn't in an orphanage, she was in a residential treatment center, not with a family and both roommates with friends and bullies.While it was for Christmas, it was also adoption day and she got a puppy for her adoption, just like our kiddo did.

Yeah, kinda hit close to home.

Kiddo didn't seem to get triggered. She was sad when the dog had a threat of being put to sleep (both of us), but I cried like a baby when they thought they'd found Annies parents and Daddy Warbucks wasn't going to be able to adopt her.

A couple things I noticed prominently that I may not have focused so much on if I didn't have a similar child.....

When Daddy Warbucks wanted to give Annie a locket and tell her he wanted to adopt her, she was wearing the locket left by her parents.  He didn't know it was a special locket and she screamed and started running off because she was mad at the idea of taking it off.  She did, however, tell him quickly why when asked.  I told kiddo she could take a lesson from that scene, that like Daddy Warbucks, we don't always know a trigger, but we will always try to make things right when we hit one.

Daddy Warbucks was so good about letting her love her parents, even though he wanted her for his own daughter and moved Heaven and Earth to make her happy.

In the end, when the fake parents showed up, I think deep down Annie knew.  She was struggling with leaving Warbucks and when it came out they were fake and her birth parents were dead, she embraced Daddy Warbucks and they of course, no doubt, will live happily ever after, with a few trauma moments behind the scene that we will never see.

The toughness, willing to run away to get into a good situation, her protectiveness over the little one in the show and her willingness to believe things could be good again, all qualities of our kiddo.

So yeah, while it was amazingly done and lots of funny scenes, it was also a tearjerker for me and meant a ton.

We didn't take a friend to this one, so the money we would have used on a ticket and meal for friend went to extra souveniers for kiddo.  Spoiled a ton!!

Cost of our night:
price of 3 front row tickets to the show
price of dinner for three in upscale Mexican place
a near midnight night on a school night
a ton of gifts, but

THE QUALITY TIME TOGETHER AND DISCUSSION.....PRICELESS!!!!



Saturday, January 2, 2016

Alvin and the Chipmunks--spoiler alert

The Road Chip

Well worth the ticket price.

Kiddo and I really wanted to see it. Hubs didn't, so he went to a different movie while we saw it.

I loved it.

And the message.

Dave finally adopted the chipmunks and made them an "official" family.  Alvin, Theodore and Simon were worried that "dad" would give up on them and Myles didn't help much with his "dad's are overrated" comment.

When Dave found out their fears, he said "No boys, why would you think that? I'd never do that, you're stuck with me whether you like it or not"

Kiddo and I looked at each other knowingly.  That "You're stuck with me, whether you like it or not" has been used in this household a thousand times over the past few years.

We had a conversation about that on the way home and hubs told her "Whenever you're starting to feel like you think we'll give up, just remember our motto....the torture never stops"

Giggles galore.

She said to us on the way "this is our family, I'm the normal one and we know what that's saying if I'm the normal out of us 3"

Yep, a perfect fit.

The Rich Parents

Apparently, we're rich and never knew it.

I guess we brought this on ourselves partially with how much we spoil our baby.

We nearly had a heart attack when we got the cable bill for November.  $202 worth of pay per view.  I don't even know how you view that much in a month.  That is 1-2 per day.

problem 1
We had our cable set up requiring a passcode to use pay per view or R rated shows

problem 2
Kiddo rented movies that we have on DVD already anyway

problem 3
She purchased a couple to keep, one of which we already have on DVD

We approached kiddo about this and she said she didn't realize she'd spent that much.  Of course she didn't.  It was nickeled and dimed throughout the month.  We reminded her she wasn't suppose to use pay per view without permission regardless of whether it was 1 movie or 20.  We reminded her that occassionally we will say yes, but generally no, because most things will be free soon.  We also reminded her of which ones we have in the DVD collection.

She didn't figure out the passcode.  Apparently if you get the wrong passcode so many times, comcast resets the whole program, which means our tv's no longer had parental controls on it after she had the required number of failed password attempts.  Sorta defeats the purpose of having a passcode.  We called the cable company to get that problem fixed.

Consequence--
She wasn't allowed to watch TV without us until at least 1/2 of the bill had been worked off.  We had her do chores and she's in the final half now and helping me with laundry each week.

She worked her little heart out.

BUT....she said she didn't really get what the big deal was, that we're rich.

That opened up conversation for what things cost....ie. $200 is weekly grocery, $200 is 1/2 of the electric bill, $200 is her big Christmas gift.  We also had a talk about how many hours I have to work to make that amount of money and how many hours the average person has to work to make that amount of money.

It also opened up a conversation about how rich people don't stay rich by blowing money on things that are more cost effective to do in other ways.

Explaining that we're not rich, we're comfortable, we have all we need and alot of what we want and we love spoiling her, so while it may appear rich in comparison to ways she'd had to live in the past, that it's not rich by US standards.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Blank Page


There is just something so refreshing about starting a new year.  The promise of things to come, the reenergizing of motivation.

It really doesn't make any sense though. New Years Day is  no different than January 2nd, or March 29th or November 1st.  It just feels like you've put down an old book and picked up a new book with fresh pages.  I love to feel the new pages in my day runner, with nothing written in them yet, imagining all that I'll fill those pages up with. I even like the smell of a new calendar.

and this is why I relate it to books. I'm that way about books too.

Do you set resolutions? So many do and fail.  So many don't and make fun of those who do (I don't get that, at least somebody wants to try to change things).  And then there are those that mean it.  If you're going to make a resolution, make it SMART.....Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound.

Make sure you are focused on what you want to do, that you will be able to tell if you succeeded or not, that it's possible and set a time you want to complete it by.  It doesn't have to be December 31st.  That's my timeline for my 2016 goals, but you don't have to set goals on January 1, nor do you have to end them on December 31st, but work towards what you want, with purpose and passion.

All that said, I'm jotting down my ideas of what I wish to accomplish in 2016 and how.  Putting them in writing holds me accountable.  I always fail at some, but I can't succeed at that which I do not try.  I hope to achieve more in 2016 than in the past and be a better person overall.

Goals:


  • Parenting for Attachment--so much progress has been made with baby girl. I want to continue this progress and not let myself be an obstacle in her healing, to understand the need behind the behaviors, help her identify and respond to triggers appropriately and help her be the best her that she can be
  • I refuse to say I'm going on a diet, I don't even remotely feel it yet, but I will say I will work on finding that mojo to want to do that and that I will do what I can to make progress in this area.  I will find a way to be 2 sizes smaller in 2016.  I've recently started water aerobics with kiddo at the local Y.  I have water aerobics gear in my amazon wish list for when summer gets here and I have the support needed to succeed with this.  I also will reduce number of meals out for lunch at work to improve my overall food intake.
  • Get kiddo a passport, one day we really do want to go to Germany and visit brother in law and his future wife.  We can't do more than dream if we don't take the first step towards reality.
  • Become a core branch by the end of first quarter. What this means is achieving specific goal at work that puts me in the next tier of bonus earnings.  I want to maximize my earning potential and put those bonuses to work for long term results, and not nickel and dime them away.
  • project organization--very overwhelmed in my own home lately, it seems too full to me
  • Create good memories as a family, not taking time for granted, but enjoying what life and each other has to offer. I don't want our child looking back and saying "We never did anything together" or "we just sat around watching TV" or "Friday nights were the only times we did anything" (our normal family night to do to dinner together)
  • Be the best me that's possible.

Last Years Resolutions and how I did


  • ·         Ramp up my parenting for attachment—occassionally I forget the trauma that my baby has experienced and I parent her like I would a bio child instead of working for attachment.  While we are attached, she’s not yet 100% secure in her attachment, so I need to make sure I parent her at her developmental level, not her chronological age.  (by the way, I'm a firm believer that attachment parenting is good for bios too, it's just not required the way it is for a trauma child)
I I think I did pretty well with this. We have our moments, but I think I'm overall a pretty good momma for her needs
  • ·         After I realized I had failed to achieve my goal last year of opening a savings account for kiddo after getting her birth certificate and social with us as legal parents, I opened up the savings account since posting my failure here. My goal for this year is to put some money aside for her future.
I I put aside a little bit (baby steps) each paydate in an account for her.  Twice during the course of the year, I put in an extra tad for her.  Year one of saving for the baby accomplished.

  • ·         Savings….need to work on that for myself as well. I love spoiling our kid and I tend to spend more than I should. I need to work on regular savings for ourselves as well.  52 week challenge would be great. $1 first week, $2 second week…..
I We spend way too much money.  We do have more in the bank now than last year this time, however, it's all committed because of the crazy renters that trashed my mommy's house.  It's all pledged for, but it's for a good cause.  Our child will have a nice house already when the day comes
  • ·         Be mindful of my eating habits. I didn’t hit my goal last year of reducing a dress size, but I will this year. How I’ll do that: incremental habits that I can live with. If I maintained last year, just small changes will get me to goal this year and make this a lifestyle I can live with.
I I suck. Just suck. That's all I can say. On the flip side, I recently started water aerobics, I think it'll turn into better choices as time progresses.
  • ·         Making memories, too often I’m inclined to get a rut, decide to rest up on the weekend, but I have time to rest when I’m dead. Making memories as a family is important to me and I don’t want to look back with regrets when I’m on my death bed. I didn’t have the first 11 ½ years of my daughters life. While recharging and rest is important, enjoying each other also is.  We will do things as a family to build connections and memories.
Kiddo broke her ankle and had surgery in March.  We weren't able to get to the beach until October because of her ankle and mobility, however, I still think we did pretty well with this.  We have an entire scrapbook of things we did in 2015.  

What all we did: Cherokee (different vacay than normal), 2 road trips to see family for graduations and checked out things nearby as ankle permitted, momma/daughter nail time so daddy could go see Bill Maher, Mannheim Steamroller, Nutcracker, paint your own pottery, 3 visits with baby sis, museum trip, OBX, real fireworks on July 4th, and lots of little things....making smores in the firepit for one, toy drive, visit from Germany uncle, etc.
  • ·         Contribute to an area of passion throughout the year, not just at Christmas (ie. Toys for tots at Christmas I always excel at, that’s not my only passion though and I can do better here and will in 2015!!)
I I never found where to contribute to backpack program. I WILL do that this year.  I did a couple small things, but not any more than usually and not amused with myself

  • ·         Make better bonuses EVERY quarter this year than I did at my previous employer. Enjoy the rewards and make those bonuses count and not nickel and dime them away   Get kiddo involved in an activity to get her out of the house and interacting with peers and improve her self esteem
Circumstances beyond my control prevented this last time on the bonus, but the others were better and yes, totally making them count!!

Kiddo activity: enrolled her in piano lessons since no bullies there, leg thing caused a snag there, but she's starting to venture out and hang out with different kids, so this is good

  • ·       Payoff a bill this year and free up more memory making money. We tend to not snowball our debt as we should. We have no car and house debt anymore, so I think we think because it’s “little” stuff that it’s okay to owe, but that’s crazy talk.  Going to work on this this year!
did this, still room to go, but less bills anyway! 

·         Be the best me that’s possible!

I have my days ;)

So, how did you all do with your resolutions? Do you make them? Do you grade yourself?

I give myself a B-

Parenting things are the most important things, so while I missed more than a B's worth of tasks, I hit the critical items.  


I'm Running Away.....

we made it 9 months without hearing those words.

We heard them again yesterday.

Hubs texted me and said "Kiddo said she's running away, just wanted you to know, but don't worry, she's okay because Arlo is giving away her location, she's sulking at the edge of the yard"

He went out and suggested she at least go in the shed with the comics so she's not bored.  She moved to the edge and sat right outside the door.  He said "I guess she just couldn't do what I suggested".

Now....here's WHY she was running away.

Hubs ran out and came back to find her playing with my old phone. She's not suppose to use my phone or tablet unless in my presence, due to poor choices she's made in the past. She had installed KIK, which is against our family policy and is also the program that had the creepy guy that asked for nude photos this time in 2013.

I was sad and mad at the same time.

Yeah, a little mad that she ignored our rules, but more sad.  EVERY year, SAME time, something very similar happens and she gets dysregulated.  It doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize that this time of the year had to be when the abuse started.

He caught her  (we think) before she got around to looking up bad stuff this time. She said she got the phone with that intention, but started feeling guilty and hadn't done it yet.

Hubs and I had a date without her for lunch yesterday and then giving blood.  Given the combination of sneaking and her getting upset enough to threaten to run away, hubs and I decided she had to come on our date with us.

They dropped by the office and kiddo said "Momma, I was going to run away, but it's really way too much trouble" and started laughing. Hubs forgot his ID so he ran out to get it and she stayed with me and she asked if I knew what happened. I told her yes, I did.  I also asked why that would provoke her wanting to run away.

She said "Momma, I feel so guilty, I know I wasn't suppose to and I disappointed you, daddy AND me".

I think this says ALOT about how far we've come with attachment.  She's starting to feel disappointed in the actions and why vs being mad about getting caught or thinking she'll have different rules if she runs away.

I'm so proud of how far she's come.

9 months ago, she didn't run away that night because she'd miss her dog.  (well, that's not all, but that was the reason stated).  This time it was her trying to run away from her feelings, not running away from us and she acknowledged her feelings.

She also acknowledged that traumaversaries are tough.  I asked if it may have been the holiday and missing some of the people in her past.  She looked at me like I grew two heads and said "No, it's the memories of what happened".

She struggles way more with the traumaversary of when the worst things happen than the anniversary of dates removed from homes, so I tend to believe her on this.

Oh, and despite a rocky start to yesterday, yesterday turned out amazing and we had a great evening together.