Friday, March 4, 2011

Preschool, Pushing and Teeth

These boys are getting so huge. I can't even believe how tall and full of attitude they are lately. Sometimes I get Tyler dressed and he puts his hands in his pockets and stares at me and I think I should change him in to footie PJ's or something. He's only three and there is so much packed into that LOOK...the slouched, hands in pockets, slightly narrowed eyes look. Where does he get it? Neither Mike nor I are remotely cool like that, but he just exudes this cool confidence. Interesting kid he is. He's all about dancing to music now, and putting his hands on his hips at the end of each performance, thanks to the Old Navy "Ankle Jeans" commercial. He sings into his clenched fist for lack of a better microphone because they currently have no toys. Zero. I even took away their table and chairs. They are on a destructive rampage, and until they can learn to respect what they do have (currently 3 throw pillows, their trampoline cause it was too big to move, a throw blanket, their car ramp, but no cars and the 2 couches) then they won't be earning their toys back. We are on day two of no toys and we'll see if they can earn back a couple cars to play with the car ramp.

Tyler is doing fabulous at school. He does call his preschool teacher by his EI therapist name, and can't seem to be convinced of anything else. I asked him why her name was Gen and he said, "FUN!"...apparently anyone who is fun, must have the name Gen. My name is not Gen :) While brushing his teeth last night, I found at least 1 new molar, maybe two, but by 8 PM all my alligator wrestling energy is pretty much used up, so I couldn't be sure. Six year molars! That's crazy talk.

Matthew's chugging toward two with all the steam of Thomas but none of the play nicely with friends morals. He's exuding his own extra special form of personality and I have to say, I'm not super thrilled. Everyone tells me how he's easy going and sweet. He's not. Matty is a complete bully. He really is. He not overly tall for his age, but because of the hypertonia, he's so much stronger than other kids. Now if it was just a matter of him being enthusiastic, and not knowing his own strength, that would be one thing, but grabbing a boy that's 3 inches taller and 1.5 years old by the back collar of his sweatshirt and then dragging him around while he cries? Totally not cool kid. Matty is just a different kid than Tyler. Tyler might take toys and run away, or throw toys, and maybe even a quick smack at another kid, but for the most part, his anger, frustration, and and tendencies toward full on violence are directed at me. Not Matty, Matty will grab a block and smack another kid upside the head with it, then while they stand and cry, he'll push them down and sit on them, and take their toy. He's so far beyond "boy" I want to sit on the floor and cry with the kid. Add that to Matthew's new gift for smiling and smirking at me while in time out and I'm starting to comb the library for new parenting books. I always knew Tyler was a challenge, and much of that is his speech delay, and sensory and behavioral challenges, but it was always directed at ME...which made it okay somehow? At least I didn't have to apologize over and over to the poor parents who make the mistake of bringing their children to play group.

Today we left play group after the drag by the collar episode. There had already been a bloody lip episode which I'm taking responsibility for being caused by one of my children, but there were no competent verbal witnesses. I love that his mother claimed he must have bit his lip when in reality we all know someone smacked him with something in the face. Anyway, while I packed up our stuff, Matty sat, totally indifferent to the fact he was in time out. When we got home, I told him he was going right up for his nap because we did NOT put hands on friends. He sat on the floor and made almost no attempt to get his shoes off...which he can totally do, but likes to be lazy and ignore me in hopes I will do it. Scatterbrained Tyler had both his off, his jacket off and all of that put away and Matty was still sitting on the floor with a glazed over look on his face, ignoring me. So he went to bed with all of it on. Shoes, jacket, the whole thing. I'm sure I'll have to change his sheets later, but I was going to have a nervous breakdown. How do you make a kid take off their shoes? He makes his hands all floppy, and his ankles like rubber, and in the end, I take off the shoes. If I raise my voice at all, he shrinks away from me like I'm a child abuser and cries. I think it's a classic avoidance technique, but I'm not sure.

So I figure this is okay, I'll get through. Tyler is improving, Matty will swing the other way and make me crazy, and in the middle of it all, a 2.5 year old, non-English speaking Lily will come home.

I love my life :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tyler's starting Preschool!

Just a quick post to let everyone know that Tyler will start preschool 2 days per week right after his birthday. As soon as he acclimates to the environment they will consider moving him to 4 days...which is what I would really like, and what I think he needs. We're meeting with his teacher here at home on Friday, and I might bring it up to her then about wanting the move to 4 days written into the IEP. I just don't want to get lost in the shuffle of being busy and they never have time to get the update and move to 4 days done for him.

I'm also going to have to really beg that he goes Tuesday and Thursday because EI wants to pull Matty into playgroup. If Tyler isn't in school, the chances of me being able to take Tyler to HIS playgroup and tell him no, he doesn't go anymore, Matty's going...well...let's just say that wouldn't go well.

I'm so sad at saying goodbye to our services coordinator. I know she's going to cry...and I'm CERTAINLY going to cry. She's done such amazing things for our family. First with Matty, then with Tyler. She already said she would fight to case manage Lily when she comes home :) Because Lily will not speak English, she will automatically qualify for services. That's nice at least! Our services co-pay for EI tripled though. That kinda sucks.

So we're all hanging in there. Updates on Lily are on Lily's blog. We're moving along!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Well 2010 ended with a bang when we received a referral from Africa to adopt a 2 year old little girl. See we weren't waiting for a referral, so it was quite a surprise. I'll be blogging on a separate space about our journey to Lily, and I'll release that soon...we're still pulling it together right now.

We're moving into 2011 and we'll be busier than ever getting all our paperwork and clearances done both here and in Africa. We hope to bring her home over the summer sometime.

Very exciting stuff!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy End of 2010

Near the end of pretty much anything I get emotional. We move, I cry, we end a year, I cry...a lot. I know we have so many memories of this past year that are wonderful. Parts of the year were rough no doubt. We found out about Matty's Chairi Malformation, I accepted and moved forward with the fact Tyler would be heading to a special needs classroom for preschool. At the start of this year, Matty wasn't even WALKING. That doesn't seem possible when I look at the overwhelming mobile, intense, active little man that he is now. Tyler was about to turn 2, and barely speaking. Today he climbed up on the bed and said, "What doin' Momma? Wanna go a Y?" (YMCA for swimming) As much as I enjoy the passing of the milestones, and each new phase, I could as easily smile as I could cry when he stands before the big boy potty and proudly pees straight in while smiling up at me in all his glory. I do enjoy each moment as much as I can. I work hard to remember that each passing moment is one I can never get back. Each detail and funny phrase or look will someday be missed even if right now it borders on fresh or a little sassy mouthed. I love their humor, their independence, and the self esteem that never falters. At the end of this year, over all, I am very proud. I am proud of myself and my husband. I'm proud of the toddlers we're raising into confident, humorous, sensitive, and caring young boys. I wish it would go slower, but it doesn't. I wish I could remember every SINGLE detail, but I know I can't. I could spend hours recording the little things I know that time will make me forget. Instead, I cozy up with my boys and enjoy watching them master eating ice cream with a spoon, or work their Dad over for a bite of chocolate. I love these days when there is nothing but time to enjoy my kids. Here's to 2011...365 more days laid out before me to watch my children, and my love for them...grow.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Reckoning Day...

So you didn't all think I'd post that bomb of a blog two posts ago and never go back to it did you? Of course not!

Let me first say, I'm calmer now...a lot calmer, but still emotional. I want to thank the people who did send me e-mails in support, and tell the few people who tried to criticize anonymously...that's weak. I'm right here, I'm right out in the open, saying what I'm saying. I use my name, my kids names, and I link to this blog from other sites where people know me very well. If you don't feel strongly enough about something stand up and put your name next to it, don't say it. That's weak.

Next let me say the field seemed pretty split on this one. I got a few comments from adoptive mothers who didn't care for what I said, and I got a few comments from birth mother who didn't like what I said. I clearly didn't get comments from everyone who read the blog, but there MUST have been talk about it out there because the blog counts spiked through the roof. Regardless of how you ended up there, thanks for reading. Thanks for commenting, even if you didn't agree, and thanks for letting me know you supported me when you did.

Second, I want to assure all of you that know exactly why I posted this that you don't know. This has maybe a LITTLE to do with what you think it does, and much to do with things that I have shared with almost no one. (Although a few of the people who did stop to make contact with me about this post did get a small preview when I responded) This is my blog, and I'm allowed to feel how I feel, based on my life. So that's what I do. I'm not required to write here WHY I feel that way. Why I feel that way is to personal for even here. Maybe if *I* was anonymous I could write that all out. What I did expect was for the people that read here that do know me to understand there was a reason why I feel this way. Believe it had nearly ZERO to do with what anyone on-line said. So if you're patting yourself on the back, thinking you know me well enough to know exactly what this is about, and then you are judging me, you don't know me. You should know me well enough to know that I have reasons. I'm a patient and kind person. If you know that and believe it, then you know what it took for me to write that blog, and that I didn't get that worked up about what people that I don't know said on-line. That's all I'll say about that, and if you followed all the knows and don't knows in that paragraph, you get a gold star.

I will address the "all inclusive" nature of my post. THAT WAS A JOKE PEOPLE! I thought those of you that think you "know" me would get that. It's just about my trademark line isn't it? I don't like all inclusive phrases? People should learn to use a qualifier or two like some or many? One of my hugest pet peeves is being all included in ANY group, but especially in a group that gets a bad rap. Adoptive parents get a bad rap. We never provide updates, we go against our agreements, we're coercive, and we're conniving, we don't care about birth parents, we only want to steal babies. It's all inclusive, all day when it comes to describing adoptive parents and that never seems to change. So I did that the other way...again, if you KNOW me, you get that I was not talking about every birth parent that has walked the face of the earth here in that blog post. I'm not even sure I was talking about MANY birth parents, but I sure the hell was talking about some of them.

Next if you have an issue with what I write, why don't you try addressing it HERE...with me, instead of running to another group of people who will pat you on the back and tell you there there? Nothing was ever solved from only talking to people who agree with you. You can comment on any of my posts and give me a way to contact you. All comments come to me first for approval, so your contact information will not be public. Next time, feel free to message me. You might just get to know me. Thanks again to all the people who did. I didn't post a lot of your comments, but they were truly appreciated.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Catching up on me...

As with most parents, we seem to get lost in our children. We forget to take care of Momma. Momma makes the house "go" and a broken Momma isn't good for anyone. So here is a little post about how I've started taking care of Momma. First I decided that I did need to do some elimination dieting. I realized that yes, it was a PIA. Yes, it was more expensive on the food budget, but YES, it was what I needed. The bottom line for me was that if any one else in my household needed an elimination diet on even the small chance it might help them with something...even something minor, I would do why wasn't I doing it for me? Why wasn't I doing it when I knew it had the potential to help my significant chronic illness in a major way? So I'm doing it. I started Oct 17th and I'm pleased to report that I've followed a very strict Gluten Free diet, with a slightly less strict, but still "eliminated" Dairy Free and Sugar Free Diet. I practiced that till the day before Thanksgiving when my name came up on the waiting list at the "local" (hour away) Functional Medicine Dr, and I was able to get in with him. He also eliminated Corn from my diet and asked me to consider Soy as well. I'm considering soy, and finishing all the corn containing, but otherwise gluten free items I have in short order that I might also eat Corn Free. He talked with me a lot. He made a lot of sense, and I liked his thought process and patient relationship process a lot. He started me on a pro-biotic, some liquid supplements, and some medical food. Medical food supplements taste like chalk. They say on the outside that that "shake mix" is flavored like Chocolate Orange, but it's really Chalk flavored. I'm currently slurping down a large shake that is has fruit smoothie mix, blueberries, tart cherry juice, and a big scoop of chalk. Now I'm stuck with a large glass of chalk to drink because I mixed it with so many things it made a huge glass. This is expensive chalk though, so I'm drinking it, but I won't make this mistake again.

Over all...I'm feeling better. I've made some progress in coming of some pain meds, and immune modification drugs. I no longer take injectable medications, or Vicoden. I have reduced my Tylenol to 1X per day instead of twice. I'm back down to 5MG of Prednisone instead of 40. I'm going to stick to this for the next month until I see him again, and then we'll talk about coming off the Prednisone and maybe reducing some of Advil doses. I'm still sore in the AM, and in the evening as I get ready for bed. Warm baths and showers help. I want to get off all this junk, but more importantly, I wanted to find a Doctor who believed I could get better. He really does. He said so many things that were spot on about my medical history starting when I was very young...all things I had not mentioned in my medical history. Quite amazing.

My immune system did not become this damaged overnight. It will not repair overnight either. We may have a long road in pin pointing all the things that are preventing my immune system from functioning correctly, but we will. I can walk a long road if I see a light at the end, and I have a light.

I'll update you all when I think of it, but send me a message if you have any questions.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I can't possibly understand...

This might become one hell of a blog post. If you're overly sensitive about adoption issues...I really just suggest you skip it. My rant.

I'm know a lot of people in the adoption world. A lot of adoptive parents, a lot of adoptees and a lot of birth parents. One thing that I read over and over, and it just burns the hair off my butt is how adoptive parents can just never know what it's like to be a birth parent. How we can never know or understand their pain. You know what...they're right. I don't understand who, what or why they made the choices they made. I don't understand that at all. What I DO understand is as follows:

I understand what it's like to be a Mom. I know what it's like to lay in the dark, so in love with my children that I'm near panic attacks that something will ever happen and they won't be with me.

I understand that I would lay on a railroad track with an oncoming train if that's what it took to provide for my children. I know without a doubt I would research every avenue, event, and illegal activity I could possibly do if that's what it took to be with my children. I know I would eat beans and rice and drink water if that's what it took to put some food on their plate.

I know the hardships of being a mother. I know the challenges. Believe I know the tough times. We are not wealthy. We basically live pay check to pay check with plenty of debt in there just like the rest of America. I know what I'm willing to do just so I can bring at least one more child into our home. I know what I'll give up, and the the things I'm willing to let my other children sacrifice so we have the funds to bring another child home.

I know the joys of motherhood. I know them like a drug addict might know their drug of choice. I know I need my daily hit of my children. Their laughter, their fun, their spaz out sessions where nothing goes right. I need them.

So they are right. I do not understand what could happen in my life that I would ever place a child for adoption...not when I know what my children bring to my life. The majority of birth mothers are not young innocent women with their first pregnancy. They are mothers already. They are parents who know what raising a child takes. They make the choices they make because they do not wish to parent again, and they are right...I 100% do not understand that. Being a mother means they also know they have options, resources and assistance they can lean on. Being a mother means they also know what being a mother feels like. In giving up the hard parts, they are saying the amazing moments aren't worth it. That they can't find a way to do it. That is very sad. I do not understand that. I never could.

I also understand this. When an expectant mother is at a cross roads with a pregnancy, weighing each of her options carefully. Parenting, Abortion, Adoption. An unplanned pregnancy did not PUT her at those cross roads. That's a fact. Her life was not sunshine and roses and an unplanned pregnancy was this explosion that put her into a downward spiral. That pregnancy did not all the sudden make her wonderful loving supportive family 100% disappear. That pregnancy did not suddenly make a perfectly happy, stable life so out of whack there was no way to parent. That life was already in the downward spiral. That life was already unstable. The pregnancy and placement didn't do that.

Birth mothers need to get counseling not just for the fact that they placed a child, but also for the fact that their life was in a place that they felt that was best. That pregnancy was not a rock out of know where that knocked her otherwise perfect life off course. Something that she had no idea could happen. Unplanned is a great phrase, but when we're realistic, lack of planning was what really caused the pregnancy. Birth Control is wonderfully reliable. In the end, I'm sure placing a child is very hard, and very emotional, but the anger toward adoptive parents, and adoption agencies and the lashing out about how we can never understand is entirely misplaced. What should really be addressed is what the heck happened in their life that they made that choice. What led them to a place where they ended up with a a pregnancy they had no support for? Why were they emotionally in a place where parenting did not seem do-able? I think it's easier to blame other people. To wallow in your feeling about what happened when in reality, what happened is only a symptom of what was going on in that life. Look at the life, not the symptom.