Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Directly from J (she is typing)

This message is from J. J & I were looking at the blog together and at the differences in the pictures then she read all your comments. She decided she wanted to post a message to all you great moms so here she goes:


Thank you everyone for all the compliments. I am working really hard at being a normal kid. My Awesome Mom helps me all the time and keeps me safe always and never lets me go in the streets. Miss. Kristy helps me with therapy and Miss Chris helps me with Reiki. Please do not give up on your kids because they can work hard like me and get better. Your kids really want love but they are really afraid to get love but they should get love from you. It's hard being a RAD kid and it's really, really scary. Keep your kids safe and don't let them run in the streets. It's hard learning how to be like a normal kid. Don't let your kids break your stuff. Please do Reiki on your kids. It feels really good. It calms me down.

Please take your kids to a really great therapist like Miss. Kristy. She really helps me. She is the best therapist in the world.

I've got to go to bed now. Happy New Year!!


This is from me now:
J was looking at her post and saw all the followers. She thinks y'all are stickers especially Sasha from Accidental Mommy and PeWee and she wants some. ;-) I promised her that she could read the comments in the morning. So people listen up.... my girl is just like her mom and she's expecting lots of comments and "stickers" tomorrow morning.

Just so y'all know the AT has told her that she RAD and that she's working towards being securely attached. The AT thought she was well enough and ready to know this information and honestly she has been. Now I can ask her "what would a normal little kid do" and she'll catch herself and follow up with the appropriate reaction. It's been really cool to watch the progress. The AT has also told her that someday the AT may call her in to teach other RAD kids how to be normal kids. J thought that was the coolest idea she'd ever heard!

Looking Back and Forward

Before: This picture was taken right before J came home. Notice the food all over her face and the sippy cup. She was unable to feel food on her face, snot running down her face, drool rivers and a host of sensory problems. Notice the blank inanimate face. She would have much rather put her face down in her plate to eat than to use utensils and she did this quite often. She had two facial expressions. This one above or growling, spitting rage.

After: I think the animation on her face speaks volumes. Plus she is also turning into such a little lady. Her table manners would put many adults to shame. She can handle a fork and knife and all table utensils like the finest debutante. She can now feel food on her face and will wipe her nose before a drip can be spotted. No more drool rivers either. She can identify many different emotions now and most of the time will show them appropriately.
I wonder where she will be in a year......
Never mind....
I think I'll just enjoy today.....
I gave y'all a break from therapies as my New Year's gift. Next up....."How to change a belief." Then it's back to tapping...
Fishing for some comments here....hint hint

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Lie Detector Test

Practice with your spouse first!

This is a test to see if energy is flipped and it’s also a lie detector test (NEITHER OF YOU CAN HAVE A WATCH ON OR ELECTRONIC DEVICE ATTACHED TO YOU SUCH AS AN MP3 PLAYER BECAUSE IT WON’T WORK!!!).

I have Torina’s permission to use their names so here we go:

Hold one arm straight out to your side like you’re flying with one arm. Have JB standing ready to put pressure on your wrist or just above your wrist. Say a true factual statement about yourself such as “My name is Torina.” As soon as you say it hold your arm straight out resisting while JB tries to push down on your arm. He can’t push your arm down because you’re telling the truth and your energy is correct. Now say repeat the same thing but say, “My name is Lisa”. You resist and JB tries to push down on your wrist. Your arm will go down no matter how hard you try to resist.

Now if your energy is flipped when you say, "my name is Torina", when JB pushes your wrist down it will go down. This is when you have to do the rubbing technique from my previous post to flip your energy back over. Does this make sense??????

In other words it's only a lie detector test if your energy is correct. This is part of the tapping...I'm just giving you bits and pieces at a time.

Monday, December 29, 2008

More info on RAD

Trying to spread the word...

Ken is still working hard for all of us still in the trenches. He's taken the time to put together a wonderful directory of information on Reactive Attachment Disorder.

Here's the link to the RADKID directory.

Also, my amazing, dedicated friend, Mike Groomer has started a new website and an organization, Advocates for Children of Trauma, to help those of us living in the daily muck. Mike is a huge advocate for tons of families in Texas and is working unbelievably hard to shake up the system for his home state not only with DCFS but therapists, senators, representatives, all the way up to the Governor's office. He has put together and hosted free or minimally priced training sessions for parents, therapists and social workers with excellent presenters. He's trying desperately to get everyone on the same page and to work together instead of against each other. Mike and Heather have walked in our shoes and they know what our journey is like on a daily basis.

He has spent thousands of hours on the phone getting services for families that had no where to turn. Rattling cages is his expertise. He has even done this for me even though there's a lot of miles between Georgia and Texas. The support he has given has been invaluable. He and Heather both have called to check on J & I more times than I can count. Mike is fighting and winning for our kids and our families.

Here is the website. It is still under construction but is changing daily and there's a huge amount of content regarding schools and special education info that will be coming soon so bookmark it and keep checking back. There's even an advocacy kit and a Texas Resource Kit! They will be having a seminar with Dr. Steven Gray in 2009 so be on the lookout. Lisa Eberhardt's story is on there as well. Some of you, such as Texas Mary, may be familiar with Lisa from the Little Zebra's ATN's listserve.

Speaking of the ATN, did you know that for $35.00 a year you can get a lot of services and help? They also have a huge library of books, DVD's and CD's on attachment that you can check out to view/listen. They also put on an annual conference on attachment with great speakers.

The promised post on tapping will be up soon. I'm putting the finishing touches on it as it's a difficult thing to explain.

Energy Work

Whining here....I've been working on this post for over a week trying to make this resemble something that makes sense. Ok....bear with me as I try to explain this whole rubbing thing and please listen without prejudice as I stink at 'splaining.

Our first AT's did EMDR with J a lot during our first 6 months. If J was trapped in fight or flight of PTSD or totally disorganized/dissociated they would use EMDR to process the trauma. Brenda did an excellent post on EMDR over here. Now that J is past the bulk of trauma we've moved on to tapping.

We are blessed with an AT who does tapping which is a form of EMDR and is energy work and can assist in getting a dysregulated kid back together. J does tapping regularly and I have seen it work magic over and over. So there will be more on tapping later.

First you have to find your "sore" spots. A/K/A Sora spots

Put both your hands just above your boobs but below your collar bones and find your "sore spots". It's like if you put a little pressure there it's sort of tender. They are on different places on different people. Mine are close to my arm pits. You'll know them when you find them. You do not have to add pressure until it hurts. Once you've found the spots you'll be able to help your child locate their sore spots.

Then have them rub gently but firmly (at the same time) on each spot in a circular motion while repeating the offense (or behavior) followed by a positive that is equal to the offense. Always use three different phrases.


Even though I'm really angry, my mom still loves me.

Even though I'm really really upset, I still love myself.

Even though I want to throw a fit, I'm still a totally great kid.


Even though I'm really scared, I'm still a totally great kid.

Even though I'm about to flip over the edge, my mom still loves me.

Even though I'm scared, my mom is going to keep me forever.

You get the idea...

J is able to do the rubbing herself with me giving her the phrases to say but if she is totally dis- regulated I do it for her or if she's totally lost it I'll do it on myself (while she's beside me listening) using the phrases she would say.

Somehow it flips their energy from being dysregulated to regulated. I don't understand it but 9 times out of 10 it will work and the more we've practiced it the better it works. Of course there are always the days that nothing works so everybody just needs to go back to bed. ={

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wonderful Christmas

Surprisingly Christmas went really well today. Not a meltdown or even the hint of one. We don't do a lot of gifts for Christmas and try to keep things really simple. This year she got a toy horse, a coloring book and a music box. Since they were all really small I put them way under the tree behind the wrapped presents. This morning she didn't even ask if Santa had been here. She was too excited to give G & I our presents. She gave me mine first (she even kept it a secret!) and it was a Paula Deen cookbook and a beautiful Christmas ornament. I was so proud of her for finding something that she knew "I" would like instead of what "she" would like! She did just as well with gifts for Daddy G, Papa, Monya & Big Mama.

J does chores daily all year long. Some are considered family chores (chores that are necessary to live as a family such as cleaning her room) then she has chores for which she is paid such as taking out the trash, washing dishes, cleaning, etc. As soon as she is paid for each chore she dumps the money into a Christmas cookie tin. Every weekend she'll count all the money she made and divide it up into 4 bags. Then she puts part of her money in one labeled Tithes, another one for Saving, one for Christmas gifts and one for Spending. All the gifts were purchased with money that she earned doing chores. Today she was extra proud of that fact. Not to mention that she separated her money out and deduced how much to budget on each person, went to the store and picked out just the right present for each person with the amount of allotted money for that person. When she went with Daddy G she went over budget by one cent so Daddy G charged her one cent interest.

This is her third year of budgeting and she's really getting the hang of it. It's really neat to watch the growth in her management skills with each passing year. Lots of life lessons, planning for a year, delayed gratification, joy in giving without expecting, budgeting, shopping within a budget and interest.

We received a wonderful Christmas surprise today. Chrissi called from Germany!!!! It was so great to hear from her! I don't know who's face lit up more when we heard her voice. Life is improving for Chrissi and I think she's started to get settled back into her home life. We still miss her terribly. She has to come back to America soon because her English is slipping. ;-) We'll be waiting on her....

This afternoon J remarked that this was the best Christmas ever!!!

I haven't forgotten about the post on rubbing...more on that later.

Hoping all of you had a peaceful Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I've just noticed in the last few weeks that J is sleeping better. Nothing has changed but her sleep is deeper and less hyper-vigilant. So I've been trying to divine why. It finally occurred to me tonight. Since we've lowered the temp in the house we've added tons of blankets to our beds. J has 6 heavy blankets/quilts on her bed. Aha! I've read that weighted blankets are good for kids with FAS, RAD, ADHD, etc. but never used them. Now I've found the benefits inadvertently. You can get them through a therapy supply store like The Therapy Shoppe or Kari posted many months ago about a friend of hers that makes them. Or...if you're not craft challenged like me you could make one.

J uses a weighted vest for 15 minutes during school every day thanks to my dear friend Tudu. Tudu brought one to a RAD support meeting and now I can tell the days J uses it and the days she doesn't. So it makes sense that the blanket would help too. Hmmmm....

Remind me to tell you about rubbing.....

Mini-Tramps Save The Day!

After reading Brenda's post on mini-tramps I thought I'd pop over here and give a 5 star review of this sanity saving device. A mini-tramp saves the day. We've gone through 3 so far and about to start on the 4th. Usually I can find them for around $20 but the benefits are priceless.

The up and down motion is excellent for brain development (think about bouncing a baby on your knee...this is actually helping a baby's brain develop) and can help a kid, particularly a RAD kid, re-think a situation. It's great exercise that reduces stress and helps the brain work bilaterally, improves balance, circulation, coordination, removes toxins from the body, helps attention spans, moves oxygen through the body, lowers cholesterol and improves motor skills and cardiovascular strengthening.

My only advice is do NOT get one that folds in half as they have been known to snap shut. Make sure that is flat and you add the legs. They are small enough to sit in a corner. It is truly a lifesaver around here. We use it year round but if you live in a cold climate it is the perfect indoor exercise for your kids.

She does about 100 jumps every 10-15 minutes during school and then every hour she will usually do 500 or more jumps. Then she can come back and focus. She LOVES the mini-tramp. It was a requirement in her IEP when she was in a brick and mortar school and the teacher loved it and used it with all the kids to help focus and to get energy out.

So if you're looking for a last minute Christmas present, run out and grab one. It will be a present the whole family will love and the gift that keeps on giving!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Break

The give-mom-a-break mission was a success. The sitter even promised to stay until 9 this morning. She is an angel sent from heaven!

Knowing that this particular person isn't too dependable I had a back up plan and used it. Elegant food that I didn't have to prepare was served to me on beautiful dishes that I didn't have to wash and all the while I was entertained by stimulating adult conversation and beautiful music played in the background. Window shopping gave way to spotting a stunning black coat (that I just had to try on but didn't purchase) reminding me of days in my previous life on Madison Avenue or evenings on Broadway. The dream coat was a cross between this (without looking like a ho) and this. It was a perfect evening.

Of couse I've had to pay today but that's ok. The battery pack is recharged.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Yesterday I made an executive decision to let Christmas come early.

J was downstairs doing Language Arts Extensions. Just can't pull her away from Time4Learning. Meanwhile I was upstairs frantically putting the dollhouse together in her room. Once everything was in it's proper place I called her in. Her face lit up like the most glorious Christmas tree. Truly it was a priceless moment. She was ecstatic! Her face still glows every time she talks about it! At this moment I can hear the timer going off in her kitchen, the steam from the teapot and the lullabies from the changing table. She's a happy camper and this mom is glowing from the happiness that she managed to deliver. Now J's trying to figure out how many chores she needs to do to buy the mini-van - because you HAVE to have a mini-van! ♥ J said, "Mom, Santa can't beat this! It's the coolest present ever!" Every mom's be cooler than Santa.

I am hopeful that this mom is going to get a break this evening. Afraid to say it out loud because it might jinx it and this mom desperately needs a night Out. Of. The. House. with adults. The person I'm going with isn't the most dependable person so I'm trying not to get my hopes too high.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sharing the love...

Okay, listen up folks. I am about to share some serious and I mean serious love with you. Big Discovery!!!

This is not a homeschooling blog by any stretch of the imagination but I did want to share with you 2 things that could be incorporated into the day of a homeschooling mom or added to the education of a brick and mortar school.

We have hit the dreaded learning of multiplication tables. Oh how I hated memorizing the times tables. Could've had something to do with the fact that I had a serious disdain for math during all my school years. Then I spotted this post on Books and Bairns. And now I have hope again.

We've been using the program and it's much like a traditional school. Lots of workbooks and moving from workbook to computer a lot. I think the curriculum of K12 is excellent but trying to get it into her head is a totally different story. It's a daily power struggle.

Then I found this post also on Books and Bairns regarding Time4Learning. Now I admit that I've read Mary Grace's posts on Time4Learning before. I viewed the Time4Learning website and wasn't really impressed. This time I actually did the 14 day free trial to see what all the fuss was about. I get it! Oh my holy heck! This is fun! It's so much fun I want a version all for myself. It is completely interactive, fun and hilarious. J has gone to school for the past 2 days for 9 hours straight. I literally have to convince her to move away from it. She is loving it and having so much fun in the process. Plus I don't have to sit with her and feel like I'm drilling everything into her head. She can do it all on her own!!!!! Yeah for me. It recommends printing out a report card every week to track progress but to allow them to do it on their own and it's set up for that completely. This is also helping with control battles. Yeah for me again!

Anybody that would've told me that studying plane and solid shapes, obtuse and acute angles and congruency would be fun, I would've called them insane. Not anymore...

This program can be used as full homeschool program or to accentuate brick and mortar schooling. Right at this moment she is BEGGING to hurry up and go to school. This is a first. I'm such a bad mom....I'm 44 minutes late starting school because I HAD to share the love with all of you. ♥ If your kids are in a brick and mortar school you could EASILY use this program as a reward for them instead of video games and they would actually be learning something in the process. LA, Math, Science, Social Studies and LA Extensions. All in the same price!!!

So I'm giving it a shot for the 14 days and we'll see then what the decision will be but so far Time4Learning is winning by a landslide. Plus it'll be $52 a month less than k12 not to mention I don't have to buy the books and everything which is over $800 a year. Everything is online and printable if needed.

I'm hopeful this may be a huge step for us in the control/education department. Now I'm off to "not" teach school.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Crazies

All aboard! The holiday crazy train has arrived. The last 3 days have been difficult. I'm not sure if it's the holiday because last Christmas was great. We did have her practice dealing with having a sitter so that mom could have a night off. The AT told her that she would be gone next week on vacation. (The AT promised J after her last vacation that she would tell J the next time she was leaving because she has improved so much.) Or was it that we've cut the sessions down to one hour. I just don't know.

She had a holy roller meltdown when we got home. No biting, spitting, punching, or scratching but it was a really bad meltdown. I finally sent her to her room to get calmed down. Didn't work. Yes, I know I shouldn't send her to her room but I was out of options. I was ready to pull my hair out. Mom needed a time-out. When this happens she will start throwing herself against the door to keep me from getting out, screaming "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" at mind blowing decibels and grabbing me trying to pull me down to the floor. Clingy is not the word folks. Clingy on crack with a large dose of steroids. I had just spoken with the AT today about what to do when she does this. She told me to try to smother her with hugs, kisses and attention and usually a RAD kid will pull away and stop the behavior. Willing to try anything at this point I attempted this method. Nope. Didn't. work. Usually I can sit in the floor quietly until she's calm but tonight wasn't one of those nights.
Please.... does anybody have any ideas?
I'm floundering here.

After I managed to get out of the room she calmed down in just a few minutes and I went back in. She had scratched her face really bad and the inside of her right thigh. She said she didn't remember doing it. She said, "I guess that's why my face is burning." Ya think????

I waited until she was asleep and did regression therapy again so more will be revealed tomorrow.

Mom needs an adult night on the sane train. Just a few hours....

Just in case you're wondering...I love my kid but I need a break.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Thank You!

Thanks to all of you that contributed to ideas for Tracy. She really appreciates it! Now if you'd like to be included on her blog journey (Yes! She has a blog now!) you'll need to click on her avatar over there (the sassy little, white, pistol toting, cigar smoking, angel dog on the right) and email her. You don't want to be left out because Tracy is a cliff hanging poster and she'll keep you on the edge of your seat!

J has saved all year (money that she has earned from doing chores) for Christmas and this year she has saved $126.38. The girl has more money than me! So right now Little Miss Priss is off with Daddy G buying Christmas presents for me, Big Mama (G's mother) and Puddin. He's also supervising the wrapping! Go Daddy G! Mom is so glad to have a break. I love her to death but 24/7 for almost a month and I'm ready to pawn her off for a couple of hours. I just called Daddy G back and asked him if he could manage dinner too then I'll have a break from being Chef Mome'. Yeah me! I've had two hours to just be. It's so nice. Then I had to blow it and have a little meltdown of my own. I went over to my Mom's and blubbered like a 2 year old.

J has been so worried because there aren't any presents under the tree. She knows we can't afford them right now but it's stressing her out. She also knows Santa's stocks are down right now so he can't afford a lot either but that he will bring something. The good news is that she isn't worried about presents for herself, she's just worried that there aren't ANY presents for ANYONE. So at least she's not thinking just about herself. That's a really huge thing! I've been trying to reassure her it's going to be ok but I'm not sure if she believes me. I think once she gets home with the presents she just bought she'll feel much better. Mom will too. We've really been trying to bring the focus of Christmas back even more and talk about how it's a present in and of itself just to be with the ones you love.

Part of me wants someone to step in and say "I got can relax and not worry anymore." A girl can have a fantasy every now and then....

Friday, December 12, 2008

Advice Please

Calling all stellar moms!

Ok....Tracy needs some ideas and I'm standing in her stead since she doesn't have her blog up yet. Her daughter will be coming for her first extended in-home visit over Christmas (12/23 - 12/27) . S is 11 and has a high IQ, RAD, PTSD, and Bi-Polar. Bi-Polar is her big issue.

Can y'all help with suggestions on activities they can do during that time????

My suggestions were:
Crafts are good. Anything but TV. Play Mozart softly the whole time to be soothing. Board games, puzzles, reading to her, the park, manicures, pedicures, coloring books and crayons (yes I know that's usually for younger kids but it's a great activity to do together. They have more complicated coloring books too. I really love the ones that look like stained glass), and put on really old clothes and use finger paint to paint each other's faces & hands. Treat her just like if she were already living with you. Don't do too much because you want it to mimic real life. Plus she won't need to be over stimulated because she'll blow out either with you or when she gets back to the group home. Find out from the GH what the schedule is on the weekends. It will be informative. Try to honor their sleep/wake times because it will easier on her.

It will help if you will kind of keep the same routine as there so she won't be overwhelmed. When she gets home you'll ease into your own schedule. You've GOT to get in touch with the therapist and find out how old she is emotionally so you'll know what kinds of games & activities to get. Or ask the SW to find out for you. Think very low-key, low-stress stuff.

Tracy hasn't put up her tree yet so I thought that might be something fun they could do together to include her in the family. I don't know....maybe it's better if it's already up. Your thoughts????

Same thing on Christmas, very low-key. Limit Christmas presents. It's so hard to tell someone to be low-key and simple. It's also hard to tell someone to get toys for younger kids when the kid is chronologically much older. It doesn't make sense. What do you think???? Can you help explain???

I'm counting on all of you fabulous moms to come up with some other suggestions. What ideas do you have in your arsenal????

Thursday, December 11, 2008

So Far...

Three weeks into the saving journey I have figured that I will have a projected savings of:

$200 on vehicle gas
$168 on lunches eaten out
$300 on groceries
$60 on lawn maintenance (I am lazy)
$50 on house cleaning (again...I am lazy)
$35 on nails (I bite my nails to the quick and they look awful. You'd think I'd outgrow that habit but no! I love my bad habit and embrace it.)
$25 on trash service
$300 on J's therapy (starting this week, therapy is now 1 hour instead of 2. She used to require 2 hours just to get 1 hour of therapy because of opposition. Now we're not having this problem so I'm feeling relatively safe about cutting the extra hour out.)
$71 on satellite service
$10 off cell phone by removing texting & insurance
$100 by having insurance agent re-evaluate home & car insurance and putting us with another carrier
$150 a month for J's second health insurance policy (she is strictly medica*d now)
$13.00 Onst*r cut off
$300 teacher salary
$80 Monthly expense for J & I eating out one night a week
$30 Cutting off landline

$1892 projected savings! I've impressed myself with almost $2000 of savings!

The above does not include the savings projected for electricity or water but in 3 weeks we've used only 263 kwh of electricity! Before this happened I was running around 900 -1000 kwh so this is a huge drop! We are washing dishes now after I discovered that the running the dishwasher runs the meter up 5 kwh!!! It's a one year old energy star appliance too! Have no idea on the water bill yet but hopefully it will come down at least $10.00.

I am loving watching Gray's, P Practice, Brothers & S and ER on my computer. It is so cool! When J is doing homework I can watch it with my headphones on and she's none the wiser. I don't have to wait on her to go to bed to catch up. The TV has been unplugged for a solid 2 weeks now!

Sorry to hit you with so many posts at once. 3 posts is very prolific for me. This one was saved to draft but mysteriously appeared posted. Hmmm... Well at least I can see if y'all have been paying attention. ;-) ♥

The Sweetest Thing Happened

Annette over at 4 Girls and a Burly Man gave a bunch of gals an award last night. I am honored to be one of them. Annette has dryer setting family (read: normal) and still accepts us unconditionally and is always supportive and kind in her comments. It's hard to understand what life is like living in a radical world when you don't actually walk the path but Annette has chosen to be non-judgemental and kind and it's truly appreciated. You rock Annette!
Claudia wrote an excellent post so it made me think about how I wanted to forward this award. I am not bypassing all the wonderful moms who live with special needs kids but I am choosing to acknowledge bloggers who live in the dryer setting yet still have love and acceptance for those of us who are struggling with children that have issues. Here's who I'm passing the bloggy love to:
Christa over at Chrissi Pooh
Kristina at Pulsipher's Predilections
I'm sure there's others I need to be including but it's time to pretend to be a teacher....
P.S. I found the dollhouse furnished. Tuesday it was out of stock but last night I went back to check on a few places. There was one in stock at Toys*R*Us. Yahoo! Received an email this morning that it has shipped!!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


The stress that is Christmas. Honestly I've never really become aquainted with holiday present stress until this year. We keep things really simple and low key for Christmas because too much sends J into orbit. So J asked for a toy horse, coloring book and a baby bottle. I've ordered the horse online and we had already given her a baby bottle for her birthday (she had written her letter to Santa before her birthday). I'll pick up a coloring book sometime when I can arrange for someone to stay with her. The problem is "my" gift. She has wanted a dollhouse for so long even though she didn't put it on her list to Santa because she knew it was expensive. I wanted the dollhouse to be from me. Not Santa. I've been eyeballing a certain dollhouse for quite some time but never felt pushed to go ahead and buy it. I had saved the money to purchase it long before I became unemployed. Never occurred to me that they might be sold out. Bad decision.

Actually it's not the dollhouse that's the problem. It's everything that goes in it. Practically all the furniture is sold out. Dang. I was able to get the kitchen, living room and dining room. Everything else is gone. I found someone on Craig*s list that had tons of stuff for The Loving Family Dollhouse, that was used, but the timing didn't work out. I've surfed everywhere and can't find anymore stuff that's reasonable. Normally furniture for a room goes for around $12.00 for this particular dollhouse but the only ones I can find have scalping prices of $30-$50 a room. Ridiculous! I refuse to do that so I'm getting over my little fantasy of seeing her face when she realized her awesome mom bought her the coveted dollhouse. It's my own fault. I shouldn't have waited till the last minute. Dang it.

Moving on....if you don't have a copy of Brita St. Clair's book, 99 Ways to Drive Your Child Sane, and you have a radical kid, go buy it now. It's an excellent book and I've used tons of ideas out of it. Here's one to give you a taste: Say your kid loves to pee on the floor. Wait until they're safely out of site or asleep and sprinkle peas around the room. When the child is awake or home you "discover" the peas, get a bowl to collect them and show great delight over the child growing peas by peeing. "I knew this would happen one day if you just peed enough peas were sure to grow." Make sure you have peas for dinner (clean ones please) that night. The results can be hysterical. There are many gems in this book.

Therapy went really well today. J was able to show Kristy her "since she came home" photo album and was able to really process and articulate her feelings. I was very proud and J was too that she could "show" that she does have a good life, can smile and be genuinely happy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Kiss of Death

Me and my big mouth get me in trouble every time. When will I ever learn???? In case y'all have forgotten I mentioned last week that things were going so well. All that bragging.... Kiss of death I tell ya.

The day after my last post (last Thursday) and ever since it has been a radical house. Last week in therapy J looked at her photo album from the abusive FM. It is absolutely heartbreaking to look through. I haven't ever been able to look at it without crying. There's not one single photo where J looks even remotely happy. In every picture her face looks like she has lost her best friend. Even the AT has a hard time looking through it so it's not just me.

So my thoughts are that it sent her flying back into PTSD and all that those feelings that were so hard for her during that time. I'm a short-bus mom sometimes and it takes me a while to figure it out. I can be soooo slow. Dang. Sunday night we sat in the bed and looked at her recent photo album (the one since she's been home) and giggled and talked our way through it. When we got to the end she said, "mom, I look so happy in the whole book. My life is so much better now because I've changed a lot and now I have an awesome mom." That's right honey. She has changed so much. She's not the same little girl that she was 3 years ago.

I was hanging in there on the premise that Sunday night was the cure. Wrong answer. Monday she upped it a notch. Monday night I really didn't want to be around her. Finally called the AT and she encouraged me to do some regression therapy with her today. Hmmmm.....if I waited till she woke up then she might not be nice. When is a kid really, really nice??? When they're asleep. So I waited till she had been asleep about an hour then gave her a bottle of hot chocolate goat milk. She was the sweetest little thing! All the while I was telling her how much I loved her and that she deserved all good things, I would keep her safe, yada yada yada.

This morning she was a different child. She was much more loving, very little radical behavior and had such a better attitude. Woo hoo! Breathing a sigh of relief here.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Finally I was able to wear down the satellite folks. They wouldn't agree to disregard my contract but they did agree to give me 2 months completely free and then after the two months they will only bill me $20 a month for the next 12 months. Not too shabby. At least no bills from them for 2 months and if things haven't improved by then, I can still try to get them to cancel the contract.

Writing this paragraph may be the kiss of death but I'm going to type it anyway. J is really making lots of progress. It's been about 4 weeks since she's raged. She's doing really well at allowing me to teach her and there hasn't been any control battles yet. She's been very kind and considerate of Puddin and I've been able to allow her to be in the room unsupervised with Puddin. Tuesday night I walked out to the mailbox and was able to look in J's window and see her reading in bed holding the book with one hand and petting Puddin with the other. I honestly cannot tell you how that made me feel. Almost had to sit down in the driveway and blubber. Puddin has been going in J's room to lay on her bed a good bit and it still surprises me. The cat is now deciding it's safe to be around her too. The cat has avoided J like the plague and will leave the property if J comes out of the house. Now he is also discovering it's safe to come around her. Journaling is taking up some of our board game time but she's enjoying it and is being very consistent.

There is the sweetest sight right now in my house. It's independent reading time and J is curled up on the couch with a blankie reading, Horrible Harry and the Ant Invasion. (Thanks again for the books, Texas Mary!)

Ok girls... (and Mike ;-) here's the dish on the beans.

I might be wrong but I think some of the problems could be
(a) there is not enough water when you're soaking them (it takes a lot of water to soak them since they're dried they'll use up all the water);
(b) you have to cook them for at least 30 minutes (by themselves) without salt, seasoning or acidic products such as tomatoes, juice or vinegar (thanks Mike for reminding me of this);
(c) make sure there is enough water or stock when you're cooking them too. If the beans are soaked overnight and you've put them in the pot to cook, the water should cover the beans by at least 1 to 1 1/2".

These recipes are courtesy of Mike, for all of us. (Remember these are calling for SOAKED beans)

Charro Beans
• 1 bag of dry pinto beans
• 6 slices of bacon cut into pieces
• 4 to 5 Serrano peppers
• 1/2 onion
• 4 roma tomatoes
• salt to taste
• *cilantro optional *
1. Cook beans in water according to package directions. Once beans are tender and cut easily with a spoon
you add salt to taste.
2. Cook the bacon pieces in a pan until done. Take out the bacon and set aside.
3. Add the Serrano, onions, and tomatoes to the pan and sauté until tender. You may have to add a little
bit of water to keep mixture from getting too thick. When mixture is tender pour into your pot of beans
and add the bacon also.
4. Let then beans simmer for about 10 min. to let flavors mix.
5. You can also add a few sprigs of cilantro to pot if you wish.

Borracho (Drunk) Beans
1 Medium size bag of pinto beans

1 Package sliced bacon (or you can use salt pork bacon)
3 Links (I prefer Blue Ribbon Hot & Spicy)
1 Large onion
3 Large ripped tomatoes
5 Raw Jalapeno Peppers (or you can use 2 large bell peppers if you don't want Hot)
3 Garlic cloves
1 Cup of Cilantro
1 Can of beer (your choice)
Salt & Pepper to your taste
Preparing the beans:

Clean the beans and pick out any dirt etc, rinse beans and cook. (I use the Crockpot on high) Make sure you have plenty of water, don't open lid but maybe a couple of times to add water or to make sure they're not stuck at the bottom of the pot, or the beans will turn dark. When the beans are starting to get tender you need to prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Remainder Ingredients:
Cut bacon in 1-inch pieces.
Cut links into 1/2 inch slices and then in quarters
Cook bacon and links in skillet until caramelized, add to the beans slowly
Remove some of the grease from the skillet and add chopped onion, minced garlic and chopped Jalapeno peppers until caramelized, add everything in the skillet to the beans slowly
Cut tomatoes in small pieces and add to the beans
Rinse the Cilantro and chop the leaves and add to the beans
Pour beer into the beans slowly
Add Salt & Pepper to your taste, stir all ingredients slowly and cook for another 30-45 minutes to soak up all the ingredients or until beans are fully cooked.

Please, oh, please don't give up on dried beans. Once you get the hang of it you'll never go back to canned beans.

I just hate it when I don't check my spelling until after I've hit post. Duh!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Camouflage trash is working out pretty well. I keep calling the satellite people trying to get out of my contract. Hopefully they'll eventually get sick of me calling and let me cut it off. Good news though, I've discovered that I can watch my favs (Gray's Anat*my, E*R, Private Pract*ce and Brother & Sist*rs) on the internet with very few commercials so who needs cable/tv anyway?

I've received several requests for Bodie Beans. Soak pinto/great northern/black beans overnight. Rinse and cover with water in a Crock pot on low all day. In the last hour add salt to taste, sauteed garlic (4 to 5) cloves, sauteed onion (1 to 2) and 3 or 4 habanero peppers. Continue cooking for about another hour. Serve as is or use an immersion blender to make refried beans. May need to remove some liquid before. Note: careful with peppers. My first version of this had 1 pepper in it and the beans were pretty warm. Since then I've had to add 3 or 4 to get the same heat that I had in the first pot. Have no idea why.

Everything is unplugged all day unless needed and electrical panel switches are off (except to freezer/fridge) all night. J has a flashlight in case she needs one. The furnace is gas but does require electricity for the fan. I've adjusted the settings on the fridge & freezer to not be quite so cold. Yet even though we have made all those changes we are still using about 15 kwh a day. I do not understand. Considering everything that is cut off I would've thought it to be less. Before we did this we were averaging 26 kwh per day. I was hoping for 10 kwh per day. Still striving for it though. Thinking of turning on the ventless gas logs for heat instead of central. They're supposed to 99% efficient whereas I believe that central heat/air is about 90%. I stopped typing and did just that. I'll have to look tomorrow and see how many kwh were used to find out if this is my problem. Tried to change the overhead kitchen/breakfast room lights to CFL's but they are some kind of funky size that won't work with CFL's. Dang.

My grocery bill has gone from $100 per week to $20-25. Beans & rice baby! Juices can be watered down some and still taste great. No complaints from J. Vitamins/calcium/zinc are every other day. Zinc is only temporary but J had those little white spots on her nails so I knew she was deficient. A radical kid with a zinc deficiency can mean a self-regulating problem coming. Wearing clothes more than once if they are still clean and not stinky. We are down to 3 loads of laundry every two weeks including sheets.

I talked the p-doc into seeing J every 2 1/2 months instead of every month to save gas, plus I don't need to be traveling in the autobahn that is Atlanta without insurance.

Tonight is our treat night. G gave us a package of chicken and we're going to have chicken piccata. Decadent & delicious. God bless chicken!

Monday, December 1, 2008


Weekend went pretty well considering. I discovered on Saturday night that J has been steadily ramping up the triangulation model. I'd noticed over the past few Saturday's that she had been sneakily disrespectful to me behind G's back. Last Sunday she started doing it in front of him which made him question my parenting in front of her. We came home. This past Saturday night, an hour after we arrived, J started again and snarled at me. I never said a word but G said, "now don't y'all start arguing." One thing I don't do is argue with my kid. I really didn't appreciate the comment. After we had finished eating and were doing the dishes, I put my arm gently around J's shoulder and whispered, "honey you can either hold it together or we can go home, either one is fine with me." G walked up to me and tapped me hard on the chest with his index finger and mockingly said, "you better do what I say or else." Hmmmm.... that didn't go over too well. Calmly told J to go pack her bag and that we were going home. I didn't intend on spending my evening in an argument or trying to explain RAD Parenting 101. This discussion has been aired before.

We got in the truck and J admitted to trying to start a fight between us because she wanted to go home and have me just to herself. She also said she didn't want to go to the lake anymore. More hmmmmm..... He came over yesterday afternoon for a few minutes and J admitted willingly to what she had done. I was very proud that she took ownership. G couldn't "hear" it but that's beside the point. AT has encouraged me to bring him to our therapy before therapy (the part where it's just the AT & I) so that she can give him an explanation of what triangulation is and what it will mean if she succeeds. I'll offer the invitation but I'm not expecting him to show.

No school today since we had a p-doc appt. Yesterday she took more of the CRCT tests on There are only 3 grades for these tests, Exceeding Requirements, Meeting Requirements and Doesn't Meet Requirements. Out of 40 tests so far she is exceeding at 33, meeting 6 and not meeting 1. Considering she's only had 5 weeks of school I'm just hoping I can keep up. It still blows my mind that second graders have geometry.

She is still working diligently on her journal every night. Puddin is offering to spend more time with J and of her own volition, has been known to lay in the bed (still in my line of sight) with J while she writes.

Folks it is snowing Georgia. That is freaky. School was closed in 2 counties just north of us. (Yes....we close for snow. I know you yankees (no offense) think that's just hysterical.) Usually we can wear shorts at Christmas. No joke. Cold weather doesn't hit here until January and we get lucky if we have 1 inch of snow all winter. If there is the vaguest mention of snow all bread and milk will disappear from the stores inside 15 minutes. Not joking about this either.

J just came running in here and said, "Mom, it's snowing!!!!! It's not a lizard but it's still snowing! :-) Blizzard...lizard....all the same thing. ;-)

Totally changing the subject but I wanted to share with you that has a blog now where Ken is answering radical questions. I found Ken's site before J moved home and found it to be so helpful with a wealth of information to help parents. It was a lifeline after J came home. The delphi forum was very helpful and was where I met Awesome Gerri. So I thought it was so appropriate that your blog is listed there too along with a host of you other fine folks. Last week I discovered the blog completely by accident when someone found my blog through Ken. Wow! I was overwhelmed that I was listed on his blogroll. So if you haven't already, go check out Ken & Michelle's site.