Thursday, January 29, 2009


An interesting conversation just occurred. J had just finished her blog and she was doing a double check for errors and I spotted a missing punctuation. She proceeded to have a fit. Hmmmm... It's almost time for bed so I went for her meds and got the defiant "I am NOT going to take them." Fine. I wasn't willing to argue about it so I shut the door on my way out to take the water and meds back to the kitchen. Much wailing, crying and screaming ensued. You're all familiar with this. I put everything up and went back in. I asked her if she would like for me to hold her while she was crying. "No ma'am. I won't cry when you walk out the door. It's just RAD crying. It's all fake. I'll stop it as soon as you shut the door. I'll quit rubbing my eyes too hard too when you're not watching." And she did. It was all I could do not to giggle.

This is not news to me but it sure was interesting that she recognized and admitted it.

It's been a long day of idioms, homophones, prefixes, suffixes, adjectives, verbs and nouns so she is probably exhausted. I know I am.

On the adoption front...during breaks I've made several calls about some kids ages 5-10. Someone has a really funny sense of humor. I had three things on my list that were deal breakers on whether or not I would consider a child. 1. No pet abusers (Puddin's been through enough); 2. No runners (I don't have the energy to chase anymore); 3. No history of false allegations (I don't want to risk a child making a false allegation and J being jerked out of my home until DCFS figures out I'm not a child abuser which in our county this could take years. J doesn't need to be back in that situation again especially since she's just recovering from the traumas of foster care.) Here comes the funny part. Every. single. child. I've inquired about has all 3. Yep. Funny sense of humor. I guess that should show me to never ever put stipulations on what "I" think should happen.

Sidenote: J was placed in my home 10/23/06. The state that she was moved from completed all the paperwork for ICPC and notified our county that J would be arriving and they would need them to monitor placement. They never came. They never called. Until 12/08!!!! They called to tell me they would be monitoring J's placement. Really????? The adoption was completed over a year ago and she's been here for over 2 years. "Oh, there must have been some mistake." Ya think? (The other state gave up after trying for 3 months and hired a private SW to monitor our placement.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Trip and More

G, Mockery Mark & Kaylee

Kaylee & Becca

G, Becca & Kaylee

Becca, Kaylee & J

Taken right after J had skied down the hill with Mary Alice.
Today dawned to find a much better mood in our household. Whew! What a relief! Thanks for all your support. I don't know how I ever did this without y'all.
Therapy was short and sweet and J is moving right along. I know J has talked about throwing fits on her blog. They are NOTHING. I mean really nothing. I told her that she really didn't throw a fit and she said, "yes ma'am, it was too." This isn't what we were dealing with before. She is taking re-direction, having a great attitude and so much fun to be around. She is doing beautifully.
She has been tired the past 2 days and I'm not surprised with going to a new place and so many new things. Huge disruption in her schedule. Yesterday she took 2 naps and slept late Monday morning. Mockery Mark had a big time calling (it was all in fun - not as judging my parenting) my house "The Rock" comparing it to the episode on the Andy Griffith show where Aunt Bee houses the inmates (Otis of course) and all of her strict rules. We'd be at dinner and Mockery Mark would announce that we needed to hurry up because it's "lights out" at The Rock at 7. ;-) Yep. And it works and she feels safer. He called last night to tell me that they really enjoyed being around J and commented on how much she's changed. It was greatly appreciated.
Kaylee has such a special place in my heart. She is Mockery Mark's bio-daughter and hopefully soon to be Mary Alice's adopted daughter.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


J has not had a good day today and neither have I. In all honesty, it wasn't all J. Most of it was all me. I've had not one iota of patience. None. Nada. Zip. I haven't even had the patience to work tools with J. Shoulda taken to the bed. Had the vapors or something. Anything else could've possibly resulted in a modicum of success but nope I was stuck on grumpy.

I'm putting myself to bed early and pray this passes by morning. Yuck.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

We're Back

A great trip. We didn't get to tube (no snow on the tubing mountain (waaaahhh!) but J did manage to ride the lifts with Mary Alice and ski down between her legs. This was just before the lifts closed for the evening so she didn't get another opportunity on Friday. Saturday morning we woke to unbelievable cold and the slopes were solid sheets of ice so it was a no go.

J played really well with Kaylee and Becca and she functioned much better than I ever expected considering it was a new place. Becca and Kaylee are both eleven and Becca moved to the states from England 6 months ago. She had never skied but she put a ski on each foot around 2 in the afternoon and gave it everything she had and didn't stop. When they closed the lifts that night at 10 she was skiing the black diamond. G was such a great sport and skiied with them the whole time. This is huge for him. He loves J but whenever I invite one of J's friends over he usually won't show up because he's not a "kid" person. Huuummmphhh. I think he discovered they're not so terrifying afterall. Saturday night he even got on to Becca because she skiied into a bunch of people because she didn't want to slow down. The girls got mad and left him to ski by himself and he didn't let it get to him. Yahoo! Maybe there's hope for him yet.

I let J ride home with G so I had four hours in the car by myself. It was really nice to have some alone time. Now I'm digging out of dirty laundry. Oh, and BTW.... my computer won't get on the wireless internet connection at home so I'm typing from J's. Did fine on the trip but now it's on strike. Something about using the wireless at the lodge screwed everything up. *heavy sigh*

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Take Two

We'll try this one more time before we go screaming into the night. For the record I've typed this post twice and it disappeared both times. Into thin air.

I am so glad we can always start fresh each new day. Yesterday was not a lovely day but today J has changed it up entirely. Yahoo! I believe a lot of is stress induced about the trip tomorrow so the AT gave her a guided imagery where all she has to do is touch her index finger to her thumb in an o shape to remember that she is safe and Pink Hippo will help take her to the safe place.

You'll notice some changes to her blog. Instead of doing her blog and her written journal she is now going to be just blogging but incorporating her journal into the blog. Two written assignments a day on feelings is too much for both of us.

At the AT's I discovered a new book that I am so excited about. It's Invisible Heroes - Surviors of Trauma and How They Heal by Belleruth Naparstek. Oh my heavenly stars. It is good and written in a language that my simple brain can understand. Lots of wonderful information in this book. She talks about a lot of things we're already doing such as EMDR, Reiki, EFT (tapping), etc. She also talks about guided imagery and how important it is to overcome trauma. There are many guided imageries in this book that you can take and re-work for the issues at hand. So my thoughts are to record several guided imagery sessions and load them onto J's mp3 player. It's plugged into her cd player and she listens to different soothing music sessions each night. Should be easy as pie to do this with the imagery. I've already done this with positive affirmations as some of you will remember and it works great. You can find out more about that here.

Here is just one of the reviews of this 5 star book:

"The bad news is that stress-related disorders are epidemic in our society. The good news is the new array of therapies that are truly effective in healing them. INVISIBLE HEROES is a package of hope for anyone whose life is compromised by the insidious effects of emotional trauma. This is one of those blessed books that deserves to be called life-changing."--Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Healing Beyond the Body, Reinventing Medicine and Healing Words

We are very blessed with an AT that uses guided imagery but this book will help me able to use it at home too. I am always so lost when trying to figure out what kind of imagery she needs and I do think she needs it daily not just when we see the AT because I KNOW it works. Just like the "How To Change a Belief" thing I do with her. I tried to find my post about that but it's a needle in a haystack so I gave up.

Off to pack. On the down low.

G made the comment that I don't need to take everything. How obvious that he's never packed a kid.

What a Difference A Day Makes


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Almost Forgot....

Completely forgot to tell you about an awesome seminar in my last post. My bad. If you are anywhere near Mebane, NC on 2/28 you need to run not walk to a seminar being presented by Katharine Leslie. 50 bucks folks, to hear an AT that actually lives with 4 special needs kids (some are RAD). I love her book, Coming to Grips With Attachment, as it gives simple examples and real life scenarios and how to deal with them.

My dear friend, Mike, shared it with me yesterday and I was so hopeful that I could go. That is until I discovered it's 5 hours away and that's just not doable right now. I could really use a battery recharge from someone that gets it but it's not going to happen at the moment. Some day she will be back in GA and I will move heaven and earth to be there with bells on my fingers and toes. Parents of RAD kids need all the tools they can get!

Register early as seats will go fast. Here's the info:

Why Won't This Child Behave?" workshop offering creative strategies to help
the behaviorally challenged child.

Saturday, Feb. 28

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

OverTime Restaurant

111 Spring Forest Drive. 919-563-8463

Mebane, NC (I40/85, exit 153 sth119, next to Cracker Barrel)

Fee: $50 per person (lunch and training materials inc.)

Presented by: Katharine Leslie, PhD., international speaker, consultant,
adoptive mother, and author of "When a Stranger Calls You Mom and "Coming to
Grips With Attachment."

Register at 336-376-8366 or email Dr. Leslie at

Primary audience: Foster/adoptive parents, teachers, social workers and
mental health professionals.

Sponsored by Brand New Day

"Why Won't This Child Behave?" is an all day seminar during which
participants will learn the impact of abuse and neglect on children's
development, why abused children often behave and feel differently from
other children, and why parents raising these children might experience pain
and stress. We will discuss the myths and realities of the troubled child
and why punishment and consequences don't work. Then we will practice the
relationship coaching method and other effective methods for home, school
and therapeutic interventions. These sensible and essential strategies tame
and prevent behavioral and emotional problems, increase children's social
skills, create attachment friendly environments, simplify daily life, reduce
family conflict and meet parental needs. This is not the same old thing!

A soup and sandwich lunch will be provided so participants must be
pre-registered to attend. Some group rates may apply. Foster and adoptive
parents can check with their DSS workers for reimbursement of workshop
costs. Although Dr. Leslie cannot provide CEUs directly, she will provide
all attendees with a certificate of completion, which they can submit to
their agencies for 5.5 hours of CEU credit. Dr. Leslie's books will be
available for sale at a discounted rate. Unfortunately no child care is
available. See website for more info

About the Presenter

Katharine P. Leslie, Ph.D., CFLE, has a doctorate in developmental
psychology, and certifications as a family life educator, parent educator,
trauma and loss in children specialist, and family mediator. Her areas of
expertise include child development, parenting education, parent-child
relationships, and abnormal socio-emotional development of abused/neglected
children. In addition, Dr. Leslie is the mother of four adopted children,
all of whom experience an array of attachment and brain processing problems.

Dr. Leslie's combination of knowledge, humor, and frankness makes her a
highly sought after national speaker who presents at over 50 conferences and
training venues yearly. As an expert witness on attachment she has assisted
the courts with many child placement issues. And her mode of in-home parent
coaching has helped hundreds of stressed and in-crisis families. Agencies
and organizations throughout the United States have utilized her consulting
services regarding treatment practices for traumatized children, curricula
and program development, and research and technical assistance. Dr. Leslie
is the author of several publications including, When a Stranger Calls You
Mom: A child development and relationship perspective on why traumatized
children think, act, and feel the way they do, and Coming to Grips With
Attachment: The guidebook for developing mutual well-being in parent-child

Wheeeeee W i i

I was so excited I hit post before even starting. Yikes.

Hoping the third computer will be the charm and so far it seems to be. Skype works beautifully and they actually remembered to put an internal mic in this one. Yay!! G went with us to exchange it Sunday and we were lured into the w i i section. Totally sucked in. Yeah...I've heard about them and seen them displayed at the mall kiosks but I turned my head and kept walking. Silly things. G on the other hand couldn't stand it and probably trying to buy retribution he purchased one.

Oh my stinking heck! Now I get it. And....I think I have tennis elbow now. ;-) W i i fit is coming and should be here tomorrow. Maybe this will encourage/motivate me to actually start losing some pounds. At least a couple of days anyway?

I packed J's bag last night and hoping tonight I can pack most of my stuff. It has to be on the down low you remember because Puddin will go into distress. Anxiously attached Puddin is. Beech Mountain has had 9 inches of snow. Maybe just maybe they'll hang on to it till we get there!

Someone, not mentioning any names, is having a hard time around here. I'm sure she'll change it up in a bit. I hope.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

New Computer Woes

Friday I had to take the computer of less than one week back to the store. All the top keys kept sticking and it would take 3 forevers to type or leave a comment. I exchanged it for the exact same model and it was $100 less! Yahoo! Bring it home and set it up and this one doesn't have a built in microphone for skype. Grrrr!!!! I am still trying to figure it out but there is no paperwork to read so it's either going to be a phone call or a 3 hour search on

J is doing really well. Right now she is in her room practicing her typing and is getting quite good. Every time she finds out how to do something new and cool she is soooo excited. Like the hearts. Today she learned how to make them different colors so look out!

We are supposed to be going skiing at Beech Mtn. next weekend (Thur - Sunday) compliments of G. J so wants to see snow and honestly mom does too. Neither of us know how to ski. I tried a couple of years ago in Snow Mass but couldn't breathe due to the elevation and spent most of the time struggling just to walk around the condo without gasping for breath. Now snowmobiling & tubing is a totally different story as they don't require much coordination. In the past, all the other trips to Colorado and Wyoming have been snowmobile speed trips for me while G did the black diamond. Hoping I don't embarrass myself but if I do it won't be the first time. J, on the other hand, will do very well I am sure. She is very coordinated and quite the athlete.

Normally I don't announce trips ahead of time to J but this time I did and J has done nothing to sabotage it. Yay! G's secretary emailed us pictures of the house we'll be staying in so she's had a chance to check it out and she knows the other family that is going and gets on with their daughter very well. Kaylee is 11 now.

My backup plan is to keep the car handy so we can excuse ourselves if it gets to scary for J or if G starts arguing.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Annual Meltdowns

Most of the time our kids start throwing meltdowns and fits right around the anniversary date of them coming home. For J she usually starts about 2 months ahead. Just for good measure.

Normally the way I handle this is to keep it very quiet. Ssshhhh....don't mention it and all will be well. If I don't mention it maybe she'll forget. Well that hasn't worked out so well so I'm trying a different tactic.

I'm going to remind her every other day or so to be getting ready for the annual fit throwing contest. Today I told her that it's only nine more months until the anniversary of her coming home and that usually she starts getting anxious and throwing fits in about seven more months so I want her to start getting ready for the fits now. Just so she can be prepared. I just casually mentioned it in conversation. Her response, "you're silly mama. I'm not going to throw fits about that!" Of course you know when she said that it was filled with exclamation marks and bold type!

Now in my simple mind I think it's a stellar idea. I have no idea if it will work but I'm going to give it a shot. My thought process is that if I remind her of it often enough she'll be so sick of hearing it so she won't bother throwing the fits. We'll see. More will be revealed later..... stay tuned.

BTW....does anybody need a video on any of the things I've talked about???? Please don't hesitate to ask. Honestly can't remember if I've done one on everything I've talked about. So I'm waiting on y'all to let me know.

More on tapping

Just wanted to throw in that you can use tapping on a child of any age. In fact the younger the better. If they are pre-verbal just say all the words and do the tapping for them. I am loved, I'm a totally great kid, I'm safe, etc. The younger they are the better it works because they are really in tune with their energy. The older we get the more we tune stuff out. Plus you'll be giving them tools to use all their life. Like when they are in high school or college and really stressed out about an exam, they'll have the tools to use to get over anxiety and stress. Once it's incorporated into their lifestyle hopefully it will be a tool they'll use instead of turning to drinking and drugs.

Our AT has taught so many of her patients to do tapping that it's now being done tons of classrooms in our county. The kids bring it in, the teachers see it's working and are using it for the whole class. That's really cool.

Expanding on J's post today. G had J get on the back of his motorcycle yesterday. Not to ride. Just to sit. He said he was going to crank it but not move. J almost went over the brink. Total fight or flight. I tried to get her to jump out of it quickly before it escalated. I started by trying to hug her and she jerked away. Then I tried to get her to jump. She couldn't do it. I asked her to run down to the car. Couldn't do it. Followed her down there and had her looking in my eyes to do rubbing. G came up behind and said loudly, "I can't stand all the drama take me back to the office. You're scaring her, get away from her,", etc. As we're taking him back to the office he continues to argue, be confrontational and passive aggressive. J is sitting in the backseat trying to fix it. "Daddy G, you need to concentrate. My Mom knows how to help me., I wish you would try to understand, etc" I'm just trying to get him back to the office so that we can have some peace.

We were going to the AT's office anyway so when we get there I was able to do Reiki, rubbing, etc and she was much calmer. She tells the AT it's very scary for her to hear Daddy G arguing. Ya think?! She started her letter to him this morning. Typed the whole thing by herself and emailed it to her AT who also approved it. She is scared to send it because she thinks he's going to be mad at her and argue more but she says it's more important to send it. Then there's the whole thing that he's going to think I wrote it for her and I didn't. Y'all know how well my kid writes. She doesn't need my help.

If he reads her blog he'll be even more mad because it will be offensive to him to have personal information on the net. Because you know it's so much nicer when everyone doesn't know your dirty laundry. Blech. He doesn't realize that you're only as sick as your secrets. J & I have tried to hide her RAD from people, and we are still discreet locally, but we've both talked about the fact that we think it's more important to be transparent in the effort to help others.

Last night she didn't want to talk to him at their normal bedtime phone call. She said she was still mad and scared. This morning she said she was more mad than scared. It's just frustrating to her because he won't "listen" to what she's trying to say. Yep. Me too.

I have her permission to share her letter here:

Dear Daddy G,

I want to tell you something. It hurts my feelings when you argue
with my Mom in front of me. I wish you wouldn't do it. It scares
me. I wish you understood more about RAD. I have alot of tools to
help me be a normal kid. Some of them are: look in Mom's eyes, get
my Mom to touch me, or hug me to calm me down. Sometimes I run from
her or pull away when I need eye contact or hugs because my RAD makes
me turn scared into MAD. Then my Mom helps me by making me look in
her eyes, touching me or jumping.

I'm scared to send this letter. I'm not trying to hurt your feelings. I just want to be honest about my feelings.



Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Here's the video on the karate chop. It's used to change up energy and prevent a meltdown. Used when a child is dysregulated or dissociated.

Here is the video for the Wilbarger Brushing Technique. You can get them from an OT, Therapy Shoppe or like I did from a next door neighbor that's a surgeon who gave me a whole bag of them.

Much improved day today. I was impressed! J & I went to the beauty parlor to get our hair cut. It was fabulous!!!! I only get 2 haircuts a year and I've been cutting J's hair. However, in December, I talked G into cutting my hair. Thought it was a brilliant idea and as I was telling him how to cut it he held it in a ponytail and cut it all at one time. I never knew it until he handed me a huge clump of hair. Egads! I almost fainted. So much for a nice even cut. Luckily I have LOTS of hair so Robin straightened it all out for me. Woo hoo!

Someone please tell me the difference in a 64 bit browser and 34 bit browser. Every time I try to do anything on the new computer it tells me I need flash. So I start downloading flash. Every time I get a hateful message that says flash does not support a 64 bit browser and to change my settings to a 34 bit browser. How the heck do you do that??????? Not to mention this is a NEW computer. Shouldn't 64 be better than 34? I mean it has 240 GB of memory and 4 G of ram so you would think that flash would be up to speed. Can anyone please help me???? This is seriously interfering with my Desperate Housewives and Gray's Anatomy viewing so I really need some help.

I've also left the fear tapping and rubbing videos up for anyone that needs them.

It's really encouraging to hear families, like Sasha, that are getting some relief from this technique.

Interesting day

Yesterday was a really tough day for J. Not sure what is going on but I'm ready for her to change it up. It could be that she held it together so well at the lake she had to come home and let it all hang out. Or it could be that she had too much fun since our little lovelies will blow out at having too much fun because they don't feel like they deserve it. Just not sure.

She blogged about the tools she was going to use but she didn't use a single one. I attempted rubbing, karate chops, tapping and she was not participating. I should have gotten her up last night to do baby time but at the end of the day I just couldn't make myself. I needed a break from it. I'm probably going to regret that decision today.

I found this great place for kids to learn typing online. It is a lot of fun and I thought she would have a blast with it. Not so much. Bad attitude means

I was hoping to let her stay with my mom today while I run down to the hospital to check on Tudu and Kiera. I won't if it seems she is still struggling but I'm hopeful.

Today is a new day and with it comes new opportunities so we shall see....

I'll be real interested to see what she blogs about today. Hoping it gives me some insight to what is going on.

Newsflash: I just asked her what she thought was going on yesterday. She said, "I just thought I was going to get away with it." Hmmmmm

Monday, January 12, 2009


Please be thinking about, praying for, and/or sending positive energy to Tudu. I just got a call from Tudu and Kiera is still in the hospital. They still don't know what's wrong with Kiera. Tudu hasn't had any sleep in days and all the other kids are stressed out. I was so glad to hear from her but I am still really worried about all of them.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Mum was the word

Yep, J had a pretty hard day on Friday and again on Saturday morning. I was waiting to see if she would blog about it. We tapped, rubbed, karate chopped, mini-tramped, talked, etc. Nothing seemed to be working. Then all of a sudden she flipped the RAD switch off and the normal switch on. Heck if I know....

I was really proud of her for taking ownership of her behaviors. I thought she might want to cover it up and hide it away (and I wasn't going to make her tell since it's her blog) but she decided it was more important to tell the truth. I also wasn't going to rat her out here until she figured out what she was going to say. It's kind of a hard line to walk. I don't let her read my blog because I need a place to vent. She gets that. But since so many of you are pulling for her I would've felt like I was being a tattle-tale.

So this prompted a discussion. We've both decided that we each have our own blogs and each of us are free to say whatever we need to say. We also agreed that we need to keep it very honest because we want to be helpful to others that are sitting in the RADical boat with us. We did not get here overnight and it's constant work. There are ups and downs, twists and turns and we want others to see that. Most of all we want to share things we have learned because you never know who it might help. Sometimes we are a lesson in how not to be. We realize that.

A comment from Sasha about my introduction post at the beginning of the blogging journey, caused me to go back and read it again too. I am still awestruck that both of us have come this far.

J did incredibly well at the lake. Very appropriate behavior and no triangulation whatsoever. She was very proud of herself. Her Mom was too!

Waldenbunch Marty: Can you please email me offline again? With the computer crash I've lost your email and can't respond.

Hannah_Rae: Can you also email me offline? I may have some ideas on your question on J's blog.

Friday, January 9, 2009

There's Been a Death in the Family

Don't panic. It was just my computer. Although if you heard from me earlier in the day you would've thought it had been catastrophic.

This was the third time my super fancy pretty darn new laptop has died. This time it was the truly the big one. Right. in. the. middle. of. reading. Torina's. post. How dare it?!? It was pretty ugly around here for a bit and poor Sheri had to get a manic email from me today. Hope she speaks to me again. *wink* So while the super fancy too new to die computer is in computer heaven safe from blogger and google reader I am attempting to learn V*sta instead of faithful XP Pro. An old dog is trying to learn new tricks and it could be a bumpy ride.

So now I'm going to have to re-record the videos and put them on this computer. Bear with me.

While I was dragging J from pillar to post all day in the search for a cheap computer she is forever going on about how she HAS to blog. "But Mama, I've just got to blog. I'm helping hundreds of people. My computer works just fine. You don't HAVE to have a computer. You can use mine after I go to bed" Ahem. Excuse me missy. #1 Your computer is sooooo slow (she doesn't have to worry about this yet thank goodness) that I would throw it out of the window if I thought I could get away with it. #2 I'm the Mom and if Mom's not happy no one's going to be happy.

So Stephanie and Martin....she'll answer your questions tomorrow.

Yes, my homestudy has been completed since May but I've not been actively pursuing a placement due to the troubles so it runs out this May. If something happens by May excellent. If not, I don't know if I'll update it or not. I'm pretty tired of doing paper work. I realize this may sound like a lame excuse but we honestly have a lot going on and I'm not sure if I have the patience to run around getting septic tank, doctor, dentist, vet, fire safety, tax returns, and financial statement, etc. approval proving I'm a good home. I've been doing adoption paperwork since November of 2000 (when J was born ironically), dossiers, fingerprints, blah, blah, blah for a long time. If I weren't such a squeaky wheel I probably wouldn't have J now. Because you know I'm single and had no parenting experience. Then I finally got it figured out, squeaked a whole lot and now little Miss Priss is sleeping soundly in her bed. Where she supposed to be...

What will be will be....and if it's meant to happen it will. If not, J, Puddin and I will muddle along.

So now I have a hundred blogs to catch up on.....amazing how fast they pop up when there's no computer around.....

Oh yeah....and while I was losing my mind blogger decided to change my background. I'm not going to tackle that problem tonight.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Still holding my composure here even with the really tough post that J did today. It seems she's just hitting her stride. I don't know where she'll end up with this journey but today it's not necessary to know the outcome and just enjoy the scenery.

Yesterday she had a day without a single RAD behavior! She told the AT today that it wasn't even hard for her. Hmmm.... Jo made a really insightful comment yesterday and I still don't know the answer but I think it's a sum of all the parts. Things are just clicking into place for her.
She's planning a tough post tomorrow about SW's. I dread it but she is adamant that she has things she needs to say. Kristina, I'm sorry in advance. Although when she was telling me what she was planning to say she said, "but mama there's a really nice SW reading my blog. It's not about her." So Kristina she remembered you so you're safe. Whew!

Faerie Mama and Reiki Chris have both told me that she is going to move mountains and while I believed them, I really didn't think she was going to start at 8. I was thinking more like 18.

The AT & I were talking about the tapping videos and she said that this book is a really good place to start if you want to learn more. When I looked that book up I found this book on tapping for kids that looks really cool.

The AT was really impressed with J's progress too. I removed the Abilify last night. I'm going to give it a try anyway for a few days and see how she maintains. She may have to go back on it to reduce stress but we'll give it a shot.

The karate chop technique is another thing that we use and completely forgot to include it in our arsenal list. This is used like the rubbing technique to switch up energy so use it when you spot dysregulation coming on. Take both your hands and flip them over palms up then karate chop your hands together (pinky fingers and side of hands in short karate chop strokes) 15 times, then tap under the chin 15 times, then karate chop hands together again 15 times. No words necessary. Just chop 15, tap 15, chop 15. Simple and easy.

J is enamored with typing now even though she has to hunt and peck. Today she tried convincing me to let her do her journal on the computer. I think she still needs handwriting practice but we made a deal. If she does one night of neat writing in her handwritten journal she can do the next night on the computer. We'll see what happens. She is in love with bold and italicized words on the computer now. I wouldn't let her change her fonts today but told her that she could tomorrow. Geeesh. I can't keep up.

It is magic for her when she hits Publish Post. She hurriedly clicks over to her blog to see it all pretty in pink with her music playing. Then she has to dance around the room. She is blossoming right in front of my eyes. I just thought I had composure. *tear*

We arrived home late so no video tonight. Hopefully we'll do one tomorrow.

P.S. I am now actively looking to adopt again. Not in Georgia of course....

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rubbing for Fear Video

I have some composure today. Thank goodness!

Sweet Jillene gave out awards today and I was a recipient. Thank you Jillene!

I'm not going to give it out to any particular people because you are all too special and I would leave someone out. So it's awarded to all of you who are walking this journey with us.

I discovered that my photo camera has a setting for youtu*e so I'm giving this a shot instead of my video camera. The video is on Fear Rubbing. You can use any phrase but it's important to start with the problem and end with a positive. You need 3 phrases to complete the technique.

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

"Even though I'm really nervous, I still totally love and respect myself."

"Even though I'm scared, my mom still totally loves and respects me."


"Even though I'm really mad right now, I totally love and accept myself."

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

"Even though I'm so very angry right now, I'm a great kid."

You get the idea....

Up for 24 hours. Gone baby gone....

Gotta love Puddin in the background. Yesterday when J was doing strong sitting, Puddin went up, sat down right beside her, and started doing strong sitting. Hysterical!

The more J blogs, the more normal she becomes. No. I am not helping her. My parents are reading her blog now and my mom was convinced that I was helping her. Nope. Nada. This is all her. If she wants to blog that's ok...if not...that's ok too but it has to be her voice. Not mine. I can be a catalyst but she has do the work. Every time she gets a comment she is over the moon and you can almost see her self-esteem rising off the floor. It's humbling and thrilling at the same time.

It is empowering her. Her own recovery seems more vitally important to her now.

Sasha, your kids are too funny. Tell them they can tap on any other places they want to, not a problem, just make sure they tap on the places in the list too. Maybe they'll knock the RAD out tapping on their head. ;-)

Torina, you made my little lady's night. She was ecstatic! Thank you!

Monday, January 5, 2009


It's one of those be warned...

J wrote a highly emotional piece this morning that just took my breath away. Honestly I don't know how she does it but she is very matter-of-fact and says, "but it's the truth, Mom." You really can't argue with that. Boy does she love her some !!!!!!! and capital letters. She was so excited about adding music too. She picked all the songs but said Welcome to Where Ever You Are had to be first because she says the words tell her story. It makes me cry too.

I know the stories but still there's something about being typed with her little hands that hunt and peck for an hour to write a paragraph and how she wrinkles up her forehead when she's trying to choose her words, studying carefully with what she's willing to share. It's emotional for a mom.

To have so much support and nice comments is emotional too. Tonight Miss Chrissi and Jo both made me cry. I am a puddle of blubbering mess. daughter brought her journal for me to read. In case y'all have forgotten J started keeping a journal on November 26, 2008. There's a list of things she has to write about in her journal and you can find that in an earlier post from me but one of them is to write down 3 things she likes about herself. Every night she struggles with this because her self image and self-esteem have been so low. It's the hardest part for her. And...every night it's the same things...I like my toes, elbows, arms, legs, then she ran out of body parts and started listing her joints. Toe joints, ankle joints, knee joints, etc.

Tonight it read: 1. I'm Working Hard, 2. I Love Myself, 3. I Like Myself.

The First. Time. Ever.

I am an even bigger puddle of blubbering mess. Somebody bring in a wetvac. It's going to take one to clean this up.

I lied

I lied. It takes too long to email and I've been trying for 3 hours to upload to yout*be to no avail so my last nerve is shot. Chrissi suggested flickr and it was a little better. I'll put the first one up delete it tomorrow and add another one. Each of them are less than 3 minutes apiece. Hope these help and please no snickers about the southern accents. We're all friends here right? ;-)

Sorry it's deleted now. Working on the next one.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


J & I are working on videos of tapping and brushing. It may be tomorrow before we are finished. I'm NOT going to put them on the blog but if you would are interested in "seeing" what it looks like please email me privately and I'll send you the link.

No making fun of southern accents allowed. ;-)

Saturday, January 3, 2009


I don't want anybody to have the misconception that we do ALL these therapies now. We don't. J wrote her list this morning and then we discussed the things we thought were helpful.

The old faithfuls that we are currently doing are:

Tapping - 3-4 times a day and it takes about a minute to do.

Rubbing - only when she is out of sorts and it takes about 30 seconds.

Jumping - this is done every 10-15 minutes on the mini-tramp and really helps her keep her focus and get energy out. She can do about 100 jumps per minute. gotta love it!

AT - once a week therapy for an hour

Baby time - I don't do this often anymore but if she's had a really bad day and she's used up my very last nerve I'll wait till she goes to sleep because she's really sweet when she's sleeping.

Reiki - once a week (sometimes twice) for 10 minutes. Added advantage is it helps her sleep better.

Strong sitting - she starts her day with this and sometimes I do it with her while looking into her eyes. It's only 8 minutes.

Yoga - After she strong sits she does her yoga while I'm fixing breakfast. It's just 3 or 4 poses that the AT gave her for homework. Takes about 3 minutes.

Weighted Blankets - no time involved.

So see...I'm not trying to be super mom. It sounds like a lot but actually it's only about 20-25 minutes per day not counting therapy and Reiki which are usually weekly.

Plus even after all this time I have sticky notes all over the house to remind me to do stuff.

Neurofeedback isn't meant to do forever. We did it in our home after being trained by the providers. The Listening Program is for 10 weeks and she would do it while she was doing neurofeedback. The Learning Breakthrough is meant for a year 15 minutes a day and we saw great results in just a couple of weeks. She did it for probably 6 months or so. She used the weighted/pressure vest while she was doing Learning Breakthrough and then she started wearing it during school for 15 minutes a day. We're not using it now. So it was a lot of multi-tasking.

Just a few minutes ago I overheard a precious comment from my sleep talking child.
"Mommy, mommy, I really want you to be my best friend."

That warms my heart.

And if you haven't already....go check out Essie's blog. She cracks me up!


Since J is a novice at typing she didn't want to explain all the different stuff that we do. I don't blame her a bit! It's a long and convoluted list.

The weighted vest was a gift compliments of Tudu. It's a neoprene fabric with velcro closures that is more like a pressure vest. She wore it 15/20 minutes a day usually while she was doing the Brain Games. She is still doing much better since sleeping under weighted blankets.

What she calls the Brain Games is actually The Learning Breakthrough program.

The Rubbing is explained here.

The Brain Man is actually neurofeedback protocols that she used to do daily.

Music was a sensory integration program from The Listening Program that she did daily for 10 weeks. We also listen to lots of Mozart.

Brushing is the Wilbarger Brushing Technique. It's done every 2 hours. We did that for about 4 or 5 months I think. When she was in public school it was part of her IEP (since she complained of clothes being "itchy") and the OT trained her teacher & I to do it.

Practicing: We practice how to do everything! Especially practicing talking about feelings and appropriate behaviors. We usually do it with dolls.


To tap in a positive belief think of all the positive words you want to use. What are your goals for your child today?

This is the one that we did today:

I’m making good decisions today. I will be peaceful today.

Then tap on these spots while making the above statements:

Sequence One
Over the eyebrow
Side of the eye
Under the eye
Under the nose
Under the lip
Under each collar bone
The bone under the hole in your throat
Wrap your arms around yourself and slap your rib cage with both hands
Under the rib cage with both hands
Sides of the hips with both hands
Sides of upper thighs with both hands
Gamut (the hollow space in between the bones of your pinky and ring fingers)
Inside of pinky finger
Inside of middle finger
Outside of thumb

Sequence Two
Then tell them to inhale and then exhale
Then to close their eyes and open their eyes
Use your finger and draw a circle in the air in front of them and have them follow the finger with their eyes only.

Reverse the circle and they follow your finger.

Hum five or six bars of a tune (we use Jesus Loves Me)
Have them count to 5
Hum five or six bars of the tune again.

Repeat all of Sequence One

We also do one repeating “I forgive myself, I forgive them, and Love is stronger than fear.”

If your child won’t do the tapping themselves you can do it for them or you can do it on yourself with them close to you and it’ll still work. Tell them it works even if you do it to yourself. It’ll drive’em crazy.

There's another tapping sequence for fears but I'm tired of typing just as I'm sure you're tired of reading.

Please note: I am not a therapist nor claim to be one. Just sharing some tips that have helped us along the way.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Blog Rock Star

Tomorrow I'm going to show J how to do the linky thing. I showed her what it looks like on the mention on Torina's and Yondalla's blog and now she wants to do that too. I think a monster is being created. ;-0 She's already planning about what she's going to blog about tomorrow. Jeeesh! It took her over 1 1/2 hours to type her post and she tried to talk me into typing for her but I just let her muddle along and she made it!

Dang! The Princess is catching up with the Queen Mum on followers, she's had more readers in one day than I've ever had and my faithful commenters have abandoned the Grateful ship for J's Journey! I might develop another complex! Golly gee willakers! She's loves to play being a rock star and it's looking like she might turn into a blog rock star!

She's been really proud of herself today so I really believe this is helping her self-esteem greatly. She's also very proud that she's helping other parents and kids along with reinforcing the new behaviors she's practicing. The comments are really special to her. She made me add Elvis to her favorite music list and to tell people to comment even if they are scared. That's huge for her. She knows all about being scared and she thinks people are scared to comment. Recognizing that is a giant feat for her.

Today we did practice play with dolls on how to communicate with other kids and how to treat them like a good friend should. (She also does this in play group therapy with the AT and 2 other RAD kids.) She practiced several times and worked really hard. Phoebe and Winnie came back over at 3 and she used all her newest skills on them. We kept it to an hour play date and she did really well. At the end of an hour she's starting to get out of sorts. She remembered to thank them for coming over, tell them she had a really nice time and walked them home. On the way back up the street she let Winnie ride her scooter and she pulled Phoebe on her Heel*y's. It was one of the sweetest sights to see my kid reach her hand back to help her friend. Bringing tears to my eyes just thinking about it.

Thanks to all of you who are a part of our journey and cheering us on. What a journey it is.....

P.S. I told J tonight that if she's committed to her blog and keeps it up I will have it bound as a book for her at the end of the year and she asked if she could have her comments in the book too. Of course you can honey....of course you can.

J's Blog

J blogging is a little worrisome. She's becoming addicted to stickers and comments just like her mom!

It's been a great incentive though. She can't see comments or stickers until all of her chores are completed. ;-) Boy is she fast now!!!! So thanks for making my life a little easier. It was really heartwarming to see all the comments and the stickers for me too.

I am closely monitoring her blogging to make sure that all the comments are nice and appropriate. I can see many positives happening through this little venture. J is getting great writing practice (although hunt & peck typing gets on her nerves a little). We're also using it as a learning tool for spelling. She is a really great speller already but this reinforces it. I'm such a mean mom...I make her use a dictionary. I will give her the spelling of a word but if I do she has to write it 10 times which means she doesn't ask me much. She's learning that the dictionary is her friend. ;-) This is really reinforcing all of her good choices too and your comments are helping to make her want to try harder. It's not scary because she doesn't have to "see" you IRL. Blogging isn't going to be mandatory like her journal so we'll see how long she keeps it up. We've talked about the fact that this is a random act of kindness to help other people affected by RAD. We're also using the map at the bottom of her page for geography lessons. She looks up all the countries and states so that's cool too!

We're still figuring out how to do it. This morning I wrote down all your questions and read them to her over breakfast. While she was eating she would answer them and I would write down her answers verbatim. She also made a list of all the things we have done to help her get better but I don't know if she's going to blog about it. Now she's in her room, directly across from me, happily hunting and pecking away. When she gets done I'll make sure everything is appropriate and give her the opportunity to edit anything she thinks needs to be changed.

I have given her permission to rant about me as she needs to so that she may have another place to vent if needed. I'm not going to let her read other people's blogs although she doesn't grasp that concept yet anyway.

I commented on Yondalla's blog regarding her express run through 2nd Grade LA so I thought I might want to give y'all an update too. My kid who refused to go to school for 6 months has now completed 450 lessons of Language Arts and Language Arts Extensions on Time4learning in 17 days! She is really enjoying going to school now and soaking it all up. She begs to go to school every day so I'm having to set some limits or she's going to graduate high school by the end of the year. ;-0 I've let her move ahead at a pace that she's comfortable and honestly she was ahead of most of their lessons as she placed in 3rd grade testings but I thought it would be good reinforcement. Plus the LA Extensions have lots of lessons within them like volcanoes, tornadoes, hurricanes, basic needs, goods and services, electricity, etc. so I knew she would enjoy them and learn something along the way.

Thanks so much to all of you for your support of J's blog. It's been a great way to start a new year. J's resolution was to really work hard at being a normal kid. She's off to a great start!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I am so excited I have stickers! My friends Winnie and Phoebe came over to play with me today. I don't know how to play with other kids yet because I still like to be the boss. My mom is helping me learn how to play with other kids. Nobody hurt Winnie and Phoebe when they were babies so they'r not like me. They know something is wrong with how I play but they still play with me. They try to help me too. I still feel scared when other kids are around me and I feel mad whenever kids are around me too. I feel mad because I want to be the boss and I want to be the boss because I'm scared too.

It's time for me to go do my tapping and go to bed. I'm listening to Reiki music tonight.

Thank you for the nice comments. HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What would you like to know about being a RAD kid?

Sorry folks. J got so excited she posted on my site instead of her own and I just now discovered it. I can see that this is going to be confusing for both of us until we get into the habit. Tomorrow she'll start doing the blog on her computer so that should alleviate some problems. I copied it into her blog and Brenda I'll give her your question in the morning. Great question BTW. I'll be interested to know the answer to that myself.

Exciting News

After J & I read all the kind comments left for her she asked if she could have her own blog. I told her I would be willing to give it a try. She said it would be kind of like her journal and that she would like to help other kids. I'm not entirely sure that it's a good idea but we'll see....

It takes her 3 forevers to type of course and that's trying on her patience so it may be short lived. It is good writing practice for her though. She said she would answer questions if you have them. I can see where that would be really good for her because it would reinforce her good decisions and help her see where she has come from.

So anyway here it is:

J's Blog

New Year and New Beginnings

Since it's the New Year Holiday and we're all on track to start new challenges and new beginnings I thought it would be an appropriate time to post about how to change beliefs about ourselves. And for our kids to change the beliefs they have of themselves. So here goes:

How To Change a Belief

Our subconscious loves symbols and metaphors so we will use them to change a belief. You do this technique for three days, stop for three days and notice any changes. Then do it for three more days and then stop for 3 days. This technique must be done repeatedly so that your subconscious knows that you really want to change the belief.

1. Visualize yourself at the top of a staircase that leads into the basement.

2. There are ten steps on the staircase.

3. See yourself going down each step counting 1, 2, 3, 4,...

4. At the bottom on the right is a toy chest. It has something from your childhood there. Look but do not become engaged.

5. There is a secret room in the basement and only you know the way into it. (Hidden key, moving bookcase, etc.)

6. Open the door and walk into that room.

7. You see a podium in this room with a huge, official book entitled (Your name/child’s name) Book of Beliefs is written on the book in gold.

8. Open the book and see the belief that you wish to change that is written in the book. It is written in a child’s handwriting. For example, I’m not good enough, I steal, I lie, I am not loveable, etc.

9. Get enraged and tear the sheet out of the book. You notice there is a fireplace or candle in the room. Tear it up then burn it in the fireplace or with the candle which is next to the podium. Watch it become ashes.

10. You see a pen lying next to the book. Pick up the pen and change the belief to the opposite of the old belief. For example, I am good enough, I am loveable, I am honest, etc. Sign it and date it.

11. Close the book.

12. Leave the secret room, close the door and run up the ten steps on the staircase.

13. At the top of the stairs you see the child who was the age you were when you wrote the original belief. Pick him/her up and swing him/her around while explaining that you made it.

I hold J in my lap and narrate the story to her while she closes her eyes and relaxes. So it can be a great bonding time too. Use your imagination and don’t forget to do it for yourself too. Cool things happen.

P.S. J LOVED all your comments and she is so infatuated with the stickers (followers). Thank you all for putting a great big grin on her face this morning. She asked....."is this like helping people???" More on that later.