Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tour of Home

Shanti, you can't tell by this picture (cause all the "stuff" was put away) but this is where most of the home schooling occurs:

See the chair to the left of the fireplace??? That's where I sit when I'm commenting and reading all the fabulous blogs.

Just from looking around does it appear that I am graffiti artist? FYI: Everything is super tidy in these pics because it was a big clean up weekend. Yes, I realize that I live in a very beige house. At the time I built it I thought I was going to sell it upon completion. Haven't gotten around to adding color to the walls except in J's bedroom. Not so crazy about painting with 14' and 20' ceilings. (high ceilings=bad decision) But I digress.....

Over the years with RAD there has been considerable property destruction. I've rolled with the punches and moved on but not without harboring some resentment. Seriously...I've worked hard for the things I have and most of my furniture was left to me by grandparents, great-aunts and other family members so there is a lot of sentimental value as well. Yet my kids are my kids. Huge difference. So when a little person decorated her desk I decided to "help" her. Insert Christine in my head. She's spinning around, hitting replay every few minutes. I hate that about her. ;) Then I pulled her straight out of this April 10, 2009 post. While J was in the shower I pulled out all my sharpie's and went to town. Her eyes became as big as saucers. No comments though. I think she was speechless. Then the next day she was downstairs cleaning the bathroom and I let my sharpie fly along with some crayons for good measure. Eyes even bigger. Hee. hee. You can't tell from the pics below but it is "decorated" on every single side. Nothing was left untouched.

I honestly cannot tell you how freeing this action was. I was gleeful down to the tips of my toes. Glowing even. A rush that was unbelievable. I am not being facetious or sarcastic in any way, shape or form. I "let go" of the stuff and embraced my kid.

She knows that I take care of things and am very responsible with them, therefore she knows it's a hot button for me. It's usually her first line of defense. I took it out of the equation. AND....I feel better about myself and my kid is healing.
Pretty soon I'm expecting to be decorating walls too. That should be tons of fun. My paint cans are ready and waiting.
Now scroll back up to the top and you'll notice something sneakily suspicious on her desk. :) It appears that her dolls are now using the desk as a bed. With Essie's blanket as their bedspread.
Wonder what that's about? *wink wink*

I spent last night downloading all of Christine's videos onto my ip*d. Sometimes you just got to take her on the road with you. So now she's a part of my "Rescue Lisa Package" that travels where ever I go.

The S o u thern Living Graffiti Artist.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Are You Ready For The Big News????


Are you ready????

To hear the big news?????????

Drum roll please............

Ta Da!!!!!! I am updating my home study.


Somehow I'm sure that no one fainted about this news. Probably no one is even surprised.

Last Friday night I read Claudia's post. And I blubbered.

Then I read Bart's post. And I blubbered some more.

Going back to look at my list on I discovered that Liz had aged out and I turned into a huge puddle on the floor. Sleep did not come easy Friday night. I left a message for Emily at All God's Children. We talked Saturday morning and things started happening.

When I first decided to adopt domestically I was drawn to adopt teens. It didn't work out that way and I have no idea why except that I was supposed to parent J and K. I thought I was done but it looks like there is going to be even more estrogen around here. God help us all. Talking with Kristy (AT) made me feel much better and she thinks it's a great idea and a great fit (specifically because it's a vast difference in ages) in our family.

I'm specifically looking at girls, hopefully in Georgia, that are 16 or older and taking a Yondalla's Allegory approach. We'll see what happens.....

Stay tuned.....

How NOT To Parent a RAD Kid

Most days I can do therapeutic parenting. The post below was not describing one of those days.

Tuesday morning J needed to take a shower before we left to go to Betsy's and later to therapy. She didn't want to take a shower.

Did I let the chips fall where they may and let natural consequences follow. Nope. Did I step in and try to help her regulate. Nada. Did I try to talk with her about the "big feeling" that made her not want to take a shower. No way.

I stepped onto my high horse and got into a control battle. Ugh. I know better. Now she was rolling her eyes, throwing some stink bomb looks my way, stomped around the house and finally dramatically threw herself on her bed. She was done. No way she was going to take a bath. She had drawn a line in the sand. Did I let it go? Silly way.

An argument ensued. Not a pretty argument. No yelling but an argument nonetheless.

Why? Because it was my stuff. I did not want J to leave the house dirty because it was a reflection on me and my parenting. Now picture me.....I am banging my head against the wall. Idiot. Imbecile. What was I thinking?!?!?!?!

I put myself into a timeout. I needed it. Serious talk with myself to get a grip Lisa. 5 minutes later I was able to go in and be the parent she needed me to be. She became calm and regulated. More talking about the feelings and an apology for not doing the right thing the first time. The thing that I knew worked. Apologies from her for the disrespect. Hugs and all was right with the world.

Then she took a shower with no problem. Shower, hair washed, dried and dressed cute as a button in 15 minutes.

Hugging the unhugable. Loving the unlovable. Taking the time to do the right thing and making the choice to do it. Control battles never work. Keep my eye on the prize. Keep my stuff out of the mix. Stay connected. All of these things need to be tattooed on my body.

Remembering there was a time I had to put vi*ks salve under my nose. Gratefully those days are long gone.

In case you were early to the game yesterday I added a link to Dia por Dia. Click here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hooking You Up - Edited

There's some really great stuff going around right now and I have to share. If you parent RAD kids you must click on these links. It is must read information and put so much better than I ever could.

First off go visit LDW by clicking here. Really cool stuff about Denise Best therapeutic parenting seminar. Waiting on a call back from Denise to get the book myself. Cannot wait.
Update: Laynie posted more. Click here.

Then go see Christine by clicking here. More information on the seminar in Christine Language. Hilarious and insightful.

And last, but by no means least, check out J at Stellar Parenting by clicking here. She did an excellent post on watching for cues and how to get a kid to regulate. This morning I spotted a post I missed (have no idea how) on Paradigm. To check it out click here. BC info. Great stuff.

While I was typing this, Brenda did an excellent post on The Unattached Parent. You can click here.

I just met Kerrie this week. She de-lurked, thank goodness, and again, I'm learning even more. This is something I think I really need to look into with K. Click here to learn about vision therapy and how our kids process their world is so important.

UPDATE: Dia por Dia's post today was excellent. Click here.

I learn so much from all of you ladies. Thanks for teaching me, holding my hand and holding me up. You guys rock!

Just a FYI I don't go to the trouble of hyperlinking for decoration nor for the joy it brings me *cough* to create the links. :)

Liz Update: I talked with a worker in Kansas this morning! While I was typing this post. Yay! She has promised to find Elizabeth some how - some way and to speak with her personally. She asked me to give her till next week to get back with me. Yippee skip!!!!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Interesting Stuff - Updated

My friend, L, posted about a training with Denise Best that she and Christine went to on Friday. It was so interesting and I immediately had to give the test to both my girls. Both of them were able to do the belly test but K had trouble moving her eyes to the right on the finger test. Hmmmm......

Wondering does anyone read my blog from Kansas? In 2007 I made several inquiries about a girl named Elizabeth (Liz). She was almost 16 then and she wanted a family. I sent my study several times, filled out paperwork that was sent to me and never heard anything back. I assumed that we were not chosen for her and they had found her a family. Friday night I found out that she aged out of the system without ever having have someone claim her. It just about broke my heart. I would really like to find her. If nothing else to let her know that there was a family that wanted her and that tried their very best to be her family. To show up, to be a touch stone, to have someone to count on. I tried sending an email to her worker and leaving a message on her voicemail. Email was returned and the voicemail didn't work.

If anyone has any connections in DCFS in Kansas please email me. Please. I'm begging shamelessly. If anyone would link this or put out requests on their blogs I would be so eternally grateful. The more people that read about her the greater the chance that I may find her or someone to talk to in Kansas. Praying so anyway....

There's a possibility that I may have some other pretty big news soon. Stay tuned....

Update: I have found a contact person in Kansas. Waiting on a call back.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Can anyone tell me of a really good internet blocker for kids? Have a friend with a teenager getting on inappropriate sites as well as, my sp ace, etc. I've spotted several but looking to all of you to give me expert advice that has your stamp of approval.

Thanks bunches!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Mark, J & G
Kaylee, Zeb & J
G & J

Last year we tried J with skiing lessons and it was an hour of frustration and tears. She was terrified the whole time. Saturday morning we suited her up and sent her out to a lesson and she did fabulous! Yes, she got frustrated but she managed her emotions and we talked her through it. She kept trying and Kaylee worked with her patiently. An hour later she was skiing down the mountain and she skied the rest of the afternoon.

Everyone came in for dinner and (J didn't stop for lunch) and then I told her she could go down twice during the twilight skiing with G, Zeb & Kaylee. That was at 6:30. At 10 she still wasn't back and it was foggy and raining. I was really worried so Mary Alice went down the mountain to retrieve her.

When she & G got off the lift she started apologizing immediately. "I'm so sorry I worried you mama but I was amazing!" She had skied down the intermediate slopes (one level under black diamond) and was so proud of herself! And even though I had been so worried, Mama was proud too!
Sunday she skied all day long without stopping for lunch again!
We're going to try to take her back in the next couple of weeks just to get her confidence level up so that next year it will come more naturally.
Yesterday when we left everything was a sheet of ice and it was precarious getting to the truck. In all the commotion I left my luggage. Packed everything else but forgot my bag. I didn't remember until pulling into our driveway. Wide angle lens, computer, clothes, makeup, cash, photo albums are all still sitting in Banner Elk. Ugh. The overnight shipping on that is not going to be pretty.
J rode with G on the way home so I had a little quiet time. I called the vet to check on Stud and proceeded to blubber the remaining two hours home.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Something I've noticed this week....

My child who once would have a complete and utter meltdown if you gave her one word of praise now loves to receive it. A year ago....unconditional praise....heaven help us.

Shortly after J came home I took her for a haircut. My dear friend, Robin, unknowingly told her that she was so beautiful. It was repeated many times over during our visit. As soon as we climbed in the car complete destruction of my backseat occurred. Cupholders were ripped out, seats were damaged, console broken beyond repair. Screaming bloody murder all the way home. Needless to say it was a long evening. Anytime she received an unconditional praise it resulted in a nasty hot mess.

From that time on I spent hiding at far away grocery stores. Distant town shopping, dining, etc. Getting family/friends to get it. Fat chance.

So we spent months (years) working on praise but it was done with conditional praise. I like the way you tied your shoes. Nice job wiping the table. I noticed you did a good job on your picture. You matched your clothes well today. Nice job cleaning up your room. I noticed you were responsible with your laundry. Etc. I was also very careful to hold up on the negatives comments if at all possible. Not that I ever did this perfectly by any stretch of the imagination. child had no self-esteem. None. Nada. Zilch. On the inside she felt like one one organism lower than an amoeba. Telling her that she was beautiful when she didn't believe it for one whit of a second meant that she pulled out an all-out attack. Search and destroy. Take no prisoners.

When you love someone more than they love themselves they will ALWAYS attack you. Sorry, I don't know who that quote is from so I can't give proper credit. It is a true statement. Just think about it for a minute.

Today she loves to hear unconditional praise and she will feed on it. Now I can lavish her with loves and praises (hugs and kisses) and her little face lights up like a Christmas tree. Then mine reciprocates. It warms my heart. For over a year now she will melt into me when I hug her. A real genuine hug. Not board-stiff-something-might-break-and-fall-off hug.

A lot of people discouraged me from thinking we'd ever make progress. Truthfully there was many times that I doubted it myself. Grateful I didn't listen to anyone. Including myself.

So glad we made it.

Monday, January 11, 2010


I've fixed the video below. Thanks Shanti for letting me know.

If it still doesn't work google Multiple Transitions and it should be the first one that comes up.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

May I Always Be Mindful

Yes, I've posted this before but I still watch it often but I don't think anyone can ever see it enough.

Whenever I wonder why my kids act they way they do it helps me to be mindful of the traumas they have lived through. I never want to forget. It is so important to remember what happens when children have multiple placements.

May I always have compassion even when it's challenging. J is doing so well but it is still important to remember that we did not get here overnight. There have been ups and downs, and twists and turns along the way. Three steps forward and two back. there will be more.

Compassion and empathy are critical to her recovery. May I always meet her needs to the best of my ability. On of my favorite CD's is Parenting with Pizzazz so over and over I hear Deborah Hage in my head saying, "you can't bond with a bitch." Please let me have empathy and compassion in my voice and my heart when I am dealing with my children. They are so precious and wonderful gifts to my life. Help me to look beyond the behaviors to their heart. This is what matters. Help me meet them where they are right now. In this moment. Remember to never be punative. It only makes things worse. To keep my voice kind, loving and calm in the midst of the storm.

Today I watched the PBS special that Diana recommended. It is so good. In turn, I shared it with our AT who is purchasing it to share with other families and their support system. Yes, it is that good.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Whine Alert

It was some one's birthday today. A Someone who is NEVER happy on his birthday. I've tried ignoring his birthday....big mistake and I still hear about that. I've tried having low key birthdays. Not happy. I've tried having his best friend over for his birthday. Not happy. I've tried just about everything. Nothing works. So I figured I'd do it just like if it were one of the girl's birthday.

Grumpy started Thursday night, contaminated yesterday and today proceeded to bring the germs to today. Fun times.

When we arrived at the lake with birthday dinner, presents and balloons in arms Mr. Grumpy Pants met us in the driveway. He started with the grumps before we even got in the house and it didn't stop. Constantly picking at me, passive aggressive crap, and grump on crack. Pushing every button I have. Little Miss. Sunshine took it about as long as she could and then she blew. I had had enough. And I cried too. Ugh. Have I told y'all I'm not a pretty crier? Well, I'm not. It is U G L Y. Blubbering, can't catch my breath crap. I hate it when I cry because I pay all the next day. My face will be so swollen in the morning that I won't be able to open my eyes and I won't be able to breathe all night. Just lovely. Not.

We packed our belongings and came back home. The good news is that J wanted to pack all her stuff and never come back and I had the opportunity to tell her that we don't throw people away just because we're mad at them. Yes, I needed some time and space but tomorrow would be better and that I still loved Mr. Grumpy Pants.

Tonight Mr. Grumpy Pants can go party somewhere else. Tomorrow will be a better day. you hear the screaming in the attic? It's me.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

No Fall Out

I waited all day on the fall out that was sure to arrive from fun overload. It hasn't happened yet. We'll see what tomorrow brings. Perhaps the panacea for J is to travel all the time. ☻

She had a fabulous time playing in the "snow" this afternoon! Hoping we get a little more just so they can play in it tomorrow.

So grateful for all of you that commented with suggestions this morning. Y'all are some very clever girls! I was on the precipice of panic as if you couldn't tell. My brain doesn't operate until a second cup of coffee is ingested.

Oh Crap!

The toothfairy forgot to come last night. No fairy dust, no treat. Oh no.
How am I going to get out of this one????

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Total Rock Star

Kirk West

Gregg & J

I LOVE this picture! That's a K i n d l e in J's hands. Thanks to Yondalla for turning us on to the beloved K i n dle. It's her favorite possession.

G had a great surprise in store for us when we got on the plane. Kirk West was going with us. Kirk is the tour manager for the Allman Brothers Band and such a really great guy. We have a lot of history too. When I made the announcement to G that J was an impending arrival we were sitting around the kitchen table at The Big House with Kirk and his wife, Kirsten. It was their home at the time but is now the very cool Allman Brothers Museum. And...the first time J ever flew with us was taking Kirk and Kirsten home to Macon.

We had sushi upon arrival and made it to the concert with perfect timing. J did fabulous! Truly she was a total rock star the whole time. I couldn't believe she made it to the end of the concert. We had front row center seats and we hemmed J in between us to protect her from the crowd. Kirk got us back stage passes (he made J's night) and J was able to meet Gregg. Unfortunately my camera was not cooperating so most of my pictures are blurry. I could have cried. Grrrrr. On the way home Kirk repaired my camera so the rest of the pictures were in perfect focus. I got in trouble at the FBO for taking pictures. When we went out on the tarmac they informed me I could only take a picture of our departure. Department of H o meland Sec urity.
As soon as we arrived home J took a 3 hour nap. She was exhausted!

While I was away all my blogging friends decided to blog like rabbits procreate. Geesh. I read everyone but commented on none. Sorry. I'm starting over now and will do better. Pinky swear.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Flying to NJ tomorrow to visit grocery stores (every trip has to be work related) and go to a Gregg Allman concert. It will be J's first real concert. Gregg Allman concerts are very low key and mellow affairs in small venues so keeping my fingers crossed that all will go well. Going to use this as a training session for Bon Jovi in April.

G asked us a few weeks ago and I was really nervous about it but now I'm trying to put it into a positive spin. Wondering how positive I'll be this time tomorrow night? I did tell G that we may have to leave early and take a cab back to the hotel depending on how she reacts or if she's falling over tired halfway through. It's always good to have a backup plan.

Surprise for tomorrow as I didn't want J torturing K. ;)