Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas, Darlin!

****** Tissue Alert******  Tissue Alert ******  Tissue Alert*****

This morning all J had under the tree was a puzzle and she didn't show a bit of disappointment.  She was much more excited to give me the gifts she'd gotten me and couldn't wait for me to open them.   I'd made the decision last night to give Darlin to J at my parents for several reasons, the main one being I didn't want them to miss the moment.  Plus it's always helpful to have someone recording the moment.

After brunch it was time to open presents and J was super excited over the bike that Papa & Monya gave her.  I had written a card to J and left it on the tree till the very end.  She found the card and sat down on the couch to read it....

Dear J,

  I'm hoping that this year is your best Christmas ever!  I'm so proud of the young lady you're becoming and I'm so blessed to be your mom!

  I have a bit of news for you.  I have found Darlin's forever mom.  YOU!!!!!!!!!  I'm counting on you to be a great mom and I know you will be.  Merry Christmas to you, darling daughter, and to your Darlin daughter.   

I love you bunches!

She sat there for what seemed like 3 forevers reading my card.  Then she burst into tears.  She was reading what she was afraid it would say rather than what was actually written.  That I had found Darlin's home and it was someone else.  I kept asking her if she had read the whole card and she said yes.  I finally went over to her and had her slooooooowwww down and read it again.

Here is the 30 second highlight: (tissue alert!!!! ---- I cry every time I watch it) You can barely hear it but she's saying, "thank you" over and over while I'm hugging her.

Then she burst into tears again but this time they were happy tears.  My kid has always made fun of my happy tears.  Today she had her first happy tears.  :)

I asked her on the way home how it felt to be a forever mom and she said, "there just aren't words to describe how wonderful it is!"  Then she declared it the best Christmas ever!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Meet Darlin

Most of you know that once upon a time J was *ahem* not nice to animals.  At all.  Thankfully, this is not the case anymore.  She has healed, matured and become pretty darn responsible.  For those of you who have been with me for a long time you will know that the story below is a monumental event for J.

During the summer we acquired a "part-time" dog.  She lives with us when we're at the lake and her family graciously allows her to have sleepovers.  Her name is Sweet Baby and we just love her.  I swear she is like 4 legged valium for everyone in this household. :)  We take her home on our way back to town each week so that she doesn't hang around the house waiting on us to come back.
Then this fall, when my parents went on vacation, they had J babysit their high maintenance bijon, Bella,  and J did beautifully.

My girl has come so far.....

So this year there is the dilemma of a meaningful Christmas present for J.  It dawned on me that since she has done so well with Sweet Baby and Bella that she is responsible enough for her very own fur baby.  I know that we have Puddin but Puddin will always be just "my" baby.  She is not interested in anyone else and only has eyes for me.  I toyed with the idea and studied on it quite a bit before making a decision to go for it.

Enter Darlin....I found her on pet finder . com and fell hook, line and sinker.  I called her foster home and inquired about her.  It turns out that Darlin was dropped off at Fulton county animal shelter by her family because she had become pregnant.  She spent a week or so there and was about to be put down when Clover Run Rescue picked her up.  They had her spayed, shots, etc.  Clover Run Rescue was having a pet adoption day at a pet store in Atlanta on December 4th.  The plan was to have Clover Run to board her until Christmas then surprise J on Christmas morning.  Y'all know what they say about plans......

J and I went to meet Darlin and she was so pitiful that I couldn't leave her and knew we had to bring her home immediately. Darlin was only 9 lbs and should be 12 or 13 lbs.  Just a little bag of bones and it hurt my heart to hold her.   So there was a quick change of plans with the help of Clover Run Rescue.  I told J that we were just going to foster Darlin until we could find her forever home with a family that would really love her and take care of her the way she was meant to be.  I had her to go back in her memory and think about all the ways that I kept her safe when she came home and the things that she wished had happened to her in foster care.  We talked about structure, feedings, kindness, etc.....  J totally got on the plan right away and it was totally cool to see her re-parent herself through Darlin.  I had no idea how quickly we would all become attached to her.... Puddin didn't even seem to mind having her around which is hard to believe.

For 2.5 days that is.....

Darlin went to therapy with us on Tuesday and Kristy fell for her too.  Then we spotted some really red, raw spots on her and knew she needed to go to the vet before we left for a trip so that the sitter didn't have to worry about it.  The vet thought she needed to start some antibiotics and get a medicated bath for the spots so we left her there thinking she would be all well when we came home.  J sobbed for over 3 hours because we had to leave her at the vet, in a strange place and she missed her terribly.  Tuesday night was a long night.

The next morning, I totally surprised J with a trip to Disney and her best friend, Kara and her mom, Susan, came with us.  Susan & I had a really hard time keeping that secret but managed by calling it Operation Super Secret Fun so that the girls didn't pick up on it.  Disney really was magical for J and Kara and they loved every minute.  I'm afraid my girl is never going to be a roller coaster kid. :)

On Friday, while we were still at Disney I received a call from the vet stating that Darlin had a 106 fever and green mucous was coming out of her nose and she was about to die.  Let the freaking out begin.  Thank goodness Susan was there or I would have totally flipped my gourd.  Actually I did flip but Susan turned me back over and I managed to make it.  The fear of what this loss would do to J on top of the other huge loss she's had this year was just more than I could take. So I found someone to get Darlin to the University of Georgia Vet Hospital.  UGA said that she had pneumonia brought on by aspirating fluid into her lungs when she was spayed.  They thought she would make it but they weren't totally sure.  I sat on the fence about coming home but we ended up staying till Sunday which was our original departure date.

I managed to hold it together and I did not tell J.  Call it dishonest or whatever, I really don't care.  I just didn't see the need to have both of us scared to death about Darlin so far away from home.  Sunday, as we were going through security, John, the vet assigned to Darlin, called to give me an update.  He said she was doing much better physically but she was very depressed.  Well, I guess I would be too if I had 9 homes in 3 weeks was living in a crate 24/7.  Like seriously...."where did my family go and why did they drop me off in hell."  J got it immediately. 

They were closed on Sunday but Monday morning I woke J bright and early to go visit Darlin. I told J the whole story when we got close to the hospital and she understood.  It's not protocol to visit at the hospital but they let us in.  Darlin perked up when she saw us.  She was obviously weak but still glad to see us.  John let us hang with her for about an hour until she fell asleep in J's lap.  After we were out of the room, J was crying again.  She hated leaving Darlin and was hurting over how pitiful Darlin looked.  Me too.  

Afterward we was able to spend some quality time with Cindy and all her awesomeness and it made both of us feel better.  Truly the bright spot in our day!  I missed seeing one of her beautiful daughter's, Sarah, but hopefully that will be rectified this Thursday.  

John called later in the day and said that he was very encouraged with how much better Darlin seemed after our visit.  I made arrangements for us to visit Darlin again on Tuesday before therapy.  

On Tuesday, Darlin showed marked signs of improvement.  She had more energy and was tickled to see us.  J & I left feeling encouraged.  J processed all of the things that had happened to Darlin with Kristy and obviously had a pretty good handle on the situation. Tuesday night they were able to move Darlin from the ICU to a regular "room".  She was tolerating oral antibiotics and her appetite had improved.  

On Wednesday, John called to tell us that we could have an appointment to actually pick Darlin up and bring her home.  J and I both did a happy dance all the way to Athens.  Darlin knew she was going home and kept going to the door as if to say, "break me out of this joint, people!"  I had written a note to John giving him the short version of J's history and explaining how Darlin & J's history mirrored each other, etc. etc.  I also told him to know that he would always be a hero in J's eyes for saving her Darlin.  John cried.  Maybe I did too a little.  

Once home it was apparent that Darlin was having nothing to do with her kennel.  I can't say that I blame her a bit.  Nervous about her still precarious health, I was up with Darlin every hour during the night.  I walked her every time and she would cough and sneeze and look like she was going to break in half since she was so frail.  

Thursday she was much better and I only got up with her every 3 hours during the night.  As of tonight, I am cautiously optimistic that Darlin is going to make it.  She seems a little perkier every day and the coughing and sneezing is diminishing slowly but surely.  

It's obvious that Darlin is very cathartic for J and is going to be a huge part of her healing.  Watching her re-parent herself through Darlin has been very cathartic for me as well.  I am so grateful that Darlin is still with us and can't wait to see J's face on Christmas morning when I tell her that I have found Darlin's forever mom and that she is it!!!!   

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Traumaversary Update

J won over the blog fates.

It is now officially an anniversary rather than a traumaversary.  Can I get a great big

Woo Hoo!!!!!

J asked me Friday if we were going to celebrate our anniversary.  I told her probably not on Sunday because we had some other things going on.  She understood.  We have never celebrated our gotcha day because it was soooooooo incredibly hard for so many months BEFORE the anniversary date AND she never wanted to celebrate.  For her to ask to celebrate was HUGE!!!!!  HUGE, people, HUGE.  Sunday night when I tucked her in I told her "happy anniversary, honey bunny, and I'm so glad you didn't throw me away."  She started laughing so hard and she said, "I'm so glad you didn't throw me away!!!!"  It was a touching moment and one that I never thought we would get.  Yes, I left the room before I teared up. :)

Yesterday we played hooky from school and got up at the butt crack of morning to go watch the sunrise over the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Followed by breakfast in Blairsville, Burt's Pumpkin Farm to pick up our ginormous pumpkins, hiked Amicalola Falls, lunch in Dahlonega and home to put out our pumpkins.  It really was a wonderful day and I hope I can always remember every detail of goodness that we shared.

I am so grateful for every hard decision that had to be made because she is worth it.  She is truly living up to her potential and this is something I wasn't sure was going to happen.  Would I do anything different????  Only a million things.  Did I do it perfectly?  No way.  I've made millions of mistakes and so much I wish I could close my eyes and have a "do over".  But we made it and that's what counts.

An aside: For all you parents that are living with spouses that don't get it and you have to make the hard decisions without backup, I commend you.  This stuff is not for sissies and it's so much harder when spouses don't get it.  The kids lose and it's just another mountain that us Trauma Moms have to climb (as if it weren't hard enough).  I love that line...."if you're not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem."  Be a part of the solution.

I keep trying to get Michael Moers to do a Daddy Boot Camp to teach all his "Daddy Awesomeness".  A request I've made so many times that I'm sure Christine would love to duct tape my mouth.  Although if she were in Georgia it might happen. :)

Happy Anniversary to us!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Life in the Grateful House

I am testing the blog fates....

October 23 is our gotcha day.  The day my world and life as I knew it changed forever.  I have changed and grown in ways I didn't even think possible.  All because my warrior child forced me.  Dragging me kicking and screaming with her as she has changed and grown into such a beautiful young lady.  This year will mark 5 years that I have been blessed to be her mom.

Every year her traumaversary has started around August 1st and proceeded to be horribly challenging until around the end of November.  Last year we saw great progress when the traumaversary behaviors didn't start until the end of September and ended right after her birthday, November 9th.

You can read about traumaversaries here, here, and here.

This year we are one week away and they haven't started yet.  Do you hear the heavens singing????

Is it because I've been reminding her almost daily that her traumaversary was coming up so she needed to get ready to start having tantrums?

or because we're hooping almost daily? More about that here.

or because we did the commitment ceremony in June?  Read about that here and here.  Tissue alert.

or because of all the tapping?  (I've written so much about tapping I can't pick just a couple so use the search in the sidebar.)

or because she's been here five years and she's starting to believe that I'm not going to bail on her?

or because of niacin?  More here, and here.

or all of the above????

Honestly, I just don't know.

I do know that I am so proud of her and of me.  Because this parenting trauma gig hasn't been easy.

We've had to fight our way to love and every step of the journey has been so worth it.  Every tear, lost friendship, every minute of therapy, every everything.  Worth it baby.

I wouldn't change a thing.  We're living Life in the Grateful House.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Building Core Muscles

Did you know that a child of trauma has little to no core?  This is why they have no sense of boundaries, seem out of their body much of the time and are floppy.  A child starts building their core muscles when their mother is carrying them around.  A child that doesn't get carried, loved on, bounced, etc. doesn't tend to build core muscles.

Kristy has had J doing yoga since we started with her almost 5 years ago.  Planks and tree poses, etc to build core muscles.  While we love typically only lasts a few minutes in each pose and it takes a while to build the core.  And typically getting a child of trauma to "enjoy" doing yoga is another thing to have a battle about sometimes.

Enter the hula hoop....y'all knew this was coming....  If you aren't hooping for the fun of it let me give you some other little bitty things to think about.....

I made Kristy a hoop several months ago and she's been using it faithfully.  Last week she shared with me that she's started using it with all of her trauma kids in her practice with great success.  Because it builds core muscles quickly and it is FUN, FUN, FUN!!!!  AND....  a child that is stuck will typically become unstuck because once they pick up a hoop they can't help but have fun.  It moves their brain from flight to fun rather quickly.   So now I'm making hoops for trauma kids.  Yay!

When gets grumpy during school we go outside and hoop our booty off.  She can come in and concentrate.  DING. DING. DING.  Light bulb moment....

Now J's friend, Kara, is getting it added to her IEP at school to use a hoop before tests to relieve stress AND whenever she is stuck.   I picture the whole school hooping soon. :)

Not to mention that it is great for proprioceptive part of the brain.  Kara was a kid that bumped into everything and fell down every set of stairs.  The days that she hoops she doesn't fall or bump into anything.  Coincidence????  I don't think so and neither does her mom or Kristy.  Kara also typically has a hard time getting started every morning.  The stress of school just wigs her out.  So she's hooping for 5 minutes in her room before she does a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g.  and she gets to do it again before they head out to school if they have time.  Watch Kara change her day up instantly.  It's a beautiful thing.

We are doing the 30/30 hoop challenge from Pandora's Healing Hoops via Christine.  Are you????  We missed today due to traveling to the beach but we'll make it up for it tomorrow.

P.S.  Do not buy one from the mart of walls.  You'll be doomed to failure for sure.  Search on you tube for videos that show how to make them.  They are easy peasy to make and will actually work.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Adopt Walk

Go now and enter my friend's raffle for cool stuff.  Support a wonderful cause in the process.  Click here for awesomeness.  You know you want to.....  :)

Today is day five of the hooping challenge.  I. am. sore.  But I will press on....  I was taking daily pictures to hold me accountable but I've given that up.  We are just having fun.  So far it has been a blast.  Lots of giggling and shaking going on.  Then more giggling as the hoops going flying off the dock into the water.  Luckily I have some short people willing to jump in the cold water and get them. :)  The pic above is from one of our new led hoops with me in the middle.  It's nice to know that I can have a 2 inch waist if I spin really fast in the dark.  Ha!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Secret Love Letters to My Daughter

In January 2009, I started writing letters, secretly, to J in a journal.  I did really well for a few weeks of writing every day.  Then reality set in and it was several times a week.  It only took just a few minutes to write some of the positives of the day.  I kept it up for several months but then, since I was doing it secretly, I lost the journal.  I would keep moving it to a safe place so that J wouldn't find it and one day I couldn't remember where I had put it.   AAAHHHAAAAAAA!!!!!!  Enter major freak out!  I searched high and low to no avail.  Finally I gave up and decided it was gone for good.

Fast forward to this past weekend.  I started a MAJOR clean up of my house.  Trying to de-clutter and get rid of soooo much crap.  I swear the crap multiplies at night. :(  Lo and behold I found the journal.  Woo hoo!!!  So now I'm back to writing secret love letters to my daughter.   Along and along I will let her read some of it but I'm going to keep it in my sticky hands until she's at least 30 so that it won't get lost in the movings and events of life.  I believe there will come a time in her life that it will be more precious than gold but probably not for many years.

The letters are sometimes one liners and sometimes several pages depending on how tired I am or how much time I have.  I have found that this journal is also a gift to me when I re-read what I have written.  It keeps me focused on the positive and also warms my heart on hard days.

Here's a couple:

Dear J,

Did you know that I sneak into your room at night to watch you sleep?  You now have the most peaceful face.  It is most certainly the face of an angel.  I will sit and watch you for long periods of time.  Sometimes your nose will twitch and sometimes you talk in your sleep.  Sometimes you are all sparkly from fairy dust.  Always you are my precious daughter...  I love you, Mom

Dear J,

Today you made me giggle so many times.  I love you, Mom

Just typing these to share with you makes me feel all warm and fuzzy in spite of the fact that today is not an especially stellar day for either of us.

So I will keep writing and this time I will keep the same hiding place. :-)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Screaming on the Inside

A friend who has an undergraduate in psychology from about a hundred years ago has informed me that body memories of trauma do not exist and that kids cannot remember what happened to them before they were 3 years old.  He told me it was a bunch of hogwash that J could remember her sister trying to drown her at 9 months or that Kara could not remember eating soup in the orphanage when she was a baby.  I could just spit I am so mad.  This is basically calling J & Kara liars.  He has never worked in this field and he comes from a non-traumatic family back ground with two NT children. This is only based on what he "has read" since he still "keeps up with psychology" because he's "interested" in it.  He basically said that Kristy doesn't have any idea what she's doing and must not be worth a sh*t and our psychiatrist doesn't know anything.  Those are fighting words in my book so I had to hang up the phone before I said something I would regret.  My side of the street is still clean at the moment and I'm going to try to keep it that way.

I think he's too old to learn (as in people who have shut the steel trap doors of their mind and think they know everything) and has his head stuck too far up his nether regions to learn anything new but does anybody want to jump in with resources on this subject or personal accounts of your children's body memories?  He really doesn't want to learn anything new but I could use some back up.  I'm paralyzed with pissy-ness at the moment.

I realize he can be stunted when it comes to social cues as they are not one of his stronger attributes. When I'm though with being mad at him I think I should get him a copy of Amer*can Girl's book, How To Make a Friend and Keep a Friend because I think he needs some lessons.

The highest form of ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about. -Wayne Dyer

Monday, August 8, 2011


Until the pain of staying the same is greater than the

pain of change - chances are there will be no change.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Faith, Hope, Love

There are so many things that I want to model for J.  So many lessons that I hope she learns from how I handle things.  The most important lessons are listed on our fridge.  Actually they were on the fridge before J came home but have had to be re-written several times due to wear and tear.  They are listed not just for J but as a reminder to me to always walk the walk with her and with others in my life.  Because I am so forgetful they are also listed in a meditation book in my bathroom. :) This is also how I chose the rings for the necklaces in our commitment ceremony.  The words to match our family beliefs.  There's no way I could do it perfectly but I sure give it my best shot.  Last week we had to re-visit them with the incident with the boy at camp.  J can recite most of them by heart and taught them to Kara before they got out of the car for camp.  Maybe Ethan had a little better day for it........

May I always remember:

To keep my side of the street clean.

Kindness rather than anger.

To be considerate of others.

There are lessons to be learned from everyone, even if it's "how not to be."

To stand for myself but not against my fellows.

To learn to say, "you might be right." Even if I don't agree because everyone has their own truths.

That I don't have to accept every invitation to a fight.

To keep an open mind and to not let the steel doors of my mind slam shut before I have considered all aspects of a situation.

It's possible to agree to disagree.

Being mean is never OK.

People that act very angry are usually coming from fear and insecurity.  See the person...not the behavior.

To those who much is given, much is expected.

To be accepting of all others.  Wherever they stand.

Be willing to look in the mirror and admit when I am wrong.

Just because someone calls me a chair does not, in fact, make me a chair.

Peace and love is grown in our hearts and we take it out to the world.

Give what you want to receive.  Peace, love, security, kindness, forgiveness, acceptance, faith, hope. Especially when you perceive that someone has hurt you.

Enjoy the journey.

Progress not perfection.

Be grateful.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Camp Success

They both made it all the way through the week. *Breathing a sigh of relief*  No dreaded phone calls!  Both girls have been invited back next year and both Susan & I have been invited to their weekend mom retreat that happens pre-camp.  J was happy as a lark tonight and very proud of herself.  And she should be.  After Kara left tonight, J said, "wheweee!  I made it!"  I'm going to bottle up the memories of this week and save it for a rainy day (week...month).

Thursday morning, on the way to camp, the girls mentioned that they have a bully in their group. A 13 y/o boy was kicking and hitting several of the small children in their group including them.  So we practiced, again, asking an adult for help and how to do it respectfully.  Honestly, I wasn't worried about the girls (considering their former bully status) but was a little concerned for the other littles.  I mentioned it to the counselor that met us at drop off but told them not to worry about the girls but to coach them if they couldn't ask for help respectfully.

At pick-up the director came up to the car expressing regret about the boy's behavior and explained that they were working with him.  Quickly told her she had n.o.t.h.i.n.g. to worry about with us and told her they might be getting a dose of medicine to see what it feels like on the receiving end but that was totally o.k.

Kara decided she liked my cooking and has been eating with no problems since the previous post.  Totally forgot to have her tap and shake before she went home with her mom tonight.  Hope re-entry is pain free for Susan.

Every night at approximately 9 PM a huge, military C-130 Hercules flies over the house and skims the lake.  Unfortunately it's always too dark to get a good picture of it though I have tried many times.  Last night it arrived at 7:15 and I was totally unprepared. was really cool to see him in the daylight as it dipped over the mountains, down over our house and the lake.  The sound is loud enough to make you hit the floor and cover your head but the sight was beautiful.

Now I'm going to relax and listen to the whippoorwill sing right outside the porch.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day Two

The camp mom, Claire, met me this morning at the drop off to tell me how great J did yesterday.  I did not cried on her too.  I made a trip to the Wal Mar ts and shopped at leisure.  When I made it back down the pig trail (that's a one lane road) to the lake I was blocked and could not get to the house.  They've been building a lake house  right on the road (seriously if you stick your hand out the window it will touch the house) for the past two years.  They block our driveway with about 20 trucks every day.  Normally when we're here it's no big deal since we're down at the lake while they're working but we've been having friends in and out and  they can't get by.  Now this week it's a real issue because I HAVE to leave the house at 7:50 to get her to camp on time and I HAVE to leave at 4:20 to pick her up.  I told them last week that I'd have to keep a schedule this week and gave them the times I'd be coming through and they promised to have it clear.  It's not working out so well....  I've been having to wait on them to move vehicles each time but it's been no more than 15 minutes.  This morning they made me sit and wait for 45 minutes.  They stood around and looked at me but wouldn't budge.  Mama was N.O.T. happy.

One of the trucks had to back up to our driveway because there was no where else for him to go on this dead end road.  He made a point to get out of his truck and glower at me as I went by.  Sorry dude but I didn't want to make twenty trips with groceries down a half mile road.  There is a wide spot in the road for all the trucks to park but they'd have to walk about 200 ft to get to the job site.  When I got back home I called Mountain Patrol and they agreed to come talk with them.  When Nelson (MP officer) he said he had told them again and again and he had called the homeowner to make sure they knew.  He said it had been a real problem the whole time but the next time that anyone couldn't get through they were going to call the Sheriff's Dept. to have them write tickets and if that didn't work they would shut the job site down since it's against Georgia law to block a public road.   I really hate to stir up trouble but this is getting ridiculous.  Hoping there's no retaliation down here on lonesome road but nice was just not working.  When I went out to get J this evening the road was clear for the very first time.  Yay!

Picked the girls up on time and they had another great day.  The activities were slower paced today.  Creek walking twice, arts & crafts, archery and swimming.  J did the high dive 4 times today.  She said she kept on telling herself that she COULD do it and she said it worked.  The camp mom said that neither girl was called out for a transgression and that both did great.

Today's proud moment:

J: Facing her fear of the high dive even though she didn't want to.
Kara: Better table manners today.

Tomorrow's extra work:
J: Wants to be able to dive without having to talk herself into it.
Kara: Not being so bossy.

Kara suckered me in.  Sunday night I had eight different mouths to feed and she caught me at a week moment.  She told me she wanted ribs (leftovers) for dinner instead of lemon shrimp & rice.  Not wanting to cause a ruckus I gave them to her.

Yesterday morning she didn't want bacon and eggs.  She wanted honey toast.

Tonight she sat and looked at her mini-burgers and said she didn't want them but wanted something else.  The party was over tonight.  I told her she would have to eat what we eat or not eat because I wasn't cooking two meals at each meal time.  She was m.a.d.  But she wouldn't admit to being mad, she would only admit to being sad.  Uh huh.  Right.  I had gotten both of the girls some jelly bracelets at the marts this morning and they both had them on.  Kara was so mad she tried to give her bracelets to J.   :)

I had talked with her mom earlier and she agreed no more catering.  Camp sure hasn't catered to her for the past two weeks so it's a control issue.  I assured Kara it was totally ok to be mad with me, she could tell me and I would totally understand.  J had a talk with her about it's alright to be mad but she needed to use her words and then she told her that her mom isn't a short order cook and she needed to eat what was put on the table because I was a great cook. :)

Kara wasn't buying it.  The girls did the dishes then I had Kara call and make her nightly phone call to her mother.  She wouldn't tell her mom about any of it.  By this time she was crying a little but she wouldn't admit that to her mom either.  She said she must be getting a cold.  Susan assured her that the allergy pills would help her with that and they went on to talk about her day.  Then I had Kara follow me around everywhere I went.  By the time we got to the laundry room to start the wash Kara (of her own volition) apologized about dinner.  I told her that was totally alright and that I understood.  Then I told her the story about J not eating a single bite of a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. I put in front of her for weeks because she was testing me and wanting to control me.  I told her the good news is that J will now eat anything and tries new things all the time and has found out that there isn't much that she doesn't like.  Kara gave me a faint smile.  I told her to test me out as long as she needed to because I could be strong for her.  Then she gave me a big grin.

I do think Kara is missing her mom.  She's been away from home (except for one night) for almost 2.5 weeks.  Tomorrow night Susan is going to meet us up here when I get home with the girls.  I think that will make Kara very happy despite the fact that we are having the ever so dreadful meatloaf tomorrow night. :-)

Monday, July 25, 2011

1st Day of Camp

Kara is staying with us at the lake this week for camp.   This is the first spend the night (with a friend) for both of them.  A huge memory for both of them and so grateful that they are healed enough to do this.  I kept them swimming from 10 AM yesterday morning until 5:30 straight.  I even brought lunch down to the dock so they wouldn't miss a minute.  Kara didn't want to sleep in the room next to J's and asked if she could stay in J's room.  I talked with J about it and we went over safety, etc.  Both girls were adamant that they could be as quiet as mice.  Kara wanted to go to bed a J's bedtime of 7 since she was still exhausted from camp for the previous two weeks.  True to their word they were quiet and I stepped in to check 15 minutes later and Kara was sawing logs.  In 15 more minutes J was as well. 

J was up at 5:30 this morning nervous about camp and because she didn't sleep very well last night with Kara in the room.  We tapped, rubbed on psychological reversals and went over all the rules ad nauseum.  After breakfast, when they had all their camp bags ready, they took turns reading out of the Amer i can G irl book, Friends - Making Them and Keeping Them.  Great book BTW.

Tapped, etc all the way to camp.  They were the second ones to arrive which gave J a comfort level.  I left and all day I kept looking at the time and fearing that I'd be getting a phone call any second.  No calls.

The director came out first to greet me before bringing any of the kids out to their parents.  I was worried as she was walking up.  She kept a perfectly straight face all the way to my car.  I probably should've gotten out of the car but thought it would be better to receive bad news sitting down.  When she got to the car she said Jordan did amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  She said all the camp counselors were in love with her and couldn't believe all her good manners!  She remembered her manners, listened, told the director when she was scared, remembered to tell them she's allergic to cheese so she couldn't have mac & cheese today.  The kids liked her and she made new friends. Woo hoo for my kid!!!!!!!!!!!!  

And then I started crying!  This news would've been music to any mother's ear but to mine it was priceless.  J was never the charming RAD kid.  She was the "don't turn your back" kid cause you might seriously regret it and have wounds if you do.  Today the heavens were singing and I might have burst into song myself.  Then I had to hug the director awkwardly through the car door and told her I loved her.  Sadly, I'm not kidding. 

Jordan came running screaming, "MOM!!!!" with a grin as big as Texas.  Insert more awkward hugging through the car door.  I don't think I could get out due to the shock factor at this point.  The director told her she would see J in the morning and J emphatically replied, "yes ma'am you will!!!" She got in the car and screamed "THAT WAS SOOO AWESOME!!!!!!!"  Then I started crying again.  J said, "mom are you crying?"  Yep.  She turned to Kara and said, "she does that when she's happy."  :)

She chattered away about her day and how she did a the high dive.  She started on the dock which she does pretty well and then moved on up.  She said when she came up she sputtered that she had a "head stomach" and everyone thought that was funny. 

On the way home J kept saying she was about to get sick and she had a headache.  We made it home without an event.  I think dehydration/lack of food/and stress factors were the contributors.  She ate two pan-seared tuna steaks, 2 avocados and 2  peanut butter and honey sandwiches.  While she was doing the dishes she said, "mom, I forgot I was a bottomless pit at camp because I was nervous but now that I'm home I remembered that I am a BOTTOMLESS PIT!!!!"   No kidding.

At 6 the dishes were done and J was begging to go to bed due to exhaustion.  She went on and Kara and I read some more out of the AG book till 7.  J was already asleep and 5 minutes later so was Kara.

Tonight I think she'll do better with Kara in the room.  At bedtime I introduced J to Kara.  J meet Kara.  Kara meet J.  Kara is still Kara in the middle of the night just like she is right now.  Contrary to your midnight beliefs she does NOT morph into a monster.  She is always Kara.  They both giggled.


The high notes of the day:

Creek walking was the BEST according to both girls. J didn't like drama or basketball (because she thought she didn't do well) but she said it was all great.  Kara wasn't crazy about speed ball. 

Asked each what was the thing they were most proud of today. 

Kara: Being a good friend to J.

J: Remembering her manners even though she was stressed and making a new friend.

The things they both wanted to improve on tomorrow:

Kara: Wanted to do better on table manners.

J: Wanted to be a better friend tomorrow. 

Today is the day that I never thought would arrive.  I never in a million years thought or even hoped out loud that she could blow the doors off such a monumental challenge.  Yes... I've known that she's made great emotional strides to overcome so much trauma that would bring most adults to their knees.  But this was over the top!  It's a proud mama day today.   I'll take it and store it away here so I can always pull it out on a rough day and remember the champion of conquering her fears.  I love my kid.  She is the bomb!

Sunday, July 17, 2011


We're hanging at the lake a good bit this summer. Friends coming in and out.  J is loving it.  Next week she will start at a day camp from 8:30 to 5.  Like a real old fashioned camp.  Camp Dixie was started in 1914 and most of the buildings were built around that time.   Trees grow through the cabins and other buildings.  The wood on all the buildings has been worn so very smooth from years of use.  350 lush acres at the top of a mountain decorated with lakes and waterfalls.  So very cool.  It's very structured with lots of great activities and no electronic devices allowed.  I took her up last week for her to visit and get a comfort level.  She loved it and we both decided we'd love to live there.  It's about 1.5 hours from our house so we'll stay at the lake and I'll be 20 minutes away in case she hates it.

She has been able to tell me she's nervous about camp and talk through her feelings.  This is so huge!  She has also expressed nervousness about being away from me for so long each day. Yay J!  I have her a transition object to carry in her pocket so that when she's missing me or scared she can touch it and get some love.  The camp director is now familiar with tapping and shaking so they'll be able to identify her coping skills for her if necessary.

Her normal excessive appetite is now off the charts.  We ate at the seafood market last week and she ate 2 shrimp po-boys, 8 hushpuppies, a bowl of crawfish etoufee, a pound of crab legs, and half of my po-boy.  No.  That is not a joke.  She is a 4'10", 89 lb eating machine.  I cannot keep groceries in the house.

Last week my computer, cell phone, microwave and dryer all went catawompus.  In a period of 48 hours.  Geesh.  So now this strictly pc girl has turned mac and is dealing with all the frustrations that entails.  Not to mention learning a new cell phone, etc.

Have you met Barb and all her loveliness yet?  If not, rush on over and read a great post here.  Then go check out this post from Colleen at Therapeutic Moments.  I don't put links in for my entertainment people.  They are for you.  :-)  Not to mention that I haven't mastered copy and paste into blogger links so these are links that were slaved over.  Not. even. kidding.  So click, people.  Click.  You know you want to.....  :-)

(Why oh why will the mac not let me copy and paste links?  Please tell me this is just a temporary blogger issue.)

Sketchy internet up here.  I'm very happy that there is even a little bit of service but we're at the end of line so you never know if you're going to have it or not....or it will go down in mid-sentence.  Reminds me of dial up days....

Monday, July 4, 2011

Anger Work

J has had a lot of anger toward a certain someone.  Rightfully so.  We've been doing anger work in therapy and it's been helping.  A couple of weeks ago a lightbulb went on and I remembered something that really helped me many years ago.  You write down the reason (person, place, event, etc) on the bottom of your shoe and stomp on it.  Usually by the time the writing has disappeared so has your anger.  A couple of times I had to do it twice but it worked.

I mentioned it to J and she loved that idea!  So she wrote her anger all over the bottom of her shoes with a sharpie.  Complete with mean faces.  Then she stomped.  Now I don't know about your child my but mine could make a Tennessee Walking horse jealous with the strength and volume level that she can stomp.  Kristy and I both thought her legs would be sore but miraculously they weren't.  Must be all those years of practicing.  She ended up stomping for several days.  Then it started dissipating and she only asked to do it every couple of days.  Now she doesn't think about it much.  Amazing!

Another anger tool I need to write down and put in my toolbox so that I don't forget. 

Do you have any good anger tools to share?  I'm writing them down and would love to have some more. 

Loved all your suggestions on the "No" post.  They're now in my toolbox too.  Signing "no"......I loved that and had to go look it up.  So grateful for all you smart mom's.

Thanks to blogger's like Corey's and Barb's I no longer have to pay for tv.  Saving mucho bucks and ever so happy about it. 

Love Don't Run

by Steve Holy. 

Tissue Alert: This song speaks volumes about us.  And you too.....

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Dreaded "No" Meltdowns

This post has been sitting in the draft box for a few weeks.  I'm truly not good at explaining stuff so please bear with me....

Our kids hate the word "no".  Hate it. Hate it. Hate it.  I used to think it was just an excuse to have a wango tango event.  Now I think it's more of a trauma response.  We already know that cause and effect is severely damaged in traumatized children so we can't expect them to respond correctly as a NT.  ESPECIALLY if it's a stressful situation.   BUT when J came home she was 5 and she was verbal so I expected her to understand what no meant.  Oh boy! Was I ever wrong!  When you've had about a million other homes and too many changes, and too many hurts and too many scary things happening it just doesn't work that way.  No, in their mind, means the end of the world because they think there will NEVER be another "yes."  The amygdala engages and all hope is lost.  They say "game on."  It's just one of the millions of things that I wish that I understood before I parented trauma.  I could've saved myself and J so much trouble and shattered eardrums. :)

Try to say yes to everything you can within reason.  I really have to watch myself because I will get in the habit of saying no just because....I'm too tired or I really don't want to be bothered or it's Wednesday, or whatever.

Please don't get your panties in a wad.  Hear me out first.... I KNOW there are times you have to say no AND that's it's really important that they can handle it and obey it immediately.  Sometimes it life and death.  As in...."no" when they're about to run out in the street, or touch a hot pan, etc.  BUT when you can say "yes" and when they're regulated, maybe you can try the things below that worked for us to take the sting out of "no".

We made up another word to use instead.  One of ours was hippopotamus.  Yes... I know it's crazy to use another word when it would be so much easier just to say no.  But it sounds funny and it would interrupt the spin into the amygdala and most of the time she could handle it.  Not always... but seriously people if it worked only for one day I would take it.  When hippopotamus stopped working we used supercalifragilisticexpialidocious cause that was even sillier and then she'd try to say it and couldn't and then we'd both be laughing.  (P.S. if you're both laughing you are both winning.)  Sometimes I let her pick the word that would represent "no."  It gave her some control and it was always interesting to hear her choice.


We practiced, ad nauseum, using the representative word or the dreaded actual "no" when she was regulated.  Lots of pizazz to enforce when they are strong enough to actually hear the word and accept it. Sweet treat rewards during practice never hurt either.  Your hand to their mouth with love.

Model it: Turn the practice around and let them tell you "no" and model the appropriate response.  Yes, you may feel silly but find the fun in it.  Use your imagination and make it fun.

J is attached and her responses are appropriate most of the time but still, even after 5 years, if she is not regulated or stuck in her amygdala due to a stressful situation she can STILL have a hard time with no.  STILL.  I have to keep reminding myself that sooooooo much was missing in her first 5 years that this may be a pattern for her.  It may be something she adjusts too eventually but it's up to me not to expect her to have the exact response a NT child might have.  She's doing the best she can and sometimes I have to adjust my expectations.  It is frustrating and there are times when I think "she just be over all that stuff by now."  That's just me being ridiculous.   Then I have to remember how far she has come. 

We've come a long way baby!

If you've got any helpful hints on what you've done to ward off the no wango tango please share.  I can use all the tips I can get in my arsenal.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Working on the Hooping Skills

She's using my 3 lb. hoop.  That thing is h.e.a.v.y.

Feeling Claimed

It is blatantly obvious that J feels more "claimed" since the commitment ceremony.  She has a comfort level in our family environment that I have not seen before.  I hear her saying more "we" statements rather than "I" statements.  As in we're a team and she "feels" it on a very deep level.  How I wish we had done this sooner!  She laughs at herself more rather than feeling embarrassed.  She is laughing more period.  Appropriate, "I am delirously happy" laughter.  She is trying new things that before she wouldn't attempt for fear of failure.  She is sleeping better and her previous heightened startle response is almost nonexistent. 

It has been very interesting and informative to watch the difference.  Yes, I "knew" that I claimed her but on some level she didn't feel like I really meant it.  Even after 5 years of being home.  Now she feels safe and loved to her very core.  You can see the changes on her face AND in her actions.  Her breathing is even more steady.  She can hear better because she's not trapped in her amygdala wondering when the other shoe is going to drop.  She is more relaxed.  Things that used to frustrate her to no end is now a piece of cake for her.   She will readily admit when she has made a mistake and moves through it rather than feeling she has to be perfect. She feels safe. 

I am so glad that our anniversary will not be anywhere close to her traumaversary.  By family vote we have decided that from now on we're not going to celebrate the adoption date and instead celebrate our commitment day.  My gift to her was a music box that covers 4 of the 5 senses.  Another stellar idea from the keepers of wonderful ideas. It has a picture of us inside, peppermint essential oil (our favorite) dropped inside and it plays, "My Girl".  She keeps it very close to her and you can see her face light up every time she reads the engraving and hears the music. 

J gave me this beautiful angel.  Yes.... I was a puddle.  Not that I, in any way, think I'm the miracle in her life but that she is mine.  She has changed, touched and moved me in ways that I didn't think possible.  However, I was very touched that she was so very thoughtful. 

Garth Brooks, "You Move Me" speaks volumes of our journey.  Here are the lyrics:

This is how it seems to me
Life is only therapy
Real expensive
And no guarantee

So I lie here on the couch
With my heart hanging out
Frozen solid with fear
Like a rock in the ground

But you move me
You give me courage I didn’t
know I had
You move me on
I can’t go with you
And stay where I am
So you move me on

This is how love was to me
I could look and not see
Going through the emotions
Not knowin’ what they mean
And it scared me so much
That I just wouldn’t budge
I might have stayed there forever
If not for your touch

Oh but you move me
Out of myself and into the fire
You move me
Now I’m burning with love
And with hope and desire

How you move me

You go whistling in the dark
Making light of it
Making light of it
And I follow with my heart
Laughing all the way

Oh ‘cause you move me
You get me dancing and you
make me sing
You move me

Now I’m taking delight
In every little thing
How you move me

This mama's heart is singing. ♥

Wednesday, June 29, 2011





We gather together at this time to celebrate and seal the commitment between Lisa and Jordan Amos. Lisa, you come here today to celebrate your adopted daughter. We honor and bless this child who is placed into your care and keeping.

A gift from life itself, she came to you -- a special gift because you have chosen and have been chosen to receive Jordan. To you she has been given. In due seriousness, and with joy and keen anticipation, we mark the moment of this new commitment to each other. This child has come into your life and you have come into hers. May this union bring happiness, growth, and lasting good to both of you.

Jody to Jordan: With joy and blessings we recognize you as daughter in this family. Your mom wishes to express in our presence her love and commitment to you as a parent and she has invited us to share this time with you.

Jody to Lisa: What is the name of your daughter?

Lisa: Jordan Olivia Amos

Jody to Jordan: I say your name in the presence of all, Jordan Olivia Amos, and welcome you into your mom’s love. The two of you share the name Amos as a sign to all that you are mother and daughter.

Jody to Lisa: Lisa, do you take Jordan as your daughter?

Lisa: I do.

Jody to Jordan: Do you take Lisa as your mom?

Jordan gave a very emphatic, "YES, I DO!".

Lisa to Jordan: I take joy today in recommitting my life to yours. From the first day I laid eyes on you. I knew you were the one. So beautiful then and even more beautiful now. Side by side, step by step, may our journey together begin here, from this day forward.

What I have promised before, I gladly promise again: I promise to love you forever. To love all parts of you. To be open, honest and faithful to you. To nurture your spirit and support your dreams. To honor your thoughts and feelings. I promise to comfort and challenge you. In return, all I ask is that you never give up.

When you need strength, I will offer mine. When you need words of encouragement, I will listen and provide support. When you need solace and comfort, I will understand. I place you in my heart today, before all others.

Jody to Jordan: As a symbol of your awesome mom’s commitment to you, she would like to give you a necklace that represents her love for you.  (This is where I explained each of the charms to J.)
Jody: With joy we greet you as mother and daughter.

To each of you in this new family we wish:

May each of you be a blessing to the other.

May your hours together be enriched by shared interests and pleasures.

May your home be a welcoming and safe place.

May you find strength and understanding in each other.

May you help one another to attain the best of which each of you is capable.

Let us pray.

We give thanks, O Spirit of God, for the blessing bestowed on this family in their commitment to each other. Confirm their joy by a lively sense of your presence with them, and give them calm strength and patient wisdom as they seek to love what is true and admirable, just and lovable and gracious, so that their lives may be a blessing to many. Amen.

***At the moment I'm reading these to J every morning while she's doing her strong sitting.  She loves hearing them each day. :) More on the ceremony in previous post.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Commitment Ceremony

Last weekend when the Rancho Chico clan were here, N & C suggested having a ceremony to reaffirm J's place in the family.  They are brilliant!  The seed was planted and the plans started when they drove out of the driveway.

Tab (another trauma mom who still doesn't blog dang it) wrote the most perfect vows ever (I'm posting those later).  I scrambled to get a necklace together (again another brilliant idea from N & C) and a music box ordered to be here in time. 

On June 25, 2011 a commitment ceremony took place between J & I with Tab's husband, Jody (a pastor), officiating.  When her adoption went through in 2007 I was just praying she didn't tell the judge she wanted another family (or major expletives of hating me) and it took years before she was ready to be a family girl and accept love.  This has not been an easy journey or either of us.  Today, almost 5 years later, she wants to be my daughter.  Who knew?

Kristy came and she energy tested both of us to make sure we both were serious about the commitment. My friend, Connie, was the event photographer. J's long-time sitter and our friend, Ashley, was there as well.  The whole event was beautiful, meaningful, poignant and affirming.   There wasn't a dry eye in the house. Wishing the Rancho Chico fam could've been here with us but they were here in spirit. 

Kristy energy testing J.

Left to right: Jody Anderson, Tab Anderson, me, Jordan, Kristy and Ashley.

Here's a close-up of the family jewels:

Our commitment certificate created by Tab (can you spot all the words - mother, daughter, Lisa, Jordan, Amos, Family, Faith, Hope, Believe, Love, Commit, Kind, Courage, Peace, Forever.)  Tab is super talented as you can tell.

At the bottom Tab listed our gotcha and adoption dates:

The journey from this side is so much sweeter because of what we have gone through to get here. 
Never, ever give up!!!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Found: One Pair of Therapeutic Panties

Tab found them for me. Yay! I wore them over my clothes today and they really gave me a boost.  Now you can be jealous! :)

 I saved the best for last:

Rancho Chico and company will be here this weekend.  Now you can be even more jealous. :)
Pre-cooking so I can spend more time with them and less in the kitchen.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Not so much...

My therapeutic panties have left the building.  If anyone finds them please let me know.

On the flip side... I learned something new today.  I've always wondered why so much pee happens during the night when there is no intake.  Kristy cleared that up for me today.  They are so constricted during daylight hours, just trying to stay alive and living in their amygdala, that they cannot fully empty their bladder.  When they finally relax at night, when they don't have the stress and fear of....I don't and um....heaven forbid trying to love someone, they can actually fully release their bladder.  Who knew?!?!?! 

Honestly....I had no idea.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


So J got a little wonky yesterday afternoon but managed to pull it back together pretty quickly.  Swimming helped and lots of hooping.  The end score was J winning by 5 points.  Today she won again. By a scant 1 point but still....

Today she was a little better in therapy.  Still disorganized but better nonetheless. 

I finally managed to get the hoop down my arm onto my body gracefully today (graceful for me anyway).  Nothing short of impressed with myself.  J is working on it and is getting really close.

More than 2 "Kristy" girls are going to Orlando.  Gotta love that!!!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fingers Crossed

This post is certainly going to jinx our day.  At the moment the score is 19-2 with J winning!  It is also her first good morning in over 3 months.  Wow!

Maybe the light at the end of the tunnel isn't the lamp of the oncoming train.  At this very moment anyway our future's so bright I gotta wear shades. :)

Now I'm off to do a new guided imagery CD from this book.  Kristy and I both thought she needed a new one since the one we've been using has probably lost it's effect or she's tuned it out.  Or both.

Then we'll be hooping fools with broken noses and bruised noggins since I found Babz Robinson all her amazing hooping tutorials on you t^be yesterday.  Dangerous stuff for us hooping newbies.  (Y'all do realize that hooping is another version of the wet dog trauma shake, right?)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

New Trauma

I have been bloggy MIA.  Things have sucked.  Like unimaginably.  We fell in a deep, black hole and can't seem to pull ourselves out.  Then add in a blog stalker troll.  Ugh.

A horrible thing happened, particularly to J, and she has been thrown back into traumaland to the degree that it's almost as bad as when I got her.  A major loss and abandonment of catastrophic proportions to her healing. 

I get why she's having such a hard time.  Truly I do.  But it's been feeling insurmountable and like she will never recover. 

I have pulled out every. single. stinking. tool. out of my Trauma 101 Toolbox and nothing has seemed to be working.  I've even gone back to laying down with her when she goes to sleep.  Whispering in her ear, "I know you're really scared. It's OK to be scared.  I'm right here for you."  On the upside there was a time when she would've never gone to sleep with me in her room and now she's snoring in less than 5 minutes.

Yesterday..... I had an epiphany.  

RAD     HATES to lose. At a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g.   E.V.E.R.

AND everything is a competition.  You do realize by everything that I mean E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.????

So at dinner I did the "Woo hoo! You forgot to be respectful".  I caught you so therefore "I" get a point. Yay me!  Insert surprised look on J's face.  

Then "Hot dang! You tried to push me away.  Score another one for Mom! It's 2-0." 

By the time the score was 3-0 the light bulb went on in her head and she was getting busy trying to score some points.  She was trying to do things right. heard that correctly.

Side note: Keep in mind that even though we're in the throes of regressed RAD-like behavior she has still had LOTS of healing so she KNOWS the right way to do things.  This would probably never work with a child that is at the beginning stages of healing.

By the the time the night was over it was 15-10.  In my favor but still....she was trying to "win" by doing things right instead of doing every stinking thing in her power to piss me off.

Starting with a fresh slate today we're currently at 15-10.  I'm still winning by points but more importantly I'm winning (and she is too) because she's trying. 

Last night, when we were on the way home, Pink's Perfect came on the radio.  After it was over she said, "mom, I'm just like that song."  I asked how and she replied, "cause I feel like nothing."  Insert mental sobs from me.  I looked back at her in her turquoise shorts and shirt and said, "'re not nothing.  You're a turquoise blob with a pony tail."  No, I did not say it with a sarcastic tone but with a playful one.  She could take me calling her a turquoise blob.  If I had said, "no, you're a beautiful young lady (which she is)."  She would have thought I was lying and immediately went into meltdown mode because she wouldn't be able to internalize that statement.  (There is a quote by someone that says: Never, ever, love someone more than they love themselves or they will always attack you.)  If the child believes that they are worthless and you tell them they are priceless they will get very angry because what you are telling them is going against what they believe.
Then I congratulated her for using her words and gave her 5 points.  This was an amazing feat for her lately.

Also today,  I stepped out in faith and hope.  I made reservations to go to the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque in October for vacation.  Scared to death to do it financially but also know that we both need something joyful to look forward to in the future.  The thought of taking my camera to see 800+ balloons makes me very, very happy.  It's impossible to be around hot air balloons and NOT be happy.  Lucky for us the Helen to Atlantic Balloon Race was this weekend and I was able to make a lot of wonderful new friends AND let my camera do the happy dance. :)  The pics above were from this weekend.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Asking For Help

Quite a struggle going on here.  Please send prayers, good vibes, positive energy or whatever you believe....
Those of you who do Reiki....that would be appreciated as well....

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Parents of Trauma - Edited

Christine has created a really great map to show that we really AREN'T alone.  Go here if you're a parent of trauma and add yourself.  Do it.  Be connected.  Just knowing there is someone close by is comforting.

Edited to add:
Things started getting wonky and moved around so now you need to email christine moers at hotmail . com and she'll put you on THE MAP!  Just do it.  You may have support right around the corner and not even know it.

View Parents of Trauma in a larger map

Orlando proved that we aren't alone.  If you didn't go to Orlando you still aren't alone.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Mom's Niacin Ephiphany

So many lessons over the weekend.  Too many to count and I'm sure I'll remember others as time goes on.  I'm slow like that.

One that really sticks out is about Niacin.  Yes I know that Niacin is not a proper noun.  You can read my explanation about that here.

Yes, I have been giving it to J for quite some time.  We worked up to 1500mg a day (NON-FLUSHING)because she's the one who needs it.  Riiiiiiiiggggghhhhttt.  I wasn't taking it because I was trying to save money or at least that's how I rationalized it.  Big mistake. Huge.

A couple of weeks ago I just happened to watch a commercial on N i a span.  In the fine print on the commercial it said Niacin.  Hmmm....  So of course I googled it.  This revealed it's a prescription version of Niacin for high cholesterol.  I have off the charts cholesterol numbers.  Scary numbers.  So I decided that I would start taking it to reduce the cholesterol.  Uh huh.  I doled mine out with J's every morning about two weeks ago.  I just called the pharmacy to see how much it would be for a prescription of N i a span.  A month's worth for the lowest dosage (500mg) would be around $90.  My numbers are so high they said I would probably need 1500mg a day and it would be triple that amount. We get our Niacin from S a m's and 200 capsules runs about $15.00 for 500mg.

Sidenote: There has been a major upheaval in something that's going on in my personal life that has nothing to do with J. (My roommates were privy to this info but it's nothing I want to discuss on my blog.)  I have been dealing with the situation in anger and pissyness rather than the sadness that would be more appropriate. 

Fast forward to last Tuesday.  I cried about the situation.  (The ugly cry cause I don't do pretty crying. I fight it because I always have the Cry Hangover with swollen eyes and stuffy nose.) No anger or bitterness involved.  Just appropriate grief.

Wednesday I cried briefly some more.  Then I was really able to handle the situation appropriately. 

Now fast forward again to last Friday night, sitting around the table and surrounded by greatness.  We were discussing Niacin.  Ding! Ding! Ding!  Light bulb moment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Niacin = all my appropriate feelings.  HELLOOOOO!!!!!!  That's why it's helped J so much.  Insert duh moment.  Peeling the layers of the onion.  Yep.  It works.  Cholesterol lowering is just an added bonus.  I have found that I am much better at handling many other things during this Niacin period.  The person (not J)that is very adept at pushing my buttons is finding it is no longer working.  Wowza.  Another plus for J on the days that she does like to push.  I can be a more regulated mother for her when she finds it necessary to poke me.

Christine wrote more about it here.  She's written about it many other places on her blog too.  She also wrote in the first post about helping cholesterol.  I conveniently missed that part the first time around.  Imagine that!

This household will NEVER run out of Niacin again.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Coming Home, Amazing Women, Facing Fear, etc.

So much to blog, so overwhelmed that it's hard to articulate. 

I was terrified to make the step out there to go to Orlando.  Social anxiety on crack.  It turned out to be an amazing weekend with Amazing Women.  Women that understand.  You don't have to tell your life story.  They already live it.  There's so much comfort in that. 

It's going to take a while to process all that I learned from so many different women.  Women of different faiths, backgrounds, beliefs, anxieties, problems, strife, etc.  We all live with a common denominator.  Trauma, RAD, mental illness, etc.  And it was wonderful, painful, scary, funny, sad, healing and ACCEPTANCE......a gamut of emotions.  I LOVED it.  I LOVED these women.  So many women I didn't get to meet too.  But I met the ones I was supposed to meet and realized that it was alright that I didn't get to spend significant time with everyone because we are ALL the same. These women are phenomenal and they don't even know it. 

These women touched my heart in so many ways.  The fact that I did not have to 'splain myself was an added bonus. I'll have much to say on this subject later.

Bouncing down the stairs on my hiney was not what I had planned during my weekend.  Thanks to Reiki I am moving and the purple and black bruises disappeared by the next morning.  Totally worth it though cause I was able to spend time with Thorn and Tubaville. 

I flew home.  In my car. Thank goodness Tab and Brenda didn't freak out on me because I was determined to get home as soon as possible.  Last night I came home to a total rock star.  She was so happy to see me.  Even though she had been really stressed all weekend.  Wow!  She went to bed at the usual time comforted knowing I was home and she could relax.  She wanted to do my birthday presents and I needed to rest.  We did them today after I had recovered somewhat.  More on that later too.

The best part.....

I went in to check on her around 9 last night.  She was sound asleep.  Her weighted blanket was missing so I put it on her.  As soon as I laid the blanket across her she roused from her sleep.  Her face lit up like a star with a smile upon her face and she spread her arms to hug me as she said, "Mom!  I'm so glad you're home."  I wish I had a picture of that moment.  It was so genuine and loving.  And incredibly moving.  I am crying now just thinking about that.  The picture of that moment will be a memory that I will remember forever.  Where was Nelda when I need her and her camera????  This afternoon I recounted the event to her and she doesn't remember it but she said, "Mom, I AM so glad you're home."  J is such a rock star.  I'm so ever living happy she's my kid.

Remember this was not always the case.  There was a time of much stick poking.

So to those of you that have kids who cannot speak the language of attachment and are still using the stick poking language when you return.....  We have been there for too.  This too shall pass.  Some day you they will be able to say they are so glad you're home.  For now just interpret the stick poking as "I'm so glad you're home."  You can even give them the correct interpretation. It will come.  In time.  I'm so glad I lived to hear, see and feel it.  I promise you there's nothing like it in the world.