Thursday, February 28, 2013

NR - Day 3

Progress is being made.  I'm also learning how to pace myself in belly crawling.  So is everyone else.

This is good news.

The girls can now do 30 minutes of belly crawling without stopping. not so much.  I have a feeling that it will take me a lot longer to get there.  But if and when I do....I'm going to be seriously fit.  We are all learning where our extremities are so we are not bruising ourselves as much by bumping into furniture and walls.  

Patterns are getting much easier.  It's very cool when you get in the flow and they become very fluid motions.  I love it when that happens.

We did TRE twice today and that helped immensely.

My friend's daughter has noticeably and significantly improved spatial sense.  She's always had trouble with this and would fall up the stairs and down several times a day.  Previously she was a child that would trip over a dust bunny.  Not so anymore....

To understand NR from a mother's point of view, read the previous post from Marna.  They are almost a year into NR so she has some valuable info.  Plus she explains PONS much better than I ever could.

Guest Post on NR

I asked my friend, Marna, if she would write a guest post on neuro-reorganization.  Here is what she had to say:

I will not give up...I will NOT give up...I WILL not GIVE UP!

I have had to remind myself of this everyday when I look at my daughter. My daughter,  who comes from a hard place.  2 plus years of hard. Hard, that i wish I could erase. Sadly I can't.

When we adopted our daughter, we also adopted her hard.  The kind of hard we had NO idea about.  No really, H.A.R.D.  

That hard was not her fault, her doing, her choice!   It was what was done to her. 

When you deal with hard, you go searching, searching for any "tool " you might think will  work. Goodness, even if it sounds crazy you'll listen, think about it, gather information, talk to others, and eventually  you'll try it.  Why, cause when moms are in hard, tools become like diamonds. And we all know what diamonds are, a precious stone. I bet you thought I was going to say, "a girls best friend", right?!

One tool we've found is called: Neuro-Reorganization Therapy (NR- cause really,  who wants to spell that out each time it's mention, not me!)

I often joke, since we've adopted, that I've lost several (way more than that) brain cells.  There gone, poof.  Just like that. So trying to explain to you what NR  really is seems harder to me than the 5 years we've walked in our adoption journey. So I am going to keep this simple. Very simple. 

Brain 101-just in case you didn't know this. 

All memories are stored in our brains.  Regardless if you remember them or not. Even the ones that are called pre-verbal. That means even if your earliest memory is at the age of 3,  just because you can't remember anything before that time, doesn't mean life didn't happen for the first 3 years of your life.  Those memories, they're in there. 

When children are coming from hard places and that hard happens in that  pre-verbal time, and every day of their life,  the brain gets disorganized. All those connections that were supposed to happen. Didn't. 

Simply put, NR helps to reorganize the brain. And, make new connections. 

 Not all brain movement therapies are created equal. Meaning NR is different than other brain movement type of therapies because  NR starts at the PONS level of the brain.  I think PONS stands for something that is hard to spell, so i'll leave it at that.  PONS is the  "bottom" or "beginning" of the brain when it develops. 

Usually the "other" brain movement therapies are working at the smart parts of the brain. Meaning the upper levels of the brain. For example:  if you happen to have problems with math, reading, etc. it can be a huge help to work at those upper levels. All good. But for those children that hard has happened too we need to address that PONS level. 

 See, I told you. Simple...those lost brain cells never to come back again, but wait. Maybe I should do NR...what am I saying!  


There are developmental movements a child goes thru as he/she grows. Even in the womb.  The movements are very specific, and they need to be done in order.  That way what was missed during those hard times can be re-done. Like a "do-over". I love do-overs!  

If you decide to cross over into crazy (not really) a NR practitioner will evaluate your child, see what is missing, and will teach you the movements your child will need to do. You will meet that practitioner every 3 months or so, Skype, email, and make phone calls. You know the type where you're screaming, "this can't be working, because..." Yep, those kind. 

Your NR program has started.  Tool  number 1, 635 (really, it's kinda close). All NR programs are personal to your child. That means what I do, what you may do, will not look the same. Different movements for different children. 

Everyday, I will do my NR program. 

This  means 1,600 feet of belly crawls. Everyday
600 feet of hand and knee crawls.  Everyday
180 Homolaterals patterns. Everyday
Between 15 to 30 maskings (these are for extra oxygen). Everyday. 
AVE.  Everyday
CES. Everyday 
And several other things I am forgetting because my  brain cells are completely gone now. 

Okay, I'm dreaming. I wish it happened everyday. But hard has this way of disrupting my life. Getting in my way. And even though I fail to do ALL that is required in our program, I will not give up!  Why, because I know it works. 

I have seen results. Not the kind of results that are a magic bullet kind, or the this was her before and now look at her after. Nope, not that good. Just results. Some are subtle.  Some are crazy weird hard. Some are amazing. Some are unexplainable. Enough difference to keep me going. 

That's why I said at the  beginning of this writing. I will NOT give up!  I do see change happening. 

Doing NR is not easy. And that makes me sad. Cause when hard is brought into your home, when all of life seems hard, and more hard on top of more hard, times a thousand....well sheesh, why can't one tool be EASY?  

So WHY can't this be easy? Because if it was easy,  it wouldn't be a diamond. Diamonds are hard. Diamonds are beautiful.  Diamonds are precious. Diamonds are brilliant. 

Just. Like. Our. Hard. Children. 

We can't give up. So we keep going. Finding diamonds that will work for our children. Even if it means, it's hard. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Day 2

Everyone survived today.  Only because I had help but we still made it.  The regression and aggression is already getting better.  I think.....I hope...... If my friend were not here, I would not be making it through this.

My kid missed so many developmental milestones in her infancy.  It breaks my heart that no one was there letting her crawl and have the body movements that babies have to develop their brains.  She was kept in a baby carrier, strapped in for days at a time (in front of a TV playing "Chucky", and never made these milestones.  It's horrendous what she went through.  If I can give her back these milestones, I will move heaven and earth to do so.

All of us are covered in bruises and blisters but we are plowing through.  We are calling them our war wounds but we're not letting them slow us down. FYI: Just in case you're worried.... These bruises are not from touching a child.  They're from crawling on the floor.  They are not touched at all except during the brushing which is a sensory tool.  I have bumped into furniture because I was getting careless and our blisters on our toes are from pushing ourselves on the floor to belly crawl.

One time during some of the homolateral patterns J started doing the sucking at her lip and teeth thing, making that squeaking sound again.  My friend had her to stop and blow all the scary thoughts out.  J did and then was able to complete the patterns.

During the last 3 minutes of J's very last belly crawling I belly crawled in front of her for motivation and to align with her challenge.  I now have a blister on my big toe from just that 3 minutes.  AND it took my heart about 10 minutes to quit racing so that I could get off the floor.  That belly crawling business is incredibly hard.  I have a whole new respect for our kids having to do 30 minutes a day.  Holy cow!  It's no wonder they want to go to bed at 6.  They are exhausted.  Geesh....

During all the neuro we are taking time to do TRE interspersed with the exercises.  It seems to be helping alleviate some of the painful body memories that are coming up.

To everyone that called to check on me, emailed me, and encouraged me, thank you so much from the very bottom of my heart.  You'll never know how much I appreciated your support.  This stuff is hard.

J asked for baby time tonight.  You better believe she got it.  We are giving both girls Reiki right before bed.

Now if the masseuse would just hurry up and get here and they'd carry me to bed after a nice long massage, I'd totally be in business.  Ha. Ha.  As if...

6 more days.......  Just 6 more days.....

I can do this......  I can do this....I can do this....

Tomorrow we'll be alone for a couple of hours so we'll really see where things are then.  Trying not to worry about it too much.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

1st Day

So the first day of J's neuro boot camp has sucked, sucked, sucked.  Did I mention that today sucked?

Tomorrow is another day.  Tap, tap, tap........

Belly crawling is not challenging for her.  She totally has the salamander crawl down pat but she still managed to put a blister on her right big toe.

Homolateral and Tonic Neck patterns are incredibly challenging for her so obviously she REALLY needs those.  She is struggling through it so much.  By lunch I was ready to pinch her head off from all her behaviors.

At therapy today Kristy was doing some brain spotting on the problems she is having with the frustration.  Unconsciously she started doing a sucking motion with her mouth and started grinding her teeth.  Two behaviors that I have not seen before and they were very infantile.  Obviously this is awakening some memories, body memories and really big feelings that she has from her infancy.  I get it but, boy, it sure is frustrating.

My new mantra:

I can make it through a week of tough to reach the other side.  This is better than drawing it out in Chinese water torture fashion.  I can do anything for the next 5 minutes.  I can do this.  She can do this. We will make it.

More tap, tap, tap.....

Orlando, Orlando,'s only a few days away........

Monday, February 25, 2013


Heavenly day!  Things have changed drastically and dramatically in this last week.  It has been neuro-reorganization boot camp here and it has paid off in a huge fashion.  The previously dysregulated child is TOTALLY regulated to the point that you can't get her dysregulated.

Y'all know that I have a "go big or go home".  This is not news.  But this past week I took it to a whole other level.  We made the decision that instead of school she was going to do neuro the whole day for the whole week.  The child that was having problems was up at 7:30 AM and starting neuro by 8.  We did it all. day. long.  From 8-4 that is all we did and only stopped for lunch and power snacks.  It is a LOT of physical work and required almost hourly feeding.

The music has been loud and the motivational cheers have been louder.

The child whose body could not tell that it was too cold to wear shorts in 20 degree weather now has a regulated body temperature.  She can now correctly identify all the spots on her arm, when you touch them, without looking.  In the past she was very superficially charming, dissociated a lot and now she has age appropriate behavior with no noticeable dissociation.  She acts like she is indeed 12 (which she is.)  She has always been unable to follow more than 2 step directions.  Now she can follow 3, 4 and 5 step directions.  It took her until Saturday before she finally figured out how to belly crawl correctly.  (Remember, you cannot tell them how to crawl, they have to figure it out on their own.)

Before neuro boot camp if she had not seen either of her parents for a day or so she would start crying uncontrollably the minute she saw them and would continue to cry for long periods of time instead of enjoying seeing them and crying when they would leave.  It was always a very unreasonable response and very infantile.  She saw her father three times during boot camp last week.  The first time was early last week and again she cried uncontrollably.   Then she saw her father on Saturday and for the first time EVER had an appropriate reaction.  She was happy to see him and when it was time for him to leave she hugged him and was verbally appropriate.  She also proudly told him of all her accomplishments.  Today we all met at therapy and again she had a totally appropriate reaction to seeing her father.  We were all surprised including Kristy.

She has been so much fun to be around all week, so compliant and willing to do all the exercises.  When the family was doing them on the regular schedule with the prescribed amounts she hated doing them and would sabotage the exercises.  When we started doing them in large amounts during boot camp she wanted to do them more and more each day and would try harder each day.   Every day she would surprise me and her mom with her willingness and the way her attitude and mannerisms changed.  Her mom and I would talk about it each evening and neither of us could believe the differences that we were seeing.

We were all shocked to learn that she had lost 12 pounds even though she's eating almost hourly.  I think I need to do this boot camp on myself.

It needs to be said that we ALL had fun doing this.  Was it hard?  Yes.  But it was still fun because we made it fun and the results are astounding.  A week ago Sunday night I didn't think we'd ever make it because it was Chinese water torture doing the exercises as they were prescribed and the regression was really not pretty.  But by doing it boot camp style we did make it and I am so proud of all of us but especially of Wonder Girl.  I am totally finding (or having made) a Wonder Girl swimsuit for her because she has astounded me every day.

Today ended our 8 day camp.

This is a sample of our schedule last week.

FYI: Every time you see back patterns it is technically called Tonic Neck patterns and every time you see stomach patterns it is technically called Homolateral Patterns.

Morning routine
Neck rolls
Yoga release pattern
Neck rolls
Back patterns (180)
Stomach patterns (60)
Neck rolls
Belly crawling (7 min)
Regular Crawling (7 min)
Hooping 15 min
Stomach patterns (60)
Back patterns (180)
Neck rolls
Yoga Release pattern
Sitting in power ring
Belly crawl (7)
Knee Crawling (7) 
Neck rolls
Stomach patterns (60)
Back patterns (180)
Lunch clean up
Crawling (7)
Belly crawling (7)
Neck rolls
TRE (Trauma Release Exercises)
Neck rolls
Neck rolls
Belly crawling (7)
Crawling (7)
Hooping 15 min
Back patterns (180)
Stomach patterns (60)
Belly crawling (7)
Crawling (7)
Stomach patterns (60)
Back patterns (180)
Neck Rolls
Neck rolls

Then 4 REALLY tired people fell into bed.

Tomorrow, we are starting 8 day boot camp for J.  I cannot wait to see the changes.  She wasn't so sure about it this morning but by this evening she was proud of herself and she had already lost the startle factor.  This is something that has lingered and nothing we have done has helped it.  This afternoon it was gone.  Where will we be in a week?  I don't know but I can't wait to find out.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Finding Joy

More TRE going on here.  Lots of it actually.  Also LOTS of neuro-reorg.  There are other people that do neuro-reorg and exercises that are similar but that is the main one that I have a link to.  Another that is similar is Rhythmic Movement.

A friend and her daughter are staying with us for a week or so while we power through some neuro-reorganization.  When I say power through....I mean seriously power through it.  A little regression is normal but my friend's daughter has been trapped in fight or flight for a few days so we're working to move through it intensively and hopefully it will pass soon.  Amping it up helped immediately and we're seeing great progress.

This has not been without some interesting side effects.  J (being anxiously attached) immediately went to "my mom loves "friend" now instead of me."  Brain spotting today in therapy and she processed it.  I'm going to have put forth some extra effort to reassure her but I think I can manage that.

It has made the commune idea even more appealing.  While I'm working with my friend's daughter, she's working with J and we're tag teaming everything.  Oh my goodness it is so nice.

Orlando is coming up and I'm ever so ready.  I've been creating tapping scripts to take with me and setting up info for the TRE class.  The excitement is building.

For the rest of my life I will sing the praises of Corey for creating this sanctuary for all of us moms.  What a gift she has given us.  What a legacy of community!

Here's a link to the new website that has been created to carry on the community that Corey and the original 9 created.  This will be the new website for the 2014 Orlando event.  Click here for Beyond Trauma and Attachment.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Sometimes I am such a doofus and really, really slow.  Every Saturday and Sunday, for over a month, J was becoming dysregulated and it was continuing through until Therapy Tuesday's.  This is not normal and I kept becoming more and more confused because I couldn't for the life of me figure out the problem.

This morning it FINALLY dawned on me.  Someone (whose name we shall not mention) has been leaving presents and notes for J every weekend at the lake.  And signing the card "love" - (name we shall not mention).  While I know that he is acting in kindness, it is terribly upsetting to J.

J wrote him a letter last year and was very clear that she did not want him to sign any notes to her with "love".  And he kept breaking her boundaries.  Duh, Lisa.  Duh. Duh. Duh.

So enter 5:30 this morning when it hit me on the head like an anvil.  Now picture me banging my head on the wall.  I cannot believe I did not figure this out sooner.

J is up and dysregulated.  I was waiting to do "before school tapping" to address it.  That didn't work out so well.  She was spiraling down fast and it looked like there was no recovery.  She finally threw herself on the bed in a really crappy attitude and great dramatic fashion.  I grabbed her feet and pulled her toward me and threw myself on the bed too right beside her.  I pulled her up in a really tight compression hug (she was mad and not hugging me back of course) and whispered in her ear that I knew what was going on and I was going to fix it.  I knew he broke her boundaries and it was not okay.  She started crying so hard, wrapped her arms around me and asked over and over "why he does that" and "why does he want to hurt me".  In her mind he left her.   She kept saying she didn't understand.  Me either.  Yeah..... I'm on the right track.  Then she said, "we'll get through this, right?"  "You won't let him hurt me anymore?" You bet, honey!

I held her and she cried for a while during our conversation.  But she's back.

We finally got around to tapping about it and my girl is back.  Hallelujah!

When you know do better.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Brain Sp*tting

Kristy is not a specialist in attachment therapy but she is a Trauma Specialist and lucky for us that she is.  Hello??? Isn't that what we're talking about here?  Trauma processing is so important for everyone but especially for traumatized children.

She spent last week in CPE training on trauma and came home with a gem.  Br*in Spotting.   I thought it was a little hokey at first but I trust Kristy implicitly so I was game.  She used it on me in our session Tuesday before J.  It is similar to EMDR but it moves a little slower and kind of helps to erase it away.  The finger you're tracking is paused to reveal the area of the brain where a particular trauma is trapped.  Mine was trapped in the bottom left side of my brain.  The trauma I processed Tuesday has been with me for decades and has caused lots of anxiety and shame but after the session it no longer has a vice grip on me.  I'm not paralyzed by it.  I still remember it but it's not painful or shameful as it was before.  More will be revealed as we go along but we're 3 days in and it's still not affecting me.  The anxiety over the trauma is gone.  Very interesting.  I'm sure it will take more than one session to totally release the pain of the memory but it sure has been nice for the last few days.

We both agreed to do it with something current on J first before going back to pre-5 y/o trauma.  She responded very quickly to the technique and it has seemed to really help her be able to let it go.  Again, 3 days in for J and she's still holding and verbalizing that the problems she had been having were no longer bothering her.  Kristy did the technique on two different things that have currently been bothering J.  Next week we will go a little deeper and see what happens.

Here are some videos on it if you're interested:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I Am Enough?

The theme for Orlando this year is "I am enough."  It sounds really great and I would love to believe it but I question myself all the time.

Am I doing enough?  Am I doing too much?  What am I missing?  Am I too strict?  Am I too lenient?
What if it's not enough?  Do I show her enough love?  Do I show her enough attention?  Do I show it too much?  What if she would be better off in public school?  Is she getting enough interaction with her peers?  What if I send her to school and she can't handle it then she'll feel like a failure?  Does she have enough structure?  Does she have too much structure?  Does my voice convey love?  Do I honor her?  What could I be doing better?  What should I let go?  What should I stand firm on?  Am I giving her enough fun time?  Am I giving her too much?  If I show her too much will she still be able to be a responsible adult?

What if all I've done is give her a reason to be in therapy for her whole adult life?  You know like S*ndra Bull*ck says at the end of "Hope Floats".  "

Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome."

Then I hear my mother in my head.  When I was a teenager she told me a story about a day when I was an infant and I was inconsolable.  Evidently I wouldn't stop crying.  My mother is a perfectionist (the apple does not fall far from the tree) so she had read all the books before she had me and was in the process of reading Dr. Sp*ck when the phone rang.  Oh Lord, help me now. .... we all know that Sp*ck was bad.

So in the midst of having a crying newborn a neighbor and co-worker called to check on the two of us.  Eugenia could hear me (of course) crying in the background.  And my mother was crying because she didn't know what to do.  Eugenia calmly said, "Put down the book and pick up the baby."  So mama did and lo and behold it worked. Imagine that.

So for tonight, I'm putting down the book (and the worries) and picking up the baby (tween) and loving on her.

I am not a perfect mom but I am the perfect mom for my daughter.

Life has gotten in the way of some moms that really wanted to be in Orlando.  That means a couple of spots are available but not for long.  Check out ETAAM if you think you might want to come.  If you are parenting or have parented trauma, it is the place for you.

Home a Soft Place to Fall said it best:

What an insanely safe and loving with you all.
Beyond religion, beyond color, beyond alcohol, choclolate even meat, beyond countries, sexual preference, beyond relationship status, make up, accents, extroverts or introverts, bio hurt kids or adopted, beyond weight, runners, walkers and cheer leaders, beyond heels or pajamas pants...we connect. I AM SO PROUD OF US AS WOMEN. This is how women are meant to be. I am overwhelmed at how kick ass this thread is, how magical Orlando is because of exactly this...

Btw, shook in my boots last year, tried to back out...cried the first plane ride, ugly cried, when you are hurt and rejected every day it begins to feel normal...I was afraid to feel good and then how much I would miss it when I did, that my life was too hard and too much to share....because I am damaged by the trauma too.
I WILL get overly shy, I will get tongue tied, I will hide or cocoon when I feel overwhelmed...I will forget everyones names...not because I don't know you, love you, or remember your story, but because I am dyslexic and suck at names...but probably could tell you what you were wearing the first time I met you...I am afraid in my quietness, or need to be in smaller groups I wont meet everyone, know that I want to meet you...or see you again...

I LOVE the gentleness of this group, no one go anywhere...its only gonna get better. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

New Shoes

On FB I've had many private emails regarding the pictures of the shoes I posted today.  They're hand painted by Ashley Hooper and are so super cool.  I gave her the shoes that I wanted painted and told her to have fun.  Ashley is super creative and I am not.  So it was best I didn't give her any ideas about what I wanted.

She will do any design or colors that you want on any shoe you pick.  She also does boots and shoes with studs, etc.  The sky is the limit.  For the most part....

If you're interested in talking to Ashley about some one-of-a-kind shoes you can email her at
ashleyhooper_08  @  yahoo dot com.  She does some really cute things.

The shoes pictured above are NOT for J.  They are for me.  I loved J's so much I had to have some and I love me some Keds so that was the shoe of my choice.

It makes me very happy just to look down at them.  A reminder of peace is never a bad thing either. :)