Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cold Showers

I knew it was coming and kept hoping it wouldn't.

Yup, you guessed it - Alyssa had a complete melt down last night!

It all started when I reminded Alyssa that she still owed me a chore and asked her to sweep the patio. She started off with the whining "It's too hard", then she proceeded to the crying. I went outside and told her to go to her room until she had herself under control because I was pretty sure the neighbors didn't want to hear her cry. Well that was all it took and all bloody hell broke loose. She started screaming at the top of her lungs! The neighbor actually peeked his head over the fence, thinking that Alyssa was hurt, to see her standing, untouched, screaming! He just shook his head in amazement and went in the house! We then proceeded to carry Alyssa in the house. By this time she was kicking, hitting, scratching, and lets not forget the screaming! Once in her room, she kept escalating so Jeff got her a cold, wet wash cloth and put it on her forehead. Well, she just screamed even louder! By this time, I was out of patience and just wanted her to calm down. So I threw her in an ice cold shower! I really can't believe I did that, but I have to say, it worked. Sure, she screamed bloody murder when I first threw her in, but the minute the water went off, she shut up! And, I was able to get her in her pajamas, tucked into bed and talked to with no further problems.

She was appropriately quiet this morning. Reflecting on the night before, she told me that she was going to finish the patio as soon as she got home tonight! She actually brought up her behavior before I did!

I have actually taken her hissy fit and used it for good! One year ago, these melt downs were a weekly occurrence. They were much more violent and they lasted much longer. The fall out lasted until the next fit occurred. I can compare that behavior to Alyssa's actions last night and I can SEE progress! Yes, she made a poor choice and erupted instead of talking about her feelings. But, she did it in the safety of her own home. She trusted Jeff and I to keep her safe, and she was sincerely sorry for her actions. She also was mad as a wet hen that I threw her in the shower. She understands why I did it, she still doesn't think its right! Well, right or wrong, it worked! I hope that Alyssa can move forward now. She got all the post vacation behaviors out of her system, and should be able to make forward progress again.

On a side note: We really do have awesome neighbors. The look on his face when he saw Alyssa standing in the middle of the patio screaming at nothing...PRICELESS!

This picture was taken last Saturday(my birthday) up north.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Forever Joined

My husband is the best!

Saturday, I was informed that I wouldn't get my birthday present until Tuesday because it wasn't in yet. My first thought was "OMG- he actually gave some thought to my gift that he ordered something!" I was impressed! Well, last night, I got home from work and there was a gift bag on the kitchen table from my favorite jewelry store! I open up the bag and there are three boxes inside. I looked at Jeff with confusion on my face and he said just open them! Well, I opened up the first box and realized what he had done. My wonderful, fantastic, caring, loving husband bought each of us a matching necklace! The jeweler helped him design a pendant that we all now share! It is beautiful. The pendant is a circle. On the inside of the circle is the letter "E"(for our last name). Jeff said that he knew I had talked about getting some sort of family jewelry. He chose the necklace because then we could all wear them all the time. The pendants are all identical, as are the chains they hang on. The only difference are the lengths of the chains. I will try to get a good picture and post it! This is the most beautiful, most thoughtful gift that my husband has ever given me! He really knows that the most important thing in my life is my family and he forever joined us in such a unique way.

I am the luckiest woman in the world!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Monkey Arms

So, Alyssa had a pretty good week. I got great reports from Cindy. The only problem that seems to be a recurring theme is Alyssa’s lack of responsibility. Everything gets left lying around like she just assumes someone else will pick it up for her! So that is going to become #1 priority. We are going to be hypervigilent and watch for every instance of irresponsibility. Then we are going to be all over Alyssa like stink on a skunk. We just started this yesterday and it is already driving her nuts! We keep telling her that if she would remember to do it herself, we wouldn’t have to remind her.

Camp – Alyssa’s favorite part was learning all the camp songs. She has remembered new verses or new songs every day. I think we must be up to like 6 or 7 songs now. Her #2 favorite was all the food. She looked at me and said “Mom, the food was awesome”! Her least favorite? Being away from home for so long! She said that even though she was busy and had lots of fun, she really missed us!

Last night we went to see Paulette. We talked about Alyssa’s experience with being away from home. Alyssa admitted that she was worried that we wouldn’t be there to pick her up, but also that we would like it better without her here! Like that would ever happen! Then Paulette handed Alyssa a back scratcher. Jeff and I had to help Alyssa list everything we do for her. As we said something, Alyssa was supposed to scratch our backs. Well, Alyssa did not really comprehend just how much stuff we do for her! She got tired really quick. But, it was a great exercise because it really forced Alyssa to realize how great her Mom & Dad are!

Please say some prayers for my friend Cindy. She is having problems with her legs and she is going through some tests. I hope they find out what is causing her problem! It has got to be so painful! But Cindy is still Cindy! No matter what she is dealing with, she is happy, and joking around, and her normal weird self. That is a true sign of a strong, strong person!

Tonight is going to be exciting! Why you ask? Well, Miss Alyssa forgot her water bottle at camp in Wausau, so we had to buy her a new one. Alyssa owes us a chore in order to pay off the water bottle. She is going to be cleaning the patio! And it is pretty bad! Leaves and branches are everywhere yet from the storm a couple of weeks ago. We got the big stuff picked up, and now, thanks to Alyssa, the little stuff will all be cleaned up too!

Alyssa’s birthday is next week and I have no idea what to get her! Anyone have any ideas??????????????????

I almost forgot! Last Saturday, my birthday, the highlight of my day was watching Jeff try to bounce Tammy out of Bertha! Bertha is our HUGE inner tube! The water was choppy to begin with and Jeff was really trying to get her to fall out. Well, he succeeded! Tammy was hanging on with all her might. She looked like she had monkey arms because she was hanging on to the tube, and she was bouncing so hard that her butt would come over the top of the tube but her arms would still be holding on! And then, one little flip and Tammy was airborne! It really was a sight to see!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Home Sick

Our Saturday homecoming was AWESOME! Alyssa was really, really happy to see Mom & Dad! She did a good job of voicing her feelings and was very honest in letting us know how much she missed us. She also admitted to being a little scared that we wouldn't be there to pick her up. She was respectful and so much fun to be around the entire weekend! We are soooooo happy to have our little poopsie home!

We came home Sunday and Alyssa watched the Hannah Montana concert that I had taped for her and then went to bed. She complained of a stomach ached but I just blew it off! Well, this morning I got a call from day care. Alyssa was not feeling good and would I come and get her? So, I went to pick her up and got her settled in bed. Then I called Jeff and made him come home because I had too much stuff going on at work that I had to have finished today.

We are supposed to see Paulette tonight, so hopefully, Alyssa will feel better when I get home.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Adoption Photo Listings

For any person who has thought of adopting, I'm sure that you have spent hours looking at the online photo lists for waiting kids. I too spent hours and hours pouring over the photos and trying to decipher what the lingo in the descriptions meant.

Torina and Yondalla have both posted translations. They are sad, but true.

Hey Lisa, I would love Napper! Do you deliver? He He, that would be a long trip!

Busy day and weekend for us. I am at my "real" job right now, then I go to my "fun" job. Tomorrow we pick up Alyssa - YAHOO! And then we spend the rest of the weekend up north. I can't wait!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I Miss you Mommy!

Last night the phone rang at 10:30 pm. It was Alyssa, sobbing her eyes out, crying "I miss you Mommy!". Well, as much as I hated to hear her cry, I was so happy that she genuinely, truly missed me. She wanted to be home, she wanted to give Mommy & Daddy a hug, and she wanted to sleep in her own bed.

I assured her that we missed her too. Then I reminded her that we would see her in three more days. I told her to close her eyes, wrap her arms around herself, and imagine that we were giving her a great big hug! She said that it helped, but it wasn't the same because my hugs were better! I shouldn't admit it, but I was overjoyed at her sadness. It was REAL! It means that a bond is there! Attachment is starting to form, and she is HEALING!

When I get off work today, I am going to visit my friend Denise. Denise and her husband own Petek's (the bar that I work at), and their daughter Chelsie is Alyssa's babysitter. I haven't had a girls night in a long time and I am really looking forward to it!

The countdown starts! One more day of work, one night of work, then we pick up Alyssa! It also happens to be my birthday on Saturday, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME - MY BABY IS COMING HOME!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Stay off the road - Leigh is now a licensed driver!!!

Way to go, sweetie! Congratulations!

I miss my baby!

Our house is so quiet! Alyssa is at Cindy's this week. She is going to camp with Leigh and I have had good reports. The only thing that bothers me is Alyssa doesn't want to talk to me. She said that if she talks to me, then she will miss me and she is having too much fun! So, I called last night and told Cindy to let the machine pick up and left a message. That way, when Cindy played it, Alyssa would be able to hear it.

I am so amazed at the change in Alyssa. She is most often respectful, responsible, and fun to be around! Sure she slips up, but she immediately is remorseful! I call that progress - I call that healing!

Our house is so empty without Alyssa! I know in my heart that it is healthy for all of us to have time apart, but my heart is screaming that she ain't ever leaving for a week again!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

What a Week!

This past week has been the week from HELL!!!

Coming back from vacation is never easy, but last week - yikes! Think of every possible scenario that could happen in a week, and we had it. It started with the normal back to work issues, then escalated into a major vendor problem and the week ended with NO INTERNET ACCESS FOR TWO AND A HALF DAYS!!!! Sorry, yes I am shouting, but man oh man! Add into that buying a new car (yes, my piece of shit Neon finally took a crap!), minor storm damage from last week's storm/tornado and trying to pack my sweet Alyssa for a week at camp, AAAAHHHH!!!

So, we got everything done! My baby is gone for an entire week. She is at Cindy's house and is going to Girl Scout camp with Cindy's daughter Leigh. Leigh will be 17 next month and is a counselor at the camp. Alyssa was so excited to be able to go to camp with Leigh! It is a day camp, which means that they will be returning to Cindy's every night. Wednesday night they will get to sleep over at camp. Alyssa has made such wonderful progress that I am hoping she does OK. I really think she is ready for this. I don't think I am, but I think Alyssa will be fine. She even told us that she wasn't going to miss us 'cause she would be having too much fun! Me, on the other hand, was crying my eyes out when I was packing her suitcase!!!

Everyone keeps telling us to enjoy the peace and quiet. I already miss her so much that I can hardly stand it and she has only been gone one night!

On a personal note: If anyone has the opportunity to read the book Comfort: A Journey through Grief by Ann Hood, please do. I can personally attest to the fact that it is a very moving book. Following is the review from Amazon: "The first six pages of this wrenchingly honest memoir of Hood's daughter's death and its aftermath read like a tightly controlled scream. All the platitudes, the dozens of words of comfort that people offer—time heals, she is in a better place—are interspersed with Hood's silent, furious responses to these lies, with special scorn for those who say, Are you writing this down? The death of her five-year-old Grace in 2002 was completely unexpected: an ordinary strep throat somehow ravaged the organs of her small body. Hood takes readers through the slow, jagged steps of dealing with grief. Unable to write, she first took refuge in endless knitting, then got a tattoo on Grace's sixth birthday. Hiding from the Beatles' songs her daughter had loved, she found them so ubiquitous that she could finally listen only to talk radio. Grace's little shoes stood sentinel at the top of the stairs and three years passed before Hood could bear to clean her room. But there is redemption at the end of this short, anguished book. Hood and her husband have a new daughter, Annabelle, adopted from China, and at last, Hood can celebrate Mother's Day, albeit with a strange mixture of grief and joy.
A moving and remarkable memoir about the sudden death of a daughter, surviving grief, and learning to love again."

I had a hard time reading this book. I would read a chapter, cry for two hours and then have to put the book down. But I couldn't stop reading. I struggled along like this for an entire week and I am glad that I did! I finally understand. Grief never goes away. You just learn to adapt to it. If anyone else has read the book, let me know what you thought!

Got to go!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Vacation's Over!

We are back from vacation and all is well. I am super swamped at work so I don't have time to catch everyone up.

I will say that Alyssa was WONDERFUL! We had beautiful weather, very lazy days, and a really relaxing week. It went way too quick!

Bye for now - I'll write more later when I have more time.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Wonderful Life

Yesterday was the first time in 3 years that I wasn't with Tammy. I woke up, looked at Jeff, and started to cry. When he asked me what was wrong, I wailed, I miss Tammy! It felt wrong to not be with her and share our grief. It was a weird day, and even though I talked to Tammy multiple times, I felt like a part of me was missing.

This is going to be my last post until after vacation. Yes, that's right, tomorrow morning we leave for up north. I plan on spending the week either on the boat, or in a lawn chair. We will have lots of company over the weekend, but the majority of the week, it will just be Jeff, Alyssa & me! We are really looking forward to some quality family bonding time. This will be the first time since we became a family that we are vacationing alone! I am really looking forward to it. We are going to play games, do crafts, and I think that we may have to have a mini-golf tournament. I have been told that Alyssa is getting pretty good, she can almost beat Jeff! Mini-golf is one of the things that Jeff & Alyssa do when they have "Daddy & Me" time. I so need a vacation! I am crabby, ornery, and burnt out! I can't wait to spend time with my family!

On a personal note: I started this blog as a way to relieve stress. A place where I could vent out my frustrations and not be judged. What I found instead was contentment! By blogging about our trials and tribulations, I have come to realize that we are truly blessed! Yes, my daughter has issues and will continue to have issues for a long time to come. But, she really does work hard at her life. She really does want to love and be loved! I have come to realize that if I keep my eye on the big picture, the overall progress that our family has made, I have HOPE! Hope that Alyssa will be strong enough to open her heart and love. Hope that Jeff and I will be able to give Alyssa the security and comfort that she so desperately wants but is afraid to accept. Hope that our future will continue to look bright. Hope that as we help Alyssa to heal, our own hurts will heal.

I have everything that I have ever wanted out of life. I am a wife to a wonderful man. I am a Mom to a wonderful daughter. I have wonderful friends. I have a wonderful life!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

In Loving Memory - Siarra July 2, 2005

Don't Grieve For Me

by: Shannon Moseley

Don't grieve for me,
for now I'm free
I'm following the path
God laid for me.
I took His hand when
I heard His call
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day,
to laugh, to love, to work or pray.
Tasks left undone
must stay that way,
I found that peace at
the close of day.
If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
Perhaps my time has
seemed all too brief,
Don't lenghten it now
with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts,
and share with me
God wanted me now,
He set me Free.