Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Normal Kid

We had a wonderful weekend!

The highlights:

Getting ready to go to the zoo Saturday morning, Jeff somehow??? gashed his head open getting out of the shower. Blood everywhere - you know how head wounds bleed. Got him cleaned off and bandaged up. Nasty headache!

AWESOME day at the zoo! The weather was beautiful, Alyssa was perfectly behaved. Asked to push Cindy's wheelchair and was accepting of my decision to not let her anymore after Cindy almost went sailing down a hill! When Cindy is in a wheelchair there is never a dull moment!

Saturday night I had lots of help getting food prepared for Alyssa's baptism. It sure is nice that Leigh is able to drive now. She ended up being the gopher, running to the store for forgotten items. We got to bed by eleven and I slept right through the alarm the next morning!

Sunday morning we had 5 people that needed to shower and get ready for church - all in one bathroom! Surprisingly, we all were ready to go on time! Alyssa decided that she wanted to leave her hair curly instead of straightening it. And she wanted it "up". This was great for me, as it took a whole 10 minutes to do her hair. If I would have had to straighten it, it would have taken at least an hour!

We got to church early, as planned, so that we would be there to greet our guests. I have never been more proud of Alyssa! She was respectful, talked to everyone, and made all our guests feel welcome in our church! Pastor Joe has even since asked if our family would be greeters at church on a regular basis! Pastor Joe got carried away with the water during the baptism and poor Alyssa got absolutely soaked! She had water running down her nose, her neck, her entire face was covered in water, and water was running down the side of the baptismal fount. Alyssa just stood there and let Pastor Joe scrub her face with a handkerchief. She never complained or fussed, just stood there and let him dry her off! At the end of the service, Pastor had Alyssa walk out of church with him so that the congregation could all congratulate her. He made her feel so special!

When we arrived home, Alyssa was the perfect hostess. She asked our guests if they would like something to drink. She cleared plates away, she passed out cake. She made a point of talking to and spending time with each one of our guests. She opened her gifts and read each card out loud. She thanked each person for the gift and made them feel very special!

I was so proud!

Last night we saw Paulette. She let Alyssa give the update on how she was doing, and then looked to us for confirmation. Alyssa was dead on in her report. She said that even though she was doing OK, there was still room for improvement! She needed to work harder on being respectful because we deserved her respect! Paulette was impressed!

I know that the path of RAD is a bumpy one, and filled with lots of hills. But I am going to enjoy this growth by my daughter and hope that the bumps are small and the hills not too steep! The most important thing that I am going to remember is that Alyssa really wants to get better. She wants to be a family girl and she wants to have friends. Most of all, she just wants to be a normal kid!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Team Evans

I am happy to announce that we have had an uneventful week so far!


We have a busy weekend coming up! Saturday, we are going to MS Family Day at the Zoo. Cindy invited us and we are really excited. I haven't been to the zoo in like 8 years! We are really excited!

Then on Sunday, Miss Alyssa is going to be baptized. I still have to finish altering her dress. I am lucky I found one. An appropriate baptismal gown for a 9 year old child is no easy find! I ended up finding a first communion dress on clearance! It fit pretty good except the arms were way too tight! So I have been ripping out seams and very discretely adding material. I just have to finish off the seams and I am done! Alyssa seems very excited about the baptism and understands what it means.

I have to publicly say that I am very proud of my daughter's behavior this week. There have been a few minor moments, but for the most part, she has pitched in and helped without being asked, done more than what we have asked her to do, and really just having a great attitude! She has just wanted to be a part of "Team Evans". No motives, no agendas, nothing fake. Just a smile and willingness (and genuine desire) to be part of the team!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Why we love children ...

1) NUDITY I was driving with my three young children one warm summer evening when a woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my 5-year -old shout fr om the back seat, 'Mom, that lady isn't wearing a seat belt!'

2) OPINIONS On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a note from his mother. The note read, 'The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents.'

3) KETCHUP A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup out of the jar. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone. 'Mommy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now. She's hitting
the bottle.'

4) MORE NUDITY A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women's locker room When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover. The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, 'Wh at's the matter, haven't you ever seen a little boy

5) POLICE # 1 While taking a routine vandalism report at an elementary school, I was interrupted by a little girl about 6 years old. Looking up and down at my uniform, she asked, 'Are you a cop? Yes,' I
answered and continued writing the report. My mother said if I ever needed help I should ask the police. Is that right?' 'Yes, that's right,' I told her. 'Well, then,' she said as she extended her foot toward me, 'would you please tie my shoe?

6) POLICE # 2 It was the end of the day when I parked my police van in front of the station. As I gathered my equipment, my K-9 partner, Jake, was barking, and I saw a little boy staring in at me. 'Is that a dog you got back there?' he asked. 'It sure is,' I replied puzzled. The boy looked at me and then towards the back of the van. Finally he said, 'What'd he do?'
While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my 4-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. She was unfailingly intrigued by the various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs. One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned
and whispered, 'The tooth fairy will never believe this!'

8) DEATH While walking along the sidewalk in front of his church, our minister heard the intoning of a prayer that nearly made his collar wilt. Apparently, his 5-year-old son and his playmates had found a dead robin. Feeling that proper burial should be performed, they had secured a small box and cotton batting, then dug a hole and made ready for the disposal of the deceased. The minister's son was chosen to say the appropriate prayers and with sonorous dignity intoned his version of what he thought his father always said: 'Glory be unto the Faaather, and unto the Sonnn, and into the hole he goooes.' (I want this line used at my funeral!)

9) SCHOOL A little girl had just finished her first week of school. 'I'm just wasting my time,' she said to her mother. 'I can't read, I can't write, and they won't let me talk!'

10) BIBLE A little boy opened the big family Bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages. 'Mama, look what I found,' the boy called out. 'What have you got there, dear?'

With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered, 'I think it's Adam's underwear!'


My friend Jackie just emailed this to me. I had to share!

I need your help!

I have been asked to participate in a Survey for parents raising children with RAD. This survey is being done by the Children's Service Society, a division of Children's Hospital. The supervisor for the agency that placed Alyssa is now working there and thought of us when the survey came up.

The goal of this survey, is to find out from parents, what needs to improve! How exciting is that? So I am asking all of you:

What are your biggest problems/concerns/issues, in raising your RAD child?

I will try to incorporate your responses in my survey.

Oh, you guys will love this. Children's Service Society said that they thought they would have a hard time getting people to participate in this survey. Not the case! Of all the people they have approached, no one has declined! I said well duh! If we can help educate people about RAD and maybe get programs in place that will help - why would we turn that down?

I'll keep you all posted as I find out more!

Monday, September 22, 2008

My cup overfloweth!

Saturday was a busy, busy day. Petek's had their 9th Annual fund raiser/brat fry for Special Olympics. I sold raffles all day. I had the opportunity to talk to a lot of people. A lot of people so grateful for what Petek's was doing. I got to talk to the Dad of one particular athlete that was proudly displaying the metals that he had won in track. This Dad made me cry! I know, not that it takes alot! But this Dad, was so grateful that this brat fry happened year after year. This Dad was amazed that year after year, we kept giving and trying to make it bigger and better. This Dad was at this benefit, spending his money, helping us raise money to give back to those that help him in so many ways. I am choked up just thinking about it! To be able to talk about this event and include myself by saying "we" is an honor and a privilege! I am proud to be able to count myself among the volunteers. I am proud to be able to say that I played a small part in the success of the brat fry. The generosity of the community that came and bought burgers, or beer, or raffle tickets, or donated items before the event makes me proud that I live in this community. That I am able to call all the people involved with this event my friends - Priceless!

Sunday, our church kicked off it's 100th birthday celebration. The Men of Harmony performed during the service and it was an uplifting experience! My heart was filled with the love of God and I was truly inspired!

I have been feeling really low lately. Feeling kind of sorry for myself, I guess. I've been missing my parents, missing Jeff's mom, and really feeling bad that Alyssa never got to meet her Grandparents. My own self pity on top of the stress that goes along with having Jeff for a husband and Alyssa for a daughter, well lets just say my cup was pretty empty.

Even though my weekend was a busy one, it was so rewarding! The feeling you get when you give to others is so incredibly awesome! My cup has definitely been refilled!

Dice starts tonight! Yeah! This is my bi-weekly girls night out! I can't wait!

Oh and even though I thought I knew who my San Diego reader was, I had it confirmed. Hi Jeanie!!!

Let's see, what else? Oh, you probably want to hear about Alyssa, considering this blog is supposed to be about raising a child with RAD. Well, if I tell you that I have nothing significant to report, will you all understand the success of just having a normal weekend? Even with all of our commitments, Alyssa was responsible, respectful, and fun to be with! I was so proud of her in church yesterday when she volunteered to help a girl in a wheelchair! Alyssa's response to me? Well geeze Mom, I just helped her with the elevator, what's the big deal? The big deal is, to you, she is just another kid! Alyssa didn't get it! But I'm sure you guys do. My little Radish is healing. I really wish that every single one of you gets the opportunity to see how that feels!

Oh, and one more thing...My Packers lost! I am sooooooooooo sad!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Much Better

Wow do I feel better!

It is amazing how good if feels to just get everything off your chest. After blogging yesterday, I decided to again talk to Jeff. I talked(vented actually) to him for a good solid 30 min. I really think he may have got it! He first let me rant, then he asked what he could do to make my days easier, and then he promised to try harder.

I really can't ask for more. I love my family, I really do. Sometimes I just get tired and I need to vent.

We have a busy weekend coming up. I work tonight at the bar and tomorrow is our fund raiser for Special Olympics. Alyssa is excited because she gets to spend the whole day with Cody. I look forward to the Special Olympics brat fry every year because you get to see so many people you normally don't see. Jeanie is home from CA even! Last year we raised over $6,000. This year we hope to increase that amount. It is a lot of hard work for everyone, and a really long day, but so totally worth it and tons of fun to boot!

Sunday our church is having the kick off to it's 100th anniversary celebration, and then we will get to watch my beloved Packers beat Dallas! GO PACK!!!

Lastly, please pray for my friend Lisa. Her mother is ill and could use every one's prayers.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


After Monday's behaviors, I thought we had a good plan in place for when Alyssa had feelings to share. Well, apparently not! Another lovely morning in our house had me on the verge of running away. I allowed Alyssa to get to me! She pushed and pushed and finally pushed me right over the edge! I finally literally walked her out the door and placed her in the car. I drove her to school, pulled up in front, and said "Get Out!" Never said I love you, have a good day, nothing but a disdainful "I hope your attitude gets better!".


Please don't yell at me! Please don't tell me that I have to remain calm and loving. I know all that. I can usually attain that. But not today. Today I'm just tired and I've had enough!

I better back up. I have been asking for help around the house for a while now. Let me just stop right here and make it very clear that I love my husband and my daughter, BUT... So anyway, I have been up late for the last few weeks, trying to get stuff done, trying to stay on top of things while my husband and daughter either plunk their butts in front of the TV or go off and play or whatever! Then my darling Jeff has the balls to tell me that I'm nagging and I should quit telling him what to do! Then when I told Alyssa to finish up her chores that I assigned her on Monday, she starts whining and caring on about how she wanted to play. This was the last straw!
I pulled her into the living room where Jeff was, turned off the TV, and let them have it with both barrels. It went kind of like this:

What is it exactly that makes you both think that you don't have to do anything around this house? Do you think it is MY job to do everything? Do you think it is fair that I am working from the time I get up in the morning, till the time I go to bed, while you two are relaxing and enjoying yourselves? Jeff interrupts here with "Make a list and it will get done". Make a list, why do I have to make a list? Can't you see what needs to be done? I look around this house and I can see hundreds of things that need to be done! Have you no pride in your home? Just as I said this, Alyssa took the newspaper and put it on the floor 'cause it was in her way. I said, what makes you think that it is OK to put the paper on the floor? Do you think its OK to toss stuff wherever because it is in your way? Alyssa responds with "Well Daddy does it!" Yeah, Daddy does it. Doesn't mean it's OK. I then continued, Do you not care what our house looks like? Jeff says, "Of course we do". I respond by saying, "Then why is the towel that you used to clean gas up with LAST week, still laying in the driveway?" No response. Ultimatum delivered. Either I get help or I am going on strike! They both jumped up and got to work. I ran to the store. When I got home, they had their 1 chore completed and were on the couch. God forbid that you do more than 1.

So, I was ticked off from last night. Then to get the attitude out of Alyssa this morning - too much! I could really relate to Heather's post. Some days it just becomes too much. I agree with Heather. Tomorrow I will return to the role of warrior. I will slay dragons, wipe tears, and clean my house, all with a smile on my face and love in my eyes.

Today, I am going to be pissed off, and cranky, and ornery. And I am going to make sure that my family understands that I am serious and that I deserve to be appreciated for what I do. No more slackers, no more excuses. Everyone is going to do equal work! And if they don't? This Mom is going to have a nice long vacation in the local looney bin!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ups and Downs

The party was a huge success! Alyssa was a wonderful hostess. She welcomed each of her guests and made sure that she introduced everyone to each other. Most of the kids were school friends, but a couple were kids of family friends. And they didn't know anyone else. Alyssa made sure she spent time with each of her guests and encouraged everyone to hang together.

I was very proud of Alyssa and told her many times throughout the night. She received some really nice gifts, and did a good job of making each girl feel good about the gift they chose. She had one small snafu when she opened a gift and it was a shirt that she already had. She let it slip that she already had it but when I glared daggers at her, she quickly covered with "But now I have 2 and won't wait for Mom to wash it before I can wear it again - I Love that shirt!" The little girl went from frowning to smiling, so I guess Alyssa said the right thing! Other than that one slip, the night was awesome!

We let Alyssa invite one friend to sleep over after the party and of course she chose K. Those 2 kids decided to build a fort. They had every blanket in the house piled in the living room, and stuff scattered as far as the eye could see! I gave up the fight at 1:00am and went to bed. I was told in the morning that the girls finally went to sleep at 3:00! They did a good job of cleaning up their mess in the morning and then K had to go home.

Alyssa was sad, but appropriate in her emotions. We ran some errands and decided to have a movie night because it was raining and icky outside. We watched two movies and then I shipped Alyssa off to bed. I FINALLY got to see 27 Dresses! I say finally because I have rented this movie 3 times already and never had a chance to actually watch it! It was definitely worth the wait.

Sunday was a pretty normal day for us. Sunday school, church, and the Packer game. Packers won - YEAH!!!

Monday morning, all hell broke loose in our house.Alyssa was bound and determined to self sabotage her day.My concern is this. While trying to use the tools that Paulette has given us, (I was using the 1, 2, 3 warning, basically counting to three and if her attitude didn't stop, she would have a predetermined consequence) and Alyssa actually threatened to call the police and tell them that I threatened her and I'm mean! I got angry! As it was, I told her to go ahead and explained what would happen if they thought she was telling the truth! I actually asked her if she wanted to go back to a foster home. I know, me bad! I then handed her the phone and asked her if she still wanted to call. I guess she changed her mind. Her attitude or should I say outright defiance, was off the charts! I also got an email from her teacher saying she disrupted Math testing and needed to stay in at recess! I was concerned at the level of defiance and also her threat to call the police so I emailed Paulette for advice. This was her response:

Wow--what a morning! How interesting that it comes after such a good weekend. It sounds like you
handled it as best you could. Do you think Mondays and the transition from the weekend is generally
a difficult thing for Alyssa? Also, remember that kids who have the history that Alyssa has can unconsciously
undermine positive experiences--like they don't deserve them--or that they won't happen again anyway--so they
do things to control when they go bad!
In terms of what to do: first off, just breathe and stay regulated yourself for
starts. When the time is right for you and her emotionally this afternoon or evening I think I would try
to gently explore what she thinks made today so difficult for her after such a good weekend.
What got her so off track? She might have some thoughts to offer on this, or not. You might pose some
of your own thoughts to her if you have some about what might have triggered such a reaction. (Was she
worrying about the math testing? or some other worry related to school?)
You might then try what I call some collaborative problem solving together. Acknowledge both hers and
your own concerns (hers may just be "I want to stay in bed" but it's still her concern)
about the morning time and how things go, then ask her if she has any ideas to
take care of the problem, then you can offer some of your own ideas and see if the two of you
can come up with a solution together that can work for both of you to make your mornings go better.
Try to move forward from this morning. I wouldn't focus on trying to come up with consequences for her
behavior this morning, but would focus more on coming up with a solution to work together better in the future.
Offer confidence and encouragement that you have solved other problems together and that there are no problems
too big for all of you to figure out together.

Paulette's response allowed me to put Alyssa's behavior into perspective. I couldn't get past Alyssa saying she was going to call the police. I called Jeff and told him what Paulette's response was and he said he would talk to her after school.They had their talk, and Alyssa admitted that she was thinking about her old family and missing them. Jeff and Alyssa made a pact that Alyssa would talk about her feelings before her attitude took over. She apologized profusely when I got home from work and Jeff said she was crying real tears, so I think it was sincere. She attacked her chores (consequences) with gusto, and even did extra stuff just to help out the family.

This morning was much better. Not perfect, but we left the house on time and no tears were shed!Tonight we have a meeting for Alyssa's choir and then she will be finishing up her chores. My windows are really dirty, so I think I'll let her clean them!

Friday, September 12, 2008

It's Party Time!

Alyssa's birthday party is tonight! She is so excited but also really nervous! She passed out 20 invitations and 18 kids are able to come! Last night we went to Walmart and purchased items for the gift bags for her guests. Alyssa made very good suggestions and smart choices regarding price, and types of items for the gift bags. She became very quiet, and when we were back in the car, I asked her if she was getting tired. She looked at me and said "Mom, you are spending a lot of money on my party. Why?" I told her that every little girl deserved to feel special on her birthday, and just because she had a summer birthday, she should still get to have a party! Her response to me was "Mom, you make me feel special every day!" I just about cried!

She continued to be very quiet, but once we got home, she pitched in and together we got all her gift bags made up and everything ready for the party. We finished about 2 minutes prior to her bedtime so she rushed to get her pajamas on and her teeth brushed. She asked if she could lay in bed and watch 15 minutes of TV. I said OK because I figured she needed some time to unwind. When her 15 minutes were up, I went into her room to kiss her goodnight and tuck her in. She asked for a story. The rule is if you get to stay up late, no story. Well, let me tell you, she pitched a fit! Started wailing and crying, so totally fake, you know? I just said "I love you"! and walked out of the room.

Not 2 minutes later, she got up, asked to go to the bathroom, and came and apologized for her behavior. I tucked her back into bed, and told her that I knew why she just pitched a fit, and did she want to know? She said yes. So I told her that while she was really excited for her party, a part of her felt like she didn't deserve it, so she was going to prove that she didn't. She looked at me with utter shock and said, "You're Right!" She then looked at me and declared (in a very exasperated tone of voice) "I HATE that! You are ALWAYS right!" HeHeHe, chalk one up for Mom!

This morning, very clingy, very nervous! But, she was being appropriate in her nervousness. She told me she had a bad dream last night. No one showed up for her party! I assured her that everyone would show up. My daughter has really worked on her friendship skills and made a lot of friends and is actually quite popular! She has certainly come a long way!

Now, all we have to do is get through the party with no one breaking anything! (Her party is at a Roller Skating rink). Wish us luck!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Trust and Respect

Last night we had therapy. I wanted to share some of the awesome suggestions (and homework) that Paulette gave us.

We have seen a real shift in our therapy sessions. When we first started seeing Paulette, the sessions were very traumatic and our goal was getting major behavior issues under control. Now that the major behaviors are under control, our focus has shifted to more specific issues. Last night, Paulette read Alyssa a book about personality traits. (The title was something about cookies, but I can't remember what it is). Alyssa was told that each trait that Paulette read, she should list either in a "Doing Well" column or a "Need to Work on" column. Based on Alyssa's list, we chose two traits that we were going to work on in the next two weeks. The first trait was "Trustworthy". The book explained "trustworthy" as if I ask you to hold my cookie, when I come back, my cookie will still be there. So Alyssa is to make a poster with the word "Trustworthy" on the top. Each time Jeff and I "catch" her being trustworthy, we draw a cookie on the poster and write a one word description of what we "caught" her doing. For example, this morning I asked Alyssa if she put deodorant on. She started to lie, but then caught herself and admitted she forgot. I congratulated her for being trustworthy and got to put a cookie on her poster! WAY COOL! Alyssa was very excited to see that first cookie!

The second trait we decided to work on was respect. Again, Alyssa made a poster with the word "Respect" on the top. When you show respect to people, yourself, and your things, it makes people happy. So every time we "catch" her showing respect, we will put a smiley face on her poster with a one word description. She seems really excited about this so hopefully it will make her more aware of how her words and actions affect other people.

I have to say that Paulette seems to have an unending bag of tricks. This latest homework project is really going to make Alyssa think. The coolest thing is that in Alyssa's mind, it is fun and almost like a game!

Just wanted to mention that whenever you are dealing with attachment issues, the rule is always "You need to have an attachment therapist". I don't necessarily agree with this. In my mind, an attachment therapist is someone who is trained in a specific "camp". For instance, either trained with Nancy Thomas, Daniel Hughes, Bryan Post, etc. These people do intensive therapy and only treat with one style. I have always recommended to people that they search for a therapist that specializes in adoption and trauma. Like Paulette. These therapists understand attachment disorders. They read EVERYTHING that is available about attachment. They suggest techniques and treatments based on a multitude of "camps". They are not afraid to try techniques from various philosophies and they are very hands on. They work with the family as a team and develop a strategy that works for the individual child. I think that the most important thing to look for when choosing a therapist is 1) The therapist does not meet with the child alone and 2) The therapist is willing to try various strategies and 3) The therapist is someone that you TRUST!

Back to our homework. Alyssa told Jeff & I that she is determined to fill up both posters before we see Paulette again. Awesome goal! I think she is going to work real hard to achieve it!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Last night, we avoided a melt down. How? I caught the signals. We were just getting ready to walk out the door, we had some errands to run, when the phone rang. It was Alyssa's friend. K had another friend over, C, and had called to say hi. I heard Alyssa say to K, can I come over? Well K immediately said yes, and then Alyssa turned to ask me. Being such an observant Mom, I realized that in such a short span of time, there is no possible way that K had OK'd this with her Mom. I told Alyssa that K had to ask her Mom, and if it was OK with her Mom, then she could play. Well, K asked her Mom, and the answer was no. Only one friend over at a time!

We finally got into the car to get our errands done, and I notice Alyssa is sucking her thumb. I asked her if it tasted good and she snarled at me! I didn't say anything further and changed the subject. A little bit later, Alyssa is still sucking her thumb and we meet up with Jeff who is in his truck, also trying to get his errands done. He is in the lane next to us and beeps his horn. When Alyssa turns her head, YUP you see it coming don't you, Jeff sticks his thumb in his mouth and pretends to be sucking his thumb. Unbeknown to Jeff, his teasing set off a ticking time bomb! Alyssa started amping up for a good blow! I immediately asked her what was bothering her? Of course, she said nothing! But then I said, well if nothing is wrong, why are you sucking your thumb? Her response? "'Cause I LIKE it!" I then told her that I thought she was sucking her thumb because she was sad that she couldn't go to K's house. BINGO!!! Alyssa whipped her head around and looked at me like I had just appeared out of nowhere! She was shocked to realize that was exactly how she was feeling and further shocked that I had figured it out!!! Her shocked silence gave me the opportunity to remind her that it is OK to have feelings and it is also OK if she can't identify those feelings. Mom & Dad are here to help her figure them out. By the time we got home and Jeff got home, Alyssa was back in a good place. She even made the comment as she was sweeping the floor (punishment for being disrespectful), you know Mom, if I would have talked to you right away, I wouldn't have had to sweep the floor! AAAAAHAAAAA!!! The light bulb comes on!

Just a side note: We do not torture or tease our daughter in an attempt to ridicule her. She has asked us that when we see her sucking her thumb, we say something. She does it out of habit, and half the time doesn't even realize she is sucking on it! It usually happens when she is really tired or stressed out about something. My asking her if her thumb tastes good or Jeff sucking on his own thumb, are usually a gentle reminder that she is doing it! She really doesn't want to suck her thumb anymore 'cause you know Mom, I'm in fourth grade now!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Packers 24, Vikings 19: Total team effort!

I am a Packer FAN! I admit that the world stops every week so that we can watch the game! I am passionate about my team! I was a fan when they barely won a game. I harassed Torina because she is a Viking fan, but in my defense, she started it! I must admit that the whole Brett Favre saga this summer saddened me a great deal. It reminded me that football is no longer a team sport, it is a business! "The Love of the Game" doesn't mean the same as what it did 20 years ago, and "For the Good of the Team" is a non existent phrase. Now it seems that players play tough to fill their own pocket and pad their own stats! That part of the game I definitely do not like. But back to my Packers....... My heart hurt not to see Brett at the helm. But I was very relieved that Aaron had a decent showing. I'm hoping that we can improve on the mistakes and continue to be a team to contend with.

And for all you Vikings Fans................. NAA NAA NA BOO BOO!!!!!!


Monday, September 8, 2008

The Bestest Mom in the Whole World

Just wanted to post real quick today to thank everyone for their comments! We talked to Alyssa on Saturday and was able to have a real heart to heart to heart! Jeff and I decided that in the overall scheme of things, Alyssa deserved her party - she had earned it! So, I apologized for taking it away, Alyssa apologized for being disrepectful, and the party is back ON! So, now I'm the Bestest Mom in the Whole World!

Friday, September 5, 2008

World's Most Rotten Mom

I spoke too soon!

Since Alyssa has a summer birthday, we gave her the choice this year of having a summer party or waiting to have her party until school started so her school friends could come. She opted to wait for school to start.

Well, school started so she has been asking when she can have her party. I called and got information about roller skating because that is what she wants to do. I told her last night that she could have her party next Friday and we needed to go and buy the invitations so that she could get them out. So we are walking into Walmart and she is going on and on about how she hopes that they have "High School Musical" invitations, and she wants to have a "High School Musical" theme party, yada, yada, yada. Any way, we walk into Walmart and stop in the personal hygiene area to pick up new tooth brushes, etc. Well Alyssa starts tossing stuff in the cart! I warned her to stop - TWICE! Then we head over to pick up the invitations. I look, and sure enough, "High School Musical". I pull them down and show them to Alyssa except now she has decided that she maybe wants "Hannah Montana" or Tinker Bell, or get the idea. I put the "High School Musical" in the cart and warned her again to get her attitude under control. This was number THREE.

We then head over to socks and under wear section. She has grown out of both! I told Alyssa that I would pick out some underwear for her to choose from and she should pick out some socks. She walks over to the socks, grabs white socks(with out even looking to see if they would fit, and by the way she has a whole drawer full of white socks, she needed new dress socks) and tosses them in the cart. Then she walks over to me, grabs the underwear out of my hands, says "these are good" and tosses them in the cart. I warned her again(this would be number FOUR) about her attitude and reminded her what we were buying. She got the sass and the head shake attitude and I warned her again. Yes, I am an idiot, this was number FIVE! Well, she sassed again and I snapped! I grabbed her hand and leaving the cart sit in the middle of the aisle, marched her sassy butt right out of Walmart. I marched her into the car, drove her home, and put her to bed!

While this was going on I proceeded to lecture her regarding respect, being grateful, and appreciative. And just to make sure I won the "World's Most Rotten Mom" award, I cancelled her birthday party!

Now I can just hear what most of you are thinking: She went too far, she lost the detachment, she wasn't dealing in a calm manner. You can save it! I know everything you are thinking! I blew it! And now I need your advice. Do I let her have her party? She earned that party over the summer by being responsible. I feel like a shit for taking it away! Her attitude is because of back to school, I know it is. Do I have the party? Do I postpone the party until next month? Do I cancel it all together? Comments, PLEASE!

On one hand, I do believe her apology was sincere. She accepted that she lost her party because of HER behavior. She never once blamed it on me. But on the other hand, her attitude did not get any better. This morning she was still my BRAT baby full of nothing but sass!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Sick Kid and Rose Colored Glasses

I'm back! We have had a long week! I took the day off on Friday so that I could spend the day with Alyssa before school started up again. We had an awesome day. We really didn't do anything exciting, just ran some errands and got stuff ready to go up north. The most exciting part for Alyssa was getting her hair cut. She asked how short she could get it cut and was very surprised when I told her she could do whatever she wanted as long as she was prepared to live with the consequences. I really stressed that her hair would look different curly than it did straight. Well, she decided on a short bob! It is really cute!!! But it is short! She can't even get it back in a pony tail. The important thing is that she likes it!!!

After the haircut, we were packing up to go up north. Alyssa complained of a headache. I told her to lay down and rest while Jeff & I finished packing up the truck. Well we got loaded up and headed out of town. About 10 minutes into the trip, Alyssa complained that she still had a headache and her throat hurt too. I looked at her throat and it was very red so I had Jeff stop at a gas station and I went in for some cough drops. Alyssa napped all the way to the trailor and said she felt better. It was short lived. By the time I had the groceries put away, Alyssa was back from the park and didn't feel good. She curled up on the couch and watched a movie until she went to bed.

Saturday morning, Alyssa woke up crying. Her throat was raw, she was running a fever, and she felt "crappy". I took her in to the urgent care clinic where they took her temperature(103.2), did a throat culture, and wrote her a prescription for an antibiotic. Yup, you guessed it, Strep throat!
She was also extremely dehydrated so he suggested Pedialyte. We were able to keep her temp down to 100 with Motrin and Tylenol, but it spiked to 103.8 at its highest point. Saturday was a long, long day(and night)!

Sunday morning, Alyssa felt much better. Her fever had dropped and her aches went away. She was still feeling "crappy", but wanted to do something. It was so hot that we decided to go for a boat ride. That was the best decision ever. We drove around for a while, and then parked on a sand bar and played ball in the water. We had some snacks and just enjoyed a lazy day. We headed off the lake around supper time. What a great way to spend a hot day!

Monday was another enjoyable day! Very hot once again(in the 90's). We decided to pack up early so we could get home and make sure Alyssa was settled down for the transition back to school. She started complaining again about her throat being really sore again, and her attitude took a dive south! She had a big meltdown when I told her she couldn't wear her new clothes. It was supposed to be 90 again on Tuesday and all her new stuff was for cooler weather. We had her do a strong sit and she seemed better...for a while. All of a sudden she started crying, then screaming, and then hitting! She was so ANGRY! Come to find out, her throat was so incredibly sore that she was feeling miserable, and angry at me because I wasn't making her feel better! She was also starting to get the back to school nerves and she melted! I finally got to look in her throat and take her temp. Her entire throat was covered in fever blisters and her temp was back up to 101. I got her settled down, pumped full of meds and finally to sleep. I told Jeff that I full expected her to still be sick in the morning and miss school.

Tuesday morning arrived. Alyssa was still sick, and still not eating! She INSISTED on going to school! She made it 1 hour. I took her back in to the doctor and found out that she was dehydrated again! We spent the rest of the day pushing fluids and by about 4:00 she was feeling much better! She was even able to eat some dinner!

Wednesday she was off to school and had no problems all day. I think she is finally on the road to recovery. You know my kid is sick when she turns down ice cream for dinner!

This morning, she was back in slow motion mode, but I was able to talk her out of it. If this is the worst of her back to school attitude, this is nothing! Last year, I was pulling her out of bed and threatening to send her to school in her pajamas(I say threaten because I only had to do it once!). Last year I was being screamed at, hit, ignored, etc. This year, all I'm getting is some sass and attitude - PROGRESS!!!

I want to make a follow up comment to the comments on my last post. I must admit that I went into adoption with rose colored glasses. I blame the foster care system, namely the social workers that are trying to place kids. They sugar coat everything in an attempt to be able to close a case. I can understand their position. But, and this is a big butt! Educate your foster parents and adoptive parents. Be honest about the issues that they will face! I read somewhere that like 80% of kids in the foster care system have some type of attachment issues. Give the parents the resources and the tools that they need to be educated and truly in a position to help these kids! I am not trying to scare anyone away from raising these kids, but isn't it better to back out BEFORE you have the ability to further damaged an already traumatized child? I urge each and every one of you to contact your local foster care agency and offer to educate their foster parents about attachment. They will probably say no, but keep pushing. Education is the key to making sure the rose colored glasses come off and stay off!