Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Miss Alyssa is struggling!

I think the holiday combined with me losing my job is weighing heavily on her mind.

We have tried to reassure her, but we are seeing outright defiance. Then, when we say anything, she bursts into tears and says "Everyone is always yelling at me"!

My plan is to pull her in close and just keep talking about traditions, trying to incorporate things that she remembers from holidays past. Lots of patience is going to be required, but hey, I should have lots of it 'cause I have no work related stress - right?

We have a busy week planned. Tammy will be here tonight, Wednesday we will prepare all the goodies for Thanksgiving. Miss Alyssa wants sweet potato pie so that will be a new experience for us. Friday morning it will be up at 4:00am for shopping and then we will start decorating for Christmas.

Here is what I am thankful for:

My husband and my daughter
My wonderful friends
My blogging friends
I will have time to enjoy the holidays this year
New opportunities

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008


Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and prayers!

Friday morning, we had a meeting with the company that bought us out. We were all under the impression that we would be transitioning to the new company. As it turns out, only 2 people were asked to join the new company - I was not one of them. It was a very emotional meeting and my boss broke down and cried!

I took the weekend and regrouped. I spent time with the people that mean the most to me and now I am ready to face this new challenge!

I filed for unemployment today. I scanned the job listings and had confirmed what I already thought - there are no jobs out there right now! I am going to enjoy being home for the holidays and do all the little extras that I never had time for before.

I have to admit that today I am being really lazy. It is almost 1:00 and I haven't even showered yet! We had our first snowfall last night so I really should shovel but I just don't feel like it.

I have to update my resume. I'm not even sure if I know where it is. I may have to start over. Oh well, it will give me something to do.

I want to say again, sincerely and heart felt. Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers. I really do appreciate them.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I am officially unemployed.

My company closed its doors this morning - for good!

I am distraught.

I will write more when I've had a chance to absorb the implications.

Pray for us.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


In order for us to begin using "Emotional, Regulatory Healing" from our conference last Saturday, I need to reduce my stress. I live under such a load of stress that saying I need to lower my stress and actually doing it are two completely different things!

Take for example, Jeff. Jeff was diagnosed with PTSD. Dealing with Alyssa and her journey with her past, brought up terrible memories of the abuse Jeff suffered at the hands of his father. Jeff is dealing with his past now. He went through therapy(tapping) and he is on medication. He is much better.

Well when this all started, I started shielding him from most if not all of Alyssa's worst behavior. I didn't want to add to Jeff's problems. So, basically, I started doing it all alone! I also quit talking about it because I felt like everyone was getting sick and tired of hearing about all my little issues! You see, most of the big ones(behaviors) are gone now. Now it is the constant drip, drip, drip of all these little annoying behaviors that 'bout drive me over the edge!

So, now Jeff is telling me to quit protecting him. In my head, I know I can't do it all myself! But in my heart, I am so filled with worry that what if he is not ready? That I end up stressing out about it! And so the story goes. The thought of having to figure out how to reduce my stress is actually stressing me out!

So all my blogging friends. Please share with me your tried and true methods for reducing stress. Is there a pill I can take? Is alcohol the only answer? I really would appreciate any and every suggestion you have!

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Place in My Heart - Report

Juli Alvarado is an awesome speaker! The information she presented wasn't new, just presented in a different way that made us look at things differently. I'll try to hit the highlights, if you have questions, ask away.

First, she suggested that all our kids have their cortisol levels (cortisol measures stress) checked monthly. We can then use this as a guide to whether or not we are being successful. If their stress is lower, their behavior will be better.

She talked alot about stress. She explained that our kids have extremely high levels of stress, and how that affects behavior. She also stressed taking care of ourselves. "You can't give away that which is not yours!" Meaning, you can't help regulate your kids if you are not regulated! I felt like she was talking about me at that moment! I think that is why my tolerance has been so low - my stress is too high! Jeff and I talked about ways that I could lower my stress. He wants me to get out more, or at the very least, actually schedule craft time at home, just by myself!

She also used a lens to help us understand our kids. She said that a child that has always had needs met, had love and cuddles, has a clear lens to look through in which to see love, family, relationships. But, our kids, because of their pasts don't have a clear lens, their lens is very dark and very cloudy. Therefore, we don't see things the same way. When dealing with our kids, we should try to see the world through their lens. These are things we have heard before, but the way she presented them, made sense!

She really stressed that we need to help our kids regulate. We should respond, not react to their behavior. This is going to be hard, but Jeff and I are both going to try it. She also said that we should tell our kids that we are sorry FOR THEM, that they need to be with us, BUT that we are happy for US that they are!

She is going to be sending out emails shortly with daily tips. We will get one every day for the next 100 days! I am excited to try some of her suggestions. It made sense to me. Oh, and the hugest thing by far, she really stressed that the brain is ALWAYS capable of changing and growing and healing! It may be easier at an early age, but it is possible, at any time, at any age! She gave people hope!

Many people, myself included, spent the entire day in tears! It was very emotional, and very difficult to take a close look at our kids, and ourselves, and admit that we need to change some things!

We are both very glad we went! If you ever get the opportunity to hear this woman speak, or attend one of her seminars, please do so!

Friday, November 14, 2008

I have been tagged!

Thanks to Lisa, I am "it". I have never been "it" before in the blogging world.

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules.
2. Share seven random or weird facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post with their links.
4. Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Just so everyone knows, I hate this stuff! I never know what to say and end up either sounding like a raging lunatic, or very, very boring. I apologize in advance to all the people that I am going to "tag", just in case you also share my sentiment.

1. I am a perfectionist. It is my greatest strength, and also my biggest fault! Raising a RAD daughter has almost pushed me to the brink of insanity but I think I have finally learned to relax a bit.

2. I have a sock issue. It drives me nuts when people have shorts on and their socks are at different heights. Or, horror of horrors, they are wearing black socks! I have walked up to friends, bent down, and fixed their socks! It has gotten to the point where I only buy ankle socks for my family, because then they are always "right". I know, I know, if there was a "Socks Anonymous" I would be the first member!

3. I cry at everything! I cry watching Extreme Home Makeover. I cried last night watching ER. I actually bawled last night watching ER! I cried in Church during a choir performance because the music was so beautiful. I cry a lot when I read some of blogging friends posts.

4. I am a klutz. A big one. I trip all the time, I bump into things, I knock stuff over, and I am very uncoordinated!

5. I am a worry wort. Jeff will call me if he is gonna be more than 10 minutes later than what he said. I constantly worry about Tammy and Cindy because they both live so far away. I worry about Alyssa, I worry about my blogging friends, I worry all the time. It doesn't stress me out really, because it is just who I am.

6. I am a good friend. I'm not tooting my own horn. It is just a fact. I WANT to be a good friend, and because of that, I work very hard to be one.

7. OK, I saved the best for last! I belch and fart! Now don't worry too much, I do understand that there is a time and place for everything and I'm not likely to embarrass anyone(I hope). But, if I am hanging out with friends and I gotta belch, I belch. Likewise on the farting thing. Don't worry, if there stinky I will leave the room(usually).

Now, for those I am going to tag:

1. Tammy. Because she is my bestest friend in the whole world and we share EVERYTHING!

2. Torina. Because she is not afraid to talk about farting and puking.

3. Ali. Because she tells it like it is.

4. Unspeakable Joy. I like reading about her perspective on raising children with RAD.

5. Kari. I don't remember anymore, how I found her blog, but this woman inspires me every day!

6. Thorn. I enjoy reading her perspective on foster/adoption. She is just beginning her journey.

7. Sugar & Spice. She just cracks me up!

OK - all done!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Bruce!

The Awesome Uncle Bruce is 45 today!

This first picture was taken two years ago, on Bruce's 43rd birthday. We had just welcomed Alyssa to our family and she already had Uncle Bruce wrapped around her little finger.

This next picture was taken by Alyssa, last year at Christmas. It literally shows how much Alyssa looks up to her Uncle Bruce!

Thank God for Uncle Bruce!

We Love You!

I was wrong!

I was proven wrong!

By the time I got home from work, Alyssa had her homework done, had her room cleaned and was ready to go to choir practice. She apologized for not keeping her promise to me and said that she was determined to do better!

Jeff & I dropped her off at choir, and then went for parent/teacher conferences at school. She is doing great! She is showing a great deal of maturity and responsibility, and is well liked! The only problem - and it is a big one - she rushes through everything, just to be the first one finished! As a result, her test scores are terrible. Her teacher assures us that the test results are not an accurate reflection of Alyssa's knowledge of a subject. For example: Alyssa was given a reading test. She was finished in 9 minutes and scored a 118. The lowest score in the 4th grade, even lower than the special ed classes and the kids with learning disabilities. The 118 score was like a pre-1st grade level! Her teacher had her retake the test, telling Alyssa to slow down and take her time. She scored in the high 600's!

So we came up with a plan for rewarding Alyssa if she is able to slow down. If she is able to be successful, she will get to take a treat for her class. Alyssa will get to be the center of attention for bringing in treats and Mom & Dad will get to be the cool parents that are proud of their daughter and want the world to know!

Let's hope it works!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Warning! Bitchy Post

I am so tired!

I am tired of feeling taken advantage of, taken for granted, and tired of being the mean Mommy!

We saw Paulette last night, and she wants us to go back to basics. So tonight, 15 minutes before bedtime, we get to go into Alyssa's room, and anything that is not put away, becomes mine! I hate doing this. I thought we had gotten past doing this.

Alyssa is going to test. She is going to leave her room a mess for at least the next 3 or 4 days. Just to see if we are going to be consistent. Then the crying will start, then the begging, then the meltdown. I can see the writing on the wall.

I hope I am proven wrong.

Alyssa apologized to us last night. She used the 5 step apology and to prove that she was sincere, promised to get up every day this week early enough to have breakfast with Daddy and be ready to leave the house on time. Well, guess what. She ate breakfast with Jeff and the minute he left for work, Little Miss Sunshine was gone and I ended up with the "screw you" attitude. So, does that mean that she was sincere in her apology to Jeff, and didn't give a rat's ass about me? 'Cause that's the way I feel!

I get all the crap from Alyssa and lately, very little of the good stuff. I'm tired of being the enforcer. I told Jeff last night that I'm done! From now on, he would be doing 95% of the discipline and I would be the one to just have fun! That way, he can be the one doing 95% of the bitching too and I can be the happy one for a change! This was what he told Paulette last night. She asked about the discipline and I was not pointing fingers, just stating fact when I said that I do probably 95% of the discipline. Jeff piped up with "Well, for sure 95% of the hollering"! This comment really hurt me and I haven't talked to him about it yet. What gets me is that I do most of the discipline because Jeff is very non-confrontational. So, I just do it. But then, he turns around and makes a comment like that. I'm going to talk to him tonight. If that's the way he feels, he can do all of it, and then he won't have to listen to me bitch!

I NEED A VACATION.................................BY MYSELF!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Little Miss Sunshine - NOT

I don't even know where to start...

We had a rough weekend. And the worst part is that Alyssa seems to have learned a new game!

Saturday, we had our normal weekly chore time. Jeff, myself, and Alyssa all pitch in and get the weekly chores done so that we all would be able to have free time. Alyssa decided to move in slow motion, whine, and ultimately pitch a major fit. I took her to her room for some thinking time. She came out about 5 minutes later and decided to tell me that she was so stressed out from testing all week in school that she just wanted to relax, not do chores. SHE THOUGHT THIS WOULD WORK TO EXCUSE HER FROM DOING HER CHORES!!!

Then, Sunday. What a day! We did the usual morning routine. Alyssa went to Sunday school, then we all went to church. After church, we went out for brunch. We got home and Jeff took a short nap. I told Alyssa to pick her Barbie's up that she had left out Saturday night. She went in her room and all was quiet. I sent Alyssa to wake Jeff up because he had to work at the Pancake supper at church. The minute Jeff left the house (around 1:30pm) Alyssa decided to get lippy! I asked her if her Barbie's were picked up. She decided that it was OK to tell me what she was going to do. She decided that it was OK to yell at me and make the rules! This went on all day! I decided to ignore the attitude, and just make sure she understood that she would get no privileges until her room was picked up and her reading was done. I told her that she had until 4:30pm to get it done, at which time we would be going to church for the pancake supper. About 4:15, room worse than what it was before, she came up to me and starting telling me to get ready because it was time to leave, and I needed to do this, this, and that before we could leave. I promptly fired her and told her that she needed to apologize for her behavior/attitude. We went to church for the Pancake supper and her behavior was OK. The minute we got home, she started in right away, ordering me around and telling me what to do!


What my dear Miss Alyssa forgot, is that we see Paulette tonight! Her behavior and attitude is very much on my mind and she is going to have to explain it to Paulette. I actually had to hold back a chuckle at the look on her face when I reminded her!

I am so glad that we have our parenting conference this weekend. My bag of tricks is getting pretty low and I need some new ideas!

And if that wasn't enough, I got an email this morning from Alyssa's teacher. She wanted to know why Alyssa was full of all the attitude. Apparently, she is not little Miss Sunshine today!


Oh yea, and my Packers lost......I have no words!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Packers vs. Vikings

Sunday at high noon, the Green Bay Packers will take on the Minnesota Vikings. This is a huge division rivalry and I can't wait to cheer the Pack on to victory!

Torina is not feeling so good, but I hope she feels better by Sunday so that I don't feel too guilty when I harass her when her ViQueens lose!

I hope Tammy is going to be here for the game??????? She is missing her baby and a Packer win will definitely lift her mood a little. Call me sweetie!

So, not only is it Friday - THANK GOD!!! But Sunday, we get to watch the Packers beat the ViQUEENS!!!


Baby Time

Jeff picked Alyssa up from school and she was so happy! She then proceeded to "be a baby" for the next 3 hours!

Jeff held her and cuddled her, even fed her a "bottle". By the time I got home from work, they were cuddled up together on the couch watching "A Goofy Movie". Alyssa was still in baby mode, and wanted me to feed her a "bottle". We did this until after we ate, then told Alyssa that she had to be 9 again so she could get her homework done.

The evening went pretty smooth, although Alyssa was very emotional. Kid gloves were needed to avoid a meltdown. She went to bed and was out the minute her head hit the pillow!

This morning, she woke up happy, silly, and relaxed! She has no residual behaviors and apologized for her behavior the last couple of days! Oh, and this apology was unprompted!!! She used the 5 Step Apology, and offered to do some extra chores to make up for giving Mom & Dad a hard time.

Jeff walked her to school this morning, and the two of them were laughing and singing as they headed off down the road!

Once again, all is right in my world!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I Miss Daddy!

Well, I know no more today than I did yesterday. Alyssa is still teetering on the edge of a meltdown and I don't know why. I don't think she knows why!

I think that there are a lot of really little issues that are affecting her. By themselves, no big deal. All happening at once, she's a little out of sorts.

For example. Jeff is on vacation this week. The change in our morning routine is freaking her out just a little bit. Jeff went to visit some friends yesterday and stayed over night. Alyssa doesn't believe that he is coming back. THAT breaks my heart! I told her Daddy will be home this afternoon, and while her head accepts that, I don't think her heart really believes it! They are doing state mandated testing at school this week. Etc. Etc. Etc.

See what I mean? Not one big issue, a lot of little stuff just adding up. I tried being very accommodating last night. Didn't push too hard to get homework and chores done. Jeff will be home tonight and that will be one less thing to deal with!

Jeff is going to surprise Alyssa by picking her up from school. She doesn't know that she doesn't have to go to day care! He may even take her out for ice cream!

We are going to tread lightly and see how it goes.

Oh and this morning, when I asked Alyssa if there was anything she wanted to talk about, she burst into tears and said, "I miss Daddy"!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

An Angry Girl

Alyssa was angry yesterday! She came up to Jeff, not once but twice, and stomped on his foot!

She then screamed at him that he lied. She refused to tell him what she was upset about, or what she thought he lied about.

All because Jeff told her to get her room cleaned up and her laundry downstairs.

Last night, she was moody, sassy and disrespectful. Would not talk to me either. So we still don't know what is going on. Last night, I told Alyssa that she could get away with not talking about her feelings - for the night. Today we will sit down and hash things out.

She woke up smiling and happy, so maybe we will be able to have a productive talk. She still needs to apologize to Jeff. But first, we will have a heart to heart!

Now the election. I am proud to be an American today! History has been made! 40 years ago, some people were not allowed to vote because of the color of their skin. Last night, "We the People" elected our first black President. My daughter's future is indeed bright. You can achieve your dreams. Even if your dream is to be president!

Now, this country has to set aside its differences and work together to solve some big problems. Let's hope that we are up for the challenges!

I changed the look of my blog and I'm not sure if I like it. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Jason came home last night from his 2nd tour of duty in Iraq. Jeanie has her husband back safe and sound and all who love them can take a collective sigh of relief.

Thanks, Jason. For your dedication to the Marine corp, for your service to your country, and most important, for keeping me and my family safe!

I am so glad you are home!!!