Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Pooped . . .

Man, I am pooped. My son is in the hospital again. It takes a toll on me emotionally. He is doing better . . . he's been there about a week. He was only home for 13 days before we returned him. ( We didn't need a receipt since it wasn't over 30 days . . . LOL) Medications are so fickle . . . they work for a while, the body adjusts to them and they go downhill fast. I am *SO* thankful to his psychiatrist. He is committed to "fixing" Dustin as much as possible. The hospital is awesome . . . they are VERY supportive and encouraging. I felt as though we had failed returning him so soon, I was actually embarassed to see some of the staff. They encouraged me that it was not my parenting skills that landed Dustin there, that he had some faulty brain chemistry. I know that, but sometimes it's nice to be reminded of that. My mom always says, "his brain is broken" and it's true!

Anyhoo . . .tonight I had a nice visit with Dustin. I brought McCartney who is 2. She was great. Dustin did not argue with me, ask me to leave so he could play, or get all antsy. Something is working! It wasn't perfect, but it was better. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome sure is tricky, tomorrow could be quite different. We pray for as many good days, or moments, that we can get.

On a bright note, McCartney is potty training. (Thank you one4jc) She is doing quiote well. She might actually be trained before Harrison. . . that's plain crazy!

I'm off to watch the "State of the Union" address . . . she says through gritted teeth. I'm not very political on here because my husband fulfills that role quite nicely, however, anyone who knows me knows I and *not* a fan of Dubya. My brother in-law asked my mom the other day, "how'd Sheri get so liberal?" My mom said, "Well, her dad was a union president" When mom told me that I had to laugh. I have a picture around somewhere of my dad with Evan Bayh. . . a man I would wholeheartedly endorse for president.

See ya . . .

Monday, January 30, 2006

More tagging fun...

My thanks to Laura. . .

Seven things to do before I die:
1. Get my adoptive son's medication regulated FINALLY
2. Watch my daughter walk down the isle
3. Hold my grandbabies
4. A vacation that inlcudes every Beatles destination my husband could ever want
5. Visit Amsterdam
6. Build a new home
7. See Barack Obama as the first black president

Seven things I cannot do:
1. Loose weight
2. Not be obsessive
3. Learn not to fret about things that I cannot change
4. Find my Navy Vera Bradley bag! - there's the obsessive part of me rearing it's ugly head
5. Speak spanish
6. Deal with stupid people
7. Deal with selfishness

Seven things that attract me to blogging:
1. Vent, vent, vent
2. Have something to do when bored ( at work . . . did I say that?)
3. Rant, rant, rant
4. It's cathartic
5. I am nosey, I like to visit others who visit me and peek in on their lives.
6. I can be funny - sometimes
7. Sometimes I just like to bitch

Seven things I say most often:
1. crap'ola!
2. Oh, my lord
3. You're joking right . . .
4. Keep your hands off your sister
5. Keep your hands off your brother
6. Because I said so . . . (Yes, I am my mother)
7. To our extremely loud blue and gold macaw . . . . Boomer, shut up!

Seven books that I love:
1. All Harry Potter books
2. Where the Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak
3. Love you Forever - Robert Munsch
4. The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein
5. Are you my Mother? - PD Eastman
6. God Gave us You - Lisa Bergren
7. Anything by Nora Roberts

Seven movies that I can watch over and over again: (added favorite quotes)
1. The Patriot -" I'm a parent. I haven't got the luxury of principles."

2. The Princess Bride - "You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles. "

3. Hope Floats - "Beginnings are scary. Endings are usually sad, but it's the middle that counts the most."

4. Can't Hardly Wait - " There's a mirror right there. Take a look, you're white. "

5. Say Anything - "If you start out depressed, everything's kind of a pleasant surprise."

6.National Lampoons Christmas Vacation - "WORSE? How could things get any worse? Take a look around here, Ellen. We're at the threshold of hell. "

7. Elf - "SON of a NUTcracker!" & my favorite "You stink. You smell like beef and cheese! You don't smell like Santa. "

Seven people I want to join the fun:
1. Dopey
2. Grumpy
3. Doc
4. Happy
5. Bashful
6. Sneezy
7. Sleepy

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Holy Kook-a-nut

I'm obsessive.

That is no great epiphany for anyone who knows me well. I cannot let anything go. I guess I'm like a terrier in that respect. I grab ahold of something or start worrying about something and there is nothing else I think about.

The first year of our marriage sucked. Plan and simple. I had lived alone a long time, even with a roomate I basically had the house to myself, then I spent 2 years alone. I enjoyed my routine. Then came Robert . . . I had to share everything. Things were not being put in the spots I wanted them, things were sprialing out of my control, and to top it all off birth-control makes me INSANE. That was one crappy year!

Then, I started learning about letting go of things. The counselor I started seeing pretty much said, "you've got issues lady" she sent me to my physican and she said "you've got issues lady, I think you're OCD"

The more I learned about Obsessive-Complusive Disorder I said, "Holy crap! I've got issues!" I am definitely not so much compulsive. I don't do the handwashing thing, or the checking the lock on the door 500 times and I don't worry about unseen germs, etc. I do however obsess. I cannot stop worrying, fretting, stressing . . .

Medication has helped. I don't let the little things bother me so much anymore. It used to be that I couldn't go to sleep with a sink full of dirty dishes, now I can. However, some things I cannot let go. The coffee table has to be cleaned off all the time, I have to vaccuum before I can enjoy television, I cannot relax if something around me is not straightened or cleaned up. My house is not immaculate, but certain things MUST be done. Things have to be in their proper place, or simply out of sight. I still FREAK OUT over big things. I lost something the other day. I haven't thought about much else since then. I check under things, in things, around things 2 sometimes 3 times if not more. I look places it know it simply can't be. I even go so far as to call places that I've been since I saw it last - even though I know it couldn't be there. It is as though "no stone can be left unturned"

After a while, I'll give up. Eventually, I will either find it or still stress about it being lost, but not look for it.

Anyone seen my navy Vera-Bradley bag . . .

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A Happy Surprise . . .

The other night while at Wal-Mart I heard this man's voice calling my husband's name. When I rounded the corner to see who it was, I saw a teenage boy. HOLY COW! It was a foster child that we had a couple years ago. (Side note, I will NEVER be a part of the "system" again, I've unfortunately seen it ruin too many kids lives - but that's a blog for another time) This child - let's call him Pete - was wonderful child who had many anger issues about living in a" system" that didn't seem to care about his needs or wants. He and his 3 sisters were bounced around from home to home while the "system" decided which placement was best. Eventually the kids were split up and we had Pete and the younger sister. At ths time they were 11 & 8. They hated the world most of the time, they hated us half the time. We were after all the "system" in their eyes and thus part of the problem. We loved, we nurtured, we helped. They were failing school miserably, both being in danger of being placed in Emotionally Handicapped classrooms - least restrictive envrionment my foot! Both could hardly read and kept getting passed to the next grade due to our fabulous (gag) president's "No Child Left Behind Program" .

The kids finally were yanked out of our home and placed with a new family. Thankfully about 1 month later they were placed in familial care with an aunt. They came to visit us about a year ago and were looking great.

Back to this weekend. . . "Pete" is going through puberty and has this manly voice. He looked SO good. After giving me a hug, he said, " We are going to get out of the court system next month." My heart sank . . . I did not want him to go back to his mother . . . however, he informed me that his aunt is getting permanent custody. YEAH! Then he said, "I have made the honor roll the past 2 semesters and I'm not angry anymore" I wanted to jump up and down for him! What a turn around. He said his sister is doing well also. He promised they'd visit us soon.

There are happy endings . . . .

Friday, January 13, 2006

Rest in Peace . . .

I was looking through tha paper yesterday. I had found out that my aunt's mother had died so I thought I would take a look at the obituaries. I was shocked to find a picture of an old friend there. I hadn't seen this friend or his wife whom I was fairly close to in about 10 years. However, discovering information such as this takes you back to earlier times. I can rememebr the places we used to hang out and remember their voices. It's funny how your brain works. My memories always include sounds and smells. I can be taken back to old times by a song, and I can actually remember sights, smells and sounds.

My friend Terry was a husband to Rosie, a father to Jasmine and Zoe, a musician and a member of the local pipe fitter union. Terri was an ambitious and out-going person full of life and zeal. He will be missed by many.

I called another old friend last night that I knew had contact with the family currently. She said that many people had surounded Rosie and the girls since the news of Terry's death. I was grateful to hear that they were being cared for during this difficult time. We made a plan to attend the viewing together with her husband who was a close friend of Terry's. I am prepared to stand in line for a long time in order to pay my respects. I know that Terry was greatly loved because he always showed others that he truly cared about them.

I struggle to mention that Terry took his own life. I can only hope that through this tragic event that others will come to share their own demons. That they will see the futility in that choice and learn to lean on those around them. I know there will be hundreds of people at his funeral that Terry had touched and consider themselves better for having terry in their life. If he could've only felt that he could trust ONE of them with his troubles maybe he would've still been here today. Maybe other's struggling in the same situation will learn from this tragic outcome. . . that is my prayer.

Rest in Peace Terry.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Blessings . . .

I have many blessings in my life to be thankful lately. That sounds a little strange due to the fact that our life has been turned upside down recently due to my adopted son's hospitalization. I thought I'd name them for you (and for me ) :

1. Our church started a disabled children's ministry in November. It is a blessing to know that there are people who are willing to help you in this "long strange trip" that those with disabled children face on a daily basis. This ministry offers a "Parent's Night out" monthly and game nights for the kids. A huge support for parents who usually have no where else to turn. This ministry came at just the right time. I don't think I could've made it through without their help over the last 2 weeks.

2. This disabled ministry brought into our life a wonderful girl named Cami. She is a spitfire. She is kind to the families, loving to the children and willing to ministry to us in anyway we could need. She is a truly compassionate girl. She simply pours out the love of Jesus. I am thankful to have her in my corner anyday!

3. I attended a support group last night for the first time with families with children with special needs. What an eye opener. I was blessed to know that my life is not the only one dealing with the same issues. I was humbled to think that there are others with much more dificulties than my own. I was relaxed when I went home simply being able to share issues that others in the room are going through or have made it through in the past.

4. My son's doctor finally understands what we are going through! Major blessing! This hospitalization was actually fruitful. Medications are regulated, behavior is on the right track, and my beautiful boy is happy. GOD IS GOOD.

5. I have a strong husband. He is the best daddy I could ever want for my kids. I am thankful each and every day that he is in my life. I am blessed that we have to opportunity to be in Dustin's life forever. I am blessed by him being my son!

6. I am blessed to have 2 "homemade" children that will grow up with more compassion since they have been exposed to disablilities. I am thankful that they are kind and loving and adore their big brother.

7. I am blessed to have a mother and step-father who support us in any decision we make. They are strong people who carry us when we can no longer carry-on through prayer and encouragement.

8. I am blessed to have a God who loves and cares for me. When I feel like a failure of a mother He encourages me. When I can't go on, He strengthens me. When I make mistakes, He forgives me. When I need Him, He is there. GOD IS GOOD.

9. I am blessed to have job that values family. they have worked with my schedule thorughout this time so that I could attended therapy and visit with my son. I am blessed to have kind and encouraging co-workers. I am blessed to have my children with me at work.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Meme Attack

Thanks one4jc at my thoughts on life: (just you wait . . . )

five things challenge

Five snacks I enjoy:
1. Doritos & french onion dip
2. slim jims
3. fresh chocolate chip cookies & milk
4. cheese
5. celery and "slut" cheese (easy cheese)

Five songs to which I know all the lyrics:
1.More than This - Norah Jones
2. Super Duper Love - Joss Stone
3. Maybe I'm Amazed - McCartney
4. Should I Stay or Should I Go - Clash
5. Rocky Raccoon - Beatles

Five things I would do if I were a millionaire:
1. Pay off my house
2. Build the house of our dreams
4. Trust funds for the kids
5. Bless a few loved ones with gifts

Five bad habits:
1. forgetting to take medication
2. procrastinating
3. biting nails
4. nagging
5. yelling

Five things I like doing:
1. looking at my kids while the sleep
2. cleaning the house
3. working in the yard
4. watching home improvement shows
5. Goodwill shopping

Five things I would never wear, buy or get new again:
1. spandex
2. a New England Patriots jersey
3. leg warmers
4. bikini (ugh!)
5. punk rock hair

Five favorite toys:
1. My dogs
2. My children (I love dressing up my daughter, so she is my doll baby)
3. My husband (hubba hubba)
4. An antibacterial spray cleaner and a rag (I told you I was OCD) :)
5. Puzzles

What were you doing 10 years ago?
In a crappy relationship, living by myself, walking through a horrible illness with my father. I had just discovered AOL and was paying a ton of money for going over my allotted minutes. I had no idea that in a few short months I would be married to a wonderful man.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
Changing diapers, cleaning up after chidlren, harping on the husband about spending too much time on the computer. (Has much changed?? ) Loving on my poor dog Xander who is no longer with us.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Wow . . . I knew there were others . . .

I of course knew that others were going through similiar lives such as mine with children with a disability that makes them seem "NORMAL", but it is nice to read about their thoughts to remind you that you are not alone. This mom of 6 also deals with children of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome that were a product of anopther mother's selfishness.

Check her out at Thoughts Preserved. I have added her link to the left.

Update . . .

We met with the doctor yesterday morning for a treatment plan for my son. Here's the scenario. My son's doctor is this little, bald pakistany man. He is quite brilliant and has a fantastic reputation in our city in psychiatry. My husband and I are in the little room with clinicians, nurses, the teacher from the hospital, the family therapist etc The doctor told us that he thinks he has a new label for Dustin. In addition to his Festal Alcohol Syndrome, he believes that Dustin has Pervasice Developmental Disorder that is an autism spectrum disorder. Then he says in his pakinstany accent, "Dustin also has very strange brain chemistry that has no name." We all laughed. I said that I didn't much care if there was a label but simply would like the issues dealt with. He agreed. We told the team that we had very realistic expectations for Dustin and knew that he would never be a high functioning "NORMAL" child, for lack of a better word. He said "It is ok to be realistic, but I would like you to be ambitious." That totally hit the nail on the head for us! That is how we approach Dustin on a daily basis. They told us he would never read, do math, count change, or have many self-help skills. All of which he is accomplishing now. We never held Dustin to expectations, but we have always been realistic with what can be accomplioshed as far as behavior.

The doctor continued talking and I asked about length of stay. He promised me that he would lik to see three good days in the hospital before sending him home. He encouraged us that he believed we could get Dustin to a higher level of functioning now that we have seen his true issues completely off of medication. Then he said, "I think you deserve at least that, and so does Dustin. Your family has been turned upside down by this for too long."

I wanted to jump up and kiss his little bald head, but I though they may hospitalize me!

What a relief that finally someone has seen first hand what we go througgh on a daily basis and the "demons" that Dustin struggles with. Praise God for his wisdom. I finally feel at peace that we have made the right decision hospitalizing Dustin and getting him the proper help.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

What parents can do to their children . . . .

I have an adopted son. He was born to a mother who drank while pregnant. I don't mean she had a cocktail or two before she found out, I mean she "drank like a fish". My son will live forever with the affects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. It is not a fun thing.

He is permanently damaged.

"His brain is broken" as my 3 year old says.

Right now he is undergoing inpatient treatment due to his impulsivity. This stinks. It stinks for the fact that I feel like a lousey parent that I cannot deal with my own child. It stinks for the fact that he cannot come home right now for fear he will hurt himslef or one of us due to his impulsivity. It stinks for the fact that he has to go through this becuase his mother was selfish, and chose to drink when she knew it was harmful.

Not only is my son Fetal Alcohol, but he is also a child of abuse. Many abusers walked through his life and through his mother's door before he was taken from her home by DFC. I don't know how a parent could allow their child to be abused and not protect them with every means possible. I don't live in such a situation so I can't understand it. However, I don't think I'd ever put myself in that situation to begin with.

What it ends up to be is a child who is completely messed up BY his mother. We're not just talking about blaming your inabliity to commit to a marriage in later life being the affect of the way your mother stopped breast feeding you at too early of an age . . . We're talking about a mother purposefully doing something and allowing things to be done to her child that PERMANENTLY and TOTALLY will not allow this child to have a normal functioning life. I don't understand it.

Don't say that I am a "saint for taking this child into my family". Don't say he's "lucky to have you". Don't say, "you're a great parent for dealing with someone elses mistake". I don't feel like any of those things. I make mistakes sometimes, I get angry sometimes, I punish him for things he cannot control sometimes, I am HUMAN. Just think about it next time you see a child behaving poorly in a store or next to you at the restaurant. Think about the fact that they could be "damaged" by a mother's negligence. The person with them could be me. They could be caring for someone elses mistake. Don't assume the parents aren't good parents. My son presents as a normal child, he simply presents as a big brat. I want to put a sign on him sometimes that says "The family I'm with DID NOT make me this way". Yes, I'm embarassed, but we will continue to go into public that's the only way he can learn to cope in that situation.

Think about it . . . think about us.