Thursday, February 27, 2014

Happy Birthday Tristan

Tristan is 10! I think I can safely say we have entered the tween years. Grown up one moment and little boy the next. Tristan's birthday celebration was scattered over several days. We had his birthday cake on Monday evening since Braden was home. Tristan asked for his favorite; Caramel Cake. I told him I won't be able to decorate it very well as it has Whipped Cream frosting. He said candles will be good enough. Dean took Tristan out for supper and then they went to Cabela's to pick out a birthday gift. Tristan picked out a scope for his BB gun. This morning he said his legs are sore from walking all over the store last night.

Tristan and his double burger from Five Guys.  

Kiana and Joseph gave chocolate roses to their teacher for Valentine's Day. They came home from school with bags of candy and treats. I told them I will keep their bags safe for them. Joseph thought his candy would be safest in his room and Kiana was in full agreement with that idea. I persuaded them to let me put it on top of the fridge where little hands can't reach it and where I can monitor how much candy they eat.

It was Kiana's turn to dry the dishes the other evening. She wasn't very happy about it and proceeded to let us know how she felt. Dean talked to her about her actions and told her that when she grows up she might have to do dishes every day as she won't have brothers to help her.  She said she is going to be a cowgirl so she doesn't have to do any dishes, she will just get her cowboy to do them for her! Afraid she might be in for a rude awakening.

Yesterday it was 1 year since I began blogging. My main reason for writing was to inform others about early childhood trauma and to share my faith. Little did I know what the year had in store for us! A year ago Braden couldn't form a relationship, due to the neglect he experienced as a baby. This year he is healthier than we dared hope would ever be possible. God has moved mountains, parted the waters and is still working on our behalf. We have connected with people across the world, who pray for us and share stories and advice. So while this year was rough in so many ways, was God good? YES!!!! We have received many cards, emails and letters saying, "We are praying for you and shared your needs with our prayer group." What blessing to be a part of the family of God.

Friday, February 21, 2014

What I Want You To Know

What I want you to know

by Melissa on February 18, 2014
Photo courtesy of stoonn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
You need to know that kids from hard places frequently find themselves in fight, flight, or freeze mode. You need to know some always go to fight.
You need to know that these children create hell on earth for some families. You need to know that these children, when triggered, hit, kick, bite, throw things, lie, steal, defecate, vomit, destroy property, and more (sometimes on a daily or hourly basis). You need to know that in their dysregulation, these children say the most venomous things to the people who are the kindest to them.
You need to know that the trauma that causes such violent and malevolent behaviors also, often, allows them to put on a good show in public.
You need to know that just because these behaviors may only happen within family limits, that does not mean the family needs a new strategy or is doing anything wrong.
You need to know that comments such as “I can never imagine sweet S0-and-So doing such things,” “I’d take him home in a heartbeat,” or “She must be going through so much right now” may be true but make families feel isolated, hopeless, crazy, insecure, and often drive them into a deeper depression. In the same vein, you need to know that phrases like “Teens are just like that,” or “All kids go through this stage” do not apply to these families. These kids have all the typical developmental drama on steroids plus trauma drama and then some.You need to know that parents of fighters need validation not minimization.
You need to know that while families are desperate for respite, it’s not that simple. Respite comes at a high cost of even more intense behavior. So goes the bizarre nature of attachment disorder. You need to know that these families are not masochists…if it was as easy as just getting some extra help, they would have done it months or, even, years ago.
You need to know about emotional whiplash. This happens when a child is happy one minute, beating you bloody another, and asking for a hug the next. You need to know that the switch from the logic brain to the survival brain is so complete and so quick that sometimes children don’t even remember the evil minute. You need to know that the caregiver who witnesses this is left emotionally drained and had to figure out how to be emotionally available and cuddly to a child who seconds before was a danger to be around. You need to know that your sympathy or even kindness to these children is like rubbing salt in an open wound unless you balance it with double amounts empathy and kindness directed specifically at the parent.
You need to know that families largely knew what they were signing up for and they know why their kids behave they way they do. You need to know that they arefully committed to healing them, but healing takes a LOOOOOONG time of weathering the horrendous and unfathomable while still remaining compassionate. Sticking it out is the point so please don’t try to suggest quick fixes or even that we should throw in the towel.
You need to know that even though families are committed for the long haul, they need safe places to vent. Venting does not mean families are any less committed or that they think poorly of their child. They’re only human, and they’re exhausted. They’re battered…literally. You need to know that families feel trapped because to tell the truth about what these kids do would make it seem like their badmouthing their kid…plus they can be so sweet when regulated. You need to know that families are trying to figure out how to protect their child’s story and privacy while still not lie when someone asks how it’s really going.
You need to know that the world has not been a safe place for venting. You need to know a safe place just offers a hug, a shoulder to cry on, and someone to assure us that we’re not crazy. An extra meal here or there can’t hurt either.
Speaking of food. You need to know that any dietary or other restrictions families communicate are not because they are anal retentive control freaks…it’sdesperation for survival.
You need to know that it’s devastating when you insinuate to hurt kids that their parents are too strict or even show a slight deviation in opinion. You need to know that families need EVERYONE in their child’s world to back them up…whether you agree or not. If you have a genuine concern, you need to know to address it completely out of earshot of any children. You need to know it’s imperative to the child that it seems all adults are on the parents’ side. You need to know that the best thing you can say to a hurt child is, “We should ask your parents,” or “You should do whatever your parents say.”
You need to know that these children are approximately half (sometimes less) their biological age emotionally so the structure implemented in their lives is not nearly as inappropriate as you may think.
You need to know that if you’re one of the professionals or volunteers that has to care for a child from hard place, you need to stick it out too. You need to know that families need allies and people who will go along with their plan as counterintuitive as it may seem to you. You need to know that clucking your tongue and shaking your head at how a child could end up this way is also not helpful. You need to know that the people that hurt these children are also people from hard places, and they need resources for healing just like the kids…not judgment.
Thanks for taking the time to know.
This post was reprinted with permission from Parenting with Connection: The Blog

Someone shared this article with a group of adoptive mom's and I just had to ask for permission to share it on my blog. We haven't personally experienced all of the issues mentioned here but we have experienced a lot of them! Parents of children with attachment disorder NEED your support, not your condemnation! We have been blessed with several people who have supported us even though they do not understand. If you aren't sure how to proceed in a situation, ask. We would be only to happy to try to explain our reasons for some of the boundaries we have set in place. Thanks to those of you who have tried to understand, it means more than we can ever say and when our children see others backing up mom and dad it brings a sense of security and healing to their lives.

Guess who is coming home for another visit?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's Day

It is snowing, again. Dean and I have been like two ships passing in the night this past week. He gets up early to be at work anywhere from 3:00-5:00 am, in order to have the parking lots plowed before employee's and customers begin to arrive. He comes home tired and plows the fresh snow from our drive, eats supper and crawls into bed to begin the process all over again in the morning. I grabbed sleep when I could between caring for sick children. Last night we finally had a chance to talk about a few pressing issues such as a certain young man's attitude. Being sick for three days and then having two snow days meant Tristan missed a whole week of school. It is time to resume a normal schedule around here.
   Kiana was playing with her Fisher Price Little People this morning. I asked what they were playing and Kiana said she is driving a big ship that rescues robber who fall into the sea. Joseph was building a jeep/airplane thing with his Lego's. He told me he put an air conditioner inside the jeep. I said, "Doesn't your man get cold?" Joseph said he just turns his air conditioner way back and then it blows hot air. They have quite the imagination.
   I made a Valentines Supper last night. We had Spaghetti, Salad, Peanut Butter Pie and some cookies a friend dropped off. The children begged to eat by candle light. I didn't have very many candle's but since it wasn't totally dark outside we were able to see enough to eat.
We pretended the Styrofoam plates were china and the cups were glass rather than plain old plastic.

My friend Melissa, stopped in and gave this plate of yummy valentine cookies. We had a good talk while our children played together. Their visit made a cold snow day pass by more quickly.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Prayer & Praise

This is what I have been meditating on today: We are called to praise and glorify God. It doesn't matter what trials come our way, our job is to find ways to praise God in the midst of it and trust me, there are many things to praise him for! This morning I had the chance to put my pondering's into shoe leather. Tristan has been running a fever, complaining his head, chest and throat hurt since Monday. Yesterday his fever was down and I thought we were over the worst of it. This morning his eyes were glassy and he mumbled that his head hurt so badly. Dean was still home in bed because he is also sick, so I decided to take Tristan to Urgent Care right away rather than wait for a dr app. and then need a babysitter. I should have checked the hours before I left but since I didn't we got there an hour before they open. Next I tried Quick Care, same hours. So we turned around and headed back home to wait an hour before going back. I was feeling a little disgruntled with myself when I remembered, Praise God in all things! So I began to praise him for my health, for a place to take my sick children, that we weren't in the midst of a snow storm and you know? I was soon feeling much better. We did go to Quick Care and Tristan has Acute Sinusitis. I am hoping with Amoxicillin he will be able to go to school on Friday, as he hasn't been there all week thus far.

Kiana and Joseph are going to be having a Valentine Party at school tomorrow, if we aren't snowed in. They each decorated a brown paper bag to put treats in. Each child may bring candy or cards to put in their classmates bag. Signing their names on the candy packages kept Kiana and Joseph busy for quite some time.

Braden spent a lot of time working with these beads. Miss Sharon's birthday was awhile ago and Braden wanted to give her a gift. He thought some leftover candy canes would be a good idea. He wasn't very happy when I told him we didn't have any left but when I mentioned that he could make Miss Sharon a heart he cheered up.

The birds are crowding around the feeder and suet block today. Probably packing on the fat so they can ride out the storm that is coming.  Last night Dean pushed the snow piles back so he has a place to push the fresh snow. Tristan's teacher just stopped by with a bag of cookies from a school friend's mom. God knows just when to send bit of sunshine our way, another thing to praise him for!

Please continue to pray for us. When people pray, God moves! We can feel it each and every time and pray that you would b blessed for remembering us.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Still Sick

We are making up for the good health we enjoyed thus far. Last week it was the stomach bug this week fever and colds. Tristan is home sick, again. I was up with one child or another a minimum of 10 times last night and coffee isn't cutting the brain fog.
   Braden is home for a few days. He is now on his ADD meds and we can tell a big difference. He doesn't go from one thing to the next without focusing on anything like he used to. I am taking him back to TAP tomorrow so if you think about us, pray for safe traveling.

We were certain we would be out of electric till Wednesday morning as the wind was roaring through the ice covered trees. Thankfully we never lost power! The sun was shining through the trees on Wednesday morning, making everything glisten and sparkle. Made me think of Heaven.

Dean cut a tree down Saturday afternoon. The children made a huge pile of twigs and small branches. They grumbled a bit at the thought of hauling all those branches but admitted that they felt a sense of accomplishment when they were finished. Dean plans to cut and split the wood to use in our stove next year. With the cold weather we have gone through more wood than normal.

Dean and Kiana reading. I love Sunday afternoons. There isn't anything that needs to be done so I needn't feel guilty about being lazy. Most of us took naps then Dean took the children on a golf cart ride while I curled up with a book and a mug of coffee. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Our plans change since my last post, Braden didn't come home for the weekend because the stomach bug came to visit us. I knew we were bound to get it sooner or later but one is just never ready for it. Kiana was sick Thursday during the night. I called Miss Sharon Friday morning to get her opinion on the matter. I was afraid we would pass germs on to Braden who would then pass those germs on to everyone at TAP. We decided to push the visit off a week, so if everyone is healthy, the weather is ok and the Lord wills, I will pick him up on Friday. Miss Sharon said he had tears when she told him his home visit needed to be rescheduled but he smiled when he figured out that he would now be able to attend their Superbowl party. Braden and I had a quick chat Friday morning and I explained that it isn't that we don't want him home, we just don't want to make him sick. He understood but was disappointed. Last night we Skyped with Braden. He was happy to hear about the snow we got. They have a little bit at TAP although it isn't nearly as much as we have.
  Someone told me if you drink 3 glasses of grape juice after you are exposed to the stomach bug, you won't get sick. Kiana was sick Thursday night and we drank juice 3x a day until Sunday evening. I decided if no one else is sick by then we will cut back. Guess what? Joseph and Tristan are sick today! I made more juice. Probably doesn't help a bit but at least I feel like I am doing something to prevent it. Joseph thought he could go to school anyway as he doesn't feel to bad. I told him his teacher would not be happy if I sent him when he is sick. An hour later he was glad I hadn't sent him.


Despite the snow, I grilled ribs for supper. I baked them for 2 1/2 hours then brushed them with sauce and grilled them. 

Dean spent the day plowing snow around work. He came home and worked on our drive till supper time. After we talked to Braden he went out to finish up. From what I see on the weather forcast, he will be doing more of the same tomorrow. 

I am working at marking stuff for a yard sale I am helping with @ Pleasant Valley School on March first. I cannot understand how I can accumulate so much stuff in a years time. I want to sell some of the toys the children no longer play with. I need to price them and bury them in the bottom of my totes or else I find them back in the toy box. What do your children play with? Ours like the Fisher Price Little People and their Lego sets. Kiana also has a My Loving Family dollhouse that she spends quite a bit of time playing with. I have found quite a few pieces of furniture at the local Goodwill.