Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Trip to the Pedatric Neurologist

The psychiatrist said Hope needed to see a pediatric neurologist, given the diagnoses she came with. The only one I knew was the doctor who told me GB was FASD 6 years ago. It was a little embarrassing to go back to him after all these years. When I took GB to see him, I knew she was developmentally delayed - she was enrolled in Early Intervention when she was 7 months old. I hadn't even thought about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. He spent a great deal of time pointing out facial features and discussing what effects were associated with it. It was a while before I realized he was saying that GB's developmental problems where from alcohol use by her BM and they were permanent.  I was furious. Who was he to say that about my baby! Quack! Even then, I knew he wasn't a quack- he had just caught me off guard and I wasn't ready to hear that the problems were permanent.

Fast forward six years. Now I have Hope, with all these problems, and even more labels. This neurologist was the best within a hundred  miles. I called him Monday and he gave me an appointment for today. I filled out paper work and gave a quick social history, while her Dad took her for a walk. The first thing the doctor and nurse asked about was how GB was doing. I admitted he was right. He asked about school and I told him about neurologically impaired class she is currently in. Hope came back and the doctor did a complete exam. He said emphatically that Hope was not PDD-NOS. He also said there were no signs of FASD- ARND. His bottom line was there is nothing organically wrong with the child, besides language delays. Her problems are most likely environmentally induced. I told him the shrink wanted a sleep deprived EEG just to be sure what looked dissociation was not, in fact, a seizure. He said he expected it to be clean and that he would not need to see Hope again. He suggested that he was closer than Staten Island, if we wanted him to take over GB's care. I said I would think about it. He also said he was 53 and had an 18 month old girl, so I am not the oldest parent I know.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

We Were Doing Well...

Yesterday was such a crummy day, I lost sight of how well we had been doing. This morning made me painfully aware of it.

GB woke up with a bit of a hang over from yesterday. She settled down a bit after a good breakfast. Hope also ate well. I went to do GB's hair (which required my attention, since when GB is off balance, touching her hair is a trigger), and told Hope to put her sneakers on. The next thing I know, Hope is grasping my leg and trying to bite my calf. I picked her up and put her in the time out chair. She immediately fell to the floor and tried to bite my leg again. I picked her up and that was it- she was gone. I carried her over to the brown chair as she screamed, hit and tried to bite me. I got her over my lap in the airplane position and rode it out. GB ended up combing her own hair and she was proud of it.  When it was time for the bus, I buckled Hope into her car seat, grabbed the book bags and GB and drove the block to the bus stop, with Hope trying to kick out the car window and screaming she was going to kill me.. I gave her to the aide on the bus and reminded her that if she tantrumed in school, she would get sent home.

When I got home, I realized it was the first before school rage since September 14th and it was the first time she tried to bite  me in at least a week and I succeeded in not getting bitten! I am bruised up, but have to admit this is progress.

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Horrible Awful No Good Day

This is my litany  of woe. If you aren't into woe at the moment, feel free not to read this post.

GB's pediatric dentist appointment was this morning. Since she was being sedated, she couldn't eat this morning. GB, without the timely infusion of food, is never pleasant. She also decided that while the new dentist was better then the old one, there was no reason to see any dentist. It takes us an hour to get to Albany and GB whined and complained and told me all the things she wasn't going to do today.

When we arrived at the office, they immediately  gave her the first sedative. She spent 45 minutes trying to play Super Mario 2. She can make the character run, she can make the character jump, but she can't make it do both at the same time. She was getting very wound up. She doesn't like to lose.  As the sedation started to affect her, she got wobbly and had an uncontrollable fit of giggles. When they took her downstairs, she wasn't screaming or fighting. When she came back after the fillings and sealants, she was having a hard time walking and was belligerent and nasty. The short story was the first 2 sedatives they gave her were not enough, so they added nitrous oxide. Suffice it to say, she didn't get any better.

When we got home, the house smelled of cat piss pee. D had started to change the litter box (good thing) and forgot to put out fresh litter. I did stinky laundry and tried to keep GB in one piece. Hope got off the bus at 3:45. She apparently did not like GB missing school, as she dumped her juice on GB's snack. After a long, drawn out clean up process, I tried to play a game with the girls. GB just couldn't do it. She suggest they play dress up and watch High School Musical. It sounded safe. I put the DVD on, while they got the dress up stuff out.

You know the glitter that is used to put names on Christmas Stockings? Red, green, silver, gold and really, really tiny? In the time it took for the opening sequence to finish, the two of them managed to take four large containers of said glitter (one of each color) and cover the family room- the rug, the couch, the chairs, and their hair with a glorious, merry sparkle. I have no words to describe the mess.

Besides cleaning up cat pee and trying to vacuum up glitter, the other highlight was trying to get glitter out of GB's curls and Hope's dreds.  The day is over.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

How Do You Get on the Same Page?

My husband and I are not on the same page. That, in itself, is not unusual. We are very different people. We have been living with varying degrees of RAD for over thirty years. Sometimes it was easy, because one of us (usually, but not always, him) were away and not really involved for long periods of time. Other times, when we are both fully a part of the process, it is more difficult to be coming from the same place. Right now, we are not in the same place with Hope. Theoretically, we do agree. Relationships are all important. Deal with the behavior that we have to. It has been building all week- where to draw the line. Hope has developed a routine where she chooses food to eat and once she has it changes her mind. Years ago we danced this dance and the response was " Eat what you want. Just make sure you eat enough. The next meal is _____." It has been a standard over the years and it has been a long time since I even thought about it. Hope added a new wrinkle. She agrees to eat it, then rips it up, spreads it around the plate and a little bit at a time, drops it on the floor. She takes the empty plate to Daddy (always Daddy) and says to Daddy, "I am all finished", while she watches me for a reaction. Every instinct in my body is screaming to tell her when the next meal is and let her watch me pick up the floor. Daddy handles it differently. He smiles and says "Good job, Hope". In his opinion, it is not worth fighting over. To add to my murkiness, GB is watching and taking this all in.

I know I am not in a place to be objective at the moment, so I am tabling it. We took the girls to see the Cat in the Hat at B&N. Both of  them enjoyed it. Afterward, the two girls and friends that met us there went off to look at book and toys and listen to music. We set out boundaries and made sure they understood them. GB and her friends were happy within the boundaries. Hope got bored quickly and started to wander. I called her back. She said "No!". I picked her up and she started screaming. I took her to her Dad who took her out to the car. I gave GB the 5 minute warning and when I said time to go, GB said good bye to her friends and we left.

The Dad decided to take his mother out to dinner to night. GB usually goes with him and sometimes MK, too. Hope wanted to go and the Dad did not want to take both of them and told GB she could go next time. GB started having a tantrum. She was really upset that Hope was taking her place. The Dad and Hope left. MK decided she wanted to bring the baby to visit, called the Dad and he came back to switch to the van and pick them up. At that point, GB lost it completely. Everybody left but us. I rode out her rage. After almost 45 minutes I could finally pick out words between the screaming and tears. She said over and over again "my dreams. He took all my dreams". Melodramatic? Yes. Over the top? Absolutely. My response? I had none. We cuddled and rocked and she fell asleep. When she woke up, she was fine and we are eating pizza while watching her Tinkerbelle DVD. While refilling her drink, I casually asked her what dreams did she lose. She looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Mommy,  I am not even sleeping. How can I dream?"

I am exhausted and I predict GB and I will be asleep long before the rest of the crew gets home. Right now, I am wondering if the Dad and I are even reading the same book.

Friday, September 24, 2010

GB and the Dentist

GB has been going to the dentist regularly. She has had teeth pulled without a problem. About nine months ago, she has her first cavity. The dentist gave nitrous oxide. If I go to the dentist, that would be a good thing. The more the better.  I am not Bipolar. GB is. The dentist said GB’s Dad never told him. I wasn’t there. GB bounced off walls all afternoon and most of the night. Bipolar people shouldn’t use  nitrous oxide. Since that day, she had gone back to that dentist 3 times, and three times she refused to open her mouth. Forget about cleaning her teeth or applying sealant, GB wouldn’t even let them count her teeth. I left the last time with a referral to a pediatric dentist.

The pediatric dentist is expensive and  over an hour away. I bribed GB with lunch and alone time with me, and she somewhat unwillingly got in the car. By the time we got to the dentist, she had convinced herself that the dentist was a three-headed monster who ate kids whenever he wanted. I carried/ dragged her in (She is getting big). Once we were in the office, she stopped struggling.

The top floor of this house has a huge waiting room. Around the waiting room, an old fashioned toy train chugged around the ceiling. There was a HUGE HD TV, with all sorts of floor pillows, to watch. GB instantly spied a wall of junk machines and wanted quarters. The machines didn’t take quarters, and one of the three receptionists told her the dentist would give her tokens when she saw him. A corner of the room had two old arcade games from the early eighties; Galaga and Super Mario Brothers 2. Those two games had GB’s attention until  she had to go downstairs.

In this practice, all work was done on a lower floor, where parents never go. 45 minutes later the dentist called me over, showed me the 4 x-rays they had taken, one of which was panoramic, and pointed out two cavities he wanted to fill, on teeth that should have already been sealed. I told the dentist that GB wouldn’t open her mouth when they tried to seal them. He said that he already recognized she would need to be sedated.

Fifteen minutes later, GB came up with a smile on her face clutching her “report card”, a bunch of silly bands and two tokens. She told me this is the only dentist she ever wants to go to. She took ten minutes to pick which machines she was going to put her tokens into and left with a smile.

We go back Monday morning and they will do the two fillings and seal 4 teeth in one visit. I made sure I reiterated that she was Bipolar, so we should escape her bouncing of walls. At first appearances, it looks like we may have found a keeper.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hope, Attachment, and I had a GOOD Day

Tuesday was a good day for Hope and I. Hope did not get physically aggressive at all today.  That by itself is a milestone to celebrate. But it gets better. She called me "Mom" and "Mommy" all day, and not once was I "mean and ugly". She asked for a hug from me! And the Cherry-on-Top? She was cuddling her Dad right before bedtime and she asked for cuddle time with me- and he was right there. Four gigantic firsts in the same day. She did wet her pants, but nobody's perfect. I wish I had known it was going to be such a good day- I would have taken some pictures.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Visit to the Shrink

Yesterday was our visit to the psychiatrist in Manhattan. GB likes these days because we spend them together, she misses school, and we have Mickey D's after our appointment. Hope got very excited, because GB did. We spent an hour and a half with the shrink. He was impressed with how resilient Hope is. Since we have had her less than a month, he recommended we not  change medication (she is on risperidone) and not do any evals until January.

We spent a lot of time talking about GB's instability. He increased both the lithium and the Namenda and said that would help, but she will still experience psychotic breaks. Since she had to be taken off the risperidone because of serious side effects, he won't but her on any atypical anti-pyschotics for at least a couple of years. We need to avoid stressful (for GB) situations until we get her stable again. So for right now, soccer, dance and gymnastics are gone. She seemed to understand that they were too hard for her right now and gymnastics is the only one she expressed disappointment with missing.

Hope held up well through the appointment, but lost it on the way home. She finally tantrumed herself to sleep and the last hour of the car ride was peaceful. The nap reset her and the girls did well the rest of the day.  We kept things quiet and they played in their kitchen. watched a little of a Care Bear movie while snuggling, ate dinner, took a bath, and read a book. They were both asleep before 8 pm.

We are still waiting for a call back from the therapist.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I only turned 53 yesterday, despite what I wrote. Yesterday was a very  long day.

Turning 56 and my RADishes

Anonymous said...
That means she has RAD? Jeepers, all of my kids did stuff like that when they were little. All three of my own personal kids that I grew in my own personal body from tools that my husband and I had lying around the house and whom we loved and cared for from the moment the were born. I better call them up and tell them they have RAD. Two are in very good colleges and one is at the stable, riding her horse. They're going to be so surprised. This comment appeared in response to this post . Obviously the reader was reading the post in isolation. Yesterday, I turned 56. My husband made the mistake of trying to celebrate it.  Rad was with us. Hope had three "accidents", including one wear she stood in the living and said "I pee" and proceeded to do so. During the day, she looked me in the eye and said "I don't like you", which was followed with an elbow to my face. She caught me off guard and it hurt. I was on guard the rest of the day. She tried headbutting, the running tackle, pushing me from behind, and the good old  fashion kick. Every time GB tried to give me a birthday hug, Hope was pushing her off me.  We had more meltdowns yesterday than in the previous 10 days. GB was hyper and teary. It took her until 10:30 PM to fall asleep. I am glad we see the shrink tomorrow- GB is not stable and hasn't been most of the summer. I remember when my first family was growing up and every special occasion was cause for a melt down. I hadn't appreciated how much better everything had gotten until Hope brought us back to where we started.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Posts

New post on other blog,

New Post on other blog.

I wrote a blog on Hope's previous adoptive family, but decided that, for Hope's sake, I did not want to publish it publicly. It is on the other blog.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Progress- After 3 Weeks

Progress and Hope

  • Toileting: When we got her, she was in pull-ups and not using the toilet. She has been accident free for two weeks. The last three days, I have let her monitor when she has to go, instead of taking her every hour. She still managed to be accident-free.
  • Aggression: She has not bitten anyone in 5 days. She does say " I am going to bite you" when angry. Replying "We don't bite in this family" seems to keep the biting at bay.
  • Physical aggression is way down- unless she is raging, it is once a day, or even one day none at all.
  • Sleep: She is off all the medication that was used to knock her out. She still takes .5 mg of Risperidone at bedtime. It takes her longer to fall asleep, but at least she is awake long enough to establish a bedtime routine. Hope sleeps through the night, but is still sleeping in our room. The new bed arrives in 2 weeks. I probably won't try to move her until all the bedrooms are ready to go.
  • Trauma: She is showing no interest in talking about her old family. Every couple of days I bring out the pictures the family sent with her and her picture book about her adoption and try to engage her in some conversation. She hasn't told me her Texas mother is dead since last Saturday.
  • Attachment: She calls us Mommy and Daddy without any problems. She wants all the cuddles from Daddy. The only time she wants a cuddle from me is when GB wants one. I am still enforcing cuddles on my schedule, but haven't pushed it beyond 2 minutes. She echo's everything GB says, so I do get a number of "I love you"s everyday. Honeymoon?
  • Development: She is capable of being completely independent in her self-help skills. If Daddy is home, she wants hin to do everything for her. I regularly offer her help, but I am usually turned down. Cognitively, she is at 24-26 months. She sporadically can name some colors, she can count by rote to 7 and can say some letters. She doesn't recognize any numbers or letters that she sees. She can't give me one of something (although we are working on it) and she doesn't recognize her name (Ms. Teacher is working on it.)

Progress and GB
  • Sleep: GB is back in her own room and is happy to have Ellie sleeping with her. She fell asleep faster than Hope last night.
  • Aggression: GB is a passive/aggressive type, but as Hope's aggression becomes less physical, you can see that part of GB lessening.
  • Trauma: GB is initiating lots of conversations about her birth mother, and why she didn't stop drinking/eat right/ breastfeed/ take care of her. I think part of this comes from having a new born in the house and part of it is that she hasn't been finalized yet (STILL waiting for a court date). Could be wrong, though.
  • Attachment: Adopting Hope has made GB insecure. It has gotten better, with conscious effort on our part, but she is still keenly aware of what Hope is doing/getting.
  • Developmentally: Emotionally, GB is usually more like a 5 year old. She has regressed since Hope's arrival, but is slowly stabilizing. Her self help skills are back to where they were ( I have to wipe her after toileting, still not dry at night ) but her need to be in control is on overdrive. Academically, Mr. Teacher believes in communication and answers emails. GB reports more help is available than last year, but with 6 kids and three adults, I expected that. She is bringing home no HW and I haven't found out why yet. I am not ready to incorporate it into our afternoon routine yet anyway.
The girls can usually play 30 to 45 minutes without a problem, but I still make sure that I am in the same room as them. We found a therapist that as experience with adoptions and attachment and we all go to Manhattan to see the psychiatrist Monday. The girls are thrilled. Mickey D's for lunch. Ugh.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


The Dad worked from home today, so the morning went a lot smoother. GB had a good day in school and Hope tried. She lost a rung on her "ladder" today, so she didn't get a prize. She was eating pencil shavings. Never had that one before.

Ms Teacher is concerned because Hope has no academic skills at all. She wants us to work on academics at home. I sent a note back (I think a polite note) saying that we had many important things to work on at home, but we would do what we could.

There is a new Booboo post on my other blog.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Morning Madness

There has got to be a better way to do mornings. I put the girls on the bus at 10 to 9 and all I want to do is go back to bed- I am exhausted. Today, like most mornings, the Dad is gone before anybody is up. GB has always had cuddle time before starting her day, as she is a slow starter. Hope has no interest in cuddling me, but is not going to let GB get something without her getting it too. By 7:15 cuddles are over. GB is normally independent in dressing herself, and usually I check to make sure she takes her meds and brushes her teeth. Hope needs to be within three feet of me and in the same room. Hope uses the toilet, takes her meds, and brushes her teeth while I stand there and watch and try to keep GB on task. GB is very reluctant to leave me in the same room as Hope as she fears Hope will get something GB doesn't get. Up until this point this morning, Hope had two tantrums, one because GB used the toilet first, the other because GB used the toothpaste she wanted to use (not finished, just used).

When we are done in the bathroom, I walk Hope 20 ft to pick out her clothes. We bring the clothes back to my room so the three of us can get dressed. Hope managed to misplace her panties and she had another tantrum because "somebody" took them. GB found them where Hope had dropped them. Hope finished  dressing and we all went downstairs, including Ellie. It was 8 am.

Weekday breakfasts have limited choices- cereal or something. On Wednesdays, the something is French Toast sticks. Hope chose cereal and ate three bowls. GB went with the French toast sticks. GB feed Ellie while I nuked the French toast sticks and got both girls juice. After her third bowl of cereal, Hope decided she wanted French toast sticks too. It was already 25 minutes after eight and I told Hope there was no more time to fix french toast sticks and she could have a piece of fruit if she was hungry. Tantrum number 3. I told GB it was time to do her hair and to get her hair stuff. GB said we always do my hair in the family room. I don't want to do it in the kitchen. I told Hope we were moving to the family room and the tantrum turned into a rage. The rage required intervention and GB started crying because I was dealing with Hope, not doing her hair. At that point I laughed, because at the same time yesterday morning, GB was crying because she didn't want her hair done and I insisted on doing it before the bus came. I ended up going over GB's hair very quickly with a hair pick,  Hope had calmed to just sobs, and we made the bus with less than a minute to spare.

Hope is asleep by 7:15 most nights and seems to need a solid 12 hours. If I put her to bed any earlier, she won't see her Dad before she goes to sleep. Since Dad is the sunshine of her life, trying to put her to bed before she sees him is a guaranteed tantrum-to-rage all by itself. (I did try it once).

Time for another infusion of caffeine, so I can do food shopping before they get home.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

This is My CSE (Again)

Today was Hope's CSE (Committee for Special Education) meeting, run by the densest psychologist in the world. It started at 9 am and I left the school at 11:04. Over 2 hours. The speech, OT, and PT evals have been ordered, but weren't done yet. School has been in session for 2 1/2 days, so the teacher was unable to give the committee any idea where Hope is in terms of academics. The therapist hasn't met with her yet, so all he could do is share the questionable information we received from the first set of adoptive parents. You might be wondering how the meeting could have possibly taken 2 hours. The committee spent most of that time discussing how they were going to classify Hope- ED (emotionally disturbed) or OHI (other health impaired). Hope came with a laundry list of diagnoses, any one of which was enough to classify her. Nobody was saying she should be in a different class. I said right up front it did not matter to me how they classified her. The school psychologist and the CSE Chair (also a psychologist) spent over  an hour debating the merits of one classification over the other. Everybody else watched. I had forgotten how numbing it can be to get the school system to provide services for a new child. This meeting may be an example of what put the school district into fiscal distress... It would have been easier, cheaper and as accurate to toss a coin.

New post on other blog.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

What I Can Now Tell You About Hope

  • Hope is potty trained. 3 full days with no accidents and 5 full nights with dry pull-ups.
  • Hope is very manipulative. She is ALWAYS watching for our reaction. If her lower lip vibrates, it is a sure sign the crying is fake. She deliberately knocks over drinks, dumps out food, and takes other people's property after making sure I am watching.
  • All her rages are fueled by fear. Fear of abandonment tops the list.
  • Yesterday, I gave Hope and GB a snack after school. Hope finished first and left the kitchen. As soon as she left the kitchen, she started screaming, "Mommy where are you? Mommy come here"
  • She can not do anything unless either the Dad, GB or I are within 4 feet of her. She needs us to use the toilet, brush her teeth, get dressed, eat or play. The good news (?) is that she does each of  these activities completely independently and doesn't physically need help.
  • As long as somebody is close enough, she can play independently for long stretches of time.
Hope is good at building!

Hope also likes getting her picture taken!

  • We made her a picture book chronicling her adoption; no words, just pictures. She looks at it frequently, but so far has had no interest in talking about it.
  • Hope still insists I am mean and ugly and her Texas mom is dead. I have a meeting with her therapist at school set up for right after her CSE meeting Tuesday.
  • GB is off to a Mets' game with her Dad, so Hope and I have the whole afternoon/ evening together  :)
  • Corey was right about the sexual acting out- Hope diddles herself in the living room. We are stressing privacy. We have never let the two girls out of our sight, so that is not an issue.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Flu Shots

The two little girls and I went to get flu shots this morning. GB was brave! Hope cried through my flu shot, screamed through GB's, and lost it and had to be restrained through her flu shot.When we were finally in the car, heading home, Hope stopped the  left over sniffling and said "Mommy, I like shots". I am glad I don't have to take a child that hates shots.
Not happy, but GB was able to manage.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The First Day of School

They are safely on the bus. We have a great bus driver this year. The house is strangely quiet.  Nobody is moving but me. A quiet, uninterrupted cup of tea!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

other blog

New posts on other blog.

News Flash: Hope is RAD!

We have had Hope for 13 days. We have been working full time on bonding and just trying to head of her aggression. This morning, the manipulation started. Hope started crying and screaming. Since she was already within 3 feet of me, I just asked her what she needed. She pointed right at the floor next to her and said "You come here!". I asked her again what she needed. Again, she pointed right at the floor next to her and said "You come here!", but this time followed up by saying  "You come here, then I tell you". The RAD roller coaster ride has begun in earnest.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Blessing in Disguise

We went to church today. I thought of staying home, as I was very sore from being beat up by Hope, but church is so ingrained into family life, that I felt it was part of keeping the kids on a normal routine. An hour into the service, I had just concluded going was a mistake and was gathering stuff up, getting ready to leave. One of the elderly ladies blacked out, The Dad ran to take care of her, dropping Hope on me. Hope flipped out. I took her out of the sanctuary and let her rage it out. I lightly stroked her arm, which changed her screams from "I want Daddy" to "Your hurting me! Stop!". By the time she had calmed down, GB was leaving with MK, Booboo, and the baby, the ambulance was there and the Dad was going to the hospital with the elderly lady.

I took Hope home, mentally cataloging the new bruises. We always pass an ice cream place and I decided I could use some and also bought some for Hope. I thought of the long hours ahead and sighed. We got home to an empty house and that is when I realized the blessing. Hope and I had never been alone together, not once, not ever. She was stuck dealing with me. We did our attachment work with chocolate, we played games, we talked about the differences between her old family and this family, and we cuddled. Every once in a while, I would tell her it was cuddle time, take her on my lap, and tell her she had to stay there until she relaxed and let me snuggle her. And we succeeded every time, at least for a minute or two. I made more progress in that three hours then I had made  to date. The elderly lady was admitted to the hospital and the Dad just got in. Some blessings are disguised as burdens. You have to take up the burdens to get the blessings.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Anybody Recognize This?

We have noticed that when Hope is stressed out, she gets still, her eyes roll into the back of her head and if you leave her there long enough she goes to sleep. When she comes back, she brings the stress back with her even if it no longer exists. It is like no time has passed, and the stress still needs to be dealt with, when in reality, hours have passed and the stress is long since gone.

Friday, September 3, 2010

After the First Week

  • Toilet training is progressing. Hope has had one accident every day. She is dry more often then not when she wakes up.
  • She is definitely RAD. At the school yesterday, she spent an hour and a half climbing up everybody's leg- teachers, parents, other kids. It was so obvious that even the densest psychologist in the district picked up on it- and she is very dense. 
  • Hope is desperately afraid of being abandoned and just about everything else. She won't talk about any of it, but she is afraid of the dark, bugs, bats, snakes, squirrels, and has to be within 3 or 4 feet of the Dad or I  at all times. She is fine with the Dad. With me, it seems she needs to be that close so she can attack me. Today I have been head butted, elbowed in the face, and bitten on the hand.
  • We are using time in- Hope is currently right next to me wiping up the water she threw.
  • Right now she is focusing on being between GB and every/any body else. I have not figured out how to thwart that.
  • Yesterday, Hope told me her Texas mother was dead. We haven't heard from any of them. Still working on that post.
  • The weekend should be easier with both adults home.

New Post on other blog.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Two major meltdowns last night; one from GB and one from Hope. GB's was easier all around, so I will start there. GB was given her choice of three possessions she didn't have to share. Two that she chose were her CD player and her Kidz Bop. After lunch, Hope bit her, and I wasn't fast enough to stop it, even though I was in the same room. I told Hope "In this family we do.not.bite" and scooped GB up for some one on one sympathy and snuggles, ignoring Hope. Hope did not like being ignored (good information to have), and decided to go after the things GB values the most- her music. Hope grabbed the CD and GB went over the cliff. She spent the afternoon refusing to look at anybody, screaming when anybody came near her and rocking herself. When the Dad came home, he took  GB out to the hammock and rocked her until she broke down in tears and told him how horrible her day was and how horrible Hope was. Her Dad agreed with her, and told her it would get easier. After 45 minutes of one on one, GB was doing better and we ate. That 45 minutes made dinner late and as we were eating, Hope started falling asleep. We tried to keep her awake so she could eat a little more, but I wasn't really worried as she had eaten a slice of fresh pineapple and finished a yogurt while waiting for everybody to be ready for dinner. The Dad carried her upstairs, got a pullup on her, and tucked her in. A little while later, Hope was screaming she wanted her hamburger (which she never finished), kicking and flailing and she had not woken up. She was still asleep. It took almost a 1/2 hour for it to pass and she never woke up. I don't have a clue as to what was happening.

Hope woke up this morning as if nothing had happened, while GB was still a little leery. I spent all morning with both of them within touching distance. They were doing well enough that I took them in the pool. It was great while it lasted, but Hope pooped all over, and swim time turned into clean up time. Hope didn't appreciate having to leave the pool, but the crying quivering lip only lasted about ten minutes.

This afternoon, there is an orientation for GB's class. She is really looking forward to it. School starts on Wednesday!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Trying for Boredom

Yesterday we stayed home all day. We were trying for routine and establishing the minimum amount of rules that are necessary for us to survive. Hope is working on using words instead of screaming and not being aggressive. The tantrums and rages are just too big to tackle right now. We are working on attachment all the time and have had some success. I was called mommy most of yesterday and was ugly only during the times she was raging. Chocolate gives me the most success. This morning she crawled into bed and wanted to cuddle. Of course the Dad was in the shower, and unavailable, but it was still a victory!

GB is struggling with sharing. She is used to everything being hers and having control over what is done with it. She got to pick three items she did not have to share and the rest become community property.  The teasing and scaring Hope was better yesterday morning. After Hope hit her in the face with a wooden building block yesterday afternoon, we lost all progress.

 Hope is extremely independent. Last night, I gave her a bath, and she washed and rinsed her body completely on her own. I went to dry her and she screeched and grabbed the towel and said "I do". She dried herself. I took out the lotion (a yummy cherry vanilla) and offered to rub some on. Hope tried to take it and I kept it out of her reach. We had tears and I gently told her, over and over, that mommy wants to do the lotion- it is mommy's lotion. She never agreed, but after a while she let me rub it on her hands, feet, arms, and legs.

We have a physical scheduled for Hope this afternoon. That will be our trip out for the day.