Forever Family Day is Coming

Hey there…..been kinda quiet here. Or should I say, I haven’t blogged in a week…man o man….not like me at all. I’m back to it….thankfully as it helps me and it is theraputic for me to write things out….kinda works things through in my head.

Has anyone tried the last 2 ideas I posted? I’m telling you, it WORKS like a charm!! MM hasn’t gotten out of his seat at meal times not even ONCE since after the first few days of implementing it. I”m totally amazed still.

I have a birthday coming this week…yikes….I’ll be *ahem* an age that I’m not happy about because it brings me closer to another age I’m not too fond of. LOL. But my birthday is overshadowed by the fact that 2 days later is the anniversary of the very first time we had MM placed in our arms!! It’s our Forever Family Day. The day that will be etched in my brain and memory forever! It was a bittersweet day….but more on that later…on the actual anniversary of the day (Sept. 30). I’m thrilled beyond measure about my birthday present this year! I got to pick it out as dh says “You know what you want…here’s X amt. to spend and get/order what you want.” I went a wee bit over that amount because I actually bought 2 items for my dslr camera. I’m in love with photography! I’m such an amatuer though. I practice and practice…mainly on MM who is sooo sick of the camera. Me…never sick of taking pics and learning new things. I got this camera as last years Birthday/Christmas present and I’ve learned so much in the past year! I’ve taken over 2,500 pics since I got the Olympus Pen epl-1. I’m in love with its features. You can crop, edit, etc…all from the convenience of your camera BEFORE you even take the pic!! This is a pic of my camera:

It is lightweight like that of a point and shoot but is an actual dslr. I can’t get over how little it is. There is even a new Olympus one out now….cool! But I’m happy with what I have. Now…I have a few Canon lenses and that is what I bought (from dh for my birthday)…another lens and an extension tube for extreme close-ups. OH MAN…can’t wait to try these out! I had to purchase an adaptor for the camera so I could use my Canon lenses. It was minimal in price to be able to not have to purchase other lenses….If I remember correctly, it was like $65 for the adaptor.

ok…Back to Forever Family Day coming soon. It is funny how early on in our journey to adopt, I was kinda blind to all this RAD, SPD and such….I was wearing rose colored glasses for sure. BUT on the very first day that we had MM with us in Guatemala….I KNEW for certain something was not quite right. You may know the feeling I’m talking about. I couldn’t put my finger on it…but something was amiss. MM was hitting us the first day and still is hitting other kiddos, swings at us, etc. He has so much anger pent up inside of him. It makes me want to cry……but I know that I must trudge onward and be his comfort, be his constancy, be his mama….exert control so he doesn’t feel like he has to be the one in control. Traumatized children count on themselves and themselves only….until they heal. We’re working on that …..true healing. We’ve been using “strong sitting” for a few weeks now. MM will even ask to do the strong sitting. It clears their brain…..gives them a sense of calmness. We do this throughout the day at least 3 times a day for now.

Look for my post on Forever Family Day this coming Friday (Sept. 30th)…it ought to be an interesting one.

Peace and blessings to you and your children…..

Mama249

 

Photo for Thomas Cards

Ooopps…..I totally forgot to post the pic of the cards I made for MM to get up from a meal so you can see what I did. Dang, I’m either gettin’ old (Nah) or just plain forgetful!! LOL! This is only an example of the 11 cards I made….10 of them have #’s on them…..and One is for the “extra” special card….you’ll see…..

 

Hope these work for your children…..Today was amazing!! MM didn’t use not one for lunch and NOT ONE for dinner!! He has Thomas as the #1 card and he doesn’t want to lose that one….so he “saves” it…..man….I am a genius….LOL!! I wish!

Peace and blessings to you and your children…..

Mama249

Thomas and Friends…You’re a BIG Help!!

MM simply cannot cannot cannot sit still no matter what!! That is just who he is because of his RAD. I’ve accepted it…well, sort of.

I’m worried that when he goes to school next year he’ll have a difficult time with the teacher because she won’t tolerate the 20+ times he gets up JUST during a meal alone!! MM has gone to Daycare and Preschool since he came home from Guatemala until only recently when we pulled him out because it just wasn’t a healthy “healing” place for him. More on that in another post.  What they did for my lil munchkin man was for when he was in circle time, put duct tape in the shape of a square in his spot and he could move around inside of that spot ONLY. It worked for him. Phew!

He’s now home all day with me and we do “school” here at home. I’m not homeschooling per say, but I’m working daily with him as if he were in school. Not homeschooling because he’s only 4….but that is an option for next year….we’ll see where he’s at then.

I got a hair-brained idea the other day to make index cards with numbers on them and he’d have to cash them in to get out of his chair during meals. Today is only day two…and it’s working soooo well so far!!!! I’m very very pleased to say the least! Here’s how I made the cards:

  •  11 very large index cards (the very same ones that are for the ABC’s of Us)
  • Thomas the Train clip Art from Google Images (each train has a # so it makes sense to use those for each # and he LOVES Thomas)
  • Thomas and Friends Stickers for decoration on the index cards
  • Cool Colored typed out number names, ie: One, Two, etc..
  • tape and acid free glue stick
  • cutting board to make clean edges
  • coordinating colored papers behind each Engine

Instructions: Gather and print your Thomas and Friends engine photos…..the extra one for us was Sir Toppam Hatt. I’ll post a pic so you see what I did with him.  Cut out the photos, glue the photos of engines to coordinating colored card stock or paper. Print out from a cool font in cool colors that also coordinate, the number words…one through ten. Cut them out and glue them on the index cards. Use Thomas and Friends stickers to further embellish your index cards. I didn’t laminate them YET…but will be doing so because I don’t want sticky food fingers ruining them. The one with Sir Topham Hatt says, “Extra Special Excuse to Move!” It can be cashed in once all are used up.

Now…how is it working for us? Well, I made them yesterday….at dinner last night, he only cashed in on TWO of them!! And at breakfast this morning he only cashed in Four of them!! This is incredible because it was ALWAYS 20+times up per meal!! I’ve stumbled onto something here!! I hope and pray that if you choose to use this too…..it works just as well for your kiddos!!!!!

Peace and Blessings to you and your children…

Mama249

The ABC’s of Us…

I got a hair-brained idea that I’m praying will work…..like a charm as they say! LOL!

What is it you ask? Well, I saw a scrapbook of sorts that you make with index cards in a magazine I’m subscribed to. Their version is called “ABC’s of Summer.” Well, I put my own little twist on it and thought/hope this will help with attachment issues. So, my version will be the “ABC’s of Us”. It’s really simple actually…..You’ll need these items:

  • 5X8 package of blank index cards (no lines)
  • 5X8 A-Z Card Guides for index cards
  • Various photos of your family doing cool and not so cool stuff. Remember, this is about your life….not just the fluff. I added a few of MM making a mad face. I am doing this because this is OUR REALITY!!! The pictures are from Guatemala all the way to the present (spanning 3 years)
  • Scrapbook papers, stickers, ribbon, etc for decorating the index cards
  • Acid free glue sticks and/or double sided tape (whichever you prefer)
  • I haven’t decided whether or not my titles on the pages will be printed from the computer or will be circle dot stickers with colored edging I do myself, but you’ll need something for labeling each photo/index card by their alphabet title…..ex: “hugs” would be a picture of us hugging and being close, sharing the love he desperately needs.
  • Hole Punch
  • Large Ring to hold it all together when complete

I’ve been in the stage of printing pictures (which also allows me time to stroll down memory lane….who doesn’t love that?) to ready myself for the actual making of the ABC’s of Us booklet of index cards. Mind you…..this is for MM to hold, to look at and to see us growing over the years. This isn’t my “scrapbook” for the shelf…..this is an ongoing active one!!!! To be held, cherished and loved (at least that is my hope) by 10 lil fingers and a heart that needs healing.

ANYTHING I can do as MM’s mama to help him (us) heal, I’m willing to do! I don’t expect immediate results…..remember, this process takes time. Time that we must be willing to give…..freely. This scrapbook of sorts is intended for MM but is a tool that we can use to ellicit conversations that in turn bring togetherness, laughter, and sometimes a tear or two! You get my point?

I have 500 blank index cards and I hope to really do an amazing job on this one!! This is so important…..to let MM see we ARE a family and families stick together through thick and thin, and we are ALWAYS there for each other…even if it is just to sit quietly, give a hug, a kind word, and last but not least is to be an EXAMPLE of love for our children.

If anyone out there wants to join me on making one for your own family….let me know how it turns out and if it’s working for ya! I’d be so happy to hear it helped or is helping. I truly feel this will be a blessing for your families as well as my very own.

Peace and blessings to each of you and your children…..

Mama249

 

The Tortoise and the Hare….RAD Style

THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE (An Aesops Fable)
 
 
Once upon a time there was a hare who, boasting how he could run faster than anyone else, was forever teasing tortoise for its slowness. Then one day, the irate tortoise answered back: “Who do you think you are? There’s no denying you’re swift, but even you can be beaten!” The hare squealed with laughter.

 “Beaten in a race? By whom? Not you, surely! I bet there’s nobody in the world that can win against me, I’m so speedy. Now, why don’t you try?”

Annoyed by such bragging, the tortoise accepted the challenge. A course was planned, and the next day at dawn they stood at the starting line. The hare yawned sleepily as the meek tortoise trudged slowly off. When the hare saw how painfully slow his rival was, he decided, half asleep on his feet, to have a quick nap. “Take your time!” he said. “I’ll have forty winks and catch up with you in a minute.”

The hare woke with a start from a fitful sleep and gazed round, looking for the tortoise. But the creature was only a short distance away, having barely covered a third of the course. Breathing a sigh of relief, the hare decided he might as well have breakfast too, and off he went to munch some cabbages he had noticed in a nearby field. But the heavy meal and the hot sun made his eyelids droop. With a careless glance at the tortoise, now halfway along the course, he decided to have another snooze before flashing past the winning post. And smiling at the thought of the look on the tortoise’s face when it saw the hare speed by, he fell fast asleep and was soon snoring happily. The sun started to sink, below the horizon, and the tortoise, who had been plodding towards the winning post since morning, was scarcely a yard from the finish. At that very point, the hare woke with a jolt. He could see the tortoise a speck in the distance and away he dashed. He leapt and bounded at a great rate, his tongue lolling, and gasping for breath. Just a little more and he’d be first at the finish. But the hare’s last leap was just too late, for the tortoise had beaten him to the winning post. Poor hare! Tired and in disgrace, he slumped down beside the tortoise who was silently smiling at him.

“Slowly does it every time!” he said.

Now…what do I mean by RAD Style for this story? A lot ot things really…my mind is racing with examples! First thing I think of is the fact that we as parents try so hard to find all the answers to RAD, SPD, etc. We went it NOW! We want healing NOW. It drives us plum crazy all the incessant nonsense questions, all the raging, all the yelling, kicking, screaming, hurtful words…we want it to just stop it NOW! Well, it isn’t gonna happen….at all. Healing….true healing, takes time….a slow and steady pace of healing. Who do you think is the Hare? The tortoise? But as you notice at the end of the story….the tortoise WINS…HE WINS! Now, I’m in no way saying we as parents lose…not at all…….we lose if we take the hare’s approach and nap through this. Let’s take notice and keep it a steady pace…k. For our children who desperately depend on us…..for everything. They don’t want to admit it, but they need us. They learned early on to depend on themselves…adults were not trustworthy. BUT WE ARE….so show them that we are! When we get upset, when we yell, or just plain walk away….they win….they proved that we aren’t trustworthy at all. The best thing we can do for our children is to be present with them…QUIETLY!!  Let them work it out with our presence or help them work through it if they are younger. THIS IS HARD WORK…..for all involved. But don’t give up…..I can’t give up…..none of us can. (when I write these posts….they are so much for me too…very theraputic for me to work it out on “paper” so to speak.)

One of the other examples of this story is reminding me of how my MM ALWAYS has to win….it is horrible if he doesn’t. I was told by the therapist that it is due to his low self-esteem…that he has such a low self-worth that he has to prove himself constantly. How sad is that? It is my job to help…..but how!? OH…we must learn as much as we can and do what works for our child/children. I for one, am learning daily….sometimes something new to try because what I was trying wasn’t working at all….this is a process. A slow and steady process……(note to self….ingrane this in my brain!!)

Peace and blessings to you….

Mama249

What’s My Malfunction? Who Me?

Thursday was rough…..but what day isn’t when you’re dealing with a child who is RAD challenged?

Like I stated in my last post, Wednesday I flew to Cleveland to go to the Dr. I never got to see MM at all that day….although I did take that mama peek before I left while he was in peaceful slumber and blew him the most giantest kiss eva!! He looked like an angel. Curled up with his hands gently tucked into his chest. Knees slightly bent and his train blankie…..it was barely covering his cutest ever feet. I wanted to tip toe into his room, kiss the dimple on his face and whisper in his ear, “I love you sooo much Munchkin Man!!” But did I….no….I didn’t want to chance waking him because MM is the soundest sleeper I know. He can sleep through the dog barking loudly and repeatedly, the sound of the door opening and closing on the washer and dryer, and so many other “loud” to “semi-loud” noises…..BUT the sound of my gentle voice saying his name in the morning….THAT wakes him up! How cool is that? It is almost like we’re connected…..he is waiting for me. I know this isn’t the case….but it is a nice thought.

Back on subject…..lol…..It is too easy to talk about MM and how much I dearly love my kiddo!! Anyways, MM was not happy about not getting to see me that particular day I went to Cleveland and was in a way taking it out on me. He was especially clingy and whiney!! I know he just missed me….so I tried so hard to be incredibly theraputic. He needed me to be….so it was necessary. It wasn’t and never is about ME…..it’s about MM and his needs and his healing.

At breakfast, while he eats, I get on my laptop and check my e-mails, FB and such. It is sorta my time to wake up as well…..and then we have our time together afterwards. Well, MM didn’t like that at all…..he started crying and boo-hooing out of the blue. I went to him and held him for awhile. He calmed down and got back to eating. Never did I think for a second that my being on the laptop was what was wrong…..I was taking MORE time away from him. Then he asked me to come sit next to him and watch tv with him while he finishes up. Sure MM….anything.

I start to sit down and he pulls my chair as close as it could possibly be to his chair. And what did I do? Brought the danged laptop with me. That is when it started for real. He started getting mouthy, disrespectful, and angry. I figured it out…..us blondies take a bit to figure things out sometimes…..LOL…j/k…it was me and my attachment to the laptop that was the malfunction! Once I put it away….it was “ok”….not great, not wonderful, just “ok”. Then the phone rang….it was daddy….here we go again with the tears, the disrespectfulness, etc. He NEVER lets me be on the phone without him throwing a tantrum or something to revert the attention back to him. I’m hardly ever on the phone and when I am….all hell breaks loose. MM is longing for the attention, the one-on-one. I give him soo much time…..but it never is enough. I have talked with other RAD mom’s and they say their kiddos act the same way about the phone. Needless to say, Daddy hung-up since we could barely hear each other.

Why do we do these things? Put things before our children? I never thought I did….but I do. I was using the laptop…..I hadn’t used it in over 24 hours and it was like a drug…pulling me, calling my name. LOL. But…..honestly, who is MORE, MUCH MORE important? MM, naturally! I realized I needed to take a step back and think…really think about priorities. If I’m going to be the theraputic mama I desire to be…..I need to be present….not just present in body. I need to be there emotionally as well. I need to be prepared for all the things that fly (sometimes literally) around…..like when he’s starting to disregulate….I can do so much to stop it before it gets out of hand….but I have to be on my toes and watchful. Take a watchman for a business….if he were to be doing anything OTHER than being watchful….how can he possibly be efficient/productive in what he’s doing? It would be impossible to do an efficient/good job.

So, I watch, I help, I am an active participant in the healing process. I must be! Now what do I do? Well, today we go to counseling. Tonight we’re going to the grocery store which is ALWAYS a trigger.

 I will try something new referring to the grocery store and post about it later. I’m anxious to try new things and apprehensive at the same time because if it doesn’t work after a bit (can’t just try once) then I’m back to square one and I’m always nervous when I’m doing something different here and again. I want to be the best mama to MM that I can possibly be…more than I ever dreamed of being. Beyond what I can imagine, beyond my comfort zone so as to ensure healing for all of us, but mainly for MM. MM is the reason I get up in the morning….the reason I breathe….the reason I choose to endure the heartache of RAD, SPD and anxiety disorder. BUT….there is always a but, there is hope. True hope in this. I just have to be diligent and have a ton of faith!! Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers…..I pray for each of you and your children daily! 

 

Peace and Blessings to each of you…..

Mama249