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Orlando 2013

I wait all year for Orlando, I literally count the days until I  get to spend days on end with women who get me, women who accept me, women who love me just because I am me. I did get to do that this year, I did get to just be me but this year was not the same as last year. Last year Orlando changed who I am. I know that is a lot to say about a 4 day event but it is true. Things happened in Orlando last year that made me a better parent, a better person and a stronger advocate. I went back this year thinking it was going to be as amazing as it was last year and then I was disappointed when it was different.

See that is the thing with annual events, you get your mind set on what it is going to be, you pump it up in your head and then when it is different you are disappointed.

It was not what I expected it to be, it was not what I hoped it was going to be, but it was still good. I mean that. It was good, fantastic in fact. Looking back there was no way that it ever could of been what it was last year, my expectation that it would be was unrealistic and in many ways I set myself up to be disappointed.

I see that now.

So what was so fantastic?

Where do I even begin? It is so hard to explain to people who have never experienced Orlando the wonder of being welcomed and accepted by all those women who live your life. Women who struggle with attachment, PTSD, RAD, depression and so much more on a daily basis. Women who laugh about the volume of pee that we see in places it should not be and who can joke about the antics their kids have pulled lately without shocking anyone. We laugh, we cry, we support one another, it is unlike any support group I have ever attended. These women get me, they love me, they think I am a rock star even when I do not.  There are women from this group who would move heaven and earth to help a friend in need, a friend who just 3 years ago was a stranger or perhaps just a virtual acquaintance. There are women will take your kids when you have reached the end of your rope and women who will hold you while you sob because you are so tired of your life. There are women in this group who talk to me and check in on me more often then I talk to people who have known me my whole life.

There is something amazing about being so deeply understood by others, by being accepted just as you are that does good things for my soul. Knowing that I am not alone makes world so much less challenging. Knowing I have a place to vent and talk and cry gets me through the hard days.

Last year I walked away from Orlando knowing that I was enough, this year I walked away knowing that no matter what I have friends who have my back and love me to my bones. That love is going to get me through the really hard days around here especially the ones that start with a certain finger being showed to me over and over again.

I am, you are, we are, it is ENOUGH was the theme this year in Orlando. It says a lot about how we should think about ourselves and about how we parent our kids who are from hard places.  I am enough each and everyday and so are you.

 

March 14, 2013   1 Comment

Supporting one another

I have been blogging since May 2004, that was a really long time ago, really long. I lived in a different place, I was single, I was teaching, I was travelling, it was a different world. When I started my blog it was to keep in touch with my family while I lived over seas and as my world has evolved so has my blog. I moved here to Stellar Parenting when I felt as though I needed some anonymity in order to respect my kids privacy. It was a necessary move and not one I regret at all although my first blog still exists and I have not blogged there in years.

I was looking for something in the archives here earlier today and I was amazed at all these years of my life, all this joy, excitement, devastation, learning, changing and growing stored in on place. There are so many memories here, so many things that I might want to forget because they were awful but that I learned a lot from and are really worth remembering. While I looked though the archives I was struck by something, there is a lot of love on these pages. Love from people who I love, from people I have never met and from people who have over the years become some of my dearest friends.

P and I were talking about this very thing last night about how some of the best supports that I have on this parenting journey are from women who I have met here on my blog and in Orlando, (many of those people over lap but not all Orlando Mamas are bloggers). They are women who watch my kids when I need a break, they call me multiple times a day when they know my cheese is sliding off my cracker ( a polite way of saying going insane), they mail me surprises, they love my kids and they have become my family. I am not kidding when I  say that without some of these women I would not be here today. I would not be the parent that I am, I would not be helping my kids heal, I would not be coping, I know in my heart of hearts that if these women were not a part of my life things would look very different and not in a good way.

It’s one of those things, these women, the ones who hold me up, they make me a better Mama and a better person

It’s not just about being a Mama though, right now my world revolves around my kids but once they are no longer in my house every day I will still be me. The woman who started on this parenting journey 5 years ago is not the same woman who is typing this today. These women, these Mamas who parent kids just like mine have taught me that I matter, that I am worth it and that I deserve to be loved just as much as any other person. I have always struggled with my self-esteem, with why anyone would want to be my friend, what I had to offer others and have really just felt like I was taking up space in the world. .  These women, who would move heaven and earth to help a friend in need,  have taught me that I am worth it.

I matter.

I am lovable.

I am ENOUGH.

I would be lost if it were not for these women and I am eternally grateful that I have them in my life.

Thank you to each and every one of you, you make getting through a challenging day so much easier.

 

February 22, 2013   3 Comments

Trauma Triggers and Tapping

A trauma trigger is an experience that triggers a traumatic memory in someone who has experienced trauma. A trigger is thus a troubling reminder of a traumatic event, although the trigger itself need not be frightening or traumatic.
Triggers can be quite diverse, appearing in the form of individual people, places, noises, images, smells, tastes, emotions, animals, films, scenes within films, dates of the year, tones of voice, body positions, bodily sensations, weather conditions, time factors, or combinations thereof. Triggers can be subtle and difficult to anticipate …

– taken from Wikipedia

This last week has been intense around here. It has been all triggers all the time for days and days.

I have three kids who are stressed and that means three kids who are easily triggered. I know the boys triggers and am usually  pretty good a coping with them. I am learning what Ramona’s are and will get better about seeing them coming but in the mean time I think we are all need hard hats and protective clothing.

When Fudge is triggered he gets stuck in the moment, he tries to fight his way out by arguing or yelling. Calvin is physical when he is triggered, his flight or fight response kicks in and I must say flight is a way better option but lately it has been fight which means that  people can get hurt. Ramona goes straight to a tantrum, if she was bigger I would probably call it raging but she is small enough that she can be contained and much like a toddlers tantrum once she is done she stops and moves on. The anger does not linger for her although she is vengeful and will pay you back if you have wronged her.

All that being said we are working on triggers over here. We are in therapy, we are talking about it, we are hugging and cuddling and trying to keep things contained when triggers cause huge feelings to take over and all hell breaks loose we work through it once everyone is calm and safe.

One of the things I am doing for myself right now, although I have not started doing it with my kids (yet) is tapping. I was leery, I thought my dear Lisa was a bit crazy when she stated suggesting it, but she is not. Tapping works, it helps and at this point anything that helps me get through the day is a really good thing. My darling Lisa made a video ( you can just follow along as you learn) just for Moms of hurt kids and there is an amazing online class coming up with Brad Yates who is the tapping guru so to speak. Lisa tells you all about the class here.

May 3rd my dears, be there.


April 21, 2012   2 Comments

Things you need to know

There are two things I have to tell you and both of them are very important!

First off Adoption Magazine is doing an Adoption Blog Hop and I think you should head over there and check out some of the fabulous people who have joined in.

AND

Lisa is blogging again, my dear sweet Lisa who saved my butt when I thought I could never ever do this parenting hurt kids thing with any success ( she doesn’t like it when I say that aloud, but she did, she gave me hope when I had none and for that I will be forever grateful). She has a fabulous post up at the moment about triangulation and if you are parenting hurt kids, know someone who else who is parenting them or think you might ever encounter a child  who has had trauma, then you totally need to read it, commit to memory and print it out for people who do not understand and give them a copy.

I am off to buy a barbecue so that we can enjoy all that asparagus as it was meant to be enjoyed – roasted!

April 18, 2012   4 Comments

For another and another.


For Haley
Lisa is having a contest to raise money for her neighbour Haley who is battling for her life after a very serious car accident. She has a great list of prizes over on her blog so head on over and donate a minium of $10 to get an entry to win.

For Lisa
Lisa who is one of the bravest and most beautiful people that I know has had a really challenging couple of months. When you head over to donate leave a comment there as well and remind her that she is fabulous and loved because she really needs to hear it right now.

Thanks a million! I am off to get dirty in my garden, if the rapture happens I’ll be filthy but I am ok with that.

May 21, 2011   No Comments

I got nothing to say but other people do

Well that is not true I have a lot of things but nothing I can really articulate this morning. I am not sure why but I am just not in the mood to write today so instead I am going to send you other places because there are other people who are way more in the mood to write than I am and some who just need a little love.

Adoption Magazine is a new Canadian Adoption Blog that is looking to fill in some of the huge gaps in connecting Canadians to great adoption resources. They are reposting some things from here, pop over and see them.

The Lark’s Nest is doing a great monthly panel with some fabulous foster Mamas.

Because we are not alone on this journey go and give these Mamas some love, it has been a long week in their homes – GB’s Mom, Sarah, Mama Drama, The Other Mama

Before the fabulous Megan left for Hawaii ( which was a flying nightmare and took way to long) she wrote this great post about being gay and christian, go read it, then come back and read some other things.

Are you a member at ATTACh.org, if not and you want to try it out ( great resources and ideas in their newsletters and other stuff you can only access as a member) it is half price for the rest of their fiscal year which means from now till July you can be a member for 27.00

There is a great article on Early Attachment: Leaving it’s Mark Across the Lifespan on a great new resource that I found through a friend. Friends are good like that

Claudia’s book Out if Many, One Family is now available on the Kindle

If you have not seen it yet head over to Christine’s blog and read then letter that Brenda wrote for other grandparents, then share it with the appropraite family members

If you live in or near the Toronto area the Attachment Association of Canada is having a conference in May and Daniel Hughes is the main presenter. I am trying to line up childcare so P and I can both go, so far it is not working but I will keep trying.
I have to go be productive now… I know, I know it sucks.

March 23, 2011   1 Comment

Returned

If you are interested in reading the wonderful, spectacular Mama who writes at Finishing Off My Family you are in luck because she has begun blogging again, you can find her here. Respect her need for privacy though and please only share in a very general way without links to the past, if you know what I mean.

P.S. Our morning was not great but  not because of the sharing I did last night but instead  because I was GROUCHY cause someone broke something and would not admit to it and Fudge was tired cause he did not go to sleep till after 10 even though he was in bed at 8:30… no melatonin last night as we were out and I forgot, won’t do that again!

January 27, 2011   3 Comments

Another blogger who needs a hand

As some of you may of heard Rachel (tudusmom)  has had 3 children removed from her home because she has the audacity to be a mommy blogger and has shown poor judgement in blogging about her children’s behaviours. I am not an American but I do know that the 1st amendment provides the right to free speech and I must say that I am shocked and appalled by what is going on. If  the system is going to start removing children because their parents talk about them on the Internet then I guess they better start moving quickly because there are thousands and thousands of us talking about children on the Internet.

If you want to help,

Corey has a bunch of information and links on her blog

Once Lost is collecting funds for help pay for a lawyer and is updating the rest of us as news becomes available.

If you can time to write letters or the means to donate money please do so.

November 14, 2010   No Comments

A thank you from Lisa

Lisa emailed me this thank you and asked me to post it, so here it is.

Thanks so much to everyone for the love and support. Your comments have reduced me to a puddle of tears. Tears of relief and love but also of sadness because it makes me realize how much I miss blogging and how much I miss all my blogger friends. When I was told to take my blog down it felt as if my lifeline had been cut off and the boat was way off in the distance dragging the lifesaver away from me. Thank you for reminding me that I will have all of you back in my life when this is all over.

Yesterday, I went down to visit Cindy Bodie and it was so very helpful to put everything in perspective. While things are tough at the moment they could be so much worse. I am just trying to take one step at a time and live in the minute. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we navigate a road I never thought I’d be traveling.

Peace, Love, & Blessings,

Lisa

October 31, 2010   1 Comment

For another mother

I had a post to publish this morning, one about hope and about where I am finding it at the moment as it still is in short supply some days. I am not going to post it though because at this moment there is someone else who needs some hope and I am hoping that you can share some of yours with her.

Lisa from Life in the Grateful House (who needs no introduction to most of my readers) is having a really hard time right now. Her blog is currently down so you can not go get an update and I am not at liberty to share what I know. To be honest the details are not important. What is important is that another mama is feeling pretty hopeless right now as she is faced with a situation that is completely beyond her control.

I can not even imagine for a moment what it feels like to be her but I know what it feels like to feel hopeless. I know that pit. I have had many a tea party there all by myself and each and every time I am down there others help me out, they reach out to me and offer me a hand or sometimes even a ladder.

What I am asking of you today is to give Lisa a hand or a ladder with your words. Share your favourite quote, thought, words of wisdom, in fact you can say whatever your heart desires but do leave a comment on this post for Lisa as she needs to know that she is not alone. I know that she reads my blog still even though she is not commenting and I will also send her an email and direct her this way.

Let me thank you now for her because I know that she will appreciate every word.

October 29, 2010   17 Comments