Making parenting mistakes since 2008

Monday Moments – once again

  • I’m back, did you even notice I was gone….
  • We traveled over 13,000km this summer and went all the way to the west coast and back.
  • We arrived home mid August but things quickly became crazy here.
  • I know you are so surprised, crazy here, never
  • Our travels were fantastic, we saw lots of friends, made new ones and enjoyed tons of time together.
  • There was one day near Chicago where I was ready to leave someone on the side of the road but other than that we all did really well considering how far we traveled.
  • .I had the immense privilege of going to NACAC which was fantastic and just what I needed after all that time alone with my kids.
  • If you know me in real life you know that they are crazy because I applied for, interviewed for and then accepted a job in the big city near to us.
  • This means a 1 hour commute each way.
  • But I get to snuggle toddlers all day and I love toddlers so it is totally worth the drive.
  • It also means all my kids are going to school and since today is the day before school starts here there have been lots of big, huge, messy feelings.
  • They are all going to survive though.
  • So am I…. or so I keep telling myself.
  • 5:30 comes really early though.
  • I really wanted to check in here though and say that we are alive and although you are not commenting wordpress stalks you for me so I know that you are coming and reading and I wanted to say that we were alive and well.
  • Enjoy September, wherever it may lead you.

September 2, 2013   No Comments

on our way

Posting has been sporadic here for so long, sorry. I want to write, I want to make time but there is so little it seems. I have so many started and not finished posts it is not even funny.  Although finding time is hard, to be honest, things have been so hard around here I am not sure what to say or how to say it. I want to respect my aging kids privacy and yet I think that there are things to be learned from sharing. While I work on figuring that out in my head you can acknowledge that I am indeed crazy as I am about to leave on a 6 week road trip with my three kids in tow.  Winnipeg ,Sylvan Lake, Victoria, near Seattle and then back through the states ending up at the NACAC conference in Toronto in August.  We leave bright and early tomorrow morning.

What doesn’t kill you….

June 25, 2013   No Comments

Monday Moments

  • I’m alive
  • I’m not sure what to about blogging anymore.
  • It’s a complicated and long story.
  • I am thinking that I might keep on going but not till after I get through the chaos that is our summer
  • Not that there are many readers anymore.
  • Which is mostly because I do not have any time to do anything including blog or read others blogs.
  • 2 kids are almost done school 1 is still got way to much to do I do not want to talk about it…. it makes me angry at him.
  • time for bed

June 10, 2013   No Comments

maybe there will be calm

Calvin is a very angry young man and everyone who knows him can tell. He rages about something most days and lately when he rages he runs. Yesterday went like this

make a mistake, know you are in trouble, run,return, get spoken to and about not hurting siblings, go to room to cool off off, calm down, eat supper, help yourself to something you have already been told is for someone else, get caught, deny it, lie about it, run again, return, have parents try to talk to you about choices, ignore them, yell at them, try to run again, get sent to bed of frustration on part of parents, parent comes in to reassure you that you are loved, ignore them, tell them to go away, other parent tries same thing but now child is hiding under bed, Mama calms herself, puts on patient pants, talks you out and then you try to fold your huge almost 13 year old body into her lap ( as she sits on the floor because she was trying to get you out from under bed) while you have a long good cry about why your birth Mom would not change her life so she could keep you, finally go to bed, exhausted but maybe believing that you are loved.

It makes for really long days and with 3 kids all doing versions of this my time to do things like be here are so limited. I am tired, I am so ready for all of them to take a huge step in a new direction and Calvin needs to lead the way.

May 30, 2013   No Comments

Monday Moments

  • I know I have been super quiet. 
  • We have busy and things here are hard.
  • I am not sure how or if I can blog about it, we are fine, we are alive.
  • One of the kids is having a super hard time though which is making everyone around here pretty miserable and we are just muddling through as best we can.
  • It is not fun.
  • In brighter news spring is here and I am busy planning the  epic summer road trip of 2013….
  • We have been camping in the warm days and freezing nights.
  • I am breathing and drinking water, some days that is all I got.

May 27, 2013   No Comments

Too Hurt to Stay, a book review

I was asked recently to review the book To Hurt to Stay by Casey Watson, when it arrived I started to read it as and then I got distracted not because it wasn’t good but because life just gets in the way of my reading time.

When I was asked to read the book I was given this quote from the publisher

Eight-year-old Spencer takes himself to social services and demands to be taken into care. It’s a desperate act, a cry for help, but his parent’s reaction – good riddance – speaks volumes. Casey’s hackles are immediately up for this poor child.

Spencer is the middle child of four siblings. His parents claim all their other kids are ‘normal’ and that Spencer was born ‘vicious and evil’. Casey and her family are disgusted – kids aren’t born evil, they get damaged. Although when vigilante neighbors start to take action and their landlord threatens eviction, Casey is stretched to the limits, trying desperately to hold on to this boy who causes so much pain and destruction.

Casey is determined to try and understand what Spencer is going through and help him find the loving home he is so desperately searching for. But it’s only when Spencer’s mother gets in touch with social services for the first time that gradually everything starts to make sense.

As soon as I read that I knew that this was a book I could read, a book I would understand, a book I could relate to.

It took me a while to get back  to reading it but when I picked it up again I dove in and was quickly reminded of the fact that this book could be the story of one of my sons, in fact it could be the story of so many children I know. Children who were hurt by people who should love them, people who should protect them and instead do unspeakable things to them. Trauma, abuse and neglect affect every aspect of a child’s life and in this book the author does not hold back and lets the reader know just how very hard it can be to care for these very challenging children.

Casey Watson tells the honest truth about what this life like. She is honest and candid about how others react to our children and about some the fantastic stunts they can pull while no one is paying attention. Young Spencer makes my kids look like angels.

Although Casey Watson is a therapeutic foster parent and not an adoptive parent she understands first hand what the journey of loving a child who does not want to be loved is like. I will be searching out some of her other books as there is a great deal of comfort in knowing that I am not alone.

May 10, 2013   No Comments

Monday Moments on Tuesday, again.

  • It seems as though spring has finally arrived in the great white north. 
  • Woohoo
  • The kids and I walked for over an hour yesterday which was good for all of us and there were some interesting conversations while we walked.
  • They also jumped on the trampoline for hours and entertained themselves outside all afternoon.
  • (shhh this part needs to be whispered because if I say it aloud it will end) Things with Ramona have calmed back down to their regular level of crazy which is so much better than the super intense crazy we did from Jan through March. April began and she calmed way down which is a really good thing. r
  • Other people who live here are still crazy.
  • I have one child who is not interested in learning anymore and so his morning is spent sitting around bored while everyone else does school.
  • He has been at it for over a week, I am sure that eventually the boredom will become less exciting and he will finish the work needed to finish the year.
  • Last week was challenging here in other ways, there was an incident with a professional who we were working with who referred to one of my kids birth parents as their “real mom” in front of the kid.
  • My head almost exploded I was so mad.
  • I threw that one to my loving other half and let him deal with and fire the professional involved.
  • I am still mad.
  • There is a lot of adoption language that is unimportant and other stuff that is huge, this is one of the ones that I think is huge.
  • All of my children have had multiple mothers and they all have names and played different roles in their lives, they are all real.
  • Real is one of those impossible to defines terms for a kid and it is not a way to refer to parents, birth, foster, adoptive or step.
  • Things are still super busy here but next week we are taking a school vacation week and celebrating Easter, again, long story but you can read about the craziness of using 2 calendars in the Ukrainian church here  if you are interested.

April 23, 2013   No Comments

still kicking

I know I disappeared again. No particular reason, just up to our eyeballs around here. There are so many things on the go in our regular lives because home schooling keeps way busy and then you throw trauma anniversaries, almost 13 year olds and a kid who is really having a hard time just getting through the day and I fall into bed at the end of the day.

I spent far to long working on our taxes… it is not good, I hate taxes.

Anyway, we are alive, we breathing and drinking water and getting up every morning and right now, today that is good enough.

April 18, 2013   No Comments

Then the penny drops

Then the penny drops and I figure it all out. Sometimes I am really slow, like painfully slow at realizing the obvious and even though other people point it out to me I still don’t really get it.

Let me back up, things have been hard here for awhile, some of it is my kids behaviour, some of it was winter, some of it was my depression and some of it was just that lately life was not quite what I had thought it would be. I was lulled into this false sense of security with my boys and around December things started to fall off the rails with them and things have been really hard ever since.

They have both come so far and I thought that things would just keep getting better, that the healing would continue and that it would all be good. Then it stopped being good, in fact it got really hard and as a certain small girl started to attach to me, to actually love me I realised that the boys only are still  insecurely attached. That was a big moment for me. It is normal for humans to give and receive love, it is part of taking care of one another and it was not until I started to be loved by Ramona that I realised that the relationship I have with the boys is much different.

You can google insecure attachment if you want to learn more about it but what it means is that they both still struggle with trusting that I am going to meet their needs, keep them safe and that they will be loved unconditionally. Neither of them is very good at understanding that love is a reciprocal thing that is both given and received.  They are both stuck in the stage of toddler/preschooler where it is normal and appropriate for it to be all about you and what you need. They are unable to realise that the needs of the people around them might be impacted by their behaviour and choices. They both often go straight to a tantrum just like a toddler when they do not get there way. There is nothing quite like a 12 year old having an actual stomp your feet and scream your head off tantrum to remind that something is not right in their brain.

We have had the boys for 5 years his July and we are sill having the same conversations about boundaries, personal space, sharing, talking, not hitting, etc that were having when they were 6 and 8. When I say the same conversations I do mean the very same ones.

Calvin is still unable to maintain a relationship with kids his own age, when we go out he gravitates towards the younger children and will happily play tag or in the sandbox for hours on end. I have no problem with his this but other kids are starting to wonder about his behaviour. Kids his own age whom we have known for years will no longer really associate with him because they are maturing and moving on to being teenagers and he is not. Calvin is unable to understand that other people have emotions and that his choices affect how other people are feeling.

Fudge is a different story, there are other factors at play for him and in many ways the profound  neglect he suffered as an infant has  and will continue to affect his daily life. That being said he has made huge strides in his attachment to me and unlike Calvin he feels remorse and tries to make things better after he makes a mistake. I have some of the best apology letters from him because he although he has cognitive issues that effect his impulse control and other aspects of his daily life he genuinely wants to be in relationship with people even if it scares him to death because he so very afraid of losing the people he loves. He works at having friends and although he struggles with being socially appropriate he wants, and  is mostly able to maintain superficial friendships with his peers.

And although I try not to compare my kids it is really hard because parenting Ramona is so different.

Ramona has been here a year, her ability to understand when she crossed the line, ask forgiveness and change her actions amazes me. She is empathetic towards others when they are in pain and tries hard to make amends when she has wronged someone. She gets that she makes poor choices and can talk about how her choices effected the outcome of a situation. She is attaching to both P and I and actually desires to be loved and accepted by us as her parents. Now that being said she does rage, tantrum and manipulate every single situation and without her meds I can barely contain her. She struggles with friendships, sharing and tries to control everything but I expect that from her and things are getting so much better and she grows and feels safe here.

So the other day when I realised that Ramona was loving me, that she was genuinely concerned for my well being I had to stop and have a little cry because I have never felt that from the boys in the same way. To be honest  I am not sure that they are able to love in the same way. Not because they do want to but because the damage done to them as little kids means that their brains are not wired the way they should be. I know that, I understand that,  but my heart often forgets because I pour myself into these kids everyday.  I do everything I can and when there is nothing in return it hurts, it hurts because being loved is a normal part of relationships and it makes me so sad that they are still having such a hard time loving and being loved.


April 7, 2013   No Comments

Monday Moments

  • I’m alive.
  •  not much to say
  •  just working on getting through the day.
  • lots of posts in my head,  no time to write them though
  •  hoping things slow down soon… not likely though.

April 2, 2013   No Comments