Sunday, May 30, 2010

Catching Up

An update in picture format. Things have been very, very busy, but also very, very good. Here is what we have been up to:

Silliness times ten. Loads of fun!!!
Last day of school for Little S. Including hotdogs, mustard and ketchup. Look at his face...

Ahren was loving it too! Loads of games and fun!!! (and hotdogs...)

The oldest kids had Prom. Oooh, aren't they beautiful!!!
Dang, I gave birth to that beauty. Amazing!!
Levi had his Kindergarten graduation/Celebration.
We learned that letting a 6 year old pick out his clothes for school resulted in THIS! (Yes, I let him wear it and I got a pic for all of you to see!!!!)
Ready for summer. These are MY beach Boys.
More to come......

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Much Better

Things are much, much better now. The last couple of days have seen Ahren make a complete recovery and return to being a happy, silly little boy. He is finally eating the way he did 6 months ago and has way more energy. We had his post-op appointment today and his hearing is 100%. Yeah!!! He is like a new boy!!!

Now for a quick funny. As we walked up to the checkout counter at the doctor's office the woman asked us , "Name"? Just as I started to speak, Ahren jumped up and yelled, "Debbie!". She asks, "Debbie?" with a very confused look on her face, while I just laughed out loud! I kept saying he is like a new boy, I guess I just didn't know how new!!! I have been calling him Debbie all day.

Next step in the process of 'Fix Ahren' is back to the diagnostician for a round of follow up tests to see where his kidneys and metabolic processes are.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

It always gets better

First, if you haven't seen Diana's post over at Gold to Refine, you have to jump over there and read it. It's called 'Parenting The Hulk' and it is pure genius. ( Seriously the best analogy of a RAD child I have ever seen, heard or read.

Now, for an update on us. Well, after the very-terrible, no-good, awful night the next day wasn't much better. I didn't get any rest and Ahren was still very unhappy. We got through it. I even tried Diana's suggestion of treating him like a baby but it only ticked him off more and he kept trying to bite the nipple off the bottle. By bedtime he was doing somewhat better and fell asleep easily. he only woke up screaming a few times and was easily lulled back to sleep. I got a little sleep too and I thought Friday was going to be much better.

Friday dawned and as usual I am busy getting kids out of bed, dressed, fed, teeth brushed and backpacks checked. Ahren started out OK but right before we needed to load up to drop the other kids at school he completely lost it again. I can't remember even what set him off. I probably breathed or something. Anyway, I couldn't get him calmed down and into the van. My hands were shaking, my head was pounding and everyone was going to be late for school. I did the only thing i knew to do. I called for help. I called.........his Dad. And I told him his father was coming home to spend the day with him because he was so out of control.

It was magic. The screaming stopped, he put on his shoes and climbed into the van. He was quiet until after I dropped off the other kids. Then, in the most pitiful, tiny voice he asked if I was leaving him. I told him I was not, that I would also be home, but that Daddy would be in charge of him for the day. I was tired of getting hit and kicked and pinched and I wasn't going to put up with it today. I love him so much that it really hurts my heart that he treats me like that, so I was going to have Daddy take care of him for the day. I was going to work on other things.

As expected, he was perfectly well behaved for his daddy all day and has been mostly perfect ever since. They enjoyed a very quiet restful day while I worked outside. It helped reset his attitude and mine too. (I love the outdoors)

Here is another thing I don't think some of my friends and family get. My kids love to have fun and go to parties but the cost to them later is huge. They look just like everyone else's kids running and playing and eating cake, but later that night it is a disaster. Not all the time but enough of the time that it makes it not worth having fun to pay that price later. In the past three weeks we have been invited to three birthday parties. We attended one. I feel bad about not showing up for our friends and their kids, but honestly it is about survival sometimes.

My in-laws are coming to visit. I adore them, think so highly of them and really look forward to their visits. I also live in fear someone will go all freaky-deaky while they are here and they will think we are crazy for caring for these boys. Hopefully, like most times we have company, they can hold it together while they are here and fall apart afterwards. I can deal with the freaky-deaky, no one else should have to. It's not like I can take them to the barn while they scream.....or can I?????

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ramped up RAD

RAD kids, as most of you know, do NOT do well with change. Oh no no no no. Change = Bad. Well the past week here has been all about change. Lots of change. First, Ahren had his tonsils, adenoids and tubes/eardrum repair surgery which also meant he could not go to school for a week. Daddy stayed home that day. Then, our beloved Nanny's mother passed away and she has been gone all week. Sunday was Mother's Day. I stayed home this week and watched kids since nanny was gone. All minor things to us but HUGE to RAD kids.

Little S has done very well. A little more clingy, a couple of infractions just to test the limits but overall smooth sailing.

And then we have Ahren. Yes, he is uncomfortable and not feeling well. I know that. I have given him lots of lee-way for that. But last night was an all-time RAD-fest of epic proportions. He went to sleep at his normal time. I have been sleeping with him because he wakes up in the night with his throat hurting and needing meds and a drink. Last night at 11:30 he woke up and the fun began. The next 7 hours (yes SEVEN) were a series of screaming, hitting, kicking, pulling hair, throwing things, spitting and finally this morning peeing on me. At one point around 4am I had to go sit on the couch and not move because if I had moved it would have been to go in there and beat his little butt to a pulp. I know my limits and I had reached it! Chris was leaving for work then and a few kisses and kind words and I was back in control. Thank goodness he understands!

I finally left him screaming in his room at 6:30 am and stepped into the shower. I could still faintly hear him screaming and could hear him kicking the door, but I didn't care. Go ahead and kick the door. Break it, break your foot. Both were fixable.

And just when I could feel the knots starting to relax in my shoulders, the screaming got louder. He followed me and I forgot to lock the door! I ended up just dragging him into the shower with me, still wearing his pullup and still screaming. I finished my shower, wrapped him in a towel and plopped his little McScreamy butt on the floor as I got dressed. I got him dried off and into some clothes and amazingly as the sun came up, the screaming stopped.

Today is going to be a very long day.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

No sleep....

Ahren is doing pretty well but I am not sleeping. I lay awake and watch/listen to him breathe. For hours. I am insane. Super hyper-vigilant. Why? I don't know. I just can't sleep. On the good side, I have caught up on all my DVR'd shows.........

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Ahren can't catch a break

In addition to all the other things going on with Ahren, he has had constant ear infections for the past 18 months. He has been on many antibiotics including a 21 day course of a strong one that tore up his stomach. He got a bad infection a couple of weeks ago which we started treating within hours but his right ear drum ruptured.

He has not been sleeping well for the past few months. Is it his ears? A new brother? Night terrors? He also has not been eating. He just wants to drink all the time. He has lost 6 pounds. Is that his kidneys? A metabolic issue? He has no energy. Is that because he doesn't eat or sleep or because of his kidneys or metabolic issue???? You see why I drive myself crazy? I can't figure it all out.

I took him to the ENT and we had surgery scheduled within a few days of that visit. His tonsils and adenoids were very enlarged and infected so they came out too. They also patched his eardrum and placed tubes in both ears. And, as if that wasn't enough, he had a small growth taken off the side of his face right in front of his ear. I am so glad this doctor also does facial reconstructive surgery because the growth contained cartilage. He had to remove it at the bone and then stitch it closed. There shouldn't be hardly any scar.

We are hoping that this will allow him to eat and sleep better, reduce the number of infections he has, improve his overall health and improve his hearing. (He failed his hearing test) So far he has slept much, much better the last two nights even with the discomfort. Of course there are some pretty good meds involved so we will see in the next few weeks. He is not in much pain, is happy and smiley and is doing fantastically. Much much better than I anticipated.

Now we let him recuperate and then go back to the diagnostician to follow up with another round of tests. Poor baby. I just want to hold him and never let him go!!!!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Adopting Again!

Are you surprised? Us too! But you already knew I was crazy so this really shouldn't be a big shocker to anyone out there. What's one more at this point?

It all came about recently. We became aware of a young mother who, for reasons we won't divulge, is going to be unable to parent her child. She is just at the halfway mark of her pregnancy. The father is not in the picture. He left shortly after the deed and never looked back. He is reported to be a bit of a bully but that's all we know. Today she is scheduled for an ultrasound. We won't be finding out the sex until after the birth but we will know the important things like health, etc. Oh, and she is a very healthy girl. No alcohol or drugs.

The mother is not, um, how to say this, a great beauty. Actually she is a bit of a 'plain' girl. If the baby looks like her it is definitely going to be the kind of face only a mother could love. Now don't shoot me for saying that. It's the truth! She has a big underbite and kind of snaggly teeth. She is also a very stocky girl with a big head. She tends to drool, she farts a lot and apparently snores loudly. But she is a total sweetheart, very pretty on the inside!

We have been discussing names a lot. I think coming up with a name is the hardest thing. I am hoping for a girl and would love to call her Jenny or Daisy, but a boy would be nice too. I am partial to the name Drake for a boy.

I found a picture on the web of what I think our new baby will look like. Like I said, a face only a mother could love. I can hardly wait to bring this little one home!


Sunday, May 02, 2010

A Great Big Step Forward

Traumatized and RAD kids seldom if ever do anything nice for someone else. It just isn't within their abilities. Especially something spontaneous and without prompting.

When Little S came to us his history was that he rarely played with other children, preferred to be alone most of the time, and tended to lash out at others. We have been working hard on these things and he now plays well with others most of the time. He seeks out playmates. He likes to be with his brothers.

But that isn't the big major step he took this week. He got a trip to the treasure box at school as a reward for good behavior all week. Instead of picking a toy for himself, he chose a princess doll to give to his friend Mina because he knew she loves anything princess. No one gave him the idea, no one prompted him to think of someone else, he just did it from his own heart. I couldn't praise him enough. That is amazing behavior for any 4 year old, but absolutely outstanding for a kid like him. I am so freakin PROUD of my little boy!!!!!!