Sunday, December 29, 2013

Holiday triggers for RAD kids

  Any change in routine is difficult for kids like Jon. Even the happiest, most entertaining events are super stressful. Add in the fact that we got him at the beginning of January (meaning he knew he was leaving his old family that Christmas) and this time of year is difficult. He acts out at school and at home. Old negative behaviors raise their ugly heads and he does his absolute best to appear unloveable. Each year it has gotten better with less drama and more true enjoyment. This year I was worried because it is the first time we have ever been medication-free.
  One big difference this year is that I have not been working. Instead I became a substitute teacher for the school district so I am spending a lot of time at the kids' elementary school. I touch base with Jon during the day, giving him hugs and smiles, letting him know I know he can do this. He only had a couple of issues with his behavior and they were pretty minor. Well, except for the day he set off the fire alarm by opening the emergency door in the gym. Ugh! He claimed it was an accident but the teacher watched him put both hands on the release bar, look around, then give it a big push. His story is that he fell into it after he tripped. Yeah, right.
  The vacation days leading up to Cristmas were really busy and he held it together really well. He was a little hyper, but so was every other kid alive. Christmas Day was lovely. Relaxing, happy and great family time. All of the kids had a great day and loved their gifts. It was awesome.
  The day after was okay. He left his remote control helicopter on the floor and a dog chewed on the blades. Only very minor damage but he was sure it was destroyed and fell into a deep, negative mood. I had to work hard to pull him out of it, but it worked and he recovered quickly. He also snuck out ofmthenhouse with his roller skates and tried them out without any safety gear. Luckily he did not get hurt.
  Yesterday the cracks began to appear. I sent the boys to pick up their rooms and the whining and negativity began. A job that should have taken 10 minutes dragged into an hour and Jon had still not picked up anything. Instead he had lost his pants that he had been wearing, wiped spit on is brother, sat on Ahren's head and said several ugly things to anyone close enough to hear him. At this point I went in to help. I find if I break it down into smaller tasks, such as pick up only the blocks and put them into the bucket. As we began this project I found the remote control helicopter in the trash can, again. Then I found several other toys broken and hidden under is bed. I also found empty candy wrappers, sucker sticks and crackers under there. (We have a no-food in the bedrooms rule) Then I found Levi's cell phone under there. At that point I began to ask him about these things. Well, he claimed that he did not do any of it. He blamed everything on various others, but he was innocent. I can handle all the negative behaviors except for the lying. That pushes my buttons! Just admit you ate candy in bed and hid the wrappers. I will remind you of the rules and it is done. But the lying? That is going to destroy his life if it continues. Without that inner self control and sense of responsibility, he will be in danger of ending up on drugs, in jail or dead. I can follow m around at this age and give I'm external clues and control, but I can't do that for ever. He has to internalize it and listen to his own inner voice. He is doing better, but this area is still a  big issue.
  It would be easy to make excuses for him,  to blame his behaviors on RAD/PTSD and give him a break. We have chosen not to do this. Instead we set the bar high. Not just at normal, but at extraordinary. We know he has it in him. If we don't push him to reach high and realize his full potential, he never will. We would be failing him. A close friend of mine has an autistic son and we have discussed this many times. She also pushes her son to higher standards, and he is surpassing all of the professionals' expectations for him. Extraordinary. That is my goal for my son.

Friday, December 27, 2013

My Obamacare experience

  I hesitate to post about anything political or religious. I have my opinions and I really don't want to argue them or defend them on a public forum.....but I feel the need to share my experience regarding the new healthcare initiative.
  A little background: when I left my job this summer we used Cobra for continuing our health insurance for a few months. After that I got plans for Kaytee and Ashley thru the college, but the rest of us are uninsured. Yep, we are 'those' people right now. We knew that by January we would be participating in a new plan, although we will not qualify for any assistance. We just wanted a plan that could give us decent coverage and not cost thousands every month.
  Starting on the first of October I began attempting to use the site to create an account and shop for insurance. First, it took 7 attempts over 5 weeks to actually create an account. Then I had to fill out pages and pages of information. I did that but none of it saved. Again and again and again. Then finally one day I got thrunthemapplication process and onto the identity verification portion. This is where everything tanked. The site could not verify my identity.  So I called the special phone number. They told me that they did not have me in the system and to try back next week. This went on for three weeks until they finally told me to call a specialist. Again, I did that but she also couldn't find me so she took my info and told me a higher level specialist would contact me. Yup, that never happened.
  I called again and was told I had to upload pictures of my documentation, such as my drivers license, passport and social security card. Say what? You have my social and license info already, how will a picture be any different? Seriously? I feel completely comfortable sending everything needed to steal my identity to a website that is so jacked up already. NOT!!!
  It is now past the deadline to enroll and I have called, resubmitted our application numerous times and done everything short of offering them my first born child and my identity to steal. We are now shopping directly with the insurance companies. It's too late to have coverage in January but maybe by February.
  So in the end I am not a fan of the new system. Maybe the coverages will be worth it, maybe not. I will wait to see before making an opinion on that. But the system so far? Broken, frustrating and ridiculously difficult. I gave it my best effort. I reserved judgement early on. I really hoped it would be a success.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Catching up in pictures

Career day at school. Ahren went as an FBI agent.

Jon went as a cowboy (he doesn't really want to be one, just wanted to wear his hat and boots)

 Why do they sleep like this? They look like they have been run over!

Ahren and Levi dressed up for a Halloween party.

Boys and muddy holes. Pure joy…for them!

                       Boxers are the best dogs for kids. This is how the boys sleep every night.

Lots of outdoor activities now that it is not so hot. Levi on his 4-wheeler. Helmets are required!

Levi stylin. 

                           Heapin' pile of boxers. They constantly lay on top of each other like this.

Trunk or Treat at the church. We went as Duck Dynasty. Hilarious!

We borrowed a friend of levi's to have enough characters. Adam was Willie. Levi is Si, Jon is Jace and Ahren is Jep.