Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lazy Day Ramblings

My yard is getting a little overgrown so this morning I decided to do some cleanup.

I was in the middle of pulling weeds when I ran into this spider.........

I decided to let the weeds stay.
We ventured into town this afternoon and did some clothing shopping before we went to see Despicable Me. Larissa was sitting next to me and really enjoyed it. It was such a joy to hear her spontaneous laughing. Although my kids can frustrate at times, I truly enjoy watching them grow into their own little personalities.....they are such a joy to me.
After the movie we visited the Family Christian Store where they had this necklace in the clearance section.

Joselin asked me to buy it for her. I was shocked and I guess she could tell. She asked me if I thought that she was an atheist. I said yes, she had told me that she didn't believe. She said that it wasn't true, she does believe in God. Teenage rejection of parental values? I don't know. We take life one day at a time right now. If you parent teenagers you understand.

I don't really know where we stand with Joselin anymore. She rejects us one day and seems to try and come back the next. She has decided to go back to school and I hope that she does well this year. I worry about her, more then she worries about herself.

Our weekends seem to go by so fast. I know it is because John is only home on the weekends and we try to put a weeks worth of togetherness into two days. I am afraid that this will be our situation for a long time. The job market here in SC is terrible and I don't see it changing in the near future. I know that I shouldn't worry about it since I can't do anything about it, however, I do.

One day at a time..........................

Friday, July 30, 2010

My Dirty Secret

We are car slobs!

It is not unusual for my kids to get out of the car, pick up whatever fell out with them and throw it back into the car. We may be slobs but we don't litter.....obviously it all stays in the car.
I do wonder who the white brush belongs to, I have never purchased a white brush.
We were way overdue for a vacuuming stop. My kids know the routine; we pull up, bring over the trash cans, empty the car, then put money in both vacuum machines and clean.

The next generation of cleaners, they did get a chance to vacuum.

After a mere 15 minutes and $1.50 the car is presentable.....for a few days at least.

Please tell me we aren't the only ones!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Yesterday I spent half the day with the neurobehaviorist trying to decide how to help Anthony. Figuring out what is going on with him is very difficult. He is dealing with several challenges: genetics, drug and alcohol exposure in utero, early neglect and then 3 years as a foster child. If we had chosen not to adopt he would have then had another move and another loss and trauma.


When dealing with issues it is hard to determine what the source is. Could this be genetic, environmental, from neglect? How do you best deal with it? Can it be corrected? We want to help Anthony to succeed in life, how to we do that?


Last year when he was evaluated Anthony was still going to visitation. The day of visitation and several days after were terrible. His behaviors were not manageable at home or school. At that evaluation he was diagnosed with possible bipolar. We thought that he was really young and with the visitations still happening didn't feel that we could get a definite diagnosis.


Anthony has now been our son for over a year and has not had visitation for about 18 months. Many of his behaviors have settled down to a more manageable level. However, they have not gone away. Our concern is that they are hampering his education. He is struggling with his ability to process as well as some behavior issues.


Once again, he has been diagnosed with Bipolar II. I really like this doctor, he takes the time to talk with you and answer all your questions. I really do need to tape him, he brings out the white erase board and shows me everything on a neurological level. Many of the behavior issues we have been dealing with are explained with Bipolar.


The time has come for us to move forward with that diagnosis and see if we can get him the proper help. I have really struggled with this diagnosis but denial does not help. Hopefully by getting it under control now we can break the cycle that his biological family has been stuck in.


I can't believe it, last night I was in bed by 9pm and sound asleep before 10. My teenagers thought for sure that I was sick. I wasn't, I was just trying to process my overloaded brain!

I have been busy and overwhelmed. Naturally that is the time for the pets to get sick. Apparently the puppy clipped the kitten one day on her neck and it got infected. We got to take a trip to the vet to get antibiotics. Gabby is doing much better today, although she is not too happy with me. Yesterday I had an appointment for Anthony in a town about an hour away. Well, at least I THOUGHT that I had an appointment. We got there at 9 am to be told that our appointment was the next day. Ooops, so much for Outlook, it is only as good as the operator. They did have an opening for the afternoon so we decided to stay in town and do that.

So, Anthony and I had a few hours to waste. We hit up Hobby Lobby. Uh, are you ready for Christmas?

I love Hobby Lobby but after seeing a quarter of the store in Christmas display I couldn't buy anything, I need to save for Christmas!
We spent some time at the mall shopping the clearances. I wore Anthony out, he said that his legs were sore. He just can't do serious malling. I guess he never heard to the term "shop til you drop".
We got back to the neurobehaviorist at 1:30 and had a very informational appointment. I found out a lot of information about bipolar and received many small classes of instruction on the neurological level. I really wish that I could tape this guy, he is so full of information......that I will have to share later.
Kids are looking at me, we are heading out to register teenagers in school.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What is Selective Mutism....again

What is Selective Mutism (SM)? — Selective Mutism Group: "Diagnosis of other comorbid anxiety disorders are also commonly diagnosed with SM and social phobia (Biedel & Turner, 1998). The name change from 'elective' to 'selective mutism' in DSM-IV deemphasized the oppositional behavior connotation that a child elected not to speak and rather emphasized the characteristic of the disorder, that there are select environments in which speaking does not occur (APA, 1994). The term selective mutism is consistent with new etiological theories that focus on anxiety issues (Dow et al., 1995).
The current edition, DSM-IV-TR (APA, 2000) states that the following criteria must be met in order to qualify for a diagnosis of selective mutism:
An inability to speak in at least one specific social situation where speaking is expected (e.g., at school) despite speaking in other situations (e.g., at home); The disturbance has interfered with educational or occupational achievement or with social communication; The duration of the selective mutism is at least one month and is not limited to the first month of school; The inability to speak is not due to to a lack of knowledge of or discomfort with the primary language required in the social situation; and, The disturbance cannot better be accounted for by a communication disorder (e.g. stuttering) and does not occur exclusively during the course of a pervasive developmental disorder, schizophrenia or other psychotic disorder.
Consistent with current research, SMG believes that Selective Mutism is best understood as a childhood social communication anxiety disorder. SM is much more than shyness and most likely on the spectrum of social phobia and related anxiety disorders. SM is NOT a child willfully refusing to speak."

I had an incident today that caused me to look up Selective Mutism. Because of one person I was in a terrible mood all day.

I have been trying to get Larissa into the 4K program in the school in which we are zoned. I feel that it would better prepare her for kindergarten the next year. With her anxiety it would be nice to have that transition in the same school in the same environment. However, the special education department doesn't agree with me. Larissa will be going to a different school this year....her third.
During our discussion I mentioned that with her Selective Mutism Larissa's needs would be best met by attending her zoned school. I was told, "it is not like she has a disability or anything, she just chooses not to speak". Needless to say, she received a lecture on how debilitating SM can actually be.

She honestly thinks that my child is just being willful. No wonder she is not interested in actually helping with her issue. I had just spoken with the private speech therapist today and she also thinks that Larissa should go to her zoned school. She wants to talk with the school. I don't think that it will help. Closed minds are so hard to open.

This is not the first time I have met with this opinion. We were actually told by a therapist that we should punish her every time she wouldn't talk. My husband was with me at the time and was shocked. We can both tell that it is not just a willful act, we are sure that if she could get those words out she would gladly. We have never punished her for not talking to others and we never will, our hearts tell us it is wrong.

So, tomorrow I will be sending the above description of Selective Mutism from the Selective Mutism Group to the special education department of our district office. I will underline a few sentences for her. Maybe, someone there will learn something new. All I know is......... she is worth the fight.

Monday, July 26, 2010

MRI Completed

We went to the Children's Hospital today to get Larissa's MRI done. They had this painting in the entrance. I love it, I may recreate some of it in the empty bedroom my spare time.

The MRI went well, it was a tear free day.

When Sarah used to get sedated it was terrible. They put a cream on her IV site to numb the area but it never seemed to help. I can't tell you the number of times they had to papoose her to start her IV.....terrible to watch. Then she always threw up afterwards. The last MRI she had she developed an allergy to the contrast and turned red all over. Sarah is due for a MRI of her optic glioma but we all seem to be stalling on it.

With Larissa they used a spray that froze the area and a lot of distraction. She didn't seem to mind the IV at all. We were so thankful.

They gave her a little doll for her bravery.

After her MRI was competed she took a little time to wake up. She did have a seizure while waking up. Larissa ate her cookies and drank her juice with no nausea so they took out her IV and we were free to McDonald's.

My biggest lesson learned is to change the time if we ever have to do this again. She had a 12:30 appointment and we didn't leave until 5 pm so she was very hungry. Definitely need to get the earliest appointment time possible.

Now we wait for her follow up appointment on August 24th to get the results.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Today we put together the furniture for the gazebo.
Yesterday morning bright and early I went to some garage sales. I picked up some Barbie stuff (even though we really didn't need more). Larissa found the stash in the garage. She sat and stared at it for awhile.

Finally she tried to pick up the box and said that it was light enough for her to help by taking it inside. Such a helper!

She kept the Barbie box close all day.

We got the gazebo furnished as the sun was going down.

If you are ever my way come on by for some BBQ. However, try to wait until it is below 100 degrees outside!

Tomorrow we go for Larissa's MRI. Thankfully John is off and gets to share the experience with us.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Gazebo is Standing

After the tree was down and hauled away we decided to tackle the gazebo. Smart decision was to call Jason and tell him to come over and help. It is always beneficial to have youngins around in case you collapse of heat exhaustion.

Nice bag of screws, looks like fun!

Our neighbor got nosy so he got to hold one of the corners. We now owe him some BBQ.
I did some work too. Actually, I am always in charge of reading the directions. That way if there are any mistakes then it is my fault.

We were supposed to put the canopy tarp on before putting the top on. However, since I was in charge of holding the top while the men attached it, I decided to put it on afterwards. Attaching the finial was tricky but not too difficult for Jason.

Completed! No fighting or divorces over this project.

Next.....putting together the furniture. Do you know that if you buy patio furniture at Walmart that it comes in a nice a whole lot of pieces. That is a project for another day.

Today was our 18th wedding anniversary. Don't we look like we had a great time! Afterwards, John and I went out for some for dinner (just the two of us!)

Finally, I found someone who works!

After our tree man didn't show up I decided to call around for a tree man who works in the heat. I called Mike's Professional Tree Service, they were out working and stopped by to give an estimate. They quoted $390 and were willing to come out today (Saturday) to take the tree down.
Guess what? They showed up!
It is definitely not a job for those afraid of heights.

They did a fantastic job. They cleaned up the yard after they were done. I do believe that the yard is cleaner then before they started.

Mike is an Army veteran, he has a great work ethic. So nice to see nowadays.

Next, we get to put up the gazebo.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Craft Room in Progress

Still working on my craft room. This corner is crying out for a desk.

I wanted to build one in with a very simple design. I put some supports in.

When I put the table top on I realized that I had measured wrong. I measured the distance from the top of the board to the bottom of the leg. Ooops, I should have measured from the bottom of the table top. So, I had to either lower the supports or make the leg longer.

Making the leg longer definately seemed easier. A scrap piece of wood solved that brain malfunction.

I attached the table top to the wall supports and added a little trim. This is a very simple and inexpensive project, I am happy with the end result.

Oh, and the tree man has not showed up. After I called him I learned that it is too hot to work outside and that he planned on coming on Monday. Uh, nice to let me know this. Guess that means our plans for putting up the gazebo this weekend are cancelled.
Some days I just get so frustrated.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Project of the Day

When we moved we had a small gazebo in the backyard. It had mosquito netting around it so you could sit outside without losing a gallon of blood. However, the design was flawed. When it rained water would pool on the top. Since we weren't home to push the water off, the gazebo succumbed to the weight of the water. It imploded one day.

All we were left with was the 10X10 flooring. The dead tree is off to the right, partially circled in yellow. It is really in a bad spot, near my house, swing and soon to be gazebo. That is why it will cost so much to cut down, you can't just drop it.
That big tree needs to come down before we can think about replacing the old gazebo.

Our wedding anniversary is coming up so John and I decided to replace the gazebo and get seating as our gift to ourselves. We had a hard time finding a replacement gazebo because we are too far into the summer season. You know how it is, winter and Christmas stuff will be out soon.

We did find one that Lowe's had but it was 10X12 and really more then we wanted to spend. Well, we finally decided to go with that gazebo (uh, because it was the only one we could find that was still available since no on else was willing to spend that much on it). We had to go hunting through several different Lowe's to find one. We also got some clearance furniture at WalMart.

Since the gazebo is bigger then our flooring my project of the day was to extend the existing flooring. I enlisted the help of my son. He can be quite helpful for manual labor.

It really was a simple little project to do.

Now we need to clean and put some type of protector on the old flooring.

Once we get the tree down we can put up the gazebo. I am not chancing putting it up and having a branch fall on it. The last time we had trees cut down they took out the kids swing set.
I have made several calls today to resolve some of my ongoing issues and am waiting on return calls (not holding my breath). Now, should I start another project or take a nap?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Just One of Those Days

Joselin and I spent a lot of time together today. We left the house at 9 am for a doctors appointment. Her doctor was concerned about her continued abdomen pain so he sent us for a CT scan. We were told that they would fit us in. You know what that means........long wait.

We did finally get the CT scan and then were told to wait for the results. our doctor wanted us to meet with the pediatric surgeon.

We waited for hours. We hadn't eaten anything all day and I had read every magazine that they had available in the waiting room. Needless to say that by 3:30 I was quite annoyed and ready to go home. I guess I am spoiled and not used to waiting so long for care.

I did tell them that my daughter was actually in more pain after sitting for 3 hours in their uncomfortable chairs. Shortly after we were told to head over to another building and see the surgeon.
We head there and wait. Finally we see a doctor and after a 3 minute exam he tells us the CT scan was clear and that she needs to see a different specialist. He can't make the referral so we have to go back to our primary care doctor and get a referral to ObGyn, she has female issues. That was what I suggested was the problem on Monday before the ultrasound and CT scan. Finally at 4 pm we were free to go home.

We hadn't eaten all day so we headed home to get the kids and go out to eat dinner. While home I took a few minutes to call the program that Joselin wants to attend. Not good, yesterday she found out that they will not have funding for the female program. They will only fund a male residential program. How quickly things change.

I also took a call from Sarah's school. I thought that we resolved her issues yesterday........ nope.
She said that they don't have Sarah's current IEP so she can't make her schedule. I told her that I did give her the most current IEP. She says that it is old, from 2009. I state that 2009 was last school year, it is dated Oct 2009, less then a year old. I think what annoyed me was that she told me that she had been trying to reach the old school for days so she could put in Sarah's schedule. I don't know if she remembers that we were just in yesterday and she had completely forgotten about Sarah. I will go tomorrow.................again. I may take Joselin's stuff in just to challenge them. I am not sure what to do with her at this time.

Larissa's preschool administrator did call me today........I missed it. Ugh.

So, we had dinner, I went to my old doctor and picked up my immunization form that they filled out for me for USC, went and got Joselin's pain meds and as a treat to myself got some wood at Lowe's.

By 9 pm I was able to finally sit down and check my mail. Nice, apparently Larissa's doctor did not put in a referral for the neurologist so I have a nice hefty bill. I get to call tomorrow and ask them about it. I also get to transfer the two little ones to our local doctor.....I miss them, I never had to worry about a referral getting put in.
Well, tomorrow is another day for greatness.