Monday, May 30, 2011

Catching Toads

...and playing with my new camera.
(Mine broke this past week.) :(

Olivia and Braeden were too scared to try and grab one of the toads they saw just below them.

But Liam is fearless I guess!

So proud!
Two at once!

Shared one with his brother who was ok with holding, just not catching.
Olivia BARELY touched it and was DONE. :)

Yep, he was KISSING it!
Someone suggested I am a "way cooler mom" than her due to this...
Maybe I'm just NUTS! :)

We are having a great Memorial Day!
I hope you have the same!
Saturday, May 28, 2011

Thoughts on "Disorders"

I've thought and prayed a lot about this post. I don't feel like I need to "explain" myself to anyone but God, and even then I don't "explain" myself but rather converse as He knows my inmost being. That said, I would like to talk a bit about how we got to where we are with Braeden right now.

This is mostly because I recently read a blog post that really hit hard. Someone posted a long dialogue about how so many of today's "disorders" are a joke. That "professionals" are giving name to disobedient behavior and making the disorder's label a way to excuse said behavior instead of parenting the way children need to and used to be parented. A couple of the disorders listed were ones I've heard of, ones I know of, ones I know kids from hard places deal with, and I don't think that they are a joke, especially to the parents now in the position of loving and parenting a child with this trauma and hurt. The post then went on to talk in the same way about children labeled with ADHD and how in the past a paddle "cured" ADD.

Don't get me wrong, as a teacher especially, I have seen many many children "diagnosed" with ADD/ADHD who are NOT. Children who do NOT need medication and yet are "drugged" daily. I get it. I've seen it. I have taught, and teach, said children and have NOT agreed with this "diagnosis" yet as a teacher I usually wasn't consulted and the "doctor" has strictly gone by parental say so. Parents who are ill equipped to "deal" or parent and are looking for a way to make things "easier". Crazy. I get it.

But, there are many many children I have seen and have taught who truly do need something to help them. Children/Students who absolutely cannot focus AT ALL and therefore are NOT learning. I teach one now who usually does not get the medicine he desperately needs on a regular basis and he has learned little to nothing this entire year. A year of his life wasted because his parents don't care enough? to give him the meds regularly?

So here's a little of our walk in the past seven years of my Braeden's life. (without sharing his history and details that are HIS)

Braeden first of all has a bio brother and sister who lives with a good friend of mine. They were only two and one when Braeden was born and had at that time lived with her for a year, therefore they have grown up with my friend since infancy. She parents VERY differently than I do. Not better or worse, just differently. And yet all three kids, especially Braeden and his brother, are SO much alike in activity and behavior it's not even funny. Yet they were raised in different homes. Interesting. :) They have the same birth parents, and similar histories with regards to things happening in utero.

Braeden came to live with me at 3 days old, from the hospital, yet was nine months genetically and physically linked with his birth parents. Although he wasn't born yet, many things affected him during this time in the womb. Things that affected how his brain developed as opposed to a "typically" developing child. Things that left gaps and holes in pieces of his brain affecting mood, regulation, activity, etc.

From the early days, Braeden has always been active. And that is a radical understatement. I've nannied, babysat, worked with children in my church nursery, etc from the time I was very young, and have been around many many children. Braeden was active to the extreme. As a young toddler, he would lay on his back in his crib and RUN his feet around the edge of the crib, spinning on his back as he did so. He literally could not and CANNOT be still. As he sits, he is flipping in his seat, climbing ALL OVER, etc. And it's NOT him being BAD. It's just HIM. He can't control it. He is the textbook definition of "run by a motor." No amount of parenting would or will change this. (Believe me, I'm pretty strict and structured and most think I'm TOO hard on the kids, another post itself!) :)

I have worked HARD to keep Braeden regulated and in a routine to help him as much as possible. I have waited as long as I possibly could to even try meds for him as I don't always agree with meds at all. And we had awesome and wonderful teachers who worked with both of us as long as possible to help him educationally as we navigated through the educational years.

His preschool teacher kept him near her, worked on redirecting whenever possible, and knew how to keep tabs on him with field trips. And in turn he learned to read, counted in spanish by ones and tens to one hundred, and devoured non-fiction books, especially in regards to animals. As we moved to kindergarten we were so blessed to have Braeden in a class with a teacher who had a child herself VERY much like Braeden and had navigated many of the issues we deal with. He flourished again. He was in the highest reading group and was learning so much every day. Yet as the year was coming to a close, we talked about how he was beginning to be affected educationally by his "motor". His eyes were starting to jump as he read, affecting his reading and education. We knew it was unfortunately time to start looking at something medicinally that hopefully would help him slow down and focus more. Not because we were allowing him to get away with behaviors. Not because he was choosing to disobey. But because he could not control his movement and impulsivity as other children can and it was affecting his education.

I was naive. I thought, it'll be worth it for him. They'll prescribe a med, knowing him as a patient, and we will be on the right track. I was wrong.

In rolled our nightmare that this year has been with regard to medicine. With regard to being on Medicaid. With regard to doctors who don't listen. Doctors who see kids as stats, as behaviors, as money in their pocket. Not as kids. This aggression... this belligerence... this rage... this "child"... is not the same one I trusted in their hands at the start of this school year. BUT, we didn't get here lightly. We (I) didn't make the decision to medicate because I was too lazy to parent him correctly, or because I didn't want him running through the house, or because others were pressuring me into this decision and it was the easy route. Believe me, this year has been anything but easy. This is harder than having the child who is active. I wonder if I am still doing right by him ALL. THE. TIME. I question and pray. But right now I believe that I still need to try. For him. For his future.

I hope that others can understand there IS more to a child's behavior SOMETIMES than parenting. It's not always about the parent. Pass it on. :)
Thursday, May 26, 2011


My "baby" Liam graduated from preschool tonight!
I still cannot figure out WHERE the time has gone!

The little caps and gowns were just TOO adorable!
And I love how his hair stuck out from beneath!

He is enamored by his teacher and will miss her terribly!

'Course the diplomas make for great telescopes!

His siblings and I surprised him back at home with a small gift...
Can you see the excitement on his face...

All for chips and cotton candy!
He was over the moon happy!

Happy Graduation buddy!

What is Dis.ney?

Think we need a lesson in all things Disney... soon!

Today is Disney Day at our school,
and last night Olivia was scrambling to find something to wear.
1st she brings out a Pippi Longstocking costume...
Um, not Disney!
She looked very perplexed and went to get something else.

Then brought a Wonder Woman cape...
Um, still no!
I give a brief rundown and she looks at me like I have two heads!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Square One

Feels like we're right back to where we began with Braeden's meds.

At "school" he is out of control physically - moving constantly, flipping on furniture, etc - basically how he is WITHOUT meds, but on top of that he has been refusing to do things, not cooperating, etc. At home he's really been ok, as well as fine at the friend's home he is going to afterwards since he gets out at 2 now.

Monday was a very rough day at "school", yesterday was much better (he also had the incentive of eating out Tuesday if his day was better). Today was HORRIBLE I guess, just increasing in intensity and aggression.

And it carried over to tonight. He asked a simple question... can we stop home and get my two quarters to spend at a gum machine today... and mom had a simple answer... no. No, not when your day was so out of control at school, sorry, but if tomorrow is better I'll consider it. That's all it took to get him MAD. Not a typical tantrum mad. But ANGER.

He went in the house where things continued until he was packing things to leave. I refused to let him leave and had to physically carry him upstairs and restrain him until he was at least somewhat in control. He says horrible things during these times and I haven't seen this with me since fall when we started this whole process. He was left in his room to calm down and came down later much more in control. After dinner he actually apologized and hugged me.

I KNOW much of this is NOT in his control. I do BELIEVE he doesn't WANT to be so angry and act the way he does. But I'm human, and it hurts. A lot.

I'll keep many details to ourselves as a family, but know I share what I do share to help others understand that they aren't the only ones who may be in similar circumstances.

And to elicit more specific prayers. For my child's heart. For his doctors.

They met this morning and are INCREASING the ADHD meds, but NOT increasing his "mood" meds. I'm worried. I'm VERY worried. I just don't see how that is going to do anything but make everything worse. Not from what I've seen this year. I wish they would try a non-stimulant. Maybe that's NOT the answer, but how can it be worse???

Please PRAY for us.
Sunday, May 22, 2011

Random Snapshots

Liam decided to accessorize himself a couple days this week...
Gotta love the clip on look with a football t-shirt!

Braeden came home Wednesday and boy were we happy to see this smiling face!

Had some ups and downs with meds and medicaid refusing to cover one,
so were without one of his two new ones for a couple days.
Back on track now and praying things even out.
As of right now I really don't see much difference
in his activity and impulsivity on the meds than I did off,
plus he still seems angry at times for no real reason. :(

Olivia had her year end dance recital last night and this afternoon.
This is a HUGE production, sold out each day (there are also performances
on Friday night and Saturday afternoon that she wasn't involved in),
with much rehearsal time and prep.

The boys had a sitter last night (and Braeden made it through well)
and they came with me to see the show today.

We made it through the first act (an hour and a half!),
and saw Olivia's first dance - a tap number to Polar Express,
and had a little pop at intermission.

They only had Pe*psi or Diet Pe*psi, so Liam thought he was hot stuff
since mom doesn't usually allow him to have that stuff! :)

We then watched the first two dances in Act II since Olivia's was the second.
This dance was a jazz number to Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
They were both SO good and Olivia did EXCELLENT!!!
Unfortunately I couldn't take pics or record anything, so no costume shots! :(

A friend just posted this on Face*book so I snagged it! :)

I took the boys out after that dance since there was still quite a bit left
and Braeden had done well but was hanging by a thread. :)
So we hung out in the hall with the iPad.

Just to give this girly a HUGE hug and congratulations!
We are so proud of her!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Getting Back to Normal

Well, as I said it's been quite a week or two. I haven't felt like blogging, or doing much of anything to be honest, but I THINK we're starting to see the light at the end of this tunnel.

After Mother's Day weekend, which was great, I was hopeful we could make it through the rest of the school year. Monday was bad. He was in and out of the principal's office all day and at the end they had me pick him up instead of putting him on the bus. It was decided that the next time he was out of control at school I would pick him up and take him to ER. I was hopeful that I was seeing a pattern and that Tuesday would be ok for him. It wasn't. They started the day practicing for a musical that Braeden had decided he didn't want to be in any longer and another teacher told him that he still had to stand there and he lost it.

They called me almost two hours after school had begun and we headed to the hospital. He bawled the whole way when he saw that I really was taking him there, which we had talked about, and not home. My heart broke.

Of course ER was crazy busy and many ambulances were coming and going as well, meaning we were in the waiting area for FOUR hours before even going back to be seen. Braeden vacillated between being mad and not wanting to stay, being "ok" and watching a movie on the iPad, and trying to make it "ok" in his mind by saying things such as "I know mom, it's like I'm visiting Grandma and Grandpa without you, only with people I don't know." Again, broke my heart.

We arrived to ER at noon and he was finally brought upstairs and admitted at 6:30 pm.

The time there was both filled with good and bad, maybe another post sometime. Overall I really liked the staff I met and they did take him off his meds and put him on new ones. After the second day they saw no rages or anger (after they took him off the Focalin... ). The kids weren't able to visit until Tuesday, a full week after he was admitted, as that is the only day siblings can come. They were SO happy to see each other!!!

And he was FINALLY discharged last night! We are so happy to have him back under our roof again! They decided to transition him to their day program to be certain he's on the correct meds and ease his transition. Not too big a deal except that he gets out at 2 and there is no transportation. I and a few local friends are working it out to pick him up each day and take him to a friend's who will keep him until I'm done at school, she just doesn't have access to a car right now to pick him up herself.

The best thing coming from all of this is the fact that he will now have a different doctor. They told me that they've had kids inpatient for two weeks, put them on all new meds, and then the child has gone back to (the same doctor B had) and he changed all their meds at their first appt back. So we'll now have a local doctor whom I've heard good things about and shouldn't have these issues with doctors again! If anything, THAT will have been worth all of this!
Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Help a Friend

Could you PLEASE take just a minute...

A good friend was chosen as a semi finalist! Please friends and family go to this site and vote up to 10 times a day. Limit of 10 per email address and limit of 20 per IP address per day. After the trying year they have had, they could certainly use a positive! If they win they get a front yard makeover and a new mower!! Help them out!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Saturday Snapshots

(more "life" updates soon, been a crazy/rough/light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel kind of week...)

Today Olivia and Liam and I headed to Six Flags to activate our season passes.

The kids get big, friend birthday parties at ages 5, 10, and 16, so this summer is Olivia's big 10th birthday.

When we were discussing her party and talking through options, she decided instead of a big party with many friends, that she'd like to invite three friends and go to Six Flags for the day.

Upon researching, I discovered that for only $60 MORE, we could get season passes for the four of us, as the days we would go for her party were bring a friend for just $15 days on the season passes, so we opted to go for the passes!

The weather, which was wonderful early in the week, turned COLD and RAINY!

But we had three GREAT hours to start the day and because of the weather there was hardly anyone there!

That meant we were able to go on most everything with little wait.

And Olivia who is now tall enough to ride anything (her goal for oh-so-long), was able to go on the rides she has LONGED to ride while Liam and I waited!

This series of pics makes me cry for laughing so hard! He talked about riding a "little" coaster all day, so when we finally got there he was thrilled!

But once it was actually going he HATED it and Olivia and I could NOT help but just CRACK UP (poor kid!).

Phew, all over!

Started raining right as we were about to leave! A great morning!

Afterwards, we headed to a nearby mall for lunch and a little shopping (found some AMAZING deals!).

The weather didn't stop US! :)

Let's Connect!

Search This Blog


About Me

I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!

Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

Check out my Teachers Pay Teachers store!

Blog Archive

What you should know about HIV

-HIV can NOT be spread through casual/household contact. HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing, swimming or any other casual way. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles). - HIV is now considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives. - People who are HIV+ deserve to be treated with love, respect, support and acceptance as all people do. Additional information on transmission of HIV can be found on the Center for Disease Control website:

Other Awesome Blogs

Orphan Crisis

• 147 million orphans in the world
• 50 million orphans in Africa 
• Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS
• 16,000,000 have been orphaned by AIDS
• Every week, AIDS claims as many lives as American fatalities in the Vietnam War
• 854 million people do not have enough to eat
• Malnutrition is associated with the deaths of 5 million children under the age of five
• Every 2 seconds an orphan dies from malnutrition

Hence the title of my blog

Little Did I Know

Little did I know that the road would be so rocky
Little did I know that the trip would take so long
Little did I know that my heart could hurt so much
Little did I know that God is never wrong

Little did I know that love could be so powerful
Little did I know that a dream so far could go
Little did I know that God would place the right ones
Little did I know that my heart, so large, could grow

Little did I know that a dream has it’s own timing
Little did I know that this day would finally come
Little did I know that four souls would be sent to guide me
Little did I know that they would choose to call me mom

But God knew all along and He had a plan to follow
God knew all along that my dream would soon come true
God knew all along that we five should be together
God knew all along that I’d share it all with you