Anyone still out there reading??
Has it really been since January that I posted on my blog? Wow. Well, lots has been happening here in the family of 4.
Well, I guess I'll go back to January, and fill in a bit from there.
LGA started her new Special Ed Day class in a new school quite a ways away from our house. She did ok for the most part, but as she was with younger children (she went from 2nd to kinder/1st) she tended to regress a bit. There were children she talked about a lot (boys seemed to be the ones she talked about and one little girl with downs who I think might be in her class this year) who either did something to her, got in trouble, or "so and so said this, mom" etc. She did well, although tattling continues to be a problem. She had a great teacher, Mr. M. and an aide, Ms. M. She finished out the year with getting an outstanding in classwork on her report card, so that lets me know that she is really trying hard in class. We still have the ADHD focus and sit still issues, but we will be seeing a psychiatrist to see about meds doses at some point. I was very proud of her and while she still throws tantrums/fits, I saw quite a bit of growth and a much happier LGA since her school change. Her speech has gotten much better, but she still has a hard time (and can now realize it which frustrates her) when trying to get everything out at once, when she's in a hurry. We had tried to get into one of the university speech programs for her but her previous speech therapist did not fill out her paperwork needed to enroll LGA, so when we have her IEP meeting (and get to meet the new speech therapist, teacher and her new school district Special Ed person) we will ask for more paperwork and see if we can get her some additional speech tutoring.
BGA finished her year out pretty well, too, however, she had a male bully, who the last straw is he put glue in her hair and cut another girl's hair up to the ear (the girl had very LONG hair). We were told by BGA that he got expelled, but we are not sure that is the case, as her first grade teacher, who I am in touch with said he was coming back. Anyway, he created some stress in BGA's life so I personally hope he's gone. The school has always been behind in their testing scores and this year they lost their grant so the class size will increase to 34 students and less teachers (some of the good ones left). The class sizes were at a great 21 student size, which is why we left BGA at that school. Now we are re-thinking that and might pull her, but we don't really know where she would go, but it would probably end up at a school farther from our house, and LGA already does that (although she is bussed). So we'll see how her school year goes this year. She has a problem with wanting to be in charge, so that has not served her well in the past.
School starts in August this year as well (in the past it was end of July) so we have a month till school starts. LGA attended summer school this year for a month, which was really good for her, but hard as well as she thought BGA was doing more with me and she was not. BGA really wasn't, because I had no energy to go anywhere, so we stayed in she played Nintendo and watched a lot of Disney and Nickolodeon while I slept. (More on that in a bit). So now we have a month till school starts, approximately, and I have nothing signed up for them to do, as I was not sure what would be happening this summer. Hopefully we can find stuff to do, so they don't fight (which has been a common occurance this summer, mostly stemming from LGA's jealousy.). We have been working with BGA to not get her to engage. She's finally seeing the light (after 4 years) on that and trying not to engage LGA when she tries to get her upset.
I cannot believe it has been 4 years since the girls came home, 3 since adoption. I see BGA growing up (she's almost 11) and cannot believe she is the same scared, sad, upset, 6 yr old who came home. I enjoyed the month home with her, I truly did. She comforted me, she and I bonded and talked and it was a special time. I'm glad we had it.
So, on to the sad part of this summer. This blog started out to be a fun blog for me, to post my jewelry, to post recipes, fun stuff we do, etc. To be a bit lighthearted as well as to post stuff the girls were doing. But in May my mother passed away.
She went in the hospital in April for a colon infection (she had a whole host of issues going on with her) that did hit her blood stream but they managed to get rid of the infection (I have never heard of anyone surviving a blood infection). She stayed in the hospital a week and then went on to her convalescent home that she had been in previously for falling, getting a horrible flu/cold bug, etc. This time around she was not happy to be there, and wanted to go home. It was a hard decision but my aunt/uncle and cousins and I decided to put hospice in place. Mom went home and had hospice for initially, once a week. However, mom had some dementia and it seemed to be increasing and she became combative to her live in caregiver and the person the caregiver had helping her as well as the hospice nurses. So I consulted with her hospice case manager and we decided to increase her anxiety meds. Mom seemed ok but not really with it. I believe in the end she went into a light coma, as we then had the hospice nurses administer the heavier meds as she seemed to be in some pain. The week I came down to see her, I got to talk to her on the phone and she was conscious. The previous days before that she was combative to me on the phone. It was a hard decision to make. I didn't know and still don't know if I made the right one to increase her meds. I was told once you give the heavy duty morphine pack the patient just sort of goes out of it (not by hospice they assured me that was the way to go for mom) and that's what happened to mom. But my mother was not happy, had not been happy all year long since my brother died, and really didn't want to live anymore. That's hard for a daughter to hear and to see, but I had to honor what she wanted.
I came down two days before she died, and was with her, although had stepped out of the room when she actually died. But I gave her permission to 'go' and within an hour she had passed away. I miss her tremendously, and some days were so hard I cried through most of them. However, I still needed to take care of details, and clear out her house. I did that with two separate trips. The first trip my friend Gwen, who I have known since Jr. High, helped me clear out part of the house, took me to the beach one day and shopping, brought me food, and was there for so much support. She called the donation charities and arranged to have them pick up the first load of stuff. Then I still had mom's live in caregiver (who didn't really want to leave and was in no hurry to leave) to find a place to live (she eventually found her own place but friends and I had to physically move her out one Saturday night, on the 2nd trip, girls in tow) to worry about.
The 2nd trip was mom's graveside service and her 'celebration of life' services. The girls were freaked out being in grandma's house without grandma (they came with me on the 18 days trip we were away from home) and totally were scared at the graveside and kept asking me if grandma was in the urn. They couldn't wait to get home, even though my high school friend Heather came and took us to the Wild Animal Park, and we spent 2 days in mom's complex pool with them. My aunt brought stickers and Heather brought some clothes, books, coloring books, etc., so that kept them busy. We had an inside estate sale so the girls had to stay in the bedroom all day, so it was hard on them, but they handled it well. I ended up mostly packing mom's house on my own, and going through most of it on my own, but I did have help with the estate sale, mom's friends came by, my aunts and uncles and cousins, helped. It got done, but personally it was very very hard to see my adult 'home' that I moved out of, came to stay when visiting my mom, that now is mine to sell, with all the stuff I had grown up with, either go to relatives/friends, charity, consignment, sold or donated. I was so exhausted as I was packing up to go home, and having the girls help me load the van up, that on the day we left I was so frustrated I couldn't get the girls' portable DVD player to work with the screens that needed to be put around the back of the seat rests. I took them off and have put them on plenty of times, but I was so emotionally and physically drained that I broke down and cried. As I went to call Dave to ask how to do it, BGA just quietly did it for me, even hooking pu the DVD player. I was proud of her. She hasn't totally taken care of me, but both girls when we got home have (when they aren't fighting) really helped me a lot. I know time heals, as they say, but I really miss that my mother will not see the girls grow up, I will not be able to talk to her anymore, and I wish that I had known the last real conversation I had with her would be the last one.
Here are some pics of my lovely mother and me and the girls and one with my aunt and uncle and brother.
Mom in the 80's.
Mom and me in the '90's, a favorite pic of mine.
Picture of the first time mom met her granddaughters, with my aunt, uncle and brother.
Mom's high school pic.
Mom on her 80'th birthday