Friday, February 22, 2013

Whew, what a short week!

Wow, it was a short week, but it was a long week..anyone ever have that when you have a holiday week?

We sure did.  The girls always have a hard time when one of us is gone, I think I have mentioned it on this blog and the old one, before.  They just want us all together, where we are supposed to be.  I think it has a lot to do with what they experienced earlier in their lives before they came to us, and I understand it completely.

In the past BGA would be the one who would need to 'decompress' and come down from the emotions she felt while one of us was gone (usually me).  There would be acting out, there would be her mad at me, etc.  But this time it was LGA.  She has become a huge mommy's girl since my mother passed away. If you were to delve into it, I am sure it would be obvious that she's afraid of mommy leaving like my mother did.  So I have done a lot of reassurance, and usually at bedtime, there will be a few "mommy you still there?  mommy I love you!" (we have a very small house so you can hear everything in it) before she settles into sleep.  BGA seemed fine this time, no acting out, no being mad at me, just happiness that I was back, a few more hugs and kisses than I usually get (and these girls have always given hugs and kisses, I will miss that when they are teens and don't want to appear unpopular to hug or kiss mom) and wanting to talk to me. I really wish I could have taken BGA on the trip with me but that would not have been fair to LGA, so BGA stayed behind (and probably easier on my family, as she can be a bit loud and hyper and there were no other kids there).

So, LGA was the one acting out a bit, it started on Monday when I got home and we went to dinner.  LGA gets upset if she can't sit by me.  She will act out at dinner and somehow convince her sister to give up her seat next to me because she throws a fit or becomes loud. I don't give or let BGA give in because I don't want LGA thinking she can get her way by doing this, but sometimes I do let BGA give in because she never did it before.  I think it shows she's come a long way.  So, we managed to have a table where we could all sort of sit next to each other.  That always works out good.  Lately, what really has made me happy is the girls will let Dave and I sit together.  They will say, "Mommy you and Daddy sit together."  I love when they do this because I get to sit next to Dave and I enjoy that.  Plus the girls are having to sit side by side and make it work.  No fighting, no sitting across from each other and trying to kick each other.  So LGA said, "I sit by MOMMY.  I am going to sit by her."  She did for the most part as Dave and I sat together and BGA sat across from us, LGA to my right.  But of course she was coming down from holding it all in over the weekend.  In our case, the girls have gotten used to getting through when one of us is gone and then when we get back, they feel comfortable letting it out.  Even if they have stayed with someone else and come home.  They have felt comfortable, but they have needed to process the emotions of us/them being away.  Luckily I am used to this and I know what I need to do to comfort them and reassure them, and each time gets easier, as BGA now needs very little time to process her emotions..........but now LGA is experiencing it, as she goes where BGA goes and follows what BGA experiences.

Tuesday when LGA got home from Girl Scouts where she informed me that she didn't want to go, that she wanted to come home and be with me.  We had double digit carryover math, which is hard for her and she's struggling, but the teacher is telling me that she is doing it, and she threw a fit.  But, Mommy expected it and I was able to head her off before it got fully in gear.  But I knew (whereas the teacher seems to be surprised at this, which makes me wonder if she has any trauma experience) that she would need to do this, so I prepared myself that it would be a hard week. Maybe because I had a break and weekend to recharge, but I found myself calm.  I found myself not wanting to be frustrated with the behavior but to stop it before it got fully started.  We got the math done, but she was obviously on overload.

Let's recap, while I was gone, on Friday, LGA's friend M (who is autistic), told her (and FASD kids tend to go along with what someone tells them to do) to throw food.  She did.  She got in trouble.  The weekend with mommy gone, the emotions of mommy being gone, being home where there was no set routine and Daddy and girls did what they wanted, but no routine.  Then school and having to go back after not fully dealing with her emotions.  M says to throw food and LGA initiates it this time and gets lunch recess for the rest of the week.  She is upset, she doesn't want lunch recess taken away, and she comes home on Tuesday after Girl Scouts, in a bad mood.  Add the math in there that she is struggling with and emotions were high.  She knows mommy will be disappointed in the food throwing incident and knows that her teacher wrote mommy two notes.  We talk about how we should not throw food, or do things that others tell us to, if we know it will get us in trouble.   She calms easily.

The teacher writes me a note telling me that they asked LGA to write the class rules...........for an HOUR.  Now, I don't know how they thought that my child who is FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder for those of  you who don't know the abbreviation) and ADHD, with hyperactive behavior, to sit still and write the rules for an hour.  She only wrote one paragraph.  Well, I decide to write a note back, and I can say it was a bit sarcastic but I did say I wasn't trying to be sarcastic, in my note. I told the teacher that I wondered how she could get LGA to sit still for an hour, because it has not been my experience, as her mother, that she can sit still for an hour (well she can if it's something that interests her, but what kid will sit still when they know they have gotten in trouble and are upset).  I said I expected a half hour would be appropriate.  I asked if it was pre afternoon meds, because if she hadn't had them, she would not sit still. I asked what the outcome was since the teacher wrote that it was "unacceptable behavior."  Um, ok...........what did you expect??? (I did not write that but I WAS thinking it)  I did not get an answer back.  SO, LGA struggled a bit, and came home with a few tantrums she wanted to start, and which I had to head off before they got bad.  I wrote the teacher a note and explained that double digit math with carryover was hard and she was fighting me on it.  Teacher did write a note back yesterday saying she didn't want her to fight it and if it became a problem she would work with her at school.  And the homework came home yesterday with double digit math and no carryover, so once I convinced LGA no carryover she was ok.  But she has to add with a number chart, unless the numbers can be added on two hands or she has memorized what the numbers are, added together (which she does do).

The good part of her week was when she read me a story.  It was a first grade level story and about animals on safari, but she was able to read elephant, giraffe, lion, rhino and she had a hard time pronouncing, but she tried and got it pretty well, safari.  I try to think when I pronounce a word, where she will get stuck, and try to have her watch my mouth and she will do what I do. But she likes to read, and she's making progress and she likes to read to me.  I'm happy about that as BGA is not much of a reader and feels that she has to do it, she will very rarely read just to read, but LGA wants to.  Once she gets it, she will try harder.  She was able to remember what the words were on the next page when they were repeated and could sound them out.  Some were harder and we worked on them together, but she was willing.  Last year, she was not willing.  This is the first full year in Special Ed Day class and I have to say it's really been good for her.  I wish we'd done it in kinder.

BGA had a rough week too, but we're hoping it ends well.  Her violin was missing when she went to go play it on Wednesday.  We looked here at home and didn't find it, talked to the teacher and left the principal a msg because BGA felt it was stolen.  However, we think after talking to the teacher, who thinks that BGA is very responsible with it in class and the teacher has them lock them away in a cabinet during school, that she probably left it out last week.  So she has to go see if she can find it today.  Both the violin and the bow are missing.  So we had to explain that she needs to be more careful with it and remember to put it away after playing.  We are renting and we have insurance, but still...........

The good that came out of that conversation with the teacher?  The teacher feels BGA should go into the magnet program at the school next year.    She is a bit dramatic (the teacher) and said, "She needs to go into this program or she will not make it!"  Wow. Ok.  Well, I appreciate the honesty (teacher has a very difficult class, but the good thing is BGA has not been in with the troubled/acting out kids this year and that makes us very happy).  We were told we could not get her into magnet as her grades were not good enough,  Teacher says that is not the case and she will help us get her into the program next year.  Definite positives.  BGA has been extra loving coming for hugs and snuggling with me since I have been back.  But she's also been giving her dad hugs too. I'm happy to see this.  I know we will probably face some challenges with her when she hits her teens, but I am happy to see that she is thriving even if her homework on her report card came back as a U and her math slipped.  She has made some growth mentally and I like seeing that.  Someone once told me that for however long the child was with BP (BGA left her BP when she was 5) it takes that much longer for them to move past that stage and bond. It has been almost 5 yrs that we have had the girls and I am seeing some very positive growth.  I know there is more work to be done with her and that we are behind in some areas, but it is nice after almost 5 yrs, to see some positive growth.

We still have a cat with urinary issues after two rounds of antibiotics.  We changed to a different food and restricted her eating the dogs' food (she will eat the dogs' food even if she has her own) and changed to a higher fiber food as the vet felt she could lose some weight and this would make her poop more instead of holding on to it. Well, she has lost some weight, but she still has urinary issues so now we are facing buying more expensive food for her, and she keeps running to the litter box, every half hour.  So back to the antibiotics, but she doesn't even fight them now, she just lets us give them to her (before she fought us and we had to wrap her in a towel to give it to her).  I feel bad, but I am really regretting getting this cat. I have never felt that way about a cat before, but....this one was semi feral (don't ever get a semi feral cat with kids) and while she has come a long way, she still bites when she is mad, scratches if she doesn't like what the girls are doing, and peed on my bed, 2x, my footstool for the living room chair and squatted on the seat of the family room chair.  Luckily we caught it and I could wash the cushions (and have deep clean/sanitize on my washer settings).  We have to keep her in the bathroom because of this urinary infection as I'm afraid she will pee the bed again(or anywhere else if she can't make it to the box), with her litter box and a bed, food/water. She hates it but it takes an hour on that washer setting and if I have to wash all my bedding it's a pain.  I didn't really want another cat and neither did Dave, after both of us having grown up with cats, but the girls LOVE LOVE LOVE cats.  I hate doing the litterbox (finally switched to a low dust litter, as I am allergic to dust) but Dave did it for the other cats for 9 or 10 yrs and he hated doing it.  He swore he would not do it again.  We swore no more cats.  Then I saw this sweet calico face on Petfinder and we went to "look" (yeah right, who just looks??) and came home with psycho kitten.  She's loving when she wants to be, will lick your nose and purr and wrap her body around you when you are standing, but is NOT a lap cat, nor does she like to be held.  She will sometimes lay next to you while you watch tv. But now, with having to keep her in the bathroom during the night and when we are gone, she is going back to not being friendly again.  It took her a long time to become friendly, almost like bonding and attachment.  So, I am torn.  I would like to place her in another home, as it's just too much for me to want to handle, but the girls get upset everytime it's mentioned (it was only initially mentioned when the vet claimed he could find nothing wrong with her and she was peeing out of spite so we said, 'nope not gonna have that' and mentioned she might need a new home).  LGA's teacher came and talked to me one day and asked if the cat was going away because LGA was upset.   So I'm torn.  I've never given a cat away in this situation, but I'm tired of getting bitten (and she mostly bites me) and I'm tired of taking care of her.  I know those cat lovers out there will be mad, but really, we are now on our 2nd food change, and if this doesn't cure her on this round of antibiotics, I just don't know.

Add to that, our leak, which I think is in several places in addition to LGA's room.  Our insurance said without any damage, it will be up to us to pay for it.  It could be a huge leak and we could have a real high bill.  So, feeling a bit anxious on that.  LGA originally had a crack in her concrete (which we did not know about) 4 yrs ago so that's why the water came through the carpet but there is no water damage this time, so we will have to pay to fix it.  Evidently a few people have had water damages in this complex because I remember the class action suit we were a part of (and got only a small amt as we had not had any issues come up at that point) they wrote in the suit that people complained of water damage.  Now we know what that means, the 2nd leak in 4 yrs. Same time frame we had the leak 4 yrs ago, as well.  We think it's a hot water line leak as LGA's room is warm, like it was 4 yrs ago.

Cars also have issues, so we have a few things to take care of.  When it rains, it seems to pour.  But the sun is out and there is a good weekend (albeit quiet for the most part) in store for us.  And the girls finished the week on positive notes, so what more could you ask for?  Enjoy your weekend, blog readers.  :-)

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