Wednesday, May 22, 2013

10 More Days of School and a 5 Yr Meeting Anniversary.....

Wow, where did the year go?  It seems like it just flew by.  Summer is coming and our 5 yr anniversary of when the girls came home is fast approaching. I can't believe it's been almost 5 yrs already.

This month also marks the 5th year that we have known the girls.  We first met them at a foster to adopt picnic, this month.  I went back to my old blog and it shows we accepted the girls at our disclosure meeting on 5/31.  But we had met them a couple of weeks previously.  My mother had fallen and I had to go down to S CA to take care of her for a week so we were delayed on accepting them at our disclosure meeting.  Hard to believe it was 5 yrs ago.  We started our visits in June and brought the girls home at the end of June.  It's sort of bittersweet as this is the month we met the girls, accepted their referral. It's also the month my mother was born in and the month she died in.  So May is bittersweet.

The girls have some end of year activities going on too.  LGA got invited to a classmate's party but I need to see if I should go with her because her whole class got invited and she has some issues with some of the boys, I don't know if I trust her to go on her own, but the mom included her phone number on the invite so I will call and ask.  LGA's excited.  We don't have too many birthday invites in our house, so this is great, both LGA and BGA got invites to parties this year.  That way it makes it equal (because it must always be equal. LGA got to go to a movie and dinner while BGA was at her party, BGA won't get that because it's on a weekday, but LGA still talks about BGA going to a party and she didn't get to....well now she does get to go to a party). 

Both girls have taken Girl Scouts after school on the school campus.  They started in January and finish in June.  This was wonderful for me as it allowed me to have two extra hours before I had to pick them up and they enjoyed going. BGA has gone since she came to live with us in first grade.  She really enjoys it. I tried to get her into a troop when she went to a GS camp on one of the school breaks but the leader never called me back to help me get her into a troop. I wanted a troop that she could fit into easily.  But at that time she was still having issues with the girls at the old school so I think she wouldn't have fit in so easily and the leader did not call me back to help me set it up.  This campus GS sold cookies this year too and they enjoyed it. They brought home a notice that they will get awards on the last session of GS and inviting the parents to come to their assembly.  That will be fun.

I have to say switching schools this year was a good choice for both girls.  The school is still not in a great area (as was the previous school) so there are still issues.  BGA's class teacher was brought in specifically to teach this class and she told me about a month ago that it's been a very tough class.  She wanted to get BGA into magnet, telling me that felt that was a better chance for BGA.  BGA's grades have certainly come up enough for her to probably do it.  But we have had a positive experience school wise this year.  The girls have made progress, both of them, so it's been a much better experience.  I don't know what next year will bring, as both girls had excellent teachers and I'm not sure that will be the case next year.  They have shown what a positive teacher can do to encourage them and they have both taken off.  In the past we have also seen issues arise when they have not had a positive teacher to influence them and they have had a difficult year. BGA did have a semi hard year as she reverted back to some old habits when first starting in her new school and missing some of her friends/teachers from the old school.  Her grades slipped and she lied about homework.  But once she turned it around, she had the best report card she's ever had.  Seriously.  I think Dave and I were in shock.  We'll see how she finishes out the year, and if she can maintain that report card.  However, she brought her grades up to where they were last year so we aren't going to care too much if she slips a bit, because she did show she can do it.  She has had a few instances of kids bullying her, but I feel the teacher and the principal handled it well. I just wish that they had involved us.  We didn't find out (well Dave found out first but it was when my back was out and I just wasn't able to concentrate on what was going on) till later how it all went down and how they handled it.  Also one thing we will need to work on with BGA is how to have her accept and be deserving of the proud moments.  We didn't find out about a special thing she had happen to her, till a couple of months later.  For some reason she didn't feel deserving and she tried to pass of not telling us by saying she thought we'd be upset she rode in a limo (SO not true, but in our defence we have been working on strangers and what not to do when a stranger approaches you, etc. so she thought that riding in a limo with the principal might upset us.  We then had to have another conversation about teachers, principals, and what is/isn't acceptable behavior.  Guess we weren't clear enough) with the principal for scoring 100% on TEN spelling tests in a row!!  We were proud.  But she admitted rather tearfully that she didn't feel she deserved it, so now we are concentrating on being happy and feeling deserving when something good happens.  It's sad to see how fast our kids can sabatoge something and not feel deserving of it no matter how much we try to encourage them. This is something I imagine will get worse with puberty, so we are working on it now.

LGA has learned to read.  Her school psychologist said at about 3rd grade she might just 'take' off in learning and that has been the case here.  She will probably be due to be re-tested next year (and we have yet to meet her school district contact or the school psychologist).  But her teacher this year was an older woman who with her husband, has 3 adult kids and grand kids and has fostered over the years.  She knew just how to inspire LGA. I think LGA has had the best year she's EVER had.  I have read where some people on the FASD FB group have said they want to keep their kids in mainstream classes, but LGA suffered.  Her speech issues and her lack of maturity was hard on her.  We saw more physical issues (hitting, throwing bark, etc.) in mainstream than we have seen this year.  Putting her in special ed day class did show some regression (there were some downs/autistic kids in her class) but for the most part it's been a good decision.  If she were to catch up she could go back to mainstream, but maturity wise I'd rather keep her in special ed day. I think the kids were harder on her this year, the mainstream.  She was teased, she had someone put a 'loser' sign on her back (when we had the IEP we brought it up to the principal, who was not happy about that) and she was a bit miserable. However, within her class she had a couple of kids she played with and seemed to do much better in her class.  So we'll keep her in special ed day.  She will as I mentioned previously, go to summer school (and some of her buddies go too, so she is not alone.  She might even get to see her friend E, who has downs and who she went to school with last year and misses, as E goes to another school). Her teacher this year will have all the kids go to the new classroom, meet the teacher and spend some time there so they are comfortable with the teacher and class. 

The girls have come a long way over 5 yrs. And it's hard to believe we met them 5 yrs ago this month.  When we met them it was at a foster to adopt picnic.  The girls were not into it, I don't even know if they knew why they were there.  We went and since we'd signed up with an agency, we had to participate in crafts and games with the kids.  We were specifically meant to hang out with our girls, but they were very popular and all the prospective parents were trying to get their attention and hang out with them (ignoring the kids who really wanted someone to play with them.  This really annoyed me as I felt that the PAP were just going to whatever kids looked the best and trying to interact with them).  We were then reprimanded a bit as we didn't make any effort to hang out with the girls as we tried to fulfill the games/crafts we'd signed up for.  The social worker from the county found our agency and then had our agency rep tell us to go spend time with the girls.  I remember the first thing BGA asked for - a soda (which we do not have very much of in our house).  When Dave was not fast enough in getting it to her, she said, "I want it NOW!"  Ha.  That should have been our first sign there of what was to come.  LGA was just delightful and we fell in love with her instantly (ignoring the FASD we'd been told about).  We spent about 30 mins with the girls before their foster mother came to pick them up.  I didn't know much about attachment then, and when I heard BGA run screaming to the foster mother and say, "MOMMY!"  I thought nothing of it.  It was only when I talked to our agency SW and he explained about attachment, did I wonder.......would that be what she would try to call us, even though she would not know us very well?  She did, but that's for another blog post.

We were smitten (or as smitten as you could be not really knowing the girls.  We took a few mins to discuss the girls before deciding to go forward).  We went with another "ducky" who was looking for her child and had driven a long way to go to this picnic.  We went to an early dinner with her and talked about the girls with her, trying to temper our excitement but excited none the less.  We met the worker for the girls at the picnic and we liked her immediately.  We were lucky as both our SW turned out to be great and I leaned on them a lot in the first 13 mos before we finalized.  I came to find out that was not the norm, but I am glad for that experience with them.  Our county worker was older and may have retired by now, but she was a great 'mother' figure and while the girls didn't completely warm up to her like they did our agency worker, she was a great help to me in the months before we finalized.  We decided to move forward and awaited our disclosure meeting.  Unfortunately my mother fell and we had to delay the meeting a week or so because I went down to take care of mom. I was torn (as I would be from that time going forward) as my mom needed help and it was becoming apparent she could not manage on her own, even with my brother (who just thought she needed to get moving more and could never accept her deterioration) living with her at the time (which presented it's own set of problems because they did not get along very well).  I was excited and nervous and taking care of my mother.  I remember leaving her house to come home and being excited about our disclosure meeting for the girls. I had to wait another week for us to go to the meeting, and I thought I was not going to make it in anticipation.

On disclosure day (this is the meeting where you go to SW office and he/she will 'disclose' what they know about the child/ren and go over what they can/cannot show you in their files and you either agree to move forward or decline) we brought our agency SW with us as he didn't want to drive on his own and our house was on the way to the SW office.  It made it hard to make small talk, but it did help on the way back as we were able to discuss the issues, pros/cons, etc.  We (I) made a fast decision to accept the referral.  Dave agreed.  We moved forward.  We were going to be parents!  It was very surreal.  It didn't feel real at all.  We set about telling everyone and were scheduled for our first visit a week after disclosure (another blog post).  It happened fast (as Heather and Rachel warned me it would).

So, 5 yrs later, I am a mom, doing mom stuff, parenting two girls and life as I knew it changed forever 5 yrs ago.

We will get through the end of school year but for some reason I think if the girls get awards for school I am going to be a bit emotional this year.  I'm really feeling it this year.

I will write another post about the visits we had with the girls.  But for now, I'm being a bit sentimental on our 5 yrs of knowing the girls anniversary.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Chores and Kids............and Mother's Day Part Deux

I had a whole post that I wanted to write about the growth of the girls, but I'm shelving it till next month, as that is our 5 yr anniversary of the girls being home.

But I did want to update you on Mother's Day weekend (in case you were wondering).  It went well.  Friday tulips (my fave flower) and a card were delivered to me.  LGA brought some lovely artifical flowers in a homemade box with a cute ribbon and her pic on it.  That started a war when BGA had wanted a dollar from Dave, who didn't understand what she wanted it for, to bring me a chocolate covered pretzel the school was selling.  This is the first year that she hasn't made me anything as her teacher was sick this year and she was disappointed.  She well made up for it in hugs and kisses this weekend, so I'll take those any day.  :-)

We went to our favorite italian place for dinner and then to ice cream after, on Sat night after Dave got off work (late, we had a late dinner, and you could tell LGA was running out of steam).  Sunday, we just hung around the house.  My back was still bothering me and so we just hung out as a family, Dave put together a new book shelf (ours buckled and fell down when it was moved for flooring) and hung a couple of pics for me.  We had Togos sandwiches for lunch and then we did Applebees takeout.  The girls and I ordered ribs and kidded each other about the sauce on our fingers and faces, but we dug in.  Applebees has dessert shooters so we had those for dessert.  The kids split an adult plate of ribs, they are very much into wanting to skip the kids meals, but BGA only eats enough for the kids meal.  If you get her an adult meal she can't finish, so we've been finding ways of them splitting plates when we go out.  It was a nice day and very low key, which was nice.  LGA came home with a small canvas bag yesterday that had glitter on it and said, "I (insert a heart here) you Mom."  SO cool.

Now on to the chores part.  I have resisted a few years in getting the girls going on chores.  I really needed to do all of them for the bonding and attachment to happen, but now as of last year when my mom died and the girls came with me to her house to pack it all up, they had to do stuff to help me out.  There were days we didn't have anyone helping and I had to have them help me. So I started having them do a few things on their own over the last year till we started amping up what chores they did in Jan.  The reason I am writing this today is I saw an article from Empowering Parents about parents doing everything for their kids.  I have never really done that, well, I did it first few years, but then gradually backed off, when I saw BGA throw her backpack at me after school and say, "here mom."  Right there and then I decided things were going to change.  So over the last couple of years, they have been responsible for their stuff.  OCD LGA is very good about this, BGA not so much.  She has jackets on the floor, shoes thrown everywhere, pjs' on the floor, etc.  So once LGA moved out, I started going through her room each day and telling her what needed to be picked up and making her spend a few moments to do it.  She hates it, but she does it.

We did a list of chores for the girls, and they were able to do them pretty easily.  They like doing chores for some reason, they have always wanted to help.  So why not take advantage of that?  Some kids hate doing stuff like this, but mine do for some reason.

The girls list of chores included:

Clean bathroom (I do the inside of the toilet, she does sink, counter, mirror, toilet and wipes down tub)
Keep room clean (ie pick up stuff off floor, etc.)
Feed pets (girls alternate)
Do dishes
Clothes in hamper
Help with Laundry

Keep room clean
Wipe table down after meals
Feed Pets
Swiffer the laminate floors
Use the pet cleaner tool to get pet hair off the furniture (she loves this)
Clothes in hamper
Help with Laundry
Water plants

These chores have worked well for them.  When I was in bed, they brought me meals and my water bottle, etc.  I was really proud of how they helped.  If I sat in a chair they'd bring me pillows to help prop me up.  BGA brought her bed pillow that my mom had and she got when we cleared out mom's house.  She said I needed it and should use it.  She was right.  :-)  Dave and the girls really took care of me and the house and I know it was hard, and sometimes it was hard for them to see me in pain, but they did a great job.

I'm really proud of how the girls are helping and in the maturity I see with them.  There are still issues and one I really want to write about for BGA, but am not sure of the words yet. It's not always smooth sailing, they fight A LOT, they whine, they throw fits/tantrums, etc.  It's very hard some days, and some days I want to pound my head against a wall.   But maturity has come for them as well, and I find myself in awe of the girls they are now, versus how they were at 4 and 6 when they came home.  I love that they are at a stage that we can go places and do things and for the most part (with the exception of LGA who still throws fits/tantrums) we can have a good time together.  I see the humor they have (they both have good senses of humor), and how much fun it is to shop with them now, they have ideas of what they want to wear (versus just saying, "yeah, that's fine. Ok." That used to frustrate me no end so I'd just pick their stuff for them). They're funny and sweet, and frustrating all in one. But now that I can devote my full attention to them and am not torn between my mother and my brother, I am enjoying the time we have.  I really had a hard time with them over the years and was frustrated a lot.  To hear LGA say when asked to do something, "Ok mama" just makes ALL the difference to me.  She still has a hard time transitioning between activities, but she's getting better.  I know to warn her ahead of time and to make sure she knows when it's time to pick up the play stuff, and to tell her how much time is left, etc.  It doesn't always work and she will tantrum/fit to the point I have to send her to calm down in time out, and those are the hard days.  But I am learning what her triggers are and how to prevent the fit (if I can, it does not always work) and that has made a big difference in behavior for her. 

Summer has been hard in the past for me because of the fits/tantrums LGA throws but I am learning to let her know what the activities for the day are (and we are thinking of getting a white board to write what will be happening each day).  I'm hoping this year with the addition of the backyard and hopefully a backyard med sized pool to put on the concrete slab, that they will be able to have stuff to do, that maybe they can do some painting out there, some sidewalk chalk, etc.  That we can be outside and not just sitting inside (because at 100+ temps sometimes that's all you can do, is to sit inside. My small house is not set up for crafting, etc.).  I'm hoping we can do swimming lessons (we're still working on it, the girls have had a hard time mastering swimming but they enjoy the lessons) this year and BGA expressed an interest in cheer/gymnastics, so we'll see how that goes. 

The girls have 12 days left of school (where HAS the year gone??) so these things are on my mind  for the summer.  Luckily it is a 2 mos break so it will be easier than a 3 mos break. 1 mo LGA will be in summer school so BGA and I will have mornings together. She needs some one on one time with us (Dave will be home one day on the weekday as it's his day off) and somehow will need to make it up to LGA as she was quite disappointed to know she has to go to summer school (it was recommended on her IEP and I find when she doesn't have a break in school work, she retains more and goes into the school year easier).  There is some debate always about whether or not special needs kids should take the summer off, but I find with LGA, when she's had summers off and has to start up school again, she gets anxious, sometimes has been defiant and has a harder transition.  So we set her up for summer school last year and it was a good decision for her.  She went for one month then had a month off.  It worked out well.

Chores are all part of growing up, and I do not want them to think I will do everything for them. I think I started at age 10 when I did chores, and mine were much more involved (dishes, vacuuming, dusting, ironing). I did do the feeding of pets, cleaning the bathroom I shared with my brother, watering plants, etc.  So I am glad for the help, and glad to see they are completing chores. I wait for the day (as happened to me..........I hate house cleaning, and I would wait till the last minute before my mom walked in the door to complete my chores) that they don't want to do them or wait till the last minute to do them. I know it's coming.......but for now I'll just enjoy the extra help and I will be sure to praise their accomplishments.  :-)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mother's Day.......

I wanted to share this post that was posted on a RAD board on FB.  One of my local moms added me to the RAD board and I read it sometimes, not sure if the girls really have RAD, but there have been some discussions on RAD and FASD being similar so I do read the posts sometimes.  This post I am going to copy here, reminds me of how our Mother's Days have gone in the past.  I was a newbie mom excited for my first Mother's Day with the girls and it did not go as planned (many holidays didn't, until the girls had been with us a few years).  I wish I had read this post then. It would have explained a lot about how I sometimes think BGA felt, and possibly LGA, although her delays in processing are just now catching up to her, almost 5 yrs later.

I was not with the girls last Mother's Day.  My mom died that weekend and I had family/friends around, but not Dave and the girls as they couldn't come down to be with me.  My cousin brought me sunflowers in a vase and a card.  It was nice she remembered, and the girls made cards and gave me cards when I got home, but I didn't really (I just was so out of it) notice them much till I found them while moving stuff for the flooring. I now have all the cards the girls have given me, in one place.

I have seen posts on how Mother's Day is not really a holiday moms should want to celebrate and how we are all moms and don't really need a holiday to celebrate what kind of mom we are, etc.  I think a few years back I would have been upset about that as I waited 7 yrs to celebrate this holiday.  But now, 5 yrs in?  Well, now I am comfortable (finally) in my skin as a mom and I don't really need a holiday to celebrate it.  We aren't going to brunch, or lunch, or dinner  (that I know of) nor will I get any expensive gifts. I asked for grocery store bunches of flowers and a small box of candy.  The only reason I wanted the flowers is I used to send my mother flowers every year on this holiday.  She really didn't need anything else and she liked flowers and liked to have the vases (I found a lot of them at her house while clearing it out last year) and look at the flowers, either in her house or in later years, while she was in bed. I wanted some flowers like she used to like getting, something pretty to look at.  So that's why I asked for them.  I have gotten bouquets sent to me for various holidays until I just told Dave I didn't need to get them.  But this time I told him to go to the local grocery store and get me two bunches of flowers (he doesn't buy from him, he buys for the girls to give to me).  And now I don't need anything fancy to celebrate the holiday. 

We'll see what we come up with but I'm happy just having us all together.  And as in the past, the girls have had some grief and it has not really turned out how I imagined it to be, so I'm just winging it, as I have in years past.

To those of you who have lost your mother and miss her, or to those who have your mother and will celebrate her, I wish you a nice day.  To those who are not mothers yet, your day is coming.  I hope you find some peace in the day.

Here's the post, which reminds me a lot of the girls in the past years.  I wish I had realized their pain and been able to comfort them earlier than I did.  I did finally realize (after getting over my own disappointment in what I thought the day should be, there was a lesson there, as there always is where the girls are concerned) and was able to comfort them.  This year I think they will be comforting me and we will comfort each other together.  

On Mother's Day I can't just think of You.
I am not sure one person can love two moms,
I wonder if I am supposed to choose…
maybe if I choose her she'll choose me this time.
I am not good enough.

On Mother's Day I can't be only happy that I have you
because it means I don't have her.
I am sad.

On Mother's Day I can't just be peaceful
I am so worried I am going to mess up, I don't understand
what is really expected from me,
I just want to run away or crawl in a hole.
I am anxious.

On Mother's Day I can't believe I am good
enough to have a mom like you.
I know that mothers leave…
Before you leave me I have to push you away
so it won't hurt so much.
I am scared.

On Mother's Day I can't feel vulnerable enough
to show you how much I need you.
I will need to create a smoke screen of behaviors,
words and choices that will cover that vulnerability up.
I am a survivor.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Catch Up Post

It has been awhile since I posted.  A few things have happened here at Family of 4. 

We finished up the house and yard.  The yard has grass that has been growing for about 2 weeks and is doing well.  Our friend's fiancee came to mow it yesterday and we are getting some finishing touches going on our landscaping, but as always happens, something pops up so we have had to spread out the finishing touches. I have waited 13 yrs to have a yard and while it's a VERY small yard, it is still nice to see grass and a patio cover, as well as concrete for the med size metal sided pool we hope to get, out there.  We still need plants though, and I need ideas for plants that are safe for doggies and that can take shade and water (the plants would line the edge of our lawn where the sprinklers hit).  I am not very good at keeping plants alive (although that was pre girls, and the girls can now water plants so I'm all for getting plants going now) though.

The inside of our house has carpet, laminate and lino in.  Our old black bookshelf (purchased from Walmart during the adoption homestudy, 6 yrs ago) bit the dust so we had to buy a new one from Target.  So once books are put back, pictures hung, etc. it will feel more like home. I also got sidetracked by my back. I must have moved some furniture incorrectly, because I put myself flat out on my back after vacumming and getting a back spasm, that put me in extreme pain for almost 2 weeks.  I am finally feeling better, although my back is still hurting when I move around a bit.  I have no clue what I did but I have never been in so much back pain in my entire life.  I have had occassional back pain, but never this severe to knock me flat out in bed for almost 2 weeks.  You can imagine how my household has run during that time.  I did have to drive two days when it first happened and thought I would pass out.  Other than that, Dave has had to do cooking, laundry, and dishes.   He has had to go on errands, to the store, etc.  Poor guy, he has his own back issues.  We have had dogs with issues, too, so my new flooring has gotten 'christened' and not in a good way.  Luckily it's much easier to clean up than carpet. 

Being flat on your back, I couldn't sit at the computer very well (we have a 'big' boy office chair that is very uncomfortable for this 4'11 short arm/legged woman).  My small tablet worked ok but even balancing that on me was painful.  So I watched a lot of tv.  Specifically HGTV.  Why?  I don't really know, other than I turned to see Candice Olson remaking someone's room in their house and I couldn't turn the channel off.  I watched Junk Gypsys (a favorite), Property Brothers, House Hunters, Income Property, Love it or List it, Rehab Addict, Flip It (I think that's what it's called). I watched shows on people who wanted to rent apartments and the show would re-do a room for them, I watched Hawaii Life, where people who moved to the islands did a similar House Hunters show and picked their ideal "island" home.  You name it, I watched it.  I hadn't watched HGTV in years.  But it seemed (that and the food network) to be all I wanted to watch.  Sure, I watched some of my regular shows, but I laid in bed till I couldn't take it anymore, watching shows on HGTV.  The anniversary (this weekend) of my mother passing might have had something to do with it.  Dave let me be, and took care of me, even though I sensed some frustration on his part at times.  But I really was in pain.  Icy Hot and Tylenol (after the initial heating pad/cold compress stage) were my pain relievers.  But I feel while even though I was in pain, I was meant to rest for some reason, forced to sit back and do nothing.  The girls helped a lot (even though they are always freaked out when one of us is sick and always have been) and liked bringing me food in bed, getting my bed tray or bringing me water, adjusting pillows, helping with the pets and the laundry.  They did a good job.  But the sad part was when it was uncomfortable for me to sit at the kitchen table (we have all our meals there except the girls eat at their red Ikea table in the living room during the summer and weekends for lunch) hearing LGA say, "aren't you going to sit with us mommy?"  However, I could hear them laughing so I know that Dave did a good job of keeping them eating and talking, laughing, etc. 

I am ready, as we are in the last month before school lets out, to be ready to do more and get out and about.  I am tired of lounging now and I do feel I have done some mourning for my family during this time.  I have cried and I have been in pain and gotten through it.  I don't want to over do it though as I dont' want to end up back in bed, but I am ready to keep going. I have a summer to plan, and ready to get back in the routine.  But my back still hurts so I'm taking it a bit easy.  I want to get to my beading desk and straigthen it out as a bunch of stuff got moved to my desk area and stacked in our bedroom, so that's a bit of an eyesore for me.  It will have to wait.

I have been looking at the girls lately and they appear to have grown so much.  BGA is in 'sneak' mode, ie sneaking something she's not supposed to have and lying when she gets caught.  This is new, and more of LGA's MO, so a bit interesting.  According to LGA's teacher, she had a 'letter' week and is finally learning to read.  GO LGA!  She goes on a field trip to a grocery store today, one I couldn't go on because of my back.  LGA is also sleeping in her room now with the light off, the night light and ladybug light that shines stars on the wall, and the door closed (or cracked in her case most nights).  This is huge progress.  The water damage in her room helped her because before this happened, the hallway light had to be on, her light, nightlight, and she would open her door.  Now we have a new loft bed for her and a 'bedtent' from Ikea over her bed.  She has her huge life size teddy bear at the end of her bed, a new duvet cover on her bed, extra pillow with pillow case and she seems cozy in her room.  She got new carpeting, new dresser and new arrangement of her bed, new black out curtains, etc.  She seems to like it in her room and goes to sleep fairly easily most nights.  This is HUGE. She was the hardest sleeper, up most nights until she would fall asleep (with melatonin). Now she seems to go to bed earlier (and up earlier though, but I think she's a seasonal sleeper, as she would sleep in later during the winter) and get up once or twice to go to the bathroom then back to bed.  It would be hard most nights as she would not stay in bed, come down the hallway, get out of bed and play, etc.  So far (and I hope I didn't just jinx it!!) she stays in bed and sleeps through.

So that's my update from here.  I am ready for the summer, I think.  Gotta get a plan in place, I will have BGA at home with me as LGA will go to summer school, for a month, then both girls for a month, till school starts. 

Hope you are all well and enjoying spring..........cloudy, misty day here after an early type of summer weather (got into the 90's) for a bit of April.  May appears to be coming in a bit gloomy, but I think we are in for a hot summer.  Waiting for our med sized metal sided pool, and the girls will be all set.  :-)