Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

Our dear sweet Hatfield Louise turned 12 on Sunday. This year she shared her special day with Father's Day, and I felt overcome with joy and gratitude the entire day, as it was a day to celebrate two of the my most special, favorite, and influential people.

12 years ago, I was a very young, scared silly 23-year old girl, suddenly a mom with a perfect baby girl to call her own. After living in a rather self-destructive manner for a number of years, Hatfield gave me a new life and new hope. In so very many ways, I think she saved my life.

Nearly 10 years ago, I married the Mister, who adopted Hatfield as his own a year into our marriage. An inseparable father and daughter team, these two belong together and I couldn't--and wouldn't--want to imagine a life without them.

Hatfield simply adores the Alice in Wonderland story, movie, what have you. So this year I made her a crazy cake fit for a Mad Hatter's Tea Party.

This is the biggest cake I have made to date. Serving size: 36, but our crew managed to demolish it in matter of days. Six layers of Italian Cream Cake, which is perhaps the most delectable cake on the planet (find the recipe Here. )

It didn't turn out picture perfect, and I could probably make a more visually pleasing cake if I learned the art of fondant, but that's okay. I learned a long time ago that what may look cruddy to the eyes of a picky adult looks breathtakingly fabulous to a child.

We let Hatfield decide her birthday activities for the day, and she chose to go jet-skiing at Kelly Lake. Uncle Elmo recently acquired this water toy, and she couldn't wait to go for a spin.

Happy Birthday,
Sweet Hattie Lou.
Every year with you has been a gift.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Straight outta my closet. . .

Here is a picture of the shoes I wore to the wedding (same brand and everything), except my shoes are brown and tan/beige instead of black/white. I can't locate my camera to take a pic of my actual shoes, and I didn't think to take any of my feet at the wedding (imagine that!)

Some things are just worth the price of every slowl-healing, painful blister.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I took my children to a wedding by myself and survived!

So last week was a really bad week. Like really, really bad. But I've already blogged about that, blah blah blech, and now I wanna blog about something better.

On Thursday, my breaking point hit when I realized that the next day was Friday and I couldn't go to my cousin's wedding. Not that I truly couldn't go; it's just that after the week we had, I didn't think my boys could handle it, nor did I think I could handle my boys there, nor did I feel confident enough to have the energy to drive 2.5 hours each way to take my 5 children to a wedding (a type of event never attended by Paloma, Keenan and Miles) sans the Mister, who was still in Vegas.

I had a huge, messy, yelling, sobbing, whoa-as-me pity party/tantrum to my dear Mister over the telephone. Who lovingly listened, and then said,

"I get the fact that this is hard, but You will drown in resentment if you don't go, and that's not healthy."

I think I said something not very nice to him. Okay, I know I said something not very nice to him. (Sorry, Mister) Because I can be kinda immature like that.

Later that night, when brushing my teeth, I had a vision of my little Polish grandma loving on my children and my children loving on her.

The Mister was right.

I needed to go. I would drown in resentment if I would let my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week stop me.

So the next morning, I decided that I would go, if and only if, I could fit into one of the dresses kind Jill lent to moi.

Not only did it fit, I had shoes to match. Really adorable, hyper-super, too cute for words, shoes (Geralyn, these shoes would make you proud, girlfriend!) that I bought at DSW warehouse 3 1/2 years ago because they were too cute not to purchase, but I have only worn once because damned if I know with what outfit to wear them.

However, fast forward 3 1/2 years, and I realized that these shoes were made for Jill's dress.

This is an omen, I thought.

Not that I'm a big believer in omens, but that I'm a Polish girl married to a Chamorro man. So by blood and marriage default, I abide by omens.

By then, it was pretty last minute, and I managed to pull the kids together (and oddly enough, we were all wearing clothes either loaned to us or passed down to us by the Boone's) and get us out the door.

We made it to the wedding with 3 minutes to spare.

And I'm so glad we did.

(Realize, though, that even though this story has a happy ending, that I did fully recognize taking children with attachment/anger issues to a wedding carries a HUGE potential for absolute disaster. I knew these risks going into it, but after weighing my options, I realized that I would carry far more resentment and anger towards my son if I didn't go at all, than if I went and he was a perfect beast there. I don't want to feel any anger/resentment towards my son, and so this was the best choice for us.

Furthermore, rest assured, I was prepared for a potential absolute disaster by locating the hotel nearest the reception location in case my children were uncontrollable and I needed to imbibe a significant amount of vino to cope. Can you say, That Lady Gots Her Ducks in a Row?!?)

My children upon arrival, in front of the cupcake tower, topped with a Harley. Because this is Wisconsin, after all, and my cousin and his wife are Harley people. And when you are Harley people who live in Wisconsin, you put a Harley atop your wedding cake. (Isn't my blog an absolute wealth of regional information?!?)
Further proof that I took my five kids to a wedding, by myself, and had a great time!

Please note: we all look good, because Boone look good ;)

At the reception, Jimmy loved and Hatfield teased KeKe.

Miles was amazed that the bride somehow knew his favorite color and type of flower and made the party favors just for him. 'Cause my family is telepathically caring like that.

Atticus could not figure out why our super cute waiter chimed, "Denied!" when he asked him for a glass of champagne.

All the kids luv'd on Great Grandma Frannie.

And after the meal, my kids tore up the dance floor.

I didn't. Because while super cute my kids tore up the floor, my super cute shoes tore up my feet.

But I don't care. Because those shoes are that cute.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Already Bad Week Just Keeps Getting Worse . . .

* Miles has left his room-- hooray! But he is no longer potty trained--boo!

* Cliff is in Vegas for work for the week-- hooray! for him. Boo! for me. (Seriously, though, I'm glad he's gone, because he's gonna need the rest to prepare for the MAJOR break he needs to give me upon his return.)

* Cliff's company each year has a Summit Club Team, where they take the top 5% of their sales force away for an overly-indulgent, all-expense paid, week-long trip to a luxury hotel in some exotic destination. This year it's in a private cove on some Hawaiian Island.

3 years ago, the trip was to London. London! Oh, that Man o' Mine wanted that trip soooooooo badly he could taste it.

They took the top 20 reps in his division.
He came in at #21.

Wanna know what happened this year?
Hint: History repeats itself.

I could feel his disappoint all the way from Vegas. Poor guy.

And now for the REALLY Bad, Horrible thing:

* Yesterday I was hosting the Boone crew. Our big front yard tree hosts two swings and some gymnastic rings. Amandine, Jill's 7-year old Haitian daughter, was ALL over those rings. She's quite amazing and graceful.

But, as they were getting ready to leave, something happened and she completely dropped onto the ground from a good 7-8 feet up in the air.

She was within 3 feet of me and I heard it. Her arm. And then Amandine's reaction. No screaming, just a sick, painful wimper/moan. The child turn grey-green.
Which becomes a pre

In a matter of moments, Jill was getting Amandine a blanket and into the house. I hopped on Jill's bike (trailer and all) and raced over to her house . When you live a street over from your good friend, you just bike over with your kids, sans purse, keys or vehicle. I grabbed her purse and keys (which Jill had so conveniently left on her counter, all put together nicely. I now pledge to be forever organized like she is!), and raced her car back to her house.

I kept the little Boone's, and Jill and Noah took Amandine to the hospital, where Brent met them from work.

3 years ago, Noah had a horrific freak accident fall and broke his arm/elbow, which required surgery. The entire ordeal was horrible, required follow up surgeries, further complicated by infections.

The surgeon said Noah's injury was a 1-in-a-million break.

Guess what?
Hint: Brent and Jill should probably be buying up a bunch of lottery tickets.

Poor Amandine. Exact same break. Hopefully with a complication-free followup.

She just got out of surgery. If you can, say some prayers for little Amandine and her family. Jill is wiped out and feeling horrible about the entire thing. They could really use a boost right now.

* * * *

Seriously, though, the tide has to change at some point. Right?


Mantra for June: Make Time for Friends

Gee, this is only half a month late.

June's mantra is: Make Time for Friends.

As I saw this month approaching and this mantra on my magazine clip-out, I smugly thought, "Pppshaw! I have a traveling husband and 5 kids, 2 of whom are 'challenging.' I so have an excuse to blow off this mantra!"

Yet I was wrong. Now more than ever do I need my friends.

* * * *

What's the saying about how, when the going gets tough, you find out who your real friends are? (Please note that I am dreadful at recalling colloquialisms, anecdotes, jokes and limericks.)

Wording aside, the saying is true.

The past 6-9 months have been some of my hardest ever, and I learned pretty quickly about those who will be there for me and those who were gone like the wind. (I'm not going to go into those who just disappeared when things going messy here in our home, because this is going to be a positive post about friends.)

I am so honored and blessed to have such a core group of friends who rally around me, providing me with the love, support and encouragement I need.

I even have some awesome friends who are willing to take my kids for me---some or all, and they don't mind which, lol!

Several in this group are women who have traumatized children like mine; whose families are going through the same growing pains of adjustment. These women intimately know the stresses I go through, and I can share my angst with them. They also have awesome senses of humor, and we can laugh about things that most others would probably find. . . distasteful or very disrespectful to our families. But we know it's not such; it's just that when things get really bad, sometimes you just gotta find something to laugh about.

And I then I have a few other friends, who while they are not parents of adoptive children, they are so loving and caring and intuitive, that they just "get" it. Becky is my go-to friend who always listens, never judges, and somehow has the ability to get to the heart of the matter in a few mere moments. Anne Marie doesn't have children and lives 4 hours away, yet when I talk to her, she is always able to put things into a new frame of reference for me, often allowing me to look at a situation with refreshed eyes and heart.

And then there's the world of blogging friends.

Seriously, how did any woman ever get through the pre-and post-adoption journeys without their blogging friends?!?

I have learned a crazy amount from women who are genuine and honest and take the time to share their experiences. Many times someone will leave me a comment which gives me the boost I need to help turn my sinking ship-day around and make things better. I try to do the same for others, because I know how much it helps me.

The coolest thing is that in the months ahead, I get to meet some of these awesome women who have been my support network. Geralyn, Corey, Amy: so excited to meet all of you!

When things are tough, days can sometimes be really long and dark. I have always been one to pull in and shut the world out.

If you are like that, can I just tell you to please, Stop. Take the mantra seriously. Create a core group of rock solid friends for yourself. Your group doesn't need to be Facebook friend cache big. One or two good friends will significantly improve your existence.

It's taken a long time, but my life became so much better when I stopped digging my dark little hidey hole and began seeking out others. And yours will, too.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Officially Boggled

My big plans for free time with Hatfield each morning while the kids are at VBS were short-lived.

We had one morning of freedom, and then it imploded.

I don't think my boys are quite equipped to deal with a short-term, high-energy, structured-environment where someone new is in charge. It took each of them a while to understand class rules and their teacher's expectations in 4-K. And neither handled it well yesterday.

Day 1 brought forth a situation where Keenan acted aggressively towards his brother and a few others, and both boys began to wrestle under the table. One didn't want to listen to the teacher, and the other couldn't remember that tables weren't for standing on top of.

Ay ay ay.

So after naptime, I took the boys aside to talk to them about the incidents. Not to scold, reprimand or consequence. But to discuss appropriate school and church behavior, and possibly figure out to whom in class was owed an apology.

Keenan, the instigator in most situations, took complete ownership of his bad choices. He said he gets happy and excited, and then forgets rules.

I can roll with that. We can work on that together. I am proud that he was able to articulate it so well.

But what do you do with a child who is so control-oriented who will make up lies (taking the blame for something they did not did), because telling Mommy the truth makes them angry and they would rather have a consequence for something they didn't do than tell Mom the truth about a good choice they made?

If you know the answer to this question, please let me know.

My mind if Officially Boggled.

The Triple Threat plays soccer once a week, on Mondays. It's the highlight of their week.

Yesterday, Miles decided that he would rather stay in his room than play. Because, as he said, he "no likes soccer. I like ba manti's (lies)?"

Even when I tried to be really soft and gentle and knelt down by his side and said, "Miles, I really don't think that's true. I know how much you like soccer. Could you please think about going?"

For the record, acting like that/saying things like that, is NOT easy. Not. At. All. And I'm not very good at it. But yesterday, seeing him so obstinate that he was missing something he truly loves, just made me really, really sad.

But no go. He was not budging.

Then, to top that, yesterday evening, he spent FIVE hours standing in the corner of his room.

Did I put him in the corner?

He did.
Seriously, what kind of kid puts himself in the corner for 5 hours? And why?

Because I told him it was bedtime, and asked him to climb into his bed. And he doesn't want to because Mommy wants him to sleep in his cozy bed.

When I came upstairs at 11 pm, there he was, swoozy with exhaustion, but doggedly standing nonetheless.

"Sweetie, WHY are you standing in the corner?"
"Because you want me to go sleep."


"Well, that makes me really sad, because I love you a lot and bought you that really nice bed so you could be all cozy and comfy."

I didn't know what else to say. I was tired, hurting, frustrated and pissed. So I went to bed myself.

This morning, every time I walked by, he turned away.

I announced meals, and he said, No. He doesn't want to eat because Mommy wants him to eat.

I brought him glasses of water when he was sleeping, only to have him dump them over when awake.

It's trauma, and I don't begin to understand this.

Miles does not want to do anything that he feels I want him to do. I think this is about fear/control for him. He really wants to control the show.

For now, I told him that if he wants to lie, be mean, not answer, pee on the floor, etc., he has to stay in his room. "Excellent," he told me.

When he is strong and feeling ready to be a Family Boy, all he has to do is let me know and we'll get him cleaned up, fed and off to the playroom.

We'll see, I guess. And now I'm so spent just re-living all of this, that I just don't have it in me to go into Keenan's Day 2 at VBS.

Seriously though, I should look on the bright side. Today doesn't beat the phone call from 4-K I had that one day when he was running around the entire freakin' school with a screwdriver he swiped from the teacher's closet, and no one in the school could catch him.

Nope, today doesn't even come close.
So that's one thing to celebrate, right?

After the past 24 hours, I'll take progress in whatever warped and twisted way, shape or form I can get it :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Photo Shoot

This morning, I took my Boy Patrol to Tarzhay to get their pictures taken.

I had Atticus' individual photos taken a few months back when he was dofee (Chamorro for "missing front teeth"). So today I had Miles and Keenan's individual pics done, plus a few of them together, and then a few of the Boy Patrol in its entirety.

My advice: Go Early, and Go on a Weekday Morning.

5 kids and a trillion pictures later, and I have finally learned.

Warning: Nauseous Mommy Brag Ahead

The boys did A-W-E-S-O-M-E!

They were so cute and their pictures turned out so well that they are being used in the Target photo book at our location.

I will now stop bragging and will let the photos speak for themselves (I'm shameless, I know):

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Best of Friends

These two have been best friends since 1999, back when we lived in an apartment in the Yellow House.

Ernie is still holding his own these days. Hobbling a bit more, he occasionally bottoms out when hopping up on the deck, and sometimes he pants a whole lot, but the vet says he's hanging in there and doing quite well for a 3-legged beagle of his age.

When I adopted Ernie way back when, I had visions of pulling both Hattie and Ernie in our red Radio Flyer wagon. Ha!

Little did I know that Ernie would be the Masked Avenger of our neighborhood, digging his way out (one-pawed, no less) of our fence in under 5 minutes flat. I soon became known as the "3 Legged Dog Lady," and many nice neighbors knew exactly who to return him to. Although Ernie quickly learned that if he went to the blue house 2 streets over, the kind widow there would hook him out to an outdoor porch leash and leave him with goodies while he waited for us to collect him.

Watching these two grow up together, loving to play together, fills my heart and makes my eyes grow Misty. As Ernie ages, Hatfield is becoming a lovely young woman, both in body and spirit.

Strong and steady, friendly and calm, Hatfield shows a maturity unmatched by most 11-year olds. She is quite responsible, yet in many ways still a little girl, loving to play with her Littlest Pets, American Girls and Build-a-Bears. I'm not complaining--let her be a girl as long as she can, and I am grateful that homeschool encourages such a childhood.

American tweens are growing up way too fast in my opinion, exposed to crap beyond the capabilities of their emotional processing. Reading headlines like this one about 5 risky behaviors engaged in by teens, just leaves me shaking my head. While Hatfield isn't exposed to most of the problems found in the halls of most middle schools, she is getting a real education in terms of living with traumatized siblings. She has witnessed things that very few other kids have, and I'm proud to say that I see my girl growing up with a real sense of empathy, coupled with the ability to let things roll of her back. Often I find myself attempting to model her sense of plucky calm.

The Mister is fixing to head out for a week-long business trip, and I scored when my sister gave me a heads up to next week's free Vacation Bible School at the very nice church just down the street. I enrolled the youngest four, and look forward to having Hatfield to myself for 3 hours each day next week, giving us a chance to work on her bedroom, shop and enjoy a walk or two with our favorite 3-legged Wonder Dog.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Miss Perry on the brain. . .

I'm not a huge avid fan of pop music (I still don't even begin to get Lady Gaga), and I've been told that I'm so "not cool" because I like country, but you know that pop song:

You're hot and then cold
You're yes and then no
You're in and the out
You're up and then down
(etc. etc.)

I was going to attribute it to the Chippettes (those of you living my Squeakel h*ll know what I'm talking about), but then came to find out that it's actually a song of Katy Perry.

Anyhoo, no matter who sings it, I have it on my brain a lot these days, because it's one of the catchy songs and when you're kids play it over and over (and over) again on their Squeakel cd, it kind of sticks on your brain.

And because it reminds me of my little Mr. Miles.

After a rough and rocky series of days, we are enjoying a breather with some great emotional regulation today. Yesterday morning, and afternoon, he was a poor mess, with it being the last day of school and my little man not knowing what to think of it. Just too big of an event for him.

The Triple Threat had soccer last night, but seeing how he just struggled through the whole day, I went with my intuition and kept him home. Knowing he wouldn't be happy about it (he wasn't), I helped him find his favorite Croc shoes and took him out back to the Weed Patch (soon to become the Garden Patch.)

Miles loves to work in the garden. I mean l-u-v-s it. Probably as much as I do.

So together, we worked at pulling up all the weeds. He kept a happy, chirpy running monologue going:

I strong Mommy to pull out these weeds.
That's a good job, Mommy!
Look at all the work we getting done, Mommy!
I gonna go get my red shovel to help my muscles get this Big Daddy Weed out!

I chit chatted and encouraged and we planned on what types of veggies we would put in and where.

After a solid 90 minutes, the crew returned. We chowed down the last of the birthday cake, and the kids were asleep within 15 seconds of hitting their pillow.

Miles awoke this morning, happy and proud. The entire evening was such a good reminder for me that one) this little boy needs a lot of productive, physical activity because it keeps his energy levels regulated and lets him feel useful and proud (so important for my little one with such a low sense of self worth) and two) we need more bonding activities.

Many, many, many thanks to all the wonderful comments, emails and phone calls from all of you about my last post. Arthur, while I'm not sure if I should be flattered or creeped out that you looked me up after all of these years, lol ;) I very much appreciate the exercises and reading suggestion you sent me and will be certainly looking into that therapist/book. Very helpful stuff, and I'm grateful you took the time to comment.

Today is the first true day of summer break. True to form, it is pouring outside! This morning, I let the kids play (trash) the basement. This afternoon, we're off to the library. Tomorrow it will hopefully warm up and we can get all those beans, corn and carrots in the ground.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Coming to terms

I feel like every few weeks I write, this is the hardest week we've had in a long time. And yet, here I sit now, feeling the same way.

Two situations in the past 2 days have left me completely wiped out and feeling hurt, sad, resentful, exhuasted and mournful.

I'm feeling a low right now, and so many questions run through my mind.

At what point does a parent come to terms with the fact that they are raising hurt children and not just children who are still in the adjustment phase, and accept the fact that their lives are now really, really hard?

How do you accept it when, after you bring your children home, you realize you have to say, I think we've moved out of the 'well, he's just adjusting' mindset to the 'well, I think we have some long-term problems/work in front of us here?'

When do you feel good and accept the fact that nothing is the same? And that friends you used to have are yours no longer because they avoid you and are nervous around your kids and don't know what to say (and you can't really blame them at all that they feel that way)? And that you sometimes even avoid family and others because it's too complicated to make others realize the boundaries of how they can and cannot act with your children? And that you don't set those boundaries because you are a mean or controlling or hateful parent, but rather because you are trying to teach your children what a mother is or a family is and help them grow emotionally?

I don't know the answers to any of those quesitons.

* * * *

Yesterday, in going through the boys' room, I found one son's favorite shirts bunched up (and I believe urinated on) in the far corner of his closet. Other of his clothing was hidden in his brother's closet. I found toys--none of which were Miles-- stuffed between Miles' bed mattress and the wall. And I discovered that Miles has been peeing in the room again, too.

Why am I struggling with the process of pulling up my Big Girl Panties and accepting the fact that I have a child with whom not a single, tiny 'sly' action can be ignored? And that we can never pretend a toy stuck in between a bed and a wall was just a 'mistake' or 'accident?' Because every time Miles does something just below the surface of normal (and sometimes it's sooooooo *close* to normal that people parenting regular kids think that *I* am nuts or overly punitive, because so may of these things can just be written off as carelessness or as an accident with a 'regular' kid. But not this kid), really it's just his way of holding up a huge, blinking neon arrow that reads, "I'm not okay inside right now, Mom."

All of these things happen when Miles is feeling angry or fearful. Sometimes he gets angry because Atticus might step on a coat hanger (honest to God.) Other times it's because he doesn't want to go to bed and wants to play.

The horrible catch-22 of this situation is that as a traumatized child, Miles suffers from horrible shame. Horrible. And whenever he acts out of anger, it in turn grows more shame and deflates a nearly-depleted sense of self-worth. It's a cycle that is so harmful to him.

To help my son, I realized that he needs his own room. With little in it--just a bed. A bedroom where if he is angry, there isn't anything he can ruin. One where there isn't the lure of bad choices which will only lead to further internal feelings of shame. I mean, he can pee on the carpet or on his bed all he wants, and I know that will lead to shame, but at least it won't be compounded by the shame he feels when he knows he ruined his brothers' belongings.

Plus, it isn't fair to Atticus and Keenan to live like that. They're just little boys who take care of their stuff and respect each other's stuff.

So, we moved Paloma into Hatfield's room, cleared out the little yellow bedroom that was Po's, and moved Miles' mattress and box spring into that room.

As silly as it sounds, this has absolutetly devastated me. Completely taken the wind out of my sails. I still can't stop crying about it all. This is not the way I ever wanted to or planned to live.

I had such pride in my little girls' rooms. Paloma's room was absolutely adorable. It brought so much joy to her and I. And the same with Hatfield's. I know it's just a bedroom. And so much of the world never has their own bedroom. But it's not Paloma's fault that she is losing her room.

Although I'm ashamed to admit it, I'd be lying to say that I wasn't feeling resentment and anger at this entire situation, even though I know that it isn't Miles fault that his trauma healing requires him having a completly quiet place to heal.

It is really, really hard for me to accept the reality that I have one child who sleeps in his bedroom, which consists of a room and a mattress and boxspring on the floor. It makes me feel like a mean, horrible mother. Even though I know we are not doing this out of punishment, but out of a need for him to have a quiet, uncluttered, non-distracting space for him to rest, I still feel horrible.

Because there is a part of me that thinks that if I could somehow have done something different, I'd have a happy, healthy little boy who would be very happy and healthy and behaviorally appropriate in the adorable room I painstakingly created for him.

** * * ** *

And as if having one son who sleeps in an empty room on a mattress isn't hard enough for me to accept, last night I had a child who slept on the floor in the bathroom in poopy underwear.


Because the children were doing their chores. And Keenan didn't want to do his. So he urinated and defecated in his underwear.


I don't do soupy poopy underwear. Well, I mean, if I have children sick with the stomach flu, of course I will. But if I have a nearly 6 year old child who will do that foul act because they are upset they have to clean a bathroom mirror or put away a toothbrush, well, I'm not that sort of mom.

So I placed him in the bathroom. Calmly explained to him (we've been through this before) that in our family, when a child chooses not to use the toilet, that child cleans up their own mess.

And do you know that this child choose to stay in that filth for hours and hours and hours?

What to do? I can't force him to take it off, and I'm not certainly going to forcefully take it off of him. I asked him nicely to take it all off, place it in the bathtub, clean up his own bottom and put on a pull-up so he could crawl into bed and sleep.

And he refused.

So he slept in the bathroom.

Now, logically, I know it was his choice. But as a mother, It. Kills.Me. to have a child who would rather sleep in his own soupy fecal matter than cooperate.

Because I can't help but feel that if I were somehow a better mother to Keenan, then he would not be choosing these courses of action.
***** ** ******

Right now I am mourning the normal, easy life we used to have. I'm still struggling to accept the fact that this is the way my life is. That I have a child who cannot act appropriately around other's belongings. That I have a child who will mess his pants and then stand in it for hours, and I feel completely helpless and scared when he does because I don't know what to do about it or how to make that situation better.

I am feeling tremendous grief and pain and guilt. I see these situations in my family and I feel like I'm trying to get my footing in the middle of an oil slick. If you are feeling this way too, please know that you are not alone. I have no words of wisdom, and really have no idea how to comfort you, except to say that I'm here with you.

Friday, June 04, 2010

A Birthday Tragedy for Ninjacus

Poor Atticus (aka Ninjacus.)

Tragedy struck his birthday, and I worried all night about how to break it to him.

You can watch me do so here:

Happy 8th Birthday, Ninjacus!
You are the coolest kid I know.