Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Grace and Mercy

Another family in bloggy land is in the process of adopting twins and theirs moved in about 6 weeks after ours moved in. The mom and I can kind of relate to the journey we are each on except that hers came potty trained,  however, they are 2 years older and probably have that much more baggage to work through. At any rate, we both have our hard days.

I was reading her blog this morning and she was echoing my thoughts on the topic of grace and mercy and if we are showing enough. When you think of all that the Lord God extends towards us and then you think of me and my hard-lined approach to obedience it's enough to make a person question if I am  too strict! I have thought about it a lot and prayed about it and I have come to some conclusions, but I am open to discussion and wondering if there is anybody out there with a different view or two bits to add.  In a sense I feel I have one chance with these two children and they can't afford for me to mess that up. The consequences are eternal.

My comment on this gal's blog went like this: 

I've had the same thoughts but in the end it boils down to the fact that they will only come up to the standard you set. Consistency, consistency, consistency is where it's at and while we are in these hard, hard early days we will question ourselves, but we have to keep the standard. In some ways I think I might be making it harder on myself than the next person would because I won't let the kiddos get away with anything, but later the job should be easier since they will know exactly where I stand and hopefully have learned to respect that. Yes, God is wonderfully gracious and merciful, but He has a standard that we must rise up to and He always forgives and then we must ask for His strength to reach that standard. He is showing the twins grace and mercy in giving them a whole new chance and he forgives their childishness and foolishness, but we are to help them reach for His strength and power to make the necessary changes in their lives and to break the bonds of the heritage their parents bequeathed them . . . and you and I know the changes are necessary if they are to live productive, useful lives in this society (and in the next, I might add.)

I know I have a lot of readers who are not on the same adoption/foster care path and are probably afraid to comment lest they seem like they are handing out advice without walking in the moccasins, but in a sense this discussion pertains to raising biological children as well.....  so join the fray!


I'm dragging. I'm barely functioning at all. It's not good.

I don't know if the infection in my mouth is zapping my energy or if the anti-biotics I am on are doing me in, but the endodontist visit is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon and it's likely we'll get started on that root canal just before our weekend company arrives.

My appetite is nil probably on account of the advil.

At 6:15 this morning Steve asked me to get him some breakfast while he showered. My response was wonderfully caring... Me:  "You are kidding, right?"  Him: "Yeah, I guess so". He left. I think he ate a piece of Brianna's fresh raspberry pie.

I could hear Little Miss in her room. I dragged myself out of bed to tell her to please use the bathroom then go play in her room. I went back to bed but that great big golden retriever we are babysitting started barking and I had to go let him out of the garage. I went back to sleep, but someone was snoring and that woke me up... it couldn't have been the twins, I could hear them playing and everybody else has gone to work... so it must have been me. Don't ya just hate that when your own snoring wakes you up?

The twins are both on a good streak. Yesterday I laid on the couch and told them I was sick. So they played quietly around me and that's about all I accomplished besides the social worker visit and taking Little Missy swimming for half an hour.

Buster never peed his pants once yesterday. We're going on an outing on Friday that involves swimming with Uncle Bob and Aunty Joy and Cousin Isaac and I told him if he pees his pants once in the next three days I would be calling up Mrs. S or Mrs. V to babysit him because I still refuse to let him go swimming so long as he's peeing in his pants. I also told him I am signing up his twin for swimming lessons that start Monday and he still has a chance to get in if he cooperates. He made the beds yesterday without a single complaint and was as good as can be. The two are learning to play together. She has her stuff and he has his stuff and nary the two shall mix.... but yesterday she wanted one of his 10 little airplanes and of course he said no, but I suggested that actually it's more fun to play together than by yourself, so he gave her one. They flew them all around the house together and he discovered she can make just as good of airplane noises as he can and so they had fun. Later after supper he asked to play airplanes again. It all ended with her spit on him and her in bed early, but it's still progress.

Okay, must drag myself up the stairs to make shake for the twins. It's a good thing the girls' work in this particular orchard will be done today. I don't have what it takes to get ready for company. I want them to come. We were suppose to meet at a campground for the weekend, but we could not get a single reservation in the whole State and we didn't have enough time to get permission to take the twins to Canada, so we are meeting here and we'll do some day outing kind of stuff together.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

To Children's and Back

We are home.

It was a LONG day with one appointment after another from 9:15 to 2:15 and exhausting. The kids fell asleep in the car on the way home. Even when we stopped for gas and the car alarm went off Little Missy did not stop snoring. Her head was hanging off the car-seat in a way that gave me neck pain just looking. It was all interesting. Little Guy is getting glasses. Little Miss has a lot of surgery and treatment ahead.

The level of care and concern between the different doctors and people we saw was striking. The first doc was flippant, said something about apples not falling far from trees and seemed to have a general attitude about foster kids. He was non committal in his statements to us and we came out more confused than understanding. He made comments about Little Guy's slowness of speech and inability to give him information.The next person was an audiologist who made several assumptions and incorrect statements and said Little Miss's hearing was fine. She was getting her job done. Period.

The next appointment was with the head of the cranial facial clinic. This was a complete different story. He was thrilled to see Missy in her new family. He has cared for her since day 11. He has done her surgeries and dealt with bio family. He asked about termination and got a smidge misty-eyed when he heard about the relinquishment. He talked about her background and the utter chaos the twins came from and how the developmental delays are, in his opinion, all environmentally caused. He said everybody there who ever dealt with Missy and family will never forget and they all have stories! Every visit was just that kind of unforgettable experience. He said he had never seen her look so good. In fact he repeated several times that he had never seen her look like this before. I didn't know exactly what that meant. He took a lot of time with us and answered a lot of questions even of their general health and other issues. He confirmed that what we are doing regarding their bowel health is the way to go and made some small suggestions that we appreciate.  Little Miss is quite taken with him and  soaked up the attention.

It was a parade of doctors, social workers, orthodontists, etc.... after that. Mostly these were caring people. These are all people who have followed this case since day 11. The doc who did the ear surgeries all the way down to the guy who took photographs remember vividly all previous visits and have stories. The photographs of Little Miss were amazing to me. I had not seen any good pictures of her since her referral picture and here they have a record of her for every year. The photographer said he would put them on a cd for me. Now if only I could get my hands on some good pics of twin brother.

Missy has a long road ahead. Cleft palate is a big deal. We are finding out what a sick baby she was and it's actually amazing she pulled through and is here today.

The kids were good all day. We came home to a clean house and mowed grass and the laundry done. The girls had the day off from cherries and they worked hard at home. They brought out a little toy that really excited the twins. We let them play with it for a bit and then I decided since it was past bed time they should each take one more turn and get their pj.'s on. Little Guy was not happy about that and went and stood between the two bathrooms and peed in his pants. We were completely caught by surprise. How could this be? He did so well all day and asked to go pee every time he needed to at the hospital and at REI, etc.... why now? We didn't put the two-and-two together until this morning. It makes me so sad.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Battle Rages Still

Little Guy continues to balk. It doesn't matter what I ask of him he refuses to comply. It's a repeat of two weeks ago, only instead of Missy it's Buster.

On Sabbath, while we were still at church I asked him to tie his shoes. He whined and cried and said he could not. I tried to help but he wouldn't even try so I told him to go to dad. He wouldn't move. I started to pull him but it's just plain stupid to drag him when he can walk by himself. I said, "Fine, stay here then. Bye!" He chased me and kicked me in the ankles. I wasn't going to react, but I turned in time to see him whack his twin between the shoulders. Her eyes bugged and I felt terrible. I pulled her close and said, "I'm sorry!! That was not nice and you didn't deserve that. He will have a consequence, just be still and say nothing. I'm really, really sorry!" I then marched him to the car and sat him on the ground by the wheel where he proceeded to try and bust his sunglasses to bits. I retrieved them and turned him over to Steve. He was screaming bloody murder in the church parking lot. We would not allow him in the car like that. We arranged the seating so that I would drive and Steve would sit next to him in the very back seat, however, he couldn't get in the car like that so I drove away and left poor Steve to deal with it. We were kind of in a hurry. I had packed a sack lunch and we were suppose to head to friends to meet for the annual big church hike up Wedge. The girls and I ate our sack lunches and then drove back to find Steve still working on him to tie his shoes. We waited.  Eventually he did it and stopped the nonsense. I drove like crazy and we were on time for the hike.

The hike was awesome. The twins were really good hikers. Must be all that practice on our backyard mountain :-) . They loved the snow on the top, etc... Little Guy said, "Watch me mom" and took off running down the hill and did a major face plant.  I pressed on the swelling between his eyes and the blood stopped coming out his nose. He looks like we beat him up. We have a lot of explaining to do at Children's Hospital tomorrow!

This morning I had to play the piano for the Sunday church as my girls were called out to cherry harvest. All went well in the morning, but when we got home I asked Buster to make his bed and his sister's. (Making Missy's bed is part of his restitution for the unprovoked whack in the back she endured). He refused. It went on and on and on. Little Miss and I did other things. He sat on his bedroom floor. Finally, I had to go pick up the girls so he was asked to finish up. He screamed and had to go up the hill. Let me tell you, he made it difficult on himself. I finally left with him in the car.... I treated the girls to ice-cream cones and we came home to get ready for swimming. Again I asked him to get his bed made and he refused. We went back up the hill- only it was so hot I could not go far. I made him stand by a fence post and told him he would not be going down until the screaming stopped.  He wouldn't stop for two hours.

He threatened me with a stick, he swore once or twice, he threw rocks at me, he screamed he was scared, he ran away from me several times, he growled, he smacked his hands together, he complained that it was too hot, he complained that it was raining, but he would not be quiet. I stood aways from him and sang as many songs as I could remember. As he simmered down I kept singing and still required him to be quiet and to stay and obey. Finally he was quiet. I sang two songs in the blessed quietness then asked him which song he would like me to sing next. He chose Jesus Loves Me and I invited him to sing with me. Next he asked for Jesus Loves the Little Ones Like Me and then Jesus Loves the Little Children. You have to picture this... We are on a dry, steep hill about ten feet apart. He's butt naked except for his t-shirt, I'm in my swim suit. (The girls took the car and went swimming without us). He's covered in dirt and I'm not much better with sweat dripping down my neck and we are singing Jesus Love Me.

He finally made both beds and it took him all of 10 minutes. He had a shower, ate supper and crawled into the newly (but not perfectly) made bed with a smile on his face and many promises that tomorrow will be different. I read scriptures out loud part of the time he was on the hill. I needed the bolstering. I have to believe that God will win the war. "There hath not failed one WORD of all His good promise." 1 Kings 8:56 I choose to believe that He has promised to be with me and will not forsake this child.

Oh, and then half an hour later a cop car slowly drove up the driveway. It took him so long I had time to get dressed before he got to the door. I was thinking, "brother, someone's reported the screaming! Now what?"  But no, Steve is being called as a witness to a fatality he tried to resuscitate a year ago. The victim was in a drunk driving accident but the driver wants to be cleared.  Steve won't be able to say she wasn't drunk and he can't say she was drunk, but her behavior was way-out there.


My brother asked me how to put pictures in their proper order among the writing.... and I haven't a clue, so I'm here to experiment and see if can be done.

I always put all my photos on my other blog. It's quite a pain that I cannot post pictures of the twins' faces, It has me kind of stagnant for blog material. Sometimes just the fact that the twins live here makes for boring blog posts, there's nothing else to write about except what it's like to live with the twins.

Anyway, it seems the pics are loading. We'll see if they are in the right spot.

Friday, June 25, 2010

A New Day Dawns

This has been a very good week for Little Missy.

She has been an angel and has worked really, really hard to be sweet. It doesn't come naturally, LOL! She loved VBS and would do anything to go. I'm a hard nosed Mama and she knows it. You cross this line and you will find yourself missing out on certain things and she didn't take a chance! She even got to go swimming Thursday and today we went canoeing and then they played in the river. She maintained her positive obedience and sweet happy face even when exhausted. A few times the lower lip started to come out or she said something without thinking and a quick reminder was all that was needed. She helped me with preparing crafts and sewing, etc... She would stand by my sewing machine and wait patiently to clip the threads, or whatever job I had for her.  The cherry on top was that she learned she could go poop in under 5 minutes!! Our long drawn out, cranky coaxing matches on the toilet might actually be a thing of the past. For this entire week she has gone poop in less than 5 minutes and today it was less than 2. She'd still like to play her control games over drinking any kind of fluid, but Steve discovered that she will drink a lot faster standing up when there's nothing to lean on. I find the timer helps, too. Amazing the lengths parents go to get simple, every day tasks completed. With the summer heat finally arriving we've upped the fluid intake requirements and she is honestly more thirsty.

Buster, on the other hand, has been making the poop time long, drawn-out, cranky and miserable times for all of us. He has actually resorted to withholding, but prune juice, mirelax, etc... are tools to keep him going whether he likes it or not. He came close to missing VBS a few times. He is holding on to control by wetting his pants and it's keeping him unhappy. We keep singing, "Trust and Obey for there's no other way, to be happy....."

I have a big toothache and I'm on antibiotics, and pain pills and scheduled for a root canal by an endodondist next week. So all 4 front top teeth are dead or dying. I had not idea it was this bad even for all the pain I've been in.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tell Me, Do You Ever Pee Your Pants?

Little Guy peed his pants so many times yesterday, even after his attitude improved, even in his brand new pants that he really likes. I had him wash them by hand and hang them out to dry on the deck. He had to wear old pants to VBS and I made him stay right by me at all times. There  a little boy, 4 years old, asked to use the outhouse and I went over there with him to make sure he was safe. Of course, Little Guy had to go with me since he had to be at my side. When the 4 year old came out of the outhouse I asked, "Robert, tell me, do you ever pee your pants?"

The LOOK was priceless! His big brown eyes were almost insulted and he drew his head back like it was the dumbest question he had ever heard.

"NO!!!!! But when I was a baby I did sometimes.

Perfect! He couldn't have been more perfect in his response.

Little Guy stood there and said not a word. He saw and heard all.

"Thanks, Robert. I was just wondering if boys your size peed their pants anymore."

The other day when Little Guy had used up all his clothes and he had nothing left to wear at all except shirts I had talked to him and told him that baby's pee in their pants. He needed to start acting like a big boy and not a baby. He was a little desperate feeling for clothes, "but babies wear diapers!" he pleaded. He figured it would be better to have a diaper than no underwear until the dryer stopped.

Are you surprised I have given away all the leftover diapers?  (I kept a package of pull-ups hidden away for an emergency in case of illness, etc...).

I don't know what to do. He can stay dry if he wants to, but mostly he just doesn't care. It's his last means of control and he aims to keep it.  Lord, help me!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It Works

Buster's attitude has only spiraling downward for the last three days... Don't get me wrong. Whining and being miserable is a huge improvement over all-out screaming tantrums, but there was no end in sight of the incorrigible attitude, so we hiked the mountain.

This mountain will either make them change their minds immediately before they get 50 feet up the trail or they will escalate to the  all-out screaming, throwing themselves on the ground, beating their fists into the dust and smearing the snot all over their faces till they look like something that blew in on a typhoon . Today, he chose to do the later.

We got past the steepest part of the hike when he came unglued. I encouraged and prodded and finally walked ahead of him. Usually this works because he won't be left behind. Not today. He turned around and ran half-way home. I kept going up. Eventually he got too scared to proceed. The grass is taller than his head. He's insecure enough to never be sure if he's on the right trail even though it's pretty clear and you would really have to have your eyes closed to get lost. He's not exactly logical, yet. He stopped and I would call to him, but mostly he was screaming too loud to hear me.

I stayed put. Every once in awhile he would begin to climb towards me, but it's hard there and he would give up and run back down. I called encouragements, but the last thing I felt I could do was go back down. That's what he wanted. I used my cel and called in my support team. Vanessa walked up behind him and said, " You need to obey mom, so get going!" and she walked up the hill and he followed. She gave him a few tips on how to do it easier, but the amazing thing is he did all himself and I usually have to help.

Buster was actually very glad to be back with me and the war was over. Vanessa hike up past us and blazed her own trail home without him even knowing. He marched up to the dead tree and was willing and ready to keep going to the tower. We were both red and hot. I suggested that since he was obviously over his bad mood we could just go home and get a drink of cold water and he could finish the job I asked him to do in the first place. The look in his eyes, the expression on his face, the tone of his voice; it's all changed.

It works.

If I didn't despise the climb myself I would do it more often, but truth is it takes a ton of patience to get through the coming-unglued stuff.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Same Old Song and Dance

I have nothing to say. At least, I don't think I can think of anything, but as they say, I'm just putting my fingers on the keys and we'll see what comes out.

It's the same old song and dance.

"Please drink. Please go poop. Please obey. No whining, please. Please, go pee. Buster, you peed your pants again. Are you going to do what mommy asks or are you choosing a consequence? Say, "yes mom". Say, "yes mom". Say, "yes, mom" . . .  . . "

One is choosing to obey. VBS starts tonight. She really wants to go.

The other is choosing to be passively disobedient... He looks like he is obeying but as time passes you realize he is not. He is only pretending. He is frustrated with me because I have had it with the peeing all over the place. He has done his own laundry and folded it. He has washed his own sheets and replaced them on his bed, he has washed the pee out of his car seat. I'm keeping him running to the potty so often he can't pee on anything and I think it's making him mad so he's no longer cooperating and is on his bed for the count.

I'd be lying if I said I was having fun.

Some days are HARD. Really hard.  Today is not one of the hard, hard ones.... it's just tiring. I need to get some things done, but I cannot. It seems like I never can. Oh, well.

Boy, if you read both of my blogs you'd think I had a split personality. Hmmmmm... Okay, let's see....

We had the goodbye visit with bio family. All went well. The mom liked the photo book. She appreciated it and thanked me and actually gave me a hug. She was looking for a pity party but it was a large crowed and no one would cater to it and so she went along with flow of things.  I met her sister.  A very nice gal and I met all the new moms of the siblings. It was good.

Since the girls started working cherries and are gone 8- 10  hours a day the attachment for Missy is going a lot better! I think we are back to where we were a month ago. They have a few days off but because they are in charge of VBS and it's in a tent ( our church is in remodel mode) and the tent has to be guarded 24 hours a day they aren't home much even now. I think a new crop of cherries will be ripe about the time VBS ends so it's all good. I miss having them around, though. It breaks up the monotony of the above noted ongoing drama for me.

Little Miss is a copy cat. She was just fussing about the entry-way putting shoes and coats in the closet and acting like the big girls. Yeah. That's positive :-)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


The last two days the testing is unending. I feel like the wicked witch of the West because there is no let up from one behavior to the next and I'm constantly correcting and disciplining. For a few minutes one is good while the other is bad and then they switch so that there is no let up for me. I was suppose to go to town with my oldest this morning.... but she had to go by herself since one child is confined to his room for awhile and the other was dilly-dallying with her morning routine.  As Vanessa left she handed me a couple of chocolates. Does it show that bad that I'm discouraged?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mountain Top X's Two

Well, I'm back from a 2nd hike up the mountain. It was to the tippy top and down the other side before she was willing to concede that it would be better to just go poop than to create a fuss and have to climb the mountain. I'm not even sure where I stand with her at the moment. She's on the toilet, however she's showing signs that she could begin to cause grief at any time. Maybe I'll just go and read the Bible to her while she sits until the Lord gives me wisdom or peace or both.... And then she's going for a nap.

Good Day Yesterday - Testing Today

Missy LOVED swimming! She was so funny and very, very excited. You never saw anyone so happy. She deserved it, too. She had worked really hard at obeying with a smile all day. She went to sleep with a joyful face and looking forward to the next day's swim. It was a good day for both kiddos.  I appreciated the sweet, and happy day.

Little Missy was quite content to be near me all day. She didn't even question it or ask for the girls. She was huggy and loving.

Today will not have such a great record. We've been up the mountain before breakfast already so no swimming today. I did think it was good that Missy cut her tantrum short. It only lasted 10 minutes... which was how long it took to get ready to hike. She was a wildcat slapping and kicking and screaming and yelling "NO!"  and suddenly she was calm and obeyed and hiked willingly. She hoped to earn some brownie points and get her swimming privilege back, but it doesn't work that way.  We only went to the second ridge where we rested and talked and prayed before coming home. Buster went with because he happened to be in time-out for a small thing when Missy started. I felt like I couldn't let him off the hook and leave him with the girls since he hadn't been very pleasant towards them. I figured a little preventative medicine couldn't hurt.

I talked to a friend who just adopted two kids. She also has the problem with friends not understanding the need to give time for bonding - some of the same ones we get funny looks from when we say that Little Miss can't sit on their lap and snuggle. It's a problem because they don't understand how a child who needs so much love and attention shouldn't be getting it from as many places as possible. It just wreaks havoc with making real connections with those who are to be the ones they answer to. Who would have thought that an attentive teenage sister would be a problem?

Little Guy has taken up a new sport. Fly Swatting. It beats running and screaming from them :-). Well, excuse me for now, I'm being buttered-up big time and the syrupy sap doth flow.... what in the world can they want? (Besides for me to change my mind about swimming today?)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Still On Track

It was me and the twins most of the day at home yesterday. Steve had to be at the hospital and this is the church camp out weekend and I just didn't feel - in light of our current trials - that spending the whole day with friends in a very social setting would be very helpful. I let Vanessa take Brianna and Christina and they enjoyed the day at the campground very much. Little Miss was not happy about them leaving but she was more amiable towards me.Buster must have been really feeling left out the last couple of days because when I asked him to go potty he tried out her tricks. Ugh! It was so fake and yet I had to handle them the same way I would for her because it was nonsense after all, but it made me angry. Up to the top of the mountain we went. He was ridiculous all the way up. We could have turned around at the dead tree, or other points along the path had he given up the stupidity, but of course he wouldn't and I had to hike that whole dumb mountain. It's a killer. I ended up with a headache from the heat. We ran into the neighbor boys and I had to apologize for their ruined peace, but they laughed when I explained.  Anyway.... the kids were fine after that. Little Miss actually did several puzzles on her own. She would bring each one to me for praise and then go back for another one. She has only done three piece puzzles up until now. Steve finally got low census late in the afternoon so we took the kids to join the picnic supper and worship at the campground. It's very hard to keep a leash on Missy. We managed, but she is extremely social but I felt she had to be with me or Steve at ALL times. Some people don't quite understand and would love for her to sit on their laps, etc... They think she is so sweet and needs all the attention. Whatever! They make it harder without realizing it, but she cannot sit with them yet. This morning little Missy was actually glad to see me and came for a hug and excitedly talked to me. She's going swimming today if she can keep it together. Buster is not. He will watch. Every time I have to climb that horrid mountain they will miss out on swimming. That's all there is to it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

It was the worst tantrum ever. I think I am traumatized forever. May God give her a new heart.

Half-Way Through Our Day

After the initial trying to push me away this morning, she has pretty much accepted the fact that we are tied up together.... I'm making a game of it and Buster feels a tad left out, but I promised to "play the game" with him another day.  She did test it a bit to see who was going to drag who around. We have not had one screaming fit, or begging for Bri, and have had several comments on her cute apron... and double takes when they realize I've got the apron strings....

We are heading out to the garden.

Today's Verse

Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.  1 Samuel 7:12

And He will help us to the end!!

Apron strings, here we come.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Happy Heart

The comments didn't come soon enough... I left the twins with Steve and Christina for the evening.  I enjoyed myself at Vanessa's recital. She played a two piano Jamaican Rumba with her piano teacher. This was her fun piece. Her serious recital is next week in preparation for the Bach Fest. I came home to an interesting story.

Little Miss was caught slapping her brother's face for merely sitting in the swing she wanted. Steve was on the phone but Christina was doing her best to manage her. The screaming was intolerable so Steve had to intervene and put her on her bed so he could finish his business. Afterwards he went to have a little talk with her about her behavior. He turned the story around and asked her what sort of discipline would Buster deserve if he had been the one slapping her face.

Oh My! Talk about vengeful. She said he should not have supper, or lunch and a spanking! He then asked if that's what she deserved since she was the one who had committed the crime. Of course, she didn't deserve any of it. So then (don't ask me where this guy gets his ideas! LOL!) he went and asked Buster what he thought his sister deserved for being so mean and nasty.

Get this.... it really shows how sensitive this kid is!!

He thought for awhile and didn't say much. Steve told him what she had said about him deserving missing meals and a spanking and all that.... and Little Guy said, "No, she needs you to give her a happy heart."

Wow! So, he's been listening after all !!

Steve asked him how was he going to give her that?

"Jesus can give her a happy heart and all the angels around my bed!" He then took Steve to see the pictures of Jesus and the angel on his bedroom wall.

Steve decided to have her pound some nails in a board. She labored over three nails for quite some time. She was all proud of it when she finished, but Steve told her it wasn't something to be proud of and then he made sure she was wearing her amplifier while he read them the story of Jesus dying on the cross out of the Bible Story book so she would hear all the words. He explained how sin put nails in Christ's hands and that He died for our sins - her sins, too. He talked about the "happy heart" Jesus was willing to give her.  She took her board with it's three big nails to bed with her. I know Buster will never forget the lesson, but I pray that Missy will take something to heart and that the object lesson will help her remember.

Work Cut Out for Me

We're experiencing an attachment issue with Little Miss right now.

Little Guy is attached to me and is learning quickly to obey. He is taking his consequences quietly and with dignity even if he's trying out all kinds of things like lying, ignoring, "forgetting", etc..., but he is not throwing things anymore. He isn't running off angry much or screaming at all. He's happy most of the time.He is the most impatient child around, but is starting to get it that there is such a thing as taking turns, waiting and just seeing what will happen if you didn't get your question answered immediately.This is something that will take months if not years to work through, but we are on the path.

Little Miss has built up a wall  against me. I saw it when the rest of the family went to Bible Camp and she tantrumed for hours on end. I saw it in Alaska when she would go to the bathroom for the girls, but would have a screaming fit for me.

Yesterday she refused to make her bed for me. As I worked with her she screamed for Brianna Grace over and over. The whole episode was her statement to me about where I stood as her mother. (The SW reminded me that her sister was her authority in bio-family). This was all out defiance. We got through it. She eventually made her bed. She was told in no uncertain terms that Brianna would not be available to her for anything. She cuddled up to me and smiled and did sweet things and then asked again for Brianna Grace. I explained that Brianna would not be playing with her or teaching her braiding and crafts, etc... as before. She cried broken hearted and then she tried the butter-me-up stuff all over again.

Later in the day I took her to a friends house. Leila gave her a lolly pop. She was enjoying it but dropped it on the ground at home and I had to throw it away. She was sticky and I gave her a napkin to clean up her face. She defiantly threw it on the floor. I asked her to please pick it up. I asked three times. She only gave me the "I dare you to try and make me" look. I gave her one more chance to obey. She screamed at me.

"Okay, Miss, off to bed with you."

I removed her shoes and she flipped out with screaming and kicking and throwing herself on the floor when suddenly she stood up and said, "Yes, MOM" with the sweetest smile ever.

"I'm sorry kiddo. It is too late. I gave you chances to change your mind, but now that you are in for the consequences and you don't want them. I'm sorry, you are going to bed."

The screaming, the flailing, the attacking resumed. I finally was able to get her in a position where I could pick her up without getting hurt. I undressed her and put her in the shower in hopes to calm the storm. Her goal was to get as much water all over the bathroom as possible to show how angry she was with me. I carried out my business.... only when the shampoo started running down her face and I was offering her a facecloth which she would not accept at first did the tantrum subside, but only for the moment.

I tried to give her something to eat as this was bed for the night.... She was impossible and so I had to forget that idea. I put her in bed. The tantrum resumed and carried on for a full hour. I did my best to keep her from beating the walls. Steve was finally able to get her to apologize and lay still, but she really thought that would get her out of bed.

This morning she resumed her stance towards me and her calling for Brianna Grace. I reminded her that Brianna is not doing anything with her anymore. I am her mom. This was turning out to be one HORRIBLE day except that  Christina  remembered that the pool opens tomorrow. Suddenly little Miss is a sweet adorable, obedient little thing with many "Yes, moms".

Christina was like, "but MOM!!!!! She isn't obeying for the right reasons! She isn't obeying because she wants to and loves you. She is only doing it to get to go swimming."

I know that, but love can't happen in an instant. Love and trust are built up over time.... if she can obey to avoid consequences right now, eventually she will know how to love and trust and obey for the right reasons as she grows attached to me. (Sounds like a good theory anyway...)

Brianna is off limits, poor girl! She can't do a thing with the kids until things change and the authority and attachment is in the right place.

We have yet another SW visit today.... Brianna groaned, " Aw! Mom.  Another social worker??? They are like flies!!!! They never go away!" Oh, the joy!  :-)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Can someone give me feedback?

The goodbye visit with bio-mom is coming up real fast. I have been working on a photo album to give her. I've okayed it with SW. I'm using blurb and will have it printed in a hardback. The pictures are all photos of the twins and their pets, no one else. We've taken a ton of great photos and I think the book is beautiful. It seemed a tad odd without words, though, so I racked my brain on what to write and finally gave up and inserted Psalm 139. I love that Psalm and I think it is very comforting, however, I would like someone else to read it and give me feedback on how you think this would make a birthmom feel. She'll be sad enough without me adding to it, so I want this to be comforting and give her hope.

O Lord,
You have searched me
and known me.
You know my sitting down
and my rising up;
You understand
my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path
and my lying down,
And are acquainted
with all my ways.
For there is not a word 
on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord,
You know it altogether.
You have hedged me
behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge
is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.
Where can I go
from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven,
You are there;
If I make my bed in hell,
You are there.
If I take the wings
of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts
of the sea,
Even there Your hand
shall lead me,
And Your right hand
shall hold me.
If I say, "Surely
the darkness shall fall on me,"
Even the night
shall be light about me;
Indeed, the darkness
shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light
are both alike to You.
For You have formed
my inward parts;
You have covered me
in my mother's womb.
I will praise You,
for I am fearfully
and wonderfully made;
 Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
when I was made in secret,  And  skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being
yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me,when as yet
there were none of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If  I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake,
I am still with
Search me, O God, and Know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
see if there
is any wicked way in me,
And lead
me in the way

Psalm 139

Monday, June 7, 2010

Home Sweet Home

The kids are good travelers. We thought we were going to have a long lay over in Anchorage, but we managed to get on an earlier flight out. This meant we were scattered all over the plane. Steve sat with Little Guy somewhere in the middle and Brianna sat with Missy on the very last two seats of the aircraft - right by the potty. Perfect, just perfect. She used the bathroom 50 million times on the flight as a way to get out of her seat, but it was fine. Her brother wore a pull-up. Otherwise we would have had to change his clothes over and over and we were plain out of pants. We arrived home at 1 AM. The twins were more than excited to be home.

I announced to Missy that she has done so well on the trip that she will NEVER again wear a  pull-up  to bed. She is very proud of herself!!

We had some resistance to going to the bathroom today, but I decided to not do the scheduled sit to see what would happen. The kids were tired, their body clocks are off because of the time change and the meals were weird yesterday. Little Guy was miserable; Just miserable. He was on edge because he  was so worried someone would say he HAD to go. He wasn't grumpy - just couldn't relax and play normal. I finally talked him into trying before supper. He was willing, but the willingness flew out the window pretty quick so I let him off. He couldn't even relax to eat well.... I could just see this battle raging on his face.... finally after dancing around and running away and hiding a few times he shouted, "Mom!! I have to go poop!!!!!!!"

And he did. He called it a snake.  He relaxed and played after that. I hope that he's learning that this is a normal, daily occurrence, not a MOM forced operation.

My husband and I are in discussion as what the next step is. At what point do we work towards independence in this? When do we decide that he's understanding the urge and leave his body to plan it's own timing? It's complicated, but I don't want to be the gestapo and dictate his body functions.... It's been a few weeks since he's had an accident so I'm wondering how to back off. By the way, today he kept his pants dry for the first time in eons.... I think it made an impression on him that he had to wear a pull up on the plane and sister did not and that she won't ever have to wear one again.

We worked in the yard and gardens and Missy was our water carrier. She checked out all her pets and critters and was mostly happy. She only became naughty when I decided she had to go poop before the day was over. I didn't deal with it.... I left her with one of the girls and I went outside to work. I guess she finally did her job. How are we ever going to get past making this such a song and dance? We are so ready to move on from battles in the bathroom. The resistance and the fury over having to use the toilet is mostly aimed at me - the MOM. Even if someone else is working with her on  it the anger is still pointed at me for having made the decisions that effect her. I am a no nonsense kind of mom. I can make things fun and I can entertain and distract to a certain degree... but I have not the right personality to make each and every bathroom visit into a full blow theatrical display. For Pete's sake, just go poop and let's get out of here!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

End of Trip

We are going home tomorrow.

Most of the time the kids have been great.

Yesterday, the bathroom issue reared it's ugly head.... they both refused to go and fought it. It didn't help that they got left on the toilet by sisters who went chasing after a dog sled team, but hey, if you're are going to be obnoxious life just might pass you by. We dealt with a tantrum or two... both had a nap over the deal. Today, Buster was good and Missy flatly refused to go. She was totally and completely defiant and drew blood (mine) with her sharp fingernails. It took a long time for her to come around and obey. She's promising to behave tomorrow. The stakes are high. NO treats on the airplane if she gives me grief over going potty at the usual time. I will say that I am amazed that she has not wet her pants since we left home. I praise her up and down for that and talk to her about what a big girl she is getting to be. When she makes up her mind not to obey, however, she's a pathetic wretch and I can only trust God to help me, because I have never seen anything so stubborn and so brazenly disrespectful. To think God sent His Son to die for her :-)  Really, I remind myself constantly that GOD did send His Son to die for her. I pray for that kind of LOVE.

I'm sounding like a broken record, but the changes in these kids is phenomenal. Every. Day!! Little Guy is picking up words and sentences from all our reading and conversation so that when he meets with an experience that he's only read about he talks in storybook. For instance we went out in a boat on the river today. He marched down to the river's edge and asks, "May I watch the boats come and go, come and go...." and I finished the sentence "Come and go on Galilee?"  And then he says, " where's the ocean blue?" It's hilarious to listen to when you know it's straight out of a book.  So we get in the boat and he was a bit frightened by the wake of the other boats. He figured we were bumping over whales. LOL! He's getting a little sassy. It's like he's emerging into another age level and trying out some "big kid talk".  The maturity is slower to catch up with the brain... I'm allowing them to experiment and try new things, but we are never more than a few feet away because, while I want them to grow and catch up, they are not ready for the responsibility that goes with it. It's interesting to watch them try and get their social cues from other kids. They do try hard, but they are not quite there, yet. They've had an argument or two between themselves this week. I haven't seen that before. My friend figures the more secure they get and  the more sure of themselves they become we'll be seeing a lot more of it.  OH, yay!  NOT : S

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hee - Hee!!

I bribed them both with a package of fruity snacks. They went out like a light! They didn't even fuss about it. AH! almost makes me think I should lay down and sleep. I'll wake them up in time for VBS.


 The kids are doing well, here in Alaska. They are tired. The sun stays high in the sky and even though I put them in bed early they don't sleep too well and wake up early. Going to try give them a nap today. They LOVE, LOVE, LOVE VBS and all the kids.

We see changes in the kids almost on a daily basis right now. They are thinking more and more and trying new things and getting more creative. Little Guy tried to manipulate me for the first time - at least a real obvious, well thought out manipulation. I counted that as progress in that he was THINKING! His ideas didn't work, mind you.  I'm holding the reigns real tight now and will let them loose inch by inch as I see them growing capable, but for now....... ! Little Missy's middle name is manipulation. She been thinking this way for awhile. She is impulsive so that's where I hold her in tight. THINK before you act what the consequences of your actions might be.  Consistency, consistency, consistency - that's where it's at right now, along with the love and patience.

The bathroom issue is almost a non-issue anymore. He still wets his pants 3 or 4 times a day and she doesn't want to go poop, but the day doesn't have to revolve around the toilet anymore. Whew! THANK YOU, LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I think it helped to get away from home and to see that no matter where we are the requirements are the same and they've let the battle go. (At least for now.)

Well, the day begins. I'm posting all our Alaska pictures on the other blog.