Monday, March 8, 2010

Chaos Manor happenings

It is Friday and the week has seemed to fly by.  I'd like to say my children all behaved excellent this week and that there were no major issues.  however, I said I wouldn't lie on here.  I'll go into just a few things slowly.  We'll start w/ some normal stuff and work our way up the line.

Bear.  Bear is our 12yo flat-coated retriever.  This is Bear:


 Typically, these dogs have a life span of about 10 years.  Bear is starting to show his age for sure.  He lays outside and lets the squirrels and birds go about their business all around him. This dog used to catch the squirrels and birds.  Really, he's caught a squirrel.  Hard to do.  Bear is covered in tumors.  We are hoping they are still all benign.  Haven't been back to the vet yet.  Need to go soon but really dreading it and guess that is why I haven't made the appointment as of yet.  Bear is also really starting to shake a lot more.  Not seizing, but shaking.  He whines quite a bit more now.  Hurts to watch him sometimes.  He still has life left in him and we're going to let him live it.  Just very hard to watch your dog age.  This is what started happening to Aspen before he passed away and I guess that is why I'm concerned.  Bear is an awesome dog & when his time does come, he will be forever missed.  For now, we are just enjoying Bear.  Might take him to the vet soon and ask for some medicine to make him more comfortable.  He has Cushings disease as well.  Yet, this dog is still very calm around all the kids in and out of this house.  Loves to be petted and still can smell food if it is left on the table.  You could not have asked for a better dog.  Ever.

Onto Warren.  He has been working a bit lately.  Right now it is 7:20 & he's stuck in traffic.  However, he's been getting home around 7:30 or so.  Also, he's working some Saturdays now.  He got a call around 6 something this morning.  Yep, you were up whether you wanted to be or not this morning.  LOL.  Oh well.  For his hours being a bit off now, I have somewhat convinced Warren he is not superman and can not do it all.  Especially, with 7 special needs kids in this house & things going "haywire" w/ our FASers at times.  (umm today Max was drilling holes in the playground set when I came outside.  Dont' ask).  So, we are going to have someone build the shed & fix our windows that are getting to be a structural problem at this point.  The garage clean up, room building and organic garden are still things we are doing on our own.  But, with Warren working more and me working now and things just happening, we need help.  Warren hates to ask for help so I'm asking for him.  Next Tuesday they will start to finish the upstairs.  Wahoo!  We'll actually have a functioning bathroom upstairs.  With 10 kids, 1 working bathroom was NOT going to cut it.  This bathroom was started in the summer of 2004 just in case you were wondering.  We've given it long enough I think.  Once the upstairs is done, that means the entire inside of the house is offically finished.  Now, the next thing being built will be the shed outside.  Then, Warren & I & maybe some help will move everything out of the garage & into the shed.  Though much will have to be sold, tossed or given away.  After this, the garage will slowly be turned into a room for the girls.  I can hardly wait.

Now, Max has been busy but not in a good way.  He is way "off" this week and don't know why.  Meds are okay so I have no idea what the problem is.  I didn't think there was a full moon but will check.  Yes, believe it or not, it will indeed affect our kiddos.  Crazy, but so true.  Another thing that makes them all out of whack is the stupid time change.  Messes them up for about 2 weeks till they adjust.  Happens every year.  Twice a year.  Thought it was only my kids until I spoke w/ others on an FAS forums group and they have the same issues w/ time change and full moons.  Something adoption agencies will NOT tell you about FAS.  LOL.  Anyhow, Max has been taking stuff apart around the house.  It's quite maddening.  We're working on it.

Yana is finishing off her punishment sentence(grounding) for her RAD rage.  I know many of you do not understand what that is but turst me, you don't want to experience it.  She hadn't had one in forever.  It happened again a few weeks ago and we told her she was grounded for a month.  Well, for the last couple of weeks, I've been showered w/ kindness and notes of love.  Trouble w/ RADishes, you don't know if they are genuine or not.  Oh how parents of kids w/ RAD long for these types of things to be "real."  But, these children are very clever and great at manipulating.  So, as a parent of a child w/ RAD, you have to be extra cautious.  This time though, it seems to be genuine.  According to the teacher and since she doesn't know about RAD or stuff, this helps.  Yana has actually requested to be tutored afterschool to improve her learning.  Her grades are great but she has so much more to learn.  As do most kids adopted at an older age from institutions. She did this on her own w/ NO prompting whatsoever.  She told Warren and I that she was going to work extra hard and read extra at home to try to get out of the special needs class and into a regular class next year.  And, when she tried out for soccer and didn't make the team, she did not have a fall apart RAD reaction.  She was calm, set a goal for next year, and has been working on it.  If that is not progress, I don't know what is.  So, though it was a rough a few weeks ago, the progress made has been leaps and bounds.  She has been helping out, even helping Alyona w/ homework!  Those two are like fire and gasoline and now they are closer.  So, to all those w/ RAD kids going through a rough time, I've been there and there is hope despite how incredibly hopeless it may seem at the time.  Yana has shown a lot of growth in many areas. 

Now, Alex.  He is the reason I had not been writing on here.  Alex has hit a rough patch and just stalled out.  He's not moving forward at all.  This happens.  It's happened before and we'll get through it.  He had a horrible week at school.  Got in big trouble at school and then came home and lied about it.  Yep, bigger trouble when we knew what he did and then lied about it.  Other kids were even encouraging him to tell the truth.  ALL of them have gotten that except for Alex.  URGHH.  You'd think he'd learn by now that lying is NOT acceptable in this house.  Nope.  He hasn't learned.  He also did not do homework last week.  He was doing so awesome in school too.  Just drives me bonkers.  Inside, Alex is a good kid.  He really is.  You just have to dig for it.  And dig deep.  He is only 9yo and maybe some of these things are just regular boy things happening.  In fact, I KNOW that some of it is b/c his classmates' parents share similar stories.  Yet, I know it is different w/ Alex due to the lack of cause & effect thinking he has due to the FAS.  So, we have to really make it sink in.  Alex is now under what we call "prison camp" in this house.  He is treated like a prisoner...no privleges, no special treats, NO fun, and all punishment chores unless he is doing homework or eating or sleeping.  Alex was devastated that he has prison camp now.  Reality sunk in.  All our kids, we just have to threaten prison camp and viola!... behavior changes.  It is VERY rare one gets prison camp status.  But when they do, you can rest assured the violation was severe enough to warrant it.  Does Alex know he's in trouble?  Yes.  Does he understand what he did was wrong?  Yes.  Does he understand just how bad it was?  No.  Does he think this is fair?  No.  However, with children w/ RAD and FAS you really need to make changes early on in life for them or it will mean nothing later on.  I refuse to let any of my kids end up a statistic.  I used to think there was no hope for Max.  Look at him now!   --doing side jobs, out of self-contained class at school, excelling in art, very compassionate, etc.  A transformation that we did not expect.  So, being that Alex is only 9, he has much, much hope for a great future and I need him to see that he's worth it and WILL make it.  Many wanted to give up on Max years ago about Alex's age actually.  We did not and look at him now!  He has had such a positive impact on everyone.  You can not cure RAD or FAS by any means.  That's fact.  However, you can make it so the children grow into respectable, productive adults.  Does it hapepn all the time?  Absolutely not. But, you can't give up b/c when it does hpappen, it is a glorious thing.  More on all that later. 

I really just wanted everyone to know last week was hard.  But, we made it through and will continue to do so.  So, so many things happening here and I will fill you up on upcoming items.  For now, just had to let folks know I had to concentrate on Alex last week.  I said I would be honest on this blog and have been.  Do not worry, none of my teens have our blog address.  They do not read it nor do their friends.  This is our life.  FAS and RAD are part of that life and anyone adopting needs to be aware of those dx's.  It can happen to anyone.  It really can.  However, you can also live a full life.  Sure, some days will drive you insane, but that is when you grab that 3 Musketeers bar and sit down and watch a funny show.  Or take a very, very long walk.  I prefer the 3 M bar so that is why I now have Flabulous to Fabulous Fridays.  LOL.  I aslo started Yoga back up this past week.  It helps.  Though when Nik is grabbing at my arm while I'm in some pose, that does not help.  Will talk more later on the happenings here.  This was the not so good stuff.  It is life here at Chaos Manor.  It is real life.  Now, time to get some good posts in soon! 

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