Friday, September 30, 2011

Weekly Check In Unit 6 starting Unit7

 We had a fun experiment in science this week. I'm combining my girls in Preparing science this year. To save time while they were working on grammar I set up this experiment.  Here are our "Saguaro Cactus" flowers. In the bottom of the glass they have nectar (lemonade) and the outside edge has sugar for pollen. As you can see my kids had a blast

Be a bat and get the nectar!  Mom my straw is to short! I have to put my face on the glass to reach it!
 Sticky faces LOL!

 So Mom my face would get all sticky with pollen if I was a bat.. then the pollen would make new seeds.  YUM I love Sugar... she hasn't had sugar in like 6 months so this was a real treat. And she licked her lips... that is a rare sight.
I have no idea if the pyramid is done correctly. I think we used to much water in our glue mix. It looked so cool with a thick layer of salt on it, very sparkly.When I moved it to take a photo, it started shedding it's outside layer right away.. Just makes it look more authentic right??? He he he he he  They have already started stealing the limestone for  new buildings :-)  

My dd Convinced me to make her a Egyptian dress-up outfit She's not wearing it authentically but that's A O.K. with me.

Shocker of shockers I opened up Little M's Desk last night to grab her CTC and maybe, just  maybe all the lectures on: "Put it away then you will find it!" are sinking in... Note the fake cell phone in the desk, an important piece of school equipment. I can see how the Spectrum Balance Protocol diet has been making huge improvements in her focus and ability to function in society.   But neatness, caring for her stuff that is icing on the cake.

On Thursdays my kiddos do all their school work in the kids corner while I volunteer at GFA. Little Miss Sunshine forgot her bible and asked in one of the offices close by if they had one for her to barrow.  She was Complimented with "WOW you girls are in there?  You are so quiet." I love that I have girls they are not constantly loud or rambunctious. They quietly go about their work.  Maybe it's because I never tolerated screaming, maybe it's just because they are girls but it sure is paying great benefits now :-)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I'm Nefertiti

Little Miss Sunshine wanted a Egyptian outfit and God placed all the materials in my path at just the right moment. Almost everything she has on was in a This is garbage and I'm tossing it pile.  Even the paper for the collar, the yarn for the fly swatter. Only thing not in toss pile is her Scepter.    She made the collar herself, and the fly swatter thingy.   So for those of you eagerly awaiting this post here it is

Her friend put face paint around her eyes. I would have done a much nicer job :-P Not that I approve or disapprove of make up. It comes under "wants" not "needs" in our missionary household.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Oh NO not THE DRAWER again...

Ever notice how tape gets legs and wanders into your kids bedroom and then manages to loose half of itself in big rolls of messy taped stuff everywhere.  Earlier today I was looking for the tape. Little Miss Sunshine said well mom maybe its in Little M's drawer.   (It's her special drawer.)  I open the treasure trove and find... a Super Secret project Little Miss Sunshine is doing for me.  I'm doing my best to pretend doesn't exists so she can surprise me later with it. The book Little Miss Sunshine has been looking for for the last 2 days, and a purple princess shirt that no longer fits her.  None of these things are Little M's stuff...

Little M suffered an immediate loss of a grace token, and a repetition of the Why We Don't Steal talk. An amusing side note when I asked her why she took this stuff. She told me she covenanted it...  Oh Man I'm still smiling over that one... I said in a happy voice "Ooo  you made a special promise to your sister? Wow great what did you promise her."  She wasn't amused But LMS was. No Mom covenanted  it!! I wanted it so I took it. Ohhh you stole it because you coveted it??  Yes I want nice things too. Now she has plenty of things that start out nice, but degrade rapidly in her presence. She's one fantastic catalyst.  After some discussion she got to keep the out grown purple princess shirt since she was saying it made her feel safe. Everything else had to be returned to owner.

This evening I was not surprised when she was having a hissy fit that her sister stole her Water Bottle.  That whole imputing on others, the feeling we ourselves feel, coming into play. So Mom says "Hey look at the time!!! Your 10 min late to bed scoot! scoot! I will look for the missing water bottle."

I think the Holy spirit works over time in my house. I really do, It's not really mommy radar it's God tapping me on the shoulder saying Hey look at that... go look in here. Check on the kids. I think they are alive today because God has assigned us extra guardian angels to watch over us.  One just changed my ENT appointment from the morning where I was double booked, to the one spot in the afternoon I had open that day. It was on my list of things to do this morning and I wasn't able to do any of that list today.

I went and  looked for water bottle in the last place she had hidden it. Yup you guessed it -THE DRAWER.  Nope it wasn't there... I'm thinking I should take pictures of The Infamous DRAWER. She's at it again. *sigh* A handy wall got a few head bangs for good measure. Can you guess what I found in the drawer this time?  Well it looks like she took a really wet soap and rubbed the insides. Shall we give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she was trying to clean it... Ahh don't bother  she already confessed... but... because on top of the big mess of dried soap scum is half a tube of sunscreen. I don't think I'll be assuming anything. It's bad to assume, facts are so much more factual.
The Infamous Drawer

So I go to get her up out of bed yet again so I can do the whole quiet parenting thing and just make her look at it. Behold!!!! before I get to the door, a crying child comes flying out of the bed room. Oh my Little Miss Sunshine Crying? it happens really. Mom shes being so mean and Shushing me whaaaaaaa... Wait let me get this straight your in bed the light is off your supposed to be trying to go to sleep and YOUR talking??? (Weeeeeee some misbehavior woo hoo oh wait will non-adoptive parents understand that it is a reason for rejoicing.) But since I can only handle once crises at a time I say Go sleep on the couch.  Huge smile child runs off happy problem momentarily solved, and yes I can deal with it tomorrow.

Little M come here... Not even dealing with the whole meanness to sister, I point her head in the direction of THE DRAWER. "I didn't Do IT!" she yells...  So I took her to the grace tokens and pulled one for tomorrow.  For wreaking stuff and then lying about it.  Now I took a peek in that drawer yesterday and last night at 1AM I heard her open this drawer and then close it. Earlier today they had 2 soaps on the bathroom sink, girls girls you can share a soap and tooth paste it's not hard, just no sharing of the tooth brushes. I moved soap to the shower which had none, when I picked up the soap I noticed it had bits of particle board stuck to it.. Really I should have been a CSI investigator.

We had yet another talk about heart issues, and she started crying that her heart hurts. Oh thank Heaven, praise the Lord, Grief!!! Yeah Grief!!! true Honest Grief! She cried  for an hour clinging to me like I was a rock in a storm. What??? A hug! Seeking comfort From Big Bad Meal ol Mommy??? Whoa Nellie!!!  I of course wept as well when did I turn into such a watering pot? She needs to cry all the rocks out of her heart. We don't listen to pop music and she certainly doesn't read twaddle. So when she tearfully said "Mom I think my heart is broken." She didn't mean she lost her non existent boyfriend, but rather she sees such messy ugly sadness in her heart and it is truly broken, that it doesn't work right. Loss of a birth family will do that. This child's grief is profound and bound up to much in her heart. I told her to cry it all out and when it gets full again she needs to cry it all out some more, but it will heal if she chooses to let it. It may not stop hurting forever but it will heal.

I'm wondering if  the stealing, the lying, and the destruction is a direct result of the praise I lavished on her yesterday. I did say I was ready for it. Ahh the 2 steps forward and 1 and a half back life I lead.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Rescuing It. A Lesson in Saving

I have to admit I don't collect shoes they don't thrill me.  But I have a weakness for hats. I love all sorts of hats. Don't loan me hat, I will invariably misplace it only to find it 6 months later and be too embarrassed to return it. Then it goes in the secret hat stash.

My husband bought me a new hat on vacation.I had packed lightly and forgot my SPF 50 hat, since the Sarcoidosis I have been avoiding the sun to keep it in remission.. Oh ya did y'all know I have a chronic illness. Really its fun OK its not.  I like sitting in the sun. Oh well the cancer Dr when I'm 60 will appreciate it.

So here we are taking long walks going to the boardwalk and I have no hat. (Cause it lives in the car and I forgot to move it from the regular car to the rental).  So My Knight In Shining Armor decided I needed a new one.  We found a cute white woven paper fedora. I Love this hat it's so awesome. 

Last week I found the Dog had stolen it and decided she needed to sleep on it. At least she didn't chew it up. I almost cried. I loved That Hat..  It's stitches were torn  it was mangled and creased and worst of all it's whiteness was all doggy smell, hair and dirt. Whaaaaaaaa.

I figured I had to throw it away, "What a waste, I'll never get a clean or fix it." I thought. But I remembered My grand mothers old trick of saving thread from the pants she was hemming. If you save the threads you get perfectly matched thread. So I saved the hanging threads, and stuffed the hat over Little M's old cowboy hat. Left it in the bathroom where it would pick up lots of moisture slowly.  After 3-4 days it was loosing some of the dents and creases.  So today I sewed up all the rips and tears between the braided paper strips with the old threads. I had enough to do it by hand.

Then I took to washing it with an old tooth brush and as it got wet it swelled so I stuffed it back over the Cowboy hat and popped it back into the sun, which did a great job of bleaching out many of the stains, and got rid of the smell.  The cowboy hat acted as a form and I was able to let it dry in the right shape.

I have my hat back not as good as new but it looks just fine Yippie!!!! I'm so glad I didn't toss it!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Weekly check in Ending Unit 5 Starting Unit 6

So here are some photos from this week
Photobucket  Yum Honey!  Here she is making the Egyptian pastry.
Photobucket Making the round pastries
She is putting them in her self.. NO mom I do not need any help.  :-)
Photobucket OK Mom they are too hot! You can take them off.
Cooling down, very yummy but very rich! If I did it again I would only eat half.

The old independent history project finished.
Photobucket Here is Unit 6's beginning.

PhotobucketHere is Preparing Science Note Booking pages  She loves doing this stuff with her sister. Her sister  refused to let me put hers up here.
Photobucket Here she is as the Queen!  She loves pretending to be an Egyptian/Chinese Nefertiti.
Photobucket This is the columns project from Creation to Christ we had a tough time doing this  one since I couldn't find my glitter glue. But a friend had some glitter since Glitter is forbidden in this house.  It always ends up in someones eye... on their face, in the food. It's on Daddies Banned list. But since he wasn't home. 
Don't worry the package of glitter will be gone b4 he gets home. 

My kids are really enjoying this study of Egypt.  They even managed to sit though 2 rather dry PBS Egypt videos I stuck in, when they were folding their clothing. I had to fast forward through one part because MOM its too grossssss!!!  They put body parts in jars eeeeeewwwww.
This study of Kings who declared themselves as gods have really spurred on many conversations with Little Miss Sunshine, about Jesus and his Sacrifice.  It's been a good week.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Oppositional Behavior

Since I have pulled Little M. Back to 75% phase one  25% phase 2, foods on the SBP diet her head has cleared once again. Strict diet seems to keep her really focused.  I'm getting much better narrations out of her. They are not mixed up messy things but rather the beginning to the middle then she gets stuck at the end.  This is quiet different from her narrations of the past. Previously she would start at the end the bit easily accessed because she still has it in her short term memory.  Then a half sentence from the beginning partially memorized but not complete. And then some way it relates to her for example "I love_____  fill in blank"  its not necessarily true its just filler for her mouth.

As we were doing science narrations and I had both children  together she gave me a half right answer after repeating her sisters answer multiple times.  It was about where the the animals sleep during the hottest part of the desert day. I could see she had the information in her head. But it was being a slippery fish.  You know what slippery fish are don't you?  It's when you say "It's on the tip of my tongue"  but you just can't remember.

So I tossed her a net and asked her a leading question. I was so sad I could see that oppositional behavior rising to the surface. Grrrrrr.  Her whole countenance changed.  *sigh* So I did the whole get down on their level.  Asked to see her beautiful eyes and held her hands that were twisting and picking.  I said "Why are you angry? Think about it, can you answer the question I just asked you?"
"Yes Mom I can, but I don't want to."
"So you don't want to get the answer right? Don't you see if you answer my question, it will help you remember where the animals sleep.  It's a net for that slippery fish."  She got that look in her eye you know the one *Picture a Light bulb over her head.* I could tell she had the answer!

But did she say the correct answer... Not right away.  If a wall would have been handy I would have banged my head against it.  Instead I asked her if she liked to get the answers right and how it made her feel... "Good." she replied.  So getting them wrong is that the same "Good" feeling?  "Umm not exactly." she mumbled looking at the floor.   Ok then you have to ask your self  how do you want to feel right now,  Good or In control but really yucky? not as good?

The answer literally flew out of her mouth and landed on the floor flopping around. She babbled on how the animals hid under ground and some plugged the holes to keep the water in, and others stole old burrows.

I praised her to the high heavens.  Always a dangerous thing to do as this could lead to bad behavior later on but As I watch her I'm wondering how hard her life must seem to her. Firstly she has trouble holding information in her head for any length of time. Secondly she has to fight against that oppostional mindset that she has due to her adoption.  Thirdly I have to think twice Do I praise her because if I do it will lead to Mind blowing horrible behavior later on. Can I live with the consequences of praising her today, Can I live with not praising her???  What Mom has to think that way!! arrgghhhhhhhh!!! 

Its so weird I have one who is like Arnold from Welcome Back Kotter.  Squirming in her seat she knows the answer literally going Oooo Oooo pick me pick me...  And one who often reminds me of Vinny Barbarino  Who? What? Where?

I employed a technique from Arleta James,  I praised her very specifically for the one thing,  then said "I know when you get praise you tend to turn around and show me how bad you can be. It's OK I'm ready for it, in fact I'm expecting it.  I'll still love you."   It totally worked since she knew I was expecting it, she didn't do it. That's the way to make that mindset work for me. I've never seen a kid desire a low self worth so much. Its like she pursues it with a single focused mindset. *sigh*

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Adoption expectaions

I have been talking to a Mom via message boards and Email and just last night found out She too as a child from the same orphanage as Little M. I can't think the last time I was this excited. Wow So cool Yippie! she also has a rainbow family (Adopted from more than just one country).  It made me soooo happy To know of another Adoptee just like my adoptee... now if we ever get them together, will it be oil and water? can we make mayonaise??  

Sometimes we can feel so alone with our problems, I know I far to often think "No one else feels how I feel" or "No one else has been through what I have been through."  I know this is just a big fat lie from the pit of H..E...  double toothpicks. Yet I still fall into false thinking, and the downward spiral starts yet again.  I Do love it when you make a connection that has Gods fingerprints all over it.

I also hate I when you see someone on the road you have driven on and you warn them hey the bridge is really shaky, I'd take this detour around it...  And you can just see they are not in a place to listen, they decide to cross the shaky bridge. Then while they are on the bridge they freak out because it is so shaky.  You think to yourself  Man I was just like that!!  to proud, to sleep deprived, to unsure of myself to listen. My expectations were way out of whack with reality.

You know when you Adopt you have expectations, especially if you have parented before.  When we adopted a second time we had to take a class about International Adoption. We tried to get out of it because we had previously adopted but it was faster to just do the 2 day class. Our Social worker was actually running it. She was so happy to have us there.  I soon figured out why.

As she would bring up a scenario (usually one we had lived through)  and present it to the group.  Those who had birth children would talk about how they would handle it (with confidence).  Those adopting but had no children would listen or add what worked for them when they were kids.  The social worker never let us talk till everyone else had gone first. It was so funny.  We wouldn't look at it from how would we handle it but rather how badly all the things they just offered didn't work. Then the only thing that did work for us was... Over and over and over again. The social worker managed to drive home to some our adoption was not unusual. this was normal... I could see about half those in our group started to have paradigm shifts in their expectation.  Others did not listen. They were still in that place of it won't happen to me, your exaggerating.

 I can remember those early days of adoption When my attitudes were "These horror stories won't happen to me. God loves me. He won't let that happen to me. I'll be such a great mom. "  I am no longer in that place. Something works for you Yippie let me try it too! And being Mom is such fun but I'm just doing the best I can.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Walking Zombie.

So I slept really poorly last night, always makes for a sleep deprived day. Ever notice how your emotions get so weirded out when you don't get enough sleep?  My feelings get so easily hurt when I'm a walking zombie.

Normally I let stuff roll of my back like a duck, My childhood was one filled with a lot of rejection.  So I'm used to it for the most part. But I hate it when I have to find a sitter when all my regular sitters are to busy.  I have to look into that gulf of unknown people. I know I'm overly protective. I feel I have reason to be.  If you give Little M. a cookie Who?? will she be when she comes home? I really can see the menfe syndrome at play. Pulling her back to Phase 1 foods made such a huge difference. If someone mistakenly gives her a treat that is a trigger food Whoa Nellie Stand back as the tornado flies.

My Hubby told my kids to be extra nice to me today since I didn't sleep well. Picture me banging my head against he wall and yelling Noooooooooo! Don't do it! This is ok to tell Little Miss Sunshine but not to Little M.  Little M just sees it as an opportunity to explore her feelings by imputing them on others. I think this is why I have spent part of my morning hiding in the bathroom crying. Really Life is so not this bad... Is it PMS? or that horrible thing adoptees do so well. If you think I'm crazy go take a visit to Arleta James's blog.
Perspectives Press Link

So this morning She spent 45 minutes telling me about 3 paragraphs she had read. Very poor narration even with promptings, and re-reading.  Just awful, My Mommy radar began pinging after 40 minutes and I just got up and took a grace token away. Sat back down and said "Your not trying."  If you don't do better I'll take away another one.  It was like someone turned her brain on. Suddenly!!!!! She could tell me 80% of the story... Don't you hate it when they are shamming Arrrrrrrgggghhhhh!!! 

Now math was another story, today 9-9=? stumped her. She did it on her fingers.. Show me 9 fingers now takeaway 9 fingers how many do you have left... 9 mom no 10... see as she shows her fingers still attached to her hand, and she wasn't being funny.  She is very concrete today.  So we had to do it the Visual Math way.  Then she got it ohhhhh Nine take away 9 equals ZERO!  Ohhhhh

Ahh well I think I'll take a nap and then life will look so much better.

Update: No nap but a nice visit with a friend and My Knight in Shining Armor stopped by long enough to give me a Decaf Americano with a shot of vanilla. It totally made up for the horrible behavior he incited in Little M. today.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Vanity of vanity all is vanity

Friday night we had a wedding to go to. I'm still working on the quilt.  In fact I could use a few good movies and some alone time to help move it along.  I used to look forward to weddings back when we were DINKS (double income no kids). But lately I have found myself not looking forward to them.

I do live in a fairly closed community at the ministry,  if no kids are allowed the babysitting factor comes into play. As in "I had better set up a baby sitter as soon as possible or they will all be gone." Also having a Spectrum kid I hear more no's than yes's in a normal baby sitting situation. Weddings are even harder when there is a limited number of babysitters.
I think people don't get how easy a spectrum child can be to baby sit.. If  you like I will send her DS/personal DVD player with her and she will sit in a corner and play it till I come for her. It's only if you expect her to interact with your children in a nurotypical way that you may run into issues. My friend C has discovered
this factoid and if she is available, will always taker her. Bless you C!

Of course some of the weddings eased the way for us and set up baby sitting in the same building.  That was really nice!

Now Fridays' wedding they actually invited my children. Yippie!  well maybe not :-/  No babysitting to deal with.  On the other hand I had a day of being "Hair Dresser Mom." It was kinda like we were having a wedding here at our house. Little Miss Sunshine of the long straight hair. Begged and cajoled for Curls. When I sought out the curlers I could only find 4.  Where are they?  lost, broken and tossed. "Sorry Mom I tried to use them and I broke them" Oh Joy.. now do I splurge and go buy a curling iron?  I decided not to on the grounds I have no idea on how to use one!  and I'm sure I will do one or more of the following:
A. Burn my fingers.
B. Burn her scalp.
C. Fry her hair.

So I saved my cash and we used the 4 curlers all day long. Since her hair goes past her waist. I could only curl a small amount at a time.  I got out some heavy duty curling mousse.  It worked tho some of the curls were a bit hard, by the time the wedding rolled around they had relaxed. So I think I spent about 2 hours on her hair.  I really need to have her buy me a new set at the dollar store.

Meanwhile I took a few "new to us" dresses into Little M. I helped her put the first one on.  It was a great color (blue) for her. It was made of a non itchy, non scratchy, non soapy feeling fabric.  Always an important factor in clothing for Little M! It made her look like a young lady eeeep! She is growing up!  I could tell she LOVED this dress, she looked beautiful.  I did a no no... I told her how pretty she looked.  Bad Mommy I approved of the dress how dare I.  Miss Oppositional jumped out of the wood work.  She said " I hate this dress, it's loose around my legs I want it tight."  Now since she has been playing "Laura Ingalls" for the last 2 weeks DAILY! wearing skirts that don't cling. I wasn't buying what she was selling.  We tried on the other new dress and it looked ok, not as nice as the first one. And it had itchy fabric, but did she complain? noooooooooo!  I look back and find it funny now, but at the time I have to admit I was so annoyed. *rolls eyes*

After a bit I talked to her about the "why" of the attitude. I'm always torn is it rebellion or adoption opposition, or a bit of both??  How to handle it??? Yesterday,  I turned the tables on her and pointed out she had handed me all the control of "her" likes and dislikes at that moment. And personally I have enough responsibly and I don't want that much power. Since she loves to be in control this made her annoyed and confused. hahahahahah.... Sorry but the look of consternation on her face when I started telling her I love "all her favorite foods."  Now she was wanting to hate them, quite the dilemma she had. It is rather funny.   Eventually she snapped out of it  saw reason. To avoid any last minute opposition I let Daddy pick the dress she was going to wear.  He of course picked the blue one, which helped her love  it all the more....

Now we come to straightening her hair. She asked nicely, I agreed as long as she brushed her hair.  Even tho I'm sure I'm going to burn my fingers. Aunti has taught me how to do it, so I have some confidence I can do it.  And her hair is thick with a stubborn natural wave, it would curl fantastically.  So I ask her to brush her hair. She does a terrible job. In fact I can tell from the condition of her hair she hasn't bothered to bush the inside bit near her neck for about a week.  Its been looking fine but I had to cut 4 nasty snarls out of  it.  I'm low on time before dinner, so I do my best to brush it without pain, but she screams bloody murder. So I say want me to cut it?  NO! *tears*  So I try again to get out the snarls gently.  She screams like I'm killing her. So I cut it out *more tears* Because its her precious hair!

/start dream sequence
Her Knight In Shining Armor comes galloping in from outside (where he was grilling dinner) wielding a spatula  Whoa Whoa My dear daughter are you in distress?
Little M: The Big Bad Mean Mommy with a hair brush is attacking me! she will cut my precious hair that has magical powers.
Hubby: But Dear Daughter how is this? Did you not put thyself into her hands to have thy hair magically straightened. Here let me wield the hair brush and save thee!
BBMM: But forsooth OH Champion of champions will not your meat burn to a crisp? Are you sure I'm not truly the fairy Godmother in disguise? I'm here to prepare her for her ball.  You shall not wrestle this magic hair brush from my hand. As you can see Look! I have cut out the offending snarls.  Now that the evil snarls are gone the brush flows freely through her hair once more.
Hubby: Ahh dear Lady you are correct... she is in no real danger.  Yet the lamb! it may be charring as we speak! Knight In Shining Armor exits. 
Little M:  *pouts*  But But My magical hair!
/end dream sequence.
25 minutes later her hair is straight and beauteous.

Now I have 40 minutes to get a shower get dressed myself... But... Hubby certain we will be "LATE!" if we don't leave  in 15 minutes, when the location is 8 min away.  By my calculations that gives us a 25 minute window to stand around and keep the kids from running in church.  I scramble anyway and am ready in about 10 minutes. Ahh the joys of motherhood. I hope I looked ok I didn't even get to look in a mirror before I left.

As we leave it starts to pour. Yeah!!! we really really need rain here in TX. The Humidity level skyrockets... You can just imagine what happens to the hair styles, Curls become less curly and straight starts to frizz...  Really you just have to laugh!!!  Even tho I know it is normal for straight haired people to want curls and curly hair people to want straight.  My heart really wishes they would be satisfied with the way God created them to be. Vanity of vanity all is vanity.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Our Weekly Check in

This week we finished up Unit 4 and started Unit 5 of Preparing  with Little Miss Sunshine.  Little M tags along in Science and Grammar.  She as so many "therapy art stuff" we don't do do the CTC art portions.

They loved the cactus experiment but of course I could not find the tooth picks anywhere.  Things have HOMES in my house but I swear they runaway from home all the time.  I think they like living under my kids bed better than in the kitchen cupboard. So the spines are My poor dead Zinnia stems, I failed to water them enough.  With all the water restrictions I figured it would be better to let them die than sneak out in the middle of the night to water them.

Little Miss Sunshine loved doing the cartouche, it is still drying because Yeah!!! We have had rain on and off for  the last 3 days.  Since prior to this week  it only rained .004 of an inch since the last week in May.  I'm happy to let it dry slowly. 

They are both working on the science notebook, I walked into a sweet scene where the younger was slowly drawing all the parts so her sister could see how she was doing it. She was saying "Now a curved line for the body."Just like I do in the Monart I'm doing for therapy for Little M.  It was sooo cute.

Here is Little Miss Sunshines independent history using Draw Write Through History. She really loves doing it. I really love how she looks forward to doing it, and how it keeps her busy when I need to do the auditory processing stuff with Little M. It's a win win for this family. 

This is our DITHOR final project, she decided to do the scene from Misty of Chincoteague where Phantom runs to meet the Pied Piper, But Misty stays home.  She did a great job gluing the sand to the box.  We found these inexpensive horses and she painted them to match the front cover.  She did it all her self w/o any help from Mama. I'm So proud of her.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Is it Enough?

Today I had the privilege of watching my friends kids. She home schools as well but she does it all her self. Shes one of those amazing women who plan and piece together their  own curriculum.  I know I couldn't do it and I'm so grateful for my open and go Heart of Dakota!

Mr. Comparison crept in my house today eeeekkk... need to beat him with the broom.  I caught sight of S's biology home work, she is the same age as Little M (DD1's new moniker).  S is reading this piece on Amoebae's with convoluted wording.. Really??  History is a building and people are the wing of a fly on the building.  But the author takes 4 sentences to say what I just said. Really??

Mean while my dd is reading a piece on elephant tusks... and she narrates to me that elephants use tusks to eat grass and use them to kill food.  Ok you all know me by now...  I'm busting a gut LOL inside, I turn my face so she can't see me starting to crack up.
I ask "Are elephants herbivores or carnivores?"
"Mom they eat grass."
I respond with so what kind grass do they kill with the tusks.. I'm barely holding on at this point...
She finally gets a good look at my face and Yells "MOMMMM!!! They don't Kill Grass!"  At which point we both burst out laughing, shes like wait they don't eat meat! they are herbivores!
Heaven help us! she ACTUALLY said "I think I need to read it again."

Two 12 year olds reading vastly different material... Mr. Comparison jumped up out of the wood work asking:  Are you doing enough? Shouldn't you push her more? Make her work harder.  She should be so much more advanced, She couldn't even read that biology.   But there Mr. Comparison is wrong, I gave it to her to read. She read it like a dream. She can read at a 9th grade level.  She just has no idea of what she is reading.

Ya know your kids gotta walk before they can run, and they have to crawl before their brains grow (ok that's a bit of Nuro devlopmental humor it's ok that you don't get it).  I can't expect her to be at the same level. She does have Spectrum issues. She needs interpersonal skills more than she needs to know; When 2 trains speeding at different speeds will pass each other in the night. When they are traveling in opposite directions.   (never.. tricked ya!).

Now the funny thing is after I got done sweeping Mr. Comparison out the door.  I ask S about her reading assignment.  She tells me it was on "Auh mobils" (amoebae), Oh man! it was as funny as My dd saying  earlier "I don't like 'buck in knees'  (bikini's) they are to skimpy."

And on that note I sign off. :-)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Seen But Not Heard

School went well for Little Miss Sunshine and horribly for DD1. Same old story one good day for DD1 means she has to have a few bad days after wards to make up for it.  She is still working on her school work.

Little Miss Sunshine did the cartouche  project... Very fun even I joined in and made a tiny one.  We even looked up a Egyptian alphabet and Little Miss Sunshine wrote everyones names in hieroglyphics.  She decided it was hard work to be a scribe.  When her project is finished I'll post it some where :-).  We started 2 part word problems in math today.  Guess who figured it out in one sitting... Sigh.. I should be happy right I got one that gets math and one that we need to do everything rote rote rote who just after 4 years of trying... just figured out her first 2 part word problem on her own  like 2 weeks ago.  I should not compare but Oh some days I wish they were both neurotypical.

Well today is Wednesday which means Sprouts double flyer day woo hoo.  But the store is usually packed with shoppers and I'm deluged with questions, and requests for special treats.  Now we've been doing the Dave Ramsey thing for a while. So my response to the treat requests is always "Did you bring your own money?"  Answer is always no. I keep saying "If I don't have a coupon for it and its not on the list I'm not buying it."   Considering our cars can only be described as Missionary Mobiles, still running by faith.  Even tho we got debt free (but the house) this spring. were still in austerity mode b/c those cars will not last for ever.  Oh I'm digressing again...

Back on track:  My kids have made up this game called Laura Ingalls.  They wander around the house doing things like: hand washing their sheets, hand washing the dishes, at dinner some times they decided to be seen but not heard, speak only when spoken to.  Its hysterical!  I mean if I had put this game together I would be the BBMM  (Big Bad Mean Mommy).  When my DD's (wearing a bonnet, an apron and 3 skirts... you need petticoats you know) asked if they could go to the grocery story dressed up as Laura and Mary... I had a brain storm! I said "Of course but you have to keep playing the whole time I am in the store... and you will be seen but not heard." Muhahahahahah!!!!!    I even said "Get in the wagon girls" when it was time to go.

I have to say I want this to be the NORM! I did my shopping in 45 minutes.. yes ladies I stuck to my list! I came home with left over money! I was able to do math in my head and calculate the best deal.  My silent children trailed behind me. Strangers told them how adorably cute they looked. The check out lady was astonished at how well behaved they were.   I shared the game they were playing with her and she said I wish I had thought that up when I had my girls. I had to confess it was not my game but theirs.  She just started to giggle.   Then I told her I walked into the store 40 minutes before. She looked at my pile of groceries on the counter and at me. *astonished* "That is amazing." she said.

It is amazing! Who knew I spent 45 minutes answering questions and being distracted. I think we will continue to play Laura Ingalls when ever we go shopping.. silence oh the blessed silence.

God is so good too because I normally wouldn't shop till 4:00 pm but today I really felt the need to do it earlier in the day.  Now that it is done when my work out partner called to put back our work out time I can do it instead of saying "No, I can't wait that long." Instead I got my blog written :-) We might even be able to go to the library later on! whooo hoooo!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Not the water again!

Someday's I wish I were a fly on the wall of my kids room in the morning. Today I was wakened to the stomping of my husband feet. He clumped into the room to wake me up, all discouraged and down.  Now that is no way to go off to work!  You see last night I wanted the get the girls used to Daddy not waking them up more independence and use their alarm clock to wake up.  Because I'm  to lazy and grouchy  really tired in the mornings and I just can't handle the drama have Sarcoidosis as my excuse.   Sleep is very important to keeping it in remission don't you know. 

So the alarm went off Little Miss Sunshine hopped out of the upper bunk and turned the alarm off.  Little Miss Grouchy she takes after her mother sat up, heard the alarm stop and plopped back down into bed.  I wonder where she learned that from?  Where upon she promptly fell back asleep. Or faked it really well! 

Little Miss Sunshine had a Little Miss Darkover moment, I've blogged about this before where she decides she needs Be the mama  to wake up her sister and pours water on her, because you know Mom sprinkles her with water I'll use a whole cup, it's faster. You know in 10 years this will be a hysterical anecdote at Thanksgiving dinner, but right now her sister was soaking wet in her P.J.'s and it's not even her fault this time.

My concern here is for Little Miss Sunshine's heart. She is so good and sooo perfect and sooo afraid if she isn't, she will be sent back to China. Although since the mischievous and down right bad behavior is on the rise, I have hope she is loosing that particular view on life.

I could see the issue was pride I have been watching it coming. Last week she gave me the wide eye look of "No Way!" when I told her her sister could help her with borrowing in math, when I was working in the cafe and couldn't stop to help her.  She didn't believe it.  I don't blame her, her sister plays the "Dumb Game" so often even I have to stop myself from playing along as well.  I could she she was setting her self up for a fall.  And like Kevin Lemen often says, Somedays you just have to pull the rug out from underneath them.   This morning I did that.

"Oh so since you are quicker/ faster/ better at doing things, You are the better person?" I asked with that Momma tone of "watch out how you answer" in her voice. "But I am!" didn't pop out of her mouth but her body was screaming it.  I was grinning from ear to ear inside, but outside I was firm with a hint of sympathy.  So because you figure it out right away and your sister has to WORK HARDER at getting the answer makes you better?  Who works harder you or Your sister?  Hey look life isn't fair.  After a long talk about the condition of her heart and a peek into the story of the prodigal son.  With whom I've always related too the stay at home son. Did I just say that out loud?

I assigned her the task of clearing up the messy bed and remaking it. With a firm injunction on no longer touching her sisters alarm clock.  You may NOT turn it off, because if you do she goes back to sleep! 

All this is done in hopes that when Daddy is gone he will be missed less. and Mommy still gets her extra 15 min of sleep in the morning.  

On the other hand doing discipline first thing has it benefits.
School went well today even tho we started 10 min late! DD2 is painting up some horses for a diorama of her DITHOR  book.  She is doing a fantastic job. DD1 got to have recess! since all her Morning work was done woo hoo...  All I have left is about 1 hour of Therapy and DD2 is doing a fine narration!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Another school day...

Last week Daddy was home on Monday, so we had no school Yippie! Friday rolled around and part of me wanted so badly to DO SCHOOL.. so we could start all fresh and clean with a new unit on Monday.

Isn't it funny on the boards I'm always telling other moms: "It's no problem to be on day 3 on Tuesday or day 4 on Monday."   Yet when it comes to practicing it... I still want my life in nice neat boxes.  I'm so drawn to Day 1 being Monday.  Of course a few doctor appointments and  a few mama "sick" days and we will be back on day 1 = Monday.   How funny Humanity is.  Ever think God is laughing at us and how we try to order our world?  I know I laugh at my self all the time.

Now I stuck with Friday being chore/fun day because Daddy is going to be traveling in the future. Since I have no experience with "Normal" family life... all I know is adoption/ developmentally delayed/ spectrum issues/ attachment parenting stuff... Messing up the now sacred schedule would probably equal a horrible school day.  So we stuck with the schedule.   Today DD1 had problems staying on task.  Holding her back from recess got her work finished.

Yesterday I asked her to be sure all her school stuff was in her school desk and things NOT of school were put away.  I talked to her about putting things away in the proper place helps her get her school work done on time and quickly.  She did it. The stuff she took out of that desk that was not school, filled a small tote.  Ha ha ha ha  She did it while "Dad" was watching her as he played his guitar.  You see I find it so funny is because Dad wanted me to give her a spot on MY! (note the selfish my) new book shelf.  Because she didn't have enough room in her desk for all her school stuff. Yet when all her "treasures" were put away there is plenty of room.

It was quite fun today... I asked DD1 to get out her math, her response "It's in YOUR room"  served up with a hint of snottiness and a dash of sardonicism.  To which my response was: Oh really, well go get it. Served up with one arched eyebrow a la spock of Star Trek fame. When she didn't find it there... nor in her desk... yet eventually found it in the therapy back pack where it does not belong... Just made me giggle inside, I mean ask politely if maybe she would like to try this again, or loose a grace token?  After a brief 2 sentence lecture on respect and how she doesn't look really reliable at this moment in time. Because ya know after 2 sentences you start sounding like the voice of the parents on peanuts cartoons Wahhnnt waaa wlaah.

We started afresh from Mom asking A~ please pull out your math work books. She looked me in the eye and said  "Mom I can't find it. Will you help me look for it?" Where upon "I said yes and pulled it out of her back pack."

This bore fruit later in the day! Her history book was missing as well and She actually asked for help the first time around when she needed to admit she couldn't find her book. Now that is Success!

Don't forget to post a comment over at Thomas School Blog She's giving stuff away :-)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The difference a schedule makes

So were doing Preparing Hearts for His Glory with my 3rd grader,  left side of Creation to Christ and Little Giant Steps Therapy program with my older daughter. Some days we weren't finishing before 6pm and I felt like a ping pong ball bouncing between the 2 girls...
I also am trying to fit in working, working out and cooking for the SBP diet. It was leaving me no time to myself.   Yet some days we had no problems finishing. So yesterday after some research and encouragement from lurking on the heart of Dakota boards and chatting with my good friend C.  I needed a schedule.  So while everyone else was enjoying the cool weather yesterday. I was sitting near an open window.  Mindfully thinking over the last 3 weeks. Which days work which one's didn't.  I noticed each day was different which isn't good for my spectrum child.  So how to fit in 40 min of Vesting... all the chores and school, while still giving her free time to enjoy her child hood.

So I checked how long each box is supposed to take and I scheduled each day down to the minute. Each days schedules are now all posted in the living room.  My dd1 dragged her feet and did not do what was assigned. and I held her  in at recess... She was NOT happy. Having to do the work, she choose not to do this morning during recess when out side is actually cool enough to play in. So it's 3pm she is finished with therapy, and she has an hour of free time today.

I don't know why I fought a schedule for so long. I must have a rebellious streak in me still that I don't like pieces of paper telling me what to do. Even if I wrote them down myself. 

DD1 did an excellent narration, did all her math word problems without difficulty.  DD2 had no trouble with any of her work. I was even able to combine Monart art lessons with science note-booking. So the note books look fine.

So I get an hour of time to blog and the kids choose podcast stories to listen to... which is so good for DD1 comprehension!

Good day  Thank You schedule.... even tho I don't like schedules...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Nuro typical day

I love nuro typical days.  When my child acts her age and is calm and NOT freaked out. Not seeking negative attention.  The 4 day program is helping, we have one extra down day in which I too have a more peaceful day. 

I think back and see such changes, now instead of never brushing her hair and trying to be as gross as possible DD1 now spends hours at her dressing table making her hair look ... well pretty to her.  I'm not sure I'm going for the 10 clumpy hairs on one side of her face and 12 on the other, with a bun in the back that is very foofy no other way to describe it.  If you glance at her you wonder if she is a cancer patient then you see the bun. But all in all she looks way better than I did at age 12... If I recall correctly that is the year I brushed my hair in front of my face. So I could  lookout at the world from behind a curtain of greasy hair I rarely washed.  

I was taking a stand against being girly girl, For some reason I despised lace and glitter. I had a jean jacket and a Native American style eagle hung on a chain pull I took off a light. I was in no way concerned with what other people thought and my poor mother despaired of getting me in a dress unless under much duress. 

So all in all I can live with the "But Mom they are side bangs" cancer patient look.  I was pleasantly surprised today while waiting for Daddys' "blessing" of buffalo wings. She shrugged away from us. I didn't make her stay with me as she wandered around looking at all the photos in the lobby.  After a bit she came and asked if I would share my bench which I did. Then she leaned on me and I put my arm around her and we had a happy moment of contentedness.  This is what I anticipated when I said "Yes lets adopt."  When I get one of those moments I cherish it! 

Now I have had her on strict phase 1 foods for the last week. It's getting pretty obvious wheat is not something she should be eating. Sad for her since Naan is so yummy and there are so many food made from wheat that she loves to eat. But she seems happiest and Nuro typical on mainly phase 1 and phase 2 foods. So it looks like another hiatus back in those foods for a while. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

So I went back to work... if only for a few hours

Today I went back to volunteering at GFA in the Cafe. It was super fun to play in the kitchen. I was able to pack up all my kiddos independent work and drag them along with me to the office...

A comment I over heard my girls say this morning:  "Mom looks so nice!"
Ha ha ha  it's amazing how much better I look when I:

  • A. Get a shower first thing,
  • B. A cup of coffee (decaf),
  • C. Put on office appropriate clothing. Instead of a T-shirt and shorts. 

Really girls I could look this way every day but then you would have to go to public school, and day care afterwards. And A~ would probably not make as much head way as she does at home.

I love the portability of Heart of Dakota.  Yes it was 2 fairly heavy bags for just the independent stuff. They were able to get school stuff done then run off an play in the kiddie section while I worked. Ahh the lure of the doll house with ALL the pieces.

I find it very very funny that all the same assignments given at home take upwards to 2 hours but after just one hour all the independent work was done in the office. LOL desire is a strong motivator.  Now I did have to make dd2 review her reading as she skipped what she did not comprehend. It was a cultural thing no point of reference for her. I had to actually demonstrate the concept for her to understand it.

I'm really glad how responsible my girls were today. I love how they are becoming more and more responsible.  Is not our purposes in raising children, to make them independent, lovers of God, and seekers- one who continues their education long after college is graduated-