Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Prayers Please! (Yep, I'm askin' again!)

Boy what a LONG day today! Nothin' too crazy occurred, it was just one of those days that kept going like the Energizer Bunny! Non Stop! Anyway...kiddo's are in Slumberland and I am headed there pretty soon, myself. I just wanted to ask for your prayers really quick, for Miss Ladybug! We need prayers for a couple of reasons:
1. She isn't sleeping. (Shocker, I know!) :( My sweet hubby told me tonight, that every morning when he gets up for work, he goes in to check on her and she's laying quietly in her bed with her eyes wide open, awake. Now, he gets up at different times every day, depending on his schedule for that day, but she's always awake. Sometimes she's up having one of her all-night parties, but sometimes she's just laying there, quiet, with her eyes wide as saucers. For example, this morning it was 3 A.M. She wasn't having a party, but she definitely wasn't sleeping either. I am almost beside myself, trying to figure this all out! This sleep disorder stuff is for the birds! The melatonin we give her at bedtime, usually helps her get to sleep and stay asleep for about 3 hours, but then she's awake again. She's SO TIRED, as witnessed by the dark circles around her eyes.
2. Miss Ladybug goes back to the Immunologist tomorrow so we can get the results from her blood work. Talk about having mixed emotions...I am completely boggled about how I'd like this appointment to go. I think if I were to sum it up in a nutshell, I would have to say, that I really want him to tell me all the blood work came back normal and that everything's fine, but then there is the other half of me, that logically knows there is something very wrong with our little girl, and so I would really love for the doctor to tell me he found some clues to the puzzle! She is still complaining of limb pain, though not nearly as bad as she did before we took her off of her sleep meds., so this has left us wondering again. I'll be mentioning this all at the appointment tomorrow. It's not a matter of wanting to hear the "Everything's fine!", because I know that everything isn't fine. We would just love to hear some information that moves us closer to an answer for her! Does that make sense? She is so innocent and precious! She doesn't understand any of what's happening to her. No one seems to. We are her only voice, and so after politely going through the motions and doing everything we've been told to do, there is just a part of Mr. Man and myself, that is tired of being quiet and timid. We feel like standing on top of a mountain and shouting at the top of our lungs "Somebody tell us what's wrong with our little girl, and we're not coming down off this mountain and we're not going to stop screaming until we get some answers!" I haven't tried this tactic yet, but let me tell ya'...I am this close! :0)
We appreciate your prayers and friendship and know that Heavenly Father is walking this journey with us. We know that He loves us and that He will help us to find some answers for her, in His good time. We just pray for the patience to wait and the wisdom to know how to advocate for her! We'll keep ya' posted!

Monday, August 30, 2010

I Wonder... and a Hug-a-thon!

I came across a really fun idea, to add to our morning devotional, today! It's called I Wonder time. I am going to start with my oldest 3 kiddo's and see what kinds of things we can learn more about! Basically, once a week we will have I Wonder time, with our morning devotional, where we choose something that we have been wondering about, and we encourage each other to find out whatever we can, about our "I Wonder". Then on the following week, we share what we have learned, and choose something new to "Wonder" about! In particular, I really think Snug and Luv are ready for something like this, to just get the wheels in their minds turning a bit! It should make for some great discussions, especially since I will be sharing what I wonder about too! Talk about a great way, to share what's mine! I am excited to see how it goes! I am at that point of feeling like I need to inspire writing with Mr. Snug-a-Bug, as he's been "pretend writing" in his "planner" for a while now. He and I sat down a few weeks ago and talked about some things that he wants to know more about. We wrote them all down in a little planner that I had given him to play with. Well, today he let me know that he hasn't forgotten about that stuff and that "We haven't been doing what we planned on, Mom!" I am in such a delicate place with that, because we wrote down a lot of stuff! I don't want to bombard him with too much too fast, so I had decided that I would let him bring it up again, before I said anything more about it. Well, since he brought it up today, I figure we can start with I Wonder time, and let his love of learning go from there! I know he'll want to write down what he learns, so maybe this will inspire another tiny step in his transition to Love of Learning! I just don't know if I should encourage all of this, or try to get him to wait a little longer. So, to all my TJEd friends out there, who have walked this road before me (this is my first experience with transition to Love of Learning, and by the way, Mr. Snug is a little over 7 years old)...any suggestions for a smooth transition to Love of Learning and teaching him some of the basic things he needs to keep progressing, like writing, etc? I keep thinking that if I sit tight, he will really start to show how much he wants to learn more. I just don't know. I have watched him, to see what he likes to do with his free time. He likes to play with his toys, some of the time, but mostly wants to get out pencils and paper and draw or ask me how to spell words. What do you girls think??

We have been experiencing some contention in the mornings, lately. It hasn't been fun, and always gets our day off on the wrong start. So this morning, I instituted a Hug-a-thon with the kiddo's! I just LOVE it when my kids get excited about these things! When we woke up this morning, anytime someone started down the "Contention Super Highway", I just said "Oh, we can't go that way because we are having a Hug-a-thon today! It was funny to hear them all say "A what, mom?" Anyway, we got our morning basics done and went downstairs. When we got there, I told them to kneel down in a BIG circle and put their arms out to their sides. Then we all slowly walked our knees in toward the circle more, tightening it up, until we had our arms around each other. Well it was giggles and smiles all around, and from my spot in the circle, I could reach over and kiss each of their foreheads! It was truly fabulous! So we talked about how we should treat one another, and how we always want our words to be kind and loving to each other. Then we had family prayer, like we usually do, but decided to have one person start the prayer and then tap their neighbor when they were done praying. Then, their neighbor could pick up praying where they left off, and so on around the circle! It was a neat thing and everyone LOVED it! So we have officially decided, that every morning will be a Hug-a-thon! It sure set a good tone for our day!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I Can't Believe This...

My mom called me this evening, to tell me some devastating news. An LDS Bishop was shot and killed today, at his ward building. This link explains more. How I am praying for his wife and his six boys. I can only imagine how their hearts must be breaking right now. I am utterly shocked by this! I am already a paranoid mama. The way that happens, is that you start with a girl who is already a worrier, add in the experiences of having 17 children whom you love dearly taken from you (because they were foster children and didn't stay long), throw in some children who are medically fragile, impulsive, not afraid of strangers, etc....and you get a mom like me. A mom, who raised most of her children for anywhere from 6 mos. to 2 1/2 years, before she was able to finally adopt them and have them sealed to her and her family, and be one of their legally recognized parents. My family is my everything! (I guess everyone's is!) I am always worried for their safety and well-being. This devastating news today, has shaken me. It hasn't shaken my faith, but it has made me more concerned for my children and husband. I heard that not long ago, a little girl was kidnapped from a church building here in the valley, and molested and then brought back to the church building and dropped off. I don't know which, if any, parts of that story are factual, but I do know that it hurts my heart. I worry about my kids all the time. In a world this scary, how do you not? I worry about my kids every Sunday at church, too. I worried about them before these terrible things happened. Most people don't understand why I worry so much, but that's because they don't understand the unique issues some of our children face. All children have an innocence about them. I feel that our children are particularly innocent. Some of them have a small grasp on what stranger danger is. Some of them don't understand that at all. Some of my children like to run from me. Some of my children think that EVERYONE is nice and kind. Unfortunately, this is not true. It has been challenging to explain to my children, that we don't talk to strangers, while simultaneously teaching them that it's nice to be kind to people we don't know, who, for example, we see at the grocery store or something. Ultimately, I am just trying to teach them about the most important things in this earth life...The Gospel, Our Families and Our Knowledge. Those are the only things that will we can take with us. I have an even greater resolve, today, to be who I must be and do what I must do, to be with my family for eternity! May the Lord bless us all, in our desires to do His will for our families, is my prayer. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I LOVED this and wanted to share...

"Paradoxically, what I previously labeled "mindless" and once thought of as interruptions to spiritual growth are becoming the core of what makes my home feel sacred. As I cook meals,wash dishes, make beds, and sweep floors, I am continually in the midst of both teaching and being taught about charity, humility, hope, and faith. I am exchanging independence and "everyone seeking after their own" for a mutual dependence and unity in purpose that surely is related to Zion. I feel the sacredness in my home not only when it is clean, but also when we are in the process of getting it that way. Some days I don't even mind that we will go through the
process again the very next day. Much of my discouragement at home was due to a sense of failure I felt for not being able to artificially create sacredness there. How comforting it is to be released from that burden. With joy and gratitude I now realize I need only look for the way sacredness already surrounds me."

~ from My Home as a Temple, by Kristine Manwaring

I stumbled upon this article a couple days ago. (I found it as an attachment through a yahoo group called Mentoring Our Own.) I had seen it and I'd read a little bit of it before, but not in a long while. It really spoke to me, and some of the feelings of inadequacy that I have, about trying to balance everyday life, with heavenly things! How grateful I am, for the opportunity to endure to the end. Each day, I get to try again! I get to learn more, and I get the opportunity to teach it all to my children!

What's Wrong With This Picture???

Bedtime was at about 7:00 p.m. last night. (We usually try for 7 or 7:30 p.m.) Mr. Man hooked up the babies' feeds, while I did meds with all the kiddo's. We have fallen into a pretty good routine, and it usually goes pretty smoothly. Last night was no exception. By about 7:05 or so, Ladybug was already off to slumber land via the Melatonin Express. I had to wake her up to give her medicine. Why am I telling you all of this? Because I have to document what happened with her last night! It has never happened quite this way before. After babes were all snuggled in for the night, I came up stairs to the computer, to find some info. for my class for the kiddo's at the HIP Retreat this year. All of a sudden...at about 10:30 p.m., I hear a voice coming from the other room and it startled me! I jumped up and went in to check on my Luv Bug, who also rides the Melatonin Express at night, thinking she may be talking in her sleep. (She does this pretty often.) Nope...wasn't her. But in the very next room, that sweet voice revealed itself. It was Miss Ladybug jabbering and carrying on like something I've never EVER seen or heard her do before. Too bad that it really wasn't intelligible. I could catch a word here or there, but most of it was like a foreign language to me. Boy...she was going to town! So I stood by her door for a few minutes and just listened to her cuteness. Then I decided to sneak into her room to see if she was awake or asleep during all of this. I thought for sure she HAD to be awake for a party this great, and sure enough she was. She didn't see me for a little while, though, so I continued to observe her, at which point she started laughing hysterically! We're talkin' snorting through her nose and belly laughing! Again...it was one of the cutest things I have ever seen. She was tossin' her baby doll around and just being silly! All through the night, she kept this up. I kept having to get up and re-adjust her feeding pump, every time it would beep at me, because she was moving around so much. Each time I went in to re-set it, I would lay her back down in her crib, tuck her in, rub her arms and legs (because she has Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, and they were bugging her), and beg her to go to sleep. I don't know how many times we took turns going in there, but it was another one of those parties we didn't want to come to. At 2:45 a.m., Mr. Man got up to go to work this morning, and guess who was still talking and laughing and having a party?? Sweet Miss Ladybug! I had to walk in and handle her beeping feeding pump again, kissed him goodbye and got back into my bed. I don't know how long it was before she finally went to sleep. I just know that's she's sleeping right now, and that her pump didn't wake me up again. She'll probably sleep til' about 7:00 a.m. or so, this morning, and then she'll be up to start the day. (Oh yeah...the most disturbing fact about all of this, was that she only took about a 45 minute or 1 hour nap yesterday.) There is something very wrong with this picture! I am on a quest today, to research what I can, about sleep doctor's here. We have one, who has been really nice, and for a little bit, what she did was helping, but I just feel like this is beyond her now! We gotta' find some new rules for playing this game! Miss Ladybug goes to see the Immunologist this Wednesday. I'll let you know how that goes too! :0)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Check This Out!

Sir Ken Robinson: Bring On The Revolution


Do you ever just wake up in the morning and get the feeling that something is about to change? I don't know if it's because I am always kind of anxious lately, about all that's always going on in our family. I don't know if it's because the Lord is trying to speak to me, and maybe I am not quite getting the message. Maybe it's because I am putting forth a new effort to master myself and my own education. Maybe it's because I have been trying to think of better ways to inspire my kiddo's. Who really knows. I can just tell that change is in the air! And I am bound and determined that it will be a good change, whatever it is! I have been reading about patience, lately! I am trying to learn to be patient and long-suffering, so that my attitude about my adversities will be a positive one! I have felt very strongly, the importance of giving adequate time to my own studies, and being that example for my children! So...I guess we'll see what changes! Hopefully, it will involve lots of personal growth for each of us!

I have been pondering some ideas for the activities I can be doing with the Foundational Phases up at the HIP Retreat. (For those of you who don't speak TJEd, these are the kids ages 0-12-ish, in our home schooling group. We all use A Thomas Jefferson Education, as a model for our learning.) I think I am on the right path and am excited to inspire them and teach them some new things! I am still looking for that perfect story to share, that will tie everything together, and send them away from our time together, feeling truly inspired and ready to pursue great things! So far, I feel impressed to inspire them to be pioneers (or trail blazers) in their lives, and to understand the great power they possess, that has specific application to their missions in life! Please pray that I can find something really great for them! I want them to have fun and learn great things! I'll let you know what I come up with! :0) Have a happy day! :0)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

No Air

So when it rains it POURS! We literally have no air conditioning in our house! UGH! (nope...that doesn't convey how I feel.) DOUBLE UGH! TRIPLE UGH! This is a new one for me! I have never had to go without air conditioning before! How blessed I am! So...I keep thinking about the pioneers. I think about what it must have been like pushing handcarts, riding in wagons, or walking through the dry and hot prairie in the sweltering heat. They are SO MUCH STRONGER than I'll ever be! Such faith and devotion! I want to be that strong! Well tonight, we are having a family slumber party downstairs on the hide-a-bed! It is just TOO hot upstairs! Mr. Man took the recliner, I and Luv Bug and Cuddle Bug are on the pull out bed and Snug-a-Bug wanted to sleep on the couch next to us. Miss Ladybug and Mr. Wiggle Bug are in side by side pac n' plays right by me. Mr. Man hooked up the whole sha-bang for us...2 portable fans (plus all the fans on in the house), a humidifier (for those of us suffocating with asthma), and an air purifier. (It turns out the air purifier was sucking all the cool air away from us, so we turned that off.) I filled big baggies with ice and gave one to each of the kiddo's to snuggle with tonight, and that is really helping them be more comfortable. Hopefully, tomorrow, the Mr. Fix-It guy will come fix everything with the air conditioner! That would be super chill! I am learning what a wimp I am, while slowly and simultaneously learning how blessed my life is! Heavenly Father truly does give us everything! And we take so much of it for granted!

Back On Track

This week was the official start to our Season of Learning! ("School Year", doesn't begin to describe what I want this to be for our family!) So we got our closet organized really well, about a week ago! Our Learning Closet is a portable white shelving unit that has doors on the front of it. It sits in my kitchen, against a wall and has a cabinet lock on it, so it can be closed away when it's not time for Kidschool. I have a "school room" which always stays locked, that has more things for me to rotate in and out of our closet as I see fit. So far the kids LOVE it and look forward to learning time every day, where we have it open for 1 hour! They are starting to get excited about the other things in the closet, besides the Lincoln Logs, so we're making progress! I have just encouraged them to browse through the closet and really find out what's in there! It has been fun! Our Season of Learning hasn't really started off with a bang, but I have decided that's okay! To me, that means that our "summer break" was successful, in that the children didn't feel a big break from learning, hence the continued excitement about starting our new Season! I want them to know that learning is a continual thing! We have been trying to finish reading The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and will then continue through the remaining books in the series. We are also reading Island of The Blue Dolphins, for Family Reading Time, and will finish it soon! The kids are all super excited to get more outdoor playtime, as it starts to cool down! I am SO excited about that! I have some creative ideas up my sleeve for some great outdoor activities this fall! We had a great, impromptu, discussion about mission and virtue the other morning, as part of our devotional! Even Miss Ladybug was excited to participate in the conversation, a little! I want them to get a sense of that "something special" they were sent here to accomplish! It wasn't a big, earth shattering discussion, just a way for me to inspire them to think and dream! So far...we are back on track and excited for our new Season of Learning!

Side note: I went and volunteered myself to speak at a class for adults at the HIP Retreat (a retreat that our home school group is having) this year! Someone tell me what I was thinking! :0)LOL I HOPE that what I have to say, will be important to someone up there, and that it will inspire them! I just KNOW that I am going to learn so much more than I teach! I am also super excited to be teaching a class that will hopefully inspire and entertain Core and LoL kiddo's up there! The HIP Retreat is coming up soon and our whole family is WAY excited!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

...And the hits just keep on comin'!

Ranee, here...coming to you live with even more great Mommy hits! We all love the oldies! Especially those that tell of the joys and journeys of motherhood. (Some of which get really old every now and then. The trials get old...never the kiddo's!) :0) Like the little ditty by The Night Owls called Lady's Up All Night! And who can forget the ever popular Tossin' Cookies In the Car (every car ride) by Poor Lady. I even love the ever popular duet I Don't Wanna' Eat by Lady and Wiggle! All of these chart topping hits can be yours if you belong to my family! (If ya' don't...boy are you missin' out!) :0) And if you order right now, I'll throw in the ever popular musical stylings of Miss Luv Thing. You know...songs like: I Went Outside to Play and There Was a Cat And It Wouldn't Leave Our Yard So I Had to Scare It Away and Then The Birds Came and Tried to Eat Our Grass and I Had to Scare Them Away Too! And also songs like Bless Us With Great Bodies or Brudders and Stisters. For just $1000.00 more, you can have the complete box set and get even more chart toppers like: Doctor's Make Me Crazy, Meds Drive Me Nuts and I Need Chocolate, by Rain. (How many of you know that my name is pronounced "Rainy"?) Just wondering! :0) If you have no idea what I am talking about, it's ALLLLLLLLLLLL good! A little crazy every now and then, never hurt anybody! If you do, well then....this is nothing new! :0) I am just one of those people who has a life that calls for strong emotions every now and then. Basically, I can laugh or I can cry! I would just rather laugh! (Most of the time!) Love to my Peeps! (Miss Britney, Miss Julia, Miss Heather, and all the others that ride the crazy train with me!) Woot Woot! :0)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Slumber Party...Of Sorts

Two nights ago, Mr. Man got up quite early to go to work. It was something like 2 a.m. How I LOVE that man! He works so hard to provide for us! He loves us SO much! It's obvious, because of all he sacrifices in our behalf! Well anyway, Miss Ladybug was having her very own party in her crib. Mr. Man had gone in to check on the kids (as he does every time he gets up to go to work), and she was sitting up and talking to herself. He came in to kiss me goodbye and told me what Ladybug was up to, and I asked him to bring her into our room to sleep with me. So...he brought her to me, feeding pump and all, and she and I snuggled in for the night. This was one LONG night! She proceeded to have her very own slumber party, right there next to me, in our bed, for the next 2 and a half hours, at which point she drifted off for maybe an hour and was then up for the day around 5:30-ish. This of course, because we aren't giving her sleep meds. to her anymore. (We will be picking up some Melatonin for her tomorrow, while we are getting some for Miss Luv Bug. See previous post.) How did I make sure she wasn't up, walking around my room and putting holes in our bedroom wall with her feeding pump??? I slept while simultaneously holding on to one of her ankles, so I would know where she was. How did I do that??? A mother just has these kinds of talents. I love being a mother! It has taught me that I have talents I would never have imagined! It's bizzare. This is about the third of fourth time in about a week or so, that she has had one of these "parties that no one else wants to come to." LOL :0) I laugh...and then I cry. What's wrong with my baby girl? This is NOT normal. I take my rocking chair into her room, a lot, and sit by her crib and rock her, desperately trying to get her to sleep. She always wants to tell me about how her eyes are blue and mine are green and about how Daddy is a boy and her brothers are boys and how she and her sister are girls and I am a girl, and about how she has ears. SO CUTE and SO WRONG at the same time! I love that she wants to talk, but she should be tired! Strike that...she IS tired! She should be SLEEPING! She constantly has dark circles around her eyes. She has started napping a little bit longer during the day, which is good. She used to nap for about 45 minutes (this was while we were giving her sleep meds. that we don't give anymore due to limb pain), now she naps (are you ready for this?)...a whopping hour or sometimes an hour and a half. Our other kiddo's will take a 2 or 3 hour nap, in addition to sleeping a good 10 or 12 hours a night. And the doctors don't have any answers. I am worried about the long term affects this will have on her. Her cognition is already delayed. The lack of sleep can't be helping that. OY! How do I keep up with all of the drama that is my life? The answer is: Because I love all of these precious people who are my family! Love is the driving force for me! And someday...I will have the perspective I need, to understand it all, the way the Lord sees it. Until then...I pray, I learn and I love. (and sometimes I sleep.) :0)

She Calls Her Sassafras...Sassy for Short.

At first, Luv Bug told us that the monster inside of her was a boy named Boris. But today, she decided that it's a girl named Sassafras...or Sassy. She is still doing really well with learning how to express her feelings and I think it helps her to talk about it being "someone or something else" that is behaving this way. We always tell her what a good girl she is! Sitting Strong is still helping, but we are also still concerned. Mr. Man and I have been talking about what might be bringing out the monster in our Luv Bug lately. We think it could be the new medicine we recently started giving her, to help her sleep at night. We got it at Hi-Health and it's called Melatonin Complex 3mg. We give her a very small dose. In addition to Melatonin, it has Passion Flower and Valerian Root in it. I read that Valerian Root is supposed to help ADHD. We have always gone back and forth, about whether Zoie has a little ADHD. Her bio-father had it. But we don't necessarily think that she does. She attends to activities just fine. She just struggles with anxiety and impulse control. She has always had trouble sleeping, so we decided to talk to her doctor about giving her something natural to help her sleep. He recommended plain Melatonin, but the closest we could find was this stuff. We checked it over with him and he said it was fine, but to try a "Medicine Holiday" every now and then, to give her body a break from it. Well we haven't given her a break from it...yet. We decided tonight, that her crazy behavior correlates with right after we started giving her this new medicine. So now...we are going to try and find just plain Melatonin and see if the monster goes away. Tonight will be her last dose of this stuff! It has been helping her sleep great! It's the daytime behaviors that are unusual. Bless her heart! She really doesn't understand what's been happening to her, and I really think that this medicine is making her feel kinda' crazy and she doesn't know how to put it into words. I know that one of the ways modern medicine treats kids with ADHD, is to give them medicines that have caffeine in them, and that it will usually have the opposite effect on them and calm them down. I wonder if the Valerian Root or the Passion Flower have a similar affect, like caffeine, and are affecting her this way because she doesn't have ADHD. Questions...questions! I have some praying to do about this, but I think we are on the right track! Wish us luck!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Teaching Our Monsters to Sit Strong

I had a nice talk with our Luv Bug today! (Ya' know...because we've been having a tough time with her behaviors lately. She has been losing control. Yelling, growling, getting out "the claw" and waving her hands at us, crossing her eyes and making faces.) She has really been struggling, and we've been struggling as to how to help her. We talked today about our inner monsters. (Weird, I know...just hear me out.) We talked about how sometimes we feel like we have a monster inside of us that growls when we get mad or frustrated or when we don't want to obey. But when our monsters growl, we have to teach them how to speak in human language, because humans don't speak monster. We had a crash course in monster translation, and I asked questions like, "When a monster says "Ughhhhh!", what words do you think he might be trying to say?" She gave me some really good responses, like "Well, maybe he's saying "I don't want to do that" or "I am mad!" (I was surprised at how receptive she was to all of this.) So then, we talked about Sitting Strong! We talked about taking deep breaths, and breathing in all the words our monster could use to tell how it is feeling, and breathing out all of the growls and monster noises! Then we made signs (because I am all about the visual aids), for our Reminder Wall!) THEN...all the kiddo's wanted to draw pictures of themselves sitting strong and teaching their monsters how to speak our language! It was fun and therapeutic...all in one! :)

Teaching Our Monsters to Sit Strong!

I had a nice talk with my Luv Bug today. We got to the heart of why she growls and loses control of herself. (She really has been out of control, lately! She growls...literally. She crosses her eyes and makes faces and yells and literally loses control. She even gets out "the claw", where she waves her hands at you. It's not cool!) Somehow, by the Lord's grace, we found a way to give voice to how she feels. I started to talk to her about monsters. (Crazy, I know...but just hear me out!) I told her that sometimes we feel like we have a monster inside of us, and that sometimes that monster gets upset or angry or frustrated. Sometimes our inner monster's just need to be heard...but in order for them to be heard, we have to teach them how to speak. Because, humans don't speak or understand the monster language. Then I thought of a really great idea I found, for calming kiddo's down. (Kudo's to my friend Heather, for telling me about this awesome lady that knows her stuff!) It's called Sitting Strong. I taught her how to Sit Strong today! She was really receptive to this...I was actually shocked that she was so receptive! I think it's because I was really non-confrontational about it, with her. We practiced Sitting Strong and taking deep breaths. I had her picture her good air (inhale) as giving her monster words to say, and I had her picture blowing (exhale) the growl away. I said "When your monster says "Ughhhhhh!", what words do you think he really means to say?" She gave me some great suggestions, which were really just a way for her to express some of her feelings, without her realizing it. I think it really helped her find a way to cope with her frustrations! Soon enough, all of the kiddo's wanted to learn how to Sit Strong! We practiced that for a while, and then (because I am all about the visual aids) we made signs to put on our Reminder Wall, to help us remember to give our monsters a voice and to Sit Strong!

Friday, August 20, 2010

So...I think we can dance! (dance, dance, dance)

"Life's not about waiting for the storms to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain." ~ Vivian Greene

I don't know who Vivian Greene is (Should I??), But I love this quote! Since the issues just keep raining down on us lately, I suppose we will just dance through them! I am a dancer anyway! (Well...I was!) I can do it! Mr. Man can too! I taught him! :0) I just worry about our kiddo's having to dance for too long. I wish their storms would pass by quicker!

Ladybug and Wiggle Bug's doctor's appointments today, didn't reveal any GREAT news! Genetics is no closer to understanding L's gene deletion, learning deficits, behaviors or issues. They will see her again in a year, and hopefully, there will be new information about the 9(q)33.1 deletion. Wiggle Bug's echo revealed that his left ventricle IS dilated again. Oh...and apparently, he's had leaky valves in his heart this whole time, and I am just finding this out. Not that I could have done anything about it, but it would have been nice to know. I am his mother. (Sorry while I vent about the few down sides of adoption through foster care. I LOVE adoption! I LOVE foster care! But the foster care system lets a lot of kids down.) I have to say that the total lack of information about his issues, has been so disappointing to Mr. Man, and I. Not because we don't absolutely love and adore him and all that he is...but because this lack of information has let him down. So...it's starting to sprinkle around here. No major thunderstorms right now...just light showers.

To add to these "light showers", our sweet Luv Bug is really starting to struggle with some behavioral and sensory issues that neither she nor we, understand very well. She is beautiful and precious! She is such a great kiddo'! She wants to mind and listen but she struggles to. And she doesn't understand why life gets harder when she doesn't. Some drastic changes have occurred in her lately. We worry about her! She is really quite blessed that things aren't more severe. Her potential for inheriting much more severe issues, is pretty big. We want so much to help her, and we want to do it in the most healthy and natural way. We have some resources available to us, but it may take a while before we know JUST what will really help her the most! Please pray for her!

Snug-a-Bug is such a great kiddo', too! He LOVES to help and he is really great at it! Today, he did some vacuuming and dishes! All because he wanted to help my mom, who was here watching the oldest three! He is a smart kiddo'! But, lately he has been struggling with understanding consequences. We are trying to help him understand and learn more about obedience and consequences, and that he has the freedom to choose. Please pray that he can gain the knowledge he needs to achieve his goals and continue to learn and grow!

Cuddle Bug is doing better at stepping out of his comfort zone, a bit more. He likes what he likes and doesn't stray from it. It's the beauty of being a kid, I suppose! He is one picky kiddo' most of the time, but is learning to "broaden his horizons!" Please pray that he will continue to find beauty and joy in trusting what we say and trying new things!

Would you pray for Mr. Man and I, too? We want to be enlightened as to how best to help our sweet little ones! We want to be the best parents we can! We want them each to have special time with us, and to know they are individually important to us! We want them to feel our love for them, individually! We know that our family is part of Heavenly Father's plan for us! We know they are all meant to be here...right here, right now! We just need to be buoyed up and personally inspired, for each of them! We think we can dance through it all! We just need to keep finding the beauty in the rain! At least our kiddo's like to jump in puddles! I guess we could learn a thing or two from their sweet attitudes about all of this! And I guess the trick with it all, is to remember that Heavenly Father KNOWS we can dance! Why is it so easy to forget that, sometimes? :)

P.S. There WAS a ray of sunshine today! A pretty great one, actually! When I got home from being at appointments for 9 hours (yes, that's how long I was gone today), I asked the kiddo's how it went with having my Mom here today. They showed me what they decided to play with, while the school cabinet was open today, and it started a great discussion! It didn't last very long, but I really feel like they learned some great information in the few minutes that we spent discussing their day today! Yaaaaaaaaay for sunshine! Yaaaaaaay for a closet that they are excited to learn from each day! Yaaaaaaay for great discussions and learning moments! Yay! :0)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Doctor Day

Tomorrow is another doctor day. I wish we didn't have to have so many of these, but such is life. Ladybug will see the geneticist tomorrow morning, bright and early. Hopefully they will be able to explain more about the gene deletion she has. Wiggle Bug has an appointment with his cardiologist tomorrow afternoon. We always do an echo (echocardiogram) when he goes, so we'll be there for 2 hours. We are praying that everything looks good and that there's no dilation in his left ventricle, so we can go down to once a year visits. That would be SUPER GREAT! These 2 sweethearts go through SO much! They are stronger than I'll ever be, and they're my heroes! I am praying for no "pokies" (my kiddo's word for a shot or bloodwork)! Pray with me please! Ladybug goes back to the immunologist next week and we'll get the results of her recent blood work. Please pray that it will give us some answers! She isn't sleeping so great since we took her off of her sleep meds, and her limb pain is still there but WAY improved from before the meds. I just know that someday we'll find a way to make sense of it all! I'll keep ya' posted! As always, thanks for your love and prayers! Life is always drama at our house, and it would be great if it could settle down a bit! Ladybug and Wiggle Bug are SO deserving of a break from the drama of all these doctor's visits! :0)

If they have to argue...

I am just glad that they are arguing like this:

Snug a Bug: I am Nephi! You are Sam!

Cuddle Bug: No...I NOT Sam, I am Nephi!

Snug a Bug: Okay you be Nephi ***insert weird, boy sound affect that I can't spell***! I'll be Nephi ***insert another weird boy sound affect that I can't spell***!

If they have to argue, I'll settle for that! It could be worse! :0)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Under the Weather

My whole family has been sick. Every single one of us have had what I refer to as the "creepy crud". Stuffy noses, sore throats, sneezing, coughing and low grade fevers. Yuck! Wasn't I just feeling sort of icky, like a week ago? Yeah, that's what I thought, but apparently I hadn't had enough of it. Who knew? :) The worst part about it, is the nighttime ritual of "chasing coughs". I went on a cough chasing spree last night...walking through the house each time I heard someone cough, trying to figure out who needed more elevation with extra pillows under their heads, or a cool drink of water or a tissue. Talk about a wild goose chase! Whew! But it's just something ya' do when you're a mom. Even when you'd rather be snoozing. Hence, one of the reasons for my super gnarly man voice today! Hubba Hubba! I think I seriously scared my kids this morning, when I started talking as I came down the stairs. They all ran over to see the groovy man who had somehow, mysteriously gotten into a window on the second floor and was coming down to say "Good Morning!" They crack me up! "Is that you, Mom? I thought you were a stranger in our house!" So funny!

This afternoon, while babes were napping, I sat reading Laddie, in my chair. The clouds started to rumble and the wind began to blow...really strong. I had to run into the backyard and rescue some toys from the grasp of the storm. We almost lost a few over the fence. The children woke up and came to the window to watch Mr. Man and I chasing toys and getting wet in the rain. Cuddle Bug said "Mom, Jesus is sending us rain!" I love his sweet innocence and the profound beauty of that statement! He knows that Jesus and Heavenly Father were just "watering the earth." So true! So sweet! So while we've been under the weather this past week, and nothing feels very great right now, Heavenly Father must have thought He'd remind us of the beauty that can come from being under His weather". It puts things in a whole new perspective!

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Beautiful Song

I stumbled upon this song tonight and just had to share it. Her name is Marie Digby. I haven't ever heard of her before, but she is amazingly talented and this song spoke to me. I was made fun of a lot, as a child and youth, for either being a "goody two shoes" or for having glasses or always trying to do what's right, or for befriending the lonely, down-trodden, made fun of kids. I wanted to be friends with everyone! Well...almost everyone! Mainly, I wanted to be friends with those who didn't have any friends and who were different or who had special needs or who no one ever talked to. I am not sure which of my high school years it was, that I went to the library every day during lunch because the few friends that I had, had lunch the hour after me. It wasn't fun. I remember being slightly afraid of a girl named Rebecca in my kindergarten class, but reaching out to be her friend anyway. Rebecca was bigger than me. Rebecca had a form of mental retardation (possibly Down Syndrome), and her boisterous personality was sometimes intimidating. She had hearing aids and talked loudly. Many kids stayed clear away from her. I wanted to be her friend. When she knew that I loved her, she became kinder to me. I had a boy in my science class in 7th grade, who wore glasses and was a little on the heavy side and who didn't wear the latest fashion. People made fun of him on a daily basis. He was a kind hearted kid. I remember one time that I came into class just as the bell was ringing, and because I didn't sit in my chair before the bell stopped ringing, I was given a tardy by the teacher. This was my third tardy to that class for the quarter (I think I had a long way across campus, to come) and as such I would have to serve time in ALC (basically, detention). I would have to serve time there on my birthday, no less. I laid my head down on my desk and cried. This boy, put his hand on my shoulder and tried to console me. It was heartfelt and sincere. As I went through my high school years, I noticed what the years of rejection, bullying and being made fun of, did to this boy. His outward appearance changed. He started wearing all black and growing his hair long, and hanging his head to the ground when he walked. I was still always nice to him, but the way he changed scared me, and so I stayed away from him. I think about him every now and then. I wonder if he's okay and how his life turned out. I hope it turned out great! I will never forget the lesson I learned, about how we should treat others, and I pray that we will all reach out to those that everyone else seems to forget. Those who seem invisible. How grateful I am, to be the mother of 5 precious sweethearts who are absolutely beautiful in every way. I am glad that we home school, and that I get to be the one to teach them how truly wonderful they are...just the way Heavenly Father made them! And also...I won't ever forget 17 sweet foster babies, out there in the world somewhere, who were ours, if only for a short while..."When our eyes can't see them, His eyes still can." No one is ever invisible.

Hmmm....We might be on to something here.

After the visit with the Immunologist the other day, who told us that Ladybug's sleep meds could be causing the pain she's been having, we decided to stop giving her sleep meds. and see if her pain went away. Well, the pain hasn't gone away yet, but I do believe it's decreasing. And the best part?...the last 3 nights have been pretty good! It was such a special moment for me, as a mother, tonight, as I watched her start to doze off to sleep, minutes after I tucked her in. She said her hands hurt, but she hasn't been squeezing them and saying "Ow!", during the day, like she usually does. She's still sleeping! It's such a blessing! Here's praying that her sleep and pain will continue to improve and that we can get a handle on all of the issues she is dealing with!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

On the Right Track

I really do feel like we are on the right track with Ladybug's care! We saw a really great Immunologist today, who was knowledgeable, friendly and a great listener and who seems to understand some of the next steps to take to understand her issues better. He ordered more blood work, which we did today. I decided to let Ladybug know where we were going, before we got to the lab. As soon as we pull into the parking lot these days, she usually starts screaming and saying "No!", and I just decided that I want her to trust me, and not feel like I just spring it on her. So, I told her where we were going. She just said "No, Mom!" She did such a good job though, and was such a big girl! The ladies there, were quite impressed that Ladybug "knew the drill" so well, when she sat on my lap and put the arm rest down...saying "No pokey!", all the while. She didn't fight at all...just cried a little. That actually makes me sad, because it's a testament to how many times she's been poked for this or that. She used to kick and scream and now she just says "No!", and goes along with it. Poor baby! They took 4 vials of blood from my little girl! The doctor is running tests to see if her body is attacking itself, if the previous vaccinations she's been given, worked...and to check out what is going on with all of her blood cells, platelets, etc. He also said that he may want to test her for food and environmental allergies sometime soon, if needed. He said that her current sleep medicines (the two that she is taking), may be causing the pain she is experiencing, and he may want us to take her off her meds., to see if her pain improves or gets worse. I can't honestly believe it. Mr. Man and I haven't felt settled about giving these medicines to Ladybug, simply because we feel like it's just masking the problem. They don't seem to help all the time, anyway. Now we find out that they may actually be causing her pain. Yikes! I don't hardly know what to think about all of this, but I will keep you all posted! I don't know what we'll do without the sleep medicines. They have at least helped her not to be up ALL night long, like she used to. What will do if we have to go back to sleepless nights for her? Please pray that no matter what the answers are, that we can know and understand them for her sake! Thanks! :0)

Off to the Immunologist with Ladybug

Please add your prayers to ours, that we can find out what's going on with her, and why her immune system is low. :0) I'll let ya' know how it goes! :0) Thanks!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What Did I Just Do???

Well...I'll tell you what I just did; I

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sweet Musings from the Kiddo's

"Mom!", Luv Bug said to me today. "Did you wear a princess crown when you got married?" "You mean, like a tiara?", I said. "I borrowed my best friend's veil...why?" Luv Bug said "Well...I was thinking that I want to have four kids! And I want to name the first stister (nope, it's not mispelled, that's how she says it) Tiara! Yeah...and then there will be a brother named...Bob, and then Junior and Sal." "Wow!", I said. "Those are great names!" :0)

Tonight when Luv Bug said our family prayer, among other very smart and witty things, she asked Heavenly Father to "bless us with great bodies." I was particularly grateful for this request, since my bod could use some greatness, if ya' know what I mean! Pete and I really are trying to focus more on eating healthier and exercising, so her prayer is right up our alley! She is officially adorable and cracks us up! Luv Bug really does say the best prayers! She always asks for "the spirit to be in our home", and for "us not to fight with our stisters (there's that cute word again), and brothers." Then she always follows it up with a very profound plea to " please bless us that no cats will come in our backyard anymore and if they do, that they won't eat the birds, and that the birds will eat all the ants.", or something like that! Ya' gotta' love Miss Luv Bug! She brightens our world!

Snug-a-Bug once told me that he was going to have 19 children. I said "Whoa! Are ya' gonna' ask your wife how she feels about that?" He said "What do ya' mean? She gonna' love it!" (Yes, I love his voice too!) Today, he told me he was going to the "Hiney Store, to buy a hiney for ONE dollar!" He and I have this standing joke that he is a little deficient in the hiney department, and he always says he's going to buy a bigger one. (His pants are always falling down, because he doesn't have a hiney to hold them up. LOL) He also crack us up!

Cuddle Bug drew a picture for me the other day, and when I asked him to tell me about it, he said "This is a music thing, Mom! Yeah...and I DO'ed it for you...like that!" His little voice is also quite precious! He cracked us up at dinner tonight, when, after asking for more Parmesan cheese on his pasta, proceeded to then eat JUST the cheese off of the pasta, with his fingers. He is one wacky cutie pie! I love it when he says the prayer for the food! He usually just keeps saying over and over again, "We're thankful for this day...We're thankful for this day...", until you help him move on with the prayer. However, yesterday he did a little better with it, and I can tell he's growing up. He's getting so tall, and is thinning out. I can't believe how big he's getting.

Mister Wiggle Bug has been coughing the last couple of days. NOT GOOD! :( Especially, when he's finally been pretty healthy for the last few months. He's so sweet when he says "I sick, Mom!", while simultaneously smiling from ear to ear! He really does need your prayers! He sleeps elevated and takes acid reflux medication every night, to try and stave off the sinus infections that the reflux causes. Today, when we did our Hoorays for the Day, he volunteered to go first. He just stood there and smiled saying "Ummmm..." We finally decided that he needed the first "Hooray!", for eating his dinner so well tonight! He is one funny, little man!

When we did the "Hooray for the Day", tonight...Ladybug walked over to me and just said "Yay Me!" I'll take it! She doesn't talk a whole lot, so that was pretty great for her! Miss Ladybug's new favorite things to do are: Set up story books so they look like roof tops, and then put her feet under them...or pull all the kitchen chairs around her, and box herself in. She also likes to dump the toys out of the toy bins, and sit in them. And today, at naptime, I observed for a few minutes, as she kept knocking her fist into her face, over and over again, and laughing. Such a qwerky girl! We have an "un-offical" PDD-NOS diagnosis for her. (Unofficial, because the lady was just a psych. nurse practitioner, and didn't write it down. We didn't like her though, so we wait for a call from a new Developmental Pediatrician, to get her scheduled to see him sometime...NEXT YEAR! Talk about, booked out!) Anyway, she is so funny and sweet and precious, and we adore her! :D)

I love watching my kiddo's grow, and hearing all the cute things they say!

P.S. I can't WAIT to meet my grandkiddo's someday! Tiara, Bob, Junior, Sal and all the others! I just know they will fit those names perfectly! :0)

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Yes everyone, at this time in my life I feel to say "RETREAT!"...but I say that in a good way!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The "Do Over!" ,the "Pause Button" and the "Reminder Wall"

I have been thinking about instituting a "Do Over!", in our family. You know...someone slams a door and you say "Do Over!", or someone yells, whines or tattles and you say "Do Over!" I think a key element that is missing from our lives every day, is the ability to try again, when it comes to everyday life as a family. I really think that pre-teaching our children, is very important, but I also think that re-teaching with a quick "Do Over!", will do wonders for helping all of us correct negative behaviors! It's kind of like the "PAUSE BUTTON", that Stephen R. Covey talks about in his 7 Habits books. I really want to develop my "PAUSE BUTTON"! I want to teach my children to do the same thing, so that when life gets crazy, we can take a breath and really think before we act/react toward each other. I think these two important elements, added to the really great systems we already have in place, will make home a true heaven on earth! They will help us to hold each other accountable, in a positive way, and also help us not to take life too seriously! I am planning to make a "visual aid" to remind us to use these valuable tools. I am going to make signs glued to large popsicle sticks, that say "Do Over!" and "Pause", and keep one of each, on each floor our home. Lately, I am all about props. It's easier to use a system, if you have something on the wall, that is visible to you every day! Some day I will have to take a picture of our "Reminder Wall" that holds all of our systems and charts, so you can see what I mean. It drives my mom crazy, as seen every time she comes over, but for us it is practical and necessary. They say that valuable information should be memorized as a family, so we are putting that to practice. On this wall, we also have a few great quotes, scriptures, our Chore Certificates, our Obedience Bugs chart,etc. On another wall in our kitchen, we have posted The Articles of Faith, The Ten Commandments and The Gospel Standards. If ya' wanna' live it, ya' gotta' learn it, and we have taken that to heart! I'll let you know about the "props" I come up with, and how they work for us! :D)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Gearing Up

Well, we have our Time Not Content schedule done, our Obedience Bugs system working, our Chore Certification charts being utilized, what else??? Well...today I am going to look at planning some short "Go-To" devotionals for our family, so that I don't have to fly by the seat of my pants so much, when it comes to giving a really great devotional, or spiritual thought, for our day. We will also focus more on studying our national book (The Book of Mormon), this year! I am also going to give some more thought to my course of study for this year, so that when I share what's "mine", it's really great information for our kiddo's! I am really excited about this! I have a broad spectrum of things I'd like to study, and I just need to narrow it down into a reasonable plan. We have been talking a lot about sewing and quilting, at our house, lately. Luv Bug wants to make a "rag doll", like the pioneers had, and Snug-a-Bug wants to make scripture bags for himself and his siblings. So we may have some fun and useful things up our sleeves, to sew this year! I have some inspiring to do, when it comes teaching Snug-A-Bug to read. He says he wants to learn, but doesn't ask for lessons very often, so I just need to read aloud to him, even more! I have found that if I just ask him, happily, if he would like a lesson, he is willing most times. If he doesn't want to, he doesn't have to, but I think that the idea slips his mind, sometimes, if I don't offer every once in a while. Luv Bug just might pass him up, on the reading thing, which is okay. I notice sometimes, that she inspires him to want to learn more! She has a real knack for it, and it doesn't come that easily for him. :) Another thing that I want to try to incorporate more this year, is music time! The children really do learn SO much through music! So, I think that maybe I will read Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers, and pass on some great pieces of information and music to them! As far as counting goes, cooking in the kitchen works really well for that! The kids LOVE to help and they learn lots of stuff without even realizing it! Snug-A-Bug got an abacus for his birthday, recently and has been inspired to understand what it's for and how to use it! Hooray for inspiration! It takes all the stress and guesswork out of life! We work hard, we play hard, and we learn a TON! I am SO excited to get geared up for this coming year!