Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Do Mom's Really Get a Vacation?

Well, I took a small vacation as I explained before, went to California to visit my daughter and her fiance.  Thought I could get away from it all with the worries of what Dani is doing or getting into.  But here is the scenario.  I am sitting in the airport bright and early Friday morning, Dani had a friend spend the night so she wouldn't be alone (this friend also has some mental disabilities) but this friend decided to go home instead of going to school.  The next thing I realize is I am getting a phone call from her dad, saying that his daughter was complaining of hearing voices and my daughter took it upon herself to offer her one of her Serroquel.  Not a whole one but half a one.  He was more upset that his daughter took it and I immediatley called my daughter to explain things, calmly (ok, I tried to stay calm).  So with that episode over and gone, made some ground rules, no friends when mom is not home.  Visits with friends will be supervised by me or dad.  So all that was before I got on the plane.  Then on Saturday, there was the confusion about where she was suppose to be, either at home or at my oldest daughters house.  Some miscommuication took place but that was resolved after feelings were hurt and lots of crying took me none the less.  Worked through some deep feelings with my daughter (who I was visiting) felt very good to get my pent up emotions off my chest.  Then the next day (Sunday) I get a call from my oldest daughter saying that Dani took a box of Mac and Cheese home to cook, without asking.  Now normally that would not have been a big deal but my daughter keeps a tight budget and has meals planned out, no room for missing food.  Trust was ruined and I had to tell Dani to go home and dig deep in her room for any missing change to pay her sister for that box or else.  Not much relaxation for me because of the phone calls back and forth.  Could not get away from the responsibilities, the worries, etc. it goes where ever I go, I couldn't leave it behind.

So...what can I do different next time I decided to run away?  I have no idea, maybe be more prepared, have her stay with someone different than family?  I don't have that answer yet.  But I know there will be a lot of times I will want to run away and think of me, take care of me, me, me, but until that next time, I will continue to search for answers and better ways. 

There is no VACATION from FASD, there is no VACATION from mental illness, we live with it day to day and those children who suffer with it...they never get a break.  But I believe it is up to us, as parents to help them do their best and know we still believe in them.

By the way, the first picture was taken at Shell Beach, California and the second picture is me and my daughter Ashley.  I did have a great time visiting with it again in a heartbeat!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Vacation...I need a vacation!

Dani has made it through the first illness of the year.  By last Thursday she was so sick I took her back to the doctors and sure enough...she had the triple wammy.  Flu, Strep and Pnemonia.  But once she got on that Z-Pack she started bouncing right back.  She went back to school this past Monday and she is doing good.  But mom isn't.  I am so tired, cranky, irritable and yes, I got a cold while Dani was sick.  As mothers to these special kids, we are the last ones to take care of ourselfs, we are the caregivers to others but oh no, not us moms.  So...I haven't done this is years and I literally mean years, I am going away for four days...all by myself.  My sweet daughter in California has bought me a plane ticket out to visit her and sit on the beach, read, soak up the sun and do whatever I want to do or not.  I leave in just a few hours.  In fact I have my alarm set for 3am MST to get in the shower and head out.  I have been packed for two days, counting down the hours.  So Dani will be taken care of by her big sister and her family, which is good, she can help out with the kids since my daughter is pregnant with her third child.  While her husband is at work, Dani can at least play with the girls.

So if I have a message for you moms?...PLEASE TAKE CARE OF YOURSELFS!  By the way, this is me and my granddaughter KD at her first soccer game. 

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sorry Everyone...

I had to take Dani back to the doctor yesterday and she has the triple whammy.  The flu, strep and pnemonia.  She has never been this sick before and low and behold...I am sick now.  So I am taking just a couple of days off until I get my strength back up again.  I promise I will address the notebook that I have with pictures.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

When a Child with FASD Gets Sick...

I have noticed in my household that when my child with FASD gets sick, the whole world falls apart. My daughter is a 14 year old with the maturity and mentality of a 9-10 yrs old, but when she is sick she is 6 years old. The whinning begins, all things taught to her about sneezing or coughing into her elbow, tissue, etc go right out the door and I have to keep reminding her those important things so that others don't catch what she has. I always question if she is really sick because with kids who are FASD have a tenency to lie about things and make things up for the attention and I thought this was one of those times. She went to bed early last night, moaned and groaned for a little bit, she did run a fever and when it was time to get up for church this morning, the headache, dizziness stuff came along. I thought she was pulling my leg again. There are those Sundays she doesn't want to go to church with her mom because she feels she is being teased, and I thought this was one of those Sundays. But lo and behold...she is really sick. Took her to the doctor's and she tested positive for the Flu A Virus. Then I come home feeling like a terrible mother, and this is where I get mad at Dani's birthmom for doing the alcohol/drugs while she was pregnant with my special daughter but then comes all the lessons and lectures about forgiveness. Thats when I take a few deep breaths and get back to the task of taking care of my sick daughter.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Book...

I learned along time ago that there are a lot of papers, documents, test results, IEP records, etc when there is a child with disabilities in the household. So...I have a huge three-ring binder with certain sections divided off. But it is so important that in front of all the records you start off with positive things about your child. After all, like me,
I take this binder with me to all my meetings and I want whoever I am meeting with to know the good things about Danielle before we get into some possible negative areas.  In mine the front page is a picture of Danielle with one of her favorite scriptures.  Then maybe some artwork, or pictures, or in my case, as one of Dani's class projects a couple of years ago, each student was to write something positive about each child in that class.  I have Dani's in her notebook.  I have just a couple of pictures that I will include right now because my camera tacky is that...but more of about my binder to come.  And in more detail.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Chore Chart!

For many years, I have been trying different chore charts, different ways to teach responsibility but also to teach consistency.  One thing I have learned with Danielle's FASD, is the way she learns is through consistent, repeating over and over what she is suppose to do.  She also has a hard time remembering the smallest of things so pictures work the best.  I found this one through my daughter.  She bought one for her own kids first and I like the layout of it.  So I bought this two weeks before school started and so began our getting use to the routine.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Favorite Picture of Mine!

I have to add this picture in here.  When Mike and I got married we started a trucking company called DMD Trucking (Danielle, Mike and Diane) and Dani and I would travel the US with Mike.  Well, Mike and I studied out the best homeschooling programs and found one that we were able to take with us on the road.  Mike and I would rotate driving and teaching.  This is when Dani had learned from her dad the art of visualization.  But I just love this picture of my sweet little girl doing her "road" work (not homework).

I have a huge notebook that I use for Danielle's history that I am going to be taking pictures of and posting them here, hoping to help someone organizae their paperwork.  Also some other ideas I am using here at home with Danielle.  So please stay tuned.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Talents...We All Have Them!

I do have to do some bragging on Danielle's behalf...she has an incredible talent for art.  It's funny...when I first married Mike (her dad) we use to travel the United States because Mike and I owned our own trucking company and we home-schooled Danielle in the back of our big-rig.  Well, one day she got frustrated because she could draw a simple flower.  Mike had me get behind the wheel and drive for a little bit while he sat with her.  He simple told her to "close your eyes and invision that flower.  Think about it for a few minutes and then when you open your eyes, draw what you saw".  Well, she did, she opened her eyes and drew a beautiful flower.  Since then she has a passion for drawing, coloring and yes...oil painting.  This has been one of her coping skills that she has been able to tap into when she feels like she is loosing her reality.  Another talent this young lady has is her poems.  She writes such poems that are so insiteful to her world and she has even put a few to music.  I believe with all of my heart that children and adults who have disabilities have amazing talents, whether it's in music, art, sports, whatever.  I have included a few of her artwork.  The oil painting of the Sunflower is my favorite.  She did this for me out of the blue after my accident, she said she wanted bring me some sunshine, especially since she knew that sunflowers are my favorite.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Hard Days Sometimes Out Weighs the Good Days!

I have to be realistic here...even though my last few entries have been nothing but praise for the progress my daughter has made, for all the alcolades I can lavish on her...there are going to be those days where she is totally off her rocker...unreasonable...has a hard time focusing on reality...that was today. It started out good, even in the evening. I had come home from visiting some friends and discovered her chores were not complete when she had told me they were. Mainly the trash in the bathroom. She argued that it was emptied yesterday and someone used a lot of toilet paper today (when there is no one home during the day but our dog)but her voice started to rise, she started to get sarcastic and I am trying to keep my cool. Boy...thats hard to do. Danielle has a tendency to worry about what is going to happen in the future and worry about the past but not focusing on the present. When she gets stuck in this area it is hard for her to come out. Then it turns into a pity party and how I don't hear or listen to her and what kind of family we should, and tears, did I mention there were tears? Lots of them...very emotional. I just have to sit here and listen to her, that's it, just listen, even though she may repeat herself over and over, she has to get it out so she can go on. Right now, she is in the kitchen making us something to eat and things will be okay. It's extremely emotionally draining, things will be fine until the next melt down. The most important thing I have found to try and relate to her and teach her is "You made a mistake, learn from it, pay the consequence and go on. Tomorrow is a brand new day, a clean slate, nothing is written on it so make it the best you can. Yes you will slip and fall but pick yourself up and go!"