Monday, July 27, 2009

I found this blog last night: I'm not sure how I stumbled upon it, but my sleep was greatly effected. This girl has led a life of living HELL on Earth. She has suffered abuse that most of us can't even grasp. She is an adult living with RAD. This blog is serving as a bit of therapy for her as she lets out some horrible memories and she tries to process her life. She had a childhood friend that shared many of her experiences. They haven't seen each other in 12 years. She wants anyone who reads her blog to link it on theirs. She is hoping that someone will know him. She has actually had a few leads, but they all stop. DO YOU KNOW CLAY O'CONNOR?

She has a friend that has helped her. Her friend is a Christian and has been trying to witness to her. She is open to learning more about Christianity. They have prayed about finding Clay and have a timeline. Regardless of how you feel about making deals with God, we know that HE can move mountains. If she finds him by Aug. 1, she will know without a doubt that God not only exists, but cares about her personally. Let's help her!!!

This is the describing information that she has provided:

*His name is obviously Richard Clay O’Connor, but he usually goes by Clay.
*He’s about 5′8″-5′10″ tall and between 25 and 30 years old.
*He had long blond hair that was shaved underneath as was the style back then.
*His dad, or the man he called dad owned a tattoo shop in Augusta.
*He had a foster mother he kept in touch with who was a cop for a very large teaching hospital
*He lived in Florida for a while (post foster care) with a family member that I think was his brother
*He also lived in Oklahoma for a while (post foster care)
*Worked at a KFC or Wendy's (cant remember which) way back when.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Happy Birthday, Luke!

Though Luke won't actually turn three until Aug. 1st, we had his birthday party on July 23. The pool that we belong to only does private parties on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We chose to to have it before his birthday instead of after because we wanted to do it before school started.

We had a lot of fun. We had a great turn out and all of my kids had friends at the party. Luke totally knew how to play the role. He sang right along with us during the "Happy Birthday" song. He told everyone else to close their eyes when he opened his presents. He wanted them to be surprised to. Luke's DI (Developmental Interventionist), Krista, knows him well. She brought the favorite gift -- a Black and Decker Leaf Blower. Luke will transition out of First Steps on Aug. 1st. We sure will miss Miss Krista.

My neighbor, Amy, took charge of my Cannon Rebel. My 6 year-old, Landon, took over my old Kodak Easy Share. Between the two of them, I had over 200 pictures of Luke's party. Below is a musical slide show of the night. Please watch to see how much fun we really had!!

Midday's Child Link Update

If you still want to view the Midday's Child post, you can. However, when you click on the link, it will take you to the latest news segment that WBKO wants to publish. You have to go through the pages and find the date 7/14/09 Midday's Child.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Midday's Child

Our local news channel does a segment on Wednesday afternoon called Midday's Child. It's purpose is to promote adoption and adoption awareness. This month, the segment focused on adoption success stories. Guess who the feature family was today!

Here is a link to the segment.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Landon's End-of-Season Baseball Party

We were in Sandusky, Ohio until Friday morning. Landon had to be back in Bowling Green by 6:00 for the Hot Rods game. His coach had arranged for the players to get to go on the field to their positions during the National Anthem. HOW COOL!

Well, we made it to our driveway about 5:45. We ran inside to give Chloe a quick bath and change the kids' clothes. Then, we loaded back in the van and went to the stadium. The boys had a few photo-ops on the big ball field while they watched the Hot Rods stretch. They also enjoyed goofing off with Axle, the mascot.When it was time for the boys to run out on the field, Landon got tripped. oops. He fell flat on his face. Bless his heart, he tried to go on out there, but he felt blood running down his face. He ran to me, instead. (I happened to be on the field with my camera.) I didn't really know what to do. I had nothing on me, except my camera. It was either my shirt or his. I decided my shirt would be better. Luckily, the trainer spotted us before I got too bloody. He took us into the visiting teams dugout and got Landon cleaned up. He missed the National Anthem. You know, the reason we had a time schedule for getting back into town. I was crying in the dugout because I was so sad for Landon. The trainer was very nice, though. After the National Anthem, he took us to the Hot Rods dugout. Landon had his picture taken with one of the players and an autographed baseball. He then took us to the gift shop, and I got to pick out a new Hot Rods shirt for myself.

So far, we're two for two on the Hot Rods game being more difficult than expected. Third time is supposed to be the charm. We'll find out next time.

Cedar Point Vacation

We had a great family vacation last week to Sandusky, Ohio. I can now cross out one item on my bucket list. This was a dream for me, but unfortunately, I didn't get to ride every coaster there. It's OK, it is worth the sacrifice to get to see my children enjoy themselves, too. Landon hit a milestone on this trip. He is finally 48" with shoes which meant that he had a full price ticket. He's not much of a risk taker, but he did ride a couple of big rides. Annie isn't much of a risk taker, either. She likes the small rides. Really, she likes the junk food. Chloe is too little, but she enjoyed the sights and the few rides that she experienced. Now, Luke, he is another story. He loves the rides. He is just barely over 36", so he isn't allowed to ride too much, but he loved what he did ride.

I've tried uploading vacation pictures to this post, but it keeps getting deleted every time I try to publish. I don't really know what is going on, but pictures will have to wait.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The consequence Jar

The last week or so, I've really been trying to tackle the tattle monsters. If you are my friend on Facebook, you've seen the tattle scores each day and the improvement my kids, specifically Annie, have made. I didn't do much intervention. I simply told them that I was keeping score and it was like golf. The winner will have the lowest score. Congratulations to 13 month old Chloe Beth for winning the tournament!

Anyway, during my cleaning binge, I felt as if I was doing way too much yelling and redirecting. I know that effective parenting doesn't include yelling and less talk is usually more productive. I've seen consequence jars on Super Nanny and Nanny 911 as well as in various parenting books that I've read. I decided to give it a try. I sat my 3 big kids down and had them brainstorm the consequences. Keep in mind that Annie's cleaning adventure was still fresh on the brain. Here is a list of the consequences that they came up with. Luke has a separate list because of his age.

Landon and Annie’s List
5 minutes in time out
10 minutes in time out
Go to room for 10 minutes
Bedtime 10 minutes early
Stand up and touch your toes
Pick out a snack for your brothers and sisters, but you don’t get one.
Pick out a piece of candy for your brothers or sister, but you don’t get one.
No computer time or Wii time for 24 hours.
Clear off the table and wipe it down after every meal.
Clean kitchen floor with toothbrush and non-toxic wood floor cleaner
Clean bathroom floor with toothbrush and non-toxic cleaner
Give your brothers or sisters one of your bedtime animals for the night.
Count your lucky stars, because you got off lucky this time--no consequence.
Do 10 push ups and run 3 laps around the yard
Do 30 jumping jacks
10 minutes of watching an “off” TV

Luke’s List
Pick out a snack for your brother and sisters, but you don’t get one.
Let Annie and Landon have 10 minutes on tractor.
3 minute timeout.
10 minute room time
No Sprout TV at night
Pick out candy for your brother and sisters, but you don’t get any.
No tractor for 24 hours.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

No More Play Time

I've said before that my daughter has a terrible time playing. When we make her go play, we are recipients of a crying fit that would make passersby suspect abuse. No kidding! If we want to be REALLY severe, we suggest she go play outside. Talk about cruel and unusual punishment! Well, I was on a cleaning binge the last couple of days. I was quite frustrated because I couldn't seem to make progress. I tried to explain to the kids that I could get things done a lot quicker if they would just go play. Poor Chloe Beth either spent the two day binge in my arms, in the pack&play, in the high chair, or sleeping. Luke managed to get into absolutely everything including acrylic paint, dish soap, and eggs. He even managed to write on my wall with mascara! Landon ceased the opportunity to play unlimited hours of Wii. Annie went all RAD on me. She started every little fight she could, broke all the little nit-picky rules, button pushing rules she could think of. And pretty resisted any encouragement to go play and have fun! (Side note: I also have ADD and am actually pretty proud of this gift. I take medicine that is quite effective, but there is always one week each month that the medicine doesn't seem to make much difference. This was the week!)
So, I finally get a "no, duh" idea. Why don't I just let Annie help me. I bring her too me and explain to her that I am going to be nice. I'm not going to make her play and I'm going to let her follow me around the house and maybe even work. I let her start with a magic eraser and Luke's mascara art. I know that having the artist clean it would be a logical consequence, but not this time. Luke wouldn't be able to do it and Annie actually wanted to. She was so happy about getting to work and not having to play. The wall that she cleaned is pictured above. She used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Funny thing, when she was almost done, the last part of the art revealed a capital A that looked remarkably similar to the way she writes her A. You know, Luke denied the work. That is unusual, he is usually proud of his adventures. That is when I decided that I needed to take some pictures. You can barely see the faint outline of the A on the wall. I guess I will never know who the true artist really is.

I was really searching for things Annie could help me with. I don't want four-year olds dealing with harsh chemicals. I looked around and realized that the bathroom floors really needed attention around the baseboards. I remembered actually enjoying the toothbrush scrub method when I was a kid. I pulled out my own toothbrush, remembering that I have a unopened new one that I got from the dentist this week when he yanked my wisdom tooth, and some Method glass cleaner. It's non-toxic and has a peppermint scent. I even let her spray it herself. Wow! What a treat. She really enjoyed scrubbing and rinsing the toothbrush. When she finished a section, she dried it with a towel. She did a FANTASTIC job and we had some great bonding time, and she even showed concern about my willingness to sacrifice my toothbrush. Go figure!
When we were finished with the two upstairs bathrooms, Annie was ready to take all the supplies to the downstairs restroom. I just cleaned the crazies out of it the day before. I would have let her go for it, but she had to be supervised and quite frankly, I was having some terrible stomach cramps. I needed an Excedrin and a nap.

Fourth (really 3rd) of July

Last night we went to the National Corvette Museum for the annual ThunderFest fireworks display. The destination wasn't really a treat because that happens to be the place of employment of the Sweeney dad. However, the event was a lot of fun. I've noticed that my kiddos are starting to develop the "I want and expect" attitude that I have tried not to teach them. We hadn't even made it out of the parking field before I heard, "I want to ride in the balloon, I want to jump, I want to go there, I want a glow stick, I want to go to the bathroom (Annie is FASCINATED with Port-0-Pots), I want ice cream, I want a necklace, I want, I want, I want......
Of course, they didn't get all that. They did get to go to the bathroom, but not in the Port-O-Pots. You see, when your daddy has a key to the museum, you get to go to the real bathroom that smells like clean linen air freshener! Annie was a bit disappointed. In fact, less than five minutes after she returned to our blanket after going to the restroom with her father and little brother, she says to me in true RAD form, "I didn't even get to go to the bathroom!" HA! How I wish that I would have thought about getting a picture of the darn potties!

They did get ice cream and glow necklaces. We simply didn't get there early enough to justify paying $10 a child to jump in the inflatables. I would have paid the $5/person to go in the tethered hot air balloon, but the line was entirely too long. So, the kids were a bit disappointed, but we went to celebrate our freedom and to see fireworks.

Landon has come a long way in the five 4ths that he has celebrated in the USA. He was terrified as an infant. He is still SO sensitive to sound. He enjoyed the fireworks and watched the entire show with awe, but he kept his ears covered through the whole darn thing.
Annie could have cared less. I'm not sure she was even aware that the fireworks were going off. Before the show, she kept telling me that she saw fireworks. She was referring to the glow of the hot air balloon on the other side of the trees. By the time the show began, she wasn't really interested anymore. Since her brothers were focused on the show, she saw an opportunity to take their glow necklaces and connect them all together to make herself a long necklace. I really thought she would have loved the show. I'm still trying to find something that really entices her. This wasn't it.

People asked us if we were worried about Luke and Chloe. They thought they might be afraid. We knew that they were the only two that we didn't need to worry about. Our youngest babies are definitely our risk takers. The music was the biggest hit. Luke like the fireworks. Chloe did hang on to me quite tightly, but she didn't take her eyes off the sky. She grinned all night long, and slept pretty darn good when she got home. I can't ask for more than that!