Monday, September 26, 2011


Gratitude=Great Attitude

And my dear friend Christine is talking gratitude today over at

You should check it out. I realized I have never shared my daily gratitude practice.

Warning: its hard.

My daughter has struggled HARD since August. HARD. Pee, Rage, scratching, biting, defiant, and plain ol' rude.

I am glad to report that she is doing 100 percent better at her new school this week! She loves it. The teacher says she has tried some of her techniques, but has been flexible and has had zero outbursts. So from one a day to none.

She is doing fine in common areas like the all school library time each morning and rocking in afterschool.

But approaching her in a positive, playful way during the days when she is being mean spiteful and obstinate.... Not so easy.

So during the first few months, when her rage was the largest, I made a challenge for myself. I now challenge you to try it.

Every day before I go to sleep I say "I love it when Baby __________". Something, anything! Could be "gives me a five second reprieve between fits!" "Refrains from biting during a rage!" Or on better days "draws me a picture!" "Gives me a hug!"

Then I say " I am grateful for my child because__________". Whatever. Again whatever I can think of that day. Even if its be cause "I never would have met Christine Moers, or Christie, or Gale, or Rachael!". I never would have known how awesome a grandpa my dad is! Or because " she completes me!"


Why is it vital? Because my child can not bond with me unless I love her unconditionally. She can not and will not attach if I don't love her with out fail. Every. Single. Day. Attachment and bonding is a two way street. And as the healthy person in this equation- I give more. And I sustain myself with gratitude when she isn't open to love.

Some days my only gratitude is:
I am so so grateful that my child is here with me and no longer being abused or neglected. I am grateful she is HOME.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Changes abound

So sometimes you get into something and doesn't work for your family.

Our public school experience has sucked rotten eggs.

Our "reputable" local school is one of the "top" schools in Big City.

I was there all the time- a lot. I ate lunch with my dear every day. Due to her food issues the amount of waste in the cafeteria freaks her out. Not to mention the sensory overload.

I communicated ad naseum about the correct way to communicate with a child who has PTSD and RAD. We met. We talked. They....messed up.

They withheld food from her on Aug. 31st. The second week of school. When they suspended her for her PTSD response to this inappropriate teacher choice- they let me see other documentation of "princess's" issues. In each instance the teacher had documented that she had yelled "NO NO NO NO" at my child. Wtf?

Last week my child came home saying the teacher threatened to set her on fire. The teacher had told her "you're fired!"

Now. I get that I am different. Weird even. I am a montessori teacher, and use positive discipline in my class- long before I was a therapeutic parenting.

But really? Shaming and yelling? Denial of food to a hungry child?

When I pointed out that this was inappropriate- they said they couldn't "shield her from the world". What? You mean you actually speak to other adults like that?

A teacher told a second grader in the first week in the hall "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!?!? SIT SIT SIT!"
Bet she is going to have a great second grade year.

A kindergarten class was walking down the hall- a little girl near the end of the line lost her shoe. She called out to the teacher. The teacher responded "KEEP WALKING! YOU SHOULD HAVE TIED IT WHEN I TOLD YOU TO!". Welcome to school kiddo. She walked on- one shoe on- in tears.

This school produces test results. And that's about all they are focused on. Completely inappropriate.

I struggled with regret- after all I choose this school. And if it were it not for funding- I would not have chosen public school voluntarily. I know what I am- a home school mom. But I am also a single mom. And I work. So she must got to school. And generally she likes school.

So after searching and reaching out beyond my initial search, talking to my adoption support group moms etc- I have decided to use Baby's old Emotional Disturbance label from foster care to get her a transfer to a small charter school I never even knew existed. The class she will start in will have 5 kids and 2 teachers. She has a goal of mainstreaming. But first she has to have these good people undo all the damage done in the last month by the first school.

So know I am learning the language of IEP etc.

Baby is crazy happy about the change. She will be in the same class as another girl from our adoption support group. That's keeping her on cloud 9....for now.
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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Boredom Buster Ideas from a 10 year old

I have recently quit my traditional, outside the home job to pursue freelance writing full time.  My amazing daughter asked for a writing assignment of her own.  I assigned "things for kids to do when they are bored".  Here's what she came up with. 

Things to do when you are bored?
by LDM, age 10

1. Color

2. Play game(s)

3. Write

4. Ride a bike

5. Read

6. Watch a movie

7. Jump rope

8. hula hoop

9. Look for rocks

10. Ask to go to the library

11. Make a list

12. Make something

13. Watch TV

14. Play with a friend

15. call somebody

16. Play spy

17. Jump

18. Play dress up

19. dance

20. sing

21. Draw

22. take a nap