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Friday, February 22, 2013

Guess who is driving now?

Our oldest son earned his learner's permit today! He passed his written exam on his first try and is very proud of his accomplishment...as he should be!! By afternoon, he was driving Mom around town and plotting and planning for his first car. Can't wait...

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Brothers and sons of different mothers

Tonight we have a houseguest. We are having a sleepover of sorts that will last from Friday to Monday. We have set up sleepover central in our living room where all such events take place. There is a pull out couch, a big flatscreen TV, and close proximity to the refrigerator and freezer. Junk food has been provided in the form of Pringles, ice cream sandwiches, etc. It's epic.

So who is the honored guest? None other than my oldest son's best friend from the other side of the earth. Imagine this...these two boys knew each other in Kazakhstan, then both came to America within a few months of each other. Four years later, they're still connected on the other side of the globe. Is that a freakin' miracle or what?

A few years back, these two lived  a very different life that...ahem...shall we say...involved more dark than light...a life with a pretty sketchy future at best. Tonight these two laughed a lot, swapped adolescent boy stories, ate Subway sandwiches, drank soda, and talked about cars and college.They've drawn pictures of pretty girls (Yes, they're both talented artists) and gone for a late night stroll through the snow covered streets.  Now they're watching a movie and eating Pringles like a million or two other kids here in the US. Tomorrow and the next day, they will go to the movies and/or jump on trampolines at SkyZone or find something else to do that's perfect for young men with boundless energy.

Can I just say that tonight I'm so very grateful for both of these young men? Can I just take a moment to count my blessings? Because I have a fair idea of how much each of these guys have been through to get here...and I know how far they've come. Tonight I drove my van home from the city after collecting our guest and listened to them talk in a mixture of 75 % Russian and 25% English...about school, about the future, about hopes and dreams...and they both have their doubts, fears, and questions...but OMG...look at them. They're here, safe and strong and healing...and they still have each other. Grateful doesn't begin to cover it.

Thanks, Anne, for making this happen. Your boy is safe here with us...and very welcomed!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day from a slightly dysfunctional perspective

For most folks, Valentines Day means flowers and chocolates and sweet sentiments. We do all of that too...but in our house where the specter of trauma and abuse colors our interactions, we also celebrate Valentine's Day by giving each other cards with sentiments like this:

It says a lot about how my PTSD kids have shaped my life when I see a card like this and think, "Aww...that's so sweet..."

Happy Valentine's Day from this Trauma Mama to each of you! Hope somebody's got your back, too.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What's new

  • We had a blizzard that dumped a couple of feet of snow on us and left us with mountains of snow to clear...which isn't really that much fun for a Florida girl who never even met a snow shovel until her 30's.
  • We had a blizzard that dumped a couple of feet of snow on us and closed the schools for 2 days. That means 4 days of unstructured time with kids who REALLY need structure. Can you say cabin fever on steroids?
  • My boy has had a reduction in his meds. It was worth a try..but it isn't working out so well. After just 10 days, we are seeing increased aggression and problems with focus, impulse control, and anger management both at school and at home. Called the med prescriber today to increase meds once more...better safe than sorry.
  • My sweet oldest son is struggling with anxiety and depression. He told me last night that he's ready to try meds. Huge step...so proud of his ability to recognize and accept that he needs a little help here.
  • My darling monkey is doing well in her classes...but recently she decided that she doesn't need an IEP, modifications, or support in spite of her FASD. Umm...she has come so far but SpEd support is a big part of that progress. Working on helping her to see that she is awesome no matter what...and a little help from an IEP doesn't change that.
  • Today was Fat Tuesday. That means a huge event at the kids' school for a service trip they do to New Orleans each year, building houses for Habitat for Humanity. For me personally, that meant I was up at 6:15am to put together a recipe for Jambalaya for the school fundraiser. I love my big crockpots...both of them...but I like them better after dawn. My Senior daughter volunteered me for Jambalaya duty...can I just say that college is starting to look good?  At least she shared my pain, she cut up 5 lbs of chicken breasts and a mess of Andouille sausage last night, wondered at how much work it was. Umm...yes.
  • Got a call from my youngest son's school today. After the snow days, he was too sleepy to stay on task and do his work. The message was sent that he would have to stay after school if he was too sleepy to do his work during the regular day...of course, that would mean less screen time at home. He got his work done and made it home on time.
  • I'm so tired...no, wait. That's definitely not new.