Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Circle The Wagons!

It's been quite a wild few weeks. In addition to our usual madhouse, Boy 2 has been giving us a run for our money - both with behavior at school and here at home. Really, it should give me plenty to write about. I, however, have felt the complete opposite. I kind of just want to hole up, form the wagon circle, and hide.

Pioneers Crossing The Plains of Nebraska by CCA Christensen
Doing that for a little while is all right. I'm the type that likes to wallow in it for a bit and see if it passes. But, really, there's only so much of that you can do, especially when you're a mom. We need help. And I'm the one that needs to find it.

I remember - back when I had no children - when I had all the answers. It takes a firm hand and a loving spirit and the kids will fall into line. Kids behave the way they do because the parents aren't consistent enough. Oh, I was so smart then. I really miss those days.

Of course we have to be consistent. Let the consequences be the teacher. Of course we have to love them. We are the adults and we have to act like it.

But kids are different. What will work for one, will not even faze another. Kids' brains are wired so differently. And in our case, there are "brain issues" as well. I'm just going to say "brain issues" because there are some of our boys' stories that aren't for me to put out there for display on the Internet. 

So I went searching for help. I found help for myself rather easily. When we were going through our educational classes for foster care and adoption, there was a woman teaching one of the classes who is a Licensed Professional Counselor and I thought to myself, "I would totally call her if I needed help." 

It took a couple of weeks to work up the courage to call, but I did. And I'm so glad. She has so much experience with adoption and parenting kids with special needs and just parenting in general and the need to put on your own oxygen mask first, as hard as that can be.

Finding help for my little peanut has been a bit harder. The names I had selected at a clinic that takes our insurance didn't have any openings. I had been doing some other research to find a counselor that would accept our insurance and that would have experience with "brain issues" and adoption. 

The school and, specifically, Boy 2's teacher has been so good to work with. She has some personal experience (also not my story to tell) that helps her to understand our position and that means so much. I feel incredibly grateful for both of our boys' placements in school this year. How a teacher responds makes such a difference.

Yesterday, I heard from the clinic and we have an appointment - with one of the top names on my list! It's not for 3 weeks, but we have a date. I know things take time, but I'm feeling like I can see the light. And hopefully, it's not the train. ;)

We already know that I don't handle stress well. Wallowing and a tendency for comfort eating are not a good combination. I was feeling pretty good because I had been able to at least maintain my most recent weight loss - until this week. I'm sure hoping it is some water retention, because almost 8 pounds is a lot to gain in one week. I didn't log it into My Fitness Pal yet. I'm just trying to drink a lot of water to flush out my system and see how it goes. I haven't been logging in a lot of things on My Fitness Pal, lately. I need to find a way to keep track that doesn't take up so much time. 

Exercising would help manage my stress. So that comes back in this week. And Lobster is home from another trip. It's really nice to be all together again. We love having that man home. I'm pretty sure he's just got one more this year. 

This past week was pretty busy. While Lobster was away, I spent a day with Boy 2 at school, babysat, 2 boys' soccer practices, appointments, volunteered at the school and did a Halloween Food demonstration at a church event. Would you like to see my table? I sure had fun doing this!

I made stewed monster toes, apples with ogre snot (sorry mom!), eyeballs on a stick, Dracula's dentures, pickled brain, cheese witch fingers, french fried spider legs, and bloody band-aids. It was fun and the boys really enjoyed the left-overs. And I have to admit, that so did I.

I'm feeling good and hopeful. I love my little family and we're having a bit of a rough time right now. But we're getting the help we need. I heard somewhere that one sign of maturity is knowing when and how to ask for help. Maybe I'm finally feeling like a grown up. I can't solve everything with a hug, a kiss, and a pat on the behind. I can't even solve it all myself. And that's OK. 

It's OK.

I think I can let the wagon train loosen its circle. I'm ready to get back on the trail.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Halloweening It Up

We are Halloweening it up around here. Halloween and Christmas are my favorite holidays to decorate. With all these boys around, I'm not really into cutesy decor. I don't necessarily want to permanently damage the minds of small children, but I want it a little creepy around here - at least more creepy than normal. I love that not dusting actually helps with the ambiance this season.

I should really have this sign up year round. It's a good warning that all who enter my home should have. BEWARE: There will always be laundry on the couch and a floor in need of a sweep and wash.

As you enter, watch out for the spiders. I don't feed them this time of year. They get plenty of trick or treaters on Halloween. I'm taking applicants for a family of snakes to take up residence in the bird house. You can't see them (because they're still in my living room), but some bats are also moving into The Bat Motel on the ceiling in the entry way.

 Thanks to my 3-year-old nephew for assisting me with the spiders and web. He was a BIG help. I'm working on a spooky section of the yard as people enter with ghosts and ghoulish creatures and bright eyes in the shrubbery.

Inside, the mantel is loaded. 

I love this corner of the room,

In the bowl is a lovely collection of eyeballs, disembodied ears and fingers and bugs - lots of bugs.

But my favorite find at the Dollar Tree this year are the holographic portraits. I'm bummed with how terribly the pictures turned out, but I had to show them.  I make everyone look at them when they come over. 

The cheap plastic frames aren't great, but I love how they change when you move.

It reminds me of the old scary movies when the painted portrait's eyes would follow the characters walking through the home. Don't you love them?

I've gotten a lot of ideas for Halloween decor and food from Pinterest. It's a great resource for tons of great things in one place.

On the weight loss front, I've been a bit derailed. I had a binge a week and a half ago. All because of a stupid bag of potato chips. I'm back on track, but it's hard to just let it go - and stop thinking about those chips. Bah!

I'm not sure why I seem to sabotage myself whenever things are going well. I was feeling so strong and I was LOSING WEIGHT again. Sigh. 

I've just got to keep going every day. And no more potato chips. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sucky - Yeah, I Said it.

Late last week I started writing a post about guilt. And I just may finish it someday. But that won't be today.  You may notice that I am a few days late with this post. And I feel really guilty about that. (winky, winky)  But I am totally wiped. I've been sitting here by my computer staring at the pile of laundry to be folded waiting for me on the couch. And by staring, I mean glaring; and by waiting, I mean taunting unceasingly.

On a completely unrelated note, I read an article about the over-use of commas. Now I'm afraid to use them. I am totally a comma abuser. Is there a 12 step group for that? I need to go back to 7th grade English class. What's funny, (or not, actually) is I've been kind of snobby about it when I read. So, yeah. Sorry. Add it to the list of stuff I thought I knew but really don't. I have a friend who is a middle school English teacher. I'll have to ask for some lessons.

Lobster went out of town Sunday morning. The only good things about that is that I get to park in the garage and no one thinks it's weird when we eat cold cereal and gyoza for dinner.

I hate when Lobster travels. Well, maybe hate is too strong of word. I dislike Lobster's travels. Add on boys' endless arguing, a hailed out soccer practice, too little sleep, and Boy 2's behavior issues at school and it equals a sucky week.

So last week we threatened that if Boy 2 could not control his own behavior, we would have to control it for him. We would do that by attending school with him. 

Guess who didn't control his behavior?

Guess who wasn't out of town and got to attend the first grade - not once, but twice so far, this week?

I'm hoping that I don't have to make a third or fourth... Fingers crossed.

I saw this on a friend's Facebook timeline:

It totally cracks me up. I want it. This is me on a mug. There are several for sale on Amazon and other online sites. I just have to pick which I like best. LOVE it. Maybe I'll just hint a lot and it will show up in my Christmas stocking. Yes, I just mentioned Christmas. I just got out the Halloween decorations. Doesn't that make it time to start talking about Christmas?

I get to spend the morning with my nephew tomorrow. I'm hoping he'll help me with my "spooky" Halloween decor. I love hearing him say "spooky."  And if you are into Halloween decorations, check out Dollar Tree. I scored some great stuff. The cashier said it disappears fast, so hurry in. Once I'm put together, I'll try to get some pictures.

I'm going to bed. I can't take the laundry taunting me anymore. That will show it who's boss. Take that, laundry. And tell your friends.