I originally started this blog a few years ago to chronicle Noah's daily struggles with autism. It was a dark time in my life - a time when I felt that things would never get better. It was a time when I felt that all my hopes and dreams for my son and for our family had died. In my efforts to help Noah recover from autism, I began a journey that inadvertently led me to rediscover myself. I learned how to laugh again. How to dream again. How to live again. How to love again.

Autism Schmaustism. He's still our son.

This is a blog celebrating our family. Our kids. Our life.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Ramblings from a Tired Person

I was digging through the kitchen drawers earlier and came across a stack of photos from when Noah first came home. He was, without a doubt, the cutest little thing I'd ever seen. He had these chubby little cheeks and a smile that could light up a room.

But the thing that struck me the most was looking at pictures of us holding him and how he made the best eye contact.

One of the things that we're doing for Nandi - in an effort to build attachment - is bottle feeding. I hold her in my arms three times a day while giving her a bottle.

She won't even look at me.

I hold Eli in my arms and sing songs to him.

He won't even look at me.

And then I find these photos of Noah - my sweet, little Noah - and he's making the best eye contact. And I can close my eyes and I remember rocking him hour upon hour and feeding him and he would stare into my eyes the entire time.. .with so much love.

And then it was stolen from me. Autism took it away from me.

My only child who truly bonded... the one who should have been at the most risk for not bonding (traumatic birth, lengthy hospital stays, and, in my opinion, subpar care)... he's the one who truly bonded.

And it's gone. And now I have three kids who can't even look at me when I hold them. And my heart is just breaking.

Ya'll, I'm just tired. I am so tired. This is just so much work. I'll think we're making progress and then we slide back even further than before.

I don't mean to be such a downer. I know that I still haven't responded to the comments from my last post. I'm behind on emails. Behind on blogs. I just want to take a really long vacation - by myself - and sleep for a week.

Okay, I'm going to change the subject.

In other news... and completely off-topic in order to not end this blog on such a depressing note, I have signed me and Noah up for a 10k run. Which is quite a shock, as my personal best is the quick sprint I did to grab handfuls of candy when some kid finally knocked down the pinata at a fifth grade birthday party.

Mainly, I'm doing it for a few reasons: partly as a fundraiser for Sarah, partly because I'm just plain nuts, partly because I thought Noah would enjoy the excitement of me pushing him in his stroller during a race, and partly because, for once in my life, I'm hoping that all this exercise will give me that tight ass I've always wanted.

What? You didn't think I'd lost my sense of humor, did you?

I may be tired, exhausted, and depressed.... but I still haven't given up on my goal to look like Jenny McCarthy. ;-)

Oh, and, uh, pardon my French....

I promise my next post won't be as depressing.... I made myself giggle and actually feel a bit better now. Okay, I'm laughing at my own jokes... obviously, I am tired.

Good night, sleep tight, and don't let the RADlings bite.

Oops, I did it again...

Okay, I've gotta stop. I swear I'm sober. Just tired. And will most likely delete this whole thing in the morning because of sheer embarrassment. It's like the ramblings of Sybil...

I'm signing off.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Where do I start?

Where oh where
Oh where oh where
Oh where oh where do I start?

There have been so many things on and so many different emotions going on that I am definitely going to have to break down this post into several smaller ones. Otherwise, you might all get overwhelmed... kind of like I've been these last few days.

And, let's face it, I'm not exactly known for my brevity, am I? And since I want you all to come back, I'll try to post several little "here's what's going on" posts over the next few days.

The first one will just be to tell you what our typical day has been like and why I've not been posting as much lately.

Basically, it's impossible to get anything done unless

a) the kids are asleep or
b) Sim is home

That's it, really.

Here's a scenario from a typical day...

Wake up around 5:30 and quickly check email. Look at Pilates DVD and wish that I could blink my eyes like a genie and have a super hot body. Put DVD down and vow to start tomorrow. Go to kitchen, put on the kettle, and make some coffee.

Child 1 wakes up at 5:45 and is in bad mood because he didn't get enough sleep. Or maybe it's just because that's simply how Child 1 is... don't know. He immediately starts yelling that he's hungry and demanding that I feed him and then starts a 15 hour marathon of incessant nonstop nonsensical chatter. "Is tomorrow Christmas? Do you see this rock? This is my pet rock. I want it to have a birthday party and get lots of presents. What did you think when you saw my pet rock? Did you think it was the coolest pet rock ever? Is my pet rock scared of thunderstorms? Can I take it to the store? Why can't I take it to the store? It's my favorite!"

Child 1 then spots a book. "This is my favorite book ever. Did I get it for my birthday? Who got it for me? Can I have another one? I want it to sit next to me at the table when I eat? Do books eat? What do books eat? Are books made of paper? What did the book say when it was made of paper? What did you think when you saw my book? Can I take my book in the car? But it's my favorite book ever!"

Child 1 asks, "What are we doing today? Where are we going? Who are we going to see? Why are we going to Walmart?"

5 minutes later, "Why are we going to Walmart? Where are we going again? Can I buy a toy? Why can't I buy a toy? Can I bring my T-rex? But it's my favorite T-rex ever! Where are we going tomorrow? Are we going to Walmart today or tomorrow? Is it Friday tomorrow? Is tomorrow summer? Is tomorrow Christmas? What are we doing today?"

Are you exhausted yet?

Child 1's nonstop chatter, bossing, barking, talking wakes up Child 2 which immediately puts Child 1 in a bad mood. Child 2 senses this and immediately starts digging into Child 1 by grabbing his teddy bear, walking next to him and "accidentally" brushing her hand against his head... which irritates Child 1 who then starts screaming.

Child 2 gets excited and grabs whatever toy is currently Child 1's favorite and runs around the room with it and throws it at him and hits him. Child 1, who once actually had a huge rage over the fact that an animal cracker fell on his toe, falls to the floor and writhes around moaning and shouting.

Miraculously, Child 3 sleeps throughout all of this. God bless Child 3.

Child 2 walks to the fridge as if she owns it and starts pulling things out of the fridge. Mom racks her brain for all the attachment parenting phrases that she's learned from the last few weeks and starts doing positive parenting.

Child 2 looks at mom, smirks, then takes a full box of cereal, tips it over, and shakes it all over the floor. Mom looks at the mess and either says, "Hmmm.. that was an interesting choice", steps over the cereal and carries on washing the dishes or calmly goes to the pantry and hands Child 2 the broom and dustpan.

Child 2 smirks, and pulls the dogs tail. Then goes over to Child 1 and hits him. Child 1 goes berserk and wants a hug. Mom hugs Child 1 and Child 2 goes over and start pulling open all the drawers in the kitchen and emptying them. Mom shuts the drawers and Child 2 starts throwing everything off the kitchen counters.

Mom calmly picks everything up or leaves it on the floor. Child 2 goes to bookcase and starts throwing books at Mom's body. Mom kneels down and hugs Child 2 and tells her that she loves her and will never leave her. Child 2 tries to poke out Mom's eyes. Mom says "No, we use our hands for loving not for hitting" and Child 2 bites Mom on the face. Mom loses her patience and takes Child 2 to her room and sits with her on the bed. Mom gets bit 7 times in the process.

Mom must learn a better way to carry Child 2.

Child 2 destroys room. Sheets are stripped from the bed, drawers emptied, the few toys that remain are thrown into the living room. Child 2 screams that everyone is "Stinky!!" and then runs into the bathroom and turns on the faucet and tries to flood the bathroom.

By now, it's 6:30 in the morning.

This scenario is repeatedly played throughout the day. And this is just Child 2, mind you. And I'm not even going into detail about some of the tricks that are pulled. Believe it or not, there are some things that I won't put on here.

Oh, and this doesn't go into the antics and rages and fits pulled by Child 1 either. I actually have started videotaping some of his rages. Man, I wish I could post them on here, but that would probably be a huge violation of his privacy. I know, I know... here I am posting about the goings-on in our house and yet I'm rambling about privacy.

I'm a woman of contradictions.

Child 1 actually raged for an hour yesterday and I finally got the video out and taped him. Five minutes after he stopped, he asked if he could earn a toy back from the garage and I said no. He looked me in the eye and said, "But I've been so good today." I walked to the bookshelf, picked up the video camera, and played back the tape. He just laughed.

Hmmmm....

Anyway, I know full well that some of you are thinking, "Why don't you bust their butt?" Okay. I hate to admit this, but we have busted their butt. And it doesn't work. "Well, you didn't do it hard enough." Ummm... no, we probably did.

Look, I've said for a long time... especially with Child 1... that spanking doesn't work. Star charts don't work. Taking away privileges doesn't work. For Child 2... she isn't attached to anything but her blanket. She breaks every new toy within 5 minutes of getting it. We have tried every reward system you can think of... and spanking... she actually thrives on it.

So what kind of child would actually want to get spanked? What kind of child doesn't respond to traditional star charts or taking away privileges???

A child with attachment disorder. Or a child with brain trauma or neurological disorder or psychological disorder.

The one thing that we picked up on right away in the books and the therapy session with the attachment therapist is that traditional parenting does NOT work.

The problem is that RAD parenting is like doing a new dance that I don't know the steps to or speaking a language that I haven't yet learned.

And, just like autism, it's a spectrum and there are so many different techniques to use and nobody can say, "Here's the one that will make your child better." It's trial and error.

I'll post later about why we think Child 2 (and maybe Child 1?) got to be how they are and let you know some of the ways we're trying to help them.

In the meantime, if any of you want to stop over for breakfast... we've got a new box of Gorilla Munch on the floor. Some dishes, too. Oh... and there's lots of reading material scattered across the floor, as well. Our floor is basically a one-stop shop. But you'll have to go next door to use the bathroom. It's flooded and we can't flush the toilet.

We're pretty sure a certain someone flushed down a bunch of wet wipes.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

JOY is....

Reaching in the freezer to grab a bag of peas for supper and rediscovering the Dairy Queen Blizzard that you hid in the back a few days ago....


What a Beautiful Little Cheetah


Isn't she gorgeous??!!!!

This was taken this afternoon at the Cedar Creek Arts & Crafts Festival. We held a fundraiser there to help raise money to go to India to work with Sarah's kids in January.

Tuesday, one of the teens going, did face painting. She did a great job! I'll be posting all the pictures and the total raised later tonight on the India blog. (Oh, I know - I promised that there'd be no more blog plugging. I'm shameless, aren't I?)

Anyway, Nandi decided that she wanted her entire face painted like a cheetah. Quite fitting actually... not that I would know firsthand that her teeth and claws are razor sharp. Oh no. Nooooope. Would know nothin' about that. (ahem).

But, you know, despite everything that's going on right now, you cannot deny that she is absolutely stunning.

Beautiful, really. She's just breathtaking, isn't she?

I know I haven't blogged much lately about what's been going on, but will try to do an update this weekend. Sim actually has Sunday and Monday off (Look! Over there! Pigs! Flying!) so maybe I can sit down for more than 5 minutes and let you all know what's going on.

We have high hopes that she (and we) will get through this. The alarming part is that the more we work with Nandi, the more Eli backslides... we are actually a little more concerned about Eli at the moment. RAD? Fetal Alcohol? ODD? We're not sure... but there's something going on. We've stopped seeing his old therapist and we're all seeing an attachment therapist now. She seems really cool and good... and we're hoping that we won't have to see her for long.

Why, you ask? Let me break it down...

Trip to Dallas: $12.30

Lunch for two at Indian buffet: $15.90

One-hour session at one of the only attachment therapists in all of North Texas: $195

Look on our face when we realized that we might go bankrupt over this: Priceless

There are some things in life that money can't buy, for everything else, there's Chapter 7.

LOL - Sim's going to be so ticked I put that in there. He thinks my jokes are incredibly lame. In fact, during our attachment therapy session, he would frequently nudge me, as if to say, "Will you stop it! That stupid joke you just told cost us 6 bucks."

I can't help it. I ramble when I get nervous.

Anyway, will update on all the kids later on this weekend. Noah is doing awesome!! We started a new therapy with him that I'll blog about it. He's doing great. He's still a sweet little, Anoop lovin', little boy.

Hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Greathall Educational Storytelling CD's

So, I promise that I will eventually get back to blogging about our daily life... the good times, the bad times.... oh, did I mention the bad times??? Could be that that's one of the reasons I've been MIA lately. Things are still pretty rough around here and I don't want to be a downer.

I am so glad, though, that I'm being kept busy with fundraising our trip to India in January. A friend asked me if I was still planning on going - in light of the things we've been dealing with regarding Nandi - and I said, "Uh, yeah!"

Truly, I am so grateful that I have that trip to look forward to - it's keeping me going. Otherwise, I could very well dissolve into a big 'ol puddle on the floor.

And that wouldn't be very pretty now - would it?

Anyway, not that I'm trying to pimp our mission trip blog or anything... and, yes, that may very well be the first and only time that you'll read the words pimping and mission trip in the same sentence... but we have signed up for a fantastic fundraiser that I wanted everyone to know about.

Have you heard of a really cool award-winning storyteller named Jim Weiss? He's the guy who did some of the Harry Potter audio books. You may have heard him talking on NPR. Or maybe you've bought some of his audio CD's from his company, Greathall Productions.

Well, they have agreed to let us do a fundraiser for our upcoming trip to India. Remember how a group of us are planning to visit Sarah in January and build a playground for her kids? Yeah.. well, it's going to take some serious moolah. Just to get us over there... that doesn't include the playground.

For every CD that we sell at $15, we get to keep $4 of that to go directly into our India fund.

Not bad!

I really hope you all will look at the CD's and check out the samples online. You can view both HERE.

Seriously, this guy is amazing. I can't wait to get my grubby hands on a copy of Just-So Stories. Our summer will be packed with therapy treks to Dallas and this will be perfect to listen to in the car. I'm also planning on donating a few CD's to our local library, and saving some for our homeschool lessons.

If any of you are interested, please email me at recoveringnoah@yahoo.com and we'll sort out the details. Just let me know what you'd like to get and I'll send you our P.O. Box. If you are local, you can just give me the money or pass it on to someone from church.

This will be an ongoing fundraiser, but our first deadline is set for June 15th. Once the orders are complete, the CD's will be shipped via priority mail within 24-48 hours.

Thank you so much for considering this. We really appreciate it! Oh! And please pass the word. Seriously, blog it. Facebook it. Email it. Shout it from the roof tops. These CDs rock and every home needs at least one. Or ten. Or twenty. You decide. Just link them back to our Cornerstone India blog or this one right here.

Now... I promise that my next post will be the full train wreck that has started to become associated with my blog.... ;-) It will include all the details of bite marks, bottle feeding, and how incredibly ticked off I am that attachment therapists can get by with charging $150 - $195 an hour simply because the need is there. Ooooh.... don't get me started........

Friday, May 15, 2009

Headed to India...

No, I'm not running away. Although I have thought about it....

The one thing that has kept me going is knowing that I'll be in India in January. I'm going to see Sarah! Whoo hoo. Insert major happy dance!

In fact, a whole group of us are going. Most of us go to the same church, but the trip is open to anyone who has a heart for God and a desire to help children with special needs.

Anyway, we've started a blog to chronicle our fundraising efforts. We have A LOT of fundraising to do. Not only are we trying to raise money for tickets, but we're hoping to raise enough money to build a playground for Sarah's kids.

If I recall, the nearest playground is an hour and a half away AND they have to rent a bus to take the kids.

Can you imagine not being able to just walk outside and hop on a swing?

EVERY child deserves the chance and the freedom to play. And we hope to help make that happen!

All of our fundraisers will be listed on our fundraising blog. You can find it HERE.

Tonight we're having a FREE showing of Stars Wars IV - A New Hope (aka the original 1977 Stars Wars movie). It'll be a "movie under the stars" and will be shown outside of Books-For-Less in Gun Barrel City. It's free, but there will be a concession stand and a donation table, as well.

Tomorrow, head on over to Brookshire's in Seven Points for a FABULOUS Bake Sale from 10 -2. Plus, you'll get to see all of us in our cute aprons that we bought off of Etsy. ;-)

Hey, wait a minute! Shouldn't you head on over to our blog and read about it there?

What are you waiting for? :-)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Shmuther's Day....

First things first....

I would like to sincerely apologize if any of you woke up at 7:15 yesterday morning to the sound of tires peeling out of a driveway and a crazy woman shouting

"FREEEEEEEEEEEEEDOMMMM!"

at the top of her voice in her best Braveheart imitation.

That was me.

I had the day off.

Whoo hoo!!!

It was a day full of self-indulgence... which basically means three things:

1. Friends
2. Food
3. Fun

It would have been even more self-indulgent but an early morning stop to the ATM quickly fanned the flames.

We be broke.

But, hey, not going to let a little monetary challengings dampen my day off.

No way, Jose.

Anyway, I picked up Tristan and we drove to Mesquite to get Christine - who was also mucho excited to get away from her crazy life - and we hit the town.

First stop: Arlington Homeschool Bookfair.

This is my third Book Fair. I have so learned my lesson. Every year I buy some hellaciously expensive curriculum only to find out that the child I bought it for has some sort of learning issue and needs specialized training. So, I bought two Critical Thinking workbooks that I can share between the kids, some modeling clay, and a few dry erase boards.

That was it. I was so proud of myself.

Our goal is to simply survive the next year. I am not going to sweat it. Math & English - that'll be it.

Anyway, we didn't spend much time at the Fair. I was starting to get overwhelmed. Too many fluorescent lights and estrogen in one place.

I needed some fresh air.

Then we hit the Scholastic Warehouse Booksale, where to my great delight, I got to see my friends salivate within 3 seconds of walking in.

Dang, I wish I'd had my camera.

We also managed to hit up Cracker Barrel, Schlotzsky's, Chik-Fil-A and Taco Cabana. Mmmmm....

I refuse to ruin my Mother's Day by stepping on the scales.

We had an awesome time. I really do wish I could recharge like this once a week, but sadly, it may be another year.

That's cool. I'm in control. Will not hyperventilate. It's all under control.

Now, I just have to repeat that 100 times until I believe it.

So, the most important thing, that I'm sure you're all wondering is ... how did the kids do with Sim yesterday??

They were good as gold.

Of course. Not one single problem. No fighting. No manipulating. Nothing. They actually cleaned the house - including the bathrooms. AND they took a nap.

I was so pissed.

Sorry, there's no other word for it. I love my husband. I adore my husband. I think he rocks the world. But I so wanted him to experience just a teeny, tiny little bit of what I go through each day.

Nope. Not a bit.

And it' so frustrating that kids with attachment disorders do this. AAAARGH!!!

Here's a good example. Sim gets up at 5:15 each morning. All he has to do is breathe and the kids are screaming, "Daddeeeeee!" and demanding to wake up. He leaves a few minutes later and I'm left with two cranky children who are up before the crack of dawn.

Our day begins early around here.

I, on the otherhand, managed to get up yesterday morning, take a shower IN their bathroom, dry my hair, let the dog out, let the dog jump on their bed, make tons of noise and they did not wake up at all. They all slept in - including Sim.

What??

Now, it's 5:50 in the morning. Sim is working today (thus the title Mother's Day, Shmuther's Day) and the kids are already up and plotting ways to make me cry.

Sim gets the golden children and I get the "I'm going to make golden puddles of pee all over your clean laundry" children.

In the words of Travis Tritt... It's a great day to be alive!

You know, I keep envisioning all of our therapists sitting around a pool in Tahiti, drinking pina coladas and mai tais, and laughing about how we fund their expensive and lavish lifestyle.

Anyway, gotta keep on movin'..... Keep on laughin'..... Keep on countin' down the days until they turn 18....


That's all. Must go. Must gear up for the day. It's gonna be a fun one.

By the way, I am back to drinking coffee. Of course I am. It's a RAD mom's best friend.

And by the way, Sim just left for work and gave me parenting advice on how to keep the kids under control.

Oh please. The only way things are going to change around here is if I grow a pair of testicles and change my name to Dad.

Am also trying to think warm, lovely thoughts about Sim's job... and the company that made him and all the other guys work on Mother's Day.

I imagine there are at least 50 other moms thinking warm, lovely thoughts about them, too....

Hope you all have a great Mother's Day!

If I don't get bit, kicked, or pinched today then it'll be a success. Who needs roses when you can have bruise-free skin?

;-)

Leslie

P.S. For those of you new around here... please don't take everything I say seriously. I am very tongue-in-cheek. I love and adore my children. I just have to infuse my sense of humor into it otherwise I'll sit around and cry all day. Capiche? Capiche.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Mother of the Year

My friend Julie - God bless her! - sent me a link today that named me "Mother of the Year."

You can view the video HERE.

Have ya'll seen this? It's awesome. You can enter in anyone's name, and even though I know it's computer generated, good grief did it make my day.

So definitely send one to any stressed out mom you know. I guarantee she'll love you for it. (Love ya, Julie!)

As for how we're doing... well, things aren't any better. I mean, of course they're not. This stuff can take years, but I was so hoping we'd be that one exception, you know?

No such luck.

I had to call the school today because we are seeing alarming behaviors that I had to warn them about. It's like she is going through the entire book of RAD symptoms. I honestly don't know where this is coming from or what triggered all of this, but I feel like we've just been hit by an avalanche. We had no warning (well. looking back we had all the signs, but were completely naive) and we had no preparation for this. It's just completely overwhelming.

Anyway, we're going to meet with the school. I want them to know what we're seeing at home because the last thing I want is for her to spring these behaviors on the school and have them call CPS on us.

That is probably my biggest fear. Is that the kids will be taken away over some false allegation or some behavior that we have no control over....

Fortunately, I spoke with two of her teachers this morning... okay, that's an exaggeration... I sobbed in front of her teachers and somehow managed to choke out complete sentences... and they believe that we have not hurt her and they are behind us 100%.

I know that sometimes I joke about this small town that we moved to... but the PPCD teachers and the diagnostician here have been fantastic and I can't imagine being any other place and having to deal with this. It really is a blessing.

Anyway, we are trying to immerse ourselves in learning everything we can. We're ordering some Guided Imagery CD's and some more books. Looking into doing tapping. Thinking about attending the ATTACH national conference in September. Trying to find a therapist... all while making sure that scissors, knives, and heavy objects are put away.

No. I'm not joking.

Many of you have asked how you can help. Honestly, just please pray for us - specifically me and Sim. We are patient people, but this is unlike anything we've ever dealt with. And we have two other children with various needs at home - and those needs are not being met.

Oh. And plates of brownies are always welcome. ;-)

Looking forward to tomorrow. I have the day off! Heading to the Homeschool Bookfair with my friend Tristan. Awesome Christine is driving down from OK to meet us and we're going to have a blast. I have warned Sim that I may leave early in the morning and may not return until late at night. I'm just going to soak it all in. Eat a little Tex-Mex. Maybe do a little thrift store shopping. And gab gab gab all day with friends. Can. Not. Wait!!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Hanging On...

Just wanted to let you all know that we are still here. Contrary to what some may believe, we have not fallen off the face of the earth. We are just going through a really rough time at the moment.

I've been debating about whether or not to post anything.. but then blogging is my way of dealing with things... so, I figure I may as well just write about it and get it off my chest.

Turns out one of our little munchkins has RAD. Oh heck, you all know who I'm talking about. I'm not quite sure the difference between attachment disorder and RAD, so she could possibly just have attachment disorder. I'm still learning about it all, so I don't really know what exactly is going on.

What I do know is that if you google it, you might think, "No way... there goes Leslie again... slappin' on a label..."

Trust me... trust me.. we have resisted this for a long time. We really wanted to attribute everything to her brain injury... but we just can't ignore it anymore. It's been 18 months. She has classic RAD signs that, like I said, we can't ignore anymore.

All I can say is that if you think we're crazy, then you probably haven't dealt with it before. A friend of mine watched her the other day and commented on sweet and quiet and shy she was the entire time. Just walked around holding a doll..

Hmmmm. you know, that's pretty interesting. There are no dolls in our house. Wanna know why? Because their eyes get poked out. We've also had to completely stop doing crafts with google eyes because she loves to rip the eyes off...

I want you to believe me when I say that you have no idea what goes on behind our four walls. No idea....

We love our little girl. Knowing that she has attachment issues does not change that. It broke our heart, but we are determined to help her get better... because this is not her fault. And we love her. Do you hear me? We.Love.Her!!!

It's funny, I know, that I haven't said her name yet... even though you all know who I'm talking about. It's like if I don't say her name then it protects her somehow...

You'll have to excuse me. My mind is so tired right now...

We have started doing some Nancy Thomas (no relation) attachment therapy and let me tell you... it's like we have unleashed a flood of demons. Not only in our little girl, but also our middle child. That one threw us for a loop.

It has been rough. I am being tested NON-STOP. Their one goal is to get me to lose control. Sounds strange, I know, but it's all part of it.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, they have not been able to break me, which means they are going to extreme measures to make me lose control..

Oh, yeah. Did I mention that kids with attachment issues target the mom??

Oh joy.

Anyway, these extreme measures are the reason I haven't been blogging. I can't leave their side. I literally had my first shower this morning in four days... My priority right now is making sure that Noah and our animals are safe.

We are even having to go so far as to put in surveillance equipment in our house so that we can keep an eye on them.

Just to clear the air, there is no sexual acting out. All aggression is physical....

As I said, we have to make sure that Noah remains safe.... enough said.

We will be starting attachment therapy with a therapist this summer. Honestly, we need another therapy bill like we need a hole in the head... but I do believe we're dealing with a mild case (cases?), but if left untreated, I believe it will get worse. (And thank you, Christine, for being my rock through this. I know you're been there, done that, still doing it... but there's no way I could've gotten through 5 minutes of this without having you on speed dial. You, too, Tristan!)

So, anyway, fortunately, Sim is right on board. And my parents agree. And so does the school. We are not way off-base on this one.

See? I told you to trust me.

So, that's it. We're one big dysfunctional family. Now... who wants to come over for a playdate?

P.S.: Please forgive me if you've emailed me, facebooked me, called me, or left a comment on my blog and I haven't responded. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE hearing from you - things are just crazy right now.

P.P.S. Lesson of the Day:

If you battle your stress by consuming copious amounts of pasta.. you will be too embarrassed to join the other moms at the pool this summer....

Not that I ate 5 bowls of bowtie pasta this afternoon or anything.

Who? Me?