"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

You Are Invited: Whine Party

Unfortunately, no mixed drinks will be served, unless you count Ovaltine mixed with skim milk.

Yesterday was a pretty awful day. Really, it was worse then when I had to have both my wisdom teeth pulled and a root canal on the same day. Really.

The day started off with me taking Victoria for a speech/feeding evaluation. After two hours, I was almost in tears. They assessed her at a 2 month old level. They said she would have to have all kinds of therapy many times a week. I began to feel panicky. They said I had to get her to eat five times a day. They said she must eat a variety of foods with lots of different textures and that she should be talking by now. I told them the child just realized that she could stick out her tongue last week. Could we give the kid a little time?

The day got much better after that. Elliot kept tormenting Anastasia so she threw some water on him. Unfortunately, she also threw the bowl, which shattered into a million shards of glass. Elliot somehow got a sharp piece in his foot. Blood was everywhere.

Francesca started to shriek. Victoria started to cry. Catherine was screaming that she wanted some lip gloss.

Isabella pitched a fit about the dinner I was serving. She wailed like a drowning rabbit.

Wait. Don't I have six kids? Where did this other one come from?

I considered giving everyone shots of Benadryl.

The doorbell rang. My neighbor told me that someone left our gate open, so now my three dogs were running wildly around the neighborhood.

Catherine screamed again about her desperate need for lip gloss.

Two minutes later, Anatasia slipped while holding her plate of food and broke another dish.

I was busy having an out of body experience, dreaming of Mint Milano cookies.

An hour later, the bathroom flooded when "nobody" forgot to turn off the faucet in the bathroom sink. The sink which is also clogged. 200 towels were used in the clean-up.

The highlight of my day was when I got to collect a stool sample from Francesca for parasites.

I made a midnight run to CVS for some cookies and they were out of Milanos!!!

I can hardly wait for tomorrow.

Please share your nightmare stories. No one likes to whine alone!


  1. Hmmmmmmm. I have a sunburn? and my external hard drive hates me and won't connect to my computer. so I can't access any of my awesome photos I took of the Reece's Rainbow kids! oh and my friend's cochear implant broke.

    Thats all I can offer. I suggest you eat some chocolate!

  2. Wow. I wish I lived close so I could help you for a few days! I hope your post tomorrow isn't about night terrors, sleep walkers, and insomniacs. Many Prayers for you and all the sweet babies :)

  3. O.K., I know you had the day from hell, but I cannot help but laugh because you have an amazing sense of humor, dear Catherine. If it were me I would have been convulsing in the corner of my closet speaking gibberish, THEN I would have gorged myself on Reece's Peanut Butter Cups.

  4. Why no mixed drinks?!?!?

    You DESERVE a drink!!!

    That was a tough one hon...hope tomorrow is better!!!


  5. OH MY LORD!!!!!! I agree with Carla - get this woman a DRINK!

    Well...I got attacked by a blogger for our adoption yesterday...

    It was my first time...

    I'm still pretty upset about it.

    Brooke Annessa

  6. It's been 100+ in Illinois ... yesterday my "broken" window on my truck decided to go down for the 1st time in 6 months when in a brain fart I pushed it's button ... then it didn't want to go up. The 2 horse-sized dogs continue to drain their water tank like water's going out of style, only to drool 1/2 of their drink on the floor mixed w/ a bit of slobber to cause an invisible, slippery puddle. The "nice guys" at church weren't so nice about a minor mis-communication, so 3 of them called to "discuss it" ... and the youngest had a swim meet in 100+ deg heat! Oh, & a PMS backache. No comparison to your story, but hopefully you get a bit of a chuckle from another's antics! God bless your family and the most recent poop pile! Oh yea, and I celebrated with not 1 but 2 Little Debbie Zebra cakes ... and then wondered why the scale mysteriously jumped up 2 lbs. in 1 day! I think it's time for a glass of Moscato & bed!!

  7. Rather than endure stool samples for parasites, I just assumed my adoptees had parasites and treated them with Black Walnut Hull powder mixed in honey. Looks like tar, but my adoptees liked it. Got rid of all the parasites. Herbs are cheap and easy. :D

    I've had days like yours. Days when I prayed: Lord, love them through me. I don't have the strength to be patient and gracious today.
    And He always did.
    "His grace is sufficient. His power is made perfect in my weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Cor. 12:9
    Praying God shows Himself mighty as you rely on Him.

  8. As a mom of just two (and I feel guilty just writing that to you!) I can totally empathize. I wok outside of the house 3/4 time, and there are times when I arrive to work covered in pee, food, snot...and times when I walk in the door and get the wind knocked out of me with the chaos in my home.

    Mint milanos really help, although I gave up sugar when I was pregnant with #2 and eating about 8 doughnuts a day....so I do my little crew without sugar (but beer once a week really hits the spot!)

    You made me laugh. It is usually at this time that older, more experienced mothers remind us that they will all grow up someday and we will miss these days. I won't. I promise. I will back in the relative calm and read a book. I promise!

    Hang in there. Praying helps in the moment. Laughing helps. Knowing that there is no such thing as perfection helps. Trying your best helps. Trusting that Victoria will grow and develop helps.

    Some of the wisest, most God-centered people I know are in Alcoholics Anonymous. They live One Day At A Time and it is something I cling to as well as a mom.

    Much love,

    a reader in Los Angeles

  9. You must be doing something right, Catherine. Otherwise the devil wouldn't be giving you such a hard time;) Don't give up. God still loves you, girl.

  10. Can I whine for a minute?

    My persistent ear ache turned out to be a massive infection in my jaw. I haven't been to the dentist in years, so of course, there is much work to be done. I have a pulled molar on one side with stitches, and a temporary cap on a molar on the other side. Some cavities were also filled. Neither side I can chew on. $3800, plus another $2k if I want to get an implant where my molar was. I think I'll pass.

    My mentally unstable, abusive mother came to visit, bringing my sweet 92 year old grandmother in tow. Grandma wants to meet the new baby. Must play nice in grandma's presence, and be my mother's verbal punching bag for a week.

    While treating my jaw infection with antibiotics, both my chest and the baby have developed thrush. Call the pediatrician and beg for anti-yeast meds. Baby is miserable, and won't nurse, and won't take a bottle. Can't sleep well. I'm not feeling so hot, myself.

    While waiting for my permanent crown, the temporary cap falls out. It's the 4th of July weekend, and the dentist won't take me in. My husband performs Pioneer Days Dentistry and holds me down, while gluing it back in himself. It doesn't fit quite right the second time around. It lasts exactly 24 hours, then falls out on the 4th, and I swallow it. Nerve exposed, there are fireworks in my head. Dentist still won't take me until the next day. I have a shot of whiskey.

    There is a phone call from my handyman. My house back East (in an upside-down mortgage) is a rental. The squatting tenants had finally had their day in court, and were physically removed by the bailiff. There is about $4000 in damage, back rent and water bill, which we have to cover. While the handyman is in the garage, he discovers something grisly and wants to know what he should do with the human skull he just found in the box. Get on the phone with the local police department. Now it looks like I won't be able to get a money judgment, because the tenant is going to end up in jail.

    My husband dripped hand sanitizer on my prized antique dresser, handed down from my great aunt. There is now a big, bleached line running down the front of it. I called a furniture refinisher. The bad news -- the finish was original, and they don't make that special finish anymore. He can put something "similar" on it, but it will ruin the value of the piece, and not quite match the other pieces in the set. He also informs me that there was a high value on this piece, as the set was only in production for one year. I don't know what to do now. I can barely look at it.

    My three year old chose this week to give up his nap.

    My baby has a consult for reconstructive surgery next week. He was born with a urethral defect. I'm panicked about worst-case-scenarios. It keeps me up at night.

    Yesterday, my toilet-trained son had a **big** accident on the playground. What to do??? I rushed him out of there and into the bathroom. We had to abandon underwear, shirt, and socks in the trash. I would've abandoned shorts, had he not been naked without. He howled and fought me the whole way out of there, trying to take off his poopy shorts, upset that the playtime was over. Drove home and had to disinfect him, the carseat, and the airspace in the minivan.

    My husband's now been away on business, and I'm juggling the kids here alone. In the midst of two crying kids, my neighbor comes to tell me, "Goodbye! I'm off to Fiji for the next six weeks!" She goes every summer. Lucky duck. Why can't I come with her??

  11. my 12 yr old broke his elbow falling over the handlebars of his bmx..then his 14 yr old brother lacereted(6inchlong) gash on his leg when the crank on the same bmx broke cutting him open with a slice of metal..his freinds mom freaked out at the pools of pumping blood all over her driveway and house called an ambulance..we met the ambulance at the hospital and when mom..me saw the bandage removed almost fainted 23 stitches later hes mending slowly..and since our troubles come in 3s our 5 yr old was bitten by the neighbors poodle the very next day..

  12. You need some Corelle dishes! My day. One kid stuck a gun in the toilet, it was a water gun so I guess that is one way to fill it up. One wiped buggers on the other one's shirts. Ok heck I can't even remember it all because I just sit and stare at my mailbox waiting for my mailman (USCIS). Then I get an email saying yep she has our papers sitting on her desk (for over a week), but she has not had the chance to look at them to see if that is all she needs :( I bet if you put your address up you will get lots of cookies in the mail ;o)

  13. Oh, my goodness. EVERYONE here has a crazy story. I won't even try to share mine.

    I think you have the best way with telling stories. I don't know how you stay sane, though. I still think of you daily and how much of a hero you are (well, ok, to me) for rescuing those girls, ... really, at a critical time in their lives. I know Francesca you said will need surgery, and you were worried about getting to her quickly, so I know there must be an urgency about it. And Victoria's need was so evident, too.

    OK, I think "aggressive" speech/feeding therapy is a crazy idea. Just my opinion ... your own gut instinct that she needs to go slower is obviously important to listen to. I can't imagine having issues most of my life with feeding, and then having anyone be so aggressive as that with "stuff" (food or whatever) in my face. Yikes.

    I always said that it didn't matter to me when my kids potty trained, because eventually they would learn. (When I had my littlest one, I realized that wasn't even an important thing, anyway - I'd gladly change diapers forever. Who knew?) But seriously. She has the rest of her life to work on learning to like (love?) to eat. And to want to explore things with her mouth. I know a little girl who was 8 or older (maybe 10?) when she finally learned to eat by mouth, but her life was too complicated - medically - to worry about working too hard on it before that point. And she had HUGE oral aversion because of her medical issues (trach, etc) and tube feedings, so it would have been distressing to force the issue too hard. It took a gentle, patient therapist with all the time in the world to get her eating ... and really it went very quickly, I think, mostly because she (therapist) didn't think it was a race.

    I just stress even thinking about being her, and of being forced/rushed to increase feedings. Does anyone around you have any suggestions for a 2nd opinion? Not all speech therapists are alike, believe me! I think trust yourself. You seem very instinctively wise and sensitive to your kids.

    I just ate a snickers bar for you, by the way. I didn't have any Mint Milanos.

  14. And I just re-read what I wrote and HOPE it didn't sound like I have a clue what you SHOULD do. Yikes. I just meant to say - go with what you feel is right. I think your instincts after spending all that time with them, alone, are really important. Sorry. I got carried away.

  15. Ahhh this is my whiny story ~I've written two long comments and somehow I deleted them!
    I need to make this really short. I was wondering shouldn't Victoria be at a two month level? She was left in a crib her whole life, neglected. Isn't the fact that she's gaining weight and smiling enough for them for now? The day her life began was the day you took her out of that crib.I just feel that she now has a mommy and daddy to hold her,feed her,and love her. Her life's been on hold for a long time. So to me it just makes since that she needs to go through the stages like any child.No one goes from newborn to two yr. old. It takes many months.The best therapy is being held, fed nourishing food,sunshine, fresh air, being loved, talked to, floor time. Everything she's been denied so long.She's coming to life before our eyes and she'll do all those things when she's ready.Rejoice in the fact that God spoke and you listened! They're here and they're precious!!!

  16. I know I SHOULD NOT be laughing but I'm so sorry I lost it when the dogs got out.

    The best i can add is when yesterday my two oldest were in a cat fight over a pair of underwear. I closed them in the room together to see which one would emerge the winner of the underwear. I had to give in to the whimpers of the older child begging for me to let her out. (without the underwear)

    Praying today is smoother. There's not much left to happen today.Just get that girl some lip gloss for goodness sake!!!!

  17. Ok, I had to laugh (and post)! Your day takes the cake!! REALLY!! I think it must be something in the air! I have 3 or 4 extra kids 3 days a week on top of my 3 and mine are the whiney ones. Besides the ongoing drama I had to confiscate my sons airsoft gun for pointing it at his sister (in the house) while doing this my daughter slammed the door on my fingers. One of my extra charges let our opportunistic dog out of the house (only one dog running thru the neighborhood!) I had the brilliant idea to break out the electricity kit for some quiet fun. hmm, lots of jockeying and fighting ensued. Later we went to visit my aunt at my parent's house. My cousin set her up on facebook and I proceeded to send her friend suggestions which she does not understand and she went completely nuts for violating her privacy and my dad proceeded to berate me, because I am the "red-headed stepchild" (aka black sheep) because I stay home AND homeschool my kids and don't send them to daycare for 10 hours a day and travel the country like my sister does.
    And consider it a blessing that you get to watch Victoria blossom just like a newborn! She was just existing in that crib waiting to be born! God is going to touch so many people just thru her story! (He already has!)

  18. Just sending you ((HUGS)). Good gracious dear you are a hero. You just keep hanging in there and we'll keep praying out here.

  19. Thanks for sharing Catherine! Does it help to know that your terrible day made many of us laugh? I've had plenty of days that went something like that. When a day is going that bad, you definitely have to give up and let everyone eat chocolate, play in containers full of water, and watch movies to their hearts content. My sister thinks it's weird that I still serve my kids food in plastic dishes - pretty sure you just proved my point - thanks! If I was your neighbor, I'd run over with some lipgloss (non-staining of course) and draino; and then grab all your soggy towels and launder them for you. Since I'm not, I'll just keep reading about, being inspired by, and praying for your family.

  20. Sweetie, nothing I can go through would ever match that, but you made my day. Seriously. I wish I was closer, but pick up my email and send me your address. I'll send you cookies, and goodies for the kids. I love to make boxes, and now that I live in Cali, I don't have to send boxes to my daughter anymore.....

  21. Goodness! I can't even imagine. I have one 3 year old and a puppy. Nothing close to that. I agree I did crack up. You made my day, even though you probably don't want to hear that :P Forget the therapist We all have seen such an improvement in those girls. I love see new pictures. Keep up the good (sometimes crazy) work. Your doing a great job!

  22. Catherine, my rotten day yesterday was a joy compared to yours, but I will contribute my whine as well.
    We took my husband to work, then came home to begin the epic saga of "I Don't Want to Go to Swimming Lessons-Day 19." I guess my 5 year old feels he swims well enough without any extra help. The indoor pool area was hotter than Hades and then I had the special surprise of an unwanted spectator (Grandma with her always non-functioning digital camera). She insisted on taking pictures of everything for the scrapbook that will never be made.
    We got home from lessons only to find out that my grandma was expecting me to come over to do yardwork for her (I didn't make the plans with her, so whoever "scheduled" me to help is getting the stink eye as we speak). I waterproofed all the wood items in her yard in 90 heat, only to come in and find my children with belly aches after eating a whole package of cookies--at 10 in the morning. But gram said it's okay, because they had them with milk.
    We got home, nobody wanted lunch, everyone was cranky because it was getting hotter and hotter. The dog was whiny, the kids were whiny, I was whiny. Then the C02 monitor starts going off. One of the kids went crazy with the cinnamon bathroom spray, so now the whole house smelled like someone pooped a cinnamon stick. I get my youngest settled down for a nap, then the monitor started up again and wouldn't shut off. What if it really was CO2???? I open all the windows, letting in all that muggy heat and my neighbors' cheap cigarette smoke, turned off the central air, forced the kids out onto the deck (they weren't happy with me at all) and called the maintenance dept for our townhouse complex. No answer. Great. Youngest was now crying, my daughter and oldest son were barrel rolling and wrestling on our tiny deck (apparently my daughter is of the opinion that her butt is not as wide as Montana). My husband called to see what's up and I told him...well I normally don't use that type of language. He has since forgiven me. lol The guy finally came and we found out that the detector was a dud. Turns out they've replaced about 40 0f them now. Didn't we tell you? he says. No. You didn't. Lovely. So glad we were safe.
    I got the house cooled off, husband caught a ride home with a friend so I didn't have to leave, the dog stopped shaking (beeps make him edgy) and the kids were calm.
    I look at the calender to see that all of our utility bills were due and all the offices close in half an hour. Was that what I was going to do today? I took care of the gas, the electric, and then got stuck behind a man that had the worst BO I've ever smelled. It was making me sick to my stomach. He was arguing about his tax assessment or something. Ugh. I get out of there, get home and find my brother in law at our house, for his monthly mooching. Double ugh. The day continued to be crappy, until my daughter told me that I looked pretty.
    Well, I feel better. Hugs to all my fellow whiners with wishes of brighter and less chaotic days to come.

  23. Oh.my.word. You are a saint! Praying that you have a few easy days to make up for that one.

  24. Wow, that is one crazy crazy day. I thought my days had been a bit rough lately but after reading your post I had to read it again. I am sorry to say it made me feel a bit better because I either enjoy good humor or I am just a horrible person who does not want to be alone in having a hard time dealing with adoption transition and lots of kids. You deserve a better day much more than I do.

    Your Victoria is so sweet and I love seeing her smiling pictures now that she is home. I would agree with the other person who commented about going with your gut instinct concerning the feeding issues. Did the people evaluating her have a lot or even any experience with severely deprived post-institutionalized children. I am betting you know more than they do. Now I could be wrong but telling you that Victoria needs so much intensive therapy right now seems a bit much considering how long she has been home. I say concentrate on bonding and getting what ever calories you can into her before you even begin to think about textures and the other stuff. I have worked with lots and lots of kids with SN and plenty of them grow up getting basically only Pediasure through a tube. Considering that Victoria is blessed to be alive right now and has been through he??, I would say you should have some time to enjoy her and she should have some time to get used to her new family and surroundings before therapy boot camp starts. If you start to feel guilty for not doing all the things these therapists recommend right now then just remember how much therapy (and more importantly love) Victoria would have been getting had you not adopted her.

    I have been a lurker since somewhere in the middle of your adoption trip and have been praying for your family.

  25. Oh dear. That's quite the day!

    I saw what you wrote about Victoria's feeding issues and the therapy recommendations. I have a 13 month old bio daughter, Molly, who has had feeding problems her whole life. There is no explanation for them, she just basically never learned how to eat/drink properly. The theory is that she may have some sort of muscle weakness or coordination problem in her mouth.

    Molly got an NG tube when she was a few months old, just like Victoria has. Then a month later she got a g-tube. We chose the g-tube because a ton of mothers on a feeding tube board I belong to said that the g-tube was so much easier than the NG tube for longer term use and they wish they'd gotten it sooner. And they were SO right.

    For months, our life had been constant doctors appointment, tests, weight checks, etc. We were supposed to get set up for various speech and feeding therapies. We were literally at some appointment two to three times a week. I was overwhelmed, exhausted and just DONE. Once she had the g-tube, I called a temporary halt to it all, so that I could just regroup and settle down and catch my breath. We went to her surgical follow-up and normal well-baby appointments, and that was it for a few months.

    Having the g-tube let us relax with the feeding issues. We no longer stressed about getting a certain amount of food into her, or spent all darn day trying to make her eat/drink. We gave her what she needed through the tube a few times a day. We gave her a sippy cup to play with. We let her try various foods when they were age appropriate. And eventually, without any of the numerous therapies or the stress that we'd had previously, she figured thing out. Over the last 9 months, she has learned to eat and to drink and we may even be rid of the tube in the next few months.

    I don't write this to say that you should go and get a g-tube, or to imply that g-tubes are miracle cures, or to say that all kids will improve without professional treatment. Rather, I just want to say that if you feel overwhelmed and stressed by the idea of treating her feeding issues aggressively, then don't be afraid to be less aggressive and just give it some time. She's been through a lot, and so have you. It may not be a bad thing to just relax and see if her issues start to improve without the aggressive treatment. As long as you have a way to get the nutrition she needs into her with the NG tube, then there's no immediate urgency. Start with whatever you're comfortable with. If that's no therapy for the next month, or just once a week, or whatever, do what you feel is best.

    If you ever want to chat about feeding issues, NG or g-tubes, or anything else, feel free to e-mail me. I'm always happy to talk with another mom in a similar situation!

  26. Ok, I don't have a horror story to share (not that I don't have any, just not that I can remember). I have been home with our daughter 6 months and I'm 5 months pregnant...surprise! She is number 6 and I'm now expecting number 7. That's why my brain has put any bad days out of my memory. I don't have the room for them!

    But, I wanted to put your mind at ease with the therapy. YOU are the mom. THEY are not. If that is too much for you to handle, do what you can. Get her to eat 2 times a day. Same food. When that isn't so much a struggle, add a different food. Then when that is not so hard, add a different feeding time. Remember, when she would cover her face with her arms when you laid her down? Does she do that any more? Does she know that there is someone in her world that cares and will love her? THAT is what is important. The eating will come.

    The loving is what is important right now.


  27. As bad as your day was yesterday, at least it sound funny in writing!

    Here's my whine..

    Our 14 month old, adopted, Down Syndrome son is back in the hospital for his millionth surgery. Poor sweetie.

    When this happened 2 months ago, our car died and needed $1000 worth of repairs.

    Our car died...AGAIN. Most likely will need many $$$ worth of repairs.

    The selfishness of people and the comments that some make, often take me aback. Sometimes...words hurt.

    Trying unsuccessfully to raise money to bring our daughter home from Eastern Europe and hitting one dead end after another.

    Today will be better, right???


  28. I think the most amazing thing has happened with Victoria already. Her eyes and face seemed so vacant before and now they are full of light and sparkle. She looks so happy. Keep up the good work.

  29. When I commented yesterday, I decided not to whine, but now I need to.
    We woke up today thinking the house felt a bit hot (it was 77). We were having the hottest days of summer while normally it's very nice here in the mountains of WV so we figured the ac was just having trouble keeping up. We went out shopping and to lunch at Red Lobster with my parents who are visiting for 2 days (the highlight of my kids life). While waiting for the food to arrive for like FOREVER, my 2 yr old starts whining to go home and laying down in the booth and GASP, yawning repeatedly. I've never seen him yawn before. 10min later the puking began, just seconds after our long awaited food arrived. He continued to puke on the way home. Once home he was desparate to just lie on the couch and watch cartoons and by this point his stomach was empty. Only problem, it was now clear the ac wasn't cooling at all. It was 83 inside and rising, so of course he had to keep drinking because he was so hot which kept the puke coming. He tried to nap but couldn't fall asleep due to the heat (by the way 83 feels really hot to us since it's not even that hot outside much of the summer here). Eventually he puked in his bed which meant I had to run the dryer to clean the the linens, adding more heat to the house. The repair guys informed me at 3pm that there were 30 people on the list before me and that someone could maybe come tonight or tomorrow and charge me time and a half. The puking continued. I started to smell something funny and realized that the toilet was stopped up ( for who knows how long). By 5pm it was 86 in the house, still puking, and husband has called to say that Lowe's is sold out of window air conditioners. He then preceeded to drive all over town to find the last window unit for way more than we wanted to spend because the cheap ones were long gone. Just after putting the puking child to bed who was EXHAUSTED by this point, the ac guy calls and says we'll be his last stop. Umm, the ac compressor is right under my trying-to-sleep son's window. He couldn't fix it - he'll be back tomorrow afternoon to charge us time and a half again. I can hardly wait, maybe it can be right during nap time.

  30. At least you aren't still in UA!!

    Aren't you glad to be home?!

  31. Here's what I have to offer but it still doesn't really compare:


    One suggestion: Get that girl some lipgloss!!!!! :)

  32. By the time I got down to the part about wanting mint milanos I was laughing hysterically. My day was bad but not nearly that bad!

    As for the feeding therapy. My baby was 8 months when we had her evaluated and we were told quantity quantity quantity. Well, it got so bad and she was so stressed out that she refused to eat anything then! Now at 17 months after much back and forth she is *finally* eating 3 meals a day...albeit small meals that are not enough to sustain life but come on its improvement. We dropped the therapy.

    I'd definitely consider the relaxed approach. Don't be pushy or she'll shut down...its been a month and she's doing great to have found her tongue! She'll get there...let the therapist know to back down or you'll drop them altogether!


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