Friday, October 31, 2008

Tooth Fairy Cover Up

Hezekiah lost his second tooth two nights ago. It all happened too late, we called the tooth fairy that night, but she wasn't able to make it on such late notice. He wasn't too upset, they have all had this happen. Sometimes, she doesn't make it because we live in a rough neighborhood, and she couldn't make it.

The weirdest part about losing a tooth in our house, is that the kids know not to let Akila know. You all know the excitement that occurs when a tooth comes out. The kids use to want to call Grandma, the National Guard and alert the media. They have learned to only exhibit their excitement when she is in the other side of the house, and make their phone calls in secret. The reason; Akila steals their teeth from under their pillow before the tooth fairy comes sometimes. This is especially devastating on a night when the tooth fairy is not able to make it to our house, and they wake up to no tooth and no money. So they have learned not to let on to Akila that they have lost a tooth.

It is interesting watching the kids with Akila. There are certain things like the tooth thing, that they have learned very well how to deal with her on. Then there are all the other things I wish they would learn. Like to just ignore her when she rolls her eyes at them, or says something snotty. I have been trying to teach them not to engage with her, as she is looking for a fight. Interesting. I don't know why they can't learn this concept. I have done so well at it myself. NOT!!!

I must say, that Akila has had an exceptional month, and I don't think I have ever been able to say that. She has had good days, and even good weeks, but never such a long stretch. That is not to say that we haven't had our rages and battles, we have. But nothing too over the top. Last night we had a pretty good rage. Michael was working late and I was labeled evil mom and told that she hated me and lots of other horrid things. While she was in her room trying to calm down, she brought the phone with her and called dad. He was on his way home so she left him a message. I walked upstairs and heard her going on and on about how awful I was and how much she missed him and loved him. Sadly, I found it to be hilarious.

This really doesn't phase me anymore. About 6 months ago, Michael was shocked to learn that she does that, talks about how much she misses him and hates me. She does this when I'm gone and Michael is in charge. She does it to whomever had just made her mad and said the dreaded "no" to her.

Today is Halloween, and there is no school. Can't say I'm super happy about that, but I'm sure the teachers are relieved. We had an interesting start to the day, with losing electricity. When this happens, it tests my patience in a whole new way. Akila doesn't lose it and rage, she loses it and goes manic. Talking non-stop, running around the house trying every thing electrical or battery powered, reporting what works and what doesn't. It took all of 5 minutes before I called the power company. They had a truck out and we got our power back in an hour. If any of them had a kid like Akila, they would have been out faster and had it on in a half hour. If we ever get hit by a storm and lose powers for days, I'm pretty sure we would have to go to a hotel, or at least I would.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandma Kathy!!

Today is Grandma Kathy's birthday. I have written before of our next door neighbor Kathy, who is like a mom to me, and a grandma to our kids. She has been working with each of my kids for months and teaching them how to sew, and they have each sewn a quilt with her. She sent them off to a lady to put them together and do the stitching, but the kids with Kathy's assistance sewed all the pieces together, and cut them. I don't know all the technical words for quilting, but they are amazing. She chose fabric that matched their personalities or interests. Here are some pictures.

Hezekiah's quilt, above, has dinosaurs on it. Below, Akila's quilt has flip flops on it, and she is the fashion queen who is obsessed with shoes. Perfect fit!

The picture above, has one side of Zeke's quilt, which has frogs on it, which he loves. He also loves the Hungry Caterpillar book, which is what is on the other side, below.

Imani loves purple, and rainbows. Hers is a perfect fit as well!

Yes, I know, I still haven't gotten the wallpaper off in Akila's room, as evidenced in the picture below. The bathroom remodeling has gotten in the way. But isn't her quilt adorable? It will help to pick out colors for the walls.

Below, you can see them each holding a cute little photo album that Kathy made for them. She put the fabric from their quilts in them as the cover, and put pictures of the process inside the albums.

I feel so blessed. I had a great mom for the first 36 years of my life, and the Lord has blessed me with Kathy as well, who is like a mom to me. She is a retired special ed teacher (although she is always working still!), and is fabulous with my kids, and not at all judgemental about our challenges with Akila. Thanks Kathy, have a wonderful birthday. Know that you are loved dearly by our entire family. The kids were so excited on Saturday when she presented them with their finished quilts, and the photo albums. Zeke said that it was the best day of his life. And he was very proud yesterday morning that he had not peed on his quilt. Cute!!

OOPS- I forgot to mention that the kids also sewed matching pillow cases with Kathy. They really add a lot!!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hairy arm pits

God help me. Akila just came running to me freaking out, with excitement, saying that she is growing hair in her arm pits. She really is. I am not ready for her to go through puberty, ever. She is quite excited, and I can guarantee, that she will show everyone at school on Monday, and all the neighbors; despite all the conversations we will have about private things. Siiiggghh.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Should have posted 6 hours ago

Five or six hours ago, I was so pleased. The sleepover went well last night, and today went very well as well. My neighbor friend, DeDe, called me this morning. She is sick and was heading to the Dr., wondered if I could watch her 4 kids. I did hesitate for a minute, and then said what the heck, what's four more? They came just before 11. I fed lunch to 10 kids. It went amazingly well.

Imani's friend, Izzy, arrived around 3:00. Akila had been great all day, with only a few little issues. Imani, Izzy, Akila and Olivia (DeDe's daughter), all played beautifully together for a few hours. It was really fun to watch. It is quite rare that Akila can interact with other kids this well, especially if Imani is in the group. Imani is the sweetest, nicest girl, who shares and is very giving. But Akila is so jealous and has a hard time with it.

DeDe's kids left around 5:30, Noah, Hezekiah's friend left at the same time. I only had to feed 6 kids dinner, and we ordered pizza. We decided my nephew would stay one more night, he is a really sweet and easy boy. I like that combination. Akila's friend Abbey couldn't get here until 8:00, after a soccer game. The four girls played nicely together for over an hour, and then we hit meltdown stage, BIG TIME!!!

I had just put a movie in for them to wind down to, brought the boys upstairs to wind down and go to bed, and Akila could no longer keep it together. Michael and I tried every creative thing to help her keep it together, but it was too late. We spent an hour and a half in her bedroom with her while she raged. She became destructive, trying to break her bed, her dresser, anything she could grab. The 3 boys were across the hall and were suppose to be quieting down and going to sleep, but it would have been impossible.

And it was all Imani's fault; if you listen to Akila. She was furious with her sister, who had done nothing. She was yelling horrific things, like "I'm going to go down and kill her after you go to sleep", and other violent things. It is so hard to listen to that. When she is like this, it does no good to respond to her, or to try to reason with her. She is completely out of whack. But she sucks me in. All I can say, is that it was a long hour and a half.

I did have Imani and Izzy come up to Imani's room to sleep, and had Akila calmed down enough to go to the family room to sleep with Abbey. Abbey even mentioned that this is the worst she has ever seen Akila. Not a fun way to end a day, but I am really proud of Akila despite the bad ending. She was amazingly good for over 12 hours, and that may be a record she has set. I basically set her up, and this is why we do not do sleepovers very often. I usually try to do them when Imani is gone on a sleepover somewhere else. It is a tight rope we walk around this house.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sleep Overs

It is the long MEA weekend. I'm not ready for it. I have no choice. We have two extra boys tonight for a sleepover, my nephew Isaiah, and Hezekiah's friend Noah. Lots of screaming for a bunch of boys, I'll tell you that!! Akila is in hyper-overdrive. I have her in her room watching a movie on the mini DVD player right now, as I'm trying to get them all to calm down, especially her.

Tomorrow night, Akila will have a friend sleep over and hopefully Imani will also. I will be completely worn out by Friday. Why do I do this to myself? I do not know. I loved sleep overs when I was little, I practically had one every weekend, seriously!!! But I was like an only child, my brothers were 7 and 14 years older than I, so my parents were glad to have someone for me to play with. I find sleepovers to be tiring, and very difficult with the Akila dynamic.

But wow the kids love them. And I was able to get the boys to clean the family room and their bedroom this afternoon with no whining. That is nice.

Thanks for the birthday wishes yesterday. I had a nice day and my memory is acting 40. I forgot to give Akila her meds this morning. I won't forget tomorrow (especially since she will be home all day).

Monday, October 13, 2008

You're all invited

It is less than two weeks until the fundraiser for my friend Bernard's children. I am going to put the information here in case any of you can make it. Thanks to all of you who have donated items for the silent auction!!

Join friends and colleagues of
Bernard Gill

for an evening of
~ music, the arts, entertainment, and a silent auction ~
(suggested donation at the door: $10)

Saturday, October 25
5:00 – 10:00 p.m.

TIES Building, Grand Hall
1667 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul, MN
(on the southwest corner of Larpenteur and Snelling,
just north of the state fairgrounds)

When longtime NYLC staff member Bernard Gill died last April, his four
children were left with a strong legacy of Bernard’s devoted fathering,
community spirit, and endless humor. Because Bernard wife died of breast cancer
in 1998, the children are in a particularly challenging situation.

Please consider joining colleagues and friends of Bernard’s for this
special event.
All are welcome to stop by and bid on a silent auction item, or stay and
listen to local artists. Food will be served with all proceeds going the
Bernard Gill Children's Fund.

• For more information, see
• Help spread the word by linking to the Facebook cause at

Water Fountain

Yesterday, we celebrated my birthday which is actually tomorrow. I am not like my friend Juli who won't tell anybody how old she is (she is 39), I have no issues with my age, yet. But I will be 40 tomorrow, and other than how weird it sounds, I'm OK with it.

I was craving my favorite salad which is at Tony Roma's and their only location now-a-days is the Mall of America. Good thing I love rides and Nickelodeon Universe has some great new ones. We ate, rode a few rides, played in Lego Land and had a pretty good time. The kids were good, Akila wasn't too bad, even with me forgetting to give her meds before we left (maybe 40 is going to be painful).

We got ice cream for dessert and were sitting on some benches eating it. There was a water fountain and we gave each kid a penny to put in it. Then as we were leaving shortly after that, we realized that Akila had a handful of coins and hat taken them out of the fountain. Michael was furious, I had a hard time not laughing. I was annoyed with the two of us for not keeping our eyes on her enough. Imani ran the coins back and put them in their place.

The truth is, we have had two weeks of really good behavior from Akila. What is funny when I say this, is that it is still not what most families would call good, or normal. Far from it. But the rages have been short, and the struggles have been fewer. There has been more cooperation on simple things that are usually a struggle. Getting dressed in the morning, taking meds, going to bed, eating meals. She asked for gum last night and I said no and she said OK. That is very unusual. There had been several other times over the weekend she had asked for gum and I said no and she kind of freaked out. It is rare when she does not freak out when told no.

We have still had unusual behavior that is not age appropriate. Like when we went to the park on Saturday, and I watched her go behind a tree and realized she had her pants off. I was about to walk over there when I saw her shaking the pants off. As I was walking over there, I could see that she also had her underwear off, and was shaking them off. She then put it all back on as I was approaching. She had gotten sand in them and couldn't stand it. I talked to her about other options, like asking me for help so we could make sure she was more hidden when shedding her clothes.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Miss Manners

Little Akila thinks that she is Miss Manners. I can't even count how many times lately she has gotten enraged over one of her sisters chewing too loudly, or not covering a sneeze. It is getting totally annoying.

This morning, she was obsessively yelling at Imani for chewing with her mouth open, as it was too loud. She was perseverating on this fact. She has done this many times in the van if any of the kids are eating something, and did it at the dinner table last night. It is driving me nuts. Sometimes she actually has a point, but get real!!! Then what happens, is whatever kid she is hassling about their chewing or coughing or whatever it is, starts to try not to chew with their mouth closed so she doesn't win. I can't even blame them.

This is coming from the girl, who when she sneezes and has a snag of snot hanging out of her nose, runs around the house until everyone has seen it. This from the little girl who obsessively picks any bump, cut or minor owie on her skin, until it bleeds and shows everyone. This from the girl who loves to open her mouth and show the food off that she is chewing. The girl who loves to have food dripping down the side of her mouth and shows everyone. Yet, if her fork touches the dining room table, it is contaminated and she needs a new one. It is hard to keep track of what manners she is interested in from one minute to another. But the chewing with the open mouth is one she is currently obsessed with.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Akila brought home a flyer from school about playing an instrument in the band. We are suppose to work with her to choose an instrument and turn the form in. She is really excited about playing in the band, but there is no way it would work out, for so many reasons.

We tried her in piano a few years ago, and we only tried it for one quarter. She would never practice, it was a horrible struggle to get her to practice and since it is more important to focus on homework if we want to struggle, we chose homework. Plus, with her dyspraxia, she struggled with the piano. Her fingers would lock up and I would try to spread them out on the piano keys and she just couldn't get them to do what she wanted them to do. Which would really frustrate her and insight a rage, even when I was being a super calm mom.

So this morning, she unfortunately remembered the form just as she was leaving for school. I told her that dad and I wanted her to focus on dance instead of band since she was such a talented dancer. She was quite mad, but did not go into rage mode. Praise the Lord!!!

Last night was her dance class, which is 2 hours now that she is in 4th grade. She has been handling this really well and last night I let her stay for the danceline class also. Three straight hours of dance and she did great. She really does have a gift in the area of dance. Praise the Lord again!!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Working Hard

Above is Hezekiah helping me demolish our bathroom, do you like his spy glasses-we needed some protective eyeware and this is all we could find. Below Akila is helping daddy bundle some branches

Above, Zeke is making a PBJ on the floor, very sanitary. Below, he is working on homework, which he is obsessed with.

Above, Imani is mowing the lawn
Above, Akila is helping to trim the rose bushes, notice how they go along the wall and are pretty thick. I had to leave to bring Zeke to a bday party, and told Akila if she finished the roses, I would pay her a dollar. Below if how they were when I returned, she did them perfectly.

Above, Imani and Hezekiah are on a little part of our roof cleaning the gutter. Imagine the beating of my heart when I came around the house and saw them up there. I told Michael that I should call child protection on him. Yes, he has them vacuuming the gutters, that's my man!! Someday I will get a picture of him vacuuming the lawn mower.

We had a pretty good Saturday, spent the majority of the day in manual labor and the kids did a pretty good job. Zeke didn't get his hands too dirty though, he was at a birthday party for most of the afternoon. He has been really fun with homework. He is obsessed with it and wants to do it every night. He gets one sheet a week of homework. I bought him a kindergarten math workbook, and the first night, he finished 42 pages, slept with the book, worked in it in the morning and wanted to bring it to school. I said no. He came home from school and completed the entire book.

I told Hezekiah's teacher when we were chatting, and she sent him some homework on two different days last week and he completed each packet each night. I hope he is always this excited, none of my other kids are or ever were as excited as he is.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Oh Yeah

Oh yeah, I forgot to blog that Thursday did not go as smoothly after school as the rest of the week had. We had a few rages, but nothing to write home about (or in the blog about). So the really excellent behavior streak ended, but she still has not been too bad. And for that, I am thankful.

Today, other than the previous post when I wrote about her creative photography, she was pretty good. We were doing a lot of physical labor, I'll try to post some pictures this week of our hard working day. Right now, I can feel my heart beating in my shoulder, an indication of the toll the physical labor is taking on me. I am almost 40 after all(10 days to go).

Two freaky things

When I woke up this morning, I came out of my room to hear Hezekiah at the top of the stairs mumbling to himself, he sounded angry. I asked what was up and this is what her mumbled; "Dumb Akila. She is so stupid. She stole my camera and took pictures of her vagina." What a way to start the day, good morning mommy!!

He was very mad, not grossed out, or freaked out like i was, just plain mad. Thankfully, he had deleted the pictures already. This is on his playschool digital camera, which is a totally awesome camera for kids. Unless they're using it for porn, probably not so good. He is usually very careful at keeping it out of her sight, as she is always interested in this camera when she sees it. He and I found a good hiding place for it.

Later in the day, Akila went to the hardware store with me. On the way home, we passed a bus and she was reading the front electronic sign thingie that says what its route is. It said Mall of America and she freaked out with excitement. Not what I need. It is times like these, when I wish she couldn't read. Now she knows that a bus a couple of blocks from our house goes all the way to the Mall of America. I'm screwed.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Good week, so far

I see this in so many of our blogs; we have had a good week, but I feel like I should knock on wood. Akila has had 3 really good days in a row, and also had a great morning. I absolutely love it! It is so funny, as I could sit back and experience what it is like to have a family where there are not constant meltdowns, and issues, but instead, I am walking on egg shells trying to do everything I can to make it last as long as possible. It is like I'm desperate. But after a long stretch of "crappy" behavior, you do get desperate.

I know it won't last much longer, and for those of you who think I'm being a pessimist and should expect it to last forever, I say "Get a life!" That is not how it works in the world of FASD. Sure, God could provide a miracle, and I pray for help and guidance daily, but I am also realistic. I have also accepted Akila and her brain. I am quite thankful for these 3 1/2 good days, and I'm going to ride them out as long as I can. There is no school tomorrow, that will be the test. We will stay active and get out of the house a lot. Keep your fingers crossed!!