Sunday, June 27, 2010

Trip to Paynsville

Akila and I went to Paynesville today to a benefit for a baby named Molly Reis. Molly has Turner Syndrome, like Akila has (on top of her FASD, but completely not related). Molly was born in November and her mom, Kayla, and I were connected by Children's Hospitals as Kayla had questions for a parent of a Turner's girl.

We met once, and have been emailing for months. They live in the St. Cloud area, here is a link to their Caringbridge site. They are struggling with tons of medical bills and a benefit was planned tonight with a silent auction. While there, I was reading a newspaper article about Molly and the benefit, and I realized that Molly also has HLHS, which is what sweet baby Hazel had. I did not know Hazel, and I don't know her mom, Angie, in real life. But I feel like I have a great feel for her heart through her blog and a 3 part article that was recently published. Check it out when you have a few minutes. I have never heard of HLHS before praying for Hazel, and now I know two babies diagnosed with it.

The silent auction had lots of great things on it, and I made several bids. Akila bid on a zebra striped purse, her bid was $3, one dollar above previous bid. I was trying to have her sit down with me to eat, but she was obsessed, I mean OBSESSED, with her bid and kept going back to the table to see if she had been outbid. Perseveration at it's finest.

Then, she saw the manicure at the auction table, and was convinced that we needed to bid on that. I explained that it would be way too far to drive for a manicure (not to mention that I would not be paying for her to have a manicure), but she of course disagreed. She was starting to escalate, and it did not look good. I decided it was time to exit, but swung by the purse to see that she had changed the bid to $9. Nuts. I had to then go and look at every item on the auction to make sure she had not bid anything when I was eating and lost her in my sight. She had bid on a few other things, so I took care of that, and high tailed it out of there. Only to listen to her perseverating on the manicure for the next 45 minutes.

We started a new thing last week where if she takes her meds when she is suppose to without fighting it too much, she gets a star. And if she gets stars for two weeks (I think we will need to change it to 1 week, 2 is too long for her), she gets to do something off a list she made with Michael and I. One of the things on it is to get a manicure. Yuck. But OK, if it works, I'm willing. She has been doing really well for the last 5 days.

On the way to the benefit, I met someone who lives in Sartell and was selling one of those Playskool doll houses with the people and furniture for $25. I met this nice woman at an SA in St. Cloud. I told her husband before I left that it was a birthday present for my daughter who would be with, so I would appreciate it if they could possibly fit it into a garbage bag or help me to covertly get it into the back of the van.

We arrived a few minutes early, and the SA happened to be next to a toy store. So of course, Ms. Akila thought we needed to go there to buy something. Not going to happen. I tried to explain calmly in several different ways why we were not going to do that. Then the lady arrived. I tried to give Akila a few dollars and send her into SA to choose a snack, which would normally delight her to no end (and don't worry, I planned on being in there before she finished with her purchase, to check her pockets and see what she was buying. Normally, it takes her 10 minutes to choose something). Well, she would not go. She was kicking the van and obsessing on going to the toy store.

Then, the nice lady, had a great suggestion. How about Akila and I go into the store and she puts it in the back of the van and covers it up. Brilliant!!!!! I paid her, said my thanks, and in we went. I am not sure if I am going to be able to wait until August 5th to give it to her though. She loves these things, and plays with them obsessively at her friend's houses, and at the health club or church daycares. I might have to pull it out of the basement on a particularly tough day. We'll see.

Akila has had a runny nose all week, I thought it was allergies. It isn't. Last night, her throat was sore in the evening. She was up four times last night, and the last time she woke me, at 4:30, she said her ear was hurting really bad. I think she has an ear infection. She was fairly normal acting today, but tonight, was kind of out of it. She thinks she needs to go to the hospital. It may be a long night!!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Babysitter recommendation!!!

Thursday was a great day for me. After the unbloggably bad day on Wednesday, I needed it. Raquel is Akila's full-time aide from last school year, and I had already set up to have her babysit on Thursday so I could run some errands and attend a meeting.

I got lots done, my meeting was canceled last minute, so I went to Lake Calhoun and worked on my laptop for the last hour. Yes, I could have saved money and went home early, but it was so peaceful. Incredibly peaceful.

I got home, and Raquel had all 4 kids at the table peacefully making clay aliens with some clay she had brought. And... my house was clean. Really clean. Things put away, dusted, kids rooms picked up and dusted. Serious cleaning. What a blessing. They had gone to the park, played board games, and the kids had a blast.

Raquel isn't working this summer, and she is in need of work. I highly recommend her to any of you!!! She is absolutely fantastic and completely trustworthy. She is very good with Akila and her "issues" also. Please comment or email me if you are in need of a sitter, or a PCA. I would love to connect you!

So, I came home to a clean house, and then I got to go out after supper to meet Kari, my blog buddy. I have met her twice, several years ago at workshops. This was before I blogged so we have not really known each other except through our blogs. I totally appreciate and love this woman, she has taught me lots and has been a "virtual" mentor to me. Now, I can say she is a "real" mentor to me. I talked, she listened, she shared, it was fabulous connecting. Kari was in town for a work deal and staying over night at a hotel, she does not live in the metro area.

Next week, I get to meet Linda, another blog buddy. I love meeting blog buddies, they are awesome!! It is kind of funny though, sometimes you can't remember if you blogged something or not, and you are easily repeating something they know. But since you have never met them, you forget they know stuff. Linda has a daughter who is about 17 (I think) and she sounds just like Akila (who is 10). Her blog is great, but it scares the pants off of me sometimes. But, it is very helpful in preparing for the possibilities that lie ahead.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

New day

Today is going to be better. Thanks so much for all the prayers yesterday, I feel like I am hanging over today from the stress. I so appreciate all of your support!

I am just doing a quick post before the kiddos wake up. Just wanted to say goodbye to this,

and hello to this.

This post has nothing to do with the "unbloggable" from yesterday. This is just a preventative thing since Akila keeps grabbing knives when she is mad and threatening us or the kids(or others). I asked Imani and Hezekiah what all they thought should be in it yesterday and Imani said the butter knives should be also. I'm not sure. I have to draw the line somewhere. I think a fork would be more damaging than a butter knife.

I went through my utensil drawer and took out the meat tenderizer also and a few other things. I also asked Akila what I should put in it, and she tole me all scissors, and spoons. Not sure why spoons, but scissors is a good idea.

I doubt that most people (who have not had to do this), realize what a hassle it is to lock things up. A quick grabbing a knife to cut an apple, turns into a bit more of a project. And then, I realized that when we do use a knife, we need to be careful to wash it right away and get it back in the lock box and not leave it laying on the counter or in the sink.

I bought an extra one for other items we need to lock up, and in a week or two when we have more money, I would like to buy one for each of the kids to keep their "precious" things in.

I forgot to mention the fun plumbing week we have had. Monday, the overflowing toilet which I was not able to plunge and get cleared up. Thankfully, Michael was able to when he got home. Tuesday, had a basement full of water. Hot water heater broke. Got a new one yesterday, nearly $1,000. And we are also going to get an estimate in a few weeks for a new furnace, ours is on it's last leg. It is full of asbestos and it will not be cheap. It never ends.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Yesterday was OK. Today is not. We dealing with something that is horrible, and "unbloggable". Please pray for us. Sorry for the cryptic post, but it is all I can muster today. And we need prayers.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Where's Natalie?

I want Natalie back (my niece who helped me out the first week of summer). By 10 am, I am done. Akila is off her rockers. I tried to shower, and she was going berserk and chasing kids and just nuts. Barely got a shower in. I know I should get up early and do this, but I am not a morning person. Most days, I can wait for a shower, today we have to be somewhere so I could not.

She was pestering the kids all morning, trying to pick fights. Trying to hit them, throw things at them, etc. I got her set up on the computer before I took a shower. When I was one-tenth into my showering experience, she was at the door raging as the computer monitor was doing this annoying thing saying there is a resolution problem, she could not wait. I was worried about what she would do to the kids since she was so out of it, so I went down wet in a towel to fix it. That is how nutty she is right now.

Now, the toilet is clogged and overflowing. And there is "stuff" in it. Not a good start to a Monday. Not at all. I want Natalie back.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Another rotten end

We had a good day yesterday, and I am going to focus on that. I am going to focus on that. I am going to focus on that.

Imani is out of town with a friend, and Michael brought the boys to see the high school baseball tournament at Target Field. So it was just Akila and I. We had a great time, went shopping, out to dinner, and to a movie. Driving home, she was really happy. We made a deal to take her meds right when we got home. She changed into some her new clothes, and then the fireworks began.

She refused to take the meds. I tried some compromises, take it in 5 minutes, go play outside for a bit and then take it, etc. Nope, and she went to the red zone immediately. Cursing, kicking, hitting, destroying (she is really into swiping everything off a table, shelf, counter, etc.)- I tried to back off but she was too out of control.

We ended up in restraint mode and it was loud. I am sure that our neighbors are enjoying the new season. Summer means open windows. Open windows means neighbor houses and neighbors passing by get to listen to quite the show. Last night was no exception. I almost wish we had air conditioning more for times like this, than times when it is 90 degrees and muggy.

During one of the many restraints, our doorbell was ringing. I could not get it. It rang several times. I thought might be a neighbor checking in on the hysterics, or coming to try and help. It was that loud. Then the phone rang, and it was one of my neighbors telling me that a man on a bike was knocking on the door (the phone happened to be in reach). I asked her to let him know it was not a good time and that we were in the middle of a rage.

I did not handle the entire rage very well. I kept giving her a time limit and saying that if she didn't calm down by a certain time, she would lose one of the items we bought. This only heightened her rage. I should know this. Threats, and ultimatums do not work, they only make things worse. So, during the rage, I am taking her new flip flops off her feet and saying I am going to take them back to the store. Not the best parenting moment of the day. This is making her more nuts, and she keeps yelling things like, "No mama", "Stop mama", "No, no, no mama". It sounded like I was beating her or something.

And this morning, she is on edge big time. Praying she can hold it together for dad's day.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My husband is blogging!

My husband, Michael, has started a blog. It has a couple of different focuses, but the tab that is called "More precious than Gold" is the one that will focus on parenting a child with FASD. I haven't found too many blogs by the dads of these precious kids, so I hope that you will check it out- I can't wait to read it each week!

Week #1, complete

We made it through the first week of summer vacation pretty well, thanks to the help of my niece Natalie. I wish I had my act together and had taken some pictures of Natalie in action, but I did not. Just try to picture a beautiful 15 year old girl playing a ton with Akila, combing out Akila's braids and washing her hair, folding our laundry, playing tag with the kids, doing some dishes, playing some more with Akila, taking the kids to the park, and so much more. She totally rocked and made the week go by pretty smoothly.

The YMCA also helped a lot. Akila went for a few hours each afternoon and had a good time. Two of the days, she came home with an extra swimsuit, both were bikini's, which she is not allowed to have. I assumed that she had "lifted" them and brought them back each day. Then yesterday, I learned that the Y has a ton of swimsuits for kids to wear who have forgotten them, and they just are sitting in laundry baskets for their taking. I felt much better as I had assumed that some poor girl was going home each day with no swimsuit.

I finished reading the Braided Cord by Liz Kulp a few weeks ago, and have been letting it marinate in my head. It is a very good book, and it is heart breaking, painful, and enlightening to read. Liz is a young woman with FASD who writes the book, it consists mostly of her journal entries from about 5 years or so, from about age 17-24 I think. Her mom has some journal entries in it as well as some case workers and professionals who worked with her over the years. I recommend it, but be prepared for a wild ride and some tears. For a parent of a 10 year old with FASD, who seems like she is soul sisters with Liz, it is helpful to see what we may be in for.

I have found that it is better for my own mentality, and for how I respond to Akila, if I am prepared for the reality of our situation, and in a way, expect the worst. I know this sound horrible, and like I do not have faith in the power of the Lord, but I need to be realistic. I know that the Lord can come in and change our situation entirely if He so pleases, and I do pray for this. But I also know there is a reason why Akila is a part of our family, and I believe it is for us to accept her for who she is, and to do the best we can as a family to support her.

It would be naive of me to think that Akila is going to stop raging tomorrow. It would be foolish of me to think that math is suddenly going to make sense to her. It would be foolish of me to think that she is going to stop obsessing over all things that have to do with sex. Does this mean that I don't pray for these things? No. Does this mean that I think that God is not capable of making such changes in her life? No. Absolutely not.

This means that I do believe that God created Akila. He protected her in the womb when she was being attacked from every direction. Heroine attacked her, she won. Alcohol attacked her, she won. Turner Syndrome attacked her, she won (98% of fetuses with Turner Syndrome spontaneously abort-miscarry). Stressful pregnancy attacked her, she won. Pressure to abort the pregnancy attacked her, she won. She is an incredibly strong and beautiful child. God created her, God protected her in the womb. He then providentially placed her in our family for protection and love. He knew we were right for her and she was right for us. He knew she would need a strong family, one who places their faith in Him, to get us through the tough times.

I think His plan was for us to love and protect Akila, and for her to love and protect us from the enemy. We have learned so much about God's love through Akila's brain damage. We see our own sinfulness on an hourly basis. We are brought to the cross daily in our failure, and given new hope and energy in His comfort. He does not want us to focus our energy on curing Akila's brain, He wants us to focus our energy on seeing Him through her brain issues, becoming stronger in the realization of our dependence in Him for all things, and in witnessing this to all who come in contact with us.

Wow, this post has started to get deep, I didn't know that is where I was going this morning. But He did.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day #2

I signed the kids up for a Vacation Bible School (VBS) program this week. Yesterday, when waking up the girls (boys were already awake), Akila threw a major fit and did not want to go. She finally proposed a compromise that I really liked. She asked to go to the YMCA instead.

We have a new YMCA in North Mpls, which is kind of like a drop in youth center. She always has fun, but never wants to go. I need her to go sometimes for the rest of our sanity. I accepted the compromise and brought the other 3 to VBS. None of them wanted to go to VBS either. I get it, it is the first week of summer, not the best timing. But they feel like that every time, whether it is the first week of summer or not. We usually do 2-4 different VBS's each summer. They never want to go on the first day, and then when I pick them up, they loved it and can't wait til the next day. Happened again yesterday. Too funny.

It worked out really well. Just had Akila by herself all morning, she mostly played with my niece, Natalie, who is staying with us. Then I picked up the other kids, and brought Akila to the Y. Akila had a great time and wants to go back, SCORE!!!

I dropped Imani off at a friends for a sleepover which made things a little more calm and easy at our house. If you know Imani, that would not sound like it makes sense. Imani is an easy going, sweet girl to have around. But Akila is very jealous of her, especially as our neighbor girl prefers to play with Imani, understandably so. So, last night, Akila got to play with her. Worked out well.

I had to go to a church meeting on orphan care. Our church is starting up a ministry which has several strands, including working on foster care, supporting families who have adopted, working on the global orphan issue, and several other facets of orphan care. I went, and broke out into the group that is going to work on adoptive family support. Good stuff.

I was hoping and planning on going out for coffee and meeting a blog friend, Megan, who attends a different campus of the same church we attend. We have been blog supporters, and emailing for awhile, and trying to get together. The meeting went until 8:30, I told Michael I would call to see how things were going, as Akila has been on the edge the last 3 or 4 days. The meeting went a little late, and I was talking with some great people, so I didn't call until 9. He wasn't too happy.

Turned out, Akila had been out of control most of the time. She had attacked Natalie, Michael, was destroying things, and was generally out of sorts. I had to cancel the date, and head home. She was up in bed, but hysterically crying. I stayed with her awhile, massaged her back, and calmed her down.

I then went down to talk to Natalie. She had been saying on Sunday that our family should be on a reality TV show, as it was so crazy in our house. I told her that would be fine, but that the shenanigans of our nieces and nephews would be highlighted as well. She laughed. She told me of how Akila came after her with a knife and said it was scary. I am sure it was. Akila does this from time to time, and it so far has mostly been for show and to get a rise out of the person she is threatening, usually me. I don't flinch or act scared but instead go at her, grab her arm and shake the knife out of her. I don't expect Natalie to do this.

Anyway, we talked awhile about it, and she is now down watching a movie with Akila. I think she has forgiven her. The boys and I picked up Imani from her sleepover this morning to bring her to VBS. As we were driving, Imani said, "Mom, thanks for not having Akila come to VBS". Those are the statements that cut me like a knife. The 5/6 graders are together and there are only 11 of them, which means Akila and Imani would have been together. Imani said she is always worried and embarrassed when Akila is mean to other kids. Then the boys started talking about the crazy night. Wow, the stuff they see and deal with is amazing.

On a side not, we are still in the process of trying to get Akila on Medical Assistance (MA) through TEFRA (a parent pay option). We are waiting for our neuro-psychologist to finish the report and fax it to the County so they can determine if she qualifies. I know in my heart it will not help in time for summer, but I am holding out a little hope. I would so love to have some PCA support. I do have Angie, my friend, who has been bringing Akila out every other week for an evening for nearly two years. She is amazing, and is committing to doing it weekly during the month of July. How cool is that? She rocks.

So, it is day 2 of summer vacation. I have a hope that I will be able to take one night off a week to maintain my sanity, but last night might be putting a dash on that hope. When she is totally off her rocker like that, I am usually the only one that can calm her down. Cross your fingers everyone, it is going to be a long summer.

Friday, June 11, 2010

School's out

Summer is here. I am trying to be happy about that. I have a weird mix of emotions of dreading it, and looking forward to it. I love summer, love the beach, the pool, my friends boat, and all that fun stuff. I dread Akila's behavioral issues and the lack of structure. No matter how hard I try, I don't seem to be good at structuring our days enough.

But, I think this first week off will be a good one. My 15 year old niece (or one of them I should say), is staying with us for the week to help out. Natalie is the one who helped Akila at the recital last week also. Already tonight, she has been a life saver. I could get use to this!!! I'll keep you updated.

My living room is trashed, with the usual junk that comes home on the last day of school. All the paperwork from all year, art projects and other stuff. Akila came home with a back pack full, a bag full, and a box. We had to go through everything in her box and bags. The great thing, is that she took a bunch of classmates notebooks that they threw in the garbage. She took their garbage. They were smart enough to trash it, and she took it. Now I have to recycle half of her classes junk. Too funny.

I usually have to wait a few weeks until they forget about it, and then I throw it out with the recycling when they're not around. I gave the kids all an end of year gift; Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do It Yourself book. They love these Wimpy Kid books, and 2 of them have been asking for the Do It Yourself book for months. It is basically a journal, but it is set up and has questions and it is pretty cute. They were excited. Something I can tell them to do when I start to hear they are bored (which will start tomorrow if not tonight, I expect).

Although Akila had several suspensions this year, she really had an excellent year. Her teacher was great, and her one on one aide was fabulous. I can't tell you how much I am praying that she will have the same aide next year. Next year. Middle School. Dread.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Recital recovery

Last week was long but we made it and it went pretty well! The biggest problem was getting Akila to leave with Ruth, our sitter, after she finished with her dances at the Thursday night rehearsal. She finally did leave, but I thought we were lucky nobody called the police as we were in the parking lot having quite the episode. A stranger could have easily thought we were kidnapping a child as I tried to help get her into the car.

Saturday is when Akila danced twice, and my niece Natalie helped. She was having some issues and being rude on and off, but no major rages thanks to Natalie's help. She did manage to steal a cell phone by the end of the 1st show, which turned out to be the Stage Manager's ( a parent volunteer, who I am facebook friend's with, so she knew of Akila's sticky fingers and laughed it off). It really does help people deal with Akila when they know what to expect.

By the end of the 2nd show, she had some lipstick and sunglasses stuck in the hole of her bear. Natalie felt kind of bad. I told natalie, she would have stolen 40 items without Natalie, and not to feel bad. She steals stuff right in front of my eyes and I don't see or notice.

Michael and the kids came to the 2nd show on Saturday and he brought her home afterwards. Last year, this was a major meltdown time and he had to literally drag her out of the building as she kicked him and cursed loudly. He was dreading this moment this year, but I had made a deal with her that she could come on Sunday for the final show and watch it if she went cooperated on going home and to bed on Saturday night. Worked smoothly. And, she was good on Sunday at the show.

We went straight from the recital on Sunday to Dan and Tara's (Michael's brother and his wife) for a birthday celebration. Dan turned 50 on Sunday. Ouch is all I can say. Akila actually did really well. I knew we would have a meltdown at some point, and it was right as we were finishing up cake before we left. So we left quickly.

This is the last week of school in our district, and I am so thankful it was not over last week. I need a week to recover from the recital, and refresh for the summer. The kids are signed up for VBS next week in the mornings, which should be fun.

My house is totally trashed. I ignored it completely last week during the craze of recitals. Normally, on Saturday mornings, we do chores. Not sure why Michael didn't have the kids do them on Saturday, but going one week without them is not good. I hate that when the recitals are over, it is like they aren't really. I still have to do a bunch of work this week (depositing checks, counting money, dealing with emails, not to mention getting the summer session registrations figured out- UGH). This part-time job is getting crazy.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I am pretty good at washing the laundry. I am horrible at folding and putting it away.

There are two loads in the washer and dryer now, and much more upstairs that needs to be folded and put away. I hate it.

(Yes, those beautiful walls are 1/2 wallpaper, started peeling it over 3 years ago. Maybe this summer!)

5th grade graduation

Akila graduated last night from elementary school. I have mixed emotions. Actually, they're not so mixed. I am dreading middle school. This comes from a youth worker who worked professionally with middle and high school students for the past 20 years. I absolutely love teenagers. I don't think I am going to like my own though.

Last night ended up being when I had the neighbor kids overnight as their sister's intake meeting got pushed back a day due to some excessive raging at the hospital and a minor injury she sustained. So they went with to graduation. Before it was time to go, Akila changed into some sweat pants, and double tank tops. I told her she should go and get changed into something dressy and she said this is what she was going to wear.

I was trying really hard to not turn it into a power struggle. You can't really imagine how she was looking, but just know that she also got up at 5 am yesterday and re-did her hair on her own. It was quite goofy looking with bobbles in weird places. After a full day, the hair style looked even more wild. So after multiple attempts to get her to change her clothes, I let go without getting mad. I got a bag and put two dresses in it and some shoes, hoping that when she got to school and saw other kids dressed up, that she would change her mind.

Imani was also having her first band concert at the graduation. Imani went upstairs and got on a dress, and when Akila saw her, she wanted to change. Whew. It all worked out, and I was very glad that I had not pushed her harder to change. Score for mom (I have had very few scores lately).

Graduation and the concert went fine, and so did bed time. Now, I gear up for the next 4 days full of dance recitals. I still don't know how I got myself into this dance world, it is so not me. Tonight is dress rehearsal, and I have a sitter hired who is going to be here after school when the kids get home as I have to be at the school earlier for the little kid rehearsal (I am in charge of selling tickets and all the logistical junk). Then the sitter will bring Akila to the school at 6:30, stay with her, supervise her, and bring her home after her last dance. I am so relieved to not have to worry about her.

Dress rehearsal is always chaotic, and most years, I have had to have all 4 kids with me since I have to be there earlier and Michael picks them up on his way home from work. There are always issues. I am sure there still will be, but they will be way fewer. We have 4 recitals, one Friday, 2 Saturday and one Sunday. Akila dances in both on Saturday. I have my niece set up to be Akila's aide all day on Saturday. I did this last year, and it was fabulous! Natalie is a dancer and knows how backstage works and knows Akila well also. Can't wait for it to be over.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Last week

The last week has been a blur and this one is going to be worse- the crazy dance recitals are this weekend, and I am swamped.

Akila was gone on an overnight last Thursday night. All the 5th graders go to a YMCA camp and do the Underground Railroad simulation. I did this in college and it was an intense experience, and also brought my high school students I worked with to do it several times. I am hoping to connect with the staff today to see how Akila handled it. They start it at dark and it is very intense, did I say that yet?

We were told to pack two pair of shoes, one that can get muddy. I did. She of course wore her new pair for the simulation, and they have you walk through a swamp during the escape. Shoes are ruined. She started raging immediately on Friday a fter school that we needed to go buy new shoes. Yesterday was 50% off at Unique Thrift Store, and thankfully we found a pair there.

Saturday night, Akila and I went to one of my old student's houses to babysit her 19 month old son so she and her husband could have a night out. It was a nice peaceful evening and Akila played really well with the little sweetie pie.

On Sunday after church, we were going to some neighbor friends for a late lunch barbecue, they live on our same block. They gave us the choice of lunch or dinner, we choose lunch thinking we could be there on medicated time. They live on the same block as us and have a 3 year old birth child, and adopted a baby in December who is 6 months old and is African American. On our block, there are three families who have adopted children, and we all happen to be white with Black children. Interesting!

Anyway, Akila was having a hard time. She started fixating on wanting to play with a toy that was special to the 3 year old, and she would not move on. It was not fun.

After we left, I had to go and pick up Raven, the senior in high school that I mentor. She has until this Friday to finish 3 extra courses on top of her normal daytime load. One class is on-line, and the other two are at a transition school, where she has to complete packets and go and take tests. She was over last Monday, Friday and Sunday until 11:00 pm working on all this stuff. She was suppose to come over last night also, but did not.

Last night, at bedtime, Akila had an extreme rage and thankfully, Michael was the one on location. I was upstairs getting the other kids in bed when it started. It started outside and Michael eventually ended up restraining her in the living room. I went outside and picked up the stuff she had been playing with, and came inside to tag team. He went upstairs to finish bedtime, and I tried to get Akila calmed down.

This was one of the first times Michael has restrained her alone, and it seemed to work really well. When I am restraining her, she can't stand it when he comes around as she is a mommy's girl for sure. It takes me forever to calm her down, even after the restraint. When he left the room after restraining her, I had her come and sit in my lap and I stroked her and gave her some good old fashioned sensory touch, and she calmed down much more quickly than I have ever seen.

I would not want Michael to always be the one to restrain her, but this experience showed that he should be the one to do it more often so we can work so well as a team and de-escalate her more quickly.

Today after school is going to be tough, I am anticipating it. My neighbor has to drive her FAS daughter to southern Wisconsin to a residential treatment facility, and her two younger children are staying over night with us. This will cause lots of conflict with Akila, and it is Michael's super late night to work of the month. I am going to check the weather and hope for no rain so we can go to the park and try to keep busy.