Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's been a long week

So far I have heard from 4 of Tortuga's former foster moms and they are a wealth of information. I have only had one letter returned but one of the foster moms I heard from knows that person so she offered to help me track her down! In a highly unusual twist I also found out that one of his foster moms was the supervisor of the FIRST caseworker assigned to Corazon when she was born. (Remember she isn't biologically related to the boys and came 2 years before they did.) She remembers much about that touch and go time when Corazon was born (3 lb preemie with drug addiction) and visited her during her hospitalization. She remembers keeping tabs on her and was the one who delivered her to her first foster home. How small can this world be? Someone asked me how I got the information on his former placements. I just asked the supervisor of his case and told her what I was trying to do. I asked if they were willing to mail the letters for me if they couldn't release the information to me but she just sent me the information directly. I don't know if I just got lucky or what.

Last weekend was busy and the week hasn't given me a break. Corazon had a gymnastics meet on Saturday and we had to leave at 5:3o a.m. for the 90 minute drive to the meet. She was nervous but did wonderfully especially compared to her first meet. She scored a 9.35 on vault, 9.25 on bars and 8.90 on floor which was great because she was scratched from that event at her first meet. She scored her lowest on the beam which is her favorite and should be her best event. She fell 3 times. Her coaches commented that they are frustrated with her "giving up" when she messes up rather than trying to "save it" and then she pouts. I almost laughed since that is the story of our lives with her. It's an all-or-nothing proposition with that kid. Once she messes up she has to hit rock bottom before she can recover. She was happy with her performance but the rest of the weekend and into the week with her has been "fun" in RADland. We left the meet and drove to South Texas to drop my mom off after her being here for two weeks. We spent the night and came home early on Sunday but not early enough to avoid Corazon royally insulting my mom! I think she was mad at me but I don't know why and still haven't figured it out.

On top of everything else everyone except Tortuga has been sick since last weekend. I have spent my days nursing 3 kids and C. as they suffer through fevers, chills, coughs, runny noses, etc. Poor C. has had to go to work that way so she isn't mending easily. Did I mention that I was sick too? It has not been fun. Amidst all this Corazon has been a wreck--defiance, moving in slow-motion, incompletes on every single task, rudeness, disrespect, etc.-- and she hasn't done a lick of schoolwork until today. She has spent most of her days standing around "pretending" to work on her schoolwork but actually sneaking reading. I have tried to help her change things up but nothing has worked and I don't think it's just because she isn't feeling well. It started before then and she was the least affected by all the illness around us. I sent her to bed early 4 nights this week including yesterday by 5 p.m.! I have not been able to figure out what is happening for her and she isn't sharing. I can tell she is distressed about something but I don't know what it is and she is taking much of this out on me and C.

Tortuga has been making steady progress over the past several weeks. He is excited to do his schoolwork and has not earned ANY sentences in almost 2 weeks which is a first since we started using sentences to help him. I am almost afraid to say this but in 2 weeks he has NOT threatened to run away, hasn't had any meltdowns, hasn't screamed at me nor blamed me for his mistakes, hasn't thrown anything, hasn't destroyed anything, hasn't rolled his eyes while I speak to him, and generally speaking is showing a much calmer side of himself. One thing that we are figuring out is that physical active is acting as a "trigger" for some of his more serious acting out behaviors. It's almost as if a "switch" is turned on and when he stops running around or playing the switch stays on and makes him hyper-aggressive. I know it sounds weird but even he has noticed it. He is an active kid and loves physical activity but we can't get him "back" after any of these activities--he gets angry and aggressive quickly. Lisa suggested that we try slowing things down for him, so we have switched to physical activities that are more calming and quiet (i.e. walking instead of running) and that require lots of concentration and focus (i.e. ice skating). I even tried having him walk while holding a raw egg and passing it from one hand to the other (thanks Lisa!) and he loves it. It all seems to be helping but I am trying to find out more about what might be going on for him. He describes it as his "brain" being "all jumbled and crazy." Not sure what to make of all this but we are going to continue to limit some of the more "active" physical activity and see if progress continues. He is also tapping and rubbing which I know always helps him.

I need to wrap this up since the most adorable two year old in my world has just crawled onto my lap, put her head on my shoulder and announced that "I wanna sleep with you mom...peeeeez." Who can resist?


Lisa said...

Everyone being sick. Ugh. I'm so sorry.

Tickled peptobismol pink that the slow down is working. Your stairs with the egg might work too. Of course that could get messy so might not be such a great idea.

Carmel said...

Congradulations to Corazon for her meet!

I am happy to here the progress you are having with Tortuga! Please keep us updated on other things you try because now that I think about it Buzz seems to have the same issues of calming when doing something very physically active.

BT said...

So glad to hear of this progress with Tortuga. Am wondering whether you could use a hardboiled egg instead of raw? Also, we achieved a new level of calm when we had our sons do that breathing exercise where they lie on their back with their stuffed animal balanced on their belly and give the stuffy a slow up and down ride without the stuffy falling off. Haven't done this lately, but for awhile we were doing that breathing exercise several times a day, though never as a means to come down from the adrenaline of intense physical activity.

Mama Drama Times Two said...

Start and Stop Games (such as Freeze Tag, Hospital Tag, Simon Says, Mother-May-I, Red Rover, Fishy-Fishy, Colored Eggs) can be very helpful in practicing that pesky old ON & OFF SWITCH...

PS If you break a raw egg - pour salt on it - it makes a sludge that is easy to scoop up.

SocialWrkr24/7 said...

I just gave Corazon and her blog an award! I left her a comment on her blog - but wanted you to know. I left her instructions to have you help her claim it at my blog. :)

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