Monday's Highs and Lows

Monday was a day of highs and lows.

Highs:

Honeybee and Sunshine helped Dimples do her hair before school.

She left with a smile on her face.

I got her to school nice and early – just the two of us in the car, able to chat a bit while we drove.

Sunshine led the effort to organize our homeschool cabinet (not to be confused with the homeschool bookcase we tackled last week).

Honeybee made my day by deep cleaning the refrigerator!

I worked side-by-side with the girls all day and it was just plain happy.

After unearthing some “how-to” drawing books, Eby and Little Man spent a large portion of the day creating amazing pictures.

Russ and Honeybee had a special lunch date and went shopping for her 13th birthday ring.

She came home beaming!!

The ring is safely hidden away and birthday shopping is done – now we wait until September 9th.

I went alone to pick Dimples up from school in order to hear about her day without distraction.

We went to Back-to-School night at Honeybee’s new school and it was good – although she is very nervous.

Lows:

The afternoon completely stunk.

I am so disappointed – and I’m sure Dimples is too.

She didn’t like the snack, the music we were listening to, the art books, the dinner Honeybee was making, the fact that Honeybee was cooking and she wasn’t, etc.

The entire mood of the household spiraled down and I’m sure I didn’t handle it with as much grace and patience as I should have.

The language on the mp3 player I bought for Dimples was Japanese and I couldn’t figure out how to change it – making it a bit hard to read the menu.  Not to mention, the chapters of the book we had loaded on it were not in sequence, so my big idea was a complete failure – at least for the day. Hopefully one of my sons will take pity on me and fix it tonight.

None of my suggestions for how to fill the hours appealed to her – only movies, computer games, baking a dessert (not possible at the moment) and playing basketball (not a great option given that we have a gravel driveway) were on her list.

*****

Early this morning I drove to Spokane for orthodontist appointments with Ladybug and Sunshine.  Nearly two hours of conversation with Ladybug reminded how much I love being a mom and that my life’s work is worthwhile.

I am realizing that my hopes for this transition from respite were not realistic and I need to shift back into super-strategic-therapeutic-mommy-mode.  I’m praying that God will help me make a wise plan for Dimples’ afternoons and weekends.  On this second day of school, I feel defeated, but I know that I need to grab hold of the year and make a solid plan that will help Dimples, and all of us, find joy in our days.

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

15 Comments

  1. Nancy
    August 28, 2012

    Lisa- We should have gone out and had coffee last night. I spiraled down just a bit faster than one of my kiddos last night. Which led to a pile of mama goo on the floor.
    So so glad you felt reassured after being with Ladybug. Could she come on my errands with me?
    nancy

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 28, 2012

      I wish we could have had coffee! I was so down, I got home from Back-to-School night, finished the dinner dishes, and went to bed.

      Reply
      1. Nancy
        August 28, 2012

        My guilt overwhelmeth. It was not a proud mama moment. Still trying to give it to Him, and snap out of it. I LOVE that you get and are also living the whole teenagers and kiddos from hard places all at the same time.
        Thank you for all, Lisa.

        Reply
  2. Ann Marie
    August 28, 2012

    No wisdom just hugs!

    Reply
  3. Sue
    August 28, 2012

    Does the school offer after school child care? It might give you a little respite a few days a week.

    Reply
  4. Traci
    August 28, 2012

    Hugs from Ohio. Praying that you see some success in NE. We are lifting your family up!

    Traci

    Reply
  5. Laurel
    August 28, 2012

    So sorry.

    So sad.

    So understand.

    Laurel

    Reply
  6. Emily
    August 28, 2012

    I am praying :-(.

    Tell Ladybug I say two hours of conversation with her sounds like a dream to me, too.

    (Also love that Honeybee deepcleaned the fridge.)

    I am sorry, friend.

    Reply
  7. Donna
    August 28, 2012

    So sorry to hear.

    After almost 7 years home, we may have figured out something that is working for Caleb. I am really afraid to say that too loud. Who would have guessed that getting my sleepyhead up 1-2 hours earlier would make the difference!

    I can feel the pain in all the planning and organizing, only to find it is still a struggle.

    We are praying for you to find some answers.

    We had planned a trip your way to visit Drew this weekend and plans changed as he was not sure he would be running. Now wish we were as his coach quit yesterday and he is very down. It would be good to visit with him and have a nice chat with you and Russ.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 28, 2012

      Donna, we would love to see you; please let us know if you head our way. I can only imagine how devastating it is to have his coach quit right now.

      Reply
  8. MRK
    August 28, 2012

    Your post over the weekend made me think hard – the part about the child not just needing to BE loved but needing to FEEL loved. I rarely respond with the patience and grace that I should anymore. You gave me a reminder that I needed. I can't say that I've been entirely successful with it yet, but it's on my mind, and I hope that will help (just like the same thing is on your mind). But we have to give ourselves patience and grace as well. I, too, get to a point (many days) where I just feel beaten down and like I'm not a good mom, not an enjoyable mom…and am not enjoying BEING a mom….and then I get a refresher once in a while, like you had with Ladybug….some time with just one (or both) of my non traumatized kids, and I realize how much I enjoy them and how much they enjoy me…how much patience and grace I DO have when the demands and attitudes and behaviors are more reasonable…still childish, still difficult, but so so different than what we experience every moment with our kids from hard places.

    Reply
  9. Caryn
    August 28, 2012

    I've been thinking about you and praying for you a lot lately. We too have struggled with transitioning to school. Last night E told me, "Our relationship is over. Forever. I'm done!" as she went screaming up the stairs. The difference is she came back down sobbing with apologies. I still feel like we're making progress. These rough stretches never get easier though. Do you know when you're coming to NE yet?

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 28, 2012

      Caryn, we plan to arrive on Sunday, the 16th, and have appointments M – F. Hopefully we'll fly home Friday afternoon. I need to book flights!

      Reply
  10. Amber
    August 28, 2012

    Have you heard of librivox.org? You can listen to books online that are in the public domain. We love it. It is another option for you if the mp3 isn't fixed by today. 🙂

    Reply
  11. Julie
    August 29, 2012

    Lisa – I find it easy to slip away from therapeutic mom too. #5 starting school Tuesday and today I have a meeting with his team. Armed with literature and DVD, I am praying for listening ears that will be on board. As I have found rolled eyes are the normal tendency. This all shifts me back to remembering that I am called to be that therapeutic mom and am given the strength and wisdom for the task. (Now remembering that in the discouragement is my weakness!). Blessings for you today!

    Reply

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