Sunday, August 11, 2013

Jaymes loves Halo

We've had horses for years, and for years I've tried to get Jaymes interested. He never was until we got our Thoroughbred, Buddy, a few years ago. He loved Buddy, loved to ride him and mess with him. Buddy passed away though, and Jaymes was not at all interested in having anything to do with the new horses. Right up until recently, when Jaymes decided my mare, Halo, was his.

Now Halo is not like our pony, Rocket. She is energetic, a bit spooky and reactive. She keeps me on my toes when I'm on her back. She isn't a horse you could throw a beginner on and expect to do well.

When Halo is around Jaymes, however, she changes completely. She becomes the calmest, most tolerant, patient mare you've ever seen. She puts up with whatever he does to her. He loves to take her out and drag her around the back yard. She just follows along and walks in circles. She lets him tie ropes around her middle to strap his Silver Noctopus onto her back. She lets him poke and prod and pull her mane.

When Jaymes is on Halo's back, she takes tiny little steps and keeps her ears turned back toward him like she's keeping tabs on his safety. She is solid and trustworthy- nothing scares her or riles her up. Jason drove the lawmower past her the other day- with me she would have flipped out and spooked halfway across the yard. With Jaymes, she stood like a rock. She ignores him kicking her in the sides and just meanders along calmly. When he flails his arms around and squeals, she just stays steady and quiet. When I'm on her back and I throw an arm up suddenly, she spooks!

It's truly amazing to me how horses know they need to be careful when kids like Jaymes are on their backs. Their usual behavior goes out the window. Things that would normally bother them don't. Halo is a very special horse. She takes care of my kiddo, and she puts up with everything he does to her.

Here are some pics I took. I broke my helmet rule that particular day, only because we were only walking and we were in the closed in back yard. Normally my kids wear helmets. I know, horrible mom. But he suddenly wanted to get on her back and I ran before he changed his mind!

We started out brushing Halo... She fell asleep.

Then he moved on to dragging her across the yard...

Then Jaymes strapped up Silver Noctopus for a ride...

Then Jaymes wanted a turn. He enjoyed looking down on the world from his high horse.

Then Sierra got jealous, so she got out her pony and gave Ice Cream Bear a ride...

We are so blessed to have such wonderful animals, and awesome kiddos! We're having lots of horsey fun this summer!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sometimes you just gotta wash a chicken...

It was miserably hot today, and the kids wanted to go outside. We went outside, briefly. Just long enough to think to myself, "hell no. Too hot." Then we went to collect eggs from the chicken coops, and I got a good look at how dirty my little Silkie ladies had become. I have not shown in awhile, so they have just been busy being chickens, and getting dirty. So I was alternating between not wanting to stay out because of the heat, and fussing about my dirty dirty chickens. Then it hit me- bath day!

We filled up a clean wheelbarrow full of soapy water, and I sent Sierra to go capture our first customer.

Then Jaymes decided he wanted to join in...

 We had to let the white hens marinate in soapy water awhile, they were all icky and yellow tinted...
 Then we got fancy, and did two at a time!

 My Splash hen's head dried quickly, and exploded into a huge fluffy 'fro...

 Gene Simmons, my free range Polish roo, came to investigate the pathetic wet Silkies... But they were so bedraggled, he could not tell they were hens, and wandered off.

All in all, a fun way to stay cool during a miserable summer day! Of course, within five minutes of finishing up, the sky opened up with a horrendous thunder storm. Good timing! This is the first time Jaymes has shown much interest in the chickens, so I was really excited to see him enjoying himself.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

It's definitely been awhile!

It's been close to a year since I've posted last. When things are going really badly, the words just pour out and making post after post is very therapeutic. But when things are going well, I tend to sit back and enjoy the ride... Hence my long break from blogging.

Jaymes is doing wonderfully. He no longer has aggression issues. He's become a sweet, compliant, happy child. He's reading really well, and can work the iPad like a pro. He sleeps at night (at least until about 5am), he is actually eating, and he can bathe himself, get dressed, and take his meds independently. He has come a long, long way. He's finally grown, he's gotten so TALL!

We've taken a break for the last year, from therapies, outside of school. He gets OT and Speech at school, as well as HI (hearing impaired) instruction. Even now in the summer, he's doing Extended School Year, so he is continuing with his therapies. It got to the point that every spare minute was about rushing to one therapy or another. It also seemed like the therapists stalled out with Jaymes. They were doing things like coloring in pictures, things Jaymes is way past needing to learn. So I pulled him out, and life has been much calmer. He's happier, he can take his afternoons after school at his own pace instead of being shuffled from home to therapy, back home again. He's doing really well, OT-wise. He draws beautiful pictures, very complex stuff and it looks exactly like whatever he meant to draw. His handwriting isn't going so well, though... He wants to write things in this HUGE crazy scrawl. His teacher and I are thinking that maybe he should do more of his writing on the computer, until they can get him to regulate the size and shape of his letters.

His teacher of 3 years retired at the end of the school year, and she did it rather suddenly. We were shocked, and I was really upset about it. I feel like after 3 years, the teacher understands what I expect from the school, and she knows Jaymes. The thought of someone new taking over my boy's education was really upsetting. If you remember from some of my older postings, one year he got a different teacher, and she turned out to be SATAN. Evil, hateful woman who had no place being near special needs children. I'm terrified of going through a year from hell again, with Jaymes being miserable, and constant fighting with the school. It's been so nice and peaceful with Mrs. Colditz. We don't butt heads, we work well together. When she told me she was retiring, I admit I cried like a baby for days. With her, I knew Jaymes was safe, happy, and not being treated badly. You hear so many stories these days about autistic children being abused at school, staying with someone trustworthy is obviously preferable. I am hoping that he will have the same teacher's assistant. Mrs. Wemyss is WONDERFUL. She is so sweet and bubbly, and Jaymes loves her. I know I can trust her, so if she is the assistant to the new teacher, I will feel a lot better.

Jaymes was lucky enough to get into Camp Royall this summer. Camp Royall is the happiest place on Earth for my son. When asked if he would rather go to camp, or to Disney, he chooses camp. All year long, he asks if he is going to camp, and how long until camp starts. Even when he was not able to go last year, he spent the year asking. And when he found out he was going to be able to go this summer, he was elated.

When we got to camp on the first day, Jaymes met up with Emma, who was his counselor the first summer he spent there. We followed her to the cabin he would be sleeping in, and when we got inside, Jaymes went crazy with excitement. He threw himself down on a mattress, and rolled around wildly, squealing with happiness. He couldn’t wait for us to leave, so he could get in the pool.

All week I looked at the camp photos that were being posted online, and in every photo of Jaymes, he had an ear to ear smile. In every picture he was doing something awesome- things that a lot of kids with autism don’t get to do. Riding a horse, making smores, boating and fishing and swimming.  Camp Royall gives kids like my son the opportunity to have the same wonderful camp experience that used to be reserved for the “normal” kids. 

He's had a great summer so far, and he is just doing so wonderfully. I think photos say it better than I do, so here you go!


Friday, September 28, 2012

Playing some catch-up

Things have been pretty busy for us in the last couple of months! We went to Disney in July, for eight days. That was just awesome. Thanks to their fast passes for people with disabilities, we never waited more than five minutes for any ride- even the ones with 120 minute wait times. This meant Jaymes lasted a lot longer and had significantly less stress throughout the day. The first ride we went on was Pirates of the Caribbean, which has changed a lot since the last time we were at Disney! There used to be two small drops, which was tame enough not to freak me out. Now there is one larger drop. That gave me a good scare the first time, not expecting it! They added in some cool effects and new characters, but all the good old classic stuff is still there. Jaymes was afraid of the ride the first time, but after trying it again it became one of his favorite rides. He also really enjoyed the Winnie the Pooh ride, It’s a Small World, and Dumbo. He was not terribly impressed with Peter Pan.
We bought the Disney Dining Plan, and their food was awesome. We got dessert with each meal, something the kids thought was pretty darn cool.  Jaymes loved the food and I had no issue getting him to eat his meals.  Since our dining plan included a sit down dinner each evening, we got to try out some incredible restaurants. By far the best was the Coral Reef Restaurant. This was our first fine dining experience and it was AWESOME. Even if the food had sucked, the restaurant itself is beyond amazing. The entire wall of the place is glass, looking out into their shark aquarium. We ate while sharks literally came feet away from us. Jaymes thought this was pretty cool. He especially liked when the divers came into the water to clean the tank. He laughed and laughed!

Jaymes held up to the trip really well. I, on the other hand, spent most of the time exhausted, and got enormous blisters on my feet from all the walking. But, I rode some new rides that I had previously been afraid to try. I LOVED the Star Wars ride, and Jason spent most of the trip teasing me about being afraid to ride it a few years ago.  Buzz Lightyear was a lot of fun too. Jaymes had zero interest in trying to shoot aliens, so we just sat there and enjoyed spinning around and around.
When our Disney trip was over, Jason was really sad. He loves theme parks, and he wasn’t tired and sore like me! He bugged me for a few weeks, and in the end I relented and we took a second trip, to Universal and Islands of Adventure this time. I was still worn out from the last trip, and was not terribly enthusiastic about it in general, but I will admit it was pretty cool. We did not have to rent a car this time, we opted for the hotel’s pick up service and they met us at the airport. The hotel was AMAZING. Lowes Royal Pacific hotel, which is pretty much right up against the theme parks. Four star hotel, Kurig maker and free K-cups in every room. Beautiful place. We used the water taxi service to get to the parks each day, which was really easy and much more convenient than driving. 

This trip we did not need to get Jaymes disability passes, our tickets came with free Express Passes, which is what we would have gotten otherwise. Again, never waited longer than five or ten minutes. The rides at Islands of Adventure are much more fun than the ones at Disney. Jaymes LOVED the One Fish two Fish ride, and delighted in getting us soaking wet. He also really enjoyed the Cat in the Hat. No, let me rephrase. Everything in Dr. Suess land was his favorite. Everything. We rode the trolley and saw the Sneetches getting their belly stars, we drank Moose and Goose Juice, we spun around on couches in Cat and the Hat. We rode the Caro-Seuss-El. And we met every Seuss character you can think of.  Both kids just loved Seuss landing.
The Wizarding world of Harry Potter was absolutely amazing. The buildings looked exactly right, there was “snow” on everything… The joke shop and candy shop were just incredible. We bought a large chocolate frog, some fudge flies, and a jar of candy ribbons. Yum.  I did not ride any of the rides there, they were all fast scary rides. Jaymes turned out to be a huge roller coaster fan, to my surprise, so he and Jason rode Flight of the Hippogriff over and over. Sierra rode it once, but not because she wanted to- she just wanted to prevent Jaymes from going again. She can be a little stinker! She really loved the wand shop, and once we got to the dinosaur part, she rode the terrifying looking Pteranodon Flyers with Jason. It totally freaked me out to watch, the ride is way up high and they sit in these little seats and it looks so easy for a child to fall out. Of course she did not fall out, and had a great time.  I think the star of the park had to be Spiderman, out of all the rides. It was absolutely awesome, so much fun. This was another I’d been too afraid to ride a few years back. Both kids loved it. 

At  Universal Studios, the Despicable Me minion ride was the winner, by far. It was adorable, hilarious, and just a ton of fun. The coolest part is that when the ride is done and you’re leaving, you walk through a room with rainbow lights and disco music. Sierra got to dance with a “real” minion and really enjoyed every second of it. The Simpson’s ride was pretty cool, although I had to close my eyes for certain parts. Both kids loved it, which made me look all the most like a chicken. Jaymes surprised me later by demanding Jason take him on the Woody Woodpecker rollercoaster. It was a heck of a fast coaster, even if it was kid sized! I was a little disappointed at the kids indifference to the ET ride. I mean, it’s a classic! I thought it was still pretty great though.
Between the two trips, the kids accumulated a pile of stuffed animals, T shirts, and oddly enough slippers.  They both had a great time. Apparently only I was dead tired and sore- which is a good thing. I would not have felt right letting Jason drag us around if the kids felt the way I did.
I was just happy to be home. I like being home, with my animals and my nice quiet existence. The horses missed me, and the chickens were a mess. I ended up having to bathe every single one thanks to the many mites climbing around on them.  

Life has pretty much returned to normal. Jaymes is having a very hard time at school, so that is something we are working with the teacher to figure out. He’s done a lot of getting out of his seat, wandering around… etc. He has also shown aggression to his classmates, which needs to be nipped in the bud early. The last incident was involving his sister. She was eating lunch with her class across the cafeteria and Jaymes was sent to throw out his tray. On his way back, he detoured to sierra to punch her in the stomach. Not good. We are trying to keep Sierra and Jaymes apart at school to prevent more of this nastiness toward her. 

Jaymes has had a lot of other stuff happening with him too. He’s been incredibly jerky and twitchy, to the point that he can’t eat a meal because he’s got to stop to throw his arms out to the sides. Worse than that, the spit wiping behavior is back. He spits into his hand and swipes it across his face over and over. By the end of the school day his eyes are dark red and swollen and his face is just raw. I dug out his old Chewy Tubes, and having those to gnaw on had cut the spit wiping time in half. He’s very “mouthy” lately. He chews and chews and chews. I guess that is just what his body is craving right now.
We think that the twitching and spitting and general quirkyness that we’ve been seeing is the resut of starting him on Strattera. He has never done well on ADHD meds, the stimulants do just that- they further stimulate him. But we tried Strattera because the doc said it was a different type of ADHD med,  All the behaviors began after about two weeks on the Strattera, and now that he is off of it, the behaviors are slowing down a little bit.  I am hoping that given another couple of weeks to totally flush the meds out of his system, he’ll go back to normal.

We’ve been hard at work getting the yard cleaned up and improved upon. There is brand new fencing for both the back yard and the pasture, it keeps kids and animals in! The ugly electric fence is all gone, no more accidental zappings or horses blasting through the wires. We have a lovely wood and woven wire fence that looks really nice. The kids like the new gates, especially Jaymes. We had the deck redone with new lattice, and a new gate to keep the turkeys off the nice clean deck. No more deck-turkeys pooping all over!! We bought a new, gigantic trampoline with the enclosure, which the kids are having a blast jumping on. We also took my chicken pens and cemented them in so nothing can dig in and eat them. They also can’t get dirty, because there is no more dirt of scratch up!  Had a bunch of trees cut, one of which being the enormous Pine Tree Of Death that was looming over our kitchen at an angle and would one day have crashed down into said kitchen. There are big round pieces of stump all over. Sierra likes to stand on top of them and yell “I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees!” In general, things are going well.  

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The honeymoon is over!

Jaymes has been back home for a little over a month now, and things have been surprisingly laid back and calm. I kind of expected a rough transition back home from the foster home, but it actually turned out to be nearly seamless. No complaints there- it makes me feel great to know he was really ready to come back home. Jaymes has been really pleasant and happy for the most part. Not to say we aren't having some little bumps in the road... But it isn't as bad as I expected.

Jaymes has changed a lot in the six months he was away from home, and so every now and then I get the idea in my head of how he will react to something, only to be shown that my information is quite outdated. Six months ago, that child would be giddy with the joy of going to the zoo, where he can roam and move around as much as he wants. Apparently not so much anymore. Don't know whether it was the heat, or that he just isn't into traipsing around in our enormous zoo. Last week we made the decision to go out there as a special treat for the kids. All was good until we got there. The first thing Jaymes did when we got him out of the car was to ask to go home. Not the best start for our special trip out! I decided that he might just need to warm up to things, so talked him into walking over the giant bridge, where he could look down at the monster turtles living in their swamp. He did think that was pretty cool, as well as the colossal fish swimming around.

Unfortunately, his happiness did not last long before he was again whimpering and wanting to go home. At this point, it was decided that we had driven over an hour to get there, Sierra was thrilled to be there, and that it was high time for Jaymes to learn that sometimes we do things we do not want to do. After fifteen minutes or so of on and off whining, Jaymes settled in and decided to tolerate it. I guess he figured that it was easier to just follow along than to throw a tantrum in the heat. I was very proud of his ability to accept that we were doing something he did not want to do. That shows a lot of maturity, at least for Jaymes.

One thing that I hate about our zoo, is that it is 90% hills. Steep ones. In case walking uphill seems pretty simple, let me explain Jaymes and his method for getting up said hills. Jaymes holds hands. He does this partially because we have always made him (for safety), partially because he likes the security, and partially because it makes his life a lot easier. how, you ask? Well, Jaymes believes that by holding your hand, you are his motor. He lets himself be towed along, making as little effort as possible as far as walking goes. It's actually really funny, it reminds me a bit of when I was a kid pulling my toy doggie by the rope as I walked. His legs move, but without actually propelling him forward. This isn't a big deal on the flat stretches. But hills... That's a different story. It's like hauling dead weight up that hill. Dead weight that giggles and talks. On top of that, every few steps, he throws on the brakes randomly. An itchy foot, a sock not pulled up high enough, or something interesting on the ground... Whatever causes these frequent stops, the end result is the same. I'll be walking along briskly, then very suddenly get jerked back hard enough to lose my balance. I usually cannot help but yell "woooooosh!" when he does this. So, picture me, covered in sweat, hauling my eight year old up these hills, jerking to a halt every few minutes. Jason and Sierra, of course, get waaaaay ahead of us, and I know for a fact that my husband looks back and giggles to himself everytime he hears my "wooooooosh!" and sees Jaymes yank me backward.

Eventually the heat got to me, and I decided this was an excellent time to start teaching Jaymes to walk under his own power, rather than being towed. He was not pleased with this. I took my hand out of his, and started walking at a good pace. He ran to catch up, and tried to grab my hand. I dodged his grasping hand, and kept walking. He then decided to try and gran various other parts of me in an effort to be reunited with my hand- the elbow, my shirt, my leg. When he realized it was not going to happy, he went to daddy and tried the same thing. Jason didn't have the heart to tell him no, so he let Jaymes have his hand and Jaymes seized that sucker and help onto it for all he was worth. Jason did periodically make him walk on his own, without hand holding and Jaymes did a really great job. By the end of the day he was certainly doing more walking on his own and he was not really distressed by it anymore.

Jaymes was really quite unimpressed by the animals, but he was a great sport. Eventually we got  to the lion's habitat, and it reminded me of the previous trip we'd taken to the zoo. It had rained that day, and there were big puddles all over the place- particularly in the prime viewing location in front of the lion fence. It was a hot day, and I guess Jaymes decided he was on his own for finding a drink. I was busy admiring the lions when I heard a woman shriek. "OMG, he is going to get AIDS!!!!" Turns out my little man got thirsty, so he laid down on his belly and was slurping water from the puddle. Not at all sanitary, but I really wasn't worried about him catching AIDS. I scooped him up and we left the area quickly. Even now, thinking about that cracks me up. It was classic Jaymes hilarity, and every time I go to the zoo I will relive that in my head.

In the end, the trip was a success. Jaymes may not have loved it, but he practiced being more independent and he also learned that even if we don't want to do something, sometimes we just have to. It was a good experience.

So really, things have been good. Jaymes isn't aggressive anymore, and he is far less destructive. He's re-learning what he can and cannot do at home. He's been using a toddler potty in his room at night, rather than his diaper, and that is mostly going well.

We are having some issues with handling emotions, and particularly with self injurious behavior. There are times when Jaymes gets very frustrated and whiny, and usually the best bet is to put him in his room to lie down and calm himself down. Unfortunately, sometimes that is not a good idea at all. I'm learning that if he is in his room crying for more than 5 minutes, he needs to be supervised. the other day he clawed his face bloody, long nail marks up and down both sides. He also bit his arms, and scratched them. He's got some awful bruised bite marks, and the scratches on his face look painful. I feel so guilty to thinking it was better to let him work out his emotions alone, if he had not been alone I could have stopped the scratching and biting before it began. The psych raised his Risperdal a bit more, in an effort to balance out his emotions. along with that, I'm keeping a close eye on him and trying to anticipate things that may start his cycle of frustration in an effort to avoid further self injury. You know, it's really hard to watch your child self injure. It's even harder when you are recovering from self injury yourself. Of course Jaymes doesn't have the same reasoning for hurting himself, and he isn't doing it with intent like I have, but I know what goes through my head when I get into that. It breaks my heart to think that Jaymes is feeling that same internal anguish. Yes, I know that an autistic child self injuring is not the same as a "normal" person self injuring- but some of the same emotional pain must be present in both.

I'm trying to keep Jaymes busy, catch things before he is distressed, and let him know that he is safe, loved, and that he knows what is expected of him. Trying to be as consistent as possible. So far there has been a lot more good than bad, and it really is good to have my little man home again. It's hard to imagine life without him, it feels like he never left.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A return to sanity

Well, after my last post that was pretty much verbal vomit, I'm happy to report that I'm happy. Seriously, all of the sudden last week the depression just went poof and I haven't seen it since. The anxiety has gone down so much that I don't need to pop Klonopin throughout my day. It's weird how one minute I was wishing I was dead and then suddenly it was all good. My brain is a mystery.

So I'm actually motivated to do things, talk to people, etc. No more sleeping all day and stumbling through each day like I have been. I'm going to be optimistic and say that perhaps this last year's worth of depression and anxiety is finally over and I can get back to living my life again.

Jaymes was with us all weekend, and he was just so good. He's been such a happy, friendly, pleasant child. He's actually cuddly, and wants to snuggle with me and watch tv, hold hands, etc. We took the kids to the mall to eat and he thoroughly enjoyed his chicken tenders and fries, before giving me the sad face and finishing off my root beer float.

I was actually worried about having Jaymes that weekend because the Friday before, I had my wisdom teeth removed. Between being in intense pain from the incisions and stitches and swelling, and being out of it from the Vicodin, I was not sure I could handle him. But he was fine, and aside from the pain I was fine to handle him. Food, on the other hand.... not so much. Been eating a lot of mashed potatoes and pudding. Chewing is not something that looks very tempting right now!

We have Jaymes all weekend again this week, and on Saturday I have a horse show that I'm really excited about. I'm going with my best friend and taking along a couple of my riding lesson kids too. I'm not sure I'll win anything, being fat and out of shape, but it's worth a try!

Anyway, the point of this post was to assure you all that I'm not insane anymore and will not be offing myself in the near future. Jaymes is doing wonderfully and will be home with us full time in the next couple of weeks... All in all, things are shaping up to the way they should be, rather than the chaotic hell that they have been.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The one where mommy goes nutty

I know my last few blog posts have been horrendously depressing and whiny, and unfortunately this one is probably also going to take that tone too. Things have been bad for me in the last six months. It started back in late August, and reached all kinds of nastiness. Then things calmed down, and I was ok. Then it all started back up again two months ago.

I'd wake up and have to physically force myself out of bed, while dreading what the day would bring. More stress, more anxiety. I'd take care of the kids and roll through my day feeling like I'm floating above everyone else, just an observer rather than a participant in anything I'm doing. It feels like there is an invisible barrier that would keep me from accomplishing anything. I'd go out to get laundry and just stand there on the carport for 15 minutes, then go inside and do nothing. I'd finally get some of it done, but really, very little was actually being accomplished. All I really wanted to do was sleep. There is no sadness in sleep, and no anxiety. It's quiet and peaceful.

The anxiety is crippling. Every morning I wake up with that feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach, waiting for whatever bad thing is going to happen next. I sit in my classes and shake and my heart pounds and I try to hold back the panic attack crap as much as I can. It's pathetic.

On the 20th of March, I got a call from the Easter Seals employee who handles Jaymes' foster care placement. He said that complaints had been made about Jaymes supposedly coming home dirty from his visits home, and supposedly showing some aggression when coming back from home. He (very cheerfully) informed me that they were going to make a call in to Child Protective Services. Now, I've dealt with CPS before- any of us with a special needs child seem to get that. But this time the allegations were so frivolous, and were taken so seriously by CPS. A whole bunch of crazy. Jaymes is a boy. If he is with me and plays outside, he will get dirty. We send him back clean, but I don't sanitize him head to toe first. Another complaint was that his shoes were on the wrong feet. Ironically, last time Jaymes was delivered to us for a visit, his shoes were once again on the wrong feet. Not a CPS worthy complaint.

Anyway, back to the point. The 20th had not been a good day. I'd had car issues, Sierra had gotten a note home (first time in her life, I was shocked), and then I got the call from Easter Seals... That was the straw that broke the camels back, and the depression and anxiety won out for the rest of the day. I had Klonopin for the anxiety, and I took several. Didn't feel better an hour later, so took a handful more. Still didn't feel better, finished off the bottle. Then Jason called me and I apparently sounded really bad. He interrogated me until I told him about the pills, at which time he ordered me to call my doctor (who has been amazing in trying to get me out of the hole I was in) and tell him what I took and how much. I called the doctor, who told me that he needed to call an ambulance and to stay on the line with his nurse until the ambulance arrived. At that point, I took another bottle of pills, I guess I figured if I had overdosed, might as well go the rest of the way. Not logical, I honestly don't know what I was thinking at the time.

The ambulance arrived right as I was getting really fuzzy. I remember being loaded into it (with half the neighborhood gawking), and from there I was in and out of consciousness. I don't remember the ride there, arriving at the hospital, or anything else up until being made to drink a big cup of charcoal (horrible stuff. Truly horrible). I remember that pretty darn well, as nasty as it was. I guess that beats having your stomach pumped though.

Apparently I refused to let Jason come back to see me. He was all freaking out and I don't remember even being told he was there. I lost a lot of time that day and the next- I was just too out of it to make sense of anything.

I stayed at the ER overnight, because there were no beds at any of the hospitals with psych units available. I had a babysitter in my room to make sure I didn't off myself in the hospital. she was actually very sweet. The next day I got loaded up into a police car for my trip to Forsyth hospital's psych unit. I did not enjoy that at all.

I spent a week at Forsyth, in which time they did nothing and probably charged me thousands of dollars. They made no medication changes, and their groups were totally useless junk. Not a good program at all. I behaved myself and spent the week watching TV and coloring in coloring books. I couldn't really decide whether to be thrilled that they had coloring stuff, or to be offended by being an adult getting offered coloring stuff. I drew a lot of rainbow unicorns. My fellow nuthouse folks enjoyed my rainbow unicorns. Apparently they are uplifting.

I never really figured out what I was trying to do taking all those pills. the Klonopin, I honestly did not realize how many I was taking. The rest was just a bad impulsive thing I guess. The doctors treated it like a suicide attempt, but I wasn't sure still whether that was it or not. I would think that if I'd wanted to die, I would not have called the doctor. Jason wouldn't have been home for hours more, it would have worked. I didn't do that though.

When I came home, I was still incredibly depressed. The stress over Jaymes and the idiotic CPS report was really crushing me. Jason babysat me, and took all the meds away. He's still doling out my meds daily for me. Probably a good thing.

The following Friday, we had a CFT meeting with the foster parents, the Easter Seals staff, and the CPS worker. The meeting was beyond horrible. The foster parents came in all upset and loud, despite none of us having said anything yet. We tried to start the meeting out, but it immediately turned into my husband talking and the foster parents yelling at us and practically coming across the table at Jason. Lots of "you're never there, you don't know Jaymes, you don't act like a dad" (because Jason works and we have CFT meetings in the middle of the day!) stuff- very ugly and unwarranted. From there on out, every time he or I would say a word, we'd be interrupted by the screaming and yelling.

We were called bad parents, inconsistent, careless... I've never had to sit in a meeting and have hateful things flung at me like at this meeting. It was so bad. Nothing was accomplished, and in the end one of the foster parents walked out and would not come back in. Everyone gave up at that point. There wasn't anywhere we could go with all that chaos.

I left crying like an idiot, Jason had to drive us home. It depressed me so much. I had an emergency meeting with my therapist that day. We talked about it, and she asked me if I was suicidal. I kind of surprised myself here, my answer was very simple- no confusion in my head there. "Yep. If I had the pills, I would not hesitate." But I knew Jason had the pills locked up, so it seemed like I would be pretty much fine, given that I couldn't get to the meds. My therapist had me texting in daily to make sure I was ok.

I feel ok now. I don't have the overwhelming panic and depression like before. Suicide isn't in my head anymore. Jason still has the pills, which I think is wise regardless of how I feel right now. My meds are helping a lot. Part of the deep depression after that bad CFT meeting might have been due to the fact that I was falling asleep early and forgetting to take my night meds- which include the antidepressant. Once I got back on my medication schedule, the depression backed off a lot.

I don't know what to think of the foster parents. We've always been friendly and they have never said a negative thing to me before. Never mentioned Jaymes and personal hygiene, or any of the other issues addressed in the CPS report. It came totally out of nowhere. I keep asking myself, why would they not just say something to me? Up until this they've been wonderful. They are fantastic foster parents (regardless of how harsh they were to me) and they have done a lot for Jaymes. It's really hard for me to know what to do, because on one hand Jaymes is doing well there, but on the other the animosity between ourselves (especially Jason) and the foster parents is pretty scary. I think that explosive meeting showed everyone's true colors. Us included.

I'm just waiting for the next blow up. I'm dreading the next CFT meeting, I do not want to be ripped to shreds again.

The CPS worker came for a second home visit yesterday, and it went very well. She seemed happy with our home and how we interact with our children. She stated she found no proof of abuse or neglect, and that the case would be closed out at the 45 day point, which is coming up soon.

We had planned to leave Jaymes in placement over the summer, and have him back as school was beginning. But knowing now all the horrible things the foster parents think of us, and thinking of how they reacted during the meeting, neither Jason nor I are able to see how we can continue dealing with them. It doesn't seem healthy for Jaymes to be with people who can get that verbally abusive, and who apparently despise his parents.

Jaymes will be coming home sometime early May. We have not picked a specific date yet, need to look over the calendar first. I'm having surgery to dig out my impacted wisdom teeth on Friday, so I will probably be really useless for that weekend. We have Jaymes from Friday afternoon to Sunday midday. Poor Jason is going to have to do all the work, I know how I am when I'm hurting. Not looking forward to that at all.

Anyway, I think I got all of the bad stuff out in this incredibly long post... Needed to write it out and get it off my chest so I can move on.