Saturday, June 9, 2012

Still Here!

I haven't forgotten about you all out there! We have had a very busy week or so around here! We have been to Elitch Gardens (a local theme park) with Kennedy's dance company; Kameron has been in drama camp all week and did a fabulous job on his play yesterday! I have it all on video and it will be coming soon! Kassidy and I were able to sneak away for dinner and a movie one night, which was nice. I love hanging out with my girl! Four of the kids (everyone but Kam) had dentist appointments and they all got good reports! Kassidy and Kellsey both need sealants, so that will come in time. My mom and I have been hanging out with the kids and enjoying the beautiful Colorado weather... mixed in with some thunderstorms and flooding. Thankfully, our house is fine.

Now we are onto our crazy summer! We have so much lined up for dance, sleepovers for the kids, trips to the water park and lots of other fun stuff!! And of course we're counting down the days to Frank's R&R when we will take off for two weeks in California. Can't wait for that! :) My mom is leaving in a couple hours to head back home, and she's going to take Kellsey with her. She was set to come back in July and stay with her while we went to CA but after lots of thinking about that, we decided that would be silly! She's been back and forth a lot lately... not that I mind seeing her, but it gets expensive! So Kellsey is going to hang out with grandma for the summer and get the one-on-one time she so badly craves and the rest of us will go to all the places we can't take her... the park on hot days, the pool, the bowling alley and other stuff. The kids here are very excited and Kellsey will be too once she realizes that Grandma is not leaving her in a couple hours. She's definitely a Grandma's girl! ;)

Anyway, that's what is going on around here... busy as usual and about to get busier! I will try to get Kam's video up soon... I sort of need to piece it all together! HA!

29 comments :

Mama2Kayden said...

What will your mom do with Kellsey when she's at work? Isn't that a huge burden on your mom to care for such a medically complex child all summer long? And won't Frank miss seeing Kellsey during his R&R? I know you've mentioned before how close she and Frank are.

Monicas Mom Musings said...

Wow, I'm exhausted just reading all that. When I became a mom I wondered what ever happened to the lazy days of summer. I miss that ;). Will your mom fly out with Kellsey to CA when you all go to Disney? Did Kellsey enjoy Disney? Now that I think about it, that's probably not really her cup of tea is it? Sounds like you've got lots of fun planned. Think you'll make it the whole summer without Kellsey?

Kate said...

I know you're bound to get a lot of negative comments from people who, quite bluntly, don't have the first dang clue what living with a child who has RAD entails, but I want to be the first person to say I understand what you are doing.

Kellsey can't tolerate heat since she lacks the ability to sweat, which means she has to stay inside in an air-conditioned environment during the summer months. That eliminates the park, the beach, basically ANYTHING outside! And with Frank gone, what are you supposed to do with the other kids when Kellsey has to stay indoors all day long? Kassidy and Kameron are old enough to go places, but Kennedy & Keeghan would be stuck at home for the majority of their summer days. I think that would suck for them, especially since they are accustomed to basically always being on the go, doing stuff as a family.

Kellsey has major sensory issues that you have explained, such as how ANY kind of over-stimulation causes her to chew her mouth apart (and since she does not feel pain, she can do MAJOR damage ~ much worse than anything a child who feels pain could ever possibly achieve). You've explained how just taking her out of the house to go on an errand ends up with her stressing out & hurting herself. As such, how in the world could you take her to Disneyland or the water park or the beach or any place with crowds? You couldn't. You CAN'T.

Your mom appears to be someone who runs her life on a pretty even keel, keeps a predictable schedule & routine and doesn't run around all over the place. I can see how living with her would be PERFECT for Kellsey, who will probably thrive in a calm, quiet, predictable environment. She will like the one-on-one attention, too.

I know what you are doing is not the norm. I ALSO know that this is NOT you "getting rid of Kellsey". It takes guts to face a situation and recognize that what your child needs is something you are not able to give her, then take steps to find a solution that will be in your child's best interest. A lot of people won't see it that way & a lot of people will be judgmental shrews to you, unfortunately. I urge you to shrug their criticism off, Renee. Until you have lived with a RAD child, you have NO IDEA how difficult it is. Anyone who thinks Kellsey will be crushed to be "sent away" for the summer needs to read up on RAD before they come here to blast you.

I commend you for thinking of what Kellsey will need this summer ~ as well as what your other children will need ~ and for working out a solution that will enable ALL of your children's needs to be met.

To the first commenter ~ I am going to wager a bet that Renee's mom was fully agreeable to taking Kellsey for the summer & that she and Renee worked out the details.

I doubt Kellsey is terribly close to Frank, either. My guess is that she is closer to Frank than Renee (the whole RAD thing), but that doesn't mean they're close in what a typical father-daughter relationship involves.

Anyway... like I said, Renee, even though there will be lots of people who don't understand what you're doing, there will also be those of us who do understand and support your decision. Let the naysayers' criticism roll off your back as you KNOW in your heart that what you are doing for Kellsey is, in fact, with her best interest in mind, and have a wonderful summer!!!

JennaJennJenn said...

Sounds like a great way for everyone to get the most out of the summer! I know your mom has to miss the kids like crazy so having one with her for a while will be extra special for both of them! I spent a lot of time at my grandmother's house when I was younger and it honestly made me the person I am today. Don't let anyone make you feel bad about this decision because it's what is right for you and your family and that's all that matters.

Kathyb1960 said...

I agree w/ Kate. I'm sure you and your Mom have worked things out that are none of our business, and I'm sure your mother can figure out those things just fine.

I have read lots of blogs on where the familes have children w/ special needs, and they don't always have someone to take care of their child when they need a break. I think it's called Respite Care? Sounds like a good thing to me! Everyone needs a break now and then!

Those who don't understand don't need to put their nose where it doesn't belong.

Have a great summer!

Special Ks Daddy said...

Anyone who comments on this blog post and judges the decision that Renee and I have mutually made doesn't have the first clue of what we are all going through as a family so do yourself a favor and save your breath! We don't need anyone judging us for what we have decided is best for our family. Kellsey "likes" me if you will but has no more attachment to me wether I'm present or not! RAD has been a tough thing to face for us a parents and we are dealing with it the best we know how. We are all excited to be together and have a good time this summer and we are also excited for the summer Jackie and Kellsey have in store. Like I said take your judgemental opinion somewhere else because we don't want to hear it. Have a nice day haters! :)

Notsopc said...

I am so glad for what you have planned for this summer.. I know that letting kellsey go to your mom's for the summer probably wasn't an easy decision for you.. I have been reading your blog for awhile now and NEVER have you EVER done anything that wasn't in the best interest for your children.. Each and every one of them... I just do not understand people who feel they have the right to judge you as one of the comments. Maybe she didn't mean it quite so blunt but really..I wonder if you said Kassidy is going to stay with your mom for the summer if that would have caused any freakouts... Anyway have a great summer.. and I bet you can't wait till your man gets home...
Nancy

Donna said...

Well I for one tremendously respect your decision. You obviously know what's best for all of your children & you have the gift of loving them all the same. Kellsey will benefit from & love the one-on-one attention she needs. Not to mention the happiness she'll bring to your Mom! Looks like there is a wonderful summer brewing for all the Special K's!

~ Teresa ~ said...

Hey, In the good old days of my childhood I spent a good chunk of all my holidays and summers at my Grandparents. It gave me the chance to be the "only" child for awhile and I got to have all the attention that I craved being in a family of six. Not a thing wrong with your arrangement if you ask me!

Barbara said...

Jeez I wonder if Kellsey was a little older and you were sending her to a camp that specifically met her special needs would people be so judgmental. Seems like your's is a good plan for everybody I think. I also think that the person who will have the hardest time with this is yo Rene sometimes as Mommy's we have to do the best thing for our kids even if it tugs at our heart strings.

Julie G. said...

I am glad that your family is making the decisions that allow everyone to get the most out of their summer. I can't imagine how difficult it has been having a child with RAD and health issues and being a single mom while Frank is deployed. Sometimes even Supermom needs a break! I have a sincere question that I have been curious about. You don't have to answer it if you are not comfortable. I was wondering if Kellsey is getting any regular therapy outside of her school day specifically for her issues with RAD? I know it is a very difficult diagnosis, and there are mixed reviews on how to best treat children with this issue. Anyway, I hope you all have a great summer and that everyone comes back together refreshed and renewed!

Island Baby said...

Hi Renee,
It sounds like you thought out what is best for your family and made the best decision you could for them. I was wondering if you could someday write a post about RAD ,and how it is affecting your family. I know that I personally have no clue about it, and would like to learn more about it. Is this RAD going to be permanent with Kellsey? Would it be better to send her to live in a residential school type place where she can be safe, and it won't affect your daily family life? I can only imagine how her intolerance of the heat limits where you can go with the rest of the children. I hope you can explain more about it someday, so that people like me can understand how it affects families, and I am sure others would like to learn as well.
Well, I bet you are super excited to see your hubby again! I hope you have a wonderful reunion! So happy for you!

Joy said...

Great idea!! Kellsey will love spending the one on one time with Grandma!!

Teresa said...

Dito what Kate said! Maybe this time away and one on one with Grandma will make Kellsey excited to be home again. :) Anyway...I know you and Grandma have everything worked out to keep Kellsey safe and happy. I hope you all have a wonderful summer.

LS said...

I'm not a hater, promise. I am sure you thought everything through and agonized over this. I would be scared that being away from Kellsey would be a big step backward on her journey toward attachment. But I'm sure you gave that a lot of weight in your decision. Like a previous poster, I hope you will write about RAD and share how you came to this decision among other things.

Bobby said...

I'm with the others who have said it makes me tired just reading that!!!

Re: Kellsey: Other than the whole mommy's-gonna-miss-her-like-crazy thing, sounds like a great solution for everyone involved! :)

ginnydeegan said...

Sounds like you have a very fun summer planned! I have no doubt you're doing what is best for Kellsey and the rest of your family. She'll love her one-on-one time with grandma!

ginnydeegan said...

Sounds like you have a very fun summer planned! I have no doubt you're doing what is best for Kellsey and the rest of your family. She'll love her one-on-one time with grandma!

Lynn said...

Praying in Seattle!
Psalms 32:6-7 For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
My email address

Jan and Randy said...

Sounds like a busy summer. Hope all goes well. Just read about a wild fire in your area. Hope all are safe.

Jan

Hevel Cohen said...

Renee and Frank--
Please don't approve this comment if you don't feel comfortable with it. I applaud your ddecision to be open about your summer plans for Kellsey, because it's a very honest approach and takes a lot of courage.

I just want you to know that while I don't comment often, I have been praying for your family since before you adopted Kellsey. I don't agree with everything in your parenting, I also realize I don't have to. It's your family, your children, your knowledge of the situation and children and your responsibility, and it looks like you are doing what's right for your family. Even if I parent in a very different way. I have learnt a lot from you, and I hope that this summer respite will do the best for all of you. Have a fantastic time this summer, all of you!

Holly Aytes said...

It seems like your summers are as busy as mine! Glad to know other people are busy too....I was beginning to think everyone but me had lazy summers! Lol I am always amazed at how people think they should tell you what is best for your family! You know your family and what is best therefore you (and frank of course) make the decisionsand don't need anyone telling you what you should do! Btw, you go Frank! I hope everyone has a great summer. I know my kids would jump at the opportunity to spend a whole summer with their grandparents (and no siblings).

Warrior Mom said...

Sounds like an exciting and special summer for everyone! Am I understanding that Frank gets to come back to USA for 2 weeks? I have no idea what military life entails - but havng him back would really make this summer special. Sorry if I have misunderstood. I had the most RANDOM dream last night that I was visiting your home - and my I say that based on this dream your children are lovely ;) Soo ... can your Mom take my little one for a week too!?!?! Haha - kidding ;)

Candace said...

I enjoy reading your blog as my three kids are all in their twenties. It reminds me of the crazy busy days I lived thru. You will survive and look back and shake your head and wonder how you did it. Your Mom is such a God send! How wonderful that she steps up to help you so much! The love she has for you and your family is inspiring! You are a lucky girl Renee! Having one less will feel so weird. I am anxious to hear about Kellsey's reaction, Enjoy your summer. You are such a wonderful Mom!

Jennifer said...

I can't imagine having a family with 5 kids and not be able to take any of them to the beach or pool or part all summer! I think that having Kellsey go see grandma and be in a safe summer environment while you are able to take the other kids outside to do fun summer things is a great idea! I also think that people who want to judge you are being ridiculous! You have the opportunity to make the summer a success for all of your kids and that is great! Isn't that what parenthood is about?! Love Frank's comment! Well said! Enjoy your summer!!!

Mel said...

Sheesh! What a busy summer you have planned!! I'm with the ones who have said that your decisions for the summer are good if they are right for your family. Hey, *I* would have LOVED to been able to spend the summer with a relative (all by myself!)when I was a kid!! :) I hope though, that your Mom has a camera, and will take some fun pics of what they have planned so we can see too. ;) Hugs!!

Sue said...

I'm behind you and Frank all the way, Renee. I feel that Kellsey will benefit greatly from having one on one time with your Mom all summer. Tell your Mom how great we think she is! I'm sure that you already do!
P.S. Also; I don't think that Mama2Kayden was setting out to be hateful, but that her concerns might have made it sound that way.

Jen T. said...

I still think you should've kept it quiet until September, lol! Have a super summer and make sure Frank puts some guacamole and carne asada in the freezer for when I come out in August :) xo

Debbie said...

I know how hard this has to be on all of you! I'll be praying for your family and that Kellsey spending the summer with Grandma will help her get the attention she needs and bring her farther forward.