Kim Richards with her children, Chad and Whitney Davis, Brooke Brinson, and Kimberly Jackson Credit:

Kim Richards has come a long way since leaving rehab in January.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, 47, sought treatment for alcoholism in early December; it was the self-admitted alcoholic's third stint in rehab.

"I'm getting reconnected with my kids, and that's been a huge thing for me. It's not what I expected when I came home. I was like, 'Hey! I'm home! Let's all get back exactly where we were!' And they were like, 'Ummm, life is a little different now,'" Richards told Us Weekly at the 19th Annual Race to Erase MS gala in Century City, Calif. Friday. "So it was like a little bit of a challenge when I got home, which I didn't expect."

The single star -- mom to Brooke, 25, Whitney, 21, Chad, 20, and Kimberly, 16 -- added that she's slowly "getting back" to the happy-go-lucky person she used to be.

"We're getting reestablished in our relationships, and it's really rewarding," Richards told Us. "It's been a little bit of a hurdle, but it's definitely challenging and exciting, and really better than it's been in I don't know how long."

Meanwhile, Richards' costar Camille Grammer, 43, assured Us she will be "popping up here and there" during Season 3 of the Bravo hit. "I'll be making guest appearances."

"I went through fighting with the girls, I went through bonding with the girls -- I feel like they're my big dysfunctional family," Grammer said. "I enjoyed being with them. We've all been through so much. I've been through so much in my personal life, and they've been there, riding this wave with me."