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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mama tell the story?

For whatever reason this week Gabby and LM have asked me several times to talk about what happened the day they moved in and the day JB and MM moved in. Gabby also started calling me Mama this week. She had been calling me Mom for the past 6 months. This week it's been Mama or Mommy. In foster parenting classes and adoption discussions the experts always tell you that the day kids come home is just like the story of their birh for kids who are not adopted.

Maybe it's the attachment work we are doing in therapy. I hesitate to call it attachment therapy since we will have to "break" the attachment if they go home but it's work to allow them to feel safe and loved and process through some of the things they missed.

Little Mama was only 3 1/2 when her 2nd sister was born. And by the time she was 7 she was left at home overnight to care for the two other girls. Part of what we are working on is letting her be mothered. Allowing her to be the little girl even though she is 11. Encouraging play with dolls and things that seem babyish so that she can work through these stages and not get stuck there emotionally.

Today we will be carving pumpkins- for the first time for at least 2 of the kids. We made a big deal about going to the pumpkin patch and they are excited to create their own designs. To be honest I'm excited too as I loved doing this as a kid.

Friday, October 21, 2011

You Member...

Mr. Mohawk says "Mama? Member when we went there? You Member?" at least 3 times a day. I love that he can remember outings and places such as the birthday party at the park near our house. But telling me the story EVERY time we pass by which is at least twice on school day assuming we are driving anywhere else- it gets slightly annoying. Also slightly annoying? A 10:30 am phone call from day care telling me he can't keep his hands to himself and they need someone to pick him up.

Thank God my Mom quit her job last week because I don't know what I would have done without her today. I was the only person in my department today and nada bunch of high profile projects to get done. (Guess who will be working while kids are at their visit tomorrow.)

Tomorrows 5 hour visit with their Mom should be real interesting.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Plan Ahead

I'm a planner by nature. Not so much that I had a strict timeline of needing to be married by 27 or having my second child at 32 but enough that I think to figure out what tasks I need to handle and what I'm going to cook for dinner. This week I'm trying to plan for next week and to be completely honest I'm scared. Not because it's Halloween but because my husband is going out of town. For a week. And it will be me and the kids....for a whole ourselves.

They ate me alive last week while it was just the 5 of us. I was crabby, tired, and angry. I'm determined lot to be this way this time around. I anticipated that any task will be hard so I'm working to get everything that could be an issue out of the way. Costume shopping for the girls was completed tonight. If they couldn't handle it on Sunday after their visit and with my husband home there was no way they could this Sunday. I also had to give up celebrating my Mother in laws birthday because a family dinner an hour away at 7pm on Sunday was going to leave me with cranky kids Monday morning. Not to mention the car ride fighting that could happen in 2 hours.

And all the grocery shopping will be done Saturday while they are at their visit so I can cook Sunday and have meals ready for the week. I feel just a little bit stronger and a little bit wiser. Perhaps I've learned something in the the last few months. Sometimes a SuperMom just knows when her cape is going to make her fall and stays on the ground.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My favorite word...

WHATEVER. So simple a statement and can be used in EVERY situation as evidenced by Jelly Bean and Little Mama. We had all kinds of attitude this afternoon post visit. We are a little heavy handed with the sarcasm in our house. Mainly because we have 3 highly skilled drama queens and the prince of theater living in our home. The best way to deal with them sometimes is mockery and overdramatization. Mirroring.

So today we were having a particularly challenging time breaking down LM's wall of silence when confronted with poor choice behavior. And when we asked a question we got whatever and I don't know (my second favorite phrase - because is third in line). So after we got through the stone wall and dealt with the temper tantrum over shoes by JB. We left to go to dinner with family. Since there were 6 adults to 4 kids we had no problems with competing for attention. But we did have several trip to the bathroom.

During the first trip Mr. Mohawk says to me while on the potty "Mommy your favorite word is whatever right? You said that at home. You said it sounds like a dying cow."

Oops. There was my mirror. "I said the way your sister was whining sounded like a dying cow."


Luckily there were no more questions or I don't know would probably have come out of my mouth...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Blissflly Unaware

At the beginning of the year I was ignorant. Blissfully unaware that I was on the same planet with pencils. I worked in a doctors office and only used pens. Then I became a foster Mom. Can I just tell you how much I HATE pencils? Firstly, there are NEVER sharpened pencils around. And those little plastic sharpeners - CRAP. My four kids step on them, break the pencils in them, leave them for the dog to find... So I solve the problem by buying an electric industrial strength one for $19.00. YEAH now I can have sharpened pencils in the house.

Not so fast Love. You have to be able to FIND a pencil to sharpen it. So I solve that problem. I hit the school supply sales with a vengeance. I stock up. I get a plastic 3 drawer container for the desk and devote an entire drawer to sharpened pencils. I congratulate myself for being organized and proactive. By week 2 of school there is only 1 little stub of a pencil with no eraser in my pencil drawer. I refill. 2 weeks later same problem. Then the kids come to me with "I need more pencils for school".

What is happening to them I wonder? I find an occasional one on the floor but that's it. I begin to wonder if they are building a log cabin with the pencils. Perhaps they are eating them for the fiber? Do we have a woodchuck in the house im not aware of? Seriously this is ridiculous. I mean for heaven sakes it's just a darn pencil.

Ahh but this attention seeking writing instrument wasn't done yet.

Sunday was a bad day. The kids were out of whack from my husband going out of town. (Because Dads in there life disappear with no explanation never to be seen or heard from unless of course it's to try to kill their Mom -but that's a post for another day) after a long afternoon I gave everyone a quiet time out in their rooms only to be interrupted 30 minutes later by the victim of a stabbing. The offending object? A flippin' PENCIL.

I go upstairs to discover that somehow the 4 year old found another pencil (seriously they must be squirreling these suckers way because I can never find oneet alone 2) and decided to add his own artwork to the wall. At least it was only a pencil.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The girls met the judge today. They spent nearly 2 hours with her. They brought her cupcakes they decorated in boxes they decorated. They brought a list of questions which included how much time do we have left, what happens if my Mom hits when we go home, and what's your favorite color? (Red) most of the answers were I don't know but the kids said they felt better having met her... I do too. At least now she can put a face to the reports and see how bright and talented they are. I don't know what happened I wasn't allowed in the room And I don't want to know. I wanted their voice to be heard and not mine. And I want them to know I stand behind them no matter what my heart says.

We had several breakthrough moments which included Gabby telling my husband that she needed "some time alone please because I'm really angry with you right now" during an argument. Little mama telling MM that he can put on his own clothes after months of trying to get her to stop mothering him, JB getting dressed, brushing hair and teeth and ready to go WITHOUT constant reminders and redirection and no yelling. She also apologized to the trauma therapist for the way she acted last time she was here ON HER OWN. I nearly fell over.

The Case Workers Supervisor was at court this morning (she had to wait in the hallway too). We were discussing the kids' behavior and I mentioned reading a certain parenting book and she was flabbergasted. "When did you have time to read a book while working full time parenting four kids, running them to appointments, and learning Spanish?"

On my Kindle App while in the bathroom :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My first birthday party

To attend as a Mom. And man was I a fish out of water. Even though I've been mothering for 9 months now and I'm shuffling 4 kids around which gave me a pretty fast learning curve but I've totally missed out learning the ropes of being a "normal" Mom on the sidelines with other "normal" Moms.

Normal not being a positive or negative term just descriptive. MOST parents in our area birth their own children. This party was for one of the kids in Mr. Mohawk's pre-k class. And some how I got in the huddle of the lady who just gave birth that works with my husband, two pregnant women. I had absolutely nothing to add to the conversation. I felt super out of place. And the whole time I'm thinking do these other Moms feel this way too? Is it awkward because it I'm not really his Mom? That I feel silly because I can't comment on my own pregnancy experience? What if they ask me how he was as a baby? These people don't know he's a foster kid. I don't want them to know.

In the end everything was fine. We went on a hayride, ate hot dogs, had cupcakes and went home. I realized a lot of this was my own insecurity. Most of the time I'm a confident woman secure in my ability to be a good mom and take care of kids who really need it but I'm just not used to being around other moms that got there the way I wish I could have. And perhaps that the grief of not knowing if I'll be able to have children or if these children will be mine forever. Maybe I was a little jealous today. All hard thing to admit but I'm putting them here in case any other foster or adoptive mom has felt this way. Feel free to comment and let others know they aren't alone either.

Btw Mr. Mohawk had fun and managed to be one of the few kids who didn't put cheese balls in their cowboy hats and put he cheesy hats on their heads. I'm doing something right. My kid didn't make a giant mess :)