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Showing posts from March, 2012

When Pigs Fly

Its amazing. Pigs flew this week.  I did something I said I would NEVER do.  Buy a minivan.  Yep.  I always thought minivans were uncool. I saw myself as an SUV Mom. Sporty. Cute. Compact. I especially didn't see myself driving a minivan at 30. I also never saw myself agreeing to drive to Disney World with 4 kids in tow. And yet somehow this week as we were discussing the drive to Disney World and how nice it would be to have a minivan and a DVD player we found ourselves seriously considering and then buying a minivan. 

Then something even MORE amazing happened.  The kids caseworker called me and told me she was cancelling the visit this weekend for LM and Gabby since JB has not yet had her family therapy session with Mom and she didn't want her behaviors to be worse because she was going to be left behind. Which means she actually listened to us on Monday when we told her excluding JB was a mistake and made life around here fairly miserable. I about fell over. One can only …

Case Worker Visit

We have a monthly visit with the case worker. Somehow this monthly commitment escaped our attention in Foster parent training. Luckily she is able to come in the early evening. She picks the kids up and then they let themselves in the house. I genuinely like our case worker. She's sweet. But she has no kids. And she is not married. And while I don't think these should be requirements for case workers I think it helps your understanding. As I quickly found out last year, having kids in your life changes everything. And MAYBE just MAYBE she would understand WHY her lack of communication is an issue. Perhaps she would understand WHY I point out Bio Mom's biggest parenting issues. If she is to be successful and therefore the kids are to be safe and continue healing she can't keep making the same mistakes.

Case in point: family therapy this week. Bio Mom's answer to Gabby's demand of how she can know Mom won't hit her ever again.

"Because I don't want…

That moment when

You know everything you are doing is paying off. Kinda like in the dressing room when a smaller size fits because you've been eating salad everyday-but cooler.

We had a fun day yesterday. Headed to the park with a picnic to play tennis and swing. And climb. Because apparently my kids love to climb.

We came home to do laundry and veg. I was upstairs putting away stuff and I walked into The hallway to pit something in the kids' room and I overheard the following conversation.

Mr. Mohawk: But they will call me loser, loser, loser!
Little Mama: no they won't. But if you are feeling sad you should go talk to Mom it really helps.
MM: like the sticks?
LM: Well you could do that too but when you feel sad you can always talk to Mom. Sometimes I don't want to either but it ALWAYS helps.

I felt like my heart would burst from the love and pride I felt at that moment.

I did talk to him and he felt sad. We picked a stick. He got I am safe.

Yes he is.

Positive Sticks

A few weeks ago we were Jelly Bean's therapist's office. She had these positive thought cards and angel prayer cards that the kids really liked.  I loved the idea of having something tangible they could grab to think about.  I made a mental note to find something along the lines of the cards and forgot about them.  That was until my Pintrest addition kicked in and I saw all of these cute DIY activities for kids with popsicle sticks like writing consequences or chores or activities on them. Really its amazing what people can create with popsicle sticks! 

And Positive Sticks became my Saturday night craft project.  There is a little bit of a double meaning because positive thoughts do stick.  Jelly Bean told me Friday how proud of herself she was because she finished all her homework at day care all week! That moment was made possible by a year of positive praise at every turn.

Materials Needed:
Permanent Markers (various colors)
Popsicle Sticks (I bought the 75 count pack)
C…

Enough

The anxiety was building last night. We sat down to eat really late. Hubby worked late all week and the kids missed him so instead of coming home right away with them I took all 4 kids to the craft store with me to kill some time.

They did my favorite thing EVER which was to point out to me all the things they hoped I would buy by showing me how "cute" and "cool" things were.

We got home and heated up some corned beef and cabbage and all sat down with Dad for the first time since Monday. Then their manners began to disappear. Gabby stabbed at her food so that an entire potato rolled onto the floor followed by her carrots. JB dropped her entire sandwich in her lap and ate like a cave woman.

Visits had been on Saturdays. 7 weeks ago was their last visit. The judge ordered visits reinstated. They are to have a family therapy session prior. LM and Gabby were told Tuesday night that they would have this session on Wednesday. (I was not informed by the case worker. An…

A list as I'm not feeling like worrying about grammar

- I'm congratulating myself on staying calm and out crazying the crazy.
- It may only last a few more minutes.
- I don't know how much more trauma triggered behavior I can take today.
- I was it today. Hubby has a crazy work schedule this week and since the surprise family therapy session with two kids that excluded the third there target on my back for negative behavior is quadruple the size as normal.
- I'm not happy with the case worker and sent a rather pointed and lengthy email to her supervisor.
- Jelly Beans last words to me tonight "Were oh my God I hate you"
-My response was a happy thank you for sharing your feelings with me I love you good night.
- I assigned sentences today.
-I had to check to make sure the car door was working properly. Someone slammed it and after 10 times of me opening and closing the car door it NEVER slammed. Imagine that!
- I must stop writing because a certain little boy is playing in his bed and I'm pretty sure this is …

Organic Fruit Collective

So about 2 months ago my husband decided we needed to start eating healthier. We had been doing Weight Watchers and he was trying to think of ways to make healthy choices easier. Enter the Organic fruit and vegetable collective. The conversation went something like this:

Him: So and so at work does it. Every week get they get a box of organic fruit.
Me:That's nice for them.
Him: Organic would be healthier.
Me: And more expensive.
Him:Yeah but if its healthy it could be worth it.
Me: I'm not driving 3 towns over and picking it up.
Him: Its no big deal.
Me: Good then you can go every Saturday to pick it up. Is there a commitment? Can we stop it at any time? What happens if we go out of town?
Him: I'll find out.

So in his true analytic style he researched. Asked questions.  No commitment. Each week they send out an email with a list of what is in the box. There are different size boxes. We could get vegetables too.You can say yeah or nay.  I said we'll try it.

So the fir…

Back to Reality

So it looks like our vacation from visits is over. The hearing to reinstate visitation was last week and of course visitation was granted. Thankfully they judge (and the caseworker) took the advice of the kids' therapists and will require that visitation happen only in the community or at the DCFS office and with a supervisor more equipped. The other suggestion was to have at least 1 family therapy session prior to and split the kids up at visits.

So the part of me that already hates the schedule we have is really irritated by the dual visits. I have to be reminded that not being able to control all 4 children together for 5 hours and having visits moved to only 2 kids and in public doesn't look good. Especially at almost 2 years in. And that the kids will be more safe this way. And hey on the bright side transportation will be easier as Mom moved to our town. (Please read this as sarcasm.)

And now a word about attornies. Infuriating. Mom's attorney claims Mom was using …
I had this moment on my honeymoon. We took a Carribean Cruise. I was sitting at a table across from my husband of two weeks waiting for our delicious dinner. He was wearing the tuxedo he wore to our wedding and Cannon in D came on. I flashed back to me walking down the aisle to the same song and I instantly had tears in my eyes. I loved this person so much it brought me to tears.

Tonight as I was pulling into the garage after a really tough day at work the door to the house opened and Mr. Mohawk and my dog peaked their heads out. The smile on their faces was so happy and full of love. I started to tear up right then. It was the same feeling I had on that boat. Pure happiness. Unconditional love.

Then I walked in the house to my Jelly Bean with her 103 fever, LM with her bloody nose, and Gabby with a major attitude... Attitude because her sisters were sick and that's one way she gets attention -sharing her boo boos and hurts (and warts and discussing her hemorrhoids...her poor the…

Looking Back

I heard the song "Seasons of Love" today.  It made me think about all that has transpired in the last year.  We pointed out to Gabby this weekend that next month she will have live here a year.  (After an argument she thought we were going to call her caseworker and have her moved.) I found this post that I wrote the first time we spent any real time with all 4 kids. 
So how would I measure our lives since that post? 525,600 Minutes. A year in our lives...
In toilet paper, number of laughs, number of tears, bed time stories.  In visits, tantrums, anger and fear.  In homework, in baskets of laundry. In 525,600 missing matching socks. In vacations and Mickey Mouse Ice Cream bars.  In turns on roller coasters. In time outs. In inside jokes and silly questions. In showers and towels on the floor. In hugs and kisses and in love. Definitely in LOVE. We have become 6 people in love. We've begun to measure our life by it.  Good days are days we are feeling love.  Bad days are …

Thank You Readers

Dear Readers,

Thank you.  Thank you for building up my self-esteem. Thank you for adding me to your reading lists.  Thank you for your comments. In my world its really little things that may seem of no consequence that light up my day. This week I picked up a new follower AND I had a new comment - on an old post! And I am just overjoyed.  I realize your time is valuable and that anyone chooses to read what I write is a big deal to me.  (Just ask my husband - who I proudly inform when I get a new follower. One day he'll stop mocking my numbers...)

So thank you for being here. Thank you for caring about my family. Thank you for the positive vibes you send our way.  I hope that I continue to write about things you want to read.  I have learned a ton from the other blogs that I follow and I hope I can just give a piece of that back to you. 

I also want to say I appreciate those of you who have gone back and read about our journey. I go back and read old posts at times and it reminds…

OH YES I DID

So you know those parents who think their child is perfect and can do no wrong? Yeah, I'm not one of them.  I will fight for my kids to get what they need and I will make sure they know I will protect them and stick up for them but hide their mistakes and prevent them from suffering the consequences of their choices - not on your life.

It wasn't intentional but I totally ratted my kid out to the principal. Jelly Bean's daycare told me that she got off the bus this week in tears.  Apparently, she slapped another kid and the bus driver pulled the bus over and blocked traffic coming out of the school parking lot.  So the school police officer came on the bus to find out what happened.  This was triggering for her because she thought the police officer was going to take her to "juvie" and then she was teased all the way home.  Participating in the teasing? Her sister, Gabby. So several issues:
She didn't keep her hands to herself.The police officer triggered her.…

Sleep Deprivation

So I actually had the thought this week that it's a good thing I've never had an infant because the sleep deprivation might have killed me.

Monday evening started off with a toilet that needed plunging. How something thy big comes out of a little girl I'm not sure but I have a new appreciation for my husband who went into the bathroom with the plunger like a champ.

Somewhere around 11:30pm I fell asleep. At 2:30am I heard a toilet flush. And then again and again. So I get up and find LM and Gabby in the bathroom. LM with Kleenex shoved up her nose and Gabby standing there watching her. In the background I hear Mr. Mohawk snoring. I get the bloody nose stopped. Take the dog out. Pit him in his crate because his paws digging into my back were not comfortable and I find Mr. Mohawk now standing at the top of the stairs. I send him back to bed and it's 3 am.

I lay down and try to sleep. But Hubby he was snoring. I try ear plugs. Nothing. Can't get comfortable. I toss …

Random Thought:Nun-ya and Needer-mind

Our life maybe temporary and chaotic at times but there are things that make us just like everyone else. I'm choosing to celebrate those things after a rough week on Mom. (Mainly because Mom did not sleep Monday night. Like at all. And still dragged her ass to work after dragging 4 kids out of bed and out the door.)

Today I am going to celebrate our inside jokes. As a group we can be pretty fun- ya know provided no one is feeling jealous, left out, or angry. We laugh and are silly. We make the car "dance". We sing obnoxiously loud along to songs on the radio. We bust a move in the back seat. Car Wash is one of my kids' favorite songs. But I digress.

The first night all the kids were here we were talking about house rules. Out of nowhere Jelly Bean made some comment about someone being allergic to animals and that she wanted to give that animal to that person. And hence the random thought of the day was born. At least a couple times of the week someone will point out…

You have a Unique Life Situation

Questions are a part of Foster Care. I encourage questions as I think more awareness is needed about child abuse and how the system works - and how little sense it makes sometimes. New foster parents always wonder how to handle the questions and responses we get over and over. For example:
How do you do it?
Aren't you going to miss them when they go home?
Do they miss their Mom? Even though they have you?

We also get comments:
You're a saint.
I could never do that. I'd get too attached.
The kids are so lucky to have you.

I think you have to find what works best for you in order to deal with these types of responses to people finding out you are a foster parent. For myself, I have some standard answers:

We make it work. It's not without stress but it is totally worth the reward.
Of course I'll miss them. But we hope to be in their lives. And these kids gave me a chance to be a Mom and I might not get that again.
Yep they miss her very much. She's their MOM. She's al…

Week 4

So this weekend will be 4 weeks since the kids have seen their Mom. We've settled into a groove of sorts - running errands, knocking out doctor and therapy appointments, getting stuff done around the house and hanging out as a family.  Its been strangely normal.  The kids have kind of stopped talking about her, being in foster care, and talking about going home.  Its sad because they seem so defeated by this like somehow they failed.  Nothing has changed with their goal of reunification.  Its as if this entire thing is on pause.  But they see the writing on the wall.  THEY know that by now she should have her act together and she's cemented their suspicion that she hasn't changed.  Even Little Mama has seemed to have given up hope that her Mom can do enough to get them back.  Which of course means that they are questioning our commitment to them.  The question before bed last night: "Mom do you like us?".

We've had some regressive behavior.  Mr. Mohawk had a …