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Showing posts from April, 2012

It's only Monday...

I sobbed into the phone as I was preparing dinner. Jelly Bean was in a mood and today I just couldn't deal. It was a long day at work (I work full time.) and Hubby requested steaks on the grill which I obliged because I was crabby yesterday. So I stopped at the grocery store where at one point Jelly Bean decided to run and actually fell in the middle of the store sliding across the aisle.

She was in trouble from the morning. She nearly missed the bus because she wasn't getting out of the car because she was busy trying to lace up these "converse" type boots that her sister got last week and her Mom bought for her this week. (Gabby hated them. I agree with Gabby.) she ran to the bus nearly wiping out because they were falling off her feet and she was tripping over them. The rule in our house is no accessories or new footwear if it's not on your body when you walk out of the house.

She did something as we were getting home and I yelled. She tantrumed and threw the…

Here are the bullet points:

- Every child except my 4 year old had a meltdown after their visit this Saturday.
- One of them gave a repeat performance for the CASA worker when she came.
- I think the CASA worker may have thought I wasn't responsive enough because she said I'm going to go she needs you.
- In my head I responded if I react every time she throws a tantrum I'd never come out of that room.
- Mom tried buy affection with candy and gifts from the Mexican Mall again. There was one toy that is not appropriate and the kids were upset with me for saying so.
- Jelly Bean's therapist praised me for setting limits when I called to tell her that due to the meltdown and visit I didn't think she was going to have a productive session and I was not going to drive an hour each way for her to eat snacks in her office.
- Out of the blue my niece texted and asked if we'd like to go out she would babysit for us.
- We went and saw two movies.
- I paid my niece in makeup.
- It was still not en…

Wednesday is my new favorite day.

- There was so much bickering this morning we instated a no speaking rule. Literally if you can't say something nice you can't say anything. At. All.
- At 11:00 am I got a phone call from Day care. Mr. Mohawk needs to be picked up. He got kicked out of daycare for the day.
- He ignored me on the phone then passed the phone to another 4 year old.
- He took his hand and tried to get poop on it to wipe on other kids. And I was worried about pink eye.
- He slapped a teacher in the face.
- After discussing the incident and telling him he is to keep his hands to himself he said "Mama I'm going to tell you the truth. You have an H on your car."
- I could only mutter. Yes. That is true.
- At 4 pm I came back from a meeting to find several missed calls and voicemails. Little Mama got on the bus instead of waiting to be picked up for family therapy.
- I know to others this will look like week 3 of foster parents failing to deliver all children to family therapy even thou…

Shaken Loose

I wrote this on the 20th and it didn't publish.

So we had a status hearing today. Judge granted DCFS discretion to allow unsupervised visits. They won't begin happening anytime soon and I'm pretty sure that the kids therapists are going to fight pretty hard against it so I'm not worried. The judge cautioned everyone to tread carefully.

Then the kids attorney called us in a room. And shared information with us that let's us know she gets it. She sees the problems we see. And she is going to fight for my kids to have stability.

Finally I feel like we are headed towards an end. We have a long road but at least I don't feel like no one is listening anymore.

Love is a Four Letter Word

Driving from work to daycare to a doctors appointment tonight (we have pink eye and an ear infection and the stomach flu at our house this week) I heard this song. It brought tears to my eyes. I've been looking for a way to verbalized my feelings lately and this song lays some of them out there perfectly.

"I Won't Give Up" By Jason Mraz
Hmmmm ... Hmmmm ... Hmmmm ... Hmmm ...

When I look into your eyes
It's like watching the night sky
Or a beautiful sunrise
There's so much they hold
And just like them old stars
I see that you've come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?

I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up

And when you're needing your space
To do some navigating
I'll be here patiently waiting
To see what you find

'Cause even the stars they burn
Some even fall to the earth
We've got a lot to learn
God knows we're worth it
No, I won't give up

I …

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Did I tell you I ran into my therapist?

At the school fun fair? I sit down at a table across from my family and look up and there she is.

She hadn't returned my phone call. I had made the decision to find a different therapist. But hadn't gotten around to finding one yet. Because honestly the thought of explaining my life failures and issues seems really daunting. And I am tired. I mean really tired. Beat. Beat up.

I know self care is important. I know I'm depressed. Those are in conflict with each other. A person can't operate at this level of stress and chaos without some sort of internal reaction. But I'm afraid to start taking the meds the doc gave me due to the dizziness.

But then there she was. And she said - I moved practices. You should be getting a letter. I'm sorry I didn't call you back. I should have called you back.

And I thought ok I forgive you. I got my letter yesterday and will be calling to check the insurance. Because I know I need her. For me. For my marriage. For my kids. …

I love Wednesdays.

Oh yes I do. I love the 9:30pm text on Tuesday night revising the original message that no therapy is to take place on Wednesday and to only send the 2 older girls. I love the 1:30pm text on Wednesday afternoon telling me the youngest is now supposed to go too.

I love that I let said youngest go out with her former foster family to see her teacher win an award. I love that immediately upon walking through the door I paid for it.

I love that Gabby was beyond struggling. I love that she took en entire chapter of behavior out of Jelly Bean's book. I love that behavior I haven't seen in a year has shown up. She had a tantrum of her own.

I love that JB let Gabby have her turn and then took over. It's so nice when they let the other go before them.

I loved the 45 minutes of screaming at full force by JB. Every.Single.Minute I loved. Hearing how she hates us and doesn't want to live here and that she'd rather live with the other family was fantastic. Refreshing really. H…

So Little Mama Says

"My visit was boring. I was really hoping that we'd get to the play land like Jelly Bean and MM."

You know me being right in what the kids need makes it's seem like I am feeding these kinds of statements to the kids. And my email relaying this information to the case worker is just going to seem like picking on Mom.

So the challenge becomes how do you assist Mom in being "good enough" help her learn what her kids need and then not seem like a witch pointing out when she doesn't follow those pointers?

Need time to process.

We had a "team" meeting yesterday. Except it's really clear that there isn't ONE team. I want to write more about the tough feelings have about all of it. I'm conflicted and frustrated, sad and scared. I didn't have any positive feelings leaving the 4 hour meeting. I felt weary and then came home to are for a child with a fever an 11 year old with separation anxiety (from me) and a work issue.

Phrases like "good enough Mom" " at her level" and "basic parenting skills" were used frequently. And no one seemed to hear the "high level of need" "severe trauma" phrases.

Even after giving the specific example - they need to go to the SAME place for visits she took them to 2 different ones this morning.

Sorry for the annoying pounding. Still banging my head on the wall.

Love Should Be Multiplied: One Year Later

The original post is one of the most viewed and searched upon posts I have written. It was written one year ago in response to us taking the rest of a sibling set of four kids who were 9 months into their DCFS case for physical abuse. We had less than 4 hours notice before they arrived on out doorstep with garbage bags of belongings (at least they HAD belongings) while my husband and his best friend worked furiously to get the beds set up and my Mom did her best to stop crying in order to keep them occupied.  I had a beautiful post in my head where I was going to hyperlink to that original post and to the post about my Mom's reaction to our announcement we were going down the foster care path - but i just spent the last 30 minutes dealing with Jelly Bean and a monsterous meltdown and to be honest I'm spent. This was the second one of the evening. Hubby said to me when I came home "I'm not sure what is causing it today?". I flippantly responded "it's W…


Still dizzy. We had 2 tantrums today. Oh and Case Worker texted about this meeting on Friday for the case and the providers. I'll admit I got snippy on the phone with her. The meeting was supposed to be for the providers (therapists) to meet with the clinical supervisor so that they can all get on the same page.

Someone should give the woman a heads up that there is not a snowball's chance that all 5 of them are going to get on the same page.

This meeting of course is in the middle of the morning. And is supposed to last 2 hours. At least. The last thing I want to do is go be the scapegoat and lightning rod because I disagree with how everyone is treating the kids and how much they bend over backwards for their Mother EXCEPT when it comes to actually teaching her about HOW to parent.

I think it's going to be a waste of time. I hope I'm wrong.

I don't often let them see me sick.

I have an incurable illness. I've written about it before. My kids know that I have issues with headaches. They have no idea how sick I've been. They know I may never have biological kids because of it and that is why we became foster parents. But I don't flaunt it in front of them. In fact I handle all doctor appointments an testing without them knowing. Except today. Today is the first time they have ever been to the hospital with me.

The dizziness and the anti anxiety meds I took to curb my colossal freak out when being put in the MRI machine meant Hubby had to dive me. And since the kids had the day off they had to come with.

I assumed that Hubby would have them watch movies in the car. But 5 minutes in the waiting room and the crew comes running up to me. Now they are waiting in one room while I wait in another.

I feel bad. I hate people fussing over me. I hate ending an inconvenience. I hate that this may cause the kids to worry about me. I hate that with these r…

Day 4

Oh yes. There was a 4th day of trantruming. I was hoping that since I had left work and gone to urgent care for the mother of all migraines and unbelievable dizziness that maybe, just maybe Jelly Bean would keep it together.


So I'm laying on my bathroom floor- the room is spinning I've just spent 10 minutes vomitting from the pain and she's screeching at the top of her lungs. Hubby is pleading with her to please stop crying. He asks her what he can do to help her stop and she tells him to hit her.

It was a new low point for me. Totally powerless. Unable to soothe my child. Unable to stand up. But it reminded me how much I love my husband. He came in after and apologized that he wasn't more calm. Asked me how he could make me feel better. Made the kids dinner. Got the homework done. As helpless as I felt it was nice to be reminded I'm not in this alone .

So far (fingers crossed) no tantrum today. But I'm sending her to bed in 3 minutes it could still h…

Day 3

My 8 week vacation from drama, trauma, and tantrums is over. We are in the third consecutive day of 20+ minute temper tantrum/meltdowns by Jelly Bean. These episodes leave the entire family drained, feeling helpless and worried that she'll end up back in the hospital. The fear of seeing her Mom is pushing everyone over the edge. Me included. The sense of calm and control I had has quickly vanished. I'm reacting to their big feelings and I feel guilty about it. I feel sad I can't fix this for them. But man oh man do I feel pride in how far they have come.

The thing about the tantrums is that they drain us but once Jelly Bean gets it out she's fine. Pleasant. Back to normal. But just as that happens Gabby starts up and at 10 acts like a dog. She actually growled at her therapist tonight, for the second week in a row. She's regressing in a big way. She also decided this week she wants to tell her class she's in foster care. Unfortunately, Gabby is heavy on detai…

I hit publish and all Hell broke loose

I couldn't make this stuff up if I wanted. I hit publish with my final sentence about no issues and BAM I hear Jelly Bean crying hysterically. Full on meltdown mode. So after a few minutes of trying to get her to deep breathe and tap herself back into reality (a technique the therapists have taught us to use with the kids when triggered so they can realize they are in a age environment and not flashing back-think Inception) nothing worked. I opened my arms and she came running into my arms and jumped up onto my hip.

She was sobbing that she wanted to go home. "I miss my real house."

The "real" house was at least 4 houses ago. Which I'm sure she does miss. And I think that's the issue. 4 houses she ha lived in and now Mom has moved again. What was can never be put back. And this constant change of living spaces is really hard for her especially since she's lived here for a year. She had never lived ANYWHERE for a year. EVER.

Apparently the contrast…

Rookie Mistakes

Last year we took all four kids to see the Easter bunny like 7 days after they moved in.  I was excited to get them all dressed up and go do this ritual Moms participate in. Man, was I stupid.  The line was an hour long, the girls weren't getting along, there were tears, and when we finally got up to possibly the saddest looking bunny I've ever seen, Mr. Mohawk was terrified and refused to sit on his lap. (Little did I know this would also be his reaction to Mickey Mouse until we bribed him with Ice Cream.)

So this year I'm taking a do-over. We did not make grand plans. The kids went in kid clothing (although despite me telling JB to go put on nice jeans and a nice shirt she came down in an outfit that was  black, grey, and yellow skirt/legging combo and red heeled shoes) and we went to the dinky mall up the street. I did not go with high hopes that this will be a magical memory that they wil look back on for years to come. Nope.  This will just be another year we saw th…