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July!

Welcome July! We've been busy over here at Foster Mom R's house. Mainly because everyone's favorite 2 year old has been with us for the past 4 weeks. Solana's Dad has been working 2 jobs and we've been helping with child care. He'd rather her stay with us and spend time with her siblings instead of at a babysitter while he works a crazy schedule.  He has come to visit her at our house and we went on vacation with him over Father's Day weekend. He also spent 4th of July with us, staying at our house for a few nights. (It's a 90 minute drive home from our house.)

We have been grateful for this time. Solana is learning and growing each day and she is just hilarious!  She's also fairly stubborn so that makes for some interesting battle of the wills. I have more than a decade of negotiating contracts under my belt but I have zero ability to negotiate with her. There was one day that she just absolutely lost her mind because I took the empty banana peel from her after she ate the banana.  I mean the tears were rolling down her face, inconsolable. Thank goodness we had another banana.

She is also on this Frozen kick where we are only allowed to watch and or listen to the movie Frozen. It reached a new level last week when she demanded that only Anna and Hans songs were acceptable to listen to. And all day long shes knocking on doors yelling "Do you want to build a snowman" except all you can make out is "man". "O-loss" and "Pen" are her new friends. Some of what we are saying is sinking in though because Pen "bit" O-loss the other day and she put Pen in time out with a firm "NO BITE!"

She's back at her Dads and we will go back to the weekend schedule.  Hubby took it really hard.  But her Dad has been great about sending pictures and letting us video chat. The day he picked her up he took all the kids to the park and then to Starbucks for a treat. So of course now we have a two year old running around yelling "Barbucks?!"

Everyone else is doing fine.  Smiley lost her two front teeth so now she looks like a vampire.  Stella is off at Band Camp this week so I went from 5 kids to just 3 and its unbelievably quiet. Simon is reading up a storm in order to win all of the prizes for the summer reading incentive at the library and Sarah has been a great big sister to Solana and tolerating Smiley. There was some worry about Solana going back to the weekends only schedule but since her Dad has also made an effort to include the kids in stuff, they feel better about her being gone and that she will be coming back.

So far the summer has been fairly quiet in terms of trauma related issues, and foster care.  We got a new licensing worker who came to re-certify us.  Our old worker apparently left nothing in our file so of course the new one and I got off to a rocky start.  Having Solana with us so frequently means she counts against our "total". So I had to open up our number of beds to 6 in order for us to be able to take 1. Per the rules we can have 6 beds without becoming a "group home". With 4 permanent and 1 bonus we have only 1 truly open. The worker also gave me a hard time about pausing our fostering for a while but in the same conversation made mention of always being able to say "no". They were like we can't just have open foster homes with no placements...and I was like, um I haven't received a call in months. I've gotten emails about siblings but at this point we can really only take 1 kiddo. I offered that we could maybe do respite but since we work full time that gets tricky. So as off-putting as this visit was, I'm glad to be rid of our last worker.  They spent entirely too much time preaching their own personal religious beliefs and not enough time listening to me as the foster parent. (So much so they forgot to have me sign the paperwork at their last visit.)

How is your summer going?


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