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I really stink at blog titles.

Baby M and her FM, Jill, came over today. M is a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e. She is like a little baby doll. She weighs 5 lbs, 12 oz (up 6 oz. from her birth weight!) Her hair is black and very soft. I held her and for the first time while holding an infant it felt completely normal and natural. I am not sure if it was just because I've been spending so much time with little kids the past few months or what it was, exactly, but it was just lovely. Part of it may have been that the FM is pretty much new to this whole thing too...it's very hard for me to feel comfortable around people who seem like they know everything there is to know. It is intimidating for me, partly because I will be the first to admit that I always am learning and always have much to learn, no matter how much I know (or think I know). She barely cried at all, when she did it was only for a few seconds and then she was back off to sleep. I held her pretty much the whole time they we…

Memory

A few weeks ago, I had C, the 2.5 year old, "help" me bake something. I don't even remember what it was. I pulled one of the dining room chairs into the kitchen and had him stand on it so he could see. I measured the ingredients and he dumped them in the bowl. Honestly, I helped him dump them in the bowl because his hand-eye coordination is not the greatest yet.

Today, I was giving the boys their afternoon snack and pulling out some ingredients to make pumpkin bars. D asked what I was doing, and I told him I was going to bake. Immediately C said "I want to help! I want to help!" Of course I was getting the boys ready to go on their visit and trying to get jackets and shoes on. I put his jacket on him and then got Y cleaned up and got his jacket on him, and explained to C that he could help once everyone was ready to go if the transport worker wasn't there. He went to a kitchen chair (the same one I used before!) and started to pull it into the kitch…

Baby M,, Transport Woes, and Not Me...Tuesday

Baby M has finally been released from the NICU. Had a nice chat with her foster mom, who seems like a super nice lady. She is going to come over with M in tow on Friday and I am really excited to meet them both! She said she would like me to continue doing daycare for M past the 6 weeks, but only if I'm comfortable with it. She doesn't want to take advantage. That made me feel good, and I told her we'd just try it out for a while and see how it goes and then go from there.

The bad news is that the baby will not be going to visits with the boys, which I had just assumed she would (silly me!). She will go with them on Wednesdays, but other than that she has separate visits. So I will no longer have those breaks when all the kids are at visits, sadly. Also M's visits are at all different times; I'm going to have to make sure I can do a good job of keeping track of when she is leaving! It would be really bad if we were not home when she was supposed to be at a visit…

Day care payment

Since I am going to be providing daycare for Baby M, the boys' newborn little sister, our FSW suggested that I become a licensed daycare provider so that I could get paid for caring for her.

There are myriad forms to complete in order to become licensed, and I found out that we would have to have a new background check done as well as a new health assessment. I am not sure if M's foster mom is wanting me to provide daycare on a "permanent" basis (since nothing in the foster care system is actually permanent!), or if it would only be for 6 weeks until she can go to a real daycare. I emailed our FSW for clarification because honestly if it is only for 6 weeks, and it takes a month for me to get licensed anyway, then it is kind of pointless to do all the work for only a week or two of pay.

Out of curiosity, I looked up the rate that the state pays daycare providers. I am not 100% sure that I was looking at the correct form, but it appears to me that the state pays $2…

Normal

I am not normal. My "family" is anything but normal, with three foster kids of various ages, a 2 year old that gives new meaning to the phrase "terrible twos", and the whole slew of service providers that we have to deal with on a weekly if not daily basis.

I have to wonder what people think when they see us out and about and C is screaming his little brains out over nothing in particular. I know most people assume that these are "my" children. Do they think that perhaps I spoil him by holding him when he is crying? Or that he is spoiled at home, obviously, otherwise his behavior would not be so horrible in public? Do they think that I beat him and that is why sometimes he doesn't want to get in the car to go home? Do they shake their heads at this "young" "mother" who appears to be in over her head?

In our church when a child is crying for his or her parents at Sunday School, they are normally told "Your mommy and dadd…

Eating

The little boys are supposed to eat dinner at their mom's house when they have visits there. Well last night D had to be at a thing at 6:30 and I had to take him. Normally the little boys' bedtimes are 7 p.m. (because they sleep 12+ hours each night). So I figured they would get to bed a little bit late, but not super late. They were both being whiny cry baby pee pants so before we left in the car I filled them each up a cup of puffs because frankly, there was no suitable cereal and I didn't want to walk down to the pantry to get it.

So in the car, Y eats all of his puffs and starts screaming and asking C for his puffs.

No one was at D's school, where we were supposed to drop him off.

So we drove around looking for the place we are supposed to go...and Y kept crying.

Got home at 7:15 or so, and put both of the boys in their chairs to eat.

Y proceeded to eat:
- an entire bun-length turkey dog
- probably about 1/4 cup of greek yogurt
- a whole graham cracker and then some
- pe…

I sent this email today...

I hope I don't regret it later!

Sent to our Caseworker, our FSW, and our Service Coordinator (names have been changed to protect the innocent, and the not so):

CW and SC,

I spoke with FSW a few days ago, and she indicated that CW stated she has not received these background checks.

1. SC, could you please send this stuff again to CW? Or could the two of you talk and figure out what happened to these?
2. Is it a matter of cost that the background checks on out of state people can not be done? We will pay for the checks if there is a fee involved or something like that. If it is some other reason could somebody please communicate with me? I feel like I'm going back and forth between all of you and I don't feel like that is really my job. Not to mention the fact that I'm sure you are all getting tired of hearing from me.
3. CW, can you please give me the name, phone number, and email address of your supervisor?

I just want to say that I am so frustrated with the foster care …

Circumcisions and tantrums

I'm just going to come out and say it - C has been terrible lately. His tantrums have suddenly gotten really bad again. Sometimes he wakes up in the morning and just screams for a half an hour or so. Nothing in the world I can do to calm him down. He just wants to be carried around like a little baby everywhere we go. Crying is contagious, in case you didn't know, and so when he starts, Y starts, and then I have two screaming children to carry from place to place. Let me tell you, it's so relaxing and wonderful. Yet apparently C is a perfectly normal 2 year old. My nerves are about shot with this child.

I think if I did not have to co-parent I would try purging his system and work on eliminating any food allergies/reactions. I am not an expert on it by any means but I have read that kids can have behavioral reactions to things like food coloring and preservatives and stuff like that. I'm pretty sure that is basically all he eats at his mom's house so it'…

Baby sitting

Our FSW called today and asked if I would be willing to do childcare for the baby while her foster parents are working for six weeks or so until she is old enough to go into daycare. And my husband said I could do it! I'm pretty excited. :) It's not set in stone yet though. But anyway, if this does happen, I am pretty much going to be home bound. As in, not going out during the day basically at all, and then only if I absolutely must. But it is exciting. :) I get the benefit of hanging out with the baby a lot, without the terror of having to wake up in the middle of the night to care for her as well as make it through the day with three small children.

In other news, Y is getting circumcised on Monday. :( Once again, totally not my decision, but will just have to deal with it. His appointment is at 8:15 a.m. and is going to take about 4 hours from start to finish. So far no one has gotten back to me on whether anyone I know is approved to watch the kids...so I am goin…

Hard day

Today was hard. Just having two young boys who showed a perpetual disdain for ALL their toys, and were getting in to everything that they know they aren't supposed to get into, and my plans getting changed up at the last second. Man I hate that. Maybe that's why God made me want to be a foster parent - because there is no planning ability with this job!

The baby was actually born last night. She weighed 5 lbs 6 oz and is in the NICU for a little while. She is breathing on her own and was 5 weeks early, which is pretty good. Got called today that the visit was going to be split between the mom and the little boys' (and the baby's) dad, so they asked if I could pick up D from the hospital at 4:15. So there went all my plans for what I was going to do while the boys were at their visit. So anyway I met the mom again, and she asked if I wanted to see the baby. I was hoping I'd be able to! Maybe that is a little strange, I don't know. But I almost feel like an a…

The Meeting

I met bio mom yesterday. She didn't end up having the baby the other day, so she is still very pregnant. She just looks like a young girl in the face to me. Hard to believe she has an 11 year old child. I also met her grandma, and one of her sisters. Her grandma looked young also - she said she has 20 grand children and 30 great-grand children. She is in her 60's - this is the age of my husband's mother! Grandma (who is the kids' great-grandma) talked my ear off. At first she totally ignored me; I think she thought I was one of D's friends. Then when she realized who I was she told me I looked like some person in her family...then the bio mom piped up "She thinks you look like you're about 17 or 18 years old!" Then I told them about the time when I went to pick up D from his class at church and he thought I was a middle schooler. It was funny. Didn't really talk to the bio mom very much. She looked kind of uncomfortable. Then grandma s…

Blog

Do you like that title?

Anyway. I hate to toot my own horn, but bio dad and bio mom are telling visitation workers and case workers etc. how much they like me. Isn't that nice? Is it strange that I want their approval, even though I don't necessarily agree with all or most of their major life decisions and their parenting styles?

Now it is my turn to gripe about the system.

So, in order for our friends and family to watch the boys for us, they have to pass a background check. Several friends and family members have completed the forms to have their background checks run so that they can help with the boys if/when we need it. We also have some friends that are currently getting licensed for foster care and were approved, but then they discovered that one of their background checks hadn't been run for a state they lived in, so then they were not approved...and then that one came back, so they are approved again, but I got a call today that the check has to be sent to o…

Not Me Monday...well, sort of

I'll do a few not me's and then some other stuff, because I haven't blogged in a while.

I certainly did not have a laundry-free (read: lots of time working outside) week. Obviously one of the important parts of my job as a home-maker is LAUNDRY for all five of us in this house. When both D and my husband complained about their lack of clean clothes, I did not look at them in shock and say "Okay, okay, I'll do laundry tomorrow! Heaven forbid someone else should lift a finger around here to do their own laundry!" My husband, being the understanding, caring and compassionate individual that he is, did not respond with "Oh honey, you have it down to a science. I wouldn't want to mess with your method!" Thanks, dear.

Y has not become a connoisseur of the word "no". He certainly does NOT respond to every request and/or question with "Noooooo!" And I certainly do not have to stifle my laughter every time. What kind of a person …