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Showing posts from February, 2012

Part two!

Had the bonding assessment with Mr. Y today. I think it went OK. He was fairly reserved, I think because we were in a place he had never been before. But the therapist said he talked more than he ever has which is a good sign and he was doing some other things that she thought were "good".

She thinks he might be depressed or have some other issues like that. It's hard for me to think of my little 2 year old baby being depressed. :( Yes he's still my baby even though he is 2! I can see why someone who doesn't spend a lot of time with him might think that. He often has kind of a "stone face", which I have attributed to him being introverted. Also sometimes you have to ask him a question a few times to get an answer, or wait a long time for an answer. She says he is avoiding the questions, but I don't know. We have been wondering if he is having some trouble hearing, or maybe he is just 2 and doesn't have time for your silly questions, than…

Bonding

Miss M and I had our bonding assessment yesterday. The therapist thought it went well and her opinion is the one that matters! :) We were video recorded and the therapist had us play together for 10 minutes, put the toys away, play with bubbles for a few minutes, do some tasks (like put those popping beads together and then take them apart, stack cups, stack blocks). Then she had me leave the room for a few minutes and then come back.

The therapist was super nice. I told my husband she felt like a kindred spirit, but I'm not sure if that is just the way that therapists have, you know what I mean. She told me that they were looking for smiling and laughing, if I responded to M's needs, how I gave instructions, if I was overly controlling or not clear enough. I guess that if it does go to termination the therapist has to make a recommendation on what the best placement for Miss M would be so that's why they wanted to do it.

Afterward we chatted about our relationship. She…

Oooooh yeah, the weekend

D was gone most of the weekend and it was kind of nice! I know that sounds bad. It's just nice to have a bit of privacy and some time in the evenings alone with my husband. Sometimes. :)

There was a quick program at camp to display the work and art that the kids did over the weekend. D's group did a skit. I knew immediately that he had been involved in writing the skit because it was some sort of combination of the Hunger Games (he has read all the books and is re-reading them), zombies (we are watching the Walking Dead), and other weird things. It sounded like he had a really good time and made some new friends so that's good! There will probably be more camps like this in his future.
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I took him to WalMart this evening to pick up some things for a school project and some clothes. He asked if he could get a poster for his room and I said yes, but I had to approve it first. Well, the only poster he wanted was of Lil Way…

Running

Yeah, I ran 15 miles this morning. It was cold, and it took a really long time. And then I came home and ate some food, showered, and made dinner in the slow cooker, and cleaned the house for company, and then I picked up the kids, and then I cleaned some more and cooked some more, then I hung out with our friends, and then I cleaned even more! In between things like breaking up fights, changing poopy diapers, blowing noses, and all of those very exciting things that go along with every day life.

So, I am tired. My number one goal for tomorrow is to sit on my behind as much as possible. And also do laundry. Which is pretty much on my to-do list almost every day.

On a completely unrelated note, the boys' therapist (she works with the boys and M and their bio mom, not with me at all, and I believe her job is to facilitate bonding between bio mother and child?) asked me to do a bonding assessment with Y and also one with M. So I am kind of nervous about that. I shouldn't be. …

Hooray!

Our caseworker got a job with the state, and she will remain on our case! So the only thing changing, so far, is her email address.

THANK YOU GOD! This is a big relief to me. Whew! I sort of feel like doing a little dance but that might be inappropriate. :)

Oh and also, D apologized this afternoon for his behavior yesterday. He said he has been sometimes going off the deep end on his teachers too. He told me how he got mad at one of his teachers today for basically no reason. So, it's good that he can recognize that his behavior is inappropriate. I wanted to keep talking about it with him but also recognize the fact that if he realizes it himself, he probably doesn't need much more input from me. I am learning more and more that sometimes I just need to shut up. :)

On another rather random note, D brought home a bunch of clothes from his mom's house last night. Up until recently, he had been taking all of his dirty clothes there to wash, and bringing home clean cloth…

Teenagers

OK so parenting this teenager is way harder than I thought it would be. I am so sensitive, really, and so very, VERY logical, that it is extremely hard for me to see a child that is bigger than me thinking along the same levels as his three-year-old brother. It's also very hard for me not to take behavior personally. I feel like I've gotten better but I know I have a ways to go.

I feel like we're not doing enough, but I don't know what else to do! He has a history of many years of no consequences for his actions, and being able to manipulate adults with his behavior. He is guarded, he doesn't like what we represent, he takes everything personally to the nth degree.

Sometimes I think we are moving on from this stuff but stuff happens like what happened last night and it makes me question what the heck is going on.

Me: *getting a huge whiff of him as he walked by* Did you shower at your mom's?
D: Yes
Me: Did you put on deodorant?
D: No
Me: Well, I think you need to …

Changes

Our state went through privatization of the foster care system shortly after the boys moved in with us. Case management was privatized shortly afterwards, and we have not worked directly with anybody from the state since that time.

We just got word today that the system will become un-privatized on March 1.

Our hearing is on March 8.

So I guess now we just wait for the dust to settle. I really hope we can keep our current caseworker OR that we get the original caseworker that worked with us when the boys were originally placed here.

And most of all, I hope that this change is not detrimental to the boys. I really, really don't want a new caseworker to come in and think they need to start trying for reunification all over again.

Poop

Some of you more recent blog followers might know about the C-Monster's poop issues. In a nutshell, when he moved in he was extremely constipated. We have battled constipation for a long time, and finally last May we were referred to a GI specialist.

Within the last week C has transitioned completely off of his poop medicine (i.e., Miralax). Well, it hasn't been going so well. The doctor said as long as he poops every other day then it's fine, but he usually does twice a day. Until Thursday, when he only did once...then Friday, when he didn't at all...and then today, where he still hasn't.

He had a visit with his mom today, and was having some poop issues. She called me to talk to me about it (!!!!) and she said "He made me feel kinda bad, he was sitting there yelling for you the whole time. I know I have nobody to blame for that but myself though."

So, there you have it. From "My mom lets me get something from McDonald's" to "W…

Who is my mom?

Had this conversation with C today, and it kinda killed me. :(

C: Is 'Snickers' your mom?
Me: No, 'Foster Grandma' is my mom.
C: Is 'Snickers' Brian's mom?
Me: Yes.
C: Who is my mom?
Me: ...(bio mom's name) is your mom.
C: Why?
Me: ...because she grew you in her tummy.

Crap how do you answer a question like that? We all know that growing in a tummy doesn't qualify you as a mom. I mean, in some sense it does without a shadow of a doubt, but definitely other qualities make you a mom. The same that just because a man provided the sperm to create a human life, doesn't make him a dad - it does, but there are lots of other things that make a man a dad.

Deep conversations with an almost-four-year-old. Gotta love the way they make you think about life!

Not Me

Because I haven't done any of these for a while...

Yesterday Y simultaneously burped, barfed on D, and peed on the floor. He looked completely horrified, as if he had no idea how that happened! D was equally horrified...I mean, he obviously just got barfed on. Pretty serious stuff for a 12-year-old. He cleaned up the barf, my husband cleaned up the pee on the floor, and I cleaned up the pee on the child. Teamwork, to the rescue!!! At any rate, my first instinct during this whole time was definitely NOT to laugh...and I have certainly not laughed several times throughout the day, at my children's expense! I would never do such a thing.

Then today C ate, literally, one bite of food for dinner. Which is fine; we let them eat however much they want and then they can be done. The catch is that we don't eat again until the next meal time. Anyway, after dinner we went swimming. I ran 14 miles today and when I do a long run like that I burn over 1,000 calories, so I get pret…

Team meeting (sort of!)

My loving husband was able to get the house in order while I was gone picking up kids, so that worked out wonderfully. He vacuumed and put the furniture back where it goes, and made it look nice. I am thankful for him! Especially since D's practice ran late, and the CW actually was at our house before we were! GAL never showed up to the meeting and never called or emailed or anything. I wonder if she put it on her calendar for the wrong day or something.

At any rate. It sounds like the CW has no doubts whatsoever that parental rights will end. She said that at court when the permanency plan gets changed, then visits will start to be reduced. Can I just say that I am THRILLED with the prospect of not having visits on the weekends? Sometimes it's nice so that we can have a date or whatever, but honestly it is a huge pain because let's be honest, pretty much everything fun happens on the weekends. Or, more specifically, on Saturdays.

Apparently one of bio mom's si…

"...Oh..."

My husband was talking to his dad the other day, letting him know a little bit about what is going on in the case. DH told DIL that the permanency plan was probably being changed to adoption. DIL said "Oh, so then you guys would just take care of them until somebody wants to adopt them?" DH said "Maybe you didn't understand....WE would adopt them."

DIL's response? "...Oh."

My husband and I had some good laughs about that! I wonder if DIL just never thought that we would adopt, or something. It is for sure going to change both of our family trees!

CW sent me an email asking if we would be willing to adopt the boys. She also said she knows it's a big decision, and that it's OK if we don't have an answer. I thought it was kind of funny. I mean, they've been living with us for 20 months...don't you think we would have maybe thought about that? Especially since in the FIRST conversation I had about the boys with our previous CW,…

Valentine's day!

Welp, today is the big day! I went shopping yesterday and had fun picking out some things for the boys. I got D a "bouquet" of candy bars. Yeah, I know the way to that kid's heart. ;) For the little boys I bought them these little stuffed animals (a lion and a tiger) with matching blankets. And light-up rubber duckies with hearts on them, and red Peeps, and a tiny heart-shaped box of chocolates. They love playing with blankets and doing things like using them as capes, dresses (yes they occasionally pretend they are girls...for like 10 seconds until they decide to be something else), wrapping for "presents" (i.e., their toys that they give to me and each other on our "birthdays" which may happen as frequently as once a week), tents, ghost costumes...yeah. They are a creative bunch. :)

Before I gave them their presents we talked about Valentine's day and how you show people that you love them. And while they were eating breakfast C told me &q…

Thinking through this, and some more info

Wellllll...

It's official. OK, not really, but as official as it can be at this point. If rights get terminated, we will be adopting Miss M as well as her brothers. So that makes four kids, for those of you counting. I am pretty excited but also nervous. In the past year I have mastered bath time and bed time solo with three little ones, adding another is going to be a bit of a stretch. Usually we can kind of tag team but sometimes one or the other of us has to be gone. I think it will be OK. Actually I think it will be fun. The main thing I'm worried about is becoming the caretaker of a head very full of African American hair. I have no experience, other than with cutting it. Huge learning curve here! Thank goodness she is still too young to care what it looks like because it might not be that nice for the first few months. :)

Also today, D asked me when he was going to start having overnights with his mom again. I was, of course, unprepared for this random question…

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Welp, just got an email. From the caseworker.

The hearing in March was supposed to be just a review hearing.

It has been changed to a Permanency Planning hearing.

She will be recommending that the Permanency Plan be changed from Reunification...

... to Adoption.

So..I guess we just keep waiting.

We might have 3 or 4 children of our very own before the year is up!

How crazy is that????

Oh and P.S., this is basically all I know. Any of you that know the boys in real life, please don't mention this to them. There's no point talking about anything with them until it has actually happened. And obviously everything will have to be very delicately and hopefully with the help of a therapist.

Oh and P.P.S., the boys' GAL seems like she is acting like bio mom's attorney and keeping her trying to get them to delay the TPR until mom can get her stuff taken care of. Because, you know, 2 years hasn't been enough time. Just got a very long email from her. Ugh.

So basically, don…

The post of many topics

Today is the day that the team is meeting to discuss the case. I probably won't hear anything until tomorrow, because that's how our CW rolls. That is probably also not going to stop me from obsessively checking my email every 30 minutes or more. Thank goodness for smart phones! :)

Last night I dusted our upstairs, and it was awful! We got some of those Swiffer duster things for our wedding (six years ago!) and I decided to use them. FYI, this is not to say that I haven't dusted in 6 years, because I definitely have. I just don't usually use those things. Anyway, they worked out pretty well! I found myself wishing I had some more because I used up all the ones I had...they were getting to the point where they had so much grime on them that each swipe was leaving half the dust behind. Ha!

I am finally, officially, finished painting our new trim for the upstairs. It took me about a month. Not that I worked on it every day, but I did try to be consistent about it. …

Taxes

Um, OK, so apparently you can claim foster children on your taxes if they live with you more than 6 months of the year.

I HAD NO IDEA! HOW DUMB AM I? We have to be talking some substantial money here, what with three kids and all. I mean I don't know. I have no clue about claiming kids, because I have never done it before. People always talk about getting all kinds of money because of claiming their kids though.

In 2010 two of the boys were with us longer than 6 months, and C was with us exactly 6 months. We had to pay a penalty because we didn't pay enough throughout the year. Plus we had to pay several thousand dollars at tax time. We also didn't claim the boys...and now I find out that we could have! How dumb am I? That could have saved us at least some of that money.

So I am looking into amending our 2010 return. And thankfully I haven't done 2011 yet. Sheesh.

And also, I hate taxes. I mean, as someone who used to work in taxes I feel like I have a better gr…

Super bowl!

We went to some friend's last night for the Super Bowl. I watched approximately 15 seconds of football, and otherwise just held a baby, chatted, listened, and that kind of thing. Because football is really, really boring.

Anyway, the boys were up a little bit later than usual. Maybe 1 hour later. Which isn't that much.

I paid for it this morning. Oh man, did I pay.

The boys woke up early, I'm sure because big brother was being loud. I held up two cereals and asked C which one he wanted. Y said which one he wanted, and I told him OK, but I am getting C his breakfast right now and I will get yours in a minute. Y yelled "NO! Ugh!" at me. It was really ugly, hard to convey in words but he was being very rude. So I asked him to go to his room until he could talk to me in a nicer voice.

And he went in his room and screamed for...I don't know, 30 minutes. Screams were punctuated by him yelling "I'm tired! I'm tired!" Then I went to check on hi…