Thursday, October 23, 2014

Little Man

Little Man is a busy baby.  I do believe that this is the first time that I had to write a note that papers were eaten by a baby.  He is seriously teething.

His mom continues to miss visits.  I find it confusing that on the last missed visit she posted a picture of Little Man on facebook instead of visiting with him. I wish that I knew what her objective is.  Does she plan on fighting for him at the last minute?  Why has she missed all visits since July?  Does she realize that her baby is growing up so fast?  Does she realize how much we have fallen in love with her child and how he has fallen in love with us?

We always encourage reunification.  We try to work with the parents and even maintain relationships with several of our former foster children and parents.  However, in this case, honestly I hope that reunification does not happen.  The fact that mom has missed so many visits is alarming to me.  I know that for one visit she was in jail and couldn't come, but from what I have seen there is no excuse for the rest.

DSS has decided to go to court and change the case from reunification to concurrent reunification/TPR. This is the first step towards terminating parental rights.  His case goes to court in November.  Mom will be notified, I wonder if she will start to visit at that point. At thsi point she can still step up and gain custody of her son.  She has some work to do and would need to start visiting with regularity. She has the power to make this case go either way.  It is up to her at this point.  Please pray that the right decisions are made for Little Man.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


We have a lot of changes going on here in our household. 

It looks as though Sarah will actually be moving out next semester.  She applied to Columbia International University again and was accepted.  When she graduated from high school she wanted to do mission work so she took a trip with Teen Missions International.  While on this trip she had problems with a bully.  This led her away from mission work. 

She started attending the local community college while trying to decide what she wanted to do.  She applied for another college and was accepted but she changed her mind at the last minute because she wasn't sure of her course of study.  She has come full circle to her original plans.  I think that she will actually move to the dorms next semester and I already miss her.

Please say a prayer for Sarah.  She is suddenly worried that she won't be able to do her hearts desire because of her NF1.  Her anxiety has been over the top lately.  Anyone know of a good natural way to help with anxiety?

Sarah decided that she didn't want to take up an entire bedroom since she won't be home full-time.  After a lot of discussions and considering behavior issues the decision was made for Larissa and Sarah to share a bedroom. Larissa and Sarah have shared a room before and do very well together.  She was the only sister that Sarah considered since Larissa actually respects Sarah's stuff.

Michelle and Emma are now going to share a bedroom.  Emma has been doing so well that we decided to move her back upstairs.  There are no pictures because the entire upstairs looks like a hurricane hit!  On the second night in their bedroom Emma and Michelle tore down their curtains.  I warned them that if they tore down the blinds then they won't have any window covering since I won't replace them.  So far they have left them alone.  They are so destructive that it gets frustrating at times.  For the most part I have learned to let it go.  It simply means that they have less because of their destructive tendencies.  Michelle is currently waiting for me to fix her bed.  The frame didn't hold up to their jumping.  I will get to it sometime.

I will post pictures when the rooms look like bedrooms, not storage facilities.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

When did it happen?

I spent too much of my time today looking through old pictures. I really need to make some albums so that the kids can look too.  I came across these pictures of me and my mom.  They were taken in 2008.  At that time she was struggling with the effects of a stroke but she was still mobile.  Still cooking and contributing.  She had moved in with us and took care of herself.

She had a stroke because she stopped taking her high blood pressure medication.  If you take medication for health reasons don't ever stop.  It took a lot from her but it has also has an effect on her family.

She has a type of dementia called vascular dementia.  It is different from Alzheimer's.  With Alzheimer's the decline is continual.  With vascular dementia the decline is more like steps, long periods of stability followed by a sudden drop.  She will have a small stroke that we arent' even aware of and go down another step.

At this point all my mom does for herself is feed herself.  She can't even shift herself in her bed.  I worry about bedsores all the time. The last thing I do before going to bed is shift her and change her.

Honestly, tonight I didn't want to do it.  I am weary.  At some point I stopped being a daughter to my mom and became her caretaker.  I really miss being the daughter.  I miss the relationship that we had.  It has become so one sided and I get frustrated.  I want her to try and work her muscles.  I know that she can improve if she just worked at it.  She won't work at it.  I don't understand why.  It feels like she has given up, perhaps she has given up. 

All I can do is continue to encourage her and continue to take care of her. 

Still, I miss being the daughter.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Have you ever run up to McDonald's to buy a Happy Meal toy because the kids didn't get the same toy?

I normally don't.  But when your girls are into Monster High and two out of three got the glasses....well, I did. 

Crisis averted for $2.

So I got to take pictures.  Lots of pictures.  I love the digital age.  I remember when film and developing was costly and so out your control.  You hoped that the pictures came out well.  You didn't know for sure until you got them back.  Sometimes a whole roll would be bad and the picture moment was gone.  Yes, I love digital cameras and the ability to take many pictures and not worry about the cost.  I do however miss the photo albums that used to sit around.  Maybe I need to make up some photo albums for the kids to look through.

I sure wish that Emma's hair would grow faster!  She wants me to braid it, I tell her to stop cutting it so that I can!  We have been treating it since it was getting a tinge of green in it from swimming all summer.  I didn't think that the salt pools did that but apparently they do.  At least not to the extreme that I used to get as a kid from choline. 

Emma was shocked to learn that I was once a blond as well.  Every summer my hair turned green and I started school with a short hair cut.

It is October and time to start thinking about Halloween costumes.  I have kids who want to be a Batman, pirate, basketball player and Elsa.  Can you guess who wants to be what?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Welcome Little One

Some of the women in the family spent the night at the local hospital to welcome a new little one to our family.

Mommy and baby are doing great.  New dad is so in love. 

I am so happy that Ethan and Tasha have this opportunity, to feel love for their child. I believe that they will make great parents.

Now I have to learn a new role as an active Mimi.  When to mind my own business and when to speak up.  This is their family and I will not be blogging about their story.  It is after all their story.  However, our lives are intertwined so I am sure there will be some mention of Vaida because this Mimi is going to seriously spoil her grandchild with love.  So blessed!

Monday, October 6, 2014


Finally, I was able to get Larissa an IEP to help her with her math. If she was being homeschooled I would have continued with our math but since she is in school she is expected to keep up with her peers.  In math she can not keep up with her peers. 

I don't know why she struggles so much in math.  They tested her and then asked me what her abilities are.  They wanted to know if she could count to 100.  Yes, she can count to 100 by 1, 2, 5 and 10's.  However, she can't tell you that 17 is less than 84.  This also showed in her testing.

They were somewhat confused though because she did have a good grasp of some math concepts, charting, measuring and such.  She does because at some point last year I threw away the math books and introduced her to carpentry and cooking.

She learned how to use a level....

about different screw bits......

how to measure.....

and how to write those measurements down.

She learned some applications of math.  We will continue to learn math applications at home.

In class Larissa was doing, addition, subtraction, multiplication, pre-algebra, etc. She wasn't able to get past the 1 times in class in spite of numerous teachings.  She got everything confused.  Numbers are like a foreign language to her.  She will not be an engineer but that is fine with me.  She has plenty of other options available to her.

We have it set up so that she will leave her class during math time and will get math instruction in the self contained classroom.  The rest of the day will be in her regular classroom. She will not miss any instruction in other areas.

Today was her first day and she came home excited.  She had a welcome card from the class and no math homework.  So much less stress!  She was able to finish the rest of her homework without tears.  She was excited to go to school this morning.  It is a shame that she had to get so far behind before they were willing to help her.  The way the system is here is that they offer help once a child is so far behind and are so frustrated.  I don't understand why they don't help kids when they are struggling so that they don't have to reach the frustration point.

On her sleep issues there really isn't a good answer.  the other day she came home feeling dizzy because she was so tired.  The next morning I couldn't wake her so I let her sleep in.  She slept until 10 and then went to school.  Right now the plan is for me to monitor her sleep.  If I feel that she needs to sleep in I can allow that and they will consider it an excused absence.  Also, if she is so tired at school that she is getting dizzy she can call me and I will go get her.  They weren't too keen on that part because they worry that she will take advantage of it.  I don't think that she will and if so I will address it then.

We finally have an appointment to see a sleep specialist at the end of the month.  It was hard finding someone who takes children for some reason.  I guess kids aren't supposed to have sleep issues.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Folks.......It is Going to Break My Heart

Seven months ago he came into our home. Many days our house looks as though a toy factory had exploded.  The best toys make a lot of noise and batteries are bought in large quantities.

The carpet had to go, we can't do carpet.  Kids running through it after being in the pool, wet dogs, spilled food that isn't allowed all conspire against me.  Yes, we have exercise mats in our family room.

Little man does not like to sleep.  He likes to go, go and go.  His favorite thing to do is to climb these steps.  He can climb them VERY quickly.  He is sneaky that way.  We have learned that we can not close the door at the top. A closed door is not a deterrent to him.  He will stand at the top leaning against it.  I fear that he will fall back. I am looking at options for gating off these steps.  Tile on the floor and brick steps and walls make it a challenge.

He is growing up so fast.  He wants to walk so badly. It won't be long and he will be running.  I wonder if I will be there to see it.

He has also learned that I am mom.  He looks for me.  He cries for me when others are holding him.  My kisses are magical and clear up tears promptly.

I know him.  I love him and I know that when he leaves it will hurt. 

My fear is that it will hurt him more and he won't know where I have gone.  I call myself his mom but I am not, I am his foster mom.  His mom hasn't seen him since July.  Since she last saw him he has learned how to sit up, how to pull to a standing position, how to cruise, how to feed himself using his pincher grasp, how to cough socially, how to open drawers, how to climb steps.  When she decides to show up I wonder how he will react to her.  Will he remember that she is his mom?  Will he fuss to come to me?  I know that happens, it did with Larissa.

His mom has not contacted DSS since July.  I talked with her in August but since she never contacted DSS I have been told to stop contacting her.  Once I stopped initiating contact, she has made no attempt to contact me. She has not asked me how he is doing, to send her pictures or videos or whether she plans on showing up.  In all our foster cases this is my first one in which the mom just stops coming.  Every week we wait for DSS to call. I no longer take him up to visitation only to turn around and go home.  I now wait to see if she shows up and if she does I will take him in.  I have not received a call yet.

But, I know that next week it could change.  Right now mom has all the power.  She could start visiting and finish her care plan.  She can still get her child back.  It is all up to her.  All I can do is wait.

In the meantime, her son is growing up.