Thursday, March 29, 2007

Talking to foster/adoptive kids about their story

I've been wanting to make a book for each of the girls that tells the story of their history with age appropriate information. The perfectionist in me has procrastinated for months, I wanted to draw it in Corel, edit it in Photoshop and have it professionally bound. This week I just sat down and got it done. I used blank 4x6 index cards, Sharpie markers and a simple photo album. It doesn't have any words so the story can be told orally and changed as they understand more.

Jo loves her book and wants me to read it over and over again.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Dream Home ....take 2

So this past week DP and I have been mulling over the idea of renovating a house. Why? You ask? Well, as a foster parent my family expands and contracts at a quick pace. Read A Call and add to that ....CJ has two older sisters that may come into care. I say may....but that's another post to write about.

It's only an idea that we have been lightly considering because we do love our house and there is not much on the market to entice us into action.

But it brings up the notion that we could possibly keep adding to our family unexpectedly through new sibling births. Jo's mother should be past childbirth age now and Lili's mother should be able to parent any future children....but new placement's siblings? That opens up a whole new chapter in our lives.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sharing Info

As a foster/adoptive parent I often struggle with sharing my children's info with others. I want to be able to share my life like a typical parent, asking for advice and venting when frustrated. On the other hand I don't want to share too much info that I will regret it later (Oh, she's a drug baby...that's why she does that) or worry that I might be compromising a foster child's privacy.

I struggle with that here on the blog too. So sometimes big things are happening in my world and I'm not sure how to phrase it or how much to tell here. I want to share my experiences with the system to inform and to advocate......and to feel a sense of community. One of the hardest parts of being an "employee" of the system is not having the support and network of close "co-workers". At an office job it's often easy to relate the woes of a work day with someone over the cubicle.

So in a way having this blog and reading other foster/adoptive blogs is a lot like corporate "Knowledge Management" Knowledge management is described as “the process of capturing and sharing a community’s collective expertise to fulfill its mission.”

Thanks for stopping by my cubicle today.

Hey do you smell cake?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

No Impact Man

Every once in a while I happen upon a blog that draws me in. Like a good book I can't stop reading, can't stop telling my friends about it.

Check out No Impact Man

His blog description is "A guilty liberal finally snaps, swears off plastic, goes organic, becomes a bicycle nazi, turns off his power, composts his poop and, while living in New York City, generally turns into a tree-hugging lunatic that tries to save the polar bears and the rest of the planet from environmental catastrophe while dragging his baby daughter and Prada-wearing, Four Seasons-loving wife along for the ride.

I'm in awe....but even if you think he's's like a car have to look.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


You haven't seen any new hair pictures lately because the hair has been wild and free. I've been keeping it down and simple while I work on perfecting some new hair and skin concoctions. I was running out of my Carol's Daughter Healthy Hair Butter and decided to go online order some ingredients and try my hand at making some new hair goo at home.

I ordered Shea butter (shown in the brown paper), Coconut oil (in the tall jar), Jojoba oil, vegetable glycerin, Cocoa butter, Olive oil, essential oils and Avocado oil.

I already mixed up some great skin souffle (in the small tin) and it is terrific. I'm still waiting for my Cocoa Butter to be delivered before I whip up any specific hair potions. I've been experimenting with combinations of the different products and judging how their hair does with them.

I can't wait to mix up some more!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Call

My last placement, Baby Ekida, was moved to the foster home that had her older sibling. I was just updated by her CASA worker that her case will be moving to terminate parental rights and recommend adoption by the foster parents. I'm happy that she will have some permanency rather quickly and that she will share her life with her sibling.

I'm sad to hear that her family may need us again. Mom is pregnant and they have asked if we would be willing to take the new baby when it comes into care. We said yes. The other foster family is unable to take any more children and they know that we will maintain sibling contact.

I don't know if we will actually get called, mom has tried to hide this pregnancy and she left the state to give birth to Ekida in order to escape DFS.

So for now...we wait and see.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The way it is.

If you have a minute check out Claud's post at Musings of the Lame: Yeah, I'll bother..

It addresses so much of the responsibility that I feel to maintain some sort of contact with my kids parents & siblings.


This is CJ's foot, isn't it the cutest? He is growing so fast -10 pounds already. He's sleeping better at night in his Amby Baby and so I'm sleeping better too. He's doing well with his methadone reductions and should be completely weaned off by the end of the month.

Jo has been watching a potty video in the mornings and that has lead to her asking to go potty throughout the day. It hasn't lead to actually going in the potty, but I'll take what I can get. Lili has went potty a few times so I'm hopefully I might have two underwear-wearing girls by the end of the year. They're both very interested in TP and wiping. Last night Jo and Lili got out of bed went into my bathroom and proceeded to tear off a whole roll of TP and put it in the toilet in little pieces. I had to put a grocery sack on my hand and scoop the stuff out before I could get the toilet to work again. Yuck.

Lilia had her 3 yr check up this past week and the doctor is referring us to an endocrinologist to see about putting her on growth hormone. The thought is a little scary to me- so chemical and unnatural. Sometimes as a mom to a special needs kid I forget that our typical is not "normal". At three years old she's only 21 pounds and 33 inches. She's still wearing 12-18 month old clothes and hasn't appeared on a regular growth chart. Anyone have experience with growth hormone?

In other interesting news of mother is attempting to quit smoking. I come from a long line of raspy voiced smokers. All of the women in my family are big smokers, my mother since she was 13. That's a 60 year habit. I told her I would buy her patches if she wanted to quit and she's gone a week now! Yeah mom.

I'm a three time quitter myself. The first time I quit it lasted a few months, the 2nd time lasted a whole year and this 3rd (and final!) time it's been 5 years.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Gramma Gramma Grampa

We're gearing up for a visit from Gramma Gramma Grampa this weekend. Their train comes in tonight and Jo has been talking about it for days. The weather has been beautiful and I'm hoping still will be tomorrow so we can get out of this house for a bit. I have a few flowers poking their heads up outside and I'm ready to start planting my seedlings.

Today was soooooo busy with two PT appointments, an OT appointment, a bio parent visit, a Nurses for Newborns visit and the IL's train coming in tonight. I threw dinner in the crock pot this morning because I knew I wouldn't have the energy to cook this evening.

CJ had a visit with Mom & Dad today and she sent a whole bag of clothes, diapers and wipes as well as a pic of themselves home for him. WOW. Way to go Mama R!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Shameless Plug

So a while back I became a consultant for Once Upon A Family. I not much of a salesperson and I don't get out much so I haven't really done much with it. But this past weekend the movie The Utimate Gift opened. If you haven't heard of it yet check it out here.

Once Upon a Family has really wonderful things to help create family traditions and keepsakes including a new set of The Ultimate Gift lessons. I was really impressed with so much of their stuff and want to order all of it for our family. Take a minute and check out my site and tell me what you think. Somehow it's easier talking to y'all about this than people in the flesh. I need a little self esteem boost to get started.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

What we're reading

When Jo and I go on our adventures when Lili is in preschool we often end up at the library. We typically go once a month now we're going about once a week. I never had a community library growing up (small town) and I hope the girls grow to love the library. So here's what we're reading right now.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Lili is working on rhyming this week in preschool and we've been trying to expand on her preschool curriculum at home by enforcing the lessons on our own. She can name all the animals in the book and loves to say "eeee" for see. She enjoys the sing-song of the words and will often rock when I read it to her. For her birthday this past week some friends bought her the book and a coordinating wooden puzzle...they didn't even know we were reading it right now. How cool is that?

I Want My Potty! We are forever working on potty training with Jo. I think we missed a very good window with baby Eckida was here and now we are just dealing with independence issues. She loves to read the book and knows most of it by heart. She loves when I read it in funny voices. The last page of the book has the potty princess making an oops on the floor. She copied that last night and was very proud of herself for peeing on the floor. Hey, I'll take it right now. Good girl, you went potty!

Voluntary Simplicity. I wrote a post a few back about wanting to get this book. I finally did and am diving into it. Now I just need a few more minutes of alone time so I don't end up reading the same paragraph 15 times. I'm usually reading more than one book at a time so I go back and forth between this I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla and Living Your Best Life. I love self-help/inspirational books because I don't get much deep adult conversation anymore LOL!

The Sensitive Child. She has thrust this book in my face a few times this week and said "look, read this". We're reading this for Lili to try to understand her store outbursts. If she's overwhelmed she's beyond irrational and cannot be reasoned with. It has very specific steps to try in a tantrum...which is nice when you have too many children crying to think.

A Return to Love. After a long into the night discussion with some friends they recommended this book to us and it's been amazing. We take turns reading chapters out loud to each other and only read when we feel like we need some direction. It's a slow pace but the information always seems to come exactly when we need it. It's made me cry a few times just because it was what I needed to hear when I needed to hear it.

I think reading TO someone is such a great gift to give and a wonderful memory to hold on to.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Updates on life

Whew. I know I haven't updated in a few days, time flies.

As CJ is weaning off his medicine he's showing more serious signs of withdrawal. He's cranky and fussy, he craves being held or worn in one of my many baby carriers. Have I written about babywearing yet? Hmmm....another post. At night he must be swaddled tightly or he cannot sleep more than a few minutes. He loves motion and we're trying to find a baby swing as it's the only piece of baby plastic we hadn't previously purchased. He's still eating well and gaining weight though.

CJ had his first visit with Mama R this week. She seems intelligent and determined to get her little boy back. I'm rooting for her. Most of the bio parents I have dealt with in the past have had mental illness issues that often get in the way of fully comprehending the situation and what is required of them. She gets it and she's trying. At the visit she told CJ "I'm gonna get better for you baby boy"

Lili is back in preschool this week and I'm crossing my fingers that she has picked up all the illnesses that the other kids had to offer. Jo and I have been having some great mommy-and-me adventures during Lili's preschool time. She was so tired today she asked (YES ASKED!) to go to bed a half hour before bedtime.

I bought a few small items for the girls easter baskets and an easter basket for CJ today. I love holidays, especially as a mom. I love the excitement, just the magic of it.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Happy Birthday Lili

Lili is three years old today! Well kind of today....Lili was born on leap day. Everyone asks me "So when do you celebrate her birthday?" and I answer "On the 29th of February!" At the beginning of the year when I sit down with our calendar and transfer over all the birthdays and anniversaries I draw in the 29th on our February page. It's our special secret day together!
DP's mom always did so many special family traditions that we carry on in our family. One of which is Birthday Breakfast. Your chair is decorated with streamers and balloons and you wear your birthday hat and have cake for breakfast! I love building on family traditions and making special memories for my kids.
Three years ago today Mama R was giving birth at only 25 weeks pregnant. My strong, fiesty one-pound Lilibelle came into the world fighting. I love you so much baby girl! Thank you for sharing your life with me.