Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fresh peas

I am thoroughly enjoying myself as a gardener this season! I love my Garden Patch boxes because it makes it so easy to see success. I started out just growing on the balcony of our loft and I've expanded my garden to the back yard. I keep dreaming of next years garden and how much bigger it's going to be. We're already enjoying the sweetest sugar snap peas and my lettuce should be salad size soon.

I checked out a couple of books from the library this week on sustainable farming and mindful eating. I'm especially liking Harvest for Hope by Jane Goodall (the chimpanzee lady). As our garden keeps growing I'm becoming more excited about preparing meals. I often struggle with food in general but I'm feeling less stress about it right now as I see it go from seed to plate. I've been reading Sarah's blog and I'm going to use her Kale recipe on some swiss chard I bought at the farmers market this past weekend.

Now if only those tomatoes would hurry up!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Hello RAD where ya been?

Sometimes I can live my life like a normal mom. I complain that the laundry and dishes never end, I fret over birthday parties and I talk a little too much about poop and pee. But then, some days I am reminded that our lives will never be "normal".

After a pretty uneventful holiday weekend Lili had a raging meltdown tonight. Lili is a sweet little girl who is mentally about half her chronological age. She has mild Cerebral Palsy and has only been walking unsupported for about 6 months. She has a diagnosis of RAD but we have worked through some pretty rough attachment issues. I say worked through.....but it's never over.

Tonight I cleaned up feces from the floors, walls and bedroom door. She took all the clothes out of her closet that she could reach and smeared them with poo. She was unconsolable. It took forever to calm her down. After she was cleaned up I laid down with her and told her over and over again that everything was alright, she could go to sleep now.

But really I have no idea if everything is alright. I don't even know what set her off.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Wii Chronicles

Old school Atari was the last time I really played video games. I rocked Frogger. I missed the Nintendo, Sega, Xbox (whatever the cool gaming system was/is) boat. I dabble in online games here and there. I play at Exodus 3000 for a few minutes at night after the kiddos are all in bed. If you want to earn me some more moves click my referral banner!
I sometimes play on Pogo because I like their word games. But mostly I suck. Your hand eye coordination goes by the time you start needing reading glasses.

I tried to play this guitar game at a friends house and sucked so royally I embarrassed myself and the entire Atari generation. But last night that same friend brought over Wii. Wii is cool. We bowled, boxed and even played baseball. My arms hurt like I actually went to the batting cages. It's really neat, I'm impressed.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Lana Arlene! She is named after her grandmother (my sister) and great-grandmother (my mom). My niece had a relatively easy labor this time around and was literally holding the baby in waiting for the doctor to arrive to deliver her. Even though I've had 4 newborns in the past 3 years I still forget how tiny they are. It was such a great experience being in the room when she was born.

We brought my great nephew home with us while his mom recovers with baby Lana in the hospital. Jo and Lili are both in heaven to have a playmate around 24/7. He is fully potty trained and I'm hoping some of it will rub off on the girls. So far Jo is excited enough to get him a treat when he goes...but not excited enough to go potty herself. Grrr.

Gotta go....

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Rollercoaster Ride

I haven't done an update about CJ in a while because, well everything changes daily. This roller coaster ride has so many ups and downs. I've learned not to hold my breath....but I still worry more than I should.

CJ's siblings were almost put into care but great-grandma stepped up and took them back. But this past week they were with mom at a visit again.

Parents were supposed to be starting weekly unsupervised visits. They didn't do what they needed to at the last minute. They have lost momentum and are not making much progress in their case plan.

DFS proved that mom "ghosted" her drug test. She took a substance that makes your test come back clean. They can't do anything about it but note it in the report. They can't screen any future tests to see if she's still doing this.

Mom is beginning to give up hope and asked that her mother be given custody. Grandma wants mom to "clean up her own mess for once". I get that she's not trying to enable her daughter any more, it scares me that he could spend years bonding with us and then she'll decide to step up.

Sometimes I'm really glad that we only get calls for babies. When we were first approved as foster parents I thought that the greatest need would be for older sibling groups. We are open to kids up to 8 years old, 2-3 siblings. Because I can be home with the kids we only get calls for preemie and special needs infants. The sleep deprivation gets to you ....but I don't know how I would protect/buffer an older kiddo from all these worries.

CJ has been seeing a barrage of specialist to rule out a prenatal stroke or brain bleed.
Today the letters were finally put into his chart.


Cerebral Palsy

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sunshine Girl

Sunshine Girl On A Rainy Day has written an informative post about the foster child catagory being dropped from the next US Census. Please stop by her place and read this important post. I've written my representative and I hope you will too.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mom's Day

My mom gave birth to me when she was nearly 40 years old, after she had already raised my 5 older siblings. I grew up with my nieces and nephews since I was 10-20 years younger than my own siblings. Today my youngest niece asked me to be in the delivery room with her when she gives birth next week. Her mother, my closest in age sibling, died two years ago of a heart attack at only 40 years old. I'm so honored and proud that I get to share this experience with her. I'm also very happy that I can be there for her at a time when she'll be missing her own mom.

I took this picture of her bulging belly today & I'm excited to record her birthing experience and take the first photos of our newest baby girl.

PS. If any one has any tips about comforting & supporting a woman during labor I'm all ears!

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Dropsies

My mom calls it getting a case of "the dropsies". I'm suddenly uncoordinated and clumsy. I don't know what's wrong with me! In the past few weeks I've been walking into walls and corners, stubbing my toes, hitting my shins and falling down. I've broken 4-5 dishes in the past few weeks because I didn't realize where the edge of the counter was.

Last night I was closing the ground floor windows before going to bed and lost my balance. I slammed the window shut on my own finger. It's not broken and the cut isn't that deep but it's black & blue and hurts like hell. The girls are going to have to wait a few more days for a new hairstyle.

Everyone told me eyesight would start to go (I think I'm going to need longer arms soon) no one told me getting older would make me a clutz.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

More Hair adventures

Jo is sporting some pretty cute two strand twists this week. Lili is in simple poofs that I'm changing every few days. I've been doing simple hair-do's lately as I gear up and prepare for some intensive summer do's. I'm going to try to do some labor intensive small cornrows on Jo's hair and leave them in for 4-6 weeks. I've ordered some sleep caps (we already use a satin pillow) to try to keep them nice for longer time periods.

I've been experimenting with making my own hair and skin supplies for a while now and I almost have a recipe perfected. All the measurements are approximate because I just eyeball most things. Here's the recipe so far:

LiliBella Lotion Bars
3 oz pure unrefined Shea butter
2 oz beeswax
2 oz pure coconut oil
essential oils for fragrance

I cut up
the shea butter into smaller chunks and place in a microwaveable bowl. I then grate the beeswax from handmade candles my BIL gives us. I melt both of those in the microwave. I add the coconut oil and essential oils then mix together. I have a small tin that I use as a mold and let sit until solid. It looks like a little bar of soap but it's actually lotion. I like making a bar so I don't use too much product on their hair. I rub the bar in my hands like soap and then apply to their hair like pomade or gel.

I use a similar recipe for their skin but use more oil and less wax. Lili's skin just glows from it. When I took the picture of her above I was just amazed at how great her skin looks now. I've started using it too.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

The weight of the world

Sometimes as a wife/mother/sister/daughter woman I feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. So many people to care for.

Lately I've been feeling like I don't have any "successes" in my life. What I mean is... that what I do doesn't have a completion or a identifiable measure of accomplishment. The dishes always need to be done, the laundry is never finished, the kids will soon be hungry/dirty/sleepy again. I've been saying "I give up, you win" a lot lately. The washing machine doesn't seem to care that it has won though. I'll see if he still doesn't care when I replace him with a new LG high efficiency. (Is it really healthy to be snubbing my washer?)

This past Friday I was having one of those days when I just didn't want to get out of bed. CJ woke up more than a few times in the middle of the night and I was feeling the sleep deprivation. It took everything I had (and some help out of DP's workday) to get everyone clean, dressed and fed in time for our morning PT appointment. We had a doctor's appointment to rush to immediately following. By the time we got home I was exhausted and ready to crash. Then the phone rang, my mom had been in a car accident. After driving to the wrong hospital and then waiting at the right hospital for 5 hours she was released with only some minor injuries. (Thank goodness!)

This past week CJ had to be sedated during an MRI. That small taste of substances again has made him quite irritable. He also had to have a minor surgery to remove and infected gland under his tongue which he didn't really enjoy much either. I've had one craaaanky baby this week.

Lili's final day of this semester of preschool was last week. I'm looking forward to having a little more free time for a few weeks. I'm planning some daytime trips to the zoo and museums. We're hoping that a slot will open up and Jo will be able to join Lili during the summer semester starting in June. She is so ready for school! I won't know what to do with myself with two in school for half a day.

Well yeah I will. Laundry.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Getting my hands dirty

I've been remiss about this blog lately as we've had a burst of sunshine. I've been digging and planting, watering and dividing. I love spring. I have the vegetable garden all done. This year I'm doing the whole veggie garden in self watering containers called A Garden Patch, they are similar to Earthboxes but less expensive. I've planted tomatoes, peppers, green beans, squash, cucumbers, lettuce, califlower, carrots, herbs and snap peas. The deck off the master bedroom is a growing food pantry now.

I've also been landscaping my small city yard. We moved here almost 2 years ago and I keep adding more every season. This year I ordered most of my bulbs on Ebay. I only purchased from private sellers who were digging up and dividing their own plants. I got some FAB deals! I also had a good friend give me hundreds of canna lily bulbs. By the time I'm done I'd like to have a lawn free yard!