Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ottertober Fest at the Zoo

We had such a great time at the Zoo. We got there early enough to get into the children's zoo for free. We weren't going to go because K wasn't feeling well but I needed to get out of the house. This was K's first time at the zoo and I'm so glad we did end up going because we had lots of fun.

K's New Trike

On Saturday we hit a few larger yard sales (most were playgroups that were hosting them), we weren't looking for anything specific, just thought it would be fun to be out and about. I have been looking for over a month now trying to find a trike that

1. That will fit K, most trikes are way too big

2. Don't cost so freakin' much

3. Has a parent handle so we can push.

The reason I have been looking so hard for one is because they said it will really help strengthen her hip muscles, along with her other leg muscles from peddling. I was amazed to find at the last yard sale one of the Top 2 Choices that I had made in my Trike research (which neither one in my top 2, I would pay full price for because they are super expensive).

Before I got way to excited I really wanted to check it over and make sure nothing was broken on it. It looks brand new, no chips, scratches, I really don't think the child played on it at all. The second was to look at the price, this trike is an import from Europe, it's super expensive (over $150 with the parent handle). I was shocked when it was priced under $10. Now the third test was to see if K would actually get on it, keep her feet on the peddles and ride it. The minute she got on it, it was like she had waited her whole life to ride a tricycle. All she does when she rides the trike is smile from ear to ear.

Friday & Saturday

I have to say I'm really enjoying my new work schedule. Getting to be home with K on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are awesome. On Friday we just hung around the house, I put on a pair of the smallest pair of squeeky shoes I bought and she just squeeked all over the house. It was a blast to watch. On Saturday we spoke at an Adoption Conference at our homestudy agency. This is the 2nd time for me to do this and my Social Worker makes a point to tell me in advance because she likes my insight into not only into adoption by advocating for your childs special needs. The downside to this was we only could stay for a 1/2 hour because we had a Cousin's baby shower to go to but instead we ended up staying almost a good 45 minutes longer than we wanted too. We only arrived a 1/2 hr late to Cousin S baby shower. I really didn't want to go but my Mom basically forced me to. I'm 31 years old and my Mom still makes me do stuff I don't want to do. This branch of the family tree has basically snubbed us for as long as I can remember. I'm close to one Cousin D and his Partner S and that's because they moved far away from them and we stay close. Cousin S is Cousin D's baby sister. So I finally said fine I'll only go because it's Cousin D's little sister and this way I can send him some pictures. It went ok and luckily, two of my Great-Aunts where there and 1 Cousin who I get along with. So it wasn't bad after all. Plus we totally cleaned up on the baby shower games and we came home with almost all the prizes!!

Training Session - September 27, 2007

Well tonight was our training session. This week's session was on Adopting from Foster Care, Also how to deal with a child being returned to their biological parents and also How to support the Biological Parents. Of course my class had to act up like fools. We had a women there that had to make up a class and they were giving her dirty looks and everything. I really felt bad for the women. And then there comments and laughing got so out of hand that the Women Trainer actually stopped class and goes "is there a problem" Of course they all shut-up for about 5 minutes and then started again. I really didn't listen as well to this class because I already know all about adoption and it wasn't anything new that I didn't already know. Know I did listen to the part about supporting the Biological Parents because they were even suggesting that even if the child is returned, that if they didn't have a place to live, you could help them get an apartment or provide them with money to do so. Ummm, No I don't think so, my money is already tight that I'm sure enough not going to give the Biological Parents money especially when there are state aid programs out there like Sect. 8 and Food Stamps. Sorry its just I work very hard for my money and wish for it to go to my family (which includes future foster children). So I've got a ton of homework because since there's always the possibilty that I would adopt a foster child, I have to fill out 4 more sheets than if I was just going to be a foster parent, making it a total of 9 sheets of homework.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Last Home Game of the Season

Today we were lucky enough that J, J, & S had some extra tickets to our beloved MLB team. They were meant for another couple but they couldn't come, so we were lucky enough that we were free and could go. K & S had a great time playing together in the kids play area. I think K crawled through the baseball hat at least a 100 times. It's pretty cool that K & S recognize each other and like to play with each other. K even protected S when a bigger kid (she was probably about 2) started to hit S. And you have to think that my K is a little bit of nothing (not even 16 pounds yet). That 2 year old stayed far away from K & S the rest of the time. My K didn't hit the little girl at all, all she did was grab her arm when she when she was about to hit S. We didn't stay for the whole game because K was having some really wicked leg pains and was miserable. Uncle N was a little bummed out that we couldn't stay but he knew we were better off leaving when we did. K is in pink in the pictures and S has red socks on.


We had a good Saturday, we had leftovers from Lotawatta Creek....MMMMM!! This place is amazing and if you are ever in my neck of the woods, make sure to visit this place. I decided to try something new on their menu "Rajun Cajun Catfish" It was amazing, blackend catfish with a creamy cheese and bell pepper sauce on top. It's not an expensive place to eat either and you get a ton of food that ends up lasting you for a couple of meals. We also got there stuffed mushrooms. Now these aren't any little stuffed mushrooms, these things are huge and so delicious, you get 10 of them in a order and they are all super big. Basically we get so much food we were able to eat Friday Supper, Saturday Lunch, Saturday Dinner and Sunday Lunch off of our meals. I got K a Chicken strip dinner with Green Beans. She wasn't too excited about the chicken strips but loved the Green Beans. I wish I knew what made their Green Beans so good because I don't like Green Beans otherwise but I love theirs.
This is a picture of one of the stuffed mushrooms with a normal size Hershey Kiss. They're Big Mushrooms aren't they!
Otherwise we spent this afternoon coloring, K is getting pretty good at staying within the lines. We also have been working on letter recognition and today 90% of the time she got the letter "R" correct when pointing it out in a book, paper, etc. If she got it wrong it was because she would pick out the letter "S" instead. Not sure why because they don't even look the same. I'm still worrying that she doesn't pronounce the words as plainly as I would like, I guess when we have to have another ISP evaluation (should be coming up soon) that I'm going to ask them again to look at her speech progress. I know she's on target but I guess I'm expecting more since she's so bright and tests at a 30+ month level in everything else.

6th Training Session - August 20, 2007

You would have never believe how well today's session went. There was no outburts, no comparing each other lives, and no stupid drawn out questions. I was in shock! And to top it all off, we finished class 10 minutes early. Tonight class was on discipline and the States policy on no corpal punishment. I already knew that because of K's adoption because I had to sign a paper for my homestudy. Plus I never saw spanking as an effect punishment tool anyway. I still have my homework to do, 4 pages of questions on how were you punished as a child and how do you punish your own children.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

One More Thing

Remember how I spent last weekend dragging out all our Fall/Winter Clothes because it was chilly.....we have been in the 90's all week. Just hope it lasts till this weekend so we can go swimming.

A Rough Day

I first off want to Thank Spirit for her sweet comment. I really hope that I do a good job as a foster parent and if I don't....I hope you all will tell me if I do screw up! I had a few friends in high school that were foster children and I saw how each one of the families they stayed with treated them like a paycheck. It made me sick. What was worse was one of my friends, L was available for adoption and she was staying with a foster family that wanted to adopt her. Well as soon as they put in there petition to adopt her, the social worker yanked her out of that house and put her into the Foster Home of Horrors. I was only in that house once and it was for L's birthday but I never wanted to go back. I felt so bad that she had to live there. They had 12 other foster children and 3 children of their own and these people were just down right scary. She wasn't allowed to use the phone in that house and was in a different school system, so I lost track of her but I still think about her and I hope she's happy. I vowed that when I started this journey that I wouldn't be like those Foster Families.

Otherwise today was a rough day, K had an appointment at Shriner's. We woke up late so I didn't get on the road when I wanted too. Right before we left, I heard on the news there was a manhunt for a Murder from Georgia, seems he killed 4 people on Monday and was asleep in his truck in the gas station less than a mile from my house. He shot at Police and ran off. So of course when we head out to the car, I'm hypervigiliant making sure he isn't lurking behind some place and kidnap or kill us. So we make it to the car ok. But what the news failed to mention was that they had shut down every major highway headed into STL from my town. So I had to drive almost a 1/2 hr out of my way on backroads just to be able to hit the highway to head to STL. So of course I'm already late, and add another 1/2 hour being late and we arrived at our appointment right on time, actually we arrived 2 minutes before 830am. They called us back pretty quickly, which is always the case, you never sit in the waiting room. Well to cut the story short, the doctor K was suppose to see was called away to the Governor's Board Conference that was being held at the hospital today, so we had to wait until she was done speaking before she got to even see K. K basically cried the entire time we were there, which was from 835am till 2pm. I don't blame her, like I wouldn't cry with all these strangers grabbing at my foot, poking and prodding. The thing that pissed me off the most was we were about to leave and the RN goes and tries weighing K and of course K is still flipping out and won't sit still. So we had to head to the shop because they are doing a new type of brace for K and the RN turns towards me and K and goes says in a really nasty loud voice "can't you shut-up". Needless to say I flipped out on her. This is a baby you are yelling at who is tramutized and like you are making the situation any better. I should have reported her right then and there but I just wanted to hurry up, I know K was tired and hungry and I was just ready to go. I don't understand why we can never have an appointment at Shriner's that's just quick in and out. Why do they have to drag it out? Otherwise they ordered a spinal MRI to be done at Children's Hospital which I know a few of you out there know my feelings on them but they are the only Hospital in the area that does them, so we are forced to go back there. They are also going to do the Nerve Conduction study there too. We are trying to get them scheduled on the same day so they only have to knock her out once to have the procedures done. So WHOOHOO know I get to deal with the Children Hospital Idiots!!

Which you'll just laugh because Children's Hospital called me tonight in the middle of dinner and wanted to verfiy some information...of course it was address, name, birthdate, all the general stuff but again they don't have it noted I'm single, she was adopted and there is no father medical history and why isn't there a complete mother medical history when I'm talking to you on the phone...DUH! She's adopted. Then she goes well this is for her MRI and I go she's also having the Nerve Conduction Study and she goes. Oh, I guess we lost that paperwork. In a matter of minutes or hours you lose the paperwork. Oh this is going to be just as fun as the brain MRI.



Saturday, September 15, 2007

5th Training Session and Other Random Stuff

Well of course Thursday we had our 5th Training session. To tell you the honest truth it was suppose to be about keeping connections for the children and instead turned into a free for all. But the little we did learn was interesting but was common sense kind of stuff..which obviously alot of people in my class don't have. I mean if a child was on a ball team, I would try my best to keep that child in that sport, even if it meant driving a 1/2 hr or 45 min. As long as it's something the child would still want to do and ok with the Social worker, otherwise I would go out of my way to let them join a team around here. The thing is you should put the child's needs first and not look at them as a monthly stipend like alot of people in my class see them. I read a blog the other day from a former foster child and he said too many people go into foster parenting because they want to "save a child". And because I am me, I had never even thought of it that way, the same with K's adoption, I meet so many people who wanted to save the children from the heathen society. I can tell you that we have more monsters here and just because they don't believe in what you believe in or they are parented differently doesn't mean that there way is wrong. It just means that we are all different, just as the universes had planned. Ok so off my soap box...I still have my homework to do which is to create a ecomap. Basically you draw yourself and the people you live in a circle and then put around all your groups, friends, work, etc. That way you can see if you ended up getting taken away from all of it how much you would really lose. We did it in class and after we all moved away, got mad at the person and stopped speaking or died, it was a really awful feeling because that person was up there all alone.

Otherwise sorry to all who was grossed out about the girl with the hairy underarms and chocolate. The funny thing was is that both her and her friend was only wearing tank tops on Friday, I about died. Otherwise they had overtime today at work, so my Mom went in instead of me, we no longer have a babysitter on Saturday & Sunday so I got to stay at home with my girl. My Mom and I decided to rotate overtime on the weekends, it just makes sense. We had fun today, we spent time changing out her clothes from summer wear to fall/winter wear since it's starting to get a little colder. Basically that meant I totally wrecked both our rooms with clothes all over the place. I mean she wears 6-9 mos clothes, but can wear some 12 and 18 mos because they are made small, so basically I have to drag out all 3 tubs of clothes and hold them up and see if they could, would, maybe fit her for the season. And then I can't pack away the summer clothes yet because it still getting warm during the day. UGGHHH!!! I usually enjoy doing this because I get to see all the clothes that I bought on clearance, yard sales or the resale shop but this season it just really feels like a chore. Then this afternoon, we had an unplanned playdate with J and her daughter S who was also adopted from VN. Luckily she gave me about an hour to at least sweep the floors and do the dishes before she came over. I mean they are great people and K & S love to play with each other BUT...yes there is always a but, she is a minimalist plus everything has its place. And me....well I'm a pack rat, plus I'm combing my house with my Mom's, add in K's stuff, plus we had N move home after graduating with all his stuff and I have no room left. Heck, I have N's couch in my entry way along with a whole bunch of rubbermaid containers from my Mom's house. So I know that when she comes over she passes judgement on me, I know she thinks I'm a messy house cleaner I mean my kitchen counters are flat filing cabinets. But honestly I would rather play with my daughter than clean, she's growing up so fast and you can't ever get this time back so who cares if your dishes are dirty and you have dust bunnies. Well I'm off to bed and I hope you all had a good day!

Friday, September 14, 2007

So Tired

I am so tired, Foster class ran super late on Thursday and today was a crazy day at work because we had a job fair and there was only 2 people not picked to work it and one of them was me, so the other girl and I ended up doing all the clean-up, which is hard work. But I just wanted to share some of my practice work for the week. We get to practice on chocolate that was already screwed up, it is maybe broken or someone screwed up the personalization. I really love working with chocolate and I'm getting really good at it too. I'll update after I get a good's night rest.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Day 3 This and Thats

Well I have actually really been enjoying work...I mean besides the throbbing hand and tired legs because there's nothing like being on your feet for 8 hours a day. It looks like I'm going to be dropping my work schedule down to 3 days a week. N got a HR job and actually started today, thank goodness his girlfriend KE could watch K. What is nice is N will work 4 days a week, including the weekend. I am hoping to get a part time job with a security company because they need someone only for Sunday, which it would work out perfect with our situation, so pray that it works out. So right now it's a little crazy but it will work out. I've tried finding a babysitter for K so I wouldn't have to cut my hours but the daycare's around here still want you to pay a full week even if it's only 2 or 3 days a week and so far all the in-home care I have meet with...well they were far from my liking (child eating out of the cat litter dish, running around unsupervised and numerous other horrors). Plus this works out pretty good because I will still get more quality time with K that I feel I have been missing. So maybe I didn't need that magic wand after all...but it still would be nice ;)

Oh, the only downside to work is 2 girls, I call them girls because they are both under 22 and act like 2 year olds...actually K acts older than these 2 girls, so they act younger than a 18 mos old. They are such slackers, won't listen and is causing so much drama within the group. Since we work around food, we are not suppose to wear any piercings, jewelry, eat food, chew gum, no cough drops, etc. Well both of the girls are still wearing their piercings and the one was constantly getting gum and chewing it up. Plus the nastiest thing she did, is she took off her sweatshirt and t-shirt and was only wearing a tank top....what was worse was her armpits were hairy and had caked on deodorant....mmm, don't you want some chocolate now. I mean she was dancing around and stuff and her nasty armpits could have contaminated everything, I mean we are in an environment that we put sanitizer on our hands before we put on our rubber gloves, we wear those great shoe protectors so that doesn't get in the room, we wear face masks so that way we don't breathe on the chocolate wrong. Yet she's allowed to prance around in a tank top. I think our manager is trying to figure out how to get rid of her but so far, nothing, I guess she's thinking she'll straighten up or something. So that's my day in a nutshell, hope you all had a good day.

Monday, September 10, 2007

It was Ok

I was really surprised that my day went as well as it did. The group I hired in with is actually pretty nice. And the people already working there were ok too. My table of women are really fun and talkative, which makes the day go by faster since we will be in training for two weeks. I'm not sure how much writting in chocolate I can take because my hand is killing me tonight. Guess it's the revenge for the carpal tunnel surgery that I had a few years ago that never fixed the problem and only made it worse. I have to say the manager is an ok women but she is stressed very easily and snaps very easily. Other than my hand throbbing tonight and my feet killing me because I've stood on them for 8 hours, I'm actually looking forward to going back tomorrow.
Otherwise N is back from Chicago and watched K today. When I arrived home, she was still in her pj's. So I asked N why wasn't K in clothes and he tells me that no one laid out any clothes to change her into. All I could do was crack up laughing at him. Why is it men can't go to the closet and pick out an outfit. Well at least he changes her diaper, feeds her well and takes good care of her, so I can't complain, all I can do is laugh about it and lay out her clothes from tomorrow. Off to take a great big dose of pain pills.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

New Job Jitters

Well tomorrow I start my new job, too bad I never found that magic wand or won the lottery. Not sure why I'm so nervous. Maybe because I'll be working in the same department as my Mom? Or that I have already heard her horror stories about the place and people? I'm trying to go in with an open mind but it's hard to do since I basically have made up my mind about the people from the stories. But at least I start with 9 other new people and at least I've got a little heads-up. I know who to watch out for and how this is the managers first time managing people. Goodness this is gonna be a long night especially since K is still having some anxiety. Friday night it was horriable and last night it was a little better but both nights she was in my bed. So hopefully tonight maybe she'll sleep in the pack n play next to my bed. That way she is still close but not hogging my bed. Otherwise wish me luck!

Oh and for you who are curious where my new job is.....Just take a guess

That's right, I'm working for Hershey, how awesome is that!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Wiggly Toes

K wiggled her toes today!! Why is this so exciting? Because it was on her right foot and since the day I meet her, her toes were always curled under and never moved. And today we were sitting on the bed getting ready to head to Shriner's and she wiggled them back and forth! What was even funnier was she actually surprised herself that she did it. Because at first I wasn't paying attention and she made a little "hmm" sound and that's when I looked and saw those amazing little toes move.
Otherwise, I wasn't sure I was going to write about his but I guess I just need to talk. Today K's great-grandparents headed home. We went out to breakfast this morning with them and then I strapped K in her carseat. Grandma hugged me and then said "Ok, K, Great-Gram is going Bye,Bye". Well needless to say at first K wouldn't give her a kiss good-bye, then she finally did. And then K started crying, so I told Great-Gram just to go and not drag it out because she was making it worse. Well Great-Gram gets in her car and we pull out. Well then K starts this most heart wrenching, mournful crying. K and I have been a family for over a year now and I have never heard this cry. Then in the middle of the sobbing, she would say "no gram". I knew I couldn't pull over because I knew if I got her out of the carseat I was never going to get her back in. So I drove home all the way talking, singing, trying to do anything I could to try and get her concentrated on my voice. We finally made it home and the minute I got her out of the carseat, she had a death grip on me. I spent the next hour just holding her tightly and reassuring her that I wasn't leaving her. She did let me put her back in the carseat so we could go to Shriner's but once there I couldn't sat her on the table or anything without crying. The rest of the day, I couldn't be out of her eyesight. Even once her Grandma (my mom) got home, if I left the room, she had to go with me. I'm expecting it's going to be a rough night because of this and I guess we will end up co-sleeping if that's the case. Otherwise I'm still perplexed over the mournful crying, I mean she was only 6 mos when I adopted her. I knew there could be abandonment issues but didn't think they would creep up like this. It was almost like even though we have a great, strong attachment that we totally destroyed it today with them leaving. It wasn't like they were her main caregivers, they were here for a visit and the most time they spent with her was last night. I have read all the books on attachment and attachment websites, etc but there was nothing like this in there that I can remember. What is happening to my baby?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

4 th Training Session - September 6, 2007

Well tonight's class was suppose to be about loss. Like the loss a child will have when coming into a foster home, loss of birth family, school, friends, etc. Instead it turned into a pissing contest of who had the worst childhood and the most loss. UGH!! The people in my class are driving me nuts. We basically learned nothing and our 3 hours of classroom time was a waste because of this debate. The good side to all this was I got my homework done for this week's class, so one less thing to worry about. My Grandparent's watched K tonight since my regular babysitter (my brother, N) went for a weekend in Chicago. So when I got home, I got a full report on the whole night. Including how they gave her a brownie and some peaches, along with her evening snack. Guess that's what Great-Grandparent's are suppose to do, spoil their great-granddaughter.

Labor Day Weekend

Well I had really hoped to post before now but I'm still recovering from the holiday weekend. I was all ready to get into a rant about my family and all their problems and how they just drive me crazy but instead I'll just hit on a few highlights. Like my Cousin M's little boy, J is just a great big bully!! All my daughter K wanted to do was share with him and every time she would share, he would grab the toy and keep it away from her. Then she was sitting in her little tikes car and J came over and grabbed her hair and physically pulled her out of the car because he wanted to play in it. Did his Mom do anything...nope. I was furious but I wasn't going to discipline him at all because then I would have been made out as the big meany who doesn't like J. Instead I picked up K and we went outside away from J and M. Otherwise my Grandparents are staying all week with us, it hasn't been that bad but last night I was washing dishes and couldn't figure out where this rotten smell was coming from and then I noticed those little annoying nats flying around their cooler. Even though I have 4 refrigerators and 2 of them are basically empty. She didn't put up her food in any of them, so instead it was all spoiled, she had a whole package of chicken, bacon, rotten tomatoes, it was disgusting!! So I cleaned out the cooler and then set it outside in hopes the rain would clean it out the rest of the way. It's just frustrating that they did that. Otherwise we went apple picking, it was alot of fun but super hot. K tried her best to pick apples but they were even hard for me to pull off the tree. So that's my weekend in a nutshell. There's alot more but I don't want to bore you with the inner workings of my messed up family.