So Far, So Good

Just a quick update to let everyone know that we’re doing okay.

I can only imagine how scary, frustrating and confusing it is to be removed from your home only to be placed with complete strangers.  As such, we have certainly had some challenges.

Because I can’t give any information on the boys, including their names, I’ll simply refer to them as FS1 and FS2.  FS1 is our almost 4-yr-old foster son and FS2 is our almost 9-month-old foster son.

FS1 has had some difficulty settling in to the rules in our house.  Simple things such as no hitting, no grabbing toys from others, being kind to others, etc.  Rules that most of us learned along the way, but rules that have been somewhat tough for him to follow.  Time-out is our preferred method of correction for broken rules and he proved that he wasn’t going to follow the time-out rules either.  I would sit him in time-out and he would tell me no, jump up and try to run away from me.  Put him back in time-out and the same thing.  Put him back in time-out and the same thing.  Eventually I told him that if he couldn’t sit nicely in time-out, he would need to go to his room.  Guess who was escorted to him room and guess who was even less pleased with that option.  Hitting and kicking ensued which required intervention on my part to make sure he didn’t injure me or himself.  Eventually, he calmed down and all the hurt, anger, frustration and confusion came spilling out in tears.  It’s amazing what a little cuddle time and understanding will do to help mend a broken heart.  He’s had a couple other out-of-control episodes like this, but I’m happy to report that for the last couple of days, any time-outs given have been accepted without confrontation and overall, he is a sweet little guy who has been dealt a very bad hand of cards.

FS2 spent the first 3 days crying more than anything else.  He would just look around the room trying to figure out what was happening.  Sleep was almost non-existent and he was exhausted, as was I.  He needed to understand that we would be there for him, so there was a lot of holding, rocking, cuddling, feeding, bathing and playing.  By the 3rd day we were seeing many more smiles and had started to hear him laugh.  By the 4th night he began sleeping thru the night.  He smiles and laughs many times throughout the day, crying when he is hungry, tired, needs a diaper change or simply needs to be held.  He has stolen the hearts of those who have met him and is a very different baby from the one I picked up 1 1/2 weeks ago.

We have some developmental concerns about FS1.  We believe the delays we are seeing are simply lack of opportunity and with a lot of work here at home and some outside intervention, I have every reason to believe he’ll be just fine.

The girls were very excited about having the boys come to live with us.  The newness began to wear off by the 2nd day and Naomi began to ask when they were going back home.  She is better now, calling FS1 brother and very much acting like the older bossy sister.

Lili has taken responsibility for FS2.  He lights up when she walks in the room and she lights up when she sees him.  They are building a very special relationship which is awesome to see.

We have explained to the girls that our job is to give the boys a home with love and care until their parents are able to care for them again.  Lili very much understands this and has told me that she will be sad and will probably cry when they have to leave, but it doesn’t stop her from giving her all.

Hubby and I are desperately trying to find a good routine and balance.  As much as we would like it to happen overnight, it just isn’t going to happen that quickly.  At this point, I’m just thrilled that I have managed to get some laundry done, the dishwasher filled and run on a daily basis and everyone fed.  Eventually we’ll all settle in and find what works best for all of us.  It may take a few months, but it will happen.

Now, if I can just find the time to get my tomatoes made into sauce and canned, I’ll really be doing good!!

Posted in Foster Care | Tagged | 3 Comments

Absence

They say it makes the heart grow fonder.

My absence has been for good reason though, so let me try to quickly share.

As some of you know, about 2 1/2 years ago, we became foster parents.  We had two sisters, ages 4 & 6 for about a month before they went on to live with another family.  There were many emotions wrapped up in a small package and after the experience we put foster parenting on hold and eventually turned in our license.  We had set a goal to move to our own little homestead for a life of more self-sufficiency and discussed the possibility of getting back into foster care once we were on the farm.

Fast forward 2 years and we aren’t on that farm nor do we know when that might happen.  We’ve put many things on hold while we have been waiting to make that dream our reality, including foster care so for many personal reasons, we decided to reinstate our foster care license.   Our reinstatement was quick and we got our license in the mail about 1 1/2 weeks ago with the expectation that we wouldn’t get a call until after our late summer/early fall trip.  Imagine my surprise when our licensing worker called late Thursday afternoon about two brothers, ages 7 months and 3 years, who were sitting in the Department of Children and Family Services office and in need of a home.  So many things went thru my mind in a matter of seconds, including the fact that hubby was out-of-town on business and wouldn’t return until Saturday night.  Then I said, “We’ll take them” and our life has been full of craziness ever since.  Not that our life wasn’t crazy before, but taking in two little guys who have been thru so much in such a short period of time adds an element of craziness that is difficult to explain.

As expected, we have had some challenging moments – A 3-yr-old with big feelings that have come out in some tough behaviors and a baby, who I now know is almost 9 months old, and who doesn’t feel comfortable enough to fall asleep (he only slept about 6 hours during the first 24 hours here and hasn’t improved a lot since then).  But we’ve also had some very enjoyable moments like watching Naomi and the 3-yr-old (who I’ll call TT) laugh and play together.  Or seeing the baby (who I’ll call TK) finally smile and belly laugh.  Although some of the most enjoyable moments have been watching Lili care for TK.  It’s the first time she’s spent this much time with a baby and she has been so gentle and nurturing.  She got the first smile from TK and he lights up when she walks in the room.

I know we have many more tough moments ahead of us, but I also know that we’ll have many more enjoyable moments ahead as well.  We just have to ride the waves and do the best we can.

Longer periods of absence here seem inevitable right now.  Please know it’s not that I have forgotten about my little blog and it’s not that we’re put our homesteading dreams aside.  While we’re waiting and hoping for our homestead goal to fall in place, we’ve accepted a very important role as caregiver for two cute little boys who need our love, nurturing and family right now.

I hope you’ll check in from time-to-time and I’ll do my best to update any chance I get.

Posted in Foster Care, Homesteading, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Motivation Time

Posted in Motivation | Tagged | Leave a comment

Apology

I apologize for not posting more on my blog.  It’s not for lack of topics, because quite frankly, there is A LOT happening in our lives.  Much of what is happening isn’t something I feel comfortable putting out for public consumption though.  Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that I’m not quite sure how to share some of what’s happening.  Sometimes tough stuff happens in life and it’s best to just sit back and take time to discuss and think things through.

That’s where we are right now.  We’re sitting back and taking time to discuss and think things through.  We’re giving something our utmost attention in an effort to make the best decision.

 

Fortunately, not all of our life is full of tough stuff.  Some of our life is full of funny stuff, especially when it comes out of the mouths of my children.

For example, here is a conversation that took place in our house today.

Lili:  Naomi, it may be too monkey to take a walk today.

Me:  What?

Lili:  It may be too monkey to take a walk today?

Me:  Monkey?

Lili:  Yes.

Me:  Oh, you mean muggy?

Lili:  Yes.

Me:  (walking out to the garage trying not to laugh hysterically)

 

Then a short time ago this conversation took place.

Naomi:  Mom, police and please rhyme.

Me:  Police and please don’t rhyme.

Naomi:  Yes they do.  (Said with complete authority and confidence).

Me:  (No response)

 

Naomi has also become the song bird of the house.  Many mornings she’ll be playing with toys, but instead of pretend verbal conversation, she’ll be singing the conversation.  It’s like a constant musical in my house :-)

 

If your going thru any tough stuff right now, I hope you’re also able to smile and laugh at the little things in life.

 

 

 

Posted in Blogging, Challenges, Kid Stuff | Tagged , | 2 Comments

It’s Back

Summer that is.

We’ve had very spring-like temperatures for the last several days, which has been lovely.  However, this is tomato and pepper growing season at our house.  They like heat.  Hot and humid is their friend.  I’ve been picking tomatoes, but they aren’t ripening as fast as they usually do this time of the year.  And because we’ve had so much rain and so many cool days and nights, they aren’t producing like they did last year.  My main goal with the tomatoes this year, other than eating them, was canning tomato sauce.   I didn’t can nearly enough last year and hopefully I’ll get enough ripe San Marzano tomatoes for several jars of sauce this year.  As usual though, my gardening experience has already taught me much about what I’ll do different next year.

 

Posted in Gardening | Tagged | Leave a comment

Falling Apart

My body is retaliating.  For quite some time, I’ve had problems with my knees.  A couple of years ago my doctor examined them and told me I had arthritis.  My grandmother had arthritis and my dad has arthritis, so why not me?

A couple of months ago, my left foot started hurting.  Self-diagnosis – planters fasciitis.

About the same time, my right hand started hurting.  Self-diagnosis – tendonitis.

I had to get a physical this week (more about why I needed the physical another time) and the doctor confirmed my self-diagnosis – planters fasciitis and tendonitis.  As a result, I was able to get a referral for physical therapy.  I would much prefer physical therapy as a treatment over medication and start this week.

I also went to see a doctor about my knees.  They really have gotten much worse over the last several months.  I’m unable to walk up or down stairs without pain.  I’m unable to sit or stand without pain.  Walking doesn’t cause pain unless I’m going up or down a hill.  Running is impossible without significant pain and riding a bike causes knee pain.

I’m falling apart and these three things are having a significant impact on my ability to do all the things I need to be doing on a daily basis.

The doctor I went to see about my knees, specializes in Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy.  His goal is to alleviate the knee pain, stop the effects of arthritis and if possible reverse the effects of arthritis.  He is not a proponent of surgery without first exhausting more natural treatment plans first.

He specializes in Hyaluronan Replacement Therapy.  Hyaluronic acid is a naturally present substance found in the body.  In the knee, this acid acts as a shock absorber keeping your bones from hitting against each other when walking, running, etc.  Arthritis causes the hyaluronic acid to thin, so the bones in the knees begin hitting against each other, which causes pain.  Hyaluronan Replacement Therapy consists of hyaluronic acid being injected into each knee once a week for 5 weeks.  What I really like about this therapy, is that the hyaluronic acid used is extracted from the comb of roosters.  It’s not a man-made substance, but a natural occurring acid found in rooster combs.

 

I love it!!!  Not sure the roosters love it, but if this works, I’ll be forever grateful to roosters.

This therapy has a 70% success rate. However, combined with physical therapy, it has a 90% success rate.  I’m very hopeful it will work for me and if all goes well, between the injections and physical therapy on all the parts of my body currently falling apart, I may be pain-free by the time we leave on our cross-country field trip later this summer.

 

 

Posted in Health | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Dress Up

Naomi really enjoys dress-up. Lili not so much. But when someone at work gave hubby a fun bag of dress-up supplies, both girls decided to try them out. Of course I had to take pictures.

Naomi is doing the hula in the first few shots, which is why she is a blur :-)

WP_20140714_001 WP_20140714_002 WP_20140714_003 WP_20140714_004 WP_20140714_005 WP_20140714_006 WP_20140714_007 WP_20140714_008 WP_20140714_009

I also found it funny that Lili was all about posing and Naomi’s expression pretty much stayed the same in every picture. Funny girls!

Posted in Kid Stuff | Tagged | Leave a comment