Friday, December 23, 2016

More Wisdom from Sunshine

Admittedly, Sunshine is a bit of a know-it-all and it gets tiresome for the other two kids sometimes, but it's sorta funny to listen to....

"Let's talk about who is MAGICAL!...There's Santa and the Toothfairy.....Anyone else?"

Chickadee: Elsa has magic.

"No, Elsa is a FICTIONAL CHARACTER. We are NOT talking about FICTION right now."

Me: How about the Easter Bunny?

"Oh yeah, he's MAGICAL but not a real person so he doesn't count."

**She also demonstrated tonight how she will stand in front of her window on Christmas morning until the sun comes up because I've told her she cannot come wake me till then. And has her books lined up to read to her stuffed animals to pass the time. The girl is always thinking...

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Elf on the Shelf

Sunshine: Can we have an elf on the shelf come to our house?
Me: No, I don't think that's a good idea.
Sunshine: Why?
Me: Because some of us are afraid of the toothfairy and Santa coming once a year and the Elf stays for a whole month. I had one once. He played with the kids' toys up there (above kitchen cabinets) and then was hanging from that light one night. He just wasn't well behaved.
Speed: And I'd probably wake up with him sleeping in my bed.
Me: And that is EXACTLY the worry we are going to avoid. Ask me again next year, Sunshine.


Chickadee, at a restaurant the other night, while stuffing a hot dog in her face but leaving the bun and yummy fries behind:

"I only come here for the meat."

Monday, December 12, 2016

We're Back

In a nutshell, we went back on "the list" last Monday for a single child who, due to daycare constraints, had to be eligible for pre-k. That same day, we were being considered for a little boy who fit the age (and behavioral) guidelines for our house, but we had to wait till whatever happened for them to figure out if he needed us.

Fast-forward to agency called and left a message. I assumed it was regarding the boy, but I was wrong. "Junebug is back in fostercare. Will you take her?"

Of course.

So, here we are. I'm a bit devastated that Junebug needs a place to stay again, but grateful that we happened to be relicensed (for 2 solid days beforehand) and free (because whatever hadn't yet happened for the boy).

Junebug arrived on Friday. She is one month short of two years older than she was when she last set foot in this house. She talks. In full sentences. She is almost as tall as Chickadee. Potty trained. At night, even. It was like a time warp happened.

She has adjusted ok so far. I don't think she remembers being here but I hope somewhere in her brain or heart that she does. Chickadee is a bit jealous, Sunshine needs a bit more space (hard to come by in this house), Speed has a bit more energy, and I need a bit more time to get stuff done.

One of the things I was hoping for was to have a foster child yet continue to have our easy one-stop-shop to work/school. We were lucky enough to get that. Junebug started at the campus daycare today. All four kids and me parked in spot #48 at work and walked across the parking lot to where we would separately spend our day. On the off chance that five of us can speed up our morning routine, we will go back to walking and riding our way to school each day.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Ground Zero

While I've never read any research specifically supporting this, some people say that you have to spend as much time OUT of trauma as you did IN the trauma to really begin to heal.

If this is the case, this week marks that turning point for Speed.

We've done it, Buddy. We've made it to Ground Zero. Can't wait to see where you go from here.

Speed is SEVEN!

(or will be in a couple hours, at least)

We celebrated Speed today in our cul-de-sac. We pulled every single item with wheels out of our garage, had some friends come over, beat up a mummy pinata, and wrapped each other up in toilet paper as mummies. Speed chose a lemon cake and hot cheetos as a snack. His gifts were reflective of him getting older....pokemon, legos, chapter books. Tomorrow, he will celebrate with his class in the morning and by trick or treating in the evening.

Things to love about Speed as a 6 year old:

Speed is a fashion guy. Only his sense of fashion is really very different from anyone else's. Today, he came downstairs dressed for his party in a striped shirt and plaid shorts. Most days, he wears athletic shorts and a t-shirt, which one would think one could not UNmatch, but ooohhhh trust me, you can.

Speed is straddling that point in time where a kid gives up the little kid stuff and trades it in for the big kid toys. We can still play hairdresser and baby dolls and Little People with him from time to time, but a lot of days he'd rather be drawing or throwing a ball or building with legos.

I'm hopeful that I will be able to say this every year (because I've said it every year for the past 3): Speed is the BEST HELPER in the world. He and Sunshine often assure me that when they are old enough, they will let me lay on the couch while they do everything for me. He is my trash and recycling guy, folds and puts away his own laundry, helps unload and load the dishwasher and CANNOT wait for the day when I let him vacuum.

Any trouble Speed gets in at school is because he is too social. And I will take this fact over the other reasons you could get in trouble (or have before) any day. Speed has a couple best friends, but he is friends to everyone at school.

Speed prides himself in all the sporty things he has learned in the past year. His favorite things may be that he can ride his bike (briefly) with no hands and that he can stand like a flamingo on  his scooter while it's moving.

So grateful to watch this boy grow.

I love you, Buddy. Happy Birthday!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Nearing a Decade

Today marks nine years since I got my fostering license and we have decided to gear up to start again. Technically, we could start as of today but I want to finish a couple things first (1. getting a couple more people background checked/strengthening our village and 2. having a guest in town without an FBI check (she'd pass, don't's just more effort that I plan on spending).

The need for foster homes is so great. It's in the news regularly and is hard to ignore.

So we will open our doors again after Thanksgiving. A big part of me was ready to stop because I thought the kids wouldn't be on board. But they brought it up. More than once. The compassion in their hearts will always amaze me.

Working with Mommy

Chickadee, to a woman in the restroom at church yesterday:

"Hey, you know what?"
"My mommy comes to school with me. She works there."
-Oh, I bet that's nice.
"Uh-huh. She's like the principal, only she only does the speech therapy part."


Saturday, October 8, 2016

A Vegetarian in the Making

Sunshine, last night, while chewing on a drumstick:

"Mommy? Was this chicken dead or alive when you cooked it?"
-It was dead.
"Did it die because it was sick and old or did someone kill it so we could eat it?"
-Someone killed it so we could eat it.
"That must not have been very fun for the chicken...."

Monday, October 3, 2016

Worth a Shot

Speed and Sunshine lost teeth yesterday within minutes of each other. Speed has embraced the tooth fairy, but only if she stays by the front door. His tooth was placed on a window sill right by the door. Sunshine (who shares a room with Speed) insists that her tooth goes on the bed. However, last night she put it waaaaaay on the other side of the top bunk where the tooth fairy couldn't reach it (unless the tooth fairy got a chair...which she tried...but then someone stirred and she flew quickly away).

Speed woke today to find a tooth gone and money in its place. Sunshine woke to find money and...her tooth still waaaaaay on the other side of the bunk.

Tonight, as she was climbing into bed, she grabbed her tooth off the dresser, put it under her pillow and said: Let's see if the fairy comes again and I can make some more money!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Nevermind Hobbies

I decided to pack up all of my quilting supplies yesterday. The blocks I was working on on May 9, 2013 are exactly where they were almost 3 1/2 years ago.

Sunshine asked what I was doing. "Oh, just packing this stuff up because I really don't have time to do it right now."

Her response: "Well, maybe when we are much bigger and don't hang out with you and you are all by yourself all the time, you will have time to do that."

Um, no thank you. That doesn't sound like a fair trade to me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Trauma Informed Care

Parenting kids with trauma histories is a complex thing. In the past two years, I have been diving into a lot more of the research-based practices about how to help kids heal. Here are some of the books on my nightstand right now:

Image result for no drama disciplineImage result for connected childImage result for beyond consequences logic and controlImage result for whole brained child

Image result for the body keeps the score There is some amazing research out there. It's all hard to process. It's even harder to implement. I am by no means an expert on any of this. It's just stuff we are trying.