Tuesday, January 11, 2011

You just never know

Today we found out that Alexis and Joseph's Dad in California has leukemia. Wow. His wife called and I knew he had been bitten by a brown recluse spider several weeks ago so I figured she was going to say he was in the hospital because of issues from that. Then she said the word Leukemia. I was shocked.

My ex husband and I don't have a lot of interaction with one another anymore. Any that we do pertains to the kids. So I was speechless. I didn't know what to say. I felt really weird because I was upset. Then all I could think of was, "Oh my god, I have to tell the kids this. Me. This is my job, my responsibility to tell them". That upset me. That made me cry. To have to tell something so heart wrenching is unbelievable.

Right now they are handling it fine. Allsion, their step mom got them tickets to fly down on Friday and they will stay with her and the little ones so they can spend some time with their brother and sisters too.

It is so scary how you just never know when something like this is going to happen.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sleep and Poop

Two years ago I was the mother of 3 children. I knew that sleep was important and was always disrupted by the arrival of a baby. I knew poop was important for everyone and getting constipated was bad. I had no idea how my life would come to revolve around the two subjects or how truly, truly important they both are.

Pooping is a neurological function. Really, ultimately everything is, but any specialist you talk to-- trust me, I have spoken with a few the past few years-- will tell you their "part" of the body is most critical, but when it comes down to it, no part of the body will function properly without the neurological messages from the brain. This includes your colon and your rectum. Nothing going out if the brain isn't telling it to. So Aiden has poop issues. So we take Miralax. It helps. It is less violent on his body than the Lactulose was. But we still have issues. We are just over two, most people would be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. The joy of approaching a time where diapers will not be necessary. The short lived time of accidents on the floor and in the pants. We cannot see that light at the end of the tunnel. Does that mean we do not hope for it??? NO!! We do! Does that not mean in our hearts we believe it will come? No, WE DO!! Does it mean no matter how well intentioned you are that you can relate or understand? Not really. Not unless your kid is special needs. Not even if your kid wasn't fully potty trained until he was 5. Do I appreciate your attempts to relate? Yes, yes I do. But you still don't really understand. Every time we have a blow out, I wonder what it will be like when this happens when we are 10 or 15. That you cannot relate to no matter how hard you try, so please don't. Just say, "That sucks." and leave it there. Drop it. Let it go.

The same goes for sleep. Aiden wakes up sometimes every 10 minutes at night. From about midnight to 4 or 5 am. He has had a sleep study, "Arousal in stages", "Epileptic Sleep Disturbance". Basically his brain takes nice short naps and then cycles and he wakes up. Sometimes he wants a bottle, sometimes he whines, sometimes he falls right back asleep. Sometimes it is for an hour, sometimes for 2. Often the max is a half hour or 45 minutes. Again, sleep boils down to neurological messages. Even on sleep meds, I am not sure how major they are, but pretty significant. Five times the original dose the Neurologist had hoped would work. We still wake up. Some nights, suddenly, we sleep all night. I am not myself because of this. I am cranky and short tempered. I don't have patience for stupidity or slowness. I can hardly tolerate when my schedule gets thrown off by someone else even when I know they couldn't control what happened with the person in front of us, or first there in the morning. Life begins to revolve around hoping Aiden will sleep all night and hoping that the rest of the world will do their jobs properly the next day as we interact with them. I am not trying to be a martyr. It is what it is. But don't think because your "normal" baby keeps you up more than you are used to for the first 1-12 months that you can relate. You can't. I have respect for what you are going through, I have been there. It is not the same. When your 9 month old won't nap. It is not the same as a two year old who needs you to do everything for him all day long won't nap. It's just not. So again, just tell me, "That sucks" and drop it. Let it go.

I try to be positive, I try to remember we know he is going to do better than all this. But some days it is hard. Especially going on 2 hours of sleep, and not two hours together. One at the beginning of the night, the other at the end of the night. It sucks.

Would I trade it for anything in the world? NO!! I love Aiden with all my heart. And we will get through this and he will continue to exceed all expectations! I KNOW this!

Am I trying to be a martyr? NO!! please do not think that!! I am just hoping that you will continue to give me a second chance if I am a little rough around the edges! :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Another New Year

WHERE does the time go? It seems to fly by in the blink of an eye. All those other cheesy saying apply here also. But time really does seem to keep speeding up with every year that passes. I suppose as we get older we are just more aware of how it could end at any time.

The past year has been incredbile!

1. We adopted a baby boy-- Aiden Richard Barnum.

2. We got out of foster care-- WAY too much stress for our family.

3. Jessica started "real" school..... I wasn't a very strict or diligent teacher.

4. Joe is a Freshman in high school.

5. Alexis is a Senior in High school.

6. Bill and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary.

Those are the important ones. The little ones.... well you know.... they sound like lines from a really bad horror movie!

We fought the good fight and got Jessica a new teacher when the 1st one didn't work out so well, Aiden can drink from a straw and poop the biggest stinkiest bombs ever, Joe started shaving his pencil mustache, and Alexis fell in looooove (a few times). Bill had his ups and downs at work and is kind of stuck there for now. I have been running, running, running and not losing a single pound... but I love being the slow runner that I am. The Doctor tried to appease me by telling me how wonderful my cholesterol and triglycerides are..... suffice it to say I was not appeased! We found out that we will be stuck here for a while as we, along with most of the rest of the country, are "stuck" in our house. I am however thankful that it is big and beautiful and has amazing views!

So here is to another year! I have started Weight watchers (and I am dragging Bill along with me!).... Alexis will graduate and start college this year, Joe will move up to the high school and all it's insanity, Jessica will keep being Jessica (I am not sure if she keeps me old or keeps me young!), Aiden will start playgroup and then Preschool!!! My hope is that I will find wit and the right words to post as we go along! :)

Hang on, it's gonna be a bumpy ride!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I've been MIA I guess!

WOW! So May 19th is the last time I posted! WOW! Well, let's see........ had my friend live with us for 6 weeks, been taking care of the kiddos, been dealing with Baby A's bio family and their graciousness (NOT!), had a heat wave..... yeah yeah Latisha, I hear you laughing!....... Jessica had strep throat and scarlet fever, the list I am sure goes on! Just as it does for all families everywhere! But hey, it is my list and I like to gripe! :) Life is really very good! We have been camping, we took a trip for the 4th of July, the big kids took their trip to California, I have driven my husband to the brink of calling work home because we have done so many projects! Throw in a bazillion little days trips and soccer has started, and we still go to Kumon in the summer! PHEW! How do we do it?! :)

When I started this blog I was hoping I would always be witty and whimsical! I have a friend who has a super awesome blog that I love to read! ;)

But such is life! So at least I can pour out my thoughts on occassion and put up a picture or two and call it good! I might even get to doing it regularly..... have to lose the time suck called FaceBook first!

This photo could sum up some of my lack of time for doing things like posting to my blog. I love this kid! You like the notation of evil laughter there at the bottom??? Hm, yeah........

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

LIfe has REALLY been CRAZY!

WOW! So the past couple weeks have just been one huge thing after another!!! Thinking back though, I think this time of year always gets like this. For a parent with kids in activities and school, this is like the second "Christmas Season". Many sports end their season at this time, school is ending, summer activities are already signing up or you at least have to have the foresight to plan for them, some FALL activities already require getting signed up...... It is exhausting!!!

I added to that finishing up my training for becoming a CASA. Signed my volunteer paperwork, took the photo for my Juvenile Dept badge. No cases as of yet. That can be considered a good thing. I can hope that means less children are in need of a CASA at this time. I doubt that, but I can hope.

Which leads me to another subject entirely.

I am an open, honest, blunt person. Sometimes to the point of rudeness many people would say. I try to temper it, but I run off emotion a lot of the time, and that usually isn't a good way to run. But I am also a fairly objective and insightful person. And then comes naive. I didn't consider myself to be naive until I entered the world of foster parenting...... wow!!!

Now first of all, call me crazy but it's weird that when you become a foster parent there is an assumption that you know how to use Medicaid, you know how to use WIC, and you have a basic all around "know how to use any system" knowledge set. I am not sure why the system assumes you know all these things, but I am going to guess it goes hand in hand with the horror stories you hear on the news about children who die in care at the hands of people who were not properly taking care of them. I know I am not getting the link between these thoughts right for others to understand, but bear with me.

There are people out there who are doing foster care for all the wrong reasons. There are social workers who suck at their jobs, there are CASA's and GAL's that suck at their jobs as well. There are, and I have met a few of them, some foster parents who do it for the money. Which is super sad because even strictly monetarily speaking, the issues even a baby comes with are not worth the less than a dollar an hour that the State reimburses you!! That is CRAZY!!

My real point in all of this is that there are good foster parents, there are good social workers, there are good CASA's and GAL's, CPS does sometimes save a child's life. There are good people working within the broken system, and there are parents who are not fit to raise their child and there are other biological relatives who are not fit either. EVERYTHING should be judged on a CASE BY CASE BASIS!!

Does the system need to be fixed? YES!! Are there people who should be fired? YES! Are there Foster parents who should lose their license? YES!!

Should we assume that we do not need a system of some sort? NO!

The saddest thing to me is that typically the people who complain the most about the system are the people who did deserve to have a child removed from them or from a family member. What I would like to know is when all these caring biological relatives come out of the wood work to complain, where were they when the child was being hit, starved, neglected, or otherwise abused? Nobody should get to judge how you care for your child in a general sense, but when there are obvious signs that a kid is being hurt, then the kid should be removed. I wouldn't want the laws to get too general, because then they start coming for everyone. But we do need to have basic moral guidelines out there by which we can stand up for a child and say that is not OK! You cannot do that even if you are related to that child or even if you have been entrusted with the care of that child.

I had no idea that by becoming a foster parent or a CASA I would also become public Enemy Number One. I thought there were lots of other reasons why I would get into that position with some, but not a desire to help. I didn't know it would happen because I got into a system that I know needs fixing and I thought I could better fix it from within than from without.

Everyone has a calling. Thankfully the callings vary, that way all the different areas that need to be covered in life get covered. From the person who obsesses about soccer fields and jerseys, to the Mom who runs the Booster Club, to the Candy Stripers, to the Humane Society workers, the list for volunteering goes on and on...... the different causes people take up, even the ones I don't agree with. Even the people who hate me for both the new jobs I took on. Everyone serves a purpose, checks and balances are necessary......... we need people to have different passions so that everything in the world gets taken care of. Everyone's thoughts and ideas count and are important. If everyone just worked together not only would all the bases be covered, but maybe all the children would be safe..........

Monday, May 11, 2009

What a way to start the week.......

So this is one of those moments where it really bums me out I can't put up pictures of Baby A.

I was in at the computer getting all my various screens going. We had just returned from dropping Alexis off at school. Baby A was still in his car seat, Jessica sat down to watch Curious George.

At some point Jessica decided to get Baby A out of his seat and sit him on the red chair with her supposedly because he was getting fussy. She knows she isn't supposed to, but she must have done a really good job because he didn't make a peep....... or maybe he was just in on it with her.

So I go in the room and there they sit, happy as can be just watching TV. I start to discuss with Jessica how she isn't supposed to do that. Baby A turns his little head and just grins at her and gives her this super adoring looking.......

Yup, he was in on it.......

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!

What an awesome start to a special day! I got blackberries and yogurt brought to me bedside, then Jessica brought me an amazing rock soap for Mother's Day, then I came downstairs to an AMAZING breakfast! I got to tease my husband about talking in his sleep! Joe is going to play me a Happy Mother's Day song on his guitar in tandem with Jessica on the old one....... Alexis will wake up someday!! LOL!!

Happy Mother's Day to all the amazing people I know who play the role of mothering someone! You are all incredible people and I am so lucky to know you!! Have an AWESOME day!!