Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Class Schedule

I got my schedule for this fall. I have been waiting to find out if I will be attending classes on Thursdays or Saturdays. I got the courses I wanted and the schedule I prefer. Here it is so far.

Emerging Issues In Child Welfare- Monday nights
Advanced Social Policy- Every other Thursday night and on-line.

I am looking forward to only having 1-2 classes a week instead of 3-4 classes. It will save me a lot of time and money to do half of the Social Policy classes on-line instead of driving to and from class. If I get the job I am hoping for, I will have to find a way to get my supervisor to let me flex my schedule on those days. I have been told it won't be a problem though. I can just schedule home visits on the other evenings or even go in early and work on paperwork those days. I'll find a way to make it work out.

Of course, it won't be a problem if I stay at my current job. I get off work at 3:00 which gives me plenty of time to make it to class in time. I am looking forward to the new school semester. Hopefully, I can do well again this year. I am off to a good start and just need to remain committed.

Single Mom With Quadruplets

Both of the boys are at day care and I am watching TV while I work on laundry. There is a reason I don't watch much TV during the day. There just isn't anything decent on. Today I was flipping through channels when I found the show "Make Room For Multiples." The episode coming up was about a single mom who gives birth to quadruplets. Now, I can easily see myself parenting 4 children. Not just quadruplets. Twins yes but not quadruplets. This mother seemed to be handling it really well. She also had plenty of help during those first few months home. I am still amazed.

It is no secret that I have been thinking about having another child. I want another child. Probably only one more. At least is what I plan now. I have spoken to a fertility doctor about having a child by birth. I have done extensive adoption research in the past and haven't ruled another adoption out.

There are many reasons why I want another child. I want my kids to have siblings they can turn to for support when they are older and I am no longer able to be here for them. I always wanted more siblings when I was growing up and would love for my kids to have another sibling to play with and enjoy. I also just love being a mom and really enjoy when I have other kids in the home for respites and visits. I love having all of their laughter and playing with them. Yes, I would love to have fewer tantrums and sick days but that is part of raising kids. You have to take the challenges with the good days. As my kids get older and the maltreatment they experienced becomes more distant, I really enjoy all of the good times. I want more of those with more children. I have more love to share and room in my home. So does that mean adoption or birth? I don't know. I'm not even sure of the timing. I do know that I need to spend time examining all of my options. And yes, I am aware that fertility medications come with a 20-25 percent chance of twins. I'll take those odds. Twins would be a lot of fun. I just wouldn't sleep much for awhile.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Zoo Trip

I took both boys out of day care today and decided to go to the zoo. The zoo near our home is free and while it is smaller than the Milwaukee zoo, it still has a lot of fun animals and exhibits. The boys really like the lions and bears. I like the apes and chimpanzees. I made a pledge to go to the zoo often this year. I was surprised to find new sculputures and benches there today. Below are some pictures from our time there today.

M receives state daycare funding and has to attend at least 3 days a week so that we will have full-time funding. I work six days in a row and then have three days off so I need to have funding for Monday through Friday so it is available on weeks when I work 4 to 5 days. I always feel bad taking him to day care when I am not working and would much better keep him home but I can't afford to lose the day care funding. Tomorrow M has swim day and Jacob has bike day so I decided it is a good day for them to go to day care so we keep our attendance at three days. I plan to spend the morning doing yard work and the afternoon doing paperwork I have been putting off. Thursday we have tentatively decided to spend the day at a nearby state park so I want to get all of the chores around the house done before then.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

No Presidents Here!

Future careers is a common conversation in our home. Jacob wants to be a fire fighter and dermotologist (face doctor). M wants to drive the ambulance at whatever fire station Jacob works at. Tonight at dinner I asked them if either would like to be president of the country someday. Jacob immediately said no. M stated, "Mom, I want a present when I grow up. Not to be president!" Well, I guess I know where they stand now.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Surgery Center

Jacob had an appointment at the surgery center again today. These appointments are always much tougher on me than him. He is a trooper. I don't know how many we have gone to. People ask often but I really don't remember and decided a long time ago to stop counting. I also don't know how many more we have to go. I know it will be a few and I also know the treatments are working so it is worth it.

Jacob recieves vascular laser therapy or in other words, laser treatments to the port wine stain on his face. A port wine stain is a birthmark that is caused by an overabundancy of blood capillaries under the skin. Without treatment, the birth mark will become darker over time and may even become raised and a dark purple color. When Jacob came home it ranged from a bright red color to a slightly purple color depending on how high his blood pressure was. If his blood pressure goes up, the birthmark gets darker. It also causes his eye to have a red tint that many people mistake for pink eye. Jacob has been receiving treatments about every 2 months (sometimes longer). The birthmark is now normally a light pink color but can almost completely disappear if he is very relaxed and not hot or get to be a darker red color if he is sick or running around a lot. People don't even always notice it right away when they meet him if it is on a day when it is a lighter pink color. It also appears to be slighly smaller in size.

The treatments consist of the doctor hitting Jacob's skin with a laser causing the blood capillaries to burst. They grow back slightly smaller each time causing the birth mark to fade. It is a long process but as long as there continues to be improvement, I will continue to take him. After the treatment is completed, the site where the laser hit has small red marks that look similar to cigarette burns. These burns eventually scab over and look like he fell and scraped his face. For a day or two, it feels like a very bad sunburn.

Jacob receives anesthesia for these appointments so they are completed at the surgery center. Jacob never complains about going and even pretends to be excited (he does get excited about the toy afterwards). When it is time for Jacob to leave me and go to the operating room, he walks down the hallway with the nurse. I usually have to remind him to give me a hug before he leaves. He picks out a small toy and sticker in the OR and then climbs on the table. He tells the doctor what flavor scent he wants on the mask and then holds the mask on himself until he falls asleep. No fuss or tears. He is amazing.

I personally hate to see him go through it. I know he does great but it breaks my heart to see him hurt afterwards or to cry as he wakes up. I do it because I believe it is in his best interest in the long run. Today I have the same emotional heaviness that I have every time we go. I am so proud of him but also sad that he has to endure the treatments. I can't imagine what it is like to have a child who is seriously ill. I am grateful I don't have to know that feeling and pray that I never will.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Farm

I had today off work and had the opportunity to accompany Jacob on his field trip to a working farm. It was a great time. I learned a lot and really enjoyed watching Jacob experience the joys of farm life. He did great and even milked a cow. He loved all of the animals although preferred not to be licked by the cow. He did let the calves lick him and was able to feed goats, pet calves and cows, pet a kid goat, and pet some baby chicks. I think the highlight for him was just the chance to share it with me.

Jacob is still getting use to his new school and friends. He has only been there for about 2 weeks now. He is the youngest child in his room with many of the children going to kindergarten this fall. Many even turned 5 last September so they are a full year older than him. Despite the age difference, Jacob loves his new school and friends. Moving him there was a good decision and one that I wish I had made sooner.

M is also doing really well in his new class. He is the second youngest child in his room and doing great. M thrives on being challenged and will often develop behavioral problems if he is bored. His teachers are aware of this and told me they will work to get him involved in an activity that challenges him if he is having a bad day. So far they havent' need to. As one of the youngest kids in the room, he works hard just to keep up with the other kids. The teachers also keep the kids very busy during the day and give them very little time to just get bored. The kids do get free play each day but the teachers are very aware of the children's moods and always ready to move on to a new activity if the kids begin to look restless. The class is almost all boys so they spend a lot of time outdoors or in the gym burning energy which also helps a lot.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Doubting My Parenting Skills

I love to be complimented just like anyone else and since this is my blog I can brag a little. I admit that over the past few weeks I have questioned my parenting abilities and skills. The whole day care drama had me doubting my ability to adequately parent my children or even assess them. Was my mama bias so huge that I couldn't see how disturbed my children were or their severe behavioral disabilities? I saw them as normal and happy children who could be challenging at times just like any other kid. Everyone away from the day care told me that my children were wonderful and fine but I still had this doubt lingering. It caused me to be overly critical of anything the children or I did that might look like a behvioral problem. While it definitelly caused me to be harder on the kids than normal, I internalized most of it and just worried.

The early childhood evaluator stopped by earlier this week and we talked for quite awhile about my kids. We had actually talked about two weeks earlier at length on the phone. Over the phone she stated they sounded like normal children who are thriving and not afraid to explore the world. I was hoping she would be able to see M and Jacob on Thursday but Jacob was sick so she only got to see M.

The evaluator was not only very happy with how M is doing and what evidence she could see of Jacob (good school evaluation, artwork and things M told her about him)she thanked me for being a foster parent. She stated my children appear to be thriving and she was impressed with my parenting skills. She also stated that she doesn't often tell people they should have more children but she believes I could have ten and handle it all. She stated she hopes I continue to work as a foster parent and adopt more children.

The truth is I am not sure how much longer I will be a foster parent. I have begun preparing for a career change and am not sure that I will remain in foster care. I know I am not accepting any new placements for awhile until I decide where my next child will be from and when I will be ready to accept that child. Life needs to slow down a little before I try to help my family and a child learn to live together. Foster children often need lots of time and attention to begin to feel safe and overcome their past abuse and trauma. I just don't have that kind of time right now. God will lead me to the child that is right for my home. He led me to Jacob and M and He will show me my next child also. I know this. I just really don't think it will be 10 kids!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Update

It has been a busy week around here. Here is a summary of the events the past few days.


- M, Jacob and I met M's new social worker. It is amazing how hands off the social workers are now that we are pre-adoptive. It will still be months before M's case is resolved though.

Jacob began complaining about a bad headache. His temp slowly started to rise and by Wednesday night he was starting to act sluggish. He also began complaining about a sore throat and stomachache. He didn't have much energy at t-ball so after the game we went to the doctor. The doctor was sure he either had strep throat or a bad sinus infection starting. She was leaning more towards a sinus infection but started him on antibiotics that would work on both. By midnight, Jacob was a very sick child. He had a temp of almost 103 and wasn't even able to rest. Tylenol helped and the fever went down about 2 but it was still a long night.


- Jacob was still feeling pretty bad when we woke up around 7. The antibiotics seemed to be working though as his temp was closer to normal and he reported he was beginning to feel better. I took half of the day off work and he went to his grandparents house at 10. He ate a pretty good breakfast but was complaining of being extremely tired. Probably because he only got about 5 hours of sleep Wednesday night. He stated he felt better but was too tired to do much. He did eventually take a three hour nap and woke up feeling almost back to normal. By the time he had 20 hours of antibiotics he was back to his old self and we had our normal bedtime fights.

- M had a screening completed by the early childhood people. He did extremely well. I was told that I was a great mom and had a lot of very good skills. I needed to hear that. I have been questioning myself lately after all of the problems we had at the last daycare. The psychologist pointed out that I probably have more training and education in early childhood than most of the day care teachers and directors which may be why I have more conflicts than other parents. I know when the teachers are not expecting age appropriate behaviors and expecting either too much or not enough out of the kids. She stated this is a good thing because I really do know my children well and what they are capapble of. While I try to avoid conflict with the day cares when possible, I will stand up for my children and speak up if I think it is necessary.


- M and Jacob are at school today. Jacob is feeling 100 percent better. M gets to go on his first field trip. He is excited to ride the big yellow school bus and only wishes he could drive it. They are touring a dairy farm and will have the chance to milk a cow. I am sure he will love it. Jacob's class goes next week. I have the day off work and am looking forward to going with him.

The Justice System According To Jacob (Age 4)

Jacob came down with either strep throat or a bad sinus infection two nights ago. While we were leaving Urgent Care, Jacob was a security officer sitting near the doors. I tried to convince Jacob to just keep walking since it was late but he just had to talk to the officer. The officer didn't say anything except laugh a couple times. Jacob did all the talking. Here is his monologue.

"My mom is a police officer. She works (place of employment). My uncle is a lawyer. When my mom arrests people, my uncle throws them in jail. He asks a judge how long they should be there. Once the judge made someone stay for two whole days!"

For those of you who don't know, I work in law enforcement and my brother is an assistant district attorney.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Are You A Foster Child?

I attended a foster parent forum last night. As people entered the room, one of the foster parents kept commenting that parents were in this room and teenage foster children were meeting next door. I didn't think much about it but did find it odd since some of the parents entering the room did not appear to have teenagers with them or were talking about younger children.

After the forum was over the foster mom approached me. She stated she wanted to apologize for making comments about the teens meeting next door. She stated she thought I was a foster child and just wanted to make sure I was in the right place. I told her no apology was needed. And it isn't. I am pleased that at 32 years old I was mistaken for a teenager. It was a great feeling.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Remembering My Dreams

Someone once said that nothing worth while is easy. Or maybe that it is everything worth while is worth a fight. Or maybe it was something about God gives us challenges and difficult times so we grow and recognize our blessings when we see them. Or maybe it is none of these statements but yet they all seem to ring true to me tonight.

It seems as though I have been "fighting" to get the life I want for awhile now. It actually started five years ago. I was sitting at my father's house talking to him about a potential job opportunity. I was nearing the end of the hiring process for a job in Sheboygan, Wisconsin as a police officer. It was my dream job. Or so I thought at the time. I had also been considering adopting my first child. My dad reminded me that if I moved three hours away, I would be on my own as a first time mom. I not only wouldn't have my parents nearby but I also wouldn't have the strong support network of friendships that take time to build. I thought about what he said and decided to pull out of the hiring process. I looked at it as a choice between becoming a mother and accepting a job I had been dreaming about for years. I chose my child and it was by far the right decision.

The decision was the right one but it didn't make my struggle to find a job I felt was right for me. Even five years ago, I knew that staying at my current job was not what God was calling me to do. HE has a different plan for me and for my family. Now, I'm not complaining. I went back to school while I waited for Jacob to come home and discovered that my dream job of teaching also wasn't right. While I enjoyed the children, I really didn't love it the way I knew I should. Or at least love it as a new teacher should. I stopped attending school once Jacob came home and decided to wait for the inspiration and to figure out what direction God was calling me in.

It wasn't long before I realized that it was time to begin the search for my next child. I knew he was out there waiting and I had a strong feeling he was going to come through foster care. I was right. M came to me almost two years ago. Yet I also knew God had more plans for me. So my quest to fulfill God's plans continued.

I finally found a career that I love and am passionate about. No, it's not a career many people choose. I do believe a trainer, Cornelius Bird, was correct. It is a career that chooses it's workers not one that workers choose. Yet somehow I have been chosen. I just struggle to ge that first job. I loved my internship. Every crazy moment of it. I wanted to have my own case load more than anything and to really build on those foundation skills I learned.

Tonight I hope I got one stepper closer. I had the chance to talk to the hiring supervisor and the subsitute care supervisor at the agency I really want to work for. I realize no job is perfect. I will have good days and bad days at any job. But to have the chance to start at a job I love and feel that passion again is something I really desire. Will I love a job in child protective services for the next thirty years? I don't know. But I do know I loved the "taste" that I got last year and dream of the chance to work in the field again.

Tonight was a chance to network. It was a chance to spend time listening to foster parents with a lot more experience than me talk about what they like and don't like about the current foster care system. I took careful notes when they spoke about what they like and don't like about the social workers on their foster children's cases. Insight that as a worker, I won't hear as candidly or very often. Yet insight that can only help me to be a better worker. That is if I ever get the chance.

The agency I hope to work for will begin a new hiring process later this month or next month. I don't know how well I will do. I do know that I will give it my best. I have let the people in charge know who I am. I have gotten the credential I need to start. Now, I just need to fill out the application and hope for the best. If it doesn't happen now, I will keep trying. If it is in God's plans for me to work there, I will eventually get the job. When the timing is right.

As far as my children go. I know the answer to that. They were each the right choice and sent to me by God. I don't beleive it was in His plans for the circumstances to happen surrounding their birth families. I won't begin to understand why they were sent to me. I do believe that while the reasons for the children needing new families may not have been God's will, their finding their way to my home and my arms was. It was God's second plan for these children and one that I am priviliged and blessed to be a part of. Now, is there a third child out there for me? If it is in God's plans it will be. Time will tell. For now, I am counting my blessings and not life's challenges and problems.

Finding A Partner

Saturday was so jam packed full of activities that I couldn't imagine trying to do much yesterday. So, I didn't. Other than running errands and trying to get caught up on laundry (we didn't have a dryer for a week), we just hung around the house. The boys took long naps (over 3 hours) that actually made it a little more difficult to fall asleep last night. I had time to finally sit and think about some of the trials we have had lately. Life as a single parent isn't that much more challenging than with a partner but the big difference is that all of the responsibility falls on me and I don't have a partner to turn to for help.

I recently had a conversation with a woman about being a single parent and what it means to our family. Another person suggested (again) that I get married. I always have the same answer, that I don't want to. The reality is I would love to fall in love and get married. I just don't have the time to devout to searching for a mate.

Dating takes time and that is something I just don't have enough of. The little free time I do have I want to spend with my kids. That isn't to say I don't spend time away from them. I do. I just find that more than one night a week gets to be too much. They miss me and I miss them. I have yet to find a man who was willing to be involved in trying to start a relationship with someone who has to tightly schedule every date and can only see him once a week. Or even limit how long and often I talk to him since I am either trying to get the kids fed, entertaining them or putting them to bed. By the time they are both asleep, I only have about half an hour before I have to go to bed. I tend to spend that time finishing up a household chore or just relaxing. Not trying to put energy into a long conversation with someone I barely know.

I haven't ruled out dating completely. I'm still interested in finding someone special. I just know that it isn't and shouldn't be a priority right now. Maybe someday but not now. The kids want another sibling and I want another child. That child will come by either adoption or birth but will be the child of a single mom by choice. It's just the way it has to be right now. I will have plenty of time to date and find "Mr. Right" or "Mr. Good Enough" when the kids are older. For now, I would rather be with my kids and dreaming about child #3 (who will be my last kid."

Saturday, June 12, 2010

T-Ball, Fire Fighters and Parties

Today was a great day and one that was totally exhausting. Those people that know us well know that we are rarely home and today was no busy. I would much rather be out in the community experiencing life and trying new things than sitting at home. This doesn't mean we never sit at home and relax. We do it just isn't as often as some other families.

Today was a busier day than most and one that was full of fun. We started the day by getting up early and going to Jacob's t-ball game. Jacob really loved fielding the ball as well as hitting. ally loved fielding the ball as well as hitting. He has come a very long way since his first few games wehre he wspent more time playing in the dirt or chasing his teammates around the dugout than he did actually participating in the game. He still gets distracted from time to time but spends most of the game paying attention and actually playing. We have about 5 games left and I am actually sad to see the season coming to an end. He has done so well and I have really had fun watching him play. Next year I will be watching Jacob play Little League t-ball and M play YMCA t-ball. I am already looking forward to it.

After we left the t-ball game, we went downtown for safety day. Local agencies set up demonstrations for parents and kids to enjoy. My favorite demonstrations were the car that showed what happens if you don't wear a seatbelt and are involved in a roll-over accident. Let's just say everyone really needs to wear a seat belt. I also liked watching Medflight land and seeing inside of the helicopter. Jacob enjoyed all of the fire trucks and putting out a fire with a fire extinguisher. M really enjoyed watching a police officer get dunked in the dunk tank and seeing inside of an ambulance.

I was actually really impressed with how well the kids did. I have decided that they are old enough to start walking. I have parked the strollers in the garage and leave them there most of the time. Jacob, M and I walked several blocks downtown today as well as to a resteraunt for lunch. M complained a little bit towards the end but we were all getting really tired. He also had trouble paying attention and keeping up. There was just too much stuff going on and he would get distracted and fall behind. For the most part though, both boys did great and we had a lot of fun.

We came home to take short naps before going to a party at a friend's house this evening. Our friend has a large gathering every summer where he grills large amounts of pork ribs and we all enjoy some wonderful food. This year was even better than last year and just wonderful. The kids had fun playing and I enjoyed some nice conversation with other adults.
Jacob, M and I are exhausted after a very long day. It is a good exhaustion. Yes, we are all a little crankier and shorter with each other than normal but that is to be expected. M is asleep now and Jacob is doing his best to lay awake for as long as possible. He is losing the battle though.

I have tomorrow off work also and plan to actually spend a day relaxing. Well, at least a day at home. I really don't get to just sit around and relax much. I plan to go to church, mow the lawn, work on laundry, buy sunscreen and bug spray for the kids to take to school and fix a nice dinner for everyone. In the middle of all of that I would love to go for a walk to the park. Somehow, I don't anticipate having much time to just sit and think. Maybe when the kids are older....

Friday, June 11, 2010

Thanks Fire Fighters

After I cook dinner, I often like to go for a walk with the kids. If we have a lot of time, we will walk to a nearby park. Lately, we have chosen shorter walks. Our shorter walks are usually a trip around the block where we stop and say hi to any neighbors who happen to be outside or up to the fire station to see if the fire station doors are open. The fire station is about three blocks from our house and a favorite place to walk or drive by.

For the first time tonight, there was actually a fire fighter outside when we walked by. Jacob was wearing his fire fighter costume from last Halloween and both boys were staring at the fire fighter. The fire fighter took one look at us and immediately ducked back into the fire station. I was hoping he was warning the crew that there were kids coming but wasn't sure.

We approached the fire station and the fire fighter came back outside. He asked Jacob, M and our friend P if they would like to see inside the station. M and P quickily said yes. Jacob stood outside the doors and stated he didn't want to go in. I knew he was just scared. After all, this is the child who spends most of his day talking about fire fighters, asking questions about fire fighters or pretending to be fire fighters. I knew that he had been dreaming of the day he could actually see inside a fire station. I knew this was the day and he would be very sorry later if he didn't go in. Of course, M was already through the large garage doors and checking out the fire trucks.

I picked Jacob up and told him he had to go inside. I would hold him and he didn't have to get into any of the trucks but he had to at least go inside. M on the other hand was already racing over to the lockers and checking out the uniforms. The fire fighers were great. After a few minutes, Jacob warmed up and he joined M in exploring all of the fire trucks and the ambulance. The boys were allowed to sit in the engines, see the hoses and other equipment and walk around in the ambulance.

After several minutes of playing in the fire trucks, Jacob asked if he could see where the fire fighters sleep. They gladly took him into the fire station and saw the fire fighters bunk beds, washing machines, kitchen, meeting room and any thing else that could possibly be interesting. Actually, everything the fire fighters showed the boys was exciting including the big map on the wall and the radios. Jacob and M were in heaven!

We stayed at the fire station for about 40 minutes. The fire fighters seemed to be having just as much fun as the boys were. They answered all of the kids' questions eagerly and showed them everything they asked to see. It was a great evening and one neither the boys or I will ever forget. It is great to see my children so happy and having such a great time. I will be forever thankful to the young men at the BG fire station.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Little Catcher

It seems like we can't have a day without some kind of drama or emergency. Yesterday was no different. Jacob had a t-ball game which he seems to really enjoy. I watched the coach help him get on the field and then turned my attention to M who was exploring another child's toy truck. I turned back to the field only to find that Jacob was gone. No one seemed to know where he was. I began asking other parents if they saw where he went and no one had. It's not like Jacob to just disappear so I was getting a little worried.

I waited for the half-inning to finish and then asked Jacob's coach where he was. His coach stated he didn't know. He had told him where to stand on the field and then turned around and Jacob was gone. He was hoping I knew where he had gone. Now, I was really worried.

I began frantically looking around when a parent walked up. He had just spotted Jacob looking scared down by the concession stand. I walked over and sure enough, Jacob was chewing on his glove and anxiously looking around. I called him over and asked what he was doing. Apparently, I had changed bleachers and he hadn't noticed. While he was on the field, he looked over and couldn't find me. He became frightened and decided to leave the game to see where I was. He seemed truly frightened so I took his hand and walked him back to the game.

I showed Jacob where I was sitting and sent him back to the field. He told him coach he wanted to play cathcher and did a great job. He caught the ball when kids threw it to him and paid attention to the game. He really had a great time and this time I didn't leave the stands. He looked over several times giving me a thumbs up after a good catch and grinning ear to ear.

After the game, Jacob and I discussed safety. He promised to always ask his coach if he knew where I was. He also promised to never just leave to look for me again. He will tell his coach and then try to find me. I told him if nothing else, the coach's fiancee can always help him look but an adult needs to know where he is.

I was proud of how well Jacob did playing catcher. Maybe he finally found his niche in baseball.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Midweek Update

This week is going so much better than last week. Definitely a very good thing. I was feeling frustrated, worried and a little depressed after all of the bad news and problems we experienced. Now, I realize the week is only half over but so far it has been almost all good news. Here are some highlights from the last few days.

- I worked overtime yesterday so my parents picked the boys up from day care. When I got home, I asked M how school went. He told me he "hit and knocked Jacob over." I was a little concerned and kept asking him questions I hoped would explain it better. I just kept getting the same answer. When I dropped the boys off at school this morning there was a note from the teacher. M and his class had role played the fight between David and Goliath. M was David and Jacob (a child in his class) was Goliath. M threw a large ball of cotton at Jacob (Goliath) knocking him down. Now, I know there is a chance he also pushed or hit someone else but I am choosing to believe this is what he was talking about. It does sound like fun.

- Jacob has made a new friend at school. Another Jacob. He proudly told me that this Jacob does not get in trouble like his best friend at his last school. His friend even made him a book mark yesterday.

- We still haven't found are cat. I am completely confused. I don't smell her but she has never even tried to run away before. I plan to go to the humane society tonight just to make sure she isn't there. I called yesterday and it didn't sound promising but they told me to come double check anyway. I just don't think this is going to turn out well.

- Jacob has decided he wants "two little sisters from your tummy." He originally stated he wants one with white skin and one with brown skin. I told him that was very unlikely. He then stated they can both have brown skin. He is really fixed on this idea lately. I keep telling him that maybe we will have another child some day but it won't be soon. I also don't know if it will come to us through birth or adoption. Those are all details to work out when it is time.

- Jacob has a t-ball game tonight and it finally stopped raining! We have had a lot of rain lately. I am hoping the field will dry out in time for the game tonight. He loves t-ball and has been doing much better since his first couple of games. He leaves his glove on, runs all the bases and pays attention. He even caught a ball at his last game. You go Jacob! He can play beginner t-ball again next year or if he really matures this year, he can move up to advanced t-ball with more rules and run more like an actual game. At this time, I am thinking he will do one more season of beginner t-ball. I'll wait and make a decision when it is closer to registration time next winter though.

- My house is a total disaster after starting to sort through winter clothes and tearing apart evey nook and cranny looking for our cat. I started to go through stuff and organize it again last night but just really didn't have time. We get up so early in the morning that I like to be in bed by 9. I didn't get home from work until almost 8 last night due to overtime so I really only had about fifteen minutes to work after I got the kids into bed. My hope is to get more work done tonight after t-ball. Otherwise, I can devote most of Friday to working on the house.

So that is the mid-week check-in. Things are going much better and everyone is adjusting to the new daycare. After two days, things are looking pretty good. I really hope it continues.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Another New Day Care

M and Jacob started another new day care yesterday. After the experiences we had at the prior one, I was really nervous. They both did great! M had a minor incident in the morning but the day care assured me it was age appropriate and they had dealt with it appropriately. What a change from the last place where it would have been taken as a major incident and probably calling me to report it!

The boys had so much fun yesterday that neither one wanted to leave. I promised them they could return today and that seemed to make them happier. They were definitely tired last night and still this morning after all of the excitement from yesterday. Hopefully, it will not translate into a rough day today. I have faith that this day care will recognize rough days as just that.

The new day care is a lot more expensive than the last one. It is actually more expensive than a lot of day cares in the area. I spoke to a woman who was trying to get a teaching job there a couple years ago. The teachers at the new day care receive better pay and actually get some health insurance benefits. That means that it is more difficult to get a teaching job in the school and the teachers are dedicated once they arrive. I am very happy to pay more money for the quality of teachers and knowing they are receiving fair pay and benefits. We will just have to cut some corners here to pay for it until Jacob starts kindergarten and M goes to a public 4K program next year.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

What a Week!

This has been one of the worst weeks I have ever had. Probably the only worse weeks were when my grandparents died three days apart or when my other grandfather died. I found out that one of my children was receiving horrible treatment at a daycare center and made plans to withdraw him. I thought I was going to be short daycare on Monday but was able to convince the diretor to let us start Monday. She did seem a little concerned after hearing what the last daycare said but I assured her that story was not accurate. Of course, my tears and emotions may have helped her to take pity on me.

I believe our oldest cat died also. She has not been seen in a few days. She is normally an indoor cat but I have searched the house and cannot find her. I even pulled apart beds and looked in every box I could think of. No sign of her. No odors yet either though. I don't know if she passed away inside the house or went outside when one of the boys left the door open (which they did a lot this week). Either way she has never disappeared for this long so I am assuming the worse. I already miss her and just wish I could find her so we could bury her and have some closure. Our other cats were definitely missing her but they have been eating more again and seem to be doing better today. Death is so tough. I really hate death.

There were some bright spots in the week though. I was able to get both boys into daycare without a wait. It is a high quality daycare that has received good reviews from a social worker, school psychologists and other parents. I saw a little boy there who had experienced some difficulties at his last school and he was thriving there. I also spoke to a mother whose child had some behavioral challenges and stated the school was wonderful with her also. I really hope both boys like it there and are accepted. There is nothing worse than knowing your child is being treated poorly at daycare and not accepted just because of his status in society.

I have had the chance to spend three wonderful days with my boys. They have been great. Very few tantrums and some of the best listening I have ever seen out of them. They are really starting to grow up.

I spoke to two child psychologists about what happened at the last daycare. They both did a quick evaluation of one of my children and stated he is on target or ahead in all areas of social and emotional development. Yay! They also both stated they were impressed with my knowledge on child development and told me I was doing a great job. I really needed to hear that this week. They told me not to worry because children are resilient and both of my boys appear to be doing great.

Tomorrow starts a new week and I really hope it is better. It has to be. I don't know if we can take many more weeks like we had last week.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Life Goes On

Life is moving forward after a couple of very disturbing days. I have been forced to remember what is important in life is my family and friends. There is nothing more important than protecting and fighting for my children's well-being. The past two days I have focused my energy on just that. The good news is that it has forced me to remember how precious my children are and remind me about how much I love them. It is true that crisis can tear people apart. It can also bring people together and that is what has been happening in our home.

I spent today with both of my boys. It was wonderful to spend time with them and remember how great they actually are. We had a home visit from our foster home consultant who confirmed my beliefs about the past few days and that I am making the right decisions regarding day care. I spoke to a child psychiatrist with the school district who also confirmed my instincts and told me I was doing a wonderful job and to keep doing whatever it is I am doing with my boys.

Jacob, M and I also toured two daycare centers this morning. They both seem to be very good centers and the kids enjoyed visiting both centers. I was happy to see a young boy who had difficulty at a previous day care with M thriving in the new one. He seemed really happy and to be doing great. I look forward to seeing his mom again and discussing how great he is.

I did decide to enroll both boys in the last center we saw. They were excited to learn that their first field trip will be to a dairy farm to milk a cow. They will also be riding a yellow school bus once a month for field trips. For my kids, that is a dream come true. I really think this daycare will be a good fit and hope they succeed there.

I don't know when the boys will be changing day cares yet. It could be as early as Tuesday or as late as in 2 weeks. It really depends on what the director at the current center says. I'm just happy we found a place that they appear to be happy at. I really hope the transition goes well.

Tomorrow will be a full day. We need to drop off paperwork at the doctor and at the new daycare. I need to take some paperwork to my job that I was suppose to turn in on Wednesday. With all of the drama at daycare I completely forgot about it so I hope they won't be too annoyed. We also are planning a playdate with some good friends over the lunch hour. It will be a much needed chance to relax and just get away for awhile. Then our friend, P, comes over tomorrow night. I'm not sure what we will do with her yet but I am sure we will have fun.

Daycare Search Is On

I am not completely sure why we have had such bad luck with daycares lately. Yesterday I met with the director of their current center. Let's just say that when she makes comments about always having trouble with "this kind of family" it is probably time to move on. I'm just not sure where we will be going. Do we go to a more expensive center and just try to make more cuts or do I leave Jacob where he is (he's not the one having problems) and separate M from him? I just don't know what to do. I'm not sure where to go from here and I am frustrated. I'm afraid that M's reputation may follow him if this director finds out where we are going. Unfortunately, her assessment of M is so far off base that I have no choice but to get him out of there as soon as possible. Now, I just need to figure out where they should go. Anyone have advice on what to look for in a quality care center? I'm getting desperate over here.