Blue and Busy

Great news! Blue (our newest 12 year old girl) is no longer on a hunger strike. She sat down with us for dinner last night and even talked a little. She’s stayed in her room since she’s arrived and only come out a couple of times, it was nice to see her out last night. Blue is soft spoken, she rarely makes eye contact, and her behavior reminds me of a puppy who’s been mistreated. She prefers her hair to cover her face and looks down a majority of the time, it’s a shame because Blue is gorgeous! She has skin like porcelain, and these pretty little pink lips, and her eyes are bluer that the iceberg that sank the Titanic. When Blue does speak she is very clear, concise, and articulate, this leads me to believe that she’s a very bright girl. I can’t wait to get to know her. 

Busy  (our newest 6 year old boy) is doing well. He is excited to please adults, he loves praise, and he listens very well. When we had first picked him up he was doing all sorts of self soothing things such as clicking his tongue, blowing raspberries, fidgeting, etc. We are working on some quieter ways to self sooth and communicate better. He also has some manner issues but he is doing exceptionally well learning to be polite, he is, truly, a shining star. He is just as handsome as ever too, he looks very much like his sister. 

Murphy is doing better with her kennel training, she made it last night with the door closed all night! She woke up twice to go potty and went right back into the kennel without assistance. Yessss! That means I actually got some decent sleep last night. Potty training is going excellent too, she stays pretty close to me so we’ve had no indoor accidents. She’s also my little car buddy, she goes when I pick up/drop off kids…she’s in the car often. She’s a good dog, I like her. 

Boychild is off on a trip with his buddy and his family, they’ll be gone the rest of the week doing fun things all over Arizona! I can’t wait to hear all about it. He is still participating in Cub Scouts and I canmot praise his school success enough, he rocks.

Bunny was supposed to go on a trip with her BFF for the rest of the week but things came up and they’ve decided to go on their trip in 2 weeks. Bunny is still excited, she loves being with her partner in crime…so much so that she’s decided to do gymnastics next season in addition to cheer in hopes of being with BFF. Shes rocking on her cheer teams and doing wonderfully in school. 

Biscuit is being Biscuit, she’s doing well in school and cheering. She’s enjoying Interact Club and she didn’t make the time requirements for Renaissance Club. 

Lemon is starting to read! She knows all but 7 of the pre primer Dolch sight words. She is working on her writing too, she’s a pretty  bright little human. 

Husband and I are doing well, we enjoy our adult Wednesday nights while the kids are in church. We had a great little get away a couple of weeks ago too, I want to do that again! 

We’ve been though this before, how to interact with our new family members v2.0

Anyone who knows me knows that I love fiercely. I will love and protect every child who enters my life; my bio children, my children’s peers, my foster placements, and even strangers children. I am a mama bear and I will destroy you if needed be, I am a children’s advocate. I have devoted my life to children, both my own and others because I am passionate about them. Everytime we get a new placement I feel the need to refresh memories, with this being said… let’s go over some do’s and don’t, shall we?
Do offer help. Help is not always needed but it helps us feel secure, the foster parent and child can both benefit from this. Make sure your offer is sincere; I might need a favor sometime or maybe our foster placement will ask you for something. 

Don’t sympathize, empathize. Empathy is the ability to understand and share feelings of another (having shared the same experience,  or very similar experience) it goes far beyond sympathy, which is pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune. Don’t tell my foster babies you understand what they’re going through, you simply cannot unless you’ve been a foster child. 

Do recognize that my foster kids are not “damaged goods.” They come to me as humans, some are experiencing trauma and some are not. These kids often have amazing personalities, they laugh and play, they’re smart, witty, and have some skills that my family sometimes doesn’t. Remember, these kids aren’t placed in care because they’re bad…they’re placed in care because their parents made mistakes.

Don’t tell me I’m a saint for being a foster parent. I. Am. Not. Saving. Anyone. I’m just providing a safe, and loving, home for a child who is living with me. I certainly don’t praise you for going to your child’s sporting event, I don’t tell you how wonderful you are for going  to a parent/teacher conference, I don’t high five you for successfully pulling off a Tooth Fairy/Elf on a Shelf/Santa thing. Don’t tell me you could never do it, don’t say it must be heartbreaking, just stop. I’m just a parent…just like you. 

Do teach your children to be welcoming, inclusive, non-judgmental, and kind. I’m especially lucky to be a part of a large group of kids and their families who know what I do, they know I’m a foster parent, and they have taught their children to be accepting and helpful. This is magical, if you haven’t talked to your children about foster care…do it now. The large group of kids typically know that I’ve a new placement; they see a new child or children with me. The kids are quick to introduce themselves, to let the child know how they know me/my child/husband, tell them something positive, and run off to do their thing. If kids can do this, anyone can. The kids NEVER ask if they are a foster kid, they NEVER ask what they did to be placed in our home, they NEVER make our placement feel as if they’re different than anyone else. Adults can learn from this.

Don’t be a moron. This should be self explanatory, but I’m going to ramble off some points. 

  • I am not making money being a foster parent, don’t ask. 
  • Will you adopt them? Seriously, ask yourself if you’ll get in a car accident today. Do you know the answer, probably not. 
  • Watch what you say about their parents, kids hear everything.
  • Am I their real parent? Go suck an egg. 
  • Don’t you dare say anything about race, I’ll likely assult you. 
  • Go ahead, ask me how many children I fostered. Do you want me to go sad? Don’t make me take that dark trip down memory lane. 
  • Treat these kids like you treat my bio kids.
  • Try to start conversations and don’t ask a lot of questions, that’s a tough one. Try a compliment!  If the kids don’t respond please be understanding. 
  • Be yourself. Be yourself. Be yourself. Stop being overly friendly, over the top happy, etc, just be you. 
  • Offer help in unconventional ways.
  • Celebrate small victories with us. 
  • If our foster kids aren’t acting in a way that is appropriate, relax. I can handle them. Don’t feel sorry for them or me; they’ve experienced trauma and they’re coping the best that they can. 

    I know it’s hard to understand, I know some of this sounds bogus. It’s most important to be understanding. 

    I played the yes card today!

    If I’ve learned anything from fostering children I’ve learned that even if we do say yes to a child or children it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re actually coming to our home. Apparently, there is a lot of DCYS underground stuff that happens, I still have no clue how they decide which home will be best for the child at hand. I used to think that they called down a list of homes with open beds and waited for the ‘yes.’ I don’t think that’s how it works…if it is I’d be amazed. Sometimes I think they call everyone on the list and when they get a certain number of people to say yes DCYS plucks a random person from the yes list and the others remain backup just in case it’s not what they thought it would be. 

    Well, in the middle of writing this post DCYS called.

    Looks like we will have 2 new family members! We will pick them up tonight, it’s a very strange case but I feel like it will be a good fit. I know that they’re siblings, the girl is Biscuits age (12) and the boy is 6, I know that they’re pretty solid kids per the DCYS worker, and I know that my family is going to be eager to meet them! 

    In other news, Murphy’s first night home was terrible. After about 4 hours in her crate she whimpered and howled loudly for the remainder of the night. She seems to prefer it outdoors and has spend all day outside playing with kids and laying on the pool decking. Murphy seems to be pretty bright; she’s not had any accidents inside the house or her crate. She loves praise a has the cutest little puppy face ever. We all adore her but I think Boychild really, really, has connected with her. 

    Knott’s Berry Fun!

    We had a great time on our mini trip, it was a fun 3 days! We spent the day at Knott’s, we had a beach day, and we had a schedule free couple of days. I attached a few pictures because they’re worth a million words. 

    We are officially foster kid free, we have 3 open beds. I’ve gotten a few calls but I’m not sure what will come. We are all ready for some new faces around here, my kids are asking when we are getting new kids. I love that my kids are excited to help new families, I feel happy and inspired when my kids are intetested in helping our community. 

    Tomorrow we are going to Prescott Valley to pick up our puppy, Murphy! We are all excited to add a furry member to our family. 

    (That’s Murphy!)

    Then…a few days of downtime then we’re going camping. Boychild cannot wait up get onto his dirt bike. Biscuit has decided she’d like a new dirt bike, she’s ready to learn to work a clutch and shift. She says she needs to learn before she gets her street bike! Biscuit has decided that she doesn’t want a car, she wants a Kawasaki Ninja. Oh boy. 

    Have a wonderful day, be happy and know that you are loved!


    The Husband and I had a wonderful time in Chicago. It was a nice little retreat, it was deserved. We went on a treetop adventure course and zip lining and spent the rest of our time wandering around the city. We ate fancy food, drank lots of beer, and slept in. Best. Trip. Ever. 

    Now we are gearing up for Minnie, Shy, and Bells to move out. Tomorrow is a big day, our sweet Bells and Shy are moving into their new home! We love them and we are estatic that they’ve got a forever home, their new home is amazing and their new family is exceptional. They will have a great life; I’m sure of it.  Minnie will be with us another week but she will be hopping back and forth between our home and her bio parents home. I’m really happy all of our foster babies are leaving and moving on in their lives. 

    We’ve already got placement possibilities! I’ve got calls and emails, I love that we are already on the minds of case workers, licensing workers, and such. I love my community. I’m proud to be a part of something! I love being a foster parent. Speaking of being part of something…I had go to Chicago for 4 days and when I returned I had to take the girls to gym to practice. When I walked into the gym I was greeted by several girls who said they had missed me and wanted to know where I had been and what I had been doing. I was hugged a lot too. That is a beautiful feeling. I love, love, love, that I’m part of something. I am part of a family that’s pretty big and downright splendid. Guys, community is something that is irreplaceable and has such value; community is everything. I can only wish for everyone that they’re part of something, have a solid network of people they can count on, and feels supported and loved. 

    We are gearing up for our trip to Knott’s Berry Farm, we leave tomorrow! Yay. The kids are excited and I’m happy to be spending time with them. Once we return from our trip we are going camping, Boychild is excited. Husband took Boychild’s dirtbike to be serviced today and it’ll be ready for the camping trip. The boy lives to ride, I love him! Speaking of Boychild, he is doing exceptionally well in school. He’s never been an A type of student, he’s a B and C kid. That’s okay with me, he does his best and it’s perfectly fine. Well, he pumped up his grades and definitely exceeded our expectations. We rewarded him with a TV and an Xbox in his room. For most people their kids have a TV in their room…ours don’t. We have only one TV in our home and it’s in the family room. This is huge! He feels really good about his hard work and we want to convey that excellent grades will pan out in a positive way. I’m proud of him, he’s doing good things and working on making good choices. I simply cannot sing his praises enough.

    Holygeezebestnewsever!  In just 5 short days we will pick up Murphy, our dog! I’m excited, kid-on-Christmas-morning, excited. Husband and I had gone to pick our puppy 2 weeks ago, we were under the impression that there just 2 puppies to choose from but when we arrived there were 6 gorgeous silver lab puppies to choose from. We knew if we took all the kids we would have never gotten out of there…heck it was hard to get me out of there. Imagine this: 6 playful puppies rolling around in the grass, jumping, playing, biting. Now imagine yourself laying down on the grass and having those cute puppies all over you. Bliss, people, complete bliss. It took me about 2 hours to decide which puppy was mine. She’s got a big head and a dopey disposition. She bounds instead of running and she was circling the parameter. Even after I picked our newest family member…I stayed to play with the puppies. It was a dream come true. Technically, I was rolling around on the ground with over six thousand dollars. Ballin’! 

    Don’t you just want to boop her snoot?! I’m in love; the kids are going to love her. 

    A whole mess of things.

    How is it that I have 5 young children, who all get the same brand of clothing, and two of them are physically hard on things that they last only a couple of months? I’ve got a couple theories but first let me give you a couple of examples. Example 1: I bought brand name shoes for all the kids, brands that I know/trust and have had exceptional results with personally, Guess-Keds-Uggs, etc. School has been in session nearly a quarter and two of my kids have destroyed their shoes. Example 2: I bought backpacks, canvas backpacks of various brands and had their names put on them. Once child has completely destroyed their name on their backpack. Example 3: I bought an American girl doll for a child at Christmas and it’s since been beheaded and the hair ripped off. 

    That third one still has me on fire, for real. BUT, I have come to understand that some kids never understand the value of things. Some kids never had anything new, some kids simply just don’t give a shit and think you owe them something. I’m sure that you’ve guessed by now the culprits are foster placement’s. 

    I don’t understand, all of my kids go to the same places and they typically participate in the same activities. They attend the same school and have the same group of friends. I buy them all the same brands of clothing, the same coats/shoes, and the same school supplies. But I’m pretty sure only one kid in my house goes out of her way to destroy things, it’s Bells. Bells told me that if she screws her stuff up I have to buy her new stuff because she’s a foster kid. Newsflash kid, nope! I don’t know where she’s got the idea that she’s this kid who deserves this or that because she’s a foster child, in fact this hadn’t been the first time she’s used to foster kid guilt on me. In my house you aren’t a victim; you’re part of a family and special treatment isn’t an option. She once told a few of the bio kids in our house that they were no longer allowed to play games with her and her therapist who visits once a week because she is a foster kid and it’s for her only. I started loading up the car weekly to go on ice cream trips and told her ‘I’m sorry, you’ve got therapy and you’ve asked that the kids not join you anymore; we now get ice cream on Tuesdays while you have therapy.’ Oh boy, that made her upset…for several weeks she complained to the therapist about not getting ice cream and the therapist explained that she made a fuss about it and brought it on herself. Later, she mentioned that ‘foster kids should get more that regular kids.’ Ugh, can we not go through this again?! In any case, guess who was unhappy about their Faded Glory jeans? After wearing only Justice jeans…I hope this works. 

    Shy is a culprit too but I believe a lot of his stuff is innocently destroyed, he climbs trees and rides bikes. Of course his stuff will get rugged while playing hard outdoors; I get it. But he wants to hang onto it and not toss it in the trash where it should have gone. Shy understands brand recognition as he’s older and his friends talk about it. He values the higher end items I’ve bought him and he truly takes care of the ‘important’ stuff. He is much harder on all of his things but it’s a mixture of just being a boy and carelessness. Funny thing, Boychild usually accompanies Shy in most things and Boychild hasn’t had a ton of destroyed things. Kids, what can you do?!
    I never have any problems with Minnie, she’s older and understands the value of things. I like to buy her treats, new clothes or bathing suits because she truly values both the thought that went into the purchase and the items in general. She’s such a great kid, I’ll definitely miss her when she moves home with her parents. 

    Biscuit has requested to join both Renaissance Club and Interact Club. She’s really into getting into the National Junior Honor Society this year, she’s putting in volunteer hours at the gym, she’s joining clubs, and she’s keeping that high GPA.

    Boychild is a Webelos Cub Scout! I volunteered to be a scout leader or assistant leader, I think we’re going to have a lot of fun. He was supposed to go camping at the beginning of October but we are working on being responsible and listening (aren’t we always with him?!) and get failed to get the information he needed so he cannot go. Eventually he will be sick of missing out on stuff he wants to do and will start focusing. 

    Bunny is missing SO many teeth. She’s also going to need quite a bit of dental work as she gets older. Bunny has had a crossbite for as long as I can remember, her adult teeth are growing in a jagged as her baby teeth. Bunny has passed all this school years benchmarks, for example the say her reading should be at a 15 now and a 53 at the end of the year…she is at 64. All across the board, she’s got it! 

    Lemon is enjoying preschool. She officially knows 28 sight words and is working on writing her names. She recently kicked ass at the gym, she can do a standing bridge kickover. Other than that…she’s three and doing three year old things. Listening is not her strongest attribute. 

    Let’s recap; cheer, tumbling, gymnastics, AWANA, Homework Club, tutoring, Good News Club, Renaissance Club, Interact Club, youth group, and Cub Scouts. Ah, to be the mother of seven kids. 

    Husband and I have date nights, well adult nights. We meet up with friends at various places and engage in child free conversations. It’s beautiful. Husband and I are going on a little get away soon, viva Chicago! And when we return a family trip is planned; we’re going to the beach and Knotts Berry Farm. After these trips it’s going to be lots of cheer traveling, I’m excited. 

    One of these pretty ladies is our puppy, Murphy!

    I gave Lemon $5 to buy anything she wanted at Goodwill, she bought a chair. This is not a joke. 

    Biscuit bombs my instagram with stuff like this. 

    I’m going to attempt to add a few videos to share with you!

    What are we going to do?!

    Fall break is coming and it will just be our bio kids with us…we should do something! But what?! The options are endless and that’ll give me something to day dream about during the weeks coming. Husband and I are going to Chicago at the end of this month solo, how wild. What are we going to do?! I have no idea. 

    In other news, Minnie’s caseworker from DCYS was supposed to visit us today. The new one…have I named her yet? Well, we’re going to call her Mrs. Late because she made an appointment to see Minnie today knowing that a transportation service would be picking her up 30 minutes after after the scheduled appointment time with her. You guessed it. Transportation came and went before Mrs. Late arrived. Great. 

    The upside? I learned than you can ask transportation services to wait up to 15 minutes before they leave. That’s all fine and dandy but I’m not taking any time away from Minnie that she could be spending with her bio family. I’m here for my kids, not for some ill timed caseworker. Needless to say, I’m not impressed with Mrs. Late. 

    I need a vacation. 

    Big news! 

    Big and great news! Crazy happy news! Minnie will transition to her bio family’s home during fall break AND Bells and Shy will start transitioning to their adoptive home this weekend. I’m so happy for my foster babies. This pretty much means that in the next 4-6 weeks we will have a new group of kids on our home. Exciting. Happy. News. 

    I’m ready to say goodbye to our placement’s. I’m ready for them to move on to the next chapter of their lives. I feel at peace with them leaving; I know Minnie’s bio family and I know I’ll be in contact with them no doubt. I am friends with Bells and Shy’s adoptive home and I know I’ll see them regularly too. It’s really great, I am so happy. No tears…just the boot and see you later. There won’t be any goodbyes. 

    This is the good stuff guys. This is what it’s all about. Permanency, love, family. 

    In other news…Boychild is a Cub Scout. Tonight is his first meeting. I’m pretty psyched for that. Boy, what a great day.