And then there were 10.

We recieved new placement over the weekend, a 14 year old female, we will call her Hair. This girl has the longest, thickest, hair ever. She is outgoing, an excellent student, and okay with the extreme change in her life.

At the end of the we month Pretty is moving out at the end of the month, she’s grown up! Pretty recently had a job change and it seems to be a good fit.

Biscuit is doing wonderful, she’s going to be 14 in less than 2 weeks. She is doing standard high school and online school, cheers on 2 teams, and wants to get a job.

Flower has been accepted to 2 colleges, she is interested in bio medicine/Neuro stuff. She is working and finishing high school and will graduate with 18 college credits. We are taking her to Thailand for graduation, she is elated.

Blue is doing exceptionally well, she has started tumbling and is super close to her back handspring. I’ve got great news! The recent appeal by bio mom has been dismissed and our adoption is underway! I can’t wait until she is ours forever, I can’t imagine a life without her.

Boychild celebrated his birthday, he is officially 11. He had been wanting a new dirt bike and we came through for him.

Bunny is a stellar student, a great helper, and is getting better at regulating her feelings. We are experiencing WAY less crying, thank God.

Lemon is big. She isn’t liking the change from toddler to kid. Now that she is 5 she has more responsibility.

Husband and I are doing great, I do get annoyed with him when he doesn’t take care of himself. This whole skin cancer thing has been dragging on. He had his stitches removed then the incision site reopened, ugh. And he STILL won’t stay still.

Teaching is cool, I’m happy. Staff meetings are less cool, I deal with it. I took a huge pay cut when I quit my job in Prescott… but, I’m significantly happier with my job flexibility. My kids come first.

Advertisements

I’m shameless

Please CLICK HERE and vote for Kelly Tix, she’s in the running for the challenge and I want her to have this opportunity. I’ll love you forever. ❤

All aboard the pity train

Clearly, I’m having an emotional week. I feel like a failure as a parent; my kids have had an emotional week too. One child accused me of not supporting them and picking favorites based on the decisions that I supported, one child is upset because I cannot afford to send them on a trip and requested that the child pay for the trip themselves, one child insists that she is unattractive AND has pink eye (I think it’s allergies but her older sibling convinced her it is, in fact, pink eye,) I wouldn’t let another child attend a party with high school senior boys, one went to bed crying because I didn’t hug them enough that day, one was wigging out about chores and how life isn’t ‘fair,’ another was upset that they weren’t allowed to stay up late. And that was just ONE day this week.

I’ll tell you what, parenting is hard. It’s sometimes emotionally exhausting. It’s painful. It’s disappointing. It’s full of ups and downs…the downs are debilitating. Teenage girls are hard. Yes, sometimes it is beautiful, funny, a learning experience, and all around lovely. But not this week. This week blows. I do not like disappointing my kids, I don’t like feeling defeated, I don’t like seeing my humans sad or hurt. I am not their friend, I am their mother. Every choice I make, I do in the best interest of my children. I constantly have to remind myself of those very words because it’s crazy, I remember being a teenager and I know how upset I’d get at my parents when they made their decisions. I know why my parents said no or treated me differently than my siblings. I do all the things that I do because I love them. I wish they would understand that. I wish they knew that I worry about each of them every-damn-day, for very different reasons, obviously, but I worry about them.

I am not the perfect parent, I make mistakes. I make bad choices. I’m not always the best role model. I’m selfish, stoic, and blunt. I am careless, irresponsible, and impulsive. I know my flaws, I am not nice! <—— definitely click that 😂!

I love my kids despite their flaws, I love them so deeply I will sacrifice anything and everything for them. I know they love me too, even if I hurt their feelings. I’m certain my babies know that I would do anything for them, within reason, and that all my choices typically have their best interest in mind… well after the initial dissapointment, punishment, or whatever ‘unfair’ decision I’ve made.

Stupid emotions. Parenting is hard.

In other news, I didn’t make the cut for the challenge. I didn’t think I would BUT a friend of mine did and i am SUPER excited for her! Yay!!

I did the thing

I entered the contest thing, Innovative Health and Wellness is hosting it. It’s unlikely that I’ll be in the running BUT I stepped out of my comfort zone and completed the requirements. A few of my friends entered too and I wholeheartedly support them; I hope they make it through and rock the challenge. Tonight at 6pm they’ll announce the 8 finalist then later (after Facebook votes) it’ll get narrowed down 3 contestants. The challenge is 3 months long and depending on how well each of the contestants do…they’ll pick one person and to be the grand prize winner of $10,000 worth if beauty type treatments. Non evasive type stuff, no plastic surgery or anything like that. Botox, Coolsculpting, manicures/pedicures, spa type things are some of the prizes.

I feel dumb for making that video submission and the fear of rejection is paralyzing. The only comfort I possess is that if I’m not chosen no one will ever see that video. Haha!!

I don’t know why I’m typing about this, possibly anxiety about the whole ordeal. I wish I could feel optimistic or emotionally floored by taking a risk, instead I feel uncertain and, oddly, aloof. Why am I like this, where did all of this insecurity come from?! I’m typically happt, bold, and confident. Uuugh, this is me out of my comfort zone. I’m annoying myself, I know I’m annoying you.

Duces.

Maintaining relationships

I’m not good with maintaining relationships, its hard. It’s nearly impossible for me to be a present friend. I’m typically busy with kid stuff and directly after kid stuff is spouse stuff. I find it very hard to fit anything else in; I also feel guilty when I do take the time to do something outside my family. On top of all of that…finding quality people to spend time with is another feat. But wait, after finding quality people you’ve now got to sort through scheduling and see if something works. THEN you’ve got to be prepared for unexpected things like a sick kid or flat tire. Having friends is hard, maintaining them is harder.

It’s sorta funny, when I first moved away from my best friend all I could think about was finding friends and maintaining healthy relationships; I was lonely. My spouse couldn’t be my best friend and husband…he just couldn’t. I wanted to escape my life, have coffee with a girlfriend, go on trips, etc. Now, I prefer my spouse over anyone else. Was it always supposed to be that way? I don’t know. What I can tell you is…I’m a crappy friend.

I really, REALLY, need to figure out a way to connect with friends and pull some me time. Life is hard.

Full speed ahead

Aaah. Blue’s bio mom decided to appeal the severance. This is an adoption setback. Seeing as both of her bio parents showed up to the severance trial, spoke to their lawyers, then left the court house without attending the trial…I thought an appeal was out of the question. I guess I was wrong. I think they’re just dragging things out. The bio parents had done only one thing required in their case plan when it was a reunification case. Severance was ordered after 1 year of Blue being in our care. Bio parents STILL requested a trial even though their participation was minimal. Then, as stated above, flaked on the trial. And now bio mom wants to appeal the decision?! This makes no sense at all; it’s bizarre. And for whatever reason bio mom is, presumably, lying about her whereabouts to Blue and boy does that make her angry. This is foster care.

Flower is doing well. At the end of this month the publication will be complete and she will be legally free for adoption. Luckily, I’ve got a rad lawyer in Phoenix and he is familiar with all of this foster care/adoption stuff. Let me know if you need a referral and I’ll hook you up with him, he comes to Mohave County regularly.

Pretty is well, she’s starting a new job next week and she’s confident. Financially she struggles and it terrifies me to send her off to college at the end of the summer. I know she is a survivor, I’ll pray for her. She’s also moving out in March, get it girl!

Biscuit is great, she’s doing her regular classes in high school and she’s also taking 2 classes online. She is on two cheer teams and doing a special performance with one team at a community event in a couple of weeks.

Boychild is well, he qualified for spelling bee at his school. He was very proud of himself, he ended up bombing it on the word ‘pesky.’ He said he added an extra ‘e’ after ‘k.’ Boychild has been playing basketball and football quite a bit. He had excellent grades this last quarter too. He spends his time playing the Switch, making remixes, and riding his dirtbike.

Bunny has expressed interest in football and volleyball. Unfortunately, gender roles are preventing her from trying out for football. Her friends think it’s a ‘boy sport’ and it’s definitely put Bunny on the fence about it. Bunny has exceptional grades and is ridiculously funny.

Lemon will be 5 at the end of the month, wow. The only thing that she talks about is being able to cheer again. She is an excellent reader, she enjoys make up, and is loud. Really, really, loud. All. The. Time. Singing, talking, playing, etc…she’s always at maximum volume.

Lemon’s reading skills.

We are silly.

Boychild’s jam station.

Husband recently had a procedure done, he’s had 6 inches by 1.5 inches of skin removed from his back per the dermatologists findings. Life is scary, just roll with the punches. He is still cute as hell and I love him more than I love air.

I’ve made a decision; I am doing the challenge. I’ve got an application and written the essay of sorts. Now, I’ll be making a video. I’ll post more about the challenge in the next few days. I’m a little apprehensive but I know, deep down, I need to make time for myself. This could be the push I need for a healthier lifestyle and help me get a handle on this self love journey.

Marshmello

Boychild LOVES Marshmello, he’s a DJ. Boychild is really into EDC (electronic dance music) and makes his own mixes on his turntable and laptop. I’m into it too, and when Boychild makes his songs I feel proud and I enjoy it. Boychild wanted to see Marshmello live… I found one show with a 16+ admission age. Everything else was 21+, he was definitely bummed out. Last night Husband and went to see Marshmello in Las Vegas and live streamed it for my boy. I love Marshmello too, I had a great time!

A short video clip of Marshmello.

Husband and I had a great weekend away.

Marshmello 😍

Never happier, I love spending time with this guy.

Boychild is happy, he got to see Marshmello live… well as live as a 10 year old can. I definitely enjoyed myself and can’t wait until he is older so we can go together. In the meantime I’ll take him to Supercross and other age appropriate concerts, we are thinking of seeing Demi Lovato and Khaled in a few weeks with all of the kids.

Caught up!

With 7 kids life can get busy! I’m happy to report that we only have 7 kids at the moment. Pretty is now a permanent member of our family. Blue is in the process of being adopted, we filled out heaps of paper work. Flower is almost legally free for adoption; then we will move forward and adopt. Flower’s bio dad is nowhere to be found and DCYS has published some form of ‘Hello, are you out there?’ and after a few months if there is no word then we can do heaps of paperwork and finalize Flower as a permanent member of our family. We currently have one bed open and after the last placement fiasco we are going to be extremely picky about who joins us in our home.

We have do so much in the last 8 weeks, I’ll add these pictures…after all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

I have so many beautiful pictures of Flower and Blue that I wish I could share! I’m sure I’ll be able to share soon enough.

Things are going great with Husband and I, we continue our weekly date night and enjoy one another.

Boy, adoption sure is great. God is good. My heart is full and my mind is cluttered, haha!

Locally there is a contest going on, a 90 day challenge, and I’m seriously considering it. The grand prize is coolsculpting, botox, massages, pedicures, etc. I do need to commit more time to myself and this could be the push I need in 2018. I mean, I could totally afford to loose 20lbs and being held accountable by an entire team of professionals and my community…I’m sure I could conquer.

Farewell friends! My resolution for this year is to push a little harder, love more children in my community and home, and blog more regularly.

Case plan changes

Blue’s case plan was changed a few weeks back to Severance and Adoption, it is no longer a reunification case plan. I don’t know what I expected to happen after the case plan change…but I was waiting. Blue recently had another court date, which I missed due to a miscommunication with her DCYS worker. Apparently during the court hearing they arranged a pre trial. Wait. Reverse. Trial for what? I still wasn’t clear on the whole thing; I reached out to my DCYS worker–she was unavailable until later this week, luckily I was able to speak to her supervisor. Apparently a TPR is happening.

A TPR (termination of parental rights) is one of the last legs of being ‘legally free.” Once a child is legally free they can be adopted. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, first we have a pre trial. My understanding is that during the pre trial the teams get all their information squared away and prepare for the trial THEN you go to trial on a separate court date. I now have 2 court dates set and maybe by Christmas the trial and appeal will be completed. Yes, bio parents will have the right to appeal whatever is decided during the trial and I’m sure they will as they’ve made the case very difficult by taking every opportunity to drag the case out. In addition; they’ve not been complying with a majority of their requirements to reunify their family.

During the trial the judge typically powers through a number of things, first it’s pretty much facts about the case. What’s been done vs. what’s not been done in regards to the bio parents. Then lawyers will chatter on about what’s in the best interest of the child or children. Sometimes the judge will deem adoptive families during the trial, if you are deemed an adoptive home then the child or children will not, cannot, be removed from your home as your intent to adopt has been discussed during the trial. This can also happen at a later date.

Do I know if the TPR will be successful? Nope. I’ve learned to never get my hopes up for anything or anyone in regards to foster care. I know what Blue wants, I’ve encouraged her to speak to her attorney about it and he can help her get everything she desires. I want her to be happy even if it hurts me. I will support any choice she makes, to stay here with us, to move to another adoptive home, to live with relatives, or even to go home. I love her, I’ll fight for her.