And then there were 9?

Foster care is a rollercoaster, no doubt. Things change in an instant, things sometimes change at a snails rate. I’ll tell you what, things are changing around here!

Bells and Shy are doing great and we love having them here but their case is changing and getting interesting. They have been in our home for over a year and we have watched them grow and learn, overcome obstacles, and succeed in many ways. Will they stay with us, will they be separated, will they move out of state, will they be with family, will they be happy, will they be successful adults, will they go to college or have families? No one knows the answer to any of these questions, I swear everyone is winging it. From the DCYS workers to the CFT meetings…no one knows anything solid. Oddly enough I’m used to the unknown via foster care, it’s happened. The system has a dehumanizing effect of people; I’m sort of numb to the entire process. Naturally, I love the children and nothing could prevent me from loving a child, even this new numbness I’ve acquired.

We have an open bed. I think we are going to fill it soon, we’ve been offered an opportunity to foster a girl who we know and has been to our home often. Husband and I have weighed out the pros and cons and have decided that we will allow her to stay with us. Well, if the court system and the DCYS agree with it. I’m hoping they do, I know we can help this girl through high school and into adulthood. Yes. A teenager, can you believe it?! I once said I would never foster teenagers…foster care changes you. It opens your eyes to opportunities that you once thought were out of your league. Am I biting off more than I can chew? Probably. I’m going to give it my best and make it work, if I believe I will succeed.

Boychild started Crossfit, he attends 4 days a week and it is really kicking his butt. He enjoys it and I’m going to nurture this newfound passion of his. I wonder if the whole Crossfit stereotypes are true?! I can’t wait to find out. Haha!

Bunny is enjoying cheer, she is currently on two teams! This girl is strong, smart, and definitely a little whiny these days. She loves cheer and is a social butterfly; everyone loves Bunny and she’s excited about becoming a 1st grade student.

Biscuit is hardcore, she’s all about cheer. She is on two teams this season and spends a lot of time at the gym. Puberty is in effect, it’s hard. Biscuit will be going into 8th grade and she’s a pretty social kid too, she is always having friends over or going out to do things with her friends.

Lemon is doing pretty good in cheer, she needs to work extra hard to keep up with her team. She is also taking swimming lessons and we’ve told her that when she learns to swim we will take her to Cowabunga Bay, it’s a water park.

This weekend is full of fundraising and fun! Between the car wash, the 50/50 raffle, going to Topock 66, going out on the boat/jet skis, and watching Finding Dory… I’m sure everyone will be all smiles! In addition our potential future foster placement will be spending the week with us, she should be arriving today from the  Phoenix area.

Next week, Vacation Bible school week 2! We are hitting up all the local churches for VBS. It give Husband and I  break and allows us to reconnect during these long summer days.

I’ll wrap this up with some summer fun pictures!

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Things change, sometimes better; sometimes worse.

New light has been shown onto my current foster care placement, Bells and Shy might have family members that wishe to permantly parent them. It’s bittersweet, I love them SO much and would love to adopt them but I also want them happy. It’s not that they wouldn’t be happy with us forever, it’s just that they’ve experienced culture shock. After living a life with no rules, no schedule, and absolutely zero *normal family affairs it’s incredibly hard for kids to adjust to our lifestyle. Things as simple as clean bedding and family dinners were foreign to them, clothing and shoes that weren’t second hand were foreign to them, getting help with homework, and holding them accountable for their actions were also foreign to them. The kids probably think I’m a psychopath for having structure and rules but they suck it up and do as they’re told and try to fit in.

They’re happy with a simple life, their version of normal. They’re happy with their family, that’s where they belong and I have my fingers crossed SO hard that it works out, I want them to be happy and have relationships with their family members. I want reunification with their bio parents but if that cannot happen the next best thing is to have them parented by their family members. 

I haven’t been this excited in weeks, I had been stressed out with the changes in their case…I had been stressed about my own parenting abilities as Shy has had some behavioral issues that I just couldn’t help him with. I’ve been worried about him in general as he has some serious emotional turmoil (rightfully so) and has been exploring dangerous avenues that aren’t typical with a standard childs development and social skill set.

The biggest downfall about most foster children is their intellectual delays; it’s clear that the Zero to Three theory is absolutely correct. Children are affected by their surroundings; children raised in poverty have serious long term affects.

It can take years to intellectually ‘catch up’ and often times they’ll never catch up. It wasn’t until I started fostering children that I truly realized how different children are; the ones that didn’t have *normal upbringing definately stood out intellectually. I’ve met children who are 10 but have the intellectual capacity of a 6 year old, I’ve also met a 7 year old who had the intellectual capacity of a 15 year old…that’s very uncommon but it’s happened.

I’m rambling. MCM signing off.

*normal meaning my social normal, everyone’s normal varies.

I said no.

I’ve always struggled with saying no when I get the call from my agency trying to place a child. I’m the yes woman, I always want to help. Short term, yes. Out of my age range, yes. Possibly permanent, yes. Both Husband and I agreed when we first started providing a home for foster children that medically fragile, sexual behaviors, or extreme anger just wouldn’t fit in. We want to keep our family safe and we want to be mentally sound and not constantly stressed out. Oddly enough, the case that was presented wasn’t any of those things. You see, I’ve learned about family dynamics, I know that taking on this case could potentially take something from my current placements or my bio children. I wanted to say yes but that would be selfish of me. I wanted to say yes, my heart hurts.

I’m feeling sad right now, I wanted to say yes but with the case presented I knew it just couldn’t work. I feel more sad that I was specifically requested by my agency to take on this child; I said no. I feel like I let a child down, I feel like I let my agency down, I feel like I let the DYFS down. Deep down I know what I chose was the right choice; it still hurts. I want a third placement, I want to help my community, I want to help a child.

This is not part of the training, no one said I would feel these ranges of emotions. No one told me I would feel like a failure. No one told me that I would feel like I personally let a child down. Foster care is hard.

I’m going to try to hang onto some positive feelings, I’m going to build a blanket fort with my kids. I’m going to laugh, smile, and play, with them and try to remind myself that I did what was right. I hope we get another call soon.

Younique liquid foundation vs others

I finished my bottle of Younique liquid touch foundation, I’ve also used Clinique liquid foundation and Revlon color stay liquid foundation during this time.

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Younique $44
Clinique  $30
Revlon $8

I used each with and without primer, hands down…always use a primer. I have tried over 15 different primers and my favorite isn’t even in the primer category. I use Monistat’s chaffing gel, no kidding. It’s cheap, $12, and it lasts a year or more!

Younique pros ; it’s light as air. It spreads evenly using a puff makeup brush. It isnt 100% full covetage, I’d say its a medium coverage. It isn’t great applied with fingers or a sponge (streaky sort of,) plus if you’re paying over 40 bucks you certainly don’t want to waste it all over your hands. This stuff stays on, seriously it’s not coming off until you scrub it off. I went swimming in my pool, played in the lake, and even did yard work in the 110 degree heat in Arizona to see if it would budge. Nope. If you rub it on a towel it will come off but if you blot you’re solid. I slept this make up and looked pretty great the next morning, no breakouts. I took a trip to Disney World and it was humid as heck! I did not touch up once and I looked flawless all day. The cons? It’s really matte, you have to get some really good highlighter. I used Hard Candy’s highlighter/bronze stick, it was $7 and I stole it from my daughter! It’s expensive. It didn’t last as long as I had anticipated, it arrived March 15th and by May 27th it was useless. You see the oil separates and if you don’t shake the bottle before every use you’ll end up with a lot of oil at the end of your use making the last little bit useless. I expected my $44 foundation to last at least 3 months. I was a 3-4 drop per application girl, not the 5 drops that the company suggests. Also, if you have dry patches this stuff will make them stand out like a sore thumb. And it’s on backorder all the damn time.

Clinique pros; it’s full coverage. Way better than Younique bit it’s heavy and will rub off on everything. I bet if I had used a setting spray it woulf have stayed on better. It didnt draw extra attention to my dry patched skin or breakouts. This stuff is probably the best color matched crap on the planet, it looks dark in the container but it matched my skin flawlessly. Cons, it didn’t hold up to the sweat test or the swimming pool test. It’s thick, like a nighttime moisturizer or sunblock.

Revlon color stay pros; OMG. Are you a baller on a budget and want some high coverage makeup that stands up to water, sweat, and activities? This is your makeup. This is the closest match to Younique’s liquid touch, in my opinion. It’s light, it’s cheap, it has great coverage and it didn’t bring attention to any dry spots or breakouts. It’s also not crazy matte, it looks way more natural. Cons? You’ve got to wash your face at night, you cannot forget this stuff on your face. It can cause breakouts if you try to use it like Younique and sleep in it.

I like Younique the best but it’s expensive, counterfeited, and hard to get your hands on by reputable distributors, second place goes to Revlon. I’ll always have this on hand because it’s a great backup and it’s pretty damn close to the high end stuff. I’ll never be using Clinique again.

I’m not paid for these reviews, pffft I wish. I just hate searching the Web for honest reviews.

Schools out!

It’s officially summer vacation! We are all pretty psyched about it. Lemon will go into a PreK3/4, Bunny advance to 1st grade, Bells may or may not advance to 3rd grade…it will be decided after summer school, Boychild will advance to 4th grade, Shy will enter 5th grade, and Biscuit will advance to 8th grade! I’m proud of all of my babies, they’ve done well all year. I’m most proud of my boys; they’ve matured quite a bit this school year and learned a lot of life lessons.

Boychild and Shy start Boy Scouts on Thursday, Biscuit, Bunny, and Lemon started the the cheer season, and Bells is still rocking gymnastics. Boychild and Shy need something to do, if they’re not busy they get into trouble. We decided on the Boy Scouts because there are several different things to learn/do and the boys will be in different groups based on age. I think Boychild mentioned wanting to do Crossfit in addition to the Scouts…we will see. Shy has commitment issues, he doesn’t want to commit to a season of any sport. We have told him that if he decided to do a sport/activity/class/camp he would have to complete it in its entirety; he’s not keen on that so he’s never really done anything. We have some really great trips going on this summer, it’s going to be fun filled and exciting!

Memorial day weekend was great, we farmed out the kids and Husband and I took a trip to California solo. Yes, we went alone…no children. Bunny went camping with our family friends, Lemon stayed with her BFF and her family, Biscuit stayed with her friends, Bells, Shy, and Boychild went to stay with my parents. We attended a cousins college graduation in Orange County, we drank too much, stayed out late, ate at amazing restaurants, bonded with family, went shopping, and slept passed 9am. We liked it so much we are doing it again in October, Husband and I are going to Chicago for the weekend.

Our summer is full of concerts, movies, trips to California, swimming, camping, friends, family, and most importantly fun.

Bells and Shy’s case is at a standstill. There is a court date set for next week, their attorney visited today but didn’t have much to share. Bio parents aren’t doing anything required by the state to assist with reunification, no one knows anything about anything, I’m still in the dark. It’s fine, everyone is in pretty high spirits and happy. We are living in the moment.

In other news, recently opened up another bed in our home for another foster child. The more the merrier, we say. Imagine it…7 beautiful children under our roof. I believe God has a very specific plan for me; this is my plan. I love kids and I have patience for them, I enjoy teaching and learning, I like controlled chaos and structure, I enjoy seeing children do/try new things, and this is how I’ll contribute to society. The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

I’ll end this with a few random pictures:

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