Friday, April 30, 2010

Mr. Sandman......

J enjoying his new sandbox!


Our sand castle village!

Good night Mr. Turtle... We will be back tomorrow!
My hubby and I got J a sandbox today. We went with the Green Turtle. We told J about it this morning and went to get it tonight. J got to pick out the sand toys and boy was he excited! He got to play in it before bath time (good move b/c he needed the bath after playing in there!). We built some sand castle villages and were just creative! He loves it!
Tomorrow starts Foster Care Month. We are attending our counties Foster Parent Breakfast. I am looking forward to spending some time with some of our FC friends that we met in PRIDE classes. There are 2 couples in particular and we all have placements right now! I will try to post about it tomorrow night!

I am off to bed... It's been a long day and I am tired.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Our Baby Monkey......

I wanna go out!

Yeah! I have lots of room to run out here!

I know I haven't been a foster parent long but, we had to make the hardest decision so far this past weekend.... T wouldn't sleep and after 2 rough nights we were very sleep deprived... I couldn't risk not getting sleep a third night and not being able to function at work..... On Saturday night it was so bad that I had to sit in the recliner all night holding him because everytime I would put him in the crib he woke up screaming.... We couldn't let him 'cry it out' because our rooms are very close together and we were afraid J would wake up and his issues are worse when he doesn't get his sleep..... He was very fussy and clingy in the day time too which caused some jealousy with J and made it hard to do much..... So, we called the on call number on Sunday and told them we couldn't keep him.... J is a challenge and having 2 little boys running us all day and not sleeping at night we didn't know what to do....
I was very sad (and still am) about making that decision but, the family that came to get him yesterday was familiar with him so, although it was a hard decision I felt maybe he would feel more comfortable with a family that knew him..... I miss him so much though.... I know it sounds silly but, even though he was only here a little while, I fell in love with him quickly... When he wasn't fussy or not sleeping he really was a cute and funny lil guy.... I hope we made the right choice.....

I posted some pics of him we took anyway.... He will always be our 'Baby Monkey'.....

Friday, April 23, 2010

6 months ago.....

One of the first pictures I took of J the day after he came to us.....

Playing his favorite 'new' toy!

Our Baby Monkey...

6 months ago tonight..... J came into our life! I don't think I will ever see the date Oct 23rd again without thinking of J.... We have been through some rough times but, we have been through some fun and loving times too! I am grateful for J coming into my life..... Sometimes it feels like J has been here 'forever' and sometimes it seems like he just walked through our door.... The past couple of weeks have been good @ home and J is settling in again.... He still calls me Big Monkey sometimes and he is my Little Monkey..... One night this week he was calling us Mommy Monkey & Daddy Monkey.... I love him soooo much!

Wednesday I received a call saying that they may have to bring J's lil brother T into care and would my hubby and I be willing to take him if that was the case.... We chatted on the phone about it and decided we would. The other room in our house is a nursery and that is why we couldn't take both J and his older sister back in October but, to keep at least 2 of the siblings together, we would take T if needed.... They were having an emergency FIM today and I couldn't attend..... I spent all afternoon waiting for a call.... At 3:49 the call came-- they would not be removing T right now.... But, if anything changed they would let me know..... I asked about visits this weekend and the case worker said she would check and call me back.... At 4:11pm the plan had changed.... We were doing respite for T 'for the weekend'.... We all know that J was in our care 'for the weekend' so, I guess we will have to see what Monday brings..... He is a cutie.... He loves to snuggle and loves his big brother! It was different trying to get 2 children bathed and to bed..... But, they are both snug in their beds and I am getting ready to go to bed too but, wanted to give an update and 'celebrate' the 6 month anniversary of J's arrival. J told me tonight that T can be our Baby Monkey!

Lastly, the best money we ever spent on J so far was at a yard sale last weekend..... It was actually for someone who has an office in a different department from me at work..... She was selling a (pink) Gameboy Advance for $10. J had to have it.... He loves that thing! If I let him he would play non stop all day! He doesn't even care that it's pink!

I will try to give more updates on our weekend adventure with T!

Friday, April 16, 2010

I Love You, Little Monkey......

J gets stuck on the same book for weeks on end and we read it every night.... Recently I bought him the book pictured above from a school scholastic order.... It was about a Little Monkey that does naughty stuff but the Big Monkey tells him he/she still loves Little Monkey even when he's naughty.... I bought it specifically for J.... When I have to correct him he says I am not his 'friend' or that I don't love him.... Since we started reading the book and he says those things, I refer back to it and say 'Just like Big Monkey still loves Little Monkey... I still love you when you don't make good choices....' I think my point has started getting through to him because tonight after we read it and he finished getting ready for bed he kept calling me 'Big Monkey' and of course wanted me to call him 'Little Monkey'......
It's a sweet little bond that I will remember after he is gone.... I wonder how long he will call me Big Monkey and insist on being my Little Monkey.....

Good night & I love you-- Little Monkey!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday's with my hubby......

The one thing I have learned from FC is that you can go from being a childless couple to instant 'parents' of in our case a 4 year old in a matter of hours...... My husband and I are best friends.... We are a very close couple who enjoys being together and doing things with each other.... Even if it's 'nothing'.... It's hard for us to spend nights apart even when we have too.... We were so used to doing everything together, that it was hard for me to stay at home and my hubby still go do what 'we' used to do together.... Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining but, most of the other couples in our FC class already had children and so I think it would be an easier transition on their relationship than not having any children at all.... When you are a FC parent you can't just leave your child with anyone (not that i would leave my bio child with 'just anyone' but, I think you know what I mean). They have to be fingerprinted and background checked and I recently realized that they have to be over 18 yrs old too. We originally signed my sister and my in-laws as our backup providers. After J came to live with us and was having behavior issues it soon came to light that we could not/ would not leave him with my 70 something year old in-laws.... My sis was our only back up and she was finishing her last semester in college. So, we recently signed up a couple we met in FC class and another friend of my hubby's is in the process of being a back up for us.

My point is, that we have every Sunday with out J now when he visits his family.... We spend most of the day running errands and getting things done but, I realized today that it's nice to have 'us' time again.... We love J very much and part of us misses him when he isn't around but, with any parents you need 'Mommy/Daddy' time and I try to enjoy these Sunday's with my hubby. He is my rock and I love him very much..... Having a 4/5 year old with behavior issues takes a toll on us sometimes but, it's nice to be able to connect at least 1 day a week and just be 'us'.... We don't have to worry about if J will have a meltdown or 'entertaining' him for a few hours that day....

When J returns though we are there with open arms ready to hear about his day and feel renewed to get through another week.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Work of Art!

One of J's works of art! It's Shrek & Fiona (not he & I). Notice the 'angry' eye brows Shrek has. J likes to draw most of his people w/ angry eyes.... I wonder if it means something?

This has been a particularly rough week behavior wise w/ J.... His behavior had mellowed out here at home and several weeks ago started escalating at school..... But, now his behavior at home is starting to be more negative.... I get exhausted..... We are working on some things.... So, I hope we can get him back on track both at school and home again soon.

Above is just one of J's many works of art he has made while living with us. He loves to draw or create with play dough. He can draw/color for hours sometimes..... He has recently learned how to spell my name.... I had to spell it to him several times but, now he can do it.... When he came to stay with us, I didn't realize he knew how to write his name until he showed me one night shortly after coming here. He has since learned how to spell one of our cat Jessie's name and my hubby... But, his shortened name is only 3 letters.... But, mine-- is a whole 7 letters long! I was so proud when he told me 'Don't spell it to me-- I know it now!'. We take his magna doodle or his text n learn game and he asks me to spell stuff to him and we practice letters or spelling words on the way to and from daycare. He is soooo smart!

In a few weeks it will be the 6 mo anniversary of J coming to stay with us. I think they are getting closer and closer to transitioning J back home.... I know in my heart this is what he wants and we talk about 'being friends' even after he leaves... He asks me all the time and I tell him if he wants to see me I would love to stay his 'friend'.... I wonder though if it will really happen... They talk about maintaining connections in FC classes but, I wonder if the family will really want us in their lives... They probably won't want a reminder of this time..... Thinking of that makes me a little sad.... I love J so much and thinking about him leaving is bitter sweet for me.... I want him to be happy and back with his family that he loves so much but, there is a piece of my heart that I think will always belong to him....

My brother and his girlfriend are just weeks away from having their first baby together (she has a daughter from a previous relationship).... This has been a hard pregnancy for me because as the oldest child, I always dreamed of being the first to have a grandchild on our side of the family.... That will never happen now even if we end up adopting.... So, I am a little sad about that fact.... I know I need to 'put on my big girl panties and deal with it' but, honestly sometimes I am very glad that he lives 2 1/2 hrs away so I don't have to deal with this all the time....

One last thing... I am thinking about making my blog private.... I would let anyone who is following it now join but, sometimes I don't really write or write what I want because of the situation and not knowing exactly who is really reading.... I have been thinking about it for a while and haven't made up my mind 100% yet but, wanted to put it out there..... I will keep you updated on my decision and give you time to let me know if you would want to be included.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!!!

Ooops! I got too much stuff that it didn't all fit in the bucket.... Trust me, J didn't seem to notice :0)

J checking out his loot!

Playing with his new basketball game!
Today was Easter... J seemed happy with what the Easter Bunny left him.... We talked about him not coming out of his room until he woke us up... My hubby heard him first and asked him what he was doing.... He said he wanted to get up.... So, we got up.... J told me 'My Easter basket isn't on the big table'... I said 'I hope he came!'.... Then we walked into the kitchen and his loot was located there.... I am glad we changed our minds and made him 'wonder' if 'The Easter' even came.....
He was with his family for most of the rest of the day but, we had a good morning playing his new catch/toss game and trying to put together his new puzzle (but, he gave up on it so we will have to try again another time)

Overall, it was a good day.... He now has 3 Easter baskets.... One from my Mom and one from his family.... He is going to be hyped up on candy for weeks!

Hope everyone had a very Happy Easter! It was fun having a child in the house this year! The Easter Bunny even left my hubby & I a little bit of candy :0)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Greatest Show On Earth!

Our 'Lil Man' handing in our tickets!

Choosing his souvenir

Waiting for the show to begin!

The Elephants :0)

The finale!
As mentioned in my previous post, my sister and I took J to the Circus today... He had a great time and loved it! It was the 'Illuscination' show so it had some magic in it that J had a 'take it or leave it' attitude sometimes with that part. He got bored with the acrobats sometimes too and was anxious for more animals to come out... Overall all 3 of us had a good time!
After the Circus J and I babysat a 12 day old baby boy for our friends we met in FC class... They had tickets to the Circus for the afternoon show and I offered to keep him for them while they went..... He was asleep almost the whole time he was at our house but, he was a sweetie! J was a big helper and so, I let him hold the baby for a moment (with my help of course!)....
Now, I need to go to sleep... J will probably be up early in the morning to see what The Easter brought him (no it's not a typo-- J calls him 'The Easter'-- I keep trying to tell him to add the Bunny part)...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Almost Easter!

J getting a little help from my sis dying his eggs

J Checking on the eggs

Some of our finished products.... Don't they look beautiful?

J enjoying his work :0)
Tonight my sister and I dyed Easter eggs with J.... He did a great job and was very gentle with them! We love dying eggs and it was fun to share the joy of doing that with a little one this year! He had fun too! He loved seeing the water 'magically' turn into the beautiful colors!
He is so excited for the Easter Bunny to come... We went to visit Mr. Bunny this past Saturday but, my 'back of the head' pic is stuck on the internal memory on my camera and I can't download it off right now (I misplaced the cord) :0( His pics came out so cute! I wish I could post them... But trust me-- they are adorable!
The Easter Bunny is almost ready for our house... Just a few little things and everything will be ready.... I can't wait to see J's expression that morning.... He will be here for the morning then go to his normal Sunday visit w/ his family for the rest of the day....
J's behavior has been sliding back at home lately.... Last night was a particularly rough night but, then tonight was so fun doing the eggs.... Chutes & Ladders I tell ya!
Stay tuned-- We have an exciting weekend.... My sister, J and I are going to the Circus on Saturday! I haven't been to the Circus since I was a kid and I am looking forward to it... I haven't really told J yet because his perception of time isn't good (like all kids his age) and something we did 5 months ago (yes, J has been here 5 months now and actually the 23rd of this month is 6 mos he will be with us!) was 'yesterday'.... I will tell him tomorrow night.... We saw a commercial for it and he pointed it out and I asked him if he would like to go and he said 'Sure-- I never been to the Circus before' (he says that about a lot of stuff)