Manic Mondays

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Mondays always bring anxiety because they are visit days. Now that Buddy only goes to daycare 3 days a week, there is even more anxiety because I’m the one who will bring him to his visits. Luckily, the visit was cancelled again!

I knew there was an issue last week, but I didn’t have details. It turns out that bio-mom brought a 13 year old to the visit with her. I guess he is the son of a friend of hers and both she and the friend have been warned that SHE is the only one allowed to attend the visits. Since he didn’t have anyone to supervise him, she would need to take the boy home. She refused and threw a major hissy fit, going off on the lady who supervises the visits. She was then asked to leave and the visit was cancelled.

Since then, the caseworker and visit supervisor wanted to set up a meeting with bio-mom to discuss her behavior, and visits would be suspended until she can agree to act like an adult. Otherwise, the caseworker would do twice monthly visits at her office. This irks me because they have threatened and threatened and threatened, but never follow through. “If she doesn’t show up one more time, we’re not going to have visits, if she acts violently one more time, we’re not going to have visits, etc.” How many chances does she get? Buddy has a doctor’s appointment next week and after she went off on me at the last appointment, I’m nervous about interacting with her again, but she’s allowed to go!

As it turns out though, nobody has been able to locate bio-mom since last Monday. She has kind of fallen off the face of the earth. She’s not living where she was living before and her phone has been disconnected. I don’t know if maybe she’s living with the guy who’s son she had with her or where she is. The caseworker is coming over to our house on Friday for a home visit and hopefully we can put a game plan together then. She said that she has been trying to get bio-mom into rehab to no eval. She doesn’t have long to get her act together… just 3 short months until the paperwork goes in to TPR!

In other news, there seems to be a good amount of Special Ed teaching jobs around in Central New York, and I have applying to all the ones I can. I can’t apply to jobs too far away from home though because we can’t move out of the county with Buddy and I can’t be commuting too far away where I wouldn’t be able to get him ready in the morning or pick him up from daycare in the evenings. I’m sure something will come along soon! In the meantime, I am thoroughly enjoying the lazy days of summer as is Buddy as you can see from this pic (you can’t tell, but he has a big smile on his face!).

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Now Summer Can Begin!

lake-st-peter-2Three surgeries later, mom is finally home and resting. She had complications with infections, but is cancer free and that is the most important thing.

Now I sit in my house, wanting desperately to get started on something, but I don’t know where to begin. The clutter seems to accumulate faster than imaginable, yet I don’t quite have the energy to tackle it. It’s easier to play with my iphone and sit at my computer and forget about life. So, I started by making a list. That way I can check things off as I go and feel a sense of accomplishment. I have a bunch of clothes that I’d like to sell on Ebay and I’d like to give the clutter to someone else by have a garage sale.

Buddy was set to have his visit with his mom this week. Every visit brings anxiety all around. Last week he peed his pants as soon as he saw her, despite doing great with potty training. Then, she figured out we cut his hair, practically 2 months previous! So, even though I had planned on getting it cut this weekend since the poor little man sweats through his head, I’m going to hold off. This past visit was cancelled. They wouldn’t tell me specifically why, but evidently she flipped out when she got there and it wouldn’t have been a good environment for Buddy to be in, so they sent her home. Now, since I’m not working, I will be bringing Buddy to his visits. The girl doing the supervision has offered to come get him out of the car for me so that I don’t have to deal with mom and her hostility. It’s too bad really because I’d like to establish a rapport with her, but it just doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

I’m going to go back and procrastinate now and walk the dog. Have a good weekend!

 

Photo credit: Яick Harris / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Amazing Husband

I want to start out by saying that I have the best husband in the world! It’s been a whirlwind week for us and he’s been amazing.

This week was the definition of “when it rains, it pours.” I lost my job, my husband’s step-mom is unresponsive and in the ICU, my friend’s father passed away while we were out to lunch, then my mom has an infection from her mastectomy and needed emergency surgery yesterday.

So, on a day where he should be relaxing and putting his feet up, he’s been entertaining Buddy while I visited my mom & went to a wake. To top it all off, Buddy smeared poop all over his crib when he was supposed to be napping. I had come home to change clothes & smelled the stink. Poor hubby had to clean up the mess as I ran back out the door.

My own Dad has barely left my mom’s
side throughout her ordeal and while he doesn’t get the hint when mom leaves the vacuum out, I know he tries hard!

So thank you to all the Dad’s out there who make great sacrifices for their families. You are truly appreciated!

Early Summer

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Today I was let go at my job. As you know from past posts, I had a feeling I was on my way out and I was really unhappy with my administration. It’s just that no matter how hard I tried to prepare for this day, I was still caught off guard and hoped that it didn’t happen this way.

I pride myself on being a good teacher. I really get to know my kids and their families on a personal level. I’ve been to their homes and I’ve shared their stories. I care about them immensely and have put my heart and soul into my job. I advocate for them and make sure they’re getting what they need. However, when you work at a charter school, there is no such thing as tenure and they can fire you for any reason. They were really grasping at straws when they gave me reasons for my departure and I didn’t entertain them.

I called my husband, asked him to come over and a few faithful friends helped me pack up my 6 years accumulation of crap and I was gone. Yes, I cried and cried and wanted to know how they could treat me like that. I worked my butt off, came in early, stayed late, came in on Saturdays, worked at home, traveled all over the city and beyond, did tons of paperwork and taught kids with no resources. I bask in the knowledge that it will take about 3-4 people to replace me. We didn’t have a testing center and I was forced to cater IEPs to the school instead of the school accommodating the kids. I could give you a list of non-compliance issues, but I won’t.

Tomorrow I have my second round interview in another district. I have five other applications out for job postings and I can send in one more. There will surely be others since the summer has just begun.

I am sad that I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to my kids. I feel horrible that hey have to go through finals and regents exams without me. It wasn’t my choice to leave them so soon. I hope they know that I will be with them in spirit.

This is a blessing, I know. It’s just hard to put in perspective at the moment with feelings so raw, but I’ll get there. I have an amazing husband, a sweet little boy, supportive family, great friends and this blog. Best of all, I get to start my summer early!

So, say a little prayer, wish upon your lucky stars and hope that better opportunities are on their way for me on my continuously crazy journey.

Photo credit: monkeyc.net / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Just Rewards

ImageBuddy has been doing well with potty training. He does the best at daycare and will actually go to the bathroom on his own! He is even wearing big boy underwear now! He only wears a pull-up at nap time and bedtime. Buddy completed his sticker chart and we brought him to Chuck E Cheese for his efforts (see more about our Chuck E Cheese fiasco below!).

Buddy's new potty chart.

Buddy’s new potty chart.

At home, we have more difficulty when he’s not in pull-ups however. I will put him on the toilet several times and he won’t go and then he’ll run around in wet pants, unphased by it. We will try another sticker chart. I am almost done with school, so there will be no excuses but to put a full time effort into it. We even brought his Elmo potty chair downstairs, so he has easy access since our only bathroom is upstairs. He will get a sticker for each success on the potty (one for him & one for the chart) and at the end of each row, he can get a Hot Wheel/Matchbox Car. Then, when the chart is complete, he can go to the bounce house. Hopefully he’ll be fully trained by the end of the month (fingers crossed)!

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So, Buddy had a wonderful time at Chuck E Cheese, but Mommy thought it was hell! NEVER GO TO CHUCK E CHEESE ON THE WEEKEND!!! We technically went on a Friday and we went at 4:30, so I thought we’d beat the crowd, but there were 4 birthday parties plus other families there already. The gross pizza took forever. The salad bar was not well maintained and the bathrooms were disgusting. Plus, Buddy is too young to do most of the stuff there. It was very crowded and he wanted to run from ride to ride or game. Well, as Mommy dutifully followed him around, we notice a pair of jeans lying on the ground. I thought to myself, what Mother let’s their child run around in public without pants! Then, I looked down. It was my kid! I am the terrible mother with the half naked child! I quickly stuck him back in his drawers and looked around in horror as my husband flew across the room toward us. He said, “I watched him shimmy out of the pants as you were walking away!” I tried calling to you, but it’s so loud in here!” He has no butt or hips to hold jeans up well. He’s usually in more sporty pants. What was I thinking?! I had enough by this point and it was time to go. We won’t be going back anytime soon.

Miss You on Your Birthday

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Today, the last baby we fostered turns one year old. I’m glad that his parents did what they needed to do to get him back. However, I still miss him terribly. He was a good and happy baby and he brought us so much joy. Unfortunately neither the bio-parents nor the caseworker will keep in contact with us on how he’s progressing. I just hope that he’s well and has a wonderful day! Today I give Buddy extra hugs and kisses.

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!

He’s Very Two

Darth Buddy getting into Daddy's books.

Darth Buddy getting into Daddy’s books.

When asked recently how old Buddy is, I responded that he is “very two!” He doesn’t listen, runs everywhere, says “I don’t want to,” needs kisses for old boo boos and his latest trick is spitting out food. When he sleeps though, he’s an angel!

Until recently, Buddy has been a good eater. At daycare, he’s awesome and will do anything that the other kids do. He always devours everything on his plate. At home, he would at least eat the meat and would at least try the vegetable and side. Lately, we’re lucky if he has more than 3 bites of anything without spitting it back out. Foods he likes one day, he spits out the next. I’m assuming it’s just another part of his defiance/independence/terrible twos phase. However, the child needs to eat! I’ve tried being a good role model. “Mommy is almost done with her rice. Mmmm, it’s so good.” I’ve tried making a deal with him. “If you eat 5 bites of chicken you can watch Dora!” I’ve tried threats. “If you don’t eat some of your dinner, you can’t go out and play.” I’ve tried separating out his food so they don’t mix together and I’ve tried making it colorful. Hmmmm…

He has also decided that he’s going to be outright defiant. I was cooking dinner and he came over by the stove. I told him to be careful, it’s dangerous. He came over again and I said, “No, it’s hot!” and I showed him where the flame comes up. He still came over and put his little finger on the stove anyway! He had quite a few time-outs that day. He also must think he’s a teenager because he’d stand with the fridge open, looking in. Are you hungry? No. Are you thirsty? No. Then get out of the refrigerator!

The other thing lately is his obsessing over boo boos. That, I know, is part of his anxiety. The cat gave him a tiny scratch on his hand. We heard about that for over a week. A girl at daycare pulled his ear and he continuously harped about it. He had a bug bite that was just healed up, but he continued to touch and scratch at it and wanted medicine for weeks afterward. He also scratches at his face at night, almost like he wants to cause a boo boo so he can touch it.

Some of these things I know are just part of being two and his desire for free will and hopefully, he’ll grow out of it. However, I can’t help but wonder if it will develop into something more serious. I know foster children are an anxious bunch and need time to heal their wounds, both physical and emotional. You really have to “live in the now” with foster care. You can’t dwell on the past and you can’t worry about the future. You just have to take each day as another adventure. I do my best to be a good parent, provide consistency and love and hope for the best for my little man!

Enjoying the Spring Weather

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We’re finally getting some nice weather here in Central New York and we’re taking advantage of it as much as we can. We picked up a Spiderman sprinkler a while back for a buck at a garage sale and recently got Buddy a little pool. He had a blast in the mind-numbingly ice cold water. I ran through the sprinkler with him as Spiderman sprayed water out of his hands where his webs would come out and he spun around. He really wanted me to sit down in the pool, but all I could handle was standing in it for a few minutes and jumping back out! Frannie the dog indulged him though and she laid right down to cool off.

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Shaky the cat watched the festivities from a safe distance.

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Despite all the fresh air, we still have such a hard time getting Buddy to sleep, whether for naps or at bedtime. So, instead of fighting with him, I took him and the dog for a nice long walk. He passed right out. I was able to get exercise in, he got his nap and we got to enjoy the nice weather together.

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It was a nice weekend, which continued into the week since bio-mom didn’t show yet again for her visit, giving us a 3 week reprieve. Keep it up lady, he’s closer and closer to being our little man!