I Need To Watch What I Say

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The other day Buddy & I got some lunch out. When we were done, I put his container of milk in the cup holder of his car seat. Then I put him in and the milk, of course, went flying. “Sshhiiittt!!!,” I exclaimed as I reached for the bottle with little success. Then Buddy repeated, “shit, Mommy my milk!”
Why can’t he repeat something I say that’s profound or about his listening skills (which are obviously just fine). No, of course not!

Happy Halloween everybody!

Mommy’s Little Shopper

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Buddy is very independent. He likes to do everything himself: change his clothes, put on his shoes, get into his seat, etc. (except eat for some reason, I’m still feeding him the majority of the time). Shopping apparently is no exception! He always asks to go to the mall. What two-year-old does that? I guess with video games (we let him sit on the car & motorcycle ones) and the carousel, what’s not to like?

I’ve had a lot of anxiety lately with the upcoming jail visit and I don’t know if Buddy senses that or if he’s just going through more of his terrible two’s, but we’ve had some meltdowns lately. We had to go to the grocery store last minute last week to pick up some apple cider that was on sale & mozzarella cheese to go with our dinner. Of course this store has car carts (the top looks like a car complete with steering wheel), so Buddy wanted to sit in one. Well, being that it was almost dinner time and the store was bustling, the two car carts the store has were being used. Buddy refused to go in a regular cart. Needless to say, there was a major meltdown with him lying across the aisle kicking & screaming when he saw a little girl sitting in the very cart he wanted.

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So, when I had to go to the grocery store yesterday, I was really dreading it. We went to a store without the car carts, but they had little kid carts that they could push themselves. Buddy insisted that HE needed to go shopping. I begrudgingly let him. He really surprised me because he did awesome! He was quite the little shopper! He looked at the ads (upside down!) & pushed his cart. We put in the food that we needed. He helped me put the groceries on the belt at the checkout and he even helped me pay.

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He was a champ at the visit with bio-mom today too. I told him we were going on an adventure and Miss B, the caseworker was going to take him to see Mommy M. He didn’t really remember her, but looked forward to going. We told him that Mommy and Daddy would be waiting for him to come back and he could tell Miss B if he was scared or wanted to end the visit. He lasted a good half hour and did way better than his Nervous Nelly Mommy. We took him to dinner to get his favorite, burgers and french fries and he fell asleep on the way home. He’s such a good boy.

The caseworker said that our TPR hearing will most likely be the 1st week in December with it concluding in May or June. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it does not get dragged out any further than that, especially since we don’t know if bio-mom’s other charges are going to extend her stay or not. In the meantime, I’m going to take a cue from my little man and try to chill out and look forward to us being a forever family by summer time.

Anything But Ordinary

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It was supposed to just be an ordinary permanency hearing… continue with foster care. I told my husband that he didn’t have to take off from work. I was fine going by myself. He’d gone to a couple before and this was my first one. I didn’t mind. This is one time I can honestly say that I’m glad he didn’t listen to me!

Our first surprise was when we were told that bio-mom was on her way from jail. Ummm, what???!!! I didn’t know she even knew the hearing was going on and I didn’t know that they moved her from the justice center to the jail yet (read about jail in my last post here). Apparently she was moved the evening before.

When we got into the court room, bio-mom actually looked presentable (besides being shackled, in an orange jumpsuit and escorted by prison guards). Her hair was clean, neatly brushed and she didn’t have any of her facial piercings in. Then she actually thanked us for taking care of Buddy! … Then she lied to the judge’s face!

She said that she could have gone to rehab through drug court, but decided that she needed to take some time for herself. In actuality, she skipped out on rehab, a warrant was issued for her arrest and she was sent to jail. So… what was the past year that he was in care for if not to take time for herself? She didn’t have to take care of anyone else!

Then she went on to say that she joined NA (after being in jail for less than 24 hours) and will be out in March for good behavior (instead of the year she was sentenced to serve) and everything will be taken care of! Really? You think they’re going to get your kid back in five months because you went to some meetings in jail? Also, she has two felony charges pending. Hopefully she doesn’t just get a slap on the wrist for those, but has to serve some hard time in prison.

To make matters even worse, the judge was a jerk. A month ago when the court papers were filed for the hearing, we didn’t know where bio-mom was. She was MIA and there haven’t been visits in six months. Now, she’s here in court and when the judge asked if she’s getting visits, the answer was no and he flipped out. He said that she is entitled to get weekly visits since the plan is reunification (he didn’t know about the TPR). When the caseworker said that she had been missing and visits were being offered to her on a monthly basis, he didn’t agree and said that she deserves to see her child and he hopes that it’s more than once by the next hearing. The bio-mom spoke up and said to the caseworker that she read in a handbook that she can have the kid on her lap and play with him by herself too! (I guess there is a Head Start program where this could be a reality, but chances are she won’t qualify, fingers crossed).

Oh yeah, and court was rescheduled for a month from now because she wanted a lawyer.

I kept it together for the 15 minutes maybe that we were in court. It seemed like forever. Then when I got out I started to cry. Why was the judge all for the bio-mom who’s in jail and not for Buddy? Where are his rights? Why should he be tormented by visits in jail with some woman he’s barely seen over the past year? He does see his mom, it’s me and I’m there for him every single day!

Our caseworker is awesome and she put some things into perspective for me. Even though the judge was a big jerk and wanted to make sure the visits were happening, it’s actually a good thing because he’s making sure that all the T’s are crossed and the I’s are dotted. DSS is required to offer visits and if they don’t, it could hurt us at TPR. Also, if Buddy has a hard time with the visits, we can make an appointment with the psychologist. The psychologist can then write a letter stating that the visits are negatively impacting Buddy and submit that to the judge. If Buddy has a REALLY hard time and say, screams bloody murder during a visit, the jail officials will kick him out and say that it’s not a good environment for him anyway.

So, I could go to the jail visits with Buddy, but since I could barely hold it together for court, I probably shouldn’t be there with him during a visit. Part of me wants to go, because she doesn’t like me very much and even the caseworker said she might try to attack me. She went off on me at a doctor’s appointment before (read here) because I referred to myself as Mommy. That would suck for her if she did that since they probably don’t like prisoners fighting with visitors.

The caseworker is going to update the hearing paperwork so that the judge has more background as to what has transpired recently, that the TPR is scheduled and also what behaviors Buddy has as a result of visits with bio-mom after not seeing her for so long (which are inevitable).

Needless to say, it was a rough morning. To make me feel better, Hubby took me out to lunch and then we went shopping. What would I ever do without him?

Pray for my little man that the visits aren’t too horrible for him. Since the behaviors are starting already, I know it’s not going to be good. Buddy is an amazing two-year-old little boy who deserves normalcy. He should be worrying about what toy to play with next, not about jail visits and memories of abandonment and neglect. I just want all of this to be over with and for him to be ours.

I know the last couple of posts have been pretty intense. Thanks for listening to me vent.

Photo credit: SalFalko / Foter / CC BY-NC

Babies Behind Bars

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A couple of posts ago I mentioned that Buddy’s bio-mom resurfaced and is back in our lives (see it here). She made a deal with the court to go to inpatient rehab instead of jail. Well, that didn’t last long.

I’m not even sure if she was in there for a full two weeks before she screwed up. I was told that there are only two ways to get out of rehab: get into a fight or have a relative that’s also in. Well, she found a loop hole, because she did #3: say you’re sick. She was sent to the hospital and it apparently was not the hospital she requested, so they discharged her. She didn’t check in with the rehab facility, so they issued a warrant for her arrest. Instead of turning herself in, she ran.

Needless to say, she found herself back in jail. Now she has to serve a year and has more charges pending. What does this mean for us and Buddy? He gets to visit her in jail once a month.

Now, I have no experience with jail, so I looked up how visits are conducted. I initially wanted to go with Buddy for the visit, but my husband is going with the caseworker instead (more on that in the next post). I will go to the jail, sit in the waiting room and be there for him before and after the visit. Buddy and bio-mom can only have a quick kiss and hug at the beginning and end of the visit, there is no contact allowed besides that. He has to sit on my husband’s lap during the entire visit. Now, he’s a very busy and active two-year-old. How is this going to work? I’m sure he’ll probably sit the first time because he’ll be scared out of his mind. I guess her face is covered in spiky piercings now, so that alone will do it, not to mention the weird, new place that he has to go to. After that, good luck getting him to sit still for longer than five minutes.

I’m assuming that bio-mom will probably be at the court hearings now as well. The TPR was filed on October 1 and all the paperwork should be ready for court to be scheduled by the end of the month. Before she went to jail, I figured we’d get Buddy by default because she wouldn’t show up. Now, she’ll have people to remind her of her upcoming court dates and it’s a good excuse to get out of jail for the day. She also has a lawyer. I’m 90% sure that Buddy will be ours, but it will probably be drawn out because I’m sure she’ll appeal if her rights are taken away.

Buddy knows that something is up. I’ve mentioned before that he’s very intuitive. He bites at his fingers and occasionally grinds his teeth during the day. Now he’s screaming at night. No, not crying, but a real scream, while he’s sleeping. Now just imagine what’s going to happen with him once the visits start. Think of my little guy next Monday when he visits jail.

Conversations on the Toilet

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Conversation with Buddy as he’s sitting on the toilet…

Buddy: Mommy, I’m going to go to school?

Me: Next year you’ll go to Pre-K.

Buddy: I’m going to take the bus?

Me: No, not until you’re bigger; when you’re five. But then Mommy will be sad because you’ll be so big.

Buddy: You’re going to be mad because I ride the bus?

Me: No, I’m going to be sad that you’re so big and I want you to stay little.

Buddy: You’re going to be mad that I’m going to school?

Me: No, I’m not going to be mad.

Buddy: You’re going to be mad that I’m big?

Me: No! No! I’m not mad, I’m happy, I’m very happy! Go potty!

 

Photo credit: ben110 / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Teen Orphan Makes Plea to be Adopted

I haven’t been posting as much as I used to. I think only once did I post more than once in a day. Now I’ve got three in less than 12 hours. But this article HAS TO BE READ. I was instantly in tears. Please read and maybe you or someone you know will adopt this boy-teen orphan.

Photo Credit: Yahoo Shine, Davion Navar and Connie Going, his Eckerd case worker (photo by: MELISSA LYTTLE/ZUMApress)

Apples, Pumpkins and Bounce Houses, Oh My!

ImageI love the fall. The weather is cooling down, the leaves are changing colors, there are fall festivals to attend and apples to pick. This year is even better because we get to do it all with Buddy!

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A few weeks ago we went apple picking. Some people like to just go to the orchard, pick their apples and be done with it. Well, this was our first time with our little man, so went to the place that is all about the kids. It had bounce houses, a tractor ride, horse rides, train ride, petting zoo, etc. By the time we were ready to pick apples, both of our phone’s died and we didn’t get any pictures of the main attraction! Now Buddy asks, “can we go apple picking bounce house?” As if they are one and the same.

ImageLast weekend we went to the apple festival and he spotted the rides right away. We told him he had to wait until after we looked around a bit. So we checked out the big tractors and huge pumpkins, visited the craft tents, had some lunch and then he got his turn at some fun. He absolutely LOVED the Ferris wheel! So much in fact that he wanted to go on it twice. Then he rode a pony, but in true Buddy fashion, he is Mr. Independent and was mad that I was walking next to him on the pony. He kept insisting that I go stand with Daddy!

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Buddy is excited for Halloween and decided to be Ironman! He loves to dress up, so he’s more than prepared since he also has costumes for a pirate, dinosaur, Woody, Batman, Spiderman, and Captain America. No, I didn’t buy them all new, I’m a thrifty shopper, remember? I picked some up at garage sales and others at thrift shops. He also has various hats (fireman, soldier, construction worker, etc.) and masks (Optimus Prime, Darth Vader, etc.). Yes, the child is spoiled, but when I can pick things up for a couple of bucks, why not?!

ImageWe also picked up some pumpkins at the dollar store and got crafty making a spider, mummy, monster, super hero and a kitty (big pumpkin bought at the thrift store for 99 cents!). Buddy said they needed lights, so I got some candy corn lights and put them out on our front porch in front of our window decorations.

ImageI wanted to take Buddy to a pumpkin patch, and maybe we still will this weekend if the weather isn’t too yucky, but I saw a sign for “U-pick Pumpkins” after we left the apple festival. There was a little country store and they had an apple orchard. After paying for our pumpkin, it turns out that picking your own, was from the bunch they had out in front of the store. Not exactly the experience I was hoping for, but it’s a nice pumpkin for us to carve up together. (Not quite like the witch below though, cool huh?! & Spiderman pose!)

ImageSo, we’ve had some great times and have really enjoyed getting out and enjoying the fall weather. Hopefully it will continue on since I’m really not looking forward to winter and snow.

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I love the fall. The weather is cooling down, the leaves are changing colors, there are fall festivals to attend and apples to pick. This year is even better because we get to do it all with Buddy!

A few weeks ago we went apple picking. Some people like to just go to the orchard, pick their apples and be done with it. Well, this was our first time with our little man, so went to the place that is all about the kids. It had bounce houses, a tractor ride, horse rides, train ride, etc. By the time we were ready to pick apples, both of our phone’s died and we didn’t get any pictures of the main attraction! Now Buddy asks, “can we go apple picking bounce house?” As if they are one and the same.

Last weekend we went to the apple festival and he spotted the amusement park rides right away. We told him he had to wait until after we looked around a bit. So we checked out the big tractors and huge pumpkins, visited the craft tents, had some lunch and then he got his turn at some fun. He absolutely LOVED the Ferris wheel! So much in fact that he wanted to go on it twice. Then he rode a pony, but in true Buddy fashion, he is Mr. Independent and was mad that I was walking next to him on the pony. He kept insisting that I go stand with Daddy!

Buddy is excited for Halloween and decided to be Ironman! He loves to dress up, so he’s more than prepared since he also has costumes for a pirate, dinosaur, Woody, Batman, Spiderman, and Captain America. No, I didn’t buy them all new, I’m a thrifty shopper, remember? I picked some up at garage sales and others at thrift shops. He also has various hats (fireman, soldier, construction worker, etc.) and masks (Optimus Prime, Darth Vader, etc.). Yes, the child is spoiled, but when I can pick things up for a couple of bucks, why not?!

We also picked up some pumpkins at the dollar store and got crafty making a spider, mummy, monster, super hero and a kitty (big pumpkin bought at the thrift store for 99 cents!). Buddy said they needed lights, so I got some candy corn lights and put them out on our front porch in front of our window decorations.

I wanted to take Buddy to a pumpkin patch, and maybe we still will this weekend if the weather isn’t too yucky, but I saw a sign for “U-pick Pumpkins” after we left the apple festival. There was a little country store and they had an apple orchard. After paying for our pumpkin, it turns out that picking your own, was from the bunch they had out in front of the store. Not exactly the experience I was hoping for, but it’s a nice pumpkin for us to carve up together.

So, we’ve really been enjoying getting out and enjoying the fall weather. Hopefully it will continue on since I’m so not looking forward to winter and snow.

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Out of the Mouth’s of Babes

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Some of the things that come out of Buddy’s mouth are hilarious. It really makes you wonder where he comes up with this stuff. Other times he’s very endearing.

One day he says to me, “I want a monkey!” A monkey! Where the heck am I going to get a monkey?

The other day, out of the blue, he says to me, “I want a bike for my birthday!” Huh? You already have two bikes, I said. Plus, your birthday isn’t for three more months. “No, my birthday’s coming!” Okay, okay.

Another time, he gave me a mask and said, “you be Spiderman.” So, I put on the mask. He takes it off me and smugly says, “Hi Peter Parker,” and proudly walks away.

Lately he’s been saying “my mommy.” I didn’t know if he was referring to his bio-mom since we have been talking about her lately since she recently popped up. So I asked him. When you say “my mommy” are you talking about Mommy M? He looked at me and said, “You’re Buddy’s Mommy!” and gave me a big hug.

So, then yesterday I gave Buddy a quick shower before bed and then he had to use the toilet. As I went to put the towel around him, I knocked over a hand-held mirror and it shattered on the floor. My husband came running up the stairs. I reassured him we were okay; I’ll just have another seven years bad luck on top of the last mirror I broke. When I went to put Buddy to sleep he asked me why Daddy came upstairs when the mirror broke. I said it’s because he loves us and cares about us and wanted to make sure we were okay. He looked at me and said, “He’s a good Daddy!” Yes he is baby, yes he is.

We just love that boy!

Getting Caught in the Rain

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There are times, when Buddy throws a fit or won’t go to sleep, that I wonder why on earth I wanted children when we could do whatever we wanted when we were an “empty nest couple,” as our gym membership calls us. Then there are days like yesterday that make me so thankful to have him and be able to see the world through his eyes.

We walk Frannie the dog everyday. It’s good exercise for all of us. When we first started doing this with Buddy, it was a chore to get him to walk, stay on the sidewalk and not beg to be carried. However, we make it fun by seeing who can get to the stop sign, fire hydrant, for sale sign, etc. first. We also pretend we are super heroes and get bad guys with our webs or blasters, all while traversing under the pointy branches, over the slippery apples and past the silly trees.

Yesterday was no exception, but there was rain in the forecast and the sun wasn’t out. I brought the umbrella just in case. The skies continued to darken, the wind started to pick up and then it started to sprinkle. I tried to hurry Buddy along, but that, as I’m sure some of you know, isn’t an easy feat with a two-year-old. When the rain started to come down in buckets, he could have gotten upset. I could have gotten upset! But, he started to giggle and we ran, as fast as his toddling little legs could run and we both held on tight to the umbrella, stepping in puddles, laughing, playing and teasing the rain to make us wet.

A nice gentleman in a big truck pulled over and offered to give us a ride home, but we were only 2 blocks away and I was having a blast, being caught in the rain, with my little man. If I was alone and stuck in the rain, I would have been mad that it ruined my day. A child like Buddy loves the rain because it’s a new adventure!

Photo credit: mangee/ Foter / CC BY-NC-SA