Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Pie Day

Happy Thanksgiving!

At our house we celebrate pie day, every one has their own pie. We share but there is always at least one pie per person. The turkey and dressings are all extras as far as the limelight at our house. The spotlight is on the pumpkin, apple, pecan, mince and berry pies.

We have just finished the first round of pies. I expect to see them out again a little later. Then we all have pie for breakfast, a true tradition for our family.

Hope your days were as successful as ours. We had a mellow, calm, enjoyable time. It helped that we did not have two of the most volatile at home. While I missed all 3 of my missing kids it was so much more pleasant without 2 of them.

A countdown of the missing: James, 22 is in his senior year at college in California, so he went to a friend's parents' house to avoid the travel and airport madness.

Annie, 19 is in a Brain injury rehab center about 5 and a half hours away and not doing well so not invited home.

Douglass, 18 went to Texas to visit with his girlfriend and he won't be back for two weeks a nice little respite for all of us at home.

Well, now the clean up begins.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

4th birthday reprise

Just got back from the birthday party that Lani threw for Dancing Baby Girl. She did it up right and was so proud of herself. DBG was so thrilled, she kept saying this is my party? this for me? She handled the excitement well, only was mean once and that was to her Mom. i got to meet some of Lani's other family members and they all handled my presence very well. I think that is because Lani is so comfortable with our relationship.

I am proud of Lani, this was a huge step for her, the first birthday party she has thrown and it may have been the first one she has gone to like this. I get the feeling she didn't have a lot of the experiences that one would hope for for a child, like a recognition of your special day, etc.

Anyway, I am tired after a long and pretty emotional weekend for DBG. So I need to get some sleep, work again tomorrow whether I am ready or not.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

4th Birthday

(This was last year! when we weren't broke.)

Today is Dancing Baby Girl's 4th Birthday. But I do not know why it had to start before 6 AM. She keeps asking when her birthday is going to start. I think she is going to be a little disappointed as her party is not until tomorrow and is being organized by her Mom, Lani. In order to not overshadow that effort we are just doing a little family thing here with cake and presents.

Last year we had a bit of an extravaganza as it was both her birthday party and her good bye party with all her day care and other friends. So she may have unrealistic expectations.
We are baking her cake together and I think she will enjoy that.

Friday, November 21, 2008

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Lani said she didn't mind if Imiki's face was visible and he has never been a foster kid so I am breaking no laws. So here it is The First Haircut!!!

Isn't he adorable!!

We got the haircuts last weekend so that they could go with Spidey and get a sibling picture made. Spidey's foster mom and I are giving that to Lani for Christmas. I have a lot of cute pics of DBG getting her haircut too, but all of them show her face. I also have some adorable shots of the 3 of them waiting to get their pics taken in their matching red and green Christmas pjs. But I can't post any of those, sorry, you will just have to use your imagination.

All 3 kids look remarkably alike, Imiki looks a lot like Spidey did when he was younger, except Spidey was always much skinnier. And DBG looks a lot like both her brothers but with feminine features. They are the most adorable kids around.

Specialists, specialists, specialists

Well, we keep trying to figure out Kendra's health woes. She has fainted at school several times now on top of everything else. We went to the rhuematologist yesterday and it looks like they are going to diagnose her with POTS postural orthostatic tykardia syndrome. Don't know if I got the spellings anywhere right. What that means is that her autonomic nervous system is not functioning well and is not sending the right messages to her body. Her circulatory system is thus dysregulated. They have tied in alot of her symptoms to this including her stomach pain which has otherwise been elusive to diagnosis.

There are a few more tests they want to run, pulmonary functioning, EKG, lab work, stress tests and probably some more that they will dream up. We see the cardiologist next week. From what I can discern if she does have POTS there is a good chance that she can rehab from it and learn to live with the disease. It is a better diagnosis than some of the scary ones they were tossing around like Lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

We still have the neurologist and endocrinologist to see later. In the midst of this my insurance decides to be a pain. Even though I have been on the plan since the end of July and we transferred from another plan, they are now trying to pull the pre-existing condition crap. I hate dealing with insurance messes.

The one bright piece of news is that Kendra will finally get her braces off after almost 2 years. She can't wait.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Rain, rain go away

It is a rainy Saturday with an energetic almost 4 year old driving me crazy. I love having Dancing Baby Girl around but I think we have set unrealistic expectations for entertainment. Usually when she is with me it is go, go, go, to the zoo, the playground, walking and biking, hiking and exploring. But between the rain and my bronchitis it is not a good go, go, go weekend. So DBG is restless and being overly active inside.

We did go grocery shopping. Then we "napped", (Yeah right, screamed and fussed for 45 minutes is more like it) and then we played dress up, cooked cookies, cut with scissors and now we are painting. And it is only 3:30! Not sure what we are going to do for the next five hours. If it weren't hovering just above freezing we would go for a walk in the rain any way, but I don't need pneumonia on top of my bronchitis.

Life has a way of being real just when a little fantasy would be nice.

Last night I had the joy of attending the adoption party of my last foster child. (pictured above) I only had her for a long weekend before she transitioned to her foster to adopt home but I have remained the mentor for her parents even after I closed my home. It was a joyous celebration and a good time was had by all. Hers was one of several adoptions that our agency had yesterday on National Adoption Day.

She was a fun placement even though she came to me in the midst of her own inner turmoil from a disrupted pre adoptive placement that included abuse and severe neglect. I saw something in her that really drew me in and if she hadn't had a placement all ready I would have wanted to hang on to her. As I told her parents "She's a keeper." and it has turned out well, not without quite a bit of adjustment on both hers and the parents parts and none of us are naive enough to think that it will all be easy sailing from now on. But it was great to see her, so relaxed, so well looking (compared to the malnourished, anxious child she was) and so secure.

So I had a brief respite from 4 year old demands but now that the paint water has spilled on the floor and I have discovered that she has painted a few things besides her paper, I guess I had better go.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Its bronchitis, again and DBG news

Well, I have been struggling with a bout of bronchitis, seem to get this every Fall and early Winter. I am bummed, had great hopes that with the weight loss and the exercise regimen that I might be able to get through the season without the bronchitis. It is so exhausting to cough constantly. And I hate my inhalers. Whine, whine...I know.

Other than that let's see what has been happening.

Halloween pics will arrive soon, as Torina says, promptly next Spring:-) Had Lani and Imiki and Dancing Baby Girl come down for Halloween and Lani and Imiki also stayed over (DBG always stays over every other weekend). It was fun to see how excited Lani was to do Halloween with her kids, I think she is getting some experiences that she never had as a child. Lani's sister lives here in the city not too far from me so we met up with her and DBG's little cousin Kiera. Then later that evening after the kids were asleep Lani asked me if it was okay to leave the kids with me and go out dancing with her sister.

It didn't take me a minute to say yes. Lani has had to be all to the kids for a long time without much support. For her birthday recently all the recognition that she got was that DBG sang Happy birthday to her and Imiki clapped. (this brought tears to her eyes, and she said it was the best present she had had in awhile) But she is still a young adult and her responsibilities sit heavily on her young shoulders. I told her to go, have fun, rest assured the kids were safe for the moment and meet her own needs for fun for an evening. She and her sister had a great time and Lani was so thankful to us for not being judgemental, etc. Heck why should I be judgemental, I was just jealous :-) I haven't been dancing in ages.

The next day we got haircuts for both kids, Imiki's first one! and then we met Spidey and his foster mom and did sibling portraits in Christmas pajamas. Lani hadn't seen Spidey in about a year and even though she didn't interact with him, and we hope he didn't see her, she was able to sneak a peek. She has really come to good place with her decision to TPR on him, she knows that she would not have been able to meet his needs and if she had tried she would have lost all three kids.

Then Lani and Imiki went on home and DBG and I finished our weekend together by going to the zoo on Sunday.

On Monday Lain and Imiki came back into town and I went with her for Imiki's heart surgeon appointment. Poor little guy is going to have to have heart surgery and Lani really wanted someone there for support and as an extra set of ears. Came to find out that he has three things wrong with his heart and they are only going to be able to fix one with the catheterizing. They will watch the other two valve issues and we will all pray that he doesn't have to have open heart surgery. Lani was really shocked by the news that things were worse than they thought and she had quite a breakdown on the way back to my house. That's a whole lot to deal with as a very young single parent who is barely holding her family together on the income from a McDonald's job. DBG was not happy about going back with Lani and pitched one of her fits, yealling at the "Judge" who says she has to only visit our house etc. Lani absorbed DBG's anger pretty well and we talked about how DBG was out of her routine and napless. When Lani called that evening she said things were fine from the point of leaving my house, so I was glad she didn't have to put up with DBG in a foul mood on top of the bad news she was still processing about Imiki.

So that is my catch up post.

I was thrilled about the election results and then by Thursday I started with the bronchitis.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pride Filled Me

Went to vote this AM, got up early to avoid the lines, (wasn't successful, isn't that totally the best problem to have in a democracy) and I got to introduce my 18 yo to voting. It made me so proud to see him step up and do his civic duty. I don't care who he votes for, so long as he votes. My other sons first voted at college and so I didn't get to witness them. My older girls have challenges so don't vote. So it was pretty neat to have him by my side in line and this year get to step up and have his voice heard. (I always take my kids to vote with me even before they can do it themselves).

Then walking back from the polling place he was telling me about his new job. His boss likes him so much already that he has increased his hours this first week! Douglass told me his boss likes his work because he is "precise and methodical", those were the exact quoted words. This from one of my children who has struggled mightily with impulse control his whole life. I just swelled with pride to hear that. The years of redirection, therapy, homeschooling, supportive church family partners and life teaching seem to be paying off! 4-6 years ago this was one I was afraid was not going to make it in the adult world outside of a very structured environment. 3 years ago I thought that environment was going to be jail because of his explosive temper and violent ways of expressing himself. 1 year ago I had despaired of him ever having ambition, goals and a desire for a better life. Today he is a fine young man, caring and empathetic, able to problem solve before exploding, and with definite dreams about his future. He is maturing well. Thank you God.

Will catch up Later, Just VOTE!!!

VOTE, please, everyone vote so that your voice can be heard.