Friday, May 29, 2009

I "Look Like a Mom"

So I was walking into work the other day, quite proud of the fact that I had actually managed to make it out of the house without J's bodily fluids on my clothing, and I even managed to curl my hair and put on a little bit of makeup when I passed a friend of mine who looks at me, smiles, and exclaims to my BFF walking with her, "I swear, Tammy just looks like a mom now!"

WTF IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?!? I spent a couple of days pondering her comment, wondering what exactly she meant by that. Do I look loving and maternal? Do I have a "happy mommy glow?" Or do I look like death warmed over from lack of naptimes and early mornings that I'm not accustomed to?

Today, the three of us went to lunch and she said the same thing. "You just look like a mom!" I braved up and asked, "What are you trying to say? I don't know whether to be offended or flattered." Apparently, I have that "I'm tired, and you're lucky I'm fully-clothed as I bless you with my presence" look about me. I'd agree with that, I guess. I spend so much time making sure the kiddo looks presentable, I don't really think much about what I look like. As long as I manage to brush my teeth, put on deodorant, and (occasionally) don a bra if I'm going in public I feel pretty well put together. :-) And if I manage to get in a shower after the Drool Monster goes to bed, I think the day has been a whopping success and I am one hot mama (at least during the 10 hours before the Bodily Fluid Machine awakens).

I did catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror last Friday afternoon. I was frightened. My mom was sick thanks to me and Baby J, so I ended up watching my 4-year-old niece and nephew and the Booger Bear most of the day so my sister could work. She came over around 3:30 to take over so I could get some work in that evening, and I ran inside to (what I thought was just) throw on some lipstick and head into work. What I saw when I looked in the mirrow was scary bad. My hair was plopped up haphazardly on top of my head in a hairclip so the baby wouldn't keep pulling it. Yet somehow, there were several strands that had broken free and were flying around all over. I had been supervising water gun fights in which I ended up the unsuspecting victim, so I was sopping wet. I had spit up, drool, and snot stains (along with something orange... sweet potatoes?) all over my t-shirt. And I had somehow managed to make it through the day with smeary baby fingerprints all over my glasses.

How did this happen?!? I could have sworn I'd looked half-way decent that morning! Look at me now! I "look like a mom!" :-)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

An Email from the Booger Bear

My mom has been watching the Booger Bear (aka. the Drool Monster, aka. the Bodily Fluid Machine) for me this weekend so I could go into work and try to make up some of the ridiculous amounts of time that I've been having to miss because of all of the fostering appointments. Yesterday, after a few hours, I received the following email from my sweet little baby.

I told my mom that I didn't really get it because he goes right to sleep for me. :-) "Spoiled rotten to the core..." Please! He's an ANGEL! Then again, it's quite possible that I've begun to develop that "love is blind" thing where I just don't see it. He's just so damned cute!!! Even his "I'm very frustrated right now, and I need to express my anger through facial expressions" expression is cute! He purses his whole face inward and looks like an old man without his dentures. Then he whines/grunts/cries all at the same time. It's freaking hilarious. I suppose I shouldn't laugh at Baby J's obvious frustration, but I can't help it. At least I know that if the crying is accompanied by "the shriveled old man look," J's not really in any true distress. I usually wait for the tears before jump to do his bidding. :-)

I never understood before now how parents in stores and restaurants could simply ignore their child's temper tantrums, whining, or crying bouts. Over the past couple of weeks though, I've come to realize that the only cries I really pay attention to are the ones where he really needs something. I guess that whole, "mommy deafness" thing works both ways. The kids don't hear when mommy is telling them to do something they don't want to do, and mommy's ear don't hear whiny voices. I get it now! It's God's way of preserving the parents' sanity. It might drive everyone else nuts, but I think my child is perfect. :-)

"Spoiled rotten to the core..." Never! ;-)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Week One Update

The Drool Monster has been with me for a whole week, and things are going great. He's still a happy little flirt, and seems to be milking his irresistible cuteness for all it's worth. :-) The only problem we've had this week has been that Baby J got a really bad cold last weekend, which he promptly gave to Mama Tammy. Baby J got over his nastiness in two days. Mama Tammy, on the other hand, ended up getting an upper respiratory infection from it and now has no voice and a nasty cough. Try singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" when you can't even force a whisper out of your mouth. I'm getting a complex too because he keeps laughing at me whenever I try to talk to him. I can't even give him a hard time about being the one who did this to me because I CAN'T TALK!!!

We're getting a good routine going. Well, as good of a routine as you can get when you're dealing with CPS. I don't think I've had a "normal" day since he was placed with me. The ultimate goal once all of the initial appointments are over with is to have my mom pick up Baby J around 8:00am during the week so I can get ready for work without having to fight baby drool. Her back probably can't handle taking care of him all day five days a week, so hopefully my friend Melissa will be able to pick him up from my mom's a couple of days a week.

After I pick him up after work, we come home and load up in the stroller for our evening walk to the mailbox and to take out the trash. (I'm LOVING the hugantor stroller that a couple from work gave me. I can put a whole garbage bag of trash in the storage compartment! Just what the stroller manufacturers were shooting for, I'm certain. ;-) We play for a while, we take his bath, and then we wind down by reading a book and singing a couple of songs. Around 7:30-7:45 or so, it's final bottle and lights out. He's out by 8:00, and Mama Tammy can do grown up things again. Like clean the house, pay bills, and shave my legs.

So things are going amazingly well other than some problems that I'm having with CPS and, once again, the TOTAL lack of communication. I won't even get into it other than to say, "If you expect me to get this baby to the doctor within 14 days, it might be a good idea to get me his Medicaid number and an UPDATED list of doctors who are accepting new Medicaid patients." I have wasted literally about eight hours of my life on the phone with doctors, the insurance company, and the case managers with absolutely nothing to show for it. Fun times. At least home life is going well, and I can overlook some of the CPS BS. Now that I think about it, maybe I should blame CPS for my lack of a voice! It's probably what happens when you talk in circles for eight straight hours. I think I'm going to make THEM make a doctor's appointment for me and just tell me when and where to go. Especially now that I can't even call to make an appointment. THEY WON'T BE ABLE TO HEAR ME!!!

I'm off to see who won American Idol now. I had to let it record so I can watch it faster and have time to blog and bathe. Mama Tammy is smart that way. :-)

Friday, May 15, 2009

So Far, So Good...

Day Three with the Drool Monster (who I might upgrade to the Spit-Up Monster), and things have gone amazingly well! He's just a happy little thing and for the most part only cries when he's hungry, sleepy, or needs a new diaper. We ventured out today to visit the ladies up at the office (after two shirt changes for me and one outfit change for him). He was his charming little self and won everyone over immediately. :-) He waved and smiled at every person who walked by and the CFO even taught him how to "high five." He must have thought that was a "guy" thing because he then wanted to high five every man he saw. :-)

He seems to be extremely well-adjusted. He's definitely been on a schedule, and you can tell he's been well-loved. He's definitely on track developmentally, and is a smart little thing. He picks up new games and things after only a couple of demonstrations. He's all about trying to copy funny faces and make silly noises. He's been sleeping 11-12 hours a night, takes two hour and a half naps during the day, and can pretty much tell me when it's time to eat if I happen to be off by a few minutes. He loves to play with the "big kids," loves bathtime, and is pretty good at entertaining himself for about 20 minute stretches at a time if I need to do things around the house. As long as he's got his toys, he's good to go. He lets me know when he's ready for Mama Tammy time by grunting really loud and then flashing the dimples when I ask him if he's pooping. You have no idea how many times I've checked his diaper to see if he is actually poopy! I tried to tell him the story about "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" but he didn't seem to understand the moral. :-)

I did, however, have my first "Mommy Panic" episode tonight. He had kind of a rough day today... We ended up getting off schedule (CPS doesn't really ask when it's convenient for the baby), so he was pretty cranky by the end of the day. He went to bed just before 7:00, so I sat down to catch up on all of the season finales that I've missed this week. At about 8:45 I heard him scream. And I mean blood-curdling scream! Like someone was stabbing him or something. And then he started crying hysterically. I ran in there, and he was still sort of sleeping. I don't know if he had a nightmare or really bad gas pains or what (he's been seriously gassy today). I checked to see if he'd had a diaper blow-out (I'm kind of expecting one soon), and looked to make sure there wasn't a spider or anything that might have bitten him, but he was still half asleep, and he immediately fell right back to sleep when I started rubbing his back. I, on the other hand, spent the next hour trying to make my heart settle back into my chest. It was horrible. I am officially traumatized. Welcome to Mommyhood. :-)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Drool Monster... :-)

Baby Boy (my little Drool Monster :-) is here! He's a super-happy little thing (7-months-old), and so far, seems to be settling right in (fingers crossed). We'll be venturing out tomorrow morning to visit Mama Tammy's work friends because they all want to spoil him, and we have a play date with my friend Melissa and her 1-year-old little girl tomorrow afternoon before naptime.

My sister brought my 4-year-old niece and nephew over tonight so they could meet him and we could go play on the playground and take a little walk. He lit up when they came in, and seemed to have a good time with them. He doesn't seem to know a stranger. All smiles and flirts. :-) So far, the only time he really cries is when he's getting tired or hungry, and even then it's not too bad. He just kind of whines and frowns, but get huge tears. I think he just knows how to milk it. :-)

My case manager actually had a home visit with Baby Girl (my Immobile Munchkin :-) today before she brought Baby Boy over, and she's doing great. My friends from foster care training have her and are also taking in her older sister! They are AMAZING! I'm so glad that they are able to give her everything that she needs.

Well, I'm gonna check on the kiddo and head to bed! Good night, everyone!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Let's Try This Again...

I'm glad I beautified last night, because I'm getting a 7-month-old baby boy tomorrow! :-) No body cast... No medical problems... Just a little guy who needs a stable, loving home...

YIPPEE!!! Time to hit the stores and stock up on 6-9 month baby boy clothes, baby food, diapers, and formula. At least I have 24 hours to prepare this time. :-)

The Power of a Scent

"What scents immediately bring you back to childhood?"
There is a quote by Diane Ackerman that is so true.
"Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains."
For me, there are so many scents that immediately transport me to other times and places.
  • Coppertone suntan lotion - It has to be Coppertone, because that's what my mom used to slather all over us at 5:00am the mornings that our entire extended family headed out for the lake. My grandparents had a boat and a camper, and the whole family (my parents, my sister, my two aunts, and my grandparents) would go camping for the weekends. Some of us would sleep in a tent, some in the camper, and my aunts would sleep in the boat. It was always fun to watch the grown-ups water ski building pyramids and stuff. I always thought my family was SO COOL. :-) And whenever I get a whiff of Coppertone suntan lotion, I always think of family camping trips.
  • This leads me straight into Noxzema - After several days at the lake, you tend to get a sunburn no matter how much Coppertone your mom put on you. I have never been able to use Noxzema for its intended purpose of facial cleansing because I always associate it with the excruciating pain of a bad sunburn. One whiff of the stuff and I tend to cringe.
  • The ocean - There's nothing like the smell of the ocean! And try as they may, candle and air freshener manufacturers just can't seem to harness the scent. :-( Personally, I think they have neglected to include the rotting seaweed and seagull poop in the equation. Yeah, it sounds disgusting, but if you ask me... That's all part of what makes the ocean smell like the ocean.
  • Honeysuckle - When I was a little girl, we had a honeysuckle vine in our backyard that was also mixed with blackberries. My little sister and I would always "sneak" back there to pick berries and honeysuckle flowers because we weren't supposed to (there were bees), but I have a feeling my mom knew what we were up to. Mom's know everything. To this day, the smell of honeysuckle makes me smile and feel like I'm getting away with something. :-)
  • Hay, horse poop, and wood shavings - I know, I know... It might not sound appealing to a lot of people, but I love the smell of being in a barn! It reminds me of my Grandpa Jim. If a heart can smile, that's what mine does when I smell a barn. It just makes me think of happy times. And if you mix the barn smell with my Grandpa Jim's cologne, it's even better! :-)
  • Perfume-maker smell - Growing up, I had a little toy perfume maker. I would spend hours mixing the perfect fragrances together. Granted, they all smelled exactly the same... Kind of like flowers and soap mixed together... But I thought I was really doing something special. And the funny thing is, every once in a while, a woman will walk by wearing what I would swear is one of my perfume creations! I guess I should have patented them. I could be rich! :-)
I have a lot more (ex. cherry tobacco, smoke, roast beef, Drakkar Noir), but these are the big ones. What about you? Are there any scents that immediately bring you back to childhood or take you somewhere else?

Monday, May 11, 2009

I Feel Pretty!!!

Oh, so pretty! I feel pretty... and witty... and gaaaay!!! :-)

With a potential foster placement looming as early as tomorrow, I realized that tonight might be my only chance in the foreseeable future to beautify myself. I have colored, plucked, bleached, shaved, popped, and everything else that I could think of that I might not be able to do very often as the single foster mother of a 7-month-old. Goodness knows, I won't be feeling overly-sexy by the end of the week if I'm covered in drool, spit up, poop, snot, and baby food. :-) Although, I hear that some men find that whole "motherly" look attractive. But the more I think about it, the more I find that thought a bit disturbing.

I'm still waiting to hear from my case manager about a 7-month-old baby boy who needs to be moved from his current foster home. She called me on Saturday to ask me if I'd take him, and is now taking her own sweet time in getting the transfer worked out. You've got to love how CPS expects YOU to drop everything at a moment's notice, but they can pick and choose when they want to contact you. Hopefully this will work out, and I'll get him tomorrow.

In the meantime, I am beautiful! :-)

Friday, May 1, 2009

"Foster Friday"

I mentioned in a previous post that I planned on doing a segment called "Foster Friday" so here it is for week #1!

After my experience with my first placement, and the lack of communication when it came to the baby's actual condition, I thought a good first topic for "Foster Friday" would be:

What questions should a foster parent ask before accepting a placement?

Asking questions didn't exactly work in my case. I specifically asked if Baby Girl was immobile! But I'm sure I could have asked more pressing questions in order to get better answers and more information. Do any of you have any advice?
Related Posts with Thumbnails