Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Best News Ever!!!

Oh my gosh!!! I just found out that Munchkin is with friends of mine from foster training! Her new foster mom didn't realize that I was the one who'd had her originally. She's going to start keeping me updated and I even get to see her for her 1st birthday this weekend! You have no idea how relieved I am to know for sure that she's in a great home. :-)

Anyway... I just had to share.

50-Yard Move & Munchkin Update

I get my keys to the bigger and better apartment today, and I'm so excited! :-) I've got to get in and baby proof tonight and tomorrow. My case manager is probably coming by tomorrow afternoon to do the health inspection (I no longer want to strangle her. I'm over it. :-) and the fire marshall is (hopefully) coming on Monday. I'm going to unpack like a mad woman this weekend so the place will be ready to go for a new placement when one comes up. Fortunately it's not as time-sensitive as it would have been if I'd still had Munchkin. She wouldn't have been allowed to move into the apartment until all of the inspections were completed.

I talked to my case manager yesterday, and Munchkin is doing really well in her new two-parent home. As much as I miss her, it makes me feel a lot better knowing that I made the right decision for her. I'm trying really hard not to let people's comments get to me. They weren't there. They don't know how impossible the situation was for one person to handle alone. I know they mean well when they say they wish I would have stuck it out for the six weeks that she's in the cast. I wish I could have too! But the reality of the situation was that I would have had to take six weeks of unpaid leave from work in order to care for her. We might have been happy to be together, but there are things like food and diapers that we would quickly run out of without an income. We would have been evicted for failure to pay rent too. How happy would she have been then?!? As heart-wrenching as it was to let her go, I know I made the right decision. I hope that people can respect that even if they think I was too hasty to give her up.

As far as the 50-yard move goes... I'm going to start hauling a few things over there tonight. My niece and nephew will be with me all day tomorrow, so I'm not sure how much I'll actually get done. They're 4-years-old. I think they'll be excited to help for a little while, but it's gonna get old fast. I'll put them to work while I can though! I'm not totally against child labor. :-) Maybe I'll wear them out and they'll take a nap in the afternoon so I can get some more work done. (Yeah, right.) The movers come Saturday morning to haul most of my stuff over there, and the cable guy comes Saturday evening. I can't survive without my DVR and the Internet! Besides, I have to be able to wow all of you with my witty sarcasm. :-)

So, it's gonna be a busy long weekend. But the two-story, two-bedroom, two-bath apartment with the enormous patio is going to be soooooo worth it! :-)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Most Memorable Childhood Books

I just realized that I haven't done a Journal Jar question in a while. Here's a good one!

"What were some of the most memorable books you read as a child?"
Reading and books have always been a big part of my life. One of my favorite things to do as a child was to lay there every night while my mom read a chapter out of one of the Little House on the Praire books.

As I got older and began spending more time reading on my own, my mom let me have all of her old Trixie Belden books from when she was a girl. Those were the best! I'm dying to track down the complete collection somewhere so I can have it to pass down to my kids.

Then I graduated to the Nancy Drew Case Files. My best friend and I were hooked! She had a huge crush on Ned Nickerson, and I was always amazed at how the seasons seemed to change, but Nancy stayed the same age. :-)

I loved to read! In fact, I would hole up in my room for hours just so I could read a book in one sitting. My parents always used to joke that grounding me or sending me to my room wouldn't be punishment at all. They would threaten to ground me to the living room. :-)

There were quite a few other series that I liked, but Little House, Trixie Belden, and Nancy Drew Case Files were the big ones.

Feeling Better

I'm feeling much better today. I had one little meltdown last night when I was taking out the laundry and came across some of Munchkin's clothes, but I'm really doing a lot better. I miss her so much, but I know I did the right thing for her by letting her go to a two parent home.

I could definitely use some more positive foster care stories, so if you have any please send them my way! I'd also really like to get more foster parents' advice if you have any. I think I'm going to start doing "Foster Friday..." where I post a question or fostering topic and have other foster/adopt parents give their advice or relay their experiences. I think it might be a good place for other foster/adopt parents to go to get some help and it might help provide a little insight to non-foster parents as well.

I really do appreciate all of the encouragement! Thank you, everyone, for all of your support!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What a 1st Experience!

Wow... It's definitely been a crazy week and an INSANE first placement when it comes to fostering. We found a two-parent home for Baby on Sunday, so she's not with me anymore. :-( I have very mixed feelings about it. She was such a good little baby. So happy considering everything that she had to deal with. But she needed to be in a two-parent home. There was no way that a single, working mom could handle the amount of care and attention that she needs right now while she's in that body cast.

I've been super-emotional the past couple of days after having to let her go. I know I did the right thing for her, but I miss her so much already. I'm sad, I'm frustrated by the entire experience and dealings that I've had with my case manager, her case manager, her social worker, the Medicaid people, etc. ...and I'm just about ready to punch the next non-foster parent who tries to offer me advice!

I know people mean well, but really! How can you offer someone advice when you haven't even seen the baby and don't know a thing about the situation!?!  I've had people telling me to be patient with her because she's scared, hurting, etc. First of all, I'm not stupid. I expected her to be upset and fussy, but she surprisingly wasn't. She took to me immediately and smiled from the get-go. She was a happy, tough little thing. The only time she ever really cried was at night when she was having really bad stomach pains and from not being able to breathe. The problem had absolutely nothing to do with her. The problem was that she needed more physical care and attention than one person could give her for the next 6 weeks while she was in a body cast! She needed a stay at home mom (not a single mom who has to work full time!).

I've endured comments from people telling me to "tough it out" for the next six weeks. Easy for them to say. They're able to go work (or they don't have to work because they are married and have backup)! They're probably able to sleep too. Poor Baby Girl had bad allergies on top of everything else, and couldn't sleep laying down. I had to sit up with her most of the night while she slept propped up in my arms. I'll bet they haven't been carrying around a baby in a body cast 24-7 either! And now that we found a better placement for her, I get to hear comments from people about how "convenient" it is that I can just "send her back" because she wasn't a "perfect" baby. That's ABSOLUTE CRAP!!! I thought she was a perfect baby! It was the match itself that wasn't good. I honestly think they just wanted to find a placement for her because she was being released from the hospital and it was late at night.

I'm in serious need of good foster care stories! If any of you have any, send them my way! I'm so discouraged by this whole situation, I'm starting to question if it's even something that I want to put myself through.

*** If you happen to be one of the people who tried to offer me advice, please don't take the rant too personally. I know you meant well. It's just been a long, physically and emotionally exhausting week, and unless you've been in a similar situation or actually spent some time with Munchkin and me during the week, I don't think anyone can really understand. For those of you who were there helping me out... THANK YOU!!! I couldn't have managed the week without you! :-) ***

Friday, April 24, 2009

Better Day

We've had a pretty good 18 hours thanks to my friend Melissa's good ideas. She has a one-year-old daughter herself, so she was able to come up with some good things for the baby. The HUGE lifesaver is that she actually fits in the stroller that I have fairly comfortably! (Melissa ROCKS! :-) I think it makes her feel more mobile and it allows her to (sort of) "sit" up so she can see. She loves getting outside and going for walks, and doesn't mind sitting in the stroller and watching me do dishes or other house things as long as we're constantly "talking." :-)

I didn't even attempt to make her go to bed last night. I just entertained her until she literally fell asleep where she lay around 10:30pm. She didn't even flinch when I moved her to her crib. Unfortunately, I was to the point of being so tired from only 2 hours of sleep in the past 48 hours that I couldn't fall asleep myself until 1:00am. You know how you get SO tired that your body does that flinching thing just when you're about to fall asleep? That was me. :-) But Munchkin slept straight through the night until 7:00am, so that's a great schedule for me if she sticks with it. I'm a night owl too. Today, I started really working on getting her into a routine as far as nap times, meal times, etc. So far, so good. It's been working pretty well. Hopefully the rest of the day goes as smoothly.

It's still a huge guessing game as to where she's at developmentally. I don't think she even knows what a spoon is, so we're working on just figuring out what to eat. She picks things up pretty well though as I teach her things. I just don't think anyone has ever taken the time to work with her. So sad...

Even though she and I are bonding really well (luckily, I'm more stubborn than she is :-) and learning to cope with her cast, I still think she needs a stay-at-home mom (preferably with a HUSBAND who can help her out!). There's no way I can be a good enough mom for her by myself and still do all of the paperwork, follow up appointments, etc. that I'm supposed to get done. And I'm MOVING in a week!!! Why on earth would they give me a baby in a body cast a week and a half before I'm supposed to move?!? I'm doing good just to make it through the day-to-day tasks. And I really do need to go back to work because I'm not getting paid while I'm out!!!

I just really hope they can find a more suitable placement for her really soon. I don't want her (or me) to get super-attached and then have to move again. I know it will be better for her in the long run.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

This is "Basic?!?"

Oh, sweet Lord... I now know why so many people are so frustrated with the foster care system. I'm single. I am certified for Basic Level of care. And what do they bring me? A little girl who is about to turn 1-year-old in a week... Completely immobilized from the armpits down to her ankles due to a broken left femur. She also has a corrective helmet that she has to wear 23 hours a day for a skull malformation. And to top it all off, she either has a cold or is allergic to my cat because she can't breathe.

She can't lay down because she can't breathe. She can't be situated on her stomach because she can't hold her head up from the weight of the helmet. She can't even SIT because of the body cast. Where on earth did they come up with her just needing "Basic" care?!?  She can't go to daycare like this!  I can't take off work for 6-8 weeks while she's in a body cast!  What were they thinking even calling me about her!?!

Apparently somewhere between HER case manager and MY case manager, she went from "being immobilized from the waist down" to "has a big cast on her leg" (SINGULAR). HER case manager hadn't even seen her... An aide brought her over from the hospital. And being my first placement, I didn't realize I was allowed to say, "Uh... This is NOT what you told me to expect!"

I talked to her case manager yesterday (she STILL hasn't seen her), and told her about her condition and the level of care that she actually requires, and she said "Oh, yeah... I think we need to see about reclassifying her." YOU THINK?!? They are going to try to get her into a home that's better equipped to take care of her. There is NO WAY that I can give her the level of care that she needs.

I am SOOOO frustrated, angry, depressed, TIRED, and DIRTY!!! Luckily, my mom and my sister have helped as much as they can, and a one of my best friends is on her way over to help out so I can at least take a shower. I feel like a complete failure, but I also know it's not MY fault that they completely misrepresented the situation. And I swear, if one more person says another word about how "convenient" it is that I can just "give her back," I'm going to beat them with a stick.

So, a word of advice to those of you waiting on your first placement... Be sure your case worker is VERY clear on the situation before accepting a placement. I specifically asked if she was immobile, and see where it got me. Know that you can say no if the placement is clearly not what your were led to believe before you sign anything! BE ASSERTIVE!!! Also, no amount of prep work prepares you for the actual number of people who will have free access to your home. On top of having to try to take care of this poor baby, my phone rings off the hook from people I never knew would be "scheduling a time to come to the house." Seriously??? I can't even go to the BATHROOM without backup! And don't get me started on having to find the time to schedule 10,000 doctors appointments around visitation with the family and visits from the workers as well as time to fill out the 100,000 logs and forms the agency requires. I finally had a chance to schedule her follow up with the orthopedic, and now her case manager wants me to reschedule it. GRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!

Like I said, "This is 'basic?!?"  It's taken me the better part of two days just to type this little update. I want to cry. I have cried! I don't know if I'm cut out for this whole motherhood thing after this.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Whining Works!

Who knew?!? Apparently whining works. I got my first placement last night. :-)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Is This What It's Like???

I feel like I've been "foster pregnant" forever!!!

I guess I can be thankful that I don't have the back pain, inability to sleep, pregnant lady wobble, and the constant urge to pee that actual pregnant women experience, but I have definitely hit the "COME ON, ALREADY!!!" stage of the waiting process. I'm seriously considering attempting the tried and true methods of bringing on labor in the hopes that they might help with getting a foster placement as well. Spicy foods, exercise, lots of sex... I realize they might not get me a child any faster, but they might make me feel a lot better! ;-)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mr. Pickles Has to Go!!!

I've lived in some crazy places over the years... And while they have been improving with age (and income), I have recently discovered that nothing can compare to the NIGHTMARE that is Mr. Pickles.

Mr. Pickles' reign of terror began about two weeks ago when he and his owner moved into the apartment complex. It had been long week, and I had just settled down and gotten all cozy to catch up on some of my shows when suddenly, the INCESSANT YAPPING began. Now, a few minutes of barking is fine. It's to be expected. I have no problem waiting for a dog to calm down after his owner leaves the house, especially because I'd never heard this particular bark before, so I knew that this was an unfamiliar location for him. But after about an hour of continuous, high-pitched, yapping, I'd pretty much had enough. I threw on my shoes and set out on a journey to locate the source of my misery.

Apparently, I wasn't the only one ready to strangle that mutt. The moment I stepped out of my apartment and headed out in the direction of the yapping, I saw that one of my neighbors had already located it. The poor guy was standing below the balcony of an apartment on the other side of the swimming pool, begging the dog to shut up. "Shut up!!! Shut up!!! For the love of God, just shut up!!! I'm trying to sleep!!!" (Yeah... That's gonna work. Just reason with the mutt.) Unfortunately, seeing as how the dog was on the second floor balcony and his owner was nowhere to be found, there wasn't much anyone could do to stop the barking.

The ritual continued every night for about a week, when one morning I was on my way to the car to head to work... And I heard a familiar high-pitched yap. This time, it was close by. "You and me is gonna have words, buddy!" I start to turn around only to hear the owner say (in that obnoxious baby talk voice that newlyweds use), "Mr. Pickles, you silly boy... You come back here. You come back here to Daddy." (DADDY?!?)

I turn around to see Mr. Pickles the Pomeranian Pup and his "Daddy..." in matching outfits, no less!!! You have got to be kidding me. I so wish I'd had my camera. It explained SO MUCH! No wonder Mr. Pickles yapped like a diva. He probably gets everything he could ever want. Smoked salmon for dinner, his very own feather bed, a wardrobe with more designer labels than I could ever dream of having... He probably thought he was being severely mistreated having been forced to mingle with the commoners out on the balcony.

While I had initially thought that I might be able to force Mr. Pickles out of the complex, I have a feeling I would probably lose that battle. Dog owners who dress up in matching outfits with their pooches tend to be a wee bit crazy (even crazier than me!). So, I will be moving to the far side of the complex on May 1st. I need only suffer the sovereign reign of Mr. Pickles for two more weeks. Let's pray I don't lose my mind before then.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Still Here!!!

I'll admit, I've been slacking a bit on the blogging. It's a little more time-consuming than I thought trying to pack for the 50-yard move, yet maintain an "acceptable" household by foster care guidelines, and still have time for family stuff and holidays.

I promise, I haven't given up on the blog. In fact, I have about 20 postings that are "in progress" right now. As I think of good topics, I type in the title and make a few notes so I'll remember where I was headed when I originally came up with the idea. You'll probably be bombarded after I get in the new place. You'll be so sick of me, you won't even want to get online. ;-)

As far as Foster/Adopt Land goes, I'm still waiting. I've lost count of the number of potential placements now. There were three children last week, but they all ended up being placed with other families. I'm waiting on word for a little one-year-old boy who would be a legal risk placement (meaning parental rights will most likely be terminated and I could probably adopt him). And I'm still waiting to hear more about a possible matched-adopt of a 10-year-old little girl. I'm starting to think it's never going to happen, which is INSANELY frustrating because I know I'd be a great mom. So I'm single. I have a decent job and plenty of family and friend support. So I'm not going to be the "preferred" stay-at-home mother. My mom is going to be a stay-at-home Nana, and that's just as good!

It's just extremely frustrating because I'm here, willing, and able to take care of these kids who need the help, and I'm still being passed over for "better" parents just because there are two of them! Any of you men want to get married? All you have to do is agree to not use foil, pass a criminal background check, and double lock your medications (along with about 10,000 other things I won't mention). My best friend offered to pretend to be my lesbian life partner if I thought it would help. It probably would, actually. If none of you men take me up on the marriage offer, our commitment ceremony just might be scheduled soon. Keep an eye out for the invite!

So, that's about it on the update. Not much to report other than the typical bunch of waiting. I plan on blogging a little tonight. I can't decide between "Mr. Pickles has to Go!" or to try to finish up "Fanny Packs... and Other Things that Just Aren't Cool." I might do them both. I also have to get this week's "If" Question of the week out too. I'm such a slacker! :-)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

"If" Question of the Week - Week 3

"If you had to choose the best advertising campaign ever created, which one would it be?"
I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of commercials. I tend to watch everything pre-recorded on my DVR so I can fast forward to the "good" stuff. I switch stations on the radio as soon as the commercials start playing. But there is one ad campaign that I just can't get enough of. It just tugs at my sarcastic heartstrings and often makes me weep with hysterical laughter. It is the "Real Men of Genius" campaign from Bud Light.

Of course I'm going to share a few of my favorites. :-)

Everyone knows this guy, but we usually love him anyway.

And how could you not fall in love with this man?

This one, however, is my absolute favorite! The man who invented the great taco salad...

And if the television commercials weren't hilarious enough, they went and did an entire radio campaign that usually has me pulling over on the side of the road because I'm laughing too hard to drive!

I'm from Texas, and this cracks me up because it's SO TRUE. Seriously. I haven't noticed a huge rush on New Hampshire tattoos, but I believe one out of five tattooed individuals proudly sport some homage to the great state of Texas. Heck! I'm actually planning to get one myself! Bluebonnets (the state flower ;-)...

And if that one isn't funny enough, who wouldn't appreciate the truth in this one? Who doesn't appreciate the "game-winning tips" and "subtle psychological ploys" of the "shirtless pro sports heckler?" :-)

There are so many more that I want to share... Mr. Professional Figure Skater, Mr. Local Hometown Football Hero, and Mr. Men's Room Toilet Paper Changer are also very dear to my heart. I might add more later. But for now, "We salute YOU, Mr. Real Men of Genius Campaign Creators!" You guys are freaking hilarious.

What about you? If you had to choose the best advertising campaign ever created, which one would it be?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


"Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light."
~Helen Keller

Helen Keller on Life

"Once I knew only darkness and stillness... my life was without past or future... but a little word from the fingers of another fell into my hand that clutched at emptiness, and my heart leaped to the rapture of living." ~Helen Keller

Helen Keller on Death

"Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there's a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room, I shall be able to see." ~Helen Keller


"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble." ~Helen Keller


"It's wonderful to climb the liquid mountains of the sky. Behind me and before me is God, and I have no fears."
~Helen Keller



"What I am looking for is not out there, it is in me."
~Helen Keller

Sense of Smell

"Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived."
~Helen Keller



"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved."
~Helen Keller

Lost Happiness


"I do not want the peace which passeth understanding, I want the understanding which bringeth peace."
~Helen Keller


Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I'm frustrated this week. I WANT MY FIRST PLACEMENT ALREADY!!! I think I've managed to be extremely patient up until now, but it's starting to catch up to me this week. I have this empty bedroom just sitting there, ready and waiting. It's just a frustrating reminder that I have absolutely NO SAY in when it gets filled. I just have to sit here and wait while a bunch of strangers look at my file and decide whether or not they think I'd be a good enough mom. GRRR!!!

I had a busy weekend though. Lots of big plans and changes... I stopped by the apartment office and found out that the apartment I wanted will be available at the end of the month. I scrounged up the extra $200 for the transfer fee so I could reserve the place, so I can pick up the keys on Thursday, April 30th at 5:00pm. I'm having a "Prep the Place" party on Monday the 1st to paint my bedroom, line the shelves, install safety locks, etc. And then on Saturday, May 2nd, everyone is coming over to move me into the place. (I couldn't see spending $400 to hire movers to literally haul my stuff 50 yards. Hopefully my friends will show up! HINT... HINT... ;-)

The night that I reserved the new apartment, I got a phone call from my case manager asking if I could take a 4-year-old little girl. I wanted to cry! I was only prepared to foster infants. I didn't have a bed for a 4-year-old! They have to have their own beds. It's a rule. So I wasn't able to take her. :-(

On Sunday, my parents hooked me up. They said that they are going to do whatever it takes to help me get my kiddo(s), so they took me out and bought a twin bed for Foster Kiddo #1. I immediately told my case manager that I am now SET, and to increase my foster ages to 0-4 years old (I'm already verified for up to 2 children, ages 0-12, so I can adopt an older girl if we find a good match.) Now I'm frustrated because I was hoping that would get me a placement right away. But still... NOTHING!

The cat, however, is overjoyed that Nana and Papa bought him what he considers his very own bed! He waited patiently while I made it, and immediately jumped up, spread out, and fell asleep. He didn't even sleep with me last night! Spoiled little brat. He's in for a rude awakening when I do finally get my foster kiddo. He will be learning a lesson in sharing.

"If" Question of the Week - Week 2

"If you were to be granted one wish, what would it be?"

Goodness! This question could be really deep and require lots of thought if you let it. I could do the humanitarian thing and wish for world peace. I could be totally vain and wish for a sexy Hollywood starlet body. I could be completely lazy and wish for a personal "help" staff consisting of a maid, a cook, a driver, lawnmower man, a pool boy, a nanny, a personal shopper, and a boy toy. Maybe I could ask to be the one and only winner of the biggest lottery in history so my entire family, my best friends, and I could do whatever the heck we wanted to do forever and ever and I could donate lots of money to worthy causes. SO MANY CHOICES!!! WHAT DO I WISH FOR?!? OH, THE PRESSURE!!!

You poor, unsuspecting question-asker... I am sooooo much smarter than you think I am. What would I wish for? Well, DUH! I wish for unlimited granted wishes! That might sound a little greedy, but it's really not. If I had unlimited granted wishes I could have wishes granted for other people too. That'd be cool. I could be "Wish Granter Girl." :-)

What about all of you? "If you were to be granted one wish, what would it be?"
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