Stuff and things.

I’m trying something new with Loud, he’s with me every waking moment he is with me at home. Well, except in the mornings and that’s when he decides to do naughty things like dump hair gel all over his bed then blame someone else. I have made it impossible to blame anyone in our home for his naughty behaviors; Boychild is woken up in the morning and once he us changed he’s no longer allowed in the bedroom, Boychild has a man cave in the garage where is spends his time. The girls aren’t allowed in the boys room and vice versa. It’s been 6 days of having a Loud shadow… it is not improving anything in any area. I’m going to keep going strong, I’ve got to do something. With having Loud as my shadow he is in constant conflict, he is in large groups (our family.) He fusses, whines, deliberately disobeys rules, screams at other children and is obviously overwhelmed. That puts me and him in my room a lot, where I can only have 2 other people at a time before he has some variety of issues. His caseworker is the used car sales man of workers, he talks a big game and flops. He was here yesterday and while he was here Loud was on the couch watching TV quietly and contently. The caseworker sat down beside him to talk to me and the other kids started to trickle in, before you know it 8 people are in the living room talking, asking questions, etc. During this time, as humans were trickling in, Loud has now built a fort of pillows around himself. Car salesman caseworker doesn’t seem to notice nor mind but I know it’s because he’s feeling overwhelmed by all the people… Loud is on his best behavior because the caseworker is there and he’s doing such a great job. This poor kid.

Speaking of car salesman caseworker, he promised me that Loud was going to visit a bio relative this weekend as we have a large cheer competition to go to in Palm Springs. Yesterday I sent a text to confirm the pick up/drop off time and he let me know that there has been no contact with the bio relative and I should find someone to watch him. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. I leave on Friday and it’s not easy to get agency respite for a kid with 2 days notice. I can’t send him to any of my babysitters as they’ve all kindly asked me to not bring him back. I cannot take Loud to Palm Springs to a cheer competition, he simply cannot handle that. 10,000 people and 10+ hours a day at a venue playing music as loud as a typical concert… I’m pretty sure he’s spontaneously combust. Here’s the thing; I don’t miss competitions. I didn’t attend one competition EVER and my girls asked that that never happens again, they needed me. I’m freaking out. I’m currently in correspondence with car salesman caseworker and he’s attempting to make things work. I’m leaving in 2 days.

Lemon is officially 6 years old.

Her birthday came and went so quickly! Now, Boychild’s birthday is coming in 9 more days. Then Biscuit and Husband’s birthday on the 24th of February.

Winter Formal happened, the girls looked beautiful.

The kids started playing golf on Thursdays in the Junior Golf Club. They love it!

I’m dropping weight like a boss, Husband and I have a little wager in place for the most weight lost. BUT, why does he look much thinner than me although he’s loss less weight? That’s crap.

Body fat?!

Weight loss, woooo. I had started a competition with Husband the second week of January… whoever loses the most weight or hits their goal weight first in a 3 month period gets rewarded with a treat not to exceed $300. Things were going pretty good, we were both loosing at the same rate until I got sick with some epic stomach bug. Now, anyone who’s ever had a stomach bug understands that it is a wonderful way to jump start a weight loss plan. I’ve lost nearly 10 pounds since the start and 4 of those pounds were a nice gift from the stomach funk.

I don’t eat when I’m stressed. I’ve literally been forcing myself to eat once daily and every time I do eat I feel yucky. I thought it was still stomach funk but after analyzing it, well, it’s stress. AND if you don’t eat it’s a no no, I’ve been able to get a few protein shakes in each day as well to help with lack of food. Honestly, the lack of eating isn’t bothering me as much as my aversion to Diet Dr Pepper. I live off of that stuff and I crave the carbonation, I’ve said to people before that I’d happily give up food before giving up my bubbly delight.

I bought the Aria 2 scale. I like that it sends information directly to my Fitbit app. What I don’t understand is the calculation of body fat. Listen, I know I’m over weight. It’s no surprise when I see the number on the scale because when I’m happy and comfortable I tend to over eat. Clearly, I was a damn happy person for a long while. 🤣 Okay, I was previously 30lbs overweight… I dropped 10lbs, yay for me, and my body fat has only dropped by half a percent. Okay, I’m realistic. Obviously, I haven’t lost weight the correct way…that could be it. But, as a person who is currently 20lbs over weight I don’t think I should have an obese range body fat according to my scale. Or, maybe that’s how it works? Maybe I’m misinformed about obesity… in my mind being obese is being dangerously overweight. Where are my fitness gurus?! Teach me, please?

My current BMI is 25.7 (I used some online calculator,) pant size 8, and I’m 5’11” for what it’s worth. However, my Aria scale is reporting that my body fat is over 40%. Having 40% body fat is in the obese range. I distribute weight evenly, I don’t have problem areas, my whole body is the problem, I’ve got a lovely layer of fat over my entire body. I’m built very much like Sponge Bob.

I’m currently 20 pounds overweight and considered obese. 🤔 THAT IS TERRIFYING.

Marie Kondo

I’m blogging more to ‘spark joy.’ I’m going to push to for positives; no more Debbie Downer posts. Blogging is my happy place and I’m going to continue to be more attentive to my blog. I’ll be objective. I can do this. Positivity here we go!

I’ve watched one episode of Marie Kondo’s series on Netflix and I’m not super keen on it. I’m a collector of all things and often times sloppy. And let’s be honest… who has the time for her practices?! If I took everything out of my closet and laid it on my bed it would be there for months! Then I’d probably end up throwing it all away to get rid of the mess that had spread all over my room. I understand the concept of being thankful and honoring your items BUT it’s simply not for me. My children’s notes and art spark joy. My books spark joy. My tiny toy collection that kids have gifted me over the years. My junk drawer brings me joy. My t-shirts I’m saving to make a memory blanket that I’ll-never-get-around-to brings me joy. In short all of my crap brings me joy.

You know what works for me? The quarterly purge. Everyone goes through clothes, personal items, toys, books, etc. Once we go through it all we have a trash pile, a donate pile, and a keep pile. Sometimes, I forget the quarterly part and it happens twice a year instead. Eh, stuff happens. The good news is that our home is pretty tidy despite all the items that don’t spark joy.

Another day, another problem.

The defeat is deafening. It’s getting harder and harder to find happiness. Everyone seems to have these bright ideas when it comes to helping my foster son, it appears as if I’m the failure. That’s all I’m getting. Fix the foster parent is the answer. I’ll be going to a new training to appease the masses.

This weekend is the Winter Formal and my high school daughters are going. They both seems to be excited about it. There was a dance at the middle school but my foster daughter decided to opt out. Nothing exciting is going on at the elementary schools that I’m aware of. School is going well for the majority of the kids with the exception of Bunny and Loud. Bunny decided to not turn in homework all week, I have no clue why and I’m disappointed. Loud forgets or looses his homework, although he did complete his reading yesterday AND today he had a great day at school. Baby steps, baby wins! I’ll take it.

I haven’t really gotten anything else to report as my social life is null. I’ve done nothing for myself for what feels like forever, I recently had the opportunity to sneak away to take Boychild to Supercross for his birthday. I had a great time celebrating with him. I haven’t been able to go on a date with Husband for months, I’ve not seen friends for months (except in passing,) and the only interaction I’ve had that’s meaningful was with my religious group because they come see me while the kids are in school weekly.

Any suggestions to help me get my positive juju back?!

Focus on the child, not the behavior.

Being a foster parent is tough sometimes. I say those very words to myself several times a day ‘Focus on the child, not the behavior.’ Let’s be honest, sometimes it HARD to do that. Sometimes it’s not fair to do that. Dedicating copious hours to one child is not something I can do, I have an entire family that counts on me and when I take away from them it hurts them and me. I’ve neglected my family trying to help Loud, I feel like a failure. I can’t reach him and I’ve let my family down at the same. During the last week or two I’ve stopped trying as hard to reach Loud; I’ve started reconnecting with the rest of the group.

Sadly, it’s a relief.

My family is happy to receive the attention and I’m happy to be in the middle of it all again. Imagine feeling like an outsider in your own family, the family you worked so hard to create and nurture, only to be a total outcast. Sometimes you’ve got to focus on yourself and be grateful for all that you have… sometimes you’ve got to admit defeat. I can’t fix every child. Naturally, I’ll advocate for every child that is in my care until I’m blue in the face. I can’t win every battle.

Here’s the shitty reality; love cannot fix trauma. Despite all of my training, education, experience… I cannot be every child’s hero.

Foster care is draining in more ways than one. Not every person can do it and even those of us who are veterans fail miserably from time to time.

In other news, the household has been doing well. The kids had lots of fun over their 3 day weekend as they all farmed out to be with friends. I’ve been a prisoner due to my difficult placement and haven’t been able to take any of the kids to do our normal outings and such. I rely heavily on splitting our travel, outings, and tasks with Husband, someone has to stay home with Loud. The kids are doing well in school and activities. I’m thinking about putting a few of the kids in a youth golf program. That could be fun!

February has lots of traveling happening, it’s both stressful and exciting. I also have 3 birthdays in the family in February! Speaking of Birthdays Lemon will be 6 next week! I think Husband is going on a guys trip in February too, hello Glamis!

I’ve been sick the last several days, I think I’ve caught a stomach bug. Boo to that.

Difficult placements

When I have a difficult placements I disappear. Mostly because I’m forced to dedicate a majority of time dealing with behaviors and such. Then, when I’m not dealing with the trauma… I’m trying to enjoy my down time. I’ve been stagnant for months, approximately 5 months. My life has been on hold and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hard.

I signed up for this. I’m not trying to be dramatic, but I’ve never been this challenged providing foster care. Have you ever heard the expression ‘…throwing a wrench in a dryer?’ Yeah. Everything is fucked. I wish I were exaggerating. We experience the same behavior no matter what method we try. We attempt to prevent it and we cannot win. When I say we have tried everything I truly mean it. The lying. The stealing. The lack of accountability. The inability to maintain composure in groups. That’s the kicker, we are a group. My family is a group.

The agony is… well, keeping my difficult placement segregated due to outbursts and danger to himself is devastating. I don’t want him alone but he cannot function within a group. He struggles at school due to the group size and he struggles at the after school club due to group sizes. Luckily we have a plan in action that pulls him away from groups and puts him in a more secure space, where he can handle himself appropriately. However, I feel like constant segregation isn’t a way to live life. It breaks heart. He is enrolled in multiple therapies and groups to help with the trauma and to help intergrate him into groups. My placement has about half curriculum due to his behaviors. He simply refuses to do homework or read. And although daily I ask him for his behavior report he always says he lot it or he forgot it.

My heart aches for this boy. He is sweet and kind, he is bright and smart! When he is one on one he is an absolute joy to be around. Even adding in 1 child/person he does pretty well but when you add in any more than that this poor, sweet, boy cannot regulate. He will forget the rules of gravity and every safety precaution he has ever understood. Or, he will simply scream and meltdown. There is no rhyme or reason to his behaviors; we have tracked and tried all sorts of things. If you have any ideas or methods, PLEASE reach out to me. I’m open to learning or trying anything to help this boy. I’ve spoken to various therapists, behavior coaches, etc. I feel like I’ve exhausted my resources. Maybe YOU can help me.

This kids caseworker has gone out of his way to make me feel like garbage about the situation. He’s said shitty things about the family traveling without him and alienating him. This kid cannot be in a car with 4 other kids for a ride to school in the morning, we literally have a silence rule in the car to avoid meltdowns, his caseworker thinks taking him out if town and to a cheer competition is us alienating him. I’m sorry that I don’t want him exposed to things I KNOW will trigger him. It’s my job to protect him, I simply will not subject him to that. If he could handle the situation I’d happily take him along; I treat my placements the same way I treat my bio kids. I’d never put any of my kids in any type of situation where they’d be uncomfortable.

In any case, I’m drowning. It’s taking it’s toll on me. It’s taking a toll on my family.