When I don’t blog as often it means I’m fully engaged in life; I’ll no longer be apologizing for my absence.I kicked ass at the weight loss challenge, I’m currently down 40lbs. I feel pretty good about myself and enjoy buying new clothes! Husband is down 25 pounds. We both have plateaued, Husband has been stuck at 25 pound loss and it took me a month to drop the last 5 pounds to achieve my goal weight. Now I’m working on building muscle, I’m not too concerned about the number on the scale. The problem with building muscle is adding more exercise… I loathe exercise. I’m doing the bare minimum when it comes to exercise, I simply don’t want to do more.The kids are doing kid things. School will be finished soon, yay! The new cheer season is starting soon, the kids have camps, summer school, travel, and work. I anticipate great grades from all of the kids in the home.Boychild was issued In School Suspension for receiving his 5th referral of the school year. Boychild is grounded until the last day of school due to the suspension. His grades are steadily improving and his reading skills are at grade level. He asked me about going to summer school but I don’t think he’ll be a candidate, he wants to be like his sisters and get extra credits for school by attending summer school. In Junior High they don’t typically have programs like that, summer school is for students who need extra help to be at grade level. Boychild is participating in the teachers vs. students volleyball tournament next week, he is looking forward to it.Bunny is going to start her journey into student council! I’m especially excited because I had wanted my other kids to participate but they had little interest (or were removed from student council for fist fighting, heeeey Boychild. 😆) Her grades aren’t as strong as they were in the past years but they’re still solid A’s & B’s. Bunny has been slacking on reading and AR points, I’m hoping she’ll get it all squared away by next week.Biscuit has been quite busy, I don’t see her much. Between cheer, social events, and boys… Her grades are good and she’s gearing up for the Planet Fitness scholarship program. She will be driving soon, aaah! She is a great big sister, she is constantly taking her little sisters to do things.Blue is doing substantially better! She has been working on repairing relationships, reading self help books, and keeping that 4.0 GPA. I feel like she’s learning lots of things and has been keen on applying the knowledge in everyday life.Lemon is over the moon because she has been throwing her backhandspring. It’s a new skill and it pleases her a great deal! She is doing well at school and she’s an avid reader.Smile has struggling with positive relationships, safe boundaries, and being respectful in general. She is trying to do too many things at once, I feel she may e overwhelmed. Although, Smile is great with the family and is helpful in many ways at home. She is quick to help with dinner or to keep me company on the many car trips a day.Lovely has been on one, she had a meeting with car salesman caseworker and apparently she’s allowed to do whatever she wants which includes but isn’t limited to cursing, throwing away her clothes, teaching the younger children in the home to shave their legs, not do homework, and have a bad attitude in general. I’ve not heard from the caseworker, he hates me so I just roll with the punches. She has good grades despite the conflict she creates at school and has made many friends.Blink is doing well, she is doing well at school in regards to school work but she does struggle a bit with personal boundaries. She is a jokester and makes people laugh and sometimes she takes things too far. We have in home support, they’re here daily and we enjoy the company of the team. In addition; the team has really helped Blink come out of her shell and go into the community. I’m truly grateful for the team for not only for helping Blink but also for incorporating the entire family into activities. CFSS is the bomb and I highly recommend their services!This summer we have anticipated movement with a few children, it always seems to work out this way! Last summer we didn’t have any placements during travel times and it was tremendously easier to find care for the remaining children. Let’s be honest, no one wants to look after 6-8 kids for 2 weeks. After looking at all of the summer activities I’m beginning to think we may not have time to visit Indonesia! We planned on taking Biscuit, Blue, and Smile on this trip. Apparently teenage girls have a lot of things going on during the summer. We could postpone until next summer if needed be. I’ve completed over 250 Indonesian lessons, I’m going to do well communicating when the time comes.Florida has come and gone, neither girls teams made top 3. The kids had a great time both competing at ESPN and at the Disney parks. I was burnt out, exhausted, and done in general. I’ll end the post with some photos!The boy refused photographs, he’s at the age where he wants to look cool all the time. He insists on looking over every photo taken of him and decides that they all suck and that they’re not worthy of posting. Maybe I can convince him to let me take a few hundred thousand pictures… perhaps I’ll get a ‘decent’ photo then. 🙄
Life has been busy, really busy. I’ve been enjoying freedom, we aren’t required to stay home as much anymore. Yay! We’ve done quite a bit of traveling and have been on many outings. It’s nice, really nice. Don’t ever take the little things for granted in your life.
We’ve gotten a new placement, Blink. Blink is on the spectrum to some degree, I’m not quite sure where but she’s very high functioning and compliant. She’s a teenager and she’s doing well. I’m waist high in IEP paperwork, meetings, therapies, services, etc in regards to Blink. Having a special needs child is a lot of work, hats off to parents who have special needs children in their home. I salute you!
I won the weight loss challenge between husband and I. I’m pretty excited about the win. We started another challenge to race to the finish, to get to our goal weights. Intermittent fasting has worked very well for me and calorie cutting had worked well for Husband. I can’t give up donuts, I’ll take the massive calorie intake. Food restrictions don’t work well for me, I’ll end up binge eating.
Everyone is doing well at home, school gets out soon, and I’m ready for summer! I’ve got to get all the kids summer clothes/swimwear and I think I’ll treat myself to a new bikini too. But first… Florida. We are headed to The Summit at the ESPN Center in Orlando. Viva Disney World! The girls wrapped up their cheer season in Anaheim last weekend, the younger girls are relieved. They need a break. The older girls will finish off the season in Florida.
I’m still kicking ass while learning Indonesian, I’m a bit behind as things have been incredibly busy but I’m still pushing. I’m proud of the kids too, I’ve taught them phrases in Indonesian and they use them often.
We are currently dealing with some health issues regarding Biscuit, she has some important bloodwork in late May. Keep your fingers crossed for good results, it’s been tough to combat all the recent changes and obstacles. We have an appointment coming up later this month to discuss progress and new symptoms.
We visited family in Anaheim, a couple of the kids went to Knott’s Berry Farm, we were in Newport Beach, we went to the Gorgas wedding in San Diego, went to a few winery’s in Temecula, and did some off-roading in town.
Five days since Loud has departed and let me tell you how wonderful these last 5 days have been. I’ve left my house with my family more in those 5 days than I have in 7 months. It has been wonderful to not constantly supervise one child, I’ve enjoyed my children as a whole, and I’m able to spend more time with my husband. We were also put back on the call list for potential placement. In any case, let me tell you about Sunday… our budgeting excecise. We all went to the Swap meet, Husband and I, all 7 of my kids, 2 of my kids friends, and my parents. Each child was given $10 for a game.
The game rules were as follows:
This is a QUANTITY over QUALITY exercise, very different from our usual quality over quantity teachings.
You cannot combine money with your partner, if you choose to shop with a partner.
You must barter at least once with a vendor or discuss a price reduction.
Bags of beans, a ream of paper, seeds, or other tiny items are not allowed. However, a box/bag/set of smaller items could be counted individually such as markers, doll shoes, or a socket set.
Food is permitted.
Free items are permitted and encouraged.
Children under the age of 12 had to have an adult to supervise.
He who has the most items wins everyone else’s loot.
This was a fun exercise! The kids were really thoughtful in their purchases. In fact we were surprised at the winning number of items; over 700 items. The older children had a better grasp of the ordeal and took it to the max! Some of the items purchased were baby tomatos, blackberries, decorative toothpicks with unicorns adorning the tops, Barbie dresses, polished rocks, pieces of candy, stickers, super glue, a bag of unknown electrical (?) parts, mouth pieces, and a pineapple.
The kids results were 700, 680, 350, 327, 280 189 and I can’t remember the other numbers, I believe the stopped counting when they heard the numbers above 500.
The downside? Now we have $90 worth of crap floating around the house. The winner was kind enough to give the younger girls a few trinkets they had purchased during the swap meet trip.
Also, we have a new placement arriving tonight. A 13 year old female not from our county, I haven’t met her yet but I’ve decided to call her Blink because she happened in a blink! Loud left us 5 days ago and now our adventure continues. I hope Loud feels loved and safe, while he isn’t here at our home I find myself thinking about him quite a bit.
Today I’m in my size 7 jeans, albeit I’ve got a tiny muffin top if I don’t stand up straight. I’m in them and I can function and breathe. Today I hit my goal weight that’s why I decided to try them on, can I get a “hell yeah?” To some people a 7 is not small at all… for me that’s what size I was from age 15-26ish. My weight fluctuated from 26-36ish and now I’m in pretty good shape. I’m not a small girl, I’m nearly 6 ft tall with hands like catchers mitts and feet like boats. Cue Duce Bigalow.
I feel good. I’ve continued intermittent fasting, quit drinking, and stopped having ice cream for dinner on the long days when I’ve been running nonstop to get everything done. Ah, don’t get me wrong, I still have my donuts and diet soda it’s just been a clean up your act ordeal. I need to be healthy to continue to be an active mom! Plus I’m going to look banging hot in my bikini this summer. Added bonus: my daughter and I wear the same size clothing.
We have been having Tuesday night meetings with out troublesome teens in the home; a couple of the girls are working on personal growth and development. We have them working on interpersonal skills, conflict resolution, accountibility statements, and reevaluating personal relationships. It is being received well and I hope the girls can apply these lessons into everyday life.
Boychild is doing well, he had stepped up in regards to responsibility! He is doing well with being a positive role model to his younger sisters and is taking accountability when he does stupid stuff. I’m incredibly proud of him. In addition; he is doing fairly well with maintaining positive relationships with his older sisters as well. Boychild has always been our difficult child but our preseverance is apparent.
The younger girls are doing well. No major milestones or achievements. Although, I do wish they’d be nicer to one another.
Biscuit had a birthday, she’s now 15! I have successfully kept a child alive for 15 years, go me! This kid is very much like me, she and I often do or say the same things at the same time. I’m proud of her and now we start driving, eeek!
From this fat lil brown haired baby
To the brunette woman she is today.
In regards to home life things are looking up, I’m looking forward to some positive changes in regards to my current placements. Today is a good day.
With Tata’s departure that leaves us with an open bed. I spoke with my licensing worker about the potential adoptive placement and it was an open and shut case, she needed to stay in the city she is currently residing in. I’m beginning to feel like this adoption stuff is for the birds! While I have had a successful adoption via foster care, it took long time to become completed. I truly thought that finding an adoptable child would be easy; older children need homes. I have jumped through hoops, sent my homestudy to various agencies (over 20 times,) and made it quite clear to my team that adoption was my motive. I enjoy foster care and I LOVE when kids are reunified with their bio families, but we’d like to offer a permanent solution to a child.
Loud and Lovely’s case is a mess, I’m unsure where it will go. We’ve got different bio dad’s, accusations, missed visits, behaviors, no contact with other siblings, a nonexsistant case worker, and more excuses than I can deal with. Lovely is a good girl, a hard worker and she is eager to please. Her bio family has instilled in her that excuses make everything better. All things, both big and small, there is an excuse for. It drives me batty. ‘My mom was a teenager when she had me, that’s why she doesn’t know how to take care of us.’ or ‘My mom asked me lie to the case worker so they could just get out of our lives, she doesn’t know any better.’ My favorite so far, and by favorite I mean it’s the most asinine thing I’ve ever heard ‘I can’t go outside with everyone, I’m allergic to grass and I’ll get hives everywhere.’ GUYS! We live in the desert, there is no grass in the vicinity of my home… not for miles. Also, she isn’t allergic to anything according to her medical records.
Loud had made some huge improvements in the last couple of weeks, now we are back tracking. He has started acting out again, I took him out into the community as his behaviors were improving tremendously… big mistake. Mohave County Mama learned a damn lesson. I think I had moved too fast, he clearly needs more time to develop the skills that we are teaching him. In addition; mental health continues to be a joke. I’m getting nowhere. I’m anxious about Halloween, how in the heck am I going to manage Loud? I’ll be brainstorming.
I’m doing surprisingly well, amazing actually. I had a blip in the mental health department a few months ago, stayed objective, made some changes, and I am officially an Overcomer! In fact, I’ve never felt better emotionally… physically not so much. I’m sorta fat. One thing at a time, right?! I’ll get less fat next, I mean… what else have I got to do? I’m not working, so yeah. Well, I’ve been toying with the idea to head back to school.
Husband has been stressed out and that brings on the snoring, WTF man? I’m trying to get my fat girl sleep here. All that snoring leaves me a bit cranky and irritable BUT, hey, there are worse things in life than a snoring husband. For example, a rabid Chihuahua backing you into a fire pit full of cobras or panties full of porcupine quills during a 5k. See, I’m an optimist. Snoring is legit. My Fitbit says I’m not hitting my sleep target, that’s all I’m saying.
In closing I’d like to say that I’m very upset that I did not with the billion dollar Mega Millions. Total crap.
Tata has left our home, she was moved in with her siblings out of our county. I was happy to see her go as she truly missed her siblings. I received a phone call yesterday informing me that her caseworker had changed AGAIN and that Tata would be picked up at 8am the following morning. Short notice… my favorite. 😯 I sent a bag of dirty laundry with her, I wanted to make sure she had all of her things. She came here with nothing and left with a large box and 2 duffle bags full of items. I’ll sure miss her, she was loud, obnoxious and constantly laughing. I hope one day she is reunited with her family!
About 10 days ago I received a call from DCS alerting me that Tata would be leaving our home. I was very excited to hear the news; she was going to be moved to a new home with her siblings! I was also annoyed that they would move a child from foster home to foster home with a flick of the wrist. As it turns out when you’re part of an Indian tribe the rules are very different, standard state regulations and rules don’t mean squat.
A DCS caseworker picked up Tata, we packed the car with her items and send our goodbyes. They drive off and I packed up my car with the remaining kids and headed to lunch, we planned on watching the Jet Ski Finals after lunch. An hour and a half had gone by and the DCS caseworker called to tell me she was bringing Tata back. I was frazzled, I knew that Tata would be upset. Tata returned very confused and a little angry, while she didn’t necessarily want to leave our home but she was reassured that everything would be great and she would be with her siblings. She cried because she ‘knew’ that she couldn’t see her siblings and ‘everything in her life falls apart.’ We all did our best to sooth Tata… meanwhile another terrible thing happened. Loud and Lovely we’re to have a visit, they were picked up and got to the destination but bio mom was a no show. You guessed it, Loud, Lovely, and Tata all arrived at the same time and they were all upset. Excellent.
Oh, but it gets better. I had called my licensing worker and let him know that I’d have a bed open shortly after Tata left the house. During all the emotional termoil I had failed to recontact him and let him know that I did not have a bed open and fill him in in the recent happenings. A couple of days had gone by and he had called me, I let him know about the situation and reassured him that DCS would be picking her up sometime that week. He presented me with a possible adoptive placement and I said that it could work. Nothing solid but a loose entertainment of the idea, it wasn’t a rush situation. So, Tata is still here. No one had ever contacted me about picking her up as previously discussed. Radio silence. The 6th is when the picked her up and dropped her back off, today is the 20th. Excellent version 2.0.
On a positive note, Loud has truly improved! I am proud of him, we’ve got the tantrums under control for the most part and he is improving at school too! His listening skills are 70% better overall, he is regulating his emotions about 50% better, and this is no thanks to mental health services. I sought out help but services are a joke and I was at a complete loss. We worked out a reward system and a punishment system… it seems to be working extraordinary well.
Lemon and Bunny received the Principles Honor Roll. Biscuit didn’t get in to NHS. Boychild is a pain in my ass and he has a girlfriend. Blue is attempting to gain employment. Flower is doing college kid stuff and Pretty is… Pretty.
I’ve been getting a lot done since I’ve not been working, it’s pretty cool. I have NO laundry in my entire house and everyone’s bedding has been washed. Holla! I’ve organized, trashed clutter, and helped Husband with things too. Next week I plan on getting the baseboards, the ceiling fans, and replacing air filters. I no longer need a housekeeper since I’m free which is both good and bad at the same time. 😋
Boychild bought a blazer, he is loving it! Why does he need a blazer… I don’t know.
Good news, Loud’s behavior is improving. Not a landslide by any means but we have progress! Yay! I’ve taken him into the community once this week and his outburst was small and was only about 20 minutes. Yes, ONLY 20 minutes. That’s a tremendous improvement in comparison to the 2 hour tantrums. I’m proud of him. He has improved a little in school too, I think he has it figured out; we are all talking, collectively, and the entire team is holding him accountable. Today both Loud and Lovely had a family visit and it they were a no show, Loud did NOT take that well.
Lovely is doing well, she is working on her confidence and speaking up. She has been told her entire life that her voice doesn’t matter and her self esteem is wrecked. I’m all about empowering her, praising her for speaking up, and rewarding her for a job well done. Lovely eats up words of affirmation and continues to try her hardest. Our next feat is speech therapy, I bet her confidence will skyrocket after a few weeks of speech both inside and outside of school.
Tata is struggling, poor baby. Her caseworker is nonexistent and she really would enjoy a family visit. I’ve emailed about it, called about it, a d the only answer I’ve been given is that she’s probably being moved to a new home with her siblings. It seems odd to me that they’d move her at all because typically the state doesn’t like moving kids from here to there as it’s bad for the children. Sadly, I haven’t gotten much at all from her caseworker. It’s been a month, I should be seeing her caseworker soon as it it required that we have a monthly face to face meeting.
It’s fall break! We aren’t going to do much as taking Loud anywhere is hard, he does much better solo and we have made improvements and I don’t want to backtrack. I am going to request respite for him for a couple of days so I can take Lovely and Tata to ride a rollercoaster… they’ve never been on one before! It’s hard to get respite in general but even harder for a child with behaviors, I guess time will tell. I’d love to give the girls the gift of the rollercoaster experience!
Grading for the kids have come and gone, I’ve got a group of smart kids! I’ve got a pile of awards from all of the kids, I’m a proud mama!
Football has started, both Bunny and Boychild have enjoyed it. They both had their first games over the weekend and they cannot wait to get back to practicing.
Cheer, cheer, cheer.
Jet Ski Finals are now completed, yay!
I’ve gone through and bought all the kids new bedding and jackets to prepare for the winter. Eight bedding sets and eight winter coats. Cha-ching.
Biscuit is going on a trip with her friends during fall break, to Huntington Beach. Boys are going too. My mama spidey sense is tingling. 🙄
Blue has a boyfriend, she spend time with him as much as possible.
Boychild has moved up in the world as he is quickly approaching his 12th year on earth. He is no longer considered one of the ‘little’ kids and now has more privileges.
Bunny is a sassy, bratty, diva. She is at the age that makes me want to knock her little head off. I love her, undoubtedly. She is my most challenging child right now. Yes, even with Loud and the tantrums.
Lemon is a bright little girl, she is reading at a second grade level right now and is exceptional at math. She reminds me a lot of Biscuit when she was younger. Smarty pants!
Halloween is coming, I cannot wait! Costumes and fun. Most of the kids have decided what they’d like to be.
It’s time for me to make dinner and enjoy the cool weather!
Things have calmed down a bit with the new placements. Loud is still working on self regulation, accountibility, and following rules. It is getting better, I feel like he is understanding cause and effect. Lovely is doing well too, she is kind and helpful. Lovely spends her time helping out around the house; picking up the bathroom or asking me if I need help. It’s awesome but I’ve been working with her to try and be more of a kid. I encourage her to play and give her praise for doing kid things. Tata is a well rounded girl, she could use a little help with her impulse control and she needs to work on her volume control.
Boychild spent the weekend with friends, doing boy stuff. He went to a birthday party/sleep over on Friday night and Saturday he stayed over with his friend from school.
Bunny has been hanging out around the house with Tata and Lovely. Today shes going to a birthday party, shes excited!
Biscuit and Blue went to Homecoming last night, they both look so grownup.
Lemon has been caught up reading this Emily Woo book, as soon as she wakes up she runs to her book and drives right in.
Pretty celebrated her 19th birthday a few days ago.
Flower is doing the college thing.
I’m going to make sure to get to the grocery store soon, I’ve still not gone. Although a friend of mine had mercy on me and dropped off a few cases of Diet Dr Pepper so I could still function. I’ve gotten my schedule worked out a little better, I’ve arranged to have my lost checks reissued, I’ve gotten some cleaning done at home, my Amazon Subscribe & Save arrived, and I’ve gotten a handle on my emotions. Now I’ve got to meet with the mental health team for my placements and get my CPR renewed, both of which are scheduled for Monday.
That’s a Dandy Lion, because I’m fine and dandy. ❤
I last shared, prior to getting my placements, that my interest was piqued in regards to a 12 year old girl that was seeking a large family and that I had been contacted regarding to placement and adoption. Well, that was complete crap. It it a pretty shady ordeal, they can only disclose very small pieces of the case during the inquiry while letting you get emotionally involved. During a 6-8 week process they can pick you apart as the family who wishes to adopt but you get minimal information… but not medical or behavorial stuff.
I indicated to the the CSR specialist to call my licensing worker and disclose all of the information to him as there is a loophole in the process. Although he isn’t allowed to disclose any information to me, he can get the nitty gritty. I trust him to make the call for me, he knows my family dynamic and what I’m willing to have in my home in regards to placement. The CSR specialist called my licensing worker, disclosed all the things, he knew it wasn’t a good fit and it was closed down. I hope that anyone who is looking into a CSR child can find this information helpful and time saving, not to mention avoiding yet another emotional rollercoaster.
It was a CSR ordeal which pretty much equates to kids that are EXTREMELY hard to place due to behaviors, multiple placements, etc.
I’ve learned enough about photolistings, CSR’s, and adoptive searches in general. The masses are correct; it is a waste of time and pointless. Despite my initial feelings about everyone else failures being a personality flaw or getting emotionally attached to a picture of a child, everyone was right. It is complete garbage. I’m objective, even during my emotional bit during this journey.
I don’t like being this pessimistic but the proof is in the pudding.
Don’t bother looking at photolistings ot CSR’s. It’s a lost cause or a trap.