We Finally Got Hit…

With all the sickness!!!  We are normally a very healthy family when it comes to colds and flu type things.  This year, though, February has not been good for us.  It started with J getting a stomach bug and being home sick for 2 days.  Then T got an awful cough/cold.  That may or may not have something to do with the fact that it’s winter in WI and I have to fight most days to get the kid to wear a frickin’ winter coat.  Also, he was clearly never taught to cover his mouth/nose when he coughs/sneezes so lucky me picked up his cough.

It started out as losing my voice, then to a sore throat for an evening and moving into a cough.  The next day, I barely made it through daycare as aches and chills set in.  By Wednesday morning, that part was all over but the cough had settled into stay.  Unfortunately, as primary caretaker of Annabelle, she ultimately got it also despite my best efforts.  She is now very sick with a cough/cold combo.  So far we are managing to get just enough fluids into her to keep her hydrated but she was so miserable yesterday and I spent most of the morning crying with her because I felt so helpless.

We have been doing oils topically and in the diffuser non stop and she at least hasn’t gotten any worse.  We did do 2 doses of tylenol yesterday for any ashiness that she might be having.  Mostly, we’re just watching her breathing to make sure it doesn’t get worse and for dehydration.  Hopefully, we can keep both from getting worse and having to take a trip to the Dr./Hospital.  Last night she was happily kicking and chatting in our bed for at least 30-45 minutes before bedtime which is our usual routine with her so it was nice to see her happy and energetic for a little while.

I’m also over a week late on her 5 month update but I will get that done next.  In foster news, I took the kids to the Dr. on Friday morning.  We had 8am appts and ended up with a snow day also so I got to leave A at home with J.  Thank God for the snow day because the appt ended up being 5 hours long (yes, 5 hours, not a typo)!  So here’s the 411 on Dr. B.  First off, she’s flipping AMAZING!!!  She’s the leading trauma specialist in WI and she was getting all these abuse cases through foster care and finding that foster families didn’t know diddly squat about these kids medical histories and even many times, all the reasons they landed in the system to begin with.  So, she started this foster care clinic and what she and her staff do is collect as many medical records on the families as they can and piece together the kids histories for the foster parents.  If it hadn’t been for M faking something last Monday to be able to come home, we would have had no idea until Dr. B mentioned it that M had heart surgery when she was 7.  We also had no idea until Dr. B told me that M has to be on antibiotics prior to any Dental work including cleanings to prevent an infection in her heart.  During these 5 hours, the kids each got their flu vaccine and M got others that she was behind on, they each got a physical examination, and we all took surveys on the kids behaviors/thought processes and the results were enlightening to say the least.  A lot of the time was spent with her and I, along with the psychiatrist talking about the kid’s medical and abuse/neglect histories.  I can’t go into details but let’s just say that there are things in T’s past that she’s never even seen before.  She doesn’t believe that he has ADHD.  She believes his brain rewired itself at a very young age to always be on the lookout for what was coming next.  She said that we have to throw out all the typical parenting/discipline strategies and that when he tells us he can’t change, at this point, he is right.  He’s never been given the tools or coping strategies to learn how to choose his behavior.  She said when he’s acting out, that he’s not consciously making the choice to do it and that he really can’t control it or help himself.  The consensus between everyone that is on Team T is that he needs to be in day treatment for intensive therapy ASAP.  Both kids were diagnosed with PTSD.  Also, if Dr. B gets her way, the kids won’t be going to BM anytime soon, if ever.

All in all, it was a lot of information to digest and then try to come home and repeat to J.  I will say, that it does help when dealing with T’s behavior to know that he’s not purposely choosing to do it.  It’s nice to be off the hook on disciplining him.  It doesn’t mean that we condone his behavior, but we’re also not having to try and figure out new ways to discipline because at this time, no matter what, it won’t be effective.  We are continuing our positive reinforcement system because it has definitely helped.

The next step is to get a conference set up with all the school personnel that deal with T to bring them up to date.  I’m hoping he won’t be in school much longer due to getting into the day treatment program, but who knows how long that will take.

So, that’s where the R family is at.  I will try to get A’s 5 month update posted soon!  Hope you are all well!

Lots of Love~Dawn

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She Jumped on the Bandwagon…

The 4 month sleep regression bandwagon, that is!  A teases us for about a month and a half with beautiful full night’s sleep and now she thinks 2:30am is a great time to be awake.

Last night she was up from about 2:15am until at least 4:30am.  Every time I’d get her back to sleep and finally start to doze off myself, she’d start fussing again.  Finally, at 3:30am, I pulled her into bed to cuddle with J because that often does the trick but not this time.  He finally got up sometime after 4am for a bottle.  Not sure what time she finally nestled in but when he got up at 7am and put her back in the rock and play, that was it.  She was up for the day and happy as a clam.

So, new strategy tonight.  She’s been moved to the pack and play and she’s in the magic sleep suit that we use for naps. I also put her in pampers in case there’s any truth to their commercial, lol.  

Wish us luck!!!

The Failings of a Foster Mom

Today, I am feeling like a failure as a Foster Mom.  At this moment, we are out of ideas on how to help T.  Each week that he has been with us has gotten progressively worse instead of better.  He is so very broken from the trauma he has been through and needs intensive therapy and possibly medication to even be able to handle being in a “normal” and stable family.  I am ashamed to say, that as hard as I try, he does get the best of me sometimes and my voice raises and then I feel extremely guilty.  It’s such a fine line of being empathetic to their trauma/situation and holding them accountable for their actions.

School is not going well.  He’s disruptive in every room he’s in, disrespectful and refuses to listen there or at home.  We’ve tried consequences and positivity when we seem him doing/saying good things.  Right now, the social worker is trying to get him in a day treatment center, but if there’s no place for him, I fear what it going to happen.  He thinks everyone gives up on him and I hate the thought that if we can’t get him into an intensive day treatment program, we may have to be one of those people in his eyes.

We so want to see him succeed, but at this point, he won’t even try.  He insists he cannot change.  We hoped, that with time in a loving home where there’s stability and consistency, things would get better, but it seems to be having the opposite effect.

M is thriving.  She’s doing fairly well in school and making friends.  She’s generally a happy/helpful girl.  She can be outright sassy/snotty, especially towards T, but nothing out of the ordinary tween girl.

I don’t know what’s going to happen or what we’re going to do, but we have to put A’s welfare above all else and I don’t want her to be around constant yelling/turmoil.  I think J and I both agree that if they can’t get him into a day treatment program, he may need to go into some kind of inpatient program.  We can’t help someone who refuses to be helped.  😦

Sorry for the vent…hopefully my next post will be a cheerier one.

Share Your World #3

Regarding your fridge, is it organized or a mess inside?

Right now it’s a mess.  I try to keep it somewhat organized but between the hubby and the kids, it just doesn’t stay that way.  I do need to clean it out though!

Do you prefer your food separated or mixed together?

Separate except for my mashed potatoes and corn.  If I’m eating mashed potatoes, I must have butter and whole kernel corn all mixed in with it.  🙂  Unless it’s loaded mash potatoes and then I can skip the corn.

Do you prefer reading coffee table books (picture), biographies, fiction, non-fiction, educational?

Hmmm, it really depends on the subject.  I don’t really do coffee table books.  I like romance, I like biographies if I find the person interesting and I like educational when it comes to learned about essential oils and network marketing.

Close your eyes. Listen to your body. What part of your body is seeking attention? What is it telling you?  

My stomach.  It’s telling me to keep working out and to get back to the healthy food after a weekend of  Super Bowl binge eating.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I’m grateful for a family that loves and supports me and is ready to kick ass on my behalf if needed.  I’m looking forward to this weekend because our foster kiddos are going to respite for the weekend and J and I can get some time with just A and also each other.  Mom is watching A on Saturday while J and I go teach a YL class together and then head to Madison for dinner with Sister for her Birthday and to watch my niece in “Little Shop of Horrors”.  Should be a great weekend!

Want to join in the Share your World fun?  Check out Cee’s Blog.

Share Your World #2

I missed a week or two but I’m jumping back in!

What is the most incredible natural venue that you’ve ever seen in person?

Hmmm, I’ve seen some gorgeous sites.  I’d have to say it’s a toss up between a remote St. John’s beach and a beautiful Fall day in the mountains in Vermont.

How many siblings do you have? What’s your birth order?

I have 2 Sisters.  I am the baby.  One sister is 4 1/2 years older and the other is 3 years older.

If you were a shoe, what kind would you be and why?

It’s not technically a shoe but I’d totally be a comfy cozy slipper.

What is the strangest/weirdest thing you have ever eaten?

I’m not the most adventurous food person so I would have to say many different forms of sushi.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful my Sister volunteered to watch the kids last weekend while J and I went out for a quick linner as she called it and I’m looking forward to watching my nieces perform at the state dance team competition on Saturday.  

Want to join in the Share your world fun?  Check out Cee’s blog.