Communication board #Momlife

 

I am horrible at remembering! Especially when you have six children running around the house needing everything all at once. So I decided to make a “communication board.”

wp-image-1596693794

 

It is a dry erase board that I have hanging in our laundry room. This board is used for….. You got it! Communication!

Our kids know that if they need something write it down on the board. They broke something to write it on the board. They need to say something and don’t want to tell us… Write it on the board.

We encourage our children to take to us but who are we kidding? Kids think every time we talk it ends in a lecture. So I tell our kids to utilize the board and surprisingly it works pretty well.

We have had kids write notes like ” you keep making beans. Can you plz make something else?” “stop peeing on the toilet” “need razors.”

My husband uses it for things he may need; He wakes up early for work so if he runs out of anything he can jot it down real quick. If I make a run to the store, I make sure to check the board to see if anyone needs anything as well.

Great tool to use for a busy house hold. Our board has been around since day one. I wanted a system that most children could use and understand with out it being too complicated. The communication board works for our family pretty well.

We also have magnetic clips on the board. They started off as coupon clips. If anyone found one, they would clip the coupon. It has now begun to become a wrap collector. I remember walking by and seeing a zip lock box “top” cut to it one day. Asked around who did it and my husband said well I used the last one of that type and wanted to make sure when you went to the store you bought what needed. I thought this is a genius idea! Now everyone clips body wash wrappers, battery box clipping or anything else they need. They just cut off the core description of what they need.

Helps for a natural grocery store trip!

I hope this explained the basis of our board. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask.

Thank you,

Momma K and the bunch
*I am not affiliated with any companies that I have mentioned on this blog.*

Chore chart, back pack and bathroom system

Since we have become parents, we have tried different techniques on making life less stressful.

Our Chore charts

We have four kids right now. Our charts include daily chore and day-to-day operations. Typically we only have to add a few things to the everyday side. We talk about what chores everyone will have the responsibility of every morning. Sometimes kids will trade or even ask for extras. Some children will have free days if I see respect, helping others and manners.
The kids have to move their magnets to the “completed” area after they are completed. I feel this helps with being responsible. By the end of the day, I take a look and fix it every night after kids are in bed.
•With our teenager, we decided to use a picture frame and just write what is expected of her throughout the day. That seems to work because she doesn’t find interest in moving a magnet around as our youngest ones do.

( it was a fun activity for her to design her background)
• Our youngest ones we bought $1 pizza pans, used old magnets and a label maker to create theirs. Magnets are too used for daily chores and daily activities. (Extras is used for added T.V. time and later bed times)

  • Backpack system

 

It is pretty much self-explanatory. The children hang their bags on the command hooks every day after school. They are told to either give us important notes/letters right away or put them on the chore chart clips above their bags.

  • Our bathroom system 

    •We color coordinate our kiddos. So our youngest daughter is green, and if you look at her towel, basket and chore chart, you will notice everything is green. That is for everyone. Our teen is purple, and again everything she uses is color coordinated purple. Color coordinating helps so much with keeping up with everything that belongs to them. It Includes tooth brushes, towels, hair brushes, baskets and our communication board. I will write a blog about our communication board later.

    This system has worked well for Us especially when I am packing it is a life saver. When we get new placements, we have tons of back up items in certain colors. We explain it helps keep everyone organized, and since everything is new, it helps them to remember what belongs to them.

    I hope this has helped. If you have any questions or want more details about anything, please feel free to ask.

    Thanks,

Momma K and the bunch!

* I am not affiliated with any companies; I may have listed up above*

We use command hooks for their backpack holder. Oldest to youngest. It is pretty much self-explanatory when it comes to this. They hang up their bags after school, and if they have any relevant papers, they are told to either give them to us right away or clip them above their bags using the magnetic clips on their chore charts.

Difficult placement

Being a foster parent positively, has its moments. Our first placements were tricky, but we got through it with time and consistency. Last month we accepted to take a six yr old boy. They had warned us about his compulsive lying and story telling. Okay no big deal, we have considered that before. We introduce him to our girls and get him settled into his room. The first month is the honey moon stage. We are getting to know him, and he is getting to know us. Everything seems to be going well. The first month is done and now comes the “testing” stage in foster care. What can I possibly do to drive my foster parents crazy? Literally! Children can be cruel. You try everything from being understanding and patient, walking away, getting down on their level…. So that he could spit in my face. We tried time out, we tried taking toys away, we tried so many things to stop this young child from causing chaos. His last days in my home I had so much anger built up I didn’t know how to feel, I was about to lose my mind. Why won’t he listen? Why won’t he obey? Why does he start problems?

So finally after all the chaos I call CYFD and ask for them to remove him from my home. Of course, they explain to me that it might take some time and to just hang in there.

I sit him down and explain what is going to happen. That we, unfortunately, can not give him what he deserves and before it gets any more out of hand he will be going with a new family. He started to cry and say he didn’t want to go. That he loved being with us. At the moment I felt horrible. Maybe we could figure out a different solution so that he was able to stay. Maybe I was over reacting and what he was doing wasn’t that bad. You can’t help but think what can I possibly do to make sure he doesn’t go through more stress and heart ache. As foster parents, you feel so torn between situations like that. Even though these kids can be involved, you still want what is best for them. You can’t help but feel guilty that if you do get them removed, they may end up just jumping from one house to another.

So when they say, tough love! I mean we went all in with tough love!

I was going to make sure this young man knew I was serious and we weren’t playing around anymore. I wasn’t mean, I was understanding to his feelings and guess what finally we saw a change in him. It is all trial and error when it comes to new placement. I was done allowing him to think it was okay to act the way he was. So he would have to write why he did what he did and why he thought it was okay. As soon as he did that, I noticed small changes in him. Our last week with him was manageable. They ended up calling and telling us grandparents would be taking him.

No matter what just love the child. They tell you sometimes you can’t love a child because of what they do. How about we learn to love a child because they are a child of God. This child didn’t ask for this. It will be a lot of tears and frustration, but in the end, it will be worth it.

Don’t get me wrong though if the child is causing to much stress ask for a removal don’t feel that you have to keep with living in misery. What I am saying is just continue to love the child and try your best.

The most rewarding part was when he went home to his grandparents. He hugged me so tight and said: “I love you, Kristina!”

In the end, those words are what made everything worth it.

Just hang in there! God knows all that you can handle.

 

thSN4UNWNY.jpg

 

 

*photo credit google*

Emotions!

 

I will take you back to December 21st, 2016.
We received a phone call from CYFD to take a 13 yr girl. Her past was run away and bounces from house to house due to her anger. Of course, I was nervous, but I also thought I could give this child a place to stay for the week. It was almost Christmas; she didn’t deserve to be alone regardless of the situation.
She comes into our house, and I just remember her acting as if nothing was going to bother her. She grabbed a gift and opened it. I remained silent. I thought to myself observe her and allow her to settle in. I knew she was going to test the water. It is typical for any child to do so.
Within three weeks of being in our home, she came to us and asked if we could adopt her. I felt so honored, and we explained to her that it was fresh and just go with the flow. We also told her that we were very open to adopting her but let some time pass. We made sure to leave that thought open in our heads. We immediately thought about it, and of course, she was a great kid, but it was so new to us. We questioned the age. Not that long ago we were that age. We examined her past. Before anyone who is closed minded reads this…. remembers the past can repeat its self. We thought about how new this was too.
We both loved the thought of having her as our forever child. So nervous!
February 2017 Julian and I are talking about Nate and Kyleigh going home soon. I decided to bring up the adoption. I am so glad I did. Julian isn’t the type to speak up first, so when I mentioned it, he was very pleased to know I felt the same way. We were ready to have her as our forever child.
We talked to our teen, and of course, she was thrilled. Her excitement showed everywhere we went. She was proud to become our daughter, and we felt so blessed.
We have always had issues with her bullying other children. We would always address the situation, and it seemed to be dying down. Her bad habits were slowly disappearing. Now I know we weren’t going to have a perfect child, but I wanted to make sure her major bad habits were nipped in the bottom before she thought we were okay with that type of behavior.
She seemed to be growing in such a positive way. Such a beautiful young girl. I love so very much. I was proud of her. She had come so far. Proved to so many people that she could change for the better.
We started the adoption process in May 2017. We received a call that July 5th, 2017 was the BIP at 3 pm. It was such an exciting moment. We went out to dinner discuss our future as a family.
We were preparing her to be our forever child. Considering college situations, setting up her bank account, getting her a cell phone and planning big family vacations. Now we didn’t just throw this all on her. We slowly talked about it and made sure along the way she understood and was comfortable with our plans. Of course, she was so happy to be doing everything with us! So were we! Three weeks before the BIP we started to notice her anger towards our youngest daughter was coming back, and her attitude was different.
We figured it was because her mother just had court, and they stated that she would be sentenced June 23rd. We assumed it had to do with that. Dealt with the situation and went on with our day. She has always been very open to me about everything. Her first week in our home we sat down for 3 hours while she talked about nearly everything that she had dealt with in life. I let her talk and trust in me that she could come to me if she ever needed to talk. I have spent countless hours driving around being that listening ear for her. Never judging and always allowing her to speak.
When I decided to ask her what was going on and expecting her to open up she immediately shut down “nothing!” was the answer. It would upset me because I thought why all of the sudden would you shut me down?
Every situation that happened for the next two weeks was hectic. Our daughter was so angry or would jump to conclusions. She would express how our youngest daughter was our favorite or how I was doing things on purpose. I could see my child hurting and breaking inside. There was absolutely nothing I could do about it. I tried talking to her and would get shut down.
I would stay up googling what to do with an angry teenager. Yes, I know why google? Because you would be surprised on how many people are dealing with the same crap you are!
I would approach her the next morning, and she would just be very quiet. Wouldn’t say much and Kept to herself. June 23rd, 2017 comes around. Her mother sentenced seven years in prison. She breaks down feeling guilty about it. She continued blaming herself for her mother’s mistakes. I am trying to explain to her that it isn’t her fault. She isn’t liking what I am saying. I hear her say “I just need to talk to my mom.”(she calls her step grandmother “mom” someone who helped raise her and make sure she was safe when she could. ) it crushed me!
I instantly felt hurt, angry and annoyed! I am her mother! I should be the one she wants right now! I told her to give her grandmother a call and ask to go over. Even though I was hurt, I knew what she needed, and that wasn’t me. She called, but her grandmother told her no she couldn’t come over.
She ran to her room. I tried talking to her, and she just didn’t want anything to do with me.
The next day she asked if she could call her grandmother again. Again the grandmother said no. She had some personal issues to take care of.
That following day she had been a hand full. Very disrespectful and rude to our other children. I had asked our youngest to get her for dinner, and it ended up in a screaming match. She had yelled at her and told her to get out of her room. I immediately went in there and told her to eat!
By this time I am heated and so is she. She refuses to eat for dinner. So I send her to her room. I will admit I didn’t do it maturely and I do regret not being more grown up about it. At that moment all these emotions and anger had got the best of me.
The next morning I wake everyone up to do chores, and I had noticed when I went to her room she had a notebook and pen laying on the ground. Something in me knew I wasn’t going to find a positive note in that book.
I ended up finding a hate letter. How she didn’t want me to call her my daughter or even be my daughter. She didn’t want to be adopted, and she was just going to run away. She called me some pretty offensive names and said she hated our youngest daughter as well. I decided to tear them out and throw them away. I knew she was mad but now so was I. Hours had passed, and she comes into the living room asking who ripped out the papers and I said I did. They are in the trash. Before I knew it, I was calling CFYD asking for them to get her. She started screaming and stated how much she hated our house and our youngest daughter.
A child I had loved so much. Someone who meant the world to me! A child I was ready to have in my life forever!
I knew we needed space. I knew I had over reacted. What I didn’t understand is why now???? I questioned her safety. I doubted her love for us. I asked her goals with us. I questioned my parenting skills.
Where did I go wrong? Why didn’t I see the signs before this got out of control? Do I want this? Does she love us? Are we being used?
You name it; it was going through my head. I felt like a horrible person for calling CYFD to get her, but I was so worried that she was going to run away or hurt our youngest child.
We talked with CYFD, and it almost felt like I was numb to the situation. A child that I had so much love for I was ready to throw in the towel. Is it easier to run from our problems right? Both my husband and I let one evening go by we discussed we weren’t going to give up on her. Even though I was still hurt my love for her meant more!
June 30th I walked into CYFD feeling lost but ready to hear what she wanted to do. We sat down in the room together, and I remember her not saying a word. Question after question and not even any emotions coming from her. I had to step out and cry.
I felt like I had failed at that moment. I was ready to drive home and just say forget it! That’s what she wants right? I pulled myself together went back in the room and finally an answer “I want to go back with them.”
It all happened so fast. Looking back on how everything went. She was so used to people not fighting for her. It was typical for her to run away from her problems. Here we stood fighting for her to come home.
My emotions are still a little wacky right now. I am still questioning what the heck is going on, but as for now, she is home!
What happens next? I learn from my mistakes and become a better mother.
Don’t give up on your kids!

 

 

#6 Tips and tricks for clothes and personal items for foster care.

Even though every new Child comes with a clothing voucher, my husband and I decided to become more prepared. When you get a 1am phone call to take a sibling group and all they have is the clothes on their back you will be thankful for these few tips and tricks!

1. Utilize Facebook sale sites, yard sales, friends and good will. Typically, people are getting rid of clothes or shoes either for cheap or free. Now I am not saying over board and collect a bunch of clothes but at least purchase some and for all ages. We have boy sizes newborn to 38 size pants and 2x shirts for our girls we have newborn to size 18 pants and 1x shirts. Extra socks, undies, and flip-flops.
2. Buy a few bins. We have most of our clothes in bins. So it is easy to access if and when we get a new placement. I have it organized by gender and size. I have a total of 6 bins. 3 for boys and 3 for the girls. None of them are full but are there just in case we receive a call. We have a closet that has extra jackets, socks, undies, diapers, wipes, tooth brushes, etc.

3. Color coordinate — I give every child a particular color, so it is easy for them to remember and easy for me to keep up with everything. Basically what that means is I love colored sharpies! I make a dot on the tags of their clothes, tooth brushes, and any personal items I give them. So they can keep up with their elements such as their hair brushes, deodorant, lotion, medicine, etc. We have a colored basket that matches their color, and they get a shelf to help keep them organized. Julian and I also have our rack and basket as well. We decided that it would be fun for everyone. We purchase the bins at the dollar store.

4. Amazon prime has been a life saver when it comes to new placement. We just order everything in bulk now, and you save money in the long run as well. Needing to purchase something now and on a budget. !DOLLAR STORE! This place has been a life saver as well.

 

5. Let the kids take the clothes you have given them. Typically, our late night phone calls to take the placements end up being a short stay. They may not show it, but those extra clothes mean more to them than you think.

6. The Biggest tip STAY ORGANIZED!!! Every two weeks I go through my cabinets and make a list of what we need. I fold and clean up anything out of place. We are on a budget, so I utilize my sources and stick to my budget when it comes to this project.

Hope these were helpful. As of right now, that is all the tips and tricks I have and if I think of anything else I will make sure to update the blog. If you all have any advice, please leave a comment down below. I would love to hear everyone’s ideas.

Have a beautiful day!!
*not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned.

Link

3 Apps I use to make life easier as a foster mom!

When it comes to my household, we use electronics on the daily. To each their own like I always say. Do what you want and what works for you! I am that mom who carries around a day planner and my kiddos know what book I am talking about when I ask them to get it. My children also know if they want to know what the week looks like for our family to look in the book but we also rely on electronics. We have a house hold tablet. Everyone is allowed to download games or have free range on it. Our two oldest kids have phones (WiFi access only) which they love to use for social media and selfies.

As a mother, you are constantly trying to find new things that work to make life easier. Here are a few apps I love!

#1

Cozi family organizer

This planner is amazing! You have the ability to link emails and assign the task or event to the right full person. When I have to take three kids to 3 different places, it will notify that child. You can add a note as well. Like “be ready or else!” Haha, anyways it has helped out with our crazy busy schedule.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cozi.androidfree

#2 Target cartwheel

I am that “mom” I go into Target for 1 item and come out with 15 items and completely forget about the thing I needed. So this fantastic app has helped me save and also stay focused on what I came in for. You can search what items are on sale before you enter the store and make a quick list. You scan your items for the discount, hand your phone to the cashier during check out and BAM! you just saved money and left with the item you needed. Well maybe but still you saved some money to turn back around to get it.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.target.socsav
#3 Audible

In that perfect home with those perfect children, you will sit down every night and read books to your kids. Don’t get me wrong, I read to my kids almost every night…. ok maybe three times a week, but I still make sure to get that time in through out the week. Let’s be real though, I am far from perfect and when it is 9pm, and all six kids still need baths, and by the time all that is left is a mess! This app is magic! The kids agree on a book and push play. I can listen to them while I get everyone’s hair brushed and lotion applied, without worrying about flipping pages! It also makes for a great family conversation starter in the end.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.audible.application

 

So that concludes my favorite apps for my family, as of right now, if I find more I will be sure to share!
*I am not affiliated with any of these companies which may be affected by the outcome of the reviews.

Updated*

Some apps I had used did not work out for our family needs. Will update once we have a few months of positive feedback.

.