Capitan Period Pants! #Momlife

“Mom, I can’t wait till I get my period.

I will grow chest hair and a beard like dad!

My voice will get deep,

and people won’t look at me like I am a little boy.”

This morning was a #momlife moment. Kyleigh and Nate came over this weekend, so that makes a total of 7 kids, this morning was busy and loud! In the middle of getting everyone their hot tea and breakfast, my ten-year-old approaches me, wearing his costume and holding a wooden sword ready to conquer the world. I am sipping on coffee listening to my girls argue in the back ground about how I am making them drink a vitamin C concoction because everyone was full of boogers. Anyways back to my son, he approaches me with so much confidence and determination. I ask him if he was on a mission and he replies “Mom, I can’t wait till I get my period. I will grow chest hair and a beard like dad! My voice will get deep, and people won’t look at me like I am a little boy.”  My oldest looked at me as if I had been keeping a secret from her and my two youngest daughters about rolled over in laughter. He looked at me waiting for a reply; I explained to him that yes one day he will hit puberty, but he technically would never have a period because he is a boy.  He asks, “well what is a period?”  In my head I am thinking, okay he is ten how can I make sure I don’t freak him out…… I could A. Sugar coat it, you know make it sound like the best seven days of our lives, so he doesn’t freak out. Or B. Lay it to him straight and be upfront and honest and pray I don’t traumatize him because at this age the imagination is in full force. So I went with plan B, I explained what happens, and to my surprise, he said well good thing y’all don’t die during that week, never mind I just want my puberty to come already so I can be like dad!  He runs away to go back to play. I look up at my two youngest girls, and the look of fear is on their face. Whoops! Surprise! Everyone learned about periods in our house today! #momlife

Numb

Numb

It has been one heck of a month……… I was trying to write a blog about our middle daughter going home with the family before her leaving. I typically write to prepare myself for what is coming, expressing my feelings and getting rid of all the negative thoughts. This time around I couldn’t help but feel numb.

Little S joined our family Feb 2017 with her sister. Her sister, unfortunately, had to go into treatment shortly after coming into our care. Little S was so shy and kind. Her smile would light up the room, and there was never a moment her kindness didn’t show. Her personality was amazing! She would melt your heart in a matter of seconds. I watched this beautiful child blossom. Little S found herself in our home.

There have been many obstacles I have had to deal with while being a foster parent, but no one can prepare you for what comes when a child loses their parent. May 9th, 2017, I received a phone call that unfortunately, Little S’s dad had passed away over the night. She was at school when I found out, and I knew right away I needed to get her. I would hate for her to find out during school about her dads passing. I arrived at the school, and she was so happy and thrilled to see me. I told her that we were going to do whatever she wanted to do today. Little S looked at me with tears in her eyes and said something is wrong isn’t there? I am going home, aren’t I? I just hugged her so tight and told her that she wouldn’t be leaving, but she will be visiting her grandma today. I explained grandma had something significant to say to her.

We ended up at target and went shopping of course! We went to the park, went home and did her makeup, and she put on her new dress that we had just bought. I asked her to tell me stories about her dad and what her favorite things about him were. Her memories were so precious and allowed her and I to connect on another level. Those moments will forever be cherished.

Over the summer she was growing more and more. The more she grew, the more I fell more in love with this precious girl. She came to us one day as we were folding laundry and looked at me with those beautiful big brown eyes, She leaned into me and whispered I just wish I could stay here forever. My heart was so content, but I also knew I needed to remind her how important it is to go home with family if it is possible to do so. She was so understanding but would occasionally mention us adopting her. Without a doubt, I would adopt her in a heartbeat, but again as a foster parent, I can’t stress enough how important it is for reunification to happen.

September 27th, 2017, her case worker comes over and gives us the news that her uncle and aunt will be the new placement. He gave us our ten-day notice. Inside I was broken, but on the outside, I showed her how excited I was, and we spoke about how important it is to go with them. They had passed everything they needed to do and how beautiful it was that they were going to take her and raise her. She was excited but nervous, which is to be expected. Little S leans in for a hug and just starts crying. She replies with “I would dream at night that you would forever be my momma K.” I replied, “and I will be!” No one will ever take that from me.

The next ten days just felt so numb; I am not sure how to explain the feeling. All I knew is that I had to prepare Little S for what was about to happen……. But how can I do that when I didn’t feel prepared for what was about to happen to us.

October 7th, 2017, the day has come to say See you later! She was excited at this point and couldn’t wait to get her stuff in her new room. Taking her belongings out to her relative’s car seemed like it took forever, I just kept talking to avoid anyone asking me questions. Seems like if anyone that asks me how I am doing, I completely lose it. I must be strong for her, and she should see that I am okay for her to be okay. Children feed off our emotions, and I didn’t want her to stress about my feelings. I wanted to make sure she was excited no matter what.

I will pray for her daily and pray that as a family we cope with this in the best way that we can but explaining this feeling has been difficult. Typically, I can express myself without any issues but this time around I just feel numb.

Amazing conference

stick figures

Our Experience this year was entirely different from last year. I am not sure if it is because we were new last year. This year meant so much more to me. We are almost done with Big A’s adoption, and we are about to send one of the kiddos back to her family. So sitting in the conference and learning more about sibling connections meant so much to us. We learned a significant amount this time around also.

I enjoyed the talks from all the speakers and took notes. I felt so much better leaving this years conference.

Our first day we arrived at the Santa Fe convention center. We found parking fairly quickly and headed up to the main lobby. Now mind you we took all five kids, so my anxiety was high that day. I was praying everything went smooth. To my surprise it did. We were able to sign in our kids and find a seat for Julian, me and Baby K. We decided to go to My Brother’s keeper session, Chauncey Strong is an amazing person. Hearing his story was beautiful. It opened my eyes up so much about sibling connections.

Our second workshop for the day we decided to Join LUVYA members in their presentation about Foster care journey through a youths eyes. I enjoyed this talk because we are about to adopt our 14-year-old daughter and there are days when it is a struggle to understand what is going on with her. It also allowed my husband and I to see the bigger picture when it comes to our youth groups.

We decided to head back to the hotel and let the kids enjoy some swimming. Big A had made a friend who was also in the process of being adopted, and she was staying at the same hotel. So it was nice seeing Big A making friends and enjoying herself. We ended the night with a family movie.

Saturday morning we drove back to the convention center and signed our kids in. Julian and I found our seats and relaxed a minute eating our breakfast. I was very interested in the next session: Celebrate my first Birthday By Sue Harris O’Conner. Her book is about her reflection on transracial adoption. I come from a transracial family, so I was very intrigued to see what her view was and maybe learn something. I, unfortunately, have not read her whole book and as of right now I don’t want to make any comments till I do so, because during her speech I was just rubbed the wrong way and became very disturbed. With what was being said, I couldn’t shake the feeling, and before I knew it, I was getting up to leave her presentation. I plan on reading her book and hopefully have a better understanding of what she was trying to explain during her speech.

After her presentation, we went to a Trauma, Attachment and sensory integration presentation. I loved this class. It taught my husband and me so much about dealing with Trauma. We recently have been dealing with our middle daughter losing her father and our oldest daughter losing her close uncle. Never dealing with something like this before has been difficult. I want to make sure Julian and I get a better understanding whenever we get the chance.

This Foster Conference was so rewarding in so many ways; I love that we were able to take the time to do this as well. Our weekend was great and allowed Julian and I to learn so much more.

I hope you all had a great weekend!

-Momma K and the bunch

Perfect Mom!

I am the perfect mom……

 

Being a mom has been such a blessing. It is something I never thought I would have the title “mom.” After years of trying we finally decided to adopt. I was determined to become a mom one way or another. We eventually chose to foster to adopt. Julian and I, were told we had a better chance to get a newborn which is what I wanted so badly. I wanted nothing to do with older kids. Little did I know God had other plans.

Julian and I have been foster parents for 16 months and have had over 30 kids in our home. So many people approach me while in public, on-line, family, friends, case workers, clients, etc. they always tell me you have it all together. Your kids are so well behaved. You make parenting look so easy. You are such a good momma. I wish I were like you. You are such a perfect mom! I ENVY YOU!!! Teach me your secrets…….. STOP!

I dislike being put on the spot. Don’t get me wrong I love when my kids have made a good impression on others. It makes me feel proud as a parent. I do not like when others put me on this pedal stool and worship me. Every child is different, every situation I handle differently. Guess what I don’t have it all together!!! There are no secrets. I go to bed every night thinking to myself; I shouldn’t have told my son/daughter that. I always try harder the next day to be better for my KIDS! No one else but my kids. My world revolves around them, and I love every minute of it. Knowing I can make a positive impact on their lives is my reward. So no I am not the perfect mom, actually far from it. What I have is an imperfect life with imperfect kids and imperfect husband and imperfect dogs. Who by the way just ate all of our deserts. Thank you fur kids, hope you enjoyed it.

I look at every mom and just want to hug her. I want her to know that the mom she is envying has the same flaws just like she does. We mess up every day. I do it more than once every day. What I can tell you is I don’t stress over the small stuff and take every moment with my children and embrace it. I teach my kids the basic manners just like you have with yours. I do homework every night just like you do. I repeat myself 1000000 times to go put their shoes up, just like you do. I am just like you! Your four your old told you No, guess what so did mine. Your teenage rolled her eyes; mine did too. Your kids started to fight over a toy; mine did too. You were on an urgent phone call and gave your kids the evil, guess what so did I ! I also mouthed “go way” just in case you were wondering. You lost your mind during breakfast because you have children whining they are hungry, me too! Guess what they cried breakfast was taking forever I walked away and said eat cereal! Teach them to complain again. So yes I am very imperfect, and I don’t regret any minute of it, I am still learning, and my kids teach me every day to try harder the next day.

We are raising them to go out into the world to be decent human beings, Not robots.

So if you want to call me a “Perfect Mom” well I just joined your party late. We are all Perfect in our way! Enjoy your kids and forget about trying to be cookie cutter mommy.

-Love always, an Imperfect Mother

xoxo
Photo credit: google

How to stay Organized

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.