You are strong!

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This past month has been a roller coaster, Mentally and physically speaking. Everyone always asks if you are “Okay?” I find that question becoming redundant. No, I am not okay, but yes I will eventually be okay. I know they ask out of concern, and it is much appreciated, but sometimes I just want a hug and someone to tell me it is going to be okay. This journey is challenging but worth every minute. Only takes some time to get back to feeling normal again and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I can tell you one thing is making time for yourself and family pay off in the long run. I want this blog to be about a few things this journey has taught u because I know when I am reading blogs I want to learn about how people dealt with certain situations because I could go through the same thing.

Oct 7th of this year, our middle daughter reunified with her aunt and uncle. It was a bittersweet moment for us. I knew her family is where she needs to be, but for the last eight months, I had watched this beautiful child become a beautiful little person. She has truly taught me so much as a mother but nothing prepares you for the unexpected.  We dealt with the death of her father and the separation of her older sister, during those months. Her older sister had to be placed in treatment once they both came into care. During that time I remember her older sister trying to break her ankles and feeling lost at what to do. I had never dealt with a child who was so angry. Once they admitted her sister to the hospital, I was sitting there talking to her and could see that deep down she just needed someone to be there for her. I stayed at the hospital with her for a whole week till they could get her into a mental hospital. I knew that she needed me and I needed her! She kept me distracted from one of the most heart breaking moments I had to deal with as a foster mom. It was a stressful week because we were also in the middle of transitioning our son back with his bio mom. One of the roughest weeks I have had since becoming a Foster Mom. I look back at that week and realize it taught me so much. I am strong, and I’m built for this Mom life.
I need to make sure I give it my all, for my kids! These kids come into care and have no idea what to expect. I can only imagine the fear they have stepping into my home, but if I continue to stay strong for myself, I can be strong for them as well.
When our middle daughter’s dad passed away while she was still in care, I tried so hard to prepare myself for the outcome. I expected her to be sad and depressed. Shockingly, she was just numb to the situation. Again, every case we deal with as foster parents teach us something new as well.
Two days after his death we received a phone call that our oldest daughters uncle had passed. Talk about a double whammy. Once again, I was preparing myself to tell her and figuring out how to help her deal with this. She had a harder time dealing with his passing than our middle daughter with her father. I am not sure if it had anything to do with our support for them or what. I have just realized so much this year, and one thing is EVERY child deals with stress in entirely different ways.
I have never dealt with death personally. So trying to understand what they are going through was difficult on my part. I tried reading books on how to cope and educated myself on that subject. I can tell you from experience no book or google search is going to give you the advice you need when it comes to death. Sadly, it is something I am going to have to experience to know what emotions they were dealing with, To understand what they needed from me during the most robust moment in their life.
A few months after their deaths is so vivid to me. I can remember feeling disconnected from my girls because if either girl was trying to deal with their loss, I wasn’t sure how to react. Of course, I offered hugs, long walks, car rides and just anything to help ease their pain but I missed the biggest picture. I was trying so hard to try to help them escape the memories. What they needed was someone to talk with, to express the beautiful moments about them. One evening, I walked into their room, and they were talking about memories, and I could feel their pain. It finally occurred to me that they just needed to talk. I am learning daily on how to parent and how to deal with everything that comes with fostering but the best thing I can say to anyone who may be doubting becoming foster parents, is you do the best you can with what you have. God will guide you; it may take a minute but worth every lesson taught to you.

You got this!

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*Pictures- google-strong

5 tips to stay organized

5 ways to stay organized as a Foster Parent
1. Color Coordinate
2. Buy a planner
3. Have a spot for homework and backpacks
4. Chore list
5. Filing cabinet

I know many people panic being first-time foster parents. I did! I decided to share some ways to stay organized. I hope it helps with those who struggle with being first-time foster parents or anyone who is needing help to get organized with kids.

 

COLOR COORDINATE

Color coordinating has been a lifesaver! I purchase everything from the dollar store when it comes to baskets and totes. I buy bulk toothbrushes, and brushes off my amazon prime account and make sure they come in all different colors, plus they come cheaper that way. A visit to Walmart and they have a variety of separate color towels and wash clothes. The pens I use for my planner I purchased at Sam’s club and bought the color bundle set. When it comes to their lotion and hair product I use my label maker to put their names on the items and highlight it according to their color. It may seem like a lot of work, but the payoff is so worth it. If children leave things laying around, I don’t have to search I just look to see what color it is. I have a closet that I put everyone’s basket including Dad and I we have all our toiletries in there as well as our towel folded in the front. Our closet is located right before the bathroom, so this has been very effective when it comes to staying organized. We also noticed that new placements aren’t so lost when trying to figure out what is theirs and where it belongs.

BUY A PLANNER

I use The Happy Planner to stay organized, it has a primary calendar, and it also has the day to day planning. I have a blog all about on my page if you want to know all the details. Whoever has an appt or school functioning I use my color coordinating system to manage my planner for their events or mine. Typically try to use sticky notes for reminders throughout the day so that I can stay focused. It helps with sports, visits, projects and so much more. This organization tip helps when you get a new placement in because Those next 48 hours are hectic. So being organized right off the bat will help with a smoother transition.

HOMEWORK AND BACKPACK SPOT

If you can find a spot in your house for backpacks and homework, I will encourage you to do so. If you are not able, my suggestion to you is set a homework time so that it stays organized where ever you decide to set the kids down to do homework. In our house, we have the backpack wall. I just used command hooks to hold the backpacks up off the ground and spray painted them to the color of each child. IF you don’t want a wall of bags, my other suggestion would be a spot in their room, so it is still off the ground and organized as well. Do what works well for your family. Everyone knows that Our homework spot is our dining room table! Every kid knows that if someone is there doing their homework, it is quite a time! I have extra pencils and paper laying out every day after school just in case. I use my cooking timer during reading to time the kids. Some of my children prefer to go into their room to read which is fine the timer is loud enough for them to hear it.

CHORE LIST

Every day after school everyone has a chore, they first do their homework and typically while I am cooking dinner they will start on chores. Mothers dream to walk out of the kitchen to a spotless house, right? If only but it is the thought that counts. You usually get kids who 1. Have never cleaned 2. They had to clean for punishment 3. They hate to clean and will throw a fit to get out of it 4. Love to clean.
At our house, we use an award system, and I am not talking like do a chore, and I will buy you a video game. NO! It is more like do a task, and we will earn our way up to a dessert from McDonald’s. I don’t want to just hand my kids a treat after one duty I want them to learn that when they get older, you must work hard and then comes the gift of life. I have had some many people roll their eyes, but I feel like in my household this system works! I get asked so many times how I raise my kids to be so respectful and well mannered. I don’t want to sugar coat life even with the smallest things like chores.
I made each child a magnetic chore chart ( I plan on making a separate blog on how I made them) It is labeled Monday through Sunday each day I change out their chores. I even have a “FREE DAY” magnetic that the kids try so hard to earn. They can earn it by helping mom without being asked or helping someone else as well. Using their manners while out in public or not fighting with their siblings. There are many ways to earn the “FREE DAY” I also included an everyday side, and I have magnetics made for showers, homework, brush teeth, put on lotion, do your hair, read, etc., everyday things.
The chore list has been a fantastic organization trick because the kids know what is expected of them. They just move they’re magnetic to the “COMPLETE” box, and all I need to do is go check the list and to see what they have done. It has improved our oldest son with being more responsible which I am loving watching this boy grow.

FILING CABINET

My good ol’ filing cabinet that I am quickly outgrowing. I am going to give you a tip just buy the medium size. I bought the smallest one because in my head I thought If I don’t have the room I don’t need it, and if it becomes cluttered it is time to organize it. Wrong! I need more space for filing. Utilizing my color coordinating tip I do it in the filing cabinet as well. So, each child has their file but I forgot I own business, a house and I also have bills! I went in only thinking about the kids. I purchased a bigger one keeping my organization tip in mind don’t go to big, or it will give me a reason to keep filing till I am knee deep in a mess of clutter. I purchased all my folders on amazon prime. It seems like anything that has a bundle of colors is cheaper which helps me in the long run. I use my label maker to stay organized with the filing system. I file by oldest to youngest as well. Now when they go home, I just send them back with the whole file. Any artwork or grades anything that you want mom and dad to have. I keep the things they have drawn me or written to me, and I put all of those in a separate folder for memories. Cause man oh man it is nice to go down memory lane to see just how far these kids have come.

I hope these 5 Organization tips have given you an idea of what may work for your family. If you would like to see any of these tips in a more detailed blog or have any questions, just let me know down in the comments below

– Momma K and the Bunch

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

spooktacular drink pic    My kids have been begging me to do things for Halloween and I came up with this drink for them. They loved it so much yesterday, I decided to go with it and every day after school I will come up with something Spooktacular for them.

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Ingredients 

  1. 1 cup Trumoo Orange Scream Low-fat Milk
  2. 1/3 cup Pineapple Sherbet
  3. The Original Reddi Wip
  4. Halloween Oreos
  5. One Glass cup

I simply put the Pineapple sherbet in the cup first. I added the Orange milk and whipped the Reddi Wip on top. Added some crushed Oreos on top!

Just like that you have a Spooktacular Drink that the kids will love!

My children joked all night that they had a gool and goblin drink.

If you all try it out  I am sure you can change the sherbet flavor or even the milk. My kids love pineapple that is why I decided on that flavor of sherbet and of course the orange milk simply because it had to do with Halloween.

Let me know in the comments below if you tried it or even plan on trying it out.

-Momma k and the Bunch

 

Amazing conference

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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

The happy planner: foster parent life

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I use Create 365 The happy planner to stay organized with our busy life.

It has helped out so much and after many buys later I am very pleased with this one.

So I ended up paying a little over $21, which isn’t bad at all considering  I purchased the planner and sticker book.

The planner includes a box calendar and individual slot dates. Multiple other little features that can be utilized as well.

The Front

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It includes 18 months, notes, goal list, birthday list and so much more.

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The date slots Begin on Monday and end on Sunday. has additional space below for notes

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has the basic calendar in the beginning of each month

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I also purchased Stickers , I bought the Mom life addition. I was excited to see what stickers were going to be in there, I personally will be purchasing other ones. Only reason why is because I unfortunately wont be utilizing majority of those stickers. I enjoyed the purpose for them and it makes the planner fun and creative as well.

The Happy Planner- Sticker book: Mom life addition

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I am hoping to have a YouTube video up soon about the planner to give you all more detail on the planner.

https://www.amazon.com/Create-365-Happy-Planner-Beautiful/dp/B01NBJKTVM/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1505761033&sr=8-5&keywords=create+365

 

 

 

What inspires you?

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Growing up I knew I always wanted to be a mom

But I knew I had to be financially stable to do so. I went to college and got a job as a certified nursing assistant. I worked as a CNA for five years before I decided to change my career. I loved being a CNA, but my passion was hair and makeup. I went back to school and received my certificate within ten months. I immediately started my career, and within four short months, I was writing a business plan.

In 2013, I had purchased my first hair salon. I was so dedicated and motivated. I loved what I was doing! The first time in my life I had a talent that was taking off like a wildfire. Business was going great, and I was enjoying every minute of it. 2 years after we opened the doors, I started to think about starting a family. I knew it had to be through adoption and I was ready to take that leap. My husband and I would joke he would be a stay at home daddy because I couldn’t see myself leaving my job to take care of my kids full time. Little did I know God had other plans for me.

In 2016 we started the process, business was still going strong. May 2016 we get our first placement. They were 10 and seven at the time. I figured out my work schedule and clients were more than understanding of having to take kids to and from school. It worked out perfect. It wasn’t until we started to get infants is when the business began to get rocky. Again I have always wanted to be a mom, but I didn’t realize how much time and effort it took to play that role. I decided to stop taking new clients, and if some of my clients hadn’t seen me in 4 months, I dropped them as clients. I wanted to make sure I had a strict schedule at work so I could focus on my babies after work.

At this time I was enjoying being a mom. I couldn’t get enough of it. I was focusing so hard on my little family I was neglecting my business, and it was showing but deep down I just didn’t care. I still went to work, but it was slowing down a lot because I wasn’t staying committed to my clients. I was giving 110% to my children and was realizing quick just how much my love and passion for my business was dying. I love my shop and clients but I was given this opportunity to be a mom, and I can’t seem to focus on my business. Honestly, I am okay with that. I still see very few clients now, and I enjoy the relaxed schedule at work.

It is crazy to see how life was four years ago. Now I can’t wait to spend any given moment with my children. Motherhood to me has been a complete blessing, and I want to make sure I give it my all. I never thought I would be living this life after I was told I was not able to have kids. Being determined to become a mother one way or another I wasn’t going to take no for an answer.

I am having a hard time dealing with the relationships I have made in the last four years with clients. I feel like I have failed them but I know they all understand why I made the decision I did, I am not leaving any customer without any notice, and I have taken care of them to make sure they have a new stylist. I just miss that connection with them, but I am loving all the new connections I am making with these children.

My passion for my business may have died down, but my love for my children has grown so much. I hope to make something of my business later in life, but for now, I will raise these children to become successful in life. I feel blessed with how life turned out, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. It has shown me so much and has allowed me to find my real passion… Being a MOM!