November update

  1. Thanksgiving was amazing. Curly spent the day with her mom which was bitter sweet. We got to spend the morning with Princess and Baby Z came for dinner. I was so thankful to be able to spend the day with all the kids I love.
  2. Bubba had his parent teacher conferences and his teacher says he has made great growth since last year.
  3. Since Bubbas birthday is in August I’m still thinking he should do one more year of preschool and wait till he is 6 to start Kindergarten. I regret not holding Princess back because I feel like academically and socially she will always be behind. Has anyone been in my shoes. What did you do?
  4. Curly also had her parent teacher conferences. She knows all her letters and numbers. They are going to move her from the self contained classroom to the general education preschool rooms. Yay!
  5. Curly and her mom visit for 8 hours on all weekends and holidays now! Yay! I am so happy for them but we do miss curly at home.
  6. Angel is talking like crazy. She sings and talks all the time. I can’t believe she is over a year and a half.
  7. Please pray for Angel and her brothers. A lot is happening with their case and I just keep praying the right things happen.
  8. We are going to Disney for spring break! Yay! So excited to take Bubba. I’m excited to take Angel and it will be the week of her 2nd birthday but I am also a little terrified to take a child that young. Any ideas?

October update

  1. Curly turned 4 today! Yay!!!
  2. We had Curly’s birthday party on Saturday and went trick or treating after (our town is weird and does trick or treating the Saturday before every year). My friends and family came in addition to Curly’s mom and grandma, Baby Z and his parents, and Bubba’s sister and brother and foster family. It was amazing to have everyone there celebrating Curly.
  3. I got Curly a trike for her birthday and I was so proud of her for getting right on and riding it.
  4. We dressed up as zoo animals this year. Princess was a peacock, Bubba was an alligator, Curly was a cheetah, Angel was a giraffe, and I was a monkey. Angel and Bubba had a hard time keeping their hoods on. Princess was allowed to go trick or treating by herself this year and she timed herself to see how fast she could get to all the houses. Angel did not like strangers giving her stuff and I held her the entire time, I should have brought a wagon.
  5. We painted pumpkins this year instead of carving. I am horrible at carving and my kids are to going to carve alone so I would have basically carved all the pumpkins alone and where is the fun in that.
  6. We went apple picking and pumpkin picking at the same time this year. I found a farm that does both and I was so thankful lol. My kids love doing both and I loved that they could do both at the same time.
  7. Bubba is learning more and more letters every day. Anyone have any fun game ideas to teach a very active 4 year old his letters and letter sounds?
  8. Angel takes off all her clothes and diaper now and wants to sit on the potty. I have never potty trained someone so young so I am unsure of what to do. Do I wait till she is a little older? If I potty train her now who has tips and tricks?
  9. Princess went to her first school dance. It was Halloween theme and the kids dressed up, she had the best costume according to her.
  10. This month when we saw Diva we went trick or treating at the zoo. It was an amazing time. We had never been but we will definitely go next year.

September update

Sorry this is late guys. I have been super busy. I know I said I would start blogging regularly but I haven’t. I am not sure what to blog about and I just don’t have the time right now. I have been posting more on Instagram. I might eventually start weekly updates again let’s see.

  1. Curly started unsupervised with her mom this month and her mom came over 12 times this month (I have to keep track for dcfs). It is going super well and once her mom gets a place we will start overnights.
  2. Though I love Angel and I feel so blessed to still have her in my life I am heartbroken that she is still in my home and not with any of her brothers. She had 3 older brothers and she has twin brothers who were born in July. I want her to be able to bond with them but for right now she sees them all once a week. I also have contact with both her parents and keep them updated on everything.
  3. Bubba’s case breaks my heart every day. I have limited contact with his parents. He does see his parents weekly. I feel bad that he also isn’t with his siblings. He has sibling visits 2 times a month and we still see Diva once or twice a month.
  4. Baby Z is doing really well. His parents still call and update me weekly and we see him as much as we can. He is a rough and tumble toddler now and keeps me on my toes when ever we have him.
  5. Baby Z pictures from when we first had him are showing up on my time hop and making me have super duper baby fever.
  6. I am letting kids handle more of their own problems. I have noticed when I don’t get involved they get a long a lot better.
  7. I need to lose weight for health reasons. I have started walking and riding bikes more with the kids and eating healthier.
  8. I have started dating. It isn’t going well lol. However, I am optimistic that there is somewhere out there that wants to be a part of this craziness.
  9. Curly’s birthday is on Halloween so we will be having a safari birthday party with her mom and grandma present.
  10. For Halloween this year we will all be animals :). So excited to show you.

August update (I never posted this sorry)

  1. Bubba and Princess had their birthday “party”. It was perfect. I love giving them an experience instead of a party because both of them get incredibly anxious being the center of attention and since we have them share their party now they are both so much happier and they love it. (I still insist on separate cakes though but this year they coordinated with Harley Quinn and Bat man)
  2. Princess is back in traditional school and started 6th grade, I can’t believe my baby is 11 and in 6th grade already.
  3. Princess got a phone for her birthday. I feel like I am in this weird stage where I don’t want to text her too much but at the same time I’m loving being able to hear from her more often.
  4. Bubba and Curly started their second year of preschool. They are both have the same teachers they have last year. Curly for sure has one more year of preschool because her birthday is October but Bubba could be going to Kindergarten next year (because he has an August birthday I feel he should have one more year of preschool but it isn’t up to me).
  5. All three littles moved up teachers at daycare. Bubba is in the Pre-K room and his teacher is fantastic. Curly is in the 3/4 room, I miss her old teacher (she used to be Princesses and Bubba when they were in the 2/3 and I love her so much, we still get to see her every morning). Angel is in the Toddler room.
  6. I started a new school year. It is my 6th year and I feel like each year I learn more and more about how to be a better teacher.
  7. I feel like we are getting into the routine of going back to school very quickly this year.
  8. I always need easy ideas to cook for dinner though. We have been eating a lot of sausage and chicken with steamed vegetables.
  9. Next month something exciting is happening. I will be supervising visits with Curly and her mom. I am hoping it goes well and they get more time together
  10. We are going camping a lot more this fall than usual. I am forcing myself to do things I love. I have stopped doing things I loved because they are more difficult with three (and sometimes four) kids and that isn’t fair to me or the kids .

July update

    On the 15th Bubba has officially been in care for 2 years. Please continue to pray that the right outcome comes out of all of this. I love my little buddy and want what is best for him.
    Princess’ dad got a job so I have her for the rest of the summer so he doesn’t have to get childcare.
    I have had the girls 5 months and I definitely feel like I have this parenting 4 kids thing down.
    We went on vacation to Colorado. It was a blast. I should probably make a list of what to do in Steamboat. I’m hoping we will be going back this year for Christmas.
    I have started emailing with Curlys mom. I am so proud of everything she has done so far. We have a great dialogue back and forth and I am so thankful that she sees me as a mentor and not a threat. Reunification goal is hopefully before Thanksgiving.
    I will have 7 (or 8 depending on the week) visits between my 3 children starting in a couple weeks. Like I’m glad that visits are increasing but it seemed to happen all at once.
    I only have 15 more days of Summer vacation. Where did the time go?
    I have been working hard planning Princess and Bubbas joint birthday party. It will be Batman and Harley Quinn themed and at a water park.
    What is on your fall to do list? I know it’s a little early but I am considering what to do since it all goes by so fast.
    We have already decided on costumes this year. We are going to be Zoo animals and since Curlys birthday is Halloween we are going to have a zoo themed party. Anyone have any ideas?

June update

  1. School is officially over and I have 2 months off work!
  2. I wish I could be home with my kids all year long. I love spending time with them.
  3. Any ideas of things to do around Chicago land area?
  4. Bubba and Curly’s goals this summer is to write their name and and learn their letters and numbers. Any fun ways to do that?
  5. Bubba has been through a lot lately but the hitting is getting worse and he ignoring directions. Any advice on how to stop hitting and to get him to listen?
  6. Princess is reading like crazy. Any good book series for an almost 11 year old who loves fantasy?
  7. Angel is getting more and more of a personality. She loved copying the older ones and tries to do things they can do like put on her own shoes, get her own juice, etc.
  8. We have a trip planned to Colorado at the end of July. Any ideas of what to do around steamboat springs?
  9. Princess and Bubba will have their joint birthday party at a water park in town. They are so excited and I’m just trying to think of ways to save money.
  10. I will start blogging more in September. What do you want to read about?

May update

(Sorry I forgot to submit this)

  1. I turned 27 this month. My children and friends made of very special for me.
  2. For my birthday I got a bike with a trailer and seat on the back so I can bike with all my children. We all love it.
  3. I am almost done with work (I am done June 15)
  4. I am planning a road trip this summer with all 4 kids and my parents. We are very excited.
  5. Curly and Bubba had their last day of preschool. Curly will be going to summer school this year.
  6. Princess is still being home schooled but will most likely go back to public school next year.
  7. Bubba is learning more and more letters based on us giving all the letters meanings.
  8. Angel is talking more and more. She says banana, apple, hi, bye, mama, papa, nana, bubbas name, up, done, and puppy.
  9. Curly is starting to eat a variety of foods. Does anyone have any good recipes for picky eaters?
  10. I will have my best friends daughter 5 days a week and Princess 3 days a week. Any ideas of summer activities.

April Update

  1. Angels birthday party was very low key like her. She ate the smash cake very gingerly and was more interested in the wrapping paper then the presents.
  2. Zs birthday party was a whole different story. Like him it was loud and crazy and he ate his cake like a wild man. His parents rented a bounce house and we had lots of people over. I was very excited to be a part of it.
  3. Angel is walking all the time now. Watching her walk around the zoo was adorable.
  4. Curly had an adorable little spring concert at school and she loved the dancing and movement.
  5. Bubba can ride a bike with training wheels (vs the trike he is used to).
  6. Bubba can write his name all by himself!!!!!
  7. Curly is doing a great job learning how to ride a trike.
  8. Now that it is nice out we are outside all the time. I love the fresh air.
  9. I am reading the Selection Series (after a student recommended it) and I absolutely love it.
  10. I truly feel like I am settling down and getting the hang of three kids.

10 Ways to help your former foster children’s parents after reunification

I miss Z terribly. But at the same time I am so excited for his parents and so proud of how hard they worked. They still send pictures and I get to see him. Though I don’t know how long that will last I appreciate the fact that right now they are making his transition home easier on all of us (especially Bubba)

  1. Let them know their child’s schedule/likes and dislikes/etc. It will help the child transition and the parents will most likely be thankful. Zs parents asked me for all that information.
  2. Send their child with as much as you can. I’m not saying you should spend a lot of money or anything. However, when I knew Z was most likely going home I spent his stipend on clothes the next two sizes up and toys he will be ready for in a couple months.
  3. Let them know they can contact you with any questions. And don’t judge them for the questions they ask lol.
  4. Let them know that you consider them family and will support them. A lot of families part of the foster care don’t have the support they need. Offer to be that support.
  5. Offer to babysit. It will give them a break and you get baby cuddles.
  6. Invite them to family events. Zs parents came to our family Christmas. We all got to get see Z and his parents felt a sense of community.
  7. Continue to meet up with them in the community. If you don’t feel comfortable inviting them to your home, meet other ways.
  8. Be a mentor to them when it comes to parenting. Though I am not an expert on parenting at all. I have noticed that Zs parents ask me a lot of parenting questions and instead of judging them for not knowing, I support them.
  9. Help them find community resources. Sometimes there are resources out there that they don’t know about yet.
  10. Pray for them all