10 tips to have a smooth plane trip

I am on a plane today with my parents, Bubba, and Princess. Here are some tips to make the process smooth.

  1. Bring 2 changes of clothes for everyone. You never know what could happen.
  2. Bring toys and movies they have never played with before. If the toys are new (or new to them), it will make them more intrigued to play with them for a longer time (at least you hope)
  3. Bring a stroller. Seriously. Even though Bubba rarely is in a stroller, I have brought an umbrella stroller to make going from gate to gate easier.
  4. Try to reduce the number of bags you bring. We have one checked bag and two carry ons between the three of us.
  5. Bring eye masks and neck pillows (if they will help your kids sleep)
  6. Have newly potty trained kids in pull-ups. Bubba will be wearing pull-ups for the whole day: Even though he has not had an accidents in weeks, I don’t want to set him up for failure.
  7. Bring games and movies everyone will enjoy. Having two kids with a 7 year age difference can he hard. I always try to make sure there are things we can all do together when they both want my attention.
  8. Bring lots and lots of snacks. Also try to buy food at a restaurant in the airport so that you can eat more then snacks.
  9. Go to the bathroom before getting on the plane. I try to avoid airport bathrooms at all costs. There is no way to do it this trip but it doesn’t mean I won’t try.
  10. Relax Traveling with kids is stressful but you are making memories with your kids. Don’t worry about what others think.

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

Week of 12/24

  1. I am on winter break!!! Yay!
  2. It was a very rough week and I felt like I wasn’t doing enough for people (especially my kids)
  3. Bubba has an ear infection. Poor baby. However I only knew about it because he had a bad cough, he never complained of pain. What a tough cookie.
  4. We had princess for Thursday and Friday. We exchanged gifts and the kids saw Santa. I wish I could post the picture because it looks adorable.
  5. Princess got a chrome book for Christmas. Anyone have any game or app suggestions for chrome books?
  6. Princess dyed the bottom of her hair blue, it looks amazing.
  7. We saw Diva Friday night and there Mom. The kids saw Santa and had Christmas with their mom, it was a lot of fun.
  8. I saw Hamilton Saturday. oh em gee!
  9. Tonight we went to church and followed our Christmas Eve traditions. I didn’t get to celebrate last year.
  10. Tomorrow is Christmas yay! Z and his parents are coming to our Christmas dinner.

10 lazy things for your elf on the shelf to do

Things your elf on the shelf can do that don’t require you to clean up

  1. Have them read a book
  2. Literally just sit them on a shelf
  3. Have them bring a note from Santa with a good deed your child should do
  4. Have them bring a small gift
  5. Have them sliding down the banister
  6. Have them sleeping in a doll bed
  7. Have them making your child’s lunch (I saw this on Facebook and thought it was genius)
  8. Sit them on top of a fan or chandelier
  9. Put them in your stockings (possibly with a little treat)
  10. Have them write on your whiteboard. (A lot less messy than a mirror)

10 business ideas all moms would love

Some of these may already exist and if they do please send me links.

  1. Drive thru grocery store. Not delivery. But an actual drive thru. Like when I run out of something and don’t want to get the kids out of the car.
  2. In Home nail/hair service. Okay I’m pretty sure this exists but probably only for people who can afford to spend a lot of money. I would love to get my hair cut in the comfort of my own home while my children run around like crazy people.
  3. In door play land. Alright I know these exist too. However there aren’t enough of them that aren’t attached to a fast food restaurant. It would even be nice to have them in actual restaurants.
  4. Baby swimming lessons where you don’t have to get in the water. Sure it’s great bonding time but sometimes I don’t feel like it. It would be nice if they had enough instructors to take them all in.
  5. Doctors who come to your home. I think a few of these still exist but it would be nice if a lot more doctors did this. (Oh and had more appointments after 3 for working parents).
  6. Places for foster children to have visits. I am not talking about a room in the DCFS office but a place that has age appropriate toys, cribs for babies, changing tables, toddler toilets, and maybe even a kitchen to cook. Throwing kids and parents in a room isn’t giving them real family time (and don’t even get me started about McDonald’s).
  7. Family restrooms with changing tables and toddler potty’s. EVERYWHERE. And not just one.
  8. A company that does a buy one donate one to a kid in foster care. I can’t figure out what we would sell yet. But there are a lot of companies that help out other countries what about kids in our own country?!?!
  9. 24/7 daycare The daycare director where all my kids have gone was telling me about how she would love to open a 24/7 daycare for parents who have night shifts.
  10. Childcare in hotels I would love if more places did this. Especially for single parents traveling alone.

Anyone have anymore?

Weekly update December 17

  1. I shattered the screen to my phone getting out of my car. Ugh
  2. I saw Star Wars Saturday! Yay!
  3. Bubba is having horrible night terrors lately. I think it’s because he is alone in his room. Anyone have any tips?
  4. Bubba can trace his name! Yay!
  5. Bubba had his winter party at school and my mom was his room mom. I love that my parents are so involved.
  6. Court dates are never ending for Bubba but nothing seems to ever happen. His GAL finally is doing his job though so YAY. Please pray that the whatever is best for these four children is what will happen.
  7. I saw Baby Z. His parents invited me, my parents, and Bubba to a breakfast with Santa. Omg he reached out to me and it melted my heart. His parents are doing so well.
  8. Baby Zs parents asked me to be his God Mother. I melted. It was so sweet.
  9. Baby Z now walks when you hold his hands. He has grown so much!
  10. Only 4 more days of work for me!

10 favorite things to do with my children at home during the holidays

I posted my favorite Holiday traditions but here are my favorite things to do with my kids at home during the holidays.

  1. Decorate my house together. I don’t care how long it takes. Decorating the house is a family activity.
  2. Decorate ginger bread house. I love decorating gingerbread houses. I enjoy making it look pretty and eating all the candy. However, we are doing pre-put together gingerbread houses this year that the kids just decorate.
  3. Taking lots of pictures. I take pictures of everything to begin with (it’s important for me to have something to look back at when the kids have left my house). However, I go a little obsessive over Christmas. I want lots of pictures.
  4. Having matching outfits/pajamas. Whether it’s to go see Santa or just sit around the house, my kids have an extreme amount of holiday outfits.
  5. Have the elves in the shelf visit us. However, we have pretty lazy elves on the shelf, they mostly just move to different spots in our house and possibly do a couple funny things. The elves do go all out for the elf on the shelf breakfast . My parents come over and we eat a big breakfast.
  6. Watch Christmas movies with popcorn and hot chocolate. This is always a fun time and it’s good family time.
  7. Drinking hot chocolate. Drinking hot chocolate is an activity alone in my house. We have marshmallows, sprinkles, whip cream, etc.
  8. Read stories together. We love to read together every night. However, there is something special about reading those special Christmas books.
  9. Play in the snow. I love the first snow and I love to go out with my kids and see their joy.
  10. Making Christmas cookies. We love baking and eating Christmas cookies. Sometimes we have a baking party. But other time we just make a mess in the kitchen and have fun.

10 Ways to Make the Holidays Special for Your Foster Child’s Biological Parents

  1. Be understanding. This is a very hard time for them. I can’t imagine how they feel during this time. I try to remember that when they complain more or text me constantly.
  2. Include them. If you can invite them to some part of your holiday tradition that is great! If not maybe you can send a video.
  3. Try not to interfere with the visits. You are allowed to see your family as well for holidays but try to make sure your foster children can spend time with there’s as well.
  4. Share lots of pictures. I sent Baby Zs parents picture in a “My first …” onesie for every holiday. I sent pictures to both kids parents of our Halloween costumes, our thanksgiving dinner, getting our Christmas tree, taking pictures with Santa, etc.
  5. Send the kids in holiday outfits to visits. Parents love to see kids dressed up and then they are able to take their own family pictures.
  6. Make them special presents. For thanksgiving we made them pumpkins with little turkeys on them and for Christmas we made reindeer pictures that they can hang up in their house for every Christmas.
  7. Have the child make something for other family members as well. It’s not only the parents that are missing them this holiday season.
  8. Ask them about their traditions. And try to include those traditions as much as possible.
  9. Ask them what they plan to get the child. I have had a couple instances where we get the children the same thing. If you do communicate with the parents somehow you might want to ask them ahead of time.
  10. Treat their child special. The best thing you can do for the parent is to give their child a good holiday.

10 Ways to make the holidays special for your foster child

  1. Share your traditions. Tell them about what your family does for the holidays (or what traditions you loved as a kid). Include them in your traditions.
  2. Ask them about their traditions. Is there a food they liked? Or things they did? And try to figure out what Santa does at their house.
  3. Make new traditions. See if there is anything they have always wanted to do.
  4. Decorate your house. Not only should you decorate your house but you should have them help. Maybe they can make something or they can help you pick something out. This year all my decorations were things the boys could play with.
  5. Buy them special trinkets. At my house we all have stockings with our names on it so I make sure foster children have them as well. I also buy them special ornaments as well as a family ornament with all our names and years.
  6. Take lots of pictures. These will help you remember your holiday together. But they are also a special memory for your children.
  7. Read books. Books are magically. They make children excited and they can teach them what to expect.
  8. Make art work. I love holiday art work. You can make things to decorate your house with and keepsakes for both of you.
  9. Keep it small. Last year I broke my mom’s heart into a million pieces when I told her I wouldn’t be going to their house for Christmas morning because I knew Diva would be overwhelmed and I wanted to limit her time in a crowded space. It ended up working out really well but it was a hard thing for my mom to accept.
  10. Try not to have too high of expectations. If the child is older the holidays could be a huge trigger for them. Try to play it by ear andhave them tell you what they are comfortable with.