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.

Weekly update December 10

  1. Baby Z was reunited with his family! I am so happy for them that it’s hard to even be sad. But my house is very quiet since he left. His parents are sending me lots of adorable pictures which is helping the sadness. I feel like I should be more sad but honestly I’m so happy for them it’s hard to be too sad for myself. This is what I went into foster care for and it finally happened.
  2. I bought baby Z and his family Christmas presents. I had been waiting for the outcome of court to buy him presents. Just because he went home doesn’t mean I won’t give them gifts though. I got the family matching stockings with their names on it, a Santa plate with Zs name on it, and an ornament. I also got Z a fun little toy for 12+. They have a lot of things for him now so I wanted to get something for later.
  3. Bubba and I did nothing Saturday. It was awesome just to play with my little buddy all day. I think he likes having all the attention for a little bit. He is struggling having his room all to himself.
  4. Our tree now has ornaments. I had just lights because Z got into everything but now I don’t have to worry about that.
  5. Bubba decorated a ginger bread house. It was funny to watch. Only like 3 things ended up in his mouth.
  6. Bubba is officially out of pull-ups. He hasn’t worn them during the day in weeks. Now he no longer needs them for bed either. And he hasn’t had an accident in weeks. Yay!
  7. We saw Bubbas mom again. We met at a museum so they could play, it was a lot of fun. Bubba didn’t stop building the whole time.
  8. I got an early Christmas present. My parents got me a new dresser (I have had the same one since my 5th birthday) I love it and I feel grown up lol.
  9. I finally have presents for everyone. Now I just have to wrap. Ugh.
  10. Lots of court days and visits this next week. Pray for us

10 supportive things foster parents do

Yesterday I posted about the things foster parents say in Facebook groups that piss me off. However, there is a lot they do that I love.

  1. Give supportive advice. Whether it is about parenting or doing hair there are some people who are always supportive.
  2. Kindly disagree with you. We all aren’t going to agree but I appreciate it when people do it kindly instead of like an asshole.
  3. Offer to share clothing/supplies. Having a new placement is hard. Even though you tried to be prepared you can’t have everything you could possibly need in every situation. I love when others are willing to help each other out.
  4. Share discounts. Some people get upset that we are always looking for discounts on experiences and trips: however, a small discount could be the reason I could take my family to Disney world, so please share that stuff.
  5. Ask for advice from former foster youth. They are the experts. When you want to do know how a situation will effect your foster children or how you should handle something they are the ones to ask.
  6. Refer you to research/laws. I love when people include specific details/links so that i know what the law is or what research says is best practice.
  7. Refer you to professionals. Just because we have experience doesn’t mean we know the answers. Therapists, doctors, and social workers are always they people to ask.
  8. Send prayers. Sometimes there is nothing you can do but pray.
  9. Suggest books. Especially when it comes to parenting traumatized children.!
  10. Celebrate the small victories. Your foster kid didn’t swear at thanksgiving dinner? Yay! Your foster kid sat the whole time for time out and didn’t kick you? Yay! Your foster child let you brush their hair? Yay?

10 things other foster parents say that piss me off

I am part of a lot of country wide foster parent group (with thousands of members) and some of the things people say on there make me wonder if people foster for the right reasons. I try to assume positive attention but sometimes it’s hard.

  1. They ignore what former foster youth have to say. This one makes me so furious. If they are saying something is offensive believe it.
  2. They talk bad about the biological parents. No just no! You don’t know what they have been through so save the judgement. Your role is to take care of the kids not judge the biological parents.
  3. They complain that they can’t hit foster children. If the only form of discipline you can think of is to hit a child then you shouldn’t be a parent to begin with:
  4. The celebrate termination of rights. I understand that this child has probably been with you a while and you want to adopt them. Go right ahead and celebrate the adoption. But the termination is a sad moment. A parents heart is breaking and we should never celebrate the breaking apart of a family even if it means your family gains a member.
  5. They call foster children brats. Nope!!! No child is brat. They just haven’t been properly taught.
  6. They act superior to the biological parents. You have no idea what their childhood was like or even their adult life. Don’t judge.
  7. They complain about visits on holidays . I get it. However the kids want to see their family on holidays too. Just have the caseworker pick up the kids where ever you were planning on being.
  8. They act like there bond is stronger then the biological parents bond. You both have a bond and there should be no comparison. Even if you have had he child since birth their parents have a special bond through dna and that should be nurtured.
  9. They complain about having to do extra for the parents. I get that you don’t want to go above and beyond constantly (I don’t either). But if it means your foster child will be happy, then do it.
  10. They don’t support other foster parents. I know I just complained about other foster parents. Though I hate when they say this I don’t yell or insult them. I try to educate and help them grow. We should all be there for each other.

10 Ways to Teach Young Kids to be Thankful

Bubba is at the age where he understands more about the Holidays. We have been working hard this month on teaching him to be Thankful for things.

  1. Teach them to say thank you. This is the first step to teaching children to be thankful. We are even working with Z on saying thank you in sign language.
  2. Thank them. Show them that you are thankful for them and what they do for the family.
  3. Model being thankful. I say things like I am thankful for Bubba, baby Z, hot chocolate, etc.
  4. Talk about what you are thankful during dinner. This helps me model it but it allows him to practice and he even says funny things like hamburgers and hotdogs.
  5. Prayer. Praying to God and thanking him for what we are thankful for is a great way to model being thankful.
  6. Go on a nature walk. Teach kids to be thankful for what is in nature.
  7. Have them do something for their siblings. And teach them not to expect anything in return.
  8. Have them pack up some toys to give to kids in need. This helps clean out your house for Christmas as well.
  9. Make food in a food kitchen. If your children are old enough.
  10. Have them do chores (and thank them for it instead of pay them). This might seem like a weird one but it shows kids to appreciate all the work that is done in the house.

Weekly update November 19

  1. Bubba started tracing his name.
  2. Bubba is becoming way more independent. He cleaned the whole living room by himself! It was awesome
  3. Princess built two robots get first week of homeschool and says she enjoys it.
  4. Our family Christmas photos came back. Omg do I have cute kids.
  5. Z reached out for me to hold him for the first time ever. But now when anyone else is holding him he reaches out for me.
  6. Z learned how to pull himself in things and has tried to climb the stairs a couple times. Uh oh
  7. Z is going through a growth spurt and has done nothing but eat and sleep for 2 days.
  8. We did absolutely nothing all weekend except nap and it was amazing. We played and had fun together.
  9. For the first time in weeks I am all caught up on laundry. Seriously this is amazing.
  10. I have decided to read the Harry Potter books again. Anyone else want to join me?

10 things that made me smile this week

I have had a very stressful but overall good week. The week before conferences is always a little crazy. But there was a lot of laughter and smiles this week.

  1. I got a lovely note from Baby Zs parents thanking me for sending pictures and taking care of him. This is why I foster.
  2. Bubba is going to get more visit time with his parent and siblings!!!
  3. Bubba has started saying how much he misses Baby Z during the day and it’s so sweet.
  4. When I ask him if he missed me he says no. Hey at least he is honest.
  5. One of my 7th grade students walked in and introduced himself to the student working at the table. They have math group together once a week and have been to school together since preschool. Oh and they are also identical twins. I could not stop laughing at this one.
  6. My 8th grade student did amazing on a major project that he did 95% of on his own. (Seriously this is amazing)
  7. I had students asking to work with. (That never happens)
  8. I learned that there is a car bottle warmer (seriously best thing I have ever bought on amazon)
  9. I found a hot wheels advent calendar for Bubba.
  10. My sister comes home in 5 days!!!!

10 things to do the night before court

Tomorrow I have a big court date for one of my kids. Court dates make me very nervous when I am unsure what is going to happen. This is what I do the night before court to help me get through.

  1. Email the caseworker, casa, and anyone else involved and update on the child. I usually do this a week before so that they can include any new information in the court.
  2. Asks questions. My big problem with tomorrow’s court date is no one has the same information and that is why I’m so stressed out. Don’t be afraid to asks questions and make sure things are clarified.
  3. Ask caseworker to call you after court. If you are like me and cannot go to court talk to the caseworker and ask her to call you after. My caseworkers have always been great about it.
  4. Make sure all of your notes are updated. I’m going to make a post about this eventually but I keep an updated calendar showing when doctors appointments and visits are as well as notes on health, behavior, and developmental milestones.
  5. Update their life book. You don’t know if they are going home or not so make sure everything is updated and they have every pictures and tidbit of information you want them to have.
  6. Cuddle your babies. Give them big hugs. They have no idea that someone they have never met will be making decisions for them tomorrow. But you do. So hold them tight.
  7. Spend the night at home. We are always so busy. Tonight we are just going to stay home and spend time together as a family instead of going out and about.
  8. Pray. I pray every night that what is best for my children happens. I don’t pray for a certain outcome because only God knows what is best.
  9. Relax. Do something to get your mind off of everything going on.
  10. Go on with life as planned. The hardest thing I have had to learn is that you cannot worry about things that you can’t control so just move on.

Weekly update November 12th

  1. We had family pictures. It was amazing that we were able to coordinate with everyone’s schedule and have Princess be there as well. I needed a new picture for my fireplace because the current one is Hailee and I five years ago.
  2. Baby Z learned to crawl and he crawls everywhere. He gets super angry when you are changing his diaper because he can’t crawl.
  3. Baby Z turned 7 months. Not only is he crawling but he is eating solid food and trying to pull himself up off of everything.
  4. Princess is starting homeschool. It is most likely only temporary but I think it is a great idea for her. Does anyone have any good resources?
  5. Bubba learned how to verbally spell his name. We are currently working on pointing and naming the letters of his name. Does anyone have any ideas to help with that or to help him learn how to write it?
  6. I went to the Bears Packers game with my best friends Sunday and it was amazing to have a day without kids. Too bad the bears lost.
  7. It seems like we are all finally getting over our colds. It seems like we have had this thing for months.
  8. I am starting to make everyone’s Christmas lists. I’m so behind because I’m not sure where either kids case is going so I am afraid to buy too much ahead of time. We do the something you want, something to need, something to wear, something to read.
  9. I’m so busy with work that I’m struggling to get things done at home so our house is a little more disorganized then usually. I can’t wait for thanksgiving break.
  10. We got our first snow!!!! It was only a little bit but we got to play outside in it.

10 ways parenting made me an A-hole recently 

I realized recently sometimes I am inadvertently an a-hole because either I am tired, distracted or simply because I am a parent.

  1. When I had to cut someone off because  I realized I had to turn the other way to go to Home Depot.
  2. When I asked the lady at the McDonald’s drive thru to repeat herself 4 times because both my kids were crying.
  3. When I held up traffic for about 30 seconds in the same drive thru line so that I could help the crying kids. 
  4. When I held up the Walgreens line because I had approximately a million questions about my child’s prescription.
  5. Anytime I have ever used WIC especially when I am trying to use multiple coupons at once. 
  6. Anytime I have tried to use a clothing voucher
  7. When my kid cried while in the doctor waiting room because he was bored and wanted to crawl and I wouldn’t let him. 
  8. When I missed two meetings at work because I was home with a sick kid.
  9. When I didn’t have time to breakdown all my boxes before putting them in the recycle bin (sorry neighbors)
  10. When I forgot to send Bubba’s library books back.

So everyone I pissed off I am really sorry.