Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Problems of Being a "Foster" Mom

I'm sort of a foster mom, and sort of not. Either way, a lot of the training we receive around here is the same as foster parents receive. We are currently studying something called The Connected Child. The primary author is a woman called Karyn Purvis. This isn't the first training I've received based on her work, and frankly, she is fantastic. If you are or know someone with an adopted or foster child, this is a great practical, scientific, Christian resource: The Institute of Child Development.

Any ways, I digress from my point. The problem with being in a position like this is that your parenting is constantly on show. To a large degree, the success of the children in our care is based on our success. Take your normal mom fears about whether or not you're doing a good job raising your children, etc, and blow it up. Add in there the fact that not only is your spouse and probably friends and family are watching how you parent, but your boss and co-workers are as well!

Reading through this current resource, I've been both encouraged as a parent and discouraged.

Discouraged because I see some of the things I should be doing and don't always take the time to do or naturally turn towards doing. However, a lot of these things are just ideas that I can practice putting into place. Habits to form, per say.

The encouragement side is the research on the stages of development and how appropriate early connections make such a difference. I find it fascinating how science has proven that not only can obvious things like early neglect, hunger, drugs, alcohol, or abuse affect the development of children, but the very stress levels of a pregnant mother can have a huge impact on the future neurological development of an unborn child. The cortisol levels of a newborn can be measured as much higher than normal when the mother's stress levels have been high prior to birth.

Makes you wonder if this might be the unstated connection to colic in babies, since doctors can't seem to find a reason for it in many cases? Just a random thought of mine.

How is this all encouraging? Because as I type this (well, at this point--not when I started), I sit with a healthy, generally happy little 2-month old boy in my lap. He just spoke to me for a good ten minutes about the state of life--demanding and receiving my full attention to his punch lines and observations. I have a two year old little girl, happily munching on chips and avocado, who is secure in knowing that if she needs a cuddle, all she needs to do is ask and she shall receive. She also knows boundaries and manners and other important, interpersonal skills.

My home may not be in perfect shape (definitely needs a good sweep--dog hairs), but the two children who I have been blessed to grow within me and raise from the very beginning, are doing okay. So therefore, I can't be doing that bad as a parent. I hope.

Now to translate that into my other current five daughters who definitely all have some of those poor beginnings that now make life so difficult for them.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Call the Midwife

Not for me--don't worry, Mum. I just took the advice of several people, and watched Season One of Call the Midwife through Netflix. Am now watching Season Two because I thoroughly enjoyed Season One.

I find the show fascinating. Everything I have read of the post World War II era in England is beautifully represented in the shows. The births are definitely very realistic (Chris says its to traumatic for him!), but the variety of situations and the well-interwoven personal stories of the midwives are intriguing and often thought provoking.

My thanks to everyone who told me I should watch it. You know me well.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Outside my window...is another wet and cold day. Monday was gorgeous. Low 70's, lots of sunshine. And then my parents left and we went back to cold and wet. I'm ready for Spring.

I am thinking...that you know you're a mom with a newborn when you can't find the baby monitor and finally decide to look in the fridge because, at this point in time, that's a completely logical place to look for something you have misplaced.

*For the record, it was not actually in the fridge. Still haven't found it, incidentally.

I am thankful for...wonderful parents. They arrived, we enjoyed our time, and now they are gone. And I am sad. But it was a great visit, and I'm glad they finally got a chance to see where/how we live now. Now to figure out when we get to see them again...

From the learning rooms...[or in our case--the learning brain]...Baby Q is smiling and kicking and trying to roll over and holding his head up like a champ. Blueberry is two and a half. Need I say more?! Seriously though, her imagination has taken off and is a beautiful thing to see. Boots serving as ice-cream cones, doggy participating in all sorts of games and randomness. It's great. And frequently gets interrupted by a large dose of the two's.

From the kitchen...came another GF/DF chocolate pie for Easter. For some reason I had too much filling for the pie, so I ate the leftover filling today as pudding. Yum. We also had lamb and Yorkshire pudding (GF of course) for Easter--yum. With Lamb Curry the next day to use up the leftovers. Doubly yum.

I am wearing...my pre-pregnancy jeans (yay!), and a blue nursing top that I really like and am sad because it somehow got some bleaching agent on it and has a weird streak in places. Very irritating.

I am creating...I don't know. I feel like I have a lot of ideas at my finger-tips right now but very little that I'm actually doing. In the midst of doing a whole lot. Hmmm...must consider this question in greater depth.

I am going...to get Baby announcements and thank you cards out. I am! This week! I Am! I Am!

In my mailbox today.. .not a whole lot. A bill. Very boring.

I am reading.. .nothing. That's a scary statement. I really have no book right now that I'm reading. Wow. That's got to be a first in several years.

I am hoping...to someday feel organized again. Oh, and to finish my taxes! I started them several weeks ago and never finished. Aaah!

I am hearing...the wail of my two-year old who just woke up from her nap. Sigh. Sleep my child and peace attend thee....I'm not ready to get thee.

Around the house...I feel off-kilter and disorganized. Honestly a lot of that (besides the whole having a newborn) is having had visitors for several weeks on top of crazy busyness when we've been on duty--lots of meetings and unplanned turns of events. Makes it difficult to tackle other things when I find myself with limited non-busy time that normally I end up using for a bit of break instead of dealing with the various and assorted projects that need handling.

One of my favorite things...when my Baby Q is happily nursing away, staring at me out of his big blue eyes, pulls off, grins, and promptly goes back to eating. So cute!

A few plans for the rest of the week: I'm skipping this one. My brain doesn't want to process this right now!

Here is picture (or more) for thought I am sharing...

I love how doggy always has to be a part of every experience in Blueberry's life. I also love the fact that she's gone from wailing in fear at the Chik-fil-a cow a few months ago to fully embracing the Easter bunny now!

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One Year Ago Today

On this day, one year ago, we completely changed our lives. We drove away from jobs and home and loved ones to a new adventure of the very m...