Here is what we have been dealing with over the last two months (side note- this is not intended to be a "complaining blog"- I just wanted to be able to look back and remember what all the craziness was like of the first couple of months):
- We took in three kids. A (from here on out referred to as "Baby Girl"-4 yrs. 6 mos.), M (who I call "Mimi" -2 yrs. 5 mos.), and B (who we call BeekBock or Bubba or Bubee- 19 mos) on Sept 23, 2011**
- We began to notice that Baby Girl couldn't hear very well. She would only look at our mouths when we talked so we made her an appt. with a pediatrician to get a physical and a referral to an ENT. She had a great doctor (who thankfully was also hearing impaired!) who said she definitely needed to see someone. We got her hearing checked and she had significant hearing loss. Thankfully the ENT performed surgery- basically tubes and fluid removal, and he said he was surprised that her speech was as good as it was with how much junk he pulled off her ears. Sweet baby girl went home and watched Bolt and noticed that puppies whimper for the first time. She also said I can hear y'all when you say "cockadoodledoo" now (Mimi and Bubba have a favorite book with that sound in it :) This whole process took about a month with about 4 appointments, 1 surgery, and several follow ups for the surgery and more hearing tests.
- All three kids came with lice. I think I would rather handle vomit than lice. Apparently they had had it so long that their little heads were breathing Super Lice, a genetically enhanced breed of lice that could withstand any pesticide or treatment. I still don't think I'm rid of them. It's also hard to get a 2 1/2 year old to sit still for an hour so I can pick out the nits. We are thinking of cutting hair soon, but I really really don't want to cut their pretty hair. Bubee's hair got buzzed, along with Daddy's, the fist week we had them :)
- Pinworms. Not gonna say much more about that. But thankfully they are gone and that wasn't a huge ordeal.
- Bubee was sick most of the first month he was with us. He came with a nasty ear infection, got the flu, then got the stomach flu. Sickness has been rampant in our home. I think we all five had upper respiratory infections for about three weeks. Then David got some kind of eye issue- conjunctivitis? and I got the stomach flu. Also had two ruptured cysts happen. At one point I was just laying on the living room floor and Baby Girl was rubbing my head asking me if I felt better. Sweet girl should not have to take care of her mama so early! Then David let them go to the store in these outfits to get them out of the house for a while (proof that there is more than one reason why mama's can't get sick:) -
- We noticed one day at dinner when Baby Girl complained that her teeth were "itching" that she had several brown spots/ gaping holes in her teeth. A dental appointment was for sure needed. We thought that her dental appointments were up to date because she was already in foster care, but that was clearly not the case. We took her to a "family dentist" who cleaned her teeth and said that she needed "too much work for him". So we took her to Children's Dental of Atlanta and there we found out she had 12 affected teeth. "Affected" meant everything from a cavity to being too far gone. On Nov 10th, Maurine/ David's mom came down to help take her to a sedation dental appointment so they could just do the bottom teeth, which was pulling the middle two, two crowns and some fillings. She has her appointment for her top teeth next week. She will have 5 crowns before it's all over, and we hope she doesn't look like 50 cent! Thank goodness all of this happened to her baby teeth. Everyday she talks about her new "big girl teeth" coming in.
- WIC appointments. Let me begin by saying that I am grateful to the government for the services my kids receive. Thank you. Now let me complain about budget cuts and how they affect my week: Last week I spent a total of 9 hours at the WIC office- yes that's correct, 9 whole hours. 4 1/2 of which were with a 21 month old who did not like the WIC office after about 30 minutes. It was, however, a neat experience because all the moms are there with their kids who are hating life and wanting to eat (thankfully I packed enough for a small army to eat not knowing how long it would take) and there is kind of a camaraderie with everyone. Like we're all miserable together why don't we try to talk to each other and hang out even though you speak English and I only speak Spanish! That did happen to me because Bubee's new best friend was a little boy who's mama only spoke Spanish. I got her name and that her son was 18 months old out of her and that was about it :) For us, we don't depend on WIC like others so at one point I was wondering if this was even worth it. Especially since I have to do it all again in a month to re-up the girls. But I'm glad I did it and I'm can block most of the stressful parts out!
- We moved! Why did we decide to move two weeks after the kids came home? Great question. I'm still not sure we knew exactly what we were doing, but after seeing Mimi put some cards in the radiator (no it wasn't yet on) we felt like we needed to get the fam to a place with central heat and air before the cold weather set in. Our story about how God got us a house is sure to be a post of it's own soon. Thankfully my Mom/ Rhonda and my Grandma and Grandpa (who the kids call Mamaw and Papaw- I'm not sure why they came up with those names but I think it was Mimi or Baby Girl. That is exactly what I called my Grandpa's parents so I guess it fits! Mimi actually called them Mamaw and Mamaw for a while- sorry Grandpa :) came (well Mom actually had been there a week to try and keep us sane!) and helped us pack up while the kids were in daycare on Friday October 7th and we moved the following day with the help of my Uncle Bryan too on October 8th. We love our house and the kids have much more space to run around and play.
- Allergies! If you know us well you know that we don't "eat like normal people" because we have some abnormal allergies. David is allergic to salmon, eggs, dairy, and mustard. I also cannot have dairy. So the allergy adjustment with the kids was not as bad as it could have been. When Mimi and Bubee came to our house their digestion was pretty bad. We're talking sometimes 7-8 Bms per day. The diaper adjustment, meaning how often we would have to buy them!, was huge for us. Mimi had been tested sometime before- like when she was a baby- that she was allergic to milk. Great, we already eat that way so not a big deal right? Well after Bub's 3rd doctor appt in a month his pediatrician suggested he may be intolerant (not the same thing as an allergy but just as inconvenient if you eat it) to wheat or dairy so she said to take him off both. Then Mimi's doctor and chiropractor suggested taking her off gluten as well because she had a lot of edema- basically she was a squishy 2 year old. I'm all for kids being on a gluten and casein free diet, and I think it has helped a ton of kids with variety of symptoms from exema to autistic features. HOWEVER, I did not want to be one of those mom's who has to always read every tiny label and tell their kid, "No, you can't have that!" when other kids are eating this awesome thing right in front of them. Now, I guess that is good for character development. But sometimes I wonder if people think I am depriving my kids. I even make their lunches for daycare, who actually provide meals for them already. I also have to educate so many people like their daycare workers, case managers, their parents, anyone who could possibly feed them anything- because wheat and milk are pretty much in everything sold in stores today! So there you have it. I am not a high maintenance mom with kids who have food allergies/ sensitivities. I am dealing with it. I will say that when they have a good week where they have not been exposed to one of those things, their diapers are fantastic! Only one normal poopie per day :) No weird rashes or throwing up either- all is well with the world. So I guess it's worth it.
- Parent visits. Our kids still see their biological parents once a week. I'm not going to say much other than it's hard on Baby Girl. And the other two really don't seem too affected by it. But it's hard. It's really hard on us to see regression once a week. But even though there is that little aggression, there is still so much progress that has been made since two months ago that it's all worth it in the end.
Even though all of these things have happened/ we have had to deal with them we don't regret a single moment of becoming "Mommy/ Mom/ Mother and Daddy/ Dad/ Father" to these three precious kids. We love them with our whole hearts and we are so proud to be their parents.
**Note: since we cannot use their names on the internet, I will be blogging about them with these names. It's a privacy issue with the state since they are still on foster status. I'm also probably fudging a bit with the new blog banner pic, but you can't see faces so it "should be just fine", as Baby Girl would say.