Monday, April 29, 2013

Update on the Foster Children


BOTH boys slept ALL NIGHT!  Yay!!!  It was so out of the ordinary that I had to get up every once in awhile to make sure they were still alive. :-) I've been letting the Duckling cry it out.... but the proverbial "let 'em cry 3 nights and they'll sleep" has NEVER worked out quite like that for me. The more I tried to help him sleep the worse things got, so I've been letting him cry and the crying was getting shorter and shorter, but it's taken almost two weeks. His crying wakes the other child, of course, and then he's all disturbed. So happy to finally achieve an all night of sleep with this little guy.

We'll see what happens when the temperature dips a bit tonight and the roar of the orchard fans envelopes our house.

The Duckling  is getting to be easier as he gets older. This has been the neediest child I have ever, ever cared for. From the time he came home from the hospital he has been the neediest baby ever. The second time I got him back into care was frightening. This is this child's third time in my care and he will be 1 year old next week. Can ya blame the little chap for being so desperate to be held and loved? So much back and forth is devastating to a baby. He is at the stage where he screams and cries if anyone takes him from me.... only his mother is allowed to do that, but he will now go on his own and is very busy with his play for longer periods of time which is SO nice. He pulls himself up on everything and is close to walking. He claps his hands and "sings" and waves at everybody.

Buddy is a tad confused. My expectations are different than the expectations in his mother's home. She's a great parent, but I am not her. I have my way and she has hers. For example it's okay at his house to take whatever food he wants from the snack cupboard, or his mother's plate and I'm like "keep your little grubby hands OFF my food, thank you very much!!"  No two year old is going to help himself to anything in my kitchen. It will be served at set times. He wants to come and go from the table as he pleases and I'm all, "if you leave and you are DONE!" So, we have some clashing going on because he is throwing fits when he doesn't get his way. Then when he would be put in time out he would look for ways to be naughty. He'd throw stuff, break things, scream in a high pitch, dump water on the floor, slap his baby brother across the face, and he even sneaks to get what he wants already, etc... He's smart. It's been tough to get that under control. Part is his frustration at the upheaval in his life. He's two. He doesn't know when he'll see his dad... it could be days, it could be this afternoon. He doesn't know if he's suppose to get in my car, or mom's car and he gets quite upset when he can't figure it all out. His mother feels so horrible about everything that has happened that she tends to want to make it up to him and let him have what he wants, which makes things more difficult because now he thinks if he shows enough emotion he'll get catered to..... and it isn't happening here, folks. His speech is starting to be more clear which is very helpful in knowing what his frustration is.

The talk is that the social worker will not be recommending that the kiddos go home at the hearing on the Duckling's birthday. She's thinking another 30 days.  However, she is but one decision maker of several. I'm praying that if it's right they will go home sooner because it's so hard on them to be away from their mom. However, I don't want them to go home only to turn around and come back here because the parent is struggling again..... It's a hard call for the system to make. I pray the Lord guides them.

I still have a horrible, aggravated cough. All the pollen and dust doesn't help anything.

My tomato plants are beginning to sell. The funds help with Christina's tuition to Youth for Jesus in the summer. After hers is paid then it will go to Brianna's...

The family is hooked on the jar salads. Steve loves them. I just have to make sure I have all the ingredients Sunday to put them together. It's taking more time as I harvest, wash and clean more from the garden and buy less from the store. We have so many varieties of greens ready for the eating in the garden and greenhouse right now that I'm making green drinks and cooking greens at every meal.

Tried a new soup recipe that I found on Pinterest. It's YUMMY! If you are looking for something new go here: Sweet Potato Peanut Soup.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

On a Bear Hunt

We were told there were bears ahead in a tree up the trail.... that we probably shouldn't go there. WHAT?? A chance to see a bear and we shouldn't go there?
They were up a tree.
And we thought there were only two cubs, 
so we were especially cautious that a mother may be lurking nearby.
And this little baby bear couldn't figure out what the fuss was about
so he played that he was the bear and tried to eat me - complete with growling sounds!

We watched a young couple stroll past the tree.
They would not have noticed the bears had we not pointed them out!

when we saw that they walked passed the tree with no ill effects we edged in a little closer,
and we made the discovery that the momma bear was up there, too.
It was a good day for a bear hunt.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Equine Therapy

Awesome Stuff!!

I can tell this is going to be very effective therapy for the children. 
They have a physical therapist, and volunteers and a horse riding instructor.

Today they just evaluated the kids individual needs 
checking for core strength, balance, and a hundred other things...

The whole time, the twins were smiling.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Night n' Day!

Woke up feeling like I had slept. Thanks for all the prayers! It was the first thing I thought of when I got out of bed, "boy, someone's been praying for me!" We only had to get up three times all night. It was awesome!! :-)

Christina and I managed to transplant 45 tomato plants and sell 50 others. That's 95 plants down... and I have orders for more. I plan on selling between 100 - 150 of them and the rest go in our field.  We put the cucumbers into the ground in the greenhouse and strung them up. They have half inch cucumbers on them already.  I was quite pleased with the amount of work accomplished and for once I come to the end of the day knowing we did something that will last for more than a day.... {you know, unlike dishes, cooking, diapering and the laundry around here.}

Steve had a pretty serious visit with the twins last night over recent behavior. It got thru to their thinking, {that or my new chart on the fridge}. This morning was so quiet!! Unbelievable. Well, until the bus arrived and Missy only had one shoe... :-)  Who knows where the other shoe is. Everyone wants to blame the 2 year old. We told her to catch the bus anyhow and that was so out of the ordinary she was frantic,  but later Vanessa brought to the school a different pair of shoes when we did a thorough search and came up with nothing.

Vanessa over-heard Missy talking with her homework helper:  Missy, "How am I doing?" (attitude wise)

Helper: "Great! So much better than yesterday. You are doing wonderfully!"

Missy: "Can you tell my mom when my mom asks how me doing?"

Just to be on the safe side she put herself to bed when the clock struck 8.

You just got to know she absolutely knows when she's stirring the pot for trouble!! Because she absolutely knows what to do when she's trying to please us.

James wanted to know, "So, was I good all day today?"

We had frozen strawberry bars to celebrate a good day.

Christina had her first day of volunteering at the Horse Therapy ranch. One little girl was blind, one little girl uses a walker, and it was unclear what the third little girl's special need was. Christina will work with these same three children each week. The horses are Norwegian Fjords - small, gentle, and beautiful.  Tomorrow James starts horseback riding therapy there. I wanted to give Missy one more week of healing before she starts. She's still on a soft diet and no biking, trampoline, swimming, etc...

*Christina also helped our church feed 160 (not sure actually) people at the community dinner this evening.

*Vanessa has a huge test tomorrow.

*Brianna has the flu now, but she still managed to help with the little kiddos.

*Today I found out that the babies will not probably go back to mom in May.... we're looking at June now. I'm okay with that, but I am disappointed for their mom... It's so hard.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Feeling Overwhelmed with Motherhood

You don't mess with a mom....  animal or human.   
This lioness was at the zoo and has 4 healthy, playful cubs.

 Feeling very overwhelmed. Everything feels like more than I can manage. Still getting my energy back from being sick, I guess.  And I still don't get a whole night's sleep.

 (Finally had my nose looked at. It's straight and that's what matters.)

Didn't manage to get Missy to school today. She was awful for her homework helper. 
James had a tantrum, too. 

I have 300 tomato plants that need transplanting. I've been letting people know that they are ready to go if they are ready to plant, but truth is, we should wait 10 days to be 100% safe from frost. And so, I will have to transplant them all into 6 inch pots, but this is where overwhelming comes in...
the baby eats rocks and the toddler wanders. You know, they're cute, but they're work... I guess I didn't have a market garden when my first kids were small... And maybe I bite of more than I have time to chew.  But I can't say I knew life would take such a twist.

I have to say, though, that Christina is motivated. She spent part of her day at the college doing all her homework after her piano lesson and so she's all caught up. She has a driver's permit now. I've calmed down a bit in my old age.... I let her drive me around Cashmere to choir and such. And now she's weed-whacking all the grassy slopes around our place. What would be do without our kids.

Tulip Town

It was another trip to Children's for the post-op of Missy's bone graft surgery. We figured we'd make it count. We visited the zoo and we stayed the night at a friends and took in the tulip fields the next day.

I enjoyed a wonderful night's sleep at the friend's house. The social worker okayed for the girls to watch the babies and the mom to sleep at our house to help with the night time crying. Of course, for her they slept all night. For me last night Duckie slept not at all.

Missy is reverting to some old behaviors. It started at Children's Hospital. I guess she feels this is her territory.... she has a lot of "rights" and expects to be catered to there. I had asked her to sit down and she stared me down and said, "NO!" It went from there... It was rather shocking.  She had one of those epic rages since coming home, and this morning she has been screaming non-stop. It's painfully discouraging. You think your child has made a ton of progress and suddenly we are back at the infantile behaviors and utter insanity. There's no working with her at all.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Broken Nose

On Friday a hard headed little two year decided to head butt me in the face. His head is harder than mine. It never left a dint in his, and he couldn't figure out why I was crying, and crying, and crying... I was out of commission for a few hours. And every day since, the bones in my nose have become more and more painful. I'm pretty sure it's broken... But what you gonna do? Put my head in a cast?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Make Way for Ducklings

So sweet and soft.
We hate to take them from their momma...
She'd give her life for these babies,
even the Papa is very protective,
but April is too early.
Each day there was one less...

And today we kidnapped the survivors 
and adopted them out.
They'll have a happy life with Delano and Ellesia!

I wish I could show you just how happy these little guys made Buddy ;-).

I told you there are a trillion, billion blossoms ... so many varieties!

The Hills are Alive with the sound of music!

and the sound of children's laughter.... see our house down in the left ? Are you jealous yet?

A child's paradise

You can never pick too many flowers or have too many friends.

The white patches in the valley are cherries, pears and apples in blossom.

Run, run, run!!!

There's so much to praise the Lord about.

Sliding down the mountain on their bellies. Who cares about grass stains. You are only a kid once and spring comes only once a year!