Thursday, October 31, 2013

Clean Bill of Health

Ryan, earlier in the month, had an "episode" at preschool. We still don't know what to call it except to say he tried to stop breathing. We took him immediately to his doctor (much faster than the E.R.). They got us right in, looked him over and said we could either take him to the E.R. or they would call us a squad. We opted to drive him, so the doctor said she wanted to do an EKG before he could go. 6 EKGs later and they determined it wasn't the machine that wasn't working was Ryan's heart. We got him to the ER and they decided to observe him, x-rayed his chest to see if he had swallowed or choked on something, and since that was clear they sent him home. By the time we got him home he had spiked a fever of 102 and had a resting heart rate of 157. Back to the ER. Admitted for the night, pediatrician came in the next afternoon and finally someone really listened. He told us to have his heart checked (sent us home with a 48 hour heart monitor), have him tested for seizures and have him tested for Hashimotos (an autoimmune disease which attacks and eventually kills the thyroid gland).

So after getting referrals to Cardio and Nueuro we received instructions for his appointments for this past Monday. sleep deprived EEG (seizure test). Ryan could only sleep from 11-5. So we did what any sensible mom would do with 4 sleeping children and one who couldn't sleep. We went to Walmart! hung out at Walmart until about 10, home by 1030, let him lay in our bed with the ipad until 11. slept until 5, got up, watched a cartoon, took a bath, did some laundry, just puttered around until it was time to get everyone else up. Dropped everyone off at school, picked up my mom and we were on our way! Had a 930 am EEG appt, an 1100 neuro appt and a 130 cardio. It was perfect. Ryan went in, did everything they needed him to do, slept for 10 minutes through the EEG (as he has to do to get good results), went straight from the EEG to the Neuro appointment. Neuro said he had an irregular EEG but the only thing irregular about it was the EKG line. there is no siezure activity! yay! he shares an office with endocrinology, endo came in real quick and said that until he has symptoms of Hashimotos (or a thyroid disorder) there's really nothing for them to do. So by 1200 we were cleared by endo and neuro. Neuro was pretty nervous though about Ryan's EKG line on the EEG which made Mom and I pretty nervous, we were so thankful to have a 1:30 appointment.

Went to lunch and then proceded back to Cardio. Cardio is a private office who rents space in the childrens hospital (they are a seperate entity). Went back, the nurse rubbed me the wrong way....I was not completely sold on her (putting an immediate bad taste in my mouth - - she went so far as to comment on the doctors appearance and asked if I was single because I would appreciate it if I were - ick). So doctor in training came in, and pretty much blew us off, said they weren't worried about anything they were seeing. So now not only is the nurse nuts but the doctor in training is blowing us off. great. Then the doctor came in, Thank God. She said that after reviewing all the EKGs, the heart monitor and his medical history she didn't see anything alarming, maybe a minor murmur but nothing jumped up at her, she then offered an ultrasound of his heart to check the structure of his heart and an EKG so they have one on file. These tests were run within 20 minutes, and 10 minutes later we had results. Ryan is perfect. Absolutely nothing wrong with that little man! I felt so much better after talking to the doctor and finally I asked why everyone was seeing something that she didn't and her answer really put me at ease. She said "because they're guessing at something I know"

We are so greatful that especially this month we were able to bring home a perfectly healthy 4 year old. He was a perfect angel through all the appointments, the tests, the sleep deprivation, the poking and prodding, the doctors and new people. His behavior was amazing! I never had to tell him more than once, he was so good, and slept all the way home, through supper and went to bed at 830 that night. An amazing day to say the least!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Closing Our Home - - Keeping Our License.

In no way, shape or form do I want my girls, my foster daughters (I have to get used to them not being MY girls so I am using some appropriate language to help remind me that they aren't in fact MINE - - I don't however say foster infront of them - ever) to go live anywhere else. I don't want to give them up, I want them to stay right where they are loved, happy, safe, warm, fed, protected, held accountable. BUT more than that I want what is best for them. If bio dad can pull it together and does get them back and if he is able to provide those things for them (loved, happy, safe, warm, fed, protected, held accountable) then I want him to succeed. Don't get me wrong, we would take them back in a heartbeat if they came back into care! We wouldn't even talk about it first! but what that means, for our girls is that he didn't succeed, he failed and if he fails that means they have not been kept loved, happy, safe, warm, fed, protected or held accountable. We want consistency, and success for the girls. We can see the beginnings of an attachment disorder in Little Miss. She would go with anyone. Especially a man. She loves a man and if he sits still long enough she will end up on his lap! She does it with Todd, my cousins John and Brian, my coworker, and a few men at church. So another move (even if it is back to us) is not what Little Miss needs. I've talked with the CASA and told her that no matter where she goes, who she ends up with I'd recommend attachment therapy. If she was staying with us permanently I'd be in attachment therapy with her. (this is NOT a dig at her bio dad). So honestly, if they have to go to him, I pray he is successful at raising them (not just successful at not getting caught not raising them right).

After the girls do return to bio dad, we will leave our license open for probably a year and stay in touch with the agency after that but we will probably close our home to new placements. This is not my choice but I understand that this is how it has to be. My children have lived lives where no one is consistent, everyone goes away. Everyone who lives close, moves away, my brother moved to Ohio a few years back (2009) and moved away a year later...but when he moved there were hard feelings so there hasn't been an ongoing relationship with him or his kids so he (for them) disappeared. My sister (who we've always been close to) moved away 2 years ago, also (for them) completely disappearing. Another sister (who we used to spend weekends and holidays with, who we babysat for, who we'd get together for dinner with) stopped taking my calls in 2010, disappearing from my kids lives forever. My dad died, Braden died, Pat died, Jason died, Alexis disappeared. And soon enough, so will the sisters. Everyone disappears. I can't continue to bring people into their lives who just disappear. So as much as I believe in what we're doing, as much as I love these little people, and as much as I know there is another little one out there needing a place to go...I can't continue to do this to my family and my husband isn't interested in continuing.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Cleaning to Whole House - a family affair

Cleaning this house has been....different from cleaning the house in town. the point of entry is now the kitchen and not the living room/dining room. If I don't have a clean kitchen, and someone comes in...they see it....which causes me a mini panic attack. Seriously. It's not pleasant. Then I usually throw myself a little temper tantrum...followed by a day of cleaning. no more. I'm done with it! I want a consistently tidy and clean home (allowing for the obvious "we have 5 kids" grace) BUT I obviously for my sanity, my kids and my marriage needed something to change. Now don't get me wrong, we weren't living in filth...I just don't want a sink full of dishes, clutter on the counter, blankets in the corner, shoes in the hall...that's the stuff that got me! So I'm done yelling. We are changing systems. I like lists. I really like lists! I broke the house down into 9 sections:


under each title is a list of things that need to happen in that room to make it "clean". In most rooms this starts with dealing with stuff out of place. Putting away the stuff and throwing away any trash. "straightening up" in general. After that is wiping down and then sweeping/mopping/vaccuuming. Obviously there are other rooms that require more or less items but we pair things up like whoever gets the kitchen does only the kitchen.
So far so good and even the kids are loving it!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Transitioning Home

Today is the first step in transitioning our girls. our foster daughters home. They have lived with us for 16 months. We adore them. We love them. We are heart broken. We are terrified. We wonder if their father will be successful. Girlfriend, since her bio mom died has developed a stutter. she hadn't stuttered for over a week. Today I told them I'd be picking them up for visit with their father. She immediately started to stutter. Is there  a connection. Little Miss this week peed her pants. twice. Is there a connection?

Yesterday as I was dropping Ryan off for school I asked him what he would think of the sisters living with their dad. He simply said no. I asked if that would be good or bad. he simply said bad. I said if he would be happy or sad. He simply said sad. I was honestly hoping he'd look forward to them going. I was hoping that he hadn't become so attached. Hoping he wouldn't have to lose them too.
I know it'll affect the big boys...I just don't know how deep an impact it'll be. we will see.

I love my girls. I wish my boys weren't being hurt in the process.
I asked Ethan if he thought we should accept more foster children (after an appropriate grieving time) and he is adamant that he'd like for us to be done. Lane Michael is on the fence. Ryan doesn't understand. Todd says he is done. No matter what we will keep our license open on the slim chance the girls come back into care.

This is hard. This is the goal. My girls will lose 2 mommies in less than a year.