Lately

Where do I start?

Well.  We have two placements now.  The 11-year-old boy and a 5-month old girl.  It’s been a roller coaster.  No, it’s been a freaking tornado.  And it has pretty much ripped apart our lives and our apartment.

I’m being dramatic.  But it’s been a huge change.  HUGE.

A little over two months ago we were a couple of 20-somethings going about our lives, spending too much time on the internet, and eating way too much chinese food.

Now we’re a couple of 20-something moms who have no more time for the internet or anything else not pertaining to kids, who still eat too much chinese food, and who should really invest in a mini van.

And I have not handled this change very well.  I’m very open about my life and my struggle with mental illness.  And it won’t stop just because I’m a parent now.

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This has been the biggest change of my life.  Way bigger than moving an hour away from my friends and family and switching jobs all within the same week.  Even bigger.  It’s safe to say I haven’t handled it well.

I have cried so much more than I thought possible.  I have felt more depressed than I ever wanna feel again.  I have been the least in control in my entire life.  And control is something I like, and do well at.

But I also have had some of the happiest moments.  And have been very proud of the accomplishments we have helped these two kids achieve.  And have shared some wonderful skills (i.e.: cooking) with a kid who has probably never touched a pan in his entire life.

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And one other thing this has helped me with: getting myself some help.  I have sought out therapy.  I have vowed to face my demons and my past.  I have made a commitment to myself to get better, to stop wallowing in self-pity, to learn self love, and to find coping skills.

This roller coaster is more than I ever imagined.  And more than I can handle more days than not.  But I’m kind of enjoying the ride.  Well, the ups.  The downs can kiss my lovely ass.

xoxo,
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Gratitude

Today I am grateful for:

-Finally having time without a screaming baby

-Having a cat who wants to cuddle almost all the time

– The movement of a grocery cart being enough to get the little one to fall asleep

-Making my first from scratch meal in ages

-Asking for help when I needed it

-Baths

-Recognizing harmful thoughts that beat myself up for no good reason and trying (albeit failing) to change that

xoxo,
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Fostercare: Week 1

What. A. Week.

Wow.

Sitting down to write this, I have so many thoughts running through my head.  It wasn’t as smooth a transition as I’d hoped for, but as a first time foster parent, I guess I really didn’t know what was coming.  The system is very broken, that’s for sure.

We had “Dragon” in our care for almost four days before we had any information regarding his health insurance, or our family resource worker’s name, or knowing a schedule for his visits.  Not to mention, we still don’t know when visits will be, what will be going on at them, or anything related to therapy.  Ugh.  But, we just keep calling the social worker and asking.  I’ve always been worried about bugging people, but that’s their tough luck in this situation.

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Let me take you day by day…

Tuesday: Dragon came into our care.  We met him two times before that, once for 20 minutes, once for about 3 hours.  He came with all his stuff (he had quite a bit!), and his meds.  No information.  A quick “hi, hello” from his social worker.  It was a bit of a rough night.  Kait had him all day.  They bonded over Legos.  We had pizza for dinner.  He was still incredibly guarded, as expected.

Wednesday:  I had a bad day at work.  I’m really bad at not taking work frustrations home with me – it’s something I’m working on.  I may or may not have had close to a total breakdown when I got home.  The transition is tough.  Like, really tough.  Anyway, Kait spent the day with him again.  They did puzzles and played Legos.  We made homemade chicken nuggets for dinner.  He refused to eat.  He at all his tater tots but would not even touch the chicken nugget.  It really was just the topper to my day.

Thursday:  I had an epiphany at work – let the kid do the meal planning.  I told Kait my idea and she thought it sounded pretty good.  They made categorized cards of foods that he likes and will eat.

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Friday: Kinda uneventful.  I started feeling better about things.  We got more information. We still have no answer on a voucher for after school care (UGH!).  But we know his health insurance info.

Saturday: We spent the day out and about – got him some new clothes, took him grocery shopping for some foods he’ll eat.  He chose dinner using his food cards – turkey, mashed potatoes, and watermelon.  There’s surprisingly more foods that he likes than we thought!  Though, he likes one veggie -corn.  So, for now, Kait and I agreed that it’s acceptable to have a fruit with dinner.  This way, he’ll he getting something fresh in a meal plan that is a little processed foods heavy.  Also – he is really resistant to foods when they look different from what he remembers.  We tried to buy some turkey breast cutlets but he thinks of turkey like a Thanksgiving turkey – a whole bird.  We bought a whole chicken – he thought it was turkey – and he loved it.  Win, win.

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Sunday (today): We had a pretty good day.  We finished our meal planning board and hung it in the kitchen.  He was excited to be able to plan out the meals for the week.  He told us he likes being able to see what he’ll be eating for the whole week.  Towards the end of the day, I started to feel a little down.  Not as severe as Wednesday – thank god.  It’s tough having a little person just cling to you all day long.  It’s exhausting to have to entertain someone all day.  We’ll teach him how to play on him own and entertain himself without the aid of an electronic device.  But it’s a slow process.

While this is the most exhausting adventure I have ever taken on, it’s also so rewarding.  We knew he was getting comfortable when he decided to stop wearing his shoes in the house.  We’ve seen him go from very reserved, to very talkative in less than a week.  He offers to help with dishes and even helps himself to getting utensils as needed.  These sound so small but feel so monumental in my book.

I need to remember to take time for myself.  And time for Kait and I.  We need to make time for each other or the system will wear us out.  But I’m looking forward to the challenge.

Side note: my domain is up the middle of March.  I will be changing the name of this blog and rebranding a little bit.  But I’ll still be on this platform, still keeping all my older posts.

Have a great Monday tomorrow, everyone,
xoxo,
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First Placement Transitions!

Happy Valentine’s Day!  So far, ours has been pretty low-key.

We got a call from the social worker last week about the transition plan for our first placement.  Currently, he is residing in a group home.  The plan is looking to reunify him with Mom this summer.

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For his transition plan, we went and met him at his current residence yesterday morning.  Then, we picked him up this morning and he hung out at our house for a couple hours.  He’ll move in on Tuesday.

First, I was (and still kind of am) completely terrified of this whole process.  I’m ready, don’t get me wrong.  I am so ready.  But I’ve got lots of thoughts running through my head.  Like, Kait and I are gonna be moms virtually overnight.  They’re trusting us to do a good job parenting this little man with no prior parenting experience.  It’s not that I don’t think we can do it (we’re both the oldest in our families – we’ve got plenty older sibling parenting experience), but it’s a terrifying thought!  All the sudden, boom, we’re mothers. I’m sure all expecting mothers have had this same thought.

So, we met him yesterday.  He is beyond adorable.  We got a sense of what he likes and decided to finish up some shopping.  We picked out a bed set and even got an Xbox.  It’s like we’re coming into the world of the living.  I didn’t know we wanted a video game system until we had one!  Ha!

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Did I mention our placement is a 10-year-old, soon-to-be-11-year-old, boy!?  Exciting, so exciting.

This week feels like a good week for a transition because both him and Kait are on school vacation.  So, he’ll have some days to get settled in, as well as us having some days before chaos ensues.  I feel like there’s so many things to get in place and I don’t even know where to start!  And, with this being our first placement, I don’t know what to expect for information I’m going to get from the social worker.  I know she’ll give us as much as she knows, but the not knowing is still tough for me.

Hopefully I can e-mail his teacher this week and introduce us.  He won’t be switch schools, so that’s nice for everyone.  We do need to think about after school care though.  We both work full time, until at least 4pm, and school ends at 2:55pm for him.  Ugh, how inconvenient for parents.

Well, I am rambling now.  I just have so many thoughts running around my head.  My thoughts feel like a tangled ball of yarn in my head – and I have no idea what piece to pull to start untangling.

On the domain name.. still no idea on what I’m doing.  I think I’m going to let this name expire and then rebrand.  I want to have my own site and not stay on a wordpress host, but I’m a little lost on how to go about that.  (And I have a background in IT – shoot me, ha.)

xoxo,
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Home study Approval (and maybe a domain change)

I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a new blog.  A lifestyle blog.  Where I talk (mostly) about being a foster parent.

But after scrolling through pages and pages of time and work I’ve put into this blog, I don’t know if I can do it.  Yes, this blog hasn’t turned out anything like I imagined it would.  Yes, it has been awfully neglected the last few months (or year, oops).  But I have poured so much of myself into it.

So maybe I’ll just rebrand.  Maybe.

On another note, we have been informed that our home study is finished and has been approved!  We have actually gotten two calls for placements in the 3 days that it’s been since we were approved.  We accepted the first placement and have turned down the second.  I think we’re going to see how it is parenting one child before accepting a second, though our house is licensed to be able to have two children.

So exciting.  And so nerve wracking.  I have been an anxious mess.  I hate not being able to prepare.  I am like, the queen of being prepared and organized.

We have the room all set up and toys all gathered.  And I may have ordered 20+ children’s/middle grade books this weekend.. oops!  But we don’t have clothes or anything personal.  I know, we can’t really do that until we meet/get the child…. but I want to!  I want to go shopping and spoil him.

I will post a little more later on when I figure out what I’m doing brand-wise here.  My domain name expires on March 16.  To renew or not to renew, that is the ever-present question.

xoxo,
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What’s up!

Hi guys!  Long time no talk!  I thought I’d pop in to give you a quick little update on what’s going on in my world.

First, I have decided to do a Whole30 challenge (again).  Back in November 2014, I failed miserably at it.  But, I don’t want that looming over me this time.  I’m more prepared, more aware of what is going to happen to my body, and even more disgusted with how I’ve been feeling.  I might write more posts on my journey with this – I’m undecided at this time.

Second, we just finished our home study to be foster parents!  So.  Exciting.  Anyway, I haven’t decided if I wanna do a series on foster care or not.  We’ll see.

Third, my domain name lease is up next month.  I don’t think I’m going to renew it.  As I’m sure you’re aware, this blog has been lacking A LOT in the last year.  I’m not feeling very determined to post or anything.  It feels more like a hassle to me than something I enjoy.

With that, I’ve been thinking a lot about rebranding and changing up what content my blog houses.  This blog was intended to share recipes and foodie-things.  The busier our household gets, the less time I have to write recipes/test/actually cook.  My meal plans and meals have gotten simpler.  My interests are changing.

And I have been feeling crappy about that.  I don’t want to just abandon ship.  I think a little thinking, rebranding, and reshaping is what I need.  But it’ll be a slow process.

So look out for that in the coming months.  And be aware that the (dot)com will be leaving my URL next month 😦

Thanks for being so supportive!
xoxo,
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Weekly Meal Plan #2

Happy short week! 🙂  Thank goodness for a three day week this week.  I don’t think I’d survive a full week.  I am so exhausted.

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This week’s meal plan is simple, simple, simple.  Lately, they’ve all been really simple.  But this is about as simple as it can get.  Three crockpot meals, thanksgiving, then lots of leftovers.

Sunday- Steak and black bean salad
Monday- French onion chicken over pasta and black bean salad
Tuesday- Meatballs and pasta
Wednesday- BBQ ranch chicken
Thursday- Thanksgiving
Friday- Leftovers (probably open faced turkey sandwiches 🙂 )
Saturday- Mac & cheese with chicken and broccoli

Yesterday, I took the steak out of the freezer and it looked a little funny to me.  It was a little brown.  I brushed it off as being freezer burn (even though it was vacuum sealed and only in the freezer for a week).

When we went to make dinner, we opened the package and it smelled bad.  Ugh.  I feel like we are the worst steak handlers.  This has happened to us before and I don’t really know why.  Has this happened to anyone else?  How do you store your steak so it doesn’t go bad?

I ended up running to the store to grab more steak, completely the opposite of what I wanted to be doing.  Oh well, that’s life I guess.

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Currently, I’m trying to use up some overripe bananas by making this banana oat muffin recipe.  We’ll see how it comes out.  The recipe calls for whole wheat flour but all I have is all-purpose.

I’m rambling now.  I hope to get better at these meal plan posts.  Let me know if you’d like to see a post on how I meal plan!

xoxo & happy holidays!
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