The Roller Coaster Ride has Begun: Updates from Foster Parent Land

wpid-img_20140730_114031265_hdr.jpg“Once you make a decision the universe conspires to make it happen.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Seven days have passed since I climbed the steps of another Foster mother’s home, accepted the entire belongings of a 3 and-a-half-year-old boy in a laundry bag and walked out the door with another woman’s son.  To care for like our own, 24/7, as long as is needed.

Surreal. Exciting. Nerve-wracking. Confusing. Wonderful.

This ride started in September 2013.  It is what Ice and I determined was next on our path as a family.

Our foster child, “C” , has adjusted fairly well to the fast-paced life of our household. He loves to eat (he fits right in!). He is very organized, carefully arranging his meal in front of him, letting me know when he accidentally drops food on the floor or determinedly putting on his shoes. He is thoughtful.  Offering to help Little Bee with her coat. Or give her some of his breakfast. He is quieter, observant.

Naps no longer present an issue, he just lays downs and rests. Nighttime sleeping is met with the same ease.

Getting a handle on a new routine has been a process for all of us. I could fake it and get away with a lot with my little spitfire before.  She traveled where I traveled and napped when we got home. She rolled with the ever-morphing routine and did so pretty seamlessly.

I now live and die by a very specific schedule. It is isolating. It is challenging. It is uncomfortable.  At the same time it is liberating, dependable and my saving grace.

We spend a lot of time in the gym, my “home away from home” now. Not that I didn’t go pretty regularly before. But now it sets the tone for the entire day.  I blow off some steam. They get to play with an exorbitant amount of toys we don’t have at home. I get a peaceful shower at the end of my workout. And without even knowing it, I’m working on the ever-elusive abs of steel. Pretty good gig, huh?

This adventure has been met with so much support and encouragement from family, friends and even strangers. I hear a lot of these comments.

“I couldn’t do what you’re doing.”

“It takes a special person…”

“How amazing.”

Truth be told, I do not feel very worthy of the comments or kudos. There are moments wrapped in every day where I ponder where will this lead? Do I have the stomach for this roller coaster? If he is placed elsewhere, are my kids capable to ride this ride? I guess that’s where the abs of steel will come in handy.

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My multi-tasking hat just became a ten-gallon. And it’s getting bigger.  Bee and “C” are thirteen months apart.  I have a new and more complete understanding of what it takes to parent multiples (i.e., twins, triplets)! All I can say is it’s mind-bending.

Every day has a new hurdle. That’s true for everyone, I know.  Mine currently includes getting peed on, endless time-outs, double the diaper changes and double the potty training efforts, a lack of social interaction by virtue of “the schedule”, the incessant reasoning attempts that occur to do the simplest of tasks, the decision to forgo an outing because it just won’t work out, chasing down toddlers (mostly my own) in public places or trying to navigate the behemoth of a double stroller in places where clearly such an awful thing was never meant to tread.

I find myself in a situation that is forcing me to be patient beyond what I feel I am capable. Pushing me to my limits of understanding and frustration daily. (My teeth actually hurt yesterday from gritting them so much.)

However, stepping back, knowing the little we do about C’s background, it feels good to provide the stability, consistency and discipline his life is lacking. He is such a sweet boy and has so much to teach us.  When he says “Thank you!” and smiles his big pearly white smile, it melts my heart.

Without getting into the sensitive details, you can imagine my disappointment and surprise when I found out today that due to an issue, what we thought would be at least a six-month commitment to him (or more) may very well be cut short.

At the same time, I have had faith that Ice and I were brought to this experience for a reason I don’t fully comprehend. And I want to see it through.  We asked for it, we got it.

Things worked out so well the last time an unexpected blessing entered our lives. (Ready to Let go of the Steering Wheel) I have to believe they will again.  What other choice do I have?

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© Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Next Step in our Fostering Journey

It’s been so long since I had anything to share about our desire to Foster to Adopt a little boy. Life has been moving along at break neck speed with our 2-, 10- and 12-year olds.

Then the week before Thanksgiving we were lucky enough to meet up with a sweet, quiet, yet joyful little 3-year old boy.

Just a quick visit for dinner and some playtime.  The promise of a few overnights in the near future.

The questions in my head of What next? How long? Is he the one that will find a forever home in our house?

And those questions aren’t just in my head. They are asked of Ice and me multiple times a week by those who love and support us and have encouraged our efforts from the start.

I would be absolutely lying if I said I did not worry about the heartbreak that could be up ahead. There are no guarantees. We know it. But it still makes me a little anxious.

However, in just one hour Ice will pick him up for another overnight.

We have missed him all week. His booster chair is still in place at the the kitchen table.

Thanksgiving weekend. How fitting. We will enjoy spending the time we have with him today.

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© Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

How a $2 bill made my day

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So much to do. Bags to pack. A weekend trip. So many things to coordinate for those at home not traveling with me.

A crisp, gorgeous Fall day just begging to be enjoyed. But could I?

I tend to get carried away in the details and can’t set things aside sometimes no matter how important. It’s a trait I mildly detest in myself. And unfortunately I think it may be genetic and passed along to at least one of my children.

So here lies my dilemma. Go and play or stay and organize things to the hilt for my trip?

play…Play…PLAY! (voice in my head whispers)

For today, victory to the voice.

Bee and I “Go to Zoo” as she likes to say.

Upon arrival, I ask,

“Which animals do you want to see first?”

“The giraffes!” she says.

So we head in that direction. Past the carousel.

We head up to the counter.

As anyone who has had a feisty two-year old knows, getting to and from places takes an Act of Congress most days. And if something is left behind or forgotten it’s so much work to undo, re-do and get situated again.

What one little thing did I lack? Money to ride the carousel Little Bee is now yanking me towards and wanting to get on. *Huge Sigh* I had mistakenly left my cash at home.

Do I really want to try and drag her away from her spotted target or try to distract and re-direct?

More than a decade or more ago my Mom gave me a $2 bill with the intent that I carry it in my wallet at all times.

“You never know when you might need it.” she shared

I have had it in my wallet for so long, sometimes I don’t even see it. Or even consider it real money.  I have wondered will I EVER use it? It sort of became something sentimental and more symbolic than useful.

Not this day. This day is the perfect day to use that $2 bill.

I happily pull it out. The ticket taker makes some small noise. Like when was the last time someone paid with a $2 bill?

And I probably won’t ever again.

Nothing could ever top that $2 purchase or those three minutes spent on the carousel with my girl.

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© Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Keep the Laugh Track Going

Message received.  I am super fun hanging out with my family of origin. I am a scowling, laughter-is-not-on-tap kind of witch when I am at home.

Well…not really.

But Techno commented to me after seeing me in hysterics this weekend “Mom, why aren’t you like this at home?”  This new information and perception did give me pause.

My family got together this past weekend to hang out, play games, eat, drink and be merry. With the exception of one brother who lives out-of-state, the rest of us showed up ready to unwind and enjoy each other’s company.

At one point my Mom could barely breathe and I was near ready to pee my pants. Laughter is THE BEST medicine and so good for the soul. You can bet this Mom of three, including one Tasmanian Devil toddler does not get large amounts of time in the day to practice this skill. Between heaps of laundry, dirty floors, homework emergencies, playground dramas, chauffeuring kids in a myriad of directions and poopy diapers, laughing just isn’t high on the priority list.

Well, it should be.

And I know it is hard to be Ice and partake in my family’s brand of shenanigans. Just as I don’t get his family’s humor or their jokes from bygone days, I know he is only mildly amused in some cases and downright ready to run for the hills in others.

Let’s just say this particular party was epic in the howling category.

It felt good. It rang true to parts of who I am somewhere down deep. Those parts don’t get to see daylight sometimes and I guess it had been too long.

However, it was a wonderful question my son asked me. Because it made me realize it’s good for my kids to see me like that. It’s good for them to know I love my siblings. Family is fun. Life is full of wonderful, silly, incredibly joyful moments. And I need to make sure that my home is a place where that is cultivated. Laundry and all.

I will start finding ways to work on that.

Keep laughing.

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My siblings and I in our obligatory “jazz hands” photo every time we are lucky enough to get together

© Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

It’s Snark Week…Check Your Local Listings

Am I the only Mom who is on Week 2 of Back to School and already in disbelief that it’s “same stuff, different school year” ??

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The classics are back!

“You can’t wear those postage-stamp shorts!”

“Why? I don’t have anything else!”

“Maybe if you tried bringing in your laundry more than once per Leap Year, you would!”

 

Ye Olde band instrument. Practice twice on the weekends. Get a signed slip for the next week’s lesson. All good.

“Mom can I practice now?”

“No, your baby sister is in bed now. Your saxophone is too loud and you should have practiced first thing when you got home.”

Exchange of words too long and boring to print here. Blah Blah Blah…All NOT good.

And in the absence of her two older siblings, Little Bee is now lashing out at the cashier at Target or the friend I see in passing at the grocery store. They get her new snarly look and some snappish two-year old comment and a wagging finger point.

There’s always tomorrow’s cup of coffee and the promise of 10 minutes to breathe and look at a magazine or catch up on some meaningless celebrity nonsense from the Today Show.

But as past experience proves…I have been re-warming that cup of coffee for the last week.

I still never get to my target while it’s hot! Grrrrrr…

© Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Do These Look Like the Eyes of a Wrecking Ball?

wpid-img_20140812_174749.jpgI pretty much got away scot-free with my two oldest. Except for Twinkle Toes’ mullet-cutting episode of 2008 (she cut, I freaked) and the red and blue crayon grout-drawing on my ceramic tile in the kitchen done by Techno himself (trust me it was no Monet) I never really had too many wild kid stories to share.

My friend’s son was dubbed the “Wrecking Ball” (her own moniker for him) when he was about two. I confess try as I might it was hard to relate to that about four years ago, sailing along in my Toddler-less world with two pretty self-sufficient older kids.

Until. Little Bee.

“Wrecking Ball” may have a soul mate and I fear it’s MY two-year old.

On a daily basis she provides us with one mischievous feat after the next. It’s like she can sniff out the weakness in any situation and use it to her advantage.

Got a coffee mug up high enough? Think again. By week’s end the carpet-cleaning professional was in my house after I tried to take care of the offending splatter myself (and broke my friend’s irreplaceable, trusty circa 1980 carpet cleaning machine in the process. Thank you for saving me, Ebay!)

Need to test out if the spindles on your decking are “to code?” Don’t worry she will try to stick her head through them and give you a heart attack.

Scissors left out by mistake? No problem, she will find them, run away with them and laugh in your face while doing it.

The one day I did not take the time to put her shorts back on after changing her diaper pre-nap, she made sure to “help” me get the process started after she woke up by attempting to change her diaper herself and make pretty pictures with it.

And my most favorite scenario of recent memory…sitting in the salon waiting to get Twinkle’s hair cut last week and listening to some sassy language blurt out of Bee’s mouth. Praying that the two elderly ladies waiting patiently beside us were not going to hear a four-letter word from my curly-haired darling.

I affectionately call her my fortieth birthday present (well, really I was 39 but I’m not splitting hairs over it) And oddly enough, I feel like some days I am way too old for this.  Other days it keeps me young.

By and large I choose to stick with the keeping me young deal. Bring it on, little pip squeak!  I shudder to think how old I would be now if we didn’t have her.

I threw myself a minor pity party a couple of weeks ago when for the second time in a row I was not carded when I purchased my beloved red wine.

Then BAM! This past weekend “May I see your ID please?” rung sweetly in my ears.

Thanks, Bee.

 

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© Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Always Blow Out the Candles

God sends children to enlarge our hearts and to make us unselfish and full of kindly sympathies and affections ~M. Howitt

This quote comes from a quote-a-day calendar that belonged to my Dad. When us kids were all grown-up it got passed on to my husband as we started having children and needed some sage advice.

This statement has been staring at me for a couple of weeks. Neither Ice nor I have changed the date over. I guess we like the reminder.

Recently we celebrated Little Bee’s second birthday. She loved the blowing out of the candles. It was the first time she was old enough to understand and make an effort.  She called it her “special cake”. She thought it was just going to happen every day.

So the day after her birthday, night time rolled around and she asked for “special cake” and wanted to blow out the candles again.

In a buzzkill moment, for whatever reason, I declined the candle request. And Ice wisely said, “Why not? Let her do it.”

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Nothing fancy.  Not the “Birthday Plate”, just a paper plate. Just a leftover, already-been-burned-candle.

It made her so happy.

It struck me then how many ordinary moments and ordinary days can become extraordinary with a little effort, a little sprinkles on top, a little sparkle.

And being reminded again from my husband and my two-year-old’s smile was just perfect.

What can you do to make a moment a little more special in your day today?

Hope you find a way. I would love you to share a picture or drop me a comment in the comments section.

Here’s to the sprinkles on top.

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© Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.