Thursday, January 31, 2008

Growing Blogroll & SW Update

I've updated my blog links here, and wanted to let you know so you could check them out as well. There are many new blogs out there written by folks who are awaiting placements, matches, or deep in the trenches of fostering and/or adopting. If you, too, would like to be added to the blogroll, or I have left you off (because I will forever be a space cadet on some level), PLEASE leave a comment and tell me about yourself so I can add you to my list!

Oh, and Bit-Bit's SW came by. Even though she never met my oldest daughter until last month, she suggested I have her evaluated for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. I was insulted and mad as hell. Her business is NOT my daughter who is now ALL MINE. HER business is my now foster-daughter. Period. (Oh, and my daughter does not in any way, shape, or form have FAS. And I am not looking to "diagnose" any of her quite typical 2-year old behaviors, thank you very much.)

We also have a new R&C worker, who also had never met my oldest daughter, who attempted to on-the-spot diagnose her with "sensory issues". Uh-huh. Insulting at a minimum. Dangerous at its worst. Imagine if I were an idiot who follows every suggestion offered by minimally educated busy-bodies. Those of you who have followed my story forever, or who know me IRL, know Cookie has neither of these issues. She is two, and brilliant, and needs cognitive stimulation because of that. I think that's fabulous.

Do you know how many kids are medicated now and on serious psychotropic medications? If you don't, you really owe it to yourself to find out. I will tell you that the diagnosis being given out to very young children (as young as 2) now disorder. The fastest growing childhood diagnosis. And yes, the same medication given to adults for the disorder is being prescribed to children in lesser doses. It makes me want to vomit.

Bit-Bit's biomom and legal dad have both now been served papers at their respective places of incarceration. Biomom has 22 days with which to respond, but it won't matter anyway. We are just waiting for the court date for TPR to be assigned now. SW says her best guess is that it will be around the end of March. That is excellent news. Of course, all this is still too slow for me.

Bit-Bit is now sitting up for long periods of time all by herself. She isn't crawling yet, but is doing plenty of rolling and "launching" herself around the room. "Launching" is done by getting up on her hand and knees, rocking back and forth very fast, and suddenly thrusting herself forward in a belly-flop in the direction she wants to go in. I happen to think this is quite inventive!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Mommy Guilt

Cookie went to the pediatric dentist today for her first-ever visit. I thought she had some tooth decay on a front tooth. I was wrong. She has decay seemingly everywhere. 5 teeth will need work. And the culprit: the sippy cup.

Cookie's always had sleeping problems, and a need for something comforting. At home, we use Nuby sippy cups with the soft silicone spout. Sometimes she does carry it around and uses it as more of a pacifier than anything. In the night she wakes up crying for "Milk! Milk!" If we give her water, she has a meltdown and will not quit until she gets milk. In the evenings during quiet time and reading, she has to have her sippy cup. Lately, she's given up juice and taken on a real love for milk - and lots of it.

I feel like I have been an atrocious mother. I knew that her use of a sippy cup at home wasn't good. She obviously does fine at daycare without one, but she begs for it as soon as we get into the car. If we forget her sippy cup, we have another meltdown on our hands.

But I should have been stronger. I should have insisted on water only. But beyond that, the dentist told me that the constant use of the sippy has been pushing her upper teeth forward. He asked if she used a pacifier, and when I said no I don't think he believed me.

I asked if her drug exposure could have been to blame, but the answer was "not in this manner".

It is bad. Her front two teeth were badly decayed in the back. We had never seen that. Even her new 2-yr. molars that have just come in already have cavities in them. In the front teeth, we were told it was a very close call as to whether she needed a root canal.

And now we have to wait until Feb. 21st for all the repair work.

We have to pay only $15o for the sedation. Her medical card doesn't cover sedation, and after how she screamed and flailed today, sedation is best option.

My heart is sick. I feel like my wanting to be a loving mother has in this area actually damaged my child.

I'm glad at this point she's too young to blame me. :)

At least they will use white resin to do the repair work.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Cookie's New Skill

This afternoon, Cookie spontaneously busted into singing her ABC's - and for the first time, she sung it all the way through with no help and without missing a letter...twice!

That's my girl!

She can almost always count to 10 on her own, but is still fond of skipping the #5. What did 5 ever do to her?

Colors and shapes are in progress. She has "circle" and "orange" down, but the others seem to be still under development. Apparently, everything is "green", unless of course, it is orange.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bit-Bit Update

First, she's fine (of course).
And her new nickname here is because IRL we call her "Bit-Bit", so the name change here seemed more appropriate. :)

The daycare (that we now actually have even more love and respect and admiration for) is a nationally accredited on (K****r C*re) and home office has been quite helpful. They have offered to pay for any testing, doctor's bills, etc.

The other family was notified, and the mother is healthy and not on any medications. She offered to turn over any medical information or undergo any testing herself as opposed to subjecting a baby to testing. Amazing. We do not know who she is, but the daycare told us that she is "in a medical profession". As a matter of policy, the families cannot be told who the other party in the incident is.

We read the CDC website about the risks, or relative lack thereof, and feel much better. Since the "damage" is already done, we are going to wait to talk to Bit-Bit's pediatrician on her 6-month visit around the first of Feb. That way, we can all be accurate about what happened and talk face-to-face.

We are not worried anymore. We VASTLY appreciate your advice - it helped us put together a checklist of things to ask about.

If we would like, our pediatrician can contact the daycare and they will release the name of the other family's physicians, so our doctor can contact their doctor in confidentiality and find out any medical information necessary. The other family has agreed to do this and have their medical records open for a look, so we already feel relieved there.

Bit-Bit did drink the ENTIRE bottle (and probably loved and and is now wondering how she can get some more of that delicious milk). The bottles were identical except for the name written on the label. Bit-Bit is probably more at risk riding in the shopping cart at the grocery store and touching the handle. Still, we will seek out our pediatrician's advice and see if we should investigate any further.

Interestingly enough, we feel now like our kids are more well protected at this daycare than just about anywhere.

Thanks again for all of your wonderful tips and assurances.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

URGENT Advice Needed!

Just got a call informing me that Bit-Bit was accidentally given the wrong bottle at daycare...of breastmilk!!! They were extremely apologetic and the worker has been suspended (which breaks my heart, b/c she LOVES Bit-Bit and Bit-Bit loves her, and they all said it was just a freak mistake. I know, a potentially dangerous mistake. *sigh*

Anyway, now I must call pediatrician, etc.

But anyone know of dangers? Communicable diseases? I know, our pediatrician will know more, but it is 5:50 and I couldn't reach my husband by phone on his way to pick up the girls.

Any advice for how to proceed, if anything?

Please help.

I don't want to tell my mom in FL, although she would have good advice.

Should I call the social worker?


Monday, January 21, 2008

Thank God It's Monday!

OK, so this may be the one day a year I actually believe that. But today the girls are at daycare (thank you, Lord!) and I am not teaching today because of the holiday.

Oh, and I weighed in today after 1 week on WW. Result = -7 pounds. Yippie!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

While Teaching Class Today...

Student: "You mean there can be racist monkeys?"

Me: Racist monkeys? No, Rhesus. Rhesus. I said Rhesus. RHE-SUS.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The First Post of 08

I'm way behind in my posting. It's a by-product of a life with a 2 year old and a 5 1/2 month old. The girls are thriving. Michael and I are not getting the sleep we need and deserve, but beyond that life is wonderful.

Here are a few random updates from this scatterbrain:

Job Ish:
I'm teaching 3 classes this semester between the university and community college. It's all the same class - Interpersonal Communication, so it's easy to prep. I'm on a MWF schedule, so T/Th I'll be taking care of housework and catching up on my sanity.

Michael did not get a call from Texas A&M. I'm disappointed that there was no thrill there, but am glad to know we are where we are supposed to be for now. I remember last year being so sad about him needing to turn down the offer from George Mason U., but if we had gone we would not have been able to get Honey Bun when she was born. God obviously had more important plans for us than moving to DC! But Michael did get a 7,500 a year raise out of the negotiations process, so it worked out remarkably well all around.

I hope something interesting opens up in 08 - for one or both of us. I'm really sick of the attitude of most of the people at the university here. Braggadocios for no good reason. Pompous. Arrogant. Self-centered. Mean.

I'm on half the Metformin I had been taking for my PCOS and elevated testosterone levels. At my last checkup of 2007, testosterone was at the lowest it had ever been, so I get to cut the medication in half and see how I do in about 3 months. Since we are no longer TTC, medicating the PCOS is more for my health than anything else.

Depression is always a threat, but well under control. I'm on the same meds and level I've been on for almost 2 years now, and all is well. I only cry when I'm really stressed, mad as hell, and exhausted. I no longer cry for no good reason. I still have trouble sleeping, but that's mainly because I'm afraid that when I do fall asleep, that will be the exact minute a child wakes up needing something.

Last year, a stranger in a store told me I looked great for having just given birth. Yikes.

Yesterday, Michael and I started Weight Watchers. I'll likely post about the journey from time to time, but if it becomes more than a mere mention, I'll create a separate page for that so you can read about my weight loss journey there.

I will put it out here in black and white: I weighed 245.2. I have actually weighed more than that, and we pleasantly surprised I wasn't over the 250 mark. I am 5'6". I have 100 pounds to loose. I could weigh 155 and be within my "range". Still, it's a lot. I am morbidly obese. I am in the greatest health risk category. I don't want to die. I want to have more energy for my kids. I want to feel like running around outside instead of plopping on the sofa all evening. I am pretty motivated. This has to be my 20th time joining Weight Watchers, if not close to it.

I have to loose 24 pounds to get my 10% target. When I have lost that, I will have lost approximately the weight of my 2-year old daughter!!

Cookie Issues:
T-A-N-T-R-U-M-S. Period. I loathe them. They make me want to beat her butt. She's so struggling with control and identity issues and testing us. I know it's important and necessary and healthy, but DEAR GOD MAKE IT STOP.

I do most of the caring for Cookie when she wakes up - which is also at least once or twice a night, mainly wanting milk to, CRYING for "MILK!!". She is sadly, still in our bed. We have not been working real hard on getting her out because doing so means we will not get sleep of any kind. While we were in FL, she did a good job of sleeping in a big bed by herself in her bedroom, but that was a special butterfly room designed by her grandparents to be every little girl's fantasy room. Who wouldn't want to sleep there? I could do the same thing at our house, if I had several thousand dollars to remodel.

Cookie is now in the 2-3 year old room at daycare and LOVES it. The increased intellectual stimulation and the new challenges just cater to her personality in the best ways. She comes home singing her ABC's and can do it all by herself - she misses G and W most of the time, and LOVES the "LMNOP" part (who doesn't love that letter!!). She also sings parts of many, many songs. She has a beautiful singing voice and is also a fascinating dancer!

Honey Bun Issues:
Sleeping is OK. Some nights we only have 1 wake-up between midnight and 2, and some nights (like last night) we seem to be up every 2 hours. The former is more like her, but there are still enough restless nights to necessitate prayer over it. Michael gets up with her most often, because he's the kind of guy who will watch a game he's DVRed or catch up on email while he holds her. I, on the other hand, would just want to cry.

Her development seems to be on target. She's small, but lovely. She is at about 20th percentile for length, and 50th percentile for weight - a chubster! She is just getting into 6 month clothes at 5 1/2 months. She still looks incredibly tiny to us.

She is sitting up mostly on her own now, though no one leaves her sitting up unattended because eventually she will topple over. She rolls everywhere she wants to go, and is obviously trying to crawl. She's in the crawler-room at daycare because it is obvious it will happen any day, and she is considered somewhat mobile because of her rolling everywhere!

We will likely get a First Steps evaluation for her in the next couple of months, though I can't see any delays. She grins all the time and responds to everything and has great hand-eye coordination, so I can't imagine there is anything wrong, but I'll leave it to the experts.

Adoption will happen, though we are still waiting to get a court date for TPR. We will have to have our monthly visit with the social worker sometime before the end of January, so sometime in the next 2 weeks I'll have a status report.

Marriage Issues:
Um. Well. Some days are better than others. I think any couple with two kids the ages of ours struggles some. And we do. I think I struggle more than Michael does, or at least I express myself whereas he keeps it all in. I miss physical intimacy, and that doesn't just mean sex, though I miss that too. Neither of us is going anywhere else, but most of the time it seems he's just taking up space in the house. He has to make the effort, so I've given up talking, begging, complaining, and crying about it. If he wants a good marriage, he'll have to take off the iPod first and open his mouth. Wearing something other than grey sweats might help, too. I'm done with this subject now.

Christmas 07:
Awesome. We went to my parent's in FL for almost 2 weeks. We rented a car this time - definitely made the trip better - that was partially paid for by my parents for our Christmas present - fabulous! It seemed all Michael wanted to do was sleep and listen to his iPod, so he wasn't much fun. My fun really just came from watching the girls with my parents and brother and sister-in-law. I'll post pictures as soon as I get the disks from my mom - which could be a while.

I'll have to take my own pictures soon. In fact, I'm charging the camera batteries now. It is tough though to find a time to take a picture of Cookie when she isn't filthy. How do they get so dirty without being outside even??

I hope to post daily from now on. The keys feel good under my fingertips, and I feel better already.