Sunday, January 31, 2010

Is there anybody out there? I know a few people who are reading my blog consistently, but by the looks of sitemeter, there are more! Drop me a line and introduce yourself...I'd love to hear more about you!

So sweet...

It seems like everyday Little Man is doing something new! Today it was clapping his hands for the first time! We frequently sing a little song that says "Clap your hands all ye babies, shout to the Lord with a song of triumph. Clap your hands all ye babies, shout to the Lord with a song of joy!" He usually just watches and giggles. Today he put his hands together (one on top of the other) and clapped along. Too cute! He also raised his hands (spontaneously!) in worship today as we were singing "I am free!" :)

Isn't it amazing how something so little like clapping your hands becomes something big when done for the first time? :) My heart breaks each time (day!) he does something new because his parents are missing all these "firsts." I was thinking the other day about how just *one* choice can change the whole direction of a person's life! I know single decisions that have changed mine for sure! Because of one really bad decision they are paying the consequences, but even more, so is Little Man :(

Mr. A asked me the other day "Mommy is "M" going to stay here forever and ever?" I told him that we weren't sure right now, that only God knows that answer. I asked him if God chose for "M" to stay here would he like that and his response was "Yes..."M" is going to stay here forever and not go anywhere!" I love how he has taken "M" completely as a member of this family. Actually, even Mr. I has too now (it's taken him a bit longer-lol!) He plays this game where he says "No, that's MY Mommy" and continues with the rest of the family. Today was the first time he included "baby" too :) Their little hearts will break if God's choice is to return him to his birthfamily, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it! :)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

No way!

Little Man decided that since he is finally feeling better (from his cold and teething) that he will try a new skill...yep...already! He now pulls to standing at the toy box, and then transfers over to the couch!! He is already trying to cruise the couch to get toys, etc, but he loses his balance and falls. I don't think it will be long though! He is also now able to get from sitting to his tummy without just falling over...he goes into a side-sit and then slowly goes onto his stomach. He's not really making a lot of purposeful sounds (he babbles some), but "they" often say that when a child is working on one major skill set (gross motor) that they put another on the side burner (speech). I saw this often in my teaching :) So..we continue to use baby signs with him and he'll speak when he's ready!! :) He does scream "mmmaaaaaammmaaaaaaaaa" when he's really angry! LOL! He of course still LOVES to eat! He is starting to take tastes of "adult" food...he has tried plain baked potato and avocado most recently. He got SO mad when the avocado was gone! LOL! He's gonna be a big boy!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Today's Visit

Little Man's case manager drops him off every week and I get to hear about how things went and what's new in the case. Today was very different for his mom and she thinks that there is probably some unknown mental issue that could be affecting her. In her note back to me I didn't do anything wrong this week (Whoa...1st time!) but she seemed very sad and depressed. I can only imagine not being able to see my child except for 1 hour per week :( He cries during their visits because he really doesn't know who these people are. She wondered if he does the same here. How do I tell her that he's happy and content here(minus the whole being sick/teething/normal baby stuff) without hurting her feelings? He was screaming his head off when he got home again today and I immediately picked him and he was quiet in seconds. His CM noted this on the weekly visit form. My heart breaks thinking about all that Little Man has already gone through, is going through, and will go through for the unforeseeable future :(

On another note though, bio-dad is really good with him from what I hear and is able to quiet him when he is crying, gets down on the floor to play with him, etc. I can't judge him, but his past choices have led to criminal charges, so is that really the best place for Little Man???? There seems to have been a riff in the relationship b/w bio Mom and Dad, so that could potentially add another wrench in his story....So many facets to it all and sometimes it's so hard to wrap my head around some of the possible outcomes. I can't live in the "what if's" though...I need to parent Little Man the way he needs to parented one day at a time and give the outcome to God alone!!!

Our next court date is Mid-February....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Inspire Life Sunday

Today is the National Sanctity of Human Life Sunday where we CELEBRATE LIFE!!!! Our local pregnancy center (where I volunteer) is sponsoring a "Walk for Life" We have all (including those in the community) have been encouraged to put on a free t-shirt and "walk the walk" to show our support for LIFE!!! We have been encouraged to bring a pack of diapers or wipes to help the center support women who have decided (despite the obvious challenges) to give LIFE to their babies!! I encourage you to join us on the walk or find something in your local community to show your support! Here is the link to the LifeCare of Brandon pregnancy center sponsoring the walk

Saturday, January 16, 2010

What he's been up to..

Little Man is certainly not lacking in the gross motor development area! 6 months he is army crawling (and already trying to get on his knees after only 2 weeks of army crawling!!! ) Yesterday he totally shocked me and pulled up to kneeling at the toy box and was trying so hard to get to his feet, but couldn't coordinate it all yet...thank God!!

He is a really good eater!! Whew...he's huge! He loves pretty much any fruit or vegetable, and even if it isn't his favorite, he's a little piggy so he'll eat it anyway-LOL! He loves those rice rusks I posted about earlier and literally starts screaming if you eat in front of him and he doesn't have something!

We have started using baby signs with him. He watches intently. We started at 6 months with Mr. A too and he was using signs by 9 months and had over 100 by about 15 months! It's great for language development...we can't get that kid to be quiet now! LOL! We also used them with Mr. I when he came home at 1 yr, but he made more of a jump to words :)

He got his first tooth the other day!! He is definitely working on #2 right and jsut wants to be held. That's tough when he's almost 20lbs! He's been in the carrier a lot!

Little Man has to go the health dept on Tuesday for his 6 month shots. There's a Medicaid change that is *hopefully* getting taken care of so while that gets figured out they want me to get his shots taken care of. Not looking forward to that! :(

His sleeping is improving a tad...still the worst after a visit, but that's to be expected. He fell asleep by himself for a nap today (with a tad bit of crying) and slept for almost 2 hours which is his best nap yet! Night time is definitely getting better!!!

As layers of the onion to his story keeping peeling themselves back we are still left wondering what God has planned with Little Man. Again though, we are blessed to have as much time as we do with him :-)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Silly me....

Why was I worried about his face???? He's wearing jeans today...! LOL! No more jeans was the request of the day. Ummmm...ok! She seems to be getting things in "gear" so we shall see if she follows through! I hope for Little Man's sake she does!!!! She has personally asked me for my phone number and I really am not comfortable with that...hhmmmm....maybe she has email??? Not that I don't want to talk to her, but with a phone number you can find an address...ya know? We have a standing date of Wed same time from now until ???? At least it will be steady.

Noticing a pattern..

with Little Man's sleeping. The past two weeks I have noticed that for 3-4 days after his birthparent visits he awakens often and of course needs extra assurance. The other 3-4 days he has been sleeping through the night (with no feeding till 5:30am!) :) So...I guess for the time being I get about 3 nights of good sleep!! I'll take it because for the first month or so it was 0 nights of good sleep-LOL!

Of course this morning he just had to bonk his head on his hard rolling ball and get a red mark on his eye/eyebrow!! Ggggrrr...he couldn't have done it tomorrow right??? LOL!! They balked at every minor thing last week, so I am just waiting for "it." I have been putting lots of Vitamin E oil on it and it has definitely lightened it up, so maybe they won't make too big of a deal out of it??? I have learned to document EVERYTHING, and I know his CM is really good about that too. I have addressed all their other "concerns" from last week, so I hope they see that too :) His visit is scheduled for later today....

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Birthparent visit #2

So this visit didn't go as well as the last one! LOL! Little Man left with a smile on his face (his case worker picks him up), but by the time she put him in the car he was screaming! He proceeded to scream the entire trip there and for awhile once he got there (they meet at the agency). He finally calmed down, and then the "outpouring" came. We did several things "wrong" with his care and the CM did several things wrong, etc. The CM gave Mom and Dad a big dose of reality and reminded them why they were sitting there rather than at home with their son. She assured them that we are nice people, she had seen our home, etc. I totally realize that this is their way of gaining some control in a situation where they seem to have none (right now). The case plan and recommendations are being developed and they have A LOT to work on. They seem to really love their son, so for his sake I pray that they are commited to changing their lives in major ways to be there for him. It is going to be a long road though!!! I guess time will tell if they are really committed to putting the work in or not!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Good idea :)

So Little Man's new case worker came to pick him up for his visit today (1/2 hour late!) and I told her that I started a notebook about him for his mom so she could feel like she still knew what was going on with him, what he's able to do, etc. I told his case worker this so she would be sure to open the bag and she was so surprised that I had that idea-lol! She said that she had never heard of that before! I guess that if I were in the position of his mom I would want to know every little thing that I am missing. Praying she feels the same way! I also asked for pics of her/Dad so that we can show them to Little Man as well. All of this is in strict obedience to God. Knowing what I know, at this point I do not think that he should return to his mom, (and don't want to facilitate a relationship) BUT knowing that God can get ahold of her and do what only HE can do, makes us do what we do :)

This new CM seems like she is going to be much more helpful that the last one so that is good and she seems more willing to share info. Praying for His will!!!!!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

No meeting...

Well today we got a call from our new case manager. She called to set up another visitation for tomorrow. Mom was supposed to have her case plan meeting today, but that got cancelled...nice of someone to tell me. What if I had shown up as I had hoped to do? I would not have been happy since it's almost an hour away! I guess we have a CM from one of the two agencies that are notorious for poor communication :( So...we start over again.

Also "they" switched his Medicaid from straight Medicaid to a managed care which my pediatrician doesn't take, so now we have to climb through those hoops to change it to the one that she takes. More fun! :(

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sleep realization

As I was trying to put Little Man to sleep today I came to a realization. Every time I try to create a peaceful, quiet, calm environment for him to go to sleep in he screams and it takes him forever to go to sleep. It hit me today as I had to leave this quiet environment to discipline Mr. I for writing on the couch (gggrrrr!). As I used a "serious voice" with Mr. I, Little Man immediately quieted down and went to sleep. It then hit me...often times for his morning nap when I am trying to do school with Mr. A I had him Little Man in the carrier and he went to sleep quickly. He NEEDS noise to go to sleep! It really makes me wonder what kind of noisy/chaotic environment he developed that habit in. That sparked a memory from our training session when one of the instructors said that he would be calm and peaceful when putting her (foster) daughter to bed, but after many times out of bed she would say something like "enough is's time to go to sleep now!" in a more stern voice. She would go immediately to sleep. In her case she needed someone to raise their voice to her. Just another facet to this puzzle!

Friday, January 1, 2010

In trouble!

Little Man is moving!!! He pushes himself backwards and moves around the room and he is starting to army crawl forward as well. He doesn't make it far yet, but I have a feeling that it won't be long before are in trouble with that! LOL! :)

We have a foam mat that we have down on the floor because we have hard tile, so it provides a cushy spot for him to play. Well the border is foam as well and he loves to chew on them, but I don't want him to get in the habit of it so I usually take it away from him. Today he pushed himself backward to the edge of the mat, peeled off a border piece and looked back and me and smiled. Stinker!!

Secrets of the Baby Whisperer

I used to think that this book was probably silly (of course not having read it :( ) I now recant all thoughts and statements and wished I had read it when we had Mr. A as an infant! There are definitely things that I would have done differently. I am only a few chapters in, but it has already helped to "steady" Little Man's sleeping patterns and get him closer to sleeping through the night!! The program is simple...basically you follow the E.A.S.Y. pattern as a routine. I am all about routines/schedules, so this really seems to work for me (without having to look at a clock at all).

The E. is for eat; The A is for activity; the S for sleep and the Y for yourself (time to do what you need to do). Little Man's typical "routine" had him falling asleep after his bottle (this was started with his birhtparents) and then getting up and playing so he was more of a E. S. A kind of kid. By consciously making him stay awake after a bottle and re-working that habit he now sleeps from 7pm-2:00am. He still is getting a night feeding, but it is really because he is hungry (you can hear his stomach growl!) and he goes right back to sleep until 6 or 7am!! He is a BIG boy so I can understand the need for those extra calories at this point, plus he is starting move! Of course I hope that will soon end as well and he will just sleep ALL NIGHT!! This is a HUGE improvement from where he was.

I really expected a rough night last night following his birthparent visit, but it was just fine! He did wake up at 11:30 for "no reason" and then at 2 for a feeding, but nothing like what I had anticipated. That sparks some questions in my had been a whole month since he had seen his birthparents...did he know who they were? They must have seemed familiar (smells,etc)! I have no idea how the brain works in that manner at 6 months old, but there didn't seem to be any grieving happening last night. I have no idea-lol! I really made a point to keep him close once he got back. He always had me in sight if he wasn't in my arms and I made sure to keep everything the same as usual. Maybe that helped? This is quite an adventure!

I look forward to reading more and getting Little Man slowly but surely putting himself to sleep :)