Friday, August 31, 2007

SNAFU is just our status quo

What's been going on Chez Fostermoms, you ask? Everything and nothing.

First, the Niblet situation:
Niblet's not going anywhere any time soon. The last time we picked her up, fostermama asked Niblet's mom about the whole moving-out-of-state thing. Her mom said that her dad just got approved for Section 8 and there's a rule that you can't transfer your Section 8 out of state until you've been living in your current state for one year. So he can't move for one year. So we have Niblet for at least one more year. As we know, a lot can happen in a year, so whatever. We're just enjoying her in the moment. We've actually skipped a week here and there because there's been a lot of other stuff going on with us and it's pretty all-encompassing to have her around. We don't really get anything else done. Hopefully, though, we'll take her for an afternoon/evening over the long weekend.

Niblet herself is still CUTE. She's enormous, in my eyes. Still only about 26 pounds soaking wet, size 3 diapers fit her very well, but she's tall and mature-looking. She's slowing communicating more, but she still doesn't initiate words. She'll copy back words and she uses ASL signs with us that we've taught her, and she babbles and is a huge fan of NO!, but no real "talking" as I would define it. She's behind in that regard, but I suspect she'll eventually catch up. And she UNDERSTANDS everything, no doubt about that.

In SqueakLand: Squeak is now 7 months old, sitting like an uber-pro, and thinking about becoming mobile. He launches himself at the world and is really good and getting stuff that we think are out of his reach. Silly moms!
We found out recently that he has many food allergies, as well as allergies to our cats. This has created a lot of problems to be solved in our lives. Our cats are our "first children". We're "those crazy cat people", truly. We're devoted to our fuzzies. But between them and our kid, well, there's no contest. They're going to live with a family member, for which we're eternally grateful. The idea of having them go to a stranger and possibly never seeing them again was killing me.

Otherwise, we're learning to live with a baby who lives to put everything in his mouth and who needs, for the safety of his life, to be kept away from anything with food on it. (Okay, not all food, just anything that might have any possible traces of: milk, egg, peanut, other nuts, wheat and soy - see that's not everything, right?) It's complicated, especially since most of our friends have toddler (which, by definition, are constantly sticky with food).

Because we're breastfeeding him, we've cut all of these things out of our diet and are on a crazy elimination diet so we can test everything else slowly and make sure he doesn't react to anything else. You can only test for a few things in an infant blood test, because you can only take a small amount of blood. Next time we'll test for more, but for now we just have to test them the old-fashioned way - by mouth.

It's hard to even know how I feel about this, because it's just become a part of my life so quickly, so easily it seems. We carry around an Ep1-pen wherever we go with him. We wipe his hands (and anywhere else he can reach with his mouth) whenever we've been out in the world, just in case he got something on him. We're still in the hypervigilant phase. I know we'll always be like that, unless and until he grows out of the allergies, but I think it will eventually be subconscious instead of the first thing on my mind.

And, in case you thought it had just gone away of it's own accord, we're STILL waiting to hear the result of our adminstrative appeal for the stupid indicated abuse report. We sent in our lawyer-written letter about 45 days ago and they have 90 days to give the decision. We don't expect an answer until the 90th day.

That's how it is here. Any other questions?

Monday, August 06, 2007


Inspired by the other fostermama. For context, check out this post..

What a good question. I was about to start listing, and I realized I didn't know what to list. I am an obsessive plan-ahead-er, but the chaos of our lives for the past few years has muted that a bit. At the moment our big plan is to get FosterMommy through grad school to be an OT starting fall of 2008. Assuming we're not determined to be child abusers :P There are other plan-type things along those lines (adopt another child, beginnings of plans for me to be a lactation consultant for adoptive moms...).
But that's not really the kind of goal setting your post makes me think of.

I personally detest self-help books. I have only recently conceded that they sometimes have something useful to add, but then only because FosterMommy reads them and shares some of their better ideas. I guess I have rejected this type of goal-setting, but I really like this exercise you set us. Here are my results so far:

For each of us to be in a career & job that is fulfilling and enjoyable.
To have a strong family unit, full of mutual support and warmth and good communication.
To feel energetic more often than exhausted.
To actively think about what I want to teach my kids and how I want to be with them as they grow up, and then do it.
To remain healthy into old age.
To live in community (this one I feel like we're already doing, but I want it to continue to be true).

I think that's a long enough list for now. I will have to set myself to thinking more about each of these, and to thinking about the question of Goals more often.