Monday, April 30, 2012

knock knock jokes

It isn't fair.
That seem to be one of Maxies favourite things to say lately. That and "NEVER!"
I am feeling a bit like complaining about fairness myself right this second and so I will!
The boys have started into this phobia about bugs. Anything that flies. They SCREAM if they see a moth or a mosquito or a fly. Little Bit calls them all "BEES" but to my recollection he has not ever been stung and Shel and I are a fan of creepy crawlies and the role they play in the circle of life. OK. So mosquito's and flies not so much, but bees we like !
Anyway, for some unknown reason the boys have started freaking out about flying things in the house. At bedtime they are inconsolable if there is a fly in the bedroom. Last night Shel spent about half an hour swatting everything that might be alive upstairs int he boys room but they were convinced there was still something winged in the room. They would NOT settle down. After HOURS of up and down the stairs they finally came down and slept on the couch ( but this really doesn't make a lot of sense since there is more likely to be a fly downstairs than upstairs, but I was beyond offering that information to the cherubs when they FINALLY began to settle - I think it was around 3 am? Then Shel was WIDE awake. and by wide awake I mean awake enough to keep me awake.
Nevertheless we all got up this morning and went around our business as usual. Numero Uno to school, me to work, and Cherub number two, the worst of the "fly phobia" among us, what did he do? Why HE TOOK A NAP the little fetcher.
Which brings us to my complaint.
Shel is exhausted after a long night of fly busting and is asleep. Max is exhausted after a long night of fly busting and a day at school and is asleep. Little bit however is WIDE AWAKE. I am sitting on the computer and I finally brought him downstairs because his constant yelling for me was going to wake his brother and that would have been the start of another sleepless night.
He is sitting on the couch watching television. I thought he was asleep but he just said to me " KNOCK KNOCK". I replied "Whose there?"
The punch line....." Tootie butt mommy"
Not only am I up in the night with the little punk. I am the brunt of his jokes.

30 day drawing challenge

30 Days Drawing Challenge

From Here originally (but I got it from HERE)
I found this a while ago and thought I would really be interested in it but my drawing skills are not so hot. Then I started to play drawsome on my iphone and while I am still not convinced my drawing skills are any good I might as well draw something for my blog considering how much drawing I do for my friends anyway!
So here is the schedule and the first thing I have to draw is myself. I will try to have something ready to scan tomorrow to start day one of the challenge. Anyone care to join me? Jill?

Day 1 - Yourself



Day 2 - Favorite Animal



Day 3 - Favorite Food



Day 4 - Favorite Place



Day 5 - Best Friend



Day 6 - Favoriote Book Character [Can’t be a movie]



Day 7 - Favorite word



Day 8 - Favorite animated Character



Day 9 - Favorite TV Show



Day 10 - Favorite Candy



Day 11 - Turning point in my life



Day 12 - Most Recent accomplishment



Day 13 - Comic



Day 14 - Favorite Fairytale



Day 15 - Family picture



Day 16 - Inspiration



Day 17 - Favorite plant



Day 18 - Just a doodle



Day 19 - Something New



Day 20 - Somthing orange



Day 21 - Something you want



Day 22 - Something you miss



Day 23 - Something you Need



Day 24 - A couple



Day 25 - Scenery



Day 26 - Something you don’t like



Day 27 - someone you love



Day 28 - anything you’d like



Day 29 - A place you want to go



Day 30 - A congrats banner for finishing the Challenge

Knocked his tooth out

Max lost his second front tooth yesterday. Trying to find it has proven to be challenging as he is not interested whatsoever in the tooth fairy coming to visit so there is no incentive for him to find the tooth. When I asked him how he lost it he informed me that his brother knocked it out - which his brother verified. I'm not exactly certain how I feel about this.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I'm climbing onto a high horse about foster parenting. Yup I am.

We have been foster parents for more than six years. We have had a LOT of children placed with us over the years and we have had a ridiculous amount of funny, sad, happy and heartbreaking things happen in that time. Foster parenting is a HUGE commitment and one not to be taken lightly. I am about to say some HARSH things about foster care. You may not want to read!



It is something Shel and I always wanted to do and something we (for the most part) have enjoyed.


There are some things about foster parenting that are so frustrating words cannot express. I have avoided - for legal reasons - ever posting anything about the fostering experience on my blog. For some reason I have recently changed my mind about that and I AM now going to write about some of our experiences.

In foster parent training there is a lot of discussion about "Grief". A child who comes into your home as a foster parent is grieving. For MOST of these children they have recently experienced something profoundly painful. For many of them there has been a history of pain, of loss, of disappointment, but even if they came from a PERFECT home, one in which they were fed, clothed, nourished and loved right up until the minute they were removed and put in your home, they have suffered something tragic and THEY WILL BE GRIEVING.

I personally do not think that there is enough emphasis placed on the grief of foster children. Something that sticks out to me vividly from the training that I was in specifically spoke to the fact that "the younger a child is, the less grief they experience and the faster they adapt." The part about adapting may be true. A youngster might adapt to a new living situation more rapidly than an older child, but there is NO way a small child does not experience grief.

I recall one of the young children who came to stay with us. This child was young, under the age of two - we have had many children this age. This particular child came into our home and in behaviour was really amazing. From the outside it would have been easy to say this child was calm, quiet, good mannered and so forth. What I know now is that this child was in shock. There were no language skills to give any kind of verbal explanation as to what was happening. This child had NO idea what was happening and in all honestly I believe remained in shock for more than a week.

We become so "matter of fact" about what is happening. Worker calls or someone "on-call" calls to ask if a spot is available for placement in your home, driver comes over, driver drops off kid with bag of clothing (sometimes), Driver leaves, ON-call person says they will have worker call in a few days with details, family and new child are left "to adjust to one another".  This explanation may seem harsh and may appear as though I am being callous, but EVERY child who was EVER placed in our care was placed in this way UNLESS we were asked to pick the child up ourselves.

The system is BROKEN. A broken system CONTRIBUTING TO broken families and broken children.

Some good things happen in foster care - believe it or not.

If you google "foster parenting" it is extremely unfortunate that what you will come across is an overwhelming amount of HORROR stories about foster homes. There is this belief "out there" that foster homes are terrible places to be full of people trying to make a quick buck who treat the kids worse than they would have been treated in their family of origin. While I do not dispute that there have been some terrible things happening in foster homes I feel I must make some counter points to the notion that all foster homes are terrible places.

1. There are as many as 85 THOUSAND children in foster homes in Canada. That's a LOT of children. I believe I am an advocate for children. I wish this world were a perfect place but it is not. Terrible things happen to children in this world. Children are hungry, children are neglected, children are abused, but not all of these things ONLY happen to children in foster care. These things happen to children in "good" homes, in "good" neighbourhoods. The media reports on sensational cases. The media reports on things that happen to children in care - and I think they should - but the spotlight is extremely negative.

2. I have yet to find in my internet search, anything positive about foster parenting. Not ONE story. It would be pretty much impossible for a "good" foster home to be highlighted anyway, because foster parents are discouraged from contacting the media in any way. In fact, contacting the media is forbidden if it involves identifying foster children in any way. This makes it absolutely impossible for anything that is positive within foster care to ever be highlighted.

Here's the thing about kids in care. When you become a foster parent you sign all kinds of documents. You won't put photos of the kids in your home on facebook, or on a blog. You wont talk about the children to ANYONE (this is very difficult). The kids, if they are in school and do something really great - like get a student of the month award - are not permitted to have their photo taken for the school paper, for the local paper or be recognised in any way. If they are in a swim club or on a sports team that wins - no photos. NO recognition in any way in the media. So the kids themselves become invisible. I understand the motivation around protecting the children, but the motivation does not take into consideration all of the ramifications for the kids or consider the possibility that the kids might benefit in some way from being recognised (even within the school) for being a part of something positive.

Now I am not suggesting that I am a perfect foster parent. I am not suggesting that every moment in my home is worth broadcasting to the world, but what I AM saying is that foster parents out there are working hard and for the most part doing an AMAZING job and for NO POSITIVE RECOGNITION.

We have had happy dances, we have had student success, we have taught kids about proper eating, about feeding their brains, about playing and laughing and not needing to hoard food. We have clothed kids, nursed sick kids, cleaned up a LOT of puke, done more lice treatments than anyone would believe, we have shaved our heads AS A FAMILY to make sure kids didn't feel like they were different or disruptive. Would you know it - we have even cared for kids once they were removed from our home and placed back with families who reached out to us for help because they needed it and didn't want the "system" involved anymore.

They have a foster parent appreciation week. Did you know about it? Every year it comes and goes and we are reminded about it when we get the monthly newsletter saying " HAPPY FOSTER PARENT APPRECIATION WEEK" but the week has passed without us even knowing.

What I would like to ask is this - the next time you see something terrible about foster homes, think of the GOOD ones. There are some good ones.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

People making up words

I have to laugh when people use words incorrectly. I work with someone who does this on a DAILY basis, but correcting the individual would be an exercise in futility.
Yesterday we were talking in the office about the upcoming election and the signs posted all over the community.
The comment was made "I see these signs up all over and have no idea who these people are. Are they even in my consistency?"
Oh, mylanta.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Provincial Election Time

It seems to happen CONSTANTLY.

Driving to work I still see elections signs in the ditches that weren't cleaned up from the last election... wait, that was a federal one?

Whoever it is, it seems like elections in Alberta never end. Federal, Municipal, Provincial, there always seems to be signs along the road to vote for someone. First on the side of the road and then in the ditch. (A pet peeve of mine - you want me to vote for you but you don't care enough about where I live to clean up after yourself?)

And yet, this time around, my interest has been piqued. I'm pretty sure it all started when the Wildrose Party unveiled it's elections bus in March.



I personally thought it was humorous. The party received all KINDS of attention as a result of the placement of the "wheels of the bus" including this statement by NDP Rachel Notley, who said the issue is not about sexism, but bad management. "They need to question the quality of their election team in allowing the bus to go forward like that," said Notley.
REALLY Rachel? Come on.
ANYWAY.

The whole bus fiasco brought the Wildrose party onto my radar screen. Who are these people?

I live in ultra-conservative Alberta. How does this happen to me? First Ultra conservative Utah, now ultra conservative Alberta? I am not a fan of the PC party but living here I feel as though the "tradition" of the PC's has more weight in elections than the issues and though I always cast my vote against them it feels a bit futile.

The other night while sitting at home the phone rang. Not anything new. I answered it. Something new! The person on the phone identified themselves as calling from the Wildrose party. Under normal circumstances I would have thanked them, or not, and hung up. I have been mildy interested in finding out who they are though and so I thought I would take a few minutes to have a discussion. The caller asked if I had decided who I was voting for in the upcoming election. I said I was undecided. She thanked me and hung up!
I suppose all they were looking for was a number of people voting, but I think they missed an opportunity to tell me a little about their stance on issues when I was willing to have a conversation.

So I have taken it upon myself to check into who these people are. Well surprise, surprise they are another right wing political party. Having said that I think it is time that the PC's in Alberta are given a run for their money. All is not well in provincial politics in Alberta!

I am interested to see where this election takes the province, and I just hope after all is said and done the signs are cleaned up!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Irony in ordering item from Amazon

I ordered my mom a GPS.
I ordered it from Amazon.ca
It was ordered on March 15th and as of today has not been delivered.
I recieved an email today. This is what the email said

"Order ID/Commande N°:
1 of/sur TomTom XL 340S 4.3-Inch Portable GPS Navigator 
-------------- Begin message / D├ębut du message -------------

Hi Julie ,

From shipment trucking info we have noticed that your address on file was incomplete and therefore the post could not deliver your order on March 23. Could you please confirm if this address was correct:

Your mom

Street Address
City, Province
 Postal Code
Canada

We can ship it back if you could please provide a correct address.

Regards


Are you serious?
I order a  GPS and the shipping company cannot find my moms house?
Perhaps they should have opened the box and used the GPS.
Idiots