Friday, January 27, 2012

astronaut application completed

Today I completed my application to be an astronaut. It has always been a goal of mine to apply even though I may never become an astronaut. It feels good to check that off my life goal list. If there is any additional post about this application, it will only be because God has had his hand in my life. I am a long shot and don't expect to hear anything back about my application.

I have wanted to be an astronaut since I was in 2nd grade. I was inspired by my 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Paulsrud to be a teacher and I loved space. Christa McAuliffe was my hero as a teacher and an astronaut. I wanted to be her. The Challenger explosion and her death did not deter me at all. I continued to dream big and the dream has never died. I always wanted to meet the minimum astronaut requirements and I have. So, why not, just apply. It can't hurt. There is no time like the present.

I was explaining to Jaden today that I applied to be an astronaut. His immediate response was, "No!" Then I tried explaining to him that I am not going to be an astronaut but I would like to be but it will not be happening. I told him that over 3000 people apply to be astronauts and only about 10 people get chosen. Then his little math brain was working and he responded, "That means that 2,990 people don't get chosen." Thanks, Jaden, I know it is a long shot.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

still in transition

I have not intentionally been putting off writing about our little foster girl but my emotions and feelings and thoughts about our whole situation seem to change daily. I'm not sure if my thoughts are becoming more consistent or not yet but I feel inspired to write again. (Thank you to the movie The Help. So inspirational on so many levels.)

Life still seems incredibly hard around our house. I am sure I am making it harder than it really is but our family is still in transition. I am generally grumpy. Grumpy to my husband, my boys and little girl. Sometimes more angry than grumpy but I don't want to admit that. It is difficult to enjoy the good moments and I linger in the bad. I am a pessimist.

Little girl's behavior is improving. Her behavior is seeming normal for a 2 or 3 year old, even though she is 4. She cries at times (when she didn't use to let it out) and asks for lots of hugs when her mood is escalating instead of jumping to screaming right away. I am continually faced with her deficits from potty training issues to missing vocabulary to the multitude of bruises on her legs (gross motor issues) to rising anger when I can't figure out a word she is trying desperately to pronounce. She is developmentally delayed. She will be getting special education because of deficits in five areas. She needs the extra help. She may end up being a learning challenged kid the rest of her life. She does not have an easy life ahead of her whether she stays with our family or not.

There is continual talk of adoption. Birth mom dropped out of the picture over a month ago. Breaks my heart. We continue to pray for mom's health and her life. We were able to let the social workers involved know that we would really just like to focus on foster care as long as we can handle it and defer any adoption conversation. There were some emotional conversations in mid December about possibly needing to end this sooner than we thought. We are done with that thinking, hopefully, and we are focusing on making our family healthy no matter what the outcome is for little girl's forever family. Birth mom's parental rights will be terminated, most likely in April and little girl will be available for adoption. We will either adopt her or help in choosing a better family fit for her. This is undecided and I don't see that decision getting made any time soon (not at least for another month).

Even though little girl has improved, we are waiting to see the boys behavior improve. Jaden is stuck in a perfectionist world that is so hard for him to let go. He has trouble following the simplest commands at times. Clay has anger toward little girl that we are trying to decrease. We have a new set of goals (not rules) in our family and it is helping us all. Here are the most common repeated adages in our house. No hurts. Ask not tell. Listen and obey. Eyes. Hugs.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Christmas memories

We had a great Christmas. We got to open presents at 4 different times and that was by far the highlight for the kids. The boys' favorite present initially was the mini foosball game. Jaden now will say his favorite present is the Battleship game (thanks Kevin and Nicole!). Clay's favorite is a box of kitchen science experiments. Little girl loved everything she got! She displayed some of her best behavior while we were in North Dakota with family. It was nice to have extra help with the kids from family and there was extra entertainment from being in a new environment.

The boys can tell you why we celebrate Christmas but the presents continue to be overwhelming. I'm not sure how to change this focus on presents. I know some people think that is what Christmas is about for kids...the presents. I don't want it to be that way. I tried to be minimal on the presents from us to the kids but they have a lot of loving family that blesses them with many gifts. Maybe our family of 4 or 5 will do things differently in 2012.

Notice the picture of the lights hung nicely on our house. I got around the house to halfway through the garage door on the right when I fell. I keep saying it was halfway but looking now, there was only one strand left to do after I had already hung 3 strands. I am recovering nicely now and have only a little pain remaining in my left upper rib and my right elbow and wrist. I am now 5 weeks post fall. I am happy to have full range of motion of my arm back. I was a little concerned it wouldn't return after the doctor tried putting the scare into me that I might lose some range of motion if I didn't use my arm.