Posts tagged ‘Rosebud’

October 14, 2010

Raising Rosebud

Its occurred to me that sweet Rosebud gets much less of the spotlight on this blog.  I assure you, though, that she gets no less of the spotlight in our lives.  It’s just that she’s easier.  Parenting her is purely instinctual – it requires very little processing, tracking, or working through which is what I do a lot of on here with the parenting of Sprout.   I would describe parenting her with the same words I’ve used to describe my marriage: warm and easy.  Of course that’s not to say in any way that I prefer parenting her to Sprout because anyone who knows me knows I love a good challenge.  Recently* a lovely reader asked that I blog a bit about how we are raising Rosebud and I’m happy to oblige. 

A and I are attac.hement parents through and through.  This didn’t come about because we read a bunch of books and compared parenting models.  It simply happened when we looked in her eyes followed our hearts.  The night 6 week old Rosebud was dropped at our doorstep, I had no idea what attach.ement parenting was – in fact, I probably had opinions contrary to the philosophy.  But when we were entrusted with a tiny, sick, FTT (failure to thr.ive) newborn who had already been through more caregivers than most know in a lifetime, it was clear what we needed to do.  Gosh, just writing that sentence makes the tears well up in the back of my eyes.

The first thing we did was respond.  To her every sound or look or need.  This was so that she could learn to trust – and to communicate.  We also kept her close.  For weeks she was no more than 5 feet from either A or I at all times.  We wore her (love the e.rgo  and m.ai tai if you are looking for recs), coslept (bedsharing is against foster regulations), and moved that bouncy chair from room to room to room as we went about our day.  And we employed lots of positive touch – cuddles, baby massages, baths, and plenty of skin to skin.

I was bonded instantly…I’d say it took her a couple weeks.  But once it happened, it was amazing.  She started gaining weight (so much she dropped the FTT title within the first month), sleeping better, crying less, she lost her stiffness and tolerated sensory experiences with ease.  We were hooked on attachem.ent parenting.

Now we are much less survival oriented and instead focused on supporting learning, discovering, and exploring in her own pace, in her own way.  The more attached she becomes, the more independent and fearless she is (oh my word is that baby fearless!).  We do our best to modify our environment for safety and success so that she can feel secure to explore without a hovering mommy.  We are very much believers in the mon.tessori method and see our role as cheerleaders and gentle guides.  Just as with Sprout, we have no interest in confining or controlling Rosebud, though we won’t miss an opportunity to teach if one arises.  Similarly, we make every effort not to short-change her abilities either.  She feeds herself whenever possible (and for this reason she usually eats naked), she uses the toilet (though not with any regularity), and does a million other things that makes my mom ask “Are you really going to let her xxx?!”   Yes mom, she’s fine.  Afterall, whats a little extra cleaning in exchange for learning and building confidence?

We don’t kid ourselves into taking credit for even an iota of the amazing spirit she is, but this methodology allows us to be the type of parents we want to be.  It just clicks for us.  Perhaps it does for you as well?

*And by recently I mean close to a month ago…sorry about that!

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July 14, 2010

A Mommy Brag

As a parent, there are certain things your kids do that make you so proud and excited you just want to tell everyone you see about it.  Including your local star.bucks barista, who really couldn’t care less because she’s 21 years old and hung over, but you tell her anyway and pat yourself on the back for not jumping up and down while doing so. 

Well friends, today is one of those days because this morning Rosebud pooped on the potty!

Now I’m not saying she’s potty trained at 8 months or anything crazy like that, but I’m psyched that she’s got the association. Yay baby girl!!

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May 17, 2010

May is Foster Care Awareness Month

When I tell people I’m a foster parent, I’m usually greeted with one of two responses:

1) Awww, you’re doing such a wonderful thing. Those kids are lucky to have you.

or

2) Isn’t it hard to give them back? How do you not fall in love with them?

I appreciate and understand the responses, but they both tend to give me the deer-in-the-headlights look because, honestly, they are missing the mark all together. 

Foster Parenting is not right for everyone.  We all contribute to this world in different ways and that’s okay.  Would it be helpful and wonderful if everyone who was able donated blood? Sure! But you will never catch me standing in line at a R.ed C.ross blood drive – it’s just not something I can do.  Give me 5 drug addicted infants and a max of 2 hours of sleep at night? That I can handle.  A and I decided to become foster parents because there was a need that we knew we could fill.  As simple as that. 

And our kids? Let’s face it…they aren’t lucky at all.  They are foster children before they are even old enough to know what that means. They have zero permanency or control and they are at risk for severe attachment issues.  They’ve been abandoned by all the family they’ve ever known, including the woman that birthed them.  Sprout has been bounced from house to house, literally just dropped at doorsteps and has had to put away his fears and open his heart to complete strangers knowing his survival depended on it.  He has seen things and knows things that 3 year olds never should.  Rosebud has been saved from much of the heartbreak and struggle that Sprout has seen, but that may change when she has to say goodbye to the only mothers she has ever known.  These children are very, very unlucky. 

It’s A and I that are the lucky ones.  We are privileged beyond explanation to have the opportunity to parent them and love them.  Those children are amazing.  They are resilient and powerful.  They have a light that captured my heart and changed it forever.  A tiny three-year old taught me more about bravery, faith, and love than I had ever known.  I am so lucky to be their mommy.  They made my dreams come true.  Contrary to popular belief, foster parenting is not a selfless act – you get so much in return.

Will it be hard to give them back?  Have I fallen in love with them?  If you read this blog, you already know the answer to both.  But like I said before, those questions miss the mark entirely.  The thing is, I love those children so much that I can not imagine not being there for them when they need someone the most.  I pray that being foster children is the hardest thing they need to endure and  I love them so deeply that I will break my heart for the honor of being the soft place for them to land.

 I also have a beautiful video to share for Foster Care Awareness month, but really it deserves its own post, so it’ll be a little something to look forward to.

April 13, 2010

Shots Round 2

Rosebud had her “4 month check up” yesterday at 5 months and 1 week thanks to an insurance nightmare that I can’t even blog about because it makes me so angry.  No harm done,though – the doc deems her 100% perfect and I happen to agree!  I couldn’t believe it when we put her on the scale and it showed she’s up to 15lbs 14 oz (46th percentile).  It actually made me  a little misty to think of her getting so big!  And she’s long too! 26″ (75th percentile). 

After she showed off her flirty smiles and newly discovered giggle, it was time for the shots.  She was such a trooper!  Thank goodness because I don’t think I could have survived another episode like last time. 

All in all it was a very pleasant visit.  I was quite proud when the doc gave Rosebud two thumbs up on her tone and development and we’ve gotten the green light to introduce solids in the next couple weeks. 

Time flies…I swear it was just yesterday that I had an itty bitty baby sleeping on my chest…oh man, I better go before I start getting choked up again!

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April 12, 2010

Back to the grind

 

We packed up the crew and headed out-of-town for a few days.  It was a lovely break full of sunshine, beaches, and seafood!  The most amazing part of it all is that I survived vacationing with my parents – something I haven’t done in more than 10 years.  That could be a post in and of  itself.  Granted, I was grateful to have them there for many reasons, but there is just something a little uncomfortable about parenting in front of them – probably because they are always trying to intervene.  ugh.  But, wait, this is supposed to be a happy post!  

The kids did amazing during the drive up.  Rosebud hates the car with a passion so I was dreading the drive, but she didn’t make a peep the entire way (the ride home was a different story. let me tell you, 2 hours of screaming baby changes a person).  Sprout also did very well with the drive and made sure to point out every tanker, car carrier, and tracker trailer on the road.  Then we spent our days swimming in the pool, building sandcastles, flying kites, and having picnics.   Sprout’s behavior was lovely with only a couple overtiredness-induced meltdowns.  Unfortunately Rosebud had some trouble sleeping in her foreign surroundings so mamas didn’t get much sleep, but when you are playing at the beach all day, its amazing how little sleep you can get by on. 

Getting back into the swing of things at home as been a little rough on the troops.  I think Sprout spent more time in his room than out of it on Saturday – and why is it that it takes an hour to pack but 2 weeks to unpack?  Oy.  Nevertheless vacation = sucess! We’ll be sure to do it again soon!

February 27, 2010

I never thought I wanted a baby girl

Thank goodness someone up above knows me better than I know myself.

In. Love.

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January 21, 2010

One Month

Dearest Sprout and Rosebud,

You’ve been living with your Mommy A and E for a month now.  Life as a new family of four has settled into a nice pattern of routine and stability.  We’ve enjoyed magic of Christmas with you, explored new places, and have shared much laughter.  You’ve met countless new people this month and we are amazed by the way that you’ve opened your arms and hearts to your new extended family. 

Sprout, the two characteristics that really strike me about you are your resilience and friendliness.  You are such a happy, welcoming child that easily wins the heart of everyone you meet.  Your favorite activities these days are trucks and play dough! You also love to play on the playground and we can’t wait until its warmer outside so we can do that more often.  When we ask you what you want to be when you grow up, you always answer “A daddy!” – with your caring, compassionate soul there is no doubt in my mind that you would be a wonderful one.  You are so smart and the success you are having in school learning your letters and numbers has us beaming with pride.  You will go far in life and I can only hope that in some way I’ll be watching from the sidelines.

Rosebud, when I think of you, I smile – and since I think of you often, you always have me smiling!  You are the cutest baby I have ever seen and I’m quite concerned that one day your nose will fall off from too many kisses.  You have a warm soul just like your brother and you flash us your wide smile every chance you get.  When I look into your eyes there is a distinct calmness and maturity – as if I’m getting a glimpse into many generations and a life so much bigger than I’ve ever known.  You are full of love and patience and grace. 

I love you both so much and I promise to stand by your side, for as long as I’m called to, no matter where this journey takes us. 

All my heart,

Mommy E

December 21, 2009

The post I shouldn’t write

Well, we are about 4 days into our first placement and its going so much better than expected (see why I shouldnt write this? I totally just jinxed myself).  We prepared ourselves for the worst but have been pleasantly surprised with age-appropriate, generally pleasant behavior!  Sprout got a bit overstimulated yesterday afternoon when we went to Wal.mart and the grocery store back to back and we had some tears when mean mommy said no to chocolate.  But, redirection works wonders with this kid.  Also, we’re working a lot on matching his feeling with words so he has the tools to express himself when he’s feeling overwhelmed.  Overall, Sprout is a very happy, go with the flow child and the moments of boundary testing are entirely expected for his age and situation.  

Because he was removed from a prior foster home for his behavior, his so.cial wor.ker immediately put supports in place so we’ll be having a behavior therapist coming to the house to work on dis.cipline techn.iques.  I’m excited for this in a geeky kind of way, lol.  Beh.avior modificat.ion was my favorite class in grad school so I can’t wait to hear the therapist’s ideas.  I also think it’ll be great for A since she hasn’t been exposed to behavi.or mod per se – though I already see her implementing a lot of similar techniques.  Sprout will also be attending pla.y ther.apy to support our efforts at verbalizing feelings.   It’ll be great for him, especially since he really thrives on one-on-one attention.  I just hope she has a table, because as he told us over dinner last night, he “mostly likes to talk about feelings at the dinner table only, thank you please”.  hehehe. This kid makes us smile non-stop!

Rosebud continues to be as cute as can be.  She’s a super snuggler who only gets mad when we dare put her in her crib.  I don’t mind, though, I’m getting my fill of baby snuggles knowing she won’t be this little forever.  Not to mention, the consistent close contact will promote attachment (or, at least that’s the excuse I’ll be using, lol!) – I even got my first smile yesterday.  A huge gummy grin that made my heart a puddle on the floor.   That was all I needed to know we are doing just fine by her.

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December 18, 2009

And then there were two…

A brief update because much craziness has ensued.  Remember Sprout? Who will be coming to us today? Well, he won’t be alone…his baby sister Rosebud will be coming along too!

Tonight I will be tucking two beautiful children into bed. My cup runneth over.