foster care, parenting


One of the things we were warned about in our PRIDE classes (Foster care classes) is lice. Lots of kids come into care with lice and it should be the first thing they are checked on when they come in the house. Because there is nothing like taking a terrified child that was just torn away from his or her family and putting him or her under a light to search their hair for bugs. That’s not traumatizing. Not at all.

So before kids came to us, I was told of a specific treatment for lice that worked on multiple outbreaks. This was told to me by a mother of 12.

Two weeks ago I got the phone call. Fiona (6) had live lice. Time to pick her up. The first thing I did was call that mother of 12.

The treatment is this:

For the next three days:

Wash hair in Blue Dawn. Let it get really sudsy. This kills the live lice.

Spray hair with a mixture of half vinegar, half rubbing alcohol. Let it dry. This kills the nits and eggs. This irritated Fiona’s eyes so I had her wear goggles on day 2 and 3.

Cover hair with olive oil and cover hair in plastic. We used a shower cap. This prevents lice from jumping into bedding and reinfecting.

3 days later we are lice free.

Now I’m putting drops of tea tree oil on all their scalps to prevent new lice from hopping on since it’s a school wide outbreak.


foster care, parenting

3 kids 3 cats not an instant of peace

It was a school night. It was one of those nights where you struggle to get everything done and all you want in the world is to lay your head on the pillow. We had the tutor and the behavioral specialist appointments in the house at the same time. Fiona (6) was destracted and not paying attention to the tutor. We had told her to sit in a solid chair (no wheels) and when she didn’t listen, the behavioral specialist told us to physically move her. She did that dead weight thing where kid’s muscles go completely loose and the body sags to the ground. The tutor wound up on the floor with her (god bless her!) and they did their sight words down there. Meanwhile, Mason was refusing to eat, instead interrupting both the tutor and the behavioral specialist at every point. The door bell rang and we got in trouble with the master’s association for having too many cars parked outside. My face went red and the behavioral specialist had to calm me down.

Finally, everyone leaves. I send the kids up to put pajamas on but no one is listening. I go upstairs, put their pajamas on, tuck them in, while Lucas is toddling around downstairs babbling away and Joe is sitting in his recliner. I finally close the bedroom doors only to see our overly friendly black cat squatting outside our bedroom door with clumps of poop popping out. I scold and give chase, watching the clumps pop out down the steps, across the living room and into the dining room. I yell, “Joe- poop” and continued for the cat. Joe yells “Lucas,” who had taken the moment to reach down and grab the ball of cat poo with one hand. Said hand was clasped just before reaching into his curious mouth. I grabbed the cat, threw her into the closet with the litter boxes and started picking up stinky brown balls that made a trail through out the two story house.

What a day!

foster care, Mommy Life, parenting

I am not the best Mom

I had this ideal of what kind of Mom I would be. I’m artsy craftsy. I love to get down with kids and color, play with slime, create collages and play with legos. For our respite kid, that’s what I did. I played inside with crafts and outside playing tennis in the street. At 7:30 he took a bath, 8:00 he went to bed, 9:00 lights out.

That was a fun week.

It’s different. By the time our two (then three) came to us, we were exhausted. With our older boys who were here for 5 days, I literally didn’t sleep. I went 48 hours at one point. With the infant and his issues, we were lucky to get two hours of sleep at a time. We aren’t spring chickens and the kids had us wiped pretty much immediately.

Now a days, I wake at 5:30, toddle downstairs and make my coffee. I check email, facebook, and the county arrest page. At 6:00 I hear Fiona loudly open her bedroom door, go to the bathroom, forget to flush, slam the door and start playing in her room. About 6:15 I coral her into the shower. I wash her hair, set the timer, and let her do the rest. Then I lead her into her bedroom where she has to be dressed because it’s too cold. I have breakfast set up, send her downstairs, send the 3 year old into the shower. He has to be carried because he likes to fake sleep, even though the baby has been talking or pounding on the crib since 5:45. I wrap him in a towel, send him to his room. Yep, he can dress himself. I grab the baby, open the dreaded diaper, then put him in the shower. He stands playing in the water while I wash, then I wash him, and hand him to hubby who is holding a towel. Then I run downstairs, do Fiona’s hair, nag her to brush teeth, bruth Mason’s teeth, dress Lucas, brush Lucas’ teeth yell about socks and shoes, and get them outside where the school bus picks Fiona up at the end of the driveway. We take about fifteen minutes each morning to do sight words while they jump around, yelling, and waking the neighborhood. Then I’m out the door, for 8-10 hours of work where I get texts from caseworkers, guardian ad litems, doctors, school nurses, and field it all.

I try to leave at 5 but sometimes wind up as late as 6, come home, tell kids to finish dinner, try to feed the baby as he throws dinner on the floor, ask myself why they won’t eat their vegetables. Three days a week I try to get the boys out of the way while Fiona is being tutored. Otherwise Mason is in the tutor’s face talking and Lucas is stealing her pencil.

At 6:30 we get ready for bed. It’s pajamas, brush teeth, bedtime story and tucked in. Between 7 and 7:30 the kids are all in bed and we are pretty much drooling on the couch trying to keep our heads up. Maybe we hold a conversation or maybe we stare blankly at the television.

Weekends are one fun day where we go out and have adventures (playground, festivals, you name it) and one lazy/cleaning day. The boys abide by this pretty well and are happy to watch movies and fumble around in the living room or if they’ve been good, in our room. Fiona won’t have it. She’s up and down and all around, glued to my side. I want to be fun mom, but it’s do laundry, sit for a few minutes, write out checks, sit for a few minutes, check account balances, close my eyes. I want to be the fun mom, but a lot of times I feel like swiss cheese. Everyone’s taken a piece of me.