Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Court is continued

Primo's court date has been "continued", and has been rescheduled right in the middle of the week that we will be away with Primo on our spring break trip.

I am promising myself that I WILL go to his next court date.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Stressful visits

Primo's visits have been getting a bit stressful.  He is having some separation anxiety and this leads to him crying for almost all of the time he is with his family.

I have made some new friends in the other foster moms who are waiting at the agency during visits and this has provided the ability for me to be able to leave during visits.  We go out to eat, or to a local market, or walk to some local attraction.  I could leave on my own, but it is always more fun with a destination in mind and a friend along.  Our agency is not in the best neighborhood in town (actually it is in a major city with a very high crime rate).

Once I came back about 20 minutes before Primo's visit ended and I heard him crying for the whole 20 minutes.  The whole waiting area could hear him, it was difficult for all of us to listen to.

Then last week when I was waiting with Primo for his parents to arrive one of the foster moms I don't know too well asked if I would please not leave during the visit.  It was just killing her to wait for her foster daughter and have to listen to Primo cry the whole hour.

There really isn't much I can do even if I do stay for the visit.  I would just be another foster parent or child sitting in the waiting room listening to my baby cry.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Upcoming court

I received some good advice about whether to attend Primo's next court date from your comments on my post titled To go or not to go.

Today the social worker from Primo's lawyer's office called (she calls before every court date and comes out to the house every three months) and informed me of the actual court date, I had been given a different date from my agency.

Primo's social worker does not think I need to go to court, and now his lawyer's social worker doesn't think I should go.  She said I don't have any legal standing in court until Primo has been with us for 6 months.  She also said that right now court dates are about his parents and their issues and not so much about what may happen with Primo.  But Primo's social worker told me this court hearing may determine the direction of the case, meaning that this case may change from reunification to adoption.

Friday, February 17, 2012


We are seriously thinking of taking Primo on vacation with us.  This vacation involves a two hour direct flight.

I can't take the idea of leaving him with strangers, but I am not that happy about flying with an infant either.

So any advice is welcome.  Ideas on how to make flying with a baby work.  Or straight up telling me I'm crazy not to use respite.  Bring it!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I'm impressed?

Our lab LOVES bread.

This love first surfaced when I left the kitchen for 2 minutes while a lovely loaf of sticky lemon bread was cooling on the counter top.  I came back to see King gulping down the whole loaf in one bite and two swallows.

King also loves store bought bread.  So much so that we recently moved our bread storage from a drawer in the kitchen (that King had learned how to open and eat our bread at least twice a week) to a top cabinet, not only a top cabinet but the second shelf of a top cabinet.

Well guess who ate two whole loaves of bread last night while we slept?

I'm impressed with King's amazing bread finding skills and obvious dexterity while at the same time being very much unimpressed with my lack of dog training/ownership skills.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Primo's hair and skin care

When we had E in our home it was our first experience with caring for curly ethnic hair.

I made all of the typical mistakes, washed too often and used baby oil and petroleum jelly to "moisturize" his hair.

When Primo arrived I started doing research online about how to best care for his hair.  Now that he is actually napping I have had more time to read up on hair and skin care for chocolate babies.

This is what I use for his skin, it was recommended to me by E's doctor for his eczema.  Primo also has skin issues and this lotion works great on his skin.

For Primo's baths I've tried a couple different "baby washes" and this one is the one I like best so far.  It is organic and good for dry skin, it has a fairly heavy scent as far as I'm concerned, but I have yet to find anything better for him.  An added plus is that I can pick it up at Target in the baby section.

The first must have for Primo's hair was a wide toothed comb, which I picked up at Target for about $3.

I only wash Primo's hair once a week with conditioner.  I have tried a couple of hair washing products and this is what works best for his hair.  It is all natural and I can pick it up at Whole Foods, and it smells so good.

To keep Primo's hair from getting dry and brittle I use organic coconut oil a couple times a week.  You can cook with this stuff or ingest it straight as a dietary supplement, and use it as skin moisturizer, so I feel very comfortable using it regularly on Primo's hair.
Just a reminder, a little goes a long way!  This comes in a tub as a solid, but turns liquid quickly just from the warmth of your hands.  Don't worry about the smell, it has a nice coconut smell for a little while and then the scent goes away.

I ordered this online, but I think you can get it at Health Food stores too.

I have picked up two more products because of the rave reviews online and the fact that I can pick it up at Target along with the Eucerin Calming Creme.

Kinky-Curly Come Clean Shampoo for use about every 4-6 weeks for a wash out of build up of product and anything else Primo may get in his hair.  Before I wash his hair with this I make sure I have massaged a good amount of organic coconut oil into his hair sometime during the day before his bath to help keep his hair from having too much moisture stripped out during washing.

Primo's Mom has made it clear that she doesn't want his hair cut until he is a year old.  Primo already has about an inch (and growing) of hair on the top of his head, but he is bald in the back and sides right now.  If we wait another 7 months to cut his hair he is going to have a lot of height in his hair which will be difficult to keep neat, clean and under control.  So I picked up some Kinky-Curly Knot Today leave in detangler .  Both the shampoo and detangler are organic and cost me about $12 a piece at Target in the regular hair care section.

I've tried the detangler and it is awesome and makes combing through his hair much easier for both of us.

The total cost of the above mentioned products is about $75 in my area of the country, but with the exception of the Eucerin (which I buy about every 3 months), all of the other products will easily last me 9 months to a year.

I would love to hear from any of you dealing with curly ethnic hair, let me know if you have a product you "can't live without".  I'm always open to trying new things and I know that as Primo's hair changes and he gets older I may need some stronger stuff.

I'm putting a lot of time and research into keeping Primo's hair healthy and happy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

To go or not to go...

to court, that is.  I don't know whether to go to Primo's next court date? 

I did not go in November.

This case has become a bit volatile in the last few weeks.

Do you go to your children's court dates?  If so why? 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Love this...

A song written and sung by Lilly Grace about her experience with Safe 
Families for Children. Proceeds of iTunes sales from “Chance” by Lilly 
Grayce go to Safe-Families.org, the organization that brought Chance 
into her life.
Thanks to Fostering Love, where I first saw this video.

Friday, February 3, 2012

A full month

There is a lot going on in February for Primo.  Early Intervention assessment, Court, 6 month check up and all of the other regularly scheduled visits and appointments.

This will be my first experience with Early Intervention, I'm not sure what to expect besides a 1-2 hour play session.  I do not believe that Primo is delayed in any way, but it will be interesting to see what the professionals think.

As for court, I did not go to Primo's first court date, and I can't decide whether it would be productive or not for me to attend this one.  I would have to find a sitter.  Any advice on whether to go or not to go to court?

Plus, time is passing quickly and I need to find respite care, or decide to take Primo along with us on vacation.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sleep Training

When I took Primo to his 4 month check up the doctor asked me if Primo was sleeping through the night?  He was no where close to sleeping through the night as he was still up 3 times a night and wanting a bottle every time.

Doctor explained to me that Primo was old enough to sleep through the night and that he should be able to sleep from 8 PM through 6 AM without a bottle.  He instructed me to let Primo cry at night, while going to his room and saying "it's bedtime" every 15 minutes that he continued to cry.  If he didn't stop crying after an hour I could pick him up for a minute and settle him back in the crib.  Hmm...

Do you know what the medical definition of an infant "sleeping through the night" is?

Sleeping for 5 hours straight without waking.

Now, call me crazy but I don't think that is anywhere near the time that most people would consider a good nights sleep for themselves or their baby.  Although at the time I would have been thrilled if Primo could have slept for 5 hours straight instead of getting up every 3 hours.

At the beginning of January Mike and I decided to put Doctor's plan in motion, or at least our version of Doctor's plan.  We were more responsive to Primo's cries, we did not wait a whole 15 minutes to go into his room.  We did not say "it's bedtime" and walk out.  We checked to make sure he didn't need a diaper change, we made sure he was warm enough and rubbed his head.

We were up quite a bit the first night, but we did only use one bottle.  Some progress.

After a few tough nights things did settle down to include a midnight feeding and getting up once around 2 or 3 AM to help Primo settle back down to sleep.

Because of the fervor with which Primo sucked his bottle down between midnight and 1:00 AM, Mike and I decided he really is hungry once a night and we have continued to give him a bottle.

After a few weeks we have fallen into a nice routine of putting Primo to bed around 8 PM.  He gets up between midnight and 1 AM to have his bottle and goes right back to sleep on his own.  Some nights we get up once in the middle of the night help him settle back to sleep, which only takes a minute.

We are all getting more sleep.

Somewhere down the line we will help encourage Primo to sleep through the night without a bottle.  Or better yet, I am hoping he will outgrow it on his own.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"The power of love"

I have heard this song 3 times in the last week.  You know, the one by Huey Lewis and the News?  It takes me right back to "Back to the Future".  Yep, I'm that old.

I haven't heard this song in years and I think the Universe is clearly trying to tell me something by presenting me with this song 3 times in one week.

Some of the lyrics include:

You don't need money, don't take fame
Don't need no credit card to ride this train
It's strong and it's sudden and it's cruel sometimes
But it might just save your life
That's the power of love
That's the power of love


They say that all in love is fair
Yeah, but you don't care
But you know what to do
When it gets hold of you
And with a little help from above
You feel the power of love
You feel the power of love
Can you feel it ?

I'm not a fan of the saying, "all you need is love", it doesn't appeal to the very practical side of myself.  I know that love is paramount to life, but there are other things you need too, practical things.

Clearly I am being reminded that I need to show some love to someone in my life right now.  I know who they are.  Why is so hard to remember to show love when you are frightened, angry and feeling a lack of control?