I’m going to break my long silence to complain about the weather. Seriously April?! I’m freezing my butt off because I’m in denial about the below freezing temps and refuse to wear more than a hoodie. Hopefully the temp goes up before I bust out the short pants and flip flops, if not I’m really going to be miserable 😉
Let’s start this update with my favorite little lady. She seems to have come to terms with the fact that the boys aren’t going anywhere, and has slowly gotten back to her hilarious little self. Giving it time has probably been the biggest thing that has helped her attitude, but we did realize that she wasn’t getting enough sleep since her nap was often cut short and her bedtime pushed back a little. It’s really hard to get your crap together and stay on schedule with 3 little kids! Ali needs a solid 14-15 hours of sleep a day to not be a wreck, so we have made that a priority and it’s helped bring her back to normal. Speaking of sleep, you probably know by now that I like to just rip the bandaid off when it comes to changes with her, I never do any gradual drawn out or kid led processes. I’d rather deal with a short time of pure hell than a long time of mild hell. So, a couple weeks ago we stopped the cosleeping cold turkey style. Jen and I got a new bed and put our old one in Ali’s room, which I think made the transition easier for her, but she’s done surprisingly well with it. Zero tears or tantrums and she stays in bed all night. There is one tiny problem though. I hate it! I miss her and I’m a little embarrassed to say that I have gone to her bed in the middle of the night a few times. This is the first ‘big girl’ transition I’ve had trouble with, I don’t know why. I couldn’t have cared less when she outgrew clothes, I couldn’t wait for her to get crawling and walking, stopping nursing wasn’t a huge deal, taking her to preschool didn’t bother me, I was ecstatic to get her out of diapers. But this, this is killing me.
Aside from time and sleep, another thing that has made a difference is in our general approach with how we encourage her relationship with the boys. We were trying to frame this as her being our helper and encouraging her to be gentle and nurturing with the baby and big sister/role model for K. Giant fail. Ali is not a nurturing person, at all. This feels kind of weird to say, but she’s also not especially kind by nature. She doesn’t give a shit about hugging babies or comforting a friend who is unhappy, she thrives on a different kind of attention. Objectively I’ve known this for a while, but I guess I was pushing my stereotype of how I think little girls should act on her. Once we backed off and let her find her own boundaries with the other kids, she improved her attitude quite a bit.
The boys are doing well. Baby had a couple evaluations with the early intervention program and I’m super happy to say that he doesn’t have any significant delays. He’s going to be evaluated by a speech and language pathologist in a couple weeks to look for structural abnormalities and see where they think he’s at language wise. I suspect there is damage from his penny in the throat incident or the few times he had to have a nasogastric tube put in. He doesn’t vocalize a lot, and when he does his voice is pretty hoarse and raspy. If a raspy voice is all he is burdened with from his rocky start in life, then I’ll take it! We are learning more and more from doctors/social workers/family members about his home life before the removal, it’s a miracle he’s alive. The older boys basically lived with their respective dads or grandmas, but poor baby didn’t have anywhere to go so he just suffered. Drugs, guns/shootings, prostitution, major domestic violence, abandonment for whole days. It’s killing me that mom is still doing all that even though she lost her kids and she’s freaking pregnant! She’s not quite as far along as the social worker initially told us, she looks about 5-6 months to me. I’ve seen her because she actually showed up for a few visits, and insists on coming in the wrong entrance every damn time so she comes into my waiting room. It’s pretty awkward.
Visits with her are hard. They are a giant pain in the butt for us, and are pretty hard on the boys. K has started swearing and saying the n-word all the time and he’s started trying to beat Ali up. Luckily she’s bigger and faster so no real damage has been done, but it’s hard. Baby has started being super clingy and waking up in the night screaming like crazy. I’m not sure how much longer visits will go on, out of 5 visits so far she’s no showed 1, been 20 minutes late to all, and admitted to being high on spice and heroin at the last one. I guess that’s the new thing around here now, people are smoking a spice/heroin combo. This is probably a controversial thing to say, but what the fuck?! Why is it ok for this woman to possibly permanently damage another human being, maybe even kill them, and no one can do anything? Why isn’t she put in prison or a locked hospital or something until the baby is born? Everyone knows, social workers and doctors and a judge, but nothing can be done until it’s born. Sigh.
Enough about that. Let’s talk about me!
I totally only have 4 weeks left in my semester, hallelujah! I also just started my job in the MICU at one of the local hospitals. I’m loving it, big time, but I’m also spread very thin right now. Very, very thin. I know an end is in sight, but I’m struggling with feeling like I’m mediocre at best in almost every area of life. My test grades have dipped down, above passing but still. Dinners are sad little rushed affairs or take out. My house is dirtier than I like. I have to shove the kids outside or in front of a screen a lot or my grades will dip even further into the abyss. And my poor dogs are just staring out the window wishing someone would come take them for a walk.
4 more weeks dude! That’s like, no time at all. Then I will have a little break before the crazy canning season. Oh I can’t wait for that! I used my last jar of tomatoes last week and am down to just a couple jars of jam and pickles for the rest. I do have several jars of sort of gross chutney left, if anyone wants to take them off my hands feel free 😉