When Mr. Hall was putting on his tennis shoes yesterday, he complained. "I hate these shoes, they don't fit right. Where did I get these things?"
And I said.
"Those where the shoes from Kmart you bought 13 years ago. You agreed to come to aerobics with me. I was all excited. For a week I kept saying, "We've got aerobics next week!" Then, "We've got aerobics on Tuesday!" THEN, "We've got aerobics at 10 am today!
"And you had NO IDEA what I was saying. Like you hadn't heard me say it for a week straight. And it was 9.15 am. You made a mad dash to Kmart and we made it just in time."
"Huh" he says, "sounds about right."
"Sometimes I forget to turn off my filter when I'm listening to you. So, I'm still filtering what your saying from before and I don't catch the important things. And just like back then, all dates/appts need to go into the calender because I'll never remember."
Which is fair enough I guess. The man can't remember anything no matter how many times I remind him. Maybe I should just start using the dang calendar. And prevent any future ugly shoe purchases. :)
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Monday, December 2, 2013
There is a lot of angry and bitterness that people have over the holidays. They see the footage of Walmart brawls and salivating kids. They hear the whine of 'I have not enough.' All this black friday garabage can harden anyone. I'm certainly not immune.
I don't like Christmas shopping. But here I am, at walmart looking for the toy pictured above. It's from an Angel tree card. The card is from a Christmas tree at my church. The cards are like letters to Santa, only I'm Santa. They'll never know it though. In fact, I don't know them. The card says " C145/boy age 9/Air hog assault r/c helicopter". Those are sold out. Other Air Hogs are available. The kid will have to make due.
I move on to the next angel card. My cackles go up. There are 15 things on this card. All specific and name brand. The next card is vague but demanding. I've got five cards total. It's going to be a long day shopping at walmart. Sigh.
My thinking goes sour. Rumination begins. My foster daughter's mom is like this. All about things and things being important. She spends a lot of money on name brand clothes for her daughter, my foster daughter. She doesn't like us, the mom. She doesn't like how we do her baby's hair or how we dress her. She's loud about it too.
Fundamentally, I disagree with buying stuff for stuff's sake. My kids get maybe one or two presents tops. Birthdays presents are sparse, we do things instead of getting things. And that's what I want to say to my foster daughter's mom. The kid doesn't need a mom who can buy her stuff, she needs her mom. I feel a massive build up of stink eye towards her mom.
Feelings are funny things. They're pretty useless though, at least in these cases.
I'm not buying presents for these angel card kids. I'm not being my foster daughter's second mom. I'm showing God's love. I'm letting them know about being saved and letting the love pour through me.
Because that's what Christmas is all about. And the more I focus on that, the less I succumb to bitter and hatred. I let His love fill me till I'm overflowing. That way, I spill all over those angel cards and foster kids.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Thanksgiving is coming. I've much to be thankful for.
Does anyone read this blog anymore? I realize it's been a few months since I've posted. I realize blogger reader isn't there anymore. So if you are reading this-- raise your hand in the comments and say "here".
For those that are new, this blog is about me, Mrs. Hall. I am a lot of things but first, I am a child of God. I'm a wife, mother, foster mother, nurse and enjoying telling my stories. I hope to be uplifting and funny.
Here's a story that sums up what is going on as of late.
I've been doing a lot of cross fit lately. It's a new passion of mine. Go ahead and google crossfit and be flooded with all sorts of badassery images. I'm starting to look like them, in those photos.
Crossfit involves doing crazy workouts of the day or WODs. They look like this:
Crossfit is changing my life. I didn't go looking for crossfit, it found me.
It started at my usual weight watchers meeting a few months ago. Some dude walked in and started talking about his crossfit gym. I wasn't entirely awake yet, but he said words like burpees, pull ups and box jumps. Words I had only read before and never heard outloud. I got his card and went.
I don't believe in random happenings. I believe in God's plan. I believe God nudged me towards this and placed dude at my weight watchers meeting.
My first work out (or WOD) went like this: ten burpees, ten squats, then nine burpees/nine squats on down to one of each. I was feeling pretty spry and excited.
At the seven burpee/squat mark, I started to believe I would be dead soon. I had worked hard enough and I was done. So, I looked at dude and said, "Can I stop at five?"
He said . . . . . "No."
It was at this point I knew I had to get through this and NOT CRY. I din't want to girl up about it. I needed to represent what I was at that point. Strong enough not to panic.
And I did it. I got all the way through. I don't know how, but I did it.
But that workout was a few months ago.
Last week I did 12 burpees. I did them after 50 situps, 75 squats and 100 push ups. I would have done more but I only had ten minutes. It's amazing what this body can do. God has given more power than I can imagine!
I have visions people, VISIONS. I have visions of hiking with the kids and not being winded. I have visions of rollerblading, bike riding and running I have visions of tucking my shirt in, of wearing a belt. OF SKINNY JEANS. I have visions of working out with my husband and letting him experience the awesomeness.
These visions have become my reality.
I feel like I've won the lottery.
And this, in nine months, is what I'll be spending my winnings on . .
Friday, August 2, 2013
And I think to myself--what if I wasn't a mental health nurse practitioner? I could get a WHOLE NOTHER JOB. That didn't require listening, caring or caretaking. One that would make BUCKET LOADS of money that I throw around in a big monsoon of awesome! Then it would coat the floor and I'll roll around in it, all nakid.
But here's the thing about devoting the last 15 years to a profession--you aren't qualified for anything else. Nor can I tolerate starting over at the bottom of any other job.
(that's one btw)
Then, THEN I think . . . what if I wasn't a foster mom? Well, these kids will go back soon right? RIGHT? Everyone always says to me, I would love JUST LOVE to be a foster parent but I wouldn't want to give them back.
to which I say
Try raising a child that isn't yours, that doesn't want to be here and has no intention of listening. Especially to you, the foster mom. Because YOU ARE IN THE WAY. What the child really wants is her mommy. In fact, if her mommy could just be married to her foster dad WHEN THEN THAT would make her life complete. And then, have that child's mother shower her with gifts and spoil her so when she comes back she is full of attitude and lip because YOUR NOT MY MOMMY. And it breaks my heart because I love this child. And the child really loves her mom and her mom does, in fact, love her child. And I want them back together. Not just because I'm drained by her behaviors every single day, but because she is acting out because she's hurting.
the Mom called the cops on us because she feels we aren't treating her daughter right. I'm still reeling from that. I'm actually kind of traumatized by it. Having a police officer come to your house is never a good way to end the night. He was nice though.
It remains to be seen if I can take in another foster kid. I'm so drained it's not even funny.
(that's two btw)
In a complete leap of faith I got my passport renewed today.
Because if the girl goes back to her mom. and the other boy goes back to his mom. And all of that seems likely. Mr. Hall and I will be taking a trip!
AND were not taking our three kids either!!!!
(that rounds out the list right there!!)
Monday, June 3, 2013
I have a large amount of unused mental energy. Left unused it grows agitated and circular.
I like to think about things and talk it over with Mr. Hall. Sadly, the grind of having 5 kids yields no intricate fodder. After all, how many times can you discuss "WHEN WILL MAC WIPE HIMSELF WITHOUT MISSING HALF THE STUFF? HE'S SIX FOR CRYING OUT LOUD?" Seriously. We got called to the school about this. We had to bring new undies and pants. And wet wipes. LAWD LAWD LAWD.
That being said, at least he doesn't pee in the bushes like my friend's 10 year old son did. In front of my 10 year old daughter. She was running around with a gang of boys (the bush pee-er being one of them). They were cutting across a neighbor's yard. So ya know, no need for a bathroom when a bush is right there. My daughter thought it was the funniest thing ON.THE.PLANET. Thankfully, she didn't see anything. Not that it matters, she has two brothers. See "it" would be nothing new for her.
My life people. It's like a giant game of whack a mole.
So. When I talk to my beloved, I'm reduced to random thoughts that get all circular and repeaty.
(on the way the church, with a full head of steam) "Lottery tickets are complete scams. You have a dollar and some hope but nothing powerball ever works out!! It's SUCH A SCAM!!! They should all be put in jail, I mean, they're selling false hope! Just like those books at the las vegas airport, on how to win at slot machines. Stupid lottery system!!! YOU JUST CAN'T WIN!!!"
(in an email exchange). "Looks like the birth mothers (of our two foster kids) are getting their act together. So, they might be transitioning back to their real home. Which, in all honestly, I have mixed feelings about. I think the mothers are ok, just stupid in the life choices brain department. But, we've spent a lot of time/energy/tears/sweat/praying to make these kids better. It's like we're the potty training camp you send your dogs too. Only we're the camp and I would like a thank you.
It'll probably never happen that so I'll just let it go. :)"
(after he gave me some wine in a to go cup) BECAUSE I NEED MY BOOZE IN A TO GO CUP BECAUSE I'M STILL CHASING THE KIDS AROUND AND I'M A SPILLER. AND DON'T JUDGE ME. FOUR OF THEM WERE IN BED AND THE BABY WAS 3/4th OF THE WAY TO SLEEP. "I'll need to rinse this out before work, like really well... I don't want to have any wine in my coffee. Like that time someone gave me a pot pipe and said there might be some meth on it. So I opened it up and scrubbed it really well. Got all the black goop out. I didn't want any meth getting in me!!
I think I used the pot pipe like twice and nothing ever happened. I got high in Amsterdam though. It was in the common room at a hostel. Across the room was a batman pinball machine and I remember the joker's voice floating above the machine. Like disembodied.
When I retire we'll have to smoke hash. It was less coughy if I remember. I wonder how you make that. I'll have to wikipedia it."
Then, in my inner thought voice I thought, I have about 25 more years until retirement. WHICH IS WHY I DREAM OF WINNING THE LOTTERY WHICH BRINGS US BACK TO RANDOM THOUGHT NUMBER ONE.
OK PEOPLE. THAT'S ALL I GOT.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Answering the call to become a foster parent comes with a certain righteousness. At first anyway. Then comes the nitty gritty of raising a child that is not your own. Or your own race. I'm going to lay out some petty thoughts here. Feel free to judge. I know I do.
We were at the YMCA gymnastic center and chubby white girl (age 10 or so) started following around our African American foster daughter (Tulip age 4). Like my foster daughter was a special rock star or something. My husband and I shot each other a look. There are just some white girls that love to chase African Americans around. It's a special category of the white trash. Emulating the ghetto fabulousness of it all. There was even an African american boy that the chubby white girl started latching on to. And my husband and said to each other, there is a biracial baby in her future. You all know what I'm talking about. We've all been to walmart.
Now remember, I'm not proud of these thoughts.
At a gas station restroom I was helping Tulip wash her hands. A grown up version of the chubby white girl came out with her biracial girl. She made the deepest, knowingest, 'well hey girlfriend' type of eye contact with me. And I wanted to say "THIS IS MY FOSTER DAUGHTER. AND HER SKIN IS SUPER DARK. YOU CAN SEE SHE'S NOT BIRACIAL RIGHT? I AM NOT ONE OF YOUR TRIBE." But, I just smiled and got on with my life.
Then there's the thoughts about Tulip's birth mom. I'm coming to realize that she really really REALLY values Tulip's looks. Every time she gets a visit with mom she gets new clothes, new shoes and 150 dollar hair extensions. Ok, the hair extensions were a one time thing but still. The child is four. Then, THEN we get emails from the social worker about how Tulip's mom doesn't like how we're doing her hair or how she's dressed. Sometimes, when she calls Tulip, she asks to speak with me to outline these grievances. It was all I could do not to crawl through the phone.
My anger and resentment with the mom is getting kind of big lately. I'm really not proud of this. I'm tired. Tulip is starting to have behaviors. Mild ones so far--being stubborn, screaming when she's put on a time out, ripping at posters on the walls, hiding objects (the other kid's toys) in her bed . . . . all stuff we're spending time correcting. Every day she cries for her mom and asks when her mom will come get her.
And as far as I can see. . . there is nothing wrong with mom. She's not addicted, in jail, abusive or neglectful. She obviously loves Tulip. So why isn't she coming to get her daughter? She has a job, an apartment and had raised for the last four years. She's had her "break" to get together. It's been three months.
Then the really evil thoughts kick in.
What if Tulip's mom just doesn't want to be her mom. What if she just wants a doll that she can dress up, then leave with other people so she can live the single crazy life.
AND that's where the righteousness of being a foster parent wears off. It seems we are serving a selfish birth mom here. So she can be all footlose and fancy free. And I want to tell the social worker to give the birth mom a big kick in the hinder and get her to take her little girl back. Because Tulip misses her mom so much. And I'm tired.
but I can't force her to take responsibility for her daughter. I can't dictate anything the Mom does. I'm not here for her. I'm here for Tulip. And I pray I'm doing everything that needs to be done.
And I'm making mistakes and screwing up. But I'm here for Tulip. Hugging her and comforting her. Putting her on time outs in the MIDDLE OF TARGET. And making sure she knows she is beautiful, not because of the clothes, but because GOD made her. And God made her beautiful.
That's something I can be proud of.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Sometimes we like to tell our daughter a story called "The Egg Story". It's her birth story. Which was ten years ago. sniff sniff . . anyway, we let it unfold like this.
Daddy and I loved each other soooooOOOooOOOooo much we decided to have a baby. We went to amazon.com and ordered you. A few weeks later, a package arrived. We rushed home and found your box on the porch. I ran my fingers over the big, block letters that said, "BABY GIRL: FRAGILE".
We brought you inside, opened the box and found a big egg. It was the size of a watermelon. Daddy trimmed the box, laid a heating pad down and placed you back in. There you sat, on the couch, for a whole week. Sometimes I would hear a slight whimper or see a tiny wiggle. If you stirred, I'd cover your egg with a blanket and it settled you right down. You were a good egg, even then.
Each day, Daddy and I we would sit by your egg, making sure the temperature was just right. We’d wrap our arms around you, giving you a big Daddy Mommy hug. Then, we'd settle in real close and tell you how much we love you and how we couldn’t wait to meet you. Sometimes you’d jump when we talked. I think you loved us too!
Then came the day when you couldn't be comforted. Your whimpers grew loud and your egg wobbled to and fro. I tried to hold you but I couldn't get a grip. You were just too restless. We decided to let you do what you needed to do. Daddy and I made a bed for ourselves front of the couch and waited. You were ready to be born.
You worked so hard on being born. Your egg would bob all around, rolling back and forth. We followed you from room to room, making sure you didn't roll down the stairs. Sometimes you would take a rest and your egg would get very quiet. Then things got too quiet.
Mommy was really scared. So was Daddy.
We put our ears on your egg and didn't hear anything. We jiggled you a little and you didn't jiggle back. We put the heating blanket on medium, thinking you were too cold. We sang to you, we hugged you, but you weren't stirring.
Then Daddy went down stairs and got a small screwdriver. He gentle tapped on your shell, making little cracks so you could breathe. I peeked in and saw your little head. I saw your tiny hands and baby ears. You weren’t moving and Daddy kept chipping away. He peeled back part of the shell and we scooped you out. You were soggy, bluish and covered with crisco. You were very sleepy. We held you tight, rubbing your back to wake you up. I put my hand on your heart and felt it beat. I put my cheek near your nose and felt you breathe. You started to twitch. Then you opened your mouth super wide and started to howl.
Daddy and I cried while you turned blue to pink to ruby red! We were so happy!
Then we cut your cord, cleaned you up and wrapped you in a warm blanket.
And THAT, dear Piper, is how you were born!