Documenting April

It was not my intent to stop blogging for the entire month of April. I’ve been mentally writing an Easter post since Good Friday, but made no success at actually putting those thoughts down. If you could see the calendar in my kitchen, and stopped by any time outside school hours, you’d quickly understand why blogging, along with many other items have fallen by the wayside.

I’d mentioned in my last post that becoming foster parents had forced us into a different type of survival mode. I can say that, now that we’re a month post placement, things have improved, but things are still challenging and caring for Todd remains more time consuming than I think either Tony or I anticipated.

For me personally, I feel like where I was the year before I put Fulton and Teddy in school. I’m just overwhelmed all the time. It means that after almost a year of maintaining an exercise routine (weight lifting 3 x a week + 30 min. walks 2-3x a week) I have temporarily had to give up leaving the house extra early to work out. I’ve done a couple walks, but the risk of waking Todd up early, plus just more general exhaustion, means I’m getting up at the same time as everyone else. I’m trying to go easy on myself; it’s only temporary. I really miss working out and I know that as soon as I can get back to it, I will, but I keep feeling like I’m losing all the progress I’ve made over the last 11 months. It’s a little discouraging. I also liked being able to shower at the gym and come home ready to go for the day. Now, I’m back to wearing my old 2013 homeschooling mom uniform of PJs and a bathrobe.

We’re also eating a lot more convenience food and take out to simplify meal prep and dinner time, after an otherwise pretty healthy early Lent. I’d also got into the habit of meal prepping some healthy lunches for myself, but that’s also fallen by the wayside. I’ve tried to stick to some of healthy food goals I instituted last year for the family, but I just can’t make as much from scratch right now. I know this is only a temporary season we’re in, but I guess it makes me see how much I was accomplishing pre-placement, and how little wiggle room we really did have.

I’m still trying to fit so much into the hours when Todd is at school that it’s impossible to get everything done. And because I’m “on” so much when he’s home, I’ve slipped into the bad habit of staying up late watching YouTube or reading just so I can have some quiet time when no one needs me. Tony and I also have been spending many nights talking and decompressing. It’s nice to spend time together and unwind, but I ultimately stay up later than I used to. Thankfully I’m not dealing with insomnia the way I was in the first couple weeks, but man, my dreams are all over the place right now.

We’ve had some additional stress with our tenants (we’ve been renting out our old house since we moved three years ago), and Fulton’s powerchair is broken so he’s had to continue using his old powerchair, which I’d thankfully got working again last summer in the anticipation of outfitting it as a beach wheelchair. It works fine, but it’s not as easy for him to drive so he constantly needs assistance. It means it’s not feasable to take any field trips or mental health day trips to the beach right now. Plus, Fulton is getting Confirmed next week and getting up to the altar is one of tricky things he needs help with so, I’m not sure how things are going to work out.

But it’s not all stress and strife. We did have a wonderful Easter. Tony’s parents were with us, and a friend of mine joined us for dinner as well. We had delicious lamb dinner and our usual family egg hunt. It was strange to not have Addie with us, but she had cooked her own Easter feast for her friends and had a good day.

Byron has made the decision to attend Tony’s and my alma mater Kutztown University. It’s also where my mom graduated from so, he’ll be a third generation KU student. I think he liked the idea of being a little closer to home (we’d be able to pick him up easily whenever he wants to visit vs flying or long road trips) and KU is larger than the University of Maine and offered more activities and classes/ minors he was interested in. I finally got some senior pictures taken of him and the photographer also snapped updated headshots of the rest of the crew (sans Addie who’s still at school). Everyone looks great and I’m thankful to have outsourced the homeschool photos.

Byron, his friend Leo, Fulton, and Teddy also created an entry for this year’s Easterseals Disability Film Challenge. If you’re not a fan of stabbing and fake blood, it’s probably not the movie for you, otherwise, enjoy.

I’m giving a talk at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for women tomorrow. I’ve never been in a prison before so I’m looking forward to speaking and meeting with the women there. I’m feeling less prepared than usual (see the above distractions) so say a prayer the holy spirit can carry this for me? Speaking of the Holy Ghost, we’ve also got Fulton’s Confirmation on Thursday. Byron and Edie were both chosen as sponsors by other students in Fulton’s class so, it’ll be a big celebration for everyone.

I’m sure I’m forgetting things. There’s been a lot I’ve wanted to document, but I just don’t have the space in my head to hold onto much for very long. Hopefully, after I’ve given my talk, and finished up a few projects for Accepting the Gift, I will be able to use my free time to write more. If you have any specific questions about our fostering experience, let me know. I’m not going to share much about Todd, but I’ll try to answer your questions. Until next time, enjoy this final moments of April because…

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