Less of Paige

Monday, September 18, 2006

Children are not puppies

I'm taking a break from my regular programming to talk about something near and dear to my heart.

My job has been tough lately. Not just for me, either, but for everyone in my program. We've had alot of disruptions lately- kids who were or were not settled in their foster homes have, for various reasons, had to move.

Our kids, they come with a host of... baggage. Unless you know the kids I've been working with my entire career, it's hard to understand their baggage. Hard to comprehend the effects that abuse and neglect actually have on children. Hard to have a full grasp on the lives these children actually lead.

We tell our foster parents time and again what to expect and what not to expect. Over and over and over- they will act out. This is no reflection on you or these kids feelings for you. We tell them that these kids? Are not going to be grateful. They're mostly not at a point in thier lives where they can be grateful for the circumstances that have led them to live in your home. May they be grateful at some point? Yes, possibly. However, please don't expect them to be grateful. Then you won't be disappointed. Please expect them to destroy your property, disrespect you, be angry, be depressed, etc etc.

It is one thing to hear these things in a training and quite another to live them. I'm well aware of that. I don't live the life of a foster parent, yet. But do I know my kids? I do.

It always breaks my heart when our foster parents let our kids down yet again, and then turn it around onto the kids. When they tell a 12 year old boy they'll stick with him until he's independent, and then 9 months later decide he's just too much. Because their parenting skills just were not strong enough. When they tell an 8 year old boy that they can't keep him anymore. Because they're just tired of his neediness. When a nine year old boy has to leave because, well, he's aggressive, and his parents are scary.

Do I understand the foster parents decisions? Most of the times, yes. Does it still break my heart? All of the time, yes. I also understand that the parents hearts are often broken as well. That they often feel like they have failed. My heart hurts for them as well. I don't want people to look at this as an indictment on foster parents. I adore foster parents, they do a very difficult and very necessary job. They are some of the best people on earth. I greatly value them. I'm just expressing my frustrations. Because I'm one of the people who helps try to pick up the pieces after another disappointment.

But the children? They are not puppies. They are not a breed that didn't work well. They are not new clothing, that you want to return because you're tired of it, or because it doesn't fit anymore. Love is not enough for them. They require a commitment and alot of hard work, emotionally and otherwise. Be ready for them. Please. The love they require is unconditional, a love that most of them have never known.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Love Thursday

I was in a wedding this past weekend. The bride is one of my best friends. This is them, in the limo, on the way to the reception.

New Love.

Brought to you by Love Thursday

Monday, September 04, 2006


I have the weirdest wardrobe. I have a TON of clothes, in sizes 10-20. I have very few things (1 or 2) in 10, a TON in 12-16, and some in 18-20.

I cleaned out my closet today. I had a ton of clothes at my mother in law's, and I brought them home. I took out all the stuff that is too big- it was nice trying on clothes that were all falling off of me. They all went into a bin in the bottom of my closet. I know you're supposed to give them away, but I'm not going to yet. I have my reasons. All the stuff that is too small- and there wasn't a TON- also went in the bin. The stuff that fits, or will fit soon, stayed in my closet.

It's a good, good feeling. I don't have to buy clothes because I'm outgrowing my clothes anymore. If I stayed on the path I was on a few months ago, I would have to be buying winter clothes that are bigger. It's nice knowing I don't have to. A very, very good feeling.

Also? It's kind of like having all new clothes. Some of these clothes have tags on them, because I bought them and then outgrew them. Some of them I only wore a few times. All of them I haven't seen in a long time.

I like it.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Irony of it All

Since I lost 22 pounds, met my first goal, and won the Biggest Loser competition at work, I decided I deserved a meal "off".

I had other rewards. I am planning a new exercise outfit, and bought some new Firm videos. I'll be getting a new outfit from my sister (I also won that challenge). So there's lots of positive reinforcement, icing on the cake of lowered insulin.

But I wanted a chance to, er, cut loose. Eat one of the foods I have stayed away from studiously for three months. I was telling a friend at work about this, and she said, "You haven't cheated once?!!?" I have. One night we had fast food, then I had some wings at my friends, and when I was visiting my mom I was horrible. Oh, and I didn't do great on our anniversary weekend and I did go to Olive Garden and splurge. But in all reality, that's not bad for three months.

I thought and thought about what I wanted my meal to be. Did I want to go to Pizzeria Uno and get one of my favorites: app of shrimp and crab fondue, split a pizza, and the peanut butter dessert? Did I want to go to Olive Garden? How about a good steakhouse? Maybe I want to go to our favorite seafood place and get Lazy Man's lobster. Maybe just a yummy fast food meal? The choices! They seemed endless!

Then I thought of the perfect reward meal. My two favorite foods: pizza and brownies. We'd order in a pizza and I'd make brownies. I was very excited about this and told my husband. I went and bought the brownie batter. I was ready.

Made the brownies. When the batter was ready, I had a spoonful. Then another. Then I felt sick. Never mind, I'll just bake the brownies THEN I'll eat the whole pan. That will be good. The brownies smelled so good while they were baking. I however did not want to eat anymore.I was feeling kind of full from the batter.

So I had a small piece when they came out. Then I hung out and watched a movie. A few hours later, I decided I was ready for pizza. Should I order cheezy garlic bread? Of course! I did. The pizza arrived, and I was ready to Dig. In. I had two small slices of bread. Then I had one slice of pizza. It was delicious. Greasy, and cheesy, and just right. Then I had another, choosing a smaller slice. After that I started feeling a little nauseous. What was wrong with me?? What's going on? I can eat at least four pieces of pizza, and since this is the only time I'll get to eat it for another three months I need to Dig In! Eat half the pizza! I reached for the smallest slice left. And ate it. And realized there was no way I was eating any more.

I told my husband I would stay up a little while longer so I could eat the rest of the brownies and make the brownie sundae I was planning.

My stomach is tellinhg me otherwise. The thought of another brownie makes me nauseous. I just can't do it.

On the one hand? I'm thrilled. Seriously- it's like built in self-control. Even when I'm pushing myself to eat more, I just can't. I have no desire for it. I am thinking, "Grilled chicken with some rice and veggies would have been awesome tonight." what is wrong with me???

what's wrong with me is I have given my body the privledge of healthy eating for three months. It likes it. My body likes the way it works and feels when I eat healthy. I like it too.

The irony? When I want to eat crap, I can't. If you don't get it, this blog is not for you.