Friday, August 26, 2016

Harvest 2016

So excited to start bringing in the produce from this years garden! I think this is my most productive year so far. The tomatoes are delicious, there are SO many green beans, we have had some HUGE turnips and my butternut squash are starting to look good. Seriously, how do people NOT have gardens??

I can't even express how cool it is to plant some seeds in the spring, water the garden a few times and then literally be able to walk in the back yard and choose fresh vegetables for dinner only a few months later.

I know some people avoid gardening altogether because of the work you have to put into it but honestly, once the garden is dug nature does most of the work. I for real only put a few hours into the garden this whole year. I planned it out on paper, a friend and I spent less than an hour planting, we watered it maybe 10 times and spent a combined total of (maybe) 2 hours weeding. And it still grew! It isn't perfect, but it grew!

And last summer my 6 month pregnant self put even less time in and still had a huge harvest. Seriously, the cucumbers and tomatoes were rotting on the vine because we couldn't eat them fast enough. Since I wasn't able to weed the whole summer or stake the plants, my garden was a mess, but it grew! You had to wade through the bean plants to find the cucumbers and the tomato plants were growing across the lawn, but it grew!

Gardening is definitely the best way to save money on food. You can clip as many coupons as you want but even $0.10 yogurts and $0.50 freezer pizzas can't compare to the abundance of (basically) free food that a few hours of gardening can give you!

If you have shied away from gardening in the past because of the amount of hard work you thought it requires, I am begging you to reconsider! It's never too early to start planning your garden for 2017.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Foster Care is HARD

If you follow me on  Instagram than you may have already seen part of this post, but I figured that there's no better way to start off a Foster Care page on the blog than with the blunt truth; Foster parenting is HARD!

I am so tired. So so tired. So tired of getting up 7+ times a night. So tired of changing 20+ diapers a day. Tired of dealing with 2 year old temper tantrums every time I say no. Of listening to 3 babies crying at the same time. Of stepping on soggy cheerios every 5 seconds. Of constantly responding to phone calls and emails from social workers. So tired of receiving false accusations and zero appreciation.

But you know what else I am tired of?

Children being neglected. Children being abused. Children being stuffed into group homes. Siblings being separated. Children being shuffled from one foster home to another and never feeling like they were loved. Tired of people refusing to foster because of the bad influence foster kids would have on their biological children. Tired of kids aging out of the system without ever finding a forever home. Tired of the stigma that goes with being a foster parent. Tired of hearing that all foster parents must do it for the money. Tired of the assumption that kids who have been in the system can never have a normal life. 

I am so tired. 

Three weeks today since these cuties arrived. We aren't sure how long they're going to be with us but I'm going to push through the exhaustion and continue to love them to the best of my ability for as long as it takes.


I don't want to scare anyone away from fostering, and I'm not saying you have to be an extremely emotionally stable, wise, patient, flawless, rich individual in order to be a good foster parent. In fact, I wish more people realized that they would make great candidates for foster parents! But, you should also know what you are getting into!

 Foster parenting is the hardest job that I have ever, and probably will ever have. Not only is it loud and stressful but it's also both emotionally and physically draining. Take care of a toddler is hard enough on its own. Dealing with a toddlers temper tantrum when a visit with Mom is cancelled at the last minute and he is brought back into your house is frustrating and also heartbreaking. Trying to understand the emotions and confusion that a 2 year is experiencing after a visit with a father that he hasn't seen or heard from in months, is next to impossible. 

Being informed that bio Mom believes you are abusing her children and wants to press charges, after you spend the entire night awake, caring for, rocking, cuddling and changing her sick baby, is definitely not for the weak hearted.  Foster parenting is full of moments of frustration, anger, impatience, hurt, betrayal, and exhaustion....

But then there's the moment when you sit down on the floor to clean up toys and the toddler hops onto your lap, cuddles you and then kisses you on the forehead. The moment that the baby gets back from a visit and his entire face breaks into a toothless smile the second he sees you. The moment you look up from your phone because you hear laughter and find the toddler laying with your 8 month old son, tickling him and blowing on his belly (see below). These are the kind of things that fill your heart with love and make you forget about the multiple tantrums, the yogurt on the floor, the legos scattered across the house and the never ending dirty diapers--if only for a moment!

Foster care is HARD, so so HARD --but it's also worth it. So so worth it!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

New Beginnings

8 months and 17 days. 261 days. 6264 hours. 375,840 minutes. The amount of time since I have posted anything on this blog. Anyway that you look at it, its been a long time.

I have a lot of reasons (aka excuses) for why I have been absent. The best excuse, of course, is that our adorable little baby Eli Timothy Gilbert Larochelle was born on December 23rd, 2015 and I barely had time to shower for the first 6 months since then!

Once Eli calmed down around 6 months, I was ready to relax and take back some personal time.... but God had other plans! In July we took back our status as Foster Parents and I am currently "Mama" to 3 little guys under 2 years old!
Sorry about the quality! Getting 3 littles to sit still for 2 seconds is impossible!
Overall though, it really came down to insecurities. "I can't have a blog, I'm not a writter! Other than maybe a week in 2nd grade, I've never even wanted to be a writter" or "Everyone I know has a blog. I don't have anything new to say. Everything I'd write about has already been written, and written better, by someone else". 

The more I thought about it though, I realized "That's the fun of free internet blogs isn't it? Anyone can write about anything they want. Nobody has to read it f they don't want to". And so, I am back.

 I love being frugal and sharing my finds. Trying out DIY tutorials and sharing which ones actually work. Foster parenting and being open about how difficult it is! If this blog helps someone to save money on groceries, encourages someone to make something from scratch, sparks a desire for fostering in someones heart, great! If not, oh well, it gave me something to focus on for a few hours that didn't involve dirty diapers, legos, spit up or soggy cheerios! 

Check back because I've got 8 month worth of posts to make up for!