Monday, September 29, 2014

Giveaway: Winning Moves Family Game Night

I love family game night. Always have. So when I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to participate in a family game night giveaway! Enjoy and Good Luck!!

Winning Moves Family Game Night Giveaway

HOSTED BY: Deliciously Savvy
Co-Hosted By:
Winning Moves is a leading maker of board games, card games, and puzzles. Since their first year of operation in 1995, they have forged a close relationship with one of the world's largest game companies, Hasbro, Inc., owner of Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley. As a result, many long-lived Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley games are now made exclusively by Winning Moves!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Review: Sleuths Mystery Dinner Show, Orlando, Florida

*I received a complimentary admission for review purposes. I was not financially compensated in any way and all opinions are my own.*


A dilapidated old Bed & Breakfast in the quaint country village of Clifton, England. A mysteriously broken-down tour bus in a one-mechanic hamlet - where said mechanic is a hopeless drunk. And a senile, decrepit ex-proprietor in his dressing gown and duck slippers.

Throw in audience participation and hilarity ensues!

Bloggers Wanted: Winning Moves Family Night Giveaway

Blogger Opp ~ Winning Moves Family Night Giveaway

Winning Moves logo
Melissa at  Deliciously Savvy received a few games from Winning Moves in exchange for review and I LOVE them ALL!!!
Winning Moves is a leading maker of board games, card games, and puzzles. Since their first year of operation in 1995, they have forged a close relationship with one of the world's largest game companies, Hasbro, Inc., owner of Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley. As a result, many long-lived Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley games are now made exclusively by Winning Moves!
Here's what she received for review:

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1 Lucky Winner will receive 1 Winning Moves Game Of Their Choice (ARV Depends on Game Selected) 
PLUS all of the Splash Card Games Listed Here ($15.95 each):
Giveaway Details
HOSTED BY: Deliciously Savvy
Sign Ups Close: 9/27
Giveaway Dates: 9/28 12 AM EST until 10/20 12 AM EST
2 FREE Links w/ Announcement Post (Choose from: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter & Instagram)
or Pay $5 For No Announcement for 2 Links payable to mcushing7@hotmail.com Via Paypal
Co-Host Spots: $8 for 5 Links of YOUR CHOICE Plus 2 FREE Links (7 Links Total), a co-host page linked to you blog/website and additional Follow Pages/Secret Word Pages as well (# of additional pages depends on # of sign ups ~ So promote away! The more sign ups you bring in, the more "extra" pages you get for your blog! :)


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Hint:
It has recently come to my attention that not all of my readers can easily tell when I'm being sarcastic. That is truly unfortunate, so finding a solution was imperative. ^Obviously, the easiest answer is to assume that if something can be read with sarcasm, it should be;^; but that's not really workable, I guess. After reviewing several options for a "sarcasm font", I've come up up with my own system. Whenever you see italics inside carrots (^snark^), that is my "sarcasm font".


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Friday, September 12, 2014

Reader Question: How to handle reappearance of adopted daughter's birth mom?

This is the first time I'm posting a reader question like this, but I think Sarah has a very common conundrum and that this discussion could benefit the whole community. I think I'd like for reader questions to become a somewhat recurring item.


That being said - there are some ground rules. Well, one, really. BE NICE! Sarah is genuinely asking for help with a legitimate concern that may face many of us. I will remove ANY responses (from here or Facebook or Google+) that I deem to be rude, unhelpful or hurtful. 



Sarah asks:

I would love some input from other foster/adoptive parents.

We adopted siblings (now ages 11 and 4) almost a year ago. They were foster placements with us for 2 and 3 years respectively before that.

Their birth mother did eventually terminate her rights days before the court hearing that would have taken them. There is no named birth father for either child. There are no written agreements between us regarding visits, letters...contact of any kind.

We do maintain good contact with the maternal grandparents and the kids spend time with them several times a month.

A week ago, I got a letter from their birth mom. She was expressing interest in seeing our 11-year-old daughter, but not really our almost-5-year-old son. She cloaks her language in concern for our daughter but she is a notorious liar, manipulator and drug user. After expressing a lot of regret and assuring me that she is clean from heroine (I know she is still using "something" based on interactions from grandparents and their description of her behavior), she tells me that she would like to see our daughter.

She assures me she won't push in and will take whatever time with her she is given. But almost immediately she says she would like bimonthly visits and eventually weekly and biweekly.

Anyway, I'm wondering what kind of response you would give in my situation. Before the rights were terminated, I had verbally assured her that if she was clean from drugs and living a stable life, she would be able to see her kids. I never made any promises of when, how often etc.

She is the type of person that if you give her an inch...she'll take a mile.

I feel like we've been to hell and back with our daughter behavior wise and helping her cope with her past so I'm not super anxious to reopen that can of worms but I feel like I need to send her a letter back even to reestablish my boundaries so she doesn't push in.

Behavior wise, our daughter has made HUGE progress but it has taken years and I don't want to undo our hard work.

Any thoughts?

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If you have a question you'd like to ask my readers, let me know - you can message me using the contact form on the left sidebar or via Facebook. Please don't add your questions to this discussion. I will decide which, if any, questions to address in future blog posts based solely on my own arbitrary whims. Thank you for playing.


If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Monday, September 8, 2014

Case Updates: Squirm & Lil Bit

First the easy and much-awaited update:

After much drama and angst and consternation - and 800 days in foster care, Squirm is finally "forever". On Friday, August 22nd, he became our newest forever duckling. I had terrible dreams leading up to finalization - from PFM demanding one last unsupervised visit, to her showing up at the ceremony and demanding to be present. But none of them came true. The day was completely drama-free (well, except for the ticket I got for not hanging my handicapped placard as we rushed into the courthouse) and SUCH a HUGE relief. We hit up Teddy Mountain for all the kids to pick out their Forever Day lovies (our family Forever Day tradition) and then had dinner with some of my best friends. We're still kind of in that surreal-I-don't-have-to-report-every-bruise phase, and I still need to return his redbook to his former case manager, but he's really and truly ours. FINALLY.

Lil Bit's case is, of course, more complicated. And likely to get even more so. His case plan is still expedited TPR/Adoption. On paper. I'm starting to wonder if Duck Daddy and I are the only people involved who know the actual definition of expedite (^to execute promptly or accelerate the process or progress of, if you were wondering^). We are still waiting for the gentleman behind door #2 to show up for a DNA test. At the last hearing (in August - which he didn't attend), his attorney stated that the post office lost the notification of his last appointment, and that was why he missed it... Everything was continued to next month, when I predict we will learn that he missed the third appointment... Theoretically, they won't delay the case forever waiting for him to show up for the test, but.... Foster Care. Also theoretically, if he isn't the bio father, someone will ask the judge if they can quit testing people, but... Foster Care....

Meanwhile, Lil Bit's bio mom had another run-in with the law back in March and was given the option of entering in-patient rehab to avoid serious prison time. Thanks to the (unintentional?) delays with identifying the birth father, she now has over 6 months sober and is talking about wanting to get him back. I've talked with her some - I think she likes the idea of sobriety, but I don't believe she's willing to do the work. For example, she's been smuggling contraband candy back into the program every time she's allowed out for court. It's a little thing, but to me it indicates a lack of commitment to the process. And her lengthy criminal and substance abuse track record doesn't inspire optimism.

Yes, she has 6 months sober and that's awesome, but she's been in jail or inpatient treatment the entire time. Further complicating things (maybe) is the fact that the program she's in was designed specifically for moms to have their kids with them - so she is thinking to get him back before she finishes rehab. Luckily for Lil Bit, both case management and the G.A.L. and G.A.L. attorney are adamantly opposed to him being sent to rehab with her. As I've explained to the bio mom, the big concern is that while she's doing well in a safe, controlled environment, no one - including her - knows how she'll do when she re-enters the real world. At this point, Lil Bit hasn't had much trauma at all, but if we were to disrupt his life, then have him bounce back into foster care, that's a lot of unnecessary trauma.

All that being said, she doesn't seem to me to have any intention of signing a surrender. And I just don't believe the state can win a contested TPR trial with her 6 months of sobriety, coerced or not. So we're waiting, and praying, and loving on him as long as we can.

In the last update, I mentioned his delays and therapy. He's still wearing a helmet, but probably only for a few more months, and he still has PT 3x/week. He said his first word this weekend - Daddy, as I predicted. And he finally figured out the mechanics of crawling. So we now have two 2-year-old boys and a mobile infant. We are well and truly screwed.

I love my life. :)

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Hint:
It has recently come to my attention that not all of my readers can easily tell when I'm being sarcastic. That is truly unfortunate, so finding a solution was imperative. ^Obviously, the easiest answer is to assume that if something can be read with sarcasm, it should be;^; but that's not really workable, I guess. After reviewing several options for a "sarcasm font", I've come up up with my own system. Whenever you see italics inside carrots (^snark^), that is my "sarcasm font".


If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers