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post #61 of 128
Wow! congratulations on being an amazing human being!

I am sorry for your loss,though. I can't imagine going through what you now. You are brave and strong. and truly beautiful.
I am sure we all could learn from YOU! I am so glad you came here! Even though I am into the natural living lifestyle I have learned so much from this forum that I just would not have otherwise! Especially reading about people like you. warms my heart.
I think everyone has just about covered what I wanted to say. Such great advice
One thing though, Just remember they are little children and very innocent, as much as you can, get down on their level and try to see things from their point of view. It is a difficult task I am still trying to remember to do and I have 3! Anyway Good luck mama! Please come back with any needs/advice/venting anything!
post #62 of 128
I was very moved by your story, life has thrown you such a major challenge and it's inspiring to think of what you're doing to rise to the occasion (despite some well founded fears).

I wanted to lend the name of a pediatrician. Don't know if east point is convenient for you, but I have a friend who's part of an all woman OBGYN practice that decided to take on a pediatrician so that they could offer medical care to all the babies they were delivering.

Her name is Dr. Dorsey Norwood and she is based out of the East Point office of Life Cycle OB/GYN. She's a wonderful person, very nurturing, definitely open minded, an Emory grad if that holds any sway with you, and great with kids. She's got one of those sunny/funny personalities that kids are drawn to but will then turn and discuss your concerns in all seriousness. If I lived closer to town I'd be going there myself. Here's the link.


Best of luck to you!
post #63 of 128
Originally Posted by ZeldasMom
I have found this is what is most imporant in helping me be the kind of parent I want to be. Even though I am a major parenting book reader, I think in a lot of ways, you already know what to do. Books are just something extra to give you ideas. But taking care of yourself is not something extra, because if you don't do that you become a version of yourself that is less likely to do the things that your best self knows are right.

I think you already have some good insticts about what you want and don't want for these kids and even though you never planned on having children in your life, you will be a great mama!

For me, even though I had time to prepare before having my kids, I still didn't feel like a mother right away. It took time to figure out what to do and what my stance is on different things. I am still learning every day and just deal with things as they come up.
post #64 of 128
Wow, that seems to be all I can say after reading this thread.

I know from my own experiences here, this is a wise group of mamas. They can answer questions, or point you in the right direction. There is such a sense of community here.

That said, I'll be sorting through clothes in the next couple of weeks and would gladly send you some if you let me know the sizes. I have both girl's and boy's clothes. I could also send a box of books and other assorted items, if you would like.

and welcome to the wonderful journey known as motherhood. It is unfortunate that this is the result of the loss of your sister, but these children have been blessed to have you in their lives.
post #65 of 128
Wow. Wow. Wow.

Are you a reader? If I could choose only a few parenting books, they would be "How to talk so kids will listen, and listen so kids will talk" and/or "siblings without rivalry"-- AMAZING books (written by the same authors in the same style), easy reads, and soooooo right on. I've read them multilple times and continue to reference them again when I feel I'm not parenting effectively. And "Becoming the parent you want to be" which is a marvelous, thorough, gentle book that covers all sorts of ages and issues, full of examples of challenges etc. A really wise book, i think.

I wish I lived closer and could help you more directly. But welcome to MDC.
post #66 of 128
Wow...honey...just wow.

Do you have any spiritual support ? Priest ? Pastor ? They will have tons of reliable support and help you to start networking. Don't be scared to go ahead and find a church even if you've never been. It will help.

Secondly...as to the tv thing...don't worry about parking them in front of the tube right now. Truthfully it's probably what they are used to and it will feel "normal" to them. As the grief wears off you can tune out the tv and start building relationships.

Going back to the first paragraph...I cannot stress that spiritual help will be vital to you right now. You don't have to join a church....or even go on a regular basis.....but the churches are there to help. Financially , emotionally and spiritually. Let them help you and the kids. Honest.
post #67 of 128
: God Bless you.
post #68 of 128
I'm sorry for the loss of your sister

Congratulations on the formation of your new family -

And finally - Welcome to MDC, let's throw some more at you.

If you need anything, clothes, toys, bedding, to destress, vent, grieve, celebrate - we're always here. When it's 3 in the morning and you're reliving the day instead of beating yourself up at the hours of television watched or the veggies that weren't eaten, remember - tomorrow is another day. That's the beauty of this life, each day is a chance to do a little better, one step at a time. The minutes and days last forever, but the months and years fly by.

Good luck and please let us know if we can do anything.
post #69 of 128
Originally Posted by Jen123
Secondly...as to the tv thing...don't worry about parking them in front of the tube right now. Truthfully it's probably what they are used to and it will feel "normal" to them. As the grief wears off you can tune out the tv and start building relationships.
I agree with this. As much as I hate the fact that they were parked in front of the tv all the time with their mom, it is what they're used to. They've had enough change all at once, and I think some familiar things - even tv - are just what they need to stay in some kind of comfort zone for a while. Don't beat yourself up!! You're going to make mistakes - every parent does, and most of us don't have to deal with going from childless to mother of four instantly. You've taken on a huge challenge and just the fact that you're doing this is going to help those kids SO much.
post #70 of 128
I just want to join in and say what you're doing is amazing, and being necessary doesn't make it any less incredible.

Give yourself and break and focus on one thing at a time. Car seats. Doctor. Dentist. Check, check, check. Other things, less vital, can come later.

Also wanted to put in a plug for seeing an adoption lawyer, so you can get these guys formally adopted and also have yourself named as legal guardian (since it sounds like your sister might not have had any estate docs). That way, you can enroll them in school and things like that.

Please keep us posted...there is a lot of help here...
post #71 of 128
I read your post on the circ board and had to find your intro. What an amazing person you are. Those kids lucked out having you as an auntie.
I read you are looking for a dr.
Are you familiar with yahoo groups?
Here is a link to a yahoo group that includes referrals to dr in many arteas maybe they will have one in your area. The group is run by "crunchy type" mothers so the referrals are usually good ones.
Welcome to motherhood.
post #72 of 128
I couldn't read without posting, you are doing such an amazing thing for these children. I've been reading your other posts to. I know you are overwhelmed right now but it sounds like you are the kind of person who once you set your mind to do something you do whatever it takes to do it well. I'm sure you will be a great mom! These kids are lucky to have you.
post #73 of 128
"One is that if your sister was using during her pregnancies, the kids may have neurological issues and/or developmental delays. "

I just wanted to comment here.. you have a lot on your plate, heroin is actually not considered a teratogenic agent, the biggest risks in pregnancy are generally lifestyle related and manifest as premature births and low birth weight.. at these kids age, I wouldn't stress too much about developmental issues. Like i said you have enough on your plate.

from reading this thread it seems like you have this list of things a momma *should* do, and you are going thru the list trying your best. i am pretty sure most new moms do this, but i wanted to say..what makes or breaks a good parent is finding your own pace. There are few rights or wrongs and an infinite number of opinions and variations on *normal*.. you will find your way.

I knoe dentists and medical issues see, pressing, but i can't help but think, 'wow these kids lost thier mommy'!!! a lot of change is happening but i assume the most vital thing right now is thei mental and emotional health!
post #74 of 128
Welcome. You can ask us anything .
post #75 of 128
I just wanted to vouch for Jennie143 and her offer. I have recently moved to Tahoe, but know Jennie personally from our mom's group in ATL. She is a PHENOMENAL person, and she truly does have the resources to get you in touch with people that can help you out. There is a large network of moms in ATL that can help you by donating kids furniture, etc.--Jennie can DEF help you tap into that when the time is right.

Good luck, and know that you are doing a great thing.
post #76 of 128
I couldn't read and not respond... You are doing a *truly* amazing thing. Really. Wow, I'm in awe.

I don't have any advice that the wise women here at MDC haven't already offered, but I just wanted to add my support. You sounded kind of down in your last post, and quite understandably. So.... I'm so sorry for the loss of your sister.

I wish I lived in your area. As it is, I would be more than happy to send you toys or clothes if you need. I have a 2 yo boy, and we have lots of extra stuff laying around. Please, if you need anything, let me know and I'll send whatever I can.
post #77 of 128

you'll sleep less, but you'll laugh more!

Hello, Kathleen. I wanted to share with you the mantra that my friend and I made up as we travel this journey called motherhood. Your journey has started abruptly, but you are on your way nonetheless.


I don't know if anyone has said that yet! It may seem a weird thing to say right now. But you are clearly committed to these kids, you have the resources (financial, emotional and spiritual) to help them, and you are going to raise a beautiful family. In several months things will seem a lot more clear and settled. Another thing that I tell myself when life turns upside down, as it has for me now and then, is "trust that the universe is unfolding as it should". Whether you believe in God or not, it is comforting to think that sometimes things happen for a reason.

OK, 'nuff of that touchy-feely stuff! You sound like a very "with-it" woman, which is how lots of people described me before I became a mom. Somehow, becoming a mother can make all of us feel a lot less "with-it". So, go easy on yourself when you can't manage to get out the door in less than 30 minutes. This is my first piece of concrete advice: allow a LOT more time to do things than you are used to. Did it used to take you 15 minutes to have breakfast in the morning? Count on 45 minutes or an hour now. Could you stop off at the store and pick up a few things, and be in and out in 10 minutes? My minimum time in the store now is 30 minutes. My DD is 4 years old, and my only child!! It just seems that she always wants to help (which I encourage and is easier than arguing about it) or starts asking questions about this or that, or we have to hunt down the bathroom (even though she went JUST before we left home).

The side-effect of this is that you just CANNOT accomplish as much in one day as you used to. I remember being SO frustrated with this when my DD was an infant. There were days when getting the top rack of the dishwasher unloaded was my grand accomplishment for the day. Wooppee! So, what I have learned to do is make lists. Well, I used to do that before I became a mom, but now I do one more step. I put a star next to 3 things on the list for the day. Those are the things I would really like to get done. Then I circle one of those 3 things. That is the ONE thing that I MUST get done that day. If nothing else happens, and only that one thing gets done, it's OK.

One of the big tricks for me has been slowing myself down enough to enjoy being a mama. I'm kind of a 100 MPH type person. You sort of sound that way, too. It will be a big adjustment, but it has tremendous rewards.

I also wanted to give some advice on routines. I like routines, and my DD does not. I tried for YEARS to get her to go to bed early, and at a set bedtime, and she just won't. She is not wired to be the early bird, nor is she consistent from day to day. BUT...we have a bedtime routine, and it helps everyone. So, whether she's going to end up in bed at 9 pm or 11:30 pm, we start the routine about 1.5 hours ahead of time. She and I take a shower together, then put on our jammies. We have a bedtime snack, then brush our teeth. We get into bed and read some stories. Then we turn out the light and snuggle until she falls asleep.

Before we started doing this routine CONSISTENTLY, the evenings were abysmal. She would be tired, I would be tired, and she wanted my attention. I was trying to rush her through the "getting ready for bed" because I really just wanted her "in bed". Once we established the routine, a lot of the clashes in the evening went away, since she knew what to expect and she knew she would get some undivided, unhurried attention.

All of your kids are pretty young, and going through some major upheavals. Transitions can be difficult for toddlers and pre-schoolers. By that I mean transitions of any kind, including:

waking up in the morning
leaving the house
stopping one kind of play to do something else
saying goodbye to you
saying hello to you again
settling down to have a meal
settling down to sleep

And big transitions like

death in the family
new sibling
new care provider

Most kids (and adults, for that matter!) appreciate a little advance warning when they have to transition. Your kids didn't get any advance warning that their mother was going to go away. But, you can signal to them that you respect them and their needs by giving them some warning about the day-to-day transitions. I use sort of a countdown with my daughter. I say, "OK, in five minutes we are going to put on our shoes and go outside for a walk." Then she knows it is coming, and can mentally prepare to finish what she is doing right then. If she doesn't seem to be preparing, I give her a "1 minute until we're going outside". Using this approach has drastically cut down on our number of tantrums (when she was Benny's age) and amount of power struggles (now that she's 4 and KNOWS what she wants!).

Well, I better stop blabbering. My two cents has turned into more than that!

But I also wanted to say that I have a sister in the So. Atlanta area who would be willing to lend you a hand if you are interested. She is a member of a great church that could offer some assistance, if you are open to doing the church thing. (I know that I wouldn't be, so I understand if you are not.) Feel free to send me a personal message (PM) if you want her contact info.

Good luck! You are an amazing woman, and an inspiration to many of us here.


post #78 of 128
i couldn't read and not post.

you are amazing, such an inspiration. i just wanted to send to you and the little ones, and a welcome and invitation to come here for support, advice and encouragement when you need it.

post #79 of 128
Wow! I am crying reading your story. Those children are very lucky, and you are going to do a great job!

I'm sure you are feeling overwhelmed too wondering what might be good to keep all of them occupied, a few well chosen toys in my opinion:
- a nice set of wooden blocks would be great for all of them- blocks are a great toy and can be played with by the whole age range.
- Another good thing would be to make sure each child has a doll or stuffed animal, as children dealing with all the change they have are comforted by a plush friend.
- I'd also try getting a couple of games like CandyLand that you can all play together, it gives you an easier way to interact with them, you can even help the littlest one play
- Playing with a ball is always good too.

You are a wonderful person, and your life will be blessed by these children!

post #80 of 128
One for each of you! It's fabulous that you are taking on this responsibility. You've come to the right place for help and support and respect for your healthy lifestyle.

I think there's a good book called Adventures in Gentle Discipline, has anyone else read it?
Yes! That is a wonderful book! It gives such clear examples and makes gentle discipline feel like the easiest, most natural thing ever. The author's name is Hilary Flower.
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