To all the Dads, Grandads, Foster Dads and anyone else who has parental responsibilities, Happy Father’s Day!
Our Father’s Day here started as always, with Breakfast in bed from the kids. Bless them, they got up at 5am to make breakfast and actually managed it without trashing the kitchen! I’d been at work, so it was nice to get into bed and have breakfast bought to me!
After Breakfast, I got some shut eye, while Sam took the kids swimming. Thankfully, our school has it’s indoor pool, so it meant that the swimming pool in town being closed for a Gala, would not cause us any losses!
I didn’t get the amount of sleep I would of liked to as I was woken up by the phone and was needed, as we had a rather poorly pupil; who needed to go to the Hospital. (He will be fine and is being kept an eye on in Hospital.) This meant that being one man down, I had to go back into work. However, that wasn’t a bad thing at all, as the kids had made a “Happy Fathers Day banner, with the words Kyle, the coolest alternative dad ever!” and hung it from the windows of the 2nd floor. That really touched me and meant alot to me as well. I also got a stack of cards from the kids, which was really sweet.
Meanwhile, I missed the picnic with the family, but Father’s day was great this year! Apart from all the cards from the kids at work, I got some aftershave from our kids and Sam got shower gels and body sprays. The kids at work all put money together to buy me a rode for the garden, which I am going to plant in the garden next to J Block, when I get a chance to!
Sam and I are sorry for the lack of posts recently. We have both been really really busy at work and with the family, so we have not had a chance to show our faces! Christmas was very busy as ever and we had my Parents down to spend it with Sam, myself and the kids. On top of this, very late on Christmas Eve, we had a extra arrival. (No Not Santa, he came much later in the night!)
We had an emergency come in, in the form of a 13 year old lad called Abu. Abu is originally from Crimea, which is the same place Kyrlo is from originally. (For those of you who do not know, Kyrlo is our youngest son, we adopted a while back) Anyway, there are legal reasons I cannot go into, why Abu cannot be deported like his parents are going to be. (They are currently in detention in a Immigration Centre) However, Social Services have managed to twist HM Immigration’s arm on health grounds, to give Abu leave in the UK. It means he will be separated from his family, but as I said before, there are reasons I cannot go into for this.
Sam and I got some wonderful gifts this year. I got a new Kilt from Linda and smellies from the kids. Sam got me new car seat covers for the car and a really nice ring, which he had engraved for me. I got Sam a dustpan and brush as a joke, as well as smellies, new steel toecapped boots, a new tablet, plus new bike leathers. He got tons of chocolate off the kids as well. The kids has all sorts of gizmos, from drones, to new Ninteno Switch consoles, DVDs and wonzies! Course, for Linda and my parents,gift vouchers were the way to go, as they can spend them on what they want! Oh and not forgetting Sox…. He got a huge memory foam cushion, which he loves and enjoys stretching out on it in front of the open fire.
On New Year’s eve, we joined the Boarders for a massive NYE bash, which Sam organized, with fireworks being let off at midnight, from the field. We’re both back at work again now and the new term starts next week. Shame Sam and I both have the awful cod going about. It’s not nice!
Anyway, from myself, Sam and our family, we wish you and your family a very Happy New Year and all the best for 2018! (We’ll try not to leave it as long before posting, just in case you wanted to make sure we are still alive!)
Our Super NES came today, which we got on Ebay, so we could do a bit of Retro Gaming. So for this week’s Family night, we have been playing Mario 3 on the NES and completing it without warping, with each of the kids playing a act on each world, before passing to the next person. Kyle and I however, played the Doom Ships, as they are really tricky to navigate.
2 and a half hours later and we have finally managed to reach King Koopa and the epic final Boss Battle with King Koopa on the battlements of his castle in Dark Land. (A sinister land, where it is cold; creepy and very dangerous, with all sorts of traps and several Doom Ship convoys.
The final battle was played by each of us, (Even though we all ended up dying and having to pass the controller round again!) but it was Kyrylo who skillfully defeated King Koopa and rescued the Princess Toadstool.
The final battle is very tricky. You need to avoid Koopa’s “butt stomp attacks” and his fireballs, (Caused by his hideous bad breath! You need to get him to butt stomp the battlements, so that the layers of brick are reduced. In between his attacks, you need to make him break the 3 layers of bricks, so he falls to his death. (Yes, it sounds grim, I know!) Once you have done that, a door will open and you will be able to rescue the Princess Toadstool! (Were Nintendo high on drugs when they created the Super Mario Bros???!!)
Anyway, below is a video of the final battle, so you can see for yourselves. (We didn’t make the video btw, we grabbed it off Youtube.)
Anyway, it was a fun night for all and in a way was a good team building exercise, as we all had to work together to complete the game!
The kids have decided to be deceitful and betraying confidence, after they noticed that Will has one to one sessions with Sam and I. Helping Will make that step back into society, after being locked up. So is important to us; so we can help him get used to life on the outside and I know Will is frightened of peer pressure and that he will be tempted to offend again. This is why these sessions are important, so we can talk about things and we can help to steer clear of the temptations.
Of course, the boys have been trying to get it out of Sam and I about the reasons he is on tag. Of course we will not betray him and tell them, as this is something Will needs to do when he he ready. (Which he is not) So the kids decided to find out once and for all, by planting a distophone in the study. A little later Jenny caught the kids listening to the tape in the Playroom and told me about it. Of course I dealt with it and the kids got a very bad telling off about betraying confidence and starting wild rumours and nasty gossip. Thankfully Will did not have to hear this, as it would of really upset him.
The boys have learnt a lesson about confidentiality, betrayal, starting rumours and also that they are not allowed in the study without permission. (It is a shame that Sam and I now need to keep the door locked, as we cannot trust the boys not to go in there without permission, which is disappointing.
On more positive news, Sam had a really busy night, doing a disco and Karaoke. He had had over 80 singers in one night and the atmosphere was buzzing. He was exhausted when he came home after 1am last night and is currently out doing another disco at the moment and is working again tonight. (Poor Sam! Good thing I have the weekend off!)
Today, we had a new arrival to the family. His name is William, (But we all call him Will) he’s 13 and been put into long term care with us, after serving 2 years for drug offences in a Young Offenders Unit. Originally, he was to be released to the care of the Foxes Unit, which is a secure care unit. However, I managed to persuade the powers that be, that a more family based environment would be better. This took a lot of meetings and visits with Will, Social Workers, Youth Offending Team (YOT) staff, Prison Parole Teams and his Mental Health Workers. This happened over several months, dating back to February, when the planning of his release was being formulated. Will had said that he had been to Children’s Home after Children’s Home and had not been properly understood and that his actions were due to his mental health. While inside, Will did get mental health support and he was finally given a diagnosis, with the correct support. (Medication and therapies and also support to stop him messing with drugs again)
Sam and I are probably the 1st Foster Carers to ever directly take on a young person released from Young Offenders, but we are not being left in the dark. Will has been made an appointment to see his Youth Offending Worker every week and he is also being fast tracked to receive community mental health support. He is also tagged and is not allowed out after 7pm. (But he can go in our garden) We also have Social Services support and we have the number of his Parole Officer if we are concerned about him. He will be attending out school as a day pupil, but for the 1st few weeks; he will be taught on the Day unit on Sick Bay, while he gets used to being out in the community.
Sam and I decided that it was best that he arrived without the other kids being around, so that he could have 2 or 3 hours to relax and to get to know his way around the house and for Sam and I to get to know him outside the . (We sent the kids bowling with Jenny. We have not told the kids about his background, but we have said he has been in trouble with the Police and is currently on curfew. We have not said anything else and we are letting Will tell the others, if and when he feels ready. He seems to be getting on really well with the other boys and already seems to be finding himself part of the family.
Hopefuilly we can help him to stay clean and stay out of trouble. Sam has said that if he goes to all his YOT meetings, therapy sessions and stays clean off the drugs (Possession of Coke was what he was sent down for) and complies with his curfews and house rules, Sam has said he will buy Will a decent Mountain Bike, which is a good way to help him stay on the straight and narrow, as he has something to focus towards.
I found myself in a rather difficult spot, when having to deal with a medical emergency at home. It started when I’d said no to one of the older boys, after wanting a bar of chocolate so near tea. I’d said no for a reason. (He’d not want his tea and I had suggested a piece of fruit instead) However, he decided to storm off and went upstairs. What I didn’t know, was that he knew that another one of the boys had a Fruit and Nut bar in his bedroom. The boy who originally had stashed the Fruit and Nut bar away should of known better, as the kids know anything with nuts is banned from the house.
So this older boy had heard one of the other boys walking up the stairs, so he ran into the bathroom, locked himself in and began eating the bar of chocolate. Of course, he began to go into a allergic reaction and was unable to reach the emergency cords we have in the bathrooms. (We have this, because we have 2 boys who are disabled and the cords allow them to call for help.) He was slumped behind the door and unable to breathe, within minutes his airway will have closed up.
At this time, one of the other boys wanted the toilet, so he went to the 1st floor bathroom. Finding the door locked and the downstairs toilet engaged, he began hammering on the door. I came up to see what the noise was about and knocked on the door to the loo, to see if whoever was inside was OK. Getting no response, I used a 10p to release the lock, but was unable to open the door, due to boy slumped behind the door. Knowing that something was very wrong, I held the door as far as it would open and got one of the younger kids to slip through the gap. When I got told who was behind the door and that there was a bar of Fruit and Nut on the floor and this boy wasn’t moving. I asked if the person behind the door was breathing, (by placing his hand in front of his mouth) sadly he wasn’t. The boy in question could not pull him away from the door, so I told one of the boys to run downstairs to the kitchen, call an ambulance by dialing 9-999 and stating that there is a casualty with anaphylaxis and his Foster Dad was trying to get into the bathroom, to help him.
meanwhile, I had run into our bedroom and gone to the locked box we keep in our wardrobe, which has the kids meds for during the night and grabbed the spare Epi-Pen. (It saves walking down to the Laundry Room, unlocking the cupboard to get the meds and walk all the way back up again at 4am!)
An Epi-Pen btw, is a emergency injector of Adrenaline, used to reverse an anaphylactic reaction.
I opened the bathroom window on our ensuite and climbed out onto the roof of the kitchen. Carefully walking between the pitched part of the roof and the wall, made my way to the bathroom window. I told the other boy to turn away from the window and stand back. I then used a loose slate and broke the glass. I Was able to administer adrenaline and move him away from the door, for when the paramedics arrived. I also performed CPR, until
Jenny went with him to A&E, where he has recovered from the reaction and may be home later. Meanwhile, while all this was going on, one of the boys got on their bikes and cycled down to school, (using the alleyway that runs down the side of the house and down the side of the fields) to fetch Sam. (Who was preparing for his Aikido lesson.
The boys have had a good talking to about nuts not being allowed in the house, (especially chocolate with nuts in it) as well as the consequences of nut products being bought into the house. (IE: severe allergic reactions) What Sam and I have done, is to setup a nut ammunansty. There is a bin outside the office, which the kids can dump anything with nuts in, with no questions asked.
First Aid for Anaphylaxis Emergencies
First, loosen the casualties shirt collar and if he or she is wearing a tie, loosen that too. While you do this,
Ask a bystander to immateriality call an ambulance, (DIAL 999 OR 112 FROM THE NEAREST TELEPHONE) stating that the casualty is in anaphylaxis.
inject the casualty with their auto injector (Epi-Pen) – push it firmly into their thigh until it clicks. Hold for 10 seconds. (The auto injector can be jabbed through clothing)
If the casualty is not breathing, place he or she on their back and perform CPR. (Rescue Breaths will not work, as the airway is normally restricted, so perform Chest Compressions only) – Push hard and push fast, to the beat of Staying Alive By The Beegees)
Once breathing again, place in the recovery position and closely monitor his or her breathing. If the casualty stops breathing, put them on their back again and begin CPR
Show the Ambulance crew what allergen the Casualty has come into contact with, if possible.
Well, it’s 02:42 and I am up again, because Kyrlo is having one of those nights again, where he’s had a very bad nightmare and has been really distressed. I have just got him back to sleep and hes fast asleep on the settee in mine and Sam’s Study.
The poor wee lad has been to hell and back but he is slowly getting there. We are teaching him grounding techniques, which help him to deal with flashbacks. Also he has periods where he stares into outer space and will not respond to you speaking him. So we have been shown another technique, where we hold his hand and say in very calm voice, “Kyrlo it’s Kyle, you are safe and you are at home. I am not going anywhere until I know your are OK. If you can hear me, squeeze my hand”. It does work and it helps him to safely come out from a flashback, which usually is terrifying.
The top priority is to make sure Kyrlo is safe and that he knows we are there to support and protect him. The other kids know to look for the signs of Kyrlo having a flashback and to find one of us right away. Recovery for someone who has suffered such severe and prolonged trauma is slow, but with the support Kyrlo gets, I know he will be fine; even if it takes years of therapy until the end of his teenage years!)
I am off back to bed now, so I am gonna carry the wee lad back to bed and hopefully get some shut eye, as I am at work at 7am!
My parents have come down to see me, Sam and the kids. Mum and Dad have not been down for a while and it is nice to have them here, so we can have a good catch up. Mum has been down several times, but this is the 1st time my Dad has been to the house; as he has not been so well with his heart.
The kids were very pleased to see them, when Sam went to pick my Mum and Dad from the airport. As most Grandparents do, Mum and Dad bought down loads of goodies for the kids, which they were so pleased about. I took them over to school this morning and gave them a tour of Junior House, so they could see where I work. Of course, the Borders (those who were not out on activities) were more than happy to show off where they live and my Dad was “drooling” over the Model Railway.
We are having a laid back afternoon and I made a traditional Scottish dish for Lunch, which the kids loved. (I made Stovies, which is is a Scottish dish based on potatoes and meat. Recipes and ingredients vary widely, but the dish always contains potatoes, onions, other vegetables, sausages, roast beef, minced beef or other meat.)
I wish I didn’t have to work 3 – 10, but at least I got tomorrow off and then I am on Earlies all next week, so at least I can spend more time during the day with my parents and the family.
Have you or your kids ever had a nosebleed that won’t stop? Forget pinching your nose with your thumb and forefinger and reach for the Tampons! Take a tampon and put it into the notarial that is bleeding and ask the person who’s nose is bleeding, to lean forward. The tampon will soak up the blood and help to clot the bleed. If the tampon feels heavy in the person who’s nose is bleeding, remove the tampon and replace with a clean one. As always, if the bleed is uncontrolled or lasts for over 25 minutes, attend your nearest Minor Injuries Unit, Walk In Centre or A&E Department.
I had to reach for Jenny’s Tampons this afternoon, as one of the boys was having a nosebleed, caused by (yes surprise surprise) picking his nose. (YUK! My mum used to say if you pick your nose, your brain will fall out, but this is a wee old wives tale) Actually, the tampon worked and stopped the bleed. Funnily enough, sealed Tampons (In their wrapper) are now kept in our First Aid Kits. You never know when they might be handy, for guys or gals! 🙂
One more quick tip for you, have you ever been out; shoes soaked inside and then you need to go out again, but only have 1 set of shoes? If so, place a nappy sack over your sock and insert your foot into the shoe. Now tuck the nappy sack down so you can’t see it hanging over your shoe, and you’re feet will stay nice and dry! I had to use this tip last week!
Sam and I have just had to deal with the aftermath, after one of the kids decided to snitch about everything bad that the other boys have done. (IE: who put glue on the loo seat and who putt a rubber frog in Jenny’s bed, as well as switching her blonde hair dye for Sam’s bottle of black hair dye – Yes Sam dyes the grays) So this caused the kids to have a massive falling out and they have been in really bad moods all afternoon. Of course, mitigating this situation took Sam and I quite a while, but Sam and I finally got the kids to snap out of it.
Of course, we had words with them all, about how it is wrong to snitch and how it is also wrong to gossip[ about other people. Now the kids are back to normal, there is the sound of laughter again. (Except for balls hitting thee patio doors!)