Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fosters

On Thursday of last week (Dec 15), I received a call for two foster children in need of emergency placement. A little boy, age 3, and a little girl, age 4. C and K, respectively. I said yes, and did end up with the placement (oddly, since a DCBS family would usually take them... but no one would take 2 children at the same time).

So, they've been with us a week tomorrow. They may or may not be with us for Christmas. I will know more tomorrow. Their normal SW said that they would likely go home before Christmas. We shall see. They could.

I finished my semester with two B+'s. They weren't tough courses, just a tough semester.

I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas.

Peace.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful

I am so very thankful for my family and the love of my daughter. We've had a full fall and will likely have a busy winter, too. I have one more year or so left on my Masters degree. T got into NKU. Lil M is learning to read. She's also doing gymnastics and piano lessons. We're having fun. :)

What are you thankful for?

Peace.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Puzzle(d)

Ok, I'm not puzzled exactly... we've been doing lots of puzzles lately and so the past tense would be puzzled, right? ;-) Just trying to think of some kind of funny title this morning. Yep, I'm a goof.

So, T and G are living with us officially and have been here since Sept 17. In the past month we've celebrated T's 19th birthday and gotten all but a couple of things from the BF's house. I had to get all my paperwork, et al, completed for my annual Therapeutic FP licence. And, she applied to my Alma Mater. We got a copy of her HS diploma (yay!!) and transcripts. Praying she gets in to this school. That would be a HUGE blessing for her. One benefit for her is that she was still in foster care at 18 and, so, gets her college paid for! I keep praying she'll take full advantage of that and get her degree.

Oy, I just realized that this Saturday is our annual Foster Parent conference... that'll be all day. Ugh. I don't mind it, except it'll be a long day.

Baby G is settling in nicely, as is Torrie. She's a big help around the house. Mia likes having them around, I know. We got to have Baby B... who is no longer a baby ... this weekend. She turned 3 last week!!! So, what shall I call her now? Ok. Bri, it is. :) It was great having Bri over. I've been able to have her about once or twice a month since she left.

I received a call on Monday asking if I'd take a 10YO girl, potentially. They've put in my home study, so let's see what happens. She is the first that *might* be available for adoption at some point. I'm praying and praying over this one. Not to get her, necessarily, but that if I do that she's a good fit. I've asked if it is possible to meet her before placement (in the event I'm chosen)... but there are never any guarantees.

Torrie is funny because she acts all jealous when I tell her about possible referrals and such... and doesn't want to give up her room, of course. I think she realizes, even subconsciously, what she's got in me and Mia. I hope so, anyway. She's like... um, Melissa, you don't want her to teach Lil M bad things. LOL. She's right. I don't. And she'd say this about any potential referral, which I find kind of amusing. :)

I have about one year left for my Masters... I'm SO NOT motivated this semester. Can't seem to get in the groove at all. Oh wait. Maybe that's 'cause I've been so busy?!!

Peace.

Update - I did not get the placement of the 10yo girl... just didn't want  y'all to freak if I forgot to post that part! 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

yellow and lime green

mmmmm coffee. Cinnamon Vanilla decaf, to be exact. :) That's what I'm drinking as I sit here contemplating what to write about this morning.

Let's see, it's been a week since Manna passed. Maggi is so sad she pooped in her bed. Ok, maybe not. But she did crap her bed. :(

Lil M likes school, but she didn't seem to want to go today. I think she just needed a day off, like I do. lol. But she's there (school) and I'm here (work)... so, I guess a day off will have to wait. :)

T and G are at the house this week... they've been with us since Saturday. She's painting 'her' room (her words) ... and it talking about getting all her stuff from the BF's house except some clothes. She seems fairly serious, since she's a) painting and b) hasn't asked to go back all week. So, let's see. I would like her to get away from the BF, but I'll remain cautiously optimistic until it actually happens. Oh, she registered for college this week. I was SO excited. :) Even told him that she wants to go back to school so that she doesn't have to make minimum wage for the rest of her life. Good girl. :) See... Mommy nagging can sometimes give you a glimmer of hope... again, cautiously optimistic here!!! LOL.

I've got to get a move on with my own classes this semester. Been somewhat out of it and, as usual, very busy. Not focused. But, I've only got one year left and I'll be done!! So. Get 'er done, right?

Did I mention that T's room is bright yellow and lime green??? She picked them. Yellow for her. Green for G. It looks like Lil M's room when we moved in, actually... except, there wasn't lime green on the walls, just in the window treatments. Which, I might suggest T use for her room, now. 

Peace.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

And then there were 4

Right now there is just Lil M, me, Maggi and Skippy in the house. That's kind of weird. We've been a 'family' of 5 for 5 years now.

I have no idea what the future holds, but Lil M is already asking for a new puppy or kitty. Sheesh. I doubt we'll get another kitty. We might, but it's fairly unlikely.

Lil M seems to like school so far. :) And is wanting to learn to read, so we've been reading a lot. She can spell cat, hat, dog, a, at... and find them on a page. She can find other words when we spell them and look for them, too.

Yesterday was fairly stressful for me, but I managed. First, Maggi broke her lead. No news there. She does that often. She's still looking gorgeous after her grooming Tuesday. Love that. Then, work was stressful because we've got a release going in this weekend, and it was completely hosed yesterday. Things are better today... but as I sit here and type this, I hear my Lead talking about another issue. Great.

Then, Lil M had a make-up gymnastics session. That was good. But when we got home, I smelled something funny and realized I should check the laundry room... that's where I found Manna. :( So, I got a hold of the Vet and they let me take her there for cremation. 10,000 questions later (from Lil M, who doesn't grasp death, yet), and we get home...

Then, I couldn't find my work cell phone.

Egad.

I looked everywhere. Twice, thrice, 4-times... to no avail. Maybe I left it at gymnastics? Hmm... I run out in the rain to make sure I didn't drop it in the driveway or the road... nope.

Must. sleep.

....

As I was getting ready for work this morning, I received a call from the Vet's office saying they found my phone in the parking lot. It was a little wet, but seemed fine. Well. That's why I couldn't find the dang thing. Alrighty then. Thank goodness they found it. It probably helped that my morning alarm was ringing. :)

I told my boss about the potential loss, and he said it wouldn't have been a huge deal... thank goodness. But I'm so glad they found it. :)

What do you think the odds are that Lil M will convince me to buy a new pet here soon?? LOL

peace.


Manna Fanna

My very beloved cat, Manna, passed away yesterday. She was with me for 18 years, and was the very best cat, ev'a.

She walked through a huge portion of my life with me... college, guys, moves, apartments, house-buying, graduation, cats, dogs, adoption, job changes, fostering, college again... She was a GREAT companion and I will miss her greatly.

Rest In Peace Manna
7/2/1993 to 9/14/2011
May you have all the tuna you could ever want
up there in Heaven with the big Guy. :)

Peace.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A SMALL PEBBLE IN A POND:: In Honor of Awareness, Friendship, and Understandi...

Love this post, so I'm sharing it. :)

A SMALL PEBBLE IN A POND:: In Honor of Awareness, Friendship, and Understandi...

A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell.
He painted a sign advertising the 4 pups and set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug on his overalls. He looked down into the eyes of a little boy.

"Mister," he said, "I want to buy one of your puppies."

"Well," said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat off the back of his neck, "These puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money."

The boy dropped his head for a moment. Then reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer.

"I've got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?"

"Sure," said the farmer. And with that he let out a whistle. "Here, Dolly!" he called.

Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly followed by four little balls of fur.

The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence. His eyes danced with delight. As the dogs made their way to the fence, the little boy noticed something else stirring inside the doghouse.

Slowly another little ball appeared, this one noticeably smaller. Down the ramp it slid. Then in a somewhat awkward manner, the little pup began hobbling toward the others, doing its best to catch up...

"I want that one," the little boy said, pointing to the runt. The farmer knelt down at the boy's side and said,
"Son, you don't want that puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would."

With that the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his
trousers.

In doing so he revealed a steel brace running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially made shoe.

Looking back up at the farmer, he said, "You see sir, I don't run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands."

With tears in his eyes, the farmer reached down and picked up the little pup.



Holding it carefully he handed it to the little boy.

"How much?" asked the little boy... "No charge," answered the farmer, "There's no charge for love."

The world is full of people who need someone who understands. 

Peace.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Today's thoughts

I've been doing a bit of reminiscing these past couple of weeks that Lil M has started elementary school.

Up to this point, Lil M has been somewhat sheltered. I say somewhat because she did attend a daycare/preschool for 4 years and has made friends in that setting and has had teachers. It wasn't a religious school, but her last two teachers were definitely believers and they were great. She did well there.

She learned how to share and make friends and clean up when asked. She learned her ABC's and counting and writing her name. She listened to stories and got to have water days and go to birthday parties. Hopefully, she'll get to continue some of those friendships well into her life.

Time has literally flown by.

I can't believe it was over 5 years ago that we came home together. She's always been a beautiful child. Quiet, 'refined' personality. She can be precocious and definitely silly. She has a fabulous laugh and an infectious smile. She is very caring and gentle. She is a happy girl.

I get to learn more about her every day. Like the fact that she didn't like all eyes on her at her birthday party. It made her uncomfortable. Like the fact that she hardly ever cries, even now. And when she is upset, it feels like it takes an act of God to get her to talk... but she is doing much better these days. It takes awhile, but she is starting to trust that it is truly OK to talk to Mommy when something is wrong. I love seeing her open up and telling me when she is upset. It is a huge step, IMO.

She is stubborn, just like her Mommy. She won't budge unless she wants to. Thankfully, most of the time she wants to. :)

When asked, she says she has two sisters. One older and one younger. (Torrie and Bri). And said if she had another she wouldn't want a brother (go figure, lol)... personally, I think that if given the chance, she wouldn't have to share Mommy at all... :) 

She's been talking about her first Mom recently... and talks about China fairly regularly. I'm going to try to get her into Chinese school here soon. I hope she likes it and she continues to share her thoughts. When asked if she looked like me, she said an emphatic no. She said she has brown skin and I don't. I wonder if she'd say the same thing about Mimi and me... since Mimi has a nice tan right now and I'm still quite pasty white. Ok, no luck there since we're twins, I guess. LOL ;-)

Peace.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Nickel birthday


Birthday girl... turned 5. :)

We had a great weekend. I think Lil M might remember this one. :D


Peace.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Last day of 4

First pic is of Day 2 ...getting ready to leave for Kindergarten.

The next few pics are of this morning... my girl's 3rd full day at Kindergarten and her last day of being 4YO. Big birthday tomorrow. :)
After today, I'm not allowed to walk her to class. So, I had to have the teacher-aide take this for us. :D

Peace.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First day of Kindergarten!!

Lil M's first day of Kindergarten. :D I am such a proud, proud Mama!!!

I can't believe we're at Kindergarten already. Time has just flown by! I'm so wistful today. And thankful. And blessed.

We went to Starbucks this morning before the start of the day. She and her friend MK2 matched today, but that was just a fluke! (they matched on orientation day, too, which was funny!!)

Man, was it CRAZY at school this morning! There is no bussing, so all the parents were there with their kiddos to walk them to their first day of school and class. (Which we are only allowed to do this week. After this week, we have to drop them off at the front door! Yikes!)

Lil M is waiting here for her turn in front of the big sign. Isn't she stylin'? :)
My beautiful girl, looking quite grown up!! (sniff, sniff)

They gave out pencils to all the kids. Here's Lil M waiting to get her pencil!

All set and ready to go!!

Peace.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Kindergarten orientation

A few days ago we went with T and baby G to the park... they all had fun on the slide. We get to see T&G almost every week still, which is nice. T is trying to find a job, and I hope she finds something soon.

Little Miss M had her Kindergarten orientation last night. :) She starts next Wednesday and seems excited about it. I hope she likes it. The class seemed fine, but it doesn't look like she'll know anyone in it at first. So, let's see how it goes.
This will be our first experience, obviously, with official school. I am praying that she does OK and that we don't experience any adoption related issues. Or any issues, for that matter. The biggest challenge, so far, is that I'll have to get her there by 8am each day. Ugh. Let's see how that goes!!!! yikes.

Oh, I think I forgot to mention stats from Lil M's dr appt... she's 35.9 lbs and 40.75" tall (as of this month on Aug 10). :)

Peace.

Monday, August 15, 2011

My baby's almost 5!!!

I can't believe my *baby* is almost 5 years old! AND she's starting Kindergarten next week!! Oh my goodness!!

I never thought that her going to K would be a problem for me. I mean, we've been calling daycare "school" for years now... but, it IS a big change for her and for us. She's a big girl now.

She's starting to get better about telling me what is wrong or when she needs/wants Mommy-time or me to herself... which is great. She's never actually liked to share me much, and I'm so proud of how she shared over the past 2 years of fostering.

T came over and helped me clean this weekend, thank goodness. She's a life saver. I just haven't been motivated. With the kids moving in and out, it just wasn't worth all that work. But I'm SO glad it's better now and I think it'll look ok for company during Lil M's birthday party. Lil M was great at playing with baby G this weekend so T and I could get things done.

...But back to school. My little girl is growing up!! It feels like it was just YESTERDAY she came home and we started this little family of ours. And then other days, it's hard to remember all the details! It's gone by so very, very fast. People say it goes by fast, but seriously... blink, and you'll miss it!! And I don't want to miss even one moment! :)

Next week we're going to do a pool party at the house and I'm hoping to do gifts first, then cake, crafts and then swimming... let's see how that goes. I just know last year we did gifts last and that was just too late. She wants Kai Lan... or maybe Hello Kitty. I've got to nail that down this week. LOL. :)

Crafts for the kiddos... painting wooden face masks (on a stick), stringing beads, coloring/painting, and making bubble makers. I need to get invitations out this week! YIKES.

Peace.

Monday, August 8, 2011

vacation






Lil M and I had the opportunity this month to take a small vacation (4 days). We went to Maine to visit family and here are some pics from there. It was great weather and I'm glad we got to get out of the heat for a few days.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Business and pleasure

Last week was tough for me. I had to go on a work trip that lasted 5 days. This is the 2nd time I've been away from Lil M that long. And I hate that. It's not that I think we can't be a part... but, a couple of days is different than a week. I liked the trip and love to travel, but this trip was tough because we had 3 12-hour days of travel for 2 days of visiting our staff. Ugh. I had hoped to take Lil M with me, but she would have had to deal with all that, too. So, it was best that she stayed here this time. Maybe the next time I go I can take her with me. :)

Lake Forest was gorgeous and we got to eat at a place overlooking the ocean. That was awesome. Anacortes was nice, and the weather was amazing. They sit on a bay and the office overlooks the water. Color me jealous. :) However, it is a small resort town and I'm not sure how much fun it'd be to actually live there.

Lil M and I get to take a long weekend trip together, though, and I can't wait. :) I guess this will be her 4th airplane trip (China to home, Atlanta, NOLA and now ME), which is quite cool. It's a short trip, but I think it'll be awesome to have just Mama/Lil M time.

On Tuesday we went with our friend MK to see Lil M's big-girl school. She starts Kindergarten this month, and so we went to see what class she'll be in and see if there was anything else we could find out early. Lil M and MK2 will not be in the same K class, which was kind of a bummer, but it'll be OK. MK and I both thought that this school only had one class of full-day Kinders this year... but apparently, they had the demand for two. And so it goes...

Anyway, Lil M asked me today when will she get to go back to her new school. I'm glad she liked going over there to see it the other day, and I hope she likes it when she starts. This will be a big transition for us, her especially. She will be in the room with 21 other kids (13 girls, 9 boys total).

I can't believe my baby is almost 5 years old!!! I'm trying to live fully and cherish every moment we have. We've been having fun, and she is still just as amazing as she's ever been.

Peace.

Friday, July 22, 2011

As best I can

Lil M has been taking piano for about 4 weeks now... she's doing pretty well, but getting her to practice is a little tough. I'm trying to think of good ideas for a reward for practicing each night... at first, it will be very small (ie a piece of gum, or extra snuggles) ... then I think I'm going to go for like 3 days at a time... or a week at a time and do something a little bigger... like getting her nails painted or something. She does like it when I am right there with her, helping her practice. She likes it when I sing the notes and we practice some of our music together. So, I'll continue that, as well.

She seems to be learning a bit, which is nice. I wonder how long she might like to take these lessons. We'll see. It might be something we're just trying out, like we did last summer with other things (soccer, dance, swimming).

Lil M does like gymnastics... it's pretty fun for her. So, we're going to stick with gymnastics for awhile... she's been doing this since about January, and I'm glad she likes it. I think it is good for her for several reasons... large motor skill development, small group teaching/interaction, physical space recognition, plus the tumbling and exercise.

The piano is good, I think, because of the finger dexterity, reading notes and numbers, following items on a page, the one-on-one teaching, the musical ear learning... so, I hope we can stick with it for awhile, too.

She will be one of the younger/est ones in her class, and I'm wondering if that'll be ok. Her aptitude is good, but I'm wondering about her attention span... We have a lot of stuff going on this fall and I'm kind of glad that it's just the two of us right now.

Which leads me to the fostering stuff. I am not taking an 'official' break right now... and I still need to keep up on my training... but I'm glad that I haven't gotten any calls for referrals in the past week. The past several months wore me down and I need a break. I need to focus on my own daughter and our lives right now. I'm excited to do that, actually, and am not feeling as guilty about that as I have been. Don't berate me for feeling guilty. It's something I was brought up with, and it's hard to let go of that tendency.

Lil M needs my full attention right now as she enters kindergarten. She needs to know that Mommy is right here and can help her move into this big school and transition in her life. I know it seems small... but it really is a big deal. As least for the next short while, IMO.

I thought I'd feel more guilty because I have moved more into the mindset of 'helping' others by fostering instead of what I want/ed... to family build. I'm extremely happy with having my daughter, and if I don't get to have a 2nd, then we'll be OK. In the mindset of helping, though, that was making me feel kind of guilty that I wanted a break... but I've been praying about it and I feel much more peace about it all now.

I can't do it all. I can't be all things to all people. I need to choose. And I choose to be Mommy to my daughter and to be the best I can be in all areas of my life. That just might not include a foster right now... we'll see when it does again... could be a few weeks, or longer.

Baby B seems to be thriving with her gma. T and baby G seem to be doing alright, even with the limited resources... I continue to support and develop relationships there as best I can. I do love them all.

Peace.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Life is Good

Life sure has its share of ups and downs, doesn't it? It's been much more quiet since the B's left... we've gotten to have Baby B over a few times, and that's been great. Lil M and I are having fun, and are getting to hang out with other people, like T and the MK's.

It's been nice having a break from school, too.

Lil M starts her school next month, and I start back. I am hoping we can do some fun stuff between now and then. :)

Work is ramping up and getting busier. I expect the next few weeks to be a challenge only in that we have a release that is supposed to go out and not enough resources to handle it! I have a feeling I'll be doing a lot of hand-holding and encouraging... perhaps, even testing.

Looks like we'll do Lil M's bday party next month at our house. Last year we did Chuck E Chees3 ... which was fine, but I think it'll be more fun for her to do it at our house. She says right now she wants Kai Lan, but I imagine she'll want the princesses closer to the party. We got an almost 3ft deep pool and I'm thinking that'll be fun for the kiddos... and perhaps get a blow up castle play-thing so the kids can jump around in it, too. She is lucky she has a summer birthday, though, I'm sure it'll be HOT out. Mommy'll just sit in the shade! ;-)

I don't have a foster right now, but did take a respite teen last weekend. It was fine. No drama. Sweet.

Happy Friday...

Peace.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Not surprised

It took my last foster less than one week (4 days, actually) to be asked to leave her current foster home. Apparently, they talked to her first foster mom (this go around) and were afraid for her to be in their home, lest she hear something she would try to use against them... They didn't want to be afraid to speak in their own home.

Good for them, I say.

I'm recuperating from the week. It was my last week of class for the summer, and I'm praying I got a B... it wasn't a tough class at all, but the timing was a bit rough. If he liked my paper, I might even eek out an A. :) Quiz grades were lower than they should have been, but I was a bit preoccupied the past few weeks. Oh well.

Lil M is doing well. She definitely needs some concentrated Mommy time. We went to the aquarium yesterday with Torrie, baby Gabe, Kamren and us. It was fun. :) Spendy for sure, but fun. Then we went to the park and let them run around for a bit, to the grocery and home. Nice day, even with the studying and quizzes due.


Today, is "relax" day. Though, we'll go see the gma and Baby B for a little bit for a playdate. Hoping that goes well.

Peace.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lessons Learned

Baby B has moved to her grandma's house for good. The three weeks we had to do a transition was difficult and not a transition at all. The reason why is because B's mom came to stay with us. That was awful. Well, it started out rough, then I thought got better, but was awful at the end.

The mom was only at my house so she could spend time with B. She didn't want to be there. And she has issues... one of which is lying and sneakery. For example, she likes to record people's conversations without them knowing, so if she can find a way to use it against them, she will. She also lied about several fairly big things (ie., talking to her ex, when there is a no-contact order).

Well, as of Monday evening, the mom left. Baby B left Sunday night. The mom disregarded her curfew (specific amt of hours she was allowed non-supervised time a day), both on Friday and Sunday. Then she didn't go to the foster office on Mon, like she was supposed to. All because she was upset about B going to gma's. I understood, but there are always consequences... to which she replied that she's 20 and not 12, so there wouldn't be consequences.

She was ready for a fight on Mon evening and at one point even got right up in my face (about 1/2" away from my face, even) and acted like she was going to hit me. She had already made up her mind she was leaving. And she did. The story is much more than that, but suffice to say... I'm relieved.

This may mean I don't get to see B like I thought. But that's OK. I did what I could and now it is time to move on from this particular situation. Which is highly unfortunate. But, I guess that's life.

I learned that there are people who are really all about drama and finding ways to get other people in trouble... to try to cover up their own flaws and problems. It is exhausting, actually. I'm not perfect, but sheesh. Being recorded and tattled on over every little thing... most of which wasn't even true or blown way out of proportion... is beyond what I can handle.

I do ask God's forgiveness (more understanding, really) for not being able to help more and for not being able to figure this one out. Especially, for not giving it a full chance... but mostly for not listening and reacting in a gentler manner. I was pretty gentle, but not enough. For example, when the mom texted me and said "push my buttons, please!" I decided a face-to-face might actually be better. But that just made things worse. I should have just walked away for a bit and attempted to let her calm down. I am not sure it would have worked, but it is something I could have tried.

I was trying to protect my own family and self by not giving it a full chance. I didn't think it would last past Baby B leaving, and I was right. But still. I'm hoping this was a one-off and that I can continue to help.

But the other thing I learned during this process is that my agency ... well, they were hugely disappointing. They've worked with this girl before and said they wouldn't buy into her BS, but that didn't seem to be the case. They were FULL of DRAMA this entire time, too, and that is just ridiculous. They were also mean and rude. I'm not sure how much I want to work with them in the future because of all this.

I also learned that I did like having a 2nd child in the house... not the mom, but Baby B. My hopes aren't quite shattered of expanding expanding our little family one day. (If it happens, great. If not, I do know I'm SUPER BLESSED to have Lil M.) ...But I don't think it'll happen this way, through this agency. So, I've got to think about what I want to do next.

Peace.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Long short week

The past few weeks have been quite busy and long for us here. B's mom came to live with us as of last Thursday. It's been an adjustment to say the least. I've been quite stressed. But when I take a step back and look at it a little more objectively, it hasn't been that bad.

There is definitely a different dynamic in the house now, and B's mom is doing more parenting. We kind of share the parenting, but I'm trying to let her parent. I only showed my frustration with her one time this week, and I think that's probably good considering the big change for us all!

I think Lil M does understand that B will be leaving, but she thinks she'll go live with her mom. Instead, B will be going to live with her grandma until/unless her mom can get her stuff together and get custody back.

I hadn't heard from Torrie in a few weeks, and that was bumming me out. But, she finally wrote me this week and is going to hang out with me and Lil M tonight while B&B go to Baby B's gma's house. That'll be nice. I'm proud of her because she graduated high school. :) Now, just gotta get her motivated to get work or go onto college.. preferably both! lol. But it'll probably be work. Looks like I might keep baby Gabe tomorrow night, too. :)

So, it's going to be another long (busy) weekend. I'll give you an idea of what I mean...

drop B&B off at B's gma's house 6:pm-ish tonight
go pick up Torrie and the baby
dinner
hangout/shop
take T/baby home

tomorrow morning - 10am take Lil M to a festival with Auntie E for E's bday
4pm, pick up Brit (leave baby B there til Sunday)
5pm dinner with E and friends
Sometime tomorrow pick up or have Gabe dropped off...

sunday - Baby B comes home at 6pm
Gabe goes home sometime... likely noon or 1pm.
homework/cleaning/laundry/playing with Lil M/veg out.... get ready for work on Monday

On a normal weekend, we have to take/pick up B from her gma's house because of visitation. This week has been more work because her mom came to stay. And then Torrie called. And it is Ellen's birthday. And, and, and... lol

Baby B will go live with her grandma by June 17, maybe before. Her mom has the option to stay with us for awhile... but I'm not sure yet what she will do. It would be good if she could stay. But she has to make her own decision. Once we get through this transition into the home and B leaves, I do think it'd be easier for her and I... the longest she'd be with us would be next February. Otherwise, she could leave at any time. If that happens, I might take a short break again... so I can take Lil M on a vacation and such. :)

Peace.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Spring fever

Some recent pics.
Easter...
Fun with water (Lil M and CJ - my friend's fiance)

Peace.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day weekend

This past weekend, B went to stay with her grandma on Fri/Sat. Lil M and I had some time together after I took a mandatory SAFY class (toward my foster license). I then went and bought us some new flowers for the front flower beds and we planted those together. That was fun. :) She's a good little helper outside and I think she'll be happy helping me water them and pull weeds this year.

She gave me a plant that she planted herself at school, for Mother's day. :) She also made me a thing out of construction paper and tissue paper that says I love you Mommy because you read to me before bed. :) The class also did a yearbook style Explorers Cookbook with all the kids and their recipes. It is very cute.

I'm preparing myself for B to leave at the end of this month. And I know what I wrote before about looking into adoption again, but I think I'm just going to keep praying and see where I feel like I/we am/are supposed to be. If I'm not meant to adopt again, I'm ok with that, too, is all I'm saying.

B will be going to visit her grandparents every weekend from now until the end of the month, when the hearing is. So, let's see how that goes. She came home sick this weekend, and had a fever of 102 on Mother's day with a bout of diarrhea. :( She had the potty issue before she left, but not the fever. And, of course, she could have gotten it anywhere.

Lil M graduates from the daycare/preschool this Friday. I'm excited and a little sad... but think she's ready to go to Kindergarten in the fall.

As for me, I just completed two more classes toward my Masters program. I have one more and will get a Masters Certificate. I should be done with my actual Masters degree by the end of next year, hopefully. :)

I hope all you Momma's had a great Mother's day!!!

Peace.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It isn't easy

Anyone who thinks fostering is easy... ok, wait, somehow I doubt anyone actually thinks that, right? But just in case there is, let me tell you... fostering isn't easy.

This week starts the beginning of B's weekend overnight visits with her grandparents. This is in preparation for her to go live with them at the end of May. :( I cannot say I'm not disappointed... I'm quite a bit heartbroken, actually. I guess I had hoped in the back of my mind (and not so far back) that she might get to stay with me longer. But it really doesn't seem likely now. Unless somehow the gparents mess something up between now and then. But even if that happens, the judge will give them quite a bit of leeway I guess.

Even though I know/knew this, it doesn't make it hurt less. She was never "mine", I'm just a temporary care-giver for her. But it is interesting just how fast you can grow to love a little person! It does feel like she's part of my family, but I know that's somewhat superficial. *I* believe she is, but the world says otherwise.

The thing is. Even though this is hard, I do believe that this is what I am supposed to be doing for now. Seems to be one of my "gifts" that I can share my life with a child and help them along their way, even if it is temporary. But, boy, does it suck some days. If I knew that, I don't know that I would have volunteered my heart like that... I know that sounds kind of stupid, but I guess I thought I could let them go with no pain. That I could keep it completely about their needs and not my own. But that's the funny thing, isn't it? God told us to love our neighbors as ourselves. I have needs to, and need to recognize that. The love that I give, I may/can/hope to get in return. I guess I wasn't expecting that.

I can already see and feel where the void will be when B leaves us. And it truly makes me sad. I've been praying and thinking about adopting a 2nd child for over 4 years now. I always said I wanted to adopt again so Lil M would have a sibling. But the reality that I've found is that adopting another child would be as much for Me, Lil M, and the child all together. And I'm at a place where I am liking the idea of having a 2nd for the relationship I would have with the child, too. Yes, I know, it was odd to want a 2nd for Lil M to have a sibling... we all learn in our own ways, huh?

So this may actually be the time to look into that again, apart from fostering. I'm not leaving fostering, I just need to figure out if I can actually go ahead and add to my family.

Peace.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

fostering

I haven't written much lately because I'm not sure what all to say...wheels are still turning around here... it's been a very, very rainy spring here. Fostering a 2.5 year old is much different than the 17YO from last year, of course. And here are some of my thoughts/feelings about that.

First, I have enjoyed both experiences for different reasons. I was kind of surprised I liked fostering a teen. She is a good girl, even though she has her own issues (don't we all). The thing that kind of makes me sad at this point is that she doesn't seem to like Lil M as much as I thought she did earlier on... maybe that is because she is more into her Baby G now... or, well, I have no idea. I do know that Lil M still considers her a sister and I like that. T has always been good with Lil M, I'm not saying anything like that. She is going to graduate, which I'm extremely happy about. Let's see where her next chapter leads.

B is my 2.5YO and it has been a blessing to be able to have a little one in the house with us. Yes, I've gotten attached, as has she with me. Her Mamaw (gma) said as much in the past few days. My response was that it is better to be attached than not. Even if that means pain for me later.

Dealing with her family can be somewhat trying at times. They are nice enough people, don't get me wrong, it's just that the gma wants custody of B... and can be a little catty with me at times. I do know she likes me, but is in a difficult position. I think she "wants" B because she feels obligated "she's family"... but what B needs is a Mommy...

I do know that the goal is always reunification. I am not even saying that I have a right to B. But I can't help believing and praying that I am the right choice for now and hope that continues. I like parenting her and I wish she could stay as long as possible. I love seeing her progress. I love tucking her in at night. I love it that Lil M and she get to be sisters.

Of course, it is a bit scary how this all might affect Lil M in the long run. I hope and pray that I am making the right decisions for the both of us. I want her to know that we help people because we can. And that it is the right thing to do. And that God loves us, so shall we love each other.

Selfishly, I wish B could stay with us forever. And I pray for God's guidance and gentleness with my heart no matter if she gets to or not (likely not). I also pray for T and that we continue to be family. I do love her, too. And of course, I have the best daughter in the world in Lil M. Thank you Lord.

Peace.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Busy busy

We've had a fairly busy month around here. Lil M is still in gymnastics and seems to enjoy that. :) I like it for her, too. I'm trying to decide what else I might put her in for the summer... dance or something else. Not sure. I think Kindergarten will be good for her in the fall. She's ready.

Baby B is still with us for now. I'm not sure how long that'll continue, but I'm thankful she's still here. It has been 5 weeks today since the court hearing and I'm not sure how much longer it'll take for the g-parents to get custody. I wish she could just stay with me. But I know the rules.

Work has been great. I like my new role and have been here now almost a month. It feels like longer. I'm in the process of trying to get a couple of resources hired and have been learning about our products and the current staff.

I'm still taking classes this semester and those will be done in a few weeks. IF I can manage the summer class, I'll be done with my Masters Certificate like I want... or it might have to wait til fall. I'm hoping to be completed with my degree sometime next year, but we'll see how much/fast I can get it done. I really want to get that class done in the summer, if at all possible. But it might mean getting a sitter each week for 6-8 weeks. that's a tough one. :(

Life here is really good and it's fairly normal. Meeting new people means sometimes feeling like sharing family stuff... which means, explaining and correcting when they say inconsiderate things. But I'm learning to take it less personally... but I do feel like I need to explain that "I've had my own child"... even though she didn't come from my body.

A friend of mine was just diagnosed with colon cancer. PLEASE send up prayers for peace and healing. Sis is still looking for a job and prayers for her would be great, as well.

Peace.

Friday, April 1, 2011

new digs

I started a new job this week, that is perm rather than consulting. It's been a nice transition and I'm excited about the opportunity. I have my own office now and a nice looking team. This was a promotion for me, and it does feel like it. :) I've still been just a bit stunned all week that I got the job and am really hope to do it justice. I have a staff of 6 onsite, 3 offshore and one Manager and her reports in another state. I will need to travel 2 or 3 times this year, but am hoping I can take Lil M with me. Perhaps, Sis. :) (though, she doesn't know that yet, lol... and totally depends on her job situation, too)

Baby B's gma heard today that the state will let her know today (supposedly) if she is approved. Then she has to have her son's lawyer sign some paperwork to get it approved, too. Then Baby B will go live with them. Prayers around this situation would be nice.

Lil M came home the other day and told me she could spell her name backwards... and she did - both first and last name. And, she spelled Mommy backwards, too, almost perfectly... wow.

I haven't been feeling so well since Wed., but think I might be moving out of that now. There's going to be the final 4 games on this weekend and I plan to stay home and watch the basketball games. :) UK is in it this time and that's pretty cool. I'd like to see them win the whole thing. Let's see... Peace.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sleep

Baby B has had a tougher time sleeping lately because of the family visits, I think. Which makes it tougher for me to sleep. And.... Mama needs her sleep, just let me tell you. Right now, I'm sitting here very thankful for my new job opportunity and have had a good couple days getting settled in... but, man, I'm TIRED. I mean, dog tired. Sheesh. Work is good, so far. Hope that continues for a very long time. :D Trying to get settled in this week... and watch and listen a lot. Ok, and talk a lot, too, lol. School is OK, but a LOT of work right now. Baby B is OK, but a lot of work right now. Lil M is good... and well, she's keeping me sane. :) She came in the family room last night and I think her one and only goal was to make me laugh. Of which, she succeeded. Life is good. I do have to confess that if they are going to send Baby B to her grandmother's to live, I wish they'd just come on and do it... She can stay with us forever, but the not knowing... is a bit tough for me some days. Again, I'm not saying I want her to go... I just feel like the state sometimes does the foster and bio families a disservice in their slowness. Peace.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

No cool title is coming to me

This past week has been pretty busy. T asked me to take baby G overnight this weekend, so I did. I was a little surprised, since they came and spent the night last weekend. This time it was just Gabe.

I had a migraine.
We did a family visit with Baby B's gma.
March madness.

The migraine lasted all Friday and most of Saturday. Then had a headache Sunday. So, it was pervasive. :( blah. I missed a lot of games because I just couldn't take it. I also didn't study. I also missed a concert I'd been wanting to go to and had even gotten a sitter for!! :( But there was no way i could have handled that much noise the way my head hurt. Ugh. Hate that.

Gabriel turned 2 months old today. Wow. Too soon to tell how they are all really doing, but I'm glad that T is still talking to me and wanting to spend some time with us.

I love March Madness. I'm weird, but I do. I was excited about the games this weekend (no, I don't watch all of them), but then didn't get to see much at all. Maybe 2 or 3 games total. Oh well, there's always this weekend!!

Sunday evening we did a visit with Baby B's 'mamaw'. It went pretty well... and I could tell that B knew who she was, wanted to be with her and kept asking for her Papaw. It was tough on me, though, 'cause I realized that she will be going there and I'm going to miss her a lot. After the visit, B was a bit more whiny and needed a lot more reassurance that I was still there. Two nights in a row, actually. I'm OK with giving the extra reassurance. I just wish she didn't have to go through all this.

Two other things of note... Lil M did, in fact, get into the school system I wanted her to go to in the fall. I'm pretty excited about that. We received the confirmation letter last Friday.

I start my new job on Monday and am very excited about that, too. This is a promotion for me, and I'm still doing the happy dance. :D

Last week was also "spring break" from school for me. This week, however, is JAM packed with homework, a paper, a synopsis, a quiz and an exam!!!! Yikes!!

........

On a huge downer note, though ... someone that was part of our lives for many years passed this past weekend. She left behind a young child. I'm praying for her and her family this week.

For the rest of us... please be good to yourself and to your children. Life may be difficult, but it is worth living.

Peace.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patty

Today was a good day. :) I got confirmation about the job I was given an offer for last week. I am very excited! I also heard from MK that her daughter is getting into the school system we both want. She said that this means Mia got in, too... which makes me extremely hopeful. I can't wait to hear. I am still praying she does get in, and full day Kindergarten, too.

What a great, beautiful day.

I had to put in my notice at work, and that's always uncomfortable. But it has to be done. I'm so very thankful that I found (or, should say, it found me!! Thank you, God) a permanent opportunity. I hear it's a family-friendly company. I hope it is. It's a smaller company, but owned by a fortune 500 company. That might be nice. I'm used to working for larger companies... but this is a really great opportunity for me, with the added bonus of being a promotion.

I got the new bed on Tuesday and slept in it last night. Why I can't sleep right now, I'm not sure... because it really was a great day. Watching a little basketball... and going to try again. :)

Peace.

Monday, March 14, 2011

grandparents

I got the news today that Baby B will likely go live with her grandparents when they get approved. It could be a few days, or a few weeks. Yes, I'm bummed. But I do know that God is faithful and answers my prayers. The Lord of Hosts will not only be with me and Lil M, but Baby B, as well. I pray for her on her journey, regardless of how much longer she has with me and Lil M. I thank God for every day we've had to be with Baby B and I hope we've been able to give her even the tiniest bit of stability and comfort along her way.

Of course, if something changes and she is able to say... I'd say Amen and Amen.

As for me, I've been given a new job opportunity and am excited about that. I will know more later this week, but should be able to start before the end of the month.

Lil M has been doing really well with sharing and being the big Sis. I know she's been wondering when Bri will go, but I also think she is going to miss having her around. I know I will for sure. She is such the big girl, and is just getting so confident with her gymnastics and stuff. She is learning how to be a good role model to younger kids, and I'm proud of her. :) She is my joy, for sure.

Also, T and baby Gabe came to see us Friday and stayed until Saturday evening. It was great. I know Lil M enjoyed having them here and getting to hold the baby. T is doing OK... I'm hoping she'll get back to her school here this week and graduate in June as planned. I worry, but am hoping if she needs me she'll let me know. She sort of did this weekend... said that she told Scrunch that if she wanted to come stay she would... that she "did live here for a year" ... and basically, that did mean something to her. Of which, you have NO idea how thankful I am. I mean that. I was so excited about the baby and she kept saying... I wasn't givin him up for anything... and I said, of course I'm not!!! :) Mamaw has to hold the baby... that's my job. :D

Lord God, I love my life and thank you every single minute for it.

Peace.

Monday, March 7, 2011

We're better

Knocking on some wood over here... I do believe we've weathered the winter sickies and are better. :) We had a nice weekend. We got to have a playdate with our friends Devi and Tiffany. Stayed in on Saturday... and then yesterday did some shopping. That was the first time I attempted to take both girls shopping... for a few hours. :)

They helped me find a new bed. (Yes, Auntie Ellen... I FINALLLLLLY bought a new bed!!) That was overdue about 8 or more... lol. I didn't go overboard on an expensive one, but it is a pillow-top and seems nice enough. If I have any troubles with it, they said I can call them and exchange it for a different one if I need.

Actually, it was a nice weekend. I didn't (as usual) get nearly enough cleaning done, but we did take a load of stuff to Goodwill yesterday. I got the upstairs TV hooked up and can at least watch DVD's. More to come.

My friend Devi told me I'm less over-protective than she is with her daughter. I laughed. Really?? Seriously? LOL. No... I'm not less over-protective. We just have different things we're paranoid about or won't let our own daughters do. This example is that, I believe that Lil M can be upstairs without me for short periods of time, but she doesn't do that with her daughter. Of course, right now she and her daughter are in a place with only one floor, but she said when she was in her house (tri-level) she would never do that. I explained that I used to put Lil M in her room with a baby gate, because I knew it was safe and I could still hear her. When you are a single parent you need to find ways to get things done sometimes without them being right in the same room. At the same time, I wouldn't let Lil M wear some of the strapless dresses and such without something under them that she does. Even at 4, yes. (Yes, I'm a bit paranoid.)

Lil M seems to really like gymnastics. She's learning how to do a cartwheel. :)

Baby B is doing much better. She's over being sick and is a very sweet little girl. Taking things one day at a time!

Peace.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Reunification goal

In foster care reunification is always the goal. So says my SW for this case. In other words, don't get too attached Melissa. Okey dokey. Got it.

Basically, what she was saying is that the mom will likely get her act together and get Baby B back in the next few weeks. Of course, she's got to get visitation back first. So, we shall see. Of course, I think that if the mom can actually get her stuff together and parent, then B should go home. I'm concerned for her long-term situation, but I have no control and have to just give it up to God.

Baby B has been sick since last Friday. She seemed better Sunday, but Monday she had another fever of 101 and I took her to urgent care to get checked out. She is definitely sick...and on antibiotics for 10 days. sheesh.

Lil M is good, and asking when B will be going home. lol. I've been just frankly exhausted this week. It's work regardless, and add illness on top of it ... made for a very long week. Lil M gets to go to Cinderella with her Auntie E tonight. Tomorrow she has a birthday party and gets to go to a makeup class for her gymnastics, since we missed it on Mon due to the Dr and pharmacy stuff.

As for me, I had to take two online exams last weekend for class. Also have to work on a simulation daily for the same class. Then there's regular work. LOL. Oh, and still no TV. :( Really sick of not having a TV. It is work to do my class-work, but it gives me something to do after they go to bed, since I have no TV right now. One more class after this and I'll have a Masters Certificate on my way to completing my degree. :) I like that.

So, my plan tonight and tomorrow... REST. That's my one and only goal. I have fantascially great friends who are going to treat Lil M to some fun stuff... that way I can have one at home and have a chance to get some rest. I can't wait. I want Lil M to have some fun this weekend... it was a long week.

Oh, and T wrote me last night for the first time in over 2 weeks. I hope we can see her and G soon.

Peace.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A week and a day

Baby B has been with us for a week and a day now. Last night, she got sick and threw up all over my cousin Hannah after a book signing we went to, oh my!! :( I've been getting used to having two kids with me all week. Last weekend, Lil M was sick all Saturday and this week it's been Lil B. Poor thing. She seemed better when she went to bed, even her fever was down, thank goodness.

A lot has happened this week. I've had school, an exam, a daily simulation for one of my classes and we also hung out with friends this week.

B's mom has called or texted every day, but hasn't been to visit since last Sunday. Because of her age, she was given the opportunity to come live with us and get herself back on track, but she said she didn't want to. Today, however, when she called, she told me that she wants to. So, who knows. I do know it is in a child's best interest to be with their biological parent, but sometimes... well, sometimes I just wish those parents would have the ability to do right by their children. If that means not parenting, then they should make that decision. If it means parenting, then step up. Do whatever it takes. I just don't see that in some of these folks, though. And I have that fear here.

I know that I'm just fostering here, but I won't lie and say I didn't wish that I had the opportunity to adopt in this situation. I do pray for Baby B and whether she's here or ends up back with her Mom that she is well taken care of and has a great life.

Yes, it's only been a week, but I already worry about her. All I can do is give it up to God and be here for her now.

I got Lil M a new 'cat cat' for Valentine's day (she calls it cat cat because that's what B calls Manna). I got B a moose... who we call... moose. :) Lil M has Meow and Monkey, and now B has Moose and her own Monkey, too.

So back to last night. We went to a book signing, which was cool. I worked all day, then made the girls PB sandwiches and drove to meet Hannah. The parking lot was completely full and it took me awhile to get us in there to meet her. I was definitely feeling a bit off keel because of having both of them instead of just Lil M. Not in a bad way, just in a new Mom kinda way... Hannah was great and a huge help!! I can't imagine she really enjoyed our chaos, but I was glad to get out and see her and I did enjoy myself (even with the chaos).

The funniest thing that happened was when we walked in the door a lady walked up to me and asked me if I was Melissa and I said... yes... she said she follows my blog!!! I said, oh my gosh, I feel like a celebrity!!!! ROFL. What are the odds of being recognized from a blog, I wonder? ;-)

After we got our books signed, we went to Starbuck$. Had some tea... talked and talked... B fell asleep on Hannah... and then, ca-blam!! Sick as a dog. I was so stunned... I just stood there like a freak not knowing what exactly to do... grabbed some napkins, but that wasn't doing the trick. A lady from another table got a towel, thank goodness... and then B completely... well, let's just say we had to throw that towel away. It was BEYOND GROSS. :( Poor Hannah was right in the middle of all of it. Blech. I would never make a good nurse. She, on the other hand, was a trooper!!! Calm, not unnerved by any of it. I was horrified. Even when Lil M got sick last weekend, somehow I was able to avoid the huge nastiness, but not this time. Thankfully, it only happened once. And not in my car!!!! THANK YOU GOD. But it was bad enough driving 15 min home... I can't imagine how she felt driving an hour! Maybe someday we'll have a good laugh over this, but right now... blech. lol I washed her sweater 3 times already, but I'm thinking I might have to get her a new one!

OK, enough of the grossness that was. I have another exam to take this weekend... tons of cleaning... and i'm feeling a bit nauseous myself, plus I've had a raging headache all week. Which included a migraine the other night. :( Did I mention it was a long week?

Thankfully, we're all hanging in there, though. :)

Peace.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cracker eat.

Baby B has been with us almost a week (tomorrow), and this morning actually said a two word sentence... cracker eat. Ok, so it isn't in the right format, but she tried for the first time! :D Still no idea what's going to happen overall, but hopefully I'll get an update by Tuesday or Wed. of next week.

I'm pretty well pooped this week. Between the weather changes and having another child in the house, my head and allergies are raging. Had a migraine last night, and that is no fun. Needless to say, school is suffering a little this week because of it. Oh well. Try, try again.

I'm also waiting STILL to get my TV fixed. That is starting to grate my nerves.

Lil M is doing well. She seems to like B, but she also really needs some Mommy time.

Peace.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Weekend and ahead

This past weekend was definitely different than I had planned! Baby B is getting settled in and is doing well, so far. She's not potty trained, but is training and did better last night than she had all weekend. Oddly, she'll go number 2 in the potty, but not 1. She finally did both last night in the potty!! I'm not trying to push her, but her Mom says she's potty trained, so I feel like I need to try to offer it to her a few times a day.

Interestingly, when her Mom came to visit, B cried a lot. Part of it, I'm sure is that she misses her Mommy. The odd part was that her Mom couldn't seem to get her to sit on the potty or do anything that I've been able to get her to do all weekend. I'm not sure why that happened. But I'm just paying attention to their interactions.

I was able to distract her when her mom left and get Baby B to bed somewhat reasonably. I'm just trying to follow the same routine I've always followed with Lil M and it seems OK so far!!

Today, I hope to hear something more about the Mom and what my agency's idea is. They had suggested she move in with me... but I need more information before I commit to that. This is why I might only have Baby B for a very short period of time. I am considering it, but not sure what is going to happen yet.

I can see improvements even after a couple of days with B's speech. She said "tinker bell" plain as day yesterday... and when her mom came over she was surprised that B could say that! It was a first, I guess. I can tell that the mom doesn't use full sentences and the techniques I use when I talk to children. Which is ok, but different. So, B is getting used to my directives and such. She's really doing great. :)

Please send up some prayers about how this situation might work out. For Lil M, me and Baby B, too. Lil M asked if B was going to stay with us for awhile, and I said that she probably would... then she said, will she go away sometime, and I said that was likely, too. So, part of it, I've got to make sure Lil M is ok....

Peace.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Another foster

I received a call on Friday to take a foster in who is just 2 years old. She is the child of one of the 20 YO independent living girls who isn't following the rules, I guess. The SW brought her over last night. She's a cutie. We'll call her Baby B here... :)

Lil M seems to be adjusting fairly well, so far! I hope that continues and that she doesn't get too upset here soon, when she realizes that Baby B might be around for a little while. Speaking of which, I do not have any clue of how long she might be here. It could be a few days, weeks or months. She is sleeping in T's old room and doing pretty well.

Lil M woke up not feeling well today. She started with a bit of a congested cough that turned into a fever and then getting sick twice before noon. :( My poor baby. I HATE it when she is sick. Thankfully, it doesn't happen that often. We had to miss the valentine's day party at the gymnastics place today because of it. I was bummed. We had lots of plans for today, all of which changed when she got sick. But it turned out to be a good day, anyway. Just different.

My friend MK brought Lil M an easel from a big store up the way. She also brought us some crackers and bread... and my friend Devi brought the girls Valentine's that she was going to give them today and some clothes and juice. My friends are lifesavers.

Baby B had one bag of clothes. So, I went through Lil M's stuff to see what else might fit. I did find a few things. I could use some prayers for my heart for this one... I have a feeling we'll all get attached here fairly quickly and if she stays awhile, then it'll be hard to see her go. But I do realize this is a foster placement and I have to try to guard my heart a little bit.

One concern I have for her, actually two... is, her verbal skills are not very good for her age, and she has no qualms about calling me Mommy. Though, we've been trying to get her to call me Mimi, so it sounds similar but not quite the same. She's calling me both. I don't want to offend her Mom, nor do I want to confuse her. Some say she's too young to know the difference, but I believe that even at 2 yo (and 4 months), she should *know* who her Mommy is and that I'm just a caregiver right now. I do not know their attachment situation.

Anyway, all is well here. Though, I'm tired! :)

Peace.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Class

I'm taking two classes this semester. One is a Project Mgmt class and the other is and Information Security class. I talked with a previous co-worker today and he's almost got me convinced to change to an MBA with an IS minor... Currently, I'm in as a MS CIT major - computer information technology - but their classes are harder to work around with Lil M and needing sitters.

My new TV went out last weekend, and the repairman came yesterday and said that the main component went out and it'll take 7-10 days to get the part and fix it. bah. Oh well. :) No excuse not to study, right?

I took Lil M to see the Symphony last week for Chinese New Year's day. We went with our friends D and Tiff. It was fun. In a couple of weeks, Auntie E is going to take her to see Cinderella. That'll be fun, too. :)

We got to see T and baby Gabe a week and a half ago... haven't really talked to her since. I hope she is ok. I have tried, of course, but not sure why she hasn't responded. Well, last week she did, but I'm thinking that might have been the BF and not her.

Tomorrow are school pics for Lil M. I'm thinking I will let her wear her purple dress that Grandma and Grandpa got her... she'll be thrilled. And I mean that. Just tonight she asked me if I could take her pic in the morning so she could wear it. I told her I didn't want her to wear it to school until I got a good pic of it, just in case she got something on it.

Peace.

Monday, January 31, 2011

To the woman who took our pictures yesterday...


Dear woman who took our picture yesterday at the CNY festival... no, the little caucasian child who was with me and my daughter was not my daughter. So, it might have seemed like I was playing favorites with the little Asian child who IS mine... and thank for taking pics of them together. :) But we didn't need a "family" pic of the 3 of us. LOL.

Ok, so she did finally realize that Tiff wasn't mine... but it took actually saying, no she's not my daughter and not just 'Tiff, why don't you wait until your Mommy comes over" for her to get it!! I did find it kind of funny, actually. She didn't know... but, I just kept thinking... this Poor woman must think I'm the EVIL mother who doesn't want a picture with BOTH kids!!! That somehow I was favoring Lil M. Well... I was. ;-) but not in that kind of bad way!



Which brings me to the topic of the overall weekend. Saturday we went with our friends D&T to a Chinese symphony and dance performance. That was fun. Though, the girls (both 4 yo) didn't really like the symphony part after intermission... by then, they were getting kind of antsy. But we had a very nice time!

Before the concert T and the baby and her BF's nephew (K) came over to see us for awhile. That was a huge surprise. We all have pizza before I took them home and us going to the concert. It was a big, but very enjoyable day. Baby G is adorable and he was a whole week old on Sat!! T did fess up to the fact that she now realizes how much formula is and how many diapers she's already gone through... I hope she calls again sometime to come visit.

Yesterday, we went with D&T to the CNY festival. The girls got to walk in a Dragon Parade and color and watch dancers... play games... get pics taken ... and EAT. The food was plentiful and yummy. The girls wore Chinese dresses and were just adorable, of course. :D "D" is Japanese-American, but her daughter looks Caucasian (from her hubbies side)... and people tend to put D and Lil M together and me and Tiff together... it's ok. We understand. :) But Lil M is MINE. Not giving her up for anything! LOL.

Happy Chinese New Year (week... CNY is Feb 3, goes from Feb 2-17 total)

Peace.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Gymnastics

Lil M got to start taking gymnastics last night. I think she liked it and think it'll be good for her physical development. She seemed very comfortable out there with her class. I didn't get any pics, but am sure I will soon! :) We're signed up for the next 10 weeks. After that, as usual, I'll re-evaluate to see if this is something she'd like to continue. I looked into soccer, and the winter classes are way too early in the day for us. Dance has been going for awhile and she can't restart that until summer. Well, unless we go somewhere besides where we were... I'm waiting to see if I can get her started on some type of music training.

I checked in on the school I'm hoping to get Lil M in for Kindergarten... for this coming year we'll have to pay tuition, unless I can figure out somehow to get us moved there. Two problems for this, one, the university wants to buy our properties in my neighborhood, but I'm like 30 or 35 on the list... and they are estimating currently that it'll be 4-5 years before they buy!! 2nd, the market hasn't fully come back yet. I might try to list my house this spring and see if I can get it sold. If so, we'll move. If not, I guess we'll wait.

Regardless, I'm praying she can get into the school I want. If not, then I'm going to look into Montessori and private.

Peace.

Monday, January 24, 2011

baby baby

Here are a couple of pics from my phone the other night. Lil M was SO VERY proud to get to hold the baby.


T said something a bit disturbing today about how she "let" me come to the hospital while he was being born... you'd have to read her texts to get it, I think... but I'm not so sure now that she wanted me there... it's either that, or her hormones... I just don't know. (she wanted her medical card... for WIC and said was i going to pay for the baby's formula... blah blah... 'cause she was mad... as usual lately.) Anyway, I tried... and that's all I can do. I will continue to try too... if I can. Plus, send up prayers.

Lil M went to gymnastics tonight for the first time. It looked like she was having a blast!!! I've been wanting to get her into it, and after MK2's bday party success this weekend, and then talking to my friend Devi who has her daughter in gymnastics... she suggested we come out to where they go! And we got super lucky and got a spot in this Mon night class!! I'd say that's much more fun than going to my class this semester (which I dropped before even getting her in to this one). I'm glad it worked out. :) I'm SO excited for her! I think this might be the one thing we stick with for awhile... we'll see.

I was going to try to get her into dance again, but we have to wait til summer. I am also scoping out music teachers to see if I can get her into beginner toddler lessons for piano or violin. Which is proving somewhat difficult because most don't want to teach unless they are 6 or older. bah. But I think it would be great for Lil M. :) We love music!!

Peace.

Oh Baby

Baby Gabriel was born on January 22, 2011, at 12:56 AM. I was there. I am glad I got to be there... He is perfect... 8lbs 4.8 oz and 21" long. T did great. The BF kept telling me not to come, but then he was fine when I got there.

It was a very long weekend. I got the call at 9pm Friday night from her grandmother (Mary). She wanted me to take her and Penny to see T, which I did end up doing Saturday. Well, Mary, anyway. So, after I dropped Lil M off to stay at MK's house for awhile... I went to the hospital. T was getting her epidural about that time. She was fully dilated about 10:30pm but needed to get him to turn over... about midnight they got her setup and let her start pushing. I guess she pushed for maybe 45 minutes. She did amazingly well. Scrunch, myself and T's sister helped her through it.

After they got the baby cleaned up and everyone held him for a few minutes, T's Sis went home and Scrunch went to get cleaned up and to get T some food. He was gone for about 2 hours, during which I stayed and helped T... and sat with her and Gabe. I stayed at the hospital until 5am or so, I guess.

After getting about 3 hours of sleep, I went to get Lil M... and MK had made sweet rolls. We watched MK2 open her birthday presents (Jan 21) and then went home... that afternoon, we went to MK2's birthday party, which was BIG FUN!!! After that, I went to get Mary and we went back to the hospital until about 11pm... including Lil M. I got some cute pics on my phone, and will upload them as soon as I can. Lil M had wanted to hold the baby for like 3 months now, so I was VERY glad she got to do that. Scrunch's Mom helped her. :) That was very sweet.

Anyway, T said they were doing the circumcision yesterday and after a couple of hours they should have been released. Then they were going back to Scrunch's. I haven't heard anything since then, but tried to check on them this morning.

I hope that I can still be a part of T's life... but right now, I'm just happy I stuck to my guns and went to help at the hospital. At least she knows that I was there and I hope she realizes how much I do care.

Peace.

Friday, January 14, 2011

This week has been kind of long. I could have finished the Daniel Fast as of the 11th, but decided to do it the 12th in remembrance of the Haiti earthquake last year. And, then, I decided to keep on for now. My cousin is doing this for 21 days and I might do that, as well. I've only had one slip up and made one minor modification.

The slip-up... yesterday was a stressful day and I had some chocolate soy milk and chocolate covered almonds... instead of regular.

The modification... I made some decaf coffee yesterday and had it with soy milk. No sugar. But coffee and tea aren't technically on the list.. but I'm drinking them with no sugar, and if I want cream I use the soy milk.

The thing I've missed most, and not even all the time is cheese. Ok, and my coffee. But I went until last night from having coffee since the 1st!! That was HUGE for me. I still haven't had cheese. I have made tofu several times, and that has been pretty good. I've also been drinking just regular Silk Soymilk, not plain... because when I checked the labels they both had the same amount of sugar in them, which is very minimal (6 grams, way less than regular milk at 12 or 13grams). Try finding spaghetti sauce that is less than 4 grams of sugar in it, even. Since there is sugar in fruits, I think (personally) that this trace amt of sugar in these two items is worth it. Especially, since some people think that eating Peanut butter on this fast is acceptable. Look at the sugar in that.

Ok, so that's my update. I do feel better in some ways. I do still have some cravings, like yesterday when I broke down and had chocolate. But overall, I feel very good about this time. Looking at my life and eating habits with an eye toward God is always good.

Other tidbits:
Lil M can spell "mommy" by herself. She can also almost remember our whole phone number. she can spell STOP (and pots - stop backwards) and Dog. I got her a great little game that works on phonetic sounds of letters and building 2 or 3 letter words. Last weekend we removed the toddler potty from the bathroom and Lil M is now using the regular toilet all the time. She helped me take down the Christmas tree this week. She does clean up her room before bed each night and oh, has been really interested in the book I Love You Like Crazy Cakes. It's about an adoption situation just like ours. She thinks it's us. She has asked me why couldn't her China Mom keep her... that's a toughy. She's so observant when we talk about this kind of stuff.

I don't have an update on T. She's due on the 17th... when I heard from her earlier in the week, she hadn't delivered yet, but am not sure now.

I've started 3 classes for this semester, but might end up with 2 of them for the term. If I can manage it, I'll only have 7 left for my degree. I like that. Regardless, I'll deal with it. It's not like this is a requirement for my career or anything, but it would be nice to have.

Peace.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Daniel Fast

On Jan 1, I started what is called the Daniel Fast. I mentioned it earlier in the week, but basically, it is a fast he did when he was working for a new King. This King didn't observe the rules of keeping kosher, and so in protest, Daniel said he would eat only vegetables and water for 10 days. Some people observe this type of fast at the beginning of the year as a way of cleansing and renewing. It is like going Vegan and not having sweets.

I'm a huge coffee lover (decaf), and haven't had any all week. Everything I've eaten has been plant based... so, veggies, legumes (beans), nuts, rice, etc. I've had tea, but unsweetened. Soy milk, too. It's not been too hard for me to change to this way of eating, except I do like my chicken and fish and coffee. I'm not missing the sweets as much as I thought I would.

I'll give you some examples of my daily eating.

Breakfast - plain oatmeal with chopped hazelnuts and raisins. or bran cereal with soy milk.
Snack - nuts/raisins (if needed)
Lunch - Curried chickpeas and mushrooms with basmati rice (tomato based curry)
Snack - nuts/raisins
Dinner - frozen meal that was Vegan (corn torilla wraps with black beans, tofu, veggies and red sauce- mexican dish); glass of soy milk.

Again, I have been drinking hot tea every day because I get cold easily at work and such. I'm actually not overly hungry or anything. This fast isn't about denying yourself food as much as it is denying yourself "rich" foods. I have felt 'wanting' sometimes, though, and when that happens I do pray and talk to God.

What I've been finding is that I feel as good or better throughout the morning after eating my oatmeal. Surprisingly, it tastes good with the added banana or raisins and nuts. :)

So, it's not all about the food, right? :) But in scripture, Daniel did note that he and his comrades that did this 'fast' felt better after the 10 days than they did before. I'm finding the same thing, and it's been 5 days for me, so far. My cousin is doing this for 21 days (the amount of time Daniel did this same fast during a mourning period - I was wrong earlier when I said he extended his 10 day one). I'm considering doing the same, or for the entire month, however... I might want to add my coffee back, with my cream (which happens to be non-dairy). I am not sure I can do it without sugar, though, so we'll see.

I like that this God oriented fast is healthy. It isn't taking all food away (which can be rough on your system). It is very much still about focusing on God and allowing Him to fill the cravings, and to eat to live (healthily) not live to eat. There are times to do intesive fasts, but I like that this is something you can do for days or weeks at a time.

Peace.

Monday, January 3, 2011

14 days and counting

T is due Jan 17. I hadn't heard from her in over a week and have been quite worried. I texted her again today and she finally responded. She's 2 cm dilated and 159lbs. She said the baby is head down. Guess he's about ready... she said she'd like me to be there when she has him. Which made me feel a lot better. But I wonder if Scrunch will allow that, though. :( (yes, i have to defer to an 19 year old. ugh) I offered to take her to her appt tomorrow and she said she'd see if he was going to be mad ... apparently, he wants to take her. Oh well. At least I asked.

Anyway, I'm just sending up a whole lot of prayers today.

Peace.