Sunday, September 30, 2007

Worrying...but trying to remain hopeful

If you look closely...there's the faintest positive line.

Well, I've been bleeding on and off for months now due to my lovely PCOS. The doctor told me that I could go back on fertility meds to straighten my cycle out or go on the pill. Insurance doesn't cover fertility meds and I wasn't willing to part with $3k per month and I didn't want to prevent pregnancy from happening either. So, I started using natural progesterone cream about 3 weeks ago and while the bleeding hasn't totally stopped, it's curtailed it a lot.

I've been feeling very moody, crampy, and my chest started getting a little tender. I'm crying over stupid things and Andy and I have been fighting over the past couple of days over really dumb things. I was trying to get ready to get out the door for Deidra's cheerleading game and had to go to the bathroom (it hit me that I've been spending a lot of time in the bathroom lately and I haven't been feeling all that wonderful either), I leaned down to get something in the bathroom cabinet and saw a leftover pregnancy test and it got me thinking. But, with all the bleeding I've been doing, I thought I was stupid for even wondering. I took it anyway and boy was I shocked when I saw 2 lines pop up. I went and got Andy, had him shut his eyes and put it in his hand while saying "maybe this is why I've been so darn grumpy the past couple of days." Now, I also told him that I wasn't very hopeful about this with all the bleeding that I have been having....not to mention I have no idea how far along I even am as there's no way to tell when my last period was with constant bleeding and spotting.

I decided that I'd take another test this morning after church and I got another positive, however the lines are very faint. This is telling me that it's not looking very well or that I'm very early on in the pregnancy.

I talked to my Mom at church about it (she wanted to know why I was crying in church) and she congratulated me. I told her that I just can't help but feel worried and I just don't think it's going to stick with all the bleeding that has been going on. She told me not to think that way and to remain hopeful. So, I'm trying. I really am.

I guess I'll call the doctor first thing in the morning and see if I can get in and have my blood drawn and see what my numbers look like and if I can get on some progesterone suppositories and we'll do a lot of praying that all will wind up ok.

I think Andy and I are both in so much shock that we just don't know what to think. We never expected this and we're naturally worried with all that has been going on up to this point. Keep us in your prayers if you will.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Why I'm a Foster Parent

I got this from another foster parent who got this from another foster parent...but I really like it and think it sums it up almost perfectly!

Duct Tape and Baling Wire

It all began innocently enough……my decision to become a foster parent. I have no wonderful, earth-shattering reason why I decided this was what I was going to do. No powerful sermon was preached about it the previous Sunday. There was no profound moment. I just woke up and knew it.

I called the local CPS office, and thus the roller coaster, known as "being a foster parent" began. I began my classes, and with each class, I was convinced this was something I was meant to do. Through rose colored glasses, I saw myself as Wonder Woman saving the world from imminent evils. Keep in mind that at this time, my heart was securely intact and as good as new.

My very first placement was a dream come true. I picked up a beautiful newborn baby boy from the hospital and brought him home with me. That dream turned into a nightmare the very next night when I picked up his four year old brother. I am pretty sure he was my own personal war on terrorism. This was a child who wanted to grow up to shoot windows out of cop cars. He did not want to become a firefighter, a pilot, a cowboy…… he wanted to shoot windows out of cop cars. My heart sank, and reality started seeping in.

I was not dealing with innocent children who were thankful you rode in and rescued them. I was dealing with broken children.…. even the newborn, who did not ask to have drug withdrawals, but that was the life his mother chose for him. I was dealing with four year olds, who should be playing with cars and building forts, but instead they could out cuss a sailor, acted out violently, and knew what "weed" was. I thought that the 4 year old was beyond help. With consistent structure, firm guidance, and love, however, I was beginning to see his potential when he left. I'll never forget his last words, "Shawn, I'll very miss you so much." It was then I noticed my heart had little cracks in it.

I, in my innocence, thought I would be teaching them, but rather they taught me. They taught me that not everyone lives a sheltered life where they are loved and provided for. They taught me food was not something expected to be on the table when you were hungry, but food was a blessing to receive. They taught me that not everyone thinks the world revolves around babies, but rather that babies can be left strapped in car seats for hours upon hours until that beautiful little girl has a permanent head tilt and crooked jaw…..all because she was in the way of mommy's partying. My heart broke. I somehow managed to patch it up with a little bit of duct tape and gathered myself together and answered the phone once more for one more baby.

I learned that parents do not show up for visits and/or court dates to get their children back, much less PTA events, recitals, and music programs. I have learned that babies at eleven months old have already learned that life is not fair and they can and will give up on life. I had thought that at eleven months old your only thought was "what can I get into today?" Unfortunately, for some eleven month old babies, their thoughts are more along the lines of "I saw daddy hit mommy. Cops took me away, and I am now in a shelter where there are 23 other babies my age. There is nobody to hold me or love me. I cannot deal with this any longer".

I've learned that politics are more important than a four month old's wellbeing. I have learned that someone in the DA's office can work deals under the table unbeknownst to DHS. I learned that politics in the system did not care that Mom and Dad could not stay clean. They did not care that Mom had previously lost two children to adoption because she could not change her life. They did not care that Mom could not trouble herself to come to court or come to visits except sporadically. Because a child is ONLY property and has no rights, they sent him home. They never gave Mom a chance to clean up and to be the appropriate Mom a baby with health issues needed. Knowing that he was leaving to go home to unsafe conditions, this time, my heart shattered. Duct tape was not enough to mend it. With a bit of baling wire and lots of duct tape and patches, I put it together the best I could and questioned my decision to become a foster parent.

In the midst of my grief and reconsidering my decision, the phone rang. Terri said "Shadawn, there is an 11 month old in the shelter. He has given up. He is no longer interacting with staff nor responding, and he has shut down. Can you take him?" When I picked up that beautiful brown eyed baby boy and looked into his eyes, what I saw broke my heart. Instead of the innocent happiness of a child, I saw a long black tunnel of despair and hopelessness. Again, my heart broke. I would rock him to sleep each night, kiss him on the forehead, and put him in his bed while my heart broke knowing his story. I brought out the duct tape and baling wire once more.

No longer is my heart in the perfect condition it once was. It has now been broken and repaired more times than I can count. Whereas it used to gleam, it is held together by duct tape and baling wire. More tears than I can count have been shed. I have been asked by many "How do you do this? Don't you get attached and get your heart broken? How do you keep doing this?" I look at the picture of the 11 month old (now 18 months). I look at his eyes in the pictures I picked up yesterday, and where there once was despair and hopelessness, there is now mischief and happiness. Instead of lying there listlessly and not responding, there is a little boy who loves to say "hut-hut" and then tackle mommy.

I do not do this for myself. I do not get my heart broken repeatedly because I enjoy it. I do it because of all my past, present, and future babies. I do it because they need to go to bed at night hearing "I love you". Is it easy? Not only no, but heck no. But every child, 0-18 years old, needs to know what it is like to not have to worry about if they will be fed or not. Even if it is just a few months, they know what it is like to be safe and sound. My heart is not near as important as they are. It will recover; that child may not.


Friday, September 28, 2007

We have carpet in the house!

On September 21, they installed our carpet!

Now, we have our final walk-thru on October 5 and we close on October 11. We haven't started packing yet either...but I'm hoping to change that tonight. We're going to have to do 1 room every couple of days to make it on time.


What a day!!

D woke up and didn't want to eat. Just wanted to sleep, but he kept waking up every few minutes and he'd tense up and start to cry. Wasn't really sure what was going on, but he started doing it more and more around lunch time and I kept asking him if his ears hurt, if his tummy hurt, and when I went to give him some tylenol he just let it dribble right back out. I called the doctor to see if I could get him in to check his ears and throat and they were booked. I knew he probably had an upper respiratory infection too. I think both boys have one of those. Anyway, I told her he seemed to be really hurting (she was trying to schedule something for first thing in the morning) and that I wasn't going to make him wait that long and that we were going to head to the ER. Andy came home to stay with Josiah and to go pick up Deidra at school since we weren't going to make it home in time to get her. I felt horrible calling him home from work, but at that point D wouldn't stop crying and I had to do something.

We went to the hospital and got him checked in. Was told that there were only 3 people ahead of us in the non-emergency clinic and that it shouldn't take too long. We went to sit down and he kept falling asleep on my lap and then waking up shrieking. He wouldn't part with his cup for anything and when he'd fall asleep and almost drop it, he'd wake up too. Finally, he decided he wanted a drink of his milk. He started to cry and I moved him so that he could put his head on my shoulder. He proceeded to throw up all over me, the chair, and the floor. Thankfully, nobody was sitting behind us. When I went to try to stand up, he threw up again on the floor. This lady says to me "you shouldn't be giving him milk to drink if he's sick." I got mad as that was the first time he had thrown up all day and I wasn't thinking he had a stomach bug or anything all day. Anyway, it looked like he was going to barf again, so I tried to get into the bathroom, but someone was in there. The lady went and told the triage nurse and they took their sweet time getting me a basin, so once again he threw up on the floor. I finally got him into the bathroom and the lady brought me some wet towels to try to clean us both off. She says to me "please don't give him any more's not settling in his tummy right." At that point, I felt the need to defend myself and I was pissed. I told her "Look, not that it's any of your business but I thought he had an ear infection or a sore throat or something, this is the first time he's thrown up all day." She says "well, he probably feels better now that he got that icky milk out of his system. His tummy just doesn't feel good." He lurched into the toilet again and she finally left. I came back out and they were cleaning up the floors and the lady had moved our stuff. She sat talking to her daughter about us like we weren't there or something. Finally, I looked at her and said "you do realize that I'm sitting right here and that I can hear you right??" She said "I'm not telling her anything that I haven't already told you." I told her I didn't need my parenting's not like he's at the point where he can tell me what's wrong or anything. If I knew his stomach didn't feel good, I wouldn't have let him have the milk. I'm not stupid and I'm not a first time mom." All this time, I'm wishing I had somewhere else to move to. Finally, they got called back in the ER and we were left to wait in peace.

He finally got called back 3 hours later after he had retched a few more times in the waiting area...I so love the stares and everybody not minding their own business. He got to the point where he wouldn't let me sit down with him and he'd only sleep if I was standing up holding back was killing me and I was so sick of being stared at. We got back to our room and he completely flipped out on me (I think he remembered me taking him there before and he was very afraid of the doctor...doesn't like men). It took me awhile to calm him down. I prayed that we wouldn't get a male doctor. Thankfully, we got a female (NP). She asked me a bunch of questions and asked me if his shots were current. I said no and that we had just had his 2 month shots done and he was going back in October for another set. She looks at me "you do realize how important immunizations are right?" I looked right back at her (she had seen us before) "you do realize this is a foster child right??" Then, her tune totally changed. I however was on the verge of tears. Turns out he did have an ear infection and a upper respiratory infection and she thinks he threw up because of the pain as it was really red. Then, she asked me if he had a history of ear infections "um, we've had him for 1 month and he's already had 2, but other than that I don't know." She says "you don't know anything about him?" Oh gee, he's a foster child...a lot of info isn't known about them and when he had parents that never took him to a doctor it's not like you're able to get medical records on him to know anything. She asked me if he had any allergies to medications and I said "not that I know of." She says "well, do you think he'd be able to take some amoxicillin without any problems?" Umm...what aren't you getting?? You're the freaking health professional and I don't know that he's ever taken it before, so I guess we're just going to have to find out. She had a male nurse come and give him some motrin which was a battle (he's scared of men) and then they gave him a popsicle and let us leave.

He came home and slept most of the day...he didn't want me leaving to go to the pharmacy or to take Deidra to practice last night. Andy finally put him in bed at 7 as he just couldn't stay awake. Rest is probably the best thing for him anyway. Poor baby!

Now to try and get J into the doctor for his upper respiratory infection and barky cough.....

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

More Zach Drama

So, my brother, Zach is moving back home. My Mom isn't happy about it and my brother, Jimmie, isn't talking to her right now over it. I got into a little tiff with her too as I think she's only setting him up for failure instead of learning how to be a responsible adult. I understand that he's always been a difficult child, but he needs to learn that he needs to be responsible for himself.

He got into that car accident 6 months ago and used the money to move to Austin and to prepay his 6 months worth of rent that he needed. Mom got him a refrigerator's worth of food along with helping fill up his cupboards and a little spending money. She told him that he needed to get a job so that he could pay his rent when it became due and to support himself in the meantime. He dinked around for 4 months...finally got a job at Domino's. He was coming home every weekend to see his friends. I finally made a comment that I didn't think he was working as jobs like that don't give you weekends off. He finally admitted that he quit that job to take a cupcake job. He got Mom to buy him new clothes and a haircut so that he'd be prepared for the new job. He called saying that his electric had been shut off again (Mom and Dad just bailed him out back in August with getting his electric back on) and that he didn't have money to pay his rent and they told him he had to be out by the end of this month. He also admitted that he never had a new job. Mom told him that he had until the end of the week to find a job and that he didn't like the rules at home or being around them and that she really didn't want him coming back home...that he needed to find a job and find a roommate and stay down there. He said he knew. He said that he can't stand living at home and that he doesn't have anything in common with anyone. Well, he won't talk to us, so how would he know?? Anyway, he told Mom that he'd find something by the end of the week. He called Mom the other night telling her that he never bothered trying to find a job as he was too tired and that he needed her to come down on Friday and help him move as they tol dhim he needs to be out by Friday. She's mad at him. I told her to let him sweat it out and tell him no. It's pure laziness on his part that he's in this situation. The kid is going to be 20 in's not do whatever you want and then when you're really in a bind, Mom will bail you out. I told her if she lets him move back home, he's still not going to find a job...he's going to blame it on the fact that he doesn't have transportation to have a job...and the whole cycle is just going to start over. She said she knows that, but she doesn't want him to wind up as a bum on the streets either. His friends have quit talking to him down there as they don't want him mooching off of them either.

Now, he's trying to tell her that he has a job lined up back here at home with one of his friends and that his friend will bring him back and forth to work. I told Mom that he can't depend on his friends and I'm not going to be the one to drag his butt back and forth either when they won't come through for him. And I'm especially not going to do that when he's had 6 months to get his act together. He's always got some excuse and someone needs to teach this kid how to stand on his 2 feet. And I also wonder if he's not just saying that or if he's lying again about it to get his way. You can't trust him and I don't think Mom really wants to admit that. Andy thinks he's still using drugs but my Mom refuses to see that. She gives him the benefit of the doubt and makes excuses for him and then she gets mad at Andy for even suggesting it.

Dad talked to him and is now talking about moving in with him to help him out and they could split the rent. But, he told Zach that he needs to get a job first. Zach said he wants to go to college in Austin. Dad's not too sure about living in Austin as he'd have a 3-hour drive each time he was off one way to come spend time with the rest of us and after driving all throughout the country for work, that's the last thing he's going to want to do. I told Dad too, that Zach can't even handle getting a full-time job let alone working and going to school. He needs to work for a year or two and then try and see if he thinks he can handle school on top of it. But, I think he's just thinking that Dad will pay the rent and that Mom will dish out the money for him to go to college. They don't have the money for that and with him dropping out of school and all the lying that he did about it, I think he needs to put himself through school. If he's got to pay for it, maybe he'll actually take it seriously. Dad wants to come out here in a week or two and sit down and talk to all of us about things as he'd rather live out here. He really wants to move into our house with us as he'd only have to stay here one or two nights out of the month, but he got into some trouble with a girlfriend after the divorce and she kept scratching him up during their arguments and he hit her once and she filed assault charges against him. So, I told him that he can't stay there with us fostering.

So, Mom's going to Austin tomorrow morning to move Zach. I understand her not wanting to see him having nowhere to go and she doesn't want to see him lose his things...but I really think she needs to let him sweat it out for a bit. Maybe I'm being too harsh, I don't know. But, all this kid has been doing is screwing up and she keeps saying that the divorce was hard on him. I just think if someone doesn't put their foot down and draw a boundary line now..he's always going to keep taking advantage of people and he's never going to learn how to take care of himself.

Dad's blaming himself by saying that he hasn't been there for him...Mom's blaming herself because she keeps giving in because she doesn't want to see him hurting. And all I keep thinking of is what if something ever happens to either of is he going to learn how to take care of himself?? I'm listed as the guardian over them if anything ever happens to Mom...granted I know that is only until they turn 18...but I know he's going to be coming to us for help if he doesn't learn this lesson now. I just wish that he'd learn that he needs to be responsible and that if he does need help, that he needs to get his butt some counseling rather than to keep refusing it.

Sorry, this is so just makes me mad.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ugly Candle Contest

Show me your ugly candles! Did you get one as a gift? Bought one cause you loved the scent even though it was UGLY? Well, take a pic of it & post it on your blog and let me know about your post in my comments and I'll enter you in my free drawing for a candle. If you don't have a way to take a picture, I'll accept the story about it as well in it's place. I'll accept entries until the end of the month and I'll draw the winner at the end of the day on the 31st!


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Holy moly!

Taking some time out of the craziness to blog for a minute...

What a crazy busy day this is turning out to be! I've been cleaning like a mad woman! Our quarterly monitoring for foster care is tomorrow night. We all seem to have developed a cold...nice coughs and runny noses.

Ever since I found out that we were closing on October 11, I have had to get my butt into high gear on getting our homeowners insurance. There's people that are affiliated with our builder and the mortgage company that we got a quote from. I was leaning towards going with that one until my Mom said that she pays almost double that for hers and she wanted us to gather a couple other quotes to see what they looked like as she didn't want us to wind up being underinsured. So, I put in a couple other calls. Trying to gather all that information.

Then, I get a call from J's CPS worker wanting to know if she can stop by this afternoon to visit with him. I don't mind really, but it's just one thing to add on to the other things going on. She's nice though and she's busy and she doesn't stay too long. So, I'm not really all that worried about things. I know I can get right back to the things that I need to do.

I also need to run to the grocery store at some point today and once Andy gets home we're going to try to start packing up the garage and getting that all organized so that we can start packing up in here and we have places to put things out there.

So, things feel like total chaos. I'm mad at myself in some ways that I wasn't more organized...maybe things totally didn't feel real or it felt like we still were in the waiting phase of all this. But, although it's total chaos...I'm trying to stay calm and just take it one step at a time. Lists are a good thing...right?

Abba, help us along with staying on task and keeping things running organized and smoothly.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

We have our closing date!!

We close on October 11! Holy moly do we need to get our butts in gear!! We have our quarterly monitoring for foster care (inspections to make sure our house is clean and following the codes and rules) on Wednesday night and then we plan to kick it into high gear and start packing for our move. Wow!

Abba, please let everything flow smoothly for us!

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In the city by the bay...

Our weekend trip to the city by the bay went well. We left Saturday afternoon after Deidra's cheerleading game. I think we were on the road by 1 pm. We got hung up in Austin for a bit because there was a game at the University of Texas. Finally got moving again and we made pretty good time for the rest of the trip. We checked into our hotel just after 8 pm. Took the kids swimming at the pool for awhile. I was so proud of D. Bathtime is so traumatic for him, that I just didn't know how he was going to handle the pool. I took him over and just said that we were just going to dip our feet in it. And so he did. We sat there for a couple of minutes and Andy took J in the water and Deidra hopped right in. I asked him if he wanted to go in if I held him the entire time and we just took things very slowly. He looked a bit apprehensive but said "k." So, I picked him up and we went in and he started splashing a bit and having fun. He made a little progress with Andy as well and even gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek in the pool. We swam until the boys started getting too cold. Then, Andy ran over to the Denny's and got us some dinner. The boys were a handful in the hotel after being cooped up in the car for so long and with it being so late, I didn't want them disturbing anyone. Finally, we got some dinner in them and tried to put them both down for bed in the pack and plays. They both screamed bloody murder. I took D out and sat him next to me on the bed, while I sat J on my lap. D fell asleep on the bed and J fell asleep in my arms. The minute I tried to move either of them, they both started screaming. So, I decided that I was going to leave them in the bed. D slept up by the pillows and J slept at the other end of the bed and I just put blankets and stuff around the edges so they wouldn't fall off. I didn't sleep the greatest as I kept waking up to check on them and so forth, but they slept great all night long.

Sunday, we got up early and took our baths and showers. Went and checked out and ate breakfast at the hotel. Couldn't find a seat and there were several people just eating alone at the big tables. I took the kids over to an empty bench to try to eat their breakfasts. Andy was finally able to get us a table for 2 and so we squeezed over there to try to get the boys to finish their breakfasts. One couple told us we could take their seats if we wanted and they would stand, but we told them that we were managing ok. It was nice of them to offer though.

We headed over to where J's mom is for her visit with him. I had told her counselor a couple weeks back that we were going to be down that day and let her visit with him from 9-12 as then we had to head back home afterwards. We got there and I took J in and apparently that counselor had just went on maternity leave and there was a lot of confusion about the visit. They told me that visiting hours weren't until 1:30 and I'd have to bring him back. I explained that we lived about 6 hours away and that I had a daughter who had school in the morning. She said that I had to attend a visitation training program from 12:30-1:30 and that he could visit her at 1:30 for 2 hours. I had to explain again that I had prior permission to bring him from 9-12 and that nobody had told me that visiting hours were any different. She told me that I could bring him down and he could visit as long as I would allow and taht they would have staff available to supervise the visit. She said that she'd have to talk to the new counselor and she showed me the visitation room. While I waited, someone had told his mom that he was here and she showed up and I handed J to her. She got in trouble for being out of her room and they explained to her the confusion with the visit. I spoke up for her saying that she hadn't seen him since June and I again explained what was said by her counselor and that she was going to be letting the new counselor know the situation. They were having trouble getting a hold of her new counselor. It was looking like we were going to have to come back. I got permission to go out and tell Andy what was going on as we had been in there close to a half an hour already. I felt stupid that I didn't realize that the doors going out were on lock down too and so I had to get someone to let me out. I told Andy what was going on and he was irritated with the confusion. I told him that I'd be back out when I knew more. I grabbed the camera to take a couple pics of J with his mom and I grabbed my cell phone. They let me back in and I was told that the camera and cell phone couldn't be brought in, so I left those at the front desk. His mom and been told that she could have the visit from 9-12, but that I had to stay with her as they were short staffed. I started panicking a little bit as I had already told them that I was not comfortable supervising the visit as we had never met before and I still don't really know why she's in care. I prayed about it and felt at peace and so we went for it. I said that I needed someone to sit with them while I went and told my family what was going on. Andy was upset when I told him as he knew that I had said that I wasn't comfortable supervising the visit and we were going to go to the beach while J was at his visit. I told them to go without me and come back for us at noon.

They let me back in and I went and sat with J and his mom. The 3 hours went fast...she asked me a lot of questions, made observations, and she told me bits and pieces about herself. Overall, I liked her. She's still torn on whether to try to get him back or whether to place him for adoption. She said that her heart tells her one thing and her brain tells her another. Her family wants her to give him up and a lot of her counselors that stopped in to see him kept telling her what a big responsibility he is and that it's different being with him for 3 hours as opposed to having to take care of him each and every day and taht she really had to think about that, but if she decided to that if she got her behaviors together that she could be back with him everyday or at least know that he was being taken care of well and that she was welcome to see him when she wanted to. She noticed that J called me Mommy and I felt awkward about that when she asked me about it, but thankfully she wasn't offended at all. I told her that she'd always be first mommy and that I tried to bring the camera in to take a picture of them together so that I could hang it by his bed so that he could remember her. She didn't think he remembered her at all, but once he warmed up to her he interacted with her just fine. She drew him a picture and crocheted him a blanket and she is a beautiful artist. I'm going to frame it and hang it by his bed. She got permission from one of the other workers to let me bring the camera back in and so when Andy got back, I went out and grabbed it and I took some pictures of them together. That meant so much to her. She kept promising that she wasn't going to cry when he left and I told her it was ok to cry. She didn't think that J needed to see that and her counselor told her that boys needed to be taught that it was ok to cry and that it really was ok for her to show her emotions. We took the pics and we came back to collect his stuff, she had bought him clothes and stuff and she started to wipe her eyes and she got really quiet. She wrapped him up in her arms and I patted her arm and told her it was ok. She walked him down the hall and she openly started to cry. One of the girls came up and hugged her and I patted her arm. She handed J to me and told him good-bye and she looked at me and said "I don't even know how to say thank you" and I told her that wasn't necessary. We'd be back in another couple of months and in the meantime I'd send her pictures and she asked me if I'd write her letters. I told her that I would and I wanted to give her a hug, but my hands were full with J in one arm and his stuff in the other. So, we left. I walked J out to the car and I thought I was going to start crying myself. Maybe it sounds weird, but I'm glad that I got to supervise the visit and that we feel comfortable with one another now. When J fell asleep on her lap finally, one of the girls had brought her down her blanket that she was making for him. She was almost done with it and they thought she may want to finish it. Her counselor thought maybe she'd want to do it later as she'd want to spend time with the baby more. Well, she asked me if I thought that would be big enough for him and I said yes and so she picked J up and handed him to me so that she could finish the last little bit of it for him. She was so sweet to in trying to show me how. She's very crafty and I could really see her in art school.

We left the visit and Deidra tried to tell me that they had sat in the car there the whole time and I started getting mad at Andy. Finally, Deidra told me they had gone to Wal-mart and they had waited for us so we could all go to the ocean after his visit. Stinkers!!! Anyway, we drove to the gulf and since we didn't have a whole lot of time to swim and stuff since it was so late, we just decided to wade in for a bit. Andy convinced Deidra to try the water...she didn't realize it was salt water. J kept trying to drink it and he didn't seem to mind the taste. He kept wanting to dig in the sand and so I took their clothes off so they wouldn't get all wet. D was a bit scared of the waves, but I kept reassuring him and he did fine. He started splashing in the water and I'd point out the little fish and he'd giggle. Deidra found a lot of shells and even a small piece of coral. She totally submerged herself in her clothes, but she was having a ball. I wish we could have stayed longer, but we had to get on the road. We took the kids back to the car and changed them and we piled in to head back home. We were all acting goofy in the car on the way home. We got back home around 9:30 last night. Put the kids to bed, watched a little bit of tv, did the boys progress logs, and then headed for bed.

Hadn't been sleeping very long when Deidra came to inform me that she had thrown up in her bed, although she hadn't meant to. She asked me again to make her the appt with the tummy doctor and I told her that I was just waiting to see if it had gotten any better on the other meds I was giving her. She got up a few more times in the middle of the night to throw up and then I started wondering if she had a tummy bug. She's not running a fever at all, but she looks horrible. I'm going to see how she's feeling when she gets up this morning and depending on that, I'll see about getting her into the doctor.

D has a visit today too and he's got a really runny nose and feels slightly warm and just wants to lay around. I kept Deidra home from school today as it looks like I have a house full of sickies today. We have our quarterly monitoring for foster care on Wednesday night and I just want to get the house really deep cleaned so that we're ready for that, so I hope that I can get all that done today too.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

What'cha reading lately?

Yeah, not that I don't have anything else to do...but I love to read and haven't been reading much lately. Just when I wait for Deidra to finish up her gymnastics class. But, lately I just pick the books up and set them down...I need a good story to occupy my time.

So, what'cha reading lately? Any recommendations?


Heading South...

Well, I am exhausted and I have a busy day ahead of me. We're leaving tomorrow after Deidra's football game to bring Baby J down to see his mom. Deidra's excited that she gets to see the ocean, although she's afraid of the oceanlife. It'll be interesting to see what the boys think of the ocean too. J loves the water, but D hates it. Maybe D can find sea shells or something and he'll enjoy himself too. They told me that Baby J could visit for as long as I'd allow. I'm thinking about dropping him off around 9 and then picking him around 12 or 1. But, yet I just don't know if that's going to be too long for him. Her family is going to be visiting her too, so I want to give them all time with him as well. And at the same time, I'm worrying that I'm not going to give her long enough with him. I know she hasn't seen him since June. I just don't know what to do. I know 2 hour visits seem to be too long for Baby D and he this last one was only an hour and he did fine for that. So, I just don't know. Hopefully, he'll do ok.

Anyway, I have to finish laundry up and try to clean the house too. And I told J's mom that I'd bring her more pictures down with us so that she could have some more. So, I need to go back through the pictures and have a few printed off for her.



We had training up at the agency until 9. Went to bed around 11. J woke up around 1 am screaming. Went in and found that he was sopping wet. Got him up to change his diaper, got him some more milk, and put him back down for bed. His little arms clenched around my neck and he started to cry. I gave him one last hug and put him down for bed. He cried, would stop for a minute, and then start up again. Andy told me not to go get him and he'd go back to bed or I'd be up all night. Well, after about 15 more minutes and he wasn't settling down, I got up and went to get him. We came and sat on the couch where he proceeded to barf all over. I got him cleaned up and I sat with him on the couch and you could tell that he wanted to go back to bed, but he wasn't going to part with me to do so. This kid will not fall asleep in your arms...he has to toss to and fro before he finally falls asleep and he needs his bed to do it. But, he was not parting with me. I sat with him and cuddled with him and he started patting my back like I was patting his and then he started patting my head and then pointing to my nose. He wanted to play the body part game we always play. He laid his head down on my shoulder and then switched to the other side and then back again. And then he grabbed my head and pulled it down so he could give me kisses. Then, he went back to cuddling and moving everywhere. I gave him his milk in an attempt to go lay him down again and he just shoved it away again and said no. I kept closing my eyes to try and relay that it was time for night night. Finally, I laid on the couch and laid him down next to me and he put his little arms around my neck and just looked into my eyes. He kept smiling and being so sweet. Then, he rubbed his eyes and said "night night" and we just laid there looking at each other, closing our eyes, and then we'd watch each other again. He patted the side of my face and kept saying "Mommy" and I started tearing up. I so love this little boy. Finally, we both fell asleep. I woke up a couple hours later because I was really hot. Andy got up for work and then I wasn't able to fall back asleep. I'm much to do today too. I guess I should just try to lay with my eyes closed until it's time to get up in an hour to get Deidra ready for school.

He was so cute too at the training when we went to pick the kids up. He saw me through the glass and man did he book over there to the door to get me. I picked him up and he just wasn't going to let me go. D wanted me too and when Andy picked him up and I tried to give him a hug, J pushed him away. Little stinker...

UPDATE: Yeah, just when I managed to fall back asleep, Baby D woke up crying to get up at 6. So, we're up for the day...

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Lord, Give me some extra patience...

My patience is running thin. Baby D has been grumpy all day long and I am so tired of asking him to do something and him yelling no. I tell him that he can't do something and he's been throwing temper tantrums. I'm making our meals and he's whining at me constantly for the cookies...not until you finish your food. Noooo!

Baby J has been tired all day, yet he won't go down for a nap. I've tried several times to no avail. He just cries in his crib.

We have training tonight up at the agency and it's going way past their bedtimes and J already gets crabby before his bedtime, I don't know what he's going to do when he's been a crab all day.

Deidra came home from school with Miss Attitude. Homework was a fight. She got put in time out for her attitude. She finally came back to finish it. She decided to make a mess in her room after she got in trouble for something else and I told her to clean it. She came out in the kitchen mad about something, grabbed a bottle she thought was empty and of course didn't have the cap on it and it went all over the floor. I had to take a time out after that happened. I told her to clean it up and I went in my room. When I felt myself calm down, I came out and she was cleaning it up and saying sorry over and over. I know it was an accident for the most part, but I'm so tired of her not paying attention.

I made the boys dinner since the agency is feeding the older kids and the adults and I went to help Baby D eat some of his soup. He spit the green beans out of his mouth and threw them onto the floor. I don't know how many times I've told him not to do that. I turned around to feed J and D had thrown all of his food on the floor while I had my back to him. I made him get down and pick them up.

I went to get the boys a bath and Deidra knocked the baby gate down and so D was running all over the house, getting into her room. She of course threw a fit, but I couldn't do anything with J in the tub. So, she was yelling that he was getting into her stuff...I got J finished up and in to get a new diaper and clean clothes on and then had to deal with getting the baby gate back up.

I tried to get J to nap again while I got D in the tub. They were both screaming. Got D finished up and dressed and then I went to get J out as he was NOT going to go to bed. His little arms just clamped themselves right around my neck and he just cuddled up to me. I held him for awhile and he wouldn't let me put him down.

The house is a disaster and I wanted to try to get it cleaned up a little bit so I had to set him in his playpen for a little bit so I could clean without him undoing what I had done and he just screamed and screamed. D got into trouble and I had to put him in time out.

Finally, I decided that I was going to come on here and journal and the boys have started to play. Deidra fell asleep on the couch. Andy should be home any minute, thank goodness.

As much as I think trainings are boring, I'm looking forward to being kid-free for the 3 hours of training and getting some time to myself for a bit. I guess since things have calmed down, I'll go try to clean up.

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New House Pictures

Starting with September 13 on our blog, there are new pics of the house! There are 3 different days worth of updates...the 13th, 14th, and 19th. :-)
is our house website if you want to see!


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

how's my day going?

Let's far today I've downloaded this week's stuff to do some activities with D. Since he's so far behind in his milestones, I decided that I was going to try to do some nursery/preschool stuff with him. I found a really cool link that has a curriculum and recommended printouts and books to read along with each weeks lesson.

We're learning about cows this week along with the square and the letter A, and the number 1. I also put a bunch of cow books on hold at the library and netflixed a movie about cows for the end of the week. We sang a bunch and pretended to be cows and he loved sitting at the table and coloring a picture of a cow. It is now hanging on the refrigerator.

I did some physical therapy homework with J and we read some nursery rhymes and he took a little nap.

Now, they are eating their lunch...roast beef slices, fruit cocktail, and pickles.

After lunch, they'll have some play time with their animal farm while I try to clean up the house before we have to go get Deidra in a couple of hours.

Once I pick her up, I'm going to run to the library to get the books that I have on hold and then we'll come home and do her homework and I'll read to the kids. Then, we have cheer practice later. After we get home from that, we'll eat dinner and then get ready for bed.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

We're in the candle business!

I just really fell in love with the candles that we sold for Deidra's cheerleading fundraiser. I just may start doing craft fairs with them. They are 100% natural soy wax and are highly scented. They smelled great and were decorated so cute and whimsical. I decided to get with the lady that we did the fundraiser through and she got me started selling them. I picked a few scents to start out with. We're selling them for $8 a piece and they are in an 8 oz jar. If you would like to purchase any at anytime just let us know. ;-)

A. AMAZING GRACE -- A "pretty" amazing fragrance that you'll love.
B. ANGEL -- wonderful lemon, raspberry, honeydew melon, black currants, jasmine, gardenia and patchouli
C. BUTT NAKED -- cantaloupe, cocoa butter, clean cucumber
D. CHERRIES JUBILEE -- strong wild cherry
E. FRESH FREESIA -- floral blend of fresh freesia & musk
F. HOME SWEET HOME -- warm spicy scent with floral undertones
G. NANA'S KITCHEN -- cinnamon sticks with ginger, nutmeg and butter
H. PUMPKIN SWEET ROLLS -- pumpkin pie filling, creamy vanilla, buttery & spices
I. SPICED APPLE PECAN CRUNCH -- spicy, yet sweet
J. FRENCH VANILLA -- strong scent
K. CANDY CANE KISSES -- crisp cool candy cane


My 31st Birthday!

I so cannot believe that I am 31 years old. I can remember thinking my parents were old at that age...all I know is that I do not feel old one bit. I have determined that this year I am going to start believing in myself more. Too often I worry about what others think of me and I've been hurt so many times in the past by those comments or other views that people feel the need to press into me. If I believe in what I am doing or the way that I am living my life, then I need to realize that truly matters. I can't keep living my life trying to please other people and my 30s is going to be a time of change on some levels for me. 30s hear me roar!

Anyway, I turned 31 yesterday. It was a day that I honestly didn't have any expectations for. I didn't ask for anything...I just went along with the flow. I just wanted a day to spend with my family. My co-workers wished me a happy birthday and kept asking me what I was doing for my birthday and I just said that I had no idea. It's the first year in quite awhile that I didn't have any expectations or true wants for anything. I got out of work at 2 and when I came home Andy had gone to the store and was cooking me a beautiful steak dinner. Steak, cauliflower, scalloped potatoes, and fresh green beans. It was truly delicious. He gave me a small present and when I opened it I discovered that it was a Honeycrisp Apple. These are my favorite apples and they are so expensive down here...I miss being able to go to the orchards in MI and picking our own. It was truly everything I had remembered it was. He spent $3 on 2 apples. But, it was so worth it! He also made me a rainbow chip cake and we ate cake and strawberry cheesecake ice cream. He got me a beautiful card that brought tears to my eyes and the kids all gave me a card too. Andy's mom got me a beautiful scrapbook for my birthday as well and I can't wait to use it. He was lost on what to get me for my actual present and had been hunting around for digital scrapbook stuff for me, but he didn't have any idea of what to get. So, he gave me some money to use towards that. Then, we drove into Dallas and went to the mall and I got some lotions from Bath and Body Works...fresh honeysuckle, fresh pineapple, and sweet pea. He told me that I could get a candle if I wanted to, but I haven't found one that I wanted. I enjoyed my birthday and it was nice to spend the time with my family. Andy's mom gave me a beautiful birthday card too that made me tear up as well. She talked about all the hopes and dreams that they had for when Andy got married and what his wife would be like and how I am all that and more. I haven't always felt very close to her, so it meant a lot to me when I read it. After the kids went to bed, we sat and watched a movie. "The Story of Us" that I had netflixed. I thought it was a love was more about a family's marital troubles and how they realized at the very end that they should stay together. Wasn't really what I thought it was going to be...but whatever. It just made us realize more and more that we don't ever want to wind up like that. We want to be the old couple that is still holding hands.

Yesterday, really meant a lot to me. Low key day, but I was surrounded with love.


Friday, September 14, 2007

The Desitin Incident

Baby D was playing quietly in his room today under his crib. He crawls under there and lays on his tummy and just pushes his cars and stuff around. I had checked on him off and on for awhile and all was fine. I came out to load the dishwasher and he came out...I kept thinking that I smelled Desitin, but I thought maybe it was because I had just put some on him when I changed his diaper. Went back to loading the dishwasher and he went back into his room. Didn't think anything of it. He comes out about 5 minutes later and it was all over in his ear and all in his hair by both of his ears and it was all over his shirt. I could have sworn that I had put the desitin up into the closet after I changed him. I had to go give him a bath and wash his hair like 3 times to get it all out of there. He still has some in his ears, but we got most of it out. I wish I would have thought to take a picture of him before I gave him a bath. Silly little boy. I'm just thankful he didn't decide to decorate the floor in his bedroom or that he didn't try to eat it.

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But enough about it's your turn!

But enough about me...its your turn!
1. Is your second toe longer than your big toe?

2. Do you have a favorite type of pen?
I love blue gelly rollers

3. Look at your planner for March 14, what are you doing?
don't have next year planned out yet

4. What color are your toenails usually?
my regular color

5. What was the last thing you highlighted?
I don't highlight anything

6. What color are your bedroom curtains?
I don't have any currently

7. What color are the seats in your car?

8. Have you ever had a black and white cat?
yes, I have two of them right now...Pepe and Oreo

9. What is the last thing you put a stamp on?
The water bill.

10. Do you know anyone who lives in Wyoming? (There is a Wyoming, MI)

11. Why did you withdraw cash from the ATM the last time?
our blow money for the week

12. Whose is the last baby that you held?
my fosterbaby, J

13. Unlucky #?
I don't believe in that stuff.

14. Do you like Cinnamon toothpaste?
I prefer mint, but will use Cinnamon if I have to.

15. What kind of car were you driving 2 years ago?
Chevy Cavalier (still have it)

16. Pick one: Miami Hurricanes or Florida Gators?
not a sports girl

17. Last time you went to Six Flags?
this summer

18. Do you have any wallpaper in your house?
yes, in the entry way

19. Closest thing to you that is yellow?
my candle order forms

20. Last person to give you a business card?
our builder

21. Who is the last person you wrote a check to?
the city...for the water bill

22. Closest framed picture to you?
Deidra's kindergarten picture

23. Last time you had someone cook for you?
this week

24. Have you ever applied for welfare?
Yes, a couple of times. Once was when I was in between jobs and needed some expensive medical tests done. The last time was when Andy lost his job after Deidra was born to cover her medical expenses.

25. How many emails do you have?
I have no idea...a lot...most are waiting in folders for me to read.

26. Last time you received flowers?
my birthday last year maybe

27. Do you think the sanctity of marriage is meant for only a man & woman?

28. Do you play air guitar?

29. Has anyone ever proposed to you?

30. Do you take anything in your coffee?
milk and splenda

31. Do you have any Willow Tree figurines?
no, but I have bought some to sell on ebay before.

32. What is/was your high school's rival mascot?
Grandville something or others...don't remember what their mascot was.

33. Last person you spoke to from high school?
I've spoke to quite a few this week...people found me on myspace and I found some other people too that I had lost touch with...Jennifer, Christy, Corrie, Amy

34. Last time you used hand sanitizer?
maybe a week or two ago, but I am always washing my hands.

35. Would you like to learn to play the drums?

36. What color is your dog?
I don't have one.

38. Last thing you read in the newspaper?
can't remember

39. What was the last pageant you attended?
have never been to one....

40. What is the last place you bought pizza from?
Mr. Jim's

41. Have you ever worn a crown?
of course

42. What is the last thing you stapled?

43. Did you ever drink clear Pepsi?

44. Are you ticklish?
yes, and I hate to be tickled.

45. Last time you saw fireworks?
4th of July

46. Last time you had a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts?
sometime in MI before we moved

47. Who is the last person that left you a message & you actually returned it?
the doctor

48. Last time you parked under a carport?
at my cousin's apartment building in MI

49. Do you have a black dog?

50 . Have you had your mid life crisis yet?

51. Are you an aunt or uncle?

52. Who has the prettiest eyes that you know of?
someone that I work with

53. last time you used a phonebook?
when I ordered pizza last weekend

54. Do you remember Ugly Kid Joe?
I don't even know who that is.


About me....

When showering, do you start the water and then get in or get in and start the water? Start the water and then get in

Do you read the labels on your shampoo bottle? only once in a blue moon

Do you moan in the shower like the people on the herbal essence commercial? Can't say I do.

Have you ever been forced to shower with one of your siblings? No

Have you ever brushed your teeth in the shower? No.

Have you ever dropped your soap on your foot? I'm sure I have.

How old do you look? I don't know, but people always think I'm younger than I am.

How old do you act? Not sure, all that Iknow is that I seem to have more in common with people who are older than I am....however, I can get along with anyone.

What's the last song you sang? Going Home by Daughtry

Have you recently become a member of anything? A mom's group

What are your plans for the weekend? watching Deidra cheerlead at the football game and working

Do you kiss with your eyes opened or closed? closed

Have you ever ridden a mechanical bull? can't say I have

Do you ever intentionally vomit after eating? no

If you were working on a pirate ship, what would you most likely be? no clue

Have you ever called anyone a slut? yes

Have you ever been called a slut? No

Have you ever smuggled something into your country? no, that's not really my thing

Does playing the guitar make a girl/guy more attractive? no

YOU HAVE 10 BUCKS AND NEED TO BUY SNACKS AT A GAS STATION. WHAT DO YOU GET? something to drink and some beef jerky

don't really believe in reincarnation...but maybe a mermaid (well, not that those exist either)

04. WHAT DO YOU ORDER WHEN YOU'RE AT AN IHOP? whatever looks good at the time

05. LAST BOOK YOU READ? Distant Shores


07. DESCRIBE YOUR FAVOURITE PAIR OF UNDERWEAR. they're all the same color...white cotton

08. DESCRIBE THE LAST TIME YOU WERE INJURED. I tripped over a toy and sprained my ankle

Corey...he's just a lot of fun and can make me laugh.

10. ROCK CONCERT, OR SYMPHONY? I like them both.


12. SODA? Cherry Coke

13. FLAVOR OF PUDDING? Chocolate.

14. WHAT TYPE OF SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? a green short-sleeved shirt


I love to drive.

the boys playing

The Simpsons Movie

something to prevent bad things from happening

Noah Wylie

I don't know that I have one. I feel at home in Grand Rapids, MI though. I really like where we live now too and the cute little downtown areas.

carrot cake




leftovers from Buca di Beppo

a year and 4 months

28. What is your favorite color? forest green

get down from up there

my messy kitchen table

I honestly don't know.

don't watch it

when my hubby kissed me good-bye this morning

a new blouse


One of those weeks...

Monday I totally forgot about Deidra's gymnastics class and we missed it.

Tuesday came and I kept thinking it was still Monday. We missed Deidra's cheerleading practice.

Wednesday was our anniversary. I wasn't off on days that day and things went really well.

Thursday I for some reason was still thinking was Wednesday. I went in to the dentist office to see about getting the new patient paperwork for D so that I was prepared for his appt and could just get in and get out really quick. I walked in and told the receptionist and she said really snippy "well, who is it for?" I told her his name and that his appointment was for the next day. She goes on to tell me that they only work one Friday a month. I said "no, his appointment isn't on's on Thursday." She said "his appointment was for today..he was supposed to be here at noon." I apologized and said that I had kept getting the days of the week confused. She wasn't very sympathetic and rescheduled him for Monday. Oops! I brought Deidra to a make-up gymnastics class and we had the wrong time down. I thought it started at 7:30 and it started at she only got to go for a 1/2 an hour.

Today is Friday. I have to keep telling myself that. I cancelled the only appointment we had for today. J was supposed to have therapy. However, I cancelled it as I don't want anyone else getting scabies.

Please tell me that other people do this stuff...I know I've gotten off track on days before and oversighted something...but I've never had a full week of this stuff.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Teary Eyed

We're taking J down south to visit his mom on the 22nd and 23rd. I had given the caseworker our number for her a month ago and she's been checking in to see if his Mom had contacted us at all. She hadn't. Well, she gave us the number of the place where Mom is to set up the visit so they would have someone supervise the visit. His Mom has her family visiting that weekend too. Anyway, they said that Mom was having a really hard day and asked if she could talk to J on the phone for a bit to try and cheer her up. After transferring me to a couple of people and not knowing her voice, this really young gal said hello. I asked if it was her and she said yes. I explained who it was and that I had heard that she was having a rough day. She said that she really was. I told her I was going to put J on the phone for her. She babbled at him for a minute, but he wouldn't say anything. It took a lot of coaxing on my end to finally get him to say hi. Finally, he pushed the phone away and said bye and so I talked to her briefly. She was sobbing. For awhile, all I could do was try and soothe her. I told her that she was more than welcome to call and talk to him anytime she needed or wanted to and as long as it was reasonable hours. I told her if she had any questions about him that she wanted answered that I was more than willing to talk with her anytime. She just kept saying thank you and that I had already given her everything. I asked her if she was ok as she was still crying. She said that she hasn't been right and she's just really been having a hard time. I reassured her that J has been doing fine and she is in shock that he's talking. I told her that he's gotten big since she's seen him last and that he'll probably talk at her a lot when she sees him after this week. I hung up with her and sat down in the chair with him in my arms and all I could do was tear up. I just hope the visit goes well and I know from talking to the CPS worker that she still wants to talk about adoption. My heart breaks for her though, especially with hearing her cry like that. I am so attached to J though and he is to me as well. Yet, I know that there's still a chance that he'll go back with mom. That alone makes me cry when I think about it. Just keep praying for us that she makes the best decision for all of us and that no matter what she decides that we'll all still be able to be a part of his life and watch him grow up. I pray that she handles the visit ok too as her family will be down there as well.


9 Years of Marriage

Taken by Deidra. 9 years of marriage. :-)


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Getting all dressed up for my honey...

Can't wait to go out to dinner tonight for our anniversary. I found an online seller through ebay that I just love their clothes. I won my first item and got it yesterday. Some sellers say their sizes run small, so I ordered carefully. It's a little on the big side, but it will work. I can't wait to get all dressed up in it and my black skirt. I'll attach a picture so you can see. :-) We're going to Buca di Beppo's for dinner. Mmmm! Can't wait to load up on italian food.

a close up of the beadwork

my new shirt...

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Awww! Andy's Happy Anniversary Note to Me!

Saying "I Do" was the best thing I ever did. Happy 9 years of being married! I just want you to know that I think that you're the best wife and mother anybody could have. You never cease to amaze me at how much you care! I'm very happy to be with you and to be going through all these new things together. I love you so very much. Love, Mr. Rew

Awww! Talk about making a wife cry happy tears. I thinking I just needed to hear those words lately with everything we have going on, it's been easy to get overwhelmed with things and not take time for one another. Things have been very busy here lately. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me. My dear sweet hubby, I love you so very much too!


Happy anniversary to me!

I now have scabies. D had them when he first came here. J and I both have them now. I was up most of the night being itchy and trying not to scratch. Then, I had to kick Deidra out of bed because I don't want her to catch it. Then, I was up coughing and finally fell asleep. Then, I was up at 3 scratching more, went to the bathroom and found out I have splotches on my face. Went and got the perscription cream and doused myself in it and had Andy help me get the places I couldn't reach (this was at 3 am). Then, I finally fell asleep after a lot of tossing and turning to have Andy's dad call us at 5 am on accident. Tossed and turned again, finally fall asleep and Andy wakes me up at 6 am to say happy anniversary and good-bye but he's not touching me. I fall asleep again and Deidra tries to climb in bed with me again...this time I just got up. My mom is supposed to babysit tonight, although I can tell deep down she kind of leery about doing it, and I just don't know what to do. My friend told me that her mom still gets overwhelmed watching all 4 of her girls (her youngest is J's age and her oldest is 8) but not to feel bad about going. Andy and I desperately need some time together, but I just don't know what to do. We can't have a conversation without trying to talk over the kids and with interruptions and there's been so much going on lately that we just need that time together. Add in a really stressful day yesterday with D's visit (I do not want to send him back to his parents after yesterday) but that's a whole other story...I just need some time to connect with my husband. However, I am going to put in a call to the doctor first to see if I'm still considered to be contagious tonight or not.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

New House Pictures

They have done quite a bit more to our house now. My blog was behind since the beginning of September. To avoid clogging everyone's inboxes with pictures...I'm just going to send you to my blog if you want to see the progress. We have all the cabinets installed now, our fireplace mantle and tilework has been done, we have our front door (it's got to be painted yet though), and they have texturized the walls. The link to my blog is if you want to see!

Abba, please bless our house that it will be a safe haven for all who enter it and that we always have the financial means to provide for our house and all who enter it. That we will all be happy, safe and healthy there.


Struggling with this weight loss thing...

I have been struggling as well. When I try to lose weight, it seems like the reasons that I overeat come into play and I'm forced to look at past pains in my life and ones that I'm currently struggling with as well and to avoid the pain, I just eat and try to forget about it. I know it sounds stupid, but I am going to really start reading the Purpose Driven Life as well and start to tell myself the reasons why I have to do this. I know I need to do it for my health...I really do, but it just seems like I give up on myself sometimes. My mom has been telling me for a long time that I need to start caring about myself and that she thought I was struggling a bit with my self-esteem. I don't really see that...I think I believe in myself...but then I hear things with the negativity around me where other people don't necessarily believe in my decisions and think I need to do other things than what I believe, so I just give up. I tell myself what I believe isn't important. Well, today, I'm going to start changing that and if I ruffle a few feathers, I'm going to tell myself that while I normally don't like to do that...that it really is ok for me to do sometimes.

Abba, please give me the will power to do this for me. I know I need to do this for me. Help me to believe in myself and know that You above all believe in me too.

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Busy day..

I'm thinking that we're going to be getting D's 5-year-old sister, J, sometime during the next week. Of course, I may be wrong, but I had the CPS worker and the CASA worker ask me if I was willing yesterday and I let our caseworker know that I'd be willing to take her and then she wanted the CASA's info today so she could get in touch with her. So, I'm thinking they're going to move her here. So, I'm trying to get the house cleaned up in case they want to move her tonight or Monday. I have to reorganize Deidra's room and move some of her toys out into the garage...her room is taken over by stuffed animals. The CASA worker for the children came over yesterday to talk to me about J. My heart breaks for these children. She's in kindergarten this year, doesn't know any of her shapes, colors, numbers, or ABCs. The fosterparents where she is right now don't get home until 7 or 7:30 each night and the CASA worker really feels that she needs a mom and someone that she can come home to to teach her things, spend time with her and to teach her boundaries. Deidra really wants her to come and to have someone to share a room with her. And the CASA worker thinks it will be good for her to be with D and for her to have Deidra to look up to and have for a playmate and sister. They think the kids will be in care for anywhere from 6 months to a year. It all depends on how fast the parents get their acts together.

So, I'm just cleaning today, doing some organization, and D has been helping me pick up toys and stuff. He is the sweetest little boy...he even helped me unload the dishwasher today.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

11 Years

Today marks the day that Andy and I began the story of "us" and shared our first kiss 11 years ago. I cannot believe sometimes that we have been together that long. Then, I look at everything we've been through together...both the good and the bad...and then it does seem like it's been that long. Next week marks our 9 year wedding anniversary. Wow! I am so lucky to have him for a husband. He's been so good to me and has been a wonderful husband and father. He works hard to provide for us and I am so thankful to have him as a husband. He's so loving and caring and dedicated to us. 11 years!

Abba, please continue to bless our marriage and please bless my husband today as well.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Baby D's Family Court Hearing

Well, my caseworker and told me about court yesterday. Broke my heart. One of the siblings (the older sister) has a different father that got custody of her, so her time in foster care is over thankfully. The two younger ones have the same parents so it looks like they'll be in care for awhile with the revealings yesterday. Not even everything was mentioned or testified about. Anyway, there was brief talk about placing D with his older brother (they're half brothers), but the CASA worker wants to place D with his other sister whom he shares both parents with. I went ahead and told my caseworker that I was willing to take the sister to keep the siblings together and she said that she'd bring it up, but since she already had a place to stay she didn't know if they'd move her just yet. So, I guess I said what I would do and have prayed about it and now we'll wait and see what happens. I thought sicne the CASA worker wanted that to happen, that it would be a done deal, but I guess not. I hope that Baby D will get to stay though. He is such a sweet little boy.

Abba, I pray that Baby D will get to stay with us and I pray that his sister will get to come stay with him too. Your will be done! I lift these children up to you, Abba, and I pray for Your Blessings over them!

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Food, Food, and More Food

I saw this on Lisanne's blog ( and thought that I would join in:

1. How do you like your eggs? I like them scrambled with lots of cheese and sometimes I'll add a little salsa. Once in a great while I eat them sunny side up with a runny yolk that I can dip my toast into.

2. How do you take your coffee/tea? Coffee is a new thing for me...I used to only drink it in the form of Starbuck's frapuccinos, but now I will drink it with lots of milk and a little sugar or splenda. I love the BK Iced Java Joe as well. Tea I love to drink hot or cold, with or without sugar, it just depends on my mood.

3. Favorite breakfast food: We make egg and sausage burritos a lot. I'm not a super big breakfast person. But, that's probably what I eat the most of for breakfast unless I just drink down a fruit smoothie or a protein shake.

4. Peanut butter - smooth or crunchy? I like them both, but I think crunchy is my favorite!

5. What kind of dressing on your salad? The one that I turn to most often is Ranch dressing, however I really like Catalina too.

6. Coke or Pepsi? I drink both...however Coke out of the fountain at McDonald's is my favorite.

7. You’re feeling lazy, what do you make? Chicken nuggets and french fries.

8. You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order? This depends...if it's just for me either Pepperoni and Mushroom or Bacon and Pineapple. If it's for me and the rest of the family it's Pepperoni and Olive.

9. You feel like cooking. What do you make? I like to make roasts with all the fixins, pasta dishes, meat and just depends on what we have on hand to cook with and I go from there.

10. Do any foods bring back good memories? Yes, sometimes I make dishes that my Grandma used to make and they make me think of her.

11. Do any foods bring back bad memories? I would have said no before yesterday (read blog about Labor Day), but now I don't think I'll ever be able to sit inside a Cracker Barrel and not think of what happened yesterday and sadly...that used to be one of my favorite restaurants.

12. Do any foods remind you of someone? Yes and Yes...see the questions above.

13. Is there a food you refuse to eat? I will eat fish, but I won't eat shrimp, lobster, crab, oysters or anything else that is seafood...and absolutely refuse to try sushi. I also refuse to eat any gizzards at thanksgiving time. Nothing weird like pigs feet or anything either.

14. What was your favorite food as a child? Macaroni and cheese, spinach, pizza, spaghetti, and I used to love musk melon and tomatoes.

15. Is there a food that you hated as a child but now like? peas, broccoli, and cauliflower

16. Is there a food that you liked as a child but now hate? cooked spinach, although I will eat it in salads.

17. Favorite fruit and vegetable: Strawberries; baked potato

18. Favorite junk food: anything sweet...I love cake with buttercream frosting, ice cream, pie, anything that is sweet and chocolately.

19. Favorite between meal snack: I'm trying not to snack too much between meals used to be chips or little debbie snack cakes...but now if I have the urge to snack I've been grabbing dill pickles, a couple bites of lettuce with dressing, or a handful of peanuts.

20. Do you have any weird food habits? Not anymore, although when I was little the only way I used to eat green beans was to set each one on the table, smash it, and then put it in my mouth.

21. You’re on a diet. What food(s) do you fill up on? I love a good salad.

22. You’re off your diet. Now what would you like? Give me some good pizza, some chocolate, and some movie theater popcorn.

23. How spicy do you order Indian/Thai? I don't eat it.

24. Can I get you a drink? I love a good strawberry daquiri or a mudslide. I also love some rum and coke or a glass of wine.

25. Red wine or white? I don't mind either although my favorite wine is Lambrusco. It's a dessert red wine, but is oh so good.

26. Favorite dessert? Give me anything chocolately and totally sweet and it's a go for me.

27. The perfect nightcap? I am known to drink a bottle of water before bed.

28. Are you the cook in your family? We share the responsibilities for the most part. It just depends on what is going on that day. If I have time, I do it before Andy gets home from work. If there's other things going on that day with the kids that I have to take them to then if Andy gets home before dinner is started he'll do it. Some nights, I have to feed the kids something quick and run them here or there and then Andy and I don't get the chance to eat dinner ourselves until we put the kids to bed....those nights we do it together or Andy will pop something in for us really quick and let me have some quiet time to unwind while it's cooking.

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My Labor Day Weekend (Vent and Long)

Saturday, we cleaned up the house in the morning somewhat and I had to do some laundry. We went out to a couple thrift stores and then I had to go to work from 11-8. I came home and Andy had dinner cooked and ready to go. That was so nice. So we ate dinner, put the kids to bed, and then watched some tv and I fell asleep with him rubbing my feet.

Sunday, I had to work from 8-5. Not enough coverage and my patience was getting thin. My Mom came in and brought me a yogurt parfait and visited with me in between customers for awhile since I wasn't working in my normal spot. And she asked if she could come over after I got off of work so we could spend some time together. So, we made plans to do that. I didn't wind up getting my lunch break until almost 3 o'clock. Came home and Andy informed me that my Grandma had flown in from Florida and my Mom was on her way to pick her up. She had gotten a ride from the airport to some hospital thinking it was going to be easier for my Mom to go and get her. She's infamous for showing up unexpected, but we hadn't seen her in about 15-16 years and she had never even met my youngest brother, Jimmie, before. Anyway, I called her on her cell phone and she asked if they came over once I got off of work. I said no and so they came over. She looked totally different to me (didn't even look like her) and she's been known to say things to rub people the wrong way and so I was a bit nervous, but she was nice and pleasant and I thought maybe her old age had helped. Mom asked me if I'd come back to the house with her as Grandma wanted to go to bed and she just wanted my company and so I went home with her and Grandma went to bed and Mom and I sat on the couch talking. Her Mom and her don't always get along, so she was really kind of stressed at the visit and that she never bothered to call saying she was coming. I stayed there until about 11 just laughing and talking and having Mommy/Daughter time and she said that she'd see us in the morning and we'd figure out what we wanted to do for Labor Day. I went home and spent some time with Andy and then we went to bed.

Monday morning comes along and Grandma had mentioned something about looking for a curio cabinet for Mom in the antique stores or the thrift stores and Andy wanted to go thrift store shopping for ebay and so I called Mom and asked her if they wanted to go. She said Jimmie had football practice until 10:30 or 11 so she couldn't go until he was done with practice. I said that was fine and we did some things around the house, met with the candle lady up at Starbucks, and then we headed over there. I gave Mom a candle scent called Angel as I thought she'd like it and she said that she needed it as her Mom was starting to drive her nuts. She took me in the other room and proceeded to start crying as Grandma asked her what she really did to make my Dad leave her. She wouldn't let it go. Then, I guess she told Mom at like 9:30 am that she was ready to go thrift store shopping and she didn't want to wait on Jimmie. Mom was his ride home and she wasn't just going to leave him home on the holiday as our family always tries to spend time together on the holidays. Well, by the time we got there, Grandma was in a horrible mood. Jimmie finally called after 11 asking me to come and get him, but I didn't bring my license so Andy said he'd run up there. Grandma starts yelling that if we're all going in the same vehicle, that we just needed to all go up there and get him as she was tired of waiting. I said that he would probably want to come home and change clothes and she said "for what?" Ummm...gee I don't know he's been in football practice for the last 4 hours and it's hot out. Anyway, I ran in to tell Mom that Grandma didn't want to wait anymore and she said they had already exchanged words about that when she wanted to just leave him up at practice and told my Mom that she needed to let her 16 year old son go. Mom told her that he was a sophomore in high school and she was his ride home and she wasn't just going to up and leave him. She told her that she was afraid to leave her 56 year old son for too long in FL by himself (he lives with Grandma) for too long and so she should understand that. That apparently made Grandma really mad and so she quit talking to anyone. Jimmie got home, grabbed something to eat, and we all piled into the car. We trekked all over the whole time Grandma's pouting and stewing over everything and won't go in any of the stores, won't talk to anyone, and I finally asked Mom if she just wanted to go home as Grandma appeared to be mad at the world. Mom said no, everyone else was having fun and she didn't want to have to go home as this was her holiday too. We cut the trip short and Mom wanted to go to Cracker Barrel for dinner as we were all hungry. Well, Grandma goes to put her order in and is rude to the waitress...she wasn't understanding that she had to pick 3 sides to go with her dinner and only picked 1. The waitress asked her what other sides she wanted and Grandma asked for something they didn't have. The waitress told her and namedoff the sides they had and Grandma finally says "Nevermind, I'm not eating." My Mom tries to help her and gets an attitude and so only 1 side order got turned in. She left and went outside...nobody knew what she was doing. We sat in there for awhile and Mom just tells us that she'll come back on her own and I was pissed that she was trying to ruin everyone's day when she's the one that showed up unannounced. She finally comes back in and has a biscuit...still not talking to anyone. The food finally comes and they give Grandma her dinner. She starts yelling that it only came with 1 side and was a royal bitch to the waitress...Mom finally told her to behave herself and to quit treating people like crap. She mouthed off to Mom about something, Andy tried to lighten the situation with a joke and Grandma just glared at him. Finally, I said to her "Grandma, they asked you 3 or 4 times what sides you wanted, that's all they got out of you before you stormed out of here." The waitress offered to go get her more and she flat out refused. She started yelling at Mom that she wasn't eating and I said "Grandma, you haven't seen us in 15 or 16 years, come on let's try to make the best of things rather than focusing on the negatives." She proceeded to yell at me that she was only here for 1 day and that we all chose to go out and that I had too much influence on my mother when I wasn't even a part of her family. I was in shock, got up from the table with tears in my eyes and ran into the bathroom. All the while my Mom is telling her "that IS my daughter, you do not talk to her like that." Mom came in after me and I was just shaking...I never had any idea that she felt that way. I've sent her letters and pictures of Deidra and our family ever since the divorce happened and I never had any idea that she felt that way. Apparently when Mom came after me in the bathroom, Grandma wanted to sit there and talk negatively about how my Mom keeps talking about my Dad (yeah, because Grandma kept bringing him up time after time wanting to know why my Mom chased him away and all that crap) and Andy tried to change the subject to get things to calm down when she started badmouthing me and Andy wouldn't let that go. Finally, she said you know I don't need this crap and she got up and left. I was still in the bathroom shaking and sobbing and my Mom kept telling me that she was sorry and that she couldn't believe how mean her Mom had gotten. She's always been mean, but never anything like this. She asked me what I wanted to do as she didn't feel like eating dinner anymore and I said I didn't either, but I had to feed the boys as they hadn't eaten anything other than a late breakfast and then they had their milk in the car. We went back and she had left again. Andy told us what happened, we thought she just went out to smoke on the porch. I fed the boys really quick, asked for to go boxes and for Grandma's meal to be taken off the receipt, went to pay, and went outside. No sign of Grandma. We drove around the parking lot, Mom said she may have hitchhiked somewhere, we continued to look around. No Grandma. Finally, I asked if she would have walked over to the gas station where the Waffle house is by so we drove over there. All the while I'm shaking to death....I hadn't felt that way since Geoff (Andy's brother) and I used to get into it. Mom finally sees her sitting in the Waffle House so she goes in to find out what's going on. She told Mom that she had called a cab, she can throw her stuff out, and she's going back to the airport to get a plane back to FL. Then, she tried to fight with Mom again and Mom wasn't going to do it. She told her that she loved her, she was sorry things happened the way they did as she didn't think they'd ever see each other again and that she hoped she had a safe trip back. Grandma got mad at her because she wouldn't fight with her. We went back to Mom's and I changed the boys and Mom got Grandma's stuff together to send back to her and then we left.

I called her later to check on her and told her that I was sorry. If I knew how Grandma really felt about me, we would have just gone off and done our own thing, but what I was really hurt about was that she had her own by blood grandson in the car with her too that she had never even met before until now and she never even tried to get to know him. Mom wouldn't let me apologize for anything, but she also told me that Grandma isn't the type to ever apologize and that I'd never get an apology from her either. I had to apologize for calling her mom a witch with a capital B in the bathroom of the restaurant and Mom said she knew that I was hurting when I said it. She said that she's always been mean and they've never been able to get along very well, but she's never ever seen her be this mean before. I asked her if she wantedme to write her a letter saying that I wasn't trying to impose and that nobody knew that she had only intended to stay for 1 day. Heck, I can remember her driving unannounced before to our house and she'd stay for 3-4 weeks and the weird thing is that my Dad has never cared for her and used to ask for all the overtime he could get when she'd be up. Who's side has Grandma taken in the divorce not knowing any of the Dad's. I don't know...I can't say that I ever want to see her again. My Mom was talking about taking a trip to FL to see her family at some point over the next year or two (she's been wanting to go for the past couple of years), but now she doesn't care to do that either. I told Mom that I just am at the point that I feel sorry for her...what goes on in your life that you have to be that mean to people. Mom started crying and said that she worries that will be her one day as when you're raised with people like that, it gets in your system somehow. I told her that I didn't see that happening to her...she cares enough to break the cycle...and it can be done if you want it bad enough. She said that she's always been jealous of her friends having close relationships with their mothers, because she never did have that. I told her that we had a close relationship and I don't see that changing.

I feel bad that the visit had to go the way it did. Heck, before everything went sour Andy had even offered to go online and look up flights out later this week with times and prices so she could see which flight she wanted to get on and she refused him that too. I put Deidra to bed last night and she asked me why that old lady had to be so mean to everyone and let me tell you that's one hard thing to try to explain to a 6-year-old little girl that has a big heart and loves everyone.

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