The wedding is done. The kitchen is finally clean again after months of crazy – a word I have come to use all too much to describe our goings ons and I do think it’s time to come up with an alternate word for that word.

Cockamamie?

I put up Christmas lights yesterday. This isn’t something I usually do before December but it felt normal and right and we had used some of the lights at Kait and Vince’s wedding and I didn’t feel like putting them all away just to get them out again in two weeks so now we’re the cockamamie people on the block that are already decorated for Christmas.

[there should be a picture here but I failed and it’s light outside now so you’ll just have to wait]

Rabbit and I stood out on the lawn just after dark last night and looked at my creation. He eyed the roof of the house and said in all seriousness, I’m thinking maybe we should add some up there, and I realized that we are in the honeymoon stage that happens after a wild patch and we’ve got to be careful not to do too much because nobody is going to want to take all these lights down come January.

Did I mention that my daughter is married?

Wow.

And the entire wedding was perfect and beautiful and I can’t wait to have pictures to post. Our photographer is a family friend and she has had numerous weddings over the last couple of weeks so we’re going to sit and be patient but I know they turned out terrific.

We left on vacation the day after the wedding. We didn’t leave town, basically staying in our own backyard but Pensacola Beach is quiet and beautiful this time of year and the weather was perfect and we didn’t have to drive very far.

And the view from our condo was perfect.

Hot lemonade and favorite blankies on the balcony on a cool, breezy evening…  Who knew that was all it would take to appease these two little ones.

I will be honest and say that I was very happy to be back home after the four days at the beach but the vacation was so good.

And now to our last order of business to get everything caught up…

I mentioned before that we became foster parents in September, a task we took on at probably the worst possible time but we absolutely do not regret it one bit.  Our current placement is just the cutest child imaginable. I wish I could post her pictures and tell you all about her but that just can’t happen. What I can tell you is that she is the sweetest 2-year-old with a very uncertain future but she is doing amazingly well with us. Many of you have asked if there is anything we need or anything you can do to help and the truth is, if you would add her, her sibling, and their bio parents to your prayer list that would be the most helpful thing you can do right now.

And one last thing…

I am so sorry to all of you who have sent me messages after reading one of my posts here or on Facebook. I have been so overloaded with foster care appointments and meetings and wedding stuff and Lanie’s therapy and normal family things that I have had to cut out a lot of my social activities recently. But things do seem somewhat calm for the moment so I’ll hopefully do better.

And one more last thing…

We got Lanie a posterior walker. People, she is the cutest thing ever. Expect a video soon. 

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Filed under: Floridafoster careFriends & FamilyKait and VinceSometimes we do stuffThe BeachThe Rabbitthe weddingthis houseweekly wrap-up

I haven’t written much about my oldest daughter’s upcoming wedding. That’s not because I don’t have anything to say about it, I think it’s probably because it is so huge and there are so many thoughts and feelings I am having to box for right now because there is so much that needs to be done and I don’t have time for a mommy meltdown right now.

It’s like I only have so much emotional capabilities and right now all of those are being spent on frustration because suddenly all the boys have grown out of their pants and shoes all at once and we have a wedding in less than 3 days, people, and now I’m shopping for all six of my sons at the same time.

Okay, 5 really because Joe(19) is just going to wear his Halloween costume.
Or something like that.
I am not asking any questions about this.

What I will tell you is that Kaity-Jane is amazing. Like a you wouldn’t believe me kind of amazing. And she’s picked an excellent young man to compliment her amazingness.

The two of them coming together is to be a true celebration.

I love this girl and am so proud of the person she has become and the life she has chosen for herself. I love the son we’re gaining and I can’t wait to see what their future looks like.

For now though, I’ll be paying those overnight shipping fees and thank you Amazon for stocking absolutely everything.

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Filed under: BoysKaitKait and VinceSometimes we do stuffthe wedding

This is what happens when you add sidewalk chalk to children.

And then add more children.

And then multiply those children by two.

If you can’t tell by the picture the water/chalk mix ended up covering the entire porch.

No surface was spared.  Not even the walls.

And all of this happened as I sat on that teal bench wondering what on earth I was thinking.

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Filed under: Uncategorized

We did it.

It’s Down syndrome awareness month and I’ve completely failed at posting something every day about Down syndrome. In my defense, it’s been busy here over the last two weeks.

We successfully completed our very first foster care placement start to finish. It was a sibling group of two, ages five and two.

We were told it would be long-term but, as it turns out, there was another foster family who had their three-year-old sister and she decided she could take our two as well so after just two weeks our kids were moved to that home. It was ultimately a good move, but it was hard knowing these two kids who were just settling in here were going to have to settle into their third foster home in just 3 weeks.

So now we are waiting for the next call and everytime my phone rings my heart catches just a little.  We could get another placement today, or it could be a week from now.  The unknown of it all is probably the most difficult part.

Waiting for a foster care placement, knowing there is one coming but not knowing when or any circumstances surrounding the placement is this odd mix of excitement and angst.  Right now we are still coming off of the emotional rollercoaster of the last two weeks and, while we are ready and waiting for the next toddler in need, we are enjoying the quiet that we didn’t realize we had before our first placement. The thought of disrupting that is a little daunting.

But the kids are excited. They can’t wait for the next foster care adventure. And I’ve got all the bedding freshly washed and ready.

No run this morning. It’s record highs with 90% humidity so I’ll be going to the gym with the hubster this evening to run on a treadmill.  I am not much of a fan of treadmills but it definitely beats the super warm, crazy humid day we’re having.

Off to the orthodontist.

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Filed under: foster care

Down syndrome awareness month day 2.

I cannot guarantee that this whole month will not be filled with just pictures of Lanie because there is really little time right now for lengthy, meaningful posts about how Down syndrome has changed our lives or whatnot. 

But, dang she’s cute so I guess for now this will have to be good enough. 

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Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s Down syndrome awareness month, people.

I’ll be blogging about Lanie for the next 31 days because October is Down syndrome awareness month and she has Down syndrome.

Day 1 is a somewhat blurry picture because there isn’t much brain time for anything else right now. 

Plus, her glasses and wonky pigtails are killing me.  I just love her so much.

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Filed under: baby wears glassesDown syndromeLanie

It’s always about the contacts.

In the last 15 months that Lanie has worn corrective lenses we have never had both of Lanie’s contacts missing at the same time and we’ve always been able to find them when they do fall out because I check her eyes frequently so we would always know where she probably lost one.  But on Monday we knew we might have a placement arriving and I slacked on checking her eyes just about all day because we were preparing and cleaning and stressing over a mattress and extra toothbrushes and should I run out and buy pajamas for a 5 year old boy I have never met or even seen?

I noticed that both of her contacts were missing while the social worker was here and my heart sank. I knew we would never find them both because I couldn’t tell anybody where to look.  I took care of the new toddler who was crying and Rabbit and the boys looked all over the house for a more than an hour. Rabbit found one but the other has been officially deemed gone forever.

Joe even sat in the bathtub and went through a bag of trash where I had emptied the dustpan after sweeping earlier in the day because he’s awesome.

These things are not cheap but thankfully Tricare is supposed to pay for contacts for aphakia.  They did last year but it really is hit or miss because aphakia the only reason they pay for contacts and a lot of times they don’t know that and it needs to be explained to them time and time again until suddenly they are like Oh, she is aphakic! Of course! As if I haven’t told them that 10 times on the phone already.

It is funny though because even though she’ll be fitted for a new pair, and hopefully a better size so they won’t fall out as much, I can’t stop looking for the one we lost. It has been 5 days and everywhere I walk in the house I am looking for it.

I feel like I’ll be compelled to look for lost contacts for the rest of my life.

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Filed under: baby wears contactscongenital cataractsLanie

I have been slow to talk about our family’s journey through the foster care licensing process. Rabbit, who is more than a little outgoing and vocal about everything, and I have talked about this a bit the last couple of days and I think I may have figured out my hesitation.  One reason was so we could back out at any time during the process without me having to explain anything. It is a daunting undertaking and as we went through all the steps I prayed for wisdom and guidance and for God to make our path clear, even if it meant we couldn’t continue this quest.

And then there was the judgment.

You would be amazed at a number of people who judge foster parents harshly. Or maybe you wouldn’t. I don’t know what amazes you but here are some reactions I’ve heard:

  • Why would you do that? 
  • I would never take in strange children. Our children are so impressionable and foster kids would corrupt them.
  • Taking in foster children encourages a corrupt government system. 
  • People who have a ridiculous amount of children already should not be foster parents.

Those are all actually valid concerns but I don’t feel like explaining myself to people who say judgy things instead of asking questions so I kept quiet about it to all but a few of my friends because people are always so human.

However, there is absolutely no excuse for this last, yet most popular comment.

  • Foster parents only do it for the money.

Yeah.
Sure.
$14 a day to care for a traumatized, often neglected, emotionally and/or physically abused child who doesn’t know how to express his or her feelings, who asks for food just to throw it away and ask for more because they are desperately seeking control over something, anything, in their life, who may or may not come with shoes or pajamas or anything of their own, who may be sick or have lice or are covered in scabies…
We have needed to purchase car seats and beds and mattresses and smoke detectors because the 6 we had weren’t enough, and another fire extinguisher and cabinet locks and candy (therapy session for one of the children was shopping for his chosen dinner and picking out some candy to share with the other kids).
We still need to buy some clothing and school supplies and did you know that hair care products for little girls with absolutely adorable, super curly, but very dry hair are obnoxiously expensive?

And coffee. I’m definitely going to need to buy more coffee.

Yeah. We’re making a killing over here.

I have talked a little about our homestudy to adopt from foster care, but actually becoming foster parents was a whole new ball game and required a huge mountain of paperwork and proof of absolutely everything and prayer and excitement and nervousness and anxiety and patience…

And now that we have completed all the work and we have foster children in our home I am experiencing a whole new form of anxiety that revolves around helping these kids. Understanding what they need from me as a temporary mom, knowing what is best for them, is not as easy as one might think and I’m second guessing every. single. step.

But we have no regrets. At least not so far. We’re going to stay this course and love these children until they can be reunited with their family.

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Filed under: foster careGod is.Uncategorized

Somebody get me a doughnut.

Yesterday was the first day of fall and do you know what that means in Florida?

Nothing. It means absolutely nothing.

A couple months ago I had committed to a first day of fall running challenge. This was a personal challenge that I had come up with myself and I decided that I would do it on the first day of fall because sometimes my brain tricks me into thinking things that aren’t really real like apples taste as good as doughnuts or my boys will definitely clean their bathroom without me having to remind them 3 times or fall will really happen on time in Florida this year.

Nope, nope, and definitely nope.

So I woke up and thought to myself, Self, you really don’t have to do this running challenge today. It’s not like anybody is holding you accountable. It isn’t a group effort or anything. Just go ahead and wait until it feels like fall.

Then I got my running shoes on and proceeded to head out the door to see how many 1 mile laps I could do until I couldn’t do another one. Sam(10) quickly grabbed his shoes and said he’d do a couple of those miles with me.

We ended up doing just over 5, only stopping for water. Sam stayed with me the whole time.  This is a full mile more than I have been able to run as an adult. And a full mile more than Sam has ever run.  And it was 90 degrees and hot and sweaty and I am pretty sure we could have run a couple more miles if it had been cooler.

And why is my auto-correct trying to change the word mile to the word mole?

Yesterday after I had finished running my Fitbit said I burned over a thousand calories and I felt compelled to replace those with something delicious and because it was the first day of fall I decided that I would make apple pie for dessert. I didn’t make your standard apple pie because I wanted it to be healthy so I made an almond flour crust, low sugar apple pie with actual green apples I bought from the store. It was good but it wasn’t great and I really just want a box of doughnuts now.

Today Matthew(14) and I will hit our 193rd day of streak running. And let me clarify – that’s running every single day, not running naked. There is an older lady around the corner that often sits out front in a lawn chair in her underwear. When we run by she smiles and waves and seems nice enough but I don’t want to be that person so I wear clothes.

Sam is on day 191.
Ben is on day 190.

Gabe, Rabbit, and Joe all started after us and are a few weeks behind.

I cannot believe how dedicated my kids have been to this. I cannot believe how dedicated have been to this.  I am definitely not the queen of follow through but here I am more than halfway through my 1-year streak challenge and I’m training for a nine mile run in February.

Who knew?

I gotta go take care of Lanie and get my run done and clean out my refrigerator.

Does anybody have a doughnut?

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Filed under: Floridai runSamSometimes we do stuff

3 year old Maggie: “It’s kind of different”

Whenever I spot a new or unusual fruit at the grocery store I buy it so that my family can try it and we can say we have a little culture in our life.

This week it was a little fruit called Rambutan. These spiny fruits hail from Guatemala.

And are really weird.

Here’s my picture. It was taken in my dimly lit kitchen with my phone’s camera. A sure recipe for success.

Here is a picture Google let me borrow.

Cutting into them was like cutting into a Mogwai pod and the slimy white fruit inside looks like some little alien egg. It was the tiniest bit creepy. They tasted like a pear/grape hybrid but with a weird aftertaste that is hard to explain. I didn’t hate it but I definitely didn’t want to eat any more of them and neither did anybody else so the rest of the package is just sitting in the fridge waiting to go bad and be thrown away.

Here is a short, horribly lit video of us cutting one open. At the end, Maggie gives her professional opinion.

I want to take more videos. Definitely need to find a better way to make that happen.

 

 

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Filed under: MaggieSometimes we do stuffUm...video

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