Monday, November 29, 2010

Wheels on the bottoms of my feet

I don't even know where to start....I know I planned to write about feeding therapy and junk like that but I have so much other stuff that happened that I may not get to it....
Here goes!
Yesterday I hit a deer w/the van.  Actually I plowed through it.  We are all fine, the windshield did not break and the airbags did not deploy.  But the van is not really looking too good.
Today a new state case worker called about Fabi's adoption.  She said that due to budget cuts the current adoption worker assigned to us no longer will be working w/the state, as of the end of the month.  Tomorrow.  This new woman has been assigned the case and she also will be no longer working w/the state adoption agency as of the end of the next month.  So there are some things that need to be done w/or about the adoption before they are both gone OR ELSE.  As in, or else the case gets dropped into the lap of someone new who will most likely be taking a LOT of new cases and then our adoption 'will take forever', as she put it.  So (she asked) did I want to hurry up and do this before the current ladies are gone?

(This is the part where all of you should be yelling at your screens - YES!!!!)

So of course I said yes, we are ready to do whatever it takes.  Previously we had been told that the county did not close the case file yet, so the state could not take any action and move forward w/the adoption.  So I was a bit confused by this new information.  But I figured, if this lady is ready to move, let's do it.  So then she started to explain that Fabi had to be seen before the end of the month.  As in, sometime over the next 2 days.  She asked about tomorrow and when I explained that Fabi would be at school, we discussed the original worker driving down and popping in at school.  I would have to give the school a heads up, they would pop in and that would be that.  Easy enough.  Then she called back to say that they needed to see me.  Remember the part about the van vs. deer collision?  I have no car.  But I told her we could figure it out, I would drop everyone off, go meet her there later...and on and on...we figured it out.  She called back again.  Would a later time work?  Sort of, not really...she called back again!  It was nuts!  She asked if now was a good time.  I said, "I have a few minutes..."  She meant was now a good time to just come over and then skip the school thing.  "NOW?!"  It's not like my house is a disaster or unsafe or anything so having someone come over unannounced is never a problem, but there's laundry racks w/underwear and dirty dishes and...well you get the idea.  She said she'd be here in 30 minutes and I said fine.  So....I ran to change out of sweats, make a sweep to move the laundry, put the dishes in the sink, etc....My hair was a haystack of wiry goodness, but there was no time to fuss w/that!  She peeked in at Fabi and we talked about the adoption assistance rate.  She wasn't even here for 20 minutes and she was on her way again!  So yeah, I got off track from all the things I had planned to do all afternoon!!
But wait - there's more!
Lately Ray has been w/his dad, in fact the social worker said they would be transferring the title of primary caregiver to dad.  No big Leah, the social worker and Ray all arrived approx. 15 minutes after the state social worker left.  Leah was in tears.  I will spare you the details, but let's just say that the primary care may be switched back to Leah.  We're not sure yet, but it's a mess and that may be what we need to do now.  So we hugged and Mo rubbed Leah's arm and we all 'circled our wagons'.  We regrouped.  We went to McDonald's for dinner.  YUCK.  But the cool thing was that mostly everyone was happy and there was a play place for a really energetic 5yo to burn off some steam!
And now I am sitting on this couch, feeling like my head is spinning from all this activity and confusion, and Dave is trying to talk to me about a new TV.  He has had this bug about getting a large flat screen TV of some sort lately and won't let it drop.  Those things are so expensive!!!  I made the mistake of mentioning that today is cyber Monday or whatever and now he wants to read the stats of all these TVs that are on sale.  He thinks that by reading me the stats and 'incredibly low prices' that I will be convinced to spend more than a mortgage payment on one!
And now I am going to copy my cousin and do some positive self-talk.
Let's go Mel!  Time to get it done!  Girl, you got this!
I don't feel like updating about the feeding therapy right now but I will say this:  I went into it hoping that Fabi would drink something, ANYTHING, during that week.  I wasn't even concerned about the eating so much as I just wanted her to drink!!  I am proud to say that our sweet girl is currently drinking 2-4 ounces at most meals!  Eating has dropped a little but who can complain about that?  The other thing I will say is that over the course of the week she gained 2 pounds.  TWO WHOLE POUNDS PEOPLE!! She hasn't even gained more that 2 ounces in the whole year she has been here!  So the news about all that is good news =)
Ok, now it's time for this awesome momma to get her feet rubbed.

Tossed salad

(I wrote this 10 days ago...I'm still posting it, but fyi that the timeline is off since it's an old post..I plan to write a new one/continuation of this one today...)
This week has been like a tossed salad.  Probably one that is getting a little old and limp.  I made a reference on FB to doing a brain dump here - lucky you! - and now you can read it.

Last week Thurs - the Termination of Parental Rights was completed, making Fabi legally available for adoption.  This week - Fabi and I went to Feeding Therapy at the nearby Children's Hospital.  We slept at my parents' house but were at the hospital for every meal.  Which means we had a lot of free time in between too.  We went to the zoo and the mall, basically...

That's the week in a nutshell.  But nutshells are small.  My brain is not.  (At least, I don't believe it is!)

There are so many things I want to write about...the week started w/the doctors feeding Fabi and I was behind the 2 way mirror in the next room watching.  Don't kid yourself - she may be 3, but she's smart enough to know I was there!  I learned that all the fidgeting, twitching and such that she does is not some ADD thing, but really her way to distract us from the fact that she's not eating.  You may think, um, DUH, but honestly, this kid has so many things going on that it's hard for us to understand or sort out the what/whys of her condition.  We mostly all agreed that her feeding problems are not really physical, although she tires easily, but rather psychological.  Again, we thought we knew that, but it helps to go through all this w/lots of doctors to confirm it.  Most of the strategies they taught me I felt like I could have come up w/on my own, but honestly, I never would have taken the time to do them in our house full of activity.  It was so nice to have it just be me and her the whole week (even though I deeply missed the boys - more on that later!) and I think some elements of attachment were addressed this week too.  Mid-week I sat in the room while the doctors fed her and by the end of the week, I was going solo w/the doctor talking to me in an ear piece while in the next room.
(more soon!)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The beginning.

(I am a day behind in posting, but I think you'll forgive me when you read the news...)

Court today.  A case about the termination of Fabi's parental rights.

It's over.

As in, the rights were terminated.

As in, we can start the adoption process!!

I would write more, but I need to ready myself for the funeral of a childhood friend.  More later...a bittersweet day for sure...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Who's the winner?

Dave had practice during/after dinner tonight, so Moses, Fabi and I decided we were going to play a game before bed.  I was trying to think of a game that we could play and actually include Fabi.  Most of the ones I thought of were over her head or not here.  So...I was like, "I know!  Let's play WAR!"  I doubted she could keep up but hey, she can flip cards right?  Um, yeah.  She was so eager to flip cards!!  Note to self - when playing w/a toddler who doesn't even understand the game, be sure she doesn't have all 4 Aces!!  Every time we flipped our cards, I asked Mo who was the winner.  Every time Fabi's hand went up.  She didn't shout or yell, she didn't make a big fuss, just smiled and raised her hand!  A perfect picture of confidence =)  Mo and I were having a hard time winning and there were even times that I was down to ONE CARD.  Finally I called the game and we compared stacks to see who was the winner.  Yep, Fabi.  No contest.  I started thinking about all the times in life where I hear that voice asking, "Who's the winner?" and I don't raise my hand.  I'm not sure I have the confidence that my 3yo does!!  But there are a lot of things in life that I really am good at.  (Grammar is not always one of them - ending a sentence w/a preposition is just wrong!)  I think I am good at spelling, writing, talking (or at least my family thinks so!), coming up w/ideas or solutions, hanging wash, speed-reading, and cultivating tulips.  How many other things am I good at that don't even come to mind?  I am not asking to garner an answer - that was a rhetorical question.  But there's probably a bunch of things I do WELL that I don't even have the confidence to notice.

Who's the winner?

*silently raising my own hand*

Regularly Irregular

(Gotta love how I set out to post every day of the month and then I am only able to post every other day.  But I seem to make up for it by posting twice on those days!)

Some recent randomness...

  • I now have the trifecta of laundry lines.  I hung two loads yesterday and it was sunny, cathartic bliss!
  • I know someone who will be one step closer to adoption tomorrow.  (Not us, although we may be one step closer on Thursday!)  I am simply OVER THE MOON for her/them and I cannot wait to learn more!
  • All 3 levels of my house are the cleanest they have been in a long time!  And I mean they are clean.  I'm not hiding anything in the closets or oven...b/c I would never do that...
  • *deep breath* Ready?  Thursday might be the last court date for TPR.  Fabi may become legally free that's also the same day I am going to a funeral.  This weekend our church is hosting a Compassion Clinic - free medical, dental, etc services for the community.  It is going to be a crazy busy day!  I am sort of in charge/helping in 2 areas.  Next week is Fabi's feeding therapy - all week.  Me and her, camped out at the hospital for 4-6 appointments each day.  Then it will be Dave's birthday, then Thanksgiving, then DECEMBER.  I need some pie just thinking about it!!
  • I actually ran errands by myself today.  My shoes squeak.  Just when I thought it was quiet, going out w/no chatty kids!  
  • I started the 1st homemade Christmas present =)  It was easier than I thought it was going to be.  It doesn't look as good as I wanted it to, but I think it will still be special.  I am full of ideas for more.  The main one is stalled due to a lack of supplies.  I keep haunting the store and asking when they will get more.  They don't really know and keep making references to the next truck.  I found it truly hard to believe that the world is 'out' of this product, since it's made in nature!!  In fact, I have access to an abundance of the natural material and if I knew how to make it, I would!  But I don't. And I'm sure that process is expensive.  So I'm waiting on it in the store.  It costs 89 cents.  I would like about 5 of them.  I'm considering asking if there is another store that has them and could they get them here?  I am even willing to drive 40 minutes or so to pick them up if I have to!  Ok, this rant is over.  But I WILL get this project done!
  • I have had a week off of Jillian.  No workouts for me.  I need to get back to it.  Not sure how it will work w/my busy schedule, not to mention the week at the hospital, but I feel all mushy and sluggish again.  
  • I need to stock up on reading material for the week at the hospital...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Just Beautiful

Last night I was watching the news and they presented a story about a fostering/adoptive family.  It was so good I wanted to share it!  I found the link - there is a video and a written story (click on the next sentence to see it!).  These are the types of families that really inspire us!  We have a few of them in our own church community, as well as some that are doing the same thing on a smaller scale.  We are grateful to families like this, not only for their inspiration, but for their service and willingness to share their story on the news.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

O. P. B.

O. P. B. stands for Other People's Babies.  They've been on my mind a lot lately.  I have 2 friends who have miscarried this week.  Another friend w/a baby in the hospital.  The dr. operated and had no idea why the baby was still alive.  He is.  God knows why.  Then there's an orphanage in Africa we support, follow, and pray for.  I love reading their blog posts about new kids arriving!  Last week family friends lost their son/brother who is my age.  I've been printing out pics of the foster kids who have moved on from our house.

O. P. B. have the ability to break my heart like my own.  O. P. B. have the ability to make me rejoice and laugh like my own.  O. P. B. remind me to be thankful for my own.  Sometimes O. P. B. make me jealous and ache to have more of my own.  Sometimes O. P. B. are a lot of work.  And yet, at times I feel like I am not doing enough for O. P. B.

New words

Fabi has learned a new word.  It's commando.  As in - going commando or not wearing any underwear.  Yes.  That's the one!  The other day we were talking about giving commands, which 'tipped her off', if you will, and she spend the next half hour asking us if we were commando.  No, kid, no I'm not!  Then the other day she thought of the word - I'm not even sure why! - and starting leaning out of the cart and asking people, "You commando?"  Needless to say,  we finished our shopping pretty quick that day!!  She is using so many new words now, which is awesome, but the trouble is the more words she knows, the more words we need to scroll through to find out what she's saying!  As we drove around town yesterday, she noticed the things on people's porches or houses.  "I saw jack-o-lations!"  she said, but I thought she said DECORATIONS.  Turns out she was referencing all the jack-o-lanterns and I was stuck on the decorations.  Finally, I realized my error and asked her if she was talking about the pumpkins.  "YEAH - jack-o-lations!"  (She followed that happy comment w/a huge dramatic sigh of relief!)  I love hearing her talk clearer, using more words and verbs, but some days the toddler banter gets to be a bit much!  I remember telling Moses to talk to his teddy when I needed a Mommy Time Out.  It worked for him =)  But so far Fabi is not intereted in taking to a stuffed animal or doll of any kind.  Oh well!  I guess all the vocab guessing keeps my brain young.  Now if we could just turn back time and un-teach her a few words like commando...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

True or false?

Did I hang my wash today?

If you answered TRUE, you'd get an A+ on the pop quiz!

Wind at 17mph helps, even when the sun is not out.  Currently I am only hanging on 2 lines.  Soon I hope to have a new pole up to increase line space.  And yes, I realize this is a boring post, but when I started this month of posting every day, I warned you!  And besides, hanging wash is one of my all time favorite activities.  It's my blog and I'll write about what I like!  Maybe tomorrow/Friday I'll have something more interesting...=)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Retro + Grading

Retro + Grading is not equal to grading by light of a lava lamp while wearing a polyester pantsuit and listening to The Mamas and The Papas.

Today was a crisp fall day...we went and picked apples at the orchard - they were quite cheap since we picked our own and it's the end of the season.  Always nice!  Moses stumbled, almost quite literally, on a bunny nestled in the grass.  She didn't even move!  Maybe she was a momma on a nest...?  We unloaded some compost and coffee grounds on the garden too.  We had prepared for all this outside activity by putting on our rubber boots!  I love days like this!  We also raided a store's 75% off costumes rack.  When we came home we put the new costumes on and swapped masks, trying to make silly combinations of superpowers and names...oddly entertaining...!  During Fabi's nap, Moses and I counted money.  All of a sudden he wants paper money instead of coins.  I got him started, but for the most part he counted out $14 in change by himself.  I was pretty impressed that his attention span lasted that long.  That's a lot of coins!  Anyway, the day seemed to go down hill.  It 'declined to an inferior state' as the dictionary says.  I try not to let the end of the day spoil the best parts.  I also try to think about tomorrow.  One of the phrases kicked around here a lot lately is that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  So tomorrow's plan is to start laundry right away, work out, make dinner, clean the counter and put some love into lunch!  Then when everyone gets here we can eat, do a quick family photo project and make some pie during nap =)  Pie always makes things better!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

ketchup day

Since I am doing 2 posts in one day for the purpose of catching up...this one is going to be short.
This is what November means in our house...
N - nesting.  No, not the pregnant kind, but the kind where you bring up winter clothes, re-arrange furniture, pile blankets on the bed, clean things more thoroughly since you spend more time inside, make lots of hot meals...
O - observing.  Observing football games, holidays, school programs, the thermometer dropping...
V - voting.  Today!
E - entertaining.  I have been thinking of all sorts of things to keep the kids busy inside now that the weather is cooler.  They still play outside, just not all day like they were accustomed to doing.  That means I need to keep plenty of art supplies, activities and books handy!
M - making.  This year I am going to try to make almost all the kids' Christmas presents, w/the exception of books and a food item. 
B - baking.  PUMPKIN PIE!!!  I have so many pumpkins, we were eating 2 pies a week for a while.  Then life got busy.  But I hope to get back into this week.  We also have been missing the zucchini chocolate chip muffins.  Mmmm, I'm getting hungry!
E - energizing.  Those of you who live in climates w/a cold season like our winter, you know that it's so hard to get out of a toasty bed in the morning!  People always complain of Seasonal Affective Disorder, like the winter blues, when they just feel sluggish and depressed.  So in November we do what we can to energize each other!  Music helps a lot, but so does exercising, laughing, and sharing new experiences.  
R - recognizing.  November is a great month to reflect and recognize the blessings in life.  We choose to thank God for all that we have been given and even for some of the things that we lack.  That might sound weird, but there are days when I thank God I didn't have a bunch of my own kids.  If we had been given the 12 we wanted, I doubt we would have ever become foster parents.  Don't get me wrong, there are also days that I am not so grateful for that...but as a family, we recognize that God's will is perfect and so we thank Him for both what we have and what we lack.  

What does November mean for you?

Because I can

It's November.  I seem to remember doing a post a day during November in previous years.  I will again attempt to complete this task...even if they turn out to be short and mundane!  So here goes...

It's November 2010.  We painted various parts of our house before November 2006.  We are just putting pictures back up on the walls again!!!  I am having so much fun finding the old frames and the pics that were in it.  Dave's brother had 2 or 3 kids in some of the pics, now there are 5 kids in that family!!  It's funny to see Dave's varying degrees of bearded-ness and long vs. short hair!  I found some really great old ones that I put up on Facebook and some of people that I cherish.  I took most of the pics out of the frames and I am slowly choosing new ones.  It has been a week of reflection.  I am remembering a lot of good times w/great people =).  I am also a little sad that we don't print very many pics anymore, thanks to the digital technology.  One of my favorite things to do at my Grandpa's house is go through the old pictures.  Will my kids/grandkids have any to go through, or will they need to hack into my computer to see what crazy hair and fashions were in style?  Will they remember the good times on family vacations or will they need to make up the memories?  Only time will answer my questions...but I'm issuing this challenge for everyone w/a digital camera - go print some pictures!!  Hang them in frames on your wall, put them on your fridge, shove them in a book somewhere, slip them into the 'important papers' for others to find later, send them in the mail to someone, put them in your kids' lunches, cut them up and glue them onto the backs of playing cards, put them on popsicle sticks and use them for puppet shows, me, the smiles will be worth it!