Thursday, December 31, 2009

wow...she's much smarter than i realized.

Yesterday when our nurse and infant worker were over they gave me some books and stuff for 24-36 month olds because I needed some of the resource advice on discipline and eating, but they think she's too advanced right now and needs to move on to the discipline for a 2 year old. Well today we were looking through this picture book and on one page it has cartoonish pictures and I said "which one's the toothbrush?" and she pointed right to it. Thinking surely it was a fluke I said "which one's the shoe?" "which one's the butterfly?" "which one's the train?" Do you know this little baby knows a TON of these things in this book already. And she's NEVER seen this book before!!! She just points RIGHT to them when I say them. !!! What the? I'm speechless.

Monday, December 28, 2009

a family that prays together....

on christmas when we sat down to eat we all held hands and prayed. we've done this before...but for some reason it clicked for sweet pea. so now when we all sit down and get ready to eat she holds her hands out to us and goes "AY! AY! AY!" until we "PRAY!" SO funny that she all of a sudden got it. well then tonight she had seconds. thank god, ham and bean soup. girl loves her some pork, and the beans can never hurt. so i put her bowl down and went back to my jiffy corn muffin. and again she held out her hands "AY! AY! AY!" so we had to pray again for seconds. and again when she felt like it later just for good measure. ugh! SO funny!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

potty training? really?!

for christmas i got sweet pea a book about potty training. it wasn't until christmas morning when i READ the book to her did i realize it was for boys. JEESH! it talks about standing up to go potty etc. well anyway, we have a training potty in our stash of kid stuff so i pulled it up from the basement and told her that when she needs to go potty she can just come in the bathroom and use that potty and get a sticker. well today she went in there and fidgeted around and i didn't get it until she came out with a panic look on her face and i followed her in there and i pulled her diaper off and set her on the potty JUST in time for a little nugget to plop off her bottom. (it was already on its way out when i pulled her diaper off.) then we flushed it and got a sticker! i'm not sure how much she gets it but it seems like she understands. ?? could that be?

**edited to add** i just went through this checklist and she has some of these things going on already. so i'll just leave the potty there and let her use it when she feels like it and just see how things pan out. dang-now we REALLY gotta get her to gain weight since there aren't underpants in a size 9 months.

Friday, December 25, 2009

5 months and a day

sweet pea has been living with us for 5 months and a day now and we have to say they have been the best 5 months and a day ever. she is so sweet and gets sweeter every day. today was SUCH a blast to have her, getting to see her christmas morning joy, opening presents and learning what they are all about. i think our house officially has about 900 more pieces in it tonight than we had in it last night. but it was SO worth it. a friend of mine from church gave us a dora kitchen and a hello kitty tent. let me tell you - those toys have never GOTTEN so much use. she played with the kitchen all morning and the tent all afternoon. i'm not sure she ate much more than the chocolate santa that she ate for breakfast, all the way through to the sugar cookies she ate for dinner. (thank god for the toothbrush santa left in her stocking!) can't WAIT for the sugar to be out of the house so she'll eat a real meal again but for just one day-it sure was fun. i can't even list all of the toys that she got today but our house is full and she feels loved. she keeps hugging me and paul. i know she feels our love and i know she understands that the gifts are from others that love her too.

Tatum had a very Merry Christmas too. Her stocking was full of fluffy toys with lots of squeakers, some bouncy balls and a HAM BONE! she is such a wonderful doggie! i can't imagine life with out her. 2 years ago this week we were counting down the minutes until we got to pick her up from the breeder. it was the only thing that got me through the holidays that year. and then when we picked her up to bring her home, couldn't imagine what we would if we ever had to outlive her. i literally cried that night thinking about it. we're so glad that won't happen though! (we live happily in denial here-don't mess with the truth!) she is so good with the kids that come through the house and she's right there when kiddos go home to give us all the extra love our hearts need when they are mourning the loss of kids. she's SUCH an amazing dog and no amount of ham bones could ever truly show her our appreciation. we love that doggie SO much!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

Thank you to everyone who helped Sweet Pea have THIS AWESOME of a "first Christmas" with us. Crossing our fingers and praying for it to be our first of MANY!!!!

good-bye 2009

this is a typical month of appointments for just sweet pea. i have other appointments that aren't on here, and yet more appointments that are so set in stone we just remember every month to do them. this on top of working 37.5 hours a week. WHEW! and next month i begin another round of going to the R.E. (reproductive endocrinologist). aye-yi-yi. is that how you spell it?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

poker face

so i've learned this new skill fostering. i call it my poker face and it gets me a LOT of useful information. the thing is-every kid has about 7 people that work them through the system. so. what i do is...when someone hints at a development in the case, i hold onto that bit of information and when i see the next person i say "so how's _______ coming along? any developments?" and then when they begin i say "oh, ya." or "right." well, i'm really meaning "oh ya?" "right?" but i just don't use the questioning tone at the end. it gets me TONS of information. well today i got a call and again it started out with a bit more information than i had before so i said "oh yes...mhmmm" and then the beans are SPILLED out in front of me. so i found out today that they are trying to reduce sweet pea's visits because of the way things are developing.
i've also learned how to read between the lines VERY well. it's very useful. so when i'm given information and then later i say it back to myself but i emphasize different PARTS of the information i'm able to decode quite a bit more. like when you say "HOW are you?" "how ARE you?" and "how are YOU?" all three are the same question right, but the MEANING behind each question is very different from the next and you can glean all KINDS of information. boy, i'm getting smart in my old age.

Monday, December 21, 2009

suck it, books!

we're working on self-soothing. i'm having a hard time balancing the "10 minute wait" with the "only you know what's best for your child" parts.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

update on super cute things sweet pea does....

when i walk through the snow and then get to the sidewalk i stomp my feet. then at our door we have a metal grate door mat and i stomp my feet on there to make sure i got all the snow off. well now sweet pea walks through the snow and then gets on the sidewalk and stomps her feet. and it's so dang cute because she can't lift her feet up that high-so it's like a little muppet stomping their feet. and then she gets to the metal grate and she does it again.
tonight we were eating dinner and i was tapping my fingers while i was she started tapping her fingers just to see what it was all about.
it's amazing the way she mimics EVERY thing we do. it's almost scary. and tonight she gave me a smile with her lips closed and stuck her chin out and wiggled her head back and forth. and i realized i give her that smile ALL the time. and she's giving it back to me.
and you know that game paul plays with her where he says "i" and he points to himself, and then he says "looooove....YOU!" and points to her. well now when he says "i" she points to herself and when he says "love you!" she points her finger at him and touches the tip of his finger. she is soooo dang cute.
her favorite book right now is brown bear brown bear, and for those of you that don't read children's books 20 times a day it basically says "brown bear brown bear what do you see?" and then brown bear says "i see a red bird looking at me" and then i go "ROAR!" and then we turn the page. and every animal has a different voice. then red bird says "i see a yellow duck looking at me" and then i whistle and she looks up at my lips and sees how i whistle and she forms a whistle shape with her lips. then later in the book it's a goldfish and the goldfish "sees a teacher looking at me" and when i say the line i wiggle my tongue back and forth in my mouth to make it sound like i'm talking under water and she does the same thing-with out making the's just the motion. ugh! she kills me with her mimicing. it's so cute!
i can't WAIT for christmas to see her figure out unwrapping presents and to see her stocking full of fun stuff.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

i do love those girls

tonight we did a drive-by-christmasing of our first foster girls and their little brother. i couldn't get ahold of the kids' mom...for some reason her phone kept going into a voicemail that said wasn't set up yet. ?? weird. our church is just a few miles from their new house so after church we just drove by with the presents we got them for christmas. oh my gosh those kids are cute. we walked in the door and they all came RUNNING to us all hugs. i love that. LOVE. THAT. then little brother looked in the bag with the presents and said "i know what those are!!!!" and so i handed them each a present. we got one for little brother too because i didn't want to leave him out. they all LOVED their games. i gave older the game life, younger the game guess who, and little brother the game candyland. we were trying to get them entertaining and free things. they each ripped open their games and handed me the directions and said "read these!" while they tore the pieces off to assemble their games. oh man-they are so funny. but we couldn't stay long since we arrived at sweet pea's bed time and they live 30 minutes away from us so we had to get home. but it was so cute and so fun and oh man, it just makes my spirit feel like it got a hug to see them again and get all the hugs and "i miss you's" and "i love you's" from them.
and their mom told me she saw sweet pea at the visit building and sweet pea recognized her! how crazy is that?

what don't i get?

last night i went to bed a little sad. ok. alot sad. i don't know what i'm not getting. i don't know how so many women figure it out. am i temping wrong? am i not timing it right? is it really pcos? is it something else completely? what don't i get? how can i get it this wrong for this long? how can i not KNOW exactly what it is that keeps us from conceiving a real live take home baby? and i just feel really dumb on days like that. and yesterday, frankly, was one of them. i want to just be pregnant. with a baby that i get to name. and take home with me and not have court dates and case workers and 12 months waiting to find out if i get to "keep him/her". so i'm just sad. *sigh* sometimes i hate being honest with myself.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

bless your little heart!

today i went shopping with my christmas bonus. i'm not being selfish-our boss gives us our bonus and then takes us shopping to be sure that we spend it all on ourselves. it's really hard for me to do. REALLY hard. but today i went shopping for some much needed jeans. the last time i bought jeans was when mom and dad took me and paul shopping when we were poorer than dirt and paul was in school. today we were at the buckle and i told the girl i thought i was a size 31. i tried them on and whoa nelly. i'm not a size 31 anymore. i looked like saggie sally for sure! so i tried on the next size down, then the next! i'm a size 29! then i said "do you have them in a 29 short?" and she said "no...we don't carry the short in the smaller sizes." !!!! i'm now considered one of the smaller sizes? by the buckle? i could understand if walmart or lane bryant considered me a smaller size...but the buckle? i was shocked! i said "well, bless YOUR heart for calling me a 'smaller size'" and she chuckled and said "well you're smaller than me." !!!!! shocked again. so i guess all this no sugar business does have some perks. and maybe buying some way over priced pants will be the lucky charm to ensure i won't fit into them long because soon i'll have a pregnant belly. *sigh* maybe.
on that note-tonight i was putting sweet pea to bed and i often pray over her and i pray for her education and her development and her future and her family and for judge mclean and for all of the case workers and G.A.L.'s and casas and attorneys assigned to our case. i pray for wisdom and softened hearts and for the new baby and that some how it will find its way to our house. and that we will get to love this baby for years to come into her future and all of a sudden i got this feeling of "it's done. it's already written that she will be yours." and then i got this tiny bit of reassurance that she's not the only one. so we'll see.

not so fast

so last night was support group and i found out things aren't so cut and dried with our january court date. what will happen if things go to straight adoption, is that the family can contest it. and that there will be some time before termination of rights. and that the family could step forward then to do their home studies to adopt her themselves. and there is one aunt that really would be a good candidate. so *sigh* i gotta keep holding onto my heart for a little while longer. i'm not sure i can do this. i know i have to. i'm outed now by flatirons, but i'm still not sure i can do this. or go through it again.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

getting the word out....

this weekend at church our pastor touched on adoption and fostering. afterwards i thanked him for putting the numbers out there and told him a little bit about our story. he asked me to send him an email with it. after reading my email he asked if he could post it on the church's blog. our church has about 9,000 people that come through any given weekend. i cleared it with my case worker and she said as long as i didn't have names it should be ok. so-now our story's really out there. makes me a little nervous to be so out there. but here it is.
i don't talk about it much because i'm not a big fan of church or religion but i LOVE our church.

Monday, December 14, 2009

parent/teacher conferences

today i found out some interesting little tid-bits from sweet pea's teacher. lately at lunch she has been crawling under the table, peeking up on the other side, stealing the kids' cookies, and then crawling back under the table to her seat to eat them!!! needless to say i went right out to the store and got her some cookies to take in her own lunch from now on!
she also knocked over a teacher for a hug. we have let her play this game where we are sitting on the floor and she pushes us over and then pulls us back up by our arm or shirt or whatever. well, a teacher was giving out hugs and told sweet pea to come around front to get hers and instead, she pulled the teacher backwards to get her hug RIGHT then and there. the teacher laughed and sweet pea's full day teacher said "don't laugh!!! you'll only encourage her." and went on to tell sweet pea "do you see me smiling? you cannot do that." LOL! it is pretty funny but we won't be playing the push over/pull up game anymore.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


i'm just signing in to let you know that i love that little baby upstairs sleeping in her crib. it's hard to imagine just one year ago what incredibly different people we were. how we thought we would foster and then just wah-lah adopt. how differently we view fostering. how differently we view adoption. how differently we view family. how differently we view the world and our tiny corner of it. but, OH, how much we love that baby!
her hair fits up in piggy tails now. can i just tell you she reminds me of "boo" from monsters, inc. more times than not.

Friday, December 11, 2009

court appointed hope

sweet pea is one step closer to being ours!!!!! yesterday in court the GAL asked that we change the plans from concurrent adoption and reunification to just adoption. in her words she "didn't think the courts needed to drag their feet on this one". the dad's atty said he just started a new substance abuse program (and no, i don't know what substance he's abusing) and he needs more time, the mom's GAL (didn't know she had a GAL but she does) said that she's contacted her CIP worker and she needed more time. all the other cases yesterday before us come back in 3 or 6 months, we come back in 45 days!!! over the holidays. and the judge wants proof that they're really doing something. she said "i don't want 'i'm gonna's' i want proof! you got 45 days". so it's looking pretty hopeful for us since 45 days isn't much time to make any progress, especially at the rate they've gone the last 4 months. so we'll see but i'm feeling really good about things. today i woke up feeling like i'm gonna be a mom.
as far as peanut, at this point, the mom is going to give it to the dad's parents to raise. and since they are family they can do that with out a home study or court approval. so maybe down the road we'll get that baby, or maybe they'll do great...just don't know. and i'm ok if we don't. i feel like sweet pea is so perfect i hate to push it and ruin the good thing we've got going right now. so only time will tell on all of these things but for now, i have hope. which, you know, is only helping in the faith department.
i think back to when we first got sweet pea and when i was putting her to sleep i would pray over her brain and her development. and now she's at level, and sometimes advanced, in her development. her motor skills are crazy good. the other night we were eating chili mac and she was using one of her spoons and she got every bite in there-it was practically pinkies-up perfect. a teacher at daycare told me she can kick a ball better than the kids a year older than her. she does have very precise motor skills. she can turn pages in a paper book or a magazine like an adult. and while i was praying i also prayed that she would be ours within a year and so far it seems as if that is going to happen. or pretty close to it-the laws say she has to live with us for one year before we're given an adoption day. but as long as the adoption status is there and not reunification-she's as good as ours.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

no promises

today, in this moment, in this minute, in this second, i'm ok if i don't ever have babies through my belly. i make no promises for 10 minutes from now, tomorrow, next week, next month or next year. by the time you read this post, i could already be sulking. just sayin' is all.
i was named after two sisters and was born on their brothers birthday and through facebook have befriended all of them again. it's fun to catch up with them again and hear their daily goings on. this last week garth posted Faith is the Substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not yet seen! and i realized it's not that i have no hope, it's that i have no faith. so i'm working on it.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


yesterday was sweet pea's crankiest day on record. we just figured she was tired or out of sorts or as paul put it "she's a girl". (later he said he was joking.) today her cheeks are ROSY ROSY ROSY and her nose is RUNNING RUNNING RUNNING. we went outside and played in the snow and tried out a new sled i got for $1 garage saling this summer. we came inside and ate lunch. girl loves her some lasagna! and while i was wiping her mouth she gave me a big "ROAR!" she loves animal noises but lately the roar has taken the cake to all other animal noises and while her mouth was wide open roaring i saw a new tooth. one of the teeth on the bottom side. so i felt around in there-quickly, as she has the bite of an alligator right now, and found 3 more about to pop through! this is huge since when i picked her up from the hospital she had NO teeth and they were beginning to question if her lack of nutrition was going to mean she didn't have any teeth in there. now we're up to 5 and 3 about to pop through. YAYAYAYAYAY!

morning read...

on weekend mornings we all just snuggle in on our bed until we can muster the energy for another day. and usually that morning snuggle involves books that sweet pea pulls up onto the bed with her. this morning she was reading some of her thomas books and stuck her entire index finger into her mouth and then pointed at the pages or turned the pages. and we realized she was trying to do what i do when i lick my finger and turn the page. much like the america's funniest video's where the kid likes one hand and turns the pages with the other. UGH~ we love this baby. she is so DANG cute.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

booster for breakfast

she's eating her pre-breakfast breakfast....potato chips. hey, don't judge. she ate oatmeal and bananas after the chips. and they said to fatten her up!

Friday, December 4, 2009

seperated siblings

this article is why we fight for peanut. i can't read this article with out tearing up.
Here's a tidbit from the article:
Their reunions at the airport have become a ritual. On a warm morning this past June, Meredith Grace was too nervous to eat. On her way to Chicago's Midway Airport, she clutched her stuffed dog, Scruffy, along with a Ziploc of bologna for when the hunger kicked in. She was wearing a navy T shirt and cargo pants, the same thing her sister would have on: outfits are coordinated weeks in advance. When Meredith Grace spotted her sister coming through security, she dashed into her arms. The clock ticked and ticked. Then they pulled back and gazed into each other's eyes, heads tilted, just like in the picture that brought them together. You almost wanted not to look, the way you'd avert your eyes from two people kissing in the street. Then they were two little girls again, one admiring the other's necklace, both jumping up and down and screaming "Yay! Sissy!" in unison. Taking off to get the luggage, they held hands. Meredith Grace was on the left, where she's been for years. Seeing them united, you understand why the two won't settle for talking on the phone, an experience Jim calls "pretty thin gruel."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

not just me

today i took sweet pea to daycare and her teacher stopped me and talked to me for 30 minutes about her concerns of sweet pea's reactions to her visits this week. she wants sweet pea's case worker to come to the parent/teacher conferences that are coming up because the behavior that she saw tuesday and again on wednesday were so shocking and disturbing to her that she wants to have a voice in sweet pea's case. i called sweet pea's case worker and told her right away and she asked for the full name of that teacher. today is the day that the case worker has to have her paperwork filed with the court for next weeks court date and i'm pretty sure that little tidbit of information is going to make it to the judge. i'm not alone. EVERYONE is getting concerned for sweet pea's well being-not just her lunatic foster mom.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

roller. coaster.

i'm telling you what, if you want drama in your life look no further than your local foster care system.
last night i picked sweet pea up from her visit and she had a bag of clothes sent home with her. they are either 18 month old clothes (which she won't fit into until she's 3 years old!) or 9 month old outfits that would be perfect in august in arizona. not ONE single thing can she wear now either because of size or season. i'm so pissed. i called my case worker and left her a message. i'm sure i sounded like a lunatic but i'm so sick of them taking BABY steps forward and feeling like everyone is applauding their efforts so i wanted it to be known that their "efforts" just show even more how out of tune they are with sweet pea's needs.
she called me back today and said "well, who is it that's making you feel like they are doing so good?" and i said "the casa!" and she said "the casa isn't the one that makes decisions. it's the case worker that decides where she's best." ooooooh! clearly i have misunderstood something in all of this fostering business. i went on to explain quite a few other concerns i have and she reassured me that the case worker has the same concerns. and just like that my roller coaster is heading back uphill. stay tuned. tomorrow's a new day. but thank GOD for giving me today to have a little glimmer of hope again.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

packing bags

grandma showed up for visit w/the birth father today. i guess i'll be packing sweet peas bags. she'll end up going to them, i just know it. seriously, how am i ever gonna get through these next couple months knowing that it's all coming crashing down around us?

Monday, November 30, 2009

and just like that

this morning i got an email that the grandparents want to do a homestudy. **sigh** and just like that i'm shaking in my boots that i could lose the hope of not one, but two babies. pray for me. this is a long shaky bumpy road. for those that can reproduce, be thankful.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Trimming the tree

we put up the christmas tree yesterday with sweet pea so she could understand the festivities a little bit. she quickly caught on to putting the limbs on the tree (yes, we go artificial...we're too hippy to justify cutting down a real live tree.) soon we were missing the smaller limbs, only to find that they had been shoved into the lower part of the tree. about...2 feet high. then we put the lights on. and she quickly realized you just put all kinds of stuff on THIS tree. so she went and got some of her most sacred toys. some cars that dan & jenn and the kids sent her, and did a little of her own decorating. we love this baby!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

introducing peanut

well. this past week was full of news from the foster front. i've come to grips with what is about to happen and i'm ready to get some more prayer warriors on the home front. i found out this last week that sweet pea is going to be a big sister. yup. our birth mom is pregnant again by sweet pea's dad which means "peanut" will be here somewhere in the march-ish area. i have no idea if it's a boy or girl. i have no idea if there will be mental delays. i have no idea if the new baby will be nearly as perfect and wonderful as sweet pea. but i do know that paul and i both feel called to accept the new baby into our home and try to keep the kids together. our birth mom does not want the county to have anything to do with the new baby. and rightfully so. i totally understand her thinking. in her mind the county came in and took her baby away and gave her a checklist a mile long of impossible things she has to accomplish in order to get her back. in her mind we, as the foster parents for sweet pea, are as much a part of the county as the case workers, attorneys, nurses and infant care workers that give her endless unsolicited advice. so i completely understand why she's lumping us in with her hatred for the county. she doesn't know that we aren't told of every unfolding development in her case. she thinks we are, in fact, one well oiled machine that always tells the left hand what the right hand is doing. her plan at this point is to get a private agency involved to adopt out the new baby to a separate home. she has yet, however, to crack a phone book and find an agency to get matched up with an adoptive family. she also hasn't been eating, drinking, getting pre-natal care, taking vitamins, getting proper folic acid, or gaining weight. from what i'm told she's about the size of a 9 year old and is TINY. i cannot emphasize the tiny part enough. i'm not sure if they are expecting both or either mother and/or child to make it to full term. what this means for us is that i will need to quit working in order to spend time in the NICU with the baby in order for it to know there IS actually someone pulling for it and hoping for it and wishing it to be here. financially we are far from ready for that prospect. but we also feel that god has called us into this whole fostering business and know that he won't lead us where he cannot take us. i'm scared. i'm very scared. i had my first good cry about it tonight. yes. 4 1/2 days after the news i had a good cry. i just know we have a good thing going with sweet pea and i hope i don't ruin it being selfish in wanting to have more babies in the house. and so many people have asked me (just recently) if she has any siblings and i've said "no, and her parents have split up so she'll always be the only one." and it made me sad that such perfection would never be duplicated. and now to find out that it can, and HAS, been duplicated makes me think of all the but-what-if's in the situation. what if it has mental retardation? can we handle that? what if it has physical handicaps? can we handle that? what if it's not as perfect as sweet pea? is it even POSSIBLE to be as perfect as sweet pea? what if sweet pea gets upset that all of her love and affection that she's been showered with now has to be shared with peanut? will she hate us forever for that? all of these, and more, are the questions that leave me tossing and turning deep into the night. and i realize trying to keep this secret under wraps until peanut gets here is too much for me. i'm a blogger. i gotta talk. i gotta get my aingst out there into the world. so here's what you can pray for specifically:
1. that peanut makes it.
2. that the birth mom gets hungry and thirsty and is forced to eat and drink.
3. that peanut doesn't have delays more than therapies can reverse.
4. that peanut is as perfect as sweet pea (this one would be a miracle).
5. that the birth mom realizes the need to keep the kids together and if she doesn't
6. that she forgets (yes, this is possible) to line up an adoption agency
7. that the county is notified by all the right people immediately upon her labor beginning so that they are there in time to file the paperwork necessary to get custody if the birth mom forgets to line up an agency.
8. that peanut holds on long enough to be healthy, but not so long that more permanent damage is done.
9. that we can handle what is coming our way.
10. that financially i can find a job that can work around all of this.
11. that we're able to adopt through the county and not a private agency because the services that would be available to peanut are so far greater than what we could provide i can't even list them all.
12. that sweet pea is able to adjust and we are able to give her all the same love and attention that she gets now.
13. that the all of the right therapists and doctors and nurses and case workers and adoption agency workers are put in the path of everyone involved to provide us and peanut with everything we are going to need.
14. that my boss will go easy on me when i'm finally able to explain all of this (which will be much further down the road.)
15. anything else that the previous 14 points didn't cover.
i think i'm beginning to wonder now if it's probably a good thing that i haven't gotten pregnant because i'm not sure i have the patience to wait 9 whole months for a baby. it IS still possible for peanut to not make it so i won't tell work until i know that they are going to make it. somehow, i gotta let go of it and just let god do his thing.

Friday, November 27, 2009

thanksgiving and whatnot

sorry to keep you waiting for an update for so long. this week has been one 360 turn of events after another. i had case workers and nurses and attorneys and more case workers come to the house. each and every single one of them had news that put me on my ear. i'm coming around. coping and coming to grips with most of it. today i tried to go thrifting with my mother-in-law who was in town. but i couldn't make any decisions. little decisions. like: do i buy 36 feet of gold beads for the tree for $2 or should i buy both spools. but then that's $4. do i really have $4 to spend on gold beads that 5 minutes ago i didn't need, nor was i looking for. all in all i left with nothing. we went to 3 stores and then the bead store. i got all the way home with out spending a dime. in fact, i found a dime. me and my grandma angelo had this thing about finding money all the time so when i find money i think my grandma is saying hello. one time i found $40!
anyhow. i guess we need prayer, specifically that god will provide for us. we live on a very tight, very specific budget but we are facing some decisions in the next few months that may require me to quit working. only time will tell and a million things could happen before i'd have to quit working...but it's a strong possibility.
i know everyone is going to say "god will provide" but it's still a very nerve wracking prospect.

Friday, November 20, 2009

tired of feeling sorry for myself

i had a glimmer of hope. "had" as in past tense. as in, i no longer have a glimmer of hope. i thought maybe this month we had a chance. but i took a copy of my chart to molly and she saw my temps and said they are way too low. so even IF i had released an egg that MIGHT have gotten fertilized, my temps are too low to host it and make it into a real live baby. and the worst part is, molly doesn't know what it is that i need to get my temps up. they aren't high before i ovulate OR after i ovulate. and there's only a couple points of a degree difference before and after i ovulate. i guess it needs to be more. she has me on progesterone creme now (for those of you that will ask). but i just feel like all the hope i did have, the hope in my bracelet, the hope in all this sugar-free diet, the hope in actually ovulating this month, is gone. and i want to just lay around and cry but i don't even have the energy to make tears over this anymore. and does not help to know that things are going good in sweet pea's case. so quit asking. and for the record, the statistics on those that DO get pregnant after adopting are about 5 in 100, the SAME statistic for those who get pregnant and did NOT chose to adopt. so please don't think we are adopting as a back up insurance if acupuncture doesn't work. nor is it any part of our motivation for wanting to adopt sweet pea. we would like to someday make her a big sister. *sigh* what the hell. i'm too tired to even bitch about being too tired to bitch.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

even more scoop

i just got an email from our case worker that we have a concurrent plan of "adoption" along with "return home". what that means in non-foster talk is that although the parents still have a chance to pull things together, we need to be working on a plan b, alongside returning home, and that plan b is "adoption". EEEEEK!!!! this is VERY good news my friends. this means we are officially in the running.

a little more of the scoop

well, this past month has been quite a bit more informative than months past. i have found out a few things that i can sort of put on the blog. really, i shouldn't, but i figure for those that follow* that i don't get to see in real life, you should get more of an update.

sweet pea does not get to see her mom anymore. for now. if her mom starts cooperating, she will get to visit again. at this point she's not in a place to be able to cooperate and show them that she can parent the way sweet pea needs her right now. her dad, bless is heart, is trying. he comes to visits. he brings her food. he's kind, he plays, he tries. but they are still unsure that he is going to be able to parent on his own, with out the help of his family. if his family were stepping up to help him, we'd have a different situation, but at this point they have not stepped forward the way the county needs them to step forward. they aren't getting their evaluations and home studies done and until they do that, they can't be considered as options. sweet pea has been in our care for 4 months now. at this point, that's a quarter of her life. it would be equivalent to me living with loving doting strangers for 8 1/2 years and then going back to a home where i was told they loved me, but no one ever showed me.

our first court date is coming up in early december. at that point i'll have more information. we are acting, like we do with all of our kids, that she is our own forever and ever. christmas is coming and we can't wait to shower her with gifts. we celebrated early with paul's side of the family this last weekend and i was just humbled by all the gifts and clothes and toys and books she got. last week my brother's wife and kids sent another box full of toys the kids had picked out of their own stash for sweet pea. and yet another brother sent her a gift card for whatever else falls between the cracks. she is set beyond belief. i can't believe, or thank you enough for how generous my family and friends have been in providing for us this year. and sweet pea is overwhelmed with all of the new toys and books she has all over the house.

in preparing for kids from 0-7 and spending every spare dime we had on the basic necessities to make our sterile house a kid friendly home, it didn't leave much left for the extras. we are trying to get back to square one and save up for next year for a) if sweet pea's case does not go to adoption and we can't take another foster heart break. at that point we will adopt from an agency. and b) if sweet pea's case does go to adoption, we won't get the much needed financial support from the county, including childcare, and will be facing being a one-income FAMILY. both options scare us in a way but we are trying to prepare, as best we can, now so that we have some options to fall back on.

*I do want to thank those of you that follow. sometimes it's really hard for me to talk about all of the stuff that's going on and other times i'm a gusher of information once i see you in person. thanks for always letting me know when you've been reading. it's fun to know who's really come and gone and it's fun to know that people are interested in what's going on. and an even bigger thanks to all of you that pray. i can feel your prayers and can often see god's hand in the goings on of our county and specifically our case.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

THAT'S how they do that

just when i think it's time to worry...

this last week i've been crossing every "t" and dotting every "i" to make sure that sweet pea's language skills are on target. she will say a word or two and then they'll disappear never to be heard again, it seems. so i filled out a questionare for the county nurse that we're working with (who i LOVE by the way). and she said she's really right on target. well last night when i picked her up from daycare the teacher told me they were in the gymnastics room and sweet pea's teacher counts 1...2...3 and then they jump in this huge pit of foam blocks. last night sweet pea walked up to the edge of the pit, put her fingers in the air and tried to sign for 1...2...3 while saying "one" "two" "three". in baby talk, of course, but she said it. i told paul at the dinner table so we started counting and she did it again. she put her fingers in the air and she's making the right shape with her mouth, and she makes a little noise but not the whole word. we'll get there.
she also used a zipper for the first time yesterday. while our nurse, rhonda, was over she brings a scale so i can fulfill my addiction fed need to weigh sweet pea every week. she only gained one ounce this week, but the scale is in a zippered bag and sweet pea went over to the bag and the next thing i heard was "zzzzzzip!" and she was zipping. she's so smart.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

this product sucks.

i got this precious hands kit tonight thinking i could make some plaster hand ornaments for sweet pea's grandparents for christmas. it says mix it up for 1 minute, you can use warmer water for it to set quicker. so i thought, weeeeell, just a touch warmer. i mixed it up for 1 minute using the kitchen timer and paul brought her over ready to press her hand in and bloop! it turned to a stiff oatmeal consistency and separated before 1 1/2 minutes was up. i'm taking it back to michael's tomorrow. yes, i'm going to be THAT woman. but i refuse to pay $10 for an experiment. that's not cool. and if they say they can't take it back, i'll ask for the manager. if only 50 people bought and tried this product once and didn't take it back, they'd make $500. i won't be one of those 50. if we all take it back, michael's will stop selling it.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

fertility turtles

have you ever googled fertility turtle? well, it turns out everyone and their brother, except me, knows about turtles being a "lucky charm" of sorts for fertility. so today i went to the bead store and made myself this bracelet. and then i had a few beads leftover and made these earrings. let's hope this turtle is my lucky charm. well that and hundreds of dollars of acupuncture, and months and months of herbs, and years and years of trying and oh ya, all of your prayers. *sigh* something's gotta give.

Friday, November 6, 2009

ohmigosh ohmigosh ohmigosh!!!!

i just got really good news in an email. REALLY good news. i can't share much more than that so please don't call and ask me. just be really excited with me AND continue to pray! EEEEEK!!!! pray, be excited, then pray, then be excited, then pray AND be really excited.

on another note-paul is getting really irritated with me (rightfully so) that i don't get excited for pregnant women that didn't have to try for 2+ years. i'm trying to get over it. i'm at least able to love babies again. (i used to not make eye contact with them because i was angry that they were cute and somebody elses.) but i've at least gotten over that part. *sigh* so now i gotta get over pregnant ladies too! give me a break. one thing per decade. is that not fast enough?! i'm trying. i truly, promise you that i am trying. but i'm not there yet.

oh-and in funny this-is-really-my-life?-news: tonight i had acupuncture and i just love molly. now we can laugh that every other appointment will be my pms week and that i will probably come and just cry and cry and cry. ha! poor molly. i think my freckles conceal the part where i'm italian and make people think i'm irish (one of the FEW nationalities that ironically, i am not) so she doesn't know what a huge cryer i really am. well now that i have hormones flowing through my body i cry alot. and when i get pms AND hormones HA! i'm a MESS! so poor molly has to put up with me crying through every other acu appointment. anyway, tonight i said "paul's coming down and we're going to go to dinner" and she said "OH! he's coming here? with the baby?" and i said " actually, we're just meeting at the restaurant." and she deflated and said "oh." i said "you should come! we're just going right up the street.....seriously!" and she said "oh, no....would he mind?" heehee. she's so cute! and i said "oh no! he won't mind at all!" so she said "well i have some herbs to mix up and i'll be right there." so i got to have dinner with paul, sweet pea and molly. how fun is that? i love my crazy mixed up life. seriously. even though the infertility sucks. i do love my crazy life.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

clap your hands!

this morning while putting on our shoes and socks (and by shoes, I mean her new pink boots because now she refuses to wear any other shoes even if it is 60 out today) i started singing "if you're happy and you know it clap your hands" and then i'd clap my hands. well then i was zipping up her boots so i clapped her hands together. and then i sang it again and paused long enough for her to catch on and then SHE started clapping her hands when i got to that part. is she really smart for 16 months or is it just me? she's so cute it kills me!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cutest little lion EVER!

Since this photo does not reveal anything about sweet pea's identity i can post this. she was a lion for halloween and oh my GOODNESS was she ever the cutest lion i've ever laid eyes on. she didn't like the hood for long periods of time because she's a hot blooded little moma but she did like quite a few things about halloween. 1. the attention she got IN the costume. much like tatum in the octopus suit, sweet pea in the lion suit is an attention grabber. 2. going to the door with all the big kids (we have my nieces and nephews over for halloween every year). 3. holding out her little halloween basket and having people put candy in it. 4. interacting with strangers. she loves making friends no matter where she goes. 5. candy! she has figured out that it is good.
oh MAN do we love this baby more and more every day. continue praying for her situation. nothing more to report really. just plodding along as it goes. today we went to the library and ran into the woman that did her evaluation a month ago. it was fun to see her and reconnect and tell her about the new and wonderful things she's been doing. this last week i taught her how to summersault, somersalt, she comes up and puts her butt in the air in front of me and her head on the ground waiting for me to flip her over. lately she's been saying "ya" and "thank you" and "my". she's also now able to go to the other room and retrieve something if you say "where's your book?" or "can you bring me your beads?" or "go play with your blocks." we are noticing some things that are gonna take some work but all in all this little tyke is catching up and moving beyond benchmarks in some areas. i think it will be a matter of time before things start to even out and she is caught up in all areas. she's an amazing little one and we are so so thankful for every day we get to spend with her. we are praying for thousands more but after our past few meetings with various case workers i feel confident that they won't send her back unless it truly is the best place for her and her birth family is able to care for her in the very best way and be prepared and ready to do that. please continue to pray for them as you pray for us. it really does take a village to raise a child and we realize that, but selfishly, hope that we are the ones that get to chose who is in that village.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Today is Tatum's 2nd birthday. Can you believe she's two? She's such a wonderful doggie. She is so good with all of the kids that come and go and she's always RIGHT there when we need some lovin'. There's no better doggie in the whole wide world.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Foster Parents of the YEAR?! Really? US?!

We won foster parents of the year for our county, which i think is humbling and exciting all at once. our fellow foster mom, little brother's foster mom, nominated us, and so, got to present the award to us. at the end of the night our case worker snagged her notes and gave them to us. here's what she said:

extraordinary defined is being beyond what is usual; exceptional or remarkable.
extraordinary was john and ruth rose's 34-year commitment to the county and its children. the county created the john rose memorial award.

and while what all resource families provide for some of the greatest kids in the county is extraordinary, what a new family provided this past year certainly embodies the spirit of the roses.

tell me if any of the following scenario sounds familiar to anyone.
you are a new resource family that just needs to fill your respite (babysitting other foster kiddos) requirement to be certified for a newborn to 7-year-old child. you are scheduled to do respite this weekend when you get a call on friday morning to provide foster care for a 7 and 11 year old sisters.
you're a new family, so of course, you say yes. you have to say yes, right?
(the correct answer is no-you have every right to not accept any placement.)

oh, did we mention that they are on a strict VEGAN diet and soon after placement a five-page dissertation of what not to do, what to do and how to do it is sent from the parents.

after two months of slaving away in the kitchen, craving red meat like crazy...but losing several pounds in the process and navigating whole foods, sunflower market and vitamin cottage like pros. did you know they make vegan marshmellows? do you know how many food products contain red-dye no. 40? after tempering the emotions of the 7 year old and the hormones of the tween and providing a week of respite for the third sibling, they reluctantly transitioned the giddy children home and even graciously accepted dinner invitations from the birthparents!

after taking a brief haitus from the kitchen due to pure exhaustion, they are now head over heels for a 16 month old angel, that's at home recovering from the flu, who could not look any more like her for-now father. how social services manages to do this i don't know.

while they try to keep their feet grounded while praying for their forever child, they continue to make extraordinary efforts in the everyday lives of the children they care for.

it gives me great pleasure to present the john rose memorial award to my friends Paul & Cheri'.

it made me cry-i know-what doesn't? but most of all i was honored that we were nominated AND chosen to be foster-parents of the year. i wish the prize was a baby, but unfortunately, it is not. we did get a really nice plaque though.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Please pray.

I humbly ask for you to pray like you've never prayed before. I got word this morning that in the December court hearing they are going to ask that reunification be the remaining goal for Sweet Pea's case.

Now I stand back and realize a few things. I know the ultimate goal of the county is to keep the biological family as intact as possible. And I realize that some of the family family member is doing some of what they are supposed to do in order to get her back. I also realize that even on the best of good days this person is far from capable of taking care of and raising a baby. And I realize a lot MORE has to happen before she can be "reunited" with them on a long term basis.

That being said, I also realize how real the possibility is that we could lose her forever. And I don't know that I can do it.

Please pray that the GAL that represents Sweet Pea also sees this and recommends the courts not reunify. Pray that the judge sees both sides and sees what is truly in the best interest of the child. Please pray that the GAL is able to show the proof that we have that the visits themselves, not just the transporting from one place to another, is what stresses Sweet Pea out to the point that when she comes home to us she just melts into a pool of tears for the rest of the night. Pray that I am able to make my case clear and sound knowledgable and not just like a crazy foster mom that doesn't want to give up her baby. Please pray that I have the right words and thought processes to express how this will effect the rest of her life and not in a positive way.

And if I'm wrong, pray that I am able to see and accept that.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

i got my new shoes on

yesterday i got sweet pea some new shoes. we got home and i pulled them out of the box and she came charging across the room and sat down and started pulling on her tennis shoes so she could get them off to try on the new shoes. heehee! she is sooooo cute! i put on her new shoes and she was soooo proud of them. she loved them. this morning we tried to wear them to school (daycare) but they slip off after a short while so they won't make it a whole day. but i can't wait for this weekend so she can wear them.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

no more love here

Last week I had an in-home meeting with Sweet Pea's case worker and I found out the birth family has pulled their name out of the homestudy hat until December when the grandma retires and THEN she's going to start her home study. And it takes a couple months to do the home study. At that point Sweet Pea will have bonded with us for 6 months (8 months by the time the home study is done) and who knows what excuse they are going to come up with then. So if she's old enough to retire is she really young enough to raise a baby? AND the father, the grandmother's son, and one of the perpetrators in the case, lives with her AND if she doesn't have enough money now to take an hour off of work to come and visit her how in the WORLD will she have the money to raise Sweet Pea? It's so frustrating. I have no more patience and love for them. In fact, I'm not even sure I want to meet them after this week's meeting. If they truly loved her and wanted her they would be doing everything in their power to get her back RIGHT NOW TODAY! It infuriates me.

We went up stairs to see Sweet Pea's bed because they have to see it every time. While we were up there Sweet Pea saw her grandparents picture that I keep in her room. So I said "You wanna see g-ma and g-pa. Here you go." and handed her the picture. When I was handing it to her she was still reaching for the top of the desk for MY MOM & DAD'S PICTURE. She has NO connection or memory of her grandparents at all. It's only because it's the little routine we do every morning. The case worker saw how she does and I said "See what I mean? She should know THESE people, not MY mom and dad." I think the case worker is running out of steam for the birth family but I don't know and who knows what the judge will think.

Sunday Paul was playing music on his computer and she came over and just stood there. She dances now too which is so cute. She stands there and shakes her hips side to side or she swooshes her arms back and forth. I have started keeping my toothbrush with hers so that when I brush my teeth I remember to brush hers. Granted there's only 2 teeth in there but she LOVES brushing her teeth. She gets upset when I put the toothbrush away the only way I can appease her is to let her turn the light switch off.

She's such a little nugget. WE LOVE THIS LITTLE BABY SO MUCH!

Oh and she graduated a shoe size. She's now a size 3 shoe which means I might actually be able to find more shoes with tread on them verses the shoes that just have leather or slipper bottoms. They just don't make shoes for 6 month old sized kids that walk!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009


This is the woman I'm named after. I'm on the left, she's on the right. I have always been so flattered to be named after her because she's also the most fun person in the world. I don't even have to meet everyone else to know. She's a TON of fun-all the time! Even when she's going through hell in life she's still the most fun person on the planet. And to top it off she's gorgeous. She can wear anything and she's still gorgeous. This week she was in town for a conference so yesterday I got to go down and see her and she got to meet Sweet Pea and my husband. She'd met my husband before but it was our wedding and you know how weddings go. They are a whirlwind of a day then you are left standing alone with your new spouse realizing it's forever and you're no longer bridezilla and have no one to boss around. Anyway-that was the day that Cheri #1 met Paul. So it was a total blast to get to spend hours with her all to ourselves.

Friday, September 25, 2009

hopeish kinda

tonight i had acupuncture again and she sat and talked to me about how i'm feeling and i told her how i've been so depressed this last week and how everyone and their brother (ok-not literally) have announced pregnancies and she got determined. my last cycle was only 30 days. that's HUGE progress. aside from a fluke 18 day cycle i had when i first started acupuncture that's the closest i've ever in my life come to a 28 day cycle. brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. and i told her how insecure i've been getting with pms. like - literraly-i had more self confidence in the 6th grade than i do when i have pms. and she said "oh ya, that's just pms." i sat up and said "does every woman go through that every month? because it's happened to me twice in a row now!" and she giggled and said "yes." then thought about it and said "so you've NEVER had that before?" and i said "oh no, seriously, the last time i was this emotional was when i was in college." and she said my cycles should have peaked at 21 or 22 and then stayed normal or fertile. but when i was in college my life was such a rocky roller coaster of a mess it's hard telling now, looking back, if it was just during weeks that would have been pms or if that was just my life then. i honestly think that was just my life then but even with the benefit of a doubt that would mean my last real cycle was 12 years ago. not good odds when you're trying to make a baby. she thinks i've not been ovulating but when i test i get positive ovulation tests if i take them long enough. sometimes it's on day 17 (it's supposed to be more like day 14) but still i ovulate.
i'm rambling now.
all this to say i feel hopeful again. and i don't think molly even realized how little hope i had and how much hope i needed but i think i've found my mojo again and can make it through another month.

she SLAYS us

this week sweet pea did some super SuPeR cute things. monday i took her with me to the post office because i love to spend every waking moment i can with her. i had to get some stamps for a wedding shower i'm throwing for my sister-in-law. we snuck in the post office door JUST before they closed the doors so we had to wait in a looooong line. we were getting to the front of the line so i pulled my credit card out to make things speedier and sweet pea took it from my hands, leaned towards the post office clerks and held out the card. she has learned that when we are shopping, if can JUST hand over that card they let us leave. HA! she's so dang smart!

then tonight paul was listening to some new song on his iphone and she started bobbing back and forth in her high chair. we finished dinner and he was listening to another song and she started swaying back and forth and spinning in circles. she was dancing. UGH! again SO CUTE!

I LOVE THIS BABY! dear god can we keep her, can we keep her, can we keep her, please?!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

good report

today we had a check up at the doctor and sweet pea is moving right along. she's gained 3 ounces since our last weigh in which makes a grand total of 1 pound and 7 ounces since she came home. as far as development the doctor was really impressed with how bright sweet pea seems to be now. she was listening to sweet pea's chest with the stethoscope and moving it over an inch and listening all around and sweet pea took it with her fingers and moved it over and around some more. she's just so smart. so much going on in that little head of hers.
she asked about her words and i told her i have a book of animals that i read her and sometimes i read the name of the animal and other times I'll make the animal noise, and the other day she pointed to the doggie and said "woof, woof". the doctor said that she's right on target for words now.

Monday, September 21, 2009

ok. this still sucks.

i'm not sure if facebook is such a great idea or not. it seems every time i'm on there someone new is counting down the days until they deliver their baby. or counting up the days since they found out they were pregnant. or announcing that they're on their way into the delivery room. or giving the weight, length, gender, name and time their baby arrived. i get it. it's a social network. but does it have to make me feel so friggin left behind? maybe i need to get off of there. i cry every day now. i just wonder what it's like to get a baby and know you won't have to give it back. i put sweet pea to bed and cry because i don't know how many more of these nights i'll get. or how i'll ever get through one with out her. and i pick her up from day care before i run my errands so i can spend more minutes with her. this sucks. it's like getting to have a baby and knowing they are going to die before all of your dreams for them come true. maybe i'm not cut out for this fostering thing anymore. and maybe i'm not cut out for facebook anymore either.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

it's the thought that counts

about a month ago we got a bike buggy so we could take sweet pea on bike rides with us. but i wanted to get one big enough so we could put tatum in there with her and go to the park or go places and not have to worry about tatum or feel guilty that we left her behind. this weekend we finally got the chance to use it. so, we buckled sweet pea in, then told tatum to "hop on up" (that's what we tell her to get her in the car) and she hopped on up. we snapped everything shut and off we went. until we rounded the corner where we normally take tatum to throw the ball. pretty soon i felt some ruckus going on back there, then i heard some squeaking coming from sweet pea and paul said "oop-there she goes!" tatum had squeazed herself between the layers of mesh up to the front of the buggy where sweet pea was buckled in. by the time i got the bike pulled over tatum was ON sweet pea. i'm trying to figure out how to explain what i mean by "on". paul says "full body maul?" "butt in her face?" it was sort of like tatum's tummy was on sweet pea's forehead. does that explain it? so we played a little ball and put tatum back inside while the three of us took a nice looooong bike ride. i loved it!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

NEVER say this:

tonight i walked into daycare and another woman was holding my baby. i have no idea who she is. all i know is sweet pea is kicking her feet and giggling and squealing because she can see me walking in the door. i smiled and took her from the mystery woman and she goes "she did the same thing for me." and then gave this snide little chuckle like she's so adoring. ok-just in case you were THINKING about telling another mother that, DON'T. that leaves me reeling with questions. does that mean she's not bonded to me? does that mean she'd bond like this with anyone? so for instance, if she went back home she wouldn't miss me and would have no trouble bonding to just any joe schmoe? and i don't know that i even BELIEVE this woman because another mother in the foyer said "oh did you see the way that baby got so excited that her mother was here? i've never SEEN such a beautiful baby." so that tells me that she did NOT react that way twice, she only did that ONCE and that was when I walked in the door. AND ANOTHER THING-you just don't know what the situation IS to begin with to say that to someone. i just took sweet pea and didn't say a word to her and gathered her things and left. and the daycare worker who HAD sweet pea in the foyer to begin with, followed me around talking to me about everything under the sun and frankly, i'm pissed today. i just want to get my baby and go home. i am NOT in the mood to chit-chat. if i was in the mood to chit-chat i'd start it.

and while i'm griping about daycare-i really wish they would not feed her crackers at 5:30 when i'm coming at 5:45 to take her home for dinner. we're fighting the uphill battle of her being under-weight. the last thing i need her full of 15 minutes before dinner is empty carbs. i can't tell you how many times they've smiled and said "she ate 4 crackers from me!" she's not a monkey. she'll eat 4 crackers from anyone at 5:30. DON'T FEED HER! so i said "if i send her with some fruit labeled "snack" could you please feed her that instead of crackers right before i come pick her up." tomorrow when i'm not so pissy i will say it again and not in the suggestive tone i did today. it will be in the following demanding tone: "we're really working on getting weight on her and if she is fed crackers at 5:30 she won't eat dinner at 5:45. i have brought fruit for her to snack on at 5:30 when she starts to get hungry. please do not feed her crackers." UGH!

**Edited to Add: and when the washing machine breaks on Sunday and they say on Monday they'll call you on Wednesday and be out on Thursday the last thing you want to have to do, on an already-grumpy night, is track down their lazy butts to find out why they didn't call you on Wednesday, like they said they would, and you have to find out if they are really coming on Thursday, like they said they would, because you have standing water in the bottom of your 1-year-old washing machine, turning MUSTY. AURGH!

**Edited again to Add: and then the baby throws up on you everything she's been fed since the crackers at 5:30 at daycare, right through to the bottle you just gave her 3 minutes ago. So there goes every calorie we put in her tonight. SUPER AURGH!

warning: this is a pissy attitude post

ok. i'm having a bad day. actually i'm having a bad two days in a row. the duggars have announced #19 is coming. and she said on their show last night "by god's grace i will carry this baby and by god's grace i will give birth to it." and i just thought-where's my stupid grace? where's my baby? where's my giving birth? what did i ever do to not deserve some grace? it just makes me mad. and we paid the bills last night and again have no money to put into savings and i feel like i'm throwing money away to acupuncture. i'm still not pregnant, i'm just more money in the hole. paul says not to worry about it and it's not that i worry about it. it's that i'm tired of wasting money on something that comes naturally to what seems like everyone else. and i'm pissed. and hurt that i don't get any stupid grace.
i went to bed questioning paul if he really believes that we'll ever have our own baby because i don't believe anymore. he says he does.

Monday, September 14, 2009


this morning i had to take tiny tot, aka sweet pea, to get her hearing tested. not because they thought she couldn't hear but because last week she refused to sit still for the first technician so we got a referral to the big office to try again. anyway-it was in an old school here in longmont that has been turned into an office building but that just happened this summer so there's tons of people moving stuff around and configuring classrooms into offices and on and on it goes. that left the "waiting room" for the hearing tests out in the hallway that stretches the length of the building. you-know-who got restless so after i filled out her paperwork we walked the hall since we could see the hearing test office all the way to the end of the building. we got far enough for my comfort so instead of picking her up and turning her around i thought i'd leave her on her feet to get some exercise and said "ok, i'm turning i go back the other way." finally i thought i'd pull out the big guns. she hates to seperate from me, i'll use that to my advantage. "ok-bye-bye! mommy's going this way." with that she half turned and looked at me, smiled, gave me a big wave good-bye and turned and went on her way. HAAA!!! little booger. i literally cackle laughed alone in the hallway.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


tonight i called the cops on our neighbors. i've never done that before in my life. well, actually once i did on that neighbor in denver who had video gaming parties at 2:00am. i called the cops on him. tonight we got together with some neighbors and grilled out. afterwords we took our pooches to the open space to play. it's so cute to see them. then on the way back another neighbor's dog came barreling out at us. first he went after tatum to which tatum turned to all fangs. then he went after chuckie who is a chijuajua. he's built more like a polish sausage-but he's a chijuajua by breed. THEN he went after sweet pea's feet. THAT'S when i screamed bloody murder so loud and long that i had to take two breaths. i came right back inside and checked for tears in her pajamas. she was so scared she was crying-she'd never heard me scream like that before, especially not right in her ear. i settled down and gave her a bottle and put her to bed and thought "that's it, i'm calling the HOA." then i thought-what are they gonna do? send her a letter? i had been pushed to far. this has happened with tucker before, but only with tatum, no babies. i don't do well when i'm pushed too far. much like what happened here. so i decided i was calling animal control but not like a weenie. i was going to do it right. i was first going to tell her that i was calling and the reason is-as a foster mom, my job is to protect my kids. and if sweet pea had gotten bit i would be in big trouble. i asked paul if i was being over the top. he said no. he ALWAYS brings me down to earth so when he said no i realized i had every right to be as pissed as i was. i put my sweater on and headed out. only to find tucker standing in the middle of the street between me and my neighbors house. i RAN back inside and called animal control. i explained everything right down to the part where i was going back out to tell her why i was going to call them. the cops showed up. took all my notes and went over there to talk to her. she felt really bad and actually already had him on craigs list. there's a link to his ad if you're interested in a crazy chocolate lab with a cute face.
so the cops came back over to me and asked if i wanted to press charges which of course i do not. but then told me she'd like to talk. !! to me? right now?? yes! she was on her porch waiting! so i went over there and she's in tears. i felt so bad. but not so bad that i regretted it. the cops told her to call the lab rescue or the humane society but she had to do something. they then told me that if she doesn't do something within a month to call them back. all in all it ended in me hugging the neighbor and telling her i didn't want to add anymore stress to her life but as a foster mom i HAVE to protect my kids and i don't want to lose my baby! how WEIRD was my night?!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

big strides. ok, not BIG strides, but strides nonetheless

this week i took sweet pea for a weigh in. 15 pounds 11 ounces. YAY!!!! ok-so she's still not on the charts for gaining BUT she's gaining AND she's starting to walk AND she's teething. so when you add in those factors it makes my measley 8 ounce gain look like i'm raising godzilla. she's actually chubbing out of her 3-6 month pants. i'm so ecxited. i would LOVE if one week someone said "ooh look at that! a whole pound" or something ridiculous. or even if they didn't have to go back to their office to "check the charts." she's just so small that she doesn't fit any of them.

this week was a little bit rough for me. i got news about how things are going and it made me shake in my boots a little bit. i know she's not mine until the judge says so. and i know we are so so freaking far away from that that i can't even see the light at the end of the tunnel yet. but i still read into every little move and over analyze every report that comes back to me. and i know the case workers can't tell me so much stuff because of privacy and they can't mislead me in any way and i understand and even appreciate that. but if i could just get my hands on a genie bottle or a crystal ball. *sigh* i got to acupuncture friday night and molly said "so how are you doing?" and i just broke down into a pool of sobs. it was right after the shaking in my boots phone call. i feel so ridiculous. i KNOW what to expect. i can tell people exactly what has to happen between here and then. but my heart just refuses to follow suit.

which brings me to another update. acupuncture is coming along fine. but the sugar part of the diet is getting hard. it's still not hard to avoid sugar, but it is getting hard to avoid things like white flour, and potatoes that turn into sugar once they hit my metabolism. that part is getting frustrating. it cuts out pizza crust, french frieds, mashed potatoes, bread, crackers, sweet breads and treats that every office has sitting around. it's just getting hard. and i'm not doing good avoiding dairy. DAIRY. i gave up dairy YEARS ago because it made me sick. but now knowing that someone else says that i can't have it has me feeling like i need yogurt or american cheese. all these great little treats we have laying around to fatten up a certain sweet pea. (see above if you've already forgotten our fattening up mission.) i don't know. i hate to bitch and moan through this whole post of a pity party. and there's all these pregnancy announcements around me and i think "how'd SHE get pregnant?" i have to remember my problems are not everyone else's problems. and my journey is not hers. and i have to keep trying the path i've chosen because i don't know what else to do but give up. oh forget it. i guess i'm going to bitch and moan through this entire post. whoa is me. go on, give it to me. let me have all your pity.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Everyone's been telling me that I should save Yellowstone for last because it's so beautiful. Well it is beautiful, but even if I went every year for 10 years I could still not see everything there is to see there. It was really beautiful. The first day we hit old faithful and some geisers because i didn't want to get to the last day and not have seen it. we met a geiser groupie and she told us all about this particular geiser. she went on and on and squealed in delight with every spout of steam then begged it not to leave her when it started to dwindle. passionate, yes. odd, very much yes. she was thrilled when i asked her if she was the groupie for that particular geiser and told me she sneaks into the park every chance she gets since she lives close by and times it so she can see it fill up, go off, and drain. she was full of some very helpful information.
then we saw old faithful, which really had me puzzled since it wasn't near as big as some of the other geisers but it was very reliable thus the name old faithful. not old big and faithful.
the next day we went to manmouth springs. paul had been telling me how gorgeous it was and no matter what we did we HAD to go see manmouth springs before we left. it was quite a drive. it's 30 miles between spots and we were staying about an hour away from manmouth springs. i told him it'd better be some spring for the drive because sweet pea was sick and tired of her car seat and it was only the 2nd day. we got up there to find out that it's different week to week, month to month, and year to year. i thought well, surely it's more beautiful from the bottom. let's go down there and hike up instead of hiking from top to bottom. well. um. it was one of those weeks apparently because it was pretty dry. as in bone dry. except for a couple trickles. we did get some cool shots nonetheless. it was kind of a let down to Paul and i laughed and said "is this your central city?" when my parents came out to colorado my dad kept RAVING to my mom about how wonderful central city was. the last time he was there was in the 60's and it has since become a gambling town. it's great for those who vacation in vegas. it's not for anyone else. it was a major let down to my dad when he went as an adult. paul suddenly felt his pain.

in sweet pea news-she did very good. she's a very good traveler. she did get bored saturday on our way between yellowstone and casper. i caught this shot of her, which i can share, when she got ahold of the paper towel roll.

she loved camping and sleeping in the sleeping bag. i wrapped her up in her quilt, then shoved that down into the sleeping bag so she was a little burrito. here's another shot i can share. tatum got to come along at the last minute and she was very certain to stay close to sweet pea. the first night sweet pea slept in the pack and play and tatum slept right next to her. no blanket or sweater. she froze. but would not leave sweet peas side. after that i kept sweet pea a little closer so i could check on her easier during the night.
she did really good every night but one. one night she had some night terrors and screamed bloody murder. i picked her up-she was sleeping right next to me-and talked to her and paul talked to her and finally i turned on the light and realized her eyes were still closed. as soon as she woke up she did fine.
everywhere we went i would hear women cooing and talking baby talk and wonder "what language is that?" and i would glance over my shoulder to catch them talking to my backpack. sweet pea loved it. soaked up every bit of it. one time i heard "oh there's that cute baby again." it was so cute. no matter what nationality you are or what language you speak this baby melts your heart. she learned to smile for the camera this week-which people thought was adorable. and she learned to wave and have people wave back. that was especially a thrill for her. she has started saying "hi" when she waves now, but it comes out as "eye!" it's super cute. but then, everything she does is super cute. so all in all for our first family vacation i wouldn't change a thing. it was sooo sooo sooo much fun.

Holy Frijoles!

I was on my way home from the fabric store (no lie, that's how this story starts) when I passed a guy with one hand on his bike and one hand holding up a dead dog. I did a quick u-turn and asked if we could give him a ride. this happened while my mom was in town a couple weeks ago.) he took one look at us, one more look at the dog and said "ok." so we put his bike in the back of my honda civic-those things really can hold alot-and he got in the front seat. the whole time we were asking him "what happened?" "is he ok?" "did he get hit by a car?" and the guy kept saying "it's my nieghbor's dog. she got out and i chased her on my bike all the way here." then we realized two things. the dog was very much not dead. and the guy was bleeding. "oh no! what happened?" "well, she bit me, she's not normally a biter." i couldn't help but notice that the dog he was holding up had, um, i'll just say boy parts. but the guy kept saying "she" and calling the dog "cocoa". i didn't pressure him. i thought, shoot, the man is bleeding, he seems to really know this dog-maybe their neighborhood calls all dogs "she" sort of like all cats are "he"? so he directs me to his house and we pull up to the neighbors' house and they came out puzzled. his wife came up on her bike at the same time. he got out-still holding "cocoa" by the scruff and his wife said "well josh, that's not cocoa. cocoa's in the back yard!" to which he calmly responded "well then who is THIS?!" another neighbor carefully flipped the tag over trying to stay away from the fangs and read "frijole". yep, you guessed it, "cocoa" was a boy. and frijole is a much more fitting name since it means "beans". a little more manly, even for a chijuajua.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


today...well...correction...this week, i washed all of our kid clothes and then boxed them up in boy, girl, 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, 12 months, 18 months, 2T, 3T-4T, 5-6, 5-6, etc boxes. So now when we get kids I'll just go get the right box and be ready. Well, if we get a girl from 0-7. If we get a boy-I'll only have 1 box of clothes. But...first things first, I'm still hoping to make Sweet Pea ours.

my chi has arrived

last night at acupuncture my needles were in, i was just about to dose off when my shoulder started itching. but i was afraid to scratch it because i didn't want my needles to fall out. then my eyebrow started to itch. then my nose! it kept going! when molly came back in i told her about 5 minutes ago everything started itching! she gasped a little and said "oh your chi has arrived!" i said "what's that mean?" she said "well the chi moves with the blood. so that's good." i said "so it's like healing?" she nodded and said "ya." yeah! i hope it means all this no sugar is doing something. although i need to be better at giving up flours and breads etc. i'll work on it. sloooowly though.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Wow. I'm back. And it's been TOO long. We switched our phone service and somehow it didn't get communicated that we would need a new port number for the internet. Our phone is through the internet. For the first few days we didn't even notice. We were out of town. Then busy. Then one day I tried to call my mom. Then the next day tried again. Then the next day clued in. Whoever said I jump to conclusions? Ha. I typically do. I guess this last week I didn't have time to jump to conclusions.
Sweet Pea is doing really good. She LOVES us a whole whole lot and is just amazing. Next week I get to meet a therapist that I'm really excited about getting started with. She told me that we'll go over what kinds of textures she likes or dislikes and if she eats with a spoon or lets me feed with a spoon and all kinds of crazy stuff I've noticed but not taken not of. So it will be interesting. I can't wait to learn it all and open my little world up.
Tatum, on the other hand, I have to gush about. She already knows which toys are hers and which toys are Sweet Pea's. They each have a basket of toys on opposite sides of the room and every night I put each one's toys back in their respective baskets. We have only had once incident to date and I totally understand why Tatum ripped it to shreds. It was a foamy bath toy and it's super squishy and if I were a dog I too would have ripped it to shreds. Here is an example. You can tell by the look on her face she KNOWS which toy is hers. Can you guess?

not hers...

I just realized how non-expressive she is in these pictures. She was tired that day and ready for us all to go back to work so she could sleep on the couches all day.
But anyway-tonight I took her for a walk with Sweet Pea in my new $20 garage saling Graco stroller. I made a killing a couple weekends ago. And I've been trying to teach Tatum "heel". I've never really understood what "heel" meant but I'm telling myself it means to stand to the right of the stroller and NO pulling. We were walking and Tatum would get ahead and I'd say "ok Tatum, heel." And she'd stop and turn around and walk to the right of the stroller and stay with us. She's so smart. I love that little doggie!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

We're #1! We're #1!....The County that is...not us.

Yesterday was all of the meetings regarding Sweet Pea's future. It went....ok. It's foster. What can I say? You just don't know ANYTHING until the judge slams the gavel. I guess, all I know for now is that we still get to be her foster parents today.
Ok-I'll be honest. This sucks. We love her way more than her bio family ever could and we've had her a week. They had her 13 months and the way I see it they failed at loving her. She's already walking, talking and teeth are coming in from 2 weeks of intense TLC and nutrition. She's a little bug and we love absolutely everything about her. She slept from 9pm last night to 6am this morning and I woke up disappointed that I didn't get to cuddle her at 1am. She LOVES us. I think she said moma last night. I know we probably shouldn't teach her to call us that-but that's our role. And frankly, I think it's weird to teach her that we're just plain old Cheri and Paul. WE are the only parents she's ever known. I don't understand why, if they are TRULY looking for the best interest of the child, they wouldn't consider US #1 with out looking any further. No matter what kin they find for her, we will love her way more unconditionally than anyone else out there.
End of Rant
That being said, our county is #1 in the NATION for finding kin for adoption and/or long term options. We are hoping with every fiber in our beings that no one shows up or is capable of getting through the home study.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

words...sort of

on friday night we were telling sweet pea that tatum is our doggie. doggiedoggiedoggiedoggie. and she sort of said doggie in the midst of babble. well sunday morning we were having breakfast and i just talk to her every moment of the day. so with every bite it's "oatmeal?" "blueberries?" "banana?" and then she said "bayaya?" every sylable exactly, even the flex in my tone, the b sound and the a sounds.

a foster friend of ours has given us old supplies that her kids aren't using anymore so now when she eats i have spoons and forks that she can use. i was letting her feed herself and with every bite i'd say "good job!!" after a while she got tired of working and just started smearing it everywhere so i took her spoon away. in sheer frustration she grabbed her bangs and huffed "YOB!" she was mad i took her "good job" spoon away. *ah* precious!

she has a lot of hair and i bought some clippy bows to put in her hair. she loves it. i put them in and say "PRETTY!!!!" last night i was changing her diaper and she felt the top of her head and then patted it like i had forgotten to put it in there. she wanted to look pretty because uncle ben and aunt katie had come over with their baby that is 16 months and we hadn't seen yet (they live in tennessee).

then this morning on our way to our first day of daycare, i think i shook the whole way there, i had forgotten to get her apple juice. i typically give her "apple juice" or "fishy crackers" for long car rides to entertain her. we got about a half a mile from home and she cried "aya oo!!" oops...forgot the apple juice. i promised her i WON'T forget tomorrow.

and one more quick thing, while i was prepping dinner last night and she was playing with our neice, sweet pea crawled into the kitchen, grabbed my legs to stand, i turned around and made eye contact, and that was all she wanted. she toddled off as if to say she was just checking in. it melted my heart. that's a huge step for bonding when a baby or child comes and touches base with their parent. ugh! she's bonding!!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

alone together

one of the biggest parts of being a foster mom to a baby is bonding with them. the best way to do that is to be there when they are falling asleep and waking up. be the last and first thing they see when they are sleeping. because of that, we snuggle a LOT. yesterday i had sweet pea on her tummy in my arms and we were bouncing and rocking back and forth and she looked at my arm and then tried to pick up my freckles. for those of you who only know me from the internet i have a lot of freckles. i even won a freckle contest in the 3rd grade i have that many. my mom said they would go away when i got older. when i got older and asked when she said "22". when i got to 22 i realized sometimes moms don't have all the answers. but it's ok. i have embraced them. they aren't bad as far as freckles go. i've seen some bad ones and they aren't the bad kind.
another thing i do with sweet pea is touch. constantly touch. i touch her face. i touch her head. i run my hands from her hair down to her chin on both sides of her cheeks and she just smiles and smiles. but when it's time to go night night i touch her legs, i touch her arms, i touch her hair, i touch her tummy...just touching touching touching every moment. last night i was holding her with one arm and touching her hair with the other and she touched back. she started rubbing my arm and then rubbed my back where her arm fell through and then back to my arm. she's getting it. this is how you show love. and i love her.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

a baby changes everything

whoever said that should have had an 11 year old first. a baby doesn't change a THING. an 11 year old changes EVERYTHING!


sweet pea woke up screaming in terror at 1:45am so we snuggled and ate bottles and cheerios for an hour last night and i prayed for her health and her brain and bones to grow big and strong and for her bio family and for things that we need. random stuff like an exersaucer, a baby carrier and a diaper geenie. this morning paul took tatum out and our new neighbors across the street with an 8 year old boy were having a garage sale to get rid of his old toddler items. random stuff like an exersaucer, a baby carrier and a diaper geenie and all kinds of toddler books and tub toys. they let me have it all for $20. it was kind of eerie. like god was telling me he's hearing my prayers and answering them. i hope he answers the part where i prayed that this one will lead to adoption in under 12 months. :) we love her!

Friday, July 24, 2009


i'm sorry. i am such a bad blogger i can't believe you haven't fired me.
here's how it went.
tuesday i begged and pleaded for an unpaid week of vacation only for m'lady to be a complete and total jerk about it. i have had 1 sick day so far this year, 2 vacation days when the girls came, and 1 day of vacation for foster training. all in all, i think i have a pretty good track record. then went to a foster support group that night.
wednesday i woke up, did my little work out, took a shower, got out and started balling. i think it was a little of everything hitting me at once. the infertility. the job. the lack of vacation. the feeling that i'm spinning my tires. so i called in sick. but lucky for me, i talked to the one sane person i work with and he reminded me that m'lady was out all day. so i went in. during my boredom, trust me, i have work to do, i just don't feel like doing it sometimes, i chatted paul and asked if i could tell rosie we are ready again. he said sure. so here's how it went:
me: hi rosie! it's cheri'
rosie: hi! how are you doing?
me: well...we're ready.
rosie: GREAT! what age?
me:0-7, we can't do 11 again. definately younger.
rosie: now are you guys foster or fost-adopt?
me: well, we're really fost-adopt.
rosie: how young again?
me: oh, anything 0-7.
rosie: liiiike 13 months?
me: ya sure.
then she asks me a few more direct detailed questions.
me: (clueing in at this point) do you have somebody?
rosie: yes. we have a little person in the hospital that is going to come home this weekend and we need someone willing to work with her.
me: ok!
rosie: shouldn't you call paul first?
me: oh ya!

i called paul and told him the situation and he said he was fine with it if i was. that was wednesday.
thursday we got clearance to go down and see her. she's adorable. she's a peanut. she is all giggles and smiles. she is a mover AND a shaker. and she melts the hearts of everyone she comes in contact with. she is a special special girl. then we realized exactly how much baby proofing we really had to do. at midnight, we finally were at the point that we could let the rest wait until today. then i made a walmart run for the essentials. JUST the essentials. do you KNOW how many essentials a baby needs? a LOT.
today she was released and got to come home. i picked her up and after wrangling for a half an hour with the social worker trying to get the baby seat fastened into the car, we got home. paul had taken tatum to the hardware store for some screws we need for the upstairs baby gate so i had a chance to let sweet pea (that's her nickname) get acclimated. tatum came tearing in the house, first sniffed the social worker, then me, then turned around and just wiggled from nose to nub at our new little marvel sitting on the floor. she stuck her hand straight out at tatum and tatum licked and made friends. sort of. we have had to work with sweet pea being gentle and tatum giving space. she tends to like to lick. a lot. aaaand then there was the part where we turned around and saw tatum standing stick still with her beard in sweet peas fist. and when they finally seperated some of tatum's beard stayed in sweet peas fist. we've been coaching with the open handed pat moreso than the fist grab of fur. later tonight i was petting one side of tatum and sweet pea was petting the other side with the open hand. she's SUCH a quick learner and we think she said doggie tonight. *ah* we're in love. and we're in trouble.
here's a quick succession of the teddy bear we gave sweet pea the first night we saw her and tatum getting used to NOT playing with the teddy bear:

literally she stood there this long trying to leave the bear alone. and theeeeeen: