Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Quick Update

Things went well! 

Next court date in March, but he might be able to start transitioning home after January. 

I had a GREAT visit with his parents! 

I'll write more tonight, but I leave you with my favorite quote of the day... 

"I work HARD on my English because Monkey is an American ENGLISH baby, and I want him to understand me!" ~Monkey's Mom   :-)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Parenting "Fail"

Oh...  Mama just had a parenting fail!

Me, working on Christmas Lists on the computer.

Monkey, playing in his stationary jumper
right next to me...

Or so I thought because the music was playing away!

Poor baby was sawing logs on top of his keyboard!



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Baby Makin'

Baby makin' through the eyes of a couple of 6-year-olds... According to Buddy, he knows "it's yucky," and that's why my sister won't elaborate. 

Ka-Diva recently informed my sister that she knows exactly how babies are made.  You never really know what these kids are going to come up with, so Christy was almost afraid to hear it! 

That's when Ka-Diva said, "The mom and dad go to the doctor. The doctor puts a big egg (which my sister believes she envisions to be the size of a chicken egg) inside of the mommy's tummy and then it EXPLODES into a baby!!!"  

Crazy thing is...  In our family, that theory really isn't that far from reality!  ;-)

And then we have Aunt Tammy who gets a phone call, and then a nice lady brings a baby to her house about 2-3 hours later.

Yep.  If we don't have these kids thoroughly confused by the time they hit the age of actually needing to know where babies come from, I will be shocked.  Right now, I think they believe that babies come from a doctor in Las Vegas (where Christy's reproductive endocrinoligist was located) and the nice foster care ladies who come to Aunt Tammy's door with babies in carseats!  :-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What They Don't Know...

My Sweet Chunky Monkey...

Your permanency review hearing is only one week away, and while my head tells me that I have every reason to believe that you will still be "mine" for a while longer, I can't help but worry and wonder if this is my last week as your Mama.

There is so much that your Momi and Popi don't know about you, Baby Boy!  How could they possibly get to know you in one short hour a week?  The thought of sending you to a strange home with people you barely know and who barely know you breaks my heart.  They don't know the simplest things like what/when you eat/sleep.  That's easy enough to tell them.  But it's the little things...  Your little quirks and the the nuances of your personality that I want them to know...  Things that I know they will learn on their own, but that I want them to know up front so you won't have to wonder why they aren't doing what you want them to do.

How will they know that you rub your eyes when you're finished eating?

How will they know that the fastest way to calm you when you're whining in your sleep is to rub your forehead?

How will they know that you love to brush your teeth, but only with the tooth/gum rubber finger thingy with a tiny bit of baby toothpaste? 

How will they know that "Duh" means "rubber duckie" and that "Da" means "cat?"

How will they know that you love a handful of stuffed animals in your crib so you can snuggle up with them in the morning when you wake up, but that they need to stay out of your arms at night or you'll never go to sleep?

Do they know the words to your favorite song?

Do they know the "right" way to play "Patty Cake?"

How will they know your tickle spots and your favorite way to be tickled?

Will they learn that your favorite toys are your Lots-o-Links, and that as long as those things are attached to your carseat, stroller, jumper, exersaucer, highchair, crib, etc. you are perfectly content?

Will they know that you don't care much for cartoons or TV, but if the Kardashians or America's Next Top Model happen to be on in the background, you become completely enamoured and stare at the television in "man mode" where nothing or no one can get through to you?

How will they know that your high-pitched cry means that you want a bottle, and that your fussy whine means you're tired and need a nap?

How will they know that you drink exactly three ounces of formula before you stop and burp.  Twice.  and then go on to finish the rest?

How will they know that when you flap your arms and kick your legs while in your "paratrouper stance" when you're playing on the floor means that you are finished and you want to be picked up?

Will they know that you get a long "night-night" hug just before I lay you in your crib and that if you don't get it, you whine until you do?

How will they know that you are a hot-natured little guy, and that you prefer to sleep with the ceiling fan on, but snuggled up with your fuzzy blankie?

Will they play the "blowing kisses" game with you?

Will they understand that I have been your entire world for the past six months, and that you are bound to miss me and wonder where I am?

Will they tell you that I love you to the moon and back like I tell you every night, and that I miss you more than words can say?

There is so much that they don't know about you, my sweet baby boy...  But I know they'll learn.  I did.  And I just pray that if this is our last week together, I can find the right words to say and the most important things to tell them that will help you adjust quickly.  If this is our last week together, I pray that I can let you know every day just how much you mean to me.  If this is our last week together, I pray that I have the strength to say "goodbye" and let you go.

You're my world, Baby Boy...  and I love you more than words can say...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Acceptable Excuse for Respite?

I have been looking forward to this day for over a year! 


The girls in my family have a tradition.  Whenever a new Twilight movie comes out, we get together and go to see it.  This year though, as the big day started drawing nearer and nearer, I could feel the panic setting in.  This year, I have a baby!  A foster baby, at that...  And all of my approved babysitters are family members who are a part of our movie group!

What's a shirtless Jacob buff to do?!?  (To clarify, I am not shirtless.  I like shirtless Jacob.  There is a distict difference.  Trust me on this.  ;-)

I rarely use respite care that isn't a family member.  In fact, I've only used it once before with Itty Bitty.  But when it came to seeing my movie, I have to admit I was seriously considering contacting my agency to find an approved respite care provider for Monkey.  I had posted my dilemma on FB, and mentioned that my last resort was going to be to beg my dad to sit at my apartment while Monkey slept since he was the only background checked family member left who wouldn't care to go to Girls' Night.  While awaiting his reply, I began forming a rough draft to my agency's Family Specialist...

My Dearest Nice Lady,

     You've always been my very favorite person in Foster/Adopt Land.  You know that, right?  ;-)  I am writing because I have a desperate need for respite care this weekend.  A dire emergency has arisen, and I have no idea what I am going to do!  You see, there is someplace that I absolutely must be on Saturday night, and all of my approved babysitters will be there as well.  I don't really want to leave Monkey with a stranger though.  How would you like to keep him for the evening?  You know you love him!  Have I mentioned that you are my very favorite person in Foster/Adopt Land?  ;-)  Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. 

Your August Foster Parent of the Month
(Doesn't hurt to remind them of that, right? ;-)

Note how I neglected to mention the exact nature of my "emergency."  I wasn't sure that a desperate need to ogle a shirtless Taylor Lautner would qualify as an acceptable excuse for paid respite care.  Although I think that any self-respecting woman would agree with me that it should be!

Fortunately, I didn't have to send my plea to Nice Lady after all.  My mom graciously offered to forego the movie and sit with Monkey so I could have a Girls' Night and enjoy my nearly jailbait imaginary boyfriend for the night.  Yep.  My mommy definitely loves me!  :-) 

I am excited like a giddy schoolgirl!!!  I. CAN. NOT. WAIT!!! 

THANKS, MOM!!!  :-)

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Here Comes the Bride!

Ka-Diva has been absolutely obsessed with weddings lately.  She watches all of the wedding shows on TV.  She has imaginary weddings where she makes poor Buddy stand in and play different parts.  She has big wedding plans.  What 6-year-old girl doesn't?

She had been hounding Christy to let her try on her wedding dress for quite a while, and last month, Christy decided to humor her and let her try it on.

She looked in the mirror wide-eyed and exclaimed, "I look beautiful! I am saying YES to the dress!!!".  :-)

My mom recently took Ka-Diva to her very first wedding.  She planned out her wardrobe and accessories for weeks leading up to the big event.  After a full morning of "beautification," complete with matching nail polish, curled hair, and a tiara fit for a princess, Ka-Diva declared herself fit for the wedding.  In fact, she declared herself possibly too ready...

"I'm nervous he is going to think I am the bride and ask me to marry him since I look so beautiful!!"

Mom said that Ka-Diva looked at the bride as though she were a celebrity princess, and that the bride made Ka-Diva's night very special by being unbelievably sweet to her.  She stopped to pose for photographs with her...  She invited her into the bridal room while she and her bridesmaids were getting ready... 

Ka-Diva has since been telling people that she and the bride are FRIENDS now!  ...and she has the photo to prove it.  :-)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Taking Turns...

The Big Twins and Christy were playing a rhyming game on their evening walk last week.  Christy would say a word like "cat" and they would have to say something that rhymes.  Buddy said he wanted to take a turn and have Ka-Diva and my sister say something that rhymed.  Very chivalrous of him!

His word was "considerate"...

Little toot.  :-)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"Rate Your Pain"

My sister and her family have been a bunch of sickos the past week or two.  The other day, Ka-Diva came home from school with a fever and miserably sore throat, so she and my sister headed to the urgent care clinic to get her checked out.

The doctor told Ka-Diva to rate her pain. "0 is no pain, and 10 means you are crying."

Her response...   "If I had no pain why would I be at the doctor?!?".

Yep...  That's my niece!!!  ;-)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thankful - Day Nine

When I first started fostering, I knew absolutely nothing and absolutely no one in the crazy world of Foster/Adopt Land.  I am a planner.  I like to prepare.  So one of the very first things I did was start this blog, and began to desperately search high and low for other foster family bloggers in order to get some realistic idea of what I was willingly getting myself into. 

Day Nine:

Today, I am extremely thankful for you!  My online foster family friends...

Over the past three years, I have "met" an amazing group of women who have proven to be a constant support system, a sounding board on those days when I just need to vent, and a daily inspiration to me throughout this journey. 

There's just something about being able to talk to a group of people who completely understand what you're going through because they have been there themselves.  I can say just about anything, and you all just "get it."  You understand all about the conflicting emotions involved when you are fostering, but want to ultimately adopt.  You "get it" when I say that I want Monkey to have more visits with his parents in one breath, and "I'm his Mama" in the next.  You know exactly what it feels like to love these kids so much that you will let them go. 

You know when I need a virtual hug, a good laugh, or a "OMG!  I can totally top that one!" story.  It's always nice to know you're not alone, and being able to follow along in your journeys...  To hear your thoughts and feelings about your own experiences...  To share all of the ups and the downs that foster care inevitably brings with each of you has helped me in more ways than I can say.

I have learned so much from all of you, and I can't thank you ladies enough for all of your support, the camaraderie, the laughs, and your friendships.  I am so grateful for the online friendships that I have made over the past three years!  Thank you, thank you, thank you to each and every one of you!!!  I wouldn't have maintained what little shred of sanity that remains without you!  :-)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

"That Mom"

Yes...  I have become...

"That Mom"

The mom who dresses her infant
in "Baby's 1st" holiday outfits...

I'm sure my BFF is
shaking her head at me right now.

But what can I say???

My kid can ROCK even the CHEESIEST
of turkey and "ugly Christmas sweater" apparel!

I mean, seriously...

This kid is stinkin' cute!  ;-)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thankful - Day Eight

Being a single, full-time working parent is hard.  Being a single, full-time working foster parent adds an entirely new level of stress and responsibility that can sometimes be rather overwhelming.

Day Eight: 

Today, I am thankful that I work with a group of amazingly-supportive and understanding people.  When I first started navigating my way through Foster/Adopt Land, I had no idea how crazy it could be.  My first three placements were insane, and I felt like I was a huge burden to my co-workers as I seemed to miss more days of work than I was there.  They have been behind me 100% though, and have willingly picked up the slack when my home life inevitably interferes with my job.

Fortunately, I have learned ways to better control CPS' invasion of my daily life, and have managed to keep its interference with my job down to a minimum (well, as "minimum" as it can be anyway).  It seems to have become second nature to everyone at the office as well.  When I received the call that Monkey was on his way late one Sunday night, I called and left a message for my boss telling him that I got a new little one and that I wouldn't be in the next day.  When I called on Monday morning to check in, he had already gotten the ball rolling on my FMLA paperwork for me.  He and my "partner in crime" both told me to "do what I need to do" and that they'd "handle everything there."  My boss ended that conversation with "so I guess we'll see you part-time for the next couple of weeks while you do all of his initial appointments, and we'll get you back full-time after that!"  It cracked me up that he seems to be an "old pro" at this foster care thing now too.  :-)

On top of picking up the slack during the times that I have no choice but to be out of the office, my co-workers have always genuinely cared about my babies.  They spoil them rotten when I bring them up to the office on the third Wednesday of the month (the one day a month that I take off for home visits).  They are always on the lookout for coupons and good deals for baby things.  They bring clothes and toys that their grandbabies have outgrown for my "on-hand stash."  They bring totes and other bags that they come across because they know it kills me to send my babies home with their things in trashbags. 

They offer advice when I ask for it...  Listen to me vent when I need to...  They humor me and ooh and ahh over what must have been hundreds of baby pictures over the past three years...  And they have given me shoulders to cry on (and have cried with me) when I have had to say "goodbye" to my babies.  Foster care touches so many people...  Not only does it have an effect on the people directly involved, but it can impact the lives of everyone in ways that many people don't even realize.  Watching my co-workers rally around me and my kids has proven to be a huge eye-opener for me, and has made me appreciate even more what amazing people they truly are (I thought they were pretty great before I started fostering).  They are certainly under no obligation to be there for me and my babies, but they are...  and for that, I am truly thankful.

I really do work with some awesome people.  If I had the money, I would give them extra just for being fantastic people.  Or a really fancy solid gold trophy!!!  Fortunately, they seem to appreciate the occasional gift of morning donuts and chocolate every once in a while.  They're a pretty easy to please bunch. ;-)  But they are definitely a group of people that I am thankful to call my friends.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Beautiful Dreamer...

I had quite a beautiful dream last night.

I dreamt that I came downstairs in the middle of the night to get a glass of water, and Tim McGraw was in the middle of my living room in all of his "cowboy sexiness" in an outfit remarkably similar to this one!

Crazy thing is, that's not the part that I found the most exciting.

As I tried to make sense of why this gorgeous man was in my living room, I suddenly noticed the smell of freshly-dried laundry, heard the dishwasher running, smelled the lemony-goodness of a newly-mopped kitchen floor, and realized that Mr. McGraw was in the process of running the vacuum over my living room floor! 

Let me tell you, there is nothing sexier than a man who can vacuum and leave perfectly symmetrical carpet lines. 

Kind of reminded me of my dream of a Lawnmower Man from years ago...  Somehow though, I think Tim McGraw may trump Sweaty Lawnmower Man.

It really was a good dream...  :-)

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thankful - Day Seven

(From Booger Bear's lifebook...)

Dear Booger Bear,

When I decided to try foster care, I never could have imagined how one little person could change my life so completely.  You stole my heart from the moment I opened my door and you flashed that two-toothed little smile at me.  I quickly learned that the best sounds in the world are your baby's laughter and the little "I Yuh You's."  I learned that baby hugs and kisses and "cuddle time" with your little boy can make a bad day turn around in an instant.  In the year that you were with me, I learned what it means to love unconditionally.  I learned what it means to be a mom.  

Day Seven:

I am unbelievably thankful for the little boy who came into my life and changed everything.  The year that he was "mine" was one of the best years of my life, and losing him was by far the most painful thing that I have ever gone through.

But...  "Everything happens for a reason."

Little did I know at the time, Booger Bear was brought into my life for so much more than I had originally thought.

Because of this little boy, I not only became a mother to a son, but I gained a "daughter."  I gained a "granddaughter."  I gained a very unique family tree in the sense that my son is my grandson and his Mommy is his sister.  (Let me tell you, that makes for some interesting conversations! ;-)

I gained a first-hand view of how foster care can work.  I think that was something that I desperately needed.  I honestly don't know if I could continue fostering if I had no hope at all that it could work.  But I see every day that Booger is loved and care for, and that gives me hope for all of the little ones who come into and out of my life.

I am so very thankful for every moment that I have with this little guy.  I am so grateful to his parents for including me in their lives and for truly making me feel like a special part of their family.  I realize how rare it is to be able to have such a close relationship with these children after they return home, and I know how blessed I am that I have that with Booger Bear.  He always has been...  and always will be...  my "very special boy."

Thankful - Day Six

I have an awesome family.  We're close.  We love being together.  We depend on each other for support, and we are there for each other.

Day Six:

Today, I am thankful for my sister.

Your siblings are the people you will know the longest in your life.  If you're lucky, you'll get one like mine.  :-)

Christy is the best friend I could ever ask for, and I have no idea how I would live without her!  We had a discussion once about that very subject and mentioned that we wished we "had a backup, just in case."  ;-)  The few years that we lived in different states were filled with multiple hour-long phones calls every day and constant emailing, and I think the distance and all of the talking helped bring us closer than we'd ever been up to that point.

We know and we keep each other's secrets. 

We know each other better than almost anyone.

We have the same mannerisms and tastes, and have been known to purchase the exact same items at the store during completely separate shopping trips, only to discover what we had done when we show up wearing the exact same outfit.  :-)

We continue to attempt sister roadtrips, even though we always have interesting "adventures" (or misadventures, as the case may be ;-).  We're just certain that if we try it enough times, we'll manage to get one drama-free trip before we're done!  :-)

We share our kids with each other, and love that we can brag about them to each other all we want because we know the other sister is just as invested in our kids as we are in theirs. 

Christy is an amazing mom, and I learn so much by watching her relationship with her kids every day.

We have been with and supported each other through the best and the worst times of our lives.  We listen to each other vent when we're angry, cry when we're sad, share our happiest moments, and laugh when we have our Bipolar Girl episodes (those tend to run in our family...  I'm more the "bipolar" one.  Christy is the "anxiety attack over something as simple as the balloons at her 3-year-olds' birthday party" one.  It's all good.  We know this about ourselves, so we can laugh it off later. ;-)

Christy is my best friend...  my constant support...  and quite honestly, one of my favorite people on the planet.  I love her like crazy, and I wouldn't change a thing about her.  She is strong, loving, determined, kind, outgoing, intelligent, funny, and the best sister anyone could ever ask for.  God really knew what He was doing when He put the two of us together for life, and I thank Him every day for giving me "my best friend...  my sister...  my other half!"  :-)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankful - Day Five

October is a big month for me when it comes to "special anniversaries."  It marks the anniversary of the month that I entered Foster/Adopt Land.  It is the month that my Little Miss came to my home.  But most importantly, it is the month that brought the young woman who I call my "daughter" into my life.  One year ago today (And by "today," I mean October 21st because I am a blogging slacker and didn't finish this post until today ;-), I opened my front door, and my life changed for the better.  :-)
Day Five:

Today, I thank Heaven for Heaven!  :-)

The day that Booger Bear left my arms, he went into hers, and I am forever thankful that she has loved that little boy every bit as much as I do. She calls him "ours," and the fact that she understands and acknowledges how I feel about him speaks volumes as to her maturity and the love that she has for him. I think that we initially bonded because we were both "mommies" to the same little boy who neither one of us gave birth to, but both love as if we had.   And the more I got to know her, the more I began to feel the same way about Heaven, so I've officially claimed her as "mine." (whether she likes it or not :-)

Little did I know that the day she walked through my door to drop off a bunch of clothes for Little Miss, I was not only meeting the young woman who had voluntarily put her own life on hold in order to be a mom to my Booger Bear...  I was meeting an amazingly kind, loving, strong, nurturing, thoughtful, funny, simply unbelievably awesome person who I couldn't imagine my life without!

She makes me smile.

She makes me feel needed and appreciated.

We have inside jokes and two great minds that think alike in so many ways.  ;-)

I'm probably overly-protective of her, but I think that's okay.  I think she secretly likes the fact that I go all "Mama Bear" every now and again on her behalf, and that I get all crazy and do the whole "I haven't heard from you in forever" thing when it's only been like 13 hours.  ;-)

In the past year, Heaven has given me so much more than I could ever give her.  She even gave me my first honorary granddaughter!  Banana is the smartest, cutest, most determined little thing, and I love being "Mimi" in the "I get to love her and spoil her absolutely rotten to the core and then send her home with Mama" kind of way.  ;-)  She's given me a continued close relationship with Booger.  She's given her heart to me, my nieces and nephews, and my entire family really...  And she's shared her family with mine.

So today, I am unbelievably thankful for my "daughter."  She may not realize how special she is, but I sure do.  And I plan to let her know it every day for the rest of her life.  :-)

Now on Facebook!!!

"I Must Be Trippin'" is now on Facebook!!!

Catch our status updates, discussions,
links to other foster/adopt pages, and more


Like us, and share our page with your
foster/adopt friends!

I'd love to turn the FB page into a great resource
and support page for foster/adopt parents,
complete with a little bit of humor
and a lot of heart.


Thankful - Day Four

Day Four:

This morning, I am thankful that I have a stinkin' cute kid.

Because this time change thing is going to DO. ME. IN!!!

4:30am DOES NOT a decent waking hour make...

Unfortunately, Monkey doesn't seem to have received that memo.


I am INFINITELY thankful that
(if I have to wake up at 4:30am),
I am waking up to THIS...

A super-happy morning baby!

Rather than this...

Super-sad face...  :-(
(Although, I have to admit...  That's pretty cute too.  ;-)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thankful - Day Three

I've always said that the most frustrating thing about life in Foster/Adopt Land isn't the behaviors of the children like they lead you to believe in your initial training classes.  ...The most insanely, mind-numbingly, want to pull your own hair out, makes you want to scream at someone, frustrating thing about foster care is having to deal with the grown-ups involved!
Day Three:

Today, I am thankful for my agency's Family Specialist (aka. "Nice Lady"). 

I know I've mentioned a few times how much I really like this woman.  In over three years of fostering, I can honestly say that Nice Lady has to be the one person on the "business end" of foster care who has genuinely cared enough to help me...  the foster parent as well as my kids.

I met Nice Lady the day that Monkey arrived, and over the past six months she has been a constant support in an otherwise kind of all over the place case. 

She usually responds to email or voicemail requests within an hour or two (completely unheard of in Foster/Adopt Land).  The one time she didn't respond right away, I found out was because she was in surgery.  And I learned that because she emailed me that night from home

She does her very best to track down the Invisible CPS Caseworker when I've pretty much given up hope of ever finding her. 

She has contacted doctors and Medicaid for me when I've been too busy at work in order to dispute medical bills.

She listens to my occassional rants about how frustrated I am with Monkey's caseworker, and doesn't judge me.  She addresses all of my concerns to the best of her ability, and has helped talk me down from the "IF I EVER GET AHOLD OF THAT WOMAN..." ledge.

She's acknowledges receipt of paperwork; keeps track of things that I might be missing, but doesn't hound me for it; looks forward to my weekly status reports and photos of Monkey; comments on his milestones and any concerns that I might have about his case; and always, always tells me how cute my baby is.  It doesn't hurt that she tells me over and over how I am one of the best foster parents she's ever worked with either.  ;-)

I am unbelievably thankful for the woman who I believe is absolutely the World's Best Social Worker.  If she ever leaves my agency, I do believe I might just follow her.  :-)  And if you don't have a "Nice Lady" at your agency, I'm thinking you should just come to mine!  I'm willing to share a good thing with my fellow foster parents.  Goodness knows, we can use all of the "good things" that we can get!  :-)

The Time Change

Um, yeah...  Gotta say I'm not nearly as enthusiastic about the whole "Fall Back" thing as I usually am.  I am firmly convinced that Mr. Franklin was not taking into account people with children when he came up with his brilliant idea to change the time in order to take advantage of the light.  Thanks a lot, Mr. Franklin!  Now it seems I will be waking up at 4:30am thanks to you!

Yep...  My kid is nothing if not predictable.  His internal alarm clock is so completely punctual that I don't ever have to set my own alarm anymore.  Unfortunately, his "alarm" tells him that he absolutely must be in his crib and sound asleep by 7:00pm at the very latest, and wake up at 5:30am on the dot.  Too bad Mama is a night owl and most definitely NOT a morning person.  I can't even begin to describe the dread that I have over the nightmare that is about to take place tonight and over the next week while I attempt to get Monkey on a schedule that we can both live with.

I see 4:30am playtimes in my immediate future...  and that's just not cool.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thankful - Day Two

Day Two:

Today I am thankful for my parents (To be clear, I am abundantly thankful for my parents every day, but today, I am officially announcing it on the World Wide Web. ;-)

I might be a wee bit biased, but I really do believe that I won the "Awesome Parents Jackpot" when I was born.  :-)  My sister and I have been blessed with parents who have been truly present, involved, and genuinely invested in us and in our lives.

Some of my earliest memories are of building Lincoln Log forts and having tea parties with my dad.  I remember him doing "The Face," where my mom helped him paint an upside-down face on his own, and he would hang upside-down over our bed and put on a little show for us.  I remember thinking that I was a celebrity when I was young because my parents were in charge of Children's Church. 

As we grew older and became involved in more and more extracurricular activities, my parents were always there supporting us and cheering us on.  I can't remember a single Band concert, competition, home football game, parade, etc. that they didn't attend.  My mom went to more Band Camps than either Christy or I did as she was a sponsor almost every year that we were in band! 

My parents made our home "the place to be."  I can't remember a day when someone wasn't hanging out at our house.  Everyone knew where "the junk food corner" was and that anything in that corner was fair game.  I even remember coming home after leaving for college to find old high school friends visiting my parents!  To this day, our childhood and high school friends still claim them as their own "Mama & Papa Stud."  I actually think my parents are FB friends with more of our growing up crowd than we are!  ;-)

Over the past several years, my appreciation for my mom and dad has grown even more.  I honestly don't think that I would be a foster mom right now if it wasn't for their support.  My mom has sat through endless foster care training classes with me in order to be my lone respite care provider.  She has done her best to be available for those times when I desperately need a sitter.  When I broke my leg, she moved in with me and Booger for a month and a half in order to take care of both of us!  Without my mom's hands-on help and support and my dad's patience and understanding when I steal her away, I know I wouldn't have had the opportunity to ever be a mom.

My parents are amazing grandparents to my kids, even knowing that the chances are they won't be in our lives permanently.  At a recent foster/adopt conference, they talked about how the single most important factor in giving foster or adopted children a true sense of belonging in their extended family lies in how the grandparents accept and include them.  I can honestly say that my kiddos feel just as loved and included as my nieces and nephews.  Nearly two years after Booger Bear left my home, he still calls my parents "Nana and Papa" and thinks of them as his grandparents.  The fact that my mom and dad open their hearts to my kids means the world to me.  I know how difficult it is to love these kids and to watch them leave over and over again.  I also know that I am the one who signed up for this.  My parents didn't.  They don't have to treat my children the same way they treat my nieces and nephews, but they love me enough to love my kids as much as I do.  Their love for my kids means just as much to me as their love for me...

So today...  like every day of my life...  I am thankful that I have been blessed with the most amazing parents on the planet.  I love them very, very much, and I pray every day that I continue to have opportunity to try to be the kind of parent to my kiddos that they have been to me.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thankful - Day One

So I'm a day late, but I think I'm going to take on this "Month of Thanksgiving" challenge.  I have quite a bit to be thankful for, and I don't think I express it enough.  I think there are often times when I need to remind myself of that.  So this month, I hope to take a few minutes every day to share a few of the things for which I am most grateful. 

Day One:

Today, I am extraordinarily thankful for my morning Route 44 Diet Coke with lime and extra ice from Sonic.
Trivial?  Perhaps...  But if you ask any one of my co-workers who have the distinct pleasure of being in my company every morning at 7:30am, I can pretty much guarantee you that they are just as thankful for my morning Diet Coke as I am.

I am thankful that I pulled in to the parking lot this morning, and found an empty parking spot close to the front door!

I am ever-so-grateful that there was one remaining peanut butter cup left over from the three bags of Halloween candy that my co-workers and I had brought to work yesterday.  My co-workers tend to flock to candy like vultures.  I'm not much of a "candy person," but today I needed it!  Not only was I grateful for that lone peanut butter cup, but I am also thankful that I had absolutely no qualms about snagging the last piece of candy.  :-)

I am thankful for allergy medication, and I appreciate my co-workers' understanding and patience as I sneezed my head off and went through an entire box of Kleenex over the past two days.

I am grateful that I got a 45-minute nap before heading to daycare to pick up Monkey.

I feel unbelievably blessed to see Monkey's face light up with that huge, toothy smile when I walk into his class every afternoon.  Nothing makes my heart happier than knowing that this little boy loves me almost as much as I love him.  :-)
I am happy that I have super-comfy pajamas that I immediately change into when Monkey and I get home in the evening, and that they didn't get too terribly soaked during Monkey's bath tonight. 

I am grateful for sleepy baby smiles and bedtime cuddles.

I am also thankful that Monkey was an "early to bed" boy tonight so Mama could catch up on her blogging.

Sometimes, it's the little things that we take for granted that help make our day just a little bit brighter, and today, I am thankful for all of those little things.  :-)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Guilty Pleasure

I have a confession to make.

I love having 2-and-unders every year for Halloween!

I love being able to dress them in cute, yet embarrassing costumes.

I love that there is absolutely nothing they can do about it.  :-)

The first year that I got to play "dress up" was with Booger Bear.

Booger Bear was, well...  A Bear! 
(Original, I know...  ;-)

We went trick or treating with Ka-diva and Buddy.

Ka-diva insisted that she was obviously a "Good" Witch
because only "Good" Witches wear purple.

Buddy was a police officer.  He marched up to each house
with an air of authority that was rather intimidating for a 4-year-old.
When one woman commented that she was afraid he was
coming to arrest her, he replied,
"Don't worry, ma'am.  I'm not a real police officer."

The next year, I was thrilled silly when Little Miss' daddy sent
a costume home for her after a visit.

A COW!!!
If I had thought about it, I totally would have
made an "Eat Mor Chikin" sign.
I might have to revisit this particular costume in the future.

No 3-year-old would let me get away with putting them in a cow suit.
As it was, Little Miss was less than thrilled.

Buddy continued with the hero theme, and went as a
member of the SWAT team.

Ka-diva was a cat girl.

This year, my little Chunky Monkey went as...

Our group increased this year with the addition of
the Mini Munchkins.
Pooper and Butterfly carried on the theme of Christy's
baby shower, and went as Thing 1 and Thing 2.
Buddy opted to be a villain this year, rather than a hero.
And surprisingly, Ka-diva went for a scarier look as well.
Ka-diva has always flat-out refused to step foot in the party stores
around Halloween because she hates the scary things.
In fact, just last month, she told the McD's drive thru worker
that her Mommy has just tortured her.
Christy had to explain that no, she didn't really torture
her child.  They had simply just gone through the Halloween
costume aisle at the party store.
So there you have it.

My secret confession...

My guilty pleasure...

I love having 2-and-unders for Halloween!!!

Parenting Tips

While trying to cram in the last of my required training hours for the year, I stumbled across these rather informative pictorial representations for "Parenting Do's and Don'ts." I am highly tempted to print these and make some sort of collage for the nursery.  I wonder how many training hours I can get for this...  :-)

Related Posts with Thumbnails