Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Day 2010

We spent Christmas morning as we usually do.  Brooke & Lexy woke us up about 8am and we all headed out to see what Santa left.  After looking at their gifts from Santa and their stockings, we took turns opening the other presents.  After everything was open Daddy started taking things out of packages and putting them together while Mommy made breakfast for everyone.  Our tradition is that we each choose what we like best for breakfast and we have a little of everything, this year it was blueberry muffins, sausage, hashbrowns, pancakes and bacon.  After breakfast Grandpa Tom and Mammaw came over with great presents and they got to have the tour of gifts from the girls :-)



This year Lexy asked Santa for and received a Squinkies playhouse and Brooke wanted makeup.  For their big gifts from us, Brooke asked for a TV for her room and Lexy asked for Pembo (a talking/walking penguin)...they received those and many more!

Christmas Eve

As per tradition, we went up to Papa & Grammy's house to celebrate Christmas Eve.  While there Brooke and Lexy received many great gifts from Papa & Grammy and their traditional pajamas, book and slippers from Mike and I.  When we got back home, the girls sprinkled "reindeer food" on the lawn and Lexy fixed some cookies and milk for Santa.  Before bed Daddy read "T'was the Night Before Christmas" to Lexy. :-)




Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

There's a lot to catch up on here but for now I'm enjoying my wonderful family!

Cousins Day

Instead of adding to the chaos of toys at my brother and sister-in-laws house this year I decided to do something different for Christmas.  I took my sister-in-law, Brooke, Lexy and my nieces and nephew (Ashley, Tori, Sheila and Toby) out for lunch and to a place called Jumping Jax that has bounce houses and slides and a zipline.  I already knew my girls loved the jump place so it would be a gift to them to.  The kids all had a great time playing with their cousins for the day!  I think we might make Cousin Day an annual tradition!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Winter Party

I was in charge of Lexy's 1st grade class winter party this year.  We played pin the nose on the snowman and then a game where they filled a snowman container with marshmallows (what a mess!).  And then they received WAY to much candy and goodies as usual :)  The kids had a great time and were completely filled with sugar by the end of the party!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Polar Express

Our local library had a Polar Express night and invited all the kids, Lexy was excited.  The kids were asked to wear their favorite pajamas and the night started off with the engineer punching their ticket to board the train.  The had several crafts for the kids to do like making a train out of a twinkie and candy, a reindeer craft, making reindeer food, writing a letter to Santa and riding on a homemade train.  The crafts were followed by The Polar Express being read by Santa.  The night ended with hot cocoa while the kids waited their tturn to sit on Santa's lap.  Lexy had a great time, I love these magical and FREE events!!  I can't wait to have more kids around here to share them with!

Adoption Update

Well after submitting our inquiry on the sib group of four in the far away state I have to say I'm disappointed.  Absolutely no word back yet.  Some adoption websites are known for their lack of communication back after you inquire...some even  have the same kiddos on their sites for years!  There is not a way to check in again so I guess we wait and see if we ever hear from a worker.

Our adoption worker e-mailed a couple of days ago to let us know that J&J (3.5y & 2.5 yr b/g) from our state are going to a kinship placement.  A kinship placement is not a relative but someone that knows and is close to the children...so this is not a new person to the case.  They knew about this person way before they asked for adoptive families to come forward so WHY would we be asked to imagine these kids in our home/family, submit a butt load of paperwork and wait months to only find out that the kids are truly not needing an adoptive family?!!

Ugh, I'm feeling a little defeated.

So today I e-mailed our adoption worker asking her some questions about her helping us with a special needs infant adoption with an agency in a far away state.  We have researched this agency and I even spoke with them a couple years ago.  We have been holding off going this route b/c we really felt that we were supposed to adopt a sibling group from foster care.  This agency has several special needs babies needing a home right now, I just feel pulled to at least look further into this option and open up that door.  We'll see what happens...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Insanity

Well I told Mike last night that I think I'm going insane...his reply "you really didn't have far to go!".  I suppose he's right lol! 

I found a new sibling set that has caught my attention.  They are from a far away state and there is four...yes FOUR of them.  There are two boys and two girls and they are 5, 3, 2, 1.  Our little house would be SO full, we wouldn't be able to all fit in our van, the transition from their far away state would be hard, our kitchen table wouldn't even come close to holding us all, taking four more little ones to games, etc would be hard BUT oh the love we could share with those four little ones!  I told a friend last night "if any family would take on and could handle the insanity it would be us".

So I inquired about them today.  We've really come to the conclusion that we are not in charge of finding our next child(ren) (God already has done that) but we do have to be open to whatever he has chosen for us.  We've decided that we are just going to follow our hearts, we will inquire about any child(ren) that catches our eyes and hearts and see what doors open or close.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Adoption Update

We have still heard nothing new on the two sibling groups in our state that we have put our homestudy in on.

A couple of weeks ago I found a sibling group of two girls (7, 1) in a nearby state.  After inquiring. we found out that the 7 yr. old was just diagnosed with autism.  All the testing has not been completed but from the information we have received we have concluded that she is on the milder end of the spectrum.  Autism is one of those things that on the check lists of what we were willing to consider in an adoptive placement we always checked no.  I have worked with autistic children (on the severe side) and just didn't feel that we wanted to add that to our family.  BUT both Mike and I keep feeling a pull to these two girls.  So we have asked lots of questions and finally last night we came to the conclusion that we are ready to submit our homestudy and see what happens.

The only real concern I could come up with when thinking of them was wondering if the autism would hinder the bonding/attaching process for both the 7 yr old and I.  But really I worry about the bonding/attaching with every child we consider.  Before fostering I had the attitude and naivety that I would be able to love and bond with every child.  It was a total blow to my world when with our third foster placement I found myself having a hard time liking the child much less feeling love or a bond.  This situation repeated itself two more times for me during our eight years as foster parents.  Each time it happened it took me by total surprise and caused much self doubt.   It took me a very long time to come to terms with the fact that not every child that came through my home would feel like one of my own...sometimes because of my own feelings, sometimes because of attachment issues of the child.  I cared for each child the same way...that love and bonding came very quickly with some of the children, a little slower with others and with some sadly never. 

So as we think about adopting again I worry.  I worry that because the child(ren) won't be in our home as a foster placement before adopting we won't have the opportunity to discover if that bond will come easily or not.  But I have hope that because we'll know from day one that this child(ren) will be ours forever that I can open my heart even wider to allow that love and bonding to happen.  I also know that if there are issues with bonding/attachment that we can get the help we need quickly b/c these will be our kid(s)!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Weekend

On Friday night Papa & Grammy joined us at the first OHS basketball game to watch Brooke cheer and do her first dance of the basketball season.  Brooke is on the far left in the video...

video

On Saturday, after spending the morning being lazy in our pj's, we headed up to Chuck E. Cheese for some family fun.  No pics :( , we were having too much fun!!

On Sunday after putting Lexy to bed, she kept coming out talking about her loose front tooth.  Finally about 10pm she came out and proudly showed us the tooth that had finally came out :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

1st Grade Music Program

Last night Lexy and her classmates put on a fabulous music program titled "We Wish You a Swinging Holiday".  It was just the cutest thing to watch!



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sleep

I wrote about Lexy's sleep issues here.  After that time Lexy's sleep patterns have gotten better.  Most nights she can get to sleep on her own within a reasonable amount of time.  She has learned to use an array of tools to get herself to sleep...mp3 player, lava lamp, sound machine, watching the fan, musical snow globes, talking with her stuffed animals, wet cloth on her eyes, etc.  On occassion she will come out and tell us that she has tried everything and still can't get to sleep so we will give her half of a melatonin and that does the trick.

The past few nights Lexy has had a lot of trouble getting herself to sleep.  We are thinking that the anticipation of the holidays is to blame.  Even with the melatonin she has had trouble.  For a couple of nights she got herself so worked up (she was crying big crocodile tears) that Mike sat in her room and rubbed her back or held her hand so she could calm down.  Last night was a little better, we told her that we wouldn't sit in her room again and she finally got herself to sleep.

It's interesting how something as simple as upcoming holidays can cause such trouble for her.  She told us a couple of nights ago that she "couldn't make her mind stop thinking".  Poor thing has a mind that goes a million miles a minute!  Then if she gets herself worked up over not being able to go to sleep she makes it worse.  She has always had trouble with not being able to calm herself down well when she gets upset or worked up over something, we have always had to intervene for her and rub her back, rock her or talk with her. 

It's sad to watch her having such a hard time, makes me wonder if she'll ever outgrow this!