Kids stop for no man…

Even after a 10 hour day.  As soon as I hit the door… an hour late… and without my planned gym pit stop…. “Can I get on the computer?”  “Sign my planner.”  “I need help with homework… nah, I’ll just wait for Josh”.  “Can I go play?”  Thank God Dewey’s reheats pretty darn good.  And thank god I have a mommy who comes to save my ass when I get stuck in said 10 hour day.  

So we are coming up on a month.  Our first holiday weekend together.  I always frown at the crowds at St. Cecilia’s Festival, but do we go this year?  We have to hit the pool.  That’s a given.  

Thursday is our 9th anniversary.  My mom turned 60 yesterday.  I had grand plans for both events.  But kids stop for no man.  So I texted my mom her happy birthday and we are escaping for a few hours Friday night for a grown up dinner.  There will not be a chicken tender or hot dog in site.  View Cucina better be on their game Friday night.  I have expectations.  

Time to shower, pass out and do it all over again tomorrow.  Good night world.

Life

So we traveled to Indiana to see the in-laws this weekend.  And as we laid in bed at 730 on Sunday morning with our 8 year old, who was making Josh say he was an old man, I looked over at him and said “this is soooooo not the life we were living 2 months ago”.

2 months ago, this cold I’m currently battling would have kept me in bed.  Now I’m just hoping to not infect some poor unsuspecting person at Kroger this afternoon.  

2 months ago I would have still been laying in bed watching The Today Show, not updating a blog.

So heading into week 3, we all seem to be getting into a groove.  The kids were all pretty excited to go to Indiana, not that you would know it.  I swear, the further we get away from the house, the more comatose one of the kids becomes.  She barely spoke all weekend.  We get home and I ask them all if they enjoyed themselves and she was definitely the loudest with a resounding “YES”.  Kids.  

I got bested by 3rd grade math last week.  I’m not ashamed to admit that.  I’m sure I’m not the only one.  

They fought over donuts that were the EXACT. SAME.  Donuts that we begged Josh’s aunt not to buy.  I swear, the train comes off the tracks every Sunday.  Yeah, yeah, yeah… it was a big weekend.  But still.  

I’ve watched several episodes of something called Good Luck Charlie.  Disney kind of sucks but of all the suck, that one definitely sucks the least.  I’m also starting to develop an appreciation for Wizards of Waverly Place.  2 months ago, I couldn’t have told you what number Disney was.  

So the week is about to begin today.  Hope you all have a good one.

It’s the little things

We went from wanting a new frig to needing a new frig for our sanity!

 

It really is the little things.

  • White shirts coming home in color
  • Delaying bedtime by asking for “huggies”
  • Horrid morning breath because teeth brushing is apparently lame.
  • So are showers.
  • “I’m hungry.”  “I’m really hungry.”  “I’m still hungry.”  Hence the new frig.  Big WHAT UP to Lowe’s for delivering on Sundays.  I’ve never been the first delivery off the truck before.
  • More Disney, less USA

So it’s been a week, plus.  We survived a birthday dinner.  We have had our first come to Jesus meeting.  I managed to make everyone cry this weekend.  Yet there was no blood and everyone is still breathing.  Success!  But they all start going to the sitter after school today.  That tune may change at 5 tonight.

The First Overnight

So the first overnight… interesting.  It was the first time we have had kids in our house for an extended amount of time without being able to pass them off to the parents they belonged to.  How would this go?

Well, we had played golf that Saturday morning, so by the time we got to them we were hot, sweaty and hungry.  We needed naps.  They wanted to go to the park and swing.  The one thing I was proud of was putting dinner together before we left.  Cottage ham and green beans and potatoes and bread.  What could go wrong?

Apparently everything.  Wow, was that night an epic fail.  Epic!  They hated every single thing we did for dinner.  So we ate cottage ham while they ate cereal.  I felt horrible.  They loved every second of it.  

I think that’s where my panic attack started.  As someone who has never had a panic attack before, I had no idea what was happening.

It all came to a head the next day.  We took the kids to meet my parents and to the outdoor shopping area near their house.  They didn’t ask for a thing.  They didn’t take off.  They didn’t try to steal anything.  They listened and followed the rules.  And yet in the middle of Bath and Body Works, I started to panic.  Ever have a panic attack in the middle of a Bath and Body Works?  Once I was able to breathe again, I was choked up by Juniper and Lemon and Lavender.  It was AWESOME!  But I held it together.

Until we dropped them off.  We stopped for ice cream on the way home and I started to cry.  Granted, not hard enough that I was able to finish my ice cream.  I have my priorities.  But still.  I was just overwhelmed by what we were doing and I think that shocked me.  Again, I thought I was immune because I do this every day.  But I don’t take those kids home.  They aren’t staring at me, needing things from me.  So… panic.  

But doesn’t that happen to every parent?  I sure as hell hope so.  I’ve been told that it does.  While it was my first panic attack, I can’t imagine that it will be my last.  Great.  

The First Visit

Image

So the first visit.  We met the kids on a Sunday morning for the first time.  Nerves galore on all sides.  Until we said we wanted to take them to the zoo.  Then we were their best friends. 

It had been a long time since I had been to the Cincinnati Zoo.  I had forgotten what it was like to see it through the eyes of a kid.  “Can we see… ”  “Can we go…”  “Do you think they have a…”  for 5 hours.  We started to learn things that day.  Like the youngest has a mind like a steel trap.  Don’t tell that one anything unless you plan to follow through.  And that the boy… that poor boy… he just gets run over by his sisters.  I have to make sure to make him talk or he will just sit back and do whatever they want. 

Of course, it isn’t a trip to the zoo if someone doesn’t cry.  And we had tears.  The youngest and her sister wanted their faces painted.  Highway Robbery!!!  $8 for paint that’s just going to get rubbed off before we get out of the place.  And that’s the cheap stuff!  Anyway, I was only willing to pay for the $8 face paint.  And the youngest didn’t care for that one bit.  So… tears.  We learned fairly quick that that is her go to reaction when she doesn’t get her way.  That one doesn’t take no very well.  She’s adorable and she knows it.  That one is going to keep us on her toes.  And the oldest was willing to forgo a face paint because her sister was crying.  No.  She followed the rules, so she got the reward.  Throw a fit, get left out.  There are more of those coming our way. 

And the ducks.  There are all kinds of cool animals at the zoo, but what did they all scream and scream for pictures of?  Ducks.  Regular old ducks.  All I could think was “we can see ducks for free!”  Kids. 

Then we took them to our home to feed them dinner.  Chili dogs and macaroni and cheese.  And this is when we discovered food issues.  My husband and I love food.  Since I’ve met him, my palate has expanded so much and there is so much good food out there.  We just love it.  So when these three looked at us and basically said all they eat is boxed mac n cheese, PBJ and hot dogs, I wanted to keel over.  These kids are either going to try things or get real sick of PBJ. 

We showed them our house, our home, our dogs, our life.  They were trying so hard that day.  It was heartbreaking.  They just want a family and a home so bad that they will go over the top to get it, to impress us.  It was so clear. 

Then, of course, they discovered the doggie door.  What is it about kids and doggie doors?  When our nephew visited us one year with my in-laws, that kid went in and out of the doggie door instead of using the regular door.  Is it easier?  Cool?  Something that they know that adults can’t and won’t do?  They kept sticking their heads out the doggie door to yell up at us on the deck. 

We dropped them off that night with their current foster parents and started to plan our next event.  The first overnight.  Oh my…

How it all began

Taken May 2012. About a month before we were approached about the siblings. Don’t we look rested?

I guess you can say it all began in February 2011.  I started a new job on 2/7/2011.  I had been in the same job for almost 10 years and was offered the chance to become the Site Director for a foster care agency that wanted to make the move into Northern Kentucky.  I was bored at my old job.  It was a good job, but I was doing the same thing on my last day that I did on my first.  I was ready for a new challenge.  Scared as hell, but ready.  So I accepted the job and took off.  The kids were all still hypothetical until June of 2011 when I had my first home open and accept their first placement.  By the end of 2011, I was into the swing of things, working with 8 kids and trucking along.  The first chance my husband had to really see me in this element was at the first Christmas party in December 2011.  There he got to see me interact with the kids and the parents.  Soon after, he approached me with an idea.  What if we did that?  We could help kids that needed a home.  We wanted a family.  Why not try to give it to some kids who are desperate for it.  So, we started adoption classes in April 2012.  Now, I thought I knew it all.  I had been training my own foster parents and working closely with the kids.  And I knew a lot of the social workers and supervisors and specialists because of my previous job and my current position.  I tried to stay below the radar as much as I could, but it didn’t take long for everyone, including the trainers, to get wind of who I was and what I did.  Everyone thought that made me an expert.  Hell, I thought that made me an expert.  HA!  Classes finished in June 2012 and we were immediately approached about a sibling group.  They were being bounced around because their previous home, where they were for 2 years, had been closed by the state.  They were looking for a forever family and their social worker was convinced we would be a good fit.  I know their worker.  We had spent a lot of time working together while I was in my old job.  So we decided to meet them.  Two girls and a boy.  Ages 13, 9, and 7.   I know, I know… 13!  ARE YOU INSANE!?!  We’ve been getting that a lot.  Teenagers make people nervous.  But should she not get to have a family just because her birth year starts with a 1 instead of a 2?  No.  So we are taking this on.  We have to move next spring.  I’m losing my spot on the couch.  The kids come for good on 8/10/12.  Things are about to get interesting.  So strap in.  The fun is about to begin.