Monthly Archives: August 2014

Meet The Teachers

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At Agent K’s school they have a night the first full week of class that all parents can come meet the teachers. In our school district 6th & 7th grades are in one school and within their grade they are divided into ‘teams’. Agent K is on the Columbia Team and when I walked into his homeroom with all the other parents I found a seat and immediately started to observe. Below are my mental notes:

  • Holy cow, this place looks just like when I was in school only when did the white boards go grey? Thats odd. And when did these teachers get so young?
  • By ten years I’m the youngest parent in this room. Oh wait, no… over there… the one with the fussing infant. She has got to be 5 years younger than me. Geeze, you have a 6th grader AND an infant?! Thats rough.
  • Why are all these teachers so pretty? How is Agent K going to pay attention? Where are the dude teachers?!
  • Why are all these moms so… very… blonde? Everyone has highlights, Michael Kors bags and gladiator sandals. I’m sitting here in a Mavs t-shirt and Chucks wondering if I will ever get into a mommy club.
  • No backpacks allowed in class? What would I do with a tampon? No cell phones either? Guess that gets me out of having to get him one. No coats?! You guys are going overboard! Read at home for 30 minutes a day? I don’t even do that!

Needless to say, it wasn’t the best night of my life. Going back to school gives me  hives. Dang it, I should have gotten a Xanie from one of those twerps to use at Back to School Night at the elementary school next month! Oh well, I’ll just have to search my closet for those big girl panties. They have to be in there somewhere…

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One Week Check-In

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We made it our first week! It feels like several months but I checked the calendar and sure enough, just 7 days. So what have we done this week? We got enrolled in school, had our first day of school, had our first TGIF, went to a baby shower, met new friends, went on two mommy/daughter dates, tried several new meals, went to our first family dinner at El Chico, went to church twice, realized our house is too small and realized they don’t possess indoor voices. Man, list it out and we accomplished a lot!

Everyone seems to go though moments of missing their foster parents and being upset Husbando is leaving for work. You know, because its more fun when he is there since I’m the mean one that makes them bathe, eat vegetables, and do their homework. Speaking of, I’ve had more homework this last week than I think I had my whole senior year. Its ridiculous! I don’t mind being read to, that part is easy but filling out forms, initialing a million times, checking work… it’s worse than closing on our house!

IMG_6840We went to a baby shower and met Baby Ruby. The kids all got to hold her and even though Miss D kept saying ‘I CAN’T WAIT TO TOUCH HER’ in a slightly creepy way all week, she really did do great. They were polite and quiet at their house and same goes with church even though I was bored myself. They clapped, stood, closed their eyes all at the right time. So proud!

Miss D and I got our nails done and shopped around Wal*Mart for Christmas gift (thanks Mr. Walton for $1 clearance!) and Lady H and I went grocery shopping and (apparently to her) marking the things off the list is quite fun. We had fun just the two of us each time and Agent K even seemed jealous enough that he asked when his date was. I’m soaking that up like a sponge because I figure I’m on borrowed time with him and any minute we’ll be in full teenage-mode and he will hate my guts. No idea what we’ll do because I don’t know that grocery shopping will work on him ; )

So the week passed and we had no total meltdowns. We learned a lot about them and we hope they’re learning what life will be like with us. This week brings their first college football game and their first road trip. Should be fun and exhausting both!

 

Back To School

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Wednesday was back to school for these kiddos. To be honest, Lady H and Miss D had already gone two weeks somewhere else but were a good sport about wearing nice outfits and starting fresh for my sake. Were they not the cutest kids of your life? I’m biased, I know but seriously it was adorable. We did the whole hold-the-sign thing but I realized I put their names on them so can’t show you. Fail.

Lady H doesn’t seem to like school very much and I totally relate to that. I used it as a social outing and not so much for learning. Her favorite parts are recess and lunch. The other two LOVE school because they’re super good at it. Agent K picked all smartypants classes (AP to those in the know) and Miss D is a VERY good reader/speller. Lady H told me her favorite parts are lunch and recess and again, I can totally relate!

The girls go to before-care and we have been picking up all three after school. In October they will all be starting after-care at their schools and while I wish I could stay home and pick them up every day, I really can’t. Maybe at Husbando’s next promotion.

Agent K enrolled in percussion band class and we are now the proud owners of a  snare drum. I don’t quite know what the girls will be in, we’re kinda settling in to our life together before we sign ourselves up for more extracurricular activities.

I know it will take a bit to start making friends and getting birthday party invites but oh my gosh do I long for them to have friends and sleepovers. I just want them to feel like we are a ‘normal’ family since they haven’t had that yet. I’m also hopeful for the day when they can change their names and its not so confusing. Six months…

 

This Is It

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This is really it. I’m giving paper birth in our paper pregnancy I suppose. The kiddos are coming Sunday and hopefully never leaving. Never. Mr. Worker has made arrangements to meet me on Sunday to do our typical kid swap only this time THEY DON’T GO BACK. I really don’t even know when it will hit but I can feel the emotions building. Maybe a happy tear-filled drive home, maybe after a week, maybe at court when they change their names. I don’t know but its gonna happen y’all. This has been a long, difficult, not-so-patient-filled journey and I’m so glad to have them finally in their beds as members of the family, not guests!

We know there is lots to do in order for them to start school Wednesday and I’m pestering my worker to death focusing on that. Once I drop them off for that first day, I think maybe then I can calm down. Basically everything we can do is in order. I’ve bought what I need to buy, I’ve done what I need to do, I just need everyone else to do their part and this can be a really good transition.

If anyone is looking for a small way to be part of this, I came up with something that I think could make the kids feel more at home. I’m asking that people randomly mail the kids letters or cards to their new home because who doesn’t enjoy mail? They can be spaced out or all on the same day and it doesn’t have to be tomorrow, you can wait a bit. I just think if they get something with their name on it at their new house that maybe it will feel like their house too. If you don’t have my address, just contact me and I’ll get it to you.

Thank you to all the people who have been praying and helping through this journey. We know this won’t be easy so please continue your prayers and help. These kids have had so many transitions in life and we really, really hope this one goes as well as it can. We are so blessed and we know it was a group effort to make this come to be.

 

Week Visit- Part 2

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Fast forward to Sunday morning. We got up, had Pop-Tarts and grapes for breakfast, dressed in adorable clothes, took a few family pics and headed to church. The kids were excited to go and that is making us feel awesome. We haven’t thrown one thing at them yet that has upset them. Its amazing. So church went great, we rode the free carousel before we left and everyone was happy. When we got home, I started lunch and then Mimi and Papa Slick (Husbando’s parents) arrived. There was some traffic and I think Mimi was about to get out and run to get here. The kids were very excited to meet them and to celebrate Mimi’s birthday that afternoon.

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After some Wii games, chatting and playing, it was time to head to the bowling alley for the party! Bonus, IT WAS FREE GLO BOWLING UPGRADE! As Husbando and Mimi helped the kids pick out balls, I threw up some decorations, put out some snacks and made it look like a real party. The kids had all picked out gifts at the Dollar Tree and even wrapped them. After our first game we paused for cupcakes and gifts then bowled another 1/2 game before we had to get going before Husbando had to go to work. While he was gone we went out to dinner to Cheddars and when we got back, we had some serious outdoor fun.

One of these things is not like the others...

One of these things is not like the others…

Agent K desperately wanted to play basketball with the kids I told him live across the street but we hadn’t seen them once since the kids started visiting. As we pulled in after dinner there were four (double the usual) boys out there playing. As we hopped out of the car, I told him it was just fine with me if he wanted to stay out there and play while we entertained the girls. He lingered a bit at the back of the car then by the time we got inside they had asked him to play. SUCCESS!! It is very important for me that he feels part of our neighborhood and starts to make friends that live close enough to spend time with. My favorite memories from his age are of playing outside at night with all my friends. I want him to have that and I’m so glad its this soon. Mimi, Papa Slick, the girls and I actually ended up outside ourselves because Mimi brought sidewalk chalk! When it got dusk, it was time to go inside for baths.

The grandparents left to go to their hotel and we started our evening routine. They all have it down pretty good already! I knew we were going to sleep later than we had previously Monday so I let Agent K stay up with me and watch a movie. It was the cutest thing because you could tell he wanted to sit right by me on the couch but his ‘big boy’ brain told him maybe he was too cool for that. Plus, I have to remember that he has been mom-less for quite a while now and since his foster home is a single grandpa situation, he is trying to figure out the dynamic we will have. After about 5 squirms and 3 pillow adjustments he ended up right next to me and we stayed up late eating peanuts and watching one of the worst movies ever. P.S. The Rock should really stick with wrestling. The movie ended about 8 minutes before Husbando was coming home so I scurried him  off to bed under the impression that we didn’t want dad to find us up so late. He seemed to think that was pretty awesome and I think I scored a few points for that evening.

Monday Mimi and Papa Slick came back and we all had breakfast together. After breakfast we did an art project Mimi brought, played outside again and then took them to the surprise lunch above all others… Golden Corral. I’ve heard about it about a half million times so I knew they would be stoked. Agent K is obsessed with the Bourbon Street Chicken, Miss D ate two plates of brussel sprouts and cucumbers, Lady H downed two bowls of chicken noodle soup and two plates of broccoli then we all headed for the triple chocolate fountain. It was like they were in heaven.

We went home, played puzzles & Hot Wheels for a while then it was time for the grandparents to go home. We started a countdown until we would all be together again and then they left. We got to play just a little while more before Nana arrived to ride with me while I drove them to meet their DHS worker. They packed their bags and cleaned their rooms and we headed out. This transition was MUCH better than last time though. They were all singing and laughing in the car most of the way instead of the quiet I got last time. We had cheeseburgers while we waited on Mr. Worker and then we hugged and kissed and said we would see them in about six days.

SIX DAYS?! I can’t believe they are planning to move in to our house in a week! I feel so anxious for it finally to happen and also like O..M..G… I have so much left to do! I’ve decided to not kill myself this week so that I won’t be worn out on the Gotcha Day. I’ll work after they are here and will enjoy this last week before we start planning our ‘maternity leave’.

Week Visit- Part 1

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I can’t put a whole week visit in one post so today we’ll begin with everything through Saturday night. Insomnia really is a blogger’s best friend. Husbando drove 4 hours round-trip to pick them up so the kiddos got here Thursday around 3:00pm. They came up to our work and saw our offices, met some co-workers, made a ruckus, and then we headed for the pool.

After an hour of swimming we had to head home for dinner and to clean up to meet Nana (my mom). Lady H and Miss D’s foster mother bagged up several trash bags of belongings and sent them with the girls this round. Mostly it was heavily worn stuffed animals but there were a few books too. It really surprised me she sent them because as of now we still have had no contact and she refuses to speak or interact with us. The girls have been assured they can visit the foster parents but supposedly the woman is afraid we’re lying because several years ago a foster child went back to her bio parents and she hasn’t seen her since. Oh and that is somehow our fault. Anyhooooo, we went home, put away all the bags, had dinner with Husbando before work and then it was just Nana and I in charge.

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Nana was a good sport and tried Guitar Hero with Agent K. I knew with her weak-stomached self that there was potential for vomit and sure enough, two songs in she had to tap out before losing her dinner. At least she tried! Then Nana bestowed a bounty of adorable clothes to the munchkins and we had a fashion show. I painted Miss D’s fingernails and then they wanted to watch their new Monster High DVD. We watched an episode then Nana had to go home. We said our goodbyes, got ready for bed and hit the sack. The bedtime has gone perfectly since I told them if they got up for anything but the bathroom that I would turn off the tv and not let them watch it the next day.

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So then we are at Friday. We woke up, got dressed and drove to Grandma and Grandpa’s (my dad and step-mom’s) lake house about an hour and a half away. We fished (and hated it), swam off the dock in lifejackets (and loved it) and had pizza for dinner (loved that too). We watched Grease and then How To Train Your Dragon all snuggled up with each other on the couch and it was some wonderful family time. The next morning we had to head out after our Frosted Flakes because we had a birthday party to attend at 11. The kids took pics with Grandma and Grandpa and away we went!

We got home, got changed, grabbed our gifts and away we went to a 3-year-old birthday party… in a monsoon. It poured on us but at least it was a splash pad party and everyone was in their suit. The kids fit right in with our friends’ kids and had fun eating junk food, splashing, playing on the playground and just generally being around someone besides us. The kids got the coolest goody bags that kept them entertained for quite a while. Homemade silly putty and candy goes a long way.

When we got home Husbando and Agent K went off to see a movie and the girls and I went to have ‘girls time’ shopping and stopping by for a Happy Hour drink at Sonic. We went to Wal*mart to pick out backpacks and it was a fun experience. We had our first ‘do you love it or do you like it’ convo and I think a lightbulb went off when they realized they had a choice and didn’t have to have grungy cheapy things.

We met Husbando and Agent K at home and soon after Nana came over for dinner. The girls helped me make Chili Dog Casserole for the first time and of all people, Nana about licked her plate clean. After dinner it was tv and playing and bed.

To be continued : )

Weekend Visit

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This last weekend was our first weekend visit. We picked them up Friday at 4pm and they went home Sunday at 6. The following highlights are my favorite.

Friday night: Picked up kids, came home to check out the house and had our first meal (roast in the crockpot) together. Then Husbando went to work at Wally World and the four of us tried out the bath/teeth brushing/getting ready for bed routine. We had a little ice cream and then Lady H picked out a movie. What did she pick? The Grinch. Agent K and I laughed all the way through mostly because of the hilarity that she had picked a Christmas movie in August. Anyway, we watched 1/2 our movie then started the bedtime thing. Tucked, kissed, hugged, and doted on, they made me think this was going to be easier than I had originally anticipated. Agent K took care of himself like a boss and went in and went right to sleep. The girls, especially Miss D, were having trouble going to sleep. After about 4 trips into the bedroom, Husbando finally got home signalling they were up WAY too late. I know they were excited and nervous and scared so I wasn’t too worried about it, just exhausted myself. So after we realized the trick was to turn on the tv for a little 30 minute show, we all got ourselves some rest.

Saturday was a big day but we all got to sleep as long as we wanted which was about 8am for the kids. Everyone was eager to shop so it was no problem getting dressed, packing up for the day and getting to Carl’s Jr. for a biscuit by 9am. We ate, planned our trip, and headed to Shoe Carnival by 9:35. I had a little talk with them in the parking lot letting them know that everyone would get undivided attention one at a time in the store and while it was not their turn they could play basketball in the back of the store. That was a genius move on my part because we went in, picked out sneakers and church shoes for all three kids and checked out in less than an hour. The place was a madhouse and they did so, so good! Proud of my munchkins for sure. Here are the sneakers they chose:

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Miss D, Lady H, and Agent K have excellent taste in shoe wear!

Next up we dropped the shoes in the car and headed over to Kohl’s. Since it was tax-free weekend, the whole town was a nightmare for driving and shopping but what could we do… Agent K didn’t have much in his ‘look what we got you’ pile when he arrived because we just had no idea about his sizes. Plus, 11-year-olds are just so picky… or so I thought. We had a little challenge in Kohl’s because Agent K really does not care what he wears. I’m SURE that will end at some point but everything I held up he said he liked. He tried on about 7 different outfits and after we got the sizing right, we ended up with quite an eclectic mix of tops from Chaps button-downs to Tony Hawk skater shirts and Tommy Bahama beachwear. I love how easygoing he is and don’t think I’m not grateful for it while I have it!

Next we went and had lunch at Bueno with Husbando. They missed him and it was so cute! I was tired and was enjoying the break. We had to have the Pop Convo at lunch and P.S., remind me to write a blog about my HATRED toward kids meals all coming with pop because its infuriating. But the kids took it well and we settled on that we weren’t going to stop letting them have soda at all but that it would be a special occasion and it would be diet if they were allowed to have it. No argument so yet another thing we were worried about that we didn’t need to be. After lunch we went to Wally World to get a baseball glove for Husbando and socks/panties/under shirts for everyone. Check!

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After the long day we were ready to hit the pool. The kids were little guppies and after the sunscreen application I don’t think they got out for over 2 hours! We took a cheeseball break, one sunscreen reapplication break, and headed home at 5 to meet Husbando for dinner. He brought home pizza and we had our first pizza party. SO fun. After dinner we played a little Guitar Hero and got our baths done. Next we watched the second half of the Grinch and went to bed. I say bed because it definitely was not sleep! The girls couldn’t sleep, even after their 30 minute show and as I was giving them a little more stern talking to about getting out of bed, Lady H pulled out a wiggly tooth. What the crap?! I’m ill-prepared to be the Tooth Fairy tonight!! So I winged it and put four quarters in a bag, wrote a little note, and taped it to the bathroom mirror. Husbando and I laughed for a while about how quickly our lives had changed and then everyone finally fell asleep.

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Sunday was their first day at our church so we needed to be a bit early. We all had Pop-Tarts and peaches for breakfast, gussied up, and left at 8:15. We found their classes, they took off and we picked them up after service. I think I was more nervous for them but apparently they loved it and had a ball. Since Husbando didn’t get to go swimming with us the day before, they asked if we could go again. So we grabbed a McDonalds picnic of 2 large fries and 5 cheeseburgers and away we went!  After a long time swimming we headed home to clean up our rooms, make our beds, pack our stuff, and get on the road. I met their worker on the turnpike to do a custody trade-off and they were having a pretty hard time with leaving. Miss D was having the hardest time and you could feel that the whole hour drive there. She didn’t want to go but she missed her foster parents. I get it, I really do. I can’t imagine how hard and confusing this all is.

We got to video chat with them today and all they kept asking was when could they come back. It breaks my heart and I’m sure their foster parents too but technically they should come for the five-day visit this weekend, go back for a few days and then move in for good. Can you believe we waited so long then this all happens in a month? And could it be a worse time at work? Nope! Oh well, I’m not going to let anything stand in our way at this point! We need to get these kids in before school starts and I hope its going in that direction.