Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quick updates

Well, hello there. Things are going well at Chez Psychic. Lily and Brooklyn are in preschool now - both are loving it. Halloween is afoot and a Madeline theme has been chosen, Lily is Madeline, Lucy is a duck (they're in the book, I swear!) and Brooklyn is a nun. Yes, a 2 year old nun. We rock. If you email me, I can send a picture.

All of Brooklyn's medical consults went well - hernia is not a major problem, will likely self correct, dental consult was fine, though they predict braces later. Brooklyn's mom continues to visit most of the time and calls to cancel when she can't. As far as we know she still has her own place, a job, and is clean. I'm actually pretty proud of her - she's doing very well so far.

Our county filed for an extension on the case, which I think is the right decision. Brooklyn's mom has only been on her own for about a month or so. Hopefully the judge will agree. The court hearing is in December, which sounds far away but really isn't.

Other than that more of that same. PB seems to enjoy his SAHD gig, even 7 months later, which is good. I continue to work ridiculous hours, but that's better than the alternative.

I think that's about all here. Any news to share on your end?

Friday, October 01, 2010

Funny Lucyisms

Lucy sounds like a hippie on hallucinogenic drugs lately. To wit:

"We don't lick diapers.... Noooo"
"We don't eat wipes."
"Hercules, sparklies, hercules" - while looking at a donut?
"I eat you, Mama. I got you in my belly."

So, ummm, yeah. Funny stuff, but perhaps a bit disturbing, too :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sniff

Photo removed - email me and if I know you I'll send it.

And yes, she picked out her back to school outfit :)

She loves it, and wants to know when she gets to go on stage. Perhaps I can live my live musical theater dream vicariously through her. So far, the only real downside is that she must wear sneakers, which for a mini-fashionista like her is a little stressful.


Brooklyn also started (a different) preschool this week. She shrugged when we dropped her off and cried when she has to leave. The people there are amazing. Speaking of Brooklyn, her mom has been sober since she went to jail and completed her 3 month halfway house stay at the end of August. Her next court date is in December, so I'm not too sure if Miss Brooklyn will be her for Christmas - we'll see.

Lucy will be enjoying some one-on-one time with PB, which is going to be very good for her I predict. She definitely is a typical middle child when it comes to being entertaining for attention. The problem is she's too cute to be very hard on her - she is freakin' hysterical.

The ankle is coming along. I'm still not walking great but I'm improving a little more quickly than I thought I would which is good. I have yet another ankle brace to try as of this week (out of the boot). Still having pain during therapy and when walking for any amount of time, but as long as I take it really easy, it's manageable.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cuteness

Tonight, before the girls went to bed, all three of them came in to my room, crawling on their bellies, chanting, "Traveling like fishies, traveling like fishies."

I assume Lily was behind the word choice.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Progress

The cast is gone! Started physical therapy yesterday. I think that it will be a slightly slower road than I originally thought. The sum total of my therapy yesterday consisted of forward and backward stretching (no lateral movement for quite a while, apparently)and a really cool machine that does compression and cooling at the same time. That felt *really* good!

Other than that, nothing much to report. PB is still carting my ass around, poor guy. Girls are doing great. Brooklyn has been cleared to enroll in preschool in the fall to address some of the speech and cognitive delays, which is fantastic. Working on finding a preschool for Lily, too - she really wants to go and I think that some structure would be good for her.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Updates, etc.

Brooklyn: She's awesome. So awesome that she may not quality to be enrolled in the special needs daycare that she qualified for 3 months ago. Her speech has gone through the roof - it's unreal.

Visits with her mom are going much better. I continue to be concerned that mom is mostly disinterested. At a birthday party we did at Chu.ck.e.ch.ee.se, she handed Brooklyn to me saying, "Here, go to mama." I was taken aback - I mean I know that she appreciates what we do and she knows that Brooklyn loves us, but that just struck me as odd. Anyway, mom is in the halfway house until end of August, so that will really be the test.

Lily: She's great - we had a rough patch a month or so ago when her sensitivity issues really flared up. Seems to be evening out. I think that it was related to a growth spurt but I don't know for sure.

Lucy: Rotten, really, really, rotten. She thinks that misbehaving is the funniest things. EVER. and we really have not come across an effective discipline strategy for her yet - we're working on it.

The ankle: in a hard cast, stable, PIA - so pretty much the same, except hopefully the cast will be gone in about a week and a half.

PB: Is rocking the SAHD gig. I think he actually enjoys it and the girls certainly love it.

So that's the latest. What's happening in your part of the world?

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

Eeek

What was supposed to be an uneventful trip for a slightly late 2-year-old check up has landed us with a dental and a surgery consult for Miss Brooklyn.

Yeah, surgery. But it's just a consult, for a hernia. I'm really hoping we can take a conservative, wait-and-see approach. Then again, if this is going to be an issue, maybe it's better to do this now... If she's going home, we should send her in the best possible condition. I don't know.

Apparently nothing is too urgent - she's had this since she came to us, and the consult is scheduled for sometime in mid-September.

Oh, and I'm not sure what the dental consult's about... we shall see.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

3 days down, 18 more to go

So, I got the hard cast on Tuesday. It's bright purple, because that's how much I love Lily. My foot definitely feels more stable; the hard cast (obviously) offers a lot more support. Sitting is still kind of a pain because I have to keep the foot elevated most of the time.

Tomorrow marks two weeks off work. Am considering taking a third; it's a luxury I am lucky enough to have, though I could go back Monday if I had to. I will, at the very least work partial days, I think.

I have become adept at crawling up and down steps - a sight you surely would love to see, I'm sure :-) The girls certainly think it's a crackup. Which by the way is Lucy's newest catch phrase.

Other than that, not much to report. Hanging in and being very thankful that I'm facing this minor medical challenge as opposed to what other people have to deal with.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

The Good: Three words - PB, Mom, Per.Co.Set
The Bad: Umm, my ankle? It's impact on my life?
The Ugly: The hellacious scars I'm going to have, and the Amanda shaped divot that's forming in my bed.

Really, all things considered it's not so bad. Although a week in bed sounds way better in theory than it actually is in practice. PB has been a saint - I owe him and I am no good at health care, so I'm not sure how that'll work out. Also, I think I am killing my poor mother. She stayed here all week and was constantly running around getting something for me or chasing the girls.

The girls are also good - they are very careful around my ankle, although they're pretty annoyed that we keep leaving the house without them - I take up the whole backseat now since I can't really keep my leg down for a significant amount of time yet. At my first dressing change everything looked good - at least from the doctor's perspective. Next Tuesday I get my first (and hopefully last!) hard cast. Am hoping that I'll be more comfortable moving around after that we'll see.

Had a small setback with a complication related to one of my antibiotics but that problem also seems to be clearing up.

I'm a little bored though, so entertain me, friends. Point me to some new blogs that I should read or something :-)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hmmm....

So I am through the surgery. Got home yesterday afternoon, hobbled my way to bed and pretty much haven't left since. Mom brought the girls back yesterday and they all appear to be in awe of the foot-that-must-not-be-touched. Pain is pretty much under control as long as I stick to the dosing schedule.

Am feeling a little bionic. They apparently used some kind of "anchor and cable" system inside my foot - this was explained to me at some point, but apparently they were not messing around with the pain relief and I don't remember it. I also have some sort of electro magnetic bone growth generator that goes on the outside of my bandage for 10 hours every day. And, before surgery they did this cool thing where they took a bunch of my blood, spun out the platelets, which I guess contain high concentrations of growth factors and other stuff, and applied that to my incision.

First appointment is tomorrow - for a dressing change. That should be interesting. PB is of course, taking fantastic care of me. He even spent the night at the hospital, despite my protestations. He's a good man.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A parenting win!!

Overheard when playing with dolls yesterday:

"Here, Lucy, you be the dad. Take these babies because I have to go to work."

Lily then hitched her purse over her shoulder, walked to the door and said, "Bye, babies, love you, I've got to go to work now."

My mom says I'm warping them. I consider it a win in my quest to turn my children into mini-mes. But no, really, I was super excited to see them reject a traditional gender stereotype (that the stay at home parent is female) even if it's only because they are not aware of said stereotype, yet. I consider it inoculation.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I am posting the hell out of this blog today

A new foster mama (first placement) - check her out:

the holding pattern

Found her via Fosterhood in NYC - also a good read!

Oh yeah, and that whole ankle thing....

Remember my pseudo-fracture from a couple years back? Well, I did something similar close to two weeks ago. Because that's just how I roll.

But this time, I've got FIVE torn ligaments and a new ortho who is STRONGLY ADVISING (read: pretty much insisting in his best "I'm an expert, listen to me, dummy" voice) that I have surgery on the damn thing. Which you know, OK, I hate all things medical, and I think we all know that my control issues make surgery (especially anesthesia) pretty unbearable, right?

But the awesomeness of this particular procedure is even more pronounced after the actual surgery. Feel free to stop reading at this point, but if you're interested in the whole process here it is:

  • Surgery in one of my least favorite hospitals (because that's where this doc operates)
  • During surgery, he'll either sew together my five mishapen misshapen fucked up ligaments OR, remove part of one of my tendons and just start over from scratch.
  • Overnight stay in said hospital (AWESOME!)
  • Two weeks to let my incision heal. Ankle to be iced 45 minutes for every 1 hour I'm awak, and elevated any time I am not actively hobbling somewhere (because, hello? If you've seen my on crutches it is U.G.L.Y.)
  • A hard cast to my knee for three weeks. No weight bearing at all. Nurse claims that if I put any weight on it, it will break.. I'm thinking this could be kind of a fib, along the lines of dye in the pool will make pee turn colors.
  • Removal of first cast, MRI to check my foot.
  • Potential reapplication of second cast, if necessary
  • Physical therapy 3X per week for 3 - 6 weeks, goal of partial weightbearing at the end.
So, yeah. You know, obviously it's just my ankle, and obviously it could be WAY worse. It's temporary, it'll heal. I'm glad it's me and not one of the girls. I just wish I could like shack up in a nursing home for the duration because I hate asking my family and friends to do things for me. The one who really gets the shaft here is PB, of course. Now he'll have three (sometimes pissy, always feisty) women to take care of. Poor Guy.

More funny things heard

From the "I not" category (Lucy):

I not want to break it down.
I not freakin' out.
I not sullen.
I not want to calm down.

Other Lucy quotes:

You my friend, Mama! (and Papa, Lily, and Brooklyn)

Ridiculously mature usage from Lily:

That isn't on my head properly. (no really, word for word, I blame the recent Madeline obsession)
What flavor is this? (referring to her Blowpop, which was cherry, in case you're interested)

Freaky quotes from Lily:

Those black birds freak me out.
No, that would freak me out (referring to jumping off the diving board)

Real! Sentences! from Brooklyn:

No love you, mama (yes, that was her first four word sentence. Parenting fail!)
Love you mama (and Papa, Lily and Lucy)
Juice please, mama.
Where my shoes?
Not your shoes.
Mine!Mine!Mine (ok, so this really doesn't count as a sentence. But she says it. A LOT!)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Lily's maternal grandfather

Lily's uncle graduated from high school this weekend so we made the trip to her great grandparent's town which is about 90 minutes from where we live. The party was lovely, and Uncle M. was adorable - so proud of himself, just beaming.

M's dad (Lily's grandpa) showed up, though he wasn't expected. He at first ignored our presence, then totally lost it when Lily's aunt tried to introduce us. Fled to the restroom. Shied away from her as if she were a snake, visibly cringed when she was near him.

One of the most bizarre (non) interactions I've had in a long, long time.

Fluke...

Massive meltdown at drop off time today. No clue as to why. Luckily, she seemed fine when PB picked her up.

Friday, June 11, 2010

First visit with no tears!

At least no tears while we were there. A few close to moments, with a trembling chin, visible relief when we came to pick her up, but no tears.

Here's to small victories.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A little out of left field, but...

Does anyone know what happened to Baggage (from Baggage that Goes with Mine and Baggage and Bug)? I keep clicking on the broken link and hoping that things are going well for them.

Just curious :-)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Trip to the zoo

We made a trek to the zoo yesterday. Highlights included: visit to a new exhibit, "brushing the goats" at the petting zoo, and riding the carousel.

Upon returning home, I took the girls outside to play and stationed myself in my hammock with a book (yes, my hammock!!). Lily came to the end of the hammock and started pretending it was the carousel, the post on the hammock stand was her microphone. Her instruction speech included:

"Welcome to merry round. Hold still."

Spins wheels on bottom of hammock stand, rocks my hammock a little bit.

"Thank you for coming to the zoo. Stay on merry round until it stops. Thank you for coming to the zoo."

Lucy was up next.

"Thanks zoo! Thanks merry round. Hold still."

Too cute.

Also, regarding visits: More of the same. She seems to be calming more during the actual visit time - books have been really helpful because they give them both something to focus on.

The latest drama has been rescheduling visits to accommodate Mom's job. C/W first suggested Saturdays from 4-6pm. Umm, no? We offered Sundays from 5 - 7pm as a weekend option. Caseworker respondents with 9am - noon Sunday morning. After a consultation with my c/w the answer was no again. We've settled on Monday mornings and Thursday evenings, which I hope, makes everyone happy.

As an aside, I really love Brooklyn's c/w - she's great. Not sure what this weekend thing was about, especially since Mom is new at her job and told PB she needed to work every weekend. Weird.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

A Missive from PB

PB just called to share a great quote from Lily.

The scene: they are heading outside to put clothes on the line. PB instructs them to get shoes on if they're coming outside. Predictably, Lily chooses her peep two yellow patent shoes (they are currently her VERY FAVORITE OF ANYTHING SHE OWNS. EVER).

Lucy grabs some pink foam sandals, which admittedly are not the cutest shoes.

Lily to Lucy "Lucy, those are embarassing."

Again, no idea where she gets it from :-)


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

What's up around here

More of the same :-)

The girls are spectacular - Lily is getting SO BIG! It's a little ridiculous how much a of a girl she is not, instead of a baby. That's a concept she's struggling with by the way... she thinks babies are somehow genderless, and that they grow up to be either little girls or little boys. She also seems to think that kids can change their genders... that at some point, boy babies can become little girls and vice-versa.

Lucy is quite literally the most amusing child I've ever laid eyes on. She has this adorable little voice and she comes up with some of the craziest things. She loves to make people laugh and yesterday in the car, she and Lucy literally discovered toilet humor. The funniest lines from Lucy (at least according to Lily) was "My name is Potty Toilet." Lily cackled so loudly that Lucy then experiemented with different pitches and emphasizing different syllables: "My name is Pot-TY Toi-LET." You get the picture.

Brooklyn said her first sentence last week - "I put shoes way." Yes, like our eldest Brooklyn is also obsessed with shoes. And no, I have no idea where she gets it from. Visits continue pretty much the way they have been. As soon as PB pulls into the parking lot, Brooklyn starts yelling, "No, no, no, no," but she is apparently calming down when he leaves. C/W also told me she is doing the hitchy breathing thing that I haven't heard since about a month or so after she came to us which confirms for me that it's anxiety related. Books seem to help so we're sending those to visits a lot.

And ending on a more humorous note, other choice lines from the girls:

"These shoes don't fit. I need to take them back." (Lily)
"Don't worry, Mama. Accidents happen." (Lily, upon hearing that I forgot my wallet and we had to go back to the house before getting Gr.A.e.t.ers)
"No, I want mine own." (Lucy, when asked if she liked to have a bit of her uncle's ice cream)

Friday, May 14, 2010

So the visits...

are not going well. At all.

Brooklyn wants pretty much nothing to do with her mom. This is heartbreaking on a number of fronts. It's hard to leave her there when we she is screaming bloody murder (and in one instance banging on the windows) as we leave.

It sucks for her mom who is hurt and frustrated. She has cried her way through many of the visits, and Brooklyn just doesn't seem to be softening toward her.

I don't know how long this will take. We've only had two weeks or so, but they are 2 hours 2 per week so it's a (relatively) large amount of time (as visits go). Brooklyn seems to be as upset each time we leave her and seems to be very upset throughout most of the visit. According to all reports, she is not calming down during the visit - I mean, she doesn't scream throughout them, but she does pretty much constantly cry and / or avoid her mom altogether by sitting in a corner by herself.

And, of course, it sucks for Brooklyn. I don't think she was much bonded to her mom to begin with. Her reception to Mom actually got much better over time when she was visiting before, I think, because they were having positive interactions for the first time in a long time. But I think the original poor bonding combined with this long absence has really f*ed up the relationship.

Grrr. So frustrating. I just keep trying to tell myself it's a temporary transition, but Brooklyn is so vehement in her opposition to her mom. Here's hoping she will warm up sooner rather than later.

Friday, May 07, 2010

One down, ??? more to go

PB did the honors today, for which I am pretty grateful. He said that Brooklyn was EXTREMELY distressed at first, and again when he came to pick her up, but her mom said she calmed down in between. Mom was (of course) glad to see Brooklyn. I just hate that she was that upset. We'll see what tonight brings.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

here we go again...

So it turns out that transferred in Brooklyn's mom's case meant transferred to a halfway house.

She called the c/w within a week of getting there and immediately set up visits with Brooklyn.

They start this Friday. I am a little nervous only because I don't know how Brooklyn will react, but of course we'll deal with it as it comes.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

How infertility keeps f***ing with me

Seriously ridiculous... At some point this week, I thought, "Hmm, I haven't had a visit from Aunt Flo in a while" - not really because I think that phrase is dumb, but it's more colorful than saying, "I haven't had my period in a while."

So anyway, I looked at the calendar and sure enough, I'm late. You know what happens next, right? I start thinking, "Hmm, I have been [insert random pregnancy symptom here]." And when, the matter finally... ahem... resolved itself just a few hours ago, in the way we all knew it would, isn't it f'ed up that I was a little disappointed?

Here's the thing: I DON'T WANT TO BE PREGNANT. Not even a little bit. We're definitely not in need of a child under 2 around here this second, I hate the idea of watching every substance that enters my body for the next 9 months (and hate the idea of other people doing that on my behalf even more). I don't think being pregnant itself would be that enjoyable, I am already at a pregnancy weight on my own, without a baby to blame it on, I hate the idea of labor and delivery, I don't get short term disability AND I'm on a high deductible insurance plan. There is
nothing about pregnancy that is appealing.

But I was still disappointed. I think because getting pregnant would be winning on some level. Proving that my body is good enough, you know? Stupid.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What she said:

http://lilysea.blogs.com/peterscrossstation/2010/04/on-the-fallout-from-the-sandra-bullock-adoption.html

about Sandra Bullock's adoption.

And also, how on God's Green Earth did Jesse James (who has been *photographed* performing a Nazi salute in a Nazi hat with Faux Hitler mustache, apparently has a collection of Nazi paraphernalia and cheated one his wife with an openly white supremacist pornish star) get approved to adopt ANY baby, let alone an African American baby?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hmmm... perhaps I am less conflicted than I initially thought

Today I checked the online offender registry to see if Brooklyn's mom was still in jail. Her status has been changed to "transferred." Now I'm not certain what that means - transfer here, pending parole, transfer elsewhere following a hearing... I don't know. But what I do know is that when I read it a tiny part of me (much to my dismay) recoiled. I think I'm beginning to get used to the idea of her staying around here in the long term. And that scares the hell out of me.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Primal Wound or Brain Trauma... and does it matter?

Not surprisingly, PB and I have found our foster care training classes both more enjoyable and more beneficial since we actually got to start choosing them instead of just taking the required introductory classes which often covered topics (like dealing with teenagers, and parenting sexually abused children) that we aren't currently dealing with.

Today we took a class about helping children develop social skills. The instructor talked a lot about the impact of trauma on the brain, particularly on the developing brain. I found it very easy to believe that an infant's brain chemistry could be altered by profound abuse and neglect, by in utero exposure to alcohol, or by the trauma of being removed from his or her biological mother.

Why then was it hard for me to process The Primal Wound? Why does it make MORE sense to me to believe that a child's brain structure could be significantly altered by this separation as opposed to believing the separation causes an existential identity crisis (if I'm describing the Primal Wound correctly)?

I think it has to do with my own background and familiarity. I can easily understand how trauma could impact the brain and how those impacts might be long lasting. It makes particular sense if you think of the stress reaction of an infant and how elevated levels of stress very early on could have a significant impact. Mostly, I think it's just interesting that until today I never considered adoptive trauma in this way.

I'm still processing what this might mean for me and mine, but this is how far I've made it since class this afternoon.

Monday, April 19, 2010

More from the mouths of (my) babes

"It's not perfect, mama" Lily's pronouncement on my new shirt (thanks!)

"I got you, Mama" Lucy, in response to me asking if she "got me" when I was talking to her about some random misdeed.

"Ellie saying dammit," Lily - just now, when they are supposed to be going to be bed (definition of a parenting fail).

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Damned MTV

I am totally addicted to these teen mom shows on MTV. Seriously. I keep watching the first days in the hospital and the instant bond between the moms and the babies and I worry for my girls. I hate that (especially Lily) missed out on that. She was alone for 9 days. And yeah, the nurses were nice and yeah, her physical needs were met, but a baby for nine days with no mom and dad? Hurts my heart to think of her like that.

Lucy's story is a bit different. We saw her 12 hours after she was born and one of us was there as constantly as the hospital would let us be. But still, her mom didn't hold her when she was born, because she wanted us to be the first to hold her. And even so, we weren't her parents, the ones who she knew without knowing.

In any event. I can't stop watching and just thinking about them, in the time before I knew them, in the time before I even knew Lily existed.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Things heard this weekend

I think I should change my blog title to something like "Random things my delightful children say." As that seems to be primarily what I'm writing about lately.

"Brooklyn took her shoes off. That's not cool, Papa." -- Lucy
"See the problem is, there is a lion in the living room. And I am going to throw my shoes at him." --Lily
"Pees. Gub You" -- Brooklyn (roughly translates to Please and Thank you)
"When I was a baby I lived with [Lily's firstmom's name]" --Lily (even though she didn't)

"Who is [cousin's kids] mama?"
"[COUSIN]"
"No. Who is [cousin's kids] OTHER mama?"
"[COUSIN]. He only has one mama."
"Oh."
--conversation between me and Lily

"Papa stays home with me now, Mama. When you going to stay home, too?" --Lily
"I love Brooklyn [Brooklyn's middle name] [Brooklyn's last name]" -- Lucy



Monday, March 22, 2010

Cuteness, cuteness, cuteness...

Lily thinks my boss (O) is the source of all bad things, apparently. Which is really funny because I love my (current) boss and I feel like I am treated more than fairly at work. But on at least three occasions, she's associate O with negative outcomes for me.

1) When I said that my work smelled like stinky boys - and it did, I have no idea why but it did - she said, "Hmm, probably O, huh, Mama?

2) When I told her the other day that I had a headache, she said, "Did O give you a headache, Mama?"

3) When I told her (yesterday) that she needed Aunt Rebecca to go with her because she might fall down the first time she went ice skating, she said, "You mean if people run into me?" And I said, "Well, maybe if people run into you, but you might just fall, too." Then she said, "Yeah, maybe O run into me."

Seriously, I have no idea why. It would make much more sense if she associated my major client at work with all bad things because I think I complain about him more than O. Who knows?

Speaking of work, Lucy came in the other day while I was listening to interviews on my phone, stood in the door way, planted her feet with her hands on her hips, and said, "Watcha doin' Mama?" in the cutest singsong voice I think I've ever heard. She also has an adorable way of saying, "That's a spicy meatball" that comes out more like, "That's a picy meatabulla." Yesterday, she actually called me a "Picy meatbulla" which was still funny, if slightly insulting.

And that is all. Quite a lovely weekend, girls party was a success. Oh and we had some pics taken on Friday.. **Sorry pics removed. Email me and I'll share them if I know you***

Thursday, March 18, 2010

So about Brooklyn

**Warning could trigger foster parents who would love nothing more than to adopt their foster children. I know because I was there once.***

Mom is in jail. She will probably be in jail for some period of time. The c/w says the clock will not stop running, so she is still working with the same 15 months that kids in this age range have before filing for permanency. Normally, I would have mixed feelings about this, but truthfully? Her mom had dropped way out of the picture even before this happened. It's been almost 4 months since she's seen Brooklyn and she just went to jail about 3 weeks ago.

So, there's that.

Brooklyn is doing great. She seems to be getting along with the girls, and they're doing pretty well with her. In the short time that she's been here, she has become
a part of our family, no question. I just really wasn't ready to start talking about making that permanent this soon, which is what happened last week when her c/w came out. And again at her Semi-Annual Review last this week.

Insane. I would have died for this to happen on Lily's case, where it was (IMHO) just as deserved. Now I feel *so* badly not being as overjoyed this time. It's not about Brooklyn at all - it's about having 3 kids going to prom at the same time, and driving at the same time, and god forbid, going to college at the same time. Having 3 kids (especially girls!!) within 15 months seems like a recipe for insanity.

But she's here and we love her and I think that transitioning to someone else would be problematic for her. And that makes me think that we should just do it.

But then I think that EVERY kid should have people begging to get to keep them and be overjoyed that they're joining their family. I'm sure there are families right now who would be over the moon if Brooklyn was theirs. So are we doing her a disservice by adopting her when we're not *that* family?

I don't know. I think the short term right answer for everyone is to adopt her. I think the long term right answer for her is to adopt her. So maybe that's enough?
Luckily, we don't have to adopt now, but there definitely seems to be a certain... inevitability to the whole thing. We'll see.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A bit of a mish mash...

First up, my kids are hysterical. Really.

Yesterday, when Lily took her pajamas off, I saw a bite mark on her back. I said, "Lily, who bit your back?" and Lucy said, "Lucy". PB: "Why did Lucy bite your back, Lily?" Lily: "Because I was sleepin' like an angel." No idea where she got that one.

The other day I asked Lucy, "Are you hungry? [at dinnertime]" Her reply: "No." Me, surprised, because Lucy is always hungry "Really?" Lucy, "I just kiddin' mama." She got that phrase from Lily, by the way. Also, when she is mad, Lucy's favorite phrase is "Leave my lone."

So yesterday was Lucy's SECOND birthday. It really, truly, seems impossible. I think she had a great day - birthday cake for breakfast (that's our birthday tradition, and like the only time I ever cook anything). My parents sent her balloons, which she LOVED. Then we went to a Mexican restaurant at her request. We also got a sweet birthday message for her first parents. Made me cry (in a good way!).

Brooklyn is doing SO great. We had an appointment at a program with the Board of Developmental delays last week where she was evaluated by a PT, OT and speech therapist, all of whom gave her rave reviews. I cannot believe the difference we've seen in such a short time. I really thought it would take much longer for her to catch up. She is (still) one of the most beautiful children I've ever seen and she is (finally!)starting to talk. She actually tried to say "my shoes" yesterday and also said "Mama" and "Dada" last weekend. Yay, Brooklyn!

Also attended Brooklyn's SAR yesterday. Will save details for another post, but it really looks like we will have a major decision to make within the next year or so.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Ah, the life lessons we learn from MTV

So tonight I was watching "16 and Pregnant". That's right, I admit it. I watched it.

Lily was in bed, but as I was watching, she came into my room and said she wasn't tired and wanted to wait up for daddy (who was working late). I left her crawl in bed and she was SO obsessed with the pregnant lady that I left the show on.

Went pretty uneventful until the baby was actually born. Then she kept asking, "Why that baby sad?" and the baby was, you know, a baby with not really any perceptible emotion. So I just kept saying, "I don't think it's sad, baby, I think the baby is just tired."

Then, finally at the very end of the show, after we had seen the I'm-16-and-struggling-to-take-of-my-awesome-baby scenes, Lily said, "When she going to give her baby to the people, mama?" I wasn't really sure what she was asking, and then she said, "When't that baby going to get adopted?"

Of course, we talked about how not ALL babies, are adopted and in fact, most babies stay with their first mama. I told her I was super glad she was going to live with us forever, but that not all babies ended up with mamas who didn't carry them in their bodies.

The fact that she's processing these things so early amazes me.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Today

So today I lost my first internet friend. I met Tabs in an online infertility support group... probably in 2004? 2005 at the latest. We never met in real life, but we talked A LOT online. She was a fantastic person - funny, smart, and always concerned. She was an ear when I needed someone to listen, she would always pick me up when I was bummed out, and she called bullshit as appropriate. She fought through a ton in her life, and it looks like it was finally too much for her. She'll be missed.

And also, today, Chicago Baby's mom became a friend of a friend on facebook. I am a sick facebook stalker so I obviously clicked on her profile, and her picture is of her, Chicago Baby, and Chicago Baby's dad (who she appears to have married). My only reaction to this? Damn, I'm glad they didn't go through with it - talk about a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I want to message her, but I think that would be over the top stalkerish...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Things we've been talking (and thinking) about lately

So let's start with some heavy adoption talk. Last week, out of the blue, Lily said, "When I was little baby you and Papa weren't there and I was sad." I think this stems from the fact that we have been telling her "story" more recently as she has become obsessed about talking about when she was little. However, I don't remember ever telling her that we weren't there when she was tiny, though it's possible that she overheard us talking about it at some point.

So this led to another rehearsal of the very basics of her adoption story, including the names of her first parents. She then said, "Does Lucy have an M. (M being her firstmom's first initial)?" We told her she did and told her their names and then she said, "And when Lucy was little you weren't there and she was sad?". This got a bit tricky because although their adoption stories are very parallel, this part is very divergent. Lily was alone at the hospital for 9 days with no visitors for the majority of the time. Lucy, on the other hand, had someone with her nearly 24 / 7 in the hospital (either me, PB, her first mom or her first dad). So we had to talk about how Lucy wasn't really alone and we didn't know if she was sad...

Who would've thought we'd be having these conversations at less than 3 years of age?

Then, the next day, Lily said, "We've had Brooklyn for a few while, Mama." And I said that yes, we had. "She doesn't visit her Mama anymore." Nope, she doesn't. "That's sad." Yes, honey it is and we hope that her mom will get better soon and be able to see her.

And that was it. Just an interesting couple of days.

And on a lighter note, some cute things have popped up recently:

"Somebody smells like Bit-O-Honey" - Lily, after I lotioned up Brooklyn with some Carole's daughter Almond Souffle.

"I wanna try that" - Lily, after watching women's moguls
"I wanna try that" - Lily, after watching ice dancing

Lucy has also counted to 10, and knows all her ABC's.

Brooklyn's mom did show up to court, surprisingly enough. She said she would call the c/w that afternoon and set up visits and was even discussing times with me. Then, she never called. C/w finally tracked her down and set up a meeting, which she missed the first time. She showed up the second time so they were ready to restart visits this week, but now no one has been able to reach Mom to tell her when and where visits will be.

Awesome.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

True story....

So last night, I was driving our one car that would actually get us to and from work in the snow (oh Scion, how I love you, how you are totally and completely worthless in any bad weather).

So anyway, I was leaving work last night to go pick up my dear PB. As I got to the end of my alley I saw nasty pile of snow. I tried to stop before hitting it, ended up stopping in the middle of hitting it and stalled my car.

Well that sucks, but it's fixable, right? I tried rocking, didn't work. Got out of the car and tried to kick some snow in front of the tires to give it more traction. Saw that one of the wheels was still spinning and thought, "Shit. I left the car in gear." Tried to jump back in to put it in park and...

the fucking door was locked. Yep. Locked. So my car is stuck in snowbank, in gear, and I'm locked out of it. But this story gets better. You see, I hate to drive with my coat on, so guess what was inside the car? My coat. And guess what was in my coat pocket? My cell phone. And my office keys.

Awesome.

Thanks to some uberhelpful accountants in the building next door, I was able to get a tow truck to come unlock my car and pull me out of the snow drifts. By the way, the cops? Not so helpful. EVEN THOUGH MY CAR WAS IN GEAR AND I WAS LOCKED OUT OF IT, MEANING NO ONE WAS DRIVING IT.

The best part of the story? The grizzled truck driver who came to my rescue, gets out of the car with a Marlboro Red dangling out his mouth, tosses it in the snow, and says, "Man you've really got it buried." Umm, yeah, thanks. After pulling me out, he said, "Now on your receipt I just wrote $60.00 for tow. You can turn it in to your insurance, but don't mention the lock out and getting stuck in the snow. They'll think you're an idiot and won't pay the claim."

He's probably right on both counts. The being an idiot part and the not paying the claim part.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

7 weeks and counting...

Warning: If you are still in the throes of wanting desperately to adopt from foster care (like I was, oh, a year ago), this post might piss you off.

So, it's been 7 weeks since Brooklyn's mom has been in touch. I'm so sad for her. And so scared for us, and the decision that we could / might / may / probably will have to make about her long term future.

Don't get me wrong, we love her to do death and if there were no other factors to consider but her, we would be more than happy to adopt her. But there are external constraints now. Like my other two daughters, and the prospect of raising three children (three GIRL children) that are less than 15 months apart. Logistically this will get easier with time. All three are walking and 1.5 kids are out of diapers which has made a big difference. But in the long term, I just keep thinking how EXPENSIVE it will be - to have three girls who all need prom dresses or three college tuition bills... the list goes on and on.

And I also wonder about having Lucy and Brooklyn in the same grade at school. That seems weird, since they're not twins. Oh yeah, and the fact that we wanted to foster for a while before adopting again, which probably, realistically, won't be possible because I don't think we'd want to try four for a long, long time. I don't know.

Anyway, that's what my head has been spinning around lately. Any of you out there have kids who are very close in age and have any thoughts?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Anybody still out there?

If so, I'm sorry.

This is the longest I've gone without posting since I started my blog. I guess I could attribute it to 1) the added chaos of a third child - I mean really, who knew? 2) the added chaos of my job which is getting crazier by the second - Again, really, who knew? and 3) the holidays - during which time i visited a lot, got to hang out with two of my dearest friends a little and did not mail the cards and pictures I bought. Awesome.

So, where were we? Let's just do updates, shall we?

Me: I recovered from the big horrible, bad work fuck up. Mostly. Am paranoid as shit about doing it again, which is probably a good thing. Have been converted to a believe in better living through chemistry. Ahem. And am settling into a groove, I think.

PB: Great, laid back and uber-supportive. An all around too good partner that I don't really deserve but who makes me believe in karma. As in I did something amazingly good to deserve getting him this go around.


Lily: Also, great. Almost three!!! Very busy. She loves tumbling, the new indoor trampoline and princesses, all things princess.

Lucy: Yeah, I'll go with great here as well. Almost two, talking like mad. I don't even know how I got two kids who are so freaking verbal (and the fact that PB has to live with us and my aforementioned belief karma make me wonder what the hell he did in a former life, but I digress). She just learned how to crawl out of her crib last Thursday - and we knew this because she knocked on our bedroom door, said "I wake" and when I answered the door, she beamed at me and said "I outta my cib momma". Yeah, pretty adorable.

Brooklyn: Also great. Has made tremendous strides in the last 3.5 months and we're SO proud of her. She's walking, trying really hard to talk without too much success, has gained pounds and is beginning to throw some serious tantrums. Which pretty much sucks, but I think it ultimately actually a good sign.

As for Brooklyn's case, well, her mom had been pretty consistent about visiting, and even had me halfway convinced for a while that it was a big misunderstanding. Turns out not so much. Let's put it mildly by saying she has made some really terrible life decisions in the last month and hasn't seen Brooklyn at all during that time. Really not sure where this case is headed, but pretty sure we might be facing a major decision in the next year. One that, honestly, I'm not that excited about making.

So what about you? If there is a you to speak of anymore?