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Brother-Sister-Friends Forever

11/17/2014

After living for three months as (foster) brother and sister in the summer of 2013, Termain and Alianna will always think of each other as brother-sister-friends it seems, and I hope it stays that way. (He was originally nicknamed Buzz Lightyear here.) I’m beyond grateful to his mom allowing us to stay a part of their lives as friends (that still feel a lot like family) over a year after they were officially reunified. A couple Saturdays ago we had the privilege of babysitting Termain for several hours. We get together every few months but this is the first time he was with us without his mom. We were all a little nervous about how he’d do, since being at our house stirs up a lot of traumatic memories from the time he was separated from his mom. Thankfully, he did great! He and Ali play so well together and their love for each other is obvious.

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I just realized I never shared the photos from our last visit with them at Baby Vegas (AKA Chuck E Cheese) for his 4th birthday back in September. They wanted to do every game together.

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Costume Party

10/30/2014

On Saturday night we went to a costume party with the guys Jason plays with and their families. The three bandmates dressed up as the boss, Guy Penrod. It was a hilarious surprise! We all had a great time. Ali wore her dog suit but ditched it halfway through the party before I got any photos. I had about 3 hours notice to get ready and figure out a costume so I borrowed Ali’s dress up butterfly wings and whipped up some antennae with hot gun, pipe cleaners and ping pong balls. I was a butterfly…or a bug…or a bee. I’m not sure.

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Pumpkin Patch 2014

10/20/2014

We recently spent an afternoon at the pumpkin patch with a couple of Ali’s besties and their parents. Jaron is our friend and neighbor and Eliza is Ali’s cousin. These three have been friends since birth—and we’ve been friends with their parents for much longer—so it’s always special to see the three of them together. They had a great time picking out pumpkins, exploring the activities and going on a hayride. I remembered to get out my good camera for a change. (Jason was on the road that day.)

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Buzz came back…

12/30/2013

with his mom for dinner! (Side note: Our current foster placement is nicknamed Bee and our last foster placement was nicknamed Buzz [Lightyear]…Unintentional!)

Buzz was with us for three months, May-July this year. He returned home to his mom at the beginning of August for a 90-day trial period. She passed all of her requirements with flying colors and Buzz is now officially out of state custody. I could share his real name, I suppose but I’ll keep it Buzz for now. His mom did give me permission to share photos of his face though.

We got together for visits a couple times during the 90-day period and it always took Buzz a long time to warm up to us. I imagine it stirs up all kind of mixed feelings about being separated from his mommy for so long. We’ve all become like friends/family through this foster care experience so we’re hoping he’ll get more comfortable with seeing us. Buzz’s mom wanted to celebrate with us once he was finally officially out of custody. I felt like it was the right time to finally invite her to our house. She had only known the general area where we lived. I figured she’d enjoy seeing where he spent most of 3 months this summer. We were all hoping it would be healing for Buzz to come back to our house again too, and then to leave with his mom. Closure.

So Buzz and his mom came over for dinner two days before Bee arrived (in November…I’m posting this late). I didn’t take a lot of pictures because these two got crazy once they got over the initial awkwardness. At first Buzz was clinging to his mom and wouldn’t even let her put him down. Eventually we moved to the playroom and he couldn’t resist playing with Ali. He’s taking gymnastics and karate so he showed off lots of moves. Ali now knows how to build a tower of blocks and chop it down with a “Hi-yuck!” as she says.

Their dinner visit went really well. It was also loud and crazy and reminded me of how stressful and tiring that season of our lives was. I’m really thankful that we were able to be there for Buzz and his mom during that time but I’m also really thankful they’re back together.

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Sugar and Spice

11/18/2013

Alianna has one cousin in Nashville, Eliza who is 5 months older than her. It’s such a blessing that they’re close in age and dear friends. They’re ying and yang, sugar and spice, opposities in many ways, and it’s so fun to see them playing together. They’re finally getting to the age where they don’t need so much supervision and my sister-in-law and I can sit back and chat while they play.

I grabbed my camera while these two girlies were having a dance party in Ali’s room the other day.

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Mother Daughter Road Trip to Cincinnati

09/09/2013

 

 

 

Over Labor Day weekend, Ali and I took a road trip up to visit our dear friends in Cincinnati. It’s a 4 hour drive so manageable for just the two of us. It was 2 weeks after her potty training day so we stopped more than usual—3x instead of 1. She did great though. Before we left she was feeding her favorite lovie Little Lucy cereal for breakfast. It was so sweet and funny. I could tell it was going to be a good day.

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We stopped for lunch at Skyline Chili, a speciality of Cincinnati. Ali wanted to sit in the booth across from me rather than in a high chair. She’s turning into such a little lady!

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It was her first experience with cincinnati chili over speghetti and I think it was a bit too spicy for her tastes. She said, “I no like that. I just like cheese.” OK, sweetheart. You can eat oyster crackers and shredded cheddar for lunch.

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She had a great time visiting with our friends Jonas (her birthday buddy who just turned 1 in July), Olivia (who is 3 months older than Ali) and Ben (who just turned 4).

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Ben didn’t want me to take his picture but he agreed to make silly faces with me.

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“Night Night” is Ali’s new favorite game.

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We took the kids to a childrens museum on Sunday afternoon. They liked petting Shelly the turtle.

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Ali coloring with Aunt Renata.

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Shopping at the miniature Kroger.

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Celebrating another staying dry and using the potty instance in the restroom. She gets a Skittle when she has stayed dry/clean and successfully uses the bathroom.

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In a miniature house, wearing an apple dress, holding an apple. She’s fun!

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I know this picture is terribly blurry but 90% of my pictures of the kids over the weekend were blurry. (I forgot my good camera.) Ali and Olivia got along so well. Renata is one of my very best friends and it was really sweet for us to see our daughters become fast friends, too.

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On Labor Day we went to a fair and the kids got to ride this little train. What a cute caboose!

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It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since our last visit. Before Ali and I left last summer both girls were wanting me to hold them and Renata took this picture.

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She thought it would be fun to recreate the picture one year later. These two got a lot heavier! I’m wearing the same jeans in both pictures and I actually packed that purple shirt with me. Had I realized, I would have worn it.

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I’m sad that our good friends aren’t in Nashville anymore but glad that we can see them at least once a year. Gosh, that seems like way too long! I’m really thankful that our kids got along so well and we had lots of time to visit as adults over the weekend, too.

 


Weekend Update

06/25/2013

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Friday night after the kids were asleep Jason and I started preparing our house for our first party—a house warming party! We’ve been in our new home for 6 months but it took us this long to find a weekend that worked for both of us and to feel like we were settled enough.

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Since court was pretty uneventful on Friday, we had a visit with Buzz’s mom Saturday morning at a newer city park a few miles from us. This is the first time we had had a chance to check out the splash pad. It’s pretty great and it’s totally free. Thank you, Nashville! This is the only picture I took because it was hard to stay dry. Buzz is in the background by Ali’s forehead. He LOVED it! Ali wasn’t so sure.

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I gave the kids early baths on Saturday since I knew they’d be up late at the party. When Buzz saw that I was putting a dress on Ali, he ran to his closet to pick out a nice shirt. I helped find matching shorts and then he picked out the flip flops for both of them. I had my new Pandora station running and they decided to dance together. I took a video to send to Buzz’s mom. I wish you could see the huge grin on his face. It’s very similar to Buzz Lightyear’s grin here:

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This was at the end of the party when just our BFFs were still there. We attempted to get a typical smooch shot of Ali and her buddy Jaron but they were too quick (although there was kissing a-plenty!) It was way past their bedtime and these two were getting so silly, especially Buzz. Again, I wish you could see his huge grin.

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Buzz got into a rare kissing mood…he kissed me, our friend, Jason…and then I suggested he give Ali a kiss. 99% of the time he refuses affection from her. She’ll sneak up behind him to give him a hug and he squeals and tries to get away. This time he gave her a big, long kiss! They really do love each other even though they drive each other (and us) nuts most of the time. Like brother and sister, I guess.

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When I finally crashed into bed, I had to stop to take a photo. This room has been the most neglected design-wise. We finally got new curtains and hung them the day before the house warming party. We had tubs of out-of-season clothes and piles of extra blankets that I finally packed into our closet. (Why didn’t I do that months ago?!) It looks so much more clean and relaxing now. I’ll be posting some more about this room as it progresses. We picked out new bedding but haven’t purchased it yet. After that, we’ll be working on night stands, lamps, an accent wall, and artwork.

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