Dun Dun Dun…

07/03/2013

The stomach virus strikes again. I can’t believe I’m writing about this but it’s basically been consuming all of my non-working, waking hours lately. You know I mentioned getting a nasty stomach virus last week? Well we’re pretty sure Ali had a milder form of it last week too. Buzz had a little bit of symptoms but seemed fine. On Sunday evening, I woke the kids up from their deep slumber so we could go to a Nashville Sounds game. I got free tickets from work, their was a concert beforehand and the weather was cloudy an 79 degrees so we were all set up for a perfect evening. Before the game started, we could tell something was up. Ali was just eating it all up. She LOVES adventures, people, crowds, mascots, music…all of it. But Buzz was not acting like his usual wild self. It was kind of nice at first…during the concert he just stood next to me and held my hand or wanted to be picked up. But once we got to our seats he was really trying to get comfortable and acting really sleepy. We only stayed for 1.5 innings and realized we better go. As soon as we got home, he flopped on the sofa in the playroom. I checked his temperature and he had a fever. As soon as I turned to walk out of the room he threw up all over the place. I took a sick day on Monday to take care of him and Ali while Jason ran a bunch of errands. Tuesday morning Buzz still had a fever so I left both kids with Jason and went to work. Before lunch time I got a text from Jason that he wasn’t feeling well. By the time I got both kids down for their afternoon naps, Jason was definitely sick with the same dang stomach virus. I hate that thing. I hate that it’s taken over a week to move from person to person. I hate that it started with me.

I’m praying that Buzz is well enough to go to day care today and that Jason is able to rest and get his strength back. Possibly, I’ll be able to go in to the office. Good grief. It has been a week! We have a lot of fun planned for the next few days so I’m ready to kick this thing to the curb.

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Getting Settled

05/15/2013

I’m way behind on blog posts. I still haven’t posted about Ali’s and my trip to Florida a month ago or the swimming lessons she started. I have pictures of mid-century modern things we’ve bought and sold. I have pictures of our blossoming landscaping. I was behind before Buzz showed up 12 days ago but now I’m REALLY behind. However, it’s easier to write about what’s currently going on.

• Yesterday was Buzz’s first day of day care (in our care) and it was so good for all of us. The consistency of a daily routine, structure and opportunity to play with other kids all day will be great for him. It was also a much needed break for Ali who has been kind of stressed out (acting out for attention, yelling and hitting a lot) and we could tell she was craving down time, as well as some individual attention from Mom and Dad. I worked at home yesterday with just Ali. Holy Cow! I got so much done! I thought working at home with a child was challenging but after struggling all week last week with two, it was a piece of cake. Day care isn’t cheap and it will use up most of the daily board rate that the state gives us for Buzz’s expenses but it’s worth it for us. This is what Ali did after breakfast:

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• We all picked Buzz up together and went shopping for a new grill. I love when stores have double child seat shopping carts, especially when they’re shaped like a car. This is the first time we’ve taken both of these kids shopping. They were driving each other crazy. (Get it?) Seriously, they pick on each other like brother and sister. Ali is a pesky little sister constantly grabbing his steering wheel or flicking his hair. He whines and tattles and is always pushing her back into her side of the car. Then she smacks him. Then he fake cries. (Anyone have suggestions on how to foster sibling love and kindness?)

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• Our old grill was a surprise wedding gift from my cousin Dan. I was 18 at the time and I thought, A grill? That’s so…grownup. We’ve used the heck outta that thing over a decade and moved it to 7 different apartments and homes from Erie, PA to Nashville, TN. It was such a wonderful, thoughtful wedding gift. Now here we are 10 years later grilling our first dinner on the back patio of our dream house on a gorgeous May evening with a spunky little Hispanic girl we adopted and a playful little AA boy we’re fostering. I never in a million years would have pictured this as my life from that vantage point but here we are and I love it.

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• Speaking of love, it’s not all brother-and-sisterly squabbles. They do like each other. After dinner they wanted to swing in the hammock together and then they were working together to fill containers with rocks in the courtyard. And the sweetest thing yet… Jason was putting Ali to bed while I was putting Buzz to bed. He brought Ali into his room so I could give her a hug and kiss goodnight. As they started to walk out, Buzz said “Wait!” We asked if he wanted to say goodnight to Ali. (We’ve suggested this several times before and they usually refuse anything other than an occasional “night night” or wave.) They both leaned in for a hug and then a kiss. MELT.MY.HEART.

• Neighborhood moms are so generously bringing us meals 3 nights a week and it lifts a huge burden. If I haven’t already mentioned it, Buzz will likely be with us a couple months but of course anything can happen in foster care. I love his mom. We’ve been texting back and forth a few times through the week. She was super helpful in getting me his immunization records so I could get him into day care. (DCS…not so much. They pretty much dropped the ball last week and this desperate mama decided to take matters into her own hands…without of course “going over their heads” because, ah hem, we’ve been warned.) We’re constantly referring to ourselves as Mr. Jason and Ms. Martina to Buzz, both out of respect for his parents and because we believe he’ll be reunified with them soon. However, he has started calling me “Ma” and Jason “Da.” I’m not sure how to avoid this because Ali is calling us Mama and Daddy all day. Also, I don’t think he’s able to say “Ms. Martina” or “Mr. Jason.” I just hope his mom is not offended if/when he calls me Ma in front of her someday. I tried. I really did. Ali, on the other hand, sometimes calls me “Nina.” Or “Ali’s Nina.” Oh that girl!

So that’s where we are. Blogging has been a little scarce because I’m still fighting to recover my energy. At the end of the day when I have the choice of sorting out my thoughts here or going to bed, I usually fall asleep sitting up before I even make the decision. But we’re definitely getting settled and life is starting to feel more manageable. Thanks for hanging out here and sharing this adventure with us.


Summer Days (Daze?)

06/01/2011

It’s been a busy past few days and I don’t have time to write any of the posts I have in my mind to write. For now, here’s a picture of where Jason and I have been eating a lot of our meals lately:

And an update on recent goings-on:

• We’re 2/3 of the way through our foster parent certification. Paperwork is done. Classes are done. We’re waiting for the home study writer to contact us to set up home study interviews. We’ve been waiting for 2 weeks and it’s been a relief, actually. It kind of feels like the calm before a storm. Not that we’re dreading it but we’re just savoring the (potentially) last few weeks of just the two of us.

• But, of course we’re staying busy! We have the kids room almost all the way finished. There are just a few pieces of art left to hang on the walls. When it’s all done I’ll do a proper photo tour. And we’ve been painting. Now seemed like a good time to paint the rest of the house. So far we have the living room (and the kids room) done. The kitchen, master bedroom and hallway are next in line. The project to do list that’s taped on the wall of our hallway is almost done.

• Our new van has one tire that’s mysteriously worn much more than the other 3. We’ve been planning to replace all 4 tires soon. After an almost-blow-out last night (we have a rubber flapper), now is the time to replace all four. We were hoping we could wait a few months but ack! Oh well.

• Have you heard about the cicada invasion in the middle Tennessee area? It’s a 13-year cycle. I’ll post more about that later in case you’re curious…