Tuesday, January 29, 2008

February Funk

Thanks to some very wise "seasoned" homeschoolers who thought to share with me this yearly phenomenon, I was prepared for the "February Funks".

I just was not expecting them in January.

I am sure part of it is the newest edition in the family, but I am just schooled out. My drive is gone and I just want to bundle them up, stick them on the school bus (including the baby) and eat bon-bons all day. Okay, just kidding. Sort of.

The kids have been great and entertaining each other, but I just have no "get up and go", which has been putting school on the back burner. We are usually done with our school day by noon. It is now noon and we have yet to begin. Nor have I showered. Nor planned dinner or the other various things I had on my list for the day.

Anyone else experience (or are currently experiencing) the February Funks? Any thoughts on how you barrel through them?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Georgie NO! Say It Ain't So...

Thanks to A Little Leaven for this video. Oh Mr. President, I still love you. The majority of the time...

"It's A Small World After All"... Everybody Sing!

We had a visiting nurse come today and evaluate our little Iggy. He is now 8 lbs. and 10 ounces, up from 7-15 on Wednesday! He is growing really fast. We call him Iggy only on the blog, otherwise we use his given name which is quite unique.

Yesterday I was at a baby shower for a friend and another friend who was also there asked me his name. I had to repeat it for her. As I did another guest behind me said, "Did you say his name was (insert real name here)?"

"Yep", I replied, thinking she must have met another "Iggy" and I was quite impressed.

"Is he a foster?" she asked cautiously. This got my full attention.

She went on to explain how her brother and sister-in-law are fostering Iggy's older sister and she only knew his name because the foster sister had told her all about him. Crazy! It is definitely a small, small world.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I Miss My Nissan

Checking my favorite blogs today I saw that Susie posted a funny Super Bowl commercial. This one below is my all time favorite (don't forget to check out her's too, it is funny!). Enjoy...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Because My Brain Needs A Break

I would have said closer to 1928 than '58, but this sums me up (somewhat). Although I would have probably been hanging in the juke joint, not the diner!

You Belong in 1958

You're fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Lazy Parents, Lazy Kids

I have been extremely lax in my job of instilling work ethic into my children. K.Z. is a trooper when asked to do a chore, usually, but there is nothing consistent I have taught them they must do. I never grasped the concept as a child either. I would have chores I had to do, but was quite lazy about them and got them done only because I thought my mother would kill me when she got home from work if I did not. Besides, as far as I was concerned, isn't that what a housekeeper was for?

Last night we sat down as a family and outlined the day and every child's responsibility throughout. Before bed I told them what I expected done in the morning after they got up and before breakfast. It happened. Without prompting from me. I was dumbfounded.

I think we constantly underestimate our children. I know I constantly underestimate mine. What chores do you expect from your children? I would love to hear your thoughts on this one.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Some Thoughts On "Iggy"

A lot of friends and relatives have asked us some questions about Iggy and the whole foster thing, so I thought I would address some of them here.

First thing to know is that I am really rooting for his biological mother. That may seem odd and I never thought I would even feel that way, but if she can pull it together, I think that Iggy should be with his biological family. Due to confidentiality I cannot really disclose a lot about her, but she is just clueless. Dad is not in the picture. There are no drug or alcohol issues, just poor parental skills and choices. Think of the first two lines of, "The Old Woman In The Shoe",

"There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
She had so many children, she didn't know what to do;"

...and there you have the situation. Minus the shoe of course. And the fact that there are no longer any children in the shoe. Enter 4 different foster families and, there you go.

So, I am praying for her. On February 6th Iggy will have his court date and it will be ordered that he either go home with his mother (or a relative) or stay with us for six more months. If he is to go home, I certainly hope it will be on the 6th and not after six more months or even a year, as that would be much harder. Which brings me to my next thought.

We came into this foster thing basically to adopt. We wanted to adopt and be able to help out in the foster care system and that was our goal. We would still like to adopt, but now our focus has changed a bit. We are here to serve, in whatever capacity, even if it means we never adopt and are simply a safe haven for children for short periods of time.

So if Iggy needs a forever home, then we are here for him with loving, open arms. For some reason (lack of sleep perhaps?) I do not get the vibe he is here permanently. Maybe the Lord is preparing my heart, but I have a feeling we may not be his future, just his present. I could be dead wrong and would be quite pleased if I am, but only the Lord knows for certain. I will say that I do have a peace about the thought that he may leave in just a few short weeks. There is no anxiety or sadness whatsoever as I would have expected. I will miss him a lot, he is an amazing and sweet little baby and I adore him, but I really want what is best for him, not just my own selfish desires. That is new!

We never really wanted to foster an infant and that is one of the reasons we did not have any more of our own. We love babies and nothing is better than snuggling a brand new babe, but are mentally out of the newborn/baby stage. If Iggy does go home, I doubt we would foster another infant unless that baby needed a legal risk home (
foster parents willing to adopt) right off the bat. Then again, when I released control of this "mission" we are on, I did indeed submit total control to God, so who knows what will happen next.

I am just so grateful that we got to be in his life, no matter how long a period.

I Should Be Teaching, I Should Be Teaching...

I should be teaching right now, but I am listening to the sounds of three siblings playing together harmoniously without the aid of the television, toys, or the best part, Momma. I told them about an hour ago that they had ten more minutes to play.

But they are playing so nicely together, so who cares if they can actually read or write or recite the "
Gettysburg Address". Okay, maybe I do actually care, but the mood in the house is so nice.

I guess I should gather the offspring and start school. Maybe just ten more minutes...

Friday, January 18, 2008

I Heart Ben Stein

I have always loved Ben Stein and not just because he graduated from MY high school, where the geniuses of the world come from (okay, except maybe Sly Stallone, but he only went there for a brief time), but more than likely because of my Alex P. Keaton start in life and the fact that, well... Ben Stein just rocks.

So I was thrilled to see his new trailer posted on Stepping Heavenward this morning and had to follow suit. I will be the first in line for tickets. I wonder if I can camp out?
Anyone care to join me?
Anyone... anyone...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hello From Aduladi Land!

I sat down this morning to try and catch up on my favorite bloggers on my RSS feeder only to find there were 74 entries...sigh! So I skipped the one from news organizations and the like and focused on the blogs I love to read daily. The ones written by other moms and friends and a pastor or two for good measure.

I just want to say that I am still reading even though I have not commented in a while and I am thinking of you!! Tutor, I just miss you in person (sniff sniff); Jamie, I am really praying for you and all that is going on right now; Susie, huge hugs to you! Heather, you keep my mind moving and I really need that right now; Carolyn, keep writing! There are many I love and have not mentioned but to everyone else, thanks for keeping me feeling connected!

I have decided that since we are actually still ahead in school, today will be a "library bag" school day. We went yesterday and took out about 3,000 books and Leap Pad cartridges so we are set for a while. The offspring asked if they could watch television this morning and I allowed them even though we normally do not watch in the mornings. After about an hour they turned it off themselves and went back to digging in the library bag. I am slack jawed and so pleased!

Off to the showers while all is quiet and Iggy is napping. Have a great day!

Monday, January 14, 2008

This Is Not A Baby Blog... I Promise

It seems that Iggy is getting a lot of blog press these days. Simply because he has been what the house has been swirling around for the past 5 days. And he is so darn cute. But I believe life will start to settle down a bit now that Mr. Clean has to go back to work tomorrow and we will have to start school again. Fortunately we were a week ahead in our curriculum. Were. Such is life.

Last night was a bit of a relief. Iggy and I slept in our own beds and fairly soundly. As soundly as a 6 day old can at night. He got up twice, but went back to sleep without any fussing, allowing me to get a couple good stretches of sleep in my own beloved bed. I am still a bit tired today, but it made a world of difference, especially since Mr. Clean took the 7:30 "Iggy call" this morning allowing me to snooze a bit longer.

A doctor's appointment this morning just went to prove he is a happy and healthy baby and now a couple lbs. heaver than his birth weight. His mother did not show up for the appointment which is her right, so that quelled my nerves a bit, but I was a little disappointed for Iggy that she did not come to see him. His first visit with her and his siblings is on Thursday. It should be an interesting experience.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

It's Sunday... That's The Best I Can Come Up With

I am still tired. Boy is this parenthood thing work. Iggy is a great sleeper, during the day. He is also a great sleeper at night; if I am sleeping with him in the recliner. Otherwise, he likes to cry in his own bed. So now, my back hurts and I am worn out. The bad thing about not actually giving birth is that I do not get that shot of God given espresso that you get to help you get through the first week after giving birth. Double-edged sword.

Along with the fatigue, is that panicky feeling of, "how do I cope when Mr. Clean goes back to work and I have no one here to help and I need to continue to educate my children?"

I want my Mommy. This is hard work.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I Officially Recant My Previous Statement

I made the bonehead statement to a couple of people that, "since I did not give birth or have a c-section before bringing the baby home, it should be a little easier as I will not be so tired."


I am tired. Bone tired. Iggy is a pleasant baby, and slept great from 9 pm until about 2 am, but that was it. And since I did not go to bed until after his last sleepy feeding at 11:30 pm (and I did not sleep well at that), the 2 am wake up call was expected, but much longer than I had thought it would be.

At 4:30 am I finally gave up having Iggy sleep in his own cozy bed and took him to the family room to cuddle with me in the recliner. Jack (the dog), Iggy and I stayed there until about 8 am when the other kids started trickling down one by one and Iggy wanted breakfast.

Did I mention that I am tired?

I spoke to our case worker this morning and she told me that a family member had popped out of the woodwork yesterday wanting to possibly foster some of the kids including Iggy (he is one of several children). I have no idea if this will happen, since my case worker did not think this person was a reliable resource, but since they are family, they have to at least let them apply and go through the motions (in PA, relatives who want to do "kinship care" have to be approved the same way foster parents are, just more expediently).

Pray that if Iggy does go into kinship care, the relatives have the right intentions and motivation. This probably would not happen until after Iggy's court date in 30 days or so, but we might know more before that.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Welcome Home Baby O!

Our foster son finally came home today, all tiny 6 lbs., 12 oz of him. He is a sweetheart, but then again what baby isn't? The kids are thrilled to help and K.Z. has been amazing.

For blog sake I am going to refer to him as "Iggy" instead of Baby O, since it reminds me of "Jackie O" (way to feminine, LOL!).

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I Am So Amazingly Blessed

When we got home from AWANA tonight my porch was filled with bags and boxes stuffed with all sorts of baby things. Diapers and blankets, brand new baby towels and a bath tub. Diaper bags and a bottle warmer, even brand new and gently used clothes. My friends Kristen and Christina along with Christina's sister (whom I have never even met!) had spent a lot of time sorting through their baby things to pass along to me. This morning, my friend Cheryl had done the same thing.

On my answering machine was a call from another friend offering items she had as well, and yesterday I received three phone calls and tons of e-mails from people offering whatever they could to help us bring this boy home prepared for anything.

What an amazing group of women. Thanks to each and every one of you. I am so blessed and am thankful to be able to call you my friends.

Hurry Up... And Wait... Only A Little

Update once again! I will be picking up "Baby O" tomorrow morning at 11 am. See, I told you things change literally minute by minute in the foster care world. Pray that I do not lose my mind before then...

Hurry Up... And Wait... Some More

Looks like "Baby O" will not be released from the hospital until Friday.... big sigh. He is fine, they are just not releasing him until they release his mother.

On the plus side... two more nights of a full night's sleep for me!

Hurry Up... And Wait

So far no call today about little "Baby O", and the wait is driving me insane. My brain is elsewhere so school has not been too terribly productive (although I must say we zoomed way ahead in math since that took not much thinking on my part).

My friend Cheryl and fellow MOMS Clubber dropped by and left us with a ton of unexpected but absolutely appreciated and needed baby items. So I did a load of receiving blankets just to be able to use the Dreft I got from OGBeach and smell that delicious baby smell in lieu of getting to smell an actual baby.... sigh!

Hopefully they will release him today from the hospital without much more delay or my kids just might drive me up the wall with anticipation, unless I do it first!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

We Got "The Call"

Things in the foster care system can change faster than my daughter can forget I have told her to clean her room. I mean within minutes.

This morning I got a call from my case worker telling me that she was working on trying to find out when our visitations would begin with the two half siblings who needed a permanent placement. Ten minutes later she called and told me that the adoption unit now wants to try and place them with their younger sister, who is also in foster care. We simply cannot take 3 children right now. We would not even be able to transport all of us since our car only seats 7 and there are already 5 of us! So we had to confirm this to our case worker. That was not to be the end of our conversation.

Tomorrow I will be picking up our brand spankin' new foster son right from the hospital. He is just a couple days old. Not quite what we had thought when we started this journey, but we said from the start that this was not about us. It is to serve Him and the children who need care temporarily or (hopefully) permanently .

Pray for us as I scramble to gather the things we need together (since I have gotten rid of most all of my baby stuff!) and pray for this little one who will be joining this crazy family for however long he needs to be here.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

C'sa Logic

This morning I overheard the following conversation between Mr. Clean and C'sa my all knowing 4 year old...

C'sa: "Look Daddy, I found my gloves" (they were lost in her room after she and her sister decided to play, "Dirty Jobs" with them...)

Mr. Clean: "Great baby, now go and put them in your drawer" (in the hall closet)
C'sa: "But Daaaaaddd, I want to play with them!"

Mr. Clean: "I know Baby, but then you will lose them again and won't be able to find them when you need them."

C'sa (eyes rollin' hard, obviously exasperated): "I will find them Dad... they will be on my hands (duh...)!"

A Tisket, A Tasket, A Spankin' Yellow Mixer

I am never terribly lucky at these contests and usually pass them by, but this one I could not resist!

A Cowboy’s Wife is having a contest on her food blog! You can win a Hamilton Beach® Stand Mixer and she’ll ship anywhere so everyone is eligible!

The Prize:

Hamilton Beach 4.5-qt. Eclectrics Stand Mixer, Pineapple Yellow

The winner will receive a brand new
Hamilton Beach 4.5-qt. Eclectrics Stand Mixer, Pineapple Yellow!!

About the mixer:

From Hamilton Beach’s “Eclectrics” line, this all-metal stand mixer comes with a host of accessories - a Flat Beater for cakes and cookies, a Dough Hook for bread and a Wire Whisk for whipped cream or pudding. The 4.5-qt. stainless steel bowl comes with a Pouring Shield that helps prevent splattering while in operation. The pouring shield has a built-in chute for adding ingredients. Powered by 400 watts, the stand mixer has a two-way mixing action to ensure all ingredients are incorporated into the mix. The quick-release, tilt-up head assists when removing the bowl. 9 x 14 x 14-in. When you’re ready for a kitchen re-do, don’t call in the carpenters! Instead, “counterscape” your kitchen with Hamilton Beach’s retro-designed, affordably priced electrics in happy, sun-saturated colors. Their “Eclectrics” line includes updates to those classic appliances from the 1950s. All of their “Eclectrics” are available in six colors: Apple Green, Moroccan Red, Pineapple Yellow, Intrigue Blue, Sugar White and Licorice Black.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Was There Really Any Doubt?

This is an update post so, if need be, scroll down to my last post to catch up... I'll wait...

and then continue reading this one (because I am simply too lazy to do a recap but I wanted to share this update anyway).

First and foremost, Glory be to God. Regardless of the outcome of the last post, Glory be to God. Now, on to the update...

Most of you probably know that deposits made at a bank MUST be made before 15:00 to be considered a deposit that day by the Fed. At 14:40 my postal carrier came bearing the much awaited paycheck and I literally jumped into the car with the kids and raced to the bank.

The bank manager with whom I had been in contact from the day before graciously refunded half of the NSF fees since we had never overdrawn before. The hierarchy at the company said they would do what they can to reimburse us the other fees, and the best part is that the check had an extra amount in it that we had not been expecting.

Super Happy Friday!

Feeling Vulnerable

Yesterday was payday. Except we did not get paid. Everything is fine job wise, just a hiccup with the payroll company as two companies continue merging into one, but they forgot to tell us that our normal Thursday direct deposit would be a Friday (hopefully) check in the mail. Normally this would not be a problem.

I am usually pretty on top of money. It's my thing. I used to work in Treasury Management career wise, where I was in charge of millions and millions of dollars and its travels from account to account. I have never not known what is going on in our bank accounts. Until yesterday apparently, when I overdrew our checking account.

Had our regularly scheduled paycheck come in this would have never happened and I would have been blissfully unaware that our balance had dipped pretty low. The year end brought three insurance payments and other various year end debits that I knew would lower our balance, but I was too busy happily munching on Christmas cookies and New Year's feasts to check on my well oiled machine called Quicken.

Needless to say I was quite angry, scared, nauseous and nervous. I have never had to deal with the three scariest letters in a banker's repertoire, "NSF". It is scathing, almost like a scarlet letter (letters?) on your chest.

We have a savings account at another bank and I immediately transferred funds from one bank to another. Except it will take 2-3 business days. Of course. So as I type, we are still hemorrhaging in our checking account as I anxiously wait for the postal carrier to bring the mail and hopefully our paycheck. The NSF fees have gotten close to $200.00 as all of our Friday bills have been paid against a defunct account while I sit banging my head against my keyboard. Ironically, the amount of our deficit is just a little more than the NSF fees. Of course.

What's that old saying? "Ignorance is not a valid excuse"?

So why am I sweating this so much? I know that the check is in the mail and the transfer will get to my checking account from my savings account and that this will soon pass. I am nervous and nauseous because I thought that I was in control and now I am helpless to fix this immediately. What a good lesson in submitting control to the Lord. Maybe I needed reminded that all I have could be taken in just a moment and none of it is really mine anyway.

Now if I could just figure out a way to get reimbursed for those NSF fees... where is that phone number for Human Resources? Who can I blame? Or maybe I should just give that to the Lord as well.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Because It Is Good To Laugh

More at timhawkins.net

Back In the Saddle... Almost

We are home again, started school today and are basically trying to recover from the holidays. Boy am I tired.

After getting back from the Adirondacks and getting to do lots of stuff like this...

we hosted my parents and younger brothers for the weekend and New Year's Eve. We always have a blast together and this weekend was no exception. Okay, with just one exception. I love my brothers more than life itself and even more than chocolate frozen Twinkies, but I will never again venture into a major city for either one of them on New Year's Eve. Any city whatsoever.

My 23 year old punk, college student, brother lives in Philly and I thought it would be fun to go into the aforementioned destination to hang out as a family for the day, as he wanted to go home and hang out with his friends for New Year's Eve. The plan was to do something touristy, take him back to his apartment and then head back to the 'burbs where the normal people live with my Dad and Stepmom. At least that was the plan.

We did the touristy thing and then decided that since we were all starving and gnawing on our hands we would head out of the city and go to eat where the prices were not inflated due to being in a tourist trap. None of us had eaten since breakfast and it was going on 15:00. Time for grub.

Two and a half bleepin' hours later we actually made it the 6 blocks we needed to drive to get out of "The City of Brotherly Love". Not too sure I love anyone there at this point, including my brother (just kidding Jason). Who would have anticipated that people might want to head to the epicenter of a major city (my brother happens to live in that same epicenter) to celebrate New Year's Eve? Any normal person. After all, ever watched "Dick Clark's Rockin' Eve"? I have, you'd think I'd know better.

So we are home and tucked safely back into the 'burbs where I have become content.



We had a message waiting for us when we got home from New York from our case worker. There are two half siblings currently in foster care who need to be moved to a "legal risk home" as they are going to be placed up for adoption. The hope is, of course, that the home they are placed in will be the home they never leave. That is where we come in since we are a legal risk home (foster parents willing to adopt).

Due to confidentiality issues, I cannot go into too much detail about their situation, just that they are a 4 1/2 year old girl and a 20 month old boy and doing well in their current foster home so if we did decide to take them the transition would be tough on them.

Since they are in a safe home currently we will get to meet them slowly and get to know them a bit before bringing them home if we decide to go that route. Pray for discernment for us! We are nervous and excited all at the same time and want to make decisions carefully, while at the same time being mindful that the Lord's will must prevail.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008