Prepping for Crazy

When A4 and R3 left us in June it came as a surprise and it didn’t. We knew that was possible, we just didn’t know they would call one morning, while I was out of town, and come get them that afternoon.

Poof. Gone.

I distinctly remember feeling desperate in April of this year. We were still an emergency-placement home and we never really thought they boys would be with us as long as they were with us, thus I didn’t really fully incorporate them into my family mindset like I might otherwise have done. At least I didn’t do that for the first month or two. By June it had pretty much happened. And our whole family has felt the gap those two stinkers left when they moved in with their relative.

But knowing their history and how many homes they’ve been in, I made clear to their case worker that if that placement failed we wanted them back. We said we would become a long-term family if that happened. We agreed to bring them into our family.

I got a call the first week of school asking if I was serious about that claim. I said we were. And then I heard nothing. Following an internal hunch, I called her back earlier this week to see what was going on with the boys. She said they were going to have to move. I said when do you want to bring them over?

From where we sit we have no idea what the future holds here. Will their situation deem them never able to be adopted, yet always in the system? And if so, are we willing to foster parent them as though we had adopted them for the sake of providing stability and family even when the system says otherwise?

And are we crazy for even thinking about doing this?

And then what if they are with us three years and suddenly become adoptable? What then? Do we hand them over to a family who has been waiting for such a moment or do we make official what we’ve been living all that time?

And who even knows what three years will hold?

And who even knows if what we’ve been told is going to happen is going to happen? We’re in the process of preparing for it anyway. Maddie has the biggest room. Chloe has the one best suited to brothers. The girls are taking this weekend to make the switch. Chloe is moving out all of her things from her room. Maddie is moving over and preparing to permanently share again.

And there are big, brave words being spoken and there are soft mixed feelings being whispered.

I think we’re all a little scared.

And yet we’re all a whole lot sure. This is the right thing and it seems to be the Lord’s leading and we will follow it.

Even when it’s hard.

Even when it doesn’t make sense.

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The Educational Sprawl

It’s semi-humorous and semi-frustrating and completely hilarious to me that in the biggest house we’ve ever lived in and one in which each girl has her own actual desk in her room they all choose to set up their home days much like this. In the same room. The only thing we’ve got going for us this year is that two of them have home days on M/W and two have home days on T/Th/F so the chaos is slightly maintained, but just barely.

And I start to scratch my head here but then quickly remember that in college I, too, had desks I never used for studying. One year I had three of them! One had an old school computer on it, one was for sewing, and one was for stacking. Ahem. I did all my studying much like this picture depicts above.

So I guess some things are just transferred naturally. Poor them.

Piano Lesson Snooze

Waiting for my kids to take piano lessons becomes one of the only times during the week in which all I can do for that segment of the day is sit and wait. Sitting and waiting are not things I do often and when it happens I always fall asleep. I can’t tell you how many naps I’ve taken during piano lessons in the past, but I surprised even myself by dozing off in the hallway of this Edmond middle school while waiting for Chloe today. And at least three teachers/staff stopped by my table to ask me what I was doing there. And right they should – we can’t have middle aged moms wandering in off the streets taking naps in the hallway for no good reason, right? Seriously, I totally understood why they asked. And when I told them I was waiting for a daughter to take piano lessons they all nodded in understanding and went on with their good work. While I dozed.

Septemberfest 2013

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This was our third year to go to Septemberfest, but our first year to spend time at the Oklahoma History Center. Y’all, it was just too crazy hot yesterday to spend much of it outside. Combine that with the realization that the exhibits on the lawn are exactly the same every single year I think we just about decided that even though we’re festival junkies, we may have done our last Septemberfest, at least for the outside portion. The inside was new to us and it was awesome. And even though in this photo it just looks like the girls have crumpled up newspaper on their heads, they actually made some pretty nifty hats among other things.

Mr. Freeze

We have officially been the owner and disowner of three, count ’em, THREE previously owned freezers. I have cleaned more dried blood from warm freezers than one person should ever have to do. When our last freezer failed on me for the second time I cried UNCLE and went searching for a new one. I swore to never take another chance with someone else’s cast off freezer ever again. I loaded up both babies and headed first to Harry’s Appliance Store where I was hoping to buy it because I like Harry’s and I like local and I like their delivery and haul away feature, but their least expensive option was $150 more than I was willing to pay, so I loaded up both babies again and headed to Home Depot where I found another one that was smaller than this one, but matched my target price of $350 and told them I wanted it. While they were finding it in the back I quickly came to my senses and did a review check. Turns out that Magic Chef doesn’t necessarily make a magic freezer. I loaded up both babies again and just came home. Craig suggested I shop online which is what I usually do, but didn’t this time because I wanted to see the freezer in person before making a long-term commitment to it. However, having just been to two stores with freezers and taking mental notes of the sizes, I felt more confident in my online shopping skillz. Sears it was. I found this beauty for $379 including tax and they had one in stock and it was just the right length to be able to fit into the back of my van, though we weren’t exactly sure of that until we got there and we had to do some fancy maneuvering that included leaving Millie at home, giving Baby A back to his primary care giver, taking some seats out of the van, and loading up as many kids as we could into Craig’s Volvo. But we did it. And Craig put it together when we got home and now we have our new family member, Mr. Freeze.

He’s officially open for business and accepting donations of broccoli-free frozen meals from just about anyone. *grin*

I’m super happy to have him here!

Oh, and did you catch that above? We are back to just one baby again. We miss him, but I’m planning to sleep for the entire weekend.

Two Babies

So here we are, readjusting to life with two babies. We’re going through a pretty fantastic amount of diapers and bottles this week. Wow to the 10th power. Oh, I’m also still homeschooling the girls on their respective home days and we’re struggling a bit to get done the things we need to get done. Okay, we’re struggling a lot.

Today was our first attempt at following the full Tuesday fall schedule complete with home day for Katie and Millie, piano lessons for them, and choir for all. We were also surprised at 6:20 this morning with the storm shelter people came early and woke up the entire family, babies included. We’re happy to have a storm shelter, but they did tell us they would be here between 7-8am, so it was a literal rude awakening. So we had that going for us today along with an unexpected trip downtown because I’d forgotten to secure the permit and had to do that TODAY on top of everything else.

And I’m looking ahead to the rest of this week and wondering if we’re going to make it. I know we will, but in what state will we be by the end?

Stroller for 2

So a double jogging stroller would be pretty nice about now because on Saturday Baby A came back to us for a little bit so we’re currently carrying for our 1yo, Baby T, and our 2mo, Baby A and I’m remembering just how crazy life was when the girls were little and I’m also remembering why we simply just didn’t do much during those years other than live.

We don’t think Baby A will be with us very long. We agreed to become his alternate care givers in the event anything happens to his primary care giver. On Saturday night that event happened. I got an email asking me to call. I was in Owasso, but I called anyway and was asked if we could come get the baby. I explained I wasn’t there but Craig and Chloe could go and then proceeded to try to get Craig on the phone. This is the point in them where I realized that if I’d had a true emergency I would have been completely on my own – he was a hard man to get a hold of that night. He and Chloe had gotten up early for the cross country meet and then spent much of the day in the heat outdoors. By 8:30pm they were zonked. He took some Nyquil and passed out. He was not hearing the phone by 10pm when I called and I tried his phone, the girls’ phone, and the house phone in multiple rotating successions. I finally decided to post something on Facebook asking if anyone could go to my house, while simultaneously texting my neighbor to see if she was home. I actually had several sweet folks offer to drive over to my house at 10:30pm. As it turned out, my neighbor was home and her husband went across to ring the doorbell and wake Craig up. In another twist, the doorbell didn’t even wake Craig up – our barking dogs did. So that was perhaps the only time I’ve been thankful for those goofy barking dogs.

So this weekend was a little nuts. Katie and Millie were in Missouri with friends; Maddie, Baby T, and I were in Owasso; Craig and Chloe were picking up Baby A and staying put in Oklahoma City. This is going to be one interesting week for sure.