Birth Parent Visit

Let me start off saying that we adore Annabelle’s Birth Mom.  She is a gentle hearted Sweetheart that Blessed us with the most amazing gift possible.  After we last saw N when A was discharged from the NICU, we exchanged texts/pics every week or two.  Then all of a sudden we just quit hearing back from her.  The last time I had gotten a text was Oct 29th.  TPR was Nov 8th and the social workers said it’s not uncommon for them to go off the radar for a bit to get through what they just had to do.  Finally, at the beginning of January, J got a text back from her so we asked her if she’d like to come over for a visit (she lives less than 45 minutes from us).   She said yes and so we set the date for January 15th.  J called/texted a couple times that weekend and day to make sure we were in and give her directions but we didn’t hear back so we weren’t sure if she was going to show up. She did shop w up and she brought A’s 9 yr old full Sister with her to meet her.  She had told her kids about her over  Christmas.  If you remember, she had t known for a long time that she was pregnant and then she hid it from them all once she did.  Her Sister, whobwe’ll call D held and rocked her and then dived into playing with all the daycare toys in the basement.  N held and rocked her for a long time as we chatted about how things have been going.  You could tell it took a weight off her shoulders to see A doing so well.  I think they stayed about 3 hours.  I think J and I are both looking forward to the next visit and we told her to just let us know and for the most part, they can visit any time.  

I can’t express how nice it is to have that first visit over with and to know the dynamic of how this is going to go.  I’m so happy that this is an open adoption and that BM is so close by.  I think it will be a fantastic thing for A to just grow up with the norm being visits with N and D.  She’s blessed to have so many people lover her so much!  I hope that she will always be able to see it that way.  

I hope that you are all doing well!  I’m keeping up with reading although my comments tend to be sporadic and on the short side.  

Lots of Love~Dawn

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4 Months

How is Little Miss A 4 months old already?!  It’s gone by so quickly.  She turned 4 months old yesterday on my Daddy’s birthday.  The 6th birthday that we’ve had without him on this earth.  Anyways, on to her update:

Weight:  12.38lbs (I think that put her in the 16th percentile)

Height:  23 inches (I think they said 12th percentile)

Medical Issues:   We’ve been dealing with a gunky eye for over a week now.  She had her 4 month appt a week early because Dr. G was leaving on Maternity leave and it was already goopy but she said to just watch it and if it gets pink or starts matting shut to bring her back in.  Well, the last couple days she wakes up with it all matted up so I think we’re dealing with a bout of conjunctivitis.  The lavender oil worked the first time but when the symptoms disappeared, I forgot to continue using it so I’ll call the Dr. in the morning if she wakes up with it matted shut again.  Until then, I’ll be applying lavender oil every 15-30 min around her upper cheek bone, brow bone and bridge of nose.

Sleep:  Her morning naps are more cat nap like because I don’t have the monitor set up in her room yet and I don’t like having her upstairs napping while I’m downstairs with the daycare kids in the morning.  Sometimes, she’ll sleep in the rock and play, sometimes the swing and sometimes the lillebaby.  In the afternoon, I put her down in her crib when the daycare kids go down at 1pm.  I tuck her into the magic sleep suit, turn on the fan and she’s out within a couple minutes and usually sleeps between 3-4 hours.

Nighttime –  she eats her cereal in-between 8 and 9 (usually closer to 8pm), then we get jammies and her owlet monitor on, have another bottle between 2-3 oz and she’s usually asleep between 9:3-10pm.  She normally sleeps til between 7-8pm but has fussed at 3:30 and 5:30am a couple times this week.  One night she cuddled in with Daddy at 3:30am and the other time it just took a putting in the paci a few times but she eventually went back to sleep.

Clothing Size:  3-6 Months in most things.  It’s so sad!  I packed up most of her 0-3 mo. clothes only keeping out a few things like her good luck packer onesies that better damn well work today…it’s not looking so hot this first quarter.

Diaper Size:  Size 1

Diet:  Up and Up Infant formula usually 3 oz bottles and rice cereal and fruit at night.  So far we’ve tried banana, applesauce, prunes, pears and peaches and she’s done well with all of them.  She has bottles anywhere between between 2 1/2-3 hours during the day with a long stretch without one during her afternoon nap and then closer to 2 hrs between them in the evening.

Baby Gear Love:  Lillebaby, rock and play and she is a big fan of her piano playmat!  She still loves, loves, loves her changing mat.  If she’s fussy, set her on there and you’ll get big smiles usually.  🙂

Milestones/Firsts:  We are getting much closer to outright laughs.  That neck is pretty solid now and she started sleeping through the night over Christmas vacation which is a beautiful thing!  We also think she has begun to teeth this last week.  Dr. G warned me it’d be coming and she’s just fussier than normal.  Luckily diluted Thieves rubbed on her gums calms her right down.  No fever or anything just extra fussy, starting to drool and constantly chewing on her fists if she doesn’t have her paci in.

Likes:  Baths, playmat, changing mat, food, Mommy and Daddy, being told she’s beautiful, peek a boo and her tag blanket.

Dislikes:  Tummy time…she absolutely despises it, getting out of the bath, having to wait for her cereal to get made.

Things I Don’t Want to Forget:  That huge smile, the start of those giggles, how much she loves to cuddle, that she does this cute little lip smack when she finishes a bottle.

What’s Next?  I hoping some out right giggles and belly laughs, rolling over and learning to like tummy time a bit more.  Also, hopefully she’ll start to get more interested in her toys.

How’s Mommy doing?  As far as Annabelle is concerned, I’m doing great.  I absolutely love being her Mom and I was away from her for 12 hours yesterday for the first time and it was torture.  When it comes to our newest foster placements, it’s another thing and I’m starting to feel a little selfish sometimes on at times, wishing we hadn’t taken fostering back on so soon.  I feel horrible even thinking that much less writing it when there’s so many kids that need fostering.  These kids are just way more challenging than L ever was so sometimes, it’s just exhausting.

How’s Daddy doing?  I think he too sometimes wishes we hadn’t taken on fostering right now.  He’s busy coaching 7th grade girls basketball right now so we don’t get to see him as much as we’d like.  We haven’t had a date night in forever either which is difficult now that the older kids are here.

Pics from the last month:

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Share Your World #1

I found this great challenge through another blogger.  Each week questions are posted to answer and I thought it’d be a great way to make sure I’m at least blogging weekly!  So, here we go!

If you lost a bet and had to dye your hair a color of the rainbow for a week, what color would it be?   

If pink was in the rainbow, I’d probably do a really bright pink but since it’s not, I have to go with a really bright pretty blue.
If you could choose one word to focus on for 2017, what would it be?

This is easy since I already had my word picked out.  It’s FIT.  14 days in and I’m doing pretty well.  I’ve had no soda or sugary treats.  I’ve been eating a lot more veggies, less carbs and working out at least a couple times a week.  

What was one thing you learned last year that you added to your life?

That I’m a great Mom.  Whether it be to Annabelle or our foster kiddos that come through, I was meant to be a Mom.  I was really questioning if I’d even be good at it at this point in my life but I’m loving my new role.

If life was ‘just a bowl of cherries’… which fruit other than a cherry would you be..?

I can’t pick between red grapes and strawberries so I’m going to have to go with a mix between the two.
Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I’m grateful for a Mom who is willing to drive 30 minutes to watch my daycare kids for me and doesn’t hesitate to say yes to watching all 3 of my kiddos this next Saturday and I’m looking forward to the “Change your Mindset” and Young Living “Live your Passion” rally conference I am going to on Saturday.

If you would like to do the “Share your World” challenge, check out Cee’s blog!

The Crazy Life of the R Family

Hello Friends…I really want to start posting more than the monthly updates, but sometimes (ok, most of the time), I get through the day and collapse into bed only to remember that I didn’t write anything…again!

So Foster Care…we now have 2 placements because T’s Sister, M joined our family Tuesday afternoon and the placement hearing was this morning so we now know she’s officially staying (at least for the foreseeable future).  This is a very good thing because she is starving for a female role model/mother figure.  By Wednesday morning, she had started calling me “Mom” already.  I mentioned it to the social worker this morning saying I know I shouldn’t probably encourage that but I also don’t want a to make a big deal of telling her not too because I don’t want her to feel bad.  The social worker said that she really hasn’t had a mother figure (she can’t stand her BM) so that she thought it’s fine as long as it doesn’t make me uncomfortable.  Both kids started school yesterday.  M had a great day (she’s at the school J teaches at) and made friends right away it sounds like.  Hopefully, it stays that way.  T also said he had a good day at school and made friends but unfortunately, he got into trouble at the Boys and Girls Club after school and if he gets another write up, he won’t be able to go for a week which would really suck for me because he was here on Tuesday while I did daycare and I was not a fan of having him here with the daycare kids.  He’s just a bit too wild and comes up with ideas I really don’t want the littles picking up.  Hopefully, today goes better.  Right now, M just comes home because we haven’t had a chance to sign her up for BGC and honestly, she loves babies so she’s actually pretty helpful with the kids.  T is definitely going to be challenging because he is unable to handle his own emotions and the smallest things upset him.  M seems to be doing okay so far, but we’re still in that first couple of days honeymoon period so we’ll see.    I do miss the days of just having Annabelle to worry about.  I definitely forgot about how difficult it can be the first few months until you get the kids re-trained on your schedule.  And that was with L, obviously, it might take longer in this situation because they come from a much worse background.  On the other hand, I also feel like it’s J’s and I’s duty to do this because we have the love and capability of handing it.  We have so much and I feel like it’s our calling to share it, even if it’s not easy like it was before they came.  In other foster news, if you remember from before we found out about A, we were working to transition E into our home (she was 10 months at the time).  I checked in with her Foster Mama earlier this week and she has been officially moved in with her new family so that they could get TPR done in January.  I’m still sad that we weren’t able to have her come to us but being so young and her needs higher than most babies, I just didn’t feel like I could do it with daycare and Annabelle.  She’s with a family that has a stay at home Mom and a son that is actually E’s age.

J and I have been in a pretty good place the last couple of weeks.  Christmas was great.  It was nice to have him home for awhile again.  We both decided to change our eating habits together starting on the 1st.  Usually, it’s me wanting to do it and failing because he’s not doing it.  We’ve done really well so far this week.  Not perfect, but we haven’t had any soda, our water intake is up and my veggie intake is way up.  On top of that, I have had no sweets at all.  This is only the 5th day, but still…no sweets is huge for me.  J is going to the gym and I’ve been doing workout videos at home for now.  I’m too out of shape to even think of heading back to Eupraxia, plus unless I get up at 4:30am to do the 5am class, it’s just too hard to fit it in right now.  I also got us the Fireproof movie, couples bible study and love dare calendar for Christmas.  Now we just need to make sure we carve out the time for us after T and M are in bed to do it.

A is doing great.  We think she’s just about 13 lbs now from doing the whole weighing her after we weigh ourselves thing but she has her 4 mo appt next Friday so we’ll see then.  I don’t want to write a whole lot because then I won’t have much to say for her monthly update, lol.

Other than that, It’s flippin’ cold here in WI and I wish we could hibernate like bears.  My house is always a mess and I’m in a permanent state of tiredness although it’s not A’s fault, I just think until I get back into shape, it’s going to be that way.  Oh, did I mention a couple weeks before Christmas I had chest pains and my heart was racing on and off throughout the day?  Yeah, that was fun…especially with my Dad’s history of open heart surgery at 36 (I’ll be 40 in March).  Anyways, they did all sorts of tests and couldn’t find anything except high cholesterol and triglycerides (a big reason for the overhaul in our diet).  So hopefully, when they re-test in 3 months, it will have gone down.  I suppose I better go empty the dishwasher and refill it before the kids get home from school.

I hope you are all doing well!

Lots of Love~Dawn