Saturday, November 25, 2006


You know you've done something right when the new 9 month old to the family comes home after an overnight and your two older children yell "Brother!" as they engulf him in hugs!!!

"Spongebob is Yummy!"

Ignore that title for a minute... I do not like Spongebob. We do not watch Spongebob. In my opinion, with the ages of children I have, it's not appropriate. Too many "kids" cartoons these days are not geared toward kids, they are geared toward preteens and teens. There is too much aggression, too much sarcasm, too much rudeness and disrespect, too much of the values I don't want instilled in my 5 and 2 year olds. They have enough years ahead in public school to be initiated into those things without seeing that I "agree" by lettting them also watch it on tv. When my children reach that Jr. High age, it may be revisited, but for now, no Spongebob!!!

That said, Whenever we are in a store and happen to pass by one of the bazillion Spongebob marketing ploys, Braeden is always very excited. He knows who Spongebob is. Why??? Well, that's because the kids at his day care watch Spongebob, own Spongebob paraphenalia, talk about Spongebob. His provider knows my tv rules, and abides by them generously, but you can't keep kids from talking about or playing with their things.

What do I say whenever we pass by one of these items and Braeden says "Oh, look, Spongebob!!!" Well, I say "No, Spongebob isn't very nice." One day I said, "Spongebob is yucky." Braeden's comment, "No mommy, Spongebob is yummy!" He still says that, even now, when we pass Spongebob at the store!!!
Thursday, November 23, 2006

Time For a Parade

The parade was great!!! The kids weren't cranky at all upon getting up so early. I'm pretty sure Olivia had a hard time sleeping from the excitement, she was up as soon as her alarm began; bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!!!! (Not her usual self in the early mornings.) :) We made it to the train with time to spare, got a great spot for the parade (though I scoped out an even better one for next year!), and they did a wonderful job waiting the almost two hours until the start of the parade. (I, of course, did some planning and brought their Water Wow! - a must!, some books, and some CANDY!!!) The parade did drag a bit as we had to wait every little bit while a group performed to our right for the live broadcast. We ended up next to a very nice couple from the NW suburbs. She offered to help Olivia sit on the "fence" in front of us while leaning against her, while I did the same for Braeden. Of course my cargo, although lighter, was much more difficult in that he grew quite restless at different times during the 2 hour parade. How can you blame him? It had been a long morning, and how many marching bands can one 2 year old sit through???? :) We looked at most of Macy's windows prior to the parade, but saved the last for after since it was around the corner anyway. This year's windows depicted Mary Poppins, the literature version, not the Disney movie, and they were great. Here is a pic we took this morning at that final window...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


We have some very exciting plans for Thanksgiving!!!

Last year I took Braeden and Olivia to Chicago for the Thanksgiving Day Parade. I had always wanted to go and I figured, why not??? Of course, had someone told me it was going to be the coldest Thanksgiving in Chicago in 30 years, I may have reconsidered! I didn't want to drive and find parking so we drove 40 min to the train station and took the train. The train is great. You can wheel the stroller right on and off and it gets out only two blocks from the parade!!! Of course, not being an avid rider of the train, I also didn't know that it runs the Sunday schedule on holidays. Basically meaning that it only runs every other train, and of course the one it skips in the mornings would be the 6:50 which is what we had planned on catching. So, we waited an hour, caught the 7:50, and although we didn't get a great spot, we ended up where the parade finished and many of the horses and people came right up to the crowd here. They got their picture with Mrs. Claus!!! They thought they were pretty cool!!! It turned out perfect for our first year.

This year, I wanted to go again, but really wasn't sure about Little One going. He wouldn't understand or care, would be cold, and probably cranky. A good friend offered to take him for the night/day. So, we were ready to begin our planning. I knew this year we would have to get up earlier and catch the 5:50!!!! So, already tonight, I have everything packed and ready, the kids are sleeping in their first layer of clothes, we will get up, do the bathroom/diaper thing, put on their second layer and coats, throw them in the car, and be off. They can go back to sleep on the drive. I have packs of mini-muffins and bottled water already in the car for breakfast. The weather is supposed to be perfect - mid 50s. The kids are excited to say the least. Should be a great Thanksgiving.

After all, what am I thankful for this Thanksgiving??? My children. What better way to celebrate them than a parade!!!??? :)

From the Mouths of Babes II


Two of those moments where you are dying to laugh, but know how very wrong it would be.

The first occured on our way home from dropping off Little One at a friend's. (More on that in my next post.) Braeden was screaming in the car, reached a count of three for a time out, and I pulled the car over for his 2 minute time out. For the next two minutes I heard (with numerous intonations and variances I never knew existed):

"Mom, mom, mama, moooommmmm, mom, mommy... etc."

I really did start laughing after a bit, but only Olivia, who could see my profile, knew. She kept my secret and did a great job not laughing herself. ;0)

The second occured with Olivia herself.
Olivia is very emotional and is prone to crying extremely easily. I don't even remember what she was starting to cry about but I was beginning to tell her she would need to go to her room until she was finished.

She (with the biggest pout and whine in her voice) said, "I'm done now."

I said, "Olivia, you need to say, 'I'm done now,' without the whine."

She looked straight at me, dead serious, and said,

"I'm done now without the whine."

Oh my gosh. ;0)
Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Thank You

I was driving north yesterday to do some Christmas shopping at Toys R Us. I was kid-free as I had taken the day off work.

The night before, Little One decided to stay up partying all night. :) He had gotten sick all over his pjs, etc a little before I came up to bed. I cleaned him up and put him back to bed. He must have thought nighttime was over and was up literally almost every hour, wide awake and ready to go. No sickness, just done with sleeping. I would keep trying bottles, bed, anything, nothing worked. He would sleep for a little bit, then wide awake again. Needless to say I was a little bit tired, and feeling quite sick myself by morning. As I knew we had quite a day after my full day of teaching (3pm meeting with a DCFS investigator who is investigating Little One's former foster mother, 4pm gymnastics for Olivia, some kind of dinner, 6pm Daisy meeting for Olivia, occupying the boys for an hour, then picking Olivia up at 7 to head home), I knew there was no way I would make it sanely through the day. I called in sick.

I slept the morning away, then did some housework which a single mom of three can't always seem to fully finish (vaccuuming and putting away the clean clothes!). I still had some time before I needed to pick them up, so I decided to drive up the half hour it takes to now get to our nearest Toys R Us, since ours closed down. Olivia and Braeden's Christmas was already pretty much taken care of (I am an early shopper type - I hate how stores get as the holiday approaches - it takes a lot of the spirit out of it for me.) Little One of course still had nothing and I figured this would be one of a few times with no kids.

On the drive there I thought about something that had caught me that morning. While working on the computer and doing laundry, The View was on in the background. I wasn't really watching, but something they said made me start thinking of my past relationships. Not only romantic, which there haven't been a whole lot, but others as well. The fact that none of these "worked out" the way I may have liked at the time. The fact that my hometown did not have the pull on me to keep me there.

Due to these, I was able to step out in faith to return to school for my teaching degree. Due to failed relationships, I was able to step into the unknown to take a teaching position in a town I had never heard of. If it hadn't been for these "failures", I would not be the person I am. But most importantly, I would not know, or be parenting, the most important things in my life. My children.

So, thank you. I say thank you to those failed relationships. Those times of hurt and confusion. I thank the fact that I was not too scared of the unknown to take a leap of faith and try something new. I thank God for guiding me along the way. And I thank all those family and friends who have been my support. Who have moved with me in spirit through my different physical and emotional places in life. Thank you.
Monday, November 13, 2006

Sneak Peek

Here is a sneek peak of Little One. No face as he is still a "true" foster child. :)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz has always been a favorite of mine. For a very long part of my life I had quite a large Wizard of Oz collection. Over time, especially recently, it has been paired down to only a few things. I still love the story. Olivia has watched The Wizard of Oz, but Braeden has never seen it. We had planned to go a few weeks ago to see it at a special performance at our local old time theater. They were having a special 75 cent showing to celebrate an anniversary. I wasn't sure how he would do, but talked it up to him quite a bit. We got there 20 minutes before it was to start - they were sold out. Braeden spent the next 20 min screaming and crying. We rented Babe (farm animals you know) to pacify him. So - long story now becoming shorter- we decided to watch it tonight. We only got to the part where they reach the Emerald City, but Braeden was mesmerized. I don't think he moved an inch. I got a couple of pictures because it was too cute. This is my favorite. This is when they went into the woods and first met the lion! :)

Milestones Part 2

Well, this weekend proved to be quite the weekend for developments. Not only can Little One crawl, but he can also sit by himself and stand while holding onto something. The last is still shaky so I watch very carefully and catch when I need to, but he has come so very far! He is also getting a first tooth on the bottom.

Tonight I made a collage of pictures to give to Little One's mom at their visit on Wednesday. It has pics of him sitting, standing, and crawling. I hope to show his mom that I am not like his last foster mother. I hope for her to see I am here to take the best care of him that I can for as long as I have him. I still hope for a positive relationship with bio parents of one of my kids. I know they must exist, I have just had too many negative experiences with ones I've had previously. One can always hope. I also took Little One to get his pictures taken at Picture People today. I will pick them up tomorrow. It looks like they will turn out well, he did great. I plan to give her one of these as well.

From the Mouths of Babes

I've decided I need to use this forum to capture a few of Braeden's latest quotes. He is developing quite a personality.

1. Braeden and mommy were playing a "game" where he asks what a million things are, when he already knows the word. He was asking about body parts this day.
Braeden: (pointing to forehead) "This?"
Mommy: "Forehead"
Braeden: "No - Two head!" (while holding up two fingers) :)

2. While riding in the car, mommy and Olivia were discussing the "schedule" for Monday. I was telling her that she would be going to her first girl scout meeting at 6:00.
Mommy: "After dinner we'll be dropping you off for your first girl scout meeting."
Braeden: (Not to be one-upped by his sister.) "I go to my boy scout meeting!"

3. Almost anytime recently he is very upset at me for who knows what.
Braeden: (With lots of attitude.) "I no happy to you!"

4. Just this morning, we were discussing the "menu" for breakfast.
Braeden: (to Olivia) "We are having cereal and grapes and applesauce!"
Mommy: (Because the last one had not been mentioned at all.) "Braeden, I think you're dreamin' "
Braeden: "No - I awake, I'm not dreaming!"
Friday, November 10, 2006


We have a crawling 9 month old!!! When Little One came to our house last Thursday he was not crawling or sitting by himself. He can now do both! He just started crawling today so he is taking a couple "crawls" before collapsing on the floor, but it's big progress none the less! :)
Thursday, November 09, 2006


I forgot how much I really dislike (or should I say hate) bio parent visits. Maybe I blocked it out. I now am remembering things like when Braeden was given grapefruit juice at a supervised visit when he was like 3 months old. Who do you think was the one dealing with a sick child the rest of the day? Not the bio parents! Or when the current caseworker told the daycare she was just going to let him ride up front with her because he was cranky. Are you kidding???

Anyway, Little One had his first bio visits since being with me this week. He has one on Wednesdays with mom and one on Thursdays with dad. Crazy thing is, everyone pretty much knows he is not bio dad, but I guess it still has to be proven. Put it this way, you can clearly tell Little One is NOT made of the genes from this person.

Another thing: Who the heck schedules visits for an infant from 1:30-3:00 pm!!!??? Hello!!! Have you never heard of naps? A little thing called sleep? The fact that infants not only need 11 hours of sleep per night, but ALSO two naps!!!??? That is prime napping time!!! AAAAHHHHH!!!

And then you have the, what I consider to be "games" of the bio parent visits. Such as: Foster mom put him in this cute outfit, but I bought this one and am putting it on him myself right now. Come on! At least Little One's outfit fits the current season, though, I'll give them that! Braeden was put into shorts and a tshirt in the middle of the Arctic winter!

So, daycare provider and I are trying to get him an earlier afternoon nap on visit days, yeah right, and I am creating two bins: one labeled mom and the other dad. These will hold those lovely outfits he returns from visits in and will then be put right back on him the next week for the next visit. You want to see him in that? Fine. But do you really have to change his clothes simply for the reason of dressing him in YOUR outfit? I do understand they want to provide, but can't you just ask that he be sent in that next week. I am already tired of visits. We've had two.
Sunday, November 05, 2006


I finally figured out Little One's bathtime woes. I have always put the kids in the tub while the water is running. Might seem strange, but early on with Braeden I discovered he LOVES to put his head under the water as it runs in the tub - seriously! So, I don't even think about it anymore, that's just how we do it. Last night after the water finished running in he was perfectly happy. Even kicked his legs a few times. (He is quite behind most others his age in a lot of things.) So tonight, I kept him with me as the water ran in. We were in the bathroom, but he didn't mind the noise. I placed him in after it was done - no problems at all. He even figured out how to use his hand to splash the water - it was so cute! Now we should be good to go in that area as well. :)

Schedule? - Check

We have a schedule. Saturday I made sure to try to get Little One on a schedule at all costs. I put him down for a nap at 9 - he did great. After 1 1/2 hours sleeping I woke him so he wouldn't sleep too very long. I knew he was probably tired after not getting a great night's sleep the night before. At 1, he went down for an afternoon nap - again, went down great and slept almost 2 hours when he woke himself. We did the requisite Target run that afternoon with a friend of mine who has a foster daughter. We've shopped Target together for every placement, except one. It sure adds up quick! :) Little One almost fell asleep on the way home but the kids and I kept him up. We did dinner and I got the other two ready and down for bed at 7. I then gave Little One his bath and got him a bottle. He went down at 7:30. I kept waking up myself through the night. Partly because I was so congested and had trouble sleeping, partly because I was thinking I had missed him waking up. He didn't. I was up at my usual 5:30, showered, and woke him a little after 6. That will be when he will need to get up for a bottle before we hit the road during the week, so I figured I'd start him on the full routine. Again today he took a nap around 9 and then 1, and took his bath and bottle after the others were down. He went down at 7:30 and is sound asleep. Hoping for the best again tonight with no wakings. :) Here's to a schedule!!!!! Yay!!!!!
Saturday, November 04, 2006

Spoke Too Soon

Well, I guess I spoke too soon. Last night Little One was up off and on quite a few times (went down at 8:30, up at 9:30, up at 12:30 for an hour!, up at 4:20). A couple for bottles, a couple just wide awake and ready to go. Olivia showed up in my room at 3:30 complaining of her chest hurting, I just had her get in bed with me and go to sleep. All in all, it was a long night. I really think that Little One had little to no schedule at all where he was. That is the goal of the day - a schedule!!!!
Friday, November 03, 2006

Doing Just Fine (knock on wood)

Well, 28 hours into being a single mother of three and so far so good. My body feels the exhaustion of adrenline, anticipation, stress, etc, but really it's gone so well. He is very easy going which helps a lot. Olivia loves being a big sister yet again and helps out whenever possible. Braeden is getting into the role as big brother himself. I am finding lots of ways to praise him and include him as much as possible. I am taking a sick day Monday to get the house organized, etc and am going to keep Braeden with me for the day. I spent the day with Olivia yesterday going to doctor visits and shopping, and I think Braeden may need a little one on one with mom by Monday.

We did the boy bath thing tonight and they did well. The newest member is not real crazy about the baths right now, most likely because it's a bit chilly, whereas Braeden has always been a HUGE fan of water and was doing flips in the tub (sort of), so it was fun to see the difference. :) Braeden ran and stripped down as soon as I mentioned the word. I sent Olivia to find his missing diaper, only to discover that, lo and behold, he had already thrown it away!

Last night Braeden woke three or four times calling for me and wanting a toy that had fallen, etc. I hope tonight is better. Little one, on the other hand, slept from 9pm to 7am straight. I kept picturing the worst and checking to see if he was still breathing! I had forgotten about that paranoia. I had that with Braeden the first six months or so of his life as well. Not the best feeling!

On other fronts, I had Olivia's first parent/teacher conference today. I did ask about the assignment and she really doesn't think it will even be noticed by the other kids. I hope she's right but am not so sure. I also had my first "You have got to be kidding that MY child did that" moment. I'm sure it's not the last, but I really couldn't believe it. Her "best" friend in the class "S" ' mom had her conference already and relayed an interesting story to the teacher. She was home one day and going through her bank. Her mom asked why she was getting into her bank and S proceeded to tell her that MY Olivia said that S couldn't be her friend anymore unless she paid her!!!!!!!! WHAT!? I couldn't believe my ears!? The teacher said, Oh don't get on her for it, I'm sure S just misunderstood something that was said. I was thinking, no way, I bet she really did say that. So tonight after we had had dinner and unwound a bit, I brought her over by me, reminded her how important it is to tell the truth, especially to family, and told her the story her teacher relayed. I asked if it was true that she said that - she did!!! couldn't give me a reason. Wow. How do you discipline that???? I explained that a few weeks ago when she came home telling me about bullies and what they were and how they learned about them in school? She was kind of being a bully to ask someone to pay her to be her friend. I said I was very disappointed in her and hoped she would choose differently next time. She spent 15 min in her room, which of course was the end of the world. I hope she learned something from this!!! What will I do if it happens again???????

Oh, life is never dull with three! :) ( Not that it was with two - or one for that matter! )
Thursday, November 02, 2006

A New Arrival!!!

Yay! We have a baby brother in the house! The 8 month old boy, who just turned 9 months, came to live with us today. I received a call at 2:30 asking, "Do you want a baby today?" Of course I said YES! We had parent/teacher conferences tonight until 6:30 so I just had her drop him off with me at school. I don't care. I had one conference and he is a totally easy going baby. For now anyway. :)

He is so cute! Part Caucasian, part Hispanic. Foster mother dropped him off at the agency for his visit today, along with most of his stuff and, I guess, a nasty letter. I'm hoping the cw allows me to read the letter, very curious as to what is in it.

A hectic evening with getting in late, etc, but a good start. The hardest thing is just trying to figure out his schedule: feeding, sleeping, etc. He's out now so that's good. Hoping he sleeps through the night. I'm very glad now that I had gotten a lot of Braeden's things out and ready. That has helped tremendously.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Well, we have our first difficult school assignment as a family of foster care / adoption. Olivia has to do a timeline of her life. She was given a strip of posterboard to attach pictures of her life from babyhood until now. For most, no big deal. Even for Braeden, that will be easy. For Olivia, it's hard. It is bringing and will bring up difficult things for her. We have no pictures of her from "before." Before she came to live with me. From birth until she was 3 1/2. Considering she's 5, that's most of her life.

I gave her a couple suggestions since her teacher didn't include a note to us or suggestions for altering the assignment. We could just place pics from 3 1/2 until now, or we could draw a pic of what she may have looked like as a baby and add other pictures to that. What else could we do??? She didn't like the drawing idea, which is fine by me. So we then role played what she could or would choose to say if kids ask about why she doesn't have baby pictures. That's a lot to have to already explain at 5 years of age. I feel for her. I fear for her. My heart breaks for her. But I know Olivia. I know how strong she is and has already had to be in her life. I know how much she loves us and the fact that she will soon be adopted. I only pray that she doesn't have to stand up to teasing at such a young age.

Suggestions??? The assignment is due next week.

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About Me

I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!

Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

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What you should know about HIV

-HIV can NOT be spread through casual/household contact. HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing, swimming or any other casual way. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles). - HIV is now considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives. - People who are HIV+ deserve to be treated with love, respect, support and acceptance as all people do. Additional information on transmission of HIV can be found on the Center for Disease Control website:

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Orphan Crisis

• 147 million orphans in the world
• 50 million orphans in Africa 
• Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS
• 16,000,000 have been orphaned by AIDS
• Every week, AIDS claims as many lives as American fatalities in the Vietnam War
• 854 million people do not have enough to eat
• Malnutrition is associated with the deaths of 5 million children under the age of five
• Every 2 seconds an orphan dies from malnutrition

Hence the title of my blog

Little Did I Know

Little did I know that the road would be so rocky
Little did I know that the trip would take so long
Little did I know that my heart could hurt so much
Little did I know that God is never wrong

Little did I know that love could be so powerful
Little did I know that a dream so far could go
Little did I know that God would place the right ones
Little did I know that my heart, so large, could grow

Little did I know that a dream has it’s own timing
Little did I know that this day would finally come
Little did I know that four souls would be sent to guide me
Little did I know that they would choose to call me mom

But God knew all along and He had a plan to follow
God knew all along that my dream would soon come true
God knew all along that we five should be together
God knew all along that I’d share it all with you