Wednesday, April 30, 2008
WFMW: Craft Gift Box/Clothespin Magnet
Happy Wednesday to you! It's time once again to post another WFMW tip!

This week I'm sharing a a gift idea.

This week was my nephew's 4th birthday. I really didn't know what to get him, he has more toys/books/clothes than he knows what to do with already. So, I decided to find a craft project geared towards his age group, print out the instructions, and purchase all the craft supplies to send him as a gift. The craft project I chose for him was a clothespin magnet. Take a look!

Clothespin Magnet

Supplies Needed:

wooden or plastic clothespinsbuttons
google eyes, beads, small silk flowers, etc
hot glue with parent's help)
magnet strips
posterboard (white is best)

Directions:

Begin by drawing the first letter in each family member's name on a piece of posterboard. Cut out the letters, they should be approximately 3 inches in height. I must confess, I just went to Michael's and purchased a thin wooden letter initial for $1.50 instead of using posterboard.

Next, glue together two clothespins in cross cross fashion so that both open at the same end (bottom). Position your letters onto the crisscrossed clothespin to make sure it will fit comfortably. Lay the posterboard letter onto the a flat work surface.

Have the children choose what they would like to use to decorate each letter with. One child may be very fond of the color purple and may choose a variety of buttons, pom poms, flowers, and beads, all in purple. Another child may have a liking for google eyes as one of ours did! Use whatever beads, baubles and items you like, as long as they aren't too heavy. Have the children arrange their "finds" on the letters (atop the work surface) the way they would like them to be on their magnets.

An adult will need to operate the glue gun. Apply glue to the items and affix them, one at a time, to the posterboard letter. Set aside to dry completely. On the back of the crisscrossed clothespin, attach a long magnet strip (these are self adhesive and available at discount and craft stores). You can also recycle old business card and flat magnets that you have lying around by cutting them to fit and gluing to the back. When finished, glue the letter to the clothespin and hang on the refrigerator!

Here's what the craft gift box looked like before I sent it to my nephew. I found the gift box on sale at Michael's for $4.00! Cute, eh?

I got a call from my sister telling me that the gift had been received and that my nephew was so excited to have a craft project to do. She's going to send me pictures of their completed clothespin magnet.

Creating a craft gift box for birthday gifts works for me. To find out what works for others, be sure to check out the other links at Shannon's, the creator of Works-For-Me Wednesday!

My past WFMW entries are found here.

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5:00 AM
4 comments


Tuesday, April 29, 2008
The effects of foster on Snuggle Bug
I've updated you on Baby Bug and Boo and now it's time to update you on Snuggle Bug. In specific, I'm going to share with you the effects I see that our fostering has had on him.

Snuggle Bug has had his life turned upside down these past few months! Having two little girls join our family has been quite an adjustment and one that's not easily explained to a 3 year old.

When Baby Bug arrived after Thanksgiving last year, he didn't seem to mind too much. She was a cute little thing and he was fascinated with having a 3 week old baby in the house. We explained that Baby Bug's mommy and daddy couldn't take care of her right now so we'd be taking care of her for a while. We were careful not to refer to her as his sister or say, "Our baby" as we weren't sure if how long we'd have her. We were trying to prevent him from getting too attached. That didn't really work.

Snuggle Bug has become very attached to Baby Bug, and she to him. He goes out of his way to help her. He comforts her when she cries, he tries to feed her (notice him practicing on his stuffed bear) and change her diaper. He tries to make her laugh and always succeeds. At five months old, Baby Bug seems to adore Snuggle Bug as much as he adores her. They most certainly have a connection and he's quite protective and possessive of her at times.

Snuggle Bug understands that Baby Bug has a mommy and daddy of her own. He has always gone with Oronzo to drop her off for visits with her parents. There are times when she's not at our home that Snuggle Bug will say, "She seeing her mommy and daddy" so we know he gets that.

I do worry about how he will handle the day that we have to send Baby Bug home to her parents for good. I know he'll miss her but how sad will he be? Will he worry that he can be sent away too?

Snuggle Bug's relationship with Boo is a bit more complex, because she's closer in age to him and mobile, not to mention that he never had time to ease in to a relationship with her. One day she just showed up and was in his space!

With the addition of Boo we've unfortunately seen behavior from Snuggle Bug that we're not used to. He's acted jealous, bossy, whiny, and clingy. His laid back attitude seemed to fly out the window for a time. We certainly understand why this has happened but that hasn't made it any easier to witness.

There are days when I want to pull my hair out with the refereeing I have to do because Snuggle Bug is snatching toys from Boo and telling her what she can't do or because Boo is plowing through toys that Snuggle Bug is playing with as she tries to play too.

I often have to stop, take a deep breath, and remind myself to be patient with both of them. They both have had enormous changes in their short little lives and they deserve some patience and understanding. I know that, if we're allowed to adopt Boo, things will get easier as they get older. We're already seeing great improvements just in the two and a half months since Boo joined our family.

There are some very sweet days too. Just the other night we went out for pizza and Snuggle Bug, Boo, and even Baby Bug were playing, making each other laugh, and having a grand time together. Snuggle Bug was helping Boo with her dinner and I sat back and soaked up the happy display of camaraderie. It felt like we were truly a family. For that brief period of time I was able to let go of the worrying about if/when we have to give the girls back. For that moment in time, all was right with the world.

In addition to the adjustment of fostering, I can't help but wonder when the light bulb will go on for Snuggle Bug becoming aware of the fact that he was adopted? I talk to him about his adoption in a very basic sense. I read him adopted related children's books (his favorite is "A Mother for Chaco"). I add his birth parents into our evening prayer routine. I do these things because I want him to grow up knowing he was adopted. I want that to be a natural part of his life, something he can feel comfortable talking to us about anytime he has questions. So far, he doesn't seem to have any inkling what adoption is all about and I'm sure that's because he's only 3 years old.

I still have a good relationship with Snuggle Bug's birth mother, Giselle. I send her updates and pictures by mail and we exchange emails from time to time. I actually got a treasure trove of pictures sent to me by Giselle's grandmother (Snuggle Bug's great grandmother). They're pictures of Giselle from infancy through high school. It's amazing to see how much Snuggle Bug looks like her at the same age! I'm thrilled that I have these pictures for him. Now I just have to get some of his birth father, if possible. We never hear from him.

Other than coping with the effects of our fostering and me wondering what Snuggle Bug will think of his adoption when he's old enough to understand, I'm truly relishing being this precious boy's mother. He's smart, has a great sense of humor, he's compassionate, and he's quite handsome. He loves baseball, cooking, art, music, outdoor activities, taking walks around our neighborhood at dusk, and so much more. Thankfully, he's still willing to give his mama hugs and kisses, he still looks to me to kiss his boo boos to make them all better, and he still thinks the world revolves around Oronzo and me.

We are so blessed to have been chosen to parent this amazing little boy and I thank God frequently for that blessing!

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5:30 AM
5 comments


BloggedIn Highlight
As a contributor over at BloggedIn- News & Networking, I just highlighted an excellent post entitled, I Love My Job.

Please, go check it out and leave Donetta of My Quiet Corner some comments to let her know what you thought of her post.

Twice a month I search through the posts of bloggers who are part of Family-Friendly Network looking for a special one to highlight. If you're not already a member, you might consider joining! It's a great group of bloggers!

If you are a member and have a post you'd like highlighted in the near future, send me an email with a link to that post and I'll check it out!

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5:00 AM


Monday, April 28, 2008
K'NEX Dueling Racers
Sarah from Child's Play Communications emailed and asked if I'd be interested in reviewing a K'NEX product sample. Since I have a little boy who loves race cars of any kid, I asked her to send me the Dueling Racers set!

What I didn't realize until we received the product was that this set is geared for children 7+. Snuggle Bug is 3 years old. Believe me, this was no problem.

Ends up, Oronzo is a 7 year old boy trapped in a 40 year old body! He was really excited when this product arrived and he had these motorized race cars assembled in no time flat! He waited until Snuggle Bug was in bed to get started and then spent a considerable amout of time "testing them out" for Snuggle Bug.

The next morning, Snuggle Bug discovered them sitting on the kitchen table and jumped up and down with glee, asking to play with them. He and Oronzo had a blast playing with these battery operated race cars, inside and outside the house.

I'd highly recommend this product to any of you with children 7+, or with husbands who like kids toys as much as your kids do!

K'NEX has a lot of other neat educational products for kids. I encourage you to check out their website to learn more.

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8:06 AM
2 comments


Saturday, April 26, 2008
Go check out A Chelsea Morning's Little Shoppe! You'll be glad you did!
A blogger whom I admire, Barb from A Chelsea Morning,  has just opened up a new online shop and I'd like to encourage you all to go take a look!

At A Chelsea Morning's Little Shoppe you'll find all sorts of wonderful hand made items like burp clothes, sock monkeys, fleece blankets, and more!


Before her shop even opened, I ordered a set of three burp clothes from Barb, to give as a gift to Baby Bug's parents.

Paying Barb was made simple by using Paypal.  Once my payment was received, Barb shipped out my order quite promptly.

I was delighted with the quality and style of the burp clothes and I loved the adorable way Barb had packaged them.

I would highly recommend any hand made item that Barb has to offer!  She is a pleasure to do business with!

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6:45 AM
5 comments


Friday, April 25, 2008
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Chewy Granola Bars)

Good Friday to you all! It's time for another Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe exchange!

Upcoming Themed Schedule
May 2- Greatest Hits Edition (re-run one of your favorites of your own FIF recipes)
May 16- Weight Watchers Edition (thanks Tammy!)
May 30- Memorial Day Edition II

I love certain brands of granola bars but I've always wanted to make my own so that I know exactly what's gone into them (no additives or preservatives). I found a great chewy granola bar recipe on FoodNetwork.com. These turned out really yummy! I think you'll like them.

Chewy Granola Bars


Click on the image to enlarge!

Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe! I won't be able to visit your recipes right away but fear not, I will stop by to visit your recipe as soon as I can!

Don't forget to link your specific recipe post link on Mr. Linky so I can see what's cooking at your house!

Oh, and be sure to put the title of your recipe in parenthesis! It makes it so much quicker for me to go back and search for recipes as I build my weekly menu.

For guidelines and my past Favorite Ingredients Friday recipes, click here.

Thanks so much for your participation. I do appreciate it!

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6:00 AM
11 comments


Thursday, April 24, 2008
Baby Bug is better...sort of.
Sorry I've left many of you hanging as to how Baby Bug is doing.  She's doing better...sort of.

She's gotten past her fevers and diarrhea, thank goodness, but she's not back to drinking or eating at the level she was before she got sick.  

Unfortunately, just as she's beginning to recover from the G.I. virus she had, yesterday we learned that she has pink eye of all things!  Poor little baby!  Where she got that from I don't know but she's got it.  Our pediatrician wrote a prescription which was started late afternoon yesterday.

I have no experience with pink eye.  I've never had it and neither has Oronzo or Snuggle Bug.  We've been told that Baby Bug is highly contagious until at least 48 hours after she started he prescription medicine.   We've been advised to keep her eye cleaned of the goop using wet cotton balls, to wash our hands constantly while tending to her, and to keep Snuggle Bug and Boo away from her face as much as possible.  Oh, and the kids are not to share wash clothes or bedding.  So far, Snuggle Bug and Boo appear to be unaffected but we're not out of the woods yet.

Throughout Baby Bug's initial illness, Oronzo and I made the decision to bypass the CPS worker, who isn't quick enough in her responses at times, and to call Baby Bug's parents directly to provide updates on how she's doing.  They were worried about her and deserved to know how she was doing.  I called them using my cell phone and kept them updated on her progress yesterday.  I encouraged them to call me if they wanted any further updates.  

So, we've given up some of our privacy by giving them one of our numbers but we felt that was the right thing to do, given the circumstances.  It was just too complicated trying to use CPS as the middle man (or woman in this case).  Now they have my cell phone and we have their cell phone, an even trade.

So, how long does pink eye last?

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6:00 AM
13 comments


When Love Takes You In
I saw this over at A Foster Mom's Journey and I couldn't resist sharing it on my blog as well.

Apparently, Steven Curtis Chapman is a Christian musican/singer and is both a biological father and an adoptive father. He has an organization that helps people adopt children.



Beautiful, isn't it?

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5:30 AM
4 comments


Monday, April 21, 2008
Baby Bug is sick!
Baby Bug has been sick recently.  She started feeling warm yesterday afternoon and we gave her a dose of infant Tylenol at around 4:30 PM.  Her fever continued throughout the night, despite the additional doses of infant Tylenol every 4 hours.  She started to have projectile, watery diarrhea and she became listless and agitated.  She even started moaning in her sleep!

I've dealt with sick babies, Snuggle Bug got fevers from time to time, but having Baby Bug sick terrified me!  I felt so bad for her and there was an added layer of worry.   I worried for her parents too.  What if Baby Bug's illness was more than just a viral infection?  What if something was seriously wrong.  As much as I love her, she isn't my child.  I am responsible for a child of another couple.  What if I screwed something up?!  The enormity of this responsibility for Baby Bug's well being weighed heavy on me last night.

I was up all night with Baby Bug, holding her constantly, snatching bits of sleep in between changing numerous diapers (bad diarrhea) and trying to coax her to keep drinking fluids.

At 6 AM my worry got the best of me and I called my pediatrician and spoke with an on-call nurse.  She assured me I was doing everything right and told me that a 48-72 hour viral infection was going around right now.    She gave me some suggestions and encouraged me to call back later in the morning if Baby Bug's fever got above 101.4.

Today is visit day for Baby Bug.  I had to drop her off to the daycare center by 9 AM.  I documented everything involving Baby Bug's illness and packed up Pedialyte, Aquaphor, a new digital thermometer, and my detailed list involving her illness and the nurse's instructions.  I did not want to hand Baby Bug over, even to her mom, with her so sick, but I had no choice.

Just before leaving the house, Oronzo and I checked her temperature one last time.  It was 104.3!  I called the doctor's office on my way out the door, expecting to be asked to bring Baby Bug in.  I decided that I would stop by the daycare, fill Baby Bug's mom in, and ask her to come with me to the doctor's office.

Amazingly, the doctor's office said they didn't need to see her.  They told me to keep administering the infant Tylenol, push the fluids, and wait it out.  If her fever didn't break within four hours, to call back.  

I had to hand Baby Bug over to her mom, fill her in, and watch as she drove away.  I prayed that her mom would take good care of her until we got her back at 4:30 PM.  I called and emailed the CPS worker, filling her in, and asking that she send someone over today to check in on Baby Bug's parents, to make sure they didn't need anything.  I never heard back from the CPS worker so I have no idea if that's been done.

In about an hour, I can go pick Baby Bug back up at the daycare and make sure she's doing okay.  I'm sure her parents will be quite worried about her too.  They won't see her again until Wednesday.  I'll have to see if I can't convince the CPS worker to share updates with them tomorrow, if she'll ever get back to me!  Better yet, I think I'll call them myself.

Yet another reason why fostering is not always easy.

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3:05 PM
13 comments


Saturday, April 19, 2008
Fostering: Update on Boo
If you'd like to read an update on our youngest foster daughter, Baby Bug, you can find that right here. This current post will be dedicated to an update on our 14 month old foster daughter, Boo.

Boo has been with us for just over 2 months now. I'm amazed at how quickly she's adjusted to our family. Her CPS worker told me last week that she's never seen Boo look happier. Since she's known Boo longer than we have, I'll have to take her word for it. Her comment made me quite happy!

Let me tell you what we're learning about Boo.

Boo has an adventerous spirit. She likes to explore all of her surroundings, she's curious, she's active, and she's quite fearless. She's a bit sassy and throws little fits every now and then but her bad moods pass almost as quickly as they come. She is one, after all.

Boo is becoming more affectionate with us as each day passes. She started calling Oronzo "Dada" pretty early on and now she calls him "Daddy" like Snuggle Bug does. She calls me "Mama". She seeks us out for hugs and repeated kisses. She likes to snuggle with us before naps and bedtime. She adores Snuggle Bug, as long as he's not trying to take something away from her and then she fiercely objects. This girl is not a push-over!

It's taken me some time to get attached to Boo. She's a perfectly adorable and loveable little girl and I've felt that she'd fit right in with our family from early on in her placement but I've learned that attaching to a 12 month old doesn't happen as quickly as it does with a baby. I can't help but wonder if my attachment to Baby Bug (who's been with us a couple of months longer) hasn't somewhat hindered my attachment to Boo. I've heard it said that love is an action, not just an emotion, so I've been showing love to Boo through my actions, hoping that over time I'd become more attached to her. It's working!

As you can see, Boo has beautiful hair. Part of what has helped me bond with her is fixing her hair each morning. I set her up on our bathroom vanity in front of the mirror and she patiently sits while I style her hair. We "chat" and make funny faces at each other. Like with Baby Bug, I enjoy making her hair bows to match her outfits.

I've taken to rocking her and letting her drink her milk while I hold her in my arms before laying her down for a nap or for bedtime. Making one-on-one cuddle time has helped us to bond as well.

As for what her future will bring, it's still uncertain at this point. If you remember, she was transferred out of a foster-only home into our foster-to-adopt home in an effort to help CPS build a case to persuade the judge to change her case plan from a reunification goal to one of adoption. Unfortunately, this doesn't appear to have worked.

I attended a court hearing for Boo last week and CPS made their case as to why they felt the judge should move towards a goal of adoption. Boo's mother was not present but her court appointed lawyer was and he made an opposing case of giving the goal of reunification more time. He wants the judge to wait until at least October, maybe even longer, before making a final decision. I can't get into all the details as to why.

The judge seemed very non-committal either way at this court appointment. I think if he had his way he would've avoided making a decision altogether and just set another Dependency Review in 6 months and looked at this situation again. CPS diplomatically reminded him that in our state a child is due to have a Permanency Hearing set after they've been in the system for 12 months (so that don't languish in foster care for years and years with nothing resolved). So, the judge was reminded that he is required to set a Permanency Hearing date and he rather reluctantly set one for 30 June, two days before Boo will have reached the 1 year mark of being in the system.

At this Permanency Hearing, the judge will be forced to make a decision. He'll have to either decide that there is enough evidence of Boo's parents failing to work a case plan and living up to their end of the reunification goal and change the goal to adoption, or he'll have to decide that there is enough evidence to suggest that the parents should be given an extension of time to work towards reunification. Based on what I know of Boo's case, I really think that an extension of time is a huge mistake and I pray this does not happen, for her sake more than for ours.

I walked out of that court hearing last week feeling quite discouraged. When Boo was placed with us, CPS felt pretty confident that the judge would agree with them (and Boo's lawyer) that moving towards severance and adoption is in Boo's best interests. From what I heard in the court room, I think CPS was a bit overly optimistic.

From what I know of this case, I do think that if the parents are given an extension it's still likely going to end in the goal being changed to adoption but I fear the judge will let this drag on for another year before he's willing to declare Boo free for adoption. And who knows what will happen during that time. ((sigh))

This is where the phrase, "Let go and let God" really comes into play. I can't control this situation so I have to offer it up to God. All I can do is give Boo lots of love and attention and a stable home environment while she's with us. And of course, I'll be praying for her. I hope you'll do the same.

Check back on Monday if you'd like to read an update on Snuggle Bug.

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7:00 AM
14 comments


Winner of my April Pay It Forward Book Exchange

It's time to pick a winner for my April Pay It Forward Book Exchange. I've used Random.org to find my winner.

And the winner is...

# 8- Swapna Krishna a non-blogger who wins Creations In Death by J.D. Robb.

Congrats, Swapna! Please email me your mailing addresses so I can send out your book! If I don't hear from you soon, I'll have to pick another winner.

And for those of you who didn't win my giveaway, check out the additional books still up for grabs this month!

My next Pay It Forward Book Exchange will be held on Thursday, 1 May.

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6:00 AM
0 comments


Friday, April 18, 2008
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Spreads & Dips Edition)

Happy Friday! It's time for my Favorite Ingredients Friday Spreads & Dips Edition!

We attend family-oriented gatherings quite often and I'd love to have some tried and true spread and/or dip recipes to make.  I can't wait to see what you all come up with.

The recipe I'm about to share is something I found on Kraftfoods.com. It's quick, simple, and yummy. Enjoy!


Caramallow Dip

Ingredients:
4 cups JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows
25 KRAFT Caramels (about 1/2 of 14-oz. bag)
1/4 cup evaporated milk

Directions:
Place marshmallows, caramels and evaporated milk in medium saucepan; cook on low heat until marshmallows are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring frequently. Pour into serving bowl. Cool slightly.

SERVE warm as a dip with assorted cookies and fresh fruit dippers.

SUBSTITUTE Use 1/4 cup milk in place of evaporated milk when preparing this sweet dip.


Now I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Spreads & Dips Edition recipe!

Don't forget to link your specific recipe post link on Mr. Linky so I can see what's cooking at your house!

Oh, and be sure to put the title of your recipe in parenthesis! It makes it so much quicker for me to go back and search for recipes as I build my weekly menu.

For guidelines and my past Favorite Ingredients Friday recipes, click here.

Thanks so much for your participation. I do appreciate it!

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6:00 AM
7 comments


Thursday, April 17, 2008
Fostering: Update on Baby Bug
I've been meaning to update you all on Baby Bug's frustrating situation that I blogged about here and here but I needed some time to cool off and see how things played out. I'm ready now. And while I'm at it, I'll update you on Boo and Snuggle Bug as well, but in separate posts in the very near future. This post will be devoted to Baby Bug.

The short of it...CPS got their way. They are no longer providing any transportation for Baby Bug and Baby Bug was enrolled in a nearby daycare this past Monday. I'm less than thrilled!

Now, for the details (fair warning, this is going to be a long post!).

I will give Baby Bug's CPS worker (and her supervisor) credit for being quite clever. Not only did she successfully maneuver out of transporting entirely for this case, but she also presented the daycare situation to Oronzo in such a way that he couldn't help but be swayed to her way of thinking! I was at work the morning she came to discuss it with him.

Here's how things now work:

1) Baby Bug is enrolled in a nearby daycare. CPS is picking up the tab, entirely. We're not sure if they have her enrolled PT or FT but since we're not paying I guess it doesn't matter.

2) Three days a week, Oronzo (or myself) is responsible for dropping Baby Bug off at daycare by no later than 9 AM. The daycare opens at 7:30 AM so in theory we could drop her off as early as 7:30 AM. That will happen over my dead body. She will arrive at around 8:45 AM-8:55 AM.

3) On those three scheduled days, Baby Bug's parents are responsible for picking Baby Bug up at the daycare no later than 9 AM and they must have her returned to the daycare by 4:30 PM. Oronzo or I have until 6 PM to pick Baby Bug up from daycare. Again, I can assure you she will not be languishing in daycare until 6 PM.

4) I demanded some guidelines of my own in this less than desirable situation. First, I informed the CPS worker that I would be calling the daycare center each morning at 10 AM to make sure that Baby Bug had been picked up by her parents, so that she wouldn't be sitting in there all day, unbeknownst to us if her parents didn't show up. If they hadn't arrived by 10 AM, I told the CPS worker that Oronzo or I would go pick her back up and it was to be understood that her parents had then forfeited their entire day's visit. Second, if Baby Bug's parents were going to be late in dropping her back off at the specified 4:30 PM time, I expected them to call and let the daycare center know so that we could be warned. I made it clear to the CPS worker that if Baby Bug was not there when we arrived to pick her up and her parents hadn't called the daycare center, then we were going to call the CPS hotline, which involves the police going out to her parent's house to retrieve Baby Bug. Baby Bug's parents haven't done anything thus far to lead me to believe that we'd have any problems but I wanted it to be made very clear that if problems began there would be consequences and I needed to make sure that CPS would back me up. I needed to do my best to look after Baby Bug's interests since it seemed as though no one else was doing so! The CPS worker agreed to my stipulations and conveyed them in a letter to the parents.

Although I hate the idea of Baby Bug in daycare, her parents seem to hate it as much as I do and so far this week she's not been in daycare for more than 30 minutes each day! Yes, our tax payer's dollars are being wasted in such a way as this, since CPS (the State) is picking up the daycare tab. It's a joke, really!

We started this on Monday. Oronzo arrived at the daycare with Baby Bug at 8:45 AM and found Baby Bug's mom already there. Not only that, she had been there for an hour waiting! She was so nervous about the chance of being late and so excited at the thought of being allowed to have an all-day visit with her daughter for the first time in four months, that she left their house really early and got to the daycare an hour before Oronzo arrived! What a way to start things off on the right foot. My admiration for Baby Bug's mom increased even more that day! Monday afternoon, she had Baby Bug back at 4:30 PM on the dot and I picked her up on my way home from work at 5 PM. Baby Bug's mom arrived early the next two mornings as well and has been very punctual in returning her.

I feel bad that her parents have been left holding the bag as far as transporting for visits, especially since they have to travel across town, but they don't seem to mind one bit. They are just thrilled to have more time with their daughter.

Baby Bug's visitation with her parents is going to be increasing steadily over time. If this three days per week schedule goes well, after a while it'll be increased to four days, then five. Eventually they'll get some overnight visits and then weekend visits. The ultimate goal, of course, is reunification and her return home to her parents on a full-time basis.

I have such mixed feelings about all of this. On one hand, I'm happy that her parents are getting more time with their daughter and I'm very hopeful that they will continue to do well and do what they have to do to get her back. I really do think this is a good thing.

On the other hand, the more time she spends with her parents, the less time she spends with us. So far, the increased visitation doesn't really cut into my time with Baby Bug because it's mainly while I'm at work. But it won't be long until I see less and less of Baby Bug. I know this case has absolutely nothing to do with me but it's going to be emotionally hard for me to let go of Baby Bug, little by little.

I love this child as if she were my own, knowing full well that she's not. I "know" her and she knows me. Her face lights up like a Christmas tree anytime she hears my voice or sees me walk into a room. I know what each of her cries mean and how to comfort her. I know exactly how to hold her when she's over-tired and needs to get to sleep or if her tummy is hurting her. I love buying her cute little outfits and making her hair bows/clips to match! I love holding her close, rocking her, and surrounding her in song and prayer. I love caring for her and keeping her safe.

Baby Bug's next court date isn't until mid-July and even then it's uncertain as to whether or not the judge will consider Baby Bug's parents ready to get her back but by then she will have been with us for 8 months and I think, if they continue to do so well, her parents will have a very good shot at getting her back at that point in time.

So, our time with Baby Bug is dwindling. My heart aches at the thought of it. But, while she's still with us, I will be the squeaky wheel advocating for her best interests. Obviously I'm not going to win every battle, but I won't go quietly. She deserves the very best and I intend to do everything in my power to see to that while I am able.

That's all for now. I'll update you all on Boo and then Snuggle Bug very soon, so stop back again. As always, your prayers and your support are much appreciated!

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6:30 AM
11 comments


Wednesday, April 16, 2008
WFMW: Coffee Filter Butterflies
Happy Wednesday to you! It's time once again to post another WFMW tip!

I don't know about you but as much as I love participating in this WFMW exchange, sometimes I can't think of any decent ideas. So, unless Shannon requests a specific theme, I've decided to focus my efforts on offering craft ideas. And I'd love it if you'd leave me a comment with some craft ideas of your own!

This week I'm sharing a butterfly craft idea. It's a bit messy because paint is involved but making a mess is half the fun! You can lay newspapers down before beginning the project. My 3 year old son LOVED this one so I'll bet your kids will too!

Coffee Filter Butterfly

Supplies Needed:

Wooden Clothes Pins
Round Coffee Filters
Black Sharpie Marker
Watercolor Paints
Pipe Cleaner
Glue Gun

Directions:

Take the coffee filters and spray them with water till they lay flat but aren't drenched (it should only take a few short sprays, I use warm water). Now, go nuts blobbing the watercolors on the wet coffee filters, it will run and smear but don't worry.

When you are happy with your design on one, repeat this process with another coffee filter. Put the wet filters in a safe place to dry.

Use the Sharpie marker to draw eyes and a mouth on a wooden clothes pin.

Wrap a pipe cleaner once around the top of your wooden clothes pin (I added a dab of glue to the back to hold the pipe cleaners on tight) so that you have two antennas poking up. Curl the ends of each pipe cleaner to make the antennas look more realistic.

When they are dry gather up the coffee filter in the middle, trying to keep the outside edges flat, and clip it into the clothespin (I put a dab of glue at the bottom of the wooden clothes pin to hold the coffee filter in). Spread the wings out and you are done.

I put a strip of magnet on the backside of clothespin and stuck them on the fridge. My son made 5 of these and we're mailing some of them to the grandparents as little gifts, just for fun!

Creating coffee filter butterflies works for me. To find out what works for others, be sure to check out the other links at Shannon's, the creator of Works-For-Me Wednesday!

My past WFMW entries are found here.

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6:07 AM
10 comments


Tuesday, April 15, 2008
BloggedIn Highlight
As a contributor over at BloggedIn- News & Networking, I just highlighted an excellent post entitled, Be Gentle...With Your Spouse.

Please, go check it out and leave Gibee of Kisses of Sunshine some comments to let her know what you thought of her post.

Twice a month I search through the posts of bloggers who are part of Family-Friendly Network looking for a special one to highlight. If you're not already a member, you might consider joining! It's a great group of bloggers!

If you are a member and have a post you'd like highlighted in the near future, send me an email with a link to that post and I'll check it out!

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1:54 PM


Friday, April 11, 2008
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Creamy Parmesan Risotto)

Good Friday to you all! It's time for another Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe exchange!

Upcoming Themed Schedule
April 18- Dips & Spreads Edition
May 2- Greatest Hits Edition (re-run one of your favorites of your own FIF recipes)
May 16- Weight Watchers Edition (thanks Tammy!)

I love, love, love risotto!  It takes some time and effort to make but it's so worth it!  This recipe is particularly yummy.  I think you'll like it.


Creamy Parmesan Risotto

Ingredients:
3 to 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

Directions:
In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer and keep warm over low heat. In a separate medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the onion is transparent, about 5 minutes.

Add the rice and cook, stirring, until it is well coated with the butter and starts to turn translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer gently until all the liquid is absorbed, 3 to 5 minutes.

Ladle 1/2 cup of the warm broth into the rice mixture and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the broth is absorbed. Repeat, adding 1/2 cup of broth at a time, until the rice is cooked through but still firm, 20 to 25 minutes total. Add the remaining butter and the salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Stir to incorporate. Adjust seasoning with more salt to taste. Serve immediately, topping with additional Parmesan.

Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe! I won't be able to visit your recipes right away but fear not, I will stop by to visit your recipe as soon as I can!

Don't forget to link your specific recipe post link on Mr. Linky so I can see what's cooking at your house!

Oh, and be sure to put the title of your recipe in parenthesis! It makes it so much quicker for me to go back and search for recipes as I build my weekly menu.

For guidelines and my past Favorite Ingredients Friday recipes, click here.

Thanks so much for your participation. I do appreciate it!

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6:00 AM
8 comments


Thursday, April 10, 2008
It's not getting any better! It's getting much worse!
So, in this post I complained that Baby Bug's CPS worker was trying to pressure us into agreeing to covering return transportation for Baby Bug's visits/appointments with her parents, which by the way are currently at 3 times per week. Unfortunately things are only getting worse!

I got an email from Baby Bug's CPS worker today saying that the CPS Aide that has been supervising parental visits and providing return transportation has gotten promoted and will no longer be doing any transportation. She then writes that they (CPS) is not accepting this case for visitation so we (meaning Baby Bug's parents and us) have to figure it out ourselves. She (and her supervisor as well) thinks that the best solution is to put Baby Bug into daycare so that her parents can pick her up at daycare whenever they have scheduled visitations and then drop her off back at daycare when their visits are done and then we can pick Baby Bug up from daycare when it's convenient for us.

Put Baby Bug in daycare, that's her solution to the transportation issue! Put Baby Bug in daycare so that her parents can come and go as they please with her, without us being able to monitor the times. Put her in daycare so we can transport her twice a day (there and back), but of course at our convenience as long as it doesn't interfere with scheduled visits/appointments. Put her in daycare so that CPS can effectively get out of any transporting, despite the fact that in this state it is the job of CPS to transport and that we have been helping with this out of the goodness of our hearts. Apparently that was our mistake, offering to help in the first place. Apparently we would've been better off telling them from day one that we couldn't transport at all, as most foster parents do (or so we're told).

What I find ironic is that one of the reasons we were chosen to take Baby Bug is because our agency knew that she would not have to be put into daycare. We don't want this and I know her parents will not be in support of this but they may go along with it, feeling they have no choice.

Oh, and to add fuel to the fire, we've also been informed that Baby Bug's mom wants to take her to daily group support meetings (held for 2 hours each morning, Monday-Friday) and that CPS wants us to figure out how to handle transportation for this as well!

Later this morning the CPS worker is scheduled to come do her monthly home visit (unless she tries to reschedule yet again) and intends to speak to Oronzo about all of this. Oronzo intends to make it very clear to her that he intends to do no more transport that he's already doing. He is sticking to his guns and telling her, as he's told her all along, that he is unable to do return transporting. He intends to tell her that we do not want Baby Bug to be put into daycare but if they insist on forcing us to do so, they will have to figure out the return transport from daycare because he will not be providing that transport.

I'm frantically trying to get ahold of our agency rep to see if she can help us. I'm also tempted to call Baby Bug's lawyer and discuss all of this with her to see what she thinks of it.

I fear this is going to get ugly quickly! Please say a prayer for us.

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6:00 AM
18 comments


Monday, April 07, 2008
CPS Workers Jerking Our Chain!
Ugh! We are so frustrated right now. The CPS worker and CPS Aide assigned to Baby Bug's case are ticking us off!

Since the day Baby Bug's parents received supervised visits 4 months ago, we've had transportation problems!

Although not required in our state, we offered to be responsible for transporting Baby Bug to her visits (45 minute drive each way) in the mornings, as long as CPS would transport her back from her visits. We didn't want to be the type of foster parents that refused to be helpful.

From the beginning, Oronzo would arrive with Baby Bug on time for the supervised visits but the CPS aide assigned to supervise the visits would inevitably show up late, so Oronzo would have to sit around with the kids in the car and wait for her arrival so that he could pass Baby Bug off to her. And even though we'd be given a time that she would be returned back to us, again the CPS aide would show up much later than expected.

The latest is that CPS is trying to pressure us into being responsible for picking Baby Bug up at the end of her visits so that they don't have to. We've told them from day one that this will not work for us, as the return time is always either during nap time for the other two kids or during dinner time and my work schedule changes from week to week so I can't commit to being available either.

As if that weren't bad enough, Oronzo tells me that the visitation times change on a weekly basis. He's looked back at his calendar over the past 4 months and there's not been two straight weeks of the same visitiation schedule. CPS keeps changing it and usually with very short notice! Baby Bug's visits with her parents are increasing in length and frequency as they prepare to eventually transfer her back home so this is a good thing and we want to help where we can but we've got two other children and our work schedules to factor in as well!

And then there are the required monthly visits where CPS comes to our home to check on Baby Bug. Baby Bug's CPS worker has changed the visit for today twice and then didn't show up at the appointed 8:30 AM time. She emailed (not a phone call, an email) Oronzo minutes before the scheduled time to say she couldn't make it and that she'd need to reschedule for today at 1:30 PM. Oronzo is really ticked off, since this isn't the first time she's pulled this on him, and is emailing her back to say she'll have to pick another day because 1:30 PM won't work for him!

I understand that CPS is understaffed and overworked but do they have to be so discourteous to foster parents in their efforts to juggle all of their responsibilities. Their inconsistencies and lack of common courtesy is frustrating!

At least we've had no problems with Boo's CPS worker thus far! I guess that's something.

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8:36 AM
11 comments


Friday, April 04, 2008
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Desserts Edition)

Happy Friday! It's time for my Favorite Ingredients Friday Dessert Edition!

I have a sweet tooth and I love to bake. Oh, and I'm a chocoholic too! I thought it'd be fun to have a dessert-themed recipe exchange. I hope you can share some of your favorite dessert recipes with me!

The recipe I'm about to share is something I found on FoodNetwork.com. It takes a bit of work but believe me when I tell you it's worth the effort. This cake is scrumptous and sure to please your loved ones!



A Gooey, Decadent Chocolate Cake


Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 1/2 ounces semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups cold water
Chambourd raspberry liqueur, for drizzling
Chocolate Chip Butter Cream, recipe follows
Dark chocolate shavings, for decoration

Directions:
Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cooled chocolate and vanilla and beat for 3 minutes to incorporate. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for another 3 minutes. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with the cold water. Beat for 1 minute after each addition to incorporate the ingredients. Mix until the batter is smooth.

Coat 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray. Cut 2 circles of parchment paper to fit the pan bottoms and place them inside the pans; then spray the paper for added non-stick insurance. Pour batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface with a spatula; the pans should be 2/3 full. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, see Cook's note*.

Leave to cool for 40 minutes. Turn the cakes out of the pans and remove the paper. Drizzle them with a few tablespoons of Chambourd. With a metal spatula, spread 1/2 cup butter cream on top 1 of the layers. Start in the center and work your way out. Carefully place the second layer on top. Smooth the sides with butter cream, then spread the rest over the top so that the cake is completely covered. Refrigerate for 5 minutes before decorating or cutting.

With a large knife scrape some shavings from a block of dark chocolate. Scatter shavings over cake.

*Cook's note: The cake is cooked when a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean and the cake springs back when touched.

Chocolate Chip Butter Cream: 3 cups powdered sugar 7 tablespoons hot water 4 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/4 cup semisweet dark chocolate, finely chopped.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the sugar and water at low speed. Beat in the dark chocolate and vanilla. Add butter gradually in small bits. Mix until everything is completely incorporated. Using a spatula, fold in the chopped chocolate and give a final quick spin.
I hope if you try this recipe you'll let me know how it turned out for you! Now I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Dessert Edition recipe!

Don't forget to link your specific recipe post link on Mr. Linky so I can see what's cooking at your house!

Oh, and be sure to put the title of your recipe in parenthesis! It makes it so much quicker for me to go back and search for recipes as I build my weekly menu.

For guidelines and my past Favorite Ingredients Friday recipes, click here.

Thanks so much for your participation. I do appreciate it!

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6:05 AM
11 comments


Thursday, April 03, 2008
Adoption #2- Update on the girls
Last week I posted about how I was leaving on a business trip and stressing about the fact that our foster daughters were going to be placed in respite care.  I wanted to follow up and let you know how it's going.

Oronzo dropped the girls off on Monday afternoon.  He told me that initially Boo seemed un-phased by being at Barb and Jim's house (the respite care providers) again.  But when Oronzo started heading for the door without her, she started to cry.  Barb picked her up and held her on her lap to comfort her as Oronzo said his goodbyes.  Baby Bug didn't protest but she's only 4 1/2 months old so I wouldn't have expected her to.

I've called Barb every day, since leaving for Vegas on Monday, to check on the girls.  Barb told me Boo was anxious most of Monday but on Monday evening she seemed to loosen up a bit and started playing with the toys they had.  She slept through the night that night and has every night since.  Each day Boo has gotten more comfortable with Barb and Jim and now is to the point where she's actually having fun.

Baby Bug has had troubles with her morning naps at Barb and Jim's house, so she's been a bit fussy in the mornings but other than that she's doing fine too.  She started sleeping through the night for us last Wednesday and she's continuing to do this for Barb and Jim.

Barb tells me she's enjoying her time with the girls and she's been so suportive of my phone calls.  She doesn't seem to mind taking the time to chat with me each day and share what the girls are up to.

I'm flying home tomorrow but I won't get in until after the girls are in bed.  I'm tempted to go in, pull Boo out of bed, and to sit and rock with her when I get home.  I've miss holding her (and Baby Bug) in my arms!

In other related news, Oronzo got me a MacBook last month and I've been using it to do video iChats with him and Snuggle Bug while away on this trip.  This is the first time we've done this and Snuggle Bug was a bit confused.  He kept looking at the computer monitor and then our front door, asking, "Mommy home?"  I explained that I was still at work in Las Vegas.  He told Oronzo, "Mommy in puter (computer)!"  For me, it was so wonderful to see his sweet little face and to be able to hear his voice.  I showed him a gift that I got him (a little stuffed, white puppy to add to his puppy collection) and he was excited to see that!

I really love my new MacBook!  It's got a built in webcam and microphone and I'm amazed at all the neat features that this laptop has (iPhoto, iTunes, iCalendar, neat email templates, etc) and I love how integrated all the software applications are.  Having been a Windows PC user all my life, I do feel a bit drunk trying to maneuver around this Mac but I'm learning fairly quickly and I'm loving it!  And any laptop that allows me to easily see my little boy while I'm away from home gets an A+ in my book!

I can't wait to get home tomorrow!

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7:16 AM
13 comments


Wednesday, April 02, 2008
WFMW: Greatest Hits Edition
Happy Wednesday to you! It's time once again to post another WFMW tip!

This week Shannon has asked us to post our Greatest Hits Edition, in other words she's asked us to re-run one of our favorites of our own WFMWs. I know just the one to share again!

I posted this tip back on 20 September 2006 and was surprised at the great response it got! Here it is again.


List of Age Appropriate Children's Chores


I'm not sure where I stumbled across this list, and I'm sure there are others out there, but I have this one taped up on our refrigerator. It helps to give me ideas on what tasks to encourage Snuggle Bug to learn.


This image isn't expanding as I had hoped when you click on it so if you'd like me to email this list to you in a Word document so that you can read it and print off a nice copy, just leave me a comment with your email address and I'd be happy to do so!


Don't worry, if you leave me your email addresses, I promise I will not try to get rich quick by selling them to a mass marketing firm. :) I'll use them just to send out this list.


This chore list works for me. Maybe it'll work for you too! I'd love to hear about some of the age appropriate chores that your children are doing!


To find out what works for others, be sure to check out the other links at Shannon's, the creator of Works-For-Me Wednesday!

My past WFMW entries are found here.

Oh, a quick note:


My April Pay It Forward Book Exchange is now in full swing.


If you want a chance to win, be sure to check out this post for more details! You don't have to be a blogger to win!

Labels:

6:38 AM
30 comments


Tuesday, April 01, 2008
April Pay It Forward Book Exchange- 11 books up for grabs!

It's time for another one of my free Pay It Forward book giveaways!

For those who may have missed out, please read about the guidelines right here.

So, I have one book to give away this month.

1) Creations In Death by J.D. Robb.

This book was sent to me by Anne with Authors on the Web. Thanks, Anne!

Editorial Review by Publishers Weekly:

At 27 books and counting, Nora Roberts is more prolific under her Robb pseudonym than most authors manage in a single career. Yet the latest in her not-so-near-future detective series featuring New York Police Det. Eve Dallas offers a satisfyingly novel mélange of suspense, sex, forensics and heroics. It's 2060, and the serial killer nicknamed The Groom is back in town after an absence of nine years, resuming his horrific run of kidnapping, torturing and killing young women. Dallas, who served as a detective in the frustrating first investigation, assumes lead role in this one. This time, not only do the killer's chosen victims have ties to Dallas's husband, Roarke, but Dallas herself may be the killer's ultimate target. Swiftly paced, the story cuts frequently from the investigation to the killer's progress with his victims. Dallas works to outplan, outfight and outsmart the killer; to keep her handsome, rich husband happy; and to be ready for the next round after a good night's sleep. Robb's latest is bound to please Dallas fans.

I love Nora Roberts and this book was an excellent read. It kept me in suspense the entire time I was reading it. I think you'll enjoy it!

If you'd like to this book, here is what you must do:

1. On your blog, write a post about this giveaway, using my "Pay It Forward" button, and then link back to my post. I am sure your readers would appreciate learning about the chance to win a book. You must complete this step to be put in the drawing, unless of course you don't have a blog!

2. Sign the Mr. Linky (the Mr. Linky is that list of names at the end of this post - just type your name in the box) with your name and the specific URL of your PIF post. Note: If you are not a blogger, you may still enter to win. Just sign your name on the Mr. Linky without a URL and then email me your contact information. Please note on your email that it is for the PIF book giveaway.

I'll announce the winner on Saturday morning, 19 April, so be sure to check back.

Best of luck!

If you have any books you'd like to Pay It Forward yourself this month, please leave me a comment and I'll link you in this post!

Additional Pay It Forward Giveaways:

1) Caroline at food for thought is giving away two more books, The Friday Night Knitting Club, by Kate Jacobs and Shopaholic & Baby, by Sophie Kinsella on 18 April. Stop by her blog to enter to win. Thanks, Caroline!

Caroline at food for thought gave away two books, Mothers Need Time-Outs, Too by Susan Callahan, Anne Nolen, and Katrin Schumann and I Married My Mother-in-Law edited by Ilena Silverman on 5 April. Thanks, Caroline!

Jubilee at notes of jubilee gave away two books, The Door In The Dragon's Throat by Frank Peretti and Improving Your Serve -- The Art of Unselfish Living by Charles Swindoll on 14 April. Thanks, Jubilee!

Heather at Production, Not Reproduction gave away the book, Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood on 15 April. Thanks, Heather!

Tamy at 3 Sides of Crazy gave away the book, Lakeside Cottage by Susan Wiggs on 23 April. Thanks, Tamy!

Cynthia at Springmont Cottage gave away the book, Puttin' on the Grits by Deborah Ford on 21 April. Thanks, Cynthia!

Forgetfulone gave away the book, Garden of Beasts by Jeffery Deaver. on 30 April. Thanks, Forgetfulone!

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10:09 AM
8 comments


BloggedIn Highlight
As a contributor over at BloggedIn- News & Networking, I just highlighted an excellent post entitled, The Bully and the Bear?

Please, go check it out and leave Christine of Serenity How? some comments to let her know what you thought of her post.

Twice a month I search through the posts of bloggers who are part of Family-Friendly Network looking for a special one to highlight. If you're not already a member, you might consider joining! It's a great group of bloggers!

If you are a member and have a post you'd like highlighted in the near future, send me an email with a link to that post and I'll check it out!

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8:08 AM




Name: Overwhelmed

My complete profile

It wasn't supposed to work this way...Parts 1 through 10

(the story of the private, domestic adoption of our son)


(Part 1)
(Part 2)
(Part 3)
(Part 4)
(Part 5)
(Part 6)
(Part 7)
(Part 8)
(Part 9)
(Part 10- Adoption Finalization)

Fostering isn't for the faint of heart!

(our journey to adopt again through foster-to-adopt, the good, the bad, & everything in between)


Adoption #2- considering the State
More Adoption #2 thoughts
Adoption #2- Back to considering the State
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 1)
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 2)
Family Foster Home Licensing Prep Checklist
Adoption #2- Long overdue update
PS-MAPP class homework assignment
Our preliminary home inspection went well!
Adoption #2: Licensing update
Adoption #2- Foster Facts
Adoption #2: I love it when things go my way!
Adoption #2- The home inspection
Adoption #2- We failed our home inspection!
Adoption #2- We passed the follow-up home inspection!
Adoption #2- Still waiting
Adoption #2- We're getting closer
Adoption #2- An update & a lead
Adoption #2- The lead that didn't pan out.
Adoption #2- We're licensed!
Adoption #2- We have a tiny baby here!
Adoption #2- Update on this precious little girl.
Adoption #2- Quick update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is staying longer!
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is growing!
Adoption #2- Overdue update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- The latest on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Shopping spree for Baby Bug
Being a Foster Parent Does Not Make Me A Saint
Adoption #2- Another Placement Call!
Adoption #2- Placement Meeting- UPDATED!
Adoption #2- We have Boo at our home!
Adoption #2- Meeting Boo
Adoption #2- I'm angry on Boo's behalf!
Adoption #2- A Birthday Party for Boo
Adjusting to three 3 and under!
Stressful moments in fostering.
Adoption #2- Update on our foster daughters
CPS Workers Jerking Our Chain!
It's getting much worse!
Fostering: Update on Baby Bug
Fostering: Update on Boo
The effects of fostering on Snuggle Bug
The time is drawing near to let go of Baby Bug.
Good conversation with Baby Bug's dad.
Boo has a Permanency hearing coming soon!
My heart is breaking!
Bittersweet news about Baby Bug.
Next Friday is going to be tough.
Packing up Baby Bug's belongings
It's done- Baby Bug is gone.
Working on finding peace, one day at a time.
Referral to the Early Intervention Program
Baby Bug update
Home Inspection for re-licensing
Parole granted for Boo's bio mom
Baby Bug is turning 1 year old soon.
Day 2 of Boo's permanency hearing
A prayer answered today!
Attending Baby Bug's 1st birthday party
Foster news
Good news for Boo's case
Boo's bio family visits
Termination Trial date set!
A new caseworker for Boo
I've been asked to testify in court.
Court hearing for "John Doe"
Contested termination trial begins tomorrow afternoon
Boo's adoption has been finalized!

Beautiful adoption video
Date Night Bliss
Family Rules and Values
In the swing of school
It's time for the kiddos to head back to school a...
Flying home for a nice, long visit!
Baby fix!
Easing back into blogging
A shocking phone call
1 year anniversary for Boo
























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