Friday, August 29, 2008
Winner of Fairy Foals book!
It's time to choose a winner for the children's book that Kerry with Sourcebooks, Inc sent me, Fairy Foals

The winner was choosen randomly using Random.org.

And the winner is #9- Carey at Sunny Days at the Beach.

Congratulations, Carey!  Please email me your mailing address so I can get this book out to you soon.

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8:30 AM


Favorite Ingredients Friday Salad Edition II

Good Friday to you all! It's time for a special Favorite Ingredients Friday Salad Edition II!  Many of you gave me some wonderful recipes last year.  I can't wait to see what you come up with this time!

The recipe I'm sharing is an old time favorite in our family.  It's such a quick and easy recipe.  I know you're going to love it too!

Almond Strawberry Salad

Ingredients:

3 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1/4 cup sliced honey-roasted almonds
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

Preparation:

In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries and almonds. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the vinegar, honey and sugar; shake well. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday Salad Edition II 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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6:03 AM
5 comments


Wednesday, August 27, 2008
WFMW: FREE children's gook giveaway- Fairy Foals
Happy Wednesday to you! It's time once again to post another WFMW tip! This is sort of a tip, as in a tip-off to a free giveaway!

Kerry with Sourcebooks, Inc sent me a couple of copies of a beautiful hard cover book called Fairy Foals.  I'm giving away one here on my blog for someone else to enjoy.

Here's what the back cover says:

A magic garden, tiny horses with butterfly wings, a journal unlike any other!

One day Suzanah was out exploring her garden, looking for something inspiring to take back to the studio to draw, when she found something more than unexpected...it was extraordinatry.

You hold in your hands a perfect replica of the very diary Suzanah kept over the course of a year while she explored her magically transformed garden, watching, sketching, and writing about the mazing fairy foals.  But it is so much more than a diary; it is a story of adventure, friendship and the truly magical things that are hidden in plain view.

Now, Amazon says that this book has a Reading level: Ages 9-12 but I can tell you that my 3 1/2 year old son and 18 month old foster daughter loved having it read to them!

The illustrations in this book are fantastic!  The colors are vibrant, with lush settings. The detail in these pictures (the color and the black and white) is amazing!

If you'd like to win a copy of this book, just leave me a comment.  I'll randomly choose a winner early Friday morning!

Scoring a free children's book 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!

Some of my past WFMW entries are found here.

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5:00 AM
38 comments


Friday, August 22, 2008
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies)

Good Friday to you all! It's time for another Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe exchange! I can't wait to see what you all come up with!

Upcoming Themed Schedule
August 29- Salad Edition II
September 12- Kid Friendly Foods
September 26- Breads Edition

The recipe I'm posting is another one that I found on the All Recipes website! When I'm in the mood for comfort food, I think of these cookies. They're my favorite! They're so delicious!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookis

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup chopped walnuts(optional- we leave these out)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2) In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla.
3) Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in the quick oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
4) Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday 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
6 comments


Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Referral to the Early Intervention Program for an assessment of Boo
Since I'm on a roll with foster posts lately, I thought I might as well continue with an update on Boo.

Boo has captured my heart, as Baby Bug did.  She's a beautiful little girl who came to us with a troubled background (moved to 3 foster homes within 12 months with no transition periods for any of the moves, this after being taken away from first her mother and then her aunt and put into the foster care system in my state).   She's been an innocent victim and is paying the price for actions out of her control.  I love Boo because she's quick to offer her affection with hugs and kisses.  She's gutsy and spirited and oh-so independent.  I've become quite taken with her over the past 6 months.

Unfortunately, Boo is struggling in some ways, even in the loving environment that we're trying to provide for her, and I just sent an email to her CPS worker (whom we haven't had the best of luck with at times), asking for an assessment to be done on Boo in the hopes that we can get some early intervention for her now before things get worse.

Here's the gist of my email:

[CPS worker],

I'm emailing you to request that a referral be submitted to our state's Early Intervention Program (EIP) for an assessment of Boo, since she falls within their birth to 3 years old age range.

We're asking for this referral because Boo is exhibiting the following behaviors:

1) Temper Tantrums- not mild ones, rather more severe ones where she throws herself to the floor kicking and screaming when she doesn't get her way.

2) Shoving- when she's angry, frustrated, or not getting what she wants she's quick to shove our 3 year old son.

3) Hitting- when she's angry, frustrated, or not getting what she wants she's prone to hitting our 3 year old son as well as Oronzo and me.

4) Biting- when she's angry, frustrated, or not getting what she wants she's prone to biting our 3 year old son as well as Oronzo and me. She hasn't drawn blood yet, but she bites hard. What's even more alarming is that she's begun to bite herself as well!

When Boo was first placed with us, there was a month where she was quiet and passive because she was scared and in an unfamiliar environment. As she got to know us over time and as she got more comfortable in our home, her personality began to emerge. She is often times stubborn and when we consistently enforced boundaries and rules with her, the tantrums began. Over the last two months, her outbursts have escalated to frequent shoving, hitting, and biting in addition to the temper tantrums. Last Sunday night when I told her to sit down in the bathtub so she wouldn't fall and hurt herself she got frustrated and bit herself on the wrist! I've recently called and spoken with her former foster mother and was told that she experienced frequent temper tantrums with Boo as well, so this has been going on far longer than the 6 months that she's been with us.

In addition to these aggressive behaviors that we're experiencing with her, we've also been told by our pediatrician that there is most certainly cause to be concerned about Boo's speech development. We took her to her 18 month well check last week and our pediatrician said that at this age she should have a vocabulary range of about 50 words. She has a vocabulary range of barely 10 words, despite our efforts to help her improve through reading age appropriate books to her, telling her the names of objects and asking her to repeat them back to us, and even working to teach her sign language in conjunction with learning the appropriate words. Our pediatrician feels that early intervention is the best course of action, rather than waiting to see if she improves on her own. We agree with him.

As you know, Boo has been through a lot in her 18 months. She's had very little stability or security in her life and I suspect this is an underlying factor that's contributing to her overall frustration levels.

Of course, Oronzo and I are not experts, which is why we feel it's important to get her on the list immediately in order to begin the initial planning process (IPP) by the Early Intervention Program. This IPP includes assessment, eligibility determination, and, for eligible children, the development of an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). We feel these services are necessary for Boo's well being and we want to get her the help she deserves now rather than later.

Please let me know how to proceed. Do you have to make the referral to the Early Intervention Program, or can I do so through their website?

Your immediate attention to this matter is most appreciated.

Sincerely,

OWJ

It's taken Oronzo and I a while to agree to ask for an assessment to be done on Boo.  For the longest time, I told myself that her temper tantrums and even the hitting and biting were part of the territory that comes with parenting an 18 month old, even though we didn't experience this with Snuggle Bug at that age.  But what scared me into action was watching her bite herself in frustration!  That can't be a healthy response for a little girl.   And when our pediatrician expressed his concern with her speech development, we decided that we'd better be safe than sorry.  

The bottom line is that Boo has been through a lot in her short life and if we can get her some help, then she deserves for us to be her advocate.  I'm not talking medication help, I'm thinking more along the lines of play therapy, speech therapy, or something similar.  I'm not really sure what should be done, if anything, but we'd like a professional to come into our home and meet with us to do an assessment.  

Perhaps it'll be as simple as someone telling us how we, as her foster parents, can better help her.   I'm all for that!  If there are techniques or strategies that we can be working on with her, I'd love some guidance.

Perhaps it's more than that.  And if that's the case, waiting to see if she'll outgrow these issues will serve no purpose.

Just to motivate our CPS worker into action, I made a point to call the office and get the name and email address of her supervisor.  Then I copied this supervisor on the email.

I'm still waiting for a response from either of them.  I won't wait long before I take it to the next level.  I'm not a patient person when it comes to "my" children.

I'll keep you posted!  Of course, prayers are much appreciated!

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5:00 AM
12 comments


Monday, August 18, 2008
Working on finding peace, one day at a time.
I'm working on finding peace after the shock of returning Baby Bug to her parents last Friday and learning that they do NOT want contact with us going forward as they lead us to believe.  

I've cried a lot this past weekend, at the drop of a hat really.  I've talked to all of my siblings and many of my close friends and just having them available to listen to me work through my pain has helped.  Oronzo has been fantastic.  He comforts me when I need to cry and tells me I have every right to feel the feelings I'm feeling (these feelings have ranged from pain, sadness, and even anger...anger at Baby Bug's parents for misleading us and anger at myself for believing what they told me).  His support is helping me get through this.  Reading your comforting comments and knowing that so many prayers are being offered up on our behalf (and on Baby Bug's behalf) has helped too.  Thank you so much!

I've packed away the 3-6 month and 6-9 month clothes of ours that we were using for Baby Bug.  That was hard but I'm glad I did it.  I also put away all baby stuff, items that Boo is too old to play with and use.   I figure it'll be better not to have to look at them.  I can always take them back out when we're ready to get put back on the open list and get another infant placement.

I find myself looking through the many pictures I'd taken of Baby Bug during her 8 1/2 months with us and watching the videos I recorded of her antics.  Oronzo worried that this would be too painful for me, but I find it helpful.  It helps me feel like I haven't totally lost her.  I have plenty to remember her by. 

Oronzo and I took the kids on a day trip Saturday and that helped get my mind off of my sadness.  I've been trying to keep busy playing with Snuggle Bug and Boo.

I miss her.  I miss Baby Bug and my heart aches for her.  I wish I could hold her or even see her and her brilliant smile one more time.  I think about her all the time, even when I'm trying to keep busy.  I wonder how she's doing.  I wonder if she's figured out yet that she's not coming back to us.  I know she'll be fine.  I know this is far more painful for me than it is for her.  I'm glad that's the case.  I'm glad little ones are resilient.  I can't help but worry about her and wonder if her parents will continue to do well or if they will stumble and fall after the birth of their second child who is due in October.  I had hoped we'd be there to help them with the adjustment of their new addition (Baby Bug will be 11 months old when the new baby comes and having two that close in age will be tough) but I now know that they do not want our help.

I'm still beating myself up for falling for Baby Bug's parent's talk of them wanting us in their lives after Baby Bug was returned to them (they led me to believe this right up until the day we brought her back to them).  How could I have been so naive?  Really, if I were in their shoes, would I want to continue contact and have the constant reminder of such a painful period in my life?  I'm not sure I would.  

Unfortunately, this experience has taught me that I need to be more guarded and not so willing to put myself out there to the extent that I did with Baby Bug's parents.  I will absolutely give 100% of myself in the caring of the children that I have in my home because they deserve that, but I will be more cautious with the parents that we deal with in the future.  And I will just assume that if/when a child is reunited with their family that the last day that we have the child will truly be our last.  I will not get my hopes up that I will have the opportunity to see the child in the future.  It sucks that it has to be this way but I don't want to be blindsided again like I was with this first placement.  This has been a painful lesson indeed.  I'm not very good at guarding my heart but I need to get better if I'm going to continue fostering.

I'll get through this and be stronger because of it.  I know that.  And one day our keeper child will find her way to us.  Unfortunately I'm not convinced that I'll be allowed to keep and adopt Boo either but I'll love her while I have her.

I'm just taking all of this one day at a time and praying that God grants me peace and strength to continue on with fostering.

I am absolutely sure about one thing.  I am glad that we loved Baby Bug to the fullest during the time that she was with us.  It hurts to have her gone but I'm so thankful for the joyful memories we have of our time with her.  It was such a gift to see her grow and flourish in our care.  We made a difference in a child's life, in Baby Bug's life, and I couldn't be happier about that.   

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5:00 AM
16 comments


Friday, August 15, 2008
It's done- Baby Bug is gone.
Today was hard and it ended up being much, much harder than I expected.

We had Baby Bug with us all morning and most of the afternoon.  I gave her a bath this morning, played with her, took her for a walk, fed her, rocked her, and marveled at her new ability to pull herself up to cruise.  I watched her giggle and play with Snuggle Bug and Boo.  I talked to her, explaining what was going to happen, just in case her baby brain could understand any of it.  I prayed for her and her parents.

I soaked in every smile, every laugh, every hug that she shared, knowing that these would be the last that we'd share with her in our home.   I took many pictures of her these past two days.

Then, the time came to load up the car with her belongings, pick her up and walk her through our house to say, "goodbye" to the home that she's shared with us for the past 8 1/2 months.  I loaded her in her infant car seat one last time and made sure she was buckled in safe and sound before loading the other two kids in.

Oronzo and I called her parents to let them know we were on our way so they were at the door waiting for us when we arrived at their apartment.  Baby Bug's dad took her from me and gave her a big hug.

We brought in her belongings and I gave both her parents a hug and told them how proud I was of them and how happy I was for their family.  Baby Bug just smiled her big bright smile the whole time.  I even took a final picture, of her parents holding her...a family reunited.

Then the bomb was dropped.

I reminded Baby Bug's parents that CPS had pushed through a final $300 clothing allowance for Baby Bug, even though they knew she was going home, and that we'd received the money.  I had made plans with Baby Bug's mom last week to schedule a shopping spree when we got the money.  I figured that even though the money was issued to us for Baby Bug, her mom might appreciate being able to pick out the clothes for her daughter.  Last week her mom sounded enthusiastic about the idea of going shopping with me.  So, this afternoon I asked Baby Bug's mom when she'd like to schedule this joint shopping spree.  

That's when they spoke up and told us that they'd decided it would be best if there was NO CONTACT for the next 2 1/2 months.  They said they'd invite us to Baby Bug's 1st birthday party on 8 November, but until then they felt it would be better for their family to have time to bond.  They knew how attached Baby Bug is to our family and worried that if we were visiting, she'd suffer from separation anxiety when we left.   They told us that they'd talked with their child therapist about it to make sure that no visitation from us wouldn't be harmful to Baby Bug (if the therapist had said it would be, they would've gone ahead with visits) but the therapist told them she'd be adjust and be fine.  So then they discussed it with the CPS worker and let her know their decision.  Apparently we were the last to know.  Baby Bug's mom mentioned something about this being her first decision as a parent and she was nervous about it but she felt it would be best for the adjustment and bonding of their family.

Needless to say, I was floored by this whole conversation, because up until today we'd been lead to believe that we could see Baby Bug occasionally, have play dates with her, and be a source of support for their family.  We're even listed on their Safety Plan that was presented to the judge (if something happens we're on the list to call if Baby Bug needs a safe place).  I was shocked to hear that they'd changed their minds (when, I don't know exactly but at some point) and that they felt it best that there would be no contact until at least 8 November.

I managed to choke out that I respected their decision and I asked if they'd be okay with me calling on occasion to see how she was doing and they said that would be fine.  They even offered to mail us pictures.

They thanked us again for all that we've done for Baby Bug and for them.

Suddenly, saying a final "Goodbye" to Baby Bug was more painful than I could've imagined.  I've always felt that this goodbye would be bearable because I'd have the chance to see her again, to be assured that she was okay and to watch her grow.  But there I was having to give her a hug and a kiss with a fake smile on my face, trying not to cry in the process, wondering if this was really the last time I'd lay eyes on her.  

We left and once we got to our car and pulled away, I couldn't stop crying.  I was so devastated and felt like an idiot for building up this fantasy in my mind of how it would be, how we'd become like extended family to them and be a source of ongoing support for their family.  I had convinced myself that I'd be able be like a beloved aunt to Baby Bug as time went by.  It hurt to have the rug pulled out from under me and to understand the reality that her parents probably just want to put all of this behind them and move on with their lives, without us involved as a reminder.

Poor Snuggle Bug, he asked why I was crying and Oronzo explained to him that I was sad because Baby Bug was going to live with her parents forever now.  Snuggle Bug asked, "You okay, mommy? Don't cry."

I begged Oronzo not to drive us directly home.  I didn't think I could face walking into the house knowing that Baby Bug was gone for good.  Oronzo took us to the mall instead where we stayed until Snuggle Bug and Boo were too tired to stay any longer.

Here's the thing, I don't actually blame Baby Bug's parents for wanting a couple of months to totally bond with their daughter and to have her realize that they are her parents and now her only caregivers, without her affection for us complicating things.  It's just that the way this decision was sprung on us the day we returned her frankly hurt.   I felt as though someone had punched me in the gut and knocked the wind out of me.  I guess it would've hurt even if they told us a week or a month ago.  I guess there's no easy way to explain such a decision.

The sad thing is that I feel like I've lost trust in them.  They say they have every intention of inviting us to her first birthday party in November and that they'll even invite us to her baptism sometime after that, but I find myself having a tough time believing that.  It feels too much like this is the end of the line.  We know they're moving to a bigger place when their lease is up in October but we don't know where they're moving to (they don't even know yet) and I suspect that we won't be told.  I really will be shocked if we're invited to her 1st birthday party.

In the end, I need to focus on what's important, as Oronzo gently reminded me today.  We've done our job and done it well.  We took in a failure-to-thrive baby and gave her all the love, attention, and affection that we had to offer.  We had a small part in helping her parents get their lives back in order and get their daughter back.  We returned their daughter to them healthy, happy, and well adjusted.    We've done our job as a foster parent.  That has to be enough.  All that's left now is to try to stop crying (I think that will take me a while) and to find some comfort in this truth.  All I can do now for Baby Bug and her parents is to pray for them, and I will.  Baby Bug will forever be in my heart and prayers.  As our first foster child, she will always be extra special to me.

I do want to thank you all for your supportive comments in my past posts.  Your words touch my heart and I appreciate the comfort you offer.

I'll get through this.  It's just going to take some time and probably a whole lot more tears.  

Thank goodness we have our keeper, Snuggle Bug.  I take comfort knowing that he's not going anywhere!

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8:10 PM
35 comments


Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Packing up Baby Bug's belongings
Tonight I've spent some time clearing out the dresser drawers used for Baby Bug's clothes.  I'm packing many of her things neatly in the extra large duffle bag that her parents packed up shortly after she came to us last November.  They packed all of her newborn clothes that night to give to us, fearing that she would never return  home to them.  Now it's my turn to pack up all of her clothes, knowing she's going back home for good.

As I fold up Baby Bug's 3-6, 6-9, and 9-12 month clothes, the memories that these items invoke are strong.  

There's the pink blanket that she arrived in late that night of 28 November.  She was sleeping in that blanket when I carefully picked her up out of her car seat and held her close.  The blanket has been lovely folded and placed in the duffle bag.  It's too warm for her to use at the moment but perhaps she'll use it again this winter.

There's the yellow ducky hooded towel that we bought her around Christmas time.  That's her towel and it goes home with her.  I haven't packed that away yet because I'll use it one last time when I give her a bath tomorrow night.

There are all the cute little dresses with matching bloomers and my favorite Children's Place zipper sleepers that we've bought for her over the past few months.  Those are all tucked in the duffle bag now, along with the matching bows that I made for many of the outfits.

There's the very large shopping bag of brand new clothes that she hasn't even worn yet.  We purchased them in larger sizes so that she has time to grow into them.  Her mom will be surprised to see the dresses, shirts, shorts, pants, 2-piece outfits, and sleepers that are brand new.  Those are 6-9 and 9-12 month sizes and since she's on the small side, she'll have to wait a bit to fit them.  I'm hoping we'll be in touch enough to see her wear some of those outfits later this fall and winter.

Friday morning I'll pack up the handmade blanket that my aunt sent her.  She's always slept with it every night that she's been here.  

There are stuffed animals (including her favorite plush giraffe), toys, a Christmas ornament, bottles, and other odds and ends that I'll be packing up for her.

I just can't believe that she's leaving us on Friday.  It's been a rough week for me and this weekend is going to be even tougher.  I miss her already and she's not even truly gone yet.  I've been almost frantically taking pictures of her for days now.  I've been holding her close and rocking her to sleep at night, and praying hard for her safety and happiness.

Friday we'll load up the car with all three kids and Baby Bug's belongings and we'll drive her home to her parent's house, around noon.  We'll say our goodbyes there and I'll try not to cry until we're gone because I don't want to spoil one of the happiest days of her parent's lives.  They are so very excited to be getting her back and I'm happy for them!

This weekend I'll probably start packing up the baby stuff (the excesaucer, the additional baby clothes that we already had, the infant toys, etc) and putting them into storage for now.  Oronzo and I have decided that we need time to grieve Baby Bug's absence for a while so we're not going to be put back on the "open" list for the time being.  We'll keep busy enough with taking care of Snuggle Bug and Boo.

I don't think I'll be hosting a Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe exchange this week.  I'll be too absorbed in spending every last possible moment with Baby Bug and then dealing with her absence when she's gone.  I promise to try to get back into the swing of things again next week.

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9:16 PM
30 comments


Friday, August 08, 2008
Next Friday is going to be tough.
Baby Bug will be returned to her parents next Friday, 15 August, for good.  Even though we fully support this reunification and have a lot of respect for her parents and all they've accomplished these past 8 1/2 months, my heart is going to break a little once pack up all her things and deliver her home and leave without her for the last time.  I've told my boss that I'm taking that day off of work because I know I'll be in no mood to put on a brave face and do my job.  I'm probably going to want to go home and have a good cry!

We actually haven't had much time with Baby Bug these past two weeks.  Her parents are seeing her all day M-F and now they're up to three overnight stays per week.  We've also worked with them to make weekend visits happen as well.  Since she's going home soon, we all agree that it's important that Baby Bug get lots of quality time with her parents in preparation for that.  

It's been a gradual transition and Baby Bug is doing quite well going between both households.  She's seems well adjusted to both of our families.  Her parents tease that she actually seems a bit bored at their home, because she doesn't have Snuggle Bug and Boo to play with and to be entertained by.

The few nights that we do have her with us, I make a point to rock her to sleep and if she wakes up in the middle of the night wanting a bottle, I get it for her and stay up cuddling her a bit well after she's gone back to sleep.

As I was rocking her the other night, I marveled at how big she's gotten.  She came to us as a tiny 6 pound 10 weeks old and now she's 9 months old!  Her legs dangle over my lap when I hold her and she's getting heavy!

We've had the pleasure of seeing her finally start crawling and pulling up on furniture.  She crawls on our king-sized bed (not the floors yet) and the other morning we were all on the bed playing when she crawled right over to me and planted an open-mouthed kiss smack dab on my lips!  

Oh how I'm going to miss this sweet child!  

Please keep us all in your prayers, won't you?

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5:00 AM
17 comments


Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Sorry for the sporadic posting.
Sorry everyone for the sporadic posting lately.  I've been working long hours at work these past 2 weeks and when I'm not working, I'm at home helping out with the kids and then making tutus.  

The tutu orders are still rolling in!  I'm even meeting with a dance studio on Thursday and talking with the owner about selling some of my tutus on commission at her studio.  I can't wait to show her some of my work!

Wish me luck. :)

By the way, I'll be writing a post on Baby Bug this week, so stay tuned.

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9:07 PM
4 comments


Saturday, August 02, 2008
My first sewing class.
Remember how I told you that I got a new Singer Confidence sewing machine for my birthday?  Well, up until today, I haven't had the time to even open it up and turn it on.  And to be honest, I was feeling a bit intimidated by it.  I've never used a sewing machine before.  All the sewing I do is by hand.  

I purchased my sewing machine at JoAnn's and one of the selling points that persuaded me to buy it there instead of finding it somewhere cheaper is that JoAnn's offers two 2-hour sewing classes FREE if you purchase your machine through them.  These sewing classes specifically teach you how to use all of the features of your machine.

I was a bit dismayed, after purchasing my sewing machine, to learn that the Saturday classes were full through November!  The sales person who sold me my machine offered to put me on a waiting list and the first chance I had to get into a class, if there were cancelations, was this Saturday.  As I watched her pencil in my name on the August calendar, I noticed that there were about 5 other people on the list ahead of me.

I dutifully called a couple of days ago to see if there had been any cancelations.  There hadn't so I decided to take the matter into my own hands.  This afternoon I packed up my sewing machine and showed up at JoAnn's 15 minutes before the class started.  I was the first one there.  

There were supposed to be four women in this class.  Three showed up, one did not.  Since no one else on the waiting list was as bold as I was, I got in the class!  I was so excited!

Today I learned how to thread my needle, fill my bobbin and load it.  I learned how to use several stitches.  I even learned how to make button holes!  With this machine it's quite easy, one step button holes, can you believe it?  I learned several other things as well.

I didn't make anything, we practiced on squares of different kinds of fabric, but I certainly did have fun!

I exchanged names and phone numbers with two of the ladies in my class.  They already know how to sew but needed to learn how to use the $500 Brother sewing machines that they had purchased.   We're going to try to get together for a stitching night in the near future, after we complete our second class next Saturday afternoon.

I stopped after class and browsed through the patterns that JoAnn's offers.  There are so many neat things out there to sew!  I don't even know where to begin.  

Any suggestions for a very simple sewing project for someone that's new to using a sewing machine?

I think I'm going to try out Barb's burp cloth tutorial.  It looks like something I might be able to handle. 

I also hope to find a simple 2-piece pajama pattern.  I'd love to make myself some flannel pajamas for winter.

Oh the possibilities!  Why didn't I buy a sewing machine sooner?

Labels:

8:56 PM
11 comments


Friday, August 01, 2008
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Appetizers & Snacks Edition II)

Good Friday to you all!  It's time for a Favorite Ingredients Friday Appetizers & Snacks edition II!   I enjoyed the recipes you all shared with me last year and can't wait to see what you come up with today.

This is a quick and simple recipe that our family loves!  I think you'll like it too.

Bacon Dip

Ingredients:
1 cup Mayonnaise
1 cup Sour Cream
1 tomato seeded and diced
1 cup real bacon bits
Bread

Preparation:
Combine all in small crock pot. Heat on low for 1 hour before serving. Serve from crock with bread pieces for dipping. Serves 10.

Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday Appetizers & Snacks edition 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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5:00 AM
9 comments




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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