Methodical Missy

Just a mom in Texas that wants to die knowing I lived life to the fullest. This is mostly my attempt to keep my family & friends up to date on what's going on at our house. If you're one of those people that don't like personal blogs, I'm not here to entertain your a$$, so just move on.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Surviving the first week


Sorry this is so late. It's been a long time coming, but I promise I haven't had a moment to myself since the TWO boys arrived. I am so thankful to be back at work, where I can actually sit without having to get up and get juice, change a "pull-up" or break up a fight.

Anyway, the best way to sum up our first week is CHALLENGING. I'm happy to report, though, that we have survived everything thrown at us and we are currently doing victory laps around the house. Yay! Below is a day by day account of our time together since the boys were placed with us on Dec 29th. Some of it may be more than you need to know, but please be patient. This is for my own diary and I want to write about every moment so that when I get alzheimers, and the kids come visit me in the senior-care home, I can verify that they are indeed my children. If you've had enough of hearing about this by now, well, I don't blame you.

Friday, Decmeber 29th
The boys arrived with a mountain of paperwork. I'd equate the number of times you have to sign here and initial there to when you buy a house. Most of it had to do with a big fat promise that we would under no circumstances spank or hit the kids in any way. Not a problem there. The rest was basically proof that we have custody of the kids. One thing we have to do is place a copy of the documentation in the boy's room. If the boys feel they are in dire trouble, they have Tina's (their caseworker) phone number to call and tell her what evil people we are. I'm convinced CPS is going to show up at my front door every time I deny the kids cookies before dinner time.
The case worker left her number for us too in case we had any second thoughts about what we got ourselves into. She said we could call and they would come back for the boys if we felt we couldn't handle them. I practically busted a gut laughing. Give them back? Are you kidding? Over my dead body!
Mom came over and made a delicious spaghetti dinner and it only took us about 20 minutes and 8 trips back and forth from the kitchen before we could relax and enjoy our first meal at the dinner table as a family.
The boys opened a ton of Christmas presents, spread them all over the floor and played until they passed out on them. They had never seen so many toys in their lives.

Saturday, December 30th
Our first entire day together was BY FAR the hardest day. The boys were the first up. We'd soon learn that this will be the case every morning. They talked for a while in their room and then we'd hear footsteps outside our door. They'd peek in the room, but refused to enter less they awaken the sleeping giants. These two boys are tiny. DJ, who is 4 1/2 wears size three and DW (age 3) wears size two. The mother was average height and we have no info on the fathers, so there is no telling if they are just hitting their growth spurts late or if we have future jockey's on our hands.
We hung out at the house, while friends came by for introductions. Every time someone came over, DJ and DW wanted to show them their bedroom. They were very proud of this room. The room they came from was four empty walls with two sets of bunk beds on each side. It wasn't much to look at, so a colorful room with decorations and toys was way cool.
The boys played, napped and played more. There were, of course, several fights over which toy belongs to whom. I don't think I sat down once the entire day; not even to eat. If you were one of the people I said, I'd call, please forgive me. I can only plead ignorance as to how crazy things would be at the house. I haven't forgotten about you. I swear!
At one point, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and almost didn't recognize the person looking back at me. I had no make-up on, my feet looked like shrek's feet , my hair was half up and half down, but totally not in a pretty wind-blown kinda of way. It was more like I was the survivor of a house who's roof had been ripped off by a tornado. Cop-hubby took one look at me that night and said in a completely serious tone, "Are you ok?" All I could think was, "You have Tina's number on speed dial, right?"

Sunday, December 31st
We were feeling a little more human this morning. Energy levels were up again and we were ready to face the day. We visited memaw and pepaw (my grandparents). They had presents for the boys, but all they wanted to do was explore the house. They went upstairs and hung out for a while with memaw and then came back down for homemade ginger bread and more ginger bread and you guessed it...more ginger bread.
Next we went to Grandma Grace's and Grandpa Co-Co Pops house (Cop-hubby's parents). Cop-hubby's siblings showed up and the boys opened up more presents. DJ took a strong liking to my Sister-in-law, Gina. He rarely left her side. At one point, someone asked him where Daddy was and he pointed at Uncle George. We're still not sure if he was trying to send us a message. Gina and George would have kidnapped him in a second were it not for the whole 4 brothers are police officers problem. Next, we stopped by a New Year's Eve party in Katy. At this point, the boys started looking a bit stressed being around lots of people, so we didn't stay too long.

Monday, January 1st
After a normal morning, we went to Mary Jo Pekham Park. This place is going to be my sanctuary. I can sit and talk with friends while our kids run rampant from one playground to another. We had a fabulous time and GA was in hog heaven. In the past, when GA and I had gone, we'd each visualize how it would be when we could come one day with a sibling, let alone two. I'd be able to sit on a bench in the sun and relax instead of chasing GA around the play sets and GA would have her brothers to chase her, which was much more challenging than her old mom.
It was a gorgeous day and I gave cop-hubby the day off to ride his motorcycle. He had 2-3 hours to go wherever he wanted and he ended up meeting all of us at the park after being away for 30 minutes. He couldn't stay away. Hee hee! But, all I kept hearing was how wiping boogers off kids noses was not doing anything for his biker image.
After naptime, DW had a total meltdown. We were so glad to see him cry because the boy doesn't show emotion very easily. He broke down and cried for about 30 minutes while sitting like a little frog on Daddy's chest. I think being groggy drew it out of him. We met friends at the movies and I told Cop-hubby to take that break he didn't get earlier He did this time. After showing up about 15 minutes late ( takes time to get 3 kids together and in the car), and getting help herding the kids and our goodies to our seats (Did I ever say "Thank You" Tammy?) we had a great time. DW confiscated the popcorn bag and sat on the stairs in the aisle of the theater...happy as a clam.

January 2nd and forward...
Concentrating on schedules, naps and normalcy

The rest of the days are pretty much a blur. The kids needed a mental break from being surrounded by people, so we stayed close to home, venturing to the school or around the block once in a while to play or ride bikes. I think we made 2 trips to Sams and 2 trips to HEB within a 6 day time frame. I still haven't accepted the fact that I have to buy more than 1 gallon of milk at a time.

Shannon arrived and is now living with me and taking care of the boys through summer. She gets GA and DJ on the bus in the morning. DJ started PreK at GA's school and is now enjoying it after some initial resisting. He gets picked up after half a day. DW stays home with Shannon all day and plays games & goes on walks with her. He really wants to go to school with his siblings, but that won't come until August.

The kids nap every day, although, DJ challenges that decision every day. His canned response to naptime is, "I don't wanna take a nap", to which I reply, "You must take a nap". This goes back and forth about 4 times with DJ's reply getting more and more desperate until he is all out crying and limp in our arms as Cop-hubby or I carry him upstairs. We get to rehearse the scene all over again at bed-time. Joy! DW is usually happy to go to bed. I think he does it just because he knows the tickle spiders are coming.

Bath time is interesting. The boys act like they've never been able to take a bath. This doesn't surpise me since they came from a group home. You have to run an assembly line to get 6-8 kids fed, bathed, etc. When I fill up the tub, DW gets in and does his naked dance. He looooves water. He's up, he's down, on his stomach and then on his back and he's waving his arms above his head the entire time. DW also loves to take the bucket of water and dump it over his head. DJ, is quite the opposite. If so much as a drop of water splashes into his eye, he has a small fit. The only way to get them out of the tub is to withhold dessert until they're in pjs.

Eating has presented it's challenges also. Where DW eats almost everything, DJ refuses most food. Our dialoge at every meal goes something like:
DJ: I don't like this
Cop-hubby: Try it before you say that.
DJ: I don't want it
Cop-hubby: Try it or no dessert.
DJ: Can I have ketchup for it?
DJ wants ketchup on EVERYTHING. He eats green beans with ketchup, spaghetti with ketchup, everything with ketchup. You show me a piece of food and I'll show you a kid that will dip it in ketchup & put it in his mouth. DW has strange tastes too. For lunch yesterday, he requested a peanut-butter, jelly & pickle sandwich. DW also has a habit of storing his food in his cheeks like a chipmunk. One day I found a piece of hamburger he had tucked in there for about an hour. Now, we have to do a mouth sweep each time we leave the dinner table.

GA is a fabulous big sister. She is constantly explaining things to the boys, playing with them, escorting them to the bathroom and making them breakfast. She is really enjoying the company. GA has also staked her territory. Her bedroom has become her sacred place. She seeks refuge there when she needs quiet time. She has also requested a lock for her door. She adores her brothers, but if you so much as mention going over to a girlfriends house, she's out the door before you can say Shazam.
A couple days ago, she had a blowout with DJ over her Barbie laptop, I told her one day that if she had any toys that were very special to her & that she didn't want to share, she should take them upstairs to her room. GA proceeded to pull everything out of her toy closet and take it upstairs. After realizing she'd be the one to carry it all up, she compromised and only took a small stack to her room.
GA has also figured out how to get a toy she wants from the boys. Yesterday, DJ had her special Yo-Yo that lights up. He wasn't giving it up for anything. The way it works in our house is whoever had it first gets to play with it. This "sharing" thing is over-rated. I don't think it's fair to make a child give up a toy (s)he's had after a set amount of time when the other child that wants it only wants it because the first one has it. Anyway, when DJ has something GA wants, she just gets one of his favorite toys and starts to play with it. It's only a matter of seconds before DJ comes over and asks for it, at which point, GA is happy to trade. I don't mention DW in all this because if DW has a toy, all you have to do is ask and he hands it over. He loves to make his "brudder" and sister happy.
To make sure GA is doing ok, we let her stay up a little bit past the boys bedtime to talk and hang with us. This makes her feel special and she cherishes the time alone with mom and dad.

All three kids love to cuddle. As you can imagine, three boney butts sitting on your legs isn't exactly a comfortable way to relax, but we're happy to comply.

That, my friends, is our first week in a nutshell. If you haven't met the boys, yet, please don't be afraid to call. If you don't, I promise to call you. If you are interested in learning about adoption, I'd be glad to talk to you about the entire experience in person & get you in contact with some great people.
I hope everyone has a blessed and happy New Year.

Peace, Love and Happiness,
Missy (& Cop-hubby)
P.S. After 10 days together, we had our first accident. DJ whacked DW in the head with a nerf-bat yesterday. DW has a small black eye and a scrape on his eyebrow. Boys. Aren't they fun?!?!?

Meet the boys

Our weekend: (Pardon to those of you who've heard the story in person

We pulled up to the Foster home and both boys were looking out the storm
door at us. They had their faces pressed up to the glass as they tried to
get a good look at these people they’d been referring to as Mommy and
Daddy. When we got inside, they immediately gave us hugs and wanted to
show us where they had been staying. They showed us their room and where
they had hung our pictures on the wall.

The Foster family has been so great to them. They were always honest with
them. The boys have always known that mommy and daddy would come get them
when the time was right. This particular foster home has had many kids
come through and they have seen many kids go home with their own mommies and
daddies. In the past, some of these parents have had to explain to him
that they weren’t his mom or dad and that his parents would come for him
soon. When we arrived, DJ kept saying, “This is MY daddy.” He was so
proud to finally have one to call his own.

When it was time to go, DJ was ready. He had no qualms about leaving for
the weekend. DW, on the other hand, wasn’t so sure about all this.
He’d been with his foster family since he was 1 yr old and they were all he
knew. He kicked and screamed for a bit, but G sat next to him and
talked him down and gave him toys to distract him. Five minutes down the
road, both boys were playing with the toys we brought them. A police
motorcycle for DJ and some Matchbox cars for DW.

Our first excursion was to see an aircraft carrier. The boys (& GA) had to
climb into every cockpit they saw on the aircraft carrier. They were
already calling us Mommy and Daddy. “Daddy look at me! Mommy pick me up!”
We picked out favorite airplanes and had several bathroom emergencies. One
of those emergencies being we left the bag with DW's pull-ups in the
car. Lovely! So GA and I took the kids to the bathroom while Jaime ran
all the way back to the car (which was not close) to get the diaper bag.
GA totally stepped up as a big sister. She helped them with everything
from lifting them on to benches so they could see better to showing them
how legos worked.

We ate lunch afterward (cop-hubby had all the Whataburger employees oohing and
aahing over our story) and then stopped by the Harley Davidson store so the
boys could see the motorcycles. They are completely enthralled with the
fact that Daddy rides a motorcycle, so this was cheap and easy fun. DJ
brought his toy motorcycle in and within minutes, he had all these big
tough Harley guys following him around. I swear we almost brought those
guys to tears with our adoption story.

We had planned to go to the movies, but cop-hubby and I were worn out, so a
movie back at the hotel worked out just as nice. The kids played and played
until bedtime. It was right out of an American Express commercial. Leggos -
$15.00. Princess Monopoly - $8.00. Playing with the balloons from Lubys –
Priceless. When it was time to lie down, DJ started crying crocodile
tears (so totally fake) and DW followed suit. I ended up lying in bed
with them, patting backs and singing lullabies until they fell asleep. I
don’t quite recall, but I’m pretty sure I passed out in the middle of brushing
my teeth that night. I can’t remember the last time I was so tired.

The next morning AT 5AM the kids were awake. Lord, help me. If anyone is
looking for a job as a waker-upper, I’d like to hire you to wake the boys
up from 2am-5am every night so they’ll fall back asleep until at least 8am.
I will pay you well! Trust me. My sleep is very important to me. I was
never a napper in my life, but now I am officially turning to the dark
side. Oh, the things I won’t accomplish now that I’m a napper.

Of course, the next day at breakfast, cop-hubby was telling the waitress about
the adoption, who told the rest of the wait staff. I think they wanted to
adopt all of us by the time we left. Next on the list was the aquarium.
Let me say, I have always been the type of person to see something and move
on. Whether it was work or fun, it was something to be checked off on a
to-do list. Dolphins? Check! Otters? Check! Now, I totally get why some
parents can sit at an exhibit for an hour at a time. That is how you build
your energy reserves back up. We sat in the room with the underwater view
of the dolphins & practically had the place to ourselves. While cop-hubby and I
sat on the bench, the dolphins swam back and forth along the glass totally
playing with the kids. It was hilarious to watch the kids chase them. I was
convinced even the dolphins knew our story too. Do you think that wore
them out, though? HECK NO!

We took DJ&DW back to their foster home late that afternoon and hung out for
a while. The family pulled out baby pictures for us and we compared notes
on the kid’s personalities. DJ is the talker. He could be a sports
commentator one day. That child gave us a play by play of every minute of
the day. DW is the strong silent one. When he got mad, he just walked
away, pushed his lower lip out and sat by himself. DJ is a momma’s boy.
He likes to sit in my lap and put his cheek on mine. DWwants daddy to
hold his hand, fix his toy, carry him, etc. DJ is very outgoing. He’ll
talk to anyone anywhere, but as far as activities, he’s a little unsure of
himself. He’s afraid of swimming pools. DW is the opposite. He flies
into the pool with wild abandon despite the fact that he can’t swim, yet.
DW is quiet for the most part, but when he does talk, you better
listen because it is something important to him.

When it was time to go, DJ didn’t want to get out of my lap. He kept
saying he wanted to go home with us. He said it over and over again.
DW, who is pretty attached to his foster-dad, whispered in cop-hubby’s
ear, “I want to go home with you, Daddy”, and then buried his face in
his shoulder. This was huge. We were worried about when the time would
come to pull him away from the foster home, but he is showing signs of
being ready, so we feel much better about it. As we pulled out of the
driveway, it hit me for the first time how bleak the weather was all
weekend. It was fitting for the drive home without our boys. I was
physically ill all night that night and have barely eaten since.

Due day is still Dec. 29th, but fear not. We’ve waited this long and we’ll make it 14 more days.