2

Still Amazed

It still amazes me how easily this kid goes down now. Given that the first night she screamed for a half hour before falling asleep only out of exhaustion, and that she has cried herself to sleep almost every night since (up until a few days ago) … I just … it feels impossible to believe. It’s the little things. Tonight she was totally not tired when I put her down. And she just went with it. She stayed awake babbling to herself but didn’t cry. at. all. Why is this so exciting for me? My life is so weird.

Today in pictures:

We have cruising. How exciting.

We have cruising. How exciting. Obviously you can’t tell in this picture (we’re not at Hogwarts after all), but she is scooting along the couch.

Monica is now doing this headstand thing. I think she is trying to stand up without having something to pull up on ... but she is can't actually stand without holding on to something so her efforts are fruitless. Fruitless and cute.

Monica is now doing this headstand thing. I think she is trying to stand up without having something to pull up on … but she is can’t actually stand without holding on to something so her efforts are fruitless. Fruitless and cute.

We did a little shopping today for some fall clothing (don't worry, we only spent like $17. No big if she's not here when the weather cools). Upside down shopping is the best way to do it.

We did a little shopping today for some fall clothing (don’t worry, we only spent like $17. No big if she’s not here when the weather cools). Upside down shopping is the best way to do it.

2

Foster Family Fun Day

I’m pretty sure I broke my toe this morning tripping over something or another strewn across the floor. That was the only downside of today though!

DCF held a foster family fun day at a local park/zoo this afternoon. They had lunch (hot dogs, hamburgers, etc), a bouncy house, pony rides, balloon animals, and a raffle. It sounded super fun and was something free to do on a Saturday afternoon, so we went for it. As with all things, Monica had a blast. There was a pretty wide range of people there, but I would say most of the kids were 3-9 years old. There were a few little ones, and a smattering of preteens and teens. The families included foster parents, kinship foster families (those caring for children related to them), and foster/adoptive families. It wasn’t very baby-centric (there weren’t many babies to cater to anyway), but we had fun just playing in the grass. E and I decided to make friends there (since we have had trouble finding a foster support community), and were kind of awkwardly on the prowl. Lucky for us, a young couple with a little one only 3 weeks younger than Monica sat down right next to us. They are an adoptive family with a super cute little guy. Not only is the little one super close in age to Monica, he was also placed with them only a week before Monica was placed with us. Since the world only gets smaller, I’ll also mention that the grandparents live in the town next to the one I grew up in (in Ohio), and the husband is almost as big a baseball fan as E. Monica and the little guy had fun playing together/near each other/sharing toys. Oh, and I won the first raffle prize – an edible arrangement (which has obviously already been eaten).

Monica and my awesome raffle prize enjoying family fun day. Side note: she loved the tag on the edible arrangement almost as much as we enjoyed the chocolate covered fruit.

Monica and my awesome raffle prize enjoying family fun day. Side note: she loved the tag on the edible arrangement almost as much as we enjoyed the chocolate covered fruit.

After family fun day, we took a family trip to Target. For any of you who have been to our home in the past two months, you are probably aware of its current state. Now, E and I are generally neat people. And I say “neat” here to mean both “awesome slash super cool” AND “kind of anal and very tidy.” It may sound a bit of a contradiction in terms, but go with me here. Add to the mix a baby and all of her accompanying stuff, and things have gotten a little out of hand (though most people who come over think we’re crazy for saying our house is a sty). Given the temporary nature of all of this, we have hesitated to change much in terms of how our home is set up. Read: we haven’t wanted to buy a place to put all of her toys. So we haven’t. We had everything in little baskets on the floor, but it was driving me batty because you could still see everything. It was a glorified pile of toys and other baby related crap. Ugh. Anyway, back to Target. We finally broke down and bought a little shelf to put all of Monica’s things in and we already feel a million times better sitting in the living room. It’s amazing how much a glorified pile can affect my ability to relax. Life is good. I am kicking myself that I forgot to take a “before” picture (I literally said out loud that I wanted to too … dummy). Those of you who’ve been here will appreciate this (or maybe you think I’m nuts, which I’m also fine with). For readers who haven’t had the pleasure, I’m putting in an old blog pic that doesn’t fully capture the pile, but at least should give you an idea.

BEFORE

Just baskets on the floor. And Monica digging through them.

Just baskets on the floor. And Monica digging through them.

I'm using this photo only for the angle. Obviously the toy pile is generally contained to the baskets, not strewn about the floor. Still.

I’m using this photo for the angle. Obviously the toy pile is generally contained to the baskets, not strewn about the floor. Still.

AFTER

How nice and organized is this?! *Audible sigh or relief* Sheba thinks it's a bit less exciting though apparently.

How nice and organized is this?! *Audible sigh or relief* Sheba thinks it’s a bit less exciting though apparently.

Needless to say, this is my new favorite thing. Speaking of new favorite things … Monica’s current game of choice is starting to get on my nerves (when it isn’t cracking me up). She constantly takes whatever she’s holding, holds it out over the edge of the changing table/high chair/stroller/grocery cart, looks us in the eye and says “uh ohhh …” then drops it. Hilarious slash super annoying slash adorable. I love that she knows what “uh oh” means now. She used to just say it whenever the spirit moved her. I just can’t get enough.

2

Not to jinx it …

I think it’s been long enough to be an unjinxable pattern (see what I did there? I totally jinxed it) – Monica has gone to bed without crying for four nights in a row. It’s my new favorite thing in life. She just thrives on consistency. Bedtime is the same every night, and she totally figured it out. As soon as her bottle is done, she turns around and lies on my shoulder. When I stand up and walk to the crib, she leans down to get in. It’s a beautiful thing.

Also, as of today, Miss Monica has been with us for 7 weeks. I’m here to tell you that, apparently, 7 weeks is approximately the time it takes me to feel completely acclimated to something new. Monica is a part of our lives and the routine as smoothly as if she always has been.

Since I know why you’re all really visiting my blog, a few pictures:

Reading Curious George on the couch.

Reading Curious George on the couch.

Her new favorite activity - looking out the window.

Her new favorite activity – looking out the window.

Seriously, she'd do this for hours. If she is not at the window and suddenly remembers it's her favorite place, she will forcefully point to the window and demand (via a shout) that we take her there. It's actually very cute.

Seriously, she’d do this for hours. If she is not at the window and suddenly remembers it’s her favorite place, she will forcefully point to the window and demand (via a shout) that we take her there. It’s actually very cute.

1

GUH

Have I mentioned how cute Monica is? After her bath tonight, she wanted nothing more than to stand on the couch (naked) and look out the window. And point at things. And vocalize. Can it get any cuter? Then we were doing some family book sharing and she was trying so hard to imitate the sounds in Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? On the “buzz” sound she was staring at our lips and touching them and then she blew raspberries with this elated look like she totally did it.

Words she did better with tonight:
“Buh” for balloon
“Na Na” for night night
“Ah” for car

I can’t take it. She’s too cute.

1

The things we do

Have I mentioned how much I love having this child? Today we had a relatively quiet day. Mamas K and E needed to clean up (it was getting pretty unbearable around here) and Monica doesn’t know it, but she needed some down time to work on getting over this cold. Of note:

She is officially pulling herself up on all available surfaces (including this flimsy TV tray ... oy), reminding us how much more we need to baby proof.

She is officially pulling herself up on all available surfaces (including this flimsy TV tray … oy), reminding us how much more we need to baby proof.

She had a blast splashing around in one of her birthday presents - a kiddie pool.

She had a blast splashing around in one of her birthday presents – a kiddie pool.

It took her a little while to ease in, but once she was in we spent a good hour soaking in the shade.

It took her a little while to ease in, but once she was in we spent a good hour soaking in the shade.

We rounded off the day with dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant. E and I had one of our first dates here and have been regulars since. This was our first visit with child. The wait staff couldn't get enough (who can, really?)

We rounded off the day with dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant. E and I had one of our first dates here and have been regulars since. This was our first visit with child. The wait staff couldn’t get enough (who can, really?)

 

 

 

0

Did ya miss me?

I can’t believe I haven’t updated in 3 whole (eventful) days. I blame it on the new job. And the eventfulness.

Our visit from the SWs was a nice check in, and offered us some additional information about the case. First of all, we found out that Monica’s mom actually did not attend the visit. Her dad (and one of his other children) did. We also found out that Monica’s mom has other children who have been adopted (her parental rights having been terminated) in that other state. Fascinating new information. That info doesn’t affect us at all because Monica has a different father, but interesting (and sad) nonetheless. It was nice to see our family resource worker. She informed us that only 2 other people from our MAPP class (remember how there were like 30 of us?) have had their home studies completed and now have placements. She also said that multiple times over the past 6 weeks they’ve had kids come into care and she’s wanted to call us and stopped herself. As in, there is a chance in a parallel universe that we would have multiple children here right now.

As far as the actual case, nothing is any more clear. The inter-state work that has to happen is just a big unknown. It doesn’t happen often enough (and is apparently different every time), so no one really knows what will happen, how quickly it will happen, and generally how things will go. Ah well.

In other news, E and I had our first date night. Cousins S and C came over to baby (and doggie) sit. I was much more anxious than I thought I would be! I definitely micromanaged with the instructions (sorry guys), and needlessly worried about her ability to fall asleep without me (ha). She, of course, was a champ, despite deciding that while we were out was a good time to develop a cold. The evening went off without a hitch (except maybe a backwards diaper … but it still held!), and E and I got a much needed night to focus only on each other.

Today we took Monica to the zoo for the (probably) first time. She was so attentive and absolutely loved it! She took every single thing in and didn’t skip a beat. I loved seeing her little face as she saw each animal. She would get entranced and stare, then look at us and point. Adorable. As if she could be anything else.

E and Monica enjoying one of the free-roaming peacocks.

E and Monica enjoying one of the free-roaming peacocks.

Monica showing me where the gorillas are hanging out.

Monica showing me where the gorillas are hanging out.

She was mesmerized by the fish.

She was mesmerized by the fish.

 

Showing E the giraffes and zebra.

Showing E the giraffes and zebra.

L was thrilled to show Monica how the bouncing bug worked.

L was thrilled to show Monica how the bouncing bug worked.

Checking out the goats! Monica showed this goat her supreme skill of knowing where his (her?) nose was. Glad she still has all of her fingers.

Checking out the goats! Monica showed this goat her supreme skill of knowing where his (her?) nose was. Glad she still has all of her fingers.