If we do have a birthday party…

Baby Bear’s birthday is in just a couple weeks (Easter Sunday, actually), and I think I have figured out the theme. If we do decide to have a birthday bash, it will have to be around constructions trucks and tractors.

Little guy saw a backhoe today while we were at our agency for training. After his nap, Thomas offered to take Baby Bear to a nearby construction site to watch more trucks and tractors. Here is the conversation…

Thomas: Baby Bear, do you remember the backhoe?

Baby Bear: Backhoe! Backhoe!

Thomas: Do you want to go on an adventure with Papa to see another backhoe?

Baby Bear: Backhoe! Backhoe! Backhoe!

Thomas: Go find your shoes.

Baby Bear: Backhoe! Backhoe! Backhoe! Backhoe!

His repetitious self did not stop until after Thomas had found both his own and Baby Bear’s shoes, had kissed me goodbye, and had shut the door behind them.

I think it was a hit!


Delays and Developments

Our old case manager came out to visit yesterday, which is always delightful. We talked about life in general, and she even thought of some ways we might find some childcare for next school year. She also explained why it would be a bit amazing to have the adoption as early as next month, which was a bit frustrating. It turns out that CPS has to do a home study of their own, since our foster agency does not yet do adoptions. Since our case worker (who represents CPS and Baby Bear and IttyBitty Bear) seems blissfully unaware of this fact, despite my best attempts otherwise, he has been telling us that we could easily be set up with a court date for sometime in April. Now I’m wondering if we will even get it done before the school year ends…

In other news, Baby Bear is in the process of potty training. He is thrilled to wear his new big boy underwear, but really doesn’t care if they get wet… I’m thinking about using treats to get him to incentivize home, since I know from past experience that he can go longer than 15 minutes.

He is currently the family parrot and mimic. Everything we say gets repeated, and he has an impressive memory. I’m not sure how much he comprehends, but there is no denying he is learning a ton.

IttyBitty Bear is working on standing on her own without support. She can bear crawl better than a Crossfit athlete, and can move quickly and quietly. I’m contemplating attaching bells to her clothes… She has also learned to shake her head violently when she doesn’t want something, and insists on feeding herself with a spoon (I load it for her, and she crams it in her mouth). She jabbrrs constantly, and follows Baby Bear everywhere.

We are halfway through our Whole30 diet for the month of March. We love the food, but really miss dairy toppings like cheese and sour cream, and legumes like chili and peanut butter. Surprisingly, we don’t miss drinking milk or most sweeteners, though passing up homemade baked goods never brings much joy to the situation.

That’s all for now. Next time I’ll try and post all the crazy things the Bears are doing and saying these days.

Solid Deo Gloria

Good News!

We found out on Monday that the adoption worker thinks we can have the adoption day sometime in April. We are still working on dates, since we want to invite family in to town. We are hoping to have the adoption done during the week, a get-together on Saturday, and then baptisms on Sunday. (As I type that, it feels like a massive crescendo in events.)

Obviously, we are thrilled. Baby Bear has been in the system since he was less than a week old, and will turn two in April. IttyBitty Bear has also been in foster-care since she was less than two weeks old, and will turn one year in April. We are so excited and humbled that God has chosen to get our little family this far.

Please pray that the rest of the paperwork moves smoothly and efficiently, and that we can get dates lined up with enough time to let family arrange for travel plans.

“Is this what Summer will be like?”

Papa Bear asked this a few times today. We had a three day weekend (thank goodness we never needed those snow days, despite the snow!), with absolutely glorious weather.

On Saturday, we went to the zoo for about an hour in the morning. We managed to give Baby Bear enough bathroom breaks throughout the morning, and in between visiting various animals that he kept his pull-up dry all morning. IttyBitty Bear was absolutely thrilled to sit in the carrier, facing out, and chew on anything that came to hand while screeching at the animals. The monkeys were particularly jovial, though the elephants were probably the biggest hit.

That afternoon, we worked on school work while babies napped.

Sunday, we went to church, and had a lovely time sitting with friends during the meal afterwards. We came home and worked on school some more, and then got ready for some of those same friends to join us for dinner, which we ate on our front porch.

Today, the actual day off, we all slept in, and then had a lovely late breakfast (oatmeal, as per the request of Baby Bear). Then I dropped off Papa, Baby, and IttyBitty Bears at the dentist, made a few returns, and came back in time for lunch. A friend of ours came to the house for the afternoon while the babies napped so Papa and I could head in to school and finish some school reports. We then took the Bears to the Botanical Gardens, and thoroughly wore them out looking for “treasures” like acorns, sticks, and oak leaves.

Today was a taste of what this summer will hopefully feel like. Papa Bear home, time to get work done, time to work on goals, and time to explore and play with our bears, without Papa Bear traveling to and from Dallas every week.

I’m so looking forward to it!

Soli Deo Gloria

Like My Big Brother (and Sister-In-Law)

Parenting is tough. I find that I finally get the full implications of those moms-who-drink memes, and it makes me look around desperately for examples to follow.

Let me also say, that being a younger sister to a brother like mine is tough. In the first few years of life, that older brother acts like he is trying to kill you (think of the intro scene from “Blind Side”). That is scarring, to say the least.

Well, that older brother met an amazing woman in college, and they have two awesome little boys. Whenever I watch the four of them interact, I always take away a tidbit to imitate later.

Example #1 – The boys are expected to stay at the table until everyone is done eating.

Example #2 – Little boys throw things and wrestle. Biting and kicking are not permitted. If the boys have trouble keeping their wrestling and rough-housing in the boundaries, then my brother steps in, not to stop the play, but to join in and redirect.

Example #3 – Get those boys helping around the house, and do some new chores they want to try, like baking bread, shoveling snow, etc.

I’m not sure how much of this is done under a conscious effort from my brother and sister-in-law. These might be what survival looks like. If it is survival, then it’s a good surviving, and one worth imitating.

Empty Plates

Just a few tidbits for you.

  • Baby Bear has started to become bothered by empty plates. When the three of us sit down to eat, Baby Bear is usually the first to clean his plate, and diligently asks for more, especially if spaghetti or chili is on the menu. Recently, however, he has insisted that our plates also be filled as soon as we finish our meal. We aren’t sure if he is worried that we aren’t eating enough, or just likes to be bossy.
  • IttyBitty Bear has a tooth! Finally! It is teeny-tiny, but sharp, and she has been gnawing on anything in sight to encourage its appearance. She is also standing against just about anything, and has started to talk and jabber more.
  • “ba-xeetsh” is the current I-have-no-idea-what-you-are-saying word. We have guessed “bedsheets” and “black sheep”, but Baby Bear acts like we are purposefully misunderstanding him. Any thoughts?
  • Rests are far more amenable than naps, in the toddler worldview. I put IttyBitty Bear down in her napping crib, and tell Baby Bear that his sister is taking a nap, so we all have to be quiet. Then I give him a cup of milk, his Soft Blue Blanket, and his Owl, and a couple books, and tell him that he needs to rest IN HIS BED for short while. Apparently, rests are completely different from naps, and there have been few protests made.
  • Dekker had to have a ton of teeth pulled recently, and I think the pain is still getting to him. We have been working on “gentle touches” from both Dekker and Baby Bear (they like to wrestle and chase each other), until Dekker recuperates.
  • I am currently giving my utmost to getting this house clean.
  • Papa Bear is helping some friends whose fence was knocked over the other night.

On the foster-side of things, we found out that we have to wait 90 days after terminations before we can adopt, so that any family members have time to step up to claim either child. That means that we are just gathering paperwork and such until March 20th or so, and April 19th, or so. This means that we won’t have the adoptions finalized by Spring Break, and our new hopeful goal is adoption before each of their birthdays in April.

Soli Deo Gloria

Toddler Problems…

I’ve been trying to find things in my house for Baby Bear to take apart and put back together, since a bored baby is a destructive baby. And, I think I landed on a winner.

Put a couple nuts in a plastic container. Close up container with lock-tight lids. Tell child to open container to get the nuts.

Cue frustrated tantrums.

My discovery: my child does not deal well with frustration or delayed satisfaction.

Me, too, kid. Me, too.

Soli Deo Gloria