To anyone who has to deal with the Bears between now and January…

My sincerest apologies.

Both bears are usually very sweet, affectionate, mild-mannered teddy bears.

The past few days, however, IttyBitty Bear has been more ravenous wolf than cuddly bear, and has figured out enough mobility to know that everyone can move MUCH faster than herself, and NO ONE is offering to carry her everywhere. And she is eating. CONSTANTLY.

Baby Bear sings songs in the car (the eternal loops of Jingle Bells and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star are the current favorites), hugs IttyBitty Bear constantly, and wants so badly to just ditch the whole “please” and “thank-you” time-wasters that us parental units keep insisting on. Oh, and he is eating… CONSTANTLY.

I’m chucking all of this up to some massive growth spurts, which is a much more comforting explanation than “My children are unmannered beasts who feel that screaming/whining is a completely appropriate form of communication”.

So, if you meet up with my Monsters Bears, my sincerest apologies. Truly, they are good kids. At least, that is what I find myself repeating inwardly whenever yet another meal is late by Bear-standards. To the baby-sitter and PDO teachers, you all are saints.

Soli Deo Gloria


Surviving Snow in South Texas

I’m sure this is getting repetitive for all of the not-Texas-dwelling individuals out there. Yes, it snowed here in San Antonio last night. Apparently, the last time snow fell and accumulated in the River City was in 1985, so, naturally, the entire population fell to pieces in both joy and consternation. Thomas and I went to bed last night marveling at how quickly power went down in San Antonio all over the city, with only three inches of snow. Back East, three inches of snow would be seen as a disappointment in December, not a miracle. But, it was fun to see everyone so thrilled, so I’m going to recap some of the fun and games.

First off, know that our chimney still isn’t repaired, so we still have gaps in our living room.

We also killed a rat on Wednesday, and have not seen any more since, despite the still-existent holes in our living room.

After our rat killing adventures on Tuesday night, Wednesday morning, the weather turned a bit cooler. On Monday, the high was in the 80’s.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the high was in the 60’s with intermittent showers. On Wednesday, I drove Thomas to school before dropping off the Bears at the babysitter’s house.

On Thursday, it got colder and wetter as the day progressed. The high for the day, was about 45 degrees. Again, I drove Thomas to school, and then stuck around for a while to drop off the Bears at PDO.

The rain didn’t stop, and the temperatures continued to fall. Which is a perfect combination for snow.

Unfortunately, it also means that most houses in San Antonio were without power, which also means that very few people had heat. Our own power and heat went down around 9:00 last night, and came back on right around 5:30 this morning.

Since the house wouldn’t be able to warm up the house easily with a hole-y living room, and since the babysitter didn’t have any heat, I took the Bears with me to school all day, where it was warm, with lots of willing entertainment for the Bears.

Papa Bear and I have mostly alternating schedules. He teaches second, fifth, seventh and eighth periods, while I teach third, fourth, and fifth. So I kept the Bears with me all morning till my classes started. We watched the freshmen instigated a few different snow-ball fights with 6th grade, sophomores, juniors, and their peers. We played in the student center with the older students during passing periods. Then, Thomas took the kids while I taught my first two classes. Then, he went to lunch while I rocked little ones to sleep. Then, he went off to teach his class, and I took the stroller with sleeping Bears into class with me. Another teacher graciously offered to sit at the back of the class and keep an eye on the little ones while I taught. They slept through the lunch period and my class, and then we all came home. Baby Bear has spent most of the afternoon playing in the puddles left behind by melting snow in our backyard. This afternoon, I’m hoping to finish my grading, get some laundry done, and do my lesson planning for the week.

All in all, it was quite a delightful adventure, even though we didn’t join the the snowball fights. The snow is already melted, and the temperature outside is a balmy 52 degrees right now. Tomorrow’s temperature is supposed to be almost 70 degrees. And that, my friends, is Texas weather for you.

Soli Deo Gloria

A Rough Night

In the past few weeks, the Bears have been waking up at UNGODLY hours, anywhere between 5:00 AM and 6:45 AM (which is right before Thomas leaves the house for the morning, and cannot be of any assistance). It hasn’t been predictable, no patterns, disturbances, or changed routines to provide reasonable excuses. They simply wake up, start chattering, and soon recognize that it has been an ETERNITY since their last meal.

During Thanksgiving Break, this wasn’t too much of a difficulty, since Thomas was here to take one child, while I took the other. This past week, however, has seen far more breakfasts eaten much earlier than usual for the bears, and far more cups of coffee for Mama Bear.

But last night, they slept.

Unfortunately, we didn’t.

First disturbance: work on school stuff, house stuff, and cleaning until far too late in the evening.

Second disturbance: when you hear the mouse-trap upstairs become fully (and agitatedly) occupied around 1:00 AM, don’t go back to sleep and ignore it.

Third disturbance: I had a dream that Fuzzy Bear was back with us, that he was very sick, but the hospitals wouldn’t take him, and his new family were trying to get our foster-license taken away, or some such other horrible nonsense. I woke up, weepy, confused, which of course, woke up Papa Bear.

Fourth disturbance: hear the mouse trap become violently UN-inhabited with the dog barking at the stairs that lead to our attic (which happens to rest right outside our bedroom door). Walk around the downstairs trying to find the mouse, because it sounded like it fell down the stairs. Go upstairs to investigate the trap. Discover that the trap is empty, and the mouse no where in sight, because the original occupant of the mouse trap was NOT actually a mouse. It was a RAT! (We later figured out that we have a Roof Rat, a common enough rodent in this part of Texas.) We cornered it in our attic, but it escaped down the stairs and out the cracks in our living room where the chimney is being replaced.

So, we decided to get up after such bizarre adventures. Coffee, Scriptures, and Prayer together this morning, which hasn’t happened for a while, since the Bears have been waking up at such odd times.

The chimney is almost done, thankfully, so that should help to eliminate the potential entry ways for the tiny livestock.

Today is Athletic Field Day at school, so Papa Bear got to wear regular, comfortable clothes, with no lesson plans or printing necessary.

I don’t have to go in until later today, since I don’t have classes, and I wasn’t needed for the festivities.

The Bears are at the baby-sitter’s house for the morning, so I am getting some cleaning, baking, and laundry done before heading in to school for the final festivities.

And, the Bears slept until 7:00 AM, despite the rodent-caused ruckus this morning.

So, a rough night was had by Mama Bear, Papa Bear, and the Roof Rat (who was, after all, stuck in a sticky situation all night), but joy comes with the morning.

Soli Deo Gloria


Jumping On and Off (and On Again) the Potty Train

Baby Bear has been talking. A ton. About everything. Here are a few of his favorites.

“Sit here!” This can be used as a command to someone else, or a request to sit next to you. Be warned, however. If you sit where he tells you, he will tell you to “sit here” somewhere else.

“Coconut Oil!” We use coconut oil around here all the time, especially in diaper areas, and it is a major incentive to get diapers changed without fights.

“Book!” This kid loves to read and be read to, so we here this one a lot.

“Block!” We have some awesome Father Goose blocks with numbers, letters, animals, and math signs on them, and he loves to stack the little things everywhere.

“Circular saw!” One of his favorite tool names, along with “Sawzaw” and “Flashlight”

“He also loves animal sounds, his ABC song, and names of people.

More recently, he has been trying to tell us about “pee-pee”, “poo-poo”, “wipe”, “potty”, and “diaper”. He also knows what a “sticker” is. I don’t know if they talk about it at school, or what, but we have decided to start jumping on the potty training bandwagon.

Yes, he’s not yet 20 months old. Yes, I know it’s really early. I’m not in a rush to have him out of diapers. I figure, though, that I should take advantage of the opportunity while he is showing an interest.

So, I’m going out this afternoon to find some stickers, and maybe some pullups. We won’t press hard, but I will take him to the potty often throughout the day, and let him play with stickers when he is successful. If he doesn’t latch on to the idea, I’ll drop it for a later date. If he runs with it, then we have made our lives easier… I hope…

Any advice, thoughts, or recommendations?

P.S. I have a portable potty already.

Soli Deo Gloria

Merits Hearing(S!!!)

A couple weeks ago, we found out that Baby Bear’s Merits Hearing will be in the middle of January.

I had no idea what a Merits Hearing was. So, I asked around, and our gracious caseworkers explained the idea to me. It’s the hearing where biological parents’ attorneys try to make a final case for reunification.

Right now, since Baby Bear hasn’t seen anyone in his biological family (except IttyBitty Bear) since October of last year. So, this hearing will probably (hopefully) be the final hearing to terminate parental rights and move Baby Bear’s case to adoption hearings.

Today, we found out that IttyBitty Bear also has a Merits Hearing… on the same day, same time, same room as Baby Bear. This surprised us. A lot. IttyBitty Bear will have been with us for a little over six months by the time middle-January comes around. Only 6 months! We have been waiting on Baby Bear’s last hearing for over a year now.

So, we are making plans to be in the courtroom on January 19th. Hopefully, soon after that time, we will head to the courtroom again for a final adoption hearing.

In the meantime, we continue to pray every night…

God, bless mama’s and papa’s, birth-mama’s and birth-papa’s, and adoptive-mama’s and adoptive-papa’s.

Soli Deo Gloria


Word on Fuzzy Bear

We received news about Fuzzy Bear this weekend! He is doing great with his new Mama and Papa, and is growing so big! We are so thankful that God placed the little guy in a caring family, and we think they are believers, which is the greatest comfort of all. I can’t share much else, but I can say that we have spent so much time looking at these pictures. Baby Bear especially loves to see his buddy so happy. God is very good and kind.

Soli Deo Gloria