7.23.2010

"the Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall i fear?"

Bart LOVES it when I sweet talk him into helping me with projects around the house! He is one great husband.

Our project-of-the-night: Cover a Lampshade!
Two thumbs up for Donna who shared the link to Young House Love with me! What fantastic decorating tips!

And here is the finished product in our nursery!

7.22.2010

"but the precious possession of a man is diligence"

Our initiation into foster care life is complete. And what an initiation it was! Overall, it went well, just super busy. Violet, the older of the sister pair, displayed many defiant behaviors and general resistance. This made for long days at times. Extreme tantrums occurred often throughout the day. It was hard watching a little one so young react in such a violent manner. Breaks your heart. Bart and I tried our best to use our "Love and Logic" strategies. Thank goodness the book arrived the day before the girls came to stay with us! Not a moment too soon. I would sneak in reading time next to the tub while the girls were bathing and on the couch while the girls were resting. It was great to get to implement the strategies right after reading them.

When the girls would have difficulty complying with instructions we would offer them choices, manipulative choices! :) For instance, if Violet didn't want to put her shoes on, the choices could be something like: you can wear your crocs or your sandals; which work better for you? or you can put them on or I can help you put them on; which would you like to choose? Either way, the shoes were going on! This gave the kids the feeling that they still had some control of the situation and we valued their power to make choices on their own.

We also gave positive instructions. For instance, if Eva wanted to watch the beloved Barbie movie but hadn't cleaned up the current game, we would tell her that YES! she could watch the movie as soon as the toys were put away. This way they do not engage in an argument with us over the chore at hand, but instead they know that they can, in fact, get what they want, however, they must comply with the request first. It worked beautifully.

Bart and I also tried to give lots of smiles, affirmation, and encouragement.

As time passed, the tantrums decreased both in frequency and duration. We were so thankful! The Lord was faithful to intervene.

Although it wasn't an easy, we had some fabulous moments of hearty laughter.

- Violet had taken my string cheese and ate it after eating an entire piece of her own. Well, that just meant that I had to go in and get it! I pretended to dig in her ear and pull out the piece that she ate (bringing a new piece of cheese out from behind her back). She was amazed. And never took any more of my food :)
- Nikki (my sister) came over to help one day. Violet noticed that she had a nose ring and was very intrigued! I had just given her a "crystal" to wear that looked like the crystal in the Barbie movie. Well, the "crystal" ended up on the side of her nose to look like her new cool friend :)
- About 10 minutes before foster dad came to pick the girls up, I had asked Eva if she needed to use the restroom. She gave me a very confident "no". Eva then shared that she was very cold. We looked over and sure enough she had peed all over the chair! Ha! Of course she didn't have to go and of course she was feeling a bit chilly! The clean-up crew flew in and came to the rescue.

We would not have traded our days with the girls for anything! Bart and I both felt like we grew as parents-to-be. We're thankful to get some on the job training before our little one arrives.

7.13.2010

rush order!

After my portion of the home study yesterday, I got a call from our case manager asking if we would like to provide respite care for a family that is fostering two girls. How could we say no?!
For the sake of this blog we will refer to our two new temporary additions as Violet and Eva. Both youngsters are under the age of 5, which means we will have our hands full! Full of fun that is!
Now we are putting the finishing touches on our licensing process- a little faster than expected.
TB tests and health inspection are complete and the remaining two home studies will be tonight. Whew!
Initiation by fire- that's how we like to do it around here.

7.08.2010

"every good and perfect gift is from above"

We are nearing the end of the licensing process! Could this mean a little one is right around the corner?...
We thought we would give some "shout-outs" to some of our family & friends that have come alongside of us and have given us some brag-worthy gifts. Thank you those of you who:
- carefully crafted paper cranes to serve as our little mobile
- gave us our little "hoot owl" pack-and-play. I can only imagine how many hours s/he will be spending many hours napping and playing in this!
- drove to ghetto-ville to help me pick up my rocker, became super-woman and pulled straps out of her Cherokee when the back door wouldn't shut, and had a great attitude the whole way!
-  generously filled an entire U-haul with almost-new-hand-me-downs! Do I feel loved? You better believe it!
- provided the U-Haul! Those cute baby items would not have traveled from Nashville to ATX without you!
- passed down sentimental baby items from many years ago. Thanks Mom and Dad! I can't believed they survived many moves through the 80s and the 90s!
- loaded down my car with a baby bath tub, diaper genie, and a walker. I can't even imagine what that would have cost me at Babies 'R Us!
- encouraged us through the process. Even asking about the process and how we're feeling has provided encouragement beyond understanding.

So what do we have left? Not much! Jessica has her individual home study on Monday, Bart's will be on Tuesday and our couple interview is TBA. Just one more inspection (which I like to think we're sanitary enough to pass), an online training, a few more pieces of paperwork, and we are DONE!
Bring on the cutie-pie!


Pre-mobile Cranes!
Fatty must not realize that they're only paper. He seems to be on the hunt.

And who could ask for a better helper?