Tuesday, December 11, 2012


That Titus will be a big brother come August 2013. It is very early. I am not telling most friends and family until I get to what I feel is the safe point.

More soon. I have so many new pictures of Titus to share. He is doing great. Sadly, he has to have another surgery because he sprung a leak mid shaft after his hypospadias repair. The urologist gave us a 20% chance of this taking place so it's not a great surprise. It also seems that he has an undescended testicle. That will be yet another surgery down the road.

He is not quite walking yet but getting ever so close. He talks. Don't! Mama, dada, it good (it dood) hello, oops. What dat? Quite a few more. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday to Titus

He is having a big birthday bash later this afternoon. We reserved a private party room at a pub! It's a nice place though and pretty family oriented. I got him a cake at a small local bakery called Le Cookie Monkey. The cake is apple spice with caramel mousse filling and cream cheese frosting. He should like that. Loves apples, cinnamon and cheese. We are expecting as many as 40 guests.

My parents came to town yesterday and we had a little early party at home Titus did a lackluster cake smash, being 3 ours past his usual nap time.

We will update after the party today. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

The good stuff

This is what I was waiting for. This 9-12 month time. Titus is has been cruising the furniture for a few weeks. He shrieks with laughter, he likes to be tickled and might tickle back. He wants to try new foods. He is also a very naughty little man. He likes nothing more than to grab out computers, ipods, cell phones, remote controls and eat them. Smash them! He pulled a fake log out of the gas fireplace the other day. He discovered that the kitchen cupboards and drawers open and shut. He found to his delight and amazement, that the toilets are full of water. He will scream like a banshee if you take him away from what he wants. He kicks and growls too. Still, this is what I have been waiting for. The end of the newborn / helpless baby phase and the dawn of the interactive toddler.

I think that he loves us almost as much as we love him. He certainly adores his 5 year old foster brother.

I am actually looking forward to the holidays this year. Last year was miserable. I had  postpartum depression and anxiety and could hardly function. I still have to fight off the ppd funk but things are a thousand times better. I feel so lucky.

This is the good stuff and it is so good that we want to try to give sweet Titus a sibling.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Titus' catheter is coming out tomorrow morning. Bright and early. We have to be up at the children's hospital by 8am.  At long last! These 3 weeks have crept by quite slowly.

Brian and I took a shelter care foster placement for a week. Was only meant to be 2 days. The poor little guy accidentally took a full dose of a very powerful narcotic. His parents are homeless and drug addicted. This kid had been in care before. He was easily the most challenging kid we have had to date. Once it became apparent that there would be no relative placement, I had his caseworker move him to a long term foster situation. He had behavioral issues that I just could not deal with. He threatened the baby with violence.

Brian would like to take a break from foster parenting. To regroup and consider only moving towards adoption if we go that route again. In that case I will be free to work, and we are running out of the savings that we had from the last tax return and money gifts from his family. I saw the adoptive mother of the 3 girls that we fostered for nearly a year. Well, I see her and the girls a lot. She was wondering if maybe I would like to be a full time nanny for the girl's biological sibling. This baby is almost 2 months old. The position would start in January. 5 year old M should be reunited with his father by November at the latest. It could work out, it would save me from having to go back to work and find care for Titus.    This lady does not trust her children with just anyone. She would feel better if the baby was with somebody who loves those kids fiercely like I do. I would watch the older girls in the event of a sick day or a teacher inservice. We plan to hash out the details in the next month or so. Maybe write up a contract. I would turn the foster child bedroom into baby central. I do have the double stroller to get them out, even in the winter. I like the idea. I love the idea of being able to see the 3 older siblings much more often.

Titus is pulling himself up on ALL the furniture. Nothing is safe. Watch your water glass! We finally lowered the crib. He is just starting to cruise.

5 year old M continues to get comfortable and thrive. I really really want for him to do well when he goes to live with his Dad. I think the dad is manipulative and not telling the whole truth about his health. I want to be wrong about it though. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Titus had surgery to correct the birth defect of his urethra/ penis on the 2nd of August. The operation took 3 hours. They extended his urethra from the base of his shaft up to the tip where it belongs. They used his foreskin to accomplish this. They did some cosmetic stuff to his penis, unbending it and cutting the skin where it had been sort of tethered to the scrotum.

The end result was a gruesome mess, just like I expected. They did show me lots of post op pictures to try to prepare me. We took the bandage off on the second day after the surgery. he has a catheter stitched into his penis which is needed for the formation of the new portion of the urethra. He will have it in for a total of 3 weeks. During which time he is prone to infection. In fact this particular procedure has the highest rate of infection and complication of most any reconstructive surgery. He wears 2 diapers. One in his regular tiny size 2 to catch the poop. The second one we thread the end of the catheter into and it catches the pee. When he poops it gets all over his surgical site and catheter which freaks me out. He has to take an antibiotic to prevent infection but it gives his loose stools which in turn gets into places where it could easily cause an infection!

Titus has been getting 4 different medications daily. We give them with an oral syringe. He has come to HATE this and hold a grudge against us for doing it. I would say he fights tooth and nail but he does not have much in the way of teeth. We thought he had a little toofer coming in towards the back but it seems that it was a trick of the camera flash. Anyhow we don't know if it was his aversion to having things forced into his mouth,a heat wave, pain, decreased appetite from the meds, but something made him refuse nearly all fluids for 3 days. This landed him in the ER monday night. They came close to admitting him but really did not want to because of the risk of hospital based infections. They just kept offering juice and formula and he kept refusing. They gave him until late Tuesday morning when they planned to admit him and start an IV. Lucky for us he decided to drink 7 oz of his formula and we got to go home.

I was awake for 30 hours and exhausted by the time we got home yesterday. Titus and I both slept for 5 hours while Brian worked from home and looked after 5 year old M. Titus took 18 oz of formula yesterday and 2 jars of pureed fruit. Not the greatest but it was better.

here he is shortly after waking up from anesthesia

and here he is towards the end of our ER stay yesterday

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Baby Ellie left on a Thursday and 5 year old M arrived early the next day. Brian and I had barely recovered from a nasty stomach virus, and were moving pretty slow that weekend. Last week was our first full week on a normal schedule with M. He has a lot of parental visits as they are well into the reunification phase with his Dad. He spends 8 hours a day, 2 days per week with his father and 2 hours a week with his Mom.

M is settling in nicely. We do miss Ellie, but I feel reasonably OK about the move considering where she went. I know she will be loved and have a good life with her siblings. One nice part about having a  well behaved 5 year old in the house is that I have more time for Titus. I do not have to worry whether or not his needs are getting met. They are and then some. Titus thinks the sun rises and sets on M. He grins from ear to ear whenever he sees him. Titus follows the kid around, combat crawling and squealing with joy. M plays nicely with Titus and talks to him. At the same time I know that Titus has to be good for M. All that adoration and unconditional love. Learning to protect and nurture a bit. It warms your heart to see the interaction.

Tomorrow is Titus' hypospadias repair. The surgery will take about 2 hours. Of course we will be there most of the day between checking in and recovery. Waiting for a call from the hospital to see when we have to be there. He had a pre op appointment last week. His pediatric urologist took the time to show me lots of pictures of what these things look like post op. A horror show. Just gruesome. At least I know what to expect. He will have a catheter for at least a week if not longer.  My mother is taking a few days off to help out with M. Titus will be on narcotic pain medication, anti spasmotics for his bladder (because of the catheter) and antibiotics to prevent infection. There is a fairly high rate of complications such as fistulas with this procedure. All we can do is hope for the best outcome.  

Saturday, July 7, 2012


We had a visit from Ellie's social worker on Friday. I don't know what changed, but all of a sudden it looks like they will be able to certify the sibling family for foster care. Her caseworker says she has no idea how long this will take, an that there is some inter agency bickering as to who has to do this "special certification". Special because they will need to make an exception to their rule against having 3 under 3. This family has already completed a DHS homestudy and the classes required for certification.

This is probably the best thing for Ellie. To move now instead of later. Still stings a little though. I will miss this fat, red headed, smiley, mama's baby. She prefers my company and I think its so sweet. Titus likes mom and dad equally.

I had a long chat with the adoptive Mom last night. She seems like a nice lady.  Her family is coming over for lunch on Sunday. We will get to meet Ellie's 2 year old brother (they are still waiting for the sister to arrive from out of state). They will get to meet their daughter. Wow! Birth mom is talking about relinquishment. I wish them speed and ease in this adoption.

My certifier phoned shortly after the caseworker left. She said she had sort of been stalking Ellie's situation because she very much wants to move a 5 year old boy into our home. He is currently in a foster home where he is not doing well. They are not meeting his needs. He has regressed there and really needs some developmental assessments and speech therapy. I don't have many details yet. After reading all the notes it is our certifier's opinion that Ellie's move should happen quickly, within a week. They need to place this little guy in 10-14 days. I am hoping to speak to his caseworker Monday morning to get a better idea of how appropriate a match this is. I trust our certifier to stick to our rules and preferences when making a placement suggestion, but I am also so curious to know more. He can't be here if he is at all violent or sexually reactive. He will be starting Kindergarten this fall. Really, a child this age is a more appropriate foster kiddo for our home right now. Portland has all day Kindergarten so Titus and I would walk him to the school bus stop in the morning and then have all day to play, clean house, go to the library before we pick him up in the afternoon. Yes, a 5 year old is more appropriate but I will miss the dream of the sweet little baby.

This blog is supposed to be about Titus but I just seem to write about foster parenting lately. Titus is just,, fine. Super duper. He is so healthy and charming, and I STILL can't believe that he belongs to us.  He is perfecting the combat crawl. Still not sitting up unassisted much, but I have been told not to worry about that until he is 9 months old. He was 8 months on the 4th. He eats about 5 oz of baby food per sitting. He gets into things. Very fond of electronics, just like his daddy. Toys. I swear they multiply when you are not looking. We have a very small house and I always said it was going to be about quality rather than quantity when it came to toys. I think I will nip it in the bud and sent a box of toys along with Ellie when she moves. Titus likes to dance. He blows raspberries and screams MAMA if he wants me in the night. Part of me is sure it's just babble but another part is sort of unnerved. Is my 8 month old really calling out for me? It sure gets me moving fast when I hear it.

So there has been this sudden shift in direction at our house. From focus on Titus and Ellie to wondering about this new child. I don't know what to call him here. Perhaps there will be a nickname after we meet him. It sounds as if he has some of the same sorts of developmental delays that our last set of foster children had. I know how to help him.

Ugh, my youngest hobo travelin brother just called. been on the streets, getting ready to hop a train. they want to shower and wash their clothes. they are 20 years old and choose to live like that. better get some take out. might have to spray for bugs after they leave. serious.