Monday, June 18, 2012

Brian ordered us the  Britax B ready stroller  which converts to a double.  This means in 2 days I will be mobile with both babies! It has been fairly isolating being stuck at home. Now I can get out for walks in the morning this summer which solves my no exercise problem. We picked this stroller because it easily accommodates our Britax B safe infant car seat which we will put Ellie in. Titus will sit in the seat that the stroller comes with. When Ellie gets bigger we can splash out for the second seat.

My Dad and his wife gave us 3 hours notice before arriving for the duration of Father's day. It was fine, I'm just not really used to that. They had to drive 100 miles to get here. I moved to Portland in 1993 and never saw them outside of their home until I married Brian in 2004. I used to make all the effort. They got real friendly after I was married. I joked that it was in anticipation of grandchildren but now I know that was no joke.  As usual, my step mom brought a bunch of stuff for Titus. I had already told her no "vintage" plastic toys. our house is just under 1000 square feet and we have ZERO space for piles of plastic toys from 1992. She brought them anyway. Last time it was a giant box filled with smelly and ancient baby shoes. Out gassing plastic of unknown origin. This time 3 bins full of musty and out dated baby clothes. She did give us some nice things in the smaller sizes but I had to go through piles and piles of her hoard before I found the good stuff.  I have no garage or basement to put this stuff in. She expects to get it back. I dont even know where I can put it until she can come for it next month.  My own mother isnt much better. She means well but brings bags of clothes from the goodwill as is bins. They Stink! Im all for second hand but I dont want it to be so smelly that you cant get the stink out with 2 hot washes. I dont have the time to deal with this stuff. Think its time to put my foot down and say thanks but no thanks. There is so much crap in my living room and kitchen that it will take hours to sort today. I do want to cry. Here, have a load of garbage and be thankful for it. You would think they grew up during the depression, instead of the booming 1950's and 60's. My mom is from a regular middle class family and step mom was quite well to do as a child.

I did buy what they call a Lot of clothing for Ellie over the weekend. Most everything she will need from now until 18 months with the exception of coats, underthings and shoes. It was all gotten new by a lady who's  daughter has outgrown it and she gave me a fabulous deal. Not stinky or funky in the least. As soon as I get all the sh*t out of Ellie's room she can actually inhabit it with her things. That is the room that contains most of the previous overflow of stuff from my Mom's. For now Ellie sleeps in a rock and play sleeper in the living room. She seems to like it but the sooner we can get her into a crib, the better Titus slept in a bassinet in our room for the first 5.5 months of his life. When I moved him out I slept so much better. I admit that I often bring him to my bed in the early morning hours for a snooze and a snuggle. It is a good way to get him to sleep an extra hour or two and I love ( adore) sleeping next to him. During my years of infertility I longed for a warm snuggly baby body to cuddle up with. I wouldnt let him in our bed overnight because he is still prone to suffocation at his age. He sleeps in his crib, in a sleep sack, with a fitted sheet on the mattress and nothing else. Ellie will do the same in her crib.

Im starting to see why Ellie bombed the social portion of her developmental screen. Her eyes hardly track. Titus would follow anything with his eyes at her age. She is usually clamoring for milk, drinking milk, crying or sleeping. Not so much of that quiet alert time gazing at me like Titus did. I hope she will catch up in the coming weeks. Pleased that they are coming out to make sure she is developing normally.

Wow, this has turned into a real bitch session. I am cranky. My step mom told me yesterday that no matter how long Ellie is with us, they will try to get her adopted by family when it comes down to it. That means looking for 2nd cousins out of state. Divorced uncles. Of course responsible family cant always be found. Even a few years ago foster parents could claim psychological parenthood after a year or so. The law has changed. I suppose I feel a bit defeated, like no matter what I do for her it wont be good enough. This is probably exhaustion speaking to some extent.

Monday, June 11, 2012

I promise hes not pooping. Just growling!

I purchased a professional picture package, it's just a matter of when I will ever find time to take the babies.

How I wish I could share a picture of Ellie. Her growth continues to flabbergast me.

not much time to post at the moment but thought I would share a few things quickly

  • got final confirmation that the reason they cant place ellie with her siblings is the rule against having 3 under 3 in the same home, sometimes they can make an exception, not in this case.  This makes me pretty sure that failing return to parent, they will place the baby with the sibling family shortly after her older brother turns 3. Next May. This is just my very best guess. Like Faith said, she is not a suitcase and I worry how this will damage her. I will be the only mommy she knows this year. If Titus went to live elsewhere he would be so heartbroken. Already. I really wish they could just give that family some extra help instead of letting her bond with us then uprooting her.
  • My brother came round with some gas powered lawn tools and really got our yard whipped into shape. We need all the help we can get.
  • I turn into a raving bitch when I am this sleep deprived. My poor husband.
  • I got an invite to shop at a non profit charity shop just for foster parents. This was from a kind woman in a neighboring county. She has clothing for Ellie and a dresser. Maybe even a double stroller which we can't live without for too much longer. She also said I may select items for Titus :) All free of charge.
  • I desperately need exercise but don't know how I am going to get any. Too tired in the evenings to leave the house. I do have an eliptical exercise thing that I am going to have to bust out of storage. I feel like such a huge, fat, slug.
  • Plans to make batches of baby food this weekend.
  • Still trying to get my head right about this foster placement. Accepting that its likely we wont be able to adopt her, but making room in my plans, heart, and head in case we cann.
  • Loving these babies 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Court was interesting today. No private adoption will take place, as Dad is still out of the state.

Plan is return to parent, as it has to be for DHS to establish how mentally ill Mom really is and build a case for her not being fit to parents. This will probably take a year. Caseworker said that Ellie will be here a long time and confirmed that she is not being allowed to place her with the siblings. No word on future plans as far as the sibs go. Perhaps they will clear that family for 3 under 3 eventually. My step mom who works for the agency says that she suspects that there is something about that family that I dont know yet. A reason for them not to have made an exception and placed Ellie there anyhow. Should be interesting to see how that plays out.  I feel comfortable buying her a new car seat ( she has been using Titus') and fixing up the foster nursery all girly. His room needs a bit of attention too. He has no closet so he needs a wardrobe. She has a closet but could use a chest of drawers. Both need a book case and a toy chest. In the market for a used double stroller but not the god awful graco one that I got for the twins. We still have it but it is a beast. Hurts my back to push it. The newer models are probably less bulky.

I have a short video of Titus growling which I will try to post in the next day or so.

I am trying to line up some helpers so that I only have to be alone all day with both kiddies one day a week,, until this trying newborn phase is over. Once I can sleep a solid 6 hours a night things will get SO much easier. Im used to taking care of lots of kids at once. The twins and the girls primed me for that. I also used to nanny for little ones very close in age.

Quite possible that I will have a 13 month old and a 7 month old in my home come Christmas.  I wonder how mobile they will be? 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

To sleep perchance to dream

I have reached new levels of exhaustion and sleep deprivation. A level which I could only imagine before. My grasp on reality is a little shaky at the moment. I think Brian is feeling the same. Yesterday he said, "I put that onsie on Titus, the one with the wolverines and broccoli".  The pattern is owls and trees, but he was serious. That is what he saw.

At his 6 month visit Titus' pediatrician asked me not to worry about his growth. She said that if I went to get a second opinion they would be ordering more bone scans and the like, but that it is her educated opinion that he is just fine.  I have been worrying though as it seems he hasn't grown at all since we returned from England. He is still sporting his size 3 month trousers. He will be 7 months tomorrow. Baby Ellie is fast catching up to him in size. She turned 1 month old on the 1st.  She came home at 6.5 lbs and is now over 9lbs. Titus is 14 lbs, soaking wet. He takes just a bit more milk than she does. To be fair he is eating 2 puree meals a day.

In Ellie News, lets see. Her Mom had convinced DHS to allow her to arrange a private adoption. Even though their general policy is to not allow private adoptions once a child is in state care. She was going through the same agency she used when her 2 year old son was adopted as a newborn in 2010. She met with her adoption worker to look at family profiles, but out of nowhere decided that if Ellie's Dad wasn't going to participate she no longer wanted to proceed with the adoption.  Dad is MIA and presumed to be in Chicago. Her caseworker has not yet closed the door on this subject. I think they are all hoping she will decide to go through with it because it makes things easier for everyone. Everyone except Ellie that is, who I feel deserves to be with her siblings. For some reason Mom didnt want her to go there. DHS seems to concur. A supervisor has said that they may not place Ellie in the sibling home as they are awaiting the arrival of the 1 year old sister from another state. They think that this family would be over extended with a 2 year old at home, then a 1 year old and a newborn placed around the same time. My best guess is that they will  let the 1 year old sister get settled for a few months, then do a home study to see if the family would be able to handle all 3.  That is if no private adoption takes place. Things are up in the air at the moment. The caseworker said " She is all yours for now".

I have to purchase a new catalytic converter for my Honda van. Normally these things are not that expensive but its a part that is very particular to this Japanese car. It will cost nearly 1000 dollars for parts and labor. I need to renew my registration and cant do so without passing emissions. Bah. Brian has decided that we can not make it a day longer without buying some new furniture. Chests of drawers for our bedroom and a big linen cabinet sort of thing for the main bath.  This will eat into what little bit of savings we have at the moment. I hate to worry about money but its a fact of life with 2 kids and 1 income. Perhaps I can talk him into holding off on the furniture for a while. I wanted a weeks vacation in the Eastern Oregon desert this summer, but that night not be possible. Brian and I are talking about a full month in Mexico early next year.  Probably depending on the Ellie situation

Titus continues to be super delightful, charming everyone that comes in contact with him. One of my best girlfriends came over on Friday ( she brought a wonderful Thai takeout dinner). He has only met this particular friend a few times but that did not stop him from wanting her to hold him and giving her little love pats and nuzzles. He does like the ladies. He has very little stranger anxiety but is starting to protest when I leave the room. This is normal. His penis surgery just around the corner. I think that is a post for another day.  I don't even feel like talking about it.  He has been rather chatty. He says Mamama, Mamba, bababa, and dadada. My Mom is trying to teach him to say "Obama" in anticipation of the upcoming presidential election. He was born on election day.

I did get a questionnaire for a developmental screening for Ellie. They are also calling it a mental health screen but I am not sure how that works for an infant.  We have court on the 5th. At that point they switch her from an intake social worker to a permanent caseworker. This should shed a little bit of light on how long they expect her to be in our home. It SHOULD. Not to say that you can predict anything with social services in my state.

A few years ago I had 2 wisdom teeth removed. They said the other 2 were so impacted that they would never poke through or give me any trouble. They would have had to go in there and break things up to extract them. Well, now I have one poking through and bothering me. I am teething at 36 years of age! Titus can relate. I want to get these other 2 teeth removed but that will probably have to wait until after his surgery.

We are going through about 14 bottles a day. in the neighborhood of 55 oz of formula. 17 diapers.  I am getting 3 to 6 hours of broken sleep nightly. Ellie slept a 4.5 hour stretch last night. This is great for her age. I think she will be doing 6 hour stretches within a month. Maybe there is some relief on the horizon.