Saturday, September 26, 2009


One of the interesting things about blogging is that you get to pick and choose what you share with your readers. Most like to write about all the lovely things, leaving out the tough decisions or problems that come up... that's totally fine, but I know several moms who are avid readers who start to believe that these blogs are TRUE life. Not here my friends... I do my best to share the good and the frustrating...

So here goes:

-Last weekend during Bubba's birthday, Bobcat decided to go into the garage of a neighbor (uninvited... and the neighbors were not even out) and give a go on the neighbor's skateboard.

-During aforementioned party, Snookie took his cake and ice cream, rubbed it into the outdoor picnic table and then LICKED IT UP!

-On Thursday Bubba got a handful of (oil based) paint that was used to do some touch up work on the wood around the roof and decided to rub it into my carpet. Did I mention the part where it is still in the carpet!?

-Today Bobcat decided that those cupcakes that were leftover from last weekends birthday shouldn't go to waste. He decided to go dumpster diving (yep, the trash can we keep outside)... found the bag filled with all sorts of garbage, and then proceeded to have a little feast. Did I mention that these cupcakes were not gluten free... and he isn't supposed to have any gluten!?

-Bubba likes to hide food in his pockets from lunch... so that he can eat it during naptime!

-Bobcat decided that since I do 'pocket checks' for food after lunch now... that his underwear are a much better hiding spot!

Just keepin' it real!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A gift and an ending

It all started the first week of May. He came to stay the weekend with us... giving my parents a little break. He was so tiny, when this was taken (on May 8th) he still should have been in the womb for at least one more week), but due to circumstances outside of his control he had already spent a month in NICU. That weekend, we had no idea how much time we were going to spend with him. Heck, Daddio was a little shocked when I brought him home that day... not really sure how to react to the whole situation. We figured that we would have him every now and again when my parents would need a few days to recharge their batteries. Little did we know that starting in June we would have him full time with just an occasional overnight with other family members.

It didn't take long for him to feel less like a nephew and more like a son... and that is definitely how we treated him. I held nothing back (I will speak for myself... I will let Daddio write on his own feelings if he so chooses). I wanted him to know that he was loved no matter what, that the circumstances of his conception and birth had nothing to do with who he was/is. I wanted to gain his trust, and allow him to form a healthy attachment. Those who live in the foster/adoption world know just how fundamental that is and what can result if it isn't there.

Today is a very sad day for me. Today I had to say goodbye to my time with Bean. Today the court system decided the send him (and his brother) back to his deadbeat father. I knew he probably wouldn't get to stay with us forever, although I did pray that Our Dear Lord would make it so. Today I had to pack up all of his belongings, and all the special things that we shared together. Today I had to pack him up in his carseat and watch him leave. I wasn't prepared. I knew there was a chance that it would be today, but I believed that this was not our ending.

This morning as the boys did their school work, Bean played on the floor... and as he played I grabbed the camera knowing that these would be the last shots I would take of his time with me. And as if to give me one more gift... he rolled over... completely unassisted... 3 times. I was able to capture one of them with the camera, and am so grateful to have these images.

Every moment he spent with us was a true gift... a gift that I never took lightly. Every second I spent with him brought with it an amazing feeling. In a sense I feel like this time we had, healed part of my soul that was broken because of my own boys past... a past that I could not protect them from. These few months I've spent having such unbelievable gratitude for those who were there for my boys when things reached the breaking point. I was hoping to be a part of more of Bean's 'firsts', to actually see those little teeth that he is working so hard at growing, hear him call for me by name, sitting on his own, crawling... heck I thought I might be there for first steps. While it breaks my heart that these were not meant to be spent with me, I know I saw first hand something much more important... special time... that time in the middle of night when it was just the two of us, those slobbery kisses when he got excited, the dancing twinkle in his eyes when I came into view (or Daddio and the boys), the clinging to me when he didn't feel well or was beyond tired... I was given the chance to love him, and he loved me right back... and that is much more than all the firsts that I won't be a part of.

And while my heart breaks knowing our time together has come to an end, I wouldn't trade any of it even knowing how hard it was to watch him go. No child is actually ever ours, they are a gift from God... we only have them for a short time and then they must go. He was entrusted to my care when I needed him most, when I was once again letting go of a dream. HIS is a perfect plan.

He is my special Bean.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Gettin' bigger

Bean has finally figured out how to spin himself around in this, and enjoys playing with all the little doodads on it! This is his spot during homeschooling. He enjoys making noises and seeing if he can get the attention of the boys while they are working... he will stare at their backs and just keep on making a particular noise till someone turns around... then he giggles the funniest giggle in VICTORY (then he starts hiccupping... happens every time he laughs)!

You will notice his white diaper cloth there in his seat with him. First, it is his best friend. He loves playing with it, putting it over his face, sucking on it, chewing on it... have I mentioned he is teething... so it is usually covered in Bean slobber.

Other big milestones as of late... he can pull up on your fingers to a standing position and hold it there for a long time just using two of our fingers to balance. Oh, and he now gives kisses. He loves to receive them, but will now plant big ole' wet slobbery ones on you! TEETHING. He doesn't care so much for teething rings, he prefers his cloth or his fingers (or the shoulder seam of my shirt). He is still waking up during the night. He used to be ravenous during those times, now it is more for a 'snack' and a diaper change and he is back down. I'm pleased with the brievty of it... but would love to see him sleep through the night! And last but not least... he's huge :-). He's now 5 months, 3 weeks by birth (4 months, 1 week by gestation)... and is weighing in around 15-16lbs (depending on the time of day). It seems every day that he grows and changes a little more.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bubba's Up!

Number 2... Bubba turns 8! Our fun loving, cheerful, and always hungry Bubba celebrated his party in Camo style. His birthday request... a tank cake. How can you refuse such a funny little face. Oh, and birthdays past :-(

Bubba turns 7

Bubba turns 6! (All the kids received their very own homemade batman cape!)

Bubba turns 5 (sorry no picture with the cake... I didn't make it and not a single one came out well)!

Bubba turns 4!
Bubba turns 3... his first birthday with us!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rain... rain

That's what we've gotten for more than a week now... rain. No, I'm not complaining. It is way better than watering the lawn, and the temp has been much lower... so the air conditioner hasn't been running non-stop. Only down side is that they won't deliver the roofing supplies and put the new roof on till until it stops raining!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


So I'm sitting here studying for an exam I have on Tuesday. I have five down, three to go, and then I earn a professional designation and a bonus and a trip to Orlando. It's worth it. But, I've got my headphones on, and I keep stopping to enjoy the music (and now to blog).

It occurs to me that while I do like my job and the security it brings, it is not my passion. I know it's called "work" for a reason. I don't suppose St. Joseph had a passion for carpentry. He might have liked it well enough. But it was terribly hard work, especially in the days before power tools. As far as jobs go, I have a very good one. It is challenging and even fun sometimes. It requires thinking and planning and negotiating and dealing with people. I like to believe I have a certain talent for it. Besides it pays well enough, I have a decent schedule, good work-life balance, etc. I have no doubt that the Lord led me into this industry and blesses me greatly with the ability to support a family. That is the real passion of my life. My love for my family and my vocation as a husband and father has taken precedence, there is no close second.

But don't you just wish you could have it all sometimes? I know that people who make a living at their "passion" work just as hard as anyone else. They don't enjoy every minute of it. It's about perseverence and slogging through the difficult stuff. I never cared much for music theory. I just wanted to play, man. That seemed too much like "work" to me.

But, I have never had goosebumps sitting at my desk, you know what I mean? There are a few great moments, when I get a good review or sell a nice account. It is satisfying work and it supports my family. No man could want more than that. But is it my passion?...

By the way, practice questions like this are not helping:

From what source must water come in order for damage to be covered under the "water damage" peril in the ISO BPP Causes Of Loss - Broad Form?

In case the anticipation is killing you, the answer is: accidental discharge or leakage of water or steam as the direct result of the breaking apart or cracking of a plumbing, HVAC, or other system or appliance located on the described premises.

Thrilling, right?

I'm sorry, I should be grateful. I really am. But I am awfully jealous of the musicians on these records right now. Alas, there's not a big market for euphonium players who never practice and didn't even make State their senior year. (I was robbed. I'm totally over it.) I will have to settle for a life of enjoying music as an extra-curricular activity.

Anyway, back to the books.

Friday, September 4, 2009

in the air

It is starting to cool off. Okay, still in the 90's most days, but much less humid. I can at least drive to work in the morning without the A/C on. Fall is in the air, and we are getting the camping bug, big time. We already have one trip planned for the first weekend of October (with homeschooling friends), and another one for the weekend after Thanksgiving (Dudes Only).

Last year was our inaugural Dudes Only camping trip, just me and the boys, and while we love our mommy, I think they are of an age where some male bonding is appropriate. (And I know she enjoyed her weekend off - although it may include a Bean this time...) This year, that Thanksgiving trip will include my two best friends from high school and their sons. That will definitely be weird - feeling like a kid again with those guys, and also having six little boys around. Hopefully we've matured a bit since 1994... There will be no fireworks, I promise (another post for another day).

What is real?

Adoptive parenting can be a sticky situation, especially in the beginning. Every one's emotions are so raw at the get go, and every minute can feel like a defining moment in how your new family is going to play out. Time moves on, life begins to settle down and normal sets in (at least in the privacy of your own home).

I know we've written about it in the past, how we felt as if we were simply glorified babysitters in the beginning. We had rules we had to follow because the boys were still considered wards of the state. Our social worker was making regular visits for the first six months. There was always this feeling that this was temporary. Then one day it hits you... these precious, rag a muffin heads are yours and you are theirs. They will eat you out of house and home, and you will love every minute of it.

Back in May when Bean first starting spending time with us, all we were in the situation was a babysitter. A way for my parents to get some rest, and we loved the time with him. I knew it was temporary, and it would be rare time. Then things changed. We went on vacation and when we returned we started keeping Bean almost full-time, by June it was full time with an odd day or two off because of a visitation obligation. Now we are into September, today is his 5 month birth age (3 1/2 month gestational age)... and the only time he is away from us is a few hours on Monday nights while we are at rehearsal and he is at his visit. What was once babysitting, now has become our life... at least that is how we've come to feel.

Unfortunately it isn't so cut and dry. We aren't the only ones involved, ultimately CPS has to make the final decision... and they have a protocol they must work from. So we are actually in complete limbo, not knowing how much time we have left with him. Sadly it could be two weeks, 2 months, or more... we just don't know. I can't even begin to put into words how deeply torn apart I am by this. He is mine, and I am his. What is real today, may not be the reality of tomorrow.

Go check out Heidi Saxton's thoughts on what is real!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Is it bad...

Is it bad if your financial management software suggests setting up "Rosa's Cafe & Tortilla Factory" as a regularly scheduled transaction, to help you manage your budget?

Don't judge us. It's been a rough couple of months, and there is no gluten in this house. Every once in a while, we treat ourselves to take-out after the kids go to bed. Apparently, it's been often enough for Quicken to notice... and we've been getting the same thing every time... mmmmm, tamales....

First week wrap-up

Alright, so we are coming to the conclusion of our first week of school (we only school Mon-Thurs), and all in all I would call it a successful week.

--Snookie and Bobcat both earned perfect scores on their spelling tests... Bubba only missed one.

--Grammar seems to make better sense for everyone this year (so far).

--Snookie still HATES math.

--Everyone seems to be able to retain their bible verse, and can share it with Daddio in the evening!

--I really like my new planner software. I don't have to print things out, write things down or anything like that. I simply have the screen open and read off the page numbers for the kids, I can easily mark assignments completed, and record grades! Well worth the free download!

--Homeschooling with Bean around, not a problem. I sometimes have to step out to take care of a diaper, or put him down for a nap... but I don't know what everyone was so worried about when they warned me on how hard it was going to be... of course none of those people homeschool so how would they know anyway :-).

Pet Peeve word...

Texted... I HATE THIS WORD. To me it sounds just like when Snookie says 'letted' (as in "he letted me do that thing").

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I may be small

but I have good neck control :-)