Friday, June 23, 2017

June Things

Father's Day Weekend:

For Father's Day weekend we went hiking. We did two hikes on Saturday, both part of Leland's work challenge. They were both waterfall hikes and very pretty. 

Afterwards we went to a chalk festival put on by Utah Foster Care. It was really fun. Adele loved the giant bubbles they had and Esther loved getting her face painted. Afterwards she said "now I look just like snapchat!" #moderndaychildrenproblems

On Sunday we had church at 9am so Leland wasn't able to sleep in. He also didn't want pictures taken, :( but it was his day so I let it slide. We did make his favorite cookies and gave him lots of chocolate. 

My Bday:

On Wednesday I turned 24. Now I finally kinda feel old enough to have two kids. Leland's brother Alex was also in town from Texas so Leland took the day off work. We just hung out all day and I took the girls to the library. Then that evening we went to Leland's sister's house for dinner and cake. It was a great birthday. I wanted pictures with my girls #photosaremylovelanguage but Esther wasn't interested. Adele was more than happy to oblige though.

Foster Care Classes: I am almost done with my foster care classes. I have loved going (and spending 8 hours a week out of the house). The classes cover a wide variety of topics like trauma, ptsd, parenting, self care etc. I have learned so much. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the classes.

Now that I am almost done with the classes we just need to make copies of all our documents, take a cpr class and mail everything in. Then we will begin the home study process.

E & A: The girls have been crazy and cute like always. Adele seems to be getting back to her normal self after getting her molars in.

Monday, June 12, 2017

All Esther

Here are some of Esther's latest and greatest quotes. It is so fun how much she is learning and understanding now. 

Me: Esther you need shoes to go outside.
Esther: Mama, my feet like to be free just like Punzel!

Dental Hygenist: I'm going to tickle your teeth with this silly string.
Esther: It's not silly string, it's floss!

Esther singing I'm a Child of God:
Has given me an earthly home, with parents kindof dear. 

Esther: Let's listen to lady gaga!

Esther: "I put water in my eyes. I did. So I can see in the dark. Just like Loki! Loki has water in his eyes and he can see in the dark!"

Come on guy!

Me: in 2 days we're going to grandmas!
Esther: not two grandmas, just one grandma

Me: What is going on out there?
Esther: Don't worry, I'm wiping Adele's tears.

Esther: I have an owie on my toe.
Me: Oh what happened?
Esther: Kitty bite me!
Me: Are you sure that's what happened?
Esther: Yeah she did! She put her head down and bite me! Mean little kitty...

Me: Look there's a big crow.
Esther: That crow ated our carrots! Mean little big crow! Get out of here crow!

Esther: I'm a good mama to dumbo. 
Me: Yeah, but what about Mrs. Jumbo?
Esther: She not his Mama, IIIIII his Mama! I take good care of Dumbo. 

Getting ready for the splash pad
Esther: "Mama you don't have your swimsuit on!"
Me:"Yeah I'm not getting wet."
Esther:" You're going to walk on the water just like Heavenly Father?!?" 

Esther: "I stuck my hands in the butter of goo"

Adele was wearing a ruffly romper.
Esther: What is Adele wearing?
Me: A romper.
Esther: She's a princess now! She's not Gusgus anymore!

At a restaurant (loudly)
E:Mama, you have a baby in your belly?
Me: No, there's not a baby in my belly right now. 
Esther: I want to go back in your belly...

Esther hands me flowers and says "Here Mama, you get married with these flowers and then have a baby in your belly".

(She went through pregnancy obsession phase 😂)

After I had accidentally dropped something in the toilet.
Esther: Oh, stupid Mama.
*I was trying so hard not to laugh, but later we had a talk about the word stupid*

Esther: Adele is mine. She is my baby. She is my favorite baby.

Esther introducing Adele to some kids at the park. "This is my baby Adele and she is my best friend!"

Esther: "I can do it all by myself-is"

After her foot fell asleep
"There are bugs in my foot! Now I'm turning into a raisin!"

Esther looking through pictures in the scriptures. "In this one Jesus is sad because his Mama is gone and in heaven. In this one he is happy because his Mama came back from heaven!"

Esther was running away when I was trying to get her ready for bed.
Me: Esther come back, why are you running?
Esther: I'm nervous about you.
Me: Why are you nervous?
Esther: I'm afraid of you and your mean eyes!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Adele at 16 Months

Adele is 16 months old as of May 28th. So time for an update and way too many pictures. :)

Adele was pretty hard as an infant. She had reflux for her first 6 months, wouldn't sleep unless next to me or in the swing, wouldn't take a binky or a bottle and nursed alllllll the time. Still I love babies and I love her and it didn't really bother me that much. 

1 year olds are harder for me. Esther was an easy baby, really hard at 1, a little easier at 2 and a lot easier at 3. It looks like Adele is on the same track (hopefully). 1 year olds are just hard for me, they can't communicate, can't follow commands, can't understand or wait or anything. Both girls have had lots of tantrum at age 1 and Esther's lessened after that. Maybe I have unrealistic expectations for them but most of the time it seems like they don't even know what they want. They're just trying to figure everything out. I think terrible ones are more accurate than terrible twos for my kids. 

Adele is a big Mama's girl and is in a separation anxiety phase right now. (I'm really hoping it's just a phase.) She wants me to hold her and play with her all day. If I walk out of the room she cries, if I go to the bathroom she cries and pounds on the door. Usually if we aren't at home she is better as long as I am close by, like at the park. She doesn't do it with Leland or anyone else who watches her. It makes it really hard to get things done but I try to remember that she is more important than a clean house. When I remember that and take the time to hold her she is usually less fussy for a while. 

Surprisingly Adele loves to go to nursery. Even though she isn't 18 months yet, she started going in when we drop Esther off and doesn't want to leave. Since Esther is usually the only one in nursery the teachers don't mind. They love Adele and want her to stay ha. So we have started leaving her for half hour or so and she loves it. 

Adele has been teething and hasn't been as big on food as she used to be but she still eats pretty well. Her favorites are blueberries, cuties, strawberries, and spaghetti. She still loves to nurse and will ask to all the time on a fussy day, but on a normal day she usually nurses 3-4 times and once at night. I nursed Esther to 16 months so I've passed that now with Adele. Breastmilk is so healthy for her and it gets her to sleep really quickly so I'm totally fine going for a while longer. She loves her milk and will now say and sign "milk milk please" whenever she wants it. It is so cute it's hard to resist!

Adele loves Esther "DehDer"  most of the time. They play well together half the time and fight over toys the other half. It is so cute how much Adele tries to be like Esther and is influenced by her. Adele now loves princesses and recognizes Cinderella anywhere we go, same for Dumbo. We will have to get Adele her own Dumbo soon since she loves Esther's so much. I am glad that they have each other and I'm sure they'll be closer as they get older. 

Adele loves to talk and has really picked up words quickly, probably thanks to Esther talking so much. Some of my favorites are Dumbo (buhbo), Cinderella (Rellra for all princesses), and Oh No which she says whenever something drops. She also knows most of the basic body parts and most animal sounds.

Her signature "hold me" stance. 

Little runway model :) 

Her hair is getting longer and lighter in the sun. 

She loves to eat with a spoon so she can be just like Esther. 

Even though she has her tough points she is so adorable. I love seeing her discovering everything and experiencing it for the first time. She is still so cuddly and loving and will give me kisses all day. I love you so much my sweet Baby Dell!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

On Becoming Foster Parents

I will write another post about our reasons and making the decision to be foster parents in another post but for now I wanted to talk about what we are doing now to prepare + get licensed to welcome a foster child into our home. I will also post a little more information about foster care for anyone wondering.

So our first step was to schedule an appointment with a recruiter. We played phone/email tag forever and finally we met with her in a short meeting in our home, just to go over the requirements and get a little more information about what is it all about. 

Our next step was to take the pre-service training classes, which in Utah is 8 four hour classes in the course of a month. I was really worried about how we would make it to all of these with Leland's work schedule and our own kids but everything worked out so well. Leland took the classes in May and I am taking them in June. We would have loved to take them together but this way it eliminated the need for us to find a babysitter each time. Also Leland was able to take classes in the city where he works which was such a blessing because they started right after he gets off AND the building where the classes were held was close enough to his work and the train that he could bike to all three. It was really all so perfect that it built my testimony that this is what the Lord wants us to do. Of course taking the time to go to the classes is a pretty big sacrifice but we both have really loved the classes so much and learned a lot about parenting.

As I am finishing up my classes we will work on our application which is pretty intense and includes physicals, background checks, fingerprinting, writing emergency plans plus so many other documents and paperwork. Once that is submitted and approved we will do our home study and then (assuming we pass) our home will be officially opened for children in care. Then we will wait until we get a call for a child. We are expecting to be licensed by August and hopefully have a child by the fall. As I said in my other post we will be having the age range of 0-3, being open to any race or gender. 

It is really strange and hard to prepare for a foster child. Luckily we are already in baby mode and have pretty much everything we need. As we get closer to our home study we will be buying another crib that converts to a toddler bed (in case we get a 2 or 3 year old) and preparing a place for the new baby. I have bought a few boy blankets and outfits, but since we don't know the size or age we can't buy much yet. Luckily we have a lot of gender neutral stuff in all sizes from the girls, plus tons of girl clothes so we are all set if we get a girl.

We have also been trying to prepare Esther, but obviously in a simple way she can understand. I have been super hesitant to tell her in case we don't get approved for some reason, but we are always taking about future babies and all the kids we are going to have in our family. So it was pretty easy and natural to tell her that we are going to classes to learn how to take care of kids, and that we will be taking care of kids until their parents are ready to take care of them again. I'm sure we will go into more depth as it gets closer but for now she is excited. She always says "I think it will be a girl just like me and Baby Dell". :) 

Ok now for some FAQs that no one really asked but I'm assuming people are wondering about. 

Will you be adopting?
The primary goal of foster care is always to reunite the children with their biological parents. Only after every effort has been made to place them with bio parents or other kin will adoption be an option. So although we would be happy to adopt (and we will be licensed for adoption), we aren't expecting to, especially right away. I do really feel on a spiritual level that a child we be a part of our forever family through adoption, but whether that happens sooner or later we will be happy to help children through foster care for as long as the Lord needs us to. 

Aren't you worried about how this will affect your kids?
Short answer, yes. Having young children was my biggest hesitation when deciding to do foster care, but ultimately we just kept feeling that this is what the Lord wants us to do, and He needs people to do it. I know if I was having another pregnancy and biological child I would  be feeling the same things, if not more so. I surprisingly feel at peace about how our children will handle things. Of course our age range that we have decided on is based upon the stage we are in now as a family and what we feel we can offer at this time in our lives. 

Don't you worry about getting too attached then giving them back?
So honestly this has never been one of my concerns. I know I will fall in love with them and I know it will probably break my heart to see them go. That being said I know that the heartbreak these kids have gone through is so much worse. They really need people to fall in love with them and not hold back affection just because they might be leaving, Also I think the fact that we already have children will make things easier. We aren't relying on these kids to make us a parents or expecting anything from them. We will just try to love them and help them the best that we can.

Now for a few disclaimers. 

1. We do not think we are amazing people for doing this and I hope you don't think so either. We are not angels, heroes or "special" in any way. We are far from perfect parents and definitely not perfect people. We are just normal people trying to do what we feel the Lord has asked us to. Even though we are excited. we are also scared and nervous to do it. To be honest there have been times when I really didn't want to do this right now, but I know that Heavenly Father is aware of these children and wants them to be in good homes. There is such a need for foster parents right now, and after looking into it more we just couldn't say no. 

2. That being said we know foster care is not right for everyone. We are not trying to recruit or convince anyone to do it.  But I hope I can inspire others with my story, just as I have been so uplifted and encouraged by scouring the internet for other families' stories. I do hope if there is anyone out there who is like me and has felt the pull and promptings to do foster care but has been putting it off will take the time to pray and see if it is what the Lord wants you to do. I know it will be a challenge but as I said I already feel so much peace and hope when thinking about what the future holds for us. 

Lastly a great article about foster care.

 As always I'm pretty much an open book so if you have any questions feel free to ask. 

Images by Freepik