Friday, August 29, 2008

We have a date

We finally received permission from the MN Dept of Human Services Commissioner to adopt Baylee & Caleb. Our court hearing is scheduled for the afternoon of September 23rd. Which means, they SHOULD legally become our children on that day. I stress the should, however, because as we have learned, nothing is ever certain.

Our court date with Amata was in mid-July last year, but her adoption wasn't able to be finalized that day because on July 1st there was a law change that all adoptive parents had to be fingerprinted and have a new background check done after the fingerprinting. But, they of course did not have the correct cards to use for that fingerprinting until around July 10th. And of course, since it had not previously been required, they had quite a few to do at that time, so even though they SAID it should only take 5-6 days...ours took three weeks. And when ours did finally come back, the judge was on vacation. And as we all know, when you get back from vacation, there is always a lot of work waiting on your desk, so you can't always get it all done right away. It was mid-August before her adoption was finally done.

However, barring any new law changes between now & then, or any major catastrophes, it should happen on the 23rd. I’m just surprised it’s happened so soon... Caleb won’t turn 2 until the end of October! (24 months is supposed to be the statutory maximum time frame for a child to be in foster care until they are adopted.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We Must Be Fair

Tyler has been on a "fairness" kick lately. The problem is, he only likes it if being fair is good for him. Since school starts next week, Chris told the boys they would have to start having their school bedtimes again so they can get used to it again. Last year, Tyler's bedtime was moved back so he got to stay up 1/2 hour later than Cameron.

On the first night, it was 9 when we remembered and told the boys to go to bed. Of course, Tyler came running into the room to remind us that Cameron was supposed to have gone to bed a half hour earlier. Seriously, I think he had been sitting downstairs just waiting for this to happen to that he could come up & throw a fit.

Last night Cameron had a soccer game & so we were running a little behind once we finished dinner and everything. So again, Cameron didn't get to bed earlier than Tyler. So we again had to go through the same argument about how he didn't get to stay up until 9 until he was in 6th grade & Cameron's only going into 5th and on and on and on and on and on.

Being the very mature parents that Chris & I are, we kind of egged him on a little bit. I said, well, you didn't have to clean the bathroom when you were 10, so I guess Cameron shouldn't have to do that yet, you'll have to do it all the time. And Chris pointed out that Tyler didn't have to empty the dishwasher when he was 10, so Cameron shouldn't have to do that, Tyler will have to. And Tyler didn't have to give Amata & Caleb baths when he was 10 so Cameron shouldn't have to do that. (Seriously, Amata will stay in the tub for an hour if you let her. I don't mind shampooing her and all that, but I have better things to do than sit in the bathroom watching her play for an hour, so we like to have the boys supervise that part.)

And do you know what he said??? "That's fine. I don't care as long as I get to stay up later than Cameron." Nothing like cutting off your nose to spite your face! The extra chores will probably take up more than a half an hour of his time. And, of course, anything new we decide to have them help with, Cameron shouldn't have to do it for another 2 years, right?? We might be willing to rethink all of this...once Tyler concedes that we are right and life will never be completely fair.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A new low...

Or more accurately, a new high. We went to Subway for dinner the other night. I do like Subway for myself, however, not so much for the kids. Both boys have decided they are too old for the kids menu, which is normally fine. However, my issue with them & Subway is that they do not add toppings, so it takes a lot more sandwich to fill them up. Tyler has to have a foot long with just ham & cheese. Cameron only gets a 6-inch, but his only topping is mayo. I don't always let them get chips or a cookie, but I was really hungry that night, and of course I can't get chips unless the kids do. By the time it was all said & done, our bill came to $39 and change...AT SUBWAY! I'm just saying...if I'm going to pay almost $40 for a meal, I think it should at least come on a plate!

Friday, August 22, 2008


We parked our camper at a seasonal site this year, because pulling a camper with a Suburban with $4/gallon gas did not sound like a very good idea. This has enabled us to go up there more often, and Chris & I can take turns since Baylee does not camp so very well. Caleb is hit & miss with how he does.

But Chris did take 4 of the kids a couple of weeks ago. They seemed to have a pretty good time! Nothing like a good campfire...especially when clothing appears to be optional!

And who doesn't like hot dogs, chips & juice packs?

And of course burning the garbage is always fun.

They even had time to hunt for lightening bugs. Amata loves hunting for "buggies"....I can't say I'm sorry I missed that part!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

No TV Needed

Chris & I have been having discussions lately about the TV in our living room. We went for several years without having a TV at all in there, but as the boys have gotten older, and we've had more kids, I finally caved & we put a TV in there. But I wanted a nice TV, not some big huge thing that becomes the focal point of the room, so we got a flat LCD TV that I think looks nice in there. Granted, it is not a high-def TV (I don't think) which bothers Chris a whole lot more than it bothers me. Especially since we have a high def TV in the downstairs family room, so if he feels the need to watch football in high-def, he still can.

A month or two ago, though, there was a minor mishap. I think I have mentioned before that Caleb LOVES balls. And he loves to throw balls. And one day he threw a baseball and hit that TV. Personally, I don't think it's as bad as it could have been. It apparently broke the crystals where it hit, so there is an outline of a circle about the size of a nickel. And for some reason, it has spread some, so there is a thin black line that's a few inches long. Personally, it doesn't really bother me much. You can still see the program that's on, and the black hole is small enough that it doesn't cover up anything important.

It does, however, really bother Chris. He wants to move the big TV from downstairs up into the living room, and move this one downstairs for the kids to use. Or he wants to buy a new one. I don't care for either of those options. At least until enough crystals turn black to really affect the TV, I just want to leave it as is.

Besides that, Chris has been starting to get a saltwater fist tank set up again. (Long story short, Amata decided to feed the fishies in his last saltwater tank and dumped the whole can of food in...oops!) He finally got it to the point where he can start adding fish, so he bought a clown fish (aka Nemo) the other night. So, really, as far as Amata & Caleb are concerned, why do we even need a TV?...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

He sure seems to have a big mouth.

For the past several years, every time I take Tyler to the dentist the dentist calls me into the room and says that he's concerned about the lack of space for Tyler's permanent teeth to come in. As the dentist put it, "He's got Cadillac teeth in a Volkswagen garage."

He kept recommending that we take him to a consultation with an orthodontist. We've always known that Cameron was going to end up needing braces, but not Tyler. He's always had such nice, big, strait teeth. But since the consultation was free, I did finally make an appointment for him. The orthodontist basically said there definitely is a spacing issue on the top, and the next step would be 360 degree x-rays, which cost around $350.00. I told them we'd have to think about it and never went back.

Then, every time I take Tyler to the dentist, he'd always ask when I was going to follow up with the Orthodontist. I finally tried to nicely tell him we decided not to go any further with that. I just cannot justify paying over $5000.00 for braces on teeth that are strait. I realize that if there is not enough space they may become crooked, but really we were just talking about his eye teeth, and I still cannot justify that kind of money for 2 teeth.

Luckily, the dentist did accept our decision and told me that he would then recommend pulling 2 teeth on the top to make room for the eye teeth. That, I can handle. Because that is something insurance will least 80% of it. But seriously, look at these nice teeth....could you really justify braces for them??? (This was taken after the teeth were pulled, so as you can see, he now has plenty of room for those eye teeth.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Early Mornings

For some reason, Caleb has begun waking up around 3 AM several times in the last few weeks. And sometimes, he seems to think that he wants to stay up when that happens. However, when you wake up at 3 AM, this is what you look like by 6 AM...

I won't even mention what mom or dad look like by then, since we don't have the option to sleep all day! I love him, but he really needs to learn what the appropriate time to wake up is...during the week he is welcome to be up around 7, and 9 would be better on the weekends!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mind your business...

Chris & Tyler are in Michigan for the weekend, so it was just me, Cameron & all of the babies. And, as I alluded to a few days ago, we needed food. Big time. I figured it was also probably about time to get Cameron's school supplies, so off to WalMart we went. And I felt I was pretty prepared, too, since I knew this would not be a quick trip. I fed them before hand, had an extra bottle for Baylee, drinks.

They all did pretty well, too. The main difficulty lately, however, is that for some reason at this WalMart, I can never find those carts that have 2 seats for toddler size kids. And believe me, I've looked. I case the parking lot to see if there are any in the cart coral's and I check both entrances, but there are none. Was there some recall that I don't know about?? Luckily, I did have Cameron with, so I took the cart with Baylee & Caleb, and he took the cart with Amata.

Like I said, they all did great. Until we got to the check-out when Baylee decided to poop. I did make her wait until I finished checking out, but since it is a half hour from our house, I did have to change her before we could leave. So I pushed the carts over to the side and asked Cameron to watch Caleb & Amata while I changed Baylee.

When I got back, Amata was of course not standing by Cameron, so I told her to get over by the cart, and Cameron was picking up Caleb. A lady was standing near him and said "be careful with him". Amata looked at her and said "Are you the cops?" I tried not to laugh. I said, "no, honey, she's the boss," because she appeared to be a supervisor of some sort, or maybe a trainer for a cashier. She replied that he almost fell out, trying to give me a scowl, because I guess I didn't appear concerned enough. (Okay, at all, he didn't fall, did he?)

It has always been a pet peeve of mine when people who do not know me or my children try to judge me because I am not usually a worrier. Kids get bumps & bruises, it's part of life. Caleb is my forth child. The three that are older than him are all still alive, and there've been no major injuries, so I think I've done okay. It's not like I left him alone, Cameron in 10, and is perfectly capable of keeping an eye on Caleb for the 2 minutes it took me to change Baylee. And he didn't fall out of the cart, because Cameron was there to grab him. As it was, he had climbed halfway out of the cart 2 other times and looked like he would have landed feet first if I hadn't grabbed him. And besides, if they had the carts I was looking for, I would have been able to strap him into the seat. There is only so much I can do with 3 kids who need a cart and only 2 people to push those carts.

I probably could have let Amata or Caleb walk, but I have a feeling they wouldn't have liked that, either. Neither of them are the type to just walk nicely and stay next to me without touching anything.

This happened another time to me at a WalMart, which is disappointing because it is one of my favorite stores. (Say what you will about WalMart, but it is the only store around here that I can get everything I need in one spot, because with car seats and all, the fewer car rides the better)

That time it was a customer who was worried because Tyler had Caleb up on his shoulders. At the time, Caleb was about 12 months old and she looked up at him and then to me and said "That's pretty high." I was pretty proud of myself for not responding, I just smiled & kept walking. Pretty high, really??? You'd understand if you've seen my family. I am 5' 2 1/2", Chris is maybe 5' 10", none of us are really very high.

Oh, well. What can you do? We all made it in and out of WalMart safely, and we now have food in our house, so all is good.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Just Odd

Chris & I have been continuing to send out resumes, but we're both being pretty picky so it will probably be a while. I went to one place yesterday that wouldn't let me submit my stuff online. I think the point is so they can do a mini interview and 2 short tests that I think my 10 year old could have passed. (I sure hope I did okay on it.)

The guy who I met with, though, was a little odd. He was extremely pre-occupied, and was in the middle of eating his lunch, or dinner, or whatever it is called at 4:00. He asked me what my first name was 3 times. He asked where I worked and I said for the City of W**** and he said what town is that in? He was also way too impressed with the watermark on my cover letter (it was just a template off of MS Word). After I finished filling out the application and the tests, he said okay, I just want to ask you a couple of questions. Then he asked one question. The whole thing was so odd, I can't even remember what that question was.

I was very glad I had a pen in my purse to fill out the application because he handed it to me, never even offered me a pen, and then went to his desk an started signing a bunch of letters. He would ask me things periodically, though, so I wasn't sure if I should be filling out the ap or answering his questions.

Now, in his defense, they normally just hire people to work on the factory floor, but I was very clear that I was looking for an accounting position when I called BEFORE I drove up there. At one point he even said he had a buddy that was starting his own business and might need some help with payroll. (I'm looking for a little more stability and benefits than a "buddy" just starting a business.)

I don't think I'll be holding my breath for a call back from that place! I'm really starting to lean more towards hoping Chris finds a job first so I can stay home with the daycare. I may need to work on my patience a little, but those kids aren't usually as odd as this guy was!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

She's how old?

This picture was taken of Amata last summer while we were on vacation, when she was only 2. I've always liked it because it clearly shows what an attitude this girl has...and again, she was only 2 at the time!

I really can't remember what brought on this particular pose, but it must have been bad.

Fast forward to dinner last night. We ended up going to the DQ because it was soccer night, plus another mandatory school meeting, this time for Cameron beginning band. While we were ordering she decided that she needed a purple drink with her meal. Not grape, purple, just in case there was any confusion. Lucky for her, you can get an Arctic Rush with their kids meals, so I got her the purple drink.

While we were eating, Chris looked over at her and asked if her purple drink was good. (I know, how dare he?) Amata looked up at him, rolled her eyes, and said, literally, with a big breath, like how could he even bother her to ask that, "Ah, yeah, it's yummy in my tummy."

If the attitude wasn't bad enough, the girl seems to have a special talent fibbing. She slapped Chris' leg and when he told her not to hit, she informed him that she didn't hit him, she was just giving him "5" on his leg.

This is on top of the fact that we can no longer trust her when she says she went to the bathroom on the potty. Because we give out candy for that....and Amata likes candy. So now, 2 phrases that we hear often at our house are, "Wanna come see my poop?" and "Wanna come hear me pee?" I totally wish I was making that up, but it is true. She had been going into the bathroom, hanging out, playing in the sink or doing whatever, except going potty on the toilet, and then coming downstairs saying that she pooped in the potty and needed a candy...despite the fact that her Pull-Up was wet, so obviously she didn't make in to the potty.

I am so not looking forward the the teenage years with that girl!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

So Young...

One of the things we had going on last week was to take Tyler to a mandatory meeting for any student taking part in extra curricular activities who are 7th Grade or older. Of course this meeting was at 7, and Cameron had soccer practice until 7 for which Chris is the coach. So on the way to the meeting, we had to drop the babies off at the practice. And of course I was running late, so I literally plopped them down at the edge of the field & told them to wait there for Chris. They must have even listened okay because they all made it home - that's always a bonus.

I found it pretty sad that we had to go to this meeting, given that Tyler is only 12 years old. The gist of the meeting was that if they were caught drinking, smoking or doing drugs, or if they were in possession of any alcohol, cigarette's or drugs they would be suspended from their activity for anywhere from 2 weeks to year. I realize that it is necessary, since there are children that young who do use controlled substances. I just think it is really sad. Where are those kids' parents? I can guarantee you that Tyler has not partaken in any of that, since I seriously know where he is & who he is with at all times.

Unfortunately, given that we have been doing foster care for the last 6 years, I am well aware where some of their parents are! I just never understand why these people even have kids and if they insist on having them, why do the keep them...there are plenty of people who would love to adopt them and give them a good home! It's just frustrating. No matter how long we do foster care, that is one thing I will never understand.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Getting There

As I mentioned things have been a little busy around here, lately. I finally have the first draft of the budget done...although I'm sure there are some typo's. Spell check doesn't work very well when half of the the words are only partial words. Oh well, it's done, with an hour to spare, so I'm not complaining. I still need to finish payroll, but since everybody has gotten their checks, nobody really seems to care when I the rest of it done.

At home is another matter all together. To give you an idea on just how bad my house looks right now, when THREE year old daughter had to go to the bathroom last night, she complained because the bathroom was "ucky"! Now, do I really need to mention who probably had a hand in making the bathroom so "ucky"? I realize the whole house needs a good cleaning, but I really didn't think a three year old would notice!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Is it break time??

I have been so busy lately, I haven't had much time to up date this blog. Especially with any new pics. We've seriously had something going on EVERY SINGLE NIGHT this week, last weekend we were gone, this weekend Cameron & I will be gone, the weekend after that Chris & Tyler will be gone....and some time I really need to go up & see Jared (our last foster child who's currently in a group home.) Soccer has started, plus Chris got roped into coaching, so that is 2-3 nights a week, Tyler will have football practices starting in a week, someday I should probably get my kids some school supplies, too. And there is no food in my house. The last 2 "meals" I have made were Ramen & Mac n Cheese, and chicken nuggets with hash brown patties, because I didn't even have any tator tots or fries in the freezer. Seriously, I looked in the cupboard last night and there were I think 6 cans of stuff & some elbow macaroni. I do have plenty of cereal, though, so at least they won't starve!

Plus work has been crazy! (Not that I would be working on my blog at work, or anything... :-) ) Council meets Monday night and they are kind of expecting to have the first draft of their 09 budget, which is not even close to being done. Nor are the bills or any of my other reports that they generally expect to see done yet.

On top of that, I'm still keeping an eye out for possible employment opportunities.

Hopefully things will slow down at little bit soon!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Tyler, Chris & I went to a Twins game over the weekend. We hadn't all been to a game in over 2 years, so we were looking forward to it. Cameron doesn't like to go to the games...he just likes the free stuff. So he & the babies stayed with my sister for the evening. Not only was it free DQ hat night, we also got free Twins magnets & free t-shirt to someplace that has bizarre food (I don't have a clue where it is, but it was free, and it makes a great night shirt or paint shirt). Cameron was happy, I am not a hat person and there was no way that T-shirt was going to fit me.

On the inside of hats, 30 of them had a green sticker which meant that you won a prize, and guess what??? I won! I seriously NEVER win anything, so I was pretty excited. That was until I realized that I literally had to walk half way around the Dome to pick up my prize. Which meant that I really had to walk all the way around the Dome, since I had to get back to my seat. All of that to find out I won a free DQ cake! Apparently, they wanted to make sure I walked off the calories from the cake before I eat it.

It was nice that we ended up with so much free stuff, because the Twins lost that game. And Tyler is not allowed to go to anymore games. As of Sunday, they had won 7 out of their last 9 games. Guess how many games Tyler had been to in that time? That's right, he was at 2 of them. I'm just saying, that seems kind of suspicious since we don't go to very many games as it is.

I think part of the problem was that he was too busy complaining that we wouldn't walk half way around the Dome again to get him a sundae in a hat. (Never mind the fact that he already had a hot dog, chips, large pop, and nachos...which of course at a sporting event cost more that a steak & lobster dinner would have.) Can somebody please assure me that at some point my children will start to appreciate what we give them & the places we take them without complaining that they should have more?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Benefits are sometimes Negatives

My interview last week went pretty well. I wouldn't say it was the best I've ever had, but the one time I did think an interview went awesome, I didn't get the job, so obviously, I am not a great judge of that! They thought they'd make a decision by the end of the week.

But as much as I am ready to move on, I'm not sure if I will take the job, if they offer. The actual job sounds great, it sounds like it is basically doing the accounting, books & payroll for several different companies, which is the part of my job that I really do like. The problem is that I have REALLY good benefits with the City.

I don't pay anything towards the premium for family insurance coverage and the City even pays up the deductible up to $500.00. Seriously! That includes vision & dental insurance. I also only live a mile away, and we close at 4, so I am usually home by about 4:05. The company I interviewed with is open until 5 and it is quite a drive. Plus, I would have to pay 300-500 per month towards the insurance premium, depending on which one I chose. They did say that the hours can be a little flexible, and there was a possibility of doing some telecommuting down the road, but of course none of that is guaranteed.

So we'll see if they even offer me the job to begin with, and if the pay will make it worth losing some of my benefits. In the mean time, we'll just keep looking!