Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Three Under Three

I had all intentions of being a better blogger this week after my little break, but then life through us a curve ball on Monday evening and right now, we're in plain survival mode.

We're currently the parents of three children under the age of three.

Yes, it is as crazy as it sounds and you can all take a moment to say "bless your heart!"

I should back up a bit and tell you that after lots and lots of discussion, we decided that we felt like our DFACS journey wasn't quite over yet. We felt like we had learned a lot over the last placement and we knew now the questions to ask before any major decisions were made. We also felt like that even though we knew some people in our family would be hesitant, we decided we wanted to do straight foster for now and if adoption was ever a possibility, we would consider it then. The reality is that even though fostering can be heartbreaking, it is still a job that needs to be done. With the leaving of Destiny, we felt like we could handle sending any kids back, as long as we knew they were going to a safe place.

So, on Monday, we finally felt like it was time to call our caseworker and tell her we were ready to take on placements. We did have a few changes in what we who we would take in our home. To keep Olivia safe, we told them that anyone who they called us for, had to be Two and under. We knew that would throw us into a large pot of foster parents and it would probably be a while before we got any calls. We decided we would just bump up the age as Olivia got older.

Sure enough, not even an hour after talking with our caseworker, she called back saying that another county west of us was looking for an emergency placement that night for a two year boy and a 7 month old girl, would we be interested? We said yes after a little bit of information and then waiting two hours to hear back from the kids caseworker, they asked us if we could come to their office to meet them, so we woke up OK from her nap and headed their way for a little bit of a drive.

I'll be honest in that the first 24 hours were rough. There was only one moment that I thought "what the heck are we doing?" but today we've kinda settled into a somewhat of a routine and things honestly cannot be going any better. I'm even here by myself holding down the fort.

Olivia and A.J. (name changed), are getting along wonderfully. They are right at the same age and keep each other pretty entertained. They have their moments like any two years do, but they are having a blast with each other. A.J> is the first person Olivia asks for when she waked each morning.

The baby is doing okay, but having a rough week due to teething, an injury, and vaccinations. I'm surprised at how fast I have seemed to forget all the baby stuff. She came to us with nothing and that included a schedule, so our biggest hurdle is figuring one out. She however does remind me of a little Olivia in the fact she wants to be "a big kid" so bad. Baby is already trying to follow the big kids around and gets quite frustrated when she cannot keep up. Hopefully, we can figure out the schedule thing over the next few days.

So far, things are going really well. This has been a completely different experience than with Destiny. Even though our house is loud and toy are everywhere, things are going much more smoother this go round. Everyone, including us three, seem to be adjusting really well. In fact, David even said last night that things seemed to be more natural this go round even with it only being a couple of days. I'm sure it all boils down to the age of the kids.

Oh, and they both sleep like champs!!!

I am so not use to having a kid that sleeps like these two! Olivia is of course up at her usual hour both mornings, but its been nice, because I've made sure to sit down with her and have some just us cuddle time while the other two are still sleeping. Olivia is also the official "little mama." She is always right beside me trying to help with the baby and she has no problem bossing A.J. around.

And because I know I'll get those questions, for right now, we are looking at this as a temporary thing. There is already the possibility of adoption opened to us if we want to go forward. However, we've decided to see how the month goes before we rush into any permanent decisions. Also, A.J. does have a medical issue that we are wanting to learn more about before we make a decision. Its not that we are looking for "perfect children," we want to make sure for A.J.'s best interest, we'll be able to provide the care that he needs long term. We've already done a good bit of research on his condition, but we are waiting on an appointment to talk to his specialist to get the full details and to make sure we understand what care he'll need from us in the future if this becomes a permanent placement.

So, if I'm not around much this week, that is my excuse.

We're in survival mode, but we're having a blast.

Plus, my apologizes that I have not gotten around to taken pictures yet. It's on my to do list this afternoon and I'll try to post some soon.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hello....

Anyone still out there?

I'm assuming not after that little break.....that turned into a couple of weeks.

It's bad when those who read your blog regularly and whom you see in daily life just quit asking if your ever going to blog again.

This is the first time I've opened my computer since then. I'm even more ashamed to admit that I haven't even picked up my camera once since I got a new phone that same week.

I have no excuses, other than I needed a little break.

We've been busy doing a whole bunch of I don't know what.

Just been busy with everyday life like everyone else.

Olivia and I did take a trip to Nashville, to visit my Mom & John. I must say it was probably one of my favorite trips up there to date. Olivia was spoiled rotten by her Grandma and Granddad...oh, and her Uncle Josh. I got to sit back and relax a bit, while others kept her entertained. We spent the long weekend looking at Christmas lights, having Mother/Daughter dates, lots of eating, and just enjoying our time together.

Olivia is a great car rider and did great the whole trip, so I'm excited to start heading their way more often now. However after four nights a sofa bed, I was very ready to get home to my own bed.

And to Dave. I miss him so much when we travel, but it's the life we chose.

Speaking of the life we chose....I've had a lot of questions lately from those in real life and I figured I'd just clear it up on here. I was pretty open during the summer that Waffle House had cut Dave's pay and we were freaking out a little. Okay....I was freaking out a lot. I had never mentioned it on here, but David did go on a couple of other job interviews, one that when pretty far in the interview process. Far as in, they offered him a job. It would have been a total lifestyle change for us, but unfortunately after a going back and forth a few times, they could not pay what we were asking for. They did however set up one last interview to try to come to terms, but Waffle House started seeing the wrong in their ways and readjusted how they were paying and after a couple of long talks with each other, Dave decided to not go for that last meeting and we're still a waffle house family.

Everyone has their price and fortunately, waffle house decided again to meet ours.

I laughed the other day, because back in the summer when I was freaking out, Dave told me at one point to "stop, breathe, and lets wait till the end of the year before we really freaked out" because he felt like by the end of the year, everything would work out. Four months later, he was right. It did.

He always seems to be right about those kind of things.

That's why I love him.

We also celebrated 12 years of togetherness during my blogging sabbatical.

There is just something special about watching your significant other go from being a boy to a man (or a girl to woman). I'm not saying it makes your love any greater than those couples who meet in their adult years, I do think it gives you a totally different appreciation for your spouse.

Its crazy to look back at everything we've been through in the last twelve years. I can't imagine what the next twelve will bring our way. Either way, I'm excited for it.

Olivia has been handful lately. Last night my Mom called, only to be greeted by me in tears and the sound of David and Olivia in the background fighting over dinner. She is officially refusing to eat ANYTHING. Friday she ate two bananas the entire day. She flat out refused everything else, even her usual favorites. It has made me feel like an awful mother.

I've come to terms that God knows I cannot handle another child till Olivia grows and matures a little more. This child takes and requires everything I've got in me most days. She is such a strong spirit as one of my friends always puts it. I love that about her and (most days) wouldn't change it, but it wears a mom out.

I guess I should mention Thanksgiving since it was just a couple of days ago. We had a great one. I did not take one single picture, so there will not be a whole post of our days activities. We had lunch with David's family and then headed out for dinner with my side. The food was exceptionally good this year. I was excited because both recipes I made got great approval and one request for a copy of the recipe. That is success in my book. I love Thanksgiving and the time spent with family. This years was perfect.

Oh, and yes....the "I'm in bed by 10:00pm every night" girls went Black Friday Shopping. We didn't score everything we were out for, but we did get some good stuff and we survived the chaos. And we had a blast and I think remember saying we wanted to do it again. We're becoming straight up rebels in our almost 30 age!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! : )

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's a start....

I posted on facebook a couple of weeks ago, that we were having issues with Olivia going back and forth between the big girl bed and the crib. For about a year now, we've had a twin size bed in Olivia's room that we used every night to have story time on. So, we didn't get to really use the WOW factor of having a new bed in there for her and I thought that was part of the problem.

After a couple of weeks, I started noticing a trend and decided that Daddy was the one having issues with her sleeping in the big girl bed, not her.

She's been in the bed ever since.

To give her a little bit of the excitement factor of moving up, I decided to go buy a new comforter set and even let her get a say so on which one. I narrowed it down to two and let her pick. I might have been a little excited when she picked the one that was my first pick.

I went to first look at the comforters without her and fell in love with this one. I was almost tempted to buy it for my own bed, but I knew David wouldn't go for it. To me it easily passes for little girls room without being too kiddy.

Also, I went all pink overload with her nursery since I thought it might be my only chance to paint pink on the walls, so I decided I wanted to go with something with not as much pink. This obviously has no pink, but I figured I could throw a little bit in there somewhere.

As far as the transition to the big girl bed....it's been flawless. She hasn't once yet fallen out and still hasn't figured out that she can get out. She doesn't climb out till I come and get her in the mornings. The crib has been taken down and we haven't had anymore back and forth. We're officially moved up.

I will say that it is bittersweet going in to check on her and seeing her laying in that big bed. I won't lie that it has made me cringe for another "little" baby.


This is obviously just the beginning stages of her "big girl" room. I've promised myself that I would work on our room first some before I completely redo her room again. I already have the paint and a few other odds and ends. Like usual, I don't plan on spending much and using a lot of what I already have.

Of course I've been searching Pinterest for ideas for months now and here are a few ideas I'd love to go with.

I've actually had OK's big girl room in my head for years now. I saw a picture in a magazine before I was pregnant and have loved that room ever since. I haven't been able to find that pic, but a few months ago I came across this one on Pinterest and it was seriously exactly the direction I wanted to go with.

(via)

I love everything about this little girls room. The wall color, the neutrals, the pop of color from all the accents, to even the big letter above the bed. I love it all.

I love this vanity set up. I have a vanity (not as elaborate as this one), but I haven't decided if I want to part with it since it's currently functioning in another part of the house. I even have a gold mirror that similar.

(via)

I don't think I'll go with a dresser (though its a great idea), but there is a little wall space between OK's closet door and a built in bookshelf, that would be perfect to do a little dress up station like this one.

(via)

I still have dreams of OK having a little sister to share her room with one day. I've always loved the look of two twin beds in a room. However until then, I think this bed set up and canopy would be a really cute way to set up OK's twin bed and take up more space in her (I know you don't often hear people say that, especially about kids rooms, but her room is a pretty good size). If she does not get the chance to share her room, I plan on buying her a full size bed in a few years.
(Via)

So, it's a start. We've got a long way to go and who knows what the next year might bring our way, to possibly change my plans for her room. Either way, I'm excited.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Weekend.

We had a pretty low key weekend around here.

Friday night, Olivia headed to her Nana & Papa's to spend the night, while I headed over to Nic's for a much needed girls night. David was working if you didn't already guess.

We have no pictures from our girls night. It was pretty low key for us. A couple of people have asked me what we did....Amy made hairbows, Nicole and I played on Pinterest and spent the whole evening yelling across the table "hey...did you see that pin..." I headed home around 2am and have to be completely honest that I was terrified of being pulled over because ANYONE out driving around at 2am is doing something suspicious, right? It's been years since I've been out driving around at 2am. I was totally surprised to see the bar still hoping and lots of other cars on the road. I'm sure that will be my last 2am for a while.

David got permission to get an extra day off this week since he had to work on both of his off days, so Saturday morning we slept in and spent the morning on the couch watching movies on tv. It's also been two years since we've done that. After being lazy all morning we got up and went on a lunch date to Longhorns. We spent the entire meal talking and not once did one of us have to get up to take a little person out of the restaurant.

It was heavenly.

Oh, the little things that you take for granted when you don't have kids.

Sunday we had a friends birthday party to attend to, but I had spent most of the afternoon battling Olivia to lay down for a nap. By the time I got her down, it was too late to head to the party. We are having a really hard time with naps lately. And please don't say "maybe she's phasing them out?" She just turned two...she needs them, believe me. Her attitude shows it. It's literally a battle every day that leaves me emotionally drained. I hate to admit it, but most of the time I let that couple of hour battle leave me with the mindset that we've had a bad day. When in truth, besides nap, it was pretty good.

I've been hearing horror stories about three...if two is this bad, I cannot imagine.

I love this child, but she is a force to be reckoned with.

We have a busy week ahead of us that ends with another weekend with not much planned. Is it sad that I'm already looking forward to the weekend?

I may start pulling my Christmas stuff down. Yeah, I'm one of those people. According to several of my facebook friends, I'm already behind.

I'm excited about the holiday season this year. Olivia is at such a fun age for it all and we're starting some new family traditions this year. I'm excited!!! : )

Bookclub is at my house tonight, so I need to get off here and start being productive.

Happy Monday! : )

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Our weekend, Halloween, and other randomness

This week is getting away from me. Isn't is crazy how some weeks can seem to drag on and the next seem to fly by??? I was starting to feel a little bad about just now getting to posting on our Halloween, but I had a few post in my reader this morning that were titled Halloween, so those feelings passed.

Our Halloween celebrations actually started on Thursday when I joined Olivia at school to celebrate with her pre-school class. They had a special snack and we got to go with them to trick or treat from classroom to classroom. I should've known that Olivia was going to attach herself to me the moment I walked in the door. Her teachers assured me that she is miss. Independent when I'm not around, but she refused to allow me to put her down. She did however decide it was okay to let go of mommy when she realized she was getting candy from the other teachers. Also, she refused to wear her cut piggy costume. I fought with her a minute, but I knew it was a losing battle. I should've known she wasn't going to go for it.


The rest of our Halloween celebrations continued through the weekend. Friday night we meet up with the Popes at a local church Halleluiah Night. These two had a blast running from game to game and bounce house to bounce house. That whole day, I honestly wasn't too up to going and was honestly hoping it would rain like they said it was going to, but Olivia had a great time, so I'm glad we ended up going. Notice we had a costume change from Thursday to Friday. Thankfully someone gave OK a UGA cheerleader outfit for her birthday, so I didn't have to come up with another last minute idea. She actually loved the outfit and was excited about being a cheerleader, though I know she has no clue what a cheerleader actually is.

Saturday morning, Olivia and I spent the morning laying new pinestraw in our flower beds. After a lazy summer, I've slowly been getting back on track with workout regularly, but spending an entire morning doing yard work can wear you out. I was seriously feeling it on Sunday and even still today....maybe it's a sign I need to up my working out?

That evening, David's parents came down and we had an early dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants, 6th Street Pier. We love the atmosphere of the place and the food is delicious too! I'd highly recommend it for any locals reading. It's the first time we've taken OK to a "nice" restraunt in awhile and surprisingly she did awesome. Yes, it helped we went at 5pm and no one else was there, regardless, it was so nice to sit down and actually enjoy a decent meal. We ended our evening with David and his dad working on one of our cars, while my MIL and I built a fire, ate cookies, and watched Hocus Pocus. That's about as scary as we get at our house.

Sunday morning, Olivia and I met my Dad for breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Unfortunately, Olivia can only have one sit down meal a week. Luckily, we made it through but she refused to leave my Dad's lap.

We spent the rest of the day just hanging out at home. To be honest, I was having a rough day and it was just one of those days I was in a funk all day and nothing could shake it. As soon as David walked in from work, I just started bawling for no good reason. I just feel like all my emotions from the last few months are catching up with me. Sometimes though, I just need one of those days. Plus, since turning two, Olivia's stubbornness has seemed to be extreme and I feel like its a battle of will all day long and I'm just emotionally exhausted at the end of every day. I thought she was into everything and stubborn before...well, two is kicking my booty. I'm honestly dreading three because I've been told over and over again, three is worse than two.

One upside to my Sunday is I finally got the chance to meet this precious girl!!!

She is Amy's cousins daughter and I've been dying to get my hands on her from the moment Amy sent me a text pic of her when she was born. She is seriously the most precious thing in the world and I cannot get over how tiny she is! I don't get baby fever too often with newborns, but she definitely had me smitten. If I knew that I could have gotten away with it without having every member of Amy's family tackle me to the ground, I would have walked out with her in my arms. I was good though and handed her back over to her mommy.

Our actual Halloween was pretty low key. We made it to kids gym that morning and then made a target/starbucks run since they are right by the gym. Olivia however refused to nap that afternoon, so when it came time for us to leave to meet our friends to trick or treat....sister was LOSING it!!! So much so that even David was losing it with her and those that know us IRL, know that's rare. So, we decided to skip the actual trick or treating again this year and hand out candy instead. We had a ton more trick or treaters this year than last year and in less than two hours, we had ran out of candy and had to turn out the lights and hide. I bought over two hundred pieces and then even had to give up my bribe sucker stash I keep for OK. Olivia once again this year loved handing out the candy and kept yelling at the kids to come back. It was pretty cute. I'm hoping I can keep convincing her that it's more fun to hand out candy than receive it. It's nice to not have to worry about us pigging out on candy for the next month. I didn't get any pictures from the evening. Apologizes to the grandparents! : )

I've been keeping it to myself, but I've been having some trouble with my right eye lately. A few months ago, I had a little black spot appear in my vision. Of course I googled it and it's one of those things that is either nothing, or pretty bad. I kinda let it go with all the crazyness of the summer, but that eye has started feeling strained lately and bothering me a lot. I finally admitted to Dave what was going on and finally got the nerve to make an appointment with the eye doctor. If you don't know, I have terrible vision. It's finally started to even out these past few years, but I would be lying if I said that one fear of mine is I eventually lose my eyesight. It's really been that bad at times. Put it this way, at one point and time, I was told that I would probably have to have lasik but still have to wear glasses and contacts. I was upset because I thought it was starting to get worse again. David was a sweet husband and went with me this morning and I was a nervous wreck the entire way. I was completely honest with the doctor with what all was going on the symptoms I've been having. He checked me out and even dilated my eyes, but said that my prescription was actually exactly the same and my eyes looked good.

He said that I did have a "floater" in my eye, but that was completely normal for anyone with bad nearsightedness. He said that he in fact had a few in his vision. He said as far as my eyes went, he had no concerns and said that honestly sometimes our eyes will just feel strained for no reason and then it will just pass. We narrowed it down to the fact that it could be due to stress or the fact that I wear my contacts way too long during the day and its eye fatigue. I finally got around to buying a new pair of glasses after having the same pair for ten years, so hopefully that will help. He said to give it a little more time after I get the glasses and if it wasn't any better, than I should go to my regular doctor to look into other things. So, I left feeling better about it all, but still praying for it to correct itself.

Our calendar is quickly filling up and I'm excited about all the holiday events that are starting these next few weeks! I should hopefully have lots to blog about! : ) I'm SUPER excited about a girls night we're having weekend!!! It's been a long needed night!!! Hopefully things won't get too crazy! ; )

Also, say a prayer for my bestie Nicole's brother this afternoon. He's having some major surgery as I type this and though I have full faith that he's going to make a full recovery, prayers are always needed! Thanks! : )

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Family Fun Day #1

In our pre-Olivia days, David and I were known to be day trippers. We would regularly jump in the car and just drive to anywhere to spend the day. As long as we had enough money for gas and food, we were off. Our parents would think nothing of calling us to find out where we were, only to learn that we were in the next state over for the day. We love to explore.

However, Olivia came along and our day tripping days came to a halt. We had been talking for a couple weeks now that we wanted to take a day and drive the short trip to the North Georgia Mountains, but with the holidays coming up, our days are already quickly filling up. This morning we woke up and David said "let's just go today!" After a little grumbling from me because it was last minute (I'm not a last minute kinda gal), in less than an hour, we were on our way North.


I'm going to be a little sentimental for a moment....my Starbucks cup on the way said "Let's Rediscover why we're best friends." That little red cup held the meaning of the day. These past few months have been kinda rough for us as a family. Besides all the stuff I've been open about on here, there has been a lot going on in our extended families too. We're very close with both of our families, so it seems to be coming from all sides lately. We've been so wrapped up with all the stuff going on lately, we've forgotten to be just us and enjoy each other. This spontaneous day was just what was needed for us.


Our first stop was Dahlonega, GA., where we walked around the square and got our fill of fudge and gummy bears.



My new favorite picture.



We then decided to drive up the road a bit and take Olivia to Babyland. Actually, I saw a sign and mentioned it to David and Olivia heard me say "baby" and asked repeatedly where the baby was....so, we had no choice but to head that way.






As you can see, she took to this baby, but at $70....yeah, you read right....there was no way that baby was coming home with us. Luckily, she didn't seem too upset. I'm sure we bribed her with something to get her to leave it behind.


After Babyland and lunch, we drove a little farther north to Brasstown Bald, which happens to be the highest point in Georgia and the views are breathtaking!


Of course you know that no Mabrey trip is without some kinda educational stop.








Olivia randomly being a kitty.

I want it on record to show that they offer van rides to the top of the mountain, but we're cheap-os and didn't want to pay the $6 for the three of us to ride, so we walked up a trail on the side of the mountain.

Yes, we walked from there to up to the top. It was only 6/10 of a mile, but it was steep. Nothing reminds you of how out of shape you are like walking up a mountain.

I'm horrible about getting in the pictures, so David insisted on taking one so everyone will know I was there. So here is proof I was there today.


And here is our family picture from the day. The park was about to close, so no one was around. I've actually never used the self-timer on my camera, so after about ten minutes of trying to figure it out and lots of laughs, we got a family pic of all three of us.

So thankful for those two.

We had a great day together and I cannot wait to do it again. We declared it Family Fun day and we've set a goal to once a month take a day and do something fun as a family. We've actually already planned a few ideas for the next couple of months. I know that those are the things Olivia will remember, not the clothes or toys that I'm continuously buying her. I want her to remember the experiences we share as a family. I'm excited to start this new tradition with her!

Thanks Babe, for the day and pushing me out the door this morning! I had a great day with you two and cannot wait to do it again. Your the best and I love you lots!