Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Continues

Monday morning I got a wild hair and decided to go ahead and put up all our Christmas decor. By noon that day, the decor was up and the house was clean. I usually always wait till after January, but for some reason, I was ready to have it up and done with. I think it sums up how I feel about this past year in general.

However, Christmas celebrations are continuing for Olivia and I. Tuesday morning Olivia and I headed out with the rest of my Dad's family to Richmond, Virginia to celebrate with our family up here. It was a long day of traveling for us, but even after hour 11 in the car, the girl wasn't making a peep. I have never been so thankful in my life.

Olivia and I are both being spoiled all week long. Her with having so many people giving her their full attention and I with being able to sit back and have everyone else wait on her hand and foot. Yes, she's a spoiled rotten little girl, but we cannot help ourselves, she's hard to say no to.

Plus, she keeps calling my dad "Grandma." Its hilarious, though he doesn't seem to think so.

My Aunt Jane's house is probably my most favorite after my own. Her home always feels so cozy and warm. It's always felt like a home away from home.

She's one of those lady's who acts like its no big deal when you ask her about a way she did something or decorated. She just kinda throws stuff on the walls and it always looks good. She does stuff all the time that makes me think "hmmm....what a great idea!"

I wish she'd just come and throw stuff up in my house and make it feel as warm and cozy as her own.


Plus, she's an amazing cook.

We all know better than to even think about starting to eat right till after the new year. We're having our official Christmas dinner tonight and the menu is insane. I've been tortured by having to sit here and smell all the deliciousness she's been cooking all day. I will be wearing my stretchy pants tonight.

That's her working away in the kitchen. She would have refused if I tired to snap her photo, so y'all get her back side.

So, that's all I've got. That's what we've been up to these past few days.

I feel like I've hit a writers block after only a week of being back on the blogging bandwagon. Maybe I'll come up with something....

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Silent Night

After two parties and a little over 30 people in and out this past forty eight hours, our house has suddenly become silent this Christmas night.

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve and Day. The only thing I would have changed was the rain. We had a nasty rain all day long.

I love that we live so close to both of our families still at this time in life. We got to spend both Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with my Dad's side and Christmas afternoon with Davids. We always celebrate the weekend before with my Mom's side.

I can say that we have one spoiled rotten little girl. She got way too much. I told everyone that the girl is obsessed with Play-Doh at the moment and we seriously won't have to buy play-doh for the next two years. It's kept her entertained and quiet for the last three hours, so I'm not complaining.


David did have to work all day, but we got to see him when he ran home for two hours. We miss him, but we've gotten use to him not being around on Christmas, so we don't let it ruin our day.

In his own now famous words "it's the life we choose!"

Our Christmas celebrations are hardly from over yet. Tomorrow, I'll be packing for Olivia and I to head up to Richmond to celebrate with our family up there. We'll be leaving David behind and we're my Dad's responsibility for the week! : )

For now, we're enjoying the Polar Express and a quiet house, while waiting up for Daddy to come home. It's already way past her bedtime, but I have a little girl determined to stay up to greet him.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas day filled with family and love! : )

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

We've been so busy these last few days preparing for our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners, that I haven't had much time to sit and write. Plus, we've been trying to fit in a few last minute Christmas activities.

Like refusing to sit with Santa....

(Picture via Frames By Ames)

Yes, I'm such the sweet wife that I totally made David sit with her while I stood behind the photographer and laughed. Believe me, I'll be paid back I'm sure!

I can say I am now officially in the Christmas spirit and excited to begin our celebrations tonight.

I personally love Christmas Eve more than I love actual Christmas day. There is something that always seems so magical about the evening.

Even though she refused to be in the same room as the guy, Olivia has suddenly taken a interest in Santa and is excited about his visit tonight. We've been talking all week about Santa coming to visit and surprisingly, she's somewhat getting it. She's been running around talking about "Santa" all day!

And before stones are thrown, we've being reading a toddler friendly version of the birth of Jesus every night too. We've talked just as much about baby Jesus as we have Santa.

My Aunt made the comment the other day that Christmas has seemed much more fun these past few years having Olivia to celebrate it with. Before Olivia, it had been a good while since we had celebrated Christmas with a small child and I had to agree. So often, adults get too stressed and overwhelmed with the holiday, that there is something about seeing the excitment of a child to remind you what its all about.

Just in case you didn't receive one in the mail from us....

Merry Christmas from the Mabreys!!!

(Cards via Vista Print)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A battle of wills.

Sometimes, I feel sorry for my husband.

His hands are full with Olivia and I.

She may look nothing like me, but her personality is pretty much all mine.

Part of that personality is that we're both stubborn as mules.

Its a battle of wills between her and I on a daily basis.

Majority of the time, I'd like to say I win those battles.

However, the other day, she completely stole one from me.

Olivia was running around with a stinky diaper, so I walked over to our normal changing spot, sat down, and hollered at her to "come here." We went back and forth for five minutes with me telling her to come lay down and her telling me "NO!" I could hear her voice, but couldn't tell where she was. Finally, I started threatening that if I had to get up, she was going to time out.

However, she continued telling me "no!"

I decided it was time to go after her, so I got up and started heading towards her voice, only to find her on the other side of the room already in diaper changing position.

As soon as I walked up she started clapping, smiling, and saying "YAY, YOU DID IT MOMMA, YOU DID IT!!!!"

I couldn't help but to die laughing and needless to say, she didn't make it to time out.

Clearly, the victory was hers.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I'm loving it.

Its been a long time since I've done a post about the things I'm loving at the moment.

In fact, its been so long, I cannot even find the last one to link up to. I searched till Summer of 2010 and gave up.

Post about things other bloggers are loving are actually some of my favorite to read. I love hearing about new products and what others are loving too. So if you have a blog and don't do those post, please start for me.

What I'm loving....

1. Nestle Coffee-mate Warm Cinnamon Sugar Cookie coffee creamer

Y'all this stuff is like heaven in a bottle. Sometimes I make coffee just for this creamer. Unfortunately, its only available for a limited time, so you better run to get some. This is my plea to Nestle to keep this stuff out all year!!!!

2. Apple iphone 4s

So, we're officially converts. I've seriously been debating for months now whether or not to go with the iphone. There was apart of me that wanted to be a rebel and say I'm not a apple devotee....but, we crossed over that line with one foot last summer when David randomly bought an Ipad. I swore I would never like it, but I did. I loved it. So, back in November when our stupid blackberry's bit the dust, we went in still undecided, but walked out with two new iphones. I love this phone like no other. I tried to explain to my dad that I don't know what it is about it, but I feel like my life is complete with it. I do not see myself ever going back now. I'm officially an apple devotee.

3. Shake Heaven by Montell Jordan



Olivia and I having been dancing to this song all season. We may or may not listen to it five or six times in a roll. If this song doesn't get you up and dancing....I have nothing to say to you!

4. Amazon Prime
If you asked me what my favorite store is, I'd honestly answer Amazon. I've been a Amazon devotee for years now. Its become my first place to look for anything. There use to be a saying that if walmart didn't have it, you didn't need it. Well, I feel that way about Amazon. I got a chance to sign up for Amazon Prime a few months ago and I now love Amazon even more now. With Amazon Prime, you get free 2 day shipping on most things they sell. To me its pretty much that instant gratification that you get when going to the store to buy something. Only this way, you don't even pay for the gas.

5. My Cheetah print flats

When fall came around, for some reason, I found myself wanting a pair of cheetah print flats. It was odd because I've never been a cheetah print kinda girl. Why? My freshman year roommate was a huge cheetah print fan and her entire side of the room was decked out in cheetah print. I didn't like her much, so for a long time (about 11 years) cheetah print brought back some bad memories. I'm not typically a very daring person when it comes to fashion. To be honest these are probably the loudest things I own clothes wise. They are strange in the fact they seem to go with everything, or at least, I wear them with everything. I scored mine at a local shop for $13, but I've seen them all over again this year.

So that's what I'm loving at the moment! What about you?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Waiting....

This is David's crazy busy season at work.

No lie, I can probably count on one hand the hours he's been home while she's awake this past week.

In another week, things will be back to normal, but it's hard to see her miss her daddy so much.

Friday night, she decided she would wait up for him on his side of the bed, but just couldn't quite hang on.

Yes, I've stared at it at least a hundred times since then.

It breaks my heart and makes it sing all at the same time.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Hodge Podge....

Whew....things have finally hit a calm spot in our lives after a crazy few weeks.

Which is kinda ironic since its the week before Christmas and a week that we have something going on every single day.

I am trying hard this week to get back into the blogging mode.

I've started to miss it.

I'm also trying to do better about commenting on some of my favorites blogs, I've been a very bad blogger friend these past few months. Please forgive me! : (

I'll warn you now, this post is just a hodge podge of things we've been up to.

I'll start off by telling you all that we are back to a family of three. I know in my last post, I said we were leaning towards keeping them, but I honestly think that was me trying to convince myself of it. Their caseworker was needing an answer from us of whether or not we wanted to move forward and we asked for the weekend to think about it. Over last weekend, we both we're honest to ourselves that we didn't see this as a long term placement and we wanted to serve our purpose as foster parents to them until they found a new permanent home.

The caseworker was very understanding and said she actually had a feeling that we were leaning towards that way and had already been searching for other prospective parents for the past two weeks, and had several interested. As the week went on, they were scheduled to be moved this Monday, but after several medical emergencies within my family, we asked if it was possible for them to be moved on Friday, to relieve a little bit of stress for me. They agreed and we took them on Friday evening to go to their new home.

We did not get a chance to meet the new parents, but we were told they had no other children and the mom was a nurse, so it sounded perfect to fit their needs. It was a very different return from the whole Destiny thing and we walked out happy for them and at peace with it. We feel like we served the purpose that God intended us to in their lives.

It was a crazy last few weeks, but I wouldn't trade it because I feel like I learned a lot about myself....like that I don't really like having that many small kids so close in age. I give much respect to those that do it, but its not for me. I felt like things were in constant chaos around here and I don't do well with chaos. Blame it on my OCD.

I won't lie...I've also enjoyed the peace and quiet around here the last few days. I like the peace and quiet much more than I thought I did.

Also, Olivia does too. Surprisingly, she was happy to see them go. She has only asked once "where the baby go?" but other than that, she's been happy to have our full attention back.

Unfortunately, she came down with some type of cold/virus thing and has been sick since Wednesday. The poor girl has been pitiful the past few days and has been breaking my heart. We've spent lots of time cuddling up and watching Curious George (her current obsession).

We haven't done much "Christmas" stuff these past few weeks since our hands have been full. I haven't really been in the Christmas spirit lately and it was bugging me that we couldn't get out and do the traditions I was so looking forward to starting with Olivia this year. This Christmas seems to be the first one that she somewhat "gets it," but with two others and one being a baby, it just wasn't possible to get out too much. However, I'm quickly getting into the Christmas spirit and have jammed packed our week to fit in as much as we can in the few days we have left.

We started out with getting to attend our first Pope Gingerbread Party. Nicole started this party last year, but Olivia was just too young for it. However, this year she was way into it! I won't go into great detail, because I'm sure Nicole will on her blog. We had a great time and cannot wait to do it again next year. However, all the moms decided that we needed to have our own adult Gingerbread party next year. We are all just a little too OCD and there was a lot of tongue biting when helping the kids decorate! I promise we were good mommy's and let them go to town, even though some of them were mixing icing colors! HA! : )

Besides the gumdrop fence and a little help with the icing, Olivia did pretty much all this herself!

Last Thursday, my Mom kept the kids, while I got to run out and be apart of one of the most important days in this little guy's life...

The Pope's asked Amy and I to be there for Gabe's adoption day and it felt like such an honor! It's been a long (and sometimes rough) eighteen months to make this guy officially a Pope, but I'm so glad our family got to be there every step of the way! It was a short and sweet ceremony, but still had a lasting impact. So happy to have that little man officially ours now!

If your friends with me on facebook, you've already heard....we had a tree accident.

Yes, they are both sporting high heels.

Yes, that is a toy saw in Olivia's hand...whether this was a "calculated" act, it hasn't been determined.

Thankfully, no children or ornaments were broken.

: )

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Tea Party

The other day the kids were quietly playing in the playroom for a little too long, so I popped my head in to make sure they weren't into something they shouldn't have been.

Kinda like painting the playroom carpet red.

However, they were both playing contently by themselves. I glanced over to Olivia and saw her little set up she had going on...

At that moment, my heart rejoiced and sank a little....her little set up with her characters having tea, obviously shows that she's growing up, even in play.

My heart sank because it shows just that....she's growing up.

It seemed like such a "big girl" thing to be doing.

If you look on the side of the doll house, you'll notice that cookie monster was also involved with the tea party. Evidently though, cookie monster was having some bathroom issues during the tea party, because he stayed on the toilet the entire time.

Maybe he finally ate too many cookies?

She sat there for a good forty minutes playing quietly with her little tea party.

That's big for her.

Another sign she's growing up.

(please excuse the bangs in her eyes, I'm growing them out but she refuses to allow me to pull them back, so she just looks like a hot mess all the time)

I know that I say it every stage she reaches, but I'm loving the stage she's in at this moment.

Though I wouldn't mind if she slowed down just a bit.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A New Normal

We're still adjusting to a new normal around here. Several other experienced foster/adoptive parents had advised us to give it at least one month before everything settles, so I've been counting down the days. Heading into week two, things are already getting easier by the day.

We did have a rough weekend....I made several comments on facebook most already read....but things have drastically improved this week. We knew it was only a matter of time before the behavior problems showed up and they reared their heads this weekend.

It has been painfully obvious that the only way A.J. got any attention in his last home was by yelling and crying. He was in a home with several other young children and it seems he was always fighting for attention. After a frustrating couple of days, he's quickly learned that behavior doesn't fly in this house hold. We've been purposely over praising him when he did things in a correct behavior and he quickly picked up on it. As of now, we're just dealing with a normal two year old behavior.

Which, I have to say the hardest part of this is getting use to having two 2 year olds. It is basically like having twins now. I honestly don't understand how those people can survive with quints or sextuplets. It seems like crazy town here on even our best days!

And, I'm totally not use to having a boy yet!!! Believe me, Olivia is pretty wild for a girl, but boys are a whole different breed!

We're starting to settle into a daily routine and that is helping things greatly. I told Dave that I think we're going to be homebodies for the next year or so. We've taken them all three out only twice now, but it is a little too much for me just yet. Plus, I've forgotten how much sleep babies need, so its hard to be out with the Baby's schedule. It's much easier with one kid to just to pick up and go whenever.

Regardless, I love how "filled" our home feels at the moment. I've always wanted a big family and I love having three kids in our home. Ironically, I also always wanted two girls and a boy. They obviously fit that bill.

My days are busy and most of the time, seem to go by faster. The laundry is never ending and I feel like I sweep the floor a hundred times a day, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Right now, we are leaning towards making this a permanent placement, but we're not completely decided yet. We've been up to our ears in research on A.J.'s condition, going over his history, and we've had numerous phone calls with his specialists, but still waiting to hear back from the one person who has the answers we're looking for. Its more of that we just completely want to understand what we're looking at with a life with him.

At the end of the day, he's still a little boy who needs a family and someone who is committed to take care of him. He's two and we're his fourth home. It's obvious he has never had what we all think of as a "good parents." His parents never took care of him and that is how he ended up in foster care. Its questionable, regarding things we've been told, of how good of care he was getting in his last home.

I'll do a whole different post on what his condition is. I think we have a pretty good understanding of it now, even without talking to the one specialists.

But, things will not be final till we decide to sign the paperwork. I don't want people to get to heart broken like last time.

So, that's where we stand for now.

Working on a new normal.

Thank you to everyone who has sent encouraging words the past week. I know I haven't been able to respond to everyone, but I really appreciate them all!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The brood.

Most of you have already gotten a sneak peak on facebook, but I did actually get around to snapping a few pics of our new brood.

Those two on the end are practically twins. They are seriously just the boy/girl version of each other. They are both very rambunctious and can keep up with each other fairly well.

I decided to send OK to school this morning since we're still paying, and poor mister walked around all morning like a lost puppy. I haven't entirely decided what to do about school, if this looks to be a permanent thing, I will most likely pull OK out (we want to homeschool anyway and she was just going to have something to keep her busy). The biggest issue is they are a couple of months apart in age and they would go on different days, so that would be (I personally feel) a little too much for my plate.

This little miss is doing much better today after a rough couple of days. She however does not like to go down to sleep. She'll sleep when you finally get her to sleep, but she does have a set of lungs and will let you know she is not happy about being left out.

Overall, things are still going really well. We have quickly adjusted into being a family of five and Everyone seems to be adjusting really well. A couple of people have asked and Olivia is a little jealous of the baby at times, but that wouldn't be any different even if I had another of our own. It's natural and I try to let her "help" me as much as I can. A.J. is nothing but her buddy and she has no jealously towards him. All three mornings, she asks if he's up as soon as she pops her head up.

I have learned that this is what you get when you are trying to get the attention of two two year olds....

They do nothing but mock me.

They are stinkers.

Thanks for all the encouraging words the past few days. I haven't really responded to many, but I've kinda had my hands full. They are all greatly appreciated! : )

(Oh, and I apologize about all the typos and awful grammar in the last post. I went back and read it later that night and have of it made no sense. However, you know I'm too lazy to go back and fix it all. I was never an English major!)