Thursday, July 31, 2008

Great News!

Yesterday we officially became the "adoptive placement" for the boys. All that we have to do now is go to court to make it legal. We have a tentative date of August 15 for the adoption ceremony. Our attorney will be visiting us next Monday so we should find out for sure then. Since we are so close, I am now going to refer to the boys by their names: Daniel and Joe! I'm also going to start referring to Baby Girl M. by her nickname: Kiki. We call her Kiki 75% of the time anyway.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

500 Babies Take a Road Trip

This past Monday we drove my sister Elizabeth from Kerrville home to Houston. We planned a couple of things to do in Houston and after dropping Elizabeth off we went to our first stop, the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. We hiked one of the trails, and J. had a blast! I don't think I've ever seen him so excited. It might have had to do with the fact that he was glad to be able to run around after a 4-hour car ride. He was fascinated with everything he saw and stopped every few feet to point at something.

We then wanted to give the babies a chance to crawl around and since the Nature Center is right next to Memorial Park we found a shady, grassy area to spread a blanket and let everyone get some exercise. Here I discovered some new taste preferences of the babies: D. likes to eat dirt and pine cones and M. prefers pine needles. Good to know.

Our last stop was the Galleria. By then it was around 6:00 and we were congratulating ourselves on how well the trip had been going. All of our stops had been close to each other and after doing the hot outdoor activities we were ending with a leisurely cool walk through the mall. All we needed to do was find the Food Court. Little did we know. After 45 minutes of many trips up and down the mall, several elevator rides, asking directions and receiving directions that didn't work, and carrying a double stoller down a flight of stairs, we finally made it. And of course by that time J. needed a complete change of clothes. But when we were finally all seated around our table, the babies in high chairs and J. in a booster seat, we were still very happy with our decision to make the trip. (As long as we didn't think about the fact that we still had to carry the stroller back UP the stairs and had a 3 1/2 hour ride home!)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

500 Babies Go to the Library

This past Monday afternoon we packed up and ventured out to the library. The first thing we had to do once we arrived was pay our fines. I can guarantee that not a single one of you reading this has ever had a fine as large as ours. Let's just say that the next library in the San Antonio Public Library system will be named "The William and Anna Morrison Public Library". The problem is we have four cards between us, including 2 teacher cards, and we just weren't very good about returning on time the bazillion books we checked out. But all that is now past us, and we are moving forward in our new roles as responsible library patrons.

Here's what the babies did while there:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Who's That Baby?

It's kind of fun to find new ways to take pictures of the babies without showing their faces.

J. is the easiest because I can usually get him to hold something over his face:

The babies are more of a challenge, especially when I am trying to hold them and not be in the picture:

Sometimes I can get some fun spontaneous shots:

And I've tried over and over to get a cute bathtub shot of all three. But this is tricky for a variety of reasons. Here's the only one I've been able to get that doesn't show their faces or their unmentionables:

I really like this one of J., which I probably wouldn't normally have taken if I wasn't trying to hide his identity:

Monday, July 21, 2008


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Adoption Update

Here's where we are:

A couple of weeks ago we were given the go-ahead to proceed with the adoption of the boys! We sent in our paperwork and just found out that we won't have to get fingerprinted again, which would have delayed everything by several weeks. When the paperwork is finalized we will go to court and do the adoptive placement and consummation of the adoption all at the same time. We have been blessed with how quickly and smoothly the process is going!

The situation with Baby Girl M. is not as promising. We have known for over a month now that a relative has stepped forward to adopt her. A home study will have to be completed and various people will have to approve it, but our chances of adopting her appear to be very small at this point. We have no idea how much longer she will be with us. I try not to think about it because it just hurts too much. All we can do is thank God for each day she is with us and enjoy her while she is still a part of our family.

Diary of the 500 Babies First Night Sleeping Together in the Same Room

7:45 PM
All children are in their respective beds. D. and M. are asleep, J. is still awake. Dad is at softball practice. Mom is not going to finish cleaning up the house from the day's activities because she needs to be able to hear the babies and how can she do that if she is clanging dishes around? She is forced to work on the computer because that is a quiet activity.

8:15 PM
M. wakes up. Mom pats her back and within 5 minutes she is asleep again. J. is still awake. D. is snoring.

9:20 PM
J. FINALLY falls asleep. To his credit, he was laying quietly in bed the whole time.

9:30 PM
M. wakes up again. Her crying wakes up D. and J., who quickly fall back asleep once she's quiet. It takes about 20 minutes to get M. to fall asleep again. Incidentally, Mom and Dad learn it also takes about 20 minutes for Kix to get soggy.

M. wakes up at 10:00 and again at 10:20. Once she's asleep, Mom and Dad decide to take a chance and go to bed at 10:30, making bets on when she will wake up again. Loser makes the coffee in the morning.

2:30 AM
M. wakes up. Mom and Dad are shocked she has slept for 4 hours.

3:30 AM
M. wakes up with a leaky diaper. After being changed, she now thinks it's time to play and takes 30 minutes to go back to sleep.

5:00 AM
D. randomly wakes up. Dad gives him his pacifier and he goes back to sleep.

8:00 AM
M. wakes up ready for the day. Mom and Dad are again shocked she has slept for 4 hours. J. was also awake but was still in his toddler bed.

She did a lot better than we expected. The dilemma is that we don't want her to get used to being picked up every time she cries in bed, but we also don't want her to wake up the boys. We expect it will take time, but it will be better for everyone in the long run if she can sleep by herself.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Musical Beds

Today is a big day in the Morrison household. We are going to transition J. from the crib to a toddler bed and M. from our bed to the crib. Little D. is staying put. I know you're supposed to leave toddlers in their cribs as long as possible, but I am tired of waking up at the foot of my bed curled up like a dog, pushed out of my place by an eight-month old little girl. Right now J. is taking his nap in his new "big boy" bed and seems to be doing well. Of course the real tests will be what happens when he wakes up and what happens at night. We think we can train him to stay in bed until we come to get him. I'll let you know how that goes.

Monday, July 14, 2008

My Dog, the Landscape Architect

You may or may not remember that over Memorial Day weekend Billy finished building a deck for our backyard. A couple weeks later he added a gravel pathway complete with stepping stones. The last part was to be the landscaping between the path and the house, which I completed over the Fourth of July weekend. All I did was put in some caladiums and mulch, but the end result looked quite sharp.

But Darcy had her own opinions about how the area should look. She prefers more of a trampled, messy look, so she decided to do a bit of rearranging: She looks quite pleased with herself, doesn't she?

Just when I begin to think she's outgrown all of the destructive habits she had when I first got her, she does something like this. So now in my SPARE TIME, of which I have an abundance, I will be picking bits of mulch out of gravel. Thanks, Darcy!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

New Shoes

Today we went to a kids' resale shop and bought the first pairs of shoes for Baby Boy D. and Baby Girl M. I've always been of the mindset that babies don't really need shoes until they are walking, but now that they are getting older something seems to be missing from their outfits. A couple of months ago we had M. all dressed up, minus anything on her feet. We were told by an acquaintance "don't do the ghetto thing" and "socks and shoes at all times". We politely responded that she overheats easily and that's why she wasn't wearing socks. (Inwardly we were somewhat annoyed by the comment.) But I think now it's time for sandals at the very least.

Friday, July 11, 2008

No Ranting Allowed

This has been the first full week since summer school ended and Billy finally gets a break. (One of these days I'm going to write a post ranting about people who think that it's so easy being a teacher because of the 3-month vacation every summer. But I don't think most of you who visit this blog do so hoping to read a rant.)

So, what have we been doing? Monday was a caseworker visit, I don't remember what we did Tuesday, Wednesday we drove to Kerrville and celebrated my 408th month-birthday with my parents, Thursday was a staffing for Baby Girl M., and today M. had a visit with her mom. So, mostly typical foster family stuff, but nice because I didn't have to do any of it alone.

On Thursday we also squeezed in a quick trip to the zoo and then drove around Alamo Heights and Terrell Hills picking out the house we're going to buy when we retire. Once we got home, however, I realized I could never leave our current neighborhood. Why would I, when we have neighbors with lovely yards like this:
What I want to know is where are the people from the home owners' association who sent us a letter when we had one weed in our yard that was an inch taller than allowed? Or who told us to bring in our empty trash can when in fact it was our neighbors who kept leaving theirs out? (And they still do.) Keep in mind that at least two trash days have come and gone and the junk is still there. And there were two hideous couches that sat out there for several days but have since disappeared.
Wait. This is beginning to sound like a rant. Sorry!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Summer Fun

My photo issues have finally been resolved. It took all of 20 seconds for Billy to figure out the problem with our new card reader. Apparently the card has to be inserted before the power goes on. How was I supposed to know that? Anyway, here are a few long-overdue pictures of the 500 Babies:

Right after I took this picture I started filming a video clip of the kids, but had to stop because D. tumbled over into the water. It wasn't until after we watched the video that we saw what really happened. He fell because M. pushed him over while trying to get his ball.

The glories of water and the glories of Billy's foot.

Fishing. Or, watching Daddy fish.

The suspects after they have been apprehended. I think the shifty-looking one in red looks guilty.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Welcome Audrey Lee!

At 9:10 this morning, Billy's twin sister Tracy gave birth to an Independence Day Sweetheart. Miss Audrey Lee weighed 7 pounds 2 ounces and measured 18 inches long.

Welcome to the world, little one!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I'm not the greatest at keeping up with routines. But lately Billy and I have made an honest effort to put some more structure into our home life because it helps calm the chaos. My favorite routine is the bedtime routine. We implemented one with J. when he first came to us, but over the months we became less dedicated to following it.

But now that the babies are older, we've lumped everyone together and made one combined family bedtime routine. I'm happy to say that we've been much better at sticking to it. The key, I think, is that we throw everyone in the tub together for bath time. This gets both parents involved from the beginning, and it's easier to follow the whole routine when both of us are working together. Baby Girl M. usually dominates in the tub, grabbing toys from both J. and D. Of course this is no different from playtime out side of the tub. If she sees something she wants, she takes it. The boys usually just watch helplessly and/or cry.

After the bath, everyone gets powdered and pj'd and J. puts his toys away. Then we do stories, devotion, and prayers. This part gets a little hectic because D. and M. are either grabbing at the books or fussing. But eventually we get it all done. Billy gets J. and D. settled in bed and I take M. out for a final feeding and then rock her to sleep.

What I love most about this bedtime routine is that it's one of the times when the sense that we are a family is the strongest. And I think that's why routines are so important. And that's why we're going to do our best to stay consistent with them.