Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another First!

Apparently going to school for the first time today wasn't enough for Joe. Tonight he had one more first up his sleeve and it involved the potty chair. I'll spare the details, except to say Billy noticed the signs and I immediately whisked Joe off to his potty seat. It's only about the 4th time we've tried it and I know we've got a long way to go but we are proud of his success!

Joe looks grumpy in the picture because it's a reenactment and it's hard to get him to smile on command. (Please ignore the fact that his supper is still smeared all over his face.) He really was happy and excited about the whole event.

First Day of "School"

Which one of the 500 Babies had their first day of school today???

Was it Daniel? Here he sits, ready and eager to learn...

Was it Kiki? Here she is reading a book...
Nope, it was Joe who went to "school" today.
He began going to an Early Childhood Intervention program where he'll go one day a week for an hour and a half. The developmental and speech therapists who usually come to our house will work with him at the center and he has the opportunity to socialize with other children his age. His therapist said he did a great job today and didn't even cry.
Getting everyone ready and out the door by 8:00 was a challenge. But it was worth it because I was able to go for a walk with the babies and then to the library. I am looking forward to this hour and a half each week where I can get out of the house and be part of the real world, even if I'll still have two 1-year-olds tagging along.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Goodbye Summer, Welcome Fall

Well it's not quite fall weather yet, but it's not ridiculously hot anymore so we spent Friday evening BBQ-ing in the backyard until the flies chased us inside.

Captain Dan prepares to take flight.

Joe with carrots.

The race is on.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Noontime Nap

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Bottle Battle

Now that Daniel is 1, we are trying to wean him off of the bottle. He's not exactly thrilled about this, and the task is made all the more challenging because Kiki still uses a bottle and Dan has a habit of trying to take it from her. Here are some scenes from this morning's skirmish:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Go to Your Kennel"

Up until about 9 months ago, we used kennels for Bradley and Darcy at night and whenever we would go out. So a common phrase in our home was, "Go to your kennel." But with all the baby equipment taking over our house, there just wasn't room for them anymore so we switched to plain old dog beds. But we still used the phrase "Go to your kennel" when we wanted the dogs to go to their beds. Well one day for fun I told Joe to "Go to your kennel" to see what he would do and of course he walked over to one of the dog beds and sat down. (This was last January or so.)

Somehow we began using the word "kennel" for the babies' play yards. I guess it's because we used them as beds for a while (still do for Daniel) and really, what do you call it? Playpen? Play yard? Bed? Kennel rolls of the tongue easier. At least in this house.

(This photo shows another reason we took down the kennels.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

An Outing Courtesy of Whaler's Disease

Today Billy was home sick with Whaler's Disease so we all went out to the library. Ok, it's not really called Whaler's Disease, but it sounds something like that. (We're not exactly sure what it's called.) But it has something to do with asthma and allergies and the doctor said he shouldn't go to school today in order to rest his voice. So we rounded up 18 of the 19 books we had checked out and corralled all 500 Babies and hit the road.

Here are some pictures from the play area near the library:

Kiki trying to stop Daniel from running off with the camera case.

Daniel reveling in the wonders of a rock.

Joe loving his little sister.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Medicaid Mess

Today I took the boys to the doctor for their 1-year and 2-year check-ups. We had had to switch doctors earlier in the year because the Medicaid for children in Foster Care switched to something called STAR Health and the doctor we had been going to wasn't in the network. (It was quite an ordeal finding a new doctor, but that's another story.) Now that we've adopted them, they still qualify for Medicaid because they are a sibling group, but they revert back to traditional Medicaid and we can go back to Dr. Lopez (who we preferred). I waited to schedule Joe's 2-year check-up until now for two reasons - so he could go back to Dr. Lopez and so I could schedule Daniel's appointment at the same time. Well, the problem is that Joe's September Medicaid card doesn't say he's due for a check-up, and the receptionist at the doctor's office told me he couldn't get one if the card didn't say he was due for it (because he already turned 2 in August). I explained the situation, but she said there was nothing they could do except schedule Joe for a consult instead of a check-up. Fortunately Dr. Lopez gave Joe a check-up anyway and gave him his vaccinations, but it's enough to make me seriously consider putting the boys on our own insurance. We'll have to do it anyway for Kiki if we adopt her because she won't qualify for Medicaid anymore. I don't need the government telling me when I can take my children to the doctor.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Final Visit

Today I took Kiki to see her mother for the last time. I started to get a little emotional when I handed her over because her mother was so excited to see her and yet knowing this was the last time she would hold her little girl my heart was breaking for her. Kiki's mother is very young and although she has made some poor choices she has also had some tough obstacles to overcome. I know she loves her little girl and wants her to have a good life. I hope we have the privilege of giving Kiki that life.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Vintage Dan

Just wanted to share one of my favorite photos of Daniel. This is from last December when he was four months old.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday, Daniel!

Today the little Danimal turned 1! Here he is all decked out in his party hat diving into his cake.

Then he decided that the plate tasted better than cake.
We kept the day fairly low-key because we've had a busy week, next week is going to be even busier, and Billy is sick. So we did cake, a few presents, and that's about all.

Daniel is quite the little walker now. He is choosing to walk about 70% of the time as opposed to crawling. (Yesterday I told Kiki it was high time she started walking more than just one step at a time, and right after I said that she took about 8 steps in a row!)

Back to Daniel, here he is yesterday during his first official haircut. (The Martin Luther-inspired trimmed bangs from a couple of months ago doesn't count.) I thought he would cry but he handled the clippers like a pro.
Happy birthday, little buddy! We love you!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Daddy and Daughter

Two of the loves of my life on their way to church.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tough Little Cookie

Whew. If Billy and I are blessed to become the parents of sweet little Kiki, I suspect we are in for an enormous parenting challenge. Her strong-willed, aggressive nature is starting to show in earnest and I want to start figuring out now how we are going to handle her. Just this morning she's already snatched toys out of Daniel's hands leaving him crying, chased after Joe and nearly pushed him down to get the toy he was holding, and threw a tantrum when she was tired complete with screaming, arched back, kicking legs, and flailing arms. Let me remind you she is 10 months old, and they are almost-1 and 2.

Of course she is also incredibly sweet and loving. She's the one who holds on tight and hugs me back when I cuddle her. She loves kisses, especially from Daddy. Most of the time she's happy, smiling, and content.

But what she wants, she does everything she can to get. And right now the boys are generally passive when she steamrolls over them to get her way. I forsee many epic battles in the future if they ever decide to fight back.