Baileys Adventures

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine…-Proverbs 17:22

Quiet Little Update May 11, 2014

Filed under: Baileys Adventures,Foster Care,Turtle — andreabaileys @ 6:48 pm

If you’ve spent any time around here you probably know that when I go silent big things are afoot.  This is no exception.  Less than a month after my last post we received a phone call from our social worker asking if we’d be willing to foster a newborn due around the first of the year.  We’d had to turn down several calls in the fall (it’s hard to have a 15 month old and exposed sub-flooring, at least according to Brian.) and knew that fostering a newborn would be our smartest bet until we get B3’s “big boy room” done and the nursery set back up.  We were glad to have a few weeks’ advance notice and got busy getting ready.  We were told to expect a good sized baby boy who most likely “wouldn’t be healthy”.  That’s all we knew past a delivery date.

The day after New Year’s my wonderful Little Bro and Sweet Lizzy had my awesome new niece, who still needs an undercover name.  She’s amazing, guys.  It’s so cool to look at a little person who looks familiar.   She’s such a good mix of the two of them, and then there are things that I see that are such “Hill things”.  Or my pointy ear, inherited from my Grandma Bowman 🙂 Holding her on January 3rd it was amazing to think that her cousin would be joining us within the week.

On Tuesday, the day after the baby was delivered, I was called to go downtown to sign some papers in preparation for his homecoming on Friday.  I called Mama to come watch B3 and the Munchkin Coalition, and prepared to head to DSS.  On the way out the door my social worker called back and said to come to the hospital….the baby was ready to be released.  It was at least 2-3 days earlier than we expected, but luckily we had a bassinet and car seat ready, and all the clothes and diapers washed up and ready to go.  I had taken my Christmas tree down that morning, and there were literal piles of fake tree needles all over the front room.  Thank goodness my mother can wield a broom with the best of them.   She had everything in order before I got home.

Picking the little guy up from the hospital was surreal.  Brian was en route to Staunton to work for the afternoon and couldn’t make it back.  The baby was (is) absolutely beautiful, completely healthy, and just generally perfect.  There was tons of paperwork, inf0rmation from doctors and nurses, and the pervading sense of worry for his mom a few rooms over.  She didn’t know me, and I didn’t know her.  My heart broke for her and the happiness of meeting a new little person was tempered with the knowledge that his mother was suddenly without her baby.  They made me ride in a wheelchair to the front door (which you can imagine  just thrilled the tar out of me.  /sarcasm) surrounded by a team of social workers.  Loading the baby into the car seat I was stopped by security and detained for a while.  I’m glad they were taking precautions but when you have 4 folks from CPS and DSS with you, you don’t expect problems.

Since then the past four months have been a whirlwind of readjusting schedules, learning how to be a mom of two, discovering that four hours of sleep has a very particular feel to it, and getting to know an amazing little person.  From the very first day his nickname has been Turtle, so that’s how he’ll be known online.  I can’t post any pictures or any details at all, but guys….he’s amazing!  He was just under 10 pounds at birth, is rocking 6-9 month clothes already, sleeps through the night (and half the morning), and is rolling over like a champ.  From his fuzzy little head to his incredibly big feet, lovely blue eyes and oh my word those cheeks, we’re in love.  B3 has taken to being a big brother again with ease and is definitely Turtle’s favorite person on earth.  He’s the easiest baby I’ve ever cared for and so far each day is a great adventure.

At this point we don’t know what lies ahead.  We do have a great relationship with his birth mother, and see her for visits on a regular basis.  For the past few months it’s almost been like co-parenting, and she’s wonderfully easy to work with.  If he returns home to her we’ll hopefully maintain a very open relationship with her, and if he ends up being adopted we’ll definitely include her in our family as much as she’s comfortable.  We’re in love, we’re blessed, and we’re having fun.  The only thing we kn0w for sure that’s coming in the next few weeks or months?  Teeth.

Happy Mother’s Day to our moms, our sisters (biological and in love), and all the ladies who helped raise us.  Happy Mother’s Day and huge hugs to the two women who birthed our sons, both permanent and foster.  So much love to women who wait, who mourn, and who hope for children.

 

 

Our First Year March 25, 2013

Filed under: Adoption,B3,Baileys Adventures — andreabaileys @ 9:32 pm

The password for this video is B32012

As you may know by now, our adoption of B3 was finalized last week. We are so excited to be able to share B3 with you at last. We have been so blessed by everyone’s comments and support, both through our adoption and through our entire quest to start a family.

I think I’ll find it a bit easier to blog now that I can show you pictures of what we’ve been doing. For now, enjoy catching up on our year!

 

Summer Recap, B3 Style September 23, 2012

Filed under: B3,Baileys Adventures,Catching Up — andreabaileys @ 12:05 am

Don’t freak out, your Google Reader isn’t broken…I just haven’t updated my blog in almost two months.  I’m realizing that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get every thing done, which is probably why my house is a huge mess and I seriously need to hem a few pairs of jeans (or grow three inches) and nothing has gotten crafted, sewn, crocheted, or otherwise done around here.  Most days I’m happy we’re all in clean (if wrinkled) clothing and fed a somewhat nutritious meal at some point before bath time.

The nutshell version is:  we’re all doing well.  We’re finding a system that works for all of us and are really enjoying our new little family.  Brian’s been working a lot of overtime and I finally have a full house again.  B3 is settling in nicely and is usually on a pretty even, albeit hyperactive, keel.  We have rough days and we’re working through a lot of emotional stuff, but by and large it’s all working pretty much as well as we could ask.  While it’s slightly uphill, this whole parenthood gig is pretty awesome.

I’m finding it hard to write blog posts without pictures.  I really want to share B3 with you guys!  Not only is he adorable (I can say that — I didn’t make him) but we’ve been doing some awesomely fun stuff this summer.  So, here’s what all I would show you if I could…and some day soon I will:

*B3 meeting my parents, who promptly fell in love.

*My first Mother’s Day and the first time I took my kiddo to a restaurant, and his first time meeting his Uncle.

*Our yearly yard sale, now with cute entertainment.

*B3 meeting Brian’s parents, who promptly fell in love.

*A huge picnic with my father’s family and some family friends to celebrate Father’s Day and let folks meet B3.  He was understandably overwhelmed but had fun.

*Riding his “motorcycle” up and down the back alley, including a huge wreck and our first “boo boo”. First here, at least.

*A huge storm which led to all of us huddling in the basement. B3 was introduced to Angry Birds that night and was a trooper through all of it.

*Meeting Spiderman at a local furniture store. Good call, Brian!  It blew his mind.

*VA’s baby Z was born, and B3 spent his first day away from me.  We survived.

*Fireworks!  B3 was completely underwhelmed.  I may have built it up a little too much.

*A fabulous picnic with my mother’s entire family to welcome B3.  He had an absolute blast playing with cousins and making Mama and my Little Bro run all over creation on the park. We learned that he will run willy-nilly in front of a bunch of swings, repeatedly. B3 met sweet baby Em since my YaYaPrincess came down, too!

*Our first trip to WV to see Brian’s entire family.  Folks came from several hours away for a giant picnic and we had a blast.  B3 met his aunts, Uncle Cop Guy, Girly Monkey, and about a billion cousins.  He did great on the 8 hour trip there, and when the trip home stretched to 11 hours he still did just fine.  We stopped at WVU to see the coliseum and Jerry West statue (“That guy is huge!”) and he enjoyed running around all weekend meeting new friends.  Saturday morning he took a face-plant into a set of wooden steps, bit into his cheek and gave me a coronary.  After a bloody hour he had recovered well, was sporting a huge bruise and gash and had a good back story (“It was a bar fight.”)

*Driving over the mountain to see Uncle Little Bro and Aunt Sweet Lizzy’s new house and have lunch.  B3 had tons of fun.

*Discovering my kid has an amazing innate grasp of math and reasoning, including the ability to subtract and do 30-40 piece puzzles he’s never seen before.  Yeah.  So pretty quick we went from “working on basic stuff” to homeschooling for real with plans and curriculum.  My 3 year old can trace letters, memorize Scripture, and manipulate numbers, ya’ll.  I thought I had two years to adjust to being a mama before I had to learn how to be a homeschooling mama.  Nope.  Our first official day of school was September 10, and he’s doing amazingly well with two 45-minute sessions each day and some review work or sensory activities in the evenings. WOW.

*My birthday.  35 feels pretty sweet.  We took our first picture with all three of us, which is my new favorite picture.

*The Hill Reunion, followed by our joint daycare picnic.  Both chances to run around parks and eat hot dogs.  Or, as B3 would call it: Heaven.

*Two hours hanging out at BW3 to watch WVU slaughter JMU.  B3 can officially hang with the Mountaineer crowd — which is good since that’s pretty much his only Daddy-permited college choice other than Stanford.

*A few trips to Skyline (we saw a bear both times!) and the arboretum, and fun at the parks in our neighborhood.
It’s been an amazing summer.  Thank you to everyone who’s made our little guy welcome in the family, and to everyone who’s praying for us as we learn how to be parents.  Happy Fall!

 

So Blessed March 26, 2012

Filed under: Baileys Adventures,Family Stuff,Foster Care — andreabaileys @ 1:59 pm
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Last weekend, Brian and I headed to West Virginia to see his side of the family and meet our niece, Girly Monkey.  She is just as sweet as we thought she would be, and we’ve both mentioned repeatedly how much we’ve missed her since we’ve been home.  While we there, we got to experience one of the awesome perks of being part of such a large, loving family.

About a month before, Brian’s sister told us that she, their other sister, and their mom would like to throw us a foster shower to help us get ready for foster care.  We’re kind of at a disadvantage because we’re going into foster care without having had our own children so we don’t have all the things we’ll need for new kiddos.  We do have a lot of daycare stuff, but that doesn’t get the job done after 5:30, you know?  We’ve assumed we’d be doing this alone, and we’ve been quite frugal about what all we needed.  On Saturday, about 25 of our friends and family came together to supply us with some of the necessities for emergency child care.  We were completely overwhelmed.

In keeping with the theme of the room we're preparing for foster care, all the decorations were "classic Pooh".

The food was awesome and cake was adorable (and yummy!).

Adorable Pooh Honey centerpieces made by my sister-in-law!

The Bum provided games and made two strands of bunting and an awesome wreath for our room. I can't wait to hang it all up soon.

It was so touching to see the amazing gifts everyone brought. Several of the guests, including Brian’s parents, have either done foster care, been through the classes, or have thought about it so they had unique perspectives on what we would need.  Sure, the state pays for diapers, clothes, and food, but what about the time between a placement and when the first support comes?  Kids arriving unexpectedly still need clothes and wipes, right?  We received bottles and utensils, books and puzzles for all ages, and some of the most touching handmade gifts imaginable.  You know they were awesome because I’m willing to put up these pictures of myself making weird faces….

Beautiful handmade quilts from a family friend. One for girls, one for boys, and a fleece car seat blanket.

Soft crocheted blankets from a cousin's boyfriend's mom.

A handmade basket of necessary goodies in a cute classic Pooh fabric. Note my new addiction: Dreft!

The same friend who made the Pooh basket made a WVU diaper cake as a surprise for Brian, too!

He loved it!
(want one? I bet that can be arranged. Email me for details.)

One particularly thoughtful present took me completely by surprise, and made me tear up.  Four sets of pajamas in toddler sizes like 2, 3, and 4.  A lot of people don’t realize that foster kids can arrive in the middle of the night with only the clothes on their back, and will need an immediate bath and set of pajamas.  I took a minute to explain to our friends why this spoke to me, and the lady who brought the pajamas shared with us that she knew from experience how appropriate this gift was.  Her grandchildren arrived on her doorstep 20+ years ago with nothing but the clothes they were standing up in, and she proceeded to raise them all.  She knew the value of pajamas to a child in the midst of chaos.

On top of everything else, we received a huge box of hand-me-downs from Girly Monkey (who has good taste and grows super fast!), as well as from some family friends.  A variety of bottles, shoes, sleepers, and swaddling blankets are all a Godsend.

When we got home, I unpacked everything to get a feeling for what sizes of clothing in each gender we’re missing so we can make sure to have something available for any child we could have in care. Being a chronic organizer, I sorted things out and made piles to show Mama.  I was completely overwhelmed by the clothes, wipes, “gear”, and gifts of money or store cards we received.  To top it off, Nurse Baileys gave us a new high chair/booster seat, and Anchor Girl and Brian’s Mom went together to get us a complete set of covers for our cloth diapers.  Mama sent up a basket of goodies, including a food mill that was a huge hit with the crunchy moms in the group.  You can see why I was amazed and touched….

Yes, that is Tiny claiming a blanket on the couch.

SO many wipes, body washes, and lotions. This will be invaluable in helping take care of babies as soon as they come!

Bottles, a high chair I won't bang my toes on, and diaper covers!

The closer we get to being done with all our paperwork and getting ready for our homestudy, the more amazing it is to see our families get excited, too.  It’s so nice to know that whatever children come through our home, and however long they stay, they’ll be welcomed like blood to a huge community of family and friends that will support them forever.  Children that return to their birth families will be remembered and prayed for.  Children who need a permanent family will be absorbed into both sides of ours seamlessly, I hope.  I was so blessed and overwhelmed by such a physical display of this last weekend.  Thank you so much to everyone involved!

 

Monday Bits and Pieces March 5, 2012

Filed under: Baileys Adventures,Family Stuff,Prayer Requests — andreabaileys @ 2:31 pm

There’s not a lot going on in Baileysland this week.  The weekenda was spent preparing for Brian to change jobs and leave for training. It was bittersweet since he loved his store, but the new store is just too good to pass up.  He worked his last days and then left for training.  We’re getting quite good at this being aprt stuff, unfortunately. Practice makes….well, something.

Saturday Mama and I went to the Overwhelming Store For Babies and picked out a stroller.  Since any child coming into our house is going to be living with people with a serious go-bug, they need some wheels! I’m not sure how it took me 4 hours to make up my mind, but it did. We laughed way too much and enjoyed lunch and shopping before heading back home.

This week will be low key around here, at least as far as I’m concerned. I have a feeling it won’t be that way for much longer, so I’m going to enjoy it!

I would ask you to pray, if you would. Some people near and dear to my heart are walking through the toughest time right now.  It’s not my story to tell, but I know they would appreciate you praying as led.  As my YaYaPrincess tells me: the Big Guy knows.  Please lift them up.

Enjoy your Monday!

 

Nursery Update February 20, 2012

Filed under: Baileys Adventures,Foster Care — andreabaileys @ 1:30 pm

Our house has three bedrooms.  Well, it could have four, but that’s a debate for another time. We like to call that fourth one “the living room”, especially since that where the back door is!  Since we moved in, we assumed that the room across from the laundry closet would be where our children would start out — the nursery, I guess.  But as we’ve been planning things, it became clear that that room is drastically smaller than the other, even though it’s technically about a two square feet difference.  But the layout just makes it feel awkward and small.  So we needed to move some plans around.  We rearranged all our furniture, sent some borrowed furniture home to Mama, cleaned out a few closets, and generally got things ready to make a child’s room.

Last weekend, we finally started making the room into what it needs to be.  I had been stalking Craigslist for a chair, and found a great one for $25.  We drove about 45 minutes away to pick it up on Saturday morning, and then spent a good part of the weekend working in the room.  I never remember to take pictures of projects before I start them, but I did this time!  I wish I had gotten a picture of all our extra beds and such stacked up against the wall to start with.  Actually, no I don’t; it was rather embarrassing.  So here is what our baby room looks like so far……

The first issue was a pile of yard sale stuff, an old fan, and my guitar.  It all needed to go to storage or a new place in the house.

I hadn’t really realized how much I had been just laying stuff on Granny’s hutch to avoid finding a better place.  Our plan for this piece is that it has a date with some pale green spray paint when the weather warms up, and then the bottom part will be our changing table.  The top shelves detach, and we’ll put it back on when a child is old enough to need a dress with shelves for books and such.

We’ve been stowing stuff in the closet for our Future Children for a while.  The funny thing is that things we had to remove from this closet included my wedding dress, a large case containing a KISS box set, an Iron Maiden box set, as well as countless amounts of  Zakk Wylde and Black Sabbath paraphernalia, a set of Laura Ingalls Wilder books, and extra Christmas wrapping paper purchased for next year. Why, yes, we are eclectic around here!

After a few hours of diligent working (and vacuuming, and a trip to storage), the room is finally starting to look like it’s ready for a coat of paint!

Our new chair fits great in the corner, and with two new bolts courtesy of Brian, it’s seriously the most comfortable chair in the house!

Merle was relieved to have his favorite spot cleared off, and supervised our work as usual!

The next step is to make some curtains so we can match the paint up, and to clean up a mysterious spot on the carpet that looks like grease.  Neither of us rebuilt a transmission in this room in the past four years, so we’re not sure what it is.  But after curtains and spot-removal comes my least favorite part but most favorite result: paint!

Happy Monday, everybody!

 

Work in Progress Wednesday January 11, 2012

Filed under: Baileys Adventures,Work In Progress — andreabaileys @ 4:42 pm

You know what’s no longer a work in progress?  My niece!  She arrived Wednesday morning at 12:16 and is absolutely adorable.  She weighed in at 7 pounds, 3 ounces and is 19 inches tall.  Since I don’t use our family’s real names other than our own, she needs a blog name.  This was actually easy.  When my sister in law told me what the nursery would look like, she used the phrase “girly monkey”.  It tickled me, and a couple months spent with “girly monkey” stuff for her shower sealed the deal.  So welcome to the world, Girly Monkey!

Here’s what’s on my hoop today as I finish up nap time and get the Munchkins up for the afternoon…..