Baileys Adventures

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

Where Does He Get This Stuff?! September 28, 2012

Filed under: B3 — andreabaileys @ 1:30 pm

Last weekend, Brian and I finally took the kiddo out to buy a new bed.  Since B3 came to us so suddenly, we were still set up for “birth to three foster care”.  Everything was slightly baby-oriented and convertible for older children.  My brother and sister-in-law bought us a crib, and our awesome friends the Bravermans bought us a mattress.  Set up in the toddler bed mode it has been perfect for B3 since he came in April.  Lately, though, we’ve noticed a lot of tossing and turning, and our very active almost-4-year-0ld was using the remaining bars on the bed as a jungle gym.  Finally we realized he’s just gotten too big for his britches…um, I mean bed.

So off we went to buy a full size bed, and I headed to Target to have entirely too much fun buying snazzy new bedding for my little guy.  It was an all day operation, and by bedtime we were all exhausted with shopping, hauling, laundering, bed-dressing and the tiring effect of “change” on B3.  He doesn’t enjoy it, that’s for sure.  As we finished up our bedtime routine and B3 and I were laying on his new bed waiting for Brian to come read books, the following conversation made me laugh my head off:

B3: You want some covers, Mommy?

Me:  Sure.  Thanks.

B3:  Can I put my head under?

Me:  Sure.  It’s your bed.

B3: You want covers over your head?

Me:  No, thank you.  I don’t like covers over my head.  I can’t stand it.

B3:  (nodding sagely) You know what I can’t stand?

Me: (afraid of where this was headed) What?….

B3:  Lions.
He never missed a beat, and was dead serious.  I literally laughed til I cried.  I love this kid.

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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!

 

Mama Said…. July 24, 2012

Filed under: B3 — andreabaileys @ 10:18 pm

…there’d be days like this.  You know: those days when you get to the end, sink down on the couch and just thank God it’s over? Yeah, those days.  We just made it through one of those days, and thank God it’s over!

B3 is many wonderful things. He’s adorable, funny, sharp as a tack, and so gentle and loving.  And at the same time, he’s a three year old boy who’s been in foster care.  That’s a whole ‘nuther can of worms.  B3’s been with us for 11 weeks tonight (wow!), and I’ve been with him almost 24-7 for that entire time.  I think I’ve left him with Brian 4 times and Mama once in that three months.  What this means is that he seems to be attaching to me quite well, and after about two rough months I seem to be having more good days than bad.  There are exceptions, of course, but by and large he and I have a good idea of how things need to happen in order to get to 9 PM happy.  Unfortunately, Brian is with B3 about half that time, so they’re only about half as far along the line.  Which means that lately every time they’re together someone ends up in time out or yelling.  Usually it’s B3.

Today…good grief.  One of those days.  I may have watched one too many episodes of Mad Men last night and was a bit less than eager to get out of bed this morning.  I decided to shower at nap time so I could actually enjoy it.  I headed to work and spent the next two hours trying to keep a 3 year old, a 2 1/2 year old, and an 18 month old from swinging off the fan while the five month old refused to drink his bottle or take a nap.  The 18 month old took three years to eat some oatmeal.  B3 refused to eat a cinnamon roll for breakfast (hello?  who prefers cereal to that?!) before heading to the arboretum with Brian for the morning.

And then…the tantrum began.  Refusal to put on his shoes, refusal to go use the bathroom, refusal to….well, everything.  Ever been involved in a two and a half hour tantrum and time out?  It’s just as fun as you would think. By 10:00, the 18 month old was headed home with a fever over 103.   Somewhere around 11 I was refereeing another fun father-son battle of wills while holding a squirmy baby and trying to convince him (again) to drink his bottle when I heard that distinctive sound that means someone is going to have to change a diaper soon.  Since he’s definitely gifted me with several poopsplosions before (like last week), I almost said out lout “Man, I hope this diaper holds until he takes this last ounce or so.”

About 5-10 minutes later, I got up to put the little guy in the swing, and as I shifted my hand under him, it felt wet.  I immediately said “Oh, God, no!”…and realized that my hand wasn’t the only casualty.  My only clean jeans, the baby’s outfit, all lost to PoopTuesday.  I will say I instantly had the attention of every kid in the room, even mine who was serving yet-another-time-out.  From there the rest of the day went downhill.  I’m lucky my Munchkin Coalition is well-trained enough to handle it when one small boy (mine) loses his mind at lunch, crawls under the table to avoid going to nap and then plays for two and a half hours instead of napping. My nap time shower?  Lost to thunderstorms and a tornado warning.  Instead I managed to develop a migraine so bad I couldn’t even function.

Other than a brief period from 4:20-5:28, the rest of the day progressed the same.  I taught a lesson listening to the strains of one screaming boy pushing his daddy’s buttons, Brian escaped to the store to pick up (sweet, blessed, caffeine-laden) Dr. Pepper while the monkey ate dinner, and he finally dropped off to sleep by 8:45.  We heated up chili from the freezer and indulged in the sad, desperate lives of Don Draper and Peggy Olsen.

Some days…you just thank God you made it though. Luckily, as I keep telling B3, tomorrow is a brand new day.  Goodnight!

 

9 weeks?! July 13, 2012

Filed under: Adoption,B3,Foster Care — andreabaileys @ 1:34 pm
Tags: , , ,

Somehow, it’s been over 9 weeks since B3 came to live with us full-time.  That’s just nuts to me.  Sometimes it feels like it’s been 9 minutes, and other times it feels like he’s always been here.  I’ve written this post in my head a billion times, but I haven’t known what to say so I’ve been avoiding my computer.  That, and by the time we get him to bed at night all I want to do is lie on the couch and watch my newest addiction (Mad Men, at the moment) in the 30 minutes I have left before bed.  This has been a huge adjustment on us all, but we’re starting to get a handle on it.

So far things are going exactly as we expected.  We had a couple good weeks with a sweet, agreeable, friendly little boy.  And then he started to work through the attachment stuff just like we were expecting.  And so we had about 6 weeks of….wow.  Angry, mean, acting out little boy who didn’t know what to do with all his feelings.  In the space of an hour we could go from a happy guy to hitting, kicking, screaming, and clawing.  And then poof!, he’d be fine again. We learned that B3 is a master manipulator who is entirely too smart for his own good, but at heart is simply a sweetie who wants love and craves attention.  He’s also downright hilarious and goofy, which is good.  In addition, it appears the headcount of “People with ADD in Our House” is raised to 3…  At least he’s in good company, right?

The past week has been pretty excellent.  B3 is starting to understand that Brian and I are in charge and that arguing with us is rather like arguing with a couple of posts.  He also learned that running from us is never a good idea since Daddy played football and Mama moves faster than any fat girl ever should. The entire past two months has been full of learning experiences.   B3 learned that running through the sprinkler (“sprinkles”) is awesome, and that riding your little motorcycle super fast is fantastic but hitting the ground at that speed sucks. Apparently all things are made better by a Phineas and Ferb Band-Aid, though.   Brian and I actually find ourselves discussing the merits of Diego versus the WonderPets (Backyardigans still get my vote every time, though), and 10:30 now feels like 2 AM.  Snuggling in bed with a kid may be nice, but snuggling in bed with my kid is rather like trying to hug an octopus made of knees and elbows who never…stops…talking.  I also learned not to start something with a 3 year old that you don’t want to continue ad nauseum, for the rest of your freaking life.  For example, this kid will expect lemon yogurt-covered pretzels (printzles) after lunch for doing a good job for the rest of his natural life.  And I learned that Miss “We Only Eat Healthy Stuff” will happily bribe her kid with food via a behavior chart: Dum Dums for five stars, chocolate pudding at 10, and Reese cups for 15 stars. Hey, Reese cups are clearly his currency — who am I to argue?

All in all, it’s been an hilarious two months, and we’re beginning to feel like we’ve turned a corner.  Hey, the monkey is usually eating the majority of his dinner without incident, is finally sleeping halfway decently, and loves to help out around the house. We’ll take it.  He’s baffled by cleaning and clapped for me after I cleaned his bathroom last night — where has this kid been all my life?!

 

Thank God…It’s Friday! May 25, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — andreabaileys @ 7:43 am

Today is an important day for our family. Please pray as led.  We know God’s will will be done, and that it will be for the best.

Enjoy your three day weekend if you get it!

 

Sometimes Vagueness is Necessary May 11, 2012

Filed under: Adoption — andreabaileys @ 2:20 pm
Tags: ,

So you may have noticed I haven’t blogged in ages.  Strangely, I haven’t done much of anything in ages that wasn’t strictly necessary.  Except clean the bathrooms, which is strictly necessary and may get done tonight.  Probably not.  The past few weeks have been proof that it is possible to have a Major Life Change and not announce it to the world via Facebook, no matter how much we want to.  I hesitate to even post it here.  So forgive the vagueness, but most of you already know the situation and will respect that, I know.

If I could, I would stand on a mountaintop and yell it to the world, or at the very least shout it from my front porch.  Three weeks ago (tomorrow) we met the sweet boy who will be our son!  By which I mean he already is our son in all but name and legality because he fits perfectly into the little boy-shaped hole in our family and we can’t imagine life without him.  He’s been here full time since Tuesday, and we are over the moon.  I’m exhausted and we’re both completely baffled on how this whole “parenting after 5:30” thing works, but we’re treading water and making progress.  Maybe by next week playing, dinner, bath, snuggles, books, prayers, and tuck in will happen in conjunction with cleaning the bathroom and folding the laundry all before 9 PM, but I’m not banking on it.  Because given the choice between mopping this floor and falling heart first into adorable hazel eyes?  The eyes have it.

For the record, you won’t see our son’s name here or any picture for a long time.  As far as I’m concerned, I put our names online for two reasons:  honesty, and to build a positive online presence for both my husband and myself in the event of job interviews, etc.  Sure, anyone with a brain can google us and find out the names of our family members or maybe stalk me via Facebook (though not Brian with his airtight vault of a persona), but I’m hoping for a bit of anonymity for our children, siblings, and nieces/nephews.  As for pictures, we’ll decide that after our little guy is legally ours, and you can bet they’ll be vetted and vague.  If we post any at all.  So, I’ll be referring to our new heart-stealer as B3.  There are many reasons, and we can all thank The Bum for the nickname.

Now…I need to go figure out how to convince a 3 year old to eat something other than hot dogs!

 

Friday The 13th: A Mixed Bag April 13, 2012

Filed under: Around Our House,Foster Care — andreabaileys @ 6:00 pm

There is nothing like waking up at 6:15 with a blinding headache.  Except waking up at 6:15 with a blinding headache not because you need to go to work, but because yourhusband has a 7 AM store meeting.  I managed to squeeze another hour of semi-sleep out of the day and stumbled blearily downstairs for a couple Excedrin before the Munchkin Coalition showed up for the day.

Fast forward to 8:30, and it was time to give Belle her insulin.  This is ordinarily Brian’s job in the morning before work, but at the new store the weekly meeting is super-early on Fridays so now I handle it once a week.  The MC and I got into the swing of this while Brian was off at training, so we have it down to a science.  I can get upstairs, do the shot and drop off food for all three and get back down in under 5 minutes.  My eldest Munchkin, A, is 4 going on 14 so she is capable of making sure no one else runs amok while I’m upstairs.  Except for today….  She apparently thought that she needed to stay right with the baby and not go anywhere….even if she had to potty.  So as I come back to the kitchen I hear “Andrea, I have to go peeeeee!” in that desperate voice.  I said “GO!” and before I even go the word out I heard a panicky “Andrea, I peed in my pants!”  I busted downstairs to find one girl-sized fountain in my bathroom.  Ugh.  Thank heavens for extra clothes.  She changed, I cleaned, and we snuggled a little bit to take away the utter embarrassment of peeing oneself and someone’s floor.

Not 15 minutes later, my little guy who is potty training decided to finger paint in my bathroom while going potty.  Oh…..my….word.  I may never recover.  Granted, his brother did the very same thing at this age, and everyone does it at least once.  But holy moly, I don’t want to do that again for a while.

The rest of the day proceeded in the same fashion, filled with kids who decided to lose their ever-loving minds every 10 minutes, and a To Do List that grew in leaps and bounds.  Thank goodness a few things actually got accomplished around the house during nap, because………..

OUR PAPERWORK IS ALL FILLED OUT AND OUR HOMESTUDY STARTS TUESDAY!!

We both finished up our physicals and TB tests this week, and all of our forms are signed and ready to go.  Our social worker comes to meet with me next week and Brian the week after.  I’m super nervous and want everything to be in perfect order, but also realize that at any given time there are two adults, five children, and three fuzzy cats running around my house.  The carpet and walls might not be perfect, but it’s mostly clean and everyone’s getting snuggled.  Please send up a prayer or two if you would over the next few weeks — we don’t know how long it will take to get licensed, but we’re so looking forward to being ready to help some little folks who need a place!

Happy weekend, blog friends — may your 14th be better than my 13th!