"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I'm not his mommy

This blog is going to turn into a series of vent sessions. I can just see it now. But not today (I'll resist the urge!).

I have to add to the whole repetition thing and say that I've watched Toy Story 3 at least 12 times and read Clifford's Good Deeds every day since Peanut has been here. Be jealous.

Today we had a play-date with Max and his friends - most of them are around the same age as Peanut. It went really well! *Huge sigh of relief* But now a new issue has popped up...

So far, we've been referring to ourselves as "Mr. Logan and Mrs. Jen". And he's actually been calling us that. But then today he hears all of the other kids referring to their moms as "Mommy." So a few times he's been calling me Mommy. It just breaks my heart, but since he does have a mom, I have to remind him that "I'm Mrs. Jen." But one time he just smiled and kept calling me mommy. I don't even know what to think.

Since Max calls me "Nanny," Peanut has also called me that a few times. The poor little guy must be so confused. But since there's no telling when he's going to go back to whoever he'll go back to, I'll just keep reminding him...I'm not his mommy.

Sigh. Any suggestions/prayers are greatly appreciated.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Repetition, repetition, repetition

Did I say repetition? Yeah. The last few days have tested our patience. It's a good thing this kid is cute.

When's Nana coming? Nana's gonna be coming. Nana's not coming? Nana's coming after while.
Where's my pacifier? I want my pacifier. I'm gonna get my pacifier.


I'm not even kidding when I say this kid repeats things OVER AND OVER until I want to pull my hair out. It makes me want to yell, "NO, SHE'S NOT COMING, AND NO, YOU'RE TOO DARN OLD FOR A PACIFIER."

But I don't. Because I'm a professional foster parent. (I really hope my lame jokes aren't getting old. And the joke is being a professional. I really don't yell. Promise.)

Keeping with my "there's always an upside" mindset, I have to say that Peanut is getting better with the pacifier. He still asks for it, and we're still sticking to letting him have it only for naps and at bedtime...but the second he wakes up he hands it to us. Pretty. darn. cool. Now if only I could get him to go to sleep with the lights off (yeah, that's an entirely different issue). And I feel like he's never going to stop asking for Nana. Sigh.

We've finally experienced Peanut's behavior issues. He's still fine with Logan and me, but it turns out that Peanut does not always know how to play nicely with another toddler. He and Max have become buddies, and although they really like each other, there have been a few incidents. But we're hoping that plenty of reminders and talks about proper behavior will sink in. The 2nd play session went better than the 1st, so there's hope...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

There's always an upside

I feel like I can write a book about everything that's happened and it's only been 2 days. Forgive me if I get carried away...

Peanut is one busy boy. For real. I know that all comes with the territory of having a toddler, but most little boys can stay occupied for at least 5 minutes. Not this one. He won't even sit and watch a few minutes of a movie, despite our unusual selection of child-friendly movies (considering we don't have kids and all). Apparently his favorite character is Woody, but of course we don't have any of the Toy Story movies. Logan just decided to see if Netflix Instant had any (after all our other movies being epic fails), and lo and behold...Toy Story 3 came up. We did a happy dance. And Peanut hasn't sat still this long except for church. God loves us.

Speaking of church, this morning was our first experience going to mass with a toddler. I know this is going to be hard to believe, but...Peanut was SO WELL-BEHAVED. Seriously. At the end of mass, he started asking, "Can I have gum now?" Ah. So apparently he's been bribed before. I'm not going to complain, though, if it means we can go to mass every week and actually be able to pay attention. We gave him another "treat" instead of gum, though (Who gives gum to a toddler? Or am I just crazy?). Yesterday, he walked up to a picture of Jesus and Mary in our house, and said, "That's Jesus." Amen. I almost don't know what to think about that...

There's been a few things that have been a bit difficult, like Peanut being attached to a pacifier - which wouldn't be a big deal...but he's almost 3. He asks for it constantly, and despite the urge to want to throw it away, we're giving it to him when he naps and sleeps (getting rid of all his comfort measures at this point would be just cruel, in my opinion). We've had to teach him how to ask for something instead of demanding it, and now he's actually started saying "please" and "thank you" without us prompting him. Oh, and he has begged us for Coke a few times. Um, no sir. He's also been repeating over and over and over, "Is Nana coming? When's Nana coming? Nana's coming after while." That's been the hardest thing. We've tried telling him that she's not coming, and distracting him, and ignoring him, but he keeps saying it over and over...until he forgets about it. Then he remembers again. And quite honestly, I don't know who the heck "Nana" is. A few times he's even cried while asking for her. Sigh.

We still haven't had any major behavior issues, other than having to repeat ourselves a million times before he actually listens. And there's the occasional pulling of Marley's tail. My poor baby. I won't be surprised if the behaviors we were cautioned about start to pop up, because Peanut probably just thinks he's staying here for a short while. When he finally realizes he's here for the long haul, well...I don't know. I'm starting to think it's sinking in...

I am realizing that there are quite a few positives about this little boy. He's cute and can be really sweet. He also sleeps really well and he eats pretty much whatever we give him. Heck yeah. Oh, and my favorite - he's potty-trained. SWEET.

No matter how difficult a situation may seem, there's always an upside. I'm trying to focus on the good things instead of the bad...otherwise we might just lose our minds.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Placement #2

Hey. Logan and I have a toddler now. A boy we shall call Peanut.

It didn't take us long to realize that this will be an entirely different experience than the one we had with Bamm Bamm. We went from diapers, formula, and a barely-crawling baby to a boy who walks, talks, and terrorizes poor Marley. I think he's been here for about 3-4 hours now and I'm exhausted. Remind me why I'm doing this again?

Kidding. I know why I'm doing this. Because this cute little boy needs a stable environment with rules and discipline - we're 99% certain he hasn't gotten it anywhere else.Too bad it's going to take A LOT of patience. And too bad Logan and I are probably 2 of the most impatient people on the face of the earth.

Kidding again. Although we are both very impatient at times, I have to say that we're doing okay right now. I've been reading up on discipline and have been watching Supernanny. Just consider me an expert.

I would say I'm kidding again but that's just ridiculous. I really am an expert.

Or at least I will be after being a foster parent. I think.

On a completely seriously note (can you tell the exhaustion has set in?), I have to say that we were cautioned that Peanut has some behavior issues. But I didn't let it freak me out because bad behavior is usually because of the environment and multiple other factors. I'm glad, too, otherwise I would have gone in with the wrong mindset. It's pretty obvious, after such a short time, that Peanut needs some structure. I hope and pray we can stick with it. For his sake.

Keep us all in your prayers, please. May God bless you faithful readers. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Contentment revisited

I've written about this before. A year ago, actually. And I'm thinking that I must be one stubborn gal since it seems like God has to teach me the same things over and over.

When I wrote this post about watching other people have children, it got me thinking about contentment and how I should really take advantage of this time with Logan while I don't have any other commitments (work, coaching, etc.).

[On a side note, I realized I only have 2 weeks left of freedom. And next week I'm getting my wisdom teeth removed so I'm not sure I can really say 2 full weeks. SO. SAD.]

Anyways. Contentment is something I struggle with on and off, and although it feels like I'm never content, I know it happens because I write about it. At least this blog is good for something.

Whenever I think about how unfair it seems to wait so long to have children, God always puts me in my place. Yes, I've been married for 2 years, and we still don't have a baby (except our one in heaven, of course). But I have friends who aren't even married yet, and I know for a fact they are beyond ready. Some have already found "the one", but some haven't even gotten to that point. And here I am complaining about not having any children yet. (I am in no way saying it's not hard...just that things could always be worse, I suppose.)

Logan and I are extremely blessed to have "found" each other early on in life, and I don't take that for granted. So instead of complaining about being one of the few married couples I know without kids, I'm having to remind myself that at least I'm married. And like a dear friend told me, "You have Logan, who has promised you the rest of his life." Thank God for good friends...and for my husband. :)
Ephesians 5:31 - "For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."
**Edit: I do realize that not everyone is called to marriage, so when I say "at least I'm married", I'm remembering the days when I longed to fulfill whatever vocation God was calling me to - religious life, marriage, single life, etc. So I'm thankful that those questions are answered. However, I also realize that we all have many "vocations" in life, and obviously one that Logan and I also have are being foster parents. The whole point of this post is to find contentment in whatever stage we are at in life. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

This thing called fertility

This is a fun fertility post. And by fun I mean not fun. So if you don't want to hear about my reproductive system then stop right here. (You can't say I didn't warn you!) ;)

When we had Bamm Bamm, I decided to hold off on taking Clomid - I figured I'd have more time during the summer to get an ultrasound and do the blood work and all of that.

 Well. I've been waiting all summer for my period to start, because you're supposed to take Clomid on days 3-7 of your cycle. Because my reproductive system is CRAZY, I went 2 months without a period. And then it came. On vacation. Because that's how my life works.

Since it was my vacation and all, I decided not to call my doctor for a prescription (because that meant having to find a drugstore and borrow a car and whatever else). Plus, I had an appointment today about my wisdom teeth, and the possibility of having surgery to get them removed soon made me hesitant about the whole thing. I was pretty disappointed, because I've been thinking that I should give Clomid another try. But then I realized that it probably isn't my best option right now. When I first took Clomid, my progesterone ended up being low. The second time around, I didn't do the blood work again, but I was taking my temperature every morning, and I can say with certainty that my progesterone was low again.

I used to keep a chart of my cycles - before I realized it made me crazy - and although it takes my body forever (or so it seems) to ovulate on its own, my temperature is pretty high afterwards, which means my progesterone level is fine. A few weeks ago, I started taking my temperature every morning, just so I would know when to expect my period (or positive pregnancy test, ha). And after I ovulated, my temperature was high. So, my conclusion is that my progesterone level is only low when I'm on Clomid. I don't like that, considering low progesterone = miscarriage. Plus, it seems like my body does fine on its own...except that it takes longer than a normal woman.

I'm sorry if that was too detailed. But what I'm getting at is that I then was considering calling my doctor to explain my "theory" and to see if we could just skip Clomid and go to the next step - doing more blood work. Because that seems much easier at this point. I've been praying about it, though, and maybe I'm just crazy, but...I'm starting to feel like I'm supposed to wait on this whole fertility thing. I don't know why, because now seems like the perfect time to pursue this. It's frustrating, but I also have to think that maybe God is just sparing me from some unnecessary pain. I don't know.

I guess all I can do is keep praying about it.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 - There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fun in Branson

I boycotted the internet all last week because I was at a family reunion, and it was just way more fun doing all of this:
My adventurous relatives
 The answer is yes: we climbed those crazy stairs and ziplined.
 Yep. That's my husband.
 Sorry, I'm not as fun as Logan.
It was also awesome watching the women's World Cup team advance to the finals. Yes!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Unfathomable

Logan and I have gotten another call about a placement since the last one, but it was about siblings again (and this time they called Logan - haha!). Maybe one day we'll have the guts to say yes to two kids. Since we're getting close to our family vacation, though, I'm pretty certain we won't be having any foster children until after we get back.

This is one of those things that I've thought about a million times, but I think I've only talked about it to Logan. So forgive me if I sound crazy. I've been having a bit of an emotional time the past few days, and if you're a woman you can totally understand...anything and everything makes you cry. I blame the hormones, although stupid crap has happened (example: I was forced to walk half a mile home this morning in the 100 degree heat, thanks to my car) and this post I just read makes me, well, I don't know. It's comforting to read things written by women who have also lost a baby, because then I don't feel so crazy. Just go read it and you'll know what I'm talking about. I think.

Okay, I still haven't quite gotten to what I want to write about. I think it's because I don't really know how to say it. Logan and I have wanted children from the day we got married, and getting pregnant so soon afterwards was such a huge blessing - especially because we knew there was a good chance I wouldn't be able to get pregnant. But then we lost Levi, after the worst night of my life, and although we fully believe that God has a plan even in the toughest of times, it was hard. At first it was hard because everything reminded us of Levi. Then it was hard because we had to wait until we could try to get pregnant again (doctor's orders). Then it was even harder because we weren't getting pregnant. I guess you can still say we're at that point, because I'm still not pregnant. There have definitely been times that I've been okay with us not having children, especially once we started the whole foster care process, because I just knew ever since last summer that we were supposed to be foster parents. Taking care of Bamm Bamm confirmed it. But then he went home, and we have an empty house again.

I'm not sure which is harder - not knowing if we'll ever have a chance at being biological parents, or seeing everybody else get their chance and wonder what the heck is wrong with us. I know it's nothing we did that has put us at this point in our lives, but seriously. You just don't know how hard it is to see other people being blessed with babies until you've been here. Seeing them with their children, wondering when it'll be our turn. And then you feel like a jerk for not being completely and utterly happy for them. But how can you when you feel so miserable?

This whole post was really meant to say one thing...one thing that I think about a lot: I cannot even imagine what it will be like to give birth - a live birth, not stillbirth - to our child and hold him/her in our arms. After all of this time, and all of this pain, I seriously can't even fathom it. I'm sure Logan and I will be filled with so much joy that we won't know what to do with ourselves.

It's something I know is worth the wait.

"It may sometimes be more fruitful in the end if we live with a lingering question, and grow slowly towards wisdom, than if we find a quick answer partly dictated by our own desires. The waiting changes us, schools us, teaches us to know God." -Maria Boulding

Saturday, July 2, 2011

House Pictures - Guest Bedroom update

I said a few months ago that it was a work in progress, and we've finally put the finishing touches. I'm realizing with every room that anything on a window (valance, curtain) makes a huge difference. Too bad I can't sew...otherwise we would save a ton of money. Oh well.
 Our before picture....
 ...and after!
 We don't have bare walls anymore! Here's the LSU wall...
And we couldn't call ourselves New Orleanians without a tribute to the Saints!

Our bedroom is next on the list whenever I can convince Logan to help me paint. :)

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