Monthly Archives: October 2015

One Year with LR

One year ago today LR came to live with us.

We did not know her, we did not know where she had been and who she had seen.  We did not know her personality.  Her had not experienced her laugh.  We had not experienced her active tendencies.    She came to our home and changed our year and our lives.

Today we still live in limbo.  Today she has a grasp of our heart.  Today Cheryl and I wish her a very happy one year fostering anniversary.  We are very excited to see what the next year holds.

It is in the Little Things

On facebook today I saw a post of a baby climbing on the top of a fence.  The caption read something like, “this is what happens to the baby when I am watching them and also trying to make dinner”. (I may have mis-quoted that, but it is the gist of the message).  Many week day evenings I find myself trying to balance the time with the kiddos with the ever pressing need to feed, bathe, change and all of the other little things that goes along with caring for two one-year-olds and a three year old.

Most days after work looks something like this… leave work right at 3:30 with a slew of stares from fellow co-workers wondering why I leave right at quttin’ time.  I can’t stay any later, the three young minds deserve contact time with their parenting unit.  Not an excuse, just my priority.

Onto the road down the 303 around to the 10 and into the front doors of daycare by about 3:55.  I go to pick up B-Rad (the oldest).  The “teacher” unloads a few facts about B-Rad’s day and will give me one, or two or three items to take home.  Love the keep sakes, but also get dirty clothes and a sheet about his day.  On a good day I can get B-Rad to carry his few items, on other days he is not in the mood.  Onto the two girl’s room.  We enter after the slow paced walk of B-Rad (no he does not normally walk slow, but for some reason down that hallway he moves like a snail).  LR will almost always run to me and ask to be picked up.  Our other girl walks holding B-Rad’s hand.  As we start to go their teacher will hand me two or four or six things of the girl’s to carry and unload a few facts about their day.  On the good days B-Rad will help carry and LR loves to hold her paper.  On other days I may have up to four plastic bags of things and papers in my hand.  Any way you dice it up we all walk to the van.

Getting three littles in a car is a balancing act.  B-Rad is usually good about standing and waiting while I place one of the girls into their seat.  The other girl is the trick in all of this.  Most of the time we come out to “LR’s side” and I place our other girl on the floor of the van while I buckle in LR.  If it happens to be the other side I place LR on the floor of the van and buckle in sister.  LR is not one to patiently wait and by the time all of the buckles have been buckled LR has taken out DVDs or moved the garage door opener or the remote or tried to drive the van.  Once both girls have been buckled into their seats I will turn my attention to B-Rad.  Almost always he will have gotten himself into his seat.  On really good days he will have also started buckling himself in, however more times than not, this process has not yet begun.  B-Rad throws a large fir each time he needs to be buckled in.  Life returns to a bit of normalcy once we have started the car (and more importantly the DVD).

We drive home back onto the 10, off on Sarivel and up Cotton to our home.  The process of getting out of the car seems much less cumbersome to me… probably because it is happening inside our garage and not in a parking lot where there are lots of other dangers.  Once inside, the baby gates to the kiddos room and into the kitchen go up so I can feed the dogs.  At this point LR has a mini meltdown on most days.  I have tried to let the kiddos into the dog feeding area, but it is shared with too many breakable/pull over on top of one’s self/hot/dog doors in the area.  A little meltdown is better than the alternative.

We are usually in our front room by about 4:15-4:25.  We spend the next hour or so playing, reading, dancing, or what ever comes our way.  Around 5:40 I start dinner.  I have tried this process lots of different ways, but my favorite and least dramatic is getting all of the kiddos into their high chairs.  Giving the kiddos all drinks.  While they start on that I start the oven or the stove top or both.  Once I have that going I bring around fruit to the kiddos (usually bananas).  I go with the back and forth or a little prep and a little interaction so that dinner can be ready for Cheryl when she get home around 6:10.

Once dinner has been eaten Cheryl and I tag team on bath time.  All of the kiddos in the bath, we scrub from end to end.  LR likes to stand in the bath tub which usually results LR slipping into the bath tub.  When she is sitting she often times tries to drink from the bath water.  B-Rad has an affinity for getting soap in his eyes.  No matter how we wash him or poor the water to rinse it always seems to happen.  Those fifteen or so minutes comes through the spare bathroom like a hurricane.  Water all over the floor, but we get clean kiddos.

Changed for bed and it is out to the front room.  Cheryl has commented to me that it is really hard because on many evenings she sees them for less than an hour.  Those minutes after all of the daycare, the driving, the fussing, the eating, the bathing and the changing are the minutes we get to really show the kiddos how much we care for them.

It is in the little things.  The balancing act seems like if you tried to stop and just listen it would fly right passed us.  The other evening, before Cheryl had gotten home and before I had started dinner we had one very precious moment.  Cheryl had called and LR was in my lap.  I answered and after a minute I held the phone up to LR’s ear.  Cheryl must have said something and in the clearest of voices LR said, “hi.”  It is those moments that we treasure so much.  The other things are just things that we get through during the day, but those little moments can last a life time.

Cheryl and I plan to make a few changes in the coming months so we can remove the “hour in the morning and hour in the evening” life and keep the little moments.  We are looking at rearranging the other things in our life so I can stay home to raise the kiddos until it is time for them to start kinder.  Lots of sacrifice.  Our baby puzzle has seen lots of changes to it from when we start this blog.  We are excited to continue down this journey.

October Sixth, Part Two

Off of the 60, we pull onto Mesa Dr.  Seems like so many things we do are on this side of town.  Luckily the mid morning traffic makes the trip extra quick.  We pull into the juvenile court parking lot.  Out of the corner of my eye I see what I think is LR’s  bio mom.  My heart sinks.  A lump in my throat forms.  She has not seen LR since April and made court dates since March.  

We park.  Inside we walk and through the metal detector.  We walk back through the hall way.  There are a multitude of court rooms, we are looking for room four.  As we pass room eight (the numbers go in reverse order) I see the face of our little one’s bio mom.  She is staining at the floor.  We countiue on and as we find room four we also see LR’s bio dad.  He is also staring straight at the floor.  The lump in my throat enlarges to the size of a melon.  I think to myself, they are here to contest, they have changed their inds.  Why won’t they look at me?

Seven minutes pass, which seem like an eternity.  We are all called into the court room.  The room is barely large enough for the court, only two small benches Line the walls for us to sit in.

The proceeding occurs.  Lots of legal talk, the lumps slowly disappear.  At the end bio dad allowed his rights to be severed.  Bio mom requested a pre-trial and mediation for December 8th.  At the very least it was not a reschedule, but it is another push out date.

October Sixth, Part 1

Peeking through the bedroom door I can see the outline of the crib.  The bumper sheet is a bit pulled down and I hear a peep.  LR is up and she is ready to get ready for her day.  I walked to the closet and turn the light on.  I look over at LR and she is standing with a smile peeped on her face. Her arms are up in atticipation of being picked up.  Finally I walk over to her and pick her up to take her to the changing table. She rests her head on my shoulder for the short four step trip over to her changing table.  LR pats me on my back twice, a general reminder that she is still tired.  I place her down on the changing table and LR arches her back, trying to sit up.  She is not a fan of changing time, but I was ready for that and hand her an Olof doll to district her.

After a few minutes of changing, we head out to the breakfast table for the meal Cheryl has made for the little ones.  Into her green high chair LR sits, apple juice in hand.  

After a few minutes of changing the other littles I come out and Cheryl is finishing LR pig tails.  Right now this is the only hair style that works for two Pfister parents and a kiddo who has no permission to cut hair that is into the kiddos eyes.  A few minutes of eating and hide-n-seek playing and we are off to daycare.

Cheryl drives the van, I drive our other car.  Once in the daycare parking lot Cheryl and I double team the unloading of the car.  Three kiddos all on the side walk.  B-Rad takes his sisters hand and Cheryl takes LR’s hand.  It was just a few weeks ago we were caring the two youngest in.  Now we are five walkers walking in like a flock of geese.  Through one passcoded door and a second passcoded door in through a third door and the kiddos are set.  B-Rad and sister sit down.  LR has realized we are in daycare.  She turns and grabs my pant legs.  She goes limp and starts wailing.  She knows how to throw a fit with the best of them and can pull at the heart strings like a puppet master.  I bend down and pick her up to put her in a chair like B-Rad and sister are sitting.   

In my mind she still looks and acts but she is almost a year older than that now.  She is a little girl now, not a baby.

Cheryl and I now sit here waiting for the severance hearing.  In my head I wonder what will the next four hours hold for us, for LR?  What will the judge decide?   Will LR’s mom and dad show? Will the GAL say the things she has told us she will say?  Will the DCS worker say what she said she would say?  Will the judge choose to hear the case today or will it be resch uled?  Foster parents have almost no voice in the court.  We are much like spectators watching the story line play out in front of.  We can follow the story line and the story line plays a part in our lives.

More to come after court.  Thanks for reading.