Ch-ch-ch-ch- changes…

The girls at their first Georgia Football Game

We were informed today that our three foster daughters will be moving into a new foster home closer to the county their mom lives in this Friday, as in less than 48 hours.  We are having the girl’s therapist come over tonight to sit down with us while we tell them the news and help answer any questions they may have.  The girls came to live with us on March 2 and they will be moving out on September 2- so they will have lived with us for exactly 6 months.  Together, we celebrated holidays, birthdays, family vacations, and most importantly- simple, day-to-day activities that families are supposed to do together.  I hope and pray that we have influenced their life in some small (positive) way and that they know that we will be here to support them in any way we can for as long they want us to be a part of their lives.  We have all learned so much from each other, and it is definitely going to be a big change not having them here.  Saying goodbye is, by far, the worst part of being a foster parent.

Please send positive, happy thoughts their way… they are going to need it the next couple days.





Scary day

Little Man gave us quite the scare today.  I have been having some abnormal pains in my lower abdomen since Friday, but nothing that was overly alarming.  I called the doctor on Friday and she told me to rest a lot over the weekend and drink a gallon of water a day.  I tried my very best to do just that, but despite my efforts, started getting severe pains last night.  I ended up being able to fall asleep and thankfully slept through the night without any major issues.  I woke up this morning and headed to work.  Around 9:00 am, I was having sharp pains so intense that I was in a ball on the floor of my classroom screaming.  Thank goodness I had the best fifth grade class ever and they were able to get help.  I really owe them some chocolate candy bars or something good after today.  Anyway, I had to go straight to the Women’s Center at the hospital and they got me right in and hooked me up to monitors.  Right away we heard the baby’s heartbeat, which was such a huge relief.  He is normally so active during the day, but for some reason, I hadn’t felt him move the whole morning.  I was a complete basket case.   Next, she hooked me up to a tocometer, which is the monitor that uses/reads pressure to determine contractions.  After a few minutes of watching the chart, she verified that I was having uterine contractions and they did a few more tests to make sure I wasn’t going to go into pre-term labor.  While waiting for the results, we got to stay hooked up to the monitor and listen to the baby’s heartbeat for over an hour.  I love that sound and wish I could be strapped to a monitor all day every day for the remainder of the pregnancy just so I can hear that reassuring noise.  After a long, eventful day we were allowed to leave, told to rest and continue drinking lots of fluids and to come right back if it happens again.  The tests showed that I will not be going into labor in the next 2 weeks, with a 98% accuracy rate.  Definitely reassuring.  I hope this doesn’t happen again for AT LEAST 7 or 8 more weeks.

Letters to Baby…29 weeks pregnant

Dear Baby,

Your movements from inside my belly can now very easily be seen from the outside.  This is pretty exciting because most of the time when your dad tries to feel you moving and kicking, you dart quickly away and are ever elusive with your positioning.  Now, I catch him just staring at my belly- and he giggles and gasps every time he is able to see one of your kicks.  You have no idea how much you already amaze us, and just your little movements are providing us with endless hours of entertainment.  Sometimes, I feel high kicks that are close to my ribs.  On those days, I can also feel what might be your 10 little fingers tickling down low in my belly.  I can be pretty sure on these days that you are already in the position that will be most conducive to our comfort when I go into labor in 2 months.  BUT, there are other days when you stretch to other positions.  Laying across my belly, stretching your body as far as it will stretch, kicking and fist pumping with all four limbs, all at the same time.

I keep wondering who you will be.  What passions will you have?  What will your personality be like?  I am trying hard not to project our personalities on you; I can feel every day that you are your own person… but it’s hard for me to not think of you as sharing at least a few similar interests with your parents.  I hope you won’t get too annoyed with me later in life when you strike out on your own and I tell you that you’re a part of us.  I’ll try to keep an open mind, ok?

For now, since I am able to communicate with these words, I would like to state for the record how I feel your kicking, rolling, and finger tickling will translate to your personality.  Bear with me a bit and we can laugh when you are older about how very wrong or very right I may be.

For now, you seem to like it when I pat you through my belly.  Maybe it calms you down.  Maybe it reminds you that the two of us are in this together.  When I stop before you are ready for me to be done, you kick and roll to let me know that we haven’t yet finished bonding.  I feel like this is an indication of what’s to come when you’re here, on the outside of me.  I’m appreciating the early training we have now while certainly looking forward to all the fun we’ll get to have later.  I think you might be a little like me, needing to know that someone is always there to love you and pet you.

The quality, consistency, and timing of your motion tells me that you’ve got a persistent character, but that you’re not too forceful.  You don’t move suddenly.  You build up and roll down.  You tickle rather than jerk.  You are a fluid little fish inside me.  Sometimes I poke you and you poke me back, playfully.  Sweetly.  I never feel as if you’re uncomfortable or unhappy.

This is all I know about who you are, for now.  And I realize that it’s all speculation.  I reserve the right to change my opinion of you at any time.  You can reserve the right to tell me that I’m wrong anytime, too.  Just please, be as gentle as you are now.  I already love you too much to fight.

Love always,

Your Mommy

Coincidence??? I think NOT :)

Not quite finished, but getting closer 🙂


We have been getting a lot of inquiries about what we are going to name our little boy, and some of our most observant companions on this journey have even come to the conclusion that the letters on the wall may not simply be a splattering of random letters, but instead the key to discovering our little Man-fant’s identity.

Well.. You are correct- and in our typical “big reveal” style-we cannot simply spill the oh-so-magical beans.

The mumbo-jumbo of scrambled letters are in fact every letter of the little guy’s name- First, Middle and Last.  (Some of the letters may be used more than once).

At this time, we would like to invite everyone to submit their guesses.  Obviously, all those who guess correctly will be able to see the baby, and those who fail to guess correctly will be shunned from his life forever… Sword and the Stone style. 😉

Good Luck.  No pressure.



Andrea and Ian

Dealing with stealing… and various other “issues”

Okay- I surrender.  Help me.

We have had one ROUGH week in this house.

  Last Thursday, the DFACS case worker took our foster daughters to visit with their biological mother and before bringing them home (or sharing the news with me and Ian), told the girls that they would be moving closer to their mom in the next two weeks.  Their mom lives a couple of counties over, about an hour away.  Of course reuniting foster children with their birth parents is always the ultimate goal, but this is a lot of information to digest for three little girls in the back seat of a car.  This means that after six months of living in our home, they will be moving back to another county, with a new foster family (who are perfect strangers to the girls), changing schools for the third time in 6 months, and in a sense, severing the “family” bond they have built with us.  Each child is handling this information very differently.

“Little” (8 years old) is having potty accidents up to three and four times a day- at home, school, daycare, and even  overnight in her sleep.  Before last Thursday, we had 6 EXCELLENT days in a row with no accidents and perfect behavior.  We haven’t ever had a 6 day streak before,  so we felt like we had made a huge break through for the first time. Visitations  usually trigger accidents… so, even though this time is much worse than we have ever seen, we are hoping we can pull her through and help her understand the changes that are going to be happening.

“Big” (13 years old) has been stealing and lying for the last week.  We caught her  going through my purse,  stealing my makeup, iPod, markers, and things that I purchased for my classroom.  The first time this happened, we talked and talked and she wrote me a very nice letter explaining that she was very sorry and she thinks a lot of her behavior is because she is confused and misses her dad like crazy.  She promised that she had learned from this and it would not happen again.  (I was never upset or angry, and honestly, I don’t blame her one bit for acting out- but it still needed to be addressed).  However, last night, she was caught stealing and lying again… and this time I really am at a loss- I do not know what to do.  I went through her backpack after she went to bed last night and found about 15 things that she had taken from around my home. I don’t know how to handle this situation- especially since she will be not be living here for more than a week- it will be impossible to show any type of consistency.

“Middle”  (11 years old), on the other hand, has repeatedly told me that she does not want to move to another house and says that this is the first time in her life that she has ever felt safe.  She got very teary-eyed the other day while we were at Home Depot of all places and told me how much she would miss me.  She is very worried about being closer to the man who physically abused them.  She, despite my efforts to explain to her that this decision truly isn’t up to us, is trying to help me in anyway possible in hopes that she will be able to stay living in my home.  She brings me glasses of water, cleans constantly, etc, even though I keep telling her to go play and have fun and be a kid…

These girls are great kids and it is breaking my heart to see them going through all of these changes with very few people to talk to.  This is the toughest spot I have been in since I became a foster parent.  I don’t know how to help them, how to teach them right from wrong, or even how to reassure them that Ian and I will be in their lives for as long as they want us to be.

Ideas?  Advice?  Help… please!! :/

Construction Day

Today we are working on the baby room!

First we had to pick out our three colors of paint.  I thought this would be a daunting task, however I actually walked over to the wall of paint chips and got paint for the very first card I pulled out.  🙂 At least this step was easy.

Paint Colors

Then we had to fill all the holes (we previously had a headboard hanging on this wall), sand down the putty, and paint the room with our base color- Cumberland Fog.

Look at that boy work 🙂

Next, Ian sketched all the letters on the wall BY HAND! (And I thought we needed an overhead projector! I guess I underestimated my hubby the artist!)


Now, we are painting all of the lightest color letters- using the “Little Dipper” paint.

I’m sure this will take us a little while, but when the paint dries, we will go back and add in all of our dark colored letters.


Almost finished with the walls… we’ll have to save the decorating part for next weekend. 🙂

Baby toys that I am slightly obsessed with

While in New York City, we found the best toy store-Playing MANtis– in Tribeca.  The store’s emblem states “Toys and Crafts For Life”- which is exactly what I want to fill the nursery with. I would love for our baby to be able to pass his toys on to his children someday.

I am just now getting around to posting pictures, but these toys are too cute not to share.  Ian bought this gorgeous handmade rattle, carved out of a single piece of cherry wood, with corn inside to make the rattle… well… rattle.  It is so soft and smooth- don’t be alarmed if you see me carrying it around. 🙂

Baby's first rattle

Bunny rabbits are kind of a tradition on my side of the family.  My Uncle Doug used to give me and my brother new bunny rabbit stuffed animals every Easter.  My first bunny, Carrots, that he gave me when I was only a couple months old, was in a sense, my “security blanket” for my entire childhood.  The first time I ever spent a night away from Carrots was when I went to college!  My momma found and bought the perfect “First Bunny” for baby at this store.  I know it will be one of his favorite toys for many, many years.

Baby's bunny

I think we should start planning our next trip to NYC when Baby is a little older so he can pick out some of his own toys at this great shop.  So glad we happened to wander in. 🙂

Baby's future toys


I cannot believe our little “man-fant” (Daddy’s new catch phrase) is due in just 12 weeks! Oh my goodness.  That really makes me want to kick into high gear (or cry, probably both)- we need to get so much more done before he arrives!

We had our 28 week appointment today with my favorite midwife, Terri.  She is always so great and just makes me feel at ease (this may or may not have anything to do with the fact that she and I share the redhead bond 😉 ).  I sure hope she will be able to be with us when our little boy is born.  We found out that we will be delivering him at Cobb Hospital-its on my way to work, so I’ve had a lot of practice driving there at speeds slightly above the limit (allegedly)- and we are going to schedule a tour in the next couple weeks.  She also suggested a couple of classes that are really good that we might check out.

Even though a lot of my colleagues that are expecting have bigger baby bumps than I do, the midwife reassured me that my bump is just right.  She explained that every woman carries a baby differently and that I shouldn’t compare myself to anyone else.  I gained two pounds in the last three weeks, and she said that I should try to gain a POUND A WEEK from now until my due date! Wow.

28 week appointment

The appointment today also included the Glucose Tolerance Test.  I had heard from so many women that this was the most disgusting stuff they have ever tasted and you only have five minutes to drink a whole bottle of it.  I was expecting the absolute worst, so I guess I was pleasantly surprised. (Shh, they told me to tell you it was gross!)  It just tasted like extra-sweet, carbonated orange Gatorade.  We waited an hour, then went to have my blood drawn.  They are supposed to have the results by Monday indicating whether or not I am at risk for gestational diabetes.  I hope the results come back clean- because honestly, I am not so great with special diets.

Glucola drink