Thursday, August 30, 2012

Alice's Dreams

Every morning and every afternoon I ask Alice what she dreamed about.
The answer is always the same.

I took these videos over the past week, 
but she's been giving the same answer for at least 3-4 months now. :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A picture from Ben

She'll often stand outside the bathroom door and ask questions.
This time, she was trying to fish her magnet back.
Chubby little hands.

Friday, August 24, 2012


 I love these two.
I love that they have each other.
Two beautiful little Bolton girls!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Somethings about somethings.

These photos finally escaped my phone:

1. During one of our little guy's visit with his parents,
I took Alice to a coffee shop. 
She picked out a $3.50 gluten free muffin.
I'm glad she was excited about it.
Never again.
($3.50 for a muffin!? Sheesh.)

2. Look who learned how to open the camera on my phone:
I had about 30 pictures exactly like this one.

3. Alice came home from preschool with this:
I thought it was sweet.
She colored on the back of it.

4. Speaking of coloring, she's been really into art projects.
She spends at least an hour everyday doing this.
Gluing, painting, markers, crayons.
Makes me so happy to see her enjoy being creative!

6. Maybe we should get her a legitimate sandbox or sensory table?

7. A favorite thing to do:
Crib cuddles.
The big one is enamored with the little one.

The little one is leaving us on Friday...going with his aunt and uncle, who I really like!
It's a good change, though a sad one.
We have fallen in love with him.
We're thankful to have a few days to prep Alice.
All in all, our first foster care experience has been a really good one.

(I'm the anti-cool.)

Activities with Alice, Part 4

I've decided to keep posting these as I remember to take pictures.
Then, when I'm having a "what in the world am I going to do with my kid?" day,
I'll have an easy reference. :)

color sorting : cloud dough
coloring on a sun-warmed cookie sheet : cornstarch + water
pouring : stringing cheerios on spaghetti

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"I'm a snake!" Part 2

I get pretty excited when I get my phone out fast enough to capture the snake.

Whole Foods:


The Color Run

I did The Color Run with some friends a couple weekends ago.
Sarah, Jenny, Jennifer, and Garrett.
SO fun!

(not edited. the sky was really that blue. gorgeous day!)

When I came home Alice said,
"Mommy? You painted?"

If you ever get the chance to do The Color Run,
do it!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


This made me laugh...
I drink enough coffee to make not sleeping seem funny.
It's getting better though!

Friday, August 10, 2012

10/10 8.10.12

Finding the beauty in the ordinary moments.

4am wake up call = muffins.

#91/100. Score!

Cupcakes with friends.


Slacker mom lunch.

A photo by Alice.
(I tried not to panic when I saw her holding my camera. :) )

Synchronized naps!


Sorry, R2D2.
I had to.

Only 9 pictures.
That's because photo #10 would've been of puke and diarrhea. 
I thought I'd spare you.
We're hoping it was just something she ate, as she seemed fine after her 3 baths.

ten on ten button

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

We're alive.

Here's what's happening around here:

1. We survived the weekend with 4 kids!
It was busy, but fun.
Alice keeps asking when the "big kids" are coming over to play.

2. The little guy's nighttime sleep has been less than stellar.
He was up 4 times last night and we declared it the best night so far.
I even feel rested today!
For the first time, they're currently napping at the same time.

3. I met the baby's parents yesterday!
I wasn't really supposed to, but I'm glad it worked out.
It went SO much better than I could've imagined it.
(I've heard many stories that set me up to hope for the best, but plan for the worst.)
We talked, cried, and even hugged.
I like her.
I want her to know we're on her team.
I want her to get her son back.
It confirmed for us why we're doing this.
I'd love if you'd join us in praying for the little guy's parents.

4. My friends and family are amazing...

Jonathan and Jen came to our rescue Saturday morning 
(after our first sleepless night) with carbs and caffeine.
And then even came back later and hung out with the littles while we took a nap.
1 hour felt like 5.
"Thank you" is a gross understatement.

We've had dinner from Cathy and Sarah.
Meal planning has never been my strong suit. 
Cooking dinner these last few days has been really challenging.
What an incredible blessing!!

My friends, Sarah, Jennifer, Karin, and Megan, gave us formula.
(That stuff is expensive!)

Megan also loaned us tons of cute tiny boy clothes
and a miracle rocker that puts the little dude to sleep in no time!

Many emails and texts from family and friends checking on us,
asking if we need help,
and encouraging us.

We feel so loved.
Thank you x 1,000,000!!

5. Several people have asked about how Alice is doing.
She's pretty much a foster sister rockstar.
I couldn't be more proud of her.
We know this could change at any moment,
but hoping it doesn't.

She got to meet his mama yesterday, too.
She was really sweet to Alice. :)

6. My husband is amazing.
I love watching how he loves the little guy.
I love that he recognizes that it's important that I get some sleep at night, too.
We make a really great team.

*We cannot post any pictures our foster children's faces,
but as far as I'm aware, these photos are acceptable.
Someone (Karin?) let me know if they aren't and I'll remove them. :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

It's a boy!

Ben and I are taking care of a couple kiddos this weekend,
a 2-year-old girl and her 5-year-old brother.
It's just during the days tomorrow and Sunday for respite care.

So I was shocked this afternoon when we got a call for a brand new, smoochy baby boy!
He's 6 days old and ridiculously cute. 

It's bittersweet though.
I know his mama's heart is breaking.
I can't imagine what she's going through.
We're praying she gets whatever help she needs and can take care of him again soon.
Until then, we'll enjoy every second of having him with us.

Not a bad way to spend a Friday night. :)

Wish us luck as we care for 4 children this weekend!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


This is one of Alice's favorite songs.
Pricetag, as sung by Xenia.

We recorded her singing a bit of it.
(We trapped her at the table since it was hard to hear her singing when she's dancing.)
Although it's not her finest performance,
(she's camera shy)
we think it's cute. :)

The part she's singing:
...just wanna make the world dance,
forget about the price tag.
Ain't about the cha-ching cha-ching,
Ain't about the ba-bling ba-bling.
Wanna make the world dance,
forget about the price tag.

A Letter

Dear Alice,
I know you're too young to understand some of what I'm about to say,
so I'll write here for now.

I love you, sweet girl.
Even when you're disobedient, I love you.

(I love how you wear your sunglasses on your head!)

When I say,
"If you throw your sandwich on the floor,
you will go to your crib for a nap.",
I mean it.

You are now in your crib napping...
without having eaten your sandwich.

You see,
It's my job as your parent to follow through with what I tell you.
You can trust me.
You can count of me.

I know it's not always fun being my kid.

Remember that one time we spent almost 3 hours for you to pick up 6 Cheerios?
Well ever since then you've been a cleaning champ!
You happily clean up your toys every-single-time I ask.
Thank you for that!

Remember last week when I waited 2 hours for you to take off your wet undies?
Not only are you consistently going potty again,
you're going all by yourself!
You're becoming so independent! 

I'm pretty sure those 14 years of working with preschoolers
(yes, since I was a junior in high school.)
have prepared me for you, my most important job. :)

("Look, Mama! I makin' a mess!)

I am invested in you, Sweet Pea.
It's more important for me to teach you 
to do the right thing,
to be a good listener,
to be kind,
to be honest...

than for us to avoid conflict,
to take the easy road,
to be permissive,
to be uninvolved.

(Me: "Alice, what are you doing?"
Alice: "I dwinkin' d'water like Jack.")

I have made mistakes,
and I know there are many more to be made,
but I'm really, really trying to be a good mama for you...
and for the other children we will care for.

I love you, my sweet child.
Sleep well.

Your Mama

(Photos are from what we've been up to during Chickenpox Lockdown 2012.)

FNL/Olympics, Updating, Potty, and Chickenpox

Friday Night Lights vs. the Olympics
I haven't watched even one minute of the Olympics.  
I did, however, watch the entire 5 seasons of Friday Night Lights in 6 weeks. 
(Sarah, Jennifer, Jen, Laura, and any other FNL fans,
click on that link)
That's some Olympic-like dedication, right?

What I've learned about the Olympics via the constant stream of comments on Facebook:
The Queen didn't smile at the kids.
A gymnast got ripped off.
The judges are unfair and don't know how to score events.
Michael Phelps is back and collecting metals. 

Updating the Blog
I'm going back through old blog posts and fixing the format and photo sizes.  
So, those old posts that popped up in your Google Reader feed yesterday? T
hat's why. Shouldn't happen again. Promise. 

Potty Pains
When I returned from Chicago at the end of June, 
Alice decided the perfect payback would be to stop using the potty. 
(After 6 weeks of being fully and reliably potty trained.)  

I *think* we're mostly back on track now. 
Lesson learned: Never leave your toddler. Ever! 
Just kidding, I'd leave this weekend, if I had an opportunity. (See #4)

Alice was exposed to chickenpox 16 days ago. 
Average incubation time is 14-16 days. 
She started showing some signs yesterday, 
so I'm curious to see how she is when she wakes this morning. 

From what I read, the earliest incubation would have been 10 days. 
Kids are contagious 1-2 days before they show signs. 
All of this to say, Alice and I have been in isolation for NINE DAYS now. 
No gym, preschool, church, play dates, etc. 

I figured it was my decision to do the chickenpox thing now, 
but didn't want to potentially expose anyone else. 
I erred on the side of extreme caution and now I'm paying for it. 
Cabin fever!! 

That's all for now!
It's coffee time!
(Please excuse any typos. My eyes aren't really working, yet.)

P.S.- Holy Cow!
It's August!