Sunday, December 13, 2009

The most wonderful time of the year...

I can't believe that in less than two weeks, we will be celebrating Christmas with our nearest and dearest. We have been busy getting ready for the holidays in addition to living our crazy everyday life! The boys are getting excited for Santa to come and bring some new gadgets and gizmos. We have been talking about how Santa is watching the boys and looking for them to do good things. Kyle has been questioning how Santa, who lives rather far away from Ohio, can possibly see what he does every minute of every day. We told him that Santa is magic and did Kyle really want to take a chance on not thinking that Santa could see him?! I do not think that he is questioning the existence of Santa because the other morning he had an in-depth conversation about what Santa might bring him. We are not ready to give up having the two boys believing in Santa just yet!!!
My sister will be coming home again on Friday for a long winter break. The boys are excited to have Aunt Susan home again. They enjoy playing with her and spending time with her. They ask about her often and miss her when she is not here. Hopefully I will be able to rope her into helping me finish up the last minute things that need to get done.
Last weekend, the boys had their skills evaluation for Upwards Basketball. Last year was the first time that Kyle played any sport and it definitely showed. He enjoyed every minute of it, but wasn't very good at it at all. Well what I difference a year made!!! He did a great job. I think about of all the baskets he shot, he only missed 6 or so. Talk about a proud mama! I think I had a bigger grin on my face then he did! Jacob is also playing this year which should be a hoot. He just enjoys moving and running so who knows how he will actually do. One thing that is for sure is he will be giving his coach a run for their money! God love him.
The boys have been saying some pretty funny things lately. We have enjoyed them so I thought I would share with you!
Jacob in the car last weekend "Mama, my tummy hurts!" Me: "It does, why?" Jacob: "From your driving!" I thought Billy was going to die laughing!
Jacob in the car last weekend "Mama, I can't like Christmas music, I want to listen to the radio instead of this!"
Jacob when asked about how the ride to school with Daddy was: "Not great, that car gives me a headache".
Kyle when finding the phone in the bathroom: "Um, Mom, I think that you know that you don't really need this in the bathroom."
Kyle when reminding me about something I forgot: "That's why I need to remember things for you, because you can't!"
Kyle when talking about doing his homework: "Daddy will have to help me because remember you can't do math!" (I think this thought came from him thinking that since I just teach reading and social studies! At least I hope, because I may not be great at math but I can do 1st grade math!)

Every night when we put the boys to bed and we think about all the ups and downs and turns throughout the day, we are reminded how truly blessed we are to be their Mom and Dad!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A place of their own...

When the boys lived with Diane and Grover, they shared a bedroom. Jacob slept on one side of the room and Kyle slept on the other. They shared a dresser, a closet and play space. When they moved into our house, we decided to put bunkbeds in one of our bedrooms and have them continue to share a room. This was all they had known and we felt it would help with the transititon into their new home. The boys enjoyed sharing a room, who wouldn't though? Someone to giggle with late at night, watch TV with, play with and fight with! The shared room worked well some times put other times it just wasn't ideal. Jacob still takes a nap and Kyle would wake him up! Jacob is an earlier riser and Kyle likes to sleep in. There was no way to seperate them when they needed a break.

Over the past few weeks, Billy and I have been talking about putting the boys in seperate rooms. We have an extra bedroom which they were using as a play room lately. I bounced the idea of their own rooms off the boys about a week ago. Kyle thought it was a great idea but Jacob wasn't so sure about it. I believe his actual words were "No thanks!" Can you blame him? All he has ever known was having his brother across from him or on top of his bed!

This past weekend, the boys spent the weekend at Billy's sister's house. We felt that this was the time to "make the move"! Leaving Jacob's bed and dresser in his old room, we moved Kyle's bed and belongings into the other bedroom. We bought him a new comforter, put his favorite toys in his toy box and put some books on his bookshelf. We set Jacob's room up with his favorite toys as well. Billy and I were very excited for the boys to come home and see their new living arrangements! Well until the boys arrived....

Kyle was SO excited. He was shocked and full of excitement about having his own place. Jacob, who was EXHAUSTED from the weekend fun, was far from happy about his own place. He screamed, cried, jumped off his bed, asked a million questions about Kyle's stuff. Once we finally calmed him down enough so that he could hear us, we attempted to explain to him what we did. He didn't want any part of that either. He just kept repeating "Where Kyle bed, up top?" He needed to see every part of the room that was missing. Jacob also questioned why we put different toys in his room. When he did finally stop crying, he refused to nap on his bed and insisted on sleeping on the floor with the door open. Whatever! I could only imagine what bedtime would bring. Bedtime went 100% smoother and within 30 minutes both boys were out cold.

Kyle is still really excited about having a place of his own. Don't you remember how it felt to finally have a room of your own? That's something that he has never had before. Needless to say, he has fallen asleep with a big grin on his face...a toothless big grin though since he has lost his 6th (I think) tooth! My oh My!

Enjoy the pictures from being tucked in last night!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

So many great changes...

Kyle LOVES first grade. He loves his teacher. He loves having lunch at school. He loves Music and Gym and doing work at school. He thinks it so great that his mom works at the school. (He thinks its great that his dad is a principal too!) One day this week, his writing workshop activity was "My mom is..." and some pages to write the responses. Last year, whenever "Mom" was talked about, Kyle would not be talking about me in response. This week was a different story though. His little booklet was mainly about me. The last page was about Diane, his "special mommy" which was so cute!
Tonight while Kyle was waiting to get into the tub, he was watching tv on Jake's bed. I sat down next to him to talk and gave him a hug and a kiss. (Sometimes I don't feel like we do that enough with them!) I told him and I loved him and he said "I love you too Mommy" without any hesitation. A few months ago that conversation would not have played out that way. We have known that Kyle loves us for a while but for a long while he would not reply to us when we said it to him. It is so nice to hear it from him, even if I already knew it!
As we are tucking the boys in tonight, Billy sat down on Jacob's bed to say goodnight and they started giggling and carrying on. Six months ago, Jacob wouldn't even say goodnight to Billy. Billy would say goodnight and Jake would say "No". Tonight it was a different picture. I just smiled and laughed. Loved seeing it!
A year ago the boys didn't really seek out attention from Billy. They would seek me out to help them and didn't really want to go places with him. This bothered Billy so much. Tonight Billy and Kyle bopped out of the house together with a "bye Mom, see you later!". Every morning Jacob comes into our bathroom and asks "Where Daddy at?". What a change!
It's so great how Kyle has truly bonded with us. We have loved him for a long time now and it is nice to know he loves us back! Hard to believe that some doctor said that Kyle will probably not be able to create normal bonds with people. Goes to show, they don't always know what they are talking about!

Monday, September 14, 2009

First Day of School (For Kyle and me!)

Today Kyle and I FINALLY went back to school. We have been enjoying a four month summer thanks to come construction going on in our district. Kyle has been counting down the days until he started First Grade. I am teaching 4Th grade this year which I am very excited about. I am happy to say that Kyle and I both survived the first day of school with smiles on our faces! Kyle said that "Mrs. Wilson made us do too, too much work!" All in all, it was a great day!

Today was also another first for Jacob. He got the ride the bus to school. He has been a
nxiously awaiting this day. Jacob got on the bus at Grandma's this morning. I wasn't actually there when the bu
s came, but my mom did admit that for as excited Jacob was to get on the bus, he was a little leery when the bus finally came.

We are very lucky and happy to have Kyle's teacher be someone who we are friends with. Billy and I worry about Kyle and his behavior at school. He responds well to structure and clear rules and consequences. We know that Mrs. Wilson will be able to meet Kyle's needs and help him have a wonderful year.

The boys are both tucked into bed, sleeping soundly. It's almost time for Mama to do the same thing. Need to get our rest so we can happily face Day 2 tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Future Soccer Stars?? Possibly!

The boys are both playing soccer this fall. This is the 3rd sport that Kyle has tried and the 1st for Jacob. The boys are both very active and LOVE running, playing, really any type of activity. Kyle has enjoyed playing each sport so far. He puts a lot of effort into it and trys his best each time. We have been really proud of him for being a trooper through each season. You have to remember this is a kid who after I told him I signed him up for basketball, he said "Oh, cool! Jennifer, what is basketball anyway?"
We have had 3 weeks of games already and while the teams don't get score, you can't help but keep track of goals made. In one game, Kyle scored 4 goals, which were the only goals on for his team. He really has shown some talent with soccer. I think it is the mix of running and competition to get the ball first. He puts everything into each game and works really hard. His coach makes comments on how well he is doing. Now if we could get him to work on not taking the ball from teammates, he would be better off!

Now on to Jacob...well, Jacob enjoys being on the field! Now, as silly as it sounds, there are MANY preschoolers who do not enjoy even being out on the field. Those kids make it known to all that they are not happy! Even though Jacob is playing on a preschool team, he is almost a full year younger then most of his teammates. It shows too. Jake follows the team on the field but doesn't really make any attempt to get the ball and really doesn't understand what to do with it once he does get it. But he is having fun, making new friends and learning to work as part of a group and that is all that Billy and I want from this experience.
I love watching my kids play! The three games have had beautiful weather which makes being there even better.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A big week for Jacob!

Sunday was Jacob's 4th birthday. It was a day spent with family and friends at our house. All Jake has been talking about is wanting an Elmo birthday. I was able to find Elmo sugar cubes (cake decoration things) for the top of homemade cakes. We bought him an Hokey Pokey Elmo, which I thought he may be a bit afraid of. Boy was I wrong! He loved it! Hannah, our friend's daughter, and Jacob giggled and giggled every time Elmo started to sing. When we tucked Jacob into bed Sunday we asked him if he had a good birthday and he happily said "yes!" 
We were able to be a part of Jacob's 3rd birthday last year so it is so neat to see how much he has grown in the past year! His speech alone has come so far. In the last 2 weeks or so, he has started to speak in 5-6 word sentences and have actual conversations with us. He is growing up! 

Today was Jacob's first day of preschool. Billy and I feel really luck to have Jacob attending the preschool he is attending. The school is part of the county MRDD and provides services and education for students with special needs. While Jacob is one of the "typical" students enrolled in preschool, he will still have indirect access to therapy services such as speech, OT and PT. Even though Jake's speech is getting better, Billy and I still worry a great deal about it. Our hope is that with some interventions, Jake will continue
 to make progress. When I took Jacob to school today, he barely even said goodbye to me. I was crushed! I left school in tears but as Billy pointed out, I would have been crushed if he was screaming and crying and I had to peel him off of me to leave. I suppose I will take what I got today! 

where oh where has time gone!

My best friend reminded me the other night that I needed to update my blog! I guess I have been pretty lazy about keeping everyone updated on our crazy world. The summer has flown by! 
The week after our adoption ceremony, we celebrated with a huge bash at our house. The boys had a great time having all our friends, family and important loved ones here to welcome them into our family. Some of our family traveled far to come for the occasion and that means the world to us. Billy and I can't express how blessed we feel that the boys have been welcomed into their new family with open arms. 
The boys went to summer camp at our YMCA. They both enjoyed going and spending time with other kids. Kyle had a sleep over one night and pulled his first all nighter, which he felt the effects of the rest of the weekend! 
We took two weeks and did some traveling. We took the boys to Dearborn, Michigan to The Henry Ford. What a neat place. The boys enjoyed seeing old cars, riding in a Model T car, and eating lunch at the Weinermobile Cafe. Their favorite part though was going to the Ford Rouge Factory where we were able to see F150 pickups being produced. From Dearborn, we headed to Lake Erie for a night. We did some island hopping. The boys loved riding the ferries and being out in the middle of a really big lake! 
After a night of recovery and sleeping in our own beds, we headed south to North Carolina and South Carolina. The boys were able to meet Aunt Diane, Uncle Dion, Mike and James when we crashed at their house for night. We enjoyed spending a night with them. From there we headed to Grandma's and Grandpa's house. We went to the Columbia Zoo and the Fort Discovery Science Center. Jacob had a little mishap with his tongue and a bike pedal but nothing that a little time (and an ER visit) didn't heal! 
On the way home from S.C. we stopped in Asheville, NC to visit the Biltmore Estate. What a beautiful "home", if you could call a house of that size just a home. While staying in Asheville for the night, we were able to meet up with a friend and her husband. 

After 2 weeks of traveling, we were all glad to be home! WOW! What a fun, crazy summer!

Friday, June 19, 2009

A family of 4!

Billy and I are officially the proud parents of Jacob and Kyle Dennis! What a wonderful thing to say! 
Billy and I woke up early this morning to get ourselves ready before we woke the boys up. We had to be at the lawyer's office by 7:40 to go over any questions we would have prior to our court hearing. We were both so excited to have today come! 
We woke the boys up and Jacob starting screaming and crying. Boy he doesn't like to have someone wake him from slumber. Kyle popped right out of bed and was ready to get dressed in this cool new clothes (Thanks Erin for helping him pick out the outfit!). Jacob continued to scream and cry on and off for the next 25 minutes! Lucky us!
We got to the lawyer's office and he went over the proceeding again. We spent some time checking out his "tick tock" (Grandfather clock!) and then headed over the the courthouse. Upon arriving, we were escorted into the courtroom where our lives would forever be changed. A few moments later the judge came in and the hearing began. The adoption coridinator had to speak about the best interest of the boys and their future well being. Then it was our turn to answer some questions. The whole time the questioning was taking place, Jacob was asking for fruit snacks! I kept trying to keep him quiet but it just didn't work! After the questions were asked and answered, the judge spoke for a few minutes explaining how he has reviewed all the paperwork and approved all the reports and petitions. Then the judge said those words "From this day forward, the boys names will be Jacob Tyler Dennis and Kyle Reed Dennis. I grant this adoption petition. Congratulations!" (Or something to that effect! I can't exactly remember!) I started crying and I think I may have seen a few tears in Billy's eyes as well! (He is not an outward emotionally person!) 
After a little while waiting for the final papers and such, we were on our way with our boys! What a great day! 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Getting closer with a few lasts...

We are getting closer to our finalization and we can't be more excited! In 9 days, "J" and "K" will finally be home FOREVER! What an amazing feeling. We are busy planning their adoption party for the weekend after the our court date. What a great way to celebrate and welcome the boys into their forever family then with a party!! 
We met with our attorney yesterday. He went over the questions that the judge will ask us in the courtroom. The judge will ask the case worker and ourselves questions to determine "the best interest" of the boys. Since the boys are so young, they don't really get to speak for themselves. Joe, (not sure how you address an attorney) said that the whole process takes about 15 minutes. It amazes me what a life changing event such as an adoption only takes 15 minutes. I suppose that is because the major life changers have already taken place, removal from birth parents and termination of birth parent rights. We still can't get over the fact that someone could not provide the needed love, care, and nurturing that our two boys needed. As I have said many times before, someone else's mess up has been our gain and joy! 
We also had our LAST home visit for the boys yesterday. Our case worker came out, chatted with us for a while. She has come out once a month just to check on them and make sure that they are adjusting fine. As much as we will miss having her come out and chat, we are so happy to close that chapter of our lives! 
We are traveling out of state this weekend to enjoy a retirement party for a dear friend in Virginia. When we do anything above and beyond the normal day to day things, we have to let JFS know what is going on and get "permission" to take the boys along. They have never told us no but it sometimes feels like being a teenager getting permission to borrow the car. This weekend will be the last time we need to get travel permission for the boys! Another YEA!!! 

On another note, our best friends, Cara and Doug, are headed to Serbia today to adopt a beautiful little girl. They will be leaving their daughter, Hannah, at home with family while they are gone. This will be a bitter sweet time for them, with excitement for their new daughter and sadness for leaving Hannah. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they embark on this wonderful time!!! We can't wait to see this cute little lady!!! We love you guys! Be safe! 

And on another note, my cousin James, who has been in the hospital for 4 weeks after suffering two strokes. James is only 14! Today he was released from the hospital today, just in time for his 8th grade graduation. We are so proud of James and his progress. We know that he is going to continue to make great strides in his recovery! We love you very much! Keep it up! 

Thursday, June 4, 2009

15 days and counting!

We are 15 days away from finalization of the boys' adoption! It is so hard to believe that we are so close. It feels like it was just October when the boys moved in! I can remember how nervous I was the days leading up to them moving in. We had been having the boys for weekend visits for 8 weeks prior to them moving in full time so we were used to having little feet around for a while. But having 2 sets of feet for good was a bit scary, to say the least. "J" has some speech issues and I remember saying to Billy "What happens if we can't understand him and we don't know what he needs??" Well, the little man's speech has come SO FAR in the last 8 months and what he can't verbally tell you, he figures out a way to tell you in other ways. We are really excited to be closing one chapter of their lives, the one that labels them as "foster kids" and opening a new chapter, the one where they are part of a forever family. "K" has started to tell any and everyone that he is getting a new name soon and that he will be stuck with Jennifer and Billy forever. His face seems to light up as he tells people and gets a cute little giggle to his speech. It just makes me very so great. I am not really sure how much of the process he understands but he is comfortable with us and that is all that matters. "K" has an attachment issue and for a long time would not respond to "I love you" with anything other then a smile. He has recently started to respond with "I love you too" and even better, just saying it at random times!! What a big step for him. 
Tonight we went to the Laynes' house for dinner. The Carr family was there as well, including the very cute 1 month old Wesley. As long as he isn't crying, I enjoy holding him. As Wes was all snuggled up on my chest sleeping soundly, I couldn't help but think about how no one did that for "K" and "J" when they were little. No one just let them cuddle and sleep and feel safe while being held. "J" was 6 weeks old when he was placed with his special mom and dad so he had a great deal of love and cuddle after that, but "K" didn't have that bonding time as an infant. I have heard/read/been told that the most important time for learning attachment happens during those precious few months of life. It breaks my heart to think our little men didn't have that time! I guess my thoughts tonight, my sadness for this missing part of their life, especially "K", just means we need to work that much harder on giving him that nurturing time he missed out on. Hopefully it isn't too late....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

There is something to be said about....

...going to the bathroom alone! "J" is still working on potty training. He is making a great deal of big steps forward but is obsessed with flushing the toilet! Today, the little men and I were out running a few errands and two different times I needed to go to the bathroom. Well, into the big stall all three of us go. Each boy takes their turn and then it's Mommy's turn. All the while, "J" is asking "I flush it now?" while inching closer and closer to me! I can barely stand up and he is flushing the toilet! Dear goodness my're going to flush your momma down the drain!

"K" had his tonsils taken out on Monday. The first two days were cake for him. You wouldn't have known anything had happened to him. Yesterday and today have been terrible. The little guy is in such pain and doesn't want to eat anything. He did manage to drink a milkshake for breakfast but other then that, he hasn't eaten all that much. He really doesn't complain but I know he feels horrible since he came in from outside tonight at 7:10 and told me he was done playing outside. 

In less then a month, the boys will offically be Dennis'! We have a bunch of paperwork and things to get done over the course of the next few weeks. We did find a great website (, with the help of our dear friend Cara, to create our adoption announcements! They did a great job and we are so excited to get them mailed out. I would highly recommend them to anyone who is in the market for announcements of some sort! 

Monday, May 18, 2009

How things have changed!

We have had a really stressful two weeks around here. There is that saying "God only gives you what you can handle" but I am beginning to think he has overestimated what type of person I am!
My dad has been very ill recently. He has spent a total of 11 days between to hospitals and has long road to recovery ahead of him. I am confident that he will be able to handle the challenge but needs a lot of support and love to help him through.
My 14 year old cousin has suffered two strokes in the past week. Up until this time, he was a healthly, active young man. Right now, he is stable but also has a long road ahead of him. For what he have heard, he is in great care.
I turned 30 on May 6th. It wasn't a major deal for me. I didn't have that panic about starting a new decade of my life. I am not sure why it didn't bother me but and glad it didn't. I don't think I could have handled another "crisis" that week! My friends at work made posters to hang around the building announcing to all about my age! The kids all got a kick out of it. Our building definately knows how to celebrate birthdays. We went out to dinner with our dear close friends, The Laynes. It was nice to spend time with them.
Mother's Day last year was a day we spent celebrating our mothers and everything they have done for us. In no way did I think I would have someone, or even two someones, wishing me a happy mother's day this year! It was so nice to hear those two little voices say "Happy Mother's Day Mom" to me. The boys have been such a blessing in our lives. We have, and continue to, enjoy every day we have with them. Last year at this time, we hadn't even met the boys. We had learned a little about them but that was it. It's hard for me to believe this considering how everything just seems right now.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Today we got news of our adoption date!! The boys will officially become Dennis boys on June 19th at 8:00 AM in the morning! Billy and I are happy to have a light at the end of the tunnel. Now we have to have a home assessor come out and visit with us for a little while. Then it's on to the courthouse for our hearing! We can't wait to hear the judge declare the boys part of the Dennis family forever! 

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Now we wait...

This past Monday, Billy and I went to the lawyer's office and signed our adoption paperwork. We still have a few papers to fill out for children's services but the paper for the court is ready to go! Now we are just waiting to hear from our lawyer about our finalization date. I keep calling home multiply times a day to check our machine but still haven't heard anything. I am trying to have patience but I feel like a little kid on Christmas morning. I hate waiting...I am not a waiter, I have never been a waiter...I do not want to start now! If we don't hear anything by tomorrow, I think I will try to give him a call. Mr. M did say that the court is scheduling adoption hearings about 45 to 60 days out. Boy that sounds like a long time but we have already been waiting 180 days (or so) so what is a few more days. During that 60 day period, we have to have another home study completed. A person from the court will come out and talk to us and check out our home and our references. Our case worker told me that she knows the court lady will love us! She also did say that this lady is a spitfire and speaks her mind. YIKES! 
So now we keep wait...
Last night Billy and I took the boys to see "Thomas and Friends Live: A Circus Comes to Town". The boys LOVED it. We didn't tell them what we were doing until they saw a picture of Thomas at the theater. It was a great feeling to have them be so excited and surprised. When the show was over, Kyle said "That was AWESOME!". Definitely worth the ticket price to see their faces and joy. 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Oh what a (busy) week!

Up until this year, Billy has coached track and cross country so I am used to having a busy fall and spring time. When he moved to his assistant Principal's job, he decided he wasn't going to coach. our days would be less hectic. I was wrong! I didn't think about how he would be officalling some track meets, which doesn't take up AS much time, but does still keep him out a few nights a week. Don't get me wrong, I am glad he loves being involved with track/cross country, and this is a good way of him still being an active part of the sport. It is also nice that he makes a little extra money which will help with our summer vacation plans. It is just hard to be home alone at night with the boys. THEY ARE EXHAUSTING!!!! OH goodness, I love them more than you can imagine but they never stop. I don't know how two little people can have so much energy all the time. I just wish I had the same energy. I could get a whole lot more done!
Friday night we went to Cara and Doug's for dinner. Jared and Bethany were there as well. They are expecting their first child in the next two weeks. We can't wait to meet the newest Carr. We haven't seen a whole lot of them lately so it was nice to spend some time with them. The boys and Hannah played together. They are all so headstrong which causes a bit of healthy bickering. I think the love that the three share was best described at the end of the evening. Right after "J" knocked Hannah over, he gave her a kiss goodbye. Too funny. 
Saturday afternoon was spent dyeing Easter eggs with my parents and my grandparents. It was fun to watch the boys enjoy dyeing eggs so much. They made sure their egg had the perfect dye timing and had dyed enough eggs of each color. I was glad that I had put down a plastic tablecloth though since "J" just thought that he could throw the eggs into cups! 
The Easter Bunny came last night so the boys were excited with the surprises he left. "J" got a big boy bike (a whole 12 inches) which he attempted to ride this afternoon and very matter of factly told us that he "can't like this yet!" "K" got a t-ball bat and a tee. They both had sand pails full of little junk with very little candy. The boys aren't really candy kids so the less we have the better. Mamaw and Papaw and Aunt Sam and Uncle Scott brought baskets full of candy. Grandma and Pop and Grandma and Grandpa bought the boys new swings for their swingset. It surely did look like Christmas around here today!
"J" seemed a bit confused about who all these grandmas were tonight. He wasn't sure how to get the attention of the one he wanted. While he was in the bathtub tonight he started yelling "white grandma". Not sure who he was looking for, my mom and my grandma walked into the bathroom and asked who he wanted. He pointed to my mom (she had on a white shirt) and then pointed to my grandma, who was wearing a brown sweater, and said "brown grandma"! What a clever little bugger he is! 
As I have said many times before, life as we knew it has been turned upside down and become a bit more crazy but we wouldn't give it up in a million years! We are totally in love with those two little boys! 

Sunday, April 5, 2009

So much to say...

When we first met the boys, "J" was just starting to talk, at 2 and a half years old. When I say just starting, I mean just beginning to say words that you could barely understand, forget thoughts and phrases. I clearly remember him pointing to an airplane in the sky and thinking that if I hadn't known what he was pointing to I would have been clueless! Over the course of the last 10 months, he has started to say so much more, as kids who are learning to talk do. 6 months ago, he wouldn't even put 2 words together to make a request. Every day he starts to say more and put more words into sentences. This morning he came running into my bathroom and said "Mommy, Dad did my shoes! I can't tie them, it would take FOREVER!" I just laughed. He had his hands going a mile a minute and his head bobbing. TOO FUNNY!! He doesn't stop talking now. "J" has something to say about everything that happens. 
I remember hearing that what we say will come out of our kids mouths at some point. It amazes me how they can use words in correct context sometimes. "K" has started to tell us that things are "not necessary" when he feels they aren't. You can't help but laugh when it comes out of his mouth. He has also started to say "Oh crap!" which really isn't horrible in the whole picture but still something we are trying to stop. The other night I got on him for saying it and asked him where he learned that from! With this very innocent look he said "My special Mommy says it when the cat gets in the flower pots!" His special mommy is his first foster mom who he loves so much. I couldn't get upset with him about saying it but did explain that I didn't want to hear it again. 
"K" has finished up his basketball season, which he loved. He has started to play T-ball which he seems to be a bit better at. He also really likes this sport. I think he just likes to be outside playing and having fun. 
In less than two weeks, we can fill out papers with the court to petition to adopt the boys. It is so amazing that the last 6 months have gone by so fast. We have a few papers to fill out this week and get to the lawyer then we wait for the 17th and to get a date for our adoption to be final. "K" seems to be excited about being stuck with us forever. So are we!   

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

5 months down, 1 to go!

Today marks 5 months since the boys moved into our house. 5 months and 1 day ago I was a ball of emotions. I was excited, nervous, worried, name it and I think I felt it that week! I kept wondering if we were doing the right thing, how are lives were going to change, how the boys would adjust. Then Friday Oct. 17th came and that afternoon our two boys walked into our house, just like they had done the past 8 Friday evenings, ready to be in their bedrooms, in their beds, playing with their toys and pets and being at our house. They never blinked an eye as all of their belongs came with them, as we put all their clothes away in their dressers and as we found places for more of their toys. They just knew they were home! 
The State of Ohio says that children placed in a home for adoption must be living there for 6 months before the paperwork can be filed to finalize their adoption. I believe this to keep the number of disrupted adoptions down. Someone must think that 6 months is ample amount of time for everyone to see true colors! We knew about this 6 month waiting period when the boys moved in. We weren't happy about it since we knew we wanted to adopt the boys long before they moved in but it is just one hurdle you have to jump! In October, 6 months seemed like it would take forever to get here. Then in February, Billy and I went and met with our adoption lawyer to start the process, and he said that in the beginning of April we would get back together to finish up the paperwork. At that time, the beginning of April seemed like it was so far off! I can't believe how quickly it is approaching! 
Billy and I will be so excited when we find out the date of our court hearing. We will be happy to have the boys legally be ours forever. We have started to talk to "K" about how his name will change when he is finally stuck with us forever. He seems really excited about it. I don't know how much of the whole adoption idea he understands but we tell him enough to help him understand what is going on. Both the boys know they are loved so much by so many people and that seems to be enough for them! 

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Perfect Slam Dunk!

This week was week 7 of the Upwards Basketball program which means that we only have one week left. The first night of practice, Billy sent me a text message and said that "K" had no basketball skills at all. Now remember when I asked "K" if he wanted to play basketball he said "Sure" then a few minutes later he (very enthusiastically) questioned "Jennifer, what is basketball?". With that being said, Billy's message wasn't much of a surprise. We didn't expect "K" to be the star of the team. We just wanted him to have a place to get some energy out, learn to play on a team with other kids and to more importantly, just have fun. If he gained some ball skills, that would be an added plus. 
During the first practice, "K" couldn't even dribble the ball standing still. In his game today, he was dribbling the ball while walking down the court. During the first week, he would attempt to "granny throw" a ball into the net not even coming close to the hoop/net/backboard. Today he was attempting to shoot the ball and came very close to the net, throwing the ball overhand. Not too bad in our book!
The Upwards program does not keep score and every kid gets to play equal time. But it is hard to not realize which team is scoring points. The other 8 kids on "K's" team have shot and made many baskets throughout the season. "K" has not. Well today during his game, "K's" coach picked him up and held him close enough to the net that "K" was able to "slam dunk" the ball. Everyone erupted in applaud. Needless to say, Mom and Grandma had tears in our eyes looking at the HUGE smile (the one I love so much) on my little man's face. He was so happy and proud and excited and every other happy emotion. It was awesome. During the post game meeting, his teammates where congratulating "K".  He was on cloud nine! 
He was still smiling about it tonight while he was telling his other set of grandparents about it. Coach Kyle has no idea what his assisted shot means to "K" and to Billy and I!! 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

warmer weather...

This past weekend has brought warmer weather around here which is a nice change to the bitter cold a week or so ago! The boys LOVE being outside and have enjoyed every minute of the warmer temperatures. For Christmas and birthday they both got red wagons that they have pulled, rode in and dragged the wagons all around our yard. We also have a basketball hoop that has allowed for some much needed practice on "K's" part. The boys also have rode their bikes and big wheels all around. It is amazing how much better "J" is getting at riding his bike. Mamaw (Billy's mom) taught "J" how to pedal. Now he is a little speed demon around the driveway. I love seeing how he just takes off. It is a big change from a few months ago when he would just cry because he couldn't do it. "K" has also grown into his 2 wheeler with training wheels and he can ride all around as well but he prefers his big wheels since he can go faster and skid to a stop. Much cooler if you are 6! 
Speaking of changes, we have two dogs who "J" was terrified of a few short months ago. "J" wouldn't even let them look at him without screaming and yelling and running away. The running away in turn cause the dogs to chase "J" which would cause more screaming! Today as we were getting out of the car from school, the dogs came running up to greet us and "J" was so happy to see them. He cheerfully said "Sophie, Buddy, play?" It is very amazing to me how comfortable he is with them now. "K" was never really afraid of them but was still a little nervous but has really come around as well. The dogs are "theirs" now. All the animals around here belong to those two boys! 
Basketball is coming to an end shortly, only two more games to go. "K" wanted to play baseball also so we just signed him up for t-ball today. It will start shortly after basketball ends. He is excited about it. "J" isn't so happy though as he can't play until next year since he is only 3.  Hopefully baseball will go as well as basketball has. "K" loves playing and has really learned to work well with other kids on the team. 
Tonight as we were brushing our teeth for bed, having the usual silliness and giggles, I just looked at this two little men and realized how much love I have for them. I mean, I have known how much I love them for a long while but just at that moment it all hit me just really how much that is! 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

showing more love...

Things are getting better and better around here. That's not to say we don't have our rough patches, like yesterday! But on a whole, we are getting to be more and more like a family around here. "J" has really taken to calling us mom and dad which is so cute to hear. "K" hasn't quite gotten there yet but does respond when someone else calls us his mom or dad. We know that with time we will be "mom and dad" to him but Billy and I both know that he knows we love him and are so happy he has become part of our lives. "K" just has some attachment issues that a kid who has been through his experiences is expected to have. I know he still wonders "What next? Where am I going to go next?" He has gotten more loving lately though. He will walk up to us and say "I love you" or just walk up to us and hug us. Tonight he walked into the living room and came and sat on my lap and just hugged me for quite some time. Then he just walked away. It made me smile. He'll come around on his own time! 
"J" has been battling a cold for almost a week now. Last Wednesday he spiked a fever and was just so unbearable. "J" has had battles with asthma attacks before and I am so worried that I will not know what to do if one happens. (I don't do well with stress!) I ended up taking him to the Children's Urgent Care at our hospital Thursday night to find out it was, in fact, just a cold. Friday was a horrible day for him and myself. He cried all day and by that afternoon my nerves were fried. Thank goodness my mom had spent the day with us to help out with some appointments we had! Saturday morning found him more like himself but even now, he is still not 100%. 
"K" continues to improve with his basketball skills and games. He is totally in love with playing the sport. He looks forward to his practice and can't wait to go to his game on Saturday mornings. He tries really hard and doesn't do bad for a kid who hasn't ever played before. Watching him play ball, I am amazed that he had such a delayed start in life! We are looking for a baseball program for him to get into this Spring. We would like him to play t-ball since he hasn't ever played and his hand/eye coordination isn't what it should be. We just feel that it would be better for his self-esteem and confidence. 
We are working on planning a trip this summer with our friends, The Laynes and their soon to be 2 daughters. Right now we are leaning towards Atlanta Georgia. It seems that there is a good bit of kid friendly things to do around that area. We all always up for a good road trip, no matter where we end up! 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

busy days and the potty battle...

Some days it feels like we have gone nonstop from the minute the boys get out of bed to the minute they get back into bed and then some! We aren't always out and about doing this and that but still, life stays busy here! 
We put "K" into an organized activity. We felt it would be good for him to learn how to work with other kids as a team and to be able to listen/follow to directions. There is a good program called Upward Sports. The program is based on the "everyone wins, everyone learns" theory. Now before you start rolling your eyes, like we did, it is much more. The program emphasis teamwork, skills, and personal gain. After doing some investigating, Billy and I did this would be a good program for "K" to be part of. So far, we are really impressed. So "K" has been playing basketball for a few weeks. He definitely has his mother's sense of coordination though or lack there of but HE LOVES IT!! He follows the directions, listens to the coaches and seems to get along with the other kids on the team. Not only does he love it, but it also gives "K" and Billy time to spend together each week.  
We are still battling the potty training issue with "J"! Every time I feel like we are making some progress with it, I AM WRONG! I know it may take a while to potty train but I just wish it would happen!!! I guess we will get there at some point! 

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The A&D episode!

This morning "J" woke up with a bit of a diaper irritation on his legs, so I attempted to put some diaper cream on his legs to help with the discomfort. I say attempted but he screamed at the idea of having this yucky lotion on his legs. I don't know if I was even successful at getting any cream on his legs. I figured if his legs started to hurt enough he would let me put the cream on his legs and I put the tube on top of his dresser. 
Billy and I decided to take the boys separate ways today and do our own things with them. "K" and I went out and ran errands and enjoyed a fine cuisine from McDonald's for lunch. Billy took "J" to the high school to work out and then go to look at some hardwood floors for our house. I was on my way home and received this text message picture of "J" covered in some sort of something, with a huge grin on his face. The message read "Someone loves A&D ointment!" Well when the boys got home, "J" went to watch TV in his room and got really quiet. Billy went to check on him and found him and his whole bed and surroundings covered in the A&D!  Billy threw "J" into the shower to wash him up but it didn't help much! When I got home "J" was nice and shiny with a head of hair that appeared to be soaked with sweat! I asked him what happened and he said "lotion, "J" did it, big mess!" He also told me that "bottle empty, all gone now!" It was too funny...It was hard to get mad at him about it but it was also hard to not laugh at him while talking to him. I do love that little man! 
I guess that over the course of his day, "J" decided that the A&D cream wasn't that  bad after all! Now if we can just get rid of the greasy head before church tomorrow....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What doesn't kill us....

is supposed to make us stronger right? Well I am not sure how much stronger we all our after our last few days around here! I am born and raised as a New Jersey winter girl. When it snows, it snows that day, the road crew cleans up the roads and everyone moves on with their lives. With that said, I love living in Ohio any time but when it snows! It started to snow here Monday night and finally quit yesterday afternoon. In the meantime, we were blanket with snow, then ice and then snow again. All along we haven't had school and will not be going again tomorrow. The roads still leave a lot to desire. 
Tuesday Kyle lost his first tooth. The Tooth Fairy came and left him $5.00 for his first tooth. He has another tooth that is really loss as well. Tonight at dinner, he commented on the tooth fairy coming again. To that I quickly said "The tooth fairy only leaves $5.00 for your first tooth! Don't expect it each time!" He just laughed. 
All day Tuesday the boys wanted to go outside to play. I kept telling them when Dad got home they could get bundled and go out to play with him. As soon as they woke up from their nap, they were ready to go. We all bundled up and headed out to play. We had a good time. "J" wasn't so sure how he felt about the snow though. He liked the idea of going out but once he was there it wasn't as much fun as he had thought! He was so bundled up that when he would run and fall over, he couldn't get back up. Funny to the rest of us but he hated it! 
Wednesday morning was when the true excitement began though! We woke up to about 15 minutes of power then NOTHING! We lost power for almost 30 hours. Billy ventured out to the local hardware store to buy a kerosene heater yesterday morning. Now as a side note, he was cursing me the whole time because he did want to buy one a week ago and I put it off. I learned my lesson! It is amazing how much heat that little heater could put off. We were able to keep warm all day but it was very trying at times with the boys running around the 3 rooms we had open and heated. I kept praying all day that the power would come back all day then at some point overnight but we woke up to a powerless house this morning. Then finally around 11:45 this morning, the power came back on for good. We were very thankful and then trying to figure out a reason to get out of the house! We took the boys to Bob Evans for dinner. They love pancakes and were excited to have them for dinner. 
We all are experiencing extreme cabin fever. Hopefully tomorrow we can venture a bit farther out and do something fun. Not sure what it will be but I will make a good attempt at locating something! 

Friday, January 23, 2009

The boys do some pretty funny things!

Every night I before I go to bed, I go in and check on the boys. "J" tends to cover himself up with his blanket or pillow or whatever may be around. I am still a "new mom" and get nervous so I always take whatever it is off of his head. The other night I do my normal routine and found "J" sleeping sitting up indian style, slumped over on a pillow. He just looked so horribly uncomfortable so I moved him a bit but still trying to keep him sleeping! What probably happened was he was playing in his bed, which is often does once the lights go out, and just crashed. It amazes me how he can do that, just fall asleep! 
This morning "K" was standing in the kitchen drinking his morning chocolate milk and started to cough. I asked if he was okay and he said "Yes, I just have a throat" I said "Yes you do, you are right!" He said "No, like a frog in my throat!" I said "Oh, ok, I think you will be ok though". A bit later he was brushing his teeth and from the bathroom I hear "I was right, I do have a throat! I checked in the mirror and I saw it!" Oh too cute. I just chuckled and told him how much I love him! He smiled and walked away. 
The weather was warm today (low 50's) which was a much needed break from the terribly cold weather we have had lately. I thought it would be good to wash my car after school and get the crud off of it. Well everyone else in the area thought it was a good idea too and I was not successful in my quest! I had told the boys I wanted to go to the car wash and "J" kept asking me to go to the "car washing machine please!" 
They got to run around outside for a bit this evening. They dragged their new wagon all around our rather muddy yard, which they loved until it got stuck. That is when the two boys felt they needed to run through our cream color carpeted house to tell me that the wagon was stuck. Wouldn't be a big deal but they did their running with this mud covered sneakers on. Let's just say, "Stanley Steamer, when can you get here???" 

Saturday, January 17, 2009

a mini vacation and an attempt at "camping"

We have had a surprise mini-vacation and I have to admit, I really am enjoying it! Thursday was a snow day, yesterday was a "too cold to go to school" day, and Monday is a holiday so...yea for us! I have gotten so much done already, I wish I had had this energy during the two weeks of Christmas vacation! I guess better late then never, huh?
Today started out pretty quiet around here. Then things got a bit more noisy! Today was the day that "J" woke up and decided that he was going to potty all day long! We have been working SO hard on potty training him but it is so hit and miss. I am hoping his new found love of the potty and staying dry will continue. Potty training a boy is risky though. "J" is usually more interested in what is going on outside of the bathroom and not paying attention to what is going on IN the bathroom. Yesterday his "success" hit my leg and today it allowed for the floor to be washed!  "J" went for a ride with Billy to get horse fed. My mom came over to visit with munchkins which made her AWESOME in "K's" eyes! Well in the excitement of Grandma AND Mamaw and Papaw being here, "K" hit his nose on their bed pretty hard. Don't ask how because we aren't sure! Boy did it hurt! I think it may be bruised tomorrow! As we are eating lunch he looks at me and said "I am so cranky because I am tired! I need a nap!" Done deal dude! 
We headed to a local high school to watch a basketball game with Billy. Billy has to be at his high school's games, all three of them!! The boys and I last one game then we headed to Donatos for pizza. The boys love pizza and when they are finished eating it, you can tell they love it! Afterwards we came home and crashed while watching two of our favorite TV shows. The boys got sleeping bags for Christmas so I suggested they sleep in them on the floor tonight. They both seemed very excited about it so I tucked them in and out I went. I went in about 10 minutes later and to my surprise, "J's" bag was empty. Then I hear this little voice say "I sleep in bed" and there he was all curled up on his bed! It was too cute! 
Tomorrow morning the boys and I are going to church with Aunt Cara, Uncle Doug and Hannah. "K" said "I don't see why not! Do they have stairs?" It is funny the things they think to ask! Their old church had stairs with a large room at the bottom which housed Sunday school. So knowing that, all churches should have that! 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

life is starting to slow down again....hopefully!

    MY OH MY!!! I feel like we have been living on full speed ahead since Christmas! We have spent a lot of time visiting family, going different places, and just running for the past few weeks. During Christmas break, the boys were able to meet more of their new family. I know that at times they just felt like "more new people!" but enjoyed the attention they were getting. Our whole family has been so excited to meet the two newest members of our family. 
    We went back to school last Monday. The boys were glad to be back to a normal schedule, at least we thought so! (It's amazing how much kids need a routine.) Wednesday of last week, "J" woke up with pink eye! It was something going through the daycare and he just happen to be lucky enough to get it. Last Thursday was "K's" 6th birthday. We spent the evening as family, just having his favorite meal and cake. He got a couple of presents which made him happy. 
     This past weekend my grandparents were able to come up and meet their newest great grandchildren. THE BOYS LOVED THEM!!! We got to spend a great deal of time just hanging around and bounding. Saturday evening we had both sets of grandparents, great grandparents, Aunt Sam and Uncle Scott, and Aunt Cara, Uncle Doug and Hannah over for dinner. Before everyone arrived, we had Christmas with Great Grandma and Grandpa. Talk about two spoiled little boys!  
Last night was parent teacher conferences at my school. We are lucky enough to have been able to enroll "K" in the school district where I work even though that is not our district of residence. So last night I got to play both sides of the parent teacher conference. It was very strange to be on the other side of the table. "K's" teacher is wonderful yet firm which is exactly what he needs. It was nice to hear that he is adjusting well to kindergarten but still has a few things to work on. While Billy and I were both up at school, my parents and grandparents came over to watch the boys. When we got home, "J" and Great Grandma were carrying on and "J" was giggling uncontrollably! It was so funny. He definitely found a new friend! I am not sure who was more worn out at the end of the evening though!
Today Central Ohio is blanket with yet another snow! As of right now we have a 2 hour delay tomorrow. That means no kindergarten for "K". We will see what the AM brings weather wise. We have more snow then the weathermen had called for so we will see....
On a different note, Cara reminded me that today is a special little man in Ukraine's 12th birthday. Max, please know that we think of you so much and love you! Hope your birthday is a special day for you!