Wednesday, April 30, 2008


UPDATE: 9:30 pm-

From Nene to Poppi y Karla

Feliz cumpleanos!!!!!!!!!!!

No pictures again- although I did take a few. No news on Bug, he is doing fine.
This post is all about Uncle Dave

Uncle Dave moved in with us on 10Nov2007. Things were fine until March- partly because I was then plotting the last few weeks of him being with us per our original agreement and partly because of choices he made. I love my brother, but I don't think I want to live with him again.

Today, he moved out. I am sure he will struggle for a while, but I refer back to the choices he made. As the last hours played out, I was both exhausted from 7 months of him being here in my house and worried about how he would do. But he is 36 years old,so he will be fine in the end.

So here is the post

time: 7 months
cost: more than I could really afford, but he needed to leave
coming home knowing the house was just for Bug and me: priceless

For the first time in months, I turned on to our street and realized that I did not have to look for Uncle Dave's car and I did not have wonder when he would come home- We were home and no one else was coming over. Just Bug and I at home. The plan for the next few days:
1. Clean the room Uncle slept in
2. Clean the bathroom Uncle Dave and Bug shared
3. Get the dishes done
4. start painting the room that will become Bug's Big Boy room (see #1)
5. Get the living room cleaned
6. Get organized.

There is lots to do- I am off to start the second wave of cleaning on the room- first wave done this evening.

Love to you,

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Shopping with Bug

Sorry no pictures, it was a spur of the moment shopping trip.

As stated in the last post, or perhaps implied, Bug is growing up and I am beginning to think about transitioning him from the crib into a twin bed. but what to do? I have been searching stores and online sites for inspiration on bedding, but nothing has caught my attention as being Bug worthy and Bug suitable. UNTIL......

Yes, I ventured to the IKE@ store that opened last month. There I found what I was looking for and what Bug liked. He picked out his new bedding (not yet bought).

I found some great boxes/shelves for his wall- we can put things in the boxes and I can decorate on top of them- so it is storage and display area. You can add baskets/bins inside the slots- way cool. Very much like cubby holes in preschool or like the ones I had in my dorm room when I was freshman in college.

We did manage to buy the clothes hamper- I thought it was cute. These will be the colors in Bug's bug boy room. I am still trying to figure out exactly how to paint the walls- maybe paint the bottom portion of the wall teh blue color and then add a stripe in the green, or maybe paint one wall blue and one wall green- leaving the closet wall and the door wall the cream color that is already in the room. So many choices.

The goal is to be done decorating the big boy room by his 3rd birthday, so he can move into the room as part of being a big boy who is 3 years old. I think it will be a transition over the last weeks of July and the early part of August, but he is already excited to get his big boy bed.

That's it for tonight. Love to you,


Monday, April 28, 2008

A new direction

Doors seem to be closing in my life right now and I have been struggling to hold them open. Today I realized that I just need to let them close.

I talked with mom today about my dad's comments. He did not mean them the way they came out (which I am happy about). he was trying to say that right now I should be focused on Bug and our family, not worrying about building our family. I have been talking classes to be a foster parent and it is time away from Bug for 5 weeks. I started them in August, but realized after one class it was too soon to be away from Bug in the evening. I started back up in April, but even 10 months after coming home, it stresses Bug out to be away from me for longer periods- not that he does not enjoy being with Mam and Pap or Lulu and her family- it just takes time away from us.
Then in the class 2 weeks ago, the county social worker stated that during the home study process, we are not allowed to move any furniture in our house!!! Now the last time I went through the home study process with the county, it took 9 months from my first home study visit until I was licensed. So that would mean that I could not move furniture at Christmas to put up a tree, I could not buy new furniture (already ordered), I could not rearrange Bug's room when I move him to a big boy bed. Does anyone else see the issue with this?
And, once licensed, every bed for the ages I am licensed for must stay up and in place even if there is not child that age in my house- so an empty crib must stay up.
Now, I do not know about anyone elses house, but my house is small ranch, built in the 1950's. I do not have to room to keep a crib, a twin bed and a double bed up at all time. I can keep 2 up at any time, but not all 3 unless I am willing to create fire hazards in one room (which I am not). So at this point, I think the door to be a foster parent (legal risk) is closing. I am still a licensed adoptive parent for the state, and perhaps one day a new family member will join us through that avenue.
My goal right now is to enjoy this time with Bug- he will only be little once, he will only be this age once. Our time and life together is more important than anything right now.
I realized as I prepare for my brother to move out that Bug and I have not really had time to enjoy each other when it is just us. Dave moved in when Bug and I were still struggling to be a family and we have dealt with Dave in our family dynamic for the last 7 months. After Wednesday night, it will be just Bug and I with no 3rd person in the house to add extra stress or schedule to work around, it will be just Bug and I on our own.
I think I am going to like this time with Bug- just us, just our little family.

Of course, we will still Mam and Pap, Lulu and family and uncle Dave, but we will be on our own for the first time since we became a family.

I am looking forward to helping Bug make choices for his big boy room, for planting more gardens, to watching him start gymnastics, going back to swimming lessons and just being together.

UPDATE 9:30pm: the superviosr for the county just called me back, apparently the information that the social worker shared is not true- I can rearrange furniture in the house as I want- but I cna not displace a family memebr for a foster child (duh!!) and I must show the rooms set up to the social worker at a home study visit- not all of them, just one. So that made me feel that the door was still open, but my heart is saying that Bug and I need some time (even though I will no tbe licensed until at least January of 2009). So I am going to pick up the 4 classes I still need in one of the later sessions or 2 and focus this time on Bug. The homestudy process will start in the next month and that is OK- it is going to take 6 months to complete if the county is on the ball, I just can not be licensed until all the classes are done. So, I am walking forward, but knowing that Bug is my concern and priority.

So questions- please respond:
1. I am going to start Bug in gymnastics class at the YMCA. it is the only class he can take at 2-3 and right at 3. Should I put him in the Mommy and me gymnastics class first or just put him in the instructor lead class (where parents sit on the sideline and watch)?
2. Should I put him in another mommy and me swim class- where he and I are in the water together, or put him in the preschool class (4 kids, 1 instructor), again parents on the side line?
3. And finally, after he turns 3 this summer, he is eligible for summer camp (2 hours in the morning or 3 hours in the afternoon). I am thinking about enrolling him in a "Sports of all sorts" week of camp. he would get to play all sorts of sports and be with other kids his own age. The draw back is that this camp is during work hours, so I would not be able to go with him Auntie Lulu says she will take him and stay with him during camp. I am not sure if Bug will be ready for anything that is not momma centered, but I want him to try new things.

I love gymnastics, Bug enjoyed watching some men's gymnastics this weekend- he actually told me "I do that I bigger, momma" which translates to I will do that when I am bigger momma. he has been trying to do forward rolls- somersaults- for the last few weeks. I think he would enjoy the class.
He loves to swim, so anything with water is cool with him, I am just not sure he is ready for swim lessons with just an instructor. I am not sure he will respond to the instructor.

Each class is 45 minutes long, so it would be 90 minutes a week for 8 weeks. I figured no matter what I decide to do, Bug and I would end up swimming together after his classes.

So thoughts on what to do?

Love and hugs to you all,

Sunday, April 27, 2008

An outing with the Single Moms

I am not sure why the layout suddenly changed, but I kind of like it. I decided to go a had and post the pictures after thinking about my last post. Saturday, Bug and I spent the afternoon with a group of Single moms whose children were all adopted. The older kids are all from Russia and China and the younger kids are all from Guatemala. I think it is great that they get to see diversity and that they all come from the same types of families- single parent families.

Here are the older Guatemalan-American girls pushing Bug and Y on the swings. They were arguing over who would get to push the "babies"

Bug and Y enjoying a laugh- actually they were drumming on the table and just loving being out together.

We played with T and Y, N and D, J and N, and R and J. All of these kids are FTIA kids. All of us met on the journey. It is amazing to see Y who came home first down to D who has only been home 6 weeks, all playing together and just hanging out. We missed MK and MK2- they were watching ELMO . Hopefully, next month we can all be together.

This picture is from earlier in the week- I took Bug to the park after work, we had a picnic and he fell asleep on the way home. He just looks so cute- OK uncomfortable too, but that is why kids have soft bones, so they can sleep in their carseats and make their mommas just sit and stare at them.
Well, I feel better after posting these pictures- Bug and I are a family- we may be little, the world may see us as broken, but we are a family. I like our family- we have room for more in our family, bu if in the end, it is just Bug and I in our family, I will be happy.
Love and hugs to you,

It just hurts

I will post pictures tomorrow from our wekend- we had a wonderful Saturday with a bunch of other families parented by Single Moms.

Bug and I were featured in a newspaper article on Thursday about women who choose to be single mom/parents. I thought the article was well done, although single moms who build their family via foster/adoption in US were not represented. In any case, in today's paper, the letters to the editor started showing up- 2 were published, both of which blasted the article for only showing professional women and glorifying being a single parent. One questioned whether we had the resources to parent if anything would happen to our jobs. What hurt the most was my dad sat and agreed out loud with everything the letter writers wrote. It just hurt to realize that underneath his acceptance of my choice, is really this belief that I will ultimately fail if I lose my job.
It does not matter that a 2 parent family could fail for the same reason, it only mattered that we were single moms who made this choice.
It just hurts that in his mind, I am second best, I am not going to succeed.

it is not like I have not thought through these things, it is not like I did not have to address them in my home study visits. I realize that I am sole breadwinner for Bug and I. I know that, I feel it each day. I just never thought that my dad felt I would not succeed in the end.

I never thought I would be a single parent, I never planned to be a single parent. I always and still want to be married, but I also always wanted to be a mom. I am no different then my cousins and most of the rest of my family- I am a parent first, marriage will come later- the only difference is that I did not give birth to my child, Bug, where they all gave birth first and then got married. That sounded harsh- but it true, I think I can cont on one hand my cousins who got married first and then had kids, the norm is get pregnant/have a child then get married.
Today's comments from my dad really got to me. I probably could have let them roll off my back if it was not for the other stress in my life right now. 3 more days and my brother moves out. I have more to say on that subject, but I need some time to think about what I want to say and how I want to say it. I do wish at times I had a private blog- then I would know who was reading and when. But since I have an open blog, I have to watch what I say at times. All I know right now is I wonder why the heck I moved back to my hometown to be closer to my family- because I am not feeling loved and supported.

So off to bed, maybe things will be better in the morning.

Love to you,

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wednesday- one year ago, the call that changed my life

Bug- same swing- 4th season he has been pictured in front of it. I have to put together a montage of the pictures.
Through the tunnel to the other side- worth the wait
Is there any little boy cuter than BUG???? No way, peeps- he is the cutest on the planet Daredevil in the making- he loves to climb up the slides. This one had him fooled- he could get almost to the top and then he would lose his footing and slide back down
Dinner in the park- chips, grape tomatoes, turkey and cheese on whole wheat bread and apple juice. We also had tangerines for dessert. It was a good night

Bug on Monday- climbing up the slide at home
Our clothes line holder (for lack of the better word). 300 pounds of concrete, one pole sleeve and 7 days of drying time before I put the clothes line pole in to the holder and start hanging out the wash to dry. Yes, 300 lbs- apparently I error on the side of overkill with my holing digging. My dad lectured me on using a post hole digger- I think it means the pole will stay put. Oh well.

Tomorrow- Wednesday 23Apr2008, is the one year anniversary of the call that changed my life. No, it was not the call for Bug's refer, but the call that told me our file was approved by PGN. I can not believe it has been a year, I can not believe that we are 6 weeks away from the one year anniversary of our family being together- of Bug's homecoming.

I do remember the call, it was a Monday morning, around 9:30 am, I was in a conference call for work and my home phone rang. I put the work call on mute thinking it was my mom calling me and answered the phone. On the other end was Holly, my coordinator at FTIA. She identified herself and asked if I had time to talk. I figured that she was just calling to tell me there was no news on my case, so I told her I would call back after my conference call ended!!!

When I called her back 30 minutes later, she told me she had never had a family tell her that they would call her back when she was calling to tell them they were OUT!!! It never even crossed my mind that her call was that our case was approved by PGN. I was working with adoption supervisors and they checked on my case on Tuesday and Fridays- there was no news the week before. I could not believe I was out. I emailed them right away to confirm it since my lawyer had lied to FTIA in the past. They confirmed the OUT and the planning to bring Bug home began in earnest.

How a year has changed me- that call and the confirmation the next day of Bug's birth mother's sign off made me a MOMMA- my dream came true finally.

Bug and I went to the park tonight- for me it was a celebration of being a family on paper for a year, for him it was time to run and play. it means so much to me to go and play with him at the park- it is a dream come true, a joy, a blessing, a gift. There are not enough words to express to God how grateful I am to be Bug's momma. Hoe much his life means to me. All I know is that over this year, my heart has been fuller, my hands have been busier, my house has been messier, my tears have been many, my thoughts deeper, and I have found love in the eyes of a little boy. Each day, my love grows for him. Each day we are more and more a family. I never imagined how my life would change, I never imagined how I would change, I never imagined how awesome it is to be a momma.

Have a great evening an wonderful day on Wednesday.
Love to you,

Friday, April 18, 2008

Hermano, the park and the park some more

OK- slightly out of order. This is Wednesday night. We had a picnic in the park with Y and her momma. The weather was just fantastic. Y is about the most fearless little thing- she was way ahead of Bug in trying out all the playground toys. Bug was all about the hugs
This is something he was terrified of last summer, so we are off to a good start.
Riding the squirrel- or rocking it as the case maybe
T pushing the kids on the swings. Bug was busy watching the big boys play basket ball
right after this, he slipped and fell. His chin had a scratch and was swollen by the time we got home. I felt like such a bad momma because when it happened, I told him it was OK and there was nothing there. YIKES!!!

Friday night we met up with Hermano and his parents for dinner and then playtime at the park. The boys had a great time. Again, it was interesting to see how Bug hung back and Hermano was fearless- so fearless in fact, that he made it up the HUGE slide and went down- flipping upside down along the way which freaked out his momma and me. Bug was scared of the slides for the rest of the night.

Here are the boys on the bridge-Bug looking like Mr. Joe cool in his sun glasses.
Rocking the squirrel again
Dinner- the boys had chicken fingers and fries. Bug is putting pepper in his ranch dip- he loves to shake pepper on everything and he would shake salt on everything too if I would give him the salt shaker.
Hermano waiting on his food
climbing the stair together- seriously, Hermano was all about the play area and going here and there, no fear. Bug was so cautious and so slow to try new things. I worry that he has the same personality traits that I do and he will be scared to try new things.
Well, that it is for tonight. We came home exhausted from our evening of fun with Hermano. we have plans to get together more frequently so the boys have time to enjoy their time. I love the time with K and J, talking about the boys and how they are growing and developing.
Love to you,
Deb AKA momma Bug

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I can't find my camera right now, so pictures tomorrow evening after we get back from dinner with hermanao and his parents (YEAHHHHHHHH).

First- Guatoberfest is coming up - the location moved form TN (I am so bummed about that) to Myrtle beach SC (we can't make that drive this year). It should fun and exciting- last year's event looked so great. So if you are interested, check out the link on my side bar or go here

I am looking forward to hear all about the fun festivities.

Second- Bug is back on going to bed without screaming. Seriously, it is the one step forward, 3 step backs plan at our house. Tonight, no issues out of him and that made for a relaxing evening. It might have helped that we dug a 25 inch hole for our new laundry line or the fact that we then trimmed bushes along our fence line, in any case, Bug and I were worn out by the time we sat down for dinner.

Third- we had a play date with Y this week. The park was great and relaxing. Pictures will be posted tomorrow.

And finally- I was interviewed for our local paper today. The reporter was talking to Singles who choose to be parents- Single parents by choice. I got to tell my story to Bug and the reasons why I choose international adoption and the reasons for going back to get my fostering license. If the article gets published in the paper (next Thursday), I will link to the article here. She did ask if I would send a picture of Bug and I but she was unsure if the picture would make it in to the article. We'll see.

I hope you all had a wonderful day. Love to you,
Deb AKA Momma Bug

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I meant to post an update last night, but ran out of time.

Bug screamed for an hour last night before he fell asleep. Uncle Dave and I took bets as to where his blankets were- when I checked on him 30 minutes after he stopped screaming, the blankets were on the floor where Bug had thrown them.

Tonight, Bug again refused the blankets being put on him, but accepted hugs and kisses. Then as I walked out of the room, he started to throw the blankets on the floor. He was informed that if the blankets were thrown on the floor, they would remain there all night. he decided that blankets on him in the bed was good. he cried for 5 minutes after I walked out of the room.

I feel much better about it all tonight- amazing what a good massage can do for a momma. I started getting massage every 4-6 months after the surgery on my foot a few years ago and now I recognize how destressed I feel after them, so I try to budget for one whenever I can. Mam and Pap watched Bug and apparently they had a great time. Bug was all smiles and laughs when I came to get him.

He is now sound asleep and I need to be off to bed too.

Love and hugs to you all,
Deb AKA Momma Bug

Monday, April 14, 2008

too good to be true

This is the conversation with Bug and I tonight:

me: when the next commerical comes on- it is bedtime (we had finished 2 books and he indicated that he did not want his TU any more)
Bug: commerical?

We watch some more of This Old House, commerical comes on

me: OK, commerical time, time for bed
Bug: I want TU
Me: Momma said it was bedtime when the commerical came on and you said you no want the TU

Carry the Bug to bed

Me: Do you want momma to put your blankies on?
Bug: no blankies
me: do you want hugs and kisses
Bug: no

I move away from the door, ask the questions again, the answers are still NO, I move further away, ask again, still NO. I leave the room- SCREAMING ensues. Bug wants hugs, kisses, blankies on.

20 minutes later he is still SCREAMING for me to "come here".

This is getting old fast. I have stood outside his door and told him no- he came put his blankies on, he said NO to hugs and kisses, I love him but it is night night time.

You would think he would loose his voice or wear himself- or at least- learn that Momma is not coming back in when she leaves the room. The only thing I worry about with leaving him in the room, is that he will figure out that he can climb out of the crib and attempt it. I am not looking forward to the trip to the hospital that might ensue.

Why is this so hard for him to understand? Momma will put his blankie on, hug and kiss him, love on him, but he has to say or allow me to do it. There is a choice here and he does this to himself almost every night now.

I think I am going to sit outside for a while until he falls asleep.

Love and hugs to you,
Deb AKA Momma Bug

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pictures from the last few days

This is sign of how my day went- GREAT!!! Bug and I had one of the best days we have had since he came home. I am beyond thankful for the break from the stress of the day to day battles we have had. Yes, even Bug though the day was great.
We had church this morning, Bug in nursery and me in my class. we came home right after our class (did not stay for the service) since I had a little migraine starting (thanks to the weather). We napped for an hour, then talked with my friend El on the phone. We then headed out to the fabric store, then the furniture store (I bought a coffee table and 2 end tables- pictures once they arrive) and we went to T@rget. Bug did fantastic at all 3 stores. He charmed the socks of the sales staff at the furniture store, so they gave him a balloon, some popcorn, and a cookie.
We came home, cleaned, played and hung out. We had a wonderful time- no temper tantrums, no melt downs- just time together. We had to go out after dinner and cut the daffodils because we have freeze warnings for the next few nights. Yes, after wonderful weather in the 70s- we had snow flurries today and frost coming tonight. I thought it was SPRING!!!

Saturday evening, Bug discovered the new house behind our house. Our neighbors put this out on the sidewalk with a sign indicating it was FREE!!!! Working from home has advantages. I was pulling it into our yard by 10 am on Friday. I cleaned it up Friday night and I was thinking that Bug would finally see it the next time the weather got nicer. But, he decided to look out the back door and saw it. So in the freezing cold, we played outside for 15 minutes. He spent the entire time saying "Oh my GOSH!!!!!!". It was so cute, he was smiling and laughing and so excited.

checking out the new house
Trying to ring the door bell (it needs batteries)
A sink and stove - just his size
Momma- this house rocks!!! Hey Y, S., D, N, MK2, and all my friends must come over and play- bring on the warm weather!!!

Friday- the weather was fantastic. Although it was sunny, the wind was really strong, so we all had jackets on. Bug ended up sweating, I ended up in taking my jacket off.

You might think he was blowing kisses, but he was going "MOOOOOOOO"

On the swings with Pap. he wanted Pap to push him, which meant I got to stand in front and take pictures- usually I am pushing him and he hates it when I am in front of him.

Yes, they are both laughing and have a good time.
Just hanging around with Pap.
And the moment when I realized that one day I will not be able to keep up- he figured out how to climb up the slide - this was not a small slide. He was really working muscles.
The reason Bug is going to start GYMNASTICS this Spring. He definitely needs an outlet for his energy. I love gymnastics, Suzy and Nigua love gymnastics, so Bug is going to take gymnastics until he is 3 and can join the soccer (football) teams for the pre-schoolers.
Have a great week, love to you,
Deb AKA Momma Bug