Monday, June 27, 2011

Today is the first day in more than a week that we are home. Just home. Olivia hates it.

Last week, Olivia was at Vacation Bible School every morning for three hours. It was HEAVENLY to have three hours to myself every day, and I filled it with a lot of paper chasing (for the homestudy) and errands. As a reward for my "work" during those three hours, I showed up every day in time to watch Olivia and her new pals practice their Bible School songs. She left cheerful every day and was, overall, just easier to deal with. I'm thinking that morning bible school ROCKS and that she's TOTALLY ready for preschool.

Though I enjoyed my mornings alone last week, the addition of Bible School to our schedules did make life a little crazy. We had A LOT going on. And today, we have nothing. Also, it is raining. So I've done copious amounts of laundry and managed to FINALLY prepare my four heads of garden cabbage for fermenting. In six-to-eight weeks, we will be enjoying homemade sauerkraut. And I have more room in the fridge now that the cabbage is gone.

I've been cleaning and going through the pile of (non-adoption-related) paper on my desk and mostly just ignoring Olivia. She, in turn, has been making nonsensical and unnecessary requests every 30 seconds. I know she just wants my attention. But between the hectic schedule and the race to complete the adoption paperwork before our homestudy class next week (and we are almost done, yes, we are paperwork rockstars), I have done NOTHING in this house for more than a week. And it shows.

Here's hoping for a sunny day tomorrow and the freedom to get out and enjoy it!

Friday, June 17, 2011

It's Official! We are signed on for a pile of paperwork.

We went to an information seminar for an adoption agency on appointment we made several months ago when our homestudy expired and we decided to take a temporary break and then sign on with this other agency. While we had planned this as our starting point (again) for a few months, as it approached I began to feel more and more ready to get this thing going. It is high time we give our child a sibling.

Apparently, my husband was feeling the same way because after the mandatory seminar, he said, "Ok, who do we see to sign up?" We wrote a deposit check and were rewarded with a big stack of paperwork to complete in the next three weeks before our office interview and adoption class.

And away we go.

As I glanced through the paperwork, I felt sorry for the seminar attendees who were approaching adoption for the first time. This is our fourth homestudy, so we were well aware of the crazy scavenger hunt that is involved in the paperwork. And still, opening that packet was daunting. To be approaching this for the first time...I'm just glad I'm not back in that spot again.

Timeline...because of the program we chose and other factors in our life, we are looking at probably an average of 3-6 months from homestudy approval to placement. And this agency has a reputation of being pretty good at meeting those expectations while also providing stellar counseling and support to the birthmoms. It seemed like a pretty good fit after two years of "active waiting".

I'm excited. Are you?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The sun is wearing us all out

Summer looks good on Olivia. Unfortunately, it has been hard on her mood. I think she's just plain worn out. The sun, the heat...she's just tired.

Today was Olivia's very first dance class. We switched from gymnastics for the Summer. It was in the morning, even. And she behaved atrociously. It was embarrassing. Everything she did made it obvious to me that she was tired. She didn't want to do the sequence, then she wanted to do a different song, then she wanted to use the pompoms, then she wanted to dictate the moves they'd be doing. And the instructor was out of her element and just let Olivia, a 3-year-old, take over her class.

I'm not sure we will be going back to dance class.

We came home, and she was a big ball of whine. I fed her at 11:15, let her watch the last 10 minutes of a movie and then MADE her lay down. She was asleep by noon and slept until I woke her up at 2:15.

Now, I will probably pay for that little piece of heaven we call naptime. But I just could NOT spend my whole day with Madamoiselle McCrabby.

As a contrast, this afternoon she cheerfully helped me slice fruits and veggies for dinner. She helped with the dishes. She played nicely by herself. And after dinner, we will take her to the waterpark and let her swim the wave pool until they close, hoping against all hope that the evening sun and water will wear her out for a normal bedtime.

We must figure out a Summer schedule that works. We must.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Beach baby

Last week was most definitely Spring. There were thunderstorms every day and temperatures that struggled to go from cool to mild. Then the holiday weekend hit and the mercury started climbing steadily until it hit 90, and it has been camping out around there ever since then.

The very moment that my babysitting job ended for the season, Summer rushed in. And it appears to be here to stay.

I love Summer. Really I do. But here we are, a few days into this season of leisure, and already we've had a little too much sun and are wondering what to do with ourselves. Yes, there's always Local Theme Park, but it's hot and bright and the effort involved makes you feel like you have to spend a few hours there, and sometimes that is just too much.

We went outside around noon to play in the sandbox because Olivia was getting so restless in the house. Being stuck in the house makes her miss her playmates. Luckily, our playset stays shaded until about 1:00, so it seemed like a good idea to get out and play a little. Until I lifted the sandbox cover and disturbed the very comfortable little family of mice and their new nest.

Yuck. Yuck, yuck and so very icky.

After some quick thinking, I talked Olivia into packing up all of her sand toys so we could head to the beach. Our housing development is arranged around a series of lakes, one of which has a beach and swim area. I kind of hate lake swimming because of the living creatures and the seaweed. As it turns out, Olivia hates those things too. She desperately wanted to go off the diving board (which was being dominated by a bunch of loud, obnoxious teenage boys), but she was having a hard time getting past the ickies in the water, so I was spared that experience. We did get in the water a bit, and then I made a few castles which she proceeded to destroy with her shovel and toys, and it was a nice time. After about 90 minutes, we were full of sand and ready to go home and shower off.

I'll have to add this to my list of "free Summer activities that won't take all day".

Tonight: Her first pony ride at the newly-opened local stables. Not exactly free, but something fun she might like to do now and then.

I'm going to need to get better about planning Summer activities, or it is going to be a long Summer.