Saturday, September 29, 2012

Oh look I made something cute.

I made the baby a sweater:
I took that picture on my kitchen floor with my new phone (ask me sometime about spending two and a half hours on a Friday night in a Verizon store) so sorry the quality is shit, but damn, it's a cute sweater.

I made it from this pattern in a bulky wool-blend yarn (Bernat Roving, which is garbage and which I won't be using again) and knit it up in like two days. I wove in the ends last night and sewed on the buttons this morning. I just put a picture up on facebook and already have two requests for full-size versions. (That's an interesting thing about being a knitter - acquaintances think nothing of asking you to spend hours of your life lovingly crafting something for them.)

Up next I'm knitting the baby a dress out of the yarn we got at the fiber arts festival, then this sweater (probably in brown and cream), and then finally finishing the sweater that was supposed to be my mom's Christmas present last year.

The baby decided that today was a good time to learn to put herself down for a nap in the Pack and Play (she did so while I was sewing on the buttons), so that means I will probably get to squeeze in extra knitting time! Is there anything more delightful on a fall weekend?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What's your deal, Wednesday?

Today did its best to bring me down, y'all. It started 45 minutes earlier than it needed to, with a baby who was super mad at me because I can't make teething any easier and who would NOT go back to sleep. That threw off my morning pretty hard (Andy's too, since I needed him to corral her while I was in the shower instead of leaving while she was still asleep like he usually does). We were out of breakfast foods, so I stopped for an apple fritter, which made my stomach mad, which is bullshit because I'm a grown-ass woman and will eat a fritter for breakfast if I WANT. The coffee machine at my job ate my coffee money. The worker didn't call to tell me if there was a visit, which usually means there isn't, so when the daycare called to say Medical Motors had showed up I told them not to send her. Oh, but hey, there was a mix-up with the worker being in court and our usual clerk out, so the backup clerk called daycare and was snippy about YES THERE WAS A VISIT, so I called and then she was rude to me too.

Also, there was a big customer meeting at work all day, and my old biddy coworkers love any excuse to get excited, so there was a lot of noise in general, followed by the customers being given a tour through the office, including the usually-silent area in which I was trying to work. This isn't a huge deal, but it's a low level of constant annoyance.

Oh, and I'm fighting the cold that the baby brought home from daycare, which is putting a cramp in Operation Get Me Pregnant Again.

Andy knew I was trying to figure out a way to punch today in its face, so he stopped on the way home and got me flowers and a harvest pumpkin chocolate chunk cake (which is the best cake ever, duh). Then we left for our WIC appointment and while we were gone Pancakes somehow got on the kitchen table (climbed the high chair, maybe?) and ATE MY CAKE.

So when we got home, I gave the baby her bath and Andy went to Wegmans and got me another cake. No joke. And we just had a piece and watched an episode of Parks and Recreation, and we're going to bed early. I'm calling a do-over and starting again in the morning.

This post was a hell of a downer, right? Sorry about that. Here's some awesome news: My sister is having a girl! I'm going to have a third niece! I've been pushing hard for this one to have Rachael for a middle name too.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Hippie weekend and nine-month checkup

We had a pretty awesome weekend. On Friday night, we did nothing. We had an invite to go out to dinner and we turned it down to stay home and hang out quietly. We watched a movie called Extract, which we had never heard of but which stars Jason Bateman and Kristin Wiig and Mila Kunis and Ben Goddamn Affleck. Better than expected.

On Saturday we spent the day in a family friend's log cabin, making pickled beets. No joke. We made a smallish batch earlier in the year (May?) and absolutely flew through them. Turns out people like pickled beets - even Andy, an avowed beet hater. We brought a pint camping and they were gone that same night, and two people asked if we had any more. We've gone through six pints since May, so we decided to make a bigger batch to take us through the winter. We went a little overboard, though: we canned 10 quart jars and 14 pint jars full of chopped beets. (The recipe we used was from the Ball Blue Book, but it was a lot like this one, plus three cups of onions.) They get processed for half an hour so they're silky and spicy and delicious. Try them, even if you think you hate beets. Try them. Don't even halve the recipe if you think you hate them, because you'll find people who will happily snatch up your extra jars.

On Sunday, we spent the day at the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival. It's my third time going but Andy's first, and by the time we left he was slightly less enthusiastic than I was. There is so much to see and touch and to lust after. My goal was to not buy any roving this year, and I'm proud to say I succeeded. I only got one skein of yarn, and I had Andy pick it out! He and I use color in very different ways, so it's neat to have him pick something out and see how it knits up. We got a skein of Bitsy Knits sock yarn in a colorway called Midnight Bells, which is grey and yellow and orange and red. It's destined to become a dress for the baby.

Today we had the baby's nine-month checkup, and she's doing fantastically well. The baby's dad didn't show up, despite being told about the appointment at least ten times. I was a little surprised that he didn't come, since he has been told that involvement in her medical care will be a factor if/when he files for custody. (Her mom was invited too but we didn't expect her to show up, since she still can't hold the baby since she's never proven she's been treated.)

Our girl's hitting just about all of her milestones and the doctors don't have any concerns. She got very, very mad about having to be stripped down to her diaper and even madder about getting a shot. The doctor got to see her have a little hissy fit, and when we asked about that (she throws herself around when she's super mad, which is scary as hell when she's slippery from her bath and doesn't want to be lotioned), the doctor laughed a little and said, "Good luck when she's two."

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Permanency hearing

Today we had a permanency hearing at court. This is a fun meeting where the parties involved get to go over the permanency report compiled by the social worker a few weeks ago. Basically, it's a review of what progress has been made so far, and today we also dealt with the dispositional plan  for the mom and with the grandma's custody petition.

First, the progress report: no real progress by the mom, very minimal progress by the dad (and his progress is pretty much all since the report was written). The mom has actually missed some appointments and stuff, so one of the facilities involved won't even give her an appointment for six months. She's not in a great place right now, and all the possible interpretations of that sentence apply. The dad has had sporadic visits. He has to be in the building an hour and fifteen minutes before the visit starts, and he has managed that when he has to be there at 11:45, but not when he has to be there at 9:45. So he has had half of his possible visits in the last two weeks. He responded to a note I left him in the notebook we send to visits with a very positive note about how strong she's getting and how it must be the solid food, and thanking us for all we've been doing. After court today he came over to say hi and said that he was going to try to catch the worker and see if she could come inspect his house today, but then he walked right past her on his way out without saying a thing. He's very good at saying things that he thinks people want to hear, but we'll see what his longterm follow-through is like.

Second, the mom's dispositional plan. I think these are typically settled before the baby has been in care for eight months, but the custody issues with the brother complicated things, I guess, so this was just settled today. The short version is that this is a document that was drawn up months ago detailing the goals the mom would have to meet to get her kid(s) back. The mom officially consented to the plan today. Nothing on it changes but now she agrees that she must complete the items on it if she wants custody.

Third, the grandma's petition. She has officially withdrawn her custody bid for our baby for now. Her life has gotten more complicated in the last few months and she realized it 's better for her to focus on finding stable housing for herself and to resolve the custody stuff going on with the baby's brother before refiling the petition for her granddaughter. This is actually really self-aware and mature of her, and it means we don't have to go to trial so that's convenient for me.

So to summarize court: nothing changes for us. No surprise there.

It's been really trying for me to know that the dad could really file for custody at any minute. That uncertainty is especially rough when he does this pseudo-involvement. If he keeps up the regular visits and does the few things the county asks, he could get her back without much fuss, and that's his right. I do think that children belong with their families of origin when that's safe, and I think it's possible, even probable, that her dad could keep her mostly safe. But it gets complicated because of my head-over-heels bottom-of-the-deepest-ocean love for this girl, and my resentment that she's not important enough for him to make time for. I want him to want her enough to work really hard for her, and he totally isn't. I know that if I were asked to do anything to keep this kid, I would make it happen, and as quickly as possible. It's hard to convince myself that it would be in her best interest to leave us for him, even at the same time that I recognize I'm being selfish.

I've had three coworkers ask this week, super casual-like, some version of,"So do you still have that baby?" like it's no big thing if I don't. When I confirm that we do, they usually follow with some question about if that means we're adopting her. I know they don't know what they're talking about, but it's hard to explain quickly and politey over and over that we're nowhere near knowing about that.

I have no cohesive warp-up. I love my delightful perfect daughter and life with her is awesome and at the same time life as a foster parent is really hard, but not really hard the way I expected. The end.