Friday, June 29, 2012

Fun day!

Andy's birthday was a few weeks ago. I finally figured out what to do for his birthday this year, and I have to say it was a huge success! We had a date day!

We both took the day off today, and the baby still went to daycare. Andy and I started with breakfast at a diner around the corner (the garden omelet, no peppers, for me; steak and eggs for Andy). Then we played a round of mini-golf. Andy was WAY better than I am, but I laughed until I cried two different times and also I got two holes-in-one (to Andy's zero, I might add), so all told I call that a success.

Then we went to see The Avengers! It's the first time we've gone to the movies in about six months. I didn't know much about the movie before we arrived, but it turns out I'm enough of a dork that I've seen most of the necessary backstory movies so I followed it pretty easily. We used to go to the movies all the time (we usually went to our awesome second-run theater) so it was nice to get a chance to do that again.

After the movie, since we were right near the fancy mall anyway, we went shopping for a bit. We lucked into bonus-forty-percent-off-sale-price-day at the Gap! Then we finished up with some mocha-coconut frappucinos before we picked the baby up from daycare.

It was really nice to have a day just enjoying each other's company without worrying about leaving the baby with a sitter or taking her with us and having both of us spend more energy on her than ourselves. I think this might become a regular occurrence!

Monday, June 25, 2012

It's a go.

Dudes? I'm knocked up.

Pee test confirmed it. Doing blood work tomorrow. So far we haven't even told our families (except my sister, who knew we were trying) so no one call my mom and steal our thunder.

Remember last year when I first told you all about becoming foster parents, and promised I wouldn't make this blog a "family-friendly love-fest"? I still cuss a lot, but I definitely talk WAY more about parenting than things that will always piss me off or my thoughts on pajamas or the general weirdness of strangers.

I just reread a bunch of stuff I wrote, and I liked it. When I'm awake enough, I'm going to try to start incorporating more of that shit, because I do in fact have a personality outside of mothering.

So, you know, hooray! I'll keep you updated!

Friday, June 22, 2012

On wanting certainty

So Mary over at Noah Baby Blog wrote a really interesting post yesterday, about how she's always been pro-fostering and pro-adoption but that it hasn't stopped her from wanting to get pregnant and give birth. And I commented, because I totally get that.

When we started this whole foster care thing last year, I didn't know if I ever wanted to get pregnant. But I can tell you that in the last five months, since this perfect baby girl arrived, I've realized I want to get knocked up and have a baby. I've realized part of why this is: I WANT THE CERTAINTY. I don't want to have that heart-wrenching up-and-down mess that comes with fostering and, often, with adoptive placements falling through. I don't want to have to wonder where my baby will be in a year.

We had court on Wednesday, and there's still no certainty about where this baby will be growing up. The grandma has filed for custody, but the county and the dad don't support that. The dad told the worker that he doesn't want the baby to be adopted (but didn't say why), so it looks like they'll have to eventually terminate his rights or place the baby with him - and the longer this gets dragged out, the more likely placement looks, because he currently has two older kids living with him and the biggest argument keeping this baby out of there is her age. I hate that I can only plan our lives together in little tiny chunks. And I know that giving birth to a child doesn't come with any guarantees of certainty, of course, but at least I won't have to run everything by a social worker and other, "real" parents.

I want to parent this baby forever. But that can't be certain, and I want something certain. And here's the cool thing: There's a very not-zero chance that I might be pregnant. (Either it's a yes, or I'll be seeing a doctor about whatever the hell is going on! I'll be testing tomorrow.)

This current baby is obviously my heart's first child. She will always be my daughter. But I'm pretty psyched about making her a big sister. (Re: possible pregnancy: Yeah, I just teared up writing that while the baby's sleeping in my arms. Hormones! Yeah!)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Oh, hello there.

How y'all living?

I feel like our lives have been very full lately. We've had plans every weekend for about a month, with no signs of slowing down. There are always one million things to be doing. I feel like I'm forever loading and unloading the dishwasher, but there's also lots of awesome things that we've been up to. I keep realizing, over and over, that this is the baby's first summer, so we've been making time for things like laying on a blanket in the grass and looking at things. We're going to put up her swing in one of the trees in our backyard, which will be very awesome.

The baby is six months old now. Remember back in February when we thought she was leaving? Had her all packed up and everything. Right now, she's not any closer to leaving, but she's also not any closer to staying. It's difficult living constantly in a state of not knowing. It's also weird to be making decisions about caring for the baby - for the very large majority of the time, we treat her as if she were our own, so that means things like me wearing her in a sling instead of pushing her in a stroller, and baby-led solids instead of purees (because I have discovered that I am in fact a weirdo hippie). I wonder how her mom would react to seeing how we're raising her kid. I suppose we'll find out if visits resume any time soon; it's not like the mom has been shy about telling us her concerns!

We have Part Two of court tomorrow, at which the baby's mom is expected to consent to the allegations of neglect. This doesn't change anything about our case; it just means that the mom won't have to go to trial and that the case plan (which has been written for about four months) becomes court-ordered. If she doesn't start complying with the case plan, they'll have grounds (in about a year) to terminate her rights. I'm planning to go to court, because I like the mom and the grandma to see me and know I'm invested.

Do you dudes have any questions about the process or the case? I'll answer if I can.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Court is irritating.

So today was supposed to be our pretrial conference, wherein the court would hear the evidence the county has about the neglect of our baby.

Instead, what happened was this:

1. The baby's mom told the social worker she was ready to consent to the accusations of neglect. [This is an eventual expected outcome anyway but would just speed up the process - and it's a total shift from where the mom was last time at court.]

2. The mom's smarmy, sleazy, scumbag lawyer showed up and took her aside for some whispering.

3. The mom's lawyer, dad's lawyer (who was there without the dad, who didn't show), the baby's brother's dad's lawyer, and the county attorney got called into the courtroom for a while.

4. The rest of us got to go into the courtroom, where they discussed, in total, the visitation issues the brother's dad and the grandma are having. The only mention of our baby was in regards to the skin condition shit, which is still somehow an issue. Oh, and the baby's law guardian spoke up and said that if the judge was going to allow the brother to have visits with his dad before his dad was treated (as a precautionary measure), she was going to ask the court that the sibling visits be stopped, because there is significant concern about exposing a child this young to the poison so many times, and because this baby also has eczema there's additional concern about it getting into her bloodstream. So that part was nice.


6. I sat there going, "What? Wait, what? What just happened? Where are we going?" I talked to the worker later in the day and she told me that the mom's sleazeball lawyer talked the judge into setting ANOTHER hearing date, next Wednesday, and the mom will probably consent then. Likely reason: scumbag lawyer gets paid for a full day every time he makes a court appearance.

So I took half a day off of work to hear them barely even mention the case we were there to hear. Andy had to park ten blocks away and walk to the courthouse in a downpour and arrived just as the judge was adjourning, so all around we feel really fucking awesome about our court experience today.

Next Wednesday will be interesting - the baby has her six-month checkup that morning and now we have court in the afternoon, so there's another personal day down the tube. Cool.

To end on a positive note: we got a quart of perfect fresh strawberries in our CSA share today and it's lovely watching the rain, which is what I'm going to go do.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lazy Sunday

I was going to write a nice post about how we went to the zoo on Friday because the zoo closed early and was only open for foster parents from 6-9, and how we got to hang out with awesome people, and also about how we had an awesome party yesterday to celebrate my brother graduating from college, but instead of writing that post, I'm bumming on the couch with a snoozing baby and being lazy.

To keep you occupied, here's Sarah Von's awesome Web Time Wasters post for this weekend, which contains about one million awesome links. (I particularly want you to focus on this part about pay equality!)

Have an awesome day!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

CSA bounty!

Yesterday was our first CSA pickup of the season. We got two heads of green-leaf lettuce, three big stalks of rhubarb, a pound of sugar snap peas (Andy's favorite), and a few quarts of apples. We made a huge salad for dinner with one of the heads of lettuce (and added a beefsteak tomato, cucumber, feta cheese, and shrimp grilled with pineapple, which was fucking awesome). We've been snacking on the peas all day. I'm planning to make a rhubarb simple syrup, which I will absolutely be using in a Rhubarb Tom Collins.

I don't know what to do with the apples, because we still have most of the eight quarts we picked up a few weeks ago, and I basically only like apples in pies or fritters. I realized years ago that I don't really like eating plain apples, and our CSA provides us with ONE MILLION APPLES. Last season I made applesauce like crazy and a whole lot of apple butter and we still had so many apples around all the time - it's basically impossible to run out of them. I'll make some pies for family parties in the next few weeks, and I think I'll whip up these apple fritter muffins for quick breakfasts for a few days.

The awesome and also really frustrating thing about a CSA membership is that each week is a surprise, so meal planning is a little on-the-fly for me. We also don't know what we'll be getting ahead of time, so, like, strawberries are in season around here but I don't know if this particular farm has enough to fill CSA orders yet, so I don't know if I should buy some elsewhere or not.

Do you have a CSA membership? What the hell should I do with all these apples?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Rainy weekend

How is it that a four-day week feels like it took forever? Andy and I both woke up yesterday thinking it was Friday, for some reason, so today just felt like a punishment.

It was 92°here on Monday, and today it's 56° and rainy. (For the record, I prefer 56°and rainy.) 

We have shit planned for tomorrow: Andy's doing a work thing in the morning while I hang out with my mom and help her with her resume, since she found out this week she's getting laid off, which blows, and then in the evening we're doing dinner with Andy's aunt and uncle because they haven't met the baby yet due to living in Florida for half the year. Then Sunday I think we're having my friend's husband, who's a plumber, come take a look at our backyard spigot, which is insisting on spitting water into our basement. (I will pay him in baked goods, as per his request.)

I really like weekends, you guys! 

This has been a boring, pointless post. You're welcome.