Our little family

Our little family
Wife Woman, Husband Man, Catcher and The Hoskinettes.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Full of Thankful giving

I was dreading thanksgiving....just a little bit. We're living out of suitcases and boxes so of course i wasn't going to cook here at home (luckily i never really have to do the holiday meals here) but we didn't exactly have fancy clothes to wear and with this many kids every day is a chance for pure bliss or unbridled chaos.....sometimes a little of both. The Thanksgiving festivities began on Wednesday where we had a pre-Turkey day dinner with my dad and step mom and my sister. It was really nice. My dad hooked up a slide show of old family pictures on his TV and my kids got the hugest kick out of seeing old pictures of us and them too. Katie thinks every picture of her is just precious hehe. They got to love on their Auntie Beef and be read story after story by the adoring grandparents (Grand Dad and Nana are their official titles :)

Katie had a bit of a meltdown at dinner which i thought might ruin things but she went to the corner and screamed for a bit but when i sat her down one on one and talked to her....she dealt with her problem and moved on.....wow! And Catcher had gotten a bit cranky at one point which can also spoil an evening. But thanks to some serious routine i was able to get him to take a short "naplet" which charged him up enough to make it thru the rest of the evening. Auntie Beef raced us in the mini van (they kids think this is the most hillarious thing ever) and we almost let her win.....then we pulled ahead to steal the prize! the kids laughed almost the whole way home. I love to hear them laugh....

Then Thanksgiving day......another day that could turn out any number of ways with this many little ones. surely i couldn't have two good days in a row.....or could i? Auntie Beef took the big kids to see Tangled, i was a little concerned how Katie might do because her behavior in the movies can be a bit frustrating at times. However the post-movie report is that all three did fantastic including the Katie kat! (a little pop corn goes a long way :) So while they were all at the movies i had just two babies at home, you'd think that was a break, but of course it wasn't. I kept trying to get myself ready and every moment i turned around one of the babies needed or wanted something. But Catcher sat in his high chair in front of a baby einstein DVD and was thuroughly entertained thru the whole thing! (shower time for mommy yay!) He even got in TWO naps before we headed over to Grandma and Boppy's (Adam's parents) house. Those two naps were all it took from 2pm till we left after 6:30 to keep him happy the WHOLE time!! The older kids played with their cousins, and Darla took a nap on my in-laws bed almost the whole entire time we were there! It was the easiest time i've had with all five of them in ......well ever i think! Not to mention the food was DIVINE!!! Adam and I had talked about doing thanksgiving at our own house next year but i'm not sure i want to miss out on my mother in law's cooking!!

And yet our thanksgiving celebrating isn't over yet!!! Last night my friend Christine and I braved the mall at midnight, with nearly ever other resident of Modesto also in attendance, or at least that's how it felt! I bought what i went for and did get it cheaper than it was when i looked at it earlier in the week. We laughed at the crazy people waiting in lines hours long just to get into a store (wow!) and headed home. Darla woke up right as i was getting home and i fed her and she promptly went right back to sleep (yes!) so i went to bed at around 2am which was really not bad at all......now today we get to have another Turkey day meal with my mom and her family. Looking forward to another fun day of food but wondering if this luck will really hold...can we really have a third day in a row of goodness? Here's hoping so!

Thank you for my Husband,
He's the most amazing spouse,
He loves our FIVE children
And bought me a NEW HOUSE!

Thank you for Elaine
and of course for Maggie May
Thank you for Katie
and Catcher on this thanksgiving day

Thank you for a tiny blessing
straight from You above
Thank you for little Darla
who's taught us more about love

Thank You for each breath I take
and for my eye sight too
Thank You for the ability
I have to say this to you.

So much to be thankful for
The list has never an end
The one thing i know for sure
Each came from you....my Heavenly Friend.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just you wait.....

Darla is not even two months but I still get people telling me "Just you wait until she's older...what if she looks just like Maggie??"

Catcher is 8 months old and we're always getting told "Just wait till he's older and he can play sports!!"

Elaine is 6....going on 21, and we're always hearing "Just wait till she's older....she's an amazing dancer, I bet she'll be a wonderful ballerina."

Katie is 2 she is so full of attitude and smarts and everyone says "just you wait...she's going to do so well in school!"

then there's Maggie. She is smart, and beautiful and head strong and articulate and athletic and the worst "Just You Wait..." is "Just you wait till she's a teenager!" and for all you "Just you wait"ers out there...I will wait thank you very much because otherwise what is the point of right now? So here's my right now....right now....again.

Right now, Catcher is rolling on the floor babbling

Right now, Katie is snuggled up with Daddy watching cartoons

Right now, Elaine is in school....doing great in every subject.

Right now, Darla is sleeping, one of her twenty naps a day, i love that!

Right now, Maggie is throwing a fit in her room....and i'm not yelling about it....this is a major moment because right now, i'm learning to let it go.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Don't mind us we're just the baby snatchers....

We spent some time at the mall this evening letting the kids run around after eating dinner at Johnny Carino's. A cute little asian girl was playing with Maggie and Elaine and I heard Elaine mention (as she ALWAYS does) that Maggie was her sister. Look at this picture and you will see why this little girl was a bit confused.....

I look at it and see two of my beautiful daughters, the asian girl was confused and said "she can't be your sister." Elaine politely said "but she is!" so then Katie came up and Elaine pointed out "this is my other sister too!"....."But she's not brown?!" said the girl....."Oh yeah and she's my sister too" as Elaine pointed to Darla whom i was holding. Now this poor girl was very confused....she looked at me and said "is that true? are they all sisters..." I shoke my head yes "but they're not all the same color?" I took this learning opportunity and asked the little girl "Have you ever heard of adoption." she said yes but the confusion on her face meant she really didn't understand it.

I explained: "Adoption is where we take little children who need a home and make them a part of our family forever."

She looked very scared and said "So you find lost children and take them????"

I freaked....I thought i was helping this little girl understand adoption and apparently i made her think i steal children LOL "Go ask your mommy what adoption is" was all i could think to say, i didn't want to keep talking to her and make her worry i was gonna steal her lol....i don't have an asian one yet.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Shopping....and other deadly activities.

I have decided that I need to stop going anywhere by myself with all five kids....especially SHOPPING!!!! ARGG! I just wanted to pick up a few things, Elaine has outgrown almost all her pants, so we needed pants for her, Maggie had to hand down a ton of PJ's to Katie and was feeling bummed so i said i'd buy her a new pair of PJ's (add to the list) and Catcher I am fast discovering with the recent cold weather....has very few warm clothes and long pants (so add pants for him to the list too) and Darla needs more pajama sleepers in her tiny little size....the only one who didn't need a piece of clothing was Katie.

Adam went back to work today for a few hours and the kids were going nuts cooped up in the house, especially since we've been doing so much packing that there are very few toys out to play with. I thought i'd just take them all out shopping with me....how bad could it be? ..........big mistake.

All three girls sit in the back of the minivan together, Katie in a car seat next to one side, Maggie in a booster seat next to the other window and Elaine in the middle. Poor Elaine is so squished in between the two that everytime she moves one of them complains she's invading their space which if they really looked at it from any other perspective they'd see they have way more space than she does.....so there was constant fighting over that. Then when we got to the store i thought we'd try (i put the babies in the double stroller) we discovered that the stroller really didn't fit in their aisles at all and Katie wanted to run all over the store because the aisles were too thin for her to stay holding on to the stroller (which usually works quite well). Then there was the little mommy (elaine) constantly telling Maggie and Katie what to do because they weren't behaving exactly as mommy had asked and she felt the need to remind them in a very rude tone over and over which made them mad so they were rude back.....a never ending viscious cycle. Catcher sits in the back of the stroller and he was hanging out as far as possible to reach anything within range. many clothes pulled down and off of hangers (luckily Elaine took care of that by going along behind him and picking up whatever he pulled down) Darla, who was in the front of the stroller buckled into her carseat, suddenly became very unconsollable. I thought i was doing so well by having everyone fed and older kids go to the bathroom before we left....but i didn't change diapers. I picked up Darla and she was happy while being held but did not need a diaper....apparently just wanted to be held. So i'm walking along holding tiny little darla, pushing a giant double stroller with Cathcher hanging over the edge grabbing things as we walk, Elaine following behind picking up what Catcher drops, and Maggie and Katie chasing and hitting each other. I must have looked like a crazy woman for taking my kids out! I didn't even find what i was looking for. I have decided that Internet shopping is my new best friend.....I don't think i'll ever leave the house again LOL Things like this happen all the time when i take all five out by myself and yet i still think it will get better...someday maybe it will.

To make it better i think i finally got my Christmas shopping done, did most of it online, even had some shipped straight the recipients for free! Woo Hoo! Here's hoping it doesn't get lost in the move :)

Monday, November 08, 2010

Daddy got his arm cut off....and other mis statements

Today Adam had his first shoulder surgery, once he recovers he'll be having the other one done. Though after going thru this I'm not sure he'll be looking forward to the second one as much as he was looking forward to this first one. Adam has never had surgery of any kind and has very rarely ever even been poked by a needle so he was just looking forward to having this surgery and his shoulder feeling better. I think he forgot about the fun little step in between.....recovering from surgery. I tried to explain to him what surgery feels like, how you really do blink and suddenly it's over and you're disoriented and you hurt and you feel like you've been run over by a train.....but until you actually experience it you just can't understand it. Now he does.

We went to the hospital at 9am his surgery was at 11:55 (dang long wait!) and he was in surgery for an hour and a half, exactly what the doctor said it would be. Thankfully there was no tendon damage from the calcified bone pieces floating around in the joint. We got to see pictures of the bone spur being shaved down and everything (ouch!) so he was in recovery at 1:30pm....they told us he'd be in there from an hour to at the longest 2 hours. So after an hour the nurse comes out and tells me he's having trouble waking up, seems really tired so he'll probably take the full two hours. At two hours she comes out again to tell me he still isn't very awake. She said she'd look at him and he'd say "yeah i'm awake," then she'd turn around and when she turned back he was snoring again. Story of his life! Adam is the worst for slow wake ups in the morning. Never really has been a morning person, though he thrives working nights. So I waited and waited and waited some more. Finally at 5pm i call back to recovery and inquire because i hadn't heard anything for a while. They said he'd been nauseous and they were trying to get that under control. But they figured he could go home. so finally I get him home at 6pm......what a day. Because in the meantime of all the surgery drama is the kid drama.

Elaine and Maggie still had school today so I arranged to have them picked up by Grand Dad (my dad) who would take care of them for the day. So that leaves me with the 2 year old and both babies. I was NOT going to have Katie at the hospital with me because even if the surgery and recovery had been short....it would have been way too long for her. (let's face it she's 2 and she's good at it!) So luckily my wonderful friend Christine (who also happens to only live right down the street) was able to watch her for me. I packed her a bag with treats and toys and some movies but in all reality i had NO idea how long the day would be....so i sent her off with Christine and apparently they had a great time! So that left me with two little babies. I didn't even try to find a sitter. Having two sitters was enough, trying to parcel out the babies would have been too much work because for one thing i wouldn't dare pawn them both off to the same person, it's hard enough for me taking care of them both all day i wouldn't ask someone else too. And Darla is still a foster child until the adoption is complete so she has to be cared for by licensed foster providers.....i don't know too many of those. So i just took both babies and loaded up the double stroller with everything i could think of for them. I thought it was overkill that i brought 6 bottles with us but...just in case. And thank goodness i did! We came home with only one unused bottle! Dang those babies can eat! Another wonderful blessing is that my mom was able to drop everything and come help me at the hospital with the babies. It's one thing having them both at home, but trying to have both of them happy and cared for while out and about is quite hard. I don't like when other people have to listen to my crying babies, and i don't have all the comforts of home for them, like their own beds to sleep in and the swing to rock in and a whole room for Catcher to roll and play in. But let me tell you with my mom's help those babies had quite an amazing day! Really hardly even any crying. They were just wonderful.

At the end of the day i felt so bad for the poor Husband Man, he was hit much harder by the whole surgery ordeal than he thought he would be. He was really looking tired and worn out when we got home. So after all the kids were in bed (each and every one asleep by 7:30pm!!!!!!!!) I only have one poor baby left awake.....the husband man. :(

Oh and the title of this blog is because when i was trying to explain to the kids why they can't climb on daddy and why it hurts i needed them to know that it was more than a scratch or a boo boo, so i told them the dr had to cut open daddy's shoulder to fix the inside of it. Elaine said "Did they sew it back on yet?" I said that they had sewed it back up and when katie started to climb on daddy's leg like she was going to climb on daddy, elaine shouted "NO DON'T! You might hurt daddy where his arm got cut off!" I then had to sit down and explain a little more that it was never cut off, i didn't want her going to her teacher tomorrow and saying her daddy got his arm cut off LOL....i can just imagine the note home haha. But seriously, his arm is still attached, and at the moment pain is under control...we'll see how it goes from here.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

It's not as bad as you think....

You know people keep saying how hard it must be to have two babies so close in age....like twins, but not. Actually it's amazing what it can do for my ability to handle situations. Catcher is at a GREAT age, he is 8 months old and can feed himself a bottle and likes to play by himself and is mobile on the floor and sleeps 12 hours at night. Just a wonderful little guy right now. But it is still very fresh in my mind the awful early stages of colic-like behavior and sleeping and feeding difficulties and what not. So while I'm listening to Darla scream for 2 hours straight (of course not knowing why but doing everything humanly possibly to pacify her) I am actually finding it quite easy to deal with. Which is very strange for me. Because she is awake at 12am and screaming, but Catcher who did this exact same thing at about this exact same age, is now sleeping soundly in his bed...it makes it easy to know that this is just a phase and it will pass...and life will go on, maybe not for a few months...but it will. That somehow makes it all not as bad as you might think. Having kids close together is kinda nice, i get to have the tiny baby loves and the bigger baby fun stuff.....when i look at my 8 month old boy and wonder where the time went when he used to be so tiny, i can cuddle the one who is still tiny. And when I get bored with a tiny baby who usually just eats and sleeps and poops with not even a smile in between, I can go to my 8 month old who smiles and squeals with delight when i enter a room and his whole body gets excited all the way down to his toes and i know i am loved for all the months of work so far and years to come. So much to look forward to with Darla, but makes me appreciate even the annoying screaming fits at 12 am because i know they won't last forever just like her tininess won't either. Loving it all.....right now.

Friday, November 05, 2010

What is NORMAL anyway?

My normal is KNOWING my house is going to be a mess everyday.
but THINKING I might get it clean today....

My normal is ALWAYS having a child in trouble for something.
but NEVER missing the "i forgive you hug" afterwards...

My normal is WISHING for two minutes by myself in the day.
but HOPING for one of the kids to ask to cuddle with me....

My normal is WANTING my kids to have everything they ever want.
but GIVING them everything they need...

My normal is HAVING the most amazing life I could have possibly imagined.
but TAKING every day as a precious gift....


As you can see i've been dwelling on what "normal" really means. It's a word i've begun to dread. People use it as a way to describe how "everyone" should be. Like saying everyone should wear the same size jeans.....uhm no. So sometimes it gets exchanged with the word "average" which instead implies none of us are striving for higher....we're just a "C" grade in a math class......uhm no there also. So i figured to me normal means the things you are used to in your life, that feel like 'normal' things to YOU. I wanted to sit down and write what my normal was, because just as a Testimony grows each time you share it, so to does your appreciate for the 'normal' and mundane in your own life. At least i think so. So normal to me may be chaos to someone else, but it's my chaos and i LOVE it. I have an AMAZING husband who supports the normality of chaos in our household and treats me like i'm handling it so wonderfully when i know i'm really not. I just wanted to take a minute to appreciate the normal in my life.....what's the normal in yours?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

To Love

To Love

To Love is to hold a child for the first time
to love is to hold a hand for the last time

to love is to laugh out loud at nothing
to love is to sit in a thunderous silence

to love is to carry you anywhere you need to go
to love is to wait for your eventual return

to love is to have a thousand words to say
to love is to say it all with a kiss

to love is to be so full of emotion it leaks out in tears
to love is to have cried so much you can't cry any more....and then you do.


I guess i'm feeling poetic tonight. I haven't written a poem in so many years i apologize to anyone who reads this and goes......uhm yeah.

I'm thinking about what it means to love a child, I'm struggling to understand other people. To me each one of my children is a precious gift from God, each having arrived in such a unique way, with a story to tell from the moment i learned of their existence.

Darla has been with us for almost a month now and I told myself that this time adoption would be different. That i wouldn't hold back anything from the moment she arrived. With Maggie, Adam and I were in such unfamiliar territory (pertaining to foster adoption) that we didn't know how to feel right away. It's scary to love someone who could be ripped away at a moments notice if the family decided they wanted her back. So we cared for her and loved her as best we could without loving her fully and completely right away. Well for me that only lasted a few weeks before i had to let go and just love her cause she was so dang cute and tiny, but still a part of me wanted to keep her at arm's distance to protect myself from the hurt that could happen if she were given back to her birth family. You see part of me also hurt for the family, not necessarily the birth parents who were living in their own mistakes and couldn't see their way out of them even for a helpless child, but for the extended family who at any moment could decide they wanted this tiny baby. Obviously you know the outcome is that no one ever stepped forward, Maggie was adopted by us in a process that took almost two years (long story) and in the end i hated myself for not just loving her 100% from day one. But that was then.....this is now. Now Darla is in our family, Darla is my 5th child, my precious tiny wonder. She has such bright eyes and a sweet spirit. I loved her the moment i held her.....for that matter i loved her the moment we decided to say "yes." I have told myself that no matter what happens....it is never wrong to love a child. Even if that means loving them in someone else's arms.

A social worker called yesterday to set up a visit for Darla with her grandmother....which makes this person also Maggie's grandmother (by birth.) I find myself wondering why she never visited Maggie when she was born.....but at the same time feeling glad that it shows a sign that someone in the family cares. I'm torn in so many different directions. If I were that grandmother I would want to see her, but then i also would have wanted to see Maggie too, and all of the other 6 children besides these two (yes can you believe that?) I find myself stressing internally, wondering if this means she wants to petition for custody. I suppose it's a possibility. And if i allow myself to consider the chance that she could get custody of her I would have to say that it still wasn't wrong to love her this much from the first moment, it has fostered a strong and healthy child who will grow and blossom from such a wonderful start. But a piece of my heart breaks at the thought of my child being gone.....I can't imagine, and I'm going to stop imagining because it's hard to type when you're crying.

Now to clarify, I have discussed with the social worker the whole scenario....what if this grandmother wants to petition for custody? She says that ultimately it is up to the social workers to decide what the best permanent placement for the child is and that they would side (most likely) with US, because we would adopt her and we are young and she has a full sibling here. But there's a part of my brain that wants to play this out in every way possibly, which often ends in a worst case scenario.

The visit is tomorrow and although i find myself in emotional unrest over the possible implications, I also want to do everything I can to help the family know that I am not the enemy because we have their children in our family. That we are a loving family who wants only the best for these children (and all of our children.) I'm going to write them a letter, mostly it will tell about how well Darla and Maggie are doing, and how much they're loved. I still have no idea exactly how i'll word it or what I'll say, but i needed this moment to put together all my thoughts and to get some emotion out before i write it. I only hope that I can be strong enough to handle whatever God's plan for Darla is.....she's a part of us now and we can't imagine life without her.....hopefully we'll never have to.