Our little family

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

Thursday, October 28, 2010

blue sky thru the clouds

Yesterday was pretty much the most insane i think it's been around here since adding baby number 5.....f....i...v....e....5!! Sometimes it's still weird to say that i need more practice hehe.

At several points during the day there were multiple kids crying for multiple reasons. Both babies were wanting to be held most of the day (which holding both is quite a chore let me tell you!) and Katie was just plain cranky and could have used a nap but of course didn't get one. Maggie was just t r o u b l e all day long, if my back was turned she was getting into some kind of mischeif. I keep telling myself that maybe when she's older that will translate well into a "healthy" curiousity for learning.....wishful thinking maybe but i can hope. I found myself looking at her wishing she were five years older just to get her out of this phase, and looking at Katie wishing she were only a few years older to be past this cranky all afternoon phase she's got going on. And Elaine....well Elaine is always a peacemaker but yesterday she kept getting beat up on by Katie so she had to cry about that ever five minutes. I found myself looking forward to just bedtime at that point. That was a much more reasonable time to look forward to than years down the road. And normally if i can just stretch my patience and calm until bedtime i'll get several hours by myself before the babies wake up to eat and then after they do i can actually sleep.......Usually anyway.

So once it was dinner time i felt like i was homefree.....after dinner we'd do a nice lazy bedtime routine and scoot them off to bed. But of course it couldn't go that easy could it? I put dinner on the table (so thankful for the crockpot who did all the work) and Katie took one look at it and decided she didn't like it. Without even a bite. I told her she had to at least taste it (sometimes that actually leads to eating it all) two bites was my only requirement then if she wanted to be hungry that is her choice and no candy afterwards if she didn't eat. Usually that is enough to scare any of the kids into eating at least two bites. But not my stubborn Katie Kat. I told her it was two bites or bed.....those were the only options. (it was 6pm anyway so only an hour before bedtime anyway) so she promptly got down from the table and went to put on pj's to go to bed. Was she really deciding to go to bed over 2 measly bites? Well i'd made the threat so i had to go thru with it. Maggie has pushed this argument several times and has learned to at least take two bites for fear of the early bed time. But Katie apparently needed an object lesson. So i offered her several times the option of going back to take those two bites instead of putting on pj's.....nope. 2 bites instead of brushing teeth......nope. Well brushing teeth was the point of no return.....time for bed. She screamed in bed all the way thru the rest of us eating dinner.......she screamed in bed all the way thru singing and story time......and thru the older girls brushing teeth and didn't stop until finally everyone was in bed. I figured she must be tired so at least she'll sleep well. ......and then finally after the babies went down i had a moment of freedom. But it was only a moment......

I think that some mean spirits who are hanging around for halloween possessed my children last night. Because bedtime was only the beginning. EVERY child was up several times last night ......both older girls came in at seperate times complaining of bad dreams. Katie woke up at 2am and was so sure it was morning she went to the table and demanded breakfast. Then after being put back to bed (after a stop at the potty) she screamed for ten minutes about needing to flush the potty (apparently a step she missed) Her screaming woke up Catcher who was inconsolable for hours after that. Darla woke up 3 times to eat last night when normally she wakes up once. It was just the night that wouldn't end. I felt like it was a continuation of the day that wouldn't end yesterday. So now you're probably as tired from reading all of this as i was from living it.....just when i thought today was going to be a continuation of yesterday....there was a break in the clouds hanging over the house. An angel showed up at the door. Cassandra Briscoe from our ward at church. I answered the door and all she said was "I'm here to watch your kids.....go to bed." I could have cried. I finished up what i was doing with dishes while she picked up Maggie at Kindergarten and then i really actually went to bed. It was the most relaxing sleep i've had in quite some time. No baby sleeping in my room, no monitor on to listen for Catcher, and i had music on to drown out the noise of children in the living room with Cassandra. And i slept......sheesh i could have slept all day! But just a nap was the most amazing battery recharge i could have had. So even though this blog sounds like me whining and complaing about the craziness in our lives.....it's also about the blessed angels who come in to lift us up even if only for a 2 hour nap.

After my nap i have a whole new perspective on my kids right now, no more looking at tomorrow, or next year or five years. Just about right now.

Right Now
Katie is singing to Catcher

Right Now
Catcher is smiling and giggling.

Right Now
Maggie (who is supposed to be in the corner) is pretending to be a chicken and cluck, while still keeping her nose in the corner (it is quite hillarious)

Right Now
Elaine is clapping for Katie's song and helping her make up a dance for it.

Right Now
Darla is cuddled up in bed watching her favorite thing.....the ceiling fan spinning.

Right Now
My children are entertained enough for me to have the 20 minutes it's taken me to post this.

Right Now
I get to be a mom to FIVE amazing children

Right Now
I get to be married to the most wonderful Husband Man on the planet

Right Now
I get to be loved by the most wonderful Husband Man on the planet

Right Now
I get to wear fuzzy pink slippers

Right Now
All is perfect.

What is going on in your life Right Now??

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Catcher caught a cold

Elaine had a cold a few weeks ago and it was inevitable that the whole family would catch it. Of course all of the children have it first and worst. Adam and I will probably get it in another week but so far have not suffered it's yucky side effects! Catcher seems to have it the worst which is unexpected given Darla's prematurity i thought for sure she would have it worse. Catcher's lungs have always been his weak point and the cold went straight for them. He's been wheezing today and a little more cranky so we decided to give him a breathing treatment which we kind of dreaded because when Katie used to get them she's scream the whole time (at least it opened up her airways!)

Catcher had been crying and generally cranky for hours before we broke out the machine. We figured he couldn't get much crankier than he already was. Somehow though, once we put it on him he calmed right down and sat perfectly still for the whole treatment! He loved it! he kept trying to suck in the mist with his tongue. He was cooing and talking with the mask on it was the cutest thing so we had to get a picture. He is such a little sweetheart....if we'd known this was going to calm him down we would have tried it hours ago LOL

The blessing of Answered Prayers!

It has seemed that from the moment we decided to take a leap of faith and say yes to taking baby Darla into our family....that we have been blessed in so many ways! The same week she was placed with us we found a perfect house and went into escrow that same week also. That was something we had been praying about for quite sometime and we tried to just have faith that the right house would come along...eventually. Each time we thought we'd found a good deal or a good house things would just fall out of synch and not work out. We held strong on the hope and faith in His plan for our family. And when Darla was placed with us we realized that the other houses wouldn't have worked out and we ended up being glad not to have gotten them. And now we were able to focus in on what was really important and find the RIGHT house for our family! From early on in our house hunting I kept praying and hoping that we could find a house that was not for sale by a bank. It just felt like that would be the best thing, that we could buy from a person who cared about us and our story and why their house meant so much and as such would WANT to sell it to us. And that is exactly what we found! The woman we are buying from is so wonderful and kind and we are so excited to be dealing with her....such a blessing!

Here we are only days away from closing escrow already.....DAYS! It's scary how fast it is upon us, and closing costs are coming along with it. We have been trying to sell our motorcycle for a while now without luck. We posted it on craigslist again but this time rediculously cheap in an effort just to give ourselves a cushion after closing costs. I posted the ad several days ago and still no response. Well yesterday I prayed very straight forward, about Adam's concern for the money cushion and that selling the motorcycle would really help that. Out of the blue last night we got a call about the bike and then this morning another call and an email....even though the ad has been on for several days it wasn't responded too until after my prayer. Some people may see a happy coincidence....i see a little more. God's hand has been apparent in our lives so much and we are so grateful for all of the blessings poured out upon us. It is amazing to see our prayers answered!

We were scared at first to take on another child with our youngest still being so young, but it continued to feel like the right thing to do. Not to mention the fact that i had always strangely felt that we should have five kids and had mentioned more than once that maybe later on down the road we should adopt our fifth child (of course i meant more like 5 or more years down the road...but hey who's counting :) I just can't help but express to anyone who will listen that I know there is a God, that I know he answers prayers. That with a little faith exercised miracles can happen! Darla has been a blessing in our lives in so many ways we could never have imagined. I was praying for a peace and calmness to be able to handle five kids and while there is still stress it's like i've gained a whole new strength to handle it that i didn't know could exist. I feel like this has opened communication between our family and heaven in whole new ways. I'm thankful for the stress and burdens in my life that have brought me to a new place of faith.....Thank you, Lord.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Darla...to date.

It has been nearly two weeks since Darla came to live with us. I cannot believe how insanely different life has been since we came home from Utah. The same week Darla was placed with us we put in an offer on a house and went into contract. It's a wonderful house and we're excited....nervous like any one who is buying a home, but also excited.

We haven't started packing yet because the wonderful lady we're buying from wanted a rent back period so that she didn't have to move out until AFTER escrow closes, so we don't even need to start packing until escrow closes either....which should be on November 5th....right before Adam's shoulder surgery. That's a whole different story altogether.

Back to the point....Darla!

Her little personality is so sweet already, she has started smiling but only seems to smile at me, which is so special. I cannot believe this little one can smile already...she'll be a month old this week and that is WAY earlier than any of my other babies started smiling. She loves to be cuddled and it instantly calms her everytime just to hold her. But she is not at all like Maggie was as a baby, which was a concern for us. Maggie as a drug baby was VERY clingy and screamed constantly if not held all the time. As a consequence i simply started wearing her in a sling all day and night until she got over that....after about three months. It was a long three months but well worth it because she has grown into a wonderfully intelligent and independant little girl. Darla, though, loves to stretch out and just sleeps wherever however, she is not picky at all. She seems to just enjoy taking everything in, in a lot of ways she is very similar to Catcher and she acts just like he did a few months ago.

Last week Elaine had a cough all week and no matter how hard we tried to isolate the babies from it there was no way around it....both babies are now sick. It appears to be RSV but we are watching it very closely and while Catcher is hacking quite hard and his appetite is decreased it doesn't seem to be hurting him too much. Darla on the other hand with her being so small...we are watching her very close to make sure it doesn't require medical attention. Catcher went thru RSV at a very early age and ended up in the hospital for two weeks....i REALLY don't want Darla to have to go thru that. She is still eating and sleeping pretty well so i'm not too worried...yet.

Last night both babies woke up a few more times than normal and i swear it's like they have a pact to wake up one right after the other. Inevitably when one wakes up and i take care of them and feed them and change them and put them back to sleep...just when i'm laying down to go back to sleep, the other one wakes up. It is getting a little tiresome but i know they'll get past this eventually....won't be this hard forever :)

Darla now weighs just under 7 pounds....she is growing fast already! She is very strong for such a tiny baby and can hold her head up already and grabs things to put in her mouth! She is practically ready for toys already!! Crazy!

Hopefully I'll get some pictures of the house to post on here soon....can't believe we are moving but hopefully this will be a house we will stay in for a VERY long time!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The call

While in the middle of Nevada on our drive to Utah we recieved possibly the most unexpected call of our lives. Here is basically how the conversation went:

me: "hello."
FFC: "Hi this is Kim from 'Families for Children' is this Vera?"

***instant red flags here, families for children is the agency we used when we adopted Maggie....this is a social worker calling....why is a social worker calling?

"......uh yes it is......"
"Well I'm calling to inform you that a full sibling of your adopted daughter Maggie has been born and we were wondering if you were interested in adopting her...."


FFC: "i know this is a bit surprsing...."

.......uhm yeah.

"Well she is a full sibling of your daughter and that is why we called you first, but she's going to be released from the hospital today or tomorrow so we really need an answer sometime today because if you don't want her then we need time to find another family.....so are you interested in adopting her?"

.....uhm......can I .....uhm....call you back?

"Oh sure yes of course...but we do need to know by 5 oclock today."

ok well i just you know wanted a few minutes to process this before i give you an answer.....

then at the most inopportune time we loose connection because we're driving thru a dead zone.

I set down the phone and literally was speechless.I looked at my husband who was driving and he looked at me thru the rear view mirror and said "who was on the phone?"

Bearing in mind i was in the back of the car while he was driving in the front....i now had to tell him what i had just heard across the car thru all the children's little ears.

"Give me a minute to uh figure this out before i tell you...."

I was so beyond dumb founded as to how to tell him what this phone call was.

"it was a social worker.....she told me a sibling of a certain child (pointing to Maggie) was born and needs a home and uhm.....do we want her?" I hoped the kids were entertained by the movie enough not to have been paying close enough attention to what i was saying.

Adam shot me a glance thru the rear view mirror that probably looked as confused and bewildered as my own did.

"I'll give you a moment to process that news while i make a few more phone calls...." I told him.

Every time the signal returned on my cell phone i made another call....to this social worker or that one to family and friends to everyone i could think of to simply hear some other opinions and information. I will admit my first thought was just to say yes without even wondering how it would work. But then after thinking about it a few more minutes i began to look at my already large family and wonder where on earth would we put ANOTHER baby.....not to mention we already HAVE a baby! Catcher is barely 7 months old!!!

We did our best to talk from the front of the car to the back but there was no keeping from the kids the conversation we were having.

Eventually i decided to ask the kids their opinions. Maggie first. I told her the situation as i knew it and asked if it would make her happy. She of course said yes with a giant smile...i asked her if it was just the idea of another baby or was it because it would be brown like her? She liked the idea of another brown family member like her....so did i.

Then i turned to Katie who is only 2 and I wasn't sure how well she would understand when i explained to her that if we took this baby it would mean mommy might have even less time for her. She replied "it's ok mommy i can take care of Catcher while you take care of the new baby."

Then i turned to Elaine and before i got a word out she grinned and said "YES! just say yes!" Well it appeared the kids were all for it we just had to decide if we could do it or if we wanted to do this. It made the drive to the next stop feel like forever!

It wasn't dinner time but we found another McD's with a playland to stop at to let the kids run around and give us a chance to talk without them in between. It was 4 already so by the end of this stop it would be time to call and give an official answer. For some reason stopping and getting the kids out made it all feel like a reality...how would this be if there were another little baby? Another girl? I got scared a little bit. I mean I have been stressed nearly beyond belief with the current load of four kids.....could I even handle a fifth? What is the point in saying yes if it causes so much stress on the family it breaks us apart?

While the kids ran around in the play land I prayed...we prayed, we talked we contemplated. But everytime we contemplated saying NO it felt very wrong and like we would regret it for the rest of our lives. Every time we contemplated saying yes it felt so right...so scary...but so right. So we piled back in the car and at 4:55pm I called back and said "yes we're interested in adopting the baby....what's her name anyway?" Her name was Darlene but we had the whole rest of the car ride to come up with our new name for her.....In the end we decided on Darla Deanne. or DD for short. it was an instant hit with the kids. And when we arrived in utah that night we were able to announce that we had said Yes to adopting a fifth child......were we crazy or what?!!

Day two...just another day of driving ....or so we thought.....

Day two of the trip to Utah was supposed to just be another day of driving....a very long day of driving, but just driving....apparently God had other plans.

The drive started out frustrating, Katie was having a really tough time with the idea of being in the car at all again after the three hour drive to Reno the day before, anymore time in the car did not sound good to her. She was seated behind me, as i was in the front passenger seat. It seemed there was no pleasing her. First we put on music for a while but inevitably it wasn't he song or cd she wanted....so we decided to put on a movie. But then once the movie was on she decided that NOW she did want the music NOT a movie....oh well too bad. So then she would be upset because it wasn't the movie she wanted. Then she'd kick my seat so hard from her tantrum that she lost a shoe and so when she voiced (or screamed)her concern over her missing shoe i told her i would just take off the other one....NOOOOO! Ok well i would put back on the first one...NOOOO! It seems i couldn't get it right with her, although at least i can say i really kept my cool, her behavior was so frustrating that we decided after an early lunch stop I would sit in the back with her and Maggie would sit in the seat Katie had been in, and all the 'stuff' that was inbetween the two back seats would then reside in the front seat with Adam.

We stopped for our lunch at a McDonald's with a playland...this is a must for anyone on a road trip with children...gives them a chance to run around. And since the weather had been raining and storming the whole drive we were also thankful that this playland was indoors. We got all the kids inside and to the potty while Adam ordered lunch. i sat them at a table and walked up to let him know what i wanted. When i turned around and got back to the table Maggie was chewing on something. We hadn't gotten the food yet so i couldn't possibly figure out what could be in her mouth. "Open up" i said.....

She opened her mouth and revealed a large WAD of BLUE chewing gum. Now first off i would like to state that i almost NEVER allow chewing gum....always ends up on the floor or in clothes or hair and it really serves no point in my mind so i instantly wonder WHERE the gum came from. And as quickly as i ponder that question i know the answer. She picked it from under the table and stuck it in her mouth where she chomped on the ABC gum (already been chewed). Holding back my gag reflex i quickly made her spit it out into the trash and rushed her to the bathroom.

Now had we been at home i might have made her wash her mouth out with soap (soap i knew wouldn't hurt her) but since i didn't know what kind of soap they had here i didn't want to risk further damage simply because i was so grossed out by the whole thing. But i did thuroughly rinse her mouth with water. It may as well have been soap for how mad it made her. She kicked and screamed which obviously meant she wasn't having trouble breathing but she has never liked water much in any way on her face and this really angered her. I got a few stares from a lady who came out of a toilet stall while this was in progress. So i made sure to remind Maggie out loud what this was for. "Maybe next time you won't stick gum from a table in your mouth will you?" after a very upset head shake in response we left to rejoin lunch at the play land.

More than angry i was just grossed out at the whole thing. but we quickly moved on from the incident while we ate lunch and let the kids play. I went to the car to feed the baby and then changed the stuff in the car around for the new seating arrangement.

Getting myself wedged in the back was interesting but it certainly paid off on the Katie front....she loved having me next to her and spent the rest of this leg of the journey enjoying my company and being a much happier traveller.

We were only about an hour away from McDonald's when i got a message on my phone. We were well into Nevada now and had very little cell reception. So it was no wonder that the call had gone straight to voicemail. I listened to the voicemail and sure enough it was my sister in law in Utah wondering what our ETA was....someone beeped in while i was listening to the voicemail. Assuming the beep was her again i answered without checking the caller ID.....it wasn't her. It was a call that would change life as we knew it forever.....

Circus Circus

I've been wondering when I would have time to post this and i'm not really sure i'll have time now but I know everyone wants to know how this all happened so I'll try to post in short bursts so you don't have to read it all at once.....it's going to be a mini-series rather than a super long post.
A few weeks ago we took a trip that started out one way and ended far differently than we could have possibly imagined.

The trip was to take all the kids to Utah to visit some family and friends for a weeks vacation. We left Sunday morning and drove to Reno where we spent the day and night at Circus Circus, so that our drive the next day would only have to be 8 or 9 hours instead of the usual 12 or more it takes to get to Utah from here.
Circus Circus was great, there really was something for everyone. Elaine loved the buffet...so much food to choose from! Maggie couldn't get enough of the circus acts she could have sat and watched those all day long! And Katie was in LOVE with the midway games. We had coupons for 2 games for the price of 1 so we were really able to play pretty much every midway game with the kids. One of the first games we played Elaine won a stuffed rose which all the kids loved and later Adam and I played that game a few more times to win Roses for all the girls, we ended up with one extra which the kids decided it meant it was mine. Then we played a game where all the players were racing against each other to get as many balls in as possible to win a prize. Katie (with Adam's help of course) won this game. When she got her prize it was a small stuffed dog. She hugged it and squealed with joy as if it were the one thing she'd always wanted in life. She didn't let go of that dog for the whole entire trip. The smile on her face was something i don't think i'll ever forget. The sheer joy of a 2 year old.
We were able to get an amazing deal on a suite for the whole family rather than having to rent two hotel rooms. The suite was very high up in the sky tower and the kids loved seeing the "circus tent" out our window. The bed in the room was king size and all the kids fit in it with room to spare. Adam and I slept on the pull out bed in the living room area and Catcher slept in a crib out there too. We tried to have all three girls in the bed in the room together because they fit fine. But they just wouldn't go to sleep too much giggling so as it turned out Katie got the king size bed to herself and both bigger girls slept in sleeping bags on the floor in that room. It wasn't the best situation but it worked.
The pull out bed that Adam and I slept on should be used as a torture rack. Worst bed EVER. The bar in the middle you could feel thru the mattress....if you could even call it a mattress. Would have prob been better to have slept on the floor! Needless to say we really didn't get much sleep from all the tossing and turning. Adam also had thrown his back out only the day before and this crazy awful bed really didn't help his condition much.

We got up in the morning and had breakfast and headed off for Utah.....no idea what the day actually had in store for us.....

To be continued but here are some pictures for you in relation to the circus circus fun.....