Being a busy  mom means I typically don’t have time to go to a spa…so I like to bring a little bit of self-pampering into my home.  One thing I started doing is a moisturizing hair mask.

I started this because of how dry my hair feels in the winter.  I could have purchased an expensive hair mask online, but I found a few on pinterest instead.  My favorite one is super simple, and I always have all the ingredients on hand.

Here is the link to my favorite hair mask.  Basically, you need EVOO, coconut oil, and egg and honey.  Once it is all mixed up, I massage it into dry hair, root to tips.  Then I wrap it in a towel and do other things around the house for about a half hour.  Then rinse, and condition as normal.

The link says to do it once a week, but I usually forget and do it about once a month.  It truly has helped my hair from drying out now that the cold weather has set in!

Months.  This has been in the work for months.  I knew little one would be moving to his adoptive home.  Every day, I expected the case worker to tell me “this is the week”.  But days went by, months went by, with no news.  So we waited.  We would all talk about how long the process is. This past weekend, I even started going through HJ’s old fall clothes to stock up little one’s dresser for cooler weather.  Sunday, I spent time reorganizing his dresser and packing up too small clothes. I had determined we must still have through Halloween, maybe even HJ’s birthday.

And then the text came Monday morning. “They are approved.  He can move this week!”

Wait. What?!?

My response was “My heart just broke and got happy all at once”

It seemed to take forever…and then suddenly it is so fast.

I can not think of another situation in which someone would feel so happy and sad all at once.  My friend happened to share the perfect blog post she came across. Jamie wrote this for Foster the Family.

“It feels like everything all at once. Like laughter and tears, like hope and loss, like joy and sorrow.”

Part of me is grieving, while part of me is so happy for his future.  There are moments where I am overcome with tears, followed by comfort that I know he is in the perfect place.

Last night, we had a party.  We had cake and celebrated the start of his new journey.  I let him eat cake with his hands and make a mess.  I let him stay up a little late and snuggle.  We played and wrestled.

And when bedtime came, I sang him his song.  The one I sang to him every night since he has been with us.  Goodnight My Angel by Billy Joel.  Tears rolled down my face as I sang “I promised I would never leave you, then you should always know, wherever you may go, no matter where you are, I never will be far away”.  This little boy has forever claimed a piece of my heart.

There’s this boy who has my heart.  He calls me his mommy.  While I might be his mom for this moment, I am not his forever mom.

"Every child deserves a foster parent whose heart will break when they leave." Girl with balloons in a field. #fostercare

A few months ago I made a decision.  It was hard and heartbreaking.  After talking with HJ, I knew it was the choice that had to be made.  HJ and little one get along, they like to play, and they love each other.  But the bond isn’t what it should be.

I talked with friends who have adopted, and their kids have a different connection then my boys.  I talked with parents who made the decision not to adopt, because of the bond between the kids, and realized we fell into that category.

I love little one with all my heart.  I know I would be forever happy to be his mom, but I know God has other things in store for him.

Shortly after contemplating this, I met “them”.  His perfect forever and ever family.  The first time we all met, I cried.  I knew it was right.  They love him like I do.

For now, I am still his mom.  But I know this will end.  I can’t say I am ready for it, but I don’t think I ever will be.  He will always hold a special place in my heart, and in our home.

A few weeks ago, the boys and I had just finished up dinner.  I suggested a bike-ride to an ice cream shop not too far from our house.  HJ jumped on his bike right away, and I led the way with little one in his bike trailer.  It was hot out, so ice cream was definitely needed.

HJ requested to lead the way home, meaning little one had no eyes on him as we headed home.  I thought nothing of it since we take bike-rides almost daily.  We also made a quick stop at a park to play.

Once we got home, the boys were playing while I put away laundry.  I heard my phone go off telling me I had a text, but ignored it (my friends will tell you I do this often). Then I heard a facebook message come across the phone.

I finally glanced at the screen and noticed my old neighbor had text me.  It said: some random lady just brought your drivers license and debit card to me.  said she found it on the street.

What the hell.

I then look at the message request I had on facebook from some stranger: Hey, my nephew was playing at a park and came across your insurance cards, a credit card and a $5 bill.

I open up my wallet and discover EVERYTHING is gone.  Little one apparently threw everything out of my wallet along the entire bike-ride home.

I quickly had HJ jump on his bike, and put little one in the trailer (with nothing in it with him) and we backtracked everywhere we had gone.  I was able to find a few more things, and figured out the only thing missing was my target credit card.  We stopped at the house where the little boy had found my stuff.  He was worried someone had robbed me, so was glad to hear it was just thrown out of my wallet.  And yes, he got to keep the $5 as a reward.

The next morning, we ran to our old neighbors to grab my license and debit card.  My old neighbor said the lady tried to bring it to the address on my id, but it looked like no one lived there.  She asked my neighbor if he could get in touch with me.

I was amazed at these strangers for going above and beyond to return my items.  Somehow I had only lost 1 thing!  Or so I thought…2 days later, my mom got a call that a friend of a friend was out jogging and he came across my target card.

Lesson learned: no items go in the back of the bike with little one.

I haven’t given up on this page.  I promise!  But sometimes things happen.  Like you get locked out and it takes a while to figure things out.  And if you knew how my past month has gone, that wouldn’t surprise you one little bit.

To start things off, if you are on your cell phone while driving…and then drop your cell phone.  DO NOT REACH FOR YOUR PHONE WHILE TURNING.

That was the short version of how I was crashed into.  Now for the long version.

About a month ago I was driving down a street with little one in the back.  I was driving straight.  There was not a stop light, or a stop sign.  However, a car heading in the opposite direction was trying to turn left into a residential area.  While getting ready to turn, he dropped his phone.  He decided to reach for it, while turning and not looking.  I saw him turning and thought “how the hell is he turning, I AM RIGHT HERE”.  I even tried stopping.  But he turned into the side of my car.  Everyone was ok, but my car took a beating.  We gave our insurance info to the police, and went on our way.

Well, it turns out I gave my correct insurance info to the police, and the other person gave false information to the police.  And is now MIA.  But not really MIA, because he is active on his public facebook profile, we have his address, phone number and employer info.  So truthfully, I don’t know why he isn’t getting in trouble for any of this.

But anyway…after two weeks of my car being in the shop, replacing car seats and dealing with insurance info, I have my car back.  Now we just need to get my $$ back.

And be safe.  Don’t text and drive, email and drive, search the web and drive.  Next time you are driving, take notice of how many people aren’t looking at the road.  It is scary.

My pinterest accomplishments/failures use to be a once a month post…but as we all know I have not been the most consistent poster lately.  So, here it is, an overdue “What I have done on Pinterest”.

Crockpot French Dip Sandwiches from No Biggie

cpfd

These were yum.  I mean it’s hard to go wrong with a French Dip :). However, it was a lot of food for HJ and myself (just the 2 of us at the time)…so we ate them for about 3 days.

I took this cool idea from Foster Love.

ft

A tree print if framed in our little guy’s room, and he has already left his finger print.  The idea is that the tree gets filled up with a fingerprint of each placement that comes into our home.

I made in initial strong art like the one on Fresh Crush.

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Wal-Mart actually had some small cute pallets in their craft section for $10, so I used that as the base.  I also spray painted the nails, but that was totally not worth the time, as you can’t really tell the color of the nail anyway.

I used this list from Momma Mesh for foster placement calls.  I have the list in my purse, my planner and on the fridge.  That way no matter where I was when I received a call, I would have my list available.

And finally, my yummiest pin by far, this lemon blueberry cake from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

cake

I made this for my mom’s birthday (which is in June, told you this post was delayed).  It was super delicious, and you need to make it.

Now I want cake.

What pins have you finished/made lately?  Share your favorites!

I truly do not understand how time is going so fast.  I feel like we just had Christmas break, and now it’s February?  Saying life is wild right now would be an understatement.  HJ and I added a toddler to our family fun, and holy cow, toddlers are busy little people.

The house has become so hectic, even Ty has started hiding.

tyson

But, we are having so much fun.  Opening your home and hearts to the foster care system is hard, but so worth it.  If you have considered it, please look into it.  Most states have a huge need for it (maybe even all of them do…but I don’t have time to research right now 🙂 ).

We are fortunate enough to have Kaden’s Kloset in town, which is an incredible organization.  I have also gained some wonderful friends through the process, and am lucky they are just a text away.

Needless to say, our house has been on the go for the last few weeks.  HJ likes it for the most part, but has had a few moments of annoyance.  But then will tuck him in at night, or write on a school assignment that his favorite thing is being a brother.

I know it’s cliche…but there is something refreshing about a New Year.  It’s a time to look back on what occurred over the past year, what changes you want in your life, and how to make dreams a reality.  It’s also a time to let go of things that have been dragging you down, and pick up things that will help lift your spirits.

Even the little things feel like a fresh start.  A new planner, tucked away in a new handbag.  In the past, I have always used a new planner for maybe a month.  And every year, I say this is the year I will be organized and use it all the time.  But 2017, I will use it :).

I used Christmas break to organize closets, cabinets and dressers.  I also acknowledge that the toy organization is a worthless battle, and mainly left it as is.

Our little family officially has a foster care license in hand.  A room ready.  And an anxious 7 year old.

HJ and I are spending more time playing, and less time glued to a screen.  At home, the laptop has only been used to print off coloring pages.

I am ready for the excitement that a new year brings.

HJ and I are finally in our back to school routine.  Which is amazing, since he has yet to have a full week!  The last few weeks, we had flood days, which made things a bit hectic. (and no, we have never had flood days before)

Before school, we get ready, have breakfast, and HJ goes to daycare while I head to work.  For now, HJ is in lego club, football and faith formation at night.  This leads to early/late dinners, and rarely do I have time to cook.  I am ready for football to be over, so we at least have 2 nights at home :).

At night, we play, do homework and read a few chapters before bed.  We just finished Fudge-a-mania, and started The BFG.   There are times I am amazed at how quickly he is changing, like when I heard him read out loud in front of a group.

He also likes to help around the house.  This weekend, he wants to learn how to clean the fishbowl by himself (YAY!).  The dog and him have become best buds.  Many times, HJ would rather stay in with the dog and play then to go outside and play.

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Yes, that is the dog eating his ice cream.

I love that we live in a neighborhood where there are always kids running around, and the neighbors can help each other.  While we would love a bigger space, I would be too scared to leave our comfortable ‘hood.

I love going and watching HJ play flag football, although it makes me laugh.  HJ HATES being chased, so will do what he can to avoid getting the ball.  He also is afraid to grab people’s flags.  So he runs after them and then slows wayyy down once he gets close.

With him getting so big, I savor the moments he is still “little”.  Like when he came into my room and asked to snuggle.  Or when he falls asleep in the same position he did as a baby.  Or when he suddenly wants to get out a toy he hasn’t played with in two years.  But then, he will walk out of the room “dabbing” and yelling “DUDE” to his friends.

I always knew how much I wanted to be a mom, but I didn’t expect to love it this much.

Recently, we have had a licensing worker doing home visits so we can be an approved foster family.  This has led to magnetic baby locks, locked up medication and safety plans posted in the house.  It also has me thinking of other ways we can make our home safe for a new little one.

One thing I want to do is to be able to keep our dog, Ty, and the child, separated.  That has led to me researching child and baby gates.  Yes, I am totally one of those mom that researches things before purchasing (I can give you an earful about car safety standards in the US vs. Europe).

The thing about child and baby gates is that I need to be able to install it, and open/close it without throwing a fit and jumping over the top.  I started by looking over this article that describes the different gates for different spaces.  With our house set up, I think it would be best to have it in the hallway, that way the dog can still have access to his foot/water/window he likes.  I also read over this article that describes the kinds of child and baby gates, and decided pressure mount would be the best for us.

I also worry about injuries from the gates.  Pinched fingers, leaping over, etc.  This video helped me see that my fears were not unfounded, and I am sure I will still turn to YouTube to watch easy install videos.

With HJ, I never had a gate.  This was mostly due to the fact that he would prefer to climb and leap over things, and I knew he would view it as a toy.  I am hoping that being able to keep Ty and a child separated, I will feel a little less anxious about not always being in plain sight.

What other safety must-haves do you think we will need?