Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Memorial Day Weekend

Hey! This is sort of a delayed post, but things have been busy in our world.
On about last Thursday we got an email saying that our foster son, Marty, was going to be leaving our care.  Initially he was supposed to be discharged to CPS on Friday, but then things got pushed back until the following Tuesday due to complications with his placement over the Memorial Day weekend.
Anyway, Marty was with us for about 3 weeks, and he had really settled in with the family during that time.  He had settled in at his preschool, was getting along really well with Raylan, was sleeping well, had become a lot better about eating some fruit and other healthy foods, had become interested in having books read to him, and had become much more much more interested in talking and learning new words.  He seemed to enjoy being on a schedule, and he was happy to participate in all of our activities.
Anyway, he was a happy, fun kid, and I was sorry to hear that he was leaving so soon.
We had a good Memorial Day weekend, though!
On Saturday we went to Deep Eddy to go swimming.  Both boys seemed to really enjoy it.  The cold springwater felt good.  Raylan has been going to swimming lessons, and my parents have assured me that he is capable of swimming (and provided some video evidence), but he refused to swim at Deep Eddy.  He was all about the wading.  And the hopping.  And the illicit running.  And the slipping and falling.

The boys storm the beach

Steanso tries to herd the 3 year olds
On Sunday we got up and went to Kerbey Lane for breakfast.  Raylan and Marty seemed happy to be there and ate well.  After breakfast they walked on the benches out front and Raylan showed Marty the importance of sitting on small, decorative boulders in the parking lot.  Later, Ryan and Jamie came over to join us for a hot dog cookout and to meet Marty.
They played magnet tiles with the kids and played on the swing set and ate hot dogs and watermelon.

EVERYBODY SWING!!

After lunch the boys played in the sprinkler and played with bubbles.

One of the rituals that marks the beginning of summer has to be the
sprinkler run
On Monday, Memorial Day, we tried to go to a splash pad at one of the South Austin parks near our house, but the splash pad was broken.  Then we tried to go to one at Butler Park, but there was some kind of marathon or road race going on so there was nowhere to park.
Ultimately, we took Marty and Raylan to Barton Springs to go swimming.  
It was a nice day, and I enjoyed it.  Marty was not a big fan of Barton Springs.  He was concerned that the water was too cold (even though he handled Deep Eddy with little problem), and he said it was dirty (there were fish in the water and some algae, and he complained about both).  Raylan, on the other hand, seemed to have a blast.  He liked the fish and the pipe that was draining some of the water and creating a tiny whirlpool.  He seemed to really dig the whole natural aspect of the place and kept asking to see where the spring water comes into the pool (which he never saw- I think it's somewhere like 20 feet deep under the diving board, or so I've been told).
Anyway, Marty sat in the shade up under the trees and laughed at the silly kids who were splashing in the water and playing with swim noodles.  Despite the fact that he didn't so a lot of swimming, he still seemed to have a good time.
In the afternoon I took Marty and Raylan to a Memorial Day cookout over at Mandy's house.  Amy had been on kid duty earlier while I ran errands, so she bowed out to go to the gym and have some Amy time. 
Mandy had set up some kiddie pools and did some grilling.  Obviously Mandy was there, along with Spencer, Donna Rene, Kate, Andy and Rami and Wilson, Vicki, Ellie, Jackbart and Stephanie (Jackbart's lady, who I met for the first time- very nice), Kellie and TJ and Jojo and Goldie, and Darla Dog.
It was a lot of fun.  I got to catch up with old friends, and the kids had a blast playing in the pools, squirting each other with squirt guns, and eating hot dogs and chips.  Everyone got to meet Marty and say hi to Raylan.  Thanks to Mandy for helping to make Memorial Day 2018 special!

Lord of the Flies/Memorial Day at Mandy's place.

And that was about it for Memorial Day weekend.  On Tuesday Marty's CPS worker came and picked him up to go transition to a different placement.
I'm not gonna lie- it made me sad.
I didn't sleep well either the night before or the night after.
I slept on his floor for a good part of the night the first few nights when he first got here so he wouldn't be scared.  I took him to a couple of doctor's appointments and took care of him when he was scared (with Amy's help, of course), and I helped him get used to daycare when he was scared to get dropped off.
So it bothered me to know that he might be scared somewhere without us to help.
BUT, we did the best that we could while we had him, and I have to believe that he's going to be in a better situation than he was in when he arrived with us.
But it's hard.
I really miss that kid.

But we had a great experience with him.  Not always an easy one, but a really good one.

So that was out Memorial Day weekend.

Hope everyone is doing well.



Sunday, May 20, 2018

Update

Hey!  Well, the last week or so has been good, but very busy and a little chaotic.  We're still adjusting to life as a family of 4, with our new foster son.  I can't reveal any identifying information online about our foster son, so I've blurred out his face in the images posted on the blog, and I'm going to have to give him a pseudonym, sine I can't use his real name.  For blog purposes, I'm going to call him Marty (because I feel like it, that's why!).  sorry about the blurred face pictures.  I know it's a little weird, but it's necessary, and I still like posting pictures of what we're up to!
So, last week we had to get Marty's immunizations up to date and get him registered for preschool. We got that stuff taken care of (after some minor paperwork drama with the immunization forms), and got him enrolled in a preschool.  He doesn't go to the same daycare as Raylan, so now we're dropping off and picking up two different kids from two different daycares in two parts of town.  Still, we were happy to get Marty into a pretty good daycare so quickly.
Raylan and Marty seem to get along really well, which is nice.  They play together and look for each other and ask about each other when being picked up from school.  They're both pretty active, engaged kids, though, and they both like parental attention, so they keep us on our toes.
On Friday we all went out to La Posada for dinner.  We had a nice time.  The boys were pretty well behaved, and we had a nice dinner.

La Posada on a Friday night.
On Saturday we got up and played in the yard and then went to The Thinkery.


Raking up the playground mulch in the backyard on Saturday.
I'm not sure that my co-workers are pulling their weight.

Raylan makes shadow wall art at The Thinkery


Amy gets in on the shadow art action

Marty and Raylan in the Thinkery's water room
We had a really good time at the Thinkery.  The boys had a great time.  Raylan has a bunch of favorite activities there, and Marty seemed really excited to try everything out (except the climber- Marty don't climb).

Saturday night my parents came over and watched the boys so we could go out to dinner and meet up with Ryan and Jamie for a movie.  We went to Hyde Park Grill, and then we went downtown to see The Underworld Story as part of the Noir City film festival at the Alamo Drafthouse.  We had a good time, enjoyed the movie, and it was good to see Ryan and Jamie.

On Sunday we had quite a bit of rain.  We took Raylan and Marty over to Barton Creek Mall to run some energy off.  We got out of the rain, but it felt like the air wasn't turned on in the mall, so it was sort of warm and humid.
Raylan, Marty, and Amy watch the rain come down.  It's hard to say
which of them was the most disappointed...

Mall trekkin' with Mom!
Later, the rain stopped, and the boys got to play in the yard.  They had a good time just being at home in the afternoon with nowhere to be and some time to just play and slow down a bit.
 
Two boys and two bowls with yard snacks
That was about it.  After dinner and baths the boys got to play a little bit.


Lady, that tooth is definitely going to have to come out!!
In between all of these things there were some errands and trips to the gym and struggling to get naps and getting food ready and potty training and packing up to leave to go places and trying to get everyone to sit down for meals and lots of other things.

But it was good.  Life is good.

Hope everyone is having a good week!




Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Update

Hey!  It's been a very busy week at our house.  We have a new foster child living with us who arrived on Wednesday.  It's been a very happy, rewarding experience, but also a stressful one.  There have been two doctor visits, a dentist visit, CPS visits, trips to track down medical records, and daycare visits.  Amy and I have both taken some time off work, but have both done some work, anyway.  But our foster child is great and Raylan seems to be adjusting fairly well to the new situation.
I'm not allowed to post any pictures or details about foster child on social media, so I'm trying to figure out how to keep the blog alive.  Bear with me!
Here are a few other pics in the meantime.

Raylan asked me to take a picture of him with his red nose;


A picture taken with Dad at Touch a Truck:


Raylan, making a bubble pile with the bubble wand:


We didn't do much for Mother's Day this year.  We were supposed to meet up with my family for lunch, but our sleep patterns have been sort of messed up over here as we're getting settled in, so we stayed at home and rested.  Amy got a Mother's Day present, though!
I did get to see Mom and Dad on Saturday.  We took the kids to Touch a Truck over at Camp Mabry..  We had a good time.  Amy stayed back and ran some errands.

That's it for now.  Have a good week!
 
 

 

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Update

Helloooooo!
Hope everyone is having a good May so far.
We had a nice weekend.
On Friday we had sort of torrential rains here in Austin.  It rained really hard most of the day, but by the evening the bad weather was clearing out.
On Saturday Amy was volunteering for the Austin Women's Resource Fair (which does everything from medical and legal services to job training to haircuts and clothing).
Raylan and I walked down to Central Market for a father-son breakfast.  Raylan got to wear his rain boots and jump in puddles made by Friday's rain.  Very exciting.

breakfast with Dad
Afterward we walked over to Great Clips and got Raylan a haircut.  He was shockingly well-behaved.  He had told me that he would be really good if he could get a lollipop at the end, and he was true to his word (although, afterward, he found it patently unfair that the lollipop kept getting smaller as he was sucking on it).

haircut accomplished, we headed home
After breakfast and a haircut, I took Raylan on a Capital Metro bus ride.  We took the Metrorapid 803 route and rode from Westgate down to Ladybird Lake.  Raylan was pretty excited to ride on a bus. He talked to a few people, and the bus driver gave him an apple.  He kept suggesting places that the bus should take us, so he's not exactly clear on the whole bus route part of the system.  He had a lot of questions about how the bus stops work, though, so he's getting there.


The bus driver was pretty sure that this was the most excited rider
she'd picked up this week.

A man about town
We rode down to the hike and bike trail around Ladybird Lake.  We watched the paddleboarders and walked on the pedestrian bridge and walked on the trial a little bit.  Raylan was good and he had fun.  He eventually got a little tired and said he was hungry, so we headed for home for lunch and a nap.
In the afternoon I got to go for a bike ride.  The weather was nice, and it was really fun to pedal around town.  People were out and about on South Congress as well as biking and walking in the neighborhoods.

Saturday was also Cinco de Mayo!  Amy made some really good chicken tacos, and we had salsa and guacamole.  Good food!

On Sunday we got up and went to Kerbey for breakfast.
We went to Garrison Park for a while and ran some errands.


The boy is a daredevil!

I went to the gym (Amy did an exercise video at home, I think) and in the evening I had band practice.  Practice was good.

And that was the weekend,  We had a nice one.
Hope that everyone else had a nice weekend as well!