Monday, September 30, 2013


She's sleeping- with the quilt Nana made.

Poor Little Bat

After Dottie popped (not pooped!) Missy's ball with one chomp, Nana bought her a round bat "Beanie Ball." Both Pie and Dottie kept trying to make off with it, but I was doing a good job keeping it safe. Until I rolled over in bed one night and my leg hit something wet, which turned out to be the poor, chewed up little bat. His wings were gone and he had a big hole, and there were beans ALL over the floor. I know it was Pie who did it because she is the one who leaves offerings in my bed.

He still looks happy... but I am sad for him.

Happy Birthday to Me!

It was a good opportunity to take lots of cute Missy pictures!

The cake was SOOOOO good, thanks Mom!
Happy Missy and Nana and photobombing Fancy.
The dog gang!  Kerby must have been escaping.
Missy tests out the box from one of my gifts- a lightweight EZ up!
I already had my regular EZ up set up at the show, so I didn't get to use the new one yet, but the umbrella was another present and came in handy since the sun was at such a bad angle.  Usually it will be used so Missy and I can sit ringside and stay out of the sun.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Missy At the Dog Show

Some pictures from Missy's first dog show.  This was 2 days after she was placed with me.  What a trooper!  But in one way babies are easy.  Even if she didn't like it- what would she do about it?  I suppose she could cry and fuss and make me never want to go to another dog show, but I keep her fed and warm (or cool, depending on the weather,) and in a clean diaper, and entertained, so what isn't too like?  Luckily so far she agrees and we are both happy!

Lots of teething at the dog show!

Dottie supervises. 

Our set up.  Since then I've only brought 2 xpens instead of the three here.  Everyone has a little less room, but the load is a bit lighter for me to haul around.

Sleeping baby.

I guess packing up was taking too long and Missy and Fancy both passed out.

Muffin rides under the stroller.  He has to share with a lot of stuff.

She was actually smiling, I promise!

Dog Pictures

Of course I can't leave out the dog pictures, although sadly, there are less than usual.

I took this picture to submit to a "send us your best dog trick" online contest.  Too bad it is random drawing or we would have won for sure.  It was on an IPO website and most IPO trainers aren't too big on tricks.  The majority of the dogs were tugging, doing dock diving, or biting the "bad guy."  All which is training, not a trick.  Oh well.  Everyone who has seen it likes our photo- maybe it will inspire the IPO trainers to train some tricks.  Although really this is hardly a trick.  It is just "hold" which is a trained behavior, and a jumping, which is also training.  Fancy sitting up on a bucket is a trick though, so I'm good there.

And here are some random "loot" pictures from the past few shows that I can't remember if I posted them yet or not.

Lots and Lots of Missy Picutres

Now that I'm catching up on my blogging, that means catching up on my pictures.

Got these blocks for free, but they needed washing.  Probably the most "fun" thing I've ever washed!

Soooo happy!

Soooo much teething!

Trying to get a family picture.

Pie gets the Pie Pet.

She was already standing when she came to my house.

She crawls very fast too.

Books are for eating.

Do different books have different flavors?

I love boy onesies with little skirts.  Very cute!

Another similar outfit.

From her 8 month birthday!  She had a diaper on.

Nana gives a hand because she would rather play with grass than pose for the picture.

Missy really liked this  ball, but based on Pie's expression you can guess what happened.

I see you!

I fed her toast and she liked it!

Sooo pretty!

More of the late ball.

Not to worry, many more pictures to follow!

Hello Missy!

Big Girl left in April, right after Easter.  I believe I have already chronicled the calls I got for new placements. Finally the call came for a placement that sounded like a good fit.  I was just about to start PT on a beautiful sunny afternoon on the Navy base when my cell rang.  The placement coordinator told me they had an 8 month old girl in need of a foster home.  I asked any questions I could think to ask, but really the worker did not have too much info.  As far as she knew she was healthy, correct developmentally, and had no special needs.  When I said "yes," she said the social worker would call me soon.  I continued my run (with Dottie) and just as I finished (perfect timing!) the social worker called and we made a plan.  I would report to the county office in an hour to pick her up.  I needed an hour since I first had to go home and install a carseat in my car and the office is in the opposite direction from my house.

I left work a little early, and I informed the powers that be why I was leaving, but my main boss who watches my time very closely was not around, so more good timing there.  Even though I used the same car seat for Big Girl, this time it was facing backwards so it took me a while to figure it out.  I ended up being a little late.  I found the office without too much trouble.  Actually, first I put the wrong street into my GPS, but when it took me the wrong way I figured it out quickly.  I arrived at the office and checked in.  As I waited, I wondered not only what Missy would be like, but also if she would be "the one" I get to adopt and I also reflected on the same thoughts all new (and possibly veteran) moms have, "Will I be a good mom?"  High School English teachers will tell you to never use "all" and never use broad statements like that, but the moms I know who have confided in me all reported being worried about their abilities to be a good mom.  So there, High School English Teachers.

I didn't have to wait too long until I was called in the back and the social worker arrived with Missy.  She (of course) looks nothing like Big Girl, and I wouldn't expect her to, but for some reason my brain was still surprised.  Who knows what my brain was thinking.  She was small, but other than that, besides being surprised, I don't remember what I thought.  She had been crying and her nose was running but the room is set up for that kind of  thing and  there were tissues so when she was passed over to me, I took care of that.  She did not like being passed over to me and she took up crying again.  Being an inexperienced baby soother, I felt kind of on the spot because I also felt like the social worker was judging me on my ability to sooth her.  Maybe veteran foster parent know this, but here is a tip for other newbies:  When going to meet your new foster child, you will be filling out paperwork.  Even if the foster child (baby) is totally happy, he or she will be bored.  You need to bring a toy to entertain the little one.  A toy would have been good, but I bet she was also hungry and of course upset being with all these new people.  She was somewhat amused by grabbing the papers we were trying to fill out.  As the social worker finished with the papers and gave them to me to sign, I passed Missy back to her and she stopped crying.  Hmp.

The papers were done pretty quickly and even through  I tired to  get more info from her, the social worker had no more info for me.  She brought out the bags of stuff her mom had packed for her.  A much more reasonable amount than the 3 large and full duffle bags Big Girl's family packed for her.  The best part of the bags was there was baby food and formula and diapers.  Very useful and money savings for me!  The not so good part was most of the clothes were too small.

Missy cried as soon as I put her in the car and while I hoped her big day combined with driving would put her to sleep, that was not the case.  Knowing what I know about her now, I'm sure she wanted a bottle.  Poor baby.  I stopped at the close Chick-fil-A for dinner since as soon as I got home I wanted to attend to her needs.  She cried the whole time in the drive through.  I felt like a bad mom already!  It was a little over a half an hour to get home and she did fall asleep at the end, just in time to get out at home.

I don't remember too much about that first day.  I know it was a Wednesday and it was the night I train my one and only obedience client.  I held Missy for the entire hour and a half lesson.  Much easier than holding Big Girl, my my arms were still very sore the next day!

The social worker had told me that Missy was used to waking up at night and being fed a bottle, but that the public health nurse said I should  try to help her get back to sleep without it.  The first night she woke up at 11 pm, 2 am, and then about 5:15.  She was not easy to soothe the first two times and at 5:15 it was close enough to time to get up that I didn't even try.  Luckily the next night, and all subsequent nights, she has slept through no problems!  At first I had a little trouble getting her to initially fall asleep, but now that we have a schedule she no longer has that problem.

Here are some of the first pictures I took of super sweet, cute little Missy!  Looking back at these pictures, she has already grown!
The first picture I took.  Dottie is not posed.  She wanted to help play with the toys.

She got her first tooth the second day I had her!

Pie hopes for a snack.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Good-bye Big Girl

The social worker called me and said they were moving BG to a new foster home.  She assured me I was doing a good job, but they wanted someone who would mentor the parents.  This caught me by surprise because in training they had told us if we didn't want to we didn't have to meet the parents at all.  Since I had said I didn't want to meet her parents, they decided to move her to someone who would not only meet them, but mentor them.  As much as I wanted BG to stay with me, I knew I was not a good choice for mentoring since she was the first child I've ever had.  I had her for 2 weeks and her parents had her for 2 years.  How could I mentor them?  And I also had no experience with their particular problem so overall I was totally unqualified as a mentor.

Poor girl- from her home to the group home to my home and then another foster home.  Not easy on a 2 year old.  This was right after April.  As far as I know she is still in foster care.  I can only hope she has a good life and her parents are able to do what they need to do to be good parents.

I didn't hear anything from the placement coordinator for a while after BG moved on.  I ended up calling them to make sure everything was ok.  They assured me it was, and that they'd call me when they needed me.

I got a call while I was in Big Bear for a 2 year old.  After BG, I was really hoping for an infant, so I let them know I was out of town and couldn't take the placement.  Then once I was back they called me for a 10 month old, one of 5 siblings.  I know a child in that situation is not very adoptable because they'd want to keep the siblings together and I can only have 1 child.  Plus, they wanted me to come right then and I was really busy that day at work, so I passed again.  Then they called me for ANOTHER 2 year old.  I was forced to  tell them I really wanted someone younger so they made a note to put me down for zero to one year old.  Which hopefully means 12 months, and not 23 months like BG was.  23 months, while technically 1 year old, should be spoken of as a 2 year old.

And then I was waiting again.... who would they call me for next?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Big Girl Playing in the Yard, Trip to the Zoo, Easter and More!

All just pictures here!

Getting ready for a walk, but she doesn't look too thrilled.

Playing in the dirt is fun!

Having fun coloring at the Easter Eggstravaganza.

This was the a city Easter gathering- the Easter Eggstravaganza.

Before the Easter Egg Hunt.  Can you spot us?  This was a fiasco!  It was supposed to be kids under 3 but the big kids participated also and grabbed all the eggs at a run.  The younger kids couldn't get any.  I managed to nab one and kept putting it down for Big Girl to pick up.  She was happy enough but other kids were crying.

Picking up the same egg she already picked up 5 times.  :)

On Easter morning.  We went to church really early because we had a dog show to go to afterwards.

Playing with a blankie.  On the dog bed.

Helping to train Pie to track.  Pie and I need all the help we can get.

Bonding with Dottie.

Dottie enjoying her singing.

This was too funny!  Putting the cone of shame on her head and walking around like that.

Learning to set agility jumps.  I could not keep socks or shoes on that girl.

Walking Fancy.

Zoo trip!  Riding the horses in Griffith Park.  She was not sure if she liked it or not.

Meeting the goat in the petting zoo.

Watching the jaguar.

Nana pushing up the hill.  That zoo has a lot of hills!

Nana forgetting to not rotate the camera when taking my picture.

Standing up for a better view.

A great picture of a beautiful child.

I liked this guy.