Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring Break is over!

And I am sorry, but I am going to be doing a huge cheer this am when the girls go off to school.  It wasn't a bad week, but.........the 'lovely' insurance compay still has not come through on the flooring.  I talked to the insurance agent last week and he was close to getting us to flooing, however, needed to take another look at the carpet estimate as he missed something and thought one of the bids (that we aren't going with) came in lower than the one we are going with.  So he wanted to take a look AGAIN at the carpet estimate (which is only two rooms by the way, the question is we are going with laminate in our hallway and living room - which gets replaced because hallway and living room are all one stretch of carpet). 

So on Friday I decided to take the girls to see The Croods, as we had not been out of the house once, yes, we were in the house from Saturday to Friday.  The girls received crafts from my friend for Easter and they were really into them, and there were movies on DVD they wanted to watch, etc.  So we kept occupied, as I waited on Mr. Insurance Man to call me back a couple of times, and got the full figures of what we have to fork up out of pocket because we didn't use an approved plumber.  Yet, when I asked him if he had a list he claimed they didn't.  Uh-huh.  SO he's going to go to the plumber and see if they can budge on their bill.  If not, we have a pretty penny to fork out.  I'm just tired of it all.  So I call him because a day has gone by and he's NOT very good at returning phone calls (I swear the woman we had 4 yrs ago was SO great, this guy? Not so much).  We wait around till pm, then decide to hit an afternoon showing. 

I liked The Croods, although BGA was not happy with some of the action in it, she gets fearful and although I was sitting by LGA, I didn't see her get too upset.  Afterwards she admitted some of it was a bit frightening to her, but she liked the story (and the girl in it has red hair and freckles if I am not mistaken, always a plus in her book).  It was SO nice to get out and about and the girls enjoyed the outing.  They seemed to want to be homebodies, though, because they asked me if we were coming straight back and never really wanted to go out this past week. Maybe they needed some down time.  Anywho.........I did like the story and it was funny in the appropriate parts.

The girls on the other hand, fought most of the week, and the newest thing is LGA is 'fishing' in BGA's room. She discovered her 'makeup' stash, that I thought we had hidden, but heard the closet doors at night and figure she must have gotten into BGA's closet.  Tonight she said, "BGA has MAKEUP?"  I really need to know how to stop the tattling, though, it's driving me up a very high wall, and there is no end in sight. I've tried all the things you are supposed to try for tattling, including "Unless someone is hurt or dying, or hurting someone else, I don't want to know." They really don't care, they tattle anyway, even if you have (in LGA's FASD case) recently (like within the next breath for LGA) said the same aforementioned sentences, and said, "I don't want to hear it." It's like they can't stop and they are constantly trying to one up each other.  Finally I threatened "NO ELECTRONICS IF YOU TATTLE."  That lasted for awhile, but with LGA's retention, it really did not work. I just have to keep repeating it and staying consistent for her.  But it's hard on me. I had at one point, the insurance guy on the phone, before lunch and pm meds, and I was trying to write all the numbers down. I swear I thought I was getting a very bad tension headache after that.

I really hate posting the negative stuff, but lately over the last month, it's been one huge train wreck after another.  Sure it started out innocently enough, but now they are just plain screaming at each other to go to sleep at bedtime, and LGA's on some sort of running commentary and won't stop until she crashes.  They NEED to be in their own rooms.

It's a good thing that school is starting up, because..........we will have a house guest this week. My friend from the northernmost part of N CA is coming for a visit, Tues to Fri (or possibly Sat depending on how much she can take of the girls.....she's in her late 40's and single, no kids).  So, even though we have no carpet in LGA's room, we are going to figure something out for my friend to sleep there, and hope the carpet goes in this week and soon after her arrival. So LGA won't be back in her room this week, as Easter is on Sunday so you know that we won't be having much going on before then.  My friend is coming for her birthday this week, and coming while the girls are in school so we can hang out together while they are in school.  I'm hoping for the best, but LGA does not handle house guests very well as we never have them so she has a hard time.  Wish the best for us, as it will be a hard week for her, and she will still be sharing with BGA.  (I am thinking moving of the makeup out of BGA's room is going to benefit me). Poor BGA is tired of LGA going through her stuff.  (LGA is sneaky like that, she gets things off the bar in our kitchen, out of the family room, etc.  Last thing I found she had was some of Dave's modeling putty on one of my mother's blankets, that I really liked - and it did not come out in the wash and some of it ended up on the couch so I know she had it under the blanket playing with it.  Dave refuses to move his stuff from the family room).  This mama is tired of the fighting, getting into stuff, etc.  I am looking forward to hanging out with my friend, without the girls being along and demanding her attention. 

The one plus, was I decided we were going to vacuum and dust as I was tired of the dust, that I thought would get worse once they pull the carpet up and lay the flooring. I was tired of the dust and so I declared today was house cleaning day.  Dave and the girls helped and everyone was assigned chores and got them done.  My house is still torn up and cluttered, but it is as clean as it's going to get. I will still have to dust again when all is complete, but I don't have to breathe in the dust that was really bothering me (I think I am allergic to dust as I have had other reactions to it previously).  I think the girls enjoyed earning allowance money and they did great jobs on their chores. Dave had to pull up some temporary flooring we had in our hallway to the garage as the installer who came to measure said, "we don't pull up existing flooring.  We will pull up the carpet but not this flooring."  So he had to rip it up today, but he got it donr.  Everyone worked hard.  It's sometimes a bit of work having guests, and my friend used to visit a few times a year till the girls came home.  We have not seen her for a year and 3 mos, so it has been awhile.

Hoping this week is the week we can schedule our flooring.  Back to the routine..............In April, it will be 2 more mos till school gets out, where did the year go??

Happy Monday, folks.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring Break!

Spring break is here.  The girls are off for 9 days.  I thought it would be a long 9 days as we had fighting, tattling, all the stuff I have posted about in the last 3 weeks.  But then something happened on Saturday night.  It got quiet about 8:30 and stayed that way.  Dave and I were watching something on tv, and I said to him, "It's quiet."  He said, "Yeah, I know........"  and let his sentence trail off.  It was eeery.  For the past almost 3 weeks, there had been so much fighting at bedtime till the girls finally wore themselves out and went to sleep.  Not Saturday.  A little bit on Sunday but then BGA went to sleep and LGA, who had a bit of sugar, couldn't come down much and go to sleep and talked for an hour, then was silent.  We'll see what tonight brings.

The girls got a craft from one of my friends, BGA a loom type of activity, LGA sticker foam pieces that you match up by color and number (which she loves and is playing with 2nd day in a row).  BGA gave up on the loom after making two projects with it and Dave helped her finish them off as that part is hard for her.  Today she said she wanted to play with it, then didn't pick it up at all.  Now, for one thing, I am NOT a crafts person.  Sure, I bead, but it's something I can do fairly well and like to do.  But when it comes to crafting, I'm not that kind of person. I will look at what other people on blogs or Pinterest make, but when it comes down to it, I am not a crafty person.  My husband is MORE crafty then I am.  But people keep buying the girls craft projects.  A couple of them we've had to abandon because LGA or BGA couldn't follow it.  My one friend says it gives them a sense of accomplishment, which it does to a point, but I hate doing crafts.  I truly do not like to do them. I wish I did, but I just don't.  There are some crafts that the girls have that we haven't touched and have sat on the shelf for a few years. Yes, YEARS, because I don't want to pick them up.  BGA wanted Blingles for Christmas, so Dave showed her how to do them.  I would have no clue how they work, but he showed her and off she went.  Both girls want to bead, so we'll see if I can teach them at some point (beading products that I use should not be used with children under 12 because of the lead issues.  But the girls have specific beads made for kids that they use from time to time).

Anyway.......these crafts have kept them busy (in between electronic device playing, which they lost for a week due to bad behavior.  And which they only get to play on weekends and after school for maybe an hour while I make dinner, IF homework was brought home and completed and only if I need to concentrate on what I am making).  So, the behavior so far has been pretty good, I am happy to say.  I hope I didn't just jinx myself..............the tv has been off (yes!!), except for Dave who is in the middle of a Star Trek marathon (in anticipation of the new movie coming out.  We have seen all the original cast movies).

We are STILL waiting on our flooring estimate to get approved, so still living in a torn up house.  Hoping to hear something this week about that. So once again, going on week 3...........waiting. I am not good at waiting.  It's really bothering me more than any other time I remember having to wait for something.  I don't know why but things just seem to bug me, maybe it's because so much has to be moved to get the flooring done and I want it to be over with. 

We have a possible friend coming as a house guest on Sat.  We talked, she said she could come down.  I texted this weekend to make sure she was coming.  No reply.  I let it go a couple of days and texted again today, "are you coming on Sat?" or whatever I said.  No reply.  I really need to know if she's coming as she's coming for her birthday and I need to get some food and things in, clean a little, make sure if we get flooring approved, that Angelina's room, where she'd sleep, is done first.  It's all part of life, I know.  So I'm trying really hard to go with the flow.  Welcome spring!! You are coming in with a bang!

Day 1 of spring break down.  There's some rain forecasted late tomorrow and Wed, then it gets close to 80 by the weekend.  So let's see how the week pans out. I think the girls will hopefully do ok, as they seem to have taken 3 weeks to get all the fighting, tattling, etc. out of their system (so far....again, hope I have not jinxed myself).

Spring always brings with it a promise of lighter sunnier days, being outside more, etc.  I have to hope this spring will be a good one once we get settled in with all we are getting done.  Just gotta be patient a bit longer. If you think good thoughts, think good thoughts for us this week so we can make some progress. I would like my friend to visit, not only to celebrate her birthday but to have some time with a friend to go out to dinner, shop, chat, watch movies, etc.  So let's hope it all turns out the way it's supposed to......I'm thinking positive.........

Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday is a better day!

After my vent post yesterday, Monday is turning out to be a better day.  I know that it's hard for LGA to not be in her room, and it's been two weeks of her having to share with BGA and the house semi torn up.  It's not been fun for anyone.  Seriously.  But it's to be expected and I should learn to go with the flow.  I do for the most part, but sometimes it's just hard to when you have two kids fighting with each other, trying to tattle/get the other one in trouble, and you are dealing with having your house torn up and decisions on who to go with to get flooring put in and the house back in order.

I came to a couple of conclusions though.  Yesterday went well because Dave pitched in and we got our bedroom ready to go so we can move things out and get our new carpet put back in.  We went through things that had been put in our room when the girls came home and we cleared out our office and spare room for them.  It looks like you could just pick stuff up and move it.  That's a great feeling, and it made me feel good.  I cleaned the dust out of the bathroom that had been bothering me so much.  The floor still has lino and dust on it but I put some bathroom rugs down that I found in a box in my bedroom.  They were for when we were going to change out our bathroom and were in a box in the bedroom. I'm gonna go with different rugs but these will do for now and can go out in the garage near the laundry area when we are done with them. But just getting the bedroom done was very relaxing (hard work though) and made me feel better.

This am, our friend's brother came to tackle the backyard.  We are getting the drain put in so we hope that helps with the water issues, but he came to clear out the backyard.  We had a neighbor guy come, a young guy, who was doing our lawn and keeping both front and back clear.  However.........he broke several mowers (ours, which had stopped working but he said he could use it for parts) and didn't have a mower to work on our yards.  He came by and said he'd show up one day, but then didn't show for another week.  I finally had to tell him if he wasn't gonna show up we'd need to get someone else.  He looked like he was gonna cry. I really tried hard with him, I gave him extra stuff Dave would get from work, toothpaste, dishwashing soap, etc.  I gave him extra cash if I could help him.  So when we came back from running errands (this must have been Jan and cold) he and his father were sitting on our electrical boxes (we seem to have the whole neighborhood's electrical, phone, etc. boxes in our front yard) waiting for us.  They had done the front yard, but couldn't get in the back to do it.  He told me he'd come the next day, so we didn't expect him and were gone a long time.  We paid him for the front, but still the back was getting taller and taller.  He never showed up again.  His father is mentally challenged, but nice and he came a few weeks ago to pull the front weeds, telling us he felt bad his son had left us in the lurch but that he didn't seem to want to work (he really liked doing yards and wanted to do it as a business but couldn't seem to get it going after he moved out with his girlfriend.  Several people in our housing complex had him doing their yards).  He said his one was just having a hard time. I feel sorry for him as he did a great job and we did pay him more than anyone in the complex paid him. So we had our friend's brother who is out of work, come Saturday and today to do the yards.  But getting that done, and deciding that we might find out how much it would be to concrete a section of our yard (it's on a slope so would need to be graded before concrete could go in) for one of those pools that you see that are sided and sit on grass or concrete, for the girls to play in for the summer.  We have had various small to med sized pools since they have been home and it really is fun for them and keeps them busy in the summer.  So deciding to get that done and maybe a part of the side yard, made me feel good too.  It wasn't one of my particular goals, but it felt good to know after 13 yrs the backyard might finally get done.  It means we can hang out in the summer, there, if we are able to get some stuff done with it.

Dave made a dump run this am.  I didn't realize how much that had been bothering me, ie, my mom's stuff and stuff we had brought back from her house as well as boxes from stuff, girls' junk, etc.  There is a clear path there which is nice and we will do a Goodwill run next week.  I know Dave's tired and his back hurt, but it was nice to get this stuff done.  It was healing in a way.  And it is all sort of happening in stages, but stuff I wanted to get done for years, is happening. The new flooring I wanted but we weren't able to get to or afford, is being done (and insurance is hopefully paying for it).  It kind of feels good and healing, I guess is the word I am looking for.  I don't know if that makes sense, but it's a feeling of healing that is happening for me. 

The sun is out the weather is expected to hit 80 this week and I am feeling pretty good about Monday.  It helps that Dave picked up some beer and we had pizza and beer for dinner.  The girls were quite upset (they really do not like to see us drink anything) at us till I explained that we rarely drink and that it was ok to have a drink now and then, that daddy and I don't drink a lot and very rarely.  They were ok with it after that.  I had a little buzz going however, and felt pretty warm all over.  I have a tiny 'hangover' feeling this am because it's been awhile since I had a beer, but it was great with the pizza.  :-)

So, enjoy your Monday, everyone.  I'm getting stuff done today and it feels good.  :-)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I Need My House Back........

The girls are still sharing a room and seem to have regressed (both of them) in the last 2 weeks since they have been sharing a room.  This might be a bit of a venting post so click off if you are not wanting to read one of those types of posts. Or you can read through to the bottom where I talk about BGA's violin assembly this week.

We have had some incidents happening over the last week.  LGA climbed up to BGA's Ikea style (different from the one LGA will have in her room) style bed, and wrote in pen on her legs.  BGA and LGA were wearing nighties as the blowers were going and the house was hot.  The weather was low to mid 70's during day and warm in our house from blowers.  So BGA must have been sleeping where LGA could get to her legs and she found a pen (snooping as I knew she would be tempted to) and found a pen.  I told BGA to put her stuff up so LGA couldn't find it, and BGA, being in a mood as her teacher is not in a great mood (probably hating the class that the principal 'specifically brought her from another school to teach" - principal's words back in the fall at back to school night) and she has to share a room with LGA, tried to blame Dave for it.  "Daddy told me to put my pens there."  Uh-huh.  Then some Girl Scout cookie money given by LGA's teacher (who bought 2 boxes from each girl) to BGA, put in her backpack, was taken.  She was upset and thought we'd be upset, but when the teacher came over, she sort of made it sound (or we just thought it was) like it was LGA who had lost it.  So Dave and I, as we picked up BGA (it was on his day off) talk about it and wonder how LGA could have lost it.  BGA does not correct us.  She then continues to let her sister take the fall for it.  I write a note, telling LGA's teacher that LGA has no idea how she lost the money (teacher explains that it is book fair, Girl Scout cookies, fundraisers, etc., and the kids know that there is money in backpacks).  LGA's teacher calls and explains to me that it was BGA who lost money not LGA.  Uh,

There has been fighting, too.  Dave heard a thump in the bathroom one morning and came in to find LGA on top of BGA.  They fight in Dave's car (the van's air conditioning hose needs replacing and no air, yeah, think of me this week when it hits mid to upper 70's and NO AIR and no chance to take van in to get it fixed this week, must get it done on spring break I guess, which is soon) where they have to sit side by side.  They tattle CONSTANTLY on each other. I have tried for years to stop this, but it just won't go away no matter what I try.  BGA is getting really nasty about yelling at LGA as well so I'm trying to stop that one.   BGA yelled out in her sleep one night and both Dave and I thought they were awake, "BE QUIET LGA!  GO TO SLEEP!"  So I came down the hallway and opened the door, both were sound asleep.  They fight before they sleep, but one is on the floor and one is on the bed, so we just let them go till they fall asleep.

We are at the bid stage of getting the flooring done, and are waiting for the construction guy who works for the company that came and put the blowers in to dry out the place, to submit a bid.  He came and pulled up the lino in our bathroom and some carpet.  He said he could get us a better bid than the home improvement store we picked (who did the laminate in our family room while we were in the adoption process but couldn't afford the hallway and living room at that time) to do it.  SO I am waiting on his bid, waited two days for him to send one.  We are leaning towards the home improvement store, but we'll see.  So I await that bid, a friend of mine's fiancee and his brother, to come and put drainage in our backyard because we think this might help with the water and give it a place to drain (the water and soil are eating away at our pipes, and the pipes are exposed, not cased in concrete, etc.).  So that and another home improvement (replacing a door) are being done this week.  I didn't realize, never having had to deal (other than 4 yrs ago) with workers, it's a pain, getting stuff done around your house.  The entire house is torn up, and we have to move and pack stuff to get flooring done, the dust is horrible (from the blowers and ripped up carpet/lino) and LGA and I are having issues. I fully believe I am allergic to dust as it's really been bothering me.  There's no point in dusting as the whole house will be torn up when the rest of the flooring goes, anyway, so I just have to live with it.

But for some reason, having the house torn up is bothering all of us.  And we haven't even gotten to the living room and taking everything out of it, but hopefully that will be done when the girls are at school. Home Improvement store told us the laminate has to cure in our house for 3 days too.  We are also running out of time as my friend from the very north of northern CA is coming to visit us for 5 days in two weeks.  Can we do it??? I don't know but if she's here, I am enlisting her help, LOL.  She needs a place to sleep as well and our Ikea couches are barely comfortable to sleep on (and I know as I slept on them when the blowers were going as my bedroom felt like a sauna).  She's slept on air mattresses before.  But now both girls will have loft beds.  So I'm trying to convince Dave to put the mattress and box spring (which he can't get to in the garage till he takes boxes to the dump) in LGA's room till my friend leaves so she can sleep on a twin bed with box spring and mattress (at the time I made the offer, which is why she accepted in the first place, I thought LGA was just getting the twin bed back). She says she's game to sleep on an air mattress, but I don't know how well that will work.  I'm wishing we'd invested in a sleeper sofa as we really have no room now for any guests (not that we ever have any, anymore).

I have known that the girls have an issue with any type of transition, but it evidently includes the home not being quite right.  So of course, we are adjusting to what 4 yrs ago, took about a week to fix, to what 4 yrs later and new flooring, is taking 2 weeks + to fix.  I know it all goes back to their past issues, it's just hard sometimes when I have to make other decisions and take the lead on this (Dave clearly demonstrated he did not want to handle it and that it upset him thinking about it) and deal with kids who have issues with transition, that spills out into their life.  Funnily enough, after one or two small issues at school (where she had a sub right when she was first sleeping in BGA's room and my trip to LA) LGA is doing well in school and I think her teacher is helping her. It's nice for her to have a teacher this year who helps with her issues and totally gets her.

BGA is doing well and her teacher sent home a kudos note telling us how well she did on Friday.  Good job BGA!.  Also her first violin performance assembly is this week. I am excited to see her perform (even though she has had no home practice as her violin got stolen at school...........did I mention that?? If I'm repeating myself I apologize as I am too lazy to go look it up). She is starting to shine, and it's nice to see that.   She has continued the eye rolling and sighing (that she started at 10, so watch out mamas of kids who haven't reached 10 yet) and now she's added muttering under her breath and blaming others (so we are again working on taking personal responsibility for your actions).

We visited my friend's ranch today, we had not seen them for awhile and the girls missed them.  They have goats, chickens and bunnies.  They also have a huge tire swing and a small cart the girls got to drive.  They had fun.  I observed them while talking to my friend, and both girls are really growing up.  I need a smaller purse style camera to carry with me, I realized I have not taken any camera pictures (other than my phone) for over a year.  Shame on me! I think the last camera pics I downloaded were from xmas 2011! So  I need to carry a camera in my purse that I can whip out and shoot with. Especially as we have a great summer going, I think, so far.  The girls will be in cousin G's wedding, as flower girls in the early fall, and I plan on getting them involved in some summer activities and even maybe a short trip to see my high school friends for a beach trip and hotel stay (if it works out).  I think it will be good for us, although traveling is not always a piece of cake for the girls, but I am willing to take them on a girl's trip.

So, if you got this far, we're doing ok but we need the house back.  Spring is coming, I feel the warmth coming, put all the sweaters away in storage (yes, I have the smallest closet, 2nd to smallest, that I have ever put my clothes in) on Friday and a couple I didn't get to wear but really liked. They'll be there when fall rolls around.   Hopefully spring brings the promise of what is to come.  Short sleeved tops, capris, flip flops, etc., it's that promise of warm weather, but not the heat of summer.

Here's to hoping the house gets put back together so the girls can get back to their normal routine.

EDITED to ADD: I took a paragraph out of the original post.  I wrote it at 3:30 or so this am. I had a hard time sleeping last night and Dave and I worked all day on our bedroom, purging stuff and getting ready so we can move furniture out for the carpet. It's nice doing it together though, and we had the girls do some chores and busy stuff for us today too.  So excuse my 3am rant.  It's just hard having the house torn up and I realize how much my kids need normalcy.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Our Life........

I get these feelings every now and then when I think of the wonder of our being parents.  Hopefully I can explain it here. It's like a feeling that I never imagined.  I made a slideshow for my mother in 2011 during the time my brother died, like I started it on the night (or morning) when he died. I tried every which way to get it burned on a CD so she could watch it, figuring her seeing the girls pictures from the visits through to the present summer, would be good for her.  Dave told me I put too many pictures on it and it was too slow.  But I knew my mother would have a hard time if the pictures flashed by too quickly, so I set it to the only music (I did it on my computer so it wasn't with any video sites) I could find that Dave had downloaded.  Since it was summer there was Beach Boys, Rockin' Robin, The Partridge Family, any songs tame enough that I knew she would be ok with.  We never could get it burned, and I realized I might have to put it on You Tube or something and I just didn't want it out there.  SO it sat on my desktop on my computer.  There were two versions because Dave was able to change it somehow to get it to be viewed on the desktop.  I condensed it down again and we still couldn't burn it.  So I gave up.  I looked at the link for it each time I clicked on to my side of the computer.

Then yesterday we were getting ready to meet some new parents in our town for the 2nd Friday we had gotten together (they have two possible sibs who are Fetal Alcohol/drug exposed toddlers they are adopting) with them.  I went to go get Dave.  It was a hard friday, there is an air conditioning hose that went out on the van, but I can't get it in to get it fixed yet, till I know what we might have to pay for insurance on the water leak.  So I had a hard day having to run an errand in almost 75 degree weather (we had a warming trend) after school in the van with all windows down on the freeway breathing in all the pollen from the trees blooming. I was hot when we got home and then the house is 77 degrees from the blowers so on went the air conditioning. I called the drying out company but never got a call back from the tech. I wanted to ask if we could turn off the blowers.  Finally got a call today so they will be going off tomorrow!

Anywho........I went into the family room to get Dave so we could go to meet our friends.  He had been taking a med (unknown to me, why do men do this???  I had no idea he was taking this med that the dr. office prescribed for him but insurance denied, so he took another one instead.  Then insurance approved it and he decided on a whim to take it a week ago.  It's a hormone foam and let's just say the side effects are not great.  He stopped taking it) that had yucky side effects, moodiness, feeling aggressive, etc.  I didn't like how he was acting and didn't understand what was going on till he admitted he'd used the foam.  So I come in to the family room to get him and there he is watching the video.  I came in half way through and he did not have the music on, but there he was watching the video.  I asked him to put the music on but he didn't want to.  The girls came in and saw themselves and went from 0-30 in 0 seconds and screamed, "IT'S ME!  LOOK MOM!  IT'S ME! OOOH I REMEMBER THAT!  DO YOU REMEMBER THAT?  REALLY YOU DO?  LOOK!  OH WOW!  THAT'S ME! OH WAIT I SAID THAT ALREADY, BUT............IT'S ME!"  LOL.  And then when it flashed to the other sister, "WHY is it flashing to HER?  Where am I?  OH, there I am!"

As I watched it, it just brought back these feelings deep down.  These feelings of what it might have been like if they had not been here, if I was not watching or aware of The Disney Channel, their shows, Nickolodeon, and their shows, and the wonder and feelings of what it might have been like, but also what it WAS like, those first few months as we were getting to know each other.  I don't know if this makes sense.  I don't know if I am explaining it correctly. It's like this feeling of what it was like to be introduced to two small children, who had needs, attitudes, feelings, thoughts, spoke them, what they watched, wore, ate, played with, etc.  It was as if the life we knew for 7 yrs together changed. Suddenly we were watching Sprout and Disney, we were dressing, buying toys for, going to the park with, two little girls.  We were going through fits/tantrums, we were eating and preparing kid meals.  Maybe it's because we skipped baby/toddler (LGA turned 4 the day we brought her home) stage (even though LGA was still in the toddler stage to some degree so we did experience older toddler) and went straight to kid stage. But there were some days that I really thought, "Is this what it's all about?  Is this what parenting kids is all about?"  Every new thing was an experience.  It felt new, it felt different, it felt fun and scary.  We were forming two little kids' minds, we were bonding.  We were learning about Barbie (well I grew up with Barbie but Dave hadn't), Barbie movies, Princess movies, Tinkerbelle.  We were learning about ADHD.  It was all new.

Now it seems old hand, it doesn't have that feeling in the chest that you get that you are experiencing something new.  It just feels..........normal.  We are living a normal (as normal as you can feel with an FASD child) life.  This is our life and I don't remember what life was like before the girls. Seriously, it's been almost 5 yrs and I can't remember what it was like before them.  This is my life.

It was hard watching that video, but good to see how young the girls looked and much older they are and more mature, how much they've bonded and grown.  But it was sad knowing why I made it and that I made it for my mom who never got to see it.  Dave asked why I put so many swimming pics in it but I did that because mom had paid for their swimming lessons and suits that year, as she sent them money and asked that I use it for that.  So I wanted her to see what they were doing and how much fun it was for them.  But the good thing was that the girls were excited to see it.  I realized that I had not really used my camera in a year. It's sort of bulky and I don't really like carrying it around. I need a purse camera to carry so I can take pics easily.  The girls don't smile as easily and it becomes sort of a chore to take pics as they want to pose or won't sit still.  So I just stopped taking them I guess. I took pics on my phone but it's not the same.  I think when I got my larger camera (not an SLR) I thought I would get more into taking pics and using the ISO (which it does have), etc. but I never really did. Then I couldn't fit the camera in my purse and it became a pain to carry it.  But I feel like I was so great at chronicling the girls first few years and then as most parents do, you sort of stop for a bit. I need to get back into it and start again chronicling our lives.  I want them to have the pics and to look back on the life we have.  They obviously love to see the pics of how they looked.

Anyway, we are drying out the house and hoping for new flooring if insurance will cover it (if they won't, we will have to pay for it as our carpet has been torn out from LGA's room, hallway, and our bathroom lino (our bathroom is on the other side of the wall from her closet and bedroom).  We were gonna put pipes in the attic, but my uncle was quick to point out we could get leaks in the walls.  However, our plumber feels sure that we will get other leaks.  Now we know we are not the only ones experiencing it as our friends' neighbors have the same type of link.  I will be glad for the heaters to come off.  I just don't do well with heat ever since I had the 'major female op' and am not on hormones at all.  Heat and I are not friends.  I have been really miserable.

The good thing out of this is that LGA gets an Ikea style loft bed (hers is the more bunkbed style)

I am hoping this is a good choice for her.  She needs storage under her bed as the rooms are small.  BGA likes her loft bed but doesn't like being so close to the ceiling.  But I think LGA has wanted the same type of bed BGA has and so this will be her first bed of her own and not a handmedown bed.

The trundle bed LGA had was originally BGA's and was painted white and Dave put spraypaint flowers, ladybugs, dragonflies, etc. on it. It served them both well but was older and was harder to put together and take apart.  So when we knew we had to clear out the furniture and bed, we decided to keep the mattress and donate the bed. LGA is excited to have a new bed, so hope to get her room set up soon.

Anyway, I was just thinking of how I felt as a first time parent, and how my life changed to a life as a mom.  It felt weird to me at times like I was living outside someone else's body sometimes.  That feeling eventually went away and it just became life as I knew it and lived it.  Watching a video like that just brought back those feelings of how I felt early days in to the girls being here.  Now it's so much different.  We have all come a long way as a Family of 4....