Archives for July 2012

Nuggets: After Vacation

We’ve been home from vacation for several days now. One thing we learned over the last couple of weeks is that vacation with a two year old is anything but relaxing. We did have lots of fun, but I think we are more tired now than we left for vacation!

I think A had a lot of fun too, and he got to experience so many new things. I think we’d make the same decision if we had it to do all over again. It was so important to us to take this vacation with him knowing that it will likely be our only opportunity for a vacation while he is staying with us and we don’t know how long it will be before he is able to go on another vacation once he goes back to his biological family.

:: One of my highlights from our trip was our beef canning day. That was the one thing that I absolutely wanted to fit into vacation, so I’m happy that it worked out. My pantry looks so pretty with all those cans of yummy beef lined up in it!

:: Jesse got to be the best man in a wedding for a long-time friend of ours. It was great to be a part of their day. Their wedding was beautiful and the couple was all smiles. A had a little bit of a rough time during the hotel stay on the wedding weekend. I think maybe that was just to small of a space to stay with him, even though we spent very little time in the room. His favorite (and ours) part of the hotel was the fact that the pool there had a two foot shallow end. He loved being able to “swim” by himself since his feet could touch the bottom. We loved that we sit on the edge and watch him instead of having to hold him the whole time.

:: A also enjoyed getting to meet and play with Jesse’s cousin’s kids. They sure had fun running around Grandpa and Grandma’s house and exploring the farm together. Together the three of them picked apples and blackberries, and picked up branches that came down in a storm.

:: As is usual, we left the farm with many yummy produce gifts! I sure enjoy getting to use food when I get to know exactly where it came from. A and I even made apple sauce with the apples we picked from Grandpa and Grandma’s tree. He peeled most all of the apples by himself with the apple peeler. And the apple sauce is delicious!!

:: Our official foster care license certificate came in the mail the other day… pretty cool! It’s amazing how much we’ve learned from A in the short time that he’s lived with us. We sure love having him here even though taking care of him has been harder than we expected. We’ve decided that when A is ready to leave we’ll definitely be ready for an extended break before we accept another placement. One little person living here has sure worn us out!

Now we need to work on getting A back into the routine we had going before we went on vacation. It seems as though he’s forgotten the routine completely. He’s been extra challenging the last few days and hopefully everything else getting back to normal will help him be back to normal too.

Life Changes…

Last year at the farm:

This year at the farm:


Our First Family Vacation

I had been trying to prepare A for vacation about a week or so before we left. He was pretty unsure about seeing things being set out of place and watching suitcases being packed. I explained that vacation means that we have to drive for a long time and then we get to the farm. When it came time to actually packing up the car, A was definitely stressing out… and then we strapped him to his car seat for 18 hours!

For the most part, I think he did great in the car. He didn’t sleep quite as much as we thought he would, but since it was dark he was at least quiet or talking to himself when he wasn’t sleeping. It seems like driving at night was the best choice as the roads were empty and it’s the only way he could have sat for that long straight. We’ll just have to see if we can be rested enough to do it when we leave.

We stopped for a picnic dinner that didn’t turn out as fun as planned. It was super windy and A was covered in millions of bugs. It was hard to do anything but laugh as I pictured what we looked like as we tried to keep our food from blowing away, swat bugs off of A, and eat as fast as possible. We are always telling A to eat slowly so it was pretty funny to see his reaction to being told eat quickly.


A woke up several times in the night and it was impossible not to laugh at his comments in his grouchy, over-tired state. Things like “I don’t want seat anymore!” or “I want grass now” meaning he wanted to run at another rest area. The funniest thing might have been when he was confused about getting his pajamas on. We tried to do his whole bed time routine and told him to go to sleep and he said in a crying voice “I no shoes anymore, I no shoes on.” He was very concerned that he wasn’t wearing shoes in the car. I kept trying to assure him that he would have fun once we got to the farm, but at that point I think we was pretty much convinced that he hated vacation.


Now that we’re here he is doing great! I wasn’t sure how he would react to having his entire environment changed after only being with us for a couple of months. He has been sleeping fine and is already completely comfortable with Grandpa and Grandma Sipes. He loves walking down to the barn and getting to sit in Grandpa’s big tractors. It’s pretty funny to see him take the lead and tell us where to take him after he’s only been here for a day. He’s also enjoying getting to play with some fun, old toys. He spotted toys around the house right away and has actually been playing by himself some, which he rarely does at home.


Today we got him to help with the “chore” of picking up fallen apples. He thought that was pretty great. He carried the big bucket around randomly deciding which apples were good enough to bring inside. We filled the entire bucket and then he dumped them out and wanted to start over. So funny! We had to explain to him that Grandma wanted to keep them in the bucket this time to bring them inside.


So we are having lots of fun so far. We can’t wait to see what other new experiences we get to share together!