Everything (alternately titled "The longest blog ever!")
We went on vacation to Florida, and it was pretty much awesome. I went running every day, and the weather was really nice except for the one day when I almost had a heat stroke. :) Southern FL is as flat as a pancake and kind of boring to run in as far as scenery goes.
I got to get up when I wanted, I did not have to deal with any accidents or getting kids to the potty on a regular basis, I did not have to cut up any dinners except for my own, when I sat down to eat I did not have to get up 15 more times before the end of the meal, there was zero crying, I was not responsible for getting others dressed, bathed, etc. It was extremely refreshing and I got back and had a ton of energy and just feel rejuvenated. So even though we were only gone for 4 nights and we missed one of our flights, it was still a really wonderful experience. We rented bikes and rode on Sanibel island, we went on a boat tour to see dolphins (this was a substitute for going fishing, which I really wanted to do but alas, apparently 60 degrees is "too cold" for fishing). We walked on the beach and looked for shells, we laid around, we ate really good food, we went to the Shell Factory, and went shopping. We brought some some souveniers for the boys - for D we got a shark tooth necklace, a scorpion pendant thing, 2 t shirts, and a bunch of magnetic rock things. For the little boys we got shark t-shirts, a book about baby alligators, a book about baby turtles, and little mugs with the beach on them. They are totally the new favorite thing to drink out of! :)
Then when we came home we had....a new kitchen! Yaaaaay!
This is what our kitchen looked like when we first bought our home 4 years ago. We removed the wallpaper ourselves and painted, and also removed the soffits above the cabinets.
And of course we also moved the washer and dryer down to the basement, and installed the roll-away dishwasher.
And now for the big reveal! Our new cabinets go all the way up to the ceiling. We have also purchased a new refrigerator and a new dishwasher, and my grandma gave us our microwave/range as a house warming gift.
We added a drawer stack, as well as a skinny cabinet to hold cutting boards and cookie sheets.
We have a lovely tile back splash which is a mix of glass and porcelain tile. It is hard to tell in the picture but the tiles are clear, dark grey, and different shades of medium grey. Also our trashcan and recycling bins are concealed in the cabinets....leaving us more room in our rather small dining room! The flooring is laminate and I think it looks really nice...huge improvement when compared to the yellowing vinyl we had previously!
These cabinets are HUGE!
And this lower cabinet has roll out shelve things. It's pretty awesome, not gonna lie. Also you can see the front door in this picture...because we removed a small wall that was there. It opens up the kitchen a lot and I feel like it just makes our home feel bigger.
C keeps telling me "I like your new kitchen!" :) The old kitchen cabinets are in the garage and awaiting repurposing as storage for the garage! We still have a lot of work to do in the kitchen. Trim needs to be put up, and we need to paint the spot where they patched the drywall for the removed wall. We also need to get rid of the fluorescent lights which are terribly ugly and make everything look blue. But this being done just makes me feel motivated to get rolling on the rest of our projects (oh, so many many projects left)! I also decided I am going to attempt to refinish our kitchen table because it is really awful. I'd like to have the table done by next Saturday in time for the Thanksgiving we're hosting...we'll see if I can accomplish that or not!
In other news, I got to go to my first full team meeting EVER on Wednesday! Wooohoo! I guess bio mom has decided it is OK for us to come. It was really interesting. Mostly it was just the caseworker asking bio mom questions about stuff, and then the other people throwing out ideas when appropriate. CW said that D would maybe get an additional overnight with his mom at court on Thursday, because they do want to get him home soon. She also said that the little boys would not begin having overnights until the first of the year.
I guess at court the judge decided not to grant the additional overnight, and did not grant more overnights for M, and did not grant additional visit time with C and Y (all of which we thought would happen). He made some requests of bio mom as well, which I think will be really helpful for her and for D too. She said D has been giving her a hard time about how long they have been in foster care. I had a little chat with him about that and told him he needs to go easy on his mom....it may have taken her a while to come around but she is working really hard to get them back. CW told bio mom that she never thought bio mom would be able to get her kids back, and bio mom has proven her wrong. It brought tears to my eyes a little bit!
It also sounds like all the kids will get an over night for Christmas. I am OK with that. I am really not all that concerned with celebrating holidays/birthdays/whatever on the specific day...it's just a day! We'll do Christmas with them some other day and it's no big deal.
I think that's basically it.
Oh also the other day C was talking very rudely to me, and when I wouldn't give him what he wanted he began having a tantrum. I handled it as per usual, and afterwards D said "How can you stay so CALM?" So that makes me feel kinda good. I feel like my handeling has gotten much better as time has gone on. I'm going to be an old pro in no time. :)